HC Deb 02 April 1936 vol 310 cc2227-41

I beg to move, in page 9, line 21, to leave out from "effect" to the end of the Sub-section.

The offending words are: notwithstanding any rule of law relating to agreements in restraint of trade. If hon. Members desire to see the real effect of this Amendment they should look at the Third Schedule. There they will find power given to the Corporation, along with the refiners, to enter into all kinds of agreements for the purpose of buying raw sugar for refining purposes and for the allocation and purchase of quotas. Our objection to the words which we propose to leave out is that the refiners and the Corporation, which is financed by the Treasury, will be entitled to enter into agreements to determine the quantity of raw sugar which the factories shall refine and what quantity of raw sugar the refiners shall import. The power granted to this monopoly is one that we do not find in connection with any other undertaking in any part of the country. It has been our policy to oppose any monopoly which is in business exclusively for the purpose of private profit. All sorts of dangers are run by the consuming public where bodies have statutory power to enter into agreement which suit their peculiar financial interests. In this case it is perhaps more extraordinary than in any other, for sugar is something of universal use and unless the last word in guarantees for the consumer are provided it ill becomes Parliament to hand over such tremendous powers to profit-making interests.

Reference has been made to the profits made by Tate and Lyle, who last year made their maximum profit and handed back to their shareholders £1,360,000 worth of shares, free of charge. Whether they are refining or dealing with sugar beet they seem to be making either side of their business very profitable. This close combine and this absolute monopoly to import raw sugar or to agree to take from the factories raw sugar for refining purposes has placed them in a position that they have not been in before. Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will tell us that in existing circumstances the factories have to allow the sugar refiners to refine only a proportion of raw sugar produced from the factories and that it was convenient and financially discreet to do so, because of the peculiar organisation of the refiners. We think that that ought never to have happened, and that if the Treasury were to put up £50,000,000 to enable this industry to develop and to provide a guaranteed price for the producer and a fairly considerable profit for the factory owners, the factories ought to have been used to their maximum capacity for refining purposes and not, as has been the case, have been used to less than 50 per cent. of their total capacity.

We now find ourselves in this position that prior to the advent of the beet sugar factories there were approximately 2,200,000 tons of refining capacity in the country. As the result of Treasury encouragement factories have been built north, south, east and west and we have a potential refining capacity in the beet sugar factories of not less than 1,250,000 tons, making a total refining capacity of 3,450,000 tons, while our total consumption of sugar is about 1,900,000 tons. This Clause, coupled with the Third Schedule, sets up power whereby the refiner and the Corporation can agree to buy and sell quotas. To the extent that the refiners take quotas or allocate to the Corporation a smaller refining quota than full capacity, to that extent will the burden fall upon the Treasury. That is something for which the House ought not to stand. If the industry can only be carried on by means of subsidies, then at least, when you have built your factories, you ought not to allow an outside authority, in this case the refiners, to say to the factory owners or the Corporation: "You shall only refine to the extent of 50 per cent. of your capacity next year. We, the old established refiners, want to refine as near to our full capacity as we can." To the extent that that operates to the detriment of the uneconomic side of the activities of the factories the Treasury will have to pay the price.

The policy of allocating buying and selling quotas of raw sugar for refining is entirely wrong. With regard to giving the refineries and the Corporation power to make arrangements which are going to be mutually satisfactory from their point of view but adverse to the Treasury point of view, the House ought not to give its permission. To pass with our eyes wide open a Measure of this description, which deliberately permits a profit-making monopoly to carry on despite the ordinary rules with regard to restraint of trade, is something to which the House ought not to consent. For these reasons and the great fear that this combine will be able to exploit the consuming public, I move the Amendment

7.44 p.m.

The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. T. M. Cooper)

I cannot but think that the hon. Member has traversed in his argument a much wider field than is covered by the Amendment. The purpose of Clause 8 unquestionably is to authorise the conclusion of an agreement between the Corporation on the one hand and the sugar refiners on the other to deal with the subjects set out in the Third Schedule. The substance of that agreement will require the approval in the first place of the Minister, in the second place the approval of the Commission and the Treasury and, finally, its terms will require to be laid before Parliament. Therefore, the substance of the agreement is subject to a cumulative series of checks and safeguards. The hon. Member objected to an agreement being entered into under which the Corporation would carry on business without regard to the rules of law relating to restraint of trade. There, if I may say so without offence, a slight fallacy entered into his argument. The words which he proposes to delete have no bearing on the future operations of the Corporation. They are relevant solely to the initial agreement and the reason for their insertion is merely to provide a protection—I am bound to say a protection which from some points of view hardly seems necessary—against the risk of that initial agreement being made the subject of attack by some party to the agreement on the ground that the agreement was a violation of the, rule of common law against agreements made in restraint of trade. All contracts in restraint of trade are not illegal.


On a point of Order. May I call attention to the fact that there are considerably fewer than 40 Members in the House?


I must point out to the hon. Member that a Division was taken only a few minutes ago, which showed that more than 40 Members were in attendance.


May we have some guidance, Mr. Speaker, as to the period of time which must elapse before a Count can be called in such circumstances?


It is at my discretion.


I was about to point out that all contracts which restrict freedom of trade are not, on that account, illegal. If I am asked what is the determining factor in deciding whether a contract which restrains trade is or is not illegal, I have to say that the law on that subject is developing and that it depends in each case on the view which the court takes of the reasonableness of the restriction, from the point of view of the public on the one hand and of the contracting parties on the other. From that standpoint, it was considered desirable that any possible objection to the conclusion of this initial agreement, arising from a challenge in the courts as to its alleged invalidity on the ground that it was unreasonably in restraint of trade, should be met by this provision at the outset. I should point out to the hon. Member that the deletion of the words would not have the result of preventing the conclusion of the agreement or avoiding any of the difficulties which he had in view. Its only effect would be to create a slight risk, and no more than a slight risk, of a challenge being directed against the agreement in its initial stage.


But the Lord Advocate will agree that the inclusion of these words in Subsection (1) will deny the individual the right to challenge any agreement which is entered into under this Clause.


I entirely agree but I very much doubt, in so far as I can forecast what the terms of the agreement will be, whether any such agreement would be illegally in restraint of trade. I think it very doubtful whether an attack on that ground, if made, would succeed but, I agree that the insertion of these words would rule out such attacks. Is not that however the very purpose which Parliament desires to secure by this Clause and the Third Schedule? An agreement between the Corporation and the refiners, or, perhaps I should say an agreement between the sugar beet refiners and the ordinary port refiners, relating to the division of the market and providing for reasonable cooperation between them, is really an essential part of the reorganisation of the industry. An agreement of that kind has been in operation in the past to the manifest advantage both of the port refiners and the sugar beet refiners. A binding, precise agreement of the kind which Parliament is authorising by this Clause would have to run the gauntlet of securing the approval of the Minister and eventually of Parliament and if it is the purpose of Parliament that such an agreement should be entered into, why make any provision at all to render even possible the risk of Parliament's intention being defeated, possibly by an individual with a comparatively small interest.

This Clause and the Third Schedule and the provision as to the agreement, represent an integral part of the whole reorganisation scheme. The sole purpose of the words which it is sought to delete is not to set aside the common law of the land in relation to restraint of trade but merely to provide that if and in. so far as this particular agreement might be exposed to the risk of challenge in this respect, that challenge shall not be available. I repeat that I very much doubt whether such a challenge would in any circumstances succeed and I ask the House not to accept the Amendment.

7.53 p.m.


The Lord Advocate referred to agreements which have operated in the past. Has he found that any of those agreements have been challenged in the courts on the ground that they violated the doctrine with regard to restraint of trade? I imagine they have not been so challenged. In that case is it not obvious that the Government at least contemplate that the agreements to be made in the future under this Measure will strike new ground and go beyond what has been done in the past? If so, that is something for the House to consider. These agreements, it would appear, will be different from anything which we have previously had in our experience. If this Clause is doing something new it is for the House to consider whether individuals, even if they have only a small interest, as the Lord Advocate said should be deprived of the protection of the rules of law which generally govern these matters.

I cannot help thinking that the Government contemplate something here beyond anything which has happened in the past. Otherwise, one is at a loss to know why these words should have been inserted. If the danger is so remote as the Lord Advocate suggests, one wonders why it should be guarded against in this way. I suggest that the individual should have the protection which he has enjoyed in the past, unless some stronger reason than any suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman can be advanced. If it is true that the whole idea of the Bill is to set up a monopoly which, of its nature, can only be based upon agreements which transgress the ordinary rules by which individuals have been protected in the past, that may be a very natural thing, but let the House in that case take action with its eyes open. Let us say that we are going far beyond anything that has heretofore been known, and that we are going to deprive people of the ordinary protection which has been available up to now. I do not think the Lord Advocate has been very clear on this point. He has tried to whittle away the significance of this Clause to such a point as to make it appear to be almost unnecessary. I would like him to explain more clearly why the Clause was ever inserted.

7.56 p.m.


I associate myself with the words of the last speaker. Personally, I have never liked this Bill. I think that, in the words of certain Members of the Opposition, it is worse Socialism than they themselves would venture to introduce. The Government are once again in this Bill trying to get outside the law or to get round the law, and to avoid the courts, by withholding from individuals rights which they ought to have. This is not the only case in which the ordinary operation of the law is being avoided in these matters, and I wish to enter my protest against it. I shall await with eagerness any further explanation which is forthcoming from the Government.

7.57 p.m.


I think the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. K. Griffith) has chanced upon a revolution which is taking place in commercial transactions in this country, and of which this Bill represents only a small part. If the 13111 passes and the new Corporation is set up and if we include these words, we make sure that a common law right which has existed for many years cannot be made use of in this respect by any individuals or corporations, because if the use of that common law right were permitted, it would cut across the principles of the Bill. I wish to pay a tribute to the courtesy of the Lord Advocate in giving us legal explanations on difficult points during the Committee stage, and to the lucidity of those explanations I understand that the common law on this point, which apparently has prevailed for many years, is not Statute law but case law, built up on the cases which have been before the courts. Hitherto the subject has been free to set up his trade anywhere he likes, and to sell his goods, as long as he did not break the law. Moreover, any two or more subjects have been free to make contracts, one with the other, as long as they did not break the law.

Here, in this Clause, we are creating a precedent which will not end with the sugar industry, but will spread throughout industry in this country. Other industries will, inevitably, be taken over as the sugar beet industry is being taken over here. I suggest that the Lord Advocate knows that this principle of restraining individuals or corporations from trading as they have always been able to do in the past, once introduced, is bound to spread. It is well to understand the significance of this phrase which means a change in our industry just as revolutionary as the change which took place when the Government altered the fiscal policy of this country and adopted Protection instead of Free Trade. It is well that not only those inside the House but those outside should understand what is happening. I understand that this form of words has never previously been embodied in an Act of Parliament. The Government are making doubly sure that when this Corporation is set up, there will be no possible chance of litigation by the subject. In that respect we are interfering with the rights of the individual subjects of this country, and it is as well that Members and right hon. Members on the Tory benches should understand what is happening under their very noses.

I think the Government cannot do anything else than to include this provision in the Bill, but the basis of the Bill is wrong. We ought not by this Clause to restrict trade; we should increase trade. If anyone says it is the purpose of Socialism to do the same sort of thing and that we would have to do it if we were placed in similar circumstances, I say, "No." Here you are restricting trade because you are going to grant a monopoly to a Corporation which is not a State Corporation but a Corporation composed of capitalists, and you are giving this monopoly to such a Corporation and protecting them with a brick wall all round, so that they cannot be proceeded against by any individual or corporation outside that wall. This is indeed a new technique with industry. It is not going to be Socialism, and it is not going to be Capitalism. As I suggested upstairs, it is neither flesh, fish, nor fowl, but it is very good red herring. I do not think that, as this Bill is composed, we can do anything but admit that it is necessary to protect this Corporation—because incidentally the Government will be shareholders in it—from any litigation that may arise under the common law of this country, but it is as well that we should know where we are going. Where the end will be, I do not know, but at any rate we have a new technique at last.


In view of what the last speaker said and of the statement made by the learned Lord Advocate, I wish to ask this question: Can you legalise by Statute a contract which is pacta illicita at common law?

8.3 p.m.


I should like to answer the points put to me, and I think the complete answer to certain of the arguments which have been raised is to be found in the fact, which perhaps I did not make sufficiently clear earlier, because I assumed hon. Members would have it in mind, that the benefit of the doctrine of restraint of trade can only be taken by the contracting parties. There is, therefore, no question of the concluding words of this Clause depriving the public at large or small traders or anything of that kind of a right which they possess. The only persons who could invoke the doctrine of restraint of trade would either be people like Messrs. Tate and Lyle, on the one hand, or the Corporation on the other, and, frankly, I doubt very much whether they require any protection. If any right is being taken away here, it is being taken away from the refiners on the one side or the Corporation on the other, and no right, whether of Statute or of the common law that is enjoyed by the common people, is being interfered with at all. That will go some way to removing the apprehensions of some hon. Members who have spoken. In answer to the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. K. Griffith), who inquired whether similar challenges had been raised in the past, I would say that they have not, so far as I am aware. On the other hand, the fact that they have not yet been raised is no guarantee that they may not in the future be raised, and it is solely as a wise protection against that risk, and no more, that these words are inserted in the Bill.

8.5 p.m.


I think we must divide after listening to those answers. It is very conciliatory and nice of the Lord Advocate to reply in that way, but his answer does not meet the real situation at all. It is true, as he says, that prima facie the only people who are at first affected are the different interests within those parties forming the agreement, but those are not ultimately the people who are injured. I cannot understand a Scottish La y Officer giving the answer which he has just given, in view of what he knows to be the facts in regard to this agreement. The agreement is to make statutory in future what has previously been voluntarily agreed upon. This market or this output was carved up in this voluntary agreement as to five nineteenths allocated to sugar manufacture and as to 14 nineteenths allocated to sugar refining.

Those in the co-operative consumers' movement had a very important connection, and still have, as consuming buyers, with the Scottish refiners in Greenock, but, under the operations even of the voluntary agreement, before many months had gone by the people who were brought within the voluntary agreement found themselves completely unable to supply us with our normal contract requirements as Scottish consumers, with the result that we then had to go to England in order to get the necessary weekly supplies of sugar, and we had to pay extra for the right to get the sugar and extra carriage on top of that, thereby having to charge the consumer of sugar in Scotland far more than he ought otherwise to have been charged. What is now being proposed is to make that a legal agreement under the Bill, or such variations of that apportionment of five nineteenths and 14 nineteenths as may be thought fit, and whereas up to this moment, if we chose, as an organised body of consumers, we could go to court and say, "This is inimical to our interests; we are suffering from c breach of the common law and having our interests damnified by this restraint of trade, "I say that under these words, however quietly and nicely the Lord Advocate may deal with us children over here—he is very suave and uses the velvet glove—and however much he may pipe to us in that way, this Bill will relieve the parties to this agreement of ordinary civil process in regard to restraint of trade. If that is not so, why put these words in?

I do not want to hold up the House any longer on this matter, because it is obvious that we are not going to get what we want. If by pressing it further we could get a change of attitude, I would go on, but I am certain, from the other types of legislation and statutory Orders which I personally have had to deal with—in regard to merchandise marks, trade marks, Board of Trade approval of trade marks, and so on—that the inclusion of these words is for the purpose of relieving these people from the burden of what would be the likely result of court action, because they are acting in restraint of trade and thereby to the injury of the interests of the general public. We must, therefore, insist on our Amendment by going into the Division Lobby in support of it.

8.12 p.m.


I was wondering whether the learned Lord Advocate really gave us the law correctly on this subject, and I would like to put it to him whether the customer of the company has not an interest in. this matter and might not take an action into court. My recollection is that there was a case in connection with the tobacco combine. The combine restricted many of their customers from selling at a certain rate, and one of the retailers, supplied by a wholesaler, if I recollect aright took a case into court as constituting a restraint of trade. In that particular case I think the decision went against the retailer, and the court decided that the tobacco combine was

entitled to take the action that it had taken, but the point is that, while the decision went against the retailer, there was the right of action. I am putting it to the Lord Advocate whether he is convinced that he has stated the law correctly on this matter, and whether, while it may be true that the person who has that right of action may not have very much chance of being successful, in the way in which the courts have been establishing restraint of trade in more recent times, it is not the case that there really is a right of action in the individual


I asked the Lord Advocate a particular question, and so far it has remained unanswered. I ask him, with respect, to answer the question now on the assumption that the contract referred to is in restraint of trade.


I can only speak again by leave of the House, but the answer to the hon. Member's question is that a Statute can, of course, override any objection arising at common law.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 198; Noes, 119.

Division No. 136.] AYES. [8.15 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Gibson, C. G.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Courtauld, Major J. S. Gledhill, G.
Albery, I. J. Craddock, Sir R. H. Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.
Allen, Lt.-Col. sir W. J. (Armagh) Crooke, J. S. Goldie, N. B.
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S. Croom-Johnson, R. P. Gower, Sir R. V.
Anitruther-Gray, W. J. Cross, R. H. Gridley, Sir A. B.
Aske, Sir R. W. Crossley, A. C. Grimston, R. V.
Assheton, R. Culverwell, C. T. Gritten, W. G. Howard
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C. Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C-mb'rw'll, N.W.)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Davies, C. (Montgomery) Gunston, Capt. D. W.
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil) Guy, J. C. M.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Denman, Hon. R. D. Hamilton, Sir G. C.
Baxter, A. Beverley Donner, P. W. Hannah, I. C.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. Harbord, A.
Beit, Sir A. L. Drewe, C. Hartington, Marquess of
Birchall, Sir J. D. Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.
Blindell, Sir J. Dugdale, Major T. L. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-
Boulton, W. W. Duggan, H. J. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Duncan, J. A. L. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon)
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Dunglass, Lord Holmes, J. S.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Eckersley, P. T. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Hopkinson, A.
Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.) Edmondson, Major Sir J. Horsbrugh, Florence
Bull, B. B. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)
Butt, Sir A. Ellis, Sir G. Hudson, R. S. (Southpart)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Errington, E. Hunter, T.
Cartland, J. R. H. Erskine Hill, A. G. Hurd, Sir P. A.
Carver, Major W. H. Everard, W. L. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Fildes, Sir H. Jackson, Sir H.
Clydesdale, Marquess of Findlay, Sir E. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)
Cobb, Sir C. S. Fleming, E. L. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)
Colfox, Major W. P. Fox, Sir G. W. G. Kirkpatrick, W. M.
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Fremantle, Sir P, E. Lamb, Sir J. Q.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Furness, S. N. Latham, Sir P.
Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.) O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Leckie, J. A. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G. Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Leech, Dr. J. W. Orr-Ewing, I. L. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Palmer, G. E. H. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Levy, T. Penny, Sir G. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Lewis, O. Petherick, M. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)
Liddall, W. S. Pickthorn, K. W. M. Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
Lleweilln, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Pilkington, R. Spens, W. P.
Lloyd, G. W. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Loder, Captain Hon. J. de V. Procter, Major H. A. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Loftus, P. C. Radford, E. A. Srauss, H. G. (Norwich)
MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G. Ralkes, H. V. A. M. Strickland, Captain W. F.
MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Scot. U.) Ramsbotham, H. Sutcliffe, H.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Ramsden, Sir E. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Rankin, R. Tltchfield, Marquess of
McKie, J. H. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Touche, G. C.
Maclay, Hon. J. p. Rayner, Major R. H. Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.
Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Wakefleld, W. W.
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Reid, W. Allan (Derby) Ward. Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Markham, S. F. Reiner, J. R. Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Warrender, Sir V.
Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool) Wedderburn. H. J. S.
Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge) Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Rowlands, G. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Mltcheson, Sir G. G. Ruoglea-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Morgan, R. H. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury) Wise, A. R.
Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.) Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Salt, E. W.
Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester) Sandys, E. D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mulrhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Scott, Lord William Mr. James Stuart and Captain
Nall, Sir J. Selley, H. R. Waterhouse.
Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Adamson, W. M. Grenfell, D. R. Potts, J.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Price, M. P.
Ammon, C. G. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Pritt, D. N.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Quibell. J. D.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Ritson, J.
Barnes, A. J. Hardie, G. D. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Barr, J. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Rowson, G.
Batey, J. Holdsworth, H. Seely, Sir H. M.
Bellenger, F. Holland, A. Sexton, T. M.
Benson, G Hollins, A. Shinwell, E.
Bevan, A. Hopkin, D. Short, A.
Broad, F. A. Jagger, J. Simpson, F. B.
Bromfield, W. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Smith, E. (Stoke)
Burke, W. A. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Cape, T. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cassells, T. Kelly, W. T. Sorensen, R. W.
Charleton, H. C. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Stephen, C.
Cluse, W. S. Lathan, G. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Lawson, J. J. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Cocks, F. S. Leach, W. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Compton, J. Leslie, J. R. Thorne, W.
Cove, W. G. Macdonald, G. (Ince) Thurtle, E.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford McGhee, H. G. Tinker, J. J.
Daggar, G. McGovern, J. Viant, S. P.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) MacLaren, A. Walkden, A. G.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Maclean, N. Walker, J.
Day, H. MacMillan, M. (Western Isles) Watson, W. McL.
Dobble, W. Mander, G. le M. Welsh, J. C.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Marklew, E. Westwood, J.
Ede, J. C. Marshal, F. Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Mathers, G. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Maxton, J. Williams. T. (Don Valley)
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Milner. Major J. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Foot, D. M. Montague, F. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Frankel, D. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.) Woods, G. S. (Finabury)
Gardner, B. W. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Garro-Jones, G. M. Muff. G.
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Naylor, T. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Gibbins, J. Oliver, G. H. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Groves.
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton) Parker. H. J. H.

8.24 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 9, line 23, to leave out from the beginning, to "no," in line 24, and to insert: After the expiration of three months from the date of the passing of this Act. This is a drafting Amendment. We wanted to get the Bill through before the end of March so that my right hon. Friend could consent to these agreements, but our expectations have not been fulfilled, and that is the reason why the Amendment is proposed.


I do not intend to oppose the Amendment, but can the Minister tell us whether the settlement of the trade facilities loan to the Anglo-Scottish Sugar Corporation will also be settled within three months? Are you also going to require this side of the operation to be done within three months?


This refers to Sub-section (2) of Clause 8.


That does not answer my point. You are laying down three months in this case. Are you going to *lay down three months in the other?


We had a very long discussion on that point, and clearly it will be settled in full, but I do not think that can be done within three months.

Amendment agreed to.