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criticise him. We asked his Cabinet Minister why it was necessary to debate the measure tonight when the Government have such a pressure of business.

The Minister said that we were dealing with a technicality. Whether or not he believes that, he has been sitting at the Dispatch Box for most of the debate and one thing must be impressed upon his mind--that my hon. Friends do not think that this is but a simple technicality. If anything is marked on his mind, it must be how strongly my hon. Friends feel.

I said earlier that Governments with a commanding majority generally get their way. I am not suggesting that the Government would breach the private legislation procedure and usurp the powers of the Chairman of Ways and Means. Nevertheless, had the Government so wanted, they could have prevented this debate and all the agony felt by my hon. Friends. The matter is not as simple as the Minister has suggested, and we cannot allow the measure to proceed.

Mr. Cryer : Will my hon. Friend consider the content of the Minister's intervention? He suggested that, if the carry-over motion was accepted, there would be a further opportunity for debate. Is it not true that if the motion is accepted, that will curtail further debate? If the Minister is anxious for further debate, what could be more satisfactory than to allow the Bill to lapse with other Bills on Prorogation so that it can go through all its procedures in a new Session of Parliament? If the Minister wants more debate, he should advance that argument. Does not all this demonstrate the Government's double standards and forked tongue?

Mr. Eadie : My hon. Friend argues with sweet reasonableness. However, I was even more reasonable when, at the outset, I said that because there had been great changes in energy policy--absolutely devastating changes--since the Bill was first born, the proper procedure would be to accept paragraph 26 of the Committee's report, which said that because the issue covered all aspects of energy policy it did not feel competent to make a judgment, and that it was a matter for Government to decide. My proposition was different from that of my hon. Friend. It was that we should decide to send the Bill back to the Committee, which would then examine it in the light of all that had happened, and report back to the House. Then we would have a proper, up-to-date report.

Mr. Hardy : May I add to the serious point made by my hon. Friend? Would he care to remind the Minister--a Transport Minister is on the Bench at present--that, just before the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Bill was, unfortunately, passed, a high-quality survey of port capacity in the United Kingdom was carried out by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, on whose council I then sat--as will be confirmed by my hon. Friend the Minister for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), who is now a member of that council. That survey demonstrated beyond doubt that there was no need for the investment on the Orwell that destroyed a site of considerable importance. There have been other approvals of dock investment since then, but the basis of the argument advanced against the Orwell investment is even stronger today because of that. We have, however, had no real opportunity to consider the transport implications of the Bill, because

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economic and energy implications have been overriding. Does not the question of transport investment strengthen the suggestion by my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) that proceedings on the Bill should start all over again? Would the Minister care to deny what I have said?

Mr. Eadie : I do not know how long I have been speaking--[ Hon. Members :-- "Not long enough."] Indeed, I have not even started my speech. I do not want to fall out with my hon. Friends at this juncture ; nor do I wish to be sandwiched between my hon. Friends the Members for Wentworth and for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer). I was trying to demonstrate that I have been, to some extent, an example of sweet reasonableness. I had no intention of deviating from the proposition that I advanced at the outset as a solution to the problem.

I do not object to what my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South has said ; I am merely saying that we are giving the Minister not one but two options. If I could persuade the House to accept either, it would get us out of our present unnecessary impasse. I am astonished that as yet we have had no response from the Minister, but I suspect that he is not empowered to respond to the present climate of debate : if he were, he would surely have accepted one of those two propositions.

Mr. Andy Stewart (Sherwood) : The hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) is probably one of the greatest authorities in the House on the mining industry, and, in his long speech, he has made some pertinent points and offered some solutions. The hon. Gentleman has talked about deep feelings, but does he not feel that they may be a little shallow, in view of the fact that only 51 of his colleagues turned out to vote against the Bill on Second Reading on 23 June 1988?

Mr. Michael Welsh : On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I wonder whether you could rule on the point that has just been made by the hon. Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart)? Is it relevant to the carry-over motion?

Madam Deputy Speaker : No breach whatsoever of our Standing Orders has been committed.

Mr. Eadie : At the outset of the debate, I said how emotional and indignant my hon. Friends feel about the motion. The point made by the hon. Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart) was synthetic. I made the mistake of courteously allowing him to intervene, but I am bound to say that he is the victim of his own Government's deception. The leaked Cabinet papers may have a devastating impact on jobs in the Nottinghamshire area and in his constituency. I predict that many Conservative Members will not be re- elected. They must be worried about their prospects. We have only the power of argument and persuasion, but Conservative Members ought to be able to exert some influence over the Government in a way that we cannot do.

Mr. Portillo : The hon. Gentleman has raised a number of points about the Government's energy policy and their attitude towards various other matters. It is entirely legitimate that he should pursue them in correspondence with Ministers, at meetings with Ministers, at Question Time and in debates that the Opposition wish to initiate. So that there is no confusion about it, I ought to point out

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that we are debating the carry-over motion and that none of the matters to which the hon. Gentleman has referred is relevant to that question. I believe that I can explain to the hon. Gentleman in a way that he will understand why the Government support the motion of the Chairman of Ways and Means to have the Bill carried over to another Session when it could be further debated.

Mr. Eadie : I am grateful to the Minister for elaborating on the Government's point of view, but my hon. Friends and I have already written to the appropriate Ministers and asked them to explain the Government's energy policy. We have also asked them to explain why they sent to us documents that they knew were out of date. The hon. Gentleman ought to convey to his ministerial colleagues our view that these debates should take place not in Opposition time but in Government time. The Government are responsible for the leaked Cabinet papers and for the mess that they have made of the nuclear power industry. They were responsible for finding out that nuclear power has become so expensive that it is quite possible that we shall be unable to build another pressurised water reactor. The Government must say why electricity, reputed to be derived from nuclear power and equivalent to the output of one massive power station, will be imported from France. We are told that, having accepted that deal, we may not be able to import that energy. I hope that the Minister will convey my remarks to the Secretary of State for Energy, because they are important for energy policy.

Mr. Barron : In view of the Minister's remarks about the neutrality of the Government, perhaps my hon. Friend will ask the Leader of the House for a debate in Government time on the neutrality of the Government's payroll vote when it is exercised on private business.

Mr. Eadie : My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. Debates on the Bill have illustrated the convoluted nature of private business. To some extent, the Bill has been under a guise, and I make no personal criticism of anyone in the Chair of anyone associated with the business procedures. To say that Conservative Members will have a chance to vote without being subject to whipping by the Government is untrue. Hon. Members are concerned about the private procedure. It is untrue to suggest that hon. Members will be voting freely in the Lobby, because Conservative Members have been whipped--


Madam Deputy Speaker : Order. I must be able to hear the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie).

Mr. Eadie : I had a friendly meeting with the Leader of the House, who received us with the utmost courtesy. I told him about a member of the Government going through the Lobby, but that Mr. Speaker, in his wisdom, decided that the matter-- [Interruption.]

Madam Deputy Speaker : Order. If hon. Members wish to hold meetings, perhaps they would do so on the other side of the swing doors. Mr. Michael Brown 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 190, Noes 169.

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Division No. 366] [9.58 pm


Allason, Rupert

Amess, David

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Atkins, Robert

Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)

Banks, Robert (Harrogate)

Beaumont-Dark, Anthony

Beggs, Roy

Bellingham, Henry

Bendall, Vivian

Bevan, David Gilroy

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Boscawen, Hon Robert

Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)

Bowis, John

Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Graham

Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)

Burns, Simon

Butler, Chris

Butterfill, John

Carlisle, John, (Luton N)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Cash, William

Chapman, Sydney

Chope, Christopher

Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)

Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)

Colvin, Michael

Conway, Derek

Cope, Rt Hon John

Couchman, James

Cran, James

Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)

Day, Stephen

Devlin, Tim

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dunn, Bob

Durant, Tony

Emery, Sir Peter

Fallon, Michael

Favell, Tony

Fenner, Dame Peggy

Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)

Fishburn, John Dudley

Fookes, Dame Janet

Forman, Nigel

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)

Fowler, Rt Hon Norman

Fox, Sir Marcus

Freeman, Roger

French, Douglas

Garel-Jones, Tristan

Glyn, Dr Alan

Goodhart, Sir Philip

Goodlad, Alastair

Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles

Gorman, Mrs Teresa

Gow, Ian

Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)

Gregory, Conal

Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)

Grist, Ian

Ground, Patrick

Grylls, Michael

Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn

Hague, William

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Haselhurst, Alan

Hawkins, Christopher

Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney

Hill, James

Howard, Michael

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

Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)

Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey

Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)

Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)

Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, David (Wirral W)

Hunter, Andrew

Irvine, Michael

Jessel, Toby

Jopling, Rt Hon Michael

Kilfedder, James

King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)

Knapman, Roger

Knight, Greg (Derby North)

Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)

Knox, David

Lang, Ian

Lawrence, Ivan

Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)

Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark

Lightbown, David

Lilley, Peter

Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)

Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)

Lord, Michael

Lyell, Sir Nicholas

MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)

Maclean, David

Madel, David

Mans, Keith

Marland, Paul

Martin, David (Portsmouth S)

Meyer, Sir Anthony

Miller, Sir Hal

Mills, Iain

Miscampbell, Norman

Mitchell, Sir David

Moate, Roger

Molyneaux, Rt Hon James

Monro, Sir Hector

Morrison, Sir Charles

Moss, Malcolm

Moynihan, Hon Colin

Neubert, Michael

Nicholls, Patrick

Nicholson, David (Taunton)

Norris, Steve

Page, Richard

Patnick, Irvine

Patten, Rt Hon Chris (Bath)

Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth

Porter, Barry (Wirral S)

Portillo, Michael

Raison, Rt Hon Timothy

Redwood, John

Renton, Rt Hon Tim

Rhodes James, Robert

Riddick, Graham

Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas

Ridsdale, Sir Julian

Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm

Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)

Roe, Mrs Marion

Rossi, Sir Hugh

Rowe, Andrew

Rumbold, Mrs Angela

Ryder, Richard

Sackville, Hon Tom

Sayeed, Jonathan

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)

Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')

Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)

Shersby, Michael

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