HC Deb 07 December 1978 vol 959 cc1637-65

Motion made, and Question proposed.

That, at this day's sitting, Mr. Speaker shall put forthwith any Questions necessary to dispose of the proceedings on the Motions in the name of Mr. Robert Sheldon relating to Civil and Defence Estimates as soon as the House has entered upon the business of Supply.—[Mr. Tinn.]
Mr. Ron Thomas

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will recall that last year many of us on the Back Benches found ourselves in the same sort of dilemma as we face today. Two years ago we were allowed to debate the substantial sums of money included in the civil and defence Estimates, but last year the Government changed the form in which the motions were put down and we were precluded from debating in detail the Supplementary or other Estimates.

You ruled, Mr. Speaker, that it was in order for those of us who wished to do so to speak to the motion and to state our view that a debate should take place. May I have your guidance on whether that is possible again this year?

Mr. Speaker

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for the way in which he put his point of order. The matter is quite straight forward. This is a debatable motion, but what is not permissible, if I may say so in advance, is for hon. Members to go into detail on any of the Estimates. All that we can do is to decide whether the House is in favour of the business motion, which will require me to put the Estimates formally.

Mr. Thomas

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have before us a motion which demands that you should put forthwith any Questions necessary to dispose of the proceedings on the Motions in the name of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury relating to Civil and Defence Estimates as soon as the House has entered upon the business of Supply. Many hon. Members on the Labour Benches feel that it is indefensible that we should be expected, on the nod, to vote for or against the substantial sums of money involved. As you said, Mr. Speaker, we may be able to raise certain issues relating to the civil and defence Estimates if we are lucky in the ballot for the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill, but if we allow the Estimates to go through by default now or vote for them, there will be little point in raising any quesions next week, because the Estimates will already have been passed by the House.

It has been suggested that on other occasions we can vote on documents that include these Estimates, but I do not think that that is so in relation to the Supplementary Estimates. I shall not go into detail on those Estimates, but it is clear that considerable increases are demanded across a whole range of services.

The hon. Members who signed the motion to reduce the defence Supplementary Estimate did so because they are opposed to the Government's demand that we should spend another £250 million on defence. They are not opposed to spending the money that is required to meet increases in the pay of members of the armed services. That is why the motion includes the figure of about £143 million.

It is well known that the proportion of Britain's GNP that is spent on defence is more than that of any other European NATO country. We believe that it should be brought down at least to the average of those countries.

Mr. Speaker


Mr. Thomas


Mr. Speaker

Order. Did I hear the word"finally "?

Mr. Thomas

Yes, Mr. Speaker. I know that some of my hon. Friends want to say something about this matter. May I appeal to you to allow us to vote on the separate Estimates? There will be five motions before the House, and many of us wish to express our disapproval in the Lobby about the final motion on the defence Supplementary Estimates. However, if there is to be only one Division, we shall vote against the Estimates as a clear indication that we are no longer prepared to see the Government spending more and more on defence while cutting back expenditure on housing, health, social services and other essential services.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman must not advance the case that he would make if the business motion were not carried. I want to make clear to the House that I shall put each Estimate separately. If the House wishes to divide on any Estimate, it may do so.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Michael Foot)

May I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Mr. Thomas) and to several other hon. Friends who, I know, feel very strongly on this matter and wish to have a full debate that there may be some misunderstanding about the nature of the propositions that will be coming to the House shortly and in the period ahead?

It may be useful for me to remind the House and my hon. Friends that there will be a minimum of three days on the individual Services.

Mr. Frank Allaun

That will be too late.

Mr. Foot

Perhaps my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Alluan) will wait a moment. There will also be two days on the defence White Paper in the spring.

Mr. Allaun

It will be too late then.

Mr. Foot

If my hon. Friend will allow me to continue, I can tell the House that there will be a further day in July on discipline, which may be taken formally to allow for a more general debate on defence.

Mr. Allaun

It will be too late for us to do anything about the Estimates at that time.

Mr. Foot

If my hon. Friend will listen to the end of what I am saying, he may understand my point. I have given the House that information because there may be hon. Members who are interested in those other aspects, which will be able to be raised in those debates.

The winter defence Supplementary Estimates of £248,547,000 before the House are almost entirely pay allowances, pensions and price increases. Moreover, all the Votes will come before the House again and any of them could be the subject of the remaining 26 Supply Days.

Although I appreciate the case that my hon. Friends have put and accept that they may wish to press it further—knowing that they raised the matter a year ago —I hope that they will also be able to take this matter into account. It is the fact that these issues will be debated afresh and many of them will be voted upon at a later stage in the proceedings of the House.

Mr. English

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. That statement, though technically correct, might be misinterpreted by those who, unlike you, Mr. Speaker, do not understand the procedures of the House. I wonder whether you would confirm that these resolutions, if passed today, have no validity in law. The moment next Tuesday that the Consolidated Fund Bill is passed, by virtue of an Act of the nineteenth century, these resolutions that we are passing today without discussion automatically obtain the force of law, although they are merely resolutions of the House of Commons. Would you agree, Mr. Speaker, that when my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House says that these matters may be discussed again, the stress is on"may "?

Mr. Speaker

I do not give interpretations of the Lord President's speeches.

Mr. Frank Allaun

I repudiate what my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has just said. Twelve months ago, I asked: On a point of order. Am I right in believing that if this is voted on today, any subsequent debate would be completely worthless and ineffective? You replied, Mr. Speaker: If this motion is carried, I shall put the Question without discussion on each of the Estimates. That is what it means."—[Official Report, 12th December 1977; Vol. 941, c. 46.] This means, Mr. Speaker, that without debate we shall pass a large sum of money today and there will be no opportunity to debate whether that is good.

I intend, Mr. Speaker, to abide strictly by your limits. I am not questioning the merits of this vast expenditure on arms, which, I am sure I do not need to tell you, hardly warms the cockles of my heart or those of my hon. Friends. I shall stick strictly to the point. I wish to oppose the acceptance by the House of this motion from the Prime Minister because it means that, without any debate, the spending of an additional sum of £248 million on defence will take place.

I must reply to one point that the Leader of the House has just made. This question arose 12 months ago. A deputation of hon. Members went to see the Lord President. There are hon. Members here today who will say that on that occasion my right hon. Friend promised that it would not happen again and that there would be an opportunity for debate. I ask him whether he will reply to that point.

One of the origins of parliamentary democracy, on which I am not attempting to lecture you, Mr. Speaker, is that before expenditure takes place there should be a debate, a vote and a decision. Indeed, you, Mr. Speaker, have the responsibility to see that that right is fully observed. You also have a second responsibility, Mr. Speaker—that is, to preserve the rights of Back Benchers. On this occasion, because the two Front Benches are united in spending more on arms, they have decided that there will be no debate on this matter. Labour Back Benchers —I do not notice that Tory Members are vociferous on this point—are denied the rights that you, Mr. Speaker, are here to defend.

I hate to address my remarks to you, Mr. Speaker, as I do not blame you. I blame the two Front Benches for the predicament in which we are being placed. Usually, Mr. Speaker, there is a full debate in this House before a large sum of money—

Mr. Tebbit


Mr. Allaun

The hon. Gentleman is right in some respects. Today is an example. Usually, if there is an item involving several millions of pounds, a whole day's debate may take place on it. Today we are debating an item of several hundred millions of pounds without a debate at all. It can hardly be argued that shortage of parliamentary time has prevented a debate. We have just heard the dates of the Christmas Recess. We have had a Summer Recess the like of which I have never experienced before in my 23 years in the House. One might say, without being disrespectful to the House, that it is becoming almost a temporary holiday home

What we are doing today would certainly not be acceptable in the United States legislature. This is part of the 3 per cent. per annum increase in arms spending decided by the House last March —a costly and foolish decision because it will encourage similar increases by the Russians. In the United States, Congressmen are challenging the 3 per cent. Parliamentary procedure is not prohibiting American Congressmen debating this subject. If this is taking place in the American Congress, why should not we have an opportunity to discuss this matter? Irrespective of whether Congress decides to drop the 3 per cent., why should we not be allowed to discuss the issue?

Our arms bill is raised from a little over the monstrous sum of £7 billion a year by another £248 million and no one is allowed to say a word. There is no explanation at all of some of the items we are being asked to pass. I refer to one of them. We are told that an additional £49 million is being sought to compensate for delays in production receipts for air systems. Perhaps some hon. Member could explain what that means. I do not understand it, and quite a lot of people outside the House will not understand it. There is no word of explanation.

To whom are we selling? To which country? What kind of weapons or stores are we selling? Nobody knows. Yet this sum is to go through the House without discussion, just as the decision to make the first atom bomb went through the Cabinet without discussion. This is government without explanation, government by concealment. It is happening continually, and it is eroding our democracy. There have been no fewer than 16 Supplementary Estimates for defence in the past five years. I think that you will have some doubts about this process, Mr. Speaker.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to answer this question. If this procedural vote is taken this afternoon, can there be any subsequent debate before the expenditure is sanctioned? If there cannot be such a debate, we are making a mockery of democracy.

Mr. English

This is a matter of some importance, as I hope Tory Members, on another occasion, will be the first to realise. The situation is that no expenditure may lawfully be incurred by Her Majesty's Government without the approval of Parliament as a whole. That is done by an Appropriation Act.

Pending the Appropriation Act, published and agreed once a year, there are Consolidated Fund Acts such as the one due to be dealt with on Tuesday next. By tradition, the Committee stage of a Consolidated Fund Bill is never debated upon any amendment. I believe that there may be a technical amendment, involving the word"may ", to the extent of saying the Government"may"or may not spend some money. The details cannot be amended.

The reason for this, Mr. Speaker, is that your predecessors in the Chair have said upon successive occasions that it would be pointless for the House to discuss something twice. We may not move an amendment to any item of public expenditure on the Consolidated Fund Bill on Tuesday night, first, because we are taking the Second Reading and, secondly, because immediately afterwards, on that night or on the Wednesday, the Committee stage will be taken formally, when no amendment will be possible.

The reason for this is that, theoretically, we have discussed all the issues upon Supply resolutions. Those Supply resolutions, like any other resolutions of the House, have no force in law of themselves. They do have force, however, because of the Public Accounts and Charges Act 1891 which, in effect, makes them temporary Consolidated Fund Acts. It gives them a temporary legal force and makes them temporary appropriations under section 2(1) of the Act from the time a Consolidated Fund Act is passed. In other words, that thing which we are not allowed to discuss in detail on Tuesday night will validate what we are allowed to vote on today.

This is an extraordinary procedure which has grown up over a period. The theory is that the expenditure of a Government must not be discussed anywhere save upon the Floor of the House. This is what is at fault. We are supposed to discuss these things upon a group of Supply Days. Wisely and properly, in a democracy, we have said that the subject for debate on those Supply Days is entirely a matter for the Opposition Front Bench. The right hon. Lady and her colleagues decide what we are to discuss today. They wish to discuss the Ford sanctions and connected matters, something entirely proper to be discussed in that this is obviously an issue of public importance. However, for every day that one of these subjects of public importance is discussed, some portion of the expenditure of the Government is not discussed. Today we are to discuss sanctions against Ford. That is well and good. The moment we do so we lose for ever the possibility of discussing public expenditure totalling tens of thousands of millions of pounds. That cannot be a right and proper procedure.

This is why my colleagues—and by that I mean every hon. Member of this House belonging to every party who has signed the motion relating to the report on Me Civil Service that I mentioned in business questions today—wishes to have debates upon the report on the Civil Service by the Expenditure Committee and upon the Procedure Committee's report. It cannot be right that the whole of public expenditure is ignored because it cannot be discussed anywhere once we decide to discuss another subject on a Supply Day. The delay on the part of my right hon. Friend in bringing forward these matters for discussion is simply causing him more trouble than he need have got into.

Today is a good example. We are faced with sums of money totalling tens of thousands of millions of pounds. We have only to look at the Order Paper to see such sums. There is the sum of £17,470,584,900 on the first motion alone. On the third motion, the figure is £1,860,115,000 and on the fourth motion it is £3,155,066,000. Such sums are not to be discussed. All that we are to be allowed to do, as you have correctly ruled, Mr. Speaker, is to say that we should discuss them. If this motion is passed, as it probably will be, because the Opposition Front Bench wants to see it passed as much as the Government Front Bench, there will be no opportunity of voting on any amendment to this expenditure.

I direct your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the slightly different practice of some of the Commonwealth countries and the United States Congress, which have taken our original procedures and used them. In other countries there are things known as appropriations committees, which are allowed to discuss public expenditure and to say No, you should not spend so much on a particular subject. You should. perhaps, spend more on some other subject." I imagine that many of my hon.

Friends who have raised this matter would say that we should spend less on defence and more on social security. Many hon. Members opposite would no doubt wish to say that we should spend more on defence and, perhaps, less on social security. The interesting point is that none of them will be allowed to say what he believes.

On whichever side of the House hon. Members may sit, whatever the electorate decides about who should govern and who should be in opposition, the same individuals will not be allowed to discuss these matters unless they are in the Government and unless they are, above all, Treasury Ministers. That is why the Expenditure Committee recommended in its fourteenth report—the last report of last Session—that the financial procedures of this House needed alteration. That is why, more than 15 months ago, in its report on the Civil Service, the Expenditure Committee recommended a much-needed change in our financial procedure. That is why the Procedure Committee made similar recommendations. That is why when, on Monday evening, we were discussing the reports of the Public Accounts Committee, everyone who spoke said that these procedures needed revision. That is why the right hon. Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) said that these reports should be debated. They have not been debated and it has not been announced that they are to be debated. We now have a situation in which we have to say that the expenditure of these tens of thousands of million of pounds is not to be discussed.

Mr. Newens

I wish to speak against the motion relating to the Supplementary Estimates. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Allaun), I have considerable misgivings about the proposals concerning military items in these Estimates. I also feel strongly about the principle, which has been raised by my hon. Friends, of approving the expenditure of large sums of money without debate. My hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) pointed out that there was a means whereby we could negate the motion that we may approve today if we seek to vote against the Consolidated Fund Bill.

Many of us would not wish for one moment to vote against this fund, because it includes many items of which we are in wholehearted support. In those circumstances, that is no substitute for hon. Members having the opportunity of a proper debate on these items here today before they are put to the House. Therefore, I wish to speak against the Prime Minister's motion that is before the House.

The original Estimates that were before the House were fully debated before any decision was reached upon them. No one in this House, no one who believes in democratic principles, would argue that expenditure should be incurred by the Government, within the original Estimates, after being approved without a debate, but here today we are taking a decision which means that this expenditure will be added to very considerably without any discussion being allowed on those items which we are being asked to approve.

I argue that the Supplementary Estimates now before the House alter, in a number of respects, the character of our original decision on the Estimates earlier this year. This raises a principle that we as a House have a right to debate. In the first place, all of us are aware of the arguments that have been advanced in recent years, from both sides of the House, for the containment of public expenditure. On a number of occasions over the course of recent years the House has approved cuts in public expenditure to which a number of my hon. Friends and I have been wholeheartedly and completely opposed.

If we approved of those cuts I am quite sure that we did so only after a certain amount of soul searching, and had we been aware originally that additional moneys were to be made available, we would certainly not have agreed that those cuts or limitations should have been imposed. We would have opposed the addition of the supplementary sums that are being proposed here today.

For that reason it is quite wrong that those sums should be approved without a full debate, as is proposed in the motion of the Prime Minister today. The present Supplementary Estimates deeply affect the attitude of all of us to the whole package of public expenditure that the House is being asked to accept for the whole year. The House did not approve the carrying out of certain policies or the expenditure of money on certain items without regard to the expense. The House approved certain expenditure, bearing in mind the need for economies and the priorities that the House then had in view. The fact that certain additional sums of money are now to be made available demands that we in this House should have an opportunity, in debate, of arguing where those additional sums should be expended.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

The hon. Gentleman seems to be having a debate. Does he realise that a large amount of this expenditure is for an increase in forces' pay? [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. Let us not start debates on this. I am hoping that we can soon come to a decision, because we are taking a Supply Day.

Mr. Newens

The hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. Lewis) raised a point that in many ways impugns the views of many of those who signed the amendment, which is not being debated. I point out to him that many hon. Members on the Government Benches would argue very strongly in favour of that expenditure, which would enhance the pay of the forces. Many of my hon. Friends and I would argue.—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am quite sure that the hon. Member would do so if there were a debate on it, but he must confine his argument to the Prime Minister's motion.

Mr. Newens

I apologise, Mr. Speaker, for responding in that way. I hope that you will forgive me, Sir, for having been distracted from my argument by the intervention of the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford. He showed how important it is that the House should have an opportunity to discuss these matters. For reasons that I fully understand, many hon. Members are denied the opportunity of advancing their arguments on these different items, which would be debated if this motion before the House were defeated—because I take it that if this motion were defeated it would be incumbent upon the Leader of the House to find means whereby we would have the opportunity to debate these matters.

For this reason I believe that hon. and right hon. Members on the Conservative Benches, who so often argue about the need to contain public expenditure, should vote with us when we oppose this motion, because it would give the whole House the opportunity to debate these items in detail. I make no bones of the fact that I am wholeheartedly in favour of much of the expenditure that is proposed, but in the form in which this motion is placed before the House it does not give us the opportunity of differentiating between expenditures that we think are desirable and those that we would wish to reject. Part of the funds relates to defence expenditure. some hon. Members are in favour of more expenditure while others, like myself, are in favour of much more drastic cuts than anything we have seen.

I have already made clear to the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford that I strongly sympathise with the pay needs of the armed forces and I certainly would not wish to cut that item back. On the other hand, we oppose other items that are involved here. Therefore, it is necessary that they should be taken separately, with the opportunity for a debate on particular items about which we feel extremely strongly.

In the document"Supplementary Estimates 1978/79"it is stated on page 3 that we are being asked to provide some of these funds for new services. If we are being asked to obtain additional money to meet the cost of any new services, it means that the very principle involved in the provision of these new services affects the House very pertinently. Why should the House be asked to accept this without debating the principles that are involved? Why should we have to walk through the Lobbies—or perhaps not even take it to a Division—to approve new services the objectives of which are not implicit?

Mr. Burden

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. There is a great deal of validity in what has been said so far. Do you agree that, since this is a matter for the House as a whole, the Leader of the House should be present? Surely the Financial Secretary to the Treasury cannot come to a decision on a matter that is the responsibility of the Leader of the House.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Robert Sheldon)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. My right hon. Friend the Lord President apologises for his temporary and unavoidable absence. He has urgent matters to attend to and hopes to return to the Chamber as soon as possible.

Mr. Cormack

Further to the point of order, Mr. Speaker. There is no more urgent or important matter for the Leader of the House to attend to than the business of this House. May I respectfully submit that his place is in this House here and now?

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. I do not want to spend time on points of order about where the Lord President is and what he is doing. I cannot instruct anyone to come here.

Mr. Cryer

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At the outset you stipulated the limitations on the debate. Will there be a Government reply to the various points that have been made, or will this debate simply dissolve into an immediate Division?

Mr. Speaker

I do not know. If anyone rises, I shall call him. If no one rises, I shall not.

Mr. English

The business of Supply is for the Opposition to determine. Most of the Shadow Cabinet is present. This issue could easily be resolved by the Opposition allowing one of their Supply Days to be devoted solely to the discussion of public expenditure.

Mr. Speaker

It is an old custom in this House that the Opposition, when allotted a Supply Day, should be allowed to have it.

Mr. Newens

I should certainly be happy if my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House were here to hear what 1 am saying on this important issue. I realise that he may have other pressing engagements, but it is important for the House to consider the approval of expenditure of this character and dimension without the opportunity of discussing the issues.

The Supply Estimates provide that new services can be developed with the funds that we are being asked to approve today.

Those new services might involve principles about which many of us would feel extreme concern. For example, many of us are wholeheartedly opposed to the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons. This expenditure could possibly relate to such development. In the past, the House decided on the question of nuclear weapons without even members of the Cabinet being aware of the implications of the decision. We have the right to ask what this money will be spent upon.

Many of us have the impression that it is being spent on nuclear weapons, but we shall be precluded from debating that if we pass the motion.

The House has the right to question Ministers, but no Defence Minister is present—

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Dr. John Gilbert)


Mr. Newens

I apologise. I am glad to see my right hon. Friend present. I missed him because he was snuggled down on the Front Bench.

Other services can be provided for out of these funds, and this may include the question of the SAS. In pressing for an adequate debate I remind hon. Members that the House often spends long periods discussing trivial matters, but the voting through of huge sums such as this is done on the nod.

If we pass the motion the amendment that stands in the names of many of my hon. Friends and myself will not be put to the House. It is totally undemocratic to deprive hon. Members of a proper vote and discussion.

Another aspect arises out of the defence Supplementary Estimates. Many of us feel that a quantitative addition to the sum total expended will involve an important question of principle. The Government are committed to reducing the percentage of gross national product spent on defence to that of the average of our NATO allies. Approval of this expenditure today may well change the direction of that policy so that we are spending more, not less. If the Government have decided to change their policy in that respect, that is a question of principle that the House should have the chance to debate. This should not be achieved by stealth.

This issue involves a global sum of public expenditure—a further matter of great importance. Many hon. Members believe that increases in public expenditure are a cause of inflation and that the House should turn its attention to the subject of public expenditure. The Opposition have frequently asked for much greater cuts than the Government have made. Therefore, we need to examine the effects of these Supplementary Estimates on the global sum and to consider their inflationary effect. It is only right that we should have an opportunity to discuss these matters before decisions are taken. It is not enough merely to take these matters on a vote.

Mr. Cryer

Does not my hon. Friend accept that expenditure of this nature is important in terms of the Government's economic policy? Defence expenditure tends to be more inflationary than much other expenditure because there is no production of goods and services to meet the demand created by the vast majority of people, who are not in the armed services.

Mr. Newens

I agree with my hon. Friend. That is a further reason why the House should not let this expenditure go through on the nod.

We are being asked to approve expenditure that will add to inflationary pressure. Those Members of the Opposition who constantly call for cuts in public expenditure will be blaming Labour Members for calling for greater amounts of civil public expenditure and will accuse us of being responsible for inflation. Therefore, we have a right to advance our views on this subject and, unless this matter is debated fully, we shall be prevented from so doing.

Let me turn to the subject of priorities.

Mr. Burden

On the subject of priorities, the Leader of the House will know that an important matter is to be debated a little later today.

Mr. Newens

This motion is also important.

Mr. Burden

The Leader of the House is fully aware of the views of his hon. Friends below the Gangway. Will the right hon. Gentleman allow the House to get on with business by giving his hon. Friends an opportunity to debate this matter next week?

Mr. Newens

I am appalled by the hon. Gentleman's attitude. He is suggesting that later business on the Order Paper is more important than discussion of these huge amounts of expenditure.

Mr. Mikardo

The hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) is suggesting that a motion in the name of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is less the business of the day than is a motion to adjourn the House.

Mr. Newens

I agree that the mattcr that is now before the House is serious. If Parliament means anything and is not to be taken as a rubber-stamping farce, we should be able to debate these matters.

I take great exception to the remarks of the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden). I am sure that he and his hon. Friends in a General Election campaign will attack Labour Members of Parliament for arguing in favour of greater public expenditure in certain respects. The hon. Member is suggesting that we should put this important motion on one side to enable him to get on discussing the business in which he is interested. He wants to fight in a Tweedledum and Tweedledee manner.

Mr. Michael Marshall

The hon. Gentleman is being carried away by his own vehemence. Obviously he did not hear what my hon. Friend the Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) said. He called on the Leader of the House to provide time for a separate debate on this motion. In view of the strong feelings which have been expressed, I am sure that many Members of the Opposition would support such a suggestion. Since the House is rising early for Christmas, I suggest that that matter should be discussed separately before Christmas. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will join with the Opposition in pressing his right hon. Friend to accede to that suggestion.

Mr. Newens

If my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House puts forward another proposal, that might well meet the situation. I am dealing with the position as it now stands.

Mr. Cormack

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It is obvious that the substance of this matter cannot be debated.

Therefore, I beg to move, That the Question be now put.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I do not intend to accept such a motion at this stage. I shall accept a closure motion when I think that it is wise to do so.

Mr. Newens

My hon. Friends and I have argued on many occasions that the House should debate issues about which we feel deeply. However, on many occasions the procedure has been such—this has been acceded to by both Front Benches—that these matters have been precluded from debate. Therefore, my hon. Friends and I have no alternative but to take our present course because this is the only means of bringing these matters to the notice of the House. It is scandalous that we should be prevented from debating these issues because certain hon. Members want to get on with the usual rigmarole.

Mr. Lee

Is there not an ominous parallel with the situation that arises out of much of the business relating to the EEC? The House is asked to deal with matters retrospectively, or is not given adequate time to discuss the EEC budget, or we find that the budget is presented in a misleading and compressed form. A similar arbitrary way of dealing with expenditure is now spilling over into the procedures of this House. Should we not resist this process so far as we can?

Mr. Newens

I agree with my hon. Friend. The House knows that I do not normally participate in trifling arguments. This is a matter of great principle, and I am sure that some Opposition Members sympathise with me. On this motion we are being asked to do something that is wrong and are being prevented from carrying out our job as Back Benchers.

The Opposition have argued on many occasions for cuts in public expenditure relating to health, education and the welfare services. If on this motion we agree additional military expenditure, the Opposition may argue that the global sum needs to be contained. Therefore, the pressure for more cuts in civil expenditure—expenditure that many Labour Members favour—may increase.

Later today the House will discuss the subject of inflation in general. Decisions could be taken in other spheres which would lead my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to introduce an additional Budget. If that happens, expenditure on health, welfare and education may be cut so that we may contain expenditure of a military nature of the type we are being asked to approve today.

In my view, these Supplementary Estimates could themselves contribute considerably to inflation, and I therefore argue that the House has a right to debate these matters on another occasion. I hope that something will be done to make this possible. The idea that the House should pass a huge sum on the nod, without proper debate, must be considered—

Mr. Litterick

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am attempting to listen to my hon. Friend's fascinating speech, but there is such a row coming from the Opposition Benches that I am finding it very difficult to do so.

Mr. Speaker

Perhaps I may say that I understand that there is much rejoicing in Heaven over a sinner that repenteth. From time to time, the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Litterick) gives me cause for worry.

Mr. Newens

I was saying that the idea that the House should pass huge sums of money on the nod without proper debate must be considered against the background of the way in which we normally work in the House, devoting enormous time and consideration to quite trivial issues.

Mr. hon. Friends and I strongly object to the procedure proposed, and I have spoken on this occasion because I believe that the House should take this matter very seriously indeed. Last year, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Mr. Thomas) pointed out, we raised this matter and we were given some sort of promise that an opportunity would be provided for us to discuss these issues. That opportunity has not been provided, and once again we are being asked to pass a motion in precisely the terms of that which was passed last year. When I went to the Vote Office last night, I checked it. The motion is word for word the same as the one passed last year.

In these circumstances we have a right to ask, as Back Benchers, what exactly are our powers here. Are we just rubber stamps who walk through the Lobbies to approve the expenditure of huge sums of money without debate? My hon. Friends and I wish to protest at this state of affairs. We think it quite outrageous that we should be asked to do that. It is totally wrong that we should be called upon to approve as part of a package military expenditures to which we are absolutely opposed.

In these circumstances, we feel that we have only one option open to us, which is to oppose the Prime Minister's motion presently before us. Therefore, I make no apology for having opposed it at length. I hope that right hon. and hon. Members on both sides will recognise that we have not come here today to discuss this issue lightly. We must pay heed to the opinions of the British people. They hear the heehawing and the noise at Question Time, and if they realised at the same time that we permit this sort of thing to be done, they will think it a disgrace and ask why on earth hon. Members on both sides of the House do not stand up and say something about it.

On this occasion, I thought it timely that I should make a clear statement on the issue. Although there is a certain amount of merriment in the House over this matter, I assure the House that that does not mean that my hon. Friends and I regard this as a matter that can be taken lightly. I hope that my right hon. Friend and right hon. and hon. Members next year will see to it that hon. Members who represent a sizeable section of opinion in this country have the opportunity to be heard, which is their right. That is what we are demanding today, and that is why we shall vote against the Prime Minister's motion, believing that that is the only way of making our protest clear.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Since there is a small group of hon. Members who wish to debate this matter, and we have heard a lot about the motion itself, may I move, That the Question be now put?

Mr. Rooker

Further to that—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I indicated earlier that I shall accept a motion, That the Question be now put, when I think it is the right time. I said that only 10 minutes ago.

Mr. Ridley

I, too, should like to make a contribution on the subject of the Supplementary Estimates and the need for the House to be given an opportunity to debate them. It may surprise the House to know that I tabled a number of Questions asking how many Ford motor cars that were to be purchased by the Government would subsequently not be purchased as a result of sanctions. To my astonishment, these Questions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence, and I have now got the answers in today's Hansard. I asked how many—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman asked the right Questions—I say nothing about the answers—but we are debating the business motion, which has been discussed at length by the hon. Member for Harlow (Mr. Newens).

Mr. Ridley

I suggest that it is relevant, Mr. Speaker, because the Ministry of Defence is apparently to incur expenditure on purchasing more expensive motor cars than might have been available if it had purchased Ford motor cars. Presumably, the £248,547,000 is in the Supplementary Estimate for the purchase of Japanese cars at greater expense for Ministry of Defence mandarins and Service Ministers.

It is clear that there is no intention of buying military vehicles with this money. It is all for motor cars, as I understand it, and this seems to be a point which the House should debate today. I had thought that the House would debate it today. I thought that that was the substance of the debate, but, since I am not able to make my speech on the later motion, I should like to make my speech on the desirability of not pursuing policies represented by this Supplementary Estimate for the Ministry of Defence.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman has been very helpful to me. I realise now the direction in which he is going. I remind him that we are now discussing not these Estimates and what ought or ought not to be in them but whether we accept the Prime Minister's business motion that they be put to a vote without debate.

Mr. Ridley

I should like to discuss the Estimates. That is why I rose. I should like the Government to provide an appropriate opportunity for me to discuss them, but you have made it abundantly clear, Mr. Speaker, and I entirely accept your ruling, that we may not discuss the substance of the Estimates on this occasion. It therefore seems to me to be futile to try to prevail in this debate in making the point that we should be able to discuss the Estimates on a later occasion, whereas that is the only point, as you so rightly put it, that we may make in this debate.

My worry about this Estimate relates to exactly how much of this money is going to buy expensive motor cars, as a stupid and arrogant retaliatory action against Ford, but I cannot make the point on this occasion. It would be quite out of order, and I should entirely accept your view, Mr. Speaker, if you were to rule me out of order.

My suggestion is that we pass the motion now and deal with the Estimates and then proceed to discuss the matter of substance which is the one issue that I want to raise on the defence Supplementary Estimate, but that I am precluded from discussing now by the rules of order.

Mr. Mikardo

I shall be brief and confine myself strictly to the Prime Minister's motion. One morning, two or three days ago, I was listening to the radio waiting for the cricket score from Australia when I heard the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) being interviewed. We all know that the right hon. Member takes seriously his responsibilities as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. He devotes to the functions of that office a great deal of skill and expertise.

The right hon. Gentleman argued strongly—I agreed with every word that he said—that the extent to which the House controls the expenditure of Government, or Supply, has become less and less with every year that passes.

The right hon. Gentleman's solution to this problem was, in one way ot another, to do some of the scrutiny in Committee. That was the solution that 1 understood my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) to advocate a little while ago. One right hon. Member of the House who would not go along with that idea, as we all know, is the Leader of the House. He has always been opposed to any increase in or extension of the Select Committee system. He has always argued, with his own particular cogency, that we should do our important business on the Floor of the House. If we are properly to scrutinise expenditure, according to my right hon. Friend, the House should be able to look in detail at Estimates.

Mr. English

But we cannot.

Mr. Mikardo

If we had had a debate, which I know we cannot have, my speech would have been purely interrogatory. I had a number of questions to ask. I should be surprised if many other hon. Members did not also have questions to ask. I challenge hon. Members to say that there is a single one among them who can go through those Estimates, put his hand on his heart and say that he knows what every item means.

Mr. English

And say that he agrees with it.

Mr. Mikardo

One cannot say whether one agrees with an Estimate when one does not understand what the item means. The Estimates are drawn up by accountants. Accountants are adept at using records to disguise rather than to clarify what is taking place. These Estimates in particular are riddled with jargon. If we are to scrutinise expenditure we must understand it.

I should have liked to ask"What does this mean?" of four items. I should have liked to ask"To whom does the money go, and for what? ".

I remember in the 1951 Parliament an all-night debate on the Army Estimates. There were a number of items about which I asked the then Under-Secretary of State for War"What are they and what do they mean? ". I can remember only one of those items. It involved the salary of paper-keepers. I asked the Minister"What are paper-keepers?"There was a great deal of flurrying and to-ing and fro-ing between the Benches and the space behind Mr. Speaker's right hand. The Minister had to blabber on for three-quarters of an hours before he got the answer and told us what paper-keepers were. [HON. MEMBERS:"What are they? "]

Mr. Speaker

Order. I waited to hear the end of the story, but I still do not understand how relevant it is to the motion.

Mr. Mikardo

With respect, Mr. Speaker, it is relevant. I told the story because it is an example of an item in the accounts which Members do not understand and cannot therefore scrutinise. [HON. MEMBERS:"What are paper-keepers."' I deliberately refrain from answering that question because by doing so I would breach your guidance, Mr. Speaker. I shall tell hon. Members afterwards.

Three items in the five Estimates are Greek to me. They are written in jargon. I do not know whether it is right to spend the money that is involved, because I do not know what they mean. I am not allowed to ask what they mean. That means that hon. Members who are charged with the responsibility for scrutinising expenditure have to agree to public money being spent on something when they do not know A from a bull's foot. If that is proper parliamentary control of expenditure and proper parliamentary democracy, we shall have to do some fresh thinking.

Mr. Ronald Bell

The motion is really about the House approving the expenditure of £25,000 million without debate. That is what it comes to. One understands why that produces a certain sense of shock. Unfortunately, if we had not had this short discussion today, or if the motion were not on the Order Paper, the matter would be subject to a guillotine and be approved in the Consolidated Fund Bill next week.

Although it seems to be an enormous issue, it is the result of the procedure to

Division No. 12] AYES [5.20 p.m.
Alison, Michael Bishop, Rt Hon Edward Bulmer, Esmond
Anderson, Donald Boardman, H. Burden, F. A.
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Booth, Rt Hon Albert Butler, Adam (Bosworth)
Armstrong, Ernest Boscawen, Hon Robert Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Carlisle, Mark
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East) Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Carter, Ray
Awdry, Daniel Boyden, James (Blsh Auck) Chalker, Mrs Lynda
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Bradford, Rev Robert Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Bates, Alt Braine, Sir Bernard Clegg, Walter
Belth, A. J. Bray, Dr Jeremy Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)
Bell, Ronald Brittan, Leon Concannon, Rt Hon John
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Brotherton, Michael Cormack, Patrick
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Bryan, Sir Paul Costain, A. P.
Benyon, W. Buchanan, Richard Cowans, Harry
Berry, Hon Anthony Buck, Antony Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E)
Biggs-Davison, John Budgen, Nick Craigen, Jim (Maryhill)

which we have become all too accustomed. It is a procedure to which my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) has been drawing attention for a long time. I certainly do not wish to take up the time of the House when an important debate is pending.

I say to the Leader of the House and to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury that it is provoking the House to put down these Votes as a nominal justification for the debate that follows. We are used to nominal Votes leading to a debate on a matter of general interest, but when a motion involving £25.000 million is to be passed on the nod, the issue is brought to the surface.

By a growing convention we have abandoned financial control over Government activities. The lesson that we might learn from today's debate is that we must set up a Committee procedure to deal with these Estimates. At present the whole system is a farce. We are asked to approve this enormous expenditure on the nod in order that we may properly have a debate in the House on another important subject.

I hope that we shall get on to that subject now or soon. This matter should have focused our minds on the fact that we are engaged in an outrageous farce about the control of public expenditure. We must do something to give reality to our scrutiny of expenditure.

Mr. Humphrey Atkins 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 106.

Crawshaw, Richard Judd, Frank Price, David (Eastleigh)
Crouch, David Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Prior, Rt Hon James
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiten) Kimball, Marcus Raison, Timothy
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kitson, Sir Timothy Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Deaklns, Eric Knox, David Rees-Davies, W. R.
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Lamont, Norman Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Doig, Peter Latham, Michael (Melton) Rifkind, Malcolm
Dormand, J. D. Lawson, Nigel Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Drayson, Burnaby Le Merchant, Spencer Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Duffy, A. E. P. Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Dunlop, John Lloyd, Ian Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Dunnet, Jack Lofthouse, Geoffrey Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Durant, Tony Luard, Evan Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Dykes, Hugh Luce, Richard Rowlands, Ted
Eadie, Alex Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Royle, Sir Anthony
Ennals, Rt Hon David McAdden, Sir Stephen Sainsbury, Tim
Eyre, Reginald McCrindle, Robert St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fairgrieve, Russell McElhone, Frank Scott, Nicholas
Faulds, Andrew MacFarquhar, Roderick Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Fisher, Sir Nigel MacGregor, John Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) MacKay, Andrew (Stechford) Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Ford, Ben MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Silvester, Fred
Forman, Nigel Maclennan, Robert Sims, Roger
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'I'd) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Skeet, T. H. H.
Fox, Marcus Madel, David Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Mahon, Simon Smith, Rt Hon John (N Lanarkshire)
Freud, Clement Mallalieu, J. P. W. Smith, Timothy John (Ashfleld)
Fry, Peter Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Spence, John
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Marten, Neil Stanbrook, Ivor
Ginsburg, David Mason, Rt Hon Roy Stanley, John
Glyn, Dr Alan Mates, Michael Steel, Rt Hon David
Golding, John Mather, Carol Stott, Roger
Goodhew, Victor Maxwell-Hysiop, Robin Stradllng Thomas, J.
Gourlay, Harry Mayhew, Patrick Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Meyer, Sir Anthony Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Graham, Ted Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Tapsell, Peter
Grant Anthony (Harrow C) Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Grant, John (Islington C) Mills, Peter Temple-Morris, Peter
Gray, Hamish Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Grieve, Percy Moate, Roger Tinn, James
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Monro, Hector Tomllnson, John
Grist, Ian Montgomery, Fergus Townsend, Cyril D.
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Moonman, Eric Trotter, Neville
Hampson, Dr Keith Morgan, Geraint Urwin, T. W.
Hannam, John Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Viggers, Peter
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Morris, Rt Hon Charles R. Wakeham, John
Hart Rt Hon Judith Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Morrison, Rt Hon Charles (Devizes) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Hayhoe Barney Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Wall, Patrick
Heseltine Michael Mudd David Ward, Michael
Heseltine, MichaelHicks, Robert Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Weatherill, Bernard
Hicks, Robers Hodgson, Robin Neave Airey Weetch, Ken
Holland, Philip Nelson, Anthony Wells, John
Home Robertson, John Newton, Tony White, Frank R. (Bury)
Hordern, Peter Nott, John White, James (Pollok)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Onslow, Cranley Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Howell, David (Guildford) Orbach, Maurice Whitlock, WilliamWhitney, Raymond
Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Page, John (Harrow West) Whitney, Raymond
Hunt, David (Wirral) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Wiggin, jerryWilliams, Rt Hon Allan (Swansea W)
Hutchison, Michael Clark Page, Richard (Worklngton) Williams Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Palmer, Arthur Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
James, David Pardoe, John winterton, Nicholas
Janner, Greville Park, George woodall, Alec
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'dfd) Parkinson, Cecil Young, David (Bolton E)
Jessel, Toby Pendry, Tom Younger, Hon George
John, Brynmor Penhallgon, David
Jones, Alec (Rhondda)Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Percival, IanPerry, Ernest TELLERS FOR THE AYES;
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Peyton, Rt Hon John Sir George Young and
Jopling, Michael Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.
Allaun, Frank Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Conlan, Bernard
Ashton, Joe Buchan, Norman Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Corbett, Robin
Bain, Mrs Margaret Campbell, Ian Crawford, Douglas
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Cant, R. B. Cryer, Bob
Bldwell, Sydney Carmichael, Nell Dempsey, James
Blenkinsop, Arthur Carter-Jones, Lewis Dewar, Donald
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Cartwright, John Edge, Geoff
Bradley, Tom Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)
English, Michael Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Selby, Harry
Evans, Fred (Caerphllly) Litterick, Tom Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Loyden, Eddie Short, Mrs Rente (Wolv NE)
Evans, loan (Aberdare) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Silverman, Jullus
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. MacCormlck, lain Skinner, Dennis
Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W) McKay, Alan (Penistone) Spearing, Nigel
Flannery, Martin McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Spriggs, Leslie
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Madden, Max Stoddart, David
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Maynard, Miss Joan Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
George Bruce Mikardo, Ian Tierney, Sydney
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Torney, Tom
Grocott, Bruce Morton, George Tuck, Raphael
Hayman, Mrs Helene Newens, Stanley Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Heffer, Eric S. Noble, Mike Watkins, David
Henderson, Douglas Ogden, Eric Watkinson, John
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) O'Halloran, Michael Watt, Hamlsh
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Parry, Robert Welsh, Andrew
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pavitt, Laurie Wigley, Dafydd
Hunter, Adam Price, C. (Lewisham W) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Radice, Giles Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Jeger, Mrs Lena Richardson, Miss Jo Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Robertson, George (Hamilton) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Kerr, Russell Robinson, Geoffrey
Kilfedder, James Rodgers, George (Chorley) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Rooker, J. W. Mr. Stan Thorne and
Kinnock, Nell Ryman,John Mr. John Lee.
Lamond, James Sedgemore, Brian

Question accordingly agreed to.

Mr. Speaker

The Question is—

Mr. English

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

Order. There can be no point of order now. The House has given me an instruction to put the Question.

Question put accordingly:—

The House proceeded to a Division—

Mr English

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

Order. Will the Ser-jeant at Arms provide the hon. Member

for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) with cover for his head. There is an hon. Member seeking to raise a point of order, and his head needs to be covered.

Mr. English (seated and covered)

Mr. Speaker, I should be obliged if you would simply confirm that everyone who votes in favour of this motion will be voting to preclude debate upon £23,000 million of public expenditure and that everyone who votes against it will be voting to have a debate upon that public expenditure.

The House having divided: Ayes 338, Noes 92.

Evans, John (Newton) Luce, Richard Rees-Davies, W. R.
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Lyon, Alexander (York) Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Eyre, Reginald Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Rhodes James, R.
Fairgrieve, Russell Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Faulds, Andrew McAdden, sir Stephen Rifkind, Malcolm
Fisher, Sir Nigel McCrindle, Robert Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) McElhone, Frank Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Fletcher, L. R. (Ilkeston) MacFarquhar, Roderick Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael MacGregor, John Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Ford, Ben McKay, Alan (Penistone) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Forman, Nigel MacKay, Andrew (Stechford) Rowlands, Ted
Forrester, John MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Royle, Sir Anthony
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'l'd) Maclennan, Robert Sainsbury, Tim
Fox, Marcus Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Scott, Nicholas
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Madel, David Shaw, Arnold (llford South)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Mahon, Simon Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Fry, Peter Mallalieu, J. P. W. Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Marks, Kenneth Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Ginsburg, David Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwlch)
Glyn, Dr Alan Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Silvester, Fred
Golding, John Marten, Nell Sims, Roger
Goodhew, Victor Mason, Rt Hon Roy Skeet, T. H. H.
Gourlay, Harry Mates, Michael Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mather, Carol Smith, Rt Hon John (N Lanarkshire)
Graham, Ted Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mawby, Ray Snape, Peter
Grant, John (Islington C) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Spence, John
Gray, Hamish Mayhew, Patrick Stallard, A. W.
Grieve, Percy Meacher, Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
Grist, Ian Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Stanley, John
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Meyer, Sir Anthony Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Millan, Rt Hon Robert Stott, Roger
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Stradllng Thomas, J.
Hampson, Dr Keith Mills, Peter Strang, Gavin
Hannam, John Mlscampbell, Norman Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Moate, Roger Tapsell, Peter
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Molynenux, James Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Monro, Hector Temple-Morris, Peter
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Montgomery, Fergus Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Heseltine, Michael Moonman, Eric Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Hicks, Robert Morgan, Geraint Tierney, Sydney
Hodgson, Robin Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Tomlinson, John
Holland, Philip Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Townsond, Cyril D.
Home Robertson, John Morris, Rt Hon Charles R. Trotter, Neville
Horam, John Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberivon) Urwin, T. W.Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Howell, David (Guildford) Morrison, Rt Hon Charles (Devizes) Viggers, Peter
Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Hucklield, Les Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Wakeham, John
Hunt, David (Wirral) Mudd, David Walker Harold (Doncaster)
Hunter, Adam Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Hurd, Douglas Murray, Rt Han Ronald King Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Hutchison, Michael Clark Neave, Airey Wall, Patrick
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Nelson, Anthony Ward, Michael
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Newton, Tony Watkins, David
James, David Nott, John Weatherill, Bernard
Janner, Greville Oakes, Gordon Weetch, Ken
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd) Ogden, Eric Weitzman, David
Jessel, Toby Onslow, Cranley Wellbeloved, James
John, Brynmor Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Wells, John
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Page, John (Harrow West) White, James (Pollok)
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Page, Richard (Workington) Whitlock, William
Jopling, Michael Palmer, Arthur Whitney, Raymond
Judd, Frank Park, George Wiggin, Jerry
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Parkinson, Cecil Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Pattie, Geoffrey Williams, Rt Hon Allan (Swansea W)
Kershaw, Anthony Pendry, Tom Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Kimball, Marcus Percival, Ian Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Perry, Ernest Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Peyton, Rt Hon John Winterton, Nicholas
Kitson, Sir Timothy Phipps, Dr Colin Woodall, Alec
Knox, David Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Woof, Robert
Lamborn, Harry Price, David (Easttelgh) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Latham, Michael (Mellon) Price, Willam (Rugby) Young, David (Bolton E)
Lawson, Nigel Prior, Rt Hon James Young, Sir G. (Eallng, Acton)
Leadbltter, Ted Pym, Rt Hon Francis Younger, Hon George
Le Merchant, Spencer Radice, Giles
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Raison, Timothy TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lloyd, Ian Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) Mr. James Tinn and
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Luard, Evan Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Mr. Joseph Dean.
Allaun, Frank Hayman, Mrs Helene Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Ashton, Joe Heller, Eric S. Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Henderson, Douglas Robinson, Geoffrey
Bain, Mrs Margaret Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Beith, A. J. Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Rooker, J. W.
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Bidwell, Sydney Jeger, Mrs Lena Ryman, John
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Sedgemore, Brian
Bray, Dr Jeremy Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Selby, Harry
Buchan, Norman Jones, Dan (Burnley) Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Kelley, Richard Silverman, Julius
Carmichael, Neil Kilfedder, James Skinner, Dennis
Carter-Jones, Lewis Kilroy-Silk, Robert Spearing, Nigel
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Kinnock, Neil Sprigs, Leslie
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Lamond, James Steel, Rt Hon David
Corbett, Robin Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Stoddart, David
Crawford, Douglas Litterick, Tom Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Cryer, Bob Loyden, Eddie Torney, Tom
Dewar, Donald MacCormlck, lain Tuck, Raphael
Edge, Geoff Madden, Max Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Maynard, Miss Joan Watklnson, John
English, Michael Mikardo,Ian Watt, Hamish
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Welsh, Andrew
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Morton, George White, Frank R. (Bury)
Evans, loan (Aberdare) Newens, Stanley Wigley, Dafydd
Femyhough, Rt Hon E. Orbach, Maurice Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Flannery, Martin Pardoe, John Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Parry, Robert Wise, Mrs Audrey
Freud, Clement Pavitt, Laurie
George Bruce Penhaligon, David TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Price, C. (Lewisham W) Mr. Stan Thorne and
Grocott, Bruce Richardson, Miss Jo Mr. John Lee.
Question accordingly agreed to.
That, at this day's sitting, Mr Speaker shall put forthwith any Questions necessary to dispose of the proceedings on the Motions in the name of Mr. Robert Sheldon relating to Civil and Defence Estimates as soon as the House has entered upon the business of Supply.