Orders of the Day — Greater London Council (Money) (No. 2) Bill (By Order)

– in the House of Commons at 9:57 pm on 12 June 1984.

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Question again proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

Mr. Bottomley:

This is a deal which may amount to £10 million, or perhaps a gross £25 million, which may have taken place last year, or it may take place in future—a large deal whether it is £10 million or a greater sum—regarding which the London Parliamentary Labour party has not a clue as to what has happened. If the hon. Member for Newham, North-West can give the information to the House now, I shall willingly give way to him, but if he does not have the details I suggest that he stays where he is and sends me the information later.

Photo of Mr Tony Banks Mr Tony Banks , Newham North West

I was out of the Chamber when my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser) was speaking. However, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the matter he now raises relates to last year's capital expenditure, not to this year's. It is irrelevant to the consideration of the Bill.

Mr. Bottomley:

So it turns out that the 10 members of the London Parliamentary Labour party did not know that a £10 million deal had been done last year.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Shadow Minister (Health)

My hon. Friend the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) said it.

Mr. Bottomley:

It is no use the hon. Lady claiming from a sedentary position that the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras said it all along, because Hansard will show that he did not, and in the first 20 minutes of his speech he was unable to given any information about it. The claims to democratic accountability have been shown not to stand up to examination. This £10 million deal was hidden from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West, and appears not to have been known to most people in London. [Interruption.] The shouts and cries from the Opposition Benches are a demonstration of trying to cover up their ignorance with noise.

I deal next with whether the GLC could use discretionary money for the high priority projects for which the hon. Member for Newham, North-West has promised to use his endeavours, as a Member of the House and as a member of the GLC, to penalise those voters who, after the last GLC election, elected Conservative members. I think that I summarise his diatribe fairly accurately.

If any Member of Parliament, or any member of the GLC, believes that he can go in for this kind of hybrid procedure, and say, "If you do not vote for us we shall not treat London-wide issues on a priority basis determined by need, but will do it according to the way in which you chose to vote in other elections," that demonstrates that the people of London have rumbled the Parliamentary Labour party in London and the GLC Labour party in London, and that is why last year they turned overwhelmingly to elect Conservative Members. That is why I suspect that the results which the Labour party gets in elections in London will get worse.

The more the hon. Member for Newham, North-West smiles when he finds that some of his remarks are picked up, the more he will discover that in matters concerning London he would do better to devote himself to the interests of London as a whole as a Member of Parliament, rather than to the interests of Londoners, partly determined by which way they voted. He offers the kind of threat to Londoners which I believe should be condemned by his Front Bench and by all who hear his words tonight or in the future.

I am willing to say to the people of Greenwich, who will suffer from living on the Ferrier estate and such places, that I shall make representations to the Department of the Environment and to the Treasury about the sort of schemes that are clearly of benefit, whichever way people vote, so that those schemes are approved.

It is reasonable for the Government to require the GLC to stop spending discretionary money and capital money on what might be called political jobs for the boys. The hon. Member for Norwood made fun of a letter about Lambeth building homes in Croydon. I do not know whether he has read the biography of Herbert Morrison, which showed that the whole plan of the London Labour party was to build Labour majorities into constituency after constituency. If that is all right for Morrison, it is all right for Lambeth and Croydon. We must have some balance in the way in which we deal with these matters.

We have heard about the £10 million for the Lambeth sports centre. We know about the £3 million to £6 million spent on Labour party propaganda on the future of the GLC. If it is high priority to spend money on capital projects, the GLC should decide immediately to stop paying the political campaigns and to begin using that money — which it legally and legitimately can — on worthwhile projects within the London area. If it will not stop its paid campaign, we can only draw the conclusion that it believes that that is a higher priority than spending money on the practical schemes that it puts forward on a night like this when we are discussing London's needs and the way to meet some of the capital programmes.

I want to refer to two ILEA issues. The reason why ILEA spends more on heat and light per pupil than other authorities is that not one head teacher to whom I have spoken knows what his fuel bill is. They have no control over it. If we want to build inside lavatories at Henwick primary school, it is possible for ILEA to economise to pay for that.

The hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras used the example of St. Mary's Roman Catholic primary school in my constituency. If he came to my constituency and read the local press, he would realise that that school is proposing to move to an old convent. The planning issue about the site of the school is not whether the children's lavatories should be indoors or outdoors, but whether the Co-op or Sainsburys should have permission to build on the site. If that is the best example that the GLC can use when briefing the hon. Gentleman, it should start again.

The GLC has the ability to spend about £500 million on its capital programme this year. If it cannot carry through some parts of that programme, it has a reasonable case either to adjust its priorities or to put a case to the Government. It could have had the money Bill passed without controversy if it had done a deal with the Treasury. But that required open discussion with the Treasury, which, clearly, the GLC would not have.

My right hon. and hon. Friends would be right to support the instruction and to continue to try to persuade the GLC to meet the needs of Londoners rather than the needs of the Labour party in London.

Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Brent South 10:08, 12 June 1984

The hon. Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley), like so many other Conservative Members, has displayed the political bias that animates the instruction put forward by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Sir A. Berry). I wish that the Prime Minister had the same confidence as the hon. Member for Eltham when he spoke about the way that Londoners might react and said that there would be many Tory victories. If the Prime Minister had that confidence, the election for the GLC would be held and Londoners could make their choice.

The instruction is part of the Government's determination that more and more power should move into central Government hands. The disciplines that have been called for by Conservative Members are available. We should go ahead with the elections when they are due rather than having a paving Bill that prevents them from taking place and this would provide the discipline.

My concern about the instruction follows a number of other aspects of this Government taking power into their own hands and interfering with sensible planning at local government level. I take the typical example of another sphere where action similar to this instruction took place, the National Health Service. After only three months of last year, when estimates had been approved by the regional health authorities, the Government intervened and cut budgets. Not only did they make cuts in my region of about £8 million to £9 million, but at the same time they decided the level of employment and how many redundancies should take place. It is because the instruction causes so much uncertainty that I hope that the House will not accept it.

I have a regard for the hon. Member for Southgate because of the time when he was the Friday Whip. I know something of the problems of a Friday Whip, having been one myself for some years. However, we are suspicious. Anybody who has been in the House for any length of time can recognise a brief being read. The hon. Gentleman read it admirably, although much too quickly, but the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Northwood (Mr. Fraser) was correct. We recognised the brief and it would have been more honest if it had been read on behalf of the Government by the hon. Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young), who is the Minister.

Like many other hon. Members, I shall express my concern on a constituency basis. The fact that £43 million will be subject to far more direct control without the opportunity of discussion means that there are a number of things in my inner city area that will be at risk. The GLC makes its decisions, whether they are approved of by hon. Members or not. There are people sitting on the GLC who represent my constituency and know what is going on. The dead hand of the Treasury knows nothing about my constituency—its members have computer-like brains. I remember a phrase used by the late Nye Bevin, who talked about desiccated calculating machines. I sometimes think that the Treassury is manned by desiccated calculating machines.

The real problems concern ethnic areas such as mine. As the House knows, 46 per cent. of the families in the London borough of Brent are black. That means that in areas such as Brixton, Toxteth and Harlesden we have big problems. The GLC has a continuing programme of one of the finest efforts to prevent the flaring up that is so possible to avoid racial tension. A few years ago the black community was able to start a project, which was supported by the Government to the extent of £600,000, by the GLC to the extent of £700,000, and by the local borough. There are now 19 co-operatives, small businesses being established at a disused London Transport bus depot, and all kinds of community projects are now initiated in a high rise blcok area which has been called a concrete jungle. It is such capital expenditure that the instruction is putting at risk. One cannot suddenly stop proceeding on schemes that have 10 years' growth rate by threatening that the capital that is necessary to keep it going will not be there.

I can give examples of the amount of capital expenditure that we received from the GLC last year. For example, we have the Vale Farm recreation centre, which received £240,000 and the Willesden sports centre, which received £282,000. In my area, when we get to July, some 80 per cent. of the school leavers will be black and, because of the high incidence of unemployment, these youngsters will be on the street and on the dole. Those two projects alone provide a social service. If they are put at risk, it more than puts at risk the building or facility. It will break into the heart of active community participation, especially when the economic position is serious. The sum for the Harlesden People's Community Council — the heart of the Caribbean area—was £75,000. There is also the Stonebridge Community Nursery, which is necessary for young mothers going to work.

There are peripheral things in the capital expenditure provision, for example, the need in the transport division to stop the mugging of bus conductors in what is called the Kilburn triangle. The GLC requires cash for such a project, but nobody knows where that project will rank when Treasury officials decide to examine the £43 million, or which projects will no longer be available.

Since the Government came to power in 1979, they have made great play of the importance of voluntary work alongside the statutory obligations of local government and central Government. All hon. Members seek to promote the maximum amount of voluntary organisation, whether for the disabled or another sector of the community in need. Last year the GLC were able to give £867,000 from their capital funds to 44 separate organisations for capital buildings, which might be needed. As a result we received £2·4 million. For an inner-city area built up during the reign of Queen Victoria with many educational and housing problems, if any help, which the GLC in co-operation with the London boroughs can give, is put at risk, it wilt result in a calamity.

Hon. Members mentioned how this instruction could affect the rehabilitation and refurbishing of housing. In my constituency we are spending £30,000 a week for bed and breakfast for the homeless. The waiting list for council housing is 15,000. We have bodies such as the Paddington Churches Housing Association and the Brent People's Housing Association. The Paddington Churches Housing Association has a programme for 12 renovations, which will house some of those families, which costs £320,000 providing the GLC comes up with the cash. If the instruction is passed, will Kensal Rise not get its refurbished housing?

Kilburn also has inner-city problems. The Kilburn Central Improvement Area will require a considerable sum, which the London borough of Brent and the GLC are combining to provide. The housing lists cannot cope with more people, and if further inroads are made, it would be disastrous for the housing position.

Decisions should be taken at local level with local understanding and yielding to local pressures. That is where the money Bill of the GLC should be dealt with. The hon. Member for Enfield, South (Sir A. Berry) seeks to take into Whitehall and Government offices power from local hands, where it should be. Most of us are constituency Members and do our surgeries on Saturday mornings. We have to withstand many pressures. I thank God for the help of the GLC with my housing cases and the attempt to establish an integrated multiracial community. Without the capital building and other capital expenditure involved there would be riots instead of a harmonious community in my area.

Therefore, despite the assurances that we have heard, as an ex-Whip I have no doubt that the vote tonight on the instruction will no more be a free vote than the instruction was a sudden inspiration on the part of Conservative Back Benchers without any collusion or collaboration by the Department of the Environment or the Government. It is a squalid trick and I hope that it will be rejected.

Photo of Mr Richard Tracey Mr Richard Tracey , Surbiton 10:20, 12 June 1984

It is an honour to fulfil my responsibilities as a Back-Bench Member by assisting in devising and tabling an instruction which I hope will receive wide support from my hon. Friends and perhaps from some Opposition Members.

I do not know whether I am supposed to follow the practice of my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Sir A. Berry) in congratulating the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) on moving the Bill, but I am afraid that I cannot do so. Despite his constant reference to projects which "could" or "might" be at risk, the hon. Gentleman's speech was blatant scaremongering and the kind of gross overstatement that we have come to expect from him at times. Furthermore, it is arrogant to suggest to any hon. Member that we are here merely to rubber stamp proposals sponsored by the Greater London Council.

Photo of Mr Richard Tracey Mr Richard Tracey , Surbiton

No. The hon. Lady will have her chance in due course and no doubt she will take it.

I was elected by my constituents in Surbiton to exercise such reasonable control as I could over expenditure. The Instruction tabled by Conservative Back Benchers attempts to exercise such reasonable control We do not intend to be parties to the kind of trade-off referred to by the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras with the Department of the Environment, the Treasury and the GLC. We regard this as a very serious matter. That is why we put down the Instruction.

We have had a useful and lengthy debate on London matters. I am sure that the Opposition welcome that.

Photo of Mr Richard Tracey Mr Richard Tracey , Surbiton

Having listened to a very long speech from the hon. Gentleman, I intend to put my views as briefly as possible and to allow some of his hon. Friends to have their say.

The Opposition have suggested many times that when the GLC has been abolished London matters will not be fully and properly discussed in the House, as we believe that they will. Today's debate provided a good opportunity to discuss various matters of capital expenditure in a full, meaningful and informed way. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley), however, that we have still failed to extract information on the deal done in Lambeth about the sports centre and I am dissatisfied about that. Indeed, I should be prepared to continue for many hours attempting to extract that information if I thought that we would actually obtain the facts that we seek. It is indeed possible to debate London matters in some depth and in a meaningful way, although we were requested at the beginning of the debate simply to follow the old practice — to do a trade-off and to rubber-stamp the Bill. My hon. Friends have no intention of doing that. We are simply following a line which, as I understand from a letter that I received yesterday from an officer of the GLC, is perfectly reasonable. He wrote on behalf of the director-general of the GLC and said: Part IV of the schedule is a general contingency provision to meet, but only with Treasury consent, any further expenditure over and above the sum total of Parts I, II and III of the schedule". There we are. This is a general contingency provision which requires Treasury consent. I welcome the fact that the Treasury will be able to exercise a view over part IV.

However, it is clear that the GLC will be able to put its arguments for the various capital requirements to the Treasury. If it makes a full-scale, perfect case, it will get the money. None of my hon. Friends would deny that the GLC will have a full chance to make a case. The GLC does not like to have to make a case. It would prefer people to accept bland statements and half-promises without challenge. The GLC will find that requests of that sort will not be granted by my hon. Friends tonight.

Photo of Mr Richard Tracey Mr Richard Tracey , Surbiton

The hon. Lady will have her chance in a moment. We will listen to her as attentively as we always do.

The GLC will simply have to make a rather better case than it has in the past.

I have been in consultation with the leading Conservative members in County Hall, with whom we always work closely. I understand from them that there is plenty of scope for savings in what the GLC has included in the Bill. I will detail one or two of the suggestions. They may give Opposition Members, who may not have had the privilege of consulting my colleagues on the Conservative benches on the other side of the river, food for thought.

The GLC wants £10 million for the industry and employment policy. I understand that over £2 million of that is for training centres for the unemployed which will duplicate or even challenge the work of the Manpower Services Commission. There is no need to provide money to duplicate what the MSC is already doing.

Further capital is wanted for industrial developments which ought to be privatised. I know that privatisation is not entirely accepted by Opposition Members, but it is a real possibility for projects such as the Battlebridge Basin near King's Cross and, of course, the Wandsworth gasworks site which has become a fairly well-known landmark.

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

What is the hon. Gentleman talking about?

Photo of Mr Richard Tracey Mr Richard Tracey , Surbiton

The hon. Member for Battersea (Mr. Dubs) is very vocal about such matters in the local papers. Although he has not been in the Chamber for long and may not have given the matter much thought, I look forward to hearing his views in the normal way rather than from a sedentary position.

Funding for community projects most of which are for bodies of which there has been much criticism or which are not genuine London bodies could be reduced by £400,000. One is the Ethiopian World Federation—very relevant to the citizens and ratepayers of London. The Greenwich Women's Centre is another. It is perfectly reasonable that Greenwich council might like to support that centre, but I fail to see why such capital expenditure should be provided by Greater London ratepayers.

The next item concerns grants to community area groups and docklands. I realise that this matter might be sensitive and touch the nerves of hon. Members such as the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith). It is becoming well known that such groups are becoming what might be described as surrogate Labour party supporting groups that do not fulfil the purpose that they ought to fulfil. I had a useful letter this morning from a body that calls itself the Campaign for Homes in Central London—CHICL—which sets out some of the groups that might suffer from the instruction. One, from Hammersmith, is called People Before Profit. It does not sound as though it supports the objectives of the Conservative party. No doubt the hon. Member for Battersea will have something to say about the Battersea Redevelopment Action Group. Anyone who drives through Battersea will know that one of the most active operations of that action group—BRAG for short—is to spoil the scenery by flyposting every building and fence in Battersea. Apparently it might suffer from our proposals. Anoher is the Joint Docklands Action Group. I know of business men who are trying to redevelop docklands to bring wealth and enterprise to them. Apparently that action group does all that it can to frustrate, criticise and prevent such work.

Photo of Mr Terry Dicks Mr Terry Dicks , Hayes and Harlington

Will my hon. Friend add to that list the community newspaper in my constituency, which has been arranged by the deputy leader of the GLC, so that an extreme left-wing case is advanced to ensure that he is selected as the parliamentary candidate in Hayes and Harlington at the next general election? That is a blatant misuse of ratepayers' money for his personal political ambitions.

Photo of Mr Richard Tracey Mr Richard Tracey , Surbiton

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who is perceptive on these matters. He seems to have stirred up a little private grief on the other side of the House.

The GLC's request mentions proposed new-build worth nearly £1 million. I am told by my Conservative friends on the other side of the river that that is unnecessary as the new-build programme should be with the boroughs or the private sector. I understood that housing responsibilities had been passed from the GLC to the boroughs, and rightly so. Another item is housing association acquisitions worth £1·5 million. I am told that that is also unnecessary as the housing Corporation is responsible for such matters. The South Bank development is unnecessary, pending a review of the operation of the South Bank and its proposed transfer to the Arts Council. I could give many more examples. They are solid reasons for Conservative Members believing that there is much irrelevant capital request in the Bill. It is the type of thing that the Treasury should examine as the Treasury has overall responsibility for the economy.

It is quite clear that, by tabling the instruction, Conservative Back Benchers have hit a raw nerve among Opposition Members. If they seriously thought that they would get a rubber stamp from us, they were much mistaken. I hope that my hon. Friends will join me in the Lobby to pass this instruction to the Committee.

Photo of Mr Ron Leighton Mr Ron Leighton , Newham North East 10:35, 12 June 1984

Although one might not have thought it from the speech of the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey), this Bill is about capital expenditure. The GLC has to come to Parliament to get authorisation for its capital expenditure. It is the only local authority that has to do so

It has been the practice since 1963 for talks and negotiations to take place between officers of the council and officials of the Department of the Environment. When agreement has been reached, the Government have assured the passage of the Bill through the House. Of course, some Back Benchers have formally opposed the Bill to get a debate on London. That we all understand, but what is happening today is completely different. There was no agreement and the Government, by a completely transparent device of putting down a so-called instruction to the Committee, are opposing the Bill. They have succeeded in dragooning some of their Back Benchers to do their work for them. When I asked the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Sir A. Berry) whether he was speaking for the Government or as a Back Bencher, he said that I would understand what he was doing. Of course, I understand completely. There is no precedent for what has happened. This is not what usually happens.

We have to ask why the Government are taking this step. It is because they are carrying out what I can only describe as a vendetta against London. They are giving full rein to their spite and malice. They have taken away over recent years many hundreds of thousands of pounds of rate support grant to London. This is the reason for the rate increases we have had. The enmity is now reaching hysterical proportions. This authoritarian Government cannot tolerate dissent. If the people of London have the temerity to vote Labour, then, in an act of petulance, the Government will abolish the GLC. If the public are likely at the next elections to vote against abolition, then the Government will abolish the elections.

The malice is being taken to further extremes. Effectively the Government are taking over the running of the GLC by taking control of the GLC's finances. They are acting as though they were already in charge and had already put their commissioners into county hall. The Government are making a pre-emptive strike. It is a form of pre-emptive abolition of the GLC. In effect the Government are imposing direct rule on the GLC's capital expenditure 12 months before the GLC is abolished. I find this behaviour appalling. There is not a scrap of justification for it. There is no claim of irresponsibility on the part of the GLC. In fact, the reverse is true.

I know it is not the custom in this House to quote speeches in the other place, but if Conservative Members would like to read the speech made by Lord Bellwin yesterday they will find that he almost thought of it as a dirty trick on the part of the GLC that it was not increasing rates but reducing them this year by 7·5 per cent. The Government are tearing up the rule book that has governed the conventions in these matters. They are saying that the GLC must break the commitments it gave when it handed housing over to the boroughs.

It is in regard to housing that the Government's policy has been most malign. Since 1979 public expenditure on housing has decreased by 50 per cent. Everyone, including even the Confederation of British Industry, is calling for an increase in capital expenditure as a way out of the recession. If we inject extra demand into the building and construction industry, we do not suck in imports. It is a labour-intensive industry. We make the materials, bricks and mortar at home and therefore capital expenditure on building and construction means more jobs and more employment. That aspect concerns my constituency which has been turned into a disaster area for jobs by the Government.

Mass unemployment in Newham is darkening the lives, blotting out the future and destroying the hopes of my constituents. Unless that is altered, it will cause the most terrible social problems.

In the East Ham jobcentre area in June 1979 male unemployment was 1,062. By February 1984 it had increased to 4,202, an increase of 400 per cent. For women the figures are worse. In June 1979 female unemployment was 328. By February this year it was 1,932, an increase of 600 per cent. In addition, there is a growing core of chronic unemployment. In October 1979 336 people were registered as unemployed for over a year. In January this year that figure was 2,052—an increase of over 600 per cent. In the borough as a whole 18,152 people are registered as unemployed. People are being permanently damaged. Something must be done if we are to avert a social breakdown.

Newham and many parts of London have appalling housing. It cannot be beyond the wit and intelligence of the Government to put the two problems together and to balance the unmet needs with the unused and wasted labour.

Instead of cutting capital expenditure on the building and construction industry, we should be doing the opposite. We should be encouraging the GLC to increase its capital expenditure on the building and construction industry. That would be good not only for London, but for the country and the economy. If the Government persist in this spiteful and malicious effort, one further nail will be put in their coffin.

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn , Islington North 10:42, 12 June 1984

This Thursday the people of London will have an opportunity to vote. I do not think that anyone in London will rush to the polls out of concern for what is happening in European institutions, but will do so because of what is happening to their city. Government Members who claim that the Labour party is weak and has dwindling support will rue what happens on Thursday. The people of London will demonstrate that they do not want the right to vote for a city-wide authority taken away from them and that they do not want the powers that have brought such good things destroyed. That is what this squalid little move tonight is all about.

In the past the GLC has presented a money Bill to Parliament with Government agreement. Traditionally, that money Bill is agreed. Tonight we are not experiencing some odd-ball revolt by Conservative Back Benchers, but the opposite. We are experiencing a clearly orchestrated pre-emptive strike. The Government have not yet abolished the GLC, but they are trying to abolish the elections. Now they are trying to prevent many of the GLC's programmes from being carried out. I hope that the House will recognise that this nasty little move is an attempt to deny Londoners the things that they need. That is what a city-wide authority is all about. It provides for the needs of people in London.

A list of projects are at stake because of the threat to the GLC money Bill tonight. All of the projects are necessary. The majority involve housing schemes which are desperately needed. Housing causes the greatest problem for Londoners and it is also one of the prime regenerative moves possible in the economy. Housing schemes quickly put people back to work and create jobs in the construction and back-up industries. They are a crucial part of the regeneration of London's economy, and Conservative Members should remember that groups from the construction industry are queueing up to take contracts from the GLC. They are queueing to get work from the GLC and borough councils and will be prevented from doing so only by the Bill.

Conservative Members should think carefully about who they are hitting when having a go at the Bill. The Government might not like the administration at county hall. We know that the Prime Minister does not like it. Not many Conservative Members are here to talk about it tonight. Perhaps they have all gone home. We can only pray and hope so. They are hitting the worst off, who are in desperate housing need.

The hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Mrs. Rumbold) made a fundamental mistake in her speech. She did not seem to realise that the GLC did not borrow money for its programme last year for non-housing capital spending. Conservatives do not seem to understand what is behind the way in which the GLC operates or what the GLC is trying to do in promoting the money Bill. We have been shown an example of the spite that Conservative Members feel towards the people of London. Those hon. Members will suffer badly from such an attitude.

I have the privilege to represent Islington, North in the House. We have many serious housing problems. If public money is not spent on meeting the housing needs of people in my constituency, and in the neighbouring constituencies of Hackney and Islington, South, those who are not housed by the councils will not be housed at all. They do not have the freedom of choice to buy a flat or house, because they cannot afford to do so. The only way in which they can get decent housing is through public spending in the borough.

If a great deal of money is not put forward for housing capital spending in my constituency, and in neighbouring constituencies, the housing will get worse, families will continue to be broken up, bed-and-breakfast accommodation will return and many families will be forced to move out of the borough. Working-class communities will be split up, while wealthy gentrification appears in those parts of London. Perhaps that is what Conservative Members really want. If so, they should say so. Many people will take careful note of what is said in this debate and of what the Bill will achieve if it is passed.

The capital spending which the GLC proposes for my constituency amounts to well over £1 million, and falls within the Bill. If the instruction is passed tonight, much of that expenditure will be at serious risk and many people will continue to live in poor housing. I shall give three examples, one of which involves a relatively small amount of money — the expenditure of £90,000 on the rehabilitation of 52–55 Newington Green. It might seem irrevalant to Conservative Members, but that happens to be in a working-class inner-city area. It also happens to be the oldest block of terraced houses in London and might provide very good housing for people in desperate need. The redevelopment is very much wanted by local people and by the borough council.

We have two estates which have suffered from major technical problems since they were built. They were put up by a previous GLC administration, within the cost yardsticks imposed by the Government. Tenants have suffered major problems for many years on those estates, not untypical of the serious problems faced by many in London, where there has been rapid building, often of substandard accommodation by those who seem not to care very much about the conditions in which they are forcing other people to live. The housing is inadequate in many ways. Often, too many people are put into those estates.

We need to consider whether it is the right way to build major housing schemes. Be that as it may, the Andover estate in my constituency has been plagued with problems of heating schemes and water penetration, as well as difficulties with the roofing and guttering, since the day that it was constructed. At the moment we are trying to get the whole heating scheme redesigned and rebuilt so that every house has heating and hot water. Conservative Members may not find this interesting, but presumably they live in very comfortable accommodation and are not concerned about the way in which others live.

We are concerned, and we feel that if the Bill is carried, with the instruction attached to it, the possibility of improving that estate will be swept away and the hopes of many of those on that estate will be destroyed. Conservative Members will have done that to people on the Andover estate, purely because the people of London had the temerity to elect a Labour GLC in 1981. That is what all this is about.

Another large housing estate, the Elthorne estate, was also built by the GLC. It is near the Archway junction, close to the Upper Holloway road. Again, major improvements are urgently needed and earmarked. Indeed, £200,000 is due to be spent on that estate. It is crucial that that money is made available so that the work can be done and those tenants can have somewhere decent to live. If that work on improving windows and joinery on that estate is not carried out it will form part of a cycle of decline, which can be arrested only by a lot of public expenditure on that housing scheme. That story can be repeated throughout London.

There are other schemes that will be at serious risk if the instruction is carried and the House is then forced to consider reducing the amount of money available to the GLC. One of those schemes is in the neighbouring constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green. I mention it because the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Sir H. Rossi) does not appear to be here this evening.

Photo of Mr Hugh Rossi Mr Hugh Rossi , Hornsey and Wood Green

I beg the hon. Gentleman's pardon.

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn , Islington North

I see that the hon. Gentleman is here, and he is welcome. I refer to the expenditure of £55,000 on the Asian centre in Hornsey and Wood Green. I trust that the hon. Gentleman will consider his commitments to the Asian community in his constituency and oppose the instruction. I am sure that he would not want to see the GLC unable to spend the money on that community.

Photo of Mr Hugh Rossi Mr Hugh Rossi , Hornsey and Wood Green

I understood that we were discussing capital expenditure. I happen to know a little about the hon. Gentleman's constituency as well. The Elthorne estate has been constructed within the past few years. He talks about trouble to the windows and frames, but he must look to the GLC to understand why there was such shoddy construction in the first place. In any case, he is talking about maintenance and repairs, which do not form part of capital expenditure.

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn , Islington North

The hon. Gentleman has much experience of local government, ministerial office and membership of the House, and he should, by now, know the difference between revenue and capital spending. If he does not, there is little hope le ft for him. As he clearly does not know, I shall have to explain once again, since he has now joined us.

The construction work that has to be done on the Elthorne estate is capital spending, and involves the replacement of windows and joinery work. The building work was inadequately done by a private enterprise construction company. Indeed, I am told that Laings was involved. The work was clone inadequately by that company. I accept that the estate was constructed by the GLC, but the attitude displayed by the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green merely demonstrates his contempt for the people who live on that estate, and his failure to appreciate that if public money is not spent there and on hundreds of other estates throughout London the quality of housing stock will deteriorate, the housing conditions of thousands of people will decline, and he will be responsible for that. That is what is going on tonight. Conservative Members are merely showing their contempt for council tenants.

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn , Islington North

The hon. Gentleman may well say that, and I am glad that he is in the Chamber so that he can hear what is said. Hon. Members will be closely watched, and I hope that those in the hon. Gentleman's constituency will understand what his attitude is towards housing needs in London. The case that has been presented to us by Conservative Members represents a disgraceful attempt to prevent Londoners from achieving a modicum of decent housing, improved community facilities and an improvement in community relations as a whole. The Government are showing what is in store for London if they get their way and the GLC is abolished. This kind of squalid little move by Conservative Members to prevent people in London enjoying decent housing is exactly what will happen to every other service throughout London if the GLC is abolished.

I trust that the Government will recognise that in the past there has always been agreement before the Greater London Council (Money) Bill is presented to the House and that when it has been presented it has been carried. As the Government have tried at the last minute to change the rules of the game and prevent the Greater London Council (Money) (No. 2) Bill going through, I hope that they will advise their Members to withdraw the instruction and allow the Bill to go through unamended.

Photo of Mr Chris Smith Mr Chris Smith , Islington South and Finsbury 10:55, 12 June 1984

The crucial point, which I fear the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Sir A. Berry) was rather disingenuous about in the way in which he presented it to the House, is that the instruction which he wishes the House to pass does a simple thing — it transfers a large quantity of capital expenditure into part IV, thereby bringing it under Treasury supervision. When he said that the money would still be in the Bill, he was being disingenuous. Of course we know from the discussions which the Treasury has already had with the GLC in preparing the Bill that it has made it plain that expenditure under the heading of part IV will be examined extremely thoroughly, rigorously and moreover is unlikely to be approved. Any items of expenditure which are transferred by this instruction which the Conservative Back-Bench Members supposedly wish us to accept will be at risk.

This is the same Government who only 18 months ago were pleading with local authorities to expand their capital expenditure programmes. They were desperately urging every local authority, including the GLC, to come up with extra schemes for expenditure which could be put into their capital programmes. They were encouraging the spending which now they are saying should not be incurred. That is clearly a crazy way of running the desperately needed capital programmes for our capital city.

My second point has been made by many hon. Members, but it is of great and particular concern to me and my constituents. Many valuable and needed schemes will be at risk and under threat because of the instruction which the House is being asked to pass. I note three in my constituency. The first is a scheme of new build housing by the Metropolitan housing association just off Essex road. It is a special needs housing scheme which is being proposed through GLC finance and the acquisition of the land is under threat if the Bill does not go through as it stands.

The second scheme is a programme of environmental improvement on the Barnsbury estate, an estate of some 800 dwellings which is in a shoddy run down condition. It desperately needs the improvements which have been proposed, which have been thoroughly discussed with tenants on that estate and which have been agreed and welcomed by them and for them on which they are now waiting for work to start.

The third and most important scheme because it represents £900,000 of capital expenditure is on the Percival estate, another ex-GLC estate transferred to the borough. A scheme of improvement work for one of the blocks on that estate has been petitioned for by the tenants for many years. They are desperately anxious to see it come into being, and now it is under threat after it has finally been agreed by the GLC, the tenants and the borough.

Because of the action of Conservative Back Benchers, who know nothing of the Percival estate, the needs of its tenants and the conditions under which they are living, the improvement is at risk and under threat. I shall know simply and clearly where to put the blame when the tenants of that estate come to me to complain about the conditions in which they are living and homeless people complain about the lack of adequate accommodation into which to move. The blame will lie strongly with those hon. Members who support the instruction and who want to send millions of pounds of capital spending away from the people of London, including my constituents, who desperately need it. That is precisely were I intend to put the blame loudly and clearly.

11 pm

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

I apologise for the fact that I was unable to be present for the earlier part of the debate, but there were some urgent matters in my constituency. I came into the Chamber, however, in time to hear the Under-Secretary of State and the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey). The hon. Member for Surbiton must be one of those Conservative Back Benchers who were dragged out of the woodwork to do the bidding of the Department of the Environment, to sign this instruction and to make a speech that was compounded of error and misunderstanding. I would not normally waste the time of the House in refuting his points, but they were so erroneous that I should do so. The hon. Gentleman can wave his arms as much as he likes.

The hon. Gentleman got hold of a press release for the Campaign for Homes in Central London. He proceeded to attack a number of organisations as though they were recipients of money under the terms of the Bill. In fact, he was reading a list of press contacts of organisations that were involved in preparing the handout. He did not even have the grace to admit that that was what he was doing. The hon. Gentleman was prepared to attack some of those organisations. He accused one organisation in Battersea of sticking labels on various lamp posts, or whatever, without realising that the document was purely a list of press contacts and that the rest of the release was concerned with the capital expenditure in the Bill.

I wondered how anyone could be so mistaken in making a speech. On looking at "Dod's Parliamentary Companion" I saw that the hon. Gentleman has a claim to fame, because, among a long list of accomplishments, his entry states: Presenter Mrs. Thatcher's Election Rallies April and June 1979. Everything became clear. The truth had gone out the window then as it did in his speech. I shall return to some of his specific points about particular projects.

The Government are so embarrassed at the popularity and success of the GLC and the ILEA that in two short years they have converted the GLC from a moderately popular authority into the most popular and well-known local authority. Conservative Members are in such a sulk about the matter because they cannot take it. They do not realise that what they have done is the direct consequence of the Government's policies. They are, therefore, seeking a back-door method of undermining the GLC and of anticipating the measures of the next Sesson to abolish it — if they get that far — by undermining the capital budget that the GLC is putting forward.

Conservative Members know perfectly well that, in past years, that capital programme has been the result of negotiations between the GLC and the Government, and every year until this year those negotiations have worked their way to a sensible and balanced conclusion. This year the Government wanted to have a further go at the GLC, and no such agreement was possible because of their attitudes. The result is that we have an impasse with the GLC putting forward a series of sensible proposals for the benefit of the people of London and the Government deliberately seeking to undermine those proposals. I shall mention briefly one or two schemes which have not been referred to so far. I am genuinely fearful of the consequences of the major cuts that will take place in the plans for services in my constituency and many others if the instruction from the Tory Back Benchers is agreed to.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Eltham

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for allowing me to intervene——

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

I hope that it is not the Lambeth issue again.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Eltham

No it is not. I am sorry that the Lambeth example is such an embarrassment to the Parliamentary Labour party. Is there one item which the GLC has dropped from its original proposals, or does the money Bill contain everything that it thought of without exception? The hon. Gentleman has referred to the normal give and take with the Treasury and I should like to know whether there has been any give in the GLC's capital programme.

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

I am not sure whether that is a meaningful question. We are not concerned with the long and detailed processes by which the GLC goes through its budget proposals and its internal thinking. If the hon. Gentleman had been interested in the issue that is the background to his question, the GLC officers would have answered his questions. The services of those officers have been at his disposal for many months. Either he asked the questions and he knew the answers or he did not bother to ask them.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Eltham

I knew the answers.

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

If that is so, why did the hon. Gentleman ask a question instead of telling the House of his information? He is wasting the time of the House.

We are concerned about a series of proposals that are sensible and in the interests of the people of London. It is a sad reflection of what is going on that many proposals were lost in the course of the GLC's thinking. I cannot give a list because I have been interested in what has been before us and not in what might have been before us. I am anxious to discuss the Bill as it has been presented to the House. The hon. Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) is playing party political games in his antics and has been doing so for most of the time that I have been in the Chamber.

In my constituency there will be cuts in the plans for various schools. There will be a series of unfortunate cuts in proposals by various housing associations that serve my constituency. That will happen in a borough in which there is virtually no local authority housebuilding taking place and where there is a massive sale of council housing that is not confined to sitting tenants. The sale extends to empty council houses that are being sold to those who are not on the waiting list and who are from other boroughs. There is a major housing crisis in Wandsworth which some of the associations' schemes might do something to alleviate. Those are the sort of schemes that will go out of the window.

The hon. Member for Surbiton muttered something about the Wandsworth gasworks site and the proposal to have a solid waste transfer station. That is part of the GLC's proposal to dispose of refuse from a large part of the adjoining areas north and south of the Thames. Part of the proposal is the expenditure of £6·3 million on providing proper access to the solid waste transfer station. Whatever local arguments took place over the location of the station, a decision has been made. The proposal is before us but we cannot make the station operate without providing sensible access to it.

Photo of Mr Ernest Roberts Mr Ernest Roberts , Hackney North and Stoke Newington

In addition to the schemes that my hon. Friend will mention and others which have been mentioned which will be affected by the cuts, there are the cuts that will take place in Hackney, an area which suffers from numerous problems and where many schools will be affected, such as William Patten, Stoke Newington, Harrington hill, Craven park and Clissold road, which are only a few examples. The schools will be affected and the children will suffer as a result.

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

I shall be brief and draw my remarks to a close. However, I shall mention two or three schemes in constituencies that are represented by Conservative Members and who will have to be answerable for the consequences if they vote to kill, in effect, the schemes.

In the adjoining constituency of Putney—I am sorry that the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor), the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, is not in his place — there are various schemes to improve the Alton estate and to provide support for the Threshold housing association which will have go by the board. There are schemes of work for three nursery classes at Sheringdale, Riversdale and Huntingfield schools, and proposals dealing with Southfields school. In the wider area, there is a number of schemes of major concern, I think, even to Members who do not represent that constituency. In Kensington, there is a scheme under the heading of industry and employment for 35 units that will provide 150 jobs in the Ladbroke area. There are schemes to provide training centres in north and west London to assist in the training of some 360,000 unemployed in the Greater London area. In Harrow east, there is a proposal to provide for the purchase and renovation of a building for a battered women's refuge for the Pakistan welfare association. Finally, there are proposals in Ilford for the purchase of a Hindu centre.

Photo of Hon. Anthony Berry Hon. Anthony Berry , Enfield, Southgate

When I moved the motion, I said that there is money available for all those schemes, if those responsible in the GLC are prepared to spend money on them. The money is there. Why do they not spend it on the schemes?

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

That is not so. If the GLC is obliged to cut its spending on capital by more than £40 million, some schemes will have to go. If they are not the schemes which my hon. Friends and I have been quoting, other schemes will have to go. If the hon. Gentleman would care to put in bids for other capital projects that will have to go, instead of the ones that we have mentioned, it is up to him to put forward his alternative proposals. I am describing the schemes that are the most likely to suffer as a result of the instruction that he and his hon. Friends have put forward. [Interruption.] It is no good the hon. Gentleman continuing to shout from a sedentary position. I am prepared to give way, although the hour is late.

Photo of Hon. Anthony Berry Hon. Anthony Berry , Enfield, Southgate

The hon. Gentleman said a moment ago that those would be the schemes. That is a different argument.

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

I am not sure that the difference regarding the ones that are most likely to be chopped is all that significant. The House is discussing a proposal by Conservative Members to force major cuts in the GLC's intended capital programme. Those cuts have to come from somewhere. My hon. Friends and I have put forward the various schemes which are most likely to go for the chop. If the hon. Gentleman has an alternative set, he ought to put it forward.

We have acted in good faith, we have discussed with the GLC elected members and officers how they would react to this instruction, if it were to go through, and they have come forward with the schemes that we have mentioned. Whatever the cuts are, whether they are those that the GLC fears it would have to make, or the ones that Conservative Members would like to make for it, it is the people of London who will suffer. It is up to us to make it clear to the people of London that it is Conservative Members who are intending to punish the people of London, who do not like the people of London and who do not care for schemes which are to the well-being of the people of London. We have made that point crystal clear to Conservative Members and to the people of London tonight.

Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson Shadow Minister (Health) 11:13, 12 June 1984

I shall try to reply to the limited number of specific points that have been made by Conservative Members.

Although the House has been told by some Conservative Back Benchers that this is in some way a spontaneous uprising, it seems about as spontaneous as the crowd that turns up in Red square on May day, because it has been contrived by those in charge of the party.

The hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) said that he came to the debate not to be a rubber stamp. He was a rubber stamp this time last year. Faced with spending proposals by the GLC and the ILEA, at almost exactly the same level he never said a word, and he did not vote against the proposals, because no hon. Member did. All that has changed is that this nasty and vindictive Government have encouraged him and his hon. Friends, fondly so-called, to start putting the boot into the GLC and into the ILEA.

The hon. Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) raised one or two specific matters. He said that the future location of St. Mary's Roman Catholic school in his constituency was in doubt and that it did not, therefore, need outside toilets. I did not refer to outside toilets—I said that the school was proposing a nursery class. If the hon. Gentleman is saying that the nursery class is not necessary, there are many schemes on which the ILEA could happily spend that money. He has not consulted locally, but is spontaneously offering that sacrifice to the Prime Minister to make himself a little more popular. He will have to answer to the electors of Eltham for that

The hon. Gentleman repeatedly spoke about the future of the Brixton recreation centre. Following the information supplied by my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser), I gained the impression that the Minister wished that his hon. Friend had not raised that matter. As my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood said, Tory Members were responsible for initiating that scheme, thus lumbering the ratepayers with a cost of about £25 million. I explained that the money spent on the Brixton recreation centre could not be spent on any of the schemes this year because that money had been spent last year. That was not sufficient for the Minister. He must be suffering from brain damage from having to explain these matters to the Secretary of State. If he cannot understand that, when discussing future capital project, money spent last year is of no relevance, his grasp of matters is disappearing.

The hon. Member for Eltham, who persistently raised the issue, went to the GLC officials who have been present all night to find out the facts. Any hon. Member is entitled to do that. They told the hon. Gentleman that the centre cost £10 million and that that had already been spent. Yet he suggested that we did not know what we were doing. He suggested that I was remiss in not identifying instantly, during a debate on future GLC expenditure, any scheme from the £600 million expenditure already gone and give him an answer. He must know that the tradition has always been that an hon. Member introducing a measure tries to reply to the points raised. I hope that I have now replied to the hon. Gentleman's point satisfactorily.

The hon. Member for Surbiton, whose charm matches his ignorance, said that he was prepared to stay here all night until he had an answer about the cost of the Brixton recreation centre. He said that he had spoken to his friends at County Hall about other matters. It is a pity that he did not talk to them about the Brixton recreation centre. Far from the figures being secret, they were in a committee document in March this year. There was nothing to hide. Even the hon. Member for Eltham, who is obsessed with the centre, and the Minister could have looked up the figures. They did not do so because they wanted to make misleading cheap-jack points rather than addressing themselves to the matters before us.

The GLC was proposing to spend the same amount on capital expenditure this year as it spent last year. The Government had no objections last year. The ILEA is also proposing to spend about the same amount as last year on exactly the same sort of projects. They were acceptable to the Government last year. If we suggested to the government that the economy is in ruins and we need restraint on capital expenditure, they would say that we were raising all sorts of untrue harum-scarum scandals. If the Government are saying that there is nothing wrong with the economy and that that there is nothing different about the schemes that are before us tonight, all that they are saying is that the right hon. Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher) is pursuing her vendetta against the GLC and ILEA. That is a disgraceful vendetta, for which she will pay at the ballot box, and I do not mean just generally in the country or just generally in London, I mean at the ballot box in Finchley. With that happy thought, we leave her.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time and committed.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That it be an Instruction to the Committee to whom the Bill is committed that they should—

  1. (a) provide for a reduction of £123,000,000 in the aggregate amounts in column 2 of Parts I, II and III of the Schedule;
  2. (b) provide, if the Promoters so request, for an increase not exceeding £123,000,000 in the amount specified in column 2 of Part IV;
  3. (c) have regard to any proposals which may be made by the Promoters for the apportionment of the reduction among the several items in Parts and for the apportionment of the increase, if any, between the items in Part IV, or, if such proposals are not put forward by the Promoters—
    1. (i) reduce the amounts in column 2 of item 5 in Part II and of item 10 in Part III to £25,000 each;
    2. (ii) reduce the remaining amounts in column 2 of Parts I and II by 7·49 per cent., rounded to the nearest £1,000 above; and
    3. (iii) apply 2·63 per cent. of any increase to be made in column 2 of Part IV, rounded to the nearest £1,000 above, to item 11(a) and the remainder to item 11(b); and
  4. (d) make such consequential amendments as are necessary.—[Sir Anthony Berry.]

Amendment proposed thereto, in paragraph (c) (iii), after 11(b) insert,'(d) take evidence and determine the criteria that should be applied by Her Majesty's Treasury when consenting to or dissenting from any application made by the Promoters under section 6 of the Bill in respect of any additional sums transferred to Part IV of the Schedule under paragraph (b) above.'.—[Mr. Spearing.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 75, Noes 153.

Division No. 360][11.20 pm
Alton, DavidHughes, Simon (Southwark)
Archer, Rt Hon PeterKirkwood, Archy
Ashdown, PaddyLamond, James
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)Litherland, Robert
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Loyden, Edward
Barnett, GuyMcCartney, Hugh
Beckett, Mrs MargaretMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Beith, A. J.McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Bell, StuartMcKelvey, William
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)McTaggart, Robert
Bermingham, GeraldMarek, Dr John
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)Maxton, John
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)Meacher, Michael
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)Meadowcroft, Michael
Campbell-Savours, DaleMikardo, Ian
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)Parry, Robert
Cook, Frank (Stockton North)Pavitt, Laurie
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)Pike, Peter
Corbyn, JeremyPrescott, John
Cowans, HarryRandall, Stuart
Cox, Thomas (Tooting)Richardson, Ms Jo
Craigen, J. M.Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Deakins, EricRooker, J. W.
Dixon, DonaldRoss, Ernest (Dundee W)
Dobson, FrankSedgemore, Brian
Dubs, AlfredShore, Rt Hon Peter
Eastham, KenSilkin, Rt Hon J.
Evans, John (St. Helens N)Skinner, Dennis
Fisher, MarkSmith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Fraser, J. (Norwood)Spearing, Nigel
Freeson, Rt Hon ReginaldStrang, Gavin
Garrett, W. E.Wallace, James
Gould, BryanWinnick, David
Harman, Ms Harriet
Haynes, FrankTellers for the Ayes:
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)Mr. Harry Cohen and Mr. Ron Leighton.
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)
Howells, Geraint
Alexander, RichardChalker, Mrs Lynda
Amess, DavidChapman, Sydney
Arnold, TomChope, Christopher
Ashby, DavidClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Aspinwall, JackClark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Conway, Derek
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Coombs, Simon
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyCope, John
Bellingham, HenryCouchman, James
Benyon, WilliamCurrie, Mrs Edwina
Berry, Sir AnthonyDicks, Terry
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnDorrell, Stephen
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnDouglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDover, Den
Boscawen, Hon RobertDunn, Robert
Bottomley, PeterDurant, Tony
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Braine, Sir BernardEmery, Sir Peter
Brandon-Bravo, MartinEvennett, David
Bright, GrahamEyre, Sir Reginald
Brinton, TimFallon, Michael
Brooke, Hon PeterFarr, John
Bruinvels, PeterFavell, Anthony
Bulmer, EsmondFookes, Miss Janet
Burt, AlistairForman, Nigel
Butcher, JohnForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Garel-Jones, Tristan
Cash, WilliamGoodlad, Alastair
Gow, IanRossi, Sir Hugh
Greenway, HarryRumbold, Mrs Angela
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Sayeed, Jonathan
Harris, DavidShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hayhoe, BarneyShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Heddle, JohnSims, Roger
Henderson, BarrySkeet, T. H. H.
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Howard, MichaelSoames, Hon Nicholas
Hunt, David (Wirral)Spencer, Derek
Jenkin, Rt Hon PatrickSpicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Jessel, TobySpicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Key, RobertSquire, Robin
Lang, IanStanbrook, Ivor
Lester, JimSteen, Anthony
Lightbown, DavidStern, Michael
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
McCurley, Mrs AnnaStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Macfarlane, NeilStradling Thomas, J.
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)Sumberg, David
Maclean, David JohnTaylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Major, JohnTerlezki, Stefan
Malins, HumfreyThomas, Rt Hon Peter
Maples, JohnThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Mather, CarolThompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Mawhinney, Dr BrianThorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Mayhew, Sir PatrickThurnham, Peter
Mellor, DavidTownend, John (Bridlington)
Meyer, Sir AnthonyTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Mitchell, David (NW Hants)Tracey, Richard
Moate, RogerVaughan, Sir Gerard
Moynihan, Hon C.Waddington, David
Murphy, ChristopherWakeham, Rt Hon John
Needham, RichardWalden, George
Neubert, MichaelWalker, Bill (T'side N)
Newton, TonyWaller, Gary
Norris, StevenWatts, John
Onslow, CranleyWells, Bowen (Hertford)
Ottaway, RichardWells, John (Maidstone)
Page, John (Harrow W)Whitfield, John
Page, Richard (Herts SW)Wolfson, Mark
Parris, MatthewWood, Timothy
Patten, John (Oxford)Yeo, Tim
Percival, Rt Hon Sir IanYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Powell, William (Corby)
Powley, JohnTellers for the Noes:
Raffan, KeithMr. Martin Stevens and Dr. Ian Twinn.
Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Roe, Mrs Marion

Question accordingly negatived.

Main Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 154, Noes 74.

Division No. 361][11.32 pm
Alexander, RichardBruinvels, Peter
Amess, DavidBulmer, Esmond
Arnold, TomBurt, Alistair
Ashby, DavidButcher, John
Aspinwall, JackCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Cash, William
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Chalker, Mrs Lynda
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Chapman, Sydney
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyChope, Christopher
Bellingham, HenryClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Berry, Sir AnthonyClark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnConway, Derek
Bonsor, Sir NicholasCoombs, Simon
Boscawen, Hon RobertCope, John
Bottomley, PeterCouchman, James
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Currie, Mrs Edwina
Braine, Sir BernardDicks, Terry
Brandon-Bravo, MartinDorrell, Stephen
Bright, GrahamDouglas-Hamilton, Lord J,
Brinton, TimDover, Den
Brooke, Hon PeterDunn, Robert
Durant, TonyPatten, John (Oxford)
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Emery, Sir PeterPowell, William (Corby)
Evennett, DavidPowley, John
Eyre, Sir ReginaldRaffan, Keith
Fallon, MichaelRidsdale, Sir Julian
Farr, JohnRobinson, Mark (N'port W)
Favell, AnthonyRoe, Mrs Marion
Fookes, Miss JanetRossi, Sir Hugh
Forman, NigelRumbold, Mrs Angela
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Garel-Jones, TristanSayeed, Jonathan
Goodlad, AlastairShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Gow, IanShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Greenway, HarrySims, Roger
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)Skeet, T. H. H.
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Harris, DavidSoames, Hon Nicholas
Hayhoe, BarneySpencer, Derek
Heddle, JohnSpicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Henderson, BarrySpicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Hirst, MichaelSquire, Robin
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Stanbrook, Ivor
Howard, MichaelSteen, Anthony
Hunt, David (Wirral)Stern, Michael
Jenkin, Rt Hon PatrickStevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Jessel, TobyStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Key, RobertStradling Thomas, J.
Lang, IanSumberg, David
Lester, JimTaylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Lightbown, DavidTerlezki, Stefan
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
McCurley, Mrs AnnaThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Macfarlane, NeilThompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Maclean, David JohnThurnham, Peter
Major, JohnTownend, John (Bridlington)
Malins, HumfreyTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Maples, JohnTracey, Richard
Mather, CarolVaughan, Sir Gerard
Mawhinney, Dr BrianWaddington, David
Mayhew, Sir PatrickWakeham, Rt Hon John
Mellor, DavidWalden, George
Meyer, Sir AnthonyWalker, Bill (T'side N)
Mitchell, David (NW Hants)Waller, Gary
Moate, RogerWatts, John
Moynihan, Hon C.Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Murphy, ChristopherWells, John (Maidstone)
Needham, RichardWhitfield, John
Neubert, MichaelWolfson, Mark
Newton, TonyWood, Timothy
Norris, StevenYeo, Tim
Onslow, CranleyYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, John (Harrow W)Tellers for the Ayes:
Page, Richard (Herts SW)Mr. Martin Stevens and Dr. Ian Twinn.
Parris, Matthew
Alton, DavidBarnett, Guy
Ashdown, PaddyBeckett, Mrs Margaret
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)Beith, A. J.
Banks, Tony (Newharn NW)Bell, Stuart
Bermingham, GeraldLoyden, Edward
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)McCartney, Hugh
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Campbell-Savours, DaleMcKelvey, William
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)McTaggart, Robert
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)Marek, Dr John
Cook, Frank (Stockton North)Maxton, John
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)Meacher, Michael
Corbyn, JeremyMeadowcroft, Michael
Cowans, HarryMikardo, Ian
Cox, Thomas (Tooting)Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Craigen, J. M.Parry, Robert
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)Pavitt, Laurie
Deakins, EricPike, Peter
Dixon, DonaldPrescott, John
Dobson, FrankRandall, Stuart
Dubs, AlfredRichardson, Ms Jo
Eastham, KenRoberts, Allan (Bootle)
Evans, John (St. Helens N)Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Fisher, MarkRooker, J. W.
Fraser, J. (Norwood)Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Freeson, Rt Hon ReginaldSedgemore, Brian
Garrett, W. E.Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Gould, BryanSilkin, Rt Hon J.
Harman, Ms HarrietSkinner, Dennis
Harrison, Rt Hon WalterSmith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Haynes, FrankSpearing, Nigel
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)Strang, Gavin
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)Wallace, James
Howells, GeraintWinnick, David
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Kirkwood, ArchyTellers for the Noes:
Lamond, JamesMr. Ron Leighton and Mr. Harry Cohen.
Litherland, Robert

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved,That it be an Instruction to the Committee to whom the Bill is committed that they should—

  1. (a) provide for a reduction of £123,000,000 in the aggregate amounts in column 2 of Parts I, II and III of the Schedule;
  2. (b) provide, if the Promoters so request, for an increase not exceeding £123,000,000 in the amount specified in column 2 of Part IV;
  3. (c) have regard to any proposals which may be made by the Promoters for the apportionment of the reduction among the several items in Parts I-III and for the apportionment of the increase, if any, between the items in Part IV, or, if such proposals are not put forward by the Promoters—
    1. (i) reduce the amounts in column 2 of item 5 in Part II and of item 10 in Part III to £25,000 each;
    2. (ii) reduce the remaining amounts in column 2 of Parts I and II by 7·49 per cent., rounded to the nearest £1,000 above; and
    3. (iii) apply 2·63 per cent. of any increase to be made in column 2 of Part IV, rounded to the nearest £1,000 above, to item 11(a) and the remainder to item 11(b); and
  4. (d) make such consequential amendments as are necessary.