HC Deb 05 March 1990 vol 168 cc609-29

—(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, the Secretary of State may reimburse to any person who—

  1. (a) is the operator of one or more aircraft registered or operating in the United Kingdom, or
  2. (b) is the manager of an aerodrome in the United Kingdom, or
  3. (c) occupies any land forming part of an aerodrome in the United Kingdom, or
  4. (d) is permitted to have access to a restricted zone of such an aerodrome for the purposes of the activities of a business carried on by him, or
  5. (e) is the authority responsible for an air navigation installation, or
  6. (f) is an air cargo agent
the whole or part of expenses incurred by such a person in improving standards of security in any matters within the control of that person.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument—

  1. (a) determine the form, manner and extent of reimbursement;
  2. (b) make reimbursement subject to approval by the Secretary of State of the expenses proposed to be incurred;
  3. (c) make different provision for different cases.'—[Mr. Snape.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Peter Snape (West Bromwich, East)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The Minister of State will be relieved to hear that we do not intend the new clause to result in the Secretary of State personally, his two deputies or his Department being responsible for reimbursing security costs. For technical reasons, we were unable to table the amendment that we should have preferred, which would have reinstated the aviation security fund. We did not have a debate on that matter in Committee, but we feel that this is the appropriate stage to have one.

Sadly, all too often over the years, additional security has been introduced only after tragedy or disaster. As long ago as 1986, following the loss of the Air India 747 off the west coast of Ireland, the Select Committee on Transport looked into security at Britain's airports. It recommended the re-creation of the aviation security fund, which was established by the Labour Government in 1978 and disbanded by the present Administration in 1983.

The Government rejected the re-establishment of such a fund on the grounds that it was bureaucratic, complicated and costly to administer, although they neglected to give any figures to back their assertion. They said that the fund's re-establishment would provide little incentive to efficiency. Following the second tragedy, at Lockerbie, the Government said that the industry would set up its own security fund. We should be interested to know from the Minister of State what progress has been made, if any, and whether such a fund is envisaged.

Following the loss of the Air India 747, the Select Committee on Transport, under the chairmanship of Mr. Gordon Bagier, made a list of recommendations, one of which was the re-establishment of the aviation security fund. In paragraph 56 of the report, the Committee stated: Although airports and airlines requested that the original Aviation Security Fund be wound up, it is this Committee's opinion that many are far from happy with the consequences. Some of the larger airports—and especially the BAA—may have benefited financially from running their own operation, but security as a whole has not. Those words were given additional emphasis after the loss of the Pan Am 747 over Lockerbie at Christmas 1988. The Select Committee continued: The abolition of the fund has encouraged the splintering of security operations away from each other, so that too frequently the priority of security operators is to circumscribe as tightly as possible the limits of their own responsibility, rather than look to the needs of the whole system". That criticism was echoed by the Transport Select Committee in its latest report on these matters. We are aware that, all too often, the present system appears to be based more upon the persuasive powers of those arguing to extract money from the Treasury than on the security needs of Britain's airports.

The Select Committee report continued: the Committee again draws attention to the European Parliament 'Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on security at airports' which states 'the main question an institution with legislative powers such as the European Community should ask itself is whether these powers can be used to increase clarity, effectiveness and co-ordination between international and national rules governing security duties at Community airports'. For the reasons explained above, the Committee would encourage the Minister and the Department to pursue assiduously any such initiatives. We should be interested to hear from the Minister of State how assiduously the Department has been pursuing these initiatives, especially in the light of paragraph 57 of the Select Committee report, which states: The public is concerned that airport security should be adequate and recent research has suggested that it would be willing to pay for it. All research, but especially that since Lockerbie, has revealed a similar conclusion—that the public would be prepared to have a fee added to their tickets, to be spent on security. They and Opposition Members believe that, in that way, adequate funds could be made available for the provision of such a necessary facility at Britain's airports. Notwithstanding that report, the Government have not re-established the aviation security fund.

5 pm

Following Lockerbie, the Select Committee on Transport, this time under the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Mr. Marshall), met again. In its report, published in July 1989, the Committee made similar recommendations and gave some reasons for doing so. Paragraph 30 of the report says: The levy"— that is, the aviation security levy— did provide a means whereby airlines and the travelling public could see how much they were paying for security and make a judgment as to whether that represented value for money. At present, payment for security is subsumed under the general ground-handling charge. If greater security measures are imposed on an airport and they have, for example, to buy more x-ray machines, the cost is either accepted by the airport or passed on to the airlines. If it is passed on to the airlines, they have the choice of whether or not to pass it on to the passenger. Airlines often complain that BAA refuses to give them a breakdown on the amounts spent on security. In making that complaint, the airlines are not alone. The BAA is not very keen to provide that sort of information to any of us. The authority maintains that, as security is an integral part of airport operations, it is difficult to extract exact financial information on aspects of it. I may be getting cynical in my old age, but I should hazard a guess that, if the aviation security fund were re-established, BAA plc would have no difficulty in justifying claims on it to meet expenditure at the airports that it controls. There would be no argument then about the difficulty of identifying the cost of such operations.

The Select Committee did not accept that argument. Paragraph 30 of the 1989 report, from which I quoted a moment ago, says: Modern accounting techniques should make it possible to break down the cost of security by specific operation. So say all of us.

We should be interested to hear from the Minister of State what justification he thinks there is for the BAA's view. Regrettably, the Department of Transport, for the second time, declined to re-establish an aviation security fund. In paragraph XV of their observations on the Select Committee's recommendations, the Government say: The Government is not convinced by the Committee's arguments for re-establishing an aviation security fund paid for by a levy on passengers. The reasons for winding up the fund in 1983 remain valid despite the need now for substantially larger expenditure on aviation security measures. The fund proved to be bureaucratic, complicated and costly to administer. When civil servants get their teeth into a phrase like that they cannot resist regurgitating it, no matter how many years later they are asked to consider a particular problem. They are good at regurgitating, but they are not particularly good at explaining why they came up with that response in the first place. Again we press the Minister of State to tell us how much the aviation security fund that was set up in 1978 cost to administer over the years, and why he or his Department believe that it was bureaucratic, complicated and costly to administer. The Government's response goes on: In the Government's view it did not, and would not if re-established, help forward the aviation security programme. It is easy to make such statements, but more difficult to justify them. I hope that tonight the Minister will produce some justification for that rather abrupt and sweeping conclusion.

The response continues: The particular measure mentioned in paragraph 31—the rebuilding of terminals to ensure the proper separation of incoming and outgoing passengers—is being pursued, but the Government believes that the most cost-effective solution will be achieved if the basic requirement is met by works financed by the airport authorities concerned. But the airport authorities themselves are the first to complain about the cost of such work. We believe that the reintroduction of the levy to which this amendment refers, and on which the debate concentrates, would go a long way towards meeting those charges.

Paragraph XV of the Government's response concludes: The Government remains determined that no funding problem shall obstruct the implementation of the measures in the aviation security programme. Again, the Minister will have to forgive Opposition Members for displaying some scepticism. We all know what financial pressures, whether in connection with security or with any other matter, are put on Ministers and Departments.

We are offering the Government an opportunity to look again at this problem and to tell the House that they will consider sympathetically the re-establishment of an aviation security fund. We ask for no more than that. For the reasons that I have already outlined, we do not ask them to accept the new clause, but I hope that the Minister of State will agree that the present position with regard to the funding of security is unsatisfactory, causes widespread concern among the travelling public, and leads Members on both sides of the House to the conclusion that, all too often, gaps are left in airport security that could be plugged if adequate funds were provided.

We await with interest the Minister's reply. As I have said, this is a matter which—also for technical reasons—we did not manage to discuss in Committee. The re-establishment of such a fund and of such a levy is something that Opposition Members have constantly advocated. Indeed, we voted against abolition of the fund in 1983. It seems to us that its re-establishment would be a comparatively painless means of funding the security measures that we all want to be introduced at Britain's airports. It is a step that would certainly be supported by the travelling public at large and, at least privately, by a good proportion of the aviation industry.

Mr. Peter Fry (Wellingborough)

I do not often congratulate the Opposition, but I congratulate them today on this new clause. As a member of the Select Committee on Transport since it was set up, I have taken an interest in this subject, especially on the transfer of aviation from the Department of Trade to the Department of Transport. Indeed, it was I who suggested, after the Air India crash, the original study into airport security.

It behoves my hon. Friend to answer the points made by the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Snape). We ought to be told exactly why the unanimous decision of the Committee in relation to the levy was not accepted. We seem to be told, "Don't worry about costs. The money will be provided." The purpose of my intervention is to probe that a little further. We need an assurance that the money will be provided to ensure that adequate security is made available.

One of the first things that the Committee realised when it looked into this matter was that the problem arises from the fact that at any major airport there is dual responsibility for security: it is the responsibility of those: who own and operate the airport and it is also the: responsibility of the airline. The gaps in security arrangements that often appear arise out of that dichotomy of responsibility.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of international disasters but, as far as I am aware, our airports have not been the cause of any serious security problem. I put it on record that our airports and airlines have an excellent record in this respect, but—and there is a "but"—there is no doubt that those who engage in international terrorism are becoming more and more sophisticated. That means that our methods of detecting terrorists must also become more sophisticated. It would be idle not to accept that many in the aviation industry are concerned about the cost of ensuring a safer travelling scene. When the Committee first looked into the question, British Caledonian was still up and flying. It quoted to us the cost of the machines that it would have to install to satisfy itself that it had done all it could to protect the travelling public, and bluntly told us that it could not afford it.

That leads us to the fundamental question. If the Secretary of State decides that a certain level of search of persons, of aircraft or of cargo is necessary, he must also satisfy himself that the searches will be adequately carried out; otherwise, his reassurances to the travelling public will be empty words. As my hon. Friend the Minister will be aware, we can never achieve 100 per cent. security in relation to aircraft movement, but ever more sophisticated machinery is appearing and could be employed.

We have first to consider the sheer cost of introducing the equipment. How does my hon. Friend imagine that we shall ensure that all the foreign airlines will have the best equipment available to deal with the problem?

Moreover, it is not just a question of equipment: it is also a question of providing the environment in which that equipment can operate. I was appalled to discover on a visit to Gatwick that, immediately after the Lockerbie disaster, one American airline had brought in the most up-to-date piece of equipment to try to check all the baggage that went on its aircraft from Gatwick to the United States and had been told that there was no room for it. It took the British Airports Authority six months to find room at Gatwick to put that machinery into operation.

Given that airline's will to do the best for its passengers, it is worrying to think that the provision of space may inhibit the use of security equipment. We must consider the cost not only of the equipment but of providing room for the equipment to operate properly. I can understand the BAA's point of view, because its room is expensive and it can let it for a variety of purposes at a high revenue. It is not entirely surprising, therefore, if the authority is not willing to give up large spaces at a few moments' notice, which was exactly what happened after the Lockerbie disaster. My hon. Friend must show that sufficient pressure can be placed on bodies such as the BAA to ensure that the necessary space is provided.

No matter how good our security systems may be, the security of passengers flying in and out of this country will also depend partly upon the security at other airports in other countries. One of the main arguments in favour of the levy is that, if properly administered, it would apply not just to our major airports but to our minor airports, which find it difficult to meet the expense of installing the latest security equipment, and perhaps—with international co-operation—it could be extended to cover other airports, such as those in the Third world, where security is very lax. In the last resort, our security arrangements are truly interdependent and international.

I hope that my hon. Friend will look again at the new clause and try to spell out to my satisfaction proposals suggesting that the Government are aware of the dichotomy between airline and airport in relation to responsibility for security and that he is aware of the problems of the high cost of equipment and of the problem and cost of providing space for that equipment.

5.15 pm

The Committee did not reach its recommendations lightly on either occasion. It reached them in a non-partisan manner and after considerable deliberation. As the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Snape) made clear, we have not really had a satisfactory explanation of why the levy cannot be reintroduced. I believe that airport security perturbs the travelling public, and I think that many people would be happy to pay a reasonable charge for the comfort of knowing that everything is being done that can be done.

The great danger of the present system is that it will give rise to the suspicion that not everything is being spent that might be spent to ensure that the strongest possible security arrangements are made. At one stage in our investigations, we were given evidence, which we were unable to verify, that one improvement to security at Heathrow had not taken place because the budget for that year had been used up. The improvement therefore had to be delayed. We do not want to give the travelling public the impression that money will not be forthcoming to afford them the peace of mind they need.

I hope that my hon. Friend will satisfy me on those points.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich)

The hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry) is very knowledgeable about these matters, having twice served on the Committee that reported specifically on security matters.

The terrible truth about security is that the price is always too high until people die. Those who say glibly that we have a high level of security at our airports and point to the changes that have taken place even in the past five years do themselves no great credit if they pretend that our service is capable of ensuring that no great terrorist incidents will occur in future, and I know that the Government have never taken that position.

For many airlines, security is an overhead that slips down the accounting priorities as incidents recede into the past. Immediately after a bad crash in which many lives are lost, there is enormous outcry about the facilities that are provided at airports. Unfortunately, it is a question of pounds and pence and, as that pressure recedes, airlines are likely to relax their arrangements. They will not do so consciously—I do not think that they set out to lower their standards—but those of us who use airports constantly—the larger airports are classic examples—know that the sheer press of passengers is leading increasingly to security measures that are not as exhaustive or intensive as they should be.

New machinery is being developed all the time, but one of the safest methods of ensuring that terrorists cannot place explosive devices among innocent travellers going about their lawful affairs is to ensure that proper searching, profiling and investigation take place at the point at which the passenger enters the airport. That is absolutely vital.

El Al representatives would say that the price of security is a life, and that there is no way in which we can put a price on a life. We have a responsibility in this House to tell the airlines that it is not enough to install security companies which, because of the pressure of bodies and freight and the number of people using the services, will inevitably monitor only a tiny percentage of the goods or people flying out of our airports. If that can be said of a country which has suffered the enormous trauma of the Lockerbie crash, how can we expect Third-world countries, which already face enormous problems of overseas debt, to invest in security systems which would safeguard our people?

British people travel all over the world on many different airlines. They have the right to ask that they travel in safety and not in fear. The explosion of air travel in my lifetime means that the modern child regards the aircraft in the way that I, as a child, regarded road transport or trains—as a perfectly routine form of transport. That would be the case but for those who try constantly to find ways to attract the attention of the world to their specific, narrow and murderous interests by destroying forms of transport used by many people.

Hon. Members will be aware that the Select Committee on Transport does not comprise hon. Members from only one political party. It has a wide membership and we have taken very moving and important evidence from those involved in the Lockerbie disaster. The Select Committee examined the manufacture of aircraft and specific problems with the safety of aircraft interiors; those matters will be reported upon in future. Above all, the Select Committee clearly stated that security was a legitimate expense and that, if it was to be provided at the level necessary for safeguarding our people, it had to be paid for.

It would be extraordinary if increasing deregulation lowered the price of air flight for the ordinary passenger but raised the price of providing proper security systems, in such a way that many international airlines began to regard security as an unnecessary expense. We could deal with that problem, and also with the constant battle behind the scenes between the British Airports Authority, the airlines and freight shippers, if we provided sufficient funds to equip and build proper security checkpoints in all our airports—and I mean all. As hub travel develops, more people will come into the airline system at small airports, and they may not always have had their baggage or goods properly checked.

I do not understand the Government's objection to this proposal. They can hardly pretend that they disapprove of taxes that are unwieldy, bureaucratic and expensive to apply. Given that they created the poll tax, that is not a legitimate or feasible response.

The Government believe that passengers are not prepared to pay to ensure that they are travelling safely. Who asked the passengers? Who asked the mothers who put their children on planes to send them back to school four times a year? Who asked the people who take their families on charter flights for their once-a-year holiday?

Who asked the families whose parents are at risk every time they travel from one part of Europe to another on business? I do not believe that the Government have put those questions to the people.

It is too late to consider security issues when we see the front pages of tabloid newspapers carrying horrific pictures of destroyed planes and bodies. One way that we can provide cash is to say to the passenger, "A levy will work and produce results. Will you support us in introducing a levy?" If the Government do not do that, they will be moving responsibility from themselves on to those least likely—even if they are able—to provide the proper quality of service. The cost to this country over the next 10 years may be very high in terms of human life.

Mr. David Wilshire (Spelthorne)

Before I come to the points made by the hon. Member for West Bromwich. East (Mr. Snape), I want to comment on a matter raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry). He repeated a point that I have heard made so often. He said that one reason why space is not made available at airports, particularly those operated by the British Airports Authority, is that the authority could not be bothered to do that or could not afford it. That is grossly unfair.

I hasten to add that I have no interest to declare in the matter, other than that an enormous number of my constituents work at Heathrow airport, and they always feel slighted when they are accused of doing a shoddy job. However, the issue is not as simple as that described by my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough.

I assume that the reference by my hon. Friend to the equipment at Gatwick was a reference to the TNA machine. We are not arguing that selling a few pairs of knickers or a few newspapers is more important than safety. The security machines about which we are concerned are very large and heavy and are not readily available. Indeed, the environmental lobby in the United States considers the radiation which those machines emit to be unsafe.

The security machines to which I am referring weigh many tonnes. If they were installed in many of our airport terminals, they would fall through the floor and destroy the terminal.

Mr. Snape

I must confess that I have heard the hon. Gentleman put that argument rather better before. As we are anxious to maintain cross-party consensus on airport security, does the hon. Gentleman believe that the BAA would be as ready to accept a TNA machine, bearing in mind the drawbacks, as it is to install Sock Shop or Knickerbox units around Gatwick airport? Is it not legitimate for some of us to express suspicions that, as there is revenue to be earned from the latter and space to be taken up through the former, the BAA is more likely to opt for commercial occupancy of space at Heathrow than to allocate that space for security purposes?

Mr. Wilshire

Most certainly I would defend the hon. Gentleman's right to make those points, just as I am sure that he would defend my right to say that he is talking absolute nonsense when he suggests that that was the motivation of the BAA or any other airport operator. Of course all airport and airline operators want the best possible security and will fall over backwards to make that possible.

Mr. Fry

Does my hon. Friend believe that it is satisfactory that a machine was present and ready to be brought into operation at Gatwick, but it took six months before that machine was operational? There is no criticism about the commercial nature of the BAA. However, does my hon. Friend believe that a six-month delay was satisfactory, in view of what happened at Lockerbie and the public concern over aviation security?

Mr. Wilshire

When we consider a delay, it is important to be sure how it came about. One of the worst possible things to do with aviation security is to make statements to the effect that we will do this or that in a few moments and everything will be marvellous. That misleads the public and does no good. If it takes a week, a month or even a year to get things right, I shall defend taking the necessary time.

The important thing to consider is that one machine on its own is of no earthly use at all. They are large and they are slow—they do about 600 bags an hour. At peak time at a busy airport such as Gatwick, about 8,000 bags must be screened every hour. It would take until the year 2000 to build sufficient machines to cover all major airports in the world. It is misleading simply to say, "All we need is one of those machines at Gatwick, and bingo—all will be well."

5.30 pm
Mrs. Dunwoody

The hon. Gentleman has missed the point. His hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry) made the simple point that a machine was offered for trial, and it took six months to find the necessary space. That point is simple but important.

Mr. Wilshire

I accept that. I thought that I had covered the point that one must do things in the right order. I do not have the facts on exactly why it took six months. I hope that the hon. Lady will give me the facts. If it turns out that there was a delay for the sake of delay—I hold no brief for BAA or for anybody else—and if criticism is deserved—surprise, surprise, I will criticise. However, until I see the evidence, I shall not do so.

My main reason for intervening was to deal with the comments by the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East. I have bad news for him. He made a point about accountants and about BAA's financial procedures. I shall not rise to that criticism, because my experience of accountants over the years——

Mr. Snape

The hon. Gentleman disappoints me.

Mr. Wilshire

I know that I disappoint the hon. Gentleman. However, as he said, it is a cross-party matter.

My experience of accountants over the years is that, if they must do something, they will end up doing it. If it were to become necessary, I am sure that they could do something. I agree with that. However, I do not agree with the basic premise of returning to a security fund. I recognise the argument that there are good reasons for doing so, but I hope that the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East will recognise the bad implications. On balance, the bad wins over the good.

I have three concerns about this matter. First, if one specifies how much one spends on security, one is revealing information to those who would like to know exactly what one is doing. One may not consider that on its own to be a justifiable reason, but it is true. My second concern is that, if we set a sum that should be spent on security, we will invite the response, "Fine, we will spend that, and we will discharge our responsibilities." There should be an open-ended commitment to spend whatever is necessary to provide the best possible security, not to set a sum of money. My third concern is that, if we specify sums of money, which will presumably vary from airport to airport, we will invite comparisons.

The hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) said that no one had asked the travelling public. I have done research, not on the travelling public but on the maritime sector, in which there is more choice than there is in the use of airports around London—cruise liners. I examined what was happening at the international cruise terminal at Tilbury. The operators said that their charge was £3 per passenger. They said that they were having great difficulties, because the charge at Southampton and elsewhere could be as little as less than £1

People were not flocking to Tilbury because it is the safest place to board a ship. Ship operators were saying "It is cheaper to go to Southampton than to Tilbury, so we will go there." Similarly, passengers were asking, "Why should we pay this much more when, at Southampton, we would pay much less?" I accept that that may be anecdotal, but it is not a one-way argument to say that, the more one charges, the happier people will be.

Mr. Snape

Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House how the 1978 aviation security fund actually worked and how the moneys that were levied from that fund were dispersed around United Kingdom airports for security purposes?

Mr. Wilshire

My reservation is that, however the money is dispersed, one publicly states how much one will spend, and what it will be spent on. Those matters outweigh the hon. Gentleman's arguments.

I am against the amendments giving the Secretary of State powers to pay, because they would lead to the argument, "All right, the Government will pay, so we need not bother." It will result in more buck passing, not less. Airport operators and airlines already try to pass the buck to one another, saying, "The airport should pay," or, "The airline should pay." If we introduce the Government into that, there will be three sides shuffling the buck, and that will make matters worse, not better.

Mr. Robert Hughes

I do not know whether I should begin by declaring an interest as a frequent air traveller. I suppose that I am in the air about twice a week—sadly, about 100 times a year. Before I give the impression that I am a notorious freeloader or free-tripper, I should say that virtually every trip is between London and my constituency in Aberdeen. I have great experience of how passengers regard security, and the cost of security.

The hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry) was extremely complimentary to the Opposition. I certainly respond in kind, because I know of his deep interest in the matter. We have always approached it in a non-partisan way and on a fairly uncontroversial note. That is why the remarks of the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) are rather surprising. Of course, there are pros and cons in all such matters.

I wholly support the new clause, because it would provide a mechanism whereby money could be found to pay not only for immediate security but for research. It identifies exactly what the costs are and where they are to be found. I am sometimes nauseated when I occasionally suggest to airline or airport representatives that it will cost money to provide proper security, and they say, "We can't afford it—it will eat into the profits." Security must be afforded. It does not matter how the money is collected; the passenger or cargo shipper pays. Security costs will be passed on by the airport owner, the airline owner or the operator. No commercial organisation in the world would say, "We shall run at a loss to provide proper safety." It is a matter of cost-efficiency and profit making.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) said, people's perception of safety varies depending on the time of year and how long it is since there was a major disaster.

A major safety measure is that, if baggage is booked on to an aircraft, but the passenger does not get on the plane, the plane cannot fly. All the baggage must be taken off, put on the tarmac, identified and put back on the plane. The baggage of the passenger who has not checked in is then taken away to be examined. It is remarkable how often people book on a flight, get to the airport and check in their baggage, but, for some reason, do not turn up. That has happened to me six times this year on my way to Aberdeen.

Passengers are desperate to get home or to go away on business. There is at least an hour's delay, when baggage is unaccompanied. The passengers' perception is, "Heck, why do we have to hang about so long?" However, they did not say that immediately after Lockerbie. If I have my facts right, the package that caused the Lockerbie explosion was transferred from another plane. British airports' response is that responsibility for baggage checked in at another airport lies with the carrier. I do not agree. If baggage is put on one aircraft and transferred to another, it should be rechecked at every airport. Of course, people say, "What a waste of time hanging about." Generally, if they are asked whether they are willing to spend more on the levy to improve security, they will say yes.

I accept—here I agree with the hon. Member for Spelthorne—that the first time that people see a 1 per cent. surcharge for security on their ticket, they will say, "What is all this about?" Of course there are dilemmas, but we must make a judgment.

We must face the dire possibility of a terrorist attack. With modern technology, the terrorist is becoming more sophisticated and clever and may have access to better technology than that available for finding and identifying packages. We must always run ahead and anticipate the threat. We must do a great deal of research into new methods of discovering explosives, timing devices and so on.

Often airport authorities do not appear to use the equipment that they have. I am fed up to the teeth, as many passengers are, with turning up at terminal 1 at Heathrow at busy times to find masses of people queueing from the place where baggage goes through the X-ray machines right back as far as the shops. One is almost forced to buy something in a shop to pass the time. There are four X-ray machines, but seldom are more than two in operation. If there is a backlog of people waiting to pass through, there, is immense pressure on the staff.

We are all irritated by delays, even though we know it is for our safety. When I ask why only two machines are operating, I am told that the staff are not available to operate them. Security staff have asked me to speak to the British Airports Authority, because they are under tremendous pressure. Every bag goes through the X-ray machine and the staff have to look at every image on the screen. There is a random search of perhaps one in three or one in five bags. There is a great deal of pressure on staff, even though the facilities are there, which can lead to something slipping through.

Mr. Wilshire

Before the hon. Gentleman finishes his point about lack of staff at an airport such as Heathrow, will he consider the difficulties of recruiting people? There is not so much a lack of opportunities as a lack of people applying for the jobs. Another difficulty is the requirement to check back over 20 years of a person's previous work experience. That makes it a long job. It can take anything up to 16 weeks before a vacancy can be filled.

Mr. Hughes

There may be difficulties, but the British Airports Authority has never told me that the reason why it has insufficient staff is that it is difficult to recruit or that it takes a long time to check credentials. I have been told that it cannot carry staff over a period simply to cope with short-term busy periods. People cannot be employed between, say, 5 pm and 7 pm when there is a huge mass of people through security simply to sit around for the rest of the day. People usually work shifts of seven or eight hours.

Personnel should be available and on call. All the machines available should be used, not just for the convenience of passengers, although that is important, but in order to make sure that people are not under pressure to let stuff go through. I do not accept that the reason for delays and the lack of staff is that not enough people apply for the jobs. Perhaps, if that is the case, BAA should consider the wages it pays. However, that is not a matter that I shall traverse tonight.

We must examine the methods by which money is found. It is not good enough simply to say that it is up to the airline or the airport authority to provide the cash. They will not provide it if there is pressure on their profits. It is as simple as that. However, the money has to be found. It would be far better to apply a levy to every ticket and for the Secretary of State to reimburse the money.

I was interested to hear the hon. Member for Spelthorne cite the example of Tilbury and Southampton. He said that operators would claim as a bonus—I hope that he is listening, because I am responding to his point——

Mr. Wilshire


Mr. Hughes

I wish that the hon. Gentleman would show on his face that he was listening.

I do not doubt his word that people say, "Come to Southampton because the security is cheaper than elsewhere." I am surprised that he does not condemn whichever shipping company he was referring to for taking that attitude, instead of using it as a bonus point for his argument. It is disgraceful that people should say, "Come to us because our security is cheaper," as if cheaper security were something that people sought. It is a bogus argument, and the hon. Gentleman knows it.

Mr. Wilshire

If the hon. Gentleman was under the impression that I was saying that cheap security was an advertising plus, I apologise. That was not what I intended to say. I said that both shipping lines and passengers regard security as an opportunity to cut costs. Shipping lines and passengers appear to prefer cheaper security. I do not applaud that; I deplore it. I was merely observing that that is what happens.

5.45 pm
Mr. Hughes

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that clarification and for accepting the point of my argument.

If a percentage of the cost of the ticket is levied and collected centrally, it could be distributed centrally so that there does not appear to be a difference between the cost of tickets at different airports.

Mr. Michael Colvin (Romsey and Waterside)

The hon. Gentleman makes his pitch for the idea of a levy collected as a percentage of the cost of ticket, which would be held centrally and disbursed among airports to ensure proper security. Does he accept that security is as strong as the weakest link in the international chain? How would he deal with the problems of international terrorism and inadequate security at other airports—for example, in Third-world countries? To operate properly, any levy system would have to be operated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation on an international basis. Everyone would have to comply with it, because otherwise it would be pointless.

Mr. Hughes

I do not know what proportion of people buy tickets in this country and travel out and back compared to the proportion who buy tickets outside and travel in and out again. If a levy were collected on every passenger's fare, it would be possible to organise collection of the levy from all carriers, whether they originated in Britain or elsewhere. People doing return journeys have to leave the country again. The argument that people who buy a ticket in the United States, for example, do not benefit from the levy because the point of origin is not in Britain, does not hold. Such passengers have to return. There would have to be an international agreement for collecting the money.

I shall not be diverted into a detailed discussion about safety. The hon. Member for Romsey and Waterside (Mr. Colvin) argued that, if one boards a flight outside this country, one does not know the standard of safety. That is true, but there is nothing that one can do about it. There is no way to guarantee the safety of someone who boards an aircraft in another country, whether Japan, Australia or elsewhere. I hope that, if we take the lead, we can persuade other countries to do likewise and enhance the system of security throughout the world.

Carriers and airport authorities wish to provide the safest possible method of travel because that is their business. If a major disaster is caused by terrorist activity, they will lose money through cancellations. However, this is not an issue about cash—as my hon. Friend the Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) has said, the debate is about the price of lack of safety, which is the price of a life.

The new clause would provide a good way of collecting the money and of ensuring that people understand what it is all about. It would also provide the Government with a better opportunity for putting leverage on everyone, to ensure that they do the research and apply the existing equipment as soon as possible.

Mr. Portillo

The hon. Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Snape) made not only his own speech but mine. His speech was full of references to previous statements of Government policy. As the Government's policy on this matter is fairly well understood, it may not be necessary for me to dwell on it for long.

Two distinct issues have been raised in the debate. The first is whether there should be Government grants to fund an aviation security programme, and the second is whether we should recycle money from the airlines, through Government, and back to the airports.

The first point about whether there should be Government grants for aviation security is the issue addressed specifically by the hon. Gentleman's new clause. However, the new clause is unnecessary, because the power that it seeks to place in the Secretary of State already exists. Under section 32 of the Aviation Security Act 1982, as amended by this Bill, the Secretary of State can, with the consent of the Treasury, defray, out of moneys provided by Parliament, all or part of the expenses of the persons described in subsection (1) of the new clause for purposes to which part II of the 1982 Act applies—that is, protection of aircraft, aerodromes and air navigation installations against acts of violence.

I do not wish to extend the list in the way in which the hon. Gentleman proposes in his new clause, but the power already exists. I do not want to deny for a moment that the Government have not sought to use that power of making grants for security purposes, because we believe that security should be paid for by the airport, the airline and the passenger. I have no doubt that passengers are willing to pay for it; it is simply a question of how they are asked to pay for it.

I am satisfied with the present arrangements, which are that the Government specify the level of security arrangements that must be made in airports. Money does not enter into those considerations. People are required to meet the directions that the Secretary of State makes, and the Secretary of State makes the directions that he considers appropriate for the level of security he thinks fit, reflecting the degree of risk assessed for him by the security forces from time to time.

I have listened carefully to all the speeches, but no hon. Member has argued that our present security arrangements are inadequate or, if they are, how the directions should be reinforced. I have heard no evidence that finance or lack of finance could be said to be prejudicing the security in our airports. Some hon. Members seemed to assume that, without a fund recycled through the Government, there must be a lack of money and a lack of security provision. That is wholly illogical and fallacious.

The way in which the Government arrived at the present position of wishing to wind up the old aviation security fund and the reasons for doing so were spelt out for Parliament in a statement by my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Cockfield in another place. Extensive consultations preceded that decision, which embraced not only the airlines and airport operators, but also the British Air Line Pilots Association, the Transport and General Workers Union, the Air Transport Users Committee, the Association of British Travel Agents Ltd. and the International Air Transport Association. At that time, the Government weighed all the pros and cons of having a centralised fund into which moneys were paid and then paid out again.

The Department of Trade was responsible for such matters in those days and considered the measures that applied elsewhere. My right hon. and noble Friend said: The research showed that in continental Europe, with certain exceptions, airport security duties were generally carried out by national and local police and as a rule were not directly funded by revenue from airport operations. In contrast the research also showed that in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland, searching was paid for by arlines, and that in the United States and Canada all other aspects of airport security were also, in the end, paid for by the airlines. No other country operated a fund system along the lines of the United Kingdom model. My right hon. and noble Friend thought that the arguments were fairly evenly balanced, but said that he was concerned that unnecessary and complex procedures would be avoided, incentives to carry out security measures efficiently would be increased, and cross-subsidisation eliminated, if the fund were wound up and airports and airlines financed security costs in the same way as their other operating expenditure."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 29 July 1982; Vol. 434, c. 359.] Therefore, over a period, the Government have been straightforward in explaining how they have arrived at this position.

The hon. Member for West Bromwich, East wanted to know why we thought that it would be bureaucratic and unnecessary to proceed in this way. I remind him that, in the old days, a fund level per passenger had to be set, airport charges had to be collected, payments by the airports had to be made to the Government, claims by the airports and airlines for expenditure that they were to incur had to be made and then assessed and paid by the Department. The net result was that the security measures that the Government required to be taken were paid for by the passenger, but only after that enormous rigmarole, and the great procedure of recycling the money.

The hon. Gentleman wanted to know how much all that would cost. If we were were to reinstate it today, it would probably cost my Department about £50,000 for the officials who would be needed to implement the provisions, but that would be only the beginning——

Mr. Snape

Appoint a quango.

Mr. Portillo

The hon. Gentleman says, "Appoint a quango." I am sure that he would be happy about that, but I believe that that is an unjustified cost, which does not even begin to deal with the costs that would unnecessarily fall on the airline industry. I repeat that the Government's approach is to specify the level of security and to ensure that that level is met—and that has nothing to do with money.

The hon. Member for West Bromwich, East was also concerned that there should be frankness and that the airports should tell the airlines the cost of security. For the sake of brevity, I refer him to what I said at columns 67 and 68 in Committee. I accept that any customer and supplier relationship should result in a willingness by the supplier to account for the reasoning behind his prices, and pointed out that section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 provides that designated airports must have adequate facilities for discussing the management of the airports. The Civil Aviation Authority conducts a quinquennial review of specified airports, covering user charges, including security.

That point also covers many of the issues raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry), whom I was pleased to see in his place, because he speaks with great experience and considerable knowledge of these matters. The question whether up-to-date equipment is made available is really a question about whether the Government have specified the level of security that is to be met. The Government will insist that that level is adhered to by the operators. It has nothing to do with whether sufficient funding is available, because the Government will always require airports and airlines to take such measures.

My hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) referred to the difficulties of the Third world. I am not sure that a fund would be the right way to set about the problem. When dealing with the Third world, our problems go far beyond funding. It is not just a question of installing the correct machinery; it is also a question of the training and the discipline that should go hand in hand with it. Each nation that has great experience of aviation is now trying to contact those Third-world countries with which it has a special relationship, so that we can help in a variety of ways to establish the appropriate aviation security programmes. Our own airlines continue to have responsibilities when they operate to those places.

6 pm

Space at airports was debated in Committee. It is our intention that all hold baggage should be screened before it goes into the aircraft. That will take some time to achieve, but we wish to proceed in an ordered fashion towards that goal. We do not wish to find that certain airlines that come first in the queue are pre-empting space. It is important that machines should be installed and measures introduced in the order dictated by the security considerations that prevail in each instance, so that we meet the maximum security risk in the most timely fashion.

Some of the remarks about machinery being installed at airports were rather unfair. These are immensely complex matters that bear on passenger safety, space, and getting things in the right place. As my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) said, with the TNA machine the issue of radioactivity has to be considered. The necessary certificate from the United States National Radiological Protection Board has only recently been granted. In fact, it was granted last week. As I have said, these are extremely complex matters.

I do not believe that there would be any advantage in recycling moneys in a long and cumbersome fashion, as some hon. Members have proposed. If they are saying that there should be powers for the Secretary of State, in certain circumstances, to be able to defray moneys with the approval of the Treasury, I tell the House that those powers already exist. I have heard no evidence during the debate that our levels of security are inadequate. I have heard no evidence that lack of funding has produced an undesirable situation. I have heard nothing to make me think that the recycling of moneys through a fund commends itself to me any more than it commended itself to Lord Cockfield when a thorough review was conducted, after considerable consultation, in 1982.

The House will be aware of the results which were announced by my noble Friend. I ask the House to reject the new clause.

Mr. Snape

I think that hon. Members on both sides of the House will have found the Minister's reply somewhat disappointing. The main thrust of his argument was that security had not suffered since the abolition of the aviation security levy, because the Government had at all times provided adequate funds. I have before me a draft parliamentary answer which was prepared for the previous Secretary of State for Transport after the Lockerbie disaster. It is the contention of my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself that aviation security—this was argued by my hon. Friend the Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody)—comes to the forefront only after a disaster. The Minister of State has told us that funds have never been lacking and security has always been adequate.

In the draft reply, however—it looks as if it was the result of a planted question—there is reference to a package of measures to provide better security at restricted areas, the screening of all baggage and doubling the strength of the Department's aviation security division. Those provisions are introduced directly as a result of tragedy. The contention of the Opposition—it is the unanimous contention of two Select Committees over the past few years—is that these measures could be better provided for financially if adequate funds were made available from the beginning through the provision of an aviation security levy.

Mr. Portillo

Now that the hon. Gentleman has the floor again, will he use the opportunity to make good a deficiency in his previous remarks? Will he demonstrate that there has been a lack of financing or that our security has suffered through a lack of finance, or that it would be improved by recycling moneys in a wasteful fashion through Government?

Mr. Snape

My purpose is to illustrate the argument that security issues arise only as a result of tragedy. Money has not been spent. Had it been available, it could and should have been spent to improve security. If it had been spent in the form of an aviation security levy, perhaps some of the gaps outlined in the draft repy to which I have referred would have been closed earlier, and perhaps before the Lockerbie disaster. I can put it no higher than that.

I ask the House to recollect the debate that took place on the Civil Aviation Bill on 16 January 1978, when the levy was first introduced. The then spokesman for the then Conservative Opposition was the right hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Parkinson), who is now the Secretary of State for Transport. In those days, he was an avid supporter of the setting up of the aviation security fund. During the debate, he said: Many people argue that it is the responsibility of the State to protect its citizens and therefore the cost of providing that protection"— that is, security at airports— should fall on the general body of taxpayers. It is argued that hijackers are seeking to pressure not individual airlines or airports but Governments, and therefore Governments should assume responsibility for meeting the cost of protection. He then said: It is our considered view"— that is, the Conservative party's considered view, as it was the Labour Government's view at that time— that there are even stronger arguments in favour of transferring the cost—some £19 million"— that says much about inflation over the past decade, as well as security— from the taxpayers generally to those who benefit from the service provided, namely, those who travel by air. Such a proposal recognises something that many Labour Members are often reluctant to recognise—there is no such thing as a free lunch. The right hon. Member for Hertsmere, who is now the Secretary of State for Transport, has changed his mind twice. He is against the provision of an aviation security levy and he is a living, walking and talking exponent of the free lunch if ever I saw one in this place. The right hon. Gentleman concluded that debate in a way that I hope will still appeal to some of his hon. Friends who have listened to today's debate: Why should the vast majority, who never set foot aboard an aeroplane, contribute to the cost which arises directly and identifiably from those who do? Why should pensioners, who have never travelled by plane in their lives and who never will, pay the costs of people who go on holiday to Majorca and to the Caribbean?"—[Official Report, 16 January 1978; Vol. 942, c. 78–80.] The right hon. Gentleman has revised his views since then, but the Opposition have not. That is the reason——

Mr. Portillo

I am genuinely puzzled by the argument that leads the hon. Gentleman to claim that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State was speaking on the hon. Gentleman's side of the argument. My right hon. Friend said that, in future, the costs would be borne by those who travel and not by the British taxpayer. That is what we stand for. That is the present arrangement. The hon. Gentleman appears to be saying that the fund should be recycled through Government, a proposal with which we disagree, or that it should be paid for by taxpayers generally. My right hon. Friend was explicit when he said that he thought that it would be wrong for taxpayers to bear the burden.

Mr. Snape

It is clear that the Minister has not read the report of the entire debate. We were talking about the principle of the aviation security levy in 1978. The right hon. Member for Hertsmere, who is now the Secretary of State, was then in favour of that sort of levy at the time, and so were the then Labour Government. We have remained consistent, even if the Secretary of State and his colleagues on the Treasury Bench have not. That is why we shall be pressing the new clause to a Division. Conservative Members who share our concern about security should vote for the new clause.

Mr. Robert Hughes

Does my hon. Friend agree that the logic of the Minister of State is at fault? He said in defence of the argument against the levy that the Government were prepared to find the money. The hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways.

Mr. Snape

The illogical nature of the Minister's reply will dawn on him when he reads the Hansard report of our debate tomorrow.

I cannot find a sufficiently emotive phrase to end the debate again, and I do not think that the House would wish me to do so. The Opposition intend to pursue the matter this evening, I hope that hon. Members on both sides of the House who support the principle of better security will vote for the new clause.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 135, Noes 203.

Division No. 101] [6.08 pm
Allen, Graham Lamond, James
Anderson, Donald Leighton, Ron
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Lewis, Terry
Armstrong, Hilary Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Ashton, Joe Loyden, Eddie
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) McAllion, John
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) McAvoy, Thomas
Battle, John McFall, John
Beckett, Margaret McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Bermingham, Gerald McKelvey, William
Bidwell, Sydney Maclennan, Robert
Blair, Tony McNamara, Kevin
Blunkett, David McWilliam, John
Boyes, Roland Mahon, Mrs Alice
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Marek, Dr John
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Buchan, Norman Maxton, John
Buckley, George J. Michael, Alun
Callaghan, Jim Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Moonie, Dr Lewis
Canavan, Dennis Morgan, Rhodri
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Mowlam, Marjorie
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Mullin, Chris
Clelland, David Murphy, Paul
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Cohen, Harry O'Brien, William
Coleman, Donald O'Neill, Martin
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Corbett, Robin Pike, Peter L.
Corbyn, Jeremy Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Cousins, Jim Prescott, John
Cryer, Bob Primarolo, Dawn
Cunningham, Dr John Quin, Ms Joyce
Darling, Alistair Radice, Giles
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Redmond, Martin
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l) Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn
Dixon, Don Reid, Dr John
Dobson, Frank Robertson, George
Doran, Frank Rogers, Allan
Duffy, A. E. P Rooker, Jeff
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Eadie, Alexander Ruddock, Joan
Evans, John (St Helens N) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Fearn, Ronald Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n) Short, Clare
Fisher, Mark Skinner, Dennis
Flannery, Martin Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Flynn, Paul Snape, Peter
Foster, Derek Soley, Clive
Fraser, John Spearing, Nigel
Fyfe, Maria Stott, Roger
George, Bruce Turner, Dennis
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Walley, Joan
Godman, Dr Norman A. Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Golding, Mrs Llin Wareing, Robert N.
Gordon, Mildred Watson, Mike (Glasgow, C)
Gould, Bryan Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Graham, Thomas Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Haynes, Frank Wilson, Brian
Heffer, Eric S. Winnick, David
Henderson, Doug Wise, Mrs Audrey
Hinchliffe, David Worthington, Tony
Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall) Wray, Jimmy
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Hood, Jimmy Tellers for the Ayes:
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Mr. Ken Eastham and Mr. Jimmy Dunnachie.
Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Janner, Greville
Allason, Rupert Atkins, Robert
Amess, David Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)
Arbuthnot, James Baldry, Tony
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Batiste, Spencer
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Beaumont-Dark, Anthony
Ashby, David Bellingham, Henry
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Jessel, Toby
Bevan, David Gilroy Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Biffen, Rt Hon John Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Boswell, Tim Key, Robert
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Kilfedder, James
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Bowis, John Kirkhope, Timothy
Brazier, Julian Knapman, Roger
Bright, Graham Knight, Greg (Derby North)
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Browne, John (Winchester) Knowles, Michael
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South) Knox, David
Buck, Sir Antony Latham, Michael
Budgen, Nicholas Lawrence, Ivan
Burns, Simon Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Burt, Alistair Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Butler, Chris Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Butterfill, John Lightbown, David
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Lilley, Peter
Carrington, Matthew Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Cash, William McCrindle, Robert
Chapman, Sydney MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Maclean, David
Colvin, Michael McLoughlin, Patrick
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Couchman, James Malins, Humfrey
Critchley, Julian Maples, John
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Devlin, Tim Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Dickens, Geoffrey Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Durant, Tony Mills, Iain
Dykes, Hugh Miscampbell, Norman
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd) Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Evennett, David Mitchell, Sir David
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Moate, Roger
Fallon, Michael Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Fenner, Dame Peggy Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Fishburn, John Dudley Moss, Malcolm
Fookes, Dame Janet Moynihan, Hon Colin
Forman, Nigel Mudd, David
Franks, Cecil Neale, Gerrard
French, Douglas Nelson, Anthony
Gale, Roger Neubert, Michael
Gardiner, George Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Glyn, Dr Sir Alan Nicholls, Patrick
Goodlad, Alastair Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Gow, Ian Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Norris, Steve
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Page, Richard
Gregory, Conal Paice, James
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Grist, Ian Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hague, William Porter, David (Waveney)
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom) Portillo, Michael
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Powell, William (Corby)
Hanley, Jeremy Price, Sir David
Hannam, John Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Redwood, John
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Haselhurst, Alan Rhodes James, Robert
Hawkins, Christopher Riddick, Graham
Hayes, Jerry Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hayward, Robert Ryder, Richard
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE) Sackville, Hon Tom
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Sayeed, Jonathan
Hind, Kenneth Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Hordern, Sir Peter Sims, Roger
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Skeet, Sir Trevor
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Speed, Keith
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Speller, Tony
Hunter, Andrew Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Irvine, Michael Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Irving, Sir Charles Squire, Robin
Jack, Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
Stern, Michael Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Stevens, Lewis Waller, Gary
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood) Warren, Kenneth
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Watts, John
Summerson, Hugo Wheeler, Sir John
Tapsell, Sir Peter Whitney, Ray
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Wilshire, David
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Winterton, Nicholas
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman Wolfson, Mark
Temple-Morris, Peter Wood, Timothy
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley) Woodcock, Dr. Mike
Thorne, Neil Young, Sir George (Acton)
Townend, John (Bridlington)
Trippier, David Tellers for the Noes:
Trotter, Neville Mr. Stephen Dorrell and Mr. Irvine Patnick.
Twinn, Dr Ian
Viggers, Peter

Question accordingly negatived.

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