HC Deb 26 June 1928 vol 219 cc445-9

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."


May we have some explanation? We have here reference to the Spirits Act, 1880.


There is no difficulty. It is to deal with the movement of spirits for industrial purposes and to relax from some of the rigid rules made in the Act of 1880 to meet the necessities of modern industry. It does not affect the revenue or consumption.


Are we to understand that there has been a change in regard to the number of washings of crude spirit that take place? Some years ago the Chancellor of the Exchequer was good enough to see me in his room about it. What I want to ask is this: Since so much trouble has been taken in the past in regard to our distilleries—they take three days to measure up—is this Clause going to be such as to permit the distilleries to work continuously?


It will not include the working of distilleries. It will include the conveyance of spirit.


If the hon. and gallant Member had listened he would have known that is what I said.


I have listened to every word that the hon. Member has said.


I am glad you have also listened to me. Thank you very much. The question I have been dealing with is that of measurement. The reason three days are lost is because they have to wait until it is measured. Are we to understand by this Clause that it is going to be possible to have the line attached to that which contains liquid measured That is an important point. If we are to make sure there is no leakage in these tanks, then we must be sure we are measuring the whole of it. If this pipe line is connected in any way to the container that is measured by the officers, then there may be some chance of some escape without the Chancellor getting hiss money. I am quite sure the Chancellor of the Exchequer is always ready to listen to anything that is going to stop a leak or the possibility of one. I would suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he cannot get over the engineering difficulty, that he might take it from the grain side and take his measurement from the grain used. I know the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland is anxious to get home. He is anxious to make a reply, but the trains do not start till half-past six. On this Clause, it is necessary for someone with full knowledge of the subject to explain the point raised.


There is a point on this Clause which deserves the attention of the Committee. It has to do with the structure of the Clause itself. As I understand it, it gives to the commissioners, by direction and other means, power to vary the provisions of the Statute. Surely, if the Statute is to be varied, the conditions under which it should be varied and the modifications of the prohibitions now existing should be given in another Statute. I for one object to this machinery for varying specific Acts of Parliament by giving unregulated powers to commissioners, it is not the way legislation ought to proceed. It is open to the commissioners by regulation or otherwise to make the variations and then follow all sorts of liabilities if you do not obey a particular regulation. I shall always protest against this increasing tendency to vary Statutes by the uncontrolled

power of commissions. I hope that in future, if the Government wish to vary a Statute, they will alter it by specific language in another Statute and not leave it to a bureaucratic authority to make regulations without the approval of the Committee or of this House or persons concerned in the industry. I am sure hon. Members opposite will give a good deal of approval to this principle, for that sort of legislation is an invasion of the liberty of the subject.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 139; Noes, 61.

Division No. 204.] AYES. [3.20 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Power, Sir John Cecil
Albery, Irving James Glyn, Major R. G. C. Preston, William
Alexander, Sir Win. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Goff, Sir Park Radford, E. A.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Gunston, Captain D. W. Raine, Sir Walter
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Ramsden, E.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Hammersley, S. S. Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Bethel, A. Harland, A. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Ropner, Major L.
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Harrison, G. J. C. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Blundell, F. N. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Boothby, R. J. G. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Sandeman, N. Stewart
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Sanderson, Sir Frank
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Briscoe, Richard George Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n) Savery, S. S.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Shepperson, E. W.
Buchan, John Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Bullock, Captain M. King, Commodore Henry Douglas Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Lamb, J. Q. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Carver, Major W. H. Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Christie, J. A. Loder, J. de V. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Long, Major Eric Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Lougher, Lewis Storry-Deans, R.
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Cooper, A. Duff Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Couper, J. B. Lumley, L. R. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lynn, Sir R. J. Tinne, J. A.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Dalkeith, Earl of McLean, Major A. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Macmillan, Captain H. Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) MacRobert, Alexander M. Warrender, Sir Victor
Dawson, Sir Philip Margesson, Captain D. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. H. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Watts, Sir Thomas
Edmondson, Major A. J. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Wells, S. R.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Williams. A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Ellis, R. G. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Everard, W. Lindsay Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph Womersley, W. J.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Neville, Sir Reginald J. Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Finburgh, S. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Wragg, Herbert
Fraser, Captain Ian Oakley, T.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Penny, Frederick George TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Sir William Cope and Captain
Ganzoni, Sir John Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Viscount Curzon.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Beckett, John (Gateshead) Buchanan, G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Bromfield, William Charleton, H. C.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Brown, Ernest (Leith) Compton, Joseph
Batey, Joseph Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)
Crawfurd, H. E. Kennedy, T. Thurtle, Ernest
Dalton, Hugh Lawson, John James Tinker, John Joseph
Day, Harry Lunn, William Townend, A. E.
Dunnico, H. Mackinder, W. Varley, Frank B.
Edge, Sir William MacLaren, Andrew Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Fenby, T. D. Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gillett, George M. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Wellock, Wilfred
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Murnin, H. Westwood, J.
Grundy, T. W. Oliver, George Harold Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Hardie, George D. Paling, W. Whiteley, W.
Hayday, Arthur Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Hayes, John Henry Potts, John S. Windsor, Walter
Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Purcell, A. A. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)'
Hirst, G. H. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Scurr, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hudson, J. H. (Huddorsfield) Sitch, Charles H. Mr. Parkinson and Mr. Benjamin Smith.
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Kelly, W. T.