HC Deb 04 March 1981 vol 1000 cc295-313


'(1) For the purpose of giving advice to the Authority about the exercise and performance of their functions generally, there shall be a sea fish industry authority consultative committee, which shall number at least 15 and not exceed 20 people.

(2) The consultative committee shall consist of a chairman who shall be such member of the Authority as may from time to time be appointed by the Authority, and of such other members as may be appointed by Ministers to represent the interests of the different sections of the fish industry and any other such interests (including those of persons employed in the industry) as Ministers may consider to be affected.

(3) Before appointing to the consultative committee a member to represent any such interests as aforesaid, Ministers shall consult such bodies, if any, as appear to them to be representative of the interests concerned.

(4) Ministers should endeavour to ensure that a substantial number of the members are drawn from the representative organisations of the industry.

(5) Ministers should endeavour to ensure a fair geographical representation which reflects the diverse nature of the fishing industry.

(6) The Authority shall appoint a person employed by them to act as secretary to the consultative committee.'.—[Mr. Strang.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Strang

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)

I suggest that we consider at the same time Government amendment No. 1.

Mr. Strang

In Committee we decided that the structure of the proposed authority was unsatisfactory. We made an important change, which we believed would enable the authority to operate more effectively. I hesitate to describe that Government defeat as an Opposition victory. I do not want to offend the sensibilities of the hon. Members for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) and Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. McQuarrie), who abstained in the Division and enabled us to carry that important change.

The Government have had time to think about that important aspect of the Bill, as have their Back Benchers. I expect that there have been some comings and goings between hon. Members and Ministers. I am sure that there have been discussions between the Government and representatives of the industry. I should like to think that as a result of that defeat in Committee the Government took the issue sufficiently seriously to reappraise the situation and reconsider whether the structure that they had proposed was right. They have now decided to attempt to reverse the change that was made in Committee. We regret that decision.

4.45 pm

I shall briefly reconsider the establishment of the Sea Fish Industry Authority. At the outset the Government had to decide whether to amalgamate the Herring Industry Board and the White Fish Authority to create a new authority, or to take those functions back into Government and charge the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with the responsibility of carrying out all the functions that the Bill will give to the Sea Fish Industry Authority. I believe that there was a case—it was not one which, on balance, the Opposition pursued—for doing so.

There was a case for not establishing a major quango. The Government's determination to reverse the changes made in Committee makes it a bigger quango than it would otherwise have been. I do not wish to make too much of that point. I do not wish to embarrass the Minister, but that option was open to the Government. It was supported by some sections of the industry and by at least one major fishermen's organisation.

The Opposition accept that the Government were right to opt for a Sea Fish Industry Authority. We argued successfully in Committee that we wanted an authority with a tighter, more committed membership. We wanted an independent authority, not one where sectional interests were directly represented, but one of six members, which we believed would have been cohesive. They could have been chosen by the Government. They could have been a more effective executive for this organisation than the larger authority that was proposed by the Government in the initial Bill.

The Government have decided to go back to the proposed 12-member authority, eight of whom will be representatives of the industry. I do not believe that the Minister will satisfy the industry as a whole with eight members. At Heathrow airport this week I bumped into a few representatives of the fishing industry. It was obvious that at least one of those distinguished representatives felt that he had a good chance of serving on the authority. I believe that he should be a member of the authority if the Government are successful in reversing the decision taken in Committee.

There may have been a failure by the Government to reappraise the issue sufficiently and to say to the industry that they know that a number of its representatives had it in mind to serve on the authority and that many of the organisations said that they would like to be directly represented on the authority, but in the light of the vote in Committee and of the arguments raised by hon. Members there the Government believe that a smaller, more independent authority will be more effective.

I cannot see how the different sections of the industry can be properly represented under the scheme that the Government propose. Clearly, the trade unions must be represented on the authority. The processing sector, which is enormously important, must be represented. The fishermen's organisations, the catchers' organisation, must have representation on the authority. Which fishermen's organisations will be represented? The deep-sea fishermen and the inshore fishermen surely will, but what about geographical representation? In Committee we took the view that not only should the different sections of industry be represented, but that there should be a genuine geographical representation on the authority.

It is still our view that the Government will fail to achieve the desired objective on the basis of eight members out of the 12 on the authority. That is why, in addition to the important change in the composition of the authority, the Opposition advocated in Committee—and advocate again now in new clause 6—the establishment of a consultative committee. The consultative committee would consist of 15 to 20 members—in my view, probably nearer 20 than 15—as representatives of the industry.

Mr. Wall

I am following the hon. Gentleman's argument closely, but I cannot see how, with a membership of 20, he will bring in all those in the industry whom he wants to be represented. If he has geographical representation, the total is more likely to be 70 than 20. Will he explain his figure of 20?

Mr. Strang

The hon. Gentleman would have a point only in the sense that there would be a problem if one were trying to represent every individual section. I do not regard that as practical. Indeed, I should be against a very large assembly almost as it was in the case of the White Fish Authority, which really had no clout. One has to strike a balance or draw a line. I think that eight is not practical. Incidentally, I think it wrong also that there should be those with direct vested interests on the authority, but, leaving that aside, I argue that we shall be more likely to secure fairer representation, a representation more acceptable to the industry, on the basis of 15 to 20 members than on a basis of eight.

We believe that the consultative committee will have real status in the industry. With 15 to 20 members, we are not talking about a large amorphous body. It will be a committee on which the organisations will be represented. The authority will be dependent on the advice of that committee, and it will speak for the industry.

We attach great importance to the organisations themselves, and the establishment of a consultative committee would in no way pre-empt a direct dialogue in some instances between the different organisations in the industry and the authority. Certainly there would be no question of the consultative committee's usurping or replacing the dialogue between the industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. It is to the Government's credit that they have carried on the continuing and genuine dialogue between the fishing organisations and Ministers in relation to the development of the industry and, in particular, the negotiations in Brussels.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Mr. Silkin) initiated that relationship with the industry, and the present Minister has continued it. We believe that the Government are right to work closely with the industry in Brussels in the important negotiations on the common fisheries policy. It would be out of order now to discuss the common fisheries policy, and I merely make that point in the present context.

It seems to us that the Government have shown a lack of courage here, and we shall be interested to hear the views of their Back Benchers. I am not sure whether they have succeeded in persuading those who were members of the Committee on this issue. I regret that they intend to use their majority, or attempt to use it, in this Chamber to reverse a change which was made by the Standing Committee and which, in our view, would have given the authority a much better start than will the method proposed by the Government.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Although I recognise that this is a matter of broad interest throughout the House, I think that it may be of assistance if I intervene now, especially since we are considering Government amendment No. 1 with the new clause.

I repeat at the outset—I said it in Committee and, I think, on Second Reading—that I do not believe that there is any clear-cut view as to which form of authority would be best. There are arguments on both sides. Should we have an authority, as we have at present in the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board, which is small in membership and comprising only independent members, or should we, as the Government proposed in the Bill as originally drafted—and as we propose in our amendment No. 1—have a somewhat larger authority which, in addition to the independent members, will comprise a number of representatives of the industry? It is a matter of judgment. I put it no higher than that. I do not claim that either our solution or the one which the Opposition advocate is necessarily or obviously the right one.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) said that our approach to the matter was to produce an even bigger quango. That is not true. The principal feature of a quango is that there are upon it individuals who are completely independent of the task which they seek to perform. If anything, what we propose is less of a quango in the generally accepted sense in that it will have upon it representatives of the industry which the authority will seek to serve.

Second, the hon. Gentleman said that we had failed to reappraise the situation since our proceedings in Committee. I assure him that there has been no such failure. Not only since the Committee proceedings but over the many weeks since we first dealt with the matter in Committee, I have taken trouble to consult the main interests involved. I can advise the hon. Gentleman and the House that the broad view of the industry and of the main organisations has remained in support of the view which the Government presented in the Bill as originally drafted and as now proposed in our amendment No. 1—in other words, that we should have this rather larger authority within which there would be representatives of the industry.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has more than once given a very firm and gratifying undertaking that the authority as proposed to be constituted will comprise at least one Ulsterman representing that section of the fishing industry. Will it be easier or more difficult for the Minister to discharge that undertaking with an authority of six members or of 12?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I assure the right hon. Gentleman categorically that it is easier with a body of 12 than it would be with one of six. Moreover, one can be certain that in the discharge of the undertaking to which he referred one will more likely be able to get someone who is representative of the fishing industry in Northern Ireland. I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his support in that respect.

Third, the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East accused Ministers and the Government of a lack of courage in simply bringing back the Bill as it was. I assert the precise opposite. It is the hon. Gentleman who is lacking in courage. He is the one remaining with the status quo of an independent body as we have had with the authorities serving the fishing industry up to now. What the Government propose—and we emphasise this in amendment No. 1—breaks new ground by bringing into this body representatives of the fishing industry who are not represented on existing bodies.

5 pm

I shall not repeat all of the arguments adduced on Second Reading and in Committee. All that we are doing is bringing this body into line, for example, with similar bodies in agriculture where representatives of the industry are included. Therefore, if there is any question of courage, I believe that it requires more courage to break new ground. As I said at earlier stages, I think that there is a great deal behind the hon. Gentleman's argument. In an industry of wide geographical differences, as well as differences in terms of deep-sea and inshore fishing, catchers and processors, merchants and retailers, I accept that one takes a certain risk in setting up an organisation on which so many bodies will seek representation.

Clearly, as the hon. Gentleman quite fairly said, it will be impossible for everyone in the industry to be represented on the authority. Nevertheless, this has been achieved and has worked in agriculture, where there are similar bodies on which not everybody is represented. I believe that that industry is mature enough and sufficiently well organised to accept the challenge and responsibility of providing members from the industry to serve on the authority. If a particular organisation or corner of the industry is not represented on the authority, they would still rather have some representatives from the industry included because this gives the industry rather more say in what happens.

I therefore believe that rather more courage is required to go in that direction than to rely upon the status quo.

Mr. Roy Mason (Barnsley)

If, as we believe, the Minister intends to force this through the House, to reverse the decision taken in Committee and to revert to what was originally introduced in the Bill and in his Second Reading speech, namely, that there shall be 12 members—we do not know whether they will all be full-time—including four independent members and eight representatives of the fishing industry, may I take it from what he has said that he is now committed to putting one person from the Northern Ireland fishing industry on the authority?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am saying that there will certainly be one person from Northern Ireland on the authority. In what part of the authority that person would be, I do not know. But it is inconceivable that there should not be a member from Northern Ireland on the authority. I respond directly and with pleasure. One might consider an independent member from Northern Ireland. I said that on the authority there would certainly be one person from Northern Ireland.

As I have said, I do not wish to delay the House. We have had some very full debates on this subject. Certainly those who served on the Committee or who have read the report of its debates will realise my views on it. I return to the point that I made a moment ago. Since the Committtee stage, I have taken the opportunity to discuss this very fully with those concerned. I have not, of course, been able to conduct all the discussions personally, but I have had consultations carried out in the industry. There is certainly no real change of view among the main organisations in the industry from that which was expressed to us when the original proposals of the Bill were discussed more widely during the past year. I have to report to the House that the result of these consultations is that all the major organisations which were originally in favour of the form of authority that we originally proposed remain in favour of that form of authority. I understand that they have indeed written to Members in support of their views.

I summarise briefly, under four main heads, the reasons why we originally introduced the idea of an authority that is partly independent and partly representative of the industry, and why we wish to maintain that position.

First, we must ensure that the authority commands the confidence and respect of the industry. I believe that we are more likely to do that if representatives of the industry serve on the authority. I refer the House to the debates just over a year ago on raising the levy of the White Fish Authority. I believe that there was a certain gap of confidence at that time. Certainly a number of individuals put it to me at that time that an authority which included representatives of the industry would be more likely to have the respect and confidence of the industry. That type of situation, I fear, will occur again in the future. It happens whenever a levy has to be raised, because nobody likes to pay levies. There is therefore a strain on relations at the time. I believe that it is helpful to the industry if, when such decisions are taken, some of the industry's own representatives are party to the decision. People in the industry then know that their views have been taken into account in any proposal that is put forward.

Secondly—and this follows on from my first reason—I believe that those who have to pay a levy should also have some say in how that levy is spent. I believe that that is a simple matter of principle rather than simply a matter of confidence and respect.

Thirdly, the authority has an important task to carry out. It has to bring together an industry comprising many different elements. I believe that bringing representatives of the industry together as part of the decision-making process—I emphasise that it is the decision-making process, not the consultative process—will enable the authority to carry out its task very much more effectively.

Fourthly, no matter how great or how good some of the independent members appointed to the authority may be, the authority has to work in a particular area where it is helpful to have technical knowledge and expertise. It is sometimes difficult to find people who are independent but who can also bring to the work of an authority such as this a certain knowledge and expertise in technical matters. The tasks of the authority are complex and difficult, and they are specific to one industry—the fishing industry. I therefore believe that it is helpful to have on the authority representatives who have practical experience and knowledge of that industry.

For all those reasons, therefore, I believe that what we propose in amendment No. 1 is an improvement on the amendment which was adopted in Committee and which is carried further by the new clause.

The hon. Gentleman quite fairly argued that for the kind of authority that he wished to see there should be a consultative committee. I make two points in relation to that. First, in a consultative committee of the kind suggested—I know that this is true of the existing consultative committees of the White Fish Authority—a fairly large number of people are brought together somewhat infrequently. I know that many people do not feel a sense of involvement simply because their function is purely consultative. I therefore do not believe that the kind of consultative committee suggested in the hon. Gentleman's new clause would in any sense answer the needs that the industry feels and which I outlined a moment ago.

Secondly, if the new authority wanted consultative committees—and I would hope that they would be small in terms of numbers—in relation to particular problems or sections of the industry, the Bill contains powers for the authority to set up such consultative committees in its own way.

Therefore, while I appreciate that the Opposition's new clause is put forward in a constructive sense, I must advise the House not to support it. On reflection, as well as on the evidence of the further consultation that I have had carried out. and, perhaps most of all, simply on the strength of the arguments that I put forward at earlier stages and which I have sought to summarise today, I believe that we should do better to restore the authority to the position in which it was when the Bill was introduced, namely, that of an authority made up partly of independent members and partly of representatives of the industry.

I therefore ask the House to reject the Opposition's new clause and to agree to amendment No. 1.

Mr. Grimond

I am glad that the Minister responded to the suggestion made in Committee by that shrewd man the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) that the Minister should occasionally speak earlier in debates and explain the Government's attitude to new clauses and amendments. That he has kindly done. I do not dissent from his view that the arguments are nicely balanced. However, I have come down rather more in favour of the views of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) than I did even in Committee.

I believe that the views of the industry are difficult to obtain. I accept that the Minister has probably received support from major bodies in the industry for his own suggestion. I must put on record the fact that I have received support from other bodies in the industry for the contrary suggestion. I do not know which view is the more valid.

The crux of the matter is that we must choose between an authority of 12, which will contain representatives of those engaged in the industry, and a smaller authority with a large consultative committee. I do not deny that there is a strong case for including people engaged in the industry. However, I do deny that because people are not engaged in the industry they are ignorant about fishing. I am sure that we could find independent members who would be well versed in the ways of the industry. The nub of the debate is that people on many parts of the coast, including the coast in my constituency, feel that with an authority of 12 they will not be represented.

It was interesting that the Minister came clean, but only in an interjection, by saying that he has already promised one place to Northern Ireland. I tried to persuade the Committee that the House of Commons should have more say about, and more knowledge of, who will be appointed to these quangos and how. I hope that the Minister will now tell us whether he is committed to appointing people from other areas. Important as Northern Ireland is relative to the population, fishing is far more important to Shetland—it is absolutely vital to certain islands—than it is to the economy of Northern Ireland. How many more authority places will be given away before the Bill even reaches the statute book?

I am not wholly addicted to the idea of consultative committees, nor am I addicted to the setting up of quangos or authorities which, whether they are bigger or smaller, will be more expensive than the two quangos which they will replace. I feel that the original proposals of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East would allow for a smaller and more economical authority and a consultative committee which would meet some of the feelings of the different sections of the industry which fear that their views will not be properly represented when the authority takes decisions.

The Minister on several occasions quoted the agriculture industry as an example. I maintain that the agriculture industry is quite different. In Committee the Minister made an eloquent speech about the dangers and possibilities of licensing. He properly warned us that the licensing proposed under fishing legislation is a general licence to remove a man's livelihood. As he said in Committee, it is one thing to say"You may not fish for mackerel", but it is quite another thing to say"You will not get a licence to fish at all".

We are proposing to set up an authority which, although it may not do the actual licensing, could well administer it and could well have a powerful say in the licensing scheme that is introduced. That does not happen in agriculture. In addition, agriculture does not have communities with no hinterland which are wholly dependent on fishing. Therefore, I do not accept the Minister's analogy with the agriculture industry.

Frankly, the decision is a narrow one. Whether or not we have a consultative committee—I appreciate that there are objections to that, one of which I raised, which is that it may preclude the authority from taking advice on specialised matters from throughout the industry—nevertheless, a smaller independent authority with a wider area of consultation would on balance best suit the fishing communities in my constituency.

If we accept the Minister's proposal, there must be a clear understanding that the new authority will continue the practice of the present authority and go outside official channels and consult widely throughout the industry. Like no doubt other hon. Members, I have received a letter from the chairman of the White Fish Authority on certain points in the Bill. I very much welcome that and I pay tribute to his close attention to all the views of the industry. However, I do not believe that all sections or areas engaged in fishing will be entirely happy if they are not represented on the authority unless they can have a greater assurance that consultation will be extremely wide and frequent on matters that are absolutely vital to the livelihood of individuals and to the survival of certain communities.

5.15 pm
Mr. McQuarrie

I intervene briefly to deal with clause 1 specifically. In Committee I opposed the Government's recommendations relating to that clause. I did so, not because I objected to the number of members, which I accepted should be 12, but because I was concerned about the factors set out in clause 2 relating to the functions of the authority. I was concerned that the four independent members would have total control of the financial provisions, to the exclusion of the other eight members.

I am sorry that the Minister has not seen fit to take cognisance of that factor. I am still extremely concerned that the eight members who will be appointed from within the fishing industry will have no say in the financial provisions that will be apportioned by the new authority. I hope that the Minister will at least consider this matter again, because it is important.

As I said, I accepted the suggestion of an authority of 12 and did not accept the suggestion that the numbers should be reduced to six. That view is recorded in the report of the Committee proceedings. I said categorically that I could not support the clause at that stage because of the restriction that was being placed on the eight fishing industry members of the authority. I hope that on reflection the Minister will take that point on board. I hope that he will bear in mind the points that I made in Committee. Perhaps he will indicate whether there will be some discussion between the fishing industry members and the four independent members before there is any question of finality with regard to the financial provisions.

Mr. Austin Mitchell (Grimsby)

I support new clause 6 and oppose amendment No. 1. I found heartrending the picture painted by the Minister of the blood, sweat, toil and tears involved in returning to what he thought of in the first place before the consultations began. After our decision in Committee to reverse his proposal, it seems that the mountains have since laboured and have produced not a mouse but a pilchard. In effect, the Minister has come forward with the proposal that we started out with and which we rejected.

I have certainly received no mail in support of the Government's proposal. In his consultations about the composition of the authority, I wonder whether the Minister got the same reaction which some Labour Members received, which was strongly critical of the whole Bill. The Scarborough and Bridlington Fish Producers' Organisation states: we no way share the euphoria of many MPs which was evident in the debate on 12 January 1981, that this Bill is an enormous step forward". The Grimsby Fishing Vessel Owners' Association said: much of the industry has not been exactly enchanted with the White Fish Authority". It spread some of that disenchantment onto the new authority.

The Cornish Fish Producers Organisation Ltd. said: Having seen Hansard … the CFPO is very worried to read how complacment nearly all those contributing to the debate were … The non-catching part of the industry hardly seems to have expressed an opinion either way". Therefore, it is unreasonable to say that the industry is strongly in favour of reversing the decision that we took in Committee. It has real doubts about the relevance of an authority with such wide powers and with such increased stature. In some sections of the industry there is a strong preference for a direct relationship with the Ministry rather than with this new authority. The numbers on the authority are not adequate, and will not allow the authority to win the industry's confidence. On the contrary, the authority might be able to divide and rule within the industry. Indeed, the Government pioneered that tactic in their relationship with the industry over the Common Market.

I emphasise that three fundamental problems are involved in the authority's composition which have not been solved by the Minister's proposals. The first problem is the most basic: who is to be included in the representation? There are to be eight representatives from a very diverse industry. The industry is fragmented not only into skills, but also into roles. For example, the catching, merchanting, distribution and fish processing sides are all involved. The industry is also divided between the unions and the owners.

Indeed, it is fragmented even more into geographical areas. The problem cannot be solved by providing eight representatives. Indeed, it would be as difficult to solve one problem in that way as it would be to solve the dilemma of angels dancing on the point of a pin. Any attempt to fit such a diverse industry into the straitjacket of eight representatives will prove to be forlorn.

Growing unity has been shown in the industry as a result of its determination to check the Government's headlong rush into sacrificing its best interests to the Common Market. The industry has come together more in its attempts to impose some restraint on the Government's propensity to give away so much of the industry's future to the Common Market. However, the Common Market negotiotions have reached a stage at which that precarious unity is beginning to fall apart. The industry faces the dilemma of French vessels—as well as Belgian vessels and others—being admitted within our 12-mile limit. That brings to the fore the geographical differences within the industry. It also highlights the differences between the inshore and the deep water sections of the industry. Until now those differences have been latent.

It is proposed that there should be a box round the Islands, with reserved fishing for local fishermen. That proposal has given rise to a deep gulf between Scottish and English fishermen. If there were to be such a box, and if foreign vessels were also to be excluded from the 12-mile zone around Scotland, the burden of fishing effort would fall disproportionately on those waters that have been traditionally fished not only by the fishermen of Grimsby but by those of England as a whole. As a result, the industry would fragment once again on geographical lines, despite the precarious unity that had built up as a result of the Common Market negotiations.

It is unrealistic to imagine that the industry is sufficiently united to be satisfied with eight representatives. It would be dissatisfied even if we were to ignore the other problems. The Minister has still not committed himself on the question of how many representatives will come from the catching side of the industry, which is the most important side. Again, that side of the industry is itself divided. What provision will there be for representation from the Transport and General Workers Union? The union has a specific role. It has strong and responsible views on safety, and decasualisation, arid on the role of fishermen.

The Minister gave a commitment that the authority would include a representative from Northern Ireland. What other specific commitments have been made to the industry? What hopes have been held out to it, to the effect that certain sections will be represented on the new authority? At present, bait is being dangled in a most undesirable way.

I am not satisfied that eight will prove adequately representative of the industry, or that the divergent elements in the industry can be brought together on such a basis. If that is to be the authority's constitution, the eight representatives will be brought straight into the political arena. The authority will be involved in decisions about licensing. Geographical arguments and arguments between the different sections of the industry will have to be fought out in the authority. As a result, a divisive situation will arise.

It is important to note that the legislation proposes that the eight representatives should be excluded from certain financial functions. On what basis do the Government draw a distinction between those functions, and, for example, licensing functions? Those functions are just as difficult and divisive. The sections can disagree in exactly the same way. There is a danger that political and geographical divisions will be created between the eight representatives.

If the Government are to hand over to an independent authority functions that they should fulfil themselves they should hand them to a dynamic and effective authority. The best way to ensure that it is dynamic and effective is to create a smaller authority, which has a larger consultative body. The industry could then be brought together and could adopt the attitudes and express the aspirations of a united industry. Such representation would be better than the rather half-hearted attempt presented by the Bill.

I accept the Minister's argument that there is a fine balance between the choices, but we feel that he has adopted his position because the Conservative Party is prejudiced against quangos. The Minister's definition of a quango was, under the circumstances, tautological. The fact that the body is representative does not make it any the less a quango. The slogan should be"a quango is a quango is a quango." Some had hoped that the White Fish Authority would be the last quango in Edinburgh, but that is not the case. If we are to have a quango there should be effective representation. Therefore, it should be larger, as that is the only way in which the industry can be brought together.

I am disappointed that some of the questions that we put to the Minister in Committee concerning the reasons for the choice of eight representatives remain unanswered. When asked about consultation with the industry he said that the industry was in favour of his structure rather than the one for which the Committee voted. Judging from the correspondence that I have received from the industry, that is questionable. What is wrong with the framework of the White Fish Authority that the hon. Gentleman is rejecting? How will the eight representatives be selected? Which sections of the industry will be represented?

I appreciate that the Minister is in difficulty if he lets the cat out of the bag. If he tells us, he might alienate those sections of the industry that are not chosen. Nevertheless, if he wants the House to endorse the structure, it is incumbent upon him to indicate who will be the representatives. In particular, we wish to know what representation will be given to the catching side of the industry. That is the prime question that that side of the industry is asking.

Organisations such as the NFFO are asking what representation will go to the catching side and, specifically, to the English catching side as distinct from the Scottish catching side. How will these people be selected? What advisory machinery will the Minister possess if his option of eight representatives is carried? The Minister has stated that under the legislation it is possible to have an advisory body, but the House would like to hear what is his preference. Does he want to see such an advisory body? If so, he may be voting with us in the Lobby.

It is difficult to decide between the two proposed frameworks. The Committee decided in favour of a smaller authority advised by a wider consultative body. That gives better representation to the industry. Even if it is a bigger quango, which costs the Government more money, I believe that the House should reaffirm the decision taken by the Committee.

5.30 pm
Mr. Sproat

When the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) moved his new clause he reminded the House that during the Committee stage my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. McQuarrie) and I had abstained on particular amendments and that the effect of our abstention had been that the size of the new authority was reduced from 12 to six. That is true. I would, however, advise the hon. Gentleman that he must draw a distinction between an abstention in order that a matter may come before the House again—which was my stated objective—and a rejection of the whole idea of a committee of 12, composed of eight from the industry and four from outside the industry.

I make that point not so much because the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East put a false construction on it as because the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) said, in effect, that my hon. Friend and I had rejected the Government's original proposals. This was not the case. Our aim was to achieve a finely balanced judgment between a committee that would have, as its prime commodity, objectivity—because its members were not financially interested in the industry—and a committee where experience was regarded as a more important commodity, drawing on the fact that the industry was willing to have eight or more members on the new authority. My hon. Friend the Minister had to decide between objectivity and experience, and he came down on the side of putting into the new authority more experience from the industry.

My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East and I wanted to find out what those parts of the fishing industry that we represent felt about the matter. Although hon. Members assume that everyone has thought about a Bill before it goes to Committee, the fishing industry, as is probably the case in all industries, does not operate in that manner. I often receive letters proposing possible amendments in Committee long after the Committee stage: is finished. The timetable that exists in the House is not always appreciated. That is not a criticism. It is a fact of life. That was one of the reasons why my hon. Friend and I decided not to vote. It would enable us to look at the matter again.

I have spoken widely with members of the fishing industry. I do not necessarily maintain that only those in the fishing industry should be consulted. The consumer and the taxpayers also have to be considered. It is, nevertheless, true that the fishing industry in my constituency felt that the Government's idea of an authority of 12, divided into eight and four, was worth trying.

I should like to underline the point made by my hon. Friend the Minister of State about the evidence taken by the Select Committee. It was surprising to some to note the venom with which the White Fish Authority was described by certain members of the fishing industry when we met in Aberdeen. Under the goading of an increase in the levy, a gap of confidence—the phrase used by my hon. Friend—between the industry and the White Fish Authority, however unjustified and however temporary, existed I believe that that gap of confidence will to some extent be diminished by the fact that eight experienced members of the industry will be serving on the new authority. They will be able to put strongly the feelings of the industry. Even if on financial matters the remaining four do not accept those views, no one can accuse the new authority of being out of touch with the true feelings of the industry.

I have shown that I disagree with the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond). I am always sad when that happens. The more often he passes through Aberdeen the wiser he seems to become—more liberal than the whole of the rest of his party put together on this subject.

Mr. Grimond

The emphasis is on"through".

Mr. Sproat

Wisdom can be sprayed on quickly. Looking at the matter again, I feel that it is worth trying my hon. Friend's proposal. I may have the agreement of the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland when I say that I distrust this increasing obeisance to vested interests. It is the curse of American politics that vested interests are consulted so strongly and have so much power. I hope that this practice will not creep into our deliberations in the House. To put eight members of the fishing industry on the board increases, in a sense, the balance of vested interests in the judgments that we make.

I wish to deal with the point about a divided industry—the fact that it is divided between catchers, merchants and processors and is divided geographically. In Committee the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland made the astounding statement that hon. Members from the Highlands knew what hon. Members in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire were thinking. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East and I quickly rejected that. I dare say that the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) would say that nobody from England could ever represent what anyone in Scotland thinks. However, having managed to overcome this feeling of prejudice that a person not wholly engaged in one section could represent the views of that section, it was with some surprise that I heard the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) say that a place on this authority had been guaranteed to someone from Ulster. I took it that an essential virtue of the new body was that members of the fishing industry would be representing the industry as a whole, and that although in private or commercial life someone might be a director of the British Fishing Federation, when he took his place on the new Sea Fish Industry Authority, he would be representing the best interests of the industry as a whole.

That principle demonstrated how it was possible, within the small compass of eight people, to represent the whole industry. If my hon. Friend is saying that the new authority is not to represent the industry as a whole and that certain representatives will represent certain sectional interests, whether commercial or geographical, I believe that he is undermining the important principle on which he originally constructed the new authority. I shall be sorry if we are told that Ulster is now definitely to have a representative. Does that go for Scotland? Does it go for the catching side? Does it go for the South-West of England, and so on?

We must make up our minds whether we accept the principle that everybody in this authority will be objective or whether we accept the principle that each individual will represent a different section of the industry. I do not think that we can marry the two together. If we have somebody specifically representing the interests of Ulster, it will be very difficult to persuade people in Aberdeen that although there is nobody from Aberdeen on the new authority, Aberdeen will be properly represented. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister of State will clarify this point about sectional interests.

I am prepared to support my hon. Friend and see whether this new form of authority works. I very much hope that it does. However, I cannot leave this debate, possibly the most important that we shall have on Report, without expressing my distaste and my pain that we are setting up a new quango. The Government came to power pledged to do two things in this matter—first, to cut the number of members of quangos and, secondly, to cut the cost of quangos.

The good news about the Bill is that we are abolishing two quangos. The bad news about the Bill is that we are setting up one new quango in its place—a quango that will have more members than the two old quangos combined and may cost more in remuneration and allowances than the two old quangos put together.

That is bad enough, but in Committee the Minister of State said that he could not even put a cash limit on this quango. If we can put cash limits on the Ministry of Defence, on the Manpower Services Commission and on the other important quangos we certainly should be able to put a cash limit on this.

I had hoped that my hon. Friend would say"Well, I have thought about this matter again. While I believe that the structure and principle of the new authority is correct"—that is to say, that we shall have a predominance of members representing the fishing industry as a whole, a balanced and smaller part of members who do not represent the fishing industry as a whole—"I will cut the numbers not from eight to four but perhaps from six to three. In that way we will at least have fulfilled our pledge and given an indication to people that we are determined to cut the number of quango members."

I hoped that my hon. Friend would put a cash limit on this new quango that would be lower than the spending limit—index-linked, of course—on the old one. I am sorry that my hon. Friend has not done this. I think that that is an error. I think that he has missed a chance to take a lead in something that is very important, namely, cutting public expenditure and cutting quango members. However, on the greater issue of the new form of the authority, having deliberated since Committee I am prepared to support him now.

5.45 pm
Mr. James Johnson

I do not desire to detain the House for long before it votes on this issue. However, the Minister of State let slip the fact that one place on the board of the authority will be saved for Ulster. That prompts me to make a few comments about the geographical nature of the industry and to implore him to accept what has been said by my right hon. and hon. Friends. I foresee the new board playing a vital part in the battles that lie ahead for the fishing industry. We shall have one board instead of the two old authorities, and we must get the best people on it.

Fishing is unique in its geographical disposition. The isolated pockets of fishing communities need to be united in the battle for survival that lies ahead of them. That unity will not be achieved by a small board. We are more likely to achieve it if we have a larger board, which includes those who are working and speaking for the various areas concerned. That is typified by the inclusion of a representative from Ulster.

There is a need for unity. There is a need to have representatives from Scotland, England—including Cornwall—and Ulster. There is a need for these isolated communities to get together on a national united federal basis and to fight their battles together, as one. That applies to the inshore and deep-sea fleets. We have heard about the clash between the Klondikers from Hull and the inshore fishermen of Cornwall and Devon. The industry is crying out for a sense of unity, a sense of understanding and, above all, a feeling that not only the nation and the Government are behind it but that it is solid in its battle against the EEC or any other opponent.

We need more places on the board to cater for the different and divisive sections of the industry. I appeal to the Minister on that score and on that score alone.

Mr. Donald Stewart

I said on Second Reading that some regard should be given to the representation of the West of Scotland when appointments to the authority were made. I mentioned the West of Scotland because of its share of the industry. However, I acknowledged that areas such as Aberdeen, Hull and Fleetwood would be able to make a case for their areas. There are certain areas—for example, the Shetlands and my own—in which fishing is extremely important.

I had assumed that there was general agreement that the authority would be set up on the lines indicated by the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat), namely, a general committee, drawn in the first place without regard to geographical location. It seems that the assurance that has been given to the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) has breached that agreement to some extent. I have no doubt that great pressure has been put upon the hon. Gentleman to take account of the various fishing locations.

It seems that some Conservative Members think that the only good quango is a dead quango. It is true that quangos multiply and that most of the attacks on them are fully justified, but we must not get ourselves into such a frame of mind as to feel that we cannot have an advisory or consultative body again through fear of someone shouting"quango", in the hope of killing it stone dead. It is quite a good idea that we should have such a body advising the authority. I ask the Minister not to be put off by propaganda. There are some quangos that should receive the boot, but that is not necessarily true of every quango.

Mr. McNamara

In Committee I moved an amendment that stated: At least two members of the Authority shall be appointed from persons representing trades unions, at least one of whom shall represent workers employed in the catching of fish and at least one person representing workers employed in the landing, processing and distribution of fish. I moved that amendment on the basis of what was to be the membership of the new authority. It has been announced that one member of the authority will definitely come from Ulster. There are far fewer fishermen, far fewer people engaged in the fishing industry generally and far fewer engaged in landing, processing and distribution in the Six Counties of Norhtern Ireland than in England and Scotland. There are far fewer engaged as trades union members within the fishing industry.

In the past the White Fish Authority has tended to have trade union representation in one form or another. It is especially important that trade unions should be represented and that those trade unions, such as my own, the Transport and General Workers' Union, should represent the large majority of those employed in the catching and the processing and distribution sides of the industry. I hope that the Minister will bear that strongly in mind. If he can make concessions to the Six Counties, my union deserves to be represented two, three or four times.

Mr. Wall

I suggest that the House is making rather heavy weather of the Bill. There has been talk about a united industry. I have known the fishing industry for 26 years and have never known it united, unfortunately. We know that that is the history of the industry. If my hon. Friend accepts the advice that he has been given he will have a quango of at least 70 members. If we are to have representatives from trade unions and the catching, freezing, processing, geographical distribution and other sections, we shall need that size of membership if the authority is to be properly representative. That is the point that I made to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) when he opened the debate. We are discussing the difference between eight members and 15, although 15 will not be any more truly representative of all sections of the industry than will eight.

If there is a choice between an executive and an advisory committee I think that most hon. Members would prefer an executive committee. That is what I understand us to have. If the new authority decides that it wants special advice on certain subjects, I understand from what the Minister said that it could set up advisory committees if it wished to do so. That seems to be the most sensible answer.

Mr. Strang

I shall not detain the House, but shall briefly reply to the debate. The Minister is clearly intent on pressing ahead with his 12-member authority, eight members of which will be representatives from the industry.

This has been a remarkable debate, in the sense that the Minister has committed himself to having one representative from Northern Ireland on the authority. I note that he was careful not to rule out the possibility that that representative might be one of the independent members. We have no objection to a member from Northern Ireland; on the contrary. There will still be a number of members from Scotland.

I hope that the Minister will respond to one sectional interest. May we have an assurance that at the minimum there will be one trade union representative? In Committee I argued for two trade union representatives, on the basis that the TUC would be asked to supply two, or perhaps only one, from the Transport and General Workers' Union and one from the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.

I hope that the Minister will reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) at this stage. Having committed the Government to the request of the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) for an Ulsterman, I hope that he will respond to the Opposition and commit himself to at least one trade union representative on the authority.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am grateful for what has been said in the debate, and I shall deal quickly with one or two of the specific matters raised.

My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. McQuarrie) raised a specific objection to the clause 14 provision which would disqualify industry representatives from taking part in financial decisions under that clause. I have reflected on that, but I believe that what is proposed in the Bill is correct. I ask my hon. Friend to reflect on the clause because it is about the administration of Government grants, the policy governing which has been laid down by the Government. The background decision in relation to those grants has been taken by the Government. What is involved in the clause is what I would describe as the case work in relation to the adminstration of those grants. It is correct that in that case those members of the industry should not and need not be involved.

That is but one area of the activities and functions of the authority. It is simply carrying out policy decisions that have been taken by Ministers. The earlier clauses cover the wider powers of the authority. The members who are appointed to the authority from the industry have full powers in formulating the policy of the authority and the important functions that it has to carry out. There is a distinction. I ask my hon. Friend, in his turn, to reflect on what I have said about the powers under those clauses.

My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) said that he was worried about cash. Cash limits will be placed on the Sea Fish Industry Authority, as they are on other bodies, and those figures will be published in the Estimates in due course. There is a cash limit. I hope that my hon. Friend will be reassured about that, despite his natural anxiety about these sorts of bodies generally.

I turn to the representation and the formation of the body. I am rather surprised that there has been such surprise in the House. I said quite willingly—there was no question of letting it slip—that on such an authority I would expect there to be one member from Northern Ireland. There is a distinction about areas such as that and the sectional interests in different parts of the industry. I give an assurance that we shall consider all aspects and sections of the industry and will consult them in relation to appointments made to the authority.

A further point about representation was raised, correctly, by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South. I hope that he noticed in the reply that I gave to the right hon. Member for Down, South that I was careful in the words I chose. I hope that those who are appointed to the authority from within the industry will be in no sense representatives or delegates from that part of the industry from which they come, although they will bring to the authority the expertise, experience and knowledge that they have gained of their section of the industry. Once those representatives are appointed to the authority they will be working for the good of the industry as a whole. That is the case in other similar bodies on which representatives of industry sit. They serve their industries in an objective sense. That is the sense in which, knowing the responsibility of the different organisations in different parts of the industry, I know that they will serve.

In conclusion, I ask the House to reject the new clause and to accept amendment No. 1.

Question put and negatived.

Amendment proposed: No. 1, in page 2, line 1 leave out 'six' and insert 'twelve'.—[Mr. Buchanan-Smith.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 183, Noes 139.

Division No. 92] [6.00 pm
Alexander, Richard Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Ancram, Michael Heddle, John
Arnold, Tom Hicks, Robert
Atkins, Robert(PrestonN) Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Atkinson, David(B'm'th,E) Hogg, Hon Douglas(Gr'th'm)
Baker, Nicholas (NDorset) Holland, Philip(Carlton)
Banks, Robert Hooson, Tom
Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay) Howell, Rt HonD.(G'ldf'd)
Benyon, Thomas(Adon) Howell, Ralph (NNorfolk)
Berry, Hon Anthony Hurd, Hon Douglas
Best, Keith Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Bevan, David Gilroy Kimball, Marcus
Biggs-Davison, John Kitson, Sir Timothy
Blackburn, John Lamont, Norman
Bradford, Rev R. Lang, Ian
Braine, Sir Bernard Latham, Michael
Bright, Graham Lawrence, Ivan
Brinton, Tim Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Brotherton, Michael Lee, John
Brown, Michael(Brigg&Sc'n) LeMarchant, Spencer
Bruce-Gardyne, John Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Bryan, Sir Paul Luce, Richard
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Lyell, Nicholas
Buck, Antony Macfarlane, Neil
Bulmer, Esmond MacGregor, John
Burden, Sir Frederick MacKay, John (Argyll)
Carlisle, John (LutonWest) McNair-Wilson, M.(N'bury)
Carlisle, Kenneth(Lincoln) McQuarrie, Albert
Chapman, Sydney Major, John
Churchill, W.S. Mates, Michael
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Mather, Carol
Clark, SirW. (Croydon S) Maude, RtHonSir Angus
Clarke, Kenneth(Rushcliffe) Mawby, Ray
Cockeram, Eric Mawhinney, DrBrian
Colvin, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Cope, John Meyer, SirAnthony
Cormack, Patrick Miller, Hal(B'grove)
Corrie, John Mills, lain(Meriden)
Costain, Sir Albert Mills, Peter (West Devon)
Cranborne, Viscount Moate, Roger
Crouch, David Molyneaux, James
Dean, Paul (NorthSomerset) Montgomery, Fergus
Dorrell, Stephen Morgan, Geraint
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Murphy, Christopher
Dover, Denshore Myles, David
Dunlop, John Neale, Gerrard
Dunn, Robert(Dartford) Needham, Richard
Dykes, Hugh Nelson, Anthony
Elliott, SirWilliam Neubert, Michael
Emery, Peter Newton, Tony
Fairgrieve, Russell Onslow, Cranley
Faith, Mrs Sheila Osborn, John
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Page, John (Harrow, West)
Fisher, Sir Nigel Page, Rt Hon Sir G. (Crosby)
Fletcher, A.(Ed'nb'gh N) Page, Richard (SW Herts)
Fookes, Miss Janet Pawsey, James
Forman, Nigel Peyton, Rt Hon John
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Pollock, Alexander
Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Glyn, Dr Alan Price, SirDavid(Eastleigh)
Gorst, John Proctor, K. Harvey
Gow, Ian Rees-Davies, W. R.
Gower, Sir Raymond Renton, Tim
Grant, Anthony (HarrowC) Rhodes James, Robert
Gray, Hamish Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Greenway, Harry Roberts, M. (Cardiff NW)
Griffiths, Peter Portsm 'thN) Rossi, Hugh
Grist, Ian Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Grylls, Michael Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Gummer, John Selwyn Shelton, William(Streatham)
Hamilton, Hon A. Shersby, Michael
Hamilton, Michael(Salisbury) Skeet, T. H. H.
Haselhurst, Alan Speed, Keith
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Speller, Tony
Hawksley, Warren Spence, John
Spicer, Michael (SWorcs) Wakeham, John
Sproat, lain Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.
Squire, Robin Wall, Patrick
Stainton, Keith Waller, Gary
Stanbrook, lvor Ward, John
Steen, Anthony Warren, Kenneth
Stevens, Martin Watson, John
Stradling Thomas, J. Wells, John(Maidstone)
Taylor, Robert (Croydon NW) Wells, Bowen
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Wheeler, John
Tebbit, Norman Wiggin, Jerry
Temple-Morris, Peter Winterton, Nicholas
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter Wolfson, Mark
Thompson, Donald Younger, Rt Hon George
Thornton, Malcolm
Trippier, David Tellers for the Ayes:
Viggers, Peter Mr. Alastair Goodlad and
Waddington, David Mr. Peter Brooke
Alton, David Hooley, Frank
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Howells, Geraint
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Hughes, Mark(Durham)
Beith, A. J. Hughes, Robert (AberdeenN)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Bottomley, RtHonA.('M'b'ro) Jay, Rt Hon Douglas
Bray, Dr Jeremy Johnson, James(Hull West)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n&P) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Campbell-Savours, Dale Kerr, Russell
Carter-Jones, Lewis Kilfedder, JamesA.
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Lamborn, Harry
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stolS) Leighton, Ronald
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Lestor, Miss Joan
Cowans, Harry Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW)
Craigen, J. M. Lewis, Ron(Carlisle)
Crowther, J.S. Lyons, Edward (Bradf'dW)
Cryer, Bob Mabon, Rt Hon DrJ. Dickson
Cunliffe, Lawrence McCartney, Hugh
Dalyell, Tam McDonald, DrOonagh
Davis, T. (B'ham,Stechf'd) McElhone, Frank
Deakins, Eric McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) McKelvey, William
Dempsey, James McNamara, Kevin
Dewar, Donald McWilliam, John
Dixon, Donald Marks, Kenneth
Dobson, Frank Marshall, D(G'gowS'ton)
Dormand, Jack Marshall, DrEdmund(Goole)
Dubs, Alfred Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Duffy, A. E. P. Maxton, John
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Maynard, Miss Joan
Eadie, Alex Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Eastham, Ken Miller, Dr M. S. (EKilbride)
Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n S E) Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)
Eggar, Tim Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw)
Ellis, R. (NEDbysh're) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Evans, John (Newton) Morton, George
Ewing, Harry Newens, Stanley
Fitch, Alan O'Neill, Martin
Fitt, Gerard Palmer, Arthur
Flannery, Martin Park, George
Fletcher, Ted(Darlington) Pendry, Tom
Foster, Derek Penhaligon, David
Freud, Clement Powell, Raymond(Ogmore)
George, Bruce Prescott, John
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S)
Ginsburg, David Richardson, Jo
Gourlay, Harry Roberts, Albert(Normanton)
Grant, George(Morpeth) Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Grant, John (Islington C) Robertson, George
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Hamilton, James(Bothwell) Rooker, J. W.
Hamilton, W. W. (C'tralFife) Roper,John
Hardy, Peter Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Sever, John
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Haynes, Frank Short, Mrs Renée
HoggM-(EDunb't'nshire) Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
HomeRobertson, John Silverman, Julius
Homewood, William Skinner, Dennis
Spearing, Nigel White, Frank R.
Spriggs, Leslie Whitlock, William
Steel, Rt Hon David Wigley, Dafydd
Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles) Williams, Rt Hon A.(S'sea W)
Stoddart, David Williams, Sir T.(W'ton)
Strang, Gavin Wilson, William (C'try SE)
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W) Woolmer, Kenneth
Thorne, Stan (Preston South) Young, David (Bolton E)
Wainwright, E.(Dearne V)
Wainwright, R.(ColneV) Tellers for the Noes:
Watkins, David Mr. James Tinn and
Welsh, Michael Mr. Donald Coleman.

Question accordingly agreed to.

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