HC Deb 20 October 1981 vol 10 cc261-80 9.37 pm
Mr. Martin J. O'Neill (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)

I beg to move, That a humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Grant-Aided Colleges (Compensation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1981 (S.I., 1981, No. 1054), dated 22nd July 1981, a copy of which was laid before this House on 24th July, be annulled. In moving this prayer against the order the Opposition are aware that it could well be the first of many such orders. The purpose of the order is to start dismantling the Crombie code. The code has been in operation since 1948 and was at first the basis for the National Assistance (Compensation) Regulation. Since then, whenever there has been a statutory reorganisation of public services, the Crombie code has provided the basis for recompense in the form of redundancy payments for staff who have been affected.

The decision to end the code was taken by the Government and transmitted to the TUC in September last year. In the initial stages, when the code was being established, the TUC was involved in drawing it up. Given the nature of the code, the trade unions have been involved in every stage in its expansion to cover a whole range of public services. To say that the trade union movement was surprised by such a unilateral declaration by the Minister would be an understatement. The then Minister for the Civil Service, the right hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon), spelt out in his declaration what has become the Government's line, namely, that the Crombie code contains too many anomalies. Therefore, Ministers decided that detailed negotiations should be held to determine the basis of compensation most appropriate for the particular groups of staff concerned. However, there was to be no major departure from previous practice. The objective was that representatives of staff and management should arrive at a mutually agreeable term of compensation.

This is all a matter of record and was minuted at a meeting with the TUC on 19 November 1980. When the unions offered to participate in an exercise to eliminate the anomalies of the Crombie code on the basis of the adoption of the best practice that was provided, the Minister rejected it out of hand.

In the initial stages of Crombie the code was a forerunner of the redundancy schemes that are now current. There has been a constant recognition of governmental responsibility towards staff who are affected by statutory reorganisation. Public servants who are no longer required by the Government because of legislative decisions are often unlikely to obtain alternative employment in their own specialties. It has been recognised that they need special protection. In many instances the recognition has gone beyond that. It has become a point of reference to provide long-term protection for staff. It has provided a mechanism whereby lump-sum payments are arrived at in the determination of redundancy payments.

There are many organisations which do not fall technically within the statutory obligations of the Government but which are affected by legislation. Very often these organisations, especially when trade unions have not been involved, have been able to use the Crombie code as a guideline. The Government have failed so far to offer any of the groups that I have mentioned the financial recompense that is offered by the Crombie code. For example, in the regulations that are the subject of the Prayer, the Crombie code would take effect for staff over the age of 40 years. The regulations provide that only staff aged over 50 years will be eligible for remuneration under the redundancy scheme suggested by the Minister.

Over the past four or five years there have been redundancies amounting to 30 per cent. overall in college of education staffing. It is relevant to refer to the former colleges of Callendar Park and Hamilton, which are being absorbed into Moray House and Jordanhill colleges. The staff who have come through the Callendar Park and Hamilton experience may be made redundant yet be subject to inferior redundancy provisions to those which were enjoyed by their former colleagues. The irony is that those who fought to protect the right to work and who have more years of service will get a poorer deal than their former colleagues.

The regulations go beyond college of education staff and cover all the staff of grant-aided colleges in Scotland. These colleges embrace central institutions such as Robert Gordon's institute of technology, the Queen Margaret college in Edinburgh and the Paisley technical college. None of these colleges has so far been dramatically affected by staffing cuts. However, if the warnings that are given in today's copy of The Guardian are to be heeded, their English counterparts, to the extent that they are counterparts—I concede that there are certain differences—such as polytechnics may be assumed to be the next targets for cuts on the Government's hit list. I cannot see the gutless Scottish Office resisting a call for further savings in further education when it has been so assiduous in implementing Government cutbacks in other areas of education.

The position of many of the academic staff who will be affected by the dismantling of the Crombie code may be compared with the staff of colleges of education and university lecturers.

The benefits offered under the Crombie code are better in many respects than those offered to school teachers and the differential can be seen as a recognition of the inability of colleges to offer what has hitherto been the province of the universities, namely, security of tenure for life, which has been one of the cornerstones of academic freedom in our universities.

If the individuals with whom we are concerned are roughly similar to university staff in many respects, it is obvious that we are considering nothing less than a blatant attempt to undermine potential claims by university staff who could be made redundant by the University Grants Committee cuts.

It seems ridiculous that at a time of widespread unemployment, when the opportunities for alternative employment in education are even more limited than they have been for many years, the Secretary of State should consider even the possibility of worsening the severance conditions of staff.

The Government have a responsibility to their staff and should be trying to set an example as the best sort of employer. But in every case the new provisions will be worse than those that have prevailed before.

Why have the Government taken this action? Is it to save money? If so, what is the size of the savings? Have any costings been done? Do the Government know how many anomalies will be removed by the dismantling of the Crombie code? If we are to have a piecemeal approach to the replacement of the Crombie code by other systems of redundancy payment, there is no guarantee that there will be any consistency in the new system.

The fundamental objection that the Minister has made in correspondence with various organisations is that there are anomalies in the Crombie code. When the TUC met the Civil Service Department last year at the outset of the consideration of the problem it said that an attempt should be made to work out a scheme that would iron out the anomalies. The Minister rejected that, and from what I have read of his replies to interested bodies and hon. Members, it is clear that he is not interested in trying to work out an improvement in what is admittedly an unsatisfactory situation in some respects, but one which the trade union movement is willing to work to improve.

Not the TUC, any organisation representing staff, whether lecturers in colleges of education, lecturers in Scottish central institutions or higher academic staff, who have not been well known for militancy in the past, the Educational Institute of Scotland or NALGO have had any satisfactory answers to their questions. Perhaps the Minister will tell us what is the rationale behind the dismantling of the Crombie code.

Mr. Robin F. Cook (Edinburgh, Central)

My hon. Friend has mentioned a number of organisations which have complained about the order. He will be aware that the national joint committee governing conditions of staff in colleges of education is among the bodies that have protested, but is he aware that the committee was left to read of the proposals in the press, even though it had met the Minister and his officials only a few days before the order was made?

Does not that attitude to the staff display a contempt for those who are most affected by the order and reveal the cynicism that the Government have shown in bringing the order before the House?

Mr. O'Neill

I could not agree more. In the short time I have been an hon. Member it has been clear that the Minister's handling of Scottish education matters has resulted in those most affected by cuts or staff reductions always being the last to hear about them. Indeed, they usually hear of them in a way that is almost insulting to the House, because such matters are almost invariably pushed through at the end of a Session, or, as in the case of the colleges of education closures, at a time when it is difficult for the Minister to be pursued and questioned.

The Opposition believe that the Minister must answer the points that I have put to him concerning why the Crombie code is being dismantled, why the trade union's offer to smooth out the anomalies has been refused and, if there are any savings, how much will they amount to. If the Minister is unable to answer, I must ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to join me in the Lobby to oppose the regulations.

9.50 pm
Mr. George Robertson (Hamilton)

This evening we are debating what can only be called a fairly obscure and mystifyingly titled document—"The Grant-Aided Colleges (Compensation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1981." However, those regulations again display this Government's same sharp practice, the same parliamentary tricks and the same shabby, short-sighted and insensitive attitude to educational training and those who work in it that has characterised their handling of the whole issue from their antics in 1977 to the present day.

Those who work in the further education sector should look carefully at this miserable episode and the way in which the Government have gone about the shady dealings with Scottish colleges of education. They should learn the sinister lesson from that.

Today the colleges of education in Scotland get the hatchet, then the scalpel and now the brush-off. Tomorrow the vandals will move on to the rest of the educational system. The regulations are not specifically about the closure of Hamilton college of education in my constituency. They are an act of calculated, cynical educational destruction and an act that rightly gained no support in the whole Scottish community. Of course, it arises out of the Government's so-called miserable "success" in that chapter of Scottish political history. This little postscript is just one more addition to the continued agony and uncertainty of the staff of the destroyed Hamilton college of education.

I shall make one specific point about the conditions that apply to those who are affected by the closure of Hamilton college of education as well as those in the other colleges of education who are also affected by the regulations and by the Government's policy in this area.

The Scottish education department sent a letter to a variety of people involved in the so-called consultation exercise, including Mr. Robin Lobban, the chairman of the Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland. This standard letter was entitled "Dear Sir or Madam". With the perception that can come only from years in the Scottish Office, it had managed at least to score out "or Madam." before the letter was sent. The letter said: College staff who suffer loss of employment or loss or diminution of emoluments, attributable to the operation of the Teachers Colleges of Education (Scotland) Regulations 1981, which were made on 14 July and laid before Parliament on 16 July, and which provide for the dissolution of four colleges of education, will still be entitled to be considered for payment of Crombie compensation.

Any sensible and objective reader of those words issued in the name of the Minister would believe that that was a categorical assurance that those who are affected by the Minister's educational vandalism in the four colleges of education would at the very least have the protection of the Crombie system, the demise of which we are seeing thanks to the silent majority who are so glaringly absent from the Government Benches tonight.

Mr. George Foulkes (South Ayrshire)

Where is the non. Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. McQuarrie)?

Mr. Robertson

I am not surprised that my colleagues are drawing attention to the scanty attendance on the Conservative Benches. In the grim days of 1977, when the Conservatives made much of Scottish education in their propaganda, the Conservative Benches were crowded for any debate which had anything to do with Scotland's colleges of education. It is a symptom of the cynicism and the splits in the Conservative party that we see so few Conservative Members here this evening to support the Minister in this last act of betrayal of Scottish education.

Referring specifically to Hamilton and the other doomed colleges, the question that arises from the letter to which I have just referred is: what will happen to members of staff who, in the next few weeks, accept the blandishments of the new colleges of education to which they are transferring for employment, and sign the documents that are being put before them, offering them new contractual arrangements to work in those colleges? Will their signature on those documents signify that they are accepting a change in their conditions of employment that would mean that their rights, as mentioned in the Minister's letter, are to be arbitrarily and needlessly withdrawn?

The Minister must answer those questions this evening, for time after time and in debate after debate on this subject he has given assurances about the conditions that apply to people who worked in the colleges that he aimed to remove from the Scottish college system. Yet it is now clear that some of the staff, who have stayed loyally within the system, are now being put into a "Catch 22" position, having either to accept the Crombie compensation and leave the system now or to sign these documents, the need for which was never advertised before and the need for which was specifically excluded by the conditions set out in the letter from the Scottish education department. If the lecturers sign these new contracts, will they be covered by the assurance that was given on the Minister's behalf in the letter sent to Mr. Robin Lobban on 24 July? The Minister must answer that question this evening, because it matters to a very large number of people in the doomed colleges.

What is at issue this evening is not just the matter of compensation for redundancy in the public sector. As my hon. Friend the Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. O'Neill) has said, we are seeing here, disguised by an obscure title, the thin end of a very thick wedge of compensation for large numbers of people in the public sector who will be the next candidates for the Tory executioners.

How will the Minister, with his responsibility for the Scottish education system, achieve in the future a rundown in the numbers of staff in colleges of education, or in any other part of the public sector, with the same degree of cooperation that he has previously enjoyed, if he now undermines and demolishes the whole basis of cooperation that has been enjoyed before? The Government seem to have rushed into this decision in a bid to satisfy the demand of the public sector borrowing requirement, and with no thought for the future structure of colleges of education in Scotland or any other part of the educational and public sector to which the Government might look in the future.

There are a large number of areas of public concern—[Interruption.] Although we now welcome to our midst two former Tory Ministers, whose demise from the Government was perhaps related to their rebellious support for policies against those of the Government—[Interruption.] On this side of the House, it can sometimes be said that we allow people to die before we bury them. We welcome them to this important debate.

This is an important subject. For those affected by the Government's policy in this sphere, the questions that I have asked deserve serious answers from the Minister today.

The whole sorry catalogue illustrates the entirely callous approach of the Government to the human aspect of this. It illustrates yet again the twisted way in which they go about things in the new, harsh Tory world being paraded before us. When the time comes for the Government to go before the electorate, the message from the people of Scotland, who have seen this whole sad spectacle before, will be swift, sure and definite.

10.1 pm

Mr. Gordon Wilson (Dundee, East)

The adjectives that have just been used and the speeches that we have heard aptly describe the background to this affair.

I received a letter from Ms. Mollie Abbott, chairman of the Association of Higher Academic Staff in Colleges of Education in Scotland, dated 7 August. She said: To have given notice now for a change consequent upon the 1982 intake could not be taken as disreputable but to do it at this stage in relation to the 1981 intake is incredibly underhand and politically inept. It is interesting to note the language deployed by those who have been in these higher institutions when they consider the actions taken by Government over a period of years.

In a written answer on 6 August 1980, the Secretary of State himself expressed the belief that we should be putting increasing emphasis on the quality of the teaching force and proposed to examine ways of improving the standards of pre-service training and further development of in-service training."—[Official Report, 6 August 1980; Vol. 990, c. 88.] In the paper "Future of the College Education System in Scotland" he also made the point that the internal organisation of colleges of education should be flexible and that links among the colleges and between the colleges and other tertiary institutions should be strengthened. He also indicated that the Government were seeking a reduction in capacity in certain colleges.

We know what has happened since then. Throughout the changes that the Government have made their actions have been characterised by promises about consultation which have not been kept. The staff of these institutions may have had a strong complaint about the way in which the colleges of education were being treated, but even more reprehensible has been the manner in which the Government have sought to make the changes.

Again, on 27 July 1981, in relation to the proposals now before us, Thomas Rae, principal of Callendar Park, complained about the lack of consultation over the closures, which were announced on the second to last day of Parliament and after the academic holidays had begun. Now the Minister has again shown insensitivity and tactlessness in dealing with the colleges. Throughout the period of college contraction, the principle of "Crombie compensation" was accepted. There was no opportunity then for parliamentary discussion, and because it has been forced upon them, only with difficulty, by the Opposition, these matters have had to be argued out in Committee and on the Floor of the House. It is not so much the abolition of the Crombie code which has annoyed many of the people concerned as the lack of consultation and the heavy-handedness involved.

On 31 July, the Joint Committee of Colleges of Education in Scotland expressed "the gravest concern" over the abolition of the regulations. It urged the Secretary of State to enter into discussions about the code and, pending discussion, to allow the existing arrangements for compensation under the Crombie code to apply for the session 1981–82, as he had already set the quota for student intake on which that staffing entitlement was based. As has been indicated in previous speeches, considerable anger has been expressed by those employed in the colleges about the cancellation of the code. It came as a complete shock to them. They were given absolutely no indication that such a drastic change was imminent. Governor Members were convinced of two things: first, that the Crombie regulations would continue to apply for 1981–82 and reductions in staffing levels still to be made could be obtained with relative ease and efficiency with the effect of the compensation provisions; and, secondly, that the financial saving which would result from the cancellation of the code would be minimal and would be more than offset by the deterioration of management-staff relationships.

So far, those people and the House have been given no reasonable excuse why the decision was taken with such suddenness and secrecy. The Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland protested that no notice had been given to college authorities or to the appropriate unions or professional organisations. It further points out that the reorganisation of the college system has been operating smoothly, including the rundown of staff, under the Crombie system and sees no need whatever to change the arrangements.

There are at least three specific points of criticism arising from the decision that has been taken by the Minister. The first is the strange way in which the decision was taken, including its timing and the lack of consultation involved. Secondly, there is the financial difficulty that might be caused to those under 50 who might be placed in an invidious situation as a result of this sudden change without proper consultation or realisation of what was in effect.

The third criticism, which is equally important, relates to the ability of the colleges to introduce further changes which the Government might require of them. The Government, particularly the Scottish education department, must bear this in mind. If they unilaterally change arrangements that have been settled for a period of years without consultation, they will destroy the prospects of future co-operation between those involved in the administration of teaching within the colleges of higher education. They may not be able to get the changes they want because they will have destroyed the basis of trust and removed the possibility of co-operation which might have emerged as a consequence.

These regulations represent crass insensitivity. They are no more than a bureaucratic juggernaut which the Minister and his associates in the SED seem to have unleashed on this one sector of higher education. Based on the examples given to us over the past two years, we wonder and fear what they may now do to the rest of the Scottish higher education system.

10.7 pm

Mr. John Maxton (Glasgow, Cathcart)

I declare an interest in the regulations. In 1977, when the parent regulations were drawn up, I was the national chairman of the Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland. Before the regulations were put to the House, I took part in negotiations to ensure that they protected the best interests of my members.

At that time, of course, my right hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) was responsible for the proposals affecting the colleges of education. I did not always agree with what he was proposing, but at least my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Queen's Park (Mr. McElhone) were always prepared to listen and consult us on the issues. If they felt that we had made a case, they were prepared to change their mind and take a different view. My right hon. Friend did so, and one of the results was the so-called Crombie regulations, which have allowed for a smooth rundown in the numbers of staff in colleges of education since 1977.

There was a smooth rundown following that consultation—at least until the present Minister came into office. In July last year, without any consultation or thought, he decided to butcher two colleges and to merge two more. Once again, on this issue, we have a total lack of consultation.

I was on the committees and know that there is a clear procedure in the colleges of education system. The employee organisations are represented on the committees almost entirely by the Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland. Ministers will tell us that the employers are the governing boards. They are not. If we told the Government that they were the real employers in the colleges of education, they would throw up their hands in horror and state that it was the governing boards.

However, the amendment to the regulations is essentially retrospective to 14 August, and the employers were not consulted. The Minister did not even call a meeting with the chairmen of the boards of governors. He is represented on every committee in the colleges—on the conditions of services committee by advisers and on the salaries committee by members of the management side—but he did not even send his representatives to put the proposal to those properly constituted committees to allow them to discuss the regulations and the change. He made no effort to consult either the employers or employees. He should at least have ensured that the changes were made in a way that benefited the whole system.

I was about to say that what the Minister did created further distrust, but it is no longer possible to do that. He is utterly discredited in education circles in Scotland. The Minister was high on my list of those who I believed should go in the Prime Minister's reorganisation. He is incompetent and totally distrusted in every education circle in Scotland.

Perhaps the Secretary of State after my words is shaking in his boots. No one believes the Under-Secretary of State any longer or trusts his word. They know that he will not consult even though he has said that he will. If he says that he will do one thing he does another. The hon. Members for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Ancram) and for South Angus (Mr. Fraser) are new, young and able Members. They must wonder how much longer they must remain on the Back Benches and see that incompetent on the Front Bench. Even the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Walker) must sometimes feel that, and by God, if that is so, it really is something. That is the situation we are in.

The retrospective nature of the legislation is serious. In May the Secretary of State issued figures on the number of students that each college would take in October. Following discussion and consultation, he wrote to each college. I have a letter sent to Professor Baillie Ruthven, the then principal of Moray House college of education, signed by the Minister's civil servant. It states: After carefully considering the comments which he has received on his proposals from all the governing bodies, the Secretary of State has decided that he would not be justified in making any alterations to the college quotas which were set out in his statement of 30 April.

To my mind, that is a clear statement that there would be no change and that the colleges have no alternative but to take the number of students that the Secretary of State has stated. Then this instrument comes along. What lecturers want to know is this. If a college has surplus staff as a result of the decrease in the number of students entering in October this year and has to declare redundancies, will they be covered by the compensation regulations, or will they be overtaken by the regulations and will not receive compensation? The regulations come into effect on 14 August. When that question was put, the answer from the Minister's advisers was that they would not be covered because the Secretary of State has issued no directive on the numbers in terms of laying it before the House. Although he has told the colleges that they must take a certain number of students, he will withdraw compensation from anyone who may be declared redundant as a result of the letter.

A slightly different tone enters into later letters. I have a letter from the Minister which gives a slightly different position. The Minister says: It is true that colleges have had an advance indication of the levels of student intakes for the 1981–82 academic session which are likely to be prescribed.

That seems to adopt a very different tone from the letter received by the principals about the numbers they would have to take.

If lecturers are declared redundant and do not receive compensation based on student figures issued by the Secretary of State in April and are refused compensation on the basis of regulations coming into force on 14 August, it will be a despicable act and one of which the Minister should be ashamed. I hope that even at this late stage he will assure the House that anyone affected by the student figures in October this year issued on the basis of the Secretary of State's figures in April will be covered by the former regulations and will not be overtaken by the new regulations. If the Minister fails to give such an assurance, he will once again be proved untrustworthy.

This is not just a debate about colleges of education in Scotland or grant-aided colleges in Scotland. This is the first Government attack on all public employees, who should be made aware of the fact. Only yesterday the Government announced legislation to be introduced in the coming Session to sell off a large number of public organisations. What will happen to those employees? I can guarantee they will not get Crombie. More public employers will find that compensation, traditional since 1947 for public employees, will cease. The Government will find that public employees who voted for them in the last general election will not be voting for them next time. They will be turned out because of their underhand action.

10.18 pm
Sir Hector Monro (Dumfries)

I do not intend to follow the colourful language and criticism of Opposition Members. This is, however, a serious issue. All hon. Members representing Scottish constituencies will have received a great number of letters and telegrams. It is right that hon. Members should pose questions. I had hoped that my hon. Friend the Minister would speak earlier. He might have covered some of the questions that I wished to put. I am sure that he will answer them in his winding-up speech. I wish to speak particularly on behalf of those at Craigie college which services my constituency and Dunfermline from the PE point of view. I also have, like many hon. Members, letters from other colleges as well.

How many people does my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary expect to be affected by these regulations? What difference will it make in financial terms to those who will be affected?

As my hon. Friend knows, I wrote to him in August, subsequent to the letter that I received from Mollie Abbott, which has already been mentioned. In reply, on 3 September, my hon. Friend said: College staff who are not eligible for Crombie compensation in future will qualify for statutory redundancy payments under the terms of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978.

Will my hon. Friend give an indication of the financial difference that there would be between the Crombie code and the 1978 Act? I hope that he will also explain how many people will be affected. I suspect that he will be able to say that relatively few will be affected by the regulations.

I shall listen to my hon. Friend's remarks with keen anticipation. I hope that he will be able to allay the fears about lack of consultation which run through a number of the letters. I am sure that he will be able to convince the House that he has given those involved adequate notice and has discussed this matter in detail with all concerned. I know that he will not have embarked upon these regulations without very sound reasons. We shall all listen with care to his winding-up speech. I particularly want him to allay the fears that have been deployed in all the letters. I hope that he will be able to show that the regulations are not only fair but are in the best interests of all concerned.

10.22 pm
Mr. Dennis Canavan (West Stirlingshire)

What we are seeing tonight is yet another disgraceful chapter in the sorry saga of Scottish colleges of education. The main author of it all is the Minister sitting on the Government Front Bench, the Minister responsible for education in Scotland, who, ironically, is also the Minister responsible for industry in Scotland. This is one of the worst examples of industrial relations that we have ever seen on the part of anyone called a Government Minister.

Having attacked and, in some cases, destroyed the job security of many people who have been prepared to dedicate their whole life's service to education, the Minister is not content with merely doing that but is now attacking their entitlement to redundancy benefit by means of these mean and petty regulations.

It is significant that so far only one Back-Bench Tory has contributed to the debate; and even that contribution did not seem to be a very wholehearted defence of what the Minister is trying to do. Perhaps that is an indication of why the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) is now a good knight rather than the Minister responsible for sport.

Mr. Foulkes

Does my hon. Friend agree that what we heard from the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) was a coded message, and that what he was actually saying was that the Minister has botched the whole thing?

Mr. Canavan

Yes, I think that that is so. The former Minister responsible for sport, the hon. Member for Dumfries, would possibly have been even more vociferous in his opposition were he not, perhaps, afraid that the Queen might change her mind between now and the dubbing ceremony.

I notice, too, that no members of the Liberal Party or the SDP are either here or participating in the debate. That may have something to do with the fact that Shirley Williams is their self-appointed spokesman on education. When she was Secretary of State for Education and Science she had the worst record of any Secretary of State for Education and Science, worse even than that of the present Prime Minister. Shirley Williams will go down in the history of British education as having closed down more colleges of education than any previous Secretary of State or any Secretary of State since. So much for the Liberal and SDP interest in education, Scottish or otherwise.

I come back to this mean and petty measure. Its timing is particularly inept, although perhaps from the Government's point of view it may be apt because, as usual, just as on previous occasions when we were discussing Scottish colleges of education, the Tories attempted to sneak it through a few days before the parliamentary recess in the hope that Opposition Members would not see it and be unable to oppose it by means of this prayer. It seems to be a favourite tactic of the Government to try to push things through secretly at the fag end of parliamentary Sessions. I congratulate the Opposition Front Bench on having the nous to see what was going on and on bringing forward this Prayer in an attempt not merely to voice our opinion against it but to vote against it.

It seems to me that what lay behind the Government's timing was an attempt to push through the measure before the official direction on student intake for the current academic year, 1981–82, in a deliberate attempt to exclude from the Crombie code some of those who might be affected by it. It seems that it has been normal practice and the practice has continued this year for letters about the student intake numbers to be sent out in June.

Following representations from constituents and others, I wrote to the Minister at least twice in August about what I considered at the time to be attempted sharp practice. I received a reply dated 3 September, and it was signed by the Minister. I wrote again on 18 September, enclosing a copy of a letter from Robin Lobban, the chairman of ALCES. I told the Minister that I was very dissatisfied with his previous replies and that I expected a better reply next time. All that I got was an insulting reply from the Minister. It was virtually the same regurgitated reply that I had already had. Moreover, it was not even addressed to me. It was a copy of the reply to Dr. Lobban. Enclosed was a two-paragraph letter from the Minister to me saying at the end: I am afraid that I do not understand your reference to an earlier reply".

There is something wrong at the Scottish Office, and it is about time that the Minister sorted things out or sorted out the Civil Service. My secretary can keep files on letters from the Scottish Office, although the Scottish Office apparently denies that they exist. I have here copies which I can show the Minister of the reply to the letters that I wrote to the Scottish Office in August. Yet the Minister signs letters denying that he received any representations from me, or at least denying that he had made an earlier reply. While on the matter, may I say that I strongly resent the Minister addressing me "Dear Dennis" and signing his letter "Yours ever, Alex". He has never been mine. If he ever was mine, I would certainly disown him. Therefore, if the Minister is going to write to me such an offhand and inaccurate letter, I would appreciate it if he would do so in more formal terms.

I am not the only person to criticise the Minister's behaviour. If I were to relate the contents—without quoting—of some of the letters in my possession I would probably be thrown out of the Chamber. I have a letter from the former principal of Callendar Park college, Mr. Tom Rae. He is now the assistant principal of Moray House college of education. He wrote: Apart from the injustice of the action in removing Crombie compensation in the middle of drastic alterations to the college staffing structure, the way in which it was done was dishonest and dishonourable.

Tom Rae is not alone in his castigations of the Minister. He is accompanied by Mollie Abbott, who is not only the principal of Dunfermline college of education but also chairman of the Association of Higher Academic Staff in Colleges of Education in Scotland. She said: To have given notice now for a change consequent upon the 1982 intake could not be taken as disreputable but to do it at this stage in relation to the 1981 intake is incredibly underhand and politically inept…This is not the conduct one should have reason to expect from any Minister of Her Majesty's Government. Mollie Abbott is the principal of Dunfermline college of education. I remember standing shoulder to shoulder with the Minister three or four years ago, when he was an ordinary hon. Member for Edinburgh, North. At that time the future of the college was being questioned. The hon. Gentleman and I turned up at a meeting and made many promises, both publicly and privately, to Mollie Abbott to the effect that we would fight to save not only Dunfermline college of education but the whole 10-college system. We promised to fight to try to protect the job security of the staff and to protect redundancy entitlements. Once again, the Minister seeks to go back on his word.

At that meeting the Minister was not the only Tory present. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton), who has the college in his constituency, was also there. He fought courageously and vociferously to save Dunfermline college of education. I am sorry that he is not in the Chamber, because he and I had the pleasure of making a return visit to Dunfermline college of education during the recess. Believe it or not, we shared the same platform. The occasion was the annual general meeting of the Scottish Spina Bifida Association. I do not know whether it was coincidence, but a few days later I picked up the paper and discovered that the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West had been sacked. He did not even get a knighthood to go with his title.

The wrong Minister was sacked. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, North should have been sacked. By his behaviour on this and many other aspects of Scottish education and industry he has proven himself the worst and most inept member of a dishonest, deceitful and discredited Government. The only honourable course open to him is to resign.

10.35 pm
Mr. David Lambie (Central Ayrshire)

I must intervene briefly to speak in support of my constituents who work in Craigie college of education and who will be affected by the order. I shall also speak, as we usually do in Ayrshire, on behalf of my two colleagues, my hon. Friends the Members for South Ayrshire (Mr. Foulkes) and Kilmarnock (Mr. McKelvey). If this debate had taken place before May 1979, I should also be speaking on behalf of the right hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger). He and I took part in a series of meetings with Ministers dealing with Scottish colleges of education. It seems that promises made when in Opposition are forgotten when in office. I should also be speaking on behalf of the Member who represents North Ayrshire. It is such a long time since I have seen him that I cannot remember his name. I do not know whether he is still the hon. Member for Bute and North Ayrshire. [HON. MEMBERS: "Cheap."] It is not cheap. I am making a serious allegation. I am sorry that the hon. Member is not here to reply.

I do not accept the allegation by my hon. Friends that the Minister in control of education in Scotland is dishonest. My view is that the Minister is punch drunk. He has closed so many factories, schools and colleges of education in Scotland that he does not know what he is doing.

My hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan) complained that he had not received any letters. The Under-Secretary cannot write letters, because he does not know what is happening. Wherever he goes in Scotland, he is met by deputations and demonstrations against his policies. Once we were faced with the Highland clearances when the crofters were hunted from the Highlands. Now we are faced with clearances of workers from industrial Scotland.

My main criticism is that there has been no consultation about the order. It is strange that a Crombie code which has been in existence since the 1940s should be changed in a matter of days, especially at the end of a parliamentary Session. It is strange that the Minister should make the excuse that we no longer need Crombie codes to deal with redundancies during major reorganisations because there are statutory redundancy payments under the relevant Act.

In the private sector most employers pay well above the statutory minimum in redundancy payments. The Minister knows about the factory in Irvine which is to close. Employers are paying two-and-a-half times the statutory minimum in redundancy payments. Most private sector employers do that. The Government are attacking public sector workers.

My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Maxton) said that he was afraid that the order was the start of an attack on public sector workers. I am not afraid: I know that it is the start of an attack on public sector workers by the Government. Like my hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire, I have received a letter from the Under-Secretary. It states: Corresponding action is to be taken to disapply the Crombie code in a number of other public sector areas where it applies or could apply to a future reorganisation. The Minister has given warning to other public sector workers in the universities, local authorities, the teaching profession and nationalised industries that corresponding action will be taken to disapply the code. It means that be will take the same action against other public sector workers that he is taking against those who work in the colleges of education.

That is why I think that, even at this late date, the Minister should listen to the appeal of the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro), reconsider the position and, by withdrawing the order, give us an opportunity to return to the negotiating table and attempt to achieve a settlement that will be not only fair to those who work in the colleges of education but might go some way to restore some of the Government's honour.

10.41 pm
The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Alexander Fletcher)

I have listened carefully to the points raised in the debate. I am happy to have the opportunity to respond to the comments that have been made. The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Lambie) suggested that the Government should reconsider the matter. I hope that when I have explained the position about the Crombie code, Opposition Members will reconsider the attacks that they have made on the Government. I say that in all seriousness, although I know that such points usually amuse the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Foulkes). As I have said to him before, there is something funny about the air in South Ayrshire, considering what happened to his two predecessors.

Mr. Foulkes

What does the Minister mean by that remark?

Mr. Fletcher

That is self-evident considering what happened to the hon. Gentleman's predecessors.

Mr. Foulkes


Mr. Fletcher

I shall not give way.

Mr. Foulkes

I want to defend Emrys Hughes, not the other one.

Mr. Fletcher

The hon. Gentleman's predecessor but one could at least boast that he had a certificate to prove his sanity, which is more than the hon. Gentleman can do. The Crombie code was introduced in the 1940s——

Mr. Foulkes


Mr. Fletcher

—to compensate workers——

Mr. Foulkes

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have been specifically named by the Minister. It is a convention in the House that when an hon. Member is named the person speaking gives way to allow the hon. Member to reply, especially when the remarks are made in such a slighting manner both to myself and my predecessor but one. He served the House honourably for many years, which is more than the Minister can claim.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)

It is supposed to be a point of order. The hon. Gentleman's point was more in the form of comment.

Mr. Fletcher

The Crombie code was introduced in the 1940s to compensate workers made redundant as part of statutory reorganisation. It was designed in the context of the wave of nationalisation that followed the last war. Nearly 40 years have passed and the Government have decided, as a matter of general policy and not as a specific matter relating to the colleges of education in Scotland, that the code is not appropriate in present day circumstances. First, we consider that it is unjust that the extremely generous terms of the code should apply only to those involved in statutory reorganisations and not to others. Secondly, the code is complex and difficult to operate. Thirdly, and perhaps most important, alternative redundancy benefits are now available that were not available in the 1940s. We have therefore decided as a matter of general policy that the Crombie code should be phased out from the public sector. That is what the regulations are deemed to do.

Mr. O'Neill

Will the alternative schemes be as generous as the Crombie code?

Mr. Fletcher

I shall deal with that in due course. My hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) and the hon. Members for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Maxton) and Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson) objected to there having been no consultation or prior warning despite the hon. Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. O'Neill) having made it clear that there had been consultation. The Government decided over a year ago to discontinue the Crombie code. At that time they informed the CBI and the TUC of their intentions.

Mr. Maxton


Mr. Fletcher

Subsequently the Government held discussions with the TUC. It was not until mid-July this year that firm decisions were taken on the application of the policy to the colleges of education.

Mr. Maxton


Mr. Fletcher

It was not until July that we were able to give the colleges details of the changes that were pending. After mid-July we informed the colleges and their staff associations at the earliest possible moment.

The hon. Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan) asked why, as he put it, we were withdrawing the code in the middle of statutory reorganisation. That is not the position as each statutory intervention by a Minister—in this instance new regulations or a fresh intake direction—constitutes a new statutory reorganisation. I am cognisant of the groans of the right hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan), but he of all people should know that.

Mr. Maxton

That is nonsense and the hon. Gentleman knows it.

Mr. Fletcher

The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Lambie) asked about the Scottish colleges and their English counterparts. There are no arrangements for the continuing award of Crombie compensation to teacher training staff in England when staff in Scottish colleges will not receive it. The staff of the Scottish colleges are being treated in the same way as their colleagues south of the border.

Mr. Maxton

That is not quite true.

Mr. Fletcher

That is true. It has been suggested that there is some forfeiture of good will in our negotiations with the colleges. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Cook) asked about the objections that have been raised to the procedure. He will appreciate that all the objections come from within the college system. That is understandable. However, other parts of the public sector have not been complaining to my right hon. Friend that the Crombie terms are being withdrawn, least of all other members of the teaching profession in Scotland or elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Teachers who are made redundant are subject to quite different terms from those that are available under the Crombie scheme.

Mr. Cook

The national joint committee first read of these regulations in the press. However, a few days before the details were released it had met the Minister and his officials for consultation. On that occasion the regulations, which were laid only a few days later, must have existed in draft and must have been in at least the Minister's red box. When he knew that he was meeting the committee, why did he not take the opportunity to acquaint it with what it was about to read in the press?

Mr. Fletcher

I saw the committee a few days in advance of the decision being made. When I saw it, no decision had been made, despite the imagination of the hon. Gentleman.

The position of staff who are made redundant as a result of the dissolution of the colleges in Falkirk and Callendar Park, in Craiglockhart at Edinburgh, at Hamilton and at the Notre Dame college of education at Glasgow is safeguarded in respect of entitlement to the Crombie provisions. The redundancies which can be attributed to the closure regulations are unaffected by the regulations that are now under discussion. Similarly, any staff who are surplus as a result of directions limiting intake for the 1980–81 academic session or any previous session will be eligible for Crombie compensation.

Mr. George Robertson

I asked a specific question. In addition to saying what he has said just now, which was included in the letter from the Scottish Education Department which I read out, will the Minister say how staff in those affected colleges will be affected by the new contracts of employment that are being given to them by their new employers? Will the assurance that the Minister has just given continue to apply if they sign these documents, which were specifically excluded from the original closure regulations?

Mr. Fletcher

I understand the point that the hon. Member has made. In a meeting with the college principals some months ago, I raised that point because I foresaw the difficulties of staff in colleges: for example, with the transfer from Hamilton to Jordanhill, a senior lecturer at Hamilton undertaking the responsibilities of a junior lecturer at Jordanhill, or a similar arrangement.

The Crombie conditions are extremely complicated. I am not able to give a general assurance. I would like to give a simple explanation to the House. At this time, it is not a matter of taking advice from my officials. The matter has been gone into carefully. All I can say to the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) is that the matter of the contractual arrangements is essentially between the governing body of the college and the staff.

The best description that I can give is that, if someone who is affected by the conditions of redundancy today undertakes a job in a new college such as Jordanhill to meet the requirements of the transitional arrangements, it would appear from the best advice that we have available that his entitlement to Crombie redundancy would not be affected. I regret having to say that every case must be considered on its merits. I have taken the best legal advice available to me on this matter. That is the qualification that I must make. When Opposition Members complain about the terms of Crombie, they are making my point—it is complex. That is one of the reasons why it is now being taken out of use.

Mr. George Robertson

This is an extraordinary interchange in which the Minister is involved. He has not departed much from a brief in which there is an assurance that is almost word for word the assurance that was given to the organisations which were supposedly consulted at the beginning of this process. Asked the simple question that has been asked all summer by the people involved and affected by the measure, he tells us from the Dispatch Box of the House of Commons just before the regulations are pushed through that he still does not know what the words which he has just read out mean.

What are we supposed to take from that? What are the people affected supposed to take from the assurance that the Minister has repeated? It is a parcel of words put together as a cosmetic and palliative to try to persuade some people who are still in a precarious position that they will be in no more a precarious position tomorrow.

Mr. Fletcher

The hon. Member expresses his deep concern for those people. Together with other Opposition Members, not least the hon. Member for West Stirlingshire, he joins in general abuse with great levity. However, he should remember that these are legal requirements affecting individual lecturers at those colleges according to the agreements which they make with their governing bodies. No general rule can be applied to it.

At my instigation a letter was sent to all the colleges, explaining as well as we could what the effect of the arrangements would be. The hon. Gentleman has referred to that letter. I can only repeat this evening that each case has to be considered on its own merits. But I made the point that is would be reasonable to assume that any lecturer who is entitled to Crombie compensation today and who, in order to deal with a temporary situation at the college, undertakes another post, would not have his redundancy entitlement affected. But one has to emphasise the qualification that I made earlier, that each case has to be considered not just on its own merits but on the details of that case and the contractual arrangements made between the college and the individual lecturer. [Interruption.] I can assure the House that that is the best possible explanation that is available at this time. If Labour Members do not like it, they are simply underlining the fact that they do not like the Crombie arrangements and the Crombie compensation.

Mr. O'Neill

Is the Minister telling us that the statutory instrument is so imprecise that in individual cases of dispute people will have to go to the courts in order to get the position properly defined? If that is what he is saying he should withdraw the statutory instrument tonight.

Mr. Fletcher

I have always been doubtful of the hon. Gentleman's understanding of these things. He only emphasises his lack of understanding by the point that he has just made.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) asked about the 1981–82 intake and how many people would be affected by the fact that lecturers who are covered by that direction will not receive Crombie compensation. It is not possible at this time to estimate how many will be affected by it, but we would expect that it would not be a large number. Nevertheless, he will be interested to know that the other terms which are available to lecturers, to which I shall refer shortly, will alleviate the problem of senior members of staff to the maximum possible extent.

Mr. Maxton

Will the Minister give way on that point?

Mr. Fletcher

The main form of redundancy compensation for college staff will in future take the form of a scheme of compensation for premature retirement, and this scheme brings the colleges into line with practice in local government, including teaching. The scheme has advantages over the Crombie arrangement in that compensation may be paid not only to staff who retire prematurely on the ground of redundancy but also to staff who retire prematurely in the interests of efficiency of their employers' functions. This will give college governors the opportunity to redress some of the structural imbalances which have crept into the college system over the last few years. Although the compensation given is less generous than Crombie, in effect it provides for an enhanced pension calculated on up to 10 years' additional service. It is, nevertheless, likely to be attractive to some college staff. In addition, colleges of education staff made redundant will, of course, like redundant staff in any type of employment, qualify for statutory redundancy payments in terms of the employment protection legislation.

There have been many mutterings on the Labour Benches when I have referred to the new scheme that will be available. The hon. Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan), in referring to the order, said that it was the worst ever example of industrial relations. The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire said that it was an attack on the public sector. I hope that they will listen to a couple of figures describing how a lecturer—I am talking now of a senior lecturer, aged, say, 51, with 30 years' service—would be affected. [Interruption.] The levity again astounds me. Labour Members should at least know that the people who are most vulnerable in a situation such as this are 50-year-old lecturers and not people of 30, 35 or 40.

Mr. Canavan

How many?

Mr. Fletcher

I am talking of people with 30 years' service under Crombie. The figure is a lump payment of over £22,000 under Crombie and a continuing annual payment of £9,400. That, I suggest, is most generous.

With regard to compensation for premature retirement, under the new scheme the same individual will receive not £22,700 but £21,100 and an annual sum not of £9,400 but of just over £7,000. I suggest that that is generous payment in any circumstances for the kind of service to which I have referred.

Mr. Maxton

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Fletcher

I would also say to the House that it is not too generous in the circumstances. I believe that it is perfectly legitimate. [HON. MEMBERS: "Give way."] I hope that Opposition hon. Members who listen rather than shout abuse all the time will bear in mind the point that I have made. For the benefit of those who may have missed it—

Mr. Maxton

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Minister is patently not giving way.

Mr. Fletcher

I repeat that the lump sum payment is only about £1,500 less under the new scheme. The annual payment, admittedly, is £2,400 less, but it is still a sum in excess of £7,000 and it is still a generous recompense for the service involved.

Mr. Maxton


Mr. Fletcher

Labour Members have, as usual, attacked the measure without giving it any proper consideration. Their speeches have generally been full of abuse rather than any thoughtful consideration of the matter. When the figures are understood, at least by people other than Opposition Members, it will be seen that there is no way in which the Government have been mean in the regulations.

I therefore happily recommend to my hon. Friends that they oppose the prayer.

11.2 pm

Mr. O'Neill

I had not intended to speak again, but it is necessary to say that the Minister's answers have been so unsatisfactory that I do not think that anyone could justify support for the regulations.

The example that the Minister chose to give of the alleged generosity of the alternative to Crombie is ridiculous. The chances of finding a lecturer aged 51 with 30 years' service who could be employed in a college of education are virtually nil. Had he chosen a lecturer aged 49, it would have been made quite clear that he would not have been eligible for the scheme.

When we asked the Minister about anomalies, he said that the matter was so complicated that each individual anomalous case would have to be brought before the courts.

The statutory instrument is completely and utterly worthless. It is just another example of the incompetence of the Education Department and of the Under-Secretary of State. I urge my hon. Friends to oppose the regulations.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 60, Noes 111.

Division No. 306] [11.02 pm
Allaun, Frank Hooley, Frank
Alton, David Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Bagier, Gordon A.T. Lambie, David
Beith, A. J. Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W)
Bennett, Andrew(St'kp't N) McCartney, Hugh
Booth, Rt Hon Albert McElhone, Frank
Boothroyd, Miss Betty McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Buchan, Norman Maclennan, Robert
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) McTaggart, Robert
Campbell-Savours, Dale Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Canavan, Dennis Maxton, John
Carmichael, Neil Milian, Rt Hon Bruce
Conlan, Bernard Newens, Stanley
Cook, Robin F. O'Neill, Martin
Crowther, Stan Penhaligon, David
Cryer, Bob Robertson, George
Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n) Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Dalyell, Tam Skinner, Dennis
Dewar, Donald Soley, Clive
Dormand, Jack Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Dubs, Alfred Stott, Roger
Eadie, Alex Strang, Gavin
Eastham, Ken Walker, Rt Hon H.(D'caster)
Ewing, Harry Welsh, Michael
Forrester, John Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Foulkes, George Wilson, William (C'try SE)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Woolmer, Kenneth
Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife) Tellers for the Ayes:
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Mr. George Morton and
Home Robertson, John Mr. Frank Haynes.
Alexander, Richard Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus
Ancram, Michael Mellor, David
Aspinwall, Jack Meyer, Sir Anthony
Atkins, Robert(Preston N) Mills, lain (Meriden)
Baker, Kenneth(St.M'bone) Moate, Roger
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Monro, Sir Hector
Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay) Morgan, Geraint
Benyon, Thomas (A'don) Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Berry, Hon Anthony Murphy, Christopher
Blackburn, John Myles, David
Boscawen, Hon Robert Neale, Gerrard
Braine, Sir Bernard Needham, Richard
Bright, Graham Neubert, Michael
Brinton, Tim Newton, Tony
Brotherton, Michael Onslow, Cranley
Brown, Michael(Brigg & Sc'n) Osborn, John
Bruce-Gardyne, John Page, Richard (SW Herts)
Budgen, Nick Proctor, K. Harvey
Butcher, John Rathbone, Tim
Cadbury, Jocelyn Rees-Davies, W. R.
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Rhodes James, Robert
Chapman, Sydney Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Colvin, Michael Rost, Peter
Cope, John Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Dorrell, Stephen Scott, Nicholas
Dover, Denshore Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Fairgrieve, Sir Russell Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Faith, Mrs Sheila Speller, Tony
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)
Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Forman, Nigel Stanbrook, Ivor
Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Stevens, Martin
Garel-Jones, Tristan Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Goodhew, Victor Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Goodlad, Alastair Thompson, Donald
Gower, Sir Raymond Townend, John (Bridlington)
Gray, Hamish Trotter, Neville
Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N) van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Hannam, John Viggers, Peter
Hawksley, Warren Waddington, David
Hill, James Wakeham, John
Hordern, Peter Wall, Sir Patrick
Hunt, David (Wirral) Waller, Gary
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Wells, Bowen
King, Rt Hon Tom Wheeler, John
Knight, Mrs Jill Wickenden, Keith
Lawrence, Ivan Wilkinson, John
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Wolfson, Mark
Macfarlane, Neil Young, Sir George (Acton)
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
McQuarrie, Albert Tellers for the Noes:
Major, John Mr. Peter Brooke and
Marlow, Antony Mr. Selwyn Glimmer.
Mather, Carol

Question accordingly negatived.

Back to