HC Deb 25 May 1993 vol 225 cc862-74

Amendment made: No. 108, in page 175, line 26, column 3, at end insert 'Sections 69, 70 and 71.'.—[Mr. Norris.]

Order for Third Reading read.—[Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, and Prince of Wales's Consent, on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall, signified.]

9.59 pm
Mr. MacGregor

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

There is widespread agreement in the country that we should make better use of our railways. That is reflected in the report of the Select Committee on Transport to which we made a positive response last week. The Bill provides us with the opportunity to take forward our reforms which will ensure that the improvements in British Rail in recent years-I have constantly paid tribute to the management, the staff and the board for those improvements-are advanced further. I am confident that the new structure contained in the Bill will be very much to the benefit of passenger services, passengers, freight and employees on the railway.

The Government's policy was first set out in a White Paper last July. The detail of that policy has since been developed in a series of consultative documents and policy statements issued during the passage of the Bill. In addition, a long series of debates took place in Standing Committee and, as a result of points of view expressed there, a considerable number of amendments have been made on Report. That demonstrates that we have been listening and have been determined to ensure that, concomitant—

It being Ten o'clock, further proceedings stood adjourned.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business), That, at this day's sitting, the Railways Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. Robert G. Hughes.]

Question agreed to.

Question again proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

Mr. MacGregor

Concomitant with our policy and objectives, we are prepared to make changes where we think that the case has been made out. I should like to pay a particular tribute to my hon. Friend the Minister for Public Transport for all that he has done on the Bill and to my hon. Friends who have supported him.

Throughout the process, our policy and the principles underlying it have remained clear and consistent. We believe that the best future for the railways lies in involving the private sector in their operation and management to the maximum possible extent.

There is no reason why railways should be denied the benefits that the injection of private sector initiative and discipline and the approaches of the private sector have brought other industries. However, the railways are special and the involvement of the private sector in the railways requires new and imaginative solutions.

Our proposals for franchising passenger services are an example of that. Yesterday, I announced our plans for restructuring the remainder of British Rail's passenger services. We had already announced the first seven franchises and yesterday I announced a further 18; the services will be organised into 25 separate groups to provide the basis for transferring the provision of all British Rail's passenger railway services to the private sector. The groups are based on the need to reflect operational common sense, to produce packages that will be attractive to bidders and to bring back a sense of local and regional identity, and, I hope, a sense of pride in the railways.

I repeat what I said earlier today, in view of some of the slightly misleading comments that were made this morning on those 25 franchises. They are not all happening at once or in the near future. It is a gradual process of development of the franchises to make sure that we proceed in a way that makes the policy work properly operationally and does not cause any problems in the process.

Mr. Dykes

That presumably means that my right hon. Friend categorically accepts the principles in paragraph 537 of the report of the Select Committee on Transport which makes similar suggestions.

Mr. MacGregor

I do not have paragraph 537 in front of me, but it is another way in which we have worked with the Select Committee. We have based the division of the franchises very much along the lines that the Select Committee requires.

Our proposals are also pragmatic. The Government are fully aware of the importance of the industry to our country and to the economy. We cannot and will not take risks with the railways; hence our firm commitments to maintaining the network and to continuing public subsidy for socially necessary services and our commitments to rigorous closure procedures and safeguards to ensure continuity of services.

The Opposition have tried to misrepresent our policies, stirring up unjustified concerns among passengers, employees in the industry and pensioners. There is no better example than pensioners. The proposals we announced last week demonstrate just how unfounded those concerns were.

Our policy for the railways is also realistic. There is no magical solution to the structural decline that the railways have suffered since the 1930s, but the Government are firmly committed to ensuring that the railways get the best possible opportunity to make the most of their advantages. That is clear in respect of freight.

We all know that there is a big challenge if the railways are to increase the amount of freight they carry and to halt the decline from rail to road. I elaborated some of the problems yesterday, but I believe that the establishment of the three new geographically based companies out of British Rail's existing trainload freight and contract services offers the prospect of an innovative, competitive freight railway in the private sector, combined with the other policies of open access and the various subsidy arrangements that I announced on Second Reading. In the last two days, we have not had much time to dwell on the issue of freight, but I believe that our policies undoubtedly offer the best way forward in that respect for the railways.

The Bill will enable us to deliver all those policies. It is now ready to go to another place. It has been carefully examined and extensively debated in more than 100 hours of consideration in Standing Committee, and I commend it to the House.

10.5 pm

Mr. Prescott

The Bill has absolutely nothing to do with improving facilities for passengers. It has nothing to do with reintroducing pride into the railway system. It certainly has nothing to do with common sense. It has everything to do with the ideological obsession of the Government to change the ownership of British Rail from a publicly owned facility meeting public needs to a privately owned company concerned with private greed.

The Government have made it clear during the 100 hours of discussion, and in our last two days of debate, that they do not see the Bill as having anything to do with competition. The idea that changing ownership will bring about competition and introduce an entrepreneurial climate through a privatised culture has been exploded in all our debates. It has nothing to do with competition. It has only to do with the replacement of a public monopoly with a private monopoly.

Nor has the Bill anything to do with the market deciding fares, taking account of what the market can provide—the principle of the market philosophy—because the Secretary of State made it clear today that all fares will be controlled by a regulator. Clearly, the market philosophy cannot apply in those circumstances.

The changes that have taken place—there have been many—have come about because the Government have realised that the Bill is impractical in the running of a railway system. So much is that the case that one of the first and major changes to be made by the Secretary of State was to ensure that, up to December 1996, the powers of the regulator and the franchise operators and directors shall be subjected to the right hon. Gentleman's control.

In other words, the right hon. Gentleman is imposing political control over and above the bodies that he is setting up to see that competitive forces play a part in the railways. They will not play such a part and he knows it. Indeed, if the regulator took action to defend his position in relation to his powers in the Bill, the Secretary of State could overrule him. So the right hon. Gentleman has taken out a form of insurance. I assume that that will not be the present Secretary of State, who will be in his current job for only a short time longer. If he moves to the Treasury and does the job as well there as he has done at the Department of Transport, heaven help us. The mess will continue.

I have not witnessed in my 20 years in the House a Bill that has been so unanimously opposed by so many bodies, which have made their views known in many articles. Passenger boards and consumer groups have made clear their unhappiness with the Bill. Potential bidders for the operation, freight and passenger services, have moved away from offering their services and have said that it is not a good Bill from their point of view.

The employees have shown that the conditions that will apply to them and the redundancies that will affect them are unacceptable. Although the right hon. Gentleman has spoken of improved pensions, many of my hon. Friends and others believe that it is still one of the main intentions of the Bill to secure the possibility of pinching the £4 billion of assets remaining in the pension funds.

Consumer bodies have sent copies of their views to hon. Members in all parts of the House explaining the ways in which they are not happy with the Bill. Members of the Select Committee on Transport, representative of both sides, under the distinguished chairmanship of the late Mr. Robert Adley, expressed their view that the Bill will not achieve its declared aim of producing a better railway system.

The final absurdity must be hearing the Secretary of State confirm his ideological prejudice which will not allow him to permit British Rail to bid for franchises, even though it has the expertise to do so. He accepts that British Rail will still be the operator if private operators do not take up the services—good old BR will have to step in and do that. But, unlike the nationally owned Swedish system, BR will not be able to bid for franchise operations.

It is absurd to agree to the French rail system bidding for the franchise operations here, but that is what the Secretary of State has done. It is a publicly owned body with all the characteristics that the right hon. Gentleman dislikes. This is quite unacceptable and I should have expected the Secretary of State to think so, too.

I have no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman was happy about the French buying into our water and power systems; now the same will happen to the railways. Why is he so prejudiced against British operations and British ownership? The only possible advantage is that Britain might now obtain the French TGV—it is a far better train than the ones that we have, because BR has been starved of the funds necessary to maintain an adequate system.

This Bill and its effects were best summed up by Sir Peter Parker, the former chairman of British Rail, in The Guardian. Having read the Bill and our debates, he said, describing the kind of railway system that we are now to inherit: Potential operators will not 'own'the service but have a short-term franchise. Their timetable will be specified by the franchise director, track charges and train paths will be determined by Railtrack; their trains will be owned by a leasing company while fares will be controlled. The driver, signalman and platelayer will work for separate companies. I used to talk of the age of the train, but we are moving into the age of the origami railway. We are talking about running a rail system in bits and pieces. It cannot produce the integrated service which will be essential for the 21st century. Such a service is also essential to reduce congestion and minimise environmental damage.

The one saving grace of this major change and splitting up of assets is that it will be easier for us to return the railway system to a publicly owned, publicly accountable system. Polls have shown that 71 per cent. of the public would prefer that to the ideas of the Secretary of State. We shall return the railways system to that state and I tell all potential bidders to bear that possibility in mind when they bid for their short-term franchises.

10.12 pm
Mr. Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden)

I suppose that there are two main reasons why the Government have found it difficult to achieve unanimity on this issue. First, although it is complicated and detailed, this is an enabling Bill, and many issues remain to be resolved outside the framework of the legislation.

Secondly, moving into a new era for the railways, we have to ask ourselves a great many questions about how the future will turn out. People seek guarantees; they want to know whether things will stay the same as they have known them. It is difficult to answer such questions.

Inevitably, the Select Committee report was sceptical about whether the new system will work. Not everyone will be satisfied until it has been seen to work. The test ultimately is whether the system will fit together more coherently than the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) is prepared to admit.

One of the great arguments has been about whether the relationship between the franchisees and Railtrack is the right one. That is still to be determined by the contractual arrangements and the exact terms of the franchises. It remains to be seen whether many people will want to run the railways. I believe, on the evidence, that they will. That will be the test; if no one comes forward, the Government will have been shown to be wrong and British Rail will still exist. But I believe it likely that bidders will present themselves and offer us a better prospect for the railways.

I believe that the competition that the Government want will be secured by the obtaining of franchises rather than by on-rail competition. I have learnt from the Select Committee investigation that on-rail competition offers few opportunities. I think that the Government would do better to banish the idea that there will be much on-rail competition in the new era, thus putting in place the very best franchise arrangements—arrangements that will instil the greatest confidence in the continued successful operation of the railways.

Much will depend on the extent of investment in the railways. The Government have been frank: they have made it clear that they recognise the need for the public sector to provide investment for major capital infrastructure. That is indeed important. The question is, to what extent will the new arrangements enable extra cash to be advanced? I believe that there is room for manoeuvre, and that the railways will receive more money and become more efficient.

The Opposition have accused us of dogmatism. I hope that many Conservatives believe in private enterprise: I hope that they believe that private management produces better ideas, leading to more efficient running of the railways. I also hope that these proposals will show that belief to be true, as other Government proposals have done.

10.15 pm
Mr. Cryer

The Secretary of State described the Bill as a measure whose aim was to achieve a better use of British Rail. That is ironic: if there is one measure designed to undermine British Rail and, in so doing, undermine a national network of passenger services, it is this appalling legislation, which is a recipe for bureaucracy. There will be a franchising director, a regulator and hundreds of people engaged in producing the thousands of contracts which even the Department of Transport acknowledges will be necessary to implement the Bill. Energy will be devoted not to the production of a better railway system, but to the production of a crazy system of franchising and contracting. When companies go into liquidation, passengers will know what has happened, because the trains will cease to run: that, at least, can be guaranteed.

A national network, built up over the years by a dedicated work force, is being eroded. InterCity will be broken up into franchises. The Bill is a kick in the teeth for the thousands of men and women who have striven to provide a decent public service, despite Government cuts and the deep, inbuilt prejudices of Ministers—including those in the Cabinet—against publicly owned services.

The Secretary of State talked of a sense of local or regional identity. The passenger transport authorities, working with British Rail, are already dealing with that. In west Yorkshire, the PTA—which has some sort of democratic accountability—already provides an excellent supplement to services and an excellent sense of local identity. The only difficulties experienced there result from the Government's hamfisted approach.

The Secretary of State talked of freight haemorrhaging away from British Rail and pouring on to the roads. It is hardly surprising that that should be happening, with the present Secretary of State and the present Minister of State in charge of road transport. The Bill will increase the flow of traffic away from rail and on to the road, at the very time when most sensible people recognise that the transport of both people and freight should be moving in the opposite direction.

One clear message emerges from the Bill: everyone who votes for it will be voting to sabotage our national railway network.

10.19 pm
Mr. Rathbone

The House, those listening to the debate at this late hour and those who will read about it tomorrow will be struck by the disgraceful, backward-looking, depressing speeches that we have just heard on Third Reading from Opposition Members. It is tragic that after all the debate that has taken place and all the actions of the Government, particularly their decisions and promises over the last two days, the Opposition cannot even pay lip service to what my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my hon. Friend the Minister have done.

I put on record the thanks of my hon. Friends to the Secretary of State and to the Minister for their hours of listening, their positive reactions and their guarantees so that the Bill goes from this House to the other place in a much better state than at the beginning of the debate yesterday.

I wish to raise three minor points. First, may I ask for reassurance from my right hon. Friend that where it is appropriate vertical integration of rolling stock and infrastructure will be allowed under the franchise system? Secondly, can he please give us some indication of the Government's attitude towards the future funding of British Rail, since British Rail itself will remain responsible for quite a large proportion—[Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. The House must come to order and listen to the hon. Gentleman who has the floor. Conversation may take place, but quietly, so that the hon. Gentleman may be heard. That includes hon. Ladies.

Mr. Rathbone

Opposition Members do not wish to hear. They did not want to listen to any of the debate over the last two days, so their behaviour now is not reprehensible.

I was asking for reassurance on the Government's intentions as to finance being available for British Rail in the interim until all the franchises have been let because a considerable amount of the rail network will remain the responsibility of British Rail in the meantime.

Thirdly, in deference to our late colleague, Robert Adley, I ask once again for reassurance from the Secretary of State or the Minister that British Rail's heritage, particularly the museum in York, will be looked after as part of the new responsibilities of the Heritage Department.

With those three points, I commend the Bill to the House and to the country.

10.22 pm
Mr. Peter Bottomley

The real issue is how the railways can be competitive with the roads. I think that the House understands that that will be determined by the level of capital investment available to the railways this year, next year and the year after. With the legislation there is little prospect of the private sector bringing in substantial extra funds for three years. I hope that the Government will continue to be flexible in their approach. We have seen in the report of the Select Committee the drop in capital investment over the past two or three years. That needs to be put right fast. The same flexibility as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my hon. Friend the Minister have shown during the passage of the Bill needs to be applied by the Treasury so that the Government can achieve the real aim of a lower subsidy and higher capital investment.

I echo what my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Mr. Rathbone) said about Robert Adley. When the Secretary of State said that the Government agreed with four fifths of the report of the Select Committee, that was a tribute to Robert Adley for drawing together the range of opinion within the Select Committee.

The House expects to see further improvements to the Bill in another place, including the incorporation of some of the commitments given to my hon. Friends who have properly raised important issues. Hon. Members who are keen to get the Third Reading over so that they can drive home should realise that the Bill is dedicated to those who use the railways.

10.24 pm
Mr. Wilson

I am sure that, even at this late hour, we have all enjoyed the hustings for the chairmanship of the Select Committee on Transport. The legislation with which the Bill is most commonly compared is the Act that introduced the poll tax. There are two reasons for that: first, the intellectual absurdity of the whole exercise, which no serious commentator is prepared to support; secondly, the particularly pertinent fact, of which I give Conservative Members notice, that the legislation will not be the end of the process after which they can keep their heads down and hope that nobody will notice who was responsible for it. We are at the start of a debate that will go on in the country until the general election, as the effects of the legislation become known. That is the reality and that is the similarity. The more that is known of the legislation, the more it will be opposed.

From this day, and especially from the day on which the Bill becomes law—if it does become law—there will be one piece of good news for British Rail. BR will cease to be the whipping-boy for everything that happens on the railways, as it will no longer be responsible. The people who will be responsible for every cut, every fare increase, every breakdown and every loss of service are those who are putting this reckless legislation in place. Every community that depends on the railways understands that.

Notwithstanding the retreats in response to views expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House, what we have heard today and what we heard in Committee will guarantee a regime of higher fares, fewer Services, an intrinsically less safe railway and massive job losses. All this will have been brought about by a piece of legislation that the public have not asked for and already deeply oppose.

The battle to save our railways will continue. The people who will be held responsible for their fate are Conservative Members, who are putting the Whip before the railway communities.

10.26 pm
Mr. Freeman

This Bill will certainly improve the quality and quantity of railway services. By the time of the next election, we shall be happy to stand on our record of improvement. The attitude of the hon. Members for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) and for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) throughout the proceedings has been entirely negative. We are happy to stand on our record and I commend the Bill to the House.

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

The House divided: Ayes 307, Noes 292.

Division No. 283] [10.27 pm
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)
Aitken, Jonathan Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)
Alexander, Richard Baldry, Tony
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Banks, Matthew (Southport)
Amess, David Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Ancram, Michael Bates, Michael
Arbuthnot, James Batiste, Spencer
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Bellingham, Henry
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Bendall, Vivian
Ashby, David Beresford, Sir Paul
Aspinwall, Jack Biffen, Rt Hon John
Atkins, Robert Blackburn, Dr John G.
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Body, Sir Richard
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Booth, Hartley
Boswell, Tim Garnier, Edward
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Gill, Christopher
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Gillan, Cheryl
Bowden, Andrew Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Bowis, John Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Brandreth, Gyles Gorst, John
Brazier, Julian Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)
Bright, Graham Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Grylls, Sir Michael
Budgen, Nicholas Hague, William
Burns, Simon Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)
Burt, Alistair Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Butcher, John Hampson, Dr Keith
Butler, Peter Hanley, Jeremy
Butterfill, John Hannam, Sir John
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Hargreaves, Andrew
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Harris, David
Carrington, Matthew Haselhurst, Alan
Carttiss, Michael Hawkins, Nick
Cash, William Hawksley, Warren
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Heald, Oliver
Chapman, Sydney Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Churchill, Mr Heathcoat-Amory, David
Clappison, James Hendry, Charles
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Coe, Sebastian Horam, John
Congdon, David Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Conway, Derek Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Cormack, Patrick Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Couchman, James Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Cran, James Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Hunter, Andrew
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Jack, Michael
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Deva, Nirj Joseph Jenkin, Bernard
Devlin, Tim Jessel, Toby
Dickens, Geoffrey Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dicks, Terry Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dorrell, Stephen Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Dover, Den Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Duncan, Alan Key, Robert
Duncan-Smith, Iain Kilfedder, Sir James
Dunn, Bob King, Rt Hon Tom
Durant, Sir Anthony Kirkhope, Timothy
Eggar, Tim Knapman, Roger
Elletson, Harold Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Knox, David
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Evennett, David Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Faber, David Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Fabricant, Michael Legg, Barry
Fenner, Dame Peggy Leigh, Edward
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lennox-Boyd, Mark
Fishburn, Dudley Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Forman, Nigel Lidington, David
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Forth, Eric Luff, Peter
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Maclean, David
Freeman, Roger McLoughlin, Patrick
French, Douglas McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Fry, Peter Madel, David
Gale, Roger Maitland, Lady Olga
Gallie, Phil Major, Rt Hon John
Gardiner, Sir George Malone, Gerald
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan Mans, Keith
Marland, Paul Shersby, Michael
Marlow, Tony Skeet, Sir Trevor
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Soames, Nicholas
Mates, Michael Speed, Sir Keith
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Spencer, Sir Derek
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Mellor, Rt Hon David Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Merchant, Piers Spink, Dr Robert
Milligan, Stephen Spring, Richard
Mills, Iain Sproat, Iain
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW) Steen, Anthony
Moate, Sir Roger Stephen, Michael
Monro, Sir Hector Stern, Michael
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Stewart, Allan
Moss, Malcolm Streeter, Gary
Needham, Richard Sumberg, David
Nelson, Anthony Sweeney, Walter
Neubert, Sir Michael Sykes, John
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Tapsell, Sir Peter
Nicholls, Patrick Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Norris, Steve Temple-Morris, Peter
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Thomason, Roy
Oppenheim, Phillip Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Ottaway, Richard Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Page, Richard Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Paice, James Thurnham, Peter
Patnick, Irvine Townend, John (Bridlington)
Patten, Rt Hon John Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Tracey, Richard
Pawsey, James Tredinnick, David
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Trend, Michael
Pickles, Eric Trotter, Neville
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Twinn, Dr Ian
Porter, David (Waveney) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Powell, William (Corby) Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Rathbone, Tim Waller, Gary
Redwood, John Ward, John
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Richards, Rod Waterson, Nigel
Riddick, Graham Watts, John
Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm Wells, Bowen
Robathan, Andrew Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Whitney, Ray
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Whittingdale, John
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Widdecombe, Ann
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Wilkinson, John
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent) Willetts, David
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Woltson, Mark
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Wood, Timothy
Sackville, Tom Yeo, Tim
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim Young, Sir George (Acton)
Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Shaw, David (Dover) Tellers for the Ayes:
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Mr. David Lightbown and Mr. Andrew Mai-Kay.
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Abbott, Ms Diane Bayley, Hugh
Adams, Mrs Irene Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Ainger, Nick Beggs, Roy
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Beith, Rt Hon A. J.
Allen, Graham Bell, Stuart
Alton, David Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Bennett, Andrew F.
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Benton, Joe
Armstrong, Hilary Bermingham, Gerald
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Berry, Dr. Roger
Ashton, Joe Betts, Clive
Austin-Walker, John Blair, Tony
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Boateng, Paul
Barnes, Harry Boyce, Jimmy
Barron, Kevin Boyes, Roland
Battle, John Bradley, Keith
Bray, Dr Jeremy Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Grocott, Bruce
Burden, Richard Gunnell, John
Byers, Stephen Hain, Peter
Caborn, Richard Hall, Mike
Callaghan, Jim Hanson, David
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Hardy, Peter
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Harman, Ms Harriet
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Harvey, Nick
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Canavan, Dennis Henderson, Doug
Cann, Jamie Heppell, John
Chisholm, Malcolm Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Clapham, Michael Hinchliffe, David
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hoey, Kate
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hood, Jimmy
Clelland, David Hoon, Geoffrey
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Coffey, Ann Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Cohen, Harry Hoyle, Doug
Connarty, Michael Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Corbett, Robin Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Corbyn, Jeremy Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Cousins, Jim Hutton, John
Cox, Tom Illsley, Eric
Cryer, Bob Ingram, Adam
Cummings, John Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Jamieson, David
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John Janner, Greville
Dafis, Cynog Johnston, Sir Russell
Dalyell, Tarn Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Darling, Alistair Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Davidson, Ian Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Jowell, Tessa
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Keen, Alan
Denham, John Kennedy, Charles (Ross.C&S)
Dewar, Donald Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)
Dixon, Don Khabra, Piara S.
Dobson, Frank Kilfoyle, Peter
Donohoe, Brian H. Kirkwood, Archy
Dowd, Jim Leighton, Ron
Dunnachie, Jimmy Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Lewis, Terry
Eagle, Ms Angela Litherland, Robert
Eastham, Ken Livingstone, Ken
Enright, Derek Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Etherington, Bill Llwyd, Elfyn
Evans, John (St Helens N) Loyden, Eddie
Ewing, Mrs Margaret Lynne, Ms Liz
Fatchett, Derek McAllion, John
Faulds, Andrew McAvoy, Thomas
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) McCartney, Ian
Fisher, Mark Macdonald, Calum
Flynn, Paul McFall, John
Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S) Mackinlay, Andrew
Foster, Rt Hon Derek McLeish, Henry
Foster, Don (Bath) Maclennan, Robert
Foulkes, George McMaster, Gordon
Fraser, John McNamara, Kevin
Fyfe, Maria Madden, Max
Galbraith, Sam Maginnis, Ken
Galloway, George Mahon, Alice
Gapes, Mike Mallon, Seamus
Garrett, John Mandelson, Peter
George, Bruce Marek, Dr John
Gerrard, Neil Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Godman, Dr Norman A. Martlew, Eric
Godsiff, Roger Maxton, John
Golding, Mrs Llin Meacher, Michael
Gordon, Mildred Meale, Alan
Gould, Bryan Michael, Alun
Graham, Thomas Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Raynstord, Nick
Milburn. Alan Redmond, Martin
Miller, Andrew Reid, Dr John
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Rendel, David
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Richardson, Jo
Moonie, Dr Lewis Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Morgan, Rhodri Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)
Morley, Elliot Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe) Roche, Mrs. Barbara
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Rogers, Allan
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Rooker, Jeff
Mowlam, Marjorie Rooney, Terry
Mudie, George Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Murphy, Paul Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Rowlands, Ted
O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire) Ruddock, Joan
O'Brien, William (Normanton) Salmond, Alex
O'Hara, Edward Sedgemore, Brian
Olner, William Sheerman, Barry
O'Neill, Martin Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Parry, Robert Short, Clare
Patchett, Terry Simpson, Alan
Pendry, Tom Skinner, Dennis
Pickthall, Colin Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Pike, Peter L. Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Pope, Greg Smith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E) Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Snape, Peter
Prescott, John Soley, Clive
Primarolo, Dawn Spearing, Nigel
Purchase, Ken Spellar, John
Quin, Ms Joyce Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Radice, Giles Steinberg, Gerry
Randall, Stuart Stevenson, George
Stott, Roger Watson, Mike
Strang, Dr. Gavin Wicks, Malcolm
Straw, Jack Wigley, Dafydd
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury) Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Taylor, Rt Hon John D. (Strgfd) Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro) Wilson, Brian
Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck) Winnick, David
Tipping, Paddy Wise, Audrey
Trimble, David Worthington, Tony
Tyler, Paul Wray, Jimmy
Vaz, Keith Wright, Dr Tony
Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold Young, David (Bolton SE)
Wallace, James
Walley, Joan Tellers for the Noes:
Wardell, Gareth (Gower) Mr. Jon Owen Jones and Mr. Dennis Turner.
Wareing, Robert N

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

Mr. George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Has Madam Speaker received a request for a statement from the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food or the Secretary of State for Scotland, both of whom are represented here tonight, following the blockade of the fisheries protection vessel Morven in Girvan harbour by Girvan fishermen who are understandably frustrated by the effect of the tie-up scheme and want the Government to reconsider it urgently? Can we have a statement tomorrow, if not tonight, on this very important matter?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Morris)

I can report that Madam Speaker has received no such request.

Forward to