§ 6.25 p.m.
§ The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Gray of Contin)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.
It might be for the convenience of your Lordships' House if I were at this stage to explain the position of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1936 in relation to this confirmation Bill. The Secretary of State's role in introducing the Bill is essentially formal. Under the 1936 Act, the Secretary of State is responsible for introducing into Parliament, with a confirming Bill, a provisional order which has been approved by parliamentary commissioners following an inquiry. The Secretary of State's role is in general confined to providing the Bill with the necessary facilities to enable it to become an Act if that should be the wish of Parliament. In the case of the Western Relief Road, the commissioners appointed under the procedure recommended, following an inquiry which sat on a total of no less than 52 days over a period of more than three months, that the order should be issued with modifications.
Successive Secretaries of State have honoured the undertaking given during the passage of the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1933, which was consolidated in the 1936 Act, that the Secretary of State would treat such recommendations with the fullest respect and would not set them aside, other than in exceptional circumstances. Accordingly, my right honourable friend submitted this order to Parliament in the form of the confirmation Bill which is now before the House. A petition against the order comprised in the confirmation Bill was presented timeously at Second Reading in the other place and the matter was referred to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament, as provided for in the 1936 legislation. The Joint Committee, in presenting their findings on 5th March, did not accept any of the amendments that had been proposed and were of the opinion that the order ought to be confirmed without amendment.
Your Lordships may find it helpful if I say something very briefly about the financing of the Western Relief Road should your Lordships approve the confirming Bill. I am conscious that a number of your Lordships may have been concerned by recent press reports which suggested a difference of view between the regional council and my department on funding. However, I can give an assurance that there is no difference of view. There are, however, expenditure constraints and other priorities. I understand that the regional council is planning to spend some £14 million in the coming financial year on the outer-city bypass, and in the light of discussions between my officials and representatives of the regional council over the last week or so the council have now decided to fund the project through a covenant scheme.
This approach will have many advantages for the region, mostly notably that it will allow early progress to be made without threat to any of the council's other capital projects. I should like to make it quite clear that 130 the decision to proceed in this way is entirely one for the regional council and we have no criticism to make of it. Indeed, we have told the region that we will take full account of this arrangement in determining its capital allocation for roads in future years when repayment of the borrowing is being made.
Thus, the Motion before the House that the Bill be now read a second time is quite clearly competent. It is now for the House to decide whether a sufficient case has been made out. My Lords, I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time.—(Lord Gray of Contin.)
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Lord Ferrier rose to move, as an amendment to the Motion that the Bill be now read a second time, to leave out all the words after ("that") and insert ("this House declines to give the Bill a Second Reading until after the results of the forthcoming elections to the Lothian Regional Council are known.")
§ The noble Lord said: My Lords, I need not repeat the amendment as it is clearly set out on the Order Paper. I will say only that I speak as a native of Edinburgh with a long family connection with the city.
On 16th February 1961, a few days over a quarter of a centry ago, I proposed the following Motion in your Lordships' House:
That in the opinion of this House it is necessary to expedite measures to facilitate the movement of long-distance traffic round the City of Edinburgh."—[Official Report, 16/2/61; col. 908.1
A number of Peers took part in the debate, and the House agreed to the resolution without a Division. I mention that only to set a timescale, as it were, for the proposal contained in my amendment, which involves suggesting a delay of two months. Incidentally, in the course of that debate the then Minister of State for Scotland, mildy chiding me for my extravagant ideas, said:
The question we have to ask is whether an estimated (and I underline the word 'estimated') 4,000 vehicles a day some time in the future justifies the building of a new by-pass now at a cost of £2 to £4 million."—[Official Report, 16/2/61; col. 937.]
§ About one-third of the bypass has now been built at a cost of £48 million. The estimated cost of the Western Relief road is in the neighbourhood of £113 million. I only mention that, as I say, to set a timescale to compare with that of my amendment—say a couple of months. Had your Lordships' recommendation been complied with, it is fair to say that a quarter of a century later the congestion in Corstorphine would not have been such as to drive the voters of the consituency to promote the Western Relief Road.
§ It is not my intention to take up your Lordships' time going over the recent deliberations. I am utterly opposed to the Bill, which appears to many to be premature, if, indeed, it is worthwhile at all, although, of course, I respect the promoters' dedication and the work that has gone into the preparation of the Bill. The fact the House is now facing is that the Bill has come from the other place and has reached its Second Reading here.
§ A good deal of water has flowed under the bridge since I set down the amendment on 19th March. It is now abundantly clear from letters in the press—my noble friend Lord Gray of Contin has mentioned it, and my fan mail supports it—that there is an 131 increasing measure of opposition to the Bill despite the claim that that opposition represents only a minority opinion. Be that as it may, there has been more and more unease at the steps taken by the promoters to commit the city to substantial expenditure on a proposal which is, after all, based largely on conjecture.
§ The objectors feel that they have not been given adequate opportunity to make their case against the measure, and, as a result of the promoters' tactics, the matter has drifted into a party political wrangle. After all, there was a considerable element of filibuster during the last stages in another place. The objectors have a feeling of helplessness in the face of the party manoeuvring and can hardly understand why the Western Relief Road has become a party issue except, of course, that the Conservatives in the constituency are anxious to gain favour with electors in preparation for the next general election, as they are entitled to do, but the cost is excessive.
§ As set out in the papers attached to the Bill in the other place, there are 38 objectors. They include the National Trust for Scotland, the Scottish Civic Trust, the Architectural Heritage Society, the Cockburn Association and some local residents' associations, none of which carries party labels.
§ The procedure adopted by the promoters, as outlined by my noble friend, is wide open to criticism. The objectors feel that the proper route would have been a planning inquiry, and it has been said (and I repeat) that the adoption of this method of taking out a Bill that has proved to be so controversial looks very like an abuse of Parliament. There is, of course, a case for bypassing Corstorphine, but surely that may be achieved by the completion of the outer city bypass which is due in four years' time. If the massive change in the whole pattern of Edinburgh traffic which will stem from the bypass fails to relieve the pressure, then, and I feel only then, will it be a solution to introduce a so-called relief road of this nature.
The passage of the Bill through the other place created the Joint Select Committee which was chaired by my noble friend Lady Carnegy of Lour, who will be speaking this afternoon. I look forward to hearing what she has to say. It is as well to remember that at an earlier stage in this whole transaction the parliamentary inquiry gave not only advice but strong legal advice that the legislation was defective. Powerful objection to this whole matter came in the shape of a letter from the Lord Provost which has been widely circulated. I need not refer to it as I think that most Members of this House have received a copy of it. It is not the latest because since I drafted the amendment I have had a letter from a district councillor. I will read only the last paragraph. He objects to the Bill and says:
I make this plea because I believe the future of Edinburgh's Georgian new town outweighs a local traffic problem in one part of West Edinburgh. The issue is whether Lothian Regional Council should be able to short-circuit recognised planning procedure and jeopardise Edinburgh's priceless heritage which has been protected by generations of its councillors and its citizens.
§ I now understand that the Labour Party has declared its intention, if it takes power in the May elections, to reject the whole proposal and to cancel the Western Relief Road. Even if the Bill is passed and contracts are rushed through by the promoters, the 132 Conservative and Alliance groups, almost inevitably more expense will lie ahead. To prevent more extravagance my amendment would appear to be the remedy.
§ Too much treasure, too much toil and too much time have already been spent on this controversy, and it may well be that the right thing to do is to defer giving the Bill a Second Reading tonight. On the other hand, if the electors, after the further consideration that a little delay may provide, return the present authorities to power, so be it! I accordingly beg to move.
§ Moved, as an amendment to the Motion that the Bill be now read a second time, to leave out all the words after ("that") and insert ("this House declines to give the Bill a Second Reading until after the results of the forthcoming elections to the Lothian Regional Council are known.")—(Lord Ferrier.)
§ 6.41 p.m.
§ Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove
My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, for giving us the opportunity to speak on this aspect of the Bill—the delay of the Bill and not the total and outright condemnation and rejection of the Bill. It seems a sensible and reasonable amendment to put forward at this time. I am sorry that the situation is such that sometimes in a local authority important things that affect all the citizens, quite apart from what I consider to be purely party politics, become a party political issue. That is unfortunate. If this amendment is carried, and if there is a change in the composition of the new regional council, I hope that it will sit down and look with fresh eyes at what is proposed in order to see whether such a relief road is needed.
It is impossible not to speak about roads in general and city roads in particular when discussing a Bill such as this, although the Bill itself is rather a narrow one. It has been said several times in the other place that Edinburgh has a living city centre. This is an important point to make about Edinburgh. I hope that over the next 10 years in Glasgow we shall surpass that position because we are now recovering from a road mania. That is why I feel stongly about our having time to look at the Edinburgh position. We had a road-building hysteria for a period in Glasgow and we are just beginning to recover from it. During that period—about four or five years ago—I remember going through Edinburgh with a number of people from another place on an all-party visit. I said to one of the people who was an Edinburgh man but not of my party, "One of the great things about Edinburgh is that the good, thoughtful people have decided to hold on to their city centre and not let it be totally messed up by traffic". The Edinburgh man said to me, "That's not really the reason. The reason is that they were far too mean to make a lot of changes and now fashion has caught up with them". The sad thing is that they seem to have caught up with the old fashion, I think rather later than should be the case.
I am not anti-motorist. I love motoring and I love driving. I am very involved in driving. I am very conscious of the benefits that personal transport has brought and how important it is to many people. But it has many less happy effects. If I speak about Glasgow, it is because I know it, but I think the lessons can be learnt from Edinburgh. I can think of three 133 specific examples from the period of road building in Glasgow. One was the Maryhill expressway: another was the Crow Road expressway; and a third involved changes to the Great Western Road. I should like to speak for a moment about the Great Western Road. It went through part of my old constituency. The rest of it was very largely in the constituency of the late Tom Galbraith. I accepted at the time many of the figures of the experts. They were extremely courteous and they were very well valued. Tom Galbraith and I sat down with them all. We looked at the figures and I found myself changing my mind halfway through. I decided that the Great Western Road expressway was not required although a lot of land had been bought for it and a lot of alterations had been made. That was 10 years ago. The Great Western Road expressway was never built. The Maryhill expressway was never built. The Crow Road expressway was never built.
What has happened? Of course there are hold-ups. You cannot drive through these roads as though you were on a motorway. I use these roads almost daily—and certainly weekly—because they are in the area in which I live. It would not have been worth tearing the city to pieces in order to get rid of these hold-ups in the way that was suggested. From the maps I have looked at and from my little knowledge of Edinburgh—not all that little—I believe that we should think, think and think again about the Western Relief Road.
I do not drive to Edinburgh if I am going to the centre of Edinburgh. I use the train. There is a half hourly service from Glasgow to Edinburgh. It takes 45 minutes. It is crazy to take a car into the centre of a city such as Edinburgh. I do the same in Glasgow; I take a train or the underground. But I know that when I drive through Edinburgh I face hold-ups in Princes Street. I do not think it is worth the upheaval we are going to face with a road as expensive as this, particularly when other things are on the way. For instance, the Sighthill section of the city by-pass is expected to be finished by 1990. I believe that the date has been brought forward, and it might even be earlier than that. It would be crazy to go ahead with this road and force it through in the next month despite what the noble Lord the Minister has said about the type of financing, which I hope he will be able to explain more fully when he comes to reply. I was not quite clear what he meant with regard to how the financing will be dealt with. If the amendment fails and if the Bill receives a Second Reading, there will be a tremendous rush to let contracts and to rush ahead with the Bill and commit the next administration to something on which it would be better to take a little more time.
If the new council came in—whichever new council—and endorsed the idea of the Bill, I would accept it. If a new council accepts it, I shall accept it. It must be a big issue in Edinburgh. I do not know a great deal about the local politics of Edinburgh but this must be a very big issue there. All the electors of Edinburgh must be conscious of the fact that if they change the composition in the Lothian region there will be a change of attitude to the road. It must be a big factor. If the new Lothian region decided to go ahead with this road it would be quite impertinent of me to try and change its idea. If there is a change in Edinburgh I hope that the new grouping will consider 134 the position with considerable care, not from the point of view of, "You said yes, we say no", but will look at it without this terrible rush. The idea that it should be done as quickly, as is suggested, is far too hasty. The possibility of the Sighthill section of the new road coming through—from what I have heard we shall wait only another two years—will surely change considerably the traffic on the proposed new road. If the relief road goes through you must not think that that will be the end of it, because experience in Glasgow (until the citizens began to take a grip and until some of their councillors began to take a grip) showed that every new road led to more new roads being required. It merely meant that the bottleneck was pushed a wee bit further forward.
Looking at the map, I could see that the next development might be—and I would not put it past some road builders I have come across—that Usher Hall would be in great danger, if we carried on in the way that we are doing. I hope that the House will think very carefully. I am not anti-road. I only say that this matter has to be watched with great care before we rush into something. I hope that the amendment put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, will be given consideration and will be carried by the House.
§ Lord Mackie of Benshie
My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, is he saying that the Labour group, if they take power in the region next time, would reconsider their attitude? I understood that they had given a firm commitment that they would not proceed.
§ Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove
My Lords, I said that I hoped they would reconsider their attitude. I do not know enough about the composition of the Lothian group. I just feel that matters such as this should not be tied up with party politics as they sometimes are—and I am speaking as a very committed party person.
§ 6.50 p.m.
§ Lord Wilson of Langside
My Lords, I am encouraged by the circumstance that the noble Lord is not speaking from his Front Bench. He asserted that approval of this Bill would be crazy. He said that it would be crazy to rush it through. How detached from reality is that approach to this important matter of government?
In the background to the saga—because it has been a saga—of the Edinburgh Western Relief Road, there have been touches here and there of farce. I have great respect for the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, and the evidence that he gave to the Joint Committee of this House, of which I was a member, was extremely valuable, useful and interesting, but I venture to suggest that approval of the amendment would reduce this saga of the Edinburgh Western Relief Road to one of complete farce.
That is not to say that there are no lessons to be learnt from the way in which the matter has been handled from beginning to end. I was a member of the committee. There were two lawyers on that committee: Mr. Fairbairn and myself. Throughout the proceedings, and up until the last day (when we came to be of the same mind), on almost every major issue 135 that was raised we were in complete disagreement. There were many matters, incidental and otherwise, in which some of the lay members of the committee were not exactly completely unanimous. I mention that simply because I wish to pay tribute to the chairman of the Joint Committee of your Lordships' House and of the other place for her remarkable achievement of completing the work of the committee in a week less than the estimate, involving people of such different viewpoints as those I have described. That was a considerable achievement and we are all surely indebted to her.
There are of course lessons to be learnt from the proceedings and from the way in which the matter was handled. The first lesson—and it is an important one—stems from this question: why were the Scottish law officers not involved before the matter was referred to the Joint Committee under Section 9 of the 1936 Act? That got the committee's work off to a bad start. I wonder whether that lesson has been learnt by those with responsibility in the matter, in this unprecedented situation of the reference of a matter that had already been considered by a provisional order inquiry to a Joint Committee of both Houses. The matter came to us at large.
I am astonished that it should be asserted that the objectors to the proposals were not given an adequate hearing. It may have been that a planning inquiry would have been better from a variety of points of view. However, there was nothing unconstitutional, of which I am aware, about the chosen approach. Not only did the first inquiry spend the time to which reference has already been made (and I have forgotten how long it was) but we spent six weeks looking at the evidence. We heard all the evidence.
The matter was not a simple one but we reached the conclusion—and this was the matter before us—that the preamble to the Bill that sets out the circumstances under which the regional councils sought the construction of the road was proved. That was our opinion, after listening to the evidence and weighing it carefully.
I myself took pains to learn nothing about the rather pathetic party bickering that I gather has been going on in Edinburgh. The question we had to decide was this: is the preamble to the Bill proved? It was not a simple and straightforward question. It has to be approached judicially. Speaking for myself, I am bound to say that, on balance, I thought the quality of the evidence that was presented on behalf of the promoters was better than that presented on behalf of the petitioners. That was my view. It was on that basis that I found myself eventually persuaded that the preamble to the Bill was proved.
The second lesson to be learnt from the proceedings that we have had over the past year or two is that matters that are the subject of party political squabbles are perhaps not best sent to committees of Parliament. There may be room for that argument to be presented. It is a fact that about one mile or two miles of the railway between Glasgow and Edinburgh and between Edinburgh and Dundee had to be realigned because it was thought necessary to have the one form of inquiry; and the form of inquiry under the Private Legislation (Scotland) Procedure Act 1936 was the one that was chosen
136 The third lesson that I hope will be learnt by those with responsibility in this area is that the implications of Section 9 of the Private Legislation (Scotland) Procedure Act 1936 should be looked at. To me, it is not wholly clear. We had some difficulty at the outset when an argument was presented as to whether our inquiry—and this point was pressed upon us and appeared at one time to receive acclaim from some members of the committee—should limit the remit that Parliament had sent to us.
As I understand it, it was finally accepted that there could be no limit on our remit to the Joint Committee because the other place had not put any remit on it. We took the view that it was not for us to limit the scope of our inquiry. Accordingly, for practical purposes we have all the evidence that was presented to us. That is why I find it very difficult to hear the complaint, still being repeated, that the objectors have been unfairly treated. It is an argument which was presented to us when the question of whether we should proceed with a full inquiry was being put. I find myself becoming increasingly impatient hearing it again urged upon your Lordships at this late stage. Of course it would have been better if the matter had gone to a planning inquiry; at least to the extent, if no further, that the objectors (the petitioners) if unsuccessful could not have blamed the Government.
I am conscious that I have perhaps not addressed myself as much as I should have done to the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier. But I cannot believe that in the circumstances your Lordships will consider that at this stage it would be appropriate and proper to delay the implementation of the scheme for the Edinburgh relief road, the case for which two committees have found to be established. Accordingly I hope that your Lordships will reject the amendment proposed by the noble Lord.
§ 7.1 p.m.
§ Lord Sanderson of Bowden
My Lords, I, too, hope that the House will reject the amendment in the name of my noble friend Lord Ferrier. I start by saying that the most important word in the whole Bill is "relief". The dictionary definition gives the meaning as "anything that relaxes tension". I have the doubtful privilege of driving in Edinburgh almost every week, unlike the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, who is able to take the train. In the Borders we do not have trains so I have to drive my car.
Anyone who uses the Edinburgh road system will appreciate, particularly coming from the west end of the cit, that a bypass for the communities of Gorgie, Dalry and Corstorphine is something which the people who live there desperately need and have asked for. One need only go to the other end of the city to see the great developments in progress there now: that prong of the A1 which is going in from the outer city bypass, round the communities of Musselburgh and Portobello, taking the A1 right into the centre of Edinburgh. The people of Musselburgh, I know only too well, are longing for the day later this year when that bypass will open.
The communities in the western section are exposed to large volumes of traffic and this is mainly concentrated on the two principal roads—the A8 to 137 Glasgow and the A71 to Lanarkshire. Consequently, these roads are overloaded, resulting in severe conflicts between through traffic, public transport, local traffic, shopping needs, pedestrians and schoolchildren, thus causing accidents, delays and frustration. Why should we in this House deny to the communities of Corstorphine, Gorgie and Dalry what is very quickly to become a reality in Musselburgh and Portobello?
I shall not rehearse the long chapter of stories about the planning of roads in Edinburgh. The city owes a great debt of gratitude to my noble friend Lord Ferrier for the actions he has taken to see that the outer city bypass is going to become a total reality by 1990. I am also glad of the assurance from the Lothian Regional Council that nothing will stand in the way of that being its first priority.
In March 1982 the Conservative Party manifesto for the Lothian Regional Council elections stated, under the heading "Roads", that,there are and will continue to be key areas of congestion such as Corstorphine Road … we will proceed with a limited programme in such cases including West Approach road"—that is, the Corstorphine bypass. Since that date there have been many debates in the council chamber and outside it. More recently, in your Lordships' House a Joint Select Committee under the chairmanship of my noble friend Lady Carnegy of Lour has gone into the major arguments which have been put forward by the objectors to the scheme. I do not wish to go over that ground again but I believe that Members of this House will appreciate the point that local authorities are entitled to try to deliver a manifesto commitment given in 1982.
Objections there have been, but for me the arguments in favour outweigh the "no-road" option. One argument in particular is noteworthy; that is, the prospect of fewer accidents and relief from environmental pressure in Gorgie, Dairy and Corstorphine. Both the A71 and the A8 roads at present have a high accident rate, particularly at Gorgie/Dalry. There are about 300 accidents in west Edinburgh every year, about 100 of them involving pedestrians. The streets with the highest personal injury accident rate are those where there is conflict between a heavy volume of traffic and a concentration of parked cars, service lorries and pedestrians. The relief road will attract a substantial amount of traffic from these streets and in consequence reduce traffic conflict and accidents. Incidentally, it is the best way to improve conditions for public transport bus services on the main routes of the A8 and A71.
I know that objections have been raised that the road will increase the amount of traffic entering the historic part of Edinburgh. This was gone into fully by the Joint Committee and it has come out in favour, by a majority, of going ahead with the scheme. I do not want to elaborate on that tonight. All I would say is that the evidence which I have read convinces me that over a period of time the volume of traffic entering central Edinburgh has increased very little, despite a much larger increase in the volume of traffic on the outskirts of the city.
For example, an examination of the records of Lothian Regional Council's permanent automatic traffic counters shows that on the outside edge of the built-up area traffic growth amounted to 2.5 per cent. 138 per annum, whereas in the central area traffic growth was virtually, zero. This restraint has been a consequence of restricting the number of car park spaces available. The restriction of parking in central Edinburgh remains the policy of Lothian region and that is the effective restraint on cars entering the city. I should say that the recommended route which involves the re-alignment of the railway has the highest road user benefits and the least detrimental environmental impact on the surrounding area. Above all, the adjoining communities will be relieved of real congestion in the streets.
I know the Edinburgh roads very well, particularly at rush hours, and I can tell your Lordships that it is not a pleasant experience trying to drive on these main roads out of the centre of the city. As a Scotsman I am also conscious of the beauty of Edinburgh and its unique setting. I am satisfied that the line of this road will do nothing to destroy that setting. With the removal of one single house and the greatest possible care in landscaping, this road will be a feature of which planners can be proud.
It will link that long-awaited outer bypass system and will be useful at the outer edge of the city. It will enable a shopping centre to be developed at that outer edge of the city in the western sector. Various stores such as Marks and Spencer and Asda have plans. I understand, to develop a large shopping centre on the edge of the city. It will bring needed employment opportunities for many people in the construction industry, and I understand that the Transport and General Workers' Union has given its wholehearted support to the development of the Western Relief Road. For those reasons I commend the Bill to the House and I hope that the amendment for delay will be rejected.
§ 7.10 p.m.
§ Lord Beloff
My Lords, it is customary in addressing your Lordships' House to declare an interest in the matter under consideration. Perhaps the converse should be true, and so I wish to declare that I am totally disinterested in the subject under debate this afternoon. I rarely visit Edinburgh, I do not drive a motor car and therefore I have no personal information or desire for further information on the substance of the subject. In fact my disinterest is such that I might almost be described as uninterested.
However, I address your Lordships for two reasons. First of all, because it seems desirable that at least one speaker in this debate should not be a Scotsman. After all, this is the Upper House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and it seems to me appropriate that it should fulfil its role. Of course it may be that at some future date the Act of Union will be repealed. Sometimes when I have to listen to Scottish business being debated I would not profoundly object to that coming about, but as long as we have the Union we are the Parliament of the United Kingdom. I think it is desirable that this should be recognised outside and even in Scotland.
The noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, referred to a large number of communications for and against the proposed road which he thought had reached many noble Lords. Not a single communication has been addressed to me and I can only assume that people feel 139 that only Scottish Peers have a voice in matters that affect Scotland. That, then, is my first reason for speaking.
My second reason is that I wish to appeal to the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, to withdraw his amendment, and I do so on constitutional grounds. As has been explained by the noble Lord the Minister and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson of Langside, the procedures which have been laid down for considering matters of this kind have been fully carried out. The Bill that we are considering has passed through all its stages in the other place and has received its final reading there. There has been a joint committee which has inquired exhaustively into the subject and reached a conclusion on grounds which my noble friend Lady Carnegy will shortly be putting before the House. In the light of that situation, it would seem to me that the normal course for the Upper House to take in the case of a Bill to confirm an order of this kind is to give it a Second Reading. I assume that the choice of date for today's Second Reading was agreed through the usual channels and that there is no objection on grounds of undue haste.
The amendment suggests that the House should subordinate its consideration of the Bill to local elections taking place in the Lothian region. This seems to me to cast considerable doubt on the sovereignty of Parliament itself. If Parliament has gone through the prescribed procedures and is proceeding to legislate, can it seriously be asked to delay this process because local elections are taking place, even when, as it is agreed, they are occurring in the area which is most immediately and directly affected? If we accept that view, it seems to me that we lay down a precedent for the future.
Let us assume that the party political composition of the council changes and that the new majority produces some alternative scheme which again goes through the procedures of Parliament and comes before us. By that time more elections may be about to take place and we may again be asked to postpone our decision in case the new elections restore the majority which exists today. That does not seem to me to be a dignified position for the Mother of Parliaments, and we, as part of Parliament, ought not to accept this kind of subordination.
If we think that the Bill is right, if we are convinced that the procedures have been correct and if we have confidence in the report of the Joint Select Committee, it seems to me that our business is to give the Bill a Second Reading without further ado. Because I am sure that, with all his devotion to his own views of the future of transport in Edinburgh, the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, thinks, as do all noble Lords, that in the end the Constitution is the most important thing that we must here preserve, I appeal to the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Baroness Carnegy of Lour
My Lords, from its inception the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, has been the doughty fighter that we know him to be against this road. As has been said, I was chairman of the joint committee. We spent 17 days examining in great detail the evidence for and against this road. At the end 140 we decided by a clear majority that the case for the road had been made and that it should be built. We then had a number of amendments proposed to us, and among them was an amendment that would have had the same effect as the amendment moved this evening by my noble friend. We rejected that and the other amendments, and our final decision, by a clear majority, was as stated by my noble friend Lord Gray, that the order ought to be confirmed without amendment and that we would report our decision to both Houses.
I do not like to disappoint my noble friend Lord Beloff, but in the circumstances of a joint committee of this kind it was not our duty to produce a report giving our reasons. It was simply the decision that was required; that was our advice and that was what we gave. Because we did not produce a report, there are not agreed reasons why we came to the conclusion that we did, and so in justice I must give my own reasons and what I believe are those of the majority of my colleagues on the committee, though I cannot speak for all of them.
Having known very little indeed about the issues of the relief road beforehand, apart from what I had read in the press, I became convinced that the road was not only needed but urgently needed and that the need was mounting every day. I came to the conclusion that the road is extremely carefully and well designed to meet the need it is required to meet. That is not at all like the need in Glasgow about which the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, was talking before that other road was built. It is a different need which requires a different solution. It is not at all an out-of-date road. It is a road designed for travelling at only 40 mph, a road designed to fit into the scene as far as it possibly can and a road designed to meet the constraints of the rest of the policy, agreed by both region and district in Edinburgh, that it is desirable that no more vehicles should be allowed to enter Edinburgh than enter at the moment. It is designed to meet all those factors, and I came to the conclusion that it was a design that was going to work.
I also agreed with the majority of my colleagues that we should not accept an amendment delaying the Bill. Every day puts up the cost. The delay caused so far by all the discussion on the road has cost a great deal of money, as my noble friend Lord Ferrier told us. The cost will go on rising if the delay continues. In my view, it would be quite wrong to ask the people of Lothian region to reconsider the issue as they would have to reconsider it if it became part of the emotional atmosphere of an election campaign.
It was, as my noble friend Lord Sanderson has reminded us, a manifesto commitment the last time round. Since then, millions of pounds of ratepayers' and taxpayers' money have been spent on designing the road, consulting the public and responding to the public consultation; and on two hearings, one of 52 days and another of 17, with learned counsel on both sides, almost entirely paid for by the ratepayers of Lothian region and Edinburgh district. That consideration would become mixed up with all the other election issues that are bound to arise. There is no such event as a single issue election. The election will doubtless be concerned with employment, education and rates issues as well as other matters.
141 Those are the reasons I voted against amending the Bill and so delaying it. Those reasons, I suggest, should be your Lordships' reasons this evening. In passing, I must say that it is, as I see it, by no means certain that the Labour Party, if it came to power following the elections, would not want the Bill. As your Lordships have heard, at least one big union, a very big union the Transport and General Workers, is strongly in favour of the road as, I believe, are others. So are very many people who live in the area and in other parts of Edinburgh who are doubtless Labour supporters. It is not a clear-cut political issue.
From the evidence before the Joint Committee, the need for the road was, in my mind and in the minds of the majority of the committee, definitely proved. Eighty thousand people are living amid traffic congestion that is far worse than the level accepted Internationally as tolerable. Some of the roads at present have more than twice the congestion that is acceptable. One, St. John's Road, has more than four times the amount that is considered acceptable. We heard detailed factual evidence of unacceptable noise levels, unacceptable accident levels, problems for shoppers and problems for those wishing to cross the road. We heard an estimate of traffic increasing by 10 per cent. between 1983 and 1988, an increase of 5,000 vehicles a day. As drivers avoid bottlenecks, where there are especially bad blockages, traffic is increasingly going on to side streets in the area. The situation is deteriorating for more and more people. Anyone who travels, as I do regularly, to and from Edinburgh through these streets knows the problem well. The committee went to see for itself. But it was above all the facts that we heard that established the need.
As my noble friend Lord Ferrier said, a large number of groups, many of them small groups, but also large groups, have objected. One of those is the National Trust for Scotland. I do not know on what grounds it objected, or how it came to its conclusion. I have not been able to find out. I am a life member of the National Trust, and no one consulted me. I respect the decision made by an excellent organisation. I have great faith in it. I do not know, however, the extent of the evidence that was before it or how up to date that evidence was. The Bill has been considerably amended since it was first discussed.
My noble friend Lord Ferrier hopes that the bypass and the extension of the M.8 motorway from Glasgow will be enough to relieve the congestion. But it became clear to the committee that this will not be the case. This road is part of a package designed to take those who want to get to the other side of Edinburgh round a ring road without entering the city and to enable those wishing to reach the centre of the city to do so without causing congestion and discomfort to people living along the route. It is also the aim that the result should not be more vehicles in the centre of the city. The package is the outer city bypass, the extension of the M.8, relief roads at Musselburgh and Portobello in the east of Edinburgh, following the same idea as that in the west but under way without any fuss, and the relief road in the west.
If the relief road that we are now discussing is built, there will be further traffic and environmental 142 improvements in Edinburgh that would not be possible without it. My noble friend Lord Ferrier suggests that we should wait to see if the bypass and the M.8 extension work before going ahead with the relief road. Quite apart from increasing congestion over the next two or three years until those roads are opened, we heard in the committee the figures relating to the effect of the opening of the committed roads in the area we are talking about. When those roads are opened, with all the other roads that are planned, there will be some relief all along the A.8 road, the present Glasgow Road, and to parts of the A.71 to Kilmarnock. But, without the relief road, some roads will be considerably worse as a result of the other new roads in the package. Gorgie Road will have 34 per cent. more traffic, Dairy Road will have 9 per cent. more and Stevenson Drive 31 per cent. more. It cannot be said that there is no urgency about this.
My noble friend Lord Ferrier's concern that the money for the relief road might delay completion of the bypass was dispelled entirely by what my noble friend the Minister said. The committee was assured that the region had in hand the funding of the roads being built simultaneously. Last week, with Scottish Office agreement, the region underlined this ability by introducing more flexibility in its treatment of the capital programme and the revenue programme. As your Lordships will know, a road is financed by borrowing. An arrangement is being made involving private money and deferred purchase agreements in order to introduce more flexibiity. We can be sure of only one thing—that delay in building the road would put up the costs. To delay further will put them up very likely beyond reach. It seems essential to allow the road to go ahead now.
It is possible that some noble Lord will query the costs for the petitioners, as reported in the press, not quite correctly but very nearly correctly. The committee was asked to amend the Bill to add to the costs that had been awarded to the petitioners by the commissioners in their findings in Edinburgh.
As a general rule in Private Bill proceedings, parties pay their own costs. We would advise that under the Parliamentary Costs Act of 1865, as applied by the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1936, a joint committee such as ours on an Order Confirmation Bill may award costs to petitioners against promoters where a preamble is not proved, or the committee has amended the Bill for the protection of petitioners, and where, at the same time, petitioners are thought to have been unreasonably or vexatiously subjected to expense in defending their rights. Neither of these conditions applied. The preamble was proved. No amendment was made to the Bill. The Cockburn Association could not, in all honesty, be said to have been vexatiously treated, we felt.
The committee did all it could to fit in with the witnesses' convenience as to the times when they gave evidence. They did not do it all together at the time that had been planned. Some of them were coming to London anyway. The costs were not known because the Cockburn Association were sharing counsel with Edinburgh District Council and the facts were not available to us about how these costs were to be allocated. We therefore felt bound by the Act and could not add to costs already awarded by the commissioners on the face of the Bill.
143 The road itself has been the subject of most careful planning to ensure that it looks as good as any road can with plenty of trees and shrubs, a cutting at one point to limit noise; at another point raised to avoid disrupting industry, with a number of exits, and a car park at the end so that people need not drive on into the city. It is planned so that no extra traffic will be forced upon the central area of Edinburgh. Your committee went into those facts very carefully indeed. It was interesting that the technical experts for the petitioners agreed with the promoters that it could not be proved that the traffic would increase.
The history of the road shows that until two years ago both regional and district councils were enthusiastic. It was two months after the present district councils was elected in May 1984 that they revoked the planning permission given by their predecessors.
It is interesting that no official of the district council gave evidence to us. Nor did the convenor of the council or the chairman of the planning committee. We had an excellent witness in the form of a local councillor who lives in the area affected, who was very helpful to us, but no one else from the district council itself.
Your Lordships have heard many arguments, and will hear some more. It may not be the details upon which you have judged the case. I have not given your Lordships all the figures; I cannot do so because there is not time. But I can only assure the House that we have been through this with a fine toothcomb and that we did it as objectively as we possibly could. Most of us began knowing very little about the case. We ended up knowing a good deal. I ask your Lordships to reject the amendment and to give this Bill a Second Reading.
§ 7.35 p.m.
§ Lord Galpern
My Lords, as a member of the joint committee, may I join the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson of Langside, in paying a tribute to the chairmanship of the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour, for her courteous and conscientious conduct of the proceedings.
The forum of this Order Confirmation Bill coming before us this evening ranks with the Halley's comet in its periods of appearances. The last one took place 75 years ago. I would have no hesitation in recommending the noble Baroness to preside over its next appearance if it ever occurs. However, I am confident of one thing: that I speak for all members of the joint committee that this form of procedure should never again happen. Although the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson of Langside, has indicated that he will vote against the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, the noble and learned Lord said that he felt a public inquiry would have been a more reasonable and just method of dealing with this highly complex matter.
It would be unfair of me to use the evidence of the objectors to the proposed road as the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour has used the evidence of the promoters. It would keep your Lordships here all evening, and would be too complex. But it would have been fairer when the noble Baroness put forward some views as to how many accidents would be prevented, and how many minutes would be saved if we built this new road if, at the same time—as the noble Lord, Lord 144 Beloff, would have liked here to do—the noble Baroness had put forward for consideration what the objectors' opinions were regarding their claims. That has not been done. However, I am glad that the noble Baroness has mentioned (I do not know whether it was reluctantly) that the findings of the confirmation of the preamble were by a majority. The noble Lord, Lord Sanderson also mentioned this. There was a very definite belief that the objectors presented a far stronger case against the relief road than the promoters put forward in favour of it.
Perhaps I may say how delighted I was to hear the declaration of the noble Lord, Lord Beloff, of disinterestedness in this project. The noble Lord would have made an excellent member of the committee because, if we had had some members with the same viewpoint of disinterestedness listening to the evidence, the noble Lord would not have made the speech he made this evening. He would have been supporting the amendment. I shall later on give the reasons why I believe that the noble Lord would have done so. He is able to judge facts upon their being submitted to him.
The 52 days spent by the parliamentary commissioners and the 17 days by the joint committee could have been avoided if the normal practice in such cases of road development had been followed; namely, the holding of an independent public inquiry. I am glad that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson of Langside, supports that. This is not a world-wide debate that we are having here today. It is not even a national debate. It is a purely local issue affecting Edinburgh. As such a different procedure ought to have been adopted.
The noble Lord, Lord Beloff, said that we should not be called upon to postpone this because we are the sovereign body of Parliament, and all the procedures have been gone through. Those were all the procedures to which they were entitled. But they were not the only procedures. This is one of the critical matters and one of the important aspects at which we have to look tonight in asking that this matter be delayed until the Lothian elections.
The way that they should have proceeded, in which they were entitled to proceed, and which they launched in the beginning, was an entirely different way of dealing with this matter than by Parliamentary order. Just for the sake of giving the facts of the case, it should be noted that in its minute of 3rd October 1983 the Transportation Committee of the Lothian Regional Council carried a motion to construct the Western Relief Road and instructed the Director of Highways to submit a planning application—not a parliamentary order—in accordance with the drawings submitted to the Transportation Committee on 3rd October 1983; and instructed the regional solicitor to prepare a parliamentary order for authority to implement the necessary rail diversion.
There has been no mention so far this evening of the rail diversion; that is, the railway running between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It will require diversification which will cost millions of pounds to achieve. However, to obtain the powers to carry out that alteration will require the creation of a parliamentary order. Some people will say that there will be months when the line will be out of use altogether, and if it is 145 ultimately carried out, then instead of a straight, direct line from Glasgow to Edinburgh, there will be a whole series of curves on the route, which nowadays we are trying to avoid in favour of straight lines.
Therefore, the Lothian Regional Council had actually decided to carry out the alternative method which was open to them: to make a planning application for the construction of the road; and, as required by law, to have a parliamentary order for the necessary rail diversion. This is where the parliamentary order first appears in the minutes of the Lothian Regional Council. Then, by a minute of 11th October 1983, the full regional council confirmed the Transportation Committee's decision by a majority. It was a very narrow majority and I do not have the exact figure, but it varies between a majority of one and a majority of two. I do not know how that was arrived at; but that was the size of the majority.
On 28th October the planning application for the road was submitted. Therefore, the intention is confirmed that they would proceed with a planning application, which would have led either to its acceptance or rejection, or in all probability to a public inquiry. Therefore, the action was to proceed with a planning application for the road—and that was done—and for the diversion of the railway by a parliamentary order. There was a way of saving the amount of money which would be spent on printing and the holding of hearings (about which we have heard) which I am sure must amount to at least £2 million or £3 million. That way was to hold a public inquiry.
The amendment proposed tonight by the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, tries to remedy the situation. Why was there a change in the procedure? Having agreed on these two separate methods of approach—one for the road and one for the railway—why did they change the procedure? Is it reasonable to conclude that they were afraid of losing their case at a public inquiry because of the overwhelming objection to it? Mr. Michael Martin, Member of Parliament, who was chairman of the commission in Edinburgh, said in another place on 4th December (at col. 365 of Hansard):As Parliamentary Commissioners, we received strong legal advice from the clerks, who are also counsel to the Secretary of State for Scotland, that every statutory means should be used by the local authority before it sought a parliamentary inquiry".That was advice given by the clerks to the Parliamentary Commissioners.
Nevertheless, again by a majority, it was rejected. In my 50 years of public life I cannot recall such tremendous public opposition to and so much controversy over the construction of a road as there was in this case. The noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, referred to the amount of publicity given to this road in the press. I have had to buy an additional briefcase to carry all the information which I have cut out just for the month of March. That illustrates the great controversy and this is the issue at stake tonight.
Lord James Douglas Hamilton said in another place on 4th December (at col. 356 of Hansard):For many years I have been a life member of the National Trust for Scotland and the Cockburn Association. If I believed for one moment that the Bill would damage their interests, I should not be proposing it".146 The honourable Member was a principal sponsor of this Bill in the House of Commons. Let us examine for a moment why the Cockburn Association and the other 37 objectors object to the Bill. My Lords, is there something wrong?
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords, the noble Lord has just moved from the point; but if he was quoting something said in the other House which was not said by a Minister during this current session, that would not be in order.
§ Lord Galpern
My Lords, I should have known that and I am sorry. I am getting on in years and after 50 years in public service I am not as young as I was, and my memory is not so good. I apologise. One can of course paraphrase but not quote directly?
§ Lord Galpern
My Lords, the question to which I ask your Lordships to address yourselves is: what are the interests of the Cockburn Association and the National Trust for Scotland? Let us look at who is the president of the Cockburn Association. It is the honourable Lord Cameron, KT. The chairman of the council is the honourable Lord Cullen. One is an office bearer and the other is an honorary president. I want to quote them to show whether there are any political decisions in the opposition by the Cockburn Association. There is a total of 38 organisations against the Bill, representing at a minimum 300,000 citizens. Surely they are not against the Bill because of party political reasons. They have only one interest, which is the quality of life in Edinburgh, and that has been the mission of the Cockburn Association throughout its years of existence. Surely some regard ought to be paid to the position they have maintained throughout the years. They have saved Edinburgh from the kind of mismanagement, as referred to by my noble friend Lord Carmichael, that happened in Glasgow. I do not entirely agree with him, but nevertheless it could happen. Everything is all just projects, theory, and we do not know what will happen.
How can you estimate what the number of accidents will be on a new road? We wanted to move an amendment, as the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour, has pointed out, that motorists will only be allowed to travel at 40 miles an hour. They wanted to make sure that that would be the case, and they moved an amendment that that should be included in the order. It was defeated on a vote, three to three. It was a simple, innocent, non-political measure to make sure that if the road ultimately succeeded and it was built, it should be restricted by law to 40 miles an hour; and the vote was three to three.
§ Baroness Carnegy of Lour
My Lords, does the noble Lord not agree that the reason some members of the committee did not want that speed limit to be on the face of the Bill was that one does not include in legislation points that need not be included? As the road is only designed, as I said, for travel at 40 miles an hour it cannot possibly be faster, so there was no need to make the amendment; and that was the reason.
§ Lord Galpern
My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Baroness. I have always understood, and I have heard it over and over again that our legal luminaries and judges, when they consider something under an Act of Parliament, say that they have to go by what the Act of Parliament says. If it was not included, then they are not going to accept it. Mere promises in a debate do not count: it is what appears in the final Act after it goes through both Houses of Parliament. We are only asking to ensure that we should restrict the speed to 40 miles an hour.
There are a lot of arguments. I did not want to go into detail in regard to the noble Baroness's presentation of the case. But let me list just a few of the objections made by the objectors. The proposal to construct a Western Relief Road is premature. It should be shelved until the effects of the outer-city bypass, which is scheduled for completion in 1990, are known. Now we know that the vital Sighthill section, presently under construction, will be opening ahead of schedule early next year.
A Western Relief Road will be contrary to the objectives of the Lothian region structure plan in relation to the reduction of traffic in central Edinburgh. The new road would probably increase the amount of traffic coming into the city. The scale of environmental relief forecast by Lothian region has been overestimated. The little, if any, environmental benefit which will arise will not justify the early construction of the road, and residential locations adjacent to the road will suffer badly.
Let me say here that the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy, mentioned that Edinburgh District Council produced only one witness. She will recollect that on at least two occasions she made requests to the counsel who were appearing before us not to go over unnecessary evidence, and to restrict the evidence as much as they possibly could. In the light of that, and in view of what they had been asked to do, they said that they would alter the lists. One said that he would alter his list of witnesses in order to please the committee, if that was the committee's wish.
Any traffic volume produced by the new road will have an adverse effect on communities in central Edinburgh, including Lothian Road, Tollcross, and the historic new town. One of the main complaints was that they had not given full consideration to what are called the "no road options". Little if any thought has been given to alternatives such as traffic management measures, which are very important, junction improvements, marginal road alignments, and the introduction of long-stay parking restriction measures. The new road would involve the loss of valuable recreation and amenity ground, and undoubtedly create environmental problems through noise and pollution.
While Lothian region have carried out certain economic and environmental proposals it has been demonstrated that the benefits have been overstated, and certainly do not justify the expenditure of some £37 million. Of course we have had considerable millions added to that by the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier. I think he mentioned £94 million, or even more. We know that it will be rising to a figure, including interest and other charges, of somewhere about £94 million and not the £37 million we are asked to consider 148 tonight. It is felt that expenditure of this magnitude could be directed to more pressing and deserving causes such as education, social work and health services.
May I say in conclusion that Lord Ferrier's amendment is a good sound, practical proposition? I understand that Lord James Hamilton said—and I am paraphrasing this time—that Edinburgh has been waiting for 50 years for this road, and that if natural justice was to be done they would not mind waiting a few weeks more. That is precisely what Lord Ferrier's proposition does.
They have made up their minds that if you support the amendment this evening it will allow the electors of the Lothian region to have an opportunity to express a viewpoint which was denied to them by the Lothian region failing to hold a public inquiry. There is nothing unfair in giving them that form of justice. No great harm will be done. Another few days' delay in order to give justice should merit support.
I hope that the amendment will be carried this evening. We will wait a few more days and deal with the situation. We are not rejecting the Second Reading. We are not rejecting this new length of road. We are simply asking that the people who are going to be involved in this in Edinburgh in a few weeks' time, by 8th May, should have an opportunity to express an opinion which was denied them and which could have been offered to them at an earlier stage.
§ Lord Wilson of Langside
My Lords, before the noble Lord, Lord Galpern, sits down, perhaps I may pursue two points he raised in his speech. He said that he was glad to see that I was in favour of a public local inquiry. If I gave that impression, I failed to express myself with clarity, either because, like the noble Lord, Lord Galpern, I am getting old, or perhaps, because of the lateness of the hour, I was anxious to say what I had to say as quickly as possible.
The reason that a local inquiry was not possible was because the purposes of the order, including moving a mile of the railway line, could not be effected without an order confirming them by Parliament. I meant, if I did not make it clear, that that was what excluded the public local inquiry, which I acknowledged, and in another context that would have had certain advantages. That is the first point.
The second point is that the noble Lord, in his well-deserved tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Beloff, said that it would have been a good thing had he been a member of the committee because he was completely disinterested. I am sorry the noble Lord, Lord Beloff, is not here. I agree that he would decorate any committee of your Lordships' House. I just hope that the noble Lord, Lord Galpern, did not unintentionally appear to imply that those who voted for the view, as I did, that the preamble of the Bill was proved—which was the only thing that really mattered—lacked disinterest.
§ Lord Galpern
My Lords, I am glad that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson of Langside, has made this intervention. If I am wrong in thinking that he said during his speech that he was in favour of a public inquiry—and I am sure we shall see whether he did not say so in tomorrow's record of the debate—I apologise to him.
§ Lord Ross of Marnock
My Lords, may I say to my noble friend that we both need to apologise? I need to apologise to myself because I took down the words that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson, used, and they were that it would have been better to have gone to a planning inquiry.
§ Lord Wilson of Langside
My Lords, I explained myself as best I could. If I did say that, it was a silly thing to say, but I have heard the noble Lord say silly things here and I do not always ram them down his throat.
§ Viscount Davidson
My Lords, I think the House is getting out of order; the noble Lord has sat down.
§ 8.2 p.m.
§ Lord Stodart of Leaston
My Lords, I say with some feeling that controversy in matters of transport seems always to concern the western part of Edinburgh. Some 10 years ago there was just a little controversy about a runway. If I may say this to the noble Lord, Lord Galpern, the one thing I am thoroughly sceptical about is statistics which are given in forecasts for 20 years hence.
I have had the advantage of reading much of the transcript of the Joint Committee's deliberations. One question which the noble Lord asked, or perhaps the answer he received, appealed to me. At one stage when figures were given for the number of motor cars in the year 2006, he asked "Might there not be no motor cars in 2006?". The answer was—and this is what appealed to me—"The Government have examined this with great care".
This did not cut all that much ice with me, because I can remember that over 20 years ago there were tremendous deliberations going on in another place, and maybe here as well, as to whether we ought to build the QE2. I remember Mr. Ernest Marples coming to reassure Back-Benchers. He said that the British Government and the Treasury research unit, which was unsurpassed for its ability to see into the future, had done a study and had come to the firm, rock-bottom conclusion that there would be enough people wanting to travel across the Atlantic up until the end of the century to warrant the building of this great liner. I think that no liner now sails across the Atlantic.
When I read these figures plucked from the future, I prefer to deal with the position as it is in Edinburgh at this moment. Of that position there is no doubt. The approach roads from both the east and the west into the city are heavily congested; in the east, as my noble friend Lord Sanderson of Bowden said, Musselburgh, which I think may fairly be described as the counterpart of Corstorphine in the west, is being bypassed at the moment, with unanimous approval as far as I know. The vehicles which are going through it every day—25,000 of them at the moment—will be reduced to 11,000 when that bypass is completed.
In the west, the roads through Corstorphine, and broadly speaking the Stenhouse area, are also carrying excessive loads. The accident figures have been given; 150 I shall not repeat them. I merely say that the one figure that was not mentioned is that on those two roads there have been 21 deaths in the last three years, an average of seven every year.
It seems to me that there can be no question that the proposed new road, which will go right up in between the A.71 and the A.8, will relieve things. If I may say so to the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, there is no question of it being an expressway; that is not the intention. It is a relief road.
§ Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove
My Lords, I think perhaps the use of the term "expressway" was a technical one. I used it loosely. It is a technical term meaning that there are no impediments. It does not necessarily mean that it is a fast road in technical terms. It does not mean it has a 70 mile an hour limit; it means that there are no junctions or lights and people go through.
§ Lord Stodart of Leaston
My Lords, one gets the impression when the term is used of cars hurtling from Glasgow in their anxiety to reach the more salubrious atmosphere of Edinburgh, and maybe that is what they will want to do in the other direction. One should not ignore the fact—and this has not been mentioned—that the police in all their evidence have expressed strong opinions in favour of the building of the road.
Now we come to what I think is the major problem. It is what I would call the "Usher Hall" problem; the emergence of traffic onto Lothian Road. I am bound to say in all honesty that I am not convinced that a problem may not develop there. I know all the figures say that it will not. The fears of this may well be exaggerated. But before Lothian Road is reached there is to be a car park in which parking time is to be limited, entry to which can be gained only from the relief road and from which cars may emerge only onto the relief road and go west. They cannot get out onto Lothian Road from that car park. If it were not for that and for the fact also that in between the beginning, in the west, of the relief road and the Lothian Road end there are to be three slip roads, one into Roseburn, one into Dundee Street and one into Haymarket, I should say that indeed there would be unchallengeable substance for the "Usher Hall" objections.
If I may give an example of what I think will happen, many motorists at present drive through Corstophine into Murrayfield. They then turn left up Murrayfield Avenue, they go over Ravelston Dykes down into the Ferry Road area on the north. With the relief road, they will do exactly the same thing except that they will relieve the bottleneck in Corstophine. They will go up the relief road, go to the Rosemount Spur, turn left down into Murrayfield again and over to the old route.
There are some who say "Wait for the bypass". That is not what my noble friend's amendment is about. The bypass is not, as the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, remarked, a matter of waiting two years. The bypass will not be complete until 1990. My noble friend's amendment suggests that we should wait until after the regional elections. I feel that the fact that it was in the region's manifesto is a considerable reason for giving the region liberty to carry out its commitments.
151 Several of your Lordships have mentioned the indignation that there is in Edinburgh. I am not nearly as closely in touch with my old constituency as the present Member of Parliament, Mr. Fletcher, who has inherited part of it. Mr. Fletcher gave the opinion in another place that if Edinburgh were evenly divided on this there might be a majority against the road. I question that assertion. I still have many friends and I do not find these strong feelings.
It is not totally insignificant that at the height of the first inquiry by the Parliamentary Commission sitting in Edinburgh, with publicity galore, there was a by-election in the Murrayfield ward, the heart of the indignation. Why was there a by-election? The reason was that the convenor of the Lothian Transport Committee—some might say the evil genius who invented this ring road and who put tremendous energy into advocating it—had died. I agree with my noble friend Lady Carnegy that one cannot have a single issue dominating a by-election, but I did not expect that his successor in the same party would receive about 93 per cent. of the votes with that controversy going on at the time.
The provision having been in the manifesto and the preamble of the Bill having been found to be in order, I am very much in favour of allowing it to proceed.
§ 8.13 p.m.
The Earl of Dundee
My Lords, to begin with there appears to be a strong case against this Bill, quite apart from the separate issue of the amendment which seeks to deny it a Second Reading tonight. This case is based on some very plausible assumptions about certain unwelcome effects which the proposed Edinburgh Western Relief Road might possibly produce. There is the allegation of its apparent irrelevance in purpose and in cost, given that a city bypass is to be constructed anyway; or irrelevance at least until the bypass has been completed in the first place. Then it can be seen to threaten the Lothian road, or the Usher Hall area, to which my noble friend Lord Stodart referred, where traffic congestion alleviated in the Gorgie-Dairy and Corstorphine area might simply be transferred. Equally it is contended that the greater ease of approach afforded by the relief road would encourage an increased number of vehicles and thus an unacceptable daily volume of traffic to the city centre.
Naturally these considerations have caused much anxiety, and in the absence of any professional evidence to the contrary they would constitute grounds for not proceeding with this Bill. As we know there is now such professional evidence to the contrary, which is why a parliamentary commission lasting for three and a half months came out in favour of the Bill; and more recently why a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament, lasting six and a half weeks under the chairmanship of my noble friend Lady Carnegy of Lour, reported it to Parliament without amendment.
During these processes, as we are also aware and as my noble friend Lady Carnegy has just reminded us, it has been demonstrated that the city bypass on its own, or in combination with more effective use of public transport, would not achieve the desired environmental objectives which can be brought about by the 152 relief road. Secondly, the relief road will not significantly add to existing traffic in the city centre nor lead to greater and unacceptable levels of congestion in that area.
If we were debating this Bill before the Parliamentary Commission reported, many of us would have shared the misgivings concerning the Western Relief Road, even though these had not then had the chance to be examined. Those of us who might have started with fewer misgivings would still not have wished to support the Bill until professional evidence and opinion had been introduced and assessed.
I come now to the amendment proposed by my noble friend Lord Ferrier. At present there is a majority on the regional council who approve of the relief road. Next month, after the elections, there might be a majority who do not. Therefore, why should the final parliamentary stages of this Bill not be postponed until the newly-elected regional council is in office in May? Linked to this question is the nature and context of current opposition to the road, and the distinction between this and the previous context of opposition before the commission's report.
Long before the commission's inquiry, owing to the measure of uncertainty about the consequences of the relief road and to corresponding fears in the Edinburgh community, it was very natural that both party political and non-party political groupings should have been formed over the issue. This process has played a useful part in focusing public attention and in leading to an exhaustive parliamentary inquiry. However, after the conclusions of that inquiry the context of opposition inevitably becomes very different, even if the objections themselves may remain more or less the same. That is not to say that current objections are unimportant. There are those with sound knowledge and expertise in many aspects of town and road planning who are still worried about the proposal. Nor, of course, is professional evidence when given in this field (as is also the case in all other fields) in any way infallible. But while opposition to the relief road was able to lead to a full and useful inquiry in the first place, the continued opposition now, even if well informed and genuinely upheld, in context seems to amount to an amateur rejection of professional opinion.
Thus it is probable that serious opposition will not in fact be continued and sustained. Nevertheless, in May the regional council will either approve or not approve the Western Relief Road. For that reason alone it should be asked why the parliamentary stages cannot wait accordingly. While it would set a very unwelcome precedent, as my noble friend Lord Beloff has already explained to us, it would at least be logical if they did wait and hence also consistent for us to take note of the effect of there being a newly-elected council next month on our decision this month. Yet, equally, there is good logic in the converse, that we should take note of the effect of Parliament's decision this month on the newly-elected council next month. If we do not give the Bill a Second Reading and the parliamentary stages are still incomplete next month, then the newly-elected regional council, of whatever party political control, will have grounds for believing that the case for the relief road, as evidenced to the commission, does not have the full backing of Parliament.
153 In my view the full backing of Parliament should now be given to the case for the relief road. For that reason I cannot support my noble friend's amendment, but instead would support that this Bill be given a Second Reading tonight.
§ 8.19 p.m.
Lord Campbell of Croy
My Lords, I quite understand the concern of my noble friend Lord Ferrier. He has been a powerful advocate for an effective bypass of Edinburgh over many years, as he reminded us this evening. He has pressed for that and I know that he has worried because he thinks that this new Western Relief Road will hold up the work on the bypass. That is one of his concerns.
I have examined this as far as I can and I have been satisfied by the assurances that have been given that no resources are to be transferred to the Western Relief Road from the outer-city bypass and that that bypass should not therefore suffer any delay as a result of this Bill. We also have heard during the debate that some amenity bodies, very respectable amenity bodies in Scotland, raised objections at earlier stages. Again, they seem to have done this because of their estimates of traffic arriving in the centre of Edinburgh and what the effect would be on the centre of Edinburgh. The noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, spoke on that point and he was absolutely right to say that if that were a threat to the centre of Edinburgh many of us would be extremely anxious. But it is a matter of judgment and opinion, to a certain extent. I certainly do not think that the relief road would lead to great changes to the centre of Edinburgh.
He spoke about the situation in Glasgow. Whether or not one calls those new roads there expressways, they are roads which were deliberately built to go through the city and to the centre of the city, and that is a quite different intention from the relief which this proposed road would bring to the western area of Edinburgh. The need for a relief road to assist the residential and shopping areas and the communities on the west side of Edinburgh is there. Now, many stages have been completed for the project to go forward. A specially high grant, I understand, is coming from the Government for this new relief road. Much time in the past four years has been spent on enabling objections to be heard and I believe that this evening we should make sure that the Bill goes through.
§ 8.22 p.m.
§ Lord Ross of Marnock
My Lords, I should apologise for the fact that my name does not appear on the list of speakers. I could not be here yesterday and I did not know that I was not going to be here; so that I could not be forewarned and send a letter to say that I should like to speak.
We are grateful to the Minister for doing what he could in respect of this road. I am not going to quote all the usual things, because the Government are supposed to be neutral on this; although I do not know how the Government could be neutral in respect of something that is probably going to cost up to £40 million by this time. If you take the interest charges and the rest, which I gather have been increased by the way they are now intending to fund the capital 154 required, the cost will amount to something over £96 million. How the Government can be neutral on that I find very difficult to understand. I thought that if the noble Lord, Lord Beloff, was doing his usual thing of being interested in anything, he would have been interested as to whether or not this could be justified.
I think we are grateful, too, for the information given by the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour, because she had the difficult task of chairing this controversial matter. One of the sad points about it is that right from the very start, from the consideration of this project by the regional council, there was no unanimous feeling about it. There was no clear opinion as to whether or not it should go ahead. The majority was only one. When it came to the parliamentary commissioners, there was no unanimity there; there was a majority; and the same was true when it came to the Joint Committee. Sadly, and I think quite wrongly, all through the whole thing has been dogged by politics.
We are dealing with a purely local matter and it really should not have come here at all. It has come here only because of the decision of the Lothian Regional Council. There had to be, and would have been, as is normal—and there still could be—an inquiry ordered by the Secretary of State because of a planning appeal. I think it was my noble friend Lord Galpern who went through the stages of that. Indeed, the Government can answer as to whether or not there is an appeal still lodged but it has been delayed and is still further delayed; so that even if this Bill did not go through one could go back to the beginning and have that appeal where everyone would get the opportunity quite freely of the informality of planning appeals.
I thought that this was the point the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson, himself was getting at when he said that everyone had the chance. But, with all due respect, not everyone has the chance of coming to London. It costs a bit, you know! Even if you are an old-age pensioner, your train fare is about £75.90 and then you have to put yourself up and wait; so that not everyone can afford to spend that kind of money to come down here, even with the pleasant prospect of speaking to the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy, and to the noble Lord, Lord Galpern, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wilson. I forget who else was on that committee, but I think there were two Members of Parliament as well.
It is not fair to say that. It is like saying that everyone can have tea at the Ritz, provided they have the money. It says something for the Cockburn Association that they went ahead with their objections because they feel strongly about it. Anyone who knows anything about the Cockburn Association knows that their concern is Edinburgh; and rightly so. And there is the concern of the National Trust—and, after all, they are in Charlotte Square, right at the west end of Princes Street. I should know that because as Secretary of State I had a house next door. I too am a life member of the National Trust for Scotland and I was the vice-chairman of the National Trust for two years. They do not go idly into these matters. Their concern generally is for the whole amenity of life in the area.
I do not think there is another city in the whole country that would sponsor and pay up to £96 million for a few miles of road, and that few miles not 155 bypassing Edinburgh but going into the very heart of Edinburgh. It is all very well for the noble Lord, Lord Sanderson, to talk about this. He comes along the Dalkeith Road. I come from the West. As Secretary of State, I travelled this road every weekend. I was very grateful when Glasgow did half of their ring road because instead of taking the A.71, I took the M.8 and the A.8. If you build a new road you attract new traffic.
There is no use in the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy, shaking her head. It is a fact that has been proved time and time again. If you tell people that you will take them into the centre of Edinburgh three minutes early, you will get more traffic going in. I travelled that road on Friday. I was speaking at a conference of the Ramblers' Association, of which I happen to be the president in Scotland. They thought I was the best rambler in Scotland. It meant that I had to take that western road, get in, get through, get up Lothian Road, Tollcross, and cut across to the university where the conference was being held. It was a Friday evening.
Edinburgh is packed now. If this road is opened, it will be very much worse. Even the noble Lord, Lord Stodart, is quite right in being concerned about what is going to happen possibly at Usher Hall. He knows what will happen. You have already a jam up there at Tollcross Road and across. Dalkeith Road will not be improved as a result of this scheme. I think the noble Lord himself will appreciate that. All you do is change the traffic, and the congestion, instead of being in one area, goes somewhere else. This, if it were rightly named, would be named the Corstorphine Bypass: it is not an Edinburgh bypass.
We are going to have, and sooner than we had expected it, this change in respect of the outer city bypass, for which the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, fought for years and years and eventually got, though not as quickly as he wanted. He wanted it in time for the Commonwealth Games, and it is not going to happen, But, my goodness, if we got this and people were going to the Commonwealth Games from the west, what a mess there would be! That is why the Cockburn Association is concerned. It is going to mess up not only the old town but the new town. As regards Dalkeith Road, you are going to shift the congestion into already congested areas.
I am surprised that the noble Lord, Lord Wilson, did not appreciate the fact that the Alliance supported this. They were part of the majority of one. But what they wanted was a package that included traffic management and restrictions. They have not got it. It was asked to be put in at various stages, even at the recent stage. The noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy, says it is not in of course because it does not need to be in; it can be done outside. There is no guarantee it will ever be done.
I have not finished yet. I am trying to hurry up because it is fair to other people, and the noble Baroness had her fair share. The noble Baroness says that this is going to be limited to 40 miles an hour. I can tell her today that part of the traffic in the area where there is congestion is limited to 40 miles an hour; but, as every Member here will know, if you have a limit of 40 miles an hour how many people go at 40 miles an hour? That is a matter for the police and 156 for the Secretary of State. It is not in statute: but we could have put it in. The noble Lord, Lord Beloff, knows that we have sovereign authority. If we had put 40 miles an hour in it would have been 40 miles an hour. And we are not here to rubber-stamp everything that is done by any committee. We have sovereign authority, and we can do what we like. But the one thing we cannot do, with all due respect to the noble Lord, Lord Beloff, is to tell local authorities what they can do. They can change their minds.
The 40 miles an hour limit is ignored in the breach; and one of the causes of trouble today in Corstorphine, if we take the A.71 and the Dairy and Gorgie roads, is the fact that the police are not applying the law as it is. How many people go down those roads and find when they are approaching the lights at Murrayfield Avenue that there are cars parked where there are double yellow lines and where no car should be parked? If the law were properly applied and the restrictions were imposed today, it would be very much easier—and that, combined with the relief that is bound to come with the outer city road, would in itself lead to an improvement.
I have read the evidence that was given, and the suggestion was made that the relief will only be marginal for all this amount of money. This has been badly handled; and perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Gray of Contin, will tell me that they advised that this was a local matter and should have been the subject of a local inquiry. There is no reason why we should be dealing with this. Why should my noble friend Lord Graham, who knows nothing at all about this part of Edinburgh, sit here in judgment?
Lord Ross or Marnock
My Lords, it should have been local, and that is why there is merit in the amendment that is put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier. Let the local people have another thought about it; and if it is held up by an election, it does not matter whether or not it is in manifestos. People will think about it again; because to my mind it would not happen in any other city in Britain or anywhere else, that you would build a special road to take traffic more quickly into the centre of the city. If you do that, people will use it. Of course they will; and that is why the National Trust is concerned and why the Cockburn Society is concerned.
I am sorry the Lord Advocate is not speaking today. The president, the honourable Lord Cameron, Knight of the Thistle, is the Lord Advocate's father. He is no rabid revolutionary, Jock Cameron. The honourable Lord Cullen is chairman of the council. There is not even a "pinko" Labour or an Alliance member near that body at the present time—and they are worried! If he had told the truth, so would the noble Lord, Lord Stodart, have been worried if he had still been a Member of Parliament. He did not tell us that Mr. Fletcher voted against it. It has not all been one-sided; and when it is in Edinburgh terms it is really not a matter for politics but a matter for common sense. People are getting these things mixed up, whether it be in the last election or in this election's manifestos, and it is nonsense. We are not just here to rubber-stamp what any committee has done. I think the amendment has merit and should be supported.
§ 8.36 p.m.
§ Lord Mackie of Benshie
My Lords, I am grateful, quite honestly, that I was able to say that I could not serve on the committee. For the 15 days that were spent the whole House should be grateful to the members who sat on the committee and also to the members of the previous committee which also sat for a great deal of time and which visited Edinburgh. I would not be certain, but I understand the committee also sat there.
It is extraordinary how heat has been engendered over this matter. We have had all sorts of quotations. I must defend my noble and learned friend Lord Wilson. He said that it was a pity there had not been an inquiry, but he added that it might have satisfied more people had there been the same sort of exhaustive public inquiry as there had been parliamentary inquiries. That is quite different from saying that he thought there ought to have been.
Then we come on to the substance of the matter. It is extraordinary that all the people from Edinburgh, so far as I can see, are for the road, whereas indignation has been engendered among the three members of the Labour Party from the west, all of whom have the most enormous concern for Edinburgh, which is not traditional in people who come from Glasgow and the West of Scotland. But it is good to see that their concern is real and deeply felt.
I think the noble Lord, Lord Beloff, has a point when he says that this should be a subject for the Scottish Members, without boring the English with our local affairs. As your Lordships know, we on these Benches, to use a famous phrase, have always been in favour of devolution and there have been recent converts among people who were strongly against it at one time. So we have the constitutional question, and, as the noble Lord, Lord Ross, said, we are here to decide.
I do not want to go into all the arguments which the committees have gone into at such length, but it appears to me that no single subject has been more deeply investigated, with so much work done on it. Also it is a question of the Tory Party manifesto; but that is backed up by the Alliance, which has examined the whole issue without commitment and come to the strong conclusion that it is time this went ahead.
It looks to me fairly simple that the proposal will facilitate entry into the city. It will save a large number of injuries—I think the figures are something like 120 serious injuries a year—quite apart from the deaths mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Stodart. I would say also that the figures which the experts produce can be wrong, but since the war they have gathered an enormous volume of evidence and experience of what a bypass or a road into the centre does. I am inclined to accept their figures. They say that they do not think that there will be any increase in the traffic. I prefer their opinions to the opinions of even distinguished people like former Secretaries of State.
§ Lord Galpern
My Lords, is the noble Lord suggesting that the people who gave their evidence on oath on behalf of the objectors were not highly qualified?
§ Lord Mackie of Benshie
My Lords, yes, I am a bit. It appears to me that the technical evidence in this case was on the side of the promoters. It is true that the National Trust for Scotland and the Cockburn Association are highly caring. They also have deep feelings and a great deal of knowledge, but the burden of the evidence has been for the scheme.
I must say that I have relied heavily on the opinion of Alliance members of the Lothian Regional Council who came to the matter unprejudiced and have examined it with enormous care. That has been backed up by two exhaustive inquiries. It appears to me that the House should decide against the amendment and in favour of the scheme. In a nutshell, that is it. I have spoken for five minutes; that is long enough to put the obvious.
§ 8.40 p.m.
§ Lord Gray of Contin
My Lords, I think that we have had a useful and interesting debate. As I indicated when I moved the Second Reading of the Bill, the role of the Secretary of State for Scotland on occasions such as this is entirely formal. Therefore I shall not engage in the usual wind-up speech which one gives on the Second Reading of a Bill. However, there are two points to which I should like to return. First, there was the point initially raised by the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, which was followed by the noble Lord, Lord Ross of Marnock, about the new method of funding which the region is to adopt. It is not really for me to describe or defend the method which is to be used. That is a matter for Lothian Regional Council.
Lothian Regional Council has decided to enter into a financing scheme by means of a covenant. Under that arrangement, costs of construction will be met in the first instance by a financial institution, and Lothian Regional Council will covenant to repay the loan, together with interest and management charges, over an extended period. Such an arrangement has many advantages for the region. In particular, it allows it to get on with the development without the need to defer or delay any other capital projects. It allows it to pay for the road later when its roads programme will, in any case, be in substantial decline. It has described the scheme to the Government and the Government have no criticism of the scheme. It seems to us a reasonable way for the council to proceed. I reiterate that that must be and is a matter entirely for Lothian Regional Council and its judgment. It has chosen to proceed in that way.
The second point that I wish to take up is the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Galpern, who was, of course, a distinguished member of the committee. We heard impassioned speeches from members of the committee from both sides of the House this evening. The noble Lord called into question the whole procedure, whether it was as effective as it might be and whether it would ever be used again. He put that in some doubt.
It is fair to describe the circumstances surrounding this provisional order as exceptional. We must remember that a wide range of business has been conducted over the past 49 years under the procedures laid down in the 1936 Act, without, as far as I am aware, revealing them as severely defective. I have little doubt that my right honourable friend will read 159 carefully the comments which have been made this evening and take note of what has been said.
We have heard some stong expressions of opinion this evening. The noble Lord, Lord Ross of Marnock, with his experience pointed out that on these occasions the Government traditionally adopt a neutral position. I would not wish to move from the view which was expressed in another place by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State who made a contribution and set out the Government's position during the progress of the Bill in that place. I therefore merely reiterate on behalf of my right honorable friend what I said at the outset when I moved the Bill, that the Government's position is basically a neutral one.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Lord Ferrier
My Lords, I am instructed that I have a right to reply. I assure the House that I am not going to spend much time over it because the one thing that has been proved absolutely by this debate is the extent of the difference of opinion over this road that exists in Edinburgh.
There is one point of information that I wish to make clear to the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael. The Sighthill section of the bypass will be completed this year, so that the first relief which is required by the promoters of this relief road will become effective within a matter of months. Another point was raised by the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, but there is a misunderstanding. I have never taken the view that the cost of the relief road would affect the cost of the bypass. My objection to the road is entirely an environmental one. As the noble Lord, Lord Ross of Marnock, pointed out, I am concerned with Edinburgh. We do not want this road. That is a fact.
I think that I have said enough, because we have been on this matter for long enough. This gives me the opportunity to wish the noble Lord, Lord Ross of Marnock, happy returns of yesterday.
I have made my point about the Sighthill section. In some ways, the debate has been unsatisfactory because a number of points were made about the chairmanship of the Cockburn Association which were not correct. I propose to divide the House and I move that my amendment be accepted.
§ 8.47 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether the said amendment to the Motion for Second Reading shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 27; Not-Contents, 96.160
|DIVISION NO. 1|
|Beaumont of Whitley, L.||Kagan, L.|
|Birmingham, Bp.||Kirkhill, L.|
|Buckmaster, V.||Oxford, Bp.|
|Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L. [Teller.]||Parry, L.|
|Dean of Beswick, L.||Pitt of Hampstead, L.|
|Denington, B.||Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.|
|Elibank, L.||Reay, L.|
|Ennals, L.||Ross of Marnock, L.|
|Ewart-Biggs, B.||Stoddart of Swindon, L.|
|Ferrier, L. [Teller.]||Taylor of Blackburn, L.|
|Galpern, L.||Underhill, L.|
|Graham of Edmonton, L.||Vaux of Harrowden, L.|
|Houghton of Sowerby, L.||White, B.|
|Airey of Abingdon, B.||Kinloss, Ly.|
|Allerton, L.||Kitchener, E.|
|Arran, E.||Lawrence, L.|
|Attlee, E.||Layton, L.|
|Beloff, L.||Lindsey and Abingdon, E.|
|Boardman, L.||Lloyd of Kilgerran, L.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, L.||Long, V.|
|Brabazon of Tara, L.||Lucas of Chilworth, L.|
|Brougham and Vaux, L.||Lyell, L.|
|Bruce-Gardyne, L.||McFadzean, L.|
|Butterworth, L.||Mackie of Benshie, L. [Teller.]|
|Cameron of Lochbroom, L.||Macleod of Borve, B.|
|Campbell of Croy, L.||McNair, L.|
|Carnegy of Lour, B.||Mar, C.|
|Chelwood, L.||Margadale, L.|
|Coleraine, L.||Masham of Ilton, B.|
|Cork and Orrery, E.||Merrivale, L.|
|Craigavon, V.||Mersey, V.|
|Craigmyle, L.||Milverton, L.|
|Crathorne, L.||Montgomery of Alamein, V.|
|Crawshaw of Aintree, L.||Morris, L.|
|Davidson, V.||Mowbray and Stourton, L.|
|De La Warr, E.||Peyton of Yeovil, L.|
|Denham, L.||Radnor, E.|
|Drumalbyn, L.||Raglan, L.|
|Dundee, E.||Ritchie of Dundee, L.|
|Elliot of Harwood, B.||Rochdale, V.|
|Elliott of Morpeth, L.||Rodney, L.|
|Elphinstone, L.||St. Aldwyn, E.|
|Elton, L.||St. John of Bletso, L.|
|Ferrers, E.||Sanderson of Bowden, L. [Teller.]|
|Gardner of Parkes, B.||Seear, B.|
|Gisborough, L.||Selkirk, E.|
|Glanusk, L.||Skelmersdale, L.|
|Glenarthur, L.||Stodart of Leaston, L.|
|Grantchester, L.||Strathclyde, L.|
|Gray of Contin, L.||Swinfen, L.|
|Greenway, L.||Swinton, E.|
|Gridley, L.||Trefgarne, L.|
|Grimston of Westbury, L.||Trumpington, B.|
|Hanson, L.||Vickers, B.|
|Harris of Greenwich, L.||Whitelaw, V.|
|Hives, L.||Wilson of Langside, L.|
|Hooper, B.||Winstanley, L.|
|Hylton-Foster, B.||Wise, L.|
|Kilmarnock, L.||Wynford, L.|
|Kimball, L.||Ypres, E.|
§ Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.
§ On Question, Bill read a second time; deemed to have passed the Committee pursuant to Standing Order (Private Business) 192, and reported without amendment.