Teaching and Higher Education Bill [Lords] — 16 Mar 1998
Order for Second Reading read.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
In asking the House to give the Bill a Second Reading, I am reminded of a famous "Hancock's Half Hour" episode--which I am sure that you, Madam Speaker, will remember--called "The Test Pilot". As the aeroplane was flying along, there was a knocking on the outside of the fuselage--it was the mechanic, trying to get in. Today--although I thought that I would be playing the role of the test pilot--I find myself in the position of the mechanic, as part of the wing has fallen off, and the fuselage is in considerably bad order. Nevertheless, the Bill is still flying, and it will be our job in Committee to ensure that repairs are done while the Bill is still in the air.
We have a situation in which those in the upper House with the privilege of being hereditary peers amended the Bill in a deliberately destructive manner. We cannot tolerate the democratic will of the British people being overturned by those who have no mandate and whose only claim to the privileged position of being in the upper House is based on something that their great-grandfathers did to somebody a long time ago.
Mr. Stephen Dorrell (Charnwood):
I am very grateful to the Secretary of State for giving way so early in the debate. Perhaps he will answer a question that is a direct result of his comments? In a Question Time last month, the Prime Minister said,
The right hon. Gentleman has not made such an endorsement; nor have I or the Prime Minister.
I beg to move, To leave out from "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:
"this House, whilst welcoming the enhanced provisions in the Teaching and Higher Education Bill [Lords] to establish general teaching councils with the powers to take effective action in cases of professional misconduct, and, whilst also welcoming the Bill's new provisions to protect means-tested maintenance grants for students from low-income families and to ensure that first degree students from all parts of the United Kingdom will be treated on the same basis, nevertheless declines to give the Bill a Second Reading because it fails to implement the Dearing Committee's proposal for an independent review body to advise on any future changes in tuition fees."
You cannot get clearer than that, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
I hope that the Minister will assure us that we shall see the draft proposals in Committee.
Question put, That the amendment be made:--
The House divided: Ayes 139, Noes 347.
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||0||136 (+2 tell)||0||85.2%|
|Lab||315 (+2 tell)||0||0||76.0%|