HC Deb 19 March 1997 vol 292 cc913-26 5.30 pm
Mr. Beith

I beg to move amendment No. 4, in page 55, line 2, leave out 'section 115 (4) and insert 'section 112(1), 113 (1) or 115 (1) or (4)'. The amendment will be of interest to hon. Members who care about charities, scout organisations, the Boys Brigade and the variety of organisations that will be affected by the cost of the charges for conviction certificates, especially for enhanced criminal conviction certificates.

A clear benefit of the arrangements proposed in the Bill, and one that we support, is that organisations dealing with young people and the elderly will be encouraged and enabled to obtain information about those who want to work with such groups, about criminal convictions and cautions and other relevant information. The need for such information to be available is vividly shown by the Dunblane experience and the case of Thomas Hamilton. The information known about Thomas Hamilton would have appeared on the enhanced criminal conviction certificate.

All the organisations in the charity sector are extremely concerned about the cost of these certificates. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Will hon. Members who are having conversations in the doorway please converse outside.

Mr. Beith

I am most grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

This issue is important for many charity organisations, a number of which have made representations to us about the level of cost. The Scout Association estimates that the cost of checks on their volunteers will be about £500,000 a year. Think of the number of scout money-raising events that will be required to raise that amount. The Guide Association estimates costs of £450,000. We should bear it in mind that those organisations demand much of their volunteers, and to expect them to pay this cost on top of everything else is too much. The Scripture Union, which runs summer camps for young people, estimates that the costs of checking would add an extra £30,000 merely to the costs of summer camps. The Boys Brigade has produced its cost figures, and other organisations, such as the Wing Fellowship and the Abbeyfield Society, which is involved in residential care for the elderly and has volunteers who back up the work of professional staff, are deeply concerned.

In the report of his inquiry, Lord Cullen noted that doing what he proposed involved costs. He wanted to ensure that checks are made on people working as volunteers with young people. Those costs should be kept within the limits of what organisations can afford. It is the view of almost every organisation that the likely costs are beyond the limits of what they can afford.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

Lord Cullen went further and said that, if necessary, the fees should be subsidised. Is that not correct?

Mr. Beith

Yes, that is precisely what Lord Cullen said, and I am grateful to the hon. Member for pointing that out. In my youth, I was a scout in the hon. Gentleman's constituency. I do not like to think of the amount of money that would have to be raised by local organisations to meet those costs. Lord Cullen said that, if necessary, they should be subsidised.

Throughout the proceedings on the Bill, the Government have said that, despite the efforts of our former Speaker, Lord Weatherill, in the other place, they are not prepared to commit Government expenditure, and that they want the scheme to be self-financing. If help is given to charities, it will have to be at the expense of private individuals who apply for general certificates. That cannot be right, and it is not in the spirit of the Government's acceptance of most of the recommendations in Lord Cullen's report.

Now that the Government have rejected the view of the vast majority of their Lordships under the leadership of our former Speaker, and have overturned that good amendment to the Bill, we must ensure that the cost issue comes back to this House. The effect of the amendment would be that the House would have to approve, by affirmative order, the scale of charges to be imposed. We would then know precisely how much was involved, and the charities would know how much it would cost them.

We could put those figures in front of the Government, and if we were not satisfied with the scale of charges, we could defeat the proposals and force the Government, whoever was in power, to make proper and satisfactory provision for charities. I invite hon. Members to ensure that this matter comes before Parliament—it will be the next Parliament, after the general election—and that the real concerns of charities about the costs involved will be brought to bear.

If organisations were not doing the jobs they do, the Government would have to find other ways in which to do them. Those organisations keep youngsters out of trouble, and care for the elderly. The cost savings to public funds that they create are enormous. We owe it to them to ensure that they do not have to foot an unreasonable and unaffordable bill, so that the people in their care are looked after by people who are fit to do so. It is important that they should make those checks, but they need help to do so.

Rev. Martin Smyth (Belfast, South)

I support the amendment. The Government recently refused to accept a report that recommended a self-funded social services council, whereas they propose to impose further charges on a limited number of people who voluntarily give of their services, and on charities which, in many other ways, have subsidised public expenditure. When the number of volunteers has fallen, it is wrong to impose further charges on organisations.

I speak from years of experience in the Boys Brigade movement and the Scripture Union. I recognise that, in our churches, where a fair bit of the charity support comes from, fewer people are doing voluntary work. If we think that their work benefits all the nation, then all the nation should support it. We should not leave it to a coterie of volunteers. I support the amendment, which would allow the matter to come back to the House for further consideration.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

I share much of the concern expressed by the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith), who told the House that he was a scout in Macclesfield. I commend him on that, because I am involved in the scout movement. I am a member of the Macclesfield and Congleton district scout council, and I am a vice-president of the Cheshire county scout association, but I am not speaking only on their behalf.

There are 150,000 non-profit-making sports clubs in this country, with a total membership of 6.5 million people. Each of those clubs is run predominantly by coaches and staff, all of whom freely put time and effort into promoting sport in their locality for the benefit of all. Many, if not all, of those clubs rely on the hard work and commitment of their volunteers to stay afloat. I know that for a fact through my involvement with clubs in Macclesfield. They have not the additional money with which to pay even a £10 fee for each volunteer.

The charging of volunteers for criminal checks sits uneasily with the determination of the Government, and our Prime Minister, to promote volunteering and grass-roots support throughout the country. At the beginning of this year, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage delivered the Government's youth pledge—that all young people who wanted to volunteer would have an opportunity to do so by the end of 1997. I understand that £3 million was allotted for the purpose.

This Conservative Government also recently launched a new policy document entitled "Young People Make a Difference", the aim of which was further to encourage youth volunteering. The document outlines an ambitious programme to increase young people's opportunities to volunteer, and reflects part of a much wider agenda throughout government to support volunteering and youth development.

Dr. Norman A. Godman (Greenock and Port Glasgow)

Does the hon. Gentleman think that the subsidy should come from central Government?

Mr. Winterton

I shall answer that question directly in a moment.

I put it to the House that charging volunteers—many of whom have no income, and many of whom may be on income support and other benefits—is hardly likely to encourage more people to volunteer.

Given my earlier intervention on the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, I must say that, if there are to be charges—for good reasons, which I am sure my hon. Friend the Minister will explain when he winds up the debate—I think that they should be subsidised from the centre. I know that that would inevitably involve additional Government expenditure, but I believe that it would benefit the country financially. I think that it would be wrong for us to provide any sort of disincentive to young volunteers, especially when both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for National Heritage have said that the Government want to see much more volunteering, and are giving it considerable support.

I rest my case. I am worried—as, I am sure, are other Conservative Members—about the impact that charges will have on many charitable organisations, such as youth groups and non-profit-making sports clubs. I think that we have given too little support, and that our former Speaker, Lord Weatherill, reflected widespread public concern when he successfully moved amendments in another place.

Mr. Rowe

I declare an interest. Among other things, I am a trustee of Community Service Volunteers, the organisation that places the largest number of long-term young volunteers in the country. Our organisation clearly has a vested interest in the debate, but there is more to it than that: as many hon. Members will know by now, I believe passionately in volunteering.

I enthusiastically support the "Young People Make a Difference" initiative, and wish that it had gone further. I believe that there is a huge untapped pool of volunteers out there, in a society in which increasing numbers may retire in their fifties with a life expectancy of 86 years or more. Many of those people will have retired on exiguous pensions; many will have very little income from any source other than benefit. Those are the people who volunteer least, but they are the very people we wish to encourage.

Someone aged 54, who has retired prematurely, may be anxious to contribute. That person may come along and say, "I have a skill. I would quite like to coach the under-11s"—or whatever it may be. What do we find? The first thing that that person is told is, "We are so pleased that you have volunteered. Of course, you will have to pay £10 or more as your first contribution." No voluntary organisation can expect that, and the organisation will therefore pay the money itself. As several hon. Members have pointed out, that means a massive contribution, which voluntary organisations can ill afford.

5.45 pm

I understand the Government's point that the certificates are intended to be personal certificates for personal use, and that there is therefore a risk that a number of people who received their certificates free, as volunteers, would use them for other purposes. There must clearly be a mechanism whereby organisations can be reimbursed for the cost of volunteers who can be shown to have made a contribution, and are not simply cheating in order to obtain free certificates. In principle, however, we cannot expect volunteers to multiply— especially among the lower paid and those with no income—if we are going to strap them for cash by imposing this financial disadvantage.

I do not very much care whether we have an affirmative resolution, or a negative resolution against which we can pray, I am certain that we should debate the matter in the new Parliament. I believe that the Secretary of State, whoever that may be—I am sure that it will be one of us—will be expected to find money to make reimbursement possible, and I firmly believe that the Government must take into account the real apprehension among a large number of organisations that their bills will be forced up for no other reason than their enthusiastic embracing of the Government's own policy of increasing the number of voluntary helpers.

Sir Michael Grylls (North-West Surrey)

Important points have been raised. As others have said, the voluntary movement is a hugely important part of our national life.

I should like to say a little about the Prince's Trust, which has done much to help people start their own businesses—especially disadvantaged people who do not receive much help from other sources, and do not have much capital. The trust does a wonderful job encouraging people from disadvantaged homes to set up businesses: I believe that it helps tens of thousands every year. It would be sad if there were any deterrent to that wonderful, constructive work.

Interestingly, this has become—in a sense—an all-party debate. We have heard important contributions from hon. Members representing Northumberland, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northern Ireland and other, obviously English, constituencies. The House seems to be saying that we should consider the charges carefully, and do our best to ensure that they do not deter volunteers. Organisations such as the Prince's Trust are providing the future lifeblood of our country by encouraging people—who may not have a family history of entrepreneurism—to become entrepreneurs. I hope that that will indeed be looked at carefully, as I am sure my hon. Friend the Minister will take account of what is being said.

I think that the idea of the Bill is very good, but I hope that we will examine this part of it.

Mr. Michael

I welcome the debate, and the concern for the voluntary sector that has been expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House. I, too, was involved with the Prince's Trust in its early days, and chaired its Wales committee: I know something about the work involved in getting money to, in particular, the youngsters on street corners whom other trusts—and, indeed, the public sector—have sometimes found it difficult to help. Such work is extremely important.

Opposition Members will also know of my personal interest in the voluntary sector and of the Labour party's commitment to volunteering in particular and to the voluntary sector generally. This week, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition launched a policy document that offers new encouragement and a new relationship of partnership between government and the voluntary sector. We will be determined to implement that document in government.

The policy document makes clear our commitment to nurturing the voluntary sector and to encouraging volunteering as an essential act of citizenship for people of all ages and from all sections of society, and it follows from a concern that the relationship between government and the voluntary sector had increasingly been one of government taking for granted the work of volunteers, charities and voluntary organisations. We have sought to put that right through a period of consultation and discussion in every part of England, in Wales, in Scotland and in Northern Ireland, and we will seek to address the matter in government.

I share the concern of hon. Members that there are dangers of a disincentive to volunteering if the Bill were introduced without sensitivity and without the greatest care. As was said in the discussion on an earlier amendment, the priority must be the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. That must be addressed in the way in which the Bill is implemented. The amendment has stimulated a useful debate, but it would be cynical of the Liberal Democrats to push it to a Division, because it appears to support voluntary organisations without actually delivering anything.

I have spent my life involved with volunteers. As a Queen's scout and a former scouter, I referred in Committee to the concerns of the scout movement. I understand it because I have been involved and have seen it at first hand. I was subsequently involved in other forms of voluntary youth work. For some 16 years, I worked as a youth and community worker involved in the recruitment, training and support of volunteers in all aspects of voluntary work. For that reason, I understand the importance of providing support to those organisations.

Mr. Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock)

I am listening with bated breath to understand how this Parliament can justify the Scout Association, Barnardo's and other organisations, or their volunteers, being charged. I am still waiting to hear the justification for that. It is indefensible. As for making declarations, I was leader of the Rams patrol and, in this place, I am vice-chairman the all-party Scout Association group, for which I am proud to speak on this occasion.

Mr. Michael

I make no comment on the name of the patrol that any particular hon. Member might have represented. My hon. Friend has misunderstood the nature of the amendment and of the debate. The debate is important, but I was coming precisely to the point about how the issue has been addressed during our debates. In bringing forward their plans and in planning the establishment of the agency, the Government failed to think through the impact that the Bill might have on volunteering and voluntary organisations, but they have gone some way to meet our concerns, and amendments were agreed in Committee that addressed that precisely.

The Government originally intended to delete the amendment proposed by Lord Weatherill and agreed in another place, but, instead of simply deleting it and returning the Bill to its original form, the Minister agreed in Committee to introduce an element of flexibility, which allows discussion with the voluntary sector, proper consideration of the issues that have been raised by hon. Members during the debate and, therefore, arrangements to be made that take those points into account. That is precisely the point.

That was a victory for common sense, and the change in the Bill is extremely important. Certainly we would be committed to meeting voluntary organisations and, in particular, volunteering organisations to discuss their concerns and to ensure that things are thought through before the flexibility that has been achieved by the amendments that were agreed in Committee lead to the Bill's implementation. I hope that hon. Members on both sides of the House will support that approach. It came as a result of amendments in another place, followed by discussion in Committee.

As I said to the Minister in Committee, I welcome the greater flexibility that results from the amendments that were agreed in Committee, and I hope that he agrees that we need to be very careful about how the charging system is developed and implemented to protect, wherever possible, the interests of volunteers and volunteering organisations.

Mr. Kirkhope

I am well aware of the fact that hon. Members do not like the idea of fees for groups such as volunteers. I suppose that none of us does ideally, but we have already agreed, as the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) said, to provide for the possibility of introducing free checks for certain groups if it is considered appropriate in future. As he said, that was accepted in Committee when the amendments inserted in another place to provide free checks for volunteers were overturned.

Mr. Mackinlay

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Kirkhope

I have only just started.

Mr. Mackinlay

It is very important and it is on that point.

Mr. Kirkhope

I must give way to a leader of scouts.

Mr. Mackinlay

The Minister said that free checks might be introduced if they were deemed appropriate. His colleague said in parliamentary replies that that would happen as and when resources permit. Frankly, hell will freeze over before that happens. If this goes on the statute book, this Government, if they are returned to office, or another Government, will find it difficult to find the money. We have to establish the point now that there should be free checks for these very important voluntary organisations.

Mr. Kirkhope

The hon. Gentleman is being pretty fierce for a patrol leader, but I am coming to the points that he has raised.

Let me stress that we recognise the enormous amount of good work done by volunteers. Over the years, I have been involved in quite a number of voluntary organisations. My hon. Friend the Member for Northwest Surrey (Sir M. Grylls) referred to the Prince's Trust, as did the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth. I am very keen on it as well. It is an excellent organisation.

Our opposition to Lord Weatherill's amendments does not undermine the Government's long-standing commitment to volunteering, which was encapsulated in 1995 in the "Young People Make a Difference" initiative. As I am sure hon. Members are aware, that document made it clear that the Government encourage preferential treatment for volunteers in relation to, for instance, youth work development grants, the Millennium Commission giving priority to programmes for bursaries and grants to help young people to volunteer, and employers allowing employees to be involved in volunteering without cost or expense.

The Government have done many things to encourage volunteering. I assure the House that, before introducing the Bill, we carefully considered whether voluntary organisations should be afforded free checks but, as I explained to the Committee yesterday, responsible Governments have to make tough choices. We rejected the idea on the grounds of equity, practicality and—for the benefit of Opposition Members—cost.

The Criminal Record Agency, which will issue the certificates, has been planned on the basis that it will be self-financing. At the moment, therefore, there are simply no funds available to pay for free checks for volunteers. I do not want to become embroiled in an argument about numbers, but it is necessary to do so to give an idea of the financial effects of Lord Weatherill's amendments.

Between 8 million and 20 million people act as volunteers—I cannot give a more accurate assessment, and I do not believe any other hon. Member can—so it is difficult to estimate precisely what the cost of free checks would be.

Assuming that checks were restricted to new volunteers, and that only those eligible for the higher level of checks—enhanced criminal record certificates—were included, the minimum sum likely to be needed would be about £10 million a year. However, that could increase considerably if demand for checks was stimulated, as it could be, if they were free and were sought in a blanket way, rather than after careful consideration of whether they were really necessary for each organisation.

If there were a requirement that existing volunteers be checked, as was suggested in another place, the sums involved would be between £40 million and £200 million in the first year. We do not believe that it would be right to commit ourselves to providing a blank cheque when we are trying to hold down public expenditure.

6 pm

Mr. Rowe

Those figures are notional indeed. Surely it would not be beyond the wit of man to devise a system whereby voluntary organisations would be able to claim money back only if a volunteer were shown to be in the category for which checks were required.

Mr. Kirkhope

Yes, but I was about to say that there is also the question of practicality—the very point that has just been raised. If we had accepted the amendments passed in another place, not only would provision have had to be made for the costs of the checks themselves, it would also have been necessary to put in place complex administrative arrangements to filter out particular types of check.

There would have to be a list of all organisations that might be likely to appoint volunteers, and each application would need to be screened to ensure that the statement waiving the fee was from a bona fide voluntary organisation. The type of post being applied for would also require close scrutiny—my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) has already suggested that we might differentiate between various posts—so that the agency could satisfy itself that the applicant would not be receiving any remuneration other than expenses.

Those procedures would be time consuming and require the agency to take on additional staff. That would all add to the costs to be met either from the public purse or by increasing considerably the charges levied on other users of the Criminal Records Agency.

That brings me to equity. As the agency was envisaged as being self-financing, and as there are no funds in existing budgets for free checks, the money to pay for them could be found only by diverting funds from elsewhere or by charging non-volunteer applicants more for their checks. We do not think that that would be fair, especially as if we redistributed the costs in that way it is likely that the charges incurred by other users could double.

Many of those eligible for the more detailed and costly checks are in relatively low-paid jobs associated with the caring professions, while many of those who would require criminal conviction certificates could be the unemployed who were seeking work. Hon. Members have already said that such categories of people may be deterred from volunteering, but what about those seeking certificates for the purposes of finding work?

It cannot be right to expect people on low incomes to subsidise all volunteers, as many of the volunteers may be much better off than they are. If fees were waived for volunteers, the Government would come under considerable pressure to waive the fees for low-income groups and the unemployed, increasing further the amount that would have to be taken from public funds.

The fairest way of meeting the costs therefore continues to be to spread them across all those using the agency. Such an approach means that the fees charged can be kept as low as possible. As I am sure the House is aware, the cost envisaged for a criminal conviction certificate or criminal record certificate is about £5 or £6.

Sir Donald Thompson (Calder Valley)

When all that is finished, who will own the licence, the agency or the individual?

Mr. Kirkhope

The certificate to be applied for, certainly at the basic level—the CCC—will belong to the individual, who can therefore prove his status to those who might need to know it.

As I have said, the costs are low—£5 or £6 for a basic certificate, and for an enhanced certificate between £8 and £10. In our view, that should not prove burdensome for most volunteers, and it should not discourage them from continuing to make their valuable contribution to the community through their voluntary work.

We recognise, however, as the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth has been fair enough to say, that there is a need for flexibility. We do not want to rule out the possibility of providing free checks for deserving groups at some point in the future. That is why we tabled an amendment in Committee to provide a power to allow certain groups, such as volunteers, to be exempted from paying fees for criminal record checks.

The measures in part V put in place a long-awaited improved system of access to criminal record checks that will undoubtedly offer better protection to vulnerable groups such as children, and will provide reassurance to those who appoint people to positions of trust. Voluntary organisations working with children and other vulnerable people have been among those who have most particularly sought access to checks. It was in direct response to them that we included the provisions in the Bill, and it would be a great pity if speedy implementation of the necessary measures were delayed because money is not available to cover the costs of free checks for volunteers.

The amendment would require the regulations in which the fees and forms for criminal record certificates are prescribed to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure rather than the negative procedure, as is provided in the Bill.

As with all regulations that deal with fees or the form of applications, it is necessary to provide for routine changes that are always necessary—to take account of inflation, for example. It is not possible to justify the use of the affirmative procedure for that purpose. We would be setting an undesirable precedent if regulations specifying the modest sums of money involved in the fees, or the form applications must take, had to occupy the time of both Houses every time a small adjustment was needed. That process is not necessary, because we are already making the regulations subject to the negative resolution procedure, thus providing the opportunity for scrutiny by Parliament.

I believe that the present provisions are sufficient to meet the concerns of right hon. and hon. Members, and I urge that the amendment be withdrawn.

Mr. Beith

The Minister has enumerated many reasons why he believes the Government will not assist charities with the costs of the checks that they will have to carry out. The existence of a power in the Bill to do so appears to be no more than a nominal concession. Because of the concern among charities and the sums of money involved, I ask hon. Members to ensure that the House must debate the scale of charges when it is introduced. At that point we shall be able to bring to bear again the concerns of the charities. We should give the next Parliament the opportunity to ensure that charities are not faced with a cost that they cannot bear, and which could destroy the enormously valuable work that they do. I shall therefore press the amendment to a Division.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 38, Noes 267.

Division No. 98] [6.6 pm
Alton, David Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Beggs, Roy Carlile, Alex (Montgomery)
Beith, Rt Hon A J Davies, Chris (Littleborough)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Paisley, Rev Ian
Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim) Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Foster, Don (Bath) Ross, William (E Londy)
Godman, Dr Norman A Skinner, Dennis
Harvey, Nick Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Kirkwood, Archy Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strangf'd)
Llwyd, Elfyn Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
McCrea, Rev William Thumham, Peter
McGrady, Eddie Tyler, Paul
Mackinlay, Andrew Walker, A Cecil (Belfast N)
Maclennan, Robert Wallace, James
McNamara, Kevin Wigley, Dafydd
Mallon, Seamus
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Tellers for the Ayes:
Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James Mrs. Diana Maddock and Ms Liz Lynne.
Nicholson, Miss Emma (W Devon)
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Couchman, James
Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan Cran, James
Alexander, Richard Curry, Rt Hon David
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Davies, Quentin (Stamf'd)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Davis, Rt Hon David (Boothferry)
Amess, David Day, Stephen
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael Deva, Nirj Joseph
Arbuthnot, James Douglas-Hamilton, Rt Hon Lord James
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Ashby, David Dover, Den
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert Duncan, Alan
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E) Duncan Smith, Iain
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Dunn, Bob
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Durant, Sir Anthony
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Dykes, Hugh
Bates, Michael Eggar, Rt Hon Tim
Bellingham, Henry Elletson, Harold
Bendall, Vivian Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Biffen, Rt Hon John Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'ld)
Body, Sir Richard Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Evans, Nigel (Ribble V)
Booth, Hartley Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Boswell, Tim Evennett, David
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Faber, David
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia Fabricant, Michael
Bowis, John Fenner, Dame Peggy
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Brandreth, Gyles Fishbum, Dudley
Brazier, Julian Forman, Nigel
Bright, Sir Graham Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling)
Brown, Michael (Brigg Cl'thorpes) Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Browning, Mrs Angela Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Budgen, Nicholas Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Burns, Simon Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Burt, Alistair Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
Butcher, John French, Douglas
Butler, Peter Fry, Sir Peter
Butterfill, John Gale, Roger
Carlisle, John (Luton N) Gallie, Phil
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Linc'n) Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Carrington, Matthew Garnier, Edward
Carttiss, Michael Gill, Christopher
Cash, William Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet) Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Clappison, James Gorst, Sir John
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochf'd) Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Rushdiffe) Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Coe, Sebastian Grylls, Sir Michael
Colvin, Michael Gummer, Rt Hon John
Congdon, David Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald
Conway, Derek Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F) Hampson, Dr Keith
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hanley, Rt Hon Jeremy
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Hannam, Sir John
Hargreaves, Andrew Ottaway, Richard
Harris, David Page, Richard
Haselhurst, Sir Alan Paice, James
Hawkins, Nick Patnick, Sir Irvine
Hawksley, Warren Patten, Rt Hon John
Hayes, Jerry Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Heald, Oliver Pawsey, James
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hendry, Charles Pickles, Eric
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence Porter, David
Hill, Sir James (Southampton Test) Powell, William (Corby)
Horam, John Rathbone, Tim
Hordem, Rt Hon Sir Peter Redwood, Rt Hon John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W) Richards, Rod
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Riddick, Graham
Hunter, Andrew Robathan, Andrew
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Jack, Rt Hon Michael Robertson, Raymond S (Ab'd'n S)
Jenkin, Bernard (Colchester N) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Jessel, Toby Roe, Mrs Marion
Johnson Smith, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Rowe, Andrew
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Sackville, Tom
Jones, Robert B (W Herts) Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Key, Robert Shaw, David (Dover)
King, Rt Hon Tom Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Kirkhope, Timothy Shepherd, Sir Colin (Heref'd)
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N) Shersby, Sir Michael
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Sims, Sir Roger
Knox, Sir David Skeet, Sir Trevor
Kynoch, George Smith, Tim (Beaconsf'ld)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Speed, Sir Keith
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Spencer, Sir Derek
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Spicer, Sir Jim (W Dorset)
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs)
Legg, Barry Spink, Dr Robert
Leigh, Edward Spring, Richard
Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Lester, Sir Jim (Broxtowe) Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Lidington, David Steen, Anthony
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Stephen, Michael
Lord, Michael Stem, Michael
Luff, Peter Stewart, Allan
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Streeter, Gary
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Sumberg, David
MacKay, Andrew Sweeney, Walter
Maclean, Rt Hon David Sykes, John
McLoughlin, Patrick Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Madel, Sir David Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Maitland, Lady Olga Taylor, Sir Teddy
Malone, Gerald Temple-Morris, Peter
Mans, Keith Thomason, Roy
Marland, Paul Thompson, Sir Donald (Calder V)
Marlow, Tony Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Thomton, Sir Malcolm
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Townsend, Sir Cyril (Bexl'yh'th)
Mates, Michael Tracey, Richard
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian Tredinnick, David
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick Trend, Michael
Merchant, Piers Trotter, Neville
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Twinn, Dr Ian
Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Moate, Sir Roger Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector Walden, George
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Moss, Malcolm Waller, Gary
Nelson, Anthony Watts, John
Neubert, Sir Michael Wells, Bowen
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Whittingdale, John
Norris, Steve Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Oppenheim, Phillip Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Wilshire, David Tellers for the Noes:
Wolfson, Mark Mr. Timothy Wood and Mr. Roger Knapman.
Yeo, Tim

Question accordingly negatived.

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