HC Deb 15 July 1981 vol 8 cc1259-68
Mr. Robert Sheldon

I beg to move amendment No. 32, in page 17, line 33, after 'assessment', insert 'less than £50'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take amendment No. 35, in clause 29, page 18, line 32, after 'tax', insert 'less than £50'.

Mr. Sheldon

We are concerned with the administrative arrangements by which short-term benefits are to be taxed. Such matters have been considered on and off over the past 30 years or more. The Government have made a fresh attempt to tax short-term benefits in a way that short-circuits past cumbersome procedures.

We are talking about the trade-off between simplification and equity—whether it is possible to achieve a simplified structure to tax short-term benefits without dispensing with the equity that we have always believed to be an essential part of a taxation system. This is a matter that the House is peculiarly well equipped to deal with, particularly in Finance Bills. We are used to trade-offs between simplicity and equity, and our normal preference is for equity.

An hon. Member may have representations made to him by a constituent or an interested body and discover an aspect of the tax law that is unfair. He immediately puts down an amendment, and, if it has merit, it finds its way into the Finance Bill. So Finance Bills increase in size year by year, becoming weightier and weightier. The main reason for that is that we try to remedy unfairness. This has activated our policies on all the Finance Bills that we have debated.

The advantages of simplicity are recognised. It is well known that the present Bill could be cut by half and still meet most of the requirements, but the result would be a much less fair Finance Bill. That is something that we have known, accepted and come to live with.

When it comes to the taxation of short-term benefits, however, rather than have a mass of legislation and administrative complexity, the Minister has sought to cut out all the extra parts which would cover the problems of dealing fairly with people who will find their benefits taxed. The Government have instead sought to ensure that there is a simplified method, which of course means fewer civil servants. Whereas in the past it has been thought that as many as 10,000 civil servants might be required to inaugurate the kind of fair and equitable scheme that has always been regarded as the type of scheme required, under the Minister's administrative arrangements the number would be reduced to 3,000. The increase in civil servants will be kept down to 3,000 at the expense of a considerable amount of unfairness which I shall attempt to set out.

Under the scheme devised by the Government, the benefit officer from, say, the DHSS will inform the claimant of the amount of benefit that has been received and the amount that is taxable. In the original proposal, the claimant had to reply within 30 days. As a result of the debates in Committee, however, an amendment to which we shall come later extends the period to 60 days.

If no objection is made within that period, no appeal is possible on the amount of taxable benefit. The problem is that the benefit officer may be the person to whom the claimant applies, for example, for supplementary benefit. He will decide how much of the benefit paid to the claimant is taxable. We all know that the relationship between the claimant and the supplementary benefit officer, for example, is a delicate one. The claimant very often appears as a supplicant. He then receives the money and the same person may well lay down the amount of benefit that will be taxable. The claimant must then appeal against that decision.

We are not here dealing with sophisticated people, knowledgeable in the ways of taxation and used to filling in returns and forms. We are dealing with people at a strong disadvantage vis-à-vis the person to whom they make application for supplementary benefit. The claimant is then required to complete a form saying that he does not agree with the figure. If he does not do so within 60 days, that is the end of it. It is not even open to Members of Parliament to do anything. Our function then ceases. Within the 60-day period, the claimant may come to his Member of Parliament saying that he believes that the figure is wrong. The Member of Parliament may then advise him how to make out a statement denying that that was the amount received. After 60 days, however, we are of no use to him at all.

This is a novelty in our legislation. Moreover, the gross unfairness being introduced for this section of the community is without precedent. One has only to consider the extent of our attempts to remedy injustices to the well-off, the subsections and paragraphs and the mass of legislation to ensure that fairness applies to every citizen. We are now excluding from that the most deserving, hard-pressed people at a time when they face some of the greatest emotional and economic difficulties that they are ever likely to face. We have objected strongly to that and we shall continue to do so.

The difficulty for the right hon. Gentleman is that a fair scheme would be very complicated because it would depend on a relationship between four sets of people, namely, the person applying for supplementary benefit or unemployment pay, the Inland Revenue, the Department—whether it is the DHSS or the Department of Employment—and the employer. Each of them would have to communicate with the other three. That would require a great amount of paper work and many civil servants.

9.30 pm

That situation led several people to believe that that was not a sensible way to proceed. As a result, there was little movement until the Government sought to cut this Gordian knot by an unparalled example of unfairness in dealing with the taxation of underprivileged people. The report of the Public Accounts Committee was printed on 7 August 1980. It deals with the Board of Inland Revenue. Paragraph 14 concentrates on the standards of accuracy achieved by district taxation offices. It makes the following observation: A small representative sample of the cases is re-examined within each District to detect arithmetical and transcription errors. In 1977–78, these checks disclosed an error rate of 2.5 per cent. in the cases where no end-of-year assessment had been considered necessary and 3.6 per cent. in the assessment cases. Paragraph 15 covers more complex cases and states: error rates…ranged up to 21 per cent. for cases involving PAYE taxpayers. We are dealing with Inland Revenue officers whose job involves handling tax matters. I suspect that they had a higher morale before than they have now. Nevertheless, errors were discovered in that proportion of cases. If such errors are found in the notices that are sent to claimants and if the claimants do not contest the figures, there is no possible form of appeal. If the Inland Revenue, which is used to such matters, makes such mistakes, it is logical to assume that benefits officers, who are quite unused to taxation matters, would make several more mistakes. In addition, the advantage that the ordinary taxpayer has in being able to appeal to the Inland Revenue would not be available. That is grossly unjust and unfair.

We dealt with this subject in Committee, but it must be re-examined. We are throwing a lifeline to the Financial Secretary. We should prefer a proper system of taxation as regards short-term benefits. If the Government will not agree to that we should at least limit the unfairness and also keep some of the advantages of administrative simplicity that the Government—unlike us—seem so wedded to. If the assessment is less than £50, the absence of appeal could more easily be accepted. In other words, the many cases in which small sums are involved could go through. If more substantial sums are involved, the right of appeal should continue to exist. The amendment seeks to ameliorate some of the legislation's most unpleasant features. I hope that the Financial Secretary will accept the amendment.

Mr. Soley

I am aware of the many amendments we have to consider, so I shall not detain the House for long. It will be remembered that in Committee I tried to identify certain groups of people who would be vulnerable if they were not allowed to appeal. After a full debate, the Minister went some way towards recognising the difficulty by extending the period of appeal from 30 days to 60 days. I welcome that.

It is important that we should now take the next logical step along the road, although I should prefer to handle it in other ways. That next logical step is to impose a limit. The groups that I identified were those who move frequently, those who, during a year, are in and out of institutions such as psychiatric hospital or prison, those living in flats or lodging houses, those who have difficulty with reading and writing and those whose letters have gone astray either in the postal system or after delivery to a block of flats in which many people live. Those are the vulnerable groups who discover that they have been asked to pay tax on a sum of money the size of which they dispute.

The person who moves frequently is a person who moves around the country seeking casual employment. He may return to his base area occasionally. He might work on an oil rig or for the oil industry in Scotland for several months. He might work on a construction site or on a motorway and return to the town or the area where he normally lives. At that point, he may go on to supplementary benefit for a while. If, by the time he is told the amount of money on which he must pay tax he disagrees, he cannot appeal because he has run out of time.

The same applies to a person who is in and out of an institution. The classic example is of a person who spends some months in a psychiatric hospital. When he leaves hospital he takes a long time to reorder his affairs because recovering from that experience is not easy. He may discover that he has an additional financial burden of which he was not aware and against which there is no appeal.

My right hon. Friend has made a good case for limiting the amount so that, economically, it is not too painful. A reasonable cut-off point would be £50, and our amendment would ensure that people are not presented with unreasonably high bills against which they cannot appeal. No matter how many times they go to advice centres, Members of Parliament or anyone else, they cannot change it. I hope that the Minister will be able to accept the amendment.

Mr. Lawson

We have been over this ground, as both the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Sheldon) and the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Soley) said. In Committee representations were made to me about the method to be used for bringing short-term benefits into the tax net, by which the benefit officer notifies a beneficiary of the amount of taxable benefit. The beneficiary has a time in which to appeal against that and may lodge an objection.

Those procedures may work harshly or unreasonably for the sort of people mentioned by the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North and other people who find such matters difficult to grasp. That is why I agreed after a full debate in Committee that the time scale should be extended from 30 days to 60 days. That is a longer time than anywhere else in our tax or social security systems. It is on the borderline of the two.

I felt that that met the points that had been made. I feel that we should now let the system begin to operate and assess it when it is operating, as we hope it will be, from April 1982.

The right hon. Gentleman said that he was throwing me a lifeline, but the amendment as drafted would make it impossible to work the arrangements. It would never be possible, at the time when the person's taxable benefit was being computed, to know what might be the amount of any subsequent tax assessment in which the benefit would be included. The benefit might be small but the assessment might include other income, in which case it would take it above the level of £50, so that in every case the benefit officer would be unable to assume, after the 60-day period had expired, that the figure of taxable benefit had been agreed and was final for the purposes of the subsequent assessment. It would mean that records would have to be kept indefinitely in the benefit offices.

I concede that the purpose of the system is to make the procedure administratively simple and workable. If the amendment were passed, all that gain would be lost and we should be back in the position where we should require an excessive number of staff to operate the procedure. It was that which led the Labour Government to reject a similar proposal when they considered it.

The effect of the amendment, therefore, would be to prevent the system being workable. The right way to approach the matter is as we have suggested, but with the doubling of the period in which a person may lodge an objection or contest the assessment from 30 to 60 days.

Mr. Soley

One of the cases put to me since I spoke in Committee was that of the person admitted under a section of the Mental Health Act to a psychiatric hospital, and who may be held for a month, which may be extended by a further month in certain circumstances. That would mean that the 60 days would expire. Will the Minister give an undertaking that he will review the matter in the light of cases of that nature?

Mr. Lawson

As I explained in Committee, there is scope for the consideration of that sort of case. It is not our intention that the safety net in the Bill should be abused. But the hon. Member will be aware that clause 28(6) states: Where a benefit officer has notified an amount to a person under subsection (1) above, he may by another notice in writing notify the person of an alteration in the amount previously notified and, if he does so, the original notification shall be cancelled". The 60 days would then run from the new notification. So there is scope there for special cases that are brought to the attention of the authorities where clearly an injustice has been done. There is no intention whatever that any injustice should be done to anyone as a result of the legislation.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

The right hon. Gentleman says that if the amendment were carried benefit officers would have to keep the assessment in case further amounts were subsequently added. I hope that they keep the assessments, because if there is any error and the assessment is not kept to the end of the year, what is the use of subsection (6)? They would have no authority to do anything, because there would be no records. That is what is worrying me very much. The idea is that as soon as the 60 days are over all the records go into the wastepaper basket.

Mr. Lawson

indicated dissent.

9.45 pm
Mr. Sheldon

I am glad to receive the right hon. Gentleman's assurance that that is not so. In that case, his first point does not hold. If the records are still there and there are further assessments, they are there to be added to. This ensures that we shall be able to deal with the larger cases alone.

The opening words of clause 28 are: A benefit officer may by notice in writing notify a person of his liability. In Committee on 4 June we asked whether "may" could be replaced by "shall". I should have thought that there was no question about that, but the right hon. Gentleman said at the end of the debate: Two valid points have been raised…The first is the question of 'may' and 'shall', which was raised by both the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) and the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Sheldon). I have not the faintest idea why the clause says 'may' instead of 'shall'. I shall look into the matter and, if it would improve the Bill to substitute 'shall', I shall ensure that it is done."—[Official Report, Standing Committee E, 4 June 1981; c. 368.] I should like some reaction from the right hon. Gentleman now.

There is the question of assessments being kept by the benefit officer so that subsequent appeals may be allowed if there is a change, and the question of certain assessments being able to be added, under certain circumstances, to the original assessments to deal with those who have, for them, substantial sums. To us, £50 may not appear a vast sum, but to somebody on supplementary benefit living on the poverty line all his years it is substantial. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will relate the size of the sums to the position of the individuals making claims.

Mr. Lawson

I was not sure whether the Opposition had satisfied themselves independently on the question of the use of "may" or "shall", because they did not table an amendment on Report. There is good reason why the Bill says "may" rather than "shall". It is not to give an arbitrary discretion to the benefit officer. There is one class of claimant who will not be notified by the benefit officer of the amount of taxable benefit. That class consists of the so-called quarterly attenders, who number 60,000 or 70,000 at any one time. These are people over the age of 50 who have been unemployed for two years or more and who are not obliged to go fortnightly to the benefit office. Instead, they go quarterly. They are paid through a DHSS order book, as are retirement pensioners, rather than being issued with individual fortnightly cheques.

Liability to tax for those people, who are long-term unemployed, will arise considerably less often than among the normal unemployed population. Usually their normal income for the year will be benefit, which will be fully covered by their personal tax allowances, and there will be no tax liability. For such cases it would be wasteful to go through the normal notification procedure.

In those infrequent cases where liability arises for those people—for example, when a claimant returns to work and therefore has benefit and earnings in the same year—liability will be agreed in the usual way between the person concerned and the Revenue. In those few cases, the normal tax appeal procedures, and not the clause 28 procedures, will apply if required. We would not want to go through all the clause 28 procedure for the quarterly attenders, and that is why "may" rather than "shall" appears in the Bill. However, there is not intended to be any arbitrary or capricious discretion on the part of a benefit officer in normal cases.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

Will the right hon. Gentleman deal with the question of errors found by the Inland Revenue and made by those who are well trained and qualified in tax matters, and will he compare that with the errors that we should expect from benefit officers dealing with an unfamiliar area? Will the right hon. Gentleman also deal with the keeping of records and the lack of difficulty in adding to them so that the £50 can be of some help to those for whom it is a large sum?

Mr. Lawson

Records are kept for, on average, a little more than 12 months. That gets round the problem that the right hon. Gentleman is concerned about, but it does not get round the problem to which I alluded.

The right hon. Gentleman compared the errors likely to be made by benefit officers with the errors made from time to time by Inland Revenue officials who, he said, are more expert in these matters. They may be more expert, but they are also dealing with much more complex matters and the errors tend to occur in such matters. We are concerned with a relatively simple matter and there are ways in which errors can be put right. I suggested one to the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Soley).

We certainly hope that if there are errors they will be put right. There is no perfection on this earth, but there is no reason to believe that there will be more errors in these cases. Indeed, because of their relative simplicity, I suspect that there will be fewer errors than there are in the complex world inhabited by the Inland Revenue.

Mr. Sheldon

I quarrel with what the Financial Secretary said about the limited number of errors. We were talking about arithmetic and transcription errors in matters in which the Inland Revenue is knowledgeable and of which it has long experience. A substantial proportion of errors were made in those matters. Newer and less qualified staff will be dealing with the matters that we are discussing. The right hon. Gentleman has not dealt with the points that we made and we shall vote for the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 195, Noes 276.

Division No. 277] [9.55 pm
Abse, Leo Field, Frank
Adams, Allen Fitch, Alan
Alton, David Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Anderson, Donald Forrester, John
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Foster, Derek
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Foulkes, George
Ashton, Joe Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd)
Beith, A. J. Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Bennett, Andrew (St'kp't N) Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Bidwell, Sydney George, Bruce
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Golding, John
Bray, Dr Jeremy Grant, George (Morpeth)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Grant, John (Islington C)
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S) Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. Hardy, Peter
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Campbell, Ian Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith
Campbell-Savours, Dale Haynes, Frank
Canavan, Dennis Heffer, Eric S.
Cant, R. B. Hogg, N. (E Dunb't'nshire)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S) Home Robertson, John
Cohen, Stanley Homewood, William
Coleman, Donald Hooley, Frank
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Horam, John
Conlan, Bernard Howell, Rt Hon D.
Cook, Robin F. Howells, Geraint
Cowans, Harry Huckfield, Les
Cox, T. (W'dsw'th, Toot'g) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Craigen, J. M. Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Crowther, J. S. Janner, Hon Greville
Cryer, Bob Jay, Rt Hon Douglas
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) John, Brynmor
Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n) Johnson, James (Hull West)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli) Johnson, Walter (Derby S)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rh'dda)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Davis, T. (B'ham, Stechf'd) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Deakins, Eric Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Dempsey, James Kerr, Russell
Dewar, Donald Lambie, David
Dixon, Donald Leadbitter, Ted
Dobson, Frank Lestor, Miss Joan
Dormand, Jack Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Dubs, Alfred Litherland, Robert
Duffy, A. E. P. Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Dunn, James A. McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. McElhone, Frank
Eadie, Alex McKelvey, William
Eastham, Ken McNally, Thomas
Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n S E) McNamara, Kevin
Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're) McTaggart, Robert
English, Michael McWilliam, John
Ennals, Rt Hon David Magee, Bryan
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Marshall, D (G'gow S'ton)
Faulds, Andrew Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Martin, M (G'gow S'burn) Silverman, Julius
Mason, Rt Hon Roy Skinner, Dennis
Maxton, John Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)
Meacher, Michael Snape, Peter
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Soley, Clive
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Spearing, Nigel
Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) Spriggs, Leslie
Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen) Stallard, A. W.
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Steel, Rt Hon David
Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw) Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Stoddart, David
Morton, George Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Newens, Stanley Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Tilley, John
Ogden, Eric Tinn, James
O'Halloran, Michael Torney, Tom
O'Neill, Martin Urwin, Rt Hon Tom
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Paisley, Rev Ian Wainwright, E. (Dearne V)
Palmer, Arthur Wainwright, H. (Colne V)
Parker, John Walker, Rt Hon H. (D'caster)
Pavitt, Laurie Watkins, David
Pendry, Tom Weetch, Ken
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Welsh, Michael
Price, C. (Lewisham W) White, Frank R.
Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S) White, J. (G'gow Pollok)
Richardson, Jo Whitlock, William
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wigley, Dafydd
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Robertson, George Williams, Rt Hon A. (S'sea W)
Robinson, G. (Coventry NW) Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Rooker, J. W. Wilson, William (C'try SE)
Ross, Ernest (Dundee West) Winnick, David
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Woodall, Alec
Rowlands, Ted Woolmer, Kenneth
Ryman, John Wright, Sheila
Sandelson, Neville Young, David (Bolton E)
Sever, John
Sheldon, Rt Hon R. Tellers for the Ayes:
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Mr. Joseph Dean and
Short, Mrs Renée Mr. Allen McKay
Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
Adley, Robert Buck, Antony
Aitken, Jonathan Bulmer, Esmond
Alexander, Richard Butcher, John
Alison, Michael Butler, Hon Adam
Ancram, Michael Cadbury, Jocelyn
Arnold, Tom Carlisle, John (Luton West)
Aspinwall, Jack Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Atkins, Robert (Preston N) Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Chalker, Mrs. Lynda
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Chapman, Sydney
Banks, Robert Churchill, W. S.
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n)
Bendall, Vivian Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Best, Keith Clegg, Sir Walter
Bevan, David Gilroy Cockeram, Eric
Biffen, Rt Hon John Colvin, Michael
Biggs-Davison, John Cope, John
Blackburn, John Cormack, Patrick
Blaker, Peter Corrie, John
Body, Richard Cranborne, Viscount
Boscawen, Hon Robert Critchley, Julian
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Crouch, David
Bowden, Andrew Dean, Paul (North Somerset)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Dickens, Geoffrey
Braine, Sir Bernard Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Bright, Graham du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Brinton, Tim Dunn, Robert (Dartford)
Brittan, Leon Durant, Tony
Brooke, Hon Peter Dykes, Hugh
Brotherton, Michael Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'n) Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Browne, John (Winchester) Eggar, Tim
Bruce-Gardyne, John Emery, Peter
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Eyre, Reginald
Fairbairn, Nicholas McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Fairgrieve, Russell McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Faith, Mrs Sheila McQuarrie, Albert
Farr, John Major, John
Fell, Anthony Marland, Paul
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Marlow, Tony
Fisher, Sir Nigel Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N) Marten, Neil (Banbury)
Fletcher-Cooke, Sir Charles Mates, Michael
Fookes, Miss Janet Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus
Forman, Nigel Mawby, Ray
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Fox, Marcus Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Mayhew, Patrick
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Mellor, David
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Glyn, Dr Alan Mills, Peter (West Devon)
Goodhew, Victor Miscampbell, Norman
Goodlad, Alastair Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Gorst, John Moate, Roger
Gow, Ian Molyneaux, James
Gower, Sir Raymond Monro, Hector
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Moore, John
Gray, Hamish Morgan, Geraint
Greenway, Harry Morris, M. (N'hampton S)
Grieve, Percy Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Griffiths, E. (B'y St. Edm'ds) Mudd, David
Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N) Murphy, Christopher
Grist, Ian Myles, David
Grylls, Michael Neale, Gerrard
Gummer, John Selwyn Needham, Richard
Hamilton, Hon A. Neubert, Michael
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Normanton, Tom
Hampson, Dr Keith Nott, Rt Hon John
Hannam, John Onslow, Cranley
Haselhurst, Alan Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.
Hastings, Stephen Osborn, John
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Page, John (Harrow, West)
Hawksley, Warren Page, Rt Hon Sir G. (Crosby)
Hayhoe, Barney Page, Richard (SW Herts)
Heddle, John Parris, Matthew
Henderson, Barry Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Pattie, Geoffrey
Hicks, Robert Pawsey, James
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Percival, Sir Ian
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Peyton, Rt Hon John
Holland, Philip (Carlton) Pollock, Alexander
Hooson, Tom Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down)
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Hunt, David (Wirral) Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Prior, Rt Hon James
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Proctor, K. Harvey
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Jessel, Toby Raison, Timothy
Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Rathbone, Tim
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Renton, Tim
Kaberry, Sir Donald Rhodes James, Robert
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
King, Rt Hon Tom Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Knight, Mrs Jill Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Knox, David Rifkind, Malcolm
Lamont, Norman Roberts, M. (Cardiff NW)
Lang, Ian Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Langford-Holt, Sir John Rossi, Hugh
Latham, Michael Rost, Peter
Lawrence, Ivan Royle, Sir Anthony
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Shepherd, Richard
Loveridge, John Silvester, Fred
Luce, Richard Skeet, T. H. H.
Lyell, Nicholas Speed, Keith
Macfarlane, Neil Speller, Tony
MacKay, John (Argyll) Spence, John
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Sproat, Iain Viggers, Peter
Squire, Robin Wakeham,John
Stainton, Keith Waldegrave, Hon William
Stanbrook, Ivor Walker, B. (Perth)
Stanley, John Wall, Patrick
Stevens, Martin Walters, Dennis
Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Ward, John
Stewart, A. (E Renfrewshire) Warren, Kenneth
Stokes, John Watson, John
Stradling Thomas, J. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Tapsell, Peter Wells, Bowen
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Tebbit, Norman Whitney, Raymond
Temple-Morris, Peter Wickenden, Keith
Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M. Williams, D. (Montgomery)
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter Winterton, Nicholas
Thompson, Donald Wolfson, Mark
Thorne, Neil (Ilford South) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Thornton, Malcolm Younger, Rt Hon George
Townend, John (Bridlington)
Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath) Tellers for the Noes:
Trippier, David Mr. Anthony Berry and
Trotter, Neville Mr. Carol Mather.
van Straubenzee, W. R.

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Ten o'clock, further consideration of the Bill stood adjourned.