HC Deb 01 February 1994 vol 236 cc743-65 3.37 pm
Mr. Michael J. Martin (Glasgow, Springburn)

It is with the greatest regret that I have to inform the House that at its meeting this morning, the First Scottish Standing Committee, to which the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill was referred, directed me to report Mr. Alex Salrnond, the Member for Banff and Buchan, to the House because the hon. Member, not being a member of the Committee, was present in that part of the Committee Room reserved for members of the Committee, and, having been requested to do so, he declined to withdraw. As the House will know, neither a Standing Committee nor its Chairman has power to discipline Members and it is for the House to decide what action, if any, it wishes to take.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Chairman of the First Scottish Standing Committee in respect of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill shall have power to order any Member who is not a member of the Committee to withdraw immediately from the Committee Room; and the Serjeant at Arms shall act on such orders as he may receive from the Chairman in pursuance of this order.—[Mr. Newton.]

Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Can you confirm that the motion is debatable? If so, may I give notice that I would like to debate it?

Madam Speaker

The motion is now open for debate. The hon. Gentleman is perfectly free to speak. I call the hon. Gentleman.

3.38 pm
Mr. Salmond

The point at issue is whether the Chairman of the Committee should be given power to exclude hon. Members from the Committee. My argument is that we should not give the Chairman that power. There is a substantial case for saying that the First Scottish Standing Committee, which is considering the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill, is improperly constituted under the Standing Orders of the House. Under Standing Order No. 86(2), the Committee of Selection of the House of Commons is charged to do two things with regard to the choice of hon. Members to serve on Standing Committees. It is charged with looking at the composition of the House as a whole, and the qualifications of the hon. Members chosen.

My submission is that the qualifications of members of that Committee are substantially in question. I refer to the qualifications of the hon. Members for Blackpool, North (Mr. Elletson), for Hexham (Mr. Atkinson), for Leeds, North-East (Mr. Kirkhope), for Stroud (Mr. Knapman) and for Swindon (Mr. Coombs). The Committee has been certified by you, Madam Speaker, as being exclusively concerned with Scottish issues. How on earth can Conservative Members representing English constituencies be considered to be "qualified" to serve on the Committee when they have no constituency interest in the proceedings of the legislation? That is an important point of principle for myself and for my hon. Friends, who were willing to serve on the Committee but were not chosen.

Mr. Michael Connarty (Falkirk, East)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Salmond

If the hon. Gentleman will contain himself, I shall give way to him in a few moments.

The House might like to consider that the Committee of Selection had available to it other Conservative Members with Scottish constituencies. They were the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth)—the Minister of State, Department of Employment—the right hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind)—the Secretary of State for Defence—and even the Secretary of State for Scotland. I understand that the hon. and learned Member for Perth and Kinross (Sir N. Fairbairn) was perfectly prepared to serve but was not chosen, apparently because the Government Whips believed that he would have been an unreliable ally on the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill.

In those circumstances, I cannot consider that it would be appropriate to give the Chairman powers over a Committee that may have been improperly constituted.

Mr. Connarty

How many Standing Committees has the hon. Gentleman volunteered to serve on or served on in the House since he came here?

Mr. Salmond

The previous occasion when there was a major Scottish Committee was in 1989. It was the Committee on Scottish self-governing schools. The hon. Gentleman may recall that again I volunteered to serve on that Committee and was excluded. I hope that the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues will appreciate the important principle that, if a Committee is certified by Madam Speaker as being exclusive to Scotland, it is important that Scottish Members have first option to serve on such a Committee.

I see Welsh Members in the Chamber.

Mr. Dafydd Wigley (Caernarfon)

On the issue of legislation dealing exclusively with Welsh matters, is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is a Standing Order that requires every hon. Member representing a Welsh constituency to serve on the Committee? That Standing Order has to be followed unless there is an express resolution to the contrary. When the Standing Order was put on one side for the Welsh Language Bill 1993, that action was fought vociferously by all Opposition Members. Should not the rule applying to legislation on Welsh matters also apply to Scottish legislation?

Mr. Salmond

I agree with that argument and with the Standing Order. The hon. Gentleman and I wish that other Opposition parties would view the matters relating to Scotland with the same concern as they view matters relating to Wales.

There are two effective and important precedents for such a resolution being brought to the House. The first was in 1989 during the passage of Scottish schools legislation. It was argued that the Chairman of the Committee should have powers to proceed. Two arguments were advanced in favour of that motion: first, that it would be proper for the Committee to be allowed to debate, for the debate to proceed and for each amendment to be judged on its merits; secondly, that people in Scotland had the right and ability not to use the schools opt-out legislation if they so chose. Neither of those arguments stands in the case before us.

If we consider the precedent set during the self-governing schools legislation, in Committee no substantive amendment was accepted by the Government, although debate was allowed to proceed. I suspect that, if debate is allowed to proceed in the Committee on the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill, a similar situation will arise. There would be no protection for people in Scotland if the House give the Government their way on the Committee.

Mr. Andrew Rowe (Mid-Kent)

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, if the House were to accept the principle that he has adumbrated, it would inevitably mean that any Bill dealing with England alone should not have on its Standing Committee a single Scottish or Welsh Member?

Mr. Salmond

I am prepared to accept that principle. The hon. Member will note that my hon. Friends do not vote on specifically English legislation, the most recent example of which was the Bill for Sunday shops opening. I thought that it was not appropriate for Scottish Members to decide for English Members whether shops in England should open on Sundays. I wish that the hon. Gentleman would extend the same courtesy to us in Scotland. In terms of the principle—

Several hon. Members


Mr. Salmond

In a few moments.

As for the principle that he raised, the hon. Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) may like to remember that in connection with the White Paper, "Taking Stock" the Tory Government argued that many more measures should be debated in the Scottish Grand Committee in Scotland by Scottish Members. How on earth can that principle be upheld if English Tories are required to gerrymander Scottish local government on a Scottish Standing Committee?

Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North)

>: In view of the Scottish National party's declared anti-racist stand, I am sure that the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) does not seek to drive irrational wedges between Scottish and English Members in the Chamber. Would he therefore care to pay tribute to the Opposition Members representing English constituencies who last night argued the case on behalf of important sections of the Scottish community with regard to the new duty on air passengers? In that lengthy debate no representative of the Scottish National party sought to speak, nor was even present from beginning to end of it. Some good may conceivably come from that debate for Scottish communities, so will the hon. Gentleman please accept that there are hon. Members representing non-Scottish constituencies who have a deep and genuine interest in Scottish affairs? Whether that extends to Conservative Members, especially on the Bill in question, is another matter, but let us not divide the House or the country on racist lines. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]

Mr. Salmond

The hon. Gentleman is being heartily cheered by the Tories. I should have hoped that on this occasion even the hon. Gentleman would agree that it is not right and proper for English Conservative Members to be parachuted on to the Committee on the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill. I remember that exact point being made—presumably it was not racist then—by the leader of the Labour party in the first debate in the new Session of Parliament. He said that it would be an outrage if English Conservative Members were put on the Committee on the Bills on local government in Wales or Scotland. If that was an outrage last October, it is still an outrage now. I would have hoped for some support from the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson), but perhaps I should have known better.

The first precedent dates from 1972, on the Local Government (Scotland Bill). That was the first time that a similar resolution was brought before the House, and it provides an important precedent. The action was taken by several hon. Members, three Liberals and three Scottish Labour Members—the late Jo Grimond, the late John Mackintosh, the late John Robertson, the late Tom Pendry and two Members who are still with us, the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (Sir R. Johnston) and the right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Sir D. Steel). In 1972 those people thought it appropriate, on a Bill far less contentious than the Bill now before the Committee, to challenge the right of the Committee Chairman to exclude them from the Committee. There were then no English Conservative Members on the Committee, but it was still considered appropriate for those Liberal and Labour Members to challenge in what they thought was the most effective way. I wish that Labour and Liberal Members would join us today in making a similar objection.

Mr. Barry Porter (Wirral, South)

>: On a point of order, Madam Speaker. The hon. Gentleman appears to be making a case why he should be on the Committee. That case may or may not have virtue, but the motion before the House relates to whether a Chairman has the right to tell a non-member of the Committee to go away. The hon. Gentleman is not arguing that point at all. May we return to where we are supposed to be?

Madam Speaker

I am listening carefully to the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond), who is a very experienced Member of the House. I know that he understands what the motion is about, and I am sure he will ensure that his speech relates to it.

Mr. Salmond

Of course you, Madam Speaker, with your experience, will have noticed that I am talking about the precedents, when hon. Members came before similar Committees and similar resolutions were moved. That must be relevant to the context of the debate. In determining whether the Chairman should have powers—

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I am slightly concerned, because I understood the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) to describe the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Pendry) as the late Member. Was I right to be surprised, or has something happened to him?

Mr. Salmond

I meant to refer to a late Labour Member whose constituency was Edinburgh, Central, I believe—[HON. MEMBERS: Tom Oswald."] Tom Oswald. I accept that correction, but it is the only correction that I intend to accept from Conservative Members.

In determining whether the Chairman should have powers, we must determine whether the Bill should proceed in the light of the arguments put forward. I have no doubt that if the motion is successful, it will enable progress to be made on the Bill. I also have no doubt that progress on this Bill will be against the interests of the Scottish people and my constituents in Banff and Buchan. In Banff and Buchan, 92 per cent. of the people are opposed to the legislation. I cannot conceive of a situation where the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Knapman)—he is keen on water privatisation—can have more knowledge than me about the views of my constituents. I would question whether the hon. Gentleman knows the difference between Peterhead and Portsoy.

Surely, when the Standing Orders of the House provide for exclusively Scottish legislation, hon. Members on both sides of the House should have the charity and understanding to allow exclusively Scottish matters to be debated exclusively by Scottish Members. We have a precedent in terms of the public Bill on legislation for Wales. It would be better if that precedent were followed in Scotland.

Some hon. Members will argue that the Chairman should have powers, otherwise the Government may move a guillotine. After yesterday's experience of five and a half hours' debate and the Government moving towards a guillotine, I thought that all hon. Members would realise that when the Government wish to move a guillotine, they will do so. The most effective way for Scottish Members and, indeed, Opposition Members to register their protest is to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Standing Orders to deny the Chairman of the Committee powers which are otherwise restricted to Madam Speaker to order hon. Members off a Committee.

The key matter is the rights of Scottish Members as well as those of the Committee Chairman. If Scottish Members must accept the position where we are excluded from a Scottish Standing Committee so that five English Tory Members can be parachuted on it, not because of any qualifications that they may have in terms of the Standing Orders but as voting and Lobby fodder for the Tory Whips, surely we deny our own right as hon. Members to make our case against the gerrymandering of Scottish local government and against the pursuit of putting Scottish water into the private sector.

There is a specific Scottish interest which is recognised in the Standing Orders of the House. In arguing against this motion, I am doing no more than arguing that our Standing Orders should be respected with regard to Scottish legislation. It is possible for hon. Members who are opposed to the Bill to disagree on the specific tactics and to believe that the Chairman of the Committee should have powers. However, if it is not the place of Scottish Members to object to such an obvious injustice, what is our place in the House? What alternative do we have, knowing the make-up of the Committee?

Mr. Eric Clarke (Midlothian)

Did the hon. Gentleman or anyone else in his party ask to be a member of the Committee debating the privatisation of the coal industry? If not, why not? The Scottish coal industry should be looked after by the people of Scotland. It is just as important as anything else.

Mr. Salmond

If the hon. Gentleman looks, he will see that the Liberal Democrats took the minority-party place on that Committee. Given that my hon. Friends and I put our names forward for the Scottish Standing Committee which we are discussing at present, I ask the hon. Gentleman to consider that it would be difficult for us simultaneously to nominate ourselves for another Committee.

Now that the hon. Gentleman has had a chance to consider the precedents and the objections that were raised by Labour Members in 1972, I thought that he would join us in arguing against the principle and practice of parachuting English Tory Members on the Committee. The hon. Gentleman has a substantial interest in the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill. Midlothian is one of the key issues before the Committee. How on earth can the hon. Gentleman accept the Midlothian boundaries being determined not by him, but by hon. Members representing Blackpool, Stroud and Leeds? The complexion of the Committee looks like the English football league, as opposed to a Scottish local government Committee.

The question is whether the Committee Chairman should have powers, and I say that he should not. Otherwise, Scottish hon. Members will find that the Bill and the Committee will be gerrymandered from under their feet. There is no other way to organise opposition to the Committee.

The hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) is in his place. He has argued, I take it in all sincerity, that it is possible to persuade English Conservative hon. Members to rebel and to sacrifice their political careers to save Scottish local democracy. Is it likely that those five English Conservative Members who were chosen by the Whips will go on the Committee and rebel to save Scottish local government? I think that is highly implausible.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

On the question of parachuting hon. Members, could it be clarified whether a parachute was applied for by the hon. and learned Member for Perth and Kinross (Sir N. Fairbairn)? When the name of the hon. and learned Gentleman was mentioned and it was suggested that the Minister did not want him to be a member of the Committee, there was a great shaking of the head from the Minister. Will the Minister now say what the position of the hon. and learned Gentleman was, because the Minister violently shook his head when the matter was raised? Could it be clarified whether the hon. and learned Gentleman wanted to be a Committee member or not?

Mr. Salmond


Madam Speaker

Order. The House is moving quite a long way from what is a narrow motion. Will the hon. Gentleman who now has the Floor relate his speech more closely to the motion which is before the House and on which the House must make a decision?

Mr. Salmond

The question raised by the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) is pertinent, and perhaps he will have a chance to ask it at a later stage.

The motion, as you rightly say, Madam Speaker, concerns the question whether the Committee Chairman should have powers. My argument is that he should not.

Sir Fergus Montgomery (Altrincham and Sale)

As the Chairman of the Committee of Selection, perhaps I may say something? I do not think that anybody on the Committee of Selection could forget the differences and the arguments which we had about the legislation. It was debatable whether the Government should have a majority of two or one, and in the end the Government have a majority of one.

One of the hon. Gentleman's party colleagues wrote to me to suggest that all three Scottish National party Members should be on the Committee. I am afraid that I have not come across any Standing Committee that has the whole of one party's parliamentary representation serving on it.

The ratio for Committees is that the minority parties should have two Committee members. The hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood), the spokesman for the minority parties, took that point on board and there is one member from the Liberal Democrat party and one from the SNP. As a reflection of those parties' numbers in the House, I would have thought that that was fair.

The hon. Gentleman said that he kept out of English matters, but I am afraid that all Scottish hon. Members do not. On a previous occasion on which the vexed question of Sunday trading was discussed, the legislation was defeated by the votes of Scottish hon. Members who denied my constituents their rights.

Mr. Salmond

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is not making that point against me, as I did not vote on that legislation.

The hon. Gentleman has referred to Standing Order 86(2), which gives the Committee its guidance from the House. He will note that the first requirement placed on the Committee concerns not its composition, but the "qualifications" of Members. That is the first requirement which the House makes in the Standing Order.

My point is a simple one, but the hon. Gentleman did not answer it in his intervention: how on earth can English Conservatives hon. Members be qualified when there are even Scottish Conservatives whom he has not selected for the Committee?

Sir Fergus Montgomery

The Standing Orders say specifically that there must be at least 16 Committee members who represent Scottish constituencies, and that has happened with the Bill with which we are concerned.

Mr. Salmond

The hon. Gentleman again fails to answer my question. What are the qualifications under the Standing Orders for the five English Conservative hon. Members? Incidentally, those five did not even turn up for the Second Reading debate. It is normally a prior requirement of the Committee of Selection that hon. Members should show an interest in the legislation.

Finally, Madam Speaker—

Dr. Norman A. Godman (Greenock and Port Glasgow)

One of the hon. Gentleman's fears seems to be the threat of the guillotine hanging over the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill. May I give him some guidance? At a meeting in Edinburgh about two months ago, the parliamentary—

Madam Speaker

Order. I do not like to interrupt the hon. Member, but we are moving a long way from the subject with talk of whether there is to be a guillotine or whether there is not. The motion is narrow and concerns whether the Chairman should have the power to order an hon. Member who is not a member of the Committee to withdraw from the Committee Room. It is as narrow as that.

Mr. Salmond

I hope that you will accept, Madam Speaker, that, although I may have allowed—

Dr. Godman


Mr. Salmond

Is it a point of order?

Madam Speaker

Or a point of frustration.

Dr. Godman

I am never frustrated with you, Madam Speaker, or with your pulling me into line. I was simply attempting to illustrate something for the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond). I hope that I have your support for doing so.

Madam Speaker

When hon. Members give illustrations, they move a long way from the motion before us. I also have to take into account the business before the House today. I hope that the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan will come to his conclusion, as I believe he said he would.

Mr. Salmond

I hope that you agree, Madam Speaker, that I have been sticking as closely as I can to the substance of the motion.

Madam Speaker

I agree. The hon. Gentleman has been doing so. Other Members have led him astray.

Mr. Salmond

Perhaps by giving way I have allowed myself to be diverted occasionally.

I want to come to the point of the resolution and to say why the Chairman of the Committee should not be given powers. The only effective way in which Scottish Members can protest against the Committee is by doing what I have done. It is not feasible to find another way to protect Scottish local democracy.

In support of that argument, let me cite the anonymous comments of a Labour Member in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper a week past Sunday. In reaction to the hon. Member for Hamilton, who believes that English Conservative Members on the Committee could be converted, that Labour Member said: Everyone knows that that is not going to happen, but he"— the hon. Member for Hamilton— has raised expectations now and it is too late to water them down. It is too late to water them down and it is the duty of Scottish Members to oppose the resolution and to ensure that they are seen not to accept the right of English Conservatives to gerrymander Scottish local government and to begin the privatisation of the Scottish water industry.

4.2 pm

Mr. George Robertson (Hamilton)

I very much regret that we are having to have this debate and to devote valuable time to the antics of the Scottish National party when local government reorganisation and what the Government are doing to the water industry should be debated by the House and the Government's policies thus exposed.

This self-indulgent stunt today by the nationalists is a spectacular own goal for them and a huge bonus for a Government who are in deep and probably terminal trouble. Once again, just as they did last year when they voted with the Tories on the European Committee of the Regions, the Scottish nationalists have come to the Government's aid.

The Government do not need much of an excuse for introducing a guillotine and cutting sensible and reasonable debate in the House on any subject, including the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill—just look at what they are going to do to the Finance Bill this afternoon. At the instigation of the Scottish nationalists, we are having to debate this motion in place of discussions and possibly a vote on value added tax on fuel in the Finance Bill Committee.

Handing the Government, on a plate, the invaluable excuse of a wholly unnecessary delay in the Committee stage today was an act of pure tactical stupidity and political suicide by the Scottish National party. It seems that there is one iron law in Scottish politics—when the Government are in a hole, send for the nationalist firemen to bring them a ladder, and here they come.

I have a sense of déjà vu on this. Last year's Maastricht debate comes back to haunt me. Just before the debate on the Committee of the Regions, I stood in front of the Mace watching three Scottish nationalists wait until the Chamber drained of other Members. They were preparing to enter the Lobby with the Conservatives to defeat a Labour amendment that would have made it obligatory for the Government—

Madam Speaker

Order. That bears no relation whatever to the motion before us. I ask the hon. Gentleman, as I have asked other Back-Bench Members, to debate the motion.

Mr. Robertson

I appreciate your advice, Madam Speaker, and assure you that last year's betrayal of the Scottish people is relevant to the motion.

Madam Speaker

Order. It is my responsibility to determine the relevance of what the hon. Gentleman is saying to the motion before the House.

Mr. Robertson

In relation to the motion, as you rightly and properly direct me, Madam Speaker, Committee Chairmen have the power to exclude Members who are not Committee members. I support the motion and shall ask my hon. Friends to support it and give my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Springburn (Mr. Martin) that power, for the reasons that I am explaining.

Last year the nationalists, who instigated the move this morning and caused this debate, conspired to support the Government on the European Committee of the Regions. They are now conspiring again to get the butchery of Scottish local government through on time.

Mr. Salmond

The hon. Gentleman has just said that he will go through the Conservative Lobby in a few moments. Will he recall when he did exactly the same thing in the early hours of the morning of 22 April, when he arid his Labour Front Bench colleagues saved the Prime Minister's bacon on the referendum clause in the Maastricht Bill

Madam Speaker

Order. These interventions are becoming irrelevancies.

Mr. Robertson

Not only irrelevant, but a complete diversion from a conspiracy which the nationalists conducted with the Government last year to defeat a Labour amendment.

The Bill on which the Committee is deliberating is bad for local government, local democracy and taxpayers in Scotland—

Madam Speaker

Order. I have already called the hon. Gentleman to order. We are concerned not about the Bill but about the fact that the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) sought to sit on a Committee without the right to do so, and about the action of the Chairman of that Committee.

Mr. Robertson

It is important for that Committee to go ahead with its proceedings so that those matters can be considered. To do so requires the Committee Chairman to have those powers. I am expIaining why those powers are necessary and why the arguments deployed by the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) are irrelevant to the case and to the powers requested by the Chairman.

The nature of this bad Bill necessitates my argument that the Committee Chairman should have those powers. It is four Bills in one: on local government; on water quangoisation; on children's hearings; and on tourism reorganisation.

Mr. Phil Gallie (Ayr)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Robertson

If the hon. Gentleman will contain himself, I shall give way in a moment.

Even if the Committee Chairman gets the powers which I hope the House will give him this afternoon, and even if we make brisk and proper progress in scrutinising the Bill, the Government know that there can be no justification for curtailing the Committee stage before May this year at the earliest. They know that it would be irresponsible and outrageous to guillotine the debates on water, children's hearings and the promotion of tourism, which is precisely why Opposition parties got together to maximise opposition against the Government on the Bill.

In giving the Chairman the power that he asks for, bearing in mind the arguments deployed by the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan about why he should be on the Committee, it is important to remember how we have reached this stage. There was an agreement between the parties. The Opposition parties met and, because we were all united against the Bill, it was agreed that there would be an informal degree of co-operation among the Opposition parties in the Standing Committee considering the Bill.

We agreed to meet every Monday; we agreed that we would consider joint amendments and join forces on those parts of the Bill which we all agreed were against the interests of Scotland and its people. We discussed tactics for three weeks. The hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) even congratulated Labour on the Government's self-inflicted delay, which was caused by the principled stand of my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Dixon) on the composition of the Committee.

However, last night the hon. Member for Angus, East did not make it to the joint committee; he did not come along because he was away conspiring with his leader, the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan, about how this year again they could do the Government's dirty work and get out of the political silage pit.

Mr. Andrew Welsh (Angus, East)

If I understood him correctly, the hon. Gentleman said that I was away conspiring with my hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond); but I did not meet my hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan yesterday. That statement is therefore about as accurate as the rest of the hon. Gentleman's speech. Is the hon. Gentleman now saying that such co-operation cannot exist? I have met him on those occasions and he knows that I sent my apologies to the meeting last night. I suggest that he would do better to concentrate his fire power on the Government. [Interruption.] The noise from the hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends suggests that he withdraws all possible co-operation. Perhaps that was his master plan at the beginning.

Mr. Robertson

That is one of the feeblest excuses for not turning up to a meeting which was designed to maximise the discomfort of the Government but ended up with the Government having the huge comfort of a debate this afternoon that will delay the guillotine on the Standing Committee considering the Finance Bill.

Scottish National party Members were not around for the meeting that we had in Committee, nor for our meeting here. Nor were they here for the debate on the imposition of tax on air fares to parts of Scotland where people are crying out about it.

On behalf of his party, the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan says that the disruption this morning was caused because he wants to serve on the Committee. The last time the hon. Gentleman served on a Scottish Standing Committee was on 10 November 1987. It was on the Scottish Development Agency Bill, it lasted for one morning session, and the hon. Gentleman did not raise a point of order about the fact that there was an English majority on that Committee.

The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan says that it is because he wants to delay the Committee stage of the Bill, but the hon. Member for Angus, East did not even know that the motion to report to the House was actually debatable and let it go. He was the only person in the Committee who voted at 10.46 not to adjourn the Committee. Presumably, he wanted to make progress on the Bill and keep it going for even longer.

Mr. Welsh

Will the hon. Member give way?

Mr. Robertson

The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan said that it is not right and proper to have English Members of Parliament parachuted on to the Committee, but the hon. Member for Angus, East serves on the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs which has an inbuilt English Tory majority to make up the numbers.

When the House considered the poll tax Bill, there was no disruption by the then leader of the Scottish National party in Parliament and that point was not raised.

The nationalists say, as does the hon. Gentleman, that this is a brand new tactic, brilliant in its execution, which will not provoke an early guillotine, but it is a carbon copy of the self-indulgent opportunistic stunt that he and his hon. Friends pulled on 14 March 1989 on the Self-Governing Schools Etc. (Scotland) Bill. They lost a day's consideration in Committee and then the Government introduced a guillotine on the Self-Governing Schools Etc. (Scotland) Bill.

They say—not here, but outside the House—that they have more procedural tricks to play which are just as brilliant. Frankly, that is good news for the Government but bad news for Scottish local government and Scottish water.

Mr. Salmond

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Robertson

I am trying to make progress, Madam Speaker, but the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan keeps jumping up and down.

Mr. Salmond

Before the hon. Gentleman votes with the Conservatives, will he tell the House what progress he is making—according to his forecasts—in persuading English Conservatives to vote with him in the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill?

Mr. Robertson

On the night when the hon. Gentleman and his pals voted with the Tory Government, about 26 Tories voted with the Labour party to impose on the Government an obligation to have elected councillors on the Committee of the Regions. I am not making any prophecies as to whether the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Knapman) or others will see the benefits of the arguments in the Committee. That is a matter for the Committee. I make one prediction: as the SNP has not ended its co-operation with the Government, and as it has been helpful in the past, by gosh it is almost bound to be helpful in future.

Mr. Roger Knapman (Stroud)

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree wholeheartedly that this is a Parliament for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which includes Scotland, and therefore that my English colleagues and I have a perfect right to be on the Committee?

Mr. Robertson

The hon. Gentleman was helpful during the Maastricht ratification process. Of course this is the United Kingdom Parliament. He has a right to be on the Committee. Nobody questions the right of English Tory Members who are on the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs, least of all the hon. Member for Angus, East who serves on it with them.

The motion before us is to give the Committee Chairman the power to exclude from its proceedings those who wish to indulge in this morning's stunt, to prevent other people from coming along and giving the Government an excuse or some vestige of respectability for the argument for an early guillotine. The nationalists will say and do anything to excuse their own stupidity. Just as they were rumbled and exposed throughout Scotland last year when they voted with the Tories on Maastricht, they will be exposed again this year. This morning's stunt was counter-productive and designed to get cheap publicity for the Scottish National party, which has always seemed to put its self-indulgence and tactical ineptitude before the real interests of the Scottish people.

The Scottish people want us to delay this bad Bill if we can, to get the verdict on it in the regional elections. They want us to destroy it if possible. That is the principal objective of the Labour party. They want us to change and improve it just in case it goes through on the ludicrously short timetable that the Government have set for it. Kindergarten parliamentary games will simply put advantage in the hands of the Government and we will have nothing to do with them. The nationalists want to divide the Opposition and, it would appear, to make life easy for the Government, as they constantly seem to want and desire. In that case, let them do it alone. But let them be conscious that they will bear the proper contempt of the people of Scotland if they do so. Therefore, I call on my hon. Friends to vote for the motion this afternoon.

4.17 pm
Mr. Bill Walker (Tayside, North)

I believe that the House should support the motion. Everyone knows that, without the powers to remove disruptive Members, the Speaker would not be able to conduct business effectively within the Chamber. That is equally true of the Scottish Standing Committee. If it has those who are determined to cause trouble—we saw evidence of it this morning—the Chairman must have powers so that the Committee can get on with the important business of debating the issues before it. That is the same with the House. We should be getting on with today's business as well.

4.18 pm
Mr. John McAllion (Dundee, East)

I have listened carefully to the words of the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond). He said that he took a stand on the matter of principle that English Members in this Parliament should not be allowed to have any role in legislation that relates exclusively to Scotland. He then completely contradicted his principled stand by appealing to Members representing English constituencies, on both sides of the House, to join him in intervening in matters which relate exclusively to the people of Scotland, by denying the Chairman of the Committee the power to exclude Members who are in breach of Standing Orders. He really cannot have it both ways: he cannot tell English Members to stay away from Scottish debates, and then appeal to them to intervene directly in Scottish business to support the arguments that he tried to advance to the Welsh Committee.

I am prepared to accept the principle that hon. Members should be able to halt the proceedings of the House to defend a principle or to highlight an injustice; indeed, when my hon. Friend the Member for Falkirk, West (Mr. Canavan) did precisely that during debate on the Housing (Scotland) Bill back in 1987, I supported him. There is, however, a limit to the number of times that such action can be repeated: eventually, other hon. Members will become sick of the constant halting of business, and the hon. Member responsible will begin to discredit hiss own principled position.

That is not just my view; it is the view of Scottish National party Members themselves. Let us consider the way in which exclusively Scottish business has been dealt with over the years. The Standing Committee considering what became the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990, for instance, consisted of the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) and four English Members representing English constituencies—and not a word of objection came from any Scottish National party Member.

It is a contradiction in terms. It seems that English Members cannot intervene in discussion of this Bill, although Scottish National party members did not object to such action on previous occasions. The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan did not object to the involvement of English Members in the passage of the Scottish Development Agency Act 1987; the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) considered the Transport (Scotland) Bill—enacted in 1989—along with eight English Members, and uttered not a word of objection.

Mr. Wilson

My hon. Friend and I both served in Comittee on the Bill to privatise the railways: I hope that we did a reasonable job in defending Scottish interests, along with other interests throughout the United Kingdom. My hon. Friend may recall that a place on that Committee —which was debating a matter of crucial importance to Scotland—was offered to the Scottish National party. The party turned down the offer, with the result that another place was filled by Labour.

Mr. McAllion

That is a fair point.

Mr. Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy)

What is the essential difference between delaying a Bill and the Labour party's current policy of so-called non-cooperation?

Mr. McAllion

The hon. Gentleman must be patient; I shall deal with that point shortly.

It should be understood that the Scottish National party has a long tradition of refusing to serve on Committees. My predecessor as Member for Dundee, East—then chairman of the Scottish National party—turned down the chance to serve on the Scottish Select Committee; and I know that the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan has served on only one Committee in the six or seven years that he has been in the House.

Recently, the hon. Member for Angus, East was not even present for a vital vote in the Scottish Select Committee, in connection with the investigation of the Peterkin affair. Conservative Members, however, turned up to vote. I cannot use the word "hypocrisy", because it is not parliamentary; but a large dose of something very like hypocrisy is now emanating from the Scottish National party Bench.

When the House last debated a motion of this kind, it concerned the Self-Governing Schools Etc. (Scotland) Bill, enacted in 1989. Three Scottish National party members were ejected, and the House had to decide whether to give the Chairman power to exclude them.

At the time, the hon. Member for Angus, East expIained why he thought that the Chairman should not be given that power, arguing that it was pointless to table amendments in Scottish Standing Committees, because the Government never accepted them—that the present Government simply could not be trusted. That was in 1989—a couple of years before certain hon. Members tried to make a deal with the Government by agreeing to support their opposition to a Labour amendment to the European Communities (Amendment) Bill.

Mr. Welsh

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. McAllion

I shall give way in a minute. I have not yet finished with the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman has learnt his lesson. He argues that we should oppose this motion as there is no point in Scottish Members tabling amendments to Scottish Bills; yet, in the case of this piece of legislation, there are amendments standing in his name, and no doubt he will argue that they should be supported in Committee.

If there is no point in tabling amendments, why has the hon. Gentleman done exactly that? I have spoken to members of a delegation from Scotland who have had discussions with the hon. Member for Angus, East. Their understanding is that the hon. Gentleman has given them an undertaking that he will support an amendment tabled in the name of the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie), who is a Tory.

Madam Speaker

Order. This is all very interesting, but it is not in order. If the hon. Gentleman wants to look at the terms of the motion before us, I will hand it to him. I hope that he will address his remarks to it.

Mr. McAllion

I am simply trying to deal with arguments that have been put to me by hon. Members who say that the motion should be opposed.

I shall give way to the hon. Member for Angus, East, as he seems to be getting rather agitated.

Mr. Welsh

What is the hon. Gentleman's standing in the Labour party? When he quoted me, he should have quoted also his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe), who pointed out that the Government simply did not accept amendments. I throw the matter back to the hon. Gentleman and to his hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson): which amendments to this Bill do they expect to be accepted? Which English Tories on the Committee does the hon. Gentleman expect to be able to convince about water boards or any other matter except boundaries? Which amendments, and which Tories?

Madam Speaker

Order. I now insist that the motion be debated correctly. Otherwise, I shall have to take steps in the matter.

Mr. McAllion

The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan has argued that, as a matter of principle, we should oppose this motion. I am arguing that no principle is involved. Where principle is involved, hon. Members must be consistent in its defence. In this case, the Scottish National party has been wholly inconsistent. It is important that hon. Members understand this fact before responding to the appeal of the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan.

Mr. Connarty

If we were not to give the Chair these powers, we could find ourselves having to deal with such indiscipline in the future. That possible difficulty is in addition to the loss of time today for debate on the Finance Bill. We ought not to lose very important time for discussion of such matters as value added tax on fuel and the Child Support Agency because of the behaviour of the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond).

Mr. McAllion

My hon. Friend makes a very fair point.

The basic argument of the Scottish National party is that hon. Members who are serious about delaying the implementation of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill ought to continue to disrupt the proceedings. SNP Members believe that they can convince a majority of hon. Members. In essence, that would mean convincing Tories representing English constituencies that they should support moves to defeat the Government. That is clearly impractical: it simply will not happen.

The Bill contains 169 clauses and 14 schedules. It is two and a half times as big as any other Bill relating exclusively to Scotland. The Standing Committee spent 13 days on legislation dealing with housing in Scotland. The number of sittings was 24, and the number of hours spent was between 85 and 86. If the same principles were applied to this legislation, we could look forward to thirty-two and a half days in Committee, 60 sittings and more than 200 hours' debate. During that debate, we could expose the Government for what they are trying to do in Scotland, and seek to have some amendments accepted.

It must be remembered that the Government have a Committee majority of only one. They do not want to spend 200 hours knowing that a Division could be called at any moment. They would have to ensure that every Member was present. They are desperate for a guillotine, not only to curtail debate, shorten the timetable and enable them to hit their target of April 1995 for shadow elections to the new councils; but also to ensure that they will know when Divisions will occur, so that they can have their 12 Members present. They are desperate for an excuse for a guillotine on this Bill.

What has the SNP done? It has given the Government their excuse.

Dr. Godman

Two months ago, the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, the hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart), said in Edinburgh that this Bill would not be guillotined in Committee.

Mr. McAllion

My hon. Friend makes a fair point, but that was before the SNP handed the hon. Member for Eastwood an excuse on a plate.

The Government will now argue: "We cannot possibly deal with the Bill in Committee, because the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan and his friends, and anyone who supports them in the Division, are out to wreck the Bill. We therefore need a guillotine and extended powers for the Chair."

It is important that people realise that this did not suddenly happen this morning: it has been months in planning. It was trailed during the Christmas recess, when the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan leaked information about what the SNP intended to do to Scottish Sunday newspapers. It was trailed in a press release issued yesterday by the hon. Member for Angus, East.

The SNP is in a desperate political situation. With the Government at an all-time low in Scotland, it cannot make any headway, because the Labour party has seen it off. The SNP's true purpose in opposing the motion is not to get at the Tory Government but to get at the major opposition to the Tory Government in Scotland—the Labour party. It seeks to fool the Scottish people that it is fighting the Bill and we are not, when the opposite is the truth.

The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan said that my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) had been cheered to the echo by Tory Members. The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan was cheered to the echo by Scottish Office Ministers and Conservative members of the Committee this morning.

The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan asks: what is the alternative? It is very clear—to get rid of the Tory Government and to establish a Scottish Parliament, and the way to do that is to elect a Labour Government.

Mr. Greg Knight (Derby North)

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 307, Noes 41.

Division No. 95] [4.30 pm
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Arbuthnot, James
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Alexander, Richard Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Ashton, Joe
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Aspinwall, Jack
Allen, Graham Atkins, Robert
Amess, David Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)
Ancram, Michael Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Fishburn, Dudley
Baldry, Tony Forman, Nigel
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Forth, Eric
Barnes, Harry Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Bates, Michael Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Batiste, Spencer Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Bellingham, Henry Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
Bendall, Vivian French, Douglas
Beresford, Sir Paul Fry, Sir Peter
Biffen, Rt Hon John Gale, Roger
Blackburn, Dr John G. Gallie, Phil
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gardiner, Sir George
Booth, Hartley Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Boswell, Tim Gill, Christopher
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Gillan, Cheryl
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Godsiff, Roger
Bowis, John Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Brandreth, Gyles Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Brazier, Julian Grant, Sir A. (Cambs SW)
Bright, Graham Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Browning, Mrs. Angela Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Gunnell, John
Budgen, Nicholas Hague, William
Burns, Simon Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Burt, Alistair Hampson, Dr Keith
Butcher, John Hanley, Jeremy
Butler, Peter Hannam, Sir John
Butterfill, John Hanson, David
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Hargreaves, Andrew
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Harris, David
Carrington, Matthew Haselhurst, Alan
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hawkins, Nick
Chapman, Sydney Hawksley, Warren
Churchill, Mr Hayes, Jerry
Clappison, James Heald, Oliver
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Hendry, Charles
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hicks, Robert
Coe, Sebastian Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Colvin, Michael Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Congdon, David Hoey, Kate
Conway, Derek Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Horam, John
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Couchman, James Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)
Cox, Tom Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cran, James Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Hunter, Andrew
Davis, David (Boothferry) Hutton, John
Day, Stephen Illsley, Eric
Deva, Nirj Joseph Jack, Michael
Devlin, Tim Jenkin, Bernard
Dickens, Geoffrey Jessel, Toby
Dicks, Terry Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dixon, Don Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dorrell, Stephen Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Dover, Den Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Duncan, Alan Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Duncan-Smith, Iain Key, Robert
Dunn, Bob Kilfedder, Sir James
Durant, Sir Anthony King, Rt Hon Tom
Eggar, Tim Knapman, Roger
Elletson, Harold Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Knox, Sir David
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Evennett, David Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Faber, David Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Fabricant, Michael Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Legg, Barry Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Lidington, David Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lightbown, David Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Shersby, Michael
Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham) Sims, Roger
Lord, Michael Skeet, Sir Trevor
Luff, Peter Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, Nicholas
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Speed, Sir Keith
MacKay, Andrew Spencer, Sir Derek
Maclean, David Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
McNamara, Kevin Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Madel, Sir David Spink, Dr Robert
Maitland, Lady Olga Sproat, Iain
Major, Rt Hon John Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Mans, Keith Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Marland, Paul Steen, Anthony
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Steinberg, Gerry
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Stephen, Michael
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Stern, Michael
Mates, Michael Stewart, Allan
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian Strang, Dr. Gavin
Merchant, Piers Streeter, Gary
Milligan, Stephen Sumberg, David
Mills, Iain Sweeney, Walter
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Sykes, John
Moate, Sir Roger Tapsell, Sir Peter
Monro, Sir Hector Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Moss, Malcolm Temple-Morris, Peter
Nelson, Anthony Thomason, Roy
Neubert, Sir Michael Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Nicholls, Patrick Thurnham, Peter
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Norris, Steve Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Tracey, Richard
Ottaway, Richard Tredinnick, David
Page, Richard Trend, Michael
Paice, James Trotter, Neville
Patnick, Irvine Twinn, Dr Ian
Patten, Rt Hon John Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Pawsey, James Viggers, Peter
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Pickles, Eric Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Waller, Gary
Porter, David (Waveney) Ward, John
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E) Waterson, Nigel
Rathbone, Tim Watts, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John Wells, Bowen
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Whitney, Ray
Richards, Rod Whittingdale, John
Riddick, Graham Widdecombe, Ann
Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Robathan, Andrew Willetts, David
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Wilshire, David
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent) Wolfson, Mark
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Yeo, Tim
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Young, David (Bolton SE)
Sackville, Tom
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim Tellers for the Ayes:
Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas Mr. Timothy Kirkhope and
Shaw, David (Dover) Mr. Tim Wood.
Sheerman, Barry
Ainger, Nick Cryer, Bob
Alton, David Cummings, John
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Dafis, Cynog
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Davidson, Ian
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Bennett, Andrew F. Flynn, Paul
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Foster, Don (Bath)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Godman, Dr Norman A.
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Graham, Thomas
Cohen, Harry Grant, Sir A. (Cambs SW)
Jones, leuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Rooney, Terry
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Salmond, Alex
Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S) Sedgemore, Brian
Lewis, Terry Skinner, Dennis
Llwyd, Elfyn Tyler, Paul
Loyden, Eddie Welsh, Andrew
Lynne, Ms Liz Wigley, Dafydd
Maclennan, Robert Wise, Audrey
Maddock, Mrs Diana
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Tellers for the Noes:
Parry, Robert Mr. James Wallace and
Rendel, David Mr. Archy Kirkwood.
Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)

Question agreed to.

Question put accordingly:—

The House divided: Ayes 491, Noes 10.

Division No. 96] [4.43 pm
Adams, Mrs Irene Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)
Ainger, Nick Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Browning, Mrs. Angela
Alexander, Richard Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Budgen, Nicholas
Allen, Graham Burns, Simon
Alton, David Burt, Alistair
Amess, David Butcher, John
Ancram, Michael Butler, Peter
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Butterfill, John
Arbuthnot, James Byers, Stephen
Armstrong, Hilary Caborn, Richard
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Callaghan, Jim
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Ashton, Joe Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Aspinwall, Jack Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Atkins, Robert Campbell-Savours, D. N.
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Cann, Jamie
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)
Austin-Walker, John Carlisle, John (Luton North)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Carrington, Matthew
Baldry, Tony Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Chapman, Sydney
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Chisholm, Malcolm
Barnes, Harry Churchill, Mr
Barron, Kevin Clapham, Michael
Bates, Michael Clappison, James
Batiste, Spencer Clark, Dr David (South Shields)
Battle, John Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Bell, Stuart Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Bellingham, Henry Coe, Sebastian
Bendall, Vivian Cohen, Harry
Bennett, Andrew F. Colvin, Michael
Beresford, Sir Paul Congdon, David
Berry, Dr. Roger Connarty, Michael
Betts, Clive Conway, Derek
Biffen, Rt Hon John Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Blackburn, Dr John G. Cook, Robin (Livingston)
Blair, Tony Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Blunkett, David Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Booth, Hartley Couchman, James
Boswell, Tim Cousins, Jim
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Cox, Tom
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Cran, James
Bowis, John Cryer, Bob
Boyes, Roland Cummings, John
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Cunliffe, Lawrence
Bradley, Keith Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Brandreth, Gyles Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John
Bray, Dr Jeremy Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Brazier, Julian Dalyell, Tam
Bright, Graham Darling, Alistair
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Davidson, Ian
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Day, Stephen Gunnell, John
Denham, John Hague, William
Deva, Nirj Joseph Hain, Peter
Devlin, Tim Hall, Mike
Dewar, Donald Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Dickens, Geoffrey Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Dicks, Terry Hampson, Dr Keith
Dixon, Don Hanley, Jeremy
Dobson, Frank Hannam, Sir John
Donohoe, Brian H. Hanson, David
Dorrell, Stephen Hardy, Peter
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Hargreaves, Andrew
Dover, Den Harman, Ms Harriet
Dowd, Jim Harris, David
Duncan, Alan Haselhurst, Alan
Duncan-Smith, Iain Hawkins, Nick
Dunn, Bob Hawksley, Warren
Dunnachie, Jimmy Hayes, Jerry
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Heald, Oliver
Durant, Sir Anthony Henderson, Doug
Eagle, Ms Angela Hendry, Charles
Eastham, Ken Hicks, Robert
Eggar, Tim Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Elletson, Harold Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Enright, Derek Hinchliffe, David
Etherington, Bill Hoey, Kate
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Evans, John (St Helens N) Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Hood, Jimmy
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Hoon, Geoffrey
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Horam, John
Evennett, David Hordem, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Faber, David Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Fabricant, Michael Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Fenner, Dame Peggy Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Fishburn, Dudley Hoyle, Doug
Fisher, Mark Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Flynn, Paul Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Forman, Nigel Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Forth, Eric Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Foster, Rt Hon Derek Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Foster, Don (Bath) Hunter, Andrew
Foulkes, George Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Hutton, John
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Illsley, Eric
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Ingram, Adam
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger Jack, Michael
French, Douglas Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Fry, Sir Peter Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Fyfe, Maria Jamieson, David
Galbraith, Sam Janner, Greville
Gale, Roger Jenkin, Bernard
Gallie, Phil Jessel, Toby
Galloway, George Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Gardiner, Sir George Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Gerrard, Neil Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Gill, Christopher Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Gillan, Cheryl Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Godman, Dr Norman A. Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Godsiff, Roger Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Golding, Mrs Llin Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S)
Gordon, Mildred Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Key, Robert
Gorst, John Khabra, Piara S.
Gould, Bryan Kilfedder, Sir James
Graham, Thomas Kilfoyle, Peter
Grant, Sir A. (Cambs SW) King, Rt Hon Tom
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Kirkwood, Archy
Knapman, Roger Moonie, Dr Lewis
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Morley, Elliot
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe)
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Moss, Malcolm
Knox, Sir David Mowlam, Marjorie
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Mudie, George
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Nelson, Anthony
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Neubert, Sir Michael
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Nicholls, Patrick
Legg, Barry Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Norris, Steve
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Lewis, Terry O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Lidington, David O'Hara, Edward
Lightbown, David Olner, William
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter O'Neill, Martin
Litherland, Robert Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham) Ottaway, Richard
Lord, Michael Page, Richard
Loyden, Eddie Paice, James
Luff, Peter Patnick, Irvine
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Patten, Rt Hon John
Lynne, Ms Liz Pawsey, James
McAllion, John Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
McAvoy, Thomas Pendry, Tom
Macdonald, Calum Pickles, Eric
McFall, John Pickthall, Colin
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Pike, Peter L.
MacKay, Andrew Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Maclean, David Porter, David (Waveney)
McLeish, Henry Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Maclennan, Robert Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
McLoughlin, Patrick Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)
McMaster, Gordon Primarolo, Dawn
McNamara, Kevin Radice, Giles
Maddock, Mrs Diana Rathbone, Tim
Madel, Sir David Raynsford, Nick
Mahon, Alice Redwood, Rt Hon John
Maitland, Lady Olga Reid, Dr John
Major, Rt Hon John Rendel, David
Mans, Keith Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Marek, Dr John Richards, Rod
Marland, Paul Riddick, Graham
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm
Marshall, John (Handon S) Robathan, Andrew
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Martlew, Eric Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Mates, Michael Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian Roche, Mrs. Barbara
Maxton, John Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Meale, Alan Rogers, Allan
Merchant, Piers Rooker, Jeff
Michael, Alun Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Milburn, Alan Rowlands, Ted
Miller, Andrew Ruddock, Joan
Milligan, Stephen Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Mills, Iain Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Sackville, Tom
Moate, Sir Roger Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Monro, Sir Hector Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, David (Dover) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Sheerman, Barry Thurnham, Peter
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert Tipping, Paddy
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian Townend, John (Bridlington)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Tracey, Richard
Shersby, Michael Tredinnick, David
Simpson, Alan Trend, Michael
Sims, Roger Trotter, Neville
Skeet, Sir Trevor Turner, Dennis
Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury) Twinn, Dr Ian
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Tyler, Paul
Smith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent) Viggers, Peter
Snape, Peter Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Soames, Nicholas Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Soley, Clive Wallace, James
Spearing, Nigel Waller, Gary
Speed, Sir Keith Walley, Joan
Spellar, John Ward, John
Spencer, Sir Derek Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Waterson, Nigel
Spink, Dr Robert Watson, Mike
Spring, Richard Watts, John
Sproat, Iain Wells, Bowen
Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W) Whitney, Ray
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Whittingdale, John
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Wicks, Malcolm
Steen, Anthony Widdecombe, Ann
Steinberg, Gerry Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Stephen, Michael Willetts, David
Stern, Michael Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Stewart, Allan Wilshire, David
Strang, Dr. Gavin Wilson, Brian
Straw, Jack Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Streeter, Gary Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'fld)
Sumberg, David Wolfson, Mark
Sweeney, Walter Worthington, Tony
Sykes, John Wray, Jimmy
Tapsell, Sir Peter Yeo, Tim
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Young, David (Bolton SE)
Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Temple-Morris, Peter Tellers for the Ayes:
Thomason, Roy Mr. Timothy Kirkhope and
Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V) Mr. Timothy Wood.
Ewing, Mrs Margaret Salmond, Alex
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Skinner, Dennis
Jones, leuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Wigley, Dafydd
Llwyd, Elfyn
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Tellers for the Noes:
Parry, Robert Mr. Andrew Welsh and
Rooney, Terry Mr. Cynog Dafis.

Question accordingly agreed to

Resolved, That the Chairman of the First Scottish Standing Committee in respect of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Bill shall have power to order any Member who is not a member of the Committee to withdraw immediately from the Committee Room;and the Serjeant at Arms shall act on such orders as he may receive from the Chairman in pursuance of this order.