HC Deb 14 December 1983 vol 50 cc1060-72
Mr. Stott

I beg to move amendment No. 1, in page 2, line 29, leave out clause 2.

Clause 2 deals with the abolition of BT's exclusive privilege. In many respects it is the heart of the Bill, as BT has enjoyed that privilege for more than 50 years. It is now to be destroyed. There are many key elements in that privilege which we have debated at length in Committee on this Bill and its predecessor. The Opposition are worried that clause 2 will adversely affect British manufacturers of telecommunications equipment.

Question No. 8 on today's Order Paper was tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract and Castleford (Mr. Lofthouse). I regret that he was not able to be in the Chamber at Question Time. He asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many pieces of telecommunications apparatus have been submitted for approval by the British Approvals Board for Telecommunications; and how many have been approved. It would have been interesting to learn the answer to the question tabled by my hon. Friend. I suspect that approvals have been few.

There is evidence that some extension telephones being fitted under the liberalisation regime initiated by the Government have been of mainly imported telecommunications manufacture. That is causing us considerable concern because so far the Post Office and BT have ordered exchange equipment, underground logistical equipment and telephonic equipment primarily from British manufacturers. I hazard a guess that between 95 and 98 per cent. of the equipment that BT has ordered has been bought from British manufacturers. It is not surprising to read the comments of Sir Kenneth Corfield, the chairman and chief executive of Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd. a company based in Britain that provides BT with a fair proportion of its equipment. He has spent a lifetime in the industry, and is one of those who are widely admired by the Prime Minister for their entrepreneunal endeavour.

Sir Kenneth Corfield said of the Bill: BT, 'privatised', may choose to improve its facilities by dramatic changes in its purchasing policies abandoning the relationship it has built up over many years with United Kingdom major suppliers. This could delay deliveries, and leave the customer with worse facilities and a worse service. It could also irreparably damage the United Kingdom telecommunications equipment manufacturing industry. Those are the words not of a member of Her Majesty's Opposition, but of the chairman of a private enterprise company that has been relatively successful. That is Sir Kenneth Corfield's view on the Bill.

The manufacturing base in Britain will be considerably eroded if we abolish the exclusive privilege of BT, as the Government are seeking to do this evening. There is evidence to suggest—

Mr. Golding

Hear, hear.

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours: (Workington)

Hear, hear.

Mr. Stott

My hon. Friends have not yet heard the evidence. Perhaps they will contain themselves, and cheer when I have given them it.

In fact, it is not a reason to cheer, but the reverse. Britain is running a deficit on imported information technology equipment of about £1 billion per year. That figure was accurate in 1980. I remember that the hon. Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Thompson) chided me in Committee about my extrapolation of that figure. Perhaps I should not use the word "extrapolation" as the hon. Gentleman may be tempted to his feet again.

It is my view, and that of eminent economic forecasters, that the balance of payments deficit for imported information technology equipment will increase from £1 billion to about £5 billion by the end of the 1980s. That is serious. The Government pretend that they want to enhance the status of information technology, but by removing BT's exclusive privilege we are inviting the Japanese, the Germans, the Americans and the Swedes to flood the British market with telecommunications equipment. That is only one of the issues that will arise if the Bill is passed and BT no longer has its exclusive privilege.

8.15 pm

It worries me that some of the telecommunications equipment now on the market is not up to standard. I told the Minister in Committee that the Post Office Engineering Union had conducted field research on the situation in the market place. I remind the House, particularly the Conservative Members who are present, almost all of whom were members of the Committee, that some advertisements and equipment are not marked, which clearly is in breach of the law. Other advertisements and equipment are marked, but in ways that are misleading to the customer and against the spirit or letter of the law. Even when advertisements and equipment are clearly marked, retailers actively encourage customers to buy non-approved apparatus, assuring them that it car be connected safely to the public network.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Mail order.

Mr. Stott

That is right. One has only to read the daily or Sunday papers and the colour supplements or to look at any of the supermarkets that are now selling telecommunications equipment to realise that some of it is not up to the standards that would be required to connect it to the BT network. If that does not worry Conservative Members, I do not know what will. The equipment now being connected to our system comes largely or wholly from outside the United Kingdom. That should concern every one of us.

Other issues with regard to the abolition of BT's exclusive privilege greatly concern us. That exclusive privilege contains another key provision, set out in BT's general duty in section 3 of the 1981 Act, which is repealed under clause 2. That provision is that BT should have regard to the social needs of the United Kingdom.

There are many important aspects to the social duties. In case Conservative Members do not recognise this, the social duty imposed on BT and its work force plays a large part in the motivation of the work force. Before becoming a Member of Parliament I spent almost all my working life as an employee of the old Post Office and BT. The social duties and responsibilities enshrined in statute were an important part of all our lives. I should like to draw the attention of the House to four of those social duties.

First, there is a need to provide a universal service. That emcompasses services in the remote rural areas as well as the big city centres. Other countries, such as France, have made it clear in recent years that the telephone service is an essential part of modern society and provides a vital element in social and national unity. The telephone service, like other utilities, is vital in those areas. Experience over the years has shown us that without the essential infrastructure elements, regions can become isolated and unattractive to new investment and add to the spiral of depression that is now well accelerated, due to the Government's policies.

Secondly, the social duty includes an expectation that adequate public call offices and emergency services wall be provided — as a right, not because they are necessarily profitable. The provision of a national telecommunications service embraces the duty to ensure that the full range of telecommunications services is provided as an essential part of life in a modern compassionate society. That is something that the Government have tended to forget.

Thirdly, the social duty incorporates the duty to make special provision for the disabled, the handicapped, the elderly and others who may need special assistance, and to provide the services which any civilised society recognises as vital not just to those who can afford there but to those who need them. The law of profitable return should be subjugated to the philosophy of social need. The members of my union, for example, willingly install without payment special phones for the disabled. I did so when I was employed by British Telecom. It is part of an overall philosophy to providing a caring service for everyone. My right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) will be speaking at the Dispatch Box in the debate on the disabled tomorrow.

Fourthly, the social duty accepts that the concepts of a phone in every home and telecommunications for all are essential objectives of any national communications policy. It is ironic as well as tragic that the present Government, who espouse information technology in the manner of converts worshipping at some new totem pole, should put forward a Bill which takes away the social duty to provide telecommunications. Without the telephone connection, information technology becomes a joke.

Present services will be lost. Furthermore, a privatised BT, without the philosophy of public service and concentrating on profit maximisation, will seriously jeopardise the national objective of ensuring that the telecommunications revolution is available to all. There is a real danger of the emergence of two nations—those with a telephone, and those without.

Mr. Barry Henderson (Fife, North-East)

Surely there already are two nations? Only about 70 per cent. of the population have a telephone.

Mr. Stott

The hon. Gentleman must have psychic powers. That would have been my next remark. There is still some way to go before we achieve 100 per cent. with a telephone in every household. That is an essential prerequisite for any society that is united behind the communications revolution. Without the telephone—the initial connection, the initial fit — there cannot be participation in the communicating society. For those without a telephone, the information technology on which the Government rightly place so much stress will have no meaning. The telephone is now not just a useful addition to the home. It is an essential utility, like gas, electricity and water.

Mr. Richard Page

The hon. Gentleman is talking about two nations—those with and those without. If the Bill becomes an Act, does he believe that the number of people who do not have a phone will increase or decrease?

Mr. Stott

The hon. Gentleman must have been asleep during our long hours of debate in Committee. I and my hon. Friends, including my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding), spelt out in detail our belief that after privatisation it will become increasingly difficult for those who live in the remote areas to be connected to the system. We argued that point until we were blue in the face.

As a publicly owned corporation, British Telecom has a duty to provide facilities in the remote areas. I used to work in one of those areas. I used to climb telegraph poles there, as hon. Gentlemen will have heard me say repeatedly. The Opposition believe that the rural and semi-rural areas will be considerably disadvantaged by the passing of the Bill.

The current American experience is relevant to this and other clauses. I reject the spurious comments of the Minister of State in Committee about how American problems are not relevant to the United Kingdom. There was an interesting report recently in the national newspapers. I do not know whether the document was surreptitiously leaked. It showed that a senior civil servant in the Department in charge of communications policy concurs with our view on certain points. The document contained the main thrust of the argument for the provisions of the Bill, but it signalled a warning to the Government that problems in rural areas could become much more acute as a consequence of the Bill.

Mr. Golding

I hope that my hon. Friend will put it on record that that document was not leaked by any civil servant. It had a wider circulation. There is no possibility of that document, or any other document, having been leaked from within the Civil Service by the Department officials. Information seeps out occasionally, but it does not come from civil servants.

Mr. Stott

I confirm my hon. Friend's comments. I was not suggesting that the document had been leaked by any civil servant within the Department of Industry. However, most of the document appeared on the back page of the Guardian, and I cite it to underpin what I have been saying in reply to the intervention of the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Mr. Page).

8.30 pm

I was talking about the possibility of every household having a telephone, and how the exclusive privilege currently enjoyed by BT would achieve that better than the Bill's provisions. To achieve the objective of full national connection to the network, we will have to encourage those with smaller incomes to have a telephone. It is essential for any business reaching maturity, to cut prices to bring the remaining customers into the industry. That is exactly opposite to what is happening. Because of the pressures of re-balancing the tariffs to be competitive and avoid cross-subsidisation, connection charges have risen sharply and are likely to be pushed up even further. The very people who should be encouraged most to be connected are faced with rising prices deliberately aimed at them. That is the market oriented approach.

It is hardly likely that a privately-owned BT plc would consider it worthwhile to subsidise telephone connections —assuming that it was permitted to do so—in the hope that at some time in the future the line may pay its way. Investors would not see that as an economic use of the company's assets or money.

Consequently, the idea of a public service operated nationally on the basis of equal access to equal service will be fatally undermined by privatisation and the profit motive. It will no longer be possible to maintain an integrated national service which takes into account all the community's needs as at present.

That is why the social element in BT's general duty, which is thrown out by the Bill, is important. However, we find little, if any, mention of the word "social" in the Bill, but the word "competitive" features prominently. We know from bitter exprience that allowing "competitive" to override "social" means that those in most need are pushed under in favour of those who demand profit.

The ending in clause 2 of BT's exclusive privilege in regard to having the social, industrial and commercial needs of the United Kingdom at heart will finally achieve the Government's aim of breaking down the one national organisation that provides a universal telecommunications service.

The Government are rejecting crucial arguments as to why the network should be considered as a whole with a single operator able to balance the conflicting pressures of profitability and national service. That is what BT stands for. It has existed for well over half a century. It is manned by caring people who have been employed in the industry since they left school. I and my hon. Friend know that two or three generations of one family have been employed in BT because there is a commitment to public service.

We are proud of the service that we render to the customer, and that is why we believe that BT's exclusive privilege should be maintained. I as a partisan politician, and members of the POEU and the Union of Communications Workers, who are not partisan politicians but merely BT employees, fear that the service will be undermined. That is why I felt it necessary to spend some time putting forward the Opposition arguments as to why we believe it is vital that BT should maintain its exclusive privilege. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will join me in the lobby to prove that.

Mr. Simon Coombs (Swindon)

I agree with the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Stott) in one thing only—that the clause is critical to the Bill. It is vital for the future of telecommunications that BT's exclusive privilege should be ended. It would be wrong for the House to allow to pass the remarks made by the hon. Gentleman when he said that the ending of that exclusive privilege would mean unlimited competition or the destruction of the industry.

The cosy relationship that has continued for many years between BT and the manufacturers of BT's equipment will be removed. It was a cosy relationship that allowed so much time to develop equipment that it was out of date before it reached the market and the service of the consumer. The spur of foreign intervention is now beginning to have its effect on BT. During the past decade and a half, the British share of the world market in telecommunications equipment has declined from 25 per cent. to 5 per cent. That is a deterioration which this clause and the Bill as a whole seek to rectify. I am personally aware of the changes that the advent of competition in the past few years has brought to BT. This clause means a greater choice of networks for the consumer. Mercury's intervention in the future will be limited, but there is no doubt that even after an uneasy start, Mercury is gaining credibility. British Telecom should attempt to beat the competition rather than try to destroy it, as some members of the organisation have attempted recently.

I do not have time to go into detail about the scare stories that have come from the Opposition tonight. There have been references to the American experience, but as was said in Committee, that experience is different to what we face. We are a smaller country with a completely different balance between local and trunk lines. There are other differences between the two countries that make the comparison in which the Opposition have indulged misleading, unhelpful and positively destructive to British Telecom's future good standing. I believe that much of what the Opposition have done during the many hours of debate has been for political purposes only.

Mr. Stott

What is this?

Mr. Coombs

The hon. Member for Wigan said that he was a political partisan, and that is the basis upon which the Opposition have worked. We know and respect that, but it is wrong to speculate about the future from the standpoint of political prejudice. When one hears the Opposition Front Bench talk about their long experience in the industry, one suspects that their fears for the future are based upon their memories of a happy past long since gone, when the era of cosy uncompetitiveness allowed them to carry on at their own speed in their own way. Those times have now gone. Thank goodness they have. I believe, as do my right hon. and hon. Friends, that the ending of exclusive privilege will allow steady progress towards competition — controlled competition, but competition nevertheless—which will be good not only for BT and its employees, but, primarily and most importantly, for its customers.

Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

I want to explain why Liberals and Social Democrats do not want clause 2 to remain in the Bill, despite its superficial attractions. I am no stout defender of monopolies of any kind, including that of British Telecommunications, and it would be mistaken to portray the BT monopoly as an unmixed blessing which has helped us in every way over the years. We have seen the problems that it has created over the years in the attitude to equipment and the connection of equipment to the telephone system. It has been a highly conservative attitude. We have also seen the problems of customers trying to get a satisfactory billing arrangement with BT, finding it difficult to battle against a monopoly, whether a public or private monopoly. It would be quite wrong to pretend that the path of monopoly was always a rosy one. Hon. Members who are anxious to bring in an element of competition into the telephone system should remember other aspects of the problem as well. So we do not believe that the Bill, removing BT's monopoly and at the same time failing to provide adequate alternative safeguards, can properly meet our concern.

It has been suggested in some quarters that too much competition will break out all over the place when BT's monopoly is removed. Our fear—it is a strong fear in the remote area that I represent—is that there will be no competition at all, because no one will attempt to provide a service, not even BT, under the greater pressures that will face it. I agree with the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Stott) when he spoke of the public service ethos in BT that governed its attitude to services in remoter areas and services for disadvantaged customers. That ethos cannot survive the situation that the Government seek to create, unless the most stringent safeguards are written into the Bill, and they are not there now. It is inconceivable that BT can continue its public service ethos when all the commercial pressure on it in future will be to act as a fully competitive agency.

The hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. Coombs) seemed to suggest that it was wrong to look back on the old days of BT, that it was something to be ashamed of, and that we should look into a bright and cheerful future of aggressive competition. There are some things about the old days that customers liked. There was the assumption that there should be a telephone box in every small rural community. There was the assumption that if one wanted to be connected to a telephone service, wherever one lived, it should be possible at a reasonable charge. The public is anxious to keep those features of the old days, although the new dashing radical conservatism is ready to sweep them away.

8.45 pm

I ask hon. Members to think about what will happen in the remoter parts of the country if we rely on pure competition to deal with all the problems. It is more expensive to provide services in certain rural areas—but not all. I do not want to give the impression that all rural services depend on a benevolent attitude on the part of the provider of the services, but there are some which require an element of cross-subsidy and which a new competitive approach cannot provide by itself.

I represent an area where communities are a long way apart from one another, and where shepherds live in remote hillside farms and cottages. I spend a lot of time trying to get telephone connections and telephone facilities for them. It has been apparent over the past couple of years that the pressure is already on. British Telecommunications has already been pushed into a more competitive approach, and it is already finding it more difficult to maintain telephone boxes and to provide services.

Mr. Hayward

The hon. Gentleman is talking about rural areas, but possibly he is not aware that the Standing Committee discussed the question on three occasions. Unfortunately, his party's representative was present on only one of those occasions.

Mr. Beith

I hope that we shall discuss the problems of rural areas on this clause, on the next clause and on many other occasions. The hon. Gentleman himself may be unaware that I have spoken on the matter on earlier occasions on this Bill and on the previous Bill. It may be impossible for us all to speak on every occasion. Nevertheless, I hope that he recognises the widespread concern.

I quoted on a previous Bill the example of an area in my constituency where it took years to get BT to provide a telephone box. In the end it provided one in a place where, time after time in the winter months, people who were thought to be lost in the snow would be sitting in a farmhouse watching the rescuers set out on television, unable to make contact with the outside world because there was no telephone. Eventually BT was prevailed upon to provide a telephone connection in that locality. There are other examples like that. Now I find it increasingly difficult to persuade BT to provide such facilities, except at a disproportionate cost. I know of a recent case where BT quoted a private subscriber a cost of £5,000 for initial connection to the public telephone service. That price is beyond the reach of anybody on any normal income. That is the product of the recent pressures on BT, and it will get worse in the situation that clause 2 seeks to create.

Mr. Henderson

Is that under the present BT, which the hon. Gentleman said had such a social conscience? So it is happening already under the existing system. Under the Bill, when that ridiculous situation arises, at least the private subscriber can go to the Director General— a provision, which the hon. Gentleman intends to vote against.

Mr. Beith

The hon. Gentleman has not been listening. I said that that was happening under the increasing pressures which are already on BT. Anyone who knows what has been happening in BT over the past few years knows that it has been gearing itself up to a more competitive approach to the public telephone system. The existing legislation has done that. The Government's attitude and pressure from Ministers have caused that. We shall go further down that road if clause 2 is enacted. Far from it being easier to get the £5,000 telephone connection, it will be more difficult under what is now proposed.

On the next clause, I hope that we shall deal in more detail with the attempt to provide safeguards to protect rural consumers. We are convinced that the inclusion of clause 2 in the Bill will be a serious threat to the continued provision of services, both telephone connections and call boxes in rural areas, and it is therefore something that we cannot support.

Mr. Butcher

We have had a brief but informed debate. It has raised many of the Bill's complexities, not least the implications of the abolition of the exclusive privilege.

The hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) in a thoughtful speech, voiced great concern about the future of services in rural areas, in the light of the abolition of the exclusive privilege. He is correct to look further in the Bill, to clause 3, and to see there the strong obligations that the Bill places on British Telecommunications to maintain the universal service, and in particular, certain aspects of the service which the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Stott) called social services. The hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed will know that it is our objective to see two competing national cellular radio systems in short order. This would be a new set of networks, which do not require land lines and which may help people who are snowed in, watching the rescue operations coming to their area, without being able to get in touch with them. There is also a programme for the installation of a new form of telephone exchange, the UXD5, which will bring to rural areas features that will take a long time to appear in the major cities. So there is a strong case for saying that technology is coming to the rescue, and that it will come to the rescue at a competitive price.

The hon. Member for Wigan, who has recently been made his party's information technology spokesman, made a thoughtful speech. He was right to point out that obligations must be placed on BT in addition to the obligations that competitive pressures alone may bring to bear. I refer the hon. Gentleman to clause 3 and to the subsequent debate on the Opposition's next amendment.

May I put on the record a statement which I think should be made in response to the hon. Gentleman's key point about the possibility that BT may change its habits, may not think in terms of United Kingdom Ltd. and may not think in terms of the interests of British equipment suppliers? I commend to the hon. Gentleman the following words: It is certain that an enterprising Britain, a commercial Britain competing in a toughening world market, will need two things from British Telecom. First, a communications and information technology service of the first order; and secondly, support for the domestic information technology industry. Opportunity is knocking on British Telecom's door, in the form of Government's decision to privatise us, and to use their own words, 'to free us from the web of Government interference and control.' It's a mandatory offer, but we on the Board have accepted the challenge — on the basis that the Government mean what they say and can deliver. It is vital that they do. We see this not as a matter of political dogma, but as the best way for our business to succeed in the coming years. Technology is changing our business and our market. British Industry is littered with the corpses of businesses who have refused, or left it too late, to recognise and adapt to change. We don't want to face either our customers or our staff with that kind of disaster … The UK needs a major force in information technology if it is not to be left behind in this vital industry of the future. The very small and not so small firms producing equipment and services in this sector need a strong domestic market base, with BT as a major UK flagship, around which they can prosper both at home and abroad. No doubt the hon. Member for Wigan has guessed that those are the words of Sir George Jefferson, and we commend them.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 176, Noes 295.

Division No. 101] [8.51 pm
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Alton, David Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Foster, Derek
Ashton, Joe Foulkes, George
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Bagier, Gordon A. T, Freud, Clement
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Garrett, W. E.
Barron, Kevin George, Bruce
Beggs, Roy Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Beith, A. J. Godman, Dr Norman
Bell, Stuart Golding, John
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Gould, Bryan
Blair, Anthony Hamilton, James (M'well N)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Hardy, Peter
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Harman, Ms Harriet
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N) Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Heffer, Eric S.
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Campbell, Ian Home Robertson, John
Campbell-Savours, Dale Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
Canavan, Dennis Howells, Geraint
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hoyle, Douglas
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Clarke, Thomas Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Clay, Robert Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Janner, Hon Greville
Coleman, Donald John, Brynmor
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Corbett, Robin Kennedy, Charles
Cowans, Harry Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil
Craigen, J. M. Lambie, David
Crowther, Stan Lamond, James
Cunliffe, Lawrence Leighton, Ronald
Cunningham, Dr John Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli) Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Litherland, Robert
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l) Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Deakins, Eric Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Dewar, Donald Loyden, Edward
Dormand, Jack McCusker, Harold
Duffy, A. E. P. McGuire, Michael
Eadie, Alex McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Eastham, Ken McKelvey, William
Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n SE) Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Evans, loan (Cynon Valley) McNamara, Kevin
Evans, John (St. Helens N) McTaggart, Robert
Fatchett, Derek McWilliam, John
Faulds, Andrew Madden, Max
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Maginnis, Ken
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Marek, Dr John
Fisher, Mark Martin, Michael
Flannery, Martin Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Maxton, John Ryman, John
Maynard, Miss Joan Sedgemore, Brian
Meacher, Michael Sheerman, Barry
Meadowcroft, Michael Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Mikardo, Ian Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Short, Mrs H.(W'hampt'n NE)
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Skinner, Dennis
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Nellist, David Snape, Peter
Nicholson, J. Soley, Clive
O'Brien, William Spearing, Nigel
O'Neill, Martin Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Stott, Roger
Paisley, Rev Ian Strang, Gavin
Park, George Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Parry, Robert Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Patchett, Terry Thorne, Stan (Preston)
Pavitt, Laurie Tinn, James
Pike, Peter Torney, Tom
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Prescott, John Wareing, Robert
Randall, Stuart Welsh, Michael
Redmond, M. White, James
Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S) Wigley, Dafydd
Richardson, Ms Jo Williams, Rt Hon A.
Roberts, Allan (Bootle) Wilson, Gordon
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N) Winnick, David
Robertson, George Young, David (Bolton SE)
Rooker, J. W.
Ross, Ernest (Dundee W) Tellers for the Ayes:
Ross, Wm. (Londonderry) Mr. Don Dixon and Mr. Frank Haynes.
Rowlands, Ted
Adley, Robert Carlisle, John (N Luton)
Aitken, Jonathan Carttiss, Michael
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Chalker, Mrs Lynda
Amess, David Chapman, Sydney
Ancram, Michael Chope, Christopher
Arnold, Tom Churchill, W. S.
Ashby, David Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)
Aspinwall, Jack Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H. Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Clarke Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Clegg, Sir Walter
Baker, Kenneth (Mole Valley) Colvin, Michael
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Conway, Derek
Baldry, Anthony Coombs, Simon
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Cope, John
Batiste, Spencer Cormack, Patrick
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Corrie, John
Bellingham, Henry Couchman, James
Bendall, Vivian Crouch, David
Benyon, William Currie, Mrs Edwina
Berry, Sir Anthony Dickens, Geoffrey
Best, Keith Dorrell, Stephen
Biffen, Rt Hon John Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Dover, Denshore
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Dunn, Robert
Body, Richard Durant, Tony
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Eggar, Tim
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Evennett, David
Braine, Sir Bernard Eyre, Reginald
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Farr, John
Bright, Graham Favell, Anthony
Brinton, Tim Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Finsberg, Geoffrey
Brooke, Hon Peter Fletcher, Alexander
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Forman, Nigel
Bryan, Sir Paul Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Bulmer, Esmond Fox, Marcus
Burt, Alistair Fraser, Peter (Angus East)
Butcher, John Freeman, Roger
Butler, Hon Adam Gale, Roger
Butterfill, John Galley, Roy
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde) Maples, John
Garel-Jones, Tristan Marland, Paul
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Marlow, Antony
Glyn, Dr Alan Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Goodlad, Alastair Mates, Michael
Gorst, John Mather, Carol
Gow, Ian Maude, Francis
Gower, Sir Raymond Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Grant, Sir Anthony Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Greenway, Harry Mellor, David
Griffiths, E. (B'y St Edm'ds) Merchant, Piers
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Meyer, Sir Anthony
Grist, Ian Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Grylls, Michael Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Gummer, John Selwyn Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom) Miscampbell, Norman
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Mitchell, David (NW Hants)
Hampson, Dr Keith Moate, Roger
Hanley, Jeremy Montgomery, Fergus
Hannam, John Morris, M. (N'hampton, S)
Hargreaves, Kenneth Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Harvey, Robert Moynihan, Hon C.
Hawkins, C. (High Peak) Mudd, David
Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk) Neale, Gerrard
Hawksley, Warren Nelson, Anthony
Hayhoe, Barney Neubert, Michael
Hayward, Robert Nicholls, Patrick
Heathcoat-Amory, David Norris, Steven
Henderson, Barry Oppenheim, Philip
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Osborn, Sir John
Hickmet, Richard Ottaway, Richard
Hicks, Robert Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Parris, Matthew
Hill, James Patten, John (Oxford)
Hind, Kenneth Pawsey, James
Hirst, Michael Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling) Pollock, Alexander
Hooson, Tom Porter, Barry
Hordern, Peter Powell, William (Corby)
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Powley, John
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Hubbard-Miles, Peter Price, Sir David
Hunter, Andrew Proctor, K. Harvey
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Irving, Charles Rathbone, Tim
Jessel, Toby Renton, Tim
Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Jones, Robert (W Herts) Rifkind, Malcolm
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Knight, Gregory (Derby N) Rossi, Sir Hugh
Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston) Rost, Peter
Knowles, Michael Rowe, Andrew
Knox, David Ryder, Richard
Lang, Ian Sackville, Hon Thomas
Latham, Michael St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Lawler, Geoffrey Sayeed, Jonathan
Lawrence, Ivan Scott, Nicholas
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Lee, John (Pendle) Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lightbown, David Shersby, Michael
Lilley, Peter Silvester, Fred
Lloyd, Ian (Havant) Sims, Roger
Lord, Michael Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lyell, Nicholas Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
McCrindle, Robert Soames, Hon Nicholas
McCurley, Mrs Anna Speller, Tony
Macfarlane, Neil Spence, John
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire) Spencer, D.
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Maclean, David John. Squire, Robin
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury) Stanbrook, Ivor
McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st) Stanley, John
Major, John Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Malins, Humfrey Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Malone, Gerald Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood) Waller, Gary
Stokes, John Walters, Dennis
Stradling Thomas, J. Ward, John
Sumberg, David Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Tapsell, Peter Warren, Kenneth
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Watson, John
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman Watts, John
Temple-Morris, Peter Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Terlezki, Stefan Wells, John (Maidstone)
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter Wheeler, John
Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N) Whitfield, John
Thorne, Neil (Ilford S) Whitney, Raymond.
Thomton, Malcolm Wiggin, Jerry
Thurnham, Peter Wilkinson, John
Townend, John (Bridlington) Winterton, Mrs Ann
Tracey, Richard Winterton, Nicholas
Trippier, David Wolfson, Mark
Twinn, Dr Ian Wood, Timothy
van Straubenzee, Sir W. Woodcock, Michael
Vaughan, Dr Gerard Yeo, Tim
Viggers, Peter Young, Sir George (Acton)
Waddington, David Younger, Rt Hon George
Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Waldegrave, Hon William Tellers for the Noes:
Walden, George Mr. Robert Boscawen and Mr. Tim Sainsbury.
Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Wall, Sir Patrick

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment made: No. 2 in page 2, line 30, leave out `made by statutory instrument'.—[Mr. Butcher.]

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