HC Deb 18 May 1976 vol 911 cc1296-362

Order for consideration, as amended, read.

7.15 p.m.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I understand that there has been a Committee stage on the Bill. Unfortunately, the record of that Committee stage, be it long or short, is not available in the Vote Office. I am told that the Vote Office has not received it. I understand that the Private Bill Office also does not have available the record of the Committee stage of the Bill which the House is now to consider. I appreciate that it is a Private Bill, and I am advised that the Committee dealt with only one or two minor amendments.

The point of principle that I wish to put to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is that it cannot be right for the House now to be asked to deal with the remaining stages of the Bill without having access to the report of the Committee stage deliberations. I do not believe that we can continue and arrive at a decision upon the Bill until we know what our colleagues in Committee did.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

Perhaps I can help the hon. Gentleman. One amendment to the Bill was made by the Committee. This was the insertion of subsection (2) of Clause 6. It appears on page 5 of the Bill and reads as follows: Clause 2 of the said agreement shall continue in force and be binding on the Board until varied or determined by any enactment or other provision having the force of an Act of Parliament. The effect of the amendment is that the agreement shall continue in force and be binding on the board until varied or determined by any future statutory provision. The amendment was inserted at the Committee's request.

Mr. Griffiths

That is a most helpful explanation from the Chair, but it is totally wrong for the House of Commons to be asked to consider the remaining stages of a Bill, and an amendment that has been inserted, presumably at the request of the Committee, without first having an indication of the contents of the debate and the reasons which led the Committee to insert the amendment, of which I knew nothing until you so kindly drew my attention to it, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

To deal with the hon. Gentleman's second point first, the Bill which the hon. Gentleman has before him contains the words "(as amended in Committee)". I cleared up that point by what I said previously.

I fear that I have no knowledge of the report of the Committee's deliberations, who reported them and when the report was published. I am unable to give the hon. Gentleman that information, but I shall endeavour to discover it during the course of the debate.

Mr. Keith Stainton (Sudbury and Woodbridge)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Printed on the Bill now before the House is the phrase" (as amended in Committee)", but one has to search with great assiduity to determine just what is the alteration or amendment. You have been very helpful, Mr. Deputy Speaker, in clearing up that point, but the point of order on the report of the deliberations is substantial.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Let me enlighten the hon. Gentleman. I understand that it is the responsibility of the promoters to provide a record of what took place.

Mr. Stainton

So I understand. I raise this point of order not in ignorance, but in protest. The promoters of the Bill have not disturbed themselves to provide hon. Members with the transcript of Committee proceedings. Not only was there an amendment to the Bill in Committee, which might have serious legal repercussions on the supposed contract underlying the Bill, but undertakings were given to another party—namely, Trinity College, Cambridge—which are recorded in the transcripts. These are bound to be referred to tonight in terms of the powers of the Secretary of State with regard to compulsory purchase and the direction of traffic to and from Felixstowe Dock. How are we to proceed in these circumstances? This is a substantial point of order.

Mr. Nicholas Ridley (Cirencester and Tewksbury)

On a point of order Mr. Deputy Speaker. I was aware of the amendment which was made to the Bill in Committee, but I disagree with it. I think that it was a bad and wrong amendment, and I have great objection to it. I cannot conceive why it was made. It is incredible that we should be confronted with an amendment to a Bill —incidentally, a Bill which only just got a Second Reading—and that we should not be given a chance to find out why that amendment was made because there is no report of the proceedings.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Member is developing a point which should be made in debate on consideration rather than on a point of order.

Mr. Ridley

We cannot proceed with this debate without a report of the Committee proceedings. With great respect, I suggest that it is wrong to proceed with this discussion without the report being made available to us.

The promoters of the Bill have failed in their duty to provide the necessary documentation. If the promoters cannot be bothered making the necessary documents available, it is wrong that they should be allowed to obtain this stage of the Bill in default of their obligations Is there any procedure by which we can adjourn the proceedings until we have the records?

Mr. Julius Silverman (Birmingham, Erdington)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have copies of the transcript. I do not know whether other hon. Members have inquired at the Private Bill Office. I have copies, so presumably they are available.

Mr. David Lane (Cambridge)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I support very much the observations of my hon. Friends. As I am the Member for the constituency of one of the parties involved, I have a special interest.

Hon. Members have mentioned some undertakings which were given. We have no record of them. I have some information third-hand about them but it is a wholly unsatisfactory situation if most of us are supposed to consider the Bill further tonight without a proper record of the arguments in Committee and the undertakings there given. How could we get this debate adjourned until we are properly informed?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The transcript is not normally made available. Normally, a Bill is reprinted as amended, and that is the sum total of it.

Mr. Stainton

On a point of order. I hesitate to cross swords with you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but surely this is a matter which is left entirely to the discretion and cost of the promoters of the Bill. If they choose to inform hon. Members, so that they can debate the matter intelligently, that is up to them. But surely to assert and imply that the transcript is not normally made available must not be understood as meaning that hon. Members were denied same. The matter has gone by default.

Mr. Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. When a Private Bill passes through Committee unamended, it is often considered unnecessary to make the transcript available, just as with Public Bills there is a restriction on the debate on Report if the Bill has gone through Committee unamended. But when a Bill has been amended in Committee, the House is entitled to be made formally aware of the deliberations in Committee.

Under Standing Order No. 7, it is the concern of Mr. Deputy Speaker and the Chairman of Ways and Means to set down Private Business and to determine when it should be discussed. Now that we have drawn to your attention the fact that the required information is not available, you have a duty to withdraw this measure, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and to say that this is not a suitable time, for deliberations on it.

It is not your fault, but the promoters have not made transcripts of Committee proceedings available. That being so, you should say that this is a rather inappropriate time to debate the matter.

Mr. Norman Fowler (Sutton Cold-field)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The reason we are taking this debate, or were going to take it, was that an amendment had been made. Had no amendment been made, this debate would not have been possible. How can we proceed without a record of the proceedings upon which the amendment was made? I suggest that we adjourn in view of the circumstances until the proper records are available.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

As I explained earlier, it is not usual for records of these Committees to be circulated to hon. Members. All that happens is that the Bill is reprinted in the amended form.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I am obliged for the courteous way in which you dealt with my point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but two points plainly emerge. First, certain hon. Gentlemen have a record of the Committee proceedings. I congratulate them, but I am sure that it is important that the House as a whole should have that record. It cannot be right for the record to be available for some hon. Members and not for others.

Secondly, of course I accept that although it is not usual to circulate or make available these transcripts, if any hon. Member seeking to participate in the debate has asked for the transcript in order adequately to assess the position, it is the duty of the promoters to ensure that the transcript is available. The transcript is not available. I join with my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler) in asking, Mr. Deputy Speaker, whether you can instruct the promoters to make a copy of the transcript available to all Members of the House as it is apparently available to some.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I cannot instruct the promoters to make available a copy of the transcript to all hon. Members. It could be arranged for a transcript to be provided, and one would have been provided had it been asked for.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, may I say that I went to the Public Bill Office in the normal way and was told the, transcript was not available? I tried to telephone the Private Bill Office and was not able to get through, no doubt because others were telephoning at the same time. But I understand from several of my hon. Friends that copies are not available.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is what I understand, but if notice had been given earlier by any hon. Member a transcript could have been provided by request. I suggest to the House that since the amendment is a simple one—I have read out the substance of it—it will be much better for the House to proceed to the consideration of the Bill now. If we do not do so—and it lies within my power, if necessary, to terminate the proceed- ings—that will only put back the time- table. I know that hon. Members desire to have a further occasion on which to debate the Bill. It must also go to an- other place, and if the timetable is not met that could well invalidate the whole matter. I draw the attention of the House to that because the time given for Private Business is fairly precious.

Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison (Edinburgh, South)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Perhaps I may throw some light on the matter. I personally asked at the Vote Office for a copy of the proceedings of the Commit- tee. I was told that it did not deal with this subject but that I could get information from the Clerk's office. No proceedings were given to me there: and that was about a week ago. I am deeply concerned because of the way the Bill affects Trinity College. I believe that certain undertakings were given, but if there is no transcript I do not know what the undertakings were or whether they will prove satisfactory.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I did not hear a reply from you to my question about whether it was you who selected the time for the debate—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The business is put down in the name of the Chairman of Ways and Means.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Does that imply, therefore, that if you are satisfied that the House cannot reasonably proceed in this matter because it has been deprived of information which it needs, you can protect the right of the House to have access to that information before it proceeds further in the matter? The parliamentary agents and the promoters have conducted themselves in a contemptuous way in that they expect the House to entertain further consideration of a Bill without ensuring that a transcript of the Committee proceedings is available to the House. It is possible for firms of parliamentary agents to be deprived of their status. As parliamentary agents they have duties towards as well as access to the House. In failing to ensure that transcripts were available when they knew from the Order Paper that this matter was to be debated tonight, they have not conducted themselves in a manner which the House is entitled to expect of them.

Mr. Peter Fry (Wellingborough)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I, too, was unable to obtain a copy of the transcripts. Surely it is irrelevant to the House that the Bill may face a difficult timetable. It is up to the promoters of the Bill to provide the proper papers and documents. It is not for the House to have to alter or truncate its proceedings to meet a failure by the promoters. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will you reconsider your ruling?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Perhaps, having consulted the good book, I can be of assistance in this matter. I refer to page 988 of the most recent edition of "Erskine May" dealing with Private Business and proceedings in the Commons. It states: If any Member gives notice in the Private Bill Office, before the first sitting of the committee on the bill, that he requires copies, the agent for the promoters arranges for these to be supplied. It goes on to say that no charge is made unless a large number of copies is required.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Surely, before the first sitting of the Committee hon. Members do not know whether the Bill will be amended. That is not known until the conclusion of the Committee proceedings. Although "Erskine May" suggests that the obligation to provide a transcript arises in certain circumstances, nowhere does it say that there is no obligation to make it available to the House. Hon. Members cannot know beforehand whether they will need it. Tonight's consideration arises only because of an event of which no hon. Member could have been aware before the Commitee sat—namely, that the Committee amended the Bill. Therefore, nobody was in a reasonable position to decide that he would need a transcript for a Report stage which he did not know would take place.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member is wrong. "Erskine May" is perfectly clear. It says: If any Member gives notice in the Private Bill Office, before the first sitting of the committee on the bill, that he requires copies, the agent for the promoters arranges for these to be supplied. A considerable amount of time is being taken up on this point of order. The amendment is a simple one. It will be in the best interests of the House, in view of the timetable which I mentioned before, that we should now continue with the debate.

Mr. Ridley

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You referred to the timetable for the Bill and suggested that in some way it was your duty and that of the House to secure the passage of the Bill before the end of the parliamentary Session—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I never said that it was the duty of the House in any respect to do that. It is my duty to put down Private Business, and that is all that should be inferred from what I said.

Mr. Ridley

But you said, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you had to put it down in time for it to go to another place, to come back here and complete all its stages. That cannot be so. The implication of that is that if a Private Bill was put down on 29th July you would feel it incumbent upon yourself to accommodate its passage before the House rose for the Summer Recess.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. That is most certainly not the case. The hon. Member has completely misunderstood my original remarks.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

On a point of Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The quotation which the Clerk advised you to read out has nothing to do with the entitlement of Members to the minutes of proceedings. It has to do only with at whose expense the minutes shall be produced. That is why I said that it was inappropriate. It is inappropriate to quote an extract from a paragraph which has nothing to do with the point at issue. The point in question is the entitlement of Members to have before them the papers necessary to deal with the Bill, which is entirely uncon- nected with the question of expense to the parties. The learned Clerk therefore misled you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, in advising you to quote that—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. That is not so. I have quoted what is stated in "Erskine May". Incidental to the fact is the question of who shall pay the expenses for the provision of the report. Indeed, if the hon. Gentleman reads other parts, he will see that The Standing Order also provides that the Chairman of Ways and Means may authorise the printing of minutes of evidence if the promoters apply to him, not less than six clear days before the first meeting of the committee, for permission to print instead of to duplicate. This is merely a question of the mechanics of it, but the fact remains that, had any hon. Member desired to have the detail in extenso, it would have been available had the application been made to the Private Bill Office, which in turn would have obtained it from the promoters.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Anyone who cares to read the section headed "Minutes of Evidence" will see quite clearly that it has only to do with at whose expense the papers are made available. It is not a ruling at all but a quotation from "Erskine May" which any hon. Member can read for himself.

There is a very important point of principle at stake, namely, whether the House shall have available to it the papers which it needs in order to conduct its proceedings. There is nothing in "Erskine May" which says that a Member shall have the proceedings of a Committee on a Private Bill made available to him only if he puts in a request before the Committee has sat. Nowhere in "Erskine May" or in Standing Orders is there any such advice or regulation.

I submit that it is a duty of the parliamentary agent acting for the promoters to ensure that these papers are available should Members require them. Once it is known from the Order Paper that the matter is coming up before the House, it is the duty of the parliamentary agent, in presenting himself to the House with his Bill—he is outside the Box now—to ensure that there are supplies of these papers available. He has not done so, and that approaches a contempt of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, inasmuch as a contempt of the House is an action taken in the case of a party outside the House which prejudices a parliamentary—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman is going a little wide of the mark. Mr. Mendelson.

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member who has just addressed the House at great length is treating this matter as if he were the only Member in the House who has ever served on a Committee on a Private Bill. There are many hon. Members present who have gone through this experience several times.

What you have said to the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is, with respect, absolutely correct. Any Member who has served -xi a Committee on a Private Bill will bear me out. It is usual for a Bill to be printed in its amended form, and that is the documentation then provided for debate in the House, as you have already explained. It would be nothing but disorderly conduct to go on raising further points of order and preventing the debate from proceeding.

We have listened to deliberate attempts to go over the same points again and again. The point I am putting to you now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, with great respect, is this. You have explained the position as it is within the experience of all Members who have served on such Committees as I have. All that has been usual on those occasions is that an amended Bill has been provided to Members. No other obligation has rested on the agent in charge of the Bill. We ought to proceed now on your interpretation, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and go on with the business of debating the Bill.

7.45 p.m.

Mr. Stainton

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. With great respect, I aver that I have served on at least as many Private Bill Committees as any other Member present at this moment. I invite the hon. Member who is in charge of the whipping of the Government to deny that as a fact. I have great familiarity with these matters, and I am not prepared to be taken for a ride by the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) or anyone else. I am wholly cognisant of the procedures in these matters and I feel entitled to make this point of order with some force. I think that there is a matter of principle here which cannot be lightly disposed of. Frankly, I do not carry around in my head any cognisance of page 988 of "Erskine May ", let alone page 987 or page 989. I am at a loss because I have not the text before me. If we were to adjourn for a short time, perhaps I could go to the Library—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Perhaps I can assist the hon. Gentleman. I have made inquiries and I find that there are a limited number of copies of the document in the Private Bill Office at the present time. I understand that they have been there for some considerable time. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman has been able to find out for himself, but that is my information.

Mr. Stainton

I must resume my point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, which is neither factious nor fractious, and I put it forward with the utmost temerity. It is a point of some importance. Let us have none of the Gilbertian attitudes. I put it forward with sincerity. It has been known for some considerable time by you in your office as Chairman of Ways and Means that I have a great identity with the purport of the Bill, being the Member for the constituency in which lies the port of Felixstowe.

I have been in frequent touch with the Clerk to the your office. I have also been in frequent touch with the Private Bill Office. Through the good offices of the Private Bill Office, I have been constantly furnished with a wide variety of documents. For the past fortnight, until roughly midnight on Sunday, I have been on an IPU delegation to the Middle East. I was, in fact accompanied by various other Hon. Members. [Interruption.] I am sure that we shall not be distracted by these irrelevant intrusions—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Will the hon. Gentleman come to his point?

Mr. Stainton

I am coming to it as rapidly as I can. I have been in touch with various offices over a long period of weeks, perhaps months now, on this matter and have kept myself closely informed. You now say, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that indeed there are copies available. There are more copies, per- haps, than there were earlier this evening, when one or two could be found with some difficulty. How one apprises oneself of the content, drift and purpose of the documents when the debate is already under way, I am at a loss to comprehend. You have read out and identified Clause 6(2), but the reasons underlying that are entirely left to the interpretation, I presume, of the Chairman of the Committee and his advocacy, or whomsoever it may be from the Treasury Bench.

I understand that important parts of this debate will have to do with undertakings given by the promoters—I presume that they are endorsed by the Secretary of State for the Environment—to Trinity College. One wonders in precisely what form those are. They are in the transcript, presumably. I would have queried anyway—and I intend to do so if I have the good fortune to pursue this during any debate—the validity and applicability in a court of law of anything recorded in the transcript. But, certainly, if we do not have such transcripts before us tonight we are at a loss to evaluate what has been said and the general emphasis placed on this matter by the Department itself.

Finally, in support of my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop), I point out that a statement was circulated this morning by the agents for the promoters of the Bill. If they found it possible to circulate a statement this morning, they could equally have circulated a transcript or extracts therefrom.

In addition, important in this matter is the respective efficiency of private enterprise and nationalisation vis-à-vis the British Transport Docks Board. Although I was overseas last week, I understand that last Thursday the British Transport Docks Board announced its preliminary financial results for the last financial year. Mr. Deputy Speaker—[Interruption.]

Mr. Ioan Evans (Aberdare)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order—

Mr. Stainton

Mr. Deputy Speaker—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Perhaps the hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton) will complete his point of order.

Mr. Stainton

I apologise if points of order are not necessarily always utterly curtailed. I am doing my best to explain a complex situation. I must refer to the fact that the British Transport Docks Board's financial results were available in the Press on Thursday of last week. On telephoning the Secretary to the British Transport Docks Board this afternoon, I could not make contact. However, I made contact with the Press office, which informed me that Press copies had been circulated to selected Members of Parliament, and it was understood that I was on that list. I am still awaiting a copy of those financial results. Presumably they are—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. To whom the document purported to have been sent and in what selection is not a matter for the Chair. I now propose that we get on with the debate.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The points have been made and well taken. This can only eat into the time available for consideration of the Bill. I consider that we should proceed.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I fully appreciate your desire that we should make progress on this matter, but there is a much broader consideration. I hope that Labour Members will for a moment put aside their thought about Felixstowe and look at the general question of the order of the House of Commons. If this were some other Bill that Labour Members opposed, they would take precisely the same view as is being taken by the Opposition—namely, that the proper order and procedures of the House are being abused.

I put to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, three specific points, and I shall be obliged if you will rule on them. First, a public body—the British Transport Docks Board—has failed to make available to the House of Commons material which is relevant to the Bill that it is trying to promote. I hope you will make it clear that no statutory body—a servant of this House—should abuse Parliament in that way.

The second point, which has been adverted to by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) is that parliamentary agents are also quasi-servants of this House and that they have shown gross discourtesy. I do not say that they were obliged to provide the transcript. I say that it was a matter of courtesy to this House that the parliamentary agents should have provided it. I hope, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you will rule and make it plain that that type of discourtesy is unacceptable to Parliament. Indeed, I follow my hon. Friend's suggestion that there must be circumstances in which parliamentary agents are deprived of their access to and privilege of the House of Commons which we, and only we, give to them.

The third point is simple and practical, and I hope that you will rule on it. Apparently selected Members have been provided with transcripts of the Committee's proceedings. The Chairman of the Committee displayed a number of transcripts—eight or 10—in his hand.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I will deal with this point immediately. I think that it will be found that the transcripts to which the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) referred, which the Chairman of the Committee had, were given to members of the Committee. Perhaps he will confirm that.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I had not completed my point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Clerk of the Committee, now behind the Chair, at my request has been upstairs to obtain the transcripts so that hon. Members may read them and get on with the debate. But the Clerk informs me that there are only two or three copies. Of course it is necessary for the Private Bill Office to retain one copy for its records. That means that two transcripts are available for the House.

Would you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, wish to accept the invidious responsibility of selecting which two Members should have the only two copies and which other Members should be denied them? That is the position in which we are placed. It cannot be right for the debate to proceed when some Members are fully informed and can therefore do their duty to their constituents and the nation effectively, but other Members are kept in the dark. That is wholly wrong. I hope that you will make it plain that we cannot proceed until all Members have had equal access to the matter that we are to consider tonight.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) incorrectly stated the procedure. Incidentally, the hon. Gentleman entirely missed the point that whether the House has a Report stage of this nature depends on whether there has been an amendment in Committee.

When the same firm of parliamentary agents, with conspicuous lack of success, was engaged with the promoters of the Ashdown Forest Bill, which was opposed by many Labour as well as Conservative Members, transcripts of the Committee's proceedings were available before the debate. Copies were not restricted to those who had asked for them before the Committee.

There is nothing new in recognising that the House wants to know the facts which have been examined by the Committee before proceeding. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman, who presumed on a knowledge that he does not possess, would do well to confine his advice to the House to matters of which he may have more accurate knowledge. I wish to put that on record lest a false piece of information given to the House should achieve the spurious status of a precedent.

Mr. Bob Cryer (Keighley)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. What are your powers to stop this tawdry and cheap conspiracy by the Opposition to stop this Bill from being debated? On several occasions you have ruled and quoted the guidance given in "Erskine May". It appears that Opposition Members have been attempting to challenge your ruling.

The hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton) said that he had not received the British Transport Docks Board report and accounts for 1975. Again, that was a tedious and unnecessary attempt to delay the debate on the Bill, for those accounts are available in the Vote Office. I understand that they have been available for almost a week. It is quite clear that the Opposition are trying to block this measure. What power do you have to enable us to get on with the debate?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Out of courtesy to the House, I am always prepared to listen to points of order, but I appeal to the House, as I have done before, that we should now get on with the debate. Two copies of the transcript have been brought from the Private Bill Office for hon. Members to refer to and more copies could have been made available if they had been requested earlier. They were only asked for at 6.45 this evening.

8.0 p.m.

Mr. Norman Fowler

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. There is a serious issue at stake here. The reason this debate is taking place is that an amendment was made in Committee. There is no way in which the vast majority of hon. Members can get a record of what happened in Committee. My hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry) has said that some days ago he went to the Private Bill Office to ask for a copy of the record of proceedings. I have no wish not to debate this issue, but it would be in the interests of proper debate if we had an adjournment so that the whole House could be properly informed on this matter.

Mr. Ridley

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It cannot be right that in order to obtain a transcript of the proceedings in Committee one should have to make application before the Committee sits. It is like saying that the only hon. Members who could receive the Hansard of proceedings in the House were those who applied for it before our debates took place. One only wishes to read the transcript of a Committee when one has some idea of what has happened.

The passage you quoted from "Erskine May" is clearly a nonsense. How can the House set about changing "Erskine May" so that in future it is incumbent upon the promoters of Private Bills to give transcripts of proceedings after the Committee stage? Clearly we do not know before a Committee sits whether we shall want a copy of the transcript. There may have been no amendments.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Let us leave what appears in "Erskine May" for the time being.

Mr. Norman Fowler

Are you going to rule on my suggestion, Mr. Deputy Speaker?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Is the hon. Member moving, That further consideration of the Bill be adjourned? If not, the Chair has no power to adjourn. A considerable amount of time has been spent on this difficult question and we could move on to consider the Bill. The matter is in the hon. Gentleman's hands. If he wishes to move, That further consideration of the Bill be adjourned, I am prepared to put the Question. Otherwise, I shall call the hon. Member who is acting for the promoters.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If you are proposing that a motion be made for further consideration to be adjourned, it would be a matter for debate whether we should accept that motion. I have a new point of order which I should be obliged if you would consider.

Hon. Members


Mr. Griffiths

Hon. Members opposite are seeking to usurp the function of the Chair in ruling on matters of order.

I have obtained a transcript of the Committee's proceedings. The Committee met on three days and the report of its deliberations occupied 58 pages on the first day, 49 pages on the second day and 62 pages on the third day. Whenever this House delegates to its colleagues its responsibility to consider a matter on our behalf, it is right that we should be able to consider the deliberations of the Committee and any amendment made to a Bill.

If hon. Members opposite think it is of no importance that the House should be able to consider the deliberations of Committees, they are flying in the face of what is good order in Parliament. I ask for your ruling on this point, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

There is available to me, though not apparently to the vast majority of hon. Members, a copy of the transcript. It must be right for this material to be made available to any hon. Member who wishes to receive it, and we should have sufficient time to read it in order to give our judgment on what was done in Committee in the name of the House. I ask you to rule on this specific proposal.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I can deal with this matter very quickly. I have no power so to rule.

Mr. Nicholas Fairbaim (Kinross and West Perthshire)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Can you advise me, on the basis of "Erskine May", how hon. Members can know whether they wish to have the proceedings of a Committee stage reproduced for them if they have not had the opportunity to read them to know whether they want them to be reproduced in the first place?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is a matter for the prudence of the hon. Member concerned.

Mr. Robert Adley (Christchurch and Lymington)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have been trying to ask for some time about your indication that hon. Members are obliged to apply before a Committee stage if they require a copy of the proceedings. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Silverman) has been trying to catch your eye. Is he the only hon. Member who had demanded a copy of the proceedings before the Committee sat?

Mr. John Mendelson

On a point of order Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I, with respect, submit that you should protect the House? We have been listening to points of order which have been repeated time and again. You have replied to them all and the time has surely now come when the debate ought to start. I ask you to rule that further repetition of these points or order represents disorderly conduct and an organised attempt to prevent the House from carrying on with its business.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Weetch) is ready to move his motion and he and the promoters of the Bill have their rights, too. You ought now to protect the House by ruling that all further points of order are out of order and calling my hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich to move his motion.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

We are considering the Bill as amended. The House has had a very full opportunity to express its displeasure in certain respects. As I have explained, copies of the transcript would have been available in the Private Bill Office if required.

The House must take its own view, but in my opinion this is not a major amendment. I attempted to explain it and when we debate the matter, it will be explained even more fully by the hon. Member in charge of the Bill. I therefore propose that it would be convenient for the House, and for good order generally, if we now got down to debating the consideration of the Bill. Mr. Weetch.

Mr. Stainton


Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Name him."] Hon. Members should get used to the procedures of the British Parliament.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman will refer to the Chair.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

I draw your attention, Mr. Deputy Speaker, not to the advisory paragraphs of "Erskine May" but to the mandatory requirements of the Standing Orders on Private Business. Standing Order 131A reads: Whenever copies of the minutes of the evidence taken before a committee on an opposed private bill are required they shall be duplicated at the expense of the parties. It then refers to printing—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. In fact the copies are here.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

But the whole reason for the proceedings of the last hour, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is that they were not here and those hon. Members who required them and who went to the Private Bill Office were not able to get them.

Mr. John Mendelson

Order. Disgraceful!

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Those hon. Members who are doing so have been in the House long enough to know that they do not pass between an hon. Member who is speaking and the Chair.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

I was making the point that there has been a breach of Standing Order 131A. Those who required duplicated copies of the proceedings of the Committee of an opposed Bill pursuant to Standing Order No. 131A, with which the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) would be familiar, if he had the knowledge of the Private Bill procedure which he affects to claim, went to the Private Bill Office, but they were unable to get a copy despite the provision of the Standing Order on Private Business. That is the gravamen of the complaint. The fact that some more copies—there are not enough for the number of hon. Members who want them—have been produced in the course of the debate, more than an hour after it began or could have begun, is a breach—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I explained to the hon. Gentleman that copies were available at, certainly, 6.45 p.m.

Mr. Norman Fowler

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You asked me, Mr. Deputy Speaker, whether I wished to move a motion. Will you accept the motion, That further consideration of the Bill be adjourned? Is that in order on the grounds that the amendment was made in Committee and that the only reason the debate is taking place is the amendment, and that the House is

Division No. 144.] AYES [8.15 pm.
Adley, Robert Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Newton, Tony
Aitken, Jonathan Glyn, Dr Alan Nott, John
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Onslow, Cranley
Awdry, Daniel Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Oppenheim, Mrs Sally
Banks, Robert Grimond, Rt Hon J. Osborn, John
Beith, A. J. Grist, Ian Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Bell, Ronald Hall, Sir John Pardoe. John
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Hampson, Dr Keith Penhaligon, David
Blaker, Peter Hawkins, Paul Percival, Ian
Boscawen, Hon Robert Hayhoe, Barney Pink, R. Bonner
Bottomley, Peter Holland, Philip Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Hooson, Emlyn Price, David (Eastleigh)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes(Brent) Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Bradford, Rev Robert Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Braine, Sir Bernard Hunt, David (Wirral) Reid, George
Brittan, Leon Hurd, Douglas Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Broughton, Sir Alfred Hutchison, Michael Clark Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Budgen, Nick Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Burden, F. A. Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Ridsdale, Julian
Carlisle, Mark King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, NW)
Churchill, W. S. Kirk, Sir Peter Ross, William (Londonderry)
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Kitson, Sir Timothy Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Clark, William (Croydon S) Knight, Mrs Jill St. John-Stevas, Norman
Cockcroft, John Knox, David Sims, Roger
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Lane, David Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Cope, John Latham, Michael (Melton) Speed, Keith
Costain, A. P. Lawson, Nigel Sproat, Iain
Crouch, David Le Marchant, Spencer Stainton, Keith
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Lloyd, Ian Stanley, John
Dodsworth, Geoffrey McAdden, Sir Stephen Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Drayson, Burnaby McCusker, H. Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Dunlop, John Macfarlane, Neil Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Durant, Tony MacGregor, John Stradling Thomas, J.
Elliott, Sir William Maude, Angus Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Emery, Peter Mawby, Ray Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Mayhew, Patrick Trotter, Neville
Eyre, Reginald Meyer, Sir Anthony van Straubenzee, W. R.
Fairbairn, Nicholas Moate, Roger Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Fell, Anthony Molyneaux, James Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Fisher, Sir Nigel Montgomery, Fergus Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Fookes, Miss Janet Moore, John (Croydon C) Wall, Patrick
Forman, Nigel Morgan, Geraint Weatherill, Bernard
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Winterton, Nicholas
Fry, Peter Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Mudd, David TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Neave, Airey Mr. Eldon Griffiths and
Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) Nelson, Anthony Mr. Rob in Maxwell-Hyslop.

put in a totally impossible position if there are no records of the Committee proceedings before it?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am prepared to accept that motion, but I must warn the House that if I accept it, the Question must be decided forthwith.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Norman Fowler

In that case, I shall move the motion for the reasons that I have stated.

I beg to move, That further consideration of the Bill be now adjourned.

Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 28 (Dilatory motion in abuse of rules of House):—

The House divided: Ayes 140, Noes 216.

Abse, Leo Garrett, John (Norwich S) Orbach, Maurice
Anderson, Donald Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Ovenden, John
Archer, Peter Gilbert, Dr John Padley, Walter
Armstrong, Ernest Golding, John Palmer, Arthur
Ashley, Jack Graham, Ted Park, George
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Grocott, Bruce Parker, John
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Parry, Robert
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Hamilton, W. W. (Central File) Perry, Ernest
Bates, Alf Harper, Joseph Richardson, Miss Jo
Bean, R. E. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Hart, Rt Hon Judith Robinson, Geoffrey
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Hayman, Mrs Helene Roderick, Caerwyn
Bidwell, Sydney Heffer, Eric S. Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Bishop, E. S. Hooley, Frank Rooker, J. W.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Horam, John Rose, Paul B.
Boardman, H. Howell, Rt Hon Denis Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Huckfleld, Les Rowlands, Ted
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Sandelson, Neville
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Sedgemore, Brian
Bradley, Tom Hughes, Roy (Newport) Selby, Harry
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hunter, Adam Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Buchan, Norman Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Buchanan, Richard Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Silverman, Julius
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Jeger, Mrs Lena Skinner, Dennis
Campbell, Ian John, Brynmor Small, William
Canavan, Dennis Johnson, James (Hull West) Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Cant, R. B. Jones, Barry (East Flint) Snape, Peter
Carmichael, Neil Jones, Dan (Burnley) Spearing, Nigel
Cartwright, John Judd, Frank Spriggs, Leslie
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Kaufman, Gerald Stallard, A. W.
Clemitson, Ivor Kelley, Richard Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Kilroy-Silk, Robert Stoddart, David
Cohen, Stanley Kinnock, Neil Stott, Roger
Concannon, J. D. Lamond, James Strang, Gavin
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Leadbitter, Ted Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Corbett, Robin Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Swain, Thomas
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Lewis, Arthur (Newham N) Taylor, Mrs. Ann (Bolton W)
Crawshaw, Richard Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Cronin, John Lipton, Marcus Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Litterick, Tom Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Cunningham, Dr J (Whiteh) Lomas, Kenneth Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Davidson, Arthur Luard, Evan Tierney, Sydney
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Tinn, James
Davies, Denzil (Lianeili) McElhone, Frank Tomlinson, John
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Mackenzie, Gregor Tomney, Frank
Deakins, Eric McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Torney, Tom
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) McNamara, Kevin Urwin, T. W.
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Madden, Max Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Dempsey, James Magee, Bryan Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Doig, Peter Mahon, Simon Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Dormand, J. D. Mallalleu, J. P. W. Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Duffy, A. E. P. Marks, Kenneth Ward, Michael
Dunn, James A. Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Watkins, David
Dunnett, Jack Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Weetch, Ken
Eadie, Alex Mason, Rt Hon Roy Weitzman, David
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Maynard, Miss Joan White, Frank R. (Bury)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Meacher, Michael White, James (Pollok)
English, Michael Mendelson, John Whitlock, William
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Mikardo, Ian Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Mitchell, R. C. (Solon, Itchen) Williams, Sir Thomas
Faulds, Andrew Molloy, William Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Moonman, Eric Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Flannery, Martin Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Woodall, Alec
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Moyle, Roland Woof, Robert
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Wrigglesworth, Ian
Ford, Ben Newens, Stanley Young, David (Bolton E)
Forrester, John Noble, Mike TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Oakes, Gordon Mr. Walter Johnson and
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Ogden, Eric Mr. John Prescott.

Question accordingly negatived.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill, as amended be now considered.

Mr. Ken Weetch (Ipswich)

I want to apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if my speech is an anticlimax after the points of order. However, since we had the Second Reading of the Bill, in a debate a number of important things have been established which are relevant and important to the consideration of this measure tonight. The first concerns the contention made by a number of Opposition Members that the agreement made between the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company and the British Transport Docks Board was not binding. The argument was that, either because of the change in ownership of the shares or because the agreement specifically relies upon parliamentary approval for the vesting of the company in the BTDB, the agreement might not be binding.

In the event, in Committee counsel for the board was able to give assurances that there was no substance in the point. The Committee was satisfied, and counsel for the petitioners did not mount any challenge to that conclusion. That is the factual state of affairs as I understand it.

Mr. Stainton

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have copies of the transcript. For the guidance of the House and myself, will the hon. Gentleman refer specifically to these very important assessments?

8.30 p.m.

Mr. Weetch

I am afraid I shall not do so because we have already taken considerable time from this debate, and since transcripts are available I can only ask the hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton) to look at them for himself; but I can give him the assurance that this is factually so.

With reference to the petitions lodged against the Bill by Trinity College, Cambridge, Felixstowe Port Users Association and European Ferries, the objections centred around two issues: first, the application of the Transport Act 1962 relating to the board's compulsory purchase powers for land; and, secondly, the permanence and validity of the assurances given by the British Transport Docks Board to the company about the way in which the board would conduct the company's affairs in the future.

On the first of those propositions, an acceptable undertaking was given by the board that Section 15 would not be used in relation to the compulsory purchase of land owned by Trinity College, Cambridge, which assurance was found acceptable by the Committee. With regard to the second proposition, an amendment has been accepted that Clause 2 of Schedule I shall continue in force and be binding upon the board until varied or determined by any enactment or other provision having the force of an Act of Parliament.

Most people will remember the background to these arguments. The original negotiations last autumn between the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company and the British Transport Docks Board—

Mr. Lane

Before the hon. Gentleman leaves that point, may I say that I am grateful for the assurances but, as he knows, one of the objectors is Trinity College, Cambridge, in my constituency. Before moving to the next section of his speech, will the hon. Member deal with the point of the unsatisfactory nature of the assurances in spite of the discussion in Committee? The information which I have is that the position of Trinity College is unaltered from what it was during the earlier debate. Trinity College is not satisfied with the assurances, and in particular the assurance sought, which the hon. Gentleman did not mention, about the future prosperity of the whole enterprise. The assurances were so heavily qualified that the objectors remain dissatisfied.

Mr. Weetch

I am given to understand, on the best advice, that the assurances given concerning Trinity College, Cambridge were found perfectly acceptable by the Committee. In this connection I must mention that the Committee examined this Private Bill over three days by people with very great experience and for whom I have great respect. No serious objection to it was mounted. Later in my speech I shall discuss assurances that were given about the future prosperity of the port of Felixstowe.

When the negotiations were continued last autumn, from which an agreement ensued, they were between a willing buyer and a willing seller, and for around £5¼ million the assets of the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company were to become part of the British Transport Docks Board. Furthermore, an agreement was entered into between the company and the board under which the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, inter alia, undertook to aid and assist the board in the promotion of this Private Bill, which aims at gaining statutory authority for the transfer.

I am very encouraged by what I am sure will be the wholehearted support of the new men at the Felixstowe port for the passage of the Bill. I know that it will have their wholehearted support because, being doyens of free enterprise and supporters of the sanctity of agreements, they will, I am sure, embrace the ethics of this continuing obligation.

Secondly, I hope we shall also have laid to rest the quite bogus assertion that the acquisition by the British Transport Docks Board will mean an increase in the Government's borrowing requirement and in public expenditure.

Mr. Norman Fowler

Is the hon. Gentlemen going to make any comment on the fact that none of the other parties at Felixstowe—the users of the port of Felixstowe to name but one—supports the Bill he is putting forward? Is he simply leaving that question?

Mr. Weetch

I made the point that when the agreement was made last autumn an obligation arose that, despite the change in shareholding of the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, the obligation continues. As I understand it, that is the situation now. I can only go by the factual content of that situation. It is stated quite plainly in the report and accounts of the British Transport Docks Board for 1975 that, because of the positive cash flow which the British Transport Docks Board has built up in recent years, the purchase of Felixstowe as part of the board's investment programme can be financed out of its own resources, in the same commercial way as with any other joint stock organisation.

It has been quite unscrupulously conjectured—more, it has been alleged—that the British Transport Docks Board is not interested in the expansion of Felixstowe. This argument has been produced for want of another, because it is quite false. The truth is that the British Transport Docks Board has every intention of undertaking investment and expanding the port in response to the increasing demand which there will be for these facilities in the expanding economy of East Anglia.

There are a number of facets of this continuing debate which it is interesting to note. In a report in the Ipswich Evening Star of 17th May, a comment was made about some salient points which emerged from the annual report of the European Ferries organization. Referring to the commercial operation by which the shares were acquired, the European Ferries spokesman was reported as saying that there was no politics at all in this takeover. This is typical of the double standard of argument and sleight of hand—perhaps I ought to say "tongue"—which has pervaded this debate from start to finish. Whereas the British Transport Docks Board's attempted acquisition is regarded by our opponents as an expansion of the sinister apparatus of the State and, therefore, political, when we try to do something for free enterprise that is not political. Government supporters have become well used to double standards of argument of that kind.

I submit that the argument at the end of the day is one of practical consideration. By any standards, the British Transport Docks Board is efficient in its complex of operations and is hard-headed and successful in difficult times. In 1975, which was an adverse year for the ports industry, with a decline in world trade and with a recession in British business, the British Transport Docks Board achieved a surplus, before interest but after depreciation, of £12.5 million. More important, the year saw increased operational t efficiency in cargo handling, and we look forward to all these factors having a continuing and constructive influence on the cost structure of the board's operations in the future.

Mention has been made in this House and elsewhere of one phrase which appears in Schedule 1(2)(a) to the effect that the port of Felixstowe will continue to compete for business, subject to the board's overall financial policies and objectives. There has been some objection to that. However, I put it to the House that this has been erroneously interpreted to mean that Felixstowe will be burdened by the existing framework of operations in the British Transport Docks Board when quite the contrary is the case.

All ports within the British Transport Docks Board are given considerable management autonomy and flexibility of operations. But functioning within the general framework of ports all over the country means that Felixstowe port can benefit from established procedures and accumulated experience from a wide geographical spread of operations. I outline one specific example which will be crucial to the development of Felixstowe Port.

Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)

If the port is to have this complete autonomy and freedom, what is the object of nationalising it?

Mr. Weetch

The point I seek to make is that it is given flexibility of operations within an overall controlling framework, and I am very pleased to see that that is so. It is possible to have flexibility within a general framework of policy. I do not think that there is anything very complex in a point like that.

Mr. John Prescott (Kingston upon Hull, East)

It has been very successful.

Mr. Weetch

My point, which is the most important in this exercise, concerns the National Dock Labour Scheme. At the moment Felixstowe is a non-scheme port, but sooner or later it will come within the framework of the scheme and become a scheme port. When the scheme comes to Felixstowe, it will be introduced with skill and sympathy and, what is more important, it will be based on experience, because the British Transport Docks Board operates scheme ports and has experience of the delicate negotiations which have to be conducted before it can come into operation.

Mr. Fry

Can the hon. Gentleman explain why what has been a very happy work force in Felixstowe until now should suddenly need this great expertise in the implementation of the National Dock Labour Scheme? Surely that work force is liable to be loyal and do a good job. What new element is being introduced?

Mr. Weetch

There are complexities attached to the National Dock Labour Scheme. I suggest that introducing it into the port, where there is a new concept, is a delicate operation. Experience in putting it into operation is a crucial factor and that is what the British Transport Docks Board has.

The last time I spoke to the shop stewards of the Felixstowe port they expressed a desire, and a demand, for the scheme to be introduced. However, I have doubts about how much sympathy the present free enterprise management has for the National Dock Labour Scheme. If it possesses the same outlook as some hon. Members opposite who, as far as I can see, appear to exemplify the political spirit of the present European Ferries management, it has no time for the scheme at all.

Mr. Julian Ridsdale (Harwich)

The hon. Gentleman said that he spoke to the trade unions at Felixstowe. Is it not a fact that the trade unionists in Felixstowe have remained completely neutral in this matter and that privately they are supporting the scheme for European Ferries?

Mr. Weetch

Yes, that is so. When I saw the shop stewards' committee the shop stewards said that this was a political matter to be left to Parliament and that therefore they would be neutral, but they said to me strongly that they wanted the National Dock Labour Scheme at Felixstowe and that they demanded it. The point I was making was that if this is going to mean that the scheme does not come into ports like Felixstowe as a result of the British Transport Docks Board experience, there is likely to be a period of friction and possibly misunderstanding at the port.

The port of Felixstowe, and what happens to its future, must be placed in its East Anglian context. East Anglia, in terms of its economic expertise, is one of the fastest growing regions in Great Britain. In terms of its population and its economy, it is making an increasing impact on the British economy as a whole. It is for this reason that the complex of ports serving East Anglia assumes such significance. This is the economic context in which the House debates this proposition.

As someone who has taken an active interest in the economic progress of the East Anglian region, I believe that the port of Felixstowe ought to become part of the framework of the ports of the British Transport Docks Board, and I hope that the House will give this measure its substantial support.

8. 45 p. m.

Mr. Ridsdale

I have followed what the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Weetch) has been saying. We have had excellent labour relations in the ports of East Anglia and I was most disturbed by some of the political inferences he was drawing towards the end of his speech. I am sure that if the hon. Gentleman looks at his speech again he will regret some of the words he used, because they were not moderate words. Indeed, they were strong words and threats which I hope will not be continued.

As the Member of Parliament for Harwich, I have had a close association with Felixstowe and, indeed, with the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company and its great benefactor, Gordon Parker, for the last 10 years. In spite of competing with each other, the Haven ports of Felixstowe, Parkestone, Harwich Navy Yard and Ipswich have co-operated very well indeed. Indeed, over the last six years, we have formed the Haven ports, in which, although competing with each other, we have been able to iron out a considerable number of our difficulties and support a demand for what is vital for all the ports in the area—better road communications.

Unfortunately, just at a time of expansion, in 1973, Felixstowe suffered a slump in trade and was caught up in a cash flow problem, made worse by the threat of nationalisation, which made it almost impossible to raise capital. That is why, in the first place, I do not wish to be doctrinaire. I have a British Railways port and a private dock in my constituency and I recognise that the hon. Member for Ipswich has a locally-controlled port in his, so I know some of the problems which arise, and supported the offer of the British Transport Docks Board.

Mr. Prescott

On a point of order. Mr. Deputy Speaker. I apologise for interrupting the hon. Member's speech, but is it in order for people in the Special Gallery—owners of Townsend Ferries—to pass notes to the Opposition Front Bench?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine)

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that there are arrangements at both ends of the Chamber for such a procedure to be adopted.

Mr. Ridsdale

Knowing the cash flow problems of the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, I welcomed the first offer of the British Transport Docks Board, not that I wish to be doctrinaire in any way about the board. One knows how much better the board has done. under the excellent management of Sir Humphrey Browne, than some of the other nationalised industries. Indeed, under his management it has learned the vital art of controlling a nationalised industry—that is, decentralisation.

However, when the offer came from European Ferries, I welcomed it. When the Government are spending 60p in every pound that is spent in this country, do they want to encourage further Government expenditure when private investment and saving can do the job perfectly well? Then scarce public resources could be used for other projects—or, better still, taxation could be reduced so that private companies or individuals could invest their money in such projects.

I have looked at the record of European Ferries. Over the last 10 years its management has been excellent, and it has a record of good growth. The offer has had 97 per cent. acceptance by the shareholders of the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company. The hon. Member for Ipswich made some gritty legal points, but he cannot ignore the fact that 97 per cent. of the shareholders have accepted the offer.

Mr. Burden

There seems to be some misconception that the board of management owns the company. The company is owned by the shareholders, and they have made evident what they wish to be done.

Mr. Ridsdale


Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I apologise for raising this matter rather late, but I would ask you to reconsider your answer to the point of order by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott). I never knew it to be in order for someone to take notes from or to pass notes from the Public Gallery.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

So far as I am concerned, there is nothing that I have seen that is improper. Certainly there are occasions, when there are parliamentary agents under the Gallery, when such events take place.

Mr. William Ross

With respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I am not concerned about what you saw but about what you have said and the precedent that you may well have established.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Certainly in my experience over a number of years, whether it is in order or whether it is not in order, it has certainly been the practice.

Mr. William Ross

It is not in order.

Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is certainly a practice in Standing Committee. I have done it myself in the Scottish Standing Committee, as the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) will know. That was when a note was passed by the Town Clerk of Edinburgh to myself. It is certainly in order.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

What happens in a Standing Committee is not necessarily what happens in this Chamber.

Mr. Ridsdale

The offer has been accepted by 97 per cent. of shareholders in the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company. They, and not the management, are the owners of the company. The offer has been supported by local interests and by the unions themselves, as indicated by the hon. Member for Ipswich. The port users have also supported the offer.

On my side of the river at Harwich we are particularly anxious about further investment in the development of the Haven ports complex as a whole. Over the last two years, since this Government have been in power, I have been concerned about the way in which the Government have baulked private investment on our side of the river. They are baulking investment on our side of the river in the same way as they are baulking investment on the Felixstowe side.

I refer to the Bathside Bay Project, investment in which has been proposed to the Government many times. However, the Government have baulked it. That investment is by private enterprise, not the Government. Those who wish to invest want to see the proper development of our side of the river, as do investors on the Felixstowe side. The Government have baulked this investment for the same reasons that they are opposing private investment in the port of Felixstowe. Their reasons are doctrinaire. They can see no solution for the ports other than nationalisation and

the creation of a port monopoly using public funds.

For the good of Felixstowe, I am certain that European Ferries should be the natural successors to the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company. If the Government wish to see further investment in the Haven port complex and to ensure healthy competition between rival ports, they should encourage private investment in the Bathside Bay Project, because private investment in it is supported by British Rail—a nationalised concern—and by the Harwich Navy Yard.

The Prime Minister has rightly said that he wants to see the mixed economy working properly. Let him, therefore, look again at what is happening in the Harwich ports. It is not in the best interests of the economy, of the proper development of trade, or of using scarce capital investment resources in the right way. We must ensure that healthy and friendly competition is not knocked on the head for doctrinaire reasons. Private capital investment is being prevented, even though it is vital for the further flow of trade when our economy again gets into its stride.

On our side of the river we strongly support my hon. Friend for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton) in his valiant battle to prevent this port from being controlled by the British Transport Docks Board and ensuring that it goes to European Ferries.

Mr. Lane

I oppose consideration of the Bill on grounds of national policy and one particular constituency interest. In passing, I wish to protest again that we are having to take this stage without adequate documentation.

I do not want to repeat at length all the arguments of principle that we discussed on Second Reading, but it is relevant to remind the House of certain events since then. They are mainly a variety of labour troubles at Hull and Southampton. I shall briefly give five or six examples which are relevant to the fears of many users of Felixstowe and others concerned with Felixstowe that if the takeover goes ahead as proposed in the Bill there will be a deterioration in the hitherto excellent relations there.

My first example is the dispute at Hull between dockers and employees of the British Waterways Board, which seems to me a most significant example of what might happen later at Felixstowe. It also led to a very unusual Press statement by the chairman of one nationalised body, the British Waterways Board, critical of the consequences of the policy of another—the British Transport Docks Board.

The British Waterways Board had spent a great deal of money and effort developing a system for bringing cargoes down the rivers in barges to Hull and putting them directly aboard catamaran ships which would take them across to the Continent. That operation was completely blocked by Hull dockers, who went on to maintain blacking of British Waterways Board barge fleets at inland terminals for 18 days. The bargemen of the British Waterways Board, in total frustration, blockaded the entrance to the King George and Queen Elizabeth Dock at Hull, bottling up 15 ships inside and keeping six more waiting outside. The dispute was constantly in the national Press during early April and mid-April.

Continued representations to the British Transport Docks Board, which was in the same office building as the British Waterways Board, had produced no result. If a fellow nationalised industry can produce no results, what hope have outsiders in any similar situation in the future? In complete frustration, the Chairman of the British Waterways Board on 14th April issued his remarkable Press statement calling for a full public inquiry into Hull.

That is the most disturbing of the events in Hull and Southampton since Second Reading which are very relevant to the Felixstowe proposal. I shall mention the other disturbing examples without going into details. There has been at Hull recently maladministration by the British Transport Docks Board of a modern warehouse. My third example at Hull is a demarcation dispute between the dockers and 80 cargo riggers, the men who traditionally lash down cargo, who claim that the dockers were trying to take over their jobs. That happened in mid-April. My final example at Hull is the proposed rundown of the 23-man engineering section, details of which have been sent to the Minister for Transport.

My Southampton example is of a dispute in mid-April between cargo riggers and dockers exactly similar to that at Hull.

The relevance to Felixstowe is that, with all that evidence of labour troubles, mismanagement and prospective partial closures in major ports of the British Transport Docks Board during the brief period since Second Reading, it is no wonder people feel severe apprehension about the future prosperity of Felixstowe. As we all know, there have been first-class labour relations for years at Felixstowe. From time to time there have been minor difficulties, but they have always been resolved by people who can quickly take decisions on the spot.

9. 0 p. m.

Summarising the opposition of a great many people at Felixstowe and elsewhere to the further progress of the Bill, I mention first the unsatisfactory assurances in the Bill and the unsatisfactory assurances given to the Committee, to which I shall revert. Secondly, I mention the poor labour relations, of which I have given examples, in other British Transport Docks Board ports. Thirdly, there is the attitude of the port users' association at Felixstowe which represents 85 port users—the overwhelming majority. The association remains strongly opposed to the takeover proposed in the Bill. Then, again, there is the danger of other British Transport Docks Board ports being given preference over Felixstowe in new investment.

It is clear to me that the board is doing everything it can to build up Immingham, which is in direct competition with Felixstowe for the roll-on/roll-off container trade, and is also doing all it can to build up Southampton, which is in direct competition with Felixstowe for the deep-sea container trade. I cannot believe that the board would spend substantial sums on building up Felixstowe to create competition for Immingham and Southampton, both of which need more trade.

Then there is the importance of the one-port owner compared with the multi-port owner. I shall not develop that theme because it was thoroughly discussed in the Second Reading debate.

There are the financial realities and the human realities of the matter in contrast to mere verbal assurances. The people concerned in the future of Felixstowe want assurances that the owner of the dock has no financial stake in any materially competing port. That is the financial reality. The human reality is that Felixstowe should remain in the hands of people who have shown by their performance elsewhere that they can achieve and maintain the right personal relationships and so preserve the good labour relations which have been a feature of Felixstowe in the past. Those are the more general objections as briefly as I can put them.

Before concluding, I must, if the House will permit, explain the constituency interest of Cambridge, which is not at once apparent, and why that has not been properly met by the so-called assurances. As I tried to explain briefly in the debate en the Money Resolution after the Second Reading debate, much of the land concerned in the Felixstowe port development is owned by Trinity College in my constituency. It is an important provider of income which is used by Trinity College for a varitety of educational purposes and general community purposs in my constituency, to which I can bear witness. Trinity College is not satisfied with the assurances so far as they will guarantee the future flow of that income on which so much else depends.

The assurances have had to be heavily qualified, and I will give just two examples. The first is that the important assurance about the freedom to compete for business has been given subject to the Board's overall financial policies and objectives". We know that the board has 19 other ports, and it is easy to envisage the board's adopting, voluntarily or otherwise, policies and objectives which could mean that Felixstowe would either stand still or stagnate, or even fade away. That is one reason why the assurances are unsatisfactory.

The second reason is the phrase used by the board to the Committee, which I have not been able to check with the record: It is the Board's intention to promote the interests of the company's port operation and future development. That is not the straight statement one might have expected, such as "The Board will promote ".

We have here the difference between intention and result. As one of the witnesses before the Committee said, it was his intention to take his wife to the theatre that night but it was very unlikely as the debate developed that he would be able to do so.

We all remember our forefathers in Victorian times talking about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, and many people are afraid that the road to the rundown of Felixstowe will be paved with the good intentions of the British Transport Docks Board. This circumlocution,—"it is the Board's intention "—is unnecessary and is seen to be sinister.

To sum up the case, if the alternative were adopted and Felixstowe's future was under European Ferries, the services of the port would remain very efficient and commercially attractive; the pay and conditions of employment and the labour relations at Felixstowe would remain excellent; Felixstowe would keep up vigorous competition with Hull and Southampton; and, with the widest national interest in mind, Felixstowe would keep fully abreast of any international developments in the port world and do everything reasonably possible to prevent this country from becoming an offshore island connected merely by feeder services to and from Rotterdam, Antwerp, Zeebrugge and other rapidly-developing continental ports.

Whichever way one looks at this—from the area interest which was mentioned by the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Weetch), who is in charge of the Bill, to the narrow constituency interest of assuring a steady income for Trinity College—I hope that the House will decide tonight that there should be no further consideration of this Bill.

Mr. Tom Bradley (Leicester, East)

I did not intend to intervene in the discussion this evening, since the remarks being made are merely a rehearsal of the speeches made on Second Reading and those which undoubtedly will be made again on Third Reading. Generally speaking, I am not in favour of wholesale repetition.

I am prompted to speak tonight, however, because of the remarks of the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane). He was a little unfair about the British Transport Docks Board's record on industrial relations. He must have forgotten, or been unaware of, the TUC evidence given to the Select Committee on the Nationalised Industries in 1972, which testified strongly to the superior industrial relations throughout the board's undertakings compared with non-board ports throughout the rest of the country.

I hope that on reflection the hon. Member for Cambridge will agree that the British Transport Docks Board's ports are long established and have inherited many labour agreements and traditional practices. Inevitably, with rapid technological changes, these have led to some difficulties and tensions. In this respect, the board's ports, such as Southampton and Hull, are no different from the non-board ports, such as London and Liverpool. I think that the hon. Member was unnecessarily harsh about the industrial relations experience of the board.

Mr. Lane

I do not want to prolong this point. The hon. Member has quoted evidence given in 1972—I acknowledge that. I am not making a general attack on the labour relations of the board but it is right to draw attention to particular examples of difficulties which have occurred, even in the weeks since the Second Reading of this Bill, and which are directly relevant to the judgment of whether the takeover will improve labour relations in Felixstowe.

Mr. Bradley

As some of my hon. Friends have said, there is no reason to suppose that when the Felixstowe docks enter into BTDB ownership there will be any sudden, swift, or dramatic deterioration in industrial relations. With Felixstowe becoming a scheme port, the board's experience and understanding of the problems involved can only help in what inevitably will be a difficult situation.

Mr. Fry

Does the hon. Member recall that on Second Reading his hon. Friends raised the subject of labour relations and said that those of European Ferries left a great deal to be desired? We have heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane) circumstances in which there have been difficulties for the board. The best his hon. Friends could come up with on Second Reading was to say that a strike at European Ferries had been narrowly averted. My hon. Friend made out a stronger case on that score tonight than did Labour Members on Second Reading.

Mr. Bradley

The case against European Ferries is that the firm is a shipping company and has no experience of dealing with dockers on a large scale. The board's past record needs to be seen in the whole context of the ports industry, and in that sense the record is extremely good. Many docks board ports, including those in South Wales, have a record of industrial peace which in most cases has not been bettered. I hope that that disposes of some of the legends perpetuated tonight about industrial relations.

Mr. Stainton

There is clearly an onus upon the promoters and supporters of the Bill to prove that either European Ferries or the present owners were remiss or in default or incapable of properly managing labour affairs and that there is a positive plus with the docks board. Where is that plus?

Mr. Bradley

The whole purpose of the Bill, the genesis of this discussion, arises out of the fact that after considerable expenditure the former private owners of Felixstowe were unable to raise the necessary further capital to develop the port. By a perfectly proper commercial operation the docks board sought and achieved an agreement for the purchase of the dock for £5¼ million. It became a contractually-binding agreement. On Second Reading Conservative Members disputed that, but the fact has now been established beyond peradventure. In Committee, counsel for the board established that it was a binding agreement and he was not challenged by counsel for the petitioners. That point has been laid to rest.

Mr. Stainton

The debate is so curtailed that perhaps I shall be restricted, under protest, to proceed by interventions. There has been reference to what counsel for the promoters, Mr. C. Sparrow, said about this being a binding contract. Who is C. Sparrow and what is his ascendancy in terms of the law or in terms of a decision which may be handed down by the High Court or the House of Lords'? His opinion is rated at zero.

Mr. Bradley

If the hon. Member wishes to challenge the legal credentials of counsel operating in a Private Bill Committee, he had better pursue that elsewhere and not in this Chamber, because I am not competent to deal with his allegations.

9. 15 p. m.

The first item of controversy considered on Second Reading was clarified in the Committee proceedings. A very clear undertaking was given once more in Committee—I say this with great respect to the hon. Member for Cambridge—as it had been given previously, to Trinity College, namely, that the Board would not use Section 15 of the Transport Act 1962, relating to compulsory purchase powers for land, but would come to Parliament for such powers if it required them. It is on record that since its inception the board has never used the compulsory purchase powers contained in the 1962 Act.

The board offered an amendment to Clause 6. This gives statutory force to the intention, explicitly expressed in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1, that future management of the port will be positive and will not be restricted in any way, seeking to curtail the activities of Felixstowe. That amendment was accepted by the Committee.

The other principal event since the Second Reading is that the docks board has published its accounts for 1975, These are not just preliminary accounts. They show a further improvement in the rate of return on assets. The hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton) may laugh. He may have an opportunity later to challenge the figures. Perhaps in addition to having legal knowledge he has accountancy knowledge, to which we shall all listen and which we shall applaud. A further improvement in the rate of return on assets has been shown on these accounts, despite a general fall in world and United Kingdom trade and pressures stemming from inflation.

Mr. Stainton

On what page is that recorded?

Mr. Bradley

I hope that the hon. Gentleman does not want me to take him through the accounts as well. It is written in thick black type. The board made a surplus of £12.5 million last year, which represents an 8 per cent. return on capital. This is the important feature, and it means that the board continues to be self-financing. The cash flow last year was sufficient to meet all the board's cash requirements, including money for capital investment. The cash available for the purchase of Felixstowe Docks, the £5.25 million, will require no borrowing from public funds but will be financed out of the internal resources of the British Transport Docks Board.

These facts themselves rebut the claim made by the Chairman of European Ferries that, compared with his company, the docks board does not offer Felixstowe the same advantages in terms of financial resources, willingness to invest, willingness to take risks, ability to take decisions, and in terms of overall financial competence. The accounts are a direct rebuttal of those assertions.

The case against European Ferries, I suggest, remains—namely, that its main business is that of shipping and not of port ownership and control. It would be a thoroughly bad thing for a single port user to be in control. How would it balance its long-term interests with those of other ports users and employees? The company, as I said earlier, has little or no experience of dealing with Dock Labour Scheme ports. Given that the Felixstowe Dock and Rail Company came to the conclusion that it did not have the cash—perhaps it did not have the inclination, either—to develop the port, it is far too important a national asset to leave in private hands, especially those of a private shipping company. The passage of the Bill will ensure that ownership passes to a responsible and successful public body over which this House will continue to have a measure of control. I therefore invite the House to pass the Bill tonight on consideration.

Mr. Norman Fowler

I shall be brief, because I know that many of my hon. Friends wish to speak.

I hope that if it can agree on nothing else the House can agree on the importance of the Bill to which we are asked to give consideration tonight. This is a Bill not only of local interest to East Anglia, however great it may be, but of interest to the future of this country's most successful port. Felixstowe is a port with an international reputation, as is shown by the fact that the big three companies in the United States—the United States Lines, Sea-Land Container-ships and America Export Lines—have transferred to Felixstowe although alternatives exist. It is a port with a remarkable record of growth and of excellent labour relations.

We should be in no doubt about the effect of the Bill. It will take Felixstowe out of the private sector and force it into the public sector against the clear wishes of the shareholders, other port users and many of those working at the port. The Bill would vest control with the British Transport Docks Board.

On the last occasion on which we debated Felixstowe the Minister of Transport, who regrettably is not here tonight, made an interesting statement. Referring to the process whereby the British Transport Docks Board was taking over the Felixstowe Company, the Minister said that we were here dealing not with an arranged marriage, but with a "love match". Even the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bradley) looked a little surprised at that description.

To the great stories of romance we have added the saga of Humphrey Brown and Gordon Parker. Doubtless by Third Reading the Minister will have worked himself up into such a state of romantic fervour that they will be portrayed armin-arm sailing into a golden sunset aboard a cross-Channel ferry to Rotterdam. Only the Minister for Transport could come up with such a scenario. It is no surprise that he is not speaking this evening.

Though no one doubts the ardour of the British Transport Docks Board, there is the clearest evidence to show that the board's feelings are totally unrequitted. Gordon Parker is no longer chairman, Felixstowe having been taken over by European Ferries, but to suggest that his dearest wish was to be taken into the publicly-owned ports empire of the British Transport Docks Board is the biggest absurdity, as I am sure the hon. Member for Leicester, East realises.

The fact of the matter is that, contrary to what was said by the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Weetch)—again, I regret the hon. Gentleman's absence; having promoted the Bill, he has taken no further part in the proceedings—Mr. Parker agreed to the take-over when he saw no option for the future of his company. He saw no option, not because of a longing for the British Transport Docks Board but because of the threat to nationalise the port, because the threat introduced a damaging uncertainty about the future at a time when, like most other companies, Felixstowe was hit by the recession.

Mr. Parker's view, expressed time and again, was that he had no option but to accept the offer. In his annual report he said that the reorganisation of the ports created a sense of uncertainty inimical to the interests of the company. In his circular to shareholders, he said: Since last year your Board has been faced with the prospect of legislation extending the National Dock Labour Scheme to Felixstowe and also of being taken into public ownership in an unspecified way and at an unspecified date. You will know that these are policies of which I disapprove. However, I think that it is important that you realise that unless Felixstowe Dock's future is clarified it is now faced with increasing uncertainty. Even at that stage, no one with the slightest feeling for the meaning of words would have referred to the proposed takeover as a "love match", but that description became even more bizarre when, two months later, European Ferries made its offer. Today not even the Minister for Transport, who apparently can see touching romance in the unlikeliest of places, can seriously contend that we are dealing with a willing buyer-willing seller situation. That is what is wrong with the Bill and why we should refuse to consider it.

We are being asked to impose our will —the will of this House—to force a marriage which few outside the British Transport Docks Board either want or desire. The overwhelming view of those most closely concerned with Felixstowe is against this merger. They want the company to remain independent and under local management. They reject a future as a publicly-owned port.

Mr. Eddie Loyden (Liverpool, Garston)

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that at a correctly convened docks conference in 1972 the registered dockworkers at Felixstowe supported the contention that Felixstowe should be a scheme port? Is he also aware that one of the contradictions he is making is that if the port is left in the hands of private enterprise the possibility of closure takes on flesh?

Mr. Fowler

The hon. Gentleman is totally wrong on the second point and totally out of date on the first. I can give him much more accurate information because I took the trouble to go to Felixstowe a few weeks ago.

We are told that it is wrong for a major user to own the port, yet other port users are in favour of European Ferries' offer. That does not worry them. Their concern is that customers at Felixstowe may be lost.

If there is concern at the thought of a user owning the port, let us look at the example of Larne, which was taken over by European Ferries in 1973. Today, competitors like the Scottish Arm of British Rail's Sealink and a subsidiary of P & O shipping continue to use Larne entirely without discrimination. Since 1973 the labour force in the port has increased by 40 per cent., and the profits have now reached a level double that achieved last year by Southampton, the jewel in the board's crown.

Labour relations at Felixstowe are good. It is right to pay tribute to the work force for its part in the port's success. The local branch of the TGWU has said that it will work with either party, but it is clear that there is no loud call for the board to take over. Indeed, many workers make no secret of the fact that they want the port to remain independent.

What are the arguments used by the board? At least it does not rely on romantic fantasies, as does the Minister for Transport. The board's case is that Felixstowe would complement its operations. The board has 25 per cent. of the market. It wants 30 per cent. It runs 19 ports. It wants 20. On the East Coast, it has Hull, Goole, Immingham, Grimsby, Kings Lynn and Lowestoft. It wants Felixstowe. Clearly it has ambitions, but it cannot be surprised if we are not prepared to see the biggest private enterprise port taken over in this way.

We want to see Felixstowe remain independent and in competition with the board's ports. We want to see the biggest and most successful competitor of the board remaining in competition and not swallowed up inside a public empire.

Mr. Burden

Would it not be better if Labour Members sometimes explained to the House and the country what benefit we get from nationalisation? Many people are wondering what benefit they derive from the nationalised industries which they are supposed to own.

Mr. Fowler

I entirely take my hon. Friend's points.

Over the last few weeks another argument has been used, if not by the board, at least by those who support its aim. It is said that, if the Felixstowe takeover goes through, the Government will drop their docks nationalisation plan. That has been put to the Investors Chronicle in an attempt to influence the opposition.

I make only two points in reply to that suggestion and to those who seriously harbour such hopes. First, the Minister for Transport specifically rejected that argument on Second Reading. He said: One essential objective will … be to bring commercially-owned ports into public ownership". —[Official Report, 24th March 1976; Vol. 908, c. 508] Doubtless if Government policy has changed in that respect the Under-Secretary of State will let us know. That sort of horse-trading argument has no appeal to my right hon. and hon. Friends. We reject nationalisation, and we reject the immediate and specific prospect of Felixstowe going into the publicly-owned British Transport Docks Board.

9. 30 p. m.

No one is seeking to establish that the British Transport Docks Board is run by fools. That is not the position. In fact, last week it presented a respectable financial report. It is not my case to knock the board, but what a pity it is that Labour Members do not use the same fairness in dealing with European Ferries. Nothing has been more distasteful during our debates than the attacks that have been made on the company.

European Ferries is 100 per cent. British-owned, 70 per cent. of the issued shares being held by individuals. In the past two years the group's foreign currency earnings have tripled. It has the most modern fleet of cross-Channel ferries in existence. Since 1963 its market share of the cross-Channel trade has increased from 7 per cent. to over 50 per cent. In other words, the company is well run. It runs at profits sufficient to enable adequate investment to be made over the past two years. In that time it has financed a shipbuilding programme of £50 million. As for the claim that labour relations are bad, that is nonsense. There has never been an official strike at European Ferries. There are at least some Labour Members who do not challenge that.

Perhaps what I have just said does not impress Labour Members, although it should. However, even they might concede that European Ferries has done one thing which deserves their praise—namely, it has created jobs. In 1965 the company employed 300 people. Today its labour force is over 3,500. That is the achievement of European Ferries. It has increased employment over 10 times in 10 years. Even Labour Members might reflect on an achievement of that magnitude in the conditions of today and recognise that it deserves their praise.

There is no reason for the House intervening to prevent European Ferries from taking over Felixstowe. Indeed, there is every reason for that opportunity being given to the company. That is another reason for our refusing to give the Bill consideration.

Finally, we are left with the meagre argument that Felixstowe is a national asset and far too important to remain in private hands. What is this port which is too important to be left in private hands? Perhaps it is a port that has been built up by public subsidy and now faces intervention from a private company which claims the spoils. I doubt whether even the hon. Member for Leicester, East would argue along those lines.

When Gordon Parker took over Felixstowe shortly after the war, it was not much of an asset. It had been neglected during the war. The dock basin was silted up and the piers and equipment were in disrepair. That situation was transformed not by public subsidy but by the private hands about which the hon. Member for Leicester, East complains. It was transformed because one man backed his judgment with his money and his effort and received the support of those who worked for him. There was a risk, and that risk was taken.

The result has been profits, a worldwide reputation and jobs. In 1951 Parker started work with 12 men. Today the company employs over 1,100 directly. As my hon. Friend the Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton) has said, the total work force involved is over 3,000. It it had not been for private hands, the Felixstowe success would not have taken place. It owes its success to private enterprise, and it is private enterprise which gives Felixstowe the best prospect for the future.

The Bill should be refused consideration. It is not wanted by those who use the port, nor is it in the interests of those who work there. The future of Felixstowe demands that we should reject this takeover.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Kenneth Marks)

The Bill before the House for consideration now is substantially the same as the Bill that was given a Second Reading on 24th March, and I hope that the House will approve it again at this stage.

I apologise to the House for the absence of my hon. Friend the Minister for Transport. It was his intention to intervene in the debate, but from 8. 45 p. m. it has been likely that his presence would be required in Committee on the Finance Bill. He has asked me to apologise to the House.

On Second Reading we gave thorough consideration to the main issues underlying the Bill. The supporters argued that acquisition of Felixstowe by the British Transport Docks Board would be in the best interests of the port and of the wider public interest. They also argued that the House should not seek to overturn the freely negotiated commercial bargain between the BTDB and Felixstowe which the Bill was designed to ratify. I would not wish to weary the House by elaborating those arguments again, but they are equally valid tonight, and I have no hesitation in asking the House to approve the Bill again as it now stands.

The Select Committee has reported in its favour, with one small amendment. I join with other hon. Members in expressing thanks to the Select Committee, and in particular to its Chairman, my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Silverman), for its work on the Bill.

As I understand it, the petitioners against the Bill were not making general objections to the principle of the Bill, but were seeking assurances about the future of the port of Felixstowe if the BTDB acquires it and about their own position as users of the port, and, in the case of Trinity College, as landowners of some of the area of the port. More generally, the petitioners expressed some concern about the possibility that the BTDB would be becoming too large and exercising something of a monopoly on the East Coast.

There are two answers to these worries. First, at the formal level the BTDB has given a number of assurances about the way in which it intends to operate the port of Felixstowe. It has made it perfectly plain that it intends to maintain and develop the port, and to build on its past successes. It has given undertakings to have every regard to the position of the users of the port, and to the interests of Trinity College. It had already included safeguards on these points in its Bill, and during the Select Committee examination it has expressed itself very content to accept the even more binding commitment to secure the future of the port which is expressed in the amendment which the Committee made.

Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison

Why is it that BTDB will not write into the Bill what Trinity College wants so that it is legally protected and will not accept the wording of Trinity College? Why is that not in the Bill?

Mr. Marks

My answer on that question is that the further assurances that the BTDB has given and the amendment that the Select Committee has inserted in the Bill were very largely, as I shall show shortly, unnecessary in view of the Transport Act 1962. However, those assurances have been given, and an amendment has been put in the Bill—perhaps not in the precise form that the petitioners required but in a form that satisfied the Select Committee.

The second and, I would suggest, more significant answer to the worries of the petitioners and the opponents of the Bill lies in the record and proven success of the BTDB. It is blind prejudice to oppose the acquisition of Felixstowe by the BTDB on the grounds of political objections to nationalised bodies of any shape or kind.

Mr. Burden: The hon. Gentleman talks of the "considerable success" of the British Transport Docks Board. Does he not also agree that there has been considerable success on the part of Felixstowe port?

Mr. Marks

Certainly. That has never been denied. What has been suggested is that acquisition by the BTDB would not be good for Felixstowe. We believe that it will.

The fact is that the BTDB has long and successful experience in the management and operation of ports, and its results give me every confidence that it will make a success of Felixstowe as it has of its other undertakings. In this context I note with interest that the chairman of European Ferries has himself said—on television last Friday—that he sees the competition between his company and the BTDB as a straightforward matter of commercial competition, not a matter of ideology. The Government share that view. The important question is skill and effectiveness of management of the port. None of the evidence brought before the Select Committee suggests that European Ferries really has, or indeed would wish to claim for itself, the same breadth and depth of skill in port operating as is offered by the BTDB.

As the chairman of the board has made clear, it is the policy of the board to encourage as much competition as possible between the individual ports under its care within an overall framework laid down at the centre. I believe that in that way it is able to secure some of the commercial discipline associated with competition at the same time as the advantages of an overall strategy and a unified financial base.

In conclusion, I refer again to the work of the Select Committee. It is most useful that the Select Committee has been able to clarify and strengthen the purport of the Bill by the amendment which its deliberations elicited from the docks board as promoters, and obviously it is right that the binding nature of the agreement between the Felixstowe company and the board should be made apparent, if only to avoid any possible uncertainty.

It is similarly helpful that the Select Committee was in a position to put on record assurances from the promoters to alleviate the concern of Trinity College lest the board's compulsory purchase powers should be exercised against it. There are, of course, major safeguards in the Transport Act to prevent wilful exercise of compulsory purchase powers by nationalised transport industries, and the docks board would not have been able to proceed unfettered against Trinity College even had it wished to do so. Nevertheless, the board's assurance to the Committee represents a more formal reflection of the board's undertakings previously given, and the Government welcome this so far as it may serve to make the Bill more acceptable. to the House.

As for the position of European Ferries as petitioners, it is clearly to the advantage of the House in arriving at a decision that European Ferries should not seem to be at risk in its Felixstowe operations by any possibility of the docks board going back on undertakings contained in the agreement scheduled to the Bill. I would say to the House that in my view such fears were totally groundless and that it is inconceivable that the docks board would have sought to act in this way. Nevertheless, it is no doubt useful that matters have been so clarified.

The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane), unfairly for him, made reference to industrial relations and quoted industrial disputes. He spoke of one official and one unofficial dispute in two of the 19 ports operated by the British Transport Docks Board. As I pointed out to his hon. Friend, this was not a fair assessment of the industrial relations the board has had throughout a majority of its ports. I myself visited Immingham Docks today where I talked to the shop stewards as well as management, and there was firm evidence that that is a successful dock. The industrial relations were perfectly good.

Mr. Lane

I do not wish to proceed to discuss industrial relations but let me make it quite clear for the record, as the hon. Gentleman has been giving the House the Government's judgment and advice, that, as I tried to argue earlier, despite what he has said and what the Select Committee were told, Trinity College remains dissatisfied with the assurances it has been given.

Mr. Marks

The House will have to take that. The Select Committee has examined the objections of Trinity College. The precise wording may not be what the college requires, but the House must take its own view.

The hon. Member for Harwich (Mr. Ridsdale) —

Mr. Peter Rees (Dover and Deal)


Mr. Marks

I am afraid that I cannot give way to the hon. and learned Gentleman as other hon. Members wish to reply to the debate.

The hon. Member for Harwich mentioned the Bathside Bay scheme. We were geting fairly wide in our consideration of this Bill there. Let me make it clear to the hon. Gentleman that we shall be perfectly prepared to consider further development proposals provided the promoters can produce real evidence of demand backed by an element of guarantee by the prospective users.

Finally, I repeat to the House the Government's reasons for supporting the Bill. First, we believe that the takeover makes sense for both parties and will secure the future development and prosperity of the port of Felixstowe in the most satisfactory way. Secondly, we support the Bill because it accords with our general plans for the reorganisation of the ports industry, one essential objective of which will be to bring commercially-owned ports into public ownership.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Stainton

I am grateful to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for calling me as Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge, wherein lies the port of Felixstowe. I am only distressed that it is at such a late hour that I am able to catch your eye, because it means that my contribution will necessarily be curtailed. My distress is heightened by the fact that the introduction of the Bill came from a Government supporter representing a neighbouring constituency whose familiarity with the port is somewhat minimal. It was precocious and perhaps even irresponsible of the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Weetch) to threaten that there was likely to be friction if the Dock Labour Scheme were to be introduced into Felixstowe with European Ferries in charge.

Furthermore, I am far from satisfied about the assertions that we have heard made by Government supporters. Happily and significantly, we did not get these from the Minister. It was asserted, for example, by one Government supporter that a binding contract subsisted. The basis for that assertion seems to lie in the transcript of the proceedings. However, we all know that schedules to Bills are subject to the jurisdiction and pronouncement of our courts, whatever Mr. Sparrow or anyone else may care to give the Committee of scrutiny as his opinion of the situation. I rather prefer the final and absolute decision of the House of Lords in this matter.

To my mind, it is far from clear that the British Transport Docks Board is not acting ultra vires in promoting the Bill. Moreover, one possible interpretation of the amendment to Clause 6—the new subsection (2) making any further alteration subject to the paramountcy of Parliament—may be designed to bring the matter intra vires. Quite apart from that, there is the question which has not been broached so far—certainly the Minister did not attempt to deal with it—about whether, when we discuss the subsistence of a binding contract. the insertion of Clause 6(2) introduces an amendment of such substantial proportions as to itself to disrupt any purported or suggested contract which might have existed.

We have heard a great deal about the splendid financial performance of the British Transport Docks Board. I have only just received its 1975 report and accounts. I have been overseas attending an IPU meeting for the past two weeks. Not being able to get hold of the secretary of the board, I telephoned the Press officer, who told be that my name was 'on his list, but I had to go to the Vote Office tonight to get a copy of the accounts. As a result, all my figures are based on the 1974 accounts, but I am sure that they make no substantial difference to the points I wish to make.

In interpreting the figures from the British Transport Docks Board, we must pay careful heed to the source and the cost of the finances of this operation. In fact the loan moneys, which all derive from Government sources, are no less than £125 million at the closing of the 1974 accounts. No less than £77 million, or 61½ per cent., is funded by the Government at 3.61 per cent. If one takes from the total loan moneys of the Government to the British Transport Docks Board the loan charges from the profit and loss account, one arrives at an average rate of interest on the total of 5¼ per cent., the total charge on £124½ million being £7 million for the year. One can at least double that, if not more. Straight away there is a subsidy from the taxpayer of at least £7 million a year to the British Transport Docks Board.

I have had certain figures telephoned to me this afternoon on the 1975 results By a curious coincidence, European Ferries, British Rail Sea Services and the British Transport Docks Board all reported their annual results for 1975 last Thursday. European Ferries, with a revenue of £60 million—these figures are all defined on a comparable basis, after all charges but prior to tax—showed a profit of £6 million. British Rail Sea Services, on a £64 million turnover, showed a £5 million loss before interest charges. British Transport Docks Board, with a turnover of £77 million, showed a profit—I am not allowing for all this beneficial interest—of £6 million when the figures are normalised to allow for the inflation accounting procedures which. I understand, have been adopted in the 1975 report and accounts.

If that is anything to shout about, ladies and gentlemen—

Mr. Prescott

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Stainton

I cannot. I have trespassed somewhat on the courtesy of the House by addressing my hon. and right hon. colleagues as "Ladies and gentlemen". I am so used to talking on this subject to intense, concerned audiences in Felixstowe, who are so utterly opposed to this proposed measure, be they dockers, townspeople or whatever, that obviously I have been carried away by events.

I shall be most distressed and my constituencies will be distressed the more so.

The only ironic advantage which will arise out of the passing of this measure, should it come to be so, will be the enhancement of my own standing, and my own support in my constituency, in support of the Tory Party in opposing this measure.

9.54 p.m.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

In commencing my remarks I hope that I shall not have to terminate them in for our five minutes, because I know that many of my hon. Friends wish to speak on the Bill and we have been prevented from doing so for the first hour or more because of the failure of the promoters to make available to the House material which is germaine to this debate. I wish to refer to some of the proceedings of the Committee which were not made available to us until about an hour ago, and only then as a result of a series of points of order and the courteous support of the Chairman of Ways and Means.

The Minister referred to a number of matters which arose in Committee and of which the vast majority of hon. Members have no knowledge. I am one of the fortunate ones who have been able to obtain a transcript. I wish to put to the Minister—I am afraid that it willl not be possible to be brief—some of the points which arose in Committee and which the House has never before had an opportunity to discuss.

I start with the matter of Trinity College, the debate in the Committee and the assurances then given to, and apparently, according to one of my hon. Friends, not accepted by, Trinity College. It was on Wednesday 28th April, with the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Silverman) in the Chair, that Dr. Bradfield was sworn and examined. He gave evidence at some length and made a number of important points, which the House has had no opportunity to consider and the transcript of which has been denied to hon. Members.

This House is therefore asked tonight to make a decision as to whether the assurances given to Trinity College are adequate, and the vast majority of hon. Members have no way of judging those assurances, because they have been denied this transcript by the promoters.

That is but one point.

Mr. Prescott

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Griffiths


Mr. Prescott

I am informed that even if the objectors of Trinity College had wanted to pursue the matter of compulsory purchase, which is the matter of concern to them, they could pursue it under other Transport Act provisions. They could still object to the compulsory purchase, without this Bill, if they desired.

Mr. Griffiths

I am glad to have the hon. Member's assistance. I put a direct question to him. Has he seen the transcript? Has he read the assurances given to Trinity College?

Mr. Prescott

I think that the hon. Member—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer. "] I will answer in my own time. For more than an hour of this debate hon. Members were seeking unsuccessfully to make this point. It was made clear that anyone who wanted the minutes of that Committee and who had the right to ask for them had to make his request earlier. I did not do so and nor did hon. Members opposite. That is why they were denied them.

Mr. Griffiths

I am obliged to the hon. Member. He underlines the point that in the case of Trinity College the vast majority of hon. Members will tonight be deciding upon assurances of which they have no knowledge. The transcript was not available to them.

Trinity College is but one point.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

It is now apparent that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) has not read the transcript of the Committee proceedings and that he has not read Standing Order 131A or "Erskine May". If he had, he would know that it was not necessary to give any notice at all. The Standing Order is absolutely clear—

Mr. Prescott

It was the Chair.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

No, the Chair cannot alter Standing Orders. They are mandatory on the House.

Mr. Griffiths

It will be impossible to deal with all the matters arising from Trinity College, but that is only the beginning.

There are in this transcript three separate documents—the first containing 58 pages, the second 49 pages and the third 62 pages. All this material has been denied to the House and there has been no way in which the vast majority of hon. Members—

Mr. Walter Johnson (Derby, South)

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Hon. Members


Question put, That the Question be now put: —

The House proceeded to a Division

Mr. Fry (seated and covered)

On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Hon. Members on both sides of the House feel that this was an important debate. It is obvious from the proceedings that few of us have had an opportunity to take part. That was in no way a fault of hon. Members, but that of the promoters of the Bill. Many of my hon. Friends and some hon. Members on the Government side have been prevented from making a contribution.

The purpose of the debate was to consider amendments made in Committee. My hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) was in the middle of making an important statement, but his speech was interrupted because it was 10 o'clock. With respect to you, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that we should not end the consideration of the Bill but that we should return to the debate.

Mr. Speaker

I am much obliged to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry) but I have accepted the closure. The House will decide whether the Question is put. I do not decide that.

Mr. Norman Fowler

(seated and covered): On a point of order Mr.

Division No. 145.] AYES [10. 0 p. m.
Abse, Leo Blenkinsop, Arthur Cant, R. B.
Anderson, Donald Boardman, H. Carmichael, Nell
Archer, Peter Booth, Rt Hon Albert Cartwright, John
Armstrong, Ernest Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Castle, Rt Hon Barbara
Ashley, Jack Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Clemitson, Ivor
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Bradley, Tom Cocks, Michael (Bristol S)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Bray, Dr Jeremy Cohen, Stanley
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Coleman, Donald
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Concannon, J. D.
Bates, Alf Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)
Bean, R. E. Buchan, Norman Corbett, Robin
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Buchanan, Richard Cox, Thomas (Tooting)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill)
Bidwell, Sydney Campbell, Ian Cronin, John
Bishop, E. S. Canavan, Dennis Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony

Speaker. Only eight hon. Members, including two from the Front Benches, were called during the debate before the closure was put. Hon. Members on both sides, including the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), wished to speak. It is difficult to have a debate in such a curtailed period.

Mr. Speaker

I can only repeat that the House itself will decide whether the time has come for a decision.

Mr. George Cunningham

(Islington, South and Finsbury): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker—

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman must be seated and covered.

Mr. George Cunningham

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker—

Mr. Speaker

I must ask the hon. Gentleman to resume his seat.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths (seated and covered)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. It is within your discretion to determine whether time for debate has been adequate. Will you reconsider your judgment and say that the time has not been adequate?

Mr. George Cunningham

It is the man with the funny hat who decides. This is a serious matter.

Mr. Speaker

If the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) does not behave, I shall have to ask him to leave the Chamber. Courtesy costs nothing to anyone. A Division is under way and the House will decide.

The House having divided: Ayes 265, Noes 255.

Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Johnson, James (Hull West) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Cunningham, Dr J (Whiteh) Jones, Barry (East Flint) Robinson, Geoffrey
Davidson, Arthur Jones, Dan (Burnley) Roderick, Caerwyn
Davies, Bryan(Enfield N) Judd, Frank Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Kaufman, Gerald Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kelley, Richard Rooker, J. W.
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Kilroy-Silk, Robert Roper, John
Deakins, Eric Kinnock, Neil Rose, Paul B.
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Lamond, James Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Rowlands, Ted
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Leadbitter, Ted Sandelson, Neville
Dempsey, James Lee, John Sedgemore, Brian
Doig, Peter Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Selby, Harry
Dormand, J. D. Lewis, Arthur (Newham N) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Duffy, A. E. P. Lipton, Marcus Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Dunn, James A. Litterick, Tom Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Dunnett, Jack Lomas, Kenneth Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Eadie, Alex Loyden, Eddie Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Edge, Geoff Luard, Evan Silverman, Julius
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Lyon, Alexander (York) Skinner, Dennis
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Small, William
English, Michael McCartney, Hugh Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Ennals, David McElhone, Frank Snape, Peter
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) MacFarquhar, Roderick Spearing, Nigel
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) McGuire, Michael (Ince) Spriggs, Leslie
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Mackenzie, Gregor Stallard, A. W.
Faulds, Andrew McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. McNamara, Kevin Stoddart, David
Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W) Madden, Max Stott, Roger
Flannery, Martin Magee, Bryan Strang, Gavin
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mahon, Simon Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Fletcher, Teo (Darlington) Mellalieu, J. P. W. Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Marks, Kenneth Swain, Thomas
Forrester, John Marguand, David Taylor, Mrs. Ann (Bolton W)
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Freeson, Reginald Mason, Rt Hon Roy Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Maynard, Miss Joan Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Meacher, Michael Tierney, Sydney
George, Bruce Mendelson, John Tinn, James
Gilbert, Dr John Mikardo, Ian Tomlinson, John
Ginsburg, David Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Tomney, Frank
Golding, John Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Torney, Tom
Gould, Bryan Molloy, William Urwin, T. W.
Gourlay, Harry Moonman, Eric Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Graham, Ted Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Morris. Charles R. (Openshaw) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Grant, John (Islington C) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Grocott, Bruce Moyle, Roland Ward, Michael
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Watkins, David
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Weetch, Ken
Harper, Joseph Newens, Stanley Weitzman, David
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Noble, Mike Wellbeloved, James
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Oakes, Gordon White, Frank R. (Bury)
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Ogden, Eric White, James (Pollok)
Hayman, Mrs Helene O'Halloran, Michael Whitlock, William
Heffer, Eric S. Orbach, Maurice Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Hooley, Frank Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Horam. John Ovenden, John Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Howell, Rt Hon Denis Owen, Dr David Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Huckfield, Les Padley, Walter Williams, Sir Thomas
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Palmer, Arthur Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Park, George Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Parker, John Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Hunter, Adam Parry, Robert Wise, Mrs Audrey
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Pavitt, Laurie Woodall, Alec
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Pendry, Tom Woof, Robert
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Perry, Ernest Wrigglesworth, Ian
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Phipps, Dr Colin Young, David (Bolton E)
Janner, Greville Prescott, John
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Price, William (Rugby) TELLER FOR THE AYER:
Jeger, Mrs Lena Radice, Giles Mr.Bob Cryer and
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Richardson, Miss Jo Mr.Walter Johnson
John, Brynmor Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Adley, Robert Baker, Kenneth Biffen, John
Aitken, Jonathan Banks, Robert Biggs-Davison, John
Alison, Michael Beith, A. J. Blaker, Peter
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Bell, Ronald Body, Richard
Arnold, Tom Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Boscawen, Hon Robert
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Benyon, W. Bottomley, Peter
Awdry, Daniel Berry, Hon Anthony Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes(Brent) Havers, Sir Michael Oppenheim, Mrs Sally
Bradford, Rev Robert Hawkins, Paul Osborn. John
Braine, Sir Bernard Hayhoe, Barney Page, John (Harrow West)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Heath, Rt Hon Edward Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Brotherton, Michael Heseltine, Michael Parkinson, Cecil
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hicks, Robert Penhaligon, David
Bryan, Sir Paul Higgins, Terence L. Percival, Ian
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Holland, Philip Peyton, Rt Hon John
Budgen, Nick Hordern, Peter Pink, R. Bonner
Bulmer, Esmond Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Burden, F. A. Howell, David (Guildford) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Prior, Rt Hon James
Carlisle, Mark Hunt, David (Wirral) Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Hunt, John Raison, Timothy
Channon, Paul Hurd, Douglas Rathbone, Tim
Churchill, W. S. Hutchison, Michael Clark Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Clart,Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Clark, William (Croydon S) Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Jessel, Toby Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Clegg, Walter Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Cockcroft, John Johnston. Russell (Inverness) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Cope, John Jopling, Michael Ridsdale, Julian
Cormack, Patrick Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rifkind, Malcolm
Corrie, John Kershaw, Anthony Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Costain, A. P. Kimball, Marcus Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Crouch, David King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Crowder, F. P. King, Tom (Bridgwater) Ross, William (Londonderry)
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutstord) Kirk, Sir Peter Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Kitson, Sir Timothy Sainsbury, Tim
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Knight, Mrs Jill St. John-Stevas, Norman
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Knox, David Scott, Nicholas
Drayson, Burnaby Lamont, Norman Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lane, David Shelton, William (Streatham)
Dunlop, John Langford-Holt, Sir John Shepherd, Colin
Durant, Tony Latham, Michael (Melton) Shersby, Michael
Dykes, Hugh Lawrence, Ivan Silvester, Fred
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Lawson, Nigel Sims, Roger
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Lester, Jim (Beeston) Sinclair, Sir George
Elliott, Sir William Loyd, Ian Skeet, T. H. H.
Emery, Peter Loveridge, John Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Luce, Richard Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Eyre, Reginald McAdden, Sir Stephen Speed, Keith
Fairbairn, Nicholas McCrindle, Robert Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Fairgrieve, Russell McCusker, H. Sproat, Iain
Farr, John Macfarlane, Nell Stanbrook, Ivor
Fell, Anthony MacGregor, John Stanley, John
Finsberg, Geoffrey Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Fisher, Sir Nigel McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Madel, David Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Stokes, John
Fookes, Miss Janet Marten, Neil Stradling Thomas, J.
Forman, Nigel Mates, Michael Tapsell, Peter
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Mather, Carol Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Fox, Marcus Maude, Angus Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Temple-Morris, Peter
Freud, Clement Mawby, Ray Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Fry, Peter Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Maythew, Patrick Townsend, Cyril D.
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Meyer, Sir Anthony Trotter, Neville
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Miscampbell, Norman Tugendhat, Christopher
Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chasham) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Van Straubenzee, W.R.
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Moate, Roger Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Glyn, Dr Alan Molyneaux, James Wakeham, John
Goodhew, Victor Monro, Hector Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Goodlad, Alastair Montgomery, Fergus Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Gorst, John Moore, John (Croydon C) Wall, Patrick
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) More, Jasper (Ludlow) Walters, Dennis
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Morgan, Geraint Weatherill, Bernard
Gray, Hamish Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Wells, John
Griffiths, Eldon Morrison, Charles (Devizee) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Wiggin, Jerry
Grist, Ian Mudd, David Winterton, Nicholas
Grylls, Michael Neave, Airey Younger, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Hall, Sir John Nelson, Anthony Younger, Hon George
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Newton, Tony
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Normanton, Tom TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hampson, Dr Keith Nott, John Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and
Harvle Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Onslow, Cranley Mr. Michael Roberts.
Hastings, Stephen
Question accordingly agreed to.
Mr. Speaker

The Question is, That the Bill, as amended, be now considered. As many as are of that opinion say "Aye".

Hon. Members


Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker—

Division No. 146. AYES 10.15 p.m
Abse, Leo Faulds, Andrew McElhone, Frank
Anderson, Donald Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. MacFarquhar, Roderick
Archer, Peter Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W) McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Armstrong, Ernest Flannery, Martin Mackenzie, Gregor
Ashley, Jack Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McNamara, Kevin
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Foot, Rt Hon Michael Madden, Max
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Ford, Ben Magee, Bryan
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Forrester, John Mahon, Simon
Bates, Alf Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Mallalieu, J. P. W.
Bean, R. E. Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Marks, Kenneth
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Freeson, Reginald Marquand, David
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Garrett, John (Norwich S) Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Bidwell, Sydney Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Bishop, E. S. George, Bruce Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Blenkinsop, Arthur Gilbert, Dr John Maynard, Miss Joan
Boardman, H. Ginsburg, David Meacher, Michael
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Golding, John Mendelson, John
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Gould, Bryan Mikardo, Ian
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Gourlay, Harry Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)
Bradley, Tom Graham, Ted Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Grant, George (Morpeth) Molloy, William
Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Grant, John (Islington C) Moonman, Eric
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Grocott, Bruce Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Buchan, Norman Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Buchanan, Richard Harper, Joseph Moyle, Roland
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Campbell, Ian Hart, Rt Hon Judith Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Canavan, Dennis Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Newens, Stanley
Cant, R. B. Hayman, Mrs Helene Noble, Mike
Carmichael, Neil Heffer, Eric S. Oakes, Gordon
Cartwright, John Hooley, Frank Ogden, Eric
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Horam, John O'Halloran, Michael
Clemitson, Ivor Howell, Rt Hon Denis Orbach, Maurice
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Huckfield, Les Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Cohen, Stanley Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Ovenden, John
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Owen, Dr David
Concannon, J. D. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Padley, Walter
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Hunter, Adam Palmer, Arthur
Corbett, Robin Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Park, George
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Parker, John
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Parry, Robert
Cronin, John Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Pavitt, Laurie
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Janner, Greville Pendry, Tom
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Perry, Ernest
Cunningham, Dr J (Whiteh) Jeger, Mrs Lena Phipps, Dr Colin
Davidson, Arthur Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Prescott, John
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) John, Brynmor Price, William (Rugby)
Davies, Denzil (Lianelli) Johnson, James (Hull West) Radice, Giles
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones, Barry (East Flint) Richardson, Miss Jo
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Deakins, Eric Judd, Frank Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Kaufman, Gerald Robinson, Geoffrey
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Kelley, Richard Roderick, Gaerwyn
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Kilroy-Silk, Robert Rodgers, William (Chorley)
Dempsey, James Kinnock, Nell Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Doig, Peter Lamond, James Rooker, John
Dormand, J. D. Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Roper, John
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Leadbitter, Ted Ross, Paul B.
Duffy, A. E. P. Lee, John Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Dunn, James A. Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Rowlands, Ted
Dunnett, Jack Lewis. Arthur (Newham N) Sandelson, Neville
Eadie, Alex Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sedgemore, Brian
Edge, Geoff Lipton, Marcus Selby, Harry
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Litterick, Tom Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Lomas, Kenneth Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
English, Michael Loyden, Eddie Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Ennals, David Luard, Evan Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Lyon, Alexander (York) Silkin. Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) McCartney, Hugh Silverman, Julius
Mr. Speaker

The House has decided to put the Question, and I am obliged to do so. To the Contrary?

Hon. Members


The House divided: Ayes 266, Noes 254.

Skinner, Dennis Thorne, Stan (Preston South) Whitlock, William
Small, William Tierney, Sydney Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Tinn, James Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Snape, Peter Tomlinson, John Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Spearing, Nigel Tomney, Frank Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Spriggs, Leslie Torney, Tom Williams, Sir Thomas
Stallard, A. W. Urwin, T. W. Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V) Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Stoddart, David Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Stott, Roger Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Strang, Gavin Walker, Terry (Kingswood) Woodall, Alec
Strauss, Rt Hon G. R. Ward, Michael Woof, Robert
Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Watkins, David Wrigglesworth, Ian
Swain, Thomas Weetch, Ken Young, David (Bolton E)
Taylor, Mrs. Ann (Bolton W) Weitzman, David
Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Wellbeloved, James TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E) White, Frank R. (Bury) Mr. Bob Cryer and
Thomas. Ron (Bristol NW) White, James (Pollok) Mr. Walter Johnson.
Adley, Robert Fairgrieve, Russell Kirk, Sir Peter
Aitken, Jonathan Farr, John Kitson, Sir Timothy
Alison, Michael Fell, Anthony Knight, Mrs Jill
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Finsberg, Geoffrey Knox, David
Arnold, Tom Fisher, Sir Nigel Lamont, Norman
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh, N) Lane, David
Awdry, Daniel Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Langford-Holt, Sir John
Baker, Kenneth Fookes, Miss Janet Latham, Michael (Melton)
Banks, Robert Forman, Nigel Lawrence, Ivan
Beith, A. J. Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Lawson, Nigel
Bell, Ronald Fox, Marcus Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Lloyd, Ian
Benyon, W. Freud, Clement Loveridge, John
Berry, Hon Anthony Fry, Peter Luce, Richard
Biffen, John Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. McAdden, Sir Stephen
Biggs-Davison, John Gardiner, George (Reigate) McCrindle, Robert
Blaker, Peter Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) McCusker, H.
Body, Richard Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) Macfarlane, Nell
Boscawen, Hon Robert Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) MacGregor, John
Bottomley, Peter Glyn, Dr Alan Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Goodhew, Victor McNair-Wilson M. (Newbury)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes(Rrent) Goodlad, Alastair Madel, David
Bradford, Rev Robert Gorst, John Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Braine, Sir Bernard Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Marten, Neil
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Mates, Michael
Brotherlon, Michael Gray, Hamish Mather, Carol
Brown, Sir Edward (Rath) Griffiths, Eldon Maude, Angus
Bryan, Sir Paul Grimond, Rt Hon J. Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Grist, Ian Mawby, Ray
Budgen, Nick Grylls, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Bulmer, Esmond Hall, Sir John Mayhew, Patrick
Burden, F. A. Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Meyer, Sir Anthony
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Miscampbell, Norman
Carlisle, Mark Hampson, Dr Keith Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Moate, Roger
Channon, Paul Hastings, Stephen Molyneaux, James
Churchill, W. S. Havers, Sir Michael Monro, Hector
Clark,Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Hawkins, Paul Montgomery, Fergus
Clark, William (Croydon S) Hayhoe, Barney Moore, John (Croydon C)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Heath, Rt Hon Edward More, Jasper (Ludlow)
Clegg, Walter Heseltine, Michael Morgan, Geraint
Cockcroft, John Hicks, Robert Morris, Michael (Northampton S)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Higgins, Terence L. Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Cope, John Holland, Philip Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)
Cormack, Patrick Hordern, Peter Mudd, David
Corrie, John Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Neave, Airey
Costain, A. P. Howell, David (Guildford) Nelson, Anthony
Crouch, David Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Newton, Tony
Crowder, F. P. Hunt, David (Wirral) Normanton, Tom
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Hunt, John Nott, John
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Hurd, Douglas Onslow, Cranley
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Hutchison, Michael Clark Oppenheim, Mrs Sally
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Osborn, John
Drayson, Burnaby Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Page, John (Harrow West)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Jessel, Toby Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Dunlop, John Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Parkinson, Cecil
Durant, Tony Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Penhaligon, David
Dykes, Hugh Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Percival, Ian
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Jopling, Michael Peyton, Rt Hon John
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Pink, R. Bonner
Elliott, Sir William Kershaw, Anthony Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Emery, Peter Kimball, Marcus Price, David (Eastleigh)
Eyre, Reginald King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Prior, Rt Hon James
Fairbairn, Nicholas King, Tom (Bridgwater) Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Raison, Timothy Shersby, Michael Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Rathbone, Tim Silvester, Fred Townsend, Cyril D.
Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Sims, Roger Trotter, Neville
Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Sinclair, Sir George Tugendhat, Christopher
Rees-Davies, W. R. Skeet, T. H. H. van Straubenzee, W. R.
Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Smith, Dudley (Warwick) Wakeham, John
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Speed, Keith Welder, David (Clitheroe)
Ridley, Hon Nicholas Spicer, Michael (S Worcester) Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Ridsdale, Julian Sproat, Iain Wall, Patrick
Rifkind, Malcolm Stanbrook, Ivor Walters, Dennis
Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Stanley, John Weatherill, Bernard
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Steel, David (Roxburgh) Wells, John
Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Ross, William (Londonderry) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Wiggin, Jerry
Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Stokes, John Winterton, Nicholas
Sainsbury, Tim Stradling Thomas, J. Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
St. John-Stevas, Norman Tapsell, Peter Younger, Hon George
Scott, Nicholas Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Shelton, William (Streatham) Temple Morris, Peter Mr. Spencer Le Merchant and
Shepherd, Colin Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret Mr. Michael Roberts.
Question accordingly agreed to.
Bill, as amended, considered accordingly; to be read the Third time.
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