HC Deb 08 March 1983 vol 38 cc799-803

10 pm

Mr. David Penhaligon (Truro)

The trouble with the right hon. Member for Lanarkshire, North (Mr. Smith) and many of his profession is that they confuse accuracy with confident assertion. The line taken by the Liberals and Social Democrats on the Bill has been clear from the beginning. The few hon. Members who have taken any interest in the Bill will be aware of that.

The Bill will encourage private generation and allow it to be a main business. I believe that is right and I am pleased that the Government have introduced that concept. It will be interesting to see what happens during the next 12 months, not least in my part of the county, where the CEGB is planning to close a number of power stations. One presumes that the private sector will be allowed to take them over and, one suspects, generate electricity economically. In Plymouth and north Devon there are a number of opportunities for the private sector to take over power stations, save jobs and provide the south-west with some much-needed electricity.

It is strange that the Secretary of State's full point in favour of the Bill was the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Derbyshire, South-East (Mr. Rost). I congratulate him on his success. The amendment was broadly welcomed and I am pleased to see it in the Bill.

My party will vote against the Bill on Third Reading, although we voted for it on Second Reading. We said that would happen if the Government did not introduce amendments in Committee or on Report to make it illegal for someone to own a nuclear power station privately. We have made that clear throughout the Bill's passage. The day may arrive when the private ownership of nuclear power stations is safe and to be welcomed. We do not believe that that is the position today. We do not believe that it will happen in the immediate future. When it does happen the House should pass new legislation according to the circumstances at the time.

We welcome part of the Bill. We have made it quite clear which clause we are against. We cannot understand why the Government have been so stubborn about it. We cannot believe that the public would welcome private ownership of a nuclear power station and we shall vote against the Bill.

10.3 pm

Mr. Gordon Wilson (Dundee, East)

I also said on Second Reading that if the Government did not withdraw the lunatic provision contained in the Bill for the private ownership of nuclear power stations my right hon. Friend the Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) and I would reconsider our vote. I regret that the Government have not taken any action to change the Bill. I do not think that it is a practical proposition for a nuclear power station to be in the private sector. I regard it as a matter of principle. A private nuclear power station is a highly dangerous concept. I am not prepared to accept it for that reason. My right hon. Friend the Member for Western Isles and I will vote against the Bill on Third Reading.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 279, Noes 227.

Division No. 89] [10.5 pm
Aitken, Jonathan Farr, John
Alexander, Richard Fell, Sir Anthony
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Finsberg, Geoffrey
Ancram, Michael Fisher, Sir Nigel
Arnold, Tom Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)
Atkins, Rt Hon H.(S'thorne). Fletcher-Cooke, Sir Charles
Atkins, Robert(Preston N) Fookes, Miss Janet
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Forman, Nigel
Baker, Kenneth(St.M'bone,) Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Fraser, Peter (South Angus)
Bendall, Vivian Fry, Peter
Benyon, Thomas (A'don) Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Gardner, Sir Edward
Berry, Hon Anthony Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Bevan, David Gilroy Glyn, Dr Alan
Biffen, Rt Hon John Goodhart, Sir Philip
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Goodhew, Sir Victor
Blackburn, John Goodlad, Alastair
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gow, Ian
Boscawen, Hon Robert Gower, Sir Raymond
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Grant, Sir Anthony
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Gray, Rt Hon Hamish
Braine, Sir Bernard Greenway, Harry
Brinton, Tim Grieve, Percy
Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Brooke, Hon Peter Grist, Ian
Brotherton, Michael Grylls, Michael
Brown, Michael(Brigg & Sc'n) Gummer, John Selwyn
Browne, John (Winchester) Hamilton, Hon A.
Bruce-Gardyne, John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Budgen, Nick Hampson, Dr Keith
Burden, Sir Frederick Hannam, John
Butcher, John Haselhurst, Alan
Butler, Hon Adam Hastings, Stephen
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Hawksley, Warren
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Hayhoe, Barney
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Heddle, John
Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul Henderson, Barry
Chapman, Sydney Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Hicks, Robert
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hill, James
Clegg, Sir Walter Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Cockeram, Eric Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Colvin, Michael Hooson, Tom
Cope, John Hordern, Peter
Costain, Sir Albert Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Cranborne, Viscount Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)
Critchley, Julian Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Crouch, David Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Dickens, Geoffrey Irvine, RtHon Bryant Godman
Dorrell, Stephen Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Dover, Denshore Jessel, Toby
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Durant, Tony Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Dykes, Hugh Kaberry, Sir Donald
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Kimball, Sir Marcus
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) Knight, Mrs Jill
Eggar, Tim Knox, David
Elliott, Sir William Lang, Ian
Emery, Sir Peter Langford-Holt, Sir John
Eyre, Reginald Latham, Michael
Fairgrieve, Sir Russell Lawrence, Ivan
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Le Marchant, Spencer Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Rutland) Rossi, Hugh
Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo) Rost, Peter
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Royle, Sir Anthony
Loveridge, John Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R.
Luce, Richard Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lyell, Nicholas St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
McCrindle, Robert Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Macfarlane, Neil Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
MacKay, John (Argyll) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury) Shepherd, Richard
McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st) Shersby, Michael
McQuarrie, Albert Sims, Roger
Madel, David Skeet, T. H. H.
Major, John Smith, Sir Dudley
Marland, Paul Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Marlow, Antony Speed, Keith
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Speller, Tony
Marten, Rt Hon Neil Spence, John
Mates, Michael Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Mather, Carol Sproat, Iain
Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus Squire, Robin
Mawby, Ray Stanbrook, Ivor
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Stanley, John
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Steen, Anthony
Mayhew, Patrick Stokes, John
Mellor, David Stradling Thomas, J.
Meyer, Sir Anthony Tapsell, Peter
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon) Temple-Morris, Peter
Miscampbell, Norman Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Moate, Roger Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Monro, Sir Hector Thompson, Donald
Montgomery, Fergus Thorne, Neil (llford South)
Moore, John Thornton, Malcolm
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Morrison, Hon P. (Chester) Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)
Mudd, David Trippier, David
Murphy, Christopher van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Myles, David Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Neale, Gerrard Waddington, David
Needham, Richard Wakeham, John
Nelson, Anthony Waldegrave, Hon William
Neubert, Michael Walker, Rt Hon P.(W'cester)
Newton, Tony Walker, B. (Perth)
Onslow, Cranley Wall, Sir Patrick
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S. Waller, Gary
Osborn, John Walters, Dennis
Page, John (Harrow, West) Ward, John
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Warren, Kenneth
Parris, Matthew Watson, John
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Wells, Bowen
Patten, John (Oxford) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Pattie, Geoffrey Wheeler, John
Pawsey, James Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Percival, Sir Ian Whitney, Raymond
Pink, R. Bonner Wickenden, Keith
Pollock, Alexander Wiggin, Jerry
Porter, Barry Wilkinson, John
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Williams, D.(Montgomery)
Price, Sir David (Eastleigh) Winterton, Nicholas
Prior, Rt Hon James Wolfson, Mark
Proctor, K. Harvey Young, Sir George (Acton)
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Younger, Rt Hon George
Rathbone, Tim
Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Tellers for the Ayes:
Rees-Davies, W. R. Mr. David Hunt and
Renton, Tim Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones.
Rhodes James, Robert
Abse, Leo Anderson, Donald
Adams, Allen Archer, Rt Hon Peter
Allaun, Frank Ashley, Rt Hon Jack
Alton, David Ashton, Joe
Atkinson, N.(H'gey.) Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife)
Bagier, Gordon A.T. Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd) Haynes, Frank
Beith, A. J. Heffer, Eric S.
Bennett, Andrew(St'kp't N) Holland, S. (L'bth, Vauxh'll)
Bidwell, Sydney Home Robertson, John
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Homewood, William
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Hooley, Frank
Bray, Dr Jeremy Howell, Rt Hon D.
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Howells, Geraint
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Hoyle, Douglas
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S) Huckfield, Les
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) Hughes, Simon (Bermondsey)
Campbell, Ian Janner, Hon Grevilie
Campbell-Savours, Dale Jay, Rt Hon Douglas
Canavan, Dennis Johnson, James (Hull West)
Cant, R. B. Johnson, Walter (Derby S)
Carmichael, Neil Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rh'dda)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Jones, Barry(East Flint)
Clarke,Thomas(C'b'dge,A'rie) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Cohen, Stanley Kerr, Russell
Coleman, Donald Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Lambie, David
Conlan, Bernard Lamond, James
Cook, Robin F. Leighton, Ronald
Cowans, Harry Lestor, Miss Joan
Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, M'hill) Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW)
Crawshaw, Richard Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Crowther, Stan Litherland, Robert
Cryer, Bob Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Cunliffe, Lawrence Lyon, Alexander (York)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Dalyell, Tam McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Davidson, Arthur McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli) McKelvey, William
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd) Maclennan, Robert
Deakins, Eric McNamara, Kevin
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) McTaggart, Robert
Dewar, Donald McWilliam, John
Dixon, Donald Marks, Kenneth
Dormand, Jack Marshall, D(G'gow S'ton)
Douglas, Dick Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Dubs, Alfred Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Duffy, A. E. P. Martin, M(G'gow S'burn)
Dunnett, Jack Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Maxton, John
Eadie, Alex Maynard, Miss Joan
Eastham, Ken Meacher, Michael
Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're) Mikardo, Ian
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
English, Michael Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen)
Ennals, Rt Hon David Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Evans, loan (Aberdare) Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw)
Evans, John (Newton) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Ewing, Harry Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Faulds, Andrew Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Flannery, Martin Newens, Stanley
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Ford, Ben O'Neill, Martin
Forrester, John Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Foster, Derek Palmer, Arthur
Foulkes, George Park, George
Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd) Parker, John
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Pavitt, Laurie
Freud, Clement Pendry, Tom
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Penhaligon, David
George, Bruce Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Prescott, John
Ginsburg, David Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Golding, John Race, Reg
Gourlay, Harry Radice, Giles
Graham, Ted Richardson, Jo
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Roberts, Allan (Bootle) Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N) Tilley, John
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Torney, Tom
Robinson, G. (Coventry NW) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Rooker, J. W. Wainwright, E(Dearne V)
Roper, John Wainwright,R.(Colne V)
Ross, Ernest (Dundee West) Walker, Rt Hon H.(D'caster)
Rowlands, Ted Wardell, Gareth
Ryman, John Watkins, David
Sever, John Weetch, Ken
Sheldon, Rt Hon R. Welsh, Michael
Short, Mrs Renèe White, Frank R.
Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford) White, J. (G'gow Pollok)
Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) Whitehead, Phillip
Silverman, Julius Whitlock, William
Skinner, Dennis Wigley, Dafydd
Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Snape, Peter Williams, Rt Hon A.(S'sea W)
Soley, Clive Williams, Rt Hon Mrs(Crosby)
Spearing, Nigel Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Spellar, John Francis (B'ham) Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H.(H'ton)
Spriggs, Leslie Wilson, William (C'try SE)
Steel, Rt Hon David Winnick, David
Stewart, Rt Hon D.(W Isles) Woodall, Alec
Stoddart, David Woolmer, Kenneth
Stott, Roger Wright, Sheila
Strang, Gavin Young, David (Bolton E)
Straw, Jack
Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Tellers for the Noes:
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W) Mr. Allen McKay and
Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Mr. George Morton.
Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.