HC Deb 27 March 1985 vol 76 cc545-94
Dr. John Cunningham (Copeland)

I beg to move amendment No. 68, in page 1, line 15, leave out '1st April 1986' and insert 'such day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint after he has laid an order before both Houses of Parliament—

  1. (a) for the Residuary Bodies established under this section 55(1) of this Act to have a membership directly elected in accordance with the Representation of The People Act 1983 and this Act and that Section 55 and schedule 13 of this Act be consequentially modified; and
  2. (b) for the name of the Residuary Bodies to be changed in consequence of the implementation of proposals of this sub-section; and
  3. (c) providing for the transfer to the Residuary Bodies of such functions, not being functions which are transferred by this Act solely to individual London boroughs or metropolitan district councils as appropriate, as shall be determined by Parliament on the recommendation of a Select Committee.'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean)

With this it will be convenient to take the following amendments: No. 6, in page 1, line 15, at end insert— '(3) Within three months of the date of the Royal Assent to this Act the Secretary of State shall lay an order before both Houses of Parliament—

  1. (a) for the London Residuary Body established under section 55(1)(a) of this Act to have a membership directly elected in accordance with the Representation of the people Act 1983 and this Act and that section 55 and Schedule 13 of this Act be consequentially modified; and
  2. (b) for the name of the London Residuary Body to be changed in consequence of the implementation of proposals of this sub-section; and
  3. (c) for section 65 of this Act to cease to have effect as respects the London Residuary Body; and
  4. (d) providing for the transfer to the London Residuary Body of such functions, not being functions which are transferred by this Act solely to individual London boroughs, as shall be determined by Parliament on the recommendation of a Select Committee of the House of Commons. '.
No. 72, in clause 3, page 2, line 10, after '(1)', insert 'Subject to subsections (6) and (6A) below,'. No. 71, in clause 3, page 2, line 20, at end insert— '(1A) Nothing in this Act shall prevent the constitution of a directly elected body in Greater London and in each of the metropolitan counties with functions including responsibility as allowed before the passage of this Act by the Greater London Council and metropolitan county councils of strategic land use and transport planning, conservation, listed buildings, major roads and traffic management, and economic development.'. No. 73, in clause 3, page 3, line 3, at end insert— '(6) This section shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has laid before Parliament a report on the establishment within each metropolitan county or Greater London, as the case may be, of an authority to carry out the following functions:
  1. (a) to keep under review matters which may be expected to affect the planning and development of the area of the metropolitan county or Greater London, as the case may be and, if it thinks fit, to institute a survey or surveys for examining those matters;
  2. (b) to prepare and submit to the Secretary of State for his approval a strategic plan for that area which shall include the matters described in subsection (6A) below; and
  3. (c) to keep any strategic plan for that area under review and to submit to the Secretary of State proposals for such alterations to that plan as from time to time appear expedient.
(6A) The strategic plan for the area of a metropolitan county or Greater London, as the case may be, shall be prepared following consultation with the local planning authorities in that area, the highway authorities in that area, the metropolitan county passenger transport authority, or the London Regional Transport Authority, as the case may be, and such other local planning authorities, bodies and individuals as the authority considers appropriate; and shall contain a written statement formulating general policies and guidance in respect of the development and other use of land in that area, including general policies and guidance relating to: —
  1. (a) the general level of provision for housing development in that area indicating the provision to be made by each local planning authority;
  2. (b) major transport proposals, and the principles to be adopted in the management of traffic, especially where such proposals and principles involve routes which cross local authority boundaries;
  3. (c) the general level of provision and locations for major commercial or industrial development and strategic centres;
  4. (d) the need to regenerate and improve urban areas and the priorities to be adopted in that regeneration and improvement;
  5. (e) green belt, agricultural land, countryside, minerals extraction, waste disposal, and such other matters as the authority thinks appropriate.'.
No. 21, in clause 55, page 37, line 34, leave out subsections (3) and (4) and insert— '(3A) Each of these bodies shall consist of members elected by the local government electors of Greater London or the metropolitan county, as the case may be. (3B) Each appropriate residuary body shall consist of the number of members set out in Schedule (Number of members of Residuary Body) hereto. That Schedule shall specify the number of members to be elected from each electoral division. (3C) At any election of members of the residuary body, the election shall be according to the principles of proportional representation, each elector having one transferable vote as defined in subsection (3D) of this section. (3D) The expression "transferable vote" means a vote—
  1. (a) capable of being given so as to indicate the voter's preference for the candidates in order; and
  2. (b) capable of being transferred to the next choice—
    1. (i) when the vote is not required to give a prior choice the necessary quota of votes, or
    2. (ii) when owing to the deficiency in the number of votes given for a prior choice, that choice is eliminated from the list of candidates.'.
No. 69, in page 43, line 36, leave out Clause 63.

No. 70, in page 44, line 27, leave out Clause 65.

No. 43, new schedule — Number of Members of Residuary Bodies

Ward Number of Members of Residuary Body
City of London, Westminster, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, 4
Hammersmith and Fulham
Wandsworth, Richmond, Kingston, Merton 4
Sutton, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark 4
Lewisham, Greenwich, Bromley, Bexley 4
Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Islington 4
Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham 4
Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing, Brent 4
Enfield, Haringey, Barnet, Harrow 4
Ward Number of Members of Residuary Body
Bolton 3
Bury 2
Manchester 5
Oldham 3
Rochdale 2
Salford 3
Stockport 3
Thameside 3
Trafford 3
Wigan 3
Ward Number of Members of Residuary Body
Knowsley 2
Liverpool 6
St. Helens 2
Sefton 4
Wirral 4
Ward Number of Members of Residuary Body
Barnsley 2
Doncaster 3
Rotherham 2
Sheffield 5
Ward Number of Members of Residuary Body
Gateshead 3
Newcastle upon Tyne 4
North Tyneside 2
South Tyneside 2
Sunderland 4
Ward Number of Members of Residuary Body
Birmingham 10
Coventry 3
Dudley 3
Sandwell 3
Solihull 2
Walsall 3
Wolverhampton 3
Ward Number of Members of Residuary Body
Bradford 5
Calderdale 2
Kirklees 4
Leeds 8
Wakefield 3
Dr. Cunningham

Amendment No. 68 and, in particular, amendment No. 6 go to the heart of the issue of whether local services should be under some kind of elected local democratic control. That, in a nutshell, is the issue. Since the introduction of the Bill that has been a major issue in the House, between the parties and within the Conservative party. Many Conservative Members, to their credit, have opposed these proposals and the preceding legislation, the Local Government (Interim Provisions) Act 1984, on the principle that local services should be under democratically elected control.

The present proposals not only suggest a plethora of joint boards, quangos and ad hoc organisations, but, in addition, are less likely to secure what the Government say are their aims—greater accountability in the response to the public and the use of public resources, and more efficient use of those precious public resources. Whatever else the Government may say about the Bill they cannot and never have been able to claim, and certainly cannot claim at this late stage, that they have adduced in Committee or elsewhere any credible evidence or argument to overcome the fundamental criticisms of their proposals.

The Bill rests upon an undesirable mixture of the inefficient and the undemocratic. The underlying philosophy of joint working between district councils, in the formal context of joint boards, the informal structure of a joint committee, or the objectionable imposition of majority decisions and charges on dissenting authorities, does not provide a sound basis for the good administration of local services. Indeed, the proposals contain the seeds of their own destruction.

Against that background it is not surprising that considerable concern has been expressed across a wide spectrum of opinion, including the business community throughout the United Kingdom. Certainly the Government have few friends outside the House as a result of the way in which they are approaching this re-organisation. The Government were so embarrassed by the response to their White Paper "Streamlining the Cities" that they are still withholding the evidence which the White Paper called for and which was submitted to it.

7.45 pm

There is a curious contradiction in the Government's stance on these matters. When the Rates Bill 1984 was before the House we were told that the principal issues were accountability, the relationship between local authorities' income from the rates and votes. In that legislation the Secretary of State's argument was, and I understand remains, one of the need for strengthened accountability, and he took authoritarian central powers to control what local authorities were doing. He did that in the name of safeguarding the interests of ratepayers and improving accountability.

Under this Bill the control of finance is removed altogether from directly elected authorities. It is vested in either indirectly elected bodies or boards or quangos of the kind to which I have been referring. In this case central powers are being taken and vested in the Secretary of State which will reduce accountability. The Government want to have it both ways. In the Rates Act they took the powers that they did because they said that to do so would improve accountability and the use of public resources. In this Bill they are doing exactly the reverse. They cannot have it both ways. Both stances cannot be right.

In November, The Times said: The abolition bill can be examined in vain for any expression of a general philosophy of the role of Government in society, a doctrine of fiscal limits. It is a document lacking any sense of future … It is a document lacking coherent principles for local administration". That was true then and it remains true today.

The reality is that many of the questions and issues, not just about the democratic principle but about the coherence of the Government's position or lack of it, about the lack of credibility in the proposals, many of which are still not finalised, and about the recipe for duplication, waste and the inefficient use of resources, remain unanswered. It would have been far better for the Government to have had a proper, wide-ranging, on-the-record inquiry into all the issues before they produced their legislation. They chose not to follow that course.

Mr. Martin Stevens (Fulham)

Had such an inquiry been held, as has been done many times in the past, can the hon. Gentleman guarantee that, at least in the case of the GLC, members of the Labour party theron would have participated?

Dr. Cunningham

The Labour party as a whole would have participated in the inquiry, just as we intend to involve ourselves in the Widdicombe inquiry and just as we would like to be involved in the behind closed doors inquiry which is now going on into the needed changes in local government finance. We are not afraid to address ourselves to the issues and the arguments. On the contrary, the Government have been doing that in proposing major constitutional changes after deliberations behind-closed-doors and often at short notice.

The reality is that the Government will opt for any set of proposals except the ballot box; except letting the people decide. What they are doing in the Bill is taking power away from people; taking away the right of people to participate in democratic elections; preventing people in our capital city and major conurbations from having an authority which will reflect their hopes, aspirations and needs, some of which are desperate.

The Labour party remains committed to the proposition that whatever might emerge from the Bill, which is widely criticised and condemned, there should be an elected body of some kind.

Dr. Keith Hampson (Leeds, North-West)

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the voice of Leeds and the interests of that community have often been in conflict with those of the metropolitan county and Bradford and the other ingredients that make up the extraordinary creations of 1974? That is why most local city Labour parties, whether in Leeds, Birmingham or elsewhere, always used to advocate their abolition.

Dr. Cunningham

I accept the first part of the hon. Gentleman's intervention, but I do not accept that he is qualified to speak for the Labour party in Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne or anywhere else, so I reject that part of what he said.

Of course the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) is absolutely right. There is no point in disguising — I have never attempted to do so for a moment—the fact that there are tensions and differences of view and opinion on policy matters between upper and lower tier authorities. That is just as true in the shire county areas as in the areas of the metropolitan authorities, but no one suggests that because that is so the shire counties should be abolished and there should be one level of local government in the shires. An entirely different stance is adopted by the present Administration on that point. The hon. Gentleman must know full well that there are plenty of Tories in local government who not only fundamentally oppose the Government's proposals but do not like the situation in the shires either.

We are committed to the idea of democratically elected authorities. For some of the bodies that have urged the retention of services county-wide, democratic representation has not been the major issue that it has been for local government academics, practitioners and politicians. Some people have been prepared to accept the creation of nominated bodies as the price for keeping county-wide services. The Opposition do not accept their arguments, which correspond with the Government's general stance.

Concepts such as co-opted specialists, nominated joint boards and so on are not new to local government but cannot be regarded as a satisfactory alternative to democratically elected councils. The consequence of any further reorganisation of local government should be to improve accountability and performance, not to diminish them, but there is no evidence anywhere in the records of the Committee sittings or of the Minister's speeches that will convince my right hon. and hon. Friends and me that the Government's proposals have any hope of doing that. The very claim that they can do so is false.

We know of the deep disquiet that many Conservative Members feel and that many have voiced in the Chamber and elsewhere. It is not too late for them to stop the Government forcing through this hotch-potch of inadequate and ill-considered proposals, which will have appalling consequences for good administration in our capital city and also in the metropolitan areas. It is in order to give hon. Gentlemen a further opportunity to express their opposition to the contents of the Bill that we have moved the amendment.

We have moved similar amendments before. Hon. Gentlemen might say that they have heard my arguments before. They would be right. I make no apology for repeating those arguments tonight. Whatever else hon. Gentlemen may think about the need to support their Goverment, they cannot disguise from themselves what has been said in their own party about the consequences of the Government's sustained assault on local authorities and the democratic principles embodied in their election. I urge right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Conservative Benches to reject this aspect of the Bill before it is too late.

Mr. Patrick Ground (Feltham and Heston)

I rise to speak to amendment No. 6, which would transform the residuary body created by clause 55 into a permanent elected London-wide body, and which provides for Parliament—acting on the advice of a Select Committee of the House—to transfer to the elected London-wide body functions not transferred by the Bill to individual London boroughs. I shall ask for a separate vote to he taken on amendment No. 6 immediately after the vote on amendment No. 68.

Amendment No. 6 is not inconsistent with the manifesto commitment to abolish the GLC which the Conservative party put before the electorate in June 1983. The amendment accepts that all the functions transferred by the Bill to the individual London boroughs should remain transferred, but gives Parliament the opportunity to provide that the remaining functions not so dealt with, or any combination of them, should be transferred to an elected London-wide body.

If the amendment is accepted, leading to the creation of a London-wide body with limited powers, that body will be completely different in character from the present GLC, and will have the functions that Parliament wishes it to have.

The hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) spoke to amendment No. 68, which bears in form a distinct resemblance to amendment No. 6. Lest any of my right hon. or hon. Friends should think that the protagonists of amendment No. 6 have copied amendment No. 68, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would be the first to agree that amendment No. 6 came first in time.

There is a strong and logical case for a democratically elected body in the metropolitan counties at least to fulfil the functions that under the Bill are to be fulfilled by joint boards. During the debates in Committee a strong case was made for adding trading standards to those functions. However, whatever may be the strength of the case for elected bodies in the metropolitan counties, I suggest that there is a much more substantial case in London. There is a case for a democratically elected county-wide body wherever a substantial body of services has to be administered on a county-wide basis, but the case for such a body is overwhelming where the county is a capital city and corresponds with the built-up area of the city. Every one of the major towns in the metropolitan counties, even after the Bill is passed, will have an elected authority that covers the built-up area of that town. To London alone is reserved the fate of being cut up administratively into 33 separate slices.

During the debate on clause 1, and also on Second Reading, the Secretary of State and the Ministers asked what functions should be exercised by a London-wide body. First, the Secretary of State should consider the powers that he will exercise under the Bill. He is taking over sole responsibility for the strategic planning of London. The first function that an elected London-wide body should fulfil is as a voice for London in strategic planning for London.

The Government have confirmed that strategic planning remains fundamentally important in their thinking on how towns and cities should be planned. In the Bill, neither London as a whole nor the London boroughs will have any say in the formulation of the strategic guidance that would be the basis for unitary development plans in London. An elected body should prepare strategic plans for London which should be considered by the Secretary of State before strategic guidance is given to the boroughs. That is a fundamental task which the Select Committee and Parliament should consider allocating to the elected London-wide body that my amendment would set up.

8 pm

London should have a say in the planning of the major roads of London. The Bill gives my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport unparalleled powers to trunk roads without any form of public inquiry. It is all very well for my right hon. Friend to say that any subsequent improvements will be subject to planning applications, but once the status of the road is changed a fundamental change of character has occurred and the right of the citizen to object is substantially pre-empted. One of the functions of the London-wide body would be to present a plan for the roads of London as part of the strategic plan for London. That addition to the planning process would go a long way to render unnecessary the Bill's draconian powers of trunking.

Dr. Hampson

Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that, in the metropolitan counties, all the present procedures will be applicable in future? Proposals will go to public consultation, there will be participation exercises, lines will be produced, objections will come in and public inquiries will be held. There will be no change in the participation of the public as a result of the Bill.

Mr. Ground

That is not right. The Bill gives the Secretary of State powers to trunk roads without any public inquiry. He already has powers to trunk roads with a public inquiry. The people of London will have no means of challenging the thinking behind the trunking of roads. If my hon. Friend compares his status as an objector at a subsequent planning inquiry with that which he would have had at an inquiry into the trunking proposals, he will see that there is a fundamental and important constitutional and practical difference.

Mr. Cormack

Will my hon. and learned Friend emphasise that those of us who are known to be less than enthusiastic about the Bill have been inundated with letters from people in Greater London who are extremely exercised on this issue?

Mr. Ground

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. If he has had letters, I ask him to imagine how many I have had from Richmond, Clapham and many parts of south London.

The Bill recognises that fire and civil defence can be run only on a London-wide basis. If there were an elected authority, it would be sensible for those functions to remain with it.

Mr. Toby Jessel (Twickenham)

My hon. and learned Friend mentioned fire. Surely what people want from a fire brigade is not democracy but efficiency.

Mr. Ground

My hon friend is right but I think that he will agree, as his constituency is near an airport, that there is considerable anxiety about the fire service and people are much happier to have an elected body responsible for these matters. That has been the case for many years.

Mr. John Wheeler (Westminster, North)

Surely my hon. and learned Friend accepts that fire cover and the standards set for the fire brigade in London and elsewhere are governed by the Home Office and the chief inspector of the fire service. Locally elected councillors do not decide what service there will be.

Mr. Ground

My hon. Friend is correct and I dissociate myself from any propaganda which suggests that the fire service will be cut after reorganisation, but the fact remains that the service has been under democratic control for many years. It is an important part of our system that democratic bodies take responsibility for such matters.

Mr. Tony Banks

Is the hon. Gentleman aware—[HON. MEMBERS: "He has made it to the Front Bench."] I am merely a lodger here for a few moments.

The Labour GLC restored cuts made by the previous Conservative GLC in the fire brigade, including providing another appliance in the hon and learned Gentleman's constituency.

Mr. Ground

I can only say that it took a very long time to do it.

My right hon. FrieZnd theZ SeZcreZtary of State asked what functions should be exercised by an elected London-wide body. Mineral planning is of great importance to London. If my right hon. Friend reads any report produced for his Department on the subject in the past 15 years he will find that they all say that mineral planning should be the responsibility of a county-wide body. He will have the guidance on that subject necessary to make a judgment.

The picture is similar with refuse disposal, especially with making satisfactory arrangements for sites. In clause 9, my right hon. Friend is taking powers to do that himself wheZn difficultieZs ariseZ. HeZ could beZ saveZd that difficult task as theZ job is preZ-eZmineZntly one for a London-wide body, as an elected body might be able to solve more easily the many problems which are likely to arise in the immediate future.

I shall deal with the Southbank. The Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the National Theatre and the National Film Theatre were dealt with by the Committee in one brisk morning. The Committee approved their transfer to a national quango in the form of the Arts Council. If there is to be an elected London-wide body those buildings and the GLC's role in connection with theZm should sureZly beZ within its functions.

Many of theZ GLC's functions areZ locateZd in boroughs but cost much moreZ than a borough is willing to speZnd. TheZy areZ of greZat London-wideZ importanceZ. HampsteZad heZath is an eZxampleZ. It costs £1.25 million a year to maintain predominantly in a borough which does not wish to be responsible for it after the abolition of the GLC.

Sir Hugh Rossi (Hornsey and Wood Grezn)

Could not Hampstead heath well be looked after as a royal park—such parks are dealt with effectively and efficiently—thereby overcoming the problem of splitting the heath between three separate boroughs?

Mr. Ground

My hon. Friend is quite right, and I am sure that he is right when he suggests that that would be a more acceptable solution to those who live in the area. However, that is not the proposal in the Bill. If we compare the proposals in the Bill with the possibility of the heath continuing to be administered by a London-wide body, there is no doubt that it would be preferable if it were run by such a body. TheZ SeZleZct Committee which the amendment envisages could advise on these and many other functions, and all the functions that I have mentioned would be candidates for consideration.

Several hon. Members have asked whether the amendment would create a mini GLC which in time would turn into another fully fledged GLC. My answer is twofold. First, if the GLC has played a wider role than Parliament intended, that is, at least in part, the fault of Parliament for giving the GLC powers that were too wide and too ill-defined. Secondly, if Parliament wished to create an elected London-wide body with limited powers, it could do so and could eZnsureZ that the powers were limited. It would be thoroughly feeble of the Government and my right hon. and hon. Friends to conclude that it was impossible, and that they were unable, by legislation, to create a body with limited powers. That would be an abdication of their role, both as Government and as legislators.

I strongly support the amendment and hope that my hon. Friends and Opposition Members will do so as well.

The Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Patrick Jenkin)

I intervene at this stage, because, as I think the House recognises, this debate deals with one of the crucial issues in the Bill. Indeed, amendment No. 6, to which my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground) referred, would, if carried, defeat one of the main aims of the Bill. It would, therefore, be helpful if the Government's view is clearly restated and the reasons for it clearly spelt out. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government will reply at the end of the debate and deal with any points which are made after I sit down.

Before I come to the arguments attractively advanced by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston, I must make it clear that amendment No. 68, moved by the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham), must be rejected outright. Throughout the proceedings on this Bill the Labour party has steadfastly and rightly refused to give any pledge to restore the six metropolitan county councils. No doubt the hon. Gentleman came under strong pressure from a number of sources. Amendment No. 68 seeks to restore those county councils under some other guise by converting the residuary bodies into upper-tier elected authorities. What has happened to the firm resolve of the hon. Member for Copeland? Is it just a sop to his critics, or has the hon. Gentleman now changed his mind about the metropolitan counties?

The hon. Gentleman will know that any suggestion that the metropolitan counties should be restored at a later date would be bitterly opposed by many Labour Members and district councils and by virtually every Conservative Member for whom the return to single-tier government in the metropolitan counties has been an ambition for some years. I therefore reject that amendment and ask the House to do so.

8.15 pm

The argument advanced by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston has been advanced both on the Floor of the House and in Committee. He argued that London is different. It has been said that London has a history of two-tier local government and of a London-wide body of some sort. On that basis, my hon. and learned Friend argues that there should be an elected successor to the GLC.

Most of those who advance that argument—from the way my hon. and learned Friend spoke, I am sure that he would accept this view—would acknowledge that the GLC, which we have had for the last 21 years, has not worked and that in any event there must be changes. The Conservative leader at county hall, Councillor Alan Greengross, has been very firm in his view that the GLC, as we know it today, must be abolished, but replaced by another directly-elected London-wide authority.

As the House knows, the leaders in the majority of London boroughs, supported by their councils, have argued consistently not only for the abolition of the GLC but for no replacement body. Until a few years ago, that was the view espoused by Mr. Livingstone himself, when he said: I do not conceive of the GLC as local in any sense. I feel that the boroughs are the major instruments of local government in London. I very much regret that Mr. Cutler has not been the really ruthless Tory that he likes to project and come forward with the biggest axe of all and axed the whole appalling show. I should also draw the attention of my hon. Friends to a resolution passed at a recent well attended meeting of the Conservative Greater London area council, which stated: That this Area Council supports the abolition of the Greater London Council and in conformity with the expressed views of the leaders of Conservative-controlled London boroughs would not wish to see that principle weakened by any elected forum for Greater London imposed over the structure of borough government". That resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority of that well attended meeting.

Mr. John Wilkinson (Ruislip-Northwood)

May I remind my right hon. Friend of the resolution moved by Ruislip-Northwood Conservative Association at the Greater London area CPC conference last year at the time of the debate on "Streamlining the Cities," which called for a directly-elected London-wide body? That was overwhelmingly carried by a majority of five to one. Surely London is different. Newcastle, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham and the other big cities in the metropolitan counties will continue to have city-wide elected government, whereas London will be denied it and will have only borough representation.

Mr. Jenkin

I should point out that the motion to which I referred was carried by the fully representative body of the Conservative party in London only last week. That indicates that perhaps the Government are winning the argument.

A number of my hon. Friends who represent constituencies outside London should perhaps have some regard to the expression of view by those of our party representing the 84 constituencies in London.

Mr. Dykes

Bearing in mind the total membership in London, how many people were at that annual general meeting?

Mr. Jenkin

About 180, and the motion was carried by a majority of more than 10 to one, so I think that it was an effective expression of opinion on behalf of the Conservative party in London.

Dr. Cunningham

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Jenkin

No, I will not give way. I should like to develop my argument.

This is not a new argument stirred up in the past year or two. The 1963 Act purported to be a new deal for London, but it must now be seen against the long history of dispute as to the kind of local government that London should have.

The history of local government in London for the past century or more has been a ceaseless struggle between those who have sought more powers for a so-called London-wide body and those who wanted power for the boroughs. The establishment of the London county council in 1889 was a clear victory for the centralisers. Ten years later, Lord Salisbury sought to establish a counterpoise for the boroughs—at that time, the inner London boroughs only.

Dr. Cunningham

The right hon. Gentleman has stressed that the argument has been flowing to and fro. Why does he not concede that only a few years ago he was on the other side of the argument? When he gave evidence to the Marshall inquiry into the government of London, both he and his right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government made a formidable case in support of a strategic authority for London. What has changed?

Mr. Jenkin

We now have more experience of how the Greater London council has operated.

In the following decades, since the beginning of the century, three county boroughs were established outside inner London—Croydon, East Ham and West Ham. All were all-purpose authorities. The Herbert commission also noted that in Middlesex at least 10 authorities had a good claim to county borough status.

Herein lies the paradox. It was the Herbert commission which established the GLC, but it was also the Herbert commission which recognised the full claims of the London boroughs and, for the first time in London's history — I stress that point — established the comprehensive pattern of most-purpose boroughs that we have today. Apart from inner London, where education remains with the ILEA, all London boroughs— inner and outer—are now most-purpose authorities. They are responsible for the overwhelming majority of services in those areas, they spend the overwhelming preponderance of ratepayers' money on local authority services and they are now the true focus of local government in London.

By contrast, the GLC, set up by the same Act, was from the outset a pale shadow of its predecessor, the LCC. It had all the panoply and trappings of power, but very few of the services that would justify that power. The GLC has had status without a role. The 1964 reforms shifted the balance decisively in favour of the London boroughs, and from that there can be no turning back. The seeds of the GLC's demise were planted at the very moment of its birth.

The past 20 years have seen the consequences of trying to run a two-tier local government system in London with almost all the services and almost all the powers at the lower level but with conflicting and overlapping powers at the upper level. Each tier claims a mandate from the electorate for its policies and each tier is determined to impose its will on the other. We can now see that this was and is bound to be a recipe for conflict and confusion. In terms of services, I do not believe that the case for a separate, directly elected upper tier of local government in London stands up.

We all agree that housing should be a borough function and that, apart from the trunk road network, highways construction and maintenance are borough functions. We all agree that in outer London education should remain a borough function and we all agree now that transport is rightly under LRT and outside local government altogether. [HON. MEMBERS: "We do not agree."] Well, on this side we all agree.

In terms of services, we are left with fire and civil defence. I do not see how it can be argued that we need a directly elected authority to run those two services. A joint authority made up of borough members can do the job just as well at less expense.

Mr. Straw


Mr. Jenkin

No, I shall not give way.

Those who argue for a London-wide body claim, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston did with customary force, that there is a crucial role for such a body in highways and land use planning. But is it not clear, after 21 years' experience of the GLC, that the Greater London area is an artificial basis for planning and policy? Is it not clear that London, the capital city of the nation, is the focus for government, business, commerce, shopping, the arts, the theatre and many other services appropriate to such a city and that its influence stretches far beyond the outer boundaries of the GLC area?

Mr. Tony Banks

Let us have a bigger GLC then.

Mr. Jenkin

Is it not clear that all the major planning and transport decisions fall inevitably not to the GLC but to the Government and to the House? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I invite the Opposition to consider this. Where does London begin and end? [HON. MEMBERS: "In Marsham Street."]

The M25 motorway is almost entirely outside the GLC boundaries, but that was arguably one of the most far-reaching transport decisions affecting the capital. Let us consider airports. I do not want to get involved in the decision about London's third airport, but would anyone seriously argue that that decision could or should be taken by whoever is in charge at county hall? London's highway network does not begin or end at the Greater London boundary. London is the heart of a national network of highways stretching from the south-west, the west country and Wales, the west midlands, the east midlands, East Anglia and Kent right into the heart of London. How can that be the subject of planning by the GLC?

Let us consider planning within London. Has the GLC scored any notable successes in the past 20 years—for instance, in the revival of London's docklands, the rebuilding of the south bank or the planning of London's traffic?

Mr. Tony Banks


Mr. Jenkin

No, I shall not give way.

What happens when the GLC decides that traffic management must serve the interests of Londoners without heed to those coming into London? Many of my hon. Friends protested vigorously about the arrogant decision to introduce a right turn at Talgarth road in Hammersmith. The traffic jams stretched right back into the heart of Berkshire.

There is a need for planning, transport and traffic to be considered over a wider area, but they are not matters on which a directly elected authority for the Greater London area can play a worthwhile role.

Mr. Straw


Mr. Jenkin

No, I shall not give way.

Other mechanisms — for example, the standing conference—recognise London's role as a capital city and its impact on the south-east, and those mechanisms are essential, but the problems will not be solved by the recreation, in however skeletal a form, of a GLC mark II.

I therefore ask my hon. Friends again what it is that they want a London-wide body to do. Caught, as it would be, between the pincers of the comprehensive all-purpose powers of the boroughs and the wider planning and highways role that properly falls to the Government and to the House, where can there be a worthwhile role for a London-wide body? Indeed, if there is no worthwhile role, who will serve on it? Do not my hon. Friends realise that, whatever my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston says to the contrary, that proposal will re-create a body which, just like the GLC, invents for itself functions in order to justify its existence?

I have read, re-read and discussed endlessly the proposals put forward by Councillor Greengross and other members of the GLC. I have to say that I cannot understand the argument which says, "Yes, the GLC must be abolished, but in its place we must establish a new elected body with most of its functions retained."

Those who have seen the booklet of Mr. Greengross will know that he listed no fewer than 27 separate functions, which he argued should be the responsibility of the successor body. How could that conceivably be different from what we have at present, and which we all recognise has not worked? Therefore, I say in all candour to my hon. Friends that I do not believe that the case for an elected London-wide body has been made.

8.30 pm

My hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Sir P. Goodhart), who has apologised for his absence, put forward proposals to involve the House either through a Select Committee or through a Grand Committee or both to take a closer interest in those wider aspects of government as they affect London. Any such decision must be a matter not for this Bill, but for the House of Commons, to be discussed through the usual channels. I would say only this. Any such London Select Committee would sit uneasily alongside the pattern of departmental Select Committees which were set up after 1979. I feel sure that my hon. Friend will wish to pursue his proposal through the appropriate channels. It is clearly not for me to give him a "yea" or "nay" this evening.

Others of my hon. Friends may well argue that there is a role for the London Boroughs Association in speaking for the London borough as a whole. That could be so. There is nothing in the Bill which precludes the boroughs building on the existing machinery, and, indeed, it could well grow in importance when it is not overshadowed by a GLC.

I must end by making it abundantly clear to the House that the Government are firmly opposed to replacing the GLC with an elected body, a body with executive functions, or a body capable of precepting on the boroughs. We see no need for such a body. We see no role for such a body. If amendment No. 6 is pressed to a Division, I must ask my hon. Friends to join me in the Lobby to oppose it.

Mr. Simon Hughes

If the Secretary of State thought that his early intervention would be helpful in persuading his right hon. and hon. Friends of his view, he was sadly deceiving himself. He argued in circles from the position in which he has placed himself. His case tonight was slightly different from previously. It was that matters must now be considered on a regional basis wider than London, yet the solution to who would be that regional authority was himself and his Department.

No Conservative Members can honestly believe, whatever the arguments about the right sort of local government, that we want local government to be replaced by this Secretary of State or any future Secretary of State. As the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) pointed out, for many years the Secretary of State has taken a line opposite to that which he now argues. He is the representative of undemocratic government. I notice that he wears the tie of the London Docklands Development Corporation—a quango set up in the last few years. He comes to the House as Mr. Central Government. Ranged against him are these amendments and people whom I have asked him to recognise are not the extremists against democracy, but extremists for democracy, among whom not many years ago he would have wished to be numbered.

In London, a poster shows the picture of two of the Secretary of State's right hon. Friends, underneath which it says: Not all the critics of ratecapping are Left-wing extremists? One amendment in this group is in the names of the right hon. and learned Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon), the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour), the hon. Member for Milton Keynes (Mr.

Benyon), the hon. and learned Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground), and two of their hon. Friends. They are hardly a group of extremists.

Other amendments in the group are in the names of the right hon. Members for Islwyn (Mr. Kinnock), and for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), and the hon. Members for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) and for Blackburn (Mr. Straw). Even their own party would hardly regard them as extremists. Finally, two of the amendments are in the names of my right hon. Friends the Members for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen), and for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Steel), and my hon. Friends the Members for Woolwich (Mr. Cartwright), for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock), for Leeds, West (Mr. Meadowcroft) and myself. We are hardly regarded as the most extreme of politicians.

Ranged against the Secretary of State and his Cabinet colleagues is that amazing coalition of people, until now respected for being central in their parties and in their parties' thinking. They have argued abundantly clearly and consistently for democracy.

Mr. Richard Tracey (Surbiton)

It is interesting to hear the hon. Gentleman list all those right hon. and hon. Gentlemen. Perhaps he will tell me where they are this evening while this important debate is taking place?

Mr. Hughes

The hon. Gentleman need not be worried for a moment. They will be present in substantial numbers to show that the Government have far from overwhelming support for their position.

I ask the Secretary of State to take this opportunity to get himself and his party out of the mess of their own hasty making. There are three questions before the House. First, should we provide an elected successor authority for London — that amendment has been tabled by Conservative Members — or should we provide a successor authority for London and the Metropolitan counties — the amendments tabled by Opposition Members. Secondly, should there be an elected successor body, whether it is called a residual body or something else? Thirdly, if so, what should it do?

The first question reveals the view that, as London is a capital city, it has a stronger case than the metropolitan counties. That is a view that I share with many others. This argument bears repeating, because it is so self-evident. If the Government go ahead with their proposal, we shall be the only capital city in western Europe without a governing authority.

The Government's announcement that to accept these proposals would defeat the main aims of the Bill because they would prevent there being a single-tier government in London is wrong on three counts. First, it is untrue to say that as a result of the Government's proposals there will be no single-tier government. The Secretary of State knows that we will have many tiers of government—joint boards, quangos, himself and local boroughs. That is not single-tier government and, therefore, this premise is fundamentally false.

Secondly, this premise is inconsistent. The right hon. Gentleman knows that there will not be single-tier government in the shire counties of England after the Bill is passed. There is no principle that is so fundamental that it says that there must inevitably be single-tier government in a metropolitan area, especially when boundaries are unclear, and at the same time that in all other areas, some of which were proposed by Royal Commissions, such as the Hampshire area around Southampton, there should be two tiers of government.

Thirdly, is it justified? The answer to that is no, because the opinion of most professionals, be they officers of authorities or experts, given to all those who have considered this matter in Committee and elsewhere in the House, is clearly that there are many strong arguments for services being run on a county-wide basis. In Committee the Government were challenged time after time to tell us who supported their case, to say which royal institutions, chartered surveyors, town planners or associations of architects supported them. The answer time after time was no one. The Government have been given an opportunity tonight to introduce a system of deliberations during which a group of parliamentarians can take evidence from people who know what they are talking about, free from the political prejudice which inevitably affects all of us in this place. The Government have been given the chance to ensure that the people of this capital city and, if necessary, of the metropolitan counties can have local government with the right level of services.

Several hon. Members have listed the services which the public clearly do not want the Government to remove from democratically elected local authorities. Airports, transport and trunking are obvious places to start. There is an obvious case for those services not to be subject to centrally imposed decisions. Planning, fire services, civil defence and the police are also obvious cases. I understand that the Minister for Local Government, having talked to the leaders of the Tory boroughs, is extremely worried about the proposals for waste disposal—

Mr. Kenneth Baker


Mr. Hughes

Yes. The present strategic plan for waste disposal in London might well blow up in the face of the right hon. Gentleman and his departmental colleagues. At meetings in his Department he has expressed concern that joint boards are probably unsuitable for waste disposal services in London, and that a single level authority would be equally unacceptable. If there are, as he anticipates, deaths because people pour one chemical into a pit where others are present, because of a lack of a co-ordinated strategy, he knows that he will be responsible for the fatal deterioration of an excellent service.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

Perhaps I could correct the information which the hon. Gentleman has heard at second hand. Our first debate tomorrow will relate to waste disposal, and I shall introduce proposals which the Conservative borough leaders put to me and found satisfactory for waste disposal in the Greater London area.

Mr. Hughes

That shows yet again that the Government are thinking on the hoof. There is no co-ordination at all. Although there may be piecemeal improvement, it would be much better to follow the suggestions made by Conservative Back-Bench Members or by the alliance that there should be wholesale consideration of planning for the future after the GLC.

We could have had many arguments tonight on a Bill which has been rushed through the House. The Bill, which deals with arts, sport, the police, law and order, housing and the environment, has been guillotined, but the Government know that that will not be the case in the House of Lords. Would it not be better to think again? Should hon. Members not say, "Let us have the opportunity of listening to expert argument and advice"? If we cannot win the simple argument, because the Government have set their face against it, for continuing the present authorities in a similar form—I realise that no one can defend every jot and tittle of what they do—let us at least have the opportunity to argue logically, quietly, intelligently and consistently, freed from timetables and the harassment of the present position, for what we believe is a necessary tier of strategic government in the regions and in London.

I end with this warning. The Government have been told repeatedly that if they abolish the seven counties in haste, politically, democratically, and in terms of services to our people, they will repent that abolition at their leisure.

Sir Ian Gilmour (Chesham and Amersham)

I wish to make a few comments on the speech of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. We all have great respect for him, and great sympathy for him over the Bill, but he did not meet the case for the amendment at any point in his speech. He did not meet the case in one fundamental way, because he did not explain why London should be different from almost every other major capital city and be deprived of a directly elected authority. As far as I know, he did not mention the point at all.

8.45 pm

It is astonishing—this is a serious matter that touches not only the government of London but deep springs of Conservative philosophy—that the Government cannot answer the fundamental criticism that, instead of their local authority legislation decentralising services, it is centralising them. We must know what is so unique about London that it is not allowed to have a directly elected authority.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for giving way, and I shall try not to intervene in his speech too often. I said that, as can be found in other capital cities that have indirectly nominated bodies to represent the entire city, the London Boroughs Association, not overshadowed by the GLC, could achieve greater importance and could represent what my right hon. Friend is seeking in his rather emotional arguments. No doubt he will come to this point, but I must ask him what such a body would do.

Sir Ian Gilmour

It is not an emotional argument at all; it is a fundamental argument. The idea that a quango or an association such as the LBA could be a substitute for a proper directly elected authority is extraordinary. I differ fundamentally from my right hon. Friend on that point.

Mr. Wilkinson

Does my right hon. Friend realise that the London Boroughs Association has a built-in Socialist majority, which may not be a good thing? Does he also realise that, interestingly, 11 Socialist boroughs have seceded from it?

Sir Ian Gilmour

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is taking an admirably non-party view on these matters, which my hon. Friend and I are unable to take.

My right hon. Friend said that during the past 100 years there had been a great history of conflict between centralisers and localisers. As far as I know, that is a complete myth. The suggestion has no historical basis. My right hon. Friend referred to what Lord Salisbury said in 1899, but he omitted to say that Lord Salisbury had set up the London county council in 1888. Most of those who have studied the history of local government during the past 100 years do not accept that there has been a great conflict between centralisers and localisers, and my right hon. Friend, who has good eyes, should see it too.

My right hon. Friend said that it was wrong to have a directly elected authority because it was difficult to ascertain the boundaries of London. That is not a serious argument. Every capital city has a similar problem, because no capital city is built on an island. They all have many districts. That argument applies not only to London but to any local authority. The difficulty of defining boundaries is no argument against having a directly elected authority. With great respect to my right hon. Friend, I cannot believe that that was a serious argument.

We return to the question of why London is different. My right hon. Friend's other argument—it seemed to be his only argument — was that if we had a directly elected authority we would have Mr. Ken Livingstone back. He seemed to believe that, however strictly the statute was drawn, somehow Mr. Ken Livingstone would rear his ugly head again. With great respect, that is a confession of impotence by my right hon. Friend, who is extremely skilled at drafting legislation. The idea that he cannot draft legislation without bringing back Mr. Livingstone is absurd.

We have not had a single serious argument to explain why the thoroughly Conservative idea of not giving great powers to the Secretary of State has not been followed. As I have said before, the Bill specifies 123 powers for my right hon. Friend — hardly a particularly Conservative thing to do—and is hardly a great measure for local government. The Bill concentrates power in the hands of the Secretary of State and gives great powers not to the boroughs but to collections of boroughs, which are not local bodies.

I do not think, although my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government might be able to produce an argument, that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is serious in his arguments. I cannot help feeling that he must have great sympathy with the amendment. One of the faults of this Government, if they have a fault, is that they sometimes confuse obstinacy with strength. I can see no reason for the Government not giving way to this amendment. It is in tune with the history of the country and of Conservative ideas, and with practicality. The Government will bequeath the most appalling problems to London government if they do not give way on this amendment. I hope that, unless we are given a serious argument on this matter, my hon. Friends will support the amendment.

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

I shall not go back to Lord Salisbury for my quote, nor to 1898. I start by quoting from 1971, when a right hon. Member said about a Bill to reform local government: When the Bill reaches the Statute Book and the new authorities come into operation, we shall have ended the uncertainty which has bedevilled local government since the war. We shall have strengthened local democratic institutions so that they operate more successfully and efficiently and have a greater impact on their localities."—[Official Report, 16 November 1971; Vol. 826, c. 249.] Those are the words of the present Secretary of State for Energy, who was then the Secretary of State for the Environment and responsible for the local government reorganisation that established the metropolitan counties.

The Secretary of State for the Environment chided my hon. Friend the Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) about the Labour party's policy towards the metropolitan counties, let alone to the Greater London council. I remind him that the reform being referred to in my quote came about as the result of continuing inquiry. As the then Secretary of State for the Environment said, this problem had bedevilled Governments since the war. After 1945, there were many inquiries, which culminated in the Redcliffe-Maud report of 1969.

In February 1970, the then Labour Government published a White Paper. That Government lost power in the following June, but in 1971, the Conservative Government published another White Paper. The Secretary of State for the Environment was a member of that Government and was telling people that they should learn to clean their teeth in the dark. Redcliffe-Maud and the two White Papers had one thing in common. They all agreed that there should be metropolitan counties to deal with the overspill problems and many other services required in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and the west midlands.

The Secretary of State for the Environment has not changed his mind. Although he tells the House that he wishes to diversify the functions of local government to the more local district level, the Bill ensures that 67 per cent. of expenditure by the metropolitan counties will go not to borough or district councils but to joint boards. No less than 76 per cent. of the expenditure of Merseyside is to go to a joint board.

The Secretary of State talks about the inevitable recipe for conflict and controversy resulting from the two-tier structure, of the GLC arguing with the London boroughs, and the Merseyside county council arguing with the district councils. Can one conceive of a situation in which Councillor Hatton in Liverpool and Councillor Ron Watson in Sefton will join hands across the joint boards for passenger transport, the police or fire service on Merseyside and be real buddies? The Secretary of State's proposal is a recipe for conflict, and not even a democratic one.

The electors require a clear decision so that they can understand who is responsible. They want to know that they have played a part in determining who is responsible for services. That is why residuary bodies, although I dislike both the term and the reality, will have to be elected by the people in their area, and should be responsible for the services that the Government, even at this late stage, have not determined should be the function of any particular authority.

For example, for the arts on Merseyside, we still do not know who is to be responsible for giving assistance to the Empire and Playhouse theatres, or what is to happen to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra, let alone the Philharmonic hall. I am sure that Councillor Hatton, who had to close the St. Georges hall, will not be able to find the funds, after the Government have finished with Liverpool, to maintain the Philharmonic hall.

We have not heard which body is to be responsible for economic development on Merseyside. I am still the chairman of the Merseyside economic development corporation. This body has generated 8,000 new jobs on Merseyside—a drop in the ocean when compared with the 100,000 jobs that have been lost since May 1979 when the daughter of darkness entered No. 10 Downing street. We do not know, and the Secretary of State should tell the House and the business community on Merseyside, what is to happen to the county help for active small enterprise scheme after his changes. Who is to make the decisions about the help to be given to small businesses on Merseyside? I do not believe that has been mentioned in Committee. However, the Merseyside chamber of commerce is entitled to know the answer to that question.

The Government have recently emphasised the assistance that has been given to Merseyside through the Merseyside economic development corporation. They recognise the need for such a body, even though it is a quango. We still do not know which body will be responsible for co-ordinating tourism in the area. Certainly it will not be an elected body. From time to time the Secretary of State visits Merseyside and says that the prospects there for tourism are good. We should like to know what will happen. The people of Merseyside recognise the role that has been played by the county council. It has acted as a catalyst in developing the tourist potential in the area. I refer to the small ships race and to the museums and art galleries. We do not yet know what is to happen to the satellite museums, although we know what is to happen to the Walker art gallery.

9 pm

The hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel), who is no longer in his place, referred in an intervention to his belief that people do not want a democratically elected fire service; they want an efficient fire service. I prefer to stand by the principle enunciated many years ago by a Liberal Prime Minister, Campbell-Bannerman. I believe, with him, that self-government is better than good government. It is far better for people to make their own mistakes and for those mistakes to be rectified in a democratic manner. I need go no further than the debate in the House on 16 November 1971 on the reorganisation of local government. The present Secretary of State for Energy said then that he believed it was right for the newly reformed local government to be on the basis that those making the decisions should go through the process of democratic election. The right hon. Gentleman was right in 1971. I think that he would be right now. He is always described as the wettest property in the Cabinet. He should have the guts to say whether he holds to the view that he stated in 1971.

If the Secretary of State for the Environment thinks that Merseysiders and local government officers will co-operate in administering a regime that has no democratic basis, I am afraid that he has another think coming. Even if the Bill is passed by next July he will be unable to implement its provisions by April 1986. There will be such chaos that the next Labour Government will be left to pick up the pieces, if we can find them, early in 1987 or 1988. We shall restore democracy to local government in the metropolitan areas. Certain Conservative Members believe that there is a strong case for democratic government of the capital of the United Kingdom. They should also look very carefully at the amendment which seeks to create democratic local government in the metropolitan authorities, which face many of the problems and difficulties experienced by London. They should join the Opposition in the Lobby tonight not only on their amendment, which I applaud wholeheartedly, but on the amendment which seeks to ensure that there will be democratic local government in our metropolitan conurbations.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg (Hampstead and Highgate)

The hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) made a very strange remark. He said that people would rather have bad government than self-government.

Mr. Wareing

I did not say that.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

That is what it sounded like. If the hon. Gentleman would care to repeat what he said, I should be grateful.

Mr. Wareing

Because the hon. Gentleman is so far away in the Yukon of the House, he did not hear what I said. I said that self-government is better than good government. It was a quotation from Campbell-Bannerman, the Liberal Prime Minister.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman. As it was quoted in relation to the fire service, people will be saying that when they are dead and that will not do them much good.

The hon. Member for West Derby said that the mess would have to be cleared up by a Labour Government in 1987 or 1988. I advise the hon. Gentleman to look at the parliamentary records relating to the reform of London local government in 1963–64. The Labour party then threatened that the social services and the children's services would not be given to the new London boroughs. The Labour Government had time to make a change, but they did not. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman makes his threats in good faith, but they are empty threats because a Labour Government will not be elected in 1987 or 1988. In addition, if there were a Labour Government, they would not want to change the system because the single tier authorities—the districts and the boroughs—do not want an upper tier authority.

I welcome my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour) to our debate. If he bothers to read the history of London local government for the past 80 years, he will realise that there has been constant conflict between the metropolitan borough councils and the London county council and between the London boroughs and the GLC. All academic writers on the subject make that point.

My right hon. Friend was wrong. London borough council officials, after the formation of the GLC, said that the new GLC was just as much a "Big Brother" as the old LCC was to the metropolitan boroughs. The latest proposals provide us with the first opportunity to prevent the conflict that we have experienced for years and which has been to the detriment of the people of London.

Mr. Denis Howell (Birmingham, Small Heath)

When power resides in two authorities, whatever they are, there will always be conflict, and it is right that there should be. The hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) is saying that the conflict, which has long existed between the boroughs and the GLC and its predecessor, the LCC, will turn into conflict between the boroughs and the Government of the day. That will be much worse.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

I shall not attempt to discuss the west midlands and Birmingham. I do not believe that the London Boroughs Association, which, contrary to certain remarks, is controlled by the Conservative party, will be engaged in conflict with central Government.

I want to address my remarks more to my right hon. Friends than to Opposition Members. The Opposition are wholly unreconstructed. The debates in 1963 and 1964 about the abolition of the LCC show that the Labour party has not advanced one iota since then. It is still living in a land of make believe. The hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) said that the Opposition would co-operate if the Government set up a Royal Commission or an inquiry. But what happened between the Herbert commission and the implementation of legislation? There was precious little co-operation between the Labour-controlled LCC and central Government. The hon. Gentleman would be unable to deliver any more than the Labour party was willing to deliver in those days.

The Liberal party spokesman, who has disappeared into thin air, will not mind me saying that the Liberals have little interest in a higher tier of government for London. The last Liberal who understood, because he had a broad vision, was Sir Percy Harris, who served more than 30 years ago. The Liberal party at county hall has not distinguished itself in any thinking since then.

London has never wanted overall London government. Perhaps I have spanned the sectors of the party, because I was appointed as London spokesman for the Conservative party by my right hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath), and reappointed by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. I seem to enjoy the confidence of both segments of the Conservative party, at least with regard to London.

I do not believe that one can compare the position of the capital city of London with that of, for example, Paris or Rome. A person from Paris calls himself a Parisien. However, if one talks to the average citizen of Hampstead or Sutton, he does not say that he is a Londoner; he says that he comes from Hampstead or Sutton. Indeed, in Hampstead, a person will start arguing about the village from which he came. There is Belsize village, town ward, and other places. In that sense, London is not the entity that many people try to pretend it is. London is far more a collection of independent authorities than a capital city.

What is London? My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State clearly showed why the idea of a London-wide body was unnecessary, irrespective of comments made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham, who probably did not follow the arguments that were being put forward. Is London the area covered by the Thames water authority? Is it the area covered by London Regional Transport, the Greater London council or the Metropolitan police? We have always had that problem in London. It used to be the LCC area. Then there was the London postal region and the London telecommunications region. No one has ever satisfactorily defined what London is. What I am trying to say is that in the end the average Londoner is far more concerned and interested in his own borough council than in a vast amorphous body.

Mr. Tony Banks

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will accept that all cities are organic. They grow and diminish in their scope. What makes the boundary of a London borough any more precise in its adefinition than that of London as a whole? I do not understand.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

As I develop my argument, I may help the hon. Gentleman. I am not sure whether he is now publicly chairman-elect of the GLC.

Mr. Banks

I am.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

I hope that will be the GLC's gain and our loss. We shall have to see what the year produces.

Mr. Banks

I shall remain a Member of Parliament.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

In that case, the hon. Gentleman will be neglecting his proper duties and proving that there is no need for a chairman of the GLC, which is the point that I would make. The hon. Gentleman has made that point for me and I am grateful to him.

The boroughs are closer to the people than the upper tier. Those who oppose abolition and those who want a voice for London are not always the same people. My friend Alan Greengross, who represents Hampstead on the GLC, is wholly with me in wanting the abolition of the GLC but not wholly with me when he says that he wants a substitute body. I do not believe that he has thought through what the consequences of that substitute body would be. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State never mentioned the re-creation of Ken Livingstone; he merely said that in the end there were no worthwhile functions although Alan Greengross listed 23.

Mr. Michael Foot (Blaenau Gwent)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

I shall give way in half a second to my distinguished constituent, one of 26 Labour Members of Parliament whom I seek to represent.

I was going to say that those same people also tend to call for a Royal Commission so that the matter can be fully investigated.

Mr. Foot

The hon. Gentleman has said that he differs from the view of Mr. Alan Greengross. Does the hon. Gentleman acknowledge that one of the principal arguments that he is concerned about is the future control of Hampstead heath, where the hon. Gentleman has shown himself to be such a deserter and where so few of his constituents support him? Is not Mr. Greengross advocating a proper solution to that problem, whereas the hon. Gentleman has no solution whatsoever?

9.15 pm
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

The right hon. Gentleman clearly does not bother to read the Hampstead and Highgate Express. If he will be patient, he will hear me talk about Hampstead heath. I am glad that he followed my call to his Labour GLC to remove the tinkers who occupied the heath on two occasions.

There has been a call for a Royal Commission to look at this matter again. We had a Royal Commission 20 years ago. It reported, and the facts have not changed. The Herbert commission suggested that the top tier should cover matters that have now been lost—the ambulance service, housing and transport, which was flogged to the GLC and rightly removed recently. There is little left to make it worth creating a London-wide body. Those who hanker back to a Royal Commission or the Herbert report conveniently forget that the Royal Commission, after careful investigation, advocated that education should go to all the London boroughs, not just to the outer London boroughs.

Mr. Foot

Will the hon. Gentleman answer my question? Did not Mr. Greengross, having considered these matters, reach the conclusion that one reason why there should be a body in future was that one authority should be responsible for a place such as Hampstead heath? The Hampstead and Highgate Express, which is a fine newspaper, is passionately opposed to the hon. Gentleman's view. So are the overwhelming majority of his constituents. They want a single authority to do the job and many of the other jobs cited by hon. Members.

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

I shall not arrange the order of my speech to suit the right hon. Gentleman, who does not represent Hampstead but who resides in a rather more lush part of Hampstead than I could afford. I know what my constituents say, and they do not follow the line of wanting a London-wide body. I promise the right hon. Gentleman that, when we are discussing Welsh matters, I shall not interfere in his constituency.

I wish to talk about the propaganda that has been coming from the paid hacks at county hall, because people are beginning to believe some of the stories. I want to make it very clear that those closest to the citizens are the London borough councils. The Conservative majority on the London Boroughs Association has said clearly that it can run the services without an upper tier authority. That includes the leaders of Harrow and Hillingdon councils, who reiterated that a few weeks ago. They know what they want for their people.

The same misrepresentation has been put about regarding Hampstead heath, upon which I have walked for rather longer than most of those now prating about it. When I was a child I was taken on the heath, and I yield to no one in my love and admiration for it. But there is absolutely no reason why the dedicated people who look after the heath—not the councillors at county hall, but the hard-working park keepers—could not do exactly the same job for any authority that was responsible for the heath.

I shall come in a moment to what I said several months ago, when the Bill was first published, about the future of Hampstead heath, which the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) would have heard had he attended a meeting of the Heath and Old Hampstead Society. It is clear that the Government have never said that giving management to the three territorial boroughs would mean splitting the heath. That has never been said and it has never been intended. It has been said by those who make propaganda from over the water, but it has never been said and was never intended by the Government. If that were so, I would violently oppose it, because that is not the way to do it.

There are two major issues—and here I answer the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent if he wishes to listen. First, Hampstead heath should be properly funded. That assurance has already been given repeatedly by Ministers. Secondly, its management should not be fragmented. That again is perfectly clear from what has been said repeatedly by Ministers. If it were not, I would be desperately unhappy. But the Government have never said anything different and, as the Member of Parliament representing Hampstead, I am satisfied with the assurance that I have had on those points. Both those objectives can be achieved without creating an elected London-wide body.

It may be—I have said this before, and I repeat it for the benefit of the right hon. Gentleman—that the three-borough joint committee is not the ideal solution. [HON. MEMBERS: "Ah!"] I said that many months ago. Hon. Members who say "Ah!" have not bothered to listen. I put forward for consideration other ideas to my right hon. Friend, and I am glad that they have not finally been rejected.

I wish to put on record equally that the solution that has been found for Kenwood house is on the basis that I put to my noble Friend the Minister for the Arts, and I very much welcome that decision. Indeed, it has been welcomed locally by my constituents and by the Friends of Kenwood.

I would be more impressed by some of the arguments that I have heard and some of the head shakings that I have noticed by some of my hon. Friends who seem to want a London-wide body if they had served in London local government and knew what it meant. It is clear that the number of London councillors representing numbers of wards must be closer to local matters than one person representing 60,000 or 70,000 people, whether he be a Member of Parliament or a GLC member. Local councillors are much closer in their appropriate matters that affect the people.

This is not a constitutional matter, despite all that we are hearing; it is a practical matter. There are three practical issues. First, how would London legislate for its problems in future if there were no overall body? It would legislate in future as it can now, through the London boroughs, one of which would be the lead borough. In much the same way, the general powers Bill of the GLC is only a vehicle for the London boroughs. The GLC puts in its own disclaimer on a substantial number of the legislative powers to the effect that the clause in question is being promoted at the request of the London Boroughs Association. Therefore, that is perfectly possible for the future of the London boroughs.

Secondly, how will London discuss issues of concern of a London-wide nature? It will do so through the London Boroughs Association, as it always has done perfectly adequately. My hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Wilkinson), in an intervention, spoke about the Association of Labour Authorities which has split away. All I can say is that that is a foolish and dangerous precedent for those boroughs. It would not take very much for the Conservative boroughs in the Association of Metropolitan Authorities to do the same, and local government throughout the country would lose seriously. My friends in the old London county council area in the metropolitan boroughs lived for nearly 20 years under a Labour majority on the old metropolitan boroughs standing joint committee, but they did not walk away because they had not got the bat to play. I hope that, sooner rather than later, the Labour boroughs in London will come back and realise that the only people they are harming are the constituents who are losing out because of this lack of joint consultation.

There are other problems, but they are of a limited nature, and time is also limited. But I can say that the boroughs are certain that they can manage. I wonder why my hon. Friends run down the London boroughs and disbelieve that they are capable of running themselves. Many London boroughs have a rateable value well in excess of some of the major cities in Britain, and they do not need a nanny above them to co-ordinate their affairs.

It has been said that far too many powers and functions are being handed over to the Government or to new quangos or that the reorganisation may cost more. That is not true. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has referred to Alan Greengross's publication. It is a pity that in his publication, Mr. Cyril Taylor, a Conservative GLC member, gives credence to that fallacy. I could answer in my own words what he said, but instead I shall quote from a letter sent to me by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, which is perhaps in more diplomatic language than I might use. He said: Councillor Taylor's pamphlet … purports to show that our abolition proposals are fundamentally flawed and will result, crucially, in higher costs for ratepayers. Yet the pamphlet is based on serious misrepresentations of our proposals and fundamental factual errors which make it impossible to take its conclusions seriously. For example, Councillor Taylor adds together accurate figures for the costs of some services—some of which apppear to have no basis in reality—in such a way as to under estimate greatly the proportion of GLC spending which will become the responsibility of the boroughs. The fact is that nearly three-quarters of the net current expenditure of the GLC before abolition will become the responsibility of the boroughs afterwards, and most of the rest will become the responsibility of the boroughs collectively in the joint fire and civil defence authority. Councillor Taylor goes on to predict unfair additional burdens on some boroughs as a result of abolition, despite the Government's clearly stated policy that the financial system will be adjusted to avoid undue gains and losses to authorities. In particular, contrary to what Councillor Taylor suggests, we shall help to achieve this by extending, in the abolition Bill, the London Rates Equalisation Scheme. Councillor Taylor also misunderstands our proposals on the apportioning of the cost of servicing outstanding debt. The effect of our proposals is to reproduce a very similar distribution of costs to the existing situation. For these reasons"—

Mr. Dykes


Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

I shall give way in a moment. I have not failed to give way so far, but I shall do so in my own time.

The letter continues: For these reasons, it would not be right to treat Councillor Taylor's arguments as a serious challenge to our own firm view that abolition will yield significant savings which will be of benefit to all Londoners.

Mr. Dykes

I do not want to make a long intervention, but unfortunately my hon. Friend, having commenced his speech just after 9 o'clock, could be accused of filibustering when many other hon. Members want to speak, and strongly, against the Bill. Does my hon. Friend agree that he is in danger of seriously misleading the House with that quotation when a respected official at county hall, J. Crockford, the director of finance, in paragraph three of a letter of 6 February 1985 to Cyril Taylor, who complained about assertions in the Minister's letter, said: The Minister claims that three-quarters of GLC net current expenditure will become the responsibility of the-boroughs. This is a constantly repeated statement which I cannot avoid describing as seriously misleading. Does my hon. Friend agree that for an official to use the phrase "seriously misleading" in an official letter is the strongest condemnation of a ministerial view which is guaranteed to misrepresent the situation?

9.30 pm
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) quotes from a letter of February. I have quoted from my right hon. Friend's letter of 26 March—a month and 20 days later. I prefer to rely upon the civil servants of the Department that I once had the honour to serve rather than upon anyone at county hall.

Mr. Wilkinson

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

No. I am accused of speaking for too long.

If my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East had attended the meetings of London Conservative Members, he would have had a chance to convince more of us. However, for the past year at any rate, he has not bothered to attend. That has been a great shame. We have missed him very much.

As my right hon. Friend said earlier, the overwhelming majority of London Conservative Members support the Bill and do not support the idea of an overall body. Conservative party members in Greater London at their AGM—the people who worked for the election of my hon. Friends, who attended the meeting the other day and who stand on doorsteps in order to get us elected—voted by about 170 to 17 that they did not want an overall body. The motion had been proposed by two borough leaders. Borough leaders throughout London have said that they do not want an upper tier.

Those are the people to whom we should listen. We have a duty to listen to them. Let us take no notice of the rubbish about how 74 per cent.—74 per cent. of 10,000 people—say no. I prefer to support the 1.5 million who said yes, at the general election, to getting rid of the GLC.

Mr. Foot

I am provoked into speaking by the speech of the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg). I shall be brief because many other hon. Members wish to speak.

The hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate made an extraordinary speech. He sought to give the impression, in reference to Hampstead heath, that he speaks for a considerable section of his constituents. All those who have followed the controversy must know that the overwhelming view of the people of Hampstead and Highgate who wish to preserve the treasure of Hampstead heath and to protect it properly is that the Government's proposals are no good. Indeed, people are searching for a solution such as is suggested by the amendments.

I am not sure what the hon. Gentleman's present view is of how the heath should be controlled in the future. He said that there is no proposal to divide it into three. I understand that he is right about that. Even the present Government have not made so direct and mad a proposal as that, but they have done the next best thing. They have suggested that the future control of Hampstead heath should be divided between three boroughs, none of which wants the responsibility. That is a recipe for the utmost confusion and for a failure to protect the heath.

Although those who live there derive great advantages from the heath, they are not the only ones who are interested in its protection, which is also a matter of concern to the people of London and, indeed, of a much wider area. Large numbers of people who visit London come to the heath. Its protection has been a difficult matter. It has been protected against people who wish to settle on it, against developers and against every form of threat and invasion. That is how the heath has been protected over the years and it is right that the House should take some note of what is said by those who genuinely want to protect it. We should take no note of what is said by the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate, who certainly does not represent his constituents on this matter, if indeed he still represents them on any subject. I hope that the Government will not listen to him.

There will probably be another chance to mention this matter tomorrow. I had assumed that it would not be discussed until then. This is an example of how the Bill is creating hazards that I doubt whether the Government even considered when they embarked on the enterprise.

We know that the Minister who is to reply to the debate was only shoved in at a late stage to prop up the Secretary of State who was becoming extremely confused over the Bill. He is quite a good prop, but with such a bad case as this even he seems to be collapsing under the weight. The Government did not even consider the future of Hampstead heath and similar facilities when they embarked on the Bill, and they have got into ever deeper confusion. Injury to the heath would be one of the many ridiculous and dangerous by-products of the Bill if the Government carry it through. I therefore hope that the Government will consider these amendments.

There are overwhelming reasons for accepting the amendments, as the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour) has said. I prophesy that if the Government determine to ram the Bill through the House and if they succeed in ramming it through another place, they will not be finished with it. Within three or four years the matter will have to be reconsidered because there will be great pressure and it will be seen that it is ridiculous to deprive London of a voice. The country will reconsider the case and we shall have to debate it all over again.

The Government have only to show a little grace and readiness to listen. I know that that is not the most notable quality of the Government. It is especially difficult for Ministers to think and act in those terms when they have the voice of the Prime Minister drilling in their ears all the time. It is difficult for Ministers to hear themselves think in such conditions. We understand their problem and sympathise with them greatly. If they all got together and went along to the Prime Minister tomorrow morning and told her that, of all the fat-headed ideas that she has tried to force on them, this is the worst and that at last even this Front Bench of worms will turn, they might be able to save the day. If they do not do that, they will have trouble after trouble in this Parliament, and possibly in the next one.

We shall eventually restore to London the voice and authority that it deserves. In the process, we shall fight to protect every inch of holy ground on Hampstead heath, even if we have no support from Conservatives.

Mr. Marlow

I am sorry to disappoint the right hon. Member for Blaenau, Gwent (Mr. Foot), but my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has the overwhelming support of everyone on this side of the House personally and for this policy.

Amendment No. 68 is best described as the mark II GLC amendment. I dare say that some of my hon. Friends want it. I wish that they would tell us so. Those of my hon. Friends who do not support the mark H GLC but are inclined to support the amendment are being naive. Certain things happen when a democratically elected body has no role. We have an example on the other side of the Channel in the form of the European Assembly at Strasbourg. It has impeccable democratic credentials but, alas, some would say, it has no power. It is looking for power all its waking life and even in its dreams. If it gets powers, no doubt the appetite will grow with the feeding. It is living proof that the less power a democratically elected organisation has, the more posturing it goes about.

If we had a democratically elected successor body in London, I am quite sure that it would be a hothouse for political agitation. It would have no resources and would blame everyone else for anything that it did not like, especially if its political complexion was different from that of the Government of the day. It would have no responsibilities and no powers, and anything that went wrong would be somebody else's fault. That would be an occasion for great political posturing—[Interruption.] My hon. Friends seem to disagree, but at present the GLC has no responsibility for defence, yet it goes in for nuclear-free zones. If we set up an organisation such as that proposed, exactly the same will happen again. It will be a recipe for conflict, and we can do without it.

Mr. W. Benyon (Milton Keynes)

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Marlow

I am sorry.

Currently, 75 per cent. of the money spent by the GLC and the responsibilities that that entails will be passed on to the borough councils in London which are closer to the people and much more democratic. A total of 20 per cent. of expenditure is to be spent on the fire service. As my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster, North (Mr. Wheeler) rightly said, the main responsibility for the fire service is vested in the Home Office. Borough councillors within London will be responsible for the fire service, but not in a political organisation for which there is no need. There is no job for a successor to the GLC. It will have no responsibilities, and we are better off without it.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour) asked why London was different from other capital cities. In most other European countries, the capital is a sort of primus inter pares, but London is very different from other English cities, and it is perfectly proper that it should have a different form of local government. Paris and Bonn are completely different, and there is no reason why we should adopt the same solution as was adopted there.

The only possible reason for the amendment is to provide an identity for London. I am a Londoner born and bred, and many of my constituents in a third generation new town are Londoners born and bred. They do not look to the GLC to represent them, nor do they need that sort of identity for London.

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Marlow

I am afraid that I shall not give way, and my hon. Friend well knows why.

We all know what the City of London or Westminster means, but if one looks at a map, what is it that combines Richmond and Kingston-upon-Thames with London docklands? What divides Sunbury from Twickenham? My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) is very interested in these issues. Perhaps he will arrange a trip for both of us in an aeroplane so that we can fly over London. Will he be able to tell me where it begins and ends? We all know what London is, and we do not need a GLC to identify or represent it. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has spoken against the amendment, as has my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg). They are quite right. The amendment is nonsense and we should throw it out.

Mr. Tony Banks

I am in favour of amendment No. 68. It is becoming increasingly clear that throughout the passage of this Bill the Government have failed to make a case for abolition. They might have satisfied a few bigots behind them and no doubt pleased a few Conservative leaders of Tory boroughs, but in terms of general public awareness they have failed to make their case.

From the submissions that were made on "Streamlining the Cities" and from the discussions during the 170 hours in Committee, we know that at no point could the Government claim any independent or authoritative support for their proposals. Had they been able to do so, I am sure that they would have done. However, no independent source came to the Government's assistance, and again the Secretary of State has completely blown the argument.

In effect, the right hon. Gentleman said that London will now be the Secretary of State, because he will decide on overall London-wide issues. The right hon. Gentleman also said that the decisions will be taken at local level, even though we now have rate capping, GREAs and targets. People at local level will not be allowed to decide. Instead, Marsham street civil servants will decide the targets and the amount of money which local communities will have at their disposal to meet local needs. Therefore, the Secretary of State will be London, and, to all intents and purposes, he will also be the boroughs. That is what is happening to local government in London. All the power will effectively be concentrated in the hands of the Secretary of State and his civil servants.

9.45 pm

I support amendment No. 68 and amendment No. 6, but with great reluctance and a deal of equivocation because they represent a compromise and I do not wish to compromise on this—that is perhaps the one attitude that I share with the Prime Minister. I want the GLC to continue in its existing form. Indeed, I look to the next Labour Government to ensure that the GLC has far more properly defined and extensive powers over the whole of the Greater London area—whatever we decide that to be, because in the end, like the boroughs, the boundaries of Greater London will be decided by the House.

Unlike Conservative Members, I believe that people regard themselves as Londoners. I do not know what Conservative Members tell people abroad who ask where they come from. Do they say that they come from Hampstead, or from Hayes and Harlington?

Mr. Dicks


Mr. Banks

No, I will not give way. The hon. Gentleman has only just walked into the Chamber. People may say that they come from the west end or the east end of London, but they regard themselves as Londoners. That being so, London-wide government naturally follows. Indeed, if one good thing has come out of this great conflict between Parliament and county hall it has been the sharpening of people's perception of themselves. I believe that they see themselves more as Londoners now than they did even 18 months ago. Therefore, although I dislike the amendments because they are a compromise, I shall reluctantly support them.

Something in me wants the Bill to go through utterly unamended because I realise how much damage it will do to the Conservative party in London. A large part of me would therefore like the Bill to go through as it is. Nevertheless, I shall support amendments Nos. 68 and 6 because I prefer to preserve some element of democratic accountability and amendments calling for an inquiry by a Select Committee are clearly preferable to the back-of-a-fag paper undertakings on which abolition is based. We have been told many times that the concept did not emerge from long brainstorming sessions in the Cabinet but merely from the Prime Minister's dislike of Ken Livingstone and the activities of the Labour GLC.

When major changes in local government in this country are predicated on the party political prejudices of the Prime Minister it is a bad day for local democracy and a bad day for local government reorganisation. Every previous change in local government structures has taken place only after vigorous and detailed inquiry. We have heard about the Herbert commission, Redcliffe-Maud and the Marshall inquiry. Indeed, the two most prominent Ministers steering the Bill on its troubled passage through the House supported the GLC's strategic role when they gave evidence to the Marshall inquiry, but a change of Government and a promise of holding on to office has clearly changed their minds.

Changes in local government are now being brought about by personal fiat and the disquiet among Conservative Members is becoming increasingly apparent. I believe that that disquiet stems not just from whatever democratic feelings still linger in some elements of the Conservative party but from the fact that some Conservative Members have a pretty acute nose when it comes to sniffing the political winds and they realise—this is the bit that I like—that if the Bill goes through it will cause enormous damage to the Conservative party in London. Up to 20 Tory seats could disappear as a result of these changes. At least five Tory-controlled local authorities will go Labour in the 1986 elections. Hammersmith, Brent, Ealing, Wandsworth and Waltham Forest will undoubtedly be won by the Labour party because of the Bill. That is worrying many thoughtful Tories.

The hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) asked about the London Boroughs Association. I have a letter from the hon. Member for Beckenham (Sir P. Goodhart) to councillor Cyril Taylor, who is the deputy leader of the GLC. I do not know why he should deliberately misunderstand or misrepresent the Government's position. After all, he is a reasonably intelligent Tory—there are still a few left. He makes it quite clear that putting control in the hands of the LBA would be political suicide for the Conservative Party in London, as the constitution of the LBA is weighted against us. That is a straightforward political consideration. The hon. Member for Beckenham realises that what his hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead and Highgate is offering is politically unrealistic for the Conservative party.

There is no authoritative support for the Government's proposal. Although I want to see as much damage as possible done to the Conservative party in London—if the Bill is passed unamended, that will happen—my love of democracy and anxiety for Londoners generally finally persuade me to support amendments No. 6 and No. 68.

Mr. Speaker

It may be for the convenience of hon. Members if I tell them that the Front Bench spokesmen will seek to speak at 10.15 pm. If hon. Members are relatively brief, many of them will be called to speak.

Mr. W. Benyon (Milton Keynes)

This is the most crucial part of the Bill. Although Hampstead heath is important, I beg leave to say that other matters should be even more important.

In the Bill, most powers are being given to the boroughs. Those of us who support the amendments have nothing against the boroughs. Far from it. We are worried about the clash that will occur, not with other elected authorities, but with the powers transferred to the Secretary of State and, to a lesser extent, with the London-wide quangos and those that are composed of indirect representation.

The element of centralisation gives me the greatest anxiety. I ask myself three questions. First, do my right hon. and hon. Friends want these powers? Apart from the extra staff and effort entailed, it will be a bed of nails for whoever holds that office in future. Every candidate and councillor of a different political persuasion who receives queries about planning, roads or whatever will say, "That is not my responsibility. You must go to the Government, because that is where the power lies." Secondly, even if my right hon. and hon. Friends are happy with the powers, are they happy that they should be exercised by a potential successor? If the right hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benn) controlled planning in London, would it not bring even a slight quiver of anxiety to the spines of my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench?

Mr. Cormack

To both Front Benches.

Mr. Benyon

Thirdly, is this something that the Tory party should be doing? The ethos of the Bill—this is why I supported it on Second Reading—is that we are removing an unnecessary tier of local government. Plainly, the tier is not unnecessary. One can tot up the matters that are not going to the boroughs. There is obviously a conflict between my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) and my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) about the exact proportion that is going to the boroughs. Plainly it is not unnecessary to have an authority to replace the GLC to cover these matters, because the powers are being vested in the Secretary of State.

Therefore, we have the extraordinary contrast between ILEA being elected and these powers being exercised directly by the Secretary of State. ILEA deals with only a section of the population in its area, whereas the powers for planning and roads will affect old and young alike.

Finally, to take up the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour) about capital cities, I must stress that this is not just an emotional argument. My hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) said, "If we have the body that is proposed by the amendment, it will be a hotbed of agitation." That was exactly the view that Hitler took of the Reichstag. It is completely different to want a body that represents our capital city, as happens in every other major country. I hope that my hon. Friends will support the amendment.

Mr. Fatchett

I shall concentrate my remarks on the metropolitan counties, since much of the debate has been about the GLC. However, I should say that I have felt throughout the progress of the Bill—tonight's debate has strengthened that feeling—that it is peculiar, to say the least, to contemplate a capital city without an elected body or some form of elected local government. The hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) said that he could differentiate between Britain and other western European countries, because in the latter the capital cities are primus inter pares, but that that was not the case in London because it was so much bigger than any other British city. Rather than weakening the argument for an elected authority, that strengthens the argument for a strategic body, democratically elected and accountable, to control and supervise the functions that are essential to London.

We have been told repeatedly that the purpose of the Bill is to devolve services and functions to the metropolitan districts. The reality is different. Some functions will be devolved; others will be centralised. A major criticism of the Bill is that the Secretary of State is assuming vast powers in relation to local government. Furthermore 70 per cent. of metropolitan county spending will be controlled by joint boards. The pattern of local government therefore will leave many questions to be answered. The Bill shows the ill-conceived and incoherent way in which the Government have approached the problem. For instance, why should we devolve 30 per cent. of metropolitan county spending to the districts and subject those services to democratic control, but devolve 70 per cent. of spending to joint boards which will be subjected to no democratic control. Those who serve on the joint boards will not be elected but will come indirectly from the metropolitan districts.

To take the argument a stage further, metropolitan counties border shire counties. In the latter, functions which in the metropolitan areas will be controlled by joint boards and will, therefore, not be subject to democratic control, will be subject to democratic control. How will the Government explain to the electorates of the metropolitan counties that it is safe for those who live in the shire counties to vote on those issues, but it is not safe to allow those who live in the metropolitan counties to do so? This extension of quango government is something that the Government will live to regret, and we in the metropolitan counties will continue to oppose it because we believe in democracy. In principle, the Bill is wrong. In principle, I shall continue to oppose it and, in principle, I shall continue to argue that we need democratic control of functions in the metropolitan counties, whatever happens to the Bill.

The Bill is also bad in practice. Its reality is that all the joint boards will leave a vacuum in local government and this is particularly so of the relationship between the joint boards and the electorate. The elector will not know to whom to turn. Nobody will stand for the joint boards and be elected to them. The people who will be appointed will have been elected to authorities which cover other functions. They will not be directly elected. To whom does one go as an elector? To whom does one take one's problems? There will be no direct, definable councillor to whom one can turn.

10 pm

The debate has concentrated heavily on London. Those Conservative Members who have grave doubts about the Government's proposals for London and are likely to support the amendment tabled by the hon. and learned Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground) should realise that the arguments obtain for the metropolitan counties as well. If they are to vote for democracy in London, they should be consistent and vote for democracy in the metropolitan counties as well. If they do not, those of us in the north will feel that the great divide in the country is prevailing yet again. It will show that they are worried about democratic rights in the south but not about those in the north, and have not taken an interest in the arguments about the north. The arguments are the same and so are equally strong. Therefore, I ask Conservative Members to support us and to save local government in the metropolitan counties.

Mr. Martin Stevens

The subject of the debate and of the two amendments on which we have been concentrating is the desirability of introducing a small democratically elected body to represent the people of London. The question can be tackled in two ways. We can talk about the practical needs of Government or we can talk about it in what has been called an emotional or romantic way and say that the people of London need someone to speak for them no matter what he says or how little power he may have.

In a way, the fact that so many of us have experience of local government in London may almost be a drawback. However modest one may be as an individual, we feel that the importance of the role that we played at county hall and elsewhere must be echoed in the hearts of Londoners. I am sure that my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon), who has tabled amendment No. 6, and under whom I served devotedly when he was leader of the opposition on the old London county council, feels that the focus of ordinary Londoners' attention is concentrated on the activities at county hall. I am equally sure that he is mistaken.

The practicalities of making London government more simple to understand and more democratic have been argued by many right hon. and hon. Friends, but I wish to put a question to which I have not yet heard an answer. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said that, during the 21 years of its life, the GLC had never been perceived as acting for London, and he instanced a number of examples, such as the docklands area. However one may view the system under which the dockland area is being developed, one cannot begin to deny that the improvement and the excitement and the acceleration of the provision of jobs, houses and life in that great area of London is moving forward in a way that would have been impossible if the Government had left the area under the previous arrangement.

The question I want to put to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) who will be winding up for the Opposition is this. Can he give an example of a single occasion during those 21 years when the chairman or the leader of the GLC was seen by ordinary Londoners to be speaking for the people of London? Can he give me a single example of when the chairman or leader of the GLC has gripped the imagination and aroused the enthusiasm and local patriotism of Londoners, as other local institutions have been able to do over the centuries? The answer is that it has never happend. We are being persuaded, by this great outflow of ratepayers' money, to ascribe to the Greater London council youthful, exciting, get-up-and-go qualities that it has never had. It is a bumbling morass of bureacracy. It puts off decisions until the next day, duplicates expensively what others have done, takes holidays and does not answer letters. The GLC has never stirred the imagination of Londoners and it never will. If the hon. Member for Blackburn can say when the leadership of the GLC has aroused the emotions of the people of London and given visible leadership to London, I shall present him with a bunch of flowers at the end of this debate.

Mr. Cormack

Much though I enjoyed the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Stevens), I disagree profoundly with it. There was a time when the illustrious leader of our party regarded the Greater London council as the jewel in the crown of the party. That, of course, was when the Conservatives were in political control. When the leadership of the GLC passed into other hands our views changed.

I want to concentrate briefly on the central issue that is before us this evening. With respect to the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett), it is not the metropolitan counties.

As was said by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground), who spoke so eloquently to amendment No. 6, there is a very real difference. If the Bill, for which I have little time and for which I have not and will not cast a single vote, is placed on the statute book, the people of Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield will be directly represented. There will be a coordinating authority in their cities. There is a very real difference between that and what has been fatuously dismissed as the emotional argument about the capital city. I say "fatuously dismissed" because, for all the eloquence of my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, for a century or more now the capital city has had a directly elected coordinating authority of sorts. Those of us who have put our names to the amendment are proposing something which recognises that fact and which is wholly consistent with the Conservative party manifesto. Many of us believe that this pledge was inserted in the manifesto as a last minute political gut reaction, and we are not very happy about it. Nevertheless, the amendment accepts that this pledge was part of the manifesto and the logic of the Government majority, yet it still says, "Think again about London".

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State entirely failed to persuade me when he sought, I thought with a lackadaisical lack of fervour, to put across the case. He did not answer the question about strategic planning. It seems to me to be absolutely essential that a body of some kind should be responsible for strategic planning in London.

My hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes (Mr. Benyon) made a very telling point when he referred to the fact that the Secretary of State may one day come from another party and that this was one of the most important factors of all to bear in mind. One should never take to oneself powers one does not wish one's opponent to have. That is a cardinal principle of democratic government. The Government are seeking to enact a dangerous precedent.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston presented a list of functions which are by no means the same as the functions exercised by the GLC. He listed functions which should be the preserve of a directly elected body.

Even at this late stage I beg my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to recognise that people feel deeply about this matter. I do not subscribe to the view that Mr. Cyril Taylor or Mr. Greengross are inexperienced or that they have not thought the issue through. They have thought it through thoroughly and carefully. Many people and associations involved in town planning and architecture in London and who have had great experience believe that the Government have got it wrong.

I ask my right hon. Friend please to concede that he might be mistaken. If the Government go along this road conflicts will be so great that we shall be able to quote yet again the Prime Minister's greatest admirer: You ain't seen nothing yet. Conflict will occur in the London Boroughs Association and in all the quangos. For a Tory Government to propose a measure which in effect says that "a thousand quangos bloom" flies in the face of everything that we have preached in the last two or three years.

Even if the powerful speech about Hampstead heath by the right hon. Member for Blaenau, Gwent (Mr. Foot) is dismissed — because the Government are not in the business of protecting heaths at the moment — a powerful case has been made. Some hon. Members criticise non-London Members for taking part in this debate, but we all have the right to speak about our capital city. Why should our great capital city be almost alone in western Europe in not having the modest type of authority proposed in the amendment?

Mr. Chris Smith

I was stirred by the speech by the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Stevens), who said that the GLC had never stirred the imagination of Londoners. Nothing has stirred the imagination of Londoners more than the attempt by the Government to abolish their representative council. The proposal to abolish London's democratic voice has galvanised Londoners into the defence of an institution which was previously regarded as being bureaucratic and remote in many ways. In many respects it is, and it does have its faults.

The Greater London council's saving grace is that it is elected and represents the capital city. Londoners regard themselves as being part of London. They value the opportunity to vote for a council that represents Londoners. That is what has galvanised enormous support across London, particularly in my constituency.

I speak to many of my constituents who feel very deeply that removing the GLC will take from them the right to have a voice in the future of their city, not as part of a borough but as a metropolis. That matters to my constituents. Surely it should also matter to the House, even though it appears not to matter to the Government.

10.15 pm
Mr. Straw

The hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Stevens) offered me flowers. I shall decline his kind invitation because the good members of the backbone Labour party would not entirely understand it, were I to accept. However, I shall answer his question. It is not just Ken Livingstone who has made a name for himself as leader of the Greater London council. There have been many distinguished leaders from the Conservative side. Horace Cutler and Sir Desmond Plummer were both well-known names in London, and they sought to speak for London. Sir Desmond Plummer certainly excited the imagination of the Minister of State because, year after year, it was he who was so excited by the GLC that he came to the House to move the Second Reading of the GLC money Bills. In March 1971, he said of the GLC: It has progressive and expanding programmes, it is making life better for Londoners, and it will make it infinitely better for Londoners in the 1970s and the 1980s."—[Official Report, 18 March 1971; Vol. 813, c. 1741.] The right hon. Gentleman went on in a similar vein throughout the 1970s, excited by Sir Desmond Plummer and Horace Cutler, for example when he was approving of the GLC's employment initiative in 1978.

I shall decline the bunch of flowers, but I believe that I have earned them. When he winds up, look forward to the Minister of State accepting an invitation, which I have offered him on three occasions, to explain why, when he first introduced the Bill, he said that he had always believed in the abolition of the GLC right from the 1960s. In fact, he has been supporting the GLC from the 1960s and 1970s. It is the responsibility of Ministers to explain why they have changed their mind.

If ever there was a case for the amendments before the House, it was made by the Secretary of State himself in his speech. It was a quite astonishing speech, in which the right hon. Gentleman revealed two things. The first is his utter ignorance of the geography of our nation and our cities. Secondly, he revealed the true motives that lie behind the Bill, because the Bill does not in the least involve real devolution of power to districts, but, as the Secretary of State admitted, the centralisation of power. The message from the right hon. Gentleman was, "Whitehall knows best. Only Whitehall can decide." Quite often we read in the Conservative Newsline newspaper that the Secretary of State goes around the country criticising Marxists. I think that he has been taking too much notice of Marxists, especially Marxist-Leninists. It was obvious from his speech that he has been converted to democratic centralism. I have never heard such a perfect description of democratic centralism in which one cannot leave little units to decide among themselves because it is messy and they might make the wrong decision. The M25 is outside the boundaries of Greater London; the M1 goes from London to Birmingham; and a change in the traffic scheme in Talgarth Road affects Berkshire. One cannot leave those decisions to be sorted out locally. One has to accrete the powers and centralise it in Marsham street and Whitehall.

Mr. Tracey

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Straw

I shall not because I have only two minutes—

Mr. Tracey

It is an important point.

Mr. Straw

I shall give way, but the time will come out of the Minister of State's speech.

Mr. Tracey

I should like the hon. Gentleman to make it clear before he finishes his speech whether metropolitan county councils would be reinstated if the Labour Government were to come back into power. I should like the hon. Gentleman to make that clear because the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) has never made it clear to the House.

Mr. Straw

We have made the position completely clear to the House on many occasions.

What I want to do now in the two minutes that I have left is—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer the question."] The answer is that there will be a reinstatement of countywide democracy in the metropolitan counties. [HON. MEMBERS: "Ah."] I shall tell Conservative Members this much as well, and the time that I take will also come out of the Minister's speech. We shall not write our manifesto on the back of a cigarette packet. We shall not ignore the democratic wishes of our own party. We shall discuss the matter and consult people before we come to a final conclusion, if this Parliament, in both Houses, approves the Bill unamended. But we have not reached that stage, either.

In justifying his extraordinary statement that one power after another—such as transport, land use and planning—had to be centralised within Whitehall, the Secretary of State sought to deny that London was a geographical entity—a city.

I remind the right hon. Gentleman of what the Secretary of State for Education and Science said when he was the Minister for Local Government in 1962. There has been no earthquake since then—London has had the same, if not a smaller, population and has stayed within similar boundaries because the green belt has not been altered. In 1962 the right hon. Gentleman said: Yet Greater London is, in a very real sense, a single city. Admittedly, it embraces many places of distinctive character which attract strong loyalties. Nevertheless, the whole of the great urban area, which spreads out to and is contained by the green belt, is one metropolis." —[Official Report, 10 December 1962; Vol. 669, c. 52.] We all know that to be the case for the metropolises of Manchester, Merseyside, parts of the west midlands, Tyne and Wear and within Yorkshire. There will always be difficulties in deciding exactly where the boundary lies—whether the boundary between Redbridge and Essex goes down one road in Buckhurst hill or another road.

We also know that, broadly speaking, the boundaries of the GLC coincide with the boundaries of the metropolis. If the Secretary of State does not recognise the nature of capital cities, he should not hold such a great office. If we fail to agree to the amendments, London and the other major conurbations will be the only major cities in the free world without their own unified system of government.

I ask the Conservative party, which was founded almost on the idea of local democracy and of not accepting centralised control—

Mr. Kenneth Baker


Mr. Straw

The Minister questions me. He should read Disraeli and find out what the real Conservative party is all about. The trouble is that he has read only the works of the Prime Minister who has hijacked the party. In the past, the Conservative party has been a defender of local democracy. Unless the amendments are passed, it will never be able to claim that local democracy is one of the principles that it holds true.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

My hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes (Mr. Benyon) was right to say that this is an important debate. It goes to the heart of the question of the need for a strategic overview of metropolitan areas. Two main amendments are before the House. The first was tabled by the Opposition and argues for a strategic overall authority for all metropolitan counties, including London. The second, tabled by some of my right hon. and hon. Friends, argues for a strategic authority for London alone. If there is an administrative argument for an overview strategic authority for the reconciliation of conflict and for the better administration of certain joint services, it applies as much to the metropolitan counties as it does to London.

I appreciate that my hon. Friends believe that there is a special case for London because it is our capital city. At the very heart of this debate is the question whether we need a strategic overview. Embedded in the Bill is the fact that there must be overall strategic planning for London. We cannot imagine a conurbation as large and as highly developed as London without strategic overview planning. It is essential for land use planning and for roads.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground) is deeply aware of the details of the Bill. He accepts that strategic planning is an essential part of the proposals in part I.

The question arises whether our proposals produce conflict. My right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour) said that the history of the last 100 years of our municipality and of our capital city was not one of conflict. I beg him to look at the works of Mr. Ken Young, who is the principal historian of our municipality. My right hon. Friend will observe that there has been an ebb and flow and a tug of war between the overall authorities and the boroughs. That has been endemic within the municipality, and it has happened within the lifetime of hon. Members. When the GLC was set up in 1963, it had many strategic functions, one of which was housing. When it was set up, it was responsible for 700,000 houses. In June this year, it will be responsible for just 15,000 houses — fewer than any London borough.

Indeed, the conflict between the upper and lower tiers came to a head in the premiership of my right hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath). He will remember the arguments between Desmond Plummer, representing a Tory-controlled GLC, and the London boroughs about housing strategy in London, and the conflict that arose from the desire of a Conservative-controlled GLC to have a housing strategy which meant building in the outer boroughs. He will recall having to preside over arguments and meetings and resolve that conflict. The conflict was resolved essentially in the interests of the boroughs. That is an example of a tug-of-war having been won by the boroughs.

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Baker

If my hon. Friend will forgive me, I must press on.

Then there is the question of roads. There has to be overall planning for roads and for traffic control. It is in precisely this area that the GLC has abandoned its strategic role. It has not had a road policy. [Interruption.] It has an anti-road policy. The strategy for roads of the Labour-controlled GLC is to be against roads and road development. Mr. Livingstone has financed two groups, one called Capital and one called Traffic, the objects of which are to campaign against a strategic road strategy for the city. Under this policy the movement of traffic in London has worsened, because there has been no strategic development of roads in London for the last six or seven years. That is why many businesses are moving out to the area where there is better movement of traffic—around the M25.

I have been asked by my right hon. and hon. Friends whether I could devise a body which would maintain a strategic overview but would not have the overall powers of the GLC — a mini-GLC. I have considered this seriously. I have studied all the pamphlets and the flood of words that have come out in the last year. If one creates a body which has executive functions, it must have the power to appoint staff and to raise money. If one creates such a body, it will inevitably be a mini-GLC. There is no halfway house. That is the essential dilemma and the difficulty.

In the last moments of my speech, may I deal—

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Baker

—with the argument that has been put about the Voice for London.

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Baker

With regard to the Voice for London, some of my hon. Friends have said that this is an emotional point. If it is an emotional argument, I do not derogate it for that. In fact, much of the heart of politics is about emotion. I accept that the Voice for London is an emotional matter. I understand the feeling that somewhere there must be a body that speaks for London. If one considers the history of London, as my hon. Friends the Members for Hampstead and Highgate (Sir G. Finsberg) and for Fulham (Mr. Stevens) did, it will be noted that over the decades and centuries there has not been one body, one institution, that has spoken for London. The closest that one could get to it was the old London County council when it was run by Herbert Morrison. That was a strategic authority. It was responsible for planning, roads, hospitals and social services, but those powers have been long abandoned. Indeed, no one has spoken for London in that sense. That was a Government within a Government. Mr. Morrison said that he could speak for London. He spoke for the inner metropolis, but he never spoke for the outer London boroughs such as Richmond, Enfield, Hillingdon and Havering.

There has never been one voice for London in our history. It is one of the unique features of the development of our great capital city that it is an amalgamation of different communities, villages, cultures and ethnic groups. They have all added to the identity that makes up the unique—

It being half past Ten o'clock, MR. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the order [11 February] and the resolution this day to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

The House divided: Ayes 193, Noes 335.

Division No. 169] [10.30 pm
Alton, David Bagier, Gordon A. T.
Anderson, Donald Banks, Tony (Newham NW)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Barnett, Guy
Ashdown, Paddy Barron, Kevin
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Beckett, Mrs Margaret
Ashton, Joe Beith, A. J.
Bell, Stuart Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
Benn, Tony Howells, Geraint
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Hoyle, Douglas
Bermingham, Gerald Hughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)
Bidwell, Sydney Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Blair, Anthony Hughes, Roy (Newport East)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Hughes, Simon (Southward)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Janner, Hon Greville
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) John, Brynmor
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Johnston, Russell
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Bruce, Malcolm Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Buchan, Norman Kennedy, Charles
Caborn, Richard Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil
Campbell, Ian Kirkwood, Archy
Campbell-Savours, Dale Lamond, James
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y) Leighton, Ronald
Carter-Jones, Lewis Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Cartwright, John Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Clay, Robert Litherland, Robert
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Loyden, Edward
Cohen, Harry McCartney, Hugh
Coleman, Donald McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Conlan, Bernard McKelvey, William
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) McNamara, Kevin
Corbett, Robin McTaggart, Robert
Corbyn, Jeremy Madden, Max
Cowans, Harry Marek, Dr John
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Craigen, J. M. Martin, Michael
Crowther, Stan Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Cunliffe, Lawrence Maxton, John
Cunningham, Dr John Maynard, Miss Joan
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli) Meacher, Michael
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Meadowcroft, Michael
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l) Michie, William
Deakins, Eric Mikardo, Ian
Dewar, Donald Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Dixon, Donald Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Dobson, Frank Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Dormand, Jack Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Dubs, Alfred Nellist, David
Duffy, A. E. P. O'Brien, William
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. O'Neill, Martin
Eastham, Ken Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Ellis, Raymond Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Park, George
Ewing, Harry Pendry, Tom
Fatchett, Derek Penhaligon, David
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Pike, Peter
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Fisher, Mark Prescott, John
Flannery, Martin Radice, Giles
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Redmond, M.
Forrester, John Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)
Foster, Derek Richardson, Ms Jo
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Freud, Clement Robertson, George
Garrett, W. E. Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Godman, Dr Norman Rooker, J. W.
Golding, John Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Gould, Bryan Rowlands, Ted
Gourlay, Harry Ryman, John
Ground, Patrick Sedgemore, Brian
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Sheerman, Barry
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Harman, Ms Harriet Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Haynes, Frank Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Heffer, Eric S. Skinner, Dennis
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Home Robertson, John Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive Wareing, Robert
Spearing, Nigel Weetch, Ken
Steel, Rt Hon David White, James
Stott, Roger Williams, Rt Hon A.
Straw, Jack Winnick, David
Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen) Woodall, Alec
Thompson, J. (Wansbeck) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Thorne, Stan (Preston) Young, David (Bolton SE)
Tinn, James
Torney, Tom Tellers for the Ayes:
Wainwright, R. Mr. John McWilliam and
Wallace, James Mr. Sean Hughes.
Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Adley, Robert Dickens, Geoffrey
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Dicks, Terry
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Dorrell, Stephen
Amess, David Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Ancram, Michael Dover, Den
Arnold, Tom du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Ashby, David Dunn, Robert
Aspinwall, Jack Durant, Tony
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Eggar, Tim
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Emery, Sir Peter
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Evennett, David
Baldry, Tony Eyre, Sir Reginald
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Batiste, Spencer Fallon, Michael
Beggs, Roy Farr, Sir John
Bellingham, Henry Favell, Anthony
Bendall, Vivian Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Best, Keith Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Bevan, David Gilroy Fletcher, Alexander
Biffen, Rt Hon John Fookes, Miss Janet
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Forman, Nigel
Blackburn, John Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim)
Body, Richard Forth, Eric
Bottomley, Peter Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Fox, Marcus
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Franks, Cecil
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Fraser, Peter (Angus East)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Freeman, Roger
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Fry, Peter
Bright, Graham Gale, Roger
Brinton, Tim Galley, Roy
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Brooke, Hon Peter Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Garel-Jones, Tristan
Browne, John Glyn, Dr Alan
Bruinvels, Peter Goodlad, Alastair
Bryan, Sir Paul Gow, Ian
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Gower, Sir Raymond
Buck, Sir Antony Grant, Sir Anthony
Budgen, Nick Greenway, Harry
Burt, Alistair Gregory, Conal
Butler, Hon Adam Griffiths, E. (B'y St Edm'ds)
Butterfill, John Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Carlisle, John (N Luton) Grist, Ian
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Grylls, Michael
Carttiss, Michael Gummer, John Selwyn
Cash, William Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hampson, Dr Keith
Chapman, Sydney Hanley, Jeremy
Chope, Christopher Hannam, John
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n) Hargreaves, Kenneth
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Harris, David
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Harvey, Robert
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Cockeram, Eric Hawkins, C. (High Peak)
Colvin, Michael Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)
Coombs, Simon Hawksley, Warren
Cope, John Hayes, J.
Couchman, James Hayhoe, Barney
Cranborne, Viscount Hayward, Robert
Crouch, David Heathcoat-Amory, David
Currie, Mrs Edwina Heddle, John
Henderson, Barry Morris, M. (N'hampton, S)
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Hickmet, Richard Moynihan, Hon C.
Hill, James Murphy, Christopher
Hind, Kenneth Neale, Gerrard
Hirst, Michael Needham, Richard
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Nelson, Anthony
Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling) Neubert, Michael
Holt, Richard Newton, Tony
Hordern, Peter Nicholls, Patrick
Howard, Michael Nicholson, J.
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A) Norris, Steven
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Onslow, Cranley
Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford) Oppenheim, Phillip
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Osborn, Sir John
Hubbard-Miles, Peter Ottaway, Richard
Hunt, David (Wirral) Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Parris, Matthew
Hunter, Andrew Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Irving, Charles Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn)
Jackson, Robert Pawsey, James
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Jessel, Toby Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Pollock, Alexander
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Portillo, Michael
Jones, Robert (W Herts) Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down)
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Powell, William (Corby)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Powley, John
Kershaw, Sir Anthony Prior, Rt Hon James
Key, Robert Proctor, K. Harvey
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Raffan, Keith
King, Rt Hon Tom Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Knight, Gregory (Derby N) Rathbone, Tim
Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston) Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Knowles, Michael Renton, Tim
Lang, Ian Rhodes James, Robert
Latham, Michael Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Lawler, Geoffrey Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Lawrence, Ivan Rifkind, Malcolm
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Lee, John (Pendle) Robinson, Mark (N'port W)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Roe, Mrs Marion
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd) Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)
Lilley, Peter Rossi, Sir Hugh
Lloyd, Ian (Havant) Rost, Peter
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham) Rowe, Andrew
Lord, Michael Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Luce, Richard Ryder, Richard
Lyell, Nicholas Sackville, Hon Thomas
McCurley, Mrs Anna Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
McCusker, Harold St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Macfarlane, Neil Sayeed, Jonathan
MacGregor, John Scott, Nicholas
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Maclean, David John Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
McQuarrie, Albert Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Madel, David Shersby, Michael
Major, John Silvester, Fred
Malins, Humfrey Sims, Roger
Malone, Gerald Skeet, T. H. H.
Maples, John Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Marland, Paul Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Marlow, Antony Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Maude, Hon Francis Soames, Hon Nicholas
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Speller, Tony
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Spence, John
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Spencer, Derek
Mellor, David Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Merchant, Piers Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Squire, Robin
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Stanbrook, Ivor
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon) Steen, Anthony
Miscampbell, Norman Stern, Michael
Mitchell, David (NW Hants) Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Moate, Roger Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Monro, Sir Hector Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Moore, John Stokes, John
Stradling Thomas, J. Walker, Bill (Tside N)
Sumberg, David Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Waller, Gary
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman Ward, John
Terlezki, Stefan Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M. Warren, Kenneth
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter Watson, John
Thompson, Donald (Calder V) Watts, John
Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N) Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Thornton, Malcolm Wells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Thurnham, Peter Wheeler, John
Townend, John (Bridlington) Whitfield, John
Tracey, Richard Whitney, Raymond
Trippier, David Winterton, Mrs Ann
Trotter, Neville Winterton, Nicholas
Twinn, Dr Ian Wolfson, Mark
van Straubenzee, Sir W. Wood, Timothy
Vaughan, Sir Gerard Yeo, Tim
Viggers, Peter Young, Sir George (Acton)
Waddington, David Younger, Rt Hon George
Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Waldegrave, Hon William Tellers for the Noes:
Walden, George Mr. Carol Mather and
Walker, Cecil (Belfast N) Mr. Robert Boscawen.

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed, No. 6, in page 1, line 15, at end Insert— '(3) Within three months of the date of the Royal Assent to this Act the Secretary of State shall lay an order before both Houses of Parliament—

  1. (a) for the London Residuary body established under section 55(1)(a) of this Act to have a membership directly elected in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 and this Act and that section 55 and Schedule 13 of this Act be consequentially modified; and
  2. (b) for the name of the London Residuary Body to be changed in consequence of the implementation of proposals of this sub-section; and
  3. (c) for section 65 of this Act to cease to have effect as respects the London Residuary Body; and
  4. (d) providing for the transfer to the London Residuary Body of such functions, not being functions which are transferred by this Act solely to individual London boroughs, as shall be determined by Parliament on the recommendation of a Select Committee of the House of Commons.'.—[Mr. Ground.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 210, Noes 334.

Division No. 170] [10.44 pm
Alton, David Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)
Anderson, Donald Bruce, Malcolm
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Buchan, Norman
Ashdown, Paddy Caborn, Richard
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)
Ashton, Joe Campbell, Ian
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Campbell-Savours, Dale
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)
Barnett, Guy Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)
Barron, Kevin Carter-Jones, Lewis
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Cartwright, John
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Clay, Robert
Beith, A. J. Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Bell, Stuart Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)
Benn, Tony Cohen, Harry
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Coleman, Donald
Benyon, William Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.
Bermingham, Gerald Conlan, Bernard
Bidwell, Sydney Cook, Frank (Stockton North)
Blair, Anthony Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Corbett, Robin
Bray, Dr Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Cormack, Patrick
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Cowans, Harry
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Cox, Thomas (Tooting)
Craigen, J, M. McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Crowther, Stan McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Cunliffe, Lawrence McKelvey, William
Cunningham, Dr John Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli) McNamara, Kevin
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) McTaggart, Robert
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l) McWilliam, John
Deakins, Eric Madden, Max
Dewar, Donald Marek, Dr John
Dixon, Donald Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Dobson, Frank Martin, Michael
Dormand, Jack Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Dubs, Alfred Maxton, John
Duffy, A. E. P. Maynard, Miss Joan
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Meacher, Michael
Eastham, Ken Meadowcroft, Michael
Ellis, Raymond Michie, William
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Mikardo, Ian
Ewing, Harry Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Fatchett, Derek Miscampbell, Norman
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Fisher, Mark Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Flannery, Martin Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Nellist, David
Forrester, John O'Brien, William
Foster, Derek O'Neill, Martin
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Freud, Clement Park, George
Garrett, W. E. Pendry, Tom
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Penhaligon, David
Godman, Dr Norman Pike, Peter
Golding, John Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Gould, Bryan Prescott, John
Gourlay, Harry Radice, Giles
Ground, Patrick Redmond, M.
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Richardson, Ms Jo
Hanley, Jeremy Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Harman, Ms Harriet Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Haselhurst, Alan Robertson, George
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Haynes, Frank Rooker, J. W.
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Heffer, Eric S. Rowlands, Ted
Hicks, Robert Sedgemore, Brian
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Sheerman, Barry
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Home Robertson, John Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath) Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Howells, Geraint Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Hoyle, Douglas Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Hughes, Dr. Mark (Durham) Skinner, Dennis
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Hughes, Roy (Newport East) Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Snape, Peter
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Soley, Clive
Janner, Hon Greville Spearing, Nigel
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd) Steel, Rt Hon David
John, Brynmor Stott, Roger
Johnston, Russell Straw, Jack
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Temple-Morris, Peter
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Kennedy, Charles Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Thorne, Stan (Preston)
Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil Tinn, James
Kirkwood, Archy Torney, Tom
Knox, David Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Lamond, James Wainwright, R.
Leighton, Ronald Wallace, James
Lester, Jim Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Wareing, Robert
Lewis, Terence (Worsley) Weetch, Ken
Litherland, Robert White, James
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Williams, Rt Hon A.
Loyden, Edward Winnick, David
McCartney, Hugh Woodall, Alec
Wrigglesworth, Ian Tellers for the Ayes:
Young, David (Bolton SE) Mr. Hugh Dykes and
Mr. John Wilkinson.
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Emery, Sir Peter
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Evennett, David
Amess, David Eyre, Sir Reginald
Ancram, Michael Fairbairn, Nicholas
Arnold, Tom Fallon, Michael
Ashby, David Farr, Sir John
Aspinwall, Jack Favell, Anthony
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Fletcher, Alexander
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Fookes, Miss Janet
Baldry, Tony Forman, Nigel
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Batiste, Spencer Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim)
Beggs, Roy Forth, Eric
Bellingham, Henry Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Bendall, Vivian Fox, Marcus
Best, Keith Franks, Cecil
Bevan, David Gilroy Fraser, Peter (Angus East)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Freeman, Roger
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Fry, Peter
Blackburn, John Gale, Roger
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Galley, Roy
Body, Richard Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Bottomley, Peter Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Garel-Jones, Tristan
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Glyn, Dr Alan
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Goodlad, Alastair
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Gow, Ian
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Gower, Sir Raymond
Bright, Graham Grant, Sir Anthony
Brinton, Tim Greenway, Harry
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Gregory, Conal
Brooke, Hon Peter Griffiths, E. (B'y St Edm'ds)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Browne, John Grist, Ian
Bruinvels, Peter Grylls, Michael
Bryan, Sir Paul Gummer, John Selwyn
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Buck, Sir Antony Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Budgen, Nick Hampson, Dr Keith
Burt, Alistair Hannam, John
Butler, Hon Adam Hargreaves, Kenneth
Butterfill, John Harris, David
Carlisle, John (N Luton) Harvey, Robert
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Carttiss, Michael Hawkins, C. (High Peak)
Cash, William Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Hawksley, Warren
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hayes, J.
Chapman, Sydney Hayhoe, Barney
Chope, Christopher Hayward, Robert
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n) Heathcoat-Amory, David
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Heddle, John
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Henderson, Barry
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Clegg, Sir Walter Hickmet, Richard
Cockeram, Eric Hill, James
Colvin, Michael Hind, Kenneth
Coombs, Simon Hirst, Michael
Cope, John Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Couchman, James Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
Cranborne, Viscount Holt, Richard
Crouch, David Hordern, Peter
Currie, Mrs Edwina Howard, Michael
Dickens, Geoffrey Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Dicks, Terry Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Dorrell, Stephen Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Hubbard-Miles, Peter
Dover, Den Hunt, David (Wirral)
du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Dunn, Robert Hunter, Andrew
Durant, Tony Irving, Charles
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) Jackson, Robert
Eggar, Tim Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Jessel, Toby Pawsey, James
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Jones, Robert (W Herts) Pollock, Alexander
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Portillo, Michael
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Powell, William (Corby)
Kershaw, Sir Anthony Powley, John
Key, Robert Prior, Rt Hon James
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Proctor, K. Harvey
King, Rt Hon Tom Raffan, Keith
Knight, Gregory (Derby N) Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston) Rathbone, Tim
Knowles, Michael Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Lamont, Norman Renton, Tim
Lang, Ian Rhodes James, Robert
Latham, Michael Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Lawler, Geoffrey Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Lawrence, Ivan Rifkind, Malcolm
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Lee, John (Pendle) Robinson, Mark (N'port W)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Roe, Mrs Marion
Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd) Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)
Lilley, Peter Rossi, Sir Hugh
Lloyd, Ian (Havant) Rost, Peter
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham) Rowe, Andrew
Lord, Michael Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Luce, Richard Ryder, Richard
Lyell, Nicholas Sackville, Hon Thomas
McCurley, Mrs Anna Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
McCusker, Harold St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Macfarlane, Neil Sayeed, Jonathan
MacGregor, John Scott, Nicholas
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Maclean, David John Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
McQuarrie, Albert Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Madel, David Shersby, Michael
Major, John Silvester, Fred
Malins, Humfrey Sims, Roger
Malone, Gerald Skeet, T. H. H.
Maples, John Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Marland, Paul Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Marlow, Antony Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Maude, Hon Francis Soames, Hon Nicholas
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Speller, Tony
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Spence, John
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Spencer, Derek
Mellor, David Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Merchant, Piers Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Squire, Robin
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Stanbrook, Ivor
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon) Steen, Anthony
Mitchell, David (NW Hants) Stern, Michael
Moate, Roger Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Monro, Sir Hector Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Moore, John Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S) Stokes, John
Morrison, Hon P. (Chester) Stradling Thomas, J.
Moynihan, Hon C. Sumberg, David
Murphy, Christopher Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Neale, Gerrard Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Needham, Richard Terlezki, Stefan
Nelson, Anthony Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Neubert, Michael Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Newton, Tony Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Nicholls, Patrick Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Nicholson, J. Thornton, Malcolm
Norris, Steven Thurnham, Peter
Onslow, Cranley Townend, John (Bridlington)
Oppenheim, Phillip Tracey, Richard
Osborn, Sir John Trippier, David
Ottaway, Richard Trotter, Neville
Page, Richard (Herts SW) Twinn, Dr Ian
Parris, Matthew van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn) Viggers, Peter
Pattie, Geoffrey Waddington, David
Wakeham, Rt Hon John Wheeler, John
Waldegrave, Hon William Whitfield, John
Walden, George Whitney, Raymond
Walker, Cecil (Belfast N) Winterton, Mrs Ann
Walker, Bill (T'side N) Winterton, Nicholas
Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester) Wolfson, Mark
Waller, Gary Wood, Timothy
Ward, John Yeo, Tim
Wardle, C. (Bexhill) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Warren, Kenneth Younger, Rt Hon George
Watson, John
Watts, John Tellers for the Noes:
Wells, Bowen (Hertford) Mr. Robert Boscawen and
Wells, Sir John (Maidstone) Mr. Carol Mather.

Question accordingly negatived.

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