HC Deb 18 July 1988 vol 137 cc794-814

6.—(1) Mr. Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons.

(2) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which they are appointed.

7.—(1) In this paragraph "the proceedings" means proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments, on any further Message from the Lords on the Bill, on the appointment and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons and on the Report of such a Committee.

(2) Paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business) shall apply to the proceedings.

(3) No dilatory Motion with respect to, or in the course of, the proceedings shall be made except by a member of the Government, and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.

(4) If the proceedings are interrupted at any time by a Motion for the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 20 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) the bringing to a conclusion of any part of the proceedings which, under this Order, are to be brought to a conclusion after that time on that day shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the proceedings on that Motion.

(5) If an allotted day is one to which a Motion for the adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 20 stands over from an earlier day, the bringing to a conclusion of any part of the proceedings which, under this Order, is to be brought to a conclusion on that day shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the proceedings on that Motion.

When the House discussed the guillotine motion in Committee on 1 February, I said that our purpose was to secure an even pattern of debate so that the major issues were properly dealt with. I gave an undertaking to try to ensure that every major matter was given full and measured debate. I said that it was in the interests of all both the Opposition and the Government—that this should happen. We have honoured that commitment. The House has already discussed the Bill for 203 hours and we are about to devote a further two days to it. That will make eight days on the Floor of the House and 22 days in Committee. In addition, the other place has given the Bill close scrutiny during about 150 hours of debate, or 15 days. I have been unable to find any measure since the war that has been more debated or has had more parliamentary time allocated to it.

Despite the fact that this is a large Bill, each of the clauses that will stand in the final version has received, on average, one and a half hours consideration by Parliament. As a high proportion of clauses are technical in nature, the time spent in discussion of substantive issues has, quite rightly, been very much higher.

As we reach the closing stages of the Bill, we need this timetable motion to ensure that Parliament's work bears fruit as early as possible. I have always made clear the urgency that the Government attach to the reforms of the Bill. We believe that they will have an enormously beneficial and stimulating effect on our education system. It is vital that they have a chance to begin to make their impact at the earliest opportunity. That is why we shall seek Royal Assent next week.

I shall illustrate a few of the areas in which there would be significant delay if the Bill were enacted during the spillover period and not before the summer recess.

First, there is the national curriculum. The provisions now in the Bill and the amendments to be considered by the House later today reflect discussion in Parliament over the past two months. We need to begin consultation over the summer on the draft orders designed to begin the process of bringing the national curriculum into effect from September 1989. I shall be publishing the reports of the science working group and the maths working group, which I know that many throughout the education system and the country will want to comment on. That process of consultation requires the enactment of the Bill, and we want to allow a proper period of time for it.

Similarly, the National Curriculum Council needs formally to be in being if the consultation is to take place. If the Bill is not on the statute book until the autumn, I cannot set up the NCC with proper statutory duties. That will mean that our preparations for the national curriculum will be delayed for at least a year. So would be the improved standards that we seek to promote through the national curriculum

Mr. Ted Rowlands (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney)

Is the Secretary of State aware that the Training Commission's TVEI proposals for the curriculum, which are 30 per cent. of the 70 per cent. of time that the right hon. Gentleman says should be given to the national curriculum, would be taken up by technology and sciences? The result is that the rest of the national curriculum has to be included in that 40 per cent. period. That means that single subjects such as history and geography could be pushed out completely from any GCSE programme. Will the right hon. Gentleman clarify the situation for us?

Mr. Baker

The hon. Gentleman has come late to the debate. What he says is rubbish. The foundation subjects are laid down clearly in the Bill. That issue will be debated on two occasions later this evening. We want to ensure that the successful work of the technical vocational education initiative since 1983 is implemented in the full curriculum. I made that clear.

Mr. Graham Allen (Nottingham, North)

I am delighted that the Secretary of State has discovered consultation. I wish him success in the consultation that will take place. Would it not have been better to have had a longer period of consultation last summer? If that had been done, we would not have 569 amendments before us, the purpose of which is to try to make the Bill reasonable.

Mr. Baker

There was a long process of consultation before the Bill was introduced, which was continued during its consideration in both Houses. Many of the amendments that were accepted in another place reflect the result of that consultation.

If the passage of the Bill is delayed until the autumn, the national curriculum will be delayed for at least a year and our policy on school admissions will also be delayed. We want parents to be able as soon as possible to take advantage of the improved arrangements that are set out in the Bill. It is clear that the arrangements cannot begin to operate for secondary schools until September 1990. If the Bill is delayed until the autumn, it is likely that those arrangements will be delayed for a further year.

Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)


Mr. Baker

There is a process of consultation locally on the standard number. The hon. Gentleman should know the Bill by now. We have already issued draft guidance and we must issue final guidance. If the Bill is delayed, final guidance will not be issued until Christmas or beyond.

There are measures on financial delegation to schools and colleges. Nearly everyone on all sides of the political spectrum agrees with that part of the Bill. We want to see budgets handed down to the schools as soon as possible. However, that would be delayed. We have set a timetable and I have issued draft guidance. The guidance remains draft until the Bill reaches the statute book. If it is delayed, LEAs' proposals will be delayed for at least a year and that would delay implementation for another year.

Finally, there are amendments relating to the reorganisation of education in inner London. If the Bill was delayed for enactment in the autumn, the transfer of powers to individual boroughs in London would certainly be delayed for another year. That would cause grave concern among Conservative-controlled boroughs. Having met representatives of the Labour-controlled boroughs in London, I am aware that they are very enthusiastic to see the end of the Inner London education authority and to take over its responsibilities. Any delay would spite the Labour party's supporters.

Mr. Tony Banks (Newham, North-West)

The Secretary of State should not deceive himself by suggesting that the Labour-controlled boroughs in London are enthusiastic about the abolition of ILEA. Like any responsible boroughs, if they are forced to confront the abolition of ILEA, they will be responsible for making adequate educational provision for their children. That is a big difference.

Mr. Baker

I met leaders of the eight Labour-controlled boroughs in London a week or 10 days ago, and they convinced me that they will enjoy and use the powers to run their own education authorities—powers like those enjoyed by the local authority in the hon. Gentleman's constituency.

I now want to refer to the number of amendments tabled in the House of Lords. Some 569 amendments were approved—

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Newham, South)

This point relates to the whole principle of consultation with which the Opposition would agree, particularly if it had been pre-legislative and not just post-legislative. Does the Secretary of State agree that the important Lords amendments Nos. 8 to 16, relating to religious education, are of great significance? However, does he also agree that due to the timing of this—their being passed very recently—it has been impossible for the Secretary of State or hon. Members to consult with those most concerned in the execution of any law that the House may approve?

Mr. Baker

The hon. Gentleman will remember the final stages of the Bill before it went to their Lordships, House when there was a debate on religious education. I mentioned several amendments that we were moving then as a result of a debate in this House. Further debates have taken place in the House of Lords on Second Reading, in Committee and on Report in which further changes have been made and voted upon by their Lordships. The first debate after this guillotine motion is agreed will be on those measures and the House will have an opportunity to express its views both corporately and individually, as I recognise that on these matters hon. Members have very strong and possibly different views.

Nearly 500 of the 569 amendments approved by the other place are technical or consequential—[Interruption.] Opposition Members may laugh, but they need only read through the Amendment Paper—a rather unfamiliar process for many of them—and they will learn that only 75 of the Government amendments can be described as amendments of substance. Of those, 18 were commitments given while the Bill was before this House. Of the remainder, 27 represent Government responses to debates in the other place. That leaves just 30 substantive amendments, not all by any means of great moment introduced solely on the Government's initiative. Some of those respond to concerns voiced during our continuing consultations. As we have said all along, we proposed to respond to those concerns as Opposition Members would know if they had listened to the arguments in Parliament and elsewhere.

My Department has received more than 25,000 letters from an enormously wide range of people about our proposals. As the principles of the Bill become better known, people have been concentrating increasingly on the detailed way in which it is to be implemented. We have been willing at every stage to amend the Bill, both in Committee and on Report. I cite as evidence the fact that the Government accepted more than 40 amendments from members of the other place, including those mentioned by the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) concerning religious education.

I noted that over the weekend the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) claimed that many of the amendments increased the Secretary of State for Education and Science's centralising powers. The Opposition have claimed all along that this is a centralising Bill. The truth is the reverse. The fact is that the Opposition dislike many of the measures that will give greater power to parents, governors and head teachers. Above all, they dislike grant-maintained schools and city technology colleges, because they will break the LEA monopoly of free education.

Mr. Straw

Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that there are 415 new central powers in the Bill?

Mr. Baker

We have had this debate many times, and I say to the hon. Gentleman that many of the powers I have taken are designed to give institutions greater independence and authority. In order to free the polytechnics from local education authorities, I must have powers to free those polytechnics from the LEAs. In order to have grant-maintained schools, I must take powers to provide for a system ensuring that grant-maintained schools will come about. In order to give greater power to parents and parental choice, must take powers to ensure that parental choice will exist.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)


Mr. Baker

In a moment. I have given way a great deal. The more that I give way, the less time there will be in this hour for anybody else. I feel that I should not give way again.

The hon. Member for Blackburn specifically asked about the powers that the Lords amendments give the Secretary of State. I can give the House examples of some of the amendments that give me extra powers. In financial delegation, we have strengthened the role of the head teacher. That is not increasing the Secretary of State's central power. In religious education, we have established the responsibility of the individual local authority's standing advisory committee on religious education. That is not giving the Secretary of State the power to impose a religious curriculum upon schools. The governors are being given greater control over the timing of the school day. The complaints machinery has been extended to all curriculum powers and duties, including religious education and collective worship. Parents are given a right of appeal against amendment of a statement of special educational need. Those cannot remotely—

Mr. Dalyell


Mr. Baker

If the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, I must say no, because this debate is restricted to one hour.

I believe that a great deal of the opposition to the guillotine motion is synthetic. All through the debates in Committee the SLD has been making the running in opposition and not the Labour party. If Labour really feels strongly about this measure, where is the Leader of the Opposition? Why is he not leading the campaign against the Bill? We all know where he is—he is on the banks of the Limpopo. That is where he is conducting his campaign—on the dark, grey-green, greasy banks of the Limpopo, surrounded by fever-trees.

Mr. Straw


Mr. Baker

Before the hon. Gentleman intervenes, I hope that it is to tell me that the Leader of the Opposition is at this very moment rushing back to this country to attend this debate. Will the hon. Gentleman please tell us at which airport the Leader of the Opposition is landing, and whether we may be sure that he will come here?

Mr. Straw

I was going to ask the Secretary of State why the Prime Minister is not here to support him.

Mr. Baker

The Prime Minister will be in the Lobby supporting this Bill today—unlike the Leader of the Opposition, who will still be returning from the Limpopo.

I have explained why the motion is both necessary and reasonable. It ushers in the final phase of what is undeniably one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation ever put before Parliament. I commend the motion to the House.

3.58 pm
Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

The guillotine motion is an abuse of the procedures of the House. It is an example of the elective dictatorship that has become a hallmark of the present Administration. We must deal with 569 Lords amendments today and tomorrow at a rate of 70 seconds per amendment, and with 49 new state powers at a rate of 11 minutes for each power.

I have heard some poor speeches, but few to match the Secretary of State's speech this afternoon. It was tawdry, specious and inconsequential. The right hon. Gentleman could come up with hardly any argument for not delaying consideration of the Bill and Royal Assent until the autumn Session. He says that we need to obtain Royal Assent in the next week because the national curriculum will be coming into force. He knows very well, however, that, owing to the shortage of teachers, the fact that the curriculum is so ill-prepared and the problems of which my hon. Friend the Member for Methyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) has spoken, the curriculum's implementation will in any case be delayed until well into the next decade—long after the right hon. Gentleman has left his present office.

The right hon. Gentleman talked of the need to get ahead because, he claimed, London borough leaders are enthusiastic for the reorganisation of ILEA. That is simply an untruth for which the right hon. Gentleman should apologise to the House. If that is their view, why did those London borough leaders urge us in March when the Bill was on Report to move an amendment—which was moved—seeking a delay in the implementation of the transfer of ILEA from April 1990 until 1991? It is the borough leaders—of whom, if I may say so, I have rather more knowledge than the Secretary of State—who have been telling us how difficult it would be to secure an effective transfer. They care about the children who will be in their charge, and they will work to do their best whatever circumstances are imposed on them. The simple reality is, however, that they wanted far more time than the Secretary of State has been willing to give them.

We all acknowledge that in any parliamentary system the side that commands a majority will ultimately see its will carried through, but any effective parliamentary system requires that proposals for legislation be fully and properly discussed so that the nation's elected representatives have a chance to consider Bills carefully and to cross-examine Ministers. The very notion of the rule of law depends on that. Yet this afternoon government by the process of law is being replaced by government by edict.

Many of the issues raised in the amendments have never been debated here in detail. For example, the carefully constructed bipartisan approach to religious education and worship is to be replaced, through a string of amendments, by a wholly new edifice that many believe is retrograde and will unsettle the 1944 settlement that has kept religious intolerance out of schools for 50 years. Whatever the merits of the amendments—and they will be discussed in the next debate—surely no one can deny that they deserve much more time than two hours when they propose to overturn a settlement that has stood the test of time for 46 years. The unelected representatives in the other place spent days discussing religious education and worship. We are expected to do so for two hours and literally to take it or leave it, with no chance of any serious line-by-line examination.

Significant changes in the conception of the national curriculum and of testing are written into the Bill. Some are welcome: they show that the Secretary of State has at last understood, however dimly, that his idea of imposing a state syllabus for 90 per cent. of a school's time—as he proposed in the consultative document on 20 July—was based on profound ignorance of how our state education system works or could ever work. However, other aspects of the national curriculum still arouse great controversy and need debate.

My hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, in an intervention, drew the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the fact that the Manpower Services Commission—or the Training Commission—has proposed new guidelines for schools that are to take the TVEI extension. It is proposed that 30 per cent. of the curriculum in respect of 14-to-16-year-olds should be devoted to technology and to what is described as balanced science. If a school's acceptance of TVEI extension depends on its acceptance of that condition, that leaves only 70 per cent. for all the other core and foundation subjects, for religious education and worship and for all the non-national curriculum subjects. Those who have written to my hon. Friend fear that that could seriously endanger the teaching of history and geography as separate subjects at GCSE level.

This is a serious issue which needs proper debate, yet we are to have a total of an hour and a quarter to debate the whole of the national curriculum and assessment.

Mr. Rowlands

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for underlining the point.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

It is rubbish.

Mr. Rowlands

I hope that the Secretary of State's judgment that it is rubbish is right, because we do not want it to happen.

Given the Secretary of State's assurance that only 70 per cent. will cover the national curriculum core subjects, is it not likely that 14-to-16-year-olds will not be given enough time to study subjects such as English literature, geography and history properly? That will jeopardise GCSE subjects, certainly as potential A-level subjects.

Mr. Straw

I agree. That underlines the fact that there should be more consultation and discussion over the summer before the Bill becomes law, rather than afterwards.

When the original guillotine motion was debated on 1 February, the policy of Her Majesty's Government in the Bill on the future of ILEA was wholly different from their present policy. When we cross-examined the Leader of the House on that occasion, he refused point-blank to admit even that a change of policy was being contemplated, let alone what it was. At that time, the right hon. Members for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) and for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) had yet to work their poison on the Secretary of State. Then, individual boroughs were going to opt out where entire councils agreed. Now, ILEA is to be broken up altogether.

Major changes in the arrangements for ILEA were made in the Lords. The Secretary of State has taken new powers to control education in individual boroughs, and unprecedented powers to veto not only appointments of chief education officers but appointments—I quote from Lords amendment No. 359— to any designated post forming part of the management structure of the council". For the first time the Secretary of State—who has told us that he is not centralising power—is taking the power to veto appointments. That applies not just to chief education officers—there was some precedent for that before 1974—but to every other level of the management of an inner London education authority that he so designates.

We have just half an hour to debate those new powers, and an hour and a half to debate changes in the balloting arrangements for opt-out schools. We have two hours to discuss academic freedom and the funding of universities. To debate city technology colleges, on which there has never been a debate in the House, because the Secretary of State is frit—afraid to discuss his policy—we have just two hours, two years after the policy was first announced.

Mr. George Walden (Buckingham)

I thought that I heard the hon. Gentleman say earlier that it was wrong of unelected Members of the other place to tamper with the will of this Chamber in regard to religious education. I take it, therefore, that he will be equally opposed to their tampering with the will of the House in regard to opting-out schools. May I take it that he will support the Government's counter-amendment on those schools?

Mr. Straw

I am tempted to say that I can now see why the hon. Gentleman retired hurt from the Government. He has not just twisted what I said; he has invented things that I never said. I do not dispute the right of the other place to make amendments. What I am disputing is the right of the Government to force through the House amendments made in the other place without proper discussion. If unelected Members can take days and days to discuss religious education and worship, this House should have the right to do so as well.

It was Lord Hailsham who developed the phrase "elective dictatorship" to describe Governments who sought more and more power for themselves, with less and less scrutiny of the legislation. We heard this afternoon the classic Stalinist perversion of Marxist-Leninism, the argument for the dictatorship of the proletariat: that in order to set people free we must put them in chains. That is the Secretary of State's argument. He says, "I am taking these powers only to set people free." Tell that to a London borough whose appointments will be subject to the Secretary of State's veto. Tell that to any university, or to the Universities Funding Council. They know that they will be subject to the Secretary of State's control. Tell that to an individual academic who is to be fired because he has lost tenure. Tell that to local democratically elected councillors who are losing one power after another to the Secretary of State. But he says that that is all being done in the name of freedom.

When the Bill was published on 20 November, 175 new powers were written into the Bill. By Third Reading in this place that number had risen to 366, but another 49 new powers have been added to the Bill in the other place—all, the Secretary of State says, in the name of freedom. That makes 415 new powers of central control, a figure with which the Secretary of State did not disagree when I intervened a few moments ago.

The Bill nationalises our education system. It takes away from local people their power to determine the kind of education that they wish their children to receive. In the autumn the Secretary of Stale is to visit the home of the Stalinist perversion of Marxist-Leninism, the Soviet Union. What a great irony it is that, as the Soviet Union is dismantling its powers of central control over education and the rest of its national life, the Secretary of State is going the other way. When he gets there, I wonder who will teach what to whom? Does he intend to worship at the shrine of Leonid Brezhnev to find out how to exercise these new powers?

Mr. Nicholas Bennett (Pembroke)

If the Labour party is so opposed to centralism, why did the last two Labour Governments try to force all local authorities to go comprehensive?

Mr. Straw

We passed the law, but the person who closed more grammar schools and who opened more comprehensive schools was none other than the Prime Minister when she was Secretary of State for Education and Science. We moved to impose law in that area and only after there had been a decade of change by consent and support for comprehensive education from Conservative authorities as well as from Labour authorities. If the hon. Gentleman is saying that comprehensive education is such a bad idea, why has no Conservative education authority in the country yet dismantled or even sought successfully to dismantle its own comprehensive system?

The Secretary of State excuses 500 of the 569 amendments by saying that they are all technical and consequential. They are consequential indeed on the Secretary of State's inadequacy and lack of forethought, but that is not an excuse that the House ought to let him get away with. The Secretary of State allowed only 10 weeks for consultation last summer, most of it during the school holidays. We warned at the time that bad law would be the result.

The Secretary of State has a reputation, although it may be a little tarnished after this afternoon's performance, for public relations. We are told that his internal meetings are dominated by presentational matters. It is a great pity for our children as well as for the making of law that the Secretary of State does not spend more time on the content of policy, on thinking things through. These so-called technical amendments are the consequence of giving officials and parliamentary counsel neither the time nor the instructions to do a proper job in the first place. Hon. Members who will be detained later this week on the poll tax Bill by having to discuss hundreds of technical amendments should reflect on the fact that it is this Secretary of State, not the Secretary of State for the Environment, who is ultimately responsible for that mess, too—of selling to a sceptical Cabinet and sceptical party a policy that got the Conservative party out of a small, temporary, presentational difficulty, only to lead to a much greater permanent policy catastrophe.

Nine years into government this Administration still lack a coherent well-thought-out policy for the education of all our children. We saw that during the last general election campaign when the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister disagreed so violently and publicly on opt-out schools. We have seen it since on testing, on academic freedom, and on religious education as Cabinet government is replaced by Downing street rule by aides and advisers, when the Secretary of State almost literally has to busk, to make things up as he goes along, when he is not told what to do. The approach that is so publicly humiliating to the Chancellor of the Exchequer today, with Downing street-inspired stories of the resurrection of Sir Alan Walters as economic adviser to Downing street, has already operated on the Secretary of State, for the mark of the Prime Minister's policy adviser, Professor Brian Griffiths—unelected and unaccountable—can be seen on page after page of the Bill.

When the original guillotine was imposed on 1 February, the Leader of the House admitted that there was no justification for that abuse of power. He said: I am not complaining about the rate of progress;… I am not suggesting that there has been any filibustering"—[Official Report, 1 February 1988; Vol. 126, c. 726.] There was no justification then for a guillotine. There is even less justification today. We are dealing with the education of 7 million children and their futures. We owe it to them to get things right.

On Thursday my hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) said that there are no action replays of childhood."—[Official Report, 14 July 1988; Vol. 137, c. 557.] Authoritarian rule is not only offensive to democracy. In the end it is profoundly inefficient because so often it gets things wrong. This motion is an offence to democracy, and it is an offence to our children. It must be opposed.

4.16 pm
Mr. James Pawsey (Rugby and Kenilworth)

In the light of the Education Act 1976, I must say that the comments of the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) about my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science taking powers was a bit rich. We can recall, if he cannot remember, that it was that Act that took powers from local education authorities. But this Bill, when it is enacted, will ensure that powers and responsibilities are transferred to parents. They will decide what is best for their children.

We have heard a fairly routine guillotine speech from the hon. Member for Blackburn. There were the usual moans about time, there was the ritual anger and there were the same arguments, We heard all the same synthetic indignation when the timetable motion was announced for the Committee stage, but the fact is that the Bill received 180 hours of discussion in Committee and, in addition, the benefit of another 32 hours on the Floor of the House. This Bill has received more active consideration than any other Bill on any subject since the war. That demonstrates the importance that the Government attach to the education of children in the state sector.

Their Lordships made a substantial number of amendments, but the majority of them are technical and they are designed—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Durham, North-West (Ms. Armstrong) laughs, but she ought to refer to The Times Educational Supplement, which does not normally favour the Conservative party. An editorial dated 15 July, headed "Seven Months later…", says: The great majority of the amendments—as is usual with a Bill of this size—were moved by Ministers, improving the drafting or shutting loopholes. Does the hon. Lady disagree with that statement? As she does not rise to intervene, we must presume that she agrees.

Mr. Spearing

Does not the hon. Gentleman recall that when I intervened, by the grace of the Secretary of State, he did not dissent from my point that the most important new clauses, 8 to 16, that deal with religious education and worship are not susceptible to proper consultation with those concerned outside this place before we debate them and that that makes us question whether we should pass them today?

Mr. Pawsey

The amendments received substantial debate in the other place, and in addition they will receive more debate in this Chamber during the next few hours. If the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) is really interested, he will have the opportunity to raise points on that specific item. It will be interesting to see whether he seeks to catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

There is no doubt that this Bill will improve education to the maximum benefit of the children of our country. That is the raison d'etre of the legislation. Some of the amendments made in another place will improve the Bill and I have not the slightest doubt they will be accepted. Only a relatively small number—for example, those on religious education, to which the hon. Member for Newham, South referred, and those relating to grant maintained schools—are genuinely contentious. I have not the slightest doubt that they will receive the consideration that they warrant. They will be debated today and tomorrow—a further full two days debate on the Floor of the House—and will receive an appropriate amount of discussion.

If Opposition Members are genuinely concerned about the amount of time available for the consideration of the amendments—then I hope that we do not get the usual string of bogus points of order which always seem to arise following Prime Minister's questions—perhaps they will exercise a degree of control tomorrow. Opposition Members are the time wasters—[Interruption.] I hear that they are the time servers as well. They choose to reduce the time available for debate.

The Opposition should understand that the principal reason why we want the Bill to reach the statute book before the recess is so that its provisions can be available for the commencement of the next school year. Some of those provisions, such as open enrolment, could take effect from September. Opposition Members may be cavalier in their attitude towards children's education, but Conservative Members take such matters rather more seriously and we are determined that the Bill should be enacted before we rise for the summer recess.

The hon. Member for Blackburn referred to the anti-democratic guillotine. Opposition Members surely must remember that the record for the number of guillotines introduced in a single day belongs to the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot), who is in his place today. The great democrat became the great dictator when he became the arbiter of parliamentary time.

Mr. Tony Marlow (Northampton, North)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wonder whether you could stop the hon. Lady in pink, the hon. Member for Durham, North-West (Ms. Armstrong), from constantly hectoring and nagging my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey)? It really is a hit much if people in this House have to conform to sexual stereotypes.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean)

Order. I think that we had better get on with the debate.

Mr. Pawsey

Matters could be worse. One could be married to the hon. Lady.

This debate detracts from the amount of time available to discuss the Bill.

Mr. Straw

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. On reflection, will the hon. Gentleman withdraw that remark, which was of a very personal nature?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. This is a very short debate, and I hope that it will be conducted in good humour.

Mr. Pawsey

The hon. Member for Blackburn is somewhat thin skinned. To do her credit, even the hon. Member for Durham, North-West did not rise to that. However, if my remark caused offence either to the hon. Gentleman or to the hon. Lady, I willingly withdraw it.

Even this debate detracts from the amount of time available for the discussion of the Bill. Would it not be wiser if we proceeded to the principal and more important business—the discussion of the Education Reform Bill? This debate and the time it takes will be the real measure of the Opposition's concern. The quicker we start to debate the substance of the Bill, the better.

The Bill will improve the quality and the standing of state education. We are happy to debate it today and tomorrow. Who knows, if Opposition Members actually bring open minds to our discussion, they may join us in the Lobby.

4.24 pm
Mr. Michael Foot (Blaenau Gwent)

Although I consider that the way in which the Bill is being put through is scandalous, and although I strongly support what my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) said from the Opposition Front Bench, I wish to concentrate for a few minutes on the part of the Bill that has been introduced mainly in the House of Lords during the past few weeks and which gives rise to even more insult to the House of Commons. I refer to the provisions concerning religious education. Whatever view people may take on different forms of religious education, surely a Minister responsible for education in this country should have enough knowledge of its history to know that for many decades, almost for centuries, arguments about religion have destroyed the possibility of sensible agreements and education reform. It was largely because of that understanding that that part of the 1944 Act was so successful.

When R.A. Butler introduced that Bill, he took account of the consultation that he had taken on that subject for many months and many years. It is scandalous for the Secretary of State and the Government to say, "We push all that aside. We do not worry about the history of the country, the history of education or the history of religious argument. We know better and we shall push through a different arrangement for dealing with a very delicate subject which could give rise afresh to other arguments which could do great injury to our education in future." It is scandalous that the Secretary of State should have given his name to that.

Of course, the right hon. Gentleman can say that it has all been thought up by the bishops in the other place, that they had a hole-in-the-corner meeting and that is supposed to be good enough for the House of Commons. It is not at all good enough for the House of Commons. Many besides bishops have a right to speak on the matter.

If the right hon. Gentleman does not remember it, I can quote to him another verse from his famous anthology. It is by Jonathan Swift who knew something about the church and the bishops. In "Verses written upon windows", he wrote: The Church and clergy here, no doubt, Are very near a-kin; Both weather-beaten are without; And empty both within. I do not apply that to any particular bishops in the other place, but it would embrace many of them. Seriously, it is absurd for the right hon. Gentleman to think that a hole-in-the-corner compromise worked out in the other place, which has no representative authority in these matters, could be satisfactory for dealing with such a delicate subject. It is utterly shameful, so I ask the Government to withdraw it.

I speak on behalf of those who uphold a humanist tradition in this country—a very proper and worthy tradition. We have as much right to be consulted about such things as have other people. We do not trust the bishops or the representatives of other denominations. We have a right to discuss such matters.

The Secretary of State has been responsible for pushing aside all forms of consultation on the matter. I understand that a report was drawn up by one of the inspectors and that quite a lot of consultation was taking place. That report has been supressed, it was never properly debated and at the very last moment, when the Bill is being dragged through the House of Commons, we are told that we have to agree to the religious, non-religious or anti-religious measures. It is a scandal for the Government to deal with it in this way. If the Government have trouble in different schools—and we all know that there are many people of different religion in different schools around the country—if they believe that they know best and that they have only to take up these phrases that have been adopted by a few bishops at the other end of the corridor, push them through the House of Commons and deal with a delicate problem that occurs in so many areas of the country, that is a scandalous way for them to deal with a major question.

If the Secretary of State had any honour in these matters, he would never have brought the measures before us. He would have said that they would be brought in only after full consultation. On those grounds alone, the guillotine motion is an offence to the House of Commons. The Government are inviting trouble. There is a history of people disobeying education laws. I suppose the Prime Minister has forced this upon the Secretary of State, but Ministers should read up on some British history before they attempt to teach it to anybody else.

4.30 pm
Mr. John Bowis (Battersea)

The right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) was referring to the next debate, rather than this one. However, it was a pleasant contrast to the huffery and puffery of the opening speech made by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw). Perhaps my hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke (Mr. Bennett) put his finger on the reason why there was so much huffery and puffery when he referred to the Labour party's policy of the past. It used to have a policy, which was to comprehensivise everything. Now, it has no education policy. Labour Members huff and puff and say that our policy is wrong, but they do not say what is right.

The Labour party has formed a group called Parents in Partnership. The hon. Member for Blackburn will know about that. It has come up with various initiatives which have been dismissed as virtually worthless, not by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State or my hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke, but by Mr. Neil Fletcher, the, leader of the Inner London education authority and a member of the Labour party's new education forum. He, along with many in Labour local government circles, is critical of the knee-jerk policy-making of the parliamentary team. I will dwell no more on the knee jerking, but that is what we have had today.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett


Mr. Bowis

I am sorry, but I cannot give way because we want to speed this through.

If the Labour party had been interested in the debate on the Education Reform Bill, it could have nodded the timetable motion through and let us get on with the debate. There has been sitting after sitting on the Bill. There was the Second Reading, 42 sittings in Committee, four days on Report, the days in the Lords, and now two more days in the House. No Bill can ever have had such rigorous debate and consideration. There have been probing and testing amendments, which have received consideration. The Committee and the House have listened and, above all, the Government have listened. That is why we have the amendments before us today. If the Government listen, they come forward with amendments. They listened to the House of Lords as well as the House of Commons, and tabled amendments in the Lords. Many of us are pleased about that.

The nation wishes us to get on with it. The schools and colleges are waiting for the final go-ahead so that they can put the measures into practice. The public are looking forward to the new measures and there is further public consultation to come. The public approval of the Bill is one reason why we can brook no delay. On London figures 72 per cent. of the public want the national curriculum, and only 16 per cent. are against it, 74 per cent. are in favour of core testing and only 20 per cent. are against and 75 per cent. are in favour of the grant-related status option and only 17 per cent. are against. Public opinion, parents and Parliament are in favour. The only people in favour of delay are Her Majesty's Opposition. We should brook no delay today.

4.33 pm
Mr. Derek Fatchett (Leeds, Central)

The debate has been typical of the brevity with which the Government deal with education matters. I suspect that it is unique in that, probably for the first time in our experience of education debates, the Secretary of State, after a poor performance, is looking to the Minister of State to dig him out of a hole. I suspect that, given the Minister of State's record in Committee, the Secretary of State will be relying on something of a forlorn hope.

The debate has been typical in its brevity and typical of the Government's consultation process. It is typical of a Government who allowed little time for consultation with parents, teachers, or local authorities. It is typical of a Government who introduced a guillotine in Committee when the Leader of the House said that there was no evidence that the Opposition were filibustering. This guillotine, as with the guillotine in Committee, and the shortness of time for consultation may show a damaging ideological triumphalism, but they also show an uncertainty about the measures that they are introducing. It is an uncertainty that my right hon. Friend the Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) referred to in terms of religious education, but it is an uncertainty that runs to the heart of the Bill.

The Secretary of State said that the Bill had to be enacted over the next two weeks or it would be impossible to carry forward the consultation on the national curriculum. No argument could be more specious. The Secretary of State knows that the working parties are in operation and that he can establish shadow bodies and carry out the necessary consultation. The simple truth is that the national curriculum is a long way from formation because the Government rushed to legislation without having the courage and decency to consult teachers, parents or local authorities.

The same is true of testing. The Government have shifted their ground on a number of occasions. We are told that the Secretary of State is in favour of diagnostic testing. We suspect that other Ministers are not in favour of such testing. One has reason to believe that the Minister of State is opposed to diagnostic testing and supports the Prime Minister in the need for simple competitive testing. We have every reason to believe, if the newspaper reports are correct, that it would be in the interest of the Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn), to support the Prime Minister in that argument. The simple fact is that, on the crucial issue of testing, the Government's position is as unclear as it was 12 months ago.

In terms of higher education, the Bill was transformed in the House of Lords. The Government have had no clearly defined position and no defined analysis and perception of the role of higher education. Nowhere has that been made clearer than in an article by Lord Beloff in The Times last week. In relation to universities, the noble Lord said that there seemed to be disagreement, even among Ministers. The article said: The Secretary of State … had praised the extent to which they"— the universities— had already adapted themselves to the new demands made upon them by economic and social change and was usually ready with soft reassurances. How typical. The article went on: On the other hand, the junior Minister for the universities, Robert Jackson, had left a trail of wounded feelings as he toured the universities to explain the Government's proposal. That division on higher education goes to the heart of the Government's policy and image.

The guillotine is being used to protect an uncertain and weak ministerial team. Because of that uncertainty and weakness, Ministers lost the argument in Committee. They lost that argument and votes in the House of Lords. Because of that weakness and uncertainty, they seek to limit further debate. They know, as do all educationists, that the Bill will appear intemperate and irrelevant against the real educational needs of our children and our country. That is why we oppose the guillotine. There is a need for more time for debate and a proper education agenda for the country.

4.38 pm
The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mrs. Angela Rumbold)

I am sad to say that I have not been particularly impressed by the arguments adduced by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) or, more recently, by those adduced by the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett). In Committee, the Opposition generally seemed a little hard put to find good arguments and they appeared to be supine before many of the arguments in support of the Bill put by my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friends.

I was somewhat astonished, therefore, to hear the hon. Member for Leeds, Central say that it was important to have more time to discuss every item that comes before us after having been in the other place. For the record, let us be sure of what took place in Committee when we examined every clause and every amendment tabled. In Committee, the Opposition forced Divisions on 38 of the 147 clauses and on two of the 11 schedules. That does not appear to be an example of an Opposition firmly opposed to every part of the Bill.

Occasional reports have appeared in the education press—and even in national newspapers—that the hon. Member for Blackburn said that the national curriculum was not my right hon. Friend's idea but his, and that the Labour party had proposed it some time ago. Had that been the case, I would have found it difficult to understand the arguments made by the hon. Member for Blackburn. He said that he did not agree with the proposals for the national curriculum. He would like to think that he proposed a national curriculum and, indeed, to put before the House and the other place proposals as good as those in the Bill.

Much concern has been expressed about consultation. The Bill has been discussed for well over a year. Indeed, it was discussed before the general election in June 1987. The public were aware of the Government's proposals and voted decisively, in the light of experience, for them. The consultation procedure has continued ever since. The Department of Education and Science has received no fewer than 25,000 letters about the Bill, all of which have received a reply and none of which have produced further comments. Much of what has been said during the consultation process has been reflected in the various amendments.

The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands), who is no longer present, said that the technical and vocational educational initiative would take up 30 per cent. of the national curriculum. The Opposition argue that if the national curriculum takes up 70 per cent. of the time, that leaves only 40 per cent. remaining. I hope that Opposition Members will at least have an opportunity to watch their children going through the mathematics curriculum. It will allow them to understand that 30 per cent. of the curriculum will not be for subjects specified as core and foundation subjects but for other subjects. Time for TVEI will also be taken up partly within scientific and mathematics curriculum subjects. Mathematics is an important subject. It has been shown to be especially important for some Opposition Members.

It is clear that there has been considerable discussion and much consultation. It is important therefore that the matters of concern to Opposition Members should be discussed, so I commend the motion to the House.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 322, Noes 183.

Division No. 416] [4.43 pm
Adley, Robert Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick
Aitken, Jonathan Buck, Sir Antony
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Burns, Simon
Allason, Rupert Burt, Alistair
Amos, Alan Butcher, John
Arbuthnot, James Butler, Chris
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Butterfill, John
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Carlisle, John, (Luton N)
Ashby, David Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Atkins, Robert Carrington, Matthew
Atkinson, David Cash, William
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Baldry, Tony Chapman, Sydney
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Chope, Christopher
Batiste, Spencer Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Bellingham, Henry Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Bendall, Vivian Colvin, Michael
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Conway, Derek
Benyon, W. Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Bevan, David Gilroy Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Cope, Rt Hon John
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Couchman, James
Blackburn, Dr John G. Cran, James
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Critchley, Julian
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Currie, Mrs Edwina
Boswell, Tim Curry, David
Bottomley, Peter Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Davis, David (Boothferry)
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n) Day, Stephen
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Devlin, Tim
Bowis, John Dickens, Geoffrey
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes Dicks, Terry
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Dorrell, Stephen
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Brazier, Julian Dover, Den
Bright, Graham Dunn, Bob
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Durant, Tony
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Dykes, Hugh
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Emery, Sir Peter
Browne, John (Winchester) Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South) Evennett, David
Fallon, Michael Lee, John (Pendle)
Favell, Tony Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Fennor, Dame Peggy Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lightbown, David
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Lilley, Peter
Forman, Nigel Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Forth, Eric Lord, Michael
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Fox, Sir Marcus Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Freeman, Roger McCrindle, Robert
French, Douglas MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Fry, Peter Maclean, David
Gale, Roger McLoughlin, Patrick
Gardiner, George McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Goodhart, Sir Philip Madel, David
Goodlad, Alastair Major, Rt Hon John
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Malins, Humfrey
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Mans, Keith
Gorst, John Maples, John
Gow, Ian Marland, Paul
Gower, Sir Raymond Marlow, Tony
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW) Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gregory, Conal Mates, Michael
Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E') Maude, Hon Francis
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Grist, Ian Mellor, David
Ground, Patrick Meyer, Sir Anthony
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Miller, Sir Hal
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom) Mills, Iain
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Miscampbell, Norman
Hampson, Dr Keith Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hanley, Jeremy Mitchell, David (Hants NW)
Hannam, John Moate, Roger
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Monro, Sir Hector
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Harris, David Moore, Rt Hon John
Hawkins, Christopher Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Hayes, Jerry Morrison, Sir Charles
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
Hayward, Robert Moss, Malcolm
Heathcoat-Amory, David Moynihan, Hon Colin
Heddle, John Mudd, David
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE) Neale, Gerrard
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Needham, Richard
Hill, James Nelson, Anthony
Hind, Kenneth Neubert, Michael
Holt, Richard Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Howard, Michael Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Page, Richard
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Paice, James
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Patnick, Irvine
Hunter, Andrew Patten, Chris (Bath)
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Patten, John (Oxford W)
Irvine, Michael Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Jack, Michael Pawsey, James
Jackson, Robert Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Janman, Tim Porter, David (Waveney)
Jessel, Toby Portillo, Michael
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Powell, William (Corby)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Price, Sir David
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Rathbone, Tim
Key, Robert Redwood, John
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Renton, Tim
Kirkhope, Timothy Rhodes James, Robert
Knapman, Roger Riddick, Graham
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Knowles, Michael Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Knox, David Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Roe, Mrs Marion
Lang, Ian Rossi, Sir Hugh
Latham, Michael Rost, Peter
Lawrence, Ivan Rowe, Andrew
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Ryder, Richard Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Sackville, Hon Tom Thorne, Neil
Sainsbury, Hon Tim Thornton, Malcolm
Sayeed, Jonathan Thurnham, Peter
Scott, Nicholas Townend, John (Bridlington)
Shaw, David (Dover) Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Tracey, Richard
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Tredinnick, David
Shelton, William (Streatham) Trippier, David
Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW) Twinn, Dr Ian
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Waddington, Rt Hon David
Shersby, Michael Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Sims, Roger Waldegrave, Hon William
Skeet, Sir Trevor Walden, George
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Waller, Gary
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Walters, Sir Dennis
Soames, Hon Nicholas Ward, John
Speed, Keith Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W) Warren, Kenneth
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Watts, John
Squire, Robin Wells, Bowen
Stanbrook, Ivor Wheeler, John
Stanley, Rt Hon John Whitney, Ray
Steen, Anthony Widdecombe, Ann
Stern, Michael Wiggin, Jerry
Stevens, Lewis Wilkinson, John
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Wilshire, David
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood) Winterton, Mrs Ann
Stewart, Ian (Hertfordshire N) Winterton, Nicholas
Stokes, Sir John Wolfson, Mark
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Wood, Timothy
Sumberg, David Woodcock, Mike
Summerson, Hugo Young, Sir George (Acton)
Tapsell, Sir Peter Younger, Rt Hon George
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Tellers for the Ayes
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Mr. Robert Boscawen and Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones.
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Temple-Morris, Peter
Abbott, Ms Diane Cousins, Jim
Allen, Graham Cryer, Bob
Alton, David Cummings, John
Armstrong, Hilary Cunlifle, Lawrence
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Cunningham, Dr John
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Dalyell, Tam
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Darling, Alistair
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich) Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)
Barron, Kevin Dewar, Donald
Battle, John Dixon, Don
Beckett, Margaret Dobson, Frank
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Doran, Frank
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Duffy, A. E. P.
Bidwell, Sydney Dunnachie, Jimmy
Blair, Tony Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
Boateng, Paul Eadie, Alexander
Boyes, Roland Eastham, Ken
Bradley, Keith Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)
Buchan, Norman Fatchett, Derek
Buckley, George J. Faulds, Andrew
Caborn, Richard Fearn, Ronald
Callaghan, Jim Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Fisher, Mark
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Flannery, Martin
Cartwright, John Flynn, Paul
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Foster, Derek
Clay, Bob Foulkes, George
Clelland, David Fraser, John
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Fyfe, Maria
Cohen, Harry Galbraith, Sam
Coleman, Donald Garrett, John (Norwich South)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) George, Bruce
Corbett, Robin Godman, Dr Norman A.
Corbyn, Jeremy Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mildred Litherland, Robert
Gould, Bryan Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Loyden, Eddie
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) McAllion, John
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) McAvoy, Thomas
Grocott, Bruce McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Hardy, Peter McKelvey, William
Harman, Ms Harriet McLeish, Henry
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy McNamara, Kevin
Heffer, Eric S. McWilliam, John
Hinchliffe, David Madden, Max
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Mahon, Mrs Alice
Home Robertson, John Marek, Dr John
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath) Maxton, John
Hughes, John (Coventry NE) Meacher, Michael
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Meale, Alan
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Illsley, Eric Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Ingram, Adam Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Janner, Greville Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
John, Brynmor Morgan, Rhodri
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Morley, Elliott
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W) Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Lambie, Oavid Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Lamond, James Mullin, Chris
Leadbitter, Ted Murphy, Paul
Leighton, Ron Nellist, Dave
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
O'Neill, Martin Soley, Clive
Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Spearing, Nigel
Parry, Robert Steinberg, Gerry
Patchett, Terry Strang, Gavin
Pike, Peter L. Straw, Jack
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Primarolo, Dawn Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Quin, Ms Joyce Turner, Dennis
Radice, Giles Wall, Pat
Randall, Stuart Wallace, James
Redmond, Martin Walley, Joan
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Reid, Dr John Wareing, Robert N.
Richardson, Jo Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Robertson, George Wigley, Dafydd
Rogers, Allan Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Rooker, Jeff Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Wilson, Brian
Rowlands, Ted Winnick, David
Ruddock, Joan Wise, Mrs Audrey
Sedgemore, Brian Worthington, Tony
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert Wray, Jimmy
Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Short, Clare Tellers for the Noes:
Skinner, Dennis Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. Alun Michael.
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)

Question accordingly agreed to.