HC Deb 08 November 1989 vol 159 cc1114-34

Lords amendment: No. 6, in page 15, line 1, leave out subsection (2) and insert—

  1. "(2) Subject to subsection (2A), all the property, rights and liabilities to which the Training Commission was entitled or subject immediately before that date shall on that date become property, rights and liabilities of the Secretary of State.
  2. (2A) Any liability in respect of pensions, superannuation allowances or gratuities which, but for the passing of this Act, would have arisen or existed on or after that date as a liability of the Training Commission to or in respect of the chairman or any former chairman of the Commission shall instead be a liability of the Paymaster General."

Mr. Nicholls

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we may discuss Lords amendments Nos. 7, 16, 19 to 26 and 29.

Mr. Nicholls

These amendments all follow from the provisions of the Bill that dissolve the Training Commission. Between them, the amendments have the single main purpose of transferring land currently held by the commission to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.

The Training Commission has always been able to hold title to both freehold and leasehold land and buildings. Its property is not part of the civil estate, which is mostly held by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment through the Property Services Agency. The Training Commission mainly exercised its land-holding power in relation to much of its jobcentre network and skills training agency sites. The arrangement has been particularly appropriate because the buildings held in that way by the Training Commission are mainly specialist in nature. Upon dissolution, it will be necessary for that property to be transferred to a new owner. When the Bill was being drafted a final decision on who that new owner should be had still to be taken. The Bill was therefore published with the provision that the Secretary of State should designate a Minister to hold the land title.

We have since concluded that the title should be held by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment. Having direct land-holding powers within the Department will give my right hon. Friend more direct accountability and responsibility, as well as improving administrative and operational efficiency. Before he can hold title to the land, my right hon. Friend must be constituted a corporation sole, which is what the main amendment in the group, No. 21, provides. The other amendments in the group simplify the drafting as there is no longer any need to differentiate between land going to the designated Minister and other property going to the Secretary of State. Now, with one exception, everything will transfer to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, with all the associated rights and liabilities. The only exception is that the Paymaster General will exercise his usual responsibility for the pensions and similar payments due to the chairman and former chairmen of the commission.

I hope that, with that brief explanation, the House will be content to agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

12.15 am
Mrs. Maria Fyfe (Glasgow, Maryhill)

I must confess to some puzzlement. The Minister has spoken only about the transfer of assets and the staff concerned, yet I understood that this group of amendments was to do with the dissolution of the Training Commission. If that is the case, I want to speak about that as well as about assets, property and staff.

It is not clear whether future employers will stand by any employment agreements on wages, job conditions or pensions of staff. The Minister should say something about that. It would be interesting also to know the value of the property that is to be transferred and how the Minister predicts it will be farmed out to the successor bodies.

The main issue here, however, is the abolition of the Training Commission. It is incredible that we are having such a brief debate on this subject, which is vital to the nation's future industrial prosperity and our work force's training opportunities. It is not clear why these proposals were not brought before the Standing Committee. Perhaps the Minister will be good enough to tell us why the Government waited until debates in the other place to raise the issue.

There have been numerous and confusing changes in training schemes recently. We used to have the Manpower Services Commission, which was a tripartite body comprising three employer, three trade union and three education authority representatives who ran the youth training scheme and the technical and vocational education initiative in schools and colleges. It included local councillors and local bodies that represented all three interest groups. They approved, or did not approve, schemes, but in some cases did their job too well for the Government. They found fault with the quality of schemes, whether because of the content, the training or unsatisfactory or unsafe conditions, and some of them said so. The Government curtailed their role and then disbanded the MSC. The Government then created the Training Commission, which is now to be disbanded. The new idea is to have training and enterprise councils. How many bids have there been in each area to run TECs?

Will the Minister confirm our information, which is that in many cases there is only one bid? Would he care to comment on the likely outcome in terms of the breadth and quality of the training? Are all the leading figures in industry and commerce and top management in the private sector, who will run TECs, to be white and male —with one exception, I gather, in Newcastle somewhere? If so, is that not possibly in breach of the sex discrimination and racial discrimination legislation, perhaps not technically, but in spirit?

I am puzzled how employer-led schemes are expected to succeed in some areas. The Governmnt are fond of telling us how successful their efforts to do away with unemployment have been, but there are numerous constituencies where unemployment is very high. In Liverpool, Riverside, for example, 25.3 per cent. of the available work force is unemployed. In Glasgow, my home town, no fewer than eight constituencies are in the top 20 of high unemployment. The official figure in Maryhill, my constituency, is 18.5 per cent., but the real figure, after allowing for the Government's fiddling of the figures, is considerably higher. There are many other constituencies with high unemployment—in Manchester, Birmingham, Tyne Bridge and Sheffield, for instance. If there are not too many employers about, how are they supposed to organise training schemes for the available work force?

This policy might seem very reasonable in Horsham—where unemployment is running at 1 per cent.—and in Mid-Sussex, Wokingham, Chesham, Amersham and Mole Valley, where the rate is similarly low. It is simply not relevant, however, in areas of high unemployment. I wonder whether the Minister has thought his way through the problem, or whether areas such as Glasgow have, as usual, been written off as being of no importance because the Government do not care what happens to those who will not, in any event, vote Conservative.

How can such schemes possibly work, in the light of the attitude of management to training? As we travel along this road, we can predict exactly where we will arrive. An MSC/NEDO report concluded some time ago that British companies rarely considered training one of the main components of corporate strategy, and did not treat it as a boardroom issue. In another place, the Government even rejected a modest proposal that training organisations should be consulted before appointments were made.

Thus we shall have a work force trained in a narrow range of skills to suit individual employers. In a world of rapidly changing technology, their skills will be bound by whatever the local management sees fit to provide. They will be trained, but not educated. Can we believe that all employer-led agencies will be keen to foster a critical intelligence and the asking of awkward questions? Some will train; many will poach. Would it not, after all, be better if we retained the present arrangements and tried to improve them? Would it not be better if management got on with running their businesses, while those who know something about education and training got on with their business?

Mr. Wallace

I cannot accuse the Government of curtailing debate on the winding-up of the Training Commission: that provision was in the Bill originally, and was also debated in Committee. A more substantive criticism concerns the way in which the Manpower Services Commission was suddenly wound up to make way for the Training Commission, which is now being wound up in its turn. There has been little consistency or stability in the provision of training.

I shall ask only one or two questions; the next debate may allow broader discussion of some of the issues. First, can the Minister give us some idea of the value and extent of the property and the assets with which we are dealing? Having become "incorporated"—I hope that that will not be too painful—what does the Secretary of State intend to do with the assets to which he will have sole title?

We know that, for better or worse, TECs are taking over from the Training Commission. What statutory provisions underpin them, though? How will those involved in them be accountable to the House for the money that they spend—in many instances, vast amounts?

Mrs. Mahon

I am very concerned about the way in which the amendments have been brought to the House, and about how responsibility for training is being given to people who have clearly failed in the past. The private sector has a very poor record. My constituency contains a TEC, and we know the names of the good and worthy whom the Minister has seen fit to appoint.

Mr. Martin Redmond (Don Valley)

Business men one and all.

Mrs. Mahon

They are indeed—and they are exactly the same people who were appointed to the business in the community scheme, which also operates in my area, and to the Eureka project for an educational museum, funded mainly by private means. In the past, such people have largely relied on the public sector.

I am also concerned about the fact that there is no employee representation on the TECs. The proposal will not provide a coherent national training programme. I am bitterly disappointed that it has been brought before the House in this way.

Questions were asked in the other place about the European social fund. The figure of £60 million was mentioned as having come from the European social fund during the last 10 years. Most of that money was targeted on special projects. I hope that the Minister will say something about the future of that funding. Who will be accountable for the huge sums of money that will be provided by the public sector?

Mr. Nicholls

With the leave of the House, I shall reply briefly to the debate. In doing so I hope to clear up a misunderstanding. The amendments are specific. They do not relate to the dissolution of the Training Commission per se. They relate to the narrower and doubtless fascinating, although somewhat arcane, debate about who should own the land after the Training Commission is dissolved.

When these matters were first considered, a final policy decision had not been reached on precisely which Minister should be responsible for taking over the land holding. The traditional view was that all this should be done through the Property Services Agency via my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. However, it was thought to be more sensible in the case of what might be described as a specialised property to place it in the hands of the sponsoring Minister. That is why it was proposed that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment should take over the land holdings —not because of any particular desire on his part to indulge in empire building but because it seemed to be logical that he should take them over.

The amendments, I repeat, do not refer to the debate about why the Training Commission should be abolished. However, the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) put his finger on it when he said that we had that debate in Committee. Having already this evening been accused of being surprisingly nice, I hesitate to confound that new assessment of me by significantly lowering the tone of the debate. However, perhaps I could delicately remind the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) that the reason for the abolition of the Training Commission was because one of the main limbs of that tripartite structure—the TUC—came out against employment training. Bearing in mind that that was the Training Commission's biggest programme at the time—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Maryhill lines herself up behind the wreckers of employment training.

The fact is that the Manpower Services Commission, the predecessor of the Training Commission, was responsible for designing the programme, together with trades union commissioners. However, they then decided, for what one can only conclude were party political reasons, to oppose it. It would have been a complete nonsense for the commission to continue to function when one of its main limbs was campaigning against what it was designed to do. The decision was taken, therefore, to abolish the Training Commission.

I am going over somewhat old ground that has been debated before, but it is right to make that point in order to clear up any apparent confusion among Opposition Members.

Mrs. Fyfe

I thank the Minister for clearing up some of the confusion, but he is labouring under the delusion that we are simply talking about trade union involvement in what was formerly a tripartite body. I have read thoroughly the debate in the other place on the issue. There were many references to the fact that education and training bodies were not represented on the commission. The Minister has chosen to deal only with uncontroversial property matters. He is dodging the issue of the role of the trainers and educators.

Mr. Nicholls

If I am to be accused, even pilloried, for keeping myself within order, I shall have to suffer those slings and outrages with as much fortitude as I can command. The amendments are specific; if Opposition Members wanted to broaden the debate on the commission, they should have worked out how to do so.

I do not think that I shall be giving too much away to some hon. Members if I say that TECs and general Government training policy will be considered in the next debate on industrial training boards. This narrow debate is on the land-holding capabilities of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. I hope that the House will agree that I have addressed those concerns quite directly.

Mr. Wallace

I asked two relevant questions within the narrow confines of the debate on the extent of the land holdings and what the Secretary of State proposes to do with them.

Mr. Nicholls

The land holdings will be those formerly held by the Training Commission. Jobcentres will be among the properties affected, and, within the meaning of the statute, my right hon. Friend intends to own them.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendment No. 7 agreed to.

Lords amendment No. 8, before clause 21, insert the following new clause—Consultation in connection with industrial training orders— . In section 1 of the Industrial Training Act 198.2 (establishment of industrial training boards), the following subsection shall be substituted for subsections (4) and (5)—

  1. "(4) Before making an industrial training order the Secretary of State shall consult—
    1. (a) such organisations or associations of organisations appearing to him to be representative of substantial numbers of employers, and such bodies established for the purpose of carrying on under national ownership any industry or part of an industry or undertaking, as he thinks fit; and
    2. (b) such other organisations, associations or bodies (if any) as he thinks fit.""

Madam Deputy Speaker (Miss Betty Boothroyd)

With this, it will be convenient to consider Lords amendments Nos. 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, 18, 27, 28, 30, 32 and 33.

12.30 am
The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Norman Fowler)

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

May I welcome the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) to his new post following the reshuffle? Man and boy, the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) stayed as my shadow for over six years, and I very much hope that the hon. Member for Sedgefield will have such a happy and long career on the Opposition Front Bench.

The amendments, which we moved in another place, are designed to enable us to change statutory industrial training boards to voluntary employer-led bodies or to employer-led boards. The change is part of the changes to the existing training framework necessary to meet the challenges of the next decade.

The White Paper, "Employment for the 1990s", which we published some months ago, set out the scale of the challenges facing Britain, such as the effect of changing demography:—in particular, the shortage of young people —the growth of overseas competition, the changing patterns of employment and changing skill needs.

The White Paper set out the framework required to meet those challenges. In future, training must help business succeed, become the responsibility of employers, provide standards that are set by industry, allow adults and young people to receive qualifications, be delivered locally and be flexible to suit local needs. The commitment of employers is fundamental to that. One of the most encouraging features of the current training position is the strength of employers' response to the training and enterprise councils' initiative.

In the debate on Lords amendment No. 6, the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) asked how many training and enterprise councils had been approved. Although the concept was introduced only last March, 35 TECs have been approved for development funding. Plans for a further 50 are well advanced. Already, over half the working population is covered. In the north-west, there are TECs in Cumbria, Oldham, east Lancashire, Rochdale, south-east Cheshire and Wigan. In my area, the west midlands, there is a major TEC in Birmingham and one in Walsall. There is also one in the north-west midlands. In the Yorkshire and Humberside region, there are TECs in north Yorkshire, Sheffield, Calderdale, Kirklees and Rotherham.

The TECs are covering the country, and there is tremendous enthusiasm for the concept. It would be a great tragedy if we had the normal political knockabout on this concept. The idea is crucial to this country. The TECs will plan and provide training locally, help the training of employed and unemployed people and will give training and enterprise not only a higher profile locally but a much better delivery locally than we have ever had.

Mrs. Mahon

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that the White Paper acknowledges that, going back to the beginning of the century, the private sector has failed miserably in providing training? We compare very unfavourably with our European counterparts.

Mr. Fowler

The case is not quite as the hon. Lady states it. We certainly need to catch up with countries such as Germany, France, Japan and the United States. The position to which the hon. Lady refers has not suddenly emerged but has been a characteristic of this country all this century. [Interruption.] It serves no one to sloganise, least of all to clamour and shout out as hon. Members are doing from a sedentary position. This is a serious matter which requires a serious policy response. Training and enterprise councils are a serious response.

I ask the Opposition to talk to the people who are on TECs locally—the business leaders. The thing that has impressed me most about the TECs is the enthusiasm that has been shown. People who have been involved in training for decades longer than I have noted the new spirit that has arisen over the past few years, not least for demographic reasons.

We need training arrangements that deliver not only training locally but standards in each industry at the sectoral level. In other words, our training system must be founded on standards and recognised qualifications based on competence. Those standards must be identified by employers and be nationally recognised. We need a system of employer-led organisations to identify, establish and secure recognition of standards, sector by sector or occupational group by occupational group.

Such a system of standard-setting bodies will be effective only if employers are committed to it. The Government's objective is therefore to see established throughout industry and commerce standard-setting bodies created by employers themselves, to which they subscribe and which will secure their continuing voluntary support. That approach is far preferable to one of regulation and compulsion.

The statutory system, whatever may have been said about it in the past, has not delivered the goods. Many firms in the few sectors covered by the statutory systems are not happy with performance. The engineering industry training board is an example. The group of 14 major companies in the engineering industry has campaigned against the continuance of the EITB in its present form. The levy system is bureaucratic by any measure, has ceased to be an incentive to train in many industries and is not providing money in that respect. The statutory framework constrains the development of effective commercial operations. The offshore petroleum training board, for example, cannot train workers employed for work onshore because of the statutory limitation on it.

Above all, industry training boards have failed to solve the training needs of their sectors. As the White Paper sets out, we want to move to a system which is based on employer commitment and which is voluntary, and independent and employer led. In saying that employers have the key role to play in securing those improvements, I am not seeking to deny the important part that other groups such as trade unions and educationists rightly play in training matters. However, without the commitment of employers, the good will and active encouragement of others will achieve little. In the vast majority of sectors that already have independent, voluntary arrangements, the views of trade unions are sought and taken into account, and in a range of those sectors, trade unions are represented on the governing body itself, including the glass, aviation, insurance and timber trades and many other industry organisations.

We want to move to a non-statutory system. At present, only seven statutory industry training boards are in existence, compared to over 100 independent, voluntary training organisations. We want to move to a system in which all sectors are covered by non-statutory, independent and voluntary arrangements. Those bodies must be able to command the active support of senior management in their sector. They must be seen by their sector as the body with the major role of dealing with Government on vocational, education and training matters, and their most important functions are the identification of key skill and training needs, and the establishment of occupational standards. In that way, they will complement the work of the training and enterprise councils at local level.

When I published the White Paper "Employment for the 1990s", I announced that we would be consulting the seven remaining ITBs with a view to securing their replacement by independent and voluntary bodies. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has held detailed discussions with all the main employer interests involved. I am pleased to tell the House that employers in the majority of sectors covered by those boards have come forward with proposals for the creation of such bodies.

Those new organisations will be progressively taking over the key activities of the boards covering the sectors of road transport, hotel and catering, clothing and allied products, plastics processing, offshore petroleum and engineering other than engineering construction.

In the case of construction and engineering construction, I have accepted the strong arguments of employers that statutory arrangements should continue there for the time being. There are particular problems in those areas concerned with a highly mobile labour force. In those industries there is much labour only sub-contracting, a high level of self-employment and a high use of short-term contract labour.

I shall be telling the two ITBs concerned that they will be reconstituted for a further three-year period, using the new powers being sought in the Bill, ending in 1993 for the construction industry and 1994 for engineering construction. At the end of that period, the Government will want to review the statutory arrangements.

In the future, there will be significant changes in the statutory boards. That includes the way in which we will wish to move to an employer majority on the boards using powers in amendment No. 10. They will become employer-led bodies but they will be statutory bodies, and the levy powers will continue.

12.45 am

The positive response from employers to my request to develop their own voluntary training arrangements promises well for the future success of the new bodies. They should provide a firm basis for the improvement in our training performance. It was necessary to see the shape of the proposals from employers for the replacement of statutory ITBs—those which are being replaced—before we could draw up appropriate amendments to the Industrial Training Act 1982. The powers we are seeking in the amendments will make it possible to transfer the staff and assets of ITBs to successor bodies so that key functions can be maintained and the continuity of employment of staff secured.

Amendment No. 8 changes the requirement on me to consult before making an order affecting the scope of an ITB. Amendment No. 9 will enable the key activities of ITBs to be continued without disruption during the transition to non-statutory status. It enables a board, with my agreement, to pass on its assets to a successor to be used for charitable purposes connected with training for employment.

The new clause also safeguards the position of staff involved in such a transfer by extending the application of the Transfer Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 to them. That means that their existing terms and conditions of employment will be preserved, and that is important.

Mr. Wallace

Will the Secretary of State confirm that that includes existing pension rights?

Mr. Fowler

There are different arrangements for pension rights. This concerns the working terms and conditions. However, I understand that the inquiries that have been made of the boards and their constituent parts suggest that most will want to take advantage of the existing industry training board pension scheme. The hon. Gentleman probably knows that there is an industrywide scheme to cover this issue and I think that staff will continue to use it. These terms do not cover the pension arrangements. There is nothing unusual about that since that has never been the case with such transfers.

Mrs. Mahon

In the previous debate, I mentioned the £60 million that has come from the European social fund and said how useful that has been. Does the Secretary of State believe that we will be able to attract that sort of funding when training is privatised?

Mr. Fowler

I heard what the hon. Lady said during the earlier debate. We are talking to the Commission about that and our intention is to ensure that that is the case. We are well apprised of the issue.

The general purpose of the new clause is to ease the transition from statutory ITBs to a voluntary approach. Firms in the industries affected and the staff of the ITBs involved will benefit from the change to voluntary status being achieved with a minimum of disruption.

Amendment No. 10 changes the balance of interests represented on ITBs, as well as providing the employer leadership that we believe is necessary to improve IT13 effectiveness. It will enable the move from statutory ITBs to employer-led successor arrangements to take place more smoothly.

The net result is that in the two sectors in which industrial training boards remain the employer leadership of the statutory boards will provide the basis for the reorganisation and achieve greater effectiveness. I hope that it will also pave the way for the development of voluntary arrangements in due course, but that is not the intent at the moment.

The overall effect of these amendments will be to create the conditions for voluntary employer-led training organisations to flourish. In important sectors of industry employers are now to be given a real opportunity to control and direct the work of their training body. They now have every incentive to play a full part, unfettered by the bureaucracy—perhaps the necessary bureaucracy—of a statutory system.

I agree that it is vital that that opportunity is taken. We shall be publishing a report shortly on research that we have carried out into the amount of funding and resources that are given to training in this country. We estimate that, at the moment, employers are spending about £18 billion' per year on training—although those figures are probably several years out of date. There is no question but that there is and has been a marked increase in the interest and financial commitment given to training, especially over the past two years, and that it takes account of the demographic trends and changes in the work force.

To myself and to many in the training world, there is no greater challenge in the 1990s than that of providing better training. The difference between nations and companies will be the differences in their skills—and in the skills of individuals. The new arrangements will help to bring about that change, and that is important and necessary for this country.

Mr. Tony Blair (Sedgefield)

First, I thank the Secretary of State for his kind words of welcome, although I find the idea of shadowing him for six years somewhat mind-numbing. In all fairness, I should tell him that my hon. Friends and I had in mind for him the more educative experience of opposition. He should regard the next year as a sort of training scheme for when that occurs, shortly after the next election.

This series of amendments deals specifically with industrial training boards. In 1981 there were 23 industrial training boards, but following a review by the Manpower Services Commission, their number was reduced to seven. The 16 that were wound up were replaced by voluntary bodies that seemed to multiply hugely so that there are now 102 non-statutory training organisations. In the White Paper published in December 1988, the Government proposed the abolition of the remaining seven industrial training boards. The amendments to be inserted before clause 21 in effect pave the way for that abolition

The two most controversial candidates for abolition are obviously the construction and engineering boards. As far as I understand what the Secretary of State has told us tonight, both the construction industry training board and the construction part of the engineering industry training board will remain in full in their present form, at least for the time being, and obviously I welcome that.

More generally, it is worth remembering that the boards were set up not because the voluntary sector had succeeded, but because it had failed to provide the type of training that people wanted. It is against that background that we must look at the advantages of the present industrial training board system. The first advantage is that the boards have statutory force—in other words, they have the force of the Government behind them. They are not dependent simply on the good will of individual companies.

Secondly—we believe that this is particularly important —they are tripartite bodies that involve the employer, educational interests and trade union interests. Many employers, believe it or not, accept that trade unions play a vital part in ensuring that training is dealt with adequately.

Thirdly, the boards have levy-raising powers, which, at least for some training measures, are absolutely necessary. In any event, however, those levy-raising powers are, in many cases, the principal source of funds for those training boards. Even where levy exemption procedures apply, the levy exemption is allowed only where certain training criteria are met by employers. Therefore the existence of the potential power to raise a levy can act as an incentive to employers for training practices.

Fourthly, tangentially, as a result of the levy, the ability arises to claim from the European social fund. The boards are treated as publicly funded bodies and, therefore, are eligible for grants under the rules of the ESF.

I want to direct my remarks principally to the engineering industrial training board. The 1981 review, "Framework for the Future", that paved the way for the abolition of 16 of the 23 boards that then existed specifically paid tribute to the work of the EITB and said that it had done a job that was irreplaceable by the voluntary sector. What has changed so dramatically between the publication of that Government report in 1981 and the White Paper in December 1988?

I understand that about 550 staff are employed by the EITB. I do not believe that anyone doubts the immense contribution that that board has made to training in the engineering industry, although I am not sure that the Government share that view. It is only right that we pay tribute to the work of that board and to the commitment of its staff to training. The Secretary of State may say that we still have tremendous training inadequacies in the engineering industry and that therefore, in some sense, the board has failed. I believe that the argument runs the other way—what would our training facilities be like but for the existence of the board? Surely that is the test of its effectiveness.

We should regard the levy-raising powers of the board seriously and it is instructive to look at its most recent accounts. Some £20 million of the £32 million revenue of the EITB comes from the levy in one form or another. I shall be obliged if the Minister could confirm that. I do not know many people who believe that a voluntary series of subscriptions could raise the same amount of money and, therefore, perform the same task on behalf of the board. As a result of matching grant from the ESF about £13 million in this financial year will go to the industry, not to the board, for training programmes.

My hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) is correct that £13 million is a lot of money and it is roughly equivalent to half the board's revenue. I appreciate that it is not the same as the board's revenue, but it is a substantial chunk of money which goes to the engineering industry for training. It is unjustifiable to say that the board should be abolished unless there is a clear guarantee from Europe that matching grant will still be available following the transfer to the voluntary sector. It would be extraordinary if we forfeited money that is available for training, especially as my information shows —I should be grateful if the Minister would confirm it —that the matching grant from the ESF assists 25,000 of our people to train.

I know that the board believes that much of the money that goes to training would not be forthcoming from the industrial sector employers. If that money is lost, effectively it will be lost for good.

Mrs. Mahon

Does my hon. Friend agree that some of the excellent schemes in new technology for groups such as women who want to get back into the work force have come from that very source of funding? That is very important.

1 am

Mr. Blair

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. This is one danger of saying that training should simply be left to market forces in the private sector. There will be perfectly legitimate schemes and interests which will not be met simply by the operation of market forces. I and a lot of other people fear that if there is a move to the voluntary sector it will not be in the employers' commercial interests to maintain some schemes which perform a valuable function now. Therefore, we must be sure of the proposed move's consequences before we make it.

A separate submission, dated May of this year, was made to the Department of Employment, in which the engineering industry training board listed nine key elements which they believed were at risk in the transfer to the voluntary sector. Those nine items, which I shall not list because they are fairly well known, add up to the requirement for a strong, politically supported national organisation which has a clear sense of direction and is adequately funded to provide the training needs in the engineering sector. When we consider that, and the paucity of guarantees and assurances which the Secretary of State gave tonight, we see that there is a pretty compelling case for the retention of an industrial training board in the public sector.

Many non-statutory training organisations operate in the voluntary sector. Some of them replaced earlier training boards which were abolished. I have looked a little bit at the evidence of how well these voluntary organisations work. An Institute of Manpower Studies report by Carol Varlaam which was published in December 1987 and done for the Manpower Services Commission found that more than one third of the voluntary organisations were ineffective when judged against the criteria applied. In July 1987 Mr. Alan Anderson carried out work for Manpower Research. He based his study on 42 of the non-statutory training organisations and found that the average number of staff at each one was slightly more than three and many of the organisations had serious funding problems.

At best, the evidence of the performance of these voluntary organisations is mixed. Therefore, against the background of the fact that they unquestionably do good work and have the ability to obtain funding from Europe and that transfer into the voluntary sector must, at the very least, as a result of the experiences which we have had, have uncertain consequences, it is highly irresponsible to propose the board's abolition without strong and satisfactory assurances that training will still be done adequately.

We know that the deficit on our manufacturing trade is about as serious as that in any modern industrial country, and the deficit in the engineering sector is £8 billion and covers virtually every sector, including new and old technology. It cannot be right at this time and with this trade deficit in engineering to abolish a critical element of our industrial training. If the Secretary of State is not serious about training in this country, he is not serious about our deficit; if he is not serious about our deficit, he fails in his responsibility to carry this country through into the 1990s. Therefore, without the proper assurances, we oppose the amendments.

Mr. Henry Bellingham (Norfolk, North-West)

I, too, welcome the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) to his new position.

I should like to concentrate on the construction industry training board because it has a profound effect on my constituents.

I welcome what the Secretary of State has said tonight, but it is rather bizarre that we are discussing these important issues at this stage of the evening. It would surely have been better to make a statement earlier this afternoon. In that event, those of my constituents who have travelled down from Norfolk could have heard what the Secretary of State had to say 12 hours earlier, instead of having had to wait all day. It is strange that we have heard such an important announcement at this juncture.

Nevertheless, I welcome the Secretary of State's remarks about the CITB. The uncertainty that has characterised the events of the past few months has been unsettling at the headquarters of the CITB at Bircham Newton. The morale of the staff has suffered and people have not known where they stand. Rumours have circulated and many feared that the future of the CITB was at stake.

If the statutory levy had not been kept, there is little doubt but that the CITC would have found it difficult to continue in the medium term. It is all very well firms saying, with the best will in the world, that they will pay a voluntary levy, but we all know that in construction, which the Secretary of State rightly said is different from other types of industry, when recessions come along firms cut back. They would cut back on the levy, the whole infrastructure of training would collapse and safety in the industry would suffer as a consequence.

I am slightly concerned about the proviso that the Secretary of State entered—that he will carefully examine how effective the new arrangements are and then review them in three years' time. That may well lead to continuing uncertainty. I hope that my right hon. Friend will look at the new arrangements after a year and a half. I hope that he will examine the new board's structure, the new revenue-raising arrangements and the new management structure. I hope that management will be given more scope to get on with the job with less bureaucracy. I hope that at the end of a year and a half my right hon. Friend will say that the statutory levy is to continue, not just for another year and a half but for a good deal longer.

A large number of highly qualified people work in a major complex in my constituency which has a profound effect on the local economy. Beyond that—we must look beyond constituency interests—the future of safety in the construction industry is at stake. The industry's safety record in this country is far from perfect. A large number of people are seriously injured or killed on sites and if we do anything other than build on the CITB's excellent record in training, that record will go downhill. If we build on its record of expertise, commitment and enterprise, we can go forward and create a safer construction industry.

Tonight's announcement has put aside a great deal of uncertainty. I hope now that we can put recent unsettling events behind us, that we can look to the future and, above all, to a safer industry. I hope that my right hon. Friend will bear in mind what I have said and that in a year and a half he will declare himself happy with the new arrangements and give a guarantee for a period much longer than three years, because so much is at stake.

Mr. Wallace

I join those who have congratulated the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) on his maiden employment speech and I look forward to many more debates with him on this and related issues.

Much of the debate has centred around the Government's training strategy. It has been rightly pointed out that until now the private sector has had a poor record on providing adequate training. That was one of the principal reasons for the setting up of industrial training boards with compulsory levies. That took account of the fact that the private sector, left to its own devices, had signally failed. That is frankly admitted by the authors of the equivalent of the White Paper on Scottish training and enterprise. They say that the performance of the private sector has been a source of considerable disappointment.

We have moved to training and enterprise councils and in Scotland to local enterprise councils and to the different structures promoted by the Scottish Development Agency and Highland Enterprise. We must hope that they will succeed. We may express considerable reservations and concern, but if that is the only structure for training on offer for the time being, it is in the country's interest that it should succeed.

Many of us who represent rural areas have doubts about the availability of people who have the time, commitment and expertise to take an interest in training. In many respects such people are the local managers and deliverers of Government training schemes. Many of us have constituencies with many small businesses run by self-employed people. Most of the successful entrepreneurs in that field devote a great deal of time, including leisure time, to running businesses. One wonders whether they would have time to engage in promoting training schemes.

If the TECs are to be successful there must be a change in the whole culture. The Secretary of State has expressed optimism about that. However, it is not simply a question of that change applying to employers, important though that is, because training, while it is clearly in the interests of employers, must involve educators, trade unions, local authorities and other authorities. As my noble Friend Lord Rochester said in another place, it must also involve trainers. I hope that the Secretary of State and his Ministers will recognise that, and that consultation with the many other bodies will not just be lip service. Those bodies have an important role to play in the whole area of training and without them it would be impossible to initiate and continue adequate training schemes. I hope that their views will be properly taken into account, not least when setting up successors to the training boards to which the amendments relate.

Some hon. Members have already spoken about the weakness of the levy system. I accept that in industries such as construction and engineering it has been necessary to ensure a degree of fairness. We must ensure that the burden of training does not fall on those who are self-employed or who run small businesses and who have the good will to see the need for proper training. They must not be left to provide all the skilled people for industry.

People in the CITB who have found loopholes to avoid paying the levy have been a source of considerable irritation to those who are honest and pay up. One of my constituents, the first to attend my surgery in 1983 after I was elected, complained that he had been billed for a substantial amount as his levy to the CITB. He was in a remote area of Orkney and did not see any benefit accruing because the CITB did not provide any training in the area. He was aware that many people, some of whom he had trained, had set up in business and, no doubt, were using the expertise that he had passed on, and who were exempt from the levy. That constituent feels a sense of unfairness and injustice. That must be addressed when we look to a continuation of the construction industry training board.

The Secretary of State mentioned the offshore petroleum board, which I understand does not impose a levy. Surely in the aftermath of Piper Alpha and other accidents and tragedies offshore it is important to have a board charged with responsibility for training, not least for safety training. The offshore liaison committee has been arguing since 1985 that the low paid or the unemployed should not have to subsidise the oil industry by paying for their own survival training. A recent survey of Shell's Tern field catering staff showed that 87 out of 93 had paid for their own survival training. With offshore safety so much in the forefront of our minds, one cannot leave it to the employers to get together and organise training because experience has shown that they have not been subsidising or providing safety training courses. There must be a Government role in ensuring that there is adequate safety training for offshore workers.

1.15 am

The hon. Member for Sedgefield dealt with the employment industry training board. I endorse his remarks, and I shall not go over them again. He made a powerful case for the valuable work that the EITB has done. Its important contribution in a vital skill centre should be continued, not least because of what it has done in maintaining the standards of training in the important engineering sector.

The Secretary of State said that during the transitional period he intends to ensure that the key activities of the board are continued. In this respect, I should like him to confirm that some of the important work being undertaken by the EITB will continue. For example, it does work on women in industry, something that is not seen as commercial in the short term but, given our earlier debates, will be important in the long term. It provides a comprehensive careers advice service, which should also be maintained.

What timetable does the Minister envisage for making appointments to the board? It is important, as it looks to the future, that it should know who the personnel involved will be.

Is there any chance that money from the European social fund will be lost because the levy will no longer be seen as public money?

Will the Minister confirm that the CITB and the EITB, which play such important roles as managers for YTS and employment training, will continue in those managerial roles under the new scheme?

We are not satisfied that the new arrangements for training are yet set out in sufficient detail for us to embrace them with enough confidence to permit the winding up of the training boards. They are not perfect, but in many other ways they are a vital part of the provision of skilled training. For that reason, if the House divides, we shall not be supporting the Lords amendments.

Mr. Frank Haynes (Ashfield)

I welcome my hon. Friend the Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) to his new responsibility for employment. My hon. Friend dealt with the Secretary of State for Employment when he was responsible for energy. I hope that the Secretary of State is not too tired to understand what I am saying. The Opposition now have a shadow Secretary of State for Employment who will give the Secretary of State a good going over. He has got it coming, as the Secretary of State for Transport, when he was responsible for Energy, got it when my hon. Friend was responsible for energy. I hope that the Secretary of State will put down his notes and take the message on board.

When I was a lad, and into my youth, the industry in which I worked had a first-class training system. [Interruption.] The Secretary of State is not listening. He is talking to his junior, and he should not be. He should be listening to what Opposition Members are saying because all day Opposition Members have been making sensible contributions, but all too often these slick Ministers will not listen to what we say. The Secretary of State is a smart-Alick when he is speaking from the Government Dispatch Box. He appears almost every other week and introduces a different training scheme. The schemes are changed time and time again. He might get things right one day. He would do so if he listened to what my right hon. and hon. Friends and I have to say. He should understand that we have a special interest in the subject.

The Secretary of State makes it clear from the Government Front Bench that he does not like trade unions. He keeps on saying so. I watch him on the "box" when he thrashes the trade unions. He should understand that the trade unions have had a massive role in training. That has been my experience, and I was 35 years in the mining industry. I know that since 1979——

Mr. Nicholls

That is a long time ago.

Mr. Haynes

It is a long time ago, but I have a good memory. The young Minister must listen. If he does so, he will get a good training and work education. He will learn also how to represent constituents. I did not stand in court all day filling my pockets.

Mr. Nicholls

Not like the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair).

Mr. Haynes

I am talking about the Minister, not my hon. Friend the Member for Sedgefield. The junior Minister is making many comments from a sedentary position.

I know what work is. I have told the House before that there is such a thing as a No. 10 shovel. It is as big as a table top. That was my implement—an implement of torture. I know what bloomin' work is. The Minister should have listened to the contributions from the workers. and there are many workers on the Opposition Benches.

Mr. David Harris (St. Ives)

And on this side, Frank!

Mr. Haynes

I cannot understand why my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Dixon) is sitting on the Government Benches below the Gangway. My hon. Friend is the Opposition's deputy Chief Whip. It may be that he did not want to sit behind me. If he wished to sit opposite me, he will have to be satisfied with a profile.

The Secretary of State told us about his involvement in training and talked about qualifications. What qualifications does the right hon. Gentleman have for training people in industry? What experience has he had of training youngsters and others to undertake skilled jobs? I do riot think that he has had any. That will remain my view unless he intervenes to tell me about his qualifications and experience.

I resent someone with no qualifications preaching to me about training, and especially about safety, which was mentioned by the hon. Member for Norfolk, North-West (Mr. Bellingham). In the mining industry, which I left to come to this place, there have been many more deaths in the past few years than hitherto. That is tragic. The increase in the number of deaths is related to the Department and the Secretary of State. There are not enough inspectors to ensure that management and employees are doing the job properly under the appropriate safety regulations. Employees might not have received proper training.

When I was a lad and a youth in the mining industry, there was proper training. Managers and workers worked together in the interests of training and safety and to protect one another. I was taught to be my own safety officer, and that is the way to go about it. At the same time, however, we were also responsible for the chaps who worked on either side of us. The Secretary of State, the junior Minister and the Minister of State do not know about training and work. I have an idea that the Minister of State, who has just joined the Department from the Foreign Office, is in the same league as his right hon. and hon. Friends—[Interruption.] We can have a joke now and again, but training and safety are serious matters and should be dealt with properly.

The question of 1992 has been mentioned in the Chamber on many occasions. If the United Kingdom is not prepared for 1992 it will go down the Swanee. In our preparations for 1992 should be the proper training of management and employees. That is in the interests not only of their health and their lives, but of the economy.

I am concerned about some of the Secretary of State's comments tonight about training. He has failed in the past; he must have failed, as he keeps coming back to the House with different schemes. He has been talking about this, that and the other. My hon. Friend the Member for Sedgefield mentioned the training boards, which have now gone. My experience in life is that if something is not making a profit, something has to go. More often than not, the employee has to suffer. The training scheme is run down because the Government do not put in enough money. The Secretary of State is responsible for that, and he knows it.

I remember serving on an employment Bill Standing Committee where we discussed many aspects of employment, including training and safety. The junior Minister did a first-class job on behalf of the Government. Why? It was because the Secretary of State was hardly ever there. I was Opposition Whip on that Committee and I told the right hon. Gentleman that he could have Thursdays off because of Cabinet meetings—but I told him that I expected him back in the evenings if the Committee was still sitting. We did have some late sittings, and the junior Minister was there all the time. I am not afraid to admit that I helped him from time to time. The Committee did a good job on the Bill, but I cannot say the same for the right hon. Gentleman.

The Secretary of State should stand at the Dispatch Box and say that there will be decent training schemes throughout industry. That is important for those who work in industry, it is important for the economy and, most of all, as the Prime Minister keeps telling us—and we know, without her telling us—we must get ready for 1992. If we are not ready, the right hon. Gentleman is going down the Swanee with us.

Mr. Fowler

It is very reassuring to know that in the reshuffle on the Opposition Benches the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) marches on and has not changed. He will be relieved to know that it is quite possible that a new employment Bill will be introduced in the next Session, and we very much look forward to him serving on that.

Mr. Haynes

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Secretary of State is wrong—I am the Whip for energy.

Mr. Fowler

I was simply making an offer. I was rather hoping that the hon. Gentleman was not going on any more of his foreign trips—

Mr. Haynes

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I work in the Whips Office. I am here every day. I do not go on foreign trips, so he can come off that one.

1.30 am
Mr. Fowler

I must have made a mistake. I apologise. I recognise the seriousness of what the hon. Gentleman said about training, and I agree with him about its importance, particularly in regard to Europe and 1992.

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, North-West (Mr. Bellingham) for his comments about the construction industry training board. It will be reviewed in three years' time. It is an exception to the general policy. It is sensible that there should be a review, and I hope that what I have announced today will end, as my hon. Friend suggested it would, the uncertainty that hung over it. I pay tribute to the work that it has done in an industry which stands apart from many of the other industries about which we have been talking.

In the few minutes that remain to me, I shall not be able to respond to everything that has been said, so I shall reply in the usual way. The hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) accused the Government of not being serious about training. I must remind him that his party opposed, root and branch, the introduction of employment training for long-term unemployed people for month after month. We tried honestly to introduce a scheme that provided training for such people, but the Labour party and the hon. Gentleman's predecessor, the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher), opposed it at every turn. I hope that, when the hon. Gentleman puts his mind to the subject, that policy will change. It is all very well his uttering words about the importance of training, but we want some commitment from the Opposition.

In a scheme that is training more than 400,000 long-term unemployed people, 210,000 people are on the employment training programme, which has been opposed at every stage by the Labour party. I believe that that is an entirely indefensible position, and one of the first things that the hon. Member for Sedgefield should do in his new post is assess that policy and change it. There is no justification whatever for opposing a training programme which all the research shows is producing good training for long-term unemployed people and brings them back into employment. We all agree about the importance of training, and there is no need to labour the point. One of the troubles with the case of industrial training boards is that they have not raised skill standards. There is also a range of levy arrangements with ITBs. It is not true that they are all provided with vital resources from the levy. The offshore petroleum board imposes no levy, and the hotel and catering board levy touches only 1 per cent. of firms in the industry. The proposals have come from the different industries themselves.

With the new TECs, we wish to see the local delivery of training; with the new industry training organisations, we wish to set new and good national standards.

Mr. Blair


Mr. Fowler

I cannot give way: it is not remotely possible.

Employers, the public and those involved in the TECs have demonstrated a new enthusiasm for training, and I hope very much that the whole House will share that enthusiasm.

It being three hours after the commencement of proceedings, MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER, pursuant to the order this day, proceeded to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

The House divided: Ayes 97, Noes 32.

Division No. 384] [1.35 am
Alexander, Richard Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Gregory, Conal
Amess, David Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Amos, Alan Hague, William
Arbuthnot, James Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Harris, David
Ashby, David Hayward, Robert
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Batiste, Spencer Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Boswell, Tim Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
Brazier, Julian Irvine, Michael
Bright, Graham Jack, Michael
Burns, Simon Janman, Tim
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Jessel, Toby
Carrington, Matthew Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Carttiss, Michael King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Chapman, Sydney Knapman, Roger
Chope, Christopher Knight, Greg (Derby North)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Lawrence, Ivan
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Lightbown, David
Cran, James Lilley, Peter
Davis, David (Boothferry) Maclean, David
Day, Stephen McLoughlin, Patrick
Devlin, Tim Mans, Keith
Dorrell, Stephen Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Dover, Den Meyer, Sir Anthony
Durant, Tony Miller, Sir Hal
Eggar, Tim Mills, Iain
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Fallon, Michael Mitchell, Sir David
Favell, Tony Moss, Malcolm
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Moynihan, Hon Colin
Forman, Nigel Neubert, Michael
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Nicholls, Patrick
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Freeman, Roger Paice, James
French, Douglas Porter, David (Waveney)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Renton, Tim
Gill, Christopher Sackville, Hon Tom
Goodlad, Alastair Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Stevens, Lewis
Gow, Ian Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley) Widdecombe, Ann
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N) Wood, Timothy
Thurnham, Peter
Twinn, Dr Ian Tellers for the Ayes:
Waller, Gary Mr, John M. Taylor and Mr. Irvine Patnick.
Warren, Kenneth
Wheeler, John
Alton, David Mahon, Mrs Alice
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Meale, Alan
Beith, A. J. Michael, Alun
Blair, Tony Nellist, Dave
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Patchett, Terry
Buckley, George J. Pike, Peter L.
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Randall, Stuart
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Redmond, Martin
Cryer, Bob Richardson, Jo
Cummings, John Short, Clare
Cunliffe, Lawrence Skinner, Dennis
Dixon, Don Wallace, James
Foster, Derek Wareing, Robert N.
Fyfe, Maria Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mildred Tellers for the Noes:
Illsley, Eric Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. Allen McKay.
Kennedy, Charles

Question accordingly agreed to.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER then proceeded, pursuant to the order this day, to put forthwith the Question, That this House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Lords amendments:——

The House divided: Ayes 97, Noes 33.

Division No. 385] [1.47 am
Alexander, Richard Devlin, Tim
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Dorrell, Stephen
Amess, David Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Amos, Alan Durant, Tony
Arbuthnot, James Eggar, Tim
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Fallon, Michael
Ashby, David Favell, Tony
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Batiste, Spencer Forman, Nigel
Boswell, Tim Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Brazier, Julian Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Bright, Graham Freeman, Roger
Burns, Simon French, Douglas
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Garel-Jones, Tristan
Carrington, Matthew Gill, Christopher
Carttiss, Michael Goodlad, Alastair
Chapman, Sydney Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Chope, Christopher Gow, Ian
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Gregory, Conal
Cran, James Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Hague, William
Day, Stephen Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Moss, Malcolm
Harris, David Moynihan, Hon Colin
Hayward, Robert Neubert, Michael
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Nicholls, Patrick
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Paice, James
Irvine, Michael Porter, David (Waveney)
Jack, Michael Renton, Tim
Janman, Tim Sackville, Hon Tom
Jessel, Toby Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Stevens, Lewis
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Knapman, Roger Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Lawrence, Ivan Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Lightbown, David Thurnham, Peter
Lilley, Peter Twinn, Dr Ian
Maclean, David Waller, Gary
McLoughlin, Patrick Warren, Kenneth
Mans, Keith Wheeler, John
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Widdecombe, Ann
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Wood, Timothy
Meyer, Sir Anthony
Miller, Sir Hal Tellers for the Ayes:
Mills, Iain Mr. John M. Taylor and Mr. Irvine Patnick.
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Mitchell, Sir David
Alton, David Mahon, Mrs Alice
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Meale, Alan
Beith, A. J. Michael, Alun
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Nellist, Dave
Blair, Tony Patchett, Terry
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Pike, Peter L.
Buckley, George J. Randall, Stuart
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Redmond, Martin
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Richardson, Jo
Cryer, Bob Short, Clare
Cummings, John Skinner, Dennis
Cunliffe, Lawrence Wallace, James
Dixon, Don Wareing, Robert N.
Foster, Derek Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Fyfe, Maria
Golding, Mrs Llin Tellers for the Noes
Gordon, Mildred Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. Allen McKay.
Illsley, Eric
Kennedy, Charles

Question accordingly agreed to.

Remaining Lords amendments agreed to.