HC Deb 15 July 1993 vol 228 cc1174-85

It is hereby declared that for the purposes of section 1(b) of the Race Relations Act 1976 a person does not discriminate against another by reason only of the fact that such person applies to that other a requirement or condition that he or she be able to communicate in Wales through the medium of the Welsh language.'.—[Mr. Wigley.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Wigley

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

The clause deals with the way in which race relations legislation has been brought into matters relating to the Welsh language over the past decade. We had a fairly extensive debate in Committee and our feeling is that the issue was not satisfactorily resolved in Committee. That feeling has been strengthened by evidence that came to my notice before the Committee stage came to an end.

There was a case some eight of nine years ago concerning appointments to an old people's home in Ynys Mon, where, if I remember correctly, 29 of the 30 residents were Welsh speaking. When the jobs were advertised, a requirement was that applicants should be Welsh speaking. An attempt was made to bring in the Commission for Racial Equality on the basis that it was racial discrimination to include such a clause. I accept that there are many jobs where knowledge of a particular language is irrelevant—it does not matter whether people are train drivers, or perform a host of other jobs. However, there are many jobs where a knowledge of the Welsh language is important—broadcasting and teaching speak for themselves.

In constituencies such as mine, where Welsh is the main language of 84 per cent. of the population, it is important that those appointed to jobs dealing with the public can deal with them in whichever language the public wish. It is a matter of considerable offence if, when a local authority or any other employer—or potential employer—makes it a condition that the ability to speak Welsh or have an understanding of it is necessary for a certain job, it may be taken before the Commission for Racial Equality on the basis that it is acting in a racist manner. That is nonsense.

That was not the reasoning behind the legislation that set up the CRE. It is an abuse of the Race Relations Act 1976 to use it for that purpose. There has been continuing discussion about that over many years. From meetings that my hon. Friend the Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd) and I had with the Minister of State, I thought that the Government would table an amendment, on Committee or Report, that would resolve the problem, and that there would be a change in legislation that would meet that, although perhaps not using the wording of the amendment—I think a Labour amendment—in Committee. We have tabled similar amendments.

I was flabbergasted when the Minister rejected the arguments outright in Committee. He said: I am pleased to reassure the Committee that current employment law provides the flexibility that we require."—[Official Report, Standing Committee D, I July 1993; c. 217.] He said that it was not necessary. I checked with the CRE as to exactly its position.

7.30 pm

In a letter that I had this month from Herman Ouseley, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, he says: In the past there was a conflict between the Commission and the Welsh Language Board over the issue but I am informed that a compromise was agreed in 1991. The agreed position now is reflected in the proposed amendment to Section 4 of the Race Relations Act 1976 in the following terms: He then details the specific agreed proposed amendment to that legislation: For the purpose of the Part of the Act a requirement or condition relating to ability to communicate in Welsh shall be justifiable where the person to whom it is applied would, in the course of employment to which the requirement or condition applies, deal on a regular basis with persons who normally use Welsh and the level of ability required is no greater than is needed to do so. There is a subsequent subsection.

That wording is very similar to the wording of the Labour amendment in Committee. The chairman goes on to say: I hope this clarifies the position of the Commission. The position is, therefore, that the commission has agreed with the Welsh Language Board that there is a problem; it has agreed on the solution and that it can be by means of amending legislation. So what on earth are we waiting for, I ask the Minister. Here is the vehicle for doing it.

I accept that the wording of our new clause 7 is not identical to the wording that the Commission for Racial Equality has before it. But, if that is indeed the position, I urge the Minister to accept new clause 7 now, and he can amend that in the House of Lords, when the Bill goes back there, by putting in the wording agreed by the commission and the Welsh Language Board. That is a simple mechanism that is open to him and enables him to keep his options open, in order to put right what is a very strongly-felt perceived wrong.

The question goes beyond the technicality that I have described. Here we have what is essentially the Government's own approach to how to deal with the Welsh language. We have the Welsh Language Board dealing with an institution—the Commission for Racial Equality in this case—and coming to an agreement. That is the whole basis of the Government's set of schemes and proposals enshrined in the Bill.

What happens, then, when there is an agreement and it is necessary for Parliament to put it into effect, as will be the case with many other schemes that flow from this legislation? If Parliament turns its back and says that it disagrees and will not implement the agreement, it blows asunder the argument that the Minister made at various times in Committee that the schemes can deliver the goods, and that the Secretary of State or the Minister will adopt an agreed position arrived at through negotiation and discussion between two interested bodies.

We have very clearly a test of the Government's own approach to legislation. The argument is conclusive. The attitude of the Minister in private discussions that we had in his office a few weeks ago showed that he had sympathy with what we were trying to do and it was a matter of having an agreed form of words. We now have an agreed form of words.

I therefore put it to the House that we should accept new clause 7, although it may be flawed, with the intention of the Government coming back in the House of Lords to see whether the agreed formula that I have had from the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality can be built in at that stage, and this long-running, long-festering ill can be put right once and for all.

Sir Wyn Roberts

I will certainly look into the point that the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) has just made about the agreement between the Welsh Language Board and the Commission for Racial Equality. If I heard him correctly, the proposal was for an amendment to the relevant legislation under the Race Relations Act 1976.

Mr. Wigley

I understand that the Minister has not had a copy of this letter. Had I thought in advance, I would probably have made a copy available to him. I apologise for not doing so. However, in the same way as new clause 7 amends section 1(b) of the Race Relations Act 1976, the proposed new amendment would put in a subsection (a) to section 4 of that Act. It is clearly in order for us to do that through this legislation, otherwise new clause 7 would not have been accepted for debate tonight. Using that as a basis, the question can be approached in another place and the argument taken on.

Sir Wyn Roberts

I certainly take on board what the hon. Gentleman has said, and I will look further into that matter. We have already had to look very carefulLy at the issue of stipulating Welsh as a condition of employment during the course of our preparations for the Bill. It was important, because one result of the Bill will be to require the presence of Welsh speakers in certain posts in the public sector in Wales. That is already the case for many jobs and it will remain the case in future. We therefore had to be satisfied that the provisions in employment law governing discrimination would not stand in the way of employment policies that aim to do no more than ensure that public bodies are able to comply with the terms of the legislation.

This is a complex area in which there seems to have been a fair degree of confusion in the wake of the Gwynedd case, to which the hon. Gentleman referred. The confusion seems to have obscured the fact that employers are entitled to stipulate Welsh as a condition of employment so long as they are able to justify such a requirement. The law requires, not that an employer should demonstrate that such a requirement is absolutely necessary, but that it should be able to be justified. That, of course, is a lesser test. It would be for the courts to interpret in individual cases.

The amendment that was before us in Committee sought to define what the justification criteria amounted to. Earl Ferrers acknowledged in the debate in another place that this was an interesting way to approach the issue, and this was something that we looked at very carefully.

As I explained in Committee, the conclusion that we reached was that a formulation of this sort would not place employment policies beyond legal challenge. In particular, whatever we said in our domestic legislation would not necessarily remove such policies from challenge under European employment law. It would not be acceptable to pursue policies in this country which did not conform to European law. New clause 21, proposed in Committee, came closer to meeting these legal difficulties than does the present new clause, but I regret that neither is able to overcome them all.

The other important point that I sought to explain during the debate in Committee was that the introduction of Welsh language schemes would be an important factor in reducing the uncertainty that there might have been in this area. The Government's legal advice is that a public body is likely to be regarded as justified in requiring that an employee speak Welsh if, otherwise, there would not be enough Welsh-speaking employees in suitable posts to cope with the demand for Welsh language services. In other words, the introduction of Welsh language schemes will serve to give some indication of what is justified in this context, and will therefore serve to reduce whatever possibility there may be of employment policies being successfully challenged.

Mr. Rowlands

This has just begun to sink in to me—I am a bit slow this evening. Are we to take it from the Minister's remarks that he has not seen the draft amendment by the Commission for Racial Equality and was unaware of the discussions between it and the Welsh Language Board and of the agreed amendment?

Sir Wyn Roberts

I was not aware of the amendment. I gather that it was contained in a letter to the hon. Member for Caernarfon that he received fairly recently. I have said that I will certainly look into the matter further. I do not think that the House would expect me to go further this evening. I am trying to outline the situation as I see it, and the impact of this Bill on the subject under discussion.

The need for employment policies to be justifiable provides important safeguards. In particular, it reflects our view that the delivery of Welsh language schemes should not be dependent on every employee in the public sector being a Welsh speaker. We know that that is not the case. As I have said, much can be achieved through the use of translation and interpretation services.

Having looked at the matter very closely, I am satisfied that existing employment law, while not entirely removing the possibility of legal challenge, provides us with the required flexibility to put Welsh language schemes into effect.

Mr. Wigley

I have listened carefully to what the Minister has said. When he replied to me earlier, without the advantage of his notes, he was more sympathetic and warm than he is now that he has got back to his rehearsed script.

The Minister said in his earlier remarks that he is prepared to consider our proposal. If that assurance is to be meaningful—and if there is to be an agreed proposed amendment that requires legislation—he will need a hook on which to attach it in another place.

There is no other amendment under which the legislation can be included when the Bill goes back to the other place. If, after having looked at the matter, and having considered it with the Commission for Racial Equality and the Welsh Language Board, the Minister agrees that the change should be built into law, it would be sensible to accept new clause 7 tonight. That would provide the Minister with a vehicle to which he can attach the legislation. If, after having looked at it, he considers that there is no need for legislation, the new clause can be taken out in the House of Lords. That would allow him flexibility one way or the other.

If the Minister does not accept that, he is saying, "Yes, this is a form of words that I am willing to consider, but in practice I am closing my options now."

Mr. Rowlands

I think that the hon. Gentleman is being persuasive. We have all been here long enough to know that the Government are not likely to table an amendment to the Race Relations Act in the next parliamentary Session to deal with this particular point. The only chance is to use the Bill as a vehicle, and I hope that the Minister will accept that.

Mr. Wigley

I agree with the hon. Gentleman. This is not of great party-political import. I suspect that hon. Members on both sides of the House want to avoid cases going to the Commission for Racial Equality, industrial tribunals and so forth.

The Minister said that we must act within both our employment law and European employment law. I accept that, but I remind him—very gently—that our earlier argument about status was that European employment law was the basis of the case taken to the European Court when a Dutch citizen objected to a language condition on a job in Ireland. That reminds me of his own words: he said that European employment law, the status of the Welsh language and the interplay of the Welsh language in United Kingdom legislation are vitally important, just as it is important in Irish legislation.

I believe that there is a way forward. I hope that the Minister will tell me either that there is another mechanism whereby this can be put into practice in another place—if he agrees to accept what the CRE and the Welsh Language Board—want or that he will accept new clause 7. If there is some other way of doing it, that is fine.

We want to make progress so that when there may be an element of racism—which exists in Wales, as it does everywhere else—the people concerned can legitimately go to the courts. The courts should not be tied by the use of this legislation for matters for which it is not intended.

Has the Minister any comment before I decide whether to press the issue? I would rather elicit an agreement to further consideration in the House of Lords than press for a vote that we might lose.

Sir Wyn Roberts

I have had a great deal of advice on the Groener case, and I gave the essence of that advice earlier. The hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) referred to an agreement between the Welsh Language Board and the CRE. He will know that I do not legislate on the hoof, and that the matter is properly one for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment—whom I would certainly have to consult, as well as the Government as a whole, before I could give any commitment to legislate. I assure the hon. Gentleman that we will examine the matter.

7.45 pm
Mr. Wigley

I do not want this to drag on—the guts of the argument have been adequately rehearsed—but unless something is done on Report to give the Minister a vehicle with which to legislate, the provision will not be put into the Bill in another place.

I asked the Minister to clarify whether there was an alternative way of handling the matter in another place. I assume from his silence that there is not. Unless a new clause such as this is introduced tonight, there will not be a hook in the other place on which the Minister can attach any new clause, such as the letter that I have cited suggests.

I understand that the Minister must discuss the matter with his colleagues, but if at the end of that he says, "Yes, fine, this is what is needed", he is going to close his option tonight unless he accepts the new clause, or he can tell me of some other way of handling it. Surely it is a reasonable way to make progress. It is the way in which the House should legislate. We should consider all the possibilities and see how they can be met. There is a consensus on what we want to do; it is a matter of how we do it. That gives us the possibility of doing something in the House of Lords.

Unless the Minister can give some indication of a way of handling this matter in the House of Lords, we shall have no alternative but to divide on it.

Sir Wyn Roberts

I can say nothing more about the hon. Gentleman's main point. However, he should not forget that every public body operating in Wales, including the CRE, will be obliged to produce a scheme. I think that the matters to which he has referred are likely to feature in such a scheme and that may well be the proper place for it.

Mr. Wigley

That may be the case; it may be something that is appropriate for a scheme. However, the CRE and the Welsh Language Board have reached an agreement that there should be a change of legislation. If that was the outcome of many of the other schemes—that discussions will take place between the Welsh Language Board and a host of other organisations in Wales—and bodies come forward and say, "Well, this and that needs to be done, Minister", and the Minister says, "No, I am sorry; you have reached an agreement but I am not going to do it", that would underline our fears about the way in which the board will work without any statutory rights.

The Welsh Language Board and the CRE have determined that there needs to be a statutory provision. The Government are apparently unwilling to use the Bill as a vehicle, even though it is an eminently suitable one. They are not even willing to keep the option open for the few days until the Bill comes back from the House of Lords, presumably next week. The Government are showing an unreasonable unwillingness in not allowing that facility to be kept open for the next few days.

If the Minister has said his last word on the subject and can add nothing further, we shall have no option but to divide the House. It is sad that we cannot take this step when it is what the Minister wants to do—in line with the conversations that we have had—when it is what the Commission for Racial Equality wants to do, when it is what the Welsh Language Board wants to do, when it is what the overwhelming majority of the people of Wales want to do and when, I suspect, it is what the majority of hon. Members want to do.

Mr. Morgan

May I, too, press the Minister, bearing in mind the fact that we have probably reached a crunch point in tonight's proceedings? The hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) says that if new clause 7 is not accepted, the right hon. Gentleman will have pre-empted the possibility of the Government's accepting an agreement that appears to have been struck between the CRE and the Welsh Language Board. If the new clause were accepted, the Government would not be pre-empted from introducing a form of words in the other place when Commons amendments are considered there.

If the Government find that such a provision is not practical, that the agreement to which the hon. Member for Caernarfon referred does not exist or that the matter has been misunderstood, they can take action in the other place to remedy matters. But if the Minister does not accept the new clause tonight, there will be no possibility of using the Bill to enact the agreement that has been struck between the Welsh Language Board and the CRE.

Mr. Wigley

I was making that precise point. There is no alternative to what we are suggesting. If the new clause is not accepted now, the whole issue is closed. I urge the Government to examine the matter to ensure that the wording of the new clause reflects the point that we have in mind.

Mr. Morgan

They are frightened of losing face.

Mr. Wigley

If that is all it is, the Government are adducing the worst of all arguments. Leaving aside any question of saving or losing face, we simply want to get rid of a problem that all concerned agree exists. I repeat, if the Government find, after scrutiny, that the drafting of new clause 7 does not represent the way in which the Welsh Language Board and the commission wish to make progress, the provision can be removed or amended in the other place.

Mr. Flynn

Many hon. Members, including myself, are hearing the argument for the first time and are totally persuaded by what the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) says. Many accusations are made about the unreasonableness and elective dictatorship of the Government. The Conservatives have little support in Wales—32 seats out of 500 at the last election—and are being unreasonable tonight.

The hon. Member for Caernarfon is simply arguing that the options must be kept open. We had a vivid demonstration last night of the dominance of the Conservatives in the other place. It is clear that they will be able to do what they like when the Bill arrives there. They can remove the new clause or alter it at that stage. If they do not accept it tonight, they will be slamming the door closed until a future Government bring forward another Welsh language measure. That will probably not happen in the lifetime of any of us here now. If the Government do not accept the new clause, they will be acting against the wishes of the people of Wales.

Mr. Wigley

The hon. Gentleman voices my feelings. If the Government are not willing to keep their options open for a few days while they investigate the issue—knowing for certain that they can remove the provision in the other place if the wording is not acceptable—they will be seen as having been totally unreasonable in their handling of this legislation.

Accusations are already flying around in the context of the earlier debate, in which plenty of emotion was expressed. We have had a cool and calculated discussion of a matter which we all agree has been a problem. If the Government do not use the vehicle of this Bill to deal with the issue now, they will be open to all sorts of accusations in Wales.

I am trying to save the Government from themselves, although they seem determined to go down a different avenue. I urge the Minister and the occupants of the Treasury Bench at least to keep their mouths shut when the Question is put, so enabling the new clause to become part of the Bill.

Mr. Rowlands

I make a final plea to the Minister. It is astonishing that such a discussion could occur between the Welsh Language Board and the Commission for Racial Equality, resulting in a well-drafted amendment being produced in respect of a piece of legislation that has already been before the House, yet neither the Minister nor his officials knew anything about it.

We are old enough to know that, unless we take advantage of this Bill to put that matter right, the chances of the next Government or the one after that finding time to make such a change will be negligible. I urge the right hon. Gentleman to accept the new clause, thereby giving him time to examine the matter afresh, after which he can move to delete it or redraft it in the other place to reflect what has been agreed between two sensible organisations.

I appreciate that the right hon. Gentleman must consult the Secretary of State for Employment, but as it seems that he does not oppose the idea and as the House would be willing to give it more than a fair wind, he should accept the new clause. As I say, the chances of passing a separate piece of amending legislation on the subject in the near future are slim.

I beg the Minister to prevent the House from dividing on the matter. We are all basically on the same side. Perhaps the Minister agrees with us, having had time to reflect on it, and will now accept the new clause. It would not involve him getting sacked. He has managed to survive for 14 years, so accepting it on the hoof, as it were, should cause him no problem.

Sir Wyn Roberts

I assure the House that we considered the matter thoroughly before the debate took place. We do not find the new clause acceptable. I have outlined the position in relation to employment law and the Welsh language. It is not Government practice to accept amendments in which we do not believe and which we think are incorrect.

The position is that there is agreement between the CRE and the Welsh Language Board. As far as I am aware, the Government have not been consulted about inserting that agreement in legislation. I hope that the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) will not press the matter to a Division, but, if he does, I shall ask my hon. Friends to oppose it.

Mr. Wigley

I make a final plea in a debate that has shed light not only on the subject under discussion but on the way in which the Government listen to our arguments and respond to them. I recall taking a deputation concerned with disability issues to see a Minister of lower rank than the right hon. Gentleman who has charge of this measure. That junior Minister listened to us and said, "The advice of my civil servants is that I must resist your request but, having listened to you, I shall accept it."

Mr. Morgan

I understand that a letter has been sent by the chairman of the Welsh Language Board on the matter to the Secretary of State or to the Minister of State. I wonder whether we might elicit some information about whether he responded to that letter.

Mr. Wigley

I, too, have seen the press reports this week. There seems to have been some confusion between what is understood in the Welsh Office and what is understood by the Commission for Racial Equality and the Welsh Language Board. As there was a report of that, in the Western Mail a few days ago, I should have thought that by now the Government would at least have found out what the position was. I should have been surprised if there had not been some correspondence.

8 pm

Mr. Rowlands

The matter is becoming more serious. The Minister made a clear and unequivocal statement that neither he nor his Department knew about that arrangement.

Mr. Wigley

That was the comment made earlier. Clearly, the Minister had not seen the letter I received, but I should have imagined that the contents of a letter sent to me as a Back Bencher would have been similar to any proposals that had been brought to the attention of the Minister.

Mr. Morgan

Has the Minister seen it?

Mr. Wigley

I also ask whether the Minister has seen the correspondence with the CRE. I understand that it is being checked out at the moment and I shall be interested to hear whether he has seen it.

If he has seen it and he is aware that there was an agreement, and yet he responded in the way that he did in Committee, he was misleading the Committee. If, however, the correspondence has arrived since the Committee, it is new information on which the Government should be acting. The response from the Minister is the same as that which he gave us in Committee. In other words, I am not quite sure whether Welsh Office Ministers have been on top of their act. It sems not only that they have not, but that they are not prepared to consider the possibility that there is other information and that they need a vehicle to find a way out of it.

The debate has continued long enough and the embarrassment of the Government has been exposed for all the people of Wales to see. I hope that there is some way in which the Government can do something in the House of Lords, but I do not believe that there is. I believe that the Government, by their shout in a few moments' time, will be closing the options to something that they believe should be done. It is an incredible reflection of the Government's behaviour.

Sir Wyn Roberts

I want to clear up one thing. I said that I had not seen a copy of the letter sent to the hon. Gentleman. I am aware that there have been discussions between the board and the CRE. We at the Welsh Office have been discussing these matters with the CRE for some time. We considered the amendment that he is now putting forward quite a long time ago, but we reached the conclusion that it was not an acceptable amendment and we have not changed our conclusion.

Mr. Wigley

I take it, therefore, from what the Minister is saying that he had seen the amendment to which the letter I received refers. If he had not seen it, he could not make that judgment. So he has seen it; presumably it was not a rushed decision as the judgment was made in 1991—two years ago—and there has been adequate time to find a way forward.

It is a portent of what will occur between the Welsh Language Board and the Government. There will be schemes that take months to agree between the Welsh Language Board and various parts of the public sector in Wales. They will be sat on for two years by the Government and then, at the end of the day, Ministers will refuse to accept the unanimous advice from Wales.

We had hoped that we could have supported the legislation. Our discussion tonight underlines why we believe that there is a central vacuum in the Bill; it contains no rights at all. All the rights are there, but the Government are not willing to use them and the people of Wales will suffer.

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

The House divided:—Ayes 31, Noes 135.

Division No. 336] [8.03 pm
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Campbell, Menzies (File NE)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)
Barnes, Harry Cryer, Bob
Betts, Clive Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Rendel, David
Flynn, Paul Rowlands, Ted
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Skinner, Dennis
Harvey, Nick Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Stott, Roger
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW) Wallace, James
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Wigley, Dafydd
Kennedy, Charles (Ross.C&S) Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Kirkwood, Archy Wise, Audrey
Llwyd, Elfyn
Mackinlay, Andrew Tellers for the Ayes:
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Mr. Cynog Dafis and Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones.
Morgan, Rhodri
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Jack, Michael
Alexander, Richard Jenkin, Bernard
Amess, David Jessel, Toby
Arbuthnot, James Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Key, Robert
Atkins, Robert Kirkhope, Timothy
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Baldry, Tony Legg, Barry
Bates, Michael Lidington, David
Bellingham, Henry Lightbown, David
Beresford, Sir Paul Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Blackburn, Dr John G. Lord, Michael
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Booth, Hartley Maitland, Lady Olga
Brandreth, Gyles Malone, Gerald
Brazier, Julian Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Browning, Mrs. Angela Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Burns, Simon Merchant, Piers
Burt, Alistair Milligan, Stephen
Chapman, Sydney Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Clappison, James Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Neubert, Sir Michael
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Congdon, David Oppenheim, Phillip
Conway, Derek Page, Richard
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Paice, James
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Patnick, Irvine
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Pickles, Eric
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Powell, William (Corby)
Day, Stephen Redwood, Rt Hon John
Dorrell, Stephen Richards, Rod
Dover, Den Riddick, Graham
Duncan, Alan Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Elletson, Harold Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Faber, David Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Fabricant, Michael Shaw, David (Dover)
Fenner, Dame Peggy Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Speed, Sir Keith
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger Spencer, Sir Derek
French, Douglas Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Gale, Roger Spink, Dr Robert
Gallie, Phil Sproat, Iain
Gillan, Cheryl Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Steen, Anthony
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Stephen, Michael
Hague, William Stern, Michael
Hampson, Dr Keith Streeter, Gary
Harris, David Sweeney, Walter
Hawksley, Warren Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Hendry, Charles Thomason, Roy
Horam, John Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Tracey, Richard
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Tredinnick, David
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Trend, Michael
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Twinn, Dr Ian
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Hunter, Andrew Viggers, Peter
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill) Wood, Timothy
Waterson, Nigel
Wells, Bowen Tellers for the Noes:
Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John Mr. Robert G. Hughes and Mr. Andrew MacKay.
Whittingdale, John
Willetts, David

Question accordingly negatived.

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