HC Deb 14 March 1990 vol 169 cc496-544

10. In this Order— allotted day" means any day (other than a Friday) on which the Bill is put down as first Government Order of the Day, provided that a Motion for allotting time to the proceedings on the Bill to be taken on that day either has been agreed on a previous day, or is set down for consideration on that day; the Bill" means the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

My right hon. and hon. Friends and I deeply regret the necessity to move a timetable motion given that the House has made such reasonable and rapid progress so far. There is so much interest in both parts of the Bill that, in the interests of Parliament and of both parties, it would have been an extremely good idea to have continued on a satisfactory basis until the end of the Bill's passage through the Commons and thus to have allowed hon. Members on both sides of the House to air all the matters that they wished to air.

It has to be conceded that we were well on course to make that agreed progress until the events of last night. I believe that my desire to avoid a guillotine if we possibly could was amply demonstrated by the Government's behaviour. Hon. Members will recall that we began by making two days available for the Second Reading debate. That is not unprecedented, I know, but only major legislation receives such treatment, which involves the concession of a day of Government time. The Bill then entered its Committee stage—we discussed it in part this morning—during which, we are all agreed, reasonable progress was made. We succeeded in debating an enormous number of amendments covering provisions from the beginning to the end of the Bill and allowing us a full discussion. We then returned to the Floor of the House.

I acknowledged this morning that the Bill's progress was facilitated by the agreement made through the usual channels—the best accompaniment to legislation—giving rise to an agreed timetable. We played by the rules on that agreed timetable. I always think that when the Government agree a timetable, we concede to the Opposition the whip hand when it comes to deciding how much time is devoted to each part. As the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) said this morning, the Opposition were keen to devote four days to the community care part of the Bill. We reached the end of the Committee stage in a highly satisfactory fashion, but thereafter something appears to have gone wrong—[HON. MEMBERS: "You."] No, what went wrong was revealed this morning. We had an agreement that we would have two whole days for Report and half a day for Third Reading, which again was a generous provision of time.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Clarke

I shall give way later, although I should remind hon. Members that the more time we spend on the guillotine motion, the less time we shall have on Report.

The hon. Member for Livingston revealed this morning the reason for the sudden change in our hitherto smooth progress. It is true that I had said in public what was factually correct—that we had made smooth, steady, satisfactory progress on the Bill. I repeated my view—I shall do so again before I end my remarks—that one thing that has sped us along is that, although the detail of the Bill is extremely complicated, much of the political debate on it conceals wide agreement that the Health Service needs better financial management, quality control and many of the reforms that the Government propose. My remarks were reported in such a way as to cause a certain amount of sensitivity on the Opposition Front Bench. From time to time, we all read press cuttings that we would not necessarily have written ourselves or have had written on our behalf, but it is no good our looking at press cuttings like a debutante actress who is nervous about her write-up.

When my comments that we were making smooth, steady and speedy progress on the Bill were drawn to the attention of the hon. Member for Livingston—in shadow Cabinet, I believe, which was perhaps an unfortunate setting—he reacted rather strongly. I shall not labour the point because I do not want to take up Opposition time, but in my opinion the Opposition made a misjudgment yesterday and decided to hold a machismo performance of the traditional kind on the Floor of the House, thereby reversing the extremely sensible conduct of debate in Committee. Given the agreement that we were to have two days on Report and half a day on Third Reading, they thereby put at risk the control over debate that they had won for themselves in Committee.

Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan)

The Minister's defence of this restriction on debate rests on the fact that some agreement between Front-Bench spokesmen has not been kept. I understand that the Labour party denies that, but I shall let it speak for itself. How does the Minister's point cover the many parties in the House that are not covered by formal arrangements through the usual channels; and how does he defend stopping contributions by my colleagues and me, who are not covered by the agreements that the Minister claims have been broken?

Mr. Clarke

I welcome the hon. Gentleman to our proceedings 130 hours into their duration. I was here for part of the Scottish debate in the small hours of this morning and I cannot recall whether he was present—

Mr. Salmond

I was.

Mr. Clarke

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman. The fact is that the agreement, although conducted through the usual channels, provided ample time for discussion of all the issues in the Bill. Had we proceeded last night as we did in Committee we should by now be well advanced in consideration of the Report stage of the Bill, without disruption of the timetable of the House—

Mrs. Alice Mahon (Halifax)


Mr. Charles Kennedy (Ross, Cromarty and Skye)


Mr. Clarke

I shall give way once more and then I shall give an illustration of what I think happened last night to justify this motion.

Mrs. Mahon

The Minister has said that he thinks that we were highly satisfied with the Committee's proceedings. I draw his attention to at least three amendments that I moved—one on enrolled nurses who cannot train; another on the lack of protection during staff transfers; and a third on care plans, about which the Minister for Health said that she was not particularly interested in doing anything that might harm the private sector. Far from being satisfied, I was bloody mad on all three counts.

Mr. Clarke

The hon. Lady made it clear on a number of occasions in Committee that we had unfortunately failed to satisfy her with our replies. My point is that she had ample opportunity to deploy her arguments, which were considered and given reasonable replies. We could have resumed those sorts of exchanges today—and we have, but in a very slow and protracted fashion.

Mr. Kennedy

I do not think that the Secretary of State's recollection of the Committee is accurate. We hit the buffers in the House last night because we reached, on a large-scale, the issue of income support for people in residential homes, and saw a repeat performance of what happened in Committee. Conservative Member after Conservative Member stood up to disagree with the Government's position. That was what took up so much time and it is why the debate ran so late last night. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is looking to apportion blame, he need only look behind him at his right hon. and hon. Friends.

Mr. Clarke

I have no complaint about new clause 1. I did not like the result, but I accept that what happened was a perfectly proper parliamentary procedure. Three Conservative Back-Benchers and quite a number of other hon. Members spoke against us last night, and I agree that we were making satisfactory progress until the vote at about 10 pm. Thereafter, it rapidly became clear that things had changed dramatically.

I understand the choice that the Opposition have to make—I have been in opposition myself—of whether to filibuster or make reasonable progress—

Mr. Alun Michael (Cardiff, South and Penarth)

The right hon. and learned Gentleman was guilty of a disgusting display of filibustering last night.

Mr. Clarke

I shall do it again if the hon. Gentleman is not careful.

When I turned up at the Scottish debate the warning signs were already apparent, but a reasonable debate appeared to be in progress on what I have no doubt was a serious issue. It took two hours. I could see the warning signs immediately, however, when we reached the Welsh debate on an undoubtedly important matter—the number of community health councils in Wales.

My hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke (Mr. Bennett), who is not in his place—not surprisingly—made an extremely pithy contribution. He pointed out that the Opposition were saying that they thought the number of community health councils in Wales should be the same as the number of Welsh district councils, whereas the Government were saying that they should be the same as the number of health boards. In one sentence my hon. Friend expressed an idea which it took the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) half an hour to expound repeatedly. The hon. Gentleman's point was so profound that it was repeated by every Welsh Member of the House, who seemed to consist of a large proportion of the Welsh parliamentary Labour party, most of whom vanished from the Chamber the moment the debate concluded and who have not been seen from that moment to this.

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

I ask the Secretary of State to do one thing: will he tell us what is going to happen this evening? When does he expect us to have the opportunity to begin the debate again on Report? I understand that agreements have been reached and that people have made suggestions as to what should happen, but at what stage during the evening will certain clauses be taken? What will happen to the hundreds of amendments and dozens of new clauses that may remain outstanding at the end of the evening? We should like to know. Let us get off all this rubbish about what happened yesterday.

Mr. Clarke

I confirm what I have already said—Report stage will begin as soon as the debate is concluded if the House agrees with the motion before it. I will not detain the House for long, but I insist on beginning by explaining why we are tabling a motion which I had no wish to table, especially as it is about to be challenged by the hon. Member for Livingston.

We reached the end of the Welsh debate last night. I am not going to relay everything verbatim—

Mr. Michael


Mr. Clarke

I shall give way, but, as I keep saying, this is encroaching on Opposition time.

Mr. Michael

It is not satisfactory for the right hon. and learned Gentleman to try to write mythology into the record. Yesterday's record will show that the Welsh debate was conducted in an excellent manner by Opposition Members, but that the contribution from Conservative Members was pathetic. That debate showed that the Government have abandoned the consumer and the community. That is in the record and that will be noted by people and communities throughout Wales, whatever mythology the Minister tries to write into today's debate.

Mr. Clarke

I find that judgment of the Welsh debate as predictable and partisan as most of the hon. Gentleman's contributions. I am talking only about the length of time it took to debate what seemed to me, as an English observer who was waiting to debate the Bill, a rather simple point.

Mr. Kenneth Hind (Lancashire, West)

Will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?

Mr. Clarke

Let me just consider last night's proceedings, and then I shall draw a veil over them. Those proceedings are the sole explanation for why we are now debating the motion.

About 12 hours after we had begun the debate—some of that time was no one's fault because of new clause 1—we started to discuss the English National Health Service. For more than 12 hours I had maintained total silence, apart from one intervention—no doubt a blessed relief to many Opposition Members.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

What does the Minister propose to do tonight?

Mr. Clarke

We then got on to a subject that is important, but a little tired to Committee members—consultations about the new NHS trusts.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am sorry to press this, but some of us have come into the Chamber for a constructive debate. We do not give a damn about what happened yesterday; we are looking forward to tonight's business. What proposals have the Government—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean)

Order. What is the point of order for the Chair.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

The Speaker selected nearly 200 new clauses and amendments—it was his decision which ones were to be called. We have five and a half hours and all that I want to know is at what stage in the evening 'will those matters be debated. That is a fair question. Let us forget yesterday and concentrate on the business tonight.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is not a point of order.

Mr. Campbell-Savours


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. It would be much better if the Secretary of State was allowed to get on with his speech.

Mr. Clarke

I propose to make my own speech and I am not going to take advice on it from the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

What is going to happen tonight?

Mr. Clarke

I shall certainly not take advice from the hon. Gentleman, who wasted the whole of the first morning of the Committee and part of the afternoon on the Floor of the House afterwards by raising a frolic of his own. So far as I can recall, he is the only person who, before last night, wasted time on the proceedings of the Bill. I am saying that, last night, when we got to the English NHS, the signs were clear when the Leader of the Opposition, who had made short, succinct speeches in Committee—

Mr. Robin Cook


Mr. Clarke

The hon. Gentleman who leads for the Opposition on this subject. I do not want to start controversy or speculation on the Opposition side of the House of the kind that burst out in other parts.

A speech lasting one hour and 50 minutes was made by the hon. Member for Livingston which, as I said last night, was a patched-together collection of various speeches that he had made in Committee on a subject—

Mr. Campbell-Savours

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. It would be far better, in this short debate, to allow the Secretary of State to get on with his speech.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

The guillotine is about the arrangements for taking new clauses, amendments and Government amendments this evening.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. That is not a point of order for the Chair.

Mr. Clarke

The hon. Gentleman is maintaining his record as the hon. Member who has made more points of order in the proceedings on the Bill than any other, and probably more than all the others put together. He is merely taking up time.

I am explaining the background of events which are in the memory of most of us who have followed the Bill. Last night, for reasons of pure machismo that I have already described, the Bill was suddenly filibustered. It is up to Opposition Members to raise whatever subjects and arguments they want, but I do not believe that we heard an argument that had not been deployed before in Committee. We heard the same arguments, largely from the same hon. Members, delivered at three times their previous length by all Opposition Members who spoke. They did not want to debate the Bill but wanted to show that they were capable of making long speeches in the small hours of the morning.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

I fully support my right hon. and learned Friend in his opposition in principle to imposing a guillotine and I shall support the Government in the Lobby at approximately a quarter past 7 o'clock. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that if the Government had advised the House that they would take on board the very clear message at the end on the debate on new clasue 1 that appropriate measures would be introduced in the Social Security Bill, that might have resulted in an orderly debate being held and the filibustering which went on last night would not have occurred?

Mr. Clarke

First, I believe that we made a proper response to the debate last night. Secondly, my right hon. Friend made it clear that we will all respond properly to the vote of the House last night as soon as we can. Whatever may have been the feelings of my hon. Friend last night, I do not believe that that lay behind the Opposition's activity on the Bill thereafter. However, I am grateful for my hon. Friend's support of the guillotine as I do not always get it for other measures before the House.

If I may be allowed to do so, I shall move speedily to my conclusion. I have explained that the reason for presenting the guillotine is to get back on to the satisfactory course of debate upon which we were set until there was a daft change of mind on the part of the Opposition at about midnight last night.

We are also amply supported by precedent. There have been guillotine motions in previous similar circumstances and reference was made this morning to the Health Services Act 1976, a major piece of legislation taken through the House by Barbara Castle. More time has been spent in Committee than on that Bill—we have had more than 100 hours in Committee. In 1976, the Labour Government guillotined both the Committee and the Report stages and did not allow matters to proceed to the point that we had reached until we were provoked into the action that we are taking today.

The hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) can scarcely contain himself any longer, although he looks more relaxed than he did during most stages of our proceedings. He will know that the motion will allow us to proceed in a perfectly reasonable fashion. As soon as the motion is passed by the House, if hon. Members accept my arguments, we shall proceed to Report, which will be finished by midnight tonight. If the hon. Gentleman has a copy of the timetable motion, he will see that paragraph 6 describes the conclusion of proceedings and the Questions that will be put by the Chair, if necessary. How many debates we get through between now and midnight is entirely in the hands of Opposition Members.

Not all my hon. Friends will be precluded from taking part in the debates, but I hope that I speak for them all—certainly those who followed the Bill through Committee—when I say that I expect that they will speak briefly. If the Opposition do not want to move some of their new clauses, they can move to others. They can command the time between now and midnight as they wish, making such progress as they can.

In Committee, much progress was made in seven and a half hours. At midnight, the proceedings will come to an end, as described in paragraph 6. Tomorrow, we shall come to the Third Reading motion, which will allow a Third Reading debate tomorrow afternoon.

Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South)

Of course, I understand my right hon. and learned Friend's dilemma. But can anyone pretend that adequate consideration can be given to one of the most important pieces of legislation placed before the House in the 20 years that he and I have been here?

Mr. Clarke

My hon. Friend has been an hon. Member for exactly the same time as I have. He is an independent Back-Bencher, who puts his opinion quite frequently and is a strong parliamentarian. I hope that he will agree that, after two days on Second Reading and over 100 hours in Committee, it is reasonable to have two and a half days on Report. Our misfortune is that we are trying to make up in injury time for the eight or nine hours in the small hours of this morning when the Bill was filibustered. The Government cannot be fairer than that.

I would like to resume a measured level of debate. I believe that there is a wide consensus on the National Health Service. There is no division between us on the principles of the Health Service, the commitment to free treatment paid out of general taxation, and the provision of a comprehensive service as good as that available under any other health care system. Obviously, when we come to the mechanics, there are detailed differences between us. But I believe that there is widespread support for a reform that will bring better financial management, better quality control, and a greater say for patients paving the way for a better patient service. There was more controversy on the care in the community part of the Bill.

Mr. Andrew Mitchell (Gedling)

It seems that my amendment No. 158 is not likely to be reached this evening. My right hon. and learned Friend knows the great importance attached to extending and clarifying the role of the Audit Commission. Is my understanding correct that, in its place on the amendment paper this amendment will now receive Government support?

Mr. Clarke

My hon. Friend will be glad to know that I have rescued his amendment from the debris. It is up to the Opposition to see what they can rescue from the debris. The hon. Gentleman's amendment is one of those listed in paragraph 6(1)(c) of the timetable motion and it will be put to a vote at 12 o'clock. It will be debated, and my hon. Friend can deploy the arguments that the Government would have accepted had he had the opportunity of moving the amendment—if we make proper progress on Report between now and midnight.

There is widespread agreement. Care in the community has caused controversy, but the Griffiths report received all-party support. For heaven's sake, we all accept the need to improve the system for providing care in the community to the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill and the mentally handicapped. Why is not the House capable of having a sensible debate on the issues of detail that divide us?

I invite the hon. Member for Livingston to agree to that sensible procedure, allowing us to get back to where we would have been had it not been for his behaviour from about one o'clock in the morning.

Mr. Hind

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance. If the House decided to collapse the debate now, would it be in order immediately afterwards to debate the clauses that are the subject of the Report stage?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The answer to that is yes. Immediately this debate is completed—it need not last for three hours—we shall proceed to debate the clauses in the Bill.

4.40 pm
Mr. Robin Cook (Livingston)

I beg to move, as a manuscript amendment to the motion, in paragraph 6(e), to delete "that all" and insert "On each of the".

To those of my hon. Friends who do not immediately apprehend the objective of the amendment, I should explain that it would enable the House to vote separately on Government amendments on which it wished to vote separately, as opposed to the iniquitious proposal in the timetable motion, which obliges the House to vote on Government amendments as a block. I shall return to that issue later.

I refer to the point of order of the hon. Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind). It may be proper for the House to find extra time for the new clauses and amendments that have appeared today in the amendment paper, but it would be possible for it to do that only by submitting without murmur or protest to such a constitutional outrage. A glance at the timetable motion confirms the contempt that the present Administration have for the right of parliamentary scrutiny and the ability to challenge legislation.

Mr. Hind

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Cook

I shall do so on this occasion, as I am conscious of the hon. Gentleman's observations, but other hon. Members wish to participate in the debate, so I shall not give way again.

Mr. Hind

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. Will he accept that, if we were to pass the guillotine motion now, we would have two and three quarter extra hours in which to debate the clauses of the Bill, some of which are thought to be extremely important by all hon. Members? Will the hon. Gentleman reconsider his position in the light of that?

Mr. Cook

If the Treasury Whip had not moved a motion to report progress six and a half hours ago, we should have had an additional nine hours of debate. It is important for the House to consider the timetable motion. If it submits to the motion without a whimper of protest, it will happen every second sitting day.

My hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) has repeatedly asked the Secretary of State to tell us the effect of his motion. There are important new clauses still to be debated. They refer to important issues, the first of which is not within the scope of even this Government to prevent us debating. That is the new clause tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham (Ms. Harman) referring to the rights of patients to appeal against the decision of a GP to delete them from his list. There are other important new clauses that I fear we will not reach under this timetable, such as the rights of staff who are transferred to self-governing trusts and the ring fencing of grants for community care, which was a central issue in the Griffiths report, and which should be central to the clauses on community care in this Bill.

In addition to the new clauses, there are 212 amendments to 62 different clauses that still stand selected. The Secretary of State said that the motion would provide a perfectly reasonable way of handling the new clauses and amendments, but he has proposed 285 minutes in which to debate 252 new clauses and amendments. There is no way in which we can cram debates about those new clauses and amendments into such a finite time. There is no way in which the House could even vote on all those new clauses and amendments without any debate. There is not even an attempt in the timetable motion to pretend that it is possible to timetable that for useful debate on the new clauses.

This is not a timetable motion; no times are fixed in the motion. This is a simple, unadorned guillotine that falls at midnight. The Secretary of State said that it would enable the House to finish the Bill. We will not finish the Bill at midnight; I doubt if we will even have started consideration of amendments to the Bill by then. What happens at midnight is that the Government get their Bill, and they will get it without any debate on the clauses on community care.

I have to say to my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham, who served with me on the Committee, that, had I any doubt about the importance and correctness of our strategy in approaching the Committee sittings, and in seeking agreement to ensure that we had adequate days in which to air the issues in the Bill, that doubt would have been removed by a timetable motion that shows that, given half a chance, this Administration would block any debate on those clauses.

Among the 212 amendments there are 100 Government amendments. The effect of the timetable motion—an effect about which the Secretary of State was rather coy—is that those 100 Government amendments will be put to the House in a single Division. I have checked with the authorities and have been advised that there was no parallel with such a proposal before this Government took office.

There are a number of significant and important Government amendments, including an amendment to permit officers of health authorities to serve on health authorities and Government amendments relating to the transfer of assets to self-governing trusts. There is even a Government amendment on the restrictions on GPs. The House is being denied not only a debate on the amendments, and the opportunity to scrutinise them; it is even being denied a Division on them.

I turn from the effect of the motion to the observations by the Secretary of State. I assure the House that I shall be as brief as I can in dismissing them, but first I express some anxiety on behalf of all hon. Members who served on the Standing Committee. There is growing anxiety in our midst about what has become of the hon. Member for Derby, North (Mr. Knight). I do not recall seeing him on the Treasury Bench since the Division on new clause 1. I hope that he has not vanished down whatever oubliette is reserved in the Whips Office for the failed Whip.

The Secretary of State was good enough to say—I hope that the hon. Member for Derby, North has the message brought to him wherever he is incarcerated—that he had no complaints about the debate on new clause 1. That debate lasted five and a quarter hours. I differ slightly from the interpretation put by the hon. Member for Ross, Cromarty and Skye (Mr. Kennedy) on the length of the debate. The hon. Gentleman suggested that the debate was long because large numbers of Conservative Members spoke against the Government.

I believe that the debate, if it was unduly long, was so for the simple and self-evident reason that the House received no response from the Treasury Bench to what was patently the will of the House. If, throughout our proceedings, we had had Ministers who were willing to listen to the points of debate, and to take the sense of the debate and the will of the House, it would have been possible for us to make more rapid progress.

Throughout the entire proceedings on the Bill, both in Committee and on Report, the Opposition have received not one concession. Indeed, if there is one thing that infuriates us more than not getting a concession it is the fact that we cannot even get the Secretary of State to agree that we disagree with him on the content of the Bill.

Having said that, I have to say that the timetable motion is a fitting end to the proceedings on the Bill. It was conceived in secrecy, in a furtive review, behind closed doors, through which only Ministers were admitted. Those Ministers took no evidence, and held no consultations on the review; they issued no Green Paper to stimulate debate.

This is a fitting end to a Bill that will centralise in Richmond house the powers of control of the Health Service. On Second Reading, I drew attention to the Bill's 127 references to the Secretary of State, all of which gave him powers to regulate, to order and to instrument. Each of those 127 references survived Committee, and each of them will now survive Report, without debate.

It is fitting at this stage of the Bill that one of the four debates that we were allowed—before being muzzled—was one that exposed just how anxious the Government are to avoid democratic debate within the Health Service, and their determination to avoid people having a say in whether their local hospital opts out of local health authority control. The Government are terrified that they would not win a single ballot.

This is a fitting end to a Bill for which the Government had no mandate in the previous election. The proposals have not gained support since then. The Bill enjoys more unpopularity in the opinion polls than the poll tax Bill did at the same point during its passage through Parliament. But although the timetable motion provides an appropriate end to our proceedings, it will not quite be the end of the Bill. There is one ballot that Ministers cannot guillotine—the ballot that will take place in the forthcoming general election. Democracy will then take its revenge for the way in which the Government rammed the Bill through the House.

From now until that election, we shall set the agenda on health. We shall measure and broadcast each shift to a commercialised marketplace in health care. We shall log and publicise each patient who is refused treatment. Each speciality that is forced to the wall by competitive contracts will be recorded and remembered.

Each of those issues will be put in the reckoning on the day of the general election. I am confident that that election will return a Government who will re-create a Health Service that will give patients the treatment they need, not the treatment that they or their doctors can afford. As a result of the motion, the Bill will leave the House tomorrow. At that point, the Secretary of State's problems will start. The Bill will be leaving the one place in Great Britain where it could find a majority. It has no majority in the world outside. The right hon. and learned Gentleman cannot dragoon a majority for it by putting the Whips on to the world outside.

The guillotine motion is the last throw of the discredited doctrine that "No. 10 knows best"—a doctrine of which the nation is heartily sick. When the electorate has its next turn to speak, the Bill that that doctrine seeks to protect will be rejected, along with the Government who imposed it.

4.52 pm
Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South)

I think that I have voted in almost every guillotine debate for the past 20 years, but for reasons that I shall explain, this guillotine is one guillotine too far.

Much humbug is spoken by those on Conservative and Opposition Front Benches when guillotine motions are introduced. The sort of speech made by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State, for whom I have enormous respect and regard, is made from every Government Front Bench whenever a guillotine motion is introduced. I am delighted to see in his place the father of all guillotines, the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot). When he was Leader of the House, he entertained us hugely and introduced more guillotine motions than any other right hon. Gentleman.

We owe it to ourselves and to our constituents to consider what we are about in this place in a way that we have not considered it so far. Those of us on the Back Benches have rights and duties. One duty is carefully to scrutinise legislation. Our constituents expect us to examine Bills seriously and in detail. This Bill affects vast numbers of our constituents. It could be said, without great exaggeration, to affect each one of them directly or indirectly.

No doubt all of us have attended meetings in our constituencies, as I have done, with general practitioners and others who have been worried and sometimes alarmed at the Bill's contents. Many such worries have been based on misconstruction, and many alarms have been grossly exaggerated. There has been mischief-making against the Bill by those who should have known better. Nevertheless, this is a serious matter. The Bill affects all of our constituents and contains controversial elements that demand careful and detailed scrutiny.

Our debate this evening calls into question not only the Bill but how we deal with all legislation. It is time seriously to consider that aspect. We let down our contituents by our perfunctory approach—[Interruption.] It would be good if the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Sedgemore) listened, because my argument is serious. We should get away from our perfunctory examination of all legislation.

Let us consider what happens. A Bill comes before the House and has a Second Reading. By the very nature of things, even if it is a two-day Second Reading, few of us can pronounce on the general principles. The occupant of the Chair has an impossibly difficult task in knowing whom to call so that the various strands of opinion and parties in the House are represented. Few right hon. and hon. Members have the chance to take part in Second Reading debates.

Next, a small number of Members go into Committee to debate the Bill in detail. As a Chairman of Committees, I know full well that Government Whips often exercise a certain persuasive power to curb the eloquence of Government Members, so that the Bill has a reasonably speedy passage through Committee. I do not point the figure at any particular Minister or Government. It happens, as all right hon. and hon. Members know.

Mr. Andrew Rowe (Mid-Kent)

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Cormack

Not at the moment. I am trying to develop a serious argument, but I may give way later.

The Bill then comes back to the Floor of the House, often lucky to have escaped a guillotine. The vast majority of us have had no chance to examine it in detail, to speak about how its provisions affect our constituents or to consider its implications for the country as a whole.

We then come to the Report stage. Today, we have a grotesque example of what can then happen. It seems generally expected that this debate will last until 6 o'clock or thereabouts. We shall then have between five and six hours in which to consider hundreds of amendments and dozens of new clauses to a Bill that affects everyone in the land. That will not be debate, consideration, scrutiny or what our constituents expect us to do. It will be another perfunctory gallop. Many right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House who wish to speak will have little chance to do so. Those who are called to speak will have to truncate their remarks. Tomorrow, after a brief Third Reading debate on generalities, the Bill will go to another place. It will come back to the House only in so far as their Lordships make amendments to it, which I trust they will; but we must wait and see.

What does it all mean? I do not criticise Front Benchers on either side of the House, but the House of Commons must consider how we go through our legislation. I believe that every Bill needs a proper timetable, not one agreed through the usual channels, nor cooked up at dead of night or in the early hours of the morning to cope with a crisis. What is needed is a proper timetable that is worked out by a scrutiny of legislation Committee of the House.

We should consider setting up such a Committee at an early date. It should consist of senior and experienced Members from both sides of the House, not just Privy Councillors but those such as my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and me and others who have experience of chairing Committees, who can consider a Bill without regard to partisan points. They should consider what the Bill seeks to do, and its length and contents, then decide how reasonably it should be divided so that each clause can be properly debated. That is what our constituents expect us to do, and we let them down because we do not do it.

At the root of the matter is the amount of legislation before the House. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that few of us have the chance to understand even a fraction of the Bills before the House. They come thudding from the Vote Office on to our desks or doorsteps. They are complex and affect the lives of people all over the country—I am speaking not only of this Bill.

Let us consider the past Session or two and think of the reforms that have been introduced in this House. How many hon. Members can say that they have truly been able to understand and to follow the complexity of the legislation? I was privy to a Tea Room conversation only yesterday. A distinguished member of the Labour party was having a snack with me and a member of the other place came along and said, "Did you realise that that Bill which went through without a Division the other week had this measure in it?" He did not realise it, and neither did I. Frankly, I do not believe that any other hon. Member sitting round realised it.

There is too much legislation. Every party that goes to the country aspiring to government promises to bring in less legislation, not more. It is a pledge that is repeatedly broken. We need a ration which allocates time properly between Government and Opposition, which must have time for proper debate of the policies and approach of the Government of the day, whichever party forms the Government.

There should be time, far more than there is at present, for Select Committees. Select Committees labour away and produce far-reaching, stimulating and important reports which are frequently put into pigeonholes and never discussed on the Floor of the House. We do not have enough time for private Members, and legislation crowds out other things. Even the legislation itself is not fully and properly considered. That is highly unsatisfactory, and it is time that we put a stop to it.

Today's proceedings are particularly unsatisfactory. From those unsatisfactory proceedings, I would like to see emerge a Committee of Members of the House, first perhaps even setting themselves up spontaneously and unofficially, to consider ways and means by which our procedure could be improved to ensure fair distribution of time between the separate interests and issues before us and the detailed discussion of every Bill.

Dame Jill Knight (Birmingham, Edgbaston)

I am listening to my hon. Friend with great care. I agree with what he said about the advisability of having less legislation. My hon. Friend appears to be saying that every Bill should have its Committee stage on the Floor of the House, with all hon. Members involved in it. That troubles me, because, if hon. Members are interested in a particular subject, it is easy, through the Library or by reading the Official Report, to find out all that they need to know. I cannot envisage a House of Commons in which all the Committee work is done on the Floor of the House.

Mr. Cormack

I apologise to my hon. Friend. If that was the impression that I gave, I must correct it immediately. I am grateful to her: if there were ambiguity in my remarks, I should not like to sit down and leave that ambiguity in the minds of right hon. and hon. Members. I believe very much in the Committee procedure; I believe that all Committees should be properly timetabled, so that there is no risk of a suddenly imposed guillotine, and that matters are properly discussed in Committee.

My point, which I obviously did not make as well as I should have, is that, for every piece of legislation—whether it be on student loans, the reform of the National Health Service, the privatisation of an industry or the introduction of the community charge—the vast majority of us are, inevitably, not on the Committee. When a Bill returns to the Floor of the House on Report, we should not run the risk of the sort of nonsense that we now face. There should be a procedure worked out by a scrutiny of legislation Committee, which would allocate a proper portion of time—for this Bill it should be at least four days—so that the legislation could be looked at properly and at a decent hour.

Mr. William Cash (Stafford)

I am intrigued by what my hon. Friend—who is a neighbour of mine—is saying, because I am a member of the Committee that is considering the Broadcasting Bill. How much attention did members of the Committee that considered this Bill pay to the allocation of time to consider questions that might arise? We are often in danger of spending too much time waffling in Committee when we should be concentrating on important questions, some of which are arising now. [Interruption.] I accuse the Opposition—including the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Sedgemore), who is muttering from a sedentary position—of waffling in Committee to precipitate the very situation that we are facing now: a guillotine. That happened when we considered the Telecommunications Bill, and it has also happened in this case.

Mr. Cormack

My hon. Friend is merely making my point for me. If there were proper timetabling in Committees, there would be no temptation to waffle, there would be no self-induced—or Whip-imposed—vow of silence by Government Members, whichever party formed the Government, and there would be true debate in Committee.

Mr. Rowe

I accept entirely what my hon. Friend says in so far as it applies to my experience of other Committees. However, on this Committee, Government Members were given as much freedom to speak as they wished. Because our speeches were almost universally short, every one of us had the chance to say as much as we wanted.

Mr. Cormack

I am gratified to hear that. It is unusual, but my hon. Friend was on the Committee and I was not. I accept what he says and it is good to hear it.

I was about to mention the time at which we hold our debates. People outside think that it is absurd that we go through the night. I saw a distinguished Secretary of State at lunch when we were attending the same function. It is ridiculous that he should have been up until 3 o'clock or 4 o'clock this morning when he has extremely important work to do in his ministerial capacity on behalf of everybody. The same applies whether it be a Labour or a Conservative Secretary of State. For a few to keep their colleagues up through the night, often talking endlessly about nothing, is ridiculous.

I should like to see a system whereby we finished our substantive business at midnight and no votes were taken after midnight. We owe the nation a quality of administration which, frankly, we are not providing. We must meet head-on the question of the procedure of the House, particularly now that we are under closer and more detailed scrutiny ourselves. I would say that whether we had a Labour or a Conservative Government. I am speaking without fear or favour when I say that, unless and until we do that, we shall not do our job as well as we should or earn the esteem which any legislator in a democracy ought to earn.

I have just come back from a few days in Romania, where people are desperate for the sort of things that we take for granted. They face their first election for 50 years, desperately hoping that it will be free and fair. I am sure that I speak for all right hon. and hon. Members in devoutly hoping that it will be both free and fair.

The Romanian people look to us to provide models. They look to this country as the mother of Parliaments. Although I much enjoyed trying to explain what we did here, I was conscious of the imperfections that riddle our procedures. I earnestly beg right hon. and hon. Members, especially my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench, to think seriously about changing our procedures.

Because the Bill's consideration tonight will be a travesty, I shall have no part of it in the Division Lobbies. I do not propose to vote any more on the Bill today.

5.11 pm
Mr. Michael Foot (Blaenau Gwent)

I am pleased to follow the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack). I agree with his comments about the quality of the legislation that has passed through the House of Commons in recent years. There has been a considerable debasement of the quality, but my reasons for saying that are different from those of the hon. Gentleman. I do not believe that the hon. Gentleman's cure would be any good. It has been suggested in many other quarters and would be grabbed immediately by the Treasury Bench. The Government would love to have a system under which any measures presented to the House would go through according to a timetable which was understood. The Government would be certain of getting measures through at particular times, but it would not be good for the House of Commons and it would not guarantee any improvement in the quality of legislation.

I should like to correct the misleading remarks that the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South made about me—quite unconsciously, I am sure—at the beginning of his speech. He called me the father of guillotines. I may be very old, but I am not so old as that. The father of guillotines can be traced back to the Liberal Benches and the pre-1914 Government. To discover who introduced guillotines, the hon. Gentleman would have to go back and have an argument with Mr. Gladstone's son, if not with Mr. Gladstone himself. The Liberals introduced the guillotine motion to deal with a House of Commons which would otherwise have prevented their legislation from being passed. Some of the people who were creating the biggest row were the predecessors of the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South, although they were not all on the same side of the Conservative party, as he would have liked them to be. The origin of the guillotine therefore goes back a long way.

The hon. Gentleman should also not say that I was responsible for more guillotines than anyone else. Many more guillotine motions have been introduced in the past five or six years than in any previous parliamentary period. They have been introduced in the most objectionable manner at a late stage in the consideration of Bills such as this one to deal with immediate crises.

The previous Leader of the House did not seem to care at what stage he introduced fresh guillotine motions—he just introduced more and more of them. I am sorry that the present Leader of the House is not here to speak on this, although the Minister for Health—the hon. Member for Surrey, South-West (Mrs. Bottomley)—is a good substitute. I understand that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is in Chile, no doubt polishing up his methods by talking to Mr. Pinochet, to whom he gave so much support when he was at the Foreign Office. They probably have much to talk over, though not how a Parliament should be run. If the Bill is to be pushed through in this way, it is a pity that the Leader of the House has not been present throughout the proceedings. When I was Leader of the House, I considered it my duty to be present almost all the time and to be responsible for any proposals.

I am glad to come along on these occasions, partly for the sake of auld lang syne and to remember what used to happen, but also because there is always the danger that some blithering ignoramus—I am not referring to the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South or to the Secretary of State for Health—will suggest that, as Leader of the House, I did something similar to what the Government are attempting to do today when in fact they are doing something quite different.

There is the important question of the mandate. The Government cannot claim that it is not important. Whenever the Prime Minister is forced back to the House, as she frequently is, to defend measures such as the poll tax she refers to her mandate, saying that there was a mandate for the poll tax. The measures on which I asked for a guillotine, and which would not have had a chance of getting through the House without a guillotine, all figured in our party manifesto. The country had been able to vote on them and was familiar with many of the arguments. That is important for high quality legislation. Such was the quality of the five measures on which I introduced the guillotine that most of them are on the statute book today. People may not have liked the contents of those measures, but no one ever complained about their quality. Before introducing proposals in the House, we did our best to ensure that they were properly drafted and considered. We also wished to ensure that they were properly investigated by the House of Commons, which is at its best in Committee.

People often deride the House and say that time is wasted late at night or that few Members of Parliament are present. In my long experience, I have found that some of the worst features of bad Government legislation have been dealt with on the Floor of the House, often on Report, and sometimes late at night. That is one of our great protections.

One such debate took place last night and the Government were defeated. Even if they had not been defeated, the discussion would still have been beneficial. No one who listened to that debate could deny its quality. The result was good for most of the country. It showed the House really working properly and it was not under a guillotine. Last night's debate could not have taken place under a guillotine or under the permanent guillotine that some Members desire. A debate such as last night's debate can take place only when the House is at its best. Great credit goes to my hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) who put the case so well, but a range of other speeches came from other quarters, which did not immediately change the Government's mind but which will do so eventually.

No Member of Parliament who was present last night would deny that at the very moment when the House showed itself at its best the Government chose to bring down the guillotine and to say, "We will have no more debates like that. Look what happens—we actually get defeated. We must have no more of that, so we shall stop it right away." Under such a procedure, we shall have no more great debates. The way in which so many debates are jammed in together is a disgrace to the House of Commons.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Livingston said, the crucial aspect of the debate is the origin of the Bill. Had the Bill been an item in the Conservative party manifesto and been debated during the last general election campaign by the general practitioners who now oppose it and by the hospital workers who are now affected by possible opting out, things would be very different, but we all know that there has been no investigation. When Aneurin Bevan carried through the National Health Service Act 1946, he said that there should be fresh discussions about it in the years to come. He did not claim that it was perfect in every way—he wanted a five-year clause in each piece of legislation to require people to re-examine it. Nothing like that has happened with this Bill, as the Minister for Health must know even if she cannot admit it.

This measure started with the fatal decision at No. 10 to do for the Health Service what has been done already for education and social security. It is now being pushed through without proper discussion. That is especially disgraceful, given that the Government have spatchcocked another major Bill into the legislation by amalgamating two Bills. The future of compassionate care is a matter of major discussion throughout the country. Every hon. Member knows that that debate is real and no one would dare deny what I say. Yet the Government decided to manacle another measure to this highly unpopular, undiscussed Bill, and the two measures are interlinked. The Secretary of State could not come to the House to defend the Bill yesterday—his junior Minister had to do that—which further aggravates the offence of not allowing the House of Commons to discuss either measure properly.

Great arguments about the poll tax are raging at this very moment. The poll tax is bad enough, but it was at least mentioned as a sidewind even though it was not discussed properly. The Government have become so arrogant that they think that they can push through any measure whatever. To return to the points of the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South, that is the real reason for the debasement of the quality of the legislation going through the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister knows nothing of the House of Commons. She did not spend years on the Back Benches—the best place to learn about the House. I have had experience of both Front and Back Benches. The Prime Minister simply hears of uproar in the Chamber. She arrived yesterday without even knowing what had happened. The guillotine decision on the Bill was made in the middle of the night. Yet the Bill touches the lives of people perhaps more than any measure since the National Health Service was set up. The Secretary of State occasionally dares to compare himself with Aneurin Bevan, but Aneurin Bevan had endless debates with doctors and invited them time and again to discuss his proposals. He constantly asked for debates in this House. Before that Bill was introduced, when there was so much pretence that it was unpopular, he suggested that there should be another debate in the House of Commons. No one believed more strongly than Aneurin Bevan that the best way to get a decent measure on to the statute book so that it lasts not just a few years but for generations is to have a decent debate in the House of Commons.

That is how we got our great National Health Service, but on the orders of the Prime Minister the Government are injuring and destroying the National Health Service and the very process whereby we can maintain these proper institutions. What is happening is a disgrace to the House of Commons. The Secretary of State should go to Downing street and resign, like the Secretary of State for Wales. He should follow the example of some of his predecessors, pluck up his courage and say that he is not prepared to force such a measure through the House.

5.25 pm
Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

I am delighted to follow the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot). He is a man of great experience and an outstanding parliamentarian. As he said, he is wonderfully comfortable on the Back Benches, whether his party be in government or in opposition. I thoroughly endorse much of what the right hon. Gentleman has said.

Like my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack), in my 19 years in the House, I have never tasted ministerial office or preferment of any sort. Like my hon. Friend, I sit on the Chairmen's Panel, which is a tremendous challenge and a highly responsible and very enjoyable task.

I said in an intervention at the beginning of the debate that I shall support the Government in the Division Lobby, but with great reluctance. Sadly, I do not believe that any timetabling of clauses, new clauses and amendments would make it possible to have a meaningful debate on this critical Bill. The right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent pointed out that the issues involved are vital to practically everyone in the country. I shall vote with the Government only with great reluctance.

When my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State introduced the timetable motion, I intervened to say that, if my views were of any importance, the House could have debated these vital matters constructively and positively if the Government had responded properly to the result of the debate on new clause 1. Conservative Members expressed their anxiety about care in the community and the dreadful problems that were occurring in all our constituencies, whether we be Labour, Liberal Democrat or Conservative Members, about the growing gap between the amount of income support that elderly people in private residential or nursing homes receive from the Department of Social Security and the fees for those homes.

I am unhappy that matters that relate to ring fencing will probably receive no coverage in later debates today. We shall face grave problems because, as a result of a decision that was made not by the House but by the Government, geriatric accommodation in the National Health Service is being phased out. Almost all the provision for those who require such accommodation and care will be provided in private nursing and residential homes. Thus, an increasing number of people will be dependent on the income support that they need to pass their final days receiving the care and consideration that they need and merit. For that reason, the debate later today will be unsatisfactory.

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South, whose view was shared by the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent, that we have too much legislation and not enough debate. I was not here, as the right hon. Gentleman was, when the National Health Service was introduced in 1948, so I did not have the privilege of attending the great debates that took place leading to the formation of the NHS, which is cherished by 99.9 per cent. of the British people.

I wonder whether, if timetable motions had been used then as they are today, we would have got the Health Service that we all admire and respect and which, having travelled throughout the world as a member of the Social Services Select Committee, I can report is the envy of the world. I do not know a cheaper, better run or more comprehensive health system anywhere else.

I am saddened by the Government's response to the outcome of the debate yesterday on new clause 1, which perhaps set the House on a trail which I deeply regret. It has meant that no meaningful debate can take place on one of the most critical Bills now before Parliament.

In many Standing Committees, Back Benchers are beginning to exercise their rights over the usual channels. I have the privilege at present to be a joint Chairman of the Standing Committee on the Environmental Protection Bill. I am pleased to say that Back Benchers on both sides of that Committee are exercising their full rights to debate the measure to the full. I am anxious that the occupants of the Government Front Bench note my claim that hon. Members should be able on the Floor of the House to debate properly the legislation that comes before us.

I have in mind, for example, new clause 73, which will receive no more than scant mention in the short debate that will take place under the guillotine. That clause relates to the funding of local authorities and the demand of the Select Committee on Social Services that money allocated for community care should be ring-fenced. That is not simply the overwhelming view of that Select Committee, which looked into the matter in detail and took evidence from experts. It is the view of Sir Roy Griffiths, who produced the Griffiths report, on which the community care provisions of the Bill are based. He urged that the money should be ring-fenced and proposed: Central Government should provide directly to social service authorities by a specific grant a substantial proportion of the total funds it estimates are needed to meet national objectives. The Government are departing from a main proposal made in a report which they asked Sir Roy Griffiths to undertake, and the House is not being given proper opportunity to debate the issue. I know that the hon. Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney), who is on the Select Committee with me, shares my view on that important matter.

I make no apology for raising a constituency matter, because it greatly concerns me that we should be proceeding to a situation in which health authorities can ensure, through their senior management, all of whom are politically appointed, that hospitals should decide to opt out. There is in my constituency a small hospital called the Alderley Edge cottage hospital, which was founded and built by donation and public subscription. It was taken into the NHS when it took over the provision for health care in Britain in 1948. That facility is much valued by the people of the area, but what is happening there is not democratic and there has been no meaningful public consultation.

My district health authority has decided to implement a temporary closure of the GP beds at that hospital—it is primarily a GP hospital—pending consultation. When I heard about this development from people in the NHS—people who know that they can come to me and get an objective hearing—I was appalled. I contacted Mr. Holt, the district general manager, who told me, "We have adopted this procedure before." I asked Mr. Holt, "Can you tell me of any hospital that has been reopened once a temporary closure has been imposed?" He hesitated and replied, "We have used that procedure before, but in respect of a hospital ward." I told him that hospital wards might reopen, but I could not discover a hospital on which a temporary closure order had been imposed and which had reopened.

The people of my area are outraged, and the majority of them are Conservative supporters—

Ms. Diane Abbott (Hackney, North and Stoke Newington)

At the moment.

Mr. Winterton

I will allow that remark, made from a sedentary position, to pass.

We are creating a situation in which the public, democratic representatives, those who are concerned for the NHS and those who serve in it, are having a decreasing influence over the decisions that are being taken. That is why I say that to have so many amendments, all selected for debate, discussed in just a few hours, with no set procedure for vital new clauses to be debated individually, is appalling.

Ms. Harriet Harman (Peckham)

Why, then, does the hon. Gentleman intend to vote for the guillotine?

Mr. Winterton

I said that I did not believe that, at this stage of the Bill, in view of what happened last night, we could have a constructive or meaningful debate. I hope that we shall have a considered Third Reading tomorrow. But, above all, I believe that the measure will receive a good hearing in the other place. Some Members of this House—although not the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent—fought hard for the preservation of the other place and for the amending opportunities that exist there. That Chamber can have a moderating influence on hastily considered legislation that has been forced through this House. I now have considerable trust in what may happen to the Bill in that House.

Mr. Cormack

Trust in the Lords.

Mr Winterton

Yes, I trust in the Lords, and in the Lord. My answer to the hon. Member for Peckharn (Ms. Harman) is that, sadly, I do not believe that we shall have a constructive, meaningful debate on the Bill as it proceeds through its remaining stages in this House.

Mr. Tony Favell (Stockport)

Nobody has taken a greater interest in the Health Service over many years than my hon. Friend. He and I served together on the Select Committee on Social Services. Nobody takes a greater interest in things local and taking decisions at a local level. Is he for or against self-government of hospitals? He has been talking about the Alderley Edge cottage hospital, which is outside my constituency, but not far away. Its decision is being interfered with by the district health authority. Would it not be better if that hospital was running its own affairs, free from outside interference?

Mr. Winterton

I can best respond to my hon. Friend, whom I regard with considerable affection, in the following way. He does a magnificent job in his constituency and has taken great interest in health care over many years. I was one of the few Government Members who opposed the Bill's Second Reading because I do not like the major proposals contained in it, not least that of self-governing hospitals, which will remove the comprehensive nature of our National Health Service, which is one of its major, most compelling and advantageous facilities.

I disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South on one matter but I wonder whether I might have the support of the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent. All major Government legislation should be referred to the appropriate Select Committee before coming to the House, so that some of the major problems in the legislation can be discussed by an all-party group. That is certainly a feature of legislation in a number of other democratic western countries.

Legislation put before this place could only be improved by being considered by an all-party Select Committee before it was presented to us. That might well shorten some of the debates in the Chamber, and those that did take place would be more realistic, constructive and rewarding because they would deal with the major issues that came through the scrutiny of a Select Committee.

Mr. Cormack

How did my hon. Friend know that I disagreed with that sentiment? Although I did not address myself to it, I do not necessarily disagree with it.

Mr. Winterton

I thought that my hon. Friend might disagree, because he put forward another proposition in his earlier contribution to this debate.

I shall reluctantly go through the Government Lobby tonight. Sadly, the House cannot claim much credit for what occurred last night. How right the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent was—a magnificent debate took place on new clause 1 yesterday. That is how the House works best.

I shall correct the right hon. Gentleman on one matter. New clause I is an all-party new clause. It was moved with great ability by the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), but its sponsors also came from among Government Members. We had a magnificent debate on it, because all those contributing had some knowledge of I he subject and had made a careful study of it. They spoke with experience—sadly, that does not always occur in this place. Therefore, it is with sadness that I support a Government who are prepared to abuse the House in the way that they are doing today.

5.44 pm
Mr. Alfred Morris (Manchester, Wythenshawe)

Time is at a premium, many other hon. Members want to express their sense of outrage about the motion and I shall be brief. This really is a quite shocking and, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) said, a wholly disgraceful motion. Parliamentary shoddiness was never more shoddy. The Bill is not one Bill, but four: two about the NHS and community care in England and Wales and two Scottish Bills. That is why the Secretary of State's comparison of it with the Health Service Bill in 1976 so utterly falls apart. The making of that comparison was proof positive of the bankruptcy of his case in this debate.

In Committee Ministers were tripping over themselves as a consquence of trying to squash too much legislatiton into one Bill. I shall give just one example. The hon. Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young) had some amusement at the expense of his hon. Friends in Committee, since the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth), the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, introduced an amendment substantially the same as one previously resisted by the hon. Member for Surrey, South-West (Mrs. Bottomley), the Minister for Health. That may have been amusing in Committee, but it excites only incredulity and very deep concern among the disabled people who protest to right hon. Members on both sides of the House that these four Bills in one do not tackle key issues related to their well-being.

The guillotine motion makes it virtually certain that my amendments about community care and, in particular, the problems and needs of disabled people will not be given even a moment's consideration by the House. Similarly, amendments tabled by Opposition Members will be pushed aside without debate. They are amendments that were inspired by the all-party disablement group in the House and it is contemptuous of the efforts, not only of the distinguished officers of that important group, but also of some of the best known voluntary organisations of and for disabled people in this country. The Association of Crossroads Care Attendant Schemes has put to me its deep concerns about this legislation; so has the Spinal Injuries Association. But since my amendments will not be debated, their submissions, along with many others, must go by default.

Can we at least have an indication of the Government's response to new clauses 58 and 59, amendment No. 59, new clause 63, in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley), and the other new clauses and amendments that are so very important to disabled people, their families and carers? The hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) talked about ring fencing, which is a profoundly important issue. Will there be a statement about the Government's attitude to that recommendation in the Griffiths report? Will there be any mention of the compelling need now fully to implement the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986, which was so ably promoted and piloted through the House by my hon. Friend the Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke)?

The Secretary of State, himself no innocent when it comes to speaking at length, has talked of filibustering, yet perhaps the longest debate on Report so far was that on an all-party amendment, so well and non-controversially moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook). New clause 1, dealing with income support and residential care, produced a most impressive debate. It was a parliamentary occasion and, in fact, some of the longest speeches—none the less good for all their length—came from those on the Government Benches. The Government were defeated—their first such defeat for four years—and it is much to the honour of Conservative Members, as well as hon. Members on this side of the House, that the claims of needful people were put entirely above party considerations.

I applaud the intervention during the Secretary of State's speech by the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack). His sense of fairness is an example to other Conservative Members. As he said, it is preposterous that debate on legislation of such importance should be so truncated. Let us hope, for the reputation of Parliament, that the hon. Gentleman's words will have had some effect on other Conservative Members. It will be a stain on the reputation of the House of Commons if the motion is not strenuously opposed across the Floor of the House as well as by Opposition Members. There is still time for the hon. Member for Macclesfield to rethink his position. I hope he will do so, and vote with us tonight.

5.49 pm
Mr. Andrew Rowe (Mid-Kent)

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) is not in his place. I wanted to tell him about a dream that I had last night. I must have nodded off for a moment, and I dreamt that time was 1,000 years into the future and that a fossil skeleton had been found. The anthropologist instantly recognised it as homo sardonicus—in other words, the hon. Member for Livingston. The fossil's jaw was very highly developed and, at first, that was thought to be because the animal was clearly carnivorous. However, after a great deal of scrutiny it became apparent that it was just the result of over-exercise. I was alarmed when I woke up and discovered that that skeleton was fully clothed and in the middle of a speech lasting almost one and a half hours.

The guillotine motion owes a great deal to the efforts of homo sardonicus. He spoke at inordinate length throughout our proceedings, so the Opposition cannot complain if some attempt is made to move forward. During the late 1970s, the only matter under debate in the establishment was that Britain was ungovernable. It was assumed that Britain had gone over the edge into some sort of abyss and that it was no longer possible to govern it. During the past decade the Conservative Government have shown that to be a myth.

The second great debate, which took place during the middle and late 1980s, was about the defects of the National Health Service. We could not go anywhere in the country and speak to an audience about the NHS without there being paraded a catalogue of those defects. All the journals discussed how to prioritise, how to finance, how to control, how to organise, how to give general practitioners a proper place in the system and so on. As a result of that longstanding, widespread and universally indulged-in debate, the Government introduced proposals to alter and improve the way in which the NHS is delivered to the consumer. The moment that they did so, everyone who until then had denigrated the old-fashioned, archaic way in which the NHS operated tried to pretend that it was working perfectly and that all it required was the injection of a little more money and it could go on exactly as before, with just one or two cosmetic improvements.

Mr. Ian McCartney (Makerfield)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am not trying to be controversial but, apart from brief absences for cups of tea, about six hon. Members have been in the Chamber for twenty-seven and a half hours. We are here to discuss a guillotine motion that will mean amendments being lost. The hon. Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) is not speaking to that motion; he is giving a poor Second Reading speech. So that we may all have an opportunity to discuss the motion, perhaps he would try to debate the matter before us.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) is in order. However, once again I appeal for brief speeches so that more hon. Members can participate in the debate.

Mr. Rowe

I have been on my feet for three minutes. The hon. Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney) may have been so anxious to make his own speech that he did not notice that the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) spent a long time blaming the Government for introducing proposals to reform the NHS without a debate. There has been a massive public debate about the defects of the NHS which has spread from John o'Groats to Land's End.

Mr. Kennedy

If the debate that the hon. Gentleman claims started in the mid-1980s was such a burning issue and a priority for the Government, why did none of that appear in the Conservative manifesto?

Mr. Rowe

My recollection is that the manifesto contained a statement that the NHS would be reformed. That was all that was said because we were trying to work out the detail. Since then, there has been a massive public debate about the proposals, in many cases fuelled by disgraceful misrepresentation by the British Medical Association and other groups. They have used every means in their power—they had plenty of them—to misinform large numbers of our constituents by telling them considerable untruths. However, that gave us the opportunity to discuss these matters in our constituencies. It is absurd to suggest that there has not been a debate about the issues.

In the short time that the guillotine motion allows for debate, I wish to raise a number of issues in which I have an interest. One is the suggestion to open district health authority activities to public scrutiny. As is set out in new clauses 55 and 56, it is appropriate that health authorities come under the same discipline as local authorities and hold their meetings in public and open to public scrutiny. I hope that that proposal will be considered.

It is also important—I believe that my hon. Friend the Minister will give me some comfort on this issue—that local authorities can give, without anxiety about whether they might be breaking the law, cash assistance to the disabled to organise their own affairs. That is the ultimate in consumer power, and a great deal of the Bill is designed to strengthen the position of the consumer within the system.

I have also tabled an amendment about costs in rural areas. There is no doubt that the delivery of community care in rural areas is, in many respects, more expensive than in the inner cities. The hon. Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke) will agree that one issue that we need to canvass—if not in this debate, in the wider community outside—is the whole question of advocacy. It is improper to expect confused, vulnerable, disabled and frightened consumers to take an active part in the assessment procedure unless they have someone with them who can put their point of view and help them to understand what the process is about.

The role of the voluntary organisations, whether in the delivery of health care or community care, is absolutely central to the way that those services must develop. Unquestionably they will be major contractors. They will continue to be major suppliers. I suspect that every hon. Member has been approached by voluntary organisations that are torn between their desire to become effective members of the contracting organisations that deliver care and their wish not to lose their freedom of action and their spontaneity, by being swallowed by public providers calling the tune. That is a central issue and I am sorry that there may not be time to debate it tonight.

The motion is reasonable, given the extraordinary lengths to which the Opposition went to make their point during the long debate in our earlier proceedings.

5.59 pm
Mr. Charles Kennedy (Ross, Cromarty and Skye)

As quite a few hon. Members want to contribute to the debate, I shall be brief. One comment arises out of the latter statement of the hon. Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe). In a sense the debate on the guillotine motion resembles the debate last night on new clause 1. With the sole exception of his speech—even he expressed hesitation about it—there does not seem to have been any strong argument in favour of what the Secretary of State for Health has put forward on the guillotine motion. The Government seem to be as isolated on this mechanical issue as they were on the issue of principle about income support and residential homes.

It is sad also that, if the guillotine is passed, there may not be proper debate on another issue where we might have had a rerun of what happened last night, which was itself a rerun of the proceedings in Committee. I refer to the question of ring fencing which has already been mentioned by the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton). A proper, full-scale Report stage debate on ring fencing would probably draw out speech after speech from Conservative Back-Bench Members who would find themselves at one with Members of all Opposition parties. That would act as a useful lever on the Department of Health, if not at this stage in this House, certainly in another place. I can only hope that the signal sent last night at least on the income support issue, will find an echo elsewhere and that the Government will be forced to compromise on it.

The attitude of the Secretary of State for Health was epitomised by a phrase used in another political age—a period of silence would frequently be much appreciated. When he became more silent on the ambulance dispute we suddenly found that there was progress and a settlement. His lack of belligerence at certain times in Committee made for smoother progress than might otherwise have been the case. It was only when he could not contain himself any longer and started saying that the constructive co-operation of Opposition Members in Committee represented a cave-in on the principles of the Bill that he got people's backs up. What he said was a crude misrepresentation of what had happened.

The Secretary of State is on extremely thin ice in trying to refer to events during the night as filibustering after the dozens of hours spent on the Bill in Committee. It was wrong of him to talk about filibustering when, in last night's debate and consistently in Committee, the proceedings were distinguished by regular contributions from Conservative Back-Bench Members, unlike proceedings on many other Bills when Government Back-Bench Members are clamped. We had constructive contributions frequently from the hon. Members for Mid-Kent, for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young) and for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims), who spoke to great effect in last night's debate. Other Conservative Members also contributed to the debates, so there is no basis for saying that there has been filibustering or procedural nonsense. The Secretary of State, with his Jekyll and Hyde character, could not contain himself any longer and had to get belligerent and abusive about the Opposition. We all know what happened as a result. If he is looking for someone to blame, he should look no further than himself.

The Bill is really composed of four measures. No doubt my colleague from the Scottish National party, the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond), would echo my view that we should have had separate Scottish legislation. For the proceedings on the Bill to be guillotined compounds the problem. Members representing Scottish constituencies cannot give the legislation proper scrutiny at the all-important Report stage when they should have an opportunity to contribute. For the Secretary of State to say at the Dispatch Box, as he did in opening the debate, that things began to go seriously wrong during the Scottish section of the debate was ludicrous. Apart from Second Reading last autumn, that was the first time that Scottish Members other than the four who served in Committee had an opportunity to speak about the impact of the Bill on Scotland. It ill behoves an English Secretary of State to criticise the Scots for time-wasting when they were taking their first opportunity to talk about the implication of the Bill for Scotland.

I echo the comments about the need for proper timetabling procedures for legislation. Procedure could be much improved if half the legislation which takes up time into the wee small hours at Westminster was hived off to a democratically elected Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, where it could be properly scrutinised and debated. In the words of Lord Home, which should commend themselves to a Conservative Government, we want more decisions about Scotland taken in Scotland by Scots. The farce of the guillotine and the completely inadequate way that the remainder of this flagship of Government legislation will proceed underscore the need for root-and-branch constitutional reform.

6.5 pm

Mr. Michael Carttiss (Great Yarmouth)

"Parliament exists for no other object than that of wasting time". Those are not my words, although I have frequently thought that since I arrived here in 1983; they are the words of the great-grandfather of my hon. Friends the Members for Crawley (Mr. Soames) and for Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill). Lord Randolph Chuchill said that when he was a Member of the House, albeit after the disillusionment of having resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer from Lord Salisbury's Government when he seemed to think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, not the Prime Minister, should run the Government. That fact remains; it was ever thus.

I have to register my disquiet at the timetable motion which was moved by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health. Visiting Parliament here at the beginning of the 18th century, Peter the Great—incidentally, he introduced the poll tax in Russia in 1717, but it did not last—[Interruption.] In response to those comments, I might also say that he was the father of the Russian navy. I happen to believe that when a ship is in stormy waters, the ship's captain should not be thrown overboard while the crew argue among themselves about who should take the helm. There might be a case for removing some of the cargo.

I echo the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack), already repeated in this brief debate, who said that there is too much legislation. I believe that it is my function as a Conservative to reduce government rather than have legislation all the time. There is far too much legislation and it is not examined closely and carefully enough.

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) is not here because, reluctantly, I have to pay tribute to his speech when moving new clause 1. It was one of the most powerful speeches that I have heard on the Health Service. I found the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe) in support of new clause I very moving. It was backed up by irrefutable logic when she talked about the lack of cost-effectiveness. I understood the points made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security in response. I understood his difficulty and I went along with him reluctantly on the losing side in the vote.

Mr. Rowe

My hon. Friend will agree that both those powerful speeches related to defects in the present system of delivering care which the Bill is trying to improve.

Mr. Carttiss

I wonder how many other defects in the present system could have been talked about to the benefit of the Bill if we had had more time. I am sorry that my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health, who moved this deplorable motion, is not present in the Chamber to hear my remarks. Of course, I understand that he has been on duty all night. However, I cannot agree with his comments about the debate on the Scottish parts of the Bill.

I was present in the Chamber for most of that debate. Although I did not agree with Opposition Members, I do not believe that they can be accused of being particularly long-winded. They had points that they wanted to make, and they made them. Although the charge of long-windedness might be more attributable to Welsh Members, I do not believe that any of them were wasting time when they debated Welsh issues in the Bill. I did not agree with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State when he referred to the Scottish and Welsh parts of the debate as though they were a waste of time. There is not much point sitting through the night on these matters. Indeed, I am not anxious to sit through the night once more and possibly lose my Adjournment debate on Thursday on the uniform business rate in the way that my hon. Friend the Member for Torridge and Devon, West (Miss Nicholson) lost her Adjournment debate earlier today.

Doctors who make life-and-death decisions will be working all through the night this week—they did so last week and they will do so again next week. We are introducing proposals to change their working conditions radically. The least that we should be prepared to do is to give four days and, if necessary, four nights to what the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) has already described as the most radical reform—which I support—of the Health Service since its establishment.

I am glad that I am not a Parliamentary Private Secretary. However, my brief sojourn as deputy for my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North-West (Mr. Malins) assisting my hon. Friend the Minister for Health has not deflected me from voting according to how I think. I believe that it is a disgrace that discussion on the Bill has been cut short.

As the hon. Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke) said, there were nearly 250 amendments to the Bill. It cannot be right to try to squeeze those in during such a short time. My hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack) made some interesting observations about the way in which we should timetable our business and that point often crops up. My hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) raised a point of order in which he explained that if we did not debate the guillotine motion we could spend more time discussing the Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West has now left the Chamber. However, the fact remains that not taking time discussing whether we should be cutting short consideration of an important piece of legislation negates the parliamentary democracy that we are here to defend and support.

A very high-powered Cabinet committee was rightly chaired by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. She showed her absolute commitment to an improved National Health Service which provides care free at the point of delivery. In parenthesis, I must state that I am sorry that we do not provide eye tests and dental inspections free at the point of delivery, too. If we had had time, perhaps I would have moved an amendment to that effect.

When a Government are temporarily on the ropes, coming back for a knock-out blow that will floor Opposition Members at the general election to which the hon. Member for Livingston referred earlier, it is a good idea to come out fighting. The Government should not say to the referee, "Let us cut out the next 10 rounds."

We have a first-class coast—I am sorry, I meant to say first-class case. I always talk about the coast because that is where I come from and I never miss an opportunity to refer to that excellent place. We have a first-class case for National Health Service reforms and the community care legislation.

The James Paget hospital that I share with my hon. Friend the Member for Waveney (Mr. Porter)—whom I am delighted to see in the Chamber now—has suffered particularly from the system of financing hospital services that dates back to a Labour Government. That system of financing hospital services penalises the efficient provider. By catering for far more patients than it is financed for, the James Paget hospital must cut beds and operations at the end of each financial year. It is a victim of the system of financing hospital services which the Bill will help to correct with its proposals for self-governing trusts and the policy of ensuring that funds follow patients.

I have received many more letters over the past two years about the National Health Service reforms than about any other issue since I became an hon. Member. Opponents of Sunday trading sent me the second highest number of letters and the community charge, although generating a lot of mail, by no means compares with the concern expressed in numerous letters about the NHS, from patients, elderly people and doctors in my constituency.

Earlier I went off at a tangent and declared my allegiance to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister whom I regard as second to none. I was about to refer to the fact that for a year a Cabinet committee considered ways of improving what Opposition Members must admit is a service that needs significant improvement. Those improvements are not achievable just by pouring more money into the service.

We all agree that the NHS should be improved. That high-powered Cabinet committee deliberated for a year and produced a White Paper in January 1989 entitled "Working for Patients". After a year of video performances the like of which have never been seen before—I cannot imagine what Lord Randolph Churchill would have thought of them—there has been a massive consultative campaign. However, we are now told that, because we had two days on Second Reading and many hours in Committee, we should limit ourselves now to a two-and-a-half day debate on Report and Third Reading of this vital legislation. We could win many arguments in the debates if we were prepared to have them here where they should take place.

Reluctant as I am to join Opposition Members, particularly in view of the behaviour of a handful of them at the end of this morning's proceedings, I must vote against the timetable motion, because in reply to all the letters that my constituents have written to me, and having advanced the reasons why I consider that my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State is right to want to reform the National Health Service, I have told my constituents that in the Houses of Parliament there will be the opportunity to move, consider and debate amendments to the legislation. Even if I do not agree with Oppostion Members, we should debate the points that they raise in the Chamber. If not here, where else?

If we have a debate of only two and a half days limited by the guillotine, I cannot honestly face my constituents and say that amendments to and consideration of this important Health Service reform have received the time that my constituents have every right to expect.

6.20 pm
Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

I shall be as brief as possible. I have tabled an amendment to the allocation of time motion which simply extends the time on the first day, that is today, for an hour. It is a gesture for all those wavering Conservatives who will go into the Government Lobby with what they describe as a heavy heart. If they have the chance to vote, they can give us at least another hour without going boldly and courageously into the Opposition Lobby, as the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth (Mr. Carttiss) said that he would. He is scandalised by the way in which this elective dictatorship guillotines parliamentary and, indeed, party rights.

The Secretary of State alleged that new clause 4 was the subject of delay. Four Members could not speak in the debate on that new clause, because the Government moved the closure. It was an important debate about proper, adequate and democratic consultation on the opting-out procedures for hospitals, which will affect so many of our constituents. To suppose that such a major item could simply be disposed of in two or three hours is to live in cloud cuckoo land. Every constituency is affected by the proposals for opting out, either now or in the future.

I wanted to speak to new clause 4. The Westwood hospital for the mentally handicapped in my constituency is set in beautiful rolling acres. A trust is being set up by some officials without the consent of the staff or people in the area. A tiny clique of politically motivated people are setting up the hospital to become a self-governing trust. I believe that they intend to sell off the land to property developers because the hospital is set amidst many rolling acres of great value.

The legislation now involves capital charges and a capital register. It will propel even people of good will who want the NHS to succeed and do not wish to shift out of it through the opting-out proposals to examine their capital assets with a view to flogging them off. In the case of the NHS, valuable potential development sites may be sold.

I wished to speak in the debate, but I and three other hon. Members could not do so.

Mr. David Hinchliffe (Wakefield)

Five hon. Members.

Mr. Cryer

Yes—in total, five hon. Members could not speak in the debate. They all had genuine reasons for wishing to participate. That shows the falsehood of the Secretary of State's suggestion that there were attempts to delay the legislation.

Other new clauses will inevitably be curtailed by the fearsome guillotine motion. One deals with controlling excessive charges by private hospitals. We do not like the principle of the Bill, but the Opposition have to make a decision. It is a fairly grey area. Should we continue to oppose the principle or try to ameliorate the worst effects of the legislation by attempting to inject accountability?

We are trying the latter course, but we have been denied the opportunity to pursue that course, not because we have taken a long time but because of the Government's absolute determination to cram the legislation through Parliament just as they have crammed Bill after Bill through the House.

The Clerk's Department and Hansard are overloaded with work. Hansard Committee reports are being delayed because the whole system is strained by this wretched Government trampling on parliamentary rights. Not only Opposition Members take that view. Several Conservative Members have seen how the legislature is being abused. I shall not take up too much time telling you about it, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but the Government are overstretching the House not only in primary legislation but in secondary' legislation. They pour out more statutory instruments than the Labour Government did. The Government are trampling through the legislature powers to enable Ministers to produce delegated legislation. The Minister for Health smiles. I inform her that such pieces of legislation now exceed 2,500 a year. Often they have criminal sanctions, which are signed and authorised by Ministers. Inadequate time is provided on the Floor of the House to deal with delegated legislation. Parliament is stretched and strained. It is time that we re-examined secondary legislation, because the Government have abused the system.

We should have had time to debate private hospital charges. When the business statement was made, I suggested that the guillotine motion should include a little time for us to discuss the fact that some 22 Conservative Members have shareholdings in medical concerns that seek to make a profit out of people's pain and suffering. That is what it boils down to. I suggested to the Chief Whip that it would be handy if we had some time set aside to examine how P and O, British and Commonwealth Holdings, Trusthouse Forte and BET have all put their dirty fingers into privatisation. Such companies have given £1 million to the Tories since 1983. We should put that on the record to show that some hon. Members' votes are not as objective and neutral as might be supposed.

New clause 8 deals with junior doctors. It would limit their week to 72 hours to give them an easy time.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton


Mr. Cryer

I was being ironic. I know that I should not be ironic, because irony does not show in Hansard. The hon. Gentleman is right. I should have said "an easier time." Junior doctors are strained beyond endurance. Life and limb is at risk. On Boxing day, I joined a group of junior doctors outside Bradford royal infirmary who were demonstrating that they were reaching the point of going beyond endurance. I expect that other hon. Members met doctors in their constituencies on the same day. The doctors told me that lives are at risk.

I feel slightly seedy today because I have not had any sleep during the past 24 hours, but junior doctors go without sleep for two or three nights. They deal with the most intricate—

Mr. McCartney

Parts of our body.

Mr. Cryer

Well, human beings are the most intricate items on our planet.

The skill and dedication of doctors is a rare combination, yet we inflict such long hours on them. I wanted to debate new clause 8, because I had discussed the difficulties of junior doctors with those whom I met that day. It is because of the Government's action that junior doctors have to endure that penance for their professional determination. The new clause was another opportunity lost because of the Government's attitude of elective dictatorship. That phrase was used by Quintin Hogg about the Labour Government, who did not have a Labour majority. Yet a Government with an overall majority of 150 is abusing their powers in parliamentary legislation. It is time that that was stopped. I hope that many Members, including Tory Members, will vote against the guillotine motion.

6.29 pm
Mr. Peter Thurnham (Bolton, North-East)

The hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) added little to the debate. Whenever he is on his feet, he seems to compete with junior doctors to see who can work the longest hours.

The hon. Member for Ross, Cromarty and Skye (Mr. Kennedy) compared my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State to Jekyll and Hyde, but surely the comparison is more appropriate for the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook). In yesterday's debate, which I think we all felt was a good debate, he started by saying: I stand at the Dispatch Box under the novel burden of speaking to a new clause that has attracted the signatures of more than 30 Conservative Members. I respect their support, in return for which I shall seek to be as non-partisan as it is possible for me to be. I may have to compensate later tonight for that non-partisan spirit."—[Official Report, 13 March 1990; Vol. 169, c. 197–8.] The hon. Gentleman is the Jekyll and Hyde; that is the reason why we are having to debate the guillotine motion now, which we are all sorry to debate, to curtail the Bill, which is what we want to discuss as it contains so many important issues. This gives us a chance to consider the important matter of how the House does its business.

My hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack) commented on the work of Committees. Amendment No. 158 is tabled in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Mitchell). Perhaps I can remind him of the book "Lobby Fodder" written by the former Member for Gedling, Sir Philip Holland, shortly after he left the House. In it he referred to the history of Standing Committees and said that the original Standing Committees had a membership of only one. That must be the way to proceed rapidly in Committee. There is certainly no opportunity of waffling.

Amendment No. 158 refers to the need for the Audit Commission to have greater involvement. On Second Reading, I pressed for greater involvement of the Audit Commission. I was aware from constituency experience of the need for the Audit Commission to look at the costs and quality of service provided in community care. Bolton faces a crisis in community care because of a £440,000 shortfall in funding for the neighbourhood network homes. I am pleased that the Under-Secretary of State is shortly to visit Bolton, when I hope that he will have an opportunity to look into that. I should have liked time to discuss these problems and how the Audit Commission should address them.

The North-West regional health authority is fixed with a model for how community care should be conducted. It says that the dowry of £18,900 a year which it provides is perfectly adequate to care for people and to provide a reserve, so that those who cannot go into institutions, as they would have done in the old days, can also be cared for. The costs in Bolton are working out much higher, at £22,000 a year, so there is no spare provision to take people in, although there is a desperate need for that facility.

I should like the health authority to consider alternative models. I have pressed for the chairman to visit Brookvale in the neighbouring constituency of Bury, South and see the high standard of care provided there, on a larger scale than neighbourhood network homes, but at a lower cost. It provides the ample therapy services which are so badly needed, within a total cost of £10,000 a year. Admittedly the capital facilities are provided by voluntary donations. I should like to see a similar facility in Bolton, where is desperately needed as it has an historic lack of provision.

It has not been possible to provide people with care in Bolton, and they have had to be moved elsewhere. Parents, some of whom are frail and elderly, are at their wits' end, unable to care for children who are now in their twenties. They are looking for the provision of those services in Bolton. I should have liked time to discuss that need and the reason for the Audit Commisssion to look closely into why there should be such variations in costs.

Why should the costs be so high for Bolton's neighbourhood network homes when they are so much lower in Brookvale, where the standard of care is so high? The regional health authority says that there is a cushion for costs in its figure of £18,900. If that is so, what is it, and is it adequate to meet the great demand for care from families who need respite services and daytime therapy services? I am disappointed that the debate developed in a partisan way, as the hon. Member for Livingston clearly wanted. It has denied us the opportunity to discuss many of the positive aspects of the Bill and the need for the Audit Commission to look at a whole range of factors in the NHS and community care. For all of us, the Health Service must be a priority issue in our constituency. Clearly, in the next year or two, community care will have a high priority while we work out how the new arrangement will come into place.

I welcome yesterday's debate. I should like more occasions like that and fewer when we are forced to debate a timetable motion to save us sitting up all night. Such behaviour is little understood by the public, who want us to discuss the meat of the issues.

6.35 pm
Mr Jim Cousins (Newcastle upon Tyne, Central)

The problem facing the House goes right back to the Bill itself. It puts a whole range of new bits of political and institutional machinery in place, but it does not spell out how they are to be used or paid for. That is why, after four days of discussion of community care in Committee, we identified two central issues, both of which have to do with money, as the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) pointed out. One related to income support rates, which are a basic building block of the system, and the other to ring-fencing grants. Yesterday evening we spent a further five hours debating income support rates. I doubt whether a single Member feels that even that issue has been sorted out. As the hon. Member for Macclesfield says, we shall not reach ring-fencing.

Other issues emerged in Committee. On the last day we found that these NHS contracts could, through the back door of the medical negligence system, have some legal status. We were wholly unable to explore the implications of that, although that important point, which also leads back to cash, was there to be resolved.

We discussed the issue of planning agreements, which is the Government's term for the connections between health services and local authority social services. We were unable to establish in Committee how that system was to be put in place. The Under-Secretary of State for Wales kindly offered a little note that he had done to clarify the position in Wales, but we were not told how the system would work in England.

Then we had the whole business of NHS contracts. Throughout the Committee stage we pressed for examples to show what those contracts would be like, so that we could see the new creature and sniff it. Finally, the document emerged after the Committee stage was concluded. That is why many more important issues must be discussed and why there are all these new clauses and amendments.

The Secretary of State made a truly remarkable speech starting at 6.45 am. The bluster to which we have become accustomed was there in his style, but the language was entirely of retreat. Markets were out, prices were out and commerce was out. The whole language of the new system that we have spent many months discussing—all of that was out. The whole thing was going to be need-driven and quality-driven. We discovered that the entire financial system of the NHS that had been rejected was to come back in. In a series of throwaway remarks we discovered that there would be safety-netting for the teaching hospitals, that there would be a special deal for London, that there would be a whole series of special procedures to deal with matters that, having been bundled out through the front door, would be brought back in through the back door. And all that we learnt at a quarter to seven this morning in a speech that lasted for an hour.

The interesting thing is that, because of the guillotine, we shall now be unable to explore with the Secretary of State the implications of those very important remarks. Was this a U-turn, or was it simply a giddy fit brought on by the hour? We shall never know. Possibly the Secretary of State himself does not know. Had we had an opportunity to explore the new clauses and the other amendments, we—the Secretary of State and the whole House together—might have clarified the position. With our assistance, we might have learnt what he thought. But we shall not now have that opportunity.

It is interesting that as the Secretary of State was speaking at a quarter to seven this morning I was receiving a message that ward 1 of the Royal Victoria infirmary in Newcastle is about to close. The unit general manager at the hospital is assuring the world that the patients in ward 1, some of whom are seriously ill, could become day patients. That is care in the community with a will.

That brings me back to the fundamental point: will we have an NHS that is refocused on the new needs that all of us, on both sides of the House, are now willing to recognise? I refer to the needs of the disabled and the elderly—needs that go not so much with life itself as with the quality of living. Are we to build on that? Shall we meet those needs by an entirely new means and drive the cash forward on that basis, or shall we go back to the old system of cash limits? This we do not know, and at a quarter to seven this morning the Secretary of State himself was somewhat confused. Perhaps, given the time, that was understandable.

The debate about whether the NHS is to be need-driven or cash-controlled, and about what are to be the priority issues—elective acute surgery or the problems that I have just described—will continue. Those issues will remain to be resolved. The Secretary of State, by this guillotine and by other measures, may eventually get his Bill. He may have all these institutional toys to play with, but it is clear that he has no answer to our question. However, as my hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) said, the people have the answer, and they will decide.

6.42 pm
Mr. Kenneth Hind (Lancashire, West)

I am grateful for the opportunity to intervene briefly in the debate. It has been obvious to all hon. Members on the Government side that progress during the Committee stage of this Bill was excellent. The issues were being discussed. But then my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health made a remark that Front-Bench members of the Opposition interpreted as criticism of their handling of the position. They did not want to give their trade union paymasters and supporters outside the impression that they were fighting in Committee on a trench warfare basis; they wanted to give the impression that they were fighting a fierce battle. But what we saw after 10 o'clock last night was nothing more than an attempt to filibuster and, for the benefit of people outside, to place on the Government the blame for the shortage of time. Opposition Members have been trying to indicate that they are fighting this Bill much harder than they really are.

Mr. John Battle (Leeds, West)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Hind

I will give way in good time. No doubt the hon. Gentleman will get his chance.

As I looked round the Chamber earlier, it was clear that everybody wanted to debate the issues that are contained in the thick bundle of amendments, which no doubt we have all read carefully. But last night we had a filibuster. We had a two-hour debate on the changing of boundaries. We had a debate about matters in Scotland. We had debates about all sorts of things, including a speech of one hour and 48 minutes by the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) who, no doubt, was trying to restore his reputation as a doughty fighter for the Health Service. I am afraid that it came too late.

To me and, I think, to my colleagues it is very sad that if the obvious had not had to be recognised at 4.15 pm today by a decision that the filibustering tactics—the attempts to prevent reasonable debate on many of the items in these amendments—should be ended, we could have had an extra three hours' debate on many of these important issues. But that was not to be. When the hon. Member for Livingston gave way to me, I gave him an opportunity to agree with that. But he was not prepared to accept the inevitable; he wanted to carry on and to state his objections. Consequently, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, Central (Mr. Cousins), we have been denied the opportunity to deal with the issues of junior hospital doctors, contracts with private hospitals, registers of private contractors, joint financing, contracts of competitive tendering, and the provision of residential care. These are all items contained in this bundle of amendments which, with reasonableness on both sides, could have been debated more than adequately in two and a half days. Now the Opposition do not accept the two and a half days that was agreed through the usual channels, whereas at the beginning they did agree. Now their supporters outside are asking them why they agreed to a timetable, and they have had to demonstrate their parliamentary virility by fighting these matters tooth and nail.

Mr. Allen McKay (Barnsley, West and Penistone)

Let me point out, for the hon. Gentleman's information, that there was no agreement. Secondly, in two and a half days there are 60 hours, not 17 hours.

Mr. Hind

Clearly the hon. Gentleman and the Government Whips are in dispute over that agreement.

It is a matter of deep regret that, because of last night's tactics, we are being denied the opportunity to debate some of these matters. I am afraid that last night the House of Commons, in the eyes of the public, did itself no good. The public will have seen for the first time the kind of tactics that lead to the need for the guillotine. I hope that they will recognise that, unfortunately, the guillotine is occasionally necessary. I shall go into the Lobby tonight to vote for this guillotine because I know that, by doing so, I can guarantee that, from this point, there will be a sensible debate on important issues.

6.48 pm
Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan)

Daily, the House of Commons does itself no good in the eyes of the public. Last night was one of the few occasions when it has done itself some good in the eyes of the public.

I shall be brief because other hon. Members will wish to take their only opportunity to comment on the remainder of the legislation. I wish to refer to the arrogance with which the Government have presented the guillotine. The Patronage Secretary and the Secretary of State said that the reason for the guillotine was a breakdown between the usual channels. What commitments were given, if any, is a matter of dispute. For many parties, never mind Members, the usual channels are irrelevant. We are not party to discussions between the usual channels. The Government's argument that we must be punished and denied our rights to comment on part of the legislation because they believe that there has been a breakdown between the usual channels is the ultimate insult to Members who are not responsible for the secret backroom deals between the two Front Benches.

The hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) referred to the procedure that we are asked to authorise, whereby some 100 Government amendments will be taken together, thus depriving us of the right not only to debate them but to vote on them.

There is another pernicious aspect of the guillotine which is without precedent—the nomination of seven favoured amendments among the 100 or more on the amendment paper. The Government, by some mysterious process, have chosen seven amendments to push through without debate. I should like them to say exactly how those seven amendments were chosen. What was wrong, for example, with new clause 72, tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh)? Was there any discussion on the Government Front Bench as to why that modest measure should not be given the favoured treatment given to the seven other amendments? That new clause provides for a commission to offer protection, in terms of quality control of community care in Scotland, for the most vulnerable sections of the community—the mentally handicapped.

Obviously the force of the argument behind the sever. amendments cannot have caused the Government to accept them, because no argument will be deployed.

Mr. Battle

New clause 12 has also not been chosen, It concerns last night's debate on residential homes and income support. The Minister promised us that we should return to that issue today. Is he afraid to have such a debate because the Government would suffer the same defeat today as they suffered last night on that issue?

Mr. Salmond

The point is well made, and I well understand why the Government are frightened. Even in this debate on the guillotine motion, few Conservative voices have been raised to defend the truncation of debate.

Scottish Members have long since lost the right to decide. On one Bill after another, we have expressed our view of what we believe and what we have learnt from our experience but have found that view swamped by English Members who often, with one or two honourable exceptions, do not even listen to Scottish debates. There is no better example of that than the poll tax legislation, when even the English Tory rebels did not vote against the Scottish legislation because they were not there to hear the arguments. We have lost the right to make decisions on legislation affecting Scotland and we are increasingly losing the right to debate it.

The Bill is an example of Scottish and English legislation being coupled together denying Scottish Members the opportunity to make their points. We are increasingly losing the right even to register our protests on particular aspects of the legislation. What is so pernicious about the guillotine motion is that Scottish Members will not even be able to register their opposition to specific Government proposals or their support for specific Opposition amendments. That is not only intolerable and insupportable—I suggest to the Government that it will not be accepted by the Scottish people.

6.54 pm
Mr. James Couchman (Gillingham)

I have only about a minute in which to make a quick point. As a member of the Standing Committee, I remind the House that this important Bill has been discussed in Committee, line by line and clause by clause. I hope that no one will suggest that the Opposition's antics to force the guillotine on us means that the Bill will not have been properly considered in the House. It has been properly considered.

The hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) knows precisely why he has chosen his tactics on Report. The hon. Member for Barnsley, West and Penistone (Mr. McKay) talked of 60 hours being two and a half days, but he knows that that was a delusion. He knows what parliamentary days are because he is a very experienced Member. He should not deny that there were discussions between the Front Benches on how long the Report stage should last—[Interruption.] The hon. Member shakes his head, but I have seen letters written by an hon. Member who is sitting on the Labour Front Bench which expressed that conclusion.

6.55 pm
Ms. Harriet Harman (Peckham)

The guillotine motion is simply a Government attempt to extinguish debate on this most important of Bills. It is a fitting, if grubby, end to the Bill's passage through the House of Commons. The Government's conduct has been marked from the outset by obstinacy and irrationality. I should like to remind the House of the genesis of the Bill—in a cash crisis in the National Health Service. Instead of responding to public opinion and the demands that the Government should invest sufficient resources in the Health Service to end the waiting lists and rebuild crumbling hospitals and community services, the Government's response was to set up a review. It was a closed review, undertaken by people with closed minds behind closed doors. There was to be no consultation. The Government were not prepared to enter into a debate.

The White Paper was published with the announcement that there was to be consultation on the detail. The Government were not prepared to talk to anyone who had anything to say, except those who could suggest how to make these unworkable plans workable. They talked only to people who would agree with them. Even the presidents of the royal colleges were sent packing. The Bill and the White Paper were deeply unpopular among people who worked in the NHS and above all, among the public. That was the case in every region, in Scotland and Wales and among people from all walks of life.

The Government's response to public opinion was to embark on a campaign of smears and misrepresentation.

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)


Ms. Harman


Mr. Couchman

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The House should know also of the smears offered by the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms. Harman) in her bogus press releases which were issued throughout the land—

Madam Deputy Speaker (Miss Betty Boothroyd)

Order. I thank the hon. Member very much, but that is nothing to do with the Chair.

Ms. Harman

I was interested to hear the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Couchman). What he says certainly does not agree with what the Secretary of State would have us believe, which is that the Committee stage was uncontroversial. Perhaps I could tell Members who were not on the Standing Committee that those press releases merely informed the constituents of members of the Committee of their representatives' actions to damage the the Health Service.

The Government's response to the overwhelming tide of public opinion against the Bill was a campaign of smears and misrepresentation. Let me remind the House of those misrepresentations: that people who were opposed to the Bill must be stupid—they did not understand the Bill; that people who were opposed to the Bill must be dishonest—they understood the Bill but misrepresented it; or that people who were against the Bill must be reactionary and against any change in the Health Service.

The Government tried to back up that campaign of smears and misrepresentation with £2 million-worth of public money spent on videos, travelling road shows and leaflets to try to dislodge from the public's mind its conviction that the Bill's proposals were profoundly against the public interest.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett (Pembroke)

Will the hon. Lady acknowledge that the reason why Labour filibustered and disrupted the House last night was that its paymasters in COHSE and NUPE were unhappy with the Opposition for not fighting the Bill in Committee, and gave orders that they had to do so last evening?

Ms. Harman

If the hon. Gentleman was really in touch with the views of voluntary, patient and medical organisations, and with the relevant unions, he would know that they cared as desperately as we did that we should not play into the Government's hands and risk having vital clauses on community care guillotined. We had the support of all those organisations.

The opportunity was presented on Report for right hon. and hon. Members representing constituencies in Scotland and Wales who did not serve on the Committee but whose constituents are crucially affected by the Bill to make their contributions. Much has been said about the speech of one hour 40 minutes made by my hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), but the speech of the Secretary of State lasted one hour 10 minutes. When the Government's campaign of smear and misrepresentation failed, they resorted to cynical assurances and promises that they never intended to keep.

Mr. McCartney

I thank my hon. Friend for giving way to me, as a Member of Parliament representing a constituency in the north-west that is also affected by the Bill, and who has also been denied an opportunity to participate in the debate.

There is before the House a report by the Select Committee on Social Services which was prepared especially for the Bill's Report stage, but which has not yet been debated, despite attempts by members of that Select Committee over the past two days. The Secretary of State has made no attempt whatsoever to introduce that Committee's recommendations into the debate.

What are we to do if the topics coverd by that report are guillotined out of debate tonight? What is to be done if the work of the Select Committee can be so positively ignored after it has been directed by the House to prepare a report for specific consideration at the Report stage of a Bill?

Ms. Harman

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The guillotine will prevent the House from hearing the views of members of that Select Committee and from voting on an amendment from those hon. Members that has been selected by Mr. Speaker. The Government are anxious to impose the guillotine because it will serve as a fig leaf to cover the Government's trail of broken promises and abandoned assurances that was exposed in Committee. We are to be denied an opportunity to insert into the Bill any of the safeguards promised by the Government.

Last night, the House was given five hours to debate income support. It voted to give protection to the elderly, but it will not have an opportunity to register a similar vote in favour of safeguarding patients who will lose because of the cash limits on drug budgets. Nor will right hon. and hon. Members be allowed to vote on the cash limits on practice budgets, which will also severely harm patients.

The House will be denied an opportunity to write into the Bill the safeguard that patients should have access to local services, or the Government's promise that patients will have a choice of hospitals. Right hon. and hon. Members will not be allowed to vote on the provision of adequate funds for making care in the community a reality. Nor will the House be able to write into the Bill the choice for people entering residential care of whether that care will be in the private or public sector.

The Report stage should give right hon. and hon. Members a chance to participate in debate on important issues on the Floor of the House if they were unable to do so in Committee. The guillotine denies them that opportunity. By doing so it also denies their constituents a voice in a matter of great importance to them. For the Government to take that action when they have no mandate to do so, and when there has been no consultation, is a stain on Parliament and on the Government. We shall vote against the guillotine.

7.4 pm

The Minister for Health (Mrs. Virginia Bottomley)

By the time this 62-clause Bill leaves this House, we shall have completed 160 hours of debate. It is an important Bill and one about which right hon. and hon. Members feel deeply, and I shall respond to many of the points made during the debate on the timetable motion.

The hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) argued that no accommodation had been made for many of the points raised in Committee. I dispute that assertion, because many of the suggestions made in Committee have been incorporated. The hon. Member for Ross, Cromarty and Skye (Mr. Kennedy) asked for consultation with the medical practices committee before it is given directions, and two Government amendments to that effect have been tabled today.

My hon. Friend the Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) sought to extend the definition of pharmaceutical services, which is also covered by one of the Government amendments that will be allowed today. Incidentally, I appreciated the remarks of the hon. Member for Ross, Cromarty and Skye concerning the value of many contributions made by right hon. and hon. Members in all parts of the Committee. Certainly my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young) made a very forceful contribution. He spoke of the importance of consultation on community care plans, as did the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris).

It was pointed out that my hon. Friend the Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth), who is well known for his enlightened and benevolent social policies, had written into the Bill a requirement to consult to safeguard the interests of the disabled and the vulnerable. That is contained in an amendment tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Acton which will be supported.

The hon. Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke) spoke of the importance of the Audit Commission, and that point was also taken up by my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Mitchell). Again, we have taken note of the views expressed in Committee, and such a provision will be included in the Bill. My hon. Friends the Members for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) and for Tayside, North produced clauses on charitable trust funds, which were also accepted by the Government. My hon. Friend the Member for Acton raised the question of university medical academic staff, and his proposals will also be reflected in the Bill.

One proposal made in Committee that it has not been possible to translate into an acceptable amendment at this stage was from my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) for a cash payment for the disabled. I anticipate that such a provision would meet with the approval of the right hon. Member for Wythenshawe. The suggestion that there should be a system of empowerment certainly received the support of the hon. Member for Monklands, West in Committee. We shall return to that point with an amendment at a later date. As to the establishment of a complaints procedure, we also agreed to an amendment which will be incorporated in the Bill at a later stage.

The question of improving assessment was raised several times in Committee, as was the desirability of linking housing and health services. Again, at a later stage we shall introduce amendments covering precisely those aspects.

The hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) raised the question of the transfer of staff between the National Health Service and local authorities. Again, we shall be bringing forward proposals in that area.

I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends and Opposition Members will feel that we have responded to a great number of the concerns expressed in Committee. As was made clear then, much of the advice and guidance that has been made available is now being translated into further guidance for the benefit of local authorities and others.

Mr. McCartney

The Minister refers to the advice and guidance that is being taken up. Will she give an assurance that when the Bill goes to another place it will incorporate amendments reflecting the recommendations in the Select Committee on Social Services report?

Mrs. Bottomley

The hon. Gentleman will know that we shall be responding to the Select Committee report. Resources are important, and we have made it clear throughout that adequate resources will be made available. Detailed discussions are taking place between the Department of Social Security and local authorities about the precise nature of the resources. However, it is a misunderstanding of the importance of community care to think that it depends only upon the size of the cheque book. We are seeking to establish assessment, community care plans and inspection units—a framework of care for the frail and the vulnerable which will translate and transform the position of many people who in the past had only the perverse incentive of residential care rather than the range of support in the community for which many hon. Members have campaigned for so long. It is outrageous for hon. Members to argue, as some have today, that there are somehow two Bills which are not closely related. For how long were hon. Members arguing that it was time for the Government to produce proposals implementing the Griffiths report? We now have an ideal opportunity to ensure that people can benefit from enhanced care, better quality patient care and more efficient and effective services in the Health Service and in the community as it is enormously important that local authorities have the opportunity to take up that challenge.

Returning to the points raised by hon. Members, my hon. Friends the Members for Staffordshire, South, (Mr. Cormack) and for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) all spoke about procedure and the use of timetable motions. I shall of course ensure that my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House is made aware of those concerns and thoughts.

My hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Kent asked particularly about new clauses 55 and 56 on access to information. Although we cannot meet those precise proposals at this stage, we support the objective of openness. The precise nature of the local authority arrangements compared with health authority arrangements are not entirely transferable, but we hope to incorporate some of the ideas in guidance.

My hon. Friend the Member for Great Yarmouth (Mr. Carttiss) spoke warmly about the health proposals and the implications for hospitals such as the James Paget hospital in his constituency. Many hon. Members feel most strongly that under the new system of money following the patient virtue should be rewarded, and that by having a virtuous circle rather than a vicious circle we shall be in a much better position to provide the care that we of all Governments have provided the resources to achieve.

The hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer), speaking to his amendment, mentioned the concerns of junior doctors and new clause 8. There has been considerable progress in reducing the hours that junior doctors work, but we are determined that all those involved in the deployment of junior doctors—the consultants, the doctors, the royal colleges and the management—should make further improvements in the hours worked by junior hospital doctors, but the hon. Gentleman will understand that we cannot support his amendment.

A timetable motion is always regrettable. However, we have had a lengthy and detailed debate on the Bill. Our discussions in Committee have not properly been recognised for providing many constructive and detailed opportunities to examine the clauses line by line resulting in a number of changes and developments which we are incorporating into the Bill. It is a major Bill which provides a major opportunity to ensure that patients are better cared for and that the endeavours of those who work in the Health Service are properly rewarded and that often monopolistic and monolithic health services are devolved and made responsive to patients. It provides general practitioners with an opportunity to influence far more closely the care that they provide for their patients, and, above all, it is a patients' charter.

It being three hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question necessary for the disposal of them, pursuant to Standing Order No. 81 (Allocation of time to Bills).

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 214, Noes 292.

Division No. 123] [7.14 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Bermingham, Gerald
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Blair, Tony
Allen, Graham Blunkett, David
Alton, David Boateng, Paul
Anderson, Donald Boyes, Roland
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Bradley, Keith
Armstrong, Hilary Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)
Ashton, Joe Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Buchan, Norman
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Buckley, George J.
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich) Caborn, Richard
Barron, Kevin Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Beckett, Margaret Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)
Beggs, Roy Campbell-Savours, D. N.
Beith, A. J. Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Carttiss, Michael
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Cartwright, John
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Kirkwood, Archy
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Lamond, James
Clay, Bob Leadbitter, Ted
Clelland, David Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Lewis, Terry
Cohen, Harry Livingstone, Ken
Coleman, Donald Livsey, Richard
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Corbett, Robin Loyden, Eddie
Cousins, Jim McAllion, John
Cox, Tom McAvoy, Thomas
Crowther, Stan McCartney, Ian
Cryer, Bob McCrea, Rev William
Cummings, John Macdonald, Calum A.
Dalyell, Tam McFall, John
Darling, Alistair McGrady, Eddie
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) McKelvey, William
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l) Maclennan, Robert
Dewar, Donald McNamara, Kevin
Dixon, Don Madden, Max
Dobson, Frank Maginnis, Ken
Doran, Frank Mahon, Mrs Alice
Duffy, A. E. P. Marek, Dr John
Dunnachie, Jimmy Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Eadie, Alexander Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Eastham, Ken Martlew, Eric
Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E) Maxton, John
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) Meacher, Michael
Faulds, Andrew Meale, Alan
Fearn, Ronald Michael, Alun
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n) Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Fisher, Mark Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Flannery, Martin Moonie, Dr Lewis
Flynn, Paul Morgan, Rhodri
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Foster, Derek Mowlam, Marjorie
Foulkes, George Mullin, Chris
Fraser, John Murphy, Paul
Fyfe, Maria Nellist, Dave
Galloway, George Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Garrett, John (Norwich South) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Garrett, Ted (Wallsend) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
George, Bruce Patchett, Terry
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Pendry, Tom
Godman, Dr Norman A. Pike, Peter L.
Golding, Mrs Llin Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Gordon, Mildred Prescott, John
Gould, Bryan Primarolo, Dawn
Graham, Thomas Quin, Ms Joyce
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Radice, Giles
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Randall, Stuart
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Redmond, Martin
Hardy, Peter Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn
Harman, Ms Harriet Richardson, Jo
Heffer, Eric S. Robertson, George
Henderson, Doug Robinson, Geoffrey
Hinchliffe, David Rogers, Allan
Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall) Rooker, Jeff
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Home Robertson, John Ross, William (Londonderry E)
Hood, Jimmy Rowlands, Ted
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Ruddock, Joan
Howells, Geraint Salmond, Alex
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd) Sedgemore, Brian
Hoyle, Doug Sheerman, Barry
Hughes, John (Coventry NE) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Sillars, Jim
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Skinner, Dennis
Illsley, Eric Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Ingram, Adam Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
Janner, Greville Smith, J. P. (Vale of Glam)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Môn) Soley, Clive
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W) Spearing, Nigel
Kennedy, Charles Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Kilfedder, James Steinberg, Gerry
Stott, Roger Wigley, Dafydd
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury) Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Taylor, Rt Hon J. D. (S'ford) Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Thomas, Dr Dafydd Elis Wilson, Brian
Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck) Winnick, David
Turner, Dennis Wise, Mrs Audrey
Wallace, James Worthington, Tony
Walley, Joan Young, David (Bolton SE)
Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Wareing, Robert N. Tellers for the Ayes:
Welsh, Andrew (Angus E) Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. John Battle.
Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Adley, Robert Davis, David (Boothferry)
Alexander, Richard Day, Stephen
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Devlin, Tim
Allason, Rupert Dickens, Geoffrey
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Dorrell, Stephen
Amess, David Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Amos, Alan Dover, Den
Arbuthnot, James Dunn, Bob
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Emery, Sir Peter
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Atkins, Robert Fallon, Michael
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Favell, Tony
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Fenner, Dame Peggy
Baldry, Tony Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Fishburn, John Dudley
Batiste, Spencer Forman, Nigel
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Bellingham, Henry Forth, Eric
Bendall, Vivian Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Fox, Sir Marcus
Benyon, W. Franks, Cecil
Biffen, Rt Hon John Freeman, Roger
Body, Sir Richard French, Douglas
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gale, Roger
Boscawen, Hon Robert Gardiner, George
Boswell, Tim Garel-Jones, Tristan
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Gill, Christopher
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n) Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Glyn, Dr Sir Alan
Bowis, John Goodhart, Sir Philip
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Gorst, John
Brazier, Julian Gow, Ian
Bright, Graham Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South) Gregory, Conal
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Buck, Sir Antony Grist, Ian
Budgen, Nicholas Ground, Patrick
Burns, Simon Grylls, Michael
Butler, Chris Hague, William
Butterfill, John Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Hampson, Dr Keith.
Carrington, Matthew Hanley, Jeremy
Cash, William Hannam, John
Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Chapman, Sydney Harris, David
Churchill, Mr Haselhurst, Alan
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Hayward, Robert
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Heathcoat-Amory, David
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)
Colvin, Michael Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)
Conway, Derek Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Hill, James
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hind, Kenneth
Cope, Rt Hon John Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Couchman, James Holt, Richard
Cran, James Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dlord)
Critchley, Julian Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Currie, Mrs Edwina Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
Curry, David Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Patten, Rt Hon Chris (Bath)
Irvine, Michael Pawsey, James
Irving, Sir Charles Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Jack, Michael Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Jackson, Robert Porter, David (Waveney)
Janman, Tim Portillo, Michael
Jessel, Toby Price, Sir David
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Rathbone, Tim
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Rhodes James, Robert
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Key, Robert Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Kirkhope, Timothy Rossi, Sir Hugh
Knapman, Roger Rost, Peter
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Rowe, Andrew
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Knowles, Michael Sackville, Hon Tom
Knox, David Sayeed, Jonathan
Lang, Ian Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Latham, Michael Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Lawrence, Ivan Shelton, Sir William
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Lee, John (Pendle) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Sims, Roger
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Skeet, Sir Trevor
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lightbown, David Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lilley, Peter Speed, Keith
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant) Speller, Tony
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Lord, Michael Squire, Robin
Luce, Rt Hon Richard Stanbrook, Ivor
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
McCrindle, Robert Stern, Michael
Macfarlane, Sir Neil Stevens, Lewis
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Maclean, David Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
McLoughlin, Patrick Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N)
McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Madel, David Sumberg, David
Malins, Humfrey Summerson, Hugo
Mans, Keith Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Maples, John Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Marland, Paul Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Marlow, Tony Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Temple-Morris, Peter
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Maude, Hon Francis Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Thorne, Neil
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Thornton, Malcolm
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Thurnham, Peter
Mellor, David Tracey, Richard
Meyer, Sir Anthony Trippier, David
Mills, Iain Trotter, Neville
Miscampbell, Norman Twinn, Dr Ian
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Mitchell, Sir David Waddington, Rt Hon David
Moate, Roger Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Monro, Sir Hector Walden, George
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Walker, Bill (T'side North)
Morris, M (N'hampton S) Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Moss, Malcolm Waller, Gary
Moynihan, Hon Colin Ward, John
Neale, Gerrard Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Nelson, Anthony Watts, John
Neubert, Michael Wells, Bowen
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Wheeler, Sir John
Nicholls, Patrick Widdecombe, Ann
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Wiggin, Jerry
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Wilkinson, John
Norris, Steve Wilshire, David
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Winterton, Mrs Ann
Page, Richard Winterton, Nicholas
Paice, James Wolfson, Mark
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Wood, Timothy
Patnick, Irvine Woodcock, Dr. Mike
Yeo, Tim Tellers for the Noes:
Young, Sir George (Acton) Mr. Alastair Goodlad and Mr. Tony Durant.
Younger, Rt Hon George

Question accordingly negatived.

Main Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 287, Noes 210.

Division No. 124] [7.27 pm
Adley, Robert Dorrell, Stephen
Alexander, Richard Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Dover, Den
Allason, Rupert Dunn, Bob
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Emery, Sir Peter
Amess, David Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Amos, Alan Fallon, Michael
Arbuthnot, James Favell, Tony
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Fenner, Dame Peggy
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Atkins, Robert Fishburn, John Dudley
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Forman, Nigel
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Baldry, Tony Forth, Eric
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Batiste, Spencer Fox, Sir Marcus
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Franks, Cecil
Bellingham, Henry Freeman, Roger
Bendall, Vivian French, Douglas
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Gale, Roger
Benyon, W. Gardiner, George
Biffen, Rt Hon John Garel-Jones, Tristan
Body, Sir Richard Gill, Christopher
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Boscawen, Hon Robert Glyn, Dr Sir Alan
Boswell, Tim Goodhart, Sir Philip
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n) Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Gorst, John
Bowis, John Gow, Ian
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Gregory, Conal
Brazier, Julian Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Bright, Graham Grist, Ian
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Ground, Patrick
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South) Grylls, Michael
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick Hague, William
Buck, Sir Antony Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)
Budgen, Nicholas Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Burns, Simon Hampson, Dr Keith
Butler, Chris Hanley, Jeremy
Butterfill, John Hannam, John
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Harris, David
Carrington, Matthew Haselhurst, Alan
Cash, William Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney
Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda Hayward, Robert
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Heathcoat-Amory, David
Chapman, Sydney Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)
Churchill, Mr Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Hill, James
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Hind, Kenneth
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Conway, Derek Holt, Richard
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Cope, Rt Hon John Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
Couchman, James Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Cran, James Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Critchley, Julian Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Currie, Mrs Edwina Irvine, Michael
Curry, David Irving, Sir Charles
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Jack, Michael
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jackson, Robert
Day, Stephen Janman, Tim
Devlin, Tim Jessel, Toby
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Rhodes James, Robert
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Key, Robert Rossi, Sir Hugh
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Rost, Peter
Kirkhope, Timothy Rowe, Andrew
Knapman, Roger Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Sackville, Hon Tom
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Sayeed, Jonathan
Knowles, Michael Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Knox, David Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Lang, Ian Shelton, Sir William
Latham, Michael Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Lawrence, Ivan Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lee, John (Pendle) Sims, Roger
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Skeet, Sir Trevor
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lightbown, David Speed, Keith
Lilley, Peter Speller, Tony
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant) Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Squire, Robin
Lord, Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
Luce, Rt Hon Richard Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Stern, Michael
McCrindle, Robert Stevens, Lewis
Macfarlane, Sir Neil Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Maclean, David Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
McLoughlin, Patrick Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N)
McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Madel, David Sumberg, David
Malins, Humfrey Summerson, Hugo
Mans, Keith Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Maples, John Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Marland, Paul Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Marlow, Tony Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Temple-Morris, Peter
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Maude, Hon Francis Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Thorne, Neil
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Thornton, Malcolm
Mellor, David Thurnham, Peter
Meyer, Sir Anthony Tracey, Richard
Mills, Iain Trippier, David
Miscampbell, Norman Trotter, Neville
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Twinn, Dr Ian
Mitchell, Sir David Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Moate, Roger Waddington, Rt Hon David
Monro, Sir Hector Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Walden, George
Morris, M (N'hampton S) Walker, Bill (T'side North)
Moss, Malcolm Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Moynihan, Hon Colin Waller, Gary
Neale, Gerrard Ward, John
Nelson, Anthony Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Neubert, Michael Watts, John
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Wells, Bowen
Nicholls, Patrick Wheeler, Sir John
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Widdecombe, Ann
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Wiggin, Jerry
Norris, Steve Wilkinson, John
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Wilshire, David
Page, Richard Winterton, Mrs Ann
Paice, James Winterton, Nicholas
Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil Wolfson, Mark
Patnick, Irvine Wood, Timothy
Patten, Rt Hon Chris (Bath) Woodcock, Dr. Mike
Pawsey, James Yeo, Tim
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Young, Sir George (Acton)
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Younger, Rt Hon George
Porter, David (Waveney)
Portillo, Michael Tellers for the Ayes:
Price, Sir David Mr. Alastair Goodlad and Mr. Tony Durant.
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Rathbone, Tim
Abbott, Ms Diane Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Godman, Dr Norman A.
Allen, Graham Golding, Mrs Llin
Alton, David Gordon, Mildred
Anderson, Donald Gould, Bryan
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Graham, Thomas
Armstrong, Hilary Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Ashton, Joe Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Hardy, Peter
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich) Harman, Ms Harriet
Barron, Kevin Heffer, Eric S.
Beckett, Margaret Henderson, Doug
Beggs, Roy Hinchliffe, David
Beith, A. J. Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Home Robertson, John
Bermingham, Gerald Hood, Jimmy
Blair, Tony Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Blunkett, David Howells, Geraint
Boateng, Paul Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Boyes, Roland Hoyle, Doug
Bradley, Keith Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Buckley, George J. Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Caborn, Richard Illsley, Eric
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Ingram, Adam
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Janner, Greville
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Môn)
Cartwright, John Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Kennedy, Charles
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Kilfedder, James
Clay, Bob Kirkwood, Archy
Clelland, David Lamond, James
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Leadbitter, Ted
Cohen, Harry Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Coleman, Donald Lewis, Terry
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Livingstone, Ken
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Livsey, Richard
Corbett, Robin Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cousins, Jim Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Cox, Tom Loyden, Eddie
Crowther, Stan McAllion, John
Cryer, Bob McAvoy, Thomas
Cummings, John McCartney, Ian
Dalyell, Tam Macdonald, Calum A.
Darling, Alistair McFall, John
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) McGrady, Eddie
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l) McKelvey, William
Dewar, Donald Maclennan, Robert
Dixon, Don McNamara, Kevin
Dobson, Frank Madden, Max
Doran, Frank Mahon, Mrs Alice
Duffy, A. E. P. Marek, Dr John
Dunnachie, Jimmy Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Eadie, Alexander Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Eastham, Ken Martlew, Eric
Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E) Maxton, John
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) Meacher, Michael
Faulds, Andrew Meale, Alan
Fearn, Ronald Michael, Alun
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n) Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Fisher, Mark Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Flannery, Martin Moonie, Dr Lewis
Flynn, Paul Morgan, Rhodri
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Foster, Derek Mowlam, Marjorie
Foulkes, George Mullin, Chris
Fraser, John Murphy, Paul
Fyfe, Maria Nellist, Dave
Galloway, George Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Garrett, John (Norwich South) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Garrett, Ted (Wallsend) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
George, Bruce Patchett, Terry
Pendry, Tom Smith, J. P. (Vale of Glam)
Pike, Peter L. Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Soley, Clive
Prescott, John Spearing, Nigel
Primarolo, Dawn Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Quin, Ms Joyce Steinberg, Gerry
Radice, Giles Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Randall, Stuart Taylor, Rt Hon J. D. (S'ford)
Redmond, Martin Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn Turner, Dennis
Richardson, Jo Wallace, James
Robertson, George Walley, Joan
Robinson, Geoffrey Warden, Gareth (Gower)
Rogers, Allan Wareing, Robert N.
Rooker, Jeff Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Ross, William (Londonderry E) Wigley, Dafydd
Rowlands, Ted Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Ruddock, Joan Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Salmond, Alex Wilson, Brian
Sedgemore, Brian Winnick, David
Sheerman, Barry Wise, Mrs Audrey
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert Worthington, Tony
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Young, David (Bolton SE)
Sillars, Jim
Skinner, Dennis Tellers for the Noes:
Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury) Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. John Battle.
Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the following provisions shall apply to the remaining proceedings on the Bill:—