§ Amendments made: No. 8, in page 4, line 15, after 'principle', insert 'or only'.
§ No. 9, in page 4, line 46, after 'principal', insert 'or only'.
No. 10, in page 4, line 47, after 'resided";' insert 'the words
the whole of" shall be deleted;'.—[Mr. Buchanan-Smith.]
§ 12.38 a.m.
§ Mr. Carlisle
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
I propose to be very brief, as I think that anyone who knows that there were seven full sittings on a one-Clause Bill will appreciate that the Bill was debated fairly thoroughly in Committee.
I will restate the Bill's purpose, which is to provide two new qualifications for people who wish to stand for election to local authorities: first, if they occupy property within the area of a local authority, and, second, if they have their place of work within the area of that local authority.
The Bill widens the field from which candidates for election can be chosen. It recognises that a person can have an interest in the area in which he works just as much as an interest in the area in which he lives, and it will give those who wish to serve their fellow citizens in the capacity of councillor the opportunity to do so. The Bill, when implemented, will enable many people serving on local councils who have given many years' service to their localities to continue to provide that service.
We have been told throughout that this is a controversial Bill. I cannot see why the Opposition should take that view. I should have thought that a Bill which aimed to enable people who work in an area and have an interest in it to stand in that area for election to the council would have been welcomed by everybody. I am surprised that the Opposition are apparently determined to express their objection to the Bill, and to argue that we should prevent such people from standing as councillors.
§ 12.40 a.m.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The Bill was born out of two ideas. The first was to end the Representation of the People Act, 1969, which itself ended the property qualification for membership of local authorities. This is a retrograde step, but I note that the Government at least have not brought back the property qualification franchise. The second idea was that the Redcliffe-Maud Report argued that people should have an interest in the area in which they work, and thus the Bill extends the franchise to the local government area in which people work.
It is odd that the Minister should think it wrong that we should object to the extension of the qualifications to people who are now debarred by the 1933 Act and subsequent legislation from standing for election to local authorities. It may be that one reason why the Government did not give the vote to the property-qualified person was that those who work in the area would also have to be given the vote, which would raise great problems.
We have lost on the main point of "one man, one vote", but we believe that even in local government it will come back to this. We can only regret that the Government have sought to widen the field of candidature for local authorities in this way when they have not been prepared to widen the field by dealing with disqualifications under the 1933 Act. It only reinforces my view that the extension to those who work is only window-dressing to cover the need of the Government to bring back the property qualification by the use of a new word "occupation".
The Bill was born of incompatible parentage and cannot deal with the problems of local government. The Bill will continue after local government reform, when the areas will be very much larger, which would have solved many of the problems of people who, because of suburban development, live just outside the borough in which they formerly lived. It is a bad Bill, it tinkers for party advantage, and that is why we shall vote against it.
§ 12.43 a.m.
§ Mr. Dick Douglas (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
The Bill applies to Scotland, and it should not do so. A 1301 Scottish Minister is sitting on the Government Benches and he has said nothing about Scotland. In answer to previous questions about Amendments, the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department misled the House on the Scottish issue. He referred to water hoards in England and Wales. So far as his answer related to England and Wales it was accurate, but so far as it related to Scotland it was inaccurate.
People who are employed in water boards in Scotland are statutorily prohibited from standing for election to local authorities which are covered by the 13 water boards in Scotland. The Scottish Minister can contradict or substantiate what I say. The Bill as applied to Scotland is construed to the Tory Party's advantage to relate not to the whole of Scotland but to a few local authorities.
§ Mr. Carlisle
I would point out that the Amendment moved by the Opposition deliberately limited itself to England and Wales and did not refer to Scotland.
§ Mr. Douglas
I accept what the hon. Gentleman says, but there was an indication that it would not apply to water boards and it looked as if it would apply comprehensively.
The Scottish Minister on the Government Front Bench might argue that the Government have a mandate in Scotland for the Bill. They certainly have no moral mandate in Scotland. The legislation applies to a few local authorities and to a few Tory councillors who wish to maintain an advantage.
There is a spurious attachment in the Bill to the matter of employment, but the real matter to which the Bill relates is ownership of property or business. That is what we object to. We argue that if there is to be comprehensive reform of local government, legislation such as this has no place in this House.
§ 12.46 a.m.
§ Mr. Marks
The Bill in no way increases the number of people eligible to become councillors. Every single person affected by its provisions already has the right to stand for the council in the area in which he or she lives. Our Amendment which sought to give a right to those people who cannot stand for any council has been defeated by the Government. The Bill gives people with property or 1302 occupational interests the right to stand for council. The Bill is bad because this area is so difficult to define. The only people who will not benefit from the Bill are the housewives who do not go out to work and the people who live and work in the same borough. The Bill has been brought in for political reasons, and we shall vote against it.
§ 12.48 a.m.
It seems to meet with the disapproval of hon. Gentlemen opposite that they should be kept here until 10 minutes to one o'clock to discuss a Bill which is of some importance for a large number of people.
I would not have intervened had the hon. Gentleman in moving the Third Reading not said that the Bill was intended to enable people with an interest in a particular area to serve the local authority in that area. I suggest that that is only partially true. What the Bill really does is to give to certain people the opportunity to serve on two local authorities, either the local authority in whose area they live or the local authority in whose area they work.
This is a very bad Bill. Local authority employees are excluded from serving on local authorities by which they are employed. But there is an even stronger case when we come to look at the excepted districts in the matter of education. I represent such a district and was for 13 years a school teacher in such an area. School teachers not only could not serve on that local authority but were denied the right to serve on the county council. That means that whilst the Bill gives some people the opportunity to serve on two local authorities, many thousands of people—school teachers—who have a part to play in the civic life of this country are denied the right to serve on either the local borough authority or the county authority. If the Minister believes that that is right or reasonable, then he must live in a different world from that in which I live.
§ 12.50 a.m.
§ Sir G. de Freitas
It is difficult for this House to deal with these important 1303 problems when they are brought before it at this hour of the morning. I very much hope that the Government will not return to this practice.
|Division No. 48.]||AYES||[12.51 a.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Grieve, Percy||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Gummer, Selwyn||Murton, Oscar|
|Astor, John||Gurden, Harold||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Neave, Airey|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Normanton, Tom|
|Balniel, Lord||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Nott, John|
|Bell, Ronald||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Onslow, Cranley|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Haselhurst, Alan||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Berry, Hon. Anthony||Hastings, Stephen||Osborn, John|
|Biffen, John||Havers, Michael||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Hawkins, Paul||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Blaker, Peter||Hay, John||Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Hayhoe, Barney||Percival, Ian|
|Body, Richard||Hicks, Robert||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Boscawen, R. T.||Higgins, Terence L.||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Hiley, Joseph||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Bowden, Andrew||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Bray, Ronald||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Brewis, John||Holt, Miss Mary||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Raison, Timothy|
|Brocklefoank-Fowler, Christopher||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Howell, David (Guildford)||Redmond, Robert|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M)||Hunt, John||Rees, Hn. Peter (Dover)|
|Buck, Antony||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||James, David||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Carlisle, Mark||Jessel, Toby||Robert, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Chapman, Sydney||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Jopling, Michael||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Churchill, W. S.||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rost, Peter|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Kellett, Mrs. Elaine||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Clegg, Walter||Kershaw, Anthony||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Cockeram, Eric||Kilfedder, James||Scott, Nicholas|
|Cooke, Robert||Kimball, Marcus||Sharples, Richard|
|Coombs, Derek||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kinsey, J. R.||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Cormack, Patrick||Kirk, Peter||Simeons, Charles|
|Critchley, Julian||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)|
|Crouch, David||Knox, David||Soref, Harold|
|Crowder, F. P.||Lane, David||Spence, John|
|Curran, Charles||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Sproat, Iain|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Stainton, Keith|
|Dean, Paul||Le Merchant, Spencer||Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Dixon, Piers||Longden, Gilbert||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Loveridge, John||Stokes, John|
|Dykes, Hugh||MacArthur, Ian||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||McCrindle, R. A.||Tapsell, Peter|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||McLaren, Martin||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Eyre, Reginald||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Fell, Anthony||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)||Tebbit, Norman|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Madel, David||Temple, John M.|
|Fidler, Michael||Mather, Carol||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Fowler, Norman||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Tilney, John|
|Fox, Marcus||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Fry, Peter||Miscampbell, Norman||Trew, Peter|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Mitchell,Lt.-Co1.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Moate, Roger||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Goodhart, Philip||Molyneaux, James||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Money, Ernie||Walters, Dennis|
|Gorst, John||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Gower, Raymond||Monro, Hector||Warren, Kenneth|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Montgomery, Fergus||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Gray, Hamish||More, Jasper||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Green, Alan||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
§ Question Put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 226, Noes 196.
|Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Wiggin, Jerry||Worsley, Marcus||Mr. Keith Speed and|
|Wilkinson, John||Younger, Hn. George||Mr. Jim Fortescue.|
|Abse, Leo||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hamling, William||Murray, Ronald King|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Hardy, Peter||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Ashton, Joe||Harrison, Walter (Wakefletd)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Atkinson, Norman||Hattersley, Roy||Orme, Stanley|
|Barnes, Michael||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Oswald, Thomas|
|Barnett, Joel||Heffer, Eric S.||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Hilton, W. S.||Palmer, Arthur|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Horam, John||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Huckfield, Leslie||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Booth, Albert||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Pendry, Tom|
|Bradley, Tom||Hughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)||Pentland, Norman|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Prescott, John|
|Buchan, Norman||Hunter, Adam||Probert, Arthur|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Janner, Greville||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Cant, R. B.||Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||John, Brynmor||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Roper, John|
|Coleman, Donald||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Concannon, J. D.||Judd, Frank||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Kaufman, Gerald||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Kerr, Russell||Short, Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Kinnock, Neil||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Lamble, David||Sillars, James|
|Dalyell, Tam||Lamond, James||Silverman, Julius|
|Davidson, Arthur||Latham, Arthur||Skinner, Dennis|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Lawson, George||Small, William|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Leadbitter, Ted||Spearing, Nigel|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Leonard, Dick||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, Central)||Lestor, Miss Joan||Stallard, A. W.|
|Deakins, Eric||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham N.)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Loughlin, Charles||Strang, Gavin|
|Dempsey, James||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Doig, Peter||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Swain, Thomas|
|Dormand, J. D.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Taverne, Dick|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||McBride, Neil||Thomas,Rt.Hn.George(Cardiff,W.)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||McCann, John||Tinn, James|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||McCartney, Hugh||Tomney, Frank|
|Dunn, James A.||McElhone, Frank||Torney, Tom|
|Dunnett, Jack||McGuire, Michael||Urwin, T. W.|
|Eadie, Alex||Mackie, John||Varley, Eric G.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Mackintosh, John P.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Maclennan, Robert||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Ellis, Tom||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|English, Michael||McNamara, J. Kevin||Wallace, George|
|Evans, Fred||Marquand, David||Watkins, David|
|Fernyhough, E.||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Weitzman, David|
|Fisher, Mrs.Doris(B'ham,Ladywood)||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Meacher, Michael||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mendelson, John||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Foot, Michael||Millan, Bruce||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Ford, Ben||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Forrester, John||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Molloy, William||Woof, Robert|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Golding, John||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Grant, John D. (Islingon, E.)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Mr. Kenneth Marks.|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwetl)||Moyle, Roland|
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.