HC Deb 31 October 1939 vol 352 cc1827-9

6.44 p.m.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, in page 14, line 12, at the end, to insert "Administration and establishment expenses."

On the Committee stage we had a number of Amendments to the First Schedule, and for reasons which I gave, on the invitation of hon. Gentlemen opposite, we did not move them. Among those which we did not move was one which we ought to have moved, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Camberwell (Mr. Ammon) promptly pointed out our omission. That was, to add the words "Administration and establishment expenses" to the Schedule, as being matters which should be considered, and as including possibly things like lighting and heating, telephone costs, postage, and so on, which do not find a place in the original Schedule. I am grateful to the hon. Member for pointing it out.


Mr. Mander

There is one question that I should like to raise, in order to get on record, and that is whether the Solicitor-General is satisfied that payment made to employes who are away on service or to their dependants are covered either by these words or possibly by some other words in the Schedule. If the Solicitor-General is able to give an assurance on that point it would be as well to have it clearly recorded in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Stanley

If the point raised by the hon. Member is not covered in the words of this Amendment it is covered in "Wages and salaries" or by "Pensions, benevolent and welfare schemes."

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 14, line 20, leave out "changes in."—[The Solicitor-General.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."


Mr. A. Young

Before we part with the Bill I should like to put a question with regard to the First Schedule, and to ask whether if some item of cost or expenditure in a particular case under consideration is not covered by the Schedule, it would be possible for the Board of Trade, under the power given in the last paragraph of the Schedule, as it now stands, to add such item to those which are to be considered in fixing prices, before a decision is given by the local price regulating committee or the central price regulating committee?


Mr. Stanley

During the course of investigation by the central or the local price regulation committee they may come across some item of cost which is not included in the appendix, and which the person complained against may think should be included. As I understand my hon. Friend, he wants to know whether if I were convinced that this was right I would make, by Order, an addition to the Schedule before a decision is reached. Of course, I can by Order make an addition at any time. The answer to my hon. Friend is surely this, that ultimately the result of the investigation has to come to me, and if I am satisfied that through some error of my own the Schedule does not fully cover the items of cost and that the committee were precluded from considering an item which they ought to have been empowered to consider, then I should hold up any prosecution on that matter.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.