London Docklands Development Corporation

– in the House of Commons at 10:15 pm on 1st July 1981.

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Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King Minister of State (Department of Environment) (Local Government) 10:15 pm, 1st July 1981

I beg to move, That the London Docklands Development Corporation (Area and Constitution) Order 1980, a copy of which was laid before this House on 27 November, be approved.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

With this it will be convenient to take the remaining three orders relating to London Docklands.

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King Minister of State (Department of Environment) (Local Government)

This order marks the end of a long parliamentary procedure. As long ago as September 1979 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced our proposals for urban development corporations for London Docklands and for Liverpool, Merseyside. Following that announcement we issued a consultation paper in October. Following the consultation and discussions that ensued, those proposals were incorporated in the Local Government, Planning and Land Bill, which, as a number of hon. Members will remember with fond affection, exercised the House between February and November 1980.

Therefore, I do not believe that anyone can pretend that the proceedings before the House come as a great surprise; rather, they come as the result of a long parliamentary procedure. That procedure was further extended because the order for the London Docklands Development Corporation was laid on 27 November last year for both London and Merseyside. It was determined in another place that both orders were hybrid. They were therefore open to the hybrid procedure and to petitions against them. Ten petitions were received against the London Docklands Development Corporation order. Therefore, a Select Committee was established in another place to scrutinise the order under the hybridity procedure. The Select Committee sat from 10 February to 13 May to scrutinise those petitions. The House will be aware that the Select Committee reported on 5 June unanimously in favour of the order.

The House may also be aware that earlier today, in another place, the order was approved. Tonight we reach the final stage in a long and proper parliamentary procedure, which has been involved in the proposal to set up an urban development corporation.

The case that the Government have made throughout is that the scale and severity of the decline in Docklands required the type of solution involved in the urban development corporation approach. The scale of the reversal in Docklands is not just of local significance; it is of a national dimension. That argument was accepted by the Select Committee.

It is important to put this on record when the Government are asking the House to approve a new proposal for the arrangements in Docklands. I would not like to suggest at the start that nothing has been done in the past. It is appropriate to pay tribute to much of the work that has been done by the London boroughs, by the GLC and the Docklands Joint Committee. It would be appropriate to quote the view of the Select Committee, which said in its report: despite the efforts of the DJC and the boroughs, new industry is not coming in to take the place of the old, and young people are still leaving the area. It is essential that something be done to arrest this decline … nothing will be done unless there is a change of approach—a change of priorities. Private investors will not put money into Docklands on any large scale unless they are encouraged by the presence of an environment attractive to them, including the availability of some private housing. The Committee felt that the UDC would be more likely to attract private investment into the area than the boroughs and the DJC. It stressed the need for the UDC to establish and maintain good relations with the local authorities and their officers, to avail itself of their advice and expertise, and to win the confidence of the local organisations. The Committee concluded that the Government had made the case for the principle of an urban development area and an urban development corporation for London Docklands, and accordingly recommended unanimously.

It is that case that the Government have sought persistently to put before the House and before the Select Committee, and that I put before the House tonight for final confirmation.

The Select Committee accepted the Government's case, with one exception—that the Royal Mint site should be excluded from the urban development area. I say straight away—the House will be aware of this from the amendment order that we have before us tonight—that we have accepted the exclusion of the Royal Mint. We accept that the Royal Mint is not part and never has been part of the Docklands area, but we have always felt that it is part of what one might call the main gateway to the Docklands, and we attach the greatest importance, for the closest coordination of planning, to recognising the relationship between the Royal Mint site and the urban development corporation.

The area constitution order covers powers under sections 134 and 135 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, and we do not propose any exclusions from this. But section 153 of the Act provides that the Secretary of State may make an order to give an urban development corporation the powers of a housing authority. It is not the present intention of the Government to make such an order, but even in the absence of such an order the corporation can use its general powers under the present order to carry out certain housing functions, particularly to increase the availability of housing in the private sector and through housing associations.

The Government, however, intend to make an order under section 149 of the Act to give the corporation the full range of planning authority powers, principally those of development control, which the Act permits. That order, together with a special development order under section 148(2), will be laid after the corporation has been set up, and both will be subject to negative resolutions.

Although it is intended that the development corporation should secure the regeneration of Docklands by engaging the energies and resources of the private sector at the outset, the corporation may have to undertake some commercial industrial and housing development of its own account. This, we believe, should be necessary only in the early years, and hence we intend to limit the development corporation's ability to undertake such a venture to the first three years of its life.

For 1981–82 we have allocated £65 million for expenditure by the development corporation, but more resources are available, if necessary, to cover the costs of acquiring land from the Port of London Authority, the British Gas Corporation and other statutory undertakers.

These funds are in addition to other resources that the Government have made available for the area, for example, through the urban programme or for transport expenditure. A £100 million package for local road and public transport improvements over the next 15 years was agreed with the Greater London Council last year. Decisions have yet to be made for future years, but the Government attach high priority to the work of the development corporation and this will reflect in the resources provided in future years. Much of the expenditure in the first year will be for land acquisition and reclamation work, but resources will also be available for environmental improvement schemes, expenditure on roads and transport, and grants and loans under the Inner Urban Areas Act

My right hon. Friend has already announced his intention to appoint Mr. Nigel Broackes as chairman of the corporation and the right hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) as deputy chairman. The purpose of these appointments, on a shadow basis, was to enable progress to be made while the normal procedures were in train and thereby to avoid any hiatus in the development of Docklands to which hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Barnett), have drawn my attention in the past. We have been anxious to avoid that. I believe that those appointments have been particularly valuable in ensuring that every possible progress was made, albeit under the necessity of the shadow situation that has existed.

If Parliament approves the order tonight the Secretary of State proposes to confirm the appointments and he will make additional board appointments. The Act allows for up to 13 members, and the Secretary of State will consult local authorities about the possible appointment of people having special knowledge of the locality in the words of the Act. The corporation will have a small staff and will buy in expertise wherever possible. It will work with, and use the services of, local authorities rather than attempt to duplicate them. The chief executive has already been appointed, also on a shadow basis. A nucleus of staff, recruited on a contingent basis, has been at work for some months. The costs have been borne by the Department of the Environment, as announced by my right hon. Friend in February last year.

The shadow development corporation recognises the progress that has been made by the Dockland Joint Committee and intends to build on that. It will take the strategic plan as its starting point. It does not intend to produce a new strategic plan for Docklands. It will, however, make informal plans for part of its area and will be producing planning briefs for particular development sites.

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

It will perhaps save time if I put this question now. The right hon. Gentleman talks about maintaining the strategic plan but introducing informal plans. Will he be more specific? Will those informal plans be subject to the consultation procedure which, in another place, as we heard, the boroughs do not necessarily have to agree before it is imposed on them by the UDC or by the Secretary of State?

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King Minister of State (Department of Environment) (Local Government)

I sought to make it clear that the success of Docklands and of the development corporation will be determined not by the ability to impose plans produced behind closed doors on an unwilling local population but by the ability to get the enthusiastic support of people in the area. I know that it is the determination of the shadow members—the deputy chairman is not all that far from the hon. Gentleman, if he cares to check the point——

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

Further than might be thought.

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King Minister of State (Department of Environment) (Local Government)

——to establish the closest understanding and consultation on all these issues. I personally attach the greatest importance to that. I am aware that the shadow members, who we hope will shortly be confirmed in their appointments, also attach the greatest importance to the closest consultation with the boroughs and with those living in the area.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Southwark Bermondsey

It is people with terribly suspicious minds who utter these grave doubts. It would be stupid if the development corporation did not first discuss with the boroughs and officers concerned the plans that it has in mind, so that good will is established from the beginning. It is mischievous to assume that nothing like that will happen and that there will merely be skulduggery all the way down the line, which makes some of us a little sick.

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King Minister of State (Department of Environment) (Local Government)

First, I know the right hon. Gentleman's commitment to the success of this operation and something of his views about the need for the closest consultation in this area.

Subject to the will of the House, this is the last stage in this procedure. I understand why certain people have until now felt it necessary to maintain their opposition on points of principle, which I respect. Arguments about democratic representation on these issues have been much discussed in the House. But if tonight the House gives its approval I hope that people will no longer seek to pursue particular partisan arguments but will combine to try to make this a success. In the end, this is a proposal not for the benefit of Members of the House or for individuals but genuinely to help improve the situation for a large number of people living in Docklands. I very much hope that we can all work together to achieve that. Whether or not we would originally have chosen this line of approach, it having been decided I hope that everybody will work together towards its success.

We shall certainly look towards the corporation's new approach for a much greater emphasis on private housing and housing associations in the area. There will be a much more positive approach to securing the release of unused or under-used public sector land, of which Docklands has more than its fair share.

We shall certainly seek to ensure that the emphasis on employment is maintained, but the development corporation will be looking for a more varied range of activities—service industries and commerce as well—and not necessarily insisting on the traditional manufacturing industries of the area. The Docklands area has real strengths—the river and the open water, the many and varied industrial firms in the area, its obvious proximity to the City of London and the tremendous opportunity that it also offers for imaginative first-class architecture and developments in the very heart of the City. I need hardly say that my right hon. Friend attaches the greatest importance to that.

As I said, the shadow corporation shares with the Government and the Select Committee the view that in order to succeed the corporation will have to work very closely with the local authorities and the local communities. I say again to the hon. Member, who has sustained his opposition so far, that he will understand that it cannot succeed unless it enlists the support and enthusiasm of local communities, and that it will be most anxious to achieve that in a completely genuine way. It is interesting that of all the witnesses who, in another place supported the petitions against the setting up of the development corporation, not one said that if it was finally approved he would not co-operate and work with it. I pay tribute tonight to the considerable co-operation that has already taken place with the local authorities through the Docklands Joint Committee in spite of their concerns and opposition to the proposals.

A key component in the strategy for the development corporation is to bring into use unused or under-used land. One of the handicaps to the development of the area has been the lack of suitably sized and serviced sites ready for development. Many of the sites that are at present unused, most of which are in public ownership, need a considerable amount of work to make them suitable for development. A number of them suffer from pollution problems. On some, the ground is unstable. Others lack access roads, or lack the basic infrastructure, or, in many cases, the services are pretty worn out. All those problems have to be tackled.

The Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 enables UDCs to acquire land compulsorily, in the case of publicly owned land by means of a vesting order subject to affirmative resolution of both Houses. That, of course, is the subject of two of the orders before us tonight, in respect of the PLA and the GLC. The principal purpose of this is to enable the development corporation at the outset to have enough land for its own projects and to prepare sites for private development.

During the shadow period, the development corporation has been discussing likely demand for land with the present owners, transport and planning authorities, financial institutions and private sector agencies, such as the volume house builders. The corporation has put forward proposals for the early acquisition of 840 acres of publicly owned land, which includes 280 acres belonging to the PLA and about 15 acres belonging to the GLC.

Further orders have been laid affecting 142 acres of land belonging to Southwark and 87 acres belonging to the borough of Newham. Once the details of the sites have been settled, orders will also be laid affecting land belonging to Tower Hamlets, and further land owned by the GLC. These later orders will come before us on another occasion and are not the subject of our business tonight. The development corporation is also negotiating the purchase of land from the British Gas Corporation, the CEGB and British Rail.

The major part of the PLA land lies in the Isle of Dogs. That follows the decision by the PLA last year to close its general cargo handling operations in the West India and Millwall docks. The land proposed for vesting is surplus to its operational requirements.

With the proposed designation of an enterprise zone in the Isle of Dogs, the land offers a major opportunity for industrial and commercial development. If it is vested in the development corporation the corporation will be able to co-ordinate the provision of infrastructures and services, and generally manage the area to ensure that sites are speedily made available for the new activities.

As the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) knows, the remainder of the PLA land lies in Newham and is intended for housing and community uses. Considerable interest has already been shown in the latter sites by the volume house builders.

The GLC land consists mainly of small sites intended by the corporation for a variety of uses, including private and mixed tenure housing in particular.

These orders were open to the usual procedure for hybrid instruments and could be petitioned against. No petitions were lodged against the GLC order. Two petitions were lodged against the PLA order, but they were withdrawn after the petitioners—in one case, the PLA itself and in the other, British Rail—were given assurances on some detailed points. Newham borough council petitioned against the inclusion of one site in the vesting order, but after considering the petition and representations made by the Department of the Environment, the hybrid instruments Committee concluded that it did not merit further inquiry by a Select Committee in view of the assurances given to the Committee and subsequently by the Department.

These orders represent the culmination in the parliamentary process to seek to bring a major new instrument to the aid of one of the most significant parts of the most important city of our land. Sadly, it is an area that has declined over the years. After many years of great prosperity, that decline has been of such a scale that the Government determined that the traditional instruments available were not adequate to meet the challenge presented.

They were anxious to see what resources could be brought to bear and what instrument could be devised to be the agent to implement those resources in order to reinvigorate and revive a major part of one of our great cities.

We believe that these proposals, and the procedures through which they have passed, have met the test. It is against a background of the most thorough examination that, in my recollection, any recent proposal has had in either House that I have the greatest of confidence in commending the orders to the House.

Photo of Mr Gordon Oakes Mr Gordon Oakes , Widnes 10:39 pm, 1st July 1981

I thank the Minister for having outlined the orders. I shall be brief in expressing from the Opposition Front Bench our opposition to the concept of the urban development corporation, and in particular to these vesting orders. I shall be brief because many of my right hon. and hon. Friends who represent Docklands constituencies wish to express their constituents' views. I hope that the Government will listen to them. As a result of the Secretary of State's implementation of direct rule over parts of dockland, those 50,000 people who live in the dockland area have only this opportunity to express their democratic opinions. Their councillors will not be able to speak for them. Only those hon. Members in the Chamber can express opinions about the future of their constituents.

That brings me to the heart of the case. These orders represent a denial of local democracy. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) knows that I hold him in high regard. During the Minister's speech he intervened and said that people seemed to have terribly suspicious minds about the orders. We are terribly suspicious about anything that the Secretary of State does to local government. It is not only hon. Members who have suspicious minds but the whole of local government. I include in that the right hon. Gentleman's friends, who are county councillors and councillors. They are suspicious about anything that he wants to do.

The orders were opposed in the other place by the London boroughs of Newham, Southwark, and Tower Hamlets. They all petitioned the other place and were against the concept of the urban development corporation. In addition, many local trade organisations, trades councils and tenants' groups petitioned the other place. The newly elected GLC also petitioned the other place and has demonstrated its continued opposition to the concept in its brief, which was issued as recently as 30 June. That body was elected only this year, and its views are an expression of democratic opinion. The GLC opposes the whole concept of urban development corporations.

Paragraph 7.1 of the report of the Select Committee of the other place sums up our feelings in a nutshell. It states: If a UDC is established, the power to control development in docklands will be transferred from the democratically elected borough councils to a body, the members of which are appointed by the Secretary of State. Only a very strong case could justify such a transfer of power and the Government have failed to make out such a case. That is a summary of the petitioners' case against the order. It is also a summary of our case against these vesting orders.

To some extent, the other place may have been misled. There is constant reference to the fact that some sort of new town is being established in London. There is no parallel between setting up a new town and setting up an urban development corporation in Docklands. Invariably, a new town deals with a green field site. It does not deal with people. As I said, 50,000 people live in the area. Their families have lived there for generations. Instead of having democratically elected councillors to deal with their grievances and complaints and with the planning of their environment, the Secretary of State will appoint a body to take over that duty.

There are several planning objections. The House of Lords' Committee begins its conclusion with some wise words. It states: Docklands does not form a single homogeneous community. Of course it does not. The areas are parts of London boroughs. The vesting orders mean that undemocratic planning for parts of the borough and the GLC area will take place. That will have severe repercussions for other parts of the boroughs. They will have no control over what happens. Comprehensive planning will be impossible by a democratically elected council.

Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Barnet Chipping Barnet

Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that that applies to a national park planning board? Surely the same principle applies. For the so-called better good, or in the national interest, the planning boards have specific powers. One could argue that the local authorities in such areas do not enjoy the democratic rights that they should.

Photo of Mr Gordon Oakes Mr Gordon Oakes , Widnes

When one is dealing with a national park, one is dealing mainly with fields and trees. We are dealing with an urban area where many people who are accustomed to elected councillors live. That is the difference between a new town or national park and Docklands.

There will be planning repercussions for the rest of the boroughs. Duplication of effort will occur between UDC officials and the planning officials of the boroughs. I thought that the Government were against that. Roads and communications are examples. The Secretary of State is not paying attention. We are accustomed to his rudeness to the House. We experienced it yesterday.

Photo of Mr Michael Heseltine Mr Michael Heseltine Secretary of State for Environment

I am sorry. I was consulting my right hon. Friend the Minister. I was asking whether he could think of a new town that was just green fields. Our experience is that new towns comprise green fields and a significant urban input.

Photo of Mr Gordon Oakes Mr Gordon Oakes , Widnes

I admit that new towns do not consist entirely of green fields, but they are not tight, compact urban areas like our capital city. [Interruption.] The noise shows that Government Members do not realise that we are talking about 50,000 people who live in the area. My hon. Friends will seek to take part in the debate later, because they will have no other means of expressing their views to a body which they do not elect and over which they have no control.

Roads and communications affect other parts of the London boroughs and the Greater London Council. The GLC is concerned about roads and communications. Whatever the UDC does must have effects outside.

Photo of Mr Gordon Oakes Mr Gordon Oakes , Widnes

That is a fatuous remark. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] Of course I shall answer, but I should not have thought that the question needed an answer. When planning and developing an area one must be able to get to and from that area. That has its effects on the GLC and other elected bodies. Budgets will be involved in providing infrastructure to fit in with what the UDC does.

There are also financial objections. I understand that, initially, the Government will give about £65 million to the UDC. If the Government had given that to the DJC it could have done just as good a job, or even a better job, under democratic control.

The right hon. Gentleman will know, if he wants to pursue the new town analogy, that any new town will have revenue consequences for the capital expenditure on the rest of the borough concerned. That will apply here. That is something that the right hon. Gentleman has forgotten in his savage attack on county and district councils in his formula for the 1978–79 cutting back by 5½ per cent. on that expenditure. Any new town has revenue consequences that the county or district has to bear. My constituency bears testimony to that.

Do these orders suggest that much of the £65 million will be spent haphazardly on land acquisition? Will the result be that the urban development corporation will be able to pick the plum sites to sell to developers, without regard for the total planning of the area?

Have the Government made out a case for the orders? I am pleased that the Minister paid a tribute to what the DJC has done. The Select Committee report says: The Committee were very favourably impressed by the high standard of ability displayed by the borough officers v, ho gave evidence before them. They were also impressed by the amount which has … been achieved by the DJC and the boroughs despite the unfavourable economic climate. The Beckton marshes have been drained, Surrey Docks have been filled in and the London Dock in Wapping is in process of being filled in. Amenities of various kinds have been provided—such as an admirable Sports Centre at Wapping—and something has been done towards replacing 'dock-related' industry with other activities—such as the placing of the Billingsgate Market in the Isle of Dogs. I admit, however, that the report goes on to say that the amount which remains to be done is enormous". The DJC knew that the amount remaining to be done was enormous, and it has achieved much, despite the unfavourable climate that the Government have created.

I am not a London Member, but this is a matter of importance to all of us, because we are dealing with the capital city. We do not want an area that will be a museum or consist only of institutions, banks or offices.

Photo of Mr Gordon Oakes Mr Gordon Oakes , Widnes

The hon. Gentleman asks "Why not?" I want my capital city to be inhabited by people who live and work there, and form part of the community, and not become merely an inland commuter belt. I want the area to form part of the cohesive whole that we knew as the East London area. I fear that the vesting orders will deny that kind of development. I shall listen with interest to what my right hon. and hon. Friends have to say, but I suspect that they share my fears about what will happen.

Photo of Mr John Wheeler Mr John Wheeler , Cities of London and Westminster Paddington 10:53 pm, 1st July 1981

I welcome the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to set up the urban development corporation in London's Docklands, not least for the overall effect that it will have on the nation's economy. The corporation will help to create jobs and attract the wealth-creating sector of our economy to an area that has long since seen better days.

The closure of docks, which started in the mid-1960s with the advent of containerisation, together with the disappearance of dock-related industry, has left London's dockland more or less like a graveyard. Despite efforts by the local authorities and the Docklands Joint Committee, new industry has not come in to replace the old industries.

Photo of Mr John Wheeler Mr John Wheeler , Cities of London and Westminster Paddington

The Government have a duty to establish an environment in which private enterprise can flourish. That means good communications, roads, airports—

Photo of Mr John Wheeler Mr John Wheeler , Cities of London and Westminster Paddington

——and adequate supplies of energy, so that British industry can compete on an equal footing with industry abroad. The area of London dockland is a prime example of the need for the Government to accept this responsibility.

Private investors will not put money into dockland on any large scale unless they are encouraged by an environment that is attractive to them, where they think that they can make their businesses pay.

As experience has shown, businesses will not just spring up in dockland if left merely to free market forces. The scale of the problem is too great, and radical action by the Government is required. With the powers given to them by the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, especially the power to acquire and to resell land and the power to provide essential services, the proposed urban development corporation will, 1 believe, sow the seeds for a flourishing business and residential community in London dockland.

Photo of Anthony Steen Anthony Steen , Liverpool Wavertree

Does my hon. Friend agree that previous Administrations have concentrated all the Government funds on a great deal of social and welfare work that has not created the revitalisation of the urban areas, and that this proposal is an imaginative and new one, to try to revitalise in an economic way derelict land that for decades has been empty? Does he agree that that is the distinction between this initiative and the programmes of previous Labour Adminsitrations?

Photo of Mr John Wheeler Mr John Wheeler , Cities of London and Westminster Paddington

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, because that is the purpose of this exercise. Right hon. and hon. Members, including some hon. Members on the Opposition Benches, are thinking of the needs of the people of London and of their future prosperity in this, our capital city.

My hon. Friend is right in the sense that the local borough councils are not equipped adequately to perform this role. Each borough, necessarily, is as much concerned for the parts of its area that lie outside dockland as for the parts that lie inside, and cannot possibly have a single-minded concern for the regeneration of dockland as a whole.

Photo of Mr John Wheeler Mr John Wheeler , Cities of London and Westminster Paddington

Furthermore, the boroughs are unsuitable recipients for Government money that is designed to attract new types of industry and private housing, of which London is in desperate need.

Photo of Mr Christopher Murphy Mr Christopher Murphy , Welwyn and Hatfield

Does my hon. Friend agree that there is a tremendous imbalance in the East End of London between private housing and public sector housing, and that it is essential that we get far more private housing there, which is what we shall achieve by passing these orders?

Photo of Mr John Wheeler Mr John Wheeler , Cities of London and Westminster Paddington

I agree with my hon. Friend. Many of us who represent London constituences are aware of the number of constituents who come to see us in our advice bureaux seeking places in London where they may become home owners and part of the prosperity in the ownership of property in London.

The role of the UDC must be seen as no more than to clear the area to encourage private sector investment that alone will lead to the ultimate success of London dockland. The UDC is the prologue that sets the stage. It is the private sector that plays the leading part.

That is how Mr. Nigel Broackes, chairman designate of the Docklands UDC, sees his role. In a speech to the Royal Town Planning Institute on 7 May 1980, he said that the UDC would use Government money for infrastructure and a few developments on its own account, but that the great bulk of what had to take place depended on private sector investment and creating an atmosphere of long-term confidence to encourage this investment.

Inevitably, the Docklands project will require a substantial amount of Government investment. I understand that £65 million will be made available to the corporation in its first year—1981–82. I welcome that investment, because a far greater proportion of the nation's resources needs to be spent on the accumulation of capital and investing in the future. That applies in particular to the public sector, where spending cuts all too often have been carved out of capital investment rather than wasteful consumption.

Since 1975 there has been a staggering decline in public sector capital projects, such as this London Dock- lands scheme. Fixed capital expenditure, at 1980 survey prices, amounted to about £16 million in 1975–176 and £10 million in 1980–81. As a percentage of total public expenditure, those sums represent 19·4 per cent. and 12·5 per cent. respectively. Of course, a clear distinction needs to be drawn between public current expenditure and public capital expenditure. The 1970s have shown us the follies of excessive current expenditure and it would be madness not to learn from that experience.

However, the expenditure on the Docklands is capital expenditure, and should be supported on the following grounds. First the investment does not involve a massive transfer of resources from the private to the public sector. The corporation will sell back to the private sector the land that it acquires, and I understand that its direct engagement in development will be limited to a period of three years. The main part of the expenditure—that is, not on land acquisition—will take the form of the corporation tendering contracts to private companies, and will indeed boost the private sector.

Secondly, the Government have a responsibility to provide an efficient economic environment where private enterprise can flourish. Experience has shown that business will not invest in London dockland unless some action is taken by the Government to make it worth its while.

Thirdly, the immediate effect of Government investment in Docklands will be to increase employment. The construction industry, to which a large part of the resources will be allocated, has spare capacity coming out of its ears. That capacity is in danger of being lost altogether, and a boost by the Government will put new life into London's half-dead construction industry. Unskilled labour, for example, will be taken up very quickly.

I realise that the investment will have to be set against the public sector borrowing requirement. It means more Government borrowing. That will be offset to a certain extent by the reduction in unemployment benefit and the additional tax revenue, but, more importantly, the investment proposed by the Government in Docklands will expand the nation's economy. It is an investment for the future, and must be supported on those grounds alone, not only for the good of London but for the good of our country.

Photo of Mr Peter Shore Mr Peter Shore , Tower Hamlets Stepney and Poplar 11:04 pm, 1st July 1981

The orders setting up a development corporation in London dockland and the vesting orders that accompany them will enable the Secretary of State for the Environment to impose his will—or, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. Oakes) said, direct rule—upon a large area of dockland and upon the 45,000 to 50,000 people who live there.

The views of the people concerned deserve at least a mention in the House, particularly when we are regaled with speeches from so many people with such expert knowledge of dockland as have managed to intervene in the debate so far. The people in the area do not want this corporation. Their views have never been invited on the proposal. Furthermore, the proposal is objected to vigorously by the elected local authorities in the area—all. including the GLC, that until recently had a very different political complexion from what they have today.

No serious argument has been adduced as to the alleged advantages of imposing a development corporation at this stage. On the contrary, the Minister gave a grudging recognition of what the Docklands Joint Committee has accomplished during the three of four years since it published its plan—only in the summer of 1976. I was glad to welcome that plan and broadly to endorse it.

People should not be intoxicated by the idea of a development corporation. There is nothing new in that. In the early 1970s there were five alternative proposals for new towns, varying in their exotic features from safari parks on the Isle of Dogs to God knows what. They were considered by the then Secretary of State for the Environment—the right hon. and learned Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon)—but wisely he turned them down in 1973. He set up the DJC, which was a coming together of the local authorities, with a pooling of their powers. They drew up a master plan for the development of dockland in the interests of their boroughs and people.

When I launched the new inner city programme in 1977 I considered the possibility of a development corporation. I found nothing in the ideas and proposals that would be embodied in a development corporation to be attractive or in any way preferable to the partnership arrangement that we sought to create. We accepted that there was a need for reinforcement by the Government through an active partnership with the local authorities in the area.

I have nothing against new town corporations. We heard some rather misleading comments about the nature of new towns when the Secretary of State intervened a few moments ago. Green field new town sites have been the normal experience of post-war Britain. It is not a new experience. We all know that third-generation new, towns were largely built where there was already substantial and thriving communities—for example, Peterborough and Northampton—but when new town or development corporations have been established where a strongly established community already exists prior arrangements and agreements have been worked out between the local authorities about the development corporation and the part that they would play in it. In each case there has been the most searching and thorough public examination of the planning proposals. That is a very different position from what we have today in Docklands. There has been no such agreement between the local authorities and the proposed development corporation. Nor has there been any public inquiry to precede its establishment.

I cannot share the Minister's view that we have had anything other than a perfunctory examination of the problems and needs of the area through the agency of the Select Committee in another place. The UDC has been imposed. The decision to impose it without the agreement of the local authorities—indeed, against their expressed wishes—bears the hallmark of the present administration at the Department of the Environment—a mixture of appalling arrogance and ignorance. I cannot find—nor can the people of my area—any significant addition of funds for the benefit of the area. All too obviously, the boroughs that the Docklands area contain are suffering major cuts in Government provision for their housing programmes and local services. My borough of Tower Hamlets is faced with demands that it should cut its expenditure by £6 million this year—helping, indeed, the regeneration of the inner city areas of the East End!

The great bulk of the £65 million—at least £50 million—is earmarked for the compulsory acquisition of land. That includes land that has been and is being developed by the local authorities. Once obtained, the land will be resold to whatever private interests find it profitable to buy it. The local council has planned to build 1,500 new houses in the area of the London dock that is in my constituency. It is an area where houses are in short supply and where flats are a dominant feature of housing accommodation. The council planned to build houses for the local people. That prospect will be lost to my constituents. It may be opened to others with rather larger purses in other parts of London.

Against that background an appalling start has been made to a major enterprise. In spite of my forebodings, I hope that benefits will accrue to the Docklands area. I wish far more strongly than some who have no connection with the area to see the area thrive and prosper. The UDC will be aware from the start that it is living on borrowed time and that it will be judged severely by those who are directly affected by its activities and by the Labour Party nationally.

I cannot say much more about the future. However, it cannot be more than about two and a half years before we have another general election. That is not a long time for a new corporation to win friends in the area. It will need those friends. It can be certain that a Labour Government will ensure that the elected representatives of the people of dockland are once again able to make decisions about the area. That is their democratic right, and it will be denied them only temporarily tonight.

Photo of Mr Neil Thorne Mr Neil Thorne , Ilford South 11:12 pm, 1st July 1981

I believe that I am one of a small number of hon. Members who have served as a member of the Docklands Joint Committee. When appointed, I had recently completed a period of service as the chairman of the central area board of the Greater London Council, during which period it purchased St. Katherines Dock from the Port of London Authority, offered it by open competition for development on a long building lease at an initial ground rent of 10 per cent. of the purchase price, and successfully let it, all within a record time of 10 months. I therefore approached the challenge of membership of the Joint Committee with enthusiasm and great hopes, but was sadly disappointed.

My experience was that the democratically elected members were there to represent their electors and not the area as a whole. As a consequence, consideration of the planning issues was closely bound up with the rateable value to be achieved by the recipient authority. It seemed to me then, and it certainly seems now, that it is vital that this area should be taken over by a development corporation. It is a crying shame that there are vast areas of underused land there, and it is essential that they should be brought forward for productive use for industry, commerce and housing in both the private and housing association sectors as soon as possible. There are wonderful opportunities for development, particularly in satisfying the substantial and continuing demand for low-cost private housing. There is no doubt in my mind that the only efficient way of achieving that objective is by the creation of a development corporation.

My right hon. Friend is very fortunate to have found a dynamic chairman and an experienced vice-chairman of the highest integrity. From my experience, I strongly welcome the creation of a development corporation and fully support my right hon. Friend's proposals, which I believe are long overdue.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Southwark Bermondsey 11:14 pm, 1st July 1981

I have been in the House for 35 years and this may be the last time that I shall speak in this august place. I am fond of it and its traditions, and everything about it means a great deal to me. If I left the House I should it miss it very much.

I have been waiting for what has seemed decades to make this speech. As the Minister for Local Government and Environmental Services rightly said, it was announced long ago that Mr. Broakes had been appointed the chairman of the proposed development corporation and that I had been offered the vice-chairmanship. Throughout that time I have been in the shadow position without any real authority, and sometimes without any real money, either.

We have been waiting for this measure for a long time. It is imperative that we turn back the clock a little to find out how the situation occurred and how London dockland became derelict. Like most stories of this kind, it has a fascinating history. I have lived with it. I am a dockland Member of Parliament and I can talk with some authority. If we look back, we see that the tragedy of the dockland story is part of the story of the last war. History says that militarily we won that war. We did. Britain and her allies defeated the Germans and all that they stood for. However, economically that last war was a disaster for our nation in many respects.

The dockland illustration is a good one because, in the early part of the war in particular, the Germans came across and heavily bombed the area, which I know and love dearly. Although thousands of civilians were killed, the damage done to our dockland was infinitesimal compared to what happened later to the German docklands, when our war effort finally got under way and Bomber Harris went over there night after night with 1,000 bombers. He flattened the whole of the German dockland area. There was not a crane or quay that even resembled part of the docks. Then the war ended. We were victorious. Like many others, I came rushing out of the Army, and I wanted Utopia.

What happened? British industry got under way as best it could and started to redevelop. What did we start with in the dockland area? I shall take my area of Bermondsey as an example. I married a girl just around the corner, in the church alongside, so I know the Hays Wharf area fairly well. That area started up again. There was water—the wonderful River Thames—a tiny quay, some old-fashioned warehouses and Tooley Street. There was the congestion, the trouble and the difficulties. That is a typical example of the dockland that we inherited. That was all right in 1945, 1946, 1947 and 1948. I shall take the story forward.

The Germans had lost the war. There is no doubt that they suffered a great deal. However, they then received Marshall aid. They learnt how to work hard. They worked night and day and they rebuilt the docks. What sort of docks did they build? That is the competition that we have to face in London. What docks they are. There was the river, of course, tremendous quays and warehousing and railway sidings. We could not compete. The Port of London Authority was fighting for its life year after year during that advance, and then came that awful word "containerisation." Cargoes were loaded into huge containers and dumped into ships.

We saw the decline of dockland. That history is important to put on record. The decline occurred because of the change of the economic climate, against which Britain has had to fight since 1945. It is a tragic story. The area in which I was born and bred, in which thousands of men were employed, suddenly folded up, and there was no more work

The PLA had invested millions of pounds at the other end of the river, in the Tilbury area. That was where the work was to be. It is unfair to say that the phrase "development corporation" has never been mentioned before. I used it in the House over 10 years ago, when dockland first started to become derelict. I begged the House to set up a development corporation with its own planning powers and special finance from Government to develop the docks as a whole. I said nostalgically—and I say and mean it today—that that was the one chance that we have had since the Great Fire that devastated London. Since those days there has never been such a chance as the dereliction of the docks has now produced. I wanted a development corporation to do that which our forefathers had failed to do in 1666.

Christopher Wren produced the most marvellous plans. If only they had been implemented. But, of course, they were not. They were discarded and ignored, and treated with contempt. Only the Churches took them up. The great St. Paul's Cathedral was built. I should think that it has paid for itself many times over since then. A few other things were done. Industry was allowed to do what it liked. It went alongside the river, and housing followed it.

Then came the Industrial Revolution, at the turn of the century. My father was born into that as an 1889 docker, and so was I. Let no man in this House say that he has a special affection for dockland over and above mine. I, too, have a feeling for what ought to be done in dockland. How can it be done? I argued for a development corporation. I wanted the wider body; I wanted the powers; I wanted the money; and I wanted to develop dockland as a whole. I wanted to do something that I thought we might never again get the chance to do.

When I put forward that argument it was welcomed by Tower Hamlets, it was welcomed by Southwark, and everyone said that it was a fine idea. I had a very good press. I even had a letter from the Prime Minister of the day, the right hon. Member for Bexley (Mr. Heath). Old Ted wrote to me out of the blue and said that I had made a first-class speech. He added that he had requested the Secretary of State—now the right hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Walker)—to contact me and see what could be done. What happened? It was decided to set up a committee of inquiry—the oldest game in the world, if the idea is to get nothing done. It lasted for about three years. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney and Poplar (Mr. Shore) rightly said, one of the schemes was to have a safari park. So that committee was dumped, and it was after that that the right hon. and learned Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon) established the Docklands Joint Committee. That is the history. To say that the development corporation has never been mentioned before is untrue.

The Docklands Joint Committee started with five members, not three—Lewisham and Greenwich were represented as well. I have always paid tribute to the Docklands Joint Committee for what it earnestly and honestly tried to do within the limitations of its powers and finance. But it could not purchase the land that it wanted. Its finances were in grave difficulty. If any hon. Member wants proof of this he can ask the boroughs. They had a great number of schemes, which they could not implement because of the lack of finance.

Then, one day, I had a telephone call. The Secretary of State for the Environment, who is certainly no personal friend of mine—telephoned and told me that it was his intention to set up a development corporation. I could hardly believe my ears. He said "I want you to be its vice-chairman. I am appointing Mr. Broackes as chairman." I was very disappointed that I was not asked to be the chairman. I had never heard of Mr. Broackes, and I knew nothing of his firm. But in the last 15 months I have worked with this man and I put it on record that they do not come any better. This is a man of honour and integrity, who in taking on the job has debarred his firm from even tendering for a single job that may arise in Docklands.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Southwark Bermondsey

I do not even try to convince my hon. Friend. It is a waste of time, because he is so bigoted and prejudiced. Mr. Broackes took on the job because he shared my concern as to how best to rejuvenate London and all that it represents. He was offered the task of chairman and I have taken on the vice-chairmanship.

I am no political fool. I knew from the beginning that I would be subjected to a great deal of personal animosity. I became fed up with hearing the remark, "Fancy linking up with the Secretary of State for the Environment." I do not know what sort of person some people think I am. Do they believe that I wish to spend all my time building great office blocks or £180,000 houses for people from Richmond and Chelsea? Do they believe that I shall ignore every borough council and that I shall treat everyone in London with contempt? If they believe that, they do not know me.

I took the job as vice-chairman for one reason alone. It was not to satisfy the Secretary of State for the Environment. My simple philosophy throughout life has been that if one wants to do something, one should get in and do it. I am not simply a resolution-passer. Too many people in this country are prepared simply to pass resolutions. I know them at local level. They can pass resolutions like a flash. To pass a resolution in support of £500 a week for the workers is no problem. It is finding the money that is the problem. I wanted to become involved to make sure that I would be part of the decisions taken by the development corporation of tomorrow.

It has taken weeks, months and what almost seems like years to come to this decision. We learnt that the proposals were hybrid, and, as the House knows—I hope hon. Members will understand that I wish to get this on the record, as I expect parts of my speech to be quoted—they were put before their Lordships. At almost 50 meetings, each lasting between two and a half and three hours, their Lordships heard arguments for and against the development corporation.

The boroughs put up a brilliant case. Their lawyers were extremely good. The borough council officers who gave evidence impressed their Lordships. The community groups who gave evidence were also heard with great patience. I should like to express my deep appreciation of the manner in which their Lordships conducted the hearings. No one could have been more careful, courteous or considerate. I have never known, in all my experience, a case given so much attention and detailed examination by independent people.

At the end of the day, their Lordships—they included a Labour peer, a Liberal peer and Conservative peers—decided unanimously to recommend that the London Docklands Development Corporation should be established. I think that it will be agreed that I am in good company. The proposal cannot be all that bad. I have listened to the debate today in the other place, where their Lordships have asked the development corporation for specific assurances about collaboration with the boroughs.

I understand the view of the boroughs. They see this foreign, alien body from outer space—this is what we are supposed to be—taking over their land, having special powers and receiving special money, and ignoring them and treating them with contempt. This is land that they have been elected to control. I understand their fears, as their Lordships understand them. Again, today, their Lordships stated that they wished to emphasise the importance of collaboration with the boroughs.

This is not a question of talk; it is a question of action. It is our intention, as I know it is the Secretary of State's intention, to invite the three London boroughs to supply membership of the board and to join the board. Whatever is done, they will be part of the decision-making. I do not know what more can be done to achieve representation for the boroughs. If my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney and Poplar and my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) say that they will not accept this foreign, alien body from outer space, I would reply that the responsibility lies with those who refuse to allow such representation. We shall make that offer emphatically and clearly. We want them to be involved in the role of policy makers.

Their Lordships touched on another point. A number of schemes have been promoted and organised—the money has not been found—by the boroughs and for which the borough council officers have been responsible. Their Lordships said that where there are such schemes—I am thinking of the Lysander scheme for Surrey Docks, a £200 million project, in the preparation of which the borough council officers have been involved, in conjunction with the promoters—the development corporation must cooperate with the borough officers. I give a solemn assurance that we shall, of course, do that. Does anyone think that we would ignore the borough officers who work that hard? But I ask that they co-operate with our board. We shall give them the facilities and do all that we possibly can to help them.

We intend to have a full liaison with the borough council officers. We want representatives of the councils on the development corporation. I cannot imagine what more we can do to show our good will and intentions. I do not want to do anything in Tower Hamlets, for example, that the electorate there does not want us to do.

The next break point is, I do not deny, a problem. The community groups appeared before their Lordships to put their points of view. There are nearly 100 community groups. I am all for discussion. I am a good democrat, I hope. But there is a limit to how far that can be pushed. The great danger of democracy is that people will spend all their time in discussion and end up doing nothing. I have seen that happen in this House. We are anxious to establish a central body associated or partly associated with us so that, through our board meetings, it can discover what we are doing. That body—let us call it the forum—will have overall responsibility for receiving the views of the community.

If, as a development corporation, we take action without understanding that there may be objections by certain individuals, we shall be heading for trouble. What sort of arrogance is it thought that we possess to go ahead with schemes that the local people bitterly oppose? We must therefore devise a machine to ensure that the community groups can make their views known to us. Where practical, we should discuss them. But I put it clearly on the record—I know that this part of my speech will be read—that I will not spend all my time in the development corporation doing nothing but talk to individual groups.

I could give countless examples of schemes that have been promoted. One of them took over four years to produce, but still there are community groups who are opposed to it, in spite of one public meeting after another. There is a limit to how much democracy can take. I am my own man in this case. I can go just so far. We shall provide the facilities for individual community groups to make their views known to what I call the forum and it will in turn advise us.

I have taken so much time——

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Southwark Bermondsey

I am not sure whether the Minister wants to wind up.

I wish to deal with housing. The chairman of the development corporation, as he will be if the motions are passed—he will be in action from tomorrow morning—is most anxious for me to be involved in the provision of housing. It should come as no surprise to many people that I am a firm believer in a property-owning democracy. I do not know why members of my party are not as enthusiastic about it as I am. I live in a dockland area. I hold my surgeries there every week. I fail to understand why it is not abundantly clear to my right hon. and hon. Friends that people are crying out for the chance to own their homes. I live in an area where about 80 per cent. of the properties are council-owned. It is even worse in the area of my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney and Poplar. There the figure is about 85 per cent.

I am sick to death of looking at council flats. In retrospect it is clear that the councils did a first-class job. They cleared filthy slums. There was no alternative then. I fight for and defend my borough council's housing record in clearing the slums and giving people decent homes. But the dockland area is all virgin land—housing gain land. I want people's homes to be built there. I want colour and gaiety—at low cost. The first priority for those homes should go to those who live in council flats now and who, for the first time in their lives, have the chance to get out, and to those who are on the waiting list.

I warn those of my right hon. and hon. Friends who are smart-alec on this that they had better be careful or they will be killed in the crush of people wanting to buy their homes. They should not forget that in London particularly there is a pent-up desire.

We talk in terms of attracting industry. One of the greatest attractions to industry is for it to be told that if it comes into the dockland area a number of homes can and will be made available for purchase by its skilled workers. Is not that common sense? I say that this is what we have to do and I am certain that we shall be given the chance to do it. We have met the house builders, who are desperately keen to back us up, because, as has been said, there is so much slack in the construction industry that it cannot wait to get going.

There are areas in dockland where, unless we, as a development corporation, do the regeneration—clear the sites, build the houses, create some sort of activity; the village atmosphere, the shops, the church, the lot—we shall not attract industry. Once we bring an area like that to life we shall attract the industry. That is our purpose. I want to do that in consultation with the boroughs, with the community groups, and in a way that will earn the respect and the credit of most of our people. That is why I took on the job of vice-chairman of this body. That is why, for a year and three months, I have had nothing but scorn and, sometimes, some rather despicable things said to me. But, hearing in mind the sources from which these things came, I do not much care. People are judged not by what they say but by what they do, and, in my case, where they come from.

I say to those in London who have the chance to read my speech "Do you really believe that Bob Mellish is the type of person whose only concern is speculation of the worst kind? Do you really believe that he will put up the type of housing that is out of reach of the Londoner, and that will destroy London?" There are not many who believe that—certainly not in my constituency. I ask for no more—and speak for my chairman, I know—than that we should be judged on merit. My right hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. Oakes) talks of a period of 18 months to two years. We shall need that, I dare say, and a lot more. We ask to he judged on merit.

Of course, I am a Londoner; of course I get emotional. I want to build a London of which not only I but my children and their children can be proud.

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King Minister of State (Department of Environment) (Local Government) 11:39 pm, 1st July 1981

The right hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) began his remarks by saying that this might be the last time that he would speak in this House. I think that I speak for all Members, certainly those of us who have had the privilege of listening to his speech tonight, when I say that we hope not. We have had our political differences, but nobody could doubt the sincerity and integrity with which that speech was made.

If I were one of the right hon. Gentleman's constituents I should have no doubt that the decision that he has taken to accept the appointment initially as shadow deputy chairman of the corporation, which, subject to the will of the House tonight, will be confirmed tomorrow, was taken in the interests of his constituents, in the interests of Docklands and in the interests of London as a whole. I pay my personal tribute to the very moving speech that we have just had the privilege to hear.

The right hon. Gentleman's speech set in context some of the remarks that we heard from other Opposition Members. We understand why certain people have their political imperatives, which require them to make certain prepresentations to the House, but no other hon. Member can say that he has represented the area under discussion tonight for 35 years with distinction in a number of positions which the right hon. Gentleman has had the honour to hold in the Labour Party and in Government and has at all times been anxious to fight for the interests of his constituents.

The right hon. Member for Bermondsey has taken the view, which I make no apology for sharing, that the action that we are taking tonight is genuinely in the best interests of the people of Docklands and of the wider community of London as well. I was told by the right hon. Member for Stepney and Poplar (Mr. Shore) that I had expressed a grudging approval of the work done by the Docklands Joint Committee. I had hoped that it was a fairly generous tribute. I meant it to be so. Certainly, it was very much more generous than the tributes paid by my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Thorne), who served on that committee, or by the hon. Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Cartwright), who also served on it, and who was much more critical of the frustrations and difficulties faced in trying to get development in London.

To say, as the right hon. Member for Stepney and Poplar did, that there had been a perfunctory examination of these proposals seems to me an unbelievable comment to make on their Lordships and their Select Committee, on which Members of all parties—Labour, Liberal. and Conservative—with an independent Chairman served for no fewer than 46 days scrutinising this proposal. I should like to know how many hon. Members of this House have scrutinised a single proposal for 46 days. To call that a perfunctory examination is an amazing distortion of the English language.

The right hon. Gentleman caught me out in one respect, however, for which I am grateful to him. I should like to express my appreciation to their Lordships for the scrupulous way in which they examined the proposals and for the way in which they took evidence and gave an opportunity for all the groups who wished to be heard and to enter petitions to be heard. To have the nerve to say that that peculiar procedure, whereby a Select Committee allows a place to everybody—not just organised groups, but even one individual who decided to come from Docklands and had the opportunity to have her views heard by five of their Lordships, presided over by a High Court judge—did not provide the opportunity for the views of local people to be heard was a disgrace. It was a very full procedure. Indeed, I have been attacked for the time that it has taken for this measure to be brought forward.

There is a danger in the loss of time. I hope that that time will now rapidly be made up. Certainly the Government will give every support that they can in this procedure.

I conclude with a comment from the report of the Select Committee: Docklands does not form a single homogeneous community…What links together the very different areas…is the fact that they are all suffering from the same calamity—the closure of the docks and the disappearance of dock-related industry…the Committee…were forcefully struck by the extent of that calamity and what a vast faces anybody seeking to regenerate the area." —

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

The House divided: Ayes 117, Noes 55.

Division No. 242][11.44 pm
AYES
Alexander, RichardLe Marchant, Spencer
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyLoveridge, John
Benyon, Thomas (A'don)Lyell, Nicholas
Berry, Hon AnthonyMacfarlane, Neil
Best, KeithMacKay, John (Argyll)
Bevan, David GilroyMajor, John
Biggs-Davison, JohnMarlow, Tony
Blackburn, JohnMather, Carol
Boscawen, Hon RobertMaude, Rt Hon Sir Angus
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W)Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Bowden, AndrewMellor, David
Boyson, Dr RhodesMills, Iain (Meriden)
Braine, Sir BernardMiscampbell, Norman
Brinton, TimMoate, Roger
Brooke, Hon PeterMorgan, Geraint
Browne, John (Winchester)Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Buck, AntonyMurphy, Christopher
Cadbury, JocelynNeale, Gerrard
Carlisle, John (Luton West)Needham, Richard
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Nelson, Anthony
Chalker, Mrs. LyndaNewton, Tony
Chapman, SydneyOnslow, Cranley
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Osborn, John
Colvin, MichaelPage, John (Harrow, West)
Cope, JohnPage, Richard (SW Herts)
Costain, Sir AlbertPatten, John (Oxford)
Cranborne, ViscountPattie, Geoffrey
Dorrell, StephenProctor, K. Harvey
Dover, DenshoreRenton, Tim
Dunn, Robert (Dartford)Rhodes James, Robert
Durant, TonyRoberts, M. (Cardiff NW)
Eggar, TimRossi, Hugh
Faith, Mrs SheilaSainsbury, Hon Timothy
Fenner, Mrs PeggyShaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Finsberg, GeoffreyShaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Fletcher-Cooke, Sir CharlesShelton, William (Streatham)
Forman, NigelShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Fraser, Rt Hon Sir HughSkeet, T. H. H.
Garel-Jones, TristanSpeed, Keith
Gow, IanSpeller, Tony
Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N)Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)
Gummer, John SelwynSquire, Robin
Hampson, Dr KeithStanbrook, Ivor
Hawksley, WarrenStanley, John
Heddle, JohnSteen, Anthony
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Stevens, Martin
Hordern, PeterStradling Thomas, J.
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)Tebbit, Norman
Hurd, Hon DouglasThompson, Donald
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelThorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Kershaw, AnthonyWaddington, David
King, Rt Hon TomWakeham, John
Knight, Mrs JillWaldegrave, Hon William
Waller, GaryWinterton, Nicholas
Warren, KennethWolfson, Mark
Watson, John
Wells, BowenTellers for the Ayes:
Wheeler, JohnLord James Douglas-Hamilton
Wickenden, Keithand Mr. Alastair Goodlad.
NOES
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Lamond, James
Beith, A. J.Leighton, Ronald
Bennett, Andrew (St'kp't N)McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Booth, Rt Hon AlbertMacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S)McNamara, Kevin
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P)Marks, Kenneth
Campbell-Savours, DaleMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)Newens, Stanley
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Cowans, HarryPalmer, Arthur
Cryer, BobPenhaligon, David
Cunliffe, LawrencePowell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Dalyell, TamPrescott, John
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)Race, Reg
Davis, T. (B'ham, Stechf'd)Richardson, Jo
Deakins, EricRobinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)Rooker, J. W.
Dixon, DonaldShore, Rt Hon Peter
Dobson, FrankSilkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
Dormand, JackSilkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Dubs, AlfredSkinner, Dennis
Duffy, A. E. P.Soley, Clive
Eastham, KenSpearing, Nigel
Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're)Steel, Rt Hon David
Harrison, Rt Hon WalterWelsh, Michael
Haynes, Frank
Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll)Tellers for the Noes:
Hooley, FrankMr. James Tinn and
Johnston, Russell (Inverness)Mr. George Morton
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald

Questions accordingly agreed to

Resolved,That the London Docklands Development Corporation (Area and Constitution) Order 1980, a copy of which was laid before this House on 27 November, be approved.