HC Deb 23 July 1985 vol 83 cc990-1012
Mr. Speaker

Before we debate the order, I remind the House that the scope of the debate is on the reasons for and the merit of increasing the maximum salary payable to the Lord Chancellor to the extent specified. I appreciate that there may be a desire to debate wider issues and I remind the House that there will be the opportunity to do so tomorrow on the Adjournment motion and, by good fortune, on the Consolidated Fund Bill.

12.15 am
The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)

I beg to move, That the draft Lord Chancellor's Salary Order 1985, which was laid before this House on 18th of July, be approved. The House will recall that a similar order was debated on 20 July last year. On that occasion the right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams) and I were the only Members to comment on the Lord Chancellor's salary. This evening I note the mood is somewhat different. I am, of course, aware that interest is not confined to this single order, and I shall seek to refer to the wider issues raised by the Top Salaries Review Body recommendations, having regard, Mr. Speaker, to your ruling. However, I should first like to comment upon the important but relatively new issue contained in the order.

The order arises from the link between the salary of the Lord Chief Justice and that of the Lord Chancellor. In May 1983 the TSRB recommended for the first time that the Lord Chancellor should be paid rather more than the Lord Chief Justice. This was to recognise his pre-eminent position in the judiciary'. The principle of this recommendation was accepted by the Government. It was proposed that the Lord Chancellor should be paid £2,000 per year more than the Lord Chief Justice. This proposal was contained in the Ministerial and Other Salaries Order 1983 which was approved by the House on 26 July of that year without a Division.

The arrangements approved then mean that, whenever Government acceptance of TSRB recommendations causes a change in the salary of the Lord Chief Justice, a new Order in Council is required to alter the Lord Chancellor's salary accordingly. This order provides for the Lord Chancellor to be paid an annual salary of £71,500 from 31 July 1985 until 28 February 1986; and an annual salary' of £77,000 for any subsequent period. These two stages reflect the Government's proposals to phase implementation of the recommended increase for the Lord Chief Justice, which of course is an increase set in the context of the wider TSRB recommendation for some 1,900 most senior members of the public sector.

I turn to the wider issues of the TSRB recommendation which have occasioned the order.

Sir John Page (Harrow, West)

Will my right hon. Friend tell the House whether the salary paid to the Lord Chancellor means that he has some means of appointing the Lord Chief Justice? How is the Lord Chief Justice appointed.

Mr. Biffen

By the Prime Minister.

The TSRB's recommendations extend beyond the judiciary to include the salaries of a limited number of senior civil servants and senior members of the armed forces. Furthermore, for this year the TSRB report departed from the more normal practice and instituted a comprehensive review which considered not only salary levels, but also structures. It commissioned Hay-MSL management consultants to report on the pay of senior open structure civil servants and senior officers in the armed forces. In addition, the Office of Manpower Economics carried out a survey of remuneration in the private sector at levels of responsibility broadly corresponding to senior levels in the Civil Service and the armed forces. The Office of Manpower Economics also undertook a survey of earnings at the Bar.

Thus, in producing its recommendations, the review body took into account such evidence as it could on recruitment, retention, motivation and morale, as well as the rewards available at comparable levels of responsibility in other walks of life. Bearing these factors in mind, the TSRB recommended substantial salary increases and widening of differentials among the members of these groups. Implementing its recommendations would increase the pay bill in a full year by 12.2 per cent. for senior civil servants, by 17.6 per cent. for senior members of the armed forces and by 16.3 per cent. for the judiciary; or, taking the groups together, an overall increase of the order of 15 per cent.

Mr. Dave Nellist (Coventry, South-East)

Does not the Leader of the House consider it hypocritical of his Government to offer 30, 40 and 50 per cent. rises in the pay of a few senior civil servants, judges, generals and other members of the armed forces and, within 24 hours, to argue that youngsters on £29.71 in their first few months of training in hairdressing are getting too much and are pricing themselves out of jobs?

Mr. Biffen

No, I do not regard the stance that the Government have adopted as hypocritical.

Mr. Dennis Canavan (Falkirk, West)

Judges do not need hairdressers; they wear wigs.

Mr. Biffen

It is one of measured realism, given the very difficult task that the Government have had to discharge.

The TSRB did not suggest that there were imminent substantial resignations among those covered by the report. It believed, however, that problems were developing for the medium term. Paragraph 47 of the report indicates that those in the public service with the potential to reach the senior posts were increasingly seeking jobs elsewhere with better financial prospects. This was a major factor in persuading the TSRB to make recommendations to provide rewards in keeping with the responsibilities undertaken.

Mr. Robert N. Wareing (Liverpool, West Derby)

If it is part of the Government's case that it is difficult to recruit the necessary judges and generals, is he seriously telling the House that it would he very difficult for the Government to recruit another Lord Chancellor? Surely that is the ultimate in ludicrous comment.

Mr. Biffen

The hon. Gentleman is setting his own standards for ludicrous comment. It is clear that the Lord Chancellor's position is related entirely to that of the Lord Chief Justice. The main burden of the reports that it is the view of the Top Salaries Review Body that, unless action is taken by the revision in pay structures that it suggests, there is a danger that ultimately the standards will decline.

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

Will my right hon. Friend help me about the head of the judiciary? I was under the impression that the Lord Chancellor was appointed, or dis-appointed, on the advice of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister as a party politician. I thought that a Lord Chancellor came and went with the Government in office. Stripping away the wig and the fine gown, is he not a politician like the rest of us? Why is the Lord Chancellor of England suddenly ceasing to be a politician and becoming a judge? He is either one or the other.

Mr. Biffen

My hon. Friend takes a rather more severe view of Lord Chancellors than I do. I say in all seriousness that, if anyone supposes that the Lord Chancellor is just another politician, he simply fails to understand the nature of our forms of government.

The Government agree in principle. There is no popular way of awarding pay increases to top earners in the public sector. Even so, the Government do not believe that they can disregard the evidence, conclusions and recommendations of the TSRB report. Such a course would be detrimental to the ultimate performance of the public service.

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

In saying that the Government are more or less obliged to accept the Top Salaries Review Body's report, will the right hon. Gentleman cast his mind back to an occasion when the Government decided not to implement a TSRB report? He said in 1983: We have still to make our own political judgment about art issue sensitive in its economic and social consequences … I reiterate that we have to make our personal and political judgment on this issue. It is redolent with economic implications far greater than the actual sums involved."—[Official Report, 19 July 1983; Vol. 46, c. 271.] Is not that the case on this issue?

Mr. Biffen

That can certainly be argued. I remember that occasion very well. The House decided to arrive at a formula for the pay of Members of Parliament, having regard to ultimate linkage with the Civil Service, which reached a conclusion not far different from that recommended by Lord Plowden.

Our proposal is to phase the implementation of the increases within the year. Almost all of those concerned will receive half of the recommended increase, with a minimum of 5 percent. from 1 July 1985. The balance will be received with effect from 1 March 1986.

These increases have been contrasted with our treatment of doctors and nurses. I remind the House how we have acted in response to other review body reports. The recommendations of the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body have been fully implemented since 1 June. The first stage of implementing the reports of the Review Body for Nursing Staff took effect from 1 April. The balance of the recommended increases will be paid on 1 February 1986. We accepted those review body recommendations for pay increases and revision of salary structures, as we have now accepted the recommendations of the TSRB.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that the Government have been insensitive in deciding to implement the TSRB proposals so soon after accepting those lower pay increases recommended by other review bodies for doctors and nurses and while no settlement has been reached for teachers' pay.

There are two points that I should make here. The first is that in July, in respect of teachers' pay, we undertook to make more resources available if an acceptable agreement could be reached on teachers' duties and career structures. There is now no prospect of reaching such an agreement which could be implemented and financed this year. Secondly, if an acceptable agreement can be reached by October 1985, additional resources will still be made available for 1986–87.

Mr. Frank Cook (Stockton, North)

The Leader of the House has referred in some detail to the requirements that have been requested of the teachers to justify an enhanced award. The Secretary of State for Education and Science, at Question Time today, used a slightly different term. He talked of flexibility. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what flexibility we can expect from field marshals, High Court judges and top civil servants?

Mr. Biffen

I believe that they will discharge their duties as senior public servants without meriting a lot of the snide comments that are now being made. There is an earnest desire on these Benches to see a speedy——

Mr. Cook

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. My request for details of flexibility on the part of field marshals was in no way——

Mr. Speaker

Order. I cannot answer the hon. Gentleman on that.

Mr. Biffen

Perhaps we both have that difficulty, Mr. Speaker.

More generally, it is inevitable that the TSRB recommendations will be taken into account in a range of public sector negotiations, at whatever time the announcement is made. I have to say that I do not believe that our decisions would have been any less contentious if we had delayed announcing them until the return of Parliament in the autumn or until some point in the summer recess. There is never a right time to increase the salaries of those who earn most in the public service. The central challenge is the decision itself; it cannot be willed away by subtle timing.

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us when someone is reluctant to become Lord Chancellor, an admiral or field marshal because of the current pay scales? Is there not plenty of evidence, however, to show that people are leaving the teaching profession simply because they cannot afford to be teachers? Schools and the community are losing dedicated people who are fed up with being paid inadequately.

Mr. Biffen

The problem of recruitment and retention of those in the senior public sector posts is described in paragraph 47 of the report, which I commend to the hon. Gentleman.

There has also been considerable opposition from those who want a public sector which does not admit senior positions carrying substantial salaries. Opposition Members delight in playing the populist card of equality. But confronted with the challenge of authority and the responsibility of government, we know that the Labour party behaves differently. In December 1974 the Labour Government accepted to be paid in two stages the TSRB recommendations for an average increase for senior civil servants, senior members of the armed forces and the judiciary of more than 28 per cent.

Mr. Ron Leighton (Newham, North-East)

Should we not cut the hypocritical cackle? Are we not agreeing to a gravy train for the rich and nothing for the rest?

Mr. Biffen

I thought that the hon. Gentleman gave an almost knee-jerk reaction, as he bhz to his feet as a member of a print union, when he heard of a pay increase of 28 per cent.

Again, on 4 July 1978, the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Callaghan) announced the Government's acceptance of an average 35 per cent. pay increase for these groups. That increase was staged as the TSRB recommended—the Government merely accepted its proposal. The recommended salaries were adopted in full for pension purposes from 1 April 1978.

The written answer in which these Government decisions were announced cuts through the bombast and moralising that we have heard these past five days. It shows the reality which any future Labour Government would have to recognise no less than their predecessors.

Although my speech has ranged over the issues raised by the TSRB report, in concluding I should remind the House that Government have already taken their view on the report. This evening, one specific issue requires our approval—the Lord Chancellor's salary. In 1983 there was no Division on this. Last year, only 14 Members voted against it. I realise an Opposition captive to populist passion will turn turtle this evening. The House should not heed such opportunism. I commend to my hon. Friends the order and the policy that sustains it.

12.32 am
Mr. Peter Shore (Bethnal Green and Stepney)

Why the House is so full at this time of night and why the issue raised in this order is so explosive is really plain to everyone—except, perhaps, Cabinet Ministers. What the country wants to know is why the Government, officially pursuing a 3 per cent. per annum public sector pay policy, reluctantly forced to concede 5.6 per cent. to the nurses and still stubbornly resisting 6 per cent. plus for the teachers, are happy to concede much higher increases—16.6 per cent. for the Lord Chancellor—to those at the highest level in the public service.

Why, people are asking, should stringency and restraint apply to those on average and below-average earnings and generosity and open-handedness be shown to those who are already among the highest paid in the land? Several reasons have been advanced both by the Leader of the House in his speech and earlier by the Prime Minister in her exchange with my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) in the House this afternoon.

Let me run over the arguments that have been advanced and say straight away that none of them stand up to serious scrutiny. First, as the Leader of the House said, the Lord Chancellor's salary — currently £66,000 per annum — must rise to £77,000 per annum from 1 March 1986 because the Lord Chief Justice will be receiving £75,000 per annum at that date. The Lord Chancellor has to be £2,000 per annum better off than the Lord Chief Justice. Such a differential may have become a convention, but it is certainly not mandatory upon the Government to accept it. Even if it was, it merely calls into question why the Lord Chief Justice should be elevated from his present £64,000 per annum to £75,000 on 1 March 1986.

The second reason advanced, to use the language familiar to all those who have listened to recent speeches of the Secretary of State for Education and Science, is that such increases are claimed to be necessary to retain, recruit and motivate if not the teachers, then the Lord Chancellor and those at the highest level of the public service. To those who know the Lord Chancellor, not to mention the aspirants to his post, such an assertion can only be described as ludicrous.

Thirdly, it is argued that the Government are bound by the recommendations of the independent Top Salaries Review Body, which was set up specifically to make recommendations in this difficult area. That argument has a little force, but independent review is precisely what the teachers have been asking for and what they have been denied. As hon. Members know very well from their own experience, in June 1983, the same independent review body recommended a salary of £19,000 for Members of Parliament. The Government rejected that recommendation, and only after considerable controversy, agreed to stage the pay of Members of Parliament over four and a half years.

Mr. Geoffrey Dickens (Littleborough and Saddleworth)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at the time of that pay review, many Members of Parliament thought that a 31 per cent. increase was quite obscene against a background of asking the nation to tighten its belt? For the sake of increasing the salaries of the Lord Chancellor and other top people, are not we running the risk of putting ourselves in exactly the same position that we fought against previously?

Mr. Shore

The only thing I am sure of is that the hon. Gentleman will be joining us in the Division Lobby later tonight.

Next there is the assertion—trotted out last Friday by the Lord Privy Seal and the Chief Secretary and today by the Prime Minister — that in 1978 the last Labour Government accepted a pay increase for the senior levels of the public service of some 35 per cent. I have two comments. First, the 1978 award was staged not over nine months but over two years and three months. If the Government wish to align themselves with the practice of the last Labour Government, and stage the proposed increases over the next two and a quarter years, we and the nation might take a somewhat less hostile view of what is being proposed.

The second point, which this comparison with 1978 omits, is the fact that, whereas top people in the public service during the five years of the last Labour Government had pay increases that fell substantially short of both increases in the cost of living and average earnings, since May 1979, when the present Government took over, they will by 1 March 1986 have received no less than a 246 per cent. increase in the case of the Lord Chancellor, a 132 per cent. increase in the case of permanent secretaries, and a 128 per cent. in the case of the Lord Chief Justice, compared with the cost of living increase of approximately 80 per cent. and increases in average earnings of approximately 95 per cent. What a contrast!

The last reason for this increase that could be advanced—interestingly, it has not been, although in my view it is the only one that carries any weight—is the state of morale and motivation of the Civil Service, so severely damaged by six years of Conservative rule. The report of the Top Salaries Review Body stated: the picture we have formed is a highly disturbing one. Morale in the Civil Service, if not commitment and motivation, appears to be at an exceptionally low ebb and this impression has been confirmed by individuals with long and wide experience of the Civil Service". The reason why morale is so low, according to the report, is that, in contrast with those in industry and commerce, seen as the wealth producing part of the economy, many Civil Servants although personally convinced of the value of the jobs they perform in the public service, have come increasingly to feel that they are regarded as in some sense parasitic. It is felt, rightly or wrongly, that the Civil Service has declined in public and ministerial esteem and it is seen by many as offering a markedly less worthwhile career than hitherto. That is correct. The way to solve that problem is not through a massive increase in top public service pay but through a fundamental change in the attitudes of Ministers towards the public services, and if that change is to take place, it must begin with the Prime Minister.

Those who may still be in doubt about the wisdom of the order and the generality of pay increases in the higher judiciary, to which the Lord Chancellor's salary is linked, may like to be reminded of some words of the Lord Chancellor when he addressed the Common Law Bar Association in London as recently as 3 July of this year. The Daily Telegraph reported: To those who claimed that the level of earnings at the 13ar was so high that the best candidates did not make themselves available for appointment as judges, he replied that it was, in general, false … 'It is rare indeed for a High Court judgeship to be declined, and not many refuse the circuit bench'. The Lord Chancellor went on, according to the report, to say that he regarded judicial work as the real crown of a legal career for the absence of which money alone cannot compensate. Judicial work was a privilege, a pleasure and a duty and was one of the highest forms of public service. It conferred not only status and prestige, but the opportunity to serve the country, one's fellow man and the glorious heritage we have received from our predecessors. I agree with the noble and learned Lord. His words apply not only to his own post as Lord Chancellor and to the higher judiciary but to the top echelons in the Civil Service and the armed forces. In a period of general public sector pay stringency, it is wrong and provocative to give those at the top so generous a settlement.

Taking the decisions of the last few weeks together, it must appear to the nation that the Government have three separate and contradictory pay policies according to people's levels of pay. For those on the lowest pay, the incentive to work seems to be to pay them less. That is why only last week the Government removed the protection of the wages councils from the under-21s. For those on middle incomes, such as teachers and people in the community services, pay must be held at levels that barely keep pace with, and preferably fall below, the cost of living. But for those at the top, the only incentive that appears to matter is more pay.

Those are mutually inconsistent and contradictory policies. They are rejected by the great bulk of the nation, and the House should tonight reject this instrument because it symbolises an unacceptable policy which will have to be changed.

12.43 am
Mr. Tim Eggar (Enfield, North)

Criticism of the order takes three main forms. They are that the timing of the announcement was inappropriate, that the presentation of the announcement was poor, and that the award was unjustifiable in itself or when compared with other groups. I shall examine each of those criticisms.

First, there is the point about timing. Some of my hon. Friends have argued that the report should have been delayed. Yet the report had already been with Ministers for a month. When would they have had it announced? Would they have preferred it to have been announced during the recess? If so, do they have any regard for the role that hon. Members play in this place? Or perhaps they would have preferred it to have been delayed until the next parliamentary Session and the beginning of the next annual pay round. What would have been gained by that? There is only one appropriate time at which to make this announcement, and that is never, and never is not an option open to us.

Secondly, there is the point about presentation. Perhaps we should have reiterated that there are now 130,000 fewer civil servants than there were in 1978. That means an annual saving on the salary bill of £750 million, compared with the cost of this award of £9 million. Perhaps also we should have stressed that there are now 20 per cent. fewer civil servants covered by the report than there were in 1979, and that the award was more than justified on productivity grounds. Perhaps we should have repeated this more eloquently and loudly than I have been able to.

I doubt whether, even if we had done all this, it would have had any significant effect. The announcement that the Government had to make, that people who are already highly paid deserve to be paid more, is unpopular, and the most difficult announcement that any Government have to make. The Labour Government found the same problem in 1978, and we find the same problem when we have to tell the nation of our pay rises. There is never a sensible time to make an announcement such as this.

The last argument is that the awards were unjustifiable in themselves when compared with other groups. The comparison with other groups is dealt with in the Plowden report. If strict comparison with the private sector had been recommended by it, the increases would have been far larger than they have been. If the comparison is made with different groups such as teachers, we are comparing apples with oranges and looking at completely different issues.

We have now to make a judgment on the report. Are the awards justified in themselves? Some civil servants run enterprises that, in size and complexity, dwarf businesses such as Sainsbury's and British Aerospace. Is it wrong that civil servants should be paid two thirds of private sector salaries for doing comparable jobs? Terry Wogan is said to be paid £350,000 a year by the public sector—the BBC. Does the Lord Chancellor deserve only one fifth of that amount? He deserves all that and more.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce (Gordon)

Will the hon. Gentleman acknowledge that his argument is undermined by the fact that the Lord Chancellor has made it clear that he does not want the increase? Is it not adding insult to injury?

Mr. Eggar

My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor has said that he expects that any successor of his should be free to, and would, take up the award. What is more, he has said clearly that he supports the award for the judiciary. In everything that the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore) said, in all the debate and discussion in the media, I have not heard a serious attempt to challenge the analysis of the Plowden report. Plowden's case is unanswered and unanswerable.

Mr. Anthony Steen (South Hams)

Two years ago, the House agreed that Members of Parliament should set an example to the nation and should accept less than the Top Salaries Review Body said that we should take. Are not these top people also in a position to set an example to the nation and receive less than the award? What is the difference between Members of Parliament and these top people?

Mr. Eggar

The difference is that hon. Members set, and vote on, their own salaries. In 1971 this House set up a review body. Governments of both parties have consistently accepted its recommendations on civil servants, the judiciary and the military. We should be making a grave mistake if we deviated from that path. It would create difficulties not only for this Government but for future Governments.

The case that Plowden makes is unanswered and is unanswerable. In their heart of hearts, all hon. Members know that. We have lost our sense of perspective. We have been influenced by envy and hypocrisy. Let us cut out—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman should not have to fight like this to be heard.

Mr. Eggar

Let us cut out the humbug and give to public servants the reward that they deserve. Let us return to doing that which we do best: securing our economic prosperity. That is our task in this House.

12.51 am
Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

I am sure that the Conservative party has orders of gallantry into which the hon. Member for Enfield, North (Mr. Eggar) might naturally fit. I hope that before any such order is awarded a vote will be taken in the 1922 Committee so that we can establish whether his gallant efforts meet with general support.

The Leader of the House was right to say that this occasion differs slightly from the last occasion upon which we considered the salary of the Lord Chancellor. Only 14 hon. Members voted against the granting of his salary, seven of whom came from the Labour party. It was a thin night. Nevertheless, it was memorable because the hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg) was pressed into service as a teller on the Government side to count the votes in favour of the salary that his father quite rightly said he did not need and would not accept. I hope that tonight he will be spared that unfair obligation.

However, it reminds us that there is an element of absurdity about a discussion of top salaries when it is applied to the salary of the Lord Chancellor. Nobody can claim that, worthy as he is, he is irreplaceable or that for many years there has not been a queue of people waiting to take the post. I can remember the time when at last we got rid of the old legal limitation that the Lord Chancellor could not be a Roman Catholic. There were candidates, even then, for the post and the queue has grown longer ever since.

Nor can it be suggested, as seemed to be implied in the Lord Chancellor's comments, that although he does not need it a future Lord Chancellor may need the money. I can conceive of no Government made up of Conservative Members, or even of Opposition Members, who would appoint a Lord Chancellor who needed the money. When that day comes, the revolution will really have arrived.

On a number of occasions we have heard the argument that the timing is wrong. The Leader of the House was right to dismiss it. The argument about timing reminds me that there were those who argued that it was Mr. Arthur Scargill's bad timing that influenced the result of the Brecon and Radnor by-election; had he made his comments a few days later the effect would not have been the same. This is an argument not about timing but about the substance of the issue. The Government's public sector pay policy is wrong. It would not be argued that this public sector pay policy is wrong if the characteristics of this order bore the marks of the Government's public sector pay policy. For example, comparability—a key feature of the proposals—is wholly absent from the discussion of the position of many groups in the public sector, including the nurses, teachers, and university lecturers, many of whom have moved into highly paid jobs in other areas.

Motivation, morale and recruitment are indeed relevant factors in the assessment of pay, but again they are not applied to the nurses or to the teaching profession. Here we have an independent review body with its proposals fully implemented and fully funded. It is a major decision for the Government to take, but it is taken so selectively that it applies only to the pay of top people, including the Lord Chancellor, and not to the nurses.

Mr. Eric Forth (Mid-Worcestershire)

Will the hon. Gentleman comment on the number of people involved and on the total cost of the award? Will he agree that that is relevant if he is seeking to make comparisons with other groups which are far greater in number? If a similar award were made to them, it would cost vastly more.

Mr. Beith

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the words of the Leader of the House when he said: It is redolent with economic implications far greater than the actual sums involved."—[Official Report, 19 July 1983; Vol. 646, c. 271.] If the hon. Gentleman thinks that the issue is confined to the small number of people and the amount of money involved, he misunderstands the mood of the people. They know an injustice when they see one.

I was dealing with the aspects of pay policy which have been applied to this decision and which have been keenly but unsuccessfully sought by people in other areas of the public sector. There has been no staging or delaying of the recommended award. Many groups of people would like that principle to be applied to them. It is conceded in this case but not to them. There is to be no decline in the real living standards of those affected. That has not been the lot of many groups within the public sector.

The groups at the lower end of the public sector who have seen their living standards decline are the very ones who also feel the weight of the tax burden. The people who will gain the benefit of these increases are in that small group which is substantially better off, in terms of the impact of tax on take-home pay, than any other group in society. It has been at the highest level that the impact of the Government's taxation policy has been felt beneficially.

The decision will be seen by many people as showing that there is one law for those at the top and another for those at the bottom. That is why we have argued for a single public sector pay review body. If principles are to be applied to public sector pay, they have to be applied across the board. If the Government cannot afford to apply those principles, they must clearly say so, but they cannot just dodge around the public sector and apply the principles in one area and not in others. Such a public pay body should pick out those fairly rare cases where it can manifestly be shown that recruitment or retention of key people is being made impossible. No one can say that of the Lord Chancellor. It is not true of him or of a number of the people in the wider group to which the recommendations of the Top Salaries Review Body apply.

The Government have done nothing to arm themselves against the charge that they have two pay policies, one for those at the top and one for those at the bottom, and that charge will stick. It is the decision, not the timing, that and my right hon. and hon. Friends challenge, but the timing has its own particular story to tell.

Mr. Patrick Nicholls (Teignbridge)

Will the hon. Gentleman tell us why he now finds these recommendations so unacceptable? When he was a member of the Lib-Lab pact, he was content to see approved rises which were three times as high as the rises now recommended. If he cannot deal with that question, he lays himself and his hon. Friends open to a charge of complete hypocrisy.

Mr. Beith

Those rises were applied to people who had suffered a decline in their real incomes, and they applied in the context of a general pay policy. The hon. Gentleman is forgetting, for example, that it came after a period when there had been a percentage plus £6 a week pay policy. There were several genuine attempts by the Government led by the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Callaghan) to improve the position of those at the bottom of the public service pay scales. There was also a different taxation climate at that time. We supported the Labour Government because they were making a genuine attempt to tackle public service pay across the board and to do something about private sector pay at the same time. The present Government's failure to address that side of the issue is a sign of how they have failed.

The Government clearly did not expect the response that their decision received. I do not think that anyone will argue with that fact; certainly, not many Conservative Members will argue with it. The Government were taken by surprise because they did not recognise the depth of public sympathy for the other groups involved—the nurses, the teachers and young people in wages council industries. The Government do not understand that they are already perceived as an Administration who want to assist those who are already getting a handsome reward for their work.

The Leader of the House said that we still have to make our own political judgment about an issue that is sensitive in its economic and social consequences. Let us, as a House, make our own political judgment and defeat the order.

1.1 am

Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)

It is late, it is July and I wish to be brief, so I hope that the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) will forgive me if I do not take up his arguments. To save time, I say at the start that the Government were right to accept the reports of the TSRB and were right to phase them, and it is right that we should approve them.

As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House reminded us, the Government's record in accepting pay review body reports is a good one, and so it should be. It would have required a more special argument than the Opposition have put forward for us not to accept this report. The principal aim of the Opposition seems to have been to obscure their responsibility for the events of 1978, and I can understand that that desire is shared by the heroes of the Lib-Lab pact who survive on the Opposition Benches and other believers in a statutory incomes policy.

Although this is a difficult matter—I expect that we shall have a heated debate—I do not accept that there is any truth or justice in some of the criticisms levelled against the Government. The parallel that some critics inside and outside the House have tried to draw between this decision and the teachers' dispute is not accurate.

The blame for the absence of a settlement in the teachers' dispute rests squarely on the leadership of the NUT which cynically insisted on going for a flat-rate increase all round, irrespective of merit or performance. But for that, we should be deep in discussion about how we could reallocate resources for teachers' pay to reward merit and restructure the profession in a way that would be of great advantage to the nation's children, their parents and everyone else. It is not the Government's fault that we are not in that position.

I do not believe that any arguments drawn from the teachers' dispute would have justified the Government in taking a different decision on the TSRB report. As for the timing of the decision, one of my hon. Friends has already said that there is never a good time for such decisions. However, if the Government will allow me to offer a constructive criticism, I believe that there may be scope for improvement in the presentation of such decisions. [Interruption.] If Opposition Members will allow me to develop the argument, I shall explain why many of my hon. Friends agree with that proposition.

We may be accused of having the advantage of hindsight, but perhaps there was room for more foresight. If the Government had chosen to make an oral statement, instead of a written reply, there would have been much less opportunity for the selective reporting and deliberate misrepresentation of the Opposition which has caused so much annoyance to so many people outside.

If a Government are generous enough to give their opponents half a day's start, it is not surprising that they should find themselves at a disadvantage in putting across their side of the argument. I think that it was the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Callaghan) who said that a lie could get halfway round the world before the truth had got its boots on.

Leaving party politics aside, I do not believe that such a situation is in the interests of the nation. However comforting the Opposition find the precedents, we should look for a better way of presenting such decisions so that they are more generally understood. We shall thereby promote the debate on the real issues. One issue concerns how we can improve the performance of the Civil Service if, in addition to adequately rewarding its top members, we look at the structure down the line so that, in the Civil Service as in the armed forces, there is a greater shake-out and inducement to achieve efficient performance.

Whatever the faults in the presentation of the order, they could not possibly justify a rejection of the decision for which the Government ask us. I hope that my colleagues share my view and that they will join me in the Division Lobby in support of it.

1.5 am

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

I shall make a few brief points, because many hon. Members want to participate in this debate.

My right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal referred to "populist" pandering. Why is it "populist" pandering to listen to people outside the House? They put us here in the first place, and they can put us out. We should be sensitive to people who bother to ring us. We should be sensitive also to the feelings of those who have been loyal to one's party for 30 or 40 years who speak not from a sense of outrage but from genuine sadness because a party which they thought was on the right lines suddenly does something which, according to a natural sense of justice, seems to be wrong.

Whether it is right or wrong that the Lord Chancellor needs £77,000 a year or £177,000 a year is not really the point. The point is that the Government's main strategy—on inflation—is right. I have received letter after letter from teachers, as have many other hon. Members. I have written back robustly, not pandering to populism, saying, "I believe that you deserve more, but the country cannot afford more because inflation is the important battle." What do we say to those people now when the Secretary to the Cabinet is given a £25,000 a year increase? This must be wrong. There must be logic in what we do. If we cannot carry the people with us, where will it end?

People say, "Remember 1978." I say to those who remember 1978, "Remember 1979." I would say to any Government in the most friendly way, "Unless you can put forward decisions that will stand up to a natural sense of justice, things can turn." I believe that most people accept that the policies that we put to the country as right are right, even though they are painful. We may say to 100 people, "You are to be the exception, because it will cost only £4 million after tax." It does not matter what the sum is—it could be £40,000 or £400,000 after tax, and it is. If we are talking about only one salary, can any of us justify saying to the people who should have more and to whom we cannot afford to pay more, "Is it right to go ahead"?

How many people have ever been sacked from the Civil Service? How many bad mistakes have been made? How many civil servants have gone because of De Lorean? I know where the civil servants will go. They will either go to the other place or get a KCMG—"kindly call me God"—and an inflation-proofed pension. If we are to have a just society and to compare civil servants with business men, let a few of them be sacked when they go wrong as business men are. But the House knows that not one of them ever has been or will be.

It is wrong to do this for the Lord Chancellor, and it was wrong to do it for senior civil servants. The increase should have been phased in over four years, if it needed to be done at all. No one would leave. Paul Volker of the Federal Reserve Bank in America, for example, receives $75,000 a year. He would not leave that job for $1 million elsewhere. There is something about service, power and influence that cannot be bought. If we are to say that everybody can be bought and has a price, however high, what price public life then?

1.10 am
Mr. Tony Marlow (Northampton, North)

I disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark). On this occasion, as on many others, the Government have made the right decision. It is a difficult decision—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am sure that the House wants to hear what the hon. Gentleman has to say.

Mr. Marlow

It is a courageous decision because the issue of top salary reviews is always shrouded in a fog of arithmetic illiteracy—[Interruption.]

Mr. Dickens

On a point of order——

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark), who spoke against the motion, was heard in silence. I ask the House to pay equal courtesy to the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow), who speaks in favour of it.

Mr. Marlow

If, cumulatively, over a period of years, the cost of living doubles, for some obscure reason it is thought moral and right for the £4,000 a year man to get £8,000 a year, but insensitive and damaging for his more successful fellow citizen on 25 grand to get 50 grand.

I shall put three points to those who oppose the rise. First, to give a fairly random example, a major-general who in 1970 received three times the sum of a newly promoted captain will receive only two and three quarters the sum after the increase. Secondly, do we believe in the erosion of the differentials of the most important and successful people in the country? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] The Conservative party does not. In the past 10 years that I have researched, and I dare say for longer, the reviews and the phasing that goes with them have always been accepted by the party in power. What is so different about this review? What do the Opposition find wrong with this review, which was right with the reviews that they supported in the past?

Thirdly, Labour Members, to whom counting the peas on their neighbours' plate is not only their motivation but their way of life, should take note of the fact that behind the Iron Curtain, in that Nirvana, the People's Socialist Republic of Bulgaria——

Mr. Cecil Franks (Barrow and Furness)


Mr. Marlow

I shall not give way. Highly paid comrades in Bulgaria receive more than 10 times the number of leva of their low-paid Socialist brothers. Is that what Opposition Members want? The teachers are currently——

Mr. Franks


Mr. Marlow

No, I shall not give way.

Mr. Speaker

I have not yet heard the hon. Gentleman mention the Lord Chancellor.

Mr. Marlow

When my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House introduced the debate he suggested that he wanted to extend it beyond the Lord Chancellor to all those who will be affected by the Government's decision. We have been told that one of the groups of citizens that are concerned about the issue are the teachers.

Mr. Speaker

It is fair enough to draw an analogy with the teachers' dispute, but the hon. Gentleman must deal with the order. As I said before the debate began, the House must deal with the Lord Chancellor's salary.

Mr. Marlow

As far as the salary review of the Lord Chancellor and the others are concerned, this is a different decision, but it is the correct one. The decision has been made and the more it is attacked by a few of my hon. Friends the more it will appear to be a bad decision—[Interruption.] We believe in differentials and we believe in rewards for those who deserve them. We believe as other Governments have believed, that when pay review bodies have researched, considered and produced their decisions, their reports should be implemented. Other groups are not in the same position. Others have been offered fair deals and the deal that we are considering is fair and should be accepted.

1.18 am
Mr. Patrick Thompson (Norwich, North)

I welcome the opportunity to speak briefly on the pay increase for the Lord Chancellor. I intend to vote against the proposal on principle and not because of the timing.

I firmly support the tight control of public expenditure and the idea of reducing direct taxation on wealth created in the United Kingdom, without which we would have no money to spend and no jobs for anyone. We are discussing specifically the career structure of the legal profession, but in addition the pay review body's report extends to the Civil Service and the armed forces.

When young people embark on a career, they may consider money and earnings, but there will be other considerations during their career, including job satisfaction, professional pride, companionship, achievement and the acquisition of skills. It is no coincidence that the two careers that are being considered alongside that of members of the judiciary and the Lord Chancellor contains the word "service" or "services". These are the Civil Service and the armed services. The history and tradition of our Civil Service are well known to the House and I do not need to speak at length about it. My experience of the armed services has convinced me that pride in one's job, high standards, high morale, integrity and honour are not necessarily related to commercial or money considerations.

In short, the arguments for large increases, especially at the pinnacle of the career structure in the Civil Service, do not stand up. Comparability has been discredited ever since the day of Clegg. Morale, retention and motivation depend as much on atmosphere, leadership and man management as on money. In any case, when the nation is crying out for more qualified engineers in industry, more physics teachers in our schools and a higher standard in middle management, how can we argue a special case for a small group in our society?

The Government case fails because it is unfair, indefensible and out of line with declared Government policy which I have supported and will continue to support. Worst of all, it sets a poor example at a time when we in the House and in the constituencies are preaching restraint in pay bargaining. I see this as a tussle not between Members of the House but between Westminster and Whitehall. I hope that the common sense of practical politicians will override the sophisticated but misguided advice that we are getting from Whitehall. At the same time, I hope we have the sense to abolish this review body once and for all.

1.21 am
Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Perth and Kinross)

I have always been against independent pay review bodies, royal commissions and all other forms of sanctimonious wisdom. Having read with great care the report out of which arises the motion we are considering, I have no reason to revise my opinion of all such forms of sanctimonious wisdom. From beginning to end the arguments are cogent, expensively arrived at, and wrong. It dismays me only that a royal commission did not arrive at the decisions, because it could have spent more and taken longer.

The report suggests that the office of Mr. Speaker, far less that of the Lord Chancellor, who, I understand, is Mr. Speaker in another place, is bereft of aspirants. The salary is the sole taunt to prevent the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) from succeeding to it, or even, God help us, the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), whose income would drop if he were to aspire to that office. I cannot speak for the judiciary in England, but I know of very few senior counsel who are not ambitious to reach the bench.

The arguments contained in the document are false, as are all theoretical arguments by bodies of people surrounded by civil servants who eventually make reports with Command numbers on them. But that does not alter the argument that those who are in the highest jobs in the land should receive appropriate salaries for those jobs. That is the fudge which makes it so difficult for Opposition Members to agree, unless they apply to themselves, that salaries should be excellent.

I have not heard any Opposition Member object to the fact that in London, in the constituency of my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General, a 15-year-old tennis player who did not even win a game was getting more than £1 million. I have not heard anyone object to the fact that a young girl running without shoes is getting more than £1 million. Yet there is this enormous resentment that the top people in the country who happen to be paid by the Crown——

Mr. Canavan

By the people.

Mr. Fairbairn

—should be paid salaries commensurate with the dignity of the offices to which they are appointed.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich)

Ask the unemployed.

Mr. Fairbairn

Ask the unemployed about Zola Budd, about the Beatles or about any of these types of people with high salaries, and there is no resentment.

I do not think that we should fudge the issue of paying people at the top the appropriate salaries. It is amazing, is it not, that we deny to the people in charge of our liberty salaries per year less than the amount per month that we do not begrudge a tennis player of 15?

Let us put aside our jealousies, and if we are to say to the teachers that they cannot have an independent pay review—which I believe that they should not have—let us abolish independent pay reviews for good, because they create the very problems that we are debating.

1.28 am
Mr. David Sumberg (Bury, South)

The order in itself does not involve the payment of a single additional penny from the Exchequer. However, it involves a very important principle for the Government. It does not involve a single penny because the Lord Chancellor, in characteristic and generous fashion, has said that he will not accept the increase. But if the order is not about money, it is about a matter which has deep meaning for the Conservative party and the Government.

Every weekend I am assailed, as other hon. Members are, by teachers who complain about their pay. In my view, they have wrongly disrupted their schools and their pupils' education. I am assailed by parents who understandably are concerned about their children's future and who have appealed to me to try to persuade the Government to change their minds. I have replied to them "Stand with me. Stand with the Government. However well merited some of your claims may be, stand with the Government because there is a limit that the public sector can afford." If we want to control inflation, we must control pay because we want to create more jobs in my part of the country and others.

If I say that to those parents and to those teachers, how can I walk through the Aye Lobby in support of the order? If the restraint on pay in the public sector is to apply at all — and it must—it must operate from the top to the bottom of the judiciary, the Civil Service and the armed forces. I believe that, sadly, the Government have made a serious error. However unfair and unjustified it is—it is both—the public will see that they are a soft touch for the few and a hard push for the many.

I am, by preference, not a natural rebel. I have voted against the Government only twice since I came here and I do not relish doing so again tonight, but I am not prepared to perform political gymnastics in support of the order and all of its implications, which I believe will haunt the Government for the rest of their period of office. That is why I have spoken as I have, why I shall vote against the order and why I urge the House to do the same.

1.30 am
Sir Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

The order is, in the short run, bad politics but, in the long run, it will prove to be good government.

It will be commonly agreed that, whatever the merits of the salaries of those who occupy high ranks in the Civil Service or the armed forces and of the Lord Chief Justice or the Lord Chancellor, hon. Members who have to wrestle with problems such as this are underpaid. That goes for members of the Opposition Front Bench who, when in government, have had to deal with problems of this difficulty and sensitivity. They have reached difficult and unpopular decisions and stuck with them. The same applies just as certainly to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and her Cabinet colleagues who have had to wrestle with this exceedingly difficult matter. They are underpaid for their pains. That goes for most hon. Members.

As for the criticisms that have been made, three questions arise. Are the criticisms directed against the review body? Are they directed against the civil servants and others who will receive increased salaries as a result of the order? Are they directed solely against my right hon. Friend, who has had to take the decision? I shall deal with each in turn.

Is it suggested that the review body is lacking in integrity? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] Anyone who sees the names of those who sat on the review body knows their record and must understand that their integrity is beyond question. Is it suggested that the review body lacks independence? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] That cannot be said, as the people concerned have reached their own judgments on the facts that they have discovered.

Mr. John Butterfill (Bournemouth, West)

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Sir Eldon Griffiths

I am sorry, but I have no time.

Can it be said that the review body is somehow incompetent? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] Anyone who reads the report in detail and who examines the analysis will see no evidence of any incompetence. The review body must be judged to have done——

Mr. Butterfill


Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman is not giving way.

Sir Eldon Griffiths

I apologise to my hon. Friend, but there is a problem of time.

The House should not criticise the review body. We must therefore ask whether civil servants, judges and others who do difficult tasks should be under attack. I remind the House about whom we are talking in our constituencies. It is not just a few very senior civil servants — it is those who carry out the difficult tasks of the industrial tribunals, the social security appeals commissions and many other such bodies to which, week by week, we take problems and which we expect to carry out their difficult tasks well. I do not believe that the gravamen of the criticism lies either against the civil servants and judges—it is not they who should be attacked—or the tribunal itself. That quite simply leaves the attack that has been launched upon the Government. I can only say that I believe that our system of independent review bodies, taking all in all, is a good one. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Fairbairn), who attacked them, simply revealed his inexperience in dealing with the difficult problems of public sector pay.

The conclusion is very clear. The attack that has been made on this measure is——

Mr. Fairbairn

I am so inexperienced that I did not even hear the insult.

Sir Eldon Griffiths

I am so inexperienced that I did not get my hon. and learned Friend's point.

There is no point in our attacking independent review bodies. For all their faults, they have served this country well. Those in the teaching and nursing professions, the doctors and the police have benefited from the bodies. The Social Democratic alliance, which scavenges in the dustbins to find any populist issue that will get its name into the newspapers, has latched on to this issue. The right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore), who I regret to see taking this stand, in government had more courage and guts than any Opposition Member has displayed tonight.

I say to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister that it may well be bad politics in the short run, but in the long run it will prove to be good government. My right hon. Friend should be supported by the House for her courage in taking an unpopular issue and dealing with it in the interests of the country.

1.37 am
Mr. Charles Morrison (Devizes)

Such is my regard for the Lord Chancellor that I feel that the time of the House tonight would be better employed by insisting that he should take the salary that is currently on offer rather than taking the salary that may be on offer.

Be that as it may, I am inclined to vote for the Government because I believe that public servants of all sorts should be properly remunerated. Before I do vote for the Government, for the last time I ask my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to ensure that from now on the Government behave with a little more sensitivity, a little more humility and a little less arrogance—in short, I ask the Government to behave as though they had a majority of 25, not 145.

1.38 am
Mr. Biffen

With the leave of the House, Mr. Speaker. I think that the debate has demonstrated that all those great reformers who want to pack us off to bed by midnight would miss a great deal. There has been a good and vital exchange on this subject, but it had its peculiar characteristics. The most peculiar is that, apart from the contribution of the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore), every other Labour Member seems to have been overcome with that silence which is a training to become Chief Whip. That is to be regretted, because there has been a clear exchange of views on the Government Benches, met only by silence on the Opposition Benches—and silence in the most important of contexts. When elaborating the failings, faults and damnable social dereliction of this Government, the right hon. Gentleman concluded that the proposals might have been acceptable if, as in the days of Labour Government, they were staged over a couple of years. That is not the language of the barricades, but that is what it came to from the lips of the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney.

On what basis will my hon. Friends consider whom they will join in the Lobby? The only basis we have is the contribution of the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney. He is not making any fundamental challenge to what is being undertaken. He belongs to the fine-tuning school of politics. Not for him the fundamental challenge — that is left to my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Thompson), and I respect him for it.

We must first decide whether these great issues of top people's pay, which are full of great political difficulty, are best vested for their recommendation in an outside body such as the Top Salaries Review Body. If that is our judgment, and we have lived with that form for some years now — [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because the alternative of politically decided pay determination is infinitely more unsatisfactory and, above all, infinitely more embarrassing for this House. If anyone doubts that, he need only watch the agony of Members of Parliament when they must think about their own pay.

We must first decide whether we want the format of the recommendations of the Top Salaries Review Body report. I believe that it presents a sustained and convincing argument for a change in pay structures. That argument is particularly made out in paragraph 47. Those of my hon. Friends who think that this can be willed off as a July act of madness should bear in mind that that problem will be waiting for us when we come back from the summer recess. It will be with us next year and the year after.

If we accept the point of substance, we come to the point of timing. The policy decisions were announced a few days ago, and it would have been the grossest cynicism to wait until the House had risen for the summer recess and then make this known. It would have been even more inept had we waited until we return in the autumn.

Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West)


Mr. Biffen

It is a pity that the right hon. Gentleman did not get off his backside earlier. All will now be revealed in the closing moments! Perhaps the policy will be elaborated, and we shall see whether or not it convinces my hon. Friends.

Whatever timing is resolved, it is always a matter of embarrassment and acute unease. My hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) had it absolutely right when he said that in the long run it will be good government. We must decide whether we are in the business of administration to take the easy way out by finding some way of excusing ourselves of this decision now. There is no easy way out of this or any of the other major issues in politics. We are not here to hide behind any passing popular fashion. We are here to provide leadership as well. I do not resile from that observation. We are not in the business of paving-stone politics on this or anything else. Confronted with these difficulties, it is our obligation to give a lead and not to cringe and follow.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 249, Noes 232.

Division No. 290] [1.45 am
Adley, Robert Brooke, Hon Peter
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Browne, John
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Bryan, Sir Paul
Ancram, Michael Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A.
Arnold, Tom Bulmer, Esmond
Ashby, David Burt, Alistair
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H. Butcher, John
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Butler, Hon Adam
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Butterfill, John
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Carlisle, John (N Luton)
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baldry, Tony Cash, William
Biffen, Rt Hon John Chalker, Mrs Lynda
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Blackburn, John Chapman, Sydney
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Chope, Christopher
Boscawen, Hon Robert Churchill, W. S.
Bottomley, Peter Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Clegg, Sir Walter
Bright, Graham Cockeram, Eric
Brinton, Tim Colvin, Michael
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Coombs, Simon
Cope, John Lilley, Peter
Corrie, John Lloyd, Ian (Havant)
Couchman, James Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)
Cranborne, Viscount Lord, Michael
Crouch, David Luce, Richard
Currie, Mrs Edwina Lyell, Nicholas
Dorrell, Stephen Macfarlane, Neil
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward Maclean, David John
Dunn, Robert McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Durant, Tony Maples, John
Dykes, Hugh Marland, Paul
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) Marlow, Antony
Eggar, Tim Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Eyre, Sir Reginald Mates, Michael
Fairbairn, Nicholas Mather, Carol
Farr, Sir John Maude, Hon Francis
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Fletcher, Alexander Mellor, David
Forman, Nigel Meyer, Sir Anthony
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Forth, Eric Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Mitchell, David (NW Hants)
Freeman, Roger Moore, John
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde) Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Moynihan, Hon C.
Glyn, Dr Alan Neale, Gerrard
Goodlad, Alastair Needham, Richard
Gow, Ian Nelson, Anthony
Griffiths, Sir Eldon Neubert, Michael
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Newton, Tony
Grist, Ian Nicholls, Patrick
Ground, Patrick Normanton, Tom
Grylls, Michael Norris, Steven
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom) Onslow, Cranley
Hampson, Dr Keith Oppenheim, Phillip
Hargreaves, Kenneth Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.
Harvey, Robert Osborn, Sir John
Haselhurst, Alan Ottaway, Richard
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Page, Sir John (Harrow W)
Hayes, J. Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Barney Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Hayward, Robert Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn)
Henderson, Barry Pattie, Geoffrey
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Pawsey, James
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Hirst, Michael Pollock, Alexander
Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling) Porter, Barry
Hordern, Sir Peter Portillo, Michael
Howard, Michael Powell, William (Corby)
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Price, Sir David
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Prior, Rt Hon James
Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford) Proctor, K. Harvey
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Hunt, David (Wirral) Rathbone, Tim
Jackson, Robert Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Renton, Tim
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Jones, Robert (W Herts) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Rifkind, Malcolm
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Kershaw, Sir Anthony Robinson, Mark (N'port W)
Key, Robert Roe, Mrs Marion
King, Rt Hon Tom Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Sackville, Hon Thomas
Knowles, Michael Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lamont, Norman St, John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Latham, Michael Scott, Nicholas
Lawrence, Ivan Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Shersby, Michael
Lee, John (Pendle) Sims, Roger
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Skeet, T. H. H.
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lester, Jim Soames, Hon Nicholas
Spencer, Derek Walden, George
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Squire, Robin Wall, Sir Patrick
Stern, Michael Walters, Dennis
Stevens, Martin (Fulham) Ward, John
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire) Warren, Kenneth
Tapsell, Sir Peter Watson, John
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Watts, John
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M. Wells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter Wheeler, John
Thompson, Donald (Calder V) Whitney, Raymond
Thorne, Neil (llford S) Wiggin, Jerry
Thurnham, Peter Wolfson, Mark
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath) Wood, Timothy
Tracey, Richard Young, Sir George (Acton)
Trippier, David Younger, Rt Hon George
van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Viggers, Peter Tellers for the Ayes:
Waddington, David Mr. Ian Lang and
Wakeham, Rt Hon John Mr. John Major.
Waldegrave, Hon William
Abse, Leo Conway, Derek
Aitken, Jonathan Cook, Frank (Stockton North)
Amess, David Corbett, Robin
Anderson, Donald Corbyn, Jeremy
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Craigen, J. M.
Ashdown, Paddy Crowther, Stan
Ashton, Joe Cunliffe, Lawrence
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Dalyell, Tarn
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)
Barnett, Guy Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge Hl)
Barron, Kevin Deakins, Eric
Batiste, Spencer Dewar, Donald
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Dickens, Geoffrey
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Dicks, Terry
Beggs, Roy Dormand, Jack
Beith, A. J. Dover, Den
Bell, Stuart Dubs, Alfred
Benn, Tony Duffy, A. E. P.
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.
Benyon, William Eadie, Alex
Bermingham, Gerald Eastham, Ken
Best, Keith Evans, John (St. Helens N)
Bevan, David Gilroy Fatchett, Derek
Bidwell, Sydney Faulds, Andrew
Blair, Anthony Favell, Anthony
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)
Boyes, Roland Flannery, Martin
Bray, Dr Jeremy Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Forrester, John
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Foster, Derek
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Foulkes, George
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Franks, Cecil
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Fraser, J. (Norwood)
Bruce, Malcolm Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Bruinvels, Peter Freud, Clement
Buchan, Norman Gale, Roger
Budgen, Nick Galley, Roy
Caborn, Richard Garrett, W. E.
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) George, Bruce
Campbell-Savours, Dale Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Canavan, Dennis Godman, Dr Norman
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y) Golding, John
Carttiss, Michael Goodhart, Sir Philip
Cartwright, John Gorst, John
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Gould, Bryan
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Gregory, Conal
Clarke, Thomas Hamilton, James (M'well N)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Coleman, Donald Hardy, Peter
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Harman, Ms Harriet
Conlan, Bernard Harris, David
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Pendry, Tom
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Penhaligon, David
Haynes, Frank Pike, Peter
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Heffer, Eric S. Prescott, John
Hickmet, Richard Radice, Giles
Hicks, Robert Raffan, Keith
Hind, Kenneth Randall, Stuart
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Redmond, M.
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)
Home Robertson, John Rhodes James, Robert
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath) Richardson, Ms Jo
Hoyle, Douglas Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Hubbard-Miles, Peter Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Rogers, Allan
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Rooker, J. W.
Hughes, Simon (Southward) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Janner, Hon Greville Rowlands, Ted
John, Brynmor Ryman, John
Johnston, Sir Russell Sedgemore, Brian
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Kennedy, Charles Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Kilfedder, James A. Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Kirkwood, Archy Skinner, Dennis
Knox, David Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Lamond, James Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Leadbitter, Ted Snape, Peter
Leighton, Ronald Soley, Clive
Lewis, Terence (Worsley) Spearing, Nigel
Lightbown, David Steel, Rt Hon David
Litherland, Robert Steen, Anthony
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
McCartney, Hugh Stott, Roger
McCurley, Mrs Anna Strang, Gavin
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Straw, Jack
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Sumberg, David
Maclennan, Robert Taylor, Rt Hon John David
McNamara, Kevin Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Madden, Max Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Malins, Humfrey Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Marek, Dr John Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Tinn, James
Maynard, Miss Joan Wallace, James
Meacher, Michael Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Meadowcroft, Michael Wareing, Robert
Michie, William Weetch, Ken
Mikardo, Ian Whitfield, John
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Wig ley, Dafydd
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Williams, Rt Hon A.
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Wilson, Gordon
Nellist, David Winnick, David
Nicholson, J. Winterton, Mrs Ann
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Winterton, Nicholas
O'Brien, William Woodall, Alec
Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Wrigglesworth, Ian
Park, George Young, David (Bolton SE)
Parris, Matthew
Parry, Robert Tellers for the Noes:
Patchett, Terry Mr. John McWilliam and
Pavitt, Laurie Mr. Don Dixon.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the draft Lord Chancellor's Salary Order 1985, which was laid before this House on 18th July, be approved.

Mr. Shore

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the fact that the remarkable vote that has just been recorded quite clearly expresses the widespread view on all sides of the House about this matter and the associated matters, can we ask, through you whether the Government will reconsider it and make a further policy statement tomorrow?