HC Deb 23 April 1991 vol 189 cc1043-54

Amendment made:No. 24, in page 30, line 28, leave out 'Port Authority or the company (as the case may be)' and insert `company;'.—[Mr. McLoughlin.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.—[Mr. McLoughlin.]

12.28 am
Mr. Bell

I am glad that there is to be a short Third Reading debate on this important Bill. It has been in the offing for about three years— from the time that the right hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon) was Secretary of State for Transport. He asked the ports to take the private Bill route, thus corrupting the entire private Bill route in the House of Commons. He brought it into disrepute and, no doubt, into abandonment. after the charade we witnessed with the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Bill and the Clyde Port Authority Bill.

We welcome the day's work because the Report stage has been constructive. We have seen realised many of the Minister's promises in Committee, which were not forced out of him, but brought out of him by persuasion. He listened to the arguments of Labour and Liberal Democrat Members. The Bill has been enlarged tonight to extend to the management buy-out concept. When the right hon. Member for Southend, West raised the issue of privatisation, it was not privatisation through a management buy-out that included worker participation.

The original scheme for Tees and Hartlepool was a glorified management buy-out which had nothing to do with worker participation. There was no original scheme for employee participation at a time when the dock labour scheme had been abolished and the Tees and Hartlepool authority could not get rid of its staff quickly enough, though they had invested their lives in the docks. As a result of parliamentary pressure in the Chamber and in Committee, the Government increasingly accepted the principle that if there was to be a management buy-out of our trust ports as a result of the Bill, it had to extend to the workers who had invested their lives in the docks. This has been a good day's work.

The levy provisions have also been disentangled. They caused great anxiety and embarrassment to the Government in Committee. We have missed from our proceedings the hon. Member for Thurrock (Mr. Janman). He is engaged on a Select Committee that has sat until 12.30 am and may not even be sitting in this country. We have missed the hon. Gentleman's pure Thatcherite views of what a port should be. I am sure that his, no doubt inevitable, absence, which may not be astonishing to his voters, will be a source of embarrassment to him when it comes to the attention of his constituents.

The affirmative resolution procedure has been brought into play throughout the Bill. Again, that came from pressure in Committee, which was welcomed by the Opposition. On a variety of occasions, we had sought to extend the Bill to cover local democracy and local trade unions. We now have provision for an affirmative resolution in the House.

We know about the massive assets. The Government have consistently underplayed the money that will come to the state. There is the 50 per cent. about which we talked, then the 17.5 per cent. capital gain and the land tax—the levy—to which my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) referred, in which the Treasury, with its eyes lighting up, has seen the pot of gold. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) warned the House that the Bill will not stop at ports with a turnover of more than £5 million, but will continue with ports such as Peterhead which has a turnover of £1.5 million.

Clearly, the Bill is an ideological measure, although not in the pure Thatcherite sense. If it were, the ports would have been privatised in one fell swoop. The principles of the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth (Mr Carttiss) would also have been brought into effect. We have seen the dilution of the ideological concept of privatisation, with the extension over two years and the coercion principle. The Treasury will then get its hands on the assets—the pots of gold—which it has found in our ports.

It is not a dignified exercise for a Conservative Government. The House and the country would have accepted a straightforward ideological commitment to privatisation, but the grubby hands of the Treasury extending into the pots of gold, getting money for the Treasury to lull us, possibly in terms of income tax as has been suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, East, is an unseemly exercise.

The original concept of the right hon. Member for Southend, West was the privatisation of ports that wished to be privatised. In the Bill, there are the principles of coercion and compulsion. We are a long way from the idea that ports can be privatised in the national interest and in the interests of the ports themselves. The exercise began as privatisation with the support of management in ports throughout the country. We now see anxiety and quivers of fear in those management boards that they will be privatised, that they will go to the largest bidder on a competitive tender and that, eventually, the local community and the management of the ports will lose out.

The Bill does not extend to Northern Ireland, although it will do so eventually through other provisions. The port of Belfast will be a candidate for privatisation. Having visited that port and seen the work force, the docks, the turnover and the work that is done, I know also the anxiety that some third party not related to docks works will come along.

While the Opposition have much improved the Bill by our constructive work in Committee and while the Government have accepted our suggestions, it is nevertheless a shoddy piece of legislation. It is not dignified for a Government who believe in privatisation to introduce a Bill which is essentially a Finance Bill by another name and which does not privatise the ports as the Government might have wished. The Government, in short, should be ashamed of themselves for this piece of legislation and that is why the Opposition will oppose it.

12.36 am
Mr. Ward

I wish briefly to explain why I feel obliged to vote against Third Reading.

I object to clause 9, which introduces the compulsion element. I have said before, and I make no apology for doing so again, that I fully appreciate the need for privatisation in many cases, but here the principles of local democracy and freedom of choice are being overridden. All the constituents who have spoken or written to me about the Ports Bill have expressed their opposition to it. Poole harbour is unique; my constituents feel, quite rightly, that the Government have failed to recognise this in the preparation of the Bill and that every means should be used to maintain the present regime, which has been so successful.

I should explain the range of people who have expressed their concern about the Bill. The list includes local authorities, dockers, fishermen, conservationists, wildfowlers, yachtsmen and, perhaps most important, ordinary people who are concerned about the future of the greatest natural asset that a town like Poole could have. There is particular concern that, if the harbour were to be privatised, commercial operations or asset strippers would not leave it as it is today. There has been one well-publicised approach already.

Perhaps local feelings are best summed up in the words written to me by a constituent who is a former Poole harbourmaster: During 40 years in port administration, I have held a senior post in ports of all sizes and peculiarities, but none so complex as Poole. Here the activities and interests stretch from highly concentrated commercial traffic to bird sanctuaries and nature conservation areas and every conceivable activity and sport in between, each requiring a different understanding and approach, but all ultimately coming under the umbrella of the harbour Commissioners. The pressures arising from the desire for profitability and share-holding dividends, expenditure and cash flow would almost certainly result in some activities and usages being developed at the expense of others and once the present situation is upset it would be impossible to restore it. The House will also know that the largest onshore oilfield in the United Kingdom lies under Poole harbour and the House will shortly be asked to consider a Bill to allow the construction of an island in Poole bay to act as a platform for oil recovery. This project will need careful control, especially during the construction period, to ensure that the local environment is protected and that there is a minimum risk of interference with fishing grounds. At present, it is envisaged that the harbour commissioners will play a significant role in the control of these activities, and their role is written into the private Bill. Local people have confidence in the harbour commissioners' ability to carry out this function on their behalf. They are less convinced that any private operator would protect local interests as well as the harbour commissioners, who are all local people responsible to local organisations.

I know that the Minister will say that the Ports Bill is an enabling measure and that the Secretary of State might not require a privatisation scheme to be put forward after local consultation. It is all very well for the present Ministers to say that, but we do not know, and they do not know, what their successors' views might be.

I have made every effort to persuade the Government to make changes to the Bill. I spoke at length on Second Reading and I have had discussions with Ministers, including the Prime Minister, to impress on them the strength of opposition in Poole to the idea of privatising the harbour.

The Minister for Shipping visited Poole on 20 March and saw the situation there for himself. I am sure that he would acknowledge that he left for London in no doubt whatsoever of the views of the people that he met that day. The Minister was also kind enough to agree to a meeting with representatives of local fishermen in London yesterday, and again they expressed their views forcefully and clearly.

I have appealed to the Secretary of State for the Environment because of local concern about the environment. He has recently called in a decision to allow house building on 17 acres of land in Poole. I have explained to him that people in my constituency cannot understand why he is not just as concerned about the possible privatisation of Poole harbour, which comprises 10,000 acres of natural harbour and only 50 acres of commercial port.

I have also tabled amendments in an attempt to remove from the Bill the element of compulsion. I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Minister for his acceptance of one of my amendments, which proposed that, if Ministers have considered the case for compelling a port to privatise and have decided against doing so, there should be a five-year moratorium before they can return to the question of compulsion. Nevertheless, the compulsion element remains. That is unacceptable to my constituents, and I shall be forced to vote against the Bill.

12.41 am
Mr. Loyden

From the outset, those of us who understand the port transport industry have regarded the Bill as a retrograde step. I worked for 28 years in port transport, and I suggest that that gives me some understanding of the industry whose fate will eventually be decided by the Government.

I do not think that the Government have got it right. Their intervention in this matter defies all the laws of the industry's development. One need only look at the ports that will be affected. I listened carefully to the speech by the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Ward), whose remarks showed how people feel about the way in which the Government are proceeding on purely ideological and doctrinaire grounds.

The Government have given us no evidence, in Committee or on Report, to suggest that they understand the present or future position of the ports industry. Communities will express grave concern about the Bill and the Government will reap the whirlwind following the decisions that they have made.

In Committee, the Government conceded a number of points, and their concessions may well make the Bill more acceptable. Nevertheless, the basic principle behind the Bill is doctrinaire. The Bill is not about the ports industry but about the Government's insistence, on ideological grounds, on proceeding with the privatisation of all those industries whose nationalised status they believe stands in the way of their political ideas.

That is a condemnation of the Government. They have not taken into account the interests of an industry that has been responsible for the development of the nation's economy. We are an island nation and we depend on the ports industry and on the industries linked to it. It is extraordinary that the Government should now see fit to treat the ports industry in such a cavalier fashion. I believe that they will pay the price for that, and that if they were prepared to put the proposals to the electorate, they would be roundly rejected.

There is no evidence to suggest that the Government have had regard to the present or future of the ports industry. It is clear that the Government's doctrinaire attitude has superseded all other considerations in the port industry. They have already made grave mistakes on the port industry. As an island nation, we are dependent now and shall be in the longer term on the ports of this country. A grave error has been made. Realisation of that will quickly come about. If the Government cared about the ports industry, they would listen to the voice of the people who work in the industry and those who have managed our ports to the benefit of the economy over the years. If they had done that, they certainly would not have introduced this Bill.

12.44 am
Mr. Nicholls

As my right hon. and hon. Friends know, on Second Reading I expressed several worries about the Bill, although I said that I fully supported the policy behind it—as I still do. It would be wrong, in the minute or so for which I intend to detain the House, if I did not say how grateful I am to my hon. Friend the Minister for Shipping and Public Transport for the hearings that he gave me throughout the proceedings on the Bill and the courtesy with which he treated me when I put various points to him. I am extremely grateful to him for addressing all the points, even if at times he did not address them in exactly the way that I had in mind.

There was never a Bill that was not improved by the processes of discussion with colleagues and consideration in Committee. It is all too easy in such proceedings for Ministers merely to stick to the position that they have adopted throughout and not to be prepared to listen. My hon. Friend the Minister has made it clear throughout that he was prepared to listen. Sometimes he was prepared to agree and sometimes he disagreed. The point is that he was prepared to enter into a dialogue with hon. Members on both sides of the House. He deserves my gratitude and that of the whole House.

12.46 am
Mr. Spearing

When I came to the House as the Member for my present constituency, there were 10 miles of deep water quays in the royal docks. There have been no ships for the past few years. The last ship left with a cargo of 20,000 tonnes, and now aeroplanes fly where ships were moored.

The best thing that I can say about the Bill and those who have promoted it is that the three Ministers involved had the courtesy to be here tonight to listen to what we have to say. The Bill marks the nadir of the Government's record of smashing the combination of public ownership and private enterprise that was initiated by the House as long ago as 1909, when the Port of London authority was founded. It was a public framework within which private enterprise and competition could work. It represented the coming together of London in the civic sense that was highly appreciated at the time.

Differing economic views and practicalities are such that the authority is being taken apart by the Bill. It is perhaps no coincidence that the motto of the Port of London authority was "Floreat imperii portus", which means "Let the imperial port flourish." But there is no imperialism now. There is only a sense—and hardly that—of pride in our citizenship of the United Kingdom. As I said in my speech, I do not see any way in which the port of London can be sustained against the ports of northern Europe once the channel tunnel is opened, at least, not within the framework of the Bill.

The Port of London authority had its bad side. It was a lineal descendant of the East India Company, and had all the defects of that company. But its public enterprise, during both the inter-war and the immediate post-war periods, were the authority's high spots, particularly when the scheme worked well.

The House, indeed the public, and still less the Government, does not understand the difficulties of labour in the port industry. In the words of Mr. Churchill when he spoke in the House on wages councils: The good employer will be driven out by the bad, and the bad employer will be driven out by the worst. That is true of port labour. It is almost impossible to understand the feelings of some of my constituents who went to the royal docks only about five years ago on a Monday morning to find that their firm had disappeared. Yes, the offices were locked and the firm had gone into liquidation overnight. Alas, that happens in industry today, but it was not the sort of thing that was endemic in the port industry even a few years ago.

The docks and the port of London, as Britain's greatest port, have seen dramas of labour relations and of feeding our great city. The number of workers in the port is probably down to 2,000 or 2,500 at most. It is difficult to compile figures now that the port worker classification has disappeared.

The river highway remains. I hope that the port of Tilbury will not advance up and down stream, as I fear part of the Bill will encourage it to do. If anybody wishes to buy it in these competitive days, and if it ever comes into being, I hope that it will not be bought or controlled from abroad. It would be bad if the port installation of London, or what remains of it, was controlled from another part of the world.

I fear that the Bill has arisen because the Government have no civic sense, or no sense of the fact that public ownership has a part to play and is not to be derided just for the sake of it. Above all, if the provisions of the Bill are carried out, we in London who prized our port authority, which was established by legislation enacted in 1909, will mourn its passing.

12.50 am
Mr. Richard Holt

As the sponsor of the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Bill, I have deliberately refrained from participation in the debate on this Bill until now. I have only been prompted to speak by the contribution of the hon. Member for Middlesbrougth (Mr. Bell).

Perhaps it is worth recalling for the House that we are four days short of the 20th anniversary of the first occasion that I can find when a trust port was privatised. The port of Liverpool was bankrupt and the Government of the day had to privatise it to keep the jobs and to keep the port open. The Hansardrecords of the debate are available but, because of the late hour, I will not go into them. What we have today is only a continuation of a policy first enacted 20 years ago.

The Ports Bill is not a shoddy Bill, as it was called, but a very good Bill, because it will enable our ports, at long last, to compete on all fours and fairly with ports on the continent which are privately owned and which move ahead, to their advantage and to our disadvantage.

In regard to the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Bill, the chief executive of that authority, Mr. John Hackney, came in for a great deal of unfair and unwarranted criticism by hon. Members who ought to have known better and who are not here for the Third Reading. Mr. Hackney is a man of great integrity. An apology is long overdue to him from Opposition Members who criticised him for the crime of wanting to make his port the biggest, the best and the first in the country. If that is a crime for a chief executive, would that more chief executives were guilty of that crime.

The Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Bill would have been the first privatisation measure on the statute book, had it not been for the capriciousness of the way in which our legislation is enacted. Five Members of the other House were allowed to throw out a Bill which had been successfuly through five Divisions in this House and which was supported in the Division Lobby by the Prime Minister. It would be almost unbelievable to people in legislatures all over the world that five capricious Lords can make a decision against the will of the House of Commons.

I have heard Opposition Members talk about privatisation of ports being dogma of the Conservative party. Surely nationalisation was dogma of the Labour party. In that context, all political parties have dogma; that is why we are in political parties.

Tees and Hartlepool port authority was cheated out of its advantage by the actions of the other place. As soon as the Ports Bill is on the statute book, Tees and Hartlepool port authority will be proud once again to be first in line for privatisation.

12.55 am
Mr. Wallace

This evening's debates have been useful, and the Bill that will leave the House for another place this evening is better than the one that was introduced and given a Second Reading in January.

The three improvements that have been made are: first, the assistance given to enable management and employer buy-outs; secondly, the affirmative orders that the Minister has added to the Bill; and thirdly, the concession that he made to the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Ward) on the stabilising of trust ports, which he has agreed not to privatise for five years so that there is no blight on further development.

Nevertheless, my right hon. and hon. Friends will have a fundamental objection to the compulsory element of the Bill that empowers the Secretary of State to compel trust ports, against their will, to undertake measures to enter the private sector when such a move is against the collective view of the ports' management. It will necessarily also be against the interests of the community.

I do not object to the part of the Bill that enables those trust ports who so wish to be privatised. The experience of the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Bill and the Clyde Port Authority Bill suggests that the private bill procedure is cumbersome and does not allow promoters readily to do as they wish. The blockage is often caused by another Bill in the pipeline that has nothing to do with that private Bill.

Hon. Members have made numerous attempts to highlight the problems in particular ports. The hon. Members for Blyth Valley (Mr. Campbell) and for Poole (Mr. Ward) spoke about the problems of the ports in their areas, and the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) and my hon. Friend for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) spoke about the problems of the port of Aberdeen. I have often tried to persuade the Minister that Lerwick harbour trust, because of circumstances there, should not be compelled to be privatised if the trustees do not wish. At present, neither the trustees nor the community want it to be privatised.

The Minister asks us to accept that he will consider all those ports. By now, he recognises that they all have different qualities and facets and that he cannot treat them in a blanket fashion. I welcome the fact that he will visit Lerwick in June. I am sure that he will be impressed by what he sees and will accept that there are compelling arguments why it should not be privatised.

The Minister has asked us to trust him to make that judgment; he has responded positively and followed up the commitments that he made in Committee. That may cause us to believe that he will approach the matter in good faith. Nevertheless, that can be no substitute for not having those provisions in the Bill. The hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Ward) expressed that point well, and there is no need to duplicate his argument. For the reasons he gave, my right hon. and hon. Friends will vote against Third Reading.

Mr. Barry Field

The Bill is a modernising measure and will enable the management structure of trust ports, their general structure and their competitiveness to move into the 1990s.

I agree with the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Holt), as he and I shared responsibility for the Tees and Hartlepool Bill. It was a matter of great regret that it did not succeed in the other place.

I regret that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State did not take the opportunity to turn up the wick under municipal ports and encouraging them to be privatised, but I perceive among the small ports a stirring of interest in the Bill and the fact that it will enable them to pursue privatisation, although they originally set their caps against it. There is a flood tide of interest in the Bill by ports throughout the United Kingdom.

The Bill will bode well for us in the future as we approach 1992. Taken together with the recent recommendations for the modernisation of bills of lading, I am sure that our maritime heritage will once again be competitive in Europe. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister for Shipping will ensure that his name is permanently etched on the maritime history of our great nation by putting forward one more measure: the abolition of light dues. That is a necessary procedure to ensure that we have the most competitive port authorities in Europe.

I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will respond to the General Council of British Shipping and modernise the appeal procedure, which he referred to on Report. He will know that I initiated the first inquiry when the liberalising measure that passed through the House was misinterpreted by the Portsmouth port authority, when it endeavoured to charge the Isle of Wight ferries for pilotage exemption certificates. It was the first time in the history of our nation that an offshore island was charged for setting foot on the mainland of its native kingdom.

We were successful because of the decision of the Secretary of State for Transport, but the procedure is cumbersome. I hope that a binding arbitration system will be introduced that will be more agreeable and more easily used by small shipowners. The experience in Portsmouth and in the Humber of the General Council of British Shipping is that the present systems are arcane and tilted towards the lawyers.

The Bill has taken a tortuous but enjoyable route because of the responses of my hon. Friend the Minister for Shipping to the many arguments that have been advanced. He has listened to all the arguments and responded to many of them in a most agreeable way.

1.1 am

Ms. Walley

The Bill's passage through the House has been tortuous. On Second Reading, we were as opposed to clause 9 and all the elements of compulsion that have been referred to this evening as we are now. Some gains have been made, however. For example, the Minister has given assurances on the affirmative resolution procedure, but he has done nothing to allay the genuine fears of the small ports. I only wish that he would visit them all and talk to those who represent them.

It is clear that the Minister is concerned with the money that the Treasury will receive following the Bill's enactment. My hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bell) summed up what the Bill is about when he said at the outset that it is a Finance Bill by another name. That is exactly what it is. The guns are coming out, but it is clear that there are some Conservative Members who have close associations with trust ports in their constituencies who know only too well that the Bill will destroy the trust that has been built up in the ports over many years. I congratulate the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Ward) on making a statement that caused the debate to come alive. It is clear that he is concerned about the abandonment of local democracy and the consequences that the Bill will have for Poole.

My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) talked about the Government's doctrinaire attitude. Unlike the Government, we are committed to taking on board the views of all those in the industry. I give a firm commitment to the House and to all those who have been reading the reports of our debates on the Bill as it follows its stormy passage through the House that we shall undertake full consultations and listen to what those in the industry have to say.

Some amendments on employee share ownership plans were tabled, but was only lip service paid to them? Will it be possible for all the ports that wish to go ahead with ESOPs to take that course? Will that be possible when we do not have a 100 per cent. levy? I am sad that we did not have an opportunity to discuss on Report the amendments bearing on the environment which we debated in detail in Committee. Other privatisation measures have created precedents for key issues of environmental protection to be weaved into the Bill. Unfortunately, that has not happened in this instance.

It is extraordinary that, only a month after the now dismembered Nature Conservancy Council produced a major report on estuaries and spelt out the damage that is being done—we heard graphically about what is happening in Poole, for example—the Government have ruled out the idea of conducting an environmental assessment with a view to providing the environmental protection that is urgently needed.

The Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Bill suffered a stormy passage in the other place, and the references to that measure today have shown the inconsistencies in the Government's policies, especially in their proposed methods of sale and their avowed intention to go ahead with competitive tendering. Indeed, there are inconsistencies and double standards throughout their legislation. As I saw the Minister for Health seated on the Government Front Bench, I thought of the way in which trust ports are being privatised and compulsorily sold off, in tandem with hospital trusts being set up, in, so the Government say, the best interests of the NHS.

The Ports Bill does not provide the nation with a transport strategy which links port and other investment within the national infrastructure. For what kind of transport policy can we hope? It was made clear at Question Time yesterday that there is a transport crisis in London. Added to the crisis on the roads and rail, we shall have a crisis in the ports once the Bill is in operation. At the same time as going full steam ahead with selling off our ports, the Government should come clean and admit that they have abandoned all intentions of having a transport policy. They are putting the dogma of the marketplace and short-term financial gain in the place of an integrated transport policy.

1.7 am

Mr. McLoughlin

The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms. Walley) highlighted the difference of philosophy that exists between hon. Members on the Government and Opposition Benches. We view this as an important Bill for the ports in view of the contribution that they make to the economy and the nation as a whole. The measure marks a further stage in the Government's long-term strategy of progressively opening up the ports industry to market forces. It builds on the obvious benefits to the ports industry and the nation at large of the abolition of the dock labour scheme, which was opposed by the Opposition in 1989.

We look forward to many trust ports coming forward to become private companies. We also look forward to many of those who work in the trust ports playing a part in the success and future of those ports. Opposition Members would not give them that opportunity. We shall. I hope that Tees and Hartlepool will take advantage of the Bill.

I pay tribute, and express my thanks, to my officials for the help that they have given me during the passage of the Bill. I commend the measure to the House.

Question put,That the Bill be read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 123, Noes 30.

Division No. 124] [1.08 am
Alexander, Richard Buck, Sir Antony
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Burns, Simon
Amess, David Burt, Alistair
Amos, Alan Butterfill, John
Arbuthnot, James Carrington, Matthew
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Carttiss, Michael
Arnold, Sir Thomas Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Chapman, Sydney
Bellingham, Henry Chope, Christopher
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Bevan, David Gilroy Cope, Rt Hon John
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Cran, James
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Currie, Mrs Edwina
Boscawen, Hon Robert Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Boswell, Tim Davis, David (Boothferry)
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Day, Stephen
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bowis, John Dover, Den
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Dunn, Bob
Brazier, Julian Fallon, Michael
Bright, Graham Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Browne, John (Winchester) Forman, Nigel
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Meyer, Sir Anthony
Freeman, Roger Mills, Iain
French, Douglas Morrison, Sir Charles
Gale, Roger Nicholls, Patrick
Gill, Christopher Norris, Steve
Goodhart, Sir Philip Paice, James
Goodlad, Alastair Patnick, Irvine
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Rhodes James, Robert
Gregory, Conal Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Ground, Patrick Roberts, Sir Wyn (Conwy)
Hague, William Rumbold, Rt Hon Mrs Angela
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom) Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Sackville, Hon Tom
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Shaw, David (Dover)
Harris, David Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hawkins, Christopher Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Speller, Tony
Holt, Richard Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Steen, Anthony
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Stern, Michael
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Stevens, Lewis
Hunter, Andrew Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Irvine, Michael Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Jack, Michael Summerson, Hugo
Jackson, Robert Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Trotter, Neville
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Twinn, Dr Ian
Knapman, Roger Viggers, Peter
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Walden, George
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Waller, Gary
Knowles, Michael Warren, Kenneth
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Watts, John
Lawrence, Ivan Wells, Bowen
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Wheeler, Sir John
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Widdecombe, Ann
MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire) Yeo, Tim
Maclean, David
McLoughlin, Patrick Tellers for the Ayes:
Mans, Keith Mr. Timothy Ward, and Mr. Timothy Kirkhope.
Maples, John
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Loyden, Eddie
Bell, Stuart McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Michael, Alun
Cryer, Bob Nellist, Dave
Cunliffe, Lawrence Pike, Peter L.
Dalyell, Tarn Prescott, John
Dixon, Don Quin, Ms Joyce
Doran, Frank Skinner, Dennis
Fearn, Ronald Spearing, Nigel
Foster, Derek Wallace, James
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Walley, Joan
Henderson, Doug Ward, John
Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Tellers for the Noes:
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. Thomas McAvoy.
Lamond, James

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.