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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

Rost, Peter

Rowe, Andrew

Ryder, Richard

Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)

Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')

Shelton, Sir William

Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)

Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)

Shersby, Michael

Sims, Roger

Skeet, Sir Trevor

Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)

Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)

Soames, Hon Nicholas

Speed, Keith

Speller, Tony

Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)

Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)

Squire, Robin

Stanbrook, Ivor

Stern, Michael

Stevens, Lewis

Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)

Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)

Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N)

Stokes, Sir John

Stradling Thomas, Sir John

Sumberg, David

Summerson, Hugo

Tapsell, Sir Peter

Taylor, Ian (Esher)

Taylor, John M (Solihull)

Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)

Temple-Morris, Peter

Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)

Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

Thorne, Neil

Thornton, Malcolm

Thurnham, Peter

Townend, John (Bridlington)

Tracey, Richard

Tredinnick, David

Trippier, David

Trotter, Neville

Twinn, Dr Ian

Vaughan, Sir Gerard

Wakeham, Rt Hon John

Walden, George

Walker, Bill (T'side North)

Waller, Gary

Walters, Sir Dennis

Ward, John

Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)

Warren, Kenneth

Watts, John

Wheeler, Sir John

Whitney, Ray

Widdecombe, Ann

Wiggin, Jerry

Wilkinson, John

Wilshire, David

Winterton, Mrs Ann

Winterton, Nicholas

Wolfson, Mark

Wood, Timothy

Woodcock, Dr. Mike

Yeo, Tim

Young, Sir George (Acton)

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. David Lightbown and

Mr. Tom Sackville.

Question accordingly negatived.

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 33 (Questions on amendments) and agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.


That this House congratulates the Government on the success of their economic policies in Scotland which have resulted in higher living standards, greatly reduced unemployment, a substantial increase in the workforce in employment, and record levels of manufacturing productivity and output ; have promoted the competitiveness of Scottish industry and its readiness to meet the challenge of the Single European Market ; have encouraged the growth of investment of enterprise and small businesses, and have provided a basis for sustained growth and development across the economy as a whole ; and notes that unemployment is now falling faster in Scotland than in the United Kingdom as a whole.

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King's Cross Railways Bill

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 121 (Quorum of committee on opposed bill), leave be given for the Committee on the King's Cross Railways Bill to proceed with a quorum of two.-- [The Chairman of Ways and Means.]

7.12 pm

Mr. Neil Hamilton (Tatton) : I am most grateful to the Chairman of Ways and Means for facilitating this debate. I thought that I might have to begin by introducing myself to right hon. and hon. Members, because I have been so long detained outside the Chamber that hon. Members may have forgotten who I am. [ Hon. Members-- : "Never".] Indeed, since 27 June last year--

Mr. Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes) : May I say that my hon. Friend will always be remembered as a shining wit?

Mr. Hamilton : My hon. Friend has merely stolen one of my spoonerisms.

Since 27 June last year I have had the honour and privilege of chairing the Committee considering the King's Cross Railways Bill, which, while not exactly the greatest show on earth, has added to the gaiety of nations and augmented the public stock of harmless pleasure from the Grand Committee Room off Westminster Hall. We have sat in public on 33 days since, and we have had one private session and also one site visit.

I have emerged this evening blinking into the sudden glare and sunlight of the Chamber and hope that hon. Members will vote for the motion, which is brought before the House at the request of all the members of the Committee : my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns), and the hon. Members for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galloway) and for Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay). I hope that hon. Members will appreciate that the honour of sitting on the Committee was not one that we actively sought, but we are doing our duty as it was imposed upon us by the House and intend, even if the motion is passed this evening, to continue to do so.

The Committee has now been sitting for a long time and my colleagues and I feel that we have now exhausted time and are beginning to encroach upon eternity. It is producing some significant problems for those on the Committee in carrying out their other parliamentary duties from time to time.

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett (Denton and Reddish) : I wonder whether, having gone this far through the experience, the hon. Gentleman now feels that private Bills should be encouraged or discouraged as a process. Does he not now have much sympathy with the special Select Committee that looked at this, seeking a way to reform the whole process?

Mr. Hamilton : The hon. Gentleman implies that I did not have any sympathy with that proposition before I became Chairman of the Committee. I should disabuse him of that idea, because I feel that there is much to be said for many of the recommendations in the Joint Committee report and I hope that the Leader of the House will take on board that Committee's recommendations. I am sure that they are in line with the views of many hon. Members who have come here this evening to debate not merely

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whether the quorum on the Committee should in this circumstance be reduced, but the wider points that have been adverted to by the hon. Gentleman.

It is a serious request that we are making to the House and it is not made lightly. It is not one to which, in other circumstances, I should be very sympathetic. I believe it to be of some importance, therefore, to establish the justification for what is being proposed.

I have said already that we have sat in public for 33 days. It is only this week that we have begun to hear evidence on behalf of the petitioners against the Bill. Therefore, the Bill is likely to continue in Committee for a very long time to come

I have also said that, notwithstanding the request that we are making this evening, it will be incumbent upon hon. Members to attend diligently to their duties as often as is possible and necessary. I give an assurance to the House that they will do so.

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