HC Deb 05 April 1982 vol 21 cc791-800

Amendments made: No. 24, in page 30, line 2, before `In' insert '(1)'.

No. 25, in page 30, line 5 at end insert— '(2) For paragraph 40(1) of that Schedule there shall be substituted— (1) There shall be made to the Ministers—

  1. (a) by each water authority and the Council as soon as possible after the end of each accounting year (within the meaning of paragraph 38 above); and
  2. (b) by the Water Space Amenity Commission as soon as possible after 31st March in each year,
a report on the discharge by them of their functions during that year and of their policy and programme."'.—[Mr. King.]

10.30 pm
Mr. King

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third Time.

10.31 pm
Mr. Kaufman

I understand why the Minister should wish to say no more than that about the Bill. He said about as much in favour of it in those words as can be found. It has gone through more adventures than Dick Barton or James Bond. People talk about "The Perils of Pauline". The Bill should be entitled "The Perils of Heseltine".

The Bill was introduced with great blasts on ministerial trumpets. It was then withdrawn, reintroduced, amended and reamended. The referendums—originally the centrepiece of the Bill—have gone. Selected mid-year hold-back, to which the Treasury attaches such immense importance has also gone. As the House had heard in the past few minutes, major amendments have been both in Committee and on Report in response to pressure from the Opposition. There have been important steps towards the depoliticisation of the audit.

The words and in the carrying out of its policies in clause 9(1)(c)—a form of words that I told the House on Second Reading was exceptionally dangerous—have now been removed. In addition, the Minister has made an important statement on the non-political nature of the audit. We now have several amendments which provide for consultations with trade unions on the appointment of members of the audit commission. We have restored what was being taken away—public access to the accounts of water authorities.

The Committee stage of the Bill was truly meaningful. I congratulate my right hon. and hon. Friends who served on the Committee on the way in which they worked and on the amendments that they obtained through 1,000 columns of achievement.

It would be churlish of me not to acknowledge that our pressure met with response, from time to time at any rate, from the Minister who has now laboured three grim years in the salt mines of the Department of the Environment. We shall watch his future with interest. Moreover, we take our leave of the Bill knowing that it will not be enacted as it is now amended.

We are still to have what may be described as the `Bedfordshire amendments", which the Government have extremely sensibly decided not to rush through, because they will get them wrong even if they do not. We are still to have the amendments in response to the new clause proposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Barnett), and we may still have the Government's fourth thoughts on clause 4.

I give the Government notice now that the House can look forward to long and fruitful debates when the Bill returns after being considered in another place.

The Bill has been mangled, changed and improved, but I say clearly on behalf of Her Majesty's Opposition that it is still unacceptable. It is unacceptable in setting up an audit commission, which we join the local authorities and their associations in opposing. It is unacceptable in banning supplementary rates, which have existed for nearly four centuries. It is unacceptable in imposing arbitrary and unfair spending limits and penalties on local authorities. It is unacceptable in its unprecedented interference with the freedom of local authorities.

Whether the next Labour Government will repeal part III of the Bill will depend upon how the audit commission operates in the short time between its being set up and the next general election, but I state unequivocally and categorically that we shall certainly repeal parts I and II—and we shall demonstrate that by voting against the Third Reading.

10.37 pm
Mr. David Madel (Bedfordshire, South)

The position of Bedfordshire county council has been the subject of much comment and debate. As one of the county's five Members of Parliament who was not on the Committee, I should like to deal briefly with the present position.

When the Bill was launched and announcements were made, it was stated that supplementary precepts and rates would be banned as from 1 April 1982. In Bedfordshire, however, the actual rate for 1982–83 was fixed at the end of February. Every county councillor knew that that decision was to be made then. About 10 days later, a supplementary precept was issued, because it was clearly known by county councillors at the meeting at the end of February that they could not throw out what they had done then and the only way in which they could top it up was to bring in a supplementary precept. They were told that if they did that they would bring themselves into a major collision with the Government as a result of the Bill, and that is certainly what has happened.

I understand from the Government that, even if supplementary precepts were agreed in the year 1981–82, if they refer to a period after 1 April 1982 they will be invalidated when this legislation receives the Royal Assent. I am glad to see that the Government are further taking care of Bedfordshire's case—we have four district councils, of which two are in exceptional difficulty over this—by making amendments in the House of Lords.

I am glad that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Edge Hill (Mr. Alton) is present on behalf of the Liberal Party. He had quite a bit to say about Bedfordshire, but he did not answer my point about the damage that supplementary precepts and rates will do to industry and commerce in the county. There will be plenty of time for debate when we have elections later, but the hon. Gentleman did not answer that point. He merely talked about services in the county. I can only point out to him that Bedfordshire is one of the highest spending authorities in the land, especially on education, as a close look at the facts will prove. The supplementary precept with which we are now threatened will be very damaging to industry.

As I understand it, until the Bill becomes law, supplementary precepts and rates are lawful and must be paid.

Mr. Alton

Does the hon. Gentleman support the course of action urged upon the ratepayers of Bedfordshire by the leader of the Conservative group—not to pay their supplementary rates bills and thus to break the law?

Mr. Madel

I do not wish to become involved in a county council argument in this Chamber. I merely restate what I have just said as one of the Members of Parliament for the county. As I understand it—I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeet) agrees with me on this—until the Bill becomes law, supplementary precepts and rates are lawful and must be paid.

I hope that two things will flow from this legislation. First, Bedfordshire county council should not start spending money now that it will have to return to the districts when the Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes law. Secondly, a large amount of supplementary precept and rate money will soon start to move around Bedfordshire. When the Bill becomes law, it will have to be returned whence it came—to districts, ratepayers, industry and commerce. All I urge is that, when the Bill becomes law, the money which must now be lawfully paid will be swiftly returned whence it came.

I hope that Bedfordshire county council will never again get itself into such a position that it knew that, by pushing this supplementary precept, it would collide with the Government and land itself in great difficulties. Bedfordshire has enough difficulties without certain county councillors pushing their luck over this Bill.

10.40 pm
Mr. John Cartwright (Woolwich, East)

Despite the changes referred to by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman), the Bill is still a considerable step along the road to central Government control and domination of local authorities. The removal of the power to levy a supplementary rate is a crude use of a sledgehammer to reduce the freedom of manoeuvre of local authorities. As to part II, I regard the whole concept of spending targets imposed by central Government as resting on the unacceptable idea that the man in Marsham Street knows best. That approach goes against the whole tradition and spirit of local government, which has always been based on the idea of diversity, innovation and widely differing policies reflecting differing needs and views in local communities. It is a great sadness that that will now be crushed in the dull, grey, centralised uniformity of grant-related expenditure assessments and centrally imposed spending targets backed up by the penal threat of the witholding of grant.

It is against that background that I suggest that Ministers should not underestimate the suspicion with which local government will face the audit commission. That suspicion was underlined to me again this morning when I received a letter from the treasurer of the London borough of Greenwich expressing a personal view. He says: I am convinced that the intention of the Secretary of State for the Environment in creating the Audit Commission is to have another means of controlling local government from the centre". That is not a wild, extremist councillor or a politician with an axe to grind. It is an experienced local government treasurer—one of those prudent treasurers about whom we heard a great deal in Committee. He ends his personal letter to me as follows: I am thus very apprehensive that the proposed arrangements are yet another nail in the coffin of the independence of local government". I underline that as a reminder to Ministers that they will meet considerable suspicion from local government when it comes to the operations of the audit commission.

As other hon. Members have pointed out, the Bill contains a major element of retrospection, sanctifying action that has already been taken by Ministers. It still leaves considerable grey areas about the legality of some of the measures affecting targets and grant systems. Its complex and complicated nature will create a field day for lawyers. It will not provide the stability that local authorities need to operate prudently and to run efficient and effective services.

Despite the changes that have been made, the Bill is based on a philosophy of centralism and on the belief that it is right for central Government to set the levels of spending of individual local authorities. It is based on a belief that the only defence of local ratepayers against unreasonable rate demands is in central Government direction.

My hon. Friends in the Liberal Party and the SDP totally reject that approach. We believe that local government should be made more accountable, but downwards to the electors and not upwards to the Secretary of State. The Bill is not a blueprint for self-confident, lively, democratic local government. It is a charter for central Government bureaucracy, and we shall vote against Third Reading tonight.

10.45 pm
Mr. W. Benyon (Buckingham)

The right hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) is adept at looking the most responsive gift horse in the mouth. It would be churlish if someone such as myself, who voted against the Bill on Second Reading, did not congratulate my right hon. Friends on the changes made in Committee, especially to the provisions that allow the level of grant to be changed after the beginning of the financial year. That was the feature that stuck in my gullet more than anything else.

I do not pretend that I regard the Bill as a particularly happy one, even in its present state. It is essentially a temporary Bill. The difficulties that we have experienced over the Bill underline more than ever the need to change the basis of local government finance so that local government becomes much more responsive to the electors and to those who actually pay the Bill. If the difficulties that we have gone through contribute in some way to bring that about and to develop a sense of urgency to produce that result, all the discussion will not have been in vain.

10.46 pm
Mr. King

I much appreciate the contribution of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckingham (Mr. Benyon) who, having made his views clear on Second Reading, was characteristically generous on Third Reading. I am glad that his gullet is now a little freer and that he has been able to recognise the changes that have been made. My hon. Friend will understand that the Bill consists of three parts. I hope that part III will survive and become a lasting addition to the sensible arrangement of local government affairs.

I profoundly disagreed with one of the least valuable contributions that the hon. Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Cartwright) has made. I have respected a number of his earlier contributions but he was far too facile tonight in his treatment of the potential contribution of the audit commission.

I am grateful to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) and his hon. Friends for their contributions in Committee. The right hon. Gentleman made some play on the number of amendments that were made in response to contributions from the Opposition. He will recall that he said on Second Reading that he hoped that it would be a constructive debate to which the Government would listen. I express my appreciation of the part that my hon. Friends played in an important and constructive consideration of the Bill in Committee. My hon. Friends were subject to the difficult quaisi-Trappist role that has to be played by Government Back Benchers in Committee. They discharged their responsibilities excellently. They reserved their comments with te ling effect for the matters where they thought that improvements were needed and supported the areas where they thought that the Government were working on the right lines.

I think that our proceedings in Committee were responsible. We have produced a Bill that commends itself to the House and I hope that the House will support it. The Bill will ban supplementary rates and supplementary precepts, and high time too. I am satisfied from the advice that I have been given that the supplementary precept mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Madel) will be valid if it is levied now and will prove on Royal Assent, which I trust will be achieved before too long, to be invalid. It is the responsibility of Bedfordshire ratepayers to honour their responsibilities and to pay such precepts and rate demands as they receive.

I wish to allay the surprise of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell). Clause 4 is very different now from the clause that he had in mind when he woke up to an intervention to discover that we were proposing a fourth amendment to the clause when he probably thought that it was unamended. It is a different amendment to the clause 4 that he had in mind. This is a sensible approach to the problem of trying to reverse the process of a progressive and continuous increase in local government expenditure and to recognise that, at a time of public expenditure restraint, it is necessary to ensure that individual local authorities to do not pre-empt resources from the more prudent.

I welcome what the right hon. Member for Ardwick said about the proposals for the audit commission. At the time of Second Reading and in Committee, the debates on the Bill began with a knee-jerk reaction by the Opposition to the effect that the audit commission was unlikely to receive any support from them. That was my impression. I do not wish to make any political point. I believe that the audit commission has a valuable role to play.

The hon. Member for Woolwich, East suggested that the Bill was another example of centralism. It is, therefore, odd that its introduction should be supported by the president of NALGO, by the Labour leader of the Camden authority, by Conservative leaders of local authorities and also by independent accountants and others with experience of local government. They believe that the audit commission, standing at one remove from the present district audit service, which is, in effect, part of the Department of the Environment, occupies an independent position that the House should support.

The interesting amendments proposed by the right hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Barnett), speaking, I think, with the full support of the PAC, may further extend the new role that may be played in this respect. I believe that the Bill will make an important contribution to local authority expenditure, its proper examination and the better pursuit of value for money, one of the most important responsibilities of central and local government. Against that background, with the greatest of enthusiasm, I commend the Bill to the House.

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

The House divided: Ayes 273, Noes 212.

Aitken, Jonathan Banks, Robert
Alexander, Richard Beaumont-Dark, Anthony
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Bendall, Vivian
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Benyon, W. (Buckingham)
Ancram, Michael Best, Keith
Aspinwall, Jack Bevan, David Gilroy
Atkins, Robert (Preston N) Biggs-Davison, Sir John
Atkinson, David (S'm'th, E) Blackburn, John
Baker, Kenneth (St.M'bone) Blaker, Peter
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Body, Richard
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Hampson, Dr Keith
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Hannam, John
Bowden, Andrew Haselhurst, Alan
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Braine, Sir Bernard Hawksley, Warren
Bright, Graham Hayhoe, Barney
Brinton, Tim Heddle, John
Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon Henderson, Barry
Brooke, Hon Peter Hicks, Robert
Brotherton, Michael Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Brown, Michael (Brigg &Sc'n) Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Browne, John (Winchester) Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Bruce-Gardyne, John Hooson, Tom
Bryan, SirPaul Hordern, Peter
Buchanan-Smith, Rt. Hon. A. Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Buck, Antony Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)
Budgen, Nick Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Burden, Sir Frederick Hunt, David (Wirral)
Butcher, John Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Cadbury, Jocelyn Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Jessel, Toby
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda JohnsonSmith, Geoffrey
Chapman, Sydney Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Clark, SirW. (Croydon S) Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Kellett-Bowman, MrsElaine
Clegg, Sir Walter Kershaw, Sir Anthony
Cockeram, Eric King, Rt Hon Tom
Colvin, Michael Kitson, Sir Timothy
Cope, John Knight, Mrs Jill
Cormack, Patrick Knox, David
Costain, Sir Albert Lamont, Norman
Cranborne, Viscount Lang, Ian
Crouch, David Latham, Michael
Dean, Paul (North Somerset) Lawrence, Ivan
Dickens, Geoffrey Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Dorrell, Stephen Lee, John
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward LeMarchant, Spencer
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Durant, Tony Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Dykes, Hugh Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Eggar, Tim Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)
Elliott, Sir William Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Emery, Sir Peter Loveridge, John
Eyre, Reginald Lyell, Nicholas
Fairbairn, Nicholas McCrindle, Robert
Fairgrieve, SirRussell Macfarlane, Neil
Farr, John MacKay, John (Argyll)
Fenner, MrsPeggy Macmillan, Rt Hon M.
Finsberg, Geoffrey McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Fisher, Sir Nigel McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N) Madel, David
Fletcher-Cooke, SirCharles Major, John
Fookes, Miss Janet Marlow, Antony
Forman, Nigel Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Marten, Rt Hon Neil
Fox, Marcus Mates, Michael
Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Mather, Carol
Fry, Peter Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Mawby, Ray
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Mawhinney,DrBrian
Garel-Jones, Tristan Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Mayhew, Patrick
Glyn, Dr Alan Mellor, David
Goodhart, Sir Philip Meyer, Sir Anthony
Goodhew, SirVictor Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Goodlad, Alastair Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Gorst, John Mills, Peter (West Devon)
Gow, Ian Moate, Roger
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Monro, Sir Hector
Gray, Hamish Montgomery, Fergus
Greenway, Harry Moore, John
Griffiths, E.(B'ySt.Edm'ds) Morgan, Geraint
Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N) Morris, M. (N' hampton S)
Grist, Ian Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Grylls, Michael Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Gummer, John Selwyn Mudd, David
Hamilton, Hon A. Murphy, Christopher
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Myles, David
Neale, Gerrard Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Needham, Richard Sproat, Iain
Nelson, Anthony Squire, Robin
Neubert, Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
Newton, Tony Stevens, Martin
Normanton, Tom Stewart, A.(ERenfrewshire)
Onslow, Cranley Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S. Stokes, John
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Stradling Thomas,J.
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Parris, Matthew Temple-Morris, Peter
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Patten, John (Oxford) Thompson, Donald
Pattie, Geoffrey Thorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Pawsey, James Thornton, Malcolm
Percival, Sir Ian Townend, John (Bridlington)
Pink, R. Bonner Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)
Porter, Barry Trippier, David
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Trotter, Neville
Prior, Rt Hon James van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Proctor, K. Harvey Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Viggers, Peter
Rathbone, Tim Waddington, David
Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Wakeham, John
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Waldegrave, Hon William
Ridley, Hon Nicholas Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Rifkind, Malcolm Walker, B. (Perth)
Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Wall, Sir Patrick
Roberts, M. (Cardiff NW) Waller, Gary
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Ward, John
Rossi, Hugh Warren, Kenneth
Rost, Peter Watson, John
Royle, Sir Anthony Wells, Bowen
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Wells, John (Maidstone)
St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N. Wheeler, John
Scott, Nicholas Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Whitney, Raymond
Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Wickenden, Keith
Shelton, William(Streatham) Wiggin, Jerry
Shepherd, Colin(Hereford) Wilkinson, John
Shepherd, Richard Williams, D. (Montgomery)
Shersby, Michael Wolfson, Mark
Silvester, Fred Young, SirGeorge (Acton)
Sims, Roger Younger, Rt Hon George
Skeet, T. H. H.
Speed, Keith Tellers for the Ayes:
Speller, Tony Mr. Anthony Berry and Mr. Robert Boscawen.
Spence, John
Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)
Abse, Leo Cartwright, John
Adams, Allen Clark, Dr David (S Shields)
Allaun, Frank Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)
Alton, David Cohen, Stanley
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Coleman, Donald
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Concannon, Rt Hon J.D.
Ashton, Joe Conlan, Bernard
Atkinson, N.[(H'gey,) Cook, Robin F.
Bagier, Gordon A.T. Cowans, Harry
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, M'hill)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd) Crowther, Stan
Beith, A. J. Cryer, Bob
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Cunliffe, Lawrence
Bidwell, Sydney Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h 'n)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Dalyell, Tam
Boothroyd, MissBetty Davidson, Arthur
Bray, Dr Jeremy Davies, Ifor (Gower)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd)
Brown, R. C. (N'castle W) Deakins, Eric
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S) Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)
Brown,Ron(E'burgh, Leith) Dewar, Donald
Buchan, Norman Dixon, Donald
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. Dobson, Frank
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n &P) Dormand, Jack
Campbell, Ian Douglas, Dick
Campbell-Savours, Dale Duffy, A. E. P.
Canavan, Dennis Dunn, James A.
Carmichael, Neil Dunnett, Jack
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Jay, Rt Hon Douglas
Eadie,Alex John,Brynmor
Eastham, Ken Johnson, Walter (DerbyS)
Ellis. R. (NE D'bysh're) Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
English,Michael Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rh'dda)
Evans, loan (Aberdare) Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Faulds,Andrew Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Field,Frank Kilfedder, JamesA.
Fitch,Alan Kilroy-Silk,Robert
Flannery,Martin Kinnock,Neil
Fletcherjed (Darlington) Lamborn,Harry
Ford,Ben Leadbitter,Ted
Forrester,John Leighton,Ronald
Foster, Derek Lestor, Miss Joan
Foulkes,George Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW)
Fraser, J. (Lamb'th,N'w'd) Litherland,Robert
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Lofthouse,Geoffrey
Freud,Clement Lyon,Alexander(York)
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Lyons, Edward (Bradf'dW)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John McCartney,Hugh
Golding,John McDonald,DrOonagh
Graham,Ted McKelvey,William
Grant,George(Morpeth) MacKenzie,Rt Hon Gregor
Grant, John (IslingtonC) McNamara,Kevin
Hamilton,James(Bothwell) McTaggart,Robert
Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife) McWilliam,John
Harrison, RtHonWalter Marks,Kenneth
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Marshall,DrEdmund (Goole)
Haynes, Frank Marshall, Jim (LeicesterS)
Heffer, Eric S. Martin,M(G'gowS'burn)
Holland,S.(L'b'th,Vauxh'll) Maynard, Miss Joan
Homewood,William Meacher,Michael
Hooley,Frank Mikardo,Ian
Horam,John Millan,RtHonBruce
Howell,Rt Hon D. Miller, Dr M.S.(E Kilbride)
Howells,Geraint Mitchell,Austin(Grimsby)
Hoyle,Douglas Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen)
Huckfield,Les Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw)
Hughes,Mark(Durham) Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Newens,Stanley
Hughes,Roy (Newport) Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Janner,HonGreville O'Neill,Martin
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Stallard, A. W.
Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Stoddart,David
Park,George Stott,Roger
Parry,Robert Strang,Gavin
Pendry,Tom Straw,Jack
Penhaligon,David Summerskill,HonDrShirley
Pitt,WilliamHenry Taylor, MrsAnn (Bolton W)
Powell,Raymond(Ogmore) Thomas, DrR. (Carmarthen)
Price, C. (Lewisham W) Jhorne,Stan(PrestonSouth)
Race, Reg Tilley,John
Radice,Giles Tinn,James
Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S) Tomey,Tom
Richardson,Jo Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Roberts,Albert(Normanton) Wainwright,E.(DearrteV)
Roberts,Allan(Boote) Wai nwrig ht, R. (Colne V)
Roberts, Ernest (HackneyN) Walker, RtHon H.(D'caster)
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Watkins,David
Robertson,George Weetch,Ken
Robinson, G. (CoventryNW) Welsh,Michael
Rooker, J. W. White, Frank R.
Ross, Ernest (Dundee West) White,J. (G'gowPollok)
Rowlands,Ted Whitehead,Phillip
Ryman,John Whitlock,William
Sandelson,Neville Willey,RtHonFrederick
Sever,John Williams, Rt Hon A.(S'sea W)
Sheerman,Barry Williams, Rt Hon Mrs (Crosby)
Sheldon,Rt Hon R. Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H.(H'ton)
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Wilson,William (C'try SE)
Silkin,RtHonJ.(Deptford) Winnick,David
Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) Woodall,Alec
Silverman,Julius Woolmer,Kenneth
Skinner,Dennis Wright,Sheila
Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark) Young, David (Bolton E,)
Snape, Peter
Soley,Clive Tellers for the Noes:
Spearing,Nigel Mr. Allen McKay and Mr. George Morton.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.