HC Deb 01 February 1983 vol 36 cc228-71

Amendment proposed: No. 20, in page 4, line 20, leave out 'particular'.—[Mr. Robert Hughes.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)

With this it will be convenient to take amendment No. 22, in page 4, line 28, at end insert— '(d) the general, social and economic circumstances of the area, including the number of people unemployed, the average level of earnings and the level of car owner-ship; (e) any approved structure plan or local plan or any other relevant town and country planning considerations affecting the area for which the authority is responsible; (f) all other matters referred to in section 9(3) of the 1968 Act.'. 10 pm

Mr. Crowther

I should like to comment briefly on amendment No. 20 and then turn to amendment No. 22.

Amendment No. 20 would leave out "particular" from a part of the Bill which will require the passenger transport authority to have "particular regard" to certain matters. There are three matters to which it would have to have particular regard. Unfortunately, this appears to be in conflict with section 9(3) of the Transport Act 1968, under which authorities will continue to operate, and which has not been repealed. Section 9(3) requires authorities to have "due" regard to certain matters when they are deciding on plans on the basis of which they must provide a properly integrated and efficient system of public transport. What "due" means in that connection I am not sure. It would mean the same if "due" were not there: they would have to have regard.

I tried in Committee to persuade both the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary to explain the difference between "regard" and "particular regard". I did not succeed in obtaining a clear answer, but there must be some difference and it is with the purpose of eliminating the difference that this amendment is proposed.

It would then mean that equal weight would have to be attached to the matters referred to in the new Bill and to the matters referred to in the 1968 Act. It would clarify the point completely and make life a great deal easier for the members of authorities who have to make these decisions.

Amendment 22 is aimed at the same objective but goes via a different route. We suggest that the problem be solved by adding to the list of matters to which the authority must have either "regard", if amended, or "particular regard", if the Bill is not amended, to a number of very important considerations, including those which are already set out in the 1968 Act. Our purpose in all this is that there should be no dubiety in the minds of members of authorities as to how they are required to carry out their duties.

As things stand, with the 1968 Act still in force and this new Bill saying something quite different, members of authorities will be placed in a position of considerable difficulty in deciding what their duties are going to be. This seems to be a very simple way of clearing the matter up. The Government ought to welcome this because we are helping to clarify what will be a very unclear piece of legislation if the Bill remains unamended.

There are various matters which we think ought properly to be considered by an authority in deciding its policy in relation to public passenger transport, fares and subsidies. It should consider the general, social and economic circumstances of the area, including the number of people unemployed, the average level of earnings and the level of car ownership. We also say that it should take into consideration any approved structure plan or local plan or any other relevant town and country planning considerations affecting the area for which the authority is responsible. Finally, we throw in for good measure all other matters referred to in section 9(3) of the 1968 Act. That would make the whole thing a neat package of matters to which the authority would have to have regard, including, of course, the Secretary of State's guidance. However, the Secretary of State's guidance should not overrule all these other matters, which are of vital importance. Indeed, if the Secretary of State is going to oppose this amendment—as I imagine he will do—I hope that he will explain why he thinks these are not matters to which an authority should have regard in the preparation of its transport policy, as any transport authority which did not have regard to matters like the level of motor car ownership, the level of earnings, the level of unemployment and so forth could not possibly do its job properly.

If the Secretary of State had ever been involved in such work, he would know that an authority cannot do its job properly if it ignores such things. The needs of various areas differ. Under the 1968 Act, the authority must pay attention to an area's needs. It must have due regard to that. The Secretary of State is proposing to add a maximum of 10 people to his staff to assist him in implementing this complicated new legislation. It must be obvious to everyone that it will not be within the Secretary of State's scope or ability to carry out investigations to establish the needs of each area. Therefore, the authority must have regard to that. It should be made responsible.

As I have said, needs vary from area to area. I shall not give all the examples that I could give, but in South Yorkshire family incomes are significantly below the national average. Indeed, they are about £20 below the national average. The level of car ownership in South Yorkshire is far below the national average. Unfortunately, unemployment is much higher than the national average. Those are examples of the things that the authority alone can deal with.

I have in my hand an interesting document, and the Secretary of State should pay it some attention. It raises an important constitutional or legal problem. In Committee, the Secretary of State repeatedly refused requests from us to invite a Law Officer of the Crown to one of our sittings so that we could ask him about he legal problems that we envisaged as a result of the Bill One of those problems is that, under the Local Government Act 1972, South Yorkshire county council—like all county councils—was made responsible for producing a Structure plan in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. The plan was produced and duly approved by the Secretary of State for the Environment on 19 December 1979. So far so good. The point is that the cheap fares policy was an integral feature of that structure plan, which was approved by the Secretary of State for the Environment. An officer of the council gave me the document to which I have referred; and I am grateful to him. It shows many points at which the cheap fares policy is integral to the structure plan. Without that policy, the structure plan could not be implemented.

Unfortunately, the Secretary of State for Transport is now adopting a different view from his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. He is producing legislation that will make it impossible for county councils to operate the policy that is part of the approved structure plan. I stress that an approved structure plan is a statutory document. It is the statutory duty of the structure plan authority to ensure that it is implemented and that all planning decisions throughout the county are made within the framework of that approved structure plan.

The Secretary of State has refused to allow Law Officers of the Crown to tell us their view, so I want to know his view of the law when the Bill has been enacted. If South Yorkshire county council—in pursuit of its duty as a structure plan authority to ensure that the provisions of the plan are observed—finds it necessary to pay a revenue grant to the executive that is higher than the Secretary of State's guidance figure and thus outside his protected expenditure level, will it face the danger of legal action; and will it risk the possibility of surcharge? Will the council be protected because it is carrying out their duties under another Act? We are entitled to know. Certainly, members of county councils will wish to know. If they are protected, it makes nonsense of the whole concept of the protected expenditure level. There would be no need for it, because the law would remain as it is.

An authority that is behaving responsibly and exercising its discretion properly is not acting unlawfully. That was the decision of Lord Justice Woolf in the Merseyside case. Presumably, as the Government have written the provision into the Bill, local authorities are not protected. The courts will find themselves in the farcical position of having to decide whether an authority had acted lawfully, while knowing that it had acted lawfully under the 1968 and 1971 Acts. Will it have acted unlawfully under the 1983 Act? The court will have to decide on the conflict of views between one Secretary of State and another. The authority will be a football between them. It will be carrying out its duties under a plan approved by the Secretary of State for the Environment but will be falling foul of the Secretary of State for Transport. It is a serious matter. We need a clear sign of what the Government consider the law will be at the end of the process. It is a farcical position.

My right hon. and hon. Friends have said that the proper people to make decisions are locally elected councillors. We will be faced with statistics on such matters as car ownership, levels of income and so on. Only the locally elected councillors can work out the implications in human terms of those statistics. They know how families are affected by low incomes, by having no motor car or by being unemployed. I am sure that the Secretary of State does not have the faintest idea of how families are affected by such problems. They can be properly solved only at local level.

It is more than ever necessary that we should amend the clause to maintain the position that has always operated, where sensible and responsible local authorities make their own decisions. If the public do not like the decisions, they will throw out the councillors at the next election.

Mr. Stott

I do not know whether my hon. Friend has received a copy of an interesting letter from the Chartered Institute of Transport to the Secretary of State. I wish to quote it to reinforce his point about the differences between what the Secretary of State is doing in the transport area and what the Secretary of State for the Environment is doing with the structure plans. The institute states: Regrettably the dichotomy between the guidance figure and the expenditure targets set by the Secretary of State for the Environment significantly weakens the value of your guidance. We appreciate the difficulty of harmonising these two policies with different objectives and, of course, a great deal depends on what the Metropolitan Authorities decide to spend on other services within the budget. But it already seems that for certain authorities block grant penalties may well apply before expenditure on subsidy reaches your guidance figure. That view buttresses the point that my hon. Friend is making so well this evening.

Mr. Crowther

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. I have not seen that letter, but it reinforces my point. It further illustrates the nonsense of the position that will be created by this foolish Bill.

10.15 pm

I would have liked the opportunity to draw some illustrations from the document to which I referred, but time is too short. I will mention only one which demonstrates my point clearly. It refers to industrial development but the same principle applies to shopping policy, to recreational policy and so on. This is an extract taken from the approved structure plan. It states: A factor influencing the capital investment proposals for transport, car parking provision and the balance between these matters and various land uses, particularly in central areas, has been the current County Council's policy of containing fares and the assumption that future County Councils would continue the same policy. It is the County Council's view that fares containment helps people to make more and longer journeys and thereby increases the range of job opportunities for workers and widens the labour catchment area for employers. That is an extremely important point. That, I repeat, is part of a structure plan approved by the Secretary of State for the Environment. It is a stautory document from which the county council is not entitled to stray.

I shall not detain the House for more than another minute. The point has been fairly clearly made. We believe that it is necessary for members of local authorities—not only south Yorkshire to which I have referred but authorities all over the country—to understand just what their duties are and what protection they will have in carrying out their duties in a normal, reasonable and lawful manner.

The amendments under discussion will clarify the position. They will make it clear that a transport authority, although it has a duty under the new legislation to take notice of the guidance of the Secretary of State, also has other duties. The other duties are of no less importance and of no less weight than having regard to what the Secretary of State has said. Although the Bill is still a bad Bill and the principle of interference with local Government is still there, and we do not like it, if the amendments were written into the Bill, it would be more understandable and would clarify what is at the moment a murky area.

Mr. John Page (Harrow, West)

I wish, as a London Member, to express on behalf of my constituents total abhorrence of amendment No. 20. Of all the rather stupid, bent wire hangers on which the Opposition have tried to hang a debate tonight, amendment No. 20 appears to me to be the most bent and the most likely to fall off the peg. It is clear that the amendment seeks to delete from the Bill the requirement that particular interest should be paid by the authority to the need to achieve a proper balance between the interests of ratepayers in their area and the interests of transport users.

Over the past 18 months London has suffered from the fact that particular regard was not paid to those interests. My constituents and the people of London, as I said in an earlier debate, still have tattooed on their hearts what the GLC jokingly called the "Fares Fair" policy. I beg my right hon. Friend to oppose the amendment and to keep in the Bill the requirement that particular attention should be paid to clause 3(4). At the time of the "Fares Fair" policy, insufficient regard was paid to the interests of ratepayers in my constituency. Over 3,000 people petitioned me to take a stand on the issue.

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the Bill. I beg him to oppose the obnoxious amendment No. 20.

Mr. Marks

The amendment proposes that the Secretary of State as well as the local authorities should take cognisance of the three items in the Bill and the three in the amendment. I have tried to discover from Ministers in Committee what is meant by "guidance". Will the Secretary of State simply give a figure to the authority when it submits a plan, or will there be a statement? On the occasions when the Secretary of State gives guidance he should make a statement to the authority giving the reasons. The statement should be public. Let us have open government. Let the right hon. Gentleman tell the local authority and the executive the reasons for not agreeing with them. So far, all that has been provided is a figure.

Greater Manchester asked for £49 million, and the Secretary of State responded with £44 million. It is obvious that the right hon. Gentleman regards Greater Manchester as a responsible authority. I agree that it is. However, the right hon. Gentleman does not say how the figure in the White Paper was reached. Does he intend to give no reasons for the decision that he reaches?

The Department of Transport, when it builds motorways, a bypass or a new trunk road, has a system called a cost-benefit analysis in which it endeavours to quantify the benefits against expenditure. Sometimes, expenditure on building a motorway is not a matter of pouring money down the drain. There can be benefits. The Department considers the probable reduction in the number of accidents, the saving of time for commercial and private vehicles and the environmental benefit to the town or village that will be bypassed. It is all very scientific.

What calculations will be made by the Secretary of State or the five to 10 additional members of his staff who carry out the work? Will there be any analysis? The Opposition argue that there should be an examination not only by the authority but also by the Secretary of State, if he is to interfere to this extent, giving reasons for what he does. Greater Manchester has started to operate a cost-benefit analysis system. The Department has shown interest in its progress. It is significant, however, that the Department has not undertaken a similar exercise.

What will happen is that the Secretary of State will think of a number. My guess is that, in the case of Manchester, he has deducted an amount that might arise from lower interest rates and a reduction in national insurance charge, to arrive at his figure. What system is he using? The right hon. Gentleman talks about planning. Is he saying that he will not take into account and will not expect the authority to take into account the three items listed in amendment No. 22? If he does not take them into account, the whole Bill is a mockery. To give a figure without supplying the reasons is nonsense, and I am sure that even the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Page), who has arrived late on the scene, will not accept it.

Mr. Ronald W. Brown (Hackney, South and Shoreditch)

I support the general theme of the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks). The House is entitled to guidance from the Secretary of State. The right hon. Gentleman, in addition to dealing with individual authorities, should also come to the House. Hon. Members wish to know his general theory. There seems a danger—I have watched the progress of the Bill in Committee—that the Secretary of State will make decisions on political grounds, and that if he likes an authority on political grounds he will apply criteria different from those for authorities he does not favour. The Under-Secretary of State says that he does not think that what I say is true. My view, in that case, is that it should be shown not to be true.

I should have liked to have seen, as I said on Second Reading, an amendment which would have obliged the Secretary of State to come to the House to obtain approval for the guidelines. Parliament could then have discussed in detail those elements which he regards as important—for example, economic issues. The House, local authorities and PTAs would then have been better served. They would have heard the Secretary of State's arguments, the response of the House and the result of its vote. It would have been much better than a secret determination when no one knows how, why or what the Secretary of State has considered. My experience in local government tells me that one is unlikely to receive any answers if one asked.

The Government are not providing what we regard as an efficient and effective transport system. In London we have congestion and accidents on the roads. The transport policy followed by the GLC or the PTA in London will have to take congestion into account to a greater degree than any provincial city.

Paragraph 21 of the White Paper states absolutely clearly: In assessing value for money, account will be talon of the benefits to users of public transport and to other road users in terms of reduced congestion and accidents. As I pointed out on Second Reading, those words do not appear in the Bill. Why not? They are the most vital elements to be taken into account in London. Part of it is taken into account by clause 4(3)(c) which refers to the need to achieve a proper balance between the interests of the ratepayers in their area and the interests of transport users The clause refers to public transport users. We are back to the old story which began with the GLC. The Government took issue on how the balance was to be struck. Will the Minister say where the Bill refers specifically to the benefits to other road users by reduced congestion and accidents? Are we to take those issues into account?

The Secretary of State asserts continually that he is interested in London and wants to ensure that we have an efficient, effective and, as I have urged from time to time, integrated transport system. If he does not take those factors into account, but only the fiduciary duty of the local authority in terms of the balance between the ratepayer and the public transport user, he cannot achieve the transport policy that we are seeking. We shall continue to have congestion. One cannot without difficulty get into London or the House by car in the morning. Lorries, cars and vans are lined up everywhere. It is chaos.

10.30 pm

The Secretary of State has heard me rehearse this argument many times. My constituency is a rat run from Essex into London, and the Secretary of State should come to my area to see exactly what happens. We must persuade those who use private transport not to come into London and to park in my constituency but to use public transport, either the Underground or the buses. We cannot do that if the only way we can run the public transport system is by trying to find the balance that he will draw between the ratepayer and the user of public transport.

The Secretary of State cannot draw up proper guidelines if he does not include those factors in the Bill. I hope that he will in the House clarify his guidelines. I asked him about it on Second Reading, and I have read most his comments in Committee, but I have yet to he persuaded—apart from his references to fiduciary duty—that he means what he says about the importance of gearing the public transport system to the needs of London.

I speak only for London. I have heard hon. Members speak about other areas that have features common to my area, but London is a special issue. If the Secretary of State is to take political action, whatever he may think of the political masters at County Hall, that is not his job. His job is to help us in London to define a proper, integrated transport system that will enable us to transport millions of people in the daytime efficiently, effectively and as quickly as we can.

The right hon. Gentleman has a duty tonight, at this late stage in the Bill, to tell the House exactly what factors he is talking about besides those contained in the paragraphs to which I have referred. If he does not do that, those of us who have been trying to obtain assistance for transport in London for many years will feel that all that he has done is to play purely doctrinaire party politics, with no interest in London, and I shall vote against him.

Miss Maynard

The hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Page) referred to amendment No. 20. He objected strongly to the fact that the balance between ratepayers and transport users was not correct. What he really means is that the people whom he represents, who have cars of their own, do not wish to pay a subsidy towards a good, cheap transport policy. But he forgets that, in many cases, ratepayers and transport users are one and the same.

Mr. John Page

The hon. Lady is being very simplistic, because many of the ratepayers in my constituency travel to work in the centre of London every day. However, they object to the unfair way in which the distribution of the burden is placed on the ratepayers instead of the users.

Miss Maynard

This is not the only Bill that affects local authorities. The Government have brought in many Bills to remove money and decision-making from local authorities. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman should consider the Government's responsibility for the problems faced by London rather than attacking the Opposition for the view that we are putting forward tonight.

Amendment No. 22 is one of the most important amendments that we have discussed tonight, because it talks about taking the social and economic position into account. The Opposition believe strongly that the only people who can do that are the elected local representatives who live in the area and who are subjected to the electorate every four or five years.

The Government are not only saying that they want to provide only a certain amount of money, which they are perfectly entitled to do, but they are also saying that they will allow us to contribute only a certain amount of money to public transport. We object to that strongly, particularly in South Yorkshire, where people have consistently elected the local authority over several years on a cheap fares policy.

Sheffield is virtually a one-industry city based on steel. It has been decimated by the depression, by Government policies and by our membership of the EC. If any city ever wanted a cheap fares policy it is Sheffield, part of which I represent. South Yorkshire is based on heavy industry, which again is in a state of depression. As my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. Crowther) said, it is a low-wage area in comparison to many parts of Britain and so the cheap fares policy has been a tremendous boon to people who need such help. It has also been much more than that. It has dealt with the problem that London suffers from more acutely than any other city and to which the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Brown) just referred. One only has to walk outside the House to see the terrible problem of congestion, often caused by one person in a motor car. Cars jam the streets and occupy parking places which must be found for them. Would not it be much more sensible to have a proper integrated cheap public transport system so that those cars are not on the road, congesting the city and fouling and polluting the air? South Yorkshire and Sheffield do not have such congestion and pollution. Equally important, we have fewer accidents. That is important from a human point of view. It is also important in that fewer accidents mean fewer people taking up hospital beds which are already under tremendous pressure.

Because South Yorkshire is a low income area, we have, as my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham said, fewer car owners. Even when a family owns a car, it is usually the man who must use it, and the woman would be left stranded if it were not for the cheap fares policy. Women can travel about on the buses and do their shopping because the fares are so reasonable. That benefits not only them but the shopping area in the centre of Sheffield. There are so many benefits from such a policy.

As I say, South Yorkshire and Sheffield rely more on public transport than perhaps other areas. The concessions that we have been able to give to children—a quarter of the adult fare—means that they are able to go to sporting and cultural facilities, and they have also been a great help to disabled and old people. In other words, we have tried to look after the people who cannot help themselves. Surely that is the kind of policy we ought to be pursuing.

We have heard much from Conservatve Members about things being cost effective. It seems to me that, where the Government have pursued that policy by not subsidising fares but letting people try to meet the economic fare, buses have been either empty or there have been no buses at all. What is cost effective about such a policy? Surely it is much more cost effective to pursue the kind of policy which we are pursuing in South Yorkshire with cheap fares and full buses. Surely that is a much more sensible policy to pursue.

The Bill is clearly aimed at Labour-controlled local authorities and particularly ones in South Yorkshire. The Government are really saying that they believe in democracy, providing that it produces the results that they want. But in South Yorkshire it has produced a Socialist local authority that pursues Socialist policies. So the Bill is being introduced in order, first, to curb that local authority, and, if that local authority cannot be curbed directly and persuaded by the Bill, the Government's friends in the courts will, they hope, deal with democratically elected Labour-controlled authorities.

Miss Jo Richardson (Barking)

I hesitated to intervene in the debate because I was not on the Committee which considered the Bill, and therefore I do not feel as expert as some hon. Members. However, I was drawn to make a contribution because I was impressed by amendment No. 22. In particular, I was impressed by the new subsection 3(d), which seeks to provide the general, social and economic circumstances of the area, including the number of people unemployed, the average level of earnings and the level of car ownership should be taken into account. I hope that hon. Members will forgive me if I talk about London in this respect, as it is the area that I know best, although the circumstances are relevant to all areas.

Even with the GLC "Fares Fair" policy, which was so neatly knocked on the head by the Tory Government, all in inner London looked with envy at the policies of south Yorkshire and Sheffield. I know that many people wished that their fare policy could have been used in London long before the "Fares Fair" policy was introduced.

In London, as any hon. Member who looks across the river will know, we have 343,846 people unemployed this month. That figure is displayed on the top of County Hall. I hear from my unemployed constituents of the difficulties that they have, not only because they cannot afford to travel for pleasure, but in travelling around the capital to get a job. There are not many employment opportunities in Barking, and, if they are to be realistic about finding a job, my constituents have to travel to other parts of London.

Even if these people are successful in getting a job in another part of London, they have to calculate whether the money that they will get will enable them to afford the fares to get to work every day. If one lives in Barking and travels to the centre of London to work, it will cost one £13.10 a week, which is about £50 a month, before one pays anything else.

A young woman friend of mine who lives in north London in the same zone as Barking has to pay the same amount to travel. She tells me that she pays more on fares a month, as a single person, than on gas, electricity and food. That is a ridiculous comparison to make.

The hon. Member for Harrow, East—

Mr. John Page

Harrow, West.

Miss Richardson

I beg the hon. Member's pardon. I said east because I once fought Harrow, East, so I know the district well. I was taken aback to hear the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Page) say that so many of his constituents had it engraved on their hearts how much they hated the "Fares Fair" policy. From my memory of Harrow, East, and from the friends that I have retained there, I should have thought that the people in Harrow were pleased with the policy because it meant that they could travel to London to work, and for pleasurable and cultural occasions, without having to pay tremendous fares. I imagine that the fare from Harrow to London is about the same as that from Barking.

The House should not have to forgive me for speaking about the problems of women living and working in London, because this is a subject that is not often brought up in the House. High fares and low standards of transport affect women disproportionately more than men.

Of the 343,000 unemployed people in London, which is the figure displayed above County Hall, 91,400 are women. That is an unrealistic figure, as a large number of women do not register as unemployed and do not appear in the figures of the Department of Employment.

10.45 pm

Women earn on average, including London weighting, two thirds of a man's wage. Many of them in London, as elsewhere, are working part-time in low-paid, ghetto-type jobs, fitting in the difficulties of travelling across huge areas of London and performing their home responsibilities. They are severely disadvantaged. In many cases, women have to ask their husbands for money before they can travel to work as they do not have sufficient money to be able to subsidise themselves. Women are unhappy to do that. They want some financial independence.

London has approximately 150,000 one-parent families. The majority of those single parents are women. They suffer hardship from the inability to get jobs in areas in which they can afford to live or to which they can afford to travel.

I am told that one third of registered drivers are women. Men are more likely to travel to work by car than women. Women are more frequent users of public transport. Women try to find jobs as near to their homes as possible because of their family responsibilities. That enables them to return during the day and afternoon to see that their children are at home. Women thus need to use buses for short distances more than men do.

Just over 20 per cent. of one-parent families have a car, compared with 82 per cent. of two-parent families. That is a tremendous disadvantage to the women who comprise the majority of single parents.

Cuts in the frequency and maintenance of transport cause other difficulties for women. Women are subject to violence on the Underground from time to time. I myself find it very difficult to gather up the courage late at night to go home from the House of Commons to Hammersmith on the Underground. I might find myself in a carriage alone or with one or two people whom I do not know. I do not often get scared, but I am apprehensive. I want frequent, well-staffed trains so that people are present to protect travellers from possible violence.

There was a proposal to the effect that the London underground should start half an hour later in the morning and stop half an hour earlier in the evening in order to cut costs. That may sound perfectly reasonable on the face of it, but it would affect women severely because so many of them have to work shifts to fit in with their family responsibilities. Such a development might leave them with no transport at all or waiting for long periods at lonely bus stops only to find that there is no bus either.

I am sure that all hon. Members have seen the very nice women who clean this building. We see them only because we are occasionally here all night. They come in at 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning. How will they get to work if the transport available to thm starts half an hour later? The majority of people who work in cleaning are women. They go to work early in the morning to clean big offices, Government buildings, hospitals and the House of Commons, and such a change in public transport availability would be very hard for them to bear.

One of the aims of the GLC "Fares Fair" policy was to create a vehicle for London Transport recruiting—to provide a better service and at the same time more jobs. The reversal of that policy has had, and will continue to have, a serious effect on recruitment.

London Transport has always claimed to be an "equal opportunities" employer, and I accept that that is its intention, but it has a long way to go before that becomes a reality. At present, 53,470 men and only 6,270 women work on London Transport. As hon. Members may guess, a great proportion of those women work in cleaning, catering and the other typical "women's image" jobs to which they are usually confined.

If we ever have a decent fares and transport policy, for the whole of London, as I hope that we shall under a Labour Government and a Labour GLC, I hope that it will give more women the opportunity to train properly for London Transport jobs as well as giving all the other people in the capital what they want in the form of a proper fares system and a transport policy that allows them to travel to and from work and conduct their personal lives in a civilised way.

Mr. Race

First, I congratulate my right hon. and hon. Friends on the amendment. I hope that my other hon. Friends will not mind if I single out my two women hon. Friends for congratulation, as they highlighted a very significant aspect of transport policy—the fact that it affects different people in different ways. One of the most significant groups to be adversely affected if fares are increased and services reduced will be women, who comprise 52 per cent. of the population. My hon. Friend the Member for Barking (Miss Richardson), in her very lucid speech, set out a number of cogent points which the Secretary of State should take extremely seriously, although I suspect that he will not.

Amendment No. 22 is of great significance. Not only does it try to single out considerations to which a transport authority should have regard before it submits a plan to the Secretary of State: it tries to draw out some of the really significant social factors that might occur in an area. It is up to that transport authority to say whether those factors occur in its area and whether any regard is to be had to them in terms of the grant that is given to the transport executive.

If the GLC was so fortunate as to have amendment No. 22 in the Bill, it would be able to examine the social and economic condition of London and say "Here are some objective criteria by which we can justify reducing fares and improving the service." If we are to discuss objective criteria, it is important that the House knows exactly what is happening in London.

One of the most significant factors in London, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Barking referred, is unemployment. More than 340,000 people are now unemployed in the Greater London area—the largest concentration of people in the country. We must remember that it is not merely the number of unemployed that determines the prosperity of an area. Prosperity is also affected by the number of poor people in an area.

One of the crazy things about the image of London and the south-east in northerners' minds is that they assume that all of the south-east and London is prosperous. They think that it is an area of great plenty as compared with parts of the north and Scotland. There is much truth in some of that, but there is also a great deal of nonsense in it. There are parts of London where the rate of unemployment and the incidence of poverty are as high as anywhere in the country.

Mr. John Page

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for stopping in full flow. Will he comment on what I believe to be a very important point? We have had a great advertisement for Yorkshire today. Does he realise that the chamber of commerce in Sheffield has said that if the rates increase, firms will have to lay people off and that 31 per cent. of the companies there will consider moving from Sheffield? He is trying to bring to London the disaster area problems that have occured there?

Mr. Race

I should take more notice of the hon. Gentleman if I thought that he closely followed our discussions on these matters. It is true that rates in the great conurbations have risen substantially, although from the mid-1970s to now they have not risen faster than the rate of inflation. The Government whom the hon. Gentleman supports have made it difficult for local authorities to do other than raise their rates if they are to play fair with their electors.

For example, the Inner London Education Authority must halve its expenditure if it wants to receive Government grants again. That is a ludicrous proposition, which no sensible councillor would countenance. It would presumably involve closing half of the schools and sacking half of the teachers. It is not possible to make simple economies that amount to half of an authority's expenditure. The penalties that have been imposed on local authorities, especially the ILEA, whose grant has been abolished by the Government, has made it inevitable that rates will rise. If the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Page) wants to prevent rates rising, he should stop supporting the penalties on elected local councillors who are carrying out their functions and local mandates.

11 pm

Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

As a Sheffield Member of Parliament I get all the literature from the chamber of commerce there. Recently there was a threat from a major toy firm in Sheffield that it would have to close. It did not close. When we inquired about it, the firm admitted that it had said that only for the effect that it would produce. People are not moving away from Sheffield because of the rates. We who live there know that to be so.

Mr. Race

I am grateful for the benefit of the superior knowledge of my hon. Friend about Sheffield. I should not dream of intruding on that.

Many thousands of jobs have left the London area, partly because of deliberate plans to relocate industry in the south-east, and partly because of the enormous impact of interest rates and the slump policies of the Government on industry. It ill-behoves Conservative members to come bleating to the House, pretending that it is the nasty Labour-controlled local authorities which are responsible for getting rid of all the jobs in London. What hypocrisy.

Mr. Matthew Parris (Derbyshire, West)


Mr. Race

I shall not give way again, because I must press on.

I was trying to establish that one of the problems London faces and why amendment No. 22 is so important is that within the GLC boundaries there are substantial areas of high poverty. In Committee I quoted to the Secretary of State for my borough of the number of people receiving supplementary allowances. I thought that I had better check on the current incidence of poverty in my borough, as the parliamentary question which I quoted then referred to April 1982. This very day, 1 February, I received a reply from the hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton), the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, showing that the incidence of poverty, as reflected in the numbers of people receiving supplementary allowances, had gone up yet again in the London borough of Haringey.

At the Highgate office of the DHSS, the number of persons claiming supplementary allowances was 5,700 in May 1979, and that had gone up to 10,600 in December 1982. At the Wood Green office the relevant numbers were 1,400 in May 1979 and 4,500 in December 1982. At the Tottenham office there were 4,100 claimants of supplementary allowances in May 1979, compared with 8,900 in December 1982. A total of 11,000 households were in receipt of supplementary allowances in May 1979. By December 1982 that had gone up to 24,000, more than doubling the rate of poverty in a typical London borough.

When making its transport policy the GLC ought to consider how many of those people will be able to use private cars to go about their daily business and lives. Not many of the people who are getting £25.50 per week, which is the rate of supplementary allowance for the single person householder, nor of those who have been made redundant—more than 8,000—and become unemployed in the London borough of Haringey over the last three and a half years will have the opportunity to use a private car. It is up to the GLC and to the metropolitan counties to say, "We have not only a high rate of unemployment but a high incidence of poverty."

It is not just a question of the number of people in receipt of the poverty rates of benefit but of those still in jobs. It might interest the hon. Member for Harrow, West to learn that over the years 1970 to 1979, spanning both Labour and Conservative Governments, the proportionate position of the lowest paid workers in London dropped. The real wages of the lowest quartile of London workers dropped between 1970 and 1979, as measured by the family expenditure survey. That is astonishing. Those in London who are still working are becoming lower paid and so have less disposable income to spend on things such as tube fares, bus fares and so on. That is another factor to which the elected local authority must have regard when making its determination for transport.

It is clear from the figures from the Greater London council London Transport travel diary panel that those who use public transport disproportionately are the elderly, the unemployed, students and adults in non car-owning households. I shall give one statistic—19 per cent. of all adults' journeys are on buses, but for the elderly the figure is 41 per cent., which shows that the elderly use the buses disproportionately more than the rest of the population. The unemployed also use buses disproportionately more than the rest of the population. The reason is obvious. They have low incomes. They probably have had a chequered history of employment. They probably had a redundancy in the family or a change in circumstances which made it difficult for them to build up the reserves necessary to buy a motor car. Those are the problems that a metropolitan county or the GLC should consider when making determinations about transport policy.

Mr. John Page

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Race

I should like to, but I must conclude my speech.

The plain facts are that not only are the unemployed, the poor, the elderly and students disadvantaged in our society and in desperate need of public transport to survive, but that people on the lowest incomes spend a disproportionately high amount of their incomes on public transport fares. In 1981, those who earned under £35 a week spent 1.3 per cent. of their household income on bus fares, according to the family expenditure survey, but in households with a weekly income of over £350 a week the proportion of household expenditure on bus fares was only 0.5 per cent. That is not a surprising statistic. It shows yet again that the users of public transport are mainly, but not wholly, those who have great difficulties because of their household income, poverty and disadvantage.

However, that is not to say that the local authority must have regard only to the users of public transport. We must have regard also to all those who gain from good public transport because there is less congestion, fewer accidents on the roads, less lead in the air and a better life for everyone. That is exactly the consideration for a local authoritiy to bear in mind when it makes its plan before it goes to the Secretary of State.

It is clear that the only authority that can make a proper determination of planning policy in the great congested urban area of London is the GLC. Who is to say what the transport planning problems of the whole of London are? The London borough of Harrow could not. My own borough could not. I do not know what the local demand is for improvements to the south circular. No doubt the hon. Member who represents that area holds some views about that. However, a London-wide body must make that determination.

I refer not only to London-wide transport problems but to London-wide planning problems. I shall cite just one example from my constituency. Alexandra Palace burnt down, and my local council is now refurbishing it at a substantial cost, paid for by the insurance. Many people who did not use the palace before will now use it. Thousands of people may use it on one day. Obviously that change in the environment must be reflected in changes in public transport.

Mr. Anthony Berry (Comptroller of Her Majesty's Household)


Mr. Race

The hon. Member for Southgate (Mr. Berry) says that it is nonsense to provide better public transport to Alexandra Palace. We should be glad to hear what he has to say about the subject. I am sure that his constituents will want to know that he does not favour a decent and efficient form of transport.

Local councils must have regard to planning changes if we are to have a decent public transport system. Only they can do it. That is why amendment No. 22 is crucial.

Mr. Eyre

I shall try to reply briefly to the points raised, because I know that the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Stott) is anxious to speak.

As the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Crowther) knows, clause 4(3) sets out the matters for which the authority is to have particular regard when assessing the executive's plan. They are; first, the cost of the provision of services and facilities, the level of demand and the benefit to users; secondly, any advice given by the Secretary of State to the executive on the appropriate amount of revenue support, on methods of determining benefits derived from revenue support, on the form and content of the plan, and on the methods of determining costs, levels of demand and benefits to potential users; thirdly, the need to achieve a proper balance between the interests of ratepayers and users.

I noted the great importance that my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Page) attached to those requirements. I agree with his assessment in that respect.

In response to a question asked by the hon. Member for Rotherham, I should add that the word "particular" is important for two reasons. First, the matters listed are those to which the authority should pay special regard. Secondly, "particular" makes it clear that if the authority wishes to have regard to other matters, it is free to do so. The omission of the word "particular" could mean that the authority was excluded from considering other matters. For those reasons, the amendment must be resisted.

Amendment No. 22 was referred to by the hon. Member for Rotherham and was strongly supported by the hon. Member for Barking (Miss Richardson), and would insert new paragraphs in clause 4(3) requiring the authority—when taking its decision on the plan—to have regard to matters such as the general social and economic circumstances of the area, the number of unemployed, the level of earnings, car ownership, local plans, and so on. However, the Government would expect a local authority to bear such considerations very much in mind when making decisions on proposals for the development of public transport in their area. They are obviously relevant to the duty to achieve a proper balance between the interests of ratepayers and transport users, imposed by clause 4(3)(c). As the Government would expect the authority to take these and many other matters into account, without an express requirement in the Bill, they are naturally not prepared to accept the amendment. The Government cannot accept the extension of clause 4(3) into a recitation of a massive list of what matters local authorities will have in mind. The speeches of the hon. Members for Wood Green (Mr. Race) and for Barking showed that one can continue to add matters that deserve consideration in this category. My hon. Friend the Member for Southgate (Mr. Berry) is concerned about the additional rates that his constituents will have to pay because of GLC policy. That relates to a point raised by the hon. Member for Wood Green.

11.15 pm

The hon. Member for Rotherham, and other hon. Members representing constituencies in South Yorkshire, made a number of claims about the transport system in that area. They must take into account the challenging point that during the period of transport policy in South Yorkshire that we are considering, it is claimed that the number of passengers rose by 7 per cent. In fact, the acquisition of additional transport operators has added to that total. However, that rise must be considered against the background of the important fact that at the same time there has been an increase of no less than 600 per cent. in subsidies. Is that enormous increase worth while, and can it be justified by the benefits that have been obtained? South Yorkshire Members of Parliament must bear that question in mind.

Miss Maynard

I wish to point out to the Minister once again that the majority of electors certainly think that it is well worth while.

Mr. Eyre

The hon. Lady knows that domestic ratepayers pay only 19 per cent. of the cost. Therefore, their voting support is more easily commanded. The burden that falls upon the industrial and commercial ratepayers is not reflected because of voting arrangements.

The hon. Member for Rotherham raised a point about planning. Nothing in the Bill prevents authorities from following proper policies. The Bill protects expenditure up to the PEL. It does not prejudice a higher level of expenditure where it is is a proper exercise of power, and nothing in the Bill prevents the carrying out of any duties.

Mr. Crowther

I wish to clarify that point. Is the Minister saying categorically that the South Yorkshire county council, in pursuance of its duty as a structure plan authority, and committed to a cheap bus fare policy approved by the Secretary of State for the Environment, will not fall foul of this legislation if it goes well over the PEL?

Mr. Eyre

I was explaining that the Bill does not prevent an authority from carrying out its duties. The various points raised by the hon. Gentleman need careful examination against that background.

The hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks) raised the important question of cost-benefit analysis. My Department is developing the technique of assessing the benefits from any given level of subsidy. For some items it is easy to ascribe a cost benefit, but for others it is more difficult.

The White Paper states: Subsidy needs to show demonstrable benefits. That is the question for south Yorkshire. The techniques that we are developing are certainly of interest to authorities, and I shall shortly be making details available to them for their own use in assessing the best use of any given level of revenue support—in particular, in terms of the best balance between fares and service levels. I also regard this work as a useful tool at national level in looking at the value per pound of subsidy yielded in different authorities. This will be one of the factors that I shall have in mind in considering individual authority proposals.

The scope of the model being considered includes a number of factors which can be readily measured and expressed in money terms. This is relevant to the point made by the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Brown), who asked about benefits to other road users, to the main question of the hon. Member for Gorton and also to the point made by the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) about road congestion. The scope of the model includes the level of revenue support and benefits from changes in service level, changes in fares, trip generation on public transport, transfer of passengers from private to public transport, and reduction in road congestion. The model then deals with other relevant matters. It will show that a great deal of thought is being given to these matters which have been raised in the debate, but I have explained to the hon. Member for Westhoughton why I reject both the amendments to which he spoke.

Mr. Stott

In no way can I do justice to the debate in the time that has been allotted to me. We have to conclude our business by 11.30 pm and I ask my hon. Friends to forgive me if I do not deal with the points they made so succinctly.

I should like to respond to the remarks made by the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Page). I can recommend to him as good bedtime reading the entire Committee proceedings on the Bill in which he will discover that the rates issue was debated fully and at great length. Interesting information and arguments are referred to in those proceedings. The hon. Gentleman must recognise that rates have consistently represented less than 1 per cent. of industrial costs. The increase in the business rate over the past two years has been broadly in line with the overall increase in industry's material and fuel costs, which is about 38.9 to 44.5 per cent. compared with a truly massive increase of 93.6 per cent. in the interest payments of industry and commerce.

Within the business sector manufacturing has relatively the smallest rate burden. Commerce, the distributive industries, other services and the public utilities pay the highest, yet it is in those sectors that jobs losses have been relatively low. It is incorrect to assume, as the hon. Gentleman assumes, that the rate burden does what he says it does in respect of businesses. There is ample evidence to the contrary and we used arguments to demonstrate it on a number of occasions in Committee.

The amendments are exceedingly sensible. My hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. Crowther), drawing on his vast experience as a member of the south Yorkshire county council in the days when the transportation policyx2014;

Mr. Crowther


Mr. Stott

If I have my hon. Friend's job description wrong, I apologise. My hon. Friend has great experience in local government and set out his arguments cogently.

The provisions of the Bill interlock and there is a common thread. We have been asking, probing and debating with the Secretary of State and Under-Secretary for the past three months on what guidelines which the Secretary of State will eventually issue will be based and how they will be implemented. We have had no satisfactory answer to our questions. In fact, we have all along contended that there is no need for the Bill because the existing legislation is adequate and properly serves the needs of the community.

That was adequately demonstrated when Great Universal Stores took Merseyside county council to court and Mr. Justice Woolf adjudicated that the county council was acting properly within the provisions of the 1969 Act. Only last week a court in London adjudicated that the Greater London Council was acting legally within the Act. There is no reason for the Secretary of State to come before the House on the pretence that clarification of the law is required.

Our amendments seek to ensure that when the plans are being formulated and submitted to the Secretary of State the local authorities shall have specific reference to certain crucial circumstances, as set out in amendment No. 22.

My hon. Friends the Members for Barking (Miss Richardson) and for Wood Green (Mr. Race) have described the problems of unemployment. It is interesting that in the Merseyside case Mr. Justice Woolf made special reference to the subject. He stated: influence by such considerations as indicated by Mr. Coombes"— who was at that time chairman of the passenger transport authority— in paragraph 11 of his affidavit and in particular subparagraph (h) which indicates that he took account of the high cost of public transport and the hardship that that would continue to bring to a sizeable proportion of the county population whose sole source of income is state benefits. Assuming the Council was so influenced, I do not see anything objectionable in law in this. The fact that the Prescott case made it clear that the Council should not adopt a policy of making losses by giving away rights of free travel does not mean that the Council are required to ignore the financial circumstances of the persons for whom the transport service is to be provided. It is no use fixing charges at a level which the customer cannot pay. As long as the Council's predominant purpose in adopting a policy is a proper one, it would not matter if in addition they took into account the fact that it would benefit a hard pressed section of the public. Those were the words of Mr. Justice Woolf in summing up the Merseyside case. They show that specific provision existed in the 1968 Act for the local authority to maintain a transport policy that had regard to the unemployed. There is no reason, apart from party political, philosophical dogma, for the Secretary of State to bring forward a Bill that seeks to change the law that was created in 1968 and that has been tested in the courts and a law that was created in 1969 that was tested in the court last week. The Bill would be infinitely better if the Under-Secretary of State would accept the amendment. If he does not do so, I invite my hon. Friends to join me in the Lobby.

Mr. Robert Hughes

I beg leave to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdraw.

Amendment proposed: No. 22, in page 4, line 28, at end insert— '(d) the general, social and economic circumstances of the area, including the number of people unemployed, the average level of earnings and the level of car ownership; (e) any approved structure plan or local plan or any other relevant town and country planning considerations affecting the area for which the authority is responsible; all other matters referred to in section 9(3) of the 1968 Act. '.—[Mr. Robert Hughes.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:

The House divided: Ayes 236, Noes 293.

Division No. 57] [11.28 pm
Abse, Leo Campbell-Savours, Dale
Adams, Allen Cant, R. B.
Allaun, Frank Carmichael, Neil
Anderson, Donald Cartwright, John
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Clark, Dr David (S Shields)
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Clarke.Thomas (C'b'dge, A'rie)
Ashton, Joe Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)
Atkinson, N. (H'gey,) Cohen, Stanley
Bagier, Gordon AT. Coleman, Donald
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Conlan, Bernard
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd) Cox, T. (W'dsw'th, Toot'g)
Beith, A. J. Crawshaw, Richard
Bennett, Andrew (St'kp't N) Crowther, Stan
Bidwell, Sydney Cryer, Bob
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Cunliffe, Lawrence
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Cunningham, G. (Islington S)
Bradley, Tom Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Dalyell, Tarn
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Davidson, Arthur
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)
Brown, R. C. (N'castle W) Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd)
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S) Deakins, Eric
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)
Buchan, Norman Dewar, Donald
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) Dixon, Donald
Campbell, Ian Dobson, Frank
Dormand, Jack Maclennan, Robert
Dubs, Alfred McMahon, Andrew
Duffy, A. E. P. McNally, Thomas
Dunnett, Jack McTaggart, Robert
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. McWilliam, John
Eadie, Alex Magee, Bryan
Eastham, Ken Marks, Kenneth
Edwards, Ft. (W'hampt'n S E) Marshall, D (G'gow S'ton)
Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Mason, Rt Hon Roy
English, Michael Maxton, John
Ennals, Rt Hon David Maynard, Miss Joan
Evans, John (Newton) Meacher, Michael
Ewing, Harry Mikardo, Ian
Faulds, Andrew Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Field, Frank Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Fitch, Alan Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Flannery, Martin Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw)
Forrester, John Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Foster, Derek Morton, George
Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd) Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Freud, Clement Newens, Stanley
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Ogden, Eric
George, Bruce O'Halloran, Michael
Ginsburg, David O'Neill, Martin
Golding, John Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Gourlay, Harry Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Graham, Ted Palmer, Arthur
Grant, John (Islington C) Park, George
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Parker, John
Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife) Parry, Robert
Hardy, Peter Pavitt, Laurie
Harman, Harriet (Peckham) Pendry, Tom
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Penhaligon, David
Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Pitt, William Henry
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Haynes, Frank Race, Reg
Heffer, Eric S. Radice, Giles
Hogg, N. (E Dunb't'nshire) Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S)
Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll) Richardson, Jo
Home Robertson, John Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Homewood, William Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Horam, John Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Howell, Rt Hon D. Robertson, George
Hoyle, Douglas Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Huckfield, Les Rodgers, Rt Hon William
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Roper, John
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Rowlands, Ted
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd) Ryman, John
John, Brynmor Sandelson, Neville
Johnson, James (Hull West) Sever, John
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Sheerman, Barry
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rh'dda) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Short, Mrs Renée
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Kerr, Russell Silverman, Julius
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Skinner, Dennis
Lambie, David Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Lamond, James Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)
Leadbitter, Ted Spellar, John Francis (B'ham)
Leighton, Ronald Spriggs, Leslie
Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW) Stallard, A. W.
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Litherland, Robert Stoddart, David
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Stott, Roger
Lyon, Alexander (York) Strang, Gavin
Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W) Straw, Jack
McCartney, Hugh Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
McElhone, Mrs Helen Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
McGuire, Michael (Ince) Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
McKelvey, William Tilley, John
MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Tinn, James
Torney, Tom Williams, Rt Hon Mrs (Crosby)
Varley, Rt Hon Eric G. Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Wainwright, E. (Dearne V) Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H. (H'ton)
Walker, Rt Hon H. (D'caster) Wilson, William (C'try SE)
Wardell, Gareth Winnick, David
Weetch, Ken Woodall, Alec
Wellbeloved, James Woolmer, Kenneth
Welsh, Michael Wrigglesworth, Ian
White, J. (G'gow Pollok) Wright, Sheila
Whitehead, Phillip Young, David (Bolton E)
Whitlock, William
Wigley, Dafydd Tellers for the Ayes:
Willey, Rt Hon Frederick Dr. Edmund Marshall and
Williams, Rt Hon A. (S'sea W) Mr. Harry Cowans.
Aitken, Jonathan Durant, Tony
Alexander, Richard Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Eggar, Tim
Ancram, Michael Elliott, Sir William
Arnold, Tom Emery, Sir Peter
Aspinwall, Jack Eyre, Reginald
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Baker, Kenneth (St.M'bone) Fairgrieve, Sir Russell
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Faith, Mrs Sheila
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Farr, John
Bendall, Vivian Fell, Sir Anthony
Benyon, Thomas (A'don) Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Finsberg, Geoffrey
Berry, Hon Anthony Fisher, Sir Nigel
Best, Keith Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)
Bevan, David Gilroy Forman, Nigel
Biffen, Rt Hon John Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Fox, Marcus
Blackburn, John Fraser, Peter (South Angus)
Blaker, Peter Fry, Peter
Body, Richard Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gardner, Sir Edward
Boscawen, Hon Robert Garel-Jones, Tristan
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Bowden, Andrew Goodhart, Sir Philip
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Goodhew, Sir Victor
Braine, Sir Bernard Goodlad, Alastair
Bright, Graham Gorst, John
Brinton, Tim Gow, Ian
Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon Gower, Sir Raymond
Brooke, Hon Peter Grant, Sir Anthony
Brotherton, Michael Gray, Rt Hon Hamish
Browne, John (Winchester) Greenway, Harry
Bruce-Gardyne, John Grieve, Percy
Bryan, Sir Paul Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Buchanan-Smith, Rt. Hon. A. Grist, Ian
Buck, Antony Grylls, Michael
Budgen, Nick Gummer, John Selwyn
Bulmer, Esmond Hamilton, Hon A.
Butler, Hon Adam Hampson, Dr Keith
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Hannam, John
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Haselhurst, Alan
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Hastings, Stephen
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul Hawkins, Sir Paul
Chapman, Sydney Hawksley, Warren
Churchill, W. S. Hayhoe, Barney
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Heddle, John
Clegg, Sir Walter Henderson, Barry
Cockeram, Eric Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Colvin, Michael Hicks, Robert
Corrie, John Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Costain, Sir Albert Hill, James
Cranborne, Viscount Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Critchley, Julian Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Crouch, David Hooson, Tom
Dickens, Geoffrey Hordern, Peter
Dorrell, Stephen Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)
Dover, Denshore Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Hunt, David (Wirral)
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Peyton, Rt Hon John
Irvine, Rt Hon Bryant Godman Pollock, Alexander
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Porter, Barry
Jessel, Toby Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Prior, Rt Hon James
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Proctor, K. Harvey
Kaberry, Sir Donald Rathbone, Tim
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)
Kimball, Sir Marcus Rees-Davies, W. R.
King, Rt Hon Tom Renton, Tim
Kitson, Sir Timothy Rhodes James, Robert
Knight, Mrs Jill Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Knox, David Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Lamont, Norman Rifkind, Malcolm
Langford-Holt, Sir John Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Latham, Michael Roberts, M. (Cardiff NW)
Lawrence, Ivan Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Rossi, Hugh
Lee, John Rost, Peter
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Rutland) Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R.
Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Loveridge, John Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Luce, Richard Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Lyell, Nicholas Shelton, William (Streatham)
McCrindle, Robert Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Macfarlane, Neil Shepherd, Richard
MacGregor, John Shersby, Michael
MacKay, John (Argyll) Silvester, Fred
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. Skeet, T. H. H.
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury) Smith, Sir Dudley
McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
McQuarrie, Albert Speed, Keith
Madel, David Speller, Tony
Major, John Spence, John
Marland, Paul Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)
Marlow, Antony Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Sproat, Iain
Marten, Rt Hon Neil Squire, Robin
Mates, Michael Stainton, Keith
Mather, Carol Stanbrook, Ivor
Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus Stanley, John
Mawby, Ray Steen, Anthony
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Stevens, Martin
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Stewart, A. (E Renfrewshire)
Mayhew, Patrick Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Mellor, David Stokes, John
Meyer, Sir Anthony Stradling Thomas, J.
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Tapsell, Peter
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon) Temple-Morris, Peter
Miscampbell, Norman Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Moate, Roger Thompson, Donald
Monro, Sir Hector Thornton, Malcolm
Montgomery, Fergus Townend, John (Bridlington)
Moore, John Trippier, David
Morgan, Geraint Trotter, Neville
Morris, M. (N'hampton S) van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Murphy, Christopher Viggers, Peter
Myles, David Waddington, David
Neale, Gerrard Wakeham, John
Needham, Richard Waldegrave, Hon William
Neubert, Michael Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Newton, Tony Walker, B. (Perth)
Normanton, Tom Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.
Nott, Rt Hon Sir John Wall, Sir Patrick
Onslow, Cranley Waller, Gary
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S. Walters, Dennis
Osborn, John Warren, Kenneth
Page, John (Harrow, West) Watson, John
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Wells, Bowen
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Wells, John (Maidstone)
Parris, Matthew Wheeler, John
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Pattie, Geoffrey Whitney, Raymond
Pawsey, James Wiggin, Jerry
Percival, Sir Ian Wilkinson, John
Williams, D. (Montgomery)
Winterton, Nicholas Tellers for the Noes:
Wolfson, Mark Mr. John Cope and
Young, Sir George (Acton) Mr. Ian Lang.
Younger, Rt Hon George

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after half-past Eleven o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to order, [17 January] and resolution this day, to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the amendments moved by a member of the Government.

Amendment proposed: No. 38, in page 8, line 37, clause 10, leave out from 'and' to end of line 38 and insert 'no such determination shall be made by an Authority unless they have been given guidance by the Secretary of State in relation to the determination and that guidance is taken into account by them in making the determination.'.—[Mr. David Howell.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 293, Noes 234.

Division No. 58] 11.41 pm
Aitken, Jonathan Costain, Sir Albert
Alexander, Richard Cranborne, Viscount
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Critchley, Julian
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Crouch, David
Ancram, Michael Dickens, Geoffrey
Arnold, Tom Dorrell, Stephen
Aspinwall, Jack Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Dover, Denshore
Baker, Kenneth (St.M'bone) du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Dunn, Robert (Dartford)
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Durant, Tony
Bendall, Vivian Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Benyon, Thomas (A'don) Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Eggar, Tim
Berry, Hon Anthony Elliott, Sir William
Best, Keith Emery, Sir Peter
Bevan, David Gilroy Eyre, Reginald
Biffen, Rt Hon John Fairbairn, Nicholas
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Fairgrieve, Sir Russell
Blackburn, John Faith, Mrs Sheila
Blaker, Peter Farr, John
Body, Richard Fell, Sir Anthony
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Boscawen, Hon Robert Finsberg, Geoffrey
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Fisher, Sir Nigel
Bowden, Andrew Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Forman, Nigel
Braine, Sir Bernard Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Bright, Graham Fox, Marcus
Brinton, Tim Fraser, Peter (South Angus)
Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon Fry, Peter
Brooke, Hon Peter Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Brotherton, Michael Gardner, Sir Edward
Browne, John (Winchester) Garel-Jones, Tristan
Bruce-Gardyne, John Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Bryan, Sir Paul Goodhart, Sir Philip
Buchanan-Smith, Rt. Hon. A. Goodhew, Sir Victor
Buck, Antony Goodlad, Alastair
Budgen, Nick Gorst, John
Bulmer, Esmond Gow, Ian
Butcher, John Gower, Sir Raymond
Butler, Hon Adam Grant, Sir Anthony
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Gray, Rt Hon Hamish
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Greenway, Harry
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Grieve, Percy
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul Grist, Ian
Chapman, Sydney Grylls, Michael
Churchill, W. S. Gummer, John Selwyn
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Hamilton, Hon A.
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Hampson, Dr Keith
Clegg, Sir Walter Hannam, John
Cockeram, Eric Haselhurst, Alan
Colvin, Michael Hastings, Stephen
Corrie, John Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Hawkins, Sir Paul Murphy, Christopher
Hayhoe, Barney Myles, David
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Neale, Gerrard
Heddle, John Needham, Richard
Henderson, Barry Neubert, Michael
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Newton, Tony
Hicks, Robert Normanton, Tom
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Nott, Rt Hon Sir John
Hill, James Onslow, Cranley
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.
Holland, Philip (Carlton) Osborn, John
Hooson, Tom Page, John (Harrow, West)
Hordern, Peter Page, Richard (SW Herts)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd) Parris, Matthew
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Hunt, David (Wirral) Pattie, Geoffrey
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Pawsey, James
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Percival, Sir Ian
Irvine, Rt Hon Bryant Pollock, Alexander
Godman Porter, Barry
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Jessel, Toby Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Prior, Rt Hon James
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Proctor, K. Harvey
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rathbone, Tim
Kaberry, Sir Donald Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Rees-Davies, W. R.
Kimball, Sir Marcus Renton, Tim
King, Rt Hon Tom Rhodes James, Robert
Kitson, Sir Timothy Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Knight, Mrs Jill Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Knox, David Rifkind, Malcolm
Lamont, Norman Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Langford-Holt, Sir John Roberts, M. (Cardiff NW)
Latham, Michael Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Lawrence, Ivan Rossi, Hugh
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Rost, Peter
Lee, John Rumbold, Mrs A, C. R.
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Rutland) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo) St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Loveridge, John Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Luce, Richard Shelton, William (Streatham)
Lyell, Nicholas Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
McCrindle, Robert Shepherd, Richard
Macfarlane, Neil Shersby, Michael
MacGregor, John Silvester, Fred
MacKay, John (Argyll) Skeet, T. H. H.
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. Smith, Sir Dudley
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st) Speed, Keith
McQuarrie, Albert Speller, Tony
Madel, David Spence, John
Major, John Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)
Marland, Paul Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Marlow, Antony Sproat, Iain
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Squire, Robin
Marten, Rt Hon Neil Stainton, Keith
Mates, Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
Mather, Carol Stanley, John
Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus Steen, Anthony
Mawby, Ray Stevens, Martin
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Stewart, A. (E Renfrewshire)
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Mayhew, Patrick Stokes, John
Mellor, David Stradling Thomas, J.
Meyer, Sir Anthony Tapsell, Peter
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Temple-Morris, Peter
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon) Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Miscampbell, Norman Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Thompson, Donald
Moate, Roger Thornton, Malcolm
Monro, Sir Hector Townend, John (Bridlington)
Montgomery, Fergus Trippier, David
Moore, John Trotter, Neville
Morgan, Geraint van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Morris, M. (N'hampton S) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Viggers, Peter
Waddington, David Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Wakeham, John Whitney, Raymond
Waldegrave, Hon William Wiggin, Jerry
Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester) Wilkinson, John
Walker, B. (Perth) Williams, D. (Montgomery)
Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D. Winterton, Nicholas
Wall, Sir Patrick Wolfson, Mark
Waller, Gary Young, Sir George (Acton)
Walters, Dennis Younger, Rt Hon George
Warren, Kenneth
Watson, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Wells, Bowen Mr. John Cope and
Wells, John (Maidstone) Mr. Ian Lang.
Wheeler, John
Abse, Leo Ennals, Rt Hon David
Adams, Allen Evans, John (Newton)
Allaun, Frank Ewing, Harry
Anderson, Donald Faulds, Andrew
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Field, Frank
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Fitch, Alan
Ashton, Joe Flannery, Martin
Atkinson, N. (H'gey,) Forrester, John
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Foster, Derek
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd) Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Beith, A. J. Freud, Clement
Bennett, Andrew (St'kp't N) Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Bidwell, Sydney Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert George, Bruce
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Ginsburg, David
Bradley, Tom Golding, John
Bray, Dr Jeremy Gourlay, Harry
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Graham, Ted
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Grant, John (Islington C)
Brown, R. C. (N'castle W) Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S) Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife)
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Hardy, Peter
Buchan, Norman Harman, Harriet (Peckham)
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Campbell, Ian Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith
Campbell-Savours, Dale Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Cant, R. B. Haynes, Frank
Carmichael, Neil Heffer, Eric S.
Cartwright, John Hogg, N. (E Dunb't'nshire)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll)
Clarke, Thomas (C'b'dge, A'rie) Home Robertson, John
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S) Homewood, William
Cohen, Stanley Horam, John
Coleman, Donald Howell, Rt Hon D.
Conlan, Bernard Hoyle, Douglas
Cowans, Harry Huckfield, Les
Cox, T. (W'dsw'th, Toot'g) Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Crawshaw, Richard Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Crowther, Stan Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Cryer, Bob Jay, Rt Hon Douglas
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) John, Brynmor
Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n) Johnson, James (Hull West)
Dalyell, Tam Johnson, Walter (Derby S)
Davidson, Arthur Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rh'dda)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd) Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Deakins, Eric Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Dewar, Donald Kerr, Russell
Dixon, Donald Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Dobson, Frank Lambie, David
Dormand, Jack Lamond, James
Dubs, Alfred Leadbitter, Ted
Duffy, A. E. P. Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW)
Dunnett, Jack Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Litherland, Robert
Eadie, Alex Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Eastham, Ken Lyon, Alexander (York)
Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n S E) Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W)
Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're) McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) McElhone, Mrs Helen
English, Michael McGuire, Michael (Ince)
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Rowlands, Ted
McKelvey, William Ryman, John
MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Sandelson, Neville
Maclennan, Robert Sever, John
McMahon, Andrew Sheerman, Barry
McNally, Thomas Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
McTaggart, Robert Shore, Rt Hon Peter
McWilliam, John Short, Mrs Renée
Magee, Bryan Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
Marks, Kenneth Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Marshall, D(G'gow S'ton) Silverman, Julius
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Skinner, Dennis
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Mason, Rt Hon Roy Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)
Maxton, John Spellar, John Francis (B'ham)
Maynard, Miss Joan Spriggs, Leslie
Meacher, Michael Stallard, A. W.
Mikardo, Ian Stoddart, David
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Stott, Roger
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Strang, Gavin
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Straw, Jack
Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Morton, George Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Newens, Stanley Tilley, John
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Tinn, James
Ogden, Eric Torney, Tom
O'Halloran, Michael Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
O'Neill, Martin Wainwright, E. (Dearne V)
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Walker, Rt Hon H. (D'caster)
Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Wardell, Gareth
Palmer, Arthur Weetch, Ken
Park, George Welsh, Michael
Parker, John White, J. (G'gow Pollok)
Parry, Robert Whitehead, Phillip
Pavitt, Laurie Whitlock, William
Pendry, Tom Wigley, Dafydd
Penhaligon, David Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Pitt, William Henry Williams, Rt Hon A. (S'sea W)
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Williams, Rt Hon Mrs (Crosby)
Race, Reg Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Radice, Giles Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H. (H'ton)
Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S) Wilson, William (C'try SE)
Richardson, Jo Winnick, David
Roberts, Allan (Bootle) Woodall, Alec
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N) Woolmer, Kenneth
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Robertson, George Wright, Sheila
Robinson, G. (Coventry NW) Young, David (Bolton E)
Rodgers, Rt Hon William
Roper, John Tellers for the Noes:
Ross, Ernest (Dundee West) Mr. Hugh McCartney and
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Mr. Ron Leighton.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 39, in page 8, line 42, clause 10, at end insert— '(4) For the purpose of section 2 above in its application to an accounting period of an Executive ending before 1st April 1984 there shall be disregarded any deficit or potential deficit to the extent to which it is or is to be covered by the appropriation of any reserves of the Executive available for the purpose if, at any time before or after the passing of this Act but before the Secretary of State gives his guidance to the Authority under subsection (2) above, the Executive have notified the Secretary of State of their intention to appropriate those reserves for that purpose.'.—[Mr. David Howell.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.—[Mr. David Howell.]

11.54 pm
Mr. Booth

In the 11 weeks since Second Readings, we have had to attempt three major exercises. At the Bill was produced simultaneously with the White Paper, we have not only had to examine the Bill within the truncated timescale allowed by the guillotine but have had to conduct the debate on the White Paper and the consultation with metropolitan authorities and the GLC which would have been carried out before proceedings commenced on the Bill if the normal timescale had been observed in producing the White Paper and introducing the Bill.

The White Paper "Public Transport Subsidy in Cities" set out three aims for the Bill. It says that the Bill will remove uncertainties about the role and legality of subsidy … ensure better value for money since Authorities will be encouraged to seek greater efficiency by reviewing and if necessary reforming management structures. And it will develop further opportunities for the private sector to provide urban passenger transport and ancillary services". No year could be allowed to pass by the Conservative Government without some piece of legislation with the aim of privatisation and public asset stripping.

On Second Reading, the Secretary of State also set out three aims for the Bill, but the last differed from that in the White Paper and, in our view, was clearly vindictive.

He said that the Bill clarifies the law on subsidy support for public transport and will improve the efficiency and value for money performance of our public transport systems in cities". Finally, he said that it was a Bill to discourage city authorities from the reckless course on which some of them have been set, with their excessive commitment to high rates, which destroy jobs with deadly efficiency, and to ultra-low fares which destabilise our transport systems".—[Official Report, 15 November 1982; Vol. 32, c. 41–2.] We have examined those claims to the extent possible in Committee proceedings drastically curtailed by the guillotine and we find that in practice the Bill fails in all those aims.

According to the Government, the Bill will clarify the law after the appalling judgment by the Law Lords 15 months ago which destroyed the GLC "Fares Fair" policy and Mr. Justice Woolf's judgment on the Merseyside cheap fares policy. The metropolitan authorities made it clear that they would prefer to live with the Woolf judgment which gave them a clear legal basis on which to operate. The GLC was the only authority effectively covered by the Lords judgment, so if there was any need for legislation it was for a simple Bill to create for the GLC exactly the legal position of the metropolitan authorities. The GLC would have asked for no more from the Government. What it got, however, was not just a grave worsening of its own situation but a wrecking of the legal situation of metropolitan authorities as well.

Local authorities and their passenger transport authorities must have powers to make decisions on fare levels and general transport policy. Instead, the Government have introduced a Bill more in the spirit of the Law Lords judgment than with that of Mr. Justice Woolf's judgment. Far from clarifying the law, the Bill is an invitation to hostile individuals, companies and Conservative local authorities to challenge the GLC and metropolitan authorities in the courts if the authorities exceed the unattainably low public expenditure levels that can be set for them by an anti-public transport Conservative Secretary of State. It is likely that there will be more rather than fewer court cases under this Bill as opposed to the legislation that preceded it. The judges will have to resolve more conflicts between the Secretary of State's guidance and local authorities' statutory duties under the 1968 and 1969 legislation.

Mr. Stevens

Anyone listening to the right hon. Gentleman talking about an anti-transport Secretary of State might be deluded into supposing that subsidies to transport under the present Administration were lower in the United Kingdom than elsewhere. As I am sure the right hon. Gentleman knows, they are higher as a percentage of gross national product than in many developed countries such as the United States, France and Australia. I hope that he will agree that it is misleading to talk as if my right hon. Friend is anti-public transport. He clearly is not.

Mr. Booth

I do not believe that it is misleading. I did not mean to imply that I considered that the actions of the Secretary of State for Transport were out of character with those of his Conservative predecessor. Both of them have consistently pursued policies detrimental to public transport. If one examines the overall support of transport by the Governments of almost any European country, one will find that they have a commitment to sustaining public transport that goes right against the policy that is being pursued by the British Government.

If the Bill is passed, the judges will be asked to make more of the same type of political judgment that the Law Lords made. The Bill is asking the courts to limit the local electoral mandate in public transport. It is a sad day for local democracy and the House when we are called upon to pass a Bill that circumscribes the actions of local democracy in an important public service. It lowers the value of the House as a guardian of local democratic rights by defining a law that prevents those democratic rights from being exercised properly.

I shall now deal with the second aim of the Bill as declared by the Secretary of State—value for money. The Government say that the Bill will improve efficiency in public transport by forcing local authorities to review and reform local management structures, and by making them put services out to tender. One of the victims of the guillotine was proper consideration in Committee of clauses 7 and 8 which deal with management structures and tendering.

It is worth drawing attention to the fact that we are not alone in examining the Bill. Others have possibly examined parts that we have not debated in more detail. One example is the Chartered Institute of Transport, the director general of which wrote to the Secretary of State on 18 January 1983. With regard to this part of the Bill, he said: it is greatly to be regretted that the White Paper gives such prominence (para 3) to the two 'red herrings' of reforming management structures and private sector participation … We recognise there is validity in the encouragement of more accountable units, but the existing powers provide quite sufficient leverage on Executives to adopt an appropriate business and management structure. When outside bodies have reviewed the management structures of PTAs, they have usually reported favourably on them. A case in point is the report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the west midlands. As for privatisation, the private sector is only interested in profitable routes and their ancillary activities. Any change would be at the expense of less-used services such as off-peak, weekend and night services. I also fear that any such change would be at the expense of the work force in lower wages and worse conditions of employment.

The third aim of the Bill has now been discovered to be one of sheer political spite against local authorities. The Secretary of State gave the game away on Second Reading when he attacked what he called the reckless course on which some of them have been set."— [Official Report, 15 November 1982; Vol. 32, c. 42.] My hon. Friends and I would call it a determination to sustain and improve transport services, to maintain their ridership and to raise the quality of services.

The Bill is an attack on the success of Labour metropolitan authorities which have run, or tried to run, low fares policies. The Secretary of State knows that transport in big cities needs subsidies. The subsidy level in Britain—here I part company with the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Stevens)—is usually lower than in big cities abroad. The subsidy in Paris is about 56 per cent. of operating costs compared with 25 per cent. in London.

The Secretary of State also knows that low fares encourage ridership and are popular with the general public. He is opposed to low fares because they are effective in increasing public transport usage and because they have won public acclaim for Labour authorities.

Even more, the Bill is an attack upon local democracy. Yet more power is being taken from local government by central Government. Local government is increasingly being run from Whitehall. The Bill does not clarify the law. It will provide more work for lawyers. It will open the door yet again to privatisation and asset strippers. It will undermine local democracy for the sake of bashing Labour metropolitan authorities, which are winning support for good public transport services.

Further, the Bill represents ministerial interference in an attempt to prevent elected local representatives from shaping the services which they know are needed for their area and which have the support of local voters. It will make no contribution to the real need to prevent the collapse of public transport. If the Bill completes its passage through Parliament, it will be in the teeth of our opposition and in the clear knowledge that our aim must be to repeal it.

12.7 am

Mr. Parris

This is an awkward Bill, transparent enough in its purpose, but oblique, if not opaque, in the manner of its accomplishment. I can see my right hon. Friend's dilemma. He is faced with run-away subsidies by authorities which send the lion's share of the bill to him and to the unfranchised business community.

There are two logical choices open to him. He could make the local voter pay for his bus service, through rates or fares—that would be his choice, not Whitehall's—or he could take control of public transport away from the local authority, pay for it centrally and control it centrally. My right hon. Friend has shrunk from the choice. So he must. It is part of a pressing and wider constitutional question of which transport is only one aspect. It has faced successive Cabinets and they have reacted by shuffling tiers and boundaries as other people shuffle their feet.

My right hon. Friend's unhappy lot is to apply this sticking plaster Bill. It is a Bill which wants to take the reins of local transport planning but does not want to say so, and falls a little short of doing so. We are left with a rather confusing triangular paper shuffle between passenger transport authorities, passenger transport executives and central Government. It is a Bill which wants to reduce local transport subsidies but does not quite say so, though it will probably succeed in doing so.

It is a Bill which wants to offer protection from legal challenge to those who wish to take it. That purpose it does bear on its face and will achieve. Less certain is the status of the subsidy which goes outside the Bill's protection. My right hon. Friend has half implied that this uncertainty is a weapon of government. That is a doctrine of which I am a little doubtful.

In short, it is a Bill to which one offers the same welcome as one might give to the finger of the little Dutch boy in the sea wall. One is relieved to see it in place without being absolutely certain that it is the right instrument for its purpose.

12.10 am
Mr. Robert Parry (Liverpool, Scotland Exchange)

I oppose the Third Reading of the Bill. Being a Merseyside Member, I should like to address myself mainly to the situation facing the communities on Merseyside. I did not serve on the Committee, although I served on the last two transport Bill Committees. I should like to place on record my thanks and the thanks of my Merseyside colleagues and the people of Merseyside to my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks), who kept an eye on the proceedings on behalf of the Merseyside people. I assure my hon. Friend that his efforts have been greatly appreciated.

The misconceptions of the Government lie in their argument that the need for subsidy is due to temporary problems in falling passenger levels. However, the fact is that rising fares and cuts in services have caused a greater fall in bus travel than the increase in private motoring on Merseyside during the past 10 years.

I refer to the High Court hearing brought against the Merseyside county council by Great Universal Stores. My hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Stott) quoted the judge at great length. I shall quote an important sentence. The judge said that It is no use fixing charges at a level which the customer cannot pay. I agree. After receiving hundreds of letters of protest from constituents and commuters—I am certain that many other of my hon. Friends have also received such letters—it is clear to me that the general public also agree with the judge's view. The judge found in favour of the county council and judged that the county's subsidies on public transport were not illegal.

The Labour party, before the 1981 county council elections, included in its manifesto a pledge that it would bring in fair fares. Notwithstanding the fact that the Labour party got a massive majority, after regaining control of the council it considered the proposal afresh on its merits before it decided to implement the present fare levels.

The Government seem to ignore the fact that in areas such as Merseyside massive unemployment and falling populations had led to a drop in bus travel before the new fares were approved. The new fares brought back many commuters on to the buses. If the Bill goes through and the county is forced to increase the fares again, we will go back on the old merry-go-round. Eventually, we will start losing many passengers and commuters on the buses.

As has been said by many of my hon. Friends, the poorest of our community will suffer through the Bill. The people who will suffer could be the unemployed, the low-paid, the pensioners and the disabled. The Government recently published the figures from the 1981 census. It showed that the highest level of unemployment in 623 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wale s was in mine, with nearly 45 per cent. unemployment. The census also showed that of all the constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales, mine, in inner Liverpool, was one of the highest for non car-ownership. If the Bill becomes law, thousands of Merseyside people will have to go on their bikes. That is what Ministers often tell us.

This Tory Government appear to be hell bent on destroying the infrastructure and economy of all our regions, including Merseyside, Tyneside, Clydebank and South Wales, through their deliberate monetarist policies and their inflexible approach.

I shall deal briefly with the provisions concerning the writing off of debts due from the National Dock Labour Board. Most of the debate has concentrated, rightly, on transport, but I have several important points to make about the debts that have been written off on behalf of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company or the port of Liverpool. The amount of money being written off involves the severance of registered dock workers under the Jones Aldington agreement. Although we, and in particular the port of Liverpool, appreciate the Government's gesture, they must realise that the dockers have, as a result of a voluntary agreement, given up jobs in their thousands to try to make the ports of London and Liverpool competitive.

In 1982 alone, 809 registered dock workers, and 997 non-registered workers, accepted severance in Liverpool. On 15 December, in a reply in the House, the Secretary of State said that the Government were not prepared to make any further grants available to the two ports after the end of 1982. I must inform, advise and remind Ministers of the additional costs that have been caused to many British ports, especially Liverpool, through dredging and conservancy. I led a deputation to the previous Secretary of State for Transport. We pointed out that those in the industry, including the dock workers and the Transpor and General Workers Union, had advised us that continental ports receive subsidies and grants from their Governments. However, our Government will give nothing to the ports that need them if they are to remain competitive against foreign ports.

I should comment on the application by the promoters of the development of a new container terminal at Falmouth. The Under-Secretary will remember that Members of Parliament for Merseyside, my colleagues and the national and local officers of the TGWU had a meeting with him just before Christmas. I remind him that we sincerely hope that a statement will be made in the near future to the effect that the Government will not give the application any support. It would seem to be crazy, and to be the economics of the madhouse. Over the years, the Government have made grants amounting to tens and millions of pounds to the port of Liverpool. If the application for Falmouth is accepted, it could sound the death knell for the terminal at Seaforth. That would be the end of Liverpool. It is crazy to consider that application when it could mean the end of the great city and port of Liverpool.

12.18 am
Mr. Peter Griffiths

I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State on the achievement of the Bill in introducing a more businesslike procedure into the organisation of transport in the metropolitan counties. I also congratulate them on the courteous way in which they conducted debates and discussions both in the Chamber and in Committee, despite the exaggerated and extreme attacks that have been made on the Bill by Opposition Members.

It is not for me to comment on the Opposition's tactics, but the unfairness of some of their attacks was clearly revealed in the comments of the right hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Booth). He said that because of the guillotine, we had been denied the opportunity to discuss clauses 7 and 8. The list of amendments shows that the Opposition did not table amendments to clause 7. Had they not taken so disproportionately a long time in rehearsing the same tired arguments that we heard in Committee, there was no reason why we could not have discussed the amendments tabled to clause 8.

It was a pity that a short, fairly straightforward, Bill was subjected to a guillotine. It was also a pity that the way in which the guillotine operated meant that the Bill was not discussed equally in each of its clauses and sections. Again, the responsibility for that lies entirely with the Opposition, who devoted a disproportionate amount of time to clause 2—and even to clause 1, which is only explanatory—spending hour after hour in repetitive discussion about individual metropolitan counties. If the time that was given to the Bill—well over 100 hours of discussion—had been spread evenly over the clauses, there was no reason why the Bill should not have been discussed fully, to the reasonable satisfaction of both sides of the House.

Mr. Booth

Will the hon. Gentleman look at the amendment paper for today and examine amendments Nos. 33, 34 and 35? They are amendments to clause 8, dealing with the question of tendering. There was not time to debate them. We had to withdraw a number of amendments even to get as far as we did under the guillotine.

Mr. Griffiths

The right hon. Gentleman's intervention demonstrates the difficulty of Conservative Members in having any rational dialogue with Opposition Members. I clearly said—no doubt it will be recorded in Hansard tomorrow—that the right hon. Gentleman complained that we had not had discussions on clauses 7 and 8. I said that the Opposition had not tabled any amendments to clause 7. The right hon. Gentleman clearly did not listen, so he should not intervene. The record will speak for itself tomorrow.

We have established a businesslike relationship between the transport authority, the transport executive and the Secretary of State. In a normal business, the job of the management would be to deal with the management function, and the job of the board of directors would be to carry out the overall supervision and receive reports from management. That will be the relationship between the authority and the executive. But they must, of course, at all times have regard to one other major factor in addition to that of the needs of the local electorate, that being the overriding importance of the national interest. The Opposition entirely failed to address themselves to that matter.

One grave omission in the hour after hour of repetitive discussion led by the Opposition is that they have spoken about fares and the frequency of operation but have missed one vital point—the actual quality of the service offered. That is the one thing that would draw passengers pack to public transport. It is disproportionately expensive to bring them back by subsidy. The right way is to offer a better quality of service—a matter to which the Opposition have manifestly failed to address themselves.

We should be grateful to my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary for the way in which they have presented the Bill and defended it against unfair and exaggerated attacks. The House should be grateful to them, and, eventually, the country will be also.

12.25 am
Mr. Crowther

I am happy to assure the hon. Member for Portsmouth, North (Mr. Giffiths) that there is no better bus service in this country than that in south Yorkshire. If he cares to come to find out how good it is, instead of sitting here criticising, he will perhaps learn a great deal. Of course, having a good service involves paying for it. It is not had for nothing. The people of south Yorkshire have chosen the way in which they wish it to be paid for. The tragedy is that the Bill will overturn their wishes, expressed time after time through the ballot box.

I was rather nauseated by the hon. Gentleman's sycophancy in congratulating the Ministers on getting the Bill through the House. With their majority, they could hardly fail to do so. I have found it a sad and depressing experience. As we have said many times, the Bill strikes at the very heart of local democracy, but it does so in a unique way.

We have seen many attacks on local authorities during the present Parliament. We have seen many instances of the Secretary of State for the Environment punishing ratepayers by withholding grants. The Bill is unique because at least the Secretary of State for the Environment has not chosen to put councillors in peril of being surcharged and made bankrupt for carrying out the wishes of their electors. That is what the Bill does. The Secretary of State made that crystal clear in the White Paper, even if it is not spelt out in the Bill. My hon. Friends have drawn attention to that in our long debates on the Bill.

I have always had an inexpressibly deep attachment to the principle of local democracy, which, I remind hon. Members, is a great deal older than Parliament. I am possibly the only Member of the House who can claim to be representing the town in which he was twice elected mayor. I am rather proud of my involvement in local democracy, and I hate to see this type of attack being made on it and the old traditions being whittled away by the Government.

It is manifestly absurd to pretend that the Secretary of State is better qualified than the elected representatives to decide on the level of service that is to be applied in any area, whether it be transport of any other service.

Mr. Stevens

Does the right worshipful Member agree that the tradition which has been whittled away and which the Bill seeks to reintroduce is the tradition that local authorities voluntarily accept the spending constraints recommended by the Government?

Mr. Crowther

If the hon. Gentleman had known anything about the history of local government he would not have made that remark. The tradition has been that authorities are elected and carry out the wishes of those who elected them. They do not have Secretary's of State breathing down their necks and telling them what they can do. That has been happening for the past three years and I find that tragic.

No one pretends that elected authorities are always right. Sometimes they make the wrong decisions, but that is part of the business of democracy—the right to be wrong so long as one has been elected. If an authority makes a decision that the electors do not like, in the long run the electors will throw it out. I trust sincerely that in the long run the electors will throw out the Secretary of State, along with the rest of this rag, tag and bobtail Government, who have already been in office far too long and have done a great deal of damage to us.

The Bill will have serious consequences in all the metropolitan counties, but in south Yorkshire it will be nothing short of disastrous if the so-called guidance, which the Secretary of State has already indicated in his White Paper, is followed. I have tried to find out from the Under-Secretary what the Government imagine the law will be with regard to an authority such as South Yorkshire, which, in order to carry out its statutory duties, must exceed the guidance figure laid down by the Secretary of State.

The Under-Secretary of State assured me that no authority would be prevented from carrying out its duty. However, he stopped short of saying that in carrying out this duty the South Yorkshire county council would still be protected against being taken to court. If it is the Government's wish that the county council should be allowed to carry out its duty, the Secretary of State should double his proposed guidance figure, because £80 million rather than £40 million will be needed for the county council to carry out its proper planning function.

There has been a great deal of debate. I have uttered more than 10 words on the subject. I shall therefore not pursue the matter further. This is a disgraceful Bill and it should be consigned to oblivion, along with the Government who introduced it.

12.30 am
Mr. Bevan

There is sincerity on both sides of the House in the attitudes of hon. Members towards transport. A difference arises when one tries to put in perspective the mix that should benefit from subsidy. The Opposition believe in unlimited and general subsidy. My right hon. and hon. Friends concede that there has to be a subsidy for public transport, but the public do not separate themselves into different compartments. The traveller is the same man who pays rates and who contributes towards the education of his children. He is possibly the same man who receives benefit as an old-age pensioner or as a disabled person in concessionary fares.

The concessionary fare is unaltered. So are the benefits for old-age pensioners especially in the west midlands, on the railway and the buses. My right hon. and hon. Friends have stated that these matters are not affected. We are therefore left debating the quantum of the subsidy. In three years, the subsidy has increased from £200 million to £400 million. That is a considerable sum. If the subsidies requested generally were allowed, the sum would amount to £700 million next year. The public, I am certain, will say that this is too much. Their attitude in the west midlands is that the executive already runs a good service on a low subsidy of £25.4 million. It rose substantially from £19.6 million the previous year. If a demand is made for the subsidy to rise to £40 million, the public will say that it is too much when tested against a background of what has to be spent on education. It is axiomatic that, just as the metropolitan county councils can precept upon the rate of the district authority, that size of increase would incur about £40 million in extra subsidy and fines. It would prevent the district council from putting another £4 million into the education of the traveller's children.

We have a good service which should be allowed to continue. We should not pay absolute homage to all the demands of the metropolitan county council transport authorities. Their only function is to run transport. We cannot bisect that function from the other functions of local authorities. Nor can we bisect that function from the overall necessity to reduce or contain public expenditure for the greater good of the public. The man who has to educate his children is the same man who at the end of the day pays the rates bill.

There should have been a fifth box on the pink form which was sent out by the West Midlands county council, and if it had said "If you pick the other four boxes and say that you do not want fares to be increased, and services cut, you want the Bill altered and so on, and do you want your rates to go up by this amount to cover the unrestricted continuous demands of the West Midlands county council?" I am certain that the ratepayer would have put a large tick in that box.

The ratepayer would have agreed, as we shall agree, even though some of us had doubts about some of the clauses, that the Bill is designed to protect a local authority from legal proceedings and protect the ratepayer from unwarranted expenditure.

Mr. Ronald W. Brown

The hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Bevan) has it wrong. The Bill does not protect anyone, and it is extraordinary to hear him argue that.

We must remember that the Bill was not introduced in order to improve transport; it was started as an attack on the GLC.

Mr. David Howell


Mr. Brown

The Secretary of State says "What?". On Second Reading he told us that he introduced it in order to clarify the position arising from the Law Lords judgment. I told him then that I did not believe he understood what he was doing—

Mr. Howell

The hon. Gentleman said that was started as an attack on the GLC. That is wholly untrue. When he continued, he said something different.

Mr. Brown

The Secretary of State may say that it is wholly untrue, but we heard what he said on Second Reading. I challenged him then. One does not want to rehearse all the arguments, but that is where it began. It was nothing to do with improving transport.

Many problems for many people in different parts of the country have arisen from the Secretary of State's proposals for getting the GLC into shape. My right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mrs. Williams) made it clear that Merseyside, which has had a first-class transport system, is now likely to have to increase fares by 40 per cent. because the Secretary of State wanted to attack the GLC. He cannot justify what he has done.

The Under-Secretary said that the model that they will work on to determine the various factors involved to reach the guidelines that the Secretary of State will produce will take in this, that and the other. May I remind the Under-Secretary that Greater London has a greater number of travellers than anywhere else. Our travel-to-work area is greater than anywhere else. We are dealing with millions of people in London. How can he suggest that the model which is being proposed for the country as a whole is suitable for London? Similarly, one cannot have a model that is suitable for London and apply it to the rest of the country. To state that the Department is working on a model which will then be the national norm is an example of why London hospitals, local government, schools and transport have suffered so much. A national norm is applied to the capital which is not normal. I asked the Under-Secretary to spell out some of the factors to be included in the guidelines but he did not do so. If he suggests that traffic congestion and accidents are relevant in the model, why have they not been included in the Bill? It is no good saying that there were too many other factors to include them in the Bill, if they can be included in the model.

The Bill is bad because it was not designed for transport. It was designed to be petulant and to force some silly little confrontations with local government. This Government will go down in history as the only Government for years who have tried to fight local government and do their best to destroy it. If anyone remembers the Bill, it will not be for its contribution to transport but for the way that the Government have attempted to destroy democracy in local government.

12.40 am
Mr. Flannery

I come from south Yorkshire, and the issue at stake for me is whether, after this Bill, we shall have a thriving and living local transport system or whether we shall strike it such a blow that its death will become imminent for all local people. The vehicle for achieving the latter is the violation of local democracy, which is what the Bill proposes.

Central Government are completely responsible for high fares, not local government. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Bevan) talked absolute guff about subsidies, as though the Conservative party is against subsidies. Farmers receive two-thirds of their money from public subsidies. The Conservative party subsidises the wealthy on a grand scale.

Mr. Bevan


Mr. Flannery

No, I am not giving way. I did not make a fool of myself by talking such nonsense. I am talking about reality. When people say such things, they should use their thinking capacity even slightly to get at the truth.

It is not high local rates but the brutal economic policies of the Government that are creating a desert in our area. If Conservative Members do not know that, they should come to see the thriving transport system in our area. Some talk as though the subsidies mean everything, but we never hear about the ordinary humane benefits of a good transport system. Old people, who used to have to sit at home, are now travelling about on a grand scale. The unemployed can visit their relatives because of the low fares. All children can travel cheaply. Those human benefits that cannot be costed in the terms in which the Conservative party always talks about the subject are the result.

The Government know that, if they land in difficulty, a group of judges will always bale them out. In the Tameside case, it was said that the Tory authority had included in its manifesto, and therefore had to carry it out, a threat to destroy comprehensive education. The Master of the Rolls said that, but he reversed his decision in the GLC case and said that everything included in the manifesto need not be carried out. We had double standards from the tame judges.

Local democracy in south Yorkshire is such that each year this policy is put before the electorate, which votes in many Labour members and only a handful of Tory members. There is only one Tory Member of Parliament in south Yorkshire. The blow now being delivered is aimed at south Yorkshire as well as at the GLC. Many people in my area will be watching this debate. They will stigmatise the Government for what they are—a Government who are for the rich and against ordinary people, who want higher fares on a grand scale, who talk of subsidies, and who have increased prescription charges 600 per cent. since they took office. That is why the ordinary people would throw the Bill out if they had the opportunity and would have cheap transport in every area.

12.44 am
Mr. Les Huckfield

I rise to speak briefly, in view of the shortage of time. For those hon. Members who served on the Standing Committee, the more we go into the Bill the worse it becomes and, most worrying, the less clear it becomes. It is least clear to the Secretary of State. In every debate in Committee, it became less clear with every piece of paper that he was passed to read out. Even today we had the insertion of yet another Government amendment on the point of retrospection and that underlines the fact that the Government are still not clear about the legal intentions and interpretation of the Bill.

Local transport authorities will now have to make calculations on rates and precepts on figures and other calculations which may come into being if the Bill is enacted, yet because of the way in which the Secretary of State has introduced his amendment on retrospection they could be forced to take into account the calculations in the Bill.

As I have said before, it is intolerable to expect locally elected councillors to make sensible transport decisions when they will be asked to take into account simple calculations which may become law if the Bill is enacted. That is the kind of legal precedent that the Secretary of State is making.

The Secretary of State cannot say how the figures in the guidelines in the White Paper are calculated. A deputation from the West Midlands metropolitan county council went to see him before Christmas to probe in depth how he had arrived at the calculations on which his guidelines were based. The simple fact that emerged was that the Secretary of State and his officials simply did not know. The truth is that the guidelines upon which local authorities are expected to make their precepts and take into their calculations are based on sheer political malice and spite. Local authorities are asked to take into account guidelines which are based purely on the Secretary of State's politics.

The matter gets worse because the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary of State keep telling us that once the Bill is on the statute book the balance will be about right. But they have already got a Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the West Midlands metropolitan county council which went into the whole question of balance between the passenger transport authority and the passenger transport executive. It also went into the relationship with Government Departments. Even before the Bill, the commission said that the balance was about right. All the experience that we have of the relationship between the passenger transport executives, the passenger transport authorities and the Department of Transport shows that even without this legislation the relationship is working well, so why disturb it? Why touch it? Why upset it?

Because with every sitting of the Committee the legal interpretations became more complex, one is led to conclude that every time the Secretary of State opens his mouth we go deeper into the legal jungle. Nothing that he has said has clarified the Bill. Certainly some of the things that the Under-Secretary of State has said have not clarified the Bill at all.

We are now entering an area where not only are the legal consequences unclear but the levels of fare increases and changes which could be occasioned by the Bill are not clear either. So we are entering into a period of utter legal and economic uncertainty and it is all caused by the Bill. One only hopes that the Lords will see a point of principle in order that they can reject the Bill. I only hope that Conservative Members will see some sense and recognise that there are some good features in the arguments that we have put forward. If they cannot, I hope that they will pass the arguments on to their friends in another place.

12.50 am
Mr. Stevens

Right hon. and hon. Members will long since have forgotten the remarks of the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery). I rise to point out that in his peroration he made an error of fact.

The hon. Gentleman told the House that the GLC was carrying out the programme set out in the Labour manifesto, but it introduced a "Fares Fair" policy which went more than one-third further in terms of cost cutting than the manifesto recommended. This demonstrates the difficulties that my hon. Friends have had, both in the House and in Committee. One is facing people whose love of dialectical materialism leads them to exaggerate and twist words in a way that makes response almost impossible.

12.52 am
Mr. David Howell

As we come to the end of our debate on the Third Reading of the Bill, it is right that I should intervene, as I have not yet had the opportunity to do so.

No one disputes the case for subsidy for local transport operations, and subsidy, as has been recognised by the Government, on a scale larger than anything contemplated, recognised or practised in the 1970s. Nor can anyone dispute, and nor has anyone disputed, the enormous growth in the pace of that subsidy. As my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Bevan) said, the subsidy was £200 million three years ago, £400 million this year, and if the bids were allowed to proceed unchecked next year we should see a growth to £700 million of subsidy on current public transport operations in the metropolitan county areas.

It is the business ratepayers who will be the missing guests at this subsidy feast. We have heard a great deal from right hon. and hon. Members during the discussion of the Bill, both on the Floor of the House and in Committee, but many have evaded the fact that the subsidy has to be paid for, and largely paid for not by the ratepayers who vote, but by the ratepayers who do not vote. Furthermore, it has been suggested—

Mr. Cryer

On a point of Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)

I hope that it is not a point of order that is an intervention.

Mr. Cryer

It is a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Will you confirm that the record of the Committee sittings is available to the public, who can there see that time after time the Opposition placed on record their concern with rate expenditure and demolished the argument about the business ratepayer?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I can confirm that.

Mr. Howell

The concern is noted. The business ratepayer pays for a substantial part of these subsidies.

Furthermore, it is argued that this is just the policy of the present Government, as though it were not the case, as it is, that previous Governments, especially the Labour Government, argued strongly against excessive subsidies. When the right hon. Member for Stockton (Mi. Rogers) was Secretary of State for Transport—he is now a Social Democrat—he argued strongly against excessive subsidies.

The Opposition have taken a different view today. Over a year ago, after the Bromley judgment, they demanded a reinstatement of the "Fares Fair" policy. That policy was called in the courts, hasty, ill-considered, unlawful and an arbitrary use of power. The Opposition want the hasty, ill-considered and unlawful use of power to be reinstated in Greater London. The Government make no apology for rejecting that proposition.

We recognise that there is a need for legislation. The GLC has argued strongly that there should be legislation. The Association of Metropolitan Authorities did not seek legislation, but the Merseyside judgment did not go to appeal and the west midlands had to change its policies in the face of legal threats. There is no doubt in the minds of those who recognise the enormous growth in subsidy that the dangers of legal challenge are present and could increase if the Bill were not enacted. The need for clarification and stabilisation through a change in the law has been present all the time.

The difficulty has been the misleading and inaccurate propaganda put about—largely outside the House, at the expense of ratepayers, and based on assertions without any foundation. A prime example of this concerns concessionary fares. The aspect of the campaign against the Bill that has caused me most distress is the untrue assertion that the Bill threatens concessionary fares. This suggestion, which was without foundation, was printed, distributed and put around in a way that caused distress, anxiety and worry to the elderly and the disabled. I do not know what kind of opposition that is supposed to be. It certainly does not reflect the values that this House ought to support.

The second charge—and it is a serious one—is that the Bill is an attack on local democracy. The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Crowther) repeated that charge in this debate, but it is not correct. The authorities remain free to set the level of grants and fares.

It is a travesty of local democracy to argue that business ratepayers can feel protected through the ballot box. We have heard again and again the assertion that the electors should decide and choose. The electors are not the same people as the ratepayers. It is the business ratepayers who largely finance these policies. Local democracy is whittled away when many ratepayers do not have a vote in the expenditure of their money. We therefore make no apology for refusing to protect unlimited subsidies. That, apparently, is what the Opposition wish to do, but we have refused to do that in the Bill.

The Bill protects a very substantial level of support. There have been repeated questions about how the initial guidance will be set and how the process will be organised. I have been accused of not seeking consultation. That is untrue. Consultation was sought with the Association of Metropolitan authorities as long ago as July, but most unwisely, instructed its members to refuse to consult the Government on how the planning procedure should work.

The Bill offers a substantial level of protection to metropolitan authorities seeking to pay local transport subsidies. That protection did not exist before, but it is now being provided. Those authorities that wish to work within the protected expenditure limits will be protected and safe from legal challenge. The legal stability will be present, which previously was lacking.

Secondly, the Bill institutes sensible procedures so that ratepayers will know far better than they have known in the past what value for money they are getting from the colossal sums being spent. Passenger transport executives can seek private tendering for transport services as well. I believe that that is a desirable improvement.

Thirdly, the Bill aims to place a limit and restraint on the explosive growth of public transport current subsidies. It does so because of the figures that I mentioned earlier and because business ratepayers, who have no vote, have suffered colossal rate increase and great damage has been caused to employment. At a time when it should be the aim of all hon. Members to encourage employment, machinery has been in action which has undermined employment by increasing business rates, which are now the largest single cost to business and a direct attack on employment.

For that reason, the Bill is urgently needed and I have no hesitation in commending it to the House.

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

The House divided: Ayes 286, Noes 229.

Division No 59] [1.0 am
Aitken, Jonathan Benyon, Thomas (A'don)
Alexander, Richard Benyon, W. (Buckingham)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Best, Keith
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Bevan, David Gilroy
Ancram, Michael Biffen, Rt Hon John
Arnold, Tom Biggs-Davison, Sir John
Aspinwall, Jack Blackburn, John
Atkinson, David (B'm'th, E) Blaker, Peter
Baker, Kenneth (St. M'bone) Body, Richard
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Bonsor, Sir Nicholas
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Boscawen, Hon Robert
Bendall, Vivian Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W)
Bowden, Andrew Hampson, Dr Keith
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Hannam, John
Braine, Sir Bernard Haselhurst, Alan
Bright, Graham Hastings, Stephen
Brinton, Tim Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon Hawkins, Sir Paul
Brooke, Hon Peter Hawksley, Warren
Brotherton, Michael Hayhoe, Barney
Browne, John (Winchester) Heddle, John
Bruce-Gardyne, John Henderson, Barry
Bryan, Sir Paul Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Buchanan-Smith, Rt. Hon. A. Hicks, Robert
Buck, Antony Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Budgen, Nick Hill, James
Bulmer, Esmond Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Butcher, John Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Hooson, Tom
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Hordern, Peter
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)
Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Chapman, Sydney Hunt, David (Wirral)
Churchill, W. S. Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Irvine, Rt Hon Bryant Godman
Clegg, Sir Walter Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Cockeram, Eric Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Colvin, Michael Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Cope, John Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Corrie, John Kaberry, Sir Donald
Costain, Sir Albert Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Cranborne, Viscount Kitson, Sir Timothy
Critchley, Julian Knight, Mrs Jill
Crouch, David Knox, David
Dickens, Geoffrey Lamont, Norman
Dorrell, Stephen Lang, Ian
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Langford-Holt, Sir John
Dover, Denshore Latham, Michael
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lawrence, Ivan
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Durant, Tony Lee, John
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Rutland)
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)
Eggar, Tim Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Elliott, Sir William Loveridge, John
Emery, Sir Peter Luce, Richard
Eyre, Reginald Lyell, Nicholas
Fairbairn, Nicholas McCrindle, Robert
Fairgrieve, Sir Russell Macfarlane, Neil
Faith, Mrs Sheila MacGregor, John
Farr, John MacKay, John (Argyll)
Fell, Sir Anthony Macmillan, Rt Hon M.
Fenner, Mrs Peggy McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Finsberg, Geoffrey McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Fisher, Sir Nigel McQuarrie, Albert
Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N) Madel, David
Forman, Nigel Major, John
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Marland, Paul
Fox, Marcus Marlow, Antony
Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Fry, Peter Marten, Rt Hon Neil
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Mates, Michael
Gardner, Sir Edward Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus
Garel-Jones, Tristan Mawby, Ray
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Goodhart, Sir Philip Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Goodhew, Sir Victor Mayhew, Patrick
Goodlad, Alastair Mellor, David
Gorst, John Meyer, Sir Anthony
Gow, Ian Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Gower, Sir Raymond Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Grant, Sir Anthony Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Gray, Rt Hon Hamish Miscampbell, Norman
Greenway, Harry Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Grieve, Percy Moate, Roger
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Monro, Sir Hector
Grist, Ian Montgomery, Fergus
Grylls, Michael Moore, John
Gummer, John Selwyn Morgan, Geraint
Hamilton, Hon A. Morris, M. (N'hampton S)
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Murphy, Christopher Sproat, Iain
Myles, David Squire, Robin
Neale, Gerrard Stainton, Keith
Needham, Richard Stanbrook, Ivor
Neubert, Michael Stanley, John
Normanton, Tom Steen, Anthony
Onslow, Cranley Stevens, Martin
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S. Stewart, A. (E Renfrewshire)
Osborn, John Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Page, John (Harrow, West) Stokes, John
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Stradling Thomas, J.
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Tapsell, Peter
Parris, Matthew Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Temple-Morris, Peter
Patten, John (Oxford) Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Pattie, Geoffrey Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Pawsey, James Thompson, Donald
Percival, Sir Ian Thornton, Malcolm
Pollock, Alexander Townend, John (Bridlington)
Porter, Barry Trippier, David
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Trotter, Neville
Price, Sir David (Eastleigh) van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Prior, Rt Hon James Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Proctor, K. Harvey Viggers, Peter
Rathbone, Tim Waddington, David
Rees-Davies, W. R. Wakeham, John
Renton, Tim Waldegrave, Hon William
Rhodes James, Robert Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Walker, B. (Perth)
Ridley, Hon Nicholas Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.
Rifkind, Malcolm Wall, Sir Patrick
Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Waller, Gary
Roberts, M. (Cardiff NW) Walters, Dennis
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Warren, Kenneth
Rossi, Hugh Watson, John
Rost, Peter Wells, Bowen
Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Wheeler, John
St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N. Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Whitney, Raymond
Shelton, William (Streatham) Wiggin, Jerry
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Wilkinson, John
Shepherd, Richard Williams, D. (Montgomery)
Shersby, Michael Winterton, Nicholas
Silvester, Fred Wolfson, Mark
Skeet, T. H. H. Young, Sir George (Acton)
Smith, Dudley Younger, Rt Hon George
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Speed, Keith Tellers for the Ayes:
Speller, Tony Mr. Anthony Berry and
Spence, John Mr. Carol Mather.
Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)
Abse, Leo Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P)
Adams, Allen Campbell, Ian
Allaun, Frank Campbell-Savours, Dale
Anderson, Donald Cant, R. B.
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Carmichael, Neil
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Cartwright, John
Ashton, Joe Clark, Dr David (S Shields)
Atkinson, N. (H'gey,) Clarke, Thomas (C'b'dge, A'rie)
Bagier, Gordon A.T. Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cohen, Stanley
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd) Coleman, Donald
Beith, A. J. Conlan, Bernard
Bennett, Andrew (St'kp't N) Cowans, Harry
Bidwell, Sydney Cox, T. (W'dsw'th, Toot'g)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Crawshaw, Richard
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Crowther, Stan
Bradley, Tom Cryer, Bob
Bray, Dr Jeremy Cunliffe, Lawrence
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Cunningham, G. (Islington S)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n)
Brown, R. C. (N'castle W) Dalyell, Tam
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S) Davidson, Arthur
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)
Buchan, Norman Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd)
Deakins, Eric McKelvey, William
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Dewar, Donald Maclennan, Robert
Dixon, Donald McMahon, Andrew
Dobson, Frank McNally, Thomas
Dormand, Jack McTaggart, Robert
Dubs, Alfred McWilliam, John
Duffy, A. E. P. Magee, Bryan
Dunnett, Jack Marks, Kenneth
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Marshall, D (G'gow S'ton)
Eadie, Alex Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Eastham, Ken Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n S E) Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're) Maxton, John
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Maynard, Miss Joan
English, Michael Meacher, Michael
Ennals, Rt Hon David Mikardo, Ian
Evans, John (Newton) Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Ewing, Harry Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Faulds, Andrew Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Field, Frank Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw)
Flannery, Martin Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Forrester, John Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Foster, Derek Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd) Newens, Stanley
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Freud, Clement Ogden, Eric
Garrett, John (Norwich S) O'Halloran, Michael
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) O'Neill, Martin
George, Bruce Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Golding, John Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Gourlay, Harry Palmer, Arthur
Graham, Ted Park, George
Grant, John (Islington C) Parker, John
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Parry, Robert
Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife) Pavitt, Laurie
Hardy, Peter Pendry, Tom
Harman, Harriet (Peckham) Penhaligon, David
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Pitt, William Henry
Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Race, Reg
Haynes, Frank Radice, Giles
Heffer, Eric S. Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S)
Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll) Richardson, Jo
Home Robertson, John Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Homewood, William Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Howell, Rt Hon D. Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Howells, Geraint Robertson, George
Hoyle, Douglas Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Huckfield, Les Rodgers, Rt Hon William
Hudson Davies, Gwilym E. Roper, John
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Rowlands, Ted
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Ryman, John
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Sandelson, Neville
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd) Sever, John
John, Brynmor Sheerman, Barry
Johnson, James (Hull West) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Short, Mrs Renée
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Silverman, Julius
Kerr, Russell Skinner, Dennis
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Lambie, David Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)
Lamond, James Snape, Peter
Leadbitter, Ted Spellar, John Francis (B'ham)
Leighton, Ronald Spriggs, Leslie
Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW) Stallard, A. W.
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Stoddart, David
Litherland, Robert Stott, Roger
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Strang, Gavin
Lyon, Alexander (York) Straw, Jack
Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
McCartney, Hugh Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
McElhone, Mrs Helen Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
McGuire, Michael (Ince) Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Tilley, John
Tinn, James Williams, Rt Hon Mrs (Crosby)
Torney, Tom Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Varley, Rt Hon Eric G. Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H. (H'ton)
Wainwright, E. (Dearne V) Wilson, William (C'try SE)
Walker, Rt Hon H. (D'caster) Winnick, David
Wardell, Gareth Woodall, Alec
Weetch, Ken Woolmer, Kenneth
Welsh, Michael Wright, Sheila
White, J. (G'gow Pollok) Young, David (Bolton E)
Whitehead, Phillip
Whitlock, William Tellers for the Noes:
Wigley, Dafydd Mr. George Morton and
Willey, Rt Hon Frederick Mr. Norman Hogg.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.

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