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who expressed the opinion that the effect on Romford market would be negligible, and I believe that that is correct.

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms. Walley) expressed such a negative attitude to the Bill. As I said earlier, it is important to give people an opportunity to start in business. It would be wrong to stop people fulfilling the entirely laudable aim of trading on their own from a market stall when they cannot afford the expense of a shop. Marks and Spencer and British Home Stores started in just that way.

It has been said that the Bill has many flaws. I do not accept that the measure is in any major way different from the majority of Bills that come before the House. Corrections must often be made, and the Committee is the correct place for them to be made.

Reference was made to the question of food hygiene. The stalls will be subject to the same regulations as the stalls that at present exist in the Romford market.

The hon. Member for Don Valley wondered whether petitions were of any value. I disagree with him wholeheartedly on that issue. I believe that petitions have a valuable role to play as an expression of opinion. I am sure that due note was taken of the petition that he presented.

Mr. Redmond : I am pleased to hear that. I hope that when, in the not too distant future, I present another petition, I will be able to count on the hon. Gentleman's support.

Mr. Thorne : As I say, due note is taken of petitions, even though we do not always get the result we would like. I am convinced that it is worth putting in a petition on all occasions as an expression of opinion.

My answer to remarks that were made about the question of greed is that this land is owned by the local authority. Thus, what is proposed will benefit the ratepayers as a whole.

I cannot say what safety factors exist in connection with vehicles crossing the bridge which goes over the railway. That was designed and paid for by the GLC, and I am sure that the GLC looked carefully into the question of safety at the relevant time.

I was asked about the number of people who had signed the Romford petition. I counted over 100 names with addresses in Romford in the time available to me. I regard that as significant. There were a number of others from East Ham and elsewhere.

This is a modest Bill. It proposes a site within one mile of Ilford town centre, which is well built up. Only a small number of sites are available there. A modest number of stalls could be sited on this piece of land. I cannot see how it can be claimed that that would have an adverse effect on Romford market.

I have received a letter from a Mrs. Norris who lives in Romford. It was addressed to the public relations officer of the London borough of Redbridge. She writes :

"Dear Sir, I read in our local paper that Romford market stallholders are going to complain about your wanting to open a market. I feel that these stallholders have got a damned cheek, when I am told that many of them go to other markets on no market' day here. You should look into this, and when the Redbridge Bill is read in the House, somebody who is able should have their say for the people of Redbridge and the east London side of Romford. Hope you succeed. Yours truly."

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That lady has the right idea. She believes that there should be competition and a full opportunity for people to have the chance of a wide variety of trading. I therefore urge the House to give the Bill a Second reading.

9.58 pm

Mr. Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) : I do not wish to delay the House and I must at the outset declare that I do not have a constituency interest in the issue, although I have a passing interest in the number of private Bills that come before the House. My comments will, therefore, go somewhat wider that the subject matter of the Bill. Mr. Thorne 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 174, Noes 92.

Division No. 222] [9.59 pm


Alexander, Richard

Alison, Rt Hon Michael

Alton, David

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Ashby, David

Aspinwall, Jack

Atkins, Robert

Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)

Beith, A. J.

Bellingham, Henry

Bendall, Vivian

Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)

Benyon, W.

Bevan, David Gilroy

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Boscawen, Hon Robert

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter

Bottomley, Mrs Virginia

Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Graham

Brooke, Rt Hon Peter

Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carttiss, Michael

Chapman, Sydney

Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)

Cope, Rt Hon John

Cormack, Patrick

Crowther, Stan

Curry, David

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Durant, Tony

Fallon, Michael

Favell, Tony

Fearn, Ronald

Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)

Fishburn, John Dudley

Fookes, Dame Janet

Forth, Eric

Franks, Cecil

Freeman, Roger

French, Douglas

Garel-Jones, Tristan

Gill, Christopher

Glyn, Dr Alan

Gow, Ian

Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)

Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)

Greenway, John (Ryedale)

Gregory, Conal

Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E')

Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)

Grist, Ian

Ground, Patrick

Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn

Hague, William

Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Hampson, Dr Keith

Hannam, John

Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)

Harris, David

Haselhurst, Alan

Hawkins, Christopher

Hayward, Robert

Heathcoat-Amory, David

Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael

Hind, Kenneth

Hordern, Sir Peter

Howard, Michael

Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)

Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)

Howells, Geraint

Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, David (Wirral W)

Irvine, Michael

Jack, Michael

Jackson, Robert

Janman, Tim

Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)

Jopling, Rt Hon Michael

Kennedy, Charles

Key, Robert

Kilfedder, James

King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)

Kirkhope, Timothy

Kirkwood, Archy

Knapman, Roger

Knight, Greg (Derby North)

Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)

Knowles, Michael

Lamont, Rt Hon Norman

Lang, Ian

Lawrence, Ivan

Lee, John (Pendle)

Lightbown, David

Lilley, Peter

Livsey, Richard

Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)

Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)

Macfarlane, Sir Neil

MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)

Maclean, David

McLoughlin, Patrick

McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael

Major, Rt Hon John

Marshall, John (Hendon S)

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