§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)
I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Industrial Tribunals (Rules of Procedure) (Equal Value Amendment) Regulations 1983 (S.I., 1983, No 1807), dated 7th December 1983, a copy of which was laid before this House on 9th December, be annulled.The history of the Government's attempt to take account of the equal pay directive and to render into English law the requirements of the European Community's directive is a sorry tale. We have already had a debate upon the regulations that were designed to give effect to the requirement of equal pay for work of equal value. Tonight's debate is on the procedural regulations, which are designed to enable a claimant before an industrial tribunal to have the benefit of the substantive rules that the House considered on an earlier occasion.
The statutory instrument that the Government have laid was considered by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. In its thirteenth report, it drew to the attention of the House the aspects of the procedural regulations that it considered unsatisfactory. That helpful report concluded:In the Committee's view the status afforded to the expert's report is not made clear by the procedural Regulations, which should have provided further elucidation on this crucial matter.The importance of the debate turns on three major issues. The first is that the Government have systematically — I do not say "deliberately" — misled Parliament about the effect of the procedural regulations. They are so seriously vitiated as to call in question whether, by amending or seeking to amend our domestic law, we have complied with the requirements of the equal pay directive.
The second issue is whether the regulations, by defective drafting, infringe the right of the claimant or, for that matter, the party against which the claim is made, to enjoy due process of law. I argue that that is denied by the provisions of the procedural regulations, which are seriously contradictory and defective.
The third important issue that the House must consider is the practical consequences for those who seek to establish or resist a claim, flowing from the obscurity of the law. Inevitably it will be contested if it stands in its present form, not only through all the courts of the realm—I predict to the House of Lords—but to the European Court, where an earlier judgment found that this country was in breach of the equal pay directive. As the purpose of the procedural regulation is to put that matter right, I have no doubt that the Minister and the House will want to be sure that, by assenting to a defective regulation, we are not defeating that objective.
On the putative misleading of the House, I refer especially to the words of the Earl of Gowrie in another place on 5 December. He sought to reassure another place about the effect and impact of the rules. The Minister will be only too familiar with the changes that were made by the Government following a number of criticisms both in another place and in this House. Amendments were made on the powers and rights of the expert involved. The Earl of Gowrie said in reply to my noble Friend Lady Burton: 360we have now allowed the parties the right to cross-examine the expert and to bring their own expert evidence. I hope that from that it will be apparent that the expert can be challenged and that his report is simply evidence on the question of the value of the jobs at issue. It is for the tribunals to decide what weight to attach to all the evidence, and ultimately to decide the issue." — [Official Report, House of Lords, 5 December 1983; Vol. 445, c. 926.]That that was a serious misrepresentation of the position was clearly the view of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments when it raised the matter with the Department. It couched its complaints in wider terms than I shall use tonight. It stated:Rule 7A requires that in cases involving an equal value claim, except in certain restricted types of case, the Industrial Tribunal may not determine an equal value claim without obtaining an expert's report … the Rule might have the effect of leaving the expert to decide the question rather than the Tribunal as a whole.The Committee expressed the fear that the procedure in rule 7A was incompatible with the Community obligation to secure judicial process and with the Earl of Gowrie's statement. It also pointed out that the rule was obscure.
The Department's reply stated — these words are important because they were profoundly misleading and compounded the Government's offence:there is no provision in the Rules restricting such evidence and such examination only to the preliminary issue of the admissibility of the report as evidence. Further, there is no provision in the Rules affording special status to the report once it has been admitted.I shall query that point later.
In paragraph 7, the memorandum stated:The expert's function is to produce a report on the question of equal value but his report is no more than evidence and may be controverted by other evidence in the normal way.That, essentially, was a reassertion of Lord Gowrie's statement.
In a debate today in another place, Lord Denning stated that he did not agree with a word of the Department of Employment's evidence to the Select Committee, and that he firmly believed that the procedural rules effectively deprived both parties of the right to judicial process, and do not conform to the requirement of the rule of law.
That is the view of Lord Denning. That is the view of the majority of those who have spoken on the matter in another place. What is clear is that the regulations are contradictory and confused as to whether and how the ACAS-appointed independent expert can be questioned. In consequence, the regulations fail to satisfy the European equal pay directive requirement for judicial process.
The matter is not simply, as I believe it has been stated in the report of the Joint Committee, that the Department of Employment' s answer to the Committee' s strictures was unclear. I believe it to be positively misleading. It is certainly true that rule 8(2B) provides that the parties may bring their own expert evidence. It is also true that in rule 8(2A) it is expressly provided that the expert who prepares the report may be called for cross-examination, but no mention has been made in another place or in the Department of Employment's memorandum of the effect of rule 8(2C). I draw the attention of the Minister to that rule, and ask him to explain to the House what precisely the Government intend by it.
It is clear from rule 8(2C) that the expert's report is in fact treated not merely as a finding of fact but in effect as a judgment, and that the judgment of the expert replaces that of the tribunal itself. The tribunal may reject the expert's reports only on one of the three grounds which have been given in rule 7A(8) — that he has not 361 complied with a procedural stipulation, that his judgment could not reasonably have been reached, or that in some other way the report was unsatisfactory. In particular, the tribunal cannot reject the report because it disagrees with its conclusion that the applicant's work is not of equal value, or because it disagrees with the reasoning leading to that conclusion, unless it disagrees so strongly that it considers thatthe conclusion … contained in the report could not reasonably have been reached".The key question posed by rule 8(2C) is whether the parties can in practice challenge the factual basis of the expert's report. According to the Government, the expert's reportmay be controverted by other evidence in the normal way.Rule 8(2C) provides that apart from the minor exceptions to which I have referred,no party … may question any witness upon … any matter of fact upon which a conclusion in the report of the expert is based.It is difficult to see how that wide exclusion can be reconciled with effective rebuttal of the expert's report. If evidence cannot be given about the factual basis of the report any cross-examination of the expert will be seriously restricted. The proper scope and effect of rule 8(2C) seems bound to create uncertainty and lead to complex litigation.
If rule 8(2c) is interpreted in such a way as to make the expert's report virtually conclusive, it will be arguable that the new procedure fails to guarantee judicial process and is, therefore, contrary to the provisions of the equal pay directive.
I regard the failure of the Department of Employment, in answer to the Joint Committee's inquiry, to refer to the provisions of rule 8(2C) as amounting to what the lawyers would politely call a suppressio veri. The serious consequence of that is that an appellant before a tribunal is placed in a position in which no other appellant before an industrial tribunal is placed. There is no precedent in any judicial procedure affecting the civil rights and obligations of our citizens in any court or tribunal in the evaluation of expert evidence for parties to be prohibited from asking questions about the basis of the expert's report or putting forward evidence of fact to rebut it. That is the nub of the matter. It is a simple point, although the construction of the language of the regulations, due to what Lord Denning called their "tortuousity", is extremely difficult.
There can be no doubt that an important point of principle, of law and of the protection of the individual's right is at stake. Lest anyone doubt the importance of the point about judicial process, I should like to quote the words of Lord Diplock, the senior Lord of Appeal, on what is meant byThe due administration of justice",because if these procedures do not satisfy his criteria as they are set out in what I believe is the locus classicus, then the statutory instrument is defective and will result in the kind of litigation that is to be deplored and which we must seek to avoid.
Lord Diplock said in Attorney-General v. Times Newspapers reported in "Appeal Cases 1974", at page 309:The due administration of justice requires first that all citizens should have unhindered access to the constitutionally established courts of criminal or civil jurisdiction for the determination of disputes as to their legal rights and liabilities;362secondly, that they should be able to rely upon obtaining in the courts the arbitrament of a tribumal which is free from bias against any party and"—these are the most important words in this context—whose decision will be based upon those facts only that have been proved in evidence adduced before it in accordance with the procedure adopted in courts of law; and thirdly that, once the dispute has been submitted to a court of law, they should be able to rely upon there being no usurpation by any other person of the function of that court to decide it according to law.The right to equal pay for work of equal value is of great importance for those people who have been discriminated against for too long. If the Government are seeking to avoid their responsibilities for giving effect to a right which has been conferred by European legislation by resorting to tortuous language and obscure legal procedures, they are acting unworthily. I hope that the Minister will undertake to withdraw the regulations and that he will not require the House to vote against them.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Alan Clark)
I should like briefly to set out the Government's position, and with the leave of the House I shall reply later to any points that are raised.
The regulations arise from the amendment that we made to the Equal Pay Act to allow women to claim equal pay for work of equal value — [HON. MEMBERS: "Reading."] At least I am reading in English. The main regulations which effected this change were the Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations 1983, which were approved on 20 July and in another place on 5 December.
The regulations with which we are now concerned are the industrial tribunal procedure regulations which govern the tribunal procedures in cases brought under the new provisions of the Act. In particular, they instruct the tribunal in its dealings with the independent expert from whom, under the new provisions, tribunals are required to commission a report on whether two jobs are of equal value.
I can well understand the concern expressed about the intelligibility of the regulations to women seeking to make a claim, but I must explain that this complexity arises for two reasons, both of which are well-founded.
First, the regulations build on the general rules of procedure for industrial tribunals. This is necessary in order to provide a logical and practical framework within which the tribunal can operate and also to cater for situations in which an individual wishes to pursue a claim under more than one head—for example, for both equal pay and unfair dismissal.
Secondly, they set out precisely the steps to be taken in relation to the commissioning and consideration of the expert's report. Indeed, they do so in greater detail now than in the consultative draft reflecting the changes made in response to concern expressed by many that they should make quite clear how the expert would work, and also give the parties sufficient opportunity to challenge his conclusions.
The House well knows that in all legislation there is a tension between simplicity and justice. In our efforts to moderate this we have taken part in full and lengthy consultations.
The draft regulations were issued on 6 September, and we received a substantial number of comments.
§ Mr. Clark
We received representations from a number of bodies, notably the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Fawcett Society and others concerned with this subject—and very constructive they were. We took the consultation process most seriously, and after careful consideration of the comments made considerable changes to the regulations.
These were primarily in response to three main criticisms. First, there was uncertainty as to how the expert would work and whether parties to cases would have a chance to comment on facts and the representations of other parties. In the light of this we altered the regulations to ensure that parties get such an opportunity.
Secondly, there was concern that the independent expert's report would be insufficiently open to challenge — quite rightly, I believe. We therefore altered the regulations to allow parties to cross-examine the expert, to call an alternative expert witness, and to ask the tribunal to put written questions to the expert.
Thirdly, there was criticism on the grounds that tribunals would be likely to reject cases on an employer's defence that material factors justify unequal pay before the independent expert's report was commissioned. We therefore rephrased the regulations to make it clear that such rejections will be limited to clear-cut cases where it is perfectly obvious that the claim cannot succeed.
These changes were widely welcomed by those who had commented on the draft, including the chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission. Indeed, they were welcomed as very significant by a number of the Government's critics in another place.
§ Mr. Clark
I shall be replying to the debate and, if the hon. Lady has an opportunity to speak, I shall reply to any points that she makes.
In another place, the noble Lord McCarthy said, referring to the changes in the regulations that had been made:Most important of all, since the draft was placed before this House last October (and as the noble Earl said) very significant changes—which I welcome on behalf of this side of the House —were made in the procedural rules dealing with the role of the expert". — [Official Report, House of Lords, 5 December 1983; Vol. 445, c. 886.]The noble Baroness, Lady Lockwood, said—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)
Order. Is the Minster quoting from the Official Report of the other place?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Other than quoting from a Minister's speech, it is not in order to quote from debates in another place.
§ Mr. Clark
I apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I understand that Lord McCarthy is the representative in the other place of Labour Members who moved the prayer and I thought that I would be in order in quoting from his speech, but I apologise for being out of order.
In the light of what we have done, these comments by some of our former critics—[Interruption.] I hope that Opposition Members will approach this subject in a constructive frame of mind. I am sure that the hon. Member for Barking (Ms. Richardson), who will be winding up for the Opposition, will do so. I believe that 364 we have made great progress in altering the procedure regulations, putting them in such a form that they will be acceptable, and I shall pay great attention to any suggestions that the hon. Lady makes.
§ Ms. Harriet Harman (Peckham)
Despite the Equal Pay Act and the Sex Discrimination Act, women remain very low paid. Overall, women earn on average less than three quarters of men's earnings. This is due to a number of complex factors, some of which the law can deal with, but some of which it cannot, including, for example, the inequality of division of labour in the home and the extra responsibility women have for bringing up children and looking after the home. There is also the question of the different sort of education that boys and girls receive at school. Therefore, this is by no means a simple matter.
However, there is also blatant discrimination against women in relation to pay at work. Even though women are doing very skilled jobs, those skills tend to be undervalued, and, because there is a gap in the law, at present that inequality is not remedied. That is why the British Government were taken to the European Court.
The method by which they have sought to remedy the situation and bring us into line with the Treaty of Rome on this matter is completely wrong. The House should not be asked to do it by way of an order, followed by long and complicated regulations. It should be done by way of amendment to a statute to enable Committee stage discussions to take place. Instead, we have had an order which met with a great deal of opposition, followed by prolonged consultations, with redrafted regulation brought back to the House. That is not the way to deal with a complex issue which affects the pay, and particularly the low pay, of many thousands of women.
The regulations fail to meet the objections which have been made, because they are far too complicated. We are not dealing here with a situation involving High Court judges and claimants represented on legal aid. There will be a solicitor, a part-time chairman of a tribunal and lay representatives. Although the employer may have legal representation, legal aid is not available to a claimant before a tribunal, and that is why I say that there will be lay representation.
As we are talking about a lay tribunal, the rules and regulations must be accessible. Unfortunately, the regulations are virtually unintelligible and make things worse. Matters could be put right by the use of simple language, and amendments have been submitted to the Minister by the National Council for Civil Liberties and other organisations. The amendments would do the job and provide a clear and simple set of measures, but account has not been taken of them.
The tribunal is able to refuse to consider a claim for equal pay for work of equal value if there are no reasonable grounds. This was a cause for complaint during the consultation period. The regulations do not set out what constitutes "no reasonable grounds" and the tribunal will be able to kick out a case before hearing any evidence. That will be possible as there is no guidance in the regulations on what "no reasonable grounds" amounts to.
365 It remains the position under the regualtions that a woman cannot claim if there is already in existence a job evaluation scheme, unless she can prove that that scheme is discriminatory, either directly or indirectly. That is very difficult to do. It will not be enough for her to show that a proper evaluation of her skills gives her a higher rate and equal pay with someone else if a job evaluation scheme is in existence. In that circumstance, she will be unable to claim equal pay for work of equal value. This is an open invitation to employers to introduce a job evaluation scheme.
The employer can argue—perhaps this is the most serious deficiency—that he does not have to give equal pay for work of equal value because the market value of a woman's job is less than the market value of a man's job. We were asked by Europe to intervene in the market because the market discriminates against women and pays them only 75 per cent. of what the market sees fit to pay men. The point of the regulations was to enable intervention to take place so that the balance could be corrected and women could have equality at work.
§ Ms. Harman
If the expert can argue that a woman is paid a low rate even though she is doing work of equal value because the market undervalues her work, the exercise becomes pointless and circular. That is a major flaw.
The regulations provide no means of remedying discriminatory collective agreements. Each woman will have to make her own separate claim. It is usually the position in the real world that large groups of women are employed to do the same job, but the regulations provide no power to end discriminatory collective agreements. They should have made provision for the Central Arbitration Committee to be brought in to consider collective agreements, as it did in the early days of the Equal Pay Act 1970 when there were separate men's and women's rates. In those days the committee had a useful role. Why can it not be brought in to remedy discrimination in collective agreements at this stage?
The regulations reinforce the point which came over clearly when the Government introduced the regulations, which is that the Government do not take the issue seriously and that this is a paper exercise for the sake of trying to appear as if they were complying with Europe. The message comes over clearly that the role of women at work is not regarded as important and that women should regard work in the home as their main sphere of influence and importance. It will be a travesty if the regulations and the order are understood to be a step forward for women. They are nothing of the sort. I should be the first person to vote in favour of the regulations if I thought that they would help the millions of low-paid women, but they will not do so, and that is why I shall vote against them.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor (Southend, East)
The most interesting aspect of the speech of the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) was that he spent all his time arguing whether the regulations conformed with a Common Market directive and not whether they made common sense. I appeal to those who are thinking of looking at these regulations with favour to decide whether they make common sense.
366 I sympathise with the Under-Secretary at being forced to bring in a ridiculous set of regulations that are based on the assumption that wages should he fixed because of an assessment by a tribunal of what is work of equal value. How on earth can Conservative Members, who believe that wages should be determined by market forces and free collective bargaining between employers and trade unions, suggest the introduction of a new type of statutory European pay policy to determine wages? Surely, nothing could be more ridiculous that that basic proposition.
The regulations state that we will create a new group of paid officials called experts. Those chaps will have to rush around to firms—not trade unions which should be working for equality if they believe that is worthwhile—that are struggling for survival and to maintain employment and keep their profits. Those so-called experts will make their assessment — not a business assessment—of what is work of equal value and report to the tribunal which will then make a determination.
Who will pay for all those ridiculous people? In recent weeks, the Government have rightly asked us to support cuts, reductions and curbs in public spending on areas that most of us would agree are important — the Health Service and local authorities. We believe that in the public interest if we are to have a sound economy we must control public spending. How can I return to my constituencies in Southend and say, "We want to cut Government spending, but the Government will spend a pile of money employing a group of so-called experts who will go around to your factories to assess what is the value of one job compared with another?"
Who will the experts be? How many will there be? How much will it cost? Is this not a ridiculous measure?
If hon. Members examine the regulations, they will see that the experts appointed to the tribunal will have the power not only to make a report and say what work is of equal value, but to require people to give them evidence even though they have nothing to do with the issue—for example, Miss A, who is a textile operator, may take the view that her work is comparable in value to that of someone who is working as a clerk at the communications headquarters at Cheltenham. Textiles are relevant to that organisation about which I do not wish to talk.
§ Ms. Clare Short (Birmingham, Ladywood)
Does the hon. Gentleman think that there should be legislation in Britain to outlaw race discrimination? Should an organisation and officials go around giving instructions about how black and white people should be treated? Should we have any standards of health and safety at work? Should officials say what those standards should be? Does the hon. Gentleman want to regulate the labour market, or is it just the treatment of women that he does not want regulated?
§ Mr. Taylor
The hon. Lady should not be ridiculous. Of course I believe, as do all decent people, in equal rights before the law. The question is what should the law be? I am wholly opposed—as I was on the statutory pay policy—to outside experts, civil servants and any other people walking into a manufacturing business and saying what wages people should pay. If Conservative Members and those who believe in common sense support anything, we support that.
Does the Under-Secretary mean, as the regulations state, that anyone can be summoned to give evidence? An 367 expert looking at the position of a textile operator and of a managing director's secretary to assess whether the work is of equal value, who takes the view that Mr. So-and-So, — the marketing director of ICI, someone in his department or a person at university—has material that might be relevant, has the power under the regulations to require that person to give the information within a specified time.
According to the regulations, anyone could be asked to do that. Does that mean that employers doing a good job, looking after their employees well, running a satisfactory business and with nothing whatever to do with the dispute at some other factory will be required to provide all kinds of evidence in writing by a specified date? The Minister is well aware that many firms in this country are struggling to survive, trying to sell things in the market so as to create jobs for men and women. It is ludicrous bureaucratic interference for ridiculous experts employed by ridiculous tribunals to ask those firms to supply as much information as the tribunals and experts want within a specified period.
§ Mr. Taylor
It is not right for the Government or anyone like that to fix wages. The right way to assess wages is through free collective bargaining and the right people to fight for workers are trade unions working in a free situation and not being interfered with by civil servants, experts or anyone else. The whole exercise proposed in the regulations is completely contrary to what Conservative Members stand for, and I should have thought that it was equally contrary to the beliefs of Labour Members.
Can these experts really ask anyone whom they think may have relevant information to provide it within a specified time? And what happens if the people do not provide it? There are later references to all kinds of dreadful penalties that may land on people if they do not comply. If I was working in industry, doing my best for my employees and my customers, none of whom had any complaints about me, I should take it very hard if some silly expert employed by a silly tribunal told me to drop everything and forget about my customers and my workers because the tribunal wanted information for an assessment in an equal value claim.
The Minister may say that there are exceptions because the tribunal has power to let people off if it believes that they have good grounds for refusing to comply, but there is no definition of good grounds. The Minister has given us no guidance on that. Does it mean good economic grounds? If a person says that he is trying to get export orders so as to employ people and pay their wages is that a good ground? If the Government or anyone else think that there are security implications, is that a good ground? Is it a good ground if the person does not wish to reveal what goes on in his factory, what he pays and why? There are certain commercial secrets. If firms have a suitable arrangement whereby they pay their workpeople according to certain schedules, that is surely their business. Will the Minister at least assure us that good grounds will include matters which are commercially confidential? It would be 368 outrageous for people not working for the courts, not appointed by the law and not parliamentarians to be given the right to demand all kinds of information just because someone thinks that it is relevant to an equal value claim. I hope that the Minister will answer those questions.
Finally, must we really go ahead with this ridiculous business of bringing in all these laws that we do not want and which Parliament has not approved because Common Market directives force us to do so? This morning I looked at the file of measures going through this week. There is even a new regulation about noise emission from vacuum cleaners. Goodness knows why the Common Market wants to pass a law about that, but even if 635 Members of this House wish to vote against it we can do nothing about it because Common Market laws must be brought in whether we want them or not. We are being presented with all kinds of regulations—for example, the labelling of grape nuts. I do not know why we want to label grape nuts, but we are going to have to do it, whether we want it or not.
I appeal to the Minister; is there no end to this business whereby we are being forced to bring in ludicrous regulations that we all know the Minister and all sensible people must regard as a load of rubbish? Is there nothing we can do to stop this flow?
I am afraid that I did not vote in the last debate on the amendment regulations, and that was not because I did not sympathise with the Minister. He has to bring forward the regulations and there is nothing he can do about it, even though he thinks they are the biggest load of rubbish ever to come before the House. It has got to be done, because they are Common Market regulations. Here we are at it again. I appreciate that the Minister tried to water them down. This point was made my the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms. Harman) in a very sincere speech referring to the attempt to water the regulations down as much as possible. We know that is what the Government have done. There is no point in trying to hide it. The Government are trying to water the regulations down a bit, and still keep within the law.
Surely the Minister must accept, if we believe in a free enterprise economy and letting market forces determine prices and water, if we believe in free trade unions and their rights to negotiate freely in the market, that we do not want to introduce any new prices board, incomes board, experts for tribunals and others who are going to fix wages and upset wages patterns.
I hope that the Minister will at least say to the House kindly tonight that the regulations are a load or rubbish. Can he not say that the Department of Employment knows that the regulations are rubbish, but sadly he has got to put them forward because of a Common Market law? I think it would clear the air a great deal for everyone if the Minister would tell us what the Government really think about these ridiculous regulations, with specific answers on the three questions of detail that I have asked.
§ 11.1 pm
§ Mr. Greville Janner (Leicester, West)
I am sure that we have all enjoyed that knockabout speech from the Left wing of the Conservative party. We will take into account the fact that from the Minister's own reaction to it he no doubt agreed with every word that the hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) said. Nevertheless, he is now forced into the position that he will have to put forward the 369 regulations. However miserable they may be, and however defective, he has said in refusing to give way that he will reply to the questions that we shall raise.
I challenged the Minister on the last occasion when the regulations came before the House to explain the meaning of the procedural clauses in the predecessor regulations to those now to be amended and upon which they are based. I draw the Minister's attention once again to regulation 3(2A)(1)(a), of the 1984 regulations. I challenge him to explain what the regulations mean. Some of us have been to professors of logic to try to understand the meaning and have emerged with the statement that nobody has the slightest idea.
Regulation 2A(1) of the Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations 1983 says:Where on a complaint or reference made to an industrial tribunal under section 2 above, a dispute arises as to whether any work is of equal value as mentioned in section 1(2)(c) above the tribunal shall not determine that question".The tribunal comes to the question, and it shall not even determine it unlessit is satisfied that there are no reasonable grounds for determining that the work is of equal value as so mentioned;In other words, the tribunal can determine the question only if there are no reasonable grounds for saying that the work is not of equal value.
It is absolute illogical rubbish, but not for the reason given by the hon. Member for Southend, East, whose idea of equality is to let everybody claw as best they can towards equality in a world traditionally designed to ensure that they get none. It is also a world in which he, with all his complaints about the need for free trade unions in a free bargaining situation, is no doubt going to vote for the removal of the rights of free trade unions in Cheltenham and other parts of the United Kingdom. This is a meaningless and impossible regulation for any tribunal to interpret.
We look at the new regulations and ask ourselves whether they give guidance to those who will be trying to interpret them. The answer is, none at all. They make the wood thicker, the darkness deeper, and the night more impenetrable. There is no way in which anyone, even a skilled lawyer brought up in the high degrees of logic, can understand what they mean.
Therefore the only certainty is that they will be challenged and that there will be litigation. There can be no doubt that the Equal Opportunities Commission will take the regulations back to Europe, whence they came. This Parliament will be involved once again in reconsidering other new regulations although the Government had the opportunity to put these into order.
It is not the lawyers but the Equal Opportunities Commission that will do that. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food should know that is true. Even she should rejoice over the fact that we are making a little progress towards the equality for women which is so long overdue.
One other matter has not been dealt with. The Minister said that there was concern over the uncertainty of how the experts would work. If the hon. Member for Southend, East had done his homework he would not have bothered to ask where the experts would come from. We know the answer to that. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service is in the process of selecting them. However, it is not bound to train them. It is not to supervise or to train them. It is only to select them and to give them two days' briefing, during the course of which they will simply be 370 told what to do. ACAS is not going to say which job evaluation scheme each is to put into effect, or which method they are to use.
If the hon. Member for Southend, East would move even into the 19th century he would realise that job evaluation schemes are in operation in all sorts of industries throughout the country. There is nothing new about them. However, the problem is that no one knows which ones the experts are to put into effect. They are not told or asked how to do that. There is to be no uniformity. There is to be only a variety of impossibilities and uncertainties which will render the regulations a laughing stock.
The Opposition will vote against the regulations, but not because we hold any of the views of the hon. Member for Southend, East. I do not know, or even care, whether he votes with us. However, if he does so, we shall find ourselves in the same Lobby as him but for entirely different reasons. Our reasons are totally worthy and his are totally unworthy. We are in favour of equal pay and rights, and we believe that it is for the law to provide them, because industry will not do so without the force of law. Industry should provide equality, but it does not do so.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
If the hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that outside inspectors and experts can do a better job than trade unions, why not just get a group of bureaucrats to determine the just wage of everyone working in Britain?
§ Mr. Janner
I would be very much in favour of trade unions having that power. I would have kept schedule 11 to the Employment Act and would not have repealed the Fair Wages Order. I would not have driven the trade unions out of the bargaining process as the Government are doing at every step, supported by the hon. Gentleman. He should be ashamed of himself.
We should have certainty for ACAS. It should be told what the rules are. Its experts should be properly instructed. Those who go to tribunals should know what they are about. We could have avoided costs. The Government's good intentions in allowing the experts to be cross-examined—for which we are grateful—could have been promoted by a decent set of regulations which were understandable. However, all that we can do now is to challenge the Minister to explain them, in the full belief that he cannot do so.
§ 11.7 pm
§ Ms. Jo Richardson (Barking)
I am glad that the debate has been held, because it has provided us with an opportunity for some plain speaking. It should be made plain, for example, that the regulations are concerned not with some small part of our lives but with low pay for women. That is the long and short of it. The Government should have introduced an order that did the job properly in the first place, without prompting from the European Court.
It is also necessary to make it plain that, by introducing the regulations, the Government have hampered women in their attempt to obtain equal pay for work of equal value. The original regulations did not speak plainly. They were a mess. I have read them several times and, frankly, I still cannot understand them. The legalistic, though welcome, speech of the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) confused me even more.
371 The introduction of equal pay for work of equal value, which should have been done years ago, has been a depressing and saddening experience. At the beginning of this year the original regulations came into effect, 18 months after the Government were taken to court and then went, dragging their feet, into consultation. They consulted many bodies. Can the Minister tell us how many, if any, of the bodies whom he consulted thought that the Government were doing this the proper way? I am almost willing to bet that there was hardly one ally outside the House who thought so. The long overdue concept of equal pay for work of equal value is being brought into effect in a complex, costly and obstacle-ridden way.
The Government have taken no notice of the weighty opinion not just of individuals and organisations but of bodies like the Equal Opportunities Commission, which is in a sense an arm of Government. It is carrying out the Government's intentions on this matter. The Trades Union Congress has not been satisfied. Although the Minister has said that on procedure he consulted a number of bodies which appear to be satisfied, most trade unions are not satisfied with the extent of the amendments. The Government have given way on three points, but, if I have read the regulations correctly, every woman who makes a claim still has to go through about six stages before she can be sure that she has established the claim properly.
I want to ask the Minister about the experts. I do not share the view of the hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor). We should have equality officers and proper codes of practice from the Equal Opportunities Commission. Nevertheless, it is something that there will be experts and that claimants can cross-examine them. Who will the experts be, and how have they been recruited?
I understand that an advertisement for experts appeared in The Sunday Times and perhaps in other newspapers some months ago. A friend of mine, who is a full-time trade union official and an expert in job evaluation, decided to apply because the advertisement said that the job was not full-time and could be done on a flexible basis. She also thought, and I agree, that it would be a good idea if some of the experts on job evaluation about equal pay for work of equal value were women, who would understand it better. So she persuaded three or four of her colleagues, not in the same union but in the same sort of work, to apply at the same time. They are all highly qualified professional people with direct experience of the kind of work which they believed they would be asked about at an interview or to do, if appointed. I understand also that about a dozen members of the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff, the union to which I belong, applied for jobs as experts. None of them has even been given an interview.
I should like to know who has been appointed. I believe there were about 600 replies to the advertisement and that 12 experts have been or are about to be appointed, with 12 in reserve. I should like to know what sort of people they are, their qualifications, expertise and experience and, of course, how many of them are men—or chaps, as the hon. Member for Southend, East would say—and how many are women.
Many of my hon. Friends have made speeches on this matter in the past few months. I am surprised that the Government did not take the weighty opinon that was 372 expressed in the other place into account when they considered the directive. We have a right, in the cause of equality, to ask the Minister to take these regulations back and to think again about what he does about the directive.
The Government have already issued one leaflet which is supposed to be a guide for women who want to claim equal pay. I have read it and it bears no relation to the procedure which the Government are now asking us to approve. I should like to read paragraph 3 of schedule 1 of the regulations not so much for its content as its complexity, just to show the House what it is like. The Minister said that the regulations are superimposed on the rules of industrial tribunals. That alone makes the matter terribly difficult to understand. See if you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, can understand this. Paragraph 3 reads:In paragraph (1) of Rule 8,"—rule 8 being the industrial tribunal—at the beginning, there shall be inserted the words "Subject to paragraphs (2A), (2B), (2C), (2D) and (2E) of this Rule".Which rule I am not sure. It continues:(2) In paragraph (2) of Rule 8"—I thought that we had just dealt with rule 8—for the words "paragraph (1)", there shall be substituted the words "paragraphs (1), (2A), (2B), (2C) and (2D)".(3) In Rule 8, after paragraph (2), there shall be inserted"—it then goes on to deal with (2A), (2B), (2C), (2D) and (2E).I defy anyone to cut through all of that unless, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) said, they are eminent barristers—I am not sure that even they would be able to do so well. If Mrs. Joan Jones who is making a claim against her employer is expected to face the regulations she will not be successful unless she is a trained barrister, and if she is a trained barrister she is not likely to make a claim for equal pay for equal work because she will be getting it anyway. The whole thing is a mess and the Government should take it away.
The serious point in all this is the fact that the Government are not committed to eradicating low pay and achieving genuine equality for women. It is important to keep spelling that out. A long time ago the International Labour Organisation showed that women make up one half of the world's population, make up one third of the official labour force, put in two thirds of all of the hours that are worked and own one tenth of the world's wealth. Through these regulations, the Government are not contributing one iota to correcting the imbalance which exists in Britain, let alone the rest of the world. I therefore invite my hon. Friends and other hon. Members to vote against the regulations. I advise the Government to think again.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
With the leave of the House, I shall reply to the debate.
This is a tortuous and complex matter. In the light of earlier episodes, the House will appreciate that the last thing that I want to do is to seem flippant.
I remind the House of the Schleswig-Holstein question, which was regarded as the most intractable of all historic conundrums of the 19th century. Bismarck said that only three people ever understood it — one was the chancellor, who was dead, one was a professor of politics at Munich, who was in the lunatic asylum, and the other was himself, and he had forgotten.
373 I have had a note about the principal point raised by the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan). It is complex, and I hope that the House will forgive me if I quite shamelessly read it.
The new rule 8(2C) says that no party may give evidence upon or question any matter of fact upon which the conclusion in the expert's report is based. This provision will not prevent parties from bringing to the tribunal's attention the mistakes or omissions of fact in the expert's report. Parties will have two opportunities to do that. The provision will not prevent the parties from bringing evidence in support of such matters. It merely seeks to ensure that such evidence is brought at the appropriate time.
Under the new rule 7A (3)(b) and (c) the expert will be required to prepare a written summary of all the information and representations made to him, and to send it to the parties, inviting comments, before preparing his report. His report must contain the summary sent to the parties and a brief of any representations from parties on that summary. One would expect errors of fact or omissions to be identified and put forward by the parties at that preliminary stage. If, however, the final report still contained a mistake or omission, the parties would be able to bring that to the tribunal's notice and to call evidence in support of that contention before the tribunal admitted the expert's report in evidence. The new rule 7A(8) sets out the grounds on which a tribunal can decide to reject a report. They can include errors or omissions.
Rule 8(2C) therefore applies only after the expert's report has been admitted by the tribunal's evidence. It would surely be superfluous to reopen questioning on facts at that late stage and would serve only to lengthen tribunal proceedings and encourage parties to withhold relevant evidence from the expert, which everyone would regard as undesirable.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. The Minister clearly is not giving way. It would help the House if we allowed him to get on with his speech.
§ Mr. Clark
My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East made a speech—with which I must admit a certain instinctive sympathy — from his traditional libertarian standpoint. He expressed his misgivings about the level to which European laws are intruding on our laws. Certainly, that element of intrusion is largely responsible for the complexity that attaches to the order. He asked where the experts would come from and who would pay them. They will be appointed by ACAS, and there will be 12 of them initially. They will not have power of entry into premises 374 nor the power to require evidence. They will simply make a report to the tribunal, and it is for the judical body to ask for such evidence as may be relevant to the information that it seeks.
The hon. Member for Barking (Ms. Richardson) asked me which statutory bodies we had consulted at this early stage. The Equal Opportunites Commission, which the hon. Lady cited as a body discontented with the regulations, has a statutory duty to follow events in this area. Its chairman has expressed her gratitude for and agreement with the changes in the procedural regulations. We are discussing only the procedural regulations, and not the order, tonight. The chairman said that she was grateful and pleased that the Secretary of State had met the main points of dissatisfaction with the procedural regulations.
The Government have done their best to make the procedural regulations conform with the various representations that we have received during the consultative process.
I ask the House to show a constructive rather than a critical attitude. It is our duty to give the regulations a fair wind and see how they work in practice—
§ Mr. Clark
I shall not give way. I have answered the hon. Gentleman's points. He would do better at this stage to give the regulations a fair wind and see how they work in practice. It is possible for representations to be made if there are obvious defects. The regulations have only just come into force. It is better to approach them with a constructive attitude.
I urge the House to reject the prayer because, unless it does so, at the very least it will leave women's legitimate equal pay claims stranded. There will then be no way in which women can bring their legitimate claims before a tribunal and there will be no practical way of determining them.
The procedural regulations have altered virtually out of recognition. The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland knows that when they were first laid there was no procedure for cross-examining witnesses and that the parties involved could not call separate witnesses. We have made two major alterations to the procedure, and they are intended to make the regulations equitable. If we do not allow the regulations to go forward that will mean that women with legitimate claims—
§ Mr. Maclennan
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Minister said quite clearly, in the recollection of the House, that he would give way to me after he had answered the questions asked by other hon. Members. He had answered those questions five minutes ago, and he has refused—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. As the hon. Member knows, whether a Minister or any other hon. Member gives way is a matter for that hon. Member himself.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 188, Noes 251.377
|Division No. 151]||[11.30 pm|
|Adams, Allen (Paisley N)||Ashdown, Paddy|
|Alton, David||Ashley, Rt Hon Jack|
|Anderson, Donald||Ashton, Joe|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Home Robertson, John|
|Barnett, Guy||Howells, Geraint|
|Barron, Kevin||Hoyle, Douglas|
|Beckett, Mrs Margaret||Hughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)|
|Beith, A. J.||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Bell, Stuart||Hughes, Roy (Newport East)|
|Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)||Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Hughes, Simon (Southwark)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Janner, Hon Greville|
|Blair, Anthony||John, Brynmor|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Johnston, Russell|
|Boyes, Roland||Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)||Kennedy, Charles|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Kilroy-Silk, Robert|
|Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)||Kirkwood, Archibald|
|Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)||Lambie, David|
|Bruce, Malcolm||Lamond, James|
|Caborn, Richard||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)||Leighton, Ronald|
|Campbell-Savours, Dale||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Canavan, Dennis||Litherland, Robert|
|Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)||Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Lofthouse, Geoffrey|
|Clarke, Thomas||Loyden, Edward|
|Clay, Robert||McCartney, Hugh|
|Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)||McDonald, Dr Oonagh|
|Cohen, Harry||McKay, Allen (Penistone)|
|Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.||McKelvey, William|
|Conlan, Bernard||Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton North)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)||McNamara, Kevin|
|Corbett, Robin||McTaggart, Robert|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||McWilliam, John|
|Cowans, Harry||Madden, Max|
|Craigen, J. M.||Marek, Dr John|
|Crowther, Stan||Marshall, David (Shettleston)|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Martin, Michael|
|Cunningham, Dr John||Maxton, John|
|Dalyell, Tam||Maynard, Miss Joan|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)||Meacher, Michael|
|Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)||Meadowcroft, Michael|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)||Michie, William|
|Deakins, Eric||Mikardo, Ian|
|Dewar, Donald||Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)|
|Dobson, Frank||Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)|
|Dormand, Jack||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)|
|Douglas, Dick||Nellist, David|
|Dubs, Alfred||Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||O'Brien, William|
|Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.||O'Neill, Martin|
|Eadie, Alex||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Eastham, Ken||Parry, Robert|
|Evans, loan (Cynon Valley)||Pendry, Tom|
|Evans, John (St. Helens N)||Penhaligon, David|
|Fatchett, Derek||Pike, Peter|
|Field, Frank (Birkenhead)||Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)|
|Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)||Prescott, John|
|Fisher, Mark||Radice, Giles|
|Flannery, Martin||Redmond, M.|
|Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)|
|Forrester, John||Richardson, Ms Jo|
|Foster, Derek||Robertson, George|
|Foulkes, George||Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)|
|Fraser, J. (Norwood)||Rooker, J. W.|
|Freud, Clement||Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)|
|George, Bruce||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Ryman, John|
|Godman, Dr Norman||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Golding, John||Sheerman, Barry|
|Gould, Bryan||Sheldon, Rt Hon R.|
|Hamilton, James (M'well N)||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Harman, Ms Harriet||Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)|
|Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)|
|Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith||Silkin, Rt Hon J.|
|Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Skinner, Dennis|
|Haynes, Frank||Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)|
|Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)||Snape, Peter|
|Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)||Soley, Clive|
|Spearing, Nigel||Weetch, Ken|
|Steel, Rt Hon David||Welsh, Michael|
|Strang, Gavin||White, James|
|Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)||Williams, Rt Hon A.|
|Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)||Winnick, David|
|Tinn, James||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Torney, Tom||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Wallace, James||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Wardell, Gareth (Gower)||Mr. John Cartwright and|
|Wareing, Robert||Mr. Don Dixon.|
|Adley, Robert||Durant, Tony|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Dykes, Hugh|
|Alexander, Richard||Eggar, Tim|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Evennett, David|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Eyre, Sir Reginald|
|Amess, David||Fairbairn, Nicholas|
|Ancram, Michael||Fallon, Michael|
|Arnold, Tom||Farr, John|
|Ashby, David||Fenner, Mrs Peggy|
|Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.||Fletcher, Alexander|
|Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)||Fookes, Miss Janet|
|Baldry, Anthony||Forman, Nigel|
|Batiste, Spencer||Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)|
|Beaumont-Dark, Anthony||Forth, Eric|
|Bellingham, Henry||Fowler, Rt Hon Norman|
|Bendall, Vivian||Fox, Marcus|
|Benyon, William||Fraser, Peter (Angus East)|
|Berry, Sir Anthony||Fry, Peter|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Gale, Roger|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Goodlad, Alastair|
|Biggs-Davison, Sir John||Greenway, Harry|
|Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Grist, Ian|
|Body, Richard||Grylls, Michael|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Bottomley, Peter||Hargreaves, Kenneth|
|Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n)||Harris, David|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Harvey, Robert|
|Boyson, Dr Rhodes||Hawkins, C. (High Peak)|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Henderson, Barry|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.|
|Bright, Graham||Hirst, Michael|
|Brinton, Tim||Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)|
|Brittan, Rt Hon Leon||Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)|
|Brooke, Hon Peter||Hooson, Tom|
|Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)||Hordern, Peter|
|Bruinvels, Peter||Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)|
|Buck, Sir Antony||Hunter, Andrew|
|Budgen, Nick||Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Bulmer, Esmond||Jackson, Robert|
|Burt, Alistair||Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey|
|Butler, Hon Adam||Jopling, Rt Hon Michael|
|Butterfill, John||Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston)|
|Carlisle, John (N Luton)||Lamont, Norman|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Lang, Ian|
|Chalker, Mrs Lynda||Lightbown, David|
|Channon, Rt Hon Paul||Lilley, Peter|
|Chapman, Sydney||Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)|
|Churchill, W. S.||Lord, Michael|
|Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)||Luce, Richard|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Lyell, Nicholas|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||McCrindle, Robert|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||McCurley, Mrs Anna|
|Clegg, Sir Walter||McCusker, Harold|
|Cockeram, Eric||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Colvin, Michael||MacGregor, John|
|Coombs, Simon||MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)|
|Cope, John||MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Maclean, David John.|
|Crouch, David||Macmillan, Rt Hon M.|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina||McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Malins, Humfrey|
|Dicks, T.||Malone, Gerald|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Maples, John|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.||Marland, Paul|
|Dover, Denshore||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Mather, Carol||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Maude, Francis||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Mawhinney, Dr Brian||Silvester, Fred|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Sims, Roger|
|Mayhew, Sir Patrick||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Mellor, David||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|Merchant, Piers||Soames, Hon Nicholas|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Speller, Tony|
|Miller, Hal (B'grove)||Spence, John|
|Mills, Iain (Meriden)||Spencer, D.|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)|
|Mitchell, David (NW Hants)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Moate, Roger||Stanley, John|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Steen, Anthony|
|Moore, John||Stern, Michael|
|Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)||Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)|
|Moynihan, Hon C.||Stevens, Martin (Fulham)|
|Mudd, David||Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)|
|Neale, Gerrard||Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)|
|Needham, Richard||Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)|
|Nelson, Anthony||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Neubert, Michael||Sumberg, David|
|Newton, Tony||Taylor, John (Solihull)|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Terlezki, Stefan|
|Nicholson, J.||Thomas, Rt Hon Peter|
|Normanton, Tom||Thompson, Donald (Calder V)|
|Norris, Steven||Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)|
|Onslow, Cranley||Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)|
|Oppenheim, Philip||Thornton, Malcolm|
|Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.||Thurnham, Peter|
|Ottaway, Richard||Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)|
|Parris, Matthew||Tracey, Richard|
|Patten, John (Oxford)||Trippier, David|
|Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Pink, R. Bonner||van Straubenzee, Sir W.|
|Pollock, Alexander||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Viggers, Peter|
|Powley, John||Waddington, David|
|Prentice, Rt Hon Reg||Walden, George|
|Proctor, K. Harvey||Walker, Bill (T'side N)|
|Raffan, Keith||Waller, Gary|
|Rathbone, Tim||Walters, Dennis|
|Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)||Wardle, C. (Bexhill)|
|Renton, Tim||Watson, John|
|Rhodes James, Robert||Watts, John|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Wells, Bowen (Hertford)|
|Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Ridsdale, Sir Julian||Wheeler, John|
|Rifkind, Malcolm||Whitfield, John|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)||Whitney, Raymond|
|Roe, Mrs Marion||Winterton, Mrs Ann|
|Rossi, Sir Hugh||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Rost, Peter||Wolfson, Mark|
|Rowe, Andrew||Wood, Timothy|
|Rumbold, Mrs Angela||Woodcock, Michael|
|Ryder, Richard||Yeo, Tim|
|Sackville, Hon Thomas||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Sainsbury, Hon Timothy|
|St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Sayeed, Jonathan||Mr. John Major and|
|Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)||Mr. David Hunt.|
|Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')|
§ Question accordingly negatived.