HC Deb 26 April 1977 vol 930 cc1113-74

Order for Second Reading read.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Myer Galpern)

Mr. Speaker has selected the motion for an Instruction in the names of the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) and certain of his hon. Friends: After Second Reading of Greater London Council (General Powers) Bill, to move, That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Bill to leave out Clauses 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14 in Part III.

7.16 p.m.

Mr. Ronald Brown (Hackney, South and Shoreditch)

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

As the House knows, the Greater London Council puts forward proposals for itself and the London boroughs which in its view are necessary for the good government of London. This Bill has as its theme facilities required to help to alleviate the serious industrial situation now being faced in London. It is a Private Bill, a local government Bill, and, although we constantly complain at having to discuss matters in this way, the House rightly takes such opportunities in order to have a debate on London's affairs. Once again, I put the complaint to the Government Front Bench that we should be found time to debate London matters without our having to use a device of this kind for that purpose.

Clauses 1 to 7 are specifically brought forward by the Greater London Council. Clauses 8 to 14 are for both the GLC and the boroughs. Clauses 15 to 17 are for the boroughs alone. For the convenience of the House, I shall highlight some of the clauses and the matters covered therein.

Clauses 3, 4 and 5 are designed to close two loopholes in the entertainments licensing law. Clause 3 deals with entertainment by way of posing. It is necessary to license this new phenomenon in entertainment, which is a fairly recent development. It consists essentially of the holding of still poses by performers, usually to the accompaniment of music, and this form of entertainment is outside licensing control as the law now stands.

The premises concerned are often former strip-tease establishments in respect of which the GLC has refused to grant or renew any music licence. In one particularly bad case the police were able to note that the audience for the nude posing show numbered 140 as opposed to the maximum of only 100 which would have been permitted under the previous licence. There is, therefore, a clear need for protection to be afforded to the public, performers and staff under the control proposed.

Clause 4 is intended to resolve a problem arising on renewal or transfer of an entertainments licence. The problem at present is that the application for renewal or transfer, especially where it is opposed, cannot be determined before the date of expiry of the licence. It is the practice to raise no objection to the continued use of the premises until the application is determined, but the GLC is effectively debarred from taking enforcement action if premises are used in breach of the conditions that would have applied if the licence had still been in force.

It is to avoid that difficulty that Clause 4 deems the licence to remain in force until the application for renewal or transfer is determined or withdrawn. The GLC is thus enabled to enforce the observance of any conditions in the licence.

Clause 5 is designed to bring under licensing control by the GLC premises which, while appearing to offer strip tease or other similar entertainments, are in fact serving only as "booking offices" for other premises. In practice, this means that payment for admission is accepted before it is disclosed that the entertainment is to be given elsewhere and with out regard to the type or amount of accommodation available at the premises to which the customer is directed.

On arrival at those premises, the customer may find that there is in fact no accommodation available or that a further admission charge is required. These malpractices have given rise to complaints and disturbances. The bringing of "booking offices" under licensing control would enable the GLC to impose conditions—for instance, requiring it to be made quite clear to potential customers the limited service that is being offered at a "booking office".

I have been asked to state by the promoters that the House is to be assured that the provisions of Clause 5 are not intended to take into account bona fide premises and that the promoters are ready to undertake any amendments and to offer assurances that will rectify the position if any exceptional cases arise.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg (Hampstead)

On that point, I understood that some while ago negotiations were taking place with the bodies representing West End theatres. Can the hon. Gentleman say how far those negotiations have proceeded?

Mr. Brown

I shall take instructions later during the debate, but to the best of my knowledge the negotiations are still taking place and have not come to fruition. However, the promoters wish it to be known that they are making every endeavour to make clear the sort of "booking office" about which they are talking.

Clause 6 is being promoted to assist the Thames Water Authority, because the land proposed to be used for water storage is held by the GLC under the Open Spaces Act 1906 and restrictions in that Act on the use and disposal of open space land can be overcome only by specific legislation. The site will be returned to full use by the public as open space after the work is completed. The advice that I am tendered is that it is estimated that it may take two years for this work to be done, so the land will be out of public use for only two years and thereafter it will be landscaped and put back into general use.

Clause 7 relates to admission charges for exhibitions at Kenwood House. The clause takes the form of an addition to the powers of the trustees who administer Kenwood House and the Iveagh Bequest, which are vested in the GLC. At present charges can be made for only two days a week, excluding Sundays. The provisions of the clause will enable more use to be made of special exhibitions, as in the case of the Tate Gallery, and for charges to be made. Therefore, it is for the better use of special exhibitions, rather than cutting them off, because the trustees have no power to continue them without powers to charge.

Clauses 8, 9 and 10 are specifically promoted to assist industry in London. The House will recall our debate on 4th August 1976, in the early hours of the morning, when it was common ground between both sides of the House that something had to be done to arrest the decline in industrial jobs in London. I shall not take up the time of the House by going through all the arguments and rehearsing all the figures that we had at that time. Suffice it to say that the House was seized of the importance of the matter at that time. These clauses will go some way towards helping that process and will provide a very useful range of powers that will enable the GLC or London boroughs to take action to reverse the trend in this matter in certain areas.

A petition has been presented against the promotion of these clauses by the National Federation of Building Trades Employers and the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors. The promoters are negotiating with both those bodies to clarify the reasons behind the clauses.

There can be no doubt that action is required urgently. These clauses relate only to commercial and industrial premises and will, therefore, make a substantial contribution to overcoming the serious problem of industrial decline in London.

Clause 11 is designed to give the GLC and the boroughs the powers to acquire securities in firms to which they have made payments or loans. This is a small and modest proposal in the interests of ratepayers. Having given help to retain work and rateable value in London, it is not unreasonable that ratepayers should be able to share in reward for that process. As the House will see, there are adequate safeguards to prevent any take-overs.

Clause 12 gives the GLC and the boroughs the opportunity to publicise commercial and industrial opportunities in London. However, the Government have indicated that they require the removal of the words in line 17 which read, or establish or maintain office accommodation", and the promoters have assured me that they are prepared to remove those words. Therefore, in Committee they will be deleted.

Clause 14 is a part of the strategy that is contained in Clauses 8, 9 and 10. This clause will help firms that are able to obtain finance to help their commercial or industrial enterprise but are required to have a guarantor. Obviously, the GLC or the boroughs would be interested in underwriting those arrangements only if they were of benefit to their areas. Clearly, it would be shameful if it was not possible for these firms to be helped in the way I have described and if we thereby lost the jobs in London.

Clause 15 is promoted for the borough councils to help them in charging for street trading licences. At present it is a very long and painful process. The clause will enable adjustments to be made more easily. I understand that the Home Office is in favour of this change.

Clause 16 will enable the inner London boroughs to have the same powers as the rest of the country in the matter of fines for the non-return of library books. At present they are limited to 2½p a week under the old London County Council (General Powers) Act of 1955. Clause 16 will put that right.

Clause 17 is designed to enable the use of a park for wider entertainment. To do this the boroughs need to have the power to close their parks on a Sunday for any particular occasion. One thinks of an annual borough show, or other events of that nature that take time to prepare and time to remove. Safeguards remain on the number of occasions that the park may be closed. I am advised that some amendments may be needed to ensure that there is no conflict with any charitable trusts.

I have tried to introduce the Bill in a way that is of help to the House. I have indicated that the promoters are willing to negotiate and discuss with any persons any points that they have to make. I am confident that the House will give the Bill a Second Reading.

7.31 p.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg (Hampstead)

We come to the annual ritual of the GLC (General Powers) Bill. It has been presented in a skilful manner. At this stage it has been presented in a calm manner by the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Brown). The hon. Gentleman has gone through the recital in a helpful fashion. I am sure that the House is grateful to him for what he has said. At a later stage it may be necessary to outline some of the things that he did not say.

On Second Reading I shall make one or two general comments. The Bill comes to the House on the second occasion. That is because on the previous occasion the Government were unable to keep the House. It was adjourned and everyone went home, presumably rolling up his speech in preparation for the next occasion. The GLC did not bother to send us a new brief for this occasion. Perhaps things did not change in the intervening period. Perhaps there was no progress in the negotiations with the theatre managers or the Booking Offices Association. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shore-ditch for saying that he will ascertain whether there is anything further that he can add on that aspect.

Like other local authorities, the Greater London Council has to come to the House for an extension of its powers. The House is going through a justified revolt by the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham), who has St. Marks Hospital very much at heart. Private Bills introduced by local authorities are being blocked for very good reasons by the hon. Gentleman as a lesson to the Government. The trouble is that local government itself is having to wait for some of the less objectionable Bills until such time as the hon. Gentleman's objections are cleared. I think that he promised the House that if certain beds were restored by a certain date, he would block for only so many weeks. The time-scale is gradually extending and I am not sure where we are getting.

I wonder whether the time has come when the House should consider examining a local government Bill such as the GLC Bill to decide whether it can continue to present it in the same way. Perhaps the time has come to divide the powers that are sought into two parts, and perhaps even into two Bills. One part should contain those measures which, in relation to Greater London, have commanded the unanimous support of both parties on the GLC and the London Boroughs Association. That Bill, or that part, could perhaps be discussed on Second Reading, Parliament then taking a self-denying ordinance so as not to obstruct a Bill's passage to Committee and beyond. I doubt whether many hon. Members on either side of the House would disagree with that line of thought.

If there is unanimity in the political bodies that compose the local authorities promoting the Bill, it would seem that the House should not intervene in any way that will obstruct the work except where clearly the legislation runs counter to some previous legislation that the House has passed. For example, in the case of the power to advertise, the Government seek certain amendments for what I am sure are good and valid reasons, as the Minister will explain to us at a later stage.

The second part of the Bill would contain the political proposals. I do not believe that anyone who has read the Bill, as opposed to those who have listened to the sponsor's explanation, would feel that the Bill is a non-political measure. It contains a substantial number of highly objectionable political proposals. That applies to this Bill, and I am sure that it will apply to any Bill that might be presented next Session by a Conservative controlled GLC. I am sure that when the position is reversed there will be Labour Members objecting violently to certain proposals. That is their right, as it is our right when there are political proposals coming from the present administration at County Hall.

I am trying to suggest to the powers that be that perhaps we should try to assist local government by removing from the political arena the humdrum but necessary changes in the law that local government seeks with unanimity to get approved by the House. The political proposals clearly would need closer scrutiny before being supported or deleted. It is not unknown for such political powers to be deleted by the House.

I expect that there will be a different administration across the road in a couple of week's time. Whatever the House may decide to do on Second Reading, the promoters will clearly have to expect different instructions when the Bill reaches Committee. It may be that certain clauses will be withdrawn at that stage. I am sure that no time would be lost in a reappraisal being made of the powers now sought by the GLC.

I want to draw a distinction between the two types of legislative proposal. I hazard the guess that most Labour Members who have served in local government would not greatly dissent from what I have said in seeking to find a way of promoting non-contentious measures in a way that does not necessarily mean the baby being thrown out when we get rid of the bath water. We need to think about that perhaps more carefully than any of us has thought about it over the past few years.

The GLC Bills that were sponsored from the Government Benches when there was a different Government in power had to run exactly the same gauntlet, but anyone looking objectively at the contents of those Bills, as at this Bill, would be able to find some measures with which it would be impossible to disagree, even to the substitution of a comma for a full stop.

One of the matters that disturbs me in the Bill now before us is transportation, which is covered by further and better provision for the financing of local government services in Greater London. What worries me is at this stage, when we are nine days away from an election, the Greater London Labour Party issues in a hypocritical fashion a document that is based upon terminological inexactitude. That expression can be translated outside the Chamber into the more common word. It is said, quite falsely, that a Conservative administration would with draw the free travel concessions at present enjoyed by the elderly. Any party that descends to that level must be scraping the barrel to maintain its hold at County Hall. I bitterly regret that that has happened.

I return to the Bill. We are delighted that on this occasion we have the company of the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross), representing the Liberal Party, representation that we have not always enjoyed. As the Bill contains measures for the extension of direct labour, I imagine that the hon. Gentleman will advise his colleagues that they should stick to the point of view expressed when his party made its deal to sustain the Government, when one condition was that the direct labour Bill would not go ahead. I presume that the Government cannot count on the Liberals' support for those parts of the Bill that seek to extend direct labour, but time will tell.

The Bill falls into two parts. I shall deal first with the non-contentious parts, the small and uncontroversial pieces of legislation proposed early in the Bill. I look first at Clauses 3, 4 and 5, the provisions specifically sought by the GLC for better control over the licensing of public entertainment. It was in relation to Clause 5 that discussions were to take place with the theatre booking organisations. The three clauses seek to tighten up the law on strip clubs and to control much more closely the so-called booking offices. Many of us who walk through London know exactly what the booking offices do. They are the cause of gross overcrowding, which could be extremely dangerous. They make it extremely difficult for the council to deal with some of the abuses if renewal of the licence is sought. That is why the power sought by the GLC is valuable and should be supported.

Booking offices also sell tickets for a show that people then find is being held elsewhere. It is rather like people being asked to vote Liberal and then finding that they are supporting the Labour Government. That is the closest analogy that I can think of.

Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)

The hon. Gentleman talked earlier about a terminological inexactitude. Would he care to rephrase what he has just said? He will have seen the statement of what was agreed between Labour and the Liberal Party.

Mr. Finsberg

The basic point is that those who voted Liberal now find that they are keeping the Government in power, which I suggest is exactly the same thing.

Clauses 3, 4 and 5 fall into the first category of non-contentious matters about which no one would be particularly unhappy.

We come next to Clause 6, Power to lease land for purposes of reservoir, etc. The hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch explained the power very carefully. I assume that there is no significance in the fact that the land is in the Borough of Greenwich and is coloured pink on the signed plan. I think that the clause is reasonable.

Clause 7 concerns admission charges for exhibitions at Kenwood House. As a Friend of Kenwood and someone whose constituency abuts Kenwood, I see no objection to the proposal, which is to require payment in respect of any temporary exhibition. The Iveagh Bequest was quite clear that there could be charges on two days a week. What is now sought is power to charge on any day including Sunday, for admission to a temporary exhibition.

I remember the phoney hoo-ha when the last Conservative GLC made proposals for introducing charges at Kenwood. Many things which were in the election manifesto of the party elected to control of the GLC last time, such as free bus fares are all gone. Now there is a proposal to charge for exhibitions. We on the Opposition Benches see no objection to the clause. I think that it is a recognition that the public are prepared to pay for something that is good. The quality of exhibitions at Kenwood is extremely high, and I hope that extra publicity will be coupled with charging and will lead even more people to go to Kenwood.

Continuing with the non-controversial clauses, I come next to Clause 13: Evidence of delegated, etc., decisions of officers Local government is increasingly under pressure from all sides, and it is not possible for every decision to be voted on by elected councillors, although I hope that any decision taken under delegated powers is at least scrutinised by the chairman of the committee concerned in a book and that the chairman knows exactly what is being done in his name. I note that the powers are sought on behalf of the GLC and all the London boroughs. I have slightly more confidence in the London boroughs than in the GLC, because the decisions taken over the corrupt housing associations which we saw on television—Longfellow Road, Second Genesis and Novo—some of those decisions presumably delegated by the GLC members do not give much cause for confidence that many members of the GLC bother to scrutinise decisions taken in their name. Here we are asked that officers may present certificates purporting to be signed by them as evidence in any proceedings. I see no objection, with the proviso that the elected members keep a check on such matters. No elected members can read every document, but there is a special responsibility on a chairman to make certain that everything being done in his name on behalf of the authority is at least scrutinised by an elected member.

Clause 15, which relates purely to London borough councils, tries to tidy up the whole vexed question of charges to the holders of street trading licences. I welcome the clause, because it should save a great deal of council manpower and prevent a great deal of aggravation to street traders, who will at least know that they have a much tidier system, but I should have been unhappy if there had been no right of objection. I understand that the right will continue, and on that understanding I see no reason to object to the clause.

Clause 16 merely gives to inner London the power to charge higher library fines. This is an important power. Some local authorities thought that we were living in such a Utopian age that they could do away with fines. As a result, they found that the number of books out on loan long beyond the requisite period was increasing. Most of the local authorities that declared fine-free library services are now returning to a fining library service. The clause will at least put inner London on the same basis as outer London.

Clause 17 seeks to change the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1890, which deals with the closing of parks. At present it is possible under that Act and under the 1961 Public Health Act to close certain parks or their grounds on any one occasion for up to six consecutive days, excluding Sundays.

A change is being sought so that parks can be closed on Sundays within that particular period. One or two of my hon. Friends are unhappy about this, but I am advised that so far there have been no objections from users of parks—although it may be that they are not aware of the proposal. Provided there are not objections from the regular park users I would have thought that this power could be granted relatively safely on the understanding that the House was saying to the promoters of the Bill that if complaints are made subsequently the House may require the authority to reinstate the safeguard for Sundays. On that basis it is reasonably safe. That covers Clause 17 which deals with parks and closing powers.

I now come to the rest of the Bill. Many of the provisions in Part III of the Bill are irrelevant, harmful or otiose. I have a feeling that the Minister may tell us later that some of the powers that are being sought are not needed, but in case he does not, I propose to explain why we object to a few of the clauses in Part III.

First of all, as a matter of principle, London's economic problems and her industrial weaknesses are the result of misdirected interventionism. The path to unemployment was paved by the planners' good intentions. We have heard on several occasions, when we have been discussing the decline of the inner city and the virtual doubling of unemployment in Greater London since the Labour Party controlled the GLC, the pungent—and that is the kindest adjective—comments of the former Government Chief Whip who lays about his own colleagues when he hears some of the things that they are continuing to do to Inner London.

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Newham, South)

Although the hon. Gentleman has now reached the politically controversial part of the Bill, would he not agree that the 1968 London Plan, which was produced at a time when the Tories were in the majority at County Hall and when I was a member of the Planning Committee, made it clear that GLC policy was to remove from London those enterprises, organisations and commercial premises that did not have some relation to the capital function of London? That might have been right or wrong, but does the hon. Gentleman agree that there was then not only a planning lacuna but possibly a political one as well, and in past years this has not necessarily been attributable to one political party?

Mr. Finsberg

I was talking about the the last period of four years. It was during the 1968 period that the Tory GLC endorsed the ringway motorbox plan first perpetrated by the Labour LCC and then a Labour GLC. I am sure that the hon. Member would not wish to forget that the evil godfather of the ring-ways was the London Labour Party.

As for the point about moving offices and factories out of London, certainly this was the view taken in 1968. It was, in hindsight, a wrong view but three years ago my colleagues at County Hall pointed to the errors. It was then possible to have a debate discussing the changes in square footage limits on industrial development certificates and to persuade the then Minister of State for Trade that anything should be done. The facts speak for themselves. There was an unholy alliance between the hon. Gentleman who sponsored tonight's Bill and myself to force something through against the wishes of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) who then spoke for the Government. That was three years ago.

I repeat that the doubling of unemployment in London has happened during the term of office of a Labour GLC. Experience of London proves that, although the blame lies with both parties from 1968 for planning to kill industry, it took somewhat longer for the Labour Party to learn that fact. It is wonderful what polling day does to concentrate the minds of Labour Party members.

There is no evidence that planners can generate industrial development. They can stifle or kill it but there is no evidence from anywhere in the world that they can create it. I look forward to the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) telling me where the direct action of planners stimulates profitable industry and provides new jobs.

Mr. Spearing

New towns.

Mr. Finsberg

It is, as the hon. Gentleman knows, extremely difficult for those who want new jobs and houses in new towns to find exactly what they want because the scale and economics of moving to new towns has, in some cases, made it impossible for companies to continue. The new towns, conceived as they were in the late 1940s, have not turned out to be right and the present Secretary of State is reversing plans.

It is clear that small business, on whose being London so much depends, cannot possibly be assisted by central Government. Our present Government and the GLC have succeeded—by ruinous taxation, high rates, bureaucratic impositions and planning controls and, above all, by creating a climate hostile to enterprise and in which the notion of incentive is derided—in making life extremely difficult for small businesses and business men.

Some of the provisions in the Bill are a back-door method of direct labour. In particular, Clause 8 would permit the GLC to undertake extensive direct labour building operations. In addition, under this clause, the trading powers granted to the GLC would involve the Council in an area of considerable commercial risk and bring it into competition with other free enterprise builders and contractors who risk their own capital rather than squandering the exactions that have been rapaciously and indiscriminately taken from the ratepayers.

There is nothing in the Bill requiring a separate account of all transactions carried out under the new power. I had discussions with the GLC about the sort of accounts that the Council would have and about the self-financing. Although I have had some satisfaction from the GLC—which is well served by highly competent officers—the information was received by me on 22nd March, and I was told that in the time available it was not possible to canvass the views of London borough councils on the self-financing aspects of these clauses. Alas, I still do not know the views of the London boroughs. One faces the problem that their spokesmen are not in a position to say whether they would be able to accept all the necessary restrictions in order to obtain proper accounting procedures.

These clauses are not good. They do not require a local authority to make a proper economic charge for any work proposed. An economic charge would obviously be related to a proper allocation of costs and overheads and to proper expenses both of the local authority concerned and of its direct labour department.

In fairness, the Government may agree that the GLC is trying to get for London some of the direct labour arrangements that the Government have not been prepared to put to the House for the rest of the country, but this is compounded by the fact that among the ratepayers who would have to meet the liabilities of such direct labour operations are the contractors whose own businesses would be undermined by them.

Mr. Cyril D. Townsend (Bexleyheath)

My hon. Friend referred to the talks that he has had with various bodies, including the GLC. It is curious that we have no idea of the staffing implications or how much money is likely to be at stake. Did he glean anything about these two vital areas in his discussions?

Mr. Finsberg

No, I confess that I did not. I did not probe deeply, because I had a sixth sense that it might be academic after 5th May concerning the GLC.

These clauses, which purport—I use the word very strongly—to help London's industry, would have the effect of undermining the construction industry. That is the first ground on which I think these clauses are bad. Closer examination shows that the powers are not needed. I shall go through this clause and explain why I do not believe that the powers are needed.

Clause 8 concerns power to carry out works for the construction, extension or improvement of an industrial building and for the preparation or improvement of the site. There is an approximately comparable power given to the Secretary of State in Section 5 of the Local Employment Act 1972, but it is available only in development or intermediate areas. However, we get so many rapid changes, as a realisation is built up that Inner London is rapidly becoming a depressed area, that the Secretary of State may say that London ought to have these powers if it needs them under the Local Employment Act 1972. First, as at present constituted under that Act, the Secretary of State would have to specify by order the relevant part of London as such an area before the power could be used.

In addition, and in sharp contrast to the fairly specific power in the 1972 Act, there are almost unlimited powers for the National Enterprise Board, under the Industry Act 1975, to develop and assist the economy of, and to provide and maintain productive employment in, any part of the United Kingdom. The tools available to the NEB to achieve these ends include a power comparable to that in Clause 8 to carry out works.

Of course, there are statutory financial limits on the NEB's powers. The NEB would have to act in accordance with any formal directions given by the Secretary of State under the 1975 Act. However, there is power under both the Local Employment Act 1972 and the Industry Act 1975. Therefore, this clause is not needed. My views on the Industry Act 1975 are a different matter, but, so long as it is unrepealed, the power exists and would be available, I am advised, for operation by both the GLC and the London boroughs.

I turn now to the power to carry out works for the provision, extension or improvement of facilities, supplies or services relating to an industrial building. It is arguable that the wide-ranging powers of the NEB under the Industry Act 1975 would cover that aspect, subject to the earlier restrictions which I mentioned.

I come next to the power to make grants towards the cost of the works and the provision of facilities, supplies or services.

The Secretary of State has power under the Industry Act 1972 to make capital grants—limited usually, but not exclusively, to 20 per cent. of the cost—towards the provision of buildings and of works connected therewith, but that power is available only in development or intermediate areas, and it is couched in less wide terms than the Clause 8 power being sought by the GLC. I am advised that it is doubtful whether the NEB has power to make grants comparable to those in Clause 8 to the GLC. However, the GLC has told me that it must be conceded that the board's powers are so widely drawn that the point is arguable.

Does the Minister believe, or is he advised, that the powers under the Industry Act 1972 or the Industry Act 1975 will give him authority to give permission for the work that is sought in Clause 8?

I come now to the power to make grants towards the provision of plant, machinery or equipment to be installed in an industrial building. The powers of the Secretary of State and of the NEB in this connection are similar to those outlined earlier.

Regarding the power to erect industrial buildings, it seems that there is comparable power under Section 5 of the Local Employment Act 1972, but it is available only in areas specified as development or intermediate areas. It is clear that the NEB has such a power, available in any part of the United Kingdom, subject only to the restrictions to which I referred earlier. Therefore, all the powers sought in Clause 8 arguably already exist in one statute, if not two statutes.

Mr. Ronald Brown

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that what he has been reading from was sent to him on 22nd March by the promoters indicating the broad background? It should be made clear that the promoters have tried in every way to satisfy the background to these clauses.

Mr. Finsberg

Indeed. I was eventually going to say that a copy had been sent to the hon. Gentleman so that he was well aware of it. However, he made no reference to it at all. The House is entitled to know what the promoters are saying. As I shall show later, it is a pity that the promoters did not find it possible in their latest statement, which reached us a couple of days ago, at least to mention to the generality of London Members that many of these powers might already exist. So much for Clause 8.

Mr. Sydney Bidwell (Ealing, Southall)

I find it curious that the hon. Gentleman is resting on what he believes, although not conclusive, the powers of the NEB may be. The hon. Gentleman, who feels confident that the Conservative Party is poised to take control of the GLC, does not want these powers to be in the hands of the GLC, but is content to leave them with the State. I find that a curious line of Tory argument.

Mr. Finsberg

The hon. Gentleman may not have heard one of my earlier remarks. Part III is headed Provisions relating to the Council and to borough councils, etc. Alas, it will not be possible to sweep from office all Labour-controlled London borough councils in May. I do not want them to have these powers, whatever may happen at County Hall. I should be happier for this place to retain control over the Secretary of State when he tries to do anything under the National Enterprise Board's powers—at least until it is possible to take control of the London boroughs. To that extent, it is not right or necessary to have a duplication of powers.

Mr. Douglas Jay (Battersea, North)

The hon. Gentleman said that these powers were not needed because the NEB has them. Is he arguing that they can be exercised by the NEB on its own or that they could somehow be exercised by the GLC in the name of the NEB? I am not clear about what he was saying.

Mr. Finsberg

The Bill seeks to allow the GLC or say the London Borough of Wandsworth to exercise these powers. I am saying that powers already exist for these operations to be done under the Local Employment Act 1972 or the Industry Act 1975 by the NEB. I should anticipate that where powers were specifically needed, either county-wide or in a particular borough, the county or borough would make representations to the Secretary of State or to the NEB and the powers would then operate. That is how I visualise them and that is what I have tried to explain.

Mr. Jay

Is the hon. Gentleman arguing that these powers are possessed now under the Industry Act not by the local authorities but merely by the NEB?

Mr. Finsberg

I am saying that as Parliament has granted these powers there is therefore no need for a subsidiary body to have power for itself. That is what I am trying to say. Frankly, I do not trust the ability of some of these bodies to carry out this work. The Bill is promoted by a present Labour-controlled authority. I do not trust its ability, particularly after Longfellow Road and some of the other scandals that we have seen.

I come to Clause 9 which provides power to make loans for the acquisition of land for the provision, extension or improvement of industrial buildings. There is power under Section 8 of the 1972 Industry Act to make loans to industrialists, but only where this would be likely to benefit any part of the United Kingdom and where it is in the national interest that it should be done. These loans, which the NEB can make subject to the earlier restrictions, are not bound to be subject to the strict limitations imposed by Clause 9. Clause 9(1) and (2) specifically refer to the 1963 Local Authorities (Land) Act and to the land on which an industrial building is or is intended to be provided, extended or improved. That is perfectly true. But the powers exist concurrently and so long as they exist I do not believe there is the need for further powers to be taken by a subsidiary body.

We then come to Clause 10 which contains the power to guarantee the payment of rents or other sums payable in respect of an industrial building.

Mr. Spearing

Before the hon. Gentleman leaves Clause 9, can he be a little more explicit? He said he does not think that the GLC or the borough councils should have these powers of advancing loans because they already exist with the NEB. But surely the whole purpose is to enable local requirements, which are known only by the local councils, to provide an extension of employment particularly with regard to ancient buildings. Whatever the powers available, it would be quite improper for the NEB to become involved in this relatively small-scale, but nevertheless significant, retention of employment.

Mr. Finsberg

I shall deal with the hon. Gentleman's point in more detail somewhat later. What I am seeking to say is that there is no need for these powers to be exercised either by the local authorities or by the NEB, but, rather, by commercial enterprise which believe is far more efficient than local authorities. If they catch the eye of the Chair, I am sure that some of my hon. Friends will be talking about how successful the local authorities are when they dabble in things about which they know virtually nothing. I wish to deal with Clause 10—

Mr. Kenneth Baker (St. Marylebone)

Does my hon. Friend not agree that the powers to make loans for the construction, extension and improvement of industrial buildings, which Clause 9 will give to the GLC and the London boroughs, will to a large extent stand the Government's regional policy, such as if is, on its head? It will give to the London boroughs and the GLC the power which only the Secretary of State has to make grants to intermediate or development areas. Indeed, the powers of the Secretary of State to make such loans in regional development and assisted areas is limited to only 20 per cent. whereas the GLC and the London boroughs will have powers to make loans above 20 per cent. for virtually any project they want. This is the sort of Bill which shows up the enormous anomalies which exist and which turns upside down the Government's regional policy.

Mr. Finsberg

My hon. Friend is perfectly right. Perhaps the only safeguard would be the sum that eventually has to be inserted in the GLC Money Bill. But we know that is not always a very successful safeguard. Frankly, this Bill, as I read it, is saying to the Government that those who still control the GLC have absolutely no confidence in their ability to do anything and that they wish to go ahead themselves. The trouble is that I have even less confidence in their ability than I have in the Government's and that is saying a mouthful.

But it is quite clear that the NEB and the Secretary of State have in certain circumstances got the powers that are contained in Clause 10. I hope the Minister will be able to clarify—he is after all the only person who can—why the GLC should have powers, many of which already exist.

A similar clause was put forward in the 1973–74 GLC General Powers Bill but that clause fell at Beecher's Brook, if I might use that term, because the then Departments of the Environment and Industry reported adversely to the Unopposed Bills Committee. I think that judgment was right. They were obviously operating in the knowledge not of the 1975 Industry Act, because it was not on the statute book, but of the 1972 Local Employment Act. Presumably, because of their detailed knowledge of the powers available in the situation as it was then, the Departments advised, and the Unopposed Bills Committee accepted the advice, that the clause should be deleted.

That judgment was right. I accept it just as I accept that the best approach to the problem of dying industries and job creation is for the Government and local authorities to remove their obstruction and let enterprise operate.

I do not think anyone will argue against the proposition that profitable companies provide more jobs. They provide more jobs because they can invest and remain competitive. They can win more orders at home and abroad. They can extend production and develop projects. I repeat that profitable companies provide more jobs. They do so because they increase—[Interruption.] I fear that with some Labour politicians it is only after the fifth repetition that it begins to sink in. It was only after the 11th Budget that the Chancellor of the Exchequer began to realise that he could not go on crippling the middle class and the skilled working class. That is why they turned against his party at Stechford and that is why they will do so at almost every local election next week.

Mr. John Cartwright (Woolwich, East)

The hon. Gentleman has been saying that profitable companies provide jobs. But I can remember an experience in Woolwich in 1968 when the extremely profitable GLC decided to close down the AEI plant and move the operations elsewhere. That was an extremely profitable company but it did not provide jobs in London.

Mr. Finsberg

Without understanding in detail all that went on then because, first, I was not in the House and, second, I was not on the board of either company, the fact is that, as I understand it, had that amalgamation not taken place, more jobs would have been lost than were actually lost on that occasion. It is no good expecting every single factory to go on providing every single job when we are taxing them out of existence by carrying out the present policies, which have been enforced for so long. By reducing the rate base in London we are driving industry outside for pure self-preservation on financial grounds.

Mr. Norman Tebbit (Chingford)

My hon. Friend ignores another factor which is that it has been the policy of the Government to export jobs from London for a number of years to other parts of the United Kingdom. That is what was done in this case. The new plant was closed in order to protect jobs in other parts of England. Half the trouble has been that London is having its jobs exported.

Mr. Finsberg

I agree. This is why I hope that we have seen the last of the present activities of the Location of Offices Bureau, which has done crippling damage to London. I am glad that the Secretary of State has said that he is examining the rôle and function of the Bureau. That examination is overdue, but it is at least a recognition, and a welcome one, of the harm that the Bureau is doing.

As I was saying, profitable companies provide more jobs. They increase the national wealth, so that the taxpayer needs a smaller share to maintain his revenue, which means higher real wages. At last, by his conditional offer of a 33 per cent. instead of a 35 per cent. tax rate, even the present Chancellor of the Exchequer is beginning to realise that lower taxation may be a good thing. Would that he had listened to us earlier. We do not regret that he has learned the lesson. The trouble is that his school report shows him to be a slow learner. More incentives provide more spending power with which to buy the goods produced by these companies, and so the circle goes on. What local authority involvement in industry will not do is provide more profitable jobs. That should be self-evident.

It is a pity the GLC should seek these powers at a time when the Department of the Environment has, of its own free will, sought the advice of the British Property Federation as to what relaxation of planning restrictions is necessary in order to encourage property developers to build factories on speculation—not with public money but with their own—in order that there should be no delays due to the non-availability of factory accommodation when there is an upturn in the economy. That action by the Department shows that planning does not help but restricts.

If local authorities, as they seem to want to do by this Bill, enter this area of activity, they may well create an oversupply of industrial buildings or a supply not related to demand in a particular area. Not only would they be in competition with the private developers they could well be in competition with neighbouring authorities. But in addition, if a private developer wished to respond to the Government's desire for speculative factory building, he would have to get planning consent from an authority which might be in direct competition. How does the Minister reconcile his Department's approach to the British Property Federation with the attitude of the promoters of the Bill, who seek, apparently, to do exactly the opposite of what the Secretary of State would like to see?

Finally, I come to the one clause in the Bill that I would be sorry to lose. But if the GLC must cocoon Clause 12 in a mass and mess of politically-motivated clauses, it is upon its own head. The hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch said that the Government had already demanded certain amendments to Clause 12, which is perhaps indicative that it is not as happy a provision as it might be. I think that all of us believe that London wants the removal of the restriction on advertising which has been with us for a very long time, but if it is necessary—and I do not disagree that it is—surely a one-clause Government Bill, or a clause in a local government miscellaneous provisions Bill, could do the job. Clause 12 provides that the Secretary of State not "shall" but "may", and in any case his authorisation would be needed, and that authorisation would be subject to such limitations or conditions that he thought fit.

With all that hedging around it, it seems much more logical that, if the Government share our view that London should not have this restriction on advertising left on it, they should introduce a suitable measure themselves. There is little of substance going through the House now, so they could probably beg enough time from the Leader of the House for a one-clause Bill which I could almost guarantee that we would happily facilitate as quickly as the Government wished. That is a generous offer on our part that the Government might be prepared to take up.

When we consider Part III of the Bill, let us tear away Salome's veil. The Salome one might meet in the booking office under the provisions of Part II might not be so revealing as I hope to be about the Salome of the creation of a national enterprise board for London. It is academic, however, in this case, because the GLC will not be willing to operate such a provision in 10 days' time. Part III would provide a limitation in the case of the GLC—that would be in the money Bill. But other authorities could merely go for loan sanction, and this House would have no real control. We are being asked to help create a London national enterprise board, and I want no part in it. I do not think that it is necessary, nor do I believe that the public would think it necessary It is clear, whether one reads the Morning Star, the Tribune or the Spectator, or any other journal—

Mr. George Cunningham (Islington, South and Finsbury)

And Le Figaro?

Mr. Finsberg

No. Le Figaro is not being quoted, but I remind the hon. Gentleman that, with the large and valuable French and Italian communities in London, consideration might be given to the re-opening of the closed beds at St. Mark's Hospital, on which I support him.

As I was saying, it is clear that the Labour GLC is on its last legs. It is trying desperately, by a ruthless campaign of terminological inexactitudes and of smears, to avoid electoral humiliation. That it should be promoting a measure worthy of the right hon. Member for Bristol, South-East (Mr. Benn) in February 1974 seems wholly appropriate as its last act. However "Bennery" is in full retreat and is no longer a viable proposition, as the promoters of the Bill will find out in a week's time. The economic strategy which underlies these clauses is wrong. We repudiate this type of interventionism.

I have tried to outline an alternative—that private industry can do all that is asked and all that is needed. At the same time it will provide more jobs, more rapidly than any extra-bureaucratic setup. We do not know how many extra jobs will be created at County Hall and town hall to run the services but they will not be productive jobs. I want to see private industry creating productive jobs so that people can earn a good living and have more money to spend. In that way more goods will be produced and sold. That is in sharp contrast to the provisions of the Bill.

Industry can fend for itself if the Government gets off its back. If the House should decide to give the Bill a Second Reading, I hope that when it gets to the Committee that examines unopposed Bills these clauses will be struck out by the Instruction which I trust the House will approve. In any case I am reasonably confident that the clauses will be withdrawn by the promoters after 5th May, when and if it reaches the Committee.

8.31 p.m.

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Newham, South)

The hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) and I disagreed earlier about the rôles of planners and politicians in London. Neither planners nor politicians of either party are infallible. Both have been found fallible about planning in London. The big difference has been that, whereas my colleagues who are politicians in London saw the warning signs of the retreat of industry as early as may be and took steps to deal with it, Conservative politicians pressed forward with their policy on motorways. The electors knocked the motorways policy on its head in 1973. We can agree that both parties have been wrong some time about some issues, but it was the electorate who knocked the Conservatives on the head about motorways.

The hon. Member also discussed whether planners can generate new industry. They cannot generate new industry in its basic and fundamental sense, because that is a function of technology and industrial enterprise. We can agree that from 1947 onwards the new towns policy has been right and has had bipartisan support. Those of us who support good planning agree that the British new town made a planning contribution to the world. It is interesting that President Carter is to go to Washington New Town in Durham when he visits this country. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Hampstead did not acknowledge that.

New industry, new employment and its generation on a basic and substantial scale are a different topic. Politicians on both sides overlook that new investment for industry, wherever it comes from—from Arnold Weinstock operating in Woolwich, or in Newcastle, as he is today—means fewer jobs. That is a problem that must be faced by multinational companies in private enterprise and by the British Steel Corporation and other publicly owned concerns. It is a growing national problem that is too often overlooked by both parties.

Mr. Tebbit

I do not want to detract from what the hon. Member said about British new towns, but he should not wax unduly lyrical over them. Has the hon. Member lived in or represented a new town? I have done both and I see glaring faults in them.

Mr. Spearing

I agree that there are faults in new towns. Far be it from me to say that the programme should be continued. All I say is that it is generally recognised throughout the world that the new town development movement in this country—and I am referring not to Milton Keynes, which is a new and unwanted city from my point of view, but to the first and perhaps the second generation new towns—has more advantages than disadvantages.

In expressing my support for the Bill I refer especially to Clause 12 relating to the advertising of industrial opportunities. The hon. Member for Hampstead said that it should not be in this Bill. He felt that it should be in a different Bill. He was not against the clause. He said it should be in a simple, one-clause Bill. I did not follow the logic of that. We all agree that we want less legislation. I sit on the so-called "big" Procedure Committee. Everyone says that we want fewer Bills. I should have thought that this was an opportunity of which advantage might be taken.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

I said that if, by burying this good clause under a mess of political rubbish, the whole proposal was lost, the GLC had only itself to blame and that, given those circumstances as there was general agreement that the clause was a good one, the Government should use some of their surplus time on a one-clause Bill.

Mr. Spearing

Then it appears that the hon. Gentleman takes exception not to the clause but to the part of the Bill in which it is placed. But, unless I am mistaken, I should have thought that when the Bill went to Committee, the Committee would be asked to strike out the clause, and the fact that it happened to be in a certain part of the Bill was relatively arbitrary and did not necessarily prejudice its continued existence in the Bill. I should have thought, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman's argument did not stand on those grounds.

I return to Clause 12, relating to the powers of the London boroughs and the GLC to advertise their industrial advantages. As the newly elected Member of Parliament for Newham, South, one of the first meetings that I attended was about the running down of our dockland. Half of dockland is in my constituency. On that occasion, as I approached the town hall I was passed by a London Transport bus—ultimately a responsibility of the GLC—which bore a great banner on its side reading "Come to Peterlee". At the meeting I said that we had to go to Peter Shore to get this changed. I appreciated that perhaps that would not go down very well in Peterlee, but we went to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, and we got a change, at least in terms of a Government review of industry in London.

I did not blame Peterlee for its campaign, but I felt that to have these banners plastered all over London buses when industry in London was running down so badly was a revealing example of how much advertising was going on at the time of all the industrial development areas. I do not say that this power should be used to prejudice them—London has to be careful in the way that it goes about this—but it shows what atmosphere can be created.

When it is available, information to potential employers of labour provides a climate of expectation. If that information is virtually absent and is not coming gratuitously from the GLC and the boroughs and they can respond only to specific inquiries, obviously that adds to the general atmosphere in those circles, as did the widely held view that IDCs were not available in London. We all know that long story, and I hope that by now we have got over this problem. We know the atmosphere which was created.

I hope that this provision can be used with precision and without prejudice to the development areas, although it may prejudice the development of the 11 areas in South-East England to which I drew attention only the other day. They are still designated by the Department of the Environment, although they are being reviewed. But there are many areas which do not want expansion, and they would far prefer expansion to take place in areas such as dockland.

Why do I say that this information need not be prejudicial? A great deal depends on the way in which it is presented. It should not be in great banner headlines on the sides of London buses inviting people to come to wherever it may be. That is probably not the way in which the permission should be used. It should be related to providing information about the provision of particular specialist requirements for which industrialists are looking.

Let me take my constituency as an example. We have excellent facilities for bulk transfer of incoming raw materials from water to either road or rail. These exist very much in the dockland area of East London, with perhaps new uses of the docks for new purposes, not necessarily directly under the auspices of the existing authorities. But the railways and roads are there and the waterways are there—a sort of rail-road-water network. That is available, but the detailed facilities are not easily seen on maps. They have to be centrally co-ordinated and available, listed and published, not necessarily in great display advertisements, but in ways easily available to those looking for specific facilities.

The GLC has already developed this as far as it can. There is a London industrial centre, which provides information when people ask for it. But it cannot, I believe, even advertise itself. It cannot say "Here we are, come and ask us", because at the moment, as I understand the position, the existing statutes do not even permit it to do that. But this will be a change, and it is a welcome change supported, among others, by the London Chamber of Commerce and industry. That should at least appeal to Conservative Members. It accepts that the present drafting of the Bill may well be designed to take account of the views of other regions That is why the Secretary of State comes in in relation to general Government strategy. But the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry regards the removal of the restrictions on advertising as of very considerable importance to the future of London, and it would not wish to see the Bill giving these powers fail for other reasons That is at least a commendation of the principle of Second Reading, although no doubt the London Chamber may have views about other clauses which have been discussed.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

The hon. Gentleman was obviously quoting from the letter from Mr. Senior of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry dated 26th April 1977. I spoke to Mr. Senior at about 4 p.m. today, and the view of the London Chamber is quite simple. It has welcomed Clause 12 and is unhappy about Clause 11. It expresses no view about any of the other clauses—I am authorised to say this—either for or against.

Mr. Spearing

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. If he reads later what I said, I think he will agree that I did not imply any other views. I rather implied that the Chamber might have other views on the other clauses. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for confirming that in certain respects at least.

Mr. Ronald Brown

But since we have been given that information by the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg), it follows that apparently this very important body did not share his strictures about Clauses 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14.

Mr. Spearing

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for pointing that out. It was, I think, by implication in what the hon. Member for Hampstead said, although it may be that the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry may indeed, by saying nothing, mean that the Bill should not be dropped. Certainly it is not opposing it. That is something that both the House and Londoners in general might take on board.

I now turn to the point made by the hon. Member for Hampstead about the alternative strategy. He objects to these clauses giving Boroughs powers relating to what amounts to municipal enterprise. Municipal enterprise has been with this country for a long time. I also canvassed in Stechford. What was I told? "It is always difficult", they said. "Why?", I asked. "Joe Chamberlain", they said.

Joseph Chamberlain, the great Conservative figure who, I believe, was the brother of a former Conservative Prime Minister, was a municipal entrepreneur. He may not necessarily have approved of these clauses, but at least he approved a whole number of projects and enterprises in the city of Birmingham which, I fancy, many hon. Members would not now support.

Therefore, I suggest that municipal enterprise, responsibly conducted by people accountable to the local electo- rate —industrialists are not—has certain principles which are not quite so foreign to Opposition Members as they might pretend. In Newham we know all about local enterprise which comes along and makes a profit. The nineteenth century industries have mown through my constituency like a mowing machine through thyme. When they made their profits they moved away. Although they made a lot of profits, they did not create jobs. Rather they took them away because 15,000 to 20,000 jobs have been lost in the last 10 years in my constituency alone.

The point is that successful and perhaps profitable growth industries do not come to the area. That is one of our problems, as it is one of the problems of London generally. I see that the hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) is nodding. One of our problems is that, however we may differ across the Floor of the House about the development of industry and the way private enterprise has or has not a place where it does work, as it may do occasionally, it does not work in the areas that we wish to assist.

Mr. Townsend

Has it occurred to the hon. Gentleman that one reason why industry has not come to his part of London or to the South-East of London is the absence of proper ring roads to allow industry to bring in goods and to take them away again?

Mr. Spearing

We have touched on the question of roads and I mentioned that we had them. I agree with the hon. Gentleman in that there are certain road improvements that I would oppose and some that I would advocate. Strange as it may seem, I favour the proposals of my own Government, which have been temporarily delayed, for a new road through the Roding Valley, which for one thing would enable a bypass for the East Ham High Street. I suggest that it should be extended southwards to the Woolwich free ferry. That is something that neither the Docklands Joint Committee nor the Department of the Environment has backed or, indeed, for that matter, the Newham Borough Council.

Although I am known—I declare it openly—as being generally an anti-road man, in this respect I would advocate the building of a small road without intersections. A lot of traffic can travel on a small two-carriageway road without intersections. It can carry a great deal of traffic away from industrial areas, by passing busy High Streets. I have advocated the building of this road and I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me the opportunity of saying so. I know that my hon. Friend who is responsible for such matters has heard it.

I turn now to Clause 9, to which the hon. Member for Hampstead took considerable exception. He said that we should leave it to local enterprise and that we did not need local government to provide space for industry to build or to build for industry. He said that we should leave it to the existing entrepreneurial system. I think that that is a summary of what he was saying.

I suggest that the problem of London is not necessarily one which would appeal to conventional entrepreneurs. I understand that one of the problems of industry in London is that even where successful local firms wish to expand, generally speaking the layout of their factories is either nineteenth century or inter-war 1930s, which is unsuitable for today's one-storey, fork-lift truck and quick-change production-line process. Very often, if an industry wishes to expand in situ—and at one time I represented the constituency of Acton, which included the Park Royal industrial estate—it is not economical to do so.

It may be that people will continue to come and be employed in the area, but renovating buildings or pulling them down and providing car parks is less economic there than it would be in the assisted areas or in new towns, or in the sub-suburban fringes around London or on the South Coast in sunny Sussex. Very often pure account book entrepreneurial sums do not work out. I suggest that this is the one way round the problem, although I am not saying that it is the only way.

I had an example in my own constituency just before Easter. I was invited to open the new works of an expanding firm, which is a relatively unusual situation in my constituency. I have to tell the hon. Member for Hampstead that this firm, despite its order book, was not able to get commercial backing from the usual commercial sources for its new premises. It may be that there was a good reason for this, but I rather doubt it. We shall have to see. I hope that the firm will do very well.

However, the firm was able to get some assistance from the local authority under existing provisions, and it was only the local authority that enabled this extremely virile firm to stay in the area, expand its production and provide more jobs for relatively skilled people, employment that is very badly needed in my constituency. The conventional means of private enterprise and commerce did not enable the firm to do so.

At least I have one example where I can testify that the existing powers are insufficient, and where Clause 9 would help, and would do something that private enterprise has not done and, I suspect, could not do in present circumstances.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

Is the hon. Gentleman saying that aid was given not under the Local Employment Act 1972, or the Industry Act 1975, but under a third Act? If that is what he is saying, I do not quite understand. If he is not saying that, it makes the need for this clause even less.

Mr. Spearing

In the circumstances in which the firm found itself I agree that it did not use those provisions, but there were other provisions open to it. I cannot quote them because I cannot remember what they were, but I was told by the firm that only the borough council was able to do this. I shall not quote the name of the firm because what I am saying may be slightly inaccurate, but that is what I was told. The ordinary market forces to which the hon. Member for Hampstead is paying allegiance could not do it. We shall have to see how it goes.

Clause 9 would enable even more firms to get off the ground. While both sides of the House want to see new industry in London, we also want to see new enterprises elsewhere in the country, because the future of the country depends on that. I have a feeling, which I think is shared widely in the country, that conventional forms of management, conventional forms of capital and capital provision, and conventional forms of production and design for production will not be adequate for the task.

It was noticeable that the principals of the firm that I mentioned were people who were not able in their previous firms to convince their managements that they had some good ideas and knew what they could do for those firms, so they set up on their own in the classical—or perhaps not so classical—way of entrepreneurs. These people are not usually associated with the entrepreneurial classes.

It may well be that this sort of industrial enterprise will, in the end, be the saving not only of my part of London but of British industry elsewhere. I heartily support the part of the Bill dealing with industry—unlike the hon. Member for Hampstead—and I hope that it gets a Second Reading and comes back to us from Committee intact.

8.55 p.m.

Mr. William Shelton (Streatham)

I put my name to the motion for an Instruction, and I wish strongly to associate myself with the persuasive and crisp speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg).

Mr. Cartwright

Much too short, of course!

Mr. Shelton

I accept that comment. My hon. Friend's speech was too short. I endorse his observation that the Bill will shortly become more or less irrelevant, since within 10 days or so we shall have the elections for the Greater London Council. Perhaps the House would wish to be reminded of the words of Mr. Horace Cutler, the Leader of the Conservative Opposition, that The present Labour GLC is one of the most incompetent and discredited administrations that has ever been inflicted on a major city. It is quite possible—indeed, it is probably certain—that the present Labour administration has made the GLC's task in London still harder. Nevertheless, as one who was a member of the Greater London Council for three years in the Conservative heyday of 1966–70, I would say that in many ways what the GLC is trying to do in London is an impossible task, and, whichever administration finds itself in power after the elections in May, I would earnestly ask it to see whether it is possible speedily to change the GLC into what it should be—indeed, into what it was intended to be—that is, a strategic planning authority for London.

I maintain that the mixture of tasks which the GLC has set itself makes it extremely difficult for the GLC to accomplish any of them well, and I believe that the presence of some 31 or 32 "Abolish the GLC" candidates standing for election on 5th May springs from the dilemma in which the present GLC finds itself.

I have here—no doubt, hon. Members have seen it—a leaflet put out by a Mr. Stutchbury and a Mr. Marlar entitled "Vote Against the GLC". This is the manifesto of the "Abolish the GLC" candidates.

Mr. Russell Kerr (Feltham and Heston)

They are "nuts".

Mr. Shelton

The hon. Gentleman may say that, but they say, for example, that the GLC has become London's great white elephant, costing this year nearly £2,000 million". They say that with its vast stock of over 200,000 houses the GLC is a remote, unsatisfactory landlord and that each new house is costing the ratepayer over £1,000 a year over and above any rent received". Further, under the heading "Transport", they say: Why should Londoners be expected to subsidise millions of tube and bus trips each year by London's tourists?". On education, they say: The ILEA should be abolished … and the Inner London Boroughs should be made education authorities in their own right. Many people would have some sympathy with those views, although I do not myself share that sympathy. I believe that the GLC has an important rôle and that there must be a strategic planning authority for London, though not one involved, for instance, in the day-to-day management of housing, and not one involved in the day-to-day management of the fire service. The London Boroughs Association could certainly manage the London fire service more than adequately. The same goes for sewerage. I see no reason why all of those services, which are not sensitive politically in any way, should not be managed by, for instance, the London Boroughs Association.

Therefore, the plea that I am making to the new administration of the GLC is that once again it should look at the London Government Act 1963, where the intention was, for instance, for the GLC to phase out its housing management rôle and to return its housing stock to the boroughs. There is no doubt that if one looks at the way the GLC, aided by an excellent staff and by intelligent people, has tried to fulfil this dual rôle, one can see only a record of difficulty, of inefficiency at times, of hardship and of cost for those people who live in London.

I draw the attention of the House to the problems of the housing stock. I am told that the rental income for GLC housing covers only some 30 per cent. of the housing costs. The rest is made up by the Government and by ratepayers. Of the two, the Government contribute more than the ratepayers to the cost of GLC housing in London.

There are some 1,200 squatters in GLC properties in London. Those are unlicensed squatters, quite apart from the number of licensed squatters. I understand that the Labour-controlled GLC is opposed to making squatting a criminal offence in the Bill that is under consideration in the other place. The borough in which my constituency is located. Lambeth, has found considerable difficulty from squatting, and in many cases it has found that squatting has considerably delayed its housing programme. Lambeth cannot be said, at present anyway, to be the most Conservative of boroughs in London, yet its views on squatting are very much opposed to those of the GLC.

Last year there were some 7,000 empty homes owned by the GLC. I remember not so long ago drawing to the attention of the GLC a house in my constituency that had been empty for some time. I had a letter of thanks from the GLC. The GLC said that due to various administrative happenings it had lost that house. It was grateful to me for restoring it, as it were. Indeed, about two months later a family moved in. But the house had been empty for some seven or eight months. If I had not been fortunate enough to be able to draw it to the GLC's attention, I wonder how much longer it would have remained empty.

My hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead did not have time to go into detail on the direct labour situation handled by the GLC. I merely tell the House that I understand that there are some 1,900 people on the payroll of the GLC's direct labour department. Those, of course, are quite apart from all the outside employees that are used on GLC building sites. Whether those are classified exactly as administrative personnel, I do not know. However, I know that the GLC pays the salaries each week and each month of some 1,900 people in its direct labour department, and that it has some £80 million worth of work in hand at present. Some perhaps ill-natured people have even gone so far as to suggest that the GLC has brought forward a great deal of direct labour work in case the Labour Party should lose the elections, so that this work should be committed by the time the elections come.

Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)

What does the hon. Gentleman want to do?

Mr. Shelton

With great pleasure, I shall tell the hon. Gentleman shortly. I tell him straight away that there are at present some 160 construction branch projects that have recently been completed, none of which, I am informed, has final accounts, and that the district auditor is sufficiently concerned that he is looking at a sample of these projects to see the present state of their accounts. The suggestion is that he may have to write off as much as £10 million or £20 million of direct labour work completed but which has not, for one reason or another, been correctly covered in the audit. I am not for one moment suggesting any defalcation. I am saying that financial procedures have proved inadequate for the great volume of work that has been undertaken.

Mr. Russell Kerr

An innuendo is much safer.

Mr. Shelton

I am making no innuendo. What I have described is common knowledge. I understand that it has appeared in the Press. I am saying that the financial controls have not been adequate. This is why the district auditor is carrying out an examination.

What would the Conservatives do about this? If a Conservative administration finds itself in charge in May, I understand that no more direct labour work will be given until the existing situation is assessed and an adequate accounting procedure is installed to the satisfaction of everyone. I am sure that everyone in the House would go along with that. I am sure that a Conservative administration would examine individual projects. It would assess them, if necessary assessing them in terms of completion dates and costs, and if necessary reallocate them should it appear that the time-scale or cost is out of control.

My hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead and the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) mentioned unemployment in London. I believe that the GLC's strategic rôle could well play a part. Between October 1975 and October 1976 the borough of Lambeth suffered a 44 per cent. increase in unemployment compared with an increase in unemployment of about 18 per cent. one year over the next in the country as a whole. Thank heavens the unemployment figure is not as high as in some other parts of the country, but in October 1975 there were just under 8,000 unemployed in the borough while a year later there were just over 11,000 unemployed.

I am sure that no one will disagree when I say that every unemployed individual regards his unemployment as badly and as seriously as if there were 1,000 unemployed, 100,000 or 200,000. It is a serious and disturbing situation for an inner London borough such as Lambeth, especially as there are about 680 young people among those who are unemployed. Over half of them are school leavers. They had been some five months out of school at the time of the census.

There is a job creation scheme. In fact, there are eight such schemes. They may be regarded with some scepticism as the eight schemes are giving employment to about 80 young people, which is not adequate.

There is also the problem of immigrant unemployment, although the problem is perhaps not quite so great in my constituency. Again, there is unemployment among the young people. In Lambeth immigrants represent about 11 per cent. of the population and about 27 per cent. of those who are unemployed. It is a difficult, concerning and worrying situation which we all know about, which we are all aware of and which everyone is trying to do something about. I fear that in the long term we must rely on national recovery to solve the problem satisfactorily.

I return to what I said earlier—namely, that I believe that the GLC, because of its inevitable preoccupation, perhaps, with housing management and its preoccupation, perhaps, through ILEA with education, has lost the rôle that it should be fulfilling of strategic planning for the Greater London area. That rôle is not being satisfactorily undertaken. Whatever administration finds itself in office after the election, I very much hope that it will examine this subject and that perhaps for once we in London shall see a satisfactory strategic planning authority.

9.10 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Guy Barnett)

It may assist the House if I intervene briefly at this stage to give an indication of the Government's attitude to the proposals, to which the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) referred in his speech, which would give local authorities in London additional powers to assist industry. I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman is not present, but he will be able to read my remarks later.

The House will be aware from the statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 6th April on the subject of inner cities that the Government take very seriously the problems of inner city areas. We are particularly concerned about the decline of industry in parts of London and other major cities which share these problems. It may help the House if I remind hon. Members of my right hon. Friend's words. He said: our immediate priority must be to strengthen the economies of these areas. Subject only to priority for regional policy, suitable firms will be encouraged to establish themselves in the inner areas of the major cities. We shall introduce legislation to enhance the powers of local authorities with serious inner area problems to enable them to assist industry and to designate industrial improvement areas. We shall encourage local authorities to give more consideration to the needs of industry, particularly of small firms, in their planning policies".—[Official Report, 6th April 1977; Vol. 929, c. 1227–8.] I am glad to see that the hon. Member for Hampstead has returned to the Chamber, because I was referring particularly to what he said about those clauses referring to assistance to industry. I have quoted my right hon. Friend as saying that the Government saw a rôle for local authorities in assistance to industry.

Mr. Baker

On the question of assistance to industry, may I restate the point I made in an intervention, that under Clauses 8 and 9 the GLC and the London boroughs are given powers to make loans or grants to companies for industrial premises? The powers they are given under the Bill are greater than the Secretary of State has for the assisted and development areas under the Government's general regional policy. Will this be a pattern? Will Liverpool, for example, ask for powers which will be greater than the powers of the Secretary of State?

The point is that the Secretary of State can give grants or loans—grants in most cases—only up to 20 per cent. We are giving the GLC and the London boroughs a virtually unlimited amount to grant. London Members, certainly on the Labour Benches, may think that that is a good thing, but would the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) and other Members representing constituencies in the development areas and assisted areas appreciate powers being given specifically to the GLC and London boroughs that far exceed the Secretary of State's powers, even in development areas?

Will this sort of power be the pattern? Are various cities, or the four or five mentioned by the Secretary of State in his statement just before Easter, all to have such powers?

Mr. Barnett

If I were to be facetious, I should say that the hon. Gentleman must not make trouble between my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) and other Members on the Labour Benches—indeed, on both sides of the House—over the competing claims of different cities. But, to be serious, the hon. Gentleman has raised an important issue. If we were to give totally unlimited powers to local authorities in different parts of the country to outbid one another with grants that they were to make, powers to leapfrog, we should be entering a very difficult situation. That is why my right hon. Friend, referring to that very point, said in his statement: Subject only to priority for regional policy He made that point with regard to the competing claims of regional policy and the policy on inner city areas. I accept the hon. Gentleman's general point that it would probably be dangerous to allow local authorities to outbid one another in the way he described, and that we cannot do so. I am sorry that I cannot expand on that now, but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will understand the reasons for that. Although the Secretary of State made his statement on 6th April, the White Paper has not yet been published and, until that has happened and it has been debated, we are not in a position to say precisely what is the Government's policy on this matter.

On the general point—and that was really the only point that I was trying to make—we accept that it is possible for local authorities to be positively of assistance to industry in their own areas. The hon. Member for Hampstead gave the impression that he thought the disappearance of industry from London was all the fault of planners. I cannot agree with that. Where local government has perhaps been negative in the past in its influence it is possible for it to be positive, and there are many good examples of this—indeed, the example of new towns has been quoted as a way in which it has been possible for local government and new town corporations to be of positive assistance to industry.

Mr. John Moore (Croydon, Central)

I do not wish to be pedantic, but, as the Minister rightly said, this is a crucial point. Since there is a White Paper under consideration, would it not be wiser—rather than have the Bill go through on Second Reading, which would prejudge the whole basis of Government strategy in the White Paper—temporarily to withdraw the Bill and to wait for the Government's, as opposed to the GLC's, current views on what the policy should be.

Mr. Barnett

It is not for me to answer that question. The hon. Gentleman must make up his own mind—as indeed the House must—on what should be done. The GLC has come forward, as it does every year, requesting certain powers. My difficulty is that, inevitably, as I have already implied, the Government have certain reservations about some of the powers that the GLC wishes to acquire. I do not propose to set out our views in detail tonight particularly since we have not yet discussed them with the promoters of the Bill. We shall be doing that as soon as possible.

Mr. Heffer

In relation to discussions with the promoters of the Bill, will the Minister give an assurance on this point, which is very important? I want to support the Bill in general principle as I have always believed, even when I was a Minister, despite the fact that I sometimes had to defend policies with which I did not always agree, that there are serious problems in inner London areas that need assistance and that we must agree that such assistance must be given. On the other hand the leap frogging is of great importance. Will the Minister give an assurance that there will be discussions so that if the Bill comes back from the Committee for Report stage there will be changes to take that point into consideration?

Mr. Barnett

I assure my hon. Friend that we shall be having discussions with the GLC on this point and it may be that we shall be able to reach agreement. In any event, the Secretary of State will, as usual, submit a report to the Committee in due course. These more detailed matters ought to be considered in Committee because they are Committee matters rather than issues with which we should attempt to deal in detail on Second Reading.

Since it appears to be generally agreed that the Bill contains some useful clauses, it should be sent to Committee. I hope that hon. Members will allow the Committee to examine the detailed proposals, unfettered by any Instruction such as that on the Order Paper. The Committee members will, after all, be in a better position than us to examine all the issues with the benefit of expert evidence and to consider whether there is an overlap between the kind of powers for which the GLC asks and those contained in general law.

Mr. John Gorst (Hendon, North)

Is the Minister absolutely satisfied that any funds made available to commercial undertakings under Part III would come from either ratepayers or national sources and, if so, how much? Is the Minister happy that the expenditure of funds of this nature should be at the discretion of an authority over whose expenditure the Government have no control?

Mr. Barnett

This is private legislation and I cannot answer that question. Clearly this Bill could not and does not contain any provision for national funds to be spent for whatever purpose the hon. Gentleman may have in mind.

9.20 p.m.

Mr. John Moore (Croydon, Central)

I hope that the House will forgive me if, as a London Member, I touch on one or two of the smaller points which were raised earlier, specifically on Clauses 7 and 17. It would be unfortunate if there were too great a sense of unanimity on these matters.

Clause 7 relates to Kenwood House. I should be distressed, no matter what the arguments, if charges were made for entry to a place which the public have been encouraged to attend for specific exhibitions in the past without charges.

Clause 17 refers to closing parks on Sundays. I deprecate that suggestion. Most people in normal walks of life enjoy spending Sundays in the parks. To attempt to close parks in the London area on Sundays should be greatly deprecated. I should like this matter to be considered in greater detail.

The main thrust of the Bill in a politically contentious sense concerns Clauses 8 to 14. I am especially concerned about Clause 8. I appreciate the Minister's difficulty, but we are addressing ourselves specifically to the Greater London Council (General Powers) Bill.

The promoters' memorandum refers to the population decline in London, the unemployment rate and the loss of employment over many years. I agree with the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) that both major parties must accept a great deal of responsibility in the planning sense. The hon. Gentleman said that he was in favour of the Bill, but his argument on Clause 12 showed his personal dissatisfaction with the offensive attempts by both major parties to plan rather than to create new jobs through private enterprise. The GLC is saying that the prescription for the problem is further planning powers.

Mr. Spearing

I must correct what the hon. Gentleman said about my views. I was not advocating the superiority of the efforts of private enterprise over planning. I was suggesting that planning had its limits and that both public and private enterprise provided the new industry on which planners either planned well or badly.

Mr. Moore

I take the hon. Gentleman's point. However, if we had continued the debate on new towns in more detail, we might have talked about job loss on the one hand from London and job creation in the new towns on the other hand.

I want to be brief and so I shall not re-examine the detailed points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) in a necessarily short, curt but simple speech.

I think that we must examine in more detail the basic thesis underlying the GLC's concept regarding planning and the creation of jobs. I have here statistics which might be relevant and of interest to the House. I have recently been looking at comparative statistics on job creation as opposed to job protection. Job protection tends to be the methodology usually followed by local or State authorities. As this Bill is geared towards unemployment and employment prospects, the House might find the figures interesting.

Between 1960 and 1975 the United Kingdom population increased by 3.5 million, or 6.6 per cent. During that same period in the United Kingdom as a whole the working population increased by 1.3 million, or 5.4 per cent.—a smaller percentage than the increase in population. During those same years the population of the United States increased by 32.7 million, or 17.7 per cent., while the working population increased by 22 million, or 30 per cent. Job creation is the production of new jobs by the market through the private enterprise system as opposed to our own attempts, as seen in this measure, which are simply designed to protect decaying industries.

I wish to tackle only one or two issues because I want to be brief. To the extent that the GLC has involved itself in planning within my constituency, it has been directly contra to job creation. The GLC has decided that in the Croydon area there are already an excessive number of office jobs and to that extent it has consistently sought to block them. It has done that so consistently that eventually the Government inspector had to rule that its attempts were illegal in the St. George's site situation. When I look around my constituency, I see that there has been a consistent inability to plan anything other than job destruction rather than job creation on the part of the GLC.

Direct labour is a crucial provision within the whole of Clause 8. I am indebted for some figures that I have received from Councillor Mallam, leader of the opposition on Wands worth Council. The GLC is seeking increased powers to involve itself in direct labour. We should concern ourselves with some detailed facts of what occurs as opposed to what the GLC supposes might occur.

Councillor Mallam looked at the direct labour situation in Wands worth and the figures showed that the accounts were in profit to the tune of £227,000 on a turnover of £5,445,000. It looked reasonable on a surface examination. But Councillor Mallam and the borough architect examined the matter in more detail. They found that the value of an item like "work in progress" was approximately £872,000. The architect's own valuation of that work was only £619,000, a reduction of £253,000.

Again, a section on disputed charges was given in the list as in excess of £1 million, but the architect's own valuation was £574,000, a gap of £435,000. If one goes all the way down that set of accounts one finds that at the end of the day there was a loss of £577,000 on a turnover of £5,445,000 rather than a profit.

When looking at the details and trying to examine how it has occurred the borough architect took two particular properties at random which were constructed under direct labour. He looked at Nos. 6 to 12 Brussels Road where the original estimate was £67,000. Whereas there is a final account of £75,000, the actual cost was £143,000, double the original estimate. There was a similar example in Cologne Road, but I shall not go into the details.

Our limited knowledge and experience of direct labour within the London area has been such as to lead us to the conclusion that it does two things. Essentially, it creates the destruction of jobs, and the destruction of private enterprise builders. Secondly, not only does it create the destruction of private enterprise building companies but it misallocates resources which are not controllable through the system of direct labour that we currently have.

Mr. Heffer

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that what he has said about extra costs applies not just to the direct labour department but throughout the construction industry? Example after example can be given of private enterprise where jobs may have started at an estimate of £1 million and ended up at £2½ million or £3 million actual cost. The hon. Gentleman cannot use this argument to attack direct labour. What needs to be done is to analyse what happens in the construction industry. It is a disgraceful industry and it is about time that we dealt with it.

Mr. Moore

The hon. Gentleman's intervention classically proves my point. He is talking of private money. We are talking of the taxpayers' money and we object if it is out of control. Construction companies can go bankrupt, but the State picks up the bill for a local authority or other public institution.

The essence of our case is simple. Instead of seeking to increase its powers, to the detriment of job creation and new enterprise, the GLC should be seeking to decrease its powers, its rates, and the way that it interferes with the production of new jobs.

9.31 p.m.

Mrs. Millie Miller (Ilford, North)

The hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg), who, unfortunately is not present, gave a brilliant analysis of the problems which have created the difficulties in London. He attributed most of them to the Labour Party and to the planning system. He overlooked what is perhaps to him a minor point—the fact that between 1972 and 1974, a period which he may wish to erase from his mind now, many small businesses in London faced huge increases in rents when they came to renew their leases. That factor drove them out because they were unable to continue in their old premises. In addition, they were often faced with strong competition from bigger companies and were often involved in takeover bids. All these factors gradually pushed smaller businesses out of the London area. The activities of the last Conservative Government were very much involved in the failure of many small companies at that time.

As usual, the hon. Gentleman criticised the activities of the GLC. He conveniently overlooked the parentage of the GLC in the reorganisation that took place in the early 1960s. He forbore to mention that the bureaucracy that the Opposition criticise, and which they claim to be the GLC's monopoly, was created by a Conservative Government in a deliberate political attempt to gain permanent political control of London. That attempt did not succeed. There has been a constant interchange of power between the two parties, which has not helped to create stability in many aspects of London local Government.

The rest of the country, too, has been subjected to some of the spin-off from the unwise decisions taken by that Conservative Government in the early 1960s. Without ever analysing the results of their reorganisation of London government, without assessing the value of the way in which they had created this new structure, the Conservatives set about imposing it on the rest of the country. I predict that it will not be long before many other authorities created by the Conservatives in their last manifestation in office will become vast bureaucratic organisations which the Conservatives will criticise.

Mr. Ronald Brown

The Tories are already claiming that they want to get rid of the bureaucratic counties because they now realise how stupid is the Local Government Act 1972.

Mrs. Miller

I am not surprised. It is a general view throughout the country that the Conservatives have no reason to be proud of their reorganisation of local government any more than of their reorganisation of the National Health Service.

I have it on the authority of my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Brown) that the discussions and negotiations that he mentioned in connection with Clause 7, relating to the agencies, are going on, and that it is hoped to reach an amicable decision and agreement on their future activities. Again, it is a pity that the hon. Member for Hampstead is not here, as apparently he was interested in the Salome aspect of the work of the agencies.

The most contentious of the proposals which the GLC is putting forward relates to industrial development and the need, which has been stressed little, for the people who live in inner and outer London to work near their homes. I stress to my hon. Friend the needs of people in outer London because, however great the Government's concern for the needs of the inner urban areas, the outer urban areas are inextricably bound up with them and need attention. That need can be met by co-operation between local authorities and private enterprise.

It is pointless for the hon. Member for Hampstead to say that private enterprise can cope with the needs of London or the other major conurbations. Private enterprise has failed to cope. The banks have been bursting at the seams with funds available for industry. But industry has not taken them up because, we are told, of the high interest rates. I shall be interested to see how quickly private enterprise rushes to support new investment now that interest rates have fallen.

A few weeks ago I wrote to the Banking Industries Agency to ask how industrial organisations were reacting to the fact that the banks had so much money available for their use. The Agency said that it was extremely disappointed in the take-up of the funds.

There is a great need for private investment, but there is also a great need in London for co-operation between local authorities and industry.

Mr. Cartwright

Is my hon. Friend aware of the pattern of the South-East London Industrial Consultative Group which was established in the South-East boroughs immediately after the closures in the 1960s and which sought the type of co-operation which she is now seeking between industrialists, trade unionists and local authorities? That development has been copied in other parts of Greater London. Greenwich has appointed a development officer, which has been welcomed by industry and commerce in the borough. That is contrary to the Opposition view that industry does not want interference. Do we not need that type of co-operation?

Mrs. Miller

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, because that is an important example of the partnership between private enterprise and local government.

In my constituency there has been an almost unlikely partnership between the three boroughs of Redbridge, Barking and Havering. They have come together and are seeking the help and support of the Minister for the type of industrial development incentives to which my hon. Friend has just referred. That is an important matter which the Minister must not overlook. In an area such as East London, which is so dependent on the car industry and the ancillary activities of that industry, at a time when there could be a serious recession in some parts of that industry, preparations should be being made by local authorities with industrial organisations to ensure that alternative jobs are available. That is particularly important in an area which traditionally has a good record of skilled industrial work.

The problem of London has been the wholesale export of skilled jobs followed by the wholesale export of skilled workers to other areas where work was available, leaving an imbalance in the type of work force available in the London area. This is one aspect of the joblessness with which authorities are now beginning to concern themselves. In dockland, in the area of South-East London referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Cartwright) where development is to take place, it will be essential to find ways of bringing back people into London who have already left it so that they may take up some of the skilled work which inevitably will be part of the pattern of development once the opportunity for growth becomes apparent.

Private industry is anxious to get going on a small scale. We should appreciate this. There has been some comment on the views of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) who, when Minister of State at the Department of Industry had considerable reservations about increasing the IDC areas in London. It was understandable that he should have had reservations at that time because of the plight of his own depressed area of the country. But in fact the dispute at that time and my hon. Friend's doubts were overcome when he realised the true situation about work in the London area. As Minister, he released London from the bondage of a tight control on industrial development certificates.

But it is not IDC control which prevents development of small industries in London. There are other factors, such as the very high rents to which I have referred. Here, there is the possibility of the powers proposed in the Bill helping substantially with the setting up of new small industries in the London area.

We have heard the view of the hon. Member for Hampstead that the NEB or the provisions in the Local Employment Act may make it unnecessary for these provisions to be introduced. I think that that assumes too much. It assumes that the hon. Gentleman's guess about possible extensions of these powers is correct. I wonder whether he is entitled to assume this. He may be a great expert on the life of London, but I beg leave to doubt whether he is such a great expert on industry in London.

I think that we are entitled to say that the GLC and the London boroughs have been hit by a crisis which has been developing over the past 30 years and that it may be necessary for this House to consider taking extra special powers to help them. Of course, it must not be at the expense of other development areas. Nevertheless, we have to be certain, having already denuded London of so many of is priceless assets in the form of jobs, that we do not destroy completely our capital city or put it into a situation where the only jobs available are in the lower-paid service industries. That would be just as disastrous for the local authorities as it has been already for the smaller industries.

There are many parts of London which require additional industry. There are many areas where groups of small companies could be set up to provide for the needs of their own communities. There are many community projects already in being on a small scale in London. They are experimental in nature but could well develop into a massive upsurge of small-scale activity which could be at least as profit-making as some of the huge industrial complexes which have been forced out of the centre of London. The GLC and the London boroughs are right to combine and to come to the House to put forward their suggestions as to how some of these problems can be overcome.

Mr. Cartwright

My hon. Friend referred to the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) in his regrettably all-too-brief speech. In that brief interlude, the hon. Gentleman was arguing that the powers which are now being sought in the Bill are available through the NEB and the Department of Industry. He appeared to be suggesting that that was a much better way of exercising the powers because he said that the NEB was subject to Parliament and that Parliament could examine the proposals being made. Was that not the argument that the man in Whitehall or the Member of Parliament in Westminster knows better than the local authority under democratic control?

Mrs. Miller

That seems to have been the tenor of the hon. Member's argument—

Mr. Cartwright

Did my hon. Friend miss it?

Mrs. Miller

No, I did not miss it. I rarely miss anything that the hon. Member for Hampstead says, and he knows that only too well.

Mr. Ronald Brown

May I draw my hon. Friend's attention to the fact that the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) spent a long time in the late 1960s demanding that we take powers away from the Government and Parliament so that he, as a local councillor, could do so much better than they could? This shows his absolute conversion in that he prefers to have all the powers concerning local government in Parliament, Government and the NEB, and says that he has no faith whatever in his former colleagues in local government.

Mrs. Miller

I think that the hon. Member for Hampstead is bound to look at things from a different point of view now that he has graduated from Camden Council to the House of Commons, not least of all because when he was calling for an increase in the powers of local government he was the leader and in control of local government in Camden, whereas now he is on the other side of the fence, albeit in this House.

I should like now to proceed to the other aspects of the question about the way in which local authorities can create interest and activity in the London area. There is at least one clause in the Bill which is apparently acceptable to both sides, namely, that dealing with advertising the facilities that London has to offer to the world. How ludicrous it must seem to those people whose jobs have dried up in London and who have not a hope of getting a new one to see on London buses advertisements which tell them of the wonders of Welling borough and the great opportunities in Washington New Town, or the advertisement in the London papers only yesterday which said: Come to the Roebuck Hotel, Loughton, to hear about the great benefits of taking your business out to Peterborough. At the same time, the London boroughs are completely precluded from advertising in Peterborough or in any other part of the country or, indeed, overseas—where there is the possibility of industry being brought in to operate in this country—by these quite unfair restrictions. I mentioned in the House some time ago that I had visited the exhibition of the Industrial Development Association. There was a stand approximately the size of your Chair, Mr. Speaker, which I think you will agree is quite small when compared with a hall full of exhibits from towns in the provinces. There were glamorously dressed young ladies handing out ballpoint pens. I was sorry that I was not accompanied by a number of my male colleagues so that they too could see the glamour being displayed from almost every province and town in the country.

Mr. David Lambie (Central Ayrshire)

Hon. Members have enough troubles already.

Mrs. Miller

I take my hon. Friend's point, but I think that they are mostly male Members of Parliament—but that is another story.

In this exhibition almost every town with a small industry in it was giving away gifts and displaying its wares and advertising to the world that it had a site available for development. London was in quite a different position. In that tiny area, about the size of Mr. Speaker's Chair, not only all the London boroughs but the GLC had a very modest and inexpensive stand because they were operating, almost surreptitiously, against the law stating that they are not allowed to advertise. All that they could do was to show a map of London with one or two small flags displayed on it to indicate that if anybody could get past the ballpoint pens, gifts or the brightly coloured maps being given away by the provincial towns, they might be able to find some activity for them in the London area.

This is farcical. We need industry in London. We need to be able to tell people what is available in London for them to use. I believe that the fact that Conservative Members accept this clause of the Bill indicates that they realise as much as we do that there is no hope of getting newcomers coming to London to set up in industry and to provide more jobs for our workpeople until we take the initiative in telling them what would be available if they were to come.

This ought not to be at the expense of other parts of the country. I see hon. Friends around me looking at me with great suspicion because they think that I might be suggesting depriving their areas of much-needed industrial development. But Labour Members are entitled to co-operate with each other. It is as important that the people of Leeds or Manchester or Liverpool should have employment as it is that the people of London should have their share. I apologise to any hon. Member from any other part of the country who feels that I am being unfair to him. The need is just as great, wherever people are unemployed, to stimulate the development of new industry. This is where it is up to the local authorities—and in the case of this Bill it is up to the GLC and the London boroughs in combination—to promote themselves as best they can.

Mr. Cartwright

I follow my hon. Friend's argument about London not wanting to rob other parts of the nation of their industry, but that is just the point to which the Bill directs itself. It is seeking to enable the London boroughs and the GLC to encourage totally new industries in London and not to rob other parts of the nation of their industry.

Mrs. Miller

I believe that that is the case, but my hon. Friends from other regions are entitled to feel these suspicions. They are entitled to ask "Is London trying to steal a march on other parts of the country?" But the other parts of the country will lose if London dies. If the London boroughs are not able to maintain their rateable value, and if London workers are not able to be employed and to contribute to the rate fund and to the Inland Revenue it will be impossible for resources to be redistributed into the regions so that they, too, have an opportunity to share.

Mr. Ronald Brown

It is fairly clearly stated in Clause 12(2) that the authorisation of the Secretary of State is required, and he may apply such limits or conditions as he desires. That endorses the point which my hon. Friend rightly makes, that it is not London's intention, as it were, to seek to denude other areas of the country in the way we have suffered as a result of other areas denuding London. My hon. Friend is making clear that the wish is to advertise within a closely prescribed area, and in any event the Secretary of State would still have the final say as to how far the scheme should go.

Mrs. Miller

This is the nub of the matter in our wish to have the support of hon. Members from other parts of the country. If they were to feel that London was asking, as Opposition Members have suggested, for unlimited powers of expenditure and for an endless stream of funds to be withdrawn from efforts to meet their needs—their just needs, in view of their long-term problems—they would be entitled to say that they would not support the Bill tonight. But because the Secretary of State, if he felt that local government funds were being funneled injudiciously in this direction, would have the right to stop such a development, I am sure that our case deserves support.

I turn now to Clause 7 and the subject of admission charges at Kenwood House. The hon. Member for Hampstead spoke of the great fuss which arose when it was suggested some years ago, during the lifetime of the previous Tory Government, that charges should be made, and he contrasted what was then said with the proposal now in Clause 7. I put it to the hon. Gentleman that the situation here is quite different from that which he described. At that time the Tory Government imposed charges on all museums and art galleries, and the outcry was against those charges. That piece of Tory policy was a failure, and immediately the Labour Government took power in 1974 the charges were abolished because of the disaster which they had wrought on attendances at museums and art galleries in London.

The proposal in Clause 7 is quite different. The suggestion is that there should be charges for specific exhibitions at specific times, and this is an important element of differentiation from the earlier situation to which the hon. Gentleman referred.

I turn next to the question of the London parks. It is unfair of hon. Members opposite to suggest that the proposals for the parks will create a new situation for Londoners. What is proposed is that, instead of 12 days as such in the course of a year for exhibitions and shows of all kinds, there should be opportunity to close the parks for the purposes of exhibitions, if necessary, for six Sundays and six other days. Again, this proposal is clearly differentiated from that which the Opposition suggest is in the Bill.

For all those reasons, I submit that this is a worthy Bill which should have the support of the whole House. I hope that hon. Members from all parts of the country will feel that they have not only the right but the duty to support the justifiable claims of the people of London and of London local government generally in wishing to put the Bill through. I am confident that we shall have the support of the House for the proposals in this Private Bill.

9.59 p.m.

Mr. Kenneth Baker (St. Marylebone)

I am very glad to have caught your eye. Mr. Speaker, because in a very real sense—

Mr. Cartwright

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

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 190, Noes 163.

Division No. 111] AYES [10.0 p.m.
Abse, Leo Flower, Gerald (The Wrekin) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Allaun, Frank Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Anderson, Donald Freeson, Reginald Moyle, Roland
Archer, Peter Freud, Clement Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Ashton, Joe Garrett, John (Norwich S) Newens, Stanley
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Noble, Mike
Atkinson, Norman George, Bruce Oakes, Gordon
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Golding, John Ogden, Eric
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Graham, Ted O'Halloran, Michael
Bates, Alf Grant, George (Morpeth) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Bean, R. E. Grant, John (Islington C) Ovenden, John
Beith, A. J. Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Palmer, Arthur
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Harper, Joseph Parker, John
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Parry, Robert
Bidwell, Sydney Hatton, Frank Pavitt, Laurie
Bishop, E. S. Heffer, Eric S. Penhaligon, David
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hooley, Frank Perry, Ernest
Boardman, H. Hooson, Emlyn Price, William (Rugby)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Horam, John Richardson, Miss Jo
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Robinson, Geoffrey
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Roderick, Caerwyn
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Huckfield, Les Rooker, J. W.
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Buchan, Norman Hunter, Adam Rowlands, Ted
Buchanan, Richard Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Sandelson, Neville
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Sedgemore, Brian
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Janner, Greville Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Campbell, Ian Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Canavan, Dennis Jeger, Mrs Lena Sillars, James
Cant, R. B. Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Skinner, Dennis
Carmichael, Neil John, Brynmor Small, William
Cartwright, John Johnson, James (Hull West) Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Snape, Peter
Clemitson, Ivor Jones, Barry (East Flint) Spearing, Nigel
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael Jones, Dan (Burnley) Stallard, A. W.
Cohen, Stanley Kaufman, Gerald Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Coleman, Donald Kerr, Russell Stoddart, David
Concannon, J. D. Kilroy-Silk, Robert Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Conlan, Bernard Lambie, David Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Corbett, Robin Lamborn, Harry Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Cowans, Harry Lamond, James Tinn, James
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Tomlinson, John
Cryer, Bob Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Dalyell, Tam Lipton, Marcus Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Davidson, Arthur Loyden, Eddie Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Luard, Evan Ward, Michael
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) McCartney, Hugh Weitzman, David
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) McDonald, Dr Oonagh Wellbeloved, James
Deakins, Eric McElhone, Frank White, Frank R. (Burry)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) MacFarquhar, Roderick White, James (Pollok)
Dempsey, James Mackenzie, Gregor Whitlock, William
Doig, Peter McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Dormand, J. D. Madden, Max Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Mahon, Simon Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Dunn, James A. Marks, Kenneth Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Dunnett, Jack Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Eadie, Alex Meacher, Michael Wise, Mrs Audrey
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Woof, Robert
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Mendelson, John
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Mikardo, Ian TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Flannery, Martin Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Mr. Arnold Shaw and
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Molloy, William Mrs Millie Miller.
Adley, Robert Brittan, Leon Dodsworth, Geoffrey
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Brooke, Peter Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Bryan, Sir Paul Drayson, Burnaby
Awdry, Daniel Buchanan-Smith, Alick du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Baker, Kenneth Buck, Antony Dykes, Hugh
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Bulmer, Esmond Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Berry, Hon Anthony Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Biggs-Davison, John Clark, William (Croydon S) Emery, Peter
Blaker, Peter Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Body, Richard Cope, John Fairgrieve, Russell
Bottomley, Peter Costain, A. P. Finsberg, Geoffrey
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Crouch, David Fished, Sir Nigel
Braine, Sir Bernard Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)
Fookes, Miss Janet Kitson, Sir Timothy Rhodes, James, R.
Ford, Ben Lamont, Norman Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Langford-Holt, Sir John Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Lawrence, Ivan Rifkind, Malcolm
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian (Chesham) Lawson, Nigel Robert, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Glyn, Dr Alan Le Marchant, Spencer Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Goodhart, Philip Lester, Jim (Beeston) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Goodhew, Victor Loveridge, John Royle, Sir Anthony
Gorst, John Macfarlane, Neil Sainsbury, Tim
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Scott, Nicholas
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mates, Michael Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Gray, Hamish Mather, Carol Shepherd, Colin
Griffiths, Eldon Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Shersby, Michael
Grist, Ian Mawby, Ray Sims, Roger
Grylls, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Sinclair, Sir George
Hall, Sir John Mayhew, Patrick Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Meyer, Sir Anthony Spence, John
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Hannam, John Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Stanbrook, Ivor
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Moate, Roger Stanley, John
Hayhoe, Barney Monro, Hector Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Moore, John (Croydon C) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Hodgson, Robin More, Jasper (Ludlow) Stradling Thomas, J.
Holland, Philip Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Tebbit, Norman
Hordern, Peter Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Howell, David (Guildford) Mudd, David Trotter, Neville
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Neave, Airey van Straubenzee, W. R.
Hunt, David (Wirral) Nelson, Anthony Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Hunt, John (Bromley) Neubert, Michael Viggers, Peter
Hurd, Douglas Nott, John Wakeham, John
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Onslow, Cranley Weatherill, Bernard
James, David Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Wells, John
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Page, Richard (Workington) Wiggin, Jerry
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Pattie, Geoffrey Winterton, Nicholas
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Percival, Ian Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Jopling, Michael Prior, Rt Hon James Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Kaberry, Sir Donald Pym, Rt Hon Francis Younger, Hon George
Kershaw, Anthony Raison, Timothy
Kilfedder, James Rathbone, Tim TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Kimball, Marcus Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Mr. William Shelton and
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Rees-Davies, W. R. Mr. Cyril D. Townsend.
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Question accordingly agreed to.
Question put accordingly, That the Bill be now read a Second time:—
The House divided: Ayes 192, Noes 162.
Division No. 112] AYES [10.14 p.m.
Abse, Leo Cant, R. B. Ewing, Harry (Stirling)
Anderson, Donald Carmichael, Neil Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.
Archer, Peter Cartwright, John Flannery, Martin
Ashton, Joe Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Clemitson, Ivor Fowler, Gerlad (The Wrekin)
Atkinson, Norman Cocks, Rt Hon Michael Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cohen, Stanley Freeson, Reginald
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Coleman, Donald Freud, Clement
Bates, Alf Concannon, J. D. Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Bean, R. E. Conlan, Bernard Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Beith, A. J. Corbett, Robin George, Bruce
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Cowans, Harry Golding, John
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Graham, Ted
Bidwell, Sydney Cryer, Bob Grant, George (Morpeth)
Bishop, E. S. Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Grant, John (Islington C)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Dalyell, Tam Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Boardman, H. Davidson, Arthur Harper, Joseph
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Hatton, Frank
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Heffer, Eric S.
Bray, Dr Jeremy Deakins, Eric Hooley, Frank
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Hooson, Emlyn
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Dempsey, James Horam, John
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Doig, Peter Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H)
Buchan, Norman Dormand, J. D. Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)
Buchanan, Richard Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Dunn, James A. Huckfield, Les
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Dunnett, Jack Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Campbell, Ian Eadie, Alex Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Canavan, Dennis Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Hunter, Adam
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Mikardo, Ian Small, William
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Janner, Greville Molloy, William Snape, Peter
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Spearing, Nigel
Jeger, Mrs Lena Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Stallard, A. W.
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Moyle, Roland Stewart, Rt Hon. M. (Fulham)
John, Brynmor Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Stoddart, David
Johnson, James (Hull West) Newens, Stanley Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Nobles, Mike Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Oakes, Gordon Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ogden, Eric Tinn, James
Kaufman, Gerald O'Halloran, Michael Tomlinson, John
Kerr, Russell Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Ovenden, John Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Lambie, David Palmer, Arthur Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lamborn, Harry Parker, John Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Lamond, James Parry, Robert Ward, Michael
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Pavitt, Laurie Weitzman, David
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton and Slough) Penhaligon, David Wellbeloved, James
Lewis, Ron (Carlisie) Perry, Ernest White, Frank R. (Bury)
Lipton, Marcus Price, William (Rugby) White, James (Pollok)
Loyden, Eddie Richardson, Miss Jo Whitlock, William
Luard, Evan Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
McCartney, Hugh Robinson, Geoffrey Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Roderick, Caerwyn Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
McElhone, Frank Rooker, J. W. Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
MacFarquhar, Roderick Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
MacKenzie, Gregor Ross, Ht Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Rowlands, Ted Wise, Mrs Audrey
Madden, Max Sandelson, Neville Woodall, Alec
Mahon, Simon Sedgemore, Brian Woof, Robert
Marks, Kenneth Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Meacher, Michael Sillars, James Mr. Arnold Shaw and
Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Skinner, Dennis Mrs. Millie Miller.
Mendelson, John
Adley, Robert Gorst, John Mawby, Ray
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mayhew, Patrick
Awdry, Daniel Gray, Hamish Meyer, Sir Anthony
Baker, Kenneth Griffiths, Eldon Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Grimond, Rt Hon J. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Berry, Hon Anthony Grylls, Michael Moate, Roger
Biggs-Davison, John Hall, Sir John Monro, Hector
Blaker, Peter Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Moore, John (Croydon C)
Body, Richard Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) More, Jasper (Ludlow)
Bottomley, Peter Hannam, John Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Morris, Michael (Northampton S)
Braine, Sir Bernard Hayhoe, Barney Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)
Brittan, Leon Heath, Rt Hon Edward Mudd, David
Brooke, Peter Hodgson, Robin Neave, Airey
Bryan, Sir Paul Holland, Phillip Nelson, Anthony
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Hordern, Peter Neubert, Michael
Buck, Antony Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Nott, John
Bulmer, Esmond Howell, David (Guildford) Onslow, Cranley
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Clark, William (Croydon S) Hunt, David (Wirral) Page, Richard (Workington)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Hunt, John (Bromley) Pattie, Geoffrey
Cope, John Hurd, Douglas Percival, Ian
Costain, A. P. James, David Prior, Rt Hon James
Crouch, David Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Johnson Smith G. (E Grinstead) Raison, Timothy
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Rathbone, Tim
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jopling, Michael Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Drayson, Burnaby Kaberry, Sir Donald Rees-Davies, W. R.
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Kershaw, Anthony Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Dykes, Hugh Kilfedder, James Rhodes James, R.
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Kimball, Marcus Rhys, Williams, Sir Brandon
Edward, Nicholas (Pembroke) King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Emery, Peter King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rifkind, Malcolm
Fairbairn, Nicholas Kitson, Sir Timothy Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Fairgrieve, Russell Lamont, Norman Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Finsberg, Geoffrey Langford-Holt, Sir John Royle, Sir Anthony
Fisher, Sir Nigel Lawrence, Ivan Sainsbury, Tim
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Lawson, Nigel St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fookes, Miss Janet Le Marchant, Spencer Scott, Nicholas
Forman, Nigel Lester, Jim (Beeston) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Loveridge, John Shepherd, Colin
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Macfarlane, Neil Shersby, Michael
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian (Chesham) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Sims, Roger
Glyn, Dr Alan Mates, Michael Sinclair, Sir George
Goodhart, Phillip Mather, Carol Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Goodhew, Victor Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Spence, John
Spicer, Jim (W Dorset) Trotter, Neville Winterton, Nicholas
Stanbrook, Ivor van Straubenzee, W. R. Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Stanley, John Vaughan, Dr Gerard Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Steen, Anthony (Wavertree) Viggers, Peter Younger, Hon George
Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Wakeham, John
Straddling Thomas, J. Weatherill, Bernard TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Tebbit, Norman Wells, John Mr. William Shelton and
Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret Wiggin, Jerry Mr. Cyril D. Townsend.
Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Question accordingly agreed to.
Bill read a Second time and committed