HC Deb 19 July 1983 vol 46 cc268-341

Battersea; Bethnal Green and Stepney; Bow and Poplar; Chelsea; The City of London and Westminster South; Dulwich; Eltham; Fulham; Greenwich; Hackney North and Stoke Newington; Hackney South and Shoreditch; Harnmersrnith Hampstead and Highgate; Holborn and St. Pancras; Islington North; Islington South and Finsbury; Kensington; Lewisham, Deptford; Lewisham East; Lewisham West; Norwood; Peckham; Putney; Southwark and Bermondsey; Streatham.; Tooting; Vauxhall; Westminster North; Woolwich.

No. 8, That, in the opinion of this House, for the period of 12 months beginning with 1st January 1984 and every subsequent period of 12 months beginning with 1st January,—

  1. (a) a journey by a child of a Member of this House, being a journey in respect of which facilities for free travel
No. 9, That this House takes note of the Twentieth Report of the Review Body on Top Salaries (Cmnd. 8881) and agrees with the recommendations contained in that Report with respect to the pensions of Members of this House, being recommendations (v) to (x) set out in paragraph 226 of Volume 1 of that Report. No. 10, That the draft Ministerial and other Salaries Order 1983, which was laid before this House on 13th July, be approved.

I shall in the course of my remarks comment on the amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand) and others, which seeks the full implementation of the Plowden report. I shall also refer to the amendments standing in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann), which effectively suggest an alternative way of determining Members' pay. Indeed, I realise that the debate may well centre around the proposals of my right hon. Friend—proposals that are acceptable to the Government.

I have an obligation, nevertheless, to speak to the initial recommendations of the Government, and that I propose to do as succinctly as I can. The details of those recommendations and subsequent motions were set out in the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Shepherd) on Thursday 14 July. I should perhaps also explain at the outset why there are two similar motions on pay on the Order Paper. That is the normal procedure.

The first motion is framed as an expression of opinion and can be amended; the second bears the Queen's recommendation and cannot be amended. The second motion is required to provide for an increase in Exchequer contributions to the pension fund following an increase in Members' pay. If the motion framed as an expression of opinion finds favour with the House, the second, effective, motion will then be moved. Conversely—and this is more relevant this evening—if the expression of opinion motion is amended, the effective motion will not be moved tonight, but I would propose to bring a suitably revised version before the House at an early opportunity.

That said, I propose to speak briefly, as I realise that many hon. Members wish to speak. I shall, of course, seek an opportunity to speak again at the conclusion of the debate. On that occasion I hope to comment on the points that have been raised meanwhile.

The genesis of the proposals now before us lies in the report of the Select Committee on Members' Salaries published in February 1982. The committee recommended that the Review Body on Top Salaries should where possible review Members' pay in the fourth year of each Parliament.

The Government and the House accepted this recommendation on 10 June 1982; and the review body has accordingly carried out its review. Its report was published as Cmnd. 8881. The Government are most grateful to Lord Plowden and his colleagues for their work, and acknowledge the care that has gone into the preparation of the report.

  1. are provided in accordance with the fourth Resolution of this House of 10th June 1982, should not count against the number of journeys for which facilities for free travel are available to the Member's spouse; but
  2. (b) facilities for free travel should not be so provided in the case of any particular child in respect of more than fifteen return journeys.

The review body considered the following matters: the salaries of Members of Parliament; their secretarial, research and office expenses; other allowances and facilities for Members; their pensions and resettlement arrangements; and the salaries of Ministers and other office holders. I will deal briefly with each of these elements.

First, the Government have tabled motions authorising the review body's recommendations for the improvements in various allowances payable to Members. The biggest single change here is that the allowance for reimbursable payments available for secretarial and research assistance should be increased from £8,820 to £13,000 per year.

The Government also endorse the proposal that, in future, eligibility for the allowance should be subject to the condition that all payments to Member's staff should be made by the Fees Office, on behalf of the Member and direct to the staff concerned. This is desirable in the interests of accountability.

The review body said nothing about arrangements for reviewing this allowance. However, the Government propose that annual adjustments to the allowance should in future be considered, as is broadly the practice with all other allowances.

Turning to pensions, the review body recommends, and the Government accept, that the pension accrual rate for Members should in future be set at one fiftieth rather than one sixtieth of pensionable salary. This is a long sought change. Members cannot normally be expected to have had a full working parliamentary life of 40 years.

The review body also recommends that the pension contribution for Members should be increased. The Government strongly support this view. Our manifesto contained a promise to look for more realistic pension contributions in the public sector which are fair to the beneficiary and the taxpayer. Legislation will be required for the pension changes, which will be introduced after the House returns from the summer recess.

The review body also recommends that a resettlement grant should be available to all Members who leave the House at a general election, with the exception of those who have reached normal retirement age. The House will be aware that the previous rule was that a Member had to be defeated in the general election in order to qualify for this benefit. The review body recognised that widening the criteria involves a basic change but said that it was impressed by the weight of evidence on the difficulties and the anomalies which arise from the present criteria.

The Government have accepted the review body's recommendation on this point. It proposes that the resettlement grant should be available to all Members who retired from the last Parliament following the dissolution on 13 May this year.

At this point I would like to consider one other allowance—motor mileage. As the House will know, a resolution dating from 1975 provides that this allowance should be linked to that payable to civil servants. The Civil Service motor mileage allowance has been periodically increased to reflect movement in costs, and these increases, which are automatically reflected in the mileage rate for Members, are notified to Members by the Fees Office.

Recently there has been a further development in the Civil Service mileage allowance. Following a Rayner investigation, negotiations with the Council of Civil Service Unions led to agreement to introduce a two-tier payments structure more closely related to actual costs. Thus, the present rate will be paid for t first 9,000 miles in any financial year, but a reduced rate will be paid for the mileage thereafter. In current circumstances this will mean payments respectively of 25.8p and 14p.

The Government have considered these changes in relation to the position of Members of Parliament. They conclude that the new Civil Service two-tier structure of motor mileage allowance is appropriate also for Members. Under the terms of the resolution of 1975, the two-tier structure will come into effect for Members from 1 October 1983.

Mr. Terence Higgins (Worthing)

What investigation has my right hon. Friend made into the actual mileage driven respectively by Members of Parliament and civil servants?

Mr. Biffen

That is not the point. Whether the driver behind the wheel is a civil servant or a Member of Parliament, the costs that arise therefrom are the same.

I come now to the question of salary itself. As the House knows, the review body recommended a salary of £19,000 per annum for Members, an increase of some 31 per cent. on the present figure. The Government propose a salary of £15,090 per annum, or an increase of 4 per cent. The Government have also proposed increases of 4 per cent. in respect of Ministers and other office holders.

That proposed increase represents a value judgment of what is an appropriate salary for a Member. We are all constrained to make a value judgment of what that figure should be. The TSRB report suggests that it should pay regard to a Member being full time with no other source of income. It must also take account of the unique nature of a Member's occupation. Those factors alone, however, do not indicate a self-evident salary. We have still to make our own political judgment about an issue sensitive in its economic and social consequences. As I have said, the Government motion proposes an annual salary for Members of £15,090. That figure stands to be considered should the amendments of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton fail.

I reiterate that we have to make our personal and political judgment on this issue. It is redolent with economic implications far greater than the actual sums involved. In that context, therefore, I invite the House to reject the amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Easington requiring an immediate increase in Members' pay of 31 per cent., so providing an annual salary of £19,000.

I turn now to the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton. In no sense would it be appropriate for me to anticipate the speech that I know he will make in their advocacy. I would, however, like to reflect upon the general implication of the amendments. I make the following points in no order of magnitude. First, the amendments make a change in the balance between Members' pay and allowances; secondly, they provide for a slightly higher pension contribution; thirdly, they provide for a somewhat higher initial salary increase than the Government's proposal of 4 per cent.; fourthly, they provide for precise planned salary increases to the predetermined level of £18,500 by 1987. That, incidentally, sets aside the more general proposals of the Select Committee for dealing with pay increases during a Parliament. Fifthly, and perhaps most significant of all, the amendments provide for linkage with the relevant Civil Service grade from 1987 onwards, with arrangements to secure a continuing parliamentary presence and authority on these matters. Finally, the amendments have been drawn in such a way as to take account of the public spending factors that are of much concern to the Government.

My right hon. Friend has introduced amendments that do not so much refine the debate on the review board report as transform it, especially in respect of linkage. Indeed, the Order Paper itself bears testimony to that fact. The amendment on linkage in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser) suggests an alternative linkage formula that I believe could possibly mean a salary leap just ahead of the next general election. That is a formula that I cannot recommend to the House. I commend the course charted by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton.

The debate that lies ahead will enable the House to make judgments that go considerably wider than the current year. Meanwhile, there remain the other motions standing in my name that are unaffected by the anendments of my right hon. Friend. I strongly commend those to the House, and I believe that they are complementary to the amendments in securing an equitable resolution of the immediate and longer-term problem of Members' pay and allowances.

10.20 pm
Mr. John McWilliam (Blaydon)

This is just another of those uncomfortable, embarrassing, annual debates that we have about salaries and which, if either the motion standing in the name of the Leader of the House or the amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) is accepted, will continue to be exactly the same—an uncomfortable and embarrassing annual debate.

We have an opportunity this time to change that We have had time to learn from our experience in 1979, when instead of implementing the report as was then put forward we decided to phase it because, as was said at the time, the increase would have been too great; the public would have reacted unfavourably and there would have been the problem of not setting a good example at a time when the Government wanted to set a good example. Governments always want to set a good example. That goes for the present and previous Governments. Indeed, it is the duty of the Administration to accept the idea that people should set a good example.

However, we have other duties as well. We have duties as hon. Members to the House; we have duties as hon. Members to ensure that Parliament continues to attract people of the calibre which will improve our debates and the standard of public life in Britain; and as hon. Members we have other duties which too often we forget, such as duties to our families. Hon. Members, particularly provincial ones, often do not take that sufficiently into account when allocating our time, and the review body commented on that, too.

I take it ill when I am lectured by people in the newspapers whose expense allowances are bigger than our salaries. I take it ill when I am lectured by some hon. Members who, out of good fortune, find that their parliamentary salary is the smaller part of their income. I take it particularly ill when criticism is levelled at hon. Members for, as some put it, taking vast salaries for doing little, when the evidence in the review body report, and particularly in the supplement to the report, supported the evidence given to the Boyle committee in 1971 that this is a full-time job. Indeed, the average number of hours we spend on parliamentary business is 63 a week, spread over the whole year. Those of us who were fortunate to be members of the Standing Committee on the Telecommunications Bill might even be applying for overtime if we were sensible, but we are not.

I remind the House of the recent history of salaries, and we have a history of not remunerating hon. Members properly. We sought the advice of the review body in 1971, and its report was implemented. In 1975, by which time inflation had taken its toll, the difference between the amount then and 1971 was so great that it was felt politically improper to implement that report. Indeed, the situation in 1975 sparked off the idea of linkage. A motion suggesting that hon. Members' salaries should be tied to the salaries of assistant secretaries was then carried by 169 votes to 70.

A written answer was published this morning which suggested that if Members had been tied to the grade of assistant secretary their salaries would now be between £19,000 and £23,000. That linkage did not hold, because the Government did not accept it. As I have said, we chose in 1979 to phase the review body's recommendations instead of accepting them there and then. The phasing has had an interesting effect. It has left us on a salary of £14,510, whereas if we had received increases in line with earnings outside we would now be on a salary of £19,500. I do not think that these figures are denied by the Leader of the House and they are well documented in the review body's report.

My hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding) tells me that he has access to what goes on at meetings of the 1922 Committee. He told me that the right hon. Member for Taunton attended a meeting of the committee and said "Lads, I have good news and I have bad news." They said "Give us the good news first." He said "You know that I have been trying to do something about salaries. Because of the problems that they are having with the economy, the best that I can do is to get £15,000 for you." They replied, "All right, but what is the bad news?" He answered "I have managed to get it backdated." That is the effect of the group of amendments that the right hon. Gentleman has tabled. The package that they represent is less favourable than that which the Leader of the House is offering us.

The right hon. Member for Taunton cannot be said to have assembled a compromise. The package that he has produced can be described only as something that is worse than capitulation. I urge the House not to accept the blandishments of the Leader of the House, especially about the amendment of the right hon. Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser). I ask right hon. and hon. Members to accept that amendment. If we fail to do so, we shall end up with linkage, but we shall certainly not be linked with the grade of assistant secretary. It is unlikely that we shall be linked with senior principals. Indeed, we shall probably not even be linked with principals. If civil servants keep pace with projected inflation, it is likely that we shall be linked not with assistant secretaries but with higher executive officers. That is something that we must bear in mind when talking about linkage.

I do not have much faith in linkage, because it is never implemented. I thought that the recommendations of the Select Committee that considered Members' salaries were eminently reasonable and sensible. They were a sincere attempt to try to remove us from the embarrassment in which we keep finding ourselves. Far from accepting those recommendations, and far from accepting the package of outside comparatives to be used for linkage during the period between review bodies, we are faced with the prospect of linkage with executive officers or higher executive officers. I do not think that that is fair to the House, and it is not fair to the Civil Service either.

There is a problem that the Leader of the House should consider. If there is to be a difficulty with linkage affecting the salary that is offered to grades within the Civil Service, surely it is better to be linked to a grade with a small number of members than to a main grade with a vast number of members throughout the country. However, that is a problem for the right hon. Gentleman.

On secretarial allowances, I referred on a point of order to amendment (b) to motion No. 4, Mr. Speaker, and I do not challenge your ruling on this. I said that suddenly the allowance had been cut. Had the amendment been in the names of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury or the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I would have understood a cut of about £2,000, but, as it is in the name of a Conservative Back-Bench Member, it leads one to the conclusion that the Government are leaving footprints all over motions that purport to come from Back-Bench Members. This amendment shows the fall-back position of the Government. If that is the case, I hope that all hon. Members will recognise what has been done, will recognise that there is resentment on both sides of the House at the way in which it was done, and will treat that amendment accordingly.

I have criticised the Leader of the House in much of my speech, but I wish to pay tribute to his motion No. 7, which applies resettlement grants to people who are no longer Members as a result of the recent election. I thank him for that, and I offer him our full support in ensuring that that motion is passed. I also offer the Leader of the House our support on the motion on Members' children's travel. I live about 300 miles away, and I have two young children, so that allowance will be valuable to myself, my wife and my family, although it will not ameliorate our problems as a result of the salary scale.

It is high time that pensions were based on the age of 50. I have no personal interest in that, because I am one of the lucky ones. I had a job from which I could transfer my pension to the House. I probably have as big a pension entitlement as any other hon. Member—I have about 25 years in the scheme at present, so the motion does not affect me. However, it affects the vast majority of hon. Members, and it is a good idea. However, there is a sting in its tail. I agree that the contributions should be increased, but we must recognise what that will mean to the proposed salary. The 2 per cent. additional contribution will mean that the £15,090 offered by the Government will be worth £14,880 when it gets into hon. Members' bank accounts. The £15,310, which will be the result next year of amendment (b) being carried, will be reduced because of the increase in contributions to £14,104. Hon. Members will realise that on the amendment, let alone on the motion, the increases being offered are extremely modest and do not compensate for what hon. Members gave up by not implementing fully the 1979 report.

I hope that the Leader of the House will come back to the House to discuss motor mileage. It is not sensible to equate hon. Members' needs with the way in which the Rayner report was applied to Civil Service mileage rates because, as hon. Members may know, if a civil servant travels more than 10,000 miles a year he is provided with an official car. It is not for his personal use, but he can book a car and drive that. Only if he is in the habit of driving less than that will he get the mileage allowance. I used to have an official car, but it was taken away from me because I was doing only 3,000 miles a year. That was felt to be more economical.

The other objection is that hon. Members with large constituencies are penalised at the expense of those with small constituencies. Therefore, the Leader of the House has got that provision wrong. Perhaps he will come back to us, having thought again. It seems that that linkage, which is the only linkage that we have had, is not all that sensible.

I have another point about mileage. When I came to the House, there were three Civil Service mileage rates—which also applied in the Post Office and British Telecom —which depended on the cubic capacity of one's car. When I first claimed mileage, the rate was for a car of more than 1,750 cc. As my car was bigger than that, I made no complaint. However, without telling anybody, those concerned gently slipped down the rate to the middle one, which is 1,500 to 1,750 cc. Many hon. Members will have larger cars than that. I hope that the Leader of the House will bear in mind that we noticed the cut that was made in our mileage allowance. I hope that he will refer to that too.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the proposal discriminates not only against hon. Members representing large rural constituencies but against those having constituencies many miles from London? Does not that show again that the Government appear to be involved more and more in what is going on in London than in places such as Birmingham and Bradford? Will the hon. Gentleman, who is speaking reasonably from the Opposition Front Bench and putting a case that is supported by many Conservative Back Benchers, state how the Leader of the House will make a change as a motion is before the House and another amendment will have to be moved to get him to change his mind? It appears that the House, particularly Back-Bench Members, is being skinned.

Mr. McWilliam

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I declare an interest, having a large rural constituency 300 miles away. The Leader of the House could withdraw the motion and come back to us later. That is not a problem, but it is a matter for him. Unfortunately, I cannot withdraw the motion.

I shall not take up too much more of the House's time. I ask the Leader of the House to indicate, perhaps by intervening, whether he is willing to change his mind on mileage.

Mr. Biffen

I shall most certainly refer to the motor mileage allowance later in the debate, when I hope to speak for the second time and touch on all the points that have been raised, including that one.

Mr. McWilliam

That sounds distinctly unhopeful. I trust that hon. Members will draw their own conclusions from that.

It is important that we get the secretarial allowance quickly on a proper footing. It is unfair to the many dedicated people who work in the most appalling accommodation. Before I came here I was a trade union representative, and, as one here, I would have complained bitterly and effectively about it. It is vital that we at least give the secretaries proper recompense for the work that they do. It is equally vital that we recognise that the work of an hon. Member is becoming more detailed and complex. Particularly with our role in the new departmental Select Committees and with the amount of proposed detailed legislation. All hon. Members need the right to employ at least half a research assistant.

If hon. Members felt inclined to support amendment (b) even in its amended form, if the amendment of the right hon. Member for Stafford is carried, they will have to make up their minds about what they will do in 1988 because they will then be faced with exactly the same problem that is facing us now. Through phasing we have lost so much ground that it has become politically difficult for the Government to recommend the catching up to which we are entitled but have not had.

It will be equally impossible for any Government in 1988 to recommend the catching up which will be needed then. I give one more warning. Whether or not hon. Members accept the principle of linkage, we shall have to have another report. Having studied that report which will be subjective, and all the previous ones, which were objective, as the Leader of the House said, a greater increase will be recommended than would then seem reasonable in percentage terms.

The only way to avoid the embarrassment of having to debate this year after year is to accept the Plowden report — amendments (ee) and (s)—to grasp the nettle and accept the point about linkage made by the Select Committee on Members' Salaries. If we do not, we shall continue to have these debates and have scorn poured upon us by people who should know better, whose salaries are vastly greater than ours and whose responsibilities—at least as far as one can determine from what they write in their newspapers—vastly less.

I invite hon. Members to be courageous just this once to get us out of the nasty hole into which we keep digging ourselves.

10.42 pm
Mr. Edward du Cann (Taunton)

In view of the lateness of the hour, I shall speak more shortly than I would wish. I do not suppose that I am alone in regretting the fact that we are debating this subject at this time of night.

I wish to make some general observations before I discuss the amendments standing in my name. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House for saying that they are acceptable to the Government. I wish that he was moving something similar instead of the motions that stand in his name.

First, and above all, I believe it to be an honour and privilege to be a Member of Parliament. I do not accept the philosophy, popular in some quarters, that diminishes the quality of public work. The need, as the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. McWilliam) said, is to attract to Parliament men and women of the highest calibre and of the widest practical experience. This subject deserves better analysis and debate than we give it. Service should always be the keynote. To those who argue that Members of Parliament do not merit a reasonable salary because there are so many aspirants, I reply by saying that in the long run quality is vastly more important than quantity.

My constant ambition has been to remove the perennial, recurrent and avoidable embarrassment that has characterised our recent deliberations on the subject of remuneration and the reimbursement of expenses. I refuse to call the latter expense allowances — they are reimbursements of expenses. The way in which we have dealt with this matter over recent years has been a shame and a degrading of Parliament.

The reason why I sought, with the co-operation of others, not least that of the chairman on the parliamentary Labour party, the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand), to bring the PLP and the 1922 Committee together, and the reason why we have sought to give advice to others that is realistic and sensible, was to avoid such a situation occurring. Sadly, I make the remark that Ministers should listen more. No one should expect enrichment in the public service or big business salaries. However, serious worry for parliamentarians and their wives about money should not be involved either. Nor should a parliamentary career be practicable only for those to whom the salary is irrelevant because they are rich, or because they are hair shirt fanatics, or, worst of all—this is the danger that looms in the future — paid lobbyists.

My second ambition is best put like this. Members of Parliament are the people's representatives, and a representative in another sense in that they are a microcosm of the nation. As we are our own arbiters, we have a special duty to set an example of reasonableness, and I am sure that we all accept that. However, the arrogance or insensitivity of a Cabinet that demands that hair shirts and not fairness be the norm is not acceptable. It involved the House in an unseemly spectacle at the outset of the 1979 Parliament, and it has been the same at the outset of this Parliament in 1983. That is unforgivable. It strains the loyalties and, in any case, this is a House of Commons matter, and not a matter for the Government.

The aim should be that reasonable facilities are made available to Members to do the job, and they should be both physical and financial facilities, such as any other business would provide. I have always fought for that in the House, and I always shall. I do not believe that it is ever right for expenses to come in aggregate to more than pay, and that is the reason for one of my amendments. The Government's proposals for Members run against Government policy in this regard.

As to pay, some element of sacrifice is inevitable, and probably right, but it is cheap and silly to bang a populist drum and refuse to grant a reasonable rate for a hard and responsible job. Plowden had some wise observations on this point, and they should be, as the Americans say, read into the record. Paragraph 225 says: Parliamentary and ministerial salaries are always a matter of great sensitivity and there is never any shortage of critics ready to attack, and sensationalise, increases in them. He could have added that this is the right time to discuss this subject and solve it sensibly. He goes on: We can only say that this reinforces the need for an independent review of parliamentary pay and allowances; and that we firmly believe the salaries we have recommended to be fully justified on the basis of the extensive evidence we have taken and the results of the surveys and studies which are set out in detail in the accompanying volume to this report. Indeed, were we to be guided simply by the relative weight and demands of the jobs we have reviewed, without regard to their public service context, we would feel bound to propose levels of remuneration in some cases very much in excess of those we have recommended". The House should express a warm vote of confidence in Lord Plowden and his colleagues for their common sense.

According to a parliamentary answer given in the House on 12 July, Top Salaries Review Body members are unpaid and their secretariat is provided free. None the less, that report cost £169,000. If it were not proposed to accept the recommendations, that money should never have been authorised in the first place. If my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) will allow me to say so, he was Leader of the House at the time and he should not have been authorised to state that the recommendations would be accepted when they were available.

The answer to those who say that candidates at the previous general election knew what their pay would be if they were elected is that they had every reason to expect what was contained in the Plowden report. There is an irony in the present situation. According to the information given to the House just before the election, the armed forces, whose pay was examined by a review body, were to have their remuneration increased by 7.2 per cent. and doctors and dentists were to have theirs increased by 6 per cent., when higher civil servants, senior officers in the services, members of the judiciary and Members of Parliament were apparently to receive less. Such decisions on the part of Government owe more to prejudice than they do to logic.

In one of the latest debates we had in the House on the subject I quoted Coleridge and I do so again. what begins in fear usually ends in folly.

Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Perth and Kinross)

If what begins in fear ends in folly, why does my right hon. Friend propose that, with the increased pension contribution and 3.7 per cent. inflation, we shall have a smaller salary than we get now at the end of the five-year period?

Mr. du Cann

In answer to my hon. and learned Friend, I shall explain the salary which is foreshadowed in amendment (b) to motion No. 2.

Like the hon. Member for Blaydon, I should put on record some recent history in this matter. A salary was recommended by a review body in October 1964. That was a figure of £3,250. It was accepted by the Government of the day. If that salary were increased in line with the RPI, it would be £19,275 in May 1983. In January 1972 the salary recommended by the review body was £4,500. That recommendation was again accepted in full. The equivalent level, if increased in line with the RPI, would be £18,125. In June 1975 the recommendation was £8,000. The equivalent today would be £19,480. It was not paid. That is when the difficulty began. Again in June 1979 the recommendation was £12,000, of which the equivalent would be £18,550 today. Again, for the second time, that was not paid; and again that is the reason why we have a problem today.

The figure of £18,500 in amendment (b) is the equivalent in cost of living terms of what was recommended in 1979 and the rough equivalent of what was previously recommended and previously accepted, not only by the House and the Governments of the day but also by the nation. It should be clearly understood that such a figure is not something extraordinary but something which the nation has previously approved.

Secondly —I come to the point mentioned by my hon. and learned Friend—I suggested staging because, as I have already said, the House has a responsibility to be reasonable and staging will more easily fit in with the direction of the Government's economic policy.

I have deliberately increased in this amendment the proportion of a parliamentary salary that Ministers would draw: for it has always seemed to me that the proposal that Ministers are only very little Members of Parliament is nonsense. Even Ministers must deal with their constituency responsibilities.

Mr. Stan Crowther (Rotherham)

Is not the right hon. Gentleman proving the case for the z.mendment in the names of my right hon. and hon. Friends? Is he not proving to the hilt that the case is fully made out for the increase recommended by Plowden to be implemented not in four years time but now? If that is his argument, how can he justify his own amendment?

Mr. du Cann

My amendment is a devoted attempt to get the House out of the difficulty that it now faces.

Fourthly, I remind the House that it has twice voted in favour of linkage. It is right that the House should state overwhelmingly that linkage is the only way out of the difficulty and that that is what we want. [HoN. MEMBERS: "No."] I abandoned the idea of putting any specific linkage into the amendment because Plowden never suggested that his recommendations should be indexed. As practical people, we must recognise that it is not feasible to settle on a specific linkage four or five years ahead of the event.

Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)

Can my right hon. Friend estimate what £18,500 will be worth by 1987 at current values and what relationship that will bear to a Civil Service ranking?

Mr. du Cann

No. We are speaking about a later year than 1987. My proposal, which my hon. Friend may consider useful, may deal reassuringly with the matter that he raises.

Mr. Dykes

As my right hon. Friend has built his argument on the assertion that £18,500 is the correct figure, it is only right that he should tell the House what the value of that sum will be in 1988 and what relationship it will bear to an equivalent Civil Service pay level.

Mr. du Cann

I cannot speculate about that. No hon. Member in his right mind would attempt to do that, although we must all rejoice at the low rate of inflation. —[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. We must hear the right hon. Gentleman's argument.

Mr. du Cann

As to pensions, there is no objective and necessarily right basis for the sharing of total pension costs between employee and employer. The Top Salaries Review Body recommended the continuation of the sharing proportion which it had previously put forward —that is, 8 per cent. of salary.

The Conservative party is committed to a statement made in its election manifesto that public sector pensioners would continue to be protected against rising prices on the basis of realistic pension contributions. I do not think that there should be index-linked pensions in the future. That is a burden which the nation can ill afford. As Members of Parliament would be receiving a benefit of 22 per cent., which is more than the Civil Service benefit of about 20 per cent., it is appropriate that the contribution should increase to 8.8 per cent. — rounded to 9 per cent. —which is the actual cost.

To reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes), I have not followed the Select Committee recommendations for constant uprating of salaries in line with inflation, for two reasons. First, parliamentarians have particular responsibility for inflationary pressures and should not be completely protected. Secondly, I believe that reviews should take place once in every Parliament.

As has already been made clear in the debate, there are a number of anomalies and points of detail about which hon. Members in all parts of the House are anxious. Some are matters of tax. According to a recent memorandum of guidance, the Inland Revenue seems to have changed the rules in certain respects. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House mentioned a new point about mileage. It is idiotic to try to deal with a long list of detailed points once in every four or five years because it is impossible to digest. A small group of Members from both sides of the House should be nominated to act as umpires, with the duty to report on anomalies on a continuous basis.

I hope that I have already shown clearly that the element of sacrifice for Members of Parliament is heavy. I give just one more example for the record — the comparison with foreign Parliaments. The figures are remarkable. In Australia, a Member of Parliament is paid £21,000, in Belgium £20,000, in Canada £22,000, in Germany £21,000, in France £27,000 and in Italy £17,000. I think that everyone knows the figure for the United States. Thus, even if my amendment is accepted, British legislators will still be more poorly paid than those of any comparable country in the free world. That is not a matter for rejoicing, but the facts should be stated here and made clear to the public.

If the economy improves, there may be a chance of doing better, but one thing is certain. This debate should never have needed to take place. I hope that the House in its wisdom will accept my amendment.

Mr. Ernie Ross (Dundee, West)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Speaker

Order. I understand that the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) has finished his speech.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. So that there is no misunderstanding, I will repeat what was said by the Leader of the House. We are having a general debate on all the amendments selected. I shall put the Questions on the amendments at the end, in the order in which they appear on the Order Paper.

11.2 pm

Mr. Jack Dormand (Easington)

The right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) referred to me in his speech. If I understand him correctly, he said that there were some matters on which it would be improper for him or me in our respective positions to comment because we had had talks, which must by definition be informal, on certain matters affecting both sides of the House. I agree with that in principle and it is true that we have had talks on the matters before the House today.

To avoid any misunderstanding and to make my position abundantly clear, however, I wish to make it plain that I do not associate myself in any way with the right hon. Gentleman's amendment. Indeed, I shall be one among the first into the Lobby to vote against it.

I shall be brief, not only because many hon. Members wish to take part in the debate but because I wish to confine myself to what I regard as the principles governing pay awards.

There are two basic questions that must be answered. First, are hon. Members prepared to accept the going rate for the job? As a life-long trade unionist, I have never thought that it could be otherwise and I have never come across anybody who would question that proposition. It is easy to imagine what would happen if it was suggested that someone was not to be paid the going rate for the job. I am sure that there are some altruistic hon. Members who are not prepared to accept the going rate. That must be the classic case of the exception proving the rule.

The second question that must be answered is: who decides what is the going rate for rate for the job? The answer, in the case of Members of Parliament, must surely be an independent body. I say for Members of Parliament because it would be difficult, if not impossible, to follow the normal pattern of negotiation between employee and employer. For years people have said that the settling of hon. Members' pay should be taken out of the hands of hon. Members. That seems so obvious that it is unbelievable that we are still here in 1983 playing around with the problem.

I well remember the delight in 1971 when the Boyle committee was established. Some of us thought that the millenium had arrived. Not only did we have the independent body, but it was comprised of people who were well qualified to sit in judgment on Members' pay and conditions. There have been nine more reports since 1971 and I need not go into the sorry story of what happened to their recommendations.

Today we are watching yet another report being savaged. I am eternally astonished that the Government can find busy and highly qualified people to sit on review bodies. When they see what happens to their work, it must occur to them that a great deal of their time and effort has been wasted and could have been used in other ways. It is not an unimportant point that this report has cost more than £1 million to produce.

Most people agree that an independent body is the right and sensible method of dealing with Members' pay and allowances. In the circumstances that I have described, I find it difficult to understand why the Government and some hon. Members are unable to accept the recommendations that were made after the most careful study, not least after considering the remuneration of parliamentarians in other parts of the world.

When I talk of the rate for the job, a comparison with what happens in other countries is a crucial factor in determining our pay. In the survey that was specially commissioned by the review body, the following is said about salaries: Compared with legislators in broadly similar countries—Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy and Ireland—British members come seventh out of eight. That speaks for itself.

I shall give one more fact about the rate for the job. If we were to get the full 30.9 per cent. increase that the report recommends, we would have a salary which, at £19,000 was 2.15 times average earnings. That is the same ratio that existed in 1980 and it is lower than the ratio in France, Belgium, West Germany, Holland, Italy, Ireland and the United States.

Then we bump head on into perhaps the biggest bogey in the whole business. Many people say, "Yes, our Members of Parliament should be paid more, but now is not the time to do it." To that argument I say that there will never be a right time to make the break and pay us what, on any objective criteria, is said to be the correct amount. The result is exactly what has happened in recent years: our relative standing in what I might describe as the pay league has sunk lower and lower.

I am not much given to statistics, but in a debate of this nature I think that it is legitimate to compare remuneration, bearing in mind the fact that our pay is now £14,510 and the recommendation is for £19,000, and that my main theme is the rate for the job.

I am sure that all right hon. and hon. Members agree that we are well served by the staff of this House, and it is right that they should be properly paid. The General Manager of the Refreshment Department receives £21,898. The Editor of the Official Report receives £24,409. The Head of the Adminstration Department receives £26,250, and his Accountant £24,409.

I have quoted the heads of those Departments, but we can also examine those who are further down the scale —if I may so describe them. A Deputy Principal Clerk —I remind the House that there are 15 in that category, and they are sixth in the hierarchy of the Department—receives £24,409. The Deputy Serjeant at Arms receives £24,409. My final example, because I hope that I have established the point, is that of Assistant Librarian, who receives £22,928. I want to make it clear that I have no grumbles about any of those salaries, particularly in view of the dedicated and always courteous service that we receive from the staff concerned. Nevertheless, I cannot accept that the duties of those employees are more onerous or involve more responsibility than those of a Member of Parliament.

My final comparison is contained in a most revealing answer given on 1 July 1983 to my right hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Rutherglen (Mr. MacKenzie), which shows that from April 1979 to June 1983 the percentage increase in a Member of Parliament's pay is 110.4. The comparative increases for Ministers of State and Under-Secretaries in the House of Commons and in the other place are, respectively, 131.4, 174.3, 133.5 and 192.2 per cent. I submit that those figures should be given the most serious consideration by those who seek to oppose my amendment.

Whenever an increase in Members' pay is considered, the cry goes up, "What are MPs complaining about? There are plenty of people wanting the job." it would be arrogant in the extreme for any House of Commons—this House of Commons or any other—to imagine that the quality of its membership could not be improved. I have not the slightest doubt that many people, admirably suited in every way, are deterred from standing for Parliament by the present pay. Although it is not relevant to my amendment, people are also deterred by the appalling conditions in which hon. Members are required to work. Having an office to oneself in this build mg is now regarded as something of a status symbol.

The quality of the membership of the House is, of course, a matter on which the public has firm views. We must admit that we are not the most popular people in society. Nevertheless, I detect that more people are beginning to say that we are somewhat underpaid, given the responsibilities of Members of Parliament and the long hours that we work.

Mr. Dykes

Did the hon. Gentleman note in paragraph 225 on page 57 of the Plowden report a passage that comes later than the one that my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) read. It states: Indeed, were we to be guided simply by the relative weight and demands of the jobs we have reviewed, without regard to their public service context, we would feel bound to propose levels of remuneration … very much in excess of those we have recommended.

Mr. Dormand

I remember that well, and I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has pointed it out. I have had a most interesting experience in the past few days —[Interruption.] You should not be smiling, Mr. Speaker! That remark relates to the theme to which I have devoted my remarks. Last week I made six national broadcasts on television and radio about this issue. I told my secretary to be prepared for an avalanche of letters. However, I have received only one letter on the matter—[Interruption.] I am not sure whether that is a very scientific piece of evidence, but it is perhaps some intimation of the gradual change that is taking place in the public attitude towards its elected representatives.

I conclude by suggesting that the Division on my amendment could be historic, and could be the occasion on which long after the feeling engendered in 1971 took practical and concrete form hon. Members finally asserted that independent investigations and recommendations cannot and should not be cast aside lightly. It will also be a vote for the dignity of the high office that we are all proud to hold.

11.17 pm
Sir Hugh Fraser (Stafford)

I draw the attention of the House to the amendment standing in my name and that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) and other hon. Friends to the amendment so ably propounded by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann).

We shall vote tonight in a rather interesting way. I gather that my amendment will be the first to be called. I thank the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. McWilliam) for drawing attention to the importance of my amendment, which meets with some support from hon. Members on both sides of the House. I therefore beg them to exercise what is called "tactical voting" and vote for my amendment, not hoping for anything more from a rather hard-faced Government later on. I hope that my message is clear.

The Leader of the House has a difficult function. He has to consider the best interests not of party but of the House of Commons. My right hon. Friend must at the same time tincture this position of conscience with party loyalty. Tonight I feel that he has overtinctured his conscience with the pursuit of what is a temporary political ambition of one political party.

I shall quote one passage of the report which deserves the attention of the House. It says: We have commented previously that it would be damaging in the long run to the overall quality of the membership of the House, and thereby to the national interest"— that is what should concern the Government and the Leader of the House tonight— if the salary of MPs were allowed to remain too far below the levels available to able men and women in other walks of life. The hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand) asked what should be the balance and how we should decide what the job is worth. When I joined the House 38 years ago, it was decided by the elders of the House. We would be suddenly told that we had been given a pay increase. After 1971 we set up this great committee of wise and good men. That is one way to do it. But every time its advice has been disregarded by the Government in office, except when my right hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath) was Prime Minister. Otherwise, this has been a lamentable farce which has exposed the House of Commons to the obloquy of the populace and added enormously to the unnecessary heat of feeling in the House.

Another method that could be pursued is linkage to an outside body, which is proposed in the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton. That is the easiest and best way to rid the House of this continual and embarrassing debate about whether we should be weighed in diamonds, feathers or lead like the Aga Khan. This is the quickest and simplest way to pursue the interests of the House. That is why my right hon. Friends and I have tabled this simple amendment to tie the eventual figure not to some imaginary, hidden civil servant who will emerge in in 1988, but to positive actual figure today which makes the thing realistic. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House said that this would lead to a colossal problem at the next election. This Government are pledged to keeping inflation to zero. What are they worried about? Our amendment would encourage them to greater things.

I have been in the House for many years— [Hon. Members: "Too long".] Hon. Members say, "Too long" —far from it. Of one thing I am certain—times have changed. When I was elected in 1945, I was an island in a wave of Soclialism: Apparent rani nantes in gurgite vasto. We spoke Latin in those days. We have now had another, equally important, election in 1983. The world has changed since 1945, as have the principles for which we fought then. There are new principles—essentially those of meritocracy. Rightly or wrongly, the people believe in that.

The Government are rightly spending £1 million on hiring an industrialist to run one of our companies, but they should also pay attention to the merits of a properly remunerated House of Commons. I shall later press my amendment and hope for maximum support, for that is in the best interests of the House.

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

The right hon. Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser) moved an amendment that I wish to support in case the House then carries the amendment moved by the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann). Who am Ito advise the right hon. Gentleman on tactical voting? I shall later advise the House not to vote for the amendment of the right hon. Member for Taunton because it is not really an improvement on the Government's position.

I respect the zeal and determination with which the right hon. Member for Taunton carries out two functions in the House. There have been many, many occasions when he has spoken loudly and clearly on behalf of the interests of hon. Members when it was not in any way to his advantage to do, so and might even have been to his disadvantage. He has also been a zealous safeguarder of public purse against wasteful expenditure, especially when it concerns the affairs of the House.

The right hon. Gentleman tonight made an interesting and compelling speech. He gave the impression that he had written it before he tabled his amendment. He appeared to have prepared the speech for a much better deal than he has secured. He no doubt applied himself vigorously to the task, but he has proved a bad shop steward and an unsuccessful broker if he sought to secure any significant improvement on what the Government have put forward, and especially if he was seeking to achieve that wider, but more important, objective of ensuring that the House does not annually get itself into a mess on the subject of pay and allowances.

The right hon. Gentleman properly described these allowances as the reimbursement of expenses. That is exactly what they are. They are an important part of the motion. My right hon. and hon. Friends and I, together with other hon. Members in all parts of the House, very much resent the constant references to the reimbursement of expenses as though that was the payment of perks and allowances for Members to spend at will on whatever they chose. I am sorry to say that the tactic adopted by the Government tonight has furthered that tendency. The tactic of saying to hon. Members, "We will not give you very much on pay, but, never mind, because we will give you all the allowances that Plowden recommended" is playing right into the hands of those in the press who have suggested that the reimbursement of expenses is some hidden way in which Members of Parliament gain some compensating benefit for not being paid on anything like the basis recommended by the independent body. I can think of no other walk of life in which the payment of a salary and national insurance contributions for a secretary is taken as a figure, added to a person's income and then described as though he received it, took it home and spent it on whatever he chose.

Referring to expenses in that way is a penalty all the more vicious on those who are most conscientious in carrying out their duties. The harder one works in this place, the more dependent one is on going beyond those allowances to do the job properly. By dealing with the matter in that way the House puts a penalty on those who carry out their duties in the most conscientious way.

Even some of the slips of the tongue and expressions that hon. Members have used in discussing the issue have in some respects furthered the false impressions that are given. If it is suggested, for example, that the reduction that has been proposed in the secretarial allowance as part of a package "takes it from secretaries to give it to hon. Members", that, too, furthers a misapprehension. Plowden sought to create for hon. Members an opportunity, which we have never had before, to employ a full-time secretary at a salary which in some way was related to the normal remuneration of someone with those skills, and to employ somebody in a part-time capacity to carry out research and related work on behalf of the hon. Member, either in his constituency or at Westminster.

To prevent us from doing one of those two things would not be a proper way of proceeding, and to regard that as a part of a package to cut down on the costs of the deal throws insult at a body which set out to work out what hon. Members do and what assistance they need to do it.

We are fortunate in the House to have people working for us, some of them at very low rates of pay, who serve us loyally. In the secretaries' council we have a body of people who have got together to try to work out practical and sensible proposals on these matters, and Leaders of the House in the past—and I pay particular tribute to the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) —listened carefully to the advice offered by that body.

It must be said on behalf of hon. Members that there are a number of expenses which are not reimbursed but which have to be paid from their salaries. Think of the numerous telephone calls which hon. Members make from their homes to or on behalf of their constituents. It is not generally known by the public that there is no reimbursement of those expenses. If an hon. Member is in the House, he can make a phone call without charge from here on behalf of his constituents. If he is at home in his constituency, he cannot do that other than at his own expense.

If an hon. Member finds that he has, at his own expense and not at the expense of his political party, to organise and advertise surgeries and book rooms for interviews with his constituents, that expense is not reimbursed. If he pays it from his salary, he can get that portion refunded from that which he pays in tax, but that is only part of the cost which he incurs and the rest comes out of his salary. It must be underlined that there is a whole range of costs and expenses arising from the job which are not reimbursed, and the burden on the reimbursed expenses and on the salary is that much more real.

I welcome the recognition which Plowden gave, and which the Government have given, to this principle and the way in which the proposals before us remind the public that they are paying the salaries of other people, and not of hon. Members, through the reimbursements, and therefore I agree that salaries should be paid direct. There are some practical problems which I hope that the Leader of the House will examine in detail as we come to implement that principle, particularly where an hon. Member employs as one of the people on his staff under the proposed arrangement somebody who also works for somebody else; the salary is then divided with somebody else who may not be a Member of Parliament. We must work out a means by which that can be dealt with, even though the national insurance contributions and PAYE are all being dealt with by some other person or organisation. Practical problems could arise if an hon. Member's total bill for salaries exceeds the amount of the allowances available to him. In the past, the Fees Office has not been able to handle the payments in those cases where the hon. Member is paying out more than he receives in allowances. That will be the case new with many hon. Members, and, if we reduce what Plowden proposed, it will certainly be the case in future. That would not be covered if we followed precisely the wording which the Leader of the House used in his speech, although it is covered in the motions by the assumption that you, Mr. Speaker, would approve arrangements to deal with such matters.

Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)

In recommending the proposal of the right hon. Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser) I hope that my hon. Friend is not also agreeing that we should reduce from £13,000 to £11.000 the secretary's allowance recommended by Plowden.

Mr. Beith

I am glad that my hon. Friend raised that point. I made particular reference to the proposal of the right hon. Member for Stafford because his linkage is better than that contained in the amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Taunton I do not want the amendment of the right hon. Member for Taunton to be carried. I do not want the backdoor part of that deal in which allowances that are properly proposed to enable Members to provide a service are removed to meet costs that do not seem properly to arise. The Government would be in pocket at the end of the day rather than worse off on several interpretations of their proposals.

I shall make some brief and personal observations on what a Member's level of pay should be. We do ourselves no service if we undervalue the work of a Member of Parliament. Like many other Members, I work extremely hard over very long hours in undertaking my job. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say that. I do not think that hon. Members should seek to make any secret of the fact that they work hard or should be embarrassed to draw certain conclusions as a result. My family and the families of many hon. Members have to accept a considerable level of personal sacrifice to accommodate the life that we choose to live. It is not unreasonable that in those circumstances a Member of Parliament should have a tolerably well-paid job.

I had the responsibility yesterday of answering some questions on behalf of the House, of Commons Commission. In doing so, I had to reveal not only that considerable salaries are paid to some of our principal officers but also that it is necessary to go a very long way down the scale of salaries that are paid to those who are employed in the Palace before reaching the level that the Government propose that Members should be paid.

It is significant that the Leader of the House talked about making a proper valuation of the payment of a Member of Parliament. He did not say that there is a proper level of payment for Members and that on the grounds of sacrifice, expediency or economic policy they should be paid less. He argued that we have to make a judgment of what the right level of pay should be. I presume that he has put on the Order Paper what he thinks that level should be.

If that is what the right hon. Gentleman has done, he has seriously undervalued the work that Members perform. What is the point of setting up review bodies to determine what our level of pay should be, allowing them to spend large sums in the process, and then ignoring what they recommend? The introduction to the Plowden commission's report contains many references to the studies that it commissioned, the questionaires that Members completed and the evidence that it received. That all cost money and took time, and the findings have all been ignored by the Goverment. It is clear that they have ignored the findings by what they have placed on the Order Paper.

Mr. Nicholas Baker (Dorset, North)

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, whatever commission a Government set up to advise on these matters, responsibility for implementing the commission's findings remains with Parliament?

Mr. Beith

That is the basis of my comment about the remarks of the Leader of the House. Even though I believe in the principle of linkage, I acknowledge that at the end of the day we are responsible for the linkage. If the linkage takes us in a direction that we do not want to go, we must take responsibility for that. The Leader of the House, in inviting us to make a judgment on what the level of payment should be and inviting us to exercise that responsibility, has done us a disservice in placing on the Order Paper what he thinks Members of Parliament are worth, and that is the issue before us.

That is the position unless the right hon. Genteman asks us to answer a different question. For example, he could say "There is a certain valuation but how much less than that is it expedient for us to be paid at this time?" However, he has not posed that question. He has asked us directly to say what our work is worth and at what level we should be remunerated.

It is not for me to argue with the Government about pay policy, because I belong to a party which has argued in election campaigns that we should have pay policies. We have been defeated by a Government who believe that there should not be pay policies and that we should not impose such external restraints upon systems of payment. I find it odd that we should be asked by the Government to be the instrument of pay policy and the determinant of pay policy. However, that is an argument that I do not want to expand now.

Conservative Members, especially the hon. Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Baker), who intervened to say that the matter is our responsibility, should share my concern about the fact that Ministers—those on the Government payroll—will be required to go through the Lobbies to ensure that other hon. Members are paid considerably less than them. It is strange for them to argue that other hon. Members should help them in that task.

I concede that this time Ministers are accepting generally the same level of increase as the rest of us, though the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand) produced figures that revealed that that has not been the pattern in the past. It is strange that responsibility should rest with those receiving a higher salary than hon. Members generally. Ministers should go home. Let the decision be left with those of us on whom the responsibility should properly fall.

I remind hon. Members that there is a motion buried at the end of the Order Paper dealing with ministerial salaries. Ministers will expect us to vote pay levels for them that are substantially higher than our own. I advise hon. Members not to leave early. That vote may allow them to express their feelings.

Mr. Tony Marlow (Northampton, North)

The hon. Gentleman said earlier that the Government were increasing allowances, but my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House mentioned the new mileage allowance. An hon. Member who drives 1,000 miles a month—less than the average—will lose about £25 a month or £300 a year, which represents a taxable income of £400 to £450 a year. If hon. Members are asked to look at the proposals as a package, that allowance is a significant part of the package. Hon. Members who do their job properly and, like the hon. Member, have constituencies that are a long way from Westminster, could lose £800 or £1,000 a year because of the reduced allowance.

Mr. Beith

That is a fair point. My constituency covers not much less than 1,000 sq. miles and I know what large mileages hon. Members can clock up. I find it worrying that the reduction in the mileage allowance was slipped in at the last moment. It is interesting that the car allowance and the allowance given to hon. Members to maintain a home in London or in their constituency are the only two allowances that have had any buoyancy about them, and that is because they are linked to what happens in the Civil Service. No other allowance is similarly linked. It is a demonstration of how wrongly we treat ourselves that only the allowances linked to the Civil Service allowances take proper account of inflation — except when as in this case, they are cut back.

Hon. Members may have different views about what our level of pay should be, but they must cast their votes on their own responsibility. They should not be bought off by deals or arrangements designed to let the Government off the hook. Conservative Members will not be doing the Government a service if they ensure that this problem will recur year after year, as it surely will.

If we pass the amendments of the right hon. Member for Taunton, we shall discover next year that, despite the Government's best efforts, the rate of inflation—even if it is not much more than we expect it to be in November — has begun to make a nonsense of the proposed staging. That will happen year after year. The fact that the Leader of the House issued a warning that in 1988 we may face the problem of needing to vote ourselves a large increase underlines the need for hon. Members to decide tonight what they should be paid and what, if anything, they should be linked to. They should cast their votes accordingly and do so fearlessly.

Even if hon. Members' constituents disagree with them about their conclusion, they will not think any less of them if they stick to their guns and do not undervalue the job that they do.

11.44 pm
Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas (Chelmsford)

My first remark will be widely welcomed, because I do not intend to speak for long, but I shall speak freely because this matter must be determined by the House, not by the Government. I hope that the payroll vote, as it has been called, will not be wheeled out this evening by the Government — [AN HON. MEMBER: "My right hon. Friend did it."] My hon. Friend says that I did it, which is true. I speak with some authority on such matters because I have seen them from both sides of the fence.

There has been general agreement in the House that the Government have not handled the matter especially adroitly. Hon. Members have been exposed in the press to a campaign of innuendo — in some newspapers, vilification—undermining the relationship of the House with those whom we represent. That does a grave disservice to our institutions. This is the only elected House in our constitution, and the democratic rights and liberties of the people are defended by the House. It is much more important to preserve that than to preserve any economic theory. To adapt Lord Palmerston's famous saying, economic theories rise and fall; Parliament abides.

When I was Leader of the House in 1979 and 1980, I had some direct responsibility for such matters. The Government's record was not that bad. They did rather better than the Government in which the present Leader of the Opposition was Leader of the House, with responsibility for such matters. After years of neglect, parliamentary salaries were increased, as were research and secretarial allowances. Severance pay was provided, and I was able to propose the ending of the monstrous practice whereby Members' pay and allowances stopped immediately on death, causing hardship at a time of great difficulty for dependants and relations. We also provided pensions for Members' secretaries, which was a most important reform.

The hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) referred, rather unkindly, to my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) as a bad shop steward. I received an even more dubious compliment from a Labour Member, whose identity I shall not reveal because he may be standing in the leadership contest, who told me that I was the best shop steward that the House had had. As I said then, I believe that the salary paid to a Member of Parliament should not be so large that it is a financial inducement and the principal reason for entering the House, but such as to allow those hon. Members who wish to devote themselves exclusively to parliamentary affairs to be able to do so without causing hardship to themselves or to their families. That concept was an essential counterpoint to the other major reform with which I was associated, which was the Select Committee system.

The Plowden Committee recommended a salary of £19,000, which is about right for today. The Government chose to reject that recommendation, while accepting almost all the other recommendations. They increased allowances by the full amount recommended but suggested that salaries should increase by only 4 per cent. That is a completely wrong priority. The proposal that allowances should increase so that the gap between them and the salary paid to a Member becomes very small is highly undesirable. I welcome the initiative of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton. His amendment is an improvement—everyone will have to concede that—on the original Government proposal. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] But I believe that it is right—

Mr. Fairbairn

Assuming that inflation remains at its present level, does my right hon. Friend accept that, with the increased pension contribution, the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) would mean that, at today's prices, the salary of a Member of Parliament in 1988 would be not £14,500, but £13,500?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

That is precisely why I am suggesting an amendment to my right hon. Friend's proposal. I recall the pledge that I gave on 4 March 1980, which is in Hansard, that the recommendations of the review body would be implemented. The importance of that pledge is, not that I made it but that it was made on behalf of the Cabinet.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

What is their answer?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

It is no good my hon. Friend shouting at me, "What is their answer?" He must shout that at somebody else. I am no longer in a position to answer him.

Sir Kenneth Lewis (Stamford and Spalding)

Come back. all is forgiven.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am not seeking office. If I were. this would be a funny way of doing it.

Equally important are the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton for linkage because they are intended — I stress that, and I shall make a qualification before I provoke another storm—once and for all to end the appalling process which we are going through again this evening. It is half farce and half humiliation to be obliged to go through it in every Parliament. The proposals are intended to end the falling back in salary and the catching up, which bedevil the whole matter every time we discuss it.

It is my opinion that, on this crucial matter, my right hon. Friend's recommendations are fatally flawed. In January 1988, there is to be the link with the Civil Service grade of £18,500, but it is to be with a grade as identified on 1 January 1987, after nearly four years of inflation. We do not know what it will be, but I think that we can be fairly sure that it will be higher than zero. That has not been taken into account.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser) and I have put forward a simpl.t and reasonable proposal that the link be made from 13 June this year. It would take effect on 1 January 1988. That simple amendment avoids the problem that with my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton's proposal we would again be falling behind when the matter was considered again.

No rational argument can be made against the amendment. I commend what the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed said about tactical voting in support of what my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford said. There is no greater authority on tactical voting than the Liberal party. It did not do well in Chelmsford, but I wish it better luck tonight.

Mr. Stephen Ross

This member of the Liberal party will not be voting tactically tonight. I understand that the right hon. Gentleman's proposition is that we shall not get an increase anywhere near to £19,000, which he said he thought was the right recommendation, until after 1988. If inflation is 5 or 6 per cent., in 1988 there will suddenly be a boost of about £3,000, which no Government are likely to accept. How does the right hon. Gentleman explain that? Is he proposing that the secretarial allowance should be reduced from £13,000 to £11,000 for those of us who employ two secretaries and pay them about £14,000 a year?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The hon. Gentleman is wide of my point, which was simple, and the same as that made by his hon. Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed. It is possible to vote for amendment (i) and against (b). Hon. Members can vote for (i) as an insurance policy in case (b) should be passed. That is an important point to make.

I wish to make two further points. The Leader of the House is proposing separate office, secretarial and research allowances. I was in a similar position in 1979 and 1980. Originally I proposed two separate allowances —the secretarial and the research allowances. I received representations from hon. Members and we changed them to a single allowance. I hope that my right hon. Friend will do the same with regard to office allowances because hon. Members' needs are different. The allowances should be as flexible as possible.

Mr. Biffen

If it will help my right hon. Friend, may I say that I shall recommend that course.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am most grateful to my right hon. Friend. I do not wish to seem importunate, but, as he has been so reasonable on that point, will he be equally reasonable about car mileage allowances? His is an unworkable proposition, although I understand why it has been put forward. The House would have nothing but respect for him if he were to say that the House has shown its will in this matter and the proposition will be withdrawn.

I have waited some time to make my final point. As Leader of the House, I discovered to my surprise that some Cabinet Ministers—not my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House—seemed to regard themselves as a species or race of superior beings and Back Benchers as lesser beings without the law. One heard an echo of the current view in a broadcast by a Cabinet Minister who said on "The World at One" on Friday, "We are trying to talk some sense into our colleagues in the House of Commons." With respect, that is constitutionally the wrong way round. It is the job of the House to try to talk some sense into Ministers and hope for success. I have always held that view. I always put my principles into practice when I could. I remember on one occasion annoying my colleagues after a discussion that had infuriated me when I asked, "What, after all, are any of us but a lot of jumped-up Members of Parliament?" Shortly after, I returned to the Back Benches.

I hope that the amendment tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford and I will be passed. Without it, we shall have this damaging charade again in five years. Let this be the last occasion that we have these debates which are so damaging to the greatest of our institutions—the House of Commons.

Mr. Dormand

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Will you rule on the statement by the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas), which was misleading, albeit innocently? He said that he was advising hon. Members to vote for amendment (i) as an insurance against the possibility of my amendment falling. Is it not the case that if either the amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) or that in the name of the right hon. Member for Chelmsford is passed, my amendment falls and will not be voted for?

Mr. Speaker

That is the fact.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker, which is an important one. If my amendment to amendment (b) is passed, will it be possible to take a vote on amendment (b)?

Mr. Speaker

That is correct. The first Division will be on amendment(i) to amendment (b). The second Division will be on amendment (b) as amended, or not, as the case may be.

Mr. Stephen Ross

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it possible for us to vote on the recommendations of the Plowden committee? As I understand it, your recommendation to the House is that if amendment (i) is carried amendment (b) will fall, but we are not able to vote on the amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand)?

Mr. Speaker

The first to be put will be amendment(i) to amendment (b). I put amendment (b), and if that is carried it will be added to the main Question, in the form that the main Question is put.

Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. May we be clear that if amendment (i) is carried, the substantive amendment (b), as amended by amendment (i) will be put, and therefore it is open to hon. Members to vote in favour of amendment (i) as an insurance, but to vote against amendment (b), even though it has been amended by amendment (i)?

Mr. Speaker

That is in order.

Mr. Terry Davis (Birmingham, Hodge Hill)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. There is some confusion because of the information that has been put in the Lobbies. According to that information, which seems to be supported by what you say, the suggestion is that if amendment(i) is carried, hon. Members will not have an opportunity to vote on the amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand). In other words, we are concerned that the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) may have misled the House. It is no good voting for amendment (i) and then finding that we are not able to vote on what we really want to vote on—amendment (ee).

Mr. Speaker

If amendment (i) is carried, it will be added to amendment (b). In that case, amendment (ee) will fall. If amendment (b) is agreed to, (ee) will fall. If it is not agreed to, I shall put amendment (ee).

Mr. Higgins

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. If the situation is as you have just described it, is it not the case then that what my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) said about insurance is not the case? Therefore, it would not be possible to vote on the other amendment or to have the insurance to which my right hon. Friend referred. If that is so, would you consider accepting a manuscript amendment that would enable us to take the amendments in the right order?

Mr. Speaker

I am bound to take the amendments in the order in which they are on the Order Paper. I cannot go beyond that.

Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. As the Order Paper has been set out, and as you have described it, if either amendment (i) or amendment (b) is carried there will be no opportunity for hon. Members to vote on what is unquestionably the main one—the recommendations of the Plowden committee. We understand that you have arrived at your selection because amendments have to be taken in the line order in which they fall. As you know, I submitted a manuscript amendment which had the effect of amendment (ee) but which was so phrased as to come above amendment (b) in line order. In view of hon. Members' great desire to vote either aye or no on the main Question, the Plowden committee's recommendations, I respectfully ask you to accept that manuscript amendment so that there can be a vote on the Plowden committee's recommendations before we decide whether to accept amendment (i) or (b).

Mr. Speaker

That is a fair point. I should like to consider the matter carefully and I shall rule upon it in a moment.

Mr. John Gorst (Hendon, North)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Speaker. When you consider that, will you bear in mind those hon. Members who wish to have the opportunity to vote for all of Plowden or none at all. At the moment it will be difficult for us to do so.

Mr. Speaker

That is exactly what I have in mind.

12.5 am

Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Down, South)

As one who looks forward to voting against everything, may I ask for a few moments for the use of the freedom of speech which was claimed by the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas)?

The House is confronting its recurrent embarrassment. A few weeks ago every hon. Member to the utmost limits of his powers of persuasion and physical powers was endeavouring to be either returned to the House or to become a Member for the first time. Now, it seems, scarcely are we assembled than the great question before us which makes a noise inside and outside the House is that there should be more money for us as Members of Parliament than that which was payable as we stood for election.

I do not believe that the House will escape from that embarrassment by the discovery of a clever formula or by transferring to anybody, however distinguished or expensive, a responsibility and a duty of decision which is its own. The nature of the embarrassment arises from the conception which we attach to the nature of the salary. If that salary is the going rate for the job, the competitive rate in the market, we can test it by finding for how low a sum, if not for a positive payment, hon. Members can be found to stand for and secure election to the House. [Interruption.] If there is to be an appeal to the market that is how the appeal to the market runs.

Mr. Peter Snape (West Bromwich, East)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Powell

I shall not give way because I intend to be brief.

Mr. Snape

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Speaker

Order. The right hon. Gentleman is not giving way.

Mr. Powell

It is late and therefore I must ask the hon. Gentleman to forgive me if I do not give way.

If we are to equate ourselves with another calling or occupation and take that as our valuation, with whom are we to equate the status, responsibility and honour of a Member of Parliament? The hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand) quoted, to the amusement of the House, several figures considerably above £19,000 which are paid to comparatively humble servants of the House. Whatever figure we choose, that will be the valuation that we have put upon ourselves and at which we shai I be taken by the country at large.

In my view, the salary is essentially an arbitrary if not a nominal figure. It must be such that it cannot be mistaken for a full valuation in money terms, of the abilities of hon. Members, their services and their labours, or of the place which they occupy in the constitution of this country. The figure should be such that it could not in any way be mistaken for the going rate, for remuneration or for the salary which individual hon. Members might command if we had taken a choice other than that which we and the electorate took on 9 June. [HoN. MEMBERS: "How much will it be?") I consider that, viewed in that light, the present figure is perfectly adequate and ought not to be increased. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Back to 1900."].

However far we care to go back into history, whether it be to the 1900s or to the 1800s, and however highly we may think of ourselves in the House, we shall find a House of Commons to which this House of Commons is not superior. Because we will not face the nature of the salary, we get ourselves into the constant embarrassments, Parliament after Parliament, of attempting of upgrade the salary by the annual movement in the rate of inflation, selecting a grade in the Civil Service with which to equate ourselves or having a figure produced for us by an external body that we have chosen to make the arbiter over us of that which we are worth. I believe that we do ourselves an injury—

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Powell

I will not give way. I wish to be brief and I shall presently conclude. I believe that Nye do ourselves an injury in the esteem of the House and in the eyes of the public by not honouring to the full the stature and privilege of being a Member of the House. Those who wanted to be Members of the House have always found:he means to be Members.

Mr. Dykes

Will the right hon. Gentle man give way?

Mr. Powell

No, I will not give way. [Interruption.] I am not giving way.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The right hon. Gentleman has made it very plain that he is not giving way.

Mr. Powell

Figures have been quoted in the debate, to the shame of those who quoted them, of the sums paid to members of other assemblies. I do not admit for a moment that we should judge the status or the honour of this House by comparing the emoluments of its members with what is paid in assemblies junior and inferior to this. [HON. MEMBERS: "A banana monarchy."]

I shall therefore claim my right today to vote, if it is possible, against any increase in the present salary which seems to me properly to serve what I regard as its purpose. I said this four years ago and I hold the same view today.

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Powell

I have said that I am not giving way. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to keep me on my feet—[HON. MEMBERS: "Did you take the increase?") I have taken no increase within the duration of any Parliament to which I have been elected. Throughout every Parliament I have remained in receipt of the salary that was payable when I stood for election and was elected. That has been the principle on which I personally have acted.

I wish to comment on a later motion relating to reimbursable expenses. I wholly welcome the move to ensure that reimbursement is made through the Fees Office. It has been a crying scandal that we have claimed and obtained reimbursement without providing any of the evidence that would be required by the Inland Revenue to offset expenses against tax. Now, at least, we shall be required to submit the evidence to the Fees Office, and I take it that the Fees Office will be under a duty to communicate that information to the Inland Revenue if required. By doing that, we shall at least remove one blot which has remained on our reputation for far too long. Therefore, among all the propositions that I oppose that is one that I applaud and support.

12.16 am
Mr. Peter Bottomley (Eltham)

The right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) and I have followed each other—generally I have followed him—in these debates. He has not changed his view and neither have I. He is an honourable man who puts his views sincerely, but I think he is wrong. He could have put his argument when parliamentary pay was first introduced, because that would have been a change. In those days many hon. Members were paid, but by outside interests and not by Parliament.

What I call the Down, South argument alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman is a matter of serious disagreement between us. It could be that instead of paying Members of Parliament, the job could be advertised with the condition that, once elected, Members would pay a tax of, say, £3,000, which would provide exactly 650 candidates for 650 seats. In those circumstances, I believe, neither the right hon. Gentleman nor I would be satisfied with the House of Commons.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell

That is the going rate.

Mr. Bottomley

The right hon. Gentleman may make sendentary interventions if he wishes, but if he prefers to stand up and do it properly I shall gladly give way.

Mr. Powell

I was following what I took to he the meaning of the expression "going rate" or "rate for the job", which had been used earlier in the debate.

Mr. Bottomley

It might be a courtesy to me if not to the House if the right hon. Gentleman would listen to what I am saying rather than voice random thoughts that pass through his mind.

The right hon. Gentleman referred to proposals to upgrade the salaries or status of Members of Parliament, but the Government's proposals seek merely to avoid the downgrading of Members' salaries. I approach the debate, not in terms of the short-term decision that the House will take today, in which I shall support the Government, but on a long-term basis. I asked my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, whom I am delighted to see here now, whether it was her policy permanently to reduce the pay of hon. Members by 25 per cent. of the value established by the House in 1979 and previously recommended by the Top Salaries Review Body. Her answer, which will appear in tomorrow's Hansard, was: No. Decisions on pay of hon. Members are taken by the House. The Government have a duty to advise the House, taking all factors into account. On the Government's specific proposals for long-term arrangements since May 1979, the House will also find four statements in tomorrow's Official Report. I do not propose to read them all out. However, I propose to make my statement of what the long-term policy should be. I am looking beyond this Parliament.

The argument that I have put in public and to which I shall stick through thick or thin, whatever pressure is put on me by Sir John Junor, and whatever praise I might get from Lady Falkender— I am not sure which is more dangerous to a Member of Parliament—is the argument of the excluded middle. The poor can afford to become Members of Parliament and the rich can afford to become Members of Parliament, but, in the long term, it is important that the people in the middle should be able to contemplate a parliamentary career without it having a devastating impact on their finances, in addition to the other stresses and strains of being a Member of Parliament.

I believe that I am a good Member of Parliament, and I enjoy being one, but if Members' pay continues to be degraded there will come a time, relatively soon, when I shall stop being a Member of Parliament. I am not suggesting that that is a decisive argument for Members' pay, one way or the other, because one person never matters. However, as an example of many of the people whom Governments and private industry recruit and of whom at times other than when Parliament is deciding this issue, newspapers sometimes say there should be more in the House, I believe that we should bring the arguments together.

In two years' time, as happened two years ago, we might read in the press that there are too many lawyers here. The reason for that is that it is possible to combine being a practising lawyer with being a Member of Parliament and it is possible, as a practising lawyer, to make the time to become a Member of Parliament.

A year after that we shall probably hear industry ask why there are not more hon. Members with serious industrial and commercial experience. There will be two answers to that. First, most industrial and commercial employers do not take kindly to an employee saying, "Do you mind if I have one and a half days off a week to get myself selected and elected?" Some advanced employers are willing to take the risk, but most look askance at the employee who wants to do that.

Secondly, the pay which the Top Salaries Review Body has recommended, and that which the Government have recommended—we are discussing a difference of about £3,000 or £4,000 over three or four years—is equivalent to what industry and commerce would pay for a competent and effective person. I refer to a person who, if a Government supporter and perhaps tied as a PPS, might persuade the Government to accept a change in the law or provide a lead on issues of the kind in which I have been involved during the past four years. That type of person in industry or commerce is likely to be able to earn £20,000 plus a car and able to go home at 6 o'clock in the evening.

Mr. Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

My hon. Friend does not know much about industry.

Mr. Bottomley

I kindly advise my hon. Friend in public that my industrial experience is, I suspect, more direct and extensive than his. It is also probably more successful than his, although I doubt whether my income has been near his. It might have been higher, but I suspect that it has been lower.

I strongly support what my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House said about mileage. I wrote to the Plowden committee saying that there ought to be a two-tier payment. When I was a personnel adviser in industry recently—a position which I gave up partly because I thought that the Plowden report would be implemented —I made it policy that people who did a high mileage did not get a high marginal rate for every mile.

That is not a commercial deal. In my view, it is not a necessary deal, although I declare an interest in that my constituency is seven miles from London and consists of 12 square miles. I say in public what I said in private to Plowden, that I thought it right to have a limit that changes after the first so many thousand miles. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Why?"] The simple reason is that 9,000 miles a year produces a reimbursable payment—if that is the right expression—of about £2,200, and at a rate of 14p a mile after that it is about double the cost of 25 miles to the gallon. So there is still a contribution towards the overall running costs of the car. [Interruption.] I get 25 miles to the gallon, but my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton), who may talk as he drives, may get less.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

My hon. Friend is casting aspersions on me, and perhaps on others. He has admitted that he represents a seat which is seven miles from London, 12 miles square, and involves him in very little motor mileage. There are many hon. Members who cover thousands of miles a year, and in travelling large distances perhaps do not use a Mini or a Metro. They have to use a slightly larger car, which is rather more expensive on fuel. I suggest to my hon. Friend and to the Leader of the House that 14p a mile for a larger car does not cover the cost of running that car. So there could well be hon. Members who would be deterred from carrying out their duties and visiting their constituents because of having to do it out of their earned income.

Mr. Bottomley

My hon. Friend makes a fair point. I do not happen to agree with what he says, but it is well worth consideration by the House. I put my own view, as I did to Plowden.

I want to make three brief points. The first is that in 1948 Douglas Jay recommended to Stafford Cripps that the pay of Members of Parliament should be linked to that of assistant secretaries. Certainly Douglas Jay—if not Stafford Cripps — regretted that that advice was not accepted. I find no embarrassment in talking about this issue, either in public or in the House, and I shall go on talking about it, within reason, for as long as I am here.

Secondly, I greatly welcome the acceptance by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House of the motion of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) about the proportion of the pay of Members of Parliament that Ministers get. I understand that the reason for Ministers in this House not getting full Members' pay has to do with comparability between Ministers in this House and in the other place. I feel strongly that the sooner Ministers in this House receive more of, and then all, the pay of Members of Parliament, the better it will be for two reasons. First, they have to discharge all the duties of Members to their constituencies, and, secondly, it helps to narrow the differential between their pay when they are Ministers and their pay when they revert to the Back Benches. It is desirable that the financial sacrifice in no longer being a Minister should not be too great.

The only thing that I regret about deciding to support the Government is that I cannot take up the challenge put down by Sir John Junor in his article in the Sunday Express two and a half weeks ago. He and hon. Members will have seen my early-day motion. My view is that any hon. Members of this House who are tempted to do as Sir John Junor suggests—I leave aside recommendations to the Front Bench — against their better judgment, just because Sir John Junor says that he will campaign against their re-election and publish their names and constituencies, deserve not to get a penny increase, and not to be paid at all. However much I enjoy reading John Junor's current events column, I must say that if we do not have the guts to stand up to a newspaper editor, we do not deserve to be here. I shall end up tomorrow first by writing to him and inviting to lunch on whatever pay I receive, and secondly by volunteering to write four articles a year at £250 a time. I challenge him to accept my offer.

12.30 am
Mr. John Morris (Aberavon)

The right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) was carried away by his own logic. The ultimate logic of his argument—that we should receive the pay of a Member of Parliament instead of the rate for the job—is that our salaries should not be maintained, but reduced. The greater Ithe reduction, the less embarrassment there would be to him.

The right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) said that this debate should never have taken place. He was long on protest but short on action. I shall deal briefly with his amendment. There is a constant nibbling of Plowden. First, there is a reduction from the £19,000 proposed to £18,500. There is the changing of the date for increasing pay from 13 June to 22 June. With the sole aim of taking the issue of pay out of the arena, the idea is canvassed and proposed that there should be a link with whatever civil servants are paid on 1 January 1988. However, I understand that they do not contribute to their pensions. The hon. and learned Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Fairbairn) asked what the proposed salary would be worth four years from now. We have not ri:ceived a reply, although that is a crucial issue. Until that matter is dealt with, it will remain a ridiculous comparison and attempt at indexation to include in the proposal what would be in effect, if not a reduction in salary as suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman, certainly not an increase.

Given the reputation that the right hon. Member for Taunton is supposed to have in business, I wonder whether, on reflection, he is proud of his proposal. Has he not been sold a pup by the Government on each of those scores? This is the fundamental issue. If we are to have a Plowden report and be euphemistically dealt with by a top salaries body—and the only proposal from the right hon. Gentleman was to have yet another body, presumably a low salaries body, to report in future—and if there is to be a real attempt at indexation, it must be on the basis of something near the figure that Plowden now agrees is the going rate for the job. I refer to the figure of £19,000, or thereabouts.

The Leader of the House must face up squarely to that issue. What basis does he use to calculate the equivalent of £18,500 four years from now?

The suggestion about mileage was made, I understand, without any previous consultations, and I regard it as disgraceful. The decision is based on the idea that the majority of hon. Members live in London, or have small urban constituencies, rather than large constituencies far away from London that they frequently reach by car. Of course, if Members travel by air, it matters not. But how can we provide on the same basis for one Member with a large constituency when another Member such as the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Bottomley) has a small urban constituency just seven miles from the House? That is grossly unfair and I hope that the Leader of the House will reflect further on that issue.

I regard the suggestion that there should be a reduction in secretarial allowances on the basis of an alleged increase in Members' salaries as particularly squalid. APEX. a union to which I am proud to belong, has put in a considerable amount of work and has submitted written and oral representations to Plowden on behalf of Members' secretaries. It was pleased that a considerable number of its views—such as on payments from the Fees Office, redundancy provisions, proposals on pensions and journeys — were accepted by Plowden. Unhappily, of course—this was not within the remit of Plowden— nothing could be done on accommodation, another disgraceful aspect. To go back on the recommendation of Plowden that a Member should be able to employ a high class, high calibre civil servant at rates comparable with the Civil Service rate and to have the assistance for a proportion of the time—half the time—of a research assistant, and to go back from the £13,000 proposed by Plowden and over a weekend reduce that to £11,000 I regard as squalid and I expect the Leader of the House to justify it.

12.36 am
Mr. David Howell (Guildford)

I agree with the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) in the important sense that he spoke from principle, although, like the late lain Macleod, I think that I would get off the bus several stops before the right hon. Gentleman did in the line of his argument.

The best advice that anyone can give to Governments when they seek to put down a motion on sensitive topics and move into these turbulent and difficult waters is to find a principle and to get a mooring on it and stick to it as hard as they can. If I could see the principle on which the Government based their original motion, I would support that. I would not for a moment blame the Government if they were arguing that there should be an equality of sacrifice for top people and that, although an expert report had recommended certain levels of pay, it would he right to move away from those recommendations in the name of sacrifice, which many other people must make, and lake a small percentage instead. If I could see that principle, I would find myself ready to support the Government's proposition.

What do we find when we study the Government's proposals? Over the past year, in which Members of Parliament received 4 per cent., senior civil servants received very much more. In 1982–83, they received between 14 and 17 per cent. If there is to be an argument about equality of sacrifice, I am afraid that it is not to be found in those figures or in the policies that have been pursued. Therefore, I am not able to moor alongside any principle that the Government have established. There is none.

Some Members have said that what was wrong with the Government's original proposition was that it elevated the expense element to the point where it exceeded the amount of pay drawn. That cannot be right. The Government were not well advised on that matter. It was not good for the House, and those Members who objected to it were right to do so.

The only sensible and responsible choice in a difficult position where we have to think not only of ourselves but of the nation and the wider interests for which we have been sent to the House to fight is between the amendment tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) and the amended version proposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser). It is a difficult choice, but we must make it.

Mr. Fairbairn

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that, if we vote for the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann), on the best predictions we will be voting for a salary in 1988 that is lower than our present salary? If we vote for the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser), presuming 1988 to be election year, we shall be voting for a huge increase to get the falling salary in line with the linked salary.

Mr. Howell

My hon. and learned Friend anticipates the point that I had intended to make. The choice is whether we link our salary to an £18,500 salary in 1983 or in 1987 or 1988. It should be the aim of every hon. Member to ensure that the purchasing power of £18,500 in 1983 remains as close as possible to the purchasing power of that salary in 1988. It should be our purpose to ensure that the inflationary virus is so driven out of the system that the depreciation in that salary is minimised. That is why many of us believe that inflation does such vast damage, not only to the entire nation but in the particular to the budgeting of families and hon. Members. They are the losers if we do not strain every sinew to ensure that that £18,500 purchasing power is as near as possible the same in 1988 as it is in 1983.

If we index ourselves to the £18,500 in 1983, it must be admitted that we lose some incentive to ensure that that salary keeps its purchasing power. We lose some incentive to ensure that it does not simply slide away and depreciate. We have a responsibility fo fight depreciation of our currency. If we link now, we lose some element of incentive. I therefore support the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton. The House, looking beyond itself as well as at its own affairs, would be wise and responsible to support it.

I have one plea to make to the Government. I have made it before, and I do so again. Please can we abolish the TSRB? It is not an effective body. Indeed, if we pass the motion tonight the House might not need to have anything further to do with it. It is a bottom salaries review board in many senses because it deals with much lower salaries than those paid in industry. It has not served our affairs well either in the House or in deciding salaries elsewhere. Other bodies could do that. We would be far better off without the TSRB.

12.43 am
Mr. Dafydd Wigley (Caernarfon)

I address the House with the feeling of odiousness at the fact that we are once again discussing a matter that is so difficult for many of us. Unlike many other hon. Members, I have no hopes or aspirations of being anything other than a Back-Bencher. Therefore, perhaps I view the issue somewhat differently.

I worked in manufacturing industry before entering the House. I have felt the difference between being in a reasonably good job and being a Member of Parliament. I have no income other than my parliamentary income. Because of family circumstances, my wife cannot earn a large salary. Therefore, as a family we are entirely dependent on the parliamentary income. The difference is fairly staggering. My income 12 or 13 years ago, in real terms and if I had received no promotion, was 50 per cent. to 100 per cent. greater than my present parliamentary income.

That is not my main case, however. I came into the job with my eyes open. I accepted the reduction in salary because I thought it was necessary to do the job of representing constituents. But the question we must face is what is the right rate for the job.

The right hon. Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell) thought that certain review bodies should be abolished. I suggest that matters would be easier if, when such bodies introduced reports, they were accepted much more readily, in the way that the Government accept Boundary Commission reports.

If one depends solely on one's parliamentary salary, that is not money going straight into one's pocket, and the public should appreciate that. Many expenses must be met, some of which have been mentioned. In trying to undertake a service to my constituents—I am sure that they appreciated this during the election campaign—I have a full-time secretary in my constituency, I find it necessary to have a part-time filing clerk and a part-time typist, and I share a secretary in the House of Commons so that I cover this end as well.

To do that, the cost is more than the allowances paid by the House. However, my work is subsidised, partly by my political party and partly from my salary. The same is true of the expense of living in London. I have a constituency 250 miles away; and therefore I spend 12 hours a week just in travelling. Part of my salary goes to make up the deficiency that is not otherwise met. Therefore, when we talk of our parliamentary salary, that is not money that goes straight into one's pocket.

Although I would press for the acceptance of the report's recommendations on salary, I would put even greater emphasis on the conditions of the staff working for hon. Members here, particularly our secretaries. Some of them are working in conditions in the House that are a disgrace. Indeed, if those conditions were prevalent in the industry in which I was working, we should have got a roasting for allowing it. We need improved conditions and better salaries for secretaries.

Given the responsibilities and burden of work that Members have in this modern age, it is not unreasonable for us to ask for one research officer each, and that is what the £13,000 proposal would permit; we could have a young graduate as a research officer. If the report's £13,000 recommendation on research and secretarial assistance was valid last week on the basis of an hon. Member's needs, by what token is that need now £2,000 less? In other words, if the argument was valid last week, it must be valid today. In no way should that argument be confused with the argument concerning hon. Members' salaries. If one thing will make the public think that the expenses paid to Members are some sort of fiddle to top up salaries, it will be seeing the expenses put up and then brought down, as we see in the amendments.

I would press strongly for improvements in the facilities in Parliament for Members to do their job as the prime objective. We must, at the same time, decide the going rate for the job; not necessarily what we would get in industry but what is a fair rate to enable hon. Members who want to be full-time Members not to undertake any other job but to do so without feeling the squeeze, perhaps in the end finding it impossible to sustain.

If that is not done, we shall be admitting that there are two classes of Members, some with private incomes—from whatever source — who car subsidise their parliamentary work and others who do not have such private resources. That would be discrimination and would lead—I appreciate that many Conservative Members do not agree—to pressure being put on hon. Members to do nothing but be full-time Members. I appreciate the arguments against that, but unless those with other incomes recognise the situation facing Back Benchers who do not, the pressure will move in that direction. I find that between 60 and 70 hours a week are taken up by parliamentary work. To do that work effectively we need secretarial and research support and salary commensurate with the job.

12.50 am
Mr. Christopher Chope (Southampton, Itchen)

It is with considerable trepidation that I rise to make my maiden speech in this controversial debate. As I know that there are many right hon. and hon. Members who wish to participate in the debate, I shall cut short my remarks about the city of Southampton and my predecessor, Mr. Bob Mitchell. I pay tribute to Bob Mitchell, who served the Itchen constituency so well over many years. I know that the people of Southampton feel strongly that he represented their interests regardless of whether they happened to support his party. I have a difficult job ahead of me in trying to emulate his achievements as a constituency Member of Parliament.

Yesterday I received a desk and a telephone, and my secretary now has a telephone. That being so, I have much to celebrate. It is appropriate that Members should count their blessings. I count mine as someone who was elected to the House for the first time on 9 June, for I had not necessarily expected to be elected. There are about 3 million who are unemployed and what we say in this debate will be heeded by the unemployed and by the many outside the House who have made greater sacrifices than some of us are prepared to make tonight.

I ask the House to accept the motion of the Leader of the House, which I consider to be preferable to the amendment of my right hon. Friend ithe Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann). In all the circumstances, it would be reasonable to take a decision for just one year. It would be a mistake to link our salaries and payments with those in the Civil Service, because the Government would have a vested interest in fixing the remuneration of civil servants and we would automatically be t.ed in with them. Why should judges and admirals not be tied in with them at present? Any notion of Members being tied in with civil servants' salaries and pay scales is wrong, and for that reason I should find substantial difficulty in supporting the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton. I hope that the Leader of the House will he able to persuade the House to vote for the substantive motion in an unamended form.

We must set an example to those outside the House in recognition of the considerable feeling that Members do not reflect the feelings of ordinary people. I know that many in Southampton have made substantial sacrifices to enable Britain to get back on its economic feet. Last year hon. Members accepted a 4 per cent. increase in their remuneration, and I should like to think that they set a valuable example to the country. At that time inflation was running ahead of 4 per cent. and now we are all delighted that it has declined to 3.7 per cent. Over the next few years we have a chance of making Britain a low inflation country. I hope that we shall not do anything tonight that will jeopardise our chance of setting an example for Britain and for many other countries in the western world. The battle to reduce inflation and to keep it under control is vital, and the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House are most in keeping with what can be afforded.

I wish to have the freedom in this Parliament to say publicly to those involved in pay bargaining that, although they may think it desirable that they should have pay increases, their firms and the country cannot afford them. Many of us said to pensioners during the election campaign that it was marvellous that they were going along with the rest of us and making sacrifices in the national interest. I said to pensioners in Southampton that a 3.7 per cent. pension increase, in line with inflation, was reasonable in the circumstances, although I, like many other hon. Members, would like them to get real rises in income. I do not see how we can vote ourselves real rises when we are not prepared to give them to pensioners and many others. Of course, the consequences of paying such rises would be devastating for the economy.

I was leader of Wandsworth council for three and a. half years and was, in effect, an employer of those who worked for the council. I believe that public sector workers are prepared to make sacrifices if a lead is given from the top. Many employees of Wandsworth council were priced out of their jobs, and we should set an example to them. We had difficult decisions to take in Wandsworth and we adopted the principle that councillors should set an example.

I remind hon. hon. Members that many councillors have a major responsibility for controlling inflation and ensuring that local government expenditure is kept under control. They receive a pittance compared with what hon. Members are paid. Often, they do not accept the special responsibility allowances or the full attendance allowances. Rates in Southampton are lower now than they were in 1976, and that achievement has been made possible only because of the considerable sacrifices made by local councillors.

I ask hon Members to think of other people, including those who run small businesses, work much longer hours than we do and often face greater risks for less reward. We were prepared to be paid £X last year, so why are we not prepared to be paid £X plus 4 per cent. in the coming year? If we were able to manage last year, surely we should be able to manage in the coming year. In so doing, we shall be setting the right tone for the difficult battles that lie ahead on public expenditure and the control of inflation. That is why I support the recommendations of the Leader of the House.

12.59 am
Dr. Jeremy Bray (Motherwell, South)

I congratulate the hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Chope) not only on his eloquence but on his courage, if not foolhardiness, in making a maiden speech on such an occasion. His appreciation of the wisdom of taking one year at a time under this Government has not escaped the House. If he has both a telephone and a desk so early in his parliamentary career, that is proof positive of the success of the improved conditions for Members which the Leader of the House seeks to provide.

Some aspects of the increase in secretarial and research allowances may have escaped the attention of the House. The salaries of secretaries and research assistants will be paid through the Fees Office. Motion No. 4 in the name of the Leader of the House introduces one limit for salaries and another limit for general office expenses, but amendment (b) thereto, which the Leader of the House has recommended to the House, abolishes that distinction. Therefore, it conflicts with the provision sought by the Secretaries' Council, which it believed had been agreed by the Leader of the House and which was embodied in the motion. Amendment (b) will reopen the door to the abuses about which the Secretaries' Council had good reason to be worried.

The argument of the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) that it is wrong for expenses to be greater than salary reflects a sense that expenses are a racket or abuse, and that there is something wrong with them. That would be absurd if we considered expenses as the salaries of those who work for us. What employer considers it a proper measure of the total wage bill of those who work for him that it should be less than his salary? That absurd argument reflects a wrong idea of parliamentary expenses. Members' expenses are different. We do not all go up to the limit of what we can draw in stationery, car parking and the subsidised refreshment department. It would be absurd for us to try. The right approach is to pitch the expense allowances at a level adequate to meet the expenses incurred by hon. Members, and then to require evidence from Members that that is necessary expenditure. We should not expect all hon. Members always to claim up to the limit for the expenses that they can incur.

The right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) is wrong to assume that Mr. Speaker will set up arrangements for the payment of general office expenses. He will set up arrangements only for secretarial and research expenses. It would be impractical for him to lay down the requirements for the home use of telephones, overseas telephone calls, or any of the many legitimate expenses that hon. Members can incur in the category of general office expenses.

Amendment (b) to motion No. 4, which abolishes the distinction between secretarial and research allowances and general office expenses, is the wrong way to obtain proper flexibility in the provision for Members. The amendment of the right hon. Member for Taunton—he is aware of this, but other hon. Members may not be—would leave hon. Members with £13,000 a year this year in secretarial and research allowances but would reduce it to £11,000 in later years. I suspect that the leader of the House realised belatedly that that £2,000 error had crept in. Therefore, he encouraged a Back-Bench Member, who has not yet spoken, but who I hope will explain what happened, first to table a mis-formulated amendment, which was the previous amendment (b) to motion No. 4, and then to correct it belatedly only on today's Order Paper. Thus, an amendment tabled only today rules out all the other amendments that have been tabled to this motion.

Amendment (c) in the names of the hon. Member for Havant (Mr. Lloyd), myself and others takes the right approach to providing the appropriate flexibility in hon. Members' allowances. It does not seek to restore the secretarial and research allowances to £13,000, but on top of the £11,000 it creates a limit for information technology and word processing so that those who wish to—it may not be a majority—can properly equip themselves. Even you, Mr. Speaker, cannot get to your office without falling over information technology and word processing equipment. The same is true of the Clerk's Department. The only people in the House who are denied proper provision are hon. Members. The only people who will provide the equipment for hon. Members is ourselves, by a vote on the Floor of the House. I therefore hope that in all realism, amendment (c) will commend itself to Conservative Members, as I am sure it will to my hon. Friends.

I stress that the appropriate flexibility is not provided for by abolishing the distinction between research and general office expenses, which will bring to light— I assure the Leader of the House of this—many abuses of which the Secretaries' Council is aware, which it thought that it had fully explained to the Leader of the House, but on which he has now totally let it down. I hope, therefore, that he will reconsider the terms on which he recommends the amendment of the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Ward) to the House.

1.6 am

Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Perth and Kinross)

I speak as somebody who represents a constituency which is 450 miles from London and which is of vast size. There is no doubt that in the House the rewards for a Member of Parliament are greatly reduced by the distance he lives from London and the size of the constituency he represents, but that is not understood.

I reject the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) and the amendment to his amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser). I do so for this reason. The House has fudged the issue of its own pay again and again. It has done it on the basis that this is not the economic moment to have the courage to get it right. All that I can say is that I do not believe that the Leader of the House or any other Member can tell me that in the present economic circumstances, if he is going to be such a funk at the moment, he will not be such a funk in the future. If inflation is running at 30 per cent., one cannot have an increased salary because it feeds inflation. If inflation is running at nil per cent., one cannot have an increased salary because one does not need it. Every year since I came to the House, a false economic argument has been presented to prevent hon. Members and Ministers from doing what they believe is right.

Therefore, we are in the absurd position tonight that we are saying that the matter is so distasteful that the children cannot choose their own food. They might choose caviare and lobster, so we shall ask somebody else to choose. The moment we get somebody else, at the cost of £1 million, to say what it will be, we say that those people cannot choose the food, as it is too important a matter. The children must choose it themselves. We cannot have it both ways. If there is one characteristic that I look for in the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House, it is not fudging. We must not fudge the issue tonight. We are talking not about a wage increase but about the correct salary structure for Members of Parliament.

I refer to the penalty for distance and size. For example, my hon. Friend the Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) lives seven miles from Westminster, and represents half a square mile. If one is a member of the legal profession in England, one can wander off and earn a fortune at the Old Bailey in the morning and come back to the House at 4 o'clock. That cannot be done if one happens to be a barrister or advocate in Scotland. I gi ve an illustration because some people who argue about hon. Members' pay, argue as though we all represent seats within walking distance of Big Ben.

There is an amendment in my narri, about spouses' warrants. We used to be allowed 12 spouses' warrants a year. There are three categories of Members of Parliament. There are those who represent constituencies and live within a distance from the House which enables them to go home every night to their spouses. There are those who represent seats to which they can easily drive home with their spouses at weekends at public expense. There are those who do not fall into either of those categories and who, rather like a lifer ir the special unit at Barlinnie, are allowed 15 conjugal visits a year.

It is wrong that those hon. Members who do not live within driving distance of their spouses should have to pay if they want to be with them — spending the week in London and the weekend in their constituencies. It is a penalty of £3,000 a year out of taxed income.

I do not object to hon. Members' families being with them if their marriages are to remain intact, but I object to the fact that those of us who cannot live with our spouses, or drive backwards and forwards with them at public expense should be allowed 15 warrants a year only for our spouse while the children—whether from present or past marriages—of those who live nearby or who can drive home, can each have 15 visits to London a year.

If the argument against giving spouse warrants to those who live far away is one of expense, I dc not understand why the children of those who live close to the House are to have 15 visits a year to London. I ask on behalf of all those who live at a distance that that wrong should be corrected urgently.

If the Leader of the House seeks to penalise those hon. Members with large rural areas to cover, which is an additional strain when we go to our constituencies at weekends, by refusing a motor allowance while others can use public transport at any time with a free warrant, he will do himself and the Government great harm.

1.13 am
Mr. Joseph Ashton (Bassetlaw)

I wish to raise the subject of hon. Members' severance pay, which has not been mentioned so far. In the last Parliament, because the constituency boundaries changed and the seats changed hands, about 80 hon. Members were suddenly thrown out of a job with a couple of weeks notice. The severance pay that they received was not up to the levels existing outside the House. I can quote from today's Daily Express which says: From the Commons to the dole. The article lists some of the prominent Members: Bill Rodgers, Albert Booth, Roland Moyle, Tom Bradley,—[Interruption.] It is no laughing matter when people lose their jobs after a lifetime of hard work. Many new Members may have to face that in three or four years' time. The writers of the article talked to people who are experts in placing top people into a job, and say: According to a top head-hunter the chances for most of them of ever finding work at a comparable salary are virtually nil. Mr. Robert Arkle, whose firm Robert Lee International has already been contacted by a number of ex-MPs seeking executive posts, said: I told them being an MP is no qualification at all. In fact, it is a negative qualification. Business and commerce except in the case of senior ministers who have had high level negotiating experience, do not want to know about people who have been given the push from the Commons. The man with a profession to return to will probably find some work, but the MP who has risen through the ranks of a union hasn't got much of a hope in hell Some 65 per cent. of hon. Members made a recommendation to the Plowden committee that something should be done about such problems. Time and again, it was strongly stressed when we were interviewed. and in the questionnaires that we sent in, that the level of severance pay for hon. Members was unsatisfactory. Those who had some sort of technical job, but were Members for 15 years, found that all their technology was outdated, and that since they had come to the House, the years of the microchip and new developments had made all their previous skills useless. The expertise that they had acquired in the House— in using Standing Order No. 10, serving on a Standing Committee, the procedures of the House, or their constituents' problems—was of no use to them.

Many Members lose their seats when they are about 50, and have nothing to turn to, except to start again, perhaps in some corner shop or something of that nature. It is too soon to do an analysis of those who lost their seats a couple of weeks ago, many of them because of boundary changes. This happened to Conservative Ministers, just as it happened to Labour Back-Benchers.

When an analysis was done a year after the last election, in 1980, there were still former Members ow of work, including experienced people and Ministers. At that time, unemployment was about 1.25 per cent., or 1.5 per cent. Today, the problem is worse. However, although 65 per cent. of Members said that Members' severance pay was not good enough, this was ignored by the Plowden committee, and it is being ignored by the Government in their proposals. There have to be some Members in marginal seats. Politics could not function without them. If unemployment becomes more long-term, more people will stand in these seats, often people of high calibre.

There are two types of redundancy pay. First, there is that when a man is made redundant in a factory where he has worked as a lathe operator, a fitter, or a draughtsman, as I used to be. It is a terrible blow for him, but at least there are other factories where he can apply for a job, and might be fitted in in six or 12 months' time. He can feel that his talent has not gone.

Secondly, there are redundancies in industries such as coal mining and shipbuilding, where a whole town goes to the wall, and many people feel that they will never work again, because the industry is smashed. Such redundancies attract much higher redundancy pay, because a man who has been made redundant in a steel town such as Consett or Corby at the age of 54 or 55 is likely never to work again. Therefore, special payments and provisions are made. In politics, we have to accept that many hon. Members who are made redundant at the age of 50-odd will be lucky to get any job.

If an hon. Member is 45, and has done 10 years' service, he gets six months' salary. A teacher who is made redundant at that age would not only get six months' salary but would get one sixth of his salary on top of that for many years. A civil servant made redundant at that age would not only get six months' pay but would get about £100 a week until he was 60 years old. A manual worker in a shipyard who was made redundant at that age would get 40 weeks' pay and about £80 a weeek for the next two years. The amendment that we have tabled asks for nothing that is out of line with that given to those who have lost similar jobs in similar industries. It has been said that the cost of producing the report — £1 million was mentioned, and that included the outside consultancy fee, and somebody else referred to £169,000 — was much greater than the cost of the amendment would be.

It would give a great deal of reassurance to people who take on marginal seats in politics to know that if they are elected they will not be suddenly tossed on the scrapheap after five or 10 years, causing their families to suffer. Without that there will be a great deal of pressure on prospective Members from spouses not to go into politics because the risk will be thought to be too great when there are 3 million unemployed and many more middle-aged middle-class executives out of a job.

The amendment seeks to double severance pay, making it for a minimum of a year. That is not out of line with other industries, it is not exorbitant and can be defended to the public. That is why we are glad that the amendment was selected and we shall vote for it tonight.

1.20 am
Mr. John Stokes (Halesowen and Stourbridge)

I cannot be alone in not having greatly enjoyed much of the debate. I agree with some of what my right hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell) said about equality of sacrifice. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Chope) on a fluent speech, although he chose a difficult subject on which to make a maiden speech. My heart went out to the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) on what he said, particularly about our superiority to foreigners. On the other hand, my head could not entirely agree with all his conclusions.

I always find that I have a conflict of interests in these debates because I have spent the greater part of my business and industrial life dealing with salaries—salary administration and salary levels—both in large British companies and in my own firm.

We are attempting in the debate tonight to take a professional view on a matter on which one really cannot have a professional view. We are asking ourselves how long a piece of string is. After being here for 13 years, I was flattered to be asked to give my views to the consultants who came to see us. Over the years I have always been fascinated by the subject of salaries. I think that I am now so good that I could almost tell a man's salary from the colour of his eyes.

I have a professional feeling of solidarity with the distinguished members of the review body whom we specially asked to advise us and two of whom I know well. However, it is rather futile to ask those experts to advise us when we never take their advice. [Horn. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] The sooner the review body is put to sleep the better.

At the same time, hon. Members will know that I have supported the Government ever since my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister took office in May 1979. With the exception of one or two immigration matters, I have voted with the Government every time. I shall, with some reluctance, be with them tonight because I realise the immense importance of the public interest. However, we have got ourselves into an infernal mess and I hope that we shall not go on doing this year after year.

I have a few words of advice to the Government, which I hope they will heed. It always seems to me most unfortunate when the Government make proposals which result in a violent clash with their Back Benchers. That is bad publicity, bad for the House and bad for the Conservative party. I suggest that a little consultation beforehand with sensible colleagues who have some knowledge of these matters would not come amiss in future.

Reluctantly, I accept the compromise motion of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann), although I do not like linkage at all. Members' salaries cannot be linked with anybody else's. Their job is unique, and although I accept most of the allowances I cannot bear the idea of being treated as if we were receiving benefits from the Department of Health and Social Security in having our children's visits paid for by the state. Surely we should be paid sufficient salaries so that we can afford to send our children here at our own expense.

I read a report in The Times of 15 July—I hope that it is not true — that Government Whips had been informing new Members that if they did not vote for the 4 per cent. line they would never be promoted and would even be blacked from the most junior position of Parliamentary Private Secretary. I have been a Member of the House long enough to know that the blood-curdling stories of the Whips' doings are not always true. I do not believe that my right hon. Friend the Chief Whip would have authorised such action. Throughout the time that I have been a Member of Parliament I have never received any threat of any kind from any Whip. Any hon. Member worth his salt will make his own decisions acording to his own knowledge and conscience.

I wish to speak about Ministers' salaries. I fully realise the Government's desire to keep salaries in the public sector down, but this Tory Government must pay some regard to differentials and the rate for the job. After all, we are not an egalitarian party. We believe in suitable rewards. Ministers cannot do another job. Their jobs—I hope that they are listening—are vital to the nation and should be properly paid.

Under-Secretaries of State are especially badly paid here and scandalously underpaid in the other place. Ministers of State are also underpaid, as are Cabinet Ministers. Even in stern Victorian times, and earlier, some Cabinet Ministers received an annual salary of £5,000, which is worth more than £100,000 today. Ministers today do not usually own vast estates—I wish they did—with big rent rolls as they did in the 19th century. Nor can they make money on the side, as they did in the 17th century —sometimes, as Macaulay said, accumulating an estate sufficient to support a dukedom.

The review body has made a good case for substantially increasing Ministers' pay now.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Stokes

If my hon. Friend does not mind, I shall not give way. I have waited a long time to speak and my hon. Friend says a great deal, although I greatly admire what he says.

There is a curious puritanical streak in the House about Ministers' pay. We rightly insist on proper standards of pay for judges, civil servants, the armed forces and the police. As we have heard, our servants in the House are properly paid. There is something inherently distasteful in paying Ministers so badly in comparison not only with outside rates but with the senior civil servants with whom they deal every day.

I realise that Ministers cannot raise such matters themselves, but at least I can say what [think, as I do not think I shall be made a Minister in the near future. The labourer is worthy of his hire and Ministers are dreadfully badly paid compared with their foreign counterparts although they are much better at the job. It is neither sound nor sensible to have government on the cheap. I hope that the members of the Cabinet will have the courage to reconsider the level of their own salaries.

1.31 am
Mr. Peter Snape (West Bromwich, East)

In view of the time and the number of hon. Members wishing to participate, I shall be brief.

First, I endorse the plea of my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) and commend our amendment (a) to motion No. 7 on the thorny and deep-rooted problems of redundancy and resettlement. I should perhaps declare half an interest in that I am only 296 votes off applying for a resettlement grant myself. As my hon. Friend said, more than 80 former Members from all political parties left the House in June. It would not be over-generous for the House to accept our amendment. If the traditionally hard-hearted members of the Tory payroll vote cannot bring themselves to support it, I remind them that at some time in the future—not too long ahead, I hope — they may themselves be the unfortunate recipients of the largesse that it seeks to provide.

Having participated in the debate on Members' pay as long ago as 1975, I vowed that I would not do so again. There is something uniquely distasteful about this annual ritual and both sides of the House under Governments of both parties seem to lack the courage to do anything about it. It is never the right time to vote oneself a pay rise. The Government now propose — and the 1922 Committee shop stewards seems not to have done much better—the usual jam tomorrow. No trade union worth its salt, having sent its pay claim to arbitration, would then reject the award because it was too high. In the nine years since I have been a Member, the House seems to have clung to the strange notion that some great public odium will fall upon us all if we accept the award recommended by the Top Salaries Review Body. Collectively, we are unlikely to be popular whatever we do and the time is long overdue for the House to reach a decision about the long-term fixing of Members' pay.

As far back as 1975, my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw proposed that Members' salaries should be fixed at that of the Civil Service grade of assistant secretary. Speaking from memory, I think that the difference between the two salaries was then about £600. It is now £9,000. I am not saying that we are worth £23,000. Like hon. Members on both sides, I have no idea what the salary should be. The whole purpose of having a review body was for someone else to decide that thorny question for us. It is nonsense to go on rejecting the recommendations year after year under Governments of both parties.

It is also distasteful to hear the annual lecture about principles from the the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell). We all know how much the right hon. Gentleman cherishes his public image, but he forfeited any respect from me in 1968. I am still waiting for those predictions to come true. I thought that they were unrealistic then and I still do. Let us not forget either that in the privacy of a televison studio or on the telephone to a newspaper editor the right hon. Gentleman really lives up to his market forces principles because financially he screws out every drop of blood that he possibly can. So let us have no hypocritical nonsense from him about doing the job for nothing, because to some of us that is just about what he is worth.

The right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) said that he had done his best on behalf of the House. Speaking from my experience on the railways as a convener of shop stewards, I would say that he would have great difficulty getting re-elected in a secret ballot arranged by the Government. To tell hon. Members that we must accept linkage over a five-year period provided that we are prepared to vote to take £2,000 per annum off people who are not represented directly in the House is hardly a way for a convener or shop steward to behave. It would be nonsense for hon. Members to accept these recommendations.

We will not be popular whatever we do. We should have the guts and the common sense to accept the Top Salaries Review Body's recommendations and stop behaving like a bunch of fools.

1.35 am
Mr. Edward Heath (Old Bexley and Sidcup)

I agreed with my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) when he said that this was a matter that must be decided by the House of Commons. It is the second time in less than a week that we have had a major debate in which individual Members have had to reach a general conclusion.

I am quoted at the beginning of the Sixth Report on Top Salaries as having created the Top Salaries Review Body in September 1971. It quotes me as saying that the recommendations of the Review Body will be accepted by the Government unless there are clear and compelling reasons to the contrary". As has been pointed out, we accepted the first report without qualification. The result was that there was not a great debate in the country and there was not a great onslaught by the press. The matter was settled and removed speedily from public discussion.

What has interested me about today's discussion is that there has been almost no discussion of the contents of the report. We have been given no clear and compelling reasons why the report should not be accepted. I do not recall my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House mentioning the reports contents or saying why he thinks the review body has gone wrong, where, and what ought to be done about it. That is serious.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell) said that the sooner the review body was abolished the better. Others of my hon. Friends echoed that view and a few nodded their heads. I should like to issue a word of caution. Why was the review body established? We must accept that under our financial system, the House can never escape the responsibility of voting the funds for its salaries. If those salaries are changed, the voting on the fund changes. We can never escape that and we recognise it. The review body was established to remove the issue one phase from the House by making recommendations.

If we are not to have the review body, we must ask what the choices are. One is that a Government Department should make a recommendation. I do not believe that the House would accept that such a recommendation was impartial. Nor do I believe that outside observers would think that. Nor, indeed, do I think that any Government Department has the time that has been available to the review body to take evidence, examine it, and consider it carefully and take into account all the questions that arise out of membership of the House. Many of them have been discussed. I share the honour, privilege and other characteristics of being a Member of Parliament.

Another choice would be for a Select Committee to make recommendations. It, too, would not be one stage removed, and outside opinion would not believe that it was independent. Yet another choice is linkage. When the review body was set up, the feeling in the House in all quarters was strongly against linkage with the Civil Service. Perhaps that feeling is now less strong. My opinion remains the same. Because of all the special characteristics of the House, it is undesirable and unjustifiable to link the House to the Civil Service. One cannot argue that membership of this House has the same characteristics, or requires the same treatment, as a particular grade in the Civil Service.

One must also consider the attitude of the Civil Service to linkage. We are asking the Civil Service to carry the House through what it finds to be an unpleasant, difficult and objectionable business. We are not entitled to ask the Civil Service to do that. If I were a permanent secretary to a Department, or if I were a union leader of a Civil Service union, I would immediately say that any Government were bound to be affected in their treatment of the Civil Service pay by the recognition that the result would then be applied to the House of Commons. That is always bound to be unpopular. Why, therefore, should I as a permanent secretary, or the lowest civil servant, carry the House of Commons through this unpleasant and difficult business? I therefore cannot accept the proposal of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton that there should be linkage. I strongly oppose linkage, and I believe that the House of Commons must accept the responsibility of deciding its policy on recommendations from outside.

Mr. Gorst

Before my right hon. Friend disposes of all the options that are open, will he comment on a further one — perhaps only to dismiss it? What about the Government of the day making a firm recommendation after receiving the review body's proposals?

Mr. Heath

I fully appreciate that point. That was another reason why we set up the review body. It was also to remove the Government at one stage from the controversy. If the Government say, "We accept the review body's recommendations. It is now for the House of Commons to decide, by amendment, whether it wants to change them," the House of Commons then clearly bears the responsibility. At present the Government carry the responsibility, and the Government are taking the odium from the House of Commons. People outside take into consideration other characteristics.

That brings me to my last point. My right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton said that the second matter of importance to him was service. Service can be interpreted in a number of ways. I agree with my right hon. Friend that personal service is desirable and essential in the House of Commons, but the other aspect of service is service to the community and to the people whom we represent. I do not believe that the best service can be rendered to the community by Ministers or Members of the House who do not feel that they are getting a reasonable remuneration for carrying out their duties. The community will not get the best service that way. I share the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) about Ministers where the same argument applies.

For almost all the time that I have been a member of the House of Commons we have discussed how the House can influence and control the Government. It is a historical argument, and it continues. When the late Dick Crossman was Leader of the House he started the process of creating more Select Committees to deal with certain Departments and subjects. That was carried on by my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) and we now have the system of Select Committees. Dick Crossman was, I think, greatly influenced by the American Congress. He seemed to be trying to impose the American inquisitorial system of committees on top of the British parliamentary system. In our system the heart of Parliament has always been this Chamber and the debates that take place in it. This is the place where Ministers have to be challenged. If there is to be a successful challenge, it has to take place here. It is not done by Select Committees taking evidence. We know all too well that a report is published, gets a short headline in the press, and is possibly mentioned at Question Time. It is usually not debated and its effect is comparatively small.

The demands of the Select Committees on man and woman power are undoubtedly affecting our debates in the Chamber. That is why I feel that if there is to be good government, hon. Members in this Chamber must have the means to challenge the Government. That can be done only with resources. I do not understand the argument that the resources provided to an hon. Member to employ a research assistant or secretary must not come too close to his salary. That does not apply in any other sphere of activity.

I was thinking earlier of those tumultuous days of 1938 and 1939 when, as a student, I used to sit under the Gallery in the old House of Commons. Churchill, Anthony Eden, Duff Cooper, Harold Macmillan and many like them were on the Back Benches. They had the resources themselves to do what was required. They could keep in touch with everything going on in Europe. They knew the defence situation just as well as—and sometimes better than—members of the Government. They could present the challenge. Today, most hon. Member; do not have those resources. Such Members of Parliament no longer exist. Therefore, resources have to be provided to hon. Members if they are to challenge the Government effectively and thus maintain the democratic system. That is why I believe that it is justifiable to ensure that lion. Members are remunerated properly and are given the resources that allow them to have their own information with which to challenge the Government.

Nobody recognises better than I do the difficulties of taking such a major step. I cannot accept the proposal made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton that there should be four stages, dragging on until 1988. We might then find ourselves with a major gap. I could have understood it if the Leader of the House had said that the review body had done a proper job and that the percentage was right. When we took the one step in 1972, it led to an increase of 30.8 per cent. That was a not inconsiderable increase, and we were not without our problems at the time. If the Leader of the House had said today that it was too much to do in one go, but that two stages might be acceptable, my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, and the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand), the chairman of the parliamentary Labour party, might well have reached agreement and we would not have had this controversy and lengthy debate. I had hoped that that would happen.

I regret that I cannot support the amendment tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton. It drags everything out for far too long. The real problem is always how to catch up. The only way of doing it is to recognise the facts of the case, which have been properly analysed by the review body, and to say quite openly and honestly to the public that if they want good government from Parliament, they must accept that. We recognise that sacrifices are still being made, but it is necessary to have good government, and it is good government in its broadest sense that this country requires.

1.47 am
Mr. Tony Banks (Newham, North-West)

As a new Member of Parliament I have already discovered a number of the rather strange practices that the House indulges in. However, I cannot believe that there is any practice that is stranger than that which appears to determine hon. Members' pay and cOnditions.

Like hon. Membeis on both sides of the House, I have no great confidence in the way in which this process has been conducted, or in the way in which our unofficial, unelected and unaccountable shop stewards have produced the dog's dinner now before us. As as I can see, everything is done via a process of political osmosis, whereby hon. Members read in the newspapers about the things that are going ion behind the scenes to find a way out of the mess that the House apparently gets into at regular intervals.

That is no way to conduct the business of determining Members' pay and conditions, particularly when there is clearly great public interest in, and concern about, what we are doing. Nor do I think that we should be influenced as Members by newspaper comments, particularly from hacks such as John Junor of the Daily Express. The House does not need lessons or lectures on pay and conditions from Fleet street journalists who are perhaps the most proficient expense account fiddlers in the country.

We are not likely to receive much public support for what we do because, whatever Members may think—tonight is rather exceptional because the House does not normally sit up so late indulging itself—it is difficult to complain about the nature of the job. Unlike many parts of industry, Members are not expected to clock on. The tea-breaks here can go on continuously, the bars are always open and we know that Members are not even required to turn up in order to claim their pay at the end of the month. We have heard complaints particularly from Conservative Members that they are not able to moonlight because they are too far away from their constituencies and the courts to earn another salary. It is difficult for us to gain public support for our position when Members complain they cannot adequately moonlight. This is supposed to be a full-time job and there is ample reason for Members to treat it as such.

Another reason why we are unlikely to gain public sympathy, leaving aside the Plowden report about which most new Members and the public at large knew nothing, is that just one month after the election we are trying to achieve a 31 per cent. pay increase. That does not do much for the credibility of the House.

The deal proposed in the amendment of the right hon. Member for Taunton is worse than that originally suggested by the Prime Minister. I do not wear a hair shirt but I know that Members of Parliament are already adequately paid. I have worked out that if the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) is still receiving what he got when he first came to the House, he is probably getting 30 shillings a week. Members are paid adequately for the work that they do, but they do not get adequate resources to do their job. It is not pay levels that concern me but the resources that Members have at their disposal adequately to do their job.

As a new Member, I have been intrigued by some of the practices of the House. I am appalled at the conditions that exist in the House. There are great expanses of green leather, a great deal of marble and large number of chandeliers around the House. That is the surface appearance, but behind the scenes we have what amounts to a legislative slum. When I consider the conditions under which Members are expected to work, I cannot see how they can be expected adequately to do their job.

Unlike one of my hon. Friends who mentioned his facilities and the Conservative Member who said that he had managed to get a desk, I am still trying to find my desk. I am sure that I have one and I am told that it is in the cloisters. I have seen "the cloisters" and that appears to be a posh term for a corridor. The desks face each other. If Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate came to the House it would probably declare that we work in sub-standard conditions.

In my constituency, which suffered badly from the previous incumbent, I am required to deal with hundreds of cases. I cannot handle those cases with the poor facilities and resources at my disposal.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I cannot hear the hon. Gentleman because of the general noise.

Mr. Banks

I represent a London constituency and live in London, and I admit that that is a distinct advantage. I can go to my constituency every day and hold my surgeries. Large numbers of people come to see me, and I do my best to give them what advice I can. But the actual resources that I can make available from my allowances as a Member of Parliament are inadequate to deal with the many problems I confront in my constituency.

I used to work as a ministerial adviser. I know—

Mr. Straw

When my hon. Friend worked as a Ministerial adviser, did he not earn more than Members of Parliament at that time? did he accept that salary?

Mr. Banks

Of course I accepted that salary,. I also accepted the conditions, resources and facilities available to me, which were massively better than those available to Back Bench Members. The right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr.Heath) said that one of the roles of Members of Parliament is to control the actions of the Executive. We cannot be expected to do that with the level of services and facilities at our disposal.

A Member of Parliament's salary is adequate. My salary as a ministerial adviser was also adequate, but my resources were far superior then to my resources as a Member of Parliament. Far more resources should be made available. The £13,000 suggested for allowances is inadequate. The figure should be £25,000 or £26,000.

I shall vote against all amendments in favour of increasing members' salaries but will support all those that increase research and seretarial allowances.

1.58 am
Mr. Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

At this late hour we have all areed to make short contributions to the debate. I agree with two aspects of the proposals. When viewing all the proposals on the Order Paper, I cannot help but agree with John Morley, the biographer of Gladstone, who in 1887 said that the art of politics seemed constantly to be choosing between two blunders. Tonight there appear to be about four or five blunders on the same Order Paper.

The first blunder was in trying to discuss salaries and legitimate expenses together. There is confusion that somehow expenses are a fiddle. That is offensive to hon. Members. They have to do a great deal of work. They make sacrifices to do that work, although I accept that we choose to be here.

I hope that the Government will think seriously about the suggestion that any Member who lives in London, far away from his constituency, should be penalised—like stretching a piece of elastic until it breaks — by providing that the further away he lives the less he should receive for his legitimate travel.

I agree with those who have said that an hon. Member's life is esoteric and uncertain. In view of the length of time that some are in this House—the former hon. Member for Darlington Mr. O'Brien, was here for only two months; he thought that he was here for a long time, but the electors told him otherwise — we should support amendment (a) to motion No. 7. That is the only one I shall vote for tonight, for we should bear in mind how difficult it can be for an hon. Member to take up a new occupation.

We all make sacrifices in our different ways. I admit that I am in a more fortunate position than many hon. Members, yet I have made personal sacrifices, and all sacrifice is relative. We are here to lead and should not do things for ourselves that we cannot do for those whom we represent. The next two years will be the most crucial. It is not just a question of asking when it is the right time to increase hon. Members' pay. I can speak with experience of industry, and the costs there are crucial. Much of it is labour costs, the rest being made up largely of Government and local government costs and taxes, and much of that is based on the salary scales incurred in Government service.

The only way we shall get unemployment down is for Britain to become competitive, and we can help to stop the flood of people getting large wage increases. It is no good talking constantly about comparability. We had it once. Indeed, the only real blunder I thought that the Conservative Government of 1979 made was in accepting Clegg comparability, which added nearly £5 ½ billion to the costs of industry and commerce and helped to wipe out many productive jobs. If I did not believe in Clegg comparability, I cannot believe in Members of Parliament trying to backslide out of making decisions.

We must be willing to discuss these issues, even at this late hour. People have a right to know where we stand and what we give ourselves. I am not saying that some of the things we want and some of the increases are not justified. We should have to justify them, and for that reason I am glad to see the House so well attended at 2 o'clock in the morning.

I repeat, we must not do for ourselves what we cannot do for other people. We must not have a stake in inflation. Parliament is meant to control the Government of the day, and as the Government can do something about inflation we should not have a permanent stake in inflation. It is our task to get rid of inflation, not to help it on its way. We should discuss our pay every year. and the idea of one Parliament fixing pay for the whole period is nonsense. Why not give a lead to the country once a year, whether we increase our salary, keep it where it is or reduce it? Why should we be afraid to explain to the public what we are sent here to do, which is to lead? For that reason I intend to vote for amendment (a) to motion No. 7, for I feel that it is right to help those who have lost their seats.

I hope that the Government will not pursue the idea of penalising Members who incur a great mileage and can justify doing so. I hope that we shall adopt the motion of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House. I think that 4 per cent. can be justified. If we accept my right hon. Friend's motion, we can return to our constituencies and argue with them that we must all be moderate, especially now, if we are to help to solve unemployment. Labour Members talk about nothing else but unemployment, and I urge them to do something practical to help to reduce it. Let us vote for a small increase for ourselves and jobs for our constituents.

Mr. W. Benyon (Milton Keynes)

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Mr. Speaker

This is a major matter for the House and I am not prepared at this moment to accept a closure motion.

2.6 am

Mr. William Ross (Londonderry, East)

A number of hon. Members have mentioned travel allowances and the reimbursement of travel expenses within constituencies and from constituencies to London. I was rather surprised when the Leader of the House referred to two differing levels of mileage allowance for travel within a constituency. In my case, car mileage from home to airport has to be shown separately from constituency mileage on the application form for reimbursement. Many of us will be grateful if the Leader of vie House will tell us when he replies whether the 9,000 miles is mileage travelled on constituency work, part of the mileage for constituency work, or the total mileage covered on constituency work and travel to and from airports or seaports. The distinctions could make a considerable difference to the sums that are claimable over 12 months.

Only 23 Members are concerned with costs of sea journeys that are necessarily incurred in the course of representing offshore islands of the United Kingdom. The 23 Members comprise 17 Members from Northern Ireland, the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) and a number of Members from Scotland, including the leader of the Scottish National party, the right hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart). Every party in the House is represented in the group save the Labour party.

The problem may be dealt with by part of the provision that is made in the motion entitled "Office, Secretarial and Research Etc. Allowances," where it is stated that provision should be made for … the extension of the facilities now available to Members for free travel by rail, sea, air or public road transport". The cost of sea travel when Members have of necessity to take their cars with them is fairly high. The Larne-Stranraer charge for a car and driver, if the car is 14 ft 9 in long—many of us own cars that are rather longer than that—is £54. The sea mileage is 35, and by virtue of a change made by the Leader of the Opposition when he was Leader of the House, the Member who takes his car on the Larne-Stranraer route can claim 35 x 25p. That is a small sum compared with the total cost of the journey. The Belfast to Liverpool mileage is 137 and the fare for a car and driver is £43. Southampton to the Isle of Wight is 12 miles, with a fare of £12.65, Ullapool to Stornoway is 50 miles, with a fare of £31.15 and Aberdeen to Shetland is 184 miles, with a fare of £118.50.

It will be apparent to the House that hon. Members representing such constituencies are out a considerable sum when they have to take their motor vehicle on journeys to the islands, and I suspect that the position is even worse for hon. Members who have several islands in their constituency and have to take their vehicle from one to another. Something needs to be done about the problem. The number of hon. Members affected is small — I estimate it at 23, although I may have missed one or two.

Will the Leader of the House tell us what he intends to do to remove the inequity between hon. Members? The burden should be borne not by individual Members but by public funds. The issue has caused concern for many years and as my party has the largest number of hon. Members who are affected by it and since we rarely bring our cars to London — no one willingly drives a car from Londonderry to London and we do so only when it is necessary —I thought it reasonable that I should raise the matter and ask the Leader of the House to take the necessary steps to remove the inequity.

2.11 am
Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)

I do not wish to stand against any suggestions that have come from the Chair, but I detect that the House wishes to proceed to a vote. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Therefore, I shall be brief. I hope that the hon. Member for Londonderry, East (Mr. Ross) will not be offended if I do not take up his remarks, but it was difficult for those of us on the Government side to hear what he was saying. However, there are hon. Members on both sides of the House who hope that he will support the recommendations of the review body or the amendments proposed to the Leader of the House's motion.

There is a feeling of distaste and resentment, which I share, about the fact that we have had to have this debate. I do not wish to conceal increases in parliamentary salaries and expenses from the public, but a mess has built up over the years and we are at the culmination of a 12-year struggle to get rid of the embarrassing and distasteful analysis of our underpaid status.

We were given solemn pledges that outside recommendations would be accepted. The Leader of the House also made such a pledge emphatically last year. I hoped that that would be done, and that the public would see that the modern British Parliament was receiving a modern level of salaries, commensurate with the intensity of work which is a feature of life for most hon. Members, and he was giving a good service to the public and doing a proper job for proper payment.

The resentment and distaste increases when we consider some of the comments made by the press. I and, I am sure, other hon. Members took offence at Sir John Junor's comments on 3 July when he concluded his tirade about Members already being overpaid and heading for the trough yet again by saying: I will publish the name and constituency of every single Tory MP who tries to grab more than is being offered and from that time onwards do my best to ensure that not one of them is every re-elected. I do not suggest that there should be an elaborate discussion of comparability with members of the press —that would be irrelevant—but in a conversation with Sir John Junor this morning, he did not object when I said that I might mention his salary and expenses, because it would be interesting to know how well paid he is. I am willing to be corrected by Sir John, who did not confirm or deny the figures that I shall quote, because he did not want to discuss them. However, he said that he had no objection to my mentioning them, and I have been informed on I hope good authority that his salary is £63,000 a year, that he has an expense allowance of up to £24,000 a year and that he has assistance from his company with property in the country and in London Of course, that is a private company, so the position is different from that of a public institution. Nonetheless, we are entitled at least to be a little resentful that Sir John can comment that Members of Parliament are already overpaid.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath) said, few hon. Members have referred to the report and the annexes, which have about 800 pages. It is a detailed and elaborate study. It was solemnly pledged in the House that whatever the Plowden committee suggested would be accepted. I remind the hon. Member — perhaps a new Member — who said earlier that the salary was high enough and that it should not be increased now, that the figure recommended by the review body was ironically that for the fourth year of the previous Parliament, and was recommended and published before the general election. Paragraph 4 states: Quite apart from the fact that we cannot anticipate when the next general election might be held, it would be both inappropriate and impractical for us to project our judgments too far ahead. We have decided that we should recommend the levels of salary and allowances that we consider appropriate at 13 June 1983"— that was written before the general election— which is the due date for any increases in the fourth year of the present Parliament. The acceptance of our recommendations and the timing of their implementation are matters for the Government and the House itself; but if implementation is postponed substantially beyond June 1983 some of our recommendations may need to be updated. Perhaps I may remind those who sweep the report aside and deny the logic of the work of Lord Plowden and his colleagues, who must incidentally be fed up with the way in which such exercises are treated by the House, of paragraph 22, which states: We have concluded that a significant increase in salary is now necessary. In part the increase is a reflection of the fact that MPs' pay has not been kept up to date in recent years… We consider that a salary of £19,000 is appropriate for Members of Parliament … and we recommend accordingly. Why cannot the House bring itself once and for all to get rid of this absurd nonsense which brings us into even greater disrepute in the public eye? I have received no letters of protest when, without trying to avoid the subject, I have publicly recommended in recent years that Members' salaries should be increased. I usually receive letters of support. Tonight is the House's opportunity to exorcise this absurd problem, and to have that salary recommended and fixed, even if only for one Parliament. There are many amendments on which to vote. I have added my signature to one amendment, which is one way out. If we continue to make fools — I use the word deliberately of ourselves, and if any Government continue to interfere — with a House of Commons matter—the remuneration of Members — we shall make ourselves look even more foolish as time goes on, as well as creating the miserable position that Members are relatively, and in absolute terms, less well paid as time goes on, and that they face inexorable increases in their allowances, which they are bound to treat as quasi-incomes although they may not wish to. That is a different point from the one made earlier about allowances being too close to salary. That is the inevitable consequence of 12 years of nonsense and stupidity. Tonight is the night to end that nonsense.

Mr. Speaker

I think that the House wishes the debate to come to a conclusion.

Before I call the Front Bench speakers, I should say to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) that I have now further considered the point of order he raised earlier. I regret that I cannot accept a manuscript amendment at this late stage. All Members had equal opportunities to table amendments, and it is well known that we take amendments in the order that they fall in the main motion. If I were in effect to alter the order of our proceedings by selecting a manuscript amendment, it would favour one point of view but disadvantage another, and I cannot properly take that course.

So that there should be no misunderstanding, may I say that the position is this. The first amendment to be put will be amendment (i) to amendment (b). I shall then put amendment (b) in the name of the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) as amended or not, as the case may be. If amendment (b) is not carried, the way is open to divide on amendment (ee) in the names of the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand) and others.

2.20 am
Mr. John Silkin (Lewisham, Deptford)

The House has heard all the arguments and will not require any more from me. What it will require from me, however, is a statement of how I personally intend to vote and what advice I shall give to my hon. Friends if they care to take it.

I shall vote in favour of the amendment on resettlement grant for hon. Members who lost their seats, which was moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton). I support the amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Motherwell, South (Dr. Bray) on expenditure on word processors. The Leader of the House must look again at mileage. It is not a voting matter, but he promised to do that. I support in its entirety, as I thought the Leader of the House would, the Plowden report.

2.21 am
Mr. Biffen

I fear that I cannot match in brevity the admirable speech of the right hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Mr. Silkin). [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because it would be regarded as an inappropriate response by the Leader of the House, although the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman spoke was admirably suited to someone in his position.

This has been a debate of remarkably high quality on a subject that is intimate and at times embarrassing for the House, yet I believe that the House has acquitted itself by the standards that it would wish to set. One of the responsibilities that falls upon me is to reply to the debate, but I cannot reply to all the speeches because there have been so many. Instead I shall refer to themes.

The hon. Member for Londonderry, East (Mr. Ross) raised points which I shall certainly consider. I shall be in touch to see how best I can assist. That is true also of those who asked detailed questions about the operation of the Fees Office should the motion on secretarial and research allowances be confirmed.

I shall talk of themes, but there is one speech to which I must refer and I do so gladly. It is that of my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, lichen (Mr. Chope). To choose 11.40 pm to make one's maiden speech on this topic is a heroic undertaking, as the House is not then normally waiting for such an experience. However, the House enjoyed his speech. It was robust and had the factor of supporting the position that I set out. My hon. Friend acquitted himself admirably. I am certain that he has a highly successful House of Commons career ahead of him.

I refer to motor mileage. Only someone possessed of the most rhinoceros hide would be unaware that my earlier remarks caused something of a reaction. I wish to dispel speedily the anxiety and unease that there may be about that. I shall at once, of course, arrange for an independent inquiry into the—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. The House wishes to hear about this independent inquiry.

Mr. Biffen

I was rather hoping to be allowed to reach the end of my remarks on this item, because I was requested to have the matter examined.

Sir Paul Bryan (Boothferry)


Mr. Biffen

I ask hon. Members to allow me the courtesy of finishing this passage. There will be an investigation into the proposed Civil Service two-tier arrangements to see how appropriate trey are to Members of Parliament. I shall ensure that that investigation is concluded speedily, that the findings of the inquiry are made available to Parliament and that the present motor mileage arrangements will stand until the House has authorised any replacement.

Sir Paul Bryan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that an independent inquiry — the Plowden committee — has already rejected that?

Mr. Biffen

That is not so. The House will have the chance to authorise whatever arrangements are proposed, whether they be the existing proposals or new arrangements.

It will be helpful to the House if it explain how the Government intend to proceed if the amendments tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) find support. As I explained earlier, the Government accept the proposals contained in the amendments to motion No. 2, the first motion on Members' pay. My intention would therefore be not to move the effective motion in my name on pay, which stands second on the Order Paper, but to return to the House as soon as possible with a revised effective motion which would reflect the terms and spirit of the amending expression of opinion.

In those circumstances, the Government would also wish to reconsider Ministers' pay. I should therefore not intend to move motion No. 10 inviting the House to approve the draft order published last week. Again, I should hope to return to the House with a revised order in the near future.

Mr. Straw

Does the Leader of the House give an undertaking to act in a similar way to reflect the opinions of the House if amendment (ee) is carried?

Mr. Biffen

The Government will wish to return to the House to table resolutions which will take account of such a vote. [HON. MEMBERS: "Give effect to."] The Government's position is clear. They will wish to take that vote into account, and the House will have a chance to react to the Government's suggestions.

Mr. Ian Wrigglesworth (Stockton, South)

rose — [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. The Leader of the House has given way.

Mr. Wrigglesworth

Will the Leader of the House confirm that in 1975 the House expressed an opinion that parliamentary pay should be linked to the assistant secretary grade of the Civil Service? That opinion has never been implemented.

Mr. Biffen

It is precisely because there are those precedents that I am unwilling to give the categoric undertaking that was sought. If full Plowden—if I may use that term — is voted for this evening, it will be implemented.

I should like to make one further detailed point about the amendment tabled by my right Ion. Friend the Member for Taunton to the first motion on Member's pay. The effective date proposed in his amendment for the introduction of the new level of pay is 22 June, whereas the practice in recent years has been to introduce new levels of pay with effect from 13 June. Apart from being helpful to the Fees Office, it will be of considerable benefit because it will be simpler to start on 13 June. It will be my intention to reflect this by bringing forward a revised and effective motion on Member's pay.

I address myself now to the amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Poole (Mr. Ward), the effect of which would be to create a single office. research and secretarial allowance, in place of the two separate allowances recommended by the review body. I have received a number of representations, from both sides of the House, that Members should be free to allocate funds from the allowance according to their individual requirements. I can see the force of the argument, although I realise that it runs contrary to what the secretaries' council wishes. The Government are prepared to accept the amendment in the name of my hon. Friend.

I note that the amendments have been framed to take account of those tabled by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton, which effectively reduce the office, secretarial and research allowance from £14,000 to £12,000 in future financial years. A number of hon. Members have regretted this cut in the proposals, but the figure can be reviewed annually and is an increase of 36 per cent. It is not unreasonable that the Government should feel, on reflection, that is a tolerable interpretation of Plowden.

Mr. Ernie Ross

Is it not rather squalid to suggest to the House that the increase, which the right hon. Gentleman is saying we should accept and which is based on the amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann), should concern people who are not here to argue their case on their own behalf—secretaries and researchers—and who are losing money?

Mr. Biffen

I do not accept it in those terms. For one thing, it is a reflection of a judgment which the House is invited to make as to how much secretarial and research assistance is needed for Members. These are matters for individual judgment. There is no salary trade-off in the way that the hon. Member is suggesting.

I have already told the House that the Government accept the amendment to my motion dealing with Members' pensions, motion 9. The Government believe that it would be right also to increase the level of Ministers' pension contributions to the level now proposed for Members. The necessary changes in the existing legislation will be made when the Bill to give effect to the other changes in the Members' pensions schemes is introduced.

Mr. Eric Deakins (Walthamstow)

If the amendment on staged payments is accepted by the House, will the Leader of the House give the undertaking which his right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. JohnStevas) gave in July 1979, when we last had staged payments, and make the salaries for pension purposes £18,500 from this year?

Mr. Biffen

It would be my intention to relate pension payments to the salary paid.

Mr. Deakins

I apologise for not making myself clear. If we have staged payments, will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to do what his right hon. Friend did in July 1979 on a similar occasion, when we had staged payments over three years, instead of five, and ensure that the recommended salary for pension purposes is the maximum, the £18,500 notional salary, which would apply from the first staged payment and not from the last?

Mr. Biffen

I cannot give that undertaking.

Severance payments were dealt with by the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton), who argued that the Government's proposals for resettlement grants should be doubled. I listened to his speech, and he made a powerful plea concerning the difficulty of defeated Members. However, the resettlement grant is considerably larger in scope than anything that the House has authorised hitherto. In those circumstances we are justified in accepting the Plowden committee's recommendation and certainly not in doubling it.

The theme that has run through tonight's debate has been whether one should go for the full Plowden proposals and, in a sense, whether we are required to do so because of our obligation to the Plowden committee having established the Top Salaries Review Body and having given undertakings in respect of the Plowden conunittee in a somewhat earlier incarnation than in the latter days. But Lord Plowden himself highlighted the difficulty that would always attend the Government on receipt of the committee's report. I quote—not for the first time this evening—paragraph 224. It is for Government and Parliament to decide whether to accept our proposals and, to the extent that they are accepted, when they should be implemented. We are conscious that the levels of salaries and allowances we have recommended involve significant increases. Many will no doubt find it difficult to accept that they are justified against the background of present economic circumstances, in which restraint in wages and salary increases is being urged upon the community as a whole. It is against that background that one must make a political judgment. It is the Government's political judgment that the full implementation of Plowden's recommendations would not be helpful or consistent with the general thrust of their economic policy.

Mr. Dykes

Will my right hon. Friend read paragraph 225?

Mr. Biffen

My hon. Friend read out paragraph 225 and, anyway, it is three times as long as paragraph 224. It is perfectly true that every time there is a non-fulfilment the expectation is created of somehow or other catching up at some later stage. Of course that is a difficulty. Anyone who supposes that the conclusions being arrived at this evening are simple, easy and relatively comfortable is living in cloud-cuckoo-land. These are most delicate and difficult decisions to make. Of course one is conscious that there are disagreeable aspects in the proposals that we have put to the House. None the less, the debate has turned to a substantial degree on the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton. Running parallel with them were the amendments that have been moved by my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser).

It would be well to reflect upon the measured and modest but none the less tangible advantages of the proposals made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton—an increase of 5.5 per cent. for the year in prospect, a settled pattern of a 4.5 per cent. increase per annum thereafter with linkage at the rate of £18,500 on terms that have been keenly debated in the Chamber tonight. But, what has not been much commented upon is the provision for a parliamentary presence in the first three months of every Parliament, a resolution of the House being required to continue the linkage arrangements, including, of course, the ability to alter one way or the other whatever provisions have been made. Therefore, if the linkage arrangements prove to be so inequitable and intolerable there is a built-in mechanism whereby that can be considered in the first three months of this Parliament.

Mr. Michael Mates (Hampshire, East)

Will not that built-in ability simply recreate the disagreeable situation that we are in tonight at the beginning of every Parliament? Surely one of the Government's greatest difficulties is that we are back fresh from a general election, debating this in front of the world which thinks that, having got ourselves elected at the start of a Parliament, we are trying to line our pockets for the next three or four years.

Certainly the Government and my right hon. Friend have moved a little in response to what my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) has painfully worked out. But could not my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House now acknowledge that the linkage that is proposed in the motion is already ludicrously inadequate and that he will have to address himself to the problem, not, I pray, at the beginning of the next Parliament but well before the end of this one? That would help many hon. Members.

Mr. Biffen

I counsel the House not to proceed to a system whereby there is linkage but thereafter no parliamentary presence whatsoever. There must be some accountability of the House in these matters, but many hon. Members consider the accountability to be oppressive. As that is the mood of the House, the motions are before it. Nevertheless, we cannot escape from the problems of seemingly oppressive accountability to practically no accountability at all. I therefore applaud any attempt to marry together some concept of linkage and retention of a parliamentary presence.

Mr. Norman Atkinson (Tottenham)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Biffen

No, I am answering my hon. Friend the Member for Hampshire, East (Mr. Mates). My hon. Friend believes that developments in the economy in the next three years will be such as to render the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton insupportable. I assure the House that if on 1 January 1988 the linkage proposed by my right hon. Friend is patently inequitable, the Government will bring the matter before the House again. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why then?"] Because that is the proper time.

Mr. Marlow

Will my right hon. Friend answer two questions?

First, what would happen if the linkage was seen to be inequitable by 1 January 1986? Secondly, if my right hon. Friend were to bring the matter before the House by 1 January 1988, what would he consider to be the proper rate of remuneration for a Member of Parliament as against a Civil Service grade today? If the House is to take my right hon. Friend at his word, what is his word, what does it mean and where would he put us?

Mr. Biffen

It is important that the House should have the chance to reconsider any linkage before the date at which it becomes operative. I cannot answer my hon. Friend's second point. Ultimately, that must be a matter for the House to resolve.

Mr. Norman Atkinson

What the right hon. Gentleman has said has compounded his meanness in rejecting the point raised by ny hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Deakins) in respect of pensions. If he cannot reiterate the assurances and concessions of his predecessor, the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas), he is being doubly mean if what he says applies to pension arrangements as they now stand.

Mr. Biffen

I do not take that point. The reconsideration of the linkage is a genuine attempt to meet the anxieties if the present arrangements prove unequitable.

Mr. Fairbairn


Mr. Biffen

I must continue.

The amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton will arrange for linkage to operate on 30 June 1983 for calculation purposes, although the linkage itself will operate from the date in the amendment. I feel that this could prejudice the working of linkage in that there would be the likelihood of a substantial salary lift if this formula were operated. I do not believe that a salary hike of perhaps 20 per cent. is the kind of circumstances in which one would wish to undertake linkage. [Interruption.] Well I have to take my support where I can find it.

Amendment (b) proposed to motion No. 2, in line 1, leave out from first 'House' to end and add:—

  1. '(a) the salaries payable to Members of this House should be—
    1. (i) £18,500 for Members not falling within sub-paragraph (ii); and
    2. 5 (ii) £13,875 for Officers of this House and Members receiving a salary under 5 the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975 or a pension under section 26 of the Parliamentary and other Pensions Act 1972;
  2. (b) the implementation of this recommendation should be by means of five equal increments, to be effective from 22nd June 1983, 1st January 1984, 1st January 1985, 1st January 1986 and 1st January 1987 respectively; and
  3. 10 15 (c) the salary of a Member should from 1st January 1988 be linked to that paid to a civil servant at a point in the grade of national salaries which is receiving £18,500 on 1st January 1987 and the parliamentary salary of Members within paragraph (a)(ii) above should be seventy-five per cent. of that figure: provided that this paragraph would not have effect unless approved by a Resolution of the House during the first three months of each Parliament.'.—[Mr. du Cann.]

Mr. Marlow

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

No point of order arises. I am proposing the Question. I now call the right hon. Member for Stafford (Sir H. Fraser) to move his amendment to the proposed amendment.

Amendment (i) proposed to the proposed amendment, in line 12, leave out 1st January 1987' and insert '13th June 1983'—[Sir Hugh Fraser.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 226, Noes 218.

Division No. 27] [2.47 am
Amess, David Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Barnett, Guy
Arnold, Tom Beith, A. J.
Ashdown, Paddy Bell, Stuart
Ashton, Joe Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Bidwell, Sydney
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Blackburn, John
Baldry, Anthony Blaker, Rt Hon Peter
Mr. St. John-Stevas

Perhaps I may interrupt my right hon. Friend in a more parliamentary way. Due to the arrival of that extraordinary object, I was unable to hear the important things that my right hon. Friend was saying. May I ask him to repeat them?

Mr. Biffen

My speech has been redolent with important things, although perhaps not all so widely appreciated as they might be. At any rate, I think that my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford would have liked to hear my assurance that if on 1 January 1988 the linkage point proposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton was patently inequitable the Government would bring the matter before the House again.

My other reason for inviting the House to reject the amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford is this. Although in certain circumstances we would be prepared to consider the factors relating to the linkage point, in the first three months of the next Parliament the House itself will have the chance to reconsider the working of linkage. If we are to make a success of the linkage proposal, I believe that the link proposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton offers the most prudent and acceptable course for the House. I recommend those proposals and with them the motions standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I shall now call the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) to move his amendment (b).

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question Put, That amendment (b), as amended, be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 231, Noes 226.

Division No. 27] [2.47 am
Amess, David Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Barnett, Guy
Arnold, Tom Beith, A. J.
Ashdown, Paddy Bell, Stuart
Ashton, Joe Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Bidwell, Sydney
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Blackburn, John
Baldry, Anthony Blaker, Rt Hon Peter
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Coombs, Simon
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Corbett, Robin
Bray, Dr Jeremy Couchman, James
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Cowans, Harry
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Cox, Thomas (Tooting)
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Craigen, J. M.
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N) Critchley, Julian
Bruinvels, Peter Crowther, Stan
Buchan, Norman Cunliffe, Lawrence
Buck, Sir Antony Cunningham, Dr John
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Dalyell, Tam
Campbell, Ian Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)
Campbell-Savours, Dale Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)
Cartwright, John Deakins, Eric
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Dewar, Donald
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Dobson, Frank
Clarke, Thomas Dormand, Jack
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Duffy, A. E. P.
Coleman, Donald Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Dykes, Hugh
Conlan, Bernard Eadie, Alex
Conway, Derek Eastham, Ken
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Evans, loan (Cynon Valley)
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Evans, John (St. Helens N)
Ewing, Harry McTaggart, Robert
Fairbairn, Nicholas McWilliam, John
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Maples, John
Finsberg, Geoffrey Marlow, Antony
Fookes, Miss Janet Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Forrester, John Martin, Michael
Foster, Derek Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Foulkes, George Maxton, John
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Meacher, Michael
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Meadowcroft, Michael
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Mikardo, Ian
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde) Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Garrett, W. E. Miller, Hal (B'grove)
George, Bruce Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Miscampbell, Norman
Golding, John Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Goodhart, Sir Philip Moate, Roger
Gorst, John Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Gould, Bryan Morris, M. (N'hampton, S)
Greenway, Harry Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Grist, Ian O'Brien, William
Grylls, Michael O'Neill, Martin
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Page, John (Harrow W)
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Parry Robert
Hardy, Peter Patchett, Terry
Hargreaves, Kenneth Pavitt, Laurie
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Pendry, Tom
Haselhurst, Alan Penhaligon, David
Haynes, Frank Pike, Peter
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Hicks, Robert Randall, Stuart
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Rathbone, Tim
Hind, Kenneth Redmond, M.
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Home Robertson, John Robertson, George
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Rogers, Allan
Hoyle, Douglas Rooker, J. W.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Hughes, Roy (Newport East) Sheerman, Barry
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Janner, Hon Greville Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
John, Brynmor Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Johnston, Russell Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Silvester, Fred
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Sims, Roger
Kennedy, Charles Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Snape, Peter
Kinnock, Neil Steen, Anthony
Kirkwood, Archibald Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Knowles, Michael Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Knox, David Stott, Roger
Lambie, David Strang, Gavin
Lamond, James Straw, Jack
Lawler, Geoffrey Sumberg, David
Lawrence, Ivan Temple-Morris, Peter
Lead bitter, Ted Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd) Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Tinn, James
Lewis, Terence (Worsley) Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Lightbown, David Trotter, Neville
Litherland, Robert Twinn, Dr Ian
Lloyd, Ian (Havant) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Wainwright, R.
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Ward, John
McCartney, Hugh Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
McCrindle, Robert Wareing, Robert
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Wiggin, Jerry
McGuire, Michael Wigley, Dafydd
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire) Williams, Rt Hon A.
McKelvey, William Wilson, Gordon
Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Winnick, David
Maclennan, Robert Winterton, Mrs Ann
McNamara, Kevin Winterton, Nicholas
Woodall, Alec Tellers for the Ayes:
Wrigglesworth, Ian Sir Hugh Fraser and
Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas.
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Hawkins, C. (High Peak)
Ancram, Michael Hayhoe, Barney
Atkins Robert (South Ribble) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Hickmet, Richard
Baker, Kenneth (Mole Valley) Hirst, Michael
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Holt, Richard
Barron, Kevin Howard, Michael
Batiste, Spencer Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Bellingham, Henry Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay) Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Benyon, William Hunt, David (Wirral)
Berry, Hon Anthony Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Biffen, Rt Hon John Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Boscawen, Hon Robert Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Bottomley, Peter Jones, Robert (W Herts)
Boyes, Roland Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Braine, Sir Bernard Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Key, Robert
Brooke, Hon Peter Kilfedder, James A.
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) King, Rt Hon Tom
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston)
Budgen, Nick Lamont, Norman
Burt, Alistair Lang, Ian
Butcher, John Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Butler, Hon Adam Lee, John (Pendle)
Caborn, Richard Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Carttiss, Michael Lilley, Peter
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Lord, Michael
Chope, Christopher Luce, Richard
Churchill, W. S. Lyell, Nicholas
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n) McCrea, Rev William
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) McCurley, Mrs Anna
Clarke Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Macfarlane, Neil
Clay, Robert MacGregor, John
Cohen, Harry MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Colvin, Michael Madden, Max
Cope, John Maginnis, Ken
Corbyn, Jeremy Major, John
Corrie, John Malins, Humfrey
Dixon, Donald Malone, Gerald
Dorrell, Stephen Marek, Dr John
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Marland, Paul
Dunn, Robert Maude, Francis
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Eggar, Tim Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Emery, Sir Peter Mellor, David
Evennett, David Merchant, Piers
Eyre, Reginald Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fallon, Michael Michie, William
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Fisher, Mark Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Fletcher, Alexander Mitchell, David (NW Hants)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Molyneaux, James
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Monro, Sir Hector
Fox, Marcus Montgomery, Fergus
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Moore, John
Freeman, Roger Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Gale, Roger Moynihan, Hon C.
Garel-Jones, Tristan Needham, Richard
Glyn, Dr Alan Nellist, David
Goodlad, Alastair Nelson, Anthony
Gow, Ian Neubert, Michael
Gregory, Conal Newton, Tony
Ground, Patrick Nicholls, Patrick
Gummer, John Selwyn Nicholson, J.
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom) Norris, Steven
Hampson, Dr Keith Onslow, Cranley
Hanley, Jeremy Osborn, Sir John
Harris, David Ottaway, Richard
Harvey, Robert Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Parris, Matthew Spencer, D.
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Patten, John (Oxford) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Pattie, Geoffrey Squire, Robin
Pawsey, James Stanley, John
Pollock, Alexander Stern, Michael
Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down) Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Powley, John Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Prior, Rt Hon James Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Raffan, Keith Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Stokes, John
Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover) Stradling, Thomas, J.
Renton, Tim Taylor, John (Solihull)
Rhodes James, Robert Tebbit, Fit Hon Norman
Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Rifkind, Malcolm Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Roberts, Wyn (Conwy) Thorntor, Malcolm
Robinson, Mark (N'port W) Tracey, Richard
Ross, Ernest (Dundee W) Trippier, David
Ross, Wm. (Londonderry) Waddington, David
Rossi, Hugh Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Waldegrave, Hon William
Ryder, Richard Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Sackville, Hon Thomas Waller, Gary
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Sayeed, Jonathan Watson, John
Scott, Nicholas Watts, John
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Whitney, Raymond
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Wood, Timothy
Shersby, Michael Young, David (Bolton SE)
Skinner, Dennis Young, Sir George (Acton)
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Younger, Rt Hon George
Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Soames, Hon Nicholas Tellers for the Noes:
Soley, Clive Mr. Keith Best and
Spearing, Nigel Mr. Beaumont-Dark.
Division No. 28] [3 am
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Burt, Alistair
Amess, David Butcher, John
Ancram, Michael Butler, Hon Adam
Arnold, Tom Butterfill, John
Ashby, David Campbell-Savours, Dale
Ashton, Joe Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Atkins Robert (South Ribble) Carttiss, Michael
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Cartwright, John
Baker, Kenneth (Mole Valley) Chalker, Mrs Lynda
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Baldry, Anthony Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Batiste, Spencer Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Bellingham, Henry Clarke Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay) Clegg, Sir Walter
Benyon, William Colvin, Michael
Berry, Hon Anthony Conway, Derek
Best, Keith Cope, John
Bidwell, Sydney Corrie, John
Biffen, Rt Hon John Couchman, James
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Crouch, David
Blackburn, John Dorrell, Stephen
Blaker, Rt Hon Peter Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Boscawen, Hon Robert du Cann, Fit Hon Edward
Bottomley, Peter Dunn, Robert
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Edwards, Fit Hon N. (P'broke)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Eggar, Tim
Braine, Sir Bernard Emery, Sir Peter
Bright, Graham Eyre, Reginald
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Fallon, Michael
Brooke, Hon Peter Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Bruinvels, Peter Finsberg, Geoffrey
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Fletcher, Alexander
Buck, Sir Antony Fookes, Miss Janet
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Monro, Sir Hector
Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh Montgomery, Fergus
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Moore, John
Freeman, Roger Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Galley, Roy Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Moynihan, Hon C.
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde) Needham, Richard
Garel-Jones, Tristan Nelson, Anthony
Goodhart, Sir Philip Neubert, Michael
Goodlad, Alastair Newton, Tony
Gow, Ian Nicholls, Patrick
Grant, Sir Anthony Osborn, Sir John
Green way, Harry Ottaway, Richard
Gregory, Conal Page, John (Harrow W)
Grist, Ian Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Grylls, Michael Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Gummer, John Selwyn Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom) Patten, John (Oxford)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Pattie, Geoffrey
Hampson, Dr Keith Pawsey, James
Hanley, Jeremy Pollock, Alexander
Hargreaves, Kenneth Powley, John
Harvey, Robert Prior, Rt Hon James
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Raffan, Keith
Hayhoe, Barney Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Heathcoat-Amory, David Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Renton, Tim
Hickmet, Richard Rhodes James, Robert
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Hind, Kenneth Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Hirst, Michael Rifkind, Malcolm
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Holt, Richard Robinson, Mark (N'port W)
Howard, Michael Rossi, Hugh
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Ryder, Richard
Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Sayeed, Jonathan
Hunt, David (Wirral) Scott, Nicholas
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Shersby, Michael
Jones, Robert (W Herts) Silvester, Fred
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Sims, Roger
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Soames, Hon Nicholas
King, Rt Hon Tom Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Lamont, Norman Squire, Robin
Lang, Ian Stanley, John
Lawler, Geoffrey Stern, Michael
Lawrence, Ivan Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Lee, John (Pendle) Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd) Stokes, John
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham) Stradling Thomas, J
Luce, Richard Sumberg, David
Lyell, Nicholas Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
McCrindle, Robert Temple-Morris, Peter
Macfarlane, Neil Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
MacGregor, John Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Thornton, Malcolm
Major, John Tinn, James
Malins, Humfrey Trippier, David
Malone, Gerald Trotter, Neville
Marland, Paul Twinn, Dr Ian
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Viggers, Peter
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Waddington, David
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Mellor, David Waldegrave, Hon William
Merchant, Piers Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Waller, Gary
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Ward, John
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon) Wheeler, John
Miscampbell, Norman Whitney, Raymond
Mitchell, David (NW Hants) Wood, Timothy
Moate, Roger Young, Sir George (Acton)
Younger, Rt Hon George Sir Paul Bryan and
Mr. Marcus Fox.
Tellers for the Ayes:
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Glyn, Dr Alan
Ashdown, Paddy Golding, John
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Gorst, John
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Gould, Bryan
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Barnett, Guy Ground, Patrick
Barron, Kevin Hamilton, James (M'well N)
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Beith, A. J. Hardy, Peter
Bell, Stuart Harris, David
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Haselhurst, Alan
Bermingham, Gerald Haynes, Frank
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Boyes, Roland Hicks, Robert
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Home Robertson, John
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N) Hoyle, Douglas
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Budgen, Nick Hughes, Roy (Newport East)
Caborn, Richard Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Janner, Hon Greville
Campbell, Ian John, Brynmor
Chope, Christopher Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Churchill, W. S. Johnston, Russell
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Clarke, Thomas Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Clay, Robert Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Kennedy, Charles
Cohen, Harry Key, Robert
Coleman, Donald Kilfedder, James A.
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Conlan, Bernard Kinnock, Neil
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Kirkwood, Archibald
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Knowles, Michael
Coombs, Simon Knox, David
Corbett, Robin Lambie, David
Corbyn, Jeremy Lamond, James
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Leadbitter, Ted
Craigen, J. M. Lester, Jim
Critchley, Julian Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Crowther, Stan Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Cunningham, Dr John Lilley, Peter
Dalyell, Tam Litherland, Robert
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Lloyd, Ian (Havant)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l) Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Deakins, Eric Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Dewar, Donald Lord, Michael
Dixon, Donald McCrea, Rev William
Dobson, Frank McCurley, Mrs Anna
Dormand, Jack McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Duffy, A. E. P. McGuire, Michael
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)
Dykes, Hugh McKelvey, William
Eadie, Alex Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Eastham, Ken Maclennan, Robert
Evans, loan (Cynon Valley) McNamara, Kevin
Evans, John (St. Helens N) McTaggart, Robert
Evennett, David McWilliam, John
Ewing, Harry Madden, Max
Fairbairn, Nicholas Maginnis, Ken
Fatchett, Derek Malins, Humfrey
Fisher, Mark Maples, John
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Marek, Dr John
Forrester, John Marlow, Antony
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Foster, Derek Martin, Michael
Foulkes, George Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Maude, Francis
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Maxton, John
Gale, Roger Meacher, Michael
Garrett, W. E. Meadowcroft, Michael
George, Bruce Meyer, Sir Anthony
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Michie, William
Mikardo, Ian Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Miller, Dr M.S. (E Kilbride) Skinner, Dennis
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Molyneaux, James Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Snape, Peter
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S) Soley, Clive
Nellist, David Spearing, Nigel
Nicholson, J. Spencer, D.
Norris, Steven Steen, Anthony
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
O'Brien, William Stott, Roger
O'Neill, Martin Strang, Gavin
Onslow, Cranley Straw, Jack
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Taylor, John (Solihull)
Parry Robert Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Patchett, Terry Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Pavitt, Laurie Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Pendry, Tom Tracey, Richard
Penhaligon, David Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Pike, Peter Wainwright, R.
Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Wareing, Robert
Randall, Stuart Warren, Kenneth
Rathbone, Tim Watts, John
Redmond, M. Wiggin, Jerry
Roberts, Allan (Bootle) Wigley, Dafydd
Robertson, George Williams, Rt Hon A.
Rogers, Allan Wilson, Gordon
Rooker, J. W. Winnick, David
Ross, Ernest (Dundee W) Winterton, Mrs Ann
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Winterton, Nicholas
Ross, Wm. (Londonderry) Woodall, Alec
Sackville, Hon Thomas Wrigglesworth, Ian
Sheerman, Barry Young, David (Bolton SE)
Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Tellers for the Noes:
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Mr. Walter Harrison and
Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood) Mr. Hugh McCartney.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, Put:

The House divided: Ayes 237, Noes 216.

Division No. 29] [3.13 am
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A.
Amess, David Buck, Sir Antony
Ancram, Michael Burt, Alistair
Arnold, Tom Butcher, John
Ashby, David Butler, Hon Adam
Atkins Robert (South Ribble) Butterfill, John
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baker, Kenneth (Mole Valley) Carttiss, Michael
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Cartwright, John
Baldry, Anthony Chalker, Mrs Lynda
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Batiste, Spencer Chope, Christopher
Bellingham, Henry Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay) Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Benyon, William Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Berry, Hon Anthony Clarke Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Best, Keith Clegg, Sir Walter
Biffen, Rt Hon John Colvin, Michael
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Conway, Derek
Blackburn, John Coombs, Simon
Blaker, Rt Hon Peter Cope, John
Boscawen, Hon Robert Corrie, John
Bottomley, Peter Couchman, James
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Crouch, David
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Dorrell, Stephen
Braine, Sir Bernard Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Bright, Graham du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Dunn, Robert
Brooke, Hon Peter Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Eggar, Tim
Bruinvels, Peter Emery, Sir Peter
Bryan, Sir Paul Evennett, David
Eyre, Reginald Mellor, David
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Merchant, Piers
Finsberg, Geoffrey Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fletcher, Alexander Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Fookes, Miss Janet Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Fox, Marcus Miscampbell, Norman
Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh Mitchell, David (NW Hants)
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Moate, Roger
Freeman, Roger Monro, Sir Hector
Galley, Roy Montgomery, Fergus
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Moore, John
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde) Morris, M. (N'hampton, S)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Goodhart, Sir Philip Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Goodlad, Alastair Moynihan, Hon C.
Gow, Ian Needham, Richard
Grant, Sir Anthony Nelson, Anthony
Greenway, Harry Neubert Michael
Gregory, Conal Newton, Tony
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Nicholls, Patrick
Ground, Patrick Norris, Steven
Grylls, Michael Osborn, Sir John
Gummer, John Selwyn Ottaway Richard
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom) Page, John (Harrow W)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Hampson, Dr Keith Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Hanley, Jeremy Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Hargreaves, Kenneth Patten, John (Oxford)
Harvey, Robert Pattie, Geoffrey
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Pawsey, James
Hayhoe, Barney Pollock, Alexander
Heathcoat-Amory, David Powley, John
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Prior, Rt Hon James
Hickmet, Richard Raffan, Keith
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Hind, Kenneth Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Hirst, Michael Renton, Tim
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Rhodes James, Robert
Holt, Richard Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Howard, Michael Ridley, Fit Hon Nicholas
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Rifkind, Malcolm
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford) Robinson, Mark (N'port W)
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Rossi, Hugh
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Hunt, David (Wirral) Ryder, Richard
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Sackville, Hon Thomas
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Sayeed, Jonathan
Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey Scott, Nicholas
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Silvester, Fred
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Sims, Roger
King, Rt Hon Tom Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston) Soames, Hon Nicholas
Lamont, Norman Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Lang, Ian Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Lawler, Geoffrey Squire, Robin
Lawrence, Ivan Stanley, John
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Stern, Michael
Lee, John (Pendle) Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd) Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Lightbown, David Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham) Stokes, John
Luce, Richard Stradling Thomas, J.
Lyell, Nicholas Sumberg, David
McCrindle, Robert Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
McCurley, Mrs Anna Temple-Morris, Peter
Macfarlane, Neil Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
MacGregor, John Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Malins, Humfrey Thornton, Malcolm
Malone, Gerald Trippier, David
Marland, Paul Trotter, Neville
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Twinn, Dr Ian
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Viggers, Peter
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Waddington, David
Wakeham, Rt Hon John Whitney, Raymond
Waldegrave, Hon William Wood, Timothy
Walker, Bill (T'side N) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester) Younger, Rt Hon George
Waller, Gary
Ward, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Wardle, C. (Bexhill) Mr. Tim Sainsbury and
Watson, John Mr. John Major.
Wheeler, John
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Fraser, J. (Norwood)
Ashdown, Paddy Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Ashton, Joe Gale, Roger
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Garrett, W. E.
Bagier, Gordon A. T. George, Bruce
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Barnett, Guy Glyn, Dr Alan
Barron, Kevin Golding, John
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Gorst, John
Beith, A. J. Gould, Bryan
Bell, Stuart Grist, Ian
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Hamilton, James (M'well N)
Bermingham, Gerald Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Bidwell, Sydney Hardy, Peter
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Harris, David
Boyes, Roland Haynes, Frank
Bray, Dr Jeremy Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Hicks, Robert
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N) Home Robertson, John
Buchan, Norman Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Budgen, Nick Hoyle, Douglas
Caborn, Richard Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Hughes, Roy (Newport East)
Campbell, Ian Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Churchill, W. S. Janner, Hon Greville
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) John, Brynmor
Clarke, Thomas Johnston, Russell
Clay, Robert Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Jones, Robert (W Herts)
Cohen, Harry Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Coleman, Donald Kennedy, Charles
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Key, Robert
Conlan, Bernard Kilfedder, James A.
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Kinnock, Neil
Corbett, Robin Kirkwood, Archibald
Corbyn, Jeremy Knowles, Michael
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Knox, David
Craigen, J. M. Lambie, David
Critchley, Julian Lamond, James
Crowther, Stan Leadbitter, Ted
Cunliffe, Lawrence Lester, Jim
Cunningham, Dr John Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Dalyell, Tam Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Lilley, Peter
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l) Litherland, Robert
Deakins, Eric Lloyd, Ian (Havant)
Dewar, Donald Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Dixon, Donald Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Dobson, Frank Lord, Michael
Dormand, Jack McCrea, Rev William
Duffy, A. E. P. McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. McGuire, Michael
Eadie, Alex McKelvey, William
Eastham, Ken Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Evans, loan (Cynon Valley) Maclennan, Robert
Evans, John (St. Helens N) McNamara, Kevin
Ewing, Harry McTaggart, Robert
Fairbairn, Nicholas McWilliam, John
Fallon, Michael Madden, Max
Fatchett, Derek Maginnis, Ken
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Maples, John
Fisher, Mark Marek, Dr John
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Marlow, Antony
Forrester, John Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Martin, Michael
Foster, Derek Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Maude, Francis Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Maxton, John Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Meacher, Michael Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Meadowcroft, Michael Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Michie, William Skinner, Dennis
Mikardo, Ian Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Snape, Peter
Molyneaux, James Soley, Clive
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Spearing, Nigel
Nellist, David Spencer, D.
Nicholson, J. Steen, Anthony
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
O'Brien, William Stott, Roger
O'Neill, Martin Strang, Gavin
Onslow, Cranley Straw, Jack
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Taylor, John (Solihull)
Parris, Matthew Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Parry Robert Tinn, James
Patchett, Terry Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Pavitt, Laurie Tracey, Richard
Pendry, Tom Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Penhaligon, David Wainwright, R.
Pike, Peter Warden, Gareth (Gower)
Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down) Wareing, Robert
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Warren, Kenneth
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Wiggin, Jerry
Randall, Stuart Wig ley, Dafydd
Rathbone, Tim Williams, Rt Hon A.
Redmond, M. Wilson, Gordon
Roberts, Allan (Bootle) Winnick, David
Robertson, George Winterton, Mrs Ann
Rogers, Allan Winterton, Nicholas
Rooker, J. W. Woodall, Alec
Ross, Ernest (Dundee W) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Young, David (Bolton SE)
Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)
Sheerman, Barry Tellers for the Noes:
Sheldon, Rt Hon R. Mr. Walter Harrison and
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Mr. Hugh McCartney.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House.

  1. (a) the salaries payable to Members of this House should be:—
    1. (i) £18,500 for Members not falling within subparagraph (ii); and
    2. (ii) £13,875 for Officers of this House and Members receiving a salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975 or a pension under section 26 of the Parliamentary and other Pensions Act 1972;
  2. (b) the implementation of this recommendation should be by means of five equal increments, to be effective from 22 June 1983, 1st January 1984, 1st January 1985, 1st January 1986 and 1st January 1987 respectively; and
  3. (c) the salary of a Member should from 1st January 1988 be linked to that paid to a civil servant at the point in the grade of national salaries which is receiving £18,500 on 13th June 1983 and the parliamentary salary of Members within paragraph (a)(ii) above should be seventy-five per cent. of that figure: provided that this paragraph would not have effect unless approved by a Resolution of the House during the first three months of each Parliament.
Amendment (b) proposed to motion No. 4, in line 4, leave out from 'should' to end of line 14 and insert: be raised so as to be £11,364 for the year ending 31st March 1984 and £12,000 for any subsequent year;".—[Mr. Ward.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:

The House divided: Ayes 241, Noes 201.

Division No. 30] [3.25 pm
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Ancram, Michael
Amess, David Arnold, Tom
Ashby, David Gummer, John Selwyn
Atkins Robert (South Ribble) Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Hampson, Dr Keith
Baker, Kenneth (Mole Valley) Hanley, Jeremy
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Hargreaves, Kenneth
Baldry, Anthony Harris, David
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Harvey, Robert
Batiste, Spencer Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Hayhoe, Barney
Bellingham, Henry Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Benyon, William Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Berry, Hon Anthony Hickmet, Richard
Best, Keith Hicks, Robert
Biffen, Rt Hon John Hind, Kenneth
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Blaker, Rt Hon Peter Holt, Richard
Boscawen, Hon Robert Howard, Michael
Bottomley, Peter Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Hunt, David (Wirral)
Braine, Sir Bernard Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Bright, Graham Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Brooke, Hon Peter Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Jones, Robert (W Herts)
Bruinvels, Peter Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Bryan, Sir Paul Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Key, Robert
Buck, Sir Antony Kilfedder, James A.
Budgen, Nick King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Burt, Alistair King, Rt Hon Tom
Butcher, John Knowles, Michael
Butler, Hon Adam Knox, David
Butterfill, John Lamont, Norman
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Lang, Ian
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Lawler, Geoffrey
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Lawrence, Ivan
Chope, Christopher Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Churchill, W. S. Lee, John (Pendle)
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n) Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Lester, Jim
Clarke Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Clegg, Sir Walter Lightbown, David
Colvin, Michael Lilley, Peter
Cope, John Lloyd, Ian (Havant)
Corrie, John Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)
Dorrell, Stephen Lord, Michael
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Luce, Richard
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lyell, Nicholas
Dunn, Robert McCurley, Mrs Anna
Dykes, Hugh Macfarlane, Neil
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) MacGregor, John
Eggar, Tim MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Emery, Sir Peter Malins, Humfrey
Evennett, David Maples, John
Eyre, Reginald Marland, Paul
Fallon, Michael Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Fletcher, Alexander Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Fookes, Miss Janet Mellor, David
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Merchant, Piers
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fox, Marcus Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Freeman, Roger Miscampbell, Norman
Gale, Roger Mitchell, David (NW Hants)
Galley, Roy Molyneaux, James
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Monro, Sir Hector
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde) Montgomery, Fergus
Garel-Jones, Tristan Moore, John
Glyn, Dr Alan Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Goodhart, Sir Philip Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Goodlad, Alastair Needham, Richard
Gow, Ian Nelson, Anthony
Grant, Sir Anthony Neubert, Michael
Greenway, Harry Newton, Tony
Gregory, Conal Nicholls, Patrick
Grylls, Michael Osborn, Sir John
Ottaway, Richard Squire, Robin
Page, John (Harrow W) Stanley, John
Page, Richard (Herts SW) Stern, Michael
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Stevens;, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Parris, Matthew Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Patten, John (Oxford) Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Pattie, Geoffrey Stokes, John
Pawsey, James Stradling Thomas, J.
Pollock, Alexander Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down) Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Powley, John Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Prior, Rt Hon James Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Raffan, Keith Thornton, Malcolm
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Tracey, Richard
Rathbone, Tim Trippier, David
Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover) Twinn, Dr Ian
Renton, Tim Viggers, Peter
Rhodes James, Robert Waddington, David
Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Rifkind, Malcolm Waldegrave, Hon William
Roberts, Wyn (Conwy) Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Robinson, Mark (N'port W) Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Ross, Wm. (Londonderry) Waller, Gary
Rossi, Hugh Ward, John
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Ryder, Richard Warren, Kenneth
Sackville, Hon Thomas Watson, John
St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N. Watts, John
Sayeed, Jonathan Wheeler, John
Scott, Nicholas Whitney, Raymond
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Wiggin, Jerry
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Winterton, Mrs Ann
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Wood, Timothy
Shersby, Michael Young, Sir George (Acton)
Sims, Roger Younger, Rt Hon George
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Soames, Hon Nicholas Tellers for the Ayes:
Spencer, D. Mr. Tim Sainsbury and
Spicer, Jim (W Dorset) Mr. John Major.
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Corbett, Robin
Ashdown, Paddy Corbyn, Jeremy
Ashton, Joe Couchman, James
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Crowther, Stan
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Cunliffe, Lawrence
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Cunningham, Dr John
Barnett, Guy Dalyell, Tam
Barron, Kevin Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)
Beith, A. J. Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)
Bell, Stuart Deakins, Eric
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Dewar, Donald
Bermingham, Gerald Dixon, Donald
Bidwell, Sydney Dobson, Frank
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Dormand, Jack
Boyes, Roland Dubs, Alfred
Bray, Dr Jeremy Duffy, A. E. P.
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Eadie, Alex
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Eastham, Ken
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N) Evans, loan (Cynon Valley)
Buchan, Norman Evans, John (St. Helens N)
Caborn, Richard Ewing, Hurry
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Campbell, Ian Fatchett, Derek
Campbell-Savours, Dale Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Cartwright, John Fisher, Mark
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Clarke, Thomas Forrester, John
Clay, Robert Foster, Derek
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Foulkes, George
Cohen, Harry Fraser, J. (Norwood)
Coleman, Donald Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Garrett, W. E.
Conway, Derek George, Bruce
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Golding, John
Coombs, Simon Gorst, John
Gould, Bryan Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Grist, Ian Moynihan, Hon C.
Ground, Patrick Nellist, David
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Nicholson, J.
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Norris, Steven
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Hardy, Peter O'Brien, William
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter O'Neill, Martin
Haselhurst, Alan Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hawkins, C. (High Peak) Parry Robert
Haynes, Frank Patchett, Terry
Heathcoat-Amory, David Pavitt, Laurie
Hirst, Michael Pendry, Tom
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Penhaligon, David
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Pike, Peter
Home Robertson, John Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Randall, Stuart
Hoyle, Douglas Redmond, M.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Hughes, Roy (Newport East) Richardson, Ms Jo
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Robertson, George
Janner, Hon Greville Rogers, Allan
John, Brynmor Rooker, J. W.
Johnston, Russell Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Sheerman, Barry
Kennedy, Charles Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Kinnock, Neil Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Kirkwood, Archibald Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Lambie, David Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Lamond, James Skinner, Dennis
Leadbitter, Ted Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Lewis, Terence (Worsley) Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Litherland, Robert Snape, Peter
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Soley, Clive
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Spearing, Nigel
McCartney, Hugh Steen, Anthony
McCrindle, Robert Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Stott, Roger
McGuire, Michael Strang, Gavin
McKelvey, William Straw, Jack
Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Temple-Morris, Peter
Maclennan, Robert Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
McNamara, Kevin Tinn, James
McTaggart, Robert Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
McWilliam, John Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Madden, Max Wainwright, R.
Maginnis, Ken Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Malone, Gerald Wareing, Robert
Marek, Dr John Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Wigley, Dafydd
Mason, Rt Hon Roy Williams, Rt Hon A.
Maude, Francis Wilson, Gordon
Maxton, John Winnick, David
Meacher, Michael Winterton, Nicholas
Meadowcroft, Michael Wrigglesworth, Ian
Michie, William Young, David (Bolton SE)
Mikardo, Ian
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Tellers for the Noes:
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Mr. Alec Woodall and
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Mr. Michael Martin.
Moate, Roger

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendments made to motion No. 4: (g), in line 18, leave out from second 'which' to 'is' in line 19 and insert `the limits specified in paragraph (a) of this Resolution apply'. —[Mr. Ward.]

(t), in line 24, leave out '£1,216' and insert '£1,136'.

(u), in line 25, leave out '£1,300' and insert '£1,200'. —[Mr. Pawsey.]

(1), in line 36, leave out from 'is' to 'payable'.

(o), in line 46, leave out from 'was' to 'payable' in line 47.

(p), in line 47, at end add— '(h) In this Resolution "the secretarial and research allowance" means the allowance to which the limits specified in paragraph (a) of this Resolution apply so far as it is payable in respect of expenses incurred for a Member's Parliamentary duties on secretarial assistance and on research assistance for work undertaken in the proper performance of such duties. ' —[Mr. Ward.]

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House—

  1. (a) the limit specified in paragraph (a) of the third Resolution of this House of 10th June 1982 in relation to the allowances payable in connection with a Member's office, secretarial and research expenses should be raised so as to be £11,364 for the year ending 31st March 1984 and £12,000 for any subsequent year;
  2. (b) the secretarial and research allowance should be payable only in respect of expenses disbursed on the Member's behalf by the Fees Office in accordance with arrangements approved by Mr. Speaker;
  3. (c) the expenses in respect of which the allowance to which the limits specified in paragraph (a) of this Resolution apply is payable should include expenses incurred in the purchase of office equipment;
  4. (d) the limit specified in paragraph (b) of the third Resolution of this House of 5th June 1981 (provision for enabling a Member to make pension contributions in respect of persons in the payment of whose salaries expenses are incurred by him) should be increased so as to be £1,136 for the year ending 31st March 1984 and £1,200 for any subsequent year;
  5. (e) arrangements approved by Mr. Speaker should be made for contributions in respect of the allowance to which the limit specified in paragraph (d) of this Resolution applies to be made by the Fees Office on behalf of, and as if authorised by, the Member;
  6. (f) provision should be made for—
    1. (i) the extension of the facilities now available to Members for free travel by rail, sea, air or public road transport, and
    2. (ii) the payment, at the rate applicable to Members travelling on Parliamentary duties, of a car mileage allowance,
    to persons in respect of whom the secretarial and research allowance of a Member is payable so as to cover, in the period of 12 months beginning with 1st January 1984 and every subsequent period of 12 months beginning with 1st January, not more than nine return journeys between London and that Member's constituency made in connection with the Member's Parliamentary duties;
  7. (g) provision should be made under arrangements approved by Mr. Speaker for an allowance to be payable towards defraying amounts which are paid by the Fees Office on behalf of a person who has ceased to be a Member of this House, being amounts paid, under any enactment relating to redundancy, in connection with the redundancy of a person in respect of whose salary before the redundancy the secretarial and research allowance was payable;
  8. (h) In this Resolution "the secretarial and research allowance" means the allowance to which the limits specified in paragraph (a) of this Resolution apply so far as it is payable in respect of expenses incurred for a Member's Parliamentary duties on secretarial assistance and on research assistance for work undertaken in the proper performance of such duties.