§ Notwithstanding anything contained in section 1 of this Act, and notwithstanding anything which may be done between the passing of this Act and the commencement of the said section 1, regulations in force when this Act is passed shall continue to apply to any local education authority which, within three months of the passing of this Act, shall have passed a resolution declaring that to the best of its belief the average daily number of pupils for whom school meals were during the six months preceding such resolution being provided free at maintained schools within the area of such authority or at educational establishments under its management was not less than 10 per cent. of the total average daily number of pupils for whom school meals were tehreat provided.—[Mr. Edward Short.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.578
§ Mr. Speaker
With this we are to take new Clause 13—"Exception related to future free school meals"—new Clause 16—"Exception related to future school meals"—and
Amendments No. 7, in page 1, line 19, after 'school', insert :
'or he is a member of a family any other member of which is currently being provided with free school meals'.
No. 8, in line 19, after 'school', insert :
or he is a member of a family living together in a single household where any member thereof is currently in receipt of supplementary benefit under the Ministry of Social Security Act 1966'.
No. 9, in line 19, after 'school', insert :
or he is a member of a family living together in a single household where the total net income of such family currently does not exceed the sum of £5 per member'.
No. 11, in line 19, after 'school', insert :
'or he is a member of a family any other member of which is currently being provided with milk by virtue of the provisions of this Act'.
No. 12, in line 19, after 'school', insert :
'or he is currently being provided by the authority with free school meals'.
No. 23, in page 2, line 3, at end insert :
'In the case of pupils at primary schools any regulation so made shall authorise those local authorities where, in May 1971 over 25 per cent. of the total meals served were free meals, to remit any charges otherwise payable by pupils or parents thereunder'.
No. 41, in line 31, after 'school', insert :
'or who is a member of a family any other member of which is currently being provided with milk by virtue of the provisions of this Act'.
No. 42, in line 31, after 'school', insert :
'or who is a member of a family any other member of which is currently being provided with free school meals'.
No. 43, in line 31, after 'school', insert :
'or who is currently being provided by the authority with free school meals'.
No. 44, in line 31, after 'school', insert :
'or who is a member of a family living together in a single household where any member thereof is currently in receipt of supplementary benefit under the Ministry of Social Security Act 1966'.
No. 45, in line 31, after 'school', insert :
'or who is a member of a family living together in a single household where the total net income of such family currently does not exceed the sum of £5 per member'.
No. 53, in line 38, at end insert :
In the case of pupils at primary schools any regulation so made shall authorise those local authorities where, in May, 1971 over 25 per cent. of the total meals served were free meals, to remit any charges otherwise payable by pupils or parents thereunder.
§ Mr. Fred Evans
The purpose of the three new Clauses and the 14 Amendments is again to take the edge off the harshness of the Bill and to introduce a more compassionate attitude to children.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I was in error in calling the hon. Member because, I am advised, his name not being on the Order Paper, he cannot move the new Clause. If the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Edward Short) would formally move it, the hon. Gentleman could continue his speech.
§ Mr. Evans
The three new Clauses are aimed at areas such as those we have just discussed, the special development areas, development areas, and areas of poor social conditions. The figures given by the right hon. Lady on 5th July of the failure in the take-up of school meals and the percentage increase in the number of free meals against the total demonstrated a clear link between the necessity to look after children and the needs of areas undergoing the economic stringencies of the moment.
We want local authorities to have power to make decisions in certain eventualities. If within a given period the provision of free meals is 10 per cent. of the total—25 per cent. is suggested in one new Clause—the local authority may pass a resolution and the regulations now applying to the provisions of school milk will operate. This is a reasonable suggestion, because the yardstick of the number of children taking school meals is relevant to judging the condition of an area in terms of employment and economic viability.
§ The Amendments provide some protection for several categories of children. The first is when a child is receiving free school meals, when it is proposed that all children in the family should receive free school milk. The second category is children in families in receipt of supplementary benefit. The children of that family, we say, should be entitled to free milk. The other category is children in families drawing family income supplement. The Under-Secretary is probably disappointed about the take-up of family income supplement. I know that he hoped that it 581 would be taken up more extensively. In any case the total provision of such supplement as envisaged by the Government is such that we would argue that there would always be the need to provide supplement for these families.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I think I am right in saying that the group of new Clauses and Amendments we are now discussing deal exclusively with the question of a percentage taking up certain school meals and not with those who are individually in receipt of school meals. I am not trying to make a debating point ; I am simply anxious to answer the hon. Gentleman correctly.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. I am sorry. This has just been added today.
§ Mr. Evans
It is an understandable mistake. I did not know until I came into the debate. It is something that can happen all too easily in this House. We are saying that where a child is a member of a family in which any child is in receipt of free school meals, then all the children should be given free milk. Secondly, we say that where the child is a member of a family receiving supplementary benefit, then the child is in need of free school milk.
As I said, I know that the hon. Gentleman was hoping that there would be a bigger take-up of family income supplement. He has been warned by this side of the House that it is often those in most dire need who are most difficult to find. They are the people who do not know how to fill in forms. If they are surrounded by a mass of forms and a variety of means tests they will say, "To hell with these forms ; I will not bother." There are also those who are, quite irrationally perhaps, so proud that they will not go, as they feel, cap in hand for one means-tested benefit after another. Some of us who believe in the universality 582 of benefits face the problem of evolving a much simpler application form.
The last group of exemptions is children who are members of a family where the average weekly income is less than £5 per member. We feel that is a reasonable level. Overlaid on all this is the question of local option and the freedom of local authorities to reach their own decisions.
There was no sturdier champion of the rights of local authorities than the right hon. Lady in her speech in the education debate on the Gracious Speech. Quote after quote can be given of her passionate protagonism for the rights of local authorities to self-determination. In the document which my right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Edward Short) seems to make his bedside reading—"A Better Tomorrow"—we have statements like this :Under Labour there has been too much government interference in day-to-day workings of industry and local government. There has been to much government ; there will be less.Later we find :The independence of local authorities has been seriously eroded by Labour Ministers. On many issues, particularly in education and housing, they have deliberately overridden the views of elected councils. We think it wrong that the balance of power between central and local government should have been distorted and we will redress the balance and increase the independence of local authorities.If a local authority does not know best the problems of the children in its area, then I do not know what other body can make that judgment. I am sure that the right hon. Lady and the Under-Secretary have received many representations about this.
Local authorities are only too anxious to be able to protect the nutritional standards of their children. I was disturbed to hear of the report from my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), about the possibility of the recurrence of rickets. We would not claim for one moment that this is a sudden and dramatic thing. What emerged in Committee was that the Government have no criteria to give medical officers about the way in which they should examine children and categorise them. It is the dietary deficiency spread over the years that matters. There is real fear in the medical profession concerning diseases due to dietry deficiencies.
583 We ask the Government in the name of humanity to give these Clauses and Amendments much more serious attention. They did not like the last series of Amendments, although they certainly were not nonsense, as some hon. Members opposite suggested. The Clauses give more power to local authorities. Doubtless there will be arguments from the hon. Gentleman that this will be difficult, that there will be areas of differentiation, that there is the possibility it will rise to 12 per cent., then drop to 8 per cent. With respect, these are rather facile arguments. What is at stake is the well-being of children.
§ Dr. Miller
Will my hon. Friend accept from me—I have made a rough calculation—that if the incidence of rickets increases at the same rate at which it was increasing when my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) made his statement, then in five years' time it could be costing the country between £1 million and £2 million to cure the disease?
§ Mr. Evans
As my hon. Friend is a member of the medical profession I would accept that. I have seen the incidence of this disease in the past. I ask the Government to consider this carefully. Each of the hardship exemptions which we have tabled is eminently sensible and would not be administratively difficult to implement.
§ Mr. Gurden
These Amendments are just another machine by which free milk may be supplied in the schools for certain categories. On the last Amendments, we heard the same arguments for continuing the supply of free school milk. Many people listening to the debate today and to the debate in Committee might well be forgiven for thinking that the Government have introduced a Bill to prevent all children from taking school milk. That is absolutely untrue. The Bill seeks to return to the situation which we had before there was any Government interference or legislation on school milk.
I said in an intervention that I had no interest to declare other than that as a Member of Parliament. However, I was at one time in the dairy industry and concerned with the matter of school milk. I thought up the idea and was responsible for the first supplies of milk to schools 584 after making research in a school in Birmingham and finding malnutrition. I thought that the need was to make school milk available at a charge of a penny per bottle. It was discovered that a small percentage of children needed milk on nutritional grounds but that their parents were unable to provide the money for it.
§ Mr. Fred Evans
Can the hon. Gentleman tell us by what criteria this small percentage of children were found to be under-nourished?
§ Mr. Gurden
It was on the certificate of the medical officer of health of the city of Birmingham. A small number of children were not getting milk simply because their parents could not, or would not, provide the penny to pay for it. Therefore, the local authority provided the money to pay for it for the small number of children who were thought to be, and shown to be, under-nourished, but for the rest of the children who had the milk a charge of a penny a bottle was made. The principle in the Bill is to return more or less to that situation, except that for any children who are shown to be in need of milk the Government will provide the money for it.
When the scheme got under way, I was invited by the Government to discuss it with them with a view to ensuring that all children who were proved to be undernourished had free school milk. In those conversations, the idea of providing free school milk for all children was discussed and I warned the then Government that it was neither satisfactory nor necessary because the vast majority of families of children having the milk could afford to pay for it and did pay for it. Nevertheless, it was decided that the price of the milk should be halved and the children had it for a halfpenny a bottle. Later, the free school milk scheme came into being.
I can only say, based on the millions of bottles of milk which were collected at schools, that there was a great wastage of milk. A large number of children, particularly in primary schools, did not feel like consuming all the milk.
Arguments have been adduced today for continuing the free supply of school milk to certain categories on the ground that some children are under-nourished and go to school without breakfast. That 585 might be a good argument for supplying tree breakfasts in schools, but it is not a safeguard against malnutrition for the children to have free school milk. The safeguard against malnutrition is clearly set out in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Clause 1(1).
There is not as yet evidence to show that the problem of rickets among school children is returning. If there are children in the 6-to-8-years-of-age range who are showing signs of rickets, it must have taken place when the Labour Party was in office, because these children were alive then and were brought up during the time of the Labour Government.
§ Mr. Fred Evans
The hon. Gentleman said that there was no evidence as yet to show that rickets was returning among school children. This is the same philosophy as that contained in the Bill. Certain children can have free milk provided they undergo a medical examination and produce a medical certificate. They can then, by some criterion which I do not know, be assessed as being undernourished. But the point is that if they had had a dietary supplement they probably would not have become undernourished and would not have gone to the doctor. I do not know what sort of argument it is to say that there must have been cases of rickets when the Labour Party was in office. Poverty is no respecter of Governments. Of course, rickets existed when the Labour Party was in office, it has always been present in Britain and it will be present for generations. It is our job to get rid of it.
§ Mr. Gurden
I was saying that if there is evidence that malnutrition causing rickets had disappeared in the 1950s and that it was returning—admittedly only small figures were given—then the children affected must have been brought up during the period of office of the last Labour Government.
§ Mr. Kinnock
Does the hon. Gentleman seriously think that we on this side of the House care when it happened? Does he realise that we would be very surprised if the hon. Gentleman cared when it happened? Would not the knowledge that one case had occurred be enough for people to say, "If we can remove the possibility of it happening, we shall do so"?
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Gurden
I accept what the hon. Gentleman says. I was prompted to make the remark by the suggestions from the benches opposite that we are seeing a return of rickets.
§ Dr. Miller
Will the hon. Gentleman take it from me that this is a problem which is arising? I want him to think about this. When people talk about rickets they have to know what it is they are talking about. Does he want to see children grow up with bow legs, women with contracted pelvises, and the bones in children's heads not knitting together properly? That is what rickets means. Does he want to wait for that to happen before he asks his Government to act?
§ Mr. Gurden
Many years ago, before we started the milk in schools scheme, I studied this problem. I knew all about it then What the hon. Gentleman says is right. However, Clause 1(1)(a) and (b) covers the point. Moreover, as a doctor, the hon. Gentleman will know that a third of a pint of milk to a child in school is not the only preventive medicine against rickets.
§ Dr. Miller rose——
No. I gave way to the hon. Gentleman just now. I am only telling him what he knows already.
There is another factor. Milk is not supplied in schools for 365 days a year. If there is a tendency towards rickets, a child needs daily nutrition, for 365 days a year, and not just the 200-odd days on which he gets school milk. It is not the complete answer if there is any risk of malnutrition, rickets, and so on.
§ Dr. Miller
Then is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that the Government should consider not giving children this small amount of milk each day, but increasing the amount to deal with the point that he has just mentioned? I agree that they need more, but this is something to go on with. If the hon. Gentleman suggests that the amount should be increased to a pint a day, I agree with him.
§ Mr. Gurden
In a case where rickets is suspected or could develop, that is my argument. Such a child needs more than a third of a pint of milk for just over 200 days a year. The hon. Gentleman has given me my point.
The Bill does not prevent children taking milk. It does not prevent children taking milk at school. It ensures that any child who is likely to suffer or is suffering from malnutrition shall have the milk. That is what the scheme was set up for originally. By this Bill, we are returning to common sense.
All the knowledge and all the conscience on this matter is not confined to the benches opposite.
§ Mr. Blenkinsop
What concerns me is that local authorities should not have some power in their own hands to deal with this matter. Some of us represent areas which have suffered greatly in recent years as a result of unemployment. I do not pretend that the problem has not been of long standing. It has. For that reason, it is difficult to understand why a decision should be taken, in effect, to make it impossible for free milk to be provided in the way that it has for a considerable period of time. It is quite monstrous for the Government to pick on this moment.
I am not aware of any authority which supports the Government's attitude. As I tried to say earlier, it is not as though there is a division in the country on an ordinary party political basis. There is not. There are almost as many Conservative authorities complaining about the Government's action as there are Labour. It may be that they see the danger to come. Such Conservative authorities as remain appear to be desperately anxious to improve their image.
Whatever the reason, there can be no doubt about the strength of feeling in the country. I cannot understand why the Government are committing themselves to these proposals. It is to be hoped that they will think again, even at this very late stage.
§ Mr. Michael McGuire (Ince)
When the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden) was replying to the charge that one of the possible consequences of withdrawing free milk was that rickets would appear once again 588 amongst our children, he said that Clause 1(1)(a) and (b) provided the safeguard. I do not agree with his interpretation of those provisions.
From time to time, all Governments take unpopular decisions on the grounds that they will save money. My own Government did it, and I regretted it, because my right hon. and hon. Friends gave hostage to fortune. I am told that sound economics is not merely the exercise of saving money. It is to spend it wisely. I suspect that the £9 million that will be saved by not paying for free school milk will cost a great deal more in the long run. I believe that it has been money well spent.
My hon. Friend the Member for West-houghton (Mr. J. T. Price), speaking to the first set of Amendments, said that he had received strong letters of protest from local authorities in the Lancashire County Council area. Similar letters have been addressed to me, and to others of my colleagues. The county council sent to hon. Members a very full report of discussions that it had had about the effect of withdrawing school milk. That authority is Tory-controlled. There could not have been a more revolutionary worded letter of guidance to Members of Parliament about the action that they should take. The county council considers it a retrograde step.
I repeat what has been said several times already. There is no body of opinion in the country which has advised the Government that, on balance, no great harm will result from the withdrawal of free school milk. On the contrary, every informed opinion seems to be that this will have damaging consequences for children.
I want to draw attention to my constituency which, like most constituencies, has some areas which are socially deprived and others which are not too bad in this year of 1971. Part of my constituency has the highest proportion of schoolteachers receiving the special payment for teaching in socially deprived areas. Long before there was any talk of eliminating free school milk from the over-sevens, the teachers and school welfare officers in that part of my constituency used to tell me how valuable the provision of free school milk was in such an area. I am sure that they will lament the decision to withdraw 589 this provision, because this is a socially deprived area with a high rate of take-up for free school meals. What astonishes me is that there is no quid pro quo on the basis of selectivity for free school milk as there is for free school meals.
§ Mr. Fergus Montgomery (Brierley Hill)
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us whether the schoolteachers to whom he talked also expressed concern when the Labour Government abolished free milk for the over-11s? Will he also tell us why, when the Labour Government abolished free milk for the over-11s, no provision was made at that time for children of needy families?
§ Mr. McGuire
That is a very fair point. I understand that the advice given on the withdrawing of school milk from children in secondary schools was that it would not be anything like so damaging as was at one time thought. I very much regret giving that hostage to fortune to our political opponents. When measures like that come forward again I shall not so easily be persuaded to support a Labour Government. I am sure that I speak for many hon. Members on this side. We have to be very canny about these matters. We try to think that it will not happen again, but it will, and we shall get a reactionary Government—I want to be honest and blunt about it—which will use this kind of argument to add further to the misfortunes of the poor. We are talking about the children of the poor.
I want to get back to my constituency. [Interruption.] I have waited a long time to say these few words. We hear talk about the usual channels. I must have been one of the channels last time because what was said to me was, "Michael, would you mind sitting down on this and then we shall get our lads up and they will get their lads up and you will have a moment or two later." I am having my moment now. If hon. Gentlemen want to prolong it by interrupting me I shall keep on.
The Lancashire County Council and my local education authority have condemned the Bill. I condemn it, too. I suppose that miracles can happen to prevent it becoming an Act, but when the Bill is passed, if it is, it will be very damaging. When hon. Gentlemen opposite attempt to defend the Bill—the hon. 590 Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden) did not attempt to defend it—they say that, whatever the argument about free school meals and milk, this is a job better done by the Department of Health and Social Security. That is lot of tommy-rot. I will explain why.
Before the war children in need of free school meals used to be sent to what were called in my part of Lancashire feeding centres. Many children used to have breakfasts as well as dinners. Many children who were in need of those breakfasts and dinners at school did not go to those feeding centres, because those who administered the scheme could not prevent them feeling that they were really poor, and a certain sense of humiliation used to creep into this exercise. If we start to think on the lines, "Let us separate them", it may cost more. I find that, according to Parkinson's Law, whenever things are hived off there is a certain amount of empire-building and it can cost more and not be better administered.
There is grave danger of humiliating children by sending them to special places. I am old enough to know that one of the great things standing to the credit of the Labour Party, apart from the whole concept of the Welfare State, is that, particularly the last Government, it has progressively made the avenues of State benefits to poor people—it is a nonsense to talk of under-privileged—less humiliating. The more we can make it less humiliating, the more we can encourage people to take up the benefits which the State has provided. The more we can continue in that direction, the better I shall like it.
I must digress. My mother was on relief for a few years and that has burned in my soul. We used to go to a place where one queued in the wind and the wet and went in and periodically was examined. If there was the slightest sign of affluence, someone would be down to check on everything. The Labour Government changed all that. We gave people dignity when they were thrown to the wayside and had to get succour and sustenance from the State.
When Peggy Herbison was the Minister she found a little avenue which we could go along and make things better 591 for people. Before 1964 even the colour or the size of the book indicated the benefits which people were getting. We therefore made it as anonymous as possible. That is what I want any Government to do.
There has not so far been any entertaining of the idea that the Department of Health and Social Security should administer this scheme. I doubt whether it would do it any better than the schools service, but there is the grave danger which I have outlined.
I condemn the Bill. I think that the Tories have been very foolish. The speeches from the steps of No. 10—I was going to say the throne of No. 10—about wanting one nation are complete codswallop and an insult to the intelligence and integrity of the British people. I am sure that when they get the chance, as they certainly will, they will remember headlines like, "Jolly, jolly sixpence", and then recall the taking away of free milk from children over seven. It is a lamentable step.
I ask, even at this late stage, that the selectivity which applies to school meals should be extended to school milk. That is a logical argument. We do it now for school meals. Why can we not extend it to school milk, if we cannot have outright abolition of this proposed stopping of school milk for these children? I ask the Government to think again about this matter. They have not had any advice about the nutritional damage that might result to these children. They are attempting to save money at the expense of those they should be trying to help.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I shall attempt to deal with the arguments that have been raised, and perhaps I might start by dealing with two of them before coming to the issues raised by this series of new Clauses and Amendments.
First, I take very seriously, as the House does, any statements made by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Kelvingrove (Dr. Miller) on medical matters. I hope very much that he will give the non-political authorities, such as chief medical officers, and so on, all the assistance and evidence he can, as I am sure he will.
I think that I am entitled to say two things to the hon. Gentleman in at least 592 partial reply to what he said, and they were very serious words coming from him. It is fair to say, is it not, that there is in the Bill a provision dealing with a certificate given by a medical officer of health? We are talking about a Bill dealing with school children, and primary school children at that. When we consider the system that we have for medical examinations, which I think overwhelmingly includes a medical examination at the age of 5, and this is to the credit of the medical profession and not of the politicians—we realise that there is in train a system for the detection of disease at an early stage, and I should want to leave no stone unturned—and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would accept my bona fides in this—to ensure the early detection of any medical condition which showed that the child was at risk. The condition may be a combination of medical and social causes—the hon. Gentleman is much better informed on this than I am—and that is the sort of condition for which the Bill would, in all good faith, make provision.
§ Dr. Miller
I appreciate the point that the hon. Gentleman is making. If he really feels that that aspect of it could be pursued, he should accept that the general practitioner, the family doctor, is the best person—not the routine examination at school—to detect early signs of any kind of deficiency. What concerns me—and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will pay some attention to this—is that, as some people have argued, although the giving of a little milk is not the complete answer, the withdrawal of that amount of milk could be the straw which breaks the camel's back. It may be that it is necessary to have that small amount of milk to prevent a disease from developing.
To revert to the point that I made at the beginning, would not the hon. Gentleman agree that, as the family doctor has the whole history of the patient and of the family before him, he is the best person to decide this?
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I hope very much that the hon. Gentleman will do me the courtesy of reading carefully the Committee proceedings, where we were able to develop this at considerable length. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that the family doctor, in the sort of case that we have in mind, that of a child 593 aged 5 showing early symptoms of rickets, will have an important rôle to play, in the same way as, for example—and I do not think that this is contentious—the social worker. All we are saying is that the certificate has to be given by the medical officer of the authority. That does not debar—far from it—the involvement of the family doctor. and I hope that these exchanges may get more prominence than did the Committee proceedings, and that the attention of family doctors will be drawn to the point that I am making.
The hon. Gentleman will know of the comments made about rickets in the chief medical officer's report on the "State of the Public Health". I think I am right in saying that the last report is that for 1969. While it is highly technical, and I do not have the ability to interpret these things in technical terms, I think I can say that the panel on child nutrition, for example, has given up the practice of asking for the figures because, mercifully, over the years the figures have become very low indeed, and in any case when encountered the case is almost always mild and reversible. I am sure that both sides of the House say "Amen" to that.
I think that we must be careful not to give the impression of a massive recurrence of this disease. The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Fred Evans), who in all but name moved the Motion, in all good faith in Committee relayed what he believed was accurate information about the recurrence of rickets in Merthyr Tydvil, but with characteristic generosity withdrew the allegation when the Minister of State for Wales rightly and prompty investigated the matter.
§ Mr. Fred Evans
If I heard the hon. Gentleman correctly, he said that all the school medical officer had to do was to give a certificate and that social workers could be involved as well as the family doctor, as we advocated in Committee. Does the hon. Gentleman seriously expect school medical officers to accept reports from social workers and other people? Does he really expect social workers and school medical officers to accept the extra work load? Is he not aware that school medical officers have placed on record their views about the criteria to be adopted for 594 medical examinations and he said that if they examine six children they will come up with six different answers?
Mr. van Sfraubenzee
With respect, I think that the hon. Gentleman is making an unnecessary difficulty here. In many schools—alas, not in all—in England and Wales—and doubtless Scotland, too—the partnership between social workers and the medical officer of the authority is very close. That is a good thing. This is merely the extension of an existing cooperation. If the hon. Gentleman asks whether I expect the medical officer of the authority automatically to accept things of a medical nature that he is told by a social welfare officer, the answer is "Certainly not", but I do expect that he will give considerable weight, particularly when he is alerted by somebody of that kind, to the element of medical risk to which the child is subject. That is all I am seeking to say, but I think-that it is a reasonable answer to a great deal of what has been said on the medical side.
I must correct something that was said—I am sure in all good faith—by the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. McGuire). He said that when his Government abolished the supply of free milk in secondary schools—and he made it clear that he regretted this—they were advised by competent medical authorities that it would be damaging to do that to children in primary schools. With respect, that is not so.
The then Secretary of State, on 26th February, 1968, at col. 1098, when the appropriate Amendment was being debated, made it absolutely clear that the advice he had received from the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy was that there was no evidence to that effect. That advice related to all schools. It is recorded here absolutely clearly. That was the occasion on which hon. Members opposite voted against their own side on this issue.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
The hon. Member says "Hear, hear," but I do not find his distinguished name in col. 1104 of HANSARD for 26th February.
595 The first set of Amendments deal with the position in which a percentage of school meals are being taken up, so there has been a drop in the serving of school meals. The hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) said that he thought that I might take this view of a blanket exception, so it will come as no surprise if I say that this would mean that a very large number of children, regardless of their parents' means, would still have free school meals.
For instance, the May census showed that 143 of the 163 L.E.A.s in England and Wales were providing free meals for more than 10 per cent. of all pupils taking meals. That means that under the new Clause 143 would still be under a duty to provide free school milk for these children.
Taking another new Clause, I am told that 160 of the 163 L.E.A.s were serving at least 10 per cent. fewer meals in May 1971 as compared with September 1970. There is a number of factors attached to this, of which the price is certainly one. But this census contrasted a May figure with a September figure, which is what the new Clause would tie us to. So I must be consistent and say that that set of Amendments is not at all impressive.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I see that the hon. Member is getting anxious. I am always happy to help him, particularly if this speeds our business. It was the OFFICIAL REPORT for 26th February, 1968, and he will not find his name in col. 1104.
The second set of Amendments raises a much more difficult question. I have not heard a more powerful argument against these Amendments than the speech of the hon. Member for Ince. I accept how strongly he feels about identification. However, after the Bill becomes law it will be possible—I hope that it will not happen—for a sohool dealing with children aged between 7 and 11 not to serve any milk at all.
We know from the right hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Edward Short), whose judgment should be heard with respect, that there will 596 probably be only a small amount of milk given on medical grounds. The power in the Bill extends to both primary and secondary schools, but in relation to secondary schools it is a power to sell milk. In a fairly prosperous country area, the local authority might decide not to exercise its power and serve no milk to children aged between 7 and 11.
§ The Amendments would ask us to identify in the starkest possible terms those who were receiving certain social benefits. The hon. Member for Ince was absolutely right to remind us that over the years successive Governments have sought to make the social service provisions—for example, supplementary benefit—as confidential as possible. I have always been extremely impressed with the argument which centred itself on the actual administration of the means test in certain places in pre-war years. I make it plain that I have never personally experienced the means test in the way the hon. Gentleman explained it, partly because I was too young and partly because I was too fortunate. However, I am conscious that the way in which a person was brought into the public eye was totally unacceptable to reasonable opinion on both sides.
§ The hon. Member for Ince is asking that in, say, a prosperous village, where there may be a problem family on which all the efforts of the State in its social service provisions are concentrated, a duty should be laid on the authority to provide milk for the child or children of that family, and this is a genuine difficulty in the providing of free milk when related to social benefits.
§ Mr. McGuire
The hon. Gentleman has been trying, I admit in a courteous way, to use my argument to buttress his own. He is doing it cleverly and I trust that he will permit me to use a Lancashire expression which is often applied to a crafty type of person. The hon. Gentleman could "plait sawdust". I was pointing out the need to guard against selectivity and the need to keep school meals and the school welfare services out of the hands of the social security people.
I pointed out that teachers go to extreme lengths to ensure that the children do not know who among them are receiving free meals and other social benefits. The teachers live with their 597 children, as it were, day by day. This cannot be said of the social security people.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I am sure that when I read in the OFFICIAL REPORT the way in which the hon. Gentleman used that Lancashire phrase about me I shall be delighted. Having strong Devonshire connections, I might have used a phrase which is used about me by my friends—"He needs an extra half hour in the oven", they often say of me.
I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman does not want to move the provision of school milk and other benefits to the social security system. He will readily concede, I am sure, that nothing in the Bill does that. We are therefore left with a duty, if the Amendment were passed, on local authorities to provide milk to, for example, the children of families on family income supplement and in receipt of supplementary benefit.
I have not rested my case on the financial problem. I rest my case on exactly the arguments put by the hon. Member for Ince. He is quite right when he says that in innumerable schools teachers show great ingenuity in not revealing to anyone which child is receiving free school meals. I have said it publicly before, and I say it again now, that I hope very much that we can one day move to a system by which we provide these benefits without the identification of the child, but I do not believe that it is possible yet for us to do this——
Mr. R. C. Mitchell
One of the objections of the Bill is that it brings in a second class of identification. We already have those who, under the poverty regulations, have free school meals. The Government now bring in a medical group of children who are to have free school milk. Why could not the Government in Committee have accepted our Amendment, which would have provided free school milk to those getting free school meals? There would then have been only one identification.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
With great respect, this is not so. It is very possible for there to be a primary school, and it is about primary schools that we are talking, where no free school meals are provided, and certainly where no milk is being provided on medical grounds It 598 is quite possible to do as suggested, I concede, where the power to sell the milk is being operated, but the House will understand that in a Bill of this kind one cannot differentiate between one school and another.
I can only give it as my conviction that it goes against all that both sides have been seeking to achieve, which is to eliminate identification as far as we humanly can, if we reverse the trend and accept a series of Amendments which, in certain circumstances, would mean identifying the very children whose identity for this purpose both sides prefer to keep anonymous.
§ Mr. Buchan
The hon. Gentleman rejected the last set of Amendments, which would have obviated this problem altogether. He is now rejecting this set of Amendments because he says it would bring in individual identification. How can he square the two rejections.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
Perfectly simply, because there is retained in the Bill—I think, on balance, rightly, though I know that there are hon. Members opposite who have reservations—selectively in the case where it is absolutely important, which is when there is medical evidence to the effect that a child is medically at risk. There is that selectivity, and that is the point where the selectivity becomes effective. I am therefore saying that to make selectivity dependent upon the personal circumstances of the child—in a great many schools, I accept without question, it would go unseen by anyone, but we have to remember a very significant number where it would absolutely positively identify the child—is something which I am quite certain neither side would wish.
§ Dr. Miller
The Minister spoke of the case where a child is "medically at risk". Will he please tell me which Clauses uses that term, or even implies it?
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
With respect, this is not a major point. Clause 1(1)(b) provides(except in the case of a pupil in attendance at a special school)"—for whom there are special arrangements : that is something which the previous Government did in secondary schools—there is for the time being in force in respect of him a certificate given by a medical officer of the authority stating that his health 599 requires that he should be provided with milk at school.This is part of the partnership which is well understood in the school world. There is frequently a close working between headmasters, the staff, social workers, and the school medical officer. What they will be looking for is evidence of the risk medically to the child which should require the reimposition of the one-third of a pint of free school milk.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Dr. Miller
I hate to press this point, but I believe that when a Bill becomes law it is the terms of the Bill when enacted which are binding and not what a Minister says. Nevertheless, I hope that medical officers of health, and indeed family practitioners, will interpret the Clause in the way in which the Under-Secretary has stated it this evening, because that at least will be a little of a benefit if they interpret it in that way.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. In the ultimate it is only what is written in the Bill that counts rather than any words of mine. It must be remembered that what we are talking about is a certificate stating that a child'shealth requires that he should be provided with milk at school.I am simply saying that it will be within the common knowledge of both sides of the House that this is a matter which is at work at present and it is one of the things of which we can all be proud that there is a watching brief over the health of so many of our children.
§ Mr. Gurden
I remind my hon. Friend of what I said earlier. This is what happened for several years very successfully and no problems were thrown up by the medical officer or by schoolteachers or local doctors who wrote to the medical officer.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I am obliged to my hon. Friend for his support. As the House knows, he speaks with great authority in this matter.
For the reasons which I have sought to place before the House, I do not believe that either of the two main groups of Amendments are either new Clauses or Amendments which it would be appropriate for the House to agree to.
§ Mr. Edward Short
I shall be brief and apply myself to the Amendments and new Clauses. My hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. McGuire) was advised to read HANSARD about the advice given to the previous Government. If he will also read the report of the last 15 minutes of the proceedings of the last sitting of the Committee he will see the matter put into correct perspective.
I return to the Amendments. This is a very large group of Amendments and Clauses any one of which, had the Government accepted it, would have retained free milk for children where there is obvious need. It is profoundly disappointing to us, as it will be to teachers and nutritional experts throughout the country, that the Government have not been able to accept one of them.
Some of the Amendments would simply have kept free milk for children in receipt of free school dinners. This would have been simple and foolproof, and no additional means test would have been involved. Some of the Amendments would have secured that free milk was retained where the family was in receipt of supplementary benefits or F.I.S., and no additional means tests would have been involved. Some of the Amendments would have retained free milk where the family income was below £5 per head. All this is what the Under-Secretary has just turned down. It cannot be argued that there is not need—indeed, real poverty—in many of these families.
However, the Under-Secretary rested his case on the fact that these Amendments, if applied, would be invidious and embarrassing to the children. I believe, as a practical teacher—somebody who has been a teacher, as many of my hon. Friends have—that the effect would be exactly the opposite. I will explain why. If we take a typical class in a school anywhere in the country when the Bill comes into operation, there will be a very small number—the Under-Secretary is quite right—in the medical milk category, so to speak, not because more children do not merit it but because the school medical service simply will not be able to deal with all the cases.
Secondly, some children will buy milk ; the numbers will vary. Thirdly, there will be a category of children who will not have milk because their parents cannot afford to buy it ; that number will 601 also vary. If the right hon. Lady's figures about free dinners are anything to go by the proportion of children whose parents cannot afford to buy milk will amount to 50 per cent. in my constituency and the constituency of my right hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough). They will not be having milk of any kind—milk that is paid for, or medical milk. What could be more embarrassing or invidious?
The Bill will create a category of children who, because of the poverty of their parents, will stick out in their classes and before their comrades like a sore thumb. If they received free milk they would receive it with the ones who paid and the ones who received medical milk. All the children would, in effect, be getting free milk. If the Government say—as the Under-Secretary did when he spelled out his objection in more detail in Committee—that the collection of money from some and not from others would be embarrassing, I would point out that it is not more embarrassing than the situation that occurs in respect of free dinner. There, the practice varies. Many teachers
§ show great ingenuity and compassion in trying to avoid invidious distinctions. It is infinitely worse if anything up to 50 per cent. of the children are not having milk because their parents cannot afford the additional 10p a week to buy it.
§ What we are proposing seems to me to be the lesser of two evils. As in the case of the regional Amendments which the Government have rejected, we do not mind how the poverty criterion is introduced into the Bill ; we simply suggest the free dinner yardstick because it would be easy and the most humane way of proceeding. But if the Government care anything at all about mitigating the adverse nutritional effects of their economic policy, the Bill should contain a provision for a category based upon need. As the Government have rejected this we shall certainly carry the point to a Division.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time :—
§ The House divided : Ayes 229, Noes 247.603
|Division No. 427.]||AYES||[8.53 p.m.|
|Albu, Austen||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Hamilton, William (Fite, W.)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Hamling, William|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Deakins, Eric||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)|
|Atkinson, Norman||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Hardy, Peter|
|Bagler, Gordon A. T.||Delargy, H. J.||Harper, Joseph|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)|
|Barnett, Joel||Dempsey, James||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Doig, Peter||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Dormand, J. D.||Hooson, Emlyn|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Horam, John|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Duffy, A. E. P.||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Booth, Albert||Dunnett, Jack||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Eadie, Alex||Huckfield, Leslie|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Ellis, Tom||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Buchan, Norman||English, Michael||Hunter, Adam|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Evans, Fred||Janner, Greville|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Faulds, Andrew||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Cant, R. B.||Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||John, Brynmor|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Foley, Maurice||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Foot, Michael||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Ford, Ben||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Forrester, John||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)|
|Coleman, Donald||Freeson, Reginald||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Galpern, Sir Myer||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Conlan, Bernard||Gilbert, Dr. John||Kelley, Richard|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Ginsburg, David||Kerr, Russell|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Golding, John||Lambie, David|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Lamond, James|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Gourlay, Harry||Latham, Arthur|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Lawson, George|
|Dalyell. Tam||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Davidson, Arthur||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Leonard, Dick|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Lester, Miss Joan|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham N.)|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Ogden, Eric||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Lipton, Marcus||O'Halloran, Michael||Stallard, A. W.|
|Lomas, Kenneth||O'Malley, Brian||Steel, David|
|Loughlin, Charles||Oram, Bert||Stewart, Rt. Hn, Michael (Fulham)|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Orme, Stanley||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Oswald, Thomas||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Paget, R. T.||Strang, Gavin|
|McBride, Neil||Palmer, Arthur||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|McCann, John||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Taverne, Dick|
|McCartney, Hugh||Pardoe, John||Thomas. Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|McElhone, Frank||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|McGuine, Michael||Pendry, Tom||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Mackie, John||Pentland, Norman||Tinn, James|
|Mackintosh, John P.||Perry, Ernest G.||Tomney, Frank|
|Maclennan, Robert||Prescott, John||Torney, Tom|
|McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Tuck, Raphael|
|McNamara, J. Kevin||Price, William (Rugby)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Probert, Arthur||Varley, Eric G.|
|Mallalieu, E. L, (Brigg)||Rankin, John||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Marks, Kenneth||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Wallace, George|
|Marquand, David||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Watkins, David|
|Marsden, F.||Roderick, CaerwynE.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)||Weitzman, David|
|Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Mayhew, Christopher||Roper, John||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Meacher, Michael||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Sandelson, Neville||Whitlock, William|
|Mendelson, John||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Millan, Bruce||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Miller, Dr. M. S.||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Wilson, Alexander (Hamllton)|
|Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Sillars, James||Woof, Robert|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Silverman, Julius|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Skinner, Dennis||TELLERS FOR THE AYES :|
|Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and|
|Moyle, Roland||Spearing, Nigel||Mr. James A. Dunn.|
|Murray, Ronald King|
|Adley, Robert||Cooper, A. E.||Grieve, Percy|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Cordle, John||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Cormack, Patrick||Gummer, Selwyn|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Costain, A. P.||Gurden, Harold|
|Astor, John||Critchley, Julian||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Curran, Charles||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Awdry, Daniel||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj. -Gen. James||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Balniel, Lord||Dean, Paul||Hannam, John (Exeter)|
|Batsford, Brian||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Bell, Ronald||Dixon, Piers||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Benyon, W.||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Hastings, Stephen|
|Berry, Hon. Anthony||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Havers, Michael|
|Biffen, John||Dykes, Hugh||Hawkins, Paul|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Eden, Sir John||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Hicks, Robert|
|Body, Richard||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Hiley, Joseph|
|Boscawen, Robert||Elliott, R. W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)|
|Bowden, Andrew||Emery, Peter||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Eyre, Reginald||Holland, Philip|
|Bray, Ronald||Farr, John||Holt, Miss Mary|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Fell, Anthony||Hornsby-Smith. Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Fidler, Michael||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Bruce-Cardyne, J.||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Hunt, John|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Foster, Sir John||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Burden, F. A.||Fowler, Norman||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Fox, Marcus||James, David|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G.(Moray&Nairn)||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Fry, Peter||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Gibson-Watt, David||Jessel, Toby|
|Channon, Paul||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Jopling, Michael|
|Churchill, W. S.||Goodhart, Philip||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith|
|Clark, William (Surrey, East)||Goodhew, Victor||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Gorst, John||Kilfedder, James|
|Clegg, Walter||Gower, Raymond||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Cockeram, Eric||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Kinsey, J. R.|
|Cooke, Robert||Gray, Hamish||Kirk, Peter|
|Coombs, Derek||Green, Alan||Kitson, Timothy|
|Lane, David||Orr, Capt. L, P. S.||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Osborn, John||Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Longden, Gilbert||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Stokes, John|
|Luce, R. N.||Peel, John||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Percival, Ian||Sutcliffe, John|
|MacArthur, Ian||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|McCrindle, R. A.||Pounder, Rafton||Tebbit, Norman|
|McLaren, Martin||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Temple, John M.|
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|McMaster, Stanley||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|McNair-Wilson, Michael||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Tilney, John|
|Maginnis, John E.||Raison, Timothy||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Marten, Neil||Redmond, Robert||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Mather, Carol||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||van Straubenzee, W R.|
|Maude, Angus||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Ridsdale, Julian||Waddington, David|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Wall, Patrick|
|Moate, Roger||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Molyneaux, James||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Money, Ernle||Rost, Peter||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Monks, Mrs. Connie||Russell, Sir Ronald||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Monro, Hector||St. John-Stevas, Norman||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Scott-Hopkins, James||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Sharples, Richard||Wilkinson, John|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Mudd, David||Shelton, William (Clapham)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Murton, Oscar||Simeons, Charles||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Sinclair, Sir George||Worsley, Marcus|
|Neave, Airey||Skeet, T. H. H.||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Younger, Hn. George|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Soref, Harold|
|Normanton, Tom||Speed, Keith||TELLERS FOR THE NOES :|
|Nott, John||Spence, John||Mr. Jasper More and|
|Onslow, Cranley||Stainton, Keith||Mr. Tim Fortescue.|
|Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|