§ '(1) If any person being an employer of persons carrying out work to which sections 7, 8 or 9 apply or any trade union recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining by any such employer shall dispute whether any work is dock work which falls within Part I of Schedule 3 and not within Part 11 of that Schedule, he may give notice to the Secretary of State.
§ (2) Any notice under this section shall state—
- (a) the name and address of the person giving the same and the facts entitling him to give such notice;
- (b) the nature of the dispute identifying the work in question and the facts relating thereto in sufficient detail to enable a reference to be made hereunder including the address or description of the premises at which such work is carried on;
§ (3) Unless the dispute shall be withdrawn or otherwise settled the Secretary of State shall refer the dispute for decision to the Central Arbitration Committee of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service. No report or recommendaton shall be made by the Board and no Order under section 1I of this Act may he made by the Secretary of State until a dispute relevant to such report or Order and referred to the Central Administration Committee hereunder has been finally decided'. —[Mr. Hicks.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 3.34 p.m.
§ Mr. Speaker
With this we may take new Clause 5—Reference to Tribunal for settlement of certain disputes.
§ Mr. Hicks
The purpose behind New Clause 1 is very clear. It seeks to introduce an appeal procedure in relation to any report or recommendation which may be made by the National Dock Labour 31 Board under Clauses 7, 8 or 9. Accordingly, it will cover any work which it is proposed to classify as dock work. The appeal procedure would relate only to whether the work fell within Part I of Schedule 3 and not within Part II of that schedule.
The Bill is one of the most controversial measures the Government have sought to introduce this Session. It has caused both anger and annoyance. It has been suggested that it originated as a pay-off to the dockers' section of the Transport and General Workers' Union, and to Mr. Jack Jones in particular, for its support for the £6-a-week pay limit in 1975.
We all know the history. The introduction of the Bill was delayed, and the reasons were plain to all. Its provisions not only aroused the hostility of virtually all industrial and commercial interests but also met fierce opposition from certain other trade unions and other sections of the TGWU. We on this side of the House had thought that the Government would introduce the Bill before Christmas 1975. It eventually obtained its Second Reading on 10th February this year. That was followed by a Committee stage of 36 sittings.
During the Second Reading debate both the former Secretary of State for Employment and the present Secretary of State made a number of references to what would and would not constitute dock work as defined in Part I of Schdule 3. Ministers gave examples of circumstances in which they did not envisage an extension of dock work, I presume in an attempt to reassure those employed in associated activities such as warehousing and cold stores, or in the transport sector, that their jobs were not in jeopardy. Likewise, both the present Secretary of State and his predecessor made reassuring gestures about the position of smaller ports.
Those of us who served on the Committee waited for the Minister to table his own amendments to give tangible expression to the reassuring remarks made on Second Reading. I acknowledge that it is not easy to express in a satisfactory form of words those thoughts, which cover many differing and sensitive circumstances. But, regrettably, the Government's response was very limited. We 32 had an amendment involving a reference back by the Secretary of State to the National Dock Labour Board. That limited amendment now forms Clause 6(3), under which arangements for classifying dock work can be reinvestigated, but the terms of reference are confined to ports and the docks which fall within the ambit of the 1967 dock labour scheme.
The additional provision which I seek to introduce by means of this new clause would cover Clauses 7, 8 and 9—in other words, the new situation affected by the Bill. That, of course, involves a twofold extension—namely, a major extension in terms of job description, that is to say, what in future could constitute dock work and, secondly, the five-mile cargo handling zone extending from all coasts and within tidal limits in which these job descriptions will apply.
I think that it would be wrong to minimise the social and economic implications of those two extensions. Indeed, if one takes the constituency that I represent—almost 700 square miles in the non-industrial county of Cornwall—such is the configuration of the county, with its large number of deeply penetrating inlets, that virtually the whole county except for the sheep and hill cattle on Bodmin Moor and the area to the east will be located within the dockers' cargo handling zone.
I am sure that that was not the original intention of the authors of the Bill, and I find it a totally ludicrous situation. It is not as though the small West Country ports such as Padstow, Teignmouth and Exmouth are in competition with or are taking trade from the larger United Kingdom ports. They are in business because they are efficient, and they serve essentially local hinterlands that are largely rural in character.
As was repeatedly said in Committee, the provisions of the Bill—and I think that this was freely admitted by Government Bank Benchers—are not designed largely to meet the non-urban industrialised parts of the United Kingdom. But even in that latter situation surely it is only right and proper that, in a democratic society, there should exist a statutory appeal procedure. The clause in my name represents an attempt to build a simple appeal procedure into the process relating to any report or recommendation 33 that may be made by the National Dock Labour Board under Clauses 7, 8 or 9, and accordingly will cover any work that it is proposed to classify as dock work.
In practice that means—and I should have thought it a most reasonable suggestion in the context both of industrial relations and of the efficiency and economic performance of our ports and docks, should as well as being a fundamental right in a free society—that should any employer or employers of persons, or any trade union recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining, dispute whether any work is dock work that falls within Part I of Schedule 3 and not within Part II of that schedule, he or they may give notice to the Secretary of State. In such circumstances the Secretary of State would have to act. He would have to do something.
To begin with, the notice under this provision shall state the name and address of the person andthe nature of the dispute identifying the work in question and the facts relating thereto in sufficient detail to enable a reference to be made hereunder.If there is still a disagreement with the employer or the union about whether the work should be classified, the appeal goes first to ACAS and, if it cannot be decided, eventually to the Central Arbitration Committee.
What one is attempting to do is to find a procedure designed to avoid industrial conflict, and what I am stating is that if work is to be classified, or is likely to be classified, the parties that will be affected, namely, the employers and the recognised trade unions, shall have the right of appeal, by registering first an objection to the Secretary of State and then appeal to ACAS.
I think that that is a desirable move. Indeed, the point that was repeatedly made in Committee was that the range and opportunity for dispute and controversy—indeed, for conflict—as a result of the Bill becoming an Act will be made much greater. Dockers will be given a statutory right that no group of employees, to the best of my knowledge, has ever had before in the history of this country, and that is the right to claim the work of another group. Therefore, I am arguing that it is essential that some independent body should be involved, 34 particularly if employers on the one hand and employees on the other, or, indeed, the users of our ports, are to have the necessary confidence if some of the more far-reaching and contentious proposals in the Bill see the light of legislative day.
§ Mr. Eddie Loyden (Liverpool, Garston)
The hon. Gentleman said that the Bill would give dockers a statutory right to take over other people's work. Will he develop that argument? Can he say which clause deals with giving a statutory right to registered dock workers to take over the work of other people? I shall be interested to know which part of the Bill says that.
§ Mr. Hicks
The answer to that is surely that under the terms of the Bill there is no appeal when that situation occurs. In other words, what I am trying to correct is the one-sided nature of the Bill as it appears not only to my hon. Friend but to people outside who do not necessarily belong to a limited section of one major trade union. What I am attempting to get across is that there will be difficulties, particularly in respect of recognition. This is already causing anxiety. There will be conflicts of interest. That is inevitable. There is also the problem that the provisions of the Bill may be extended to small ports.
Finally, let me state my reason for suggesting to the House that ACAS might be the appropriate body to deal with these disputes, and thus the right of appeal. ACAS appears to be very much involved in this kind of area. Much of its work already concerns recognition. Indeed, in recognition disputes—and we discussed this in Committee—it is written into the Employment Protection Act that ACAS can intervene.
Furthermore, when we first had the consultative document in March 1975 it said in paragraph 31 that in the event of any question arising whether any operation fell within the new definition of port transport work it is proposed that that question would be determined by the Central Arbitration Committee of ACAS and that Section 51 of the Docks and Harbour Act 1966 would be repealed.
I appreciate that in Committee we had a short debate, which the Minister of 35 State answered, whether ACAS should be involved, but on that occasion I did not find the Minister's line of reasoning particularlly convincing. Since then, some of my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench have also put down their own amendments with regard to the introduction of an appeals procedure. Indeed, New Clause 5 seeks to introduce the reference in certain circumstances to a tribunal process. I have no dispute with my colleagues in this respect. The actual appeal process established is, I believe, of secondary importance to the argument on the principle whether it is desirable to introduce an appeal system.
I should have thought it was not at all unreasonable in a democracy to allow an interested party, whose activities may be recommended for classification as dock work, the statutory right of appeal to an independent body. That is all I ask.
§ Mr. James Prior (Lowestoft)
It might be for the convenience of my hon. Friends if I intervene at this stage, not in any way to try to curtail the debate on these important new clauses, but in order to give the Opposition's views on them. They are rather on the lines of those outlined by my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) in moving his new clause. He ended his speech by saying that it was the principle of the desirability of the appeal system that he wished to support, rather than any particular method of carrying it out. We fully share his views about that.
There are 48 pages of amendments and new clauses to the Bill. Although a number have been grouped and are concerned with the same point—particularly with small ports, which we can debate under the next series—the guillotine allows totally insufficient time for proper debate. Many matters that we should have liked to discuss will remain undiscussed.
The House of Lords will have a duty to carry out its function as a revising Chamber, so that many of the issues that will not receive proper discussion in this House will be examined carefully and properly discussed in another place. I hope that, if necessary, amendments will be made to the Bill so that we have a 36 further chance of discussing them in this House later.
§ Mr. Prior
It is of great importance not only to the Opposition, but to hon. Members opposite.
I turn straight away to New Clause 1 and New Clause 5, and to New Clause 3 and New Clause 4, which are contained in the next series of amendments, for they go straight to the heart of the Bill. We thought it right to try to concentrate discussion on these new clauses, because so much of the heart of the Bill can be considered within that discussion.
The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) talked about the Industrial Relations Act and the attitude of the House of Lords to it. After the Government's announcement of cuts in public expenditure and the announcement of record post-war unemployment and with the knowledge that the measures taken by the Government have not had the desired effect on the pound, we are at liberty to ask and should ask why Bills such as this, which are so damaging to confidence abroad, are being introduced and pushed through by the Government.
This is a rotten Bill from start to finish, and our efforts to improve it in Committee and on Report have met with a very lukewarm response from the Government side, although in their hearts Labour Members know as well as we do that the Bill will not accomplish any improvement in relationships in the docks. Indeed, it is years out of date in its application to our transport system. It will create no new jobs. It will actually destroy jobs. It will merely create uncertainty and put the clock back.
Government Members should look at what is happening in Australia. They should note that the Australians are now moving right away from the concept of a national dock labour board. They are moving instead towards proper relationships between employ, r and employee, which is the right way for these matters to be conducted.
37 The new clauses seek to provide at least some rights of inquiry and appeal for those who will be affected by the Bill. One reason why this is so important is that the Government have deliberately kept the membership of the National Dock Labour Board very narrow. That also applies to the local boards. We hope that, following what was said in Committee, the Government will tell us what they have in mind for the local boards. As we understand it at the moment, local boards will reflect in their composition the same catchment power as is proposed for the national board.
What is important, as we have stressed all through, is that the National Dock Labour Board should take into account the interests of consumers, the interests of users of the port, the interests of workers other than dock workers, and the interests particularly of employers other than dock employers. At the moment the interests are confined one-third as to dock employers and one-third as to dock employees, with another one-third still to be specified, but no detailed specification is given as to its source. Thus the composition of the board is narrow, and that gives rise to a great many fears by both employer; and employees who at the moment are not part of the dock force.
§ Mr. Loyden
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the argument he presents in relation to the National Dock Labour Board would have been applicable prior to the introduction of the Bill? The situation in the National Dock Labour Board at the moment—at a time before the Bill has become law—is that it is controlled by the employers and the unions representing the docks industry. I cannot for the life of me understand the right hon. Gentleman's argument that the Bill narrows the representation. It extends it for the first time, bringing into the composition of the NDLB interests which hitherto have not been represented on it. If so, is it not a fact that the NDLB will have a more even-handed balance?
§ Mr. Prior
That may be the hon. Gentleman's idea of even-handedness, but the employers and employees still have a majority, and we are trying to move away from a position in which the dock employers and the dock employees 38 are in control. We want, instead, to have a position in which other port users and the country as a whole can bring influence to bear upon decisions.
As the hon. Gentleman knows only too well, the Bill extends not only the definition of dock work but, by the five-mile corridor and the areas beyond, it extends the cargo-handling zone, and thereby has a much greater impact on the country as a whole. Yet the representation on the board does not match the additional power that the National Dock Labour Board will have. That is one of the reasons why we believe that there should be a resort to a public inquiry, as we propose in New Clause 2, which is not selected, or at least reference to a tribunal for the settlement of certain disputes, as we propose in New Clause 5.
We have very strong reservations about the proposed composition of the National Dock Labour Board, and we made that very clear during the Committee stage. We should like to hear more from the Minister about the composition of the local boards. Not only does the Bill still give enormous power to the National Dock Labour Board and the way that it is constituted, but it goes against existing legislation by which there was a right to a public inquiry before changes were made in the scope of the scheme, and that right to a public inquiry is now done away with. We believe that that must be wrong at a time when there is this vast extension of the scheme.
When he was Secretary of State, the Leader of the House argued that none of this was necessary because the draft scheme would be laid before the House of Commons and, after he had heard the voices here, he would go away, prepare a final scheme and lay that before the House of Commons. But that is not a proper alternative to a public inquiry procedure.
We know what this Government, with a small majority in this place, can do on many matters. We know that the possibility in this House of altering even a draft scheme, let alone a proper scheme, is very small. We do not believe that that gives the rights of protection or rights of objection to any scheme put before any port employers or port users which they have the right to expect.
39 We know that there will be an increase in demarcation disputes. That is certain to follow from the introduction of the Bill. The cargo-handling zone and the definition of dock work will lead to one dispute after another. It is the main reason why so many unions and union people have been to see hon. Members to complain about the Bill. They know that there will be constant dispute about what is dock work—what in any individual cold store will be termed dock work and what will come outside. All these are matters where the right to go to a tribunal for the settlement of certain disputes will be required. This is to be denied, and it is a reprehensible step for the Government to take.
I come to the effect of the extension of the main register and what that will do. When the Bill was first introduced, the main drift of the arguments from the Government Benches was that it was likely to provide additional jobs for dock workers. To start with, the dockers construed it as an opportunity for them to take other people's jobs. As the Bill has been going through Committee, as other unions have got themselves organised and as hon. Members have been able to put their spoke in, the opportunities for dockers to take other people's jobs have been greatly reduced. Now they will be able to take other people's jobs only as people leave the industry through retirement or natural wastage.
In a cold store where part of the store is designated as dock work, the people working there will become dockers. They will go, first, on the extension register and then, after two years, on the main register. As members of the existing work force leave, their places will be taken by registered dockers, which means that this legislation will introduce into that cold store a completely foreign element in the work force. We see again the problems that this will create. But any idea that this will give large numbers of dockers other people's jobs has been shown during the Committee stage not to be the case.
The hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) began to realise this as the Committee stage went on. From being a very fervent supporter of the Bill, he became lukewarm about it as he saw the opportunities for dockers 40 to pinch other people's jobs not being there. It means that, as a result of the Bill, dockers will wish to bring to tribunals instances of jobs which they think they should have but which they are being denied. That is another reason why some form of tribunal of inquiry will be necessary if the Bill is to function as it is meant to.
The main problem for the dockers has always been the existence of too many dockers, especially in the Port of London, for too few jobs. The Chairman of the Port of London Authority said about the Bill in his report for the year ending 31st December 1975:I hope very much that the Bill does not lead to differences between the various unions involved in the kind of activity which is covered by the Bill, or even to differences between the members of unions affected by it. It is my belief that even if the Bill works as originally it was intended to work, it will not add in any significant way to job opportunities for registered dock workers.That was the Chairman of the Port of London Authority speaking with all his experience of this problem. He was saying, in effect, that there will not be additional jobs for dockers and that there was a surplus of dockers in the Port of London Authority. The average daily surplus in the first quarter of 1976 in the PLA area has been about 1,250 dockers. That is a situation with which we cannot go on for long.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Kingston upon Hull, West)
In view of what the Shadow Minister of Labour has just said, does he not think that it was dishonourable and disreputable, week after week and month after month in Committee, to whip up what he now accepts to be a totally false impression? By their speeches in Committee. Opposition Members scared people outside the House. Now he says that there has been no basis for this scaremongering about jobs being taken by those whom I describe as "old-fashioned" dockers, let alone by those men whom he now alleges could have been and, according to him some weeks ago, would have been—made into dock labour.
§ Mr. Prior
I believe that unless we had pointed out these matters, a great many of these jobs would have been taken by dockers. There is no doubt that in Committee the Government had to 41 shift their around considerably. Amendment No. 266 made the point abundantly clear in Committee.
In any event, it is no good the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) saying that. He should read what his hon. Friend the Member for Garston said in Committee. He should go and talk to dockers in the Port of London—I do not know about Hull—and he would soon find that they were after other people's jobs. An article in the port newspaper said as much. That is what it was all about.
§ Mr. James Johnson
This is quite disreputable. I am now asked to look at speeches made in Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden). My hon. Friend said—it is on the record—that the dockers were not out to get these jobs. The right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends were saying quite the opposite week after week. Now he is disowning all of that.
§ Mr. Prior
In that case, I wonder why the National Union of General and Municipal Workers, to which the hon. Member belongs, was so worried about the Bill, so worried that the hon. Gentleman had to ask to be on the Committee so as to protect the interests of his members. If those interests were never in doubt, what was he doing on the Committee? He is not generally the sort of person who would like to go on a Committee if he did not have something to say. His hon. Friend the Member for Garston was also on the Committee. They both wanted to be on so that they could keep an eye on those who represented the dockers. They were worried. We read in the newspapers almost daily of deputations going to see the Secretary of State. The Transport and Salaried Staffs Association is in the process of taking a deputation to see the Secretary of State about something or other. We read last week of a deputation from Nottingham.
I hear daily of Labour Members who are still dissatisfied with the way in which the Bill is being pushed through the House. Some Labour Members believe that it is not looking after the interests of small groups in cold stores and warehouses. They are saying that changes will have to be made in the Lords. They 42 say "Of course you cannot expect us to say so here, but we will get their Lordships to do this for us." We hear that every day. The hon. Gentleman knows that this is true. The whole purpose of the Committee stage has been to try to protect groups, including unions such as the GMWU, against the intrusions of the dockers. That is why we want this tribunal to deal with the situation which could arise when the Bill begins to operate.
§ Mr. Nicholas Ridley (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)
Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson), although he sought to get on the Committee, achieved practically nothing once he was there? Would it not be a pity if he did not now tell us what he would like to do to improve the Bill?
§ Mr. Prior
Far be it from me to wish to stop the hon. Member from making his views known and telling us what improvements he thinks are still necessary. When he was on the Committee it seemed that he was prepared to accept everything that the Government said so long as he could influence and change the Government's mind behind the scenes. I suppose that that is a perfectly legitimate tactic. For the hon. Gentleman to say at this stage that he has always been satisfied with the Bill seems to be stretching the imagination rather further than ought to be expected.
The Bill is a better Bill now. The dockers will not now be able to take over the jobs that they once thought would be theirs. There is a surplus of dockers in London which has to be dealt with.
It may be that the dockers will wish to have the right to appear before a tribunal in the same way as we seek to give others that right. The Government have put forward a mad way of trying to deal with the problem.
This is what is at the root of our objections to the Bill. There is the problem of the narrowness of the membership of the National Dock Labour Board, the difficulty over the scheme being laid before the House without proper opportunity for amendment, the problem of there being no right to a public inquiry and no right to take to a tribunal a dispute between the board and any other person, be it employer 43 or trade union. All of this must be wrong in what is a complex, highly emotional and difficult situation.
We are trying to put into the Bill this right of appeal. I cannot see why the Government are unable to accept this clause. What is the objection to allowing this right of appeal? Why cannot the Government accept that the individual has a right to object? This seems a perfectly sensible way to proceed. It would relieve a great deal of anxiety. The Secretary of State probably knows that at the moment many firms are moving out of the five-mile corridor. They are no longer prepared to stay there. They are certainly not prepared to invest there. A headline in one of the property papers reads:Dock Bill dampens building enthusiasm of ports".The Bill is affecting investment and the jobs of dockers and non-dockers.
Our new clauses will do something to allay anxieties in the industry, but they cannot go the whole way. The only way to relieve anxieties entirely is to drop the Bill altogether. I hope that it is not too late for three or four Labour Members to recognise that this Bill is destroying employment and investment and is damaging the country. It will put up costs and prices. I hope that some Labour Members will recognise this and vote against this wicked Bill tonight. They could start by voting for this clause, which will at least give some chance for the employer, the trade union or individual to take a case against the National Dock Labour Board when it is introducing a scheme he considers to be detrimental to his interests.
§ Mr. Loyden
The right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) has again shown the inconsistency which has been part of his behaviour throughout Committee. He has been responsible for stirring up the minds of dockers and other workers about the nature of this Bill. The one thing about which he has been consistent is the contradictory nature of his statements. The hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) argued that the Bill was intended to take over work for the benefit of dockers. Yet the right hon. 44 Gentleman says that the Bill will do no such thing.
The references of the right hon. Member for Lowestoft to dock workers have been consistent throughout. He used two phrases which indicated his feelings about dock workers. It is unfortunate that sometimes he cannot even bear them. He referred to the people in cold stores as an alien element. That is a commendable way to refer to workers! How alien are registered dock workers in cold storage work? The whole of the cold storage work in London is carried out by registered dock workers. That is how alien they are in that industry. In many ports throughout the country such work has always been done by registered dock workers. There is no question of their being alien workers in the cold storage industry.
In other ports, such as Liverpool, cold storage work is not registered work, nor will it be when the Bill is enacted. The charge that the Bill is intended to take away work traditionally carried out by others and to give it to registered dock workers is absolutely untrue. Certainly nowhere in the Bill is there any evidence that that is so.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw (Pudsey)
On the specific question of cold stores and dockers, does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the traditional trades with which dockers have been associated, such as the refrigerated meat trade coming into ports, have declined rapidly and that what the cold storage industry represents, certainly since 1967, is the dramatic growth of convenience foods and other foodstuffs not associated with transit through ports?
§ Mr. Loyden
I accept that there has been a decline in that trade, but there has not been a decline in cold storage as such. There may be a change in the industry generally but there is certainly still a great deal of that dock work in and around the ports.
The charge laid against the Government about the Bill is that it will allow various dangerous developments. Right hon. and hon. Members went to a most extravagant extent in Committee to point out the dangers of the Bill. We even had to listen to the argument that it was similar to an invasion of the Vikings and the Danes. That is the sort of extravagant language that 45 was used. We were even told that it may be a question of dockers taking over the jobs of air hostesses at various airports and of fixing aeroplanes with sledgehammers. That is the exaggerated extravagant language that has been used about the Bill.
The right hon. Member for Lowestoft also said that the Bill would not end disputes. The only argument that I have heard Opposition Members put forward in this regard about the docks industry is that it is never in anything other than a state of dispute, that it is always on strike. When one listens to them, one wonders how ships ever became loaded. Their argument has been that the present position has been responsible for all of the long disputes in the docks industry. However, when a Bill is presented that brings about a definition of dock work, which is involved in many disputes, many hon. Members say that the industrial relations situation will worsen. However, they have already argued that it could not possibly be any worse than it has been in the past.
It has been argued that at the drop of a hat dock workers will hit the gate and go into dispute. But Opposition Members are now saying that the Bill will increase the number of disputes. I should have thought that even Opposition Members would accept that that peaked off some years ago.
The Bill deals with one of the main causes of disputes in dockland. Certainly in the last decade, and particularly in the last five years, the difficulty has been the lack of definition of dock work. The right hon. Member for Lowestoft has argued that what we ought to have are tribunals. Surprise, surprise—the method by which this problem is dealt with today is tribunals. The right hon. Gentleman is arguing, therefore, that we ought to continue with the problems that exist in dockland on the basis of continuing with the present method of tribunals. That is also a contradiction.
The right hon. Gentleman also raised the question of the narrowness of the National Dock Labour Board. For the first time since its establishment as a board, there are outside interests on it. The right hon. Gentlaman said that this does not go far enough and that this will not meet the need for a better balance in the composition of the board.
46 However, one cannot have it both ways. If the present Government have seen, for the first time, the need to extend the influence and responsibilities of the board by including representation that will be recommended by the CBI and the TUC, one cannot argue that the board is being narrowed. I do not know whether there will be a better balance, but there will certainly be an alteration in the composition of the board. The right hon. Gentleman's arguments are absolutely irrelevant in that sense to what the Bill is about.
There is no indication that any of the measures to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred in the Bill or in either of the new clauses would benefit the situation in the docks industry. If nothing else, the Government intend to deal with what has been a problem over the whole post-war history of the docks. That is that there has not been a proper definition of dock work, a fact which has resulted in confrontations between dockers and between dockers and other people.
When one considers the tests that will be applied under the Bill as to classification of work, one begins to wonder where the right hon. Gentleman gets the idea that it would be a very simple matter to put into operation an extended scheme purely by the very simple issue of classification of work. The tests that the Government have applied will mean in effect that any traditional work that has been carried out by non-registered dock workers will continue to be performed in that way, and there are the tests of location and the 1967 situation. All sorts of tests will have to be applied for a registered scheme to operate. They provide for the industry all the safeguards that are necessary.
I believe, therefore, that the new clauses are unnecessary and I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will resist them.
§ Mr. David Price (Eastleigh)
In speaking to the new clauses, I shall be speaking on the basis that the Second Reading principle of the Bill has been accepted. If I am fortunate enough to be called to speak on Third Reading, I shall argue against the whole Bill. Within the rules of order, I think it it appropriate 47 that I accept the Second Reading principle. Therefore, I hope that what I am proposing now will be regarded by the Government, and by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden), as an attempt to try to improve the Government's arrangements as agreed on Second Reading.
The first point that is very important, and a great absence from the Bill, is the failure by the Government to spell out in the Bill the powers and composition of the local boards. In Committee the Secretary of State, when he was Minister of State, went a long way towards agreeing with me that the real operating arm of the reconstituted National Dock Labour Board would be the local board. If more power is given to local boards, a great deal less need be decided at the centre and more can be allowed to follow local practices.
I believe that all hon Members who served on the Committee will agree that there has been deployed before us a wide variety of practices as to the classification of dock work and local custom between one port and another. There is the famous question of riggers. We have had different treatment of riggers in different ports. In some ports they have been classified as registered dockers and in others they have not. Therefore, if the Government are to ask the House to accept the scheme—it is only in embryo now, because it will depend upon the Orders made under the Bill for each port—it is essential that the Government should tell us their intentions towards local dock labour boards.
I have tabled a later new clause, which we shall probably not have an opportunity to discuss, which spells out the suggested powers of the local boards. If the composition and the extent of the powers of the local dock labour boards are not spelled out, so it becomes more necessary to write into the Bill something along the lines of either of these new clauses. My enthusiasm for New Clause 1, in particular, would be less if the Government were prepared to say at a later stage that they were prepared to move an amendment or a new clause that spelled out the power and composition of the local boards.
§ Mr. Loyden
Does not the hon. Gentleman agree, however, that the rôle of the local boards will be very much determined by the rôle of the new national board, which in that sense will have a major responsibility? While I agree that there ought to be some indication of the rôle of local, boards, by and large it, will be dependent on the changed nature of the national board, which in turn is bound to influence the whole rôle of the local boards.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Price
The hon. Member will observe the proposals in my new clause later on the Order Paper. We should write into the Bill exactly the same composition for local Boards as is proposed for national boards. The hon. Member for Garston praised the Government for introducing a third element at National Dock Labour Board level. In my new clause I suggest that exactly the same composition should be reflected in local boards.
If the definition of dock work and of cargo handling zones is to be acceptable—and it must be, if we have not been wasting our time entirely on this Bill—it is surely right that both representatives of the employers and trade unions so affected should be brought in. We are agreed on that point. We had the famous case of the Banana Seven at Barry in Glamorgan, raised more than once in Standing Committee. The employers concerned were no part of the dock employers. That is a crucial lesson for us. We must ensure that at national level, and equally at local level, for the benefit of both employers and trade unions, the definition is sufficiently broad to include all those who might be brought in.
I do not have all that much enthusiasm for New Clause 1, but in the absence of the Government's spelling out something about the constitution and composition of local boards, I believe that the new clause becomes that bit more important. It is needed as an independent element against the traditional dock employers and the traditional dock unions.
There is the wider argument about a further interest—the ultimate consumers of the docks industry. These are the people who will determine how well our 49 docks work. This interest is written to some extent at national level, and I want to see it written in at local level. I believe that this is an entirely reasonable proposal.
§ The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Albert Booth)
Since the hon. Member has referred to the Barry Seven in this context I would ask him why the right of public inquiry was not used and did not provide any solution whatsoever? Why would that situation be better than the situation which exists in the Bill, which would have safeguarded the jobs of the people involved?
§ Mr. Price
The Secretary of State must not press me too much about my preferred solution as I shall stray out of order. Getting the local boards right would ensure that the employers of the Banana Seven would have been represented when, as I understand it, in fact they were not. My enthusiasm for New Clause 1 would be less if something along these lines was incorporated into the Bill. The new clause is a fall-back position in default of setting out in the Bill the composition and powers of the local boards.
I do not regard this as a matter of party ideology. It is an important piece of machinery which would improve the Bill. There are other matters about which outside interests feel that the right of public inquiry would be appropriate. I share the view of the hon. Member for Garston in that I am not a great chap for going to law. I share his reluctance for using the talents of our hon. and learned Friends. For a start, they are rather expensive to use. However, I acknowledge that the fact that one can litigate and go to arbitration as a last resort has a value. That value is not so much in the frequent use of these powers as in the fact that it represents a fallback position.
It is clear that many people feel that we should write powers such as this into the Bill. The Government would not be giving much away if they conceded that. They would just be providing a bit of lubricant on sorely abrased feelings. If one takes the problem of spelling out in practice and detail the new cargo handling zones and the new definitions in terms of geography and functions, there is surely 50 a need to have some machinery to oil the wheels.
The Secretary of State made much in Committee of the fact that the Bill as drafted will ensure that no scheme for any part of the country can come forward until he has brought it forward to this House and it has been debated and prayed against. But the trouble with that procedure is that Orders in this House have to be rejected or accepted in toto. They are not amenable to arguments and cannot be amended. The only thing the Opposition can do is to try to persuade the Government to withdraw them. That does not happen often, and Ministers who withdraw Orders are not very popular with those who manage Government business.
In other words, it is not a satisfactory machinery and the Government will find that if they do not write into the Bill powers along the lines of my new clause when the time comes to work out revised and new schemes with the National Dock Labour Board, they will have problems and they will regret not having that sort of provision.
Equally, there will be a problem from the trade unions' and employees' point of view if the Government decide to bring in a cut-off for existing labour at 1967. We deeply regret this in some of the newer industries in new locations, such as cold storage and warehousing. This is one situation in which appeal to some independent body could help, and is necessary from the employees' point of view.
If the hon. Member for Garston thinks that my hon. Friends and I have been spending the last six months going around at weekends stirring up workers in various industries, then he has a peculiar idea of how we spend our weekends. In my neck of the woods, the area surrounding Southampton, I have had very strong representations from freight drivers—intercontinental drivers who go through the port of Southampton. Even since the introduction of the 1967 amendment, I have had strong representations from railwaymen in Southampton, quite apart from those I have had from cold storage workers and warehousemen. I have not spent my time standing outside dock gates running election-type meetings. I have had representations from people who have come to me because 51 they had very real fears about the situation. I did not seek them out.
This sort of appeal machinery could be very helpful. In the absence of more being written into the Bill, we need some more clarification of the problem of recruitment and how people can move from one register to the next. This is a matter of considerable importance. Many of us believe that recruitment to the main register should now take place only through the extension register and that one should serve one's time on the extension register before moving on. If that is not done I do not see how either the National Dock Labour Board or the local boards will be able to fulfil their statutory obligations under the Bill to balance the supply and demand in dock labour taking one month or one season with another. We did not get a satisfactory reply to this absolutely crucial point in Committee. We still want to know how the boards will fulfil this obligation placed upon them.
There is also the problem of those who are brought in under the Bill. Their work becomes classified as dock work. The Government have said that such people will go on to the extension register and that they will not therefore lose their jobs. Their successors may have to be registered dock labour. But then there is the problem of medical fitness. If they are not medically fit to do all dock work they can still go on to the main dock register. Part of the problem particularly in London, is the number of registered dock workers who are not medically fit to do all forms of dock work. To bring new recruits on to the main register who at that point are not medically fit to do all dock work cannot serve the purposes of the scheme.
This year's Port of London Authority report says on page 16:During the year some 2,670 registered dock workers, including 500 medically restricted men, and 320 of the non-registered staff formerly employed by the Scruttons Group were absorbed into the PLA.That meant that they were taking on as registered dock workers more than 500 men who were not medically fit to do all dock work. This raises a number of very great problems. I have tabled a new clause which suggests how this problem can be dealt with. Because of the nature 52 of the guillotine it seems unlikely that it will be reached. Because of the sort of problems which will arise in this situation something along the lines of New Clause 5 is neeeded.
I hope that the Secretary of State will give an undertaking that he will do something along the lines that I have proposed so as to spell out in the Bill the powers and composition of the local dock labour boards. If he does not, the success of the scheme will be greatly prejudiced and there will be far more disputes leading to the need for something like New Clause 1 and New Clause 5.
Mr. Alan Lee Williams (Hornchurch)
I agree very much with the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Price), who directed his remarks towards the responsibility and autonomy of local boards. When this point was raised in Committee I sympathised very much with his argument. I agree broadly with what he said about recruitment. That leads me to a point which I raised in Committee and upon which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will now have the opportunity to comment.
In the Port of London we are faced with a surplus of labour. The right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) mentioned a figure. That figure varies, and at the moment it is at its highest for many years. As economic circumstances generally are still uncertain, it appears that the port will carry a fairly large surplus of labour for some foreseeable time. Therefore, I should like to ask my right hon. Friend what are the Government's intentions for finance—the Chairman of the Port of London Authority, Lord Aldington, mentioned the point in his annual report, if not this year, certainly last year—or for some kind of Goverment subvention to help the authority. I know that this point is slightly outside the scope of the clause. The matter goes back some little time, but it is relevant in two ways. It is not altogether clear how many jobs will be available as a result of the extension of the scheme in London. I have had some "guesstimates" about that, but I have seen no figures which I can regard as reliable.
Representations have been made to me, not by some of the organisations which have spoken to the right hon. Member for 53 Lowestoft but by other bodies such as the London wharfingers who take an altogether much more responsible attitude to the Bill. I think that the right hon. Gentleman has been speaking to some of the wrong people. I have received representations from a number of trade unionists in the TGWU inland waterways section who are very worried about this aspect of the financing of surplus labour. When my right hon. Friend replies on this clause I hope he will say something about this matter, because that would be of great guidance to a number of people who are genuinely anxious about it.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker (St. Marylebone)
The hon. Gentleman referred to the number of jobs which may become available in London as a result of the Bill. That statistic has been the most elusive to extract from the Government. The purpose of the Bill is to create new job opportunities for dockers. The Government have been reluctant to say how many job opportunities will be created. The hon. Gentleman said that he had had some "guesstimates" of the number. Will he say what these are, because we should like to know them?
I am not prepared to give them because the numbers mentioned to me seem either wildly optimistic or depressingly low. I would much prefer to await some official estimates from my right hon. Friend.
§ Mr. Booth
I am not attempting to close the debate in any way, but hon. Members may find it useful if at this stage I reply to certain direct points which have been put to me, particularly those directed at New Clause 1 and New Clause 5. Both these clauses deal with a very narrow issue. It is how to resolve any dispute which should arise about whether work would or would not be covered by Part I of Schedule 3. This is purely a matter of statutory interpretation which I believe in many cases would not give rise to any disputes. It is not a basic issue about the registration of dock work. There will be many cases in which it should be readily agreed that work is covered by Part I of Schedule 3 and in which there will be no dispute as to whether that work is regarded as dock work.
If work was borderline and if it was unclear whether it came within Part I of the schedule, I think that it would 54 be highly unlikely that the board would embark upon an examination of that work with a view to determining whether it should recommend to the Secretary of State that he should make it dock work. In any case, if someone took the view that work he was doing was not covered by Part I of the schedule or if trade union members who were engaged in that area felt that the board had no legal right there, that would be a matter on which they could go to the courts. They would contend that the board was acting ultra vires and was claiming to have a power to survey with which the Act did not provide it.
This is a very narrow issue and not the sort of issue which is likely to give rise to a great deal of difficulty. Whether it is a matter which is better determined by the Central Arbitration Committee or by the courts is an interesting issue which the new clause raises. I would have thought that, since it is a matter of whether a power is provided by legal definition, it would normally be a matter for the courts.
For the purpose of examining fully the proposition of New Clause I, suppose we said that this was a matter for the CAC. I ask the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) in what way that would differ from having the matter resolved in court. Would it be his contention that decisions of the CAC on whether work was within the definition of Part I of Schedule 3 should constitute legal precedent and therefore be held to be the future yardstick on whether that sort of work was classifiable? That is the issue to be settled. Whether it was done by the CAC or by a court, I do not think that this would change the basic issue or remove the subsequent argument which might follow the decision that the work was classifiable. It is highly likely that in cases where people would challenge whether the work was classifiable they would also challenge whether it was correct for the National Dock Labour Board to register work as being work. I have already said that this is more likely to be a contentious issue.
The same is true of New Clause 5. One of the essential differences between New Clause 5 and New Clause 1 is that New Clause 5 puts forward the proposition that tests should he made by an industrial tribunal. We are getting a little closer 55 to the legal practice and moving from the CAC to the industrial tribunal. Much the same argument applies if one has an industrial tribunal determining what is the meaning of "work" in Part I of Schedule 3.
New Clause 5 raises another interesting but even narrower issue: the question of how one settles an argument as to whether a place is within the cargo-handling zone or outside it. This is a question of fact. If one could not agree with the value of expert advice, presumably from Ordnance Survey sources, whether the premises fell within the cargo-handling zone as defined by the Bill, it could be argued that that matter could as easily be settled by a court of law as by an industrial tribunal. I do not think that an industrial tribunal is any better than a court with a tape measure or large-scale Ordnance Survey map. If it is not required to rely on expert witnesses, it tends to turn to the same area.
Therefore, New Clause 1 and New Clause 5 are directed at a matter of legal definition and do not address the issue, which I accent is of very real concern, of whether the procedure laid down in the Bill for determining the way in which we settle what is or is not to be registered dock work should be properly tested.
I put it to the House, as I put to the Committee, that, given the procedure that we have in the Bill, the method of examination of the final right of determination by the House is a better method than having the issue settled by a court or a tribunal. If there has been a specific difficulty arising from the present scheme, it is that this House has not had control on matters like this. It has been possible for the court, by decision on what is dock work, to settle the matter in a way which might be unsatisfactory from an industrial relations point of view.
I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) is absolutely right when he says that the question of whether work is covered by Part I of Schedule 3 and is not covered by Part II of Schedule 3 is one of a whole series of tests which the Bill imposes, and it is by no means the most important or the most contentious one. Many of the other tests are important 56 and contentious. It is much better to debate the issue of whether the Bill provides satisfactory modern means of determining what should be registered dock work and what should not be registered dock work.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)
As one who did not serve on the Committee, I seek information from the Minister. Is his answer in the case of New Clause 1 and New Clause 5 that neither the CAC nor an industrial tribunal is adequate and that he will rely wholly on the courts?
§ Mr. Booth
I am saying that the primary issue raised by New Clause 1 and New Clause 5 is a matter of legal definition of whether work is covered by Part I of Schedule 3. It is a more appropriate matter for the courts than for an industrial tribunal or the CAC. However, I am not saying that that in itself is crucial to the working of the Bill, but the effect would have to be much the same unless it is the intention—I admit that it is open to doubt—that, by exercising the appeal which is spelt out in New Clause 1, one would not cut out the right subsequently to go to a court. If one is not cutting out that right to argue that an Order laid by the Secretary of State under Clause 11 was ultra vires, that is a different matter and a different argument would apply. I took it from the way the hon. Member for Bodmin introduced the matter that he would accept that that would be the final decision.
§ Mr. Hicks
The point I am trying to to make is that, as a layman, I have always looked upon the courts as the area of last appeal. If one can avoid it by having structures appropriate to the industry in question and to the circumstances that one is discussing, one should opt for the latter rather than talk about the fall-back situation of the legal processes.
§ Mr. Booth
In some ways it underlines what I am saying about the difficulty of the procedure arising from the other point which has been put to me. The hon. Member has conceded by his remarks that there may still possibly be a last line of appeal to the courts going beyond that. If that is the argument, we are in greater difficulty with New Clause 1 than I originally suggested.
If that is the line, what would be the position if a dispute which arose as to 57 whether work was covered by Part I of Schedule 3 went to the CAC as provided in New Clause 1, the CAC came to the conclusion that the work was covered on that basis and the board went ahead and made a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who accepted it and made an Order under Clause 11, which was then laid before the House, and someone challenged the vires of the Order? In that event, neither I nor a successor could rely on the CAC decision, because a person would have the right to say "The court must be the final determining area whether this work is covered by Part I of Schedule 3". That would be an additional difficulty if we took that view. I add that to my reasons for suggesting that this is not the best way of settling the issue.
I agree with the hon. Member for Bodmin that it is better not to use procedures that involve the courts but to use the rights of representation to the board, of submission to the Secretary of State and, if necessary, if Members are still not satisfied, of determining the matter on the Floor of the House.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Prior
In answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) the Minister seemed to suggest that there was always a right of appeal to the court for an aggrieved person. Is there a right of appeal to the court for an aggrieved person only if the Secretary of State acts ultra vires? Is it right that there is no automatic right of appeal for anyone who feels aggrieved by the National Dock Labour Board unless the matter is ultra vires?
The Secretary of State has complete power. This House is the only place which can take that power away from him. We do not consider that this House is constituted in such a way as to he able to exercise that power. Therefore, it means that there is no proper right of appeal for anyone who feels aggrieved under a decision. The only appeal that is perhaps available is an ultra vires appeal to the court, or an appeal to this House. That is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
§ Mr. Booth
The right hon. Gentleman draws me deep into lawyers' territory. I do not accept that the only way in which somebody could act on the contention 58 that an action was ultra vires because it related to work not covered by Part of Schedule 1 would be by bringing an action against the Secretary of State. In my view—this may be subject to legal check—such an action might be brought against the National Dock Labour Board as well if it proceeded to carry out a survey of work which was not covered. I do not think that it is limited to an action against the Secretary of State.
Another question was whether a decision of this House would settle the issue. I suggest that it would not. If a Secretary of State made an Order that was ultra vires, the fact that the House took a decision on it would not necessarily make the Order legal. It could be capable of challenge. That is my yew on the matter, but I may have to bow to greater legal authority, since I have not had a chance to take legal advice. However, when I was chairman of the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments my understanding was that an Order, even if approved, was still capable of challenge in a court.
Two other matters which have been raised relate to New Clause 7 and the formation of local dock labour boards. I have an open mind about local dock labour boards. As I indicated in Committee, the composition, rôle and function of the National Dock Labour Board are of great importance. I have two objections to New Clause 7. The first is that it lays down a specific type, size and set membership of board for every area throughout the country. However, I suggest that it is desirable to have some flexibility. The second objection is that this matter would be determined within the Bill rather than be left for the scheme.
It will be for the Secretary of State to lay before the House a scheme, and that scheme will contain provisions for local dock labour boards. Such provision is made under Schedule 2. The only area within the control of the board will be that covered by the board. The areas are not necessarily coterminous with the National Dock Labour Board scheme areas.
The Bill as drafted, by virtue of Clause 5(7)(b), allows for schemes making different provisions for different areas. As that clause enables amending Orders to be made altering the boundaries of dock 59 labour scheme areas, or amending the schemes relating to different areas, as provided in Clause 5(8), there is much greater flexibility.
I agree with the approach by the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Price) to this matter of local boards, but I cannot recommend the House to accept the new clause, because it would take from us the flexibility that both he and I believe desirable.
§ Mr. David Price
There is some force in the Minister's point regarding the composition of the board, but he will appreciate that I took the same composition as for the national board as I thought it broadly more acceptable. Will the right hon. Gentleman consider spelling out more than appears in the schedule the composition of the local board? That would go a long way to meeting my point and would assist me. As at present drafted, it suggests that the National Dock Labour Board has complete autonomy. I think that he said that he would like to reserve his position.
§ Mr. Booth
I think that I can go some way to giving the undertaking for which the hon. Gentleman asks. I undertake between now and laying any scheme before the House to give serious thought to the proposition that we should include in this scheme greater details of the nature of local boards than have been included in the present scheme. There is a strong argument for that proposal, but I defend the proposition, to which I have alluded, which would make provision for greater flexibility and the right to bring Orders before the House to amend local schemes in the light of experience or of particular developments. That kind of flexibility is highly desirable and indicates that we appreciate that we are concerned with an industry in which a number of developments are taking place. A scheme which might look ideal on paper this year may in two or three years in the light of further developments in the area to which it applies need revision.
§ Mr. James Johnson
Is my right hon. Friend saying that the local board on Humberside or Merseyside, for instance, will define which firms will come into the workings of the scheme—I have in mind 60 Birds Eye, which is obviously using much of its own stuff, whether it be beans in Lincolnshire or fish on the Humber—as opposed to firms which, in the old-fashioned sense, are importing cargoes from the Antipodes or other places 5,000 or 8,000 miles away and which are being handled by old-fashioned dockers—I use that expression advisedly—on the dock side?
§ Mr. Booth
The straight answer to my hon. Friend is "No". I am not saying that we shall in the scheme spell out that one of the functions of the local dock labour board will be to recommend to the National Dock Labour Board and, through that body, to the Secretary of State which firms in its area might be covered by the scheme. That is a matter to which the House will no doubt want to give further consideration and which I shall want to consider before laying a scheme before the House. I hope that we shall reach the part of the Bill dealing with the way in which recommendations are made to the Secretary of State. That will be the appropriate point at which to deal with this question.
§ Mr. Anthony Fell (Yarmouth)
Is there not going to be a dreadful muddle? If the boards are to have regard to Schedule 3(3) and to Schedule 3(10), how will they be led or misled by putting those two parts of the Bill together?
§ Mr. Booth
This matter relates more to New Clauses 1 and 5 than to the rôle of local boards.
One can make a connection in that when a local board has been set up and premises in its area are considered by the NDLB as suitable for survey, there may be some discussion with the local board making a recommendation to the national board. Whether the national board uses the local board as its agent or sends some of its own members to conduct the survey is open for consideration under the Bill. This is a matter that we can debate when schemes are laid before Parliament.
It is better to retain this flexibility in the form and composition of the board. We may wish to alter the areas to be covered by a board or even its composition at some date, possibly after the passing of the scheme.
I have been asked how many jobs will be made available in the London area 61 under the scheme. It is impossible for me to answer that question. We are determining in the Bill a mechanism or apparatus to involve people in the determination of what work should be classified as dock work. The answer to the question that I have been asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Horn-church (Mr. Williams) and others depends on those decisions.
Any order that classifies work must be laid before the House and, even if I could, I should not want to pre-empt that discussion. We shall have a sensible means of making that determination, but it is right that the ultimate decision should lie with the House. If the House thinks it wise to pass classification Orders, it will increase the numbers covered by the scheme. If it turns down some Orders, it will limit the numbers, but there is no way of extending the scheme without making classification Orders.
§ Sir David Renton (Huntingdonshire)
Although one new scheme would have to be approved by a resolution of each House and, no doubt, be subject to a full-scale, whole-day debate, Orders made under the scheme, which are the really effective instruments, could be taken piecemeal, probably late at night when hon. Members whose constituencies are affected might find it difficult to muster sufficient opposition to get the Orders turned down against the strength of the Government Whips. This matter is causing great anxiety.
§ Mr. Booth
In order to answer that question I should have to go into the adequacy or otherwise of our delegated legislation procedure, which would not be appropriate. Even after a scheme had been passed following a major debate in both Houses, a number of Orders would be required to make it effective or to classify areas. These would be of great importance to hon. Members. I do not rest upon the constituency interest; there is a broader interest, too.
For this purpose the House has devised a procedure that enables Orders to be placed before a Merits Committee at which every hon. Member may attend and state his view. The matter under discussion is then brought back to the Floor of the House for a final determination by vote. If contentious Orders are laid 62 on the classification of areas or work, hon. Members may consider whether they wish to take them in the Merits Committee or pray against them in the House.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Booth
Not all the Orders are subject to affirmative resolutions. With those that are, 20 hon. Members rising in their places can ensure a debate on the Floor of the House. I am not paying an undue compliment to opponents of the Bill if I suggest that they will not find any great difficulty in getting 20 hon Members to pursue this course.
§ Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)
I am sorry that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) is not here. I tried to intervene in his speech when in my view he put a very good argument against the five-mile corridor. I was hoping that he would suggest that we should drop it.
The hon. Member was highlighting local customs and I know that in Liverpool there is a custom that dockers do not get involved with the work of cold stores. In. Southampton there are also local arrangements, particularly in regard to traffic to the Isle of Wight, which has not become dockers' work. Why must we have this corridor if local customs are to prevail?
We should give full credit to the Secretary of State, who is always painstaking and long-suffering, but following his reply I am more confused than ever. The merit of the new clauses is that they give room for someone to arbitrate or at least negotiate in disputes and, whatever hon. Members opposite say, there undobtedly will be disputes.
Most people do not want to go to law and an arbitrator could listen to the evidence from both sides and reach a decision. If he were asked to rule on a point of law, the matter could then go to the courts. That seems perfectly sensible.
I do not take much comfort from the fact that we may have debates on Orders on the Floor of the House, especially if there is a repetition of what has occurred in the proceedings on this Bill. There were many amendments which should have 63 been taken up by the Government. Regulations may be brought before us late at night and, although there will be a decision of the House, we all know that there is a built-in majority on most occasions and things which should not get through will almost certainly be passed.
A document which the British Importers' Confederation has sent to most hon. Members highlights many of its concerns. The Secretary of State gave an assurance in Committee that the Government do not intend to introduce a scheme which involved the Board operating in negotiations or being a negotiating forum. Therefore, some arbitrary decisions will be made which no one will be able to question except by some procedure when the board's recommendations are laid before the House.
I support the new clauses. I am not happy with the way they are drawn and some of us would rather be debating other amendments—although, of course, we accept Mr. Speaker's ruling. The Government should think again about what will happen in some of the areas quoted in the document referred to. Although the Minister gave some assurances, we do not see on the Notice Paper all the amendments that we might have had from the Government.
The Secretary of State said that there was no question of the driving of vehicles within dock estates being generally classified as dock work. We need clarification of that. The Under-Secretary of State gave an assurance that the Government had no intention that the scheme should fix in absolute terms remuneration, hours of work and holidays with pay, or disturb existing collective agreements. I suggest that we may still have problems to resolve there. There are many other items which will obviously be matters of great dispute, on which the Government have not tabled amendments—and it is getting late.
The position of the local boards is a matter of dispute and I am pleased that the Secretary of State said that he was still open to representations on that score. Many of those who have been sending us suggested amendments and who know the business were disappointed when they had high-level discussions with the Secretary of State over the position of the local boards. They wanted to get wider 64 representation on them, bringing in not just employers and unions. I would hope that the consumers could have been represented, but at least the field should have been widened. Unfortunately, the Government did not accept those amendments in Committee and I am sorry that we shall not be able to press them tonight.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)
Order. I think that Mr. Speaker said that he had been fairly indulgent earlier about hon. Members addressing themselves to the new clauses, but the hon. Member is now going rather wide.
§ Mr. Ross
I accept what you say, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but I am replying to the Secretary of State who went into this and presumably gave us the opportunity to deal with it. I shall not go further, but this is an area of dispute.
I should be horrified if vital decisions were not left to local boards and if the national board were permitted to step in. Obviously, most matters should be left to local boards in places like Hull and Southampton. Southampton operates pretty well with its existing board, although it is not constituted as I have suggested.
I hope that the Government will think again about the appeals procedure. Someone has to negotiate on the ground if we are not to have a whole series of further legal actions. Surely we all wish to avoid that.
§ Mr. A. P. Costain (Folkestone and Hythe)
When the Secretary of State rose to speak, I had every reason to expect that he would accept the new clauses. In a guillotined debate, I shall restrict my remarks closely to matters affecting my constituency. I agree with most of what has been said by my hon. Friends. We shall be able later to discuss whether our constituency ports are excluded from the Bill. I doubt whether all those who have put down later amendments will be able to move them, so I rely on the two new clause to protect my port.
The port of Folkestone is not a dock in any sense. I rely very much on the new clauses to establish early on whether it comes within the scheme at all. For instance, we have no warehouses in the normal sense. We are a port, not a dock. The only facilities we have are Customs 65 sheds and Customs loading. Most of the cargo is hand baggage carried by passengers on the ferries. There are no large cargo-handling facilities. We have facilities for loading lorries, but none is loaded within the five-mile corridor.
I would therefore prefer if we could establish a simple form of appeal so that it was accepted once and for all that factories in areas like mine were exempt. Taking the matter to court would be enormously complicated and expensive. Why should a town which has no other purpose as a port than to accommodate ferries be affected by a Bill designed to deal with cargo-loading ports?
I do not agree with the five-mile disance, and cargo-loading facilities would be included in a much smaller distance. Therefore, why should we not have a simple procedure? Why should not both new clauses be adopted.
I am impressed by the arguments of my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks). In a case like this, we need simple procedures. We shall try later to exempt our ports, with good reason, but I am not optimistic that my powerful arguments on that occasion will convince the House. I therefore rely on these clauses and I hope that the Government will have second thoughts and appreciate that this is one way of simplifying the procedure as it should be simplified.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The need for the new clauses has been admirably demonstrated by the Secretary of State's speech. This is a technical and complicated piece of legislation requiring careful interpretation at practically every level. When the Secretary of State was trying to distinguish between those decisions of his which might be regarded as ultra vires, suggesting that appeal to the courts was an adequate remedy, those of us who spent long hours in Committee began to wonder whether it had all been worth it.
At the end of the day, someone somewhere has to take an industrial decision which might employ people, produce and export goods and help towards our economic survival. One of the questions which is relevant not only to these new clauses but to any others that we debate is whether it will improve matters. We might also ask the same about the Bill 66 —whether on a certain day in an uncertain year it will achieve an improvement in economic performance. The straight answer is that it is extremely doubtful. When the Bill is applied to certain sectors of industry, industrial costs will rise.
However, of one thing we may be absolutely sure—within the operation of the National Docks Labour Board and the local boards there will be, in the classification of work and the definition of the corridor, many areas of grey opinion where further objective assessment will be required. The new clauses suggest an appeal procedure to be written into the Bill here and now. I would emphasise that point. It is all very well for the Secretary of State to say, "We shall deal with that when we lay before the House the general schedules as to how the national board or the local boards will operate, and when we lay Orders in detail." But that means deferring for a long time the solution of certain anxieties which have been expressed by some basic industries.
We have had no shortage of considered and carefully calculated industrial comment on these proposals. Equally, we have had considered and carefully calculated trade union objections to the proposals, and certain affirmative voices have been raised in support of them.
I draw to the House's attention the cold storage industry because it provides evidence in support of the two new clauses, which seek interpretation and appeals procedure. The industry is a hybrid. As the hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) said, its traditional trade in refrigerated cargoes has rapidly declined. Since 1967 the cold storage industry has expanded ninefold. It is housing more than a million tons of the nation's food supply and it is now a long-term public cold storage industry.
It is no longer associated in the main, or even in a modest degree, with the traditional handling of refrigerated cargoes. Some parts of the cold storage industry still handle refrigerated cargoes, but the question of definition, with which the clause is acutely concerned, must be applied to the industry as a whole. Is it or is it not to be part of the Dock Labour Scheme?
67 It has been consistently argued in Committee and by the industry that the cold storage industry, which is part of the frozen food industry and which has developed rapidly since 1967 as an arm of the nation's larder, is quite separate from the traditional dock handling of refrigerated cargo. By passing the new clauses the House could come to an interpretative judgment whether that is a true and valid case, but the Minister has declined to accept them. We must turn back to his predecessor, the right hon. Gentleman who is presently Leader of the House. In the Second Reading debate he said:long-established warehousing, storage, packaging and cold store operations, which are not related directly to work transferred from the docks and which are not connected with port operations, would most certainly not be classified as dock work and, therefore, subject to the new scheme."—[Official Report, 10th February 1976; Vol. 905, c. 267.]We seek, and have sought so far in vain, a categorical assurance that where a large industry is at stake the Bill should contain a simple definition which would enable an exception to be made, and that a statement should be laid before the House that the Bill does not apply to that industry.
With the possible exception of the refrigerated meat trade, there is no historical connection between the cold storage industry and traditional dock work. It could be argued that there are portions of the cold store industry which are directly related to dock work. One could almost argue that a cod is a piece of cargo in transit, whether it comes in at Hull docks unloaded by dockers and sent to be repackaged in bread-crumbs and made rectangular in the Birds Eye factory. We cannot start talking about repackaging cargoes to enable us to define a cargo which has been reprocessed. Yet it might be possible for that to be argued.
What cannot be gainsaid is that this industry has grown up outside the traditions of the transport industry. It has increased in volume and is now offering well over 1 million cubic feet capacity. The industry has grown ninefold since 1967. I recall that 1967 is the vesting year applied to the Bill. In vain have we sought to have the industry excluded. Yet the Government have decided that that 68 portion of the industry owned by the National Freight Corporation—which accounts for 10 per cent. of cold storage facilities—shall be exempted from the provisions of the Bill.
I come back to the new clauses. Is it not obvious that the matter of definition and appeal should be considered and that persons operating within the industry should be given the opportunity of stating their case and saying whether the work that goes in in their warehouse or cold store should be classified as dock work? Surely there is an added need for such a provision in the Bill, as the Government have steadfastly refused to recognise the case of the cold storage industry on the one hand but, on the other hand, have allowed themselves the luxury of exempting the 10 per cent. they own on behalf of the taxpayer. That is duplicity of the highest order and it undermines confidence in the economic effectiveness of an industry which serves the housewife well.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
May I ask my hon. Friend's help? I have a cold store in my constituency. If the cold store remains as it is, it falls within the ambit of the scheme, but supposing it were to be purchased in future by the National Freight Corporation, is it my hon. Friend's understanding that it would go outside the scheme?
§ Mr. Shaw
That is a classic case which illustrates the need for a disputes procedure. All the cold store ramifications of the National Freight Corporation are outwith the scheme. Therefore, it follows that should the corporation acquire an additional portion of the cold storage industry, that additional portion would also be outwith the scheme.
§ Mr. Shaw
By my reading of the Bill, its operations would become liable to be classified as dock work under the Bill. Therefore, presumably, employees who were once outside the scheme would be likely to find their jobs put at risk by those on the extension register or the main register of dockers to take their place. The Minister of State must surely agree that that illustration of what might 69 happen in the National Freight Corporation emphasises the desperate need for a sensitive procedure to enable these matters to be properly examined.
One of the main objectives of the Bill is to ensure that the special class of the national work force known as dockers finds additional employment outside the traditional dock areas. None of my hon. Friends would object to that as a laudable right, but why should someone whose traditional industry has declined and changed out of all recognition seek to move into another industry taking with him all the appurtenances of his previous industry? No one objects to the recruitment of labour into the food industry, the cold storage industry or the distribution industry, if the labour coming into the industry observes the normal rules and practices of the industry. But we are asked under the Bill to provide that the docker may take with him, wheresoe'er he goeth, the traditional rôle of the docker, the title of "docker" and many of the privileges he has previously enjoyed.
He also takes with him many of the costs he has previously enjoyed. Those costs become part and parcel of the employer's problem in the industry to which he goes. That brings me back to the vital question of definition, classification and right of appeal. Why should the 2 million tons of the nation's food in cold store be subjected to an additional cost of £6 a ton? Why should the nation foot that bill simply because all cold storage workers are required to become part of the registered dock labour force?
The Minister of State will recognise that that is not what the scheme intends to do—or is it? We do not know. All we can say is that there is provision for labour to he taken into the cold storage industry, because it is not exempt, and that will bring complications with it, as sure as night follows day. Those complications we must resolve by a simple and effective procedure and that is what the clauses before the House seek to do.
Certainly the cold storage industry has a record second to none in industrial relations. It has lost very few days in strikes, while the dock industry has not had a particularly happy period of industrial relations. Why then must we import the difficulties of one industry into another? This is where we find the need for a new clause such as this 70 to provide a sensitive definition of an appeals procedure.
I am surprised that the Government in the past have made a virtue out of appeals procedures. They did so in the long and harrowing debates on the Industry Act last year when they set great store by the use of ACAS and industrial tribunals, but on this Bill they fight shy of doing so because they do not wish at this stage to say that the Bill is imperfect. They do not wish to pre-empt what the National Dock Labour Board when reconstituted would want to do. Above all, they do not wish to indicate to their supporters that they are taking seriously some of the major objections from the employers of labour.
It is the employers who are really objecting to having to face a situation in which the jobs of the people who work for them will be altered by the infusion of perhaps a handful or perhaps substantially more members who are at present on the dock register. Nowhere will this be the case more than in the cold storage and distribution industries. They are special because they are part of the food industry. They are special because they have very few traditional links with dockland. They are special because they are largely part of an inland agricultural distribution network and they are extremely sensitive in relation to price and competition. They are special because to the housewife they represent one of the surest ways in which food can be stored, processed and distributed at minimal cost.
It is in the national interest that the Bill should proceed in this way and threaten to undermine such an industry, or is it in the national interest that we should seek to call a halt to it? Is it in the national interest that there should be clear exemptions which the Leader of the House envisaged in February this year? Should the Bill contain provisions for the satisfactory solution of disputes and the satisfactory examination of who is right or wrong when it comes to classifying work and defining where it should be done?
There is an overwhelming case not only for exempting the cold storage industry but certainly for including a procedure designed to ensure that all industry is not trampled underfoot, in the name of 30,000 dockers.
§ Mrs. Lynda Chalker (Wallasey)
In these two new clauses we have embodied what people normally consider to be an essential aspect of British justice—the right of appeal against a decision. Nowhere in our 36 sittings of debate in Committee did we get from the Government a feeling, despite some of the entreaties from their own Back Benchers, that a right of appeal would be forthcoming in this legislation.
At the end of the Committee stage I felt that we had not talked to enough people. Therefore, the intervening period between our Committee stage and this amputated Report stage has been useful if only to discover from a greater number of people their views on this Bill as it came out of Committee. Some hon. Members may not be surprised to hear, that, if anything, the views of certain groups of workers had hardened because they found that the Government had been totally unresponsive to their entreaties about the way in which work might or might not be classified as dock work in the future. Their entreaties as to how an extension register might be defined had not been listened to as they had been given to understand in the consultation documents two years ago they would be.
Therefore, I spent some of the intervening time visiting warehouses particularly, but also talking to dock workers about what would happen to this Bill when it got on to the statute book. That is surely what the House must be concerned about—whether the Bill will advance the work at our ports and of dock handling or whether it will throw further impediments in the way of British industry, impediments which we can surely do without.
I am amazed at the unanimity of feeling among drivers, warehousemen, cold storage men and dockers. They do not believe that the Bill can provide greater employment. They believe that it will only cause greater strife. One of the questions they ask is "How can this matter be resolved? Is there an appeals procedure?" That question without exception was asked during every single set of discussions that I had.
§ Mr. James Johnson
In no way do I doubt the sincerity of the hon. Lady, but as she tells me that she spent valuable 72 hours speaking to workers on the dock side, can she specify the unions to which those employees belong and who gave her the impression that there was unanimity—I believe that is the word she used—among workers against the Bill?
§ Mrs. Chalker
I shall be glad to tell the hon. Gentleman. I spoke to members of USDAW, the General and Municipal Workers Union and the Transport and General Workers Union. Of couse, one had to be selective. I could not possibly visit every quayside and dockside, but when I sought an invitation and I was able to go, I did not find those workers at all in opposition to what my hon. Friends and I said in Committee or on Second Reading.
I think it behoves us to consider the experience of one particular industry because it is an industry which has experienced considerable changes since 1967. Hon. Members may be a little surprised that I chose an industry which was based not so much on Liverpool as on London. One industry in which the workers are severely worried about the outcome of the existing state of work and worried that they will have no appeal is the tea industry. In 1966 between 75 per cent. and 80 per cent. of the tea drunk in this country was imported through the Port of London. Last year it ranged between 10 per cent. and 14 per cent. The rest of that trade now travels to this country through the ports of Avon and Liverpool. The point is that the tea that was imported through the Port of London was handled by registered dock workers. The tea that today is handled on the Kirkby Estate on Merseyside is not handled by registered dock workers and never has been since that trade went to Merseyside.
Therefore, the men handling that trade on Merseyside ask "What is to happen? Are the dock workers of Liverpool to have a natural right to come to this area, which is outside the five-mile limit? What right of appeal have we as workers against the decision? Should the decision be taken by the local dock labour board?" I have no satisfactory answer to give them at the moment, because all the words of the Secretary of State and the Minister of State in Committee and today will not allay the fears of those men.
73 I could continue at some length about the tea trade, but I shall refrain from doing so. Nevertheless it is an interesting example of how the magic date of 1967 does not cure the ills which befall this industry. The real fear is that the Government have perhaps not been as ready to listen as everybody was given the impression they would be.
Amendments and suggestions have been submitted to the Government. Let us examine a few of them. I know that dock workers and warehousemen from different parts of the country have regaled the Department of Employment with suggestions about the local boards. They, like members of the Committee, had hoped that by Report they would hear proposals about how the Bill would affect them. They still have considerable fears about how the decision will be made about who will be allowed to do what work, and about their security in the long term. They feel that the Government were deaf throughout the Committee stage and are still deaf now.
I expected that the Minister, as he is hon. Member for Doncaster, would understand the situation since many of his constituents will be affected by the Bill because of the way in which it extends inland. I hope that he will listen carefully to what his constituents say when their jobs are in question and they have no appeal and no way in which they can be sure that their entreaties are heard. They are fearful because their entreaties have so far fallen on deaf ears.
§ Mr. Ted Leadbitter (Hartlepool)
Because of the time factor it is important that we should be precise. The hon. Lady said that people were in fear of their jobs. I have not read in the Bill that people will be displaced from their jobs. The hon. Lady should define what she means.
§ Mrs. Chalker
It is kind of the hon. Gentleman to intervene in that way and I shall turn to the notes I made at the Dagenham Cold Storage Company when two shop stewards asked me "Are you aware that names are already going down among London dockers for work at the Dagenham Cold Storage Company?" In Committee I quoted the substance of a meeting of the Barry dockers where workers said that they intended to take over many jobs. It is a wider question 74 than the Banana Seven issue. That is why men are afraid and that is why I say that the fear is more widespread than hon. Members credit.
§ Mr. Leadbitter
I understand the hon. Lady's argument because she made it clear in Committee, but it is one thing to express fear which is caused by propaganda and another to express fear about what is in the Bill. There are no provisions in the Bill relating to the displacement of workers. We are talking about the classification of workers.
§ Mrs. Chalker
I am aware that there is no clause which displaces workers from their jobs. But written into the Bill is the right of dockers to take on work which was formerly classified as dock work but which has not been so classified since 1967. In that sense it is little wonder that many people working in warehouses and cold storage depots are worried that by giving a right over all other workers to 32,000 men, someone will suffer unless there is a vast expansion of the industry. The House and the Committee will be aware that the industry has been continually diminishing rather than expanding.
I shall give some examples to show why the new clauses are needed. In Committee I was chided for my groundless fears. But what appeal will there be if a local dock labour board decides to classify the movement of cargo to an inland storage place if it has come through a port and is defined as dock work? Workers 12 miles distant from rivers fear that the handling of goods which have passed through a port and which have been assembled on ships or abroad will be classified as dock work. They can see no way in which the Bill will safeguard them from that possibility.
I am not the first person to question the Minister about that. He was asked about it by the shop stewards in the Transport and General Workers Union but he never answered their questions.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Employment (Mr. Harold Walker)
Will the hon. Lady explain that last point again? She said that the Transport and General Workers Union shop stewards had put a point to me which I had not answered. I have no recollection of that.
§ Mrs. Chalker
I have a list of suggested amendments to the Bill signed by the 75 chairman of the shop stewards of the TGWU which I am reliably informed was not acknowledeged by the Department. If the Minister wishes to look at the list, I shall give it him outside the Chamber.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
The hon. Lady first said that the shop stewards spoke to me about this matter and that I had not replied. Is she now saying that a letter has been sent to my Department—because that is a different matter?
§ Mrs. Chalker
I was informed by the shop stewards that not only had they spoken to the Minister but that they had sent their views in writing and therefore were surprised that there was no result. [An HON. MEMBER: "Liar."] I regret that an hon. Member should call me something which is unparliamentary. If he cares to say it in so many words, perhaps we can discuss the matter.
Shop stewards have asked me "What appeal is there against attempts, when the Bill comes into force, to interfere with manning scales which have always been a matter between management and men?" They fear that the power of the local dock labour board to talk in terms of insisting that they will be registered dock workers could interfere with that system. They believe that there is no way of getting out of that situation.
The issues which I have described have been raised again and again. The fact that there is no appeal in the Bill concerns everybody in the House. I do not doubt the Minister's sincerity in the way that he has dealt with the Bill, but he and his colleagues have been exceedingly short-sighted in not introducing an appeals procedure to cut out the worry and concern of workers. The Minister can put that right by accepting one of the new clauses.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
I intervene briefly as one who did not serve on the Committee and who is therefore bound to approach these highly technical discussions with diffidence. I should declare an interest in that I was for some years in the Ministry of Transport with some responsibility for ports. In those years I discussed the dock labour scheme and its possible extension with many Labour hon. Members and trade unions. I was once associated with the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, although I no 76 longer have such a connection. Thirdly, I have in my constituency a cold store whose workers are very alarmed. Labour Members may have views on whether they have reason to be alarmed. I merely state it as a fact that they are.
Fourthly, over the past year or so I have been trying to sell to a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa the idea of coming to Britain for consultancy services in the management of ports. I was hoping to persuade them that we had something to offer from the Port of London Authority, the National Freight Corporation, such private ports as Felixstowe, and the British banking system. I believe that there are good prospects in the whole subject of ports consultancy services provided by the public and private sector, but I fear that the prospects have been damaged by the Bill.
I intervene in the debate for three reasons. The first is that I was fascinated by the Minister's sensitivity—and I hope that he will not take this personally—when my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Mrs. Chalker) dared to suggest that he might not have the Transport and General Workers Union with him on every particular. He immediately rose, because whatever the merits of the argument the one thing he would not let go unchallenged was the suggestion that he might not have listened to an official of the TGWU, conceivably a rather obscure official. He was very quick off the mark about that. He should not imagine that we on the Opposition Benches do not notice that he can thrust aside the merits of an argument but that the merest suggestion that he has not taken notice of the TGWU brings him to his feet immediately.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
I am astonished that the hon. Gentleman obviously did not understand the reason for my intervention. It was merely that it had been suggested that I had said or done something of which I had no recollection. I have a pretty good memory, and I find ground for offence when people attribute to me things that I have not said or done.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I am sorry to catch the hon. Gentleman on a point where he 77 obviously feels rather sensitive. I repeat that I noticed with interest that the substantial arguments advanced by my hon. Friends on the merits drew no response from him, but that he was on his feet not twice but three times on that other matter.
My second reason for intervening arises from the speech of the Secretary of State, a most agreeable man. When I was Minister responsible for sport he and I used to swim together, and I came to have a great deal of regard for him. But in his speech the right hon. Gentleman said that we were dealing with appeals on questions of disputes that might turn on the use of a tape measure or an Ordnance Survey map. He took refuge in the belief that if the question of the five-mile limit arose, the course of law could best determine how to use the map and the tape measure. As one who comes to the Bill anxious to consider the arguments on either side objectively, I am appalled to think that the great ports industry and the cold storage industry are now to turn on such matters as the interpretation of an Ordnance Survey sheet and the use of a tape measure. It is preposterous.
My third reason for intervening is the matter of the National Freight Corporation. I have a good deal of admiration for the corporation. I was in part responsible for the appointment of the chairman, Sir Daniel Pettit, a first-class manager. I am delighted that he is there. But I drew from the Minister's reply to one of my hon. Friends the following strange conclusions, on which I hope his hon. Friend the most agreeable hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Walker) will comment.
First, a cold store worker who falls within the ambit of the Bill will become a de facto docker when it is passed. For all practical purposes he will be reclassified as a docker if he works in a cold store. But if the cold store is subsequently sold to Sir Daniel Pettit and the National Freight Corporation, the same man doing the same job ceases to be a docker and presumably becomes a cold storage worker again.
Let us suppose that the corporation sells the store once again. Over a period that could be as short as a year or so, the way these things happen com- 78 mercially, the Bill will have made him a a docker, when he was not a docker; then he will have ceased to be a docker; and later he will have become a docker again. That is crazy. It cannot be right to bring into effect this strange redefinition of work in respect of the National Freight Corporation and schemes falling under the Bill. I beg the Minister, who is a sensible and practical man, to see that there is a much more sensible definition.
Having divested myself of the minutiae, I come to one or two more substantial matters. The clauses deal essentially with the matter of an appeal, the settlement of disputes if they arise. I do not believe that there is much doubt in the House or the country that there will be disputes. One of the besetting sins of British industry over the past 20 years under all Governments has been that of demarcation disputes—who bores the holes, who puts on the tar? We all want to avoid them. But there is no doubt that where men believe, rightly or wrongly, that their jobs are threatened, they will seek to protect them by reasonable and, occasionally, unreasonable methods. That is the nature of work. Therefore, the Minister must provide for disputes. He would not be prudent if he did not.
The question is simply when—not "if"—disputes arise, how they are to be arbitrated. The Minister took refuge in the fact that there were always the courts and this House. I do not believe that either is remotely satisfactory. The courts fall for two reasons. First, the matter can become justiciable only on a narrow point of law. It will arise only if the question of vires is at issue. But in such matters the great arguments will instead be about whether the store, the court or the job in question falls on one side or the other of the line. Many people—drivers, cold store workers, dockers and the newspapers—will have strong views. The worst thing to do is to go all the way to the courts, unless that cannot be avoided.
When my right hon. and hon. Friends and I were putting the Industrial Relations Act on the statute book the Minister of State and many of his hon. Friends fairly made the point that the matters with which it dealt should be handled with common sense, that there should be consultation in dealing with men at work. "For heaven's sake, avoid 79 the courts!" they told us. As I look back, I think that they had a point. Let us not go to the courts now if we can avoid it. Surely that must be the common sense of the matter, and therefore when the Secretary of State, agreeable though he is, suggested that we should rely on the courts, he was merely going back on his and his party's philosophy in this matter. He must know that the courts are the last place to get to. They should be avoided if it is at all possible.
Secondly, if the courts are brought In to deal with Ordnance Survey maps and tape measures, they have to make firm decisions—flat, hard, clear decisions. If we get to the end of the line, with the ultimate powers of the courts having been used and the dockers or the road hauliers still do not like the decision, they will be up against contempt, they will be up against imprisonment, and we shall be back where we started to the whole question of the dock workers who had to go to gaol and the Official Solicitor who had to be brought in to get them out again.
It must not be the intention of the Government to shove these matters on to the courts—the decision, the contempt and the imprisonment and the fact that any dispute becomes a dispute with the law of the land. Surely it must be right, if at all possible, to avoid that, and that is precisely what these clauses seek to do. They provide what I can only describe as an earthwork before one gets to the courts. That is wise, and I ask the Minister to consider it.
§ Mr. Leadbitter
The hon. Gentleman has been embarking upon a kind of confessional. Is he saying that his Government were wrong in forcing through legislation that inevitably involved the courts? If he is, his speech is rather interesting, but it is not a matter of relating that unhappy episode to the situation where we are not involved with that conclusion.
§ Mr. Griffiths
It is kind of the hon. Gentleman to describe my speech as interesting. I thought it was fairly interesting.
I do not think that there is much point in my going back into the past. I was 80 begging the Minister not to fall into the trap into which his right hon. Friend suggested we might have been falling in the past. The situation then was that we had a responsible Government. That is not the situation now. The hon. Gentleman is being asked to support an irresponsible Government. I do not believe that we need to get involved in these small details.
My second point—and it arises from some modest experience in Government in these matters—is that this House, for which all of us, save only the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Foot), have the deepest affection, is the worst possible place to make decisions about the details of demarcation between one kind of work and another. This House, by any measure, is a broad-brush place. It is a place that considers arguments and comes to conclusions on principles. That is why all Governments make Orders. It is Orders that carry out the intention or the spirit of an Act in detail.
The Minister suggests that these clauses are unacceptable because there is always either the courts or the House to deal with appeals and details. The House is no last resort at all on details, and I think that the Minister, for whom I have great affection, was being a little disingenuous when he suggested that we should always have an affirmative Order. We can have a debate on such an Order if we can raise 30 Members late at night. The Minister knows that that is not the way in which one organises things. Whatever else Parliament is for, it is not to decide disputes between one lot of workers and another.
That being so, we come to the crux of this little debate. If, as I believe to be the case, the courts are not the place to settle these disputes—and I am sure that the Minister does not want to get into the courts if he can avoid it—and if Parliament is not the place either, there has to be something else. That is logical and clear, and these clauses suggest alternative appeals.
One clause suggests that there should be appeals to an industrial tribunal, and I am attracted to that idea. The other clause speaks of ACAS, and I am equally attracted to that suggestion. What the Secretary of State did not deal with, and 81 I hope that the hon. Gentleman will deal with it later on, is why, if he accepts that we should avoid the courts and not rely on the House, neither of these well-established and well-regarded bodies is acceptable. What is wrong with ACAS? We rely upon it at present. I think that we have relied upon it to perform miracles in all kinds of places. What is wrong with its acting in this context? As we require others to go to industrial tribunals on so many other things, what is wrong with industrial tribunals in this connection?
The Minister did not deal with those two points, and therefore he did not deal with the crux of the debate, which is that if there are to be disputes, how are they to be settled? No adequate answer has been provided to that question, and I hope that the Minister will give one.
§ Mr. Leadbitter
The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) made his usual kind of speech arising out of a state of limited knowledge. He concluded by saying that New Clause 5 refers to the notion of having a tribunal, and he is attracted to that, and New Clause 1 refers to the use of the ACAS, and he is equally attracted to that. I presume that that is the measure of his attraction.
The hon. Gentleman made an interesting speech—he said so himself. He is very fond of his speeches. Not many Members respond, but he nevertheless finds his speeches interesting. I presume that his judgment of this matter is that an industrial tribunal can use a tape measure better than can a court, and that ACAS can use a tape measure better than can the House of Commons. That is the measure of his judgment.
The hon. Gentleman said nothing else. What he forgot to say to the House is that ACAS was set up principally to deal with industrial disputes. It is not a matter of vires, of extra legal implications, and the tribunal notion does little more than add to a great deal of confusion that has already been referred to in this debate.
The hon. Member for Wallasey (Mrs. Chalker) said that people were in fear of their jobs. I agree, and the reason is that they have been fed the wrong kind of information by the wrong kind of people. Before the Bill went into Com- 82 mittee the right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) was almost never off the television talking about people's fears and tribulations and about the unholy mess that would result in the docks from the passing of the Bill, but week after week in Committee the right hon. Gentleman was muted. His loud noises were silenced. During the long Committee stage we had a completely different performance from that which Conservative Members produced for public consumption, and their statements in Committee were one reason for the fears referred to by the hon. Lady.
Let us consider the official stance of the unions. I shall be corrected by my hon. Friend if I am wrong. On 21st January of this year, at the transportation committee of the TUC, approximately 19 signatories agreed unanimously to the Bill. I will read it for the benefit of Conservative Members, because they have plenty to say on these matters. The report states:At their meeting today, the TUC Transport Industries Committee gave unanimous support to the Dock Work Regulation Bill, the Second Reading of which is to take place shortly. It was agreed that in order to ensure that the language of the Bill adequately covers the points which have for some time been understood and agreed by all the unions, the Minister will be asked to consider some drafting amendments for the Committee stage.I am not unaware of the fact that those drafting amendments appeared and were fully considered, in my view to the satisfaction of all the participants. The report then sets out the names of the unions represented at the meeting, numbering about 10. I will not mention them.
We have looked very carefully at the case put forward by the cold storage people. None of us has minimised the seriousness of their position. They have expressed their concern. None of us has been persuaded that the principle of negotiation cannot overcome some of their major worries.
The dock workers have a right to receive support in this House for their future security of employment. They want the sort of security of employment that is enjoyed by nearly every professional body in this country.
Conservative Members have repeatedly indicated their concern and alarm that 83 on the Government side we are anxious once and for all to give the dock workers proper conditions of employment. These workers have suffered over some 30 years a dramatic cut in their manning levels. At one time they numbered some 270,000. In a short period, due to technological changes and changes in port operations, their number has gone down to 32,000.
§ Mr. Loyden
My hon. Friend has touched on a very important point. The Opposition's argument concerning the National Dock Labour Board and the protection it affords to dock workers—a protection not necessarily enjoyed by other workers—is that it is unfair on other workers. If we believe that the protection afforded to dock workers is right and proper from our point of view, will not my hon. Friend agree that we ought to be thinking of extending protection to other workers, rather than depriving those workers who enjoy it at the moment?
§ Mr. Leadbitter
Certainly. I fail to understand why Conservative Members ridicule the sense of urgency that we have in our desire to give to the workers in this country proper standards of employment, security of employment, and confidence in their own industries.
The trade union movement has the capacity, the experience and the will to negotiate improvements in conditions in a manner which need not in any way involve the courts. It was the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds who referred to the courts and the Official Solicitor. But he, as a member of the previous Government, was associated with legislation which pushed the workers of this country against the wall, and put dock workers in prison. The hon. Member admits today in this House that the Official Solicitor had to be brought in when his Government found themselves in an embarrassing situation. Bearing that in mind, it is rather shocking that he should now be criticising the Government as he has.
The Bill seeks to widen and broaden the areas of negotiation. The procedures laid down in the Bill make it abundantly clear that dock workers may have to wait many months before they see an improvement, because the scheme will take at least 18 months to two years to produce.
§ Mr. Iain MacCormick (Argyll)
I am interested in the hon. Gentleman's argument, but when is a docker not a docker? The hon. Gentleman mentioned the fall in the number of dock workers. I remind him that there has been a great fall in the number of coal miners. Does the principle behind the Bill mean that coal miners could be employed on oil rigs?
§ Mr. Leadbitter
That is just as irrelevant and illogical as asking when is a solicitor not a solicitor, or when is an architect not an architect. It has nothing at all to do with the argument. The Bill is not dealing with individuals in that personal sense. It is classifying work.
There is an important lesson to be learned from the professional bodies in this country. No professional body defines the nature of its work better or more militantly than the British Medical Association acting on behalf of doctors. There is no body which defines its work better, and more probably, than the lawyers.
The great wealth of this country is produced by those who work in our industries. Over the centuries they have not had a fair share or the right to security of employment. Instead of the claptrap of New Clause 1 and New Clause 5, the Bill introduces measures which are calculated to improve conditions of employment.
Quite sensibly, the Government have decided not to write every dot and dash into the Bill. Instead, they have decided upon a board. Incidentally, I notice that there is no amendment to deal with that. The board will produce the scheme as a result of a process of negotiation involving the TUC, the CBI, and local interests. This having been done, there will be proper public notice given before any recommendation is made. The recommendation will come to the Secretary of State, and an order will be brought before the House.
I see no reason at all to inject into that machinery any further delaying mechanism. Already some of us are expressing anxiety about the time scale involved. [Interruption.] The right hon. Member for Lowestoft has had far more to say outside the House of Commons on this matter than any of us. He must learn to sit back and be patient. He lost the 85 leadership of his party because he was too anxious. Let him be patient.
I put it to the House that it would be completely fatuous to introduce into the Bill machinery such as that provided by ACAS, which is for the purpose of dealing with industrial disputes. The Bill is intended to deal with something completely outside that area.
As to the suggestion that there should be a tribunal, this is against the spirit of the negotiating principles already embodied in the Bill. Schedule 4 outlines the procedures to the satisfaction of Government Members. Opposition Members would do well to stop their delaying tactics and give themselves more time to get on with their further amendments.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
I sense that the House is anxious to conclude this debate and reach a decision on the new clause. I hope that the hon. Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Costain), the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) and the hon. Member for Wallasey (Mrs. Chalker) will forgive me if I do not respond to their points about the cargo-handling zones in their constituencies. If I attempted to do so, I should trespass upon the subject matter of the debate which is to follow and which deals specifically with the cargo-handling zones.
Right hon. and hon. Members who served on the Standing Committee will recall that we debated these matters fully during the Committee stage. Having listened carefully to the debate today, I have heard little new and certainly nothing which convinces me that my replies in Committee were not correct.
Right hon. and hon. Members have overlooked the fact that we have been discussing provisions in Part I of Schedule 3 which arrange for work which may be classified as dock work. The whole debate has tended to run on the assumption that those provisions are mandatory in respect of the classification as dock work of the various activities listed there. However, I urge the House to understand that Part I of Schedule 3 provides merely for the range of work which may be subject to classification.
The hon. Member for Pudsey (Mr. Shaw) said several times that what was really needed was a sensitive procedure to enable classification Orders to be 86 examined and decided. But that is precisely what the Bill sets out to do. One of its fundamental purposes is to provide just that sensitive procedure which will enable us to reach decisions on these matters.
The procedures are embodied in provisions of Clauses 7, 8 and 9 and Schedule 4. I shall not take the House through all those hoops, though I would point out to the hon. Member for Pudsey and those of his hon. Friends who made specific reference to the possible extension of the scheme to cold storage and warehousing that set out in Clause 8 and Schedule 4 is a series of tests which have to be satisfied before we reach the point with which New Clauses 1 and 5 attempt to deal. It is part of our reply to those who seek to insert another democratic check that a series of democratic checks is already built into the legislation. We have the provisions for consultation and the provisions for representations to be made before the Secretary of State finally makes an Order.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
Would the Minister of State care to comment on the assurance given by the then Secretary of State on Second Reading when he said that matters which were not directly related to work transferred from the docks and which are not connected with port operations, which included the cold storage industry, would not be classified as dock work? Is the Minister prepared to repeat that assurance?
§ Mr. Harold Walker
We made a number of amendments in Committee specifically directed to providing safeguards for those who expressed that kind of anxiety. We inserted, for example, the provision about the union which had been in situ before 18th September 1967 having a veto over classification. Then there was the provision relating to the mixed situation where some work in a cold store, a warehouse or other situation could be classified and other work there would not be eligible for classification. Clearly this is a matter which has to be taken into account.
I stress again, however, that by and large the provisions of the Bill are essentially enabling powers. They enable the new National Dock Labour Board to submit its proposals for a scheme. The scheme will be prepared on the strength 87 of those submissions and after further consideration by the Secretary of State. Eventually it will be subject to the affirmative procedure of this House. Under the umbrella of that scheme, my right hon. Friend will proceed to the making of classification Orders according to the locality and the needs and circumstances of the locality. Again, the Orders will be subject to the veto of this House.
We have built in this series of safeguards to take account of the assurances which have been given. If the Secretary of State says that it is his view that such work will not be eligible for classification because it will not satisfy the tests or because it may cause harmful and unwelcome industrial relations problems, it will be ultimately a matter for his judgment and not an automatic procedure taken out of his hands.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State talked of people wishing to challenge the vires of classification and having the right of recourse to the courts. He went on to point out the power of this House to veto an Order. The right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) described this as taking a sledgehammer to a very small nut. However, I must point out to him that these two provisions are inescapable anyhow, even if we adopted the procedures recommended in New Clauses 1 and 5. If, for example, the industrial tribunal or ACAS and the Central Arbitration Committee were brought into the procedure, subsequently there would still have to be the making of an Order and the submission of it by the Secretary of State with the power to make modifications as he deemed appropriate. The order-making power is still there, as is the order-making responsibility, and hence the right of this House is still there. We do not remove that by accepting New Clause 1 or New Clause 5.
What is more, we cannot take away the right to challenge the vires of an Order. Obviously that must remain. But a difficulty could arise if we had an industrial tribunal—and even more so if we adopted New Clause 1, bearing in mind that neither ACAS nor the CAC is set up or equipped to deal with legal decisions—making decisions which subsequently might be reversed in a court on a vires challenge. It would be an unfortunate development if that occurred.
88 As I said at the beginning of my remarks, it is clear that the House is anxious to reach a decision on this matter. I am not persuaded by the arguments which have been advanced today any more than I was by those put forward in Standing Committee. I know, too, that that is the view of my right hon. Friend. We must urge the House to resist both these new clauses.
§ Mr. Baker
It is usual when replying to a debate of this kind to say that it has been a good debate. I regret that I cannot say that today, though not for any lack of excellent speeches from my right hon. and hon. Friends. The essence of a debate is that there should be a conflict of ideas and a clash of argument. That has been singularly lacking in the past three hours.
What is more, the argument for having a guillotine is that it provides equal time to Back Benchers on both sides of the House and ensures that they have an opportunity to put forward their arguments. In this debate we have had eight speeches from the Opposition Benches but only two from Government supporters. In one of them, the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter) took a trip down memory lane but did not defend the principle of the Bill. The only Government supporter to do that was the hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden), who speaks for dockers and dockland. This Bill is about dockers and dockland.
I thank the Minister of Stale for the courtesy of his reply. He is the work-horse of the Department of Employment. He has to take through Committee the Bills which his masters introduce. He took the Employment Protection Bill through Committee, and now he has taken this Bill through Committee. There are four other Ministers in the Department. I do not suppose that many right hon. and hon. Members know that. I dare say hardly anyone could name them. However, the hon. Gentleman had his just reward, because during the Committee stage of the Bill he was promoted from Under-Secretary to Minister of State.
I thank the Minister for his reply. I do not believe that he addressed himself to the argument put forward by the Opposition. The argument put forward by my right hon. Friend the Member 89 for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) and my hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey (Mr. Shaw) was simply that this Bill, unique in our industrial legislation, will give to one group of workers, for the first time in our economic and industrial history, a legal right to claim the jobs of other men. That is the essence of the Bill. That is what it is all about.
If the Bill is not about that, it is not needed. The justification for the Bill was that there was a declining work force in dockland. There were 80,000 dockers in 1945 and at the last count, in December 1975, there were 31,000. The National Dock Labour Board admits that there are jobs for about 26,000. Clause 1 of the original social contract way back in 1974 was that this was a way to give the declining work force an opportunity of job security. The points raised by my right hon. and hon. Friends have been related to this issue.
If we give to one group of workers the legal right to claim other people's jobs, the consequences will be considerable. This is bound to lead to a series of industrial disputes. The Bill will be a seed-bed of discontent. My hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) asked what would happen when the Minister made an Order to put into a scheme a warehouse which was later bought by the National Freight Corporation, which is excluded from the scheme. Some members of the NFC would be registered dockers and some would not.
The obscurity concerning the definition of dock work is profound. It is natural, because in Clause 5(7) of the Bill it is said that the scheme which we are being asked to approve in this truncated debate may.contain different provisions for different circumstances and combinations of circumstances.It is as broad as it is long and as wide as it is deep. Such vague definitions are bound to lead to industrial unrest. This fact has been recognised. The representations made to us by those who work in the dockers' corridor have revealed their anxieties that their jobs will be taken from them by the dockers.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
I deliberately avoided taking up this point in an attempt to save the time of the House, because I thought that the position of the Opposition had been made clear beyond doubt by the right hon. Member for Lowestoft 90 (Mr. Prior), who put forward a different argument—indeed, he argued the contrary case. Since the hon. Gentleman is pursuing the matter, may I make it clear that we still stand by the words of my right hon. Friend the present Leader of the House, who on Second Reading said:I repeat that the suggestions that workers will be pushed out of their jobs—in the kind of extravagant language used by the right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior)—are grossly misleading."—[Official Report, 10th February 1976; Vol. 905, c. 268–9.]
§ Mr. Baker
That is the sum total of the assurances we have received. We had that statement on Second Reading, but nothing was done in Committee. There is still considerable anxiety, as we have seen from the Amendment Paper today. Look at the amendments tabled by my hon. Friends whose constituencies are suddenly discovered to be in the dockers' corridor. The Minister's own constituency of Doncaster is included. That well-known port of Taunton is affected. There is the other well-known port of Newark. The Amendment Paper is littered with the anxieties of my hon. Friends who have received representations from their constituents. My hon. Friends who represent large parts of Lincolnshire and Cornwall are affected. Most of Cornwall has suddenly become part of the dockers' corridor. There is anxiety, and it is the refusal of Ministers to recognise this that had led to a great deal of confusion.
In these new clauses we seek to recognise that anxiety and the fact that this is no longer a family affair, a cosy deal between dock workers and dock employers behind dock walls in dockland. We are now taking in tens of thousands of companies. Hundreds of thousands of employees will find themselves subject to the provisions of the Bill because the factories, warehouses and cold stores lie within the dockers' corridor. When things have broadened so much, safeguards must be built in.
That is why in New Clause 1 we recommend that there should be a right of appeal. That is why we put forward a right to a public inquiry in New Clause 2 and a right of appeal to ACAS in New Clause 5. We consider that this is entirely justified. The arguments of the Minister and his colleagues are totally unconvincing to us and to the country at 91 large. There is no economic case for the Bill. It will not create one extra job. It will create a series of disputes about jobs. We have been at pains to point this out. The Bill is economically unjustified, industrially damaging and politically foolish. We should show our
§ opposition by voting against it later tonight and by voting for these clauses now.
§ Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 293, Noes 298.95
|Division No. 278.]||AYES||[6.45 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Fell, Anthony||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Finsberg, Geoffrey||Kirk, Sir Peter|
|Alison, Michael||Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)||Kitson, Sir Timothy|
|Arnold, Tom||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Knight, Mrs Jill|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Forman, Nigel||Knox, David|
|Awdry, Daniel||Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)||Lamont, Norman|
|Bain, Mrs Margaret||Fox, Marcus||Lane, David|
|Baker, Kenneth||Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)||Langford-Hott, Sir John|
|Banks, Robert||Freud, Clement||Latham, Michael (Melton)|
|Beith, A. J.||Fry, Peter||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Bell, Ronald||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Lawson, Nigel|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)||Gardiner, George (Reigate)||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham)||Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Benyon,W.||Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham)||Loveridge, John|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Luce, Richard|
|Bitten, John||Glyn, Dr Alan||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Godber, Rt Hon Joseph||MacCormick, Iain|
|Blaker, Peter||Goodhart, Philip||McCrindle, Robert|
|Body, Richard||Goodhew, Victor||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Goodlad, Alastair||MacGregor, John|
|Bottomley, Peter||Gorst, John||Macmillan, Rt Hon W (Farnham)|
|Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)||Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)|
|Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)||Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)|
|Bradford, Rev Robert||Grant, Anthony (Harrow C)||Madel, David|
|Brittan, Leon||Gray, Hamish||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Brotherton, Michael||Griffiths, Eldon||Marten, Neil|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Grimond, Rt Hon J.||Mates, Michael|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Grist, Ian||Maude, Angus|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Grylls, Michael||Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald|
|Buck, Antony||Hall, Sir John||Mawby, Ray|
|Budgen, Nick||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|Bulmer, Esmond||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Mayhew, Patrick|
|Burden, F. A.||Hampson, Dr Keith||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hamam,John||Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)||Mills, Peter|
|Carson, John||Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Chalker, Mrs Lynda||Hastings, Stephen||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Channon, Paul||Havers, Sir Michael||Moate, Roger|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hawkins, Paul||Monro, Hector|
|Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)||Hayhoe, Barney||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Clark, William (Croydon S)||Heath, Rt Hon Edward||Moore, John (Croydon C)|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Henderson, Douglas||More, Jasper (Lud'ow)|
|Clegg, Walter||Heseltlne, Michael||Morgan, Geraint|
|Cockcroft, John||Hicks, Robert||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral|
|Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)||Higgins, Terence L.||Morris, Michael (Northampton S)|
|Cope,John||Holland, Philip||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Cordle, John H.||Hooson, Emlyn||Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)|
|Cormack, Patrick||Hordern, Peter||Mudd, David|
|Corrie, John||Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Neave, Airey|
|Costain, A. P.||Howell, David (Guildford)||Nelson, Anthony|
|Crawford, Douglas||Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)||Neubcrt, Michael|
|Critchley, Julian||Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Newton, Tony|
|Crouch, David||Hunt, David (Wirral)||Normanton, Tom|
|Crowder, F. P.||Hunt, John (Bromley)||Nott, John|
|Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)||Hurd, Douglas||Onslow, Cranley|
|Dean, Paul (N Somerset)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Oppenheim, Mrs Sally|
|Dodsworth, Geoffrey||Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)||Osborn, John|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||James, David||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Drayson, Burnaby||Jenkln, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)||Page, Rt Hon R. Grarnm (Crosby)|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Edward||Jessel, Toby||Paisley, Rev Ian|
|Durant, Tony||Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)||Pardoe, John|
|Dykes, Hugh||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Eden, Rl Hon Sir John||Jones, Arthur (Daventry)||Penhaligon, David|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Jopling, Michael||Percival, Ian|
|Elliott, Sir William||Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Peyton, Rt Hon John|
|Emery, Peter||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Pink, P Bonner|
|Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||Keliett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine||Powell. Rt Hon J. Enoch|
|Eyre, Reginald||Kershaw, Anthony||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Fairbairn, Nicholas||Kilfedder, James||Prior, Rt Hon James|
|Fairgrleve, Russell||Kimball, Marcus||Pym, Rt Hon Francis|
|Farr, John||King, Evelyn (South Dorset)||Raison, Timothy|
|Rathbone, Tim||Sinclair, Sir George||Trotter, Neville|
|Reos, Peter (Dover & Deal)||Skeet, T. H. H.||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Reid, George||Smith, Dudley (Warwick)||Vaughan, Dr Gerard|
|Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)||Speed, Keith||Viggers, Peter|
|Renlon, Tim (Mid-Sussex)||Spence, John||Wakeham, John|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Ridley, Hon Nicholas||Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)||Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)|
|Ridsdale, Julian||Sproat, Iain||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon sir Derek|
|Rifkind, Malcolm||Stainton, Keith||Wall, Patrick|
|Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)||Stanbrook, Ivor||Walters, Dennis|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Stanley, John||Warren, Kenneth|
|Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)||Watt, Hamish|
|Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Ross, William (Londonderry)||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)||Wells, John|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)||Welsh, Andrew|
|Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)||Stokes, John||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Sainsbury, Tim||Stradling. Thomas J.||Wiggin, Jerry|
|St. John-Stevas, Norman||Tapsell, Peter||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Scott, Nicholas||Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Scott-Hopkins, James||Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)||Tebbit, Norman||Wood, Rt Hon Richard|
|Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)||Temple-Morris, Peter||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Shelton, William (Streatham)||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret||Younger, Hon George|
|Shepherd, Colin||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Shersby, Michael||Thompson, George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Silvester, Fred||Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)||Mr. Carol Mather and|
|Sims, Roger||Townsend, Cyril D.||Mr. Jim Lester.|
|Abse, Leo||Cronin, John||Grant, George (Morpeth)|
|Allaun, Frank||Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony||Grant, John (Islington C)|
|Anderson, Donald||Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Grocott, Bruce|
|Archer, Peter||Cryer, Bob||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)|
|Ashley, Jack||Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Hardy, Peter|
|Ashton, Joe||Dalyeil, Tam||Harper, Joseph|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)||Davidson, Arthur||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)||Hart, Rt Hon Judith|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hatton, frank|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)||Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Hayman, Mrs Helene|
|Bates, Alt||Deakins, Eric||Healey, Rt Hon Denis|
|Bean, R. E.||Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Hooley, Frank|
|Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)||Dempsey, James||Horam, John|
|Bldwell, Sydney||Doig, Peter||Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham.Sm H)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Dormnnd, J. D.||Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Huckfleld, Les|
|Boardman, H.||Duffy, A. E. P.||Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)|
|Booth, Rt Hon Albert||Dunn, James A.||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Dunnett, Jack||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur||Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Boyden, James (Bish Auck)||Eadie, Alex||Hunter, Adam|
|Bradley, Tom||Edge, Geoff||Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill)|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)||Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Ellis, John (Brlgg & Scun)||Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||English, Michael||Janner, Greville|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Ennals, David||Jay, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Buchan, Norman||Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Jeger, Mrs Lena|
|Buchanan, Richard||Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green)||Evans, John (Newton)||Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford)|
|Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)||Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||John, Brynmor|
|Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.||Johnson, James (Hull West)|
|Campbell, Ian||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Johnson, Walter (Derby S)|
|Canavan, Dennis||Flannery, Martin||Jones, Barry (East Flint)|
|Cant, R. B.||Fletcher, L. R. (Ilkeston)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Judd, Frank|
|Carter, Ray||Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Cartwright, John||Ford, Ben||Kelley, Richard|
|Castle, Rt Hon Barbara||Forrester, John||Kerr, Russell|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)||Kilroy-Sllk, Robert|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol S)||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Kinnock, Neil|
|Cohen, Stanley||Freeson, Reginald||Lamble, David|
|Coleman, Donald||Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Colquhoun, Ms Maureen||Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||Lamond, James|
|Concannon, J. D.||George, Bruce||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Gilbert, Dr John||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)||Ginsburg, David||Lee, John|
|Corbett, Robin||Golding, John||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooling)||Gould, Bryan||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Cralgen, J. M. (Maryhill)||Gourlay, Harry||Lipton, Marcus|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Graham, Ted||Litterick, Tom|
|Lomas, Kenneth||Palmer, Arthur||Strauss, Rt. Hon G. R.|
|Loyden, Eddie||Park, George||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)||Parker, John||Swain, Thomas|
|Mabon, Dr J. Dickson||Parry, Robert||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|McCartney, Hugh||Pavitt, Laurie||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|McDonald, Dr Oonagh||Peart, Rt Hon Fred||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)|
|MacFarquhar, Roderick||Pendry, Tom||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)|
|McGuire, Michael (Ince)||Perry, Ernest||Thorne, Stan (Preston South)|
|MacKenzie, Gregor||Phipps, Dr Colin||Tierney, Sydney|
|Mackintosh, John P.||Prentice, Rt Hon Reg||Tomlinson, John|
|Maclennan, Robert||Prescott, John||Tomney, Frank|
|McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)||Price, C. (Lewisham W)||Torney, Tom|
|Madden, Max||Price, William (Rugby)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Magee, Bryan||Radice, Giles||Urwin, T. W.|
|Mahon, Simon||Richardson, Miss Jo||Varley, Rt. Hon Eric G.|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Marks, Kenneth||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)||Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)|
|Marquand, David||Robinson, Geoffrey||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)||Roderick, Caerwyn||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Rodgers, George (Chorley)||Ward, Michael|
|Mason, Rt Hon Roy||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Watkins, David|
|Maynard, Miss Joan||Rooker, J. W.||Watkinson, John|
|Meacher, Michael||Roper, John||Weetch, Ken|
|Mellish, Rt Hon Robert||Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)||Weitzman, David|
|Mendelson, John||Rowlands, Ted||Wellbeloved, James|
|Mikardo, Ian||Sandelson, Neville||White, Frank R. (Bury)|
|Millan, Bruce||Sedgemore, Brian||White, James (Pollok)|
|Miller. Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)||Selby, Harry||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)||Whitlock, William|
|Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)||Willey, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Moonman, Eric||Shore, Rt Hon Peter||Williams, Alan (Swansea W)|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Short, Rt. Hon E. (Newcastle C)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)||Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)||Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)|
|Moyle, Roland||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)'||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick||Sillars, James||Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)|
|Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King||Silverman, Julius||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Newens. Stanley||Skinner, Dennis||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Noble, Mike||Small, William||Woodall, Alec|
|Oakes, Gordon||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||Woof, Robert|
|Ogden, Eric||Spearing, Nigel||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Spriggs, Leslie||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Orbach, Maurice||Stallard, A. W.|
|Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Ovenden, John||Stoddart, David||Mr. James Tinn and|
|Owen, Dr David||Stott, Roger||Mr. Peter Snape.|
|Padley, Walter||Strang, Gavin|
§ Question accordingly negatived.