HC Deb 22 January 1986 vol 90 cc385-96
Mr. Strang

I beg to move amendment No. 20, in page 3, line 31, leave out subsection (4).

Mr. Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 29, in page 3, line 31, after 'section', insert 'or any alterations to a code'.

No. 21, in page 3, line 33, leave out 'the House of Commons' and insert 'each House of Parliament'.

Mr. Strang

This group of three amendments relates to the code of practice, an outline of which the Minister kindly circulated to the Standing Committee before Christmas. Our intention is to take this opportunity to emphasise further our concern about its contents. Some aspects of it confirm our worst fears about the Government's intentions. A number of the references in the code of practice confirm our view that it is vague and that it will be difficult for local authorities to know precisely what they are allowed to communicate to their electors.

Amendment No. 20 would remove the requirement that the code of practice should come before the House of Commons for approval. Amendment No. 29 stands in the name of the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson). I am not certain whether his amendment is necessary. However, as it clarifies the position, there might be some advantage in accepting it. We do not want the code to be altered without it first coming before the House of Commons.

It may seem ironic that amendment No. 21 requires the code of practice to come before both Houses of Parliament for approval. I say "ironic" because of the Labour party's policy on the House of Lords. However, as long as there is a House of Lords, it is sensible to stick to the normal convention that a code of practice of this nature should require a resolution of each House of Parliament. That does not, of course, apply to financial resolutions. For that reason, we believe that it would be sensible if amendment No. 21 were accepted in order fully to regularise the position.

The Minister will recall that when the Bill was in Committee there was no requirement for a code of practice to come before either House. The Minister in his speech suggested flexibility on that matter. Therefore, I think he should agree to accept amendment No. 21, and perhaps also amendment No. 29, which regularises the position.

Mr. Simon Hughes

It is important that the Government should realise how much opposition there is to the present code of practice and the lack of control over it. The overwhelming view of those who studied the code of practice produced by the Government in December is that, in the words of the local government press, it is "outrageous" and that it is well on the way to the Ministry of Truth.

The problem facing the Government in December was that they had suddenly to produce a code of practice. To show that there was something on which to peg clause 4, they produced the first code that they could lay their hands on. That is a generous interpretation. The Government know that what they have produced as an example of a code of practice for local government would encompass all sorts of unpaid publicity. It has a dubious statutory basis and would have to come to this House for approval.

The amendment gives the House and local government a guarantee of proper scrutiny of whatever code sees the light of day. I hope that the Minister will tell us that the proper scrutiny is required, but, above all, that there will be nothing as horrendous as the present code of practice, which is the only example the Government have given us.

Dr. Hampson

I think that the meaning of amendment No. 29 is perfectly obvious. In Committee, the Minister stressed how the amendment would provide flexibility and the freedom to revise and alter as the circumstances warrant. That is sensible, and it is eminently attractive to have different codes to meet the needs of different authorities.

If we require the code to be laid before the House, it is necessary that any alterations to it should come before the House. This may be something of a deterrent, for it would make it more difficult for such things to be jiggled with.

If I may extrapolate on this, there is, as the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) said, deep concern within local authorities over the draft. It is important to recognise that it is a draft, put together rapidly by the Minister to help the Committee to see what areas might be included in the code. The House should make clear to the Minister that some aspects in his code will lead to severe problems. The code, or any alterations to it, should apply strictly to corporate decisions of a council or the ruling group on a council. The present draft covers not only press releases—there has been tremendous abuse of press releases by council leaders, involving not just the logo on top of the press release—but also interviews.

I question whether a code can ban the leader of a council from being party political in interviews. That would be stretching the code. The code should be concerned with corporate decisions—matters concerned with the council as a whole or on behalf of an authority.

The draft code also refers to officers' reports to a council and to committees of a council. That is stretching the code into territory where I foresee enormous problems. Such reports may well refer to exising policies which have long been pursued, yet the code may now inhibit how the council handles them. The code, which will be a fundamental part of the Act, must not encourage mischievous litigation, but, as we said in Committee, some parts of the legislation might well do that. Above all, the code must not inhibit or add to the cost of and make more difficult the day-to-day administration of councils, but, as drafted, the code would affect such day-to-day administration.

Mr. Waldegrave

The subject of these amendments represented my finest hour in Committee when I was defeated by my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mr. Galley). The Galley amendment—rather like the Rooker-Wise amendment—will go down in history as very important, and so it should. We accept that codes of practice should be put before Parliament.

I was a little confused by the Opposition's strategy on these amendments as, if we accept amendment No. 20, we could not accept amendment No. 21. The other place recently debated codes of practice in general and I know that it takes an interest in these matters. It might be right for the code to be debated in both Houses. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax would not want to defend his successful amendment to the point of resisting that addition to it.

Mr. Galley

May I confirm that it was purely as a result of a technical procedural point that the words "House of Commons" were originally put into the amendment?

Mr. Waldegrave

I am grateful to my hon. Friend.

My hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) mentioned flexibility. It works both ways. We do not want to make it so cumbersome to make minor changes that we get stuck with provisions that get further and further out of date, but I take his point about not tinkering for the sake of tinkering. I am afraid that I am genuinely open-minded about whether every change has to go through the full procedure. I can see pretty strong arguments for not doing that. We accept the principle of scrutiny by Parliament and we shall table amendments in another place to give effect to that.

Amendment negatived.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.—[Mr. Lang.]

9.27 pm
Mr. Simon Hughes

The Bill started out with a variety of criticisms from all sides, although it was agreed that something had to be done about certain abuses in local authorities, and the Widdicombe committee confirmed that. The interim report's principal conclusion was that statute should prevent publicity for party political purposes at the ratepayers' expense. On that principle, and that principle alone, my colleagues and I unanimously agreed that we should support the Bill.

On behalf of my colleagues, I put four serious criticisms which we wanted the Government to consider, and none of which was recommended by Widdicombe. The first was that clause 2(1)(b) should be deleted, as it went far beyond party political campaigns and dealt with publicity for bodies outside the body politic. The Government have conceded that, and the paragraph has gone.

The second was that clause 2(3) should go. It prohibits the financing of other bodies for publicity purposes. The voluntary sector was horrified by it and many, if not most, members of local authorities of all political parties were horrified. The Government have not amended clause 2(3), so they are threatening the activities of the voluntary sector and those who depend on local government for funding.

The third criticism was that there should be no tampering with section 142 of the Local Government Act 1972. The Government have not moved on that. They have hinted that there may be movement, but they are still trying to restrict what local authorities can do under section 142 to talking about the functions of the authority, not matters relating to the area. There has not beer a concession on that.

Lastly, the Government have allowed the code of practice provision set out in clause 4 to remain, and that is universally found to be unacceptable. I make that one gain for the Opposition, and the Government resisting three substantive attacks. The conclusion is obvious: if the Government are willing to amend the Bill before it finishes its proceedings, they might have our continuing support. We wanted to have something on the statute book but we did not want the Government to ignore the committee that they set up and go far beyond its recommendations. As they have done so, we cannot continue to support them.

Our support was always conditional and always open to the Government backing down in the light of the opposition in the country. If the House were proportionately represented, it would not pass the Bill. Sadly, the minority Government still have a majority of seats so they may be able to succeed tonight. We shall oppose them and continue to oppose them unless they make other concessions that they could and should make because they have over-reacted to something that was not of our making, and arguably not of theirs.

The Labour party often abused the processes of local government. In my constituency and those of many of my hon. Friends—Greenwich, Liverpool, Leeds—it has acted in a way that has brought the Bill before the House. It has caused the Government to legislate in this way. The Government have over-reacted—that is their fault—but let nobody believe that there is not blame to be attached to the Labour party as well. We shall not allow the Labour party to get away with its excesses, but, on the other hand, we shall not allow the Government to abuse the processes of local government in their turn. We are willing to fight for local government to continue to represent the reponsible voice of ratepayers and citizens in Britain. Perhaps that is why we are doing rather better than the other two parties.

9.32 pm
Mr. Michie

One often talks about the tail wagging the dog, but the speech by the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) was extraordinary.

I have been asked not to speak tonight, but I do so mainly because I think that the Bill leaves much to be desired. We are pleased that the Minister conceded various points in the Committee of which I was a member. They are small, but we should be grateful for them.

However, the Bill is unnecessary. There are ways and means of controlling the abuses about which the Government worry. Therefore, I ask them not to continue with the Bill, but to throw it into the dustbin so that we do not have further problems and further amendments throughout the next stages.

9.33 pm
Dr. Hampson

The speech by the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) was a joke. In Committee we noticed that, having given a blessing to the Bill on Second Reading, the hon. Member progressively distanced the alliance from it, and never agreed with any point in the Bill. Now he says that he agrees entirely with what the Government are doing in principle but denies the worth of the Bill, which is extraordinary.

The Bill follows Widdicombe in all but one sense. It expressly prohibits literature of a party political nature. There has been talk about the partisan nature of the tone and scale of some local authority publicity. The Widdicombe committee did not go far enough in its recommendations to meet the problem. It said that the local authorities' powers should be concentrated under section 142 of the Local Government Act 1948, but on section 137 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act 1963, it said that it should be made clear that the powers could not be used for "publicity". The Bill meets the principles of the Widdicombe report except on section 142. In the past two years we have all seen, including the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Meadowcroft), a growing abuse by Labour councils of the way in which they are using ratepayers' money for direct party political advantage or indirectly to support causes related to the Labour party.

Mr. Meadowcroft

The hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) and I share the problem of the same city council and its abuses. The problem is that the abuses I detailed in the evidence I brought to the Committee will not be stopped by the Bill. Activities that should be allowed to carry on in local government will be stopped by the Bill. The amendments of the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West, which showed that, have not got through.

Dr. Hampson

That is my main point. I was misled by the outrageous condemnation by the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey.

I believe that the Government have had to tread a delicate line and, on balance, they have managed to do it well, because the Bill stops the worst abuses. However, it may not stop some of the more sophisticated abuses by the more devious Labour councillors. The hon. Member for Leeds, West and I have to live with them. They do not go over the parapet and try to become martyrs as they do in Liverpool, but they are insidiously working away all the time. Also, there are many sensitive areas that the Bill may not properly deal with because it goes too far.

The Widdicombe report drew a distinction between publicity of information on the functions of the council to help the residents of the area and party political information, which is propaganda and campaigning literature. I should like a third distinction in the Bill, dealing with the material produced in the normal course of running a local authority. In many areas —particularly through the code—if we are not careful we will try to stop or control normal administrative routines such as council minutes, circulars and officers' reports. That seems to be unnecessary.

Clause 3(2) defines publicity, and in many ways is at the heart of the Bill. We need to look at such definitions to decide whether the terminology is right. We must decide whether the phrase any communication, in whatever form, addressed to the public at large is too sweeping and whether we should use phrases such as "primarily intended for the public at large." We should consider whether we are stretching into a third category of information—that essential to the day-to-day running of the council. That is no one's intention.

9.37 pm
Mr. Madden

Last night the noble Lord Stockton in another place delivered a blistering attack on the modern Conservative party. He said that it is now the vehicle for extremist elements who are completely alien to traditional Conservative values. I do not know what the noble Lord thinks of the Bill, but I am sure that he thinks it is shabby, sinister, undemocratic and unwanted. There has been no clamour for the Bill from the public. Postmen have not been rushing to the Department of the Environment in Marsham street with bulging postbags full of letters from the public demanding that the Bill be enacted as a matter of urgency.

The people of Britain are worried about jobs, housing, the National Health Service and schools, where the teachers' dispute has been running for more than a year. The Bill will not create a single job, except a few for lawyers; it will be a paradise for them. They will crawl all over the Bill, seeking to clarify, advise and define. They will tell councillors that they should not do this, that they will be running great risks if they do that. That is the purpose of the Bill— to instil fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

The Bill has come about because the Government are authoritarian and highly centralised, and are dominated by the most authoritarian Prime Minister in living memory. We are told that, when anyone is suggested to her, her first question is, "Is he one of us?" Such an attitude runs through the Government's thinking.

The Prime Minister and the modern Conservative party no longer seek to work with local government. Confrontation is their strategy, and it has been ever since 1979. Now Labour councils are being confronted with cuts, penalties, rate capping, district auditors, surcharges, bankruptcy and disqualification. We have a Government who detest local government. They have abolished councils that they do not like and they are now stopping councillors telling the ratepayers the truth about Government policies. We have a Government who do not like law centres, so they shut them down; a Government who do not like centres for the unemployed, so they seek to shut them down; a Government who do not like community advice centres, so they seek to shut them down; a Government who do not like voluntary organisations, so they seek to starve them of money.

Those are the organisations that have sought to give the people confidence to fight the cuts in their services, and to campaign for what they want in their local communities. That is why the Government do not like them. That is why the Government are introducing the Bill. It is unwanted and undemocratic. I am sure that they will live to regret it, because the people know that the Government are seeking to move the goal posts. They are trying to silence people whom they do not like, who are giving the people a message that they do not like.

This sinister, shabby, nasty little Bill deserves the contempt that the House will show it tonight. The emptiness of the Chamber while this nasty legislation has been discussed today shows that it is wholly irrelevant to the problems, priorities and anxieties of the people whom we seek to serve.

9.42 pm
Mr. Straw

This is a serious Bill which will do great damage to local authorities and their relationship with Government. While it is a serious matter, we have been vastly entertained today by the continual contortions and twisting and turning of Liberal Members as they seek to explain why they voted for the Bill on Second Reading yet, now that it has been improved, will vote against it on Third Reading.

For hon. Members who are not fully apprised of the situation, it is worthwhile repeating some of the reasons mentioned by the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) for voting for the Bill on Second Reading, when he used words such as "horrendous", "appalling and extreme", "arbitrary" and "dangerous". That is why the Liberals voted for the Bill on Second Reading. Today, people have to decide why they are voting against it on Third Reading.

I did not mention what the Social Democratic party has been saying, because its members have been absent from the debate. A representative of the SDP, the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Cartwright), has just turned up. It will be interesting and entertaining to see what SDP Members do.

The reason why the Liberals in Parliament have changed their minds has nothing to do with whether the merits of the Bill have changed, but everything to do with the enormous pressure under which the Liberal party in Parliament has come from Liberal councillors and Liberal News, which said earlier in the parliamentary Session: How disappointing and inexplicable it was to find Liberal Members trooping in to vote for this deplorable Local Government Bill on Second Reading.

Mr. Wareing

Does my hon. Friend not agree that that is in line with the usual hypocrisy that one finds on the alliance Benches? Has he studied the early-day motions, which include one in the name of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) criticising the Government for not funding the arts on Merseyside when he himself was one of the Members who voted for the abolition of Merseyside county council?

Mr. Straw

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. The Liberals have turned turtle because of the pressure they have been under. They have appreciated the utter inconsistency of their position not only in the House but within their own movement.

In the debate on the rate support grant two days ago, the hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Morrison) said: The Government seem to forget that local government exists to provide services. It does not exist simply as a minor or even a major irritant instituted to interrupt and interfere in the otherwise smooth running of the mind of my right hon Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He appears to forget that, even if local government did not exist, the services would still have to be provided".—[Official Report, 20 January 1986; Vol. 90, c. 88]

That is a damning statement from a widely respected Conservative Member about the attitude of his Government towards local government.

The Bill also typifies the contempt for local government which, I am sorry to say, Ministers in the Department of the Environment continue to show. They say that their concern is about ratepayers' money not being used for party political purposes. As I have said repeatedly during the debates on the Bill, if that was so, we could agree. Those were exactly the words that were used by the national executive committee of the Labour party in its evidence to Widdicombe.

The Bill goes far wider. It is not just about controlling the use of ratepayers' money for party political purposes. It is about denying local government the right to challenge decisions of central Government and the right to say that what central Government intend to do to local services is wrong. It is about denying Lancashire county council the right to say that it believed that the Transport Act 1985 would do terrible damage to bus services in Lancashire. When Lancashire said that, it had the support of most Conservative councils as well as Labour councils.

Most insidious of all, the Bill is about censorship. The true motives of the Government were exposed when the outline of a code of practice was published which sought not only to control publicity that was paid for but also publicity that came free out of people's mouths: press conference statements and media interviews are to be controlled. The Bill is about gagging opposition. It is about an authoritarian Government led by one woman who seeks to crush opposition, whether it comes from within her own party or from outside it. The number of Conservative Cabinet Ministers who have been kicked out for opposing the Prime Minister is testament to the truth of what we are saying.

We oppose the Bill in this place, we shall oppose it in the other place and we hope to see it defeated.

9.48 pm
Mr. Waldegrave

The Bill does several other things as well as regulating local authority publicity. On Third Reading it is worth remembering that. It lays down a date by which local authorities must set a rate, which is important and which has been widely welcomed. It deals with the transfer of local authority mortgages over the heads of the holders of the mortgages; that is important and right.

The central part of the Bill is about publicity. I have been astonished by the arguments from all the Opposition parties. The Labour party's opposition to the Bill has been based on the proposition that there are no abuses and that the existing law would control abuses if there were any. On the other hand, it says that the limitations inherent in this Bill bring to an end freedom of speech in local government. As happens quite often, something in the propositions put by the Opposition is a little awry: the Bill either does something or it does not. We know it limits the abuses that have grown up in recent years in local authorities, and we know that the existing law has not been capable of doing that. The tricky argument by the Labour party is flawed and wrong.

The sort of abuses we have seen in the last few years would not have been tolerated for one moment by the Labour party. Hon. Members will remember that most awful of all modern British Governments under the present Lord Wilson of Rievaulx. He went off to Washington with the union jack hanging upside down over his head, and Lyndon Johnson said he was the greatest Englishman since Churchill while he praised the American stance in Vietnam. If the GLC, which I think was controlled at that time by the Tories, had covered London with posters caricaturing Wilson and ridiculing his policy, which deserved to be ridiculed, would not the Opposition have thought that that was a misuse of the publicity powers of the GLC? We know perfectly well that if the boot was on the other foot, there would be a lot of caterwauling from the Labour party.

One thing more craven than the Labour party's opposition to this Bill has been the performance of the alliance. It has not been hot, it has not been cold; it has not said yes, it has not said no. The Liberal and Social Democratic parties have been timid. They have wrung their hands and said there are dreadful abuses, but they have taken no practical steps to allow us to introduce legislation to limit those abuses. They have opposed every practical proposition, and I have come to the conclusion that so endemic in them is the spirit of opposition that they do not want action; they prefer to be in a position to complain. If somebody were to put an end to their complaints they would be terrified. They are in the position of the Spartans at the battle of Marathon who prolonged their debate about sending aid to the Athenians for so long that the battle, thankfully for Sparta, was over by the time their soldiers arrived. As usual with the alliance, it is never there on the day when the real battle is being fought.

This Bill is necessary. We would prefer it not to be necessary. We would prefer the old conventions to remain as they do in many parts of the country. Many Labour and Conservative authorities have nothing to fear from this Bill, because they have maintained those conventions. Those authorities which have not do have something to fear and it is right that they should. I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 260, Noes 192.

Division No. 44] [9.52 pm
Adley, Robert Baldry, Tony
Aitken, Jonathan Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Alexander, Richard Beaumont-Dark, Anthony
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Bellingham, Henry
Amess, David Bendall, Vivian
Ancram, Michael Benyon, William
Arnold, Tom Bevan, David Gilroy
Ashby, David Biffen, Rt Hon John
Aspinwall, Jack Biggs-Davison, Sir John
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Body, Sir Richard
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Bonsor, Sir Nicholas
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Boscawen, Hon Robert
Bottomley, Peter Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Hampson, Dr Keith
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Hanley, Jeremy
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Hannam, John
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Harris, David
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Harvey, Robert
Bright, Graham Haselhurst, Alan
Brinton, Tim Hawkins, C. (High Peak)
Brooke, Hon Peter Hawkins, Sir Paul (N'folk SW)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Hawksley, Warren
Browne, John Hayes, J.
Bruinvels, Peter Hayhoe, Rt Hon Barney
Bryan, Sir Paul Hayward, Robert
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Heathcoat-Amory, David
Buck, Sir Antony Henderson, Barry
Budgen, Nick Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Bulmer, Esmond Hickmet, Richard
Burt, Alistair Hicks, Robert
Butcher, John Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Butler, Rt Hon Sir Adam Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S) Holt, Richard
Carttiss, Michael Howard, Michael
Cash, William Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Chapman, Sydney Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)
Chope, Christopher Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N)
Churchill, W. S. Hubbard-Miles, Peter
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n) Hunt, David (Wirral, W)
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Hunter, Andrew
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Irving, Charles
Cockeram, Eric Jackson, Robert
Colvin, Michael Jessel, Toby
Conway, Derek Jones, Robert (Herts W)
Coombs, Simon Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Cope, John Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Cormack, Patrick Kershaw, Sir Anthony
Cranborne, Viscount Key, Robert
Crouch, David King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Currie, Mrs Edwina Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Dicks, Terry Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Dorrell, Stephen Knowles, Michael
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Knox, David
Dover, Den Lamont, Norman
Dunn, Robert Lang, Ian
Dykes, Hugh Lawler, Geoffrey
Eggar, Tim Lee, John (Pendle)
Emery, Sir Peter Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Evennett, David Lester, Jim
Eyre, Sir Reginald Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Fallon, Michael Lightbown, David
Favell, Anthony Lilley, Peter
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Lord, Michael
Fletcher, Alexander Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Forman, Nigel Lyell, Nicholas
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) McCrindle, Robert
Forth, Eric McCurley, Mrs Anna
Fox, Marcus Macfarlane, Neil
Franks, Cecil MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)
Freeman, Roger MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Fry, Peter Maclean, David John
Gale, Roger McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Galley, Roy McQuarrie, Albert
Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde) Madel, David
Garel-Jones, Tristan Major, John
Goodlad, Alastair Malins, Humfrey
Gow, Ian Malone, Gerald
Gower, Sir Raymond Maples, John
Grant, Sir Anthony Marland, Paul
Greenway, Harry Marlow, Antony
Gregory, Conal Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Griffiths, Sir Eldon Mather, Carol
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Maude, Hon Francis
Grist, Ian Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Ground, Patrick Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Grylls, Michael Mayhew, Sir Patrick
Gummer, Rt Hon John S Meyer, Sir Anthony
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom) Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Mitchell, David (Hants NW) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Moate, Roger Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Monro, Sir Hector Rossi, Sir Hugh
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Rowe, Andrew
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S) Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Moynihan, Hon C. Sayeed, Jonathan
Mudd, David Scott, Nicholas
Neale, Gerrard Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Needham, Richard Silvester, Fred
Nelson, Anthony Skeet, Sir Trevor
Neubert, Michael Speed, Keith
Newton, Tony Spence, John
Nicholls, Patrick Stern, Michael
Norris, Steven Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Oppenheim, Phillip Stokes, John
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S. Tapsell, Sir Peter
Osborn, Sir John Taylor, John (Solihull)
Ottaway, Richard Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Page, Richard (Herts SW) Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Parris, Matthew Thurnham, Peter
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn) Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Pattie, Geoffrey Twinn, Dr Ian
Pawsey, James Viggers, Peter
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian Waldegrave, Hon William
Pollock, Alexander Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Porter, Barry Warren, Kenneth
Powell, William (Corby) Watson, John
Powley, John Wheeler, John
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Wiggin, Jerry
Proctor, K. Harvey Wood, Timothy
Pym, Rt Hon Francis Yeo, Tim
Rathbone, Tim
Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover) Tellers for the Ayes:
Rhodes James, Robert Mr. Tony Durant and
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Mr. Mark Lennox-Boyd.
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Campbell, Ian
Alton, David Campbell-Savours, Dale
Anderson, Donald Canavan, Dennis
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)
Ashdown, Paddy Cartwright, John
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Clark, Dr David (S Shields)
Ashton, Joe Clarke, Thomas
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Clay, Robert
Barnett, Guy Clelland, David Gordon
Barron, Kevin Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)
Beith, A. J. Cohen, Harry
Bell, Stuart Coleman, Donald
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Conlan, Bernard
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Cook, Frank (Stockton North)
Bermingham, Gerald Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)
Bidwell, Sydney Cox, Thomas (Tooting)
Blair, Anthony Craigen, J. M.
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Crowther, Stan
Boyes, Roland Cunliffe, Lawrence
Bray, Dr Jeremy Cunningham, Dr John
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N) Deakins, Eric
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Dewar, Donald
Bruce, Malcolm Dormand, Jack
Buchan, Norman Douglas, Dick
Caborn, Richard Dubs, Alfred
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Eadie, Alex
Eastham, Ken Meadowcroft, Michael
Edwards, Bob (W'h'mpt'n SE) Michie, William
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Mikardo, Ian
Fatchett, Derek Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Faulds, Andrew Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
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 Nellist, David
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Forrester, John O'Brien, William
Foster, Derek O'Neill, Martin
Foulkes, George Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Park, George
Freud, Clement Parry, Robert
Garrett, W. E. Patchett, Terry
George, Bruce Pavitt, Laurie
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Pendry, Tom
Godman, Dr Norman Penhaligon, David
Gould, Bryan Pike, Peter
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Hamilton, W. W. (Fife Central) Prescott, John
Hancock, Michael Radice, Giles
Hardy, Peter Randall, Stuart
Harman, Ms Harriet Redmond, Martin.
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S)
Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Richardson, Ms Jo
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Heffer, Eric S. Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Robertson, George
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Rogers, Allan
Home Robertson, John Rooker, J. W.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Rowlands, Ted
Hughes, Roy (Newport East) Sedgemore, Brian
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Sheerman, Barry
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
John, Brynmor Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Johnston, Sir Russell Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Kennedy, Charles Skinner, Dennis
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'ds, E)
Kirkwood, Archy Soley, Clive
Lambie, David Spearing, Nigel
Leighton, Ronald Steel, Rt Hon David
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Stott, Roger
Litherland, Robert Strang, Gavin
Livsey, Richard Straw, Jack
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Loyden, Edward Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
McCartney, Hugh Thorne, Stan (Preston)
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Tinn, James
MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Torney, Tom
Maclennan, Robert Wallace, James
McNamara, Kevin Wareing, Robert
McTaggart, Robert Welsh, Michael
McWilliam, John White, James
Madden, Max Williams, Rt Hon A.
Marek, Dr John Winnick, David
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Woodall, Alec
Martin, Michael Wrigglesworth, Ian
Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Maxton, John Tellers for the Noes:
Maynard, Miss Joan Mr. Frank Haynes and
Meacher, Michael Mr. Don Dixon.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

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