HC Deb 05 June 1980 vol 985 cc1691-762
Mr. Speaker

I have selected the amendment in the name of the Prime Minister. I have received far more names from hon. Members who would like to participate in the debate than I can call. That also applies to the debate that will follow at 7 o'clock.

4.2 pm

Mr. Neil Kinnock (Bedwellty)

I beg to move, That this House deplores this year's increases in overseas students' fees to the highest level in the world, which penalise poorer students and poorer countries, including those of the Commonwealth, damage British institutions of further and higher education and threaten Britain's long-term economic and cultural relations with other countries. The Opposition have the enormous asset of having received a great deal of information from every conceivable source, institution and interest group. They are concerned about the Government's decision to raise the fees of overseas students to full-cost levels. We have at our disposal two excellent Select Committee reports. The Sub-Committees were chaired by my hon. Friends the Members for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) and Kingston upon Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara). I hope that the House will recognise that this short debate is not a replacement or an acceptable alternative to thorough discussion. An issue such as this, which has been reported in Select Committee reports, fully deserves thorough debate.

It is apparent that the policy has not a single friend. We hear nothing but continual criticisms—some extremely bitter and loud—of the Government's policy from the Royal Commonwealth Society and the British Council to the Association of Navigation Schools, from the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the United Kingdom Universities and the Committee of Directors of Polytechnics to every university, polytechnic and college of higher or further education, every educaton trade union and every students' union. Disagreement with the Government's policy is not limited to those sources. We have also heard criticisms from Conservative students, just as we have heard them, in a courageous and direct form, from Conservative Back Benchers.

A few months ago the Secretary of State described this protest—despite the fact that it is universal, erudite, insistent and well argued—as unnecessarily shrill. Perhaps he would extend that description to the grave and decorous tones adopted by high commissioners, ambassadors and others who speak for their nations, including those of the Commonwealth. Whether those criticisms come from the students' unions of colleges of education, foreign embassies or high commissions, they have received the same treatment from the Secretary of State and other Ministers. Their arguments and needs have been rejected.

The reason for the barrage of complaint and criticism is obvious. The Government are wrong to raise fees. The amount by which they have raised them is too great. The pace at which the Government propose to carry out the increases is too quick. As the Select Committee and everyone else have observed, the decision was taken in panic, confusion and ignorance. It shows a lack of consultation and communication with the bodies involved that would make the average dictator blush. Some of those in responsible positions who are not given to exaggeration have accused the Government of barbarism and of the " taint " of racialism. I acquit the Government of such motivations. I do not believe that there was malice aforethought. I do not think that there was aforethought of any description. As the Select Committee stated, the Government have carried out an emergency cost-cutting exercise. It is a blind, arbitrary, wasteful, clumsy, destructive action which shows—to borrow a phrase from the Brandt report—a " bloodless abstraction " in the Government's approach.

The policy is not only bloodless; it is also heartless and brainless. It is brainless because no account has been taken of the immediate consequences for British students, British institutions of higher education or trade, political and cultural relations between Britain and the rest of the world. It is heartless because it discriminates harshly against the poorest in our world. It imposes huge increases on students who are already in Britain on non-advanced courses. Such students may be hoping to go on to higher education. It is a cynical and careless breach of faith with those throughout the world, especially in the Commonwealth, who look to Britain for educational succour and opportunity. However, that is not surprising. The Government's international posture is characterised by imperial measures of generosity to the rich and powerful—whether the United States of America, the EEC or the OPEC nations—and by mean-minded parsimony towards the weak and poor. That mean-minded parsimony may take the form of cuts in overseas aid or full-cost fees for students from overseas.

When the Select Committee was chaired by the Minister for Overseas Development in 1973, he warned that Governments were in great danger of getting their figures wrong and of coming to the wrong conclusions. That view has been reaffirmed by more recent Select Committees. The difference is that the Government have taken important and dramatic action that is based on inaccurate figures in respect of the total net expenditure that we make on overseas students. The cash value of research undertaken by overseas students in British institutions has been entirely ignored. The argument that students bring in foreign exchange—in the form of their own or other currencies—to the value of scores of millions of pounds has been rejected.

There is another miscalculation that is more important. The Government are using the wrong figures as regards the individual cost of overseas students. The Government have calculated their so-called savings on the basis of average costs. As repeated testimony has made clear, that consists of dividing the total cost of higher education by the number of overseas students here and coming up, in the most clumsy and arbitrary form, with a figure that bears little relationship to reality.

Any calculation of what overseas students cost this country should at least be on marginal costs. Those students are, as the Government themselves argue, marginal to the general provision. Marginal costs are a much more adequate means of accounting in these matters and they are between one-half and two-thirds of average costs. If the calculation had been done on that basis, we should have come up with a much lower bill. That might not have suited the Government's purposes, but it would have served the cause of honesty and accuracy in public accounting.

The Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Brent, North (Dr. Boyson), has described the campaign to change the basis of cost calculation from average costs to marginal costs as special pleading and he has refused to acknowledge that a change needs to be made. The hon. Gentleman has commented in his usual elegant and erudite fashion on whether such changes should be made and whether the Government's policy should be halted and a different attitude adopted and different stratagems undertaken. In January, he told The Times Educational Supplement: c. 1695. We shan't make the savings we planned if we start mucking about. The trouble is that there has been too much mucking about already.

The Government's policy shows a fearsome combination of innumeracy, insularity and insensitivity to the needs of this country and our higher education and the needs of students from many other parts of the world. The consequence of the Government's incompetence and arbitrariness is shocking. We live in a country where from September the highest higher education fees in the world will be payable.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Mark Carlisle)

That is not true.

Mr. Kinnock

The figures that I have come from the Secretary of State's Department. They were prepared in readiness for questions in the Select Committees. If they are not true from me, they are not true from his Department.

Annual university fees in this country will be £2,000 for an arts course, £3,000 for a science course and £5,000 for a medical course. In many cases, the fees in polytechnics will be even higher. The House should compare those figures with the fact that no European country except Belgium will charge higher fees than us and no other European country charges more than nominal amounts. Some charge nothing to higher education students.

Mrs. Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Kinnock

No, I am sorry; we are short of time. I shall be interested to hear the hon. Lady's contribution if she is able to take part in the debate.

We ought also to make a comparison between our student fees and the Ivy League fees chargeable in American universities, where the highest fee payable is £2,400 a year for any course.

Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones (Watford)

For how many years?

Mr. Kinnock

Whether it is two, three or four years, the fact remains that at that rate the total cost will still be less than a three-year course at £3,000 a year in this country. It will still be less even if the student has had to take foundation courses in America or in this country or has taken preparatory courses, GCE A-level, the Ordinary National Diploma or any comparable qualification in order to prepare himself for his higher education course. If the hon. Member for Watford (Mr. Garel-Jones) is worried about the comparisons, I hope that he will refer to the Department of Education and Science and, in the time for reflection that he has before 7 o'clock, will change his mind and vote with us. In Canada and Australia, the figures are £1,000 a year for three-year courses in comparable institutions. Our fees are double, treble or five times those amounts.

The irony of the higher cost fees stratagem is that, while the Prime Minister is rattling her sword against the Red menace that allegedly threatens us in every continent, the Secretary of State for Education and Science is acting as the registrar for the Patrice Lumumba university in Moscow. Overseas students, repelled by higher fees and by the attitude behind them, will be looking elsewhere. They may go to the United States or to France because of the inducements there, but they are more likely than ever before to be attracted by the inducements offered by Iron Curtain countries and by China.

There is a major desertion of our interests, strategically, culturally and morally, in the Government's policy. The effect on institutions in this country will be extremely serious. I have received a letter from the secretary general of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, Mr. Geoffrey Caston.

Mrs. Kellett-Bowman

What date?

Mr., Kinnock

The letter is dated 30 May 1980 and says: The financial effects of this policy threaten to be devastating for some institutions: for example, over the next three years the University of London will have to replace 18 per cent of its income, the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology 33 per cent. and Birmingham 15 per cent.". As UMIST relies for 33 per cent. of its income on the provision that it makes for overseas students, only a marginal adjustment is needed in the demand for those places to set the whole of UMIST's finances awry and to ruin the possibilities and provision for British students who will be seeking to take advantage of the high standard of education available there.

There are several such instances. We have had shoals of letters for every university, polytechnic and comparable institution in this country, as well as from organisations representing the heads of those institutions and the teachers in them. The evidence is unanimous and is always the same. The Government's policy, in combination with the cuts that are being inflicted on universities, is causing the strong possibility that courses will be jeopardised, whole departments menaced and the opportunities of British students cancelled and ruined because of the stupidity and blindness of the policy.

The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals has said: any reduction of income on this scale "— that is, the scale anticipated as a result of the Government's policy— must adversely affect the provision for home students. It is ironic that the shortage subjects—sciences, technology and mathematics—where overseas students constitute a high proportion of the total are the very courses that are in jeopardy. Those are the courses that we need to provide for our own students for the general purposes of industry, technology and education. The Government weep at the shortage of teachers in those subjects, but they are conniving at a policy which will exacerbate that shortage.

A total of 49 per cent. of all postgraduates in medicine, dentistry and health in this country are overseas students. Of postgraduate students in engineering and technology, 57 per cent. are from overseas. In agriculture, forestry and veterinary science the figure is 54.4 per cent. and in science it is 34.5 per cent. We cannot have a policy that so directly jeopardises the continuity of education for those people and their opportunity for education at postgraduate level. We cannot tolerate a situation in which a substantial part of postgraduate study in this country, which is of immense value to us and to the world, can be ruined by the consequences of the full-cost fees policy.

I acquit the Secretary of State on some grounds, because I do not think that he understands the problem. In January he said at the Millbank Club in Leicester: Apart from the running costs "— of the universities— I invite you to consider the capital costs involved. These costs are not covered in the full-cost fee and to this extent overseas students will still be handsomely subsidised. The right hon. and learned Gentleman gave much the same opinion to the Committee chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West. The Secretary of State does not seem to understand that that is what the argument is about.

There will be a reduction in revenue resulting from the decrease in intake of overseas students and a need to replace that revenue, in addition to the effects of university cuts, yet the universities and other institutions still have to meet the same capital and recurrent costs. That is why they are making a fuss. They still have to pay their bills. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is ensuring that they will have fewer resources to meet those bills. That is the economic case.

In addition to loss of foreign exchange, there is the question of loss of economic contacts. It is difficult to prove, but many companies will testify that they earnestly believe that the contacts developed through education and training in this country are of value to trade. Specific evidence is available from Leicester polytechnic which was presented to the Select Committee, Sunderland polytechnic, the University of London and other comparable institutions which demonstrates that the links of language, custom and relationships forged through education and training are of value to this country. The Government have given the Chinese Government undertakings with regard to education. What is the point of those if no trade benefit will result? Even if we could not demonstrate tangible benefits, there is certainly no loss in having large numbers of overseas students studying in this country.

If the right hon. and learned Gentleman and others do not believe the benefits to trade, let them watch what the French do to promote opportunities in their institutions. The Czechs, Bulgarians. Poles and other nationalities will have the common sense to know that short-term cuts to save a peanut of finance should not stand in the way of their relations with the remainder of the world.

Mr. Mark Carlisle

A peanut?

Mr. Kinnock

If the right hon. and learned Gentleman makes appropriate reductions in terms of foreign exchange earnings and the value of research to our economy, he will find that the figure is considerably less than the £102 million which I believe he is now prepared to admit.

The Secretary of State has partially recognised such arguments. He has provided £5 million extra for postgraduate students. That sum will help about 1,500 out of the 9,000 postgraduate overseas students in this country and is left to the University Grants Committee to administer. Interesting comments, some of which are printable, have been made by the UGC and vice-chancellors and principals. One from the CVCP is: we do not believe that this can ever fully alleviate the effects of the new policy and we foresee a number of complications over its administration. If the UGC is to play Red Cross to the universities, who will play St. John's Ambulance to the polytechnics and other institutions of higher education? The answer is " No one ".

The Under-Secretary of State should understand the problems. He said last week that the polytechnics should have a distinctive role. He is right. However, distinctiveness when it means dependence on the provision of courses in science, technology and related subjects is becoming a source of insecurity. The result of the Government's policy is to reduce scope and distinctiveness. Such institutions cannot act like merchant adventurers and sell their wares throughout the world. The possibility of increasing distinctiveness is remote and has been reduced by this Government's policies, because such institutions will be reluctant to take the risks that will now arise from specialisation.

The Government have been educationally destructive and economically ignorant and incoherent, and their morals with regard to this policy are those of a scorpion. They are betraying those who have no resources of their own. For example, Cyprus has been discouraged over the years from developing a higher education capacity, but Cyprus is not exempt from full-cost fees. The right hon. and learned Gentleman told me this week that, if Cypriot and Maltese students were given home student status, by 1983 the cost in a full year of operation would be £2 million. However, the Government are prepared to spend £3.6 million on EEC students.

I am not against those students, nor are the Commonwealth high commissioners, who rightly feel a sense of outrage. We object to the fact that students from rich countries are being protected from full-cost fees and those from poor countries and countries which have been actively discouraged from developing their own higher education facilities are being penalised. The Commonwealth relationship is in shreds because of Government policies, including this salutary and cynical action. It is a betrayal of our interests to discriminate against Commonwealth students and in favour of EEC students

Mr. Mark Carlisle

What provision did the Labour Government make for Cypriot students when they brought in the policy of differential fees?

Mr. Kinnock

The policies of differential fees and full-cost fees are entirely different. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not understand that, he does not understand his policy. There is a different motivation, pace, incidence and system of alleviation. I hope that proper attention will be given to the differences when we debate the Select Committee reports. I offer no excuses or alibis. Our policy did not provoke the vehement outrage that this Government's policy has provoked.

We should leave the last word on the policy of raising fees for students to the man who said that the increases were mean-minded and selfish, and who went on to say: it is right that at a time of economic crisis, when all in Britain are having to make sacrifices, overseas students should carry their part of the burden. But it must be a fair part and not a discriminatory one. That was said in 1977 by the Leader of the House.

The Government's policy is also a betrayal of the 20,000 non-advanced students who came to this country in 1978 and who will experience a 500 per cent. increase in their higher education fees.

There will be a change in the student profile. We will be a higher educational Hilton. Middle East students will come to the country without difficulty, but the take-up of places by poorer students will continue to drop. Since 1975 there has been a 32 per cent. increase in the number of students coming from the Middle East and a decrease of 23 per cent. in the number of students coming from the poorest countries. The process is now worsened. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is concerned about those figures, he can reverse the trend by changing his policy.

In the manner of the decision and the defence of it, there is no remaining vestige of the avuncular traditions of colonialism in the Conservative Party, with a few honourable exceptions. There is not even the cynical economic self-interest for which the Conservative Party is well known or the devious diplomatic cunning for which certain eminent and prestigious individuals in the Government are also well known.

I plead with the right hon. and learned Gentleman to abandon this clumsy, arbitrary, ill-advised and misinformed policy, freeze it, review it and rationalise it in favour of poor students from poor countries and poor students from rich countries in descending order, to the point where he can acknowledge that, on the basis of merit, students from anywhere in the world can be admitted to this country. Let us have a policy which meets needs and rewards talents and which fulfils our national duty to the world and our duty to our own interests.

4.30 pm
The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Mark Carlisle)

I beg to move, to leave out from " House " to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof: welcomes the presence of overseas students, including those financed from the aid programme, at British institutions of further and higher education but agrees that as a general rule courses should be paid for on an economic cost basis. I welcome the opportunity of the debate, and I welcome also the opportunity to place on record the reasons for the Government's decision. The hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) began by saying that many in the university world have criticised the Government's decision. I accept that they have. The hon. Gentleman quoted me as saying that I considered their criticism to have been unnecessarily shrill. I do not withdraw from that. Having listened to the hon. Gentleman today, I believe that his criticisms have been unnecessarily shrill. I hope to prove why that is so. When listening to some of the adjectives that rolled off the hon. Gentleman's tongue, it occurred to me that, as ever, his rhetoric is never inhibited by any regard for the facts or the history of the matter under debate.

As the hon. Gentleman said, we have recently received two reports from Select Committees. The Committees were chaired by Labour Members. We are studying the recommendations in both reports. The Government will respond to the reports as soon as possible. This is not the day on which to go into the contents of the reports, as the hon. Gentleman said. I wish, like him, to limit my remarks to the motion and the amendment.

I shall start by reiterating certain facts. The hon. Gentleman agreed that there was nothing especially new in the proposal of full-cost fees for overseas students. As he said, it was one of the proposals advanced by the Expenditure Committee as long ago as 1973.

Mr. Christopher Price (Lewisham, West)

Be fair. Get the facts right.

Mr. Carlisle

I am fully aware of the Expenditure Committee's proposals, and I shall deal with them.

Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, Central)

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give way?

Mr. Carlisle

Not at this moment, no.

Differential fees have been a fact of life since their introduction by a Labour Government as long ago as 1966.

Mr. William van Straubenzee (Wokingham)

Hear, hear.

Mr. Carlisle

The growing number of overseas students in this country and the cost implications for the British taxpayer have been matters of concern during the intervening years for spokesmen of Governments of both political parties. I shall remind the House how the numbers have increased.

At the end of 1966 the then Secretary of State for Education and Science, the late Mr. Crosland, announced the introduction of differential fees. In 1967–68 there were 31,000 students from overseas in all forms of further and higher education in Britain. That figure grew slowly over the next four years until in 1971–72 it had arrived at 39,000. Five years later it had risen to 75,000. By 1978–79 it had increased to 86,000. In our universities alone we have about 36,500 overseas students—about 12 per cent. of the student population, compared with 5 per cent. of that population when differential fees were introduced.

Mr. Frank Hooley (Sheffield, Heeley)

A bad fact.

Mr. Carlisle

It is considered to be a bad fact by the Government.

Mr. Hooley rose——

Mr. Carlisle

Like the hon. Member for Bedwellty, I do not propose to give way, because of pressure of time. The previous Labour Government imposed a diminishing quota from 1976 onwards.

The increase in the number of students coming from overseas to Britain is acceptable and welcome. It would be acceptable to Britain generally, save for one fact—the increasing cost to the British taxpayer.

I remind the House of the cost involved. As a result of the totally arbitrary and open-ended nature of the subsidy, that was being provided, the cost of the policy to the taxpayer through the education budget was £127 million in 1978–79, about £102 million of which was in advanced education. That was a totally arbitrary and totally open-ended subsidy that was provided irrespective of a student's country of origin. It was given to about 86,000 students, about one-quarter of whom came from countries that had a higher per capita income than our own. Many of the remaining overseas students came from rich families within poorer countries.

The hon. Member for Bedwellty said that my proposals were arbitrary and unfair. They are nothing in comparison with the way in which the picture has changed over the past 10 years. The way in which the subsidy has grown has had no relationship to the needs of the students or the countries from which they come. That is unfair.

Mr. Hooley rose——

Mr. Carlisle

I am dealing with the present system, which the hon. Member for Bedwellty has commended. It is a system that has imposed an unfair burden on the British taxpayer. As I have reminded the House, the previous Government attempted to deal with the problem by imposing a diminishing quota on the number of students allowed to come to Britain from other parts of the world. In 1976 they announced their intention by 1981–82 to return to the number of overseas students in Britain in 1975–76—in other words a reduction from 83,000 to 66,000.

It appears that the previous Labour Government, of which the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) was a member, considered the growth of the overseas student population to that level to be unacceptable. The previous Government's policy has not worked. Instead of a reduction from 83,000 to 66,000, the figures have continued to increase. In our universities there are now 5,000 more students than the target set by the previous Labour Government for overseas students or the number that they provided for in the recurrent grant. They are in our universities and are paid for at the cost of 5,000 fewer home students.

Mr. Hooley


Mr. Carlisle

There are 5,000 fewer home students——

Mr. Hooley rose——

Mr. Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield, East) rose——

Mr. McNamara rose——

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant God-man Irvine)

Order. Only one hon. Member can occupy the Floor at any one time.

Mr. Carlisle

There are 5,000 more overseas students in our universities than the target set by the previous Labour Government and for which provision was made. There are 5,000 fewer home students than the target for which that Gov-ment had made provision. Faced with that situation, faced with the need to reduce public expenditure and faced also with the need to provide a situation in which we begin to live within our means, I believe that we were right, like previous Labour Governments, to look at the whole issue of overseas students.

I have set out the background to the situation that faced us on taking office. We announced our policy of moving to full-cost fees. The hon. Member for Bedwellty, in his motion, deplores the increase. I wish to make it clear that we are looking for savings in the cost of overseas students' fees over the next three years amounting to nearly £100 million. It is about £90 million a year in the third year. Those, like the Opposition, who criticise the decision should say where they would make similar savings instead.

Accepting the need to make savings, I believe that they are achieved better by this means than by pursuing the alternative of a 10 per cent. cut in the recurrent grant to universities. That would have reduced the opportunities for students in universities by 10 per cent., without any chance of the universities recovering the money. An indiscriminate subsidy of students from overseas not only helps, as the hon. Gentleman wishes, poor students from poorer countries but helps, to the same extent, students from rich countries, or students from rich families in poorer countries.

I accept that there are advantages—cultural, trade and economic—to this country in having students from abroad in our universities. That is why I have stated that I welcome the fact that we have them in our universities. But the attempt by the hon. Gentleman to quantify such advantage is extremely difficult and unconvincing. The cost of our present system to the education budget is both quantifiable and indisputable in its effect.

The motion refers to the high cost of fees in world terms and the damage that the hon. Gentleman believes these fees will do to our universities and other institutions—presumably on the basis that the Government's action will price this country out of the market and that the numbers will drop dramatically. I cannot accept that. I believe that the three-year undergraduate degree in an English university will remain an extremely good buy and extremely good value for anyone coming from overseas.

The hon. Gentleman referred to fees in other universities. He referred, for example, to fees in the United States, it must be remembered that the cost of an overseas student is not represented only by the cost of the fees. It is the cost of the whole period of his university education that matters. Our undergraduate courses are for three years, compared to four years, usually, in America and to five, six or seven years on the Continent. The rate of success is far higher in our universities than in equivalent universities in other parts of the world. Our student-lecturer ratio is far lower in this country than it is throughout the universities of Europe. Such factors, I believe, mean that those coming from abroad will continue to recognise the value of a degree in this country.

I accept that it is too early to state with certainty the number of students who will come to this country in October. We cannot know the figure with certainty until October. That is why I have repeatedly said that we shall watch the situation carefully and monitor the effects of the announcement. By introducing the policy in stages over a three-year period, we shall spread its impact. To the extent that the hon. Gentleman is proved right, in that a need arises to adjust the policy as a result of falling numbers, we shall have a longer period in which to act.

Despite the comments of the hon. Gentleman and the shrill allegations that have been made, I can tell the House that the signs at. this moment—I can put it no higher—are that the numbers are standing up very much better than our critics forecast. The hon. Gentleman makes snide remarks from a sedentary position.

Mr. Kinnock

They are not snide.

Mr. Carlisle

I say to the hon. Gentleman that there was nothing in the policy that we inherited that discriminated in favour of poor countries, poor families or poor students.

Dame Judith Hart (Lanark)

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has quoted 1976. He was, apparently, by convention, precluded from the discussions within the Labour Government in 1978 and 1979. He is therefore not aware that we were embarking on a consultative document, to be produced this year or next year. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is not allowed to quote 1976 policy. We were aiming at a fair system, to be administered by the British Council, to cover many of the points that he has outlined.

Mr. Carlisle

I am sorry that the electorate lost us the opportunity of seeing that great document. We are aware only of the published expenditure proposals, which assumed a reduction to 66,000 from a figure of 83,000 when introduced. Nowhere does there appear any published document that justifies Opposition Members implying that their proposals, under a diminishing quota, would somehow identify the poorer child from the poorer country as the hon. Member for Bedwellty continually tried to suggest.

Dame Judith Hart rose——

Mr. Carlisle

I am sorry I am not trying to be discourteous to the right hon. Lady. She knows that I give way a great deal, and she will have an opportunity to wind up the debate. Many hon. Members wish to speak.

I was saying that numbers were standing up better than our critics had forecast. The latest UCCA returns for undergraduates show that the number of applications by the end of March was 12 per cent. down on last year, when, it should be remembered, there were four applications for every place achieved. What may be even more relevant is that the number of applications to March this year is over 4,000 greater than the total number of applications for 1975–76, to which level the previous Labour Government were hoping the figures would return for the current year. The article in The Times of the day before yesterday shows that the numbers coming for postgraduate courses appear to be standing up very well. I realise that we can make only predictions and that we shall not know for certain until October. That is why we shall monitor the situation.

I realise that this has created an air of uncertainty for those involved in universities and other institutions. It is because of that uncertainty and the different effects that our decision may have on different courses at different universities, particularly at postgraduate level, as the hon. Member for Bedwellty mentioned, that we have specifically provided an additional £5 million through the University Grants Comittee for it to distribute as it sees fit. The aim is to ensure that institutions with programmes of postgraduate work of particular importance to home students do not suffer.

The motion refers, secondly, to the policy of providing for poorer students from poorer countries. I ask the House to reflect seriously on that. The fact is that we never were getting the poorer students from the poorer countries. The fee is only one element in the cost incurred by a student on his visit here, which include as a much greater part the cost of maintenance and the cost of travel.

Therefore, we must keep in perspective the effect on students from the poorer countries mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. We must bear in mind the real effects of the alteration that we are proposing on those who come either as individuals or under schemes of sponsorship by their own Governments or otherwise. Doubling, or, in certain cases, considerably more than doubling, the fee element of that student's costs is totally different from doubling the cost of that student coming to this country.

Mr. Kinnock

Is the Secretary of State aware that the British Council has recently produced figures to show that the average cost of studying in Britain will rise for higher education students from £3,250 in 1980 to £4,800 in 1981 and that half of that is accounted for by the increase in full-cost fees? If the right hon. and learned Gentleman shares my concern that we are getting an unfortunate and regrettable profile of foreign students, will he take the opportunity to review his policy and see that it is used to favour poor students from the poor countries?

Mr. Carlisle

The hon. Gentleman confirms what I have said. Obviously there is some impact, but, doing a quick calculation, I think that he was saying that about one-sixth of the cost will be affected by the decision that we have made. It is therefore wrong to say, as some people do, that because we are doubling the fee we are doubling the cost and making it doubly difficult for students to come to this country.

For the reasons which both the hon. Gentleman and I have expressed, not only do we wish to see students coming to this country but we wish to do what we feel we can reasonably afford to assist them in coming. We want to give the assistance where we can to those indentified individually rather than on an indiscriminate basis. That is why, as well as announcing our decision on high full-cost fees, we announced for postgraduate research students a bursary system to cover some 500 such students a year—research students of high calibre—and when that is fully operational by 1982–83 we shall be giving support to about 17 per cent. of the present number of postgraduate research students.

The hon. Gentleman asked about the EEC. We have agreed that EEC students should be charged home fees. The reasons are simple and threefold: first, we are demonstrating our acceptance of the principle of student mobility within the EEC. Secondly, a draft resolution has already been tabled which will require individual countries to agree to similar fees being charged throughout Europe. Thirdly, as the hon. Gentleman fails to realise, we are operating on a reciprocal basis with Europe. It is the one area of the world that has more of our students than we have of theirs.

The motion refers specifically to the Commonwealth. I realise that representations have been made from other countries and that one is under pressure to make further exceptions, but there is a difficulty about the number of exceptions that one can make. To exempt, as the motion suggests, the whole of the Commonwealth would mean exempting immediately 40,000 of the students who are here and reducing by over 50 per cent. the sorts of savings that can be made. One cannot seriously contemplate that as being consistent with a policy of charging overseas students full-cost fees. One cannot immediately cut the savings by half before even beginning to consider the position of poorer students from countries other than those in the Commonwealth. We shall continue to support, through the aid programme, a number of students from developing countries.

As a country, we surely wish to welcome those who will come. I believe strongly that the universities still have an attractive asset. I welcome the approach of those universities which, in recent days, have seen this as an opportunity to encourage more students from overseas to come here, freed from the shackles of the diminishing quota with which they were faced.

Mr. Paul Dean (Somerset, North)

My right hon. and learned Friend referred to a problem with the Commonwealth. I do not find it easy to support the Government on this matter. Will my right hon. and learned Friend therefore give an assurance that he will pay special attention to countries, such as Cyprus, which have particular internal difficulties and a long tradition of sending students here for higher education?

Mr. Carlisle

My hon. Friend makes a fair point. Cyprus has made representations to us, and they are being considered. The difficulty is the one that I tried to explain. It is difficult to know where to draw the line in establishing differentials. We have helped individual students more through overseas aid than by indiscriminate subsidy across the board.

I believe that the motion is, frankly, bogus. To judge from the speech of the hon. Member for Bedwellty and from his sedentary comments during my speech, he appears to be arguing the principle of free entry by all to our institutions irrespective of their background and regardless of the cost to the British taxpayer. The House might be forgiven if, while listening to the hon. Gentleman, it forgot for a moment the history of his party when in Government. It was his Government who were responsible for the introduction of the principle of differential fees which discriminated against students from overseas. It was they who, in 1976, announced steps aimed at limiting the number coming here.

Let me remind the hon. Member for Bedwellty of the words of the then Secretary of State for Education and Science, the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Park (Mr. Mulley): we cannot accept the continued rapid growth in the number of overseas students coming to our institutions ". In the following year, having announced the reducing quota, he sent a strengthened request to the universities, saying that it was justified in the interests of containing public expenditure and working within the limited educational resources. I believe that that argument is justified. I believe also that the motion put down by the hon. Gentleman is bogus, and I ask the House to reject it and to support the amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I should tell the House that 15 right hon. and hon. Members wish to be accommodated between now and 7 pm, when, I understand, it is hoped that this debate will be brought to a conclusion. Brevity, therefore, will be appreciated.

5 pm

Mr. David Ennals (Norwich, North)

I shall attempt to be brief. I think that we have just heard a pathetically thin and unconvincing reply by the Secretary of State for Education and Science largely, I think, because he does not believe in his own case. That is the kindest interpretation that I can put on his speech.

The Secretary of State failed absolutely to answer, or respond to, the reports of the two Select Committees. He spoke as if neither of those reports had been published and concentrated almost entirely on cost, without looking at the balancing benefit which this country gets. I speak largely from experience as a Foreign Office Minister and as a Secretary of State for Social Services. I have also had a great many representations from my constituents at the University of East Anglia and Norwich city college.

I believe that the Secretary of State's decision was taken without proper consultation with other Government Departments. It is perfectly clear from the Select Committee report that there was no proper consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the ODA. The decision was taken without consultation with the Commonwealth countries themselves and there was no effective consultation with the UGC or the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. I believe that this will have a profound effect—perhaps an irreversible effect—on our relations with Third world countries and especially with Commonwealth countries.

In many cases, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) said, overseas students may be able to go elsewhere. Some will go to the United States, some to the Soviet Union, some to France and Germany, but some may lose the opportunity of going overseas for travel and language studies. The real problem for us is that for most of them the link with Britain will be lost. I believe that that will be of profound cultural and political as well as economic significance to our country.

My experience suggests that the effect of the Government's decision on exports and the balance of payments over the years could be very serious. For example, there are doctors in the Middle East, Africa and Asia who received their medical training in Britain. They are well acquainted with British equipment and the British Health Service. That has stood us in good stead in the work of promoting exports of medical equipment. That will be lost if we have a restricted flow of people. I do not mean simply medical students. I include engineers as well, because the restriction will probably apply even more acutely to engineering students.

The facilities provided for students from overseas to receive their training here are quite the most effective form of overseas aid that exists. I note that the Minister for Overseas Development will be speaking in the debate. I should like to hear his comments, because my experience suggests that of all the forms of overseas aid nothing is more important than the assistance that we give to enable students from all over the world, but especially from the Third world, to come to Britain.

I quote from paragraph 21 of the report of the Select Committee, of which my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara) was Chairman. It said that In eighty countries—in Asia and Latin America (both commercially significant areas) and in the Caribbean (of crucial geo-political importance)—the number of students coming to the UK on ODA financed scholarships is to be sharply curtailed. Given a concurrence of British interest and acceptability amongst recipients it seems to us wrong that even within the context of a contracting aid budget the Government should be planning to reduce the number of overseas students that it finances by such a disproportionately large number. We believe that this is one of the most cost-effective and politically constructive forms of aid that this country can offer the developing countries. The report went on to say: We find it hard to interpret a policy that emphasises in its aid programme the need to build up the productive structure of the developing countries through the sale of British capital goods; and yet in its educational arrangements makes it increasingly difficult for nationals of potential importing countries to become acquainted with the capital goods concerned or able to operate them efficiently. I believe that those arguments are overwhelming. I also believe that the loss which will result from the decision taken by the Secretary of State—unless he is prepared to modify or review it—will be a loss for this country not just for next year but for the next generation, because we shall not have that generation of students coming to Britain.

Of course, it is true that there will be no problem with the EEC. Students from Europe will be treated as home students for the purpose of determining the level of fees to be paid. Once again, the Select Committee drew attention to that. It said: Her Majesty's Government will continue to subsidise EEC students, among the richest in the world, yet refuses to modify its fees policy in favour of the poorest and least privileged. The House may well ask whether such a situation will make it any easier to convince the developing countries in general and those of the Commonwealth in particular of British good faith in the various fora of the North-South dialogue. That is a question put by the Select Committee to this House. The Secretary of State did not touch on it at all. It was as if he had not bothered to read the report of the all-party Select Committee.

I wish to raise a specific question with the Secretary of State and I hope that it will be answered later in the debate. The question is concerned particularly with refugees. Admittedly, only a small proportion of the overseas students who come here are refugees, but I believe that we have a special responsibility for them. The Secretary of State will know that there have been strong representations from the National Union of Students and World University Service on this matter. This was an issue on which the Education, Science and Arts Select Committee made recommendations. It said at paragraph 47: Particular attention should be paid to the special problems of refugee students. The Select Committee added: There is a need to relieve acute financial distress, particularly of refugee students admitted to Britain. They are, after all, only 1 per cent. of total overseas students.

The Secretary of State will also know that the Standing Conference on Refugees, of which I am a member, has put forward four proposals and I am sure that hon. Members on both sides of the House who are involved in the all-party refugee group will support them. I summarise those proposals in four sentences from a letter to me from the conference.

First, Those who have been given asylum in the UK should have the same right to pay the ' home ' fees as any British student. It seems to me absolutely monstrous that we should have a different rate of fees, for instance, for the Vietnamese refugees whom we have totally accepted as having a full right to come to this country and whom we wish to see settle down as British citizens. Somehow or other, we discriminate against them as if they were " foreigners ".

Secondly, the letter goes on: Refugee students should be allowed maintenance grants immediately on arrival in the UK. They have no place of ' ordinary residence ' "—— except where they are, here in Britain—— so the three year residence qualification cannot apply. Thirdly, it says: There should be a special bursary fund for overseas students in financial need—particularly of refugee students admitted to Britain for study. Fourthly, the letter says: The Government should establish a consistent policy for educational support for all refugees whatever their national origin. I hope that the Minister of State will reply to this question of refugees and I hope that the Secretary of State will take note of all the pressures. After all, he must recognise that in speaking today he has spoken with very little support. He may have some support in the Lobby tonight, but I believe that there will be many Conservative Members who will go into the Lobby with very heavy hearts. People throughout the country feel that this is a pretty despicable act which goes against the long-term interests of our country, our Commonwealth and our standing in the world.

5.10 pm
Mr. Tim Brinton (Gravesend)

I am a member of the Select Committee and I put my name to the interim report on overseas students' fees. We are not discussing that in detail today, but my name is on the report because I believe that there is not enough consultation to quell the disquiet in academic institutions. It is an anomaly to give EEC students an advantage over poorer students from other countries.

There is a need for a more definitive statement on policy on overseas students. I should like to know how many students in the various tiers of education, including postgraduate and undergraduate, the Minister thinks should be let into the country. What areas does he believe that they should be in?

My right hon. and learned Friend has encouraged the entrepreneurial approach, with institutions going out and finding their customers or consumers. Let that be clear. Having put my name to the interim report on overseas students' fees, I must make it clear that I welcomed cordially the advent of full-cost fees. It was a right decision. It was a courageous decision which was missed by Governments for the past 10 years while they talked about it and slowly put up fees. I am in good company. British taxpayers will at last begin to feel that the Government are doing what they want and getting to grips with how their money is spent. Under the old system, with 12 per cent. of all students being subsidised, nobody knew how much was being spent, why it was being spent or what was the advantage to the British people,

We have heard about advantages in trade, commerce and culture. Let us find out how much we are paying for that and whether it is really worth it. M we can transfer help in the form of bursaries, for example, to the right administering Departments and away from the Department of Education and Science we shall resolve the problem and we shall be able to see exactly what we are doing with taxpayers' money.

The Opposition motion refers to damage to British institutions of further and higher education ". The decision to move to full-cost fees and the immense rethink by all those involved in higher education will produce tangible advantages. It will make people ask questions. They will ask whether the courses that they offer to students are cost-effective. More important, they will ask whether they are actually needed. They will ask: how many courses are being run for the benefit of professors and teachers rather than to satisfy student demand? Do we have too many universities? Are we offering the best quality and satisfying the further and higher education needs of our home students?

The Opposition motion refers to threats to economic and cultural relations with other countries. Our economy is threatened by too much internal, often wasteful spending by previous Governments. Blanket subsidies for all overseas students are a prime example. Of course, we welcome overseas students. I am glad to hear that applications have fallen off only little. What proportion of students do we need to sustain cultural relations with other countries? Is 12 per cent. really necessary? Do we really need 12,679 students from Malaysia to preserve cultural relations with that country? Do we need 9,151 students from Iran out of a total of 40,800 from the rest of the world outside the Commonwealth to preserve a cultural link with a country whose culture has descended to pre-Spanish Inquisition levels?

The Opposition motion was conceived in haste by a party in disarray which had to find something to unite it. The motion is born of the inability of Socialism to think in any terms other than the profligate spending of other people's money regardless of the means and needs of the recipients. The motion will perish as we vote with the hearfelt thanks of the British people.

5.16 pm
Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

One of the most depressing features of this debate was the Secretary of State's observation to the effect that the Labour Party had not succeeded in directing aid towards students from poor countries and he did not see why he should do so either. The failure to grasp that objective is manifest.

Because time is restricted, I shall summarise the key arguments. Overseas students make a major contribution to our aid for world development. Their presence and learning of skills here is one of the best ways in which we can assist their countries to help themselves. They make a major contribution to promoting future economic links between Britain and the developing world. Upon those links our future, trade depends.

Overseas students make a major contribution to the maintenance of British friendship with the leaders of the developing world. We might in future be more dependent on that than we realise. They are a major factor in the quality and success of existing institutions. Many institutions, particularly those specialising in tropical medicine and Oriental studies, depend for their quality on the presence of substantial numbers of students from the countries specialising in those studies. In any university or institute of higher education a good education depends on a diverse student community. It is important that institutions should contain students from a variety of backgrounds and countries.

I reject the argument that overseas students in British universities keep out home students. Heads of university departments, if unable to admit overseas students, do not take unqualified, inadequate British students to replace them. That is my experience of the universities in which I have taught and studied. Students are admitted to universities on the basis of their suitability for courses. There is an element of bias in many university departments in that a good home student is often admitted first. However, if there is no good home student and there is a good overseas student, the admission of that overseas student does not keep out a home student.

What worries me most about the Government's policy is that it closes the door on the poor countries but keeps it open for the rich. Some students can afford to pay the fees and could afford even higher fees. Between 1975 and 1978 the number of students from OPEC and Middle East countries increased by 36 per cent. I expect that trend to continue. People from such countries can afford to pay high fees, just as they can afford expensive flats and houses in London. I do not mind their paying full-cost fees, but I resent the way in which Government policy will keep the door open only for them and for students from EEC countries.

The Secretary of State, quite rightly, criticised the fact that previous policy was an open-ended subsidy, not directed towards any group. What is he doing about that? In the absence of any clear reciprocal arrangement with many European countries or any firm EEC commitment, he is making precisely the same open-ended subsidy towards the EEC students who wish to study in Britain. He is ensuring that, whatever their numbers, they will be able to study at the home students' level of fees. Those changes of policy have been carried out without adequate discussion with the Government Departments concerned with overseas and trade affairs. That is one of the messages that have come so clearly from the Select Committee reports.

The Labour Party started the game in 1966, when it introduced differential fees for overseas students. It is the same as prescription charges. If one installs a weapon of that kind, a subsequent Government can use it in ways, and to an extent, that had not been envisaged. It is a great danger. If the previous Government had changed to a system that concentrated heavily upon the groups to which I have referred as most in need, the Tory Government would not have been able to achieve such drastic changes, because they would have been doing so exclusively at the expense of the people whom it should be British policy to benefit. It would have been a more prudent measure.

Throughout the period of the previous Labour Administration, when the increases were taking place, I argued very strongly that we should switch to a bursary-based system of far wider application. That does not now relieve the Government of the need to devise a wider bursary scheme and transfer at least some of the resources into its operation. What can we do now that the Government have reached this stage? Clearly, they will not return to non-discriminatory fees. The full-cost fees for some students is something that they want to preserve. I do not object to the Government charging full fees to students from certain countries and backgrounds who can afford to pay them.

There are two possible directions in which the Government could change then-disastrous policy. The first would be to charge home-level fees for students from a Lomé convention country. I hope that the Minister will carefully consider that possibility. After all, let us consider what happens when we allow in EEC students at home-level fees. We allow in students from the French dependencies, which are treated as part of metropolitan France. We let them in from Réunion, Guadeloupe and Djibouti. But we do not allow them in from comparable British Commonwealth countries with exactly the same circumstances and problems but which we do not treat as part of Britain. Through the Lomé convention and its pattern of arrangements, the EEC has tried to devise a means to give the benefits of EEC membership and access to EEC opportunities to poor countries that were previously associated with members of the EEC. I hope that the Government will look at the Lomé grouping as the basis for an alleviation of fees. That is one change that could be made.

Another change is one that I mentioned previously, namely, to widen by a large degree the concept of the bursary, especially to help students from poor countries and, to some extent, poor students and refugee students from a wider range of countries who are denied access to higher education.

All that I have suggested is a vital investment in Britain's future relations with the developing world. I appeal to Conservative Members to understand that, if we do not do that, there are many other countries that will do it—and the Soviet Union is foremost among them. The Prime Minister is quick to remind us, quite rightly, of the existing Soviet threat and the extent to which the Soviet Union has ambitions and adventures throughout the world. We present it with an easy way to undercut Britain and make friends for the future if we do not ensure that those whom it is in our interest to help have access to higher education in Britain. We make a great mistake if we confine that access to those who can afford the fees now proposed.

5.24 pm
Mr. David Madel (Bedfordshire, South)

I welcome this opportunity for a short debate. With my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Brinton), I am a member of the Select Committee on Education and Science, which produced an interim report on this subject. I wish to direct my few words towards what we said about this problem.

The investigation that we were able to conduct shows the usefulness of the Select Committee procedure in the House. By calling a number of witnesses, including the Secretary of State—who made a useful and helpful contribution and enhanced our discussions—we perform a useful job for Parliament. Although we are at an early stage in the Select Committee process, one thing that we have noted—and which we mention in paragraph 25 of the report—is the question of information and interdepartmental discussions. We said in that paragraph: We do not consider that we can fully discharge our responsibilities to Parliament until we have access to more of the information that is available to the DES in formulating its decisions. I realise that there are difficulties regarding the amount of information that Government Departments can give if they use the argument that national security might be jeopardised, but on this issue it would have helped us if we could have had information about some of the discussions that must have taken place between the various Departments before the decision was made.

I wish to concentrate my remarks on the question how the decision will affect the science and research courses in Britain. We made mention of that in paragraph 36 of the report, where we drew attention to the fact that Since overseas students are strongly clustered in courses in engineering and technology the three institutions especially selected in the 1960s for a high level of funding in science and technology, Imperial College, London, UMIST and Strathclyde University, were said to be at some risk. During our discussions we were told that the Government were considering an extension of the bursary scheme. As we said later in the report, we hoped that, if any course was at risk, the bursary scheme might be used to ensure that that course did not cease, Mention has already been made of the evidence that we heard from the Leicester polytechnic about the engineering course on knitting, which is of use not only to that town but to the surrounding industries. We hope that when the bursary scheme gets under way, should there be special difficulties in certain courses, it would be used flexibly so that the course might continue. Because of the effort, work and amount of money that Britain must continue to invest in research and development, it is vital that, when the Government are considering how the cost for overseas students and the bursary scheme should continue, this matter should receive the highest priority.

In paragraph 50 we made four points. We referred to a number of non-sponsored overseas students who deserved the possibility of access to a wider bursary fund. In the four points we stressed the need to pursue research in the United Kingdom, the need to maintain courses vital to British industry and commerce, especially in relation to export potential, and the need to relieve acute financial distress, especially of refugee students. Our recommendation states: We recommend that such a scheme be set up as a matter of urgency and that it be adminstered by a body representing, among others, academic, research, industrial and commercial, overseas development and local government interests, as well as those of the relevant central government departments. Because of the scientific and research needs of Britain, it should be possible for the Govenrment and industry to get together to create a wider bursary fund, which could be used to ensure that certain vital courses do not suffer as a result of this alteration.

We have been asked to be brief. Those are the only two points that I wish to make. I regret that the Opposition Front Bench did not concentrate more on some of the constructive suggestions in the report, especially our remarks on science and technical courses. The trouble with the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock)—who has a look of injured guilt about him when he talks about the Labour Administration—is that he forgets the way that the previous Labour Administration proceeded.

I hope that we shall have a debate on the report, but debates on Select Committee reports are few and far between. I wish to confine my remarks to the interim report. I draw special attention to the fact that the wider bursary should be used to help refugee students and also to help the research and development of industry in Britain, which is so vital for our economic future.

5.29 pm
Mr. Christopher Price (Lewisham, West)

I should like to mention two remarks made by the Secretary of State which, on reflection, he might want to modify. First, he said that the 1972 Expenditure Committee recommended full-cost fees. That Committee was concerned with postgraduate education, whereas these fees apply right across the board into further as well as higher education. On top of that, the Committee recommended a compensating scholarship scheme. Therefore, it recommended not a diminution of expenditure but a different pattern.

Mr. Mark Carlisle

I do not dispute that the Committee recommended that funding for those who needed funding should be given in another way. I said that it supported the principle of full-cost fees and that that was nothing new.

Mr. Price

I felt that the full recommendations of the Expenditure Committee should be put on record. It is important to get them in balance.

The second point made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman has already been alluded to. He indicated that in some way, for every extra overseas student that we have in our institutions, we have one fewer home student. The hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) put that point in context. Having taken pages and pages of evidence, we received no evidence of that fact. If the Secretary of State believes it, he must be the only person who does.

There must be another occasion to discuss these reports in detail. The education report would have been more scathing had we been able to get at the information which the hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Madel) told the House we had not been able to obtain. The Select Committee has made a special report to the House about this matter. I quite understand the gagging writ with which the Secretary of State was issued by the Cabinet Office, thereby preventing his telling the Select Committee anything about the interdepartmental consultations. This is a matter of dispute between the Procedure Committee, which has made a recommendation, and the Government. The Select Committee hoped that this matter could be brought to the Floor of the House on a nonparty vote in the way that this kind of thing is normally decided so that it could be resolved, because the Secretary of State said that this was a matter for the House, as opposed to the Government, to decide.

I should like to mention one matter about the foreign affairs aspects of this matter before turning to the Select Committee's recommendations. Cyprus has been mentioned. I fully support the argument put forward by Cyprus. However, I should like to put another aspect to the House. Much has been said about the menace of the Russians in the Indian Ocean. Until recently, almost all students in the island of Mauritius wanting education came to this country. As a result of this decision, the majority of students from the island of Mauritius will now be trained in the Soviet Union.

The Government talk about the military expenditure that is necessary to prevent the Russian threat in the Indian Ocean. No decision could have been more effective in promoting the Soviet cause in the Indian Ocean than this decision on overseas students' fees. If, in five years, Mauritius goes the same way as the Seychelles or starts to move in a direction which makes people frightened of a Soviet takeover, only one Government will be responsible, and that will be this Government.

The Secretary of State appeared to imply that the Government's decision on this occasion was, as it were, not terribly different from the decisions of previous Governments who first created the differential and then increased, or on occasions decreased, that differential over the years. I think that I could take all the members of the Select Committee with me on this point. But the suddenness—that is, the lack of consultation—and the size of this increase puts it in a different category from any previous decision about overseas students' fees.

The Select Committee made a great deal of saying that applications were not all that much down. Again, I think that the Select Committee would agree that the numbers of overseas students in this country are holding up. However, we were distressed to find a paucity of information within the Department of Education and Science on the profile of those overseas students. There is no doubt that if, like Ralph Dahrendorf of the London School of Economics, we went out recruiting United States students of a not very high intellectual calibre for very short courses in this country, we could fill many courses. We might fill all our universities. But that is not the object of the exercise, as far as some of us are concerned, in running a higher education system.

One of the Select Committee's final conclusions was that the Government must come out with a policy and tell the country, the universities and the polytechnics in particular how they think the balance should be drawn between American and oil-rich students who are increasing in numbers in this country and our proper responsibility to help Third world students who are not sponsored by their Governments.

It is all very well to say that the aid budget for sponsored students should cope with part of the problem. We agree that ii should. But there is a case for holding fees for Third world students down to a reasonable level. Many leaders of Third world countries who received their education in Britain received it not as favourite students of the Government of the day but as opponents of the Government of the day. They learnt their policies in this country and are now providing a great contribution to the Third world by what they are doing.

Although the report was substantially unanimous, there was one issue on which we were divided. It can be read in the report. The majority of the Committee felt that the policy of full-cost fees should stand and be mitigated by a bursary scheme. However, the minority of the Committee felt that it should stick to the Robbins report, which (recommended that fees, with no differential between overseas and home students—the possibility of a differential was never conceived—should be held at about 20 per cent. of full cost. That difference in the Committee is brought out in the report. The assumption was that fees would be held at about 20 per cent. of full cost. One side of the Committee—not the majority—felt that that was right.

We made a number of positive recommendations. I am glad that the hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South talked about our bursary scheme. I say no more about that, except that we used the expression " very urgent ". I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, in responding to the Select Committee's report, will at least say something positive about the scope of the bursary scheme. I do not think that, after this debate, he will refuse the refugee point. It involves a tiny amount of money and is the kind of thing on which any Government would give way. However, I hope that he will be as generous as possible on the bursary scheme.

I should like to mention two other points in the report. The first concerns the Government's decision—a decision by administrative fiat which has received very little publicity—to change the residence qualification to " ordinarily resident " as the qualification for an overseas student. We received evidence that that decision would have a far greater effect on overseas students than anybody realised, particularly in London further education institutions, where there is a very high proportion of overseas students.

We felt that it was unsatisfactory for the Secretary of State simply to tell the Committee that the meaning of the words " ordinarily resident " was for the courts to decide. Perhaps it will be litigated before the courts. It could be two to three years before the final decision on the meaning of the words is given by the House of Lords. In the past, that has always applied to tax exiles, of whom the Government wanted to make as many as possible ordinarily resident. In the case of overseas students, the Government are trying to make as few people as possible ordinarily resident. In this case, it is incumbent upon the Secretary of State, in responding to our report, to make a clear statement about what he considers to be the meaning of the words " ordinarily resident ", otherwise, people such as admission officers in further education establishments, polytechnics and universities will be put in the position of acting as immigration officers, and that is utterly unreasonable. They need more guidance, and they should be given it.

My final point relates to the words " as a general rule " in the amendment. The final wording of the Government amendment agrees that " as a general rule " courses should be paid on an economic cost basis. The Government had to include those words because they had given in to the EEC. For what it is worth, I believe—other hon. Members may disagree with me—that the EEC decision was perfectly reasonable. I suspect that it involved the package that has recently been announced and getting German support for it. I do not blame the Government for that. Having been a Member of the European Parliament for a year, I know that we have to take such decisions and that we have to give and take a little. It is a perfectly reasonable decision to make if we are wheeling and dealing in that sort of area.

At present, the EEC is making a mass of complicated trading agreements with other countries in which non-discrimination between the EEC and those other countries figures increasingly. The Lomé convention has been mentioned. It includes a non-discrimination agreement covering workers and their families in this country. That may have to be litigated in order to find out whether sandwich course students are entitled to home fees. I am simply asking the Secretary of State to realise that we cannot open the door a little without its being forced open wider and wider.

As other countries which have associations with the EEC—the ASEAN countries, Cyprus and other countries which send many students to Britain—negotiate their agreements year by year, they will say increasingly that they want non-discrimination on student fees. In the end they will get it, and it would be more graceful and politically intelligent for the Government to make this proposal now than to be forced to give way in a year or two.

I welcome the Government's promise that they will monitor their policy and make a review. I beg them not to let this review drag on and on. Even the Secretary of State would agree that the decision was made in an absurdly hurried way. It was not an education decision. It was a Treasury decision. There seems to have been virtually no consultation, even with the Secretary of State, before it was announced. I hope that the Secretary of State will make an intelligent review of this decision quickly.

5.44 pm
Mr. Harry Greenway (Ealing, North)

The question of the number of overseas students who can properly be accommodated on any course of study has been an issue in education for as long as I can remember—and that is a long time. It is a most important issue. It is obvious that home students will profit in many ways from the presence on courses of overseas students throughout the further and higher education sectors, bearing in mind their different cultures, languages and background. The same is true for overseas students, who gain similarly from their association with home students. But this important argument falls to the ground when there is an unduly high ratio of overseas students to home students on courses. The whole process of education is different in such circumstances, and its effect upon those participating will be quite different. That is obvious.

I am not advocating a reduction in the number of overseas students on the basis of that argument, but the matter should be faced. When, however, lecturers and professors complain—as many have—that to put up fees to overseas students in the way that is now envisaged will damage their institutions, one presumes that, as educationists, they are involved in the educational argument, to which I am sympathetic. Again and again, one hears from them the argument that to raise overseas students' fees will mean that fewer will come to this country to study and that courses, and, therefore, the jobs of professors and lecturers, will be at risk. That is an understandable argument, but it is not altruistic.

We have yet to see whether the Government's actions on overseas students' fees will lead to a lower enrolment in our institutions. In any case, we should take a long, hard look at some courses that are run 90 per cent. for overseas students. We should accept the fact that the subsidy that has been allowed for such students for so many years has been a direct form of overseas aid. In future it should be drawn from the overseas aid budget.

This morning I received a letter—perhaps other hon. Members also received one—from the president of the Leeds university union. He draws attention, amongst other things, to one sentence in the Select Committee report, which states: It is essential that if the full economic cost argument is to be accepted, then subsidies for overseas students should be accepted as necessary and should be carried on the ODA budget. That is a wise and sensible point, and it would take a good deal of the heat out of this question if it could be achieved.

Paragraph 50 of the recent interim report of the Education, Science and Arts Committee, of which I am, incidentally, a member, deals with that point explicitly. There was also some discussion of the matter during a recent debate on the Brandt report. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) and a number of other hon. Members were not present for that excellent debate.

It is clear that many countries, especially the oil-rich ones, can afford to pay the full cost of fees for their students studying in this country, and they should be asked to do so. One has only to look at the large number of establishments that have accepted overseas students on a full-cost basis for years—for example, the Bell school of languages—to realise that there is a stronger case for charging the full fees to many more overseas students than previously.

I hope, nevertheless, that the Government will do everything possible to help students from Third world countries to come to Britain to study. It is important not to interfere with the admission procedures of universities as other educational institutions for these students, but there must be some device, via the ODA budget, to give this help.

With regard to the percentage of overseas students that it is desirable to have on any course for the mutual benefit of both overseas and home students, it is interesting to note that four years ago London colleges were given five years to reduce the percentage of overseas students on any one course to 33⅓ per cent., and colleges overall were asked to reduce the percentage to 20 per cent.

I give two examples. On 1 November 1979, full-time and sandwich courses in one institution had 1,635 students, of whom 366—22.4 per cent.—were from overseas. In another institution, the full-time and sandwich courses had 1,115 students, of whom 202—18.1 per cent.—were from overseas. That had been achieved two years in advance of the target date. That is the situation in London, which is an interesting and special case by any standard.

Finally, there is the question of the qualification "ordinarily resident". This is an important question, and some help on it would be valuable. What is "ordinarily resident"? Surely it must be made to mean " properly and genuinely resident", because it is, I regret to say, common knowledge that in the past some students deliberately contrived to postpone the beginning of their higher-level course until they had managed to accumulate three years' residence in this country. I mention that fact not meanly but because I think that by that device they got in at the expense of some others who might have been more deserving. They had achieved previous residence in the country by almost any device, including, one suspects—speaking professionally—deliberately failing examinations in order to have to repeat a year in a qualifying examination such as A-level and so gain the residential qualification needed for full grant. This has been a serious matter and it needs to be looked at very carefully.

I support the call by the right hon. Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Ennals) for particularly sympathetic treatment for refugee students, especially those from Vietnam. That is very important as a compassionate attitude is called for.

5.52 pm
Mr. Ernest Armstrong (Durham, North-West)

I welcome the opportunity to make a brief contribution to the debate, because we are dealing with a very important subject. That is why I am so disappointed by the Secretary of State's speech. As has been said, that speech could have been written by the Treasury, but it was more like one written by the treasurer of the local ratepayers' association. I say that in sadness, because I am still an idealist about education. Both at home and overseas it has a key role in preparing people for the complex world in which we live.

Perhaps my greatest experience as an hon. Member was to go to the conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers as the representative of the United Kingdom. Many things impressed me, but two things in particular have lived with me since.

The first was the tremendous note that Britain has played, particularly in higher and technical education, in the preparation of men and women throughout the world, particularly in the Commonwealth, for leadership in their own communities. Secondly, that experience put into perspective for me our position in the world.

I come from Durham, in the North-East of England. People there have tended to look inward. I can well understand that and explain it. For example, unemployment in the Northern region has always been almost double the national average. There is plenty of excuse for being inward-looking.

But, when I talked to other Commonwealth Education Ministers, saw their problems and had the pleasure of visiting their countries, I recognised how necessary it was for our Secretary of State for Education and Science to lift his horizons and not talk as though he merely had a job to defend the ratepayers and the economic position of our country.

In world terms, we are not a poor country. If we get our priorities right, we can honour our continuing obligations and duties particularly to the Third world and the Commonwealth. It is in that context that I want to speak briefly.

British education, particularly higher education, has a unique role. It is a remarkable institution. The benefit to students here and to our own community from the influx of overseas students can never be quantified. Figures have been bandied about in the debate, and the Secretary of State will have been bombarded by people who can prove figures wrong, and so on. I do not want to go into the figures now, but I say this to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I hope that he has not underestimated the bitter resentment, particularly in the Commonwealth, at what we have done.

I have just been to Cyprus. I did not find bitterness there, but I certainly found resentment and bewilderment. The argument of the people there is that we have been responsible directly for Cyprus for a long time. We did not build a university there, nor did we encourage one. I do not complain about that. Cypriot students came here freely. English is a compulsory language in the primary schools, as well as in secondary education. Wherever I went in Cyprus I spoke to people from this country who are doing important work in that very beautiful but tragic island. I spoke also to Members of Parliament, educationists and others, and without exception one of the first matters that they raised was the decision that we are now debating.

What such people believe is important. I do not accuse the Secretary of State of positive discrimination or malice aforethought, but those people sincerely believe that they are getting less favourable treatment than, for example, people from the EEC countries—countries which have many more resources. I believe that to be true. They also believe that this is a piece of discrimination that is contrary to the kind of thing accepted in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth in the past.

It is not only a question of the decision about university students. When one allies the decision with the withdrawal of resources from the British Council and the cuts in overseas aid, it sounds like hypocrisy to talk about concentrating resources and making sure that instead of spreading the margarine thinly we are going to direct the resources to where they are needed.

The trouble is that we are dealing with a Government who have an obsession about public expenditure and are cutting across the board. In the dangerous world in which we live, we should spend any money that we can spend and allocate any resources that we can allocate that will give people the feeling that we care about the world—that although we spend a lot of money on defence, and so on, and regard that as necessary, we want to promote those things that will bring understanding and co-operation and achieve development.

Our education system, with its preparation of people who do valuable work throughout the Commonwealth and the world, including the universities, brings together young people—and the majority of people throughout the world are young and poor. Therefore, this decision looks like an act of discrimination by Britain against those who are young and poor.

It is rare in this House to find in a debate that enlightened self-interest and moral obligations coincide, but they do on this occasion. It is impossible to quantify the benefits that we get from bringing overseas students to this country. I plead with the Secretary of State to ensure that no one in the world can say that by its actions Britain is positively discriminating against the poorest students from the countries that really need the kind of intercourse, education and development that we can give them in our higher education. We have that duty and obligation to the Third world.

As I said, the second thing about the Commonwealth Education Ministers' conference that I found so impressive was that it showed how obsessed we had been with our own internal problems. We had convinced ourselves that we had such great problems here that the rest of the world must take second place. We are a rich country compared with most other countries. I am thinking now about those who have looked to Britain for higher education for a long time, and will continue to do so, but who are considering looking elsewhere also.

If the Secretary of State cannot reverse the policy, I plead with him to ensure that we produce a scheme whereby those who are in most desperate need—the poorest from the poorest countries—are able to come to this country and strengthen our education service but then to go back to their countries and perform a useful role there.

6 pm

Mr. William van Srraubenzee (Wokingham)

The House always recognises that the right hon. Member for Durham, North-West (Mr. Armstrong) speaks with very great sincerity in these and other matters. I am certain that he struck a considerable echo in the minds of many hon. Members as he spoke. In my equally brief, or perhaps briefer, contribution, I want to suggest to him and others that out of the current situation could come considerable improvements for the very people that he most has in mind.

I share the right hon. Gentleman's belief in the role of this country in terms of overseas students. A rich country—we all know that we are still a rich country in world terms—has a moral duty—I would not put it lower than that—to share some part of its riches in education with students from countries less fortunate. I believe that very deeply, and I welcome most warmly the words of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State, in his admirable speech, making it perfectly clear that that is the Government's outlook also, even if we differ about ways in which it should be done.

Let us be quite clear about one matter. If there is any one group of hon. Members who are not entitled to sit in white sheets in respect of this matter, it is the Opposition Front Bench. Have people forgotten what happened in 1966? I have refreshed my memory by reading the report of the debate on this matter on 23 February 1967. It so happens that I wound up for the then Opposition. The two principal speakers for the Government and Opposition Front Benches are, sadly, both dead, and the Minister winding up for the then Government is now reposing in another place. The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) and I are the only two survivors in the House today of that debate.

Have people forgotten what happened? The then Government entered the field of discrimination against overseas students by way of an answer to a written question on the last day of term before Christmas. Those are the facts. It is all on record in the Hansard of the day. I shall not delay the House by reading it. To say that there was not controversy about it, as the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) said, to say that it was not a major breach of principle, as the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) said—[HON. MEMBERS: " Where are they? "] They have both been good attenders throughout, and I make no point about that. I am sure that they will be back to listen to more important contributions. But to say these things is simply not in accordance with the facts.

At the time, I warned that once that principle had been accepted—and it was the Labour Government who did it; of that there is no doubt, because it is all clear on the record—inevitably we would be moving into a field in which eventually there would be full cost, however one defines that, for overseas students.

Therefore, while we can have our legitimate debates and legitimate differences of opinion, the one set of people who are not entitled to sit in white sheets are the Opposition Front Bench. On this subject the right hon. Member for Lanark (Dame Judith Hart) cannot sit now in white—or in charming pink, as she is dressed at present. She and her hon. Friend are the two people in this House who are not entitled to do that.

Subsequently, various Governments have worked at this problem. Obviously, I am not free to talk in detail, any more than the right hon. Lady is, but I must admit that when I was honoured to serve in junior rank at the Department of Education and Science—still the greatest Department of State; I say that to my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary—I worked at this matter. Frankly, I did not deliver. If and when the right hon. Lady replies, and when, as I suspect from the trailer that we heard earlier this evening, she unfolds to us the wonderful, marvellous and heartfelt scheme that she could have implemented if she had been able to do so, I am afraid that I shall have to apply to her what I apply to myself: she did not deliver.

It is no good Ministers of previous Governments, myself included, stating the wonderful things that we would have done if we did not actually do them. Therefore, I hope very much that when the right hon. Lady reaches that section of her speech—it must be there, because obviously she has prepared it—she will reflect a little and wonder whether she ought to deliver it.

Lastly, I can detect in the decision the hand of the Treasury. That is not a particularly profound thing to say. I do not think that it is necessarily bad. We must live with the realities of life. The Treasury will be in on this matter. But it is true that in an interim period we are left—I think that this was acknowledged, if not in words, by my right hon. and learned Friend—with a system that is indiscriminate. Incidentally, a very good representation to hon. Members on this matter was recently released by the National Union of Students. It is very timely, very restrained and very good. When the NUS talks of educational issues, it can often be extremely effective. I wish that it would stick to such matters—although increasingly, of course, it will be doing so. I recommend its representations to hon. Members. But the system is indiscriminate.

I also put in a plug for consideration of the sub-degree work. We have concentrated our debate so far, understandably, on the university and polytechnic student. This country makes a very great contribution also in sub-degree level work. I merely give as an illustration the work that we do for the diploma in banking and its effects throughout the world. As we consider this subject, I hope that we shall remember the sub-degree work. I trust that we shall thereby be able to move increasingly to a system in which the appropriate Department for this matter, which is the Overseas Development Administration, is the funding body. I want to see it taken away from the Department of Education and Science. It would have the subsidiary advantage—I stress the word " subsidiary ", for this would never be a main reason for doing it—of becoming overseas aid in terms of the statistics, which it is not at present and which is one of the reasons why our position in the league table looks so bad compared with that of the French.

I end on one doubt I wonder whether the hon. Member for Bedwellty is right. Could we ever effectively have a system that differentiated between students in an individual country? Let me illustrate what I mean. Do we honestly think that we could have a scheme that could, as it were, means-test parents in Bangladesh? We have only to reflect for a few minutes on the enormous administrative problem in both Bangladesh and this country to see that that would be beyond our competence, without a gross bureaucracy. But if we could discriminate on foreign policy, on links with the Commonwealth and on other grounds, that is something that I hope we would do.

I have a feeling that when the history of this matter is written we shall look back and say that the inevitable result of the Labour Government's initial decision of 1966, which took more than 10 years to reach its final fruition, meant that this country could have a more sophisticated way of doing that which, on the whole, both sides of the House wish to achieve.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I understand that the Front Bench speakers wish to wind up the debate at 6.30 pm and that each spokesman wishes to speak for a quarter of an hour. There are 20 minutes left. It would help if hon. Members could confine their speeches to five minutes or less, in order to give other hon. Members an opportunity to speak.

6.10 pm
Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, Central)

I shall try to comply, Mr. Speaker, with your request. Whatever happens, I shall sit down at 6.15 pm. I was privileged to be Chairman of the Sub-Committee on overseas development, which considered this problem. It is important to recognise—as the Secretary of State did—that the recommendation of the Expenditure Committee in 1972 concerned postgraduate students. It did not concern the fees of students at all levels. As my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) pointed out, we have received no evidence to the effect that overseas students keep British students out of our universities. Such evidence was never brought before my Committee or that of my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West.

Mr. Mark Carlisle

I did not say that. I said that there were 5,000 more overseas students than provision had been made for, and 5,000 fewer home students than provision had intended.

Mr. McNamara

That was not the impression that the right hon. and learned Gentleman gave. He impled that foreign students were keeping British students out of universities. There is no evidence to that effect. I do not wish to go into the report in detail. I hope to have an opportunity to do that on another occasion.

Both the Sub-Committee on overseas development and the Sub-Committee chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West were prevented from being able to assess the value and quality of Government decisions. That is evident from the recommendations of the special report and from paragraph 16 of our report. If the House and its Committees are to make such assessments, they must be given access to the advice that is being given to the Government. That does not mean that access would impinge on a Government's political decision. All Governments have a right to make such decisions. The decision of this Government is horribly wrong. However, in the interests of the public, a Committee should be entitled to assess the evidence upon which a decision has been made.

According to the evidence before our Committee, it appears that a diktat came from the Treasury. The Chancellor of the Exchequer picked the thing that was easiest to cut and that would cause the fewest problems at home. He decided on overseas students' fees No previous work had been done. No knowledge or figures were available to show the effects of that decision at home, abroad or in the developing countries. That cannot be good for Government, no matter which parties or issues are involved. Decisions should not be made until the consequences have been carefully thought out. That has not been done. An educational adviser from the Overseas Development Administration said that it did not know about the decision until it had been made. It had no opportunity to consider it. In the interests of our constituents, we must look at such activities carefully and ensure that decisions are properly considered.

Many students have come to Britain to pursue courses at universities but have had first to obtain qualifications from our technical schools. They will not now be able to get those qualifications as a result of the great increase in fees. The Secretary of State should consider continuing courses for those taking A-levels and for those who intend to go on to degree courses. Courses of a special developmental nature, such as those involving the natural sciences, education, veterinary surgery, medicine and agriculture, have been hit hardest and have been hurt the most. There has been a whacking increase in those fees, and that is disastrous.

The hon. Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Greenway) spoke glibly about putting this cost on to the budget of the ODA. That would be fine if there were extra money available. However, the Government have plucked a figure of £106 million out of the air. If that is added to the amount that will be lost, we shall be faced with a figure of £221 million. We would be talking not of a cut of 15 per cent. but of 30 to 35 per cent.

Mrs. Kellet-Bowman


Mr. McNamara

It is indeed time. I shall sit down. At least, I gave way to the Secretary of State, despite the fact that he was not prepared to do so when I wished to intervene.

6.15 pm
Mr. Christopher Brocklebank Fowler (Norfolk, North-West)

I am also a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. I voted in favour of the Committee's report. We all know that sudden cuts in public expenditure, however necessary, can lead to hasty and ill-considered judgments. One can argue indefinitely about the extent to which the decision to increase fees may have affected universities, Third world students and Britain's economic prospects.

I shall concentrate my brief remarks on the need for a coherent policy. From our investigations, we know that there has never been a coherent policy. There is one policy for education and overseas development, and another for domestic education. Apparently, there is no system for determining a policy that takes account of the views of all the Departments in Whitehall. If we are to have a proper policy for the education of overseas students that ties in with our interests, those views must be considered.

The Committee noted the absence of a coherent interdepartmental policy for overseas students or in respect of Britain's political, economic, trade, development and immigration objectives in her relationships with the Third world. The strength of those relationships is more important to the maintenance of peace in the Third world than almost any military support that could be given.

The best answer to Soviet influence in the developing world, particularly in Africa, is training, trade and development, not tanks. Non-military support to developing countries is essential if we are to protect and develop our commercial interests. I therefore agree with the right hon. Member for Durham, North-West (Mr. Armstrong). Paragraph 36 of the report spells out all the arguments. I shall not detain the House by quoting from that report. Our recommendations suggest how our policies could be improved.

I hope that the relevant Ministries will consider the issues carefully and that the relevant Ministers will reply to our recommendations with the minimum amount of delay. In the meantime, I regret that I shall not be able to support the Government's amendment.

6.18 pm
Mr. D. E. Thomas (Merioneth)

There are no public expenditure decisions that do not inherently contain political decisions or decisions about what Governments can get away with. This decision fallls into that category. The Government have assumed that they could get away with such a decision. The decision results from the most narrow-minded form of nationalism and chauvinism that I have experienced during the six years that I have been a Member of Parliament. I think that I can speak with some authority, because I recognise British nationalism when I see it.

The decision has racialist and deeply ideological overtones. We must consider the educational implications of those decisions in the context of the historic relations between the United Kingdom—as a former imperial Power—and the former colonial dependencies.

My main objection to the decision is that it is an example of falling back on the whole transition from Empire to Commonwealth which has been part of the consensus policy of successive British Governments. If the dependency created by the imperial system on the imperial centre for services that are not made available on the periphery, particularly services of specialist postgraduate higher education, is to be transformed into a system of Commonwealth participation, it must include the maintenance of the cultural and political links, particularly in the education service. The Government's decision is an attempt to renege on their post-imperial obligations.

Hon. Members have already advanced the arguments on the indirect trade benefits brought by the education of overseas students in this country. I wish to refer to only one education argument, namely, the benefit to students who are domiciled in the United Kingdom of being on courses with overseas students.

Too often, our courses and our system of higher education are ethnocentric, with a Western bias, as though our white culture were somehow universal. The presence of overseas students on courses, whether social sciences, humanities or, particularly, those that are development-ally oriented, can result in their being determined towards the needs of Southern and Third world countries. The presence of overseas students on those courses brings to them a genuine internationalism in the education system, and it is that internationalism that is so sadly missing in the Government's decision.

6.22 pm
Mr. Anthony Kershaw (Stroud)

The Labour Party should not stir up too much sound and fury over this admittedly unfortunate necessity. Labour Members should bear in mind that, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State said, the previous Labour Government doubled fees for overseas students. So there is no matter of principle between us, and no hon. Member doubts that there is some limit to the numbers of overseas students who can properly be looked after in this country. We are divided on how that should be done.

What worries me about the Government's policy is that it is not a carefully thought out policy for the whole question. We ought to ask ourselves what overseas students are here for, from which countries they should come, what skills they should have and what is our purpose in having them here. Are they part of our aid programme, part of our cultural diplomacy or a help to British industry, or is their purpose to shore up some of our higher education establishments?

Each of those purposes is respectable, but each is dealt with by a different Ministry, and the Departments have not been talking to each other about the matter. Even (he facts are not known. We do not know how many overseas students are here or what financial benefits, if any, they bring to this country. There is great dispute about that. The Government say that every overseas student costs us something and that the total bill is £102 million, but that is denied, by many good judges and by the universities. We ought to find out the facts.

Whatever the cost, it falls on the DES, and its budget is hit by overseas students, whatever other benefits the country may get from them. We must therefore sympathise with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State in his efforts to economise when he spots that expenditure by his Department in respect of which he is not entitled to take into consideration the fact that other areas may gain an advantage from that spending.

There can be no doubt about the effect on some overseas countries. I have just returned from Malaysia, which has 17,000 students over here. The Ministers in Kuala Lumpur gave me a proper roasting. Shock and disappointment were the reaction of one, and another said that it was the end of an era. Applications from Malaysia are drastically down. There used to be 100 students at the British Council in Kuala Lumpur every morning trying to find out about courses in this country. On the day that I visited the British Council last week, there were only 10 students.

As soon as the Government made their announcement, ambassadors from other countries were anxious to speak to the Ministry of Education in Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible. Germany has offered 50 scholarships and the United States has offered 1,000 scholarships. Canada, which has apparently expanded its higher education provision much too fast, is longing to get students to keep the programme going, and even India is anxious to have more students. In so far as overseas students are part of our cultural diplomacy, we are doing ourselves a certain amount of harm.

Of course, these are early days. The numbers may not fall. Our institutions are of a high standard and will be sought after. Nevertheless, until we know exactly what are our purposes and policy, I hope that the Government will establish machinery to enable proper consultation to take place between all the Departments involved.

6.26 pm
Mr. Frank Dobson (Holborn and St. Pancras, South)

I shall confine my remarks to the effect of the Government's policy on the postgraduate medical institutes and their associated hospitals. I take as an example the Great Ormond Street hospital for sick children and the Institute of Child Health, which, like many other institutes, is dedicated entirely to the relief of human suffering and carries out practical research and teaching. Such institutes have become centres of renown and excellence throughout the world and, therefore, have a high proportion of foreign students.

That high proportion is accentuated by the fact that the institutes are closely connected with their associated hospitals. Because of that, a substantial number of the British medics who go to the hospitals and gain a great deal from attending the associated institutes do not bother to register as students at the institutes.

Consequently, there is a gross overcounting of the overseas students. As a result, the Government-imposed cuts will reduce the income of some world-famous and worthwhile institutes by as much as 40 per cent. or 60 per cent. If that policy is carried out, the fees for those important institutes will be not the sums of £3,000 or £5,000 a year that have been quoted but as much as £30,000 per student. Those are the fees that will be required if the sums that the Government are cutting are to be made up.

Of course, there is no possibility of anyone coming from abroad paying £30,000. The cuts will therefore damage not only the institutes but—because substantial numbers of the academic staff who teach in them also work in the hospitals—hospitals such as Great Ormond Street, the Maudsley and others. They will suffer and there will be empty beds if the policy is pursued.

6.28 pm
Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South-West)

I do not criticise the logic of the decision or the Government's desire to protect taxpayers' money. Both are understandable and defensible objectives. However, I am unhappy about the lack of consultation. I wish to make three points for consideration by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State.

First, I hope that the policy will be carefully monitored. Cyprus and Mauritius have already been mentioned, and to those I would add Greece. As that country is to join the Common Market in January, it seems rather illogical that it should not be given the benefit in the next academic year of the facilities of its neighbour countries. If that were done, it would create great good will for little cost.

I also wish to stress that refugee students should be given preferential consideration. We have a long and noble tradition of helping refugees and I hope that that will continue.

Finally, we have in this country, and particularly in the University of London, some of the finest specialised institutions in the world. Reference has been made to the School of Oriental and African Studies and the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It would be a crime and a tragedy if they were allowed to go to the wall. I hope that the monitoring will be so effective as to mitigate the worst effects that have been predicted.

6.29 pm
Dame Judith Hart (Lanark)

There cannot often have been debate in which a Minister has found himself with comparatively little support from his own Benches. One or two of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's hon. Friends liked his speech, but not his policy. Only one liked his speech and his policy.

There is a problem here, and we need to find the right solution. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has not found the right solution, and he is doing great damage in many ways. We must consider the students themselves, the Commonwealth, non-Commonwealth developing countries and our own universities, colleges and institutes of higher education. There are also, in a vague and indefinable phrase, our own longer-term interests. Foreshadowing our debate on Brandt, we should also consider the mutuality of interests, which the Government appear to forget.

The kernel of the problem lies with the students. There are rich students from rich countries, rich students from poor countries, poor students from poor countries and poor students from rich countries. We have to find a way to protect poor students from wherever they come and students from poor countries. They should be our priority. There is also the question of refugee students, and I am glad that their problem was underlined in the debate. I hope that the Secretary of State and the Home Secretary will respond to the pleas and that a change will be made. The students who come to this country are not studying medieval Italian. They are studying agriculture, science, medicine, engineering, economics, law, administration, pharmacy and so on.

A month or two ago I was in Sri Lanka, at the same time as the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He stated that developing countries must help each other. How can they if they do not have the fund of training and education which, even on his terms, will allow them to do so? Education is the key. The increase in fees abandons overseas students and the poorest countries and kicks the concept of development in the teeth. The reactions from overseas have been devastating, and that alone should make the Government think again.

EEC countries should be happy that we are discriminating in favour of their students. However, at a meeting in the other place, chaired by Lord Gladwyn, an ambassador from an EEC country spoke of disquiet in educational circles in his country at the British policy towards students from the EEC. That remark was referred to in a report by the Council for Education in the Commonwealth. Does anyone for one second suppose that the French or the Germans, in their own interest, would behave as we have done?

The same report states that a representative from a North American country expressed amazement at the crudity of the Government's calculations of " full cost " in working out fees. Based on his own calculations, that representative thought that students from overseas brought a net benefit to the United Kingdom. As the phrase a representative from a North American country is taken from the report, it can only be a representative of Canada or the United States.

I do not know whether the Secretary of State has read the evidence given to the Select Committee dealing with overseas development. It is not a matter that his officials would normally draw to his attention. The High Commissioner for Sierra Leone said: Finally, may I ask what the savings achieved from this exercise will amount to? Even if it were a few million pounds would Great Britain prefer to mortgage the reservoir of goodwill and steadfast friendship of our Commonwealth colleagues against money of this magnitude? I hope not. What monetary value would the Secretary of State put on our Commonwealth connection and role? Can Mr. Milton Friedman assess that?

Representations on the matter were made by Mauritius as long ago as the Lusaka conference. Representations have also come from Lesotho, Pakistan and Bangladesh. A week or two ago, in a written answer, the Secretary of State said that he proposed to reply to the Commonwealth Secretary-General. Many of us would be interested to see that reply. I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will publish it.

Courses and departments in our institutions of higher education are devastatingly affected. The Secretary of State's remarks gave rise to a shade of misunderstanding about home and overseas students. The Association of University Teachers in Scotland stated: it is certain that a shortfall of three overseas students means the equivalent of one lecturer's salary and that the loss of one lecturer means that teaching for eleven students is lost, i.e. ultimately there must be eight home students fewer. Let the Secretary of State ask his officials how to deal with that.

How will the policy affect us? Let us look at the matter crudely, taking the Government's view of the world. They clearly believe that our approach to overseas countries should emphasise our strategic and commercial interests by a reduced aid programme. There may be a certain logic in supporting our losses through the overseas aid programme, but not by cuts of as much as 14 per cent., which are among the most savage in the public expenditure programme. As the Select Committees have discovered, in this field there is not enough consultation.

In considering our strategic and commercial interests, let us look at what Thailand said to the Select Committee. In a memorandum it said: Thailand imports British machinery and tools, especially in the private sector, so British trained technicians and engineers are required to handle these valuable imports. The United Kingdom would lose sales to Thailand and trade in general between the two countries would drop owing to the lack of British trained and educated personnel. I imagine that the Government are concerned to advance our commercial interests with Thailand. The evidence from Thailand was: If the British Government does increase the fees I can tell you that the number of our students here will have to be reduced by more than half. Government scholarships will be cut by more than half. That is borne out by what the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) said about Malaysia.

The evidence from Thailand went on to deal with the multiplier effect. It was said that a reduction of even one student going to the United Kingdom had an impact on hundreds of students in Thailand. If we want to trade with and sell to developing countries, there has to be a core in the countries to which we sell which understands our technology. If the developing countries go to the Soviet Union, France, Belgium or the United States, they will end up buying Soviet, French, Belgian or American products. That will happen because those will be the products that they understand. The folly in terms of the Government's stated objectives is extraordinary.

There are predictions that we shall have 2 million unemployed. We are watching Britain become deindustrialised. The Government emphasise the desperate need for further impetus in British exports. Could anything, in any language, be crazier than to abandon advantage in a wilful act of sabotage?

Let us consider our world interests in the broadest sense. Africa has had 10,000 students in Britain in recent years. Half of the Heads of the Commonwealth were educated in Britain—that is, half of the Presidents and Prime Ministers. The hon. Member for Lancaster (Mrs. Kellett-Bowman) laughs.

Mrs. Kellett-Bowman rose——

Dame Judith Hart

I merely comment on the fact that the hon. Lady laughs.

Mrs. Kellett-Bowman

Unfortunately, they have not put into practice the humanitarian principles that they learnt here.

Dame Judith Hart

I let the hon. Lady's comment speak for itself.

At a meeting to which I have referred, one of the representatives of an African country expressed dismay that Britain was throwing away all the good will and support painstakingly built up by so many over a long period. He said that African countries felt that they were being let down by Britain in a way that was forcing them into the hands of the Eastern bloc, a move that they were reluctant to make. If African countries are forced into the Soviet bloc, America or France, the effect will be to sever connections with Britain. Can that be in Britain's interests? Does it make us—I use the Prime Minister's favourite phrase of the moment—" proud to be British "?

I refer again to the Government's distinguished external guru—I do not refer to the Secretary of State for Industry—Professor Milton Friedman. Do the Government think that he has ever given a thought to British national interests in the world? Is it supposed that Professor Milton Friedman comprehends what the Commonwealth is? I do not think so.

Mr. Kinnock

He knows Hong Kong.

Dame Judith Hart

That is true. The professor thinks that Hong Kong is the most superb success story of world development.

A comment by the University of Manchester institute of science and technology was reported by The Times Higher Education Supplement in November 1979. The report states: The Government's proposals are so ill-thought out, so obviously worked out on the back of an envelope, so harmful to technological research, to the academic community, to prosperity of the nation at large, that once this becomes apparent sanity will prevail. But reasoned argument only appeals to reasonable men and women. And reasoned argument often comes a poor second or third to the demands of Government exigency or to political force. We call upon the Government not to spend three years monitoring their proposals but to think again and consider reducing overseas students' fees. By all means, let a rational policy be worked out. Let us have a fair policy. Let this absurd, shameful, harmful and self-destructive step be reversed, in the interests of the students, the Commonwealth and ourselves. I call upon the Government to do that.

6.45 pm
The Minister for Overseas Development (Mr. Neil Marten)

Do I take it from the concluding remarks of the right hon Member for Lanark (Dame Judith Hart) that Labour policy is now specifically to return to the status quo?

Dame Judith Hart

It is Labour policy to reverse the increase in overseas students' fees while a rational policy is worked out.

Mr. Marten

Would it not be for the convenience of the House if the right hon. Lady obtained a copy of the document—I think that she said that it was a Green Paper when she intervened in the speech of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science—that she told us the previous Labour Government were about to publish so that we might take into account all that the previous Government had in mind? I think that that would be helpful.

Dame Judith Hart

I am happy to assist the hon. Gentleman. I suggest that with my full permission—I am sure that it would be with the full permission of the former Secretary of State for Education and Science, who, alas, is no longer in the House—he seeks from the officials of the Department of Education and Science and the Overseas Development Administration the proposals that were under consideration between the two Departments before the general election.

Mr. Marten

I am sure that the right hon. Lady will pursue that matter with her colleagues and, as a supplement, provide an explanation of how Labour's proposals would have been funded.

I know that a number of hon. Members wanted to participate in the debate. They were absent from the Chamber because of their commitment to serve on Select Committees. I think that four Select Committee sat today. For the benefit of those who were not in the Chamber and did not hear my right hon. and learned Friend open the debate on behalf of the Government, I make it clear that I shall not respond in this debate to the reports that we have received from the Select Committees, which we are continuing to study. A number of hon. Members have raised questions on the Select Committee reports. The Government must have time to give the reports full and fair consideration. We are studying them with care and interest and we shall respond to them as quickly as possible.

The hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) referred to the 1973 report of the Expenditure Committee. I think that I was the Chairman of the Committee at that time and that he was a member of it. The report was oriented towards postgraduate students. As far as I can remember—I have not read the report since 1974—it was concerned with loans to students. That report gave rise to the fees that we recommended for postgraduate students. I think that that is a correct interpretation.

Mr. Christopher Price

I have read the report. The hon. Gentleman is right to think that he was the Chairman of the Committee. However, I was not a member of this place at that time. I was out of the House. I joined him a year later.

Mr. Marten

That is why it was such a good report. Doubtless it would have been better if the hon. Gentleman had been a member of the Committee.

I recognise that a number of hon. Members are worried about the implications at home and abroad of the Government's decision to phase in full-cost fees for overseas students. We shall be dealing fully and carefully with the issues raised by the Select Committees. It is essential to keep a sense of proportion and, above all, not to cry woe prematurely. As my right hon. and learned Friend said, we shall be monitoring the developments as firm facts and figures become available.

May I now pick up one or two of the points made in the debate, although not all of them, I am afraid, in the short time I have available since I have to sit down at 7 o'clock. [An HON. MEMBER: " Get on with it then."] I am getting on with it right now. I start first with what I thought was a curious remark, if I heard and understood it correctly, from the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock). He said that the Commonwealth was in shreds as a result of this decision. I do not know whether he meant it—I imagine that he did not—and I can only say that that is an example of the need to keep a sense of proportion.

Mr. Kinnock

The hon. Gentleman had better read what I said.

Mr. Marten

I shall indeed, tomorrow.

My hon. Friend the Member for Somerset North (Mr. Dean) spoke about Cyprus. We recognise the various special cases which have been mentioned in the debate and most particularly that of Cyprus. The Government will most carefully consider a case such as this in the light of all that has been said. I cannot give any undertakings, but we shall certainly consider what has been said in the House today.

The right hon. Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Ennals), in what I thought an interesting speech if I may say so, said that nothing in the aid programme is more important than education. That may be so. It is, I think, a question of opinion, and that is clearly his opinion. But I think that the strength of it will be shown in the extent to which the developing countries which are receiving aid devote that aid to education. There are many other priorities apart from education in the general programme of a developing country, but I agree that it is important, and I believe that time will tell the extent to which the developing countries regard it as important in the way that the right hon. Gentleman thinks it is.

I turn next to the question of students from the EEC countries paying home student fees. This is, of course, a logical consequence of our membership of the Community. As some hon. Members will recall, I did not support our entry into the Community, but that is a logical sequence of entry and all that flows from it. But the concession of home student fees for students from other countries in the European Community represents a practical acceptance of the principle of student mobility, as it is called, within the Community. It anticipates the resolution which will bind us to adopt such a measure in line with other Community countries.

I should add that this is one area where, as my right hon. and learned Friend said, the export of United Kingdom students is greater than the import of overseas students. The cost of accommodating the present number of EEC students is estimated at £1.6 million initially, rising to £4.2 million in 1983–84.

Mr. Christopher Price

Will the hon. Gentleman give way on the question of EEC students?

Mr. Marten

Yes, but it must be the last time I give way.

Mr. Price

The hon. Gentleman talked of it as a logical development. Will he confirm that there is absolutely no directive in force and no prospect of one ever being in force on this issue? Why do the Government kow-tow to the EEC on issues where there is no directive in force, whereas they bravely stand up to the EEC even on issues where there is a directive in force?

Mr. Marten

I am told that there is no directive in force, but I am advised that what we are doing is consistent with the general development of the Community.

The right hon. Member for Norwich, North and other hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Brinton) and, in particular, the right hon. Member for Lanark, spoke of refugees and their eligibility for treatment as home students. This is an important point for the House to have before it. The Government are aware of the difficulties faced by refugees, for example, those from Vietnam. As to their student awards and tuition fees—because of their lack of residence qualifications—these are being given careful consideration, but I cannot yet say what the outcome will be.

Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)

It is an absolute disgrace——

Mr. Marten

I will not give way to the hon. Gentleman. I heard what he said.

Mr. Bob Cryer (Keighley)


Mr. Ross

I am ashamed.

Mr. Marten

I do not want to get into an argument, because I have more to say, but I am not sure why the hon. Member is ashamed that the Government are giving deep consideration to this matter. I think that we had better leave it there and perhaps talk about it afterwards.

The hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) raised many points, including his reference to lack of consultation. The first special report of the Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts deals with the disclosure of information about consultation between Government Departments on policy issues. Again, the Government are giving careful consideration to the points made in that report and, as I said before, they intend to give an early reply.

Mr. Cormack

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Marten

No. I am afraid that I must stop giving way.

I am afraid that I was absent from the Chamber during the speeches of the right hon. Member for Durham, North-West (Mr. Armstrong) and my hon. Friends the Members for Norfolk, Northwest (Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler) and Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee), but I have here interim reports of what they said. I shall read all that they said with care and take full account of it.

My hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) was, I think, critical of the lack of research into many of these matters. We shall carefully consider the machinery which will deal with this aspect of the matter. We need to look at that again.

My hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South-West (Mr. Cormack) mentioned the question of monitoring. We shall certainly be doing that. He referred also to the question of Greece. The point about Greece is that it will not become a member of the Community until January 1981. We could not justify extending the concessions to Greece in advance of Community membership, and there are administrative difficulties in the way of changing fees half-way through an academic year. So Greece will benefit from the concessions from the beginning of the academic year Septembr 1981, which will mean that Greek students will have to pay full fees for a single academic year.

The Government have made what concessions they think reasonable and can afford. I emphasise that we shall continue to use the aid programme to help students in areas of particular importance to poor countries. We shall thus continue to finance a substantial number of students and trainees nominated by their Governments under our country aid programmes. I think that that is a point which has largely been missed in the debate. The courses that they attend are carefully selected so that they can make an early contribution to the development of their countries on their return.

Understandable concern has been expressed about students from the Commonwealth. Most of the students under our country aid programmes are from the Commonwealth, and in addition we are contributing £3.7 million in 1980–81 to the Commonwealth scholarship and fellowship plan, under which 500 students from Commonwealth developing countries and a further 150 from other Commonwealth countries are at present studying here. These are scholars who make a real contribution to the development of their own countries and to the exchange of ideas and ideals within the Commonwealth, and we shall continue to support the plan.

We also have extended, for this year, the fee support scheme under which we shall assist about 600 postgraduate students from developing countries in selected subjects. This scheme is additional to that referred to by my right hon. and learned Friend.

Furthermore, we are continuing to support a large number of refugee students from several countries, as I have said already, and there is also a large number of students from Zimbabwe. This support will enable them to continue their studies here while we initiate a normal training programme for Zimbabwe with their new Government.

The programmes which I have mentioned, together with special schemes of the British Council and the Inter-University Council, add up to a substantial contribution—costing some £36 million this year—to the training of people from developing countries. The emphasis is on careful selection for studies or relevance to economic and social development. These are identified in the context of discussions with individual Governments on their overall need for aid. I do not believe that the aid programme should become involved in any generalised schemes of support for private students. The cost would be considerable and I do not consider such schemes as deserving priority from our limited funds.

Training in Britain is only part of our assistance to developing trained manpower in developing countries. We propose to continue support for training in the recipient countries themselves and in third countries when it is more cost-effective to do so rather than to bring students to Britain.

I was happy to notice yesterday at

Edinburgh university, where I was having talks with the veterinary section, that the university is getting aid from the EDF fund for its students and teachers. That is a matter that should be pursued by universities.

I had more that I wanted to say, but I promised to sit down at 7 pm. I should like to conclude by thanking hon. Members and the right hon. Lady for their contributions, which will be studied most carefully, and asking the House to support the amendment moved by the Government.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 230, Noes 292.

Division No. 339] AYES [7.01 pm
Abse, Leo Dobson, Frank Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Adams, Allen Dormand, Jack Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rhondda)
Allaun, Frank Douglas, Dick Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Alton, David Douglas-Mann, Bruce Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Anderson, Donald Dubs, Alfred Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Dunn, James A. (Liverpool, Kirkdale) Kerr, Russell
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ernest Dunnett, Jack Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Kinnock, Neil
Ashton, Joe Eadie, Alex Lamborn, Harry
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham) Eastham, Ken Lamond, James
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Ellis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire) Leadbitter, Ted
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) English, Michael Leighton, Ronald
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Ennals, Rt Hon David Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Beith, A. J. Evans, loan (Aberdare) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Evans, John (Newton) Litherland, Robert
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Ewing, Harry Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Bidwell, Sydney Faulds, Andrew Lyon, Alexander (York)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Field, Frank Lyons, Edward (Bradford West)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Fitch, Alan Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur (M'brough) Flannery, Martin McCartney, Hugh
Bradley, Tom Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Bray, Dr Jeremy Foot, Rt Hon Michael McElhone, Frank
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Ford, Ben McKay, Alien (Penistone)
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith) Forrester, John McKelvey, William
Buchan, Norman Foster, Derek MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Maclennan, Robert
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Freud, Clement McNally, Thomas
Campbell, Ian Garrett, John (Norwich S) McNamara, Kevin
Campbell-Savours, Dale George, Bruce McWilliam, John
Canavan, Dennis Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Magee, Bryan
Cant, R. B. Gourlay, Harry Marshall, David (Gl'sgow, Shettles'n)
Carmichael, Neil Graham, Ted Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Grant, George (Morpeth) Marshall, Jim (Leicester South)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Grant, John (Islington C) Maxton, John
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Maynard, Miss Joan
Coleman, Donald Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Meacher, Michael
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Conlan, Bernard Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Mikardo, Ian
Cook, Robin F. Haynes, Frank Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Cowans, Harry Hogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire) Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)
Craigen, J. M. (Glasgow, Maryhill) Holland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall) Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Crowther, J. S. Home Robertson, John Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Cryer, Bob Homewood, William Morris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw)
Cunlilfe, Lawrence Hooley, Frank Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Cunningham, George (Islington S) Horam, John Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Cunningham, Dr John (Whitehaven) Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Newens, Stanley
Davidson, Arthur Howells, Geraint Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Lianelli) Huckfield, Les Ogden, Eric
Davis, Clinton (Hackney Central) Hudson, Davies, Gwilym Ednyfed O'Halloran, Michael
Davis, Terry (B'rm'ham, Stechford) Hughes, Mark (Durham) O'Neill, Martin
Deakins, Eric Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen North) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Dempsey, James Janner, Hon Greville Palmer, Arthur
Dewar, Donald Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Park, George
Dixon, Donald Johnson, James (Hull West) Parker, John
Parry, Robert Shore, Rt Hon Peter (Step and Pop) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Penhaligon, David Short, Mrs Renée Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Prescott, John Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Walker, Rt Hon Harold (Doncaster)
Price, Christopher (Lewisham West) Silverman, Julius Watkins, David
Race, Reg Skinner, Dennis Weetch, Ken
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Welsh, Michael
Richardson, Miss Jo Smith, Rt Hon J. (North Lanarkshire) White, Frank R. (Bury & Radcliffe)
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Snape, Peter White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Roberts, Allan (Bootle) Soley, Clive Whitehead, Phillip
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North) Spearing, Nigel Whitlock, William
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Spriggs, Leslie Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Robertson, George Stallard, A. W. Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW) Stewart, Rt Hon Donald (W Isles) Wilson, Gordon (Dundee East)
Rodgers, Rt Hon William Stoddart, David Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Hooker, J. W. Strang, Gavin Winnick, David
Ross, Ernest (Dundee West) Straw, Jack Woodall, Alec
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Woolmer, Kenneth
Rowlands, Ted Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth) Wrigglesworth, lan
Ryman, John Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Sandelson, Neville Thomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Sever, John Tilley, John Mr. James Hamilton and
Sheerman, Barry Tlnn, James Mr. George Morton.
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L) Torney, Tom
Adley, Robert Costain, A. P. Henderson, Barry
Aitken, Jonathan Cranborne, Viscount Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Alexander, Richard Crouch, David Hicks, Robert
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Dean, Paul (North Somerset) Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Ancram, Michael Dickens, Geoffrey Hill, James
Arnold, Tom Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Hogg, Hon Douglas (Grantham)
Aspinwall, Jack Dover, Denshore Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Hooson, Tom
Atkins, Robert (Preston North) Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Hordern, Peter
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Durant, Tony Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Dykes, Hugh Howell, Rt Hon David (Guildford)
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Bell, Sir Ronald Edwards, R Hon N. (Pembroke) Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Bendall, Vivian Eggar, Timothy Hurd, Hon Douglas
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon) Elliott, Sir William Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Eyre, Reginald Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Best, Keith Fairbairn, Nicholas Kaberry, Sir Donald
Bevan, David Gilroy Fairgrieve, Russell Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Biffen, Rt Hon John Faith, Mrs Sheila Kitson, Sir Timothy
Biggs-Davison, John Fair, John Knox, David
Blackburn. John Fell, Anthony Lamont, Norman
Blaker, Peter Fanner, Mrs Peggy Lang, Ian
Body, Richard Finsberg, Geoffrey Langford-Holt, Sir John
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Fisher, Sir Nigel Latham, Michael
Boscawen, Hon Robert Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N) Lawrence, Ivan
Bottomley, Peter (Woolwich West) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lawson, Nigel
Bowden, Andrew Fookes, Miss Janet Lee, John
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Forman, Nigel Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Bright, Graham Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Brinton, Tim Fox, Marcus Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Brittan, Leon Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)
Brooke, Hon Peter Fry, Peter Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Brotherton, Michael Gardiner, George (Reigate) Loveridge, John
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe) Gardner, Edward (South Fylde) Luce, Richard
Browne, John (Winchester) Garrett, John (Norwich S) Lyell, Nicholas
Bruce-Gardyne, John Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Macfarlane, Nell
Bryan, Sir Paul Glyn, Dr Alan MacGregor, John
Buck, Antony Goodhew, Victor MacKay, John (Argyll)
Budgen, Nick Goodlad, Alastair Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
Bulmer, Esmond Gorst, John McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)
Burden, F. A. Gow, Ian McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Butcher, John Gower, Sir Raymond McQuarrie, Albert
Butler, Hon Adam Gray, Hamlsh Madel, David
Cadbury, Jocelyn Greenway, Harry Major, John
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds) Marland, Paul
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Marlow, Tony
Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn) Grist, Ian Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Grylls, Michael Marten, Nell (Banbury)
Channon, Paul Gummer, John Selwyn Mates, Michael
Chapman, Sydney Hamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll) Mather, Carol
Churchill, W. S. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Maude, Rt Hon Angus
Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Hannam, John Mawby, Ray
Clark, Sir William (Croydon South) Haselhurst, Alan Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hastings, Stephen Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Cockeram, Eric Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Mayhew, Patrick
Colvin, Michael Hawksley, Warren Mellor, David
Cope, John Hayhoe, Barney Meyer, Sir Anthony
Cormack, Patrick Heath, Rt Hon Edward Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch)
Corrie, John Heddle, John Mills, lain (Meriden)
Mills, Peter (West Devon) Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Miscampbell, Norman Rees-Davies, W. R Thomas, Rt Hon Peter (Hendon S)
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Ronton, Tim Thompson, Donald
Moate, Roger Rhodes James, Robert Thorne, Neil (llford South)
Molyneaux, James Ridley, Hon Nicholas Thornton, Malcolm
Monro, Hector Rifkind, Malcolm Townend, John (Bridlington)
Moore, John Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexleyheath)
Morgan, Geraint Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Trippler, David
Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth) Ross, Wm. (Londonderry) Trotter, Neville
Morrison, Hon Charles (Devizes) Rost, Peter van Straubenzee, W R.
Morrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester) Royle, Sir Anthony Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Mudd, David Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Viggers, Peter
Murphy, Christopher St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon Norman Waddington, David
Myles, David Scott, Nicholas Wakeham, John
Needham, Richard Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Waldegrave, Hon William
Nelson, Anthony Shelton, William (Streatham) Walker, Rt Hon Peter (Worcester)
Neubert, Michael Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Walker, Bill (Perth & E Perthshire)
Newton, Tony Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge-Br'hills) Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Nott, Rt Hon John Shersby, Michael Waller, Gary
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs Sally Silvester, Fred Walters, Dennis
Page, Rt Hon Sir R. Graham Sims, Roger Ward, John
Page, Richard (SW Hertfordshire) Skeet, T. H. H Warren, Kenneth
Paisley, Rev Ian Speed, Keith Watson, John
Parkinson, Cecil Speller, Tony Wells, John (Maidstone)
Parris, Matthew Spence, John Wells, Bowen (Hert'rd & Stev'nage)
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Spicer, Michael (S Worcestershire) Wheeler, John
Patten, John (Oxford) Sproat, lain Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Partie, Geoffrey Squire, Robin Whitney, Raymond
Pawsey, James Stanbrook, Ivor Wickenden, Keith
Percival, Sir Ian Stanley, John Wiggin, Jerry
Pink, R. Bonner Steen, Anthony Williams, Delwyn (Montgomery)
Pollock, Alexander Stevens, Martin Winterton, Nicholas
Porter, George Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Wolfson, Mark
Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch (S Down) Stewart, John (East Renfrewshire) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Stokes, John Younger, Rt Hon George
Price, David (Eastleigh) Stradling, Thomas, J.
Prior, Rt Hon James Tapsell, Peter TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Proctor, K. Harvey Taylor, Robert (Croydon NW) Mr. Spencer le Marchant and
Raison, Timothy Taylor, Teddy (Southend East) Mr. Anthony Berry.
Rathbone, Tim Temple-Morris, Peter
Question accordingly negatived.
Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 32 (Questions on amendments):
The House divided: Ayes 293, Noes 227.
Division No. 340] AYES [7.15 pm
Adley, Robert Brittan, Leon Cranborne, Viscount
Aitken, Jonathan Brooke, Hon Peter Crouch, David
Alexander, Richard Brotherton, Michael Dean, Paul (North Somerset)
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe) Dickens, Geoffrey
Ancram, Michael Browne, John (Winchester) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Arnold, Tom Bruce-Gardyne, John Dover, Denshore
Aspinwall, Jack Bryan, Sir Paul du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Buck, Antony Dunn, Robert (Dartford)
Atkins, Robert (Preston North) Budgen, Nick Durant, Tony
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Bulmer, Esmond Dykes, Hugh
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Burden, F. A. Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Butcher, John Edwards, Rt Hon N. (Pembroke)
Bell, Sir Ronald Butler, Hon Adam Eggar, Timothy
Bendall, Vivian Cadbury, Jocelyn Elliott, Sir William
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon) Carlisle, John (Luton West) Eyre, Reginald
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Best, Keith Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn) Fairgrieve, Russell
Bevan, David Gilroy Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Faith, Mrs Sheila
Bitten, Rt Hon John Channon, Paul Farr, John
Biggs-Davison, John Chapman, Sydney Fell, Anthony
Blackburn, John Churchill, W. S. Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Blaker, Peter Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Finsberg, Geoffrey
Body, Richard Clark, Sir William (Croydon South) Fisher, Sir Nigel
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Cockeram, Eric Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Bottomley, Peter (Woolwich West) Colvin, Michael Fookes, Miss Janet
Bowden, Andrew Cope, John Forman, Nigel
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Cormack, Patrick Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Bright, Graham Corrie, John Fox, Marcus
Brinton, Tim Costain, A. P. Fraser, Peter (South Angus)
Fry, Peter McQuarrie, Albert Royle, Sir Anthony
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Madel, David Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Gardner, Edward (South Fylde) Major, John St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon Norman
Garel-Jones, Tristan Marland, Paul Scott, Nicholas
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Marlow, Tony Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Glyn, Or Alan Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Goodhew, Victor Marten, Nell (Banbury) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Goodlad, Alastair Mates, Michael Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge-Br'hills)
Gorst, John Mather, Carol Shersby, Michael
Gow, lan Maude, Rt Hon Angus Silvester, Fred
Gower, Sir Raymond Mawby, Ray Sims, Roger
Gray, Hamish Mawhinney, Dr Brian Skeet, T. H. H.
Greenway, Harry Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Speed, Keith
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds) Mayhew, Patrick Speller, Tony
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Mellor, David Spence, John
Grist, Ian Meyer, Sir Anthony Spicer, Michael (S Worcestershire)
Grylls, Michael Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch) Sproat, lain
Gummer, John Selwyn Mills, Iain (Meriden) Squire, Robin
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll) Mills, Peter (West Devon) Stanbrook, Ivor
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Miscampbell, Norman Stanley, John
Hannam, John Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Steen, Anthony
Haselhurst, Alan Moate, Roger Stevens, Martin
Hastings, Stephen Molyneaux, James Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Monro, Hector Stewart, John (East Renfrewshire)
Hawksley, Warren Moore, John Stokes, John
Hayhoe, Barney Morgan, Geraint Stradling Thomas, J.
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth) Tapsell, Peter
Heddle, John Morrison, Hon Charles (Devizes) Taylor, Robert (Croydon NW)
Henderson, Barry Morrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester) Taylor, Teddy (Southend East)
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Mudd, David Temple-Morris, Peter
Hicks, Robert Murphy, Christopher Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Myles, David Thomas, Rt Hon Peter (Hendon S)
Hill, James Needham, Richard Thompson, Donald
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Grantham) Nelson, Anthony Thorne, Neil (llford South)
Holland, Philip (Carlton) Neubert, Michael Thornton, Malcolm
Hooson, Tom Newton, Tony Townend, John (Bridlington)
Hordern, Peter Normanton, Tom Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexleyheath)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Nott, Rt Hon John Trippier, David
Howell, Rt Hon David (Guildford) Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs Sally Trotter, Neville
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Page, Rt Hon Sir R. Graham van Straubenzee, W. R.
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Page, Richard (SW Hertfordshire) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Hurd, Hon Douglas Paisley, Rev Ian Viggers, Peter
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Parkinson, Cecil Waddington, David
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Parris, Matthew Wakeham, John
Kaberry, Sir Donald Patten, Christopher (Bath) Waldegrave, Hon William
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Patten, John (Oxford) Walker, Rt Hon Peter (Worcester)
Kitson, Sir Timothy Pattie, Geoffrey Walker, Bill (Perth & E Perthshire)
Knox, David Pawsey, James Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Lamont, Norman Percival, Sir Ian Waller, Gary
Lang, Ian Pink, R. Bonner Walters, Dennis
Langford-Holt, Sir John Pollock, Alexander Ward, John
Latham, Michael Porter, George Warren, Kenneth
Lawrence, Ivan Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch (S Down) Watson, John
Lawson, Nigel Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Wells, John (Maidstone)
Lee, John Price, David (Eastleigh) Wells, Bowen (Herl'rd & Stev'naga)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Prior, Rt Hon James Wheeler, John
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Proctor, K. Harvey Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Raison, Timothy Whitney, Raymond
Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo) Rathbone, Tim Wickenden, Keith
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Wiggin, Jerry
Loveridge, John Rees-Davies, W. R. Williams, Delwyn (Montgomery)
Luce, Richard Renten, Tim Winterton, Nicholas
Lyell, Nicholas Rhodes James, Robert Wolfaon, Mark
Macfarlane, Nell Ridley, Hon Nicholas Young, Sir George (Acton)
MacGregor, John Rifkind, Malcolm Younger, Rt Hon George
MacKay, John (Argyll) Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and
NcNair-Wilson. Patrick (New Forest) Rost, Peter Mr. Anthony Berry.
Abse, Leo Beith, A. J. Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)
Adams, Allen Benn Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Campbell, Ian
Allaun, Frank Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Campbell-Savours, Dale
Alton, David Bidwell, Sydney Canavan, Dennis
Anderson, Donald Booth, Rt Hon Albert Cant, R. B.
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Boothroyd, Miss Betty Carmichael, Neil
Armstrong, Rt. Hon Ernest Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur (M'brough) Carter-Jones, Lewis
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Bradley, Tom Clark, Dr David (South Shields)
Ashton, Joe Bray, Dr Jeremy Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham) Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Coleman, Donald
Bagler, Gordon A. T. Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith) Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Buchan, Norman Conlan, Bernard
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Cook, Robin F.
Cowans, Harry Hughes, Mark (Durham) Prescott, John
Craigen, J. M. (Glasgow, Maryhill) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen North) Price, Christopher (Lewisham West)
Crowther, J. S. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Race, Reg
Cryer, Bob Janner, Hon Greville Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Richardson, Jo
Cunningham, George (Islington S) Johnson, James (Hull West) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cunningham, Dr John (Whitehaven) Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rhondda) Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North)
Davidson, Arthur Jones, Barry (East Flint) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Robertson, George
Davis, Clinton, (Hackney Central) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Robinson, Geoffery (Coventry NW)
Davis, Terry (B'rm'ham, Stechford) Kerr, Russell Rodgers, Rt Hon William
Deakins Eric Kilroy-Silk, Robert Rooker, J. W.
Dempsey, James Kinnock, Nell Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Dewar, Donald Lamborn, Harry Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Dixon, Donald Lamond, James Rowlands, Ted
Dobson, Frank Leadbitter, Ted Ryman, John
Dormand, Jack Leighton, Ronald Sandelson, Neville
Douglas, Dick Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Sever, John
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sheerman, Barry
Dubs, Alfred Litherland, Robert Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L)
Dunn, James A. (Liverpool, Kirkdale) Lofthouse, Geoffrey Shore, Rt Hon Peter (Step and Pop)
Dunnett, Jack Lyon, Alexander (York) Short, Mrs Renée
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Lyons, Edward (Bradford West) Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Eadie, Alex Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Silverman, Julius
Eastham, Ken McCartney, Hugh Skinner, Dennis
Ellis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire) McDonald, Dr Oonagh Smith, Rt Hon J. (North Lanarkshire)
English, Michael McElhone, Frank Snape, Peter
Ennals, Rt Hon David McKay, Allen (Penistone) Soley, Clive
Evans, loan (Abordare) McKelvey, William Spearing, Nigel
Evans, John (Newton) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Spriggs, Leslie
Ewing, Harry Maclennan, Robert Stallard, A. W.
Faulds, Andrew McNally, Thomas Stewart, Rt Hon Donald (W Isles)
Field, Frank McNamara, Kevin Stoddart, David
Fitch, Alan McWilliam, John Strang, Gavin
Flannery, Martin Magee, Bryan Straw, Jack
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Marshall, David (Gl'sgow, Shettles'n) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Ford, Ben Marshall, Jim (Leicester South) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Forrester, John Maxton, John Thomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen)
Foster, Derek Maynard, Miss Joan Tilley, John
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Meacher, Michael Torney, Tom
Freud, Clement Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Mikardo, Ian Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
George, Bruce Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Walker, Rt Hon Harold (Doncaster)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Watkins, David
Gourlay, Harry Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Weetch, Ken
Grant, George (Morpeth) Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe) Welsh, Michael
Grant, John (Islington C) Morris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw) White, Frank R. (Bury & Radcliffe)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Morton, George Whitehead, Phillip
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Whitlock, William
Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Newens, Stanley Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Haynes, Frank Ogden, Eric Wilson, Gordon (Dundee East)
Hogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire) O'Halloran, Michael Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Holland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall) O'Neill, Martin Winnick, David
Home Robertson, John Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Woodall, Alec
Homewood, William Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Woolmer, Kenneth
Hooley, Frank Palmer, Arthur Wrigglesworth, lan
Horam, John Park, George
Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Parker, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Hucklield, Les Parry, Robert Mr. James Tinn and
Hudson, Davies, Gwilym Ednyfed Penhaligon, David Mr. Joseph Dean.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to, pursuant to Standing Order No. 18 (Business of Supply).

Resolved, That this House welcomes the presence of overseas students, including those financed from the aid programme, at British institutions of further and higher education but agrees that as a general rule courses should be paid for on an economic cost basis.

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