HC Deb 19 July 1988 vol 137 cc1035-50

Lords amendment: No. 438, in line 35, leave out "and Schedule 2" and insert

", section 39(1), (2) and (4), Schedule 2, paragraph 4 of Schedule (New schools) and section (New schools) so far as relating to that paragraph;".
Mrs. Rumbold

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Madam Deputy Speaker

With this we shall discuss Lords amendment No. 439, in page 166, line 36, at end insert and subsections (1) and (3) of section (Costs of dismissal, premature retirement or voluntary severance).

(3) Before making any order under this section, the Secretary of State shall consult—

  1. (a) such associations of local authorities;
  2. (b) such bodies representing the interests of governors of voluntary schools; and
  3. (c) such organisations representing staff in schools required to be covered by schemes under section 25 of this Act or institutions required to be covered by schemes under section 121 of this Act;
as appear to him to be concerned."

Amendment (a) to the Lords amendment, at end add "and no Order shall be made under this section which would operate to diminish the rights of employees, whether individually or collectively."

Mrs. Rumbold

The first amendment to clause 186 is technical, as are the first three lines of amendment No. 439. The remainder of amendment No. 439 is an amendment of substance, which the Government tabled in response to points made in debate on the clause in another place. It introduces a requirement that before an order is made under the Act there should be consultation with the local authority associations, representatives of the governors of voluntary schools and organisations representing the staff of schools and colleges with delegated budgets. It is an important amendment. It ensures that the process of making an order under the Act is fully public at all times, and it gives the bodies mentioned a statutory right to comment on proposals for an order before the order is made. We have made it clear from the beginning that we intend to consult before making orders. However, the amendment gives reassurance to those who have wrongly expressed doubts about our intentions by making this a statutory requirement, and I ask the House to accept the amendment.

However, we cannot accept the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) and his colleagues. The reason is simple. It may be argued by the Opposition, among others, that the fact that under financial delegation key staffing decisions are exercised by the governors rather than by the local education authority constitutes a dimunition of rights. We do not accept that, but the scope for time-consuming debates on this and other points would be considerable if the amendment were accepted.

I am surprised that the Opposition are so worried about this clause. Ten years ago, the Labour Government introduced a measure giving them wide powers to make changes in employment law—changes that could directly affect the rights of individuals. I refer to section 149 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 which allowed the Secretary of State to make orders disapplying certain provisions of that Act and to vary the operation of others——

Mr. Straw


Mrs. Rumbold

It may have been a consolidation measure, but it allowed the Secretary of State to lengthen the qualifying period for protection against unfair dismissal and to remove from some classes of employees the right to time off for trade union duties. The power in that Act was much more significant than the power given by clause 186. By contrast, clear restrictions are built into the description of the power——

Mr. Straw

Will the Minister give way?

Mrs. Rumbold

No, I shall not.

Mr. Straw


Madam Deputy Speaker

Order. We can have only one hon. Member on his feet at a time.

Mrs. Rumbold

It consolidated——

Mr. Straw

It is a bogus point.

Mrs. Rumbold

It is not a bogus point; it is a perfectly valid one. It consolidated previous Labour legislation and, therefore, it is perfectly right and proper to refer to it within the context of the Bill.

Leaving that surprising lapse of memory aside, the amendment before us is simply not necessary. Repeatedly, I have explained that the clause is not about removing people's rights. It is evident to anyone who takes the trouble to study the wording of the clause that it is not open to my right hon. Friend or any of his successors to use the power to remove employment rights from staff.

On financial delegation, governors of schools and colleges will be given a number of important powers over staffing matters. I make no apology for that. The Government are firmly committed to the principle of local management in education. The Opposition have proclaimed that they, too, are firmly committed to the principles of financial delegation and that they want those principles to be meaningful. They want the governors of schools and colleges to take real decisions on important questions affecting the running of their schools and institutions. They must, therefore, recognise that staffing accounts for by far the largest part of the budget of a school or college. It could be anything up to 85 per cent.

If governors are to be allowed to take key decisions on staffing matters, surely those powers must be given to them. The purpose of clause 186 is to ensure that, along with their powers over staffing, governors are given the necessary responsibilities in law. It makes no sense at all for local education authorities to be compelled to take responsibility for decisions which are taken by other bodies. Opposition Members with local government experience would have complained very strongly if they had been put in that position, and local authorities asked us at an early stage to ensure that it did not happen.

Clause 186 allows my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State or the holder of his office to modify employment law to make sure that where governors rather than the LEA take a decision it is the governors who assume responsibility for that decision in law. So, for example, if the governors of a school or college dismiss a member of staff and that member of staff complains that the dismissal is unfair, clause 186 would allow the Government to ensure that it is the governors who appear before the industrial tribunal to defend their decision. That is the purpose of clause 186, and we have made that clear on many occasions.

It is true that much concern—generated chiefly, I regret to say, by teacher unions—has been expressed about the clause. It is quite misconceived. Anxieties among staff in schools and colleges have been aroused needlessly, and I want to make the position clear.

It is suggested by the trade unions and others that the clause as it stands gives my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State or the holder of his office an open-ended power to alter employment law to take away from staff in schools and colleges with delegated budgets their hard-won employment rights. That is an absurd misrepresentation. The wording of the clause is precise and contains two very important constraints on the use of the order-making power. First, the clause empowers the Secretary of State to make modifications to certain types of enactment. Those are enactments relating to the rights and duties of employers and employees and the relationship between them. That does not mean any change at all.

The word "modification" has a precise meaning. The repeal of a provision or alteration of its effect to the detriment of a certain class of employee would not be described as a modification. For example, removing the right of teachers to statutory redundancy pay could in no way be described as a modification. Such a use of the power by a Secretary of State could be challenged through judicial review on the ground that the change to employment law brought about by an order was more than a modification.

The second constraint is that the clause restricts the power to orders which the Secretary of State considers necessary or expedient in consequence of the operation of specific provisions of the Act. Any Secretary of State making an order under the clause will need to satisfy himself—and, if necessary, the courts—that it is reasonable both to describe the change brought about by the order as a modification, and also to believe that the modification is necessary or expedient in the light of financial delegation. It is difficult, to say the least, to see how the removal of an important employment right from staff in schools and colleges could pass either test, either that it is a modification or that it is necessary or expedient in the light of the relevant sections of the Act. Any Member of either House will be able to pray against an order under the clause.

Moreover, the amendment that the other place made to the clause at our instigation, requiring statutory consultation before an order is made, will ensure that the process of making an order is fully public at all times. It is therefore wrong to say or imply that the clause confers an open-ended power on the Secretary of State. The Government have made it clear time and time again that the clause is a technical provision which will ensure that financial delegation works smoothly in the field of staffing. The removal of people's rights is no part of its purpose or effect.

The clause is in the interests of the staff. Through it, we shall ensure that staff rights, such as the right to time off work for public duties, are respected. I hope very much that the unions and others who have been promulgating otherwise will stop presenting the clause as some kind of monstrous danger to the staff and start telling their members the truth.

This is a helpful clause through which the Government will ensure that financial delegation does not result in anomalies in employment law, but, none the less, has some substance in meaning for the governors of the schools which undertake financial delegation.

I have explained to the House why the amendment to the Lords amendment is both unnecessary and damaging and, if it is not withdrawn, I shall urge the House to reject it.

Mr. Fatchett

This is the third time that we have had the opportunity of debating clause 186—once in Committee, once on Report and now tonight. Let me congratulate the Minister on changing her civil servants or changing the brief because the argument that she has advanced this evening, although it is no more convincing, is substantially different from her argument on Report and in Committee. She was either not briefed correctly on that occasion or the Government are simply searching for an argument. I suspect that the latter is true.

We all understand the technical reasons for the amendment. We understand why it is necessary in relation to local financial management. However, we do not understand and trust the Government's motives in taking such extensive powers. In Committee, the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) and I challenged the Minister about the nature of the extensive powers and, on that occasion and on Report, she had no argument against the fact that they were extensive powers. In effect, she said that we could take her word for it that we could trust in the Secretary of State.

However, she has tonight shifted the argument and says that a precedent was established by a Labour Government 10 years ago. It has taken the civil servants and the Minister a great deal of time, including debating time, to find that example and that precedent. It was never used by the Minister in Committee or on Report and it was never used by Ministers in the House of Lords.

The only example that the Minister can produce is not a Bill that changes the law, but a consolidation measure. If we consult "Erskine May" about consolidation measures, we see that a particular procedure is set out for them in the House. There is one criterion with which a consolidation measure must comply. Page 737 of "Erskine May" states that a consolidation measure should not introduce any substantial change in law or one that might be controversial. That consolidated measure to which the Minister referred, by definition in terms of the procedures of the House, cannot introduce a substantial change in law or be controversial. It is clear that on this occasion the Minister's brief was threadbare, as it has been threadbare, but different, on previous occasions.

9.30 pm
Mr. Nicholas Bennett (Pembroke)

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman understands what a consolidation measure is. A consolidation measure consolidates previous legislation. My hon. Friend is quite correct that it is the Act to which we now refer.

Mr. Fatchett

I can say only that the hon. Gentleman probably did less well than the Minister.

I now turn to what we consider to be the substantial arguments about the extensive powers contained in clause 186. On three occasions Ministers have given assurances that those powers will not be used in a way that will be detrimental to the interests of those employed in education.

In Standing Committee the Minister said: I can see no reason why there should be any consequential diminution of rights for employees as a result of the clause."—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 25 February 1988; c. 1908.] If the Minister's argument tonight had been correct, she would have had no need to say that on 25 February. Her argument then was, "Believe us. We reassure you that we do not intend to use the powers in a particular way."

In the other place Lord Trefgarne, speaking on behalf of the Government, uttered exactly the same words as the Minister of State. He said: I want to make it quite clear that this clause is not about diminishing employees' rights, or adversely affecting employees."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 19 May 1988; Vol. 497, c. 561.] Twice we have had reassurance in those terms.

The third occasion was outside this House. The Secretary of State wrote to Lord Murray of Epping Forest about clause 186, again using the same words. He wrote: We have made it clear that the reason behind the clause is not about diminishing employees' rights or adversely affecting employees. That is the wording of our amendment. The Minister has uttered the words of our amendment as has Lord Trefgarne. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State has uttered the words of our amendment. Now they are asking the House and Conservative Members to vote down the words and the assurances that they uttered on other occasions.

If the Minister is a Minister of her word, there is no need to vote against our amendment tonight. Teachers' unions or teachers' organisations will not be sending messages, but the Minister will be sending a message. If she accepts our amendment (a), the Minister's message will be that it is not the Government's intention to diminish the employment rights of people employed in education—teachers and non-teaching staff.

In an article in The Independent on 3 May, Julian Haviland started an article on clause 186 with a very simple opening sentence with which any Opposition Member will agree. He wrote: Kenneth Baker is not to be trusted. I am sure that he would get many seconders for that motion from Conservative Members. He then referred that argument to clause 186. He wrote that the Government's argument about clause 186 was simply: Trust this Secretary of State. He is a good man. As Julian Haviland said, that is an outstandingly offensive argument. It is offensive because the Secretary of State is taking unto his office powers—however he may use them—that are extensive and give the Government the power to diminish the employment rights of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Clause 186 is one of the most extensive and draconian in the Bill. We have opposed it on every possible occasion and shall continue to do so. It assumes in one person a radical ability to change the employment rights of many thousands of workers which have been developed over many decades. Because of that power, we seek to amend the clause. Because of that power, we ask the Minister to be as good as her word. I doubt that she will be, but at least she could send a message to teaching and non-teaching staff that she is a Minister of her word and one to be trusted.

Mr. Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden)

I apologise to the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) for not following his argument on amendment No. 438. As he knows, a number of amendments are bunched together. I want to draw attention to Lords amendment No. 442 and Government amendment (a) thereto, to which little attention has been paid. I apologise to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the fact that on the only time I have an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Bill, which I generally support, I enter a note of demurral on one aspect.

I do not know whether my right hon. and hon. Friends are aware of the motion in the other place moved by my noble Friend Baroness Young to assist British schools in European Community countries. In a plain and civilised debate at an early hour in the morning Baroness Young succeeded in getting an amendment against the Government passed. This is not the stuff of high politics, but it touches on a matter that should be of great concern to us. Great emphasis is being given to our preparations for the single European market and to the approach of 1992, but in this matter we are not doing as much to help our citizens who may be expected to work within the European Community as certain of our partners are doing for their citizens. Lady Young attempted to oblige my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to provide certain help to British schools and to bring in at a certain time—although not a specified time—grant schemes to assist pupils to attend those schools in the European Community.

Government amendment (a) narrows the scope of Baroness Young's amendment, but widens its effect in applying it to all schools outside the United Kingdom. Missing from Government amendment (a)—this is the most costly item—is a scheme that would require financial assistance to be given to pupils to attend those schools. I do not expect that we can do justice to this issue in this short debate, when more contentious amendments are being considered. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will not regard this as a subject that is dead and buried with the debate.

In replying to the debate in the other place, Baroness Hooper——

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)

Order. Perhaps I should have reproached the hon. Gentleman earlier. We are not yet discussing Lords amendment No. 442; it comes later.

Mr. Haselhurst

I beg your pardon, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thought that it was part of this batch.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

We are discussing Lords amendments Nos. 438 and 439, together with the amendment to Lords amendment No. 439.

Mr. Haselhurst

In that case, I apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Will there be an opportunity for me to raise my point later?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is a matter for the House. I very much hope that there may be time for the hon. Gentleman to return to the matter.

Mr. Haselhurst

I thank the House for its indulgence, and you for yours, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Flannery

It is almost unbelievable, after all that went on in Committee and on Report, that the Minister of State can talk the nonsense that we have just heard. Clause 186 is the most draconian clause in a draconian Bill. I am surprised that the Minister of State did not realise what everyone else realises when she referred to the teachers' unions as though they had no rights.

The Minister went on to say that 85 per cent. of the money goes in that direction. There are some 4,000 teachers, and they have all been observing this debate. It is sad that we have only three quarters of an hour on this important clause, and it is already 9.40 pm.

It seems to be assumed that everyone knows what the clause says, but it should be put on record. It states: .—(1) The Secretary of State may by order make such modifications in any enactment relating to employment and, in particular, in any enactment—

  1. (a) conferring powers or imposing duties on employers;
  2. (b) conferring rights on employees; or
  3. (c) otherwise regulating the relations between employers and employees;
as he considers necessary or expedient in consequence of the operation of any of the provisions of this Act mentioned in subsection (2) below. Those words are the most draconian that could be imagined. They put at the disposal of the Secretary of Slate hundreds of powers that have never before been given, even in wartime. In case anyone thinks that he does not use those powers, let us take an example in which he has already used them and violated the law.

Clause 186—one of the most controversial and least justified of the Bill's provisions—gives the Secretary of State rights that no one has had before. In 1987 there was a flagrant violation of the law. Anyone who thinks that the Secretary of State will not use the clause should take note of what he did in destroying the negotiating rights of the teachers. That had never been done before, and the International Labour Organisation of the United Nations condemned it in its annual convention in May this year.

The matter was also debated in the Lords, when Lord Murray of Epping Forest asked Baronness Hooper, the Tory spokesperson: Does the Minister accept that we are not discussing a unique situation? Does she share my dismay that Britain should be found guilty in the company of countries like Chile, Colombia, Bangladesh and Romania which, as she herself has said, are part of conventions to which we have agreed in the past? If she shares my dismay, can we be assured that the Government will take speedy action to restore Britain to the level of respect which formerly was accorded to us in this United Nations organisation? That is what the Secretary of State did without the power that he is trying to take in clause 186. The clause—which we want to amend by taking some of the venom out of it—gives him immense powers to do as he wishes with the working people in our schools. As I have said before, he sits there smiling like pussy with the milk because he has not the faintest intention of doing anything about a draconian clause which, as he knows, violates the democracy that we have had for all these years.

This all too brief debate is being watched closely by the teachers' unions and others whose members work in schools. Amendment (a) tries to put some democratic common sense into this draconian clause. The Secretary of State will use it. He has already taken one terrible action against teachers and such people. He would not have allowed such a power to remain in the Bill through all its stages unless he intended to use it against the teachers. Therefore, our amendment says: At end add 'and no Order shall be made under this section which would operate to diminish the rights of employees, whether individually or collectively'. That is a sensible approach, and I commend our amendment to the House.

9.45 pm
Mr. Ashdown

It is entirely appropriate that almost the last clause that we should discuss on a Bill which is damaging not only to education but to the nature of our democracy, and which puts so much power into the hands of the Secretary of State, is the most draconian in the Bill.

We have listened to the Government during more than 200 hours of debate and it would not be inaccurate to say that we have sometimes been astounded by the threadbare nature of the Minister of State's arguments. But she has exceeded herself tonight on two counts. First, she seeks to pray in aid a precedent that does not even apply. As the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) said, it is a consolidation measure. Indeed, "Erskine May" is perfectly clear on the matter. That is not the precedent that she seeks.

Secondly, having, no doubt, employed the best offices of the Department of Education and Science, trailing and trawling through the thickets of the Bill, after 200 hours of debate the Minister has discovered a new meaning for the word "modification". It has never been mentioned or discussed in all the hours of debate in Committee. She has discovered that a modification is only a small amendment.

Why was that never mentioned before? This is an argument that the Minister of State has suddenly stumbled upon. It bears no kind of examination. It is a bit like the housemaid's baby; it is only a small one. She knows perfectly well that by the smallest modification the rights that attach to teachers and other employees can be altered drastically. It would require only a small modification subsequently to alter those rights considerably.

What we see here is the hidden agenda that runs through this Bill and through the poll tax, local government, privatisation and housing legislation. It is designed for a single purpose—to suck all the power out of local authorities, leaving them no rights to be decent employers, to create a situation where, although they may be responsible for the employment of teachers, they are not even responsible for their dismissal, to ensure that we reduce the power and authority of local government to such a point that it is easy at some subsequent moment to get rid of it.

Conservative Members should have a care. They have laid down precedents in the Bill—in this clause in particular—which will be picked up by others afterwards. I do not accuse the Secretary of State of intending to use the instruments created by the Bill, but they are there for others to use. If, at the stroke of a pen and a clause such as this one, employment rights can be removed without further recourse to the House, exactly the opposite can be done as and when one wishes, further damaging the rights of individuals.

These powers will be used by others in times to come. It matters not that the Secretary of State's intentions may be reasonable or even benign; the instrument is there for others to use. This is a matter of principle. The Secretary of State should not be allowed the powers which the Bill gives him and which others may misuse after him.

The first of those powers is that contained in clause 186, which will allow the Secretary of State or others to rescind at will or to add to the employment rights of teachers or others without recourse to this House. The House must consider that, and must not agree to it. Those are the reasons why we shall oppose the provisions.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett

I am sorry to have heard the speech of the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown). I had not intended taking part in the debate, but having listened to the hon. Gentleman speaking with the massed ranks of the Liberal party absent, it is clear that he misunderstands both points. He misunderstands the point which was made by my hon. Friend the Minister of State about the consolidation Act. That point was misunderstood also by the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett). The Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 consolidated the Labour Acts of 1974 and 1975. A consolidation Act cannot introduce a new controversial clause, but the two Acts that the consolidation Act consolidated were controversial and the precedent set in the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 is that followed in the 1978 Act. My hon. Friend cannot refer to the proposals of the 1974 Act because its provisions are no longer the law. The law was consolidated in the 1978 Act and my hon. Friend is therefore absolutely correct——

Mr. Fatchett

I have listened with interest to the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Bennett), although he did not participate in the debate earlier. Can he give the House some explanation of why the Minister of State did not refer to that argument either on Report or in Committee?

Mr. Bennett

The hon. Gentleman has not sought to deny the point that I have just made, but he was wrong when he referred to the consolidation Act.

The hon. Member for Yeovil also referred to the taking away of powers from local authorities. Surely what we are doing is giving to those people who have responsibility for the decisions the right to go to court if they are challenged. The governors will be responsible for the employment of teachers. Therefore, they must take legal responsibility for their actions. That is why we have sought in these amendments to ensure that the responsibility is now in the hands of the governors——

Mr. Ashdown


Mr. Bennett

No, I shall not give way because I have to finish my point.

Ms. Armstrong

In many senses this clause sums up the major problems that the Government have given themselves because of the powers that they are trying to take in the Bill. First, power is yet again centralised in the hands of the Secretary of State. As my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) said yesterday, the bogus argument that they are trying to give power to parents and local communities is belied by the fact that many more powers are being centralised by the Secretary of State.

The second issue is that in this clause the Government are confusing the responsibilities of employer and manager. The Minister of State does not state who the employer is in this case. That question is left confused. The hon. Lady may think that the clause overrides employment law and makes managers responsible as employers, but she is leaving the responsibility for employment with the local education authorities and is changing the responsibility for management by giving it to the governing bodies.

Thirdly, the management will be left without any clear knowledge of their financial responsibilities. What are the Government saying to teachers about their financial responsibilities and about those people whom the Government now say will manage their employment rights? Who will be financially liable for decisions taken by the governors? The Minister did not give us any answers tonight, or on Report or in Committee.

Throughout the passage of the Bill the Government have sought to vilify teachers, but teachers have a right to know that their employment rights will be protected by the Secretary of State. Our amendment seeks to clarify that right, but the Minister seeks to deny it.

We and the teachers want to know who will have financial liability and responsibility for the decisions that are made. More than that, teachers and parents have the right to know that basic employment rights, which have been fought for throughout generations, will be upheld by the Government. Failure to accept the amendment will mean that the Government are going against employment and democratic rights that have been fought for and secured. I hope that the Minister will take this opportunity to reassure not only the House, but the teaching profession.

Mrs. Rumbold

I must repeat that we cannot accept this amendment because it would allow for the possibility of serious dispute. Some people might argue that just giving governors powers over staffing may necessarily entail some reduction of rights. However, I have already explained at some length this evening that there are two important constraints in the clause and I do not believe that it is necessary to add a third.

The local education authority is clearly designated as the employer. The Bill gives powers to governors regarding staffing, but there is nothing wrong with that and I believe that the Opposition share that conviction. If we give governors such powers, we must also give them responsibility—that is the essence of clause 186.

The worries and queries that were raised in the other place met with a consistent response. The reason we cannot accede to this amendment is that we cannot foresee now all the modifications to employment law that may be necessary in the light of financial delegation. Some issues may arise only in the light of experience and we cannot be sure that they would be met by the alternative formula that has been put to us or any other narrower formulation.

We have thought hard about this clause and we believe that it would be irresponsible to make the provision any more narrow than it is already. I have already said that the clause is not open-ended and two important constraints are already built into the wording of the clause.

I sincerely believe that the Opposition have done nothing tonight to improve the relationship between the teachers and themselves. I believe that it is essential to allay teachers' fears in the way I have described.

My hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Haselhurst) raised an important point to which the Government are sympathetic. He spoke about the aims of schools and that is especially important in view of' the impending open market in 1992.

Certain aspects of the original clause require careful study and that is why we are recommending a modified version to the House. It retains the important provisions designating the category of school and requires the Secretary of State to provide information and to ask for appropriate information for inspection by Her Majesty's inspectorate. I urge the House to reject the Opposition amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 439, in page 166, line 36, at end insert

"and subsections (1) and (3) of section (Costs of dismissal, premature retirement or voluntary severance).

(3) Before making any order under this section, the Secretary of State shall consult—

  1. (a) such associations of local authorities;
  2. (b) such bodies representing the interests of governors of voluntary schools; and
  3. (c) such organisations representing staff in schools required to be covered by schemes under section 25 of this Act or institutions required to be covered by schemes under section 121 of this Act;
as appear to him to be concerned."

Read a Second time.

Mr. Fatchett

I beg to move amendment (a) to the proposed Lords amendment, at end add 'and no Order shall be made under this section which would operate to diminish the rights of employees, whether individually or collectively'. I ask the House to support the Minister's words.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 211, Noes 318.

Division No. 424] [9.58 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Cunningham, Dr John
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Dalyell, Tam
Allen, Graham Darling, Alistair
Alton, David Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)
Anderson, Donald Dewar, Donald
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Dixon, Don
Armstrong, Hilary Dobson, Frank
Ashdown, Paddy Doran, Frank
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Duffy, A. E. P.
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Dunnachie, Jimmy
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich) Eadie, Alexander
Barron, Kevin Eastham, Ken
Battle, John Evans, John (St Helens N)
Beckett, Margaret Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
Beggs, Roy Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)
Beith, A. J. Fatchett, Derek
Bell, Stuart Faulds, Andrew
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Fearn, Ronald
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Bermingham, Gerald Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)
Bidwell, Sydney Fisher, Mark
Blair, Tony Flannery, Martin
Boateng, Paul Flynn, Paul
Boyes, Roland Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Bradley, Keith Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Foster, Derek
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Fraser, John
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith) Fyfe, Maria
Buchan, Norman Galbraith, Sam
Buckley, George J. Galloway, George
Caborn, Richard Garrett, John (Norwich South)
Callaghan, Jim Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) George, Bruce
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Godman, Dr Norman A.
Canavan, Dennis Golding, Mrs Llin
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Gordon, Mildred
Cartwright, John Gould, Bryan
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Graham, Thomas
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Clay, Bob Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Clelland, David Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Grocott, Bruce
Cohen, Harry Hardy, Peter
Coleman, Donald Harman, Ms Harriet
Corbett, Robin Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Corbyn, Jeremy Haynes, Frank
Cousins, Jim Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Cryer, Bob Heffer, Eric S.
Cummings, John Henderson, Doug
Cunliffe, Lawrence Hinchliffe, David
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) O'Brien, William
Holland, Stuart O'Neill, Martin
Home Robertson, John Parry, Robert
Hood, Jimmy Patchett, Terry
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Pike, Peter L.
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath) Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Hughes, John (Coventry NE) Prescott, John
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Primarolo, Dawn
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Quin, Ms Joyce
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Radice, Giles
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Randall, Stuart
Illsley, Eric Redmond, Martin
Ingram, Adam Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn
John, Brynmor Reid, Dr John
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Richardson, Jo
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Kennedy, Charles Robertson, George
Lambie, David Robinson, Geoffrey
Lamond, James Rogers, Allan
Leadbitter, Ted Rooker, Jeff
Leighton, Ron Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Rowlands, Ted
Lewis, Terry Ruddock, Joan
Litherland, Robert Salmond, Alex
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Sedgemore, Brian
Loyden, Eddie Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McAllion, John Shore, Rt Hon Peter
McAvoy, Thomas Short, Clare
McCartney, Ian Skinner, Dennis
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West) Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
McKelvey, William Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
McLeish, Henry Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
McNamara, Kevin Soley, Clive
McTaggart, Bob Spearing, Nigel
McWilliam, John Steinberg, Gerry
Madden, Max Strang, Gavin
Mahon, Mrs Alice Straw, Jack
Marek, Dr John Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Turner, Dennis
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Wall, Pat
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Wallace, James
Martlew, Eric Walley, Joan
Maxton, John Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Meacher, Michael Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Michael, Alun Wigley, Dafydd
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute) Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Wilson, Brian
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Winnick, David
Morgan, Rhodri Wise, Mrs Audrey
Morley, Elliott Worthington, Tony
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Wray, Jimmy
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Mullin, Chris Tellers for the Ayes:
Murphy, Paul Mr. Robert N. Wareing and Mr. Frank Cook.
Nellist, Dave
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Adley, Robert Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Aitken, Jonathan Bevan, David Gilroy
Alexander, Richard Biffen, Rt Hon John
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Biggs-Davison, Sir John
Allason, Rupert Blackburn, Dr John G.
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Amos, Alan Body, Sir Richard
Arbuthnot, James Bonsor, Sir Nicholas
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Boswell, Tim
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Bottomley, Peter
Ashby, David Bottomley, Mrs Virginia
Atkins, Robert Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)
Atkinson, David Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Bowis, John
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes
Baldry, Tony Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Brandon-Bravo, Martin
Batiste, Spencer Brazier, Julian
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Bright, Graham
Bellingham, Henry Brittan, Rt Hon Leon
Bendall, Vivian Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Hanley, Jeremy
Browne, John (Winchester) Hannam, John
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South) Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
Buck, Sir Antony Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Burns, Simon Harris, David
Burt, Alistair Haselhurst, Alan
Butcher, John Hawkins, Christopher
Butler, Chris Hayes, Jerry
Butterfill, John Hayward, Robert
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Heathcoat-Amory, David
Carrington, Matthew Heddle, John
Carttiss, Michael Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)
Cash, William Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)
Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Chapman, Sydney Hill, James
Chope, Christopher Hind, Kenneth
Churchill, Mr Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Holt, Richard
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Hordern, Sir Peter
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Howard, Michael
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
Colvin, Michael Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
Conway, Derek Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
Cope, Rt Hon John Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Cormack, Patrick Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Couchman, James Hunter, Andrew
Cran, James Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Critchley, Julian Irvine, Michael
Curry, David Irving, Charles
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Jack, Michael
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jackson, Robert
Day, Stephen Janman, Tim
Devlin, Tim Jessel, Toby
Dicks, Terry Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dorrell, Stephen Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jones, Robert B (Herts W)
Dover, Den Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Dunn, Bob Key, Robert
Durant, Tony Kilfedder, James
Dykes, Hugh King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd) Kirkhope, Timothy
Evennett, David Knapman, Roger
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Knight, Greg (Derby North)
Fallon, Michael Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Farr, Sir John Knowles, Michael
Favell, Tony Knox, David
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lang, Ian
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Latham, Michael
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Lawrence, Ivan
Fishburn, John Dudley Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Forman, Nigel Lee, John (Pendle)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Forth, Eric Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Lightbown, David
Fox, Sir Marcus Lilley, Peter
Franks, Cecil Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Freeman, Roger Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
French, Douglas Lord, Michael
Fry, Peter Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Gale, Roger Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Gardiner, George McCrindle, Robert
Gill, Christopher Macfarlane, Sir Neil
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Maclean, David
Gorman, Mrs Teresa McLoughlin, Patrick
Gorst, John McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Gow, Ian McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Gower, Sir Raymond Madel, David
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW) Major, Rt Hon John
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Malins, Humfrey
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Mans, Keith
Gregory, Conal Maples, John
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Marland, Paul
Grist, Ian Marlow, Tony
Ground, Patrick Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Hampson, Dr Keith Mates, Michael
Maude, Hon Francis Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Roe, Mrs Marion
Mellor, David Rost, Peter
Meyer, Sir Anthony Rowe, Andrew
Miller, Sir Hal Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Mills, Iain Ryder, Richard
Miscampbell, Norman Sackville, Hon Tom
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Sainsbury, Hon Tim
Mitchell, David (Hants NW) Sayeed, Jonathan
Moate, Roger Shaw, David (Dover)
Monro, Sir Hector Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Shelton, William (Streatham)
Moore, Rt Hon John Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Morris, M (N'hampton S) Shersby, Michael
Morrison, Sir Charles Sims, Roger
Mudd, David Skeet, Sir Trevor
Neale, Gerrard Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Nelson, Anthony Soames, Hon Nicholas
Neubert, Michael Speed, Keith
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Nicholls, Patrick Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Squire, Robin
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Stanbrook, Ivor
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Stern, Michael
Oppenheim, Phillip Stevens, Lewis
Page, Richard Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Paice, James Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Patnick, Irvine Stokes, Sir John
Patten, Chris (Bath) Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Pawsey, James Sumberg, David
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Summerson, Hugo
Porter, David (Waveney) Tapsell, Sir Peter
Portillo, Michael Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Powell, William (Corby) Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Price, Sir David Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Temple-Morris, Peter
Rathbone, Tim Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Redwood, John Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Renton, Tim Thorne, Neil
Rhodes James, Robert Thornton, Malcolm
Riddick, Graham Thurnham, Peter
Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas Townend, John (Bridlington)
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Tracey, Richard Wells, Bowen
Tredinnick, David Whitney, Ray
Trippier, David Widdecombe, Ann
Trotter, Neville Wiggin, Jerry
Twinn, Dr Ian Wilkinson, John
Vaughan, Sir Gerard Wilshire, David
Viggers, Peter Wolfson, Mark
Waddington, Rt Hon David Wood, Timothy
Wakeham, Rt Hon John Woodcock, Mike
Waldegrave, Hon William Yeo, Tim
Walden, George Young, Sir George (Acton)
Waller, Gary
Walters, Sir Dennis Tellers for the Noes:
Ward, John Mr. Robert Boscawen and Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones.
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Warren, Kenneth

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Ten o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to order [18 July], to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that hour.

Lords amendment No. 439 agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)

I am satisfied that Lords amendment No. 442 imposes a charge upon the public revenue not authorised by a resolution of the House and therefore, under paragraph 3 of Standing Order No. 76, the Lords amendment is deemed to be disagreed to.

Amendment (a) made to the Bill, in lieu of Lords amendment No. 442 disagreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 440 and 441 and 443 to 447 agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 448 to 475 agreed to, some with Special entry.

Lords amendments Nos. 477 to 479 and 481 to 536 agreed to, some with Special entry.

Lords amendments Nos. 540 to 556 and 558 to 569

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