HC Deb 24 July 1978 vol 954 cc1289-325

10.20 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Albert Booth)

I beg to move, That the draft Dock Labour Scheme 1978, which was laid before this House on 28th June, be approved. A new dock labour scheme is clearly needed in order that the National Dock Labour Board can carry out the duties and the functions which the House decided were appropriate for such a board when it carried the Dock Work Regulation Act in November 1976. The scheme which I have laid before the House embodies some of the broad principles contained in the 1967 scheme, but the changes—the aspects which I take it will interest the House and which it will want to debate tonight—reflect both the experience that we have gained in the operation of the 1967 scheme and the judgment about how far that scheme should be altered in order to take into account the changes in cargo-handling methods brought about in the docks since that time and the changing pattern of trade in many of our docks.

One of the changes is the abolition of the temporary unattached register. This will bring to an end the process of decasualisation in the industry which was initiated by the Devlin report in 1965. The scheme also contains detailed changes in relation to the powers of the National Dock Labour Board, including its powers to deal with disciplinary matters in the courts.

I believe that the new scheme makes a provision for safeguarding those employees whose work is classified as dock-work. Such a safeguard has been long needed, and it is certainly not provided by the existing scheme. Therefore, one of the reasons why I believe it highly desirable that the House should pass this scheme is that it will ensure that at any time in the future anyone working in a job which becomes classified as dock-work has the essential protections of his job in his representation by his union on the local dock labour board, protections which are necessary in order to have a secure and stable labour force in an industry which, by its very nature, is dynamic and one in which the pattern of work will inevitably change.

There is a provision in the new scheme for independent chairmen of local appeal tribunals. There is a requirement upon the National Dock Labour Board to appoint the chairman of these tribunals in every case. When the draft order was laid originally, one of the suggestions was that I should embody provision for independent members to be appointed to local dock labour boards. I have rejected this suggestion, not because I dispute that there are many groups, including warehouse owners, cold storage employers, shippers and road haulage firms, which clearly have an interest in the way in which the scheme is administered, but because I believe that it is a very different matter to say that such an interest should entitle someone with no direct experience of the industry, with no financial stake in it, to have an individual say in the running of the local management of labour within a port.

That is a very different function indeed from that of the docks consultative committees, and certainly very different from that carried out by the port authorities themselves, with their specific responsibility for the main corporate proposals as to how the docks should be run. The local boards are purely concerned with dock labour matters, and therefore I believe it necessary that that narrow and specific function should be subject to the direction of the National Dock Labour Board.

The National Dock Labour Board has been reconstituted by decision of this House to bring in a third element of decision as to national policy and to give directions to local boards. It is a body which contains not only representatives of port employers and the unions but of people appointed to help employers and workers on a much wider basis.

Mr. Giles Shaw (Pudsey)

Inasmuch as the new scheme—and, indeed, the operation of the Act—is to extend what has been traditional dock work into new fields, how can the Secretary of State say that the operation of the local dock labour board is concerned purely with port or dock matters? Surely it requires representation from outside, independent interests in order to make is effective?

Mr. Booth

I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman, who usually studies these matters more carefully, should imagine that the local dock labour board has any ultimate responsibility for the extension of the scheme. If he examines the Act, he will be perfectly well aware that, although proposals may be made by local dock boards, it is only the National Dock Labour Board in the first instance and the National Dock Labour Board in the last instance which can make representations to the Secretary of State for any extension of the scheme.

I believe that it is essential to an understanding of both the scheme and the Act that it should be seen that anyone who is affected by a proposal for an extension of the scheme should have a right to make representations as to his interests, and that any representations he makes to a local board must be notified by the board to the National Dock Labour Board. Only the National Dock Labour Board, which has the three clear elements within its membership, should be able to put to the Secretary of State a proposal which can subsequently be put before this House.

That is a clear line of responsibility for any extension of the scheme, and I suggest that anyone who is thinking tonight of rejecting this scheme—which means, by definition, that he is requiring us to retain the existing scheme—should look very carefully at the existing scheme to see just how far he is rejecting the proposition that there should be that clear line of control and accountability for any extensions of the scheme and any further classification of work.

There is no question whatsoever but that under the Act coupled with this scheme outside interests are guaranteed a hearing on any matters affecting them and relating to the operation of the scheme. Those employers whose activities can be brought within the scheme will have an equal right of representation on the local boards as existing port employers. Before the work can be classified for the purposes of the new scheme, the National Dock Labour Board is required to carry out extensive consultations with everyone concerned, but the decisions about classification are to be made by the Secretary of State and are subject to parliamentary endorsement. In view of all the sensitivity which exists in dock work areas and all the concern expressed in this House about the proposal to bring in the scheme, I believe that it is right that that line of accountability should exist.

The kind of work which can be classified as dock work under the scheme is now clearly defined within the Act. I believe that if the scheme is passed it will rid us of the very serious difficulty which exists in operating the present scheme, which arises from the doubt whether work can be classified. Work done in some ports is classified. The same work done in other ports is not classified. It is possible, under the existing scheme, for the challenge to take place whether work should be made dock work. While we were debating the Bill in Committee, such a challenge took place in Merseyside and was examined at great length by the Committee, but no one suggested then that the existing procedure for classification of dock work was ideal.

Broadly, the work concerned in this scheme must be cargo handling and where the work is mainly concerned with an owner's own goods, even his cargo handling, it cannot be classified. It must be regarded as "own account" work. The handling of any goods not at any stage loaded as cargo in a ship cannot be brought within the scheme, either. Manufacturing work is outside its scope. But the main point, which I think will be appreciated by the House, is that in this scheme, coupled with this Act, the definition of what can be classified and what must not be classified is quite clearly laid down in schedule 4 of the Act.

This is a very short debate. However, before sitting down I should like to remind the House of what the right hon Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Pior) said in this House after the Government accepted the Lords amendment which restricted the area to which the scheme applied. He said: We hope that the Act, as it will become, will result in a period of peace and stability in dockland and that the dockers and other unions and workers involved will settle down so that we can achieve what we need to achieve in dockland…. The fact that the cargo-handling zone and the five-mile corridor have been removed from the Bill will enable confidence to return to the area so that warehouses may be built and the industry can settle down."—[Official Report, 18th November 1976; Vol. 919, c. 1597–98.] It is hard to imagine that anyone who took that view of a decision on a Lords amendment would ever suggest that the scheme and the Act which resulted from those remarks should be rejected. But I understand that such is to be the position tonight.

This scheme not only has the backing of the employers and the unions in the industry; it has the backing of people who have knowledge and experience of operating a dock work labour scheme. It has their backing, and it accords fully with the spirit and intention of the Act.

I believe that our dock workers will be understandably bitter if, more than 18 months after the Act was passed, when the scheme has been examined carefully in draft, it is put before the House and rejected. They will rightly have to call upon us to operate an existing scheme—it is their statutory right to do so—a scheme which is outdated, a scheme which carries with it great difficulties and threats for those whose work is classified under the scheme anew.

Therefore, I believe that the House should give approval to the scheme. If we fail to do so, we cannot put it right by bringing back a revised scheme at short notice—that must be made clear. The whole of the statutory consultation procedure will have to be gone through again, and therefore a very substantial delay will be inevitable.

I believe that the scheme is a very substantial improvement on the existing one. It is an improvement for those whose interests may be affected. It is an improvement for workers whose jobs may be classified. It is an improvement for a House which wishes to take a responsibility in the area of determining the allocation of dock work. As such, I commend it to the House.

10.34 p.m.

Mr. James Prior (Lowestoft)

It is a cause for some regret that the Secretary of State ended his speech as he did. I am delighted that he quoted what I said, because it has been the wish of every Opposition Member and, I suspect, of every Government supporter that a new dock labour scheme should be drawn up which could meet with the unanimous approval of all sections of the industry.

But I must tell the right hon. Gentleman, if he did not know it already, that this scheme does no such thing. He is quite wrong and quite misplaced in saying that this scheme has the backing of the employers, because patently it does not have the backing of the employers, and that must be made clear from the start. It is a matter of regret not only that the right hon. Gentleman ended his speech in such a way but that the House cannot give approval to a scheme that has taken a long while to present to the House.

It must be said that since the original draft was prepared there has been little change. It would have been more appropriate if the Government had listened rather more carefully to those who have to deal with these matters prior to putting forward a scheme before the House. It is strange that we are now told that it is vital that the scheme should come forward while in the 9 o'clock news there was some question whether the Government were even to lay the scheme before the House tonight. It seems extraordinary that what at 9 o'clock was doubtful is now vital. I do not know where the story came from, but it must have come from someone now sitting on the Government Front Bench.

The draft scheme follows the Act as laid down by section 4. It is the trigger point for a number and series of matters. It brings in ports that are not already included. It also brings in parts of some industries that are not already included. It brings in nothing like as much as the Government wished for until amendments were forced through with the help of two Government Members. However, some extra warehousing and cold storage is brought in while the position remains the same for small ports.

We bitterly opposed the Act. We thought that it would affect confidence. We thought that were there was no agreement among the many interested parties. Let us face it: there was a clash between not only employers, or management, and the unions; there was considerable differences of view expressed by unions such as USDAW and the General and Municipal Workers' Union. Even within the Transport and General Workers' Union very mixed views were expressed.

Mr. Eddie Loyden (Liverpool, Garston)

Influenced by your distortion.

Mr. Prior

If the hon. Gentleman thinks that I have the power to stir up parts of the Transport and General Workers' Union against other parts, I am delighted that he should so credit me. The fact is that the Act and the scheme have always seemed to us to be taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

The classification may not have been ideal, but nor is the classification within the measure before us. We have spent all day debating unemployment and we have seen the lack of confidence to invest in dockland that the scheme has resulted in over the past three years. That being so, it is not hard to understand why the Government are in such a muddle on unemployment.

The Government have never listened to the views put forward by unions, employers and the Opposition as well as quite a few Labour Members. We are dealing with a situation that has changed dramatically since the introduction of the old scheme about 10 years ago. Decasualisation has gone and there has been a substantial reduction in the number of employers. At some ports the port authority is the only employer. There have been the consequences of Devlin stage 2, whereby each registered dockworker is allocated to a named employer. All that has changed since the introduction of the original scheme.

We judge the draft scheme against the criteria of the changes that have come about in the past 10 years. Does the new scheme strengthen the dock labour scheme? The answer is that it does not. Does it lead to more efficient and effective management? Again, the answer must be "No".

Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

Justify those statements.

Mr. Prior

I shall do so. The changes in dockland over the past 10 years are combined with the changed nature of the cargo, containers and roll-on roll-off that has taken the place of mixed cargo.

Mr. Loyden

That is irrelevant.

Mr. Prior

On the contrary, it is extremely relevant. There has been a shift in trade from the west coast to the east coast, and there has been a reduction in manpower.

The Opposition recognise that this has been a considerable and painful period of adjustment, particularly in London, where the pain is not yet over. I believe that we should concentrate far more on the need for retraining and for new industries in the port of London area rather than on trying to take into the scheme warehouses, cold stores and other establishments that have nothing to do with the dock industry.

The picture is not entirely gloomy. I should tell the hon. Members for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) that in the past few years, despite all the difficulties, Merseyside has improved enormously in its industrial relations. It is important to get a better relationship between employer and dock worker. I do not believe that the dock labour scheme in its present form will do that, first, because of the disciplinary procedures.

The new scheme seriously weakens the disciplinary procedures. It will place the dock workers' representatives on the local boards in a invidious position. Trade unionists will find themselves having to consider disciplinary action against their own members when that is not the union's job. They will have to do that under the new scheme, whereas they did not do so under the old scheme. That is one reason why we dislike the new scheme and do not think that the House should approve it tonight.

Our second objection is the removal of the power of the National Dock Labour Board to employ registered dock workers. It is vital for the National Dock Labour Board to be able to employ registered dock workers in any transitional period. We understand the feeling about the temporary unattached register. But, in fairness, the temporary unattached register has not been used in recent years until the last few weeks. It has had to be used in the last few weeks because, when Wallis went broke, there was no way in which the additional workers could be put out to other employers. Therefore, for a time, at any rate, the dockers had to come back on to an unattached register.

Mr. Booth

Under the existing scheme.

Mr. Prior

Yes, under the existing scheme. The new scheme is doing away with that. It is doing away with something without putting anything in its place. There will have to be some form of transitional period, some form of register, to enable workers who are thrown out of a job, as happened with Wallis—

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Newham, South)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Prior

When I have finished this point. There will have to be some form of register—we can call it something different if we like—to take the place of the temporary unattached register.

Mr. Spearing

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Wallis situation occurred when T. Wallis (Royal Docks) went into liquidation overnight and 300 men turned up on a Thursday morning to find that they had no work? Is he advocating that that kind of situation should continue? Does he envisage collapses of that kind? If so, does it not reflect on his view about dock work in general?

Mr. Prior

I am saying that in cases of that nature there has to be a transitional register whilst arrangements are being made to place those dockers with other employers. There is no getting away from that. They cannot turn up for work the next morning and be placed with other employers who have no need for them. Therefore, there will have to be some transitional arrangement, and I should think that a transitional register or something of that nature would be more satisfactory. That is another objection to the scheme.

A third objection concerns the use of supplementary workers. The port employers are worried by the narrow definition of "supplementary workers". They believe that an amendment is required to clear matters up.

Some dock workers do other work at times when dock work is not available. They do other jobs around the docks to be kept fully employed. These issues should have been cleared up. I believe that they could have been cleared up. With pressure from the Government on both sides, those matters could have been dealt with. Then the scheme could have gone through. It is true that we have never liked the Act and that we have no particular brief for the scheme.

I turn to the question of membership of the local boards. There is disagreement among the employers on this issue. Some employers, such as the coal storage companies, wish to have independent membership of the local boards. The National Association of Port Employers and the unions believe that independent membership is unnecessary. There is real disagreement. But the matter should have been thrashed out before the scheme was put to the House. It would have been possible to have independent chairmen for the local boards.

Mr. Robert Hughes

What type of person would be regarded as independent?

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

Lord Aldington.

Mr. Prior

It is not for me to define such a person. But there are a number of people who are independent and who could become chairmen of dock labour boards at local and national level. I see no difficulty in finding independent chairmen.

For a number of reasons the Act is bad and the scheme is bad. It is a pity, for future peace in dockland, that a scheme has not been introduced which we could agree upon tonight. I have been in the House long enough to recognise nervous laughter. I know how nervous the Government supporters are because the scheme is likely to be defeated.

I say to the industry that I believe that there is a basis for an agreed scheme. Certainly, a Conservative Government would seek once more to obtain an agreed scheme. The present Government have not made the necessary effort and do not carry the necessary majority to carry it through.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Myer Galpern)

I remind the House that the debate must end at 11.49 p.m. In view of the many hon. Members who are anxious to take part, I appeal for brevity.

10.49 p.m.

Mr. Eddie Loyden (Liverpool, Garston)

I am sure that all my right hon. and hon. Friends believed that during the passage of the Act the right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) would become educated enough at least to understand a little about dock work. Regrettably, his speech tonight proves the opposite. He has learned absolutely nothing in that long educative process of the Committee stage.

His statements indicate that his approach is purely doctrinaire and that he has no understanding of the dock industry. The only fair thing that the right hon. Gentleman said in that sense—and here I concede that he has changed direction considerably—is that he is no longer accusing dock workers of taking over the jobs of all and sundry in the port transport industry.

I say that the right hon. Gentleman and members of the Standing Committee exaggerated and distorted the truth about this Act—the Bill as it then was—and I invite anyone who wants to judge whether I am right to read the Committee proceedings. The hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley), who is not present tonight, suggested that the registered dock workers scheme, or the Bill itself at that stage, meant that the five-mile limit would lead to registered dock workers riding horses on a race course. He suggested also that because airports were confined to the five-mile corridor, dock workers would be acting as hostesses on planes. That was the sort of stupid argument that was advanced in Committee on a serious Bill.

As my right hon. Friend pointed out, there has been a tremendous technological change in the docks industry. The evidence of that is to be seen by anybody who goes to the docks. Dock workers no longer push trucks on cobbled dockland. Today, there is equipment that means that a man can pick up a container and within seconds plant it aboard a ship. Conservative Members often argued that dockers were resisting the kind of changes that have taken place in dockland. That was a lot of nonsense, and it showed a complete lack of understanding of dock workers.

Dock workers were quite right to argue in defence of their industry. During casualisation, not a voice was raised among the Opposition parties to end the inhuman way in which dockers were treated. They were on casual work, with three on the hoof and three on the book. There was a massive cheap labour force which was exploited and which every day was sore and sweated at the job. Conservative Members were not concerned about dock workers then, and quite rightly the dock workers took on the task of changing their industry.

Dock workers have accepted the technological changes. The fact that the labour force in dockland is now below 40,000 is an indication of the acceptance by them of the changes that have taken place. All that has been done has been tailored to meet a changing situation in dockland. That situation has to be met, and we are dealing with a very sensitive area of the port transport industry.

What does the right hon. Gentleman suggest should happen in London, Merseyside, Hull, or Southampton? Private enterprise has decided that, because ports are built in other places, traditional ports and the work force that goes with them should go down and sink. The right hon. Gentleman said that to some extent Merseyside had accommodated the problem. That is true, but it has done so at the expense of losing 12,000 jobs. The industry on Merseyside has accommodated the problem, and it will do so in the other traditional ports.

What has been happening in the port transport industry is that employers who milked the industry, who exploited dockland for all that it was worth, moved out to greener pastures and made their investment in other places. If the port transport industry had been left to the mercy of those who were running the industry, it would now have been finished completely. It would have been in the wilderness had it not been for the fact that the dock workers themselves, and in some cases the port employers, were prepared to see that that did not happen.

Dockers all over the country will recognise that what the right hon. Gentleman and the Opposition are talking about is leaving traditional dockland to sink, and to sink without trace. Therefore, it is important that the right hon. Gentleman brings forward a scheme tailored to the needs of modern dock industry tailored to the need not to take over jobs, but to create a new generation of jobs.

What is not understood by the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends is that we must create a new generation of dock work. Why is the right hon. Gentleman attempting in the traditional way of the Tory Party to divide workers, to set worker against worker, to raise the hackles of the transport worker by telling him that the docker will take over his articulated lorry and drive it through the streets of dockland? That is sheer nonsense, and he knows it. Nor will the dock worker take over the warehousing in every stretch of dockland.

Under the Act we propose that there should be examination of an area and that there should be classification of the work in it, subject to qualifications of all sorts, and subject to tight control, to see whether a start could be made on creating a new generation of dock workers. That is not the taking over of men's work but the taking over of the registration of that work to provide a new generation of jobs for those who live and work in these areas.

The right hon. Member has adopted his typically cynical approach to this scheme. Without the scheme the dock workers will be in confusion, chaos and, ultimately, possibly, complete collapse. We must ensure that the changing pattern of the docks industry is matched with a scheme tailored to meet its needs. Dock workers and the industry know that, but the right hon. Gentleman will obviously never know it, because he does not understand the docks industry. I hope that all hon. Members will bear in mind that this is a vital industry for this country. If we follow the approach of the right hon. Member for Lowestoft we shall return to the chaos, confusion and calamity that existed in the past. I ask the House to support the order so that peace, prosperity and the future of dockland can be assured.

10.57 p.m.

Mr. David Price (Eastleigh)

I shall not follow the example of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) in making a Second Reading speech. As the House knows, I have a personal interest in some of these matters. I have followed the Bill through all its stages. I wish tonight to deal briefly not with the old issues which were dealt with in great detail during the passage of the Bill, but with the scheme presented by the Government. I wish to discuss one important point.

The point I raise is current, imminent and urgent, is non-party political and should appeal equally to the supporters and the opponents of the Bill. It is the failure of the scheme as currently presented to place upon either the national board or any of the individual local boards the responsibility of being the employer of last resort.

Clause 5(e) of the scheme charges every local board to allocate every registered docker on its register to the registered employers on that register, whether or not those employers have any remunerative work for the dockers to perform. In other words, surplus registered dockers are to be allocated to registered employers irrespective of whether their services are required. That can mean only economic suicide for the registered dockers and the registered employers.

My fear is not hypothetical. We have seen recently in the London docks an example of what I mean. Hon. Members who represent East London constituencies, where the port industry is important, know that. The firm of T. Wallis collapsed and 332 registered dockers then had to be reallocated to other employers on the river.

As those involved know, many of the employers object. Mr. Derek Allison, chairman of the London Wharfingers Association, was reported in Port, which is not an anti-docker newspaper, as saying: It there is to be a major contraction in the enclosed docks leading to an even bigger surplus labour situation we are making it clear that we will not be in a position to absorb more men or accept the financial burden that will follow from it. Mr. Alan Clark, the vice-chairman of the Association, said: This is the end of the road. We are not prepared to go any further along this avenue of accepting surplus labour … many of our members cannot bear this extra cost. It could put more out of business, throwing an added burden on those wharves that continue in business. So this is not hypothetical but a reality: there is a domino effect, which is already with us.

Since Wallis's collapse, we have had the news from the PLA that it intends to close the Royals and that the India and Millwall docks remain on probation. Without going into whether that will happen or whether the PLA is right, one sees that the threat is there. On the PLA's figures, if the Royals are closed, up to 2,000 people could be declared redundant, of whom about a third are registered dockers. Are those registered dockers to be reallocated down the river to other employers? If so, the domino effect will take over, with one firm going into liquidation and passing on the registered dockers to another firm, which will also go bust, and so on.

No one is anxious permanently to restore the old temporary, unattached register, but something must be put in its place. I should be interested in the solution offered by Labour Members representing up-river constituencies in dockland. Some provision will have to be made in the scheme for a transitional register. Apart from the domino effect, the only alternative is to declare the registered surplus dock workers immediately redundant, which would be against the spirit of the Act and the scheme.

I am going no wider than the scope of the scheme and the Act when I say that that is lunacy. I suggest to the supporters of the Act as much as to its opponents that in its present form the scheme should not go through. We can either accept it or reject it. Unfortunately, under our procedures, we cannot amend it. The scheme should be withdrawn and some form of temporary register written into it. Otherwise, the Government and their supporters will not succeed in the basic Second Reading purpose behind both the Act and the scheme.

If some hon. Members feel that they must support the scheme, despite its weaknesses, out of loyalty to their Government or to the dockers, I would remind them of the famous comment of G. K. Chesterton about patronage, when he said that to say, "My country right or wrong" is like saying, "My mother drunk or sober."

11.5 p.m.

Mr. Ted Leadbitter (Hartlepool)

The House must consider not only the scheme but the Act, which prescribes the parameters and conditions in which the scheme was drawn up. In recent years, with union co-operation, many thousands of workers have left the docks because of such facets of modernisation as roll on/roll off, containerisation, and modern handling equipment. There has, in addition, been the effect of competition from European ports with financial structures very different from ours. The trade union movement has behaved generously, against a background of perpetual job insecurity, in agreeing to the dispersal from the industry of thousands of the work force.

The crisis in the Port of London Authority should not blind us to conditions in ports on the west coast and on the east coast arising from the world trade depression which has obtained in recent years. The House must consider objectively the circumstances in which the scheme is introduced. It is introduced to implement the declared objects of the 1976 Act.

I remind the right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior), who referred to the supplementary register, that the, Act lays a duty on the National Dock Labour Board to deal with labour in excess of requirements and in consultation with the trade union movement, to work out how best to reduce the labour force—or, indeed, to increase it. This can be done only if the House is satisfied that we have defined what dock work is. It cannot be done on a tenuous, vague notion of what it means. It is common sense, in view of modernisation, competition from European ports and the unhappy world trade recession, that we consider what dock work is so that labour requirements can be determined.

The right hon. Gentleman said that rather than deal with the nature of the work he would prefer that greater attention be paid to training. Section 2(4)(a) of the Act requires the Board to examine methods of recruitment and training One of the Board's general duties is to deal with the classification of dock work. Schedule 4 sets out certain details. The Act goes on to real with areas of co-operation between employer and employee. That is at least a step forward, but one which is natural because the trade union movement has already set the example in our ports, as I have said, against the most trying and traumatic experience in a fluctuating situation over the years. But here in the scheme the principle of co-operation is laid down.

Then at national level the Board's duties cover the situation of the use of skills and the approach and attitude to dock experience. In other words, the scheme is designed to codify, as it were, all our own experiences and what we did in the evolution of the Act itself in Committee and on the Floor of the House. The scheme deals specifically also with the strength of the labour force and the importance of recruitment and training.

Next, the scheme addresses itself to the cost to the employers. Naturally, the right hon. Gentleman will pick out some recalcitrant employer, and perhaps seek to use such a case for his political objectives in this debate. But I make an appeal to the House: we are not here to deploy our political differences tonight; we are here reminding ourselves that outside this place importance is attached by those who work in the industry to the feeling that we in the House consider their interests—the interests of both employer and employee—within the context of the scheme.

If there is any doubt or any political chicanery, both Houses of Parliament having passed the Act, there could well be disruption, as my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) said. We have to keep an eye on the Port of London Authority. We have to find a solution to that problem. It must not be sought through efforts to find scapegoats in the work force or by being over-critical of management. What is done is done. We must look to the future to find the answer, and if the attitude of the House of Commons is not right, how can we expect attitudes to be right outside?

Looking back over a few short years, we can see enshrined within the scheme the fruits of our experiences in the ports. It is not perfection. No legislation passed by the House can justify that claim. The purpose of continuing interest by the House is to apply new experiences to change what we have decided. But this scheme at least, through its parent Act, seeks to put into regular form our experiences of world trade, of modernisation and of the difficulties of contraction within the ports themselves arising from the fact that many employers found it better for their own particular interests to move away from the port areas into greener pastures, as my hon. Friend the Member for Garston described them.

I conclude, therefore, by urging that we do not exercise our minds too much in terms of prejudice but that we ask ourselves one final question. Does the present scheme appear to be out of date, in the light of the fact that its roots were in the 1946 Act and we are now approaching the 1980s? I ask the House to consider that, and, if the answer, on balance, appears to be "Yes", to put political differences aside and support the new scheme tonight.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

May I appeal for five-minute speeches? Otherwise about half of the Members desirous of speaking will not be called.

11.14 p.m.

Mr. Kenneth Baker (St. Marylebone)

The hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter) took part in the Committee stage of the Bill, now the Act. I think that he would agree with me that the Act has had a very long journey since Second Reading back in 1975. Indeed, this debate has been a journey down memory lane for many of us. We are debating this matter again because this scheme is the trigger which implements the whole of the Dock Work Regulation Act. Without the scheme, as the Secretary of State made clear, many parts of the Act cannot be implemented.

I should like, only very briefly, to say that I think that the proposals in the Act which this scheme implements were conceived in a different age and time. When the Lord President of the Council, then Secretary of State for Employment, introduced the Bill, he made clear that it was part of the Government's side of the social contract. He also made clear that the Bill reflected very largely the views, openly expressed, of Mr. Jack Jones.

Both the social contract and Mr. Jack Jones have really disappeared into the mists of history. I question whether the basic proposals enshrined in the Act and this scheme will deal with the problems of dockland, about which the hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) spoke so eloquently. I do not believe that the problems of dockland, certainly in London, which is an area that I know, can possibly be met by the basic provisions of the Act. which is trying to give one section of the Transport and General Workers' Union, the dockers section, the right to claim the jobs of other workers —not those of non-unionised workers, but those of members of other unions.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) said, if we are to deal with the problems of dockland effectively, whether it be in Liverpool or in London, we have to regenerate the economic life of those dying areas. We shall not do it by having a series of debates on demarcation issues, which is essentially what the Act will precipitate.

By what shall we do it? We have to make it attractive for small businesses to set up again in the dying dockland areas. I accept quite openly that we shall not do this in London without accompanying that with a massive injection of public investment in the infrastructure. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Indeed, this fact is recognised on the Conservative Benches. It cannot be done otherwise. We realise that we shall not regenerate economic activity in the East End of London without improving the basic infrastructure of dockland, both north and south of the river.

I specifically object to two proposals in the scheme. It is a great pity, as other hon. Members have said, that we cannot amend the scheme, because if these two points could be taken I would go along with the scheme. They are as follows.

The first point concerns the composition of the local dock labour boards. The National Dock Labour Board already recognises that there should be outsiders on the board. That board has four members who are port employers, four members who represent the unions and four members who represent outside interests. The argument behind that, as was pointed out in an intervention during the Secretary of State's speech, was that there should be an independent element because firms outside recognised dock areas today and doing work which has not hitherto been classified as dock work might well be sucked into the scheme.

It is right, therefore, that there should be an independent element. This is recognised at national level. It is not recognised at local level. Repeatedly throughout the Committee stage three years ago we argued that there should be an independent element.

Mr. John Ellis (Brigg and Scunthorpe)

The local boards are a completely different animal from the national board and have a completely different function. Has the hon. Member any evidence from anyone that the local boards have not been working well?

Mr. Baker

But the point is that the work that they will be doing in future is fundamentally different from the work that they are doing now, because they will be looking at work outside the recognised classification of dock work. Indeed, I quite accept that the local boards are infinitely different from the national board. They are the essential operational level and will decide whether certain types of work should be classified as dock work.

Mr. Spearing

They do not decide.

Mr. Baker

With great respect, the Secretary of State said repeatedly in Committee that it was the local dock boards that would be the instruments by which the Act was implemented. All I am saying is that there should be an clement of independent interest. If there is not to be the mirroring of a tripartite board, at least there should be an independent chairman.

My second objection is the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Price), that the scheme now laid before the House does away with the temporary unattached register. I would not defend its existence, but it had one useful function. It provided a mechanism for arranging severance. The scheme, as laid, does not do that. In the case of a firm closing down in dockland, as recently occurred in London, the workers have to be reallocated immediately to other companies. If that is to be the pattern in the future, if there are to he major closures of docks in the East End of London, and if those dockers are to be reallocated to the remaining docks, that will precipitate the closure of those two remaining docks.

We are saying that there should be a transitional register or that there should be a clear obligation on the National Dock Labour Board or the local dock board to take that group of workers on to its books to allow some arrangement for severance to be made. I believe—and the Secretary of State should address himself to this—that if that is not done, and if one swells the payroll of the existing firms by transferring surplus labour to them, one will drive them into bankruptcy. That is the basic reality of what will happen in dockland. The Secretary of State and his advisers probably recognise it.

I hope that, as we cannot amend it, the scheme will be rejected tonight, and that the right hon. Gentleman will meet those two specific objections. If they could be met, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Lowestoft said, the scheme would be acceptable.

Mr. David Crouch (Canterbury)

It is my understanding, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that we have been out of order for the past hour.

Section 4 (1) of the Dock Work Regulation Act 1976, headed "New Dock Labour Scheme", says: The Secretary of State shall as soon as may be— prepare a draft and introduce it and lay it on the Table. I have studied the document, and I can see no reference to the fact that it emanates from the Secretary of State or his Department. There is reference only to Her Majesty's Stationery Office having published it. It is undated and has no command number. There is no statement that it is a subject which can be properly laid on the Table and properly debated by the House.

In my view, the document is out of order, and we are out of order debating it. If you do not agree with such a drastic interpretation, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I would at least say that it is a very slovenly presentation to the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The draft dock labour scheme is laid before Parliament under the Dock Work Regulation Act 1976. It was laid before the House on 28th June. It is not a statutory instrument. It is absolutely in order.

11.23 p.m.

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Newham, South)

In obeying your injunction to be brief, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I want to deal with the two major points raised by Conservative Members. At least one of them probably encapsulates what the Liberal Party is saying about the scheme.

The right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) conceded the great difficulties that there have been in the dock industry. I do not altogether agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) that the right hon. Gentleman does not really understand what is going on. Some of his speeches in Committee during the passage of the Act showed that he did. That is not surprising, because Lowestoft is a scheme port. But it is very likely that, although the right hon. Gentleman understands the position, his party as a whole does not. In his speech he had to find some reason for opposing the scheme which would look at least reasonable in the press, because he conceded the need for a new scheme. The need for a new Act was also conceded in that, although it may not have been exactly as he wished it.

The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the rundown in London, to which I shall come later. He was saying that the scheme should not be accepted, for reasons which I do not think hold up when compared with what will happen if it is not accepted. It may be that it does not meet all that he would wish or all that the Conservative Party would wish, but now that this is an Act—and it is not the same as it was when it was introduced into this House, in that there is a half-mile limit and not a five-mile limit—there is urgent need for the unsatisfactory definition of dock work to be changed and better arrangements to be reached. If this motion is not passed tonight, the Conservative Party, and perhaps other parties too, will bear the responsibility for what happens.

I come to the points made by the lion. Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Baker) and those that I anticipate will be made by the Liberal Party—the question of third party representation on the boards. The hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) nods in assent. It is true that under section 1(4) provision is made for the nomination to the National Dock Labour Board of people other than employers or employees. The hon. Member for St. Marylebone asked why this should not be done at the local level. My hon. Friend the Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe (Mr. Ellis) made it quite clear that the national board sets out the scheme as a whole, administers it and makes application to the Secretary of State but that the day-to-day administration of the scheme at port level is done by the local boards.

Those who served on the Standing Committee which considered the Bill know that dock work and its administration is a very delicate and complex affair. Those of us who are privileged to represent port areas know it only too well. If, on a day-to-day basis, when representatives of employers and employees meet face to face and elect from among themselves a chairman and vice-chairman to conduct their business, we have perhaps worthy citizens but people who are not fully aware of the complexities of dock work, we shall be in trouble. I believe that those who have advocated such membership do not understand the basic nature of the local dock boards, where the employers' and employees' representatives get together and come to some agreement.

It is vital that there should be confidence at such meetings, and one does not get confidence if people know that others round the table have not either the knowledge or the experience with which confidence can be engendered. That is the strongest point that should be borne in mind in what one might call the Liberal case.

The second objection from hon Members opposite, largely retailed by the hon. Member for Eastleigh, is on the question of the temporary unattached register. Of course there are problems—I am not pretending that there are not—in London. But, as I said in an intervention in the speech of the right hon. Member for Lowestoft, if hon. Members opposite foresee the sudden collapse of firms overnight as a justification for a temporary unattached register, their views of the future of dockland are somewhat out.

The case of T. Wallis (Royal Docks) Limited has been mentioned. The employees of T. Wallis, in my constituency, worked on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday they arrived to find that the firm had literally disappeared. It had wound up. That was why there had to be a quick, temporary and embarrassing arrangement. But what firm in what circumstances in what industry wraps up overnight? If any do so, there is the protection of the Employment Protection Act, whereby the Government scheme will provide the wages for those men. But under the terms of the Dock Work Regulation Act, although it was thought that these men at T. Wallis would be adequately protected by the scheme, the 300 men at T. Wallis did not get their three days' pay, they have not got it and they may never get it.

That is the situation in dockland today: that is the situation that the Act and this scheme are designed to try to prevent. Of course the domino effect will be serious. Hon. Members opposite, in effect, want an employer of last resort. In the port of London, in effect, that was what the Port of London Authority virually became, and that is one of the many reasons why the port of London is in difficulty.

I want to see the upper docks of the port of London remain open. They are the marine lungs of London. Tilbury is not really London. If these upper docks remain open, as they should do, they will provide the basis of the restructuring of the East End that we want to see; they will be for dock work and marine activity and for the historic function of London as a port. That will not be achieved comprehensively unless those upper docks are kept open.

Hon. Gentlemen who ask where the money is to come from can perhaps be looked to for their support if public money is required for extra severance. I do not want to see extra severance. The PLA is putting in for £2,000. I do not want to see any. But if there has to be some severance—and there has been a reduction from £24,000 to £8,000 in the last 10 years—I hope that we can look to those hon. Gentlemen to support us in getting public money for that severance, so that it does not go upon the other employers and does not go upon the wharfingers, or knock people out unfairly. That is the answer, I suggest, that we need.

In London we must look to the solutions put forward, for instance, by the Cousins committee. We want to see restructuring of PLA charges, and we want its administration to be looked at. The regional implications of the scheme and of the collapse of the PLA are very important indeed. It is part of region& policy in the inner London areas, and we want to see all the ports in the scheme, including Felixstowe, Shoreham and Dover. While they have, quite properly, perhaps exploited new methods, there must be a national approach to this, and it can be obtained only through the scheme.

If the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party vote against the scheme tonight on relatively small points, they will put at risk something that we have tried to work up over the last four years, and they will be answerable for what happens in the port industry after that.

11.32 p.m.

Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)

I am quite prepared to face my electors on what I do on the order tonight. I am quite certain that in voting against it I shall be doing what they want me to do, and what we ought to be doing for the sake of the future of this country.

No Labour Member has answered the criticism which is implicit in the figures produced by the British Importers Confederation, showing the figures for Antwerp, Rotterdam and Bremen, of 2.3 tons to 2.4 tons of cargo moved per net man hour, as compared with the figures for Liverpool, London and Hull of 0.9 tons to 1 ton moved per net man hour. Is the scheme to improve that situation?

I do not want my island to be included in the dock scheme at all, and that is one of the reasons I am so keen to get independent representation on the local dock board, because in that way we might get some sensible answers to what is to happen in due course. Presumably the local docks boards, with delegated authority from the national board, will start to look round small ports, and it was the small ports that we tried to get excluded from the Bill in Committee, but the Leader of the House—he is here tonight—would not give way on that. I shall fight this to the last, and I am sure that other hon. Members representing small port constituencies will do so, too.

The Secretary of State could have ensured that he would get this scheme through tonight if he had made some reasonable amendments. We told him the terms of our support to see it through, but he would not give way in regard to the role of independent members on local boards. If he had given way on having an independent chairman and vice-chairman, I think that might have done. I quite agree with the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) that we want, not an academic as a chairman or a vice-chairman, but someone who knows something about the docks. Such people can be found. Surely the chairman of the PLA is one.

I have been in the docks. I have been to Southampton. Is it not right that dock users should have some say? Why should they not have a say in how the local dock boards operate? Is it not a fact that things have not worked well up to now and that they should have an opportunity in the future to get productivity up and to speed up the movement of goods in and out of our docks?

The Secretary of State is apparently prepared to acquiesce—I say this quite clearly to the House—in many malpractices that are going on. He knows that they are going on within our docks. I will give him evidence of them. I will name them afterwards if he wants them. Crates of beer are going to dock workers on the gates to allow goods to come in. They withdraw as soon as the crates of beer come out. There is cash passing, too.

There have to be new attitudes and disciplines in the docks. Hon. Members know it is true. They know that it is going on and that it must be stopped. The Secretary of State is abdicating his responsibilities to the nation tonight. He ought to withdraw the scheme and come back with the amendments to which attention has been drawn. It is very sad that he should have chosen not to tread such a path tonight.

11.35 p.m.

Mr. Iain MacCormick (Argyll)

I am quite certain that one of the most uncomfortable people in the House tonight is the Secretary of State. I say that particularly in view of what emanated from the Government Back Benches in the course of the debate. Like the right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior), I agree with the Secretary of State that a new scheme is necessary. But, listening to the contributions of the hon. Members for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter) and Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden), I wondered whether they were in the same party as the Secretary of State.

I got the impression from the remarks made at some length by the hon. Member for Hartlepool that it was a great favour on the part of the trade unions to allow the introduction of roll-on/roll-off ferries and advances such as containerisation. What a favour the trade unions were bestowing on the country by allowing these advances! I got the impression, listening to the hon. Member for Garston, as opposed to what the Secretary of State said, that we need a scheme not because things have changed but because we want to prevent the changes and improvements that we are seeing and hope to continue to see in dock work.

I promised to be brief, and I shall stick strictly to this line. I agree with the Secretary of State that some changes are required. I agree with the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) that the whole point of the scheme is lost because the Secretary of State lost sight of the importance of the amendments that were suggested in Committee on the Dock Work Regulation Bill. We on the Scottish National Party Bench feel that, whatever is said and whatever might happen should the scheme be introduced, the interests of the small ports have not been properly protected. Who knows exactly what will happen in the future? We are not here to think of some vague possibility; we are here to introduce a scheme that can spell out for us exactly what is likely to happen in these ports. Sadly, this scheme clearly falls down in that respect.

Lastly, I do not think that any of the parties on the Opposition Benches would want to have any part to play in the introduction of a scheme that was introduced simply to assuage the ambitions of a particular trade union, and I feel that in many respect that is exactly what this scheme is designed to do.

11.38 p.m.

Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

The right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) tonight made one of the most mischievous speeches that I have heard in this House. He made it quite clear that he was concerned not so much about the scheme itself as about his continuing opposition to the main Act.

The hon. Members for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) and Argyll (Mr. MacCormick) gave the game away. They objected to the introduction of this scheme on the ground that the small ports were involved. They said that they would fight the scheme to the bitter end because of that. It seems to me that they are trying the Opposition to the absolute extremity of absurdity. They do not care what happens to the dock industry, or what happens in their ports, as long as they can make their point about small ports. I believe that the House must show a sense of responsibility tonight.

I shall be brief, because I am sure that my right hon. Friend wishes to reply to particular points. If anyone in the House believes, as the right hon. Member for Lowestoft and many others have said on many occasions, that he will contribute one iota to peace in dockland by rejecting this scheme, he had better start thinking again. Hon. Members much accept the responsibility. They know the emotional way in which this issue has been presented in the press and on radio, perhaps not by their own doing. They cannot tamper with the life-blood of the dock industry in this way. They ought to take that fact seriously into account. I believe that they have totally misunderstood the scheme.

Many employers in the cold store industry have done the same. Once they realise that we are dealing here with day-to-day management, I think that the bringing in of independents will be understood. After all, who are the independents? Are they employers just outside dockland? Are they academics? Are they lawyers? In each scheme port from place to place it is much better for these matters to be dealt with by the people concerned—the employers and the trade unions.

I appeal to the Opposition parties not to damage the dock industry. The right hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) may back his hon. Friend the Member for Argyll in being anti-trade union. It will be remembered in Scotland, and he will get his comeuppance.

11.40 p.m.

Mr. Giles Shaw (Pudsey)

The crucial question for me, as one who served on the Standing Committee which considered the Dock Work Regulation Bill for many hours, is the extent to which the local boards and the national board will work together. We have been told by the Secretary of State that the important element of independence which he has allocated to the national board will not be represented on the local boards. We have heard no good reason why that should not be the case. The local boards provide a wide range of services. The distribution of T. Wallis's surplus labour on the day of the crash is a major matter and not just one which might be regarded as part of the day-to-day running of a normal small port requiring a local board. The fact is that local boards have wide powers under this Act and, therefore, we in this House should make certain that they have a composition which can interpret those powers and can use them correctly.

The whole object of the Act and, therefore, of the scheme is to widen the application of dock work. That being so, the greater the confidence that the Secretary of State has in the independent members, the better will be the running of the smaller ports with independent members on local boards.

11.42 p.m.

Mr. John Prescott (Kingston upon Hull, East) rose

Mr. Speaker

I shall call the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), but he has three minutes only. I shall be obliged to him if he will be good enough to co-operate.

Mr. Prescott

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

What has been lacking in this debate is a degree of realism. I have worked on the docks, and I was a seaman for 10 years. Most of the benefits about which hon. Members are arguing here already exist for the registered docker. He had them under the existing scheme. We are proposing now to extend those benefits to other workers who have been denied them.

Secondly, classified work will now be dealt with in a proper manner—a matter which has given rise to major disputes in the past.

The right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) said that there should be an independent chairman to make an assessment of problems. But history tells us that the dockers are fed up with inquiries. Most of the inquiries into the problems of this industry have been set up by Conservative Governments. We had the Devlin inquiry, the Aldington inquiry and the National Ports Council, the Bristow inquiry which recommended 10 miles, and the National Ports Council set up by the Tories. All recommended the ending of the decasualisation scheme. They were independent when they were appointed. Now the Opposition are rejecting the very recommendations which they made. To an extent, therefore, the dockers must he expected to assume that the Opposition are ideologically opposed to the imposition of this measure.

It is argued that the scheme will be inefficient. It is said that if we introduce a scheme which has already been in existence for many years for most of our dock areas, it will lead to resistance to technological change, people will be put out of work, and there will be no profits.

Let me remind the House of a nationalised industry, the British Transport Docks Board. All its labour is registered and always has been, certainly since the war. A third of all the registered labour is employed by the Board. A third of all the cargo goes through its ports. It has workers in my area of Humberside who are registered dock workers—the very area which a few years ago was exploding about these problems. In his report, the chairman of the Board said only a few months ago: Eighteen new general cargo services began in operation and inquiries for both unitised and and conventional services demonstrated the confidence felt by the shipowners in the service offered by the port. That was in the port of Humberside. That was the area or reaction.

What has been the profitable result of that company? The BTDB, one major dock employer, had a return last year of 15.5 per cent., rising to 16.8 per cent. this year, and to an estimated 20 per cent. by 1980. I do not think that the efficiency or competence of an industry can be measured in terms of profits, but I know that that is how the Tories see these matters, and that is the argument which the Opposition should be answering tonight.

11.45 p.m.

Mr. Booth

The right hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) said that the disciplinary provisions of the existing scheme would be weakened by the new scheme that I have brought forward for the decision of the House. The only significant change is that the new scheme requires the appointment of an independent chairman of an appeals tribunal and requires the local board to refer any disciplinary matter not settled within 21 days to that tribunal. Surely that is a change in the scheme to be welcomed by all hon. Members. I do not think that that can be fairly represented as a weakening of disciplinary provisions.

Secondly, it has been suggested that the scheme should be rejected because it does not make provision for a temporary unattached register. The only case cited in support is that of T. Wallis (Royal Docks) Ltd. As has been said, that was a most exceptional case in that the employer disappeared overnight. Even in that instance, where 300 registered dock workers were left without jobs, the register was used for only three days. It did not create the problem of the dock workers concerned being forced on to other employers. The issue was rapidly cleared up by voluntary severance. That is an example of the efficient operation of joint control by unions and employers within the industry.

The right hon. Gentleman has said that the scheme does not have the backing of employers. I was referring to employers with experience of working the scheme. The National Association of Port Employers clearly backs the proposition that there should not be independent members upon the board. In that respect it is at one with the unions that have experience of working the dock work scheme.

The role of the local board is important. Basically the local board exists to arrange that registered dock workers are allocated to ensure the efficient handling of dock work from day to day. Under the new scheme all the major issues—recruitment and severance, for example—must be referred to the National Dock Labour Board on which the wider interests are represented.

I believe that the new scheme will enhance the authority of the Board by making it clear that local boards are subject to written directions from the

Board and that final decisions on increases or decreases of the register are vested with the Board.

Finally, there was reference to the application of the scheme to small ports. If the scheme is defeated, that will not prevent the extension of a scheme to small ports. The 1946 Act, coupled with the 1967 scheme, makes provision for the extension of the scheme to small ports. We are choosing between one scheme and another. When the new scheme is applied to a small port for the first time, none of the work there may be classified unless it is covered by schedule 4 of the 1976 Act. That is a much more satisfactory situation than will exist if the old scheme is kept in existence. There will be many more safeguards for the workers affected by such classification in small ports if the new scheme is introduced. If it is rejected, the safeguards will not be present.

I put it to the House that the 1976 Act and the new scheme provide a more sensible and flexible method of resolving problems that arise from time to time in the dock work industry, and one that is subject to full parliamentary control. The Act and the new scheme together provide adaptibility and very clear safeguards for those concerned—

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, Mr. SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3(Exempted business).

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 291, Noes 301.

Division No. 308] AYES [11.49 p.m.
Abse, Leo Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Colquhoun, Ms Maureen
Allaun, Frank Bradley, Tom Concannon, Rt Hon John
Anderson, Donald Bray, Dr Jeremy Conlan, Bernard
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Broughton, Sir Alfred Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)
Armstrong, Ernest Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Corbett, Robin
Ashley, Jack Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Cowans, Harry
Ashton, Joe Buchan, Norman Craigen, Jim (Maryhill)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Buchanan, Richard Crawshaw, Richard
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham) Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Cronin, John
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Callaghan, Jim (Midaieton & P) Cryer, Bob
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Campbell, Ian Cunningham. G. (Islington S)
Bates, Alf Canavan, Dennis Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)
Bean, R. E. Cant, R. B. Dalyell, Tam
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Carmichael, Neil Davidson, Arthur
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Carter, Ray Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)
Bidwell, Sydney Carter-Jones, Lewis Davies, Rt Hon Denzil
Bishop, Rt Hon Edward Cartwright, John Davies, Ifor (Gower)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)
Boardman, H Clemitson, Ivor Deakins, Eric
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Cohen, Stanley de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Coleman, Donald Dell, Rt Hon Edmund
Dempsey, James Kinnock, Neil Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Dewar, Donald Lambie, David Robinson, Geoffrey
Doig, Peter Lamborn, Harry Roderick, Caerwyn
Dormand, J. D. Lamond, James Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Duffy, A. E. P. Leadbitter, Ted Rooker, J. W.
Dunnett, Jack Lee, John Roper, John
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Eadie, Alex Lever, Rt Hon Harold Rowlands, Ted
Edge, Geofl Lewis, Arthur (Newham N) Ryman, John
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sandelson, Neville
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Litterick, Tom Sedgemore, Brian
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Loyden, Eddie Selby, Harry
English, Michael Luard, Evan Sever, John
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Lyon, Alexander (York) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Evans, John (Newton) Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) McCartney, Hugh Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. McDonald, Dr Oonagh Silkin. Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McElhone, Frank Sillars, James
Flannery, Martin McKay, Allen (Penistone) Silverman, Julius
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) MacFarquhar, Roderick Skinner, Dennis
Foot, Rt Hon Michael McGuire, Michael (Ince) Smith, Rt Hon (N Lanarkshire)
Ford, Ben MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Spearing, Nigel
Forrester, John Maclennan, Robert Spriggs, Leslie
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Madden, Max Stoddart, David
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Magee, Bryan Stott, Roger
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Mallalieu, J. P. W. Strang, Gavin
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Marks, Kenneth Strauss, Rt Hon R. G.
George, Bruce Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Swain, Thomas
Ginsburg, David Maynard, Miss Joan Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Golding, John Meacher, Michael Thomas, Dafydd (Merionath)
Gould, Bryan Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Gouriay, Harry Mikardo, Ian Thomas, Mike (Newcasile E)
Graham, Ted Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Grant, John (Islington C) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Thome, Stan (Preston South)
Grocott, Bruce Mitchell, Ausitn (Grimsby) Tierney, Sydney
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mitchell, R. C. (Solon, Itchen) Tilley, John
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Molloy, William Tinn, James
Hardy, Pete Moonman, Eric Tomlinson, John
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tomney, Frank
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Morris, Rt Hon Charles R. Torney, Tom
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Unwin, T. W.
Hayman, Mrs Helena Morton, George Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Heffer, Eric S. Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Hooley, Frank Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Horam, John Newens, Stanley Ward, Michael
Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Noble, Mike Watkins, David
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Oakes, Gordon Watkinson, John
Huckfield, Les Ogden, Eric Weetch, Ken
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) O'Halloran, Michael Weitzman, David
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Orbach, Maurice Wellbeloved, James
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley White, Frank R. (Bury)
Hunter, Adam Ovenden, John White, James (Pollok)
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Whitehead, Phillip
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Padley, Walter Whitlock, William
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Palmer, Arthur Wigley, Dafydd
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Park, George Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Janner, Greville Parker, John Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Parry, Robert Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Jeger, Mrs Lena Pavitt, Laurie Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Pendry, Tom Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
John, Brynmor Perry, Ernest Willson, William (Coventry SE)
Johnson, James (Hull West) Phipps, Dr Colin Wise, Mrs Audrey
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Prescott, John Woodall, Alec
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Price, C. (Lewisham W) Woof, Robert
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Price, William (Rugby) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Radice, Giles Young, David (Bolton E)
Judd, Frank Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Richardson, Miss Jo TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Kelley, Richard Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Mr. A. W. Stallard and
Kerr, Russell Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Mr. Peter Snape.
Kilroy-Siik, Robert
Adley, Robert Awdry, Daniel Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham)
Aitken, Jonathan Bain, Mrs Margaret Benyon, W.
Alison, Michael Baker, Kenneth Berry, Hon Anthony
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Banks, Robert Biffen, John
Arnold, Tom Beith, A. J. Biggs-Davison, John
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Bell, Ronald Blaker, Peter
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East) Bendall, Vivian Body, Richard
Boscawen, Hon Robert Hampson, Dr Keith Mudd, David
Bottomley, Peter Hannam, John Neave, Airey
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Nelson, Anthony
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Haselhurst, Alan Neubert, Michael
Bradford, Rev Robert Hastings, Stephen Newton, Tony
Braine, Sir Bernard Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Normanton, Tom
Brittan, Leon Hawkins, Paul Nott, John
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Hayhoe, Barney Onslow, Cranley
Brooke, Hon Peter Heath, Rt Hon Edward Oppenhelm, Mrs Sally
Brotherton, Michael Henderson, Douglas Osborn, John
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Heseltine, Michael Page, John (Harrow West)
Bryan, Sir Paul Hicks, Robert Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Higgins, Terence L. Page, Richard (Wokington)
Buck, Antony Hodgson, Robin Paisley, Rev Ian
Budgen, Nick Holland, Philip Pardoe, John
Bulmer, Esmond Hooson, Emlyn Parkinson, Cecil
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Hordern, Peter Pattie, Geoffrey
Carlisle, Mark Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Penhallgon, David
Carson, John Howell, David (Guildford) Percival, Ian
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Peyton, Rt Hon John
Channon, Paul Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Pink, R. Bonner
Churchill, W. S. Hunt, David (Wirral) Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Clark, William (Croydon S) Hurd, Douglas Price, David (Eastleigh)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hutchison, Michael Clark Prior, Rt Hon James
Clegg, Walter Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Cockcroft, John James, David Raison, Timothy
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd) Rathbone, Tim
Cope, John Jessel, Toby Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Cormack, Patrick Johnson Smith, G (E Grinstead) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Costain, A. P. Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Reid, George
Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E) Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Ronton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Crawford, Douglas Jopllng, Michael Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Critchley, Julian Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rhodes James, R.
Crouch, David Kaberry, Sir Donald Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Crowder, F. P, Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Kershaw, Anthony Ridsdale, Julian
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Kilfedder, James Rifkind, Malcolm
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Kimball, Marcus Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Drayson, Burnaby King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Kitson, Sir Timothy Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Durant, Tony Knight, Mrs. Jill Ross, William (Londonderry)
Dykes, Hugh Knox, David Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Lamont, Norman Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Langford-Holt, Sir John Royle, Sir Anthony
Elliott, Sir William Latham, Michael (Melton) Sainsbury, Tim
Emery, Peter Lawrence, Ivan St. John-Stevas, Norman
Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray) Lawson, Nigel Scott, Nicholas
Eyre, Reginald Lester, Jim (Beeston) Scott-Hopkins, James
Fairgrieve, Russeil Farr, John Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Fell, Anthony Lloyd, Ian Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Finsberg, Geoffrey Loveridge, John Shelton, William (Streatham)
Fisher, Sir Nigel Luce, Richard Shepherd, Colin
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) MacCormick, Iain Shersby, Michael
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McCrindle, Robert Silvester, Fred
Fookes, Miss Janet McCusker, H. Sims, Roger
Forman, Nigel Macfarlane, Neil Sinclair, Sir George
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) MacGregor, John Skeet, T. H. H.
Fox Marcus MacKay, Andrew (Stechford) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Fraser Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Freud, Clement McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)
Fry, Peter McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Speed, Keith
Galbraith, Hon T. G. D. Madel, David Spence, John
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Marten, Nell Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian (Chesham) Mates, Michael Sproat, Iain
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Maude, Angus Stainton, Keith
Glyn, Dr Alan Mawby, Ray Stanbrook, Ivor
Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Stanley, John
Goodhart, Philip Mayhew, Patrick Steel, Rt Hon David
Goodhew, Victor Meyer, Sir Anthony Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Goodlad, Alastair Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Stewart, Rt Hon Donald
Gorst, John Mills, Peter Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Miscampbell, Norman Stokes, John
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Stradling Thomas, J.
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Moate, Roger Tapsell, Peter
Gray, Hamish Molyneaux, James Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Grieve, Percy Monro, Hector Taylor, Teddy (Carthcart)
Griffiths, Eldon Montgomery, Fergus Tebbit, Norman
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Moore, John (Croydon C) Temple-Morris, Peter
Grist, Ian More, Jasper (Ludlow) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Grylls, Michael Morgan, Geraint Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Thompson, George
Hamilton, Archibald (Epsom & Ewell) Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Hamilton, Michael (Sallsbury) Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Townsend, Cyril D.
van Straubenzee, W. R. Warren, Kenneth Winterton, Nicholas
Vaughan, Dr Gerard Weatherill, Bernard Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Viggers, Peter Wells, John Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Wainwright, Richard (Colne V) Welsh, Andrew Younger, Hon George
Wakeham, John Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Walder, David (Clitheroe) Whitney, Raymond TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester) Wiggins, Jerry Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and
Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E) Mr. Michael Roberts.
Walters, Dennis

Question accordingly negatived.