HC Deb 20 July 1988 vol 137 cc1109-27

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, is to be brought to a conclusion after that time shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the proceedings on that Motion.

I move this motion as the House comes to the end of a long and exhaustive consideration of a Bill that fully honours our election manifesto commitment to abolish domestic rates; to replace them with a community charge; and to introduce fairer and more stable arrangements for non-domestic rates and Government grant.

We shall shortly see scenes of synthetic outrage from the Opposition Members about the time that is allowed for consideration of these Lords amendments, so I want to start by getting some facts on the record. The Bill has already been debated in the House for two days on Second Reading; 147 hours in 35 sittings in Committee; and no fewer than five days on Report and Third Reading—a total of 190 hours before today. Although it has been guillotined, we have used the timetable procedure not to impose unreasonable constraints on debate, but to allow for a sensible allocation of time to the different elements of the Bill. Consideration of part I was virtually complete before the timetable motion was moved. Therefore, we have not curtailed debate on the most novel and controversial part of the Bill.

The Bill has also been examined in great detail during almost 90 hours of debate on 13 days in another place. It simply is not possible to argue that the Bill has not been fully considered. Throughout all that debate, the Government have listened carefully to all the reasonable arguments put to them and promised a number of significant concessions that have required changes to the Bill. Indeed, Lord McIntosh, who speaks for the Labour party in another place, paid tribute to my noble Friend Lord Caithness and his colleagues by saying: There has not been a single time in our consideration of the Bill when we have had occasion to doubt their sincerity or their willingness to listen."—[Official Report, House of Lords; 13 July 1988, Vol. 499, c. 910.]

So, of course there are changes to the Bill, but it is ludicrous to suggest, as did the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) last Thursday, that the Bill has been changed almost beyond recognition by the Lords".—[Official Report, 14 July 1988; Vol. 137, c. 557.]

Mr. John Maxton (Glasgow, Cathcart)

The Minister keeps mentioning changes to a Bill, but a large number of the amendments—more than 100—that we shall be debating in an hour and a half at the very end relate not to changes to a Bill, but changes to an Act of Parliament. The Abolition of Rates Etc. (Scotland) Act 1987 is already on the statute book, and is in the process of being implemented, but here are 100 amendments that Scottish local authorities have to implement not in 1990, but in six months' time. Is it not an absolute disgrace that amendments concerning the people of Scotland, who rejected the Government in this matter, are now being pushed to the end of a very short debate?

Mr. Howard

Perhaps when we reach those amendments to the Scottish legislation the hon. Gentleman will tell the House to which of those amendments he and his party object. The Labour party has tabled no amendments that suggest that it objects to them. That will no doubt be considered when we reach the Scottish part of the business.

When they considered the matters rather than taking the view that was put last Thursday by the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, Members on both sides of the other place accepted that the principle of the Bill remains intact. The Opposition know that their prolonged and persistent attempts to sabotage the Bill have met with complete failure.

Mr. Frank Dobson (Holborn and St. Pancras)

Does the hon. Gentleman seriously suggest that 66 pages of new amendments to a Bill of 150 pages is not a substantial change?

Mr. Howard

As I shall show, that is a pathetic argument. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) will no doubt tell us about the 417 amendments and the average time available to deal with each of them. That is about as intelligent an approach to these matters as judging a work of art by the number of brush strokes on the canvas.

Of the 417 amendments, well over half—243, to be precise—were accepted in another place as technical or drafting improvements to the Bill. I look forward to hearing from Opposition Members which of those amendments they object to. For example, do they want to oppose the exemption from the community charge for the severely mentally handicapped, the homeless, voluntary care workers, or those who stay in short-stay hostels? Do they wish to challenge the major extension of charitable rating relief or the improved treatment of caravans? Perhaps they wish to restore joint and several liability for the collective community charge, but I rather doubt it.

Mr. John Home Robertson (East Lothian)

That is the biggest load of humbug that I have ever heard in this House, and I have heard a great deal from the Minister. He is saying that he wants to hear what Opposition Members have to say about all the amendments. How can he possibly hear what Opposition Members or anybody else may have to say about them when the guillotine motion ensures that it will be impossible to discuss even a fraction of them?

Mr. Howard

The hon. Gentleman is an acknowledged expert on humbug. For the most part, the amendments were warmly welcomed by the Opposition in another place. We know exactly the Opposition's attitude to the amendments. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will tell us in due course that Opposition Members intend to oppose the deletion of part IV—23 clauses and three schedules—from the Bill, but I doubt it. We took the decision in response to representations from, among others, the Labour-controlled Association of London Authorities. In fact, if one reads the amendments, one finds that they were almost universally welcomed by Opposition spokesmen in another place, who had ample opportunity to debate them.

Perhaps the best test of the extent to which the Opposition really need time for debate and of whether the complaints that we shall doubtless hear are genuine is to be found in the number of amendments that Opposition Members have tabled. Are they so dissatisfied with the Lords amendments that they have tabled countless amendments of their own? Not a bit of it. Opposition Members have tabled a grand total of three amendments. Of those three amendments, in his wisdom, Mr. Speaker selected two. We shall have ample time to debate those two amendments.

Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North)

How many amendments did Opposition Members move in Committee and how many met with any success against the Government?

Mr. Howard

I am afraid I cannot help the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Richard Holt (Langbaurgh)

I advise my hon. and learned Friend the Minister that Mr. Speaker recently ruled that if hon. Members were not present during the presentation of a Minister's speech they would not be called or seen. [Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)

Order. I call the Minister.

Mr. Howard

I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Holt). I always welcome interventions from the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson). I always welcomed them in Committee, and I hope that I continue to welcome them.

Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)


Mr. Howard

I have not yet answered the point raised by the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North; the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) should contain himself.

The total lack of success that Opposition Members met with in Standing Committee is something that the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North may regret, but it has absolutely nothing to do with today's business, which is consideration of Lords amendments. Once the hon. Gentleman grasps that elemental fact, he will appreciate how misconceived his question was.

Mr. Simon Hughes

Will the Minister confirm that, when he described amendments to the Lords amendments that were tabled today as Opposition amendments totalling three, he was referring to Labour amendments? My hon. Friends and I have tabled 15 amendments—five times as many as the Labour party have tabled.

Mr. Howard

The contribution of the party that the hon. Gentleman represents had not escaped me. It is characteristic of his party's contribution. It comprises all that clarity of mind and precision that we have come to expect from that party. The vast majority of the hon. Gentleman's amendments simply state that they disagree with the Lords in the amendments.

Opposition Members will oppose the motion not because they want to debate the drafting of the amendments but because they want to delay enactment of the Bill until the autumn. That is why they seek to delay progress today. We cannot accept that. We have promised that domestic rates will be abolished on 1 April 1990, and we keep our promises. If that objective is to be achieved, the local authorities that are to implement it must know where they stand. This is not a Bill that can take effect overnight. An enormous amount of preparation and planning must take place first. Most local authorities are already making good progress. They will soon have to commit themselves to the purchase of computer and other hardware. Computer software designers must get clear instructions about the systems that they are to develop. That means that the detailed regulations must be drafted and consulted on as soon as possible in the autumn.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

Some of us heard the Minister on the radio talking with Lord Allen of Abbeydale, who is a man of clear mind. Could he explain—there may be an explanation—his answer to the argument of Lord Allen and others about the blind and disabled? The Minister was referring to details. It is important to clarify the point, as we may have got him wrong. We did not quite understand his answer to Philip Allen's point.

Mr. Howard

The hon. Gentleman will have to wait for the substantive debate on this issue, which will take place in a short time. He will have the opportunity to hear my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, who will deal with that issue when the House considers it.

Community charge registration officers will be under a duty to establish their registers by 1 December next year. That is not a date that can be changed, and, if it is to be met, canvassing will have to take place in the spring and early summer of next year. That in turn will require staff, equipment and systems to be in place.

This major reform was first proposed in January 1986. It was put to the electorate in June last year. It has been debated in detail in Parliament and outside for eight months. The time has now come to deal with the few remaining issues, to move into the next phase of preparation, and to put an end to uncertainty.

4.18 pm
Mr. Jeff Rooker (Birmingham, Perry Barr)

The motion is totally unnecessary for a Government with a majority of over 100 in the first Session of a Parliament. It insults the whole House of Commons. It shows the nation that the Government are operating as though they own the House of Commons. The motion is an offence to the Chair and the learned Clerks. It corrupts the law-making process and will thereby bring the law into contempt. Frankly, the motion demeans the Minister who moved it, and it degrades hon. Members who were whipped in to support it.

That it is unprecedented is beyond question, in regard to a Bill that is guillotined with so much new material and so many amendments from another place. There is not enough time for the Chair to read out the amendments and put the relevant Questions even if we start now and continue until midnight. It is a jackboot motion, the likes of which were familiar under Hitler and Stalin, and, today, under Botha.

We have one parliamentary day to consider items some of which have never been considered or discussed in the House. That shows the arrogance of the power with which the Government operate. In fact, the process is so hasty that the Government not only spent time and money on Saturday scurrying around the homes of Opposition Front Bench Members with printer's proofs of the amendments, but, today, they gave us corrections to the amendments from the Lords.

The Minister had the brass face to say that the Opposition had not tabled many amendments. Members of the House of Commons were given one parliamentary day to look at the Government's amendments and no time to table amendments. Any amendment that we tabled yesterday would have been starred as out of order. We have been given one day—seven hours—to consider more than 400 amendments. What is the use of the Opposition and our advisers spending hours drafting amendments to Lords amendments when we shall not even get the chance because of the guillotine to vote against those amendments that we oppose? That is ludicrous. Today we have been given correction slips. That is not just pathetic; what is happening in this place today is damned dangerous.

We cannot even fully list the items with which we shall not deal today, such as the changes in registration, and in respect of joint and several liability, hostels, co-owners, installments, the appeal procedure, levying boards and financial administration. Also, there is the lack of rate relief for sports clubs in England and Wales. We would try to get a similar concession to that given to such clubs in Scotland.

We shall not even have the chance to debate the Government's continuing inability, as identified in Lords amendment No. 283, to decide how they will count the population. That information is crucial for the redistribution of Government grant and the business rate. In February this year, at the Standing Committee's second or third sitting, the Minister said that this was under active consideration. There have been hundreds of Government amendments in Committee and on Report and there are hundreds more Lords amendments, yet we still do not know how the Government will count the population.

There is no time to debate this matter. The Government could easily have provided two or even three ordinary House of Commons days which the Opposition would consider reasonable in the circumstances. We do not like the Bill. We do not want it to operate. We seek to oppose it at every opportunity, and we make no apology for that. I presume that the Government do not wish to take that right from us, although they are taking away everything else. Two or three ordinary House of Commons days would have been a reasonable time, in view of what we face, to consider the material that the Lords have put into the Bill.

We have just cause for complaint on this matter, which will cause our proceedings to fester for some time to come. The Opposition have no intention of providing any cloak of respectability for Her Majesty's Government who, in most other democratic countries, would have hit the buffer of constitutional checks and balances on this issue. No checks and balances are operating. Even now, in late July, it is known that somewhere in Her Majesty's Government somebody will be preparing a Government speech for Her Majesty to read out in the other place in November. I suspect that, when Mr. Speaker makes that walk to the other place to hear the Government's speech read from the Throne, he may well understand if the figleaf of respectability given to the occasion by Her Majesty's Opposition has fallen by the wayside.

In 1979 the Tories spoke in their election manifesto of making Parliament effective in controlling the Executive. In 1983, the Tories spoke in their manifesto of keeping the rules and procedures of Parliament in good repair. In 1987, the Tories spoke only about decisive majorities in Parliament and strong government. They change procedures to suit themselves. They control local government and have come close to propounding a divine right. "Why bother with elections?" someone in the Government will be asking before long.

Our fellow citizens will become uneasy as they hear Members of Parliament speak in this place and outside of law-making without adequate discussion. It does not matter whether we agree or disagree with what the Lords have done; we are entitled to discuss the Bill's contents. Later, we shall be expected to ask our constituents to obey the law because Parliament has passed it.

The implied plank of that idea is that Parliament discussed the law before passing it. When I advise my constituents that they must obey the law or face the penalties and consequences built into it, I shall go out of my way to remind them that great tranches of the Bill were not debated in the House of Commons in Committee, on Report or when the House considered the more than 400 Lords amendments. This will make my constituents and those of other hon. Members very uneasy about obeying every dot and comma of the legislation, and rightly so.

If this does not make Conservative members of the legal profession uneasy, I fail to see what does. The Opposition do not argue about losing the votes. We understand the arithmetic in this place. The Government will get their Bill in any event. There never was anything that an Opposition faced with a Government majority could do to cause the Bill to be withdrawn or defeated on Second Reading. The best for which we could hope was to amend it, and the second best was to get it discussed. All the evidence is that the more the Bill is discussed inside and outside the House, the more the British people oppose the poll tax. Herein lies the reason for the hasty guillotine today.

The House could easily have sat for the first few days in August or last few days in July. The Government are now prone to bringing us back in the middle of a week. The House could easily have gone into recess in the middle of the week after next by having an extra day or two on this legislation. The Government would still have got the Bill. They would still have got Royal Assent. Why do the Government not want the Bill discussed in the House of Commons? Clearly it is because public opinion has moved so vastly and strongly against it.

I want to give only a few statistics, although the Minister gave us many. When the Lords amendments are put into or thrown out of the Bill, as the case may be, there will be 78 separate aspects requiring regulations. If I remember correctly, only one provides for an affirmative resolution, whereby the Government have to get the approval of the House.

Mr. Maxton

One more than in Scotland.

Mr. Rooker

One more than in Scotland, as my hon. Friend says. Those regulations cover 621 separate matters. Also, there are 23 other matters for orders and 92 instances of determination of other issues by Ministers alone, making 736 powers in hand for the Government in the Bill. That is unprecedented and it should worry everyone, because the number of opportunities for the House to debate the orders and regulations will be minuscule.

Even the children begin to think that something wrong is happening in the House of Commons. Believe it or not, some of our comics have referred to the poll tax. I freely admit that I am not a parent and am not as up-to-date on comics as I was. I discussed the matter the other day with my young friend William Pickering, aged 12¼, because of what he had read in his comic "Oink" about the poll tax. [Interruption.] Yes, there is a comic called "Oink". William asked me a few questions. He said, "There is a page in the July issue, Jeff, on 'Ten Things You Should Know about the New Poll Tax'." Time under the guillotine does not permit me to read out all 10, but I promised William that I would raise a few with the Minister:

  1. "1. Everyone who owns a parrot has to pay Poll Tax.
  2. 2. If it talks, you pay double the basic rate.
  3. 3. If it says rude words, you pay treble the basic rate.
  4. 4. If it says rude words about the Labour party you get a full rebate and 1 cwt. of millet.
  5. 5. People who are members of the Conservative Party don't pay poll tax, no matter how many parrots they have."
I shall not take up the time of the House with the other five points, but at the end of the 10 things that young children should know about the poll tax it says: A government spokesman explained that the new tax is necessary, as the old domestic rating system which it will replace is both illogical and unfair. When we suggested that the tax seemed to favour the well-off, he replied that nothing could be further from the truth and told us not to give the game away. That is the reason for the guillotine motion.

4.29 pm
Mr. Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire, West)

Perhaps we should ask the Leader of the House to conduct an important investigation. Not so long ago we drastically increased the Opposition's Short money, yet all that the Opposition can do is to buy comics to explain their opposition to the poll tax. I should have thought that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) and his research assistant could do a better job than read comics. Perhaps it is an indication of the Opposition's disastrous and short-tempered approach that they must now oppose the Bill by using comics and comic sketches alone. Nowadays the Opposition are comics, and comic lines are what we get more and more from the hon. Member for Perry Barr and the Leader of the Opposition.

I am pleased that my hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Local Government has introduced the timetable motion. I am grateful for one simple reason: the sooner the Bill reaches the statute book, the better. The Bill will make local government throughout the country far more accountable. It is no wonder that the Labour party is so opposed to the Bill, because I believe and hope that it will make local government more accountable.

There has been a lot of talk about the number of Lords amendments, but it must be acknowledged that 243 of them are technical. We were faced with elections in Derbyshire this year and we were quite happy to explain to people what the community charge would do. What happened when we explained that to the people of Derbyshire? Were we roundly defeated at the polls? No, we won the city of Derby for the first time in seven years and we won control of Amber Valley district council for the first time ever. That was the result of telling people what the poll tax or the community charge will do for them. It will bring more accountability into local government.

The problem that is faced by young people in Derbyshire stems from the present ludicrous rating system. On Second Reading I asked the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) whether he thought that the present system reflected ability to pay. He rightly conceded that he did not think that it did. It takes no account of earnings or of the value of property. I believe that the Bill will bring about accountability in local government and that many more people will turn out to vote at local government elections. At the moment the incentive is not there. One of the strongest points of the Bill is that it will make people realise what local government is doing and what the costs of local government are.

I shall give one example from my constituency. Before I was elected as the Member for Derbyshire, West I had the privilege to serve for six years on Staffordshire council. In 1981, both Staffordshire and Derbyshire county councils were Conservative-controlled. The rate in Staffordshire was 112p and in Derbyshire it was 111.5p. They are counties of similar size and with similar problems. Both authorities became Labour-controlled in 1981, with fairly sound majorities. In Staffordshire the rate for 1988–89 is 215p in the pound. [Interruption.] I understand why the Opposition do not like what I am saying, but they will have to listen. They want the debate; they must listen.

In Staffordshire this year the rate levy is 215p in the pound and in Derbyshire it is 297p in the pound. That difference is not easy to explain to the electorate. With the community charge it will be far easier to explain.

Mr. Bruce Grocott (The Wrekin)

May I remind the House that in Staffordshire Labour was returned with a big majority in 1985?

Mr. McLoughlin

I readily concede that the authorities are Labour-controlled. However, this year we won control of the city of Derby for the first time in seven years and we won control of Amber Valley for the first time ever. That is relevant, because the county rate is 90 per cent. of the rates that people pay. The Opposition cannot get away from the fact that what happened in Derbyshire had a considerable effect on the electorate and on the Conservative cause.

Mr. Harry Barnes (Derbyshire, North-East)

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that Derbyshire has one of the best education services in terms of staff-student ratios? Does he also agree that Derbyshire's provision of meals for the elderly is admired considerably by other areas? Unfortunately, under the present Government, those services can be provided only by rate increases.

Mr. McLoughlin

I find it amazing that the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) is praising the county council for its education services, yet at the same time he is urging the Government to overturn the recommendations of the county council on education. I shall not be lectured to on education provision by the hon. Gentleman, who had to come to the Conservative Government to ensure that the parents in his constituency got what they wanted.

In Derbyshire we fought the election on the community charge. We were successful, and the sooner the Bill reaches the statute book the better.

4.37 pm
Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)

The significance of today is that it is probably the last opportunity that the House will have to debate the most fundamental change of principle in the taxation system for 600 years. The Government have seen fit for the second time in the House to introduce in this Bill a guillotine which will limit debate. That is the significance of today.

There are matters that we have had no chance to debate at all and which were introduced in the other place, such as the attachment of benefit proposals, which was originally promised here but introduced for the first time in the other place. That proposal will have an enormous effect on poor people in Britain. Of course, the Government do not like to give much time to debates about the poor in Britain, although they are a large and growing proportion of the population. Some people in constituencies such as mine, who will be paying more than the average poll tax, will have their benefits attached, and will not have a total rebate. Their circumstances will not be properly debated. The people of urban and poor areas such as Southwark deserve to have the implications of the poll tax debated in the House, but they will have to content themselves with the knowledge that the House of Commons spent a grand total of one and a half hours on such a significant amendment.

The Minister was rather disingenuous earlier about the ability of the Opposition to prepare for today. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) made a perfectly valid point. The Government decided to table a guillotine motion only two days before this debate and there was insufficient time for hon. Members to respond in the appropriate and proper way. As it happens, and as I told the Minister, my colleagues and I put down 15 amendments. For the record, the majority of them were not simply motions that the House should disagree with the Lords amendments. Nine of them were substantive amendments.

The most significant feature of today's debate is that the Government have been forced to accept many of the arguments made to them in earlier debate. The more that the Bill has been debated, the more that anomalies have been exposed. In Committee, my colleagues argued that exemptions should be extended to religious communities. Originally the Government said no, but then they said yes. We argued also that voluntary care workers should enjoy exemption. At first the Government said no, and then they said yes. We argued that it was ludicrous that a remanded, unconvicted prisoner would pay poll tax, but that a convicted person would be exempt. The Government eventually conceded that point and gave in.

We argued that it was ludicrous that people who had become mentally handicapped as a result of an accident should be exempt when those who were congenitally mentally handicapped would not be. Again, the Government eventually accepted that argument too. Finally, we pointed out that it was a silly system that said that it did not matter whether one lived in a house, in a cardboard box, under an arch, or in a car, because one would still be liable to poll tax—even though the reality was that in the latter cases people would not have the money to pay, and that local authority officers would hardly have an incentive to collect it. We said that showed how ridiculous was a system whereby those with the least, and not even a home, would be chased to pay for services for those who are saving thousands by this change in local taxation. On that point too the Government eventually gave in.

All those points were made by my hon. Friends and other Opposition Members, and they were accepted by the Government. Therefore, the Government should not be afraid of argument, but should acknowledge that arguments and points put by the Opposition have improved the Bill. They have made a bad principle slightly less bad in its implementation.

The Government cannot be assured that they have the support of the majority of Britain for this Bill's proposals. More than 600 years ago, the only other Government attempt to introduce a poll tax in England culminated with the peasants' revolt, which was commemorated last month on Blackheath. There was guillotining then too. On that occasion, the guillotine fell on the Chancellor's neck. The Government then accepted that the poll tax was a bit of a foolish proposal. Today, there was in Westminster Hall an event celebrating another revolution, this time 300 years ago. That was the so-called glorious revolution, establishing constitutional freedoms. I had thought that one of the constitutional freedoms established was that there would be no taxation without representation. The reality is that, as a result of the Bill, in future there will be no representation without taxation. That is something that the House has resisted, not for decades but for centuries.

Mr. Irvine Patnick (Sheffield, Hallam)

Where does the hon. Gentleman get his notion of no representation without taxation? It will be possible to vote while at the same time not paying taxes. Will he explain the basis of his argument?

Mr. Hughes

If the hon. Gentleman does not understand the import of the Bill by now, that is a sorry state of affairs. I tell him, as I tell my constituents, that in future if one registers to vote in a borough such as mine, one will also be registering to be taxed. One will not be possible without the other, because the rebate will not make up the difference—however large is the exemption.

In this contrived House of Commons, the Conservatives have a majority. Just over 40 per cent. of those who voted in the last general election supported the Government—about one third of Britain's electorate voted Conservative. The Government ought to remember that the majority of British people voted against the poll tax and have never accepted the principle of it. It may be that today we shall run out of time to debate the Bill, but the people of Britain know that the result of this Bill will be that it will soon be the Conservative party which will run out of time. It will be Conservative party Members who will always have hanging around their necks the label of being the poll tax party. It is the Conservatives who have pushed this Bill through, and although their new authoritarian, totalitarian revolution may have succeeded for the moment, ultimately it will be roundly defeated.

4.45 pm
Mr. Edward Leigh (Gainsborough and Horncastle)

I shall not take any lectures from the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes), whose canvassers in the recent Kensington by-election were telling voters that everybody will be paying exactly the same for local government. Such an accusation is absurd.

Mr. Simon Hughes

indicated dissent.

Mr. Leigh

It was in one of his party's leaflets, and the hon. Gentleman produced it last week. Such an accusation is absurd, because the community charge will account for only one quarter of local government costs, and those with means may pay as much as 16 times more than those without means.

The clarity of the SLDP's arguments in that by-election was such that many people who were found by our canvassers to be SDP supporters were putting up SLDP posters, and vice versa. One thing that I will say for the Social and Liberal Democratic party is that at least it has the courage to have a policy, however disastrous that policy of local income tax would be for my constituency, where it would amount to about £500.

As to the brass neck of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker), he announced—almost in the style of Mr. Bevan's remark about going naked into the conference chamber—that he would not come to this Chamber without a policy. We still await the Labour party's policy. What we have heard today from the hon. Member for Perry Barr is so much cant and hypocrisy. My hon. and learned Friend the Minister drew an analogy with painting. The hon. Member for Perry Barr may remember the little drawings that one used to do as a child, in which, by drawing lines between the dots, a picture would emerge. Whichever Bill one brings to mind—whether it is that concerning trade union legislation or any of the other popular policies that nine years of Conservative Government have produced—one realises that the Opposition tried to talk them all out. For the most controversial Bills we have had to introduce guillotine motions, and the same arguments have been adduced again and again. The Opposition have used almost the same words as before—it is a well-run groove.

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)


Mr. Leigh

No, I shall not give way, because I am making a very short speech.

Unlike the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey, I sat through all five days of the Report stage, and, together with my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire), I sat through 147 hours of Committee. There is one difference with this Bill.

Mr. Maxton

The hon. Gentleman is a fool.

Mr. Leigh

I am not a fool. I did my duty in supporting the Government in introducing a Bill that was in our manifesto and for which we had popular support. As a Conservative Back Bencher, I was determined to take an interest in the Bill and to speak on it.

There is one difference between this Bill and earlier Bills in introducing a guillotine because of time-wasting tactics. In this case, having given all the time that was needed for clause 1, when the principle was debated hour after hour, and when there was much filibustering by the Opposition, we imposed an early guillotine. Because we did so, there was time to debate every clause carefully. It is nonsense for the hon. Member for Perry Barr to claim that the Bill has not been properly discussed, because it has.

As to the claim made in the Chamber last week by the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) that there would be an average of only a few seconds to discuss each of the 400 amendments, how can he say such a thing when—and I do not wish to trespass on your authority, Mr. Deputy Speaker, by suggesting that he was trying to mislead the House—virtually all those amendments were either agreed or were technical? When the hon. Gentleman made that claim he must have known that there was only one substantial point of difference between another place and this House, and that related to disabled people. That is a serious issue and one that we shall debate later today. He must have known that.

The Bill has been debated properly and carefully and has been put to the British people. It will become law, and I support it.

4.49 pm
Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North)

The manner of the disposal of the legislation is in keeping with its spirit. It is unjust, anti-democratic and smacks of totalitarianism. The legislation that the House is cursorily asked to consider is in chaos and the product will be unworkable. The proof of that is that it is becoming the same sort of political time bomb under the Tories in England and Wales as it has been for some time in Scotland. Tory candidates now find it necessary to lie through their teeth to the electorate about the level of poll tax they will have to pay in order to stave off the evil hour when people realise the truth. Perhaps in by-elections they can get away with lying to people about the figures. However, the chickens will come home to roost. The facts cannot be evaded for ever. Eventually people will realise exactly what they will be asked to pay under the poll tax. We know from the Scottish experience that the more people know about the reality, the more deeply hostile and angry they become about what is being visited upon them.

I congratulate the Minister, who, I see from The Daily Telegraph, is to have the poisoned chalice removed from him and is to rise to higher offices of state as a reward for his efforts on this legislation. He said in his introduction that local authorities must know where they stand. I welcome his solicitous concern about the information to be provided to local authorities so that they may go about their business. The reality is that the Bill, which is primarily concerned with introducing the poll tax into England and Wales, has gratuitously tacked on to it over 100 amendments relating directly to Scotland. Will the Minister explain the consistency of his line? There can be no delay about introducing the poll tax in England and Wales because local authorities must know where they stand, yet, even at this late hour, four months after the registration process was started in Scotland and less than eight months from the poll tax taking effect, over 100 amendments will be imposed upon Scottish local authorities and they will have to be introduced into their arrangements for the poll tax.

The amendments affecting Scotland which the Minister, who has no responsibility for Scotland, is putting before the House range from the sublime to the ridiculous. They deal with provision for the disabled. In the House of Lords, amendments were successfully introduced in support of the disabled. The Tories are once again coming to the House to kick the crutches from the disabled. One of the most heinous aspects of the legislation is the contempt and hostility with which it treats the disabled. One of the most offensive aspects of the legislation is that it makes no special provision for the physically handicapped, no matter how severe the handicap. The Minister will reinforce that provision from the Dispatch Box.

Another heinous aspect of the legislation is the introduction, for the first time in our society, of a category of citizen hitherto uninvented called the severely mentally handicapped. People will have to queue up, in the original words of the the legislation, for "certification" as "severely mentally handicapped" in order to escape the poll tax. Those are the provisions of the legislation, which is now to be hustled through the House for the administrative convenience of the Government and to avoid the political embarrassment which mounts daily.

Why come back to the House to seek to overturn the amendments? Why not accept the semi-humane amendments of the House of Lords—heaven knows, little enough has been improved in the House of Lords—which would mean that at least the rebates could be topped up so that people who live in areas where there is a particularly high poll tax and who, being severely physically disabled, are particularly penalised, will be helped? The Minister should have the guts and the grace to accept those amendments. If not, he will do his party's bidding and push the legislation through and the ultimate victims will be those in our society who are least able to defend themselves. Whatever high office the Minister and the Secretary of Slate move on to, they should know that they have done that on the backs of the disabled, the poor and the weakest in society. They will be the greatest losers under the poll tax.

I shall now move on to the ridiculous. The peers in the House of Lords—that great bastion of vested interest—are brought in in their charabancs or on the night train from Inverness to vote for any piece of rubbish presented to them. While the disabled, the poorest in society and those who live in the rural communities of Scotland are hard hit by the poll tax, it is unbelievable that they found time to introduce a clause to exempt from non-domestic rates the salmon proprietors of Scotland. They kick the disabled when they are down but give another £1.5 million handout to the salmon proprietors of Scotland. It is beyond belief. How many of the peers and the great highland grandees brought south to vote for the poll tax a few weeks ago will be direct beneficiaries of the latest handout? We know from our calculations that every Scottish peer who voted against introducing an ability-to-pay principle will gain a minimum of £2,000 from the poll tax. That is not enough for them because we are dealing with the greediest vested interest lobby in society—the sporting proprietors of Scotland. Therefore, they have added a clause to the poll tax legislation for England and Wales which introduces exemption from rates for salmon proprietors in Scotland. It would be beyond belief if we were dealing with any other Government or type of Government. The Minister should say that he will take back the £1.5 million from the salmon proprietors in Scotland and give it to the disabled in Scotland.

In this building today we went through the mumbo-jumbo of freedom and democracy. Yet, in the same building, we are pushing through 500 amendments, most of them undiscussed, in order to impose the poll tax legislation on the country. There will not be a moment to discuss the implications of the uniform business rate upon Scotland. There will not be a moment to reconsider the 100 clauses in the English legislation that apply to Scotland. What is being pushed through, on the back of English and Welsh legislation and without the presence of a Minister from the Scottish Office on the Treasury Bench, is a subsidiary poll tax Bill for Scotland—[Interruption.] It has been pointed out to me by my colleagues that there is not a solitary Tory Member representing Scotland sitting on the Government Benches. They have only 10, but one of them could have come back from lunch in time to be sitting in the Chamber while 100 amendments directly relating to Scotland are bludgeoned through the House.

The poll tax legislation is not the flagship of the Tories; it is the coffinship. The message that leaves the Chamber today is that the Government have added another crime to those of unfairness, injustice, unworkability and attacks on local authorities. The crime of the day is bludgeoning through a measure that is profoundly anti-democratic with the most anti-democratic device at their disposal.

4.59 pm
Mr. David Wilshire (Spelthorne)

I listened in amazement to the words of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) and his honourable parrot, the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson). It is as if they have been delving into their dictionaries looking for words of abuse for half the week and reading comics for the other half. The performance that we have heard is typical of the performance of the Labour party throughout progress on the Bill in this place. It is hot air and exaggeration of the worst sort, and it is abuse. We have not heard a constructive word from Opposition Members and, even more important, they have not put forward a policy of their own.

The reality is not what we have heard from the Labour party. The reality of the guillotine motion is the exact opposite. It is not an affront to democracy. The guillotine motion is sensible and, from the way in which the Opposition have behaved, it is probably necessary. The question of democracy has been raised by Opposition Members. One can always tell when people are struggling for an argument because they trot out comparisons with Hitler. I can only guess that the reason why the Opposition chose to do that is that they are embarrassed.

Opposition Members are trying to divert attention from the fact that the House of Lords basically endorsed the principles of the Bill. They also want to disguise the fact that this House has endorsed it three times. We must get the Bill on to the statute book as quickly as possible because it gives expression to the democratically expressed wish of the British people and the sooner it is there, the better.

5.2 pm

Mr. Howard

My hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough and Horncastle (Mr. Leigh) was right, as he usually is, when he described the speeches by Opposition Members as entirely routine expressions of denunciation of the kind that we always hear when such a motion is before us. So lacking in conviction was the argument put forward by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) that his hon. Friends, notably the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson), could not keep to the issues that arise in this debate and could not keep to the question of the time that would be allowed, but strayed, not surprisingly, into a series of hysterically wild accusations about the merits of our proposals, which will be answered comprehensively this evening.

Mr. Spencer Batiste (Elmet)

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that Opposition Members made exactly the same comments about the Education Reform Bill, but did not bother to turn up for the debate?

Mr. Howard

That does not surprise me in the slightest.

The quality of the arguments that we have heard is perhaps epitomised by the contribution of the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) who is not even in his place at the moment. He complained about the lack of opportunity to discuss the amendments relating to rebates. I see that he has now returned to his place, just in time to hear what I have to say about his contribution. It is true that some amendments relating to rebates have been tabled in another place and that the hon. Gentleman's party tabled one amendment to those amendments. It was not selected, so, quite apart from the guillotine motion, the hon. Gentleman's point about the lack of time available to him to discuss the rebates was as bogus as the points that we usually hear from his party.

The hon. Member for Perry Barr and his colleagues have not dealt with the central argument that I advanced when I opened the debate an hour ago. They have not dealt with the fact that they have tabled just three amendments of which only two have been selected. The time element to which the hon. Gentleman referred is entirely bogus. If he had been following the progress of the legislation in another place, he would have known about some of the amendments for weeks and months. He has had ample opportunity to table all the amendments that he wanted, if he had thought that substantive points needed to be discussed.

Mr. Rooker

Three Tory Members and one Labour Member have spoken in the debate. Let us have a bit of fairness. The Minister knows that we did not know that we would have only one day for the Lords amendments. We were led to believe that there would be a reasonable discussion and that we would be allowed a reasonable chance, as on Report, when we had five days, having originally been offered only four. We were led to believe that we would have more time. One day is unacceptable and we had no notice of it.

It being one hour after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question pursuant to the Order [22 February.]

The House divided: Ayes 302, Noes 210.

Division No. 426] [5.04 pm
Alexander, Richard Churchill, Mr
Amos, Alan Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Arbuthnot, James Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Colvin, Michael
Ashby, David Conway, Derek
Atkinson, David Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Cope, Rt Hon John
Baldry, Tony Couchman, James
Batiste, Spencer Cran, James
Bellingham, Henry Currie, Mrs Edwina
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Curry, David
Bevan, David Gilroy Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Davis, David (Boothferry)
Blackburn, Dr John G. Day, Stephen
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Devlin, Tim
Body, Sir Richard Dicks, Terry
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Dorrell, Stephen
Boswell, Tim Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bottomley, Peter Dover, Den
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Dunn, Bob
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n) Durant, Tony
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Dykes, Hugh
Bowis, John Emery, Sir Peter
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Evennett, David
Brazier, Julian Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Bright, Graham Fallon, Michael
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Farr, Sir John
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Favell, Tony
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Fenner, Dame Peggy
Browne, John (Winchester) Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South) Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Buck, Sir Antony Fishburn, John Dudley
Burt, Alistair Fookes, Miss Janet
Butcher, John Forman, Nigel
Butler, Chris Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Butterfill, John Forth, Eric
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Fox, Sir Marcus
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Franks, Cecil
Carrington, Matthew Freeman, Roger
Cash, William French, Douglas
Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda Fry, Peter
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Gale, Roger
Chapman, Sydney Gardiner, George
Chope, Christopher Gill, Christopher
Glyn, Dr Alan Maclean, David
Goodlad, Alastair McLoughlin, Patrick
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Gorman, Mrs Teresa McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Gorst, John Madel, David
Gow, Ian Major, Rt Hon John
Gower, Sir Raymond Malins, Humfrey
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW) Mans, Keith
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Maples, John
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Marland, Paul
Gregory, Conal Marlow, Tony
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Grist, Ian Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Ground, Patrick Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Maude, Hon Francis
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Hanley, Jeremy Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Hannam,John Mellor, David
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Miller, Sir Hal
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Mills, Iain
Harris, David Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Haselhurst, Alan Moate, Roger
Hawkins, Christopher Monro, Sir Hector
Hayes, Jerry Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hayward, Robert Moore, Rt Hon John
Heathcoat-Amory, David Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Heddle, John Morrison, Sir Charles
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Moss, Malcolm
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE) Moynihan, Hon Colin
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE) Mudd, David
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Neale, Gerrard
Hill, James Neubert, Michael
Hind, Kenneth Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Nicholls, Patrick
Holt, Richard Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hordern, Sir Peter Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Howard, Michael Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Oppenheim, Phillip
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Page, Richard
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Paice, James
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Patnick, Irvine
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Patten, Chris (Bath)
Hunter, Andrew Patten, John (Oxford W)
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Pawsey, James
Irvine, Michael Porter, David (Waveney)
Irving, Charles Portillo, Michael
Jack, Michael Powell, William (Corby)
Jackson, Robert Price, Sir David
Janman, Tim Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Jessel, Toby Redwood, John
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Rhodes James, Robert
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Riddick, Graham
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Key, Robert Roe, Mrs Marion
Kilfedder, James Rossi, Sir Hugh
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Rost, Peter
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater) Rowe, Andrew
Kirkhope, Timothy Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Knapman, Roger Ryder, Richard
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Sackville, Hon Tom
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Sainsbury, Hon Tim
Knowles, Michael Sayeed, Jonathan
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Shaw, David (Dover)
Lang, Ian Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Latham, Michael Shelton, William (Streatham)
Lawrence, Ivan Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Shersby, Michael
Lightbown, David Sims, Roger
Lilley, Peter Skeet, Sir Trevor
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant) Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lord, Michael Soames, Hon Nicholas
Luce, Rt Hon Richard Speed, Keith
Lyell, Sir Nicholas Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
McCrindle, Robert Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Macfarlane, Sir Neil Stanbrook, Ivor
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Stanley, Rt Hon John
MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire) Stern, Michael
Stevens, Lewis Waddington, Rt Hon David
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood) Waldegrave, Hon William
Stewart, Ian (Hertfordshire N) Walden, George
Stokes, Sir John Waller, Gary
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Walters, Sir Dennis
Sumberg, David Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Summerson, Hugo Warren, Kenneth
Tapsell, Sir Peter Watts, John
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Wells, Bowen
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Wheeler, John
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Whitney, Ray
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman Widdecombe, Ann
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley) Wiggin, Jerry
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N) Wilkinson, John
Thorne, Neil Wilshire, David
Thornton, Malcolm Winterton, Mrs Ann
Thurnham, Peter Winterton, Nicholas
Townend, John (Bridlington) Wolfson, Mark
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath) Wood, Timothy
Tracey, Richard Woodcock, Mike
Tredinnick, David Yeo, Tim
Trippier, David
Trotter, Neville Tellers for the Ayes:
Twinn, Dr Ian Mr. Robert Boscawen and
Vaughan, Sir Gerard Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones.
Allen, Graham Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)
Alton, David Dixon, Don
Anderson, Donald Dobson, Frank
Armstrong, Hilary Douglas, Dick
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) Eastham, Ken
Barron, Kevin Evans, John (St Helens N)
Battle, John Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
Beckett, Margaret Fatchett, Derek
Beggs, Roy Faulds, Andrew
Beith, A. J. Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Bell, Stuart Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Fisher, Mark
Bermingham, Gerald Flannery, Martin
Bidwell, Sydney Flynn, Paul
Blair, Tony Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Boateng, Paul Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)
Boyes, Roland Foster, Derek
Bradley, Keith Foulkes, George
Bray, Dr Jeremy Fraser, John
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Fyfe, Maria
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith) Galbraith, Sam
Buchan, Norman Galloway, George
Buckley, George J. Garrett, John (Norwich South)
Caborn, Richard Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)
Callaghan, Jim George, Bruce
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Godman, Dr Norman A.
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Goodhart, Sir Philip
Canavan, Dennis Gould, Bryan
Cartwright, John Graham, Thomas
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Clay, Bob Grocott, Bruce
Clelland, David Hardy, Peter
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Harman, Ms Harriet
Cohen, Harry Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Coleman, Donald Haynes, Frank
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Heffer, Eric S.
Corbett, Robin Henderson, Doug
Corbyn, Jeremy Hinchliffe, David
Cousins, Jim Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Cox, Tom Home Robertson, John
Cryer, Bob Hood, Jimmy
Cummings, John Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
Cunningham, Dr John Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Dalyell, Tam Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Darling, Alistair Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Illsley, Eric Patchett, Terry
Ingram, Adam Pike, Peter L.
Janner, Greville Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
John, Brynmor Prescott, John
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Primarolo, Dawn
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W) Quin, Ms Joyce
Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil Radice, Giles
Kirkwood, Archy Redmond, Martin
Lambie, David Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn
Lamond, James Reid, Dr John
Leighton, Ron Richardson, Jo
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Lewis, Terry Robertson, George
Litherland, Robert Robinson, Geoffrey
Livingstone, Ken Rogers, Allan
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Rooker, Jeff
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Loyden, Eddie Rowlands, Ted
McAllion, John Ruddock, Joan
McAvoy, Thomas Sedgemore, Brian
McCartney, Ian Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
McKelvey, William Short, Clare
McLeish, Henry Skinner, Dennis
McNamara, Kevin Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
McTaggart, Bob Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
McWilliam, John Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
Madden, Max Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Mahon, Mrs Alice Soley, Clive
Mallon, Seamus Spearing, Nigel
Marek, Dr John Steinberg, Gerry
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Strang, Gavin
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Straw, Jack
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Martlew, Eric Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Maxton, John Turner, Dennis
Meacher, Michael Vaz, Keith
Meale, Alan Wall, Pat
Michael, Alun Walley, Joan
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute) Wareing, Robert N.
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Wigley, Dafydd
Morgan, Rhodri Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Morley, Elliott Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Wilson, Brian
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Winnick, David
Mullin, Chris Wise, Mrs Audrey
Murphy, Paul Worthington, Tony
Nellist, Dave Wray, Jimmy
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Young, David (Bolton SE)
O'Brien, William
O'Neill, Martin Tellers for the Noes:
Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Mr. Allen Adams and
Parry, Robert Mrs. Llin Golding.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the Order of the House [22nd February], as varied by the Order of the House [13th April], be supplemented as follows: