HL Deb 13 May 1985 vol 463 cc935-57

5.55 p.m.

House again in Committee on Clause 21.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Ampthill)

My Lords, Amendment Nos. 102 and 103 cannot be called following the agreement to Amendment No. 101. Therefore, I call Amendment No. 103A in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Mottistone.

[Amendments Nos. 102 and 103 not moved.]

Lord Mottistone moved Amendment No. 103A: Page 15, line 25, at end insert— ("( ) In conducting the review under subsection (1) above, the Secretary of State shall pay special regard to the needs of well established youth clubs.").

The noble Lord said: With the agreement of the Committee, and I hope my noble friend, I propose to speak at the same time to Amendment No. 135B, which is also in the name of myself and my noble friend Lord Newall: Amendment No. 135B: Clause 47, page 30, line 30, at end insert— ("( ) In preparing schemes under subsection (1) above, special regard shall be paid to grants for well established youth clubs, due account being taken of any grants for such purposes by Local Education Authorities.").

These amendments reflect what I said at Second Reading; that it is a matter of concern that well established youth clubs—the club I mentioned at Second Reading had about 50 years life—need reassurance that they can rely on the financial support that they have had heretofore. Their concern arises from the fact that the ILEA has been warning various forms of charity, including youth clubs, that there will be a substantial reduction in this support. In fact, I have one set of figures which states that there will be a 75 per cent. reduction in the amount of support that the ILEA will be able to give to bodies such as youth clubs. Even if that is not so, there is a suggestion that the reduction might, at any rate, be as much as 25 per cent. In that case the four youth clubs—the Feathers youth clubs that I know about—would have to be reduced to three, and possibly even two, and that would be very detrimental to the sort of support that they give to youth and which I am sure your Lordships applaud.

The object of the first amendment is to ensure that when the review is conducted—and, I think, it is still to be conducted under the amendment which was passed—special regard is given to the needs of well-established youth clubs. The purpose of Amendment No. 135B is, in effect, to extend that special regard to youth clubs which are supported by the boroughs of London. These amendments are mild and could well be accepted by my noble friend. They make a particular point of referring to well-established youth clubs because one is conscious that over many years—it is very difficult to make this speech because I do not think that my noble friend on the Front Bench can hear me, with so much chattering going on.

The Earl of Gowrie

I am listening to my noble friend.

Lord Mottistone

I shall continue. The particular point of referring to well-established youth clubs is that, as you Lordships know, over recent years a whole host of other charities have been formed which will be in competition with these well-proven bodies. It could well be that even if there are not the reductions which ILEA is forecasting, and which no doubt are reflected in the metropolitan county areas as well, there will be a problem for the well established clubs. They may find that they are reduced anyhow because of the competition of newly established charities.

I very much hope that my noble friend can give me quite strong reassurances not only for myself but more especially for the dedicated people who run these clubs and who need to be firmly reassured. I hope that the reassurances will be very strong. Alternatively, almost as a fall back, I hope that the reassurances may be underpinned by acceptance of the amendments which would give statutory provision for particular consideration when the various reviews or schemes, as the second amendment would call them, come about. I beg to move.

The Earl of Gowrie

I think that I can give my noble friend and the Committee the reassurance that he seeks. I share his concern about the youth service. It does valuable work and makes a special contribution to the lives of a variety of young people in inner London, many of whom face uncommonly difficult circumstances.

There are other areas of activity which ILEA supports, or for which it is responsible, about which we might be equally concerned. A review under Clause 21 would look across the whole range of the new ILEA's functions, and proper regard would be paid to the circumstances and needs of all its functions in considering whether each was well discharged by the new body or might be better discharged by some other body. I would suggest to my noble friend that there is no need—and I would suggest also that it would not be appropriate—to pick out any one function for that attention.

My noble friend expressed concern in passing, so to say, about the funding of voluntary youth clubs and other bodies after the abolition of the GLC. I venture to suggest that that and some other points which he raised are matters which the Committee might debate when we come to Clause 47, which concerns grants to voluntary bodies generally. If a problem arises over the availability of grant aid, it will arise in 1986 and will have little connection with the review in 1991 to which my noble friend's amendment is primarily addressed.

Concern has been expressed about the ability of ILEA to support the youth services while subject to precept limitation. But precept limitation, as its name implies, does no more than set a limit and within that limit ILEA is free to decide how to deploy its expenditure. Again, this is a point to which, I would respectfully suggest to the Committee, we might return when we come to Clause 66 because Clause 66 concerns precept limitation. It and the important points that my noble friend raises have little connection, I venture to suggest, with the review under Clause 21, and it is Clause 21 to which this amendment is addressed. I am not trying to duck these issues in any way, I say to my noble friend, but I suggest to the Committee that they are more appropriately dealt with at a marginally later stage.

Lord Mottistone

I am most grateful to my noble friend for the way in which he has replied to this amendment. I take fully the point that he makes about the need to delay real consideration of this matter until we get to Clause 47. With that in mind, I would propose at this stage to withdraw the amendment but to speak again and separately to my amendment, Amendment No. 135B, when we come to that so as to reopen the subject at that stage. I should like to have done it the other way around anyhow, but the Bill is written the way it is. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees

I cannot call Amendment No. 104 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Stewart.

Baroness David moved Amendment No. 105:

[Printed earlier: col. 894.]

The noble Baroness said: This amendment and Amendment No. 106 were spoken to by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London when he moved Amendment No. 101 and are consequential. I beg to move formally.

The Earl of Gowrie

I have to say to the noble Baroness that I, too, spoke to these amendments during the previous debate but they are not precisely the same thing. I have to warn her that if they are put, I shall ask the Committee to resist them.

Baroness David

I am very surprised by what the noble Earl says because by deleting subsection (1) the Secretary of State is prevented from determing: whether and, if so, to what extent those functions or any of them should be transferred to or divided between all or any of the inner London borough councils and the Common Council or any body on which those councils or any of them are represented". The determination has gone. It seems to me that it is consequential that that one line in subsection (3) should be deleted. The Secretary of State is now prevented from splitting up the authority by the carriage of the amendment today.

On Question, amendment negatived.

[Amendments Nos. 106 to 109 not moved.]

[Amendments Nos. 109A to 109D had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Clause 21, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 22 agreed to.

[Amendment No. 109E not moved.]

Lord Molson moved Amendment No. 109EA: After Clause 22, insert the following new Clause:—

  1. (". (1) On the appointed day there shall be established for each metropolitan county which is a police area a body corporate whose purpose shall be to discharge the functions of metropolitan county police, fire, transport and waste disposal authorities and which body shall be known by the name of the county with the addition of the words "Joint Authority".
  2. (2) On the appointed day there shall be established for the Metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear a body corporate to be 938 known as the Tyne and Wear Joint Authority, whose purpose shall be to exercise the functions of metropolitan county fire, transport and waste disposal authorities.
  3. (3) The metropolitan district councils in the county of Tyne and Wear shall appoint the same persons to be members of the Northumbria Police Authority and the Tyne and Wear Joint Authority.")

The noble Lord said: On Saturday morning I had an unpleasant shock when I received a letter from the Public Bill Office which read as follows: Having now read your new clause and considered its effect on the Bill I am afraid I must advise you that if it is agreed to, it might render the Bill hybrid". If part of this Bill became hybrid, the delays would be considerable, and if I moved and carried the amendment, it would be a complete breach of the undertakings which I have given to my noble friend the Leader of the House and the Ministers in charge. Let me say at the beginning that I do not in any way complain about the delay in the Public Bill Office in discovering this defect in the amendment. The whole issue of the hybridisation of Bills is an elusive metaphysical concept which few people are able to follow and even the experts find it extremely difficult to do so.

However, the learned clerks who discovered the defect in my original clause applied themselves with diligence to try to rectify what was a technical defect. The amendment that I am moving is free from that defect. I apologise to the Committee that it should be in manuscript form. However, I did not feel that it would cause any great inconvenience because the substance of it is exactly the same as the printed amendment which has been before the Committee for quite a long time.

The purpose of this amendment is a very simple one. The Government have drafted the Bill in order that three of the services which had previously been in the hands of the metropolitan county councils should be put into the hands of these ensuing authorities. They are: police (which is provided for in Clause 23); fire (in Clause 25), and transport (in Clause 27). The members of those joint authorities are to be appointed by the district councils. The purpose of this amendment is so simple that I shall not detain the Committee for very long. It is simply to amalgamate the three joint authorities which the Government propose in this Bill to set up. I ask them: why have three different joint authorities with separate offices, staffs and budgets? Surely it would make for economy and efficiency to have only one.

Since the Chamber has shown itself reluctant to hand over the disposal of waste to the district councils, this amendment by the noble Viscount, Lord Ingleby, to which I am now speaking, provides that disposal of waste shall be a fourth service. In addition to the simple argument that it would surely be better to have one office, one staff and one single budget covering all these three services, there is one additional one which I think is of some importance. Everyone from the Chancellor of the Exchequer down to the humblest housewife has to consider priority in the allocation of the money available. Surely it would be far better for there to be a single budgetary authority which would allocate expenditure as between these services, which the Government agree should all be administered by a single joint authority.

I want to make it quite plain that this is not on our part an attempt to return to the system which we advocated before, which was a system of direct election. I consider that that issue has been decided and I have no intention of raising it again. In this amendment we are accepting the Government's own procedure that the appointments to the joint authorities should be made by the district councils.

The general theory of this has been supported by two reports. One will be referred to later by the noble Viscount. However, I must take up with my noble friend the Minister a statement that he made the other day that the transfer of the disposal of waste was recommended by the Trade and Industry Committee of the House of Commons in its very interesting report, The Wealth of Waste. I read it and studied it and I could not remember that that had been a recommendation. Over the weekend, I have looked it up and I have found that that was not one of the summary of recommendations made by the Committee. The gist of the report assumes and approves the present system.

6.15 p.m.

I felt sure that the claim that my noble friend made must have some foundation somewhere. I do not expect him, in the short time since he took over his responsibilities, to have read this himself. However, his adviser quite clearly was thinking of page vi, where it draws attention to the fact that many of the waste disposal authorities do not pass on enough of the proceeds to the collecting authorities. That is dealt with in a subsequent page where they say that the waste disposal authorities should hand over to the waste collecting authorities more of the proceeds of the disposal, particularly in the case of the recycling of glass.

I felt bound to raise that matter because I felt that it would be serious if a very important report made by a committee of another House was disregarded by this Chamber. I am very glad that one of the main recommendations has been accepted by the Prime Minister in making Mr. Trippier responsible, over several departments, for recycling.

The Select Committee of the House of Commons, so far from recommending the transfer which is provided for in this Bill, assumes all the way through the report that the present system, of the lower tier authorities collecting the waste and the higher tier authorities disposing of it, will continue.

Today I had a letter from the Association of County Councils. Representations made by the urban authorities are necessarily regarded as being somewhat biased in this matter. This comes from the shire counties. I think it is of sufficient importance to read it to your Lordships. It says: I understand that you have tabled an amendment to the Bill which would constitute a single joint board with a common budget and issuing a single precept to replace the three joint boards proposed in the Bill. Such an amendment would be very much in accord with my Association's views, as you will know from the correspondence you have received from us. It would be in the interest of the shire counties neighbouring the metropolitan counties. If you thought it would be helpful I should be very happy for you to mention the Association's support for your Amendment when you speak on Monday". Coming from the association of the shire counties, that is very valuable support for the amendment of my noble associates and myself in this matter. I do not think it is necessary to go into the long and technical arguments in favour of having large authorities disposing of waste. That has already been fully debated in your Lordships' Committee.

If the Government are not disposed to accept this very simple and, I should have thought, sensible amendment that I am moving, I imagine that my noble friend will revert to his old argument that these proposals are in fact MCCs mark 2. Really, I assure him it is not my intention that they should be so; and I do not think that they will be. I have a feeling that this idea of MCCs mark 2 is becoming just a little bit of an obsession in my noble friend's mind. I have a feeling that if he dined late on indigestible food and if his normal sleep, like infant slumbers pure and light, were disturbed by a nightmare, it would be a vision of a ghastly spectre rising from the ashes of the metropolitan county councils which had already been well incinerated. I beg to move.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees

The noble Lord, Lord Molson, has moved on behalf of the noble Viscount, Lord Ingleby, Amendment No. 109EA. As this is a manuscript amendment, I must read it to the Committee. The amendment is, after Clause 22 to insert the following new clause: (" . (1) On the appointed day there shall be established for each metropolitan county which is a police area a body corporate whose purpose shall be to discharge the functions of metropolitan county police, fire, transport and waste disposal authorities and which body shall be known by the name of the county with the addition of the words "Joint Authority". (2) On the appointed day there shall be established for the Metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear a body corporate to be known as the Tyne and Wear Joint Authority, whose purpose shall be to exercise the functions of metropolitan county fire, transport and waste disposal authorities. (3) The metropolitan district councils in the county of Tyne and Wear shall appoint the same persons to be members of the Northumbria Police Authority and the Tyne and Wear Joint Authority.").

Viscount Ingleby

I rise, metaphorically at least, to support this amendment so ably moved by my noble friend Lord Molson. In so doing, I should like to quote from the fourth report of the Select Committee of your Lordships' House on Science and Technology. Towards the end, at paragraph 75, it says: there is an obvious case on grounds of economy for replacing the multiplicity of joint authorities with a single joint authority in each metropolitan county and in London". The report of your Lordships' House has said, "an obvious case on grounds of economy"; one bureaucracy instead of four; one precept instead of four, and most important, as my noble friend has just said, there would be some degree of self-discipline, some degree of self-determination at a local level of the priorities and the competing claims of the different services. I suggest that as much of this self-discipline as can be imposed locally is much better than having it imposed by Whitehall. These different services—fire, police, transport, waste disposal—are all surely different fingers of the same hand, and it would surely be much better if all the fingers were in the same glove.

Lord Home of the Hirsel

I should have been content to remain silent during the whole Committee stage of this Bill were it not that my noble friend Lord Molson for the second time during Committee stage has designed an amendment which would conflict with the central purpose of the Bill. I am not concerned with whether we call it an overall authority or joint authority, or whether it is elected or appointed; though I am bound to say that if we are to have one I should prefer the former. But this surely runs counter to the intention of the Government, which is that there shall be no overall body for London or the metropolitan areas. As my noble friend says, this amendment quite simply proposes that there shall be. In this Committee, we have for many years accepted that when another place passed with a majority a Bill to which this Chamber of Parliament has given a Second Reading, it is not desirable to use the Committee stage to reopen matters of principle. I believe this amendment in fact is doing just that.

I am not sure if my noble friend appreciates the thought and care which have gone into the formation of our procedures and their adoption. I have sat in this noble House for a good many years now, in Government and in opposition. I can say categorically that during all that time amendments calculated to alter the kernel of the Bill under discussion were by common consent never moved; and I hope we shall not depart from that custom because I believe that if we do we shall get ourselves into grievous trouble.

Of course there were very good reasons for this convention. The lack of it would increase the chances of clashes between the two Houses and make it very difficult to conduct our Committees in an orderly and coherent way. If it is said that change is desirable in this respect—and one has to face up to the fact that sometimes change is needed—then let the matter be sent to the Committee on Procedure where we can all he properly advised of the full implications of moving amendments like this on Committee stage. Do not let us proceed by rather haphazard amendments moved by individual Peers; much better that we should all change our rules, know what we are doing and be properly advised if that is the decision.

I shall certainly have to vote against this amendment if my noble friend puts it to a vote. I hope a good many others of your Lordships on all sides will do so for this reason.

Baroness Birk

With great respect to the noble Lord, Lord Home of the Hirsel, as I read it, and as I think any other noble Lord reading it would agree, the amendment does not set up an overall authority. In my submission, it is not a matter of principle. As the noble Lord, Lord Molson, explained very thoroughly and succinctly—and the noble Viscount, Lord Ingleby, as well added to our knowledge on this—what it is doing is gathering together police, fire, and passenger transport authorities which are in the Bill, anyway.

Last week in this Committee your Lordships voted on highways and traffic being set up as a joint authority. On Thursday of last week, waste disposal was set up as a joint authority. So all that the amendment does is gather together these functional bodies. We are certainly not considering an overall authority. The noble Lord, Lord Molson, did not say that. If he had said it and the Committee did not like it, the Committee could obviously take action and turn it down. Nor did the noble Lord talk about elected or appointed authorities. What we are discussing, in my view, is purely a functional and management problem.

6.30 p.m.

The merit of the amendment is that it combines the services to which the Government refer in the Bill of police, fire and passenger transport with highways and traffic and waste disposal which the House has decided, following votes, should be operated at county-wide level anyhow. That is the position at the moment. This amendment does not do anything to change that. The services are linked in various ways. For example—I am sorry. I had not realised that the noble Lord wished to intervene.

Lord Harmar-Nicholls

I only wish to ask the noble Baroness whether she is not playing on words. When, as she put it, you have gathered them together and when they are in the statute, you have set them up. What is the difference? You have gathered them together, and in the process of gathering them together you have set them up. It is therefore a play on words to say that you have gathered them together but not set them up.

Baroness Birk

No. I do not accept that at all. They are bodies that have been set up. We are not setting up new bodies and then gathering them together. They are bodies dealing with functional services. All that the amendment says is that these interlink. To continue the sentence when the noble Lord intervened, there is the obvious police-fire link which all of us must agree go together. There is then the link between highways and the policing of traffic control measures. As to waste disposal, the transport of waste and hazardous materials is very relevant. This is a purely functional matter.

If the Government are concerned, as they always profess to be, with efficiency and the understanding of local government by the electors, they must concede that one bureaucracy must be more efficient than four. Why quadruple something when it can be done, so to speak under one roof, particularly when this avoids duplication of essential support services like computing? The transitional arrangements from one county council to a single joint board carrying out most of the principal services will obviously be far more simple and, I would guess, far less costly than if a large number of bodies were involved. A district council joint board system of local government, as many noble Lords must agree, from their experience in local government, central government, in business and in management, would be far easier to understand than a multiplicity of different bodies. This has been pointed out by PA Management Consultants and the Institute of Local Government purely on the basis of the way the services have functioned.

To attempt to show this as some sort of nefarious and sinister trick to get these services into a political hold is, I would suggest with great respect, absolute nonsense. There is nothing hidden about this. These bodies are set up. Noble Lords can read what is on the Marshalled List. They can hear the arguments that are put. If the House divides, noble Lords will be able to act as they feel. I object to the implication that we are discussing something that is not in front of us. That is not so. We are discussing the amendment before us with the original amendment. Because it makes good sense, it should have the support of the Committee. It will certainly have the support of my colleagues and myself.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

I hope that my noble friends will be prepared to consider seriously the warning given by my noble friend Lord Home a few moments ago. It is embarrassing to have to say this when I sit alongside him but your Lordships will know that his services to this House and to the country are incomparable. It would seem very rash to disregard the warning he has given.

I wish to say a word on the merits in reply to the noble Baroness. The noble Baroness says that it is all very simple. You have four functions. So you put them together and it is more efficient. I believe, however, that your Lordships should visualise the kind of authority that would be set up if the amendment of my noble friend Lord Molson was accepted. It would be discharging four very important and very expensive functions. It would therefore, in the nature of things, be a large body, equipped, I understand, with precepting powers and levying a substantial precept. It is surely the experience of all of us, whether in local government or central government, that if you set up a body of that width of function, discharging so many important functions, its nature is that it attracts to itself even further functions and duties. Public spirited men and women serving upon it have the natural feeling that they can do things better than they would be done, for example, by the district authorities. They feel that, with the backing of the substantial and no doubt highly paid staff that they will have, they will be able to do things better. There will be an inevitable tendency—this has been seen in the case of the GLC itself—to take on further functions as time goes by,

Although the noble Baroness, with a delightful air of innocence, says that this is a practical arrangement, I beg your Lordships to realise, as my noble friend Lord Home has warned us, that it would be setting up a very substantial body, whether you call it a metropolitan authority mark 2 or mark 3, of the very kind that it is the purpose of the Bill, as approved by another place, approved by this House on Second Reading and approved by this Committee at the beginning of the Committee stage, to abolish. We are on a very dangerous path.

Lord Somers

I hope that the Government will remember that this amendment proposes a joint board that will not be directly elected. If it was to be directly elected, I grant that the fears that have been expressed that it would become an all-powerful authority over the separate districts might be well founded. It is not to be that. It will be formed of representatives from the districts themselves. Your Lordships have already agreed that there are certain functions that must be dealt with by joint boards. Why have three boards when one will do the job? As to the fears expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, I should have thought that it would be perfectly simple to limit on paper the powers of the joint board.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

We have in the GLC a very good example of the weakness of that method of limiting activity. The GLC was expressly not given police powers. It has set up and is to this day operating a police committee.

Lord Somers

That may be so. One cannot avoid, I suppose, certain things going wrong, as we are all human. I should have thought, however, that it would be perfectly simple to lay down exactly what powers the joint boards had, and that if they went beyond those powers they could be brought to task.

I hope sincerely that the fears of some noble Lords opposite that the amendment is not in accord with Government policy will not prevent them realising that Government policy is not invariably right. Even Governments, and even the present Government, have been known to make mistakes. Personally, I think that this is one of them.

Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge

It is with the complete agreement of the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, that I speak. Of course we value, listen to and admire with affection and respect anything that the noble Lord may say; but he would be the last person to expect us to agree with everything that he says. The idea is insulting to him and ridiculous to us. I make no apology for wholly disagreeing with the noble Lord, and for saying that I think he is unexpectedly confused. The point at issue is that of an overall body. It is to deal with four areas: the police, the fire services, waste disposal—and I am afraid that I have forgotten the other one.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter


Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge

They are functions which I think can be reasonably joined together. They are in no sense overall. My noble friends and I shall be moving some amendments to add some kind of body to deal with the arts, voluntary bodies and other matters, which are not in any way connected, and it would be ridiculous to tie them in with the police, the fire brigade or anything else. Therefore, the issue of an overall body, which is the point of the Bill, is not being wrecked, and with the greatest respect I think that the noble Lord is quite wrong in suggesting that it is.

Lord Boardman

My noble friend Lord Molson referred to this not being a mark 2 metropolitan county council. Indeed, I think that my noble friend Lord Boyd-Carpenter said that it was probably a mark 3 metropolitan county council. However, in so far as it is not a replica of the earlier amendment, I ask: what indeed is it? The noble Lord, Lord Somers, said that it would not be elected, but that is left in some doubt in the new clause, which says that it will be "established".

I believe that the argument put forward by my noble friend was destroyed by his own eloquent speech. He referred to there being one precept instead of four, and that the joint body would decide how the levy from that precept would be allocated among these three separate functions. I ask noble Lords: what sort of arguments would take place in this joint board with one precept? How the people comprising this established body are nominated is something that no doubt we shall hear about later. But these joint board members will argue about how much should go to transport and highways, waste disposal and the police. Presumably they will be nominees of separate joint authorities, some having a direct interest in the police and having been nominated to the police joint board, and some with an interest in waste, and so on. How terrible it would be if they were ordered to dispose of one precept, which my noble friend suggests is the main advantage of this joint board.

I believe that there would be increasing bureaucracy. As my noble friend Lord Boyd-Carpenter said, the joint board would add committees onto its joint organisation so that an empire would be built up, as indeed has happened with the GLC. I believe that this would be a very retrograde step, and I believe that it would be very close to the constitution that was suggested and put before this House on a previous occasion. My noble friend Lord Home has referred to the constitutional issue that arises from that, and therefore I hope that your Lordships will reject this amendment.

6.45 p.m.

The Earl of Onslow

I think that it might be worth while underlining yet again what my noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel has said. The noble Baroness, Lady Birk, is one of the most intelligent Members of your Lordships' Committee. She knows as well as I do what her plan has been in this regard. First, she tried to persuade noble Lords to have one joint board. She said "That is nice. Now, what about two joint boards?" We are now dealing with a third. The noble Lord, Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge, is to move some amendments setting up such bodies on the arts, and so on, and before we know it there will be many joint hoards and central authorities.

I am sure that the noble Baroness would infinitely prefer them to be elected rather than appointed. If they are elected rather than appointed then heigh-ho! by the wave of a magic wand we have a new GLC or a new metropolitan county council. That is exactly what the Opposition has asked for, and when we were in Opposition if we had behaved like that to major Bills which had been given Second Readings in another place and in this House then we would have been accused of wrecking the Constitution, and the noble Baroness knows it. She would have been the best and the most effective of our accusers. The noble Baroness is far too clever to—

Baroness Birk

Before the noble Lord sits down, although flattery will get him almost anywhere, it certainly cannot extend to trying to read my mind. The noble Lord cannot look into the future with or without his crystal ball. I was talking to the amendment, and it is the amendment before us. We are not talking about going back to a GLC or a metropolitan county council; we are not talking about them being elected.

Lord Elton

If the noble Baroness—

Baroness Birk

We are in Committee. I would remind the noble Earl, Lord Onslow, that there is provision in the Bill itself for joint committees and I cannot see what all the big fuss is about. Evidently the Government's supporters are absolutely terrified that anything should be done to improve the Bill, which is our job—that is, to help revise it, to save the taxpayer money and to enable the Bill to work more efficiently. They just think that the word "abolition" applies to everything and everybody.

Lord Elton

This is the Committee stage and interventions are permitted within interventions. As the noble Baroness says that my noble friend cannot read her mind, I am sure she will be kind enough to explain what is in it. Is the noble Baroness saying that she will not in any circumstances now move to make these bodies elected bodies at a later stage?

Baroness Birk

Certainly not—I shall not say that I shall or shall not do anything at all. This is just ridiculous; it is childish. I expect better of the Minister than that. We are not playing kindergarten games.

Lord Elton

In the words of the lawyers, no further questions.

The Earl of Onslow

Can the noble Baroness categorically say that she would prefer this new joint body not to be elected?

Baroness Birk

I am not going to say that. This is absolutely ridiculous. Are noble Lords so uncertain of themselves that, if they are faced with something that makes sense, like the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Molson (I was going to say, moved by my noble friend but I had better not; it will do him no good), they are not alive enough and cannot read and take in any other amendments that come forward and treat each of them on its merits? It is just absurd to take one amendment and say that it will lead here, there and everywhere; it is nonsense. It must be examined on its merits to see what it says, and then noble Lords will see the sense of it.

Lord Campbell of Alloway

I know that the noble Baroness does not mean to do this, but that wholly distorts the attitude of those she calls (and I am one) the noble Lords who support the Government. On the merits of the matter, yes, we seek to improve the Bill and we have a revisory role. Fortunately, I have received some support from an authoritative source for my previous interventions on the constitutional aspect. My noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel makes it perfectly plain that, within this amendment, there is a challenge to the principle of the Bill. My attitude—I cannot speak for anyone save myself—is that I keep an open mind as to the merits of any amendment to improve the Bill and as to any derogation which will not impugn the principle. But this goes to the principle, and it is not right for the noble Baroness to sweep them all into one basket and suggest that we on these Benches are unreasonable. We are not.

Lord Kaldor

May I ask the noble Lord whether it is against the principles of the Bill to have one authority for waste disposal for a county instead of for each borough separately? Is that in accordance with the principles of the Bill if it is done separately for transport, for waste disposal and for the police? If they are joint county authorities, which have already been approved by the Committee, and it is suggested that we have one authority dealing with all three subjects, that would be against the principles of the Bill. Why is it against the principles? If anything is against the principles of the Bill, it is to have any joint authority on anything. That is not against the principles of the Bill because the Bill contains all kinds of exceptions to the general principle that boroughs and borough councils should be responsible for everything.

Lord Campbell of Alloway

I sense the mood of the Committee that I should not reply but allow other noble Lords to contribute to the debate.

Baroness Seear

It may not have escaped your Lordships' Committee that the Government Front Bench and the Back Bench come alive in this Bill only when the so-called constitutional questions are raised. It must have been exceptional, for I have never heard it before, that when the noble Lord who is speaking for the Government made his Second Reading speech he concentrated entirely on so-called constitutional questions and did not defend what the Bill set out to do. I think that was extremely wise of him because there is nothing in the merits of the Bill that he is able to defend.

Lord Harmar-Nicholls

I should like to reinforce the practical point made by my noble friend Lord Boardman. I believe that the outstanding point concerns the constitution. I do not think it can be brushed off as the noble Baroness brushed it off. The evidence we were given by my noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel should be pondered on. To go deliberately into conflict on a principle and a convention as important as this would be dangerous. But I will leave that because what the noble Baroness has done—and she is so able in doing it—is to use an argument against one point to pretend that another is, as she said, "a sensible thing to do". She rather suggested that the effect of the amendment is that an ordinary, proper thing ought to flow. It is that aspect, with which I should like to deal, that I have seen from practical experience. I shall keep in the background the overriding constitutional point.

I believe it is a positive nonsense to suggest that a joint board could be effective for dealing with aspects as different as waste disposal, the police, transport and the fire service. They are quite separate organisations which need different techniques and expertise. If eventually we had to have the separate boards there would on those separate boards be people who knew all about the subject of particular boards. On transport there would be people who followed in detail the problems of transport. On the police board there would be people expert in matters flowing from the police. To suggest that it would be economical, would save money and make people work rather better by putting them all together in practical terms is a nonsense.

I should like to make an appeal to those members of the Committee who have sat on local authorities. I have many sad experiences of sitting on separate committees—the fire brigade committee is one I have in mind, or the transport committee—and going into detail, and coming to a conclusion which from the expert view one had was the right conclusion. Under the procedures of the local authority, before a decision had the full power of the local authority behind it, it went to what was known as a general purpose committee. When it went to the general purpose committee, with all the horse trading that went on—those who wanted something for the police struck a deal with those who wanted something to do with waste disposal—the outcome was that we were unable to gain expert, detailed guidance—

Lord Monkswell

Will the noble Lord give way?

Lord Harmar-Nicholls

I just wish to make the point first about the expert guidance which the separate committees want. Every time my noble friend Lord Molson has spoken in this Committee he has shown par excellence that he is a theorist, that he is not practical. He is like many theorists, as I understand them; he reads the small print—many people have got into trouble by not reading the small print, I accept that—and overlooks the big print. The big print on this is that joining together four separate committees into one joint committee would form a powerful organisation which would have the same powers and therefore the same dangers as the metropolitan council had in the first place. The main problem, again from practical experience, particularly as there is money involved, is that if there was enough money to cover the four groups, the most powerful sections in the group would take more money from the general fund to the detriment of the other three. The fact that they would have their precepts given separately would allow the individual authorities to reach better conclusions—

Lord Monkswell

Will the noble Lord give way?

Lord Harmar-Nicholls

I shall, but other people want to speak. Of course I shall give way, I always do, but I can save the time of the Committee by saying that I believe that however one tries to smooth it over, it could be almost another general committee, similar to the one that the Bill intends to remove. That is not looking at it in a sensible way; it is being partisan.

Lord Monkswell

I thank the noble Lord for finally giving way. The point I want to make is that he has raised what, to my mind, is a very dangerous argument which suggests that the whole validity of local government and, dare I say it, national government in this country is at question. The implication of his argument is that no specialist function, whether it be education, housing or social services, should be the province of the elected local authority but should be the province of a specialist body. Can your Lordships imagine the implications for local government in this country if we were to have different committees of the council operating completely independently—authorities in their own right for all the functions of local government? We should have a myriad of committees, all making decisions in their own right, bearing no relationship to any other organisation or function. It is a recipe for a mad house. Just before the noble Lord stands up again I shall make a final point. How do the Government intend to explain the extra cost of running meetings, hiring meeting places, etc., buying new computers for the staff payroll for all these different bodies?

Lord Harmar-Nicholls

The only reason I rise again is to say that I was right not to give way originally. The noble Lord did not want to ask me a question; he wanted to make a speech. Now he has made his speech and he has confirmed every point that I tried to make.

Baroness Lockwood

I should like to support the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Molson, in the name of the noble Viscount, Lord Ingleby. The amendment is sponsored, I remind the Committee, by those two noble Lords and not by my noble friend on the Front Bench. Secondly, I remind the Committee that the amendment has nothing to do with the GLC, though the GLC has been called into question on two occasions. The amendment is concerned with the metropolitan counties.

The noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Alloway, said on the constitutional point that he was prepared to support an amendment which sought to improve the Bill. I suggest that that is what this amendment attempts to do. In considering the metropolitan counties, by the provisions in the Bill we shall have three separate joint authorities: one for the police, one for fire, and one for passenger transport. The amendments which have been passed by the Committee will lead us to have more than three joint authorities. Surely it is sensible to have one joint authority concerned with all the services. The noble Lord, Lord Harmar-Nicholls, says that they deal with specialist subjects. Of course they deal with specialist subjects, because they all have their own particular specialists. Equally, they will share specialists. They certainly will share the specialists in the whole of the computer services; they will share specialists in the field of legal services; they will share specialists in the field of financial experts. Therefore, there is a saving in the sense of each of the boards employing their own specialist back-up services which all boards would need.

7 p.m.

Secondly, I think there is a very important point to be borne in mind about the staffing of these joint boards. We say and think in terms of setting up three or four joint boards that there is a surplus of some of the technical experts that local government needs. But that is not so. Therefore all these boards would be competing for specialist services. Certainly when you look in the field of computer services and some of the technological back-up that the joint boards would need, then we would be moving into an area where there is a shortage of some specialists. It is therefore, for all sorts of reasons, important that we should improve the Bill in this way by having such a joint board.

I would again remind your Lordships of what the Select Committee on Science and Technology said, though not by repeating the same quotation given by the noble Viscount. This was relating to giving a sense of perspective to the provision of these services. At paragraph 43, the Select Committee said that a broad perspective can be valuable in the integration of different services. The Select Committee report went on to say: Access of different services to common facilities can lead to cross-fertilisation of ideas and encourage informal joint planning". On the evidence of the Select Committee, again I would urge your Lordships to support this amendment.

The Countess of Mar

I feel like putting up my hands and saying, "I surrender"! I have listened to a great many debates during the course of this Bill and time and time again we have had the constitutional matters raised. At the Second Reading, we were told it was not constitutional for us to vote against the Second Reading of the Bill. Now we come to the stage where we are told that it is unconstitutional for us to debate and vote on this particular question—as on several ones that have gone previously. As a Member of your Lordships' House, I am not allowed a vote in a general election. There are certain parts of this Bill which I object to. I cannot write to my MP and say, "Please object for me". I am not allowed to object in your Lordships' House, according to some Members on the Benches opposite. What is my constitutional position and what is the constitutional position of a lot of people sitting on Benches beside me?

From the very seat that I occupy, it can be seen that I am not a political beast; but I care very much about what happens to some of the organisations within the Greater London Council and the metropolitan boroughs. I think that good, basic common sense decrees that some of them should be kept together and that there should be overall authorities for some of the functions. Admittedly, overlapping functions need to be got rid of; there is no point in having them. But at the same time we must use our sense, please.

Lord Ingrow

One point has not been touched on at all as yet. The four bodies together are not the same. One of them is a police authority; one of them has magistrates attached to it. How is that going to work with the proportion of one-third magistrates on the police authority? Are they going to be able to share in the precept discussions on the fire authority or on waste disposal? This has not been considered at all. It would be quite wrong for the magistrates. I am treasurer of the association with 25,000 members who contribute valuable work to the police committee. How are they going to do it if this amendment is passed?

Lord Elton

Your Lordships have had a fascinating and instructive debate. After what my noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel has said, I think that the most relevant remark came from the noble Baroness, Lady Seear. She said that at Second Reading I addressed myself to Second Reading points and that this side of the House became alert on Second Reading. She used the word "constitutional", but the substitution is perfectly valid. To me, it has been perfectly extraordinary to see the way that time and again we have returned to the general principle of the Bill to debate in a series of formal speeches the general principles which we had thought established rather than proceeding with the smaller amendments which accept the principle and seek to improve the Bill within it. Noble Lords will see the large numbers of amendments which were withdrawn at various stages in the last five days.

I accept the charge that I addressed myself to constitutional points at Second Reading, because that is the duty of the Minister at the Box. I do not accept the point that I did not explain the reasons for the Bill. I ask the noble Baroness, if she wishes to pursue the matter, perhaps to read my speech again because I think a little bit of it must have slipped her mind.

We are now faced with two separate but related issues. The first is the intentions of this amendment and the second is its effects. The effects, as my noble friend Lord Home has pointed out—and many of my noble friends have echoed him—are the more important, but I owe it to your Lordships and to my noble friend Lord Molson to say a word about the intentions. The first declared intention of the amendment is a reduction in bureaucracy. That would lead one to expect, would it not, a bringing together of like with like? But the first function mentioned in the amendment, as my noble friend Lord Ingrow so aptly pointed out, is the police.

A police authority is not simply a committee of a local authority; it is unlike any of the council's management committees. It does not consist only of elected councillors nor does it consist of a collection of councillors and people co-opted by them. It consists as to two-thirds of elected councillors and as to one-third of magistrates appointed by the Bench. They have no elective authority whatever, but with the magistrates they form the police authority. The police authority is a different animal from other committees, and that needs to be noted.

The amendment does not, as you might expect, leave the functions undisturbed in their existing baskets nor because the police function is already in a different basket from the others; nor is it the same as the others. It is different. The police are regulated by a different body of statutes, entirely distinct from that relating to the other functions in this basket. To brigade the police with the waste disposal service is not to put like with like. Your Lordships may think that I have picked waste disposal as a sort of debating point. Obviously, it is easy to think of being mixed up with the collection and disposal of rubbish as being very different, and humorously different, from the function of looking after and keeping the Queen's peace.

Very well. I will give you another example in order to show that this is not a mere debating point. I pick up the service latched on to by the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, in a very skilful speech in which she said that we all think of fire and police together—or words to that effect. They are, I accept, both mobile services; they are both uniformed services; they are both disciplined services; they are both emergency services. And, unlike waste disposal and the police, they quite often operate together. Once again I must start by pointing out the considerable difference between the fire authority and the police authority. A fire authority consists entirely of elected councillors. It employs its chief officer and all his men and has the final responsibility for operational policy. A police authority consists as I have already described it. It is not the employer of the chief constable; it is not the final authority. It shares responsibility with the chief constable and the Home Secretary. Its chief officer is not, in law, its employee; and they are different creatures.

I will not go on about the differences in statute: I have made the point. I will simply repeat that the amendment would not leave matters largely undisturbed: nor would it put like with like. It would not therefore achieve its first stated purpose of producing a streamlined bureaucratic service; and I would remind your Lordships that size does not always produce either economy or streamlining.

I think it may be the administrative support services that noble Lords believe can be "slenderised" by this amendment. Your Lordships should, for a start, recognise what the extent of those services is. For the police, for example, it is less than 10 per cent. of the total. What your Lordships probably may not know is that some of those services are already provided from outside the authorities on an agency basis. Even more to the point is that that agent is already in some cases one of the district councils in the metroplitan county areas. Where a metropolitan district council already provides the building and architectural service or the bulk-purchasing service for its metropolitan council, as does happen, it is our proposals that leave things undisturbed and the amendment which will redistribute them.

It will not, I repeat, achieve its first stated purpose. That would be achieved by schemes like those which already exist and which we encourage in advice which we have circulated to the district councils already and which will be available to the joint authorities when they are created. Indeed, it has been put to us that the advantages of the districts providing these services are so great that we should amend the Bill expressly to require such involvement. It does seem to us that this might be an improvement, and if it will help my noble friend I will certainly undertake to look very carefully, in the light of his comments, at what might be done along those lines to bring forward amendments at Report. That, of course, is much narrower than what he proposes in his amendment.

The second stated purpose of the amendment is to enable the new authority to take an over-view of total expenditure on joint authority services. My noble friend Lord Boardman has helpfully spoken on that. I would therefore merely remind your Lordships that the members of the joint authorities will all of them be members of the constituent authorities; they will all of them take part in the budgetary processes of the constituent bodies; and they will all of them be involved in the budgetary process of the joint authority. They will therefore have an ability to weigh these priorities properly. The amendments which I suggest might even increase their ability to do so.

I turn now from intentions to effects and of course to the point at which my noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel started. I asked your Lordships to cast your minds back over what has happened since the Bill came to this Chamber. We started out with three joint authorities for one function each. We now have four, because of the introduction of waste disposal, and we also have the function of the passenger transport authority added to that of highway and traffic control. I will not express now the strength of my feeling about that having been done: I merely state that it has been done and it seems to me that it may indicate a movement away from the pure principle of the Bill. That was, first, to devolve as many functions as possible from the metropolitan county councils to the metropolitan district councils and, secondly, to avoid creating county-wide bodies with multiple responsibilities which might begin, remotely perhaps, but menacingly, to resemble the bodies which the Bill abolishes.

The purposes which your Lordships upheld and endorsed at Second Reading, and thereafter on a Division, were such as I have just described. It seems to me that the amendments at present before us move away from those principles even if we do not look at them in the context of what has gone before. Movement there is, and I ask your Lordships whether the movement now proposed is not larger and more significant. Your Lordships will remember an earlier amendment that also sought to establish multipurpose joint authorities, which your Lordships rejected after debate. The significant difference between this amendment and that one is just that the bodies will not be directly elected. In every other respect the principle is the same. This amendment, like the earlier one, would set up county-wide multipurpose bodies with their own separate multifunctional bureaucracies and all the potential frustration and all the powers of precept which have proved so damaging and unacceptable in the abolition bodies in the past.

The noble Lord, Lord Monkswell, in what I regard as a helpful intervention from my point of view, said that it was ludicrous to resist the principle of accretion of functions to one body because that meant that you could never have a county council. Does that not let the cat out of the bag—that the accretion of functions creates a county council?

Lord Monkswell

If the noble Lord will forgive my correction, the point I was trying to make, and I think I made it in my intervention earlier, was that the arguments being used on the noble Lord's side of the Chamber would seek to deny the validity of local government; and by that I meant district councils. I raised the spectre of education, housing and social services each being separate organisations not coming to a council at the head.

Lord Elton

I accept entirely the point that the noble Lord intended to make. I addressed myself to the point which he actually made quite clearly, in my view; and that was that the body which you get by putting functions together is a local authority, and if you put it at the level at which the Bill puts it you finish up with something that is rather emotively called "Frankenstein Mark 2". I would not put it as strongly as that but the fact is that it is flat contrary to the principle of the Bill.

If your Lordships look at what noble Lords opposite have sought to do to this Bill from the Second Reading onwards, and put that with this amendment, your Lordships will see that it is inimical to the spirit of the Bill. I return to the wise counsel of my noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel, who can expect me, unlike the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge, to agree with him in almost everything he says, and particularly in this, because we are a revising Chamber of Parliament. It is our job to revise statutes in the broad form in which they come to us from another place. Had your Lordships wished to break the mould of the constitution, you could have refused the Bill at Second Reading or, more politely, you could have accepted the reasoned amendment which the noble Baroness put down as the tactful way of suggesting the same thing without breaking the mould of the constitution. That you refused by a resounding majority to do.

Now we have a principle, not of wrecking, but of nibbling at the Bill, which finishes up at wrecking by accretion. My noble friend is right. We should not assist this process. We ought to get back to the proper function of this Chamber at Committee stage, which is not debating the wide principles agreed in another place and accepted at Second Reading, but improving the Bill subject to the form it has been given by that process. The only way your Lordships will do that—and it is late in the day—will be to reject my noble friend's amendment.

Lord Ezra

My name was on the original amendment, and therefore I should like to crave your Lordships' indulgence for just two minutes—for one minute—on the subject.

Noble Lords

Hear, hear!

Lord Elton

I do not wish in any way to be hostile to the noble Lord. Your Lordships have a right to hear what he says but I understand the convention of this Chamber is that at the end of a Committee stage debate the Minister replies, and then the mover speaks. I am open to correction: the rules of this Chamber are in the hands of this Chamber, but I am merely saying what I believe to be the case. If the noble Lord wishes to take my noble friend's place in this process, I am sure that is right, but I imagine it will be briefly. I do not wish to intrude myself in any way: I merely seek to preserve the conventions.

Lord Molson

I should like the noble Lord, in this case, to reply for me.

Lord Ezra

I have the agreement of the noble Lord who moved this motion to speak in his place and I will therefore do so. I should like to suggest that we should do best to regard this proposition strictly on the grounds of which would be the best, the most efficient and the most cost-effective way of doing what we have set out to do. It seemed to me all along that the whole underlying purpose of this Bill, as frequently proclaimed by Government, was that by removing one tier of the local authority in certain parts of the country we would thereby, and the ratepayers would thereby, achieve significant savings.

It is, therefore, perfectly proper, in my opinion, in going through the Bill in detail that as we come to each point we should decide whether the particular propositions within it will be the most effective and efficient way of proceeding. We have now, as a result of going through the Bill and including the propositions contained within it, a number of joint committees, a number of joint bodies. It is perfectly proper to question whether their whole operation could not more effectively be undertaken if they were to operate in concert and if the common services were to be brought together wherever appropriate. I should have thought that this is something that it is perfectly proper to consider and entirely within the spirit of the Bill.

Therefore, I conclude my remarks by saying that I hope that when we make up our minds on this as a Committee we shall bear in mind that the principle objective of this amendment is to make more efficient what is proposed within this Bill.

7.21 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 109EA) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 134; Not-Contents, 148.

Airedale, L. Gallacher, L.
Amherst, E. Galpern, L.
Ardwick, L. Gifford, L.
Attlee, E. Glenconner, L.
Aylestone, L. Graham of Edmonton, L.
Bacon, B. Gregson, L.
Banks, L. Grey, E.
Barnett, L. Hacking, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Hampton, L.
Bernstein, L. Hanworth, V.
Beswick, L. Harris of Greenwich, L.
Birk, B. Hayter, L.
Blease, L. Heycock, L.
Boothby, L. Hooson, L.
Bottomley, L. Houghton of Sowerby, L.
Bowden, L. Howie of Troon, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Hunt, L.
Buckmaster, V. Hutchinson of Lullington, L.
Burton of Coventry, B. Ingleby, V.
Caradon, L. Irving of Dartford, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L. Jacobson, L.
Chitnis, L. Jacques, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Jeger, B.
Collison, L. Jenkins of Putney, L.
Darling of Hillsborough, L. John-Mackie, L.
David, B. Kaldor, L.
Davies of Leek, L. Kearton, L.
Dean of Beswick, L. Kennet, L.
Delacourt-Smith of Alteryn, B. Kilbracken, L.
Kilmarnock, L.
Denington, B. Kirkhill, L.
Diamond, L. Lawrence, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B.
Elwyn-Jones, L. Lloyd of Kilgerran, L.
Ennals, L. Lockwood, B.
Ewart-Biggs, B. Longford, E.
Ezra, L. [Teller.] Lovell-Davis, L.
Falkender, B. McCarthy, L.
Falkland, V. McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Feversham, L. McNair, L.
Fisher of Rednal, B. Mar, C.
Fitt, L. Mayhew, L.
Foot, L. Melchett, L.
Gaitskell, B. Meston, L.
Milford, L. Rochester, L.
Milner of Leeds, L. Ross of Marnock, L.
Mishcon, L. Russell of Liverpool, L.
Molloy, L. Sainsbury, L.
Molson, L. [Teller.] Seear, B.
Monson, L. Serota, B.
Monkswell, L. Shepherd, L.
Mountevans, L. Simon, V.
Mulley, L. Soper, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L. Stallard, L.
Nathan, L. Stamp, L.
Nicol, B. Stedman, B.
Ogmore, L. Stewart of Fulham, L.
O'Neill of the Maine, L. Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Oram, L. Strabolgi, L.
Paget of Northampton, L. Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Peart, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Pitt of Hampstead, L. Tordoff, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L. Tweeddale, M.
Prys-Davies, L. Walston, L.
Rea, L. Whaddon, L.
Ritchie of Dundee, L. Wigoder, L.
Roberthall, L. Wilson of Langside, L.
Robson of Kiddington, B.
Airey of Abingdon, B. Geddes, L.
Aldington, L. Gibson-Watt, L.
Allerton, L. Glanusk, L.
Ampthill, L. Glenarthur, L.
Annaly, L. Gowrie, E.
Barber, L. Gray of Contin, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L. Greenway, L.
Beloff, L. Gridley, L.
Belstead, L. Grimston of Westbury, L.
Bessborough, E. Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Boardman, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L. Halsbury, E.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Hanson, L.
Bridgeman, V. Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Brookeborough, V. Harris of High Cross, L.
Brougham and Vaux. L. Hartwell, L.
Bruce-Gardyne, L. Henley, L.
Buckinghamshire, E. Home of the Hirsel, L.
Caithness, E. Hood, V.
Campbell of Alloway, L. Hornsby-Smith, B.
Campbell of Croy, L. Hylton-Foster, B.
Cayzer, L. Ingrow, L.
Charteris of Amisfield, L. Kaberry of Adel, L.
Clitheroe, L. Kemsley, V.
Coleraine, L. Kinnaird, L.
Colville of Culross, V. Kitchener, E.
Colwyn, L. Lane-Fox, B.
Constantine of Stanmore, L. Lauderdale, E.
Cork and Orrery, E. Layton, L.
Cottesloe, L. Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Cox, B. Long, V.
Craigavon, V. Lothian, M.
Craigton, L. Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Crawford and Balcarres, E. Lyell, L.
Croft, L. McAlpine of West Green, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. McFadzean, L.
Davidson, V. Macleod of Borve, B.
Denham, L. [Teller.] Margadale, L.
Denning, L. Marley, L.
Digby, L. Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Dilhorne, V. Maude of Stratford-upon-Avon, L.
Drumalbyn, L.
Dudley, E. Merrivale, L.
Dundee, E. Middleton, L.
Eden of Winton, L. Monk-Bretton, L.
Elibank, L. Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Ellenborough, L. Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Elles, B. Morris, L.
Elliot of Harwood, B. Mottistone, L.
Elton, L. Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Fanshawe of Richmond, L. Newall, L.
Fisher, L. Nugent of Guildford, L.
Fortescue, E. Onslow, E.
Gainford, L. Orkney, E.
Gardner of Parkes, B. Orr-Ewing, L.
Pender, L. Sharples, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L. Sherfield, L.
Portland, D. Skelmersdale, L.
Rankeillour, L. Southborough, L.
Reay, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Redesdale, L. Sudeley, L.
Reigate, L. Swinfen, L.
Renton, L. Swinton, E. [Teller.]
Renwick, L. Tranmire, L.
Rodney, L. Trefgarne, L.
Romney, E. Trumpington, B.
Rotherwick, L. Ullswater, V.
Rugby, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
St. Alwyn, E. Vivian, L.
Salisbury, M. Ward of Witley, V.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly. Whitelaw, V.
Sandford, L. Windlesham, L.
Savile, L. Wynford, L.
Selkirk, E. Young, B.
Shannon, B. Zouche of Haryngworth, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

7.31 p.m.

Lord Skelmersdale

I think that this might be an appropriate moment to resume the House. I should say that it has been agreed through the usual channels that we shall not return to this Bill until half-past eight. I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

Forward to