HC Deb 11 June 1980 vol 986 cc749-57

Amendments made: No. 210, in page 54, line 4, after ' Dwellings ', insert ' Acquisition'.

No. 212, in page 54, line 15, column 3, at beginning, insert— 'In section 17(2)(b) and (3), the words "with the consent of the Secretary of State".'.

No. 213, in page 54, line 22, column 3, at end add— 'In section 177(1) the words from "artistic interest" to the end. In section 177(2) the words ", and if required by the Secretary of State shall," and the words from ", and the authority" to the end.'.

No. 214, in page 54, line 31, column 3, at beginning insert— 'In section 5, in subsection (4), the words from the beginning to "fulfilled," and subsection (5).'.

No. 215, in page 54, line 31, column 3, leave out ', (3) and (4) ' and insert ' and in subsection (2) the words from ' which ' to the end.'.

No. 219, in page 54, line 42, column 3, at end add— 'In section 111(1) the words "but which is not a controlled heritable security".'.

No. 216, in page 54, line 32, column 3, after ' 9,' insert '(1). Section 24. Sections 29 and 30.'.

No. 217, in page 54, line 32, column 3, at end add— 'In section 36, the definition of "improvement".'.

No. 218, in page 54, line 34, column 3, add— 'In section 80(2) the words "(whether a controlled or regulated tenancy)".'.

No. 220, in page 54, line 51, column 3, at end add— 'Section 135(1).'.

No. 221, in page 54, line 52, column 3, at end add— 'In Schedule 3(i) in Case 5 the words from "or, in" to "1939," ; (ii) Case 6 (iii) in Case 9 the words "or as the case may be, Part V".'.

No. 222, in page 54, line 55, column 3, at end add— 'Schedules 16 and 17. In Schedule 19, paragraphs 9, 10, 14(1)(c) and 19(1).'.

No. 223, in page 55, line 3, column 3, after ' paragraph 1 ', insert ' (1)'.

No. 224, in page 55, line 6, column 3, leave out ' in paragraph 4 ' and insert 'paragraphs 1(6) and 1(7) and 4'.

No. 225, in page 55, line 6, at end add—

'1972 c. 46. Housing financial Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1972. In section 50, the definition of "controlled tenancy".'

No. 231, in page 55, line 13, at end add—

'1974 c. 51. Rent Act 1974. Section 1(3).'.

No. 266, in page 55, line 6, at end add—

'1972 c. 46 Housing (Financial Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1972. In section 61(3 the words "subject to section 64 of this Act".
In section 62, in subsection (2) the words "and 64", in subsection (4) the words "or section 64(4)".
Sections 64 and 65'.

No. 227, in page 55, line 8, at end add—

'1974 c. 44 Housing Act 1974. In section 18, in subsection (2) the words "in such form as may be prescribed" and subsection (5).'.

No. 228, in page 55, line 10, after 7 ', insert ' in subsection (1) the words "by that owner,"'.

No. 229, in page 55, line 12, column 3, at end add— 'In section 8, in subsection (1) the words "and in subsection (2) below" and subsection (2). In section 9, in paragraph (b) of subsection (5) the words "by a member of the agricultural population".'.

No. 230, in page 55, line 13, at end add— 'In section 49(3), in the definition of "owner", the words "but in Part 1 includes such a lessee as is mentioned in section 2(3)(a) of this Act".'.

No. 232, in page 55, line 13, at end add—

'1975 c. 21 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975. In Schedule 7C, in the entry relating to the Housing (Scotland) Act 1966, in the first collumn, the words from "when" to the end of the column.'

—[Mr. Rifkind.]

Motion made, and Question proposed. That the Bill be now read the Third time.

11.38 pm
Mr. Russell Johnston


Hon. Members

Sit down.

Mr. Johnston

It is perfectly proper that an extremely important piece—

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

The hon. Member has not been present during the debate.

Mr. Johnston

I have been here all night. I would also point out to the right hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme), who is interrupting from a sedentary position on the Opposition Front Bench, that I was here at 2 o'clock this morning. I see no reason, simply because the right hon. Gentleman wishes to make rude objections from a sedentary position, why I should be denied the opportunity to make a contributioin on an important piece of Scottish legislation.

The House will recall that the Liberal Party voted for the Second Reading of the Bill.

Mr. Robert Kilroy-Silk (Ormskirk)


Mr. Johnston

In speaking in that debate, I made it clear that we had significant reservations and, unless these were met in Committee, we could not support Third Reading—

Mr. Orme

Changed their mind again.

Mr. Johnston

If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen persist in interrupting, I shall merely speak for longer. I do not intend to be intimidated.

I remind the House of what I said on 14 January, in concluding my speech on Second Reading : The Secretary of State talked about absolute rights to purchase. I do not believe that there are absolute rights that are not necessarily conditioned by responsibilities to the community. One has also to protect the rural situation … Without these changes we cannot support the Bill is whole despite the fact that we accept the idea of sale in principle and welcome the proposals contained in other parts of the Bill."—[Official Report, 14 January 1980 ; Vol. 976, c. 1275.] That remains our position.

The broad object of the Bill is radical. I compliment the Government on that. I welcome the intention of creating conditions in Scotland in which individual house ownership can be greatly extended. I believe that the proportion of public sector housing in Scotland is excessive. I accept that dramatic action is necessary to change the position. However, I do not accept that an across-the-board approach, which ignores existing housing needs and demands, and in the rural context ignores fundamental social criteria, is the right and just way to proceed. That fundamental flaw leads me, with regret, to vote against the Bill, although I am entirely in favour of the principle of council house sales, and accept the constructive character of much of the remainder of the Bill.

11.42 pm
Mr. David Steel

I am moved to speak on Third Reading only by the utterly intolerant attitude of some right hon. and hon. Members to my hon. Friend the Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston). I have always felt that if one wanted a vote in favour of devolution in this House, the time to have it is in the middle of the night on the Report stage of a Scottish Bill. That is the time when English and Welsh Members are most sympathetic. I do not approve of the legislative procedures of this House, but we are stuck with them.

Those right hon. and hon. Members who do not represent Scottish constituencies should not be rude and intolerant, failing to listen to those of us who are concerned about the issues. [Interruption.] If the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South-West (Mr. Cormack) had heard what the right hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) said from a sedentary position, he would be equally angry. The right hon. Gentleman has no cause to be pleased with the record of the Labour Government on improvement grants. If he had the housing in his constituency that I still have in mine, he would not say that it is an Adjournment debate matter when we are dealing with the level of improvement grants in Scotland. With his supposed record of social concern, he should recognise that I am attempting to speak for those who find it difficult to raise the money to improve their homes. That is why I put down an amendment.

Basically, I agree with what my hon. Friend says. The principle behind the Bill is good. The criticism of the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland made to me by local authorities is that he has been insufficiently flexible in listening to their representations on the financial implications of the Bill. He has not been willing to give local authorities the jurisdiction that they should have to consider the housing needs in their areas. What is good for Glasgow or Dundee is not necessarily good for Selkirkshire. I believe that the hon. Gentleman has been wrong in trying to impose a uniform system throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.

The problem concerns not only the financial implications. Despite the long debate yesterday on the impact on rural areas, there are still deep anxieties about

the effects of the Bill on housing stocks in rural areas and the ability of people to acquire council housing in the rural areas when they retire and leave tied cottages. Although I welcome the Secretary of State's assurance that he will look again at the restoration of buildings and conservation areas, there is no clear commitment to review the issue.

For these reasons, it is right that we should oppose the Bill on Third Reading.

11.44 pm
Mr. Gordon Wilson

It is significant that at the end of this debate a large number of hon. Members from English constituencies show interest in Scottish housing. Had there been a Scottish Assembly or Parliament, such a Bill would not have come before it. The Government have refused to listen to the observation that the Bill is unbalanced and will cause disadvantage to the housing stock.

Mr. McQuarrie


Mr. Wilson

The hon. Gentleman is an expert in that. He can speak for himself in the debate.

The Government do not have a mandate for the measure. Its terms are unacceptable to the people of Scotland.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time :—

The House divided : Ayes 272, Noes 214.

Division No. 360] AYES [11.45 pm
Adley, Robert Brooke, Hon Peter Cranborne, Viscount
Aitken, Jonathan Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe) Dean, Paul (North Somerset)
Alexander, Richard Bruce-Gardyne, John Dickens, Geoffrey
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Bryan, Sir Paul Dorrell, Stephen
Ancram, Michael Buchanan-Smith, Hon Alick Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Arnold, Tom Buck, Antony Dover, Denshore
Aspinwall, Jack Budgen, Nick Dunn, Robert (Dartford)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Bulmer, Esmond Durant, Tony
Atkins, Robert (Preston North) Burden, F. A. Dykes, Hugh
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East) Butcher, John Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Butler, Hon Adam Edwards, Rt Hon N. (Pembroke)
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Cadbury, Jocelyn Eggar, Timothy
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Carlisle, John (Luton West) Emery, Peter
Bendall, Vivian Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Eyre, Reginald
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon) Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Best, Keith Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Fairgrleve, Russell
Bevan, David Gilroy Channon, Paul Faith, Mrs Shella
Biggs-Davison, John Chapman, Sydney Farr, John
Blackburn, John Churchill, W. S. Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Blaker, Peter Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Finsberg, Geoffrey
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Clark, Sir William (Croydon South) Fisher, Sir Nigel
Boscawen, Hon Robert Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N)
Bottomley, Peter (Woolwich West) Clegg, Sir Walter Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Bowden, Andrew Cockeram, Eric Fookes, Miss Janet
Braine, Sir Bernard Colvin, Michael Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Bright, Graham Cope, John Fox, Marcus
Brinton, Tim Cormack, Patrick Fraser, Peter (South Angus)
Brittan, Leon Corrie, John Fry, Peter
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Costain, A. P. Gardiner, George (Raigate)
Gardner, Edward (South Fylde) McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Garel-Jones, Tristan McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Glyn, Dr Alan McQuarrie, Albert Rossi, Hugh
Goodhew, Victor Madel, David Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Gow, Ian Major, John Scott, Nicholas
Gower, Sir Raymond Marland, Paul Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Marlow, Tony Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Gray, Hamish Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Greenway, Harry Marten, Neil (Banbury) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Grieve, Percy Mates, Michael Silvester Fred
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds) Mather, Carol Sims, Roger
Grist, Ian Maude, Rt Hon Angus Skeet, T. H. H.
Grylls, Michael Mawby, Ray Smith, Dudley (War, and Leam'ton)
Gummer, John Salwyn Mawhinney, Dr Brian Speller, Tony
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Spicer, Michael (S Worcestershire)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mellor, David Squire, Robin
Hampson, Dr Keith Meyer, Sir Anthony Stanbrook, Ivor
Hannam, John Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch) Stanley, John
Haselhurst, Alan Mills, lain (Meriden) Steen, Anthony
Hastings, Stephen Mills, Peter (West Devon) Stevens, Martin
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Miscampbell, Norman Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Hawksley, Warren Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Stewart, John (East Renfrewshire)
Hayhoo, Barney Moate, Roger Stradling Thomas, J.
Heddle, John Monro, Hector Tapsell, Peter
Henderson, Barry Montgomery, Fergus Taylor, Teddy (Southend East)
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Moore, John Tebbit, Norman
Hill, James Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth) Temple-Morris, Peter
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Grantham) Morrison, Hon Charles (Devizes) Thomas, Rt Hon Peter (Hendon S)
Holland, Philip (Carlton) Morrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester) Thompson, Donald
Hooson, Tom Mudd, David Thorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Hordern, Peter Murphy, Christopher Thornton, Malcolm
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Myles, David Townsend, Cyril D. (Eexleyheath)
Howell, Rt Hon David (Guildford) Neale, Gerrard Trippier, David
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Needham, Richard Trotter, Neville
Hunt, David (Wirral) Nelson, Anthony Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Neubert, Michael Viggers, Peter
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Newton, Tony Waddington, David
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Normanton, Tom Wakeham, John
Jessel, Toby Nott, Rt Hon John Waldegrave, Hon William
Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Onslow, Cranley Walker, Bill (Perth & E Perthshire)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Oppenheim Rt Hon Mrs Sally Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Kaberry, Sir Donald Page, John (Harrow, West) Wall, Patrick
Kershaw, Anthony Page, Richard (SW Hertfordshire) Walter, Gary
Kimball, Marcus Parkinson, Cecil Walters, Dennis
King, Rt Hon Tom Parris, Mathew Ward, John
Kitson, Sir Timothy Patten, Christopher (Bath) Warren, Kenneth
Knox, David Patten, John (Oxford) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Lamont, Norman Pattle, Geoffrey Wells, Bowen (Hert'rd & Stev'nage)
Lang, Ian Pawsey, James Wheeler, John
Langtord-Holt, Sir John Pollock, Alexander Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Lawrence, Ivan Porter, George Whitney, Raymond
Lawson, Nigel Price, David (Eastlelgh) Wickenden, Keith
Lee, John Prior, Rt Hon James Wilkinson, John
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Proctor, K. Harvey Williams, Delwyn (Montgomery)
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Pym, Rt Hon Francis Winterton, Nicholas
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Ralson, Timothy Wolfson, Mark
Loveridge, John Rathbone, Tim Young, Sir George (Acton)
Lyell, Nicholas Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Younger, Rt Hon George
McCrindle, Robert Rees-Davies, W. R.
Macfarlane, Neil Rhodes James, Robert TELLERS FOR THE AYES :
MacGregor, John Ridley, Hon Nicholas Mr. Anthony Berry and
MacKay, John (Argyll) Ridsdale, Julian Mr. Spencer, Le Marchant.
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Parnham) Rifkind, Malcolm
Abse, Leo Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Crowther, J. S.
Adams, Allen Brown, Ronald W. (Hackney S) Cryer, Bob
Alton, David Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith) Cunliffe, Lawrence
Anderson, Donald Buchan, Norman Cunningham, George (Islington S)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Cunningham, Dr John (Whitehaven)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ernest Campbell, lan Dalyell, Tam
Ashton, Joe Campbell-Savours, Dale Davidson, Arthur
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham) Cant, R. B. Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Carter-Jones, Lewis Davies, Ifor (Gower)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cartwright, John Davis, Clinton, (Hackney Central)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Davis, Terry (B'rm'ham, Stechford)
Beith, A. J. Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Deakins, Eric
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Cohen, Stanley Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Coleman, Donald Dempsey, James
Bidwell, Sydney Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Dewar, Donald
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Conlan, Bernard Dixon, Donald
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Cook, Robin F. Debson, Frank
Bradley, Tom Cowans, Harry Dermand, Jack
Bray, Dr Jeremy Cox, Tom (Wandsworth, Tooting) Douglas, Dick
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Johnson, James (Hull West) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Dubs, Alfred Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North)
Duffy, A. E. P. Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rhondda) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Dunn, James A. (Liverpool, Kirkdale) Jones, Barry (East Flint) Robertson, George
Dunnetl, Jack Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rodgers, Rt Hon William
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Rooker, J. W.
Eastham, Ken Kerr, Russell Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Ellis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire) Kilroy-Silk, Robert Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Lambie, David Ryman, John
English, Michael Lamborn, Harry Sever, John
Ennals, Rt Hon David Leadbitter, Ted Sheerman, Barry
Evans, loan (Aberdare) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L)
Ewing, Harry Lolthouse, Geoffrey Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Field, Frank Lyon, Alexander (York) Silkin, Rt Hon S. C (Dulwich)
Fitch, Alan Lyons, Edward (Bradford West) Silverman, Julius
Flannery, Martin Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Skinner, Dennis
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McDonald, Dr Oonagh Smith, Rt Hon J. (North Lanarkshire)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael McKay, Allen (Penistone) Snape, Peter
Ford, Ben McKelvey, William Soley, Clive
Forrester, John Maclennan, Robert Spearing, Nigel
Foster, Derek Magee, Bryan Spriggs, Leslie
Foulkes, George Marks, Kenneth Steel, Rt Hon David
Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood) Marshall, Jim (Leicester South) Strang, Gavin
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Mason, Rt Hon Roy Straw, Jack
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Maxton, John Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
George, Bruce Meacher, Michael Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton West)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Ginsburg, David Miller, Dr M. S. (East Kilbride) Thomas, Mike (Newcastle East)
Graham, Ted Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Thomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mitchell, R. C. (Solon, Itchen) Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Grant, John (Islington C) Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tilley, John
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw) Tinn, James
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Hardy, Peter Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Walkins, David
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Newens, Stanley Weetch, Ken
Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Wellbeloved, James
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Ogden, Eric Welsh, Michael
Haynes, Frank O'HaMoran, Michael White, Frank R.(Bury & Radcliffe)
Healey, Rt Hon Denis O'Neill, Martin White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Heffer, Eric S. Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Whitehead, Phillip
Hogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Whitlock, William
Holland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall) Palmer, Arthur Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Home Robertson, John Park, George Wilson, Gordon (Dundee East)
Homewood, William Parry, Robert Winnick, David
Hooley, Frank Pavitt, Laurie Woodall, Alec
Horam, John Pendry, Tom Woolmer, Kenneth
Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Penhallgon, David Wrigglesworth, Ian
Howells, Geraint Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Wright, Shella
Huckfield, Les Prescott, John Young, David (Bolton East)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen North) Race, Reg
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Radice, Giles TELLERS FOR THE NOES :
Janner, Hon Greville Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South) Mr. Hugh McCartney and
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Richardson, Jo Mr. George Morton.
John, Brynmor Roberts, Albert (Normanton)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.