HC Deb 30 January 1989 vol 146 cc109-39
Mr. Speaker

I have selected amendments (a), (b), (e) and (1). I suggest that we have a general debate, and then I will call the hon. Members concerned to move their amendments at the end of it.

10.15 pm
The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Wakeham)

I beg to move: That the Second Report of Session 1987–88 from the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services) on Access to the Precincts of the House (House of Commons Paper No. 580) be approved. Towards the end of 1987, the House passed a resolution which invited the Services Committee to consider control over access to the precincts of the House, and in particular to consider whether the numbers of Members' personal staff with such access should be reduced, bearing in mind the pressure on the capacity of the facilities of the House.

The catalyst for this resolution was the suspension, at the end of the previous summer recess, of Mr. Ronan Bennett, a research assistant employed by the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn). But the inquiry conducted by the Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee, which has led to the report that we are debating tonight, was not directly concerned with that issue. As the House will be aware, the Sub-Committee has considered with great care and in great detail a wide range of proposals for controlling access to the House and has made a number of nicely judged recommendations.

I should like to thank the right hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) and his Sub-Committee for their work. I fully support their report, which was unanimously agreed by the Services Committee, and I commend it to the House. If the right hon. Gentleman is lucky enough to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, I know that he will wish to outline the detailed recommendations of the report and the reasons behind them. I shall be brief, therefore, particularly as I know that a number of right hon. and hon. Members wish to speak in this short debate.

Broadly speaking, the report's recommendations can be divided into two categories: those that are merely advisory and recommend that the security authorities should consider possible courses of action; and those which would, if the report is approved tonight, mean tangible changes in practice in the near future.

The advisory recommendations in the report ask the security authorities to consider such points as the possible introduction of machine-readable passes, random physical screening of pass holders, requiring pass holders to wear passes, and the designation of the area around the Chamber as restricted to Members and House staff. Traditionally, Mr. Speaker, the security of the House is your responsibility, but the Committee felt that it might be profitable to study the suggestions that I have outlined. Whether or not they should be implemented is entirely a matter for you.

The other, more tangible recommendations in the report fall into four main categories. The first is those limiting the numbers of research assistants and the use of Table Office and Library facilities by research assistants and temporary secretaries. The second is those designed to limit the activities of commercial lobbyists. The third is those concerned with freezing the number of passes in circulation and making more effective the control of them, making sure that passes are returned promptly by those who no longer need them, and ensuring a regular change of design.

Finally, there are recommendations on arrangements for Members' staff, most notably that the number of Members' staff who may hold photo passes should be limited to three, with the Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee able to recommend to the Services Committee any increase for individual Members where exceptional circumstances justify it. I should like briefly to comment on this recommendation, which I know some Members would find irksome.

Let me say at once that the Committee is not proposing a limit on the number of staff employed by a Member, merely on the number that can possess photo passes. If a Member has more than three staff in his or her employment, those without passes could still, of course, visit the House on a temporary day pass or accompanied by a photo pass holder. I would envisage that the right hon. Member for Salford, East, in his capacity as Chairman of the Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee, would look sympathetically on the claims of those members with particular responsibilities, including Front-Bench spokesmen, some senior Members, and minority party leaders, for photo passes in excess of three.

If the House approves the report tonight, I envisage, in accordance with paragraph 60, that the recommendations concerning the number of photo pass holders would come into effect at the beginning of the coming financial year. This would leave a period of two months in which hon. Members should make any arrangements necessary, although, as I have explained, employees in excess of three would still be able to visit the House on the terms for those without photo passes.

The beginning of April would also seem to be a good time to introduce the other concrete recommendations, if approved, on research assistants and lobbyists. I am prepared, however, for a measure of flexibility if there are good arguments in favour of it. The ending of the agreements with intern-sponsoring organisations, for instance, might take place in the summer, once this academic year's crop of interns, who may already have made arrangements to come, have gone. I shall listen to hon. Members' views.

I do believe, however, that there should be no unavoidable delay in implementing the measures proposed by the Committee. There is general agreement in the House that there are too many photo passes in circulation and they are insufficiently controlled. There is, moreover, too much pressure on facilities primarily designed for Members' own use. The measures before us tonight offer a realistic package which achieves what I think is a happy medium between an over-relaxed and an over-rigorous approach. For different reasons, either approach would be to the detriment of hon. Members, and I urge the House to support the Committee's recommendations, which strike the right balance.

I shall say just a few words on the amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough (Sir M. Shaw). I have long believed that, if we are to facilitate access to this House by Members of the European Parliament, it would be best to proceed with general agreement in all parts of the House. I am pleased to see that the amendment has indeed attracted such support. I believe that there really can be very little objection to an amendment which is so modest in scope. If I understand it correctly, it would, if approved, merely allow MEPs access to that part of the House to which members of the public also have access, except that their photo pass would entitle them to come in at St. Stephen's entrance without having to explain themselves to the police or undergoing a bag search and scan for explosives.

We are talking about giving these very limited rights of access to a very limited number of people—81. They already enjoy these rights, and more, in another place, and I do not believe that any useful purpose is served by opposing this modest concession to our Strasbourg colleagues. They will not, under the terms of this amendment, be entitled to use any of the hard-pressed facilities of the House, and there can be no objection to it. I shall support the amendment, together with the original motion.

I shall not be supporting the other amendments you have selected, Mr. Speaker. The Sub-Committee considered most carefully the restrictions on access to the Table Office by research assistants and on the number of Members' staff who may hold photo passes, and their recommendations were endorsed unanimously by the Services Committee. To reject them now would, especially in the case of the limit of three staff photo passes per Member, substantially alter the nature of the report and even frustrate a large part of its purpose.

As for the amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) dealing with those who are refused a pass, I have nothing to add to what I said on the subject in the debate on 10 November 1987. Security is a matter for you, Mr. Speaker, and you base your decisions on confidential advice from the appropriate authorities. I do not believe that it is possible to reveal details of confidential security advice without compromising that same security. I invite the House to reject this amendment.

10.23 pm
Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, East)

I thank the Lord President for his comments and support for the role of the Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee in the preparation of the report, apart from his remarks about European Members to whom I shall refer later. I accept full responsibility for the contents of the report and stress that the Sub-Committee approved its proposals unanimously.

As the House is aware, the report has been compiled following instructions from the House that access to this place and the lack of facilities, as well as security, should be fully investigated. I stress that, with over 10,000 passes to the Palace of Westminster, we are reaching breaking point with our facilities and that makes security even more difficult.

For a number of years there has been a steady increase in the number of individuals who have acquired a more or less unlimited right of access to the Palace of Westminster and its outbuildings, and to the various facilities available in the House, while accommodation, library and refreshment service facilities have expanded at a much slower rate.

Only two months ago the House was debating a report produced a few days earlier by the New Building Sub-Committee chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell). The report emphasised the appalling lack of accommodation available to Members and their staff, even after more than 20 years of development both inside the Palace of Westminster and in the outbuildings. According to the report: in round numbers, 500 backbenchers presently have access to only 150 single rooms. Even in 1990, when the present new buildings are in use, only 85 further rooms will be available for Members.

Accommodation and facilities for Members' staff are at least as bad. Our report points out that the House is at present providing only about 400 desks for more than 1,300 secretaries and research assistants of Members. Although the number of desks will have increased by about half in 1990, the number of staff continues to increase.

There are constant complaints from hon. Members on both sides of the House and their staff about the overcrowding of refreshment facilities at all times of the day and night, about the preoccupation of Library staff in dealing with demands for basic information from relatively and sometimes totally inexperienced research assistants, about queues in the Post Office and about the difficulty of getting advice from the Table Office. At the same time Members, often the same Members, insist that services should be improved—that we provide other facilities such as swimming pools, creches, shops and hairdressers, in the already overcrowded buildings.

Let me make it clear at once that I am one of those who regard the demand for better facilities as wholly legitimate.I regret and deplore the failure of the House and of successive Governments of both parties to make proper provision for accommodation and services for a Parliament facing the entirely proper demands of the latter part of the 20th century. The overriding priority must be the provision of infinitely better accommodation and other facilities for Members. The pace of development on the Bridge street site is still dreadfully slow, and the Government must realise that Members on both sides of the House are no longer prepared to tolerate such conditions.

The sooner that financial control of our new buildings programme is taken out of the hands of a Government agency and placed firmly in those of the House, the better.[Interruption.] If my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Holland) looks at the record he will see that I have been advocating such proposals for the last 20 years, but we must face the facts as they are now. Paragraph 42 of our report states categorically: Members' accommodation remains our absolute first priority, and pressure from Members' staff must be viewed in that light. The same must be said equally of all facilities in the House. Members must have first priority in the Library, the Table Office and the Refreshment Department. If facilities are limited—and they are—we have to make our priorities clear. For this reason we have concluded, some of us very reluctantly, that a limit should be placed on the number of individual staff to whom Members may grant complete freedom of access to the House and its facilities.

Paragraph 54 of our report recommends that no hon. Member should normally be allowed to apply for photo passes for more than three members of his personal staff.

That does not prevent him from employing more staff; he can employ as many as he likes. We say that, given the pressures on facilities of all sorts, a limit must be imposed on those who can freely enter the building, use the Library and monopolise the photocopiers and telephones. So if additional members of staff enter the building they will need day passes or they will need to be accompanied. They cannot claim a right of free access to all the facilities.

The limit of three is not draconian. The latest available figures show that only 66 of the 650 Members hold passes for more than the proposed limit. Between them, they account for 360 of the passes issued to Members' staff—that is, for 25 per cent. of all staff employed in the Palace or outbuildings by hon. Members. A minority of hon. Members on both sides of the House now hold more than three and up to 12 passes each. That cannot continue—

Mr. George Robertson (Hamilton)

The Leader of the House said that in certain cases exceptions to the limit of three could be made—for instance, for Front Bench spokesmen and senior Members. Of the 66 Members who hold more than the proposed limit, how many will qualify for the exemptions proposed by my right hon. Friend and the Leader of the House and by how much, therefore, will the limit they are laying down be exceeded?

Mr. Orme

Only a small minority will qualify as exceptions. I will willingly show my hon. Friend the list of passes held now, from which he will see that leaders of parties, and so on, hold more. I shall come on to how we intend to deal with that.

Initially, these proposals will hit some hon. Members hard. Even with the limit that has already been proposed, an increase of almost 50 per cent. in the number of Members' staff is possible, and the strain of that would be intolerable. We must tell colleagues who need more staff with passes that we do not have the facilities to cope with them in this building or in the outbuildings. If every hon. Member exercised the right that some hon. Members have had, we should be walking on the tops of people's heads here.

The limit that we propose is a good deal higher than that preferred by many hon. Members. The right hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) has frequently argued that Members should be restricted to only one pass holder. Although I do not think he would press that view, it illustrates the fact that some senior Members are far from convinced that it is necessary or desirable for Members to have more than the number of passes that we recommend.

Our proposal seems, on all the evidence, a sensible balance. As my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) pointed out, however, there may be exceptions. Our recommendations provide for the Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee to consider individual requests for exemptions from the rule. We shall certainly consider them, but I warn that good arguments will have to be used. Every case will be judged on its merits, regardless of which hon. Member puts it.

I should add that the proposed—

Mr. Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)

Is my right hon. Friend not worried that the system that he proposes would produce, for the first time in the House, a prefect-first system? A minority would be able to present a special case. Those Members would be treated in one way and the rest of us would be treated in another. This is a place where, basically, hon. Members have had the same resources and the same freedoms. Is my right hon. Friend not leading us down a dangerous path?

Mr. Orme

We have a prefect-first system now, because a minority of hon. Members are taking advantage of the majority. If my hon. Friend studies the figures, he will understand that I am correct.

The proposed limit on Members' staff is only a part of a package that is designed at least to slow the rate of growth in the number of pass holders of all categories in the Palace. We propose in paragraphs 47 and 48 that the limits on the number of temporary overseas research assistants—inevitably, we are now calling them interns—which were imposed in 1985 should be rigorously enforced and that the loopholes should be closed.

These assistants are mainly American students who visit us each year. They impose a disproportionately heavy demand on services, especially those that are provided by the Library and the Refreshment Department. For that reason we endorse the recommendations of the Librarian that there should be a further and marginal tightening of controls on the use of Library facilities by temporary staff. I refer the House to paragraph 36 of the report. The limit on the overall number of Members' pass-holding staff may make colleagues think twice before accepting an intern replacement.

We propose what could be the most far-reaching restriction on the growth of pass holders in general. Many organisations, including Government Departments and the media, have been steadily increasing the number of their officials who carry passes to permit them access to this building. We note that about 2,200 civil servants held temporary passes to the building last year, even though many of them were individuals who needed only occasional access to Parliament. Their passes are called temporary, but in practice each one may be held for many years. That is completely unreasonable. The system certainly does not work in the opposite direction.

The media have slipped into the same practice. Most notorious is the BBC, which already holds more than 200 passes. What will happen when television comes into the Chamber, whether it is organised by the BBC or any other organisation? We must take that into account.

The trends to which I have referred must stop. In paragraph 59 we propose that the total number of passes held by any outside organisation should be frozen at the present level. If the motion is agreed, it will be possible for outside organisations to increase their allocation of passes only if the Sub-Committee approves. The allocations for new organisations, such as the new television organisations, will require the specific approval of the Sub-Committee. In that way, and for the first time, the right of unimpeded access will be policed and controlled by Members and not merely by officials.

If we are imposing controls on our own staff, the House will agree, I think, that we should have the power to impose similar control on other bodies. That should and would include Departments of the Executive and of the Government.

Mr. William Ross (Londonderry, East)

The right hon. Gentleman said that the BBC will continue to hold 200 passes. Cannot some effort be made to diminish the number?

Mr. Orme

As a start, we shall freeze the number, but then we shall examine the position in more detail. We do not say that that number must remain for ever. We shall want some justification from the organisations for having so many passes. Perhaps my hon. Friend the Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell), who is an authority on the media, will advise the Sub-Committee on the best way to organise the matter.

On the growth of covert lobbying in the House, I am sure that I carry with me hon. Members on both sides of the House. The matter has been examined in detail by the Select Committee on Members' Interests, and I hope that the hon. Member for Wealden (Sir G. Johnson Smith) will soon produce constructive proposals from his Committee. But there is too much evidence of abuse at present for us not to take whatever action is open to us now. My Committee has heard of frankly shocking examples of commercial lobbyists trying to infiltrate themselves into the building under many guises.

Hon. Members need look no further than appendix 7 on page 44 of the report to see the example of a lobbyist who, with refreshing naivety, tried to infiltrate himself into the House in the guise of a research assistant to the hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop). I should have thought that that was the last hon. Member on whom to try that. The lobbyist's letter hints that the House of Commons is easy game for poachers from the world of public relations.

That practice must be stopped, and our recommendation in paragraph 52 will enable the Services Committee to recommend to Mr. Speaker the immediate withdrawal of a pass where the holder is clearly primarily engaged as a lobbyist. I hope that the House will endorse the proposal, and I should welcome information that will assist my Sub-Committee in carrying it out.

The latter part of the report deals with controls over the number of pass holders for the building. It is one thing to limit the number of pass holders, but quite another effectively to decide how the pass-holding system is maintained. There are two objectives. First, no individual should be issued with a pass giving unlimited access to the building unless there is reasonable certainty that he is suitable to hold such a potentially valuable document. Secondly, our procedures for checking passes must be adequate to ensure that only legitimate pass holders can move freely in the non-public areas of the Palace.

The checking of pass holders has already given rise to great controversy, and is the reason why the Services Committee inquired further into the matter and came up with the present proposals. It is clear that at least some checking is required before the right of access is granted to those who do not have that right by reason of being elected here. All permanent staff of the two Houses are fully checked before taking up their jobs, as are civil servants and the agents of public corporations working in the building. The same rules should apply to all.

I was surprised to discover that overseas staff employed by Members are often subject to no checking. Paragraph 11 of the report recommends that appropriate clearance always be obtained before a photo identity pass is issued to foreign nationals.

Sir Jim Spicer (Dorking, West)

Excluding the question of the overseas students being employed by Members of Parliament, would it not be proper for the parties to look carefully at the practice of employing overseas students? I understand that quite a number of them wandering round the building have been employed by parties.

Mr. Orme

When we examined that issue we found that it was controversial. We said that there must be some right of access, but that it must be properly controlled. In our opinion it had not been controlled. The intention now is to control it. The best way to deal with the issue—my hon.Friend the member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) has tabled an amendment on the matter—is through the security authorities, so we did not examine the matter. Individual security is a matter for Mr. Speaker and, as the Leader of the House pointed out, we did not discuss that in detail.

The Sub-Committee looked closely at various possibilities that might help and has recommended that they should be seriously examined by the appropriate authorities and introduced if they think fit. Those possibilities concern only checking people coming in and not vetting. The proposals include the use of machine-readable passes, the introduction of mechanised barriers at the main entrances to the Palace and the underground car park, the occasional screening of pass holders, as well as the public entering the building, and the possible wearing of passes inside the building. I hope that those proposals will be considered seriously. Some of them are highly controversial, but there is no reason why we should not consider them. If we do not like them, we can reject them, but we should consider them.

The report is, in many ways, a compromise. It is designed to put a modest brake on the number of people with an unqualified right of entry to the Palace and its precincts and it suggests some ways in which the enforcement and policing of the pass system could be improved. It leaves some discretion to the Services Committee which may help to iron out the problems that will, inevitably, arise from its implementation. The report does not pretend to solve all the problems for all time. It is inevitable that the Committee and the House will have to come back to the issues before long, but I strongly urge all hon. Members to give the proposals a chance. It is the nearest that we have come to a comprehensive review.

Mr. Michael J. Martin (Glasgow, Springburn)

Is it not a pity that some provision was not made in the report for former Members of Parliament? Is it not shameful that although many people can come and go in the House, people who have served honourably for many years do not have access even to the Strangers' Cafeteria? Private companies such as Marks and Spencer and ICI at least give their retired employees better recognition.

Mr. Orme

We have had representations on that, but we have not had time to discuss them. We have also not had time to discuss the question of Members of the European Parliament. As a result, until the matter comes before us we are not in a position to make recommendations, although I note what my hon. Friend has said. Again, the problem is one of pressure on the building and its facilities, rather than of any hon. Members being opposed to such suggestions.

The report does not pretend to solve all problems for all time, but it is the nearest we have come to a comprehensive review of access to the building and the attempts to deal with the problems of overcrowding that we now face. With any luck, some of the proposals may be relaxed in the future when the accommodation available to the House is significantly improved. But for the time being, some restrictions must be imposed.

I want to comment briefly on the amendments. Amendment (a) seeks to remove our recommendation that the research assistants of hon. Members should not have access to the Table Office during the period of peak activity on weekday afternoons. I have no strong feeling on that, but I must point out to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North that the Table Office made the proposal and it was supported by the Sub-Committee not only because there have been complaints from other hon. Members of overcrowding in that busy office, but because we desired to stop the overcrowding during the times when hon. Members themselves most needed the advice of the Table Office.

The amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Scarborough (Sir M. Shaw) is far more significant. Access by Members of the European Parliament was hotly debated in the Services Committee during the previous two Parliaments, but no applications have been made to my Sub-Committee since the general election of 1987.Frankly, I was surprised and amazed to hear the Leader of the House lend his support to what is proposed, because the case for and against providing facilities for MEPs should be properly considered in the Sub-Committee before being submitted to the House.

The amendment is an attempt to carry a decision on a matter of some importance on the coat tails of a quite different debate. I cannot support it. I advise the House that if we are concerned about facilities and overcrowding and if we grant 81 passes, that will be only the beginning. There will be pressure for the use of other facilities and for the staff of MEPs to enter. What special right do European Members of Parliament have for unfettered access to this building? It is completely wrong.

Mr. John Marshall (Hendon, South)

Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that the amendment tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough (Sir M. Shaw) does not ask for any facilities to be given to European Members of Parliament? Does he accept that my hon. Friend's amendment proposes much less than is offered by other national Parliaments in the European Community to their MEPs?

Mr. Orme

Other European Parliaments have facilities that are superior to ours. Has the hon. Gentleman not heard the saying about the thin end of the wedge? That is what we are talking about. This is not a personal matter about individual Members of the European Parliament; it is about our facilities in the House of Commons.

I turn finally to the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) which seeks to increase the limit on the number of an hon. Member's pass-holding staff from three as we propose to five. That runs a coach and horses through our main recommendation. We are concerned, for the time being at least, to limit staff to meet the accommodation and other facilities that are available. The amendment would allow a possible further 1,300 pass-holding staff and, if agreed, would undermine the main intentions of our report. I advise—

Mr. Stuart Holland (Vauxhall)

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of the staff that some of us employ are part-time? His figure of 1,000-plus is simply not relevant in the case of part-time staff because the full-time equivalent may amount only to three persons.

Mr. Orme

If they have permits to enter, that is all right. It is a matter for my hon. Friend. We are talking about permits that allow people, whether full-time or part-time, access to this House at any time of the day or night.

The report stands well without the proposed amendments. I ask the House to support our modest but important proposals, in the interests of those who work here—both Members and staff.

10.54 pm
Sir Michael Shaw (Scarborough)

I support the report and agree with much of what the right hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) said. However, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon, South (Mr. Marshall) said, many of his remarks about the amendment are mistaken. Should the amendment be agreed, people will do no more than what they can do now, but they will be able to do it without going through the screening and questioning process that they now must undergo.

We joined the Common Market and confirmed that we meant to take a positive role. We confirmed our act ion by a referendum. Today, we are more than ever committed to playing our full part in the development of the Community. The Council of Ministers meets regularly. Our own Government are robust in not only seeking what is best for the Community but in safeguarding our national interests. It is equally important that hon. Members lose no opportunity to keep in touch with United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament with the same purposes in mind. It is to that end that I have tabled amendment (b).

When I was in the European Parliament, before direct elections, I was strongly urged to become a directly elected Member of the Parliament in 1979. In the end, I decided against it, first, because it would have meant my giving up my Scarborough constituency of which I am fond. Secondly, it became clear that the House was not prepared to offer a helping hand to encourage newly elected Members of the European Parliament to gain access to hon. Members and to their Committees. With an obvious denial of any gesture of welcome, I cannot blame any Member of the European Parliament who concludes that he would rather not come here at all. To say the least, I found our attitude discouraging and frustrating.

The present position is not only discourteous to United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament but harmful to our own interests, whether we are keen Europeans or have hesitations about the way in which the EEC is developing. It must be in our interests that our point of view is put forward in discussions with our colleagues in the European Parliament. Equally, we should seek to understand their point of view.

Many Back-Bench Committees have already welcomed visits by United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament, but their interest in coming to us is greatly lessened by the unwelcome restrictions that are placed upon their access to this place.

To say the least, my amendment is modest. However, it would give United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament an important right—the right of access to the Central Lobby, the Lower and Upper Waiting Halls, and the Committee Corridors. Such a right to come to meet us would show them that they are welcome, that they have direct political access to us, and that they are not expected to undergo the searches and questioning that now take place.

My amendment would remedy a disadvantage from which, at present, only our own Members of the European Parliament suffer in their national Parliament. I hope that the amendment will receive full support from hon. Members. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House for his kind words about it. If it is agreed, my amendment will encourage closer relationships between ourselves and our European colleagues. It is in the interests not only of the Community as a whole but of this country within it.

10.59 pm
Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North)

I shall be brief because many wish to speak.

I am disappointed in the report, its tenor and what it seeks to do. A report on access to Parliament should be better debated on a more important basis than the number of research assistants Members of Parliament can have.

The public are forced to wait outside, often in the rain, for many hours and then in Central Lobby often for a long time before Members can be found. If they succeed in getting a ticket for the Gallery, they cannot leave the Gallery other than for a short time, they cannot get refreshments on their own and there are no facilities for changing children or leaving them—[Laughter.] I do not know why Tory Members find that funny. Many of my constituents are appalled at how they are treated and the image that the House presents. They are better received and treated at most town halls than here.

Mr. Holland

Since these considerations do not occur to Tory Members, may I inform the House that today my six-year-old child was ill and could not go to school, so in the middle of the afternoon I was in a dilemma about whether I could attend a committee meeting in the House because I could not leave the child alone in the family room. If there were a creche, I could without question have known that I could attend.

Mr. Corbyn

I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention because it illustrates my point. He is talking about Members' children, whereas I am talking about how the public are treated. I wish that Tory Members would not find this so funny. Some Members are more concerned about keeping an excessive number of passes, possibly for commercial lobbying purposes, than about whether people in the House can do their work properly and the public can enter the place.

Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South)

It should be put on record that we are served by as courteous a group of people as exists anywhere. When the public come to this House, they are treated by the police, security staff and others with great courtesy and complete consideration, often under extreme provocation.

Mr. Corbyn

The hon. Gentleman cannot have been listening to what I said. I was talking about the facilities, conditions and lengthy waiting periods for members of the public. I was not criticising the actions of the police or anybody in their treatment of the public. I am talking about the image that the building presents to the public.

Delegations from the Islington Disablement Association and other groups have come here to see me and it is a humiliating disgrace that to get someone in a wheelchair to Central Lobby to lobby a Member, as is the inalienable right of everyone, he must be dragged all round the car park, put in lifts where wheelchairs will not go, and made to feel exceptional and different. If we in Parliament demand that the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 is put into operation in every local authority and that there should be access for the disabled to every public building, that should apply here in exactly the same way.

There are a large number of dining rooms on the ground floor. They are hired out at great cost for lunches and dinners provided that they are for the benefit of commercial lobbies and firms. There is nowhere that any member of the public can get any refreshment other than from one machine, which often does not work, in the Upper Waiting Hall, if they can find it, unless a Member is available to take them into the Strangers' Cafeteria for a cup of tea. Why can we not have Westminster Hall as a waiting area and provide proper refreshment facilities for the public there?

Anyone who cares to walk around the building and to have a look at staff working conditions would be appalled. It is a disgrace. During the recess I went into the Vote Office and was appalled to see paper stacked up to the ceiling. If I had been a shop steward for them, as I have been in the past in the public sector—[Laughter.] I fail to see what is so funny about a serious fire risk right underneath this Chamber. The working conditions are Dickensian, to put it mildly. We have low ceilings and a lack of emergency escape facilities because the building has Crown immunity and health and safety regulations do not apply here. However, we demand, quite rightly, that they are applied everywhere else. It is wrong that our staff are expected to work in these appalling conditions.

I want to raise also the question of creches and nursery facilities. In many workplaces—not necessarily only those run by progressive employers—nurseries are provided because employers understand that enployees have children and that the nursery facilities provided by most local authorities are appalling. Therefore, employers have tried to make some facilities available to their staff. As there are 10,000 staff working in this building, ranging from catering staff to staff in your office, Mr. Speaker, there must be an enormous demand for creche and nursery facilities. However, we seem to have our priorities all wrong. We are more interested in dining rooms where private lobbying can take place than in facilities for the public who come here to see Parliament in operation. We are more concerned to continue the privileges of hon. Members rather than about the needs of staff employed by hon. Members and by the House.

I hope that those matters will be considered seriously. They may have been ignored by the second report of the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services) which we are considering today. I hope that the Select Committee will consider these points properly in future. It is an absolute scandal that Crown immunity denies workers in this building the same rights that they would receive anywhere else under a different employer.

Mr. Orme

I can assure my hon. Friend that his points are not ignored in the Select Committee's report, nor are they ignored in the new building report prepared by my hon. Friend the Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell). We are aware of the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) and we want to implement them as soon as possible. However, it is a matter of facilities and of getting on with that wretched building over the road.

Mr. Corbyn

That may be so. However, I have been a Member of the House for nearly six years—[HoN. MEMBERS: "Too long."] Thanks for that. I have heard for so long all this stuff about looking into the question of access for the disabled and into the provision of creches and nurseries. Why does this Parliament have to operate in terms of the last century? The conditions are appalling and they should be improved.

I have drafted several amendments which I hoped would encourage the House to consider these problems seriously. That may be a vain hope, but one lives in expectation. I will move my amendment later, as you instructed, Mr. Speaker.

My amendment (a) reads: Line 3, after 'be', insert, 'with the exception of the recommendation in paragraph 33 relating to access to the Table Office by research assistants,'.

I have tabled it for a simple reason. As I understand the proposal, research assistants will not be allowed into the Table Office after 2 pm. I understand—if I am wrong, I stand to be corrected—that the restriction would not apply to staff of Ministers or to the staff of Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen. It would apply only to the staff of Back Benchers. We will have a system of privilege for questions to be planted on Ministers' behalf or whatever else they want done and the same for the Opposition Front Bench spokesmen, but Back Benchers would be denied the right to have a research assistant table a question on their behalf. I do not mind what rules exist, but they should be absolutely the same for everyone.

My other amendments relate partly to my experience concerning the withdrawal of a pass from my former researcher, Dr. Ronan Bennett. If the House accepts the Select Committee report without question, I hope that hon. Members will consider very carefully what they are doing. Implicit in the recommendation on security is that an unnamed person giving unknown information about an application for a research assistant's pass can cause that pass to be refused without the applicant knowing what he is suspected of or guilty of and without the hon. Member knowing what is happening. If we believe in a system of justice, that system must be open and above board. We cannot allow a secret organisation to condemn someone out of hand without any power of redress or that person even knowing the charge against him.

Dr. Bennett was told by the House and the Murdoch press that he was unfit to receive a pass to enter the building. At no stage was he or I told anything about the nature of the suspicions or allegations against him. It has happened to me with one of my staff. Would any hon. Member like to have an application for a pass withdrawn and refused with no reason given? If it had happened to any Conservative Members, they would think more carefully—or at least I hope they would—about the points that I am making.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes (Harrow, West)

The hon. Gentleman asked whether Conservative Members would like it to happen to them. I make it clear that, if a member of staff whom I wished to employ did not pass the security services' test, I should be grateful to them.

Mr. Corbyn

It is an unquestioning hon. Member who would accept such action without being given any reason.

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours (Workington)

The intervention of the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Hughes) was interesting. The hon. Gentleman will recall that the hon. Member for Thanet, South (Mr. Aitken) identified six Conservative Members of Parliament in 1979 as being unsuitable for office. Would he apply his comments to them as well?

Mr. Corbyn

The House should not pass a report that takes power away from itself and hands it over to the unelected and the unaccountable. It is a serious issue, and I hope that, when we come to amendment (e), which you have agreed to call, Mr. Speaker, the House will recognise that what I am proposing in this amendment is that the reasons for refusal should be made known to the applicant and to the sponsoring hon. Member. That does not appear to be an unreasonable request.

I believe that this House has an awful lot of catching up to do. The conditions under which most hon. Members work are appalling. My hon. Friend the Member for Brent, East (Mr. Livingstone), who has been here since June 1987, received his desk only this week. [Laughter.] I do not find that funny. I find it disgraceful that, with all the privileges and special rooms in this place, hon. Members can be denied a desk. All of us should be concerned that, when elected to Parliament, we should have the physical conditions to do the job properly. As with every other building, there should be facilities for access of persons of disabilities. This House should be made welcoming rather than daunting to the public, and it should be seen as an open Parliament to which people can come, to watch, to listen and perhaps to understand something of what goes on here. Instead we are secretive, we set up barriers, and we seem more interested in privileges for ourselves than in facilities for the staff or the visiting public.

I hope that the Services Committee will reconsider all these issues and decide that it is time that this Parliament was brought into the second half of the 20th century and made the public place that it should be.

Mr. Speaker

I remind the House that this debate will end at 11.44 pm. I ask hon. Members to bear that in mind when making their speeches.

11.13 pm
Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)

The hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) said that he would be brief, but then went on somewhat. What he possesses in verbosity, he clearly lacks in a sense of humour, because he kept saying that he did not find the response of hon. Members funny. Of course, when he said that, hon. Members regarded his remarks as even more avant garde and over the top. What he did not realise was that the House is concerned about the congestion of our physical facilities and the need to have proper control.

All hon. Members will be grateful to the right hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) for the way in which he and his colleagues on the Sub-Committee presented the report. It has emphasised the need for control, especially over the issuing of passes. That is welcome. The proposals proceed from no limit—a situation which has developed in an evolutionary and unsatisfactory way—to a proper fixed limit, on which the House needs to agree. At present, the proposal, endorsed by the Leader of the House, is for a limit of three years.

I shall refer briefly to one or two other aspects of the report, which I regard as excellent and to which I shall be glad to give my wholehearted support, as, I imagine, will most hon. Members. In paragraph 7 on page vi, one sees that there are 72 different categories of photo-identity pass holders, which is excessive. Again, one commends the Sub-Committee's attempts to achieve a rational control over the entire panoply of passes.

I wonder about the five-year limit on validity of an individual pass for Members contained in paragraph 8. Perhaps that pass should be valid for longer. There are many excellent parts to the report and if previous speakers had not taken up so much time one could refer to them. I am particularly delighted to support the proposals for Members of the European Parliament, which were advanced with a characteristically courteous and gentlemanly approach by my hon. Friend for Scarborough (Sir M. Shaw).

Apart from a couple of small details, that is the only area with which I take issue with the right hon. Member for Salford, East. I hope that I will not offend the right hon. Gentleman if I say that I thought that his attitude in this respect rather curmudgeonly. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough would agree that his proposal was a modest first step and to describe it as the thin end of the wedge is embarrassing to our distinguished colleagues of all parties who are hard-working Members of the European Parliament—although I am aware that this does not affect the alliance. We should be more positive about the proposal and I am glad that the Leader of the House demonstrated some enthusiam for it.

I and other hon. Members from all parties have tabled amendments dealing with a slight revision of the limit on the number of passes. Some hon. Members may consider that the maximum number of six passes, as opposed to three, is on the high side. In your wisdom, Mr. Speaker, you have selected the amendment that sets the limit at five—the other amendment proposed four passes—in a word, the middle of the range.

I understand that hon. Members from all parties wish to reassure themselves that they will no longer see strange people wandering around the Corridors and wonder who they are, and that they will not see such people on Corridors that were previously the preserve of Members of Parliament. They understand, however, that it is necessary to exercise a rational and durable control.

The physical restrictions that we intend to place on people are welcome. No access to the Table Office after 2 o'clock on Monday to Thursday is an excellent idea. The quid pro quo must be try to reach the right compromise figure for the number of passes to be issued for all staff members of any hon. Member. Some hon. Members have no such staff—presumably they have a secretary, but they may not have a research assistant. Some may have a, part-time research assistant. Conservative Members rightly feel some resentment when it appears that Members of the smaller parties overdo it by issuing far too many passes to their assistants. We acknowledge that they have to cover many more portfolios than the Members of larger parties, but they overdo it and that causes resentment. That does not gainsay the need to try to get the balance right, which is a difficult judgment.

I plead with hon. Members to consider seriously amendment (1) which suggests five passes, I believe which is the right compromise. To opt for no limit affords the maximum discretion. Some hon. Members do not want to have research assistants with passes, but others do. We must consider the tapestry of differential requirements. Would it be right to go from no limit to the low figure of three, and, on page xiv, paragraph 54 (iii), build into that limit the dubious idea that the Sub-Committee should recommend to the Services Committee an increase in the limit in respect of an individual Member where they are satisfied that exceptional circumstances apply"? I hope that the right hon. Member for Salford, East is not offended by that reference and I am sure that the Committee would honourably and faithfully try to ensure that it was satisfied about those circumstances. Nevertheless, I believe that such a principle is problematical and almost a reprehensible one to attempt to build into the limit. If that increase were limited to leaders of parties perhaps the House could support it, but would that happen?

More and more approaches would come from institutional and semi-institutional quarters on behalf of Members who have particular duties—many Members have duties on one kind or another. What about Chairmen of Select Committees or someone who for an operational requirement has three part-time research assistants and one and a half secretaries to cope with the work load? What about those who may be between appointing assistants whose passes may overlap, or long-distance Members who may need an extra person to stay here permanently? London Members might want people in a local office to come here frequently and have proper access to the House. In such cases, the limit of three passes would not be adequate.

It is not right for hon. Members to make the House excessively nervous by saying that, automatically, all hon. Members would go for the maximum limit that we would decide and that three times 650 would be a 50 per cent. increase on the existing figure. If we went to five, as is suggested in amendment (1), that does not mean that there would be 650 times five staff pass holders of one kind or another. Many hon. Members would continue with the existing number of passes. Equally, for all sorts of reasons other hon. Members would have to go above the limit and would be entitled to do that in the pursuance of their work. I know that the House wishes to exercise proper control and that is why the slightly higher compromise limit of four, five or six—in this case five, according to the terms of the middle-of-the-range amendment—should be seriously considered.

11.21 pm
Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)

I apologise on behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) who is not here. As I have told the Leader of the House, he is on a constituency engagement and I am deputising for him.

My hon. Friends and I advocate a limit. The report was precipitated by a security matter and we accept that there should be security in the building. It is right that the House should ensure that people going about their business are strictly protected. For those reasons, we do not contest the ground that restrictions are needed on the huge number of passes that are presently given to nearly 10,000 people in many different categories to allow them to come and go in the House and in the other place.

So far there has been no breach of the rules by hon. Members or by others, and no limits have been applied. There can be no allegation of impropriety, because there has been none. The issue before the House is about the appropriate way to equip hon. Members, primarily, to do the job that they need to do in the House. There is a fundamental question related to the legislative part of the constitution rather than to the Executive sector. We have an excellent Library, but for those of us who have to shadow Departments and for many others with specific duties in the House, there is a need for adequate support to begin to take on the Executive. We need that support in order to do the job properly.

I support the proposal by the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) and commend to the House the proposition that to move from no restriction to a tight first restriction will pose a problem. I remind the House that that is distinct from what we propose in the other categories. As the right hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) said, the other categories are to be frozen and not restricted. Members are to be restricted, while Ministers are not. I understand the concern of the right hon. Member for Salford, East that, if we all exercised the right to go to the limit, things would be impossible. The argument against that stands on the basis of the facts of the moment. Many Members have three or fewer pass holders, and only a few have more than the maximum. The hon. Member for Harrow, East and other hon. Members suggested a low maximum, and the likelihood of a coach and horses being driven through a proposal to restrict limits is invalidated by the experience of the House. People choose the number of passes to reflect their circumstances.

Mr. David Harris (St. Ives)

Does the hon. Gentleman still have nine research assistants? That was the figure that he gave, to his credit, in his evidence to the Committee. Does he not agree that nine is a ridiculous number for any hon. Member to have?

Mr. Hughes

We proposed a maximum of six, and I have six at the moment. However, two are part-time, and are never here at the same time. All the people who work for me are paid from the Fees Office, and I use my salary to pay people. This is an important issue. If hon. Members choose to use their office costs allowance to employ three or four staff, they have the right to that flexibility, and not to have the number of staff on whom they choose to spend their money restricted by an arbitrary limit.

Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)


Mr. Hughes

No, I will not give way again.

This should not be a party political issue. The majority of members of my party have three or fewer pass holders. I hope that we shall not impose restrictions on Members of Parliament when lobbyists and others still have access to the House.

The hon. Member for Harrow, East argued for the sensible balance, and I ask the House to support that and to realise that there are many occasions when flexibility, and hon. Member's right to flexibility, is appropriate. I can cite two further examples. One is when a hon. Member has a private Member's Bill. That will inevitably, for a short time, impose extra work. He may need to have somebody here permanently for that time, and may need to have a number of appropriate passes.

Mr. Cormack


Mr. Hughes

No, I must continue.

Another factor is the hours that people can come in. It is not sufficient to say that they can have a day pass. The Member of Parliament may not be here to enable them to get in, or to sign the day pass. There may not be anybody in the office to authorise their arrival when they come. There are many practical reasons why hon. Members should give themselves the flexibility that the alternative proposal of a maximum of five would give.

Many Members of Parliament sponsor three pass holders—well over 100. Well over a quarter of Members of Parliament sponsor three or more pass holders. The evidence of the current practice of the House is that there needs to be flexibility for those who might want to increase the number by one, but find that the motion, if passed unamended, would not allow that. There should be a limit—there is no argument against that—but to restrict that limit to three would inhibit the performance of the duty that is, above all, the principal responsibility of Members of Parliament—to spend our money and meet our needs appropriately, within a properly secure system of allocating passes. I urge hon. Members on both sides of the House to support amendment (1)

11.27 pm
Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)

I hope that the House will do no such thing. Although the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) produced a soft-soapy argument for increasing the number to five or six, every hon. Member who exceeds the limit trespasses on the generosity of his colleagues. If the hon. Member thinks about it for a moment, he will see that that is so. We are not seeking to limit the number of research assistants who may be employed by the Democrats, individually or collectively. We are saying that there must be a limit on the number of people who come into the building. That is entirely different, and I deeply resent the hon. Gentleman's attempt to confuse the issue; it is not worthy of him.

There are a number of good reasons for us to pass the motion. It is a beginning. I agree strongly with the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme). There is plenty of work to be done, but we must stop the rot at this point. The House is becoming liberty hall. There are people roaming around whom none of us know by sight and whom we cannot identify. The police do not know them. Passes are issued to newspaper delivery people who come to the House once a day to deliver two copies of a provincial paper to the Library. That is utterly ludicrous and there must be ways of better arranging our affairs—

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Onslow

—for security and practical purposes.

I see no objection to the extremely modest proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough, (Sir M. Shaw) that Members of the European Parliament should be put on the same footing as our own staff who have permanent passes. What is wrong with that? We are not suggesting that they be given elaborate facilities, creches, bathrooms or whatever else maybe in store in the new building. We are simply asking that they should be able to come in here without having to hang about for an interminable period at the entrance. As most of us know, they can already come in, by permission of the other place, through the House of Lords entrance and it demeans us that we do not accord them the same courtesy.

Mr. Dykes


Mr. Onslow

I hope very much that we shall pass this motion with my hon. Friend's amendment and that the other amendments will be rejected.

11.30 pm
Mr. Tony Benn (Chesterfield)

The real problem is the appalling conditions in which the House of Commons is expected to work. I can go back to 1950, when I had to wait for a locker. It was 14 years before I had a room, and that was because I was a Minister, and 29 years before I had a room as a Back Bencher. Conditions are appalling for both Members and the staff of the House. When people say that the Executive gets away with things that they should not, it is in part because this legislature—the House of Commons—has neglected to provide itself with facilities to develop. Schoolchildren come round the House in a morning, but it is a disgrace because, when we talk to them afterwards, they do not have the slightest idea what the House of Commons does; all they know is that Mr. Speaker wears a wig, or that the Mace was dropped in a certain place, or that something happened to King Charles I along the street; and, in the evening, the Harcourt corridor is full of lobbyists paying money to get their case into the House.

I oppose the report. I am sorry to disappoint my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme), but it is a disgrace for the High Court of Parliament to say that Ronan Bennett was denied a pass, as a security risk, when he had not been tried. I met that man once after the case had come to light. He was convicted—no doubt you will correct me, Mr. Speaker, if I am wrong—and you thought it your duty to take the judgment of the Sergeant at Arms. I do not believe that any elected Member saw the security case. That judgment should not be endorsed by the House, because it could be applied in many ways.

The links with the public are the lifeblood of the House of Commons. I have always found it offensive that we talk about the Strangers' Gallery; it is the "Electors' Gallery." We still say and think in the House, "I spy Strangers"; it might be better to say, "I've seen an elector." It is the contact with the public that makes this place relevant.

We now have the absolute obsession with security. My right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East served in Northern Ireland, but he must know that security is not a new problem. There was Guy Fawkes. There was the murder of Spencer Percival, but it is incredible to hear hon. Members say that everyone should have a pass and be body-searched. The murders of Airey Neave and Spencer Percival did occur in this place, but are we really describing ourselves as if we were working at Windscale or in one of the high-security defence establishments? We make ourselves ridiculous by talking about that level of security.

We need a new look. My hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) rightly said that it is awful to see pensioners queueing in the cold when Westminster Hall is empty and only available for a special exhibition for some lobbyist who wants to get his case across to the House. When television comes, I hope that there will be open-circuit television so that they can watch the House while they wait. We should treat them as what they are—our employers.

The work of Members has expanded considerably. I suppose that it all began with the welfare state and the Liberal Government of 1910. My dad once told me that after the Lloyd George insurance Act—the National Insurance Act 1911—he was in the Members' Post Office and a Conservative Member came in, threw three letters on the table and said, "Look at that. That is a product of your Government." He also told me that, when women got the vote, the House stopped sniggering about women's issues.

With the expansion in case work, letters and surgeries, how can we keep any Government—Labour or Tory—under control unless we have the facilities? How can it be said that women are under-represented in Parliament when creches are not available? That does not apply only to women Members: as my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Holland) pointed out, men too have responsibilities for their children. Librarians have such responsibilities. But we dismiss them, while letting out the Dining Rooms so that the Refreshment Department can make a profit.

The truth is that we are not a serious Parliament. If Members have not enough room in the House, we should give them grants so that they can have offices elsewhere. I do not work in an office here: I could not get a tenth of my papers into my little room. I got a window about 18 months ago, however.

Members must be given the funds to do their job. My only complaint about interns is that British youngsters are not allowed to come to Parliament. The Americans realise its importance, or at least they go back knowing something about it.

The report is another step towards the subordination of the legislature to the Executive—I say that to my right hon. Friend with deep respect. We are saying that we will let the security services decide who can come in. It is wrong for a Parliament to do that: the security services are employed by the Government of the day, and we know a little about them from recent legislation. We are saying that, because political work has expanded, we will restrict facilities instead of expanding them. But we need not wait for the new building. There are an awful lot of things that we could do. I have always thought that the House of Lords should be put to better use. After all, if we are to let MEPs in on the ground that they have been elected, what about keeping other people out on the ground that they have not been?

I shall vote for the amendment, although not for MEPs, who can come and see Members if they want. There is no reciprocal facility in the European Parliament—not that that matters, as I doubt whether many Members would wish to go there. I think that the amendments of my hon.

Friend the Member for Islington, North are amendments of substance, but that the report is inward-looking, restrictive and dangerous. I advise the House to reject it.

11.37 pm
Mr. Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)

The Sub-Committee—consisting of members of the Government party, the Opposition and the Social and Liberal Democrats—has, in its unanimous report, done a workmanlike rather than a doctrinaire job for the House of Commons. I am very grateful to its Chairman and members for the care with which they took the evidence and produced the report.

Let me first refer to amendment (a). There are certain times which are crucial in the Table Office. If a Member has not succeeded in getting to the front of the queue to put down a question or motion by then, it is delayed by a day. If it is an amendment, it will become a starred amendment and will probably not be selected for that reason.

In general, research assistants have not the knowledge of procedure that Members have, and if they have unlimited access to the Table Office they are likely to take up far more of the two Clerks'—sometimes one Clerk's—time than a Member who, knowing far more about procedure, comes in to table a question or a motion. It is important that Members should not lose a crucial day when they wish to table an amendment or question because inexperienced research assistants want to engage the attention of the duty Clerks to find out whether what they want to do is in order.

It is well known that the Library has been grossly abused by visitors who want to use the services of the Library to enable them to write theses for their examinations. It is quite right that the Sub-Committee has drawn attention to that.

The Sub-Committee's report does not deal with an ideal solution in unlimited facilities. It is to do with priority in very limited facilities. It has done a workmanlike job in that context, and it will have my support. I am grateful to the Leader of the House for putting down a motion that we approve, rather than taking note of the report. I hope that the response of the House will encourage him to do the same for other reports of Committees of the House, which yet await decision by the House.

11.41 pm
Mr. Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby)

I have a larger than usual number of research assistants, but it must be said that several of them are part-time and come in only once a fortnight or once a month. The decision on how many of them I need to do my job is mine, and no one else's. There are many different concepts of what our job is. Are we laymen, specialists, or constituency representatives? It is wrong to impose other Members' views of what the job is on me. I want to do this job and serve Great Grimsby in the way that I think appropriate. I need the staff that I think are appropriate to help me do that job—

Mr. Michael Jopling (Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Mitchell


Secondly, if the House in its wisdom does not provide the necessary resources and money to allow me to do the job in the way I think appropriate, I should be free to take help from outside, wherever it is available.

Mr. Jopling


Mr. Speaker

Order. The right hon. Gentleman knows that the hon. Member is not giving way.

Mr. Mitchell

If the facilities are strained, it is the responsibility of the House to improve them, not to cut down on their use. By excluding people from obtaining passes, my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) will not get the facilities improved. That will be used as an argument for not improving them. The argument that people are not excluded if they cannot use the the House's facilities is wrong; they will be effectively excluded, with the exception of those working for the wealthier Members with offices in other parts of town. For us, they will be excluded.

My final point is simple: the trend of the times is that the House is becoming more open, more specialised and more interesting to the public. That means more access for more people and more help to do our job. We cannot stand in the way of that progress. If we do, we shall make ourselves look stupid and be knocked over by it.

This is a petty, prejudicial motion; I hope that the House will oppose it.

11.43 pm
Mr. William Cash (Stafford)

With reference to amendment (b), I must say that co-operation and exchange of information between this Parliament and the European Parliament have become increasingly important in the light of the single European Act and our involvement in the Community.

Having welcomed these provisions in principle, I must add a reservation. This is a one-way arrangement. Access is to this House. The problem is how to gain access to the information that we need about what is happening in the European institutions—information that we need to be able effectively to exercise our judgment on behalf of our constituents. We should seriously consider improving the manner in which we get over to Europe from time to time.

It being one and a half hours after the motion was entered upon, MR. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the order [27 January] , to put forthwith the Questions on amendments selected by him which were then moved.

Amendment proposed: (a), after 'be', insert

with the exception of the recommendation in paragraph 33 relating to access to the Table Office by research assistants,'.—[Mr. Corbyn.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 36, Noes 201.

Division No. 62] [11.44 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Gordon, Mildred
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Hinchliffe, David
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Hughes, Simon (Southward)
Clay, Bob Janner, Greville
Cohen, Harry Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Cousins, Jim Kennedy, Charles
Dalyell, Tam Maclennan, Robert
Duffy, A. E. P. Mahon, Mrs Alice
Fisher, Mark Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Flynn, Paul Nellist, Dave
Patchett, Terry Smith, C. (IsI ton & F'bury)
Pike, Peter L. Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Primarolo, Dawn Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Ruddock, Joan Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)
Salmond, Alex
Sheerman, Barry Tellers for the Ayes:
Skinner, Dennis Mr. Jeremy Corbyn and
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E) Mr. Stuart Holland.
Aitken, Jonathan Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Alexander, Richard Hampson, Dr Keith
Alton, David Hannam, John
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
Amess, David Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Harris, David
Ash by, David Haynes, Frank
Baldry, Tony Hayward, Robert
Bottomley, Peter Heathcoat-Amory, David
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Heddle, John
Boyes, Roland Hind, Kenneth
Bright, Graham Hood, Jimmy
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
Buckley, George J. Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
Budgen, Nicholas Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Burns, Simon Hunter, Andrew
Burt, Alistair Irvine, Michael
Butterfill, John Jack, Michael
Callaghan, Jim Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Carrington, Matthew King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Carttiss, Michael Kirkhope, Timothy
Cash, William Knapman, Roger
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Chapman, Sydney Lamond, James
Chope, Christopher Lawrence, Ivan
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Lee, John (Pendle)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Lightbown, David
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Lilley, Peter
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Livsey, Richard
Cope, Rt Hon John Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Cormack, Patrick Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Cran, James Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Cryer, Bob McAvoy, Thomas
Cunliffe, Lawrence Macdonald, Calum A.
Curry, David Macfarlane, Sir Neil
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Maclean, David
Day, Stephen McLoughlin, Patrick
Devlin, Tim McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Dixon, Don Maginnis, Ken
Dobson, Frank Mans, Keith
Doran, Frank Maples, John
Dover, Den Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Dunnachie, Jimmy Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Durant, Tony Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Dykes, Hugh Maude, Hon Francis
Eastham, Ken Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Emery, Sir Peter Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Meale, Alan
Fallon, Michael Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fearn, Ronald Miller, Sir Hal
Fishburn, John Dudley Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Foster, Derek Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Fox, Sir Marcus Morgan, Rhodri
Franks, Cecil Morrison, Sir Charles
Freeman, Roger Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
French, Douglas Moss, Malcolm
Garel-Jones, Tristan Moynihan, Hon Colin
Gill, Christopher Neubert, Michael
Glyn, Dr Alan Nicholls, Patrick
Golding, Mrs Llin Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Gow, Ian Norris, Steve
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Gregory, Conal Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Paice, James
Ground, Patrick Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Patnick, Irvine Sumberg, David
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Summerson, Hugo
Pawsey, James Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Porter, David (Waveney) Temple-Morris, Peter
Portillo, Michael Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Thurnham, Peter
Powell, William (Corby) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Raffan, Keith Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Redwood, John Trippier, David
Renton, Tim Twinn, Dr Ian
Rhodes James, Robert Viggers, Peter
Riddick, Graham Waddington, Rt Hon David
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Ross, William (Londonderry E) Walden, George
Rossi, Sir Hugh Waller, Gary
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Ryder, Richard Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Shaw, David (Dover) Warren, Kenneth
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Wells, Bowen
Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW) Wheeler, John
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Whitney, Ray
Sims, Roger Widdecombe, Ann
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Wiggin, Jerry
Soames, Hon Nicholas Winterton, Mrs Ann
Speller, Tony Winterton, Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W) Wood, Timothy
Squire, Robin
Stern, Michael Tellers for the Noes:
Stevens, Lewis Mr. Stephen Dorrell and
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood) Mr. Tom Sackville.
Stradling Thomas, Sir John

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: (b), at end add

'provided also that United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament may be issued with photo-identity passes allowing them access to the Central Lobby, the Lower and Upper Waiting Halls and the Committee Corridors.'—[Sir Michael Shaw.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 168, Noes 62.

Division No. 63] [11.56 pm
Alexander, Richard Devlin, Tim
Alton, David Dorrell, Stephen
Amery, Rl Hon Julian Dover, Den
Amess, David Durant, Tony
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Dykes, Hugh
Baldry, Tony Emery, Sir Peter
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Fallon, Michael
Bottomley, Peter Fishburn, John Dudley
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Flynn, Paul
Boyes, Roland Fox, Sir Marcus
Bright, Graham Franks, Cecil
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Freeman, Roger
Burns, Simon French, Douglas
Burt, Alistair Garel-Jones, Tristan
Butterfill, John Gill, Christopher
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Glyn, Dr Alan
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Carrington, Matthew Gregory, Conal
Cash, William Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Chapman, Sydney Ground, Patrick
Chope, Christopher Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushclifte) Hampson, Dr Keith
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hannam, John
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Harris, David
Cope, Rt Hon John Hayward, Robert
Cormack, Patrick Heathcoat-Amory, David
Cran, James Heddle, John
Curry, David Hind, Kenneth
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Home Robertson, John
Davis, David (Boothferry) Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
Day, Stephen Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Rhodes James, Robert
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hunter, Andrew Robertson, George
Jack, Michael Rossi, Sir Hugh
Janner, Greville Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Ryder, Richard
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Salmond, Alex
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Shaw, David (Dover)
Kennedy, Charles Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb1)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Kirkhope, Timothy Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lawrence, Ivan Sims, Roger
Lee, John (Pendle) Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Lightbown, David Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lilley, Peter Soames, Hon Nicholas
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Speller, Tony
Lyell, Sir Nicholas Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Macdonald, Calum A. Squire, Robin
Macfarlane, Sir Neil Stern, Michael
McLoughlin, Patrick Stevens, Lewis
Mans, Keith Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Maples, John Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Sumberg, David
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Summerson, Hugo
Maude, Hon Francis Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Meyer, Sir Anthony Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Miller, Sir Hal Temple-Morris, Peter
Mitchell, Andrew (GBdling) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Morrison, Sir Charles Thurnham, Peter
Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Moss, Malcolm Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Moynihan, Hon Colin Trippier, David
Neubert, Michael Twinn, Dr Ian
Nicholls, Patrick Viggers, Peter
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Waddington, Rt Hon David
Norris, Steve Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Walden, George
Paice, James Waller, Gary
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Patnick, Irvine Warren, Kenneth
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Wells, Bowen
Pawsey, James Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Wheeler, John
Porter, David (Waveney) Whitney, Ray
Portillo, Michael Widdecombe, Ann
Powell, William (Corby) Wiggin, Jerry
Quin, Ms Joyce Wood, Timothy
Radice, Giles
Raffan, Keith Tellers for the Ayes:
Redwood, John Mr. David Maclean and
Renton, Tim Mr. Tom Sackville.
Aitken, Jonathan Haynes, Frank
Ashby, David Hood, Jimmy
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Buckley, George J. Irvine, Michael
Budgen, Nicholas Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Callaghan, Jim Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Knapman, Roger
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Lamond, James
Carttiss, Michael Livsey, Richard
Cohen, Harry McAvoy, Thomas
Corbyn, Jeremy McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Maclennan, Robert
Dalyell, Tam Maginnis, Ken
Dixon, Don Mahon, Mrs Alice
Dobson, Frank Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Duffy, A. E. P. Meale, Alan
Dunnachie, Jimmy Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Eastham, Ken Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Nellist, Dave
Fearn, Ronald Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Foster, Derek Patchett, Terry
George, Bruce Pike, Peter L.
Golding, Mrs Llin Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Gow, Ian Primarolo, Dawn
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Riddick, Graham
Ross, William (Londonderry E) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Winterton, Mrs Ann
Skinner, Dennis Winterton, Nicholas
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Spearing, Nigel Tellers for the Noes:
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury) Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse and
Taylor, Matthew (Truro) Mr. Bob Cryer.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendment proposed: (e), at end add

'but that this House resolves, with respect to paragraphs 10 and 11 thereof, that any persons refused a pass shall have the opportunity to know the reasons for such refusal, and an opportunity to challenge any information, other than convictions, held on them by the police, and that the nature and source of the information against the applicant be made known to them and their sponsor.'—[Mr. Corbyn]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 47, Noes 177.

Division No. 64] [12.7 am
Abbott, Ms Diane Lamond, James
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Livsey, Richard
Benn, Rt Hon Tony McAvoy, Thomas
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Macdonald, Calum A.
Buckley, George J. Maclennan, Robert
Callaghan, Jim Mahon, Mrs Alice
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Nellist, Dave
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Patchett, Terry
Corbyn, Jeremy Pike, Peter L.
Cousins, Jim Primarolo, Dawn
Cryer, Bob Ruddock, Joan
Dalyell, Tam Salmond, Alex
Duffy, A. E. P. Sheerman, Barry
Dunnachie, Jimmy Skinner, Dennis
Eastham, Ken Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Fearn, Ronald Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Fisher, Mark Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Holland, Stuart Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Home Robertson, John Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)
Hood, Jimmy
Hughes, John (Coventry NE) Tellers for the Ayes:
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Mr. Harry Cohen and
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W) Mr. Bob Clay.
Kennedy, Charles
Alexander, Richard Cunliffe, Lawrence
Alton, David Curry, David
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Amess, David Davis, David (Boothferry)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Day, Stephen
Ashby, David Devlin, Tim
Baldry, Tony Dixon, Don
Bottomley, Peter Dobson, Frank
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Dorrell, Stephen
Bright, Graham Dover, Den
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Durant, Tony
Budgen, Nicholas Dykes, Hugh
Burns, Simon Emery, Sir Peter
Burl, Alistair Fallon, Michael
Butterfill, John Fishburn, John Dudley
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Flynn, Paul
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Foster, Derek
Carrington, Matthew Fox, Sir Marcus
Carttiss, Michael Franks, Cecil
Cash, William Freeman, Roger
Channon, Rt Hon Paul French, Douglas
Chapman, Sydney Garel-Jones, Tristan
Chope, Christopher Gill, Christopher
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Glyn, Dr Alan
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Golding, Mrs Llin
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Gow, Ian
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Cope, Rt Hon John Gregory, Conal
Cormack, Patrick Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Cran, James Ground, Patrick
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Pawsey, James
Hampson, Dr Keith Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hannam, John Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Porter, David (Waveney)
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Portillo, Michael
Harris, David Powell, William (Corby)
Haynes, Frank Raffan, Keith
Hayward, Robert Redwood, John
Heathcoat-Amory, David Renton, Tim
Heddle, John Riddick, Graham
Hind, Kenneth Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Ross, William (Londonderry E)
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Rossi, Sir Hugh
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Ryder, Richard
Hunter, Andrew Shaw, David (Dover)
Irvine, Michael Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb1)
Jack, Michael Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Sims, Roger
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Kirkhope, Timothy Soames, Hon Nicholas
Knapman, Roger Speller, Tony
Lawrence, Ivan Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Lee, John (Pendle) Squire, Robin
Lightbown, David Stern, Michael
Lilley, Peter Stevens, Lewis
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Lyell, Sir Nicholas Sumberg, David
McKay, Allen (Bamsley West) Summerson, Hugo
McLoughlin, Patrick Taylor, Ian (Esher)
McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Maginnis, Ken Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Mans, Keith Temple-Morris, Peter
Maples, John Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Thurnham, Peter
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Maude, Hon Francis Trippier, David
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Twinn, Dr Ian
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Viggers, Peter
Meale, Alan Waddington, Rt Hon David
Meyer, Sir Anthony Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Miller, Sir Hal Walden, George
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Waller, Gary
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Morrison, Sir Charles Warren, Kenneth
Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester) Wells, Bowen
Moss, Malcolm Wheeler, John
Moynihan, Hon Colin Whitney, Ray
Neubert, Michael Widdecombe, Ann
Nicholls, Patrick Wiggin, Jerry
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Winterton, Mrs Ann
Norris, Steve Winterton, Nicholas
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Wood, Timothy
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Paice, James Tellers for the Noes:
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Mr. David Maclean and
Patnick, Irvine Mr. Tom Sackville.
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: (1), at end add

'with the exception that the maximum number of photo-identity passes for the Palace of Westminister for which a Member should be entitled to apply for individual members of his or her personal staff, as referred to at paragraph 54, should be five'.—[Mr. Dykes.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 56, Noes 175.

Division No. 65] [12.18 am
Abbott, Ms Diane Boyes, Roland
Alton, David Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Ashby, David Campbell-Savours, D. N.
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Clay, Bob
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Cohen, Harry Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Corbyn, Jeremy Nellist, Dave
Cousins, Jim Pike, Peter L.
Dalyell, Tam Porter, David (Waveney)
Doran, Frank Primarolo, Dawn
Dover, Den Quin, Ms Joyce
Dykes, Hugh Radice, Giles
Fearn, Ronald Riddick, Graham
Fisher, Mark Robertson, George
George, Bruce Ruddock, Joan
Golding, Mrs Llin Salmond, Alex
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Sheerman, Barry
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Holland, Stuart Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Hughes, John (Coventry NE) Spearing, Nigel
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Squire, Robin
Janner, Greville Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W) Waller, Gary
Kennedy, Charles Wells, Bowen
Lawrence, Ivan Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)
Livsey, Richard
Macdonald, Calum A. Tellers for the Ayes:
Maclennan, Robert Mr. Simon Coombs and
Mahon, Mrs Alice Mr. Matthew Taylor.
Alexander, Richard Gow, Ian
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Amess, David Gregory, Conal
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Baldry, Tony Ground, Patrick
Bottomley, Peter Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Hannam, John
Bright, Graham Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Harris, David
Buckley, George J. Haynes, Frank
Budgen, Nicholas Hayward, Robert
Burns, Simon Heathcoat-Amory, David
Butterfill, John Heddle, John
Callaghan, Jim Hind, Kenneth
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Home Robertson, John
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Hood, Jimmy
Carrington, Matthew Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
Carttiss, Michael Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
Cash, William Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Chapman, Sydney Hunter, Andrew
Chope, Christopher Irvine, Michael
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Jack, Michael
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Cope, Rt Hon John Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Cran, James King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Cryer, Bob Kirkhope, Timothy
Cunliffe, Lawrence Knapman, Roger
Curry, David Lamond, James
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Lee, John (Pendle)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Lightbown, David
Devlin, Tim Li 1 ley, Peter
Dixon, Don Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Dobson, Frank Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Dorrell, Stephen Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Duffy, A. E. P. McAvoy, Thomas
Dunnachie, Jimmy McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Durant, Tony McLoughlin, Patrick
Eastham, Ken McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Emery, Sir Peter Maginnis, Ken
Fallon, Michael Mans, Keith
Fishburn, John Dudley Maples, John
Flynn, Paul Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Foster, Derek Martin, Michael J. (Springbum)
Fox, Sir Marcus Maude, Hon Francis
Franks, Cecil Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Freeman, Roger Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
French, Douglas Meale, Alan
Garel-Jones, Tristan Meyer, Sir Anthony
Gill, Christopher Miller, Sir Hal
Glyn, Dr Alan Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Soames, Hon Nicholas
Morrison, Sir Charles Speller, Tony
Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester) Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Moss, Malcolm Stern, Michael
Moynihan, Hon Colin Stevens, Lewis
Neubert, Michael Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Nicholls, Patrick Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Sumberg, David
Norris, Steve Summerson, Hugo
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Paice, James Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Temple-Morris, Peter
Patchett, Terry Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Patnick, Irvine Thurnham, Peter
Pawsey, James Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Trippier, David
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Twinn, Dr Ian
Porter, David (Waveney) Viggers, Peter
Portillo, Michael Waddington, Rt Hon David
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Powell, William (Corby) Walden, George
Raff an, Keith Warden, Gareth (Gower)
Redwood, John Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Renton, Tim Warren, Kenneth
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Wheeler, John
Ross, William (Londonderry E) Whitney, Ray
Rossi, Sir Hugh Widdecombe, Ann
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Wiggin, Jerry
Ryder, Richard Winterton, Mrs Ann
Shaw, David (Dover) Winterton, Nicholas
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Wood, Timothy
Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Tellers for the Noes:
Sims, Roger Mr. David Maclean and
Skinner, Dennis Mr. Tom Sackville.
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)

Question accordingly negatived.

MR. SPEAKER then proceeded, pursuant to the order [27 January], to put forthwith the main Question, as amended:—

The House divided: Ayes 193, Noes 25.

Division No. 66] [12.29 am
Abbott, Ms Diane Cunliffe, Lawrence
Alexander, Richard Curry, David
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Dalyell, Tam
Amess, David Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Davis, David (Boothferry)
Ashby, David Day, Stephen
Baldry, Tony Devlin, Tim
Bottomley, Peter Dixon, Don
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Dobson, Frank
Boyes, Roland Dorrell, Stephen
Bright, Graham Dover, Den
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Duffy, A. E. P.
Buckley, George J. Dunnachie, Jimmy
Budgen, Nicholas Durant, Tony
Burns, Simon Dykes, Hugh
Burl, Alistair Eastham, Ken
Butterfill, John Emery, Sir Peter
Callaghan, Jim Fallon, Michael
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Fishburn, John Dudley
Carrington, Matthew Flynn, Paul
Carttiss, Michael Foster, Derek
Cash, William Fox, Sir Marcus
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Franks, Cecil
Chapman, Sydney Freeman, Roger
Chope, Christopher French, Douglas
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Garel-Jones, Tristan
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcllffe) Gill, Christopher
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Glyn, Dr Alan
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Golding, Mrs Llin
Cope, Rt Hon John Gow, Ian
Cormack, Patrick Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Cran, James Gregory, Conal
Cryer, Bob Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Ground, Patrick Patnick, Irvine
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Pawsey, James
Hampson, Dr Keith Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hannam, John Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Porter, David (Waveney)
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Portillo, Michael
Harris, David Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Haynes, Frank Powell, William (Corby)
Hayward, Robert Primarolo, Dawn
Heathcoat-Amory, David Quin, Ms Joyce
Heddle, John Raffan, Keith
Hind, Kenneth Redwood, John
Home Robertson, John Renton, Tim
Hood, Jimmy Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Ross, William (Londonderry E)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Rossi, Sir Hugh
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Hunter, Andrew Ryder, Richard
Irvine, Michael Sackville, Hon Tom
Jack, Michael Shaw, David (Dover)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Sims, Roger
Kirkhope, Timothy Skinner, Dennis
Knapman, Roger Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lamond, James Soames, Hon Nicholas
Lawrence, Ivan Speller, Tony
Lee, John (Pendle) Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Lightbown, David Squire, Robin
Lilley, Peter Stern, Michael
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Stevens, Lewis
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Lyell, Sir Nicholas Stradling Thomas, Sir John
McAvoy, Thomas Sumberg, David
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West) Summerson, Hugo
Maclean, David Taylor, Ian (Esher)
McLoughlin, Patrick Taylor, John M (Solihull)
McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Maginnis, Ken Temple-Morris, Peter
Mahon, Mrs Alice Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Mans, Keith Thurnham, Peter
Maples, John Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Trippier, David
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Twinn, Dr Ian
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Viggers, Peter
Maude, Hon Francis Waddington, Rt Hon David
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Walden, George
Meale, Alan Waller, Gary
Meyer, Sir Anthony Warden, Gareth (Gower)
Miller, Sir Hal Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Warren, Kenneth
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Wheeler, John
Morrison, Sir Charles Whitney, Ray
Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester) Widdecombe, Ann
Moss, Malcolm Wiggin, Jerry
Moynihan, Hon Colin Winterton, Mrs Ann
Neubert, Michael Winterton, Nicholas
Nicholls, Patrick Wood, Timothy
Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Norris, Steve Tellers for the Ayes:
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Mr. Alan Howarth and
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Mr. Kenneth Carlisle.
Paice, James
Alton, David Holland, Stuart
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Kennedy, Charles
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Livsey, Richard
Clay, Bob Maclennan, Robert
Cohen, Harry Patchett, Terry
Corbyn, Jeremy Pike, Peter L.
Fearn, Ronald Robertson, George
Fisher, Mark Ruddock, Joan
George, Bruce Salmond, Alex
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Sheerman, Barry
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E) Tellers for the Noes:
Smith, C. (IsI'ton & F'bury) Mr. Simon Hughes and
Welsh, Andrew (Angus E) Mr. Matthew Taylor.

Question accordingly agreed to.


That the Second Report of Session 1987–88 from the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services) on Access to the Precincts of the House (House of Commons Paper No. 580) be approved, provided also that United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament may be issued with photo-identity passes allowing them access to the Central Lobby, the Lower and Upper Waiting Halls and the Committee Corridors.

Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It may have been drawn to your attention that, when the amendment moved by the hon. Member for Scarborough (Sir M. Shaw) was put to the vote, Tellers for the Government were counting, and it appeared to many hon. Members that the payroll vote was put into the Aye Lobby. As you know, that is contrary to the traditions of the House. When a Select Committee is reporting to the House in general terms, it is a matter for Members and the Government should not allow their influence, attitudes and ideas to be imposed on the House. It is clearly a case of the Executive taking away the rights of the House. I thought that I should draw that to your attention, although your room for manoeuvre on this issue is somewhat limited.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman is quite right. He will know that the Government put in Tellers for all the amendments.

Mr. Don Dixon (Jarrow)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. To put it on the record, the Government put in Tellers only for the Ayes on the amendment to which my hon. Friend referred

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