Orders of the Day — National Curriculum

– in the House of Commons at 10:15 pm on 29th April 1991.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Shadow Secretary of State for Education 10:15 pm, 29th April 1991

I beg to move,

That an humble address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Education (National Curriculum) (Attainment Targets and Programmes of Study in Geography) (England) Order 1991 (S.I., 1991, No. 678), dated 13th March 1991, a copy of which was laid before this House on 25th March, be annulled.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

With this it will be convenient to take the following motion: That an humble address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Education (National Curriculum) (Attainment Targets and Programmes of Study in History) (England) Order 1991 (SI, 1991, No. 681), dated 13th March 1991, a copy of which was laid before this House on 25th March, be annulled. I appeal to Front-Bench spokesmen and Back-Bench Members on both sides of the Chamber to be brief. Many hon. Members wish to contribute to the debate.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Shadow Secretary of State for Education

I think that the House knows that the Opposition accept the principle of the national curriculum. It is right that Parliament should have a role in laying down the framework of what is taught in schools and in better defining the entitlement of each child during its years of compulsory education. There were always dangers that without proper checks parliamentary and ministerial power could be abused or used for partisan ends, and for that reason a careful procedure for establishing a national curriculum and agreeing it was laid down in the Education Reform Act 1988.

The effective and fair operation of the procedures was always to depend, as so often in this country, upon convention and self-denial by politicians rather than by explicit rule. As history and politics are so intertwined, history was bound to pose the greatest test of those procedures. The original proposals of the history working party aroused great debate about the balance between facts and understanding, and the previous Secretary of State for Education and Science, the right hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. MacGregor), now the Leader of the House, referred the matter back to the National Curriculum Council. The council took account of his views, and many others, and made revised proposals for which there was wide agreement both inside and outside the profession.

In setting out his views in July 1990, the previous Secretary of State explicitly endorsed the proposal for 20th century history to be taught to the present day. He argued only for a "better overview" of 20th-century history, including in particular the development of the European Community.

On 2 November 1990, the present Secretary of State for Education and Science, the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke), replaced the right hon. Member for Norfolk, South. Over Christmas, we understand, and without any debate or consultation, he took his blue pencil to the draft curriculum. He decided that history was to stop in the mid 1960s. His method of amendment was crude and the result was bizarre. The Berlin wall was deleted. It was replaced by the Berlin airlift. "Modern Britain" was replaced by "Victorian Britain", the "middle east" by "Germany", and separately by the "Ottoman empire" and the "Irish Republic" by the "Irish Free State and Eire". An attainment target about changing attitudes towards the European Community was replaced by one about attitudes of different countries to the League of Nations". Early 1960s end-dates were then inserted. The consequence of these was that the Americans were about to win in Vietnam, apartheid was fully effective in South Africa, large parts of Africa were still colonies and the middle east stopped with the six-day war in 1967.

As is often the case with such vulgar exercises, some parts escaped notice, as if to mock the censors. So a supplementary unit continues, unamended, to require study from before 1500 to until the present day.

In making those decisions, the Secretary of State claimed that national curriculum history should not go beyond the early 1960s because of the difficulty of treating such matters with an "historical perspective". He said that everything post early-1960s was "current affairs". He failed to take accounst of the fact that two thirds of all general certificate of secondary education history syllabuses go beyond the early 1960s. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has been unable to produce before Parliament any evidence of a lack of historical perspective in such teaching. Indeed, on 12 February he told me that political bias was not the reason for his decision. In the absence of any evidence to justify his decision, the Secretary of State must recognise that he has gratuitously attacked the skill and professional integrity of history teachers.

The Secretary of State's claim that anything after the late 1960s is current affairs is patently absurd. None of the children studying the curriculum will have been born before 1980. Current affairs are about affairs that are current in the news. There is no room for it in the already overcrowded timetable of secondary schools. When he responds to this brief debate, the Secretary of State may claim that he is not prohibiting the teaching of post-1960 or post-1970 history. That is disingenuous, because the timetables are packed out with the requirements of the national curriculum. What adds to the vacuity of the Secretary of State's prohibition is that it will not apply to children in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland or to children in private schools which conveniently are exempt from the national curriculum.

The Secretary of State applied a similar crude approach to geography. Without notice to anyone, he decided to remove inquiry skills, the use of secondary sources and diagrams from statements of attainment because he said that, however desirable, they are not particular to geography. In saying that, he found himself in conflict with everyone who has knowledge of the subject and also with parts of his own Government. Last year's Department of the Environment White Paper, "This Common Inheritance", envisaged an important role for geography making young people more aware of and able to participate in action about environmental methods.

Even the Secretary of State was surprised by the depth and extent of the criticism of his decisions about history and geography. That criticism came from unexpected quarters. For example, Lord Blake, a Conservative peer and an official biographer of the Conservative party——

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Shadow Secretary of State for Education

Yes, and a decent historian. Lord Blake said It is ridiculous to stop history in the 1960s. It could stop round about the 1980s. There, you are coming into an era of controversial politics with the Thatcher revolution and that should be discussed in current-affairs lessons. He said that it was ridiculous to stop it in the 1960s or 1970s.

In the orders that we are discussing, the Secretary of State recognised his earlier error and impetuosity and tried to climb down. However, the result is quite unsatisfactory. The 30-year rule has been abandoned, but it is to be replaced by a 20-year rule. Date-capping will stand in all its arbitrary absurdity. As Robert Medley, the chairman of the Historical Association's school council, said: We don't think changing it from a 30-year rule to a 20-year rule has made any difference. The principle of the thing is still daft. Many of the original silly changes, including swapping the European Community with the League of Nations and modern Britain for Victorian Britain, remain in the supplementary order. They are included in the programme of studies for the fourth key stage, levels 4 to10. They include the cut-off dates in the mid-1960s.

With regard to geography, the Secretary of State reintroduced the study of competition over land use and the conflicting demands on places of scenic attraction. However, he refused to accept a much more fundamental point—the need for an emphasis on an investigative approach to geography, which the Geographical Association has said is fundamental to what geography is about.

With the power over the curriculum which has been taken by Ministers and by the House go some very important responsibilities, not least to ensure that we do not treat the curriculum in a partisan way. So far as possible, changes should be made in a consensual way and we should not treat the curriculum as a party political football.

The Secretary of State's two predecessors, both Conservatives, were alive to their responsibilities and they acted carefully when seeking to make changes in draft orders. They also gave notice of any changes that they had in mind with reference to proposals for working parties. The present Secretary of State has acted differently. Apart from the merit, or lack of merit, in his proposals, there is the charge that he has failed to follow the spirit of the procedures. In particular, on 2 November he took no account whatsoever of the position of his predecessors, and he then made proposals, of which no notice had ever been made by his predecessors, on points to which they had never taken objection in the drafts of the working party and National Curriculum Council reports.

The Secretary of State's predecessors were alive to their responsibilities, but this Secretary of State has shown by his conduct that he is incapable of appreciating those responsibilities, let alone measuring up to them. Because of that, we tabled the prayers to annul the orders, and I support them.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science 10:24 pm, 29th April 1991

We have just had a debate in which the Opposition refused to take any clear stand on an extremely important matter for the future. We now have the Opposition spokesman taking a totally bogus stand, trying to find partisan controversy where none should exist, on the past, as it happens, and on geography. I entirely refute his suggestion that what has happened brings a hint of party politics into the national curriculum. When the National Curriculum Council put proposals to me, I put out a draft order, with the reactions of me, Her Majesty's inspectorate and my Department to that draft order. We consulted on it. In the light of that consultation, we produced final orders.

I am sure that the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) is not trying to damage the national curriculum, but he will do so if he tries to invent partisan disputes at the late stage of a process of putting into place the orders for two key parts of the curriculum—geography and history.

I trust that, by now, hon. Members support the principle of the national curriculum, and also support the fact that the national curriculum will include history and geography as two of the key subjects. We all know that history and geography in particular have been fading in importance and sometimes in the strength with which they have been taught in schools in recent years. Her Majesty's inspectors have found standards of work in primary schools generally weak in both subjects. In secondary schools, HMI has found that the so-called humanities approach adopted by some schools fails to do justice to either history or geography. The Government are reviving history and geography as serious subjects in our schools for our pupils. The Government may take credit for including them in the national curriculum and for making the orders.

The orders set out a solid foundation of knowledge, understanding and skills which all children should have in both subjects. We are reinstating those important parts of our knowledge, life, culture and history in our schools.

The process that I have described was always envisaged in orders that have been fully consulted on at every stage, of publishing draft orders with the Secretary of State's reactions to the final proposals from the National Curriculum Council, at which it arrived after consultation, and building on consultation that it has carried out from the final proposals of the working party. I then consulted on those and, in the end, made various changes when I first published the draft and again in the light of the final consultation.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science

This is a prayer, and we have a little more than an hour left, and I made a long speech on the Bill. I might give way in a while, but I shall have to see how long I take.

Let me begin with geography. The geography order sets out to make sure that our young people learn some geography, not just vague concepts and attitudes which relate to various subjects. In geography, we have restored learning about places and where they are—something which nowadays is too often played down in some schools. The most elementary cross-examination of pupils reveals that their knowledge of where places are in the world is not what it should be. I, together with many parents, employers and others, believe that knowing about places—to use that simplistic phrase to describe an awareness of the geography of the world—is important.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science

I shall not give way yet, for the reason that I have given.

Of course, that is not the be-all and end-all of geography. Angry teachers have told me that all I am doing is wanting to go back to teaching about the capes and bays of England. I would not dream of putting such a burden on a geography teacher. It is essential to have some knowledge of place if pupils are to go on to develop some understanding of the world and the way in which different countries and places relate to each other.

The order also ensures that all pupils will be taught how to use maps and other geographical skills. They will develop their knowledge of human and physical geography in the context of real places. Last but not least, the order recognises the importance of learning about the environment. There was a flurry of excitement when it was said that I had struck out environmental geography. In fact, it is one of the five attainment targets for geography. Indeed, together with physical geography, it is the part of the NCC's proposals that I have scarcely touched at all. I made no changes to either before going to the draft order phase. Overall, the order's coverage of places, of human and physical geography and of the environment has been widely welcomed by geographers.

It was against that background—against the fact that the great bulk of the subject has been modified in a way that has not excited any controversy—that some controversy arose about some of the changes. With respect, much of the criticism was based on a misunderstanding and a certain reading of lobbying letters and press reports rather more than on any reading of the orders themselves. I do not usually dismiss all criticisms, but I received many letters from people who had plainly not read the orders. They were the people who said that I had struck out all environmental geography, whereas it remains one fifth of the attainment targets, and quite untouched.

The Geographical Association has sent out a standard letter—I do not complain about that—to every Member of Parliament and many other people and to all the members of the association, complaining about the changes that have been made, but it does not actually state what those changes are. With the greatest respect, a lot of heat has been generated, but perhaps not a great deal of light about what the association was complaining about. The association's full submission was presented to me after we had introduced the draft order and before we made the final order, and I accepted many of its points. We have had a new lay-out for the programmes of study, which the association was right to say were previously laid out in a confused fashion. That was a major re-write. We put back conflicts over land use and, as the hon. Member for Blackburn fairly conceded, the points about landscape.

However, the hon. Gentleman did not address the two remaining issues about which people are still arguing. The first is the concern that I am said to have removed inquiry skills from being part of geography. I accept that inquiry is an important part of geographical work. Pupils should take an active role in their lessons and inquire about the nature of the issues that emerge in the course of their study of geography and of our fragile environment. The programmes of study for geography clearly state that inquiry should form part of geography lessons.

However, I did remove some of the detailed requirements in the programmes of study, stating exactly what pupils should do—and I do not apologise for that. The orders should not prescribe everything that happens in the classroom and take away all discretion from the teacher. In addition, some of the things that are allegedly related to inquiry skills in geography are so general as to be almost meaningless in the context of this part of the curriculum.

Two examples of my deletions are: Explore how people vary in their views about the value and enjoyment of environments. There is no reference to where or to what kind of environment. The other example reads: Collect, present and interpret data as part of an inquiry. That does not even specify "as part of a geographical inquiry". All that sort of stuff was taken out of an overloaded order largely to tidy it up—[Interruption.] It is not silly—at least I am referring to what I deleted. The hon. Member for Blackburn huffed and puffed but did not complain about anything that I had taken out. He gave no examples, yet I made countless changes when going through the order.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science

I shall give way once on geography when I have finished this point.

The fuss is meant to be about inquiry processes, and attitudes and values. Again, I accept that geography lessons will deal with issues on which there are conflicting points of view. It is the teacher's job to explain them to pupils in a balanced way. It is total nonsense for the hon. Member for Blackburn to keep saying that I have attacked the integrity of teachers. I have not done that in either geography or history from beginning to end. It is a proper and necessary part of geography, and the order provides for it.

I was not persuaded that pupils should be tested on their knowledge of what people thought about an issue, in isolation from knowledge and understanding of the relevant facts. It is taking the study of attitudes in geography too far if one tests people on their knowledge about other people's attitudes to somewhere, without knowing much about where that somewhere is, or what the attitudes are for.

The result is a tidier order, which is more manageable in the classroom. I have accepted far more of the representations received during consultation than I have rejected. I accept the assertion of the hon. Member for Blackburn that he has read the order, as opposed to many people who have only read the standard letter. However, in so far as the hon. Gentleman is specific about what was wrong in geography, given that last week his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales said that there was too much concentration on process in parts of the curriculum and not enough on content, I think that the order has a lot of content—far more than there has been in geography for many years. It is no good saying that there should be more process, and carrying on about inquiry skills, attitudes and opinions, put in to the exclusion of content or so that it is unmanageable.

Photo of Mr Andrew Bennett Mr Andrew Bennett , Denton and Reddish

May I question the Secretary of State on the subject of collecting data? One of the key elements in geography teaching is that pupils should go out from the classroom to collect information and then bring it back and analyse it. It has been suggested that the Minister is taking out the collection of data because he is trying to discourage field work, which he knows is expensive. The Government have not been prepared to make the resources available so that all pupils can get some time out of their classroom to look at the environment.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science

The use of maps and field work are in place in the order. We have cut out of the syllabus examining people on the collection of data that might have no relevance to geography. The hon. Gentleman will find that the order provides for plenty of going out of the classroom to collect things, and for the sort of experience that he describes.

History was bound to excite the most public debate. I am glad to say that most of that took place before my time as Secretary of State, although I would have happily joined in, as I am closely interested in the subject. History arouses strong feelings and passionate disagreements. Inevitably there are political undercurrents to the debate about history, which have been pretty thoroughly aired in the past year or two.

The result has been no fewer than three separate stages of consultation about history, instead of the usual two. My predecessor thoroughly explored opinion before he responded, even in the first place, to the history working group's report. Of course the outcome will not satisfy everyone. It is impossible to come to any conclusion in this field. However, I believe that we have reached a broad consensus on what school history should be like, which is reflected in the order.

By the time I arrived, the mass of political representation—both left and right made representations ferociously to my predecessors—had more or less died down. That meant that I was not able to inject any of my reactions to the content of the programme of study. I find it a bit odd that the renaissance and much of European history plays such a small part in the curriculum, but that is all water under the bridge, and I would not dream of reopening the debate.

There is an argument about whether there is enough factual knowledge in the programme. I still get that attack from those who are slightly on the right of politics, because the attainment targets in history are in general terms, and the substance of history is all in the programmes of study. It would be a great misfortune—a disaster—if knowledge of historical fact was ironed out of the whole subject and the attainment targets were attitude-dominated.

I am glad to see that the hon. Member for Blackburn agrees, because I am sure that there are people to the left of him in the Labour party who are shocked to discover that dead people, dates and things that happened in the past are being referred to at all. I can reassure those who believe, as I do, that one of the great things in history is to teach a good corpus of factual knowledge, that it is not possible to achieve any levels in the attainment targets without reference to programmes of study.

Although we may all have our personal preferences—I have expressed surprise that the renaissance features to such a limited extent; it is not a period on which I claim to be particularly strong, but it is surely a key period in the history of mankind—a good body of knowledge is none the less represented, and pupils will be tested on it according to the attainment targets.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow

Is it true that, some time after Commander Saunders-Watson had written his report, a memorandum was issued by Professor Brian Griffiths rubbishing that report? If so, can a copy of the Griffiths memorandum be put in the Library?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science

As that would have happened before my time, I do not know whether it is true or not. Representations about history, however, flowed in from all sides. Now, when the dust has settled down, we are left with one issue: the distinction that I have insisted on drawing between history and current affairs. The hon. Member for Blackburn is still going on about that.

No one is saying that there should be no reference to current affairs in the classroom. Plainly—particularly as children grow older—plenty of discussion about current affairs will take place. That is fine: it happened in my day, and it should still happen nowadays. I have never attacked the ability of good teachers to handle such discussion in a detached and objective way. I trust that a high proportion of children debated the recent events in the Gulf, and that opinions of all kinds were expressed; and I have no doubt that that was managed sensibly in the classroom. We are arguing about whether current affairs should be made a legally required part of the history syllabus.

If the order were allowed to include all events up to the present day in the curriculum, we should not merely be giving teachers discretion to allow current affairs to be raised. They already have that discretion, and we are not stopping them raising any subject. If the change were made, they would be required by law to cover today's events as part of the history curriculum, and would have to test pupils' understanding of current political issues as part of the history testing process. I find that slightly bizarre, but it is what the hon. Member for Blackburn wants.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science

I will if I finish before 10.45 pm.

Another important principle is the definition of history. What is the nature of history? No one is banning current affairs; no one is saying that pupils cannot discuss what is happening today. There is, however, a strong argument, which I personally support, that history—in so far as it is worth while to define the subject; some people have written volumes in an attempt to do so—involves the making of judgments concerned with historical perspective. There is no doubt that a judgment made at even a short distance from the event or pattern of events and involving a backward-looking view will differ from an instant reaction to the morning's newspapers, whose contents would, if the Opposition's proposal were accepted, be described as "history" for the purposes of the national curriculum.

The original draft order included a date, which did not occur throughout but was a key part of the order. That was challenged. I am indebted to my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack), who came to tell me that he thought that one cut-off point was somewhat arbitrary and that, apart from anything else, repeated orders would be needed to bring the position up to date each year—unless history became ever more distant, falling away behind us, as a result of a parliamentary order.

My hon. Friend came up with the best suggestion that I heard throughout the consultation period. If we altered the wording of the order so that it referred to a cut-off of about 20 years ago—not a fixed date—historical perspective and the ability to form judgments on it would roll forward with time. I have no doubt that all the orders will be reviewed from time to time as the curriculum evolves and people form a view about what subject matter it should contain.

Photo of Mr Giles Radice Mr Giles Radice Chair, Treasury & Civil Service Sub-Committee

Surely that phrase "about 20 years ago" exposes the problem. Such people as Professor Keith Robbins and Lord Blake have pointed this out to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. Let us take our entry into the Common Market, which happened, I believe, in January 1972—[HON. MEMBERS: "Nineteen seventy-three"] That makes my point even better. That event would be ruled out, by legal requirement. Therefore, one learns about the debates that took place in the House, but one does not learn about the date of entry. According to the right hon. and learned Gentleman's definition, that would be the case. That is precisely why Lord Blake and Professor Keith Robbins, who is president of the Historical Association, said that this is not a stupid argument. It is an argument made by serious historians—historians rather more serious than the right hon. and learned Gentleman—and he ought to take it seriously.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Education and Science

They may be more serious historians than I, but, with respect, they have misunderstood the nature of the order. Their argument is founded on the mistaken belief that a ban is being placed on anything that happened more than 20 years ago. That is not the case. Any history teacher who wishes to take the history of our relationship with the European Community up to the date of our entry or beyond is perfectly free to do so. No one is banning it. As for the curriculum and the testing, the date is about 20 years ago.

The first draft, when I went for the early 1960s, sought to illustrate in various areas of history how one might take a suitable cut-off point—the death of President Kennedy or the death of Khruschev—near enough around 20 years ago in order to consider a particular sequence of events that represent the logical end of a course of study. I believe that that was justified. It would be absolutely absurd to alter it and make it a legal requirement that, as part of the history curriculum, pupils should be tested on their knowledge of bang up-to-date events and exchanges taking place across the Dispatch Box at the moment. Pupils are perfectly free to discuss all that with their teachers, but it certainly should be no part of the legally required history curriculum.

I discussed with those who advise me all sorts of other things that led to a great deal of re-writing of the history syllabus that no one seemed to have noticed. That again led me to have slight doubts as to whether anybody had read it properly. Some of the examples seemed to me slightly odd. I did not understand them, so we changed them.

Under the heading "The use of historical sources" the draft that reached me asked pupils to Show how a US account of the building of the Berlin Wall provides evidence of US attitudes towards the event but reveals little about why the Wall was built. That seemed to me to presuppose that all American authors have the same view and that there was a United States account. It was not obvious to me what United States attitudes to the wall that question would reveal. The various Americans I know hold a wide range of views about the Berlin wall. I do not see why any American account will reveal why the wall was built. A number of Americans have a pretty shrewd idea why the wall was built, so I did not understand the question. Explain why gaps in sources relating to collectivisation in the USSR in the 1930s make it difficult to reach definitive conclusions. It is difficult to reach definitive conclusions on any historical subject that I have encountered. Most historians will probably say that it is unwise to do so. I could not understand what that was meant to mean. Does it mean that we do not know exactly how many people died? Does it mean that we do not know exactly what the collectivisation process is? What was it going into the national curriculum for, and as an example of what? We changed it and gave a whole lot of other examples for which the Government can modestly take credit, because so far no one has criticised any of them.

The hon. Member for Blackburn did not leave it to others; he says that he does not like any of the examples and that he thinks that they are partisan and biased. They are plainly not. It is a good, objective history course.

The order is an important step forward. It puts into the schools curriculum sensible history and geography that will be properly tested. These subjects are put back where they deserve to be—in the main stream of our education system. Some hon. Members may not have read what is contained in the folders that lie in front of them. Anybody who can get through the full compass of the geography curriculum and the full compass of the history curriculum and at the end get attainment level 10 may be no wiser, but he or she will certainly be better informed. It is a good, solid body of teaching that we are putting into our schools, and it is high time, too. These bogus arguments about the curriculum are rather silly.

Photo of Mr Gordon Oakes Mr Gordon Oakes , Halton 10:49 pm, 29th April 1991

I shall not detain the House long as I know that other hon. Members wish to speak. In what was a most disingenuous speech, the Secretary of State was really telling the House that the orders do nothing. We know that that is not the case, and so do the Historical Association and the teaching profession.

I would make the same speech if we were in government, trying to persuade the House to accept such a measure. I fear any Government telling teachers what they shall not teach. It is fair enough to have a national curriculum setting out what children should be taught, but it is wrong to say what should not be taught or to tell teachers how to teach their subjects. Whatever the Secretary of State may have said, that is how teachers will perceive the measure. They know that there is an embargo on teaching 20 years of history. History teachers, headmasters and particularly school governors are not educational lawyers. They will feel restrained in the teaching of their subject.

My hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) was absolutely right. Teaching geography in the way that he described turns youngsters into little explorers. In a small way, they are doing what an explorer does in Africa, and they should be examined in that. It is more dangerous when the Government seek to interfere in the teaching of history.

The Secretary of State mentioned the Gulf war. It would be perfectly reasonable for a teacher who was teaching mediaeval history and covering the history of the crusades and their effects on history to discuss the Gulf war. The Gulf war is now history. History starts now, just as the future starts now. It is a seamless robe and we cannot have a 20-year rule.

Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack , South Staffordshire

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Photo of Mr Gordon Oakes Mr Gordon Oakes , Halton

I promised Mr. Speaker that I would be brief. I hope that the hon. Gentleman gets a chance to speak.

It would be perfectly feasible for a teacher to discuss western interference in the middle east and its effects on history. The purpose of teaching history is not to recount a list of facts but for children to learn about the past in relation to the present and apply that knowledge to future events. That is essential in a democracy. If teachers are teaching about the famine in Ireland, it is perfectly relevant for them to refer to that and to examine the Secretary of State's brilliant talks—he is doing a tremendous job—in the light of the historical perspective of the horrors in Ireland, which are still remembered 150 years later. It would be perfectly logical for an examination question to ask how our Secretary of State for Northern Ireland can succeed against that background.

Finally, I am addressing you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and all right hon. and hon. Members as 650 history teachers. We all take tourists around this place. We talk about Simon de Montfort and the row between the Lords and the Commons. We talk about the civil war and show them the painting with Mr. Speaker Lenthall. We then take them into the Chamber and out into Westminster Hall. When I take people round, I talk about the fight for democracy over hundreds of years—it did not happen overnight—and I tell them about events that have occurred in the past 20 years. I tell them about the IRA bomb in Westminster Hall and the damage that was caused. I take them outside and tell them about the murder of Airey Neave in 1979 when he was coming out of the car park. I do so because history is a seamless robe. I would tell those children that the fight for democracy is not over because there are still terrorist forces that would destroy it.

If I were a history teacher—I might be wrong and the Secretary of State might be right—I would be fearful of putting my job on the line by including such information in my teaching of historical events before the 20-year rule.

The Government should withdraw the orders, which are either useless or harmful in a democratic society.

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury 10:55 pm, 29th April 1991

I was not on the Standing Committee that considered the Education Reform Bill, but I was struck by how little attention was paid to the content of the national curriculum. There were battles on opting out, the Inner London education authority and so on, but remarkably little time was spent in considering the curriculum.

It was a pity that the question was not raised or seriously discussed of whether history should be not only one of the 10 subjects available in the national curriculum but one of the core subjects. I believe that it should have been a core subject. I tabled an amendment to that effect on Report, but it was not called.

History has almost unique qualities. It is the best tool for studying relationships in society. One gets a sense of a shared past and of shared or perhaps unshared divergences. A. L. Rowse said that history gives a unity to all the other arts subjects, and anthropology, sociology, economics, law and languages all draw on history. It helps to transmit the best in our culture from one generation to another, which should be the essence of education, and contains much great literature. It spans the factual and the romatic and teaches honest analysis. It is a pity that it does not play a larger part in the curriculum.

Everybody will agree that at the heart of history is the sense of perspective, to which my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State referred. It is derived from its focus on the past. We know that history has been defined over and again, but the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as that branch of knowledge which deals with past events, as recorded in writings or otherwise ascertained; the formal record of the past. We must accept that. We all realise that history can be extrapolated. A good history teacher will draw lessons from history that are applicable today, but it is more important that children up to 16 get a grasp of the basic facts and methods of history rather than it being turned into a current affairs seminar.

In a sense, I might argue otherwise. One of the features of the past few years that will not be included in the main core is the demise of socialism. It might be good if everybody learned about that at school, but I am prepared to forgo that in the interests of achieving some principle in history.

The 20-year period, roughly speaking, coincides with my period as a Member of Parliament. The main events of the 1970s were our entry into the European Community, the saga of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974, followed by the miners' strike, our taking direct rule in Northern Ireland, the recourse of the Labour Government to the IMF in 1976, the battle about devolution, the events of the winter of 1978–79 and the arrival in 1979 of my right hon. Friend the Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher) as Prime Minister.

Those were important and, in some cases, stirring events. They will become the absolute stuff of history, and there are two ingredients in almost every case. The first is that most of them still arouse intensely political passions—they would stir the House this evening if we were to start arguing about them—and the second is that, by and large, we do not yet have the historical writings to enable us to deal with them satisfactorily. History requires perspective. We do not yet have the literature to allow us to deal with those matters as thoroughly as we would like.

I quote my experience. A year or two ago, I sat down to write a history of Conservative social policy since the war. I have no doubt that the period in the post-war years when I was writing as an historian from a more distant past was very much better history than the past decade when, to some extent, I was involved in events. That is the essence of history: one must stand back.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State is right to take the stance he took. As he said, it does not preclude mention of recent events. It could not possibly do so. Nevertheless, we should adopt the view that history belongs to the more distant past and is best taught on that basis. Any attempt to do otherwise would undermine many of the characteristics that make it such an important subject.

11 pm

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

This is an interesting and worthwhile debate, and I regret that we do not have longer to give to this important subject. There is a paradox in Government policy in the home affairs sectors. Earlier today the Secretary of State for Health said that it was not his job to become involved in the details of administration of parts of the health service. Later in the day the Secretary of State for Education and Science gave his reasons for including something and excluding something else.

Our wish to incorporate a coherent view of what should be taught in history and geography comes not before time. As the right hon. Member for Aylesbury (Sir T. Raison) said, they are important subjects. I regret that they are not given sufficient recognition as proper subjects that educated people in a range of disciplines later.

I am one of those—I suppose that many hon. Members share this disadvantage—whose teenage education in history and geography suffered from being extremely partial. Whole periods of history and sectors of geography went untaught. I accept that the national curriculum seems to deal with that partial teaching approach, but it stops too early and has made some mistakes.

However well informed or ill informed the Secretary of State for Education and Science thinks the people who wrote to us are, it is regrettable that the professional groupings of those responsible for teaching history and geography are not happy about what they will soon be asked to teach. It would have been far better if we had tried earlier to reach greater agreement among the parties and, more important, the politicians and professionals.

Problems remain. There will be partial teaching for those who finish their schooling in either history or geography at 14. I think that I am right in saying that the only piece of 20th century history that will have been taught to people who finish after the third key stage will be the history of the second world war. That is a grave error and distorts social and historical trends throughout the century.

Similar problems arise because of our lack of knowledge about the alternative short courses. The Secretary of State announced in Leeds that there would be short courses for those who stay on at school to complement compulsory education to 14 so that people do not leave school with third key stage education in history or geography. Sadly, we still do not know what those short courses will include. It might alleviate some fears if we did know. We do not have the details of those courses—they are concept rather than programme. What are the attainment targets? Will level 10 be reached by those following those courses, or will it be level 7 or 3? There are many questions relevant to how much people will know on leaving school. I regret that we do not yet have the necessary information.

My next point is a practical one. Teachers make one complaint above all to hon. Members, and that is the amount of work that they are asked to take on at a late stage. It is late in terms of next year's work for teachers now to begin to deal with the curriculum. I am not saying that they will not try or that they will not do a good job, but it is a regrettable additional imposition on people who even Ministers now concede are asked to deal with too much too quickly.

I shall deal briefly with the two subjects under discussion. I listened carefully to the right hon. Member for Aylesbury, but I dissent from the view that all the matters about which he spoke—especially entry into the European Community—cannot and should not properly be taught as history even at this remove. It is difficult and arbitrary to draw a line and say that events that happened within the past 20 years are not history. I heard what the Secretary of State said, and I understand that it is not because such matters will not arise in the context of the school day, the school debate and the school timetable. However, there are historical patterns such as the development of Europe, the rise and fall of philosophies including communism and socialism and the movement towards integration after the second world war. Arbitrary cut-off points are an unfortunate division between what is history and what is actuality. There are no stopping or starting points between the two.

Our history syllabus focuses too heavily—and I could cite specifics—on a Britain-centred perspective of the world, on Britain as an economic, successful, capitalist market economy. I am making not a partisan point but one about our place in the world. Our syllabus suffers from still not providing an opportunity for people to see Britain in its historical context as one of more than 150 sovereign states in a complex and ever-changing world.

The Secretary of State knows what the dispute over geography is about. It is about how much balance is given to the study of facts, places, locations and geographic skills. I agree that people should know their factual geography. As the Prince of Wales said in another context, it is most important that people leave school with basic knowledge. However, to do that to the exclusion of some of the process skills—as appears to be the case—would tilt the balance in the wrong direction.

The orders will determine what young people learn in two key subjects for the next generation. We accept that we are not serving young people well in the education that is provided. We are not doing well in the international league table. I regret that the way that we have tampered so arbitrarily with the syllabus will not achieve the best result. For that reason, my colleagues and I support the Labour party in asking that the orders be annulled.

Photo of Mr George Walden Mr George Walden , Buckingham 11:08 pm, 29th April 1991

This is a pretty rum debate. Tonight we are deciding what millions of children will study for millions of hours in subjects that used to be left to the profession. How did that happen? It happened because all parties and the country as a whole felt that the professionals were not doing a good enough job of these and other subjects. Otherwise, how did the Labour and Liberal parties join a Conservative Government in setting up a national curriculum? Let us be frank and honest about it. We are discussing the details of a curriculum and I should have preferred this debate not to have occurred. There is no alternative but to do what we are doing, so we must do it as best we can. In the case of a sensitive subject such as history, that depends on objectivity.

Leaving aside my own partisan views, I much prefer the Johnsonian sound sense of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State on the subject to the views of the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) if only because a few hours before the hon. Gentleman refused to take a position on an education subject because he did not have the permission of the National Union of Teachers. I suspect that his judgment on matters involving the curriculum would be similarly influenced by the NUT, and I find that disturbing. I do not accept that I am making a political accusation: it is a factual observation.

It is also factual to say that the historical reasons why we have come tonight to the curious position of discussing the details of the curriculum go back to a philosophical failing in our education system for which the Opposition have more responsibility than we have. I do not deny that we too have responsibility historically for allowing the position to arise, but I believe that the main problem stems from methods of teaching which have gone wildly astray and which my right hon. and learned Friend is putting right tonight.

Other hon. Members have referred to the question of historical perspective. There is a danger in our teaching and in our culture—and, again, this is not a partisan point—of a relentlessly contemporary approach. In our schools in art, in literature and in history to some extent, there has been a drift, perhaps impelled by the power of the media, towards a relentlessly contemporary attitude to the exclusion of historical perspective or of simple, factual historical knowledge. In art, there may have been an exclusion of the awareness of renaissance techniques in favour of 20th century movements such as impressionism and expressionism. In literature, we have already reached the stage at which there are A-level syllabuses that can be tackled without any knowledge of pre-20th century literature. That is an odd state of affairs.

We have a similar problem with history. It is, of course, arbitrary to cut off the history of the past 20 years. My right hon. and learned Friend has explained that it will be possible to teach it in other ways, so there is no ban. However, I believe that there must be a cut-off point if only because Opposition and Conservative Members have reflected teachers' concerns that the national curriculum is becoming too crowded. However, the hon. Member for Blackburn says that we should try to cram even more into the history curriculum. That time would be better used in instilling in our pupils the maximum historical knowledge so that their ability to make judgments of recent events will improve.

In what society do children live today? It is not the society in which we were brought up. It is a society in which contemporary history oozes at children from every pore of the media. It oozes from television, which children watch for an average of three or four hours a day, from the radio and from the newspapers. Whichever way they turn, contemporary events are pumped at them. For one short time in their childhood they can be removed from these incredible pressures—leaving aside moral pressures, which are very important—so that they can have some idea and some imagination of possible alternative worlds which existed in the past, which will enable them to detach themselves for a brief moment of their childhood from the pressures of the media that will engulf them for the rest of their lives.

For that reason and for the practical reason that I mentioned earlier—that we must not try to over-cram the curriculum—I believe that, once again, my right hon. and learned Friend has exercised in the right direction what I described earlier as his Johnsonian judgment.

Photo of Mr Peter Archer Mr Peter Archer , Warley West 11:14 pm, 29th April 1991

The hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Walden) is right in believing that it is not as a result of oversight that the House is deciding what subjects shall be taught in schools and how they will be taught. It is a consequence of deliberate policy. Listening to the Secretary of State in his opening speech, however, one would have thought that we were not doing it at all. First, the right hon. and learned Gentleman made a virtue of the fact that he is merely implementing the recommendations of the National Curriculum Council, ignoring the fact that the debate is about the points at which he has departed from those recommendations. Secondly, he said, "Of course the Government are not stopping anybody doing anything. We are simply saying what is in the curriculum. If they want to teach something else, they can." The whole philosophy of a national curriculum is to ensure that some subjects are seen as essential, with the inevitable consequence that the others are regarded as relatively inessential. It does not help to say, "There is nothing to stop teachers teaching them." The whole purpose of the policy is to upgrade some subjects and, necessarily, to reduce the primacy of the others.

If the orders are approved, it will be possible for children to emerge from the education system with no knowledge of history after 1918, as the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) said. If it is possible for that to happen, with no incentives for teachers to concentrate on matters outside the curriculum, it is inevitable that it will happen. Children will emerge with no sense of their history. The Conservative party used to claim to be the party of history—the party that emphasised our national identity. Winston Churchill never gave up saying that things came from a sense of history.

The right hon. Member for Aylesbury (Sir T. Raison) listed some of the advantages of history. Let me add one other. History provides a sense of pride—of self-respect. I have seen that happen. When I was a child in the industrial black country, people were ashamed to say where they lived. They thought that they were personally downgraded by the landscape in which they lived. Thanks to the efforts of those who have brought to life our local history and have regarded it as part of our identity, local people are now proud of their history, traditions and dialect and of their grorty pudding. History is self-respect.

We are now saying, "People must learn about what happened a long time ago. They cannot learn about their immediate history." The Secretary of State faces two difficulties as a result of that approach. The first entails the purpose set out in his own document, which says: Pupils should be taught to understand how the world in which they live has been shaped by developments in twentieth-century history. If the essential instalment is missing from the account, how are pupils to understand how the world in which they live has been shaped? If the history of the middle east stops short of the six-day war or—if the Secretary of State relents—at the time when the Shah was still ruling Iran, how will pupils understand how the middle east, as we know it today, is still in existence?

The Secretary of State faces another difficulty. The right hon. and learned Gentleman himself raised a question about the nature of history. I do not believe that there is any better way to inculcate a sense of history than by placing it in the context of people whom children have seen and heard. Let me tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman a parable.

I had a son who, in the fifth form, was required to do a historical project. He happend to select the history of the Labour party. He did a fair amount of research and, after he had got the project written and it was there in academic form, he asked me, "Could you introduce me to some of the people about whom I have been reading?" Some of them were Members of the House. We talked to George Strauss and John Parker. Then my son asked, "You couldn't get Manny Shinwell, could you?' In fear and trembling, I wrote to Manny Shinwell, who was then in another place[Laughter.]—another other place. He was extremely kind. He wrote back, saying that he would be happy to see us but that he could not give us more than 20 minutes. We went to see him, and after the first hour and a half we had reached 1926. The octogenarian and the 15-year-old struck sparks off each other; they both came alive. The teaching staff were queuing up to read that project. It was not current affairs; it was history. It gave a sense of history. It did all the things that history is required to do.

On the other hand, the Secretary of State has placed himself on the side of those people—to whom he referred—who think that history is about the dead. Does he remember Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn saying: The widow told me about Moses, and for a time I was in a sweat to find out all about him. But, bye and bye, she let on that he was dead, and after that I didn't want to hear any more, because I don't take no stock in dead folks. The bridge between "Huckleberry Finn" and contemporary history for the kids of today is precisely what the Secretary of State is destroying. He wants to turn history into an affair of ghosts. He can bury history for the moment, but after the next election my right hon. Friend may disinter it. I warn the Secretary of State that history has a habit of taking its revenge.

Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack , South Staffordshire 11:21 pm, 29th April 1991

We have just heard from the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer), a very interesting speech illustrating the good sense of what my right hon. and learned Friend proposes. The entire speech of the right hon. and learned Member delighted me by underlining the fact that historical matters such as that about which his son was writing can still be written about. The right hon. and learned Gentleman misses the point entirely.

Like my right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Sir T. Raison), I regret that history is not a core subject. I infinitely regret that pupils will be allowed to give it up at the age of 14. These are great misfortunes. However, on the central point that is the subject of this debate, I support my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State.

The hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) said that, when he was learning history, there were many gaps. The hon. Gentleman's experience is repeated all over the country. In the Palace of Westminster, I have met hundreds of children who know nothing at all about the Tudors or the Stuarts, nothing at all about those great formative centuries which saw the reformation and then the revolution that led to the ascendancy of the House of Commons. Those children were not taught about such things. Far too many history teachers concentrated on the recent past. However, we now have a disciplined framework. Before becoming a Member of Parliament, I taught history. I tried to ensure that all my pupils left school with a reasonable knowledge of English history right through. That is terribly important.

Several hon. Members have referred to the need for a sense of perspective. One cannot have a sense of perspective or of history unless one has a reasonable knowledge of history. The purpose of the national curriculum is to ensure that all our children will have a reasonable knowledge of the salient facts of their nation's history, and some knowledge of the important facts of international history. Of course, they can know very little in depth, but they need a sense of perspective. We hope that they will strike sparks, and that many of them will pursue history not just academically but throughout their lives as a burning personal interest.

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for the way in which he discussed with me the question of the 20-year period. I told him that the order as originally drafted was wrong. In accepting that, he made a very good decision. We now have a sensible curriculum, which does not dictate or exclude, but makes sure that the experience of the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey will not be repeated. I refer to the undue concentration on the recent past, and the lack of regard for the more distant past.

Any decent history teacher will always draw comparisons and use analogies to try to excite interest. We cannot talk about the ambitions of Napoleon without talking about the ambitions of Hitler to conquer this country. We cannot talk about the events in the middle east immediately after the first world war without talking about what has recently happened. We cannot talk about the history of Ireland in the 18th century without talking about what has happened since. We cannot talk about Catholic emancipation in 1829 without talking about the repercussions that are still being felt to this day. Any sensible history teacher will talk about these things.

We are merely saying that the lazy history teacher—there have been far too many of them—should not get away with merely reading yesterday's newspapers and trying to provoke a trivial political discussion. Unfortunately, that is far too often what has happened.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State has made a sensible move. I have talked to several historians over recent weeks, and they have told me that they felt deeply disturbed by the original draft order but feel happier about the amendments. Many of them regret that history is not a core subject. All of them regret, as I do, that history can be dropped at the age of 14. We should consider both matters again. I hope that we all regard the national curriculum as to a degree experimental. We must learn from it, at least in these first years. I hope that it will be amended and that, by the turn of the century, history will be a core subject and there will be no question of dropping it before the age of 16.

We have not made a bad beginning, and my right hon. and learned Friend is doing nothing iconoclastic. He is doing nothing stupid. The right hon. Member for Halton (Mr. Oakes) made an excellent speech from the Opposition Back Benches. I have great respect for him. Unfortunately, his main themes were irrelevant in the context of the debate. All the matters to which he referred can still be taught and discussed in the classroom, and will be by intelligent and lively history teachers.

Tonight, we see a beginning. What my right hon. and learned Friend has done is sensible and justifiable. The debate has not produced the last word, because I am sure that we shall return to these matters. How good it is that the House is debating the teaching of history, which is the ultimate subject, and therefore the most important of all.

Photo of Mr Andrew Bennett Mr Andrew Bennett , Denton and Reddish 11:28 pm, 29th April 1991

It is ironic that Parliament should consider that it is worth spending only 37 minutes on history in terms of the national curriculum, and only 37 minutes on geography. If the issues are as important as some have suggested, the Government could surely have used parliamentary procedures to give us more time.

As an ex-geography teacher, I find unpalatable the attempt to impose a national curriculum. I believe that it will do great harm to what goes on in school. I know that it is far better to teach in school what we have experience of, based on our teaching skills, rather than to teach in the absence of background knowledge. I suggest that my geography lessons were interesting and exciting to pupils because I could teach them about things with which I was familiar and understood. I could insert that material into my teaching. From that I could teach the skills that were essential rather than the things that others thought important.

How many geography teachers throughout the country will be happy to throw away the materials that they have built up over the years and that have served them well in their teaching? Can the Secretary of State make sufficient resources available to ensure that teachers in future can teach with the same enthusiasm when they deal with the new areas of the syllabus? Can he provide the slides, films and text books? Will there be money for fieldwork? I very much doubt whether that will be the case.

My final complaint is that the Secretary of State has opted too much for the idea that we should put places on maps instead of an understanding about them. People enjoy "spot the ball" at my Labour club. However, trying to place Birmingham in the right spot on a map is a pretty useless exercise. I recall marking such exercises. One mark was awarded if the pupil was within a certain radius of the correct spot and half a mark if he was a little further away. What does all that really mean? It is far more important for a pupil to have an idea of where Birmingham is in relation to—

It being half-past Eleven o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Prayers against statutory instruments, & c. (negative procedure)):

The House divided: Ayes 184, Noes 289.

Division No. 130][11.30 pm
Abbott, Ms DianeEvans, John (St Helens N)
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley, N.)Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
Allen, GrahamFatchett, Derek
Archer, Rt Hon PeterFaulds, Andrew
Armstrong, HilaryFearn, Ronald
Ashton, JoeField, Frank (Birkenhead)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Fisher, Mark
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Flannery, Martin
Barron, KevinFlynn, Paul
Battle, JohnFoster, Derek
Beckett, MargaretFoulkes, George
Beith, A. J.Fraser, John
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Fyfe, Maria
Benton, JosephGalloway, George
Bermingham, GeraldGarrett, John (Norwich South)
Blair, TonyGeorge, Bruce
Boateng, PaulGilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Boyes, RolandGolding, Mrs Llin
Bradley, KeithGordon, Mildred
Bray, Dr JeremyGould, Bryan
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Buckley, George J.Grocott, Bruce
Caborn, RichardHain, Peter
Callaghan, JimHardy, Peter
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Harman, Ms Harriet
Canavan, DennisHeal, Mrs Sylvia
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Hinchliffe, David
Clelland, DavidHoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall)
Cohen, HarryHogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Cook, Robin (Livingston)Hood, Jimmy
Corbett, RobinHowarth, George (Knowsley N)
Corbyn, JeremyHowells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Cousins, JimHoyle, Doug
Crowther, StanHughes, John (Coventry NE)
Cryer, BobHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Cunliffe, LawrenceHughes, Simon (Southwark)
Dalyell, TamIllsley, Eric
Darling, AlistairIngram, Adam
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil
Dewar, DonaldKirkwood, Archy
Dixon, DonLeadbitter, Ted
Doran, FrankLeighton, Ron
Duffy, A. E. P.Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Dunnachie, JimmyLewis, Terry
Eadie, AlexanderLivsey, Richard
Eastham, KenLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Lofthouse, GeoffreyRogers, Allan
Loyden, EddieRooker, Jeff
McAllion, JohnRooney, Terence
McAvoy, ThomasRoss, Ernie (Dundee W)
Macdonald, Calum A.Rowlands, Ted
McFall, JohnRuddock, Joan
McKelvey, WilliamSedgemore, Brian
McLeish, HenrySheerman, Barry
McMaster, GordonSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McNamara, KevinShore, Rt Hon Peter
McWilliam, JohnShort, Clare
Madden, MaxSkinner, Dennis
Mahon, Mrs AliceSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Marek, Dr JohnSmith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)Smith, J. P. (Vale of Glam)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)Snape, Peter
Maxton, JohnSoley, Clive
Meale, AlanSpearing, Nigel
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)Steinberg, Gerry
Moonie, Dr LewisStott, Roger
Morgan, RhodriStrang, Gavin
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)Straw, Jack
Mullin, ChrisTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Nellist, DaveTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Oakes, Rt Hon GordonThompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
O'Brien, WilliamTurner, Dennis
O'Hara, EdwardWallace, James
Orme, Rt Hon StanleyWalley, Joan
Parry, RobertWardell, Gareth (Gower)
Patchett, TerryWareing, Robert N.
Pendry, TomWatson, Mike (Glasgow, C)
Pike, Peter L.Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Prescott, JohnWilliams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Primarolo, DawnWilson, Brian
Ouin, Ms JoyceWinnick, David
Radice, GilesWorthington, Tony
Randall, StuartWray, Jimmy
Redmond, MartinYoung, David (Bolton SE)
Reid, Dr John
Richardson, JoTellers for the Ayes:
Robertson, GeorgeMr. Frank Haynes and
Robinson, GeoffreyMr. Allen McKay.
Adley, RobertBowden, Gerald (Dulwich)
Aitken, JonathanBowis, John
Alexander, RichardBoyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBrandon-Bravo, Martin
Allason, RupertBrazier, Julian
Amery, Rt Hon JulianBright, Graham
Amess, DavidBrown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)
Amos, AlanBrowne, John (Winchester)
Arbuthnot, JamesBruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Buck, Sir Antony
Arnold, Sir ThomasBurns, Simon
Ashby, DavidButterfill, John
Aspinwall, JackCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
Atkins, RobertCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Atkinson, DavidCarrington, Matthew
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)Carttiss, Michael
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Baldry, TonyChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Chapman, Sydney
Batiste, SpencerChurchill, Mr
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyClark, Rt Hon Alan (Plymouth)
Bellingham, HenryClark, Rt Hon Sir William
Bendall, VivianClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Colvin, Michael
Benyon, W.Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Bevan, David GilroyCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnCope, Rt Hon John
Blackburn, Dr John G.Cormack, Patrick
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterCouchman, James
Body, Sir RichardCran, James
Bonsor, Sir NicholasCurrie, Mrs Edwina
Boscawen, Hon RobertCurry, David
Boswell, TimDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'pto'n)Davis, David (Boothferry)
Day, StephenKirkhope, Timothy
Devlin, TimKnight, Greg (Derby North)
Dicks, TerryKnight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Dorrell, StephenKnowles, Michael
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesKnox, David
Dover, DenLatham, Michael
Dunn, BobLawrence, Ivan
Durant, Sir AnthonyLeigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Dykes, HughLester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Eggar, TimLilley, Rt Hon Peter
Emery, Sir PeterLloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Evennett, DavidLord, Michael
Fallon, MichaelLuce, Rt Hon Sir Richard
Favell, TonyLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fishburn, John DudleyMacfarlane, Sir Neil
Fookes, Dame JanetMaclean, David
Forth, EricMcLoughlin, Patrick
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanMcNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Freeman, RogerMadel, David
French, DouglasMalins, Humfrey
Fry, PeterMans, Keith
Gardiner, Sir GeorgeMarlow, Tony
Gill, ChristopherMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir IanMaude, Hon Francis
Glyn, Dr Sir AlanMeyer, Sir Anthony
Goodhart, Sir PhilipMills, Iain
Goodlad, AlastairMiscampbell, Norman
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Gorman, Mrs TeresaMoate, Roger
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Monro, Sir Hector
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Moore, Rt Hon John
Gregory, ConalMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E')Morrison, Sir Charles
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Morrison, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Grist, IanMoss, Malcolm
Ground, PatrickNeale, Sir Gerrard
Grylls, MichaelNelson, Anthony
Hague, WilliamNeubert, Sir Michael
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hampson, Dr KeithNicholls, Patrick
Hanley, JeremyNicholson, David (Taunton)
Hannam, JohnNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Norris, Steve
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Harris, DavidPage, Richard
Haselhurst, AlanPaice, James
Hawkins, ChristopherPatnick, Irvine
Hayes, JerryPatten, Rt Hon John
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneyPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hayward, RobertPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidPorter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Porter, David (Waveney)
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Portillo, Michael
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Powell, William (Corby)
Hill, JamesPrice, Sir David
Hind, KennethRaffan, Keith
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Raison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Holt, RichardRedwood, John
Hordern, Sir PeterRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelRhodes James, Robert
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Riddick, Graham
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Hunter, AndrewRoberts, Sir Wyn (Conwy)
Irvine, MichaelRoe, Mrs Marion
Jack, MichaelRossi, Sir Hugh
Jackson, RobertRost, Peter
Janman, TimRowe, Andrew
Jessel, TobyRyder, Rt Hon Richard
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreySackville, Hon Tom
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Sainsbury, Hon Tim
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelSayeed, Jonathan
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Key, RobertShaw, David (Dover)
Kilfedder, JamesShaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Shelton, Sir William
Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Tracey, Richard
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)Trippier, David
Shersby, MichaelTrotter, Neville
Sims, RogerTwinn, Dr Ian
Skeet, Sir TrevorVaughan, Sir Gerard
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Viggers, Peter
Soames, Hon NicholasWalden, George
Speed, KeithWalker, Bill (T'side North)
Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)Waller, Gary
Squire, RobinWalters, Sir Dennis
Stanbrook, IvorWard, John
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir JohnWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Steen, AnthonyWarren, Kenneth
Stern, MichaelWatts, John
Stevens, LewisWells, Bowen
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)Wheeler, Sir John
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)Whitney, Ray
Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N)Widdecombe, Ann
Stokes, Sir JohnWiggin, Jerry
Sumberg, DavidWilkinson, John
Summerson, HugoWinterton, Mrs Ann
Tapsell, Sir PeterWinterton, Nicholas
Taylor, Ian (Esher)Wolfson, Mark
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)Wood, Timothy
Tebbit, Rt Hon NormanWoodcock, Dr. Mike
Temple-Morris, PeterYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)Younger, Rt Hon George
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Thorne, NeilTellers for the Noes:
Thornton, MalcolmMr. David Lightbown and
Thurnham, PeterMr. John M. Taylor.
Townend, John (Bridlington)

Question accordingly negatived.