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point. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will be delighted, therefore, that I shall support a pay increase for him. I am delighted to support the motion.

9.20 pm

Mr. Newton: I am particularly grateful for the last point since, by the time I have finished this speech, in the past 24 hours I shall have made a total of five or six speeches, one statement and answered a lot of questions, so I have kept reasonably busy. [Interruption.] It links with what I was going to say. I shall comment briefly on each of the speeches, as far as I can. I did not in any way begrudge the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) his bit of knockabout and I was grateful for the serious support that he gave to the basic argument.

I am marginally less grateful, I must say, to the hon. Member for Thurrock (Mr. Mackinlay), who I hope may not be as pleased with his speech when he thinks about it as he appeared to be at the time. [ Laughter. ] No, I have a serious point to make. He appeared to be denouncing the notion that my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, Central (Sir P. Beresford) could do anything to keep in his hand and his professional skills. In other words, the demand was that my hon. Friend should destroy his professional skills, or risk doing so. Mr. Mackinlay indicated dissent .

Mr. Newton: At the same time, the hon. Gentleman was saying that my hon. Friend should not have any pay increase at all in comparison to a Member of Parliament. There were two parts to his argument: Ministers were to be paid no more than Members of Parliament and that my hon. Friend should not even be allowed to practise his professional skill. I ask him to think about that. Apart from that, I do not begrudge him his knockabout either.

I do not even begrudge the viewpoint of the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner), which he expressed with some vigour. I do not share his point of view, but I understand why he makes it. Indeed, I found the first part of his remarks about what had happened on another front quite engaging.

It would be very grudging indeed not to express my gratitude for the fact that nearly all of my right hon. and hon. Friends urged that should there be a bigger pay increase than I had thought remotely practicable to propose. Indeed, they put forward an impressive range of arguments for precisely such a pay increase. The point with which I am most readily able to agree, because it is exactly what I am proposing--this is not to imply that I dismiss any of the other points as there were some good points on which I hope others outside will reflect when they comment on our affairs-- was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Duncan): that we need to fix a link and stick with it. That is, of course, the basis of what was done in November last year and what is being proposed now. I am grateful once again to have the support of Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen on that.

The only other point that I shall make is directed to almost all Conservative Members, to some of those on the Opposition Benches implicitly and to some of those who asked me questions in discussion and interviews on the matter outside the House. People say--some of my hon.

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Friends were edging towards this--that the entire matter should be put to some great and good independent review body. Indeed, for all I know, the Nolan committee may decide to make some observations on it. One of the great ironies of the suggestion that it should go to an independent body, such as the senior salaries review body, is that not a person in this House does not know that, if it did, the recommendation that it would make would exceed by a huge amount what I have thought it right to put before the House. Every time that Members' pay and allowances--certainly in my political lifetime here and before--have been put to some great and good body, recommendations have come forward so large that the Government of the time have not felt able to recommend them to the House. Most notably, I recently made a recommendation to the House on Members' pay and allowances that was so much lower than the proposal of the senior salaries review body that the House voted to reject my advice because it believed that Members deserved more.

The key point, as everyone in the House knows, is that an independent body would recommend far more than I have thought it right to propose. I hope that others outside the House will reflect on that fact. I commend the motion to the House.

Question put:--

The House divided: Ayes 179, Noes 13.

Division No. 4] [21.24 pm


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Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)

Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan

Alexander, Richard

Amess, David

Ancram, Michael

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Atkins, Robert

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)

Baker, Rt Hon K (Mole Valley)

Baldry, Tony

Bates, Michael

Bellingham, Henry

Body, Sir Richard

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas

Booth, Hartley

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)

Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia

Bowden, Sir Andrew

Bowis, John

Brandreth, Gyles

Bright, Sir Graham

Browning, Mrs. Angela

Burt, Alistair

Butler, Peter

Cash, William

Chapman, Sydney

Clappison, James

Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif)

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Clwyd, Mrs Ann

Coe, Sebastian

Colvin, Michael

Conway, Derek

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cope, Rt Hon Sir John

Cormack, Patrick

Couchman, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)

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Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)

Davies, Quentin (Stamford)

Deva, Nirj Joseph

Dicks, Terry

Dixon, Don

Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen

Duncan, Alan

Eggar, Tim

Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)

Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)

Evans, Roger (Monmouth)

Evennett, David

Faber, David

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Freeman, Rt Hon Roger

French, Douglas

Gale, Roger

Gallie, Phil

Garnier, Edward

Gillan, Cheryl

Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair

Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles

Gorman, Mrs Teresa

Grant, Sir A (Cambs SW)

Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)

Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn

Hague, William

Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald

Harris, David

Hawkins, Nick

Hayes, Jerry

Heald, Oliver

Hendry, Charles

Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence

Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)

Horam, John

Howard, Rt Hon Michael

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

Hoyle, Doug

Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)

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Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)

Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)

Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas

Jack, Michael

Janner, Greville

Jenkin, Bernard

Johnston, Sir Russell

Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)

Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)

King, Rt Hon Tom

Kirkhope, Timothy

Kirkwood, Archy

Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)

Knight, Greg (Derby N)

Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)

Kynoch, George (Kincardine)

Lait, Mrs Jacqui

Lang, Rt Hon Ian

Lawrence, Sir Ivan

Lidington, David

Lightbown, David

Lilley, Rt Hon Peter

Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham)

Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas

MacKay, Andrew

Maclean, David

Maitland, Lady Olga

Mans, Keith

Marshall, John (Hendon S)

Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)

McLoughlin, Patrick

Merchant, Piers

Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)

Moate, Sir Roger

Molyneaux, Rt Hon James

Monro, Sir Hector

Moss, Malcolm

Needham, Rt Hon Richard

Nelson, Anthony

Newton, Rt Hon Tony

Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)

Norris, Steve

Oppenheim, Phillip

Ottaway, Richard

Page, Richard

Paice, James

Pickles, Eric

Portillo, Rt Hon Michael

Powell, Ray (Ogmore)

Redwood, Rt Hon John

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