HC Deb 17 November 1976 vol 919 cc1470-503

Lords amendment: No. 45, in page 24, line 3, leave out from "dwelling-house" to "are" in line 7 and insert within three months of their receiving the application or, if an application is made for the services of a committee under section 31 of this Act, within two months of their receiving the committee's advice. (6A) The notification shall state—

  1. (a) if the authority".

Mr. Armstrong

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

The amendment requires local authorities to notify decisions on rehousing applications within two months of receiving ADHAC advice or, if there is no ADHAC advice, within three months of the date of application.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 46, in page 24, line 10, leave out "they shall use their best endeavours to provide the" and insert it shall be their duty to secure the provision of

Mr. Armstrong

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

With this we may take Lords Amendment No. 47.

Mr. Armstrong

We now come to that area of the Bill which, above all others, has proved controversial. These amendments have served to prolong the controversy in a way that I regard as singularly dogmatic.

The rehousing duty for local authorities proposed in the Bill as it left the House was a strong duty. It was abundantly clear that local authorities were in no doubt on this point. The replacement by Amendment No. 46 of the phrase which enjoined local authorities to "use their best endeavours", a phrase we have heard a great deal in past months, with a phrase purporting to lay on them a straightforward duty stems from the misconception that the new wording adds a legal force that was previously lacking. It ignores the fact that the original obligation placed on local authorities unambiguously required them to do their utmost, and recognised that more than their utmost was not feasible.

If Amendment No. 46 is misconceived, its effect when taken together with Amendment No. 47 is irresponsible. I use the word "irresponsible" advisedly, because that is the very apt description used by the Association of District Councils, speaking for the housing authorities, which are to be responsible for carrying out the new duty. This is strong language from the association, but the strength of the language is warranted.

The other place has tried to remove from housing authorities a vital discretion to decide the priorities of housing allocation. Like many other hon. Members, I have been a member of a housing committee. The members of such committees have to make agonising decisions from time to time. There are no blueprints that anyone can supply that will automatically guide a housing committee that is faced with a choice of priorities. The amendment would attempt to give absolute instructions to housing authorities that have vial decisions to make. The result would be that automatic overriding priority would be given to applications from farmers that were valid under the criteria set out in Clause 29 irrespective of other claimants beyond agriculture, irrespective of the housing authority's resources and irrespective even of whether the application was urgent in agricultural terms. That would represent a totally unjustified intrusion into the responsibilities of the elected representatives who sit on local housing authorities. It would inevitably lead to distortion in that those who would suffer would be those in desperate need of rehousing.

I suspect that in their heart of hearts their Lordships realise that this place cannot possibly accept either the letter or the spirit of the amendments. I am sure that many hon. Members on both sides of the Chamber with day-to-day experience of working on housing committees will know that the amendment is not acceptable given the relationship that we now have with local government. If they apply their minds coolly to the clause as it reached them, their Lordships should be able to see that without their amend- ments the Bill offers to farmers provisions from which they stand to benefit a great deal. If I may say so, they stand to benefit a great deal more in many instances than is their position under the present system. I trust that the House will return the message in no uncertain terms to another place that the amendments cannot be accepted.

Mr. Pym

I agree with the Minister that this is a highly controversial matter. It is one of the most controversial aspects of the Bill. It is all the more surprising, therefore, that there was no opportunity upon Report for the House to address itself to the matter. Had it not been for the belated but welcome acceptance of the amendment that I moved this afternoon, we should not have had an opportunity to discuss it now.

The clause involves not only agriculture but local authorities. I remind the House of the attitude that I have taken all the way through. One of the reasons for my thinking that the Bill is so fundamentally wrong is that I believe it to be fundamentally wrong for agriculture that farmers should be in a position of doubt and uncertainty about the future repossession of houses that go with farms, not knowing whether the man will be rehoused so that they can engage another man. That uncertainty is totally wrong for the industry.

I have always been at the forefront of those who argue, as the Minister has done, that it is equally wrong to put an absolute commitment upon the local authority to give complete and absolute priority so that farmers' doubts can be allayed. It seems to be the design of the Bill that produces such an impossible conundrum. That is one of its greatest weaknesses. Many of us feel that it is wrong to impose an absolute priority on the local authority, yet we do not feel that to leave the Bill as it stands is acceptable from the farmer's point of view.

What the Minister said in trying to reject their Lordships' amendment increased rather than diminished my anxiety. He said that when the Bill left the House local authorities already had imposed upon them a strong and real duty. They certainly had a duty to use their best endeavours, but what does that actually mean? What does it mean to the farmer and the farm worker in real terms? No one has yet been able to answer that question.

The Minister went on to say that, if their Lordships' amendment were accepted, that would have removed a vital discretion on the part of housing authorities in allocating houses. If that vital discretion is removed, what does the phrase "best endeavours" mean? If the Lords amendment is rejected, local authorities retain that discretion in allocating houses. That is the fear and anxiety that now affect agriculture.

I believe that five amendments to the subsection, and certainly four in relation to the clause, should now be mentioned The two amendments with which we are now dealing place a duty to secure the provision of housing for farm workers displaced from their jobs. Amendment No. 48 deals with the special circumstances that arise when an advisory committee says that the freedom of a house for another worker is of such urgency that provision should be made by the local authority within a period of three months. That surely is a reasonable obligation to impose.

Amendment No. 86 refers to temporary accommodation, and the Government have tabled an amendment that will be helpful in that respect. Finally Amendment No. 49 deals with the position where, despite the duty imposed by Amendment No. 46, authorities are unable for any reason physically to provide a house. In those circumstances farmers would be entitled with no further argument to provide a mobile home without any requirements in planning terms, and that could overcome a difficulty in relation to a farmer's business. Therefore, in that general sense one must examine these five amendments together, although I appreciate that we are now dealing with two only.

On first reading of the amendments, one would think that certainly Amendment No. 46 imposed an absolute duty and that that was the end of the matter. But what they did in another place was not as severe, as positive or as definite as that. Their Lordships allowed for the fact that it could happen, through nobody's fault, that a local authority would be unable to provide alternative accommodation physically. That is why they inserted these other amendments.

We must examine Amendments Nos. 46 and 47 in that light.

I do not regard the way in which the Bill left the House as providing adequate protection for farmers. I have acknowledged that an absolute compelling duty almost to the point of turning somebody out is an unreasonable proposition from the local authority's point of view. But as the matter has returned from another place, taking these amendments together, there is a practical alternative which would give a greater degree of reassurance to the industry that houses would become available and that other arrangements would be made, particularly in circumstances when the advisory committee recommended that that was essential from the point of view of the needs of a particular farm.

In that sense, the House would be well advised to acept all these amendments from another place. I do not accept the impression gained by the Minister in relation to the debates in another place. I believe that there was a genuine search for a new position between the unsatisfactory "best endeavours" as we now know them, and the absolute obligation that at the other end of the scale no matter what happens. Their Lordships made an effort to introduce practical and sensible amendments to achieve that objective. I hope the House will support them.

Mr. Rees-Davies

I entirely agree with what my right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) has said in this matter. The duty has been expressed in these words: If I may turn to the question of the requirements to be met by the new duty—and I emphasise that it is the duty placed upon local authorities—this is the first time that in an Act of Parliament, as I hope it will be, a statutory duty has been put upon local authorities to rehouse any group."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 5th October 1976; Vol. 374, c. 1166.] The author of those words was saying that there should be a duty, even though it was the first time. Those are the words not of any Tory or Liberal but of Baroness Birk in stating what she conceived to be the duty, speaking on behalf of the Government. If we use her words as the test, the words which are contained in the Bill as it stands at the moment are quite inadequate. To use one's best endeavours to achieve something is not in any way an enforceable legal duty. I know of no lawyer who would accept that it is an enforceable legal duty.

10.30 p.m.

The Minister will remember well that in Committee a number of us tried to find a way round this problem. I said then, and repeat now, that one cannot find the way round the problem, as my right hon. Friend said, just in one set of words in this particular paragraph. The right way to do it is to say that there is the duty imposed upon the local authority—Baroness Birk in another place, indeed, adverted to this—but at the same time to limit it by certain severe restrictions in the other clauses.

It seems to me that the other place—much assisted, if I may say so, by a perusal of some of the debates which took place in the Committee stage here—from its own very wide experience put forward the ideas which are contained now in its amendments. As has rightly been said, in doing so in particular it realised first of all that it would be necessary to have some machinery to decide on the appropriate cases.

I did not say before, and I do not argue now, that every single case where the person has been dispossessed provides an urgent case for the Agricultural Dwelling-house Advisory Committee, ADHAC, to provide the accommodation which is necessary for the newcomer—the person, for example, who wants to leave and go elsewhere. It is right, therefore, that that duty should obtain first of all in the cases of real urgency, where a certificate of urgency has been granted.

As I see it, that is precisely what is laid down by Amendment No. 48—that where ADHAC advises that suitable alternative accommodation ought to be provided as a matter of urgency, the authority must provide that within three months. Plainly it is right that it should provide it, surely, if it is an urgent case. Indeed, there is no one in the agricultural world—not the agricultural workers or anybody—who would not accept that that is reasonable.

Then it is said that a particular time limit should not be imposed. I will not argue that, because that really is within the province of the later amendment to which we shall be coming.

We are not asking for anything unreasonable. We are asking that notice be taken of the Lords, who have considered this matter from a practical angle, and have recommended that undue burdens should not be put on local authorities. Many hon. Members have served on local authorities, and no hon. Member would want to impose on the Association of District Councils an undue burden to provide housing which we know it will not be able to provide.

But if, as in this case, the burden is imposed for a very limited number of people who have service tenancies—namely, agricultural workers—this puts those people in a privileged position. The hon. Member for Sheffield, Bright-side (Miss Maynard), who has pressed this matter on behalf of her union, has introduced " Maynard's Mischief" into the Bill because she has managed to get a privileged position for a tiny minority of workers—a position which the miners, the police, local authority servants and many school caretakers cannot get.

In cases of urgency there should be a specific duty imposed on local authorities, and this is what the Lords have aimed to do. In order that it should not be too great a duty it should be limited to cases of urgency. If the local authorities fail to do this within a period of three months, they may be driven to extreme measures to find temporary accommodation. The Government gave way on an amendment to enable us to run hostels with reasonable success without their being protected by the Rent Act. This is one of the benefits of Amendment No. 77. It is equally important that some form of temporary accommodation should otherwise be provided by way of hostels or caravans.

In trying to get through this very narrow position between the fact that one does not want to impose too onerous a burden on local authorities on the one hand and the fact that one wants to help the agriculturists on the other, one is left with the unfortunate thought that this Bill should have been brought in by the Ministry of Agriculture and not by the Department of the Environment. It is really an agricultural matter. Nevertheless, faced with these difficulties we find that the balance preserved in the other place is a sensible one, and the Government would be wise to accept the amendments.

Mr. Joseph Dean (Leeds, West)

Running through the debate on these amendments is a platitudinous approach by Conservatives towards their colleagues in another place. The House of Lords has done much deliberately to wreck a succession of Bills, and the verdict on its behaviour has been given by this House. Conservative speakers have talked today about the impartiality of the House of Lords in this matter. They claim that Members of another place have no particular axe to grind. However, I suspect that many of them have a deep and vested interest in the farming industry. I wonder how many Members of another place, who sent these amendments back to us, have actually worked as agricultural labourers and been victims of the tied cottage system. I doubt if there is one.

It is not true to say, as the right hon. Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) implied, that this amendment, which makes it obligatory for local authorities to provide alternative accommodation, did not get enough mileage during the Bill's passage. He should examine the Committee proceedings. The clause occupied more time than any other. Every Opposition Member spoke on it, and it was because of the time taken by Opposition Members that I and my hon. Friends made our contributions brief. It is, therefore, futile to suggest that the debate has been hurried through with insufficient chance for hon. Members to speak.

The hon. and learned Member for Thanet, West (Mr. Rees-Davies) said, as was said so often in Committee, that my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) has had her way and is trying now to ram the Bill down the throat of the House on behalf of the members of her union. Successive Governments this century, Conservative, Liberal and Labour, have passed socially progressive Bills. This subject has been argued about for years. The topic has not arisen just because an engineering constituency in Sheffield adopted as its Labour candidate a lady from the agriculture industry. I remember as a boy hearing discussion of the iniquitous position of farm labourers who at that time could be bundled out of their dwellings overnight and their furniture dumped in the country lanes so that the farmer could secure vacant possession. It is not my hon. Friend's Bill, it is the Government's Bill. The Government are fulfilling a manifesto commitment.

Let me turn to the point about the system being made mandatory on local authorities. The Opposition have put forward some strange arguments. The Bill could lead to increased public expenditure. Most of the local authorities which will be affected by the Bill are not those with vast numbers of houses. The overwhelming majority of council houses are situated around urban centres such as Greater London, Birmingham and the metropolitan counties and districts. We are not, therefore, concerned with authorities with vast numbers of council houses.

The Opposition frequently refer to the sale of council houses. The majority of such sales take place, I suspect, not in the inner city areas but in the desirable country areas. The stock of houses concerned with the effects of the Bill is, therefore, diminishing. In addition, public spending cuts are curtailing municipal house building programmes. I suspect that authorities in rural areas have been among the first to stop building council houses because they have no crying need for them.

Mr. Benyon

We are only talking about cases in which the ADHAC decides that the agricultural need is paramount. Therefore, the number of cases would be far fewer and there would be a saving of public expenditure.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Dean

It may be that they will be the only cases which will be referred to the local authority by the ADHAC. In Committee the hon. Member for Westmorland (Mr. Jopling) said that ADHAC may make some unfair decisions. I should point out that, as farmers are part of the community in which they live, it is quite on the cards that some will be local councillors who will be appointed to the ADHAC and that they will be making recommendations. I am not concerned whether there are many or few cases. A fundamental principle is involved. As an ex-chairman of a large housing authority, I know the awful decisions which sometimes have to be taken when deciding priorities.

If we accept the amendment, we are saying that any case recommended by the ADHAC should go to the top of the queue. We are recommending that it should be given priority over people who are seriously medically disadvantaged to whom priority should be given. My experience as chairman of one authority which had over 90,000 houses was that it could give help with immediate rehousing only to four-star cases. Those were people with medical conditions which I should not wish on anybody. They were the most tragic cases one could imagine. However we look at this situation, somebody would go to the top of the queue irrespective of the needs of others for housing.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, even now, housing authorities have high priorities for key workers, whether they be industrial or agricultural?

Mr. Dean

The hon. and learned Gentleman is arguing two ways. In his earlier contribution he said just the opposite. Indeed, he implied that if a park keeper, a teacher or a school caretaker were to retire or to have his employment terminated, he would have no protection. I should like to know of any large authority with any conscience about housing which has evicted a school caretaker on his retirement.

I have experience of cases, almost on the domino system, where a school caretaker who has been living in a very desirable bungalow in the grounds of a school has reached retirement age and should move on and that has created a sequence of vacancies. I also have experience of situations where the last or the second last man in the chain has come to my surgery and said "I cannot move to my job because the man who retired is very demanding in the type of accommodation that he wants and will not move ". Most local authorities bend over backwards to ensure that a man who retires or leaves his employment goes into accommodation which is acceptable to him. That is not the legal position, but that is how it works. People are not put on the streets and told to go somewhere.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Surely the hon. Gentleman recognises that there are many colleges of education and other such establishments not under local authority control where there is no protection.

Mr. Dean

I was not referring to that type of accommodation. The hon. and learned Gentleman, in his speech, specifically referred to school caretakers. Many such people are accommodated in local authority houses. We must deal with those who are particularly affected by this type of provision.

It will be extremely difficult to tell a local authority to rehouse a couple, for example, if the authority has only two-or three-bedroomed house available. Could it, in all justice, say "You could have a three-bedroomed house but a family lower down the road has been waiting for three or four years"—or 10 years in some areas—"and we are sorry but you will have to wait. The house is adequate to the size of your family but there is a couple that we have been instructed to rehouse"? It will not work.

When talking mainly about farm workers with small families and childless couples, we must remember that one of the biggest shortages at present—the leeway has never been made up—is in one-bedroomed and two-bedroomed accommodation. That is the present situation. We are trying to impose upon local authorities a mandatory responsibility to carry out something that would be physically impossible for them to carry out.

Mr. MacGregor

As the hon. Gentleman seems to be acknowledging that many local authorities will have considerable difficulties in rehousing these people, will he say what the farmer is expected to do?

Mr. Dean

The hon. Gentleman is standing the argument on its head. He has made his point on that. He is trying to open up the debate on the whole theme of the Bill and what it is about. We are now discussing an amendment to a clause. I prefer to relate my argument to that.

I could mention numerous cases in the argument in which it could be said "It is all right. No one can evict because we cannot find houses." However, the situation here is quite different.

If one tells a local authority that it must rehouse someone, in most cases it would be physically impossible for it to do so. I was the chairman of the national committee of the old AMC. In the main I have found that when this sort of request is made to local authorities, couched in terms of "strongest endeavours", they play the game and attempt to comply with it. No one could justifiably ask for more.

The Minister has referred to what the Association of District Councils says about the situation. That is the parent authority of those who will be most affected by the clause. It would be disastrous to try to impose upon it something that it could not possibly carry out.

Mr. Ivor Stanbrook (Orpington)

By the Bill the Government are proposing to interfere in a doctrinal fashion in the rights of the owner of property, over both its use and occupation and its disposition. It does not lie within the mouths of Labour Members to say that after the Government have interfered in this way, the resulting unfairness and injustice must lie where it falls. Unless the amendment is adopted, it will lie with the owners of the property alone. Because of their particular position and our need for a thriving agricultural industry, that is manifestly unfair.

The mischief will be created by the Government. Therefore, it is perfectly logical and fair for the Government to say that government at lower level, local government, must attend to the unfairnesses and injustices that might result from the application of this policy.

This is a doctrinaire policy. If it is justified—I do not say that all doctrinaire policies are unjustified—it must follow that, it having been justified at Government level, at local government level we are entitled to say "Local government will have to clear up the mess that we have created because of this application of our view of these matters."

That point is completely overlooked by Labour Members. They are assuming that the unfairnesses and injustices that will result from the Bill's interference with owners' rights must rest with owners and that all the hardship, nuisance, annoyance, inconvenience and loss must be suffered by them. It is proposed that we should impose this burden upon them, and yet it is within our power to say that there is an authority, the local authority, that can mitigate this nuisance and annoyance.

I can illustrate the utter unwisdom of both the Bill and the Government's approach to this amendment by reference to a case in my constituency. Although my constituency is in Greater London, I am fortunate in that it contains a good number of farms since it lies just north of the Kent boundary, on the periphery of London. We are experiencing the problems to which the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Dean) referred. Being on the periphery of an urban area, we have problems of accommodation, but they are not problems of accommodating agricultural workers.

Some five or six years ago, however, a local owner of property in my constituency was allowed to convert his dairy into living accommodation, subject to the planning condition imposed by the local authority—one may say that it was rightly and properly imposed at that time—that the property when converted to residential use should be occupied by an agricultural worker. At that time this was possible. The gentleman concerned, being wealthy enough to employ a certain number of staff, was able to engage someone who occupied the cottage and worked on the property as an agricultural worker.

The owner died two years ago, the family suffered financially as a consequence, and the widow was unable to maintain the property in the state in which it had hitherto been kept. As a result, she was not able to afford an agricultural worker any longer. Her son moved into the residential accommodation to which I have referred, and he happened to be a local councillor whose job was in London. The local authority was then obliged to serve an enforcement notice upon him saying that he was in occupation of a property restricted to occupation by agricultural workers, so that his occupation of it was illegal.

The son, as I have said, was a local councillor. What could he do about it?—nothing, so it transpired. There was an appeal against the enforcement notice, which was turned down by the Minister. I raised the matter on the Adjournment in the House. The response was always "No"—the property was reserved for an agricultural worker and no one else could occupy it, even though the owner of the property could no longer afford to pay for an agricultural worker to live on the property. The outcome was that that person with his wife and two children had to move out, and the premises have been empty for the past two years, because there is no agricultural worker locally who wishes to occupy them.

That seems to me to be an excellent illustration of the nonsense which we create in tenancies, whether agricultural tenancies or tenancies involving just the ordinary relations between landlord and tenant. In the long run, interference of this kind leads to greater and greater confusion, I see the Minister for Housing and Construction shaking his head, but, unfortunately, that is the situation, and if only he and others would come to grips with it and start to make the whole range of legislation governing housing—

The Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr. Reginald Freeson)

That sounds as though it should be a contribution to a debate on planning, because I imagine that that is the background to the hon. Gentleman's problem, not the kind of legislation now before the House.

Mr. Stanbrook

I accept that, but it is a question of approach to these problems. The same attitude governs the approach to planning as governs the approach to housing generally and the problem of agricultural tenancies. If the Government insist upon intervening in this way by legislation imposing a rigid system upon the allocation and control of housing and its occupation, they will run up against these difficulties. Whether the rigid control be imposed through planning or through a Bill of this kind, the same difficulties will arise. It is up to the Minister to do something about it. Let him cease being so doctrinaire and think of ways by which he can help people rather than hinder them in this doctrinaire fashion.

11.0 p.m.

Mr. John Ellis

I am opposed to the Lords amendment, which lays a mandatory duty on local authorities. I do not think I have always been of that view. At a certain time in my life I would have been in favour of laying mandatory duties on local authorities. That was when I lived in Pickhill, where I knew the conditions in which people lived in tied cottages and the difficulties which attended people in getting decent homes. There was no sewerage scheme there, and a very limited amount of council house building.

If hon. Members opposite are saying that people in rural areas are in difficulties, I well appreciate that, but I would also point out that many of those areas are controlled not by the Labour Party but by the Conservative Party and farmers have held the reins of power. As things are at present, they are free to apply their own rules, and if they prefer to house people in this category they can give them a high priority, perhaps the highest.

If there is a lack of council dwellings in many rural areas, it is because the local authorities have not built houses over the years. I think of the situation at Pickhill where, when farm workers moved into the limited council accommodation and had security of tenure, they smartly got jobs elsewhere and worked for the county council, the railway or on local airfields. So the people who controlled the local authority said " We are not going to do that if they are going to move out of tied cottages into these houses built by the council and leave the industry".

People said to me at the time "Why not stand for the local council?" I did. I set the hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Sir T. Kitson) on his way to becoming a Member of Parliament. I am pleased to see the hon. Member for Westmorland (Mr. Jopling) in his place because he acted as agent for the hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks.

Mr. Mills

A good agent.

Mr. Ellis

Yes. They shot me away home. I got very few votes.

The point I am making is that for that village there was the hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks, a farmer and he was on the council, while the councillor for the next village was a farmer also. That was Sinderby. The hon. Member for Westmorland was a councillor for Sinderby and the councillor for the next village of Howe was also a farmer, Mr. Greensit. My hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) was on the council as well, but she was in a small minority.

In such circumstances, if we are being realistic in discussing the problem, there are various rural areas of the country where certainly no one could plead that farmers did not have a real say in housing policy, and there are huge areas where one could say that they controlled that policy. An hon. Member opposite intervened in a speech by one of my hon. Friends to ask whether this would produce more council houses. I would say that farmers and the Conservative Party have for years been in a position in the rural areas to do something about conditions there. My main plank was that there should be basic amenities like a sewerage system.

Mr. Michael Mates (Petersfield)

That is why the hon. Gentleman lost.

Mr. Ellis

That is right. I hope they got the sanitation system, because without that they could not get housing. The hon. Member for Petersfield (Mr. Mates), who intervened so glibly, is right.

I have no time for the amendment. If I have changed my view about laying mandatory powers on local authorities if is not for that reason. My experience at that time would have led me to do something about it and give them advice. But the people wanted the discussion to be about policies, and that is what took place. I am a local government man. I have served on other authorities as well.

Mr. Jopling

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I hope, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you will temporarily turn deaf. The hon. Gentleman has made one or two remarks that are not quite accurate. During his first election campaign I was not the agent of my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Yorks (Sir T. Kitson). At the time the hon. Gentleman ran for the county council, and was defeated by 1,100 votes to 90. It was not against my hon. Friend, and I was not the agent.

The other point that I wanted to make clear was with regard to sewerage works. I must put the record straight. The hon. Gentleman will recall that when I was a member of that council I was instrumental in getting a sewerage scheme at Pickhill, in the village in which I lived and in all the other villages that the hon. Gentleman mentioned.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I hope that honour is satisfied on both sides.

Mr. Ellis

We are not departing so far out of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, since this relates to the provision of housing. I am glad that the hon. Member for Westmorland was later converted, perhaps because of some of the work that I had done earlier.

It is pious nonsense to talk about the lack of council houses in those areas when hon. Gentlemen opposite, and farmers, had the power to do something about it. The hon. Member for Westmorland smiles, but I am sure he would agree that there is much cogency in that argument.

I certainly accept that local authorities should have power in housing, and that they must make up their minds about priorities. It would be wrong for us to intercede in that realm. Equally I believe that it is up to the people in those areas to do something about it, if they so wish. Perhaps our debate will give local authorities a stimulus to improve housing conditions in some of those areas, because it is the rural areas that have the worst conditions.

I would also refer to the availability of accommodation—something that no one has mentioned so far. Everyone concedes that over the years there has been a vast depletion in the number of people engaged on the land. In my own area, it is possible to go into village after village and see empty houses which had formerly been tied cottages. Although there has been an outflow from the land, there are still workers in those areas in tied cottages.

But some of the shortages which have been referred to are not real. Some of the accommodation is old and has been flogged off to people who can pay exorbitant sums to buy a cottage in the countryside and who may have to spend a lot of money on those cottages.

Mr. Mates

Good working people.

Mr. Ellis

That may be, but it is not part of my argument. This amendment deals with people working in agriculture, and the argument is that the farmer will be disadvantaged if he does not have a house to give to a worker. I am trying to put the matter into perspective from my experience. Many of these places are terrible; they have rising damp and lack the basic amenities. The hon. Member for Peterfield talks glibly about these matters, but riding through all this problem is the conviction—it would be better if Conservative Members had some experience of it—that it is wrong to tie the roof over a man's head to the circumstances of his job. It creates resentment—

Mr. Mates

What about the miners?

Mr. Ellis

If the hon. Gentleman wants to intervene, I will let him do so. That red herring has been raised three times already.

These men have been dispossessed and their families put on the streets. I hope that the Bill will stop all that.

Mr. MacGregor

Like my hon. Friends, I regard this as a critical amendment. If it is not agreed to, the working of the Bill will have to be kept under review and perhaps a future Government will have to strengthen it along these lines.

I recognise the difficulties. It is interesting that the Association of District Councils should take the line the Minister described. But the Government must keep a proper balance between the concern of the local authorities and the legitimate fears of the farming community. Some of the speeches of Labour Members have done nothing to assuage those fears.

I found it difficult at times to follow what the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Dean) was talking about. At one point he seemed to suggest that it was unfair to impose this burden on local authorities because many could not carry it out. In that case, the fears of the farming community are well founded. Then, the hon. Gentleman seemed to suggest that there would not be too much difficulty in some cases, in which case the thing could be pushed a little further; this statutory obligation would meet the fears of the farming community.

On Third Reading in another place, the noble Lord who led for the Opposition, who comes from the area which I represent and therefore is concerned with the same sort of fears, summed this up when he said that the words "best endeavours" had "scared the life" out of the agricultural community. He said that once a local authority had said that, after using its "best endeavours", it had been unable to rehouse someone, a vital house would be lost to a farmer for years.

My own Norfolk NFU says that it is still "totally dissatisfied" with this aspect of the Bill. Of course the proposed solutions are not ideal, but there will be a range of alternatives under later amendments open to local authorities. All we are doing is trying to make the Bill practical. If not ideal, it would at least be better than when it originally left this House.

It was a bit rich for the Minister to criticise the proposed statutory obligation on the ground that it meant that one section of the community would be given "overriding priority". Whose fault is that? This must be the fault of the Government who have introduced this legislation. They ought to recognise that and face up to the responsibilities inherent in their own legislation.

11.15 p.m.

I have been in touch with my two local district councils to ask how they feel they will be able to meet this "best endeavours" requirement. Their view—as councils which have worked locally with the NFU and the farm workers' union—is that they think they may be able to meet all the demands made in the Bill. But they stress the uncertainty and say that it is difficult to forecast the Bill's effect on numbers because it will create a new situation. They hope that the impact of the legislation will not be too great and that they will be able to satisfy the needs of the farming community in almost every case.

The crucial point is that they cannot give an absolute guarantee, and that is what is worrying farmers. This is not giving farmers confidence. All we are doing in the amendment is pushing local authorities a little further while giving farmers the real assurance they seek. That is a very strong argument in favour of this group of amendments.

Of course, there will be difficulties in rural areas. Hon. Members opposite have made play of the fact that this is because some local authorities in rural areas have not provided sufficient council housing. But in a very scattered rural area it is not an economic proposition to have groups of council houses everywhere one might want them to be.

I hope that the Government and local authorities will recognise that there will be considerable need for flexibility in considering where alternative accommodation should be provided. In very big, scattered rural areas, it is not always possible to provide an ideal alternative in an ideal place.

If the Government are to impose this new obligation upon local authorities, they must provide the finance. It is typical of this Government to lay more obligations on others without providing the necessary resources. We suspect that the Secretary of State for the Environment, in the Rate Support Grant announcement next Monday, will make clear that there will be even fewer resources, in real terms, for local authorities next year.

We are talking about rural areas, and it has been the practice of this Government during the past two years to reduce the grant to rural areas in favour of others. The Government are imposing obligations upon local authorities but reducing the finance they provide to enable the authorities to carry them out. In this case it is even worse because not only are the Government refusing to provide extra resources but they are going further and asking the private sector to shoulder the burden if the local authorities cannot. The Government are squirming out of obligations that they ought to face.

Mr. Eddie Loyden (Liverpool, Garston)

There is a contradiction in that argument, because the hon. Gentleman is assuming that the housing situation is universal. The point about rural areas could be accepted by this side of the House, but the Opposition say that less should be spent on housing in the cities—where there are tremendous housing problems and where even priority medical cases cannot be housed—but that more should be spent on housing by rural local authorities. Can we be told exactly what the Opposition think about housing policy?

Mr. MacGregor

I am under pressure to be brief, but the point I am trying to make is that where the Government impose new obligations—whether "best endeavours" or. statutory. obligations—it is fair to give the local authorities or industries upon which they are imposed the resources to carry them out. Unless this group of amendments is passed, most farmers will not build any more houses—costs have spiralled enough already—and they will also begin to get rid of their surplus housing. If farmers were given the reassurance contained in the amendment, that consequence would not necessarily follow.

Miss Maynard

The speech of the hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. MacGregor) sounded like double dutch to me. For months now, we have been listening to the Opposition calling for public expenditure cuts. They cannot have it both ways by complaining when, as a result of the cuts, fewer houses are built in country areas.

We have been getting the old argument from the agricultural industry tonight. The industry has always asked for special consideration, but the Government are saying that they are not giving it that special consideration on this occasion.

The imposition of a mandatory duty on local authorities would be to tell them that they must face an open-ended commitment. Every time they rehoused a farm worker, his cottage could be relet and the whole procedure would start again. No one should expect local authorities to accept that situation, and hon. Members should remember that such an open-ended commitment would be at the expense of other people on the waiting lists.

I am opposed to dictating to local authorities in this way. I was once a member of a local authority, and I think that councils are best equipped to decide how their houses should be let.

I was perturbed by the remarks of hon. Members opposite on the need for flexibility and how farm workers might have to accept places which were not ideal. I hope that they are not suggesting that workers could be shunted off to a house miles away. The farm workers are not prepared to accept that sort of flexibility. They have had to put up with that sort of attitude for far too long.

Hon. Members have asked what will happen if a local authority is unable to meet a request for housing. If skilled farm workers were paid what they are worth, they would be able to buy their own homes. Some hon. Members opposite have asked where the money is to come from. I remind them that in the 1950s, when the industry was raking in the money, the wonderful wages board was giving farm workers rises of 4, 6 and 8 bob a week. So do not let any hon. Member pretend that the money is not there for the industry to pay the rate for the job.

Listening to farmers and hon. Members opposite talking about burdens and inconveniences is rather like listening to the white man complaining what a burden coloured people are to him. Farmers can get rid of the burden if they pay the rate for the job.

Mr. Ivan Lawrence (Burton)

I shall be brief because of the pressure of time. I wish that hon. Members opposite would agree among themselves their reasons for rejecting the amendment.

Hon. Members on the Government Back Benches seem to be under the impression that the phrase "best endeavours" means something less than a duty. They seem to have been sorely misled by their Front Bench, because in opening the debate the Minister said that he understood "best endeavours" to mean a strong duty and a clear duty. If the Minister finds himself constrained to use the word "duty" to describe the meaning of "best endeavours", "duty" should appear in the statute.

Support for the view that the Minister appears to be adopting is to be found in subsection (9): The authority shall not be obliged to provide suitable alternative accommodation if at the time when the accommodation becomes available". That assumes that there is something in the clause which obliges the authority to provide alternative accommodation—in other words, a duty to do so. If "best endeavours" did not import that duty, subsection (9) would not have been phrased in that way. Therefore, what the Minister is telling us is that "best endeavours" means a duty to provide alternative accommodation. Anybody who has been speaking to the issue that it provides less than a duty has been misled.

If it is the Government's case that it means a duty to provide alternative secure accommodation, there does not seem to be the slightest reason why the amendment is being opposed. If that is the Minister's case, he should say so and explain why all this time has been wasted, not only here but in Committee. Why is he allowing his hon. Friends to retain the impression that there is a completely different meaning of "best endeavours" to that which clearly the courts will consider when they come to interpret those words?

Mr. Wm. Ross (Londonderry)

I intervene briefly in the debate for the first time because it appears to me that the amendment is the one on which the whole Bill turns. Its acceptance would remove most of the objections of the farming community to the Bill.

There are objections to the amendment because it is said that it would create problems for the local authorities. I cannot accept that, because in Northern Ireland, where the housing authorities have problems beside which any problem experienced on this side of the Irish Sea pales into insignificance, the authorities are capable of dealing with the matter and have dealt with many thousands of such cases over the past year. Intimidation, arson and murder have forced many people out of their homes, not only in city areas but in rural areas. They go on an emergency list and are normally rehoused, some within 24 hours. If that can be done in the circumstances of Northern Ireland, I can see no reason why the same sort of work cannot be done in the peaceful and settled conditions of the rest of the United Kingdom.

To say that councils and housing authorities cannot do it is to insult their ability, for it is being said that they are incapable of doing the job they were elected to do. If the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) wants to see farm workers paid better, she should accept responsibility when people such as I in future demand a realignment of the green pound.

Mr. Geraint Howells

As one who has supported the Bill, I am a little worried about the local authorities' duty to rehouse. The Bill as it stands is totally inadequate in the crucial area of the local authorities' obligation to rehouse agricultural tenants who are no longer working on the land. In merely saying that the local authorities must use their best endeavours to provide alternative accommodation, it leaves a large loophole for unsympathetic local authorities not to be rehouse former agricultural tenants. To me, the term is very vague.

Many local authorities will house ex-farm workers in any case, but the Bill should have such force as to put a legal obligation on all authorities to provide a council house for an agricultural worker if he is turned out of his tied cottage. As I said on Second Reading, the clause provides no method of appeal for the applicant to challenge the local authority's decision. If the Bill is to have any real effect, the clause must be strengthened to place on local authorities a statutory responsibility to provide accommodation if the local agricultural dwelling-house advisory committee decides that there is a proven case for rehousing on the ground of efficient agriculture.

11.30 p.m.

When I spoke on a previous occasion I emphasised that Local authorities should have a statutory obligation to rehouse anyone in the agricultural industry leaving a licensed or otherwise tied cottage."—[Official Report, 4th May 1976; Vol. 910, c. 1124.] I am sure that many right hon. and hon, Members will agree that if the Bill is to succeed special housing finance should be made available to housing authorities to eanble them to implement an urgent building programme to deal with increased housing needs created by these proposals.

Mr. Rossi

The ground that has been covered this evening is somewhat familiar for those who served in Committee. Therefore, I shall not go over the ground at great length. Unfortunately, just as the matter was left in an unsatisfactory and unresolved state at the end of our deliberations in Committee, so it has been left this evening by the Minister. I do not think that we are much further forward.

The Minister, in inviting the House to reject the amendment, has put forward the proposition that "best endeavours" is the highest obligation that can be put upon local authorities short of an absolute duty. He then says that it would be irresponsible and calls in aid the advisory committees, to impose an absolute duty upon local authorities because they would not have the means to discharge it. He says that "best endeavours" is the best way of using words that will arrive at the balance that he is trying to achieve.

The dilemma is caused through the Government bringing forward the Bill in the first place. They have created an impossible position for farmers, who are faced with cottages that they cannot get back. In the interests of efficient agriculture the Government concede that it is necessary to make alternative provision, and they have required the local authorities to make that provision. The local authorities say that they cannot make that provision. The advisory committees go further and say that it is irresponsible to impose an absolute duty upon them. They are saying that the do not want any duty at all. That is the message that came through to us loud and clear in Committee.

The Committees have gone further because they are in a worse position than when we were considering the matter in Committee as a result of the changes that have taken place in Government policy. Since Committee there has been a severe cutback in the housing programme. There will be 30,000 fewer new houses built next year. The Government have cut back resources to local authorities. The Government say that such resources as there are must be concentrated on areas of urban stress. If the resources are to be concentrated on those areas, where are the local authorities in the rural areas to get the money to make the provision that is necessary if the Act is to operate in the way that the Minister suggests? Money has been severely slashed back even in the area of local government advances for mortgage purposes. Therefore, local authorities will be in tremendous difficulty. It is doubted whether they will be able to accept any obligation under the Act and whether the Act will work in the way that the Minister suggests.

Let us examine the wording that the Minister says is so important—namely, "best endeavours"—as distinct from the words used by their Lordships in the amendment. That is the point that was taken up by my hon. Friend the Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence). The Government will recall that we examined this matter in some detail in Committee, when we found that there were only six decided cases in the courts on the meaning of the wording "best endeavours". I do not propose to take the House through those six cases, but the dilemma that local authorites and farmers alike will be in when trying to decide what "best endeavours" means is indicated by two cases, one which was decided in 1911—namely, the Sheffield District Railway Company v. the Great Central Railway Company. The court decided in that case that "best endeavours" meant leaving no stone unturned. That is an extremely high duty indeed.

More recently, in 1952, in Terrell's case, the court decided that "best endeavours" means "an obligation to do what is reasonable in all the circumstances." That is a far cry from leaving no stone unturned. Therefore, when, in future, farmers and local authorities look at the Act and say "What are the local authorities required to do; what is their obligation? ", are they to take into account Sheffield's case or Terrell's case—or do they go to law and bring more money into the pockets of the legal profession, until, eventually, the House of Lords, in its judicial capacity, decides what the words mean?

It is most unsatisfactory that uncertainty of that kind should be created, simply because the Government are seeking a way out of a dilemma that they have created for themselves, seeking to compromise the uncompromisable—the conflict between the interests of agriculture and the difficulties that local authorities will have in discharging any obligation that the Government may give them without the resources to go with those obligations. Certainly, local authorities would be prepared to undertake any duty that this House imposed upon them, provided that the House also made available the resources. It is in that that the signal failure of the Government lies.

Their Lordships' wording is not uncertain to the extent that the hon. Member's wording is uncertain, because the wording that their Lordships follow is the wording of Section 39 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, which states that it shall be the duty of the relevant authority to secure that alternative accommodation is provided. It is the duty of the authority. That has been judicially decided also, because, in Hendy's case, which we also discussed in Committee, the Master of the Rolls said that this imposes on the local authority a duty to do its best; that and no more. He also said that a local authority had an obligation to do what is reasonable in the circumstances. What the Minister is saying is that an absolute duty is no more than the kind of duty that he told the Committee, and this evening told the House, he is seeking to impose upon local authorities; namely, a duty to do what is reasonable and practical in the circumstances.

The Minister is using the wrong form of words, and I invite my right hon. and hon. Friends and Members of the minority parties to join us in opposing the Government in this case, because all they are succeeding in doing is to create such an area of uncertainty that neither the farming industry nor the local authorities will be satisfied with, or will derive any comfort from, the situation. Trouble will be caused all round, or, if not trouble, certainly litigation.

Mr. Armstrong

I should like to reply very briefly. There are two misconceptions that I want to deal with. The first is in relation to the attitude of the Opposition to local authorities. I must say that I was surprised and shocked tonight to hear their condemnation of local authorities, to the effect that they will evade their obligation under the Bill, because in their correspondence with hon. Members on the Government Benches here and in Committee local authorities have made it abundantly clear that they accept the obligation. Yet time after time Opposition speakers have suggested that district councils will not take the obligation seriously and will not rehouse workers.

The other misconception is that to give security of tenure to farm workers will cause much more movement in and out of cottages. I cannot see how it can be argued that to give farm workers more security of tenure will cause more movement.

I accept what was said about the farmers and their relationship with the workers. It is a very small minority of whom hon. Members have expressed themselves as being ashamed. Relationships are good. But we are anxious to give farm workers the same kind of security of tenure as most people in the country have been able to take for granted for many years. We are not seeking to down the industry in any way.

I say at this Dispatch Box without fear of contradiction that I want farming to be attractive to young folk. I think that the relationship established over the years, where conditions of service are related to occupation of a dwelling-house, has reacted against the industry. I have talked to a great number of enlightened farmers who believe that the new system will work. But I am bound to say, as the right hon. Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) said, that to impose not a general duty but a specific and compelling duty on local authorities to rehouse, whatever the priorities of the housing committee, is really not on.

We all recognise that no local authorities will ever have surplus houses waiting for somebody to occupy them, and that it would be quite wrong to pass legislation giving one section of the community an advantage over all others. If rationing is necessary, housing authorities must have discretion to decide priorities according to individual and local circumstances.

We are dealing here with a great human problem, and I was impressed that

Division No. 415.] AYES [11.44 p.m.
Abse, Leo Carter-Jones, Lewis Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)
Allaun, Frank Castle, Rt Hon Barbara English, Michael
Anderson, Donald Clemitson, Ivor Ennals, David
Archer, Peter Cocks, Rt Hon Michael Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)
Armstrong, Ernest Cohen, Stanley Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)
Ashley, Jack Coleman, Donald Evans, loan (Aberdare)
Ashton, Joe Colquhoun, Ms Maureen Ewing, Harry (Stirling)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Conlan, Bernard Faulds, Andrew
Atkinson, Norman Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Fernyhough, Rt Hon L.
Bagler, Gordon A. T. Corbett, Robin Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cowans, Harry Flannery, Martin
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Bates, Alf Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E) Ford, Ben
Bean, R. E. Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Forrester, John
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Crawshaw, Richard Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Cronin, John Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)
Bidwell, Sydney Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Freeson, Reginald
Bishop, E. S. Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Cryer, Bob Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Boardman, H. Cunningham, G. (Islington S) George, Bruce
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Cunningham, Dr J. (Whilteh) Gilbert, Dr John
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Davidson, Arthur Ginsburg, David
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Golding, John
Bradley, Tom Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Gould, Bryan
Bray, Dr Jeremy Davies, Ifor (Gower) Gourlay, Harry
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Graham, Ted
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Deakins, Eric Grant, George (Morpeth)
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Grant, John (Islington C)
Buchan, Norman Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Grocott, Bruce
Buchanan, Richard Dempsey, James Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Doig, Peter Hardy, Peter
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Dormand, J. D. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hart, Rt Hon Judith
Campbell, Ian Duffy, A. E. P. Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Canavan, Dennis Dunn, James A. Hatton, Frank
Cant, R. B. Dunnett, Jack Hayman, Mrs Helene
Carlisle, Mark Eadie, Alex Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Carmichael, Nell Edge, Geoff Heffer, Eric S.
Carter, Ray Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Hooley, Frank

in the debates in the House of Lords almost every one of the Opposition speakers who forced through these amendments began by saying that this was a problem which ought to be tackled, and that there were great human tragedies and so on because of the system as it now operates.

Trying to amend the system brings great difficulty—I acknowledge that—but to say that because it is difficult to get the right balance we should not have the Bill at all seems to me to be a denial of the job that we are supposed to be doing in this Parliament. Certainly we cannot brush aside the evictions which have taken place, or brush aside the number of times that people have had to be taken to court. Where there is inhumanity, something has to be done. The Government believe that they have the right balance, and that to accept the Lords amendments would destroy that balance. I therefore hope that the House will agree with the proposition I have made.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 283, Noes 260.

Horam, John Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Mason, Rt Hon Roy Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Maynard, Miss Joan Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Huckfield, Les Meacher, Michael Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Silverman, Julius
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Mendelson, John Skinner, Dennis
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mikardo, Ian Small, William
Hunter, Adam Millant, Rt Hon Bruce Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Snape, Peter
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Spearing, Nigel
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Moonman, Eric Spriggs, Leslie
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Stallard, A. W.

Janner, Greville Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Stoddart, David
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Stott, Roger
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Moyle, Roland Strang, Gavin
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Newens, Stanley Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.

John, Brynmor Noble, Mike Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Johnson, James (Hull West) Oakes, Gordon Swain, Thomas
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Ogden, Eric Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) O'Halloran, Michael Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Orbach, Maurice Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Kaufman, Gerald Ovenden, John Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Kelley, Richard Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Thorne, Slan (Preston South)
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Padley, Walter Tierney, Sydney
Kinnock, Neil Palmer, Arthur Tomlinson, John
Lambie, David Park, George Torney, Tom
Lamborn, Harry Parker, John Urwin, T. W.

Lamond, James Parry, Robert Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Pavitt, Laurie Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Leadbitter, Ted Pendry, Tom Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lee, John Perry, Ernest Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Phipps, Dr Colin Watkins, David
Lipton, Marcus Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Watkinson, John
Litterick, Tom Price, C. (Lewisham W) Weetch, Ken
Lomas, Kenneth Price, William (Rugby) Weitzman, David
Loyden. Eddie Radice, Giles Well beloved, James
Luard, Evan Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) White, Frank R. (Bury)
Lyon, Alexander (York) Richardson, Miss Jo White, James (Pollok)
Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Whitehead, Phillip
Mabon, Dr J Dickson Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Whitlock, William
McCartney, Hugh Robertson, John (Paisley) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
McDonald, Dr Oonegh Robinson, Geoffrey Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
McEihone, Frank Roderick, Careen Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
McGuire. Michael (Ince) Rodgers, George (Chorley) Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Mackenzie, Gregor Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Mackintosh, John P. Rooker, J. W. Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Maclennan, Robert Roper, John Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Rose, Paul B. Wise, Mrs Audrey
McNamara, Kevin Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Woodall, Alec
Madden, Max Rowland, Ted Woof, Robert
Magee, Bryan Ryman, John Wrigglesworth, Ian
Maguire, Frank (Fermanagh) Sandelson, Neville Young, David (Bolton E)
Mahon, Simon Sedgemore, Brian
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Selby, Harry TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Marks, Kenneth Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Mr. Joseph Harper and
Marquand, David Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Mr. James Tinn
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Adley, Robert Brotherton, Michael Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)
Aitken, Jonathan Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Dean, Paul (N Somerset)
Alison, Michael Bryan, Sir Paul Dodsworth, Geoffrey
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Buchanan-Smith, Alick Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Buck, Antony Drayson, Burnaby
Awdry, Daniel Budgen, Nick du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Baker, Kenneth Bulmer, Esmond Dunlop, John
Banks, Robert Burden, F. A. Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Beith, A. J. Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Bell, Ronald Carlisle, Mark Elliott, Sir William
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Carson, John Emery, Peter
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Channon, Paul Eyre, Reginald
Benyon, W. Churchill, W. S. Fairbairn, Nicholas
Berry, Hon Anthony Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Fairgrieve, Russell
Bitten, John Clark, William (Croydon S) Farr, John
Biggs-Davison, John Clarke, Kenneth (Rushclifle) Fell, Anthony
Blaker, Peter Clegg, Walter Finsberg, Geoffrey
Body, Richard Cockcroft, John Fisher, Sir Nigel
Boscawen, Hon Robert Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Bottomley, Peter Cope, John Fookes, Miss Janet
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Cordle, John H. Forman, Nigel
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Cormack, Patrick Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)
Braine, Sir Bernard Costain, A. P. Fox, Marcus
Brittan, Leon Critchley, Julian Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Crowder, F. P. Freud, Clement
Fry, Peter Loveridge, John Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. McAdden, Sir Stephen Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Gardiner, George (Reigate) McCrindle, Robert Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) McCusker, H. Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Maclarlane, Neil Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Glyn, Dr Alan MacGregor, John Ross, William (Londonderry)
Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Goodlad, Alastair McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Gorst, John McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Royle, Sir Anthony
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Madel, David Sainsbury, Tim
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Marten, Neil St. John-Stevas, Norman
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Mates, Michael Scott, Nicholas
Gray, Hamish Mather. Carol Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Grieve, Percy Maude, Angus Shelton, William (Streatham)
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Maudllng, Rt Hon Reginald Shepherd, Colin
Grist, Ian Mawby, Ray Shersby, Michael
Grylls, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Silvester, Fred
Hall, Sir John Mayhew, Patrick Sims, Roger
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Meyer, Sir Anthony Sinclair, Sir George
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Skeet, T. H. H.
Hampson, Dr Keith Mills, Peter Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Hannam, John Miscampbell, Norman Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Speed, Keith
Hastings, Stephen Moate, Roger Spence, John
Havers, Sir Michael Molyneaux, James Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Hawkins, Paul Monro, Hector Sproat, Iain
Hayhoe, Barney Montgomery, Fergus Stanbrook, Ivor
Heseltine, Michael Moore, John (Croydon C) Stanley, John
Hicks, Robert More, Jasper (Ludlow) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Higgins, Terence L. Morgan, Geraint Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Hodgson, Robin Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Holland, Philip Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Stokes, John
Hordern, Peter Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Tapsell, Peter
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Mudd, David Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Howell, David (Guildford) Neave, Airey Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Nelson, Anthony Tebbit, Norman
Hunt, David (Wirral) Neubert, Michael Temple-Morris, Peter
Hunt, John (Bromley) Newton, Tony Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Hurd, Douglas Nott, John Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Hutchison, Michael Clark Onslow, Cranley Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Townaend, Cyril D.
James, David Page, John (Harrow West) Trotter, Neville
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Tugendhat, Christopher
Jessel, Toby Page, Richard (Workington) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Paisley, Rev Ian Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Pardoe, John Viggers, Peter
Jopling, Michael Pattle, Geoffrey Wakeham, John
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Penhaligon, David Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Kaberry, Sir Donald Percival, Ian Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Kershaw, Anthony Peyton, Rt Hon John Walters, Dennis
Kilfedder, James Pink, R. Bonner Warren, Kenneth
Kimball, Marcus Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Weatherill, Bernard
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Price, David (Eastlelgh) Wells, John
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Pym, Rt Hon Francis Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Kitson, Sir Timothy Raison, Timothy Winterton, Nicholas
Knox, David Rathbone, Tim Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Lamont, Norman Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Langford-Holt, Sir John Rees-Davies, W. R. Younger, Hon George
Latham, Michael (Melton) Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Lawrence, Ivan Ridley, Hon Nicholas TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lawson, Nigel Ridsdale, Julian Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Rifkind, Malcolm Mr. Cecil Parkinson
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Lloyd, Ian

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords Amendment No. 47 disagreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 48, in page 24, line 16, at end insert— (7A) Where the committee advises under subsection (3) above that the authority ought to provide suitable alternative accommodation as a matter of urgency, the authority shall

Division No. 416.] AYES [11.59 p.m.
Abse, Leo Bagier, Gordon A. T. Bishop, E. S.
Allaun, Frank Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Blenkinsop, Arthur
Anderson, Donald Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Boardman, H.
Archer, Peter Bates, Alf Booth, Rt Hon Albert
Armstrong, Ernest Bean, R. E. Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur
Ashley, Jack Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Boyden, James (Bish Auck)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Bradley, Tom
Atkinson, Norman Bidwell, Sydney Bray, Dr Jeremy

provide such accommodation within three months from the date of that advice,"

Motion made, and Question put. That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.—[Mr. Armstrong.]

The House divided: Ayes 283, Noes 262.

Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Orbach, Maurice
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Hatton, Frank Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Hayman, Mrs Helene Ovenden, John
Buchan, Norman Healey, Rt Hon Denis Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Buchanan, Richard Heffer, Eric S. Padley, Walter
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Hooley, Frank Palmer, Arthur
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Horam, John Park, George
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Parker, John
Campbell, Ian Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Parry, Robert
Canavan, Dennis Huckfleld, Les Pavitt, Laurie
Cant, R. B. Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Pendry, Tom
Carmlchael, Neil Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Perry, Ernest
Carter, Ray Hughes, Roy (Newport) Phipps, Dr Colin
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hunter, Adam Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Clemitson, Ivor Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Price, William (Rugby)
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Radice, Giles
Cohen, Stanley Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Coleman, Donald Janner, Greville Richardson, Miss Jo
Colquhoun, Ms Maureen Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Conlan, Bernard Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Corbett, Robin John, Brynmor Robinson, Geoffrey
Cowans, Harry Johnson, James (Hull West) Roderick, Caerwyn
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Cronin, John Jones, Barry (East Flint) Rooker, J. W.

Cropland, Rt Hon Anthony Jones, Dan (Burnley) Roper, John
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Kaufman, Gerald Rose, Paul B.

Cryer, Bob Kelley, Richard Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Kilroy-Silk, Robert Rowlands, Ted
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiten) Kinnock, Neil Ryman, John
Davidson, Arthur Lambie, David Sandelson, Neville
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Lamborn, Harry Sedgemore, Brian
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Lamond, James Selby, Harry
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Latham. Arthur (Paddington) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Leadbitter, Ted Sheldon. Robert (Achton-u-Lyne)
Deakins, Eric Lee, John Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Lipton. Marcus Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Dempsey, James Litterick, Tom Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Doig, Peter Lomas, Kenneth Silverman, Julius
Dormand, J. D. Loyden, Eddie Skinner, Dennis
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Luard, Evan Small, William
Duffy, A. E. P. Lyon, Alexander (York) Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Dunn, James A. Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Snape, Peter
Dunnett, Jack Mabon, Dr J Dickson Spearing, Nigel
Eadie, Alex McCartney, Hugh Spriggs, Leslie
Edge, Geoff McDonald, Dr Oonagh Stallard, A. W.

Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) McElhone, Frank Stoddart, David
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) McGuire. Michael (Ince) Stott, Roger
English, Michael MacKenzie, Gregor Strang, Gavin
Ennals, David Mackintosh, John P. Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.

Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Maclennan, Robert Summerskill. Hon Dr Shirley
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Swain, Thomas
Evans, loan (Aberdare) McNamara, Kevin Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Madden, Max Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Faulds, Andrew Magee, Bryan Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Maguire, Frank (Fermanagh) Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mahon, Simon Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Flannery, Martin Mallalieu, J. P. W. Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Marks, Kenneth Tierney, Sydney
Ford, Ben Marquand, David Tinn, James
Forrester, John Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Tomlinson, John
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrecking) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Torney, Tom
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Mason, Rt Hon Roy Urwin, T. W.

Freeson, Reginald Maynard, Miss Joan Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.

Garrett, John (Norwich S) Meacher, Michael Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
George, Bruce Mendelson, John Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Gilbert, Dr John Mikardo. Ian Wilkins, David
Ginsburg, David Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Watkinson, John
Golding, John Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Weetch, Ken
Gould, Bryan Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Weitzman, David
Gourlay, Harry Moonman. Eric Well beloved, James
Graham, Ted Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) White, Frank R. (Bury)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) White, James (Pollok)
Grant, John (Islington C) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Whitehead, Phillip
Grocott, Bruce Moyle, Roland Whitlock, William
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Newens, Stanley Willey, Rt Hon Frederick Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Hardy, Peter Noble, Mike Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Harper, Joseph Oakes, Gordon Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Ogden, Eric Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Hart, Rt Hon Judith O'Halloran, Michael Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huston)
Wilson, William (Coventry SE) Wool, Robert TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wise, Mrs Audrey Wrigglesworth, Ian Mr. Thomas Cox and
Woodall, Alec Young, David (Bolton E) Mr. Joseph Ashton
Adley, Robert Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Mills, Peter
Aitken, Jonathan Glyn, Dr Alan Miscampbell, Norman
Alison, Michael Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Goodlad, Alastair Moate, Roger
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Gorst, John Molyneaux, James
Awdry, Daniel Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Monro, Hector
Baker, Kenneth Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Montgomery, Fergus
Banks, Robert Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Moore, John (Croydon C)
Beith, A. J. Gray, Hamish More, Jasper (Ludlow)
Bell, Ronald Grieve, Percy Morgan, Geraint
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Grimond, Rt Hon J. Morris, Michael (Northampton S)
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Grist, Ian Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Benyon, W. Grylls, Michael Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)
Biffen, John Hall, Sir John Mudd, David
Biggs-Davison, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Neave, Airey
Blaker, Peter Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Nelson, Anthony
Body, Richard Hampson, Dr Keith Neubert, Michael
Boscawen, Hon Robert Hannam, John Newton, Tony
Bottomley, Peter Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Nott, John
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Hastings, Stephen Onslow. Cranley
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Havers, Sir Michael Oppenheim, Mrs Sally
Braine, Sir Bernard Hawkins, Paul Page, John (Harrow West)
Brittan, Leon Hayhoe, Barney Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Heath, Rt Hon Edward Page, Richard (Workington)
Brotherton, Michael Heseltine, Michael Paisley, Rev Ian
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hicks, Robert Pardoe, John
Bryan, Sir Paul Higgins, Terence L. Parkinson, Cecil
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Hodgson, Robin Pattie, Geoffrey
Buck, Antony Holland, Philip Penhaligon, David
Budgen, Nick Hordern, Peter Percival, Ian
Bulmer, Esmond Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Peyton. Rt Hon John
Burden, F. A. Howell. David (Guildford) Pink, R. Bonner
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Powell, Rt Hon J Enoch
Carlisle, Mark Hunt, David (Wirral) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Carson, John Hunt, John (Bromley) Prior, Rt Hon James
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Hurd, Douglas Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Channon, Paul Hutchison, Michael Clark Raison, Timothy
Churchill, W. S. Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Rathbono, Tim
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) James, David Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Clark, William (Croydon S) Jenkin.Rt Hon 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) Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Cockcroft, John Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Ridsdale, Julian
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Jopling, Michael Rifkind, Malcolm
Cope, John Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Cordle, John H. Kaberry, Sir Donald Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Cormack, Patrick Kershaw, Anthony Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Carrie, John Kilfedder, James Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Costain, A. P. Kimball, Marcus Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Critchley, Julian King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Ross, William (Londonderry)
Crowder, F. P. King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Kitson, Sir Timothy Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Knox, David Royle, Sir Anthony
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Lamont, Norman Sainsbury, Tim
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Langford-Holt, Sir John St. John-Stevas, Norman
Drayson, Burnaby Latham, Michael (Mellon) Scott, Nicholas
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lawrence, Ivan Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Dunlop, John Lawson, Nigel Shelton, William (Streatham)
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Le Marchant, Spencer Shepherd, Colin
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Lester, Jim (Beeston) Shersby, Michael
Elliott, Sir William Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Silvester, Fred
Emery, Peter Lloyd, Ian Sims, Roger
Eyre, Reginald Loveridge, John Sinclair, Sir George
Fairbairn, Nicholas McAdden, Sir Stephen Skeet, T. H. H.

Fairgrieve, Russell McCrindle, Robert Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Farr, John McCusker, H. Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Fell, Anthony Macfarlane, Neil Speed, Keith
Finsberg, Geoffrey MacGregor, John Spence, John
Fisher, Sir Nigel Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Sproat, Iain
Fookes, Miss Janet McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Stanbrook, Ivor
Forman, Nigel Madel, David Stanley, John
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Marten, Neil Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Fox, Marcus Males, Michael Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Maude, Angus Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Freud, Clement Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Stokes, John
Fry, Peter Mawby, Ray Tapsell, Peter
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Mayhew, Patrick Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Gardiner, Edward (S Fylde) Meyer, Sir Anthony Tebbit, Norman
Temple-Morris, Peter Viggers, Peter Winterton, Nicholas
Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret Wakeham, John Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S) Welder, David (Clitheroe) Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon) Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester) Younger, Hon George
Townsend, Cyril D. Walters, Dennis
Trotter, Neville Warren, Kenneth TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Tugendhat, Christopher Weatherill, Bernard Mr. Anthony Berry and
van Straubenzee, W. R. Wells, John Mr. Carol Mather
Vaughen, Dr Gerard Whitelaw. Rt Hon William

Question accordingly agreed to.

It being after six hours after the commencement of proceedings of Lords amendments, Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to Order [8th November], designated Lords Amendment No. 51 as appearing to him to involve questions of Privilege, and then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions specified in that Order.

Mr. Speaker

I am now required to put the Question on any amendment moved by the Government to a Lords amendment.

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