HC Deb 17 July 1979 vol 970 cc1391-443

7.40 p.m.

Mr. Speaker

Before calling the right hon. Gentleman to move the motion in the name of the Leader of the Opposition I want to explain to the House what will happen at 10 o'clock in the light of the business motion to which the House agreed earlier today. At 10 o'clock, if the debate on the Leader of the Opposition's motion is still in progress, I shall interrupt it and put the Question. When this has been disposed of, I shall call on the Financial Secretary formally to move his motion relating to the Defence and Civil estimates. As soon as he has done so, I shall call on the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Cook) to move the motion in his name, which I shall then put to the House in the form of a reduction to the sums set out in the Financial Secretary's motion. As soon as this has been disposed of, I shall put the main Question with, if necessary, a reduced sum. When this has been agreed to, I shall call upon the Financial Secretary to introduce the Appropriation Bill.

7.42 p.m.

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford West)

I beg to move, That this House declines to approve the Revised and Summer Supplementary Estimates 1979–80 which contain reductions in the Vote to Health and Personal Services, Housing and other public services and will result in a reduction in the standard of provision of these services, especially to those members of the community who need them most, and so will increase the divisions in society. We have already heard today of the Government's reckless proposals for cuts in public expenditure affecting the regions, industry and employment. I now turn to a further list of public expenditure cuts which will attack the Welfare State and the social fabric of our society. We are today looking beyond the Supplementary Estimates which are before the House to the whole field of Government public expenditure cuts. In many instances, the proposals before us today are only the tip of the iceberg. As the Govern- ment's measures unfold, it will be seen that millions of people—men, women and children—in most need will be most affected.

Why are we going through this exercise? It is for one reason and one reason only—that the Government are determined substantially to reduce taxation. The impact of much deeper cuts in public expenditure, together with the increase in VAT and 17½ per cent. inflation, will be felt throughout the country. The irony is that those who benefit most from tax reductions at the top end of the scale will do so at the expense of millions of people who will receive no benefit from the proposed tax reductions.

I want to deal with proposals and decisions already taken by so-called responsible organisations in response to the Government's measures. I am sure that most hon. Members will have seen the recent statement by the Association of County Councils on 10 July headed " Revolutionary ideas on how local authorities can save money ". I shall itemise some of its recommendations. On school meals, the association recommends the removal of the statutory obligation to provide a school meal of given nutritional level, which means that individual local authorities would have the freedom to decide whether or not to provide such a service.

On school milk, the association recommends the removal of the requirement to provide free milk for schoolchildren up to 7 years of age. It is also recommended that the provision of welfare services unded section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 should be made discretionary.

On health liaison, the association recommends the removal of the statutory requirement for liaison bodies between local authorities and the National Health Service. On old people's homes, the recommendation is the removal of the prescription by the Government of pocket money allowances for old-age pensioners. Dealing with social workers, the association recommends the removal of the requirement for sick children's planning committees to prepare and submit to the Secretary of State plans for the provision of committee homes under the Children and Young Persons Act.

The final paragraph of the association's statement is headed " Fire Precautions ". It states: Postpone introduction of new regulations under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 affecting old people's homes. Postpone introduction of revised building regulations. Introduce powers to charge for fire certificates under the FP Act 1971; and for advice on fire precaution matters. Relax the present regulations governing fire precautions in listed buildings. Raise the hotel bed limit above which hotels are required to be subject to the fire precaution regulations. All we need to do is to give old people boxes of matches. The Government should take action.

I turn to a more immediate matter. The Sussex county council had to consider the future of the Mabel Lister Home for the Elderly Blind in East Sussex. That closure was proposed as a means of cutting expenditure. I regret to say that the Sussex county council today decided to close this home for blind elderly people. I cannot express the contempt that I feel for that authority. Even Tory councillors in Brighton have been moved to express their anxiety about the proposal.

I shall move closer to my home environment in Lancashire. Yesterday I received a letter from my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) about cuts of £6.6 million on education and £1.25 million on social services by the Lancashire county council.

The leader of the Labour group, Louise Ellman, has written to my hon. Friend. She says that those proposals put in jeopardy the 180-place extension to the Blackburn technical college. The savings will mean a direct reduction in the number of school teachers. She says that the school meals service will be at risk and that children may be prevented from starting school until they have turned five years of age. A 24-place children's home for the Roman Road area which was in the building programme is now at risk. She asks whether the concessionary passes scheme will be withdrawn.

I turn to the problem of housing. If we had had a longer debate, my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) would have spoken. As my right hon. Friend has said in a note to me, some Tory councils propose to load most of the burden on council house rents. He gives Birmingham as an example. In order to save £4½ milion this year, 160,000 tenants must pay rent increases of up to £2 a week. Any budget advantage, therefore, will go overnight. Other councils will cut jobs to save money.

In order to save £5 million in the next two years, Warwickshire will reduce employment by 950, including 200 teachers. Hampshire is freezing 1,000 jobs. In time that will lead to a deterioration in the education service, for example. Hereford and Worcester plan to save £2½ million this year by abandoning proper school meals and charging for the bussing of children.

I turn to the question of the National Health Service. The increase in VAT will result in a reduction in real terms of 3 per cent. on National Health Service expenditure. Inevitably that will lead to the closure of wards.

The Secretary of State for Social Services (Mr. Patrick Jenkin)


Mr. Orme

The right hon. Gentleman may say that, but what about the bone marrow transplant unit at Westminster hospital, which, we are told, is under the threat of closure because of the Government's proposals?

My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) asked the Secretary of State yesterday about the estimated effect on his Department's budget of the increase in VAT and the net increase in his Department's expenditure for the current year. The Secretray of State said that the Department's Vote would have to bear an additional cost of £45 million a year arising from the increased rates of VAT. There is to be no increase in the cash limits for that.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

I said " Rubbish " when the right hon. Gentleman said that this was equivalent to a 3 per cent. cut. He has now quoted the figure that I gave to his hon. Friend—£35 million to £40 million. How does he estimate that that is anywhere near 3 per cent.?

Mr. Orme

That is one aspect of the Government's cuts. I shall come to the others later. The sum of £45 million is substantial.

Of course, there has already been widespread concern from many responsible people and organisations, and the personal social services council, a Government independent advisory body, has made known its fears on the proposed cuts in personal social services. Two paragraphs of its statement read:

  1. " (a) The personal social services are already under strain as a result of the growing needs of some client groups (notably, the more frail elderly people over 75 years of age). Any reduction in the scale of other services is likely to increase the need for social services support.
  2. (b) It may be an illusion that large savings can be made by cutting back on residential forms of care. But there will always be an inescapable need for residential care, and some groups in need of such care are even now unable to receive it for want of adequate facilities."
This emphasises that in these types of areas one cannot make massive cuts without removing both amenities and facilities. We have seen already with what alacrity some Conservative-controlled authorities have run for the axe. Of course, during the coming autumn and winter, Labour authorities will be facing a terrible dilemma when they try to defend the vital services.

One can understand the anger expressed by members of the Sheffield city council the other day, however impractical their suggestions. In a city such as Sheffield, which has spent a lifetime building a welfare structure that is second to none, it is a terrible experience to see it dashed to the ground.

I should like to mention the area health authorities and the struggle that they will face because of the 17½ per cent. rate of inflation and the VAT increase.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

On the question of Sheffield, the right hon. Gentleman must know that was the subject of a pure propaganda exercise. Both my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary and I were told categorically by Councillor David Blunkett, a remarkable young man, who is chairman of the Sheffield social services committee, that nothing of the sort was going to happen.

Mr. Orme

I do not know whether the Secretary of State saw the statement in The Guardian today from Councillor Blunkett, which was somewhat different from what the Secretary of State is saying. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House tonight that Sheffield will be free of these pressures and cuts?

Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

I was appalled at what the Secretary of State said. The reality in Sheffield is that we are deeply worried about practically everything that the Tories are doing. Their assault on the services in any major city will afflict that city. I cannot agree about Councillor Blunkett. He is a valiant struggler. He is blind and he toils mightily for everyone who is dispossessed. I cannot believe what the Secretary of State said, and I take what my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) said as being correct.

Mr. Orme

I wish to say a brief word about the area health authorities and the struggle that they will face in the coming months. Mr. Ray Batman, the Leeds area treasurer, has said that the increases will add £1 million to his city's allocation just to maintain services. He says that they are in serious trouble. I could give other examples from South Glamorgan, London and elsewhere. These are only some of the problems which will multiply as the Government's measures unfold.

I want to draw attention particularly to the effect of the Government's measures on the disabled, and not least the disabled blind. I refer to the brutal closure of the home in Sussex and the possible amendment of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. I know that my right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris), who was the Minister responsible for the disabled in the previous Administration, is taking a keen interest in this matter. He will be discussing the matter at a later date.

We have been told, not least today, that substantial tax cuts and the free run of market forces is the answer to the nation's problems. Dramatic cuts in taxation for the very rich do not, however, provide a health centre, an old people's home, a nursery school or housing for those in need. The people who will benefit from those tax cuts will not therefore be spending their money on providing these facilities in the inner city areas such as London, Manchester, Liverpool and Salford, when three-quarters of our population lives.

Likewise, market forces will only denude both industrial and crucial social urban areas of our society. We have only to look at the United States, with all its wealth, where as yet a health service under which every person has the right to equal treatment has not been created. With all its affluence the United States has not eradicated its city problems, and did not prevent New York from going bankrupt for the lack of public expenditure.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Will the right hon. Gentleman repeat that last sentence? Did he say that it went bankrupt for lack of public expenditure?

Mr. Orme

Yes. The city of New York went to the central Administration for Government support because it could not pay the wages of its employees.

Mr. Jenkin

It was overspending.

Mr. Orme

I wish to refer here to an anecdotal remark—which I understand to be correct—by the Secretary of State for Industry, as he now is, when he gave evidence to the Royal Commission on the National Health Service. In his evidence he returned to his favourite philosophy about market forces. I understand that he was asked by the Commission what he meant by market forces, and how they would operate within the Health Service, and that the right hon. Gentleman replied that he would like to see a hospital with a number of empty beds competing with another hospital that also had empty beds. That is the philosophy of the madhouse. It does not provide more facilities.

I come now to the Secretary of State. He cuts a pathetic figure today. For years I heard him extolling how he wanted the Health Service improved, compaigning on child benefits and putting pressure on the Government at that time for increased public expenditure. Yet what has happened? The Cabinet steamroller has run over him and his liberal image has been obliterated by the Government's policies. The right hon. Gentleman owes the House an explanation for his U-turn.

How do we react to these proposals? The Labour Party will not stand idly by and watch the Welfare State be dismantled. We shall fight the proposals by every legitimate means at our disposal. My party has organised a campaign through the national executive for this autumn and winter. The TUC has done the same. I am sure that my right hon. and hon. Friends will want to throw their weight behind these campaigns.

Mr. David Ennals (Norwich, North)

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the campaign will not just be a Labour Party campaign? Does he agree that people who thought that they would get something different from the Conservative Government will join this campaign? These are the people who genuinely believe in the Welfare State.

Mr. Orme

I could not agree more with my right hon. Friend. We have to convince those who were kidded by the Government into voting Conservative because they thought they would get more money in their pockets to join us in this struggle. They will see around them hospitals with closing wards, the closure of old people's homes and an absence of education facilities for their children. All this will happen in the most vulnerable areas of our society. I hope, therefore, that the campaign and the argument that we will carry to the people will not be too late to protect some of the services in the Welfare State that we fought for a generation to create, which we shall now defend, and, I hope, eventually improve when we return to office.

8.8 p.m.

Mr. Sydney Chapman (Chipping Barnet)

You will know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that I had the great privilege of sitting in the last Parliament but two, although it seems that that was only just over five years ago. On that occasion I had the privilege of taking over the constituency of the then Sir Edward Boyle. Unkind boundary commissioners conspired with ungrateful electors to unseat me some years ago, but I find myself now in an equally privileged position in representing the constituents of Chipping Barnet, and I feel doubly privileged in succeeding the late Mr. Reginald Maudling.

This is not a maiden speech, and I suppose that I cannot call it a second maiden speech. I suppose that, to use the current Skylab jargon, this is a reentry attempt. I am sure that the House will forgive me if I pause to say on behalf of my constituents of all parties how much they appreciated the eulogies by hon. Members on both sides about my distinguished predecessor.

Reggie Maudling represented the constituents of Barnet for almost 30 years. He held many of the great offices of State and I think that all who knew him, and certainly my constituents and myself, will always remember him with affection and respect.

Perhaps I may begin on a harmonious note by saying what a great pleasure and privilege it is to follow the right hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme). I tried to follow his oratorical flights of fancy, which I fear I shall be unable to match. Instead I shall attempt to depict the way in which the majority—I believe the vast majority—of my constituents see the current position on public expenditure.

In the last year of the previous Conservative Government total public expenditure, as defined by the Government's White Papers, was no less than £28,000 million, but in the five years following, up to the last year of the Labour Government, 1978–79, that figure rocketed to nearly £70,000 million, an increase in money terms of about 170 per cent. Of course, at constant prices, or in real terms, the figure was far less, but I calculate from the previous Government's White Paper published in January that the real increase in public expenditure was about 10 per cent.

The truth is that our taxpayers and ratepayers have been asked over the past quinquennium to pay more and more for what they believe, rightly or wrongly, to have been less and less, and this in a period when there has been not only record inflation but record unemployment, record debt and, if I may say so, record disillusionment.

There are many who feel that those rocketing figures cannot go on. I do not believe—I say this with the greatest sincerity that I can muster—that my constituents or the British people generally would object to paying higher taxes if they felt that the funds thus accummulated were alleviating some of the social problems which the country faces. If all the money spent had been reducing homelessness and getting rid of squatting, if the health services had improved and the queues for operations had shortened, few people would object to having to pay higher taxes.

In fact, experience has been to the contrary, and taxpayers feel that they have been taken for a ride, not getting value for money. Although they do not believe that there is massive waste throughout every Government Department, they know that there is waste, that there is overmanning, and our public services, they believe, could be organised more efficiently. People have come to the view that if it be true that more and more money being allocated does not bring better services, a slight reduction in resources will not damage those services and, indeed, could improve them.

That brings me to my second point. Although one listens to him with great respect, the impression created by the right hon. Member for Salford, West is that the Government are cutting public expenditure this year. In fact, they are increasing public expenditure. According to the Budget forecasts, the money being devoted to public expenditure this year is £11,000 million more than last year. I am taking the figure of estimated outturn in the latest Treasury forecast.

Again, that is in money terms, but it is a 17 per cent. increase. The right hon. Gentleman talks of a 17 per cent. inflation rate, so it is not a massive cut. If anything, it is a very slight cut, and it may indeed be no cut at all. But in real terms, from the orginal pre-Budget forecast, it is a cut of 3 per cent. I think that it is £2½ billion out of the total of £78 billion.

I mention those figures merely to show the scale of the cutback—not the cut-down—in the increase of Government expenditure. I accept those figures, and I do not believe that anyone can deduce from them that the Government are being stingy, that they are cutting back unnecessarily, and that they will hit the very people who most need help and cannot help themselves.

Mr. Orme

In that case, why are local authorities, hospital authorities and all manner of others now having to take decisions on quite drastic cuts? Why are we threatened with teacher unemployment and why are homes being closed if there are no cuts?

Mr. Chapman

I shall deal with that. Obviously, the right hon. Gentleman is slightly ahead of me. Of course, the decision to cut back the increase in public expenditure by 3 per cent.—in other words, so that it rises by only 17 per cent. rather than 20 per cent.—means that certain unpopular decisions have to be made. My party put these points fairly and squarely before the electorate. [HON. MEMBERS: " No."] I believe that it did, and we are entitled to say that we are doing what we said we would do.

Mr. Ennals

Can the hon. Gentleman produce the election addresses of any of his hon. Friends which said that they proposed to close old people's homes or to double VAT?

Mr. Chapman

I cannot, and the right hon. Gentleman knows that I cannot, but even if we did not put that in our election addresses—I certainly did not—the right hon. Gentleman knows very well that, for example, neither he nor his right hon. and hon. Friends, before they came to power in 1974, said that they would increase the rate of direct taxation.

Mr. Ennals

We did.

Mr. Chapman

With great respect to the right hon. Gentleman, if we are to start horse-trading in what we are all supposed to have said or not said, we shall not get very far. In all sincerity, I say that we laid on the table exactly the policies that we would adopt.

But even assuming that there are to be sizeable cuts in public spending, this is not something peculiar to the present Conservative Government. It happened under the Labour Government. I do not doubt that when they came to power in February and October 1974 the Labour Government announced that they would increase public expenditure, but the truth is that in two successive years they reduced it. I remind right hon. and hon. Gentlemen that the real cut in public spending by their Government in 1976–77 on 1975–76 was no less than 3 per cent.—about the same as we forecast cutting it this year—and in the following year, 1977–78 on 1976–77, it was over 4.8 per cent. So even if right hon. and hon. Members want to level the charge at us that we are cutting public expenditure, the right hon. Member for Salford, West should be reminded that this was some- thing which his own party and Government were responsible for when they were last in charge of our affairs.

The right hon. Gentleman has spoken about our health and social services, and he is known to have specialised in that area as a Minister in the Labour Government. My professions—not that I need to declare them—are perhaps almost as unpopular as the profession of politician. I was an architect and town planner. In fact, before I came into the House I defined my station in life as a non-practising architect, a would-be planner and a has-been politician.

I have, however, taken a particular interest in housing. The Labour Government actually cut the rate of spending on housing in real terms when they were in power. I need only remind the Opposition that in the three years 1974–75 to 1977–78 there were reductions of 11 per cent., 1 per cent. and 10 per cent., respectively.

The short point is that we intend to make what we believe to be modest cuts and modest reallocations of resources. We consider that we are entitled to do that because we have had a mandate from the majority of the electorate, or a majority of the electors under our present electoral system. We have been open about it. In our view, the making of the cuts which we propose in certain spheres does not mean that the quality of those services will in any way decline, and I do not believe that it will.

The Opposition have raised emotions in this debate, and I do not complain about that, but the House and the nation are entitled to a less emotional, less distorted and more objective excursus on the public service expenditure figures. The overwhelming majority of my constituents and the majority of the British people will support the Government's economic policies and their economic strategy because they are fed up with the profligacy that has been taking place over the past five years. They want to see the Government showing some semblance of financial prudency.

8.20 p.m.

Mr. David Ennals (Norwich, North)

I am not certain whether the hon. Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman)—I think that we welcome him back to the House—was chiding the previous Labour Government for having greatly increased public expenditure or for having greatly reduced it.

I shall concentrate on personal social services, especially on the problems of the aged. During the period of office of the Labour Government expenditure on personal social services increased in real terms by 30 per cent., an average of 6 per cent. a year. That meant for our steadily ageing population an extra 150,000 home helps, a 50 per cent. increase in meals on wheels—the vast majority for the elderly—20,000 more residential places for the elderly and 30,000 extra day care places. I accept that progress was too slow. No one on the Labour Benches who believes in public expenditure doubts that. However, every year we were moving forward.

We now have a Government who are dedicated to cuts in public expenditure. Our fear is that even the modest progress achieved over the years of the Labour Government is now ended. I shall be interested to hear what the Secretary of State has to say when he replies. When I was Secretary of State I took a great deal of stick from the right hon. Gentleman over three years for not having spent more on this, that or the other or for not having done more in various directions and for not properly looking after various needs.

Yesterday the president of the British Association of Social Workers said that if only half of this year's saving of £300 million were to be produced by social services, there would need to be a reduction of over one sixth in social service expenditure. He said that that would mean 10,000 children having to leave children's homes, 20,000 people having to leave local authority accommodation, 100,000 being deprived of home helps and more than 35,000 being deprived of anything up to three meals a week. We hope that the social service cuts will be only a small part of the total cuts, but my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) has been quoting the views that have been advanced by the Association of County Councils, its spokesman being Mr. Owen Coutts, the chairman of the finance committee.

It appears that Mr. Coutts is brimming with ideas that will lead to dramatic say- ings in our social services. He is a man of great experience. He was a leader of the Norfolk county council, which has about the lowest social service expenditure per head of the population of any county council. He stood as the Tory candidate for Norwich, South, and fortunately he did not manage to win. My hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Garrett) retained the seat.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West has referred to some of Mr. Coutts' bright proposals. I shall mention one or two others—for example, scrapping free school meals in infant schools, reducing the nutritional value of meals and ending the obligation to provide school meals, raising the school starting age from five years to six years and ending the obligation to provide free transport to schools for those living two or three miles away from schools.

That is a plan for the destruction of social services as we have seen them, as we have fought for them and as we have created them. Apart from the ideas that I have mentioned, Mr. Coutts is still brimming with ideas, although he did not mention them in his election address. They include taking away the pocket money of the elderly in local authority old people's homes. Can anyone think of anything more disgraceful than that? That was not in his election address. The proposals that the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 should no longer affect local authorities and that the appointment of safety representatives should no longer be mandatory similarly did not feature in his election address.

Mr. Coutts also wants to take the guts out of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. As I have said, he brings to his task a wealth of experience and enthusiasm. He clearly enjoys the task that the Secretary of State and his colleagues have set the local authorities.

It might have been thought that Mr. Coutts was the latest version of Count Dracula and that no one would take his ideas as more than a piece of macabre drama, until the chairman of the ACC, Mrs. Elizabeth Coker, said: I am confident we shall get some of these through. I do not know who she thinks she will be fighting when she tries to get through some of these plans.

When the present Secretary of State was in opposition and I was Secretary of State we both believed that there was an important role in social services for voluntary organisations. During my period as Secretary of State the Labour Government greatly increased the funds available to assist voluntary organisations. As I understand it, the voluntary organisations are not prepared to take over the role that local authorities will not be able to fulfil and provide social services on the cheap. Their task is to supplement statutory services. That was made clear to me at the annual meeting of Age Concern. As I attended that meeting I could not hear the Secretary of State at the volunteer centre. However, I understand that the point was made clear to him, too.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

When speaking at the volunteer centre I quoted the words once used by the right hon. Gentleman, which were reported in the Municipal Journal three years ago. At that time he addressed local authorities and he urged them to use volunteers because pound for pound they are a better buy. That is what the right hon. Gentleman said, in flat contradiction to what he has only recently told the House.

Mr. Ennals

I have always made it clear that there is a special role for voluntary organisations in pioneering initiatives. Three years ago I was talking about the development of group homes for the mentally sick and the mentally handicapped. In that sphere there is a great role for voluntary organisations. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not cut the funds available to voluntary organisations. There is a special role for voluntary organisations and volunteers and that is not to take the place of statutory services.

Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)

I am glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman say that. Will he withdraw the imputation that voluntary organisations provide a service on the cheap? Is it not a fact that in many instances they do the same job better, more efficiently and with a greater dedication?

Mr. Ennals

I spent more time working in the voluntary organisations than being a Member of Parliament or a Minister. The voluntary organisations would not respond in an encouraging way to the Minister if they thought that they must fill a gap because the Government decided to cut statutory services. The voluntary organisations will make their position clear to the Secretary of State.

The cuts in community care—if carried through as the Government clearly wish—will inevitably put increased burdens on the Health Service. Less residential and day care provision will make it more difficult for patients to be discharged from hospital. Cuts in personal social services will place an added burden on the Health Service authorities, which will not be able to discharge so many patients into the community. Those authorities are faced with heavy cuts. I have not seen the figure of £45 million that was given by the Minister. I am fascinated with his arithmetic. I shall table a question asking him to list the figures area by area and region by region.

Recently I spent a good deal of time talking with those involved in the regions and areas. I find the figure of £45 million unimpressive in view of the VAT increase, other Government measures and the decision to stand by the cash limits that were set when inflation was expected to be far lower. I do not believe that the health authorities will find that £45 million is the correct figure. My calculation is that the figure will be roughly £100 million. In some regions there will be no growth; in others there will be cuts.

Mr. Orme

The Minister mentioned £45 million. I recently spoke to the area health authority close to my constituency. I was told that the figure would be 3 per cent. on VAT and that with the other costs coming in this year there would be a reduction of about 7 per cent. Adding up the figures, that comes closer to the £100 million mentioned by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Ennals

Clearly, we must press those matters very hard. I have enough experience in the Health Service to know that the Secretary of State must be honest and fair with the area and regional authorities. Sometimes they must take the rap. If there are to be closures of hospital wards, or beds, the area and the regional authorities must implement the decisions. It ill behoves a responsible Secretary of State not to take responsibility on behalf of the Government and say that the Health Service authorities have been put into that position as a result of the decisions taken by the Chancellor in the Budget.

The Opposition made desperate attempts to exclude medical equipment from the VAT increase. We received no response. I hope that the Minister will be honest and say that the cuts will be made as a result of Government policy and that the country and the regional and area authorities may hear him speak on their behalf. I hope that there will be no complacency from him in recognising how many words he must swallow. In the first two or three months of his rule he will start a regime of cuts such as we never saw in the whole period of the Labour Government.

8.33 p.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Dickens (Huddersfield, West)

I joined the House of Commons a short while ago. I found that my motive for coming to Westminster was, according to Edmund Burke, that the only necessity for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing. I felt that I had to do something.

The more I listen to speeches from members of the Opposition, the more I clearly realise the evils of Socialism. Perhaps the Socialists do not mean to be evil. However, in the past few weeks I have heard nothing but ridicule, sneers and unworthy words about matters on which they had the opportunity to act for so many years but did nothing.

The right hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) referred to old-age pensions. The Conservative Party has no need to feel ashamed at what it did for old-age pensioners. Airey Neave introduced pensions for the over-80s. The Conservative Party introduced the six-monthly revision of pensions. The Tories introduced the Christmas bonus. The Labour Government took it away and the Conservatives reintroduced it, under pressure.

I do not feel able to sit and tolerate this sort of talk, Mr. Deputy Speaker, from the Labour Benches. My views are probably very different from those of my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench. I should like to see us stop the supply of free teeth, free glasses and free dental equipment. [Interruption.] I am talking about pensioners, and for pensioners they are more or less free. I should like to get rid of rent rebates, rate rebates, free television in some areas, and bus passes in other areas, because elderly people are forced to tell somebody all their business in order to qualify for the gravy train, as some people call it. I realise that many old-age pensioners need this sort of support, but most of them would like to be independent of all these handouts. They would like instead to have a jolly good pension and not have to tell somebody all their business in order to qualify for handouts. It is very sad that they are placed in this position, and I criticise all previous Governments for the way in which we are moving in this respect.

I have been charged with the task of making an investigation into the cost of all this. It may not be quite as easy as it would seem from the way in which I put my argument to the House. I am sure that it would be costly to implement even with support from each side of the House, but it is worth considering, because we are getting to a state where we are destroying the character of the people of this country with measures of this sort.

Mr. Orme

I heard what the hon. Gentleman said about pensioners preferring to have a decent pension and wanting to get rid of the support services. When we were in office, we introduced the provision for the uprating of pensions in line with earnings or prices, whichever was the higher. The hon. Gentleman is a member of a party which intends to change that system of uprating, so that instead of the pensioners sharing in increased prosperity, they will be tied to the cost of living. What does he say about that?

Mr. Dickens

We made a pledge during the election campaign that we would not let the pensioners fall behind, and that is important. We shall see that through. Our vision for this country is to get productivity going again by having less taxation on companies and on persons. We want people to be able to work harder, get their bonuses and take their overtime payments, without having to pay such high taxation on them. Once the money is available, all sorts of things can be done. Labour Members are judging us on this very first Budget. I would say to them " Be patient, my friends." When we come to the next general election, our vision will be seen to be coming through and people will see that, though they may have wondered at first, we have got it right after all.

Mr. Robin F. Cook (Edinburgh, Central)

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I do not believe for a moment that the Budget will result in the expected leap forward in bonus earnings and increased productivity, but, assuming it did, there would then be an increase in the earnings of those at work, and at that point the measure proposed by the Secretary of State would mean that pensioners would fall behind those at work. The more money people earned in factories, the more the pensioners would fall behind, because the link would have been destroyed.

Mr. Dickens

That is typical of what I have to listen to from you fellows. There are so many possibilities open to us. We could increase the Christmas bonus. We could give the pensioners an immediate increase. [Interruption.] I am trying to explain our position to Labour Members when they ask me a question. We can do all sorts of thing, given the money with which to do them. At the moment we are trying to spend money in all sorts of directions without first earning that money. The whole thing is moving in the wrong direction.

I return to my former argument about the removal of handouts to pensioners. I wanted to say to you that there are many bureaucrats in local government offices, sitting behind desks with telephones, lights, accommodation and the rest—also inflation-proof pensions—giving pensioners the handouts that they could have had in the first place. That is where I would get some of the money, by making cuts in that direction. It may seem stupid to say that, but I shall produce a document, make a case and test the House later on.

Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)

If the hon. Member for Huddersfield West (Mr. Dickens) intends to persuade his party to take on the tax credit scheme which it seems to have abandoned, I am entirely with him. I suggest that that is where the hon. Gentleman should look. There is a full report on the working of a tax credit scheme, under which he could do away with the 42 means-tested benefits if he really went into the matter.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)

Order. Before the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Dickens) recommences, may I just tell him that I am " you ", and that we are not chaps or fellows but hon. Members in this Chamber.

Mr. Dickens

I am much obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker. When the Conservative Party stopped the supply of free school milk the reaction was " Thatcher the milk snatcher ". That was very unkind. What were we trying to do? We wanted to allow people to be responsible. The very hon. Members who are shouting at me now are those who would be prepared to drink 16 or 18 pints of beer at the weekend, but who would not buy their children half a pint of milk a day. That is the sort of society in which we live.

I want to make a plea on behalf of invalids. Many hon. Members will know that the invalid tricycle or car system is now being run down and that invalids receive £10 a week. I understand that that amount will be increased to £12 in November, through the Motability scheme, to help invalids acquire their vehicles.

Many hon. Members may not appreciate that at the age of 65 elderly people lose their vehicles and have to acquire a vehicle of their own, paying the full rate of VAT. They also have to pay for modifications, such as hand controls, and maintain the vehicles themselves. If I am incorrect, I hope that the Secretary of State will correct me when he replies to the debate. I make this special plea for invalids, particularly as the cost of petrol is rising rapidly.

I think that I have kept the House for long enough. The House has been good spirited, and I thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, very much indeed.

8.43 p.m.

Mr. Robin F. Cook (Edinburgh, Central)

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Dickens) has had to listen to so much evil in the few weeks that he has been with us. In response, I look forward with a sinking sense of depression to the fact that I may have to spend four or five years listening to speeches by the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West.

It really is not good enough for him to enter special pleas for hard-up, disabled sections of the community when he is buttressing and supporting a Government who have penalised those groups, and when he is speaking in support of a Secretary of State for Social Services who has proposed to smash the link between pensions and the standard of living. It is mere cant to make special references in the context of that general background.

Having got that off my chest, I think that it would be churlish if I were to go any further. As late as last December, I was among those hon. Members who protested at the assumption that the House should be expected to accept and approve public expenditure without debate.

I congratulate my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench for having at least tabled a motion that at long last enables us to get back to the original function of a Supply day and to scrutinise the Estimates that are put before us before they are approved. I doubly congratulate my right hon. and hon. Friends, because they have tabled a motion that enables us to focus on the most significant factor of the Supplementary Estimates, namely, the damage that will be done to the disabled and the sick in our community.

It is particularly appropriate for myself that the House should be debating this matter tonight, because it was only today that the controlling Labour group on my regional council met and resolved that it would fight the proposed cuts in public expenditure that are advocated by the Conservatives. I hope that those Labour councillors succeed. I wish them every luck in their campaign to change the minds of Conservative Members. However, we must face the unpalatable truth that they may fail—that they may be obliged to carry through some of the painful decisions to which my right hon. Friends have referred, and that they as councillors, who in many cases have fought for decades to improve the social services in their area, may themselves have to preside over the dismantling of them.

When we come to those decisions, it is not difficult to predict what projects will have to go. It will be those projects that come fresh to the budget, that require additional money and that have to fight with projects that are already established and funded.

I should like to share with the House information about three such projects that are proposed in my constituency over the next nine to 18 months. The first is an adult training centre for the mentally handicapped. Last year, the regional council was fortunate in that it was able to acquire new modern premises that had fallen vacant, for reasons to which I shall return, and which it bought in order to turn into a training centre for the mentally handicapped. The money has been put in the budget for the end of this year, and for the next financial year, to convert that building and to start the work. If the council has to reduce its social work budget, that is one project that will almost certainly go.

It is not as if the Government will say that there are enough places in the Lothians for mentally handicapped people to be trained. It is not as if they will say " There are too many places for the mentally handicapped in the Lothian region. That is why we must cut the number of places available." Indeed, it is impossible for them to say so, because guidelines are still extant from the Scottish Office to every social work authority, recommending the number of training places that they should have for the mentally handicapped. At present, the Lothian region is 50 per cent. below those guideline figures. If the Government had a streak of honesty in them, they would withdraw those guidelines now, because it is pure hypocrisy to leave those guidelines extant while one is cutting away the the money that local authorities need if they are to have a hope of meeting those guidelines.

There is another dimension to this illustration. I mentioned that these new modern premises had fallen vacant. In fact, they were the social club of my local football supporters, which had gone bust. The only other bidder on the market for the premises was a consortium of other football supporters who wished to reopen the club under new management.

The logic of the Conservative proposition is that the Lothian region should not have bid for those premises, and should not have taken on an inescapable commitment to expand public expenditure by converting that building. It should not have irresponsibly crowded out the private sector, and should have left those premises to be taken over by the consortium of football supporters to be retained as a social club.

Here we come to the nub of the argument. The net result would be that instead of having an adult training centre for the mentally handicapped in my constituency, I would have yet another beer bar. I have nothing against beer bars—I have even been known to spend some time in them—but I can clearly see the social damage that is done by preventing a handicapped centre opening in my constituency. It beggars my comprehension how any hon. Member can see how, in some mystical, magical way, by leaving those premises in the private sector and retaining them as a social club, the Lothian region will be contributing towards the economic recovery of Great Britain.

Mr. Barry Henderson (Fife, East)

The hon. Gentleman referred to hypocrisy and the fact that the Lothian region was 50 per cent. below the recommended guidelines for mentally handicapped training places. However, is it not a fact that that situation arose after a substantial period of Labour control of the Lothian region and five years of Labour Government?

Mr. Cook

Lothian region took over from Edinburgh town council, and the first time—in about 200 years—that Edinburgh town council obtained a Labour social work authority was in 1974 when it passed on to Lothian region. That fact remains unpalatable to the Edinburgh Conservative Party.

The hon. Member for Fife, East (Mr. Henderson), perhaps unfortunately, has been out of the House for the past five years. He may not be aware that some of the policies pursued by the previous Labour Government did not command the unanimous support of Labour Back Benchers. I accept that some Labour Members made criticisms, but the Lothian region had to operate within tight capital budgets.

The fact remains that the council has purchased a building. If it does not receive money to staff the building, it will stand empty. I can think of nothing more criminal than that, despite a clear clamant need, we should let a building stand empty for lack of the resources to staff it and to bring it into use for the need for which it was originally acquired.

I wish to refer more briefly to two other projects, both of which affect the elderly. I represent an inner city area and, like other hon. Members who represent such areas. I have a large number of elderly electors. More than one-quarter of them are over retirement age, and in some areas the proportion rises to more than one half. In response to that clear clamant need, Lothian region has, in its budget for this year, provided for an alarm system that would enable 200 of my elderly constituents to be connected to a mobile warden who could be summoned in an emergency.

That essential service—a service that might save lives—is one of the projects that will almost certainly go if they are obliged to meet the guidelines sent out by the Scottish Office because it is a new project, which requires additional finance. It is not one of the established projects. They cannot be shut down in order to make way for it. The Scottish Office is providing for a cut of £15 million in social work expenditure in Scotland, and that is why the alarm system project will have to go. Similarly, another project that would have to go is the expanded provision, included in the budget, for another £1½ million expenditure on the home help service.

I sometimes get the impression that Conservative Members are incapable of grasping that one of the reasons why public expenditure rises—and why it has to rise—is the sheer inescapable pressure of demographic change. Every year, there is another 1 per cent. of the population that is over 65 years of age. Every year, the proportion of the population that is over 75—those who are most in need—increases by more than 2 per cent. In other words, unless we increase the personal services to the elderly by more than 2 per cent. a year in real terms, we fall behind every year.

That is why in my constituency there are already more people over 75 who are not receiving home helps than ever before. There are more people over 75 who have a home help on only two days instead of five days. That trend will accelerate as the number of those over 75 increases and the money available for home helps is cut back.

It is not enough to urge, as the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West urged, that this is a necessary period of sacrifice in order to achieve growth and a spurt in economic activity, at the end of which we will be able to spend public money and increase public expenditure.

It is not enough for two reasons. I see nothing in these cuts that leads me to believe that that increase in economic activity will take place. The one clear effect of the Budget, as admitted by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, is that there will be a reduction in net economic activity in Britain. There will be a drop in economic output.

It is not enough, for another reason that has been hinted at. It will be too late, three or four years from now, to open that centre for the mentally handicapped. Many children will have left school and missed that vital period in their late teens when they could have had the opportunity of training to play a constructive part in the community. It will be too late for my constituents who are over 75. Many of them will have died in three or four years' time. They may die alone, unable to summon help because of the cuts that will be forced on the social services.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

The hon. Gentleman is presenting an excellent case not only for elderly constituents in Edinburgh but for those who suffer from mental handicap. Will he address his mind to those areas of public expenditure where savings could be made so that the additional sums that he and I want to be spent on the elderly and mentally handicapped can be found from existing or reduced budgets?

Mr. Cook

I am delighted by the intervention of the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton). I was about to come to an area in which I should welcome cuts. I am not sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree, but that will relieve me of the embarrassment of having him in agreement with me.

Mr. Winterton

I limit that agreement to social services.

Mr. Cook

There is an area of public expenditure that has not been asked to make the sacrifices required of the elderly and mentally handicapped, and that is the Defence Vote. There is a motion on the Order Paper in my name and the names of some of my colleagues on that issue. The reason why we have tabled that motion is that the Treasury, while committing itself to expenditure cuts that will affect the sick, elderly and mentally handicapped, has committed itself to increasing expenditure on the Defence Vote. Even with the half-crazed economic logic of the Treasury, that contrast is not safe.

We are told that public expenditure must be decreased because it is crowding out the private sector. Home helps and training places for the handicapped do not required skilled engineers, graduate physicists or sophisticated technological equipment. Arms procurement does. One of the reasons why we have so long campaigned to restrain arms procurement is precisely that it competes with other forms of investment in manufacturing industry. When confronted with the one form of public expenditure that may crowd out the private sector, the Government have acted by proposing a 3 per cent. increase. We have yet to see where that will appear and are therefore obliged to raise our motion against the Supply Estimates rather than the Supplementary Estimates, which have not yet been presented by the Ministry of Defence. I accept that that is unsatisfactory.

It is important at an early stage in this Parliament that we have an opportunity to record our outrage at a proposal that will cut expenditure for the sick, weak and those who are unable to defend themselves whilst at the same time providing for increases in arms procurement. I hope that many hon. Members will take the opportunity to record their outrage in the Division Lobbies tonight.

8.58 p.m.

Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)

I hope that the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Cook) will not mind if I say that there was much in his speech that was predictable. The most predictable part was the note that he struck on defence, and I shall return to that later.

Mr. Flannery

The hon. Gentleman's speech is predictable as well.

Mr. Onslow

I am glad to hear the mastermind second-guessing me. I had not intended to speak in the debate until I heard the speech of the previous Secretary of State, which was not wholly predictable. I am delighted to see that he is returning to the Chamber. To judge from what he said, he expected the House to take it from him that he had handed over or had shot from under him a National Health Service that was in perfect running order. I did not detect any note of self-criticism in the right hon. Gentleman's remarks or any recognition of the enormous burdens which built up in the Health Service during his tenure of office. I did not detect any note of modesty—

Mr. Ennals

Tomorrow we shall have an opportunity to consider the Health Service because that is when the Royal Commission reports. The hon. Member surely realises that our Labour Government inherited a reorganisation which riddled the Health Service with the bureaucracy with which we have had to deal ever since.

Mr. Onslow

The right hon. Member had five years in which to deal with it, but he did not do so. That lack of responsibility is much of the cause of our troubles today. We do not need a Royal Commission to remind us that the chairman of my local area health authority was moved to write to the Secretary of State before the last election, and say that he could scarcely keep the Health Service going in his area because of lack of funds. We do not need the Royal Commission to tell us of the difficulties in recruiting nurses. These difficulties have become so acute that many wards cannot be staffed to adequate standards.

Mr. Ennals

The hon. Member must know that in the five years of the Labour Government there was an increase each year in the numbers of doctors and nurses, and over the whole period there was an increase in the number of patients dealt with in hospitals, in the community and in day care. Far too much propa- ganda has been given to the difficulties and weaknesses of the Health Service. It is time some was given to its achievements.

Mr. Onslow

The right hon. Member spends all his time trying to justify himself just as hard as he can. If he is right in what he says why is the Health Service in such a mess? Has some mysterious event occurred since 3 May to bring this about? Is the right hon. Member really saying that the NHS has actually improved during the past five years?

Mr. Ennals

In many ways, yes.

Mr. Onslow

The right hon. Member says that it has, in many ways. Let me tell him some ways in which it has not. I am sorry that the right hon. Member does not like what I am saying but I intend to make my speech. It is time there was an attack on the legacy of inefficiency, complacency and self-satisfaction that form the root of the problem that we face today.

Let me give one example. There is a hospital serving my constituency which treats mentally handicapped people. For three years admissions to that hospital have been virtually controlled by a trade union. Does the right hon. Member think that is a good legacy? One of the reasons for this is that the hospital load has increased because the London boroughs, which are responsible for many of the patients, will not make the provision that would enable them to be released. That has been going on for five years. Meanwhile, there is case after case of acute family agony. The right hon. Member and his hon. Friends know all about this—I have been writing to them about it for years. This is an area in which action should have been taken long ago.

In another hospital in my constituency the union relations are such that patients' relatives are deeply worried about the standard of care that is provided. That, too, has been building up for five years. This is the climate that has been created by the right hon. Gentleman and his friends. The legacy that they have left us is one of very poor morale and they cannot disclaim responsibility for it. They must accept that this kind of problem must be put right. We must have a new motivation between the community and the Health Service. Teachers must encourage girls to take up nursing.

Mr. Flannery

The hon. Gentleman has pointed out the ills of the Health Service. Many of those which are due to the lack of money are true. However, do we assume that the Tory Party will rectify those ills and pour money into the Health Service?

Mr. Onslow

Of course the hon. Gentleman always invites us to agree to something helpful like that. Is he suggesting that as a teacher he encouraged girls to go into nursing. Not a bit of it. His presence surely acted as a discouragement. If he or a community or a country live beyond their means there comes a point when there is no way out of it. That is the point and the cuts are a consequence of our inheritance of the policies of the previous Government. The coat has to be cut according to the cloth.

Mr. Flannery


Mr. Onslow

That is not hypocrisy. The system must be brought back to serve the public and bureaucracy which perpetuates itself must be ended. That is the sort of bureaucracy which soaks up nurses who want to be nurses and turns them into administrators so that they cannot care for patients. Doctors were allowed to build up small empires—for example, the X-ray evaluation unit at Kings College Hospital on which about £500,000 was spent unnecessarily under the Labour Government. We want a Health Service that serves the public. We need to increase productivity, to get nurses on the wards and out of offices. The lawyers in the county councils should be made to understand that when they are dealing with voluntary bodies they should help them and not get in their way by inserting daft clauses in tenancy agreements to provide that the windows will be washed every two months when the aim is to set up a home for mentally-handicapped adults. There must be some vision about the matter. It may be necessary to cut some of the cherished projects of Labour Members like the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery), our teaching friend—to cut out some of the bad teaching.

My words seem to be too strong for the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central, who is leaving the Chamber.

I should like to follow up the point about defence. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will hear my plea. There are many types of national defence, not just the uniformed forces, the Armed Services and the police. There are protective entities upon which our society depends. One protection we need is against drug smuggling. I am anxious that the preventive side of the Customs and Excise service which protects the country from the danger of smuggled drugs should continue. I am sure that my right hon. Friend is aware what a burden smuggled drugs place on the services for which he is responsible and that it is in the interests of national defence that drug smuggling should be prosecuted most vigorously.

I fear that the reaction of the unions within the Customs and Excise may be such that the Government will not be allowed to maintain as high a defence as is needed against smuggled drugs. For some doctrinaire reason the unions are insisting that cuts should be made across the board. I hope that the unions are suitably ashamed of themselves and I hope that my right hon. Friend will impress upon his colleagues in the Treasury and the Home Office the great importance that I am sure he attaches to ensuring that no flood of drugs comes into the country for the reasons that I have described.

9.10 p.m.

Mr. Jack Ashley (Stoke-on-Trent, South)

We have just been treated to an interesting speech by the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow). He was going great guns until he was challenged by my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) to tell the House whether the Tory Government proposed to rectify the deficiencies in hard cash. The hon. Gentleman did not rise to that occasion in the same eloquent way as he delivered the rest of his speech.

It is all very well to use high-sounding generalisations about the need for vision and to call for a little humility from my right hon. Friend the former Secretary of State for Social Services, but the basic question relates to the amount of cash that the Government intend to allocate to those in need.

Ministers make great play about keeping their manifesto commitments to cut public expenditure, but they are being highly and misleadingly selective. Some of their manifesto commitments are being flagrantly disregarded and some solemn promises are being irresponsibly broken by virtue of the Government's public expenditure policy.

We are seeing a double-barrelled shotgun attack by the Government involving specific public expenditure cuts, some of which are disguised under the euphemism of " cash limits ". This attack is blasting the fragile hopes and inadequate living standards of the most vulnerable sections of our society. The Government are undermining provision for the mentally and physically handicapped. They are putting into reverse the powerful engine for progress, the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, and eroding the basic fabric of the Welfare State.

It is, I suppose, inevitable that a Government seeking to placate wealthy supporters by allocating the largest tax concessions to the wealthiest will inject a new venom into the old concept of class war. Naturally, such a Government will disregard the plight of the underprivileged. What is harder to take—and this has happened—is the fact that Ministers constantly state that party politics should not be allowed to creep into the subject of disablement. I have always said that, and meant it, and that argument applies to members of the all-party group on disablement. In that group we have managed to maintain this admirable principle as well as to adumbrate it.

Everything has now changed. Disabled people are directly and devastatingly affected by the Government's cuts, though I concede that some local authorities have not yet reached final decisions about-precisely where the cuts should fall. If we examine the problems that beset the mentally handicapped and the mentally ill, we quickly conclude that the present provision is so threadbare, pathetic and inadequate that it constitutes a national scandal. I am referring to an unfashionable and unpopular section of our society. Apart from dedicated relatives and some professional workers, this is the unloved section of our society.

Nowhere do society's crocodile tears apply more aptly than they do to the mentally ill and mentally handicapped. Even the children are not excepted from this process. Mentally handicapped children are being denied the real concern of society. Over 5,000 mentally handicapped children are institutionalised in hospitals. They are children who should not be in hospital.

These deplorable facts have been the subject of debates in this House on a number of occasions, and they have been detailed in Maureen Oswin's splendid book and in many reports. People concerned with the mentally handicapped know about them, but the House does not know as much as it should. There are hospitals for the mentally handicapped which have no paediatrician, no speech therapist and insufficent physiotherapists. These are the children who should be considered when we are talking about public expenditure cuts.

An hon. Member for the Conservative Benches suggested that there should not be too much emotion in the debate. That is fine. Instead, we should have some facts. The facts about these children, which have been chronicled, are that they suffer from sore eyes, runny ears, chronic catarrh, skin diseases, bad teeth, chronic stomach upsets and worms. These are the kinds of diseases that one thinks of as affecting children in the nineteenth century, but there are children suffering from these diseases in hospitals today.

I want to pay my tribute to the nurses and doctors in the good hospitals. There are, however, more than enough hospitals that are cause for deep public concern. Those children should not be in hospitals. They should be in the community, provided with care as well as treatment. As a result of the Government's action on public expenditure the pace of the exodus of children from old-fashioned and inadequate hospitals will be retarded. That is an unhappy word to describe an unhappy trend for mentally handicapped children.

It is fair to make the point that if the situation is so serious, why did the Labour Government not solve it? The Labour Government did not resolve the problems, but it did inject and invest more public expenditure into hosptals. I attacked savagely the former Secretary of State for Social Services, my right hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Ennals) on many occasions, but he fought for these children and for these people. More public expenditure was provided. What is now happening is the reversal of that process, possibly with the best of intentions. The aims are wrong. The methods are wrong. Mentally handicapped children will suffer. If children alone were affected, that would be a cause for deep concern, but the broad picture is even more disturbing.

Despite the so-called mandatory duty placed on local authorities to provide mental health services, including aftercare, no fewer than 41 authorities make no residential provision for mentally handicapped children. Two authorities make no provision for mentally handicapped adults, 28 authorities make no provision for mentally ill adults and 21 authorities have no adult training centres. Seventy-seven authorities make no daycare provision for mentally handicapped adults. I make no apology for inflicting those vital figures on the House. They have been compiled by MIND from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

The figures are important, boring though figures usually are. They are testimony to the indifference, the failure and the neglect of successive Governments and local authorities and public opinion generally. They illustrate the derision with which many local authorities regard their duties under the Mental Health Act 1959, and they underline the need for urgent reform of the law.

Legal reform and compulsory enforcement of mandatory responsibilities are but empty shells without the financial stuffing of public expenditure. That is essential, and yet at a time when we should be injecting more financial resources into social services the Government insist on economies. That is a ruthless and unfeeling policy to pursue at this time.

If the picture is so bleak for mentally handicapped and mentally ill people, we must also consider the plight of the physically handicapped. There is patchy and kaleidoscopic implementation of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. It is spotty and shifting as one local authority after another seeks to wriggle out of its mandatory responsibilities. The Secretary of State should repudiate the proposals put to him by the Association of County Councils for section 2 of that Act to be made not mandatory but discretionary. He should suggest to the Treasury and his Department that the Government should have second thoughts about their policy.

I hope that the Secretary of State will allocate a set proportion of the rate support grant for mentally and physically handicapped people and for the old who are in need. I hope, too, that the Government will recognise that their respect for local government autonomy must be tempered by the knowledge that some local authorities seek to evade their responsibility to disabled people.

I trust that there will emerge from this debate a clearer understanding of the magnitude of the problems experienced by mentally and physically disabled people and that there will be a new determination in the House to avoid imposing burdens on those who are already broken by their disabilities.

9.23 p.m.

Mr. Andrew Bowden (Brighton, Kemptown)

The House always listens with respect to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley). I hope that he will forgive me, but I must take to task some of his colleagues who made comments earlier in the debate.

I apologise to the right hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) for not having heard his opening remarks, particularly as I intend to comment on what he said about the East Sussex county council.

It is sad that in such debates in the House both sides tend to give the impression that only they care about elderly people, about handicapped people, about the National Health Service and about our system of looking after those who are not as fortunate as the majority.

I believe that 100 per cent. of hon. Members genuinely care about people. They will express that care in different ways and show it in different ways. Not one of us would have had the temerity to stand for Parliament if he did not truly care about people and their problems.

We do not give the best impression of the House and of our parliamentary system when we try to pretend that one side has a monopoly of caring, that one side has a monopoly of success and the other of failure. That is not true.

The political parties represented in the debate tonight have made great achievements over hundreds of years and it would be wiser for us to concentrate more on the way in which they have co-operated to overcome problems facing the elderly, the sick and the handicapped rather than always emphasising the divisions and failures of our political opponents.

I was sorry that the right hon. Member for Salford, West felt it necessary to select the East Sussex county council for attack when he dealt with the Mabel Lister home. On many occasions I have criticised the social services department of that county council. There have been a number of tragic cases in the county in the last few years. We shall never forget Maria Colwell who lived in my constituency or Stephen Menhenniet, and other tragic cases that have been directly related to the responsibilities of that social services department.

However, the department has fine achievements to its credit. The Mabel Lister home is not in my constituency, but in Lewes. It is a home for the visually handicapped. It has been under-occupied for a considerable period. The intention and policy of the council is to integrate the visually handicapped into existing homes. A final decision has not yet been made about the future of the Mabel Lister home.

Mr. Orme

I am reliably informed that the East Sussex county council at its full meeting today decided, on the recommendation of its social services department, to close the home. I secured that information from the Library which was in touch with the county council during its meeting this afternoon. I have a cutting from the local newspaper about the home. When the proposal to close it was made the director of social services said that he wanted rationalisation and perhaps to move people into other homes. But he also said that this was part of the cuts in public expenditure.

Mr. Bowden

I have to tell the House that the right hon. Member for Salford, West is better informed than I am about the decision that was made by the county council today. I concede that point completely. There is, however, a strong argument for saying that where possible people with certain handicaps should be integrated into existing homes where those handicaps do not exist. The Mabel Lister home has been significantly under-occupied and under-used for a long time.

When an attack is made upon a county council and its social services department it is essential for the House to get the full perspective. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will have informed himself of these facts, but naturally he would not have used them during his speech. The East Sussex county council spends more per head of the population on social services than any other county council in England. Since 1974 its social services budget has increased, excluding provision for inflation, by 16.2 per cent. Not many county councils have been able to match that in the last five years.

There has been a substantial increase in the number of home helps. The county council has concentrated on more domiciliary help, on assistance to people in their own homes. Surely, that is a trend to be encouraged and welcomed, and I hope that other county councils will follow it.

The county council's social services department has pioneered some completely new schemes for home care, which is a major step forward. A large sum has been put aside to sponsor old people's homes run by voluntary organisations.

Among those facts is evidence of no mean achievements by the county's social services department over the past four or five years, and it is my duty to remind the House that these achievements have been brought about despite the appalling way in which the county was treated by the Labour Government in relation to the rate support grant. When I look back at the cynical removal of resources and funds from East Sussex to other parts of the country, purely for political reasons, I sometimes feel a little bitter at the attacks from the right hon. Member for Salford, West and his hon. Friends.

I regret that the former Secretary of State for Social Services, the right hon. Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Ennals), is not now in the Chamber for I could not help feeling that his speech was a self-justification of his actions and record as Secretary of State. I wanted to remind him that some two years ago, when Secretary of State, he wrote to me admitting that the Brighton health district was not receiving its fair share of resources in relation to its problems, in relation to the large number of retired people living in Brighton. Of my 65,000 constituents more than one-third—23,000—are of retired age. Yet nothing happened during those two years, despite the right hon. Gentleman's written admission to me. Nothing was done to allocate additional resources to the Brighton area.

I hope that my right hon. Friend the present Secretary of State will take a close look at that correspondence and ensure that Brighton health district receives its fair share in the years ahead.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

Is my hon. Friend aware that the experience of Brighton and East Sussex is not unique and that many other areas which perhaps return Conservative county councillors and Conservative Members of Parliament suffered immensely under the Labour Government? For example, the hospital waiting list in Macclesfield increased by 63 per cent. during the last Prime Miniter's tenure of office. That shows what happens under a Labour Government.

Mr. Bowden

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for giving that information to the House. I have no doubt that during the last 12 months of the life of the Labour Government there was a deliberate intention to transfer resources from areas where they knew that they had no chance of gaining seats into areas where they believed that they could strengthen their political position and have a chance of holding on to certain seats at the general election.

I turn now to a problem which, I believe, concerns every Member of Parliament. It certainly concerns the all-party parliamentary group on pensioners, of which I have the privilege to be one of the joint chairmen, the hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. Stallard) being the other. I refer to heating for the elderly.

My hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Dickens) made the powerful point that it was important to move away from special concessions and allowances to the establishment of a decent living pension. I must tell him, however, that until that laudable objective is reached—may it come as soon as possible—we must still fight for certain specific concessions for the elderly, and no such concession, I believe, is more important than the heating concession.

Our retired people could be facing a very difficult winter, and I ask my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to undertake carefully to review the present fuel allowances system. They have not been operated fairly in the past as they have not included gas, solid fuel and paraffin.

Those pensioners who use paraffin are among the poorest members of our society and the most determined never to get into debt. They prefer to buy paraffin on a hand-to-mouth basis rather than use an electric fire in the knowledge that they will receive electricity bills with which they cannot cope. There is a strong case for a complete review of fuel allowances for the elderly for heating in the coming winter. That was done for electricity and now we must consider other forms of heating.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will have seen the early-day motion in my name about the reviews, changes in the allocation, and increasing of the retirement pension. At present, the retirement pension is based on the cost of living index and/or the wages index, whichever is the most advantageous to the pensioner. I hope that no action will be taken to change that. I must tell my right hon. Friend that if a Bill is brought forward to change that linkage, there will be Conservative Members who will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to support it. I ask him to think again extremely carefully.

9.37 p.m.

Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)

I thought, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that a Liberal Member was not to be called to contribute to the debate. I have five minutes to make my contribution and I shall do my best to complete my speech. If I go too fast for the Hansard reporters, I apologise.

My right hon. and hon. Friends view the cutbacks in the local authority and health services with considerable foreboding. There seems to be some doubt about the extent of the cuts. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer used 1979 figures in his Budget speech, whereas the Supplementary Estimates, which we are supposed to be debating, are based on 1978 figures. Nevertheless, the effect of the cuts will be traumatic. It is clear from circular 21/79, which came from the Department of the Environment only last week, that £300 million is to be removed from the increase orders for the rate support grant. Apparently a further 3 per cent, reduction is promised for next year's estimates.

As the Government already know only too well, the shire counties were left in a parlous state after the right hon. Member for Stepney (Mr. Shore), the former Secretary of State for the Environment, had done his worst last year. That argument was advanced by the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Mr. Bowden).

I remind the Secretary of State that it was his colleague, the present Secretary of State for the Environment, who divided the House on last year's settlement, and rightly so.

Many counties have little if anything held in reserve. My own county has almost nothing in reserve. Inflation is spiralling upwards and the county is already in desperate straits. The inevitable results must be fewer teachers, larger classes, yet more postponement of necessary maintenance of property and the introduction of a series of niggling charges.

Reference has been made to the Association of County Councils' paper. I totally reject the association's suggestions. I was horrified to read in The Daily Telegraph that the Minister of State, Department of the Environment is reported to have said " not … enough ". God help us all. Nursery education is likely to be even more difficult to introduce or extend. That must come as a serious blow to young couples with families who are struggling to make ends meet and who both have to go out to work.

The Isle of Wight local authority is faced with an almost impossible task. It is faced with a demand to reduce expenditure this year by up to £1½ million. That will mean about £700,000 being removed from the existing spending pro- gramme. I am talking about a small authority with a £20 million budget. Next year does not bear thinking about. It has an increasing school population and old-age population and it is doubly hit. With spiralling inflation and additional costs due to its severance by sea, the situation is a nightmare.

Ratepayers in my constituency already pay 10p more in the pound for local government services compared with the ratepayer in the average shire county. There is talk on the Isle of Wight of closing down some of its existing nursery units, reducing heating in schools and charging for music lessons and the sitting of examinations. Road maintenance is already in an appalling state, and due to the hard winter it will be even worse. Concessionary fare schemes will be almost non-existent. We are even talking about closing at least one old people's home when we should be opening three more. There is talk of reducing bed places in mainland establishments and cutting out emergency duty cover.

I understand that the Conservative Party put in its election manifesto a commitment that it would not cut health services. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said so in his Budget speech. Apparently a three-month moratorium on new staffing has been imposed. Already the area health authorities are paying through the nose for cutbacks three years ago in nurses' training. They have to employ agency nurses. New wings in hospitals are standing idle. Meanwhile the pressure for acute bed places grows as there is nowhere for those geriatrics occupying them to go unless they are prepared to pay through the nose in private establishments, which are sprouting up everywhere like mushrooms. I hope that the Secretary of State will say what controls he proposes on the licensing of those establishments, about which we are very worried. Is this what a caring, compassionate society is all about? I do not think so. I reject utterly what is taking place.

We have not talked much about housing. House prices and mortgage rates are spiralling. The public sector building programme is at an all-time low. The plight of those whose only hope of securing a roof over their heads depends upon local authorities and housing corporations will become even more desperate, especially if this ill-considered nation-wide compulsory sale of council houses is to be relentlessly pursued. There will be trouble in this area. I am sorry. I am afraid that it will be a matter of great consternation among the younger members of our society.

I urge the Government to stop the rot, first by accepting full responsibility for the whole of the teachers' salary increases above the 5 per cent. already budgeted for by local authorities. The Government should do that for this year. They should also allow local authorities to introduce some form of site value tax on undeveloped land and encourage the raising of other taxes. They should permit schemes, including amalgamation, where sensible, which could lead to greater efficiency in administration. The Secretary of State has, sensibly, started to do that in the Health Service. Why not look at this matter in local government—or is the 1972 Act Holy Writ in Tory circles?

I hope that the Secretary of State for the Environment will maintain the present rate support grant at 61 per cent. The regression analysis formula, which proved to be so unsound and penalised those counties that maintained tight controls on their spending programme, as many of them have, should be scrapped and a fairer system of distribution introduced. There is no time to lose if sanity and common sense are to prevail.

9.43 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Social Services (Mr. Patrick Jenkin)

This has been a short debate, but a very welcome one. It gives me the opportunity to make clear the Government's policy on the matters that we have been discussing. This was also a debate to which we had the pleasure of welcoming my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman). I know that the House was grateful to him for what he said about his predecessor, the late Reggie Maudling.

The right hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) opened the debate in a speech that was long on emotion but remarkably short on facts—and even shorter on the remotest inkling that history did not actually begin on 3 May. The previous Government had a record over the past five years of which perhaps the right hon. Gentleman might have taken account. He was free with his criticisms of the effects of the spending cuts announced by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor, but he must know that even the most cursory examination of the record of the previous Government shows that they, too, on occasions, and only when they were forced, had to make unpalatable decisions and cuts. But their virtue is never long sustained.

Back in 1976, under the influence of the International Monetary Fund, the Leader of the Opposition, then Prime Minister, said: With regard to cutting public expenditure, it ought to be reduced over a period as a proportion of GDP."—[Official Report, 21 October 1976; Vol. 917, c. 1654.] If only the previous Government had had the guts to stick to that, the situation in which we found ourselves on coming into office would have been incomparably better than it was.

In 1978 the Labour Government wrote in their public expenditure White Paper that they did not intend to set up plans which go beyond what the economy can safely be assumed capable of sustaining ", yet we know that that is exactly what they did. Had they now found themselves responsible for the management of the nation's affairs, they would have had to face making cuts if they were to maintain any vestige of financial integrity. I am glad to have the assent of the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Lewis). But that did not prevent the Labour Party from campaigning in the last election and promising in its manifesto a higher proportion of the nation's wealth to the Health Service and the Personal Social Services. There was not the slightest indication in the books we inherited that there was anything whatever available to make good that promise. It was a blantantly dishonest promise which some Labour Members knew they had no chance whatever of fulfilling.

I call the attention of the House—in case anyone should doubt this—to an interesting observation by the right hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Barnett), who was the member of the previous Cabinet in charge of public spending. I gave him notice that I was proposing to refer to him. He wrote a revealing article in The Guardian on 19 June, in which he quoted the remarks of my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget statement: We must make savings in public spending and roll back the boundaries of the public sector. What was the reaction of the right hon. Member for Heywood and Royton to that? He went on to say: If we don't want Sir Geoffrey's rolled-back boundaries to be permanent, we in the Labour Party will have to draw up our own. It would be as well to recognise now that some areas of public expenditure that have become almost an Ark of the Covenant of Socialism may have to be sacrificed for higher priorities. We did not hear much about that during the election.

Mr. Ennals rose

Mr. Jenkin

I am coming to the right hon. Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Ennals) in a moment. If one were to search any head of expenditure which the party faithful might expect to find enshrined in the ark of the covenant of Socialism, it would, would it not, be spending on the health and personal social services?

Mr. Ennals

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way. He had obviously read the PESC review for the next four years, because he said that he would support the growth that we had provided. He will therefore understand that there was built-in growth for the National Health Service and the personal social services. That growth will not be found, as far as I can see—

Mr. Jenkin

I shall be coming to the right hon. Gentleman's calculation about the personal social services in a moment. But one is driven to ask this question about the Labour Party manifesto: if the man in charge of spending knew that it was a dishonest prospectus, how on earth can the Labour Party have the brass to criticise us when we take over from it and now have to make the cuts which it knew were necessary? If the cuts were not to be made on health and the personal social services, where are these arks of the Socialist covenant that the right hon. Member for Heywood and Royton knew would have to be cut?

Of all this we have been told nothing. The House—and, indeed, the country—may be entitled to take the view that until the Labour Party comes clean and tells us what part of the ark of the covenant of Socialism would have to be sacrificed had it been elected, it is not entitled to criticise us for our cuts. Until it does so, debates such as the one that it has mounted today will remain simply exercises in organised hypocrisy.

Mr. Orme

The right hon. Gentleman referred to what the previous Administration did. In very difficult economic circumstances, we maintained and expanded the services. We did not cut public expenditure to put the money into the pockets of the rich.

Mr. Jenkin

The right hon. Gentleman knows that we inherited a Budget deficit and a borrowing need that was more than £2 billion higher than anything the former Chancellor of the Exchequer had disclosed to the country.

The right hon. Gentleman was free in his attacks on our cuts in spending on the National Health Service. In listening to him, one would not have guessed that the revised Estimates on which this debate is being mounted include—as the Supplementary Estimates will—a substantial increase in spending on the National Health Service—increases to cover the substantial pay claims that we inherited from our predecessors.

We inherited the claims and we also inherited, and adopted precisely, the arrangements made by our predecessors for financing them. They were that pay increases approved by the Government would be matched by a corresponding increase in cash limits to help authorities, subject to an offset of £21 million at 1979 prices which is the Health Service's contribution to the general squeeze on cash limits. That had been planned by our predecessors. Therefore, if the Opposition's attack is directed at the squeeze they are attacking what they themselves had planned to do.

The Opposition go on to complain that spending on the Health Service will be cut by the general squeeze on cash limits. But the right hon. Member for Norwich, North confessed that he had made allowances for only 8.5 per cent. inflation and by the time he left office inflation was running at nearly 13 per cent. There was already a squeeze of 5 per cent. on the cash limits as a result of that, to which we have added a further £35 million to £40 million because of the increase in VAT. The simple fact is that of the total squeeze on the National Health Service—that is, on health authorities—of £90 million to £100 million, no less than 60 per cent. is attributable to decisions made and announced by the previous Government.

Mr. Ennals

Will the right hon. Gentleman accept that at the time the Labour Government went out of office and the Conservative Government came into office we had an inflation rate that was roughly 10 per cent.? Secondly, will he accept that his own estimates of an inflation rate of l7½ per cent. by November is largely due to decisions taken in the Budget by him and his right hon. Friends.

Mr. Jenkin

The right hon. Gentleman's use of figures is so selective as to be meaningless. He told us that under his Government, spending on personal social services had been increased by an average of 6 per cent. per year. We heard him say that. How did he get that figure? He added in the last year of the last Conservative Government. If he had not added in that last year his figure would have been not 6 per cent. but 2 per cent., and in that 2 per cent. was a 58 per cent. cut in the capital spending on personal social services. So when I ask for advice on the figures, I will not turn to the right hon. Member for Norwich, North.

As regards the Health Service, we know that the squeeze will hurt. I want to make that clear, because it is important that the public and the health authorities know where they stand. Some authorities will have a small real addition to their spending power compared with last year, though it will be much less than they had anticipated and they will have to trim back their planned development. Naturally, some health authorities—this applies especially to those in London—are faced with the need to make real cuts this year so as to remain within their cash limits.

It is not for me or my Department to tell health authorities how or where to make savings. It is up to them, as res- ponsible authorities, to look at their priorities carefully and to make savings where they will do the least harm to patient care. I do not believe that it does any good for the House, or anyone else, to work themselves up into a frenzy because of press reports about the imminent slashing of essential acute services. The right hon. Member for Salford, West mentioned the bone marrow transplant unit at Westminster hospital. I do not believe, and I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman believes, that that would be a sensible economy for the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster authority to make. I am quite confident that nothing of the sort will happen. There is a phrase for such scaremongering in the National Health Service, I have discovered. It is called " waving the shroud ". We have seen a good deal of waving of the shroud in the last few weeks.

One thing that I want to make absolutely clear to those people who bear responsibility for running the health authorities is that there is no prospect whatever this year of the Government coming forward with extra cash. The cash limits have been announced and health authorities are asked to remain within them. The cash is just not there and it is vital that the authorities, and the public whom they serve, should know that it is not there.

I hope that cuts will be made in a way that will not result in permanent closures, particularly of the much loved small hospitals which serve the community so well. Instead, posts which fall vacant could be left unfilled temporarily and temporary closures of wards may, in some places, be right. But I ask authorities to look first at headquarters staff and administrative services that do not contribute directly to the welfare of patients. It is for health authorities themselves to decide, and it is certainly not for me to tell them.

Of course, some of the personal social services are bound to be affected by the cuts, but I do not intend to instruct local authorities as to how or where they should find savings. They are elected bodies answerable to their own electorates, and they can be trusted to pursue sensible priorities. The only guidance that we have given is to point to the priority that we wish to give to law and order. The Government have made it clear—I am happy to repeat it again tonight—that we regard those parts of the children's services concerned with the prevention and treatment of deliquency as having the same priority as law and order services. As for the rest, it is too soon to say what the effect will be. I have made it clear that I hope that local authorities will do their utmost to protect the services for the most vulnerable groups, such as the very old and frail, the seriously handicapped, the mentally disordered and the children most in need of care.

I know that local authorities will do their best to make strenuous efforts to cut back on the costs of administration. I know, too, that they will seek to work as closely as possible with the voluntary sector—here I agree with much of what my predecessor said—and the self-help groups.

Mr. Frank Haynes (Ashfield) rose

Mr. Jenkin

I am sorry, but I have only three minutes left.

This is not the time to cut the financial help to the voluntary bodies and the self-help groups. I repeat the pledge that I have given outside—that the Government are maintaining the level of grants that they make to the voluntary sector. I hope that local authorities will feel it right to do the same in real terms.

As I approach the end of the debate, I should like to take up a point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Mr. Bowden). The Labour Party always seems to use occasions such as this to advance its claim to be the champion of the underprivileged. We have had plenty of examples of that today. We have learned to take all that with substantial handfuls of salt. We have recently been given ample evidence to justify our scepticism. The recent report of the Diamond commission on the distribution of income and wealth—a quango now happily consigned to the knacker's yard—which was one of the creations of the Labour Party, demonstrated that whereas under the last Conservative Government people of modest means increased their share of the nation's wealth, the opposite happened under the Labour Government.

It is a remakable epitaph on the period of the government of the Labour Party that the Daily Mirror, rarely a paper to champion the interests of my right hon. and hon. Friends, should have summed up Labour's campaign to soak the rich by stating that: two long periods of Socialist power put more into the pockets of the wealthy while the poor are even poorer. If one looks at the banana republics of the world, one will find precisely that—that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. That is what happens under Socialism in this country.

Like most of my hon. Friends, I shall not be privileged to attend the next Labour Party conference. I do not know whether it will be the right hon. Member for Salford, West who will have to defend the Labour Government's record, but he will have some difficulty in wriggling out of that one.

It has always been the same. Under Labour, the people suffer. Ever higher and higher burdens of taxation are no recipe for national prosperity. In the final resort, our ability to raise standards of living, and to pay for better public services, depends on our ability to generate the resources to pay for them. The Labour Party forfeited the confidence of the people for many reasons, one of which was its consistent inability to tailor its ambitions to spend to the willingness of the taxpayer to pay.

This Government are determined to reverse the historic long-term decline of our nation and we are not afraid to take the necessary steps to achieve that purpose. We must restore incentives. We must cut direct taxes and we must curb the level of public spending to what can be sustained by the economy—

It being Ten o'clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Order this day, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion relating to reducing public services for those who need them most.

Question put, That this House declines to approve the Revised and Summer Supplementary Estimates 1979–80 which contain reductions in the Vote to Health and Personal Services, Housing and other public services and will result in a reduction in the standard of provision of these services, especially to those members of the community who need them most, and so will increase the divisions in society.

The House divided: Ayes 257, Noes 317.

Division No. 61] AYES [7.32 p.m.
Abse, Leo Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Bray, Dr Jeremy
Adams, Allen Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)
Allaun, Frank Beith, A. J. Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)
Alton, David Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Brown, Ronald W. (Hackney S)
Archer, Rt Han Peter Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith)
Armstrong, Ernest Bidwell, Sydney Buchan, Norman
Ashley, Jack Booth, Rt Hon Albert Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)
Ashton, Joe Boothroyd, Miss Betty Campbell, Ian
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham) Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur (M'brough) Campbell-Savours, Dale
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Bradley, Tom Canavan, Dennis
Cant, R. B. Heffer, Eric S. Parry, Robert
Carmichael, Neil Hogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire) Pendry, Tom
Carter-Jones, Lewis Holland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall) Penhaligon, David
Cartwright, John Home Robertson, John Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Homewood, William Prescott, John
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Hooley, Frank Price, Christopher (Lewisham West)
Cohen, Stanley Horam, John Race, Reg
Coleman, Donald Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Radice, Giles
Concannon Rt Hon J. D. Howells, Geraint Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South)
Conlan, Bernard Huckfield, Les Richardson, Miss Jo
Cook, Robin F. Hughes, Mark (Durham) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cowans, Harry Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen North) Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North)
Cralgen, J. M. (Glasgow, Maryhill) Hughes, Boy (Newport) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Crowther, J. S. Janner, Hon Greville Robertson, George
Cryer, Bob Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Rodgers, Rt Hon William
Cu[...]liffe, Lawrence John, Brynmor Rooker, J. W.
Cunningham, George (Islington S) Johnson, James (Hull West) Roper, John
Cunningham, Dr John (Whitehaven) Johnson, Waller (Derby South) Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Ross Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Davidson, Arthur Jones, Barry (East Flint) Rowlands, Ted
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llane[...]) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ryman, John
Davies, E. Hudson (Caerpilly) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Sandelson, Neville
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kerr, Russell Sever, John
Davis, Clinton (Hackney Central) Kilroy-Silk Robert Sheerman, Barry
Davis, Terry (B'rm'ham, Stechford) Kinnock, Neil Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L)
Deakins, Eric Lambie, David Shore, Rt Hon Peter (Step and POD)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Lamborn, Harry Short, Mrs Renée
Dempsey, James Lamond, James Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Dewar, Donald Leadbitter, Ted Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Dixon, Donald Leighton, Ronald Silverman, Julius
Dobson, Frank Lewis, Arthur (Newham North West) Skinner, Dennis
Dormand, J. D. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lofthouse, Geoffrey Snape, Peter
Lyon, Alexander (York) Soley, Clive
Dubs, Alfred Lyons, Edward (Bradford West) Spearing, Nigel
Duffy, A. E. P. Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Spriggs, Leslie
Dunn, James A. (Liverpool, Kirkdale) McCartney, Hugh Stallary, A. W.
Dunnett, Jack McDonald, Dr Oonagh Stewart, Rt Hon Donald (W Isles)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth McElhone, Frank Stoddart, David
Eadie, Alex McGuire, Michael (Ince) Stott, Roger
Eastham, Ken McKelvey, William Strang, Gavin
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Straw, Jack
Ellis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire) Maclennan, Robert Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, Central) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton West)
English, Michael McNally, Thomas Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Ennals, Rt Hon David McNamara, Kevin Thomas, Mike (Newcastle East)
Evans, loan (Aberdare) McWilliam, John Thomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen)
Evans, John (Newton) Magee, Bryan Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Ewing, Harry Marks, Kenneth Tilley, John
Faulds, Andrew Marshall, David (Gl'sgow,Shetties'n) Torney, Tom
Field, Frank Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Urwin, Rt Hon Tom
Fitch, Alan Marshall, Jim (Leicester South) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Flannery, Martin Martin, Michael (Gl'gow, Springb'rn) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mason, Rt Hon Roy Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Maynard, Miss Joan Watkins, David
Ford, Ben Meacher, Michael Weetch, Ken
Forrester, John Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Wellbeloved, James
Foster, Derek Meyer, Sir Anthony Welsh, Michael
Foulkes, George Mikardo, Ian White, Frank R. (Bury & Radcliffe)
Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood) Millan, Rt Hon Bruce White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Miller, Dr M. S. (East Klibride) Whitehead, Phillip
Whitlock, William
Freud, Clement Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Wigley, Dafydd
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe) Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
George, Bruce Morris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw) Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon) Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Ginsberg, David Morton, George Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Golding, John Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Winnick, David
Gourley, Harry Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Woodall, Alec
Graham, Ted Newens, Stanley Woolmer, Kenneth
Grant, George (Morpeth) Oakes, Gordon Wrigglesworth, Ian
Grant, John (Islington C) Ogden, Eric
Grimond, Rt Hon J. O'Halloran, Michael Wright, Miss Sheila
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) O'Neill, Martin Young, David (Bolton East)
Hardy, Peter Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Owen, Rt Hon Dr David TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Palmer, Arthur Mr. James Hamilton and
Haynes, David Park, George Mr James Tinn.
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Parker, John
Adley, Robert Amery, Rt Hon Julian Atkins, Robert (Preston North)
Aitken, Jonathan Ancram, Michael Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East)
Alexander, Richard Aspinwall, Jack Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Fowler, Rt Hon Norman McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Banks, Robert Fox, Marcus McQuarrie, Albert
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Madel, David
Bell, Ronald Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Major, John
Bendall, Vivian Fry, Peter Marland, Paul
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Galbraith, Hon T. G. D. Marlow, Antony
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon) Gardiner, George (Reigate) Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Gardner, Edward (South Fylde) Marten, Neil (Banbury)
Best, Keith Garel-Jones, Tristan Mates, Michael
Bevan, David Gilroy Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Mather, Carol
Biffen, Rt Hon John Glyn, Dr Alan Maude, Rt Hon Angus
Biggs-Davison, John Goodhart, Philip Mawby, Ray
Blackburn, John Goodhew, Victor Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Blaker, Peter Goodlad, Alastair Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Body, Richard Gorst, John Mayhew, Patrick
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gow, Ian Mellor, David
Boscawen, Hon Robert Gower, Sir Raymond Meyer, Sir Anthony
Bottomley, Peter (Woolwich West) Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch)
Bowden, Andrew Greenway, Harry Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Grieve, Percy Mills, Peter (West Devon)
Bradford, Rev. R. Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds) Miscampbell, Norman
Braine, Sir Bernard Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Bright, Graham Grist, Ian Moate, Roger
Brinton, Timothy Grylls, Michael Montgomery, Fergus
Brittan, Leon Gummer, John Selwyn Morgan, Geraint
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Hamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll) Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth)
Brooke, Hon Peter Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Morrison, Hon Charles (Devizes)
Brotherton, Michael Hampson, Dr Keith Morrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester)
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe) Hannam, John Mudd, David
Browne, John (Winchester) Haselhurst, Alan Murphy, Christopher
Bruce-Gardyne, John Hastings, Stephen Myles, David
Bryan, Sir Paul Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Neale, Gerrard
Buchanan-Smith, Hon Alick Hawkins, Paul Nelson, Anthony
Buck, Antony Hawksley, Warren Neubert, Michael
Budgen, Nick Hayhoe, Barney Newton, Tony
Bulmer, Esmond Heath, Rt Hon Edward Nott, Rt Hon John
Burden, F. A. Heddle, John Onslow, Cranley
Butcher, John Henderson, Barry Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs Sally
Butler, Hon Adam Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Osborn, John
Cadbury, Jocelyn Hicks, Robert Page, John (Harrow, West)
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Higgins, Terence L. Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Hill, James Parkinson, Cecil
Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn) Hogg, Hon Douglas (Grantham) Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Holland, Philip (Carlton) Patten, John (Oxford)
Channon, Paul Hooson, Tom Pattie, Geoffrey
Chapman, Sydney Hordern, Peter Pawsey, James
Churchill, W.S. Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Percival, Sir Ian
Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Howell, Rt Hon David (Guildford) Peyton, Rt Hon John
Clark, William (Croydon South) Hunt, David (Wirral) Pink, R. Bonner
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Pollock, Alexander
Clegg, Walter Hurd, Hon Douglas Porter, George
Cockeram, Eric Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Colvin, Michael Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Price, David (Eastleigh)
Cope, John Jessel, Toby Prior, Rt Hon James
Cormack, Patrick Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Proctor, K. Harvey
Corrie, John Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Raison, Timothy
Costain, A. P. Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rathbone, Tim
Cranborne, Viscount Kaberry, Sir Donald Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)
Critchley, Julian Kershaw, Anthony Rees-Davies, W. R.
Crouch, David Kimball, Marcus Renton, Tim
Dean, Paul (North Somerset) King, Rt Hon Tom Rhodes James, Robert
Dickens, Geoffrey Kitson, Sir Timothy Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Knight, Mrs Jill Ridsdale, Julian
Dorrell, Stephen Knox, David Rifkind, Malcolm
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Lamont, Norman Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lang, Ian Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Langford-Holt, Sir John Robinson, Peter (Belfast East)
Durant, Tony Latham, Michael Rossi, Hugh
Dykes, Hugh Lawrence, Ivan Rost, Peter
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Lawson, Nigel Royle, Sir Anthony
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (Pembroke) Lee, John Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Eggar, Timothy Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon Norman
Elliott, Sir William Lester, Jim (Beeston) Scott, Nicholas
Emery, Peter Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Eyre, Reginald Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo) Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Fairgrieve, Russell Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Faith, Mrs Sheila Loveridge, John Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Farr, John Luce, Richard Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge-Br'hills)
Fell, Anthony Lyell, Nicholas Shersby, Michael
Fenner, Mrs Peggy McAdden, Sir Stephen Silvester, Fred
Finsberg, Geoffrey McCrindle, Robert Sims, Roger
Fisher, Sir Nigel Macfarlane, Neil Skeet, T. H. H.
Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N) MacGregor, John Smith, Dudley (War, and Leam'ton)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Mackay, John (Argyll) Speed, Keith
Fookes, Miss Janet Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Speller, Tony
Forman, Nigel McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury) Spence, John
Spicer, Michael (S Worcestershire) Townend, John (Bridlington) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Sproat, Iain Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexleyheath) Wells, P. Bowen (Hert'rd&Stev'nage)
Squire, Robin Trippier, David Wheeler, John
Stanbrook, Ivor Trotter, Neville Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Stanley, John van Straubenzee, W. R. Whitney, Raymond
Steen, Anthony Vaughan, Dr Gerard Wickenden, Keith
Stevens, Martin Viggers, Peter Wiggin, Jerry
Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Waddington, David Wilkinson, John
Stewart, John (East Renfrewshire) Wakeham, John Williams, Delwyn (Montgomery)
Stokes, John Waldegrave, Hon William Winterton, Nicholas
Stradling Thomas. J Walker, Rt Hon Peter (Worcester) Wolfson, Mark
Tapsell, Peter Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek Young, Sir George (Acton)
Tebbit, Norman Wall, Patrick Younger, Rt Hon George
Temple-Morris, Peter Waller, Gary
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter (Hendon S) Walters, Dennis TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Thompson, Donald Ward, John Mr. Spencer Le Marchant an[...]
Thorne, Neil (Ilford South) Warren, Kenneth Mr. Anthony Berry
Thornton, George Watson, John

Question accordingly negatived.

Division No. 62[...] AYES 10.00 p.m.
Abse, Leo Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Adams, Allen Foot, Rt Hon Michael Mikardo, Ian
Allaun, Frank Ford, Ben Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Alton, David Forrester, John Miller, Dr M. S. (East Kilbride)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Foster, Derek Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ernest Foulkes, George Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood) Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Ashton, Joe Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Morris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw)
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham) Garrett, John (Norwich S) Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Morton, George
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) George, Bruce Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Beith, A. J. Ginsburg, David Newens, Stanley
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Golding, John Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Gourlay, Harry Ogden, Eric
Bidwell, Sydney Grant, George (Morpeth) O'Halloran, Michael
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Grant, John (Islington C) O'Neill, Martin
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur (M'brough) Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Bradley, Tom Hardy, Peter Palmer, Arthur
Bray, Dr Jeremy Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Park, George
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Parker, John
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Haynes, Frank Parry, Robert
Brown, Ronald W. (Hackney S) Healey, Rt Hon Denis Pendry, Tom
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith) Heffer, Eric S. Penhaligon, David
Buchan, Norman Hogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire) Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Holland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall) Price, Christopher (Lewisham West)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Home Robertson, John Race, Reg
Campbell, Ian Homewood, William Radice, Giles
Canavan, Dennis Hooley, Frank Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South)
Cant, R. B. Horam, John Richardson, Miss Jo
Carmichael, Neil Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Howells, Geraint Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North)
Cartwright, John Huckfield, Les Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Robertson, George
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen North) Rodgers, Rt Hon William
Cohen, Stanley Hughes, Roy (Newport) Rooker, J. W.
Coleman, Donald Janner, Hon Greville Roper, John
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Conlan, Bernard John, Brynmor Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Cook, Robin F. Johnson, James (Hull West) Rowlands, Ted
Cowans, Harry Johnson, Walter (Derby South) Ryman, John
Craigen, J. M. (Glasgow, Maryhill) Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rhondda) Sandelson, Neville
Crowther, J. S. Jones, Barry (East Flint) Sever, John
Cryer, Bob Jones, Dan (Burnley) Sheerman, Barry
Cunliffe, Lawrence Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L)
Cunningham, George (Islington S) Kerr, Russell Shore, Rt Hon Peter (Step and Pop)
Cunningham, Dr John (Whitehaven) Kilroy-Silk, Robert Short, Mrs Renée
Dalyell, Tam Kinnock, Nell Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Davidson, Arthur Lambie, David Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzll (Llanelli) Lamborn, Harry Silverman, Julius
Davies, E. Hudson (Caerphilly) Lamond, James Skinner, Dennis
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Leadbitter, Ted Smith, Rt Hon J. (North Lanarkshire)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney Central) Leighton, Ronald Snape, Peter
Davis, Terry (B'rm'ham, Stechford) Lewis, Arthur (Newham North West) Soley, Clive
Deakins, Eric Lofthouse, Geoffrey Spearing, Nigel
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Lyon, Alexander (York) Spriggs, Leslie
Dempsey, James Lyons, Edward (Bradford West) Stallard, A. W.
Dewar, Donald Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dlckson Stewart, Rt Hon Donald (W Isles)
Dixon, Donald McCartney, Hugh Stoddart, David
Dobson, Frank McDonald, Dr. Oonagh Stott, Roger
Dormand, Jack McElhone, Frank Strang, Gavin
Douglas-Mann, Bruce McGuire, Michael (Ince) Straw, Jack
Dubs, Alfred McKelvey, William Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Duffy, A. E. P. MacKenzle, Rt Hon Gregor Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton West)
Dunn, James A. (Liverpool, kirkdale) Maclennan, Robert Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Dunnett, Jack McMahon, Andrew Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, Central) Thomas, Mike (Newcastle East)
Eadie, Alex McNally, Thomas Thomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen)
Eastham, Ken McNamara, Kevin Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) McWilliam, John Tilley, John
Ellis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire) Magee, Bryan Tinn, James
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Marks, Kenneth Torney, Tom
English, Michael Marshall, David (Gl'sgow.Shettles'n) Urwin, Rt Hon Tom
Ennals, Rt Hon David Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Evans, loan (Aberdare) Marshall, Jim (Leicester South) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Ewing, Harry Martin, Michael (Gl'gow.Springb'rn) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Field, Frank Mason, Rt Hon Roy Walker, Rt Hon Harold (Doncasfer)
Fitch, Alan Maynard, Miss Joan Watkins, David
Flannery, Martin Meacher, Michael Weetch, Ken
Wellbeloved, James Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Welsh, Michael Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington) Wright, Shella
White, Frank R. (Bury & Radcllffe) Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton) Young, David (Bolton East)
White, James (Glasgow, pollok) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Whitehead, Phillip Winnick, David TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Whitlock, William Woodall, Alec Mr. Ted Graham and
Willey, Rt Hon Frederick Woolmer, Kenneth Mr. John Evans.
Adley, Robert Dunlop, John Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Aitken, Jonathan Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Alexander, Richard Durant, Tony Kaberry, Sir Donald
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Dykes, Hugh Kershaw, Anthony
Ancram, Michael Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Kilfedder, James A.
Aspinwall, Jack Edwards, Rt Hon N. (Pembroke) Kimball, Marcus
Atkins, Robert (Preston North) Eggar, Timothy King, Rt Hon Tom
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East) Elliott, Sir William Kitson, Sir Timothy
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Emery, Peter Knight, Mrs Jill
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Eyre, Reginald Knox, David
Banks, Robert Fairbairn, Nicholas Lamont, Norman
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Fairgrieve, Russell Lang, Ian
Bell, Ronald Faith, Mrs Sheila Langford-Holt, Sir John
Bendall, Vivian Farr, John Latham, Michael
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Fell, Anthony Lawrence, Ivan
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon) Fenner, Mrs Peggy Lawson, Nigel
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Finsberg, Geoffrey Lee, John
Best, Keith Fisher, Sir Nigel Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Bevan, David Gilroy Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N) Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Biggs-Davison, John Fookes, Miss Janet Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)
Blackburn, John Forman, Nigel Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Blaker, Peter Fowler. Rt Hon Norman Loveridge, John
Body, Richard Fox, Marcus Luce, Richard
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Lyell, Nicholas
Boscawen, Hon Robert Fraser, Peter (South Angus) McAdden, Sir Stephen
Bottomley, Peter (Woolwich West) Fry, Peter McCrindle, Robert
Bowden, Andrew Galbraith, Hon T. G. D. Macfarlane, Nell
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Gardiner, George (Reigate) MacGregor, John
Bradford, Rev. R. Gardner, Edward (South Fylde) MacKay, John (Argyll)
Braine, Sir Bernard Garel-Jones, Tristan Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
Bright, Graham Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)
Brinton, Tim Glyn, Dr Alan McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Brittan, Leon Goodhart, Philip McQuarrie, Albert
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Goodlad, Alastair Madel, David
Brooke, Hon Peter Gorst, John Major, John
Brotherton, Michael Gow, Ian Marland, Paul
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe) Gower, Sir Raymond Marlow, Tony
Browne, John (Winchester) Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Bruce-Gardyne, John Greenway, Harry Marten, Nell (Banbury)
Bryan, Sir Paul Grieve, Percy Mates, Michael
Buchanan-Smith, Hon Alick Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds) Mather, Carol
Buck, Antony Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Maude, Rt Hon Angus
Budgen, Nick Grist, Ian Mawby, Ray
Bulmer, Esmond Grylls, Michael Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Burden, F. A. Gummer, John Selwyn Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Butcher, John Hamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll) Mayhew, Patrick
Butler, Hon Adam Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mellor, David
Cadbury, Joceiyn Hampson, Dr Keith Meyer, Sir Anthony
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Hannam, John Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Haselhurst, Alan Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn) Hastings, Stephen Mills, Peter (West Devon)
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Miscampbell, Norman
Channon, Paul Hawkins, Paul Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Chapman, Sydney Hawksley, Warren Moate, Roger
Churchill, W. S. Hayhoe, Barney Montgomery, Fergus
Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Heath, Rt Hon Edward Morgan, Geraint
Clark, Dr William (Croydon South) Heddle, John Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Henderson, Barry Morrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester)
Clegg, Walter Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Mudd, David
Cockeram, Eric Hicks, Robert Murphy, Christopher
Colvin, Michael Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Myles, David
Cope, John Hill, James Neale, Gerrard
Cormack, Patrick Hogg, Hon Douglas (Grantham) Nelson, Anthony
Corrie, John Holland, Philip (Carlton) Neubert, Michael
Costain, A. P. Hooson, Tom Newton, Tony
Cranborne, Viscount Hordern, Peter Nott, Rt Hon John
Critchley, Julian Howell, Rt Hon David (Guildford) Onslow, Cranley
Crouch, David Hunt, David (Wirral) Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs Sally
Dean, Paul (North Somerset) Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Osborn, John
Dickens, Geoffrey Hurd, Hon Douglas Page, John (Harrow, West)
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Dorrell, Stephen Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Parkinson, Cecil
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jessel, Toby Patten, Christopher (Bath)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Patten, John (Oxford)
Pattie, Geoffrey Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Trotter, Neville
Pawsey, James Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge-Br'hills) van Straubenzee, W. R.
percival, Sir Ian Shersby, Michael Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Peyton, Rt Hon John Silvester, Fred Viggers, Peter
Pink, R. Bonner Sims, Roger Waddington, David
Pollack, Alexander Skeet, T. H. H. Wakeham, John
Porter, George Smith, Dudley (War. and Leam'ton) Waldegrave, Hon William
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Speed, Keith Walker, Rt Hon. Peter (Worcester)
Frice, David (Eastleigh) Speller, Tony Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Prior, Rt Hon James Spence, John Wall, Patrick
Proctor, K. Harvey Spicer, Michael (S Worcestershire) Waller, Gary
Raison, Timothy Sproat, Iain Walters, Dennis
Rathbone, Tim Squire, Robin Ward, John
Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Stanbrook, Ivor Warren, Kenneth
Rees-Davies, W. R. Stanley, John Watson, John
Renton, Tim Steen, Anthony Wells, John (Maldstone)
Rhodes James, Robert Stevens, Martin Wells, Bowen (Hert'rd & Stev'nage)
Ridley, Hon Nicholas Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Wheeler, John
Ridsdale, Julian Stewart, John (East Renfrewshire) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Rifkind, Malcolm Stokes, John Whitney, Raymond
Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) Stradling Thomas, J. Wickenden, Keith
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Tapsell, peter Wiggin, Jerry
Robinson, Peter (Belfast East) Tebbit, Norman Wilkinson, John
Rossl, Hugh Temple-Morris, Peter Williams, Delwyn (Montgomery)
Rost, Peter Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret Winterton, Nicholas
Royle, Sir Anthony Thomas, Rt Hon Peter (Hendon S) Wolfson, Mark
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Thompson, Donald Young, Sir George (Acton)
St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon Norman Thorne, Nell (Ilford South) Younger, Rt Hon George
Scott, Nicholas Thornton, Malcolm
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Townend, John (Bridlington) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexleyheath) Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and
Shelton, William (Streatham) Trippler, David Mr. Anthony Berry.

Question accordingly negatived.

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