Channel Tunnel Bill

Orders of the Day — Channel Tunnel Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 3rd February 1987.

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Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford , Fulham 9:30 pm, 3rd February 1987

Many people in the London area greatly value the opportunity to make use of areas of natural landscape, where they can follow their interests in birds, flora and fauna. Indeed, one of the small crumbs of comfort in Committee was a minor amendment, eventually conceded by the Government with rather had grace, designed to protect the interests of wildlife in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley). Owing to the painstaking and meticulous work of a 16-year-old boy, an extraordinary report was put together on the extent, variety and richness of wildlife in that rather surprising and unpromising area.

Many of those who fought for the environmental issues in Committee were conscious that Eurotunnel was showing little interest in protecting the landscape and environment from the adverse impact of its plans. We know of the enormous struggle that it took to make it accept the logic of a southern access route to the Cheriton terminal, which would greatly minimise environmental damage. Despite all the efforts of local people and the Shepway council, Eurotunnel dragged its heels to the last minute, reluctant to accept the case for an environmentally far superior approach. My anxiety about Eurotunnel's attitude remains strong today.

A matter of even greater concern has been the evidence not so much of the way in which Eurotunnel has subordinated the interests of the landscape and our natural heritage to its economic and financial advantage, but the Government's unwillingness to stand up for a British nature, heritage and natural landscape and protect it against the ravages of Eurotunnel. It has been depressing to watch, time and again, the Government preferring to support Eurotunnel short-term economic advantages rather than ensuring that the landscape and the environment are properly protected.

No greater example of that can there be than the sad story of Shakespeare cliff, which illustrates only too clearly the extent to which private capital seeking financial advantage pushes the interests of our countryside and coastline into a subordinate position. The Government., quite, deplorably, have gone along with that and failed to stand up for British interests.

It is widely accepted that there is a need for a working platform at Shakespeare cliff. However, from the outset it was said that that platform should be kept to the minimum size necessary. Serious environmental damage will be caused by any extension of the platform. That point was made both in the economic appraisal of the schemes submitted by the various companies which tendered for the fixed link and by the Government's independent consultants appointed to consider the matter. They recommended that an alternative site should be explored for dumping all the spoil, other than that which was necessary for the minimum size working platform. They also recommended that there should be a proper feasibility study carried out of the alternative sites. The Government did not take up that recommendation. Instead, the Government simply allowed Eurotunnel to commission a report from Eurotunnel's consultants that inevitably recommended that it was financially advantageous for Eurotunnel to dump the rest of the spoil—approximately 1·85 million cubic metres—at the base of Shakespeare cliff. It will treat the area as a dump for the chalk spoil, dug out of the tunnel, to be deposited simply for financial reasons, irrespective of the impact on the coast line.

It was a question not just of Eurotunnel allowing private greed to get in the way of the public interest but of the British Government going along with its recommendations. That is depressing.

What is even more depressing is that, during the Committee stage, we discovered the extent to which the British Government were prepared to have a far greater amount of spoil dug out of the tunnel than the French. It emerged in Committee that Britain would receive 4·75 million cubic metres of spoil while the French would receive 3 million cubic metres of spoil. That is the result of the Government's willingness to allow an arrangement which would be disadvantageous to this country and, beyond that, their willingness for that dumping to take place where it will have damaging environmental effects on the coastline at Shakespeare cliff.

The clear implication was that the meeting point of the tunnel was not midway through the tunnel as has had been implied initially. There would not be a roughly equivalent amount of spoil dug out at each end—as implied in the original prospectus published by Eurotunnel. The game plan had changed. It was to Eurotunnel's financial advantage to dump spoil at Shakespeare cliff and the British Government ignored the interest of the environment and simply allowed it to proceed to dump greater amounts of spoil on our coastline.

One of the more illuminating experiences in Committee was the extent to which the mid-point of the tunnel was getting nearer and nearer to the French end with every ministerial pronouncement. We heard that the meeting point would be slightly nearer to the French coast. The Minister conceded this on 11 December when he said that the maximum distance would be 2 km nearer the French coast. He said: I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the maximum… is 2 kilometres".—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 11 December 1986; c. 128.] However, by 16 December the Minister was conceding that the meeting point was 3·2 km nearer the French side than the British side. We were left with the impression that, if the Committee had continued to discuss the meeting point, it would have got nearer until it reached the French coast.

That may be rather humorous, but not when one considers the question of the spoil to be deposited on our coastline. However, ultimately national interests have been surrendered to Eurotunnel's economic advantage. The fact is that it would cost Eurotunnel an extra £40 million to move the spoil to a more environmentally desirable place elsewhere. What is sad and depressing is that the financial interests of the private contractors have overruled the national interest. What is even more depressing is that the Government have not stood up for those national interests.

This new clause is essential as it makes clear our concern for the countryside, our national heritage, landscape, flora and fauna, not just in Kent but in London. These are important matters which must override the short-term economic interest of Eurotunnel. It is our responsibility to stand up for the national interest in a way that the Government have lamentably failed to do during the proceedings on the Bill. I sincerely hope that we will ensure that this clause, or something similar to it, is incorporated in the Bill.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , South Thanet

It is never too late for deathbed repentances. For that reason, I hope that the Government will accept the thinking behind the new clause, even though they managed to reject, with bewildering stubborness, a range of environmental protection amendments which were proposed in reasonable and moderate terms in Standing Committee.

I am a little concerned about whether new clause 4 is a clause of good intentions that will lead nowhere and mean nothing. I should like to know what happens if the concessionaires do not have regard to the desirability of preserving natural beauty and other good intentions. They have not expressed much inclination so far to show their good regard. They have produced only 24 words out of several hundred thousand in their pamphlets. I am concerned that the new clause may not have enough teeth. I am worried about the vagueness of the definition of, for example, "heritage coast of Kent". Although I am a resident of Kent, I am not sure exactly where the "heritage coast" can be said to begin and to end and I doubt whether that is an appropriate legal expression. Nevertheless, the new clause is well intentioned. It remedies the appalling gaps left in environmental protection because of the Government's refusal to take on board any of the amendments suggested in Standing Committee or by the Select Committee. This measure is a marked improvement.

I understand why the Labour party might feel it necessary to propose the new clause—to throw a sop in the direction of the people of Kent. I do not begrudge Labour Members their one amazing success in Standing Committee when, late at night, they persuaded the Government to accept an amendment insisting that the concessionaires and others should take into account the views of a hitherto unknown body, the London Wildlife Trust, about a patch of land encased by three railway lines and two motorways and overlooked by Wormwood Scrubs prison.

Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford , Fulham

The hon. Gentleman should be less modest. It was agreed by the Government not just at the Opposition's instigation but because of the hon. Gentleman's enthusiastic support.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , South Thanet

I know a bandwagon when I see one.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that he did not vote for this measure because he was under the impression that it was the London Nightlife Trust?

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , South Thanet

My night life recently has been spent listening to the hon. Gentleman speak at about 3 o'clock in the morning or later.

The prisoners of Wormwood Scrubs have been granted a measure of environmental protection by the Bill as amended in Standing Committee, yet so far the law-abiding citizens of Kent. with the garden of England stretching before them, have been granted no such environmental protection. My cry is, "Equal rights for the citizens of Kent as for the prisoners of Wormwood Scrubs." The prisoners are being indirectly consulted on environmental matters and so should the people of Kent.

New clause 4 has been grouped with new clauses 6 and 7, which stand in my name and which are probing measures. Because both were debated so well in Standing Committee, they need not be considered at great length. Before we conclude our consideration of the Bill, we should be aware of the murky—perhaps even monkey—business of the switched consultants who so conveniently changed their minds on the vital issue of the disposal of spoil at Shakespeare cliff. The Government originally commissioned a firm of consultants to advise them on that crucial environmental issue. The consultants, who were called "land use consultants", came up with three recommended sites for spoil disposal. None of them involved Shakespeare cliff. The selected site was a place called Lappel bank. It was an admirable site in terms of the environment, but, unfortunately for land use consultants, it was not convenient from the point of view of the economic interests of Eurotunnel who found it more expensive to transport disposed spoil to that recommended site.

10.15 pm

With a deft manoeuvre, Eurotunnel commissioned some consultants of its own, called Messrs. Environmental Research Ltd. That firm produced a report that—surprise, surprise—recommended that the spoil be disposed of at the cheapest possible site in the interests of Eurotunnel, Shakespeare cliff. So, Shakespeare cliff it is at the moment, and an eyesore it will be—a 68-acre protuberance on one of the most beautiful landmarks in Britain as a result of the switched consultants' manoeuvre. The Select Committee did not think much of this manoeuvring. Its unanimous recommendation states: The Committee remain concerned at implications of the use of Shakespeare cliff as the spoil disposal site. We therefore recommend that Her Majesty's Government and Eurotunnel should re-examine the use of alternative or additional sites before proceedings on this Bill are completed.

So far, if there has been any reconsideration, it has been an empty ritual. Therefore, I strongly urge—if I am able to do so from the Government Back Bench—the other place to look again at the issue of spoil disposal. I see no good reason why, on the basis of one hired consultant cancelling out the recommendation of the Government's own consultants, Parliament should vote for a major environmental change on one of the most beautiful and picturesque landmarks of the country. The matter needs to be studied. I strongly suspect that there has been a degree of dirty work or, certainly dirty spoil, at the crossroads so far over the business of the switched consultants. The matter needs to be looked at afresh by a new pair of independent eyes. Independent consultants should come on to the scene and make recommendations. I hope that is achieved by this new clause.

New clause 7 refers to potential buildings and changes on Shakespeare cliff. This is the first big battle outside Parliament over development and planning permission. There are a number of courageous councillors in the Dover district council. Dover has two parliamentary representatives. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dover (Mr. Rees) represents that town, and I represent some of the villagers in the town of Sandwich in the Dover district. Eurotunnel submitted its first planning application, and the Dover district council rejected it on honourable environmental grounds. I salute the mover of that motion, Councillor Bill Henderson of Ash. He is a stalwart farmer who has always strongly defended the environment and all things Kentish and English. I am not surprised that his motion carried the day.

In the course of the Standing Committee proceedings, my hon. Friend the Minister made an imputation against the worthy councillors of Dover. He said that they had ratted on some agreement. I can only assure him, after noting what Councillor Bill Henderson said, that there was no question of him or any others being aware of any previous agreement. If there were any such agreement. it was unauthorised in terms of the knowledge of the elected councillors.

It is a potentially unhappy situation. The Government referred to it as a mere hitch. I referred to it as a derailment of the Eurotunnel gravy train. The truth probably lies somewhere between the two. It will certainly be serious for Eurotunnel if the clause is not amended and if wiser counsels do not prevail. Therefore I have written into the new clause a provision whereby, if Dover district council, the Government and Eurotunnel continue to quarrel, their quarrel will be resolved on such an important issue as Shakespeare cliff by the decision of this House.

Eurotunnel has not helped matters by making an extraordinary announcement about one of its economic plans. In the Financial Times of 22 January there was an article under the headline Eurotunnel more hopeful on revenue. It needs to be more hopeful on revenue, given its disastrous economic position, with directors quarrelling and shareholders vanishing in a puff of white smoke. In a desperate attempt to shore up shareholder confidence, Eurotunnel announced a new break through as a way of increasing advertising revenue. Under the headline to which I have already referred it said: One way of increasing revenue would be through the sale of advertising sites. That announcement sent a tremor through the environmentalists of Kent. The notion that Eurotunnel's finances could be boosted by erecting more advertising sites all round the county of Kent, particularly on such beautiful sites as Shakespeare cliff, completely justifies the environmentalists' concern. That is one good reason why Dover district councillors, who are perturbed by the environmental eyesores that could be created, have taken such a courageous stand.

If Dover district council and the Government continue to quarrel, their quarrel is likely to be resolved by an appeal to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. The only problem is that the present Secretary of State for the Environment is the proud father of the Channel tunnel project. My right hon. Friend could hardly be expected to sit in impartial judgment on a planning application that could hold up Eurotunnel's progress if that application is not granted swiftly. To expect my right hon. Friend effectively to be the appellate body would be a breach of the rule of natural justice that no man shall be judge in his own cause.

Clause 7 would provide a solution to this problem. The House of Commons and Parliament would vote on such a vital issue as the Shakespeare cliff area of outstanding natural beauty. That is not a perfect solution, but it is a great deal better than the present imperfect solution over the impasse between Eurotunnel and Dover district council with the impasse being resolved only by an appeal to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State who, fine and honourable man though he is, is the most committed of people to the Channel tunnel.

The three new clauses try to do their bit towards preserving the environment. It is a necessary step. I hope that the Government will move in the direction of new clause 4 and improve its drafting in another place. All three new clauses are laudable in their intention and I commend them to the House.

Photo of Mr Peter Rees Mr Peter Rees , Dover

I intervene with diffidence in the debate, since I was not privileged to be a member of the Standing Committee. In this connection, I pay an unsolicited tribute to the activities of my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South (Mr. Aitken), who, not for the first time, proved to be a doughty upholder of the interests of east Kent and of my constituency in particular. I hope that it is not arrogant of me to say that of all the constituencies represented in the House, mine is the one that is perhaps most directly affected by what we are debating tonight.

Photo of Mr Peter Rees Mr Peter Rees , Dover

I beg the pardon of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard). He and I will resolve elsewhere who has the melancholy privilege of representing the constituency most directly affected. Assiduous as always in discharging his constituency duties, my hon. and learned Friend has been sitting through the debates, and we are only sorry that on this occasion constitutional convention prevents him from making a more direct contribution.

I hope that I may comment briefly on the three new clauses. We are debating new clause 4 which stands in the name of the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Snape). Without sounding patronising, I should like to say that his sentiments are impeccable, although the direction is a little imprecise. However, I warmed to the conclusion of that new clause, which invites all those who are directly concerned to have regard to the effect of any such proposals on the heritage coast of Kent. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South, I am not quite certain who represents the heritage coast. Again, presumptuously, I claim the greater part of it in the Dover and Deal constituency, but again I may be provoking my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Folkestone and Hythe.

I come now to the second specific proposal in new clause 4, which touches on the desirability of securing that … the movement of minestone … shall be carried out by rail. That alarms me because it suggests that the assurance, which I understood was given to the Select Committee by Eurotunnel, to the effect that minestone would be carried by rail, is not to be regarded as a copper-bottomed, comprehensive guarantee. Therefore, I hope that the Minister will advise us how he regards the status of that guarantee. It is a matter of acute concern to the many villages in my constituency that are located along the roads on which, inevitably, the minestone would have to be carried from the Betteshanger, Snowdown and Tilmanstone collieries to Cheriton or perhaps to some other point of the workings, that such minestone should be taken by rail, and not by road.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I do not wish to pre-empt anything that his hon. Friend the Minister will say, but I do not know whether he was present when I moved the somewhat imprecise clause to which he referred. However, I said that the Select Committee of which I was a member accepted Eurotunnel's assurances on the last day of our sitting, that, although the construction of a terminal alongside the M20, might mean that some minestone would be carried by road along the M20, it would, we thought, be environmentally better for the people whom the right hon. and learned Gentleman represents, and for the people of Kent in general.

Photo of Mr Peter Rees Mr Peter Rees , Dover

We are all focusing on the same point. I hope that I speak for the entire House in saying that we should be grateful for the Minister's opinion about that situation. Should there be any doubt about that point, I must put my hon. Friend on notice that the matter will certainly be raised in another place by many of those whom I have the privilege to represent.

New clause 6 stands in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South. Again, I echo his perceptive and elegant phrases on the important issue of soil disposal because, on present form, the brunt of that operation, if I may so describe it, is likely to be borne in my constituency. As I understand it, leaving aside the million cubic tonnes which will be deposited at Cheriton, the greater part will have to be deposited at the base of Shakespeare cliff. I do not think that I need comment to such an informed audience as the Chamber comprises—I see many hon. Members who served on the Standing Committee and on the Select Committee—the charms of Shakespeare cliff, with all its literary associations. Again, I warm with admiration to the quotations from "King Lear" and other sources with which my hon. Friend the Minister regaled the Standing Committee. The cliff is a feature of considerable importance to those in my constituency, and, I am sure, to other people living in east Kent and elsewhere.

Although one may have to accept reluctantly that Shakespeare cliff is the best site, by comparison with any other offered, none the less I should feel happier if the matter were considered carefully by the Select Committee in another place. Indeed, having glanced at the report of the Standing Committee, I note that my hon. Friend the Minister said that his Department would make available all the necessary evidence for a further thorough review of this sensitive issue by that Select Committee.

I diffidently suggest that there are two points. First, where can the spoil be placed satisfactorily? My hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Moate) may have views about that. Secondly, if that spoil is not to be placed in an area close to the workings, how is it to be carted away? That question may generate the same concern as the movement of minestone.

10.30 pm

I now want to consider new clause 7. I was alarmed by the construction placed on the Bill by my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South. The principle that Eurotunnel can derive additional revenue by placing advertising hoardings in and around Shakespeare cliff and other sensitive spots underlies the new clause. I must stress that no one has devoted as much thought to these matters than my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South, but, although I do not want to deny Eurotunnel any reasonable sources of revenue, I would regard the placing of hoardings in those areas as an unreasonable source of revenue.

Until I had heard the interesting comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South, on a perhaps inexpert reading of the Bill I had assumed that the planning permisson granted by clause 9 was limited specifically to the works of construction. I do not regard advertising hoardings, restaurants, kiosks or fun fairs sited at the base of Shakespeare cliff on the pan or apron that is to be constructed there, as within the scope of clause 9. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister of State will be able to reassure us about that. I am not claiming that this has not been an extremely useful debate, but if the Minister replies to that point, at least we would have it on record that that is the way in which the Government consider that the Bill should be construed.

If there is any doubt about the point, I am sure that my hon. Friend the Minister would want to meet the legitimate anxieties of my constituents and perhaps the constituents of other hon. Members representing east Kent constituencies. That would ensure that the planning consent afforded by the Bill is of a limited and specific character and that any operations outside the scope of the excavation of the tunnel are matters for special and separate planning applications. Although my hon. Friend the Minister might not want to go quite as far as that, I hope that if there were matters of acute sensitivity—if, for example, the scale was considerable—my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment would consider it appropriate to call in such applications in view of the implications in a very sensitive part of the world.

These are three extremely important and useful clauses. Depending upon the reply that the Minister gives, I hope that we will elicit something that will be read and scrutinised with extreme care and which will have a considerable bearing on the way in which the Bill proceeds in this House and in another place.

Photo of Mr Roger Moate Mr Roger Moate , Faversham

My hon. Friend the Minister of State will appreciate that the proposal before us has achieved unanimity among Kent Members which has been lacking so far in the previus proceedings on the Bill. I hope that he will understand the significance of that, as it shows that this is a worthy proposal. I hope that he will respond, if he cannot accept the precise wording in the clause, in a way that shows that he supports the principle. I hope that a proposal and protection of this kind will be incorporated in the legislation in one form or another.

It has been suggested that the proposition lacks teeth. It is certainly an expression of good intention. If it were only that, we would welcome it as a benign, albeit toothless, smile. That would be better than nothing. However, I imagine that many lawyers will be able to translate these good intentions in the courts into rather more meaningful protections.

These protections must be of value to all of us. It would be of special comfort to the people of Kent and elsewhere if such a clause could be incorporated. Without having carried out major research into the matter, I believe that there are many precedents in other Bills, expressed in general terms, for the protection of flora and fauna and the the environment generally. I can certainly recall private Bills, not hybrid Bills with which I have been concerned, where the Committee has inserted clauses such as this. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will take heed of that, look at the precedents, if they need to—perhaps they have already decided to accept the clause—and go ahead with it at least in principle.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dover (Mr. Rees) was competing with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard) as to who was going to suffer the most. Undoubtedly those Kent constituencies are in the front line. My point is that the damage to the environment potentially spreads throughout the county and beyond. It fans out in a much broader way and the new clause is sufficiently wide to offer some comfort and protection to those areas far beyond the front-line constituencies. That is why I welcome the way in which it is expressed. It does not lay a duty just upon Eurotunnel, it lays a duty upon the Railway Board, Kent County Council, the Planning Authorities and the appropriate Minister or Ministers. I believe that to be of fundamental importance, because much of the environmental impact will be felt in constituencies such as mine.

I should like to take the time of the House to express my fundamental objection to the tunnel. I have been a Member of the House for 17 years and throughout those years one of my principle concerns has been about the damage caused by heavy lorries to the roads and ancient buildings of Kent. I have been concerned with the damage to our villages and towns caused by impact, vibration or sheer volume.

Most of us—it is certainly not confined to Kent constituencies—have fought long and hard for bypasses for our villages. Many of us have fought hard against increasingly heavy lorries using unsuitable rural roads. We have seen cold stores designed for agricultural use become used for increasingly industrial purposes. We have seen international lorries using depots designed for the horse and cart age.

My concern is what the tunnel will do by the generation of more traffic through the unsuitable roads of Kent. We will be told that it will all go on the M2 and M20, but those roads are virtually up to capacity already. The inevitable result is that we will see more traffic filtering through every highway and byway and every rural lane, using every rat run available throughout the county.

I should like the Minister to address that point. I should like him to say that, by accepting a clause of this kind, he accepts that Ministers, the county council and the planning authorities would have a duty to respond to that threat. They could respond in a number of ways. They could respond by assuring us that they will not increase the lorry weight from 38 tonnes to 40 tonnes. the pressure for that change will be great once we have easier traffic flows through to the continent. They could give us an assurance that they will welcome weight and width restrictions throughout the county. That is hard to achieve at present.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

Is my hon. Friend saying that he favours more smaller lorries rather than fewer larger lorries? I want to understand his argument.

Photo of Mr Roger Moate Mr Roger Moate , Faversham

My hon. Friend will not tempt me into a debate about lorry weights. All the evidence so far is that the heavier the lorry—the more economical the use of lorry transport—the more lorries we get. We do not get fewer. Time will tell who is right on that debate. So far most of the forecasts we made when lorry weights were increased have been proved correct. However, I shall not be drawn into that discussion.

It is within the power of Government, and it would be underlined by this new clause, to ensure that we limit the damage done by cars and heavy lorries on roads through many of the most beautiful villages in our area. Fundamental to this point is whether the tunnel will generate more rail or road traffic. The railway lobby sees the tunnel as a great boon to the railway industry. I see it as a bonanza for lorries. All we are doing is creating a new underground ferry designed to serve the best interests of the car and lorry traffic of this modern age. The interests and profits of Eurotunnel will be best served and secured, not by long-distance freight or by passengers on trains, but by encouraging and maximising the traffic of cars and heavy lorries through our county.

This is my worry. I want my right hon. Friend to deal with and prevent the impact and vibration problems caused by heavy lorries and cars using roads which were never designed for that purpose, and to consider compensation for householders who suffer in that way. A clause of this kind has to be welcomed. It offers protection in specific areas, especially to those affected by the immediate developments, but it offers a broad statement of intent and powers with regard to counties and places far beyond the immediate area of impact.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dover mentioned the constituency of Faversham in the context of the disposal of spoil. Without going into detail, I was disappointed that the concept of depositing much of this spoil on the Lappel bank in my constituency seems to have been abandoned.

At the Lappel bank in the Medway there is land that requires reclamation. We have the opportunity to move this spoil around by sea without causing any traffic problems at all on the roads. There is a strong economic and environmental argument for that and I thoroughly endorse my right hon. and learned Friend's hope that a Select Committee in another place will examine this question thoroughly again to ensure that we make no mistakes in that respect.

I am glad that my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury (Mr. Crouch) and I are in agreement on this issue. I fear that his romantic attachment to the Channel tunnel is totally at variance with his belief that we can in some way secure environmental protection, but I respect his sincerity. I think that there will be environmental damage, but I hope that the House will not lose this opportunity of including in the Bill a general statement of intention and hopefully of giving some powers and duties to the Government to take whatever steps are necessary to protect our environment from the worst effects of this development.

Photo of Mr Jeremy Hanley Mr Jeremy Hanley , Richmond and Barnes

I have kept silent during the discussion on this Bill, perhaps because I believe that the Channel tunnel is in the national interest and because it is best to leave the debate on it to Members representing the locality. But on this point I have to make a comment and a plea to the Government. I speak as vice-president of the London Wildlife Trust, a group which has had environmental victories of late, but the most important reason why I speak is that I was a resident for more than 13 years just two miles from Sellindge and seven miles from Folkestone. That area was the site of my formative years. My grandparents lived for 20 years in Hythe. I always regarded that area as home.

My first political experience was gained from joining the Young Conservatives in the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe, although I must admit that my purpose was not political but rather to be an inch closer to the daughter of the then Member for Folkestone and Hythe—and delightful she was.

My sisters were all educated in the area. Regrettably, because of my close interest in the flora and fauna of that area I was sent further away, but I spent many a happy year on the beaches there and indeed explored Shakespeare cliff and stood on the old disused Shakespeare Halt, although in later years I spent a lot of my time on the leas in Folkestone well after the time of day when one could see the local sights.

In spite of the arguments of the Opposition, the Government have an enviable record in this Parliament on the environment. In many areas they have brought a greening to the House. In practical terms they have a better record on the environment than any Government. Therefore, it would be a grave disappointment if they did not express a commitment to this most beautiful area in the south-east of England.

Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford , Fulham 10:45 pm, 3rd February 1987

The hon. Gentleman makes a claim about the Government's environmental record. Has he read the reports of the debates in the Standing Committee and has he any comments to make on the repeated refusal of the Government to accept even the most modest, minor amendment designed to protect the environment from the worst ravages of this scheme?

Photo of Mr Jeremy Hanley Mr Jeremy Hanley , Richmond and Barnes

Not only have I read the reports of the Committee but I share an office with an hon. Member who was on that Committee and I have discussed these matters at length with him. If the hon. Gentleman had been listening to my speech instead of trying to rise on environmental issues like a trout to the fly he would have heard me say that this construction is in the national interest. However, I draw a line on the point of the environment. There must necessarily be some damage to the environment with a construction of this size. I ask the Government to renew and improve their commitment to the environment in the way that they have done so many times in this Parliament.

I do not support new clause 4. It is full of precatory words, wishes and hopes. It reminds me of the person who put in his will the clause, "And to my Uncle Harry who wanted to be remembered in my will, hello Harry." The clause does not mean anything—it is just wishes. This area of Kent is one of the most beautiful parts of Britain. I am sure that the Government would not embark on a scheme of this size without a commitment to the environment.

I should like to pay tribute to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard). We have talked a great deal about the beauty of his constituency. When one has a majority the size of mine, it is no doubt believed that my jealousy for his constituency and the position he holds arises purely because of the majority that he enjoyed in the last election. He knows, because of his love of his constituency, that my jealousy is based not only on a beautiful area but on people I remember well, many of whom he knows. My hon. and learned Friend is full of frustration about these discussions. If the Government were to give a commitment to make sure that this development is as sensitive as possible to the environment, and if they can give a commitment to the landscaping and to the lessening of destruction that must occur because of building in some areas, I know that my hon. and learned Friend will be happy. So will I and the millions of people who know this area of Britain.

Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon

I hope that my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) will forgive me if I do not follow him down the byways of his youth. I should like to refer to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Moate) and remind him that Britain is a trading nation and, if it is to survive, must continue to trade with our nearest partners on the continent.

It is reasonable to assume that by constructing a rail tunnel rather than having a road tunnel or continuing with ferries as the main way of reaching the continent, we increase the chances of getting some of the heavy lorries off the roads of Kent and the roads in the rest of Britain. That must be our objective, and we say to British Rail that it should take up the challenge and try to meet it.

There are those in the House who believe that the Channel tunnel must not be allowed to spoil the environment. Equally, there are those who believe that environmental considerations must not be allowed to spoil the Channel tunnel project. It is my contention that it is possible to bridge the gap between the two and that they are not mutually exclusive.

As a member of the Standing Committee I came into the discussions rather later than some hon. Members, but I quickly came into the arguments about Shakespeare cliff, and it is to that site that I want to direct my remarks.

Members who have not been to the Shakespeare cliff site may find it helpful if I remind them of the fact that it is also known as the Old Colliery site. Coal has been mined in that area since 1890. The original cliff is not that which nature provided but that which was created by the blasting for the railway in the 1840s. A visit to the site will convince most Members that the claims made by some opponents of the scheme that this is one of the more beautiful parts of the United Kingdom can be put to one side.

The platform that was created by the explosions of 1840 created an area stretching out to sea of some 150 m. The proposal to dump spoil on the site will enlarge that some 300 m out to sea. The view from the sea will not be affected, but the opportunity to create an area in that part of Kent for leisure activities should not be set aside lightly. The opposition to the project suggests that all spoil is bad wherever one puts it. The idea that it can be used to create a larger area where leisure pursuits can be followed is a point worth making in this debate, In Committee I suggested that the spoil might be moved to gravel pits around the south of England. At the time that seemed to be a good idea because of the business that it would bring to British Rail. It also seemed to be a good idea to fill in those concavities which litter the south of England.

Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford , Fulham

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that, despite his interpretation of the impact of the working platform and the proposed dump at Shakespeare cliff, the Government's own consultants, appointed to make an environmental appraisal of the submission by the various companies tendering for the Channel tunnel fixed link in relation to the issue of the Eurotunnel proposal to dump spoil at the base of Shakespeare cliff, said: The further use of the lower Shakespeare Cliff site beyond that absolutely necessary for construction would give rise to major concern in terms of it effects upon both landscape and ecology.

Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon

I entirely accept that that was the opinion of the consultants at that stage. It is reasonable to say that one can take an alternative view of the matter. I do not regard the ecology of the area as being threatened by an enlargement of the platform. It has been there for 140 years, 150 m out to sea. I do not believe that enlarging the platform at this stage will ruin the ecology of the area, and it is reasonable to take the alternative point of view put forward by consultants who asked whether it would be necessary to move the spoil out of the area at all, and whether it would damage the environment of Kent or a larger part of the south of England by moving that large quantity of spoil around that area.

In the interests of brevity, I will merely make the observation that a look at the other site which is of serious consequence—Cheriton—would also show that it is not so likely to be devastated by the proposals of the scheme as many hon. Members have suggested. I will leave my remarks at that.

I turn to the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury (Mr. Crouch). Eurotunnel obviously failed to provide him with the necessary information, because I have a brief on environmental considerations dated 15 December which runs to four pages. It says: In the detailed construction memorandum…referred to in paragraph 128 of the Special Report of the Select Committee, Eurotunnel has stated that in recognition of the environmental qualities of this area of Kent, it will adopt measures from the outset to mitigate any adverse environmental impact that the construction operations will cause, and will further nature conservation interests, consistent with the need to maintain the construction programme and project viability. That is a clear undertaking which we have every reason to think will be maintained.

Environmental protection is a matter for a practical process of discussion and negotiation. I do not believe that it has a place in the Bill regulating the project, and on that ground I regard the clause as unnecessary.

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale , North Thanet

I rise to express my shared concern with my hon. Friends from north-east Kent constituencies about the impact of the Channel tunnel on our area. My hon. Friend the Minister knows that I am particularly grateful to him not only for the courtesy and understanding that he has shown in frequently visiting north-east Kent but for the attention that he has paid to the infrastructure and to the concessions and help that he has managed to offer to date. I should like to think that when the final report of the impact study is available to us further measures will be taken to enable us to compete if we have to, as we would like to, with the Nord Pas de Calais region of France.

My thanks and my praise for the Minister's attitude do not extend to the attitude taken by Trans-Manche and Eurotunnel—[Interruption.] Despite the comments of Labour Members, I have a fairly great constituency interest in this; rather greater than some Labour Members. Opposition Members are well aware that hon. Members have a variety of duties.

Trans-Manche and Eurotunnel gave two undertakings early on that seem to be in any danger of being no longer honoured. The first relates to local employment. I use this simply as an example because it does not relate directly to the clause. It was an affront to the people of north-east Kent that Trans-Manche, when placing its advertisements for the first labour opportunities in the area, did not see fit to place those first in the local press. That created some scepticism and cynicism among those of our constituents who had hoped to be employed on the project.

There was not only a suggested undertaking, but what was tantamount to an undertaking in the early stages of the project that the construction accommodation would utilise the under-utilised hotel and guesthouse accommodation in the Isle of Thanet, Dover and Folkestone. I was concerned, as I know my hon. Friends were, to read the most recent report available of the consultative committee dated 17 December and to learn that the plans for a construction camp were going ahead, that any foreseeable future use for that camp as a modern hotel was apparently fading into the distance and that we were likely to be confronted with a series of two-storey blocks of temporary buildings divided into small rooms, with separate shower/toilet blocks. Such buildings have an estimated life of about 10–15 years. Speaking now totally on behalf of my own constituents, I say that it is a grave disappointment that the plans for the utilisation of accommodation—the 1,000 bed-nights a week that we in Thanet can offer—are not being developed and that further acres of Kent land are likely to be used to build a temporary construction camp when we already have the accommodation available.

I urge my hon. Friend the Minister to use whatever influence he may be able to exert to ask the promoters to look yet again at these proposals to ensure that our accommodation is used and that not yet more land is wasted.

11 pm

Photo of Mr Mark Wolfson Mr Mark Wolfson , Sevenoaks

I shall not detain the House for long, but I wish to make two points on this new clause. This gives me the opportunity to air once again the fact that the majority of my constituents are concerned about the pressures on the environment that they fear the Channel tunnel would bring. We are in a position to do something to limit those fears if the Government will make it clear that they are firmly behind—so far the indications have been that they are—the maintenance of the green belt and the structure plan and that, in addition, they will encourage Kent county council to make much more use of the opportunity that it has to restrict heavy traffic to larger roads.

It is interesting—because the Channel tunnel will bring us closer contacts with France—for those who have motored in France recently to see how many areas there are which carry general restrictions on heavy traffic, for instance during the night. Yet I find over and over again that there is great reluctance in our county, on the part of the county council and the police, to put restrictions on heavy traffic. That must be done for two reasons. The first reason is to make proper use of the developed road network that will exist by the time the Channel tunnel is completed. Here I also make a plea for confirmation from the Minister that the money to be made available for completion of the improved road network in Kent will be in place before the tunnel opens, rather than catching up afterwards, to limit the bad effects on the environment that increased traffic from the Channel tunnel would bring.

I also support the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Moate) in terms of weight restrictions on heavy lorries. I do not fall into the trap that the Minister fell into in arguing that heavier lorries mean fewer lorries. Experience has not shown that to be the case.

Finally, I hope too, that efforts will continue to encourage traffic to utilise the railways and that every opportunity will be given to British Rail management, in whose court the responsibility is, for developing a positive approach to the opportunities that exist now for it to make full use of the Channel tunnel.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

I readily acknowledge the environmental sensitivities of this major project and thus appreciate the motivation behind these new clauses. I must say, however, that they are all, in my view, misguided.

To take new clause 4 first, it is of course important that the works should be carried out with due regard to wildlife, countryside and heritage matters. But the right approach is not a general duty but a specific provision.

To this end, we are providing in schedule 3 to the Bill for the Government's statutory advisers on environmental matters—the Countryside Commission, the Nature Conservancy Council and the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission For England, or English Heritage—to be consulted by local planning authorities. Eurotunnel has also concluded a memorandum of agreement with the statutory environmental agencies and the Southern water authority on environmental matters.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dover (Mr. Rees) and the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Snape) drew particular attention Lo the movement of minestone.

I readily accept that that is an important issue. However, it is covered by the planning provisions in schedule 3 to the Bill, under which planning authority approval is required of the means and routes by which any minerals, aggregates, bulk materials other than minerals or aggregates and tunnel lining segment…are to be transported to construction and storage sites. The Select Committee rightly urged that Kent county council should exercise its powers to ensure that as few lorries as possible carry bulk materials by any road other than the M20 to the working sites. I think that it would be inappropriate to go beyond that.

We have always recognised the importance of the issue of spoil. New clause 6 requires an independent study to be carried out to determine the best means of disposing of surplus spoil. I note that the definition of "surplus" is widely drawn; it does not even accept the need for the expanded working platform at Shakespeare cliff. I have to say quite firmly that I believe that the Government have already in practice met the commitment that the clause seeks to impose.

Hon. Members will not be surprised when I say that all the leading alternative sites had technical difficulties, environmental drawbacks or both, and would have given rise to strong objections. What concerned the Government when they considered the practicability of moving the spoil to a site away from the foot of Shakespeare cliff were two major risk factors, which could have had an unquantifiable and unacceptable delaying effect on the construction of the tunnel. First, the essential continuous flow of spoil could be halted by technical problems or adverse weather conditions that interrupted the transportation operation. Secondly, under certain conditions the spoil could become virtually impossible to handle and thus very difficult to move.

I believe, therefore, that the decision is the right one. It is solidly based on substantial evidence from a variety of sources. I accept that the Select Committee had insufficient time to consider the volume of evidence. We shall ensure that that is rectified when the Bill comes before the Select Committee in another place. I do not accept that a further study is necessary or helpful.

My hon. Friends the Members for Canterbury (Mr. Crouch), for Thanet, South (Mr. Aitken) and for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley), who spoke of his early days in the area—all expressed concern about the beauty of the environment of Kent being spoilt. I know that throughout the debate my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard) has, because of convention, sat silent. However, he has assiduously followed what has been happening and has, from time to time, had considerable impact behind the scenes in ensuring that the points that concerned his constituents were thoroughly examined by the Government and others with responsibility.

The concern for the hop gardens of Kent and the scenic beauty that will meet new arrivals was echoed by my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury in his fear that industrial and housing development would destroy the essential beauty of Kent, the flora and the fauna. He was worried that places such as the spot where Caesar Augustus stood near Canterbury and looked at the view would be destroyed for all time.

I understand my hon. Friend's worry, which is perfectly natural. However, he has overlooked the fact that, for the areas that are outwith the Bill, the local authorities will retain their planning powers. I am sure that neither Kent county council nor my hon. Friend's local council would give planning consent to something that would destroy the areas of particular beauty to which he has drawn attention.

On the environmental points that are within the Bill's compass, I draw my hon. Friend's attention to schedule 3, under which consultation must take place with the Nature Conservancy Council, the Countryside Commission and the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Schedule 3(16) will, I think, give my hon. Friend the assurance that he seeks.

The hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Raynsford) deplored the idea of the Government going along with Shakespeare cliff as a site for depositing spoil. He described this as a surrender of national interests to the interests of Eurotunnel and worked himself up into a generous lather over it.

If one has a scruffy, abandoned colliery site at the foot of a cliff where hardly anybody can see it and one needs to enlarge that area substantially as the working platform for building the tunnel, there is common sense in extending that and in putting the rest of the spoil there, rather than spoiling other sites as well, since none of the sites is without some practical disadvantages.

Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford , Fulham

I urge the Minister seriously to consider whether his hon. Friends representing constituencies neighbouring Shakespeare cliff would agree with his description of this historic part of our coastline as a scruffy colliery site. Does he agree that his independent consultants advised against further dumping on this site and that only Eurotunnel's consultants, who have a financial interest, recommended it?

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

The hon. Gentleman made all those points earlier and is now being tediously repetitive. Anybody who doubts that the existing site is exceedingly scruffy should go and look at it.

My hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Moate) said that the Government had commissioned consultants who had come forward with options. In fact, they came forward with a short initial study which had not gone in depth into all the points. Only later did some of the more detailed points come out. It must be remembered that the daily rate is about 14,000 tonnes. When one thinks of moving that lot by train to Lappel bank in my hon. Friend's constituency, one can imagine complaints being made about such work going on 24 hours round the clock and about the noise and vibration and so on.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

If my hon. Friend wants to welcome such noise and vibration, I will give way to him.

Photo of Mr Roger Moate Mr Roger Moate , Faversham

My hon. Friend has been, unusually, guilty of a serious error. I specifically made the point that the advantage of using the Lappel bank, which is in need of reclamation, is that it could all be seaborne; it could be taken by barge from the works right round into the Medway estuary.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

I apologise if I misunderstood my hon. Friend. But if he examines the weather conditions off Shakespeare cliff, he will find that for a substantial part of the year it would not be possible to barge off, and drilling under the sea cannot be stopped simply because there happens to be a storm on the sea. The option of which my hon. Friend speaks was examined and was found not to be practical. Moreover, when the spoil got to the Lappel bank site it would, in wet conditions, turn into sludge, and the normal process of extending the track on the to existing stuff that had been dumped could not proceed because it would be soft and the equipment would sink into the ground.

My hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South raised questions about Dover council and somewhat changed his ground, from what he said in Committee upstairs about the revolt and non co-operation of village Hampdens, and I was glad tonight to hear him refer to that issue in more reasonable terms.

The Government introduced amendments to the planning clause of the Bill to give local planning authorities a considerable say in decisions affecting the tunnel works. We did so on the clear understanding that the local planning authorities would use their powers before and after Royal Assent in a responsible manner. We were reassured when the planning authorities concerned, including Dover district council, signed a memorandum of understanding with Eurotunnel promising a constructive approach during the design work on the scheme. That memorandum was presented to the Select Committee, together with the new planning clauses, as a package. I therefore regard the memorandum as a series of assurances to Eurotunnel, to the other planning authorities, to the Government and to the Select Committee.

Dover district council would be well within its rights if it rejected the Eurotunnel planning application for genuine planning reasons. However, as I said during the Committee, if it rejected the planning application simply because it opposed the project, that would be a breach of faith.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , South Thanet

How does my hon. Friend know on what basis the council rejected the plan?

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire 11:15 pm, 3rd February 1987

I do not know on what basis the council rejected it, but I recall what my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South said in Committee when he praised the village Hampdens who had raised revolt because they were not prepared to co-operate with the Government or with Eurotunnel on the scheme.

My hon. Friend did modify his language earlier in the evening and I welcomed that moderation. I hope that his intervention now will display that moderation and cooperation.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , South Thanet

No—on the contrary, I am just about to revert to the inflammatory language. I regard the members of Dover district council as heroes because they stood up for a principle that is absolutely right. It had nothing to do with the ratting insinuations that my hon. Friend has misguidedly made. A few courageous people, not party to any agreement, said that putting an office complex and advertising hoardings on the top of one of the most beautiful landscape sites in England would be environmentally wrong. The council was right.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

If there are genuine planning grounds for objecting to the scheme, Dover council is entirely within its rights. But if, as alleged by my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, South in Committee, the council was indulging in a revolt and a non-co-operation exercise against the whole project, it was breaching an agreement that was given by the council to the Select Committee.

I would be extremely reluctant to ask the House to undo the planning arrangements in the Bill. They give the local planning authorities considerable powers to protect local residents and to influence the final design of the project works. The new planning clause also meets the concerns raised by a number of other petitioners. The planning arrangements are built on mutual trust and if that trust is misplaced the whole edifice will inevitably fall.

I understand that there are strong feelings about the project in Dover but I am confident that the council will find, as the other authorities have done, that it is in the council's best interests and that of its ratepayers to work within the spirit of the memorandum of agreement.

My hon. Friend the Member for Faversham expressed concern about the tunnel generating more traffic on unsuitable roads. Tunnel or no tunnel, the amount of traffic on the roads will double by the end of the century. We are providing a three-lane motorway from the M25 right to the mouth of the tunnel. It would be extraordinary if a lorry driver sought to drive along the unsuitable byroads and lanes of Kent when he had the opportunity to use a three-lane motorway.

Like other hon. Members, I have lived and worked in Kent. I have toured all the parts that will be affected. The Government recognise the beauty of Kent and are committed to leaving existing safeguards intact. The areas that it is absolutely necessary to damage are defined in the Bill, and the Government have consulted their statutory advisers. On that basis, I believe that the House would be right to reject the amendment.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

I think that the House will be disappointed with the tenor of the Minister's remarks.

Some Conservative Members who represent Kent have spoken at length, some passionately, and some both, about the desirability of preserving the flora and fauna of Kent and they gave their support to this amendment. I do not think it is fair of the Minister to attack my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Raynsford) for correctly pointing out that the land use consultants who recommended the use of the Shakespeare site were those appointed and paid for by the concessionaires. The Minister should abandon the rather scruffy brief with which he has detained the House for 15 minutes and answer some of the questions raised by hon. Members.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

Well he did not answer them satisfactorily. New clause 4, which the Minister described as "misguided", was described by the right hon. and learned Member for Dover (Mr. Rees) as imprecise. It is hardly the most violent new clause ever tabled in this or other debates. It states: the appropriate Minister or Ministers shall have regard to the desirability of preserving natural beauty"— not their natural beauty but the natural beauty of the county of Kent. It states that they shall take into account any effect which the proposals would have and that the desirability of securing…the movement of minestone from sources in Kent shall, to the greatest extent practicable, be carried out by rail. That is scarcely the most aggressive new clause to be tabled. It was carefully worded in my customary non-controversial way, the better, I should have thought, to appeal to the Minister.

My hon. Friends will be relieved to hear that I do not intend to refer to hon. Members' contributions. I issue a word of caution to the hon. and learned Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard), after listening to the hon. Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) talk about the hon. and learned Member's constituency. I warn the hon. and learned Member to remember the gloomy aftermath of the hon. Gentleman's defeat at the next general election, that tonight we have heard the bid by the defeated ex-Conservative Member for Richmond and Barnes to take over those pastures in Kent where the hon. Gentleman was once photographed wearing only a vest. The photograph appeared in a colour magazine. He was not very old at the time—in fact, it was a baby contest.

Photo of Mr Jeremy Hanley Mr Jeremy Hanley , Richmond and Barnes

The hon. Gentleman should get his facts right. I won the beautiful baby contest, aged one, in Beaconsfield, and that is another seat that I desire.

Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East

If the hon. Gentleman desires Beaconsfield, he should use the photograph to which he has referred rather than the present-day one.

It was somewhat churlish, to say the least, of the Minister of State to reply as he did. I hope that those Conservative Members from Kent who spoke so passionately in favour of this fairly innocuous new clause will seize the opportunity to put their votes where their passion was a few minutes ago and will support the clause in the Division Lobby.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 90, Noes 151.

Division No. 78][11.22 pm
AYES
Adams, Allen (Paisley N)Anderson, Donald
Aitken, JonathanAshdown, Paddy
Alton, DavidBarron, Kevin
Beckett, Mrs MargaretHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Bermingham, GeraldHughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Boyes, RolandHughes, Simon (Southwark)
Bray, Dr JeremyKirkwood, Archy
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)Leadbitter, Ted
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Leighton, Ronald
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Caborn, RichardLofthouse, Geoffrey
Campbell-Savours, DaleMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)McNamara, Kevin
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)McWilliam, John
Clarke, ThomasMarek, Dr John
Clay, RobertMarshall, David (Shettleston)
Clelland, David GordonMartin, Michael
Clwyd, Mrs AnnMaxton, John
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S)Michie, William
Coleman, DonaldMillan, Rt Hon Bruce
Corbett, RobinMoate, Roger
Cunlitfe, LawrenceNellist, David
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)O'Brien, William
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)Pendry, Tom
Deakins, EricPike, Peter
Dewar, DonaldPowell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Dormand, JackRadice, Giles
Dubs, AlfredRaynsford, Nick
Duffy, A. E. P.Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Eadie, AlexRogers, Allan
Evans, John (St. Helens N)Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Fatchett, DerekRoss, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Fisher, MarkSilkin, Rt Hon J.
Forrester, JohnSkinner, Dennis
Foster, DerekSmith, C.(lsl'ton S & F'bury)
Foulkes, GeorgeSnape, Peter
Gale, RogerSoley, Clive
George, BruceSpearing, Nigel
Godman, Dr NormanStrang, Gavin
Hancock, MichaelWallace, James
Harrison, Rt Hon WalterWardell, Gareth (Gower)
Haynes, FrankWelsh, Michael
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)
Home Robertson, JohnTellers for the Ayes:
Howarth, George (Knowsley, N)Mr. Don Dixon and
Hoyle, DouglasMr. Allen McKay.
NOES
Alexander, RichardCoombs, Simon
Amess, DavidCope, John
Ancram, MichaelCorrie, John
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)Couchman, James
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Cranborne, Viscount
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Currie, Mrs Edwina
Baldry, TonyDouglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Batiste, SpencerDover, Den
Bellingham, HenryEdwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Benyon, WilliamEvennett, David
Best, KeithFenner, Dame Peggy
Bevan, David GilroyForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnForth, Eric
Blackburn, JohnFranks, Cecil
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterFraser, Peter (Angus East)
Boscawen, Hon RobertFreeman, Roger
Bottomley, PeterGalley, Roy
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Garel-Jones, Tristan
Brandon-Bravo, MartinGow, Ian
Bright, GrahamGower, Sir Raymond
Brinton, TimGreenway, Harry
Brittan, Rt Hon LeonGriffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Brooke, Hon PeterGround, Patrick
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Bryan, Sir PaulHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Burt, AlistairHanley, Jeremy
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Hargreaves, Kenneth
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)Harris, David
Cash, WilliamHarvey, Robert
Chalker, Mrs LyndaHawksley, Warren
Chapman, SydneyHayes, J.
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Heathcoat-Amory, David
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)Henderson, Barry
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)Hicks, Robert
Hind, KennethMayhew, Sir Patrick
Hirst, MichaelMerchant, Piers
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Meyer, Sir Anthony
Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Holt, RichardMills, Iain (Meriden)
Hordern, Sir PeterMitchell, David (Hants NW)
Howard, MichaelMoore, Rt Hon John
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)Neale, Gerrard
Hubbard-Miles, PeterNeubert, Michael
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Nicholls, Patrick
Jessel, TobyNorris, Steven
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyOsborn, Sir John
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Page, Sir John (Harrow W)
Jones, Robert (Herts W)Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Key, RobertPatten, J. (Oxf W & Abgdn)
King, Roger (B'ham N'field)Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Knight, Greg (Derby N)Pollock, Alexander
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)Powell, William (Corby)
Knox, DavidPowley, John
Lang, IanProctor, K. Harvey
Lawler, GeoffreyRaffan, Keith
Lee, John (Pendle)Rathbone, Tim
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Rhodes James, Robert
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Lester, JimRossi, Sir Hugh
Lightbown, DavidRowe, Andrew
Lilley, PeterRyder, Richard
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Lord, MichaelShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lyell, NicholasSteen, Anthony
McCurley, Mrs AnnaStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Macfarlane, NeilThompson, Donald (Calder V)
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)Wakeham, Rt Hon John
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)Wheeler, John
Maclean, David JohnWhitfield, John
McLoughlin, PatrickWood, Timothy
McQuarrie, AlbertYeo, Tim
Major, JohnYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Malins, Humfrey
Malone, GeraldTellers for the Noes:
Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Mr. Michael Portillo and
Maude, Hon FrancisMr. Tony Durant.
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin

Question accordingly negatived.