HC Deb 10 July 1990 vol 176 cc262-83

10.1 pm

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Sir Geoffrey Howe)

I beg to move, That, (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business), the Motions in the name of Mr. Secretary Patten relating to Local Government may be proceeded with, at the sitting on Wednesday 1 I th July, though opposed, until midnight; and, at the sitting on Thursday 12th July, if proceedings thereon have not been previously disposed of Mr. Speaker shall at Seven o'clock put the Question already proposed from the Chair and shall then put forthwith successively the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the remaining Motions; and (2) If proceedings on the above Motions have not been completed before Seven o'clock at the sitting on Thursday 12th July, the Private Business set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means for consideration at that hour shall stand over until the conclusion of such proceedings, and the said Private Business may be proceeded with, though opposed, for three hours after it has been entered upon.

Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As you will see, the motion is divided into two parts. As I understand it, it was put down as recently as last Friday. Will you accept a manuscript amendment to the second part, the section which deals with the private business next Thursday? If that were possible, it would be for the convenience of the House. Some of us do not want the second half of the motion, but are quite happy with the first part. As this is only the third day that it has been on the Order Paper, will you accept a manuscript amendment?

Mr. Speaker

The motion was down on Friday, when it was objected to. There would have been time to table an amendment yesterday.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The motion on the Order Paper has two purposes, as the House will divine. First, it provides for the debate on the charge limitation orders to continue until midnight tomorrow and until 7 o'clock on Thursday. Secondly—the point that is objected to by the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer)—it allows the private business on Thursday to run for a full three hours even if the preceding business prevents that private business from starting at 7 o'clock.

The timing of the local government orders was agreed through the usual channels last week. It is worth noticing that, if the motion were not approved by the House, under Standing Orders the debate on the three separate orders would continue tomorrow evening until they were disposed of, which could be as late as 2.30 am. The debate could not be continued on Thursday and it is clear that that is not what the House would wish.

Mr. Martin Redmond (Don Valley)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On many occasions you have ruled that sub judice matters should not be discussed in the House. As the Bill has gone to the Lords, may I ask you to say that the sub judice rule now applies to the business before the House?

Mr. Speaker

That does not arise. The local government motions are delegated legislation and the sub judice rule does not bite on that.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The second part of the motion provides so-called injury time for private business. In allowing that, I am meeting a request from the Chairman of Ways and Means. Bearing in mind that the business on Thursday—the London Underground Bill—affects the area surrounding the Palace and has been the subject of a report from the Services Committee, the Chairman considers that there is sufficient interest in that Bill to warrant giving it a full three hours' debate. That is the purpose of the second part of the motion.

I hope that the House will agree to this entirely reasonable request from the Chair and to the other agreed arrangements that I have mentioned. Any hon. Member who has concerns about the private business can raise them in the debate in the proper way.

10.6 pm

Mr. Bruce Grocott (The Wrekin)

The first part of the procedural motion is as we expected, and all hon. Members understand the need for it. It has been discussed in the usual way. The second part of the motion deals specifically with the way in which we deal with private Bills. It is well known that Opposition Members and some other hon. Members are not happy with the way in which private Bills are dealt with. The reasons are well rehearsed and have been debated many times, and no doubt we shall have another such debate before long, because the Government have issued a consultation document on the subject which I hope will lead to reform of the way in which we deal with private Bills.

I cannot understand—and the Leader of the House has not given us sufficient explanation—why we have to have this unusual procedural motion to deal with one private Bill which will be before the House on Thursday. Why does that Bill have to be protected, if I may put it that way? I am not discussing the Bill's merits because, as has rightly been said, they can be discussed at the appropriate time, but questions need to be raised as to why some Bills are protected by procedure and others are not. At a time when everyone recognises that we need to look at the way in which private Bills are dealt with, why is it necessary to have a rather tactless but specific procedural motion to deal with one private Bill? As my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) said, the motion was rather surprisingly brought forward on Friday but was not moved.

Mr. Cryer

The motion was not moved on Friday and came before the only yesterday. That means that a rather sudden procedure has been visited upon the House.

Mr. Grocott

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. It is precisely for those reasons that we are not happy with the motion. So far, the Leader of the House has not given a satisfactory explanation as to why it is necessary to bring the motion forward on this Bill.

Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones (Treasurer of Her Majesty's Household)

It was agreed through the usual channels.

Mr. Grocott

No, it was not, and the hon. Gentleman knows that perfectly well. We must have a satisfactory explanation of why matters have developed in this way.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

Did I hear my hon. Friend aright? Did he say that there had been no agreement through the usual channels? Does he recall that, on two occasions last week, the usual channels did not operate, and as a result there was an almighty shambles and a row in the House? The new Leader of the House seems to be more concerned about getting to bed than with dealing with the matters in hand. I think that this matter should go back—I hope that my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Grocott) agrees—and we should have a discussion about it. We should not treat Mr. Speaker with contempt because he made it abundantly clear last week that he wanted to sit in the Chair and see the usual channels operate. I do not want to sound a s though I am protecting the Speaker—

Mr. Max Madden (Bradford, West)

My hon. Friend is doing a good job.

Mr. Skinner

I know that it sounds like that. It is high time that the usual channels got together and sorted this out. I have reason to believe that if the line goes ahead there will be a great big heap of earth stuck in the middle of Parliament square for five years—

Mr. Cryer

Seven years.

Mr. Skinner

Seven years—it is going up—any advance on seven years? The Speaker will not be able to get his car round it. The Prime Minister will be gone by then and there will be a new Prime Minister with a Daimler who will not be able to get round the heap either.

Mr. Grocott

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his diplomatic intervention. He is almost part of the usual channels himself these days, and he has been helpful.

It is clear that such motions should not go down on the Order Paper in this way, without proper discussion. I am sure that, unless the Leader of the House comes forward with a far better explanation than he has done so far. many of us will be inclined to vote against the motion.

10.13 pm
Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, East)

Many of us are concerned about the Government's use of private Bills. The London Underground Bill will provide another arm in the legislation that the Government are introducing. The House knows of the difficulties that we have had over the Bills relating to docks and the opposition that has been generated because of the Government's actions. Therefore, to use this procedure as the Leader of the House is suggesting is contrary to the will of the House.

Private business and private Bills are a matter for the House of Commons, not the Government. Irrespective of any letter from the Chairman of Ways and Means, for the Government to table a motion insisting that we have three hours of debate with no interruption makes many of us suspicious that the Government have done that in the hope that they can pass the Bill on Thursday night in one sitting. If that were to happen, it would be outrageous. This is a highly contentious Bill.

Mr. Redmond

My hon. Friend makes a valuable point, because the Government appear to be prejudging any decision that you, Mr. Speaker, may make tomorrow night. By putting down a time limit of three hours it is obvious that they expect you to accept the closure motion on this important private Bill. I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) would agree that it is wrong for the Government to seek to restrict debate in the House on such an important matter.

Mr. Orme

I put it to the Leader of the House, because I think that he is a fair person—

Mr. Brian Sedgemore (Hackney, South and Shoreditch)

Leave it to the sagacious Members of the House. My hon. Friend knows best.

Mr. Orme

I am sorry if my hon. Friend does not agree, but I am sure that the Leader of the House is a fair person. I speak as a member of the Select Committee dealing with the Bill. We have met the Secretary of State for Transport and the chairman of London Transport, and have taken technical advice. The Committee sees the Bill as a major proposition and believes that it should be examined in detail. Many of us believe that the Bill is seen by many people as a developers' Bill that will assist the development in Canary wharf and the east end of London.

I must make it clear that, although many of us are opposed to some aspects of the Bill, we are not opposed to the Jubilee line. We are opposed to the interchange being sited in Parliament square, and we shall develop that argument more fully on Thursday. I urge the Leader of the House to withdraw the motion.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

Does the right hon. Gentleman, who is chairman of the parliamentary Labour party, understand the proposals? I shall remind him what they entail. The first point is not opposed by anyone—it has been agreed through the usual channels. It allows the debate to proceed until midnight tomorrow and until 7 o'clock on Thursday. The second point is designed to prevent the time available for debate on Thursday being curtailed by any Divisions that may take place at 7 o'clock. It is designed not to constrict, but to enlarge, the amount of time available. It will ensure that there is a full three hours for debate.

The motion has been tabled in response to a specific request from the Chairman of Ways and Means in the following terms: As you know, this Bill affects the area immediately surrounding the precincts of the Palace and has been the subject of a report from the Services Committee. The Chairman of Ways and Means feels that there is sufficient interest in this Bill to warrant Members being given a full three hours debating time. I am responding to a request from the Chairman of Ways and Means to enlarge the time available to accommodate precisely the sort of points that the right hon. Gentleman wishes to make. Had I not tabled the motion, the time available would be reduced by whatever time was taken by Divisions. I am responding to a specific request to meet the very points being raised by the right hon. Gentleman. I hope that, on that basis, he will now concur with the motion.

Mr. Orme

I followed closely what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said. Will he give an assurance that he will not move the closure and seek to put the matter to a vote on Thursday evening?

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The conduct of the proceedings on Thursday night will be under the charge of the Chairman of Ways and Means in the usual way. All that I am doing is attempting to ensure that the usual amount of time is available for that to take place.

Mr. Orme

It is that very point that makes me so suspicious. I understand the request from the Chairman of Ways and Means, but it is a Government motion. The Government are responsible for the motion and for the conduct of the business. We have a suspicion that the Government are trying to bounce the House to pass a Bill on a basis that is quite unacceptable to the House. I could develop that argument, but I think that I have made my point. I urge my hon. Friends and any Conservative Members who want fair play to vote against the motion.

10.18 pm
Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)

We are in an unusual and I understand, unprecedented position, because the Government's proposals to cap the poll tax in an enormous number of local authorities—which are to be debated for an extended period tomorrow and until 7 o'clock on Thursday—do not allow sufficient time for proper consideration of what is probably the most draconian imposition on local government that we have ever witnessed—[Interruption.] If the hon. Member for Calder Valley (Mr. Thompson) would just listen for a moment, he would hear my argument. The proposals merit far more than a day and a half of debate—indeed, far more than an extended day and a half.

With more democratic management, there would have been far longer and there would not have been any risk that the time necessary to discuss and vote on the three orders would interfere with the time set aside under the procedures of the House for private business. The usual channels—not a mechanism which normally benefits my party or one which we endorse—regard a day and a half as sufficient. I think it is not sufficient, even if one includes the time for three votes—up to three quarters of an hour. The motion has been tabled as a result of bad management. The Government have not allowed enough time.

However, I shall vote for the business motion tonight, for the following reason. We need at least three hours for the Second Reading debate on the London Underground Bill and the Jubilee line. I agree with the chairman of the parliamentary Labour party, the right hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme), who said that we need more than three hours.

I have a particular interest in Thursday evening's debate, because the London Underground Bill greatly affects my constituents. It contains a proposal to extend the Jubilee line from Green park via Westminster, under the river to Waterloo, through the north part of Southwark, into the Isle of Dogs, on to the Greenwich peninsula and then on to Stratford.

Until this morning, there had been a general expectation that the underground would have two new stations in the borough of Southwark—in Southwark and in Bermondsey—as part of the proposals to which the Government would announce their commitment. I awoke this morning to find two reports in the national press suggesting that those stations might now not be built. I had already yesterday arranged an urgent meeting for today with the Minister for Public Transport.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but surely his argument is more relevant to the private Bill than to the business motion.

Mr. Hughes

I am seeking to keep to the subject of the business motion, and I understand the difference. The important relationship between the business motion and Thursday's debate is that that will be our only opportunity to debate what appears to be a substantial risk that a Bill which originally would have produced some benefit for my constituency will not now do so. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we have an extended debate of three hours.

The conjunction of business on Thursday means a debate and vote on poll tax capping for Southwark and then a debate on the Jubilee line, which is proposed to go under Southwark, but with no commitment for extra stations for the borough.

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

All for nothing.

Mr. Hughes

As the hon. Member for Workington says, the risk is that we will have four or five years of disruption for the building of an underground line under the borough with no new stations to show for it.

The reason why we need time on Thursday for the private Bill but why this is bad management of business for the poll tax debate is that there are substantial cost implications for Southwark of the London Underground Bill, which the same day will probably be capped and have its budget reduced from £241,000 to about £229,000 if the orders are passed.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Surely not? It is £235,000.

Mr. Hughes

No, £291,000 is currently the council's budget. The juxtaposition of the draconian poll tax capping of one of the poorest boroughs in Britain with a debate in which we are likely to hear that there will be no commitment to public transport benefit for the same borough is pretty rich indeed.

I hope that we shall have three hours for the London Underground debate on Thursday. We should also have had far longer for the poll tax debate.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Labour gain.

Mr. Hughes

It will not be a Labour gain. In this May's local election, Labour got 35 per cent. of the vote in Southwark and Bermondsey, and we got 55 per cent. I shall try not to be distracted again.

I am sad that the result of the procedural muddle in to which the Government have got themselves is that the important debates of tomorrow and Thursday will be curtailed; and that the House's usual procedures will now—although rightly—be disrupted by the need to protect private business.

I gather that the House is soon to decide on how to conduct private business—there have been inquiries, Committees have reported and the Government have given their responses. If we are to debate private legislation in this place, we need enough time to discuss it properly on Second Reading, and that may necessitate far more than three hours. If we are not to debate private legislation here, then major development must be decided by a proper democratic process. At the moment, all we have is a muddle, and inadequate time to discuss matters of immense local interest. We have to contort the procedures of the House to squeeze in a combination of public and private business—trying to pour a quart into a pint pot. it is a sad state of affairs, and this motion will barely rescue some time for consideration of the vital private business on Thursday.

10.26 pm
Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

The first half of the motion is the more palatable. It is worth pointing out that every order should have at least one and a half hours discussion; by lumping the orders together tomorrow, the Government will allow each one much less than that.

One of the Government's problems is that they are short of time. They have already announced that the House will rise on 26 July, so by means of this motion they are pushing through legislation as rapidly as possible in the diminishing time that they have left. That is entirely typical of a Government who, for the past 10 years, have abused the democratic procedures of the House and forced through Act after Act—far more, in fact, than the House and its secretarial staff can cope with.

Mr. Skinner

Is my hon. Friend really trying to convince me, at 10.27 pm, that the Government are in time trouble? Is he seriously telling us that, because the House is getting up at the end of July, they do not have time to deal with this matter? I read a report in the Evening Standard that the House would have risen on the 19th, but that the Government would carry on to the 26th not because they did not have time but because two more garden parties had been laid on. Three of them have been put on this time—one extra because "she" is not paying the poll tax. If that is so, we are only here to allow those garden parties to take place, so that all those Members of Parliament can go trotting down the Mall. When I bump into them at the end of St. James's park, I say, "'Eh up, Jack, where are you going?" They say, "Well, it's the wife, you know."

Mr. Speaker

Order. Would it not be more appropriate if the hon. Gentleman sought to catch the eye of the Chair to put these most interesting points to the whole House rather than to his hon. Friend?

Mr. Cryer

I am surprised by my hon. Friend's comments. What worries me, as he knows, is that the national executive committee of the Labour party has expressed some reservations about the anti-poll tax union. If Her Majesty is not paying the poll tax, as my hon. Friend suggests that she is not, that means that she will be part of the anti-poll tax union, so when we are in government our leadership may be somewhat reluctant to go and talk to her—

Mr. Speaker

Order. It is a long tradition of the House that we do not involve members of the royal family in our arguments.

Mr. Cryer

I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for preventing me from entering that area. I must relate my remarks to the two motions. I disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner). The Government are in difficulty over timing.

Mr. Skinner

We could come back in August.

Mr. Cryer

The only way the Government have managed to get their legislation through is by one guillotine after another. Only by tabling procedural motions such as this have they been able to squeeze in the additional legislation.

Earlier this evening we discussed the problems associated with gipsies. It was one of the few occasions when we had time to debate that important subject without the continuing pressure of legislation. The House does not deal effectively with delegated powers. The capping orders are affirmative orders that each deserve one and a half hours of debate. The majority of legislation affecting our citizens is not primary legislation—it is provided by means of delegated powers, such as the poll tax capping orders. Delegated legislation should be given the degree of attention that it merits—much more than one and a half hours for each order.

We are considering 20 orders which, if each were given one and a half hours, would be debated for 30 hours. That shows how the House is being robbed of time. There would be 20 Divisions, so that we could register our clear opposition to each order. Every hon. Member representing a poll tax-capped authority would be able to spell out the cuts that the Government are imposing on them. Each authority will have to make emergency plans. We ought to be able to refer to the teachers and caretakers who will have to be sacked and the services for the mentally handicapped that will have to be cut, all because of the Government.

The first part of the business motion inevitably means that those details cannot be spelt out in the time available. There is insufficient time to accommodate all 20 Members of Parliament who represent poll tax-capped authorities. All of them are represented by Labour Members, but a crop of Tories will be sent in by the Whips, who will tell them, "Don't let the Opposition take up too much time—We want you to go in and speak for Tory-controlled local authorities that are not poll tax-capped." Those Members will use up 10 minutes of our time, in which we could have referred to areas being robbed by this Tory Government. We shall be robbed by the Tory serfs—servile people who speak in the debate at the behest of the Whips and take up our time. Then the Leader of the House—Mogadon man personified—comes here to set the place on fire.

Mr. Skinner

Mogadon man has changed his name; he is now Slippery Dick.

Mr. Cryer

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. In ordinary circumstances, if the Tories took up half of each one and a half hours, with luck we might get 45 minutes. The Leader of the House has now come to tell us that we cannot even have that. We are to be limited to less than the full 30 hours which ought to be allocated to the order.

It is true that this has been agreed by the usual channels, but the usual channels know full well that the Government would bring in their huge majority and push through a more restrictive business motion.

Mr. Simon Hughes

Hon. Members should be quite clear that the Government have fiddled the arrangements, because they have concertina-ed 20 poll tax-capping provisions into three orders, one of which deals with a single authority, another with three authorities and the other with 16 authorities. As the hon. Gentleman rightly said, there should be a separate debate on each of those motions. The Government have already concertina-ed those into three orders so it is a double fiddle—first, reducing it to three orders and, secondly, giving us only one debate for 20 councils' poll tax limits.

Mr. Cryer

The House will soon have to consider the delegated legislation provisions. It is quite wrong to compress orders in this way. If the orders are important, they should be given the one and half hours maximum time. The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James) mentioned the Education (Student Loans) Order, but debate on that was curtailed. Many hon. Members wanted to participate but made short speeches. My hon. Friend the Member for Dunfermline, West (Mr. Douglas) was unable to participate, and made a point of order in protest.

Serious and important legislation such as these poll tax capping orders, which will affect millions of people, is being rushed through the House in, at best, an hour and a half and, at worst, in a few minutes. That is a matter of considerable outrage.

Mr. Redmond

My hon. Friend said that the timing of the debate on poll tax capping had been agreed by the usual channels. I am not quite sure what "usual channels" means, so perhaps he will explain that to me. The Leader of the House must realise that it has not been agreed by Back Benchers, and if it has not been agreed by Back Benchers, there may he problems for the Leader of the House.

Mr. Cryer

The usual channels, as my hon. Friend knows, are the Whips on both sides. My hon. Friends in the Whips Office are in some difficulty because they have to negotiate the best deal.

Mr. Skinner

'Allo, 'allo, 'allo!

Mr. Cryer

The Government are always imposing the potential threat, "If you do not agree, we will bring the troops in and force something through which is much less acceptable." As far as I understand it, that is how the usual channels work. Not having anything to do with the Whips Office at any time, I can tell my hon. Friend that I am not aware of the intricate mechanisms.

Mr. Sedgemore

My hon. Friend will be.

Mr. Cryer

My hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Sedgemore) suggests that I will be. With his new-found enthusiasm for the European Community, he is much more likely to get into the Whips Office and the establishment before me.

Mr. Harry Barnes (Derbyshire, North-East)

The abuse of orders that my hon. Friend mentioned is considerable. Last night, we had an hour and a half on the Education (Student Loans) Order, which was much more significant than the Education (Student Loans) Bill. The Bill was a general enabling measure, and the detail was contained in the order. The order was 50 per cent. longer than the legislation, which we had spent considerable time debating in the House, but we had no chance of a reasonable or proper discussion on any of the serious issues.

Mr. Cryer

I am grateful for those points, and my hon. Friend is right. The motion is pushing through a chunk of delegated legislation. At the end of 1989, we held the Commonwealth delegated legislation conference, which occurs every five years. Many Commonwealth countries have much more careful scrutiny of delegated powers. In Canada, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, it is recognised that delegated powers have as much impact as—and sometimes more than—primary legislation.

The equivalent of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, which scrutinises delegated legislation, often has the right to prevent a debate from taking place until it has reported to the legislature, which does not occur here, and it has the right to stop the legislation coming into operation until it has received all the information it has requested. If there is a suggestion that the delegated legislation being considered is ultra vires, the Committee has the right to stop the legislation coming into force until a replacement order is put into operation.

The business motion shows how inferior this House is. We not only do not have an hour and a half—itself a nominal period—but no Committee, whether the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments or any other Select Committee, has power to modify, delay, disrupt or change statutory instruments.

It has been pointed out that some of the statutory instruments mentioned in the business motion are being grouped together.

Mr. Skinner

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Cryer

I will just finish this point.

The House does not have the right to amend delegated legislation, which is wrong, because many of the statutory instruments are far longer than the primary legislation which gives the Minister power. That is absurd. it is a convenience for and an abuse by the Executive to put through the House primary legislation consisting of half a dozen clauses with wide enabling powers and then to produce statutory instruments 20 or 30 pages long and containing 40 or 50 enormous schedules.

Mr. David Trimble (Upper Bann)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Cryer

I will give way, but I have a list and I like to be fair, so I shall give way to hon. Members in the order in which they caught my eye.

Mr. Skinner

My hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover—[ Interruption.] It is late, isn't it? My hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) is talking about delegated and primary legislation. I hear him talk about it on many occasions. We put him in a special job. We shunted him along to be Chairman of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, which includes Members of the House of Lords. I and my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Sedgemore), the new Euro-fanatic, are beginning to wonder what my hon. Friend is doing in the Chair. We hear complaint after complaint. Why is my hon. Friend not delivering the goods? It is time we heard about that. Is my hon. Friend telling me that he is not smart enough to beat Mogadon man?

Mr. Cryer

I am grateful to my hon. Friend—I am not sure what for, but one has to be courteous on these occasions. My hon. Friend will recall that the order on student loans was withdrawn by a Minister and deferred for almost a week because the Committee had not reported. That was done on the insistence of myself, as Chairman of the Select Committee, and other hon. Members. The House insisted on having the information that we are required by Standing Order to provide.

Mr. Trimble

I was interested to hear the hon. Gentleman's complaints about delegated legislation, which he said was sometimes almost as important as primary legislation, and about the absence of an opportunity to amend it. Does he agree that those points apply with even greater force when the delegated legislation is primary legislation, as with Orders in Council for Northern Ireland? Will he support us in trying to end that iniquitous system?

Madam Deputy Speaker (Miss Betty Boothroyd)

The hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) has been very good up to now in relating his comments to the business motion. Perhaps he will continue to do so.

Mr. Cryer

I shall, of course, relate what I am saying to the business motion—

Mr. Redmond

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance on the business motion, which is split into two parts. May I take it that you will be putting both parts separately?

Madam Deputy Speaker

No. The hon. Gentleman knows me better than that. When the time comes, I shall put the motion as it stands.

Mr. Cryer

The scrutiny of delegated legislation is unsatisfactory. Bringing that fact to the attention of the Chamber is an important way of seeking improvements which, I judge, is part of my task as Chairman of the Committees on Statutory Instruments. Raising these points also highlights one difficulty which will be compounded if this business motion were to apply to legislation affecting Northern Ireland—that the scrutiny of Northern Ireland legislation, which is under the control of one individual, is less than satisfactory. The Committee receives certain orders governing Northern Ireland, but by no means the whole gamut. I share the concern of the hon. Member for Upper Bann (Mr. Trimble) that this matter involves a great issue which needs rectifying.

Mrs. Mahon (Halifax)

My hon. Friend takes a great deal of interest in my council area of Calderdale, which is covered by one of the orders. From what my hon. Friend and other hon. Members have said, am I right in understanding that the capping of Calderdale council will not be debated separately? This is a serious issue. Indeed, the local council issued a press release earlier tonight to the effect that £1 million will have to be cut from the education budget. As my hon. Friend knows, we are in the bottom 10 per cent. in terms of education spending. Furthermore, there is still selective education—grammar schools—in my constituency.

Is there no way in which we can have a separate debate on the capping of Calderdale council, given that it set the 47th lowest poll tax in the country and, as a result of the capping, will have the fourth lowest? No one—except the Secretary of State for the Environment, who made a political decision—can understand why on earth Calderdale council has been capped. Is there no procedural way in which we can achieve a separate debate on Calderdale council? The constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) borders my local authority area. He therefore has a great interest in this matter, because constituents cross from one area to the other.

Mr. Cryer

As usual, my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) has raised an important point on behalf of her constituents. She is concerned about the wicked effects on her constituents of this delegated legislation, which will be forced on Calderdale local authority with such vicious ruthlessness by the Government. Unfortunately, under the terms of the business motion, which relates to the motion tabled by the Secretary of State for the Environment, the order affecting Calderdale will be one of 16 to be lumped together. That means, in effect, that speeches from 16 hon. Members, one from each constituency affected—there are several representing Calderdale alone—and from 16 Tory Members will just about fill the time allowed for the debate. Yet four other orders are to be taken into account. All the orders should be dealt with separately.

We are therefore faced with an extremely unsatisfactory set of circumstances. That fact emphasises the wide powers granted to Ministers by the House under delegated legislation—but granted only because the Government have a majority. It is rare for Ministers to concede that delegated powers should come to the House. On some occasions—not in these orders—they have powers to produce statutory instruments which do not even have to come back to this place, so I suppose that it is some modest consolation that we shall have at least some debate on the important capping instruments.

I must conclude soon—[HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."]—because others wish to speak, although I appreciate that there is a general clamour for me to continue. So far, I have been referring to the first half of the motion, but I must comment on the second part.

Mr. Skinner

My hon. Friend pointed out that Calderdale was in the group of 16. That relates to the first part of the business motion. We have been trying to discover why those 16 have been presented in that fashion, why three are in another group and why one—Hillingdon—appears on its own. Can my hon. Friend explain why those areas are being taken separately in that way? Why, for example, does Doncaster appear in the group of three? Why are the 16 lumped together?

I should like to talk about Derbyshire. I want to know why, because of poll tax capping, we cannot have a nursery at the Langwith Bassett school and why other cuts have to be made. If my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) and others cannot talk about such matters because the 16 are lumped together, one is bound to wonder whether preferential treatment is being given to Hillingdon.

Mr. Cryer

My hon. Friend raises an important point. The Minister will spend perhaps an hour or more explaining those points, which will mean that we cannot have an effective debate. The Government spokesman will take a huge chunk of the time allowed under the business motion to explain the intricacies. An hour and a half should be provided for each and every order, with an explanation in each case as to why the capping is taking place in that area. We could then explain the devastation that the Government's decisions are causing to those areas, be they Labour, Tory or Liberal. That devastation is being caused by the actions of the Government, not by the actions of the local authorities.

Mr. Redmond

Is my hon. Friend aware that he is wasting his time talking to Conservatives about democracy? They are interested not in democracy but in dictatorship. If they were interested in democracy, they would not stifle discussion on the Floor of the House.

Mr. Cryer

My hon. Friend raises an important point which reflects the fact that we cannot accept the agenda that the Government have set. We have our socialist ideals—[Interruption.] We cannot allow the Tory Government to lay down the agenda of our programme or our thoughts. That danger is ever present and we must guard against it. We must always be prepared to maintain our ideals, such as getting rid of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Harry Barnes

As my hon. Friend rightly points out, had we been allowed a debate lasting an hour and a half on each area, we could have debated the Derbyshire situation for that length of time. It could have been a fruitful debate because the nine Derbyshire Members could have divided the 90 minutes equally, taking 10 minutes each. We could all, including the five Conversative Derbyshire Members, have had a say. The Conservative Members could have explained, for instance, whether their views coincided with those of the Conservatives on the county council who do not agree with the Government's proposals for Derbyshire, and my hon. Friends and I would then have had time to explain what is wrong with the poll tax-capping arrangements.

Mr. Cryer

My hon. Friend is right, but unfortunately that is not possible under the business motion. Even if we adopted the system of an hour and a half for each affirmative order, which is less than adequate, the nine 10-minute slots that my hon. Friend proposes would not be adequate, as that would not leave Front Bench Members on either side any time to speak, and Ministers tend to take a long time because they have some difficult explanations to give.

We all know that the Government's political prejudices have led them to pick out 20 Labour-controlled local authorities for deliberate vindictive action. It is difficult to shield that prejudice with talk of being reasonable and fair and adopting objective criteria, when we all know that the criteria are entirely subjective.

Mr. James Lamond (Oldham, Central and Royton)

I have listened to my hon. Friend's closely argued points. I noticed that he emphasised the need for hon. Members from areas which have been charge-capped to be heard. He presents a modest case. Hon. Members from areas which have not been capped also have something to say, because the implication for councils such as Oldham borough council is that they will be inhibited in their spending. They will always be looking over their shoulder at councils which have been charge-capped. They are anxious not to be charged-capped. I should like some time in the debate on one of the orders to put that point. Other hon. Members from areas which have not been charge-capped will want to speak about the implications for their councils.

Mr. Ian McCartney (Makerfield)

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I apologise to my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer), but I wish to raise a matter with the Chair because the Chair's ruling on it may affect the rest of my hon. Friend's speech.

I refer you, Madam Deputy Speaker, to the last sentence of paragraph 1 of the motion. I wish to relate it to paragraph 2. I raise the matter as an hon. Member whose council has been charge-capped and who wishes to speak in a debate on either Wednesday or Thursday. I wish to speak on the order on the three councils.

The motion says: Mr. Speaker shall at Seven o'clock put the Question already proposed from the Chair and shall then put forthwith successively the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the remaining Motions". That is simple enough as far as it goes, but paragraph 2 says: If proceedings on the above Motions have not been completed before Seven o'clock at the sitting on Thursday 12th July, the Private Business will continue thereafter. That suggests that the second part of the motion gives the Chair discretion to allow the debate to continue after 7 o'clock if some hon. Members have not been called.

That is vitally important. I understand that the Prime Minister is to make a statement to the House on Thursday about her visit to the United States. That will take up at least an hour of the time allocated to discussing the orders. If one also takes away the time that will be taken by the Front Bench Members, there will be a maximum of just one hour and 10 minutes for hon. Members to speak in the debate. I should like a ruling from the Chair. If that is the position on 12 July, will the Chair allow the debate to continue after 7 o'clock to allow hon. Members to speak if the debate about their councils has not been reached?

Madam Deputy Speaker

That was a long point of order. The hon. Gentleman has misread the motion. The Chair will have no such discretion.

Mr. Cryer

My hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, Central and Royton (Mr. Lamond) is right. As the Leader of the House knows, the business motion will tend to exclude hon. Members who want to comment on the consequential effects of the orders on their constituencies and the people whom they represent. The Leader of the House does not want to encourage or sustain debate, but to rubber stamp the business that the Government want to push through. The Government are exploiting their strength in the House by crushing yet another vestige of local democracy and autonomy.

I do not believe that it would be unreasonable for Mr. Speaker to give preference to those hon. Members whose areas are rate-capped, but my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, Central and Royton is right that other hon. Members should be able to express a general view about the consequences of such capping.

Mrs. Mahon

My hon. Friend mentioned the motion relating to Calderdale. He was mistaken about the number of hon. Members who represent the area—there are only two, myself and the hon. Member for Calder Valley (M r. Thompson). It is important that the views of that hon. Member are heard in a separate debate, as, until recently, he and the Conservative party of Calderdale applauded rate capping. Before the elections in May, they issued a leaflet to say that £50 would be knocked off the bill if people voted Tory. The council was then hung, but the electorate did not vote Tory, and Labour now has control with four seats. It would have been interesting to hear what the hon. Gentleman had to say for himself.

Madam Deputy Speaker

Order. I am sure that the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) will return to the business motion.

Mr. Cryer

My hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) is concerned that the business motion will preclude contributions from those on the periphery of the Calder valley because of the time limitations imposed by it. My hon. Friend is right that hon. Members sometimes say things in their constituencies which are not always made clear in the House, and vice versa. The debate between the two Members representing the Calder valley would have been extremely interesting and illuminating. It would have enabled local people to make a much better judgment as to who represents their interests. Every cent of my money would be on my hon. Friend.

I shall conclude—

Mr. Orme

Other people want to speak.

Mr. Cryer

My right hon. Friend is right, but he will know that I have had to give way to pressing interventions several times. My speech has lasted only five minutes, but I shall conclude shortly as my right hon. Friend's brow is furrowed and he likes to have a happier demeanour.

The arrangements on the London Underground Bill relating to the Jubilee line have been designed to enable it to speed its way through the House without the usual opportunities for extended debate. The statement by the Prime Minister, business questions and a possible vote on something will not be allowed to take time out of Thursday night. The three hours provided by the business motion will prevent a closure being obtained that night. That closure would mean that the Government would have to bring the Bill back—it is their Bill, after all—on another evening but they are running out of time. That is what this is all about.

The Leader of the House is sitting here complacently as he always does. The Bill will mean that Parliament square is wrecked for upwards of seven years.

Sir Geoffrey Howe


Mr. Cryer

The right hon. and learned Gentleman—

Mr. Robert G. Hughes (Harrow, West)

What does the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) know about London?

Mr. Cryer

I live here five days a week, I have travelled down here each week for 13 years, and my guess is that the vast majority of Londoners do not want Parliament square turned into a building site for seven years. There are other suitable sites for an interchange, but London Transport does not want them because its own premises are adjacent to them. That is what this is about—and that is why we shall vote against the motion, which is an abuse of the procedures of the House.

11.4 pm

Mr. Ray Powell (Ogmore)

I am rather surprised to be debating the motion, especially since two major issues are involved—rate capping and the Jubilee line. My right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) referred to the time that the New Building Sub-Committee spent debating the Jubilee line since hearing that the matter would be dealt with in a private Bill. Because of the importance of the Bill and because 650 elected Members of Parliament would be affected by the proposals, we decided to meet weekly, not for half an hour or for the usual nod as happens on statutory instruments, but for two and half to three hours on a Tuesday night.

On 15 May 1990 we presented a 99-page report to the House. The Leader of the House received that report as the Chairman of the Services Committee, and expressed its thanks for the amount of work that had gone into preparing it. Having prepared it, we expected at least a day to debate it. We were not representing one side of the House; we were representing all Members of Parliament, yet the Government, backed by the Leader of the House, intend to curtail the debate on Thursday night after 7 o'clock. I am rather surprised to find that the Chairman of Ways and Means has been prayed in aid as having pressed the Government to agree to a three-hour debate. How ridiculous that we should come here tonight and discover that we shall be limited to fewer then three hours to debate the Jubilee line and the far-reaching issues that that involves.

The New Building Sub-Committee was faced with the difficulty of deciding how we, as Members of the House, could be responsible for setting up a Committee of hon. Members to deal with issues that directly affect hon. Members. The report says:

Since the House is unable to petition itself in respect of a Private Bill, the Committee have sought to examine those parts of the London Underground Bill where the interests of the House may be 'directly or specially affected', in the expectation that our findings will be taken into account both during the second reading debate and, if that stage is passed, by the Opposed Bill Committee to which the Bill will be referred. This is a unique Bill in so far as we as Members of the House and the Committee of Selection will be selecting Members to deal with a private Bill in which we have a direct interest as it affects us in Parliament. We should be allowed more than three hours for the debate on this important line. I am amazed that the Leader of the House should limit the debate to three hours.

Mr. Redmond

My hon. Friend is right to complain about the restriction of debate on this important Bill. It is said that the work will take seven or eight years. My hon. Friend has had experience of the construction of the building across the road and knows about slippage. Will he confirm that the job is expected to take seven years and that with slippage it could take longer?

Mr. Powell

Specialists employed by the House reported on how long the job would take if we accepted the Jubilee line proposals. The Bill is to be debated on Thursday and will then go to a Committee, which will report to the House. If all the proposals in the plan are accepted by the Committee, the job will take four to five years to complete after the Bill has passed through all its stages. That is the view of the experts. My hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Mr. Redmond) asked about phase 1 of the new building across the road. That has already been delayed 12 months. Phase 2 involves the development of a new station at Westminster, with a raft and offices above it. As the report and the experts suggest, that could well take four or five years.

The Leader of the House said that the motion was moved on Friday. I understand from the Opposition deputy Chief Whip who was in charge of us on Friday, that that was not the case. We were told that agreement had been reached through the usual channels. I have made inquiries and found that there was no such agreement. Why do the Government want to push such an important Bill through the House in three hours?

It would be in the interests of the House to have a long debate on the issues and complications relating to the Jubilee line, because the line will affect the Palace of Westminster and its precincts. It will affect our access to the House, because the proposals for the line include a raft over the roadway around Parliament square, which would raise the road by about 3 ft. The Serjeant at Arms would be charged with making sure that hon. Members had access to the Palace, and he would find it difficult to carry out that task. The matter should be dealt with in great detail, and it cannot be done in three hours.

Mr. James Lamond

In an intervention, the Leader of the House claimed that he is not trying to restrict the debate to three hours, but is acceding to a request in a letter sent to him by the Chairman of Ways and Means asking that at least three hours should be devoted to the debate. In other words, the debate is likely to go on much longer.

When we debated, in the distant past, the construction of the underground car park here, that highly respected and long-serving former Member, Mr. Arthur Lewis, continually said that Big Ben was in danger of collapsing into the hole that was being dug. Thankfully, that did not happen, but I have no doubt that many Members will raise such points, which most of us have not even thought of, but which will have to be carefully examined. What if Mr. Arthur Lewis had been correct? How would we have looked if we had had a guillotined debate and refused to listen to his point about Big Ben and one day it had collapsed? We should have looked foolish if we had forced such a Bill through the House.

Mr. Powell

My hon. Friend is perfectly right to raise that point. The matter was discussed in Committee at some length. We envisaged a big screw coming up in Parliament square, spewing out all the earth from the Jubilee line. That will happen, the site will be barricaded, and tunnels will come in and out to ensure that there is a new station at Westminster. In all probability, the ex-Member to whom he referred, Mr. Lewis, was right when he talked about the underground car park being dug. The foundations of the very building that we are in now, could well have been affected.

Mr. Redmond

Did the Committee discuss whether the water table beneath the Palace of Westminster, from which we get water for use within the building, would be contaminated?

Madam Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman is putting detailed questions to his hon. Friend the Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell) that do not relate to the business of the House motion, so I shall save the hon. Member for Ogmore from responding to them, because I know that he will want to deal with the business of the House motion.

Mr. Powell

You, Madam Deputy Speaker, are right. But this is a relevant point—

Madam Deputy Speaker

Order. It is not at all relevant, as the hon. Gentleman knows.

Mr. Powell

Paragraphs 16 to 27 of the Committee's report mention the "considerable dismay" with which it first heard about the Jubilee line proposal. Its members regretted that neither they nor the authorities of the House were consulted earlier. I cannot understand why there is such a rush now. Why were not hon. Members, officials of the House and the New Building Sub-Committee consulted, because the effects of the development of phase 2—

Mr. Robert G. Hughes

London needs railways more than we need offices.

Mr. Powell

I do not know whether the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Hughes) has a good office, but some Members are desperately in need of office accommodation, which is what the New Building Sub-Committee has been trying to develop. However, the Government are more concerned about getting the London Underground Bill on the statute book, come hell or high water, and are not particularly concerned about the interests of Members and the New Building Sub-Committee that we are trying to establish to ensure that hon. Members have accommodation.

You, Madam Deputy Speaker, would know more than anyone else that hon. Members are stuck in the cloisters working in office accommodation that would not be tolerated anywhere outside this building. Instead of having the Government's co-operation to establish a building to accommodate Members, we are highballed by London Underground. It is important that we have far more than a three-hour debate on Thursday—which is all that is promised—to deal with such an important and emotive issue.

We have discussed two motions tonight and it is now 11.19 pm. I should have wished to continue for another hour at least. Some hon. Members do not have the time to sit down, read and digest all the lengthy reports published by the different Committees. The report that we are discussing has 99 pages dealing with accommodation and premises for the House of Commons. It also deals with the Jubilee line proposals that will make Parliament square a building site for at least five years. We must think about all the visitors to London. It will not be a temporary building site for 12 months or less; it will be with us for at least four or five years, and the whole site will be boarded up. We are not being given the time for debate that the proposals deserve.

Tonight we are debating only the Government's motions. The right hon. and learned Gentleman will recall our discussions and the report of Services Committee about the delay in phase 1 of the new parliamentary building. Surely we do not want delays in the building of phase 2. He would have had the full co-operation of the New Building Sub-Committee and of Opposition Members if he had introduced the proposals properly and allocated time for them to be discussed in detail.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman should not think that he can force through such issues because the Government have a 100-plus majority. I remind him that the Bill first has to go through the private Bill Committee. Unless the proposals of the New Building Sub-Committee, which were presented to the House and to London Transport, are accepted, I doubt whether hon. Members, when they read the report and understand the devastation that will be caused in the area surrounding Parliament, will be eager to pass the Bill without reservation. Indeed, I even doubt whether Conservative Members will give the Bill their blessing.

I hope to catch your eye, Madam Deputy Speaker, on Thursday evening.

11.23 pm
Sir Geoffrey Howe

With the leave of the House, Madam Deputy Speaker. I wish to respond to the serious points raised by the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell). I hope that, within the bounds of order, I can acknowledge the debt that the House owes to him and his colleagues on the New Building Sub-Committee for their work on that great project. I share his dismay at the pace at which phase 1 of the new building has gone ahead. I understand the sense of unease, to put it mildly, that he and his colleagues felt about the way in which London Transport originally presented the proposals to the Sub-Committee. All those points were fair.

I hope that I shall not be regarded as offensive if I say that my recollection of the purpose of the Labour party that was born in Ogmore, in Aberavon, in my south Wales and in the remainder of the country, was to build the new Jerusalem. I am slightly dismayed by the tone of some Opposition Members, suggesting that they are more concerned about viewing Parliament square and these buildings as though they were museum curators. We have an enormous task and challenge ahead of us. We must shape the modern buildings that can be put on that side of Parliament street in a fashion appropriate to Parliament in the next millenium.

Of course, the conditions spelt out by the New Building Sub-Committee need to be considered with care, but we have an opportunity that we should reach out for, if we possibly can, and it is in that sense that I have responded to the requests made by the Chairman of Ways and Means in relation to this debate.

I was fascinated, as always, by the observations of the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) when he intervened at an early stage in the debate to say that he entirely endorsed the first part of my motion and was not seeking to oppose it, which was quite understandable, as it was agreed through the usual channels. I announced the business for tomorrow and Thursday to the House last Thursday. There was ample opportunity to query it, but it has not been taken up. I was fascinated by the skill with which he was able to develop his non-opposition to that benign part of the motion for a minute or two, in the course of his brief observations.

I was grateful to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) for his agreement to support the motion. I understand his anxiety about the reported uncertainty surrounding the two stations south of the river. A number of hon. Members will want to hear more about that matter, but I am glad that he agrees that three hours are necessary for the debate.

I cannot do more than ensure that the three hours which would normally be allotted tomorrow are not curtailed by voting for a shorter time. I tabled the second half of this motion in response to the Chairman of Ways and Means. He said that he felt there is sufficient interest in this Bill to warrant Members being given a full three hours debating time. That is what we are seeking to provide by the second part of the motion.

The Government are acting to protect the time that will be available for private business in this way. We would not want to curtail that, even if it were in our power to do so. We support the concept of a three-hour debate in respect of that. On that basis, I hope that the House will regard the second part of the motion with as much enthusiasm as it apparently regards the first part. I commend it to the House.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 165, Noes 50.

Division No. 289] [11.27 pm
Allason, Rupert Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Amess, David Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Amos, Alan Hunter, Andrew
Arbuthnot, James Irvine, Michael
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Jack, Michael
Arnold, Sir Thomas Janman, Tim
Ashby, David Jessel, Toby
Atkins, Robert Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Atkinson, David Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Baldry, Tony Kirkhope, Timothy
Batiste, Spencer Knapman, Roger
Bellingham, Henry Knight, Greg (Derby North)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Benyon, W. Knowles, Michael
Blackburn, Dr John G. Knox, David
Boscawen, Hon Robert Lang, Ian
Boswell, Tim Lawrence, Ivan
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Lee, John (Pendle)
Bowis, John Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Brazier, Julian Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Bright, Graham Lightbown, David
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Livsey, Richard
Browne, John (Winchester) Lord, Michael
Burns, Simon Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Butler, Chris Macfarlane, Sir Neil
Butterfill, John MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Maclean, David
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Mans, Keith
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Carrington, Matthew Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Carttiss, Michael Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Cash, William Meyer, Sir Anthony
Chapman, Sydney Miller, Sir Hal
Chope, Christopher Mills, Iain
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Monro, Sir Hector
Colvin, Michael Morrison, Sir Charles
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Moss, Malcolm
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Moynihan, Hon Colin
Cran, James Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Currie, Mrs Edwina Norris, Steve
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Davis, David (Boothferry) Oppenheim, Phillip
Day, Stephen Paice, James
Devlin, Tim Pawsey, James
Dorrell, Stephen Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Porter, David (Waveney)
Dover, Den Raffan, Keith
Dunn, Bob Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Durant, Tony Rathbone, Tim
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Fallon, Michael Rhodes James, Robert
Favell, Tony Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Roberts, Sir Wyn (Conwy)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Roe, Mrs Marion
Goodhart, Sir Philip Ryder, Richard
Goodlad, Alastair Sackville, Hon Tom
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Shaw, David (Dover)
Grist, Ian Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hague, William Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Skeet, Sir Trevor
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Harris, David Speller, Tony
Hayward, Robert Stanbrook, Ivor
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Stern, Michael
Hind, Kenneth Stevens, Lewis
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Summerson, Hugo
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Wheeler, Sir John
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley) Widdecombe, Ann
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N) Wilshire, David
Thurnham, Peter Winterton, Mrs Ann
Tredinnick, David Winterton, Nicholas
Trippier, David Wolfson, Mark
Twinn, Dr Ian Wood, Timothy
Walden, George Yeo, Tim
Walker, Bill (T'side North) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Wallace, James
Waller, Gary Tellers for the Ayes:
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill) Mr. John M. Taylor and
Watts, John Mr. Irvine Patnick.
Wells, Bowen
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Mahon, Mrs Alice
Beggs, Roy Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Carr, Michael Maxton, John
Clelland, David Meale, Alan
Corbyn, Jeremy Michael, Alun
Cunliffe, Lawrence Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Nellist, Dave
Dewar, Donald Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Dixon, Don Pike, Peter L.
Dunnachie, Jimmy Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Eastham, Ken Primarolo, Dawn
Evans, John (St Helens N) Redmond, Martin
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) Ross, William (Londonderry E)
Fyfe, Maria Salmond, Alex
Graham, Thomas Skinner, Dennis
Grocott, Bruce Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Home Robertson, John Trimble, David
Hood, Jimmy Turner, Dennis
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Vaz, Keith
Lamond, James Wareing, Robert N.
Leadbitter, Ted Wilson, Brian
Litherland, Robert Wise, Mrs Audrey
McCartney, Ian Wray, Jimmy
McFall, John
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West) Tellers for the Noes:
McWilliam, John Mr. Terry Lewis and
Madden, Max Mr. Bob Cryer.


That— (1)Notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business), the Motions in the name of Mr. Secretary Patten relating to Local Government may be proceeded with, at the sitting on Wednesday 11 th July, though opposed, until midnight; and, at the sitting on Thursday 12th July, if proceedings thereon have not been previously disposed of Mr. Speaker shall at Seven o'clock put the Question already proposed from the Chair and shall then put forthwith successively the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the remaining Motions; and (2)If proceedings on the above Motions have not been completed before seven o'clock at the sitting on Thursday 12th July, the Private Business set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means for consideration at that hour shall stand over until the conclusion of such proceedings, and the said Private Business may be proceeded with, though opposed, for three hours after it has been entered upon.

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