HC Deb 09 April 1986 vol 95 cc256-66

Ordered, That, at this day's sitting, the airport Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. Archie Hamilton.]

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), again considered.

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Mr. Cook

The provincial airport have achieved their efficiency and effectiveness without any subsidy, and by dint of hard work and effort. That would not be so if Stansted could be cross-subsidised by other airports within the BAA. We are told, reliably, that the counter to any possible cross-subsidy would be the business of transparency. Presumably one would be able to identify the event if it took place.

I say to the Secretary of State, as he now appears to have perked up a little and may be paying closer attention, that in the days when Black Bess was the animated flying machine traveling between York and London it was small consolation to the passengers in the stage coach that the name of the robber was Dick Turpin.

Mr. Wilkinson

My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Silvester) made a speech of the highest quality. He has a Rolls-Royce of a mind, and those who, like myself, have to make do with jalopies or bangers as mental equipment are full of admiration for the way in which he moved the amendment. It goes to the heart of the matter. I even wonder whether my hon. Friend was being too politically candid and intellectually honest for his own good.

The truth is, first, that the BAA is hell-bent on having Stansted and develop it rapidly regardless of the environmental consequences, and perhaps even regardless of the actual air transport need. As my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Haselhurst) said, it is great at empire building. However, I doubt whether that is in the national interest. The fact is that, for scheduled traffic, the airports that people want to go to most in the London area are Gatwick and Heathrow. Our policy should maximise the fullest utilisation of those airports. If my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State were to accept the amendment and permit Stansted to be sold separately, the maximum profits from Gatwick and Heathrow could go towards the development of those two airports to the full, not only in their interests, but in the interests of the travelling public from the regions. There are people, such as those who come down from Liverpool, who need to go to Heathrow to interline with intercontinental flights.

Inclusive tour, charter traffic is the main traffic that is likely to be attracted to Stansted. It could be attracted to Stansted only by virtue of the ultra-low charges there, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Adley) referred, to the detriment of the airports near the towns from which the holidaymakers wish to fly. It is beneficial to the holiday-making public that they should be able to go on holiday from a local airport. Any policy which derogates against that is detrimental to the convenience of passengers in their precious holiday time, but, more important, it is detrimental to good regional development in Britain.

I believe that the policy stinks. The north of Britain is woefully economically deprived. There is a huge economic gulf between the south-east and the north. Why should people be artificially attracted to airports such as Stansted, which they do not wish to use, when the north is crying out for the jobs and the infrastructural development that is associated with airports?

I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will think again. Many airports, such as nearby Luton, run the risk of seeing the developments which they have initiated over the years being negated by the artificial development of Stansted. I am convinced that if Stansted were to operate independently, that would be in the national as well as the local interests, which were so eloquently set out by my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden.

Mr. David Model (Bedfordshire, South West)

It is not just a matter of the inconvenience to the travelling public if Stansted were subsidised to a low level. Such subsidy jeopardises many thousands of jobs at Luton airport which are vital to Bedfordshire. In view of all the difficulties last month about another industry, I need hardly stress the importance of keeping jobs at Luton airport.

Mr. Wilkinson

I am sure that my hon. Friend is right.

Mr. Lambie

I am a Scottish Member of Parliament and a representative of the regional airports in Scotland. I believe that the future of the four Scottish airports—three Lowland airports and Aberdeen airport—will depend upon tying up with the London airports: Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

There is no competition between the Scottish and London airports. If we are to maintain the United Kingdom as a centre of international air transport, the competition will be between London airports and the continental airports. I have enough confidence in the future growth of international air traffic to believe that there is enough traffic to sustain not only Heathrow and Gatwick but Stansted.

We can develop the northern airports by utilising the facilities that we have. Unfortunately, in Scotland we have three Lowland airports which serve a population of only 5 million. We cannot compete with London. Indeed, we cannot compete with Manchester airport, which serves an area with a population of 20 million. Glasgow and Prestwick airports cannot compete with Manchester, but they can be complementary to Manchester. We cannot compete for traffic with the London airports, but we can be complementary to them.

Due to the lead up to privatisation, British Airways is being forced to subsidise the development of independent airlines to and from the Scottish airports. Every day in the newspapers we see new airlines being designated to serve Glasgow and Edinburgh airports and to build up communications with the continental airports. The latest airline link is between Glasgow airport and Dusseldorf. A new company is being developed to link Edinburgh and Glasgow airports with continental airports. Therefore, there is a future for the Scottish airports. If one has confidence in the growth of international and national air transport, there is a piece of the cake for every airport in the United Kingdom.

In the United Kingdom both Labour and Conservative Governments have prevented people in some areas from developing their native talents in the hope that other areas would develop in their place. Even a Labour Government stopped development in the south of England in the hope that that development would shift to the north of England and to Scotland. That has never happened. It might happen in a period of economic growth, but in times of economic restraint companies which have moved to Scotland and to the north of England move back to the midlands and the south-east of England.

We must now support policies based on confidence in Britain's future and the growth of national and international airlines serving the United Kingdom. That is why, as a Scottish Member of Parliament, I do not object to the build-up of Stansted. The south-east of England needs Stansted, as it needs Heathrow and Gatwick. But I want the Government to change their economic policy and to go for growth not only in airlines and airports but in economic activity. If they do that, there will be a share of the cake for everyone.

I see the future of the Scottish airports being tied to the airports in the south of England. Let us go for growth. Let us develop the airports in the south-east of England. If that happens, Manchester and the Scottish airports will develop and we shall all be lucky. Let us not repeat the policies that have been carried out over the past 45 years of stopping developments in certain areas in the hope that they would move to other areas. That has not happened in the past and it will not happen in the future.

I am against the amendments. If they are accepted, they will be bad not only for the Scottish airports and their future, but for the future of the aerospace industry in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Bill Walker

I shall not take up in detail what the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South (Mr. Lambie) has been saying, but I too am a Scottish Member of Parliament and I was disappointed that we were unable to debate new clause 10 which related almost exclusively to Scotland and the Scottish airports. But amendment No. 3 deals with the airports operating in Scotland and says that they should not be regarded as serving the same area. Of course, anyone who knows the four airports in Scotland knows that they do not serve the same area and in that sense they do not compete with each other.

The nub of the issue is whether one accepts that, according to the Government, the London airport system consists of Stansted—the lowest in the order of priority—Gatwick, and then Heathrow, which is the jewel in the crown. It could be argued that, looking at a map, Luton is close enough to London also to be considered as a London airport, but it is not, conveniently, owned and operated by the BAA. Otherwise, the probability is that it too would belong to that so-called system.

Anyone who studies that so-called system will realise that the airports have evolved because airlines wish to go there. That is important. The airlines wish to go to those airports and there were inducements to the airlines to do certain things. It was suggested initially that Gatwick would be largely a charter operation and it was developed extensively by the charter operators. Subsequently, however, non-charter services have gone there. The scheduled services have gone there, and there is the beginning of a hub and spoke operation. It is believed that it is possible simply to decant airlines from Gatwick or Heathrow into Stansted and, as if by magic, produce a hub and spoke operation. Those who believe that do not realise how airports have developed and are likely to develop, or how much damage such management can do to the free market forces that the Government support.

10.15 pm

I believe that Stansted will develop because charter airlines will want to go there. The question is whether they will have been persuaded to go there. In the absence of real direction, the usual persuasion is the offer of lower landing charges, and other facilities that are much cheaper than those offered by the obvious competitors.

The first airport to be at risk in that respect must be Luton. Other airports will be affected, too. Birmingham, for instance, services a similar catchment area. When one considers all that, one realises that the system is designed to enable the BAA to do what it wants with its empire. It has little to do with the needs and wishes of air transport itself. Left to its own devices, air transport would develop without anyone directing anyone else to go anywhere. The main airports are not yet saturated.

I therefore approve of amendment No. 3, to which I have put my name, and I am prepared to support it in the Division. I believe that anyone who tries to make comparisons among airports is comparing apples with oranges. We cannot run an airport transport system in that way.

I am pleased that my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench are attempting at last to give us a comprehensive and understandable aviation policy. In doing so they are bound to make some friends and, indeed, some enemies. It has become clear this evening that there are many who would favour allowing Stansted to operate independently rather than in some sort of transparent accounting framework. Anyone who knows anything about accounts knows that things that are supposed to be transparent often turn out on closer inspection to be rather opaque. It is possible to fudge.

I hope that those on the Front Bench have heard the message. There is deep concern in the House that we should not privatise the airports as a group simply because we think that we would get a better deal by doing so. I commend my right hon. Friend for grasping the nettle. I hope that the endeavour will no falter because we find ourselves doing what the BAA wants and not what we believe is best for competition, the airlines, the airports and customers.

Sir Ian Percival (Southport)

This is a strange debate. In common with my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench, all my hon. Friends who have spoken really believe in the need for, and the desirability of, competition. We really believe that the enterprises that succeed should be those that provide services that people want at a price that they are willing to pay. We also believe in the other side of the coin. We deplore monopolies and unfair competition.

Damascus had nothing in comparison with tonight. We are happy to be joined in these beliefs by right hon. and hon. Members on the Opposition Benches. What we do not understand is why the Government do not share those views with us this time.

I do not want to make this a dispute between the north and the south. Manchester must compete with Stansted, Luton and everywhere else. We can and will compete. However, we are entitled to expect that we will not be disadvantaged in doing so. We are entitled to expect that in absolute and general terms. We are especially entitled to expect it because, as everyone knows, we do have some problems that other places do not have. We are doing our best to fight them, and we deserve to be supported rather than disadvantaged.

I do not think that the division between the north and the south is anything like as great as some people suggest. However, I warn my right hon. and hon. Friends that the provisions in the Bill are likely to make any division there is greater, and none of us wants that. That is another reason for accepting our proposal.

It is plain that unless Stansted is a free-standing operation we shall be disadvantaged. No one can disguise that. I give my right hon. Friend credit because he has recognised that danger and has gone some way to try to find a solution. That makes it even more difficult to understand why he will not come this one further step with us. He has recogised the danger that we will be disadvantaged and has tried to find a solution. It is clear that he has not succeeded, despite his efforts. What we are asking for would provide a solution.

If it is free-standing, the airport will grow at the rate required if it responds to market forces. If there is the need that there is said to be, and if somebody is efficient in meeting that need, there will be the necessary growth. If someone provides the services that are required—or so we are told—at a price which people are willing to pay, it will survive as a free-standing operation. If it cannot so survive, by our test it should not survive.

We are told that the need is so great that it must be met quickly or there will be trouble. If that is not true, what are we worrying about? If it is true, and if I were a buyer who believed that I could run an efficient operation, I would not have too much trouble in selling shares. So why is it feared that the so-called demand will not be satisfied quickly enough? It is because it is believed that it can be met quickly enough only if it is subsidised. It cannot be met on commercial lines, only on non-commercial lines.

I do not like to see my right hon. and hon. Friends supporting that proposition. They know that I am not a rebel; I am not one who goes into the Lobby for the fun of it or to get my name in the newspapers. However, I shall go into the Lobby tonight because I do not think that the fate of the Government hangs on this issue. I wish that they would come with us and say, "We are persuaded, too, like some others on the road to"—[AN HON. MEMBER: "Mandalay."] That is an insight into what is required. I wish that the Government would come with us on this issue.

I hope that my hon. Friends who support the amendment will press it to a Division. It is the only way to show the strength of our feeling. As I have said, I do not regard it as an issue likely to bring down the Government. Our object is to bring home to the Government that we respect their desire to meet the difficulty, we do not think that they have met it, and so we want them to come a stage further with us to meet it. We are prepared to back that view with our votes, even though there is a three-line Whip.

Mr. Tony Lloyd

Since the Secretary of State is making one of his rare appearances on this Bill I would ask him to justify the things that he has not so far taken the trouble to justify—should he be courteous enough to listen to me as he has not done to anyone else so far. How is it that, of his hon. Friends who have spoken tonight, only the one who is a Parliamentary Private Secretary has spoken in support of what he intends to do? We have not had answers to any of the questions raised in Committee or beforehand about the whole issue of cross-subsidisation. Will the Secretary of State give a simple answer to one question? Should he resist these amendments tonight, what requirement will he insert to guarantee that the accounts of Stansted airport are publicly available? The Secretary of State has come alive! What guarantee will he give that the accounts of Stansted airport will be publicly available, so that hon. Members can draw their own conclusions about the basis of the subsidisation that will take place?

Mr. Robert Hughes

There have been two main strands in this very interesting debate. The first has come mainly from Conservative Members who have argued that the Bill as it stands is inadequate because it fails to reflect their wish for a proper policy on private competition; the second strand has come primarily from the Labour Benches, expressing the belief that fairness and equality are necessary in the discussions and in the competition between the regional airports and the London airports, particularly Stansted.

I am totally in favour of a balanced airport development. I want to see encouragement of the growth of regional airports—Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Prestwick or wherever. They should all have a fair chance to develop. They should certainly not be starved of funds; they should be in a position to provide adequate facilities, comparable with those provided by other airports.

Patently, Government policy is against fair competition. As the Bill stands, and if it passes through this House and the other place without amendment, regional airports will have to operate with one hand tied behind their backs: as long as the majority ownership is in the hands of local authorities, the airports will be subject to local government expenditure restraints. The Government will be able to control the pace of development at regional airports by keeping the purse strings tight.

The Government's answer to that is simple. They say that under the new structure the local authority airports can escape from controls by selling equity capital to a total of more than 50 per cent. At that point they will be free of restraint as regards raising money in the private market. This is one of the most reprehensible parts of the Bill, because it is nothing less than blackmail. It is compelling local authorities to undertake a course with which they do not want to proceed. It is quite disgraceful that the Government should operate in this way.

The regions have cause for concern. That is what is at the heart of this debate. Their concern is about what will happen to traffic and to development. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, South (Mr. Lambie) that the growth in international traffic is likely to be of an order to satisfy everyone, that the regional airports, the London airports and Stansted can get a proper and fair share of the available traffic, and that, all things being equal, there is not necessarily a contradiction between development at Stansted and development at regional airports. But that will only be the case, if there is fair competition and if there are no restraints on the development of regional airports. In the short term, I fully understand why the regional airports should be concerned that Stansted will drain traffic away, that it will not only inhibit growth at Manchester and elsewhere, but will actually take away some of the existing traffic.

If we look at the recent Civil Aviation Authority report on access to Heathrow from regional airports, we have grounds for concern. It is reported, for example, that because of the heavy congestion at Heathrow the first of the services to be taken out of Heathrow will be the links between Dundee and Inverness. Next there is a threat to services from Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Plymouth, Newquay and Jersey. It is further proposed that if that does not deal with the congestion, there will be restrictions on flights to Heathrow from all the United Kingdom regional airports with the exception of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast. If there is restriction of traffic into Heathrow, the extra traffic will have to go to Stansted. Therefore, there is a strong feeling among many hon. Members that Stansted will disturb the efforts of regional airports to maintain or improve services.

10.30 pm

The problem arises because the Government do not have an airport policy. They simply say, "Leave it to the free market and it will all sort itself out." The fact that there may be casualties on the way is just too bad. The curious thing is that while the Government are saying that, on the one hand, in other parts of the Bill a labyrinth of controls is being built up to inhibit competition. The Government are trying to have their cake and eat it. It is not surprising that many Members in all parts of the House are concerned for different reasons about the effects of Stansted and the way it will develop.

I cannot ask my hon. Friends to support amendment No. 3. As I understand it, it would mean that the three London airports would be sold off to totally independent companies. I am totally opposed to that. I want one company to be responsible for the seven main airports; whoever owns them, they must stay together. That is my view not just because of my Scottish connections but because of general future development.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) has put forward a full and fair case on amendment No. 1. All my hon. Friends representing regional airports are asking for no more than fair treatment. They are entitled to such treatment. For that reason, I shall certainly ask them to support amendment No. 1 in the Lobby tonight.

Mr. Ridley

We have had a full and high quality, if not totally unfamiliar, debate on this issue, which has been before the House for nearly a year. Little new argument has been put forward, but old arguments have been repeated with renewed force and skill.

I take exception to one speech, that of my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Adley), who said that the tacit agreement that had been reached last June when the airports White Paper was published had not been kept. That I must repudiate. I believe that the contents of the Bill are almost identical in every material respect both to the statement that I made on 5 June and to the White Paper that was issued on that day, towards which hon. Gentlemen felt less unenthusiastic than they appear to feel tonight.

My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Silvester) made an accomplished speech; so accomplished that he managed to accuse me of being a wet. If bringing massive help to Manchester airport is the tactic of a wet, I plead guilty. I have presided—if that is the right word—over a period when massive investment—far greater than under the Labour party—has taken place in all the regional airports. I have done everything that I could to promote the real source of growth for regional airports—the provision of more traffic by the opening up of more routes.

I persuaded British Airways to subsidise 14, I think it was, routes out of regional airports by new operators. I allowed many international routes into Manchester. I think that 14 extra routes are now operating from Manchester. It is that traffic that brings the prosperity, that brings the extra jobs. That is not what we are talking about today. The debate today is about how we should treat Stansted. If that is the sort of thing that a wet does, I plead guilty, with pleasure, to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Churchill (Davyhulme)

It would be churlish of those of us who represent north-west constituencies not to pay a tribute to my right hon. Friend for the tremendous work that he has done on behalf of Manchester, from which today one can fly to twice as many scheduled destinations as one could this time a year ago. None the less, does my right hon. Friend deny that Stansted, over the years, has been built up by a system of cross-subsidies from Heathrow and Gatwick, at the expense of Manchester and other regional airports? And is it not the purpose of the Bill as it is drafted to allow this cross-subsidisation to continue?

Mr. Ridley

If my hon. Friend and the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) will allow me, I have a lot to say on this matter of the alleged cross-subsidy, on which they concentrated, but I would rather take my speech in my own order, and I must try to be as brief as possible.

The best speech was that by the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South (Mr. Lambie), who only asked one thing of the Government, and that was a high rate of economic growth. He will be delighted to know that we are now into our fifth consecutive year of growth, but that perhaps is outside the scope of this debate.

I am not proposing to keep the seven airports together in order to maximise profits so that we can get the most out of the sale. Nor am I doing it because I have given way, as has been alleged, to the BAA or its chairman. I am doing it because I am trusting my instincts, as my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Haselhurst) asked me to do.

I shall make three points in passing. First, the amendments are technically defective, but I shall not rest on that. Secondly, the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) said that he saw Liverpool and Manchester as an airport system. They are in competition, close together as they are, but they are an airport system. Thirdly, and most astonishing of all, amendment No. 3 exempts the four Scottish airports from the requirement to be privatised separately. Three of them at least—Glasgow, Prestwick and Edinburgh—can be regarded only as a system. Thus, when it comes to Scotland and the north-west, airports are a system and cannot be made to compete, but when it comes to London, the biggest conurbation, the biggest system of the lot, everything is different.

Mr. Tony Lloyd

I am amazed at the Secretary of State's seeming ignorance of the airports system in Britain. Is he suggesting that the argument about cross-subsidisation applies between Manchester airport and Liverpool airport? If he is, he is even more ignorant than I thought he was.

Mr. Ridley

I hesitated before I gave way, and I made a mistake. I should not have given way, because I have made it clear that I am coming to the cross-subsidy argument. If hon. Gentlemen will be patient, I shall give way after I have dealt with that point.

Mr. Bill Walker

I hope that my right hon. Friend will not suggest that the three London airports which form a system into which all international flights can fly can be compared to Scotland. In Scotland, that is not the case. That cannot be done in Scotland. In fact, trans-Atlantic flights can fly only into Prestwick.

Mr. Ridley

The Scottish airports operate as a system, as indeed do the London airports, and that is why they should stay together.

Why is it that all airlines want to serve Heathrow? It is considerably more expensive than Stansted or Gatwick. It is much harder to get the slot that one wants at Heathrow. The standards, to be polite, are no higher than at Gatwick, and the roads and car parks are congested at Heathrow. Yet all airlines and passengers want to go to Heathrow rather than to any of the other London airports. The reason is that it accommodates the maximum number of interlining aircraft. Also, Heathrow is thought, not always truthfully, to be the quickest and easiest London airport to get to. It follows from that that one really cannot believe that there is any form of meaningful competition between Heathrow and, say, Gatwick or Stansted, in the sense that one could increase or decrease prices at Heathrow, or improve the services or cause them to deteriorate, and by that means affect the natural and enormously strong preference, or even prejudice, that exists for using Heathrow out of the three airports in that system.

As the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South said, the competition is not between Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. It is between the London system, the Paris system, the Amsterdam system, and so on. Of course, 20 per cent. of Heathrow traffic is interlining traffic. Why else do the Dutch mount a roadshow to try to show the advantages of Schiphol? Why does Frankfurt advertise in The Times its advantages at such expense if not to try to take the lucrative interlining traffic away from the London system?

The hon. Members for Dundee, West (Mr. Ross) and for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours), and people from many other parts of the country, are alarmed that the Civil Aviation Authority, in its first draft review of the traffic distribution policy, has suggested that certain domestic air flights should not go into Heathrow, but should go elsewhere. Whatever is decided about these matters—the interlining or the routes into Heathrow—it affects the profitability of Heathrow and the profitability of the other airports.

How can one write a prospectus for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted if we first decide the question of domestic flights and later decide what the traffic distribution policy will be? We will affect profitability. This constant change in emphasis in aviation policy must be accommodated within three airports. It is easy if it is a system, but if each airport's fortunes depend on each decision, and if the competition is upset by each decision, it becomes impossible both to write a prospectus for privatisation and to justify the changes which affect the profitability of each airport.

I must ask the House why there is so much concern. Over the past six years, when Stansted has veritably been heavily subsidised, Manchester's traffic has grown from 3.5 million passengers per annum to 6 million, whereas the number of Stansted's passengers has remained at 500,000. Despite the massive subsidy, it is Manchester that has grown and not Stansted. Therefore, it is difficult to complain particularly if I now give the House the assurance it has sought that there will be no subsidy from the other London airports to Stansted. The hon. Member for Manchester, Central (Mr. Litherland) talked about a massive subsidy, but this will not be the case.

I shall now consider what is in the Bill.

The accounts must, under clause 37, be transparent and apply to each separate airport company. They will be Companies Acts accounts, audited by auditors, and, in answer to the hon. Member for Stretford (Mr. Lloyd), they will be publicly available for all to see.

10.45 pm

There can be cross-investment only at commercial rates. Perhaps I might quote the chairman, Sir Norman Payne, who said: The 1986 charges are the first step in a series of steps which the BAA intends to take to raise Stansted's charges to a level which reflects the cost of the new development, in order that a proper return is achieved on the new investment. That policy is already in effect.

There are other amendments which will not, as my hon. Friend the Member for Withington suggested, underpin the defences against transparency. They will give the CAA fuller powers still to prevent predatory pricing. The CAA will police matters to ensure that there is no subsidy to Stansted. There will be investment only in the initial loss-making period.

Mr. Geoffrey Dickens (Littleborough and Saddleworth)

My tendency at the moment is to vote against the Government, because I have not been satisfied thus far. Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow could raise money as a block because of their profitability. They would therefore have the advantage over Manchester for expansion. The regional airports are worried about the London airports' ability to raise cheap money because they are being sold as one big block.

Mr. Ridley

I should very much like to get the weight of my hon. Friend on my side in the Division Lobby, so I shall explain the matter to him. Manchester and other local authority airports have been able to raise money through local authorities at rates which have been close to the Government's borrowing rate, and considerably cheaper than the rate at which any private sector company would be able to raise money. The security of Manchester airport, when owned by the local authority, is the same as the security of the Government, so in terms of security and cheapness of borrowing Manchester airport will have the edge over the BAA.

It is time that I asked the House to reject these amendments. I have put up arguments which I hope will be found convincing in all quarters of the House.

Mr. Alfred Morris

With permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I should like to reply. The Secretary of State has manifestly disappointed his right hon. and hon. Friends, not to mention my right hon. and hon. Friends. He was virtually friendless in the debate, and wholly unconvincing in his reply. We have won the debate. Let us hope that we can win the vote.

Question put, That the amendment be made:

The House divided: Ayes 203, Noes 266.

Division No. 128] [10.50 pm
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)
Adley, Robert Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Buchan, Norman
Ashdown, Paddy Buck, Sir Antony
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Caborn, Richard
Ashton, Joe Callaghan, Rt Hon J.
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Campbell, Ian
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Campbell-Savours, Dale
Barnett, Guy Canavan, Dennis
Barron, Kevin Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Carlisle, John (Luton N)
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)
Bermingham, Gerald Carter-Jones, Lewis
Bidwell, Sydney Cartwright, John
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Churchill, W. S.
Blackburn, John Clark, Dr David (S Shields)
Blair, Anthony Clarke, Thomas
Boyes, Roland Clay, Robert
Bray, Dr Jeremy Clelland, David Gordon
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S)
Cohen, Harry McCartney, Hugh
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) McCrindle, Robert
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) McCurley, Mrs Anna
Corbett, Robin McKelvey, William
Corbyn, Jeremy McNamara, Kevin
Craigen, J. M. McTaggart, Robert
Cranborne, Viscount McWilliam, John
Cunningham, Dr John Madden, Max
Dalyell, Tam Madel, David
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Marek, Dr John
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l) Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Dewar, Donald Martin, Michael
Dickens, Geoffrey Maxton, John
Dicks, Terry Maynard, Miss Joan
Dixon, Donald Meadowcroft, Michael
Dormand, Jack Michie, William
Douglas, Dick Mikardo, Ian
Dubs, Alfred Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Duffy, A. E. P. Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Eastham, Ken Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Ewing, Harry Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Farr, Sir John Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Fatchett, Derek Nellist, David
Faulds, Andrew Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Favell, Anthony O'Neill, Martin
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Park, George
Fisher, Mark Parry, Robert
Flannery, Martin Patchett, Terry
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Forrester, John Penhaligon, David
Foster, Derek Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Franks, Cecil Pike, Peter
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Prescott, John
Galley, Roy Pym, Rt Hon Francis
George, Bruce Radice, Giles
Godman, Dr Norman Redmond, Martin
Golding, John Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)
Gould, Bryan Rhodes James, Robert
Gourlay, Harry Richardson, Ms Jo
Grant, Sir Anthony Robertson, George
Griffiths, Sir Eldon Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Rogers, Allan
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Rooker, J. W.
Hamilton, W. W. (Fife Central) Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Hampson, Dr Keith Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Hargreaves, Kenneth Sedgemore, Brian
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Sheerman, Barry
Haselhurst, Alan Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Hayes, J. Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Haynes, Frank Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Hicks, Robert Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Hind, Kenneth Silvester, Fred
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Skeet, Sir Trevor
Home Robertson, John Skinner, Dennis
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Howells, Geraint Snape, Peter
Hughes, Dr Mark (Durham) Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Stott, Roger
Hughes, Roy (Newport East) Strang, Gavin
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Straw, Jack
John, Brynmor Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Thorne, Stan (Preston)
Kennedy, Charles Tinn, James
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Torney, Tom
Kirkwood, Archy Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Knox, David Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Lambie, David Wareing, Robert
Lamond, James White, James
Leighton, Ronald Whitfield, John
Lewis, Terence (Worsley) Wigley, Dafydd
Livsey, Richard Wilkinson, John
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Williams, Rt Hon A.
Loyden, Edward Wilson, Gordon
Winnick, David Tellers for the Ayes:
Young, David (Bolton SE) Mr. Robert Litherland and
Mr. Malcolm Thornton.
Aitken, Jonathan Freeman, Roger
Alexander, Richard Fry, Peter
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Amess, David Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)
Ancram, Michael Garel-Jones, Tristan
Arnold, Tom Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Ashby, David Goodlad, Alastair
Aspinwall, Jack Gow, Ian
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H. Gower, Sir Raymond
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Greenway, Harry
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Gregory, Conal
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Grist, Ian
Baldry, Tony Ground, Patrick
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Grylls, Michael
Bellingham, Henry Gummer, Rt Hon John S
Bendall, Vivian Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Benyon, William Hanley, Jeremy
Best, Keith Hannam, John
Bevan, David Gilroy Harris, David
Biffen, Rt Hon John Hawkins, C. (High Peak)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Hawksley, Warren
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Hayhoe, Rt Hon Barney
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Heathcoat-Amory, David
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Henderson, Barry
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Hickmet, Richard
Brinton, Tim Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Brooke, Hon Peter Hill, James
Browne, John Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Bruinvels, Peter Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
Bryan, Sir Paul Holt, Richard
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Hordern, Sir Peter
Budgen, Nick Howard, Michael
Bulmer, Esmond Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Burt, Alistair Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N)
Butcher, John Hubbard-Miles, Peter
Butler, Rt Hon Sir Adam Hunter, Andrew
Butterfill, John Jackson, Robert
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Carttiss, Michael Jessel, Toby
Cash, William Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Jones, Robert (Herts W)
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Chope, Christopher Key, Robert
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n) King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Cockeram, Eric Knowles, Michael
Colvin, Michael Lamont, Norman
Conway, Derek Lang, Ian
Coombs, Simon Latham, Michael
Cope, John Lawler, Geoffrey
Couchman, James Lee, John (Pendle)
Currie, Mrs Edwina Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Dorrell, Stephen Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Dover, Den Lightbown, David
du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward Lilley, Peter
Dunn, Robert Lord, Michael
Durant, Tony Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Dykes, Hugh Lyell, Nicholas
Eggar, Tim Macfarlane, Neil
Emery, Sir Peter MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)
Eyre, Sir Reginald McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Fairbairn, Nicholas McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Fallon, Michael Major, John
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Malins, Humfrey
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Malone, Gerald
Fletcher, Alexander Maples, John
Fookes, Miss Janet Marland, Paul
Forth, Eric Marlow, Antony
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Mates, Michael
Fox, Marcus Mather, Carol
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Maude, Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Sims, Roger
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Soames, Hon Nicholas
Mellor, David Speed, Keith
Merchant, Piers Spencer, Derek
Meyer, Sir Anthony Spicer, Jim (Dorset W)
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Squire, Robin
Miscampbell, Norman Stanbrook, Ivor
Mitchell, David (Hants NW) Stanley, Rt Hon John
Moate, Roger Stern, Michael
Monro, Sir Hector Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Moore, Rt Hon John Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Stewart, Ian (Hertf'dshire N)
Morrison, Hon P. (Chester) Stokes, John
Moynihan, Hon C. Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Mudd, David Sumberg, David
Neale, Gerrard Tapsell, Sir Peter
Nelson, Anthony Taylor, John (Solihull)
Neubert, Michael Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Newton, Tony Temple-Morris, Peter
Nicholls, Patrick Terlezki, Stefan
Norris, Steven Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Oppenheim, Phillip Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S. Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Ottaway, Richard Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Page, Richard (Herts SW) Thurnham, Peter
Parris, Matthew Townend, John (Bridlington)
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abgdn) Tracey, Richard
Pattie, Geoffrey Trippier, David
Pawsey, James Trotter, Neville
Pollock, Alexander Twinn, Dr Ian
Portillo, Michael van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Powell, William (Corby) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Powley, John Viggers, Peter
Price, Sir David Waddington, David
Prior, Rt Hon James Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Proctor, K. Harvey Waldegrave, Hon William
Raffan, Keith Walden, George
Rathbone, Tim Wall, Sir Patrick
Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover) Waller, Gary
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Walters, Dennis
Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas Ward, John
Roberts, Wyn (Conwy) Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Robinson, Mark (N'port W) Watts, John
Roe, Mrs Marion Wells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Rossi, Sir Hugh Wheeler, John
Rowe, Andrew Whitney, Raymond
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Wiggin, Jerry
Ryder, Richard Wolfson, Mark
Sackville, Hon Thomas Wood, Timothy
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Woodcock, Michael
Scott, Nicholas Yeo, Tim
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Younger, Rt Hon George
Shelton, William (Streatham)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Tellers for the Noes:
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Mr. Peter Lloyd and
Shersby, Michael Mr. Robert Boscawen.

Question accordingly negatived.

11 pm

Mr. Ridley

I beg to move amendment No. 4, in page 2, line 24, leave out 'and' and insert 'or'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Ernest Armstrong)

With this it will be convenient to take Government amendment No. 5.

Mr. Ridley

These are technical amendments, but I shall explain their effect if the House wishes me to do so.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 5, in page 2, line 35, leave out 'and' and insert 'or'.—[Mr. Ridley.]

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