Removal of Special Regimes for Tenancies of Housing Associations etc

Clause 35 – in the House of Commons at 12:15 am on 9th November 1988.

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Lords amendment: No. 44, in page 27, at end insert— (4) If, on or after the commencement of this Act, the interest of the landlord under a protected or statutory tenancy becomes held by a housing association, a housing trust, the Housing Corporation or Housing for Wales, nothing in the preceding provisions of this section shall prevent the tenancy from being a housing association tenancy or a secure tenancy and, accordingly, in such a case section 80 of the Housing Act 1985 (and any enactment which refers to that section) shall have effect without regard to the repeal of provisions of that section effected by this Act.(5) In subsection (4) above "housing association" and "housing trust" have the same meaning as in the Housing Act 1985.

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Motion made and Question proposed, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.—[Mr. Ridley.]

Amendmetn (a) proposed to the Lords amendment, in line 3,after first ?a?,insert ?secure?.—[Mr.Tony Banks.]

Question put, That the amendment to the Lords amendment be made:

The House divided: Ayes 65, Noes 159.

Division No. 483][1.2 am
AYES
Archer, Rt Hon PeterLivsey, Richard
Ashdown, PaddyLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)McCartney, Ian
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Mahon, Mrs Alice
Barron, KevinMeale, Alan
Battle, JohnMichael, Alun
Beith, A. J.Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Boateng, PaulMorgan, Rhodri
Bradley, KeithMorley, Elliott
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Nellist, Dave
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Parry, Robert
Clay, BobPike, Peter L.
Clelland, DavidPrimarolo, Dawn
Cohen, HarryRedmond, Martin
Crowther, StanRoberts, Allan (Bootle)
Cryer, BobRogers, Allan
Cunliffe, LawrenceRuddock, Joan
Cunningham, Dr JohnSkinner, Dennis
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Dixon, DonSoley, Clive
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)Spearing, Nigel
Fatchett, DerekTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Faulds, AndrewVaz, Keith
Fearn, RonaldWall, Pat
Flynn, PaulWallace, James
Fraser, JohnWalley, Joan
Golding, Mrs LlinWareing, Robert N.
Home Robertson, JohnWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Winnick, David
Howells, Geraint
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Tellers for the Ayes:
Johnston, Sir RussellMr. Frank Haynes and
Kirkwood, ArchyMr. Frank Cook.
Leadbitter, Ted
NOES
Alexander, RichardBaker, Nicholas (Dorset N)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBaldry, Tony
Allason, RupertBatiste, Spencer
Amos, AlanBellingham, Henry
Arbuthnot, JamesBennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Bevan, David Gilroy
Ashby, DavidBiffen, Rt Hon John
Atkins, RobertBoscawen, Hon Robert

reasonable comment. I share his regret that the hon. Lady has not had a chance to take part in out proceedings, and I shall bear in mind his wish, as always, to be helpful.

Lords amendments Nos. 37 to 43 agreed to.

Boswell, TimJohnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Bottomley, PeterJones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaJones, Robert B (Herts W)
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Bowis, JohnKing, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Brazier, JulianKirkhope, Timothy
Bright, GrahamKnapman, Roger
Brittan, Rt Hon LeonKnowles, Michael
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterLatham, Michael
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)Lawrence, Ivan
Burns, SimonLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Burt, AlistairLilley, Peter
Butler, ChrisLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Butterfill, JohnLord, Michael
Carlisle, John, (Luton N)Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Carrington, MatthewMacGregor, Rt Hon John
Carttiss, MichaelMaclean, David
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)McLoughlin, Patrick
Cran, JamesMcNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Currie, Mrs EdwinaMans, Keith
Davis, David (Boothferry)Maples, John
Dorrell, StephenMarland, Paul
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesMarshall, John (Hendon S)
Durant, TonyMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Fairbairn, Sir NicholasMaxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Meyer, Sir Anthony
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Mills, Iain
Garel-Jones, TristanMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Goodhart, Sir PhilipMitchell, David (Hants NW)
Gow, IanMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Moss, Malcolm
Gregory, ConalMoynihan, Hon Colin
Grist, IanNelson, Anthony
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)Neubert, Michael
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Nicholls, Patrick
Hampson, Dr KeithNicholson, David (Taunton)
Harris, DavidNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Haselhurst, AlanPage, Richard
Hayward, RobertPaice, James
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidPatnick, Irvine
Heddle, JohnPawsey, James
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hill, JamesPorter, David (Waveney)
Hind, KennethPrice, Sir David
Holt, RichardRaffan, Keith
Hordern, Sir PeterRaison, Rt Hon Timothy
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Riddick, Graham
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Roe, Mrs Marion
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Rossi, Sir Hugh
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Shaw, David (Dover)
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Hunter, AndrewShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Irvine, MichaelSims, Roger
Jack, MichaelSmith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Janman, TimSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Jessel, TobyStanbrook, Ivor
Stanley, Rt Hon JohnWaller, Gary
Steen, AnthonyWard, John
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Stradling Thomas, Sir JohnWarren, Kenneth
Taylor, Ian (Esher)Watts, John
Taylor, John M (Solihull)Wells, Bowen
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)Wheeler, John
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Widdecombe, Ann
Thurnham, PeterWood, Timothy
Trippier, DavidWoodcock, Mike
Twinn, Dr Ian
Viggers, PeterTellers for the Noes:
Waddington, Rt Hon DavidMr. Tom Sackville and
Wakeham, Rt Hon JohnMr. Michael Mallon.
Walden, George

Question accordingly negatived.

Lords amendment No. 44 agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That further consideration of Lords amendments be now adjourned.—[Mr. Ridley.]

Photo of Dr Jack Cunningham Dr Jack Cunningham Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment 1:14 am, 9th November 1988

The Government are again in a mess with their legislation, thanks to the obduracy of the Secretary of State for the Environment—principally—and the people responsible for this abysmal piece of legislation.

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Tonight, the House has to consider 62 pages of more than 270 amendments, mainly emanating from the Government. I make it clear that we are perfectly willing, indeed keen, to continue debating the issues. We know that Conservative Members do not want those issues to be the subject of proper scrutiny or debate, because they are deeply embarrassed about their consequences for millions of families throughout the country.

We know also that matters such as a change of landlord by rigged or gerrymandered voting systems are not among those that the Government want rigorously examined. We know that the Bill's implications and the housing action trust proposals will affect not only thousands of families but whole neighbourhoods and communities. We know also that those proposals have caused misery, distress and uncertainty among communities the length and breadth of the country, and will continue doing so if the Bill is left unamended.

The Secretary of State for the Environment is in the process of hanging a second major albatross around the Government's neck. First there was the poll tax, and now the Housing Bill. It is something of a surprise that the right hon. Gentleman has quit so early in the discussions. After all, it was his well-known boast in the Committee Corridor when this legislation was being considered concurrently with the poll tax Bill that the Housing Bill was more interesting, principally because, as he claimed, he was the author of it. I hope that the Secretary of State's right hon. and hon. Friends are thinking about the quagmire into which he is again leading them.

That is bad enough. What is worse is the Bill's terrible consequences for families in council and private tenancies whom it will affect. I can understand the Secretary of State being miffed about what has happened, but what is more surprising is his apparent belief—of which he was able to convince his right hon. and hon. Friends—that somehow these matters would slide quietly through the House and that we would not be asking serious and searching questions about them.

I have every confidence in my hon. Friends' ability to ask all the questions. I have been here almost all evening, and the questions have been asked but have not been answered. We shall go on asking those questions until we are given the answers.

The Government have not made their intentions clear, but we suspect that there is a guillotine lurking round the corner. It is my hope—and I trust that Conservative Members have the good grace to share it with me—that we shall not see the abandonment on Friday of the promised debate on housing and homelessness in response to the Select Committee on the Environment's second report.

Photo of Dr Jack Cunningham Dr Jack Cunningham Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment

The Under-Secretary says, "We've had it." Those may be prophetic words, because, judging by his performance so far, if anybody has had it, I guess that he has. He will be only the latest in a line of victims of the willingness of the Secretary of State to sacrifice others on the altar of his stupid ideas and ideological nonsense about how to handle housing and homelessness.

We want to continue the debate now, and we are opposed to the motion to terminate discussion.

Photo of Mrs Alice Mahon Mrs Alice Mahon , Halifax

I particularly wished to speak on amendment 44 and the amendment to it, amendment (a), and have been unable to do so. I wanted to speak even more after hearing the Secretary of State refuse yet again to answer points put by my hon. Friends. He treated the House with his usual contempt in his arrogant public-school manner, which I find offensive. My constituents, many of whom live on run-down estates and many of whom are elderly, have been caused the utmost anxiety by this dreadful Bill. They expect and deserve better. In my opinion, the Secretary of State and his Front-Bench team have shown themselves unfit to run even the smallest council.

Conservative Members have shown time after time their inability to understand the genuine concerns of people who need decent housing. Let me briefly run through the package of rights highlighted by my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle), when the Secretary of State refused to answer.

Opposition Member after Opposition Member has pleaded for something to be done about security of tenure, but all we have been allowed is a very poor performance by the new Minister and no answers whatever. He does not understand what he is doing to people. The mark of a civilised society is the ability to house its people adequately, but the Minister does not even understand the dreadful consequences that the Bill will have.

I wanted to question the Secretary of State about affordable rents. Homelessness is increasing for many reasons, but one of them is quite simple: people on small incomes simply cannot afford soaring rents. When people do not have enough money at the end of the week to feed themselves and to pay the rent, something gives. People are being thrown out on to the streets, and this rotten Bill will throw out thousands more.

I also wanted to talk about other rights, such as the right of succession. Opposition Members wanted to discuss many more issues, but the debate has been deliberately stifled. Let me tell the Secretary of State that if he thinks that he has had it hot up to now, he has seen nothing yet. He is going to be buried in the misery that he is inflicting on the people of this country.

Photo of Mr Bob Cryer Mr Bob Cryer , Bradford South

I wish to speak against the proposal. For one thing, several members of the Liberal party are present. Normally they go home early, and now that we have got them here it seems appropriate to continue the debate and give them an opportunity to speak.

Secondly, the Secretary of State has been rather inconvenienced. I dare say that he may have been round at the American embassy last night, watching the election results. He is a bit overtired, and has decided that he cannot be bothered to take the Bill through the House tonight, so he will abandon it. It will not be abandoned for long, because the Secretary of State and his cronies will have it in mind to produce a guillotine. They will trample on the rights of Parliament to engage in proper debate. We are willing to examine the Bill in detail, to make our criticisms and to table amendments. We are here, willing and able to debate this noxious measure. If the Secretary of State and his cronies on the Treasury Bench decide to bring in a guillotine, everyone outside the House should know that the Labour Opposition were here, willing to debate for hour after hour, and if the Government make any cuts, they are deliberately curtailing debate in order to ride rough-shod with their seedy majority of estate agents and merchant bankers and get-rich-quick City people who will troop through the Lobby and get them their majority. It is very important that we should make the position absolutely clear.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) said, millions of people fear the legislation. They envisage their security of tenure being eroded and they envisage being treated by the Secretary of State as so many chattels to be sold along with whole council estates. They can envisage quangos being imposed on them.

It is surprising that the Secretary of State is not anxious to proceed with the Bill, as he has acted on it without the legislative authority of the House. He has appointed housing action trusts. The Bill has not been approved by the Houses of Parliament. What could be more offensive to the democratic process than for an ex-public schoolboy, thinking that he has got so far with the Bill, to carry it out although it has not been approved? It is surprising that the Secretary of State is ignoring the House and deploring procedure so that he can get a bit of shut-eye and get to a meeting with the Leader of the House.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party

The Secretary of State does not want to get to a meeting. He has an appointment in the morning. He has to get the bag out again. He has to troop behind the Prime Minister who has a photo opportunity lined up somewhere in Green park. That is what he is up to. The Prime Minister's husband will be behind them because he is in the refuse disposal business as the deputy managing director of Attwoods. He is not satisfied with doing it on the cheap. He is going to organise a contract and have a gin and tonic with the board while settling the amount of money.

Photo of Mr Bob Cryer Mr Bob Cryer , Bradford South

My hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) is spot on. In addition, the Secretary of State will be having a meeting with the Leader of the House—they are having it right now—to decide what they will do to rescue the Bill.

I am particularly concerned to oppose the progress motion because I have had two meetings at Bierley estate, a big estate in my constituency. The tenants were outraged by the proposal. I went through every detail of the Bill, and they are particularly anxious about the voting proposals.

We want to know whether they plan to cheat the tenants out of the right to reject the proposals to flog off their homes to private landlords so that their position is clarified. They want to know whether the Government take the view that people who are away in hospital, on holiday or wherever should not be included in the voting rights because they will be counted as being against the proposal not to have private landlords. The people of Bierley estate and other estates are anxious. The people of Bierley estate and other estates in Bradford and every other city should know that when I was raising the question of tenants' right to vote, the Secretary of State walked out without providing an answer. In so doing, he treated the tenants of the estate with contempt. The Secretary of State has left the Chamber to consider another planning application in his backyard in Cirencester and Tewkesbury, thus showing his contempt for the people whom we represent.

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The tenants of Bierley estate have produced a petition. I told them that this debate was taking place tonight. They held a vote, and voted overwhelmingly against their estate being sold off to private landlords. I wanted an opportunity to go through the petition in a debate and outline what my constituents think of the Secretary of State's proposals. I am being denied that opportunity.

I know what the Government have in mind: a three-hour guillotined debate. The tenants of Bierley and millions of others throughout the country will be denied the opportunity of having their opinions voiced by my hon. Friends due to the Government's chicanery, viciousness and use of the "Pickles" method of chopping debate.

The Tory councillors in Bradford say that council meetings are not secret, but do my hon. Friends know that, on 25 October, when they were discussing the sacking of 9,000 people, Tory councillors in Bradford turned off the microphones so that people in the public gallery could not hear what they were saying? The Chancellor of the Exchequer, too, prevented the public from hearing his remarks directly. He addressed them to journalists, whom he blamed for reporting them accurately. That will prove to be an albatross—there are a few here tonight—around his plump neck.

I want to express my outrage at the Government's shoddy tactics, employed to deny Opposition Members a first-class opportunity to discuss this Bill in detail. Let the tenants of Bierley know that I have mentioned their petition to all the smug Conservative Members sitting comfortably on the Treasury Benches, who are causing so much harm to working people and their families. They will know that our opportunity for debate has been curtailed by the Government.

My guess is that the Government will come trundling in with the Bill on Friday: we shall oppose it tooth and nail, just as, united, we oppose this attempt to curtail debate on this miserable, wretched, obnoxious measure, which should be consigned to the rubbish bin of history.

Photo of Mr Peter Pike Mr Peter Pike , Burnley

I speak against the motion to adjourn the debate. We should have a chance to debate the Bill. In July, I called it a shambles of a Bill, but that was too polite. It is a squalid, disgraceful Bill that fails to tackle any of the housing problems in so many parts of the country.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) said, we know that the Government will return with a guillotine that will deny us an adequate opportunity to debate the legislation's important provisions.

We must remember the history of the Bill's progress. It was not given enough time in Committee for proper debate, yet the Government massively amended it there—to such an extent that the Bill that emerged bore little resemblance to the Bill that went into Committee.

On Report, the Government again amended the Bill extensively. They did not allow us time to debate the amendments, and I well recall the evening when we called Division after Division because the guillotine had curtailed debate on many important proposals.

What has happened since then? A large number of amendments were tabled by the Government in another place, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley) said earlier. But, once again, the Government are not prepared to allow time for this democratically elected House to debate the important implications of the Bill.

Photo of John Home Robertson John Home Robertson , East Lothian

Is my hon. Friend aware that this is an even greater shambles than he thinks? It is a composite shambles. At the moment we are debating legislation for England and Wales but we should presently have been coming to amendments to the Scottish housing legislation. The Housing (Scotland) Bill was supposed to have reached the statute book last week. Because the Government got that wrong too, and because they have already begun transferring public sector housing into the private sector in Scotland, there are five groups of amendments affecting Scotland before us tonight. The Government have brought civil servants down from Edinburgh to cover the debate. They will have to go home as a result of the motion to adjourn consideration and when we come back again—

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. I remind the hon. Gentleman that he is intervening and should not be making speech.

Photo of Mr Peter Pike Mr Peter Pike , Burnley

I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson) has made a valid point.

When discussing the Government's disgraceful move to stop democratic debate of the proposals we must take into account the fact that last week the Prime Minister was lecturing Poland on moves towards democracy. The Government repeatedly curtail democracy—in the House, in the trade unions and in local government.

On 14 July, I suggested to the Leader of the House at business questions that the Bill was a shambles and that if the Government really wanted to conduct the legislation properly, the honourable course would be to withdraw the Bill and introduce a new Bill in the new Session dealing with the country's housing problems. The right hon. Gentleman said that he knew that I was trying to help the Government. I again suggest that if he really wants to take the positive way forward and prevent further debate, the most acceptable solution would be to tell us that the Government are prepared to think again to withdraw the Bill and to bring back a Bill in the next, Session to deal properly with our housing problems.

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

This is an extraordinary Bill, and this extraordinary saga is likely to have an extrordinary conclusion. The Bill came before the House on 19 November last year. It was one of the first Bills that the Government introduced after the election. It was overtaken by many Bills on the way. It was overtaken because the Government had left bits out when they published it and they had to scrap the first edition and reprint it and because it did not do what the Prime Minister thought it would do.

Two days before the election, the Prime Minister wrote to a tenant in south London explaining that the key part of the Bill, which allegedly gives tenants choice, would depend on a majority of tenants voting in favour of any proposal. A few months ago at Prime Minister's Question Time, I asked how the Prime Minister reconciled that with the fiddled voting system that appeared in the Bill. The Prime Minister said that, as far as she recollected, there was no fiddled voting system and that a majority of tenants was needed to support a proposed change of landlord. She got it wrong. Presumably it was pointed out to her that the Secretary of State and other Ministers had changed the system and produced a Bill with the most extraordinary voting system that we have ever known. The Education Reform Bill requires a majority of the parents voting to vote in favour before a school can opt out. This week the Government proposed an employment code, suggesting that a simple majority would not be a representative view from the work force and requiring a 70 per cent. majority. Yet in this Bill they first proposed a voting system whereby, in a block of 100, the decision to opt out could be taken by just one tenant voting in favour and 49 against. In a letter to me in August the Prime Minister referred to that system as "approval by informed acquiescence". A year after the Bill first saw light, although it was somewhat murky, the country now understands what that means. It means that those who say nothing are presumed to agree with the Prime Minister and to have no view of their own. The Prime Minister expects council tenants to behave like her Cabinet—if she says it will be done, it will be done. That is then called "tenants' choice". Eighty per cent. or more of my constituents are council tenants. What they understand to be the result of the Bill is not tenants' choice but tenants' fear—fear of having people they never chose taking over their homes without their consent and contrary to their wishes. That is not tenants' choice. It is Government diktat—from a Government who lecture others about dictatorship when, at home, they take choice away from the people whom they purport to represent.

There have been two further extraordinary events. There was a proposal that six areas of Britain should have their housing nationalised, taken over by Government quangos and then privatised, without any voting at all. The tenants were not to be allowed any say at all. It was not until the Under-Secretary of State—and the Secretary of State, who flies in and out of the Chamber according to how often his nicotine addiction gets the better of him and forces him to take additional health-reducing sustenance behind the Speaker's chair—went to meet the tenants that they realised that the tenants actually believed that they should have a say in whether their housing was to be taken over. At the last moment, the team who were at the Department when the Bill started having been reshuffled—the Minister of State was sent to the Foreign Office and the Under-Secretary of State back to Broxbourne—a member of the House of Lords who had never been elected by anyone and would probably not know a constituent if he saw one was released to meet the world on a Sunday programme and suddenly announced that tenants in housing action trust areas would have a vote after all. Twelve months on, the Government generously agree that tenants can have a say. My hon. Friends and I are here today in substantial numbers—[Interruption.] The Division records will show that more than two-thirds of our parliamentary party—the very good biblical number of 13—have been present because we believe that it is inappropriate for a Government who have taken a year to get this far suddenly to seek to postpone debate.

We want to debate housing action trusts and tenants' choice. We want to debate the amendments. Fifty three of the 62 groups of amendments selected by Mr. Speaker have not yet been debated. If the Government intend to end this Session with a guillotine on the Bill, which I understand will take three hours of debate, and then force through 53 groups of amendments in the remaining days of this Parliament, they might be advised to think again about how they could make their life just a little easier.

I shall give the Government a simple piece of advice—[HON. MEMBERS: Resign."] That is certainly an option that the Government are entitled to take. If they insist on staying in power and if they say that they actually understand that tenants are people with rights who should have a say, and that millions of people do not accept a fiddled voting system as one with any democratic authority, we should at least have the opportunity to improve what is a travesty of democratic legislation. Any attempt to steamroller it through the House will meet with as much resistance as it is possible to give. I sincerely hope that the Government have a deathbed repentence—repent now and die later.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Walsall North 1:45 am, 9th November 1988

The Bill is crucial to many of our constituents because it removes protection in the private rented sector. Anyone who becomes a private tenant will be subject to market rents and his security of tenure will be limited. Obviously, we must be concerned about that. It is a crooked system. There is no other way to describe a system under which anyone who abstains is counted as being in favour of his accommodation being taken over by the private sector. Private landlords, even though they will be approved—for what that is worth—can take over any accommodation in our constituencies. There is no way that the local authority can say no. That is why there is so much anxiety.

It is only because of pressure throughout the country and the way that the tenants affected by the housing action trusts made clear their strong opposition that even this Government were forced to listen and, hence, there will be some sort of vote. But why was that not suggested in the first place? Why should those tenants have their properties taken over by quangos and then, in turn, by the private sector, without them being given any vote? So much for a Government who talk about democracy.

All those matters require as much debate as possible because they are crucial to our constituents. Quite a number of Conservative right hon. and hon. Members have vested interests in the Bill and are likely to profit from it. It would be interesting if they were to declare their interests before going into the Lobby.

Someone outside this House—he is not a Tory—has said that he is in favour of the Bill. I refer to Mr. Hoogstraten, one of the most notorious landlords in this country. He is a notorious crook who has been in prison. On a recent television programme he described his tenants as scumbags. There is no lesson that Rachman could have taught that man. When he was asked what he thought of the Bill, he said that it was a step in the right direction. The Bill is a step in the direction for every crook, for every unscrupulous person in the property market, for everyone who wants to make a fast buck and for everyone who wants to create misery and hardship. The Bill represents an advance for such people and they want it on the statute book.

I was a councillor in Brent when the Rent Act 1957 was put on the statute book. Despite all the housing problems there, we, the Labour-controlled council, took upon ourselves the added responsibility of rehousing people who were evicted lawfully under that legislation. All our predecessors' warnings about what would happen, the insecurity and exploitation turned out to be right. They knew what they were talking about. Rachman was not known in 1957, but by 1961 his name was known the length and breadth of the country. We warn today that there will be other Rachmans and Hoogstratens who recognise not only the sums that can be made from new lettings at a market rent, but the danger of private tenants who have protection. There will be every incentive for unscrupulous gangster landlords to get those tenants out because, when the accommodation becomes vacant, it can be relet at market rents.

The Bill is a disgrace. It will not do anything for the homeless, our constituents or young married couples who are desperate for accommodation but cannot afford a mortgage and live either in a rented room or with their in-laws. It will not help people in hardship. As my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) said, there is not a Member of Parliament who does not have adequate housing. I have adequate accommodation and not one of us can claim housing hardship. Surely our constituents have as much right to it. That is why we oppose the Bill. It will not help them and in many ways it will make their position worse. It is a disgrace.

The Prime Minister goes to Poland and lectures the leadership there. If there is any lecturing to be done, it can come from people like us rather than from her. Time and again she uses the guillotine to ensure that Bills such as this are not adequately debated. The guillotine will fall on Friday or Monday and debates will be restricted on clauses which are of the utmost concern to our constituents.

The Bill is a disgrace and its handling has been a disgrace. We shall continue to fight it before and after it goes on the statute book. It is like the Tory 1957 Act. It is ammunition for gangsters and racketeers, and it is wholly opposed to everything that we believe in.

My hon. Friends may not be aware that when the 1957 Act was being repealed by the Labour Government who came to office in 1964—we promised to repeal it during the election—the Tory Opposition did not vote against the Labour legislation. The time will come when we form a Government and repeal this obnoxious legislation which will be so discredited that the Tory Opposition will do precisely the same. They will not vote against the legislation because we shall have been proved right, as our predecessors were 30 years ago.

Photo of Mr John Fraser Mr John Fraser , Norwood

I am outraged by this abridgement of debate. Somewhere on your desk, Madam Deputy Speaker, is a letter that I sent to Mr. Speaker last Thursday saying that I wanted to speak about housing action trusts. I promised the occupants of 3,000 dwellings, who are part of a HAT, that I would try to say something on their behalf, but there will be little opportunity to do so if the motion is passed.

Those tenants have won a victory. At Question Time last Wednesday, I asked the Secretary of State whether he would accept a ballot by the tenants, but he dismissed the proposition arrogantly. We now have government not by Parliament but by Dimbleby, and on Sunday the Earl of Caithness told David Dimbleby that, contrary to what the Secretary of State told me last week, there would be a ballot by tenants. Although it is a victory, it is not sufficient. We should have preferred the Lords amendment to be passed, but at least it is some advance.

Coupled with the concession made on television on Sunday was a threat of blackmail to 3,000 HAT tenants in my constituency. They were told that if they did not vote for a HAT they would not receive a slice of the £192 million that the Government are allocating to HATs. If the Secretary of State had done that during a parliamentary election he would have been convicted of corrupt practices. He is engaging in blackmail and demanding with menaces by saying, "If you do not vote for a HAT you will not receive a share of the money." On the one hand, tenants are being asked to vote for the Secretary of State's proposals, but on the other for a denial of those funds and a continuation of damp and too much asbestos. They are being asked to choose between the Secretary of State and cockroaches. Some would say that that is a difficult choice to make, but there is a more serious side to this matter. Those 3,000 homes will not be any different whether they are in or out of a HAT. There will still be the same damp and the same lack of insulation. They will still need improvement and will not be sufficiently heated; some will need money spent on them.

My constituents want to explore with the Secretary of State the reason why they will be bribed to vote for a HAT or be denied access to the money. I have no doubt that they will vote against a HAT, but if the Secretary of State wants to save time he should remove part III of the Bill. Once there has been a ballot, HATs will be as dead as the dodo.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party

My hon. Friend mentioned intimidation. We have just watched the Tory Chief Whip move from his corner seat and go to Madam Deputy Speaker to engage in intimidation against her to get a closure—

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. I assure the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) that no hon. Member intimidates me.

Photo of Mr John Fraser Mr John Fraser , Norwood

I hope that the motion will not be passed and that we shall have an opportunity to discuss matters that affect about 6,000 of my constituents. No parliamentary announcement was made about the change of HATs; no parliamentary statement was made last week. The press office at the Department of the Environment had to be opened on Sunday afternoon after the David Dimbleby broadcast to save Ministers' faces by issuing a press notice.

Photo of Mr Rhodri Morgan Mr Rhodri Morgan , Cardiff West

Perhaps the Government have announced a new principle of constitution—no television without representation.

Photo of Mr John Fraser Mr John Fraser , Norwood

In the light of what has happened recently, no television without repression.

I protest that the chance to rehearse fully the arguments that my constituents in HATs have asked me to advance has been curtailed. I shall vote with all the strength that I can against the motion.

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

I do not think that any Opposition Member would believe for a moment that the Government are democrats. They are not democratic in the way in which they operate. They abuse the rights of the House as they abuse our citizens. We understand that, but we cannot take the hypocrisy of all this. We know, as does everyone else involved in housing, that the Bill will not provide one additional unit of accommodation. It is nothing to do with the housing crisis; it is all about the Conservative party's ideology. The Conservatives hate local authorities providing housing and they will do everything they can—the Bill is part of that strategy—to eliminate the provision of housing by local authorities. We have the evidence of the Government's words and of our eyes when we see their actions.

2 am

We deplore the Bill. It is a lousy, rotten Bill, as my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) said. The people know that. It is impossible for us to stomach the Government's hypocrisy. They are altering the basis of public sector tenancies. They hope to hand large swathes of council tenants into the hands of the Hoogstratens and the nasty gangster landlords who are waiting for the Bill to get on to the statute book. We want the opportunity to expose the bankruptcy of the Government's case, and we need time to do that.

The Government are clearly in a mess. Although I found the Bill iniquitous in the extreme, I had some pleasure in being the agency Whip who was brought back to do his little bit to stall its passage towards the statute book. The Conservative Benches have sometimes been full of Members and sometimes almost empty, but no one has been prepared to answer our case. They just want to steamroller the Bill through Parliament. They want to steamroller the rights of Parliament.

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

I agree with all that my hon. Friend has said, especially about local authorities and reasonable rents. Does he agree that it would be in the interests of many Government supporters to follow the Bill because its purpose is not just as my hon. Friend has described it but is to raise the general costs of housing for everyone, including private tenants, to make the housing market equal to the market in everything else, and therefore to put up the cost of housing relative to anything else and to be inflationary, which is contrary to the Prime Minister's claimed objectives? That is the degree of the cunning of the Conservatives who are not there tonight.

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

As ever, my hon. Friend is correct. If we had had a proper debate which continued throughout today, he could have made those points. It appears that we shall be denied the opportunity to hear him.

My hon. Friend the Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) said that the Bill will be an albatross around the neck of the Secretary of State. I shall not go all the way through it, but I remind the House of the first few lines of Coleridge's "The Ancient Mariner": It is an ancient Mariner,And he stoppeth one of three.'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?' I shall stop there because, although one may think that the Secretary of State resembles the ancient mariner, he has neither a beard nor a glittering eye. If there were any glitter in one of those eyes which showed any humanity, we would know that it was a glass eye. The Bill will be an albatross around his neck and we shall hang it there.

Photo of Mr Paul Boateng Mr Paul Boateng , Brent South

The Secretary of State is now with us. [HON. MEMBERS: "In body."] During the time that you have been out of the Chair, Madam Deputy Speaker, you have missed a rather interesting, not to say macabre, phenomenon surrounding the person of the Secretary of State.

To outline it briefly, what has happened is that there have been unpleasant manifestations of political will on the Government Benches. As soon as such manifestation has taken place—the most recent of them is the desire of those who sit on the Government Benches to curtail the debate—the Secretary of State disappears and melts into the background, one knows not where. One suspects that he goes somewhere to revitalise his vital forces. He goes away—dematerialises—and then, some time later, manifests himself once again on the Government Benches. That has happened time after time throughout the debate.

Why should that be? The answer may lie in one aspect of this noxious Bill that we are being denied the right to discuss this evening—housing action trusts, the method by which they will come into existence and the way in which properties can be transferred from the trusts into the hands of private developers.

The question that Ministers were unable to answer during earlier deliberations on the Floor of the House and in Committee is precisely the role of the dead in the voting. Any understanding of how this manifestation of the public will is to take place makes it quite clear that for the first time ever the dead will be given a vote. For the first time ever the dead will be seen positively to acquiesce—

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

It will be informed acquiescence.

Photo of Mr Paul Boateng Mr Paul Boateng , Brent South

Yes. There will be informed acquiescence on the part of the dead. When it is viewed in that rather macabre light, the disappearance and then the reappearance, or manifestation once more, of the Secretary of State becomes that much more clear.

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

We have always known that the Prime Minister believes that she has great power when communicating with the living. This is an extension of her belief in her new spiritual or supernatural prowess.

Photo of Mr Paul Boateng Mr Paul Boateng , Brent South

That is indeed so, and the Secretary of State is the cat on her broomstick. Our fear is that the Secretary of State is among the undead—the living dead. Once one has made that vital conceptual leap, his appearances and disappearances during the debate become totally explicable.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party

Where do these series of macabre incidents take place? Would I be right to assume that they take place in Finchley at a Westminster council cemetery? What is the charge for witnessing these scenes? Is it 5p, or is it £2 million? Who is on the gate? Is it Lady Porter? Is she in charge? Is my hon. Friend aware that the reason the Government intend to close the debate shortly is that there is a Cabinet meeting in the morning—well, some people call it a Cabinet meeting but others call it the "Spitting Image" show.

Photo of Mr Paul Boateng Mr Paul Boateng , Brent South

A "Spitting Image" show—or a seance? Which is it?

There is a way of determining the undead. In the absence of a silver bullet, and not wishing to descend to the level of a stake through the heart, one is driven to a time-honoured process. In this I have been greatly assisted by my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon), who has provided me with a mirror. All that I need do is to put this picture of the Secretary of State in front of the mirror. If it does not immediately manifest itself in the mirror, the Secretary of State is truly of the undead. Madam Deputy Speaker, there is no image in the mirror.

But I digress slightly from this serious debate. Housing action trusts are a fundamental denial of democratic rights. They are the very negation of the people's right to choose. Of late, we have heard much from the Prime Minister about the people's right to choose. She went to Poland and lectured General Jaruzelski. In breathy tones, she said, "You know, people ought to be able to make vital choices that affect their lives. They ought to be able to make those choices. And do you know what we have found when we give them the opportunity to make those choices? Well, normally, you know, people make the right choice." That is what the Prime Minister said in Poland; why does she not give that right to the people who live on estates in this country? When she does, we can have a little more confidence in the assurances given to us by Ministers.

The Government do not trust the people. They will not allow an open debate on this vital issue. As long as they continue to deny us the opportunity to debate the Bill, they must recognise that we shall push the matter here and in the country at large. We shall fight this Bill from here to Halifax.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo , Bristol South 2:15 am, 9th November 1988

When the Bill was introduced by the former Minister for housing and Planning, the hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave), it was heralded as the most radical housing Bill this century. The offensive tactics that the Government have used as the Bill progressed through Committee, Report stage and the other place were certainly radical. It is strange that the Government are surprised that we oppose the Bill so vigorously. They are trying to reverse an important principle that was enshrined many years ago in the Housing Acts of Addison and Wheatley—that housing should be provided on the basis of need, at a reasonable cost, and that profit should not be made from that provision. It should be a social provision. The Bill would completely undermine that principle.

The Government have been creative in the provision of information to the public about what has happened in Parliament. They have not always told the truth. On 6 November, on the programme "On the Record", which seems to be more effective in obtaining answers from the Government than anyone else, the Earl of Caithness—under pressure—promised twice in the interview that tenants transferring into housing action trusts would have the right to vote and that a simple majority would suffice. That has not happened. We are told that many of the amendments are technical, but examination of the Official Report of the other place reveals that there was no debate of some amendments. Among the amendments which we have been denied the right to debate tonight are those in the group headed by Lords amendment No. 92. They are classed as technical, but they could be used to asset-strip local authorities as some of their housing stock could be forcibly removed. We have been denied the opportunity to question the Minister on those amendments which hitherto have been moved formally and not explained.

The Government are attempting to face both ways when it comes to what they consider democratic. All but the most partisan—unfortunately, the deliberately partisan have a majority in the House—regard the Government's proposals as undemocratic and unprincipled. The Government have confirmed us in that belief time and again by denying us the right to explore what is going on.

The Government have proposed a curious voting system. As my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Boateng) said, the dead and those who do not vote are deemed to have voted in favour of a transfer. The Government call it the inertia vote. [Interruption.] They gave reasons for it. In a quite different document, the Government talk of a new model active citizen—

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. The House is showing great discourtesy to the hon. Lady.

Photo of Mr Bob Cryer Mr Bob Cryer , Bradford South

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I think that the noise may be the result of hon. Members' concern that an obscene picture has been laid on the Table of the House. Hon. Members wonder whether the Secretary of State has been nipping out during the debate to examine the document.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. The hon. Member for Bristol, South (Ms. Primarolo) should be heard by hon. Members on both sides of the House.

Ms.Primarolo:

Thank you, Madam deputy Speaker.

The document on the active model citizen talks of the interventionist role of individuals to improve the lot of their neighbours. That does not square with the proposal for an inertia vote. Indeed, inertia voting goes against the principle of natural jusice. The Government, however, are denying us the right to question them on that.

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

My hon. Friend has told us that the Earl of Caithness made a statement on television about voting for potential HAT tenants. It seems that that which featured in the earl?s statement has not appeared on the Amendment Paper and that the Government are not proceeding with it. There are two members of the Cabinet on the Treasury Bench, and if they wished to intervene I am sure that my hon. Friend would be prepared to give way to allow them to do so. Is it not high time, even during the debate on the motion, for them to tell us whether there is a reason for the Government choosing not to proceed with that which the Earl of Caithness described on television? Surely they should explain what will happen. If the guillotine does not provide sufficient time for an explanation to be given at a later date, there is sufficient time now. Or is this yet another example of a Minister saying something to the media—this time in public—that is not being carried out in practice?

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo , Bristol South

The Government do not intend to give us the truth about the Bill, and that is the purpose of the motion. They will not engage us in debate. The occupants of the Treasury Front Bench have not moved, and it is clear that even at this late stage they will not come clean.

The Bill makes no provision, suggestions or proposals. We have not been convinced by any arguments that we have heard to date that have sought to explain why the Government are so passionately committed to the principle that private accommodation and private landlords will provide accommodation and correct the problems of homelessness and poor accommodation. The Government need to be reminded that council housing exists because of the failure of the private sector to house the people.

As a new Member, I suffer occasionally from the delusion that the purpose of being here is to debate, discuss, question, clarify and express the points of view of those whom we represent. During the passage of the Bill the Government have shown nothing but contempt for the electoral process, the rights of the people to housing and the rights of hon. Members to question and challenge them. Is it true that we no longer have the accountability of Ministers in the House? Whenever they do not want to answer a question, they move the closure, suspension and a timetable motion. That is what they have done throughout our discussions on the Bill. It is a disgrace. How dare they talk to us about giving people choice when they do not give Members of this place the right to choose what to question them upon?

Photo of Mr David Waddington Mr David Waddington , Ribble Valley

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 149, Noes 46.

Division No. 484][2.22 am
AYES
Alexander, RichardBowis, John
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBrazier, Julian
Allason, RupertBright, Graham
Amos, AlanBrittan, Rt Hon Leon
Arbuthnot, JamesBrooke, Rt Hon Peter
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Ashby, DavidBurns, Simon
Atkins, RobertBurt, Alistair
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Butler, Chris
Baldry, TonyButterfill, John
Batiste, SpencerCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
Bellingham, HenryCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Carrington, Matthew
Bevan, David GilroyCarttiss, Michael
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Boscawen, Hon RobertCran, James
Boswell, TimCurrie, Mrs Edwina
Bottomley, PeterDavis, David (Boothferry)
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDorrell, Stephen
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Durant, TonyMills, Iain
Fairbairn, Sir NicholasMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Moss, Malcolm
Garel-Jones, TristanMoynihan, Hon Colin
Gow, IanNeubert, Michael
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Nicholls, Patrick
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Gregory, ConalNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Grist, IanPage, Richard
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)Paice, James
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Patnick, Irvine
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Pawsey, James
Harris, DavidPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidPorter, David (Waveney)
Heddle, JohnPrice, Sir David
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Raffan, Keith
Hill, JamesRaison, Rt Hon Timothy
Hind, KennethRiddick, Graham
Holt, RichardRidley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Hordern, Sir PeterRoe, Mrs Marion
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Rossi, Sir Hugh
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Sackville, Hon Tom
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Shaw, David (Dover)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hunter, AndrewSims, Roger
Irvine, MichaelSmith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Jack, MichaelSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Janman, TimStanley, Rt Hon John
Jessel, TobyStewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyStradling Thomas, Sir John
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Taylor, John M (Solihull)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Kirkhope, TimothyThurnham, Peter
Knapman, RogerTrippier, David
Knowles, MichaelTwinn, Dr Ian
Latham, MichaelViggers, Peter
Lawrence, IvanWaddington, Rt Hon David
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkWakeham, Rt Hon John
Lilley, PeterWalden, George
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Waller, Gary
Lord, MichaelWard, John
Luce, Rt Hon RichardWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Lyell, Sir NicholasWarren, Kenneth
MacGregor, Rt Hon JohnWatts, John
McLoughlin, PatrickWells, Bowen
McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)Wheeler, John
Mans, KeithWiddecombe, Ann
Maples, JohnWood, Timothy
Marland, Paul
Marshall, John (Hendon S)Tellers for the Ayes:
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)Mr. David Maclean and
Maxwell-Hyslop, RobinMr. Michael Fallon.
Meyer, Sir Anthony
NOES
Ashdown, PaddyHughes, Simon (Southwark)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Livsey, Richard
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)McCartney, Ian
Battle, JohnMahon, Mrs Alice
Beith, A. J.Meale, Alan
Boateng, PaulMichael, Alun
Bradley, KeithMichie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Moore, Rt Hon John
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Morgan, Rhodri
Clay, BobMorley, Elliott
Cohen, HarryParry, Robert
Cryer, BobPike, Peter L.
Cunningham, Dr JohnPrescott, John
Dixon, DonPrimarolo, Dawn
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)Redmond, Martin
Fatchett, DerekRoberts, Allan (Bootle)
Faulds, AndrewSkinner, Dennis
Fraser, JohnSoley, Clive
Haynes, FrankSpearing, Nigel
Home Robertson, JohnTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Vaz, Keith
Wall, PatWinnick, David
Wallace, James
Wareing, Robert N.Tellers for the Noes:
Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Mrs. Llin Golding and
Mr. Frank Cook.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly:

The House divided: Ayes 146, Noes 46.

Division No. 485][2.34 am
AYES
Alexander, RichardJack, Michael
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelJanman, Tim
Allason, RupertJessel, Toby
Amos, AlanJohnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Arbuthnot, JamesJones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Jones, Robert B (Herts W)
Ashby, DavidKing, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Atkins, RobertKirkhope, Timothy
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Knapman, Roger
Baldry, TonyKnowles, Michael
Batiste, SpencerLatham, Michael
Bellingham, HenryLawrence, Ivan
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Bevan, David GilroyLilley, Peter
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Boscawen, Hon RobertLord, Michael
Boswell, TimLuce, Rt Hon Richard
Bottomley, PeterLyell, Sir Nicholas
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaMacGregor, Rt Hon John
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)McLoughlin, Patrick
Bowis, JohnMcNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Brazier, JulianMans, Keith
Bright, GrahamMaples, John
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterMarshall, John (Hendon S)
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Burns, SimonMaxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Burt, AlistairMeyer, Sir Anthony
Butler, ChrisMills, Iain
Butterfill, JohnMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Carlisle, John, (Luton N)Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Moss, Malcolm
Carrington, MatthewMoynihan, Hon Colin
Carttiss, MichaelNeubert, Michael
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)Nicholls, Patrick
Cran, JamesNicholson, David (Taunton)
Currie, Mrs EdwinaNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Davis, David (Boothferry)Page, Richard
Dorrell, StephenPaice, James
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesPatnick, Irvine
Durant, TonyPawsey, James
Fairbairn, Sir NicholasPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Porter, David (Waveney)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Price, Sir David
Garel-Jones, TristanRaffan, Keith
Gow, IanRaison, Rt Hon Timothy
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Riddick, Graham
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Gregory, ConalRoe, Mrs Marion
Grist, IanRossi, Sir Hugh
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)Sackville, Hon Tom
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Shaw, David (Dover)
Harris, DavidShaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidShephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Heddle, JohnShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Sims, Roger
Hind, KennethSmith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Holt, RichardSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Hordern, Sir PeterStanley, Rt Hon John
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Hunter, AndrewThurnham, Peter
Irvine, MichaelTrippier, David
Twinn, Dr IanWatts, John
Viggers, PeterWells, Bowen
Waddington, Rt Hon DavidWheeler, John
Wakeham, Rt Hon JohnWiddecombe, Ann
Walden, GeorgeWood, Timothy
Waller, Gary
Ward, JohnTellers for the Ayes:
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)Mr. David Maclean and
Warren, KennethMr. Michael Fallon.
NOES
Ashdown, PaddyMeale, Alan
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Michael, Alun
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Battle, JohnMorgan, Rhodri
Beith, A. J.Morley, Elliott
Boateng, PaulParry, Robert
Bradley, KeithPike, Peter L.
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Prescott, John
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Primarolo, Dawn
Clay, BobRedmond, Martin
Cohen, HarryRoberts, Allan (Bootle)
Cryer, BobSkinner, Dennis
Cunningham, Dr JohnSoley, Clive
Dixon, DonSpearing, Nigel
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Fatchett, DerekVaz, Keith
Faulds, AndrewWall, Pat
Fraser, JohnWallace, James
Haynes, FrankWareing, Robert N.
Home Robertson, JohnWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Winnick, David
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Livsey, RichardTellers for the Noes:
McCartney, IanMrs. Llin Golding and
Mahon, Mrs AliceMr. Frank Cook.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Further consideration of Lords amendments adjourned.

To be further considered this day.