HC Deb 10 February 1942 vol 377 cc1470-1

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

Mr. E. Smith

I was a member of an organisation which was involved in a 10-year legal battle, and at some considerable cost, over the words "may" and "shall." I shall never forget the experience we had in regard to a national agreement which was arrived at in the engineering industry. If this country and the Government benefit by the last postwar experience, they will continue to run a number of State factories so long as is possible. Hon. Friends of mine who hold the same view hope that we shall benefit by our experience to run a number of State factories and industries, but, even if that does not happen, it will be necessary to run a number of Royal Ordnance factories. Therefore I suggest the substitution of the words "shall by Order in Council." I understand that in the past this has not been done and that the Correct interpretation of "may" is "shall," but we have found by experience that it is what is in the Bill is what matters and I should like an assurance that, if possible, the word "shall" shall be inserted.

Mr. Tomlinson

I cannot give an assurance on those lines, but I can give an assurance that it is intended that the principle that is applied to industry shall be applied to Government undertakings.

Question put, and agreed to.

"That the Clause stand part of the Bill."