HC Deb 20 December 1937 vol 330 cc1733-7

10.47 p.m.

Mr. Ritson

I beg to move, in page 27, line 8, to leave out Sub-section (2).

This Sub-section says that the Commission shall pay to the board the expenses incurred by the board under the Registration Act. We are surprised to find that the cost of the registration has to be paid for by the Commission. We feel that it should be paid for by the royalty owners. In my young days, when I went to register a child, I had the pleasure of paying for the registration. Here we have as healthy a financial child as was ever born. The Registration Act of last year—

The Deputy-Chairman

We cannot go into the question of an Act that has been passed.

Mr. Ritson

I was mentioning it by way of illustration. The Commission will have to pay the registration fees under this Sub-section, and we feel that, if the royalty owners cannot be made to pay them, the Exchequer should bear the burden. We have heard during the discussions to-night that the Commission is to pay for everything. I have never seen so many early birds after early worms as I have seen to-night. Every penny that the Commission has to pay will impoverish the men in the industry. I admire the tenacity of the hon. Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake). I have never known him to be so active as he has been on this Bill, but I admire his tenacity for looking after the interests of the owners. We on this side feel that every penny taken falls on the backs of the workers. They will get nothing out of this Bill, but we find that before it is properly born all the resources will be eaten up by the people who take from us that which we ought to have.

10.50 p.m.

The Attorney-General

I am sure the hon. Member who moved the Amendment will join with me in not wishing to raise before the Committee any larger point than we have already discussed, which is implicit in the principles of the Bill. Last Session we passed the Registration Act, in anticipation of this Bill, and because it was impossible to deal with this Bill then. When that Act was passed the Commission was not in existence, and therefore the costs of registration, in so far as they were incurred under that Act, could not be paid by the Commission; but it is clear from this Bill that our intention undoubtedly is that the Commission should bear the cost of registration and valuation, because those are necessary incidents which have to be gone through in order to enable this property to be acquired by the Commission and fair compensation paid. Accepting that as the right principle, it surely is right that the expenses incurred in respect of the preliminary procedure under the Act of last Session should be dealt with in the same way, and although borne in the first instance by the Board of Trade they should be repaid to the Board of Trade by the Commission, which under this Bill is to bear the cost of the proceedings of registration in so far as they fall to be met under this Bill, and also the costs of valuation.

10.52 p.m.

Sir S. Cripps

I really do not follow the argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman on this Amendment. For the convenience of the nation and in order to expedite legislation, the Registration Act was passed last Session. That was a preliminary step in order to make possible the nationalisation of royalties, which presumably is a step taken in the national interest. We on this side object to the Commission paying for the royalties, but that is another matter altogether. We say that cost ought to be met out of the Exchequer. Parliament having already decided that the Board of Trade should pay, because Parliament thought it was worth while to the nation, in the national interest, to get a scheme of nationalisation of royalties, there is no justification for now passing that debt on to the Commission. Surely that amount of pecuniary interest is not an excessive amount for the nation as a whole to pay, considering the benefit which presumably is to be derived from the reorganisation of the coal industry, and it is not asking much to ask that the Commission, and therefore the people working in the industry, should be relieved of this expenditure which Parliament has already expressly

placed upon the shoulders of the Board of Trade. In view of the national interest I can see no conceivable reason why the miners should have to pay this expenditure and not the nation, and we feel that there is no justification for altering the decision to which Parliament came when it last considered this matter.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 217; Noes, 97.

Division No. 71.] AYES. [10.56 p.m.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.) Macdonald, Capt. T. (Isle of Wight)
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.
Albery, Sir Irving Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) McKie, J. H.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Everard, W. L. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J.
Apsley, Lord Fildes, Sir H. Maitland, A.
Aske, Sir R. W. Findlay, Sir E. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.
Assheton, R. Fleming, E. L. Mander, G. le M.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Foot, D. M. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Balniel, Lord Fremantle, Sir F. E. Markham, S. F.
Baxter, A. Beverley Furness, S. N. Maxwell, Hon. S. A.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Fyfe, D. P. M. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C. Gibson, Sir C. G. (Pudsey and Otley) Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Beechman, N. A. Gluckstein, L. H. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Bossom, A. C. Goldie, N. B. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)
Boulton, W. W. Gower, Sir R. V. Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Grant-Ferris, R. Moreing, A. C.
Boyce, H. Leslie Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.
Brooklebank, Sir Edmund Gridley, Sir A. B. Munro, P.
Bull, B. B. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Nall, Sir J.
Burghley, Lord Grigg, Sir E. W. M. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.
Butcher, H. W. Grimston, R. V. Nicolson, Hon. H. G.
Butler, R. A. Gritten, W. G. Howard O'Neill, RI. Hon. Sir Hugh
Campbell, Sir E. T. Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G. A.
Cartland, J. R. H. Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.) Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Carver, Major W. H. Guinness, T. L. E. B. Palmer, G. E. H.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Gunston, Capt. D. W. Patrick, C. M.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn, N. (Edgb't'n) Hannah, I. C. Peake, O.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Peat, C. U.
Christie, J. A. Harbord, A. Petherick, M.
Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead) Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Plugge, Capt. L. F.
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Heilgers, Captain F. F. A Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Hely, Hutchinson, M. R. Procter, Major H. A.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Radford, E. A.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Higgs, W. F. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Holdsworth, H. Ramsbotham, H.
Cranborne, Viscount Holmes, J. S. Ramsden, Sir E.
Craven-Ellis, W. Hopkinson, A. Rankin, Sir R.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Hume, Sir G. H. Rayner, Major R. H.
Cross, R. H. Hunter, T. Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Crossley, A. C. Hutchinson, G. C. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Crowder, J. F. E. Jones, L. (Swansea W.) Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Keeling, E. H. Roberts, W. (Cumberland. N.)
De Chair, S. S. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Ropner, Colonel L.
Denville, Alfred Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)
Dodd, J. S. Kimball, L. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Doland, G. F. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Rowlands, G.
Dorman-Smith, Major Sir R. H. Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.) Royds, Admiral P. M. R.
Duggan, H. J, Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Duncan, J. A. L. Levy, T. Russell, Sir Alexander
Dunglass, Lord. Lindsay, K. M. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Eastwood, J. F. Lipson, D. L. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Eckersley, P. T. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Salmon, Sir I.
Edmondson, Major Sir J. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Salt, E. W.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Loftus, P. C. Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Elliston, Capt. G. S. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Savery, Sir Servington
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Lyons, A. M. Scott, Lord William
Entwistle, Sir C. F. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Seely, Sir H. M.
Errington, E. McCorquodale, M. S. Selley, H. R.
Erskine-Hill, A. G. MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Shepperson, Sir E. W. Thomas, J. P. L. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Titchfield, Marquess of Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe) Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J. Wakefield, W. W. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'I'd) Walker-Smith, Sir J. Wise, A. R.
Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.) Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan Womersley, Sir W. J.
Storey, S. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull) Wragg, H.
Strauss, H. G. (Norwich) Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Sutcliffe, H. Waterhouse, Captain C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Tate, Mavis C. Wells, S. R. Captain Hope and Captain Dugdale.
Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne) While, H. Graham
Adams, D. (Consett) Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Oliver, G. H.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Hall, J. H. (Whiteohapel) Paling, W.
Ammon, C. G. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Parker, J.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Hayday, A. Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Banfield, J. W. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Price, M. P.
Barnes, A. J. Hills, A, (Pontelract) Ridley, G.
Batey, J. Hollins, A. Ritson, J.
Bellenger, F. J. Hopkin, D. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Benson, G. Jagger, J, Sextan, T. M.
Bevan, A. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Shinwell, E.
Broad, F. A. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Silkin, L.
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Kelly, W. T. Silverman, S. S.
Buchanan, G. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Simpson, F. B.
Burke, W. A. Kirby, B. V. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Cape, T. Lathan, G. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Cluse, W. S. Lawson, J. J. Sorensen, R. W.
Cocks, F. S. Letch, W. Stephen, C.
Cove, W. G. Lee, F. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Leslie, J. R. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Daggar, G. Logan, D. G. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Macdonald, G. (Ince) Tinker, J. J.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) McEntee, V. La T. Walkden, A. G.
Dobbie, W. McGhee, H. G. Walker, J.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) MacLaren, A. Watkins, F. C.
Ede, J. C. MacNeill Weir, L. Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Marshall, F. Wilkinson, Ellen
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Mathers, G. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Gardner, B. W. Maxton, J. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Messer, F. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Gibson, R. (Greenock) Montague, F. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Grenfell, D. R. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Noel-Baker, P. J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Mr. Charleton and Mr. Adamson.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.