HC Deb 21 July 1986 vol 102 cc108-20

'In relation to block grant for any year beginning on or after 1st July 1987, section 59(6)(cc) of the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980 and section 8(3) (C) of the Local Government Finance Act 1982 shall cease to have effect'.—[Mr. Straw.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

9.20 pm
Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take amendment No. 30, in schedule 1, page 5, line 47, at end insert— `14. — (1) Section 8 of the said Act of 1982 shall be amended as follows: (2) In subsection (4) after the words "in that paragraph" there shall be inserted "and where he does not so provide he shall give reasons for not doing so to the association of local authorities or local authority by whom representations were made". (3) After subsection (3) there shall be inserted— (3A) Expenditure of any description specified in subsection (3B) below shall be disregarded for the purposes of paragraph (CC) of subsection (6) of the said section 59 and in determining whether the extent to which local authorities have or have not complied (or have or have not taken steps to comply) with the guidance referred to in that paragraph. (3B) (i) Expenditure grant aided by the Secretary of State under the Local Government Grants (Social Need) Act 1969; (ii) Expenditure incurred or grants or loans made under section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972.".'.

Mr. Straw

Earlier today, Mr. Speaker, you listened to a point of order from me on the fact that the Bill might be the subject of a certificate as a money Bill. I place on record my thanks to the Minister for Environment, Countryside and Local Government for his courtesy in letting me know about that possibility.

The purpose of new clause 1 is to remove the powers of the Secretary of State to use multipliers for the purpose of abating the grant to authorities whose expenditure exceeds their target figures. This is a useful occasion on which to debate the new clause, as it comes just a day, I understand, before the provisional announcement of the rate support grant settlement for 1987–88. We are informed by a number of newspapers that Ministers are to come to the House bearing gifts of £1 billion or so in anticipation of the general election next year.

I have always thought that we should beware of Conservative Ministers bearing gifts, especially of the size of £1 billion, even if an election is on the way. It is our intention, when we see the detail of the rate support grant settlement, to examine the small print in the greatest of detail. I shall be delighted if there is a U-turn on the issue of rate support grants. However, I suspect that there will be a small catch somewhere. If Ministers recognise the error of their ways, there is no better way to acknowledge that than by accepting new clause 1. If the Minister were to say straightaway that he accepts new clause 1, I should be happy to terminate the debate without a Division. It seems that I shall have no such luck.

The Local Government Finance Act 1982 gave the Secretary of State the power to issue—in the newspeak of the Government—expenditure guidance—the type of guidance that one receives when one's arm is forced behind one's back and which allows one to go in only one direction— or "targets", as they were commonly known, by which authorities were fined large sums of money if they exceeded the expenditure levels set by the Government. The penalties included a reduction in the grants that would have been payable by the mechanism of multipliers. The system of targets operated for the years 1981–82 to 1985–86. It was abandoned for the current year.

By the time the order was moved on 20 January this year the then Secretary of State for the Environment, the right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker), had been elevated from the position of Minister to that of Secretary of State. One can scarcely keep pace with his promotions. He said: The most important feature of the settlement next year is that we have got rid of targets. That decision has been commended by the Public Accounts Committee in its valuable report published last week. I believe that Members on both sides of the House welcome the abandonment of targets and penalties. I was repeatedly pressed by all authorities, not just the shire counties, to do that." — [Official Report, 20 January 1986; Vol. 90, c. 42.]

That was welcomed by Members on both sides of the House. However, the question that we shall tease out tonight is whether that abandonment applies for only one year or for every year. We shall ask whether Ministers intend to keep the weapon of targetry in their locker so that they can have a go at local authorities as and when they please.

I hope that the Government will accept the new clause. The reason why all hon. Members welcomed the abandonment of targets and penalties was that the system had become desperately unfair and virtually unworkable. It meant that decisions on levels of expenditure were being taken centrally and not by democratically elected councillors. It meant that Ministers had to stand in the shoes of councillors to determine what was a reasonable level of spending. The consequence was wholly to distort authorities' accountability to their ratepayers, because marginal increases in expenditure resulted in a disproportionate increase in rates.

I know this as a ratepayer in Lambeth. During the last local elections we heard all the time about how wonderful Wandsworth was and how terrible Lambeth was, but we were never told that 85 per cent. of expenditure in Wandsworth was paid for by central Government, compared to only 20 per cent. in Lambeth, whereas the disparities in levels of spending were nothing like that. Over a number of years the Inner London education authority, Camden borough council and the Greater London council faced a situation in which they received no grant as a result of targetry, despite the fact that their areas covered some of the most deprived parts of the United Kingdom.

Another objection to targets was that the 1981–82 targets were based on authorities' 1979–80 budgets. The 1979–80 budgets were frozen and simply uprated roughly in line with inflation, which caused enormous distortions for low-spending and high-spending authorities.

The construction of targets changed from year to year. No authority was caught more than Birmingham. In one year, in expectation of the elections which the Conservatives were likely to lose, and indeed lost, Birmingham was brazenly assisted by changes in target and in another year was forced to put up its rates by about 43 per cent.

Above all, the equalisation objectives of the block grant system were frustrated by targets and penalties. The reason why the rate support grant system as a whole has been brought into disrepute by the Government is fundamentally to do with the target system. If targets were not operated, there could have been a consensus on the system of block grant which the right hon. Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) introduced in 1980.

Amendment No. 30 does two things. It requires the Secretary of State to give his reasons for not granting disregards for the purpose of measuring local authorities' compliance with targets. It requires him to disregard altogether certain items of expenditure when measuring local authority compliance with those targets. Those issues are by no means a matter of history. The amount that individual authorities may earn by way of grant in previous years — certainly including 1983–84 arid onwards—has yet to be decided because we still have not received the supplementary report for 1983–84 and subsequent years.

In most parts of the local government finance legislation under which Ministers make decisions affecting authorities Ministers are required to give reasons. They are not required to give reasons when it comes to disregard. We believe that it is only fair that authorities should know why applications for disregard have been refused. After all, they soon discover if an application for disregard ha .s been accepted. By definition, they should know why it has been refused.

We have provided for disregards of certain items of expenditure and have given two examples: first, where expenditure has been grant-aided under the urban programme, and, secondly, where it has been incurred under section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972. By definition, where expenditure has been incurred under the urban programme, the Government have accepted that the project has a substantial priority, otherwise they would not have agreed to fund it. It is ludicrous that the Government agree to fund part of the urban programme, yet expenditure incurred by the authority can be the subject of penalty. Expenditure under section 138 is for expenditure on emergencies and disasters such as the Bradford fire, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) will confirm, and the Handsworth riots — both of which were entirely legitimate items for disregard.

9.30 pm

The fundamental issue raised in this debate is the good faith of the Government. On 20 January the then Secretary of State used words which were florid even by his standards, referring not to a decision temporarily to set targets aside but to their "abandonment". If the Government have made such a decision, it is entirely justified that that abandonment should be put into law by new clause 1.

Ms. Harriet Harman (Peckham)

I support new clause I and amendment No. 30. My hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) has said that the system is unfair and unworkable. I wish to give just one illustration of that unfairness in relation to Southwark council.

Southwark council is threatened with a loss of £6.84 million in rate support grant between 1985–86 and 1986–87. That is 10 per cent. of the Government's contribution, which has also already shrunk by almost half — from £83,300,000 in 1978–79 to £42,532,000 in 1985–86. I hope that the Government will think again and not make that further 10 per cent. cut in an already greatly shrunken contribution.

The proposed cut is inconsistent because the Paymaster General himself has recognised the problems of Southwark by sending in a task force which is supposed to sort out the problems of deprivation. He said that he had picked as task force areas eight areas which are diverse in character but whose residents all share problems of deprivation and lack of opportunities".—[Official Report, 6 February 1986; Vol. 91, c. 446.] He said that all the areas suffered from a wide range of long-standing problems.

A Minister from the Department of the Environment has also recognised the problems of deprivation in Southwark. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young), wrote to the council saying that he recognised that the deprivation was such that Southwark qualified as one of a handful of areas whose needs compared with those of neighbouring programme status authorities.

The inconsistency of the Government's attitude is heightened by the fact that the then Secretary of State, now Secretary of State for Education and Science, told local authorities as recently as March this year that they should actually spend more. Yet Southwark is now to have 10 per cent. lopped off the Government's rate support grant contribution.

Ironically, the task force was supposed to be an example of co-operation among different Departments working together to meet the needs of one deprived area. Yet Government Departments are not only failing to cooperate but seem actually to be working against one another. One Department is lopping off £6.84 million while another gives back £1 million. That makes no sense at all.

Not only is there no co-operation between Departments, but there is not even consistency within Departments. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State recognises the deprivation in Southwark and, as he says in his letter of 19 August 1985, the determination of the Council to make good use of whatever resources are made available, while the Secretary of State seeks to penalise the authority by taking money away from it.

I hope that the Government will realise the effect that the threatened cut would have on jobs and services in Southwark, reconsider the amount to be taken by their curious system which they call multipliers and which really is a system of subtraction, accept the new clause and the amendment, and think again about the proposed cut in rate support grant to Southwark.

Mr. David Clelland (Tyne Bridge)

Local authorities are entitled to be given reasons for decisions that affect their budget and services. The changes made to local government finance by this Government—and they have been fast and furious over the past few years — often mean that local authorities are caught out and are therefore disadvantaged through no fault of their own. That is what happened to the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 1982–83, Newcastle city council decided to amend its accounting practice for the treatment of income from other local education authorities in respect of students attending advanced further education courses in Newcastle. Prior to 1982–83, the income taken into account in respect of any one financial year related to the previous academic year. For example, in the financial year 1981–82, income was taken into account for the academic year September 1980 to August 1981.

This change in practice meant that for 1982–83 onwards the income related to the financial year. For example, in 1985–86, income taken into account was for the summer term of the academic year 1984–85 and the winter and spring terms of the academic year 1985–86. For one year only —1982–83 — the income for five terms was taken into account due to the change in practice. That was for the academic year 1981–82 and two terms in 1982–83. That led to a one-off gain of £2 million which, in accordance with standard accounting practice, was treated in the accounts as a prior year adjustment. In other words, the previous year's figures were changed rather than those in 1982–83.

The budget return for 1982–83 included this income, which has had the effect of reducing total expenditure for block grant purposes and, because the city was subject to negative grant rates, of increasing grant entitlement. It was generally understood that this was the correct treatment of prior year adjustments for block grant purposes. Subsequently, the budget for 1982–83 formed the basis of the city's target for 1983–84, which itself formed the basis of the targets for 1984–85 and 1985–86. As a result, the city's targets were understated in each of these years, and that lost the city several million pounds in block grant.

The city did not complain at the time because it was believed that the budget had been returned on the correct basis and that, when the prior year adjustment was made, that would gain the city grant, partly but by no means completely offsetting the effect of the reduced target.

In February 1985, the Department of the Environment informed local authorities that prior year adjustments were neutral for block grant. That was intended to be helpful to local authorities, but it was probably not envisaged that it would have the kind of effect that it had on Newcastle — that income items such as the city's adjustment would not attract grant. The Department of the Environment invited authorities to amend block grant claims going back to 1982–83 to take advantage of this interpretation. Accordingly, the city amended its grant claims but also requested the Department to accept an amended budget return and to recalculate the city's grant entitlement on the basis of revised targets.

The council wrote in May 1985—three Secretaries of State for the Environment ago — asking for its block grant to be recalculated on the basis of the amended forms. In July 1985 — two Secretaries of State for the Environment ago — it was told that the Secretary of State would carefully consider their representations for disregards as soon as possible, but anyway before final decisions on grant abatement for relevant years, and that only initial consideration had been given before making and laying the Rate Support Grant Supplementary Report 1985–86. The council was also told that the Secretary of State had always recognised that the reference to 1982–83 budgets carried a risk that anomalous features could be perpetuated but that he thought in most cases authorities should be expected to live with them, though if there were a truly exceptional case, that could be dealt with by way of a disregard under section 8(4) of the 1982 Act.

On 19 December the Department wrote to say that the Secretary of State had considered the representations but decided not to make any provision for such a disregard. No reasons were given. The council thought that it was a harsh, unjustified decision, particularly in view of the injustice of penalties, and it was surprised that there was no explanation. It pointed out that there were precedents for granting such disregards and directed the Secretary of State's attention to the supplementary report of 1982–83 and asked why he had not followed that precedent. The response to that letter was simply to say that it was not the Secretary of State's practice to give his reasons for refusing to grant a disregard.

The council was and is entitled to a full explanation. It wrote to the Members of Parliament for the city, and I wrote on their behalf to the Secretary of State, asking for information on at least two occasions, and then I tabled a parliamentary question. The reply I received was: The Secretary of State does not consider that he is under any duty to explain his reasons for refusing to grant Newcastle a disregard.

One man has the power to affect extremely damagingly the finances of major cities, with all the consequences that that will have on their citizens. Yet he does not have to explain why he has made his decisions, even to the House. That cannot be right. Amendment No. 30 attempts to rectify and restore the rights of Members of Parliament to get answers to questions, and I commend it to the House.

Mr. William Cash (Stafford)

I wish to speak briefly on a question pertaining to my constituents. Contrary to some of the generally accepted conventional wisdom which we hear from the Opposition, some Labour-controlled county councils, including Staffordshire, have benefited enormously from Government policies on rate support grant. They do not use that money wisely. In April Staffordshire county council received a £9.2 million guarantee, followed by an uplift to about £11 million, and the money for the Stoke-on-Trent garden festival, which is about £30 million. Yet the borough of Stafford has not increased the rates significantly or at all for the past four years, and the whole weight and burden of the county's financial affairs fall heavily on my constituents.

Education takes up 70 per cent. of the entire budget and the district auditor has criticised the county council for the way in which it has arrived at its figures, so one is left feeling extremely worried about education and the appalling way in which the county council's finances are being run. Indeed, it has reached the point when the Bishop of Stafford, the young farmers' clubs and others have had to run a campaign, reminding Staffordshire county council of its 1985 election manifesto, in which it gave a specific commitment to maintain the level of expenditure on voluntary organisations. Since then the council has closed a special school, despite a petition signed by 15,000 people, many of whom came from the lower socio-economic grouping of Stoke-on-Trent, against the closure. Furthermore, the council has been parsimonious and miserly in dealing with citizens advice bureaux. Staffordshire is about the only county in England and Wales which made no contribution to the CAB. I had to fight to ensure that the money was paid by the county council.

Furthermore, more recently, the schools letting policy has caused great problems for the scouts and other voluntary organisations. Finally, the Marriage Guidance Council came to me recently and said that it had merely received £165 at a time when divorce rates are high and when the opportunities that should be made available through moneys from the county council are not forthcoming. The chairman of the Marriage Guidance Council is extremely worried about whether it could continue. The Opposition parrot on about cuts and cuts. I invite the Minister to look at the amount of money that has gone to Staffordshire and then to consider the amount that has been paid out by my constituents. They pay more money into the coffers of Staffordshire county council than any other party, yet the county council is imposing swingeing cuts on education and proposes to close a huge number of schools. I am fighting that proposal for reasons I have already given — the money has been made available by this Government to Staffordshire county council, yet all that it does is to complain and whinge about the amount of money that it would like to have.

Staffordshire people are enterprising. They run many small businesses and also highly sophisticated and well-run companies such as GEC, Evode, Lotus and others. They are contributing to the wealth of this country and they are providing opportunities for my constituents. It is hypocritical in the extreme for the Opposition to complain about the amount of money that is made available to county councils when the Staffordshire county council in particular receives so much but regrettably spends it so badly.

9.45 pm
Mr. Joseph Ashton (Bassetlaw)

My main contribution will be on another amendment. However, I should like to put a question to the Minister on this clause. Nottinghamshire county council went to court in March to get a judgment against the Minister. The case is now to be heard in October. The sum involved is £18 million. Will the Minister confirm that the county council will still be able to go to court if the Bill is passed, or will this retrospective legislation put a stop to that?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mrs. Angela Rumbold)

As the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) pointed out, the effect of the new clause would be to render inoperative the Secretary of State's current powers to use both targets and hold back to influence local government expenditure in the years beginning on or after 1 April 1987. As he rightly pointed out, for the year 1986–87 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State decided not to issue expenditure guidance, as we term it, and therefore did not use either the operation of targets or hold back. However, we do not believe that it would be a good idea to take these provisions off the statute book. We profoundly hope that it will be unnecessary to introduce targets in subsequent years, but that depends upon the level at which local authorities spend. Furthermore, at some future stage there may be general economic circumstances or conditions which could require local authorities to be subjected to some form of control.

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash) for his clear exposition of the great difficulties in which Staffordshire county council has placed his constituents.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. I must ask for only one hon. Member at a time.

Mrs. Rumbold

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no plans, as far as I know, to reintroduce targets and holdback.

The Opposition have made a number of points in support of amendment No. 30. I refer in particular to the hon. Member for Tyne Bridge (Mr. Clelland). He said that the Secretary of State should be required by law to say why he has turned down requests for disregard under section 8(4) of the Local Government Finance Act 1982. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is not required to give reasons. His general policy is that he does not wish to do so, and he does not.

The hon. Member for Tyne Bridge gave a long list of the difficulties in which Newcastle finds itself, but the House will appreciate that an enormous volume of work would be involved if the Secretary of State were to give reasons in the case of each application for disregard. Each local authority has the right to ask for disregards under section 8(4). In addition, local authority associations can ask for disregards. Over the past three years, about 200 requests for disregards from local authorities and associations have been received. Giving reasons for decisions on all these would have amounted to a great deal of work for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. The House will appreciate that many authorities have asked for several separate disregards, and these range from the most general categories of expenditure to specific local issues such as compensation for payments to the local mushroom farm.

Mr. Clelland

How many authorities asked for reasons why they were turned down?

Mrs. Rumbold

If every authority asked for specific reasons, we would have to do an enormous amount of work. Therefore, as a general policy, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is able to exercise under the legislation, he has decided not give reasons.

Mr. Straw

When applications for disregards are made, Ministers always say that they will consider them seriously. That means that in every case where an application for disregard is made officials in the Department will make a submission to Ministers as to whether it should be accepted. The Minister is acknowledging that that is the case. If so, it should not involve considerable work for the Secretary of State to tell local authorities the reasons, in the submission from officials to Ministers, with which Ministers have concurred.

Mrs. Rumbold

I disagree with the hon. Gentleman. It is true that all applications for disregards are given extremely careful consideration by my right hon. Friend, but it is equally true that, were reasons specifically given, it would lead almost inevitably to endless requests for further considerations and reasons. Therefore, as the present legislation allows my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State not to give general reasons, he wishes to continue with that policy.

Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)

The Minister's answer will not be acceptable to many people, given that there will at least be some guidelines that apply consistency between one decision and another. If that is the case, would it not be possible to show which of the guidelines render an application for disregard unacceptable?

Mrs. Rumbold

It is clear that the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) did not listen to what I said. The policy of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is to give careful consideration to requests for disregards, but he does not wish to give his reasons for granting or refusing disregards. That is an allowable policy under the legislation.

The second part of the new clause would introduce an automatic disregard for all expenditure grants under the urban programme and all expenditure on emergencies under section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972.

The hon. Member for Peckham (Ms. Harman) mentioned Southwark. The House will know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has granted a disregard for year-on-year increases in urban programme expenditure by partnership and programme authorities for each of the years from 1981–82 to 1985–86. However, my right hon. Friend has not received any general request to disregard expenditure under section 138 of the 1972 Act, although he has received requests for specific disregards —for example, in the case of the fire at the Bradford football ground. He gives all these requests careful consideration before he reaches his decision. I hope that the House will agree that it would not be desirable to enshrine these two disregards in primary legislation.

Ms. Clare Short (Birmingham, Ladywood)

I understand that a request for disregard for the cost of the Handsworth riots was turned down. If so, how does the Minister justify rejecting requests for amendment when the Government have not behaved reasonably over appeals for disregard in the past?

Mrs. Rumbold

If the hon. Lady wants my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to reconsider the matter of the Handsworth riots, she is at liberty to ask the authority to make that request, and my right hon. Friend will look at the matter carefully. There is no point at which careful consideration is not given to a request for a disregard.

In response to the right hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) I should say that the Bill will not prevent Nottingham county council from bringing its case, but it will deny it a remedy.

Mr. Straw

With the leave of the House, I shall reply briefly to the points made by the Under-Secretary of State. Her closing remarks will go down as a classic in the annals of our parliamentary debates. She said that Nottingham county council could still go to court but that the Bill would deny a remedy.

Mr. Simon Hughes

Nottingham county council might even get a judgment in its favour, but, according to the Minister, it would still be denied a remedy. Who will then pay for that?

Mr. Straw

As my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham (Ms. Harman) has said, a surcharge will no doubt be levied on the councillors. But we shall come to the retrospective aspects of the Bill when we discuss amendments Nos. 1 and 3. Nothing could sum up better the Government's cynicism than the Under-Secretary of State's remarks. We found her reasons for refusing to accept amendment No. 30 and new clause 1 wholly unsatisfactory. If it is not, to use the Government's weasel words, their present intention to reintroduce targets, they should remove targetry from the statute book. We shall press the new clause to a Division.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:–

The House divided: Ayes 175, Noes 239.

Division No. 271] [9.57 pm
Alton, David Fisher, Mark
Anderson, Donald Flannery, Martin
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Ashby, David Forrester, John
Ashdown, Paddy Foster, Derek
Ashton, Joe Foulkes, George
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Fraser, J. (Norwood)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Garrett, W. E.
Barnett, Guy George, Bruce
Barron, Kevin Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Gould, Bryan
Bell, Stuart Gourlay, Harry
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Hamilton, James (M'well N)
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Hamilton, W. W. (Fife Central)
Bidwell, Sydney Hancock, Michael
Blair, Anthony Hardy, Peter
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Harman, Ms Harriet
Boyes, Roland Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Heffer, Eric S.
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Home Robertson, John
Buchan, Norman Hoyle, Douglas
Caborn, Richard Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Hughes, Roy (Newport East)
Campbell-Savours, Dale Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Janner, Hon Greville
Clarke, Thomas John, Brynmor
Clay, Robert Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Clelland, David Gordon Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Kennedy, Charles
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S) Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Cohen, Harry Kirkwood, Archy
Coleman, Donald Lambie, David
Conlan, Bernard Lamond, James
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Leadbitter, Ted
Corbett, Robin Leighton, Ronald
Corbyn, Jeremy Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Litherland, Robert
Craigen, J. M. Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Dalyell, Tam Loyden, Edward
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'I) McCartney, Hugh
Deakins, Eric McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Dewar, Donald McKelvey, William
Dixon, Donald MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Dobson, Frank McTaggart, Robert
Dormand, Jack Madden, Max
Douglas, Dick Marek, Dr John
Dubs, Alfred Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Duffy, A. E. P. Martin, Michael
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Eadie, Alex Maynard, Miss Joan
Eastham, Ken Michie, William
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Mikardo, Ian
Ewing, Harry Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Fatchett, Derek Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Faulds, Andrew Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Nellist, David
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
O'Brien, William Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
O'Neill, Martin Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Park, George Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Parry, Robert Skinner, Dennis
Patchett, Terry Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Pavitt, Laurie Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'ds E)
Pendry, Tom Soley, Clive
Penhaligon, David Spearing, Nigel
Pike, Peter Stott, Roger
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Strang, Gavin
Radice, Giles Straw, Jack
Randall, Stuart Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Raynsford, Nick Thome, Stan (Preston)
Redmond, Martin Tinn, James
Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S) Torney, Tom
Richardson, Ms Jo Wainwright, R.
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N) Wallace, James
Robertson, George Warden, Gareth (Gower)
Rogers, Allan Wareing, Robert
Rooker, J. W. White, James
Ross, Ernest (Dundee W) Winnick, David
Rowlands, Ted Woodall, Alec
Sedgemore, Brian Young, David (Bolton SB)
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon R. Tellers for the Ayes:
Shields, Mrs Elizabeth Mr. Ron Davies and
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Mr. Allen McKay.
Adley, Robert Clegg, Sir Walter
Alexander, Richard Cockeram, Eric
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Coombs, Simon
Amess, David Cope, John
Ancram, Michael Corrie, John
Ashby, David Couchman, James
Aspinwall, Jack Critchley, Julian
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Crouch, David
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Currie, Mrs Edwina
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Dickens, Geoffrey
Baldry, Tony Dorrell, Stephen
Batiste, Spencer Dover, Den
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Bellingham, Henry Dunn, Robert
Bendall, Vivian Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Benyon, William Evennett, David
Bevan, David Gilroy Eyre, Sir Reginald
Biffen, Rt Hon John Fairbairn, Nicholas
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Fallon, Michael
Blackburn, John Farr, Sir John
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Fletcher, Alexander
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Fookes, Miss Janet
Boscawen, Hon Robert Forman, Nigel
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Fox, Sir Marcus
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Franks, Cecil
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Fry, Peter
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Gale, Roger
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Glyn, Dr Alan
Bright, Graham Goodhart, Sir Philip
Brinton, Tim Gower, Sir Raymond
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Greenway, Harry
Bruinvels, Peter Gregory, Conal
Bryan, Sir Paul Griffiths, Sir Eldon
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Ground, Patrick
Buck, Sir Antony Grylls, Michael
Budgen, Nick Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Bulmer, Esmond Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Burt, Alistair Hargreaves, Kenneth
Butler, Rt Hon Sir Adam Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Butterfill, John Hayhoe, Rt Hon Barney
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Heddle, John
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S) Henderson, Barry
Carttiss, Michael Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Cash, William Hirst, Michael
Chapman, Sydney Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
Chope, Christopher Hunter, Andrew
Churchill, W. S. Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Newton, Tony
Lawler, Geoffrey Nicholls, Patrick
Lawrence, Ivan Norris, Steven
Lee, John (Pendle) Onslow, Cranley
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.
Lester, Jim Osborn, Sir John
Lightbown, David Ottaway, Richard
Lilley, Peter Page, Sir John (Harrow W)
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant) Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Lord, Michael Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abgdn)
Luce, Rt Hon Richard Pawsey, James
Lyell, Nicholas Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire) Pollock, Alexander
Maclean, David John Porter, Barry
McLoughlin, Patrick Portillo, Michael
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury) Powell, William (Corby)
Major, John Powley, John
Malins, Humfrey Price, Sir David
Malone, Gerald Proctor, K. Harvey
Maples, John Raffan, Keith
Marland, Paul Rathbone, Tim
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Rees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Mather, Carol Renton, Tim
Maude, Hon Francis Rhodes James, Robert
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Mellor, David Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Merchant, Piers Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Robinson, P. (Belfast E)
Miscampbell, Norman Roe, Mrs Marion
Mitchell, David (Hants NW) Rossi, Sir Hugh
Moate, Roger Rost, Peter
Monro, Sir Hector Rowe, Andrew
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Moore, Rt Hon John Ryder, Richard
Morris, M. (N'hampton S) Sackville, Hon Thomas
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Moynihan, Hon C. Sayeed, Jonathan
Murphy, Christopher Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Neale, Gerrard Shelton, William (Streatham)
Nelson, Anthony Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Shersby, Michael Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Silvester, Fred Viggers, Peter
Sims, Roger Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Skeet, Sir Trevor Waldegrave, Hon William
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Walden, George
Speed, Keith Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Speller, Tony Wall, Sir Patrick
Spencer, Derek Waller, Gary
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Ward, John
Squire, Robin Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Stanbrook, Ivor Warren, Kenneth
Steen, Anthony Watts, John
Stern, Michael Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton) Wells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood) Wheeler, John
Stokes, John Whitfield, John
Taylor, John (Solihull) Winterton, Nicholas
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Wolfson, Mark
Temple-Morris, Peter Wood, Timothy
Terlezki, Stefan Woodcock, Michael
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter Yeo, Tim
Thompson, Donald (Calder V) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N) Younger, Rt Hon George
Thorne, Neil (llford S)
Thornton, Malcolm Tellers for the Noes
Townend, John (Bridlington) Mr. Tony Durant and
Trippier, David Mr. Michael Neubert
Twinn, Dr Ian

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Ten o'clock, further consideration of the Bill stood adjourned.