§ (2) A mechanically propelled vehicle fitted with controls enabling it to be driven by persons having a particular disability or a vehicle specifically and extensively adapted for use by persons having a particular disability that so incapacitates them in the use of their limbs that they have to be driven and cared for by a full-time constant attendant and registered in the name of such a disabled person under the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1962 shall not be chargeable with any duty under that Act by reason of its use by or for the purposes of that disabled person or by reason of its being kept for such use where—
- (a) he caused the controls to be fitted to the vehicle and obtained in respect of the cost thereby incurred a grant paid by the Minister of Health and Social Security or (in Scotland) the Secretary of State out of moneys provided by Parliament; or
- (b) whether or not he caused the controls to be fitted to the vehicle his disability is of a kind in the case of which grants in respect of the fitting of such controls are so paid;
- (c) conspicuous and permanent adaptations have been carried out on the vehicle to make it suitable for the transport of the disabled person by his or her constant attendant as driver and where the disabled person is sufficiently disable to be eligible under the National Health Service Act 1946 and the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 for an invalid tricycle but too disabled to drive it,
1838 and where regulations under section 16(3) of that Act requires a person to furnish particulars as to a vehicle exempted from duty by this section, they may require him to furnish in addition such evidence of the facts giving rise to the exemption as it is prescribed by the regulations.
§ The Deputy Chairman (Mr. Harry Gourlay)
With this Amendment it will be convenient to discuss Amendment No. 3, in page 9, line 31, at end insert:
§ (3) Registered disabled persons who use their own private vehicles shall be exempted from vehicle excise duty provided that this exemption shall apply only in respect of one vehicle for each registered disabled person.
§ and new Clause 3—
§ Exemption from vehicle excise duty of vehicle used by husband or wife or disabled person.
§ Mr. Marten
Yes, Mr. Gourlay. In replying earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. Maurice Macmillan) the Minister said that it was his unhappy job always to be rejecting on behalf of the Treasury, some attractive Amendments that clearly appealed to his heart. This is another attractive Amendment. I hope that he will not resist it as he has in the past. I am sorry that he is leaving the Chamber. We want to provide precisely the sort of thing he was advocating to my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham, namely, a cash allowance.
We have taken the drafting of the Amendment straight from the Finance Act, 1964, adding one or two words to it. There should not be much complaint about the drafting; it came from a very good vintage Budget. There is a lot of verbiage in the Amendment but it has a clear object, which is to provide for a disabled passenger the same relief from vehicle excise duty as is now given to a disabled driver. For the benefit of those who may not be familiar with the term " disabled passenger ", let me point out that he is a person who is so disabled that he cannot drive, and must have a driver. Usually he also has a constant attendant.
Why should disabled passengers be treated any less well than persons who are less disabled and who can drive? Those who can drive three-wheeled Ministry vehicles obtain the relief that I am seeking on behalf of disabled passengers.
1839 Such people cannot normally be transferred from their wheelchairs into their vehicles without mechanical and, very often, human aid. It is nearly always obvious that a vehicle is for the use of a disabled person because it has adaptations and hoists on the top, so that the disabled passenger can be hoisted from his wheelchair into the car. There is no difficulty about identification.
There may be an anology with the blind person. Blind people cannot drive cars but, as my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham said, they receive a tax allowance of £100 for their disability. The disabled passenger receives nothing by way of tax relief or allowance in respect of his disability, whereas a blind person does. The whole situation requires regularising.
The usual Treasury argument is that this so-called concession will be abused. However, I do not think that the Treasury should continue using that argument, because it will not stand up to examination. The disabled driver, who is not so badly disabled as the disabled passenger and who has his three-wheeled car, is able to get this concession on two vehicles if he happens to own two. That is not being abused in any way, and I do not think people in the disabled passenger category would abuse the concession if it were given to them. I understand that those who get the concession under the War Disabled Scheme do not abuse it, though I believe that it was abused immediately after the war when people coming out of the Services were running their vehicles as taxis, and so on. However, those days are finished.
The disabled passenger has to be hoisted into his car and, because of that, is nearly always in need of a constant attendant. It is unlikely that the constant attendant will drive the car for pleasure, or go off in it on his own, say, to the pictures, because he must be constantly in attendance on the disabled person whom we are discussing. I suggest that these are a lot of non-arguments which are traditionally advanced by the Treasury. I hope that we shall not hear them again today.
Disabled passengers pay by way of taxation £25 road tax and about £66 in petrol tax, on the basis of 8,000 miles a year at 27 miles to the gallon and 4s. 6d. per gallon. The purchase tax on the car 1840 depreciated over eight years is £19. That comes to a total of about £110 a year in taxation. I do not think that those figures are questioned, because the Automobile Association and the British Road Federation have come up with figures somewhere between £106 and £112.
These are taxes on mobility and, as the Chief Secretary told the House on 1st April, 1969, they have risen by £38.7 per person per year since 1964. That is a tremendous extra burden, and it takes no account of the purchase tax that such a person must pay on the hoist which has to be placed on the top of his car so that he can be hoisted into the vehicle. An electric hoist for this purpose carries purchase tax of 36 per cent.
The disabled passenger is taxed very heavily, and he has to bear this burden because he is more disabled than the disabled person who can drive himself. He cannot use public transport. He is entirely dependent on his own vehicle for mobility.
Disabled passengers are the only group remaining in this category not exempt from road tax. This is a severe tax on their mobility. The best calculation that I can make is that the maximum number of people who would be affected by the concession for which I ask is 2,500. Such a concession would encourage them to be more mobile and, in my view, could contribute to the general economy of the country.
We do not ask the Government for any assistance. We are merely asking that the amount taken by the Government from disabled passengers be reduced in order to help them to become more mobile. They have great burdens to bear. I hope that the Government will help them to bear those burdens.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ The Deputy Chairman
Order. The hon. Gentleman may discuss new Clause 3. He does not require to move it.
§ Mr. Morris
I am grateful for your guidance, Mr. Gourlay. My speech will be very much concerned with the provisions which I seek to make in new Clause 3.
1841 The hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) has moved his Amendment most felicitously. The Committee knows of his deep personal concern to improve the mobility of the severely disabled. Many of us on both sides feel strongly that new steps are needed to improve the lot of those whose mobility is restricted.
My proposition, like that of the hon. Gentleman, is designed to help the disabled passenger. The hon. Gentleman has reminded the Committee that the Finance Act, 1964, relieves the disabled driver from payment of excise duty. It is surely an anomaly that those who are too grievously disabled to drive themselves are not entitled to the relief allowed by the Finance Act, 1964.
Perhaps I might mention two cases which have been drawn to my attention by the Joint Committee on Mobility for the Disabled. I do so because I feel that it is necessary for the Committee to consider the proposition put forward by the hon. Member for Banbury against particular cases.
The first case to which I would refer is that of a man who is paralysed in all four limbs and who requires to be washed, dressed and helped with the toilet. He types using a mouthstick. Two years ago he began work, his first job, in the office of a wholesaler, using an electric typewriter and POSSUM apparatus to operate the telephone and dictaphone. Soon after beginning work, he found that it would only be possible to continue if he acquired his own transport. He and his fiancee, now his wife, were forced to purchase a car. His wife takes him to work and brings him back, as well as working full-time herself. She is able-bodied. If his wife was not working, it is obvious that they could hardly meet the loan charges, repayments and costs of running the car. Without the car, this disabled man could not work. The couple receive no help of any kind and pay both National Insurance contributions and income tax. Without a job, this disabled man would be dependent on the State.
The second case also helps to make an important point which I wish to emphasise to the Committee. The case concerns a man who is disabled by polio. He was married with two children. Polio left him paralysed in both legs, 1842 with very limited use of his arms, and incapable of driving even an invalid tricycle. At the time, he and his wife owned a small car, and his wife was able to drive her husband and the children. Shortage of money forced them to give up the car, and this was a major factor in the break-up of their marriage. He is now living at public expense in a home for the disabled.
There are those who would say of these Amendments that they may be too costly. Everyone will be interested to know how much would be involved in operating the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Banbury and how much would be involved in operating my new Clause.
Another question is: how much can be saved by operating these Amendments? I take the view that much of our expenditure on the disabled is neither cheap nor efficient. It does not make sense not to help people to improve their mobility if they want to become workers instead of depending on State support. Some of the most severely incapacitated people want to stop being supplementary pensioners and to start being taxpayers.
The Minister of State's concern in this matter is well known to me—he has been a personal friend of mine since we were at Oxford together over 20 years ago—but I put to him the argument that we should be asking ourselves this question: how much we shall save by improving the mobility of the disabled who merely want the dignity of being able to work with the increased status of being able to move about more easily than they can now.
I will not speak at length, although I feel extremely strongly about the matter. I will, however, mention one other point. It is argued that abuse of the type of scheme that we are suggesting is the reason why it should not be accepted. This is a classical defence of those who do not really want to do anything. I think that people would regard it as deeply shameful to abuse a scheme of this kind introduced to help the disabled who want to be more mobile and to work. I am satisfied that the argument about abuse does not in any way cancel the case that we are making. I know that my hon. Friend will be as sympathetic as possible, but 1843 I strongly urge him to confer with his colleagues in the Treasury to ensure that before long we do something to help some of the most deserving people in this country.
§ Mr. Paul Dean (Somerset, North)
We are discussing three possible ways in which assistance can be given to some of the most severely disabled in this country.
My hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) and the hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) have worked long and hard for the cause of the disabled. I, too, have had the privilege on many occasions of speaking on the same subject from this Box. I hope very much that this is the occasion on which the Government will be able to tell the Committee that progress is now possible.
The only argument that we have had in the past on this matter has been the difficulty of policing. I have always regarded this as a weak argument. Surely there are ways whereby this difficulty can be overcome. We are dealing here with some of the most severely disabled. After all, war disabled or civilian disabled who get an invalid car are, almost by definition, less disabled than the people about whom we are now speaking, those who are so disabled that they cannot drive a vehicle. Had they been able to drive a vehicle, in the vast majority of cases they would have been eligible not only for a vehicle, but also for all the advantages, tax and expense-wise on the running of the vehicle, which flow from possession of it. The category of people that we are considering are not only not getting exemption from the road fund tax, but they also have to bear the full cost of the vehicle's running expenses. Therefore, they are being penalised all the way round.
I do not want to introduce political controvery, but when we take into account the steep increase in the running costs of vehicles which has taken place over recent years, we can see that the case is even more powerful than previously. When we take into account the purchase tax on vehicles, the tax on petrol, and the increase in the road fund tax, it is easy to see that it has become more difficult for these people to be mobile.
1844 As has been said time and again—we are realising this as we know more about disability—the psychological effect on the disabled of being able to go out and earn their living so that, as the hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe said, they can become taxpayers, is considerable. Here is one way in which we can assist them.
I do not believe that it is impossible, either through one of these suggestions or through another, to ensure that an exemption of this kind is not abused. In many cases the people that we are considering require constant attendance. We are learning a great deal more about that. Indeed, we hope that a cash allowance for constant attendance will be introduced fairly soon. We are learning a great deal more about possible ways of ensuring that there is no abuse. Equally, in many cases the type of vehicle and its adaptation makes it fairly easy to recognise.
I hope that we will have from the Government today some real hope for the severely disabled. Above all, I hope that we will not have the excuse that we have had in the past that it will be too difficult to help some of these most deserving people.
§ Mr. Pavitt
On the eve of what may well be one of the most hard-hitting election campaigns of the century, it is typical that a Committee can reach so much accord on a question like this. As a Member of Parliament, I find a delight in such matters. I am sure that when the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell) has spoken, we will have had the assent of all three political parties for the Amendment.
I should like to reinforce what has been said in two regards.
First, in matters of this kind, from time to time the attitude of the Treasury and of other Government Departments, whilst having sympathy with the aim, is not to do it in the particular way suggested. I ask my hon. Friend to consider reversing the idea that everything must be done through direct benefit and to look at the matter in the light of what has become common trade union practice elsewhere—namely, having got certain basic points, to look for fringe benefits. If there is an area where fringe benefits 1845 could be useful, it is not only in the Amendment, but also in a whole series of ways. If we are having a more affluent society, if we are all to be better off, it should be to this kind of matter that the Treasury should be looking in order that those most hard-pressed sections of the community should get the fringe benefits and help of the kind being put forward.
Secondly, I should like to reinforce the argument, from a medical point of view, on the mobility of persons coping with disability. I speak from experience, because I cope with a disability. The one thing that a disabled person has to do is to make sure that he never gives up. He must never accept that he cannot do something. To him everything is a challenge.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ The Amendment would help particularly those who suffer from disseminated or multiple sclerosis. The tide of the disease must be pushed back by the courage of the person suffering. He must say to himself, " I can do it. I will do it ". By the Amendment we can say to people suffering from disseminated or multiple sclerosis, " We shall encourage you to keep the fight going to push back the tide of the disease which is challenging you. We shall help you to meet that challenge ".
§ I therefore commend to the Treasury bench—I hope that I shall not have to commend it to any other Front Bench in the future—the acceptance of the Amendment. This is the kind of thing which the Committee ought to be doing. There is 100 per cent. agreement about it. If the Treasury Bench cannot accept the Amendment they ought to take it away and think about it with a view to doing a good deal more homework before we come to another Finance Bill.
§ Mr. Bessell
As has been said, this is an all-party Amendment, and I was glad to hear the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) say that this is one of those occasions on which, in spite of party differences, the Committee can speak with one voice. The hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) moved the Amendment in his usual able manner, and gave all the arguments in favour of it. He told the Committee why he believes this 1846 to be an essential aid to disabled persons, and I agreed with every thing that he said. Likewise, I agreed with what the hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) said about New Clause 3.
I should like to refer briefly to Amendment No. 3, but before doing so perhaps I may say in parenthesis that although I said the week before last that I expected that I was then making my last speech to the Committee, this interjection this afternoon is not to be regarded as a speech. Nor is it to be thought that I am behaving like Dame Nellie Melba, who constantly made comebacks. I felt that it was important to say a few words on the Amendment because of a case which has caused me anxiety for about three or four years in my constituency. I think that it illustrates the need for the kind of exemption envisaged in Amendment No. 3, rather than those envisaged in the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Banbury.
Some disabled people are capable of driving an ordinary motor car. They are registered as disabled, with all the benefits that accrue to them under that registration system. Nevertheless, they do not get the benefits afforded under the terms of the 1964 Act to disabled persons who use vehicles specifically designed for use by disabled people. My constituent, who is a woman in middle life, lives on the moors of Bodmin. Some years ago she received an injury to her back which makes it impossible for her to be mobile except by means of a motor vehicle, but she does not need a disabled person's vehicle. She can use her arms and legs quite freely, and she can drive an ordinary motor car.
For some years she has been trying to keep on the road a vehicle which is now elderly. It is quite safe, but it is very far from comfortable. She wants to replace this vehicle, and she could perhaps just about manage to do that within the limit of her resources, but she has found it an intolerable burden to pay the inevitable additional costs of running the car—the excise duty, the petrol tax, and so on, to which reference has been made —and she would have to pay purchase tax if she bought a new vehicle.
I feel that as this lady is doing a useful job of work—she is fully occupied—and as it is essential for her to have a vehicle 1847 to reach her employment from her remote cottage on Bodmin Moor, it would be far wiser for the Government to make the kind of concession envisaged in Amendment No. 3 which seeks to exempt disabled persons from paying the vehicle excise duty. The exemption is limited to one car. There is no question of the exemption being abused. It is a simple straightforward matter. The person concerned would take his disabled person's registration card with him when he applied for exemption from excise duty. He would be registered, not only in the normal way, but also with the local taxation office for exemption in respect of one vehicle. There would be no administrative difficulty. The cost to the Treasury would be very slight. In fact, it is possible that there would be no cost, because most people take advantage of the 1964 Act when they need not do so.
The woman I have mentioned—and in others like her—is capable of driving an ordinary vehicle, and yet she is unable to obtain the benefits afforded to disabled people under the 1964 Act. I hope, therefore, that in considering all these Amendments the Treasury will give careful consideration to Amendment No. 3, which I believe has merit at least equal to that of the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Banbury and the new Clause proposed by the hon. Member for Wythenshawe.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
Treasury Ministers perhaps more than others occasionally find themselves in impossible positions, and I think that this is one of them because, listening to all that has been said today, and applying one's own criteria and measures to the nature of the problems we are discussing, it is impossible not to be persuaded by the argument that we should do more than we do for those who are physically disabled.
I think that the case was well put on Second Reading by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris), when he referred to those who were physically disabled as being socially disabled as well. This is precisely the case, and perhaps the greatest deprivation is not the loss of limbs or faculties, if that was not enough, but the loss of human contacts and of mobility; those things which matter to those who arc fortunate enough not to be disabled.
1848 I should like to be able to say that the heart takes over, not out of sentiment, but because we believe this to be a right and just, and therefore the objections which have been raised in the past to the kind of proposals set out and very well put by the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten), by my hon. Friend the Member for Wythenshawe, and by others who have contributed to the debate, have all been overcome, and that the Amendment and the new Clause are not defective or contradictory and therefore we can, in a sense, let them go by on the nod. That is what my instincts tell me I ought to do, but, whereas I think that my instincts in relation to the issue are right, my instincts in relation to legislation which fulfils the purpose required are probably wrong.
I am not saying that the argument about abuse is overwhelming. It may well be that in this, as in some other matters, one has to balance the right course against the possibility that some may abuse it. The hon. Member for Banbury was very fair when he said that after the war, in rather different circumstances, there may have been some abuse. Equally, I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Wythenshawe, when he says that it is difficult to believe that there will be much abuse when we are dealing with a section of a community which is deprived in the real sense of the word. It may be that our judgment should fall slightly differently from what it did in the past, and that if there is abuse, or the possibility of it, this should be discounted because of the advantage to be gained by concessions of this kind. Judging from what I have heard today, that is how the Committee feels. Nor shall I say that there are administrative obstacles which cannot be overcome. There are administrative obstacles to doing virtually anything, but unless we set out to overcome them there would be no reforms and no changes in policy and attitudes in the community which had changed; and would not be represented by what was on the Statute Book.
Although I cannot advise the Committee to accept the Amendments or the new Clause, I believe that we must try very hard to overcome the obstacles. I do not say that that cannot be done or that the obstacles are overwhelming. Should I be in a position to play a part in the consideration of these matters in the months 1849 to come, I should regard it as a priority to discuss with my colleagues in the Treasury and my hon. Friends at the Department of Health and Social Security whether we can make an advance in this respect and set aside the obstacles which, although real, we should endeavour to overcome.
§ Mr. Marten
The Minister of State referred to there being obstacles to accepting Amendment No. 4. But he could readily accept it because it has been taken from the Finance Act, 1964, which had the approval of the House. There is nothing wrong with the Amendment if the Government are prepared not to take so much taxation from disabled passengers.
§ Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)
I find the Minister of States' reply very disappointing. I am not without sympathy with a Treasury Minister in what the Minister of State described as an impossible position. Some of us know what that feels like. But the hon. Gentleman was less helpful than he could have been. He did not argue, and for the reasons given by my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) could not argue, that the Amendment was imperfectly drafted and therefore could not be accepted. He did not argue that the administrative problems, though real, were insuperable. He asked us to reject the Amendment in return for his undertaking to look into the matter in future months.
What could the Minister of State do then which the Committee cannot do now? I am glad that what appears in the 1964 Act has been accepted because I had some responsibility for that Measure and spoke on the Clause dealing with this matter. The Minister, rightly, has not said that the great Department which he represents and the Customs and Excise could not handle the matter if the Amendment were accepted. What will the hon. Gentleman spend the next few months doing which is not done by my hon. Friend in his Amendment?
The Minister has put the Committee in an extremely awkward position. There is all party support for what is proposed, and, although the Minister did not answer the question about what the cost would be, he accepted, by implica- 1850 tion, that it would be so trivial as to be unimportant. I do not know why the hon. Gentleman is not prepared to advise the Committee to accept the Amendment, which is correctly drafted, as he admits, and administrable, as he admits. Perhaps the answer is—and one would understand it if it were—that as a junior Minister he is not entitled to commit the Government. But the Chief Secretary, who is a member of the Cabinet, is present and has heard the debate. If the Minister of State does not feel able to advise the Committee to accept the proposal, I am sure that the authority of the Chief Secretary would run to that Therefore, one cannot have the sympathy which one might otherwise have had with a junior Minister left, like Casabianca, on the Treasury Bench without authority to make a concession. The Chief Secretary, who has full authority to make it, is sitting on the Front Bench, consulting his brief.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ I press the Minister of State to accept the Amendment. I should have hoped that he would feel that that would be a particularly good thing to do on this occasion. For reasons which we all understand, this important Finance Bill is being rushed through without proper opportunity being given to make the corrections in it which hon. Members normally like to make. Despite that, this is a proposal, for which time has been found owing to the enterprise of my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury, which has been properly debated. Why cannot the Minister accept it? If he cannot, I do not know what my hon. Friend will do, but, if I were in his place, I would not withdraw the Amendment.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
This is obviously a case of virtue unrewarded. Casabianca notwithstanding, it seems to me a case of Morton's fork, if I may mix the analogies.
I could have set before the Committee the administrative difficulties of enforcement and classification and told a dismal tale, which would have been unpopular, but a hard Treasury line. I could have gone away not expressing my feelings but carrying out the obligations in my brief. Instead, I said that I thought that this on the virtues of the case made in the was an important matter and dwelt more Committee than the difficulties. If the 1851 Committee had wished me to explain the administrative difficulties at length, I could have done so.
It would be wrong to legislate, which we would be doing by accepting what has been proposed, before being aware that administrative difficulties could be overcome. I have given the Committee an undertaking that we should do our best to ensure that the administrative problems were overcome. Therefore, an Amendment of this sort may be possible in future.
§ Mr. Marten
I think that what the Minister of State means by saying that the matter will be looked at is that a junior Minister at the Department of Health and Social Security is considering this question. But that is entirely different. That concerns the question of vehicles for the disabled, whether three-wheelers or four-wheelers. We are here concerned with excise duty, which lies outside the remit given to the junior Minister at the Department of Health and Social Security to go into the question of vehicles for disabled drivers.
§ Mr. Rodgers
I was not referring to that. There are differences of emphasis between the Amendments and the new Clause which must be considered in the spirit which I have suggested.
§ Sir D. Glover
The Minister of State's reply was most unsatisfactory. The Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) has been taken from the Finance Act, 1964. The difference is that the 1964 Act proposal dealt with disabled drivers whereas this Amendment deals with disabled passengers. It was possible to overcome the administrative difficulties about disabled drivers in 1964. The Minister has made no case for not overcoming the administrative difficulties in this Amendment. The two cases deal with virtually the same people: one in 1964 who sat in the driving seat, and one in 1970 sitting in the passenger seat. The Department and the Customs and Excise were able to overcome the difficulties in 1964.
I am completely unconvinced by the Minister's reply. Even though it might not be usual on a special day in our affairs such as this, if I were my hon. Friend I should not withdraw the Amendment; I should divide the Committee.
§ Mr. Bessell
Like the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover), I am disturbed by the answer from the Treasury Bench. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) that, if we can have no firmer undertaking from the Minister of State or the Chief Secretary, we may well have to divide, and I should be sorry to see that happen. I should he sorry because there is accord on the question. Even the Minister of State recognises that this is a genuine cause which we are seeking to fight and one which has his sympathy.
The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames, who is far more expert than I and many other right hon. and hon. Members on Treasury matters, has assured the Committee that the administrative difficulties could be overcome. We have his authority for that, and I think that few hon. Members would care to challenge that authority. In the circumstances, and because we are speaking not on party lines—the Amendment is an all-party Amendment—I hope that, if the Government are unable to accept the Amendment now, we shall at least have an unequivocal undertaking from the Minister of State that, if his party is re-elected as the Government, it will be a first priority that this proposal, in one form or other but with the same meaning, will be put into effect. It could be done simply. It would require only a short Bill to do it.
Better than that, I hope that the Amendment can be accepted now. There is no reason in logic why it should not be. I am sorry that we have had this answer. As others have said, this would be a particularly happy occasion to make the concession instead of forcing the Committee into a position in which it does not wish to be, when it may have to divide.
§ Mr. Pavitt
Could I seek your advice, Mr. Gourlay? The Committee is in some difficulty on procedure. We accepted the proposal of the Chairman of Ways and Means for the order in which Amendments should be taken. Is there any way by which we can find time for further thought? Obviously, my hon. Friend the Minister of State is in a difficult position; he cannot, off the cuff, move from the decision which has already been taken. On the other hand, I am certain 1853 that if he, other Treasury Ministers and we ourselves had a little more time, we might reach a more satisfactory resolution of the problem.
Even at this late stage, is there any way by which the Committee could have a little more time to enable the Minister of State to consult the Chief Secretary and others, perhaps, in the hope that the
|Division No. 132]||AYES||[5.55 p.m.|
|Bessell, Peter||Howell, David (Guildford)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Jopling, Michael||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Buck, Antony (Corchester)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Costain, A. P.||Longden, Gilbert||Scott, Nicholas|
|Crouch, David||Lubbock, Eric||Smith, John (London & W'minster)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross&Crom'ty)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Mar pies, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Emery, Peter||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Wall, Patrick|
|Fortescue, Tim||Neave, Airey||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Onslow, Cranley||Worsley, Marcus|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian|
|Goodhart, Philip||Osborn, John (Hallam)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Gower, Raymond||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Mr. Neil Marten and|
|Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Mr. Richard Sharpies.|
|Albu, Austen||Gregory, Arnold||Mapp, Charles|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Grey, Charles (Durham)||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mendelson, John|
|Barnett, Joel||Hamilton, Jamss (Bothwell)||Millan, Bruce|
|Beaney, Alan||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Bence, Cyril||Hamling, William||Molloy, William|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Harper, Joseph||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Hazell, Bert||Neal, Harold|
|Bishop, E. S.||Heffer, Eric S.||Newens, Stan|
|Blendinson, Arthur||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Norwood, Christopher|
|Booth, Albert||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Oakes, Gordon|
|Bradley, Tom||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Ogden, Eric|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Hoy, Rt. Hn. James||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Orme, Stanley|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sn'burn)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Hunter, Adam||Page, Derek (Kind's Lynn)|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Chapman, Donald||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Coleman, Donald||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Concanncn, J. D.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Pentland, Norman|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Delargy, H. J.||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Randall, Harry|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rankin, John|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Kelley, Richard||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dickens, James||Kenyon, Clifford||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Doig, Peter||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Driberg, Tom||Ledger, Ron||Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Cwyneth (Exeter)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)||Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Dun woody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Short, Mrs. Renée(Whampton,N.E.)|
|Eadie, Alex||Lipton, Marcus||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|English, Michael||Lomas, Kenneth||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Enners, David||Loughlin, Charles||Sillars, J.|
|Ensor, David||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Slater, Joseph|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||McBride, Neil||Small, William|
|Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||McCann, John||Snow, Julian|
|Fernrhough, E.||MacCann, James||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Finch, Harold||McElhone, Frank||Swain, Thomas|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McGuire, Michael||Symonds, J. B.|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Taverne, Dick|
|Ford, Ben||Mackie, John||Thornton, Ernest|
|Forrester, John||McMillan, Tom (Glaogow, C.)||Tinn, James|
|Freeson, Reginald||McNamara, J. Kevin||Urwin, T. W.|
|Ginsburg, David||MacPherson, Malcolm||Varley, Eric G.|
§ concession which the Committee seeks could be granted?
§ The Deputy Chairman
I am sorry, but nothing can be done at this stage to accommodate the hon. Gentleman.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 44, Noes 146.
|Wainwright, Edwin (Deame Valley)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Wallace, George||Willis, Rt. Hn. George||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Weitzman, David||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.||Mr. R. F. H. Dobson and|
|Whitaker, Ben||Woof, Robert||Mr. Walter Harrison.|
§ Clauses 9 and 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.