HC Deb 26 July 1978 vol 954 cc1593-637

The Lords do not insist on their amendment in page 9, line 34, to which the Commons have disagreed, but propose the following amendments to the Bill in lieu thereof

No. 1, in page 9, line 31, leave out "A Scottish" and insert "The First"

No. 2, in page 9, line 34, leave out "him" and insert "a Scottish Secretary"

No. 3, in page 9, line 34, at end insert— Provided that he has obtained the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service as to the number of officers and servants in each grade.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

Lords amendment no. 1.

Lords amendment no. 1, in page 9, line 31, leave out "A Scottish" and insert "The First"

4.49 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Harry Ewing)

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we may also take Lords amendments nos. 2 and 3.

Mr. Ewing

These amendments deal with the requirement, when appointing civil servants to serve in the Scottish Assembly, to obtain the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service.

The requirement for the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service as to numbers and grades would provide for an unwarranted interference by a United Kingdom Minister in the affairs of the Assembly. In the Government's view, the Assembly would be quite justified in regarding such control as totally unacceptable. They are being given substantial powers and it is for the Assembly and Executive to decide how many staff the Executive needs to carry them out. Such staff will be transferred or will be appointed in the normal way by the Civil Service Commission to meet the requirements of the Assembly.

The manpower implications of any policy will need to be weighed as an important component in the exercise of responsibility for devolved matters and an important constraint will be the need to meet staff costs out of the block fund. It seems at times that that is not appreciated. To provide for the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service as to numbers carries with it the implication that the Government could frustrate policies of the devolved Administration and would be constantly monitoring performance and efficiency. This could well provide for conflict.

No similar control is attempted for local government and any attempt to impose it would, very reasonably, be resented. Surely the Scottish Administration is not to be more strictly under Whitehall control than is local government? Is it seriously to be supposed that the Minister for the Civil Service should have the final say in the numbers of, say, typists and messengers needed to support the devolved administration, because that is one of the issues?

Nor do the Government think it appropriate to stipulate that officers and servants should be appointed by the First Secretary. Civil Servants are generally—as a matter of law—appointed by Ministers, not by the Prime Minister, and the Government can see no reason for not following this procedure in relation to the Scottish Executive. Of course, if the First Secretary wished to coordinate the appointment of officers and servants by individual Scottish Secretaries it would be open to him to make arrangements to do so. The Government do not think it appropriate to impose such a requirement.

At risk of incurring the wrath of the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton), who took me to task in our earlier debates when I compared Wales with Scotland, perhaps I may say that on this occasion it is valid to make the point again. When the other place discussed similar official Opposition amendments to the Wales Bill in Committee they were withdrawn after a short debate. Indeed, on hearing that the control of numbers would be let to the Assembly within the limits of the money available in the block fund, Lord Elton welcomed the fact that although the Government would offer any necessary advice, the Assembly would not be placed in a governmental straitjacket".— [Official Report, House of Lords, 21st June 1978; Vol. 393, c. 1287.] But that is precisely what the Official Opposition are now seeking to impose on the Scottish Assembly. We believe that that is totally unnecessary and for those reasons we ask the House to disagree with the Lords in this amendment.

Mr. Leon Britian (Cleveland and Whitby)

When the original Lords amendment came to this House it proposed in effect that each appointment of civil servants to the Scottish Executive had to be approved by the First Secretary and by the Minister for the Civil Service. It was significant that in the Division on that Lords amendment the Government secured a majority against of only nine, even though there was no debate. The reason for there being no debate was that the guillotine fell before the opportunity for one arose. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the Lords returned to the issue, and these amendments in lieu propose that the appointment should be made by the First Secretary, with the Minister of the Civil Service approving only the number of officers and civil servants for each grade of appointment.

We believe that these amendments raise the crucial question of the relationship between the Civil Service in Edinburgh and the Civil Service in London, and that in turn reflects the crucial question of the relationship between the two Governments—the Government in Edinburgh and that in London. We believe that that relationship has not been fully and properly thought out and that the Government's scheme seeks for political reasons to obscure the implications of the fact that this Bill creates a new and quite separate Government within the United Kingdom. These amendments take account of the fact that by creating a separate Executive for Scotland within what is supposed to remain a unitary State, an immense potential for conflict and confusion has been created.

The Lords are also seeking to reduce the area of conflict and confusion by at least defining more precisely the relationship at civil servant level between Edinburgh and Whitehall. This is an issue that cannot be avoided, and the attempt to blur the problem which we say exists in the Bill if it is unamended smacks of political expediency and should not be supported. When one considers the whole question of the role of civil servants who will be available to the Scottish Executive one starts with a basic ambivalence which is not resolved in the Bill and which these amendments touch upon.

Once the decision was taken not to have a separate Scottish Civil Service, the Government were buying themselves a whole series of problems. It was possible in setting up a devolved Assembly and devolved Government in Scotland to reach the opposite conclusion, and to have a separate Civil Service. However, the problems we are debating arise from the decision not to have separate arrangements. That decision was perfectly understandable and one with which we on this side have a great deal of sympathy. Such a move would be to go very far along the road towards the creation of a separate Scottish State, and we do not want to travel that road. To that extent we share an objective with the Government.

But we say that by not creating a separate Scottish Civil Service the Government have created problems which the Bill does not resolve. One inevitably asks whether, if the civil servants available to the Scottish Executive are not to be members of a separate Civil Service, just what will they be and under whose control.

Clause 62 begins by saying that 'Service as an officer or servant of a Scottish Secretary or of the Scottish Comptroller and Auditor General shall be service in the home civil service of the state. Hon. Members will recall some of the debates we had about the meaning of the home civil service of the state", about the concept of the State, and about which State we were discussing. It was as a result of those debates that the expression was changed in another place to Her Majesty's home civil service". However, one then comes on to the rest of the clause where one is told that appointments to any position, such as of an officer or civil servant, "shall be made accordingly". As I think I had occasion to point out in another debate, that really is an infuriatingly ambigious provision. The word "accordingly" is required to bear a strain which it simply cannot properly bear.

5.0 p.m.

What is the arrangement that is actually proposed? During debates on another occasion, we were told that all such matters as promotion, pension and grading came under the control of the Civil Service Department, and that was really what 'accordingly" was meant to work.

We were also told that the arrangement would be a perfectly satisfactory one because the people would be appointed to work for a period for the Scottish Executive and while they were working for the Scottish Government they would owe their loyalty there, and that that would all work out quite well. We were told that after a period of secondment to the Scottish Government, they would return to a United Kingdom Government Department and there would be no problem because they would continue at all times to be appointed accordingly—to use the words of clause no. 62—and be members of a single Civil Service.

I believe that to put the matter that way, as the Government have consistently done, is greatly to underestimate the strain that will arise as a result of the civil servants being employed in that way. It is one thing to work for some sort of autonomous agency and retain one's status as a civil servant and then return and work in a formal Government Department, but it is quite a different matter to work not just for some independent or semi-independent autonomous public body but for a separate Government, which is what we are creating for Scotland, and, what is more, a Government who may be locked in conflict with the United Kingdom Government, and then to return to the service of the United Kingdom Government as if nothing had happened.

That is a quite different dimension of service which the Bill seeks to create. I suggest that it is one that the Government have really not faced up to.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (West Lothian)

It is especially so as we stumbled on the fact last Thursday that a Minister in one Government can actually take to court and sue a Minister in the other Government.

Mr. Brittan

I am grateful for that intervention. This debate exposes a different facet of the same sort of problem on which the issue that we discussed last Thursday enabled us to focus.

I am not pretending that these amendments can resolve the basic difficulty that has been created by the decision to retain a United Kingdom Civil Service and not to create a separate Scottish one while creating a separate Scottish Government. Amendments of this kind cannot do that. But what they can at least help to do is to resolve some of the outstanding questions as to the actual appointment of the Scottish civil servants.

What the Government say—they have said it again today—is that all will work in a perfectly satisfactory way so long as the Scottish Executive appoint the civil servants from among those who are official civil servants and have met the requirements of the Civil Service Commission, and—this point was particularly stressed by the Minister—as long as the Scottish Executive have to pay for the civil sevants that they appoint.

The argument goes that this is an effective brake because if the Scottish Government appoint too many civil servants, they will have to pay for them out of the block grant. We were accused of not understanding that, but I assure the hon. Gentleman that I fully take that point into account. The argument presumably continues that if the Scottish Government appoint too many civil servants and take too much money out of the block grant, there will be less money for other things, and if the Scottish electorate notice that standards of education or housing are depreciating in Scotland because too many civil servants have been appointed and too much money has been spent on expanding the Civil Service, there will be a political price to pay by the Government of Scotland at the next elections for the Scottish Assembly.

But that argument, attractive as it is—which leads the Minister to say that for us to intervene in any way would be an unwarranted intrusion in the scheme of devolution and would be a manifestation of a refusal to accept the consequences of devolution—ignores one key point which makes it inevitable for there to be a United Kingdom dimension to appointments to the Scottish Executive and to servants and officers of the Scottish Executive. The dimension is precisely the one that I have already touched upon—namely, that all these appointments are to be from a Civil Service—whether one calls it the Domestic Home Civil Service of the State, Her Majesty's Domestic Civil Service, or whatever title one chooses to give it—which is operated and maintained on a United Kingdom-wide basis.

That means that there will be a limited pool of people available from whom the appointments have to be made, both in the total number of the people available and as far as the particular grades are concerned. Therefore, any appointment that a Scottish Secretary makes is bound to have implications for the United Kingdom public service as a whole. Simply to say that it does not matter how many civil servants the Scottish Executive appoint, that it is up to them and they are spending the money out of their block grant, and we must not interfere in that, is to ignore the fact that those appointments are coming from a single pool of United Kingdom civil servants.

That is why the Scottish Secretary cannot just be allowed to decide on the extent of staffing matters without any check at all. This is not a question of seeking to impose fetters on Scotland or seeking to ignore the implications of devolution. It is a question of seeking to have at least a mechanism for preventing arrangements being made by the Scottish Executive which could have potentially damaging implications for the Civil Service as a whole.

I am not suggesting that there is any necessary reason to believe that the Scottish Assembly and the Scottish Executive will not listen to the advice of the Civil Service Department or that the Scottish Assembly or Executive will be unduly profligate. But what I sam saying is that to give them carte blanche to draw upon the numbers of United Kingdom civil servants, at whatever level and whatever grade they consider to be necessary for the maintenance of the Scottish Government, is a fantastic proposition. It has been allowed to remain in the Bill only because the Government shy away from the implications of refusing to set up a Scottish Civil Service and are retaining a United Kingdom Civil Service while at the same time setting up a separate Government within the confines of what is supposed to be remaining a unitary State.

Mr. Gerry Fowler (The Wrekin)

Fantasy appears not to be restricted to the Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman speaks of a single pool of civil servants. That might be read outside this House to mean that at any given moment there is a defined number of civil servants, and that if the Scottish Assembly takes more, there will be fewer for other functions. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows that that would be arrant nonsense. That is not the implication of the Bill at all. What the Bill actually means, as he well knows, is precisely that if the Scottish Assembly employs more civil servants, it will have less money for other functions. In that sense, and in that sense alone, can the hon. and learned Gentleman talk of a pool, but he ought to define his terms first.

Mr. Brittan

With great respect, I think that on this occasion the hon. Gentleman's view is misconceived. I am sorry if I did not put the point sufficiently clearly. At any given moment, there is a fixed number. It is absurd to say that there is not a fixed number. It is possible, at the next second, perhaps, or the next day, next week or next month, to employ more civil servants. But it is arrant nonsense—to use the hon. Gentleman's phraseology—to say that at any given moment there is not a fixed pool. Of course there is a fixed pool.

There are those who are members of the Home Civil Service, and they are a defined number at a particular time. What will happen if the Scottish Executive choose to appoint an inordinately large number of civil servants is that those will be plucked out of the pool that exists at that moment. That certainly must be so. There is no way of avoiding that. It is bound to be the case, and for Scotland the consequence of paying for it is that there is less money available for other things.

It also has consequences for the United Kingdom Government and Civil Service because if, for example, a particularly large number of people of a particular grade are taken, they are not available for the rest of the United Kingdom Departments. More can be recruited and more can be promoted, but at that time they will not be available. The effect of requiring more to be recruited or more to be promoted is a serious distorting impact on the United Kingdom Government and Civil Service as a whole.

Therefore, these amendments are saying that in such a situation it is important that the Civil Service Department should have some control. In saying that there should not be any control, the Government are ignoring the blindingly obvious—that, if one has once taken the decision not to have a separate Civil Service for Scotland, it must be essential to retain United Kingdom control of the number of officers and servants in each grade. That is all that is being sought to be done. There is no question of foisting on the Civil Service of Scotland, the devolved Assembly or the Executive any particular individuals or of denying them any particular individuals. It is simply a question of maintaining minimum control over numbers within the particular grades.

That is a central point, and a reasonable one, which the United Kingdom Parliament ought to take when it is implementing a scheme which, rightly or wrongly, and for perfectly understandable reasons, retains a United Kingdom Civil Service even though a devolved Executive is being set up for Scotland.

It is the situation at present that Ministers and Government Departments in Whitehall cannot just significantly add to the strength of their Departments without the permission of the Minister for the Civil Service, and it is ridiculous to allow the new Scottish Service to do just that in a totally unfettered way. It is inconsistent with the concept of there being a single United Kingdom Civil Service for there not to be United Kingdom control not of individual personnel but over numbers and grades of people taken by the Scottish Assembly.

Many other uncertainties remain in the proposed arrangements for the Civil Service to which their lordships have sought to get an answer but have obtained none. There is nothing in the Bill to indicate the probable number or size of the Scottish Departments, yet the fear of empire-building for the best of motives cannot be allayed if there is not the faintest indication of the probable number and size of Departments.

The estimate in the Bill of a probable 750 extra civil servants could be greatly exceeded. There has been no reasoned explanation why that figure is the right one and all higher figures are incorrect. Nor is there any clear indication how the Scottish Departments will be established and recruited. We understand the idea to be that for the most part large numbers of people from the existing Scottish Office will be handed over. But what of the rest? What mechanism will there be for the Scottish Executive to choose particular people it wants to have from the Home Civil Service generally?

These are all unanswered questions, encompassing genuine worries and anxieties which, if the Government were genuinely trying to set up a viable scheme, they would have tried to answer long ago. But they have not made any attempt to do so. We cannot extract or squeeze answers from them in the form of amendments. But what we can do in the form of amendments is try to retain at least the existing residual degree of control implicit, not in our concept of devolution or of the scheme but in the Government's own concept, because that concept retains the unity of the Civil Service in name. Our amendment does at least the minimum to retain it in reality.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

Our argument is becoming, I suspect, a little repetitious and sometimes a little boring. The hon. Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) has just stated again a case that has been destroyed on many occasions. The argument for having a unified Civil Service is well known. If we did not have a unified Civil Service, we should have a small Scottish Civil Service side by side with a very large British Home Civil Service, and promotion prospects within the Scottish service would therefore be very much lower than in the wider Civil Service for people of considerable ability. Anyone with ability would inevitably gravitate, unless motivated by purely nationalistic reasons, to the United Kingdom Civil Service.

5.15 p.m.

It is imperative that we keep an open career structure for the sake of good government, in both Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole. That said, all the rest of the provisions of the Bill in essence follow. Let us take the hon. Gentleman's argument about a pool. I found it fascinating.

The hon. Gentleman said that at any given moment there is a defined number of civil servants. That is nonsense. There is nothing of the kind. At any given moment there is a given number of civil servants, but this House does not debate and amend proposals for a reduction in the number of civil servants from X to Y in month Z. In that sense there has never been a pool.

The hon. Gentleman seemed to imply that the Scottish Assembly will be able to recruit purely from among existing civil servants. That is an absurd argument, particularly so when the Assembly will have been running for some years. Certainly, at the lower grades the Assembly is likely to recruit outside—for example, for clerks, typists and so on—in the way that any Government Department does and, indeed, as any outside organisation does.

If the hon. Gentleman says "But there is a defined pool of talent at under-secretary level", he may be right. There may be some measure of truth in that. Although I would hate to give the definition of the talent required, and I challenge the hon. Gentleman to do it, there may be a defined pool of people capable of serving as under-secretaries successfully in Government Departments. But if the Scottish Assembly wishes to appoint as under-secretaries persons who do not have the requisite talent, or if it wishes to lure away under-secretaries serving in United Kingdom Government Departments, that is a matter for the Assembly, although in the latter case I should be surprised if it were successful on many occasions, because why should an individual wish to destroy his career prospects in the wider United Kingdom Civil Service by accepting appointment at exactly the same level in the service of the Scottish Assembly? We have never heard an argument from the Opposition that would suggest that there is such a degree of mania amongst Scotsmen.

What is the basic argument? The hon. Gentleman told us that it was a matter of political expediency. Who is supposed to gain politically is beyond my comprehension. Let us take two points which arise from the amendment. The first is clear—that all appointments shall be made not by a Scottish Secretary but by the First Secretary in Scotland. The equivalent situation here would be to say that all appointments to the Civil Service should be ratified by the Prime Minister, but we do not say that. Why should we impose that rule on the Scottish Assembly when we do not impose it on ourselves?

We do not do it in our own case for a very simple reason. Every Department has its own requirements from time to time. It will negotiate with the Civil Service Department, take its advice, and, within the constraints operating from time to time, it will appoint the person who seems most suitable, with, in the higher grades, the advice of the Civil Service Commission and so on. That seems to me to be a reasonable procedure. It is perfectly true that the Government as a whole and collectively seek to set limits for the total size of the Civil Service. What leads us to believe that the Scottish Assembly will not do the same?

That brings me to the second point in the amendment sent to us from another place. It is simply that the Civil Service Department of the United Kingdom Government should be able to control the total number and grades of staff in respect of the Scottish Assembly. Of course, the Civil Service Department will offer advice, if it is requested. Of course, the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Assembly will form a view on what proportion of their expenditure should go on the salaries, pensions and the like, of the civil servants who are in their service. I was about to say "in their employ" but that would be a misuse of terms. Of course it will. There will be a collective view.

I have no doubt that the First Secretary will have—as the Prime Minister would have in the United Kingdom Government—a rather powerful voice in the formation of that view. But we do not say here whether the Prime Minister shall determine what part of total United Kingdom expenditure shall be formed by the salaries, the pensions and the like of civil servants, and we should not say the same in Scotland, nor do we say here, in terms of the United Kingdom, that the Civil Service Department shall have a determining influence upon what proportion of total public expenditure shall be formed by those elements within it.

Why should we say that within the Scottish context alone? There is no good reason for so doing. Devolution is about letting the Scots determine their own priorities. If the Scots want to be so silly—I do not believe for a second that they will—as to say that they will over-staff the Assembly and the Executive, and that they will over-grade those who are to service them, that is their own affair, because they will simultaneously be saying, within a block grant system, that they will have less available for other services.

Mr. Timothy Raison (Aylesbury) rose

Mr. Fowler

I will give way to the hon. Gentleman in a moment. There is only one way out of that, and the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) knows what it is. It is to levy a surcharge on local rates. If the Scottish Assembly were crazy enough to do that in order to pay an over-staffed Civil Service, it would pay the price for that policy at the next election.

Mr. Raison

Is not the hon. Gentleman overlooking two facts? The first is that in the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister is the head of the Civil Service Department, and that Department has a very big say in the number of civil servants who can be taken on. That is its purpose. Secondly, is it not also the case that service as an officer under a Scottish Secretary counts as service in the Home Civil Service of the State? In other words, once someone has been appointed as a civil servant under the Scottish Assembly, he automatically becomes a member of the Home Civil Service of the State, that is, of the United Kingdom as a whole. Surely these two points provide very powerful reasoning for the Lords amendment.

Mr. Fowler

Concerning the hon. Gentleman's first point, he knows as well as I do that although the Prime Minister is technically the head of the Civil Service Department, he does not exercise the functions of a head of Department in any effective fashion. That applies to any Prime Minister. The hon. Gentleman knows equally well that the way in which the number of civil servants in the service of any Department is determined from time to time is not by diktat from the Prime Minister, and it would be a terrible mistake to write that into the law in regard to Scotland.

The hon. Gentleman is, of course, right on his second point, but his whole premise is that the Scots will behave in a silly fashion and appoint very large numbers of people who would not have been appointed in those numbers or at those grades within the United Kingdom system, or alternatively appoint the same number of people but at higher grades. There is no evidence to suggest that that is true. Indeed, there is a powerful financial constraint, in the shape of the block grant, which prevents that becoming true.

The whole of this argument is based upon the usual premise, namely, distrust of the Scots. It can be no more. I am not surprised to get this from another place, because it is not noted, whatever its merits—I hasten to say this, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because we must not criticise another place here—for its understanding of democracy in the United Kingdom as a whole, let alone in the component parts of the United Kingdom. I hope that the Members of another place will in future, when they get on to democratic questions, decide that they had better confine themselves to their own areas of expertise. I note that all the companies which were recently discovered to have overcharged the Post Office were chaired by Members of another place. They have a certain expertise, and I hope that they will stick to it and not involve themselves in questions of democratic machinery.

As I have said repeatedly in this House, devolution is about letting the Scots fix their own priorities. It is not about seeking to determine those priorities here in Whitehall and in Westminster. In that context, what has been suggested by the other place makes no sense whatsoever. If the Scottish Assembly wishes to spend more on the Civil Service, in my view it is perfectly entitled so to do, because it will spend less on other services and it will subsequently pay the price. That is what devolution is about.

Sir David Renton (Huntingdonshire)

I hope that the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Fowler) will not mind, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if I say that I am surprised that during his sojourn in government he did not discover more about it. He said that the Prime Minister, in his capacity as the principal Minister for the Civil Service, has no say in such matters as staff levels and, indeed, such matters as appointments and various other things. That, if I may say so, is just not the true position. As to the rest of the hon. Gentleman's speech, I hope that, if he will be so kind as to follow what I say, he will find that I may be able to answer those of his points which are capable of rational discussion.

I think that it would help the hon. Gentleman—and, indeed, the House as a whole—if one were to start one's thinking in this matter by referring to the words of the Minister of State, Scottish Office, in another place. Lord Kirkhill pointed out that the United Kingdom Government will determine initial staff levels. Having come from a Government spokesman, I presume that to be the true position.

We have to consider, therefore, what will happen at the next stage, when the Scottish Executive has got under way. The noble Lord, Lord Kirkhill, went on to say that The Scottish Executive will have control of staff matters only when it has taken full control of devolved matters". Of course, the extension of the staff, when that situation arises, will depend very largely upon the money available. By the same token that the United Kingdom Government will fix the initial level of staff, so will the United Kingdom Government fix the first block grant. It seems to me that inevitably—I shall be corrected if I am wrong—they will have to fix it without consultation with the Scottish Executive, because at first there will not be a Scottish Executive. It will, I assume, be worked out—if such a misfortune should arise that it has to be worked out—between the Scottish Office, the other Departments concerned with devolved subjects and, of course, the Treasury. We know that the Treasury will have the last word, but there will be no opportunity at that initial stage for the Scottish Executive to have a say.

5.30 p.m.

We come to the next phase. Again I refer to the words of the noble Lord, because it was suggested to him that at that next phase there might be a bit of empire building within the Scottish Executive. It was suggested that the First Secretary would be the right man to check that tendency towards empire building. This leaves aside the question whether the Minister for the Civil Service should have a say. I shall come back to that. But the noble Lord said this: The Government consider that this also is a matter which the Scottish Executive can be left to work out for itself". He added: The Government believe that the best safeguard is that of finance, as well as the pressure of public opinion."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 20th July 1978; Vol. 395, c. 492.] Let us just consider the practical operation of this. Let me first of all dispose of public opinion. Although public opinion, once a thing has happened, can become indignant, public opinion has precious little to say when decisions are being taken which may affect the people's pockets. In the nature of things it is not always possible for public opinion to have a say in advance. It is afterwards, when it protests, that public opinion has that say, and that is too late.

I believe that once the thing has got under way, when the first financial year is about half-way through, there will be consultation as to what the second year's block grant should be. When the Scottish Secretaries are established in office it is likely that they will be asking, or will be tempted to ask, for more money to come out of the block grant to pay more officials in order that they may adequately, they will maintain, perform their devolved services. This is where the scramble—and it may become a scramble—for officials will arise, whether we call it a pool, a supply, a number or whatever. There will be a scramble, there will be competition.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

I thought the Opposition believed in competition.

Sir D. Renton

I do not know whether the hon. Member for The Wrekin is trying to make me give way to him while he remains in a seated position, but unless he stands up I do not propose to do so.

Perhaps for the last time ever, I propose to refer to that great mine of information, the report of the Kilbrandon Commission. The Commission considered the question of how a devolved Assembly or an Executive might be served. We took note of the fact that there is a very fine section of the United Kingdom Civil Service which serves in Scotland. After all, there are some famous examples of Scottish civil servants rising to the very top. I can name two men who were Permanent Under-Secretaries of State at the Scottish Office and who later became Permanent Under-Secretaries of State at the Home Department. One of them was Sir John Anderson and the other was Sir Charles Cunningham, with whom I served in the Home Office. Although there are many other men who did not reach the very top like those two—but some others did—there is a very fine tradition of administrative ability and zeal in that part of the Civil Service which originated among Scotsmen. One should pay tribute to that.

But the great thing about it is that it is the United Kingdom Government and United Kingdom Departments which benefited, because there was complete interchangeability. Paragraphs 821 and 1146 of the Kilbrandon Commission report stressed the need for this interchangeability. The Bill makes no arrangement for interchangeability, and nor expressly do our amendments. But I suggest that by requiring the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service we place the Scottish Executives, through their First Secretary, in consultation with the Minister for the Civil Service.

In that indirect way, as a result of the amendments, interchangeability should be more easily secured. It would no doubt be discussed, because it would be hard to think of discussions as to the levels of staffing in the higher ranges without dealing with the very matter that I have mentioned, namely, the interchangeability of the best of the senior staffs.

Under the Bill as it stands, there is nothing to prevent the Scottish Executive from milking the Scottish Office and other United Kingdom Departments of many trained civil servants, including some of the best. That is another reason for requiring the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service as to the numbers of officers and servants in each grade who may be employed. A further advantage of the amendments is that they will ensure consultation within the new Scottish Executive. In order to get that consultation, however, it would do no harm to write it into the Bill. I do not agree with the Under-Secretary of State that that would be putting the Scottish Executives into a straitjacket. If we say that no individual Scottish Executive can increase its staff without consultation with the First Secretary of the Scottish Executive, that is not a straitjacket. It is just a reasonable precaution to ensure consultation and co-ordination and to ensure that the question of the number of civil servants does not get out of hand because of over-zealous recruitment by Scottish Secretaries Therefore, for these reasons, as well as the reasons advanced by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan), I would have expected the Government to welcome the amendments thankfully and with open arms. With the best will in the world, and with full opposition to the Bill, I would have thought that there were positive advantages in accepting these amendments. They do not go very far. I must confess that they do not go as far as I would have wished had I been drafting them. That might be concluded from what I have said. But I believe they should be accepted, first, for economy reasons, because it will be easier to control the expenditure and easier to control the temptation to expand the new bureaucracy. Secondly, I think they should be accepted for manpower reasons, perhaps we should say womanpower or person-power reasons, so that the best use is made of the trained manpower available in the best interests of both Scotland and the United Kingdom.

The Under-Secretary of State said that the amendments would lead to conflict. I would remind him, as has been pointed out from both sides of the House so often, that the whole Bill inevitably leads to conflict. I would have thought that the writing of this modest degree of consultation into the Bill, far from causing conflict, might avoid some conflict arising.

After all, we must never forget that that block grants will come before the House year after year. Hon. Members from this House representing any part of the United Kingdom will be able to question Ministers about the size of the grant. They will want to know why increases have been made. I am certain that the House will demand eventually a White Paper showing the manpower position, as has been the case with the Armed Forces for some time. Something along the lines of these modest amendments could be a safeguard for the Government, and it is only in abject fooly that they still resist.

Mr. George Robertson (Hamilton)

The hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) said that one of the reasons why this amendment was before us today was that it had not been debated before. I suggest that if he, along with other hon. Members, takes 25 minutes out of the three hours available to us, there will be precious little time for any of us to debate any of the points.

The amount of time that has been spent on this Bill—or on various parts of it—is a good indication of the need for devolution. We are passing a piece of legislation which has immense consequences. Hon. Members opposite will say that the Bill is frightening, dangerous and it has within it all the ingredients necessary to break up the United Kingdom. We on these Benches believe that it will strengthen and consolidate the United Kingdom—

Mr. Dalyell

Some of us.

Mr. Robertson

No, the majority of us. A large majority of people in this country believe that the Bill will consolidate and strengthen the United Kingdom.

It is a simple fact that large sections of the Bill will continue to go through this House undebated and undiscussed. That is nothing to do with the guillotine. This evening we have had the opportunity to discuss four separate groups of amendments that have been put forward by the other place. Yet we have had speeches from the Opposition lasting an inordinate length of time. In those circumstances it is impossible to get any form of detailed debate.

What is it that the other place is trying to do in this amendment? This is the last trench in the warfare in which the other place has taken part on devo- lution. It is little more than that. Those of us who have gone through the debates in another place in great detail, attempting to find within them the seeds of the opposition to the various items that the Lords chose to amend, could only find—clearly and constantly—a feeling that the Bill was bad, dangerous and must be opposed.

Sir David Renton

The speeches so far in this debate have been relevant to the amendments. Is it right that the hon. Member should take up limited time by making a speech about the operation of the guillotine in a general kind of way?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) is, in fact, straying away from the detail, and he should confine himself to the amendments. He has made a few opening remarks which the Chair has accepted, but the Chair would be grateful if he would confine himself from now on to the subject under discussion—namely, amendments nos. 1, 2 and 3.

Mr. Robertson

If it appeared that the comments that I was making were diverting from the subject matter, I simply point out that I had concluded my introductory remarks and was about to assess the motivation of the other place in putting forward the amendment before us.

5.45 p.m.

There are perfectly good and consistent reasons for the Government opposing this group of amendments. The attempt is here again—in accord with all the attempts from the other place—simply to frustrate the philosophy and operation of the devolved legislature, as and when it is eventually created.

The real constraint on the number of civil servants and the number of people employed by the Assembly will be public opinion. That would be so, even if there were not sufficient constraint—as there is in this case—from the operation of the block grant and the inability of the Scottish Administration to expand its own employment force without cutting back on other necessary areas.

It is interesting that the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton), who was a member of the Kilbrandon Commission—from whose principles the Conservative Party has departed in many ways—bases his case on the fact that the Scottish Assembly itself might try to cream off the talent from the Home Civil Service. However, others have made their case on precisely the opposite grounds. They have suggested that the Scottish Assembly might, by the very nature of being parochial eventually end up as a dead end for those whose ambition is higher and wider than can be provided for by a parochial assembly.

We are trying to explore the hypothetical. We are trying to explore the possibilities for confusion and conflict, rather than exercising our minds on the opportunities that devolution will give to this country and to Scotland in particular. I believe that the assumption of irresponsibility, which lies at the base of the argument in this debate, as in so many other debates on devolution, is an assumption that is baseless. This will be proven only by history. The assumption is wrong. It is hypothetical and cannot be borne out by anything other than pessimistic foresight. Therefore, we should reject this amendment again.

Mr. Russell Johnston (Inverness)

The hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Fowler) summed up the matter very succinctly when he said that what devolution is about is letting the Scots determine their own priorities. That is what we are arguing about. It is a very sad comment on the majority view on devolution in the other place that while it rejected a proposal to ask this House to reconsider important matters such as the electoral system, it concentrated on this issue. This is a clear example of the kind of nit-picking amendment of which we have had a great many on this Bill.

If the amendment were accepted it would deny the objective of devolution. Already there has been some talk about lack of debate on this matter. I am not surprised. The debate that has taken place so far this afternoon has hardly seen a scintillating clash of wills. It is quite clear, in fact, there has been a considerable labouring in order to find reasons to justify the amendment.

The objections to the amendment are fourfold. First, it represents interference by Westminster in the doings of the Assembly, which runs contrary to the whole object of the Bill.

Secondly, this interference would be excessive and of a detailed nature. As amendment no. 3 points out, we are being asked to approve that consent should be obtained as to the number of officers and servants in each grade. That is quite a detailed control.

Thirdly, although not a great deal has been made of this so far, the reference to "The First Secretary" in amendment no. 1 seems unnecessary and a matter which, in all conscience if one is to have devolution, should be determined by the Executive itself.

Lastly, there is the question of the financial control which is exerted through the block grant. In the first instance it was pointed out by the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton)—who quoted Lord Kirkhill in another place, responding in turn to Lord Harmar-Nicholls—that the initial number of civil servants will be determined by the Government. Thereafter, it is in principle unacceptable, and in practical terms it would make for considerable friction if there continued to be detailed interference in terms of control.

I wish briefly to examine the arguments advanced by the hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan). He referred to a basic ambivalence in the Government's position. He said that it was logical to argue for a Scottish Civil Service, although he personally does not argue in that sense. At an earlier stage I thought that it would be a good thing for us to have a separate Scottish Civil Service. The Government in principle accepted that this may eventually happen as devolution develops throughout the years.

I do not accept the argument touched on by the hon. Member for The Wrekin that because a Civil Service is small it must decline in quality. All the signs are that the reverse is the case. If we examine the smaller countries of Europe, such as the Netherlands, and particularly Luxembourg, we see examples of the civil services in those countries fulfilling very great roles. In those countries people have emerged to face the demands laid upon them. That is often one of the side consequences of devolution—namely, that size does not dilute and diminish quality but brings out qualities which previously were not observed.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

I think that the hon. Gentleman has misrepresented me. The argument essentially is that it is highly desirable in the case of both Scotland and Wales that a career is open to talent. This preserves the right of people in the Scottish service and in the Welsh service to proceed with their career development in the United Kingdom Home Civil Service, and vice versa. That is a rather different argument.

Mr. Johnston

It is a different argument. That situation is preserved under existing legislation because interchangeability will continue. I was merely saying that even if one were to remove this interchangeability—which is not proposed—it would not have quite the calamitous results that are suggested.

The situation with which we are dealing is a practical one. It is as set out clearly and succinctly in the argument of Lord Kirkhill in the other place in the debate on 20th July reported in Lords Hansard at c. 492. He made clear that when staff were recruited through the Civil Service Commission they would be subject to the rules of the Civil Service, as is the case at the present. I do not see that that will be impossible to operate. I find it difficult to contemplate the idea that the Scottish Office somehow more than anybody else will be overzealous in recruitment. That is not a practical proposition.

The hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby mentioned clashes of loyalty. This matter was adumbrated by the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on previous occasions, although the hon. Gentleman has been unaccustomedly silent today. However, I do not wish to goad him in any fashion. He envisaged the possibility of the Scottish Assembly bringing forward possibly even werewolves from the hills and all kinds of disasters.

As for clashes of loyalty, I must point out that the amendment does nothing to affect the position one way or the other. In the second place for a civil servant who is involved in the tough negotiations between the Scottish Assembly and Westminster in one month to find in the next month that he must suddenly transfer his loyalties to the Government in Westminster, with whose representatives he was previously arguing, is not in degree greatly different from the position of a civil servant who is engaged in a furious tussle between a Labour Government and Conservative Opposition and who after a general election has to transfer his loyalty to a Government of a new political complexion. Again, I do not regard that as a practical difficulty.

The right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire mentioned the concept of a common pool. This envisaged the idea that these arrangements proposed by the Government might have potentially damaging consequences on the Civil Service as a whole. That was certainly the view of the lion. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby. That is a variant of the argument advanced regularly in different forms throughout the debate that the Assembly when set up will be wholly irresponsible in its behaviour, will do things which Westminster would never contemplate doing and that the Assembly will behave in a totally unrestrained fashion. One almost had an image of civil servants pouring across the Cheviots, clogging the airlines, packing the trains, rushing lemming-like to this marvellous land in the north where there will be more and more civil servants and presumably higher rates of pay.

That is not a practical proposition, especially as it would leave the poor old English virtually civil servant-less. The idea that this change would have, in the words of the hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby, a potentially serious distorting effect on the Civil Service is humbug.

Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Kinross and West Perthshire)

Perhaps we should consider the prospect of what Westminster has achieved in this matter. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the Scottish Office in London there are 76 civil servants and that in the Scottish Office in Edinburgh there are 11,760 civil servants? Perhaps Westminster has not done so badly in sending the civil servants to the north.

Mr. Johnston

I am not sure of the pertinency of that point, but I am sure that it adds to the sum of our knowledge. However, the hon. and learned Gentleman's intervention points up the fact that Government intervention in these matters is in the end party political. Policy would change from one Government to another and that in itself surely would add to the potential friction.

The Minister in introducing the argument against accepting the amendment pointed out that we do not even apply this control to local authorities. Surely if this Assembly is to work effectively for the wellbeing of Scotland, it is a limitation that we should not impose.

Mr. Donald Dewar (Glasgow, Garscadden)

There is a tendency and temptation for Conservative Members to support the other place when they return amendments just because that is the place the amendment comes from. There were some signs of that attitude in the persistent but unconvincing efforts of the hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) to try to find arguments to bolster these amendments. He showed his normal fearsome staying power in the process and ran round the amendment in concentric circles, but at an ever increasing pace, looking desperately for arguments that were in point.

I thought that a good deal of the hon. and learned Gentleman's remarks were not relevant—and I mean that they were not relevant in the larger sense rather than in terms of order. He said that there were a great number of difficulties about the Government's decision to go for a unified Civil Service. He conceded, by implication, that if the Government had come to any other decision he would have called down upon them every curse allowed by Parliament. However, he thought that, having decided on a unified system, it did involve difficulties, particularly over loyalty. But most of the difficulties he mentioned will not be solved or touched in any way by this amendment. If we are worried—and I believe that worry is illusory—about the loyalty of civil servants and the possibility of serving two masters, or observing a master in Scotland while looking over one's shoulder anxiously at the master in London, it would appear that the fact that there must be permission from the Minister with responsibilities for the Civil Service has no relevance to this problem, if such a problem exists. A large number of the hon. and learned Gentleman's points go into that category.

6.0 p.m.

I look at this matter in a political fashion. There is a real problem with the Assembly which is constantly thrown up under a number of guises by the Opposition. I refer to the possibility of friction, discontent and, indeed, head-on collision between Westminster and the Scottish Assembly. That kind of tension and friction does not need to happen. The possibilities have been wildly exaggerated by Opposition Members as they have tried to oppose the Bill. But it is a worry.

If we build into the Bill measures that will annoy, irritate and aggravate, it will not be surprising if, at the end of the day, we discover that we have managed to provoke the friction feared by Opposition Members. Given the context of a Scottish Assembly, given the fact that it is to be trusted to legislate over wide areas of domestic responsibility in Scotland, given the fact that it is to be trusted to spend £2,000 million of public money by deciding whether it should go for hospitals, schools or road programmes and which should be squeezed to allow for expansion of the others—basic and fundamental issues—at the same time to say "By the way, lads, you cannot appoint any civil servants you may feel appropriate to carry out your tasks without having first got the permission of the Minister for the Civil Service" seems an insulting and, as the Under-Secretary of State said, unacceptable suggestion.

One question that I should like to ask, which I suggest may create difficulties is: what criteria will be applied by the Minister for the Civil Service when he gets a request for the appointment of additional civil servants in Scotland? What test is he supposed to apply when deciding whether to give permission? It is not just a matter of consultation, as was suggested by the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton). I should be all in favour of consultation. I think that there should be constant consultation at every level in all areas between Westminster and the Scottish Assembly. But it is not consultation. We are told that before a Scottish Secretary can appoint officers and servants, he must have the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service. I do not know what the right hon. and learned Gentleman feels about definitions in the English language, but for me there is a fundamental difference between saying "I must consult with someone" and "I must have that person's consent before I can act."

Sir David Renton

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way in order that I may remind him of what I said. Perhaps I did not make it clear enough. I said that interchangeability was important. Neither the Bill nor the amendment deals with interchangeability. If consent for the numbers of officers and servants in each grade has to be obtained, there will inevitably be consultation and that will lead to improvements with regard to interchangeability.

Mr. Dewar

I think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman said something more than that, but I am prepared to accept his assurance that I misheard him. Let us compromise on the fact that this is not consultation, but is consent which must be obtained before civil servants in certain grades and numbers can be appointed.

I go back briefly to the point that I was on. What test is to be applied by the United Kingdom Minister? There are a number of criteria that he could apply. For example, he could look at a request by the Scottish administration and say "You do not need civil servants of that standard or grade. You do not need them, because I do not approve of the purposes to which they are to be put." Presumably that would be ruled out—at least in theory. But, if he withheld consent, there might be a grudging feeling in people's minds that that was what he was saying; not that it would affect the balance of civil servants throughout the United Kingdom, but that he did not like what those civil servants were going to do.

When applying his criteria, he might say "I shall oppose this request and withhold my consent, because it will cost too much." It could cost too much in the sense that it would take too large a slice out of the block grant available to the Scottish Assembly. But, for all that, he might be entitled to use the withholding of consent as a way of trying to control what lie thought were unwise decisions on choice made by the Scottish Assembly. I should imagine that the proponents of the amendment would hasten to tell me that would be an improper criterion to apply. But, again, people might feel that it entered into the calculations.

The Minister might think that by appointing skilled civil servants to try to improve the standard of education in Scotland we might be taking skilled personnel from England, and that would not be acceptable to the United Kingdom Government. If that is the criterion that at the end of the day is to be applied, it will be very hard for Scotland to accept, because, by the back door, it would be a considerable inhibition upon the right of the Assembly to make its choices on priorities within the devolved areas of responsibility.

The criteria which might be applied by the Minister for the Civil Service—criteria of which I at least can think—seem to be fraught with danger and misunderstanding.

There has been a great deal of sound and fury and lengthy speeches have been made on the subject of the amendment, but I suspect that, at the end of the day, consent would seldom be withheld. It would not be practical to withhold it for the reasons at which I have hinted. I think that, despite the wording of the amendment, we might discover that it amounted to no more than consultation. The Scottish Executive would indicate its requirements and these would be noted in terms of British Civil Service requirements. If that situation were to emerge, we should not need the amendment with its somewhat threatening overtones.

I believe that at the end of the day this power may never be used. If it is used, it will lead to friction and will be unacceptable in the general framework of devolution. Therefore, I should want nothing of it. I agree with my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State that it is unwanted interference. I should much prefer to let the Minister for the Civil Service off the hook, as it were, by taking away from him what amounts to an unnecessary and unwanted veto and to leave it to the good sense of the Scottish Assembly, under the disciplines of having to spend its money within a block grant which it cannot expand at its whim or will, to get on with the job. Therefore, I believe that we should expunge from the Bill a proposal that will be seen as petty and restrictive and will or could lead, if people were not prepared to be broad minded and tolerant, to the kind of friction that we all want to avoid.

Mr. Norman Miscampbell (Blackpool, North)

I intend to be very brief. We certainly cannot miss the significance of what we are now discussing, or the potent significance of the debate which is to follow this one, because—

Mr. Robin F. Cook (Edinburgh, Central)


Mr. Miscampbell

I hope not to delay it for long.

This debate raises the whole question of the relationship between England and Scotland. The fact that those who represent English seats have greeted what has occurred in the House over the last six months with a profound silence and deep boredom should not disguise the fact that, if irritants are created by the Bill, as they are, that silence will not long continue.

I think that the Government were right to decide not to have a separate Civil Service for Scotland. I take issue with the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston), who said that it was likely that we should arrive at that situation. If I sensed him aright, he thought that it might benefit Scotland. I suggest that a separate Civil Service, as we have seen it in Northern Ireland, is the very hallmark of separation. It is the one thing that would make a clear divide within the State. It would be a very retrogressive and divisive step.

Even the present proposals, taking the civil servants to be drawn from a pool, appear to lead to the same difficulties and irritants. I suppose that it hardly matters on a personal level, but one can foresee difficulties when a civil servant serving in a Scottish Department finds himself advising a Scottish Minister who is in conflict with an English Department. I cannot believe that in the long run that would be a very happy position for that civil servant.

There is a problem here, if the limited amount of senior talent is to be divided without any control and if the Scots can appoint at will any number of civil servants that they wish. Of course, there will be constraints, but it would certainly seem that with the limited talent available it would be likely to cause irritation between the two parts of the kingdom. Therefore, we propose that that should be controlled.

We should not give Scotland power to do that which Whitehall itself cannot do. Surely, a burgeoning Civil Service is something that we should view with concern. What we are discussing may not be the most potent of the irritants that are possible between us, but it is something that can be avoided, and because it can be avoided it should be.

Mr. Raison

It is rather a pity that no Minister from the Civil Service Department is present. I know that one always says that it is a pity that such and such a Minister is not present, but this illustrates a fact which I do not think the Government have grasped and which has not been grasped by the two loyal supporters who have suddenly sprung to the Government's defence as a result of two recent by-elections. The Government must be heartened to find that there are two Labour Members who support devolution. What has not been grasped is that once again the problem has implications for the United Kingdom and is not a purely Scottish problem, as the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston), for example, seemed to think.

I should have thought that a Minister from the Department could have been here. We all know that Ministers are not very busy at present. That delicate lessening of the pile of paper in the in-tray which takes place before a General Election is, by all accounts, already happening. In the Tea Room one can see rather more Ministers sitting around having cups of tea than happens at the height of Parliament. Therefore, I believe that a Minister from the Department could have been here today.

The important point is that the civil servants whom we are discussing will be members of the home Civil Service of the State. The reasons for this have been explained like my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan), I think that it is right to have a unified Civil Service. I believe that that is an effective way in which to try to keep the United Kingdom together, and I make no complaint about that. But it produces genuine problems and consequences.

The Government owe us a better explanation than they have given as to how the process is to work. So far we have had no proper description from the Government of how the process of secondment will work. Is it to be the case that the Scottish Secretary—or the Chief Secretary, as we believe it should be—will come to the Civil Service Department and, as it were, requisition a certain number of civil servants? Will he says who they are to be, thet terms on which they come, and how long they will come for? Who will arrange all these matters?

As far as I know, all this is still left completely in a cloud. It has never been spelt out how the process is to work.

I cannot believe that the Scottish Secretary can be given a kind of carte blanche to help himself to what he wants. We need to look into the matter. We need to know the consequences of the very important fact that, if I read the Bill correctly, the Scottish Secretary can employ people in the home Civil Service of the State. He can say to somebody in Scotland "I am now taking you on not just to be a servant of the Scottish Assembly or the Scottish Executive but to be a part of the home Civil Service of the State."

No doubt there will be political advisers, those fashionable creatures of the present day. They will be taken on and will be part of the home Civil Service of the State. If I am wrong, the Minister will no doubt tell me, but that is my reading of the Bill.

6.15 p.m.

Under those circumstances, I cannot see that it is unreasonable that the Government—in effect, the Civil Service Department in Whitehall—should have a say about the way in which civil servants will be employed, the numbers to be employed, their grading, and so on. It is fairly well known that the Civil Service Department takes a certain view about the balance within the whole of that Department. When one corresponds with it, with Ministers, about problems to do with civil servants, the answers almost invariably have to do with the age bracket, the range of grading, the balance between one sort of specialism and another, and so on. All these are real factors.

It seems to me that it is not remotely possible for the Scottish Executive to say "We want so many people", without the Civil Service having the power to say "This has a very serious impact on our structure. It has a serious impact on our training programme and on the grading within the Civil Service as a whole." That is exactly the kind of point a Minister from the Civil Service Department could have explained in winding up the debate, which would have been the proper thing to do. At least he would have been able to whisper into the Under-Secretary's ear, to put him right and make him understand, which so far he has shown no sign of doing, that there are serious problems here and that this is not merely a last-minute quibble by Opposition Members.

Mr. Fairbairn

I do not know that I quite understand my hon. Friend's fear. Is it that the Civil Service Minister and the Civil Service as a whole would try to resist its enlargement and aggrandisement, or that they might promote it? I do not understand which fear my hon. Friend has.

Mr. Raison

I am not now talking about the question of aggrandisement, although no doubt it could feature prominently. I am simply talking in terms of sheer practical common sense.

Without being wildly political about the matter, I believe that the Government have got it wrong. They are resisting a group of amendments which have a powerful element of common sense about them. It ill becomes Ministers not to take these arguments seriously but to dig in their toes when they could easily give way on this to the great benefit of the scheme as a whole.

Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne)

We heard an extraordinary speech from the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson), who wondered why the House was debating the amendment, though the Under-Secretary and four other Labour hon. Members said that the matter was so important that the Government did not feel able to give way on it. We on the Opposition Benches certainly believe that this series of amendments is of great importance.

Amendment no. 3 adds to the consistency of the Bill, because clause 62 states plainly and clearly for the whole world to see that the civil servants to be employed are members of the Home Civil Service. Therefore, any appointments made in Scotland will necessarily and inevitably diminish the number of civil servants available for appointment in the rest of the kingdom.

It is of the greatest importance that it should not be possible for the Scottish Executive to appoint any numbers it pleases, because that will have a direct effect upon manning levels in the rest of the kingdom. All that the amendment talks about is numbers. It says that the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service shall be required in regard to the numbers.

The question was raised in another place, where the most astonishing argument was advanced by the Minister of State, Scottish Office, as to why the amendments should be resisted. He gave the game away when he said that the United Kingdom would determine initial staff levels. If the United Kingdom Government is to determine initial staff levels, is it not wholly consistent that the numbers of civil servants appointed from the Home Civil Service shall remain subject to the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service?

Mr. Fairbairn

I always thought that my hon. Friend was rather keen on a civil servant-free society. If we can have Scotland siphoning every British civil servant away from England it would mean that England would be a haven because there would be no civil servants.

Mr. Gow

My hon. and learned Friend forgets that I am a Scot and I have no wish to inflict my fellow countrymen with hordes of further civil servants.

There was something else which the Minister of State said in another place. He said that when staff are sought they will be recruited through the Civil Service Commission and will be subject to the rules of the Civil Service. If these civil servants are to be recruited through the Civil Service Commission and are to be subject to the rules of the Civil Service, surely the numbers of officers or servants in each grade should be subject to the consent of the Minister res- ponsible for the Civil Service. In the explanatory and financial memorandum at the start of the Bill we are told, on page vii, that: the number of civil servants in Scotland will increase by about 750 over forecast levels. No one believes that that figure will prove to be the case. What forecast of the number of additional civil servants required, even in a devolved Government Department, has ever erred on the low side? Everyone knows that the numbers will expand greatly.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) made such a cogent speech not only because he was anxious about the effect on the United Kingdom Civil Service but because he was anxious that there should be some control by the Head of the Home Civil Service over the numbers employed in Scotland. It is because I want to see the Minister responsible for the Civil Service being able to be questioned on this point in the House that I welcome the amendment which I believe would he a substantial improvement to the Bill.

Mr. George Younger (Ayr)

My hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) put his finger on the strange thing about this debate. The strange factor is that the debate has been treated as if it were about devolution when really it is about how best to run the home Civil Service in the context of this Bill. We are all agreed that we want to have one home Civil Service. We are all agreed that we should have a Civil Service Department, with Ministers whose job it is to run the service. Some of the civil servants will be employed in Ministries governing United Kingdom Departments situated in London or other parts of the country while others will, in future, be employed in Edinburgh, or in London I suppose, as servants of this other Department which is to serve the Scottish Assembly.

All of that is common ground. All that the amendment seeks to do is to give the Civil Service Department and the Ministers posted to it the right to be consulted and to have a say in the number of civil servants required. It is extraordinary that the Minister responsible for the Civil Service Department is not present. Were it not for the fact that he will shortly be out of office, along with the rest of the Government, the job that that Minister would be doing is very much under discussion, because the debate concerns these civil servants who will be employed in the home Civil Service but will be serving the Scottish Assembly.

With respect, the hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) was wrong to suggest that the debate was to do with the question whether the Civil Service Department should interfere with the Assembly in matters of policy concerning the number of civil servants to be sent to the Ministry of Defence or the Department of Health and Social Security. This is done at present by a political decision and it will be done in the same way in future.

Mr. Dewar

Would the hon. Gentleman outline briefly what grounds he thinks would justify a refusal of consent by the Minister responsible for the Civil Service if, for example, the Scottish Assembly wished greatly to improve Civil Service support for, say, the penal services?

Mr. Younger

I am trying to be as quick as I can. I will answer the hon. Gentleman's question briefly. We have to look at this from the point of view of the Minister responsible for the Civil Service. His job is to give satisfaction to the Departments to which he supplies civil servants. He would consult the Departments, as he does now, to find out what they need, assess whether the needs were reasonable, discuss them with all the other Departments, and reach a decision. The Minister responsible for the Civil Service might disagree with the suggestion that the Department of Energy needed a certain number of people. No doubt he would dig his toes in if he thought that the numbers required were excessive.

We should not forget that the Minister running the Civil Service is not running an abstract concept. He has to provide for the career structure and for the pay and conditions of service of civil servants. He has to discuss matters with his colleagues and meet the pension requirements of the Civil Service. He would have to do all of this for those who will in future be responsible for the affairs of the Scottish Assembly. Yet he is to be denied, for this portion of the people for whom he is responsible, any say about how many civil servants there should be in each grade. That seems to be illogical. It has nothing to do with the question whether we are in favour of devolution, or whether we have different views on the question of a separate Executive.

This debate is about how we can best arrange things. The system will not work best with this proposed method. I do not understand why the Government have not agreed to this most sensible arrangement whereby we recognise the fact that we are all agreed that the Civil Service Department will run the internal affairs of the civil servants who are to be employed in assisting the Scottish Assembly. That is all that is here involved. The Government are wasting time and energy in resisting an obviously sensible move. I am surprised at them. I hope that even now they will not hesitate to agree that this amendment is eminently sensible and should be accepted.

Mr. Harry Ewing

With the leave of the House, may I attempt to deal with the points that have been raised in the debate, as briefly as possible? I hope that right hon. and hon. Members will not think that I am paying scant regard to what has been said if I deal with matters quickly. I recognise that the House is anxious to proceed to the next debate.

The hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) has a profound capacity for turning the simplest issue into the most complex matter. I am left wondering whether he understands the current position in Scotland and in the Scottish Office. I have read his speech made in Edinburgh on Friday last, when he was describing to all and sundry the set-up in the Scottish Office. He said that the Lord Advocate and his staff were part of the Scottish Office set-up and that the Lord Advocate was a Scottish Office Minister—

Mr. Brittan indicated dissent

Mr. Ewing

Before the hon. and learned Member denies that, I advise him to read his speech. That was precisely what he said. The Lord Advocate is not a Scottish Office Minister; he is a United Kingdom Minister, and is no part of the Scottish Office.

Mr. Brittan

The hon. Gentleman referred to my speech. It is a waste of time to make this point, but the fact is that it is completely irrelevant to the point that I was making in Edinburgh. Then I was concerned with the role of the Scottish Office, with Ministers concerned with Scotland and with what was available for the handling of matters legal and executive in Scotland. If the hon. Gentleman wants to discuss my speech with me I shall be quite happy to do so. He did not refer to it in opening the debate, rightly. By resorting to a discussion of it in concluding the debate he must be scraping the barrel.

Mr. Ewing

The hon. and learned Member is rather touchy, and I think that that fact illustrates the weakness of his case, because he is not usually so touchy.

Mr. Britton

The hon. Gentleman is wasting time. This is a filibuster.

6.30 p.m.

Mr. Ewing

The hon. and learned Member ought not to talk to me about filibustering; he took 25 minutes to say precisely nothing. I cannot believe that in that 25-minute period it was an accident of thinking that he omitted to refer to a fact which I made, which is that in the other place when these same amendments were discussed in terms of the Wales Bill, the Official Opposition withdrew them. They did not pursue them against the background of the explanation given during that debate. I do not think that the hon. and learned Gentleman's omission was an accident on his part. I happen to take the view that he did not want the House to concentrate too much on that aspect of this debate.

The hon. and learned Member raised one or two matters about the relationship between the Civil Service in Edinburgh and the Civil Service in London. It is a fact, of course, that we shall continue to have a unified Civil Service after devolution. The promotion procedures which prevail at the moment will prevail in the future. The mobile grades, as they are known, in the Civil Service will continue to be allocated to the Departments according to the exigencies and needs of the service. All the promotion vacancies will be trawled through the departments of the Scottish Executive, as they are trawled at the moment through the Scot- tish Office for the Whitehall Departments. All these procedures will continue in the future as they have in the past.

That brings me to the point made by the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton). He rightly spoke about those Scottish civil servants who had risen to the very top of their chosen careers. That will be possible in the future, just as it has been in the past. Even with the Conservative Party's opposition to devolution I do not accept that a Conservative Government would discriminate against a civil servant merely because he had chosen to serve the Scottish Assembly for a time during his career and so frustrate any opportunity that he might have to rise to the very top in the Civil Service. These opportunities which have been available in the past will continue to be available in the future.

The number or 750 civil servants referred to in the Bill has been quoted time and time again during this debate. We estimate that that will be the number of additional civil servants who will be required. It is envisaged that, as functions are transferred to the Assembly, the civil servants will be transferred with them. As for recruitment, this is where the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) was on to a fundamental misunderstanding of the position at the moment in the Civil Service and the position which will prevail in the future. Civil servants are not recruited by Ministers. They are recruited by the Civil Service Commission, and that will continue to be the position in the future.

I got the impression from the speech of the hon. Member for Aylesbury that it was based on the false premise that Ministers in the Scottish Assembly could recruit civil servants. In fact, for those grades of civil servants who are at present recruited by the Civil Service Commission—some grades are not, of course; typists and various other grades are delegated for recruitment purposes—the position will be the same in the future.

Mr. Raison

What the Minister is saying is important, but the fact remains that the Bill says that A Scottish Secretary may appoint such officers and servants as he may think appropriate for the exercise of such of the powers mentioned in subsection (3) of this section as are for the time being exercised by him. Where in the Bill is there the kind of qualification that the Minister has just implied? Where does it say that that provision is qualified by another provision confining him to appointing people who have been recruited to the service through the Civil Service Commission?

Mr. Ewing

With respect to the hon. Member for Aylesbury, it is not necessary to say in the Bill that Ministers do not have the right of recruitment to the Civil Service. The Bill talks about "appointment"—not appointment to the Civil Service, but appointment to posts of civil servants working or serving Ministers in the Assembly. These civil servants will come from the general pool of civil servants recruited in the normal fashion through the Civil Service Commission.

The hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby and the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) said that all that the amendments sought to do was to control the total number. That may be so. But that is just another way of saying that the Opposition want to control the appointments of civil servants in the Scottish Assembly. However, the Government say quite simply that that would impose undue and unnecessary restrictions on the ability of the Scottish Assembly to fulfil the functions devolved to it. I hope, therefore, that the House will agree that we should not accept these Lords amendments.

I have listened with great interest to the whole of this debate. I must admit that when I came to reply to it, I was tempted to rest my case on the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar). I thought that he put the whole case precisely and succinctly. However, I felt that I had an obligation to the House to try to reply to the Opposition's arguments.

Perhaps I may say, finally, that it is a little sad to see the hon. Member for Ayr popping up continually to oppose the Government in these devolution debates. I remember how, when we

started these debates on devolution—it seems a very long time ago now—he was a staunch supporter of it. He was with us in all that we sought to do in order to devolve power to the people of Scotland.

Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

That is because I had his election addresses.

Mr. Ewing

I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) is here to back me up in what I say. It is sad to see someone shift his position in the way in which the hon. Member for Ayr has. I know the considerations that have to be made. I am not saying that I have made them, but I know the considerations that the hon. Member has to make, especially at the present time. However, it is a sad sight.

Mr. Younger

I am sure that the Minister wants to be fair. He will not have forgotten that his right hon. Friend the Minister of State was a diehard opponent of devolution and is in print as being so—as was the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross).

Mr. Ewing

I knew that the hon. Member for Ayr would make that point when I was teasing him about the way in which he had shifted his position. I took the trouble last night to look out the report of the special conference, some three years ago, of the Scottish Council of the Labour Party, and I read my right hon. Friend's speech at that conference. It is nothing like what the hon. Member for Ayr suggests. It was a speech in favour of devolution, and not against it.

We have seen tonight the Tory Party's last dying attempt to frustrate, if only in some minor form, the devolution proposals which will be put to the people of Scotland. I ask the House to make sure that that last dying attempt fails and to reject the Lords amendments.

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

The House divided: Ayes 301, Noes 268.

Division No. 312] AYES [6.39 p.m.
Allaun, Frank Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Bates, Alf
Anderson, Donald Bagier, Gordon A. T. Bean, R. E.
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Bain, Mrs Margaret Beith, A. J.
Ashley, Jack Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood
Ashton, Joe Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)
c[...] I, Sydney Gould, Bryan Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.
Bishop, Rt Hon Edward Gourlay, Harry Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Graham, Ted Morton, George
Boardman, H. Grant, John (Islington C) Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Grocott, Bruce Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Hardy, Peter Newens, Stanley
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Noble, Mike
Bradley, Tom Hart, Rt Hon Judith Oakes, Gordon
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Ogden, Eric
Buchan, Norman Hayman, Mrs Helene O'Halloran, Michael
Buchanan, Richard Heffer, Eric S. Orbach, Maurice
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Henderson, Douglas Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Hooley, Frank Ovenden, John
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Hooson, Emlyn Padley, Walter
Campbell, Ian Horam, John Palmer, Arthur
Canavan, Dennis Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Pardoe, John
Cant, R. B. Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Park, George
Carmichael, Neil Huckfield, Les Parker, John
Carter, Ray Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Parry, Robert
Cartwright, John Hughes, Mark (Durham) Pavitt, Laurie
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Pendry, Tom
Clemitson, Ivor Hughes, Roy (Newport) Penhaligon, David
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Hunter, Adam Perry, Ernest
Cohen, Stanley Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Prescott, John
Coleman, Donald Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Colquhoun, Ms Maureen Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Price, William (Rugby)
Concannon, Rt Hon John Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Radice, Giles
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Janner, Greville Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Corbett, Robin Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Reid, George
Cowans, Harry Jeger, Mrs Lena Richardson, Miss Jo
Craigen, Jim (Maryhill) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Crawford, Douglas John, Brynmor Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Crawshaw, Richard Johnson, James (Hull West) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Cronin, John Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Robinson, Geoffrey
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Roderick, Caerwyn
Cryer, Bob Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiten) Jones, Barry (East Flint) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Davidson, Arthur Judd, Frank Rooker, J. W.
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Roper, John
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil Kelley, Richard Rose, Paul B.
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kerr, Russell Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Kilfedder, James Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Deakins, Eric Kilroy-Silk, Robert Rowlands, Ted
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Kinnock, Neil Ryman, John
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Lambie David Sandelson, Neville
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Lamborn, Harry Sedgemore, Brian
Dempsey, James Lomond, James Selby, Harry
Dewar, Donald Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Sever, John
Doig, Peter Lee, John Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Dormand, J. D. Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lever, Rt Hon Harold Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Duffy, A. E. P. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Dunn, James A. Litterick, Tom Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Dunnett, Jack Loyden, Eddie Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Luard, Evan Silverman, Jul-us
Eadie, Alex Lyon, Alexander (York) Skinner, Dennis
Edge, Geoff Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Smith, Rt. Hon. John (N Lanarkshire)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) McCartney, Hugh Snape, Peter
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) MacCormick, Iain Spearing, Nigel
English, Michael McDonald, Dr Oonagh Spriggs, Leslie
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) McElhone, Frank Stallard, A. W.
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) McKay, Allen (Penistone) Steel, Rt Hon David
Evans, John (Newton) MacFarquhar, Roderick Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) McGuire, Michael (Ince) Stoddart, David
Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Stott, Roger
Faulds, Andrew Maclennan, Robert Strang, Gavin
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Madden, Max Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Flannery, Martin Magee, Bryan Swain, Thomas
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mallalieu, J. P. W. Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Marks, Kenneth Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Ford, Ben Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Forrester, John Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Maynard, Miss Joan Thompson, George
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Meacher, Michael Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Freud, Clement Mikardo, Ian Tierney, Sydney
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Tilley, John
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Tomlinson, John
George, Bruce Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Tomney, Frank
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Torney, Tom
Ginsburg, David Molloy, William Tuck, Raphael
Golding, John Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Urwin, T. W.
Varley, Rt Hon Eric G. Wellbeloved, James Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V) Welsh, Andrew Wise, Mrs Audrey
Wainwright, Richard (Colne V) White, Frank R (Bury) Woodall, Alec
Walker, Harold (Doncaster) White, James (Pollok) Woof, Robert
Walker, Terry (Kingswood) Whitlock, William Wrigglesworth, Ian
Ward, Michael Wigley, Dafydd Young, David (Bolton E)
Walkins, David Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Watkinson, John Williams, Alan Lee (Horncn'ch) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Watt, Hamish Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford) Mr. James Hamilton and
Weetch, Ken Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E) Mr. James Tinn.
Weitzman, David Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Adley, Robert Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Aitken, Jonathan Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Alison, Michael Fookes, Miss Janet Lloyd, Ian
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Forman, Nigel Loveridge, John
Arnold, Tom Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Luce, Richard
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Fox, Marcus McCrindle, Robert
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East) Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Macfarlane, Neil
Awdry, Daniel Fry, Peter MacGregor, John
Baker, Kenneth Galbraith, Hon T. G. D. MacKay, Andrew (Stechford)
Banks, Robert Gardiner, George (Reigate) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
Bell, Ronald Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)
Bendall, Vivian Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian (Chesham) McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Madel, David
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Glyn, Dr Alan Marten, Neil
Benyon, W. Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Mates, Michael
Berry, Hon Anthony Goodhart, Philip Mather, Carol
Biffen, John Goodhew, Victor Maude, Angus
Biggs-Davison, John Goodlad, Alastair Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald
Blaker, Peter Gorst, John Mawby, Ray
Body, Richard Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Boscawen, Hon Robert Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mayhew, Patrick
Bottomley, Peter Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Grieve, Percy Mills, Peter
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Griffiths, Eldon Miscampbell, Norman
Brittan, Leon Grist, Ian Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Moate, Roger
Brooke, Hon Peter Hamilton, Archibald (Epsom & Ewell) Molyneaux, James
Brotherton, Michael Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Monro, Hector
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hampson, Dr Keith Montgomery, Fergus
Bryan, Sir Paul Hannam, John Moore, John (Croydon C)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss More, Jasper (Ludlow)
Buck, Antony Haselhurst, Alan Morris, Michael (Northampton S)
Budgen, Nick Hastings, Stephen Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Bulmer, Esmond Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Neave, Airey
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Hawkins, Paul Nelson, Anthony
Carlisle, Mark Hayhoe, Barney Neubert, Michael
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Heath, Rt Hon Edward Newton, Tony
Channon, Paul Heseltine, Michael Normanton, Tom
Churchill, W. S. Hicks, Robert Nott, John
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Higgins, Terence L. Onslow, Cranley
Clark, William (Croydon S) Hodqson, Robin Oppenheim, Mrs Sally
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Holland, Philip Osborn, John
Clegg, Walter Hordern, Peter Page, John (Harrow West)
Cockcroft, John Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Howell, David (Guildford) Page, Richard (Wokington)
Cope, John Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Parkinson, Cecil
Cormack, Patrick Hunt, David (Wirral) Pattie, Geoffrey
Come, John Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Percival, Ian
Co-lain, A. P. Hurd, Douglas Peyton, Rt Hon John
Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E) Hutchison, Michael Clark Pink, R. Bonner
Critchley, Julian Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Crouch. David James, David Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Crowder, F. P Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Johnson Smith, G (E Grinstead) Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Raison, Timothy
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Jopling, Michael Rathbone, Tim
Drayson, Burnaby Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Kaberry, Sir Donald Rees-Davies, W. R.
Durant, Tony Kershaw, Anthony Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Dykes, Hugh Kimball, Marcus Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Rhodes James, R.
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Elliott, Sir William Kitson, Sir Timothy Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Emery, Peter Knight, Mrs. Jill Ridsdale, Julian
Eyre, Reginald Knox, David Rifkind, Malcolm
Fairbairn, Nicholas Lamont, Norman Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Fairgrieve, Russell Langford-Holt, Sir John Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Farr, John Latham, Michael (Melton) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fell, Anthony Lawrence, Ivan Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Finsberg, Geoffrey Lawson, Nigel Ross, William (Londonderry)
Fisher, Sir Nigel Le Marchant, Spencer Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Spicer, Michael (S Worcester) Viggers, Peter
Royle, Sir Anthony Sproat, Iain Wakeham, John
Sainsbury, Tim Stainton, Keith Walder, David (Clitheroe)
St. John-Stevas, Norman Stanbrook, Ivor Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Scott, Nicholas Stanley, John Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Scott-Hopkins, James Steen, Anthony (Wavertree) Walters, Dennis
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Warren, Kenneth
Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Stokes, John Weatherill, Bernard
Shelton, William (Streatham) Stradling Thomas, J. Wells, John
Shepherd, Colin Tapsell, Peter Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Shersby, Michael Taylor, R. (Croydon NW) Whitney, Raymond
Silvester, Fred Taylor, Teddy (Carthcart) Wiggins, Jerry
Sims, Roger Tebbit, Norman Winterton, Nicholas
Sinclair, Sir George Temple-Morris, Peter Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Skeet, T. H. H. Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret Younger, Hon George
Smith, Dudley (Warwick) Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield) Townsend, Cyril D. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Speed, Keith Trotter, Neville Sir George Young and
Spence, John van Straubenzee, W. R. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.
Spicer, Jim (W Dorset) Vaughan, Dr Gerard

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords amendments nos. 2 and 3 disagreed to.

The Lords do not insist on their first amendment in page 30, line 8, and their amendment in line 2 of the Title, to which the Commons have disagreed, but propose the following amendments in lieu thereof

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