Lords amendment: No. 48, in page 38, line 38, at end insert—
(4) As soon as may be after the establishment of a joint committee under section 93 below for Greater London or a metropolitan county the Secretary of State shall, after consultation with that committee, appoint one of its members to be a member of the appropriate residuary body.
Read a Second time.
§ Mr. Straw
I beg to move, amendment (a) to the Lords amendment, in line 4, leave out ', after consultation with that committee.'.
I understand that we are to discuss also amendment (b) to the Lords amendment.
By amendment No. 48, which I understand was moved in the other place by the Government, it is proposed that the residuary body for London and those for the other areas should have added to their membership one of the members of the joint committee established under clause 93. By our amendments we propose that the Secretary of State should be required to appoint to the total number of members of the residuary body such members as are nominated to it by the joint committees of the local authorities. It is delightful to have the rapt attention of the House at 10.15 pm on such a scintillating topic. I repeat that it is possible, judging by the form of the earlier votes, that we will lose this vote.
So scintillating are my words that Mr. Speaker has moved out of the Chair. It is delightful to see Mr. Deputy Speaker back in the Chair. I thank Mr. Speaker for his rapt attention on this issue. Although I hope that it is not, this issue may be the last occasion on which we have a substantive debate. I hope that their Lordships will do their duty.
I should like to place on record, on behalf of my hon. Friends and myself, my thanks to the people who have briefed us over the last 18 months on the many issues of the Bill. Even the Minister will accept that not only have we won the arguments on the Bill and on the Local Government (Interim Provisions) Act but, unquestionably, as many Conservative Members have said, that we have been better briefed. The main reason for that is that there have been excellent briefing arrangements with both the GLC and the metropolitan counties parliamentary unit. We could not have advanced the arguments and turned what was seen by the Government as an electoral advantage into an electoral disadvantage had it not been for the work of people such as Damien Welfare and Richard Percival of the Greater London council and David Burton and Rodney Jones of the metropolitan counties parliamentary unit and their supporting staffs, and the leaders of the counties and the GLC, to whom we are all grateful.
When the Bill was originally published, the residuary bodies were seen as bodies which would have merely wrap-up and technical functions. The Government suddenly realised that, although their intent was to snap out the light of the GLC and the metropolitan counties 838 immediately on vesting day, on 1 April 1986, that would not be possible, and therefore there would have to be life after death for the councils, but the Government would try to limit that as far as they could. It was initially envisaged that the residuary body would have a role for superannuation, debt, central facilities and support.
As the Bill has progressed, the Government have had to face the fact that there will continue to be a countywide operation of many services and that in preparing the Bill in such haste and with such venom, and refusing to look at the good work of the GLC and the metropolitan counties, a great many specialist services provided by the councils, often unnoticed and unsung, were overlooked. Those services may be unnoticed at the moment, but were they to be abolished their absence would soon be noticed.
Such services had to be given a parent body and the Government realised that it would not be possible to provide for their control by districts, because they could not operate at district level, and the Government found it inappropriate to set up joint boards. Following the excellent report of the Select Committee on Science and Technology of the other place, the Government have widened the role of residuary bodies and these are now to provide professional and technical services to the successor authorities.
We welcome the wider role given to the residuary bodies, as far as it goes, and the fact that the services which faced a break-up and annihiliation are to continue. It is worth quoting, as I think I am allowed to do, the view of the Select Committee on Science and Technology of the other place. It said:the Committee repeat their conviction that the administration of local goverment in Greater London and the metropolitan counties depends for its effectiveness on preserving the integrity of many of the specialist services built up by the GLC and the county councils. These authorities have demonstrated their ability to respond positively to the challenge of scientific and technical development. Further challenges lie ahead. The great conurbations require specialist staff and facilities to meet them. Economic, efficient and forward-looking services demand excellence, integration and continuity. The existing services should be improved not by being dismembered, but by being encouraged to progress. Centres of excellence are slow to develop but easy to destroy.They would have been destroyed had the Government's initial proposals remained in force. However, the residuary bodies will not be just clearing-up organisations. They will supervise the services that are to continue in existence for the local authorities within their area.
We have always objected to the fact that the residuary bodies were to be appointed by the Secretary of State. However, although we disagreed with that idea, we could see some logic in it, given that they had a residuary role to perform. Now that they are to have a continuing role to perform it is unacceptable that all their members should be appointed by the Secretary of State. He will undertake to run the local authority services in the areas of the Greater London council and the metropolitan counties. That is wrong. The Government tell us that their aim is to devolve powers to the local authorities. If so, they ought to accept this modest amendment, which would make the members of the residuary bodies the nominees of the new joint committees which they have established.
§ Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)
This is an important issue. Our position has been made clear in the debate: that directly elected authorities will 839 become indirectly elected authorities by means of this strange beast, a creature of the Government, the residuary body.
I wish to draw attention to two specific aspects of the problem, to which I hope the Minister will pay careful attention. It was said during the Report stage in the other place by the Minister of State's colleague, Lord Gowrie, that many of the people who are now employed by the Greater London council and the metropolitan county councils will be employed by the residuary bodies. In planning the handover— the amendments refer to the method of the handover—it is vital that as many jobs as possible should be preserved. Those with technical expertise are irreplaceable for servicing whatever services remain to be run on a metropolitan countywide or Greater London councilwide basis.
As the transition to the residuary bodies and the joint committees, as envisaged in amendment No. 48, is planned and as we consider the membership of the joint committees and their method of working, they should be given the task of reflecting upon the way in which they can most effectively implement the ring fencing of many of the posts by ensuring that they are offered to those who would like to continue to use their expertise in local government.
Disagreement has been expressed by some employees of the seven local authorities. As was mentioned by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw), although many hon. Members have been well briefed by officers of the metropolitan counties and the GLC, sufficiently interested efforts have not been made by the unions representing those who are employed by the Greater London council and the metropolitan counties.
There have been notable exceptions. The Minister may remember that in Committee I moved amendments which, as he will know, emanated from NALGO in Greater London, and amendments were tabled in another place emanating from NALGO in the west midlands which were of interest and relevance to every person employed as a local government officer — people who were not supported by the NALGO national leadership. I say for the record, and without wishing to re-open old wounds, that many of the people in NALGO representing staff of the local authorities were disappointed that they were not better supported by their natural supporters, as they presume them, the Labour party, in this House and in the other place.
As I should like everybody to seek to remedy the position, I shall quote from Abolition News 6, a NALGO news bulletin produced by the west Midlands county branch abolition staff protection sub-committee dated only a couple of months ago. Indeed, there are later editions up to the most recent, Abolition News 8. Abolition News 6 says:We were desperately disappointed with the Labour Party's showing. We had all hoped for some action on the staffing issues, yet it's become plain both in the Lords and in the earlier debate in the Commons that they are not interested in talking about staff. This is at odds with the Party locally, who are very understanding and, we believe, genuinely anxious to help as indeed are a number of our own Councillors. We are sure they feel rather let down as well.It goes on to say, having condemned NALGO nationally, and commended my alliance partners and my party:The Government, of course, are laughing. Not only have they avoided an embarrassment in the Lords, they have scored a number of points off the Opposition in doing so, and have managed to show the Labour peers' `concern' for staff.840 It goes on to leave the members to judge for themselves the party's performance and the arguments about staffing.
The tragedy was that in the other place staffing came up on the day of the Ascot gold cup or some such important national event. Therefore, the Tory party decided to spin out the staffing debate, which is always less controversial, and got everybody back after Ascot for the crucial votes on the subsequent amendments concerning the residuary body. As, a result, there was no informed or expert debate there either.
The hon. Member for Coventry, South-East (Mr. Nellist)—I warned him that I would mention him, and I hope that it does him no harm — has regularly and consistently argued the case for people employed in local government in the seven authorities in question. He has done so justifiably because the Government's figures at the beginning were clearly wrong, and they had not thought through the implications for staffing. We have been watching the draining away of experienced officers. I was talking the other day to a senior legal officer of the GLC who was watching his colleagues disappear, leaving for jobs which are certain as opposed to staying in jobs which are uncertain and without any definite future, and leaving behind the others to try to hold together the muddle that is of the Government's creation.
While it is clearly not in question that local government is about services, and the jobs are there to provide those services, the Government have not understood the need for those people who will be necessary in these after lives that the Government will have US create by the amendment. The joint committee and the subsequent residuary bodies are being prepared for that, and people are not being given the opportunity to apply.
My main criticism goes to the Government, but it also goes to NALGO nationally which voted, by way of resolution at the annual conference, that its staff and members should boycott subsequent bodies. With no vested interest, I beseech NALGO to change its mind. This is not in the interests of local government officers who have given months, years or decades of service to local government in some authorities which, whatever their history, are among the most competent and experienced authorities in Britain with the greatest expertise. It is not in the interest of the members of staff for the union to tell them that they must have nothing to do with the successor authority.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
Why does the hon. Gentleman think that the national conference of NALGO is any less concerned about its membership than he? Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the union has decided that it has found the best way of protecting its members' jobs?
§ Mr. Hughes
I accept that the national conference of NALGO should be as concerned as I am. It should be more concerned, because it has a specific responsibility. However, if the Bill is enacted, the national conference will call for all-out industrial action. If it believes that that will advance the cause of its members, it is mistaken. I am not saying that the national conference is not interested. I am merely saying that its tactics are wrong and that I hope that it will think again. In the interests of the continuance of service in whatever form the Government have contrived to give us local government — a form for which no Opposition Member has argued—we want the best people doing the jobs that remain.
841 I plead with the Government to let the joint committee and the residuary body pass on early information on the jobs that will be left. Secondly, let those who represent the work force ensure that they allow its members to service theo successor bodies for the short interim period that will ensue. If the Bill is enacted without the Lords standing up to the Government again, we shall not have regional government in London. In the interim at least we shall have local government officers carrying on the services which were administered in readiness to re-enter a greater and better regional body which parties other than the Conservative party will bring about sooner than the Government would like.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
I shall begin by referring to ring fencing and stating that for several years I was one of NALGO's two parliamentary advisers. Those were in the days when NALGO was composed far more of officers who served their councils rather than their political masters. The real danger is that NALGO is beginning to drift into political subservience. I am not so worried by the remarks of the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) about some local government officer leaving the service. Some of the creatures appointed by Mr. Livingstone as assistant directors have been placed for their political knowledge. The sooner they go the better. In that way no one will have to pay compensation to them, unlike some of the creatures who were appointed to London Transport by Mr. Livingstone, to whom we had actually to pay money.
Having had experience of the previous reorganisation of local government, I appeal to NALGO and the staff union at county hall, which still exists despite the efforts of Livingstone and Co. to denigrate it, to remember that their first duty is to the public that they serve and the public that pay their salaries.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
If the chairman of the GLC would care to intervene, I shall be delighted to give way to him.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
The hon. Gentleman is too concerned about prostituting that high office that was once honourable actually to intervene.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I ask the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) to withdraw his last comment. It is a complete reflection on me as a Member of the House.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
The office of chairman of the GLC has been a highly honourable one and I am talking of the office and not the holder. I can visualise Sir Isaac Hayward and Bill Fiske whirling round in their graves if they knew of the way in which the office was now being used. I withdraw nothing from what I have said.
§ Mr. Straw
Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance. There are rules concerning the use of unparliamentary language. Hon. Members heard the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) claim that another hon. Member was prostituting 842 an office that he holds. I submit that that is unparliamentary language and that the hon. Gentleman should be required to withdraw the expression.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean)
It may have been strong language, but there was nothing unparliamentary about what was said.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
If it will help, I certainly make it clear that I mean no personal imputation against the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks), who decorates functions in the City when he turns up in his limousine and white tie and tails.
It is important for the staff to have their future safeguarded. That means that the information required by the London boroughs and other organisations should be swiftly provided.
§ Mr. Nellist
Does the hon. Gentleman think that the staff should have their futures safeguarded? How many staff should have their futures safeguarded? To which services does he refer? At which level of which metropolitan county and the GLC should they be safeguarded? For 15 to 18 months during the passage of this and previous Bills neither the Secretary of State nor the Minister has said which workers in which departments in which county council have a future to be safeguarded.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
That is a reasonable intervention, and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I say that I can speak only from my knowledge of London. Until the information is supplied in detail from county hall, no one can give an accurate answer.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
I shall not give way again. The hon. Gentleman can speak later if he wishes. Until county hall responds to the questions which the boroughs have been asking for months, no one can give the detailed answers which the hon. Gentleman and many others would like. It is certain—this is on the record—that we shall not make the mistake that we made last time in the re-organisation of London local government, when everyone's job was automatically guaranteed and when my borough of Camden finished up with three directors of finance and with one town clerk and three associate town clerks. That will not happen again.
The hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) raised the issue of ring fencing. At the moment, he is with his natural allies —the alliance—and I hope that he joins them soon. We need to ensure that the information comes forward. If NALGO is prepared to do the job that it once did, I believe that its members will co-operate.
The hon. Member for Blackburn quoted selectively, at great length, from the report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology. The report, which has been quoted three times already tonight, speaks in terms of decidingto concentrate on a selection of case studies".Who made the selection? The report states that it does nottouch in depth on the general subject of waste disposal".It is an interim report. The inquiry is "incomplete". Most of the evidence is "as yet unpublished". The Committee did not wish to pre-empt its "final report". The document is valuable as a guide, but not as anything authoritative. The House would be well advised to do no more than look at it as a guide, and not as a bible.
843 The hon. Member for Blackburn referred to the residuary bodies. I am glad that they are to be self-destructive—the sooner the better. I am equally happy with the appointment of Sir Godfrey Taylor as the provisional chairman of the London residuary body. Two things will happen. First, the intention of the House that borough government shall predominate in London as quickly as possible will come about. Secondly, I believe that that particular residuary body—
§ Mr. Tony Banks
Earlier in his speech the hon. Gentleman referred to Mr. Livingstone appointing his creatures. Does he not feel that Sir Godfrey Taylor, as a rabid Tory, is just the creature of the Secretary of State?
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
There is a great difference between a paid civil servant in local government—
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
As the record of any Government will show, if one is appointing a body to carry out one's policy, one appoints the best qualified people. I remind the hon. Gentleman that some people might have thought it fairer if the Government had appointed Mr. Livingstone as chairman of the residuary body! Quite a few people might have said that! The difference between the chairman of such a body and a civil servant should be clear, even to the hon. Gentleman. Again, that is proof that the blurring of the lines between politics and civil servants and local government officers has gone too far.
I hope that the residuary bodies will do their work more swiftly than the Government envisage. I believe that in London at any rate we can look forward to a three-year rather than a five-year life. In the end what matters is the information coming out to the boroughs from county hall and the districts in the other metropolitan counties.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees (Morley and Leeds, South)
I should like to refer to residuary bodies as they apply to west Yorkshire. It is understandable why much of the debate has properly concentrated on London, as it seems to have done during all the discussions in the past year, but there are places away from London. West Yorkshire is one of them.
I should like to refer to some of the remarks made by the hon. Members for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) and for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes). The hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate referred to NALGO. I was surprised at what he said. All that I know as a politician—and that is the reason why I am here — is that NALGO voted nine to one against affiliating to the Labour party. The hon. Gentleman also referred to his experience in the local government reforms of the past 20 years. I know that he has great experience. The first reform was in 1963, which set up the Greater London council. They got it wrong. I have always been sorry that Middlesex was abolished, for example. Whatever doorstep I go on in my county of west Yorkshire, in the old borough of Morley, which is now part of Leeds, nearly everybody tells me about their view of the mistake that was made in 1974. It looms much larger in those people's mind and experience than many of the issues that we raise on the Floor of the House. There is local feeling about local government reform.
In the House, we have a happy knack of getting it wrong. We get it wrong when we put the experts in, because the experts often know nothing about local 844 government, but think that they are translating the views of some large company, with marginal analysis on how to get things efficient and so on. But the people who know about the services that they get know that the House has made a mistake. We are now doing it in a completely different way, but we are making the same mistake, and equally getting it wrong. Nothing that I have heard in the past year will convince me otherwise.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
I have been consistent throughout. I opposed the creation of the GLC from the very outset. I was a borough man in those days, and that is a view that I have always kept.
§ Mr. Rees
On that occasion, which was just before I went to Yorkshire, I had a feel for the old county of Middlesex and I thought that Herbert Morrison was not just being dog in a manger about the old London county council. He was right about it. It could have been changed in more appropriate ways than were used at the time. That is why I am glad to hear from my hon. Friends, especially our Front Bench, that we are not merely talking of recreating the GLC in future, but of creating a strategic body that will be studied afresh. The GLC was not right, and the way in which the Government are abolishing it is wrong.
I live in Bermondsey when I am in London, and I was surprised at the story of Tories going to Ascot. I am a devotee of the hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Critchley), and thought that all that had changed. I thought that those Tories were now sergeant-majors, suburbans, and the children of the people for whom the Lord Chancellor rang his handbell at conference years ago. I can only assume that some of the old gentlemen Tories are still present in the other place. They are the sort of chaps who do not make snide remarks at by-elections about the marital status of candidates. In other words they are gentlemen, whatever else they may be.
When I first went to Yorkshire 25 years ago I was surprised to find a spirit afoot there that was akin to that in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The only bit of Yorkshire left now is north Yorkshire. In one of the Government's good centralising activities, Yorkshire was finished.
§ Mr. Richard Holt (Langbaurgh)
With respect, that is not accurate because the Government did away with north Yorkshire and made an abortion called Cleveland.
§ Mr. Rees
That is another matter and, in the hon. Gentleman's view, it probably proves that local government reform was a mistake.
It is extremely sad that only north Yorkshire is left. Last night I went to Huddersfield to hear the Huddersfield choral society, and all Yorkshire was present. When the choir sang the Hallelujah chorus, I thought, "I wonder what smart remarks that lot down in London would make about this." It was Yorkshire, but because of the Tory Government there is nothing but north Yorkshire left. That illustrates the mistake being made in this reform.
How will the residuary body work regarding the reorganisation of the police? Last night at the concert I asked many people what would happen about the west Yorkshire police, whether its headquarters would remain in Wakefield, and how the five district councils would deal with policing. Nobody seemed to know. I am convinced 845 that the reorganisation of the police in west Yorkshire cannot be left to appointees of either the Secretary of State for the Environment or the Home Secretary.
The question does not merely relate to policing and the number of policemen under each district council, but to the financing of the force. Under the existing west Yorkshire police, policing is provided for all parts of west Yorkshire, but not according to rateable value. Anyone who expects Leeds to pay more towards the precept that will go to the policing authority to provide more policing in Kirklees under the new arrangement, will find a different attitude and separate financing.
Who will advise on the policing aspect? Will it be Her Majesty's inspector for that part or the inspectorate in London? It cannot merely be the chief constable. In west Yorkshire we are extremely fortunate with our chief constable. The force did extraordinarily well during the miners' strike, calling in outside policemen perhaps only once. The policing was carried out with great sympathy and understanding, and I am extremely proud of the West Yorkshire police. I used to be responsible for practical policing, and I am extremely concerned about the West Yorkshire police because, apart from reading little bits in the newspapers, I do not know what is going on.
It is important not to put too much power in the hands of the Home Office. We should not allow abolition to become a ratchet step towards a national police force. What matters are local police forces and local committees. The only reason I have spoken tonight is that we have heard so little about the effect of the changes. It would be much better to allow elected representatives from the district councils to take part in police planning, because they will know far more about local needs than will any appointed person. We should remember the mistakes that the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate agrees were made in the past. It is one thing to get the drainage system wrong; it will be bad for west Yorkshire if police operations are arranged badly as a result of this aspect of local government reform. I agree with my hon. Friend for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) that elected local representatives should sit on the residuary bodies.
§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Giles Shaw)
With the leave of the House, I shall comment on the interesting points made by the right hon. Member for Morley and Leeds, South (Mr. Rees). I assure him that the residuary bodies will have no relationship with the police. The police will be governed by the joint boards that are established by the Bill. It might help the right hon. Gentleman to know that, in relation to west Yorkshire, to which he and I are completely devoted, the arrangements of the joint board will allow representation from each of the district councils in the area. There will be five representatives from Bradford, two from Calderdale, two from Kirklees, eight from Leeds and three from Wakefield, in addition to which there will be 11 magistrates.
I should also inform the right hon. Gentleman that the arrangements for the provision of the police will not alter geographically, and that the arrangements for the tripartite system will remain intact — the 50 per cent. funding from the local authorities, which will be precepted by the joint board on to the individual districts, and the 50 per cent. central Government funding.
846 Although the police authority will be a different body, it will still be formed largely of district council representatives and magistrates under the general Home Office arrangement that pertains now. The arrangement in west Yorkshire will run as well as it does today.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
For three years, the finances of the body, which, as the Minister of State rightly said, is not the residuary body, will be controlled by the Home Office.
§ Mr. Shaw
The right hon. Gentleman is right to say that, for three years, the Home Secretary has a residuary power to oversee the financial arrangements, should he be so minded, but it is hoped that the arrangements in relation to the efficiency and operation of the force will not require that intervention.
§ Mr. David Ashby (Leicestershire, North-West)
Although I represent a Leicestershire constituency, before I came to the House I was a member of the Greater London council for four years, during which time I chaired the housing committee and assisted in the dispersal of the housing stock to the boroughs. Therefore, I believe that I know something about the subject and have had much experience of the body which we are seeking tonight finally to abolish.
I wish that more members of the public knew how much support Labour Back-Bench Members are giving to their Front-Bench spokesmen tonight.
We have heard screams about lack of democracy. I expected more London Members to be on the Opposition Benches which are almost empty except for that occupied by the chairman of the GLC — I presume that he is called "chair" not "chairman".
§ Mr. Ashby
Longer than the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Snape). In my days the chair of the GLC was made of bog oak. I wonder what present members feel when they address that bog oak chair and call it "chair."
When I heard the right hon. Member for Morley and Leeds, South (Mr. Rees) I thought, "These councils come and these councils go — but fortunately the services continue." I pay tribute to the high quality of GLC staff. At the officer level it was as good as we could yet anywhere in the country. It was of very high standard. I am confident that those with whom I worked will continue to serve the GLC to the end in the spirit and tradition of the service.
Mistakes have been made. Mistakes were made in 1964 and 1974. They were intended to put right local government and they are accepted as being mistakes. When the Greater London council was created in 1964 it had many responsibilities such as for ambulance services. Within a few years it had shed that service and by 1978–79 it was beginning to shed other services.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
The hon. Gentleman should not use the word "shed" in relation to services by county hall. To my certain knowledge the GLC, of which I have been a member for many years, has never willingly given up its services. In most cases the services have been taken from county hall by Governments of both colours.
§ Mr. Ashby
The hon. Gentleman is wrong. The services were given up willingly. I willingly negotiated with others the giving up to the boroughs of the GLC's 847 housing stock. That was willingly done. One of the greatest housing empires—260,000 houses—was handed over to the boroughs. That move was resisted, but sense prevailed and only the other day Tower Hamlets finally took the last of the housing stock into its department. In the end this was done willingly because there was a housing department for the boroughs and a housing authority for the GLC. There is no reason for such duplication.
We are talking about the 1964 Act. In that year a fundamental mistake was made. We created large boroughs and the Greater London council because it was thought that one body should represent London. That was a mistake. Having created this great council, similar to county councils, we were left with the GLC which is an anomaly.
The GLC was given wholly unnecessary duplicated powers, and after 20 years we have now reached the sorry stage of needing to abolish it.
The hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) said that he would like regional councils instead, but what would they do beyond what the boroughs already do? The same duplication would be bound to occur.
§ 11 pm
§ Mr. Simon Hughes
Regional government, as most other countries of western Europe know and enjoy it, would have no duplicated powers with the boroughs. Powers would be devolved to it which are now exercised from Whitehall but which are better exercised at a regional level, leaving to the boroughs the services which are best run at a level closer to the people who use them.
§ Mr. Ashby
With the greatest respect, the hon. Gentleman knows that that is nonsense. In other European countries the boroughs do not have the powers that ours have. Our boroughs have education responsibilities but in almost every other European country those responsibilities are carried by the state. I cannot see what additional powers a regional authority would have apart from one or two wider planning functions which could be dealt with just as effectively by regional conferences as and when required rather than by setting up a regional authority with a vast bureaucracy to support it.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
I am trying to follow the hon. Gentleman's argument carefully because I know him to have been a reasonable person as a GLC member, although something seems to have happened to him since then.
The hon. Gentleman spoke of services being willingly given up the GLC. He knows that the GLC never willingly gave up its responsibilities for water and sewerage services, ambulance services or transport. As for duplication, why was transport taken from the GLC? Where was the duplication there?
§ Mr. Ashby
I thought that it was a little later. At any rate, London Transport was run with great difficulty by the GLC and the end of the GLC's responsibility for transport came when we saw people being appointed to the board on a purely political basis, people with no ability to run anything, and the whole thing became a farce. The Government then rightly took back what had been given because London Transport was not being run properly for 848 the benefit of the people of London. Like most Conservative Members, I use public transport in London. As chairman of the GLC the hon. Gentleman uses his limousine most of the time, but some of us have to use public transport and it is being run as well now as it ever was under the Conservative administration at county hall. I cannot see that anything has altered.
§ Mr. Ashby
How many of the items covered by the residuary bodies have ever appeared on a GLC agenda or even on a GLC committee agenda in their own right? None have appeared more than once in every four or five years. Why do we have to have a special body to deal with an administrative matter? Why do we have to turn discussion of these residuary matters into a great big talking shop? The Labour party has endeavoured feverishly to put across the Government's actions as anti-democratic.
§ Mr. Ashby
The alternative to the GLC would be abolition of the boroughs. That would be the only way in which to have unwasteful government. One can imagine the hue and cry from Opposition Members if we tried to do that and equate London with electricity councils.
If Londoners could remember some of the Labour actions, they would appreciate the need to abolish the GLC. I remember a marvellous occasion—Her Majesty the Queen's silver jubilee. It was a time of great rejoicing in the capital and many people were out in the streets enjoying themselves. In the same year, the Conservatives gained control of County hall. Before that, however, the Labour GLC was asked if it would like to present a loyal address to Her Majesty. It told Buckingham palace that, if she wanted a loyal address, she should drive up to County Hall and get it for herself. That was a disgraceful action and when we came to power, we apologised to Buckingham palace and went to present a humble address. We have witnessed such political action time and again. The Labour party wants people who acted in that way to run residuary services, not to ensure that they are wound up but to see that they are built up.
§ Mr. Nellist
The hon. Member for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) spoke of political actions. The possibility of people being disrespectful to the monarchy seemed rationale enough to him to stop them, being put on residuary bodies. When the Government introduced these measures 18 months ago, we were assured that it had nowt to do with the political colour of people on elected authorities who might be members of successor bodies. It was all to do with economics. It was all about unnecessary tiers of government. Now we hear the malicious voice of this Tory Government. It is about the fear of changing political attitudes in this country and what can happen to bodies in the future.
The hon. Member for Leicestershire, North-West categorised the bodies under discussion in this set of amendments as inconsequential. He spoke about matters as not coming up once in five years in normal council or county council agendas. Once the Bill is passed, the matters under discussion will be compensation, hard debts inherited from the metropolitan county and the former GLC and staffing transfers. They will talk about things like property. The hon. Member may not be aware, but when the West Midlands county council was set up some 11 849 years ago, it took 10 years to sort out the amalgamation of the property rights of the seven district councils which were the constituent bodies of the now West Midlands county council. We are not talking about a seven-way amalgamation but about a 195 way split, and these bodies are going to have full agendas in the future trying to sort out who owns the different houses and the different bits of property presently under the ownership of the metropolitan counties and the GLC.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
Is the hon. Member aware that at County Hall there is still litigation pending on claims outstanding from the LCC-GLC reorganisation in 1965?
§ Mr. Nellist
The point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) about the 20-years litigation which is still to be resolved, shows the seriousness of the discussion we are having and it ought to be treated seriously by Tory Members. I want to deal with the staffing implications of this clause and its implications in general.
I declare an interest, though it should not be necessary to do so, given the length of time this Bill was in Committee, in that I am a member of the West Midlands county council. I come from a region with well over one-third of a million people unemployed, where one in three families are on supplementary benefit. I come from a city where the unemployment level is 25 per cent. I have one ward in my constituency where the unemployment rate is over 50 per cent.
Here we are in the last 49 minutes of a discussion, and in my area 6,800 people presently working for the West Midlands county council, and tens of thousands who work for the GLC and the county councils in the other five metropolitan areas, still do not know what will happen to their jobs. The 6,800 people working for the West Midlands county council have, in the last two years, seen their lives being shattered by this Bill. Eighteen months ago they listened to the Secretary of State, who has not graced us much with his presence in this debate, though his Minister is still on the Bench, talking about saving £120 million. Now it is down to £100 million. He talked about cutting 9,000 jobs, but the latest figure is 7,100 and still we have not heard from any spokesman, official or unofficial of this Tory Government, on how they arrived at those figures. What is the breakdown county by county or service by service? We had to drag it out of certain Ministers in Committee. The fire service and the police service were not supposed to be having any staffing cuts, but still we have not heard whether that is true for clerical workers as well as for operational staff.
We have heard that cuts are not anticipated in waste disposal and archives, but our consumer services and coroners may cost more. Towards the end of the Committee stage it became clear that highways, planning and administration were the only services the Tories would target. We ought to be aware, as are working people outside this Chamber, that in some of the metropolitan county areas those three Services, if the Government are to meet the 7,100 target nationally for job cuts in this Bill will be making a 35 or 40 per cent. cut in staffing. Is that the real figure? The Minister of State has the opportunity to come to the Dispatch Box now and put at rest the minds of those workers up and down the country who are affected by this clause and the other clauses on staffing. I will give 850 him a chance. What services and which areas of the county are going to be affected by this Bill? The Minister does not know.
§ Mr. Nellist
I am not giving way after what I have been through today. The Minister is not taking the opportunity that I am offering him. Some Conservative Members have said that the figures cannot be given because trade unionists employed in the councils and the elected leadership of those councils have not co-operated with the Tory Government and given the necessary information. How, therefore, did the original targets come about? How did the Government arrive at the figures of £100 million and 7,100 if they did not have the information?
§ Mr. Nellist
As my hon. Friend reminds me, those figures were made up. Between the Royal Assent and March or April next year people will be asked to do three jobs as a result of the amendment that we are discussing. They will be asked to continue to provide the services that they were contracted to provide. They may be asked to work for a quango, a residuary body or a district council, and they will be asked to provide information to other quangos and Ministers. Those people are working under stress. About 400 workers have left the West Midlands county council during the past 10 months. We are seeing the beginning of the disintegration of some specialist teams. I shall not go into this in detail now and I did not have time to do so a couple of hours ago, but the specialist teams under threat are those engaged in toxic and hazardous waste disposal, the chemists, the biologists, and the hydrogeologists. They are the people who have the skills to deal with matters on a countywide basis. It is the rearrangement of services that the amendment deals with that worries me.
§ Mr. Nellist
I shall not give way, because I have nearly finished. The hon. Gentleman can follow me. This provision is not designed solely to meet the political targets that were dreamed up by Tory Ministers two or three years ago, it is a preparation for privatisation. It is no accident that during the past 18 months that we have debated this matter, we have seen, although not necessarily heard from, those Tory Members whose directorships and consultancies are with the firms that would like to take the pickings from the dismemberment of the metropolitan county councils and the GLC, in the form of such services as those dealing with private waste disposal and highway construction and some aspects of transport. Those Tory Members also disagree with the political policies of the elected leadership of the metropolitan county councils.
We have been told that no breakdown is available of the figures to show how the jobs will go if the Bill completes its passage through the House tonight. Abolition will cost millions of pounds more. Some people say that in the metropolitan county council area it will cost up to £69 million a year more to provide the level of services that is being provided now. All those services will deteriorate and people will lose their jobs.
The Labour party warns the House that that will all be changed when the Goverment are changed within the next 851 year or two. The Bill is not about abolishing the functions of the metropolitan county councils and the GLC but about abolishing councillors and their elected leadership. It is about abolishing the rights of 18 million people to elect the leadership of the metropolitan county councils and the GLC. The lessons learnt over the past 18 months during the passage of the Bill have been absorbed by working people, by those who work for the county councils and the trade unions who represent them. Those lessons will rebound on this Tory Government when we have a change of Government in the next year or so.
§ Mr. Wareing
When discussing the composition of the residuary bodies the Government are under an obligation to answer the many unanswered questions that have been asked in the House and the other place. We have not discussed economic development at great length when we have talked about the allocation of services among the districts, the joint boards and the residuary bodies.
Labour-controlled county councils have endeavoured to deal with the major social problem of mass unemployment. Since 1979, 700,000 redundancies have been created in the metropolitan area and the number of jobless has doubled to over 869,000. Seventeen per cent. of the work force in the metropolitan areas is unemployed. Many of these areas have an aging infrastructure and aging industries. Youth unemployment amounts to over 344,000 and the figure for the long-term jobless is well over 25,000. In those areas the economic development committees of local authorities have either saved or created 45,000 jobs and at an average of £600 per job this is far more cost effective than any of the regional programmes undertaken by either the Conservative Government or the previous Labour Government.
In areas such as Merseyside people have a right to know whether the residuary body will take over some responsibility for economic development companies, subsidiary companies like enterprise boards, and the Merseyside innovation centre, for example, which attempts to apply new technology to industry. We have the right to know whether or not the residuary body will have some scope in that particular area, because people's jobs depend on it. Small businesses depend upon the assistance of various economic development committees in the metropolitan areas.
I am the last person to promote the idea of a residuary body, but if there is to be a residuary body we should be talking about democratic county authorities. Even though I am not normally in accord with some of the economic ideas of the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermonsey (Mr. Hughes), we should be discussing the take-over by democratic authorities of regional facilities, such as water, area health authorities and gas and electricity distributive services. We should be talking about the spread of democracy, but in this last period of debate we have only the left-overs.
If a joint committee for Merseyside were established, and assuming that the district councils had a say in the appointment of its members, it would ask the Government why they are fragmenting the arts and culture services of Merseyside. As hon. Members know, like the GLC area, Merseyside has been allocated a trust which will take over certain museums and art galleries. Earlier this year Lord Gowrie reported in another place that the Croxteth country park and Croxteth hall, which are in the centre of my constituency, and Speke hall, which is in the constituency 852 of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden), would be transferred not to the trust but to the Liverpool city council. It has been said these are not museums of national significance, but what would be the cost to Liverpool?
The crisis which is facing the city of Liverpool has been brought about by the Government's financial constraints. There may be legal difficulties in transferring Speke hall to the Liverpool city council, as it is presently owned by the National Trust, although maintained by Merseyside county council, but Croxteth country park has undoubtedly been developed by Merseyside county council since 1974 in a way that would have been impossible for the Liverpool city council. The Earls of Sefton left the Croxteth estate to the Liverpool city council in the 1960s, and because of the expense involved they found great difficulty in renovating the hall and the area.
The county council has established a visitors' centre, and opened to the public the principal rooms in the hall, opened a rare breeds farm and a riding centre and developed the gardens surrounding this delightful spot, right in the centre of both Merseyside and my constituency. It has been listed by the English tourist board as among the top 20 fast-growing attractions in the country. The country park has recently received the Sandford award for heritage education for its highly successful educational programme. Many schemes have been presented, and much advice has been given by the Countryside Commission.
Some £1 million has been spent on a restoration programme at Speke hall, and the number of visitors to both these halls was above average in a time of recession. I appeal to the Government that, regardless of the difference between us in our reaction to local government reorganisation, they should be looking yet again at Croxteth country park and Speke hall. I hope that the Government will look on the amendment with some sympathy, and that the advice that Liverpool city council is unable to maintain and restore both Croxteth and Speke hall will be accepted.
The danger on Merseyside is that a real asset and part of Merseyside's heritage will simply disappear from the enjoyment not only of Merseysiders, but of people from all over the world, as was shown during the international garden festival. I ask the Minister to think again before he allows to go to seed the good work that has been done over the past 10 years by the Merseyside county council with these assets that are so vital to the people of the region.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
I am glad that the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) has returned, because I shall direct a few remarks to him. He could not have been more wrong when he suggested that I did not have the same sort of respect for the office of chairman of the GLC as either past holders of that office or past leaders of the GLC. He mentioned Sir Isaac Hayward. He will have known that person for more years than I did, but I had the pleasure of meeting him and talking to him on a number of occasions. I like to think that many of the finer points of local government that are enshrined within the GLC are attributable to the standards that Ike Hayward laid down. Although the policies are different, the same standards are being pursued by the present leadership of the GLC. If the hon. Gentleman gets a hint of resentment in my comments, he will, in this case, be correct.
853 There is little chance that the London residuary body or the successor bodies will be able to complete abolition and take-over by 1 April 1986. The reasons are clear. Nobody knew what the shape of the Bill would be. During its passage throught Parliament it has been dramatically and fundamentally altered. Staggering changes have been made since "Streamlining the Cities" was published. How could anybody work out what would have happened? We cannot be completely sure, even at this stage. Many hon. Members believe that this is the end of the matter, but the amendments that we have made will go the House of Lords where I feel there will be a backlash. The Bill will then be returned to this House, so we are reaching only the end of another stage in its passage. The Bill contains provisions relating to the implementation of all sorts of orders, so the ramifications of the abolition of the Greater London council and the metropolitan county councils will continue to occupy the attention of the House until 31 March 1986.
We heard earlier about the position of staff in the GLC and the metropolitan county councils. The staff of the GLC are in an extremely peculiar position. Between August and 1 April 1986 the staff of the GLC will be trying to perform three jobs. First, they will continue to carry out the services and functions of the GLC. Secondly, they will be working directly for a single borough council or a quango. Thirdly, they will have to answer requests for information from the 31 other boroughs, quangos or Ministers who will still be showering county hall with requests. Large numbers of staff will be transferred to the successor bodies, or they will be sacked. My hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South-East (Mr. Nellist) tried to get the Minister to say how many members of staff will be made redundant, but he was given no answer. The staff commission has been remarkably quiet. Perhaps we could be told what is happening. It has not been involved in implementing the transfer of staff and shows little sign of having made any plans. Local government will be thrown into complete confusion. The position is bad enough now, but it will get even worse between August and 31 March.
It is not surprising, given the uncertainties, that the GLC is losing a number of its key staff. Not unnaturally, they are thinking about their future careers, their family commitments and their mortgages. That is a normal human response to the problem that the Government have inflicted upon them, and it makes it even more difficult for the GLC and the metropolitan county councils to maintain the services that they are statutorily obliged to maintain until 31 March 1986.
Moreover, the future financial structure of London's government is still uncertain and will remain uncertain until, at the very earliest, December 1985. The boroughs will be unable to decide upon the level of funding of their services until they know their expenditure targets and grant related expenditure assessments, the level of rate capping, where that is appropriate, and the details of the London equalisation scheme. London boroughs will have just three months in which to plan their policies, appoint their staffs and get organised. It is a hopelessly unrealistic timetable. It would assist the boroughs and the residuary bodies if the Department of the Environment could give advice, but the civil servants are clearly driving by the seats of their 854 trousers because they do not know what the future holds and are making it up as they go along, just as the Government have made it up during the passage of this shameful Bill. The quangos, preparatory committees and joint authorities will not even meet until September, so they will have a maximum of seven months to try to implement the change-over.
I suppose that new office accommodation will be found for the London residuary body. In answering one of the few questions that I tabled, the Minister said that County hall might be used as accommodation for the London residuary body. That answer conflicts with another statement that County hall will be sold. Perhaps it will be sold to fund one of the charitable off-shore institutions that Ministers are hoping to set up.
We need answers to these questions. Although we have asked them many times, we have not yet been given satisfactory answers. The files, computer programs, information sytems and legal records that are with the GLC will have to be routed to scores of different destinations and made compatible with the information of the receiving bodies.
Proper joint working arrangements will have to be established, involving the creation of a consensus among the 32 London boroughs of differing political complexions on the polices to be pursued and the level of services to be given. The electorate has given no mandate or guidance on these matters. The Secretary of State will have to give guidance and make decisions on hundreds of local government issues when his civil servants have no direct experience or qualifications to enable them to do so. We have seen how true that is by noting the way in which the bill has been changed during its passage. It bears little relationship to the original legislation. The House is being asked to agree a dog's breakfast of a Bill.
Sorting out all the legal tangles that are involved in local government will cause many problems. We cannot dispose of major institutions and expect no legal problems. The successor body arrangements are not straightforward. We should remember what happened when the GLC was established. We cannot expect major disputes in the courts to drag on for ages.
We have heard a great deal about the co-operation between boroughs that will be forthcoming. My deputy chairman at county hall, the estimable Sandy Sandford, is a good Tory who is wholly opposed—
§ Mr. Banks
There is. I know at least two good Tories. I admit that one of them is now dead, Sandy Sandford says that there will not be voluntary co-operation, even between Tory boroughs. He speaks as a former chairman of planning at Westminster. He says that the worst problem that he ever had was not with Labour boroughs but in trying to achieve voluntary co-operation with the true blue Tory borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The Minister deceives himself and the House if he thinks that there will be much voluntary co-operation among the boroughs in London or among the districts in the metropolitan counties. It is interesting to note that litigation is still outstanding on the LCC-GLC re-organisation in 1965.
I cite one final statistic in a debate that has roamed wider than I expected. I am grateful for that. The GLC owns 12,234 properties and pieces of land. The legal documents relating to that ownership occupy four miles of 855 shelving. We do not have the time between now and 31 March even to dust all the files in four miles of shelving, never mind come back with an easy transition to the 175 successor bodies that the Minister claims will streamline the structure of local government in London and the metropolitan counties.
The Bill is now more of a mess than when it started its passage through Parliament. The fault for that lies entirely with the Government Front Bench and the people who have supported them because little or no thought went into the proposal. Therefore, the confusion that will undoubtedly come from the enactment of the Bill will be entirely of the Government's making, and they will live to rue the day.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
It is perhaps appropriate that the last speech to be made from the Opposition Benches in the long parliamentary proceedings of the Bill should be made by the present and, indeed, the last, chairman of the GLC.
§ Mr. Baker
Chair, I am sorry. The hon. Member has been a consistent opponent of the measure. In one little aside a moment ago, he referred to one of the few questions which he has put to my Department on the measure. One of the few questions? He asked well over 1,000 questions on the measure, costing the Government tens of thousands of pounds—he is the last of the big Oscars. He has certainly applied himself with energy to defending the GLC, and I will recognise that fact.
We are now in almost the 340th hour of debate on the measure, including the time spent in the other House. It has been very lengthily debated at all stages — one of the longest Bills for debate that we have had for many years.
The hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw), in moving the amendments, thanked all those people who had been briefing him over the last year or 18 months. It was a good briefing. We occasionally saw bits of it. It was certainly intense and voluminous. There was a team of 27 from the GLC working on it, I understand. I thought that the work provided by the metropolitan counties was of a better quality, and, for my money, better work. None the less, it was impressive, and, as he rightly said, it is rather unusual with any Bill going through the House for the Opposition to be as well briefed as Ministers.
There was great talk about the destruction of things —the destruction of services and of activities. The one thing that gave me some little pleasure as the Bill was going through and as I looked upon the serried ranks of the PR people in the galleries was that we were destroying the client base of many PR firms by abolishing the metropolitan counties, for they have benefited enormously from this exercise. Indeed, one of the features of this operation is the vast amount of money which has been spent on advertising, some £10 million, and in the course of the last few days, another £95,000 on four-page advertisements in the press.
§ Mr. Baker
My strictures are the same, whether I afflict my friends or my enemies, when I come to the enormous amounts of money which I think has been wasted in the PR campaign of the metropolitan counties.
856 If I may remind the House of the purpose of the amendments the Lords amendment allowed the co-ordinating committees to appoint one member, who would obviously be a councillor, to serve on the residuary body. The hon. Member for Blackburn, in moving the amendment some two hours ago, sought to say that all 10 members of the residuary body should be elected councillors. I would resist that. He is aware, but other hon. Members may not be, of the role of the residuary bodies. It is to operate exactly as the residuary legatee of the six metropolitan counties and of the GLC. It is there to wind up the functions such as management of the debt, management of the mortgage book and management of superannuation schemes and pension schemes, continuing functions which, in some cases, as regards the metropolitan counties, could well be taken over by lead boroughs. There is talk of co-operation or lack of it, but outside London I am well aware of various fairly secret discussions which have been taking place among Labour districts where they will volunteer—
§ Mr. Baker
They do not like to be named for the simple reason that it is still the official policy of the Labour party not to co-operate. It is the official policy of the national executive not to co-operate. It is the official policy of the TUC not to co-operate. We know that many plans are being laid and that some of the functions which may go to the residuary body in London will be done by lead boroughs in the other metropolitan areas.
I support what the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) said about the need for co-operation. Contrary to what the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) said towards the end of his speech, the Government and the Staff Commission will not be to blame if there is no co-operation. Hostility has been engendered by certain unions but not by all. Some branches of some unions have been hostile, but not all, and have refused to co-operate with the commission or ourselves. The commission has opened discussions with many unions. It has already issued six circulars defining ring fencing. I have heard today that certain Labour-controlled London borough councils will refuse to comply with ring fencing unless directed by the Secretary of State. I understand that one of the west midlands district councils has decided not to co-operate, under pressure from the unions.
It is not in the interests of council staffs or union members to take that attitude. When the Bill receives the Royal Assent — I hope that that will take place next week — I hope that attitudes will change and that there will be co-operation on the part of boroughs, district councils and unions. Some branches of unions have seen me. The west midlands NALGO branch has talked and there has been a series of fruitful meetings and discussions with it. I have talked also to some of the staff associations. That is the way forward.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has written to Mr. Jarvis, the chairman of the trades union local government committee. He wrote:We remain willing to open negotiations with your member local government unions. There are matters on which we are prepared to be flexible in the expectation that your member unions will come to the negotiating table in a constructive and realistic way.I hope that, now the Bill is almost on the statute book, there will be a change of heart among the unions which are 857 still sticking out to oppose it. Members on both sides of the House are concerned about the interests and well-being of the staff. We have already made arrangements through some of the amendments in another place to arrange early retirement schemes for the successor authorities so that they can take on more of the staff of the authorities that are to be abolished.
In the way forward, as we move towards the date—
§ Mr. Baker
—I hope that the transition will be smooth, as that will be in the interests of the residents of all the conurbations that will be affected, and of London. It will be in the interests of the ratepayers of those areas and in the interests of the staff of the authorities that will be abolished. I hope that that co-operation will come about.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The House divided:Ayes 188, Noes 316.860
|Division No. 261]||11.48 pm|
|Alton, David||Craigen, J. M.|
|Anderson, Donald||Cunliffe, Lawrence|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Dalyell, Tam|
|Ashdown, Paddy||Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)|
|Ashton, Joe||Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)|
|Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)||Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Deakins, Eric|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Dewar, Donald|
|Barnett, Guy||Dixon, Donald|
|Barron, Kevin||Dobson, Frank|
|Beckett, Mrs Margaret||Dormand, Jack|
|Beith, A. J.||Dubs, Alfred|
|Bell, Stuart||Duffy, A. E. P.|
|Benn, Tony||Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.|
|Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)||Eadie, Alex|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Eastham, Ken|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Evans, John (St. Helens N)|
|Blair, Anthony||Ewing, Harry|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Fatchett, Derek|
|Boyes, Roland||Faulds, Andrew|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Field, Frank (Birkenhead)|
|Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)||Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Fisher, Mark|
|Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)||Flannery, Martin|
|Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)||Foot, Rt Hon Michael|
|Bruce, Malcolm||Forrester, John|
|Buchan, Norman||Foster, Derek|
|Caborn, Richard||Fraser, J. (Norwood)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald|
|Campbell, Ian||Freud, Clement|
|Campbell-Savours, Dale||Garrett, W. E.|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||George, Bruce|
|Cartwright, John||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Godman, Dr Norman|
|Clarke, Thomas||Golding, John|
|Clay, Robert||Gould, Bryan|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||Hamilton, James (M'well N)|
|Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)||Hancock, Mr. Michael|
|Cohen, Harry||Hardy, Peter|
|Coleman, Donald||Harman, Ms Harriet|
|Conlan, Bernard||Harrison, Rt Hon Walter|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton North)||Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith|
|Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Corbett, Robin||Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Home Robertson, John|
|Cowans, Harry||Howells, Geraint|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Hoyle, Douglas|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport East)||Pendry, Tom|
|Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)||Pike, Peter|
|Hughes, Simon (Southwark)||Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)|
|Janner, Hon Greville||Prescott, John|
|Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd)||Radice, Giles|
|John, Brynmor||Randall, Stuart|
|Johnston, Sir Russell||Redmond, M.|
|Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)||Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Richardson, Ms Jo|
|Kennedy, Charles||Roberts, Allan (Bootle)|
|Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)|
|Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil||Robertson, George|
|Kirkwood, Archy||Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)|
|Lambie, David||Rogers, Allan|
|Leighton, Ronald||Rooker, J. W.|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Lewis, Terence (Worsley)||Rowlands, Ted|
|Litherland, Robert||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)||Sheerman, Barry|
|Lofthouse, Geoffrey||Sheldon, Rt Hon R.|
|Loyden, Edward||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|McCartney, Hugh||Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)|
|McDonald, Dr Oonagh||Silkin, Rt Hon J.|
|McKelvey, William||Skinner, Dennis|
|Maclennan, Robert||Smith, C.(lsl'ton S & F'bury)|
|McNamara, Kevin||Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)|
|McTaggart, Robert||Snape, Peter|
|McWilliam, John||Soley, Clive|
|Madden, Max||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Marek, Dr John||Stott, Roger|
|Marshall, David (Shettleston)||Strang, Gavin|
|Mason, Rt Hon Roy||Straw, Jack|
|Maxton, John||Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)|
|Maynard, Miss Joan||Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)|
|Meadowcroft, Michael||Thorne, Stan (Preston)|
|Michie, William||Tinn, James|
|Millan, Rt Hon Bruce||Wallace, James|
|Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)||Wareing, Robert|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||White, James|
|Nellist, David||Williams, Rt Hon A.|
|Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon||Winnick, David|
|O'Brien, William||Woodall, Alec|
|O'Neill, Martin||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Park, George||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Parry, Robert||Mr. Allen McKay and|
|Patchett, Terry||Mr. Frank Haynes.|
|Adley, Robert||Bright, Graham|
|Alexander, Richard||Brinton, Tim|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Brittan, Rt Hon Leon|
|Amess, David||Brooke, Hon Peter|
|Ancram, Michael||Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)|
|Ashby, David||Browne, John|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Bruinvels, Peter|
|Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.||Bryan, Sir Paul|
|Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)||Buck, Sir Antony|
|Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)||Budgen, Nick|
|Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y)||Burt, Alistair|
|Baldry, Tony||Butcher, John|
|Batiste, Spencer||Butler, Hon Adam|
|Bellingham, Henry||Butterfill, John|
|Bendall, Vivian||Carlisle, John (N Luton)|
|Benyon, William||Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)|
|Best, Keith||Carttiss, Michael|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Cash, William|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Chalker, Mrs Lynda|
|Biggs-Davison, Sir John||Chapman, Sydney|
|Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Chope, Christopher|
|Body, Richard||Churchill, W. S.|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)|
|Bottomley, Peter||Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)|
|Bottomley, Mrs Virginia||Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)|
|Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n)||Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Clegg, Sir Walter|
|Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard||Colvin, Michael|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Coombs, Simon|
|Cope, John||Hubbard-Miles, Peter|
|Corrie, John||Hunt, David (Wirral)|
|Couchman, James||Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hunter, Andrew|
|Crouch, David||Irving, Charles|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina||Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)|
|Dicks, Terry||Jones, Robert (W Herts)|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Jopling, Rt Hon Michael|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.||Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith|
|Dover, Den||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward||Key, Robert|
|Dunn, Robert||King, Roger (B'ham N'field)|
|Durant, Tony||King, Rt Hon Tom|
|Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)||Knight, Greg (Derby N)|
|Eggar, Tim||Knowles, Michael|
|Emery, Sir Peter||Lamont, Norman|
|Evennett, David||Lang, Ian|
|Eyre, Sir Reginald||Latham, Michael|
|Fairbairn, Nicholas||Lawler, Geoffrey|
|Fallon, Michael||Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel|
|Farr, Sir John||Lee, John (Pendle)|
|Favell, Anthony||Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)|
|Fenner, Mrs Peggy||Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark|
|Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey||Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)|
|Fletcher, Alexander||Lightbown, David|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Lilley, Peter|
|Forman, Nigel||Lloyd, Ian (Havant)|
|Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)||Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)|
|Forth, Eric||Lord, Michael|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Norman||Lyell, Nicholas|
|Fox, Marcus||McCrindle, Robert|
|Franks, Cecil||McCurley, Mrs Anna|
|Fraser, Peter (Angus East)||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Freeman, Roger||MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)|
|Fry, Peter||MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)|
|Gale, Roger||Maclean, David John|
|Galley, Roy||McQuarrie, Albert|
|Gardiner, George (Reigate)||Madel, David|
|Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)||Major, John|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Malins, Humfrey|
|Goodlad, Alastair||Malone, Gerald|
|Gow, Ian||Maples, John|
|Gower, Sir Raymond||Marland, Paul|
|Grant, Sir Anthony||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Greenway, Harry||Mates, Michael|
|Gregory, Conal||Mather, Carol|
|Griffiths, Sir Eldon||Maude, Hon Francis|
|Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)||Mawhinney, Dr Brian|
|Grist, Ian||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|Grylls, Michael||Mayhew, Sir Patrick|
|Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)||Mellor, David|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Merchant, Piers|
|Hanley, Jeremy||Miller, Hal (B'grove)|
|Hannam, John||Mills, Iain (Meriden)|
|Hargreaves, Kenneth||Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)|
|Harris, David||Mitchell, David (NW Hants)|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Moate, Roger|
|Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael||Montgomery, Sir Fergus|
|Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)||Moore, John|
|Hawksley, Warren||Morris, M. (N'hampton, S)|
|Hayes, J.||Moynihan, Hon C.|
|Hayhoe, Rt Hon Barney||Mudd, David|
|Heathcoat-Amory, David||Murphy, Christopher|
|Heddle, John||Neale, Gerrard|
|Henderson, Barry||Needham, Richard|
|Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael||Nelson, Anthony|
|Hickmet, Richard||Neubert, Michael|
|Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.||Newton, Tony|
|Hind, Kenneth||Nicholls, Patrick|
|Hirst, Michael||Norris, Steven|
|Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)||Onslow, Cranley|
|Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)||Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.|
|Holt, Richard||Osborn, Sir John|
|Hordern, Sir Peter||Ottaway, Richard|
|Howard, Michael||Page, Sir John (Harrow W)|
|Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)||Page, Richard (Herts SW)|
|Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)||Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil|
|Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)||Parris, Matthew|
|Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)||Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn)|
|Pattie, Geoffrey||Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)|
|Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth||Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)|
|Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian||Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)|
|Pollock, Alexander||Stokes, John|
|Portillo, Michael||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Sumberg, David|
|Powley, John||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Price, Sir David||Taylor, John (Solihull)|
|Proctor, K. Harvey||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Pym, Rt Hon Francis||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Raffan, Keith||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Raison, Rt Hon Timothy||Terlezki, Stefan|
|Rathbone, Tim||Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.|
|Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)||Thompson, Donald (Calder V)|
|Renton, Tim||Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)|
|Rhodes James, Robert||Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Thornton, Malcolm|
|Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas||Thurnham, Peter|
|Ridsdale, Sir Julian||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Rifkind, Malcolm||Tracey, Richard|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)||Trippier, David|
|Robinson, Mark (N'port W)||Trotter, Neville|
|Roe, Mrs Marion||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Rossi, Sir Hugh||van Straubenzee, Sir W.|
|Rost, Peter||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Rowe, Andrew||Viggers, Peter|
|Rumbold, Mrs Angela||Waddington, David|
|Ryder, Richard||Wakeham, Rt Hon John|
|Sackville, Hon Thomas||Walden, George|
|Sainsbury, Hon Timothy||Walker, Bill (T'side N)|
|Scott, Nicholas||Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)|
|Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)||Wall, Sir Patrick|
|Shelton, William (Streatham)||Waller, Gary|
|Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)||Ward, John|
|Shersby, Michael||Wardle, C. (Bexhill)|
|Silvester, Fred||Watson, John|
|Sims, Roger||Watts, John|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Wells, Sir John (Maidstone)|
|Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)||Wheeler, John|
|Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)||Whitfield, John|
|Soames, Hon Nicholas||Whitney, Raymond|
|Speller, Tony||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Spencer, Derek||Wolfson, Mark|
|Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)||Wood, Timothy|
|Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)||Woodcock, Michael|
|Squire, Robin||Yeo, Tim|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Steen, Anthony||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Stern, Michael||Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones and|
|Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)||Mr. Archie Hamilton.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ It being after Twelve o'clock, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the order of the House this day, to put the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour.