HC Deb 27 November 1945 vol 416 cc1091-122
Mr. Turton (Thirsk and Malton)

I beg to move, in page line 24, after "lamps," insert: and immediately after the entry relating to gramophone records adapted for the use of the blind respectively. This Amendment is linked up with an Amendment to the First Schedule—in page 53, line 14, at end add: Wireless receiving sets of the domestic or portable type purchased for the use of the blind by a charity registered under Section three of the Blind Persons Act, 1920. On many issues there is a vigorous clash of views between Members of different parties. I ask that, on this question, I should have the support of Members sitting in all quarters of the Committee. The purpose of the Amendment is to free from Purchase Tax the wireless sets that are purchased by the British Wireless for the Blind Fund, for allocation to registered blind persons throughout the country. As I see the position today, Parliament is committed to freeing from Purchase Tax those objects that are necessities, and is retaining the tax on those articles which are luxuries. It is clear that to all those who have neither arms or legs, artificial limbs are a necessity, and as such they have not been taxed. It is fortunate if a man who has neither arms nor legs does not want an artificial limb, but it is a very different thing when you get a blind person, to whom a wireless set bears the same relation as an artificial limb to these other cases. Yet a wireless set is to some people, who are not blind, not a necessity, and can, therefore, be called a luxury. The Wireless for the Blind Fund is maintained by public subscription. There are 70,000 subscribers to that Fund, which stands now at £80,000. At present, with the Purchase Tax at 33⅓ per cent., it means that, rightly or wrongly—in my view wrongly—theState takes £26,000 out of what, has been subscribed for the purpose of giving blind persons wireless sets. Therefore, a large number of persons are deprived of wireless sets by the operation of this Purchase Tax. The number of wireless sets that have now been distributed free of charge to the blind is 7,000. If this Amendment is passed, as I hope it will be, and subject to demobilisation proceeding sufficiently quickly to enable the wireless sets to be made, the additional number of blind persons who will receive wireless sets will be 2,300. In other words, without the Purchase Tax there would be a circulation of 9,300.

What is the Chancellor's attitude or argument against the Amendment? I hope, of course, that the right hon. Gentleman will accept it without argument, but he may put up the argument, that it would be wrong for Parliament, in Purchase Tax legislation, to include a class of privileged buyers. I hope he will not use that argument, because I think it is a mistake to say that blind persons should be described as privileged buyers. May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that in the Purchase Tax provisions of the 1940 Act the Government of that day specially introduced gramophone records for the use of the blind. They appreciated that it was right that blind persons should be put in a special class, for the very reason that I have advanced earlier, namely, that on the analogy that those who have lost legs or arms do require artificial limbs as necessities, so gramophone records are necessities to the blind and not luxuries. I have drafted this Amendment and the Amendment to the Schedule so that there may not be any loophole. In the Amendment to the Schedule hon. Members will notice the words: purchased for the use of the blind by a charity registered under Section three of the Blind Persons Act, 1920. That does limit the facility to organisations for looking after blind persons but, in fact, this Fund is even more strictly limited, because all the wireless sets for the blind are purchased by the National Institute for the Blind who, in turn, hand them over to other associations registered under the 1920 Act. If there is any doubt in the minds of hon. Members that if this Amendment were accepted, other people besides blind persons would get the benefit of it, I hope that the wording of my Amendment will remove that doubt imme- diately. I do urge this Amendment on the Committee and on the Chancellor. We are getting near to Christmas and here is an opportunity for the Committee to give a Christmas present to 2,300 blind persons.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite (Holderness)

I rise to support the Amendment, which I am certain will commend itself to Members of the Committee upon whatever benches they may sit. The amount of money affected by this concession, a mere £26,000, is almost exactly the same as the item which the House of Commons agreed to, in providing greater travelling facilities for hon. Members. I am sure that hon. Members who were so ready to grant this agreeable concession to themselves will be equally ready to grant a concession to those who need it far more than anybody who is not subject to the grievous disability of blindness. Sometimes Amendments which mean concessions, however small, are resisted by the Chancellor of the day or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on the ground that to grant the request would be to upset the equilibrium of the Budget. That would hardly happen in this case. There is a gap of some £3,000,000,000 between revenue and expenditure on this occasion, and as the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) pointed out at the beginning of our proceedings, we have no real expenditure figures upon which we can act. Therefore, we feel that a request for £26,000 is hardly one that will shake the financial stability of the country, but it is one which will grant a most agreeable concession to a particularly deserving class of the community. I wonder if hon. Members really appreciate what a wireless set means to a blind person? I have had the opportunity from time to time—the heartrending opportunity—of visiting blind Servicemen in hospital, and the extraordinary delight which they get in listening to a football match on the wireless, or to a cricket Test Match, really has to be seen to be believed. I am quite sure that we who are favoured with sight are quite unable to understand the position of those who are blind.

3.45 p.m

This marvellous invention has given blind persons an entirely new opportunity to see as it were displayed before them those sports which they loved when they possessed sight. To those not so minded the wireless gives opportunities for study and for keeping in touch with events. Blind persons rely on wireless, almost throughout their waking hours, if they happen to possess a set. Their case is not like that of the householder who keeps on the wireless as a background of noise. Blind persons do really rely on a wireless set to keep in touch with events. They listen to talks on various subjects, they listen to musical programmes, and they can even derive pleasure from hearing "The Week at Westminster." There is one other aspect of this Amendment which I think should commend itself to hon. Members opposite and bring them unanimously behind my hon. Friend. This concession would be subject to the strictest possible control. There is a body which controls these matters. This is not a concession which would run riot. I cannot conceive any hon. Member voting against it, but I at least propose to vote for it if the matter goes—and I hope it will not be necessary—to a Division. It seems to me that no Government can refuse so modest and so human a suggestion as this and I am proud to have the opportunity of supporting my hon. Friend in this proposal.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Ian Fraser (Lonsdale)

I do not wish to stress the sympathetic appeal which has been made, because I judge that that is strongly felt, but I would like to thank my hon. Friends who have put their names to the Amendment and I suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and to those hon. Members who perhaps have a feeling that in matters of taxation we should be guided as much by our heads as our hearts, one or two practical considerations. There is a strong ground of equity why we should do something particularly for blind taxpayers and blind citizens. This is not peculiarly a sentimental matter. The blind person is robbed by circumstances of the enjoyment of many things for which he pays as a taxpayer. He is not able to contract out of paying taxes for the upkeep of the Royal Parks, and there are many other things which the ordinary person cherishes and pays for but which the blind person cannot enjoy. Conversely, there are certain things which mean more to him than to ordinary persons, and the radio is one of them. It is the blind man's newspaper; it takes the place of his book, and it is his com- panion. Here then is a special thing which he can enjoy abundantly whilst he is deprived of many other enjoyments for which he pays the same taxes as anyone else.

I, therefore, want to add the suggestion that it is equitable and proper to place this particular service at the disposal of blind people in the most abundant and generous way possible. I would remind the Committee that, 20 years ago, after careful thought, an Act of Parliament was passed called the Blind Persons (Wireless Telegraphy Facilities) Act, the purpose of which was to relieve every registered blind person of the obligation to pay the 10s. licence fee which everyone else pays for the splendid services of the B.B.C. Why did Parliament do that? Why was this particular group suggested for this particular consideration? It was for the reason that I have given, that a great many people in the House felt that this was something they would like to do and something which it was fair to do. I hope that the Committee will feel unanimously that this is an opportunity to give a splendid Christmas grant to blind people.

Mr. Edward Evans (Lowestoft)

May I intervene from this side of the House to support the plea so strongly made from the other side? I have spent all my professional life as a worker among blind people. I have been a teacher of the blind, and I have worked among them ever since starting my professional career. I should prefer this appeal to be made, not so much on the ground of sentiment as on the ground of absolute utility for the blind. It has been said that a wireless set has the same relation to a blind man as an artificial leg to a limbless man and the analogy is a very good one. There is no doubt that wireless is to the blind, not only an educative and recreative factor but a social factor. It has brought them into touch with the world from which they would be cut off otherwise. It has brought them into a community of knowledge and feeling with the rest of the world. I urge very strongly that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should sympathetically consider this Amendment.

May I say a word about the operation of the scheme? It is operated by the Wireless for the Blind Fund, which derives its income mainly from the Christmas appeal made through the generosity of the B.B.C. for nearly 20 years. Last year that appeal was not made, because of the great success of the appeal made by Lord Woolton, which brought in the very substantial sum of £80,000. Some of that money has not been expended, because, unfortunately, it was not possible to buy as many wireless sets as were wanted, so the estimate that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would lose £26,000 is not altogether correct. We hope to make another appeal this Christmas and I suggest that the loss, which would be nothing like £26,000, would be more than compensated by the joy of the blind people who will benefit.

Mr. Spearman (Scarborough and Whitby)

I support this Amendment. I fully realise the objection which the Chancellor of the Exchequer would make to any general reduction in Purchase Tax because of the inflationary effect, but the extra amount that would be spent on wireless sets if this Amendment were carried would be negligible, and could not have any inflationary effect. No one, I think, would wish to deprive the blind of wireless sets on that account. I realise, too, that there is administrative difficulty for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, once we start making exceptions. Many of us have physical defects of some sort. Personally, I am sympathetic to those who have lost a leg, but I would not think of starting an appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give some concession in the matter of Income Tax to those who have to wear artificial legs, because of the extra expense to which they are put. It seems to me, however, that the physical defect of blindness can be recognised by hon. Members on all sides as a different thing altogether from any other physical defect. Therefore, I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to grudge the extra labour that will undoubtedly be put on his Department and not to deny the blind this great comfort.

Mr. Basil Nield (Chester City)

I support as strongly as I can the proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton). I suggest that this proposal is really irresistible. I realise the difficulties of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in being asked to make a special concession in favour of a particular class of persons, but I suggest to the Committee that the class of persons concerned hero is in a very special position and should be so treated. If the general body of taxpayers were asked if they would foot this very small bill, I have no doubt about the answer.

Vice - Admiral Taylor (Paddington, South)

I only want to put one point and that is to remind the Committee that wireless sets were provided free for the Forces in the field. There can be no doubt whatever that blind persons would be considered by most people to have just as great claims as those who served in the field.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Dalton)

I am naturally very sympathetic to this claim. The question is merely one of practicability and of the form in which we should do it, if we decide to do what hon. Members who have addressed the Committee desire. If I make a concession here, I shall be going against certain principles to which importance was attached by my predecessors, and it is well that the Committee should see exactly what the problem is from the administrative point of view. My immediate predecessor said in reply to a Question in December last: It has always been a principle of the purchase tax that there should be no classes of consumers privileged to buy "— that is, no class of consumer particularly selected or chosen for the right to buy— chargeable goods free of tax, and I regret it is not possible to authorise tax-free purchase of the wireless receivers provided as a result of the Christmas appeal. At an earlier date, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said we must maintan the principle of the tax because once the principle of giving certain privileges appeared then it would be difficult to say where to draw the line. Those were the views expressed under the Coalition Government, and they have force. The plan so far in regard to the Purchase Tax has been to settle the field of the tax, what articles are subject to tax or exempted, and if subject to tax whether the tax shall be at one rate or another. That having been accepted, particular groups of consumers were not singled out; all who buy were treated alike. If I were to make a concession here, I must not be taken as admitting that this is a principle which would be tolerable, if it were more widely extended.

4.0 p.m.

I also know enough about the proceedings in this House and of the pressure which is brought to bear by interested persons in different parts of the country—groups, associations, and so on, often in respect of very deserving cases—to know that if I we're to give way I should hereafter be pressed, in many plausible cases, to give way to the principle of allowing exemption of Purchase Tax on articles for particular groups of users. None the less, I am impressed by the arguments which have been used today, and I say at once that here the sum of money involved is not large. It would become large if, one after another, plausible cases were put forward, one pressing another through the narrow gap in the hedge which will have been made this afternoon. Therefore, my disposition is not to accept the Amendment in this particular form, because there are difficulties about that. It is not drafted in such a way that it will quite fit in. But what I am prepared to do, if the hon. Member will withdraw his Amendment now, is to put down a new Clause on Report stage in which I will seek to give effect to what has been asked for by hon. Members in different parts of the Committee.

There is, however, a technical point about it which we must seek to deal with, because no one wants this to be humbug, no one wants all sorts of people who still have their sight, to get this advantage, and I must look into the actual physical form of these devices and see whether we can draft a form of words which will ensure, so far as possible, that benefit inures to blind persons only, and that the concession is not made use of in such a way that people who have their sight can benefit by it. Subject to that consideration, if the hon. Member will withdraw his Amendment I will undertake to put down a new Clause on Report stage; but I would also ask Members in all parts of the Committee to note that this is to be treated, from my point of view, as a completely exceptional case and not regarded as a precedent in favour of certain Purchase Tax remissions to particular selected groups in the community, because if we go far in that direction we should get into an administrative shambles and that I could not agree to do.

Colonel Oliver Stanley (Bristol, West)

I rise only to respond to the last sentence in the right hon. Gentleman's speech. I think all of us realise that there is great force in the administrative argument which he put forward, and that if we were to embark upon a great list of privileged users of various articles we should rapidly render the collection of the tax impossible. We all feel, I think, that the particular case before us is an exceptional one. Not only was I tremendously impressed by the arguments put forward for it, but I can think of no other case which stands on exactly the same footing. I think I can speak for all my hon. Friends when I say that we accept with gratitude the right hon. Gentleman's proposal, and that we shall listen to his final words and not regard this concession, for which we are grateful, as a precedent for pressing still further claims. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment must be congratulated on having given the Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity of granting a concession which, I am sure, will be widely appreciated.

Mr. Turton

May I express my own -gratitude to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what he has said; and, in view of the undertakings he has given, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 24, leave out "the First Schedule to this Act," and insert: Part I of the First Schedule to this Act describing domestic cooking and heating appliances and immediately before the entry relating to tramcars, trolley vehicles, omnibuses and charabancs, the words contained in Part II of the said First Schedule to this Act describing London taxicabs. The purpose of this Amendment, which stands in the name of myself and other hon. Members, is to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide for the exemption of London taxicabs from Purchase Tax. Purchase Tax on London taxicabs was imposed by the Finance (No. 2) Act, 194o, Sections i8 to 29. The tax is one-third of the manufacturers' price for the vehicle. Taxicabs are chargeable to the tax together with private cars, but exemption is given by the Act to all other classes of vehicles, built to a specification laid down by some controlling authority, for the carriage of passengers for hire or goods for reward. Examples are omnibuses and passenger coaches. I put it strongly to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the arguments which I propose to submit will in no way conflict with what he said in granting the concession which he has just given. We are asking for no exemption for any special or privileged class of people, but are asking only for a class of vehicle used for commercial purposes to be included in a class of vehicles already exempt. That is a very important point. Representations on this point have been made by the London taxicab trade to various Government Departments, so far without success. In the war years, possibly, reasons existed for that which now, I think, no longer hold good.

The London taxicab is a very special class of vehicle. It is easily distinguished from any other vehicle on the road; I make that point for reasons which will be clear later. It is built to a particular specification laid down by the Home Office and the Commissioner of Police. In this specification there are regulations governing what are known as "Conditions of fitness. These conditions are designed to give maximum service, safety and security to the travelling public, and they are very stringent. For instance, they lay down that the vehicle must turn in a radius of 25 feet, in order to meet the crowded conditions in London streets and the narrowness of the streets in the older parts of London. They must also be built to carry a substantial amount of luggage, and must be specially strong in order to withstand any accidents in which they may be involved, in the interests of the safety of the passengers. It is a very specially designed vehicle altogether. London taxicab proprietors cannot do as many provincial taxicab proprietors do, and that is buy any secondhand vehicle on the market, any old limousine, and seek a certificate of fitness for it. In provincial towns anyone desiring to set up a hire service can buy any ordinary motor car that may be available and get it licensed.

The London taxicab has to be specially built and, on account of these special conditions to which I have referred, it costs more than the ordinary private motor car. Further, owing to the limited numbers of taxicabs required there is a limitation on their output, and that, of course, helps to raise the cost of the vehicle. Before the war a London taxicab cost £400. War- time increases in the cost of labour and materials and the addition of the Purchase Tax has about doubled the cost, bringing it to some £750 or more. The London cab proprietor really cannot afford to pay so much. Because of the "Conditions of fitness" requirements the cost of the taxicab must be written off in ten years. That means that provision must be made— or it was so before the war—to write off about £1 a week. Under present conditions that sum has been increased to about £2 a week. With the increased cost of fuel, servicing and other considerations, that means that fares will have to be substantially increased unless help is afforded in some way, and it is suggested that the remission of Purchase Tax would be a satisfactory way of helping the London taxicab proprietor. London taxicab fares are really low compared with the fares charged in many other cities, and it is most important that fares should be kept at the lowest possible figures. After all, London is a great business centre, and we hope it will be a tourist centre; it is an administrative centre also; and for the convenience of the citizens of London and their visitors, it is important to have an efficient and cheap taxicab service. I have been informed that manufacturers have been told that taxicabs are required for London, and the labour and materials areavailable, but the manufacturers are in a grave difficulty owing to the uncertainty that exists as to how many orders will be forthcoming in view of the high price of these taxicabs.

Here, I want to make a special plea for the ex-Servicemen now returning to civil life. I do not think an ex-Serviceman can have any better job than driving his own vehicle, and we want to be sure that the purchase of a London taxicab is within the means of the returned ex-Serviceman. If this Purchase Tax is retained it means that ex-Servicemen purchasing these vehicles on hire-purchase terms will have to put down a larger deposit and make larger hire-purchase payments, and I suggest that this will make it impossible for many of them to purchase their own taxicabs. I am sure that Members in all parts of the House wish to see these men become owner-drivers of taxicabs; it is the sort of individual business which is extremely suitable for ex-Servicemen. I would also press upon the Chancellor the view that taxicabs are not really a luxury; indeed, the Ministry of War Transport included them as essential passenger transport during the war.

4.15 p.m.

For that reason I suggest that it is inequitable to place the Purchase Tax on London taxicabs. I am informed that the London taxicab trade are desirous of seeing new and improved taxicabs introduced on to the streets of London, and I am sure that every hon. Member, as well as members of the public, also desire that, and I ask the Chancellor to remit the Purchase Tax as a means of assisting towards achieving that end. In 1938, there were some 7,811 taxicabs on the London street. The number now licensed is a little over 5,000, and it may be estimated that because of servicing difficulties there are probably not more than 4,000 taxis on the streets of London, or just about half what the number used to be. This matter has been raised on previous occasions, and the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor was asked whether he would not consider remitting the Purchase Tax on taxicabs. The answer the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave at that time indicates that he did not fully understand the situation. His reply was as follows: Cars plying for hire are very of ten indistinguishable from cars in private use. Accordingly I could not exempt such cars as a class nor could I contemplate special exemption from Purchase Tax of any limited class of special design, such as London taxicabs, which it might perhaps be possible to distinguish, while leaving the others subject to tax."[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th April, 1945: Vol. 409,c. 1998.] I hope I have shown clearly that the London taxicab is not a car of this nature. It is subject to special and strict conditions, and I trust that I have shown that it is easily physically distinguishable from other cars because of its special design. Finally, I would like to emphasise that the police taxicab licence, would be an absolute safeguard against any attempts at evasion of tax.

Mr. McAdam (Salford, North)

Has the hon. Gentleman ever travelled in a Glasgow taxicab, and can he tell me the difference between a Glasgow taxi and a London taxi?

Sir W. Wakefield

It is many years since I had the pleasure of travelling in a Glasgow taxicab—or indeed in a London taxicab. I am not familiar with the conditions of licence required in Glasgow, but I do not think that alters my final point, that it is subject to a police certificate. I apologise for having kept the Committee at some length, but I did want to go into these details fully. I hope I have made a case not in conflict with the principle referred to, and that I have given substantial reasons for the sympathetic consideration of this Amendment.

Mr. Norman Smith (Nottingham, South)

I listened very sympathetically to the arguments of the hon. Member, but I was not impressed by them in the least, and I hope that my right hon. Friend will reject this Amendment. Of all the things from which one might remove Purchase Tax I can imagine nothing less deserving than the London taxicab, but I would like to comment on the generally slipshod and careless method of argument of the hon. Member. He wanted us to be sympathetic to the unfortunate taxicab drivers who, before the war, when a taxi cost £400, had to put aside £1 a week for depreciation on a ro years' basis; and who now, when a cab costs £750 or more, have to put aside £2 a week. The hon. Member's mathematics are faulty and unreliable; £400 divided by 10 is £40, but even admitting interest, that does not amount to £1 a week, while £750 divided by £1 is nearer 3os. than£2 a week. If his argument must rest on such appallingly atrocious arithmetic, it deserves to be rejected.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

The taxicab alone among those conveyances which cater for the public is subject to this tax, while the omnibus and coach are not. In principle they all do the same thing, they convey the public along the road; but the taxicab does more than the omnibus or coach, it conveys a person from any one point to any other point, whereas the omnibus or coach is confined to a specific route. It is difficult to understand why the taxicab alone of road transport vehicles catering for the public—and they fulfil a great public service—should have to bear the Purchase Tax. Another thing which is operating against the taxicab at present is the restriction on the amount of petrol it is allowed to use. That, taken in conjunction with the extra cost of the cab, its special design, the special require- ments of the police, the increased charges the owner has to meet for the repairs, upkeep and replacements, makes a very strong case for inducing the Chancellor of the Exchequer to place the taxicab on the same basis as the omnibus and the coach. In order that the public should travel as comfortably and as expeditiously as possible, it is necessary that the taxicab should be brought up to date, and anything which prevents a new type of cab being introduced is retrograde. The whole of industry has to be modernised, and old machinery scrapped in favour of new plant. Why should not that also be applied to taxicabs? The public ought not to have to travel in cabs which really ought to be on the scrap-heap.

Mr. Edelman (Coventry, West)

I should like to invite the right hon. Gentleman's sympathetic consideration of this Amendment. I do so not merely as a member of the travelling public, but also as the representative of a constituency where the bulk of the metropolitan taxicab bodies are manufactured. The time has passed when we should consider the taxi as a luxury. We are all beginning to recognise that it is a most efficient method in normal times of locomotion between one point and another. Although we tend to regard the taxi as a means of conveyance enjoyed only by one social class, in many countries of Europe and America the taxi is regarded as a means of locomotion that all classes enjoy. We were surprised and often outraged by the ease and facility with which American private soldiers were able to obtain taxis, but I think they did show that the right attitude towards taxis is to regard them simply as a means of public conveyance. Taxicabs seem to me to fall within the principle by which it has been decided to remit Purchase Tax on public conveyances, and in their case too the tax should be remitted. The hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) mentioned the question of employment in the taxi manufacturing industry. Here we have a very solid justification for the remission of Purchase Tax. The taxicab is designed to a specification which is applicable only in the Metropolitan area. It is not suitable for export—though new designs may hope to capture an export market—because the peculiar conditions prevailing in London exist in very few other Metropolitan areas of the world. The metropolitan specifica- tion is not adapted to Paris, for example, with its broad boulevards. The London taxi requires to have a lock of special design, and be of special construction, and this means that a taxicab designed to the metropolitan specification is not normally suitable for export, although we are hoping that, later, a design may be approved which will be suitable. The Home Office has stated that it would be desirable that 3,000 taxicabs should be manufactured for the Metropolitan area in substitution for, and addition to, those already existing. I feel that the hon. Member for St. Marylebone made a valid point when he said there are many ex-Servicemen—although I do not regard this as being limited to ex-Servicemen—who would like to open a taxi business and ply for hire under a metropolitan licence. All these, I feel, are arguments which should have the careful consideration of the Chancellor, and which might commend themselves for his approval.

Colonel Erroll (Altrincham and Sale)

In supporting this Amendment I wish to draw attention to certain supplementary considerations which would accrue from the remission of Purchase Tax on taxicabs. We shall be faced in the months to come with increased congestion in the London streets. This will be added to by the large number of people who will drive their motor cars into the city, because of the difficulty of obtaining taxicabs. Most of us have got out of the habit of driving from country towns into the metropolis. We, perforce, have had to travel by train and take buses, or queue for taxis. As petrol rationing is reduced or eliminated, so would we drive to town and have the benefit of our own cars, rather than continue to stand in queues. If, however, there were large numbers of taxis on the streets people might he weaned from the habit of driving their cars up to town and would instead travel by train. We must have the Purchase Tax remitted so that the small individual men who constitute the bulk of drivers may place their orders without delay, and get more taxis on the road.

4.30 p.m.

Major Freeman (Watford)

I dislike this Amendment as much as I liked the last Amendment, and I want to assure the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the odium, if any, of rejecting it—as I am sure he is going to do—will not be entirely confined to him. If there was a special case it has been advanced with a good deal of special pleading by the hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield), but surely, the purpose of taxation is to cut down all luxuries. I cannot accept what hon. Gentlemen—I am sorry to say on both sides of the Committee—have said to the effect that the taxicab is no longer a luxury conveyance. It certainly is, I can assure hon. Gentlemen opposite, for the majority of the people in this country. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] If hon. Members opposite had got into closer contact with the majority of the people of this country, they might have been sitting on this side of the Committee.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Surely, the hon. and gallant Member Must know that, late at night, it is impossible to get any form of transport except taxicabs.

Major Freeman

I am grateful to the hon. and gallant Gentleman for his interruption. I agree with him, and if taxicabs could be made rather more of a popular mode of conveyance, there might be some more powerful argument for removing the Purchase Tax. We were told by my hon. Friend that the American soldier adopted the right attitude towards taxicabs, and one attitude was for the American soldier to pay a great deal more for his taxi than people in this country could afford to pay. We might feel rather more sympathetic towards the case of taxi companies and taxi drivers at the moment, if they had lived up to the description given by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of War Transport of taxicabs as being a form' of public transport during the war. Do we want to increase the taxis on the streets? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I know that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite do, but 1 am not so sure. What we want to increase are omnibus and underground railway services. Before the war our streets were disfigured, our lives were endangered, and the air was filled with fumes by the excessive number of vehicles engaged in, "mechanical street-walking." Especially in view of the fact that there is a shortage of rubber and petrol and of component parts which go to make up taxis, even if, as an hon. Gentleman said, the taxi itself cannot be exported, this is, in my view, an inoppor- tune moment to bring forward such an Amendment as this, and I trust that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not accept it.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

I placed my name beneath that of my hon. Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) on strictly utilitarian grounds and I trust that the Committee will in no way be impressed by the extraordinary outburst of the insular view which has just been placed before us. Listening to the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Watford (Major Freeman), who not so long ago, in very different and in more distinguished circumstances, announced that he was taking part in D Day for the new Britain, it is distressing to find him so soon engaged in steps, which will seek to deprive the new Britain of the necessary transport, without which no Army is capable of advance. The hon. and gallant Gentleman said—and of course he is entitled to his view—that the taxicab is a luxury vehicle. I can o[...] think that in his new and exalted circumstances as a Member of this House, he no longer attends railway termini and watches passengers arriving —passengers of all classes of society—and the next time some aged or infirm lady from the Watford Division arrives at Euston, heavily burdened with luggage, going to stay with her son or daughter, she is going to be told by her new representative in the House of Commons, "Pile the whole lot on a bus or get into a tube, or push it along on a porter's harrow." I am sure that the good people of Watford, when they read tomorrow what he has said, will be really astonished.

Mr. Janner (Leicester, West)

Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman know whether it is possible today, or at any time, to compel or require a taxi man to take you from Euston to Watford?

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

I am obliged to the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Danner). Since his departure from the Liberal Party he is still suffering from that confusion of thought brought about by an over-consumption of cocoa. Had the hon. Gentleman listened to my humble remarks he would have heard me say that I suggested a constituent of the hon. and gallant Gentleman arriving at Euston from Watford on her way to some other part of London, heavily burdened with luggage, and that the hon. and gallant Gentleman had suggested her taking her luggage by bus or tube. I am within the recollection of the Committee, and as the hon. Gentleman has now joined the Socialist Party it is not surprising to see him proceeding in the reverse direction.

I am afraid that I have strayed a little out of my course. It is not so easy for those who are advanced in years to travel, even without luggage, by other forms of transport in these days. It is not so long ago since over-burdened conductors and conductresses under the London Passenger Transport Board system, brought about understandably, from their own point of view, new regulations about standing in public vehicles. There are people who find it extremely difficult, especially people in advanced years, in making their way about London without these facilities. There is a definite shortage of these vehicles, as any hon. Members knows, when the cry of "Who goes home?" resounds in Palace Yard and he endeavours to go home by that transport. I ask the Committee to take a broader view on this matter which I believe to be more relevant to my hon. Friend's Amendment. Reference has been made to tourists and to American soldiers and the facility with which they acquire taxicabs. Taxicabs are not the only amenity which the American soldier acquires with great facility.

Major Freeman

There is no Purchase Tax on them.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Perhaps as that is no doubt a luxury, the hon. and gallant Member would wish to move an Amendment proposing the imposition of a Purchase Tax, but it is too late. It might produce a formidable revenue. London is much more than a tourist centre. It is a business centre and in view of the appeal which has been made on more than one occasion by the right hon. Gentleman opposite and his colleagues for an export trade drive, what could be more important to an export trade drive than that those who come over here to place their orders, and to keep business appointments, should have an easy and rapid method of travel from one part of the metropolis to another?

Mr. John Lewis (Bolton)

Whereas we might agree that we would like to see more taxicabs on the roads, and that there is a necessity for taxicabs, what argument is the hon. and gallant Gentleman putting forward to induce the Chancellor to come to the conclusion that there ought to be a remission of Purchase Tax? These people have done very well during the war and they have obtained plenty of money.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Perhaps I might be permitted to make the speech which I have prepared. I do not intend to sit clown before I have made my argument, or I would not have been on my feet at the moment. I do not belong to the Socialist Party, who make speeches for the sake of making them. For those who visit London on business, it is important that there should be an efficient and numerous taxicab service. The capital of a country is often known by its taxicabs. Paris for a long time achieved notoriety in that respect and it is important that London should have a good service of these vehicles.

I come to what I believe to be the main argument in favour of the Amendment and I seem to be fated from time to time to follow the hon. Member for South Nottingham (Mr. N. Smith), with whom I had a pleasant difference of opinion the other day on Second Reading. The hon. Gentleman used extremely harsh language about this matter, far harsher language than that of the hon. and gallant Member for Watford. The hon. Member was almost truculent. I cannot help feeling that he is still suffering from the exuberance of the applause ringing in his ears from the meeting he addressed at the weekend at Swindon, in which he explained that all was well in the best possible worlds under a Socialist Government. I would commend to the hon. Member for South Nottingham the speech of one of his colleagues, that of the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Coventry (Mr. Edelman). He introduced into our discussions one of the most refreshing and valuable traditions of the House of Commons by which constituency loyalty sometimes overrides party discipline. The hon. Gentleman put forward some very excellent arguments. It is left to me to try to bring into line with the hon. Member for West Coventry, both the hon. Member for South Nottingham, and the hon. and gallant Gentleman who is sitting beside him. The Government have an interest in this matter themselves. I com- mend to the hon. Member for South Nottingham this fact. It was the Ministry of Supply which initiated the opinion that the supply of London taxicabs should be increased. The Minister of Supply initiated discussion, and direction was issued for the production of 3,000 new taxicabs, of which 2,000 were required from the Austin Company.

There is more than one Government Department concerned in the matter. There are the Home Office and the Ministry of War Transport, and these Departments presumably agree that old cabs should be replaced at the earliest possible moment and have obviously made all the necessary allocations of material and labour to that end. Otherwise, why the discussion? Presumably these arrangements are agreed to and are now on foot, but the manufacturers can hardly embark on the project with any enthusiasm. This is a point which will be in the mind of the hon. Member for West Coventry; they have no idea whether the cab proprietors will be in a position to purchase the new vehicles. I hope that deals with the point raised by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bolton (Mr. J. Lewis) who intervened just now. If the cabs are to be produced, obviously, there must be some reasonable prospect of a sale being effected. That is why we believe that the Purchase Tax is a definite deterrent to the introduction of new taxicabs for London streets. In the meantime, the normal car programme of these firms has been, and will be, interrupted in order that the taxi, cab chassis can be produced. All the efforts of the Government Departments concerned, and indeed, the motor cars, will be wasted, if, at the end of it all, the vehicles do not find a market.

4.45 p.m.

As to the purpose of this Amendment, one could press it upon the grounds of aged and infirm people interested in the matter, but I do not think that that is the broad argument, which should be the production of tourist traffic, proper transport across London —these are the main matters for the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is not very helpful to my hon. Friend who put the Amendment fonvard to be accused of slipshod mathematics in this matter simply because he suggested that one had to write off depreciation over a 10-year period. That is a very generous figure to take. It is obviously desirable to have a much shorter period, say eight or nine years, and get a constant flow of vehicles of a new and up-to-date type put upon our streets. That is the difference between practical, trade considerations and the ideological obsessions which are to be found on the other side of the Committee. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give his serious consideration to this matter. I am sure he will do so, because no one can be more anxious that the capital of Britain and of the Empire should have rapid and convenient transport. Now that he has listened to the arguments that have been put forward, I hope that he will be prepared to make some concession.

Mr. Dalton

I have listened with great interest to all the speeches on this Amendment. Some of them have conflicted with others, even though coming from the same part of the Committee, but all have been good in their different ways. I cannot, however, accept the Amendment. We must not get into the habit in this Committee of accepting the first Amendment that is moved, and I cannot accept this one. The words used by my predecessor have already been quoted by the mover of the Amendment. I must not be held to be without loyalty to principles laid down by my predecessor, and in this case he used these very cogent words: Cars plying for hire are very often indistinguishable from cars in private use."ߞ[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th April, 1945; Vol. 409,c. 1998.] That is very true.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

It can very easily be altered.

Mr. Dalton

Can it? Let me give an illustration to the Committee. I have a friend in the country who keeps a public-house. He also keeps a car which plies for hire, and which is, legally speaking, in exactly the same position as a taxicab. I say legally, because structurally it is much more agreeable.

Squadron-Leader Sir Gifford Fox (Henley)

It is also much cheaper. It has not to comply with the various police regulations which operate in London.

Mr. Dalton

That may be so, but why should my friend who keeps a publichouse in the country be penalised by assisting the London taxicabs? That is, in effect, what is proposed in the Amendment. The London taxicab is a peculiar structure, that is required owing to the shocking congestion which is a special feature of London. On what ground can we say that we should give a special concession to the taxicab which plies in London and is of a certain structure, as against taxicabs which ply in all the great provincial cities, not to speak of the hackney carriages which go along the roads in country districts?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr Burghs)

The taxicab owned and driven by the London taxi driver is his livelihood. The other is merely an auxiliary.

Mr. Dalton

That is completely untrue, if I may say so without offence. There are a great many drivers who ply outside London and who make a living by driving the car.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

I would put it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that his friend does not need to comply with the police regulations in London in respect of his car, and that makes it a different matter. A London taxicab has to comply with regulations laid down by the police, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer's friend has not. Therefore, there is no analogy between the two cases.

Mr. Dalton

I cannot agree with that argument. The fact that the taxicab in London has to be of a certain shape is because of the great congestion of the streets in London —and the more taxicabs the greater the congestion will be. That is not a ground for discouraging my hon. Friend the Member for West Coventry (Mr. Edelman), who made a very agreeable speech, although I am afraid he was totally against me because, in his constituency, they were making a lot of taxicabs. Of course, those vehicles will come in as replacements in due course for some of the older taxicabs now plying on the streets of London.

The short point is that I am asked to discriminate in favour of a certain section of people who make their living by plying for hire. That, I should have thought —indeed I am sure —is not a justifiable proposition.

Sir W. Wakefield

Surely, the whole point is that London taxicabs have to be built to a special specification as compared with other commercial vehicles. That is quite a different proposition from the proprietor who is using ordinary cars in the country or elsewhere. Because of the very fact that a special specification is required by the licensing authority, we ask that these London taxicabs shall be included with all other vehicles which have to be built to special specifications.

Mr. Dalton

Yes, but if the hon. Gentleman were still sitting for Swindon as he used to instead of sitting for St. Marylebone, I am pretty sure that he would see the force of my argument, and if not, perhaps my friend the publican would help to convince him. Of course, the interests of the country districts have to be given special consideration by Members of the Conservative Party —or that used to be the case before the Election, when they claimed, broadly speaking, to represent the country districts. I notice that they do not say it to quite the same extent now. Although the country districts should always be in the forefront of our minds, we ought not to be too preoccupied with Metropolitan considerations, and we ought not to introduce into our legislation discriminatory relief for persons who choose to ply a certain trade in London rather than ply it in the rural districts or some provincial centre.

This whole question is part of a larger question which we shall be considering at a later stage in this Committee, the taxation of motor cars. The position now is that these cars will pay Purchase Tax. I was asked by the motor industry to give a definite statement about the Purchase Tax and to say whether it would remain on or not. They said they wanted a definite statement. I gave them a statement to the effect that, as things were now, I could not see my way to exempting motor cars from Purchase Tax. In relation to this Amendment, I cannot see my way to exempting from Purchase Tax this very small section of motor cars plying in one particular part of the country, great as is our affection for London, and I therefore ask the Committee to reject the Amendment.

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has quite rightly rejected the Amendment, because it does seem to be small and narrow, affecting only London. I notice, however, that he is in a benevolent mood, and I have no doubt that he will wish me to accept his argument that this is a most excellent Amendment, only it is not wide enough. That was the whole basis of his argument. That being the case, would he not, on this occasion or on some other occasion, be prepared to widen out the Amendment so as to take in the whole of the country? Perhaps I may put this matter from a rather wider point of view. An hon. Gentleman opposite said just now that the taxicab in Glasgow was not the same as in London. I do not know whether that is so, but that is a point of view from a Scotsman, and at the moment it can be left out of the picture. I would rather consider the taxicabs in my own constituency. People come to the station and they have to be taken wherever they want to go. I would warn hon. Gentlemen opposite that our town of Torquay is rather hilly, and that it always brings people back to health, and people who go to live there live a long while. I want to give that warning, because this House is visibly reducing the vitality of hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Surely, there is a real reason why the Purchase Tax, which was originally meant to reduce expenditure on luxuries, was put upon taxicabs. I am not appealing to the Chancellor to take the tax off ordinary cars, but if we are to encourage people to travel, and overcome the appalling congestion which exists in London at the present time, could not the right hon. Gentleman indicate that he will give favourable consideration to the removal of this tax on cars for hire wherever they are, at the earliest possible moment, and so encourage the production of such cars? As I understand this Clause and its ramifications, there are apparently other public vehicles that do not have tax put on them, so why should publicly-hired cars suffer? They go out of their way to serve the public. Only this morning on arriving at Paddington I saw a woman and two children taken into a taxicab to be driven away, after a very long railway journey, to some remote part of London. She could not possibly have got to such a place except by taxicab. Cannot the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this occasion take a wide, and not a narrow point of view, confined to London? Cannot he take the wide view, and take the Purchase Tax off all cars for hire?

5.0 p.m.

Sir G. Fox

I was surprised to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer tell my hon. Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) that if he still sat for Swindon he would not vote in favour of getting the Purchase Tax off London taxicabs. I myself, representing a part of Oxfordshire, shall certainly vote with my hon. Friend the Member for St. Marylebone, if this Amendment is carried to a Division. I myself hope that, if the Purchase Tax is taken off the London taxicabs, then the Chancellor, in his fairness, will extend the concession to the cars that ply for hire and taxis in my constituency so that they also may be free from the tax. These taxicabs in London are very much more expensive to build, owing to the special seating requirements, and they look very antediluvian. Americans have said, "What terrible looking taxicabs," but, when they are worn out, they are hot bought up by people going in for private hire work on the country roads. No, these people buy good private cars, at a cheap price. There is no such thing as a secondhand market for London taxicabs outside the metropolitan area. I can assure hon. Members opposite that there is a great shortage of taxicabs in London, and, as the House sits later and later, even the hon. and gallant Member for Watford (Major Freeman) may begin to wonder whether a taxicab is not a necessity or whether he ought to stay the night here, when all public transport has stopped. I ask the Chancellor whether, between now and the Report stage, he cannot apply this, not only to London taxicabs, but to all other cabs which ply for hire.

Mr. Osbert Peake (Leeds, North)

I hope the Chancellor will, at any rate, consider what has been said in the course of the discussion today, even though he has indicated that he cannot accept the Amendment at present. We, on this side of the Committee, feel that this is a very special and very strong case. I thought that both the Chancellor and the hon. Member for South Nottingham (Mr. N. Smith) rather misunderstood the basis on which this case is put. It is not put, as was the last Amendment, on the footing that a certain class of persons have a special claim to our sympathy. That was not the claim at all. The Chancellor said he was asked to discriminate in favour of a particular section of the people, but the Purchase Tax is upon the article, and it is not because we have any sympathy with taxicab drivers that this Amendment is put forward. I know of no section of the community who enjoy less public sympathy than the taxicab drivers of the present time; in fact, all the drivers whom I personally have hailed in the last three years, appear to be well qualified for the free wireless sets provided by the preceding Amendment.

This claim is put forward as a matter of equity and justice. It is put forward upon the basis that a taxicab is part and parcel of our public transport system, and it is the principle of the Purchase Tax not to impose a charge upon what is part and parcel of our public transport system. The hon. and gallant Member for Watford (Major Freeman) put forward the hopelessly out-of-date view that a taxicab is, to some extent, a luxury article. I served with the present Leader of the House at the Home Office for something like 41 years when this question continually cropped up, and the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House most emphatically stated in the House that he no longer regarded the taxicab as a luxury article, but as a purely utility vehicle, especially under war conditions, when people had to move their homes and very often travel with large quantities of luggage. In those circumstances it was a very essential part of our transport system.

The taxicabs, like the drivers, are getting older. In 1942 some inquiries I had to make showed that no fewer than seven taxi drivers were over 81 years of age. How old the vehicles are I do not know, but many of them are, undoubtedly, completely out of date, and no doubt that is the reason why the Home Secretary, in conjunction with the Ministry of Supply, has plans for providing, as speedily as possible, some 3,000 new taxicabs. We say that, in those circumstances, it is quite unreasonable to impose Purchase Tax on these vehicles. They are a specialised type of vehicle, and they are unique in three respects. They posses a very high degree of safety, a very high degree of manoeuvrability, and an absolutely exceptional degree of discomfort. If hon. Members look at the third column of the Schedule to the Finance Act of 1940, which deals with the Purchase Tax upon these vehicles, they will find that excepted he might begin with this particular from any Purchase Tax at all arc tram- cars, trolley vehicles, omnibuses and and charabancs. It is far more comfortable to travel in a charabanc than in a taxicab. They are, indeed, the luxury liners of the road, and everybody who has travelled in either of these two classes Of vehicle knows which they would prefer from the point of view of luxury and comfort. I say, therefore, that as these vehicles are heard of anybody buying a London taxi-an essential part of our public transport system, they have a claim, in justice and equity, to be freed from the tax.

The Chancellor says that, if he does this for the London taxicab, which, as I say is a wholly unique vehicle, he would have to do it for all the other public transport motor cars —the ordinary motor car, of, whatever it may be, the 12 h.p. the Morris or Austin, which is used as a taxi in the countryside. I hope that, at some stage, he will proceed to take that course, but we suggest to him that, for a start,

he might begin with this particular vehicle, which is of exceptional design, and has no value for any other purpose than plying in the public service. That is the difference between these vehicles and ordinary motor cars, which are used as taxis in the countryside. These other vehicles can be sold, and have a market as private motor cars; the London taxis, on the other hand, cannot. I have never heard of anybody buying a London taxi-cab, and running about in it, either on pleasure or even on business jaunts. I say that this is a quite exceptional and very strong case, and the remission of the tax would cost the Chancellor a paltry sum of money, and 1 therefore advise my hon. Friends to go into the Lobby on this Amendment.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 283; Noes, 150.

Division No. 28.] AYES. [5.10 p.m.
Adams, Capt. H. R. (Balham) Champion, A. J. Gaitskell, H. T. N.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Chater, D. Gallacher, W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. Chetwynd, Capt. G. R. Gibbins, J.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Clilherow, R. Gilzean, A.
Alien, Scholefield (Crewe) Cluse, W. S. Glanville, J. E. (Consett)
Allighan, Garry Cobb, F. A. Gooch, E. G.
Alpass, J. H. Cocks, F. S. Goodrich, H. E.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Coldrick, W. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Collindridge, F. Grenfell, D. R.
Astor, Hon. M Colman, Miss G. M. Grey, C. F.
Attewell, H. C. Cook, T. F. Grierson, E.
Awbery, S. S. Cooper, Wing Comdr. G. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)
Ayles, W. H. Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camberwell, N.W.) Gunter, Capt. R. J.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Corlett, Dr. J. Guy, W. H.
Bacon, Miss A. Crossman, R. H. S. Haire, Fit.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe)
Baird, Capt. J. Daggar, G. Hall, W. G. (Coins Valley)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Daines, P. Hamilton, Lt.-Col. R.
Barstow, P. G. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hannan, W. (Maryhill)
Barton, C. Davies, Edward (Burslem) Hardy, E. A.
Battley, J. R. Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Bechervaise, A. E. Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Haworth, J.
Belcher, J. W. Davies, Harold (Leek) Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Benson, G. Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Hewitson, Captain M.
Berry, H. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Hicks, G.
Beswick, Fit. Lieut. F. Deer, G. Hobson, C. R.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Diamond, J. Holman, P.
Binns, J. Dobbie, W. House, G.
Blackburn, Capt. A. R. Dodds, N. N. Hoy, J.
Blenkinsop, Capt. A. Driberg, T. E. N. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)
Blyton, W. R. Dumpleton, C. W. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Bottomley, A. G. Durbin, E. F. M. Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)
Bowden, Fig.-Offr. H. W. Dye, S. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Janner, B.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'ge) Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty) John, W.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Edwards, John (Blackburn) Jones, J. H. (Bolton)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Jones, Maj. P. Asterley (Hitchin)
Brown, George (Belper) Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Keenan, W.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Kendall, W. D.
Buchanan, G. Ewart, R. Kenyon, C
Burden, T. W. Fairhurst, F. King, E. M.
Burke, W. A. Farthing, W. J. Kirby, B. V.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Forman, J. C. Kirkwood, D.
Byers, Lt.-Col. F. Foster, W. (Wigan) Lang, G.
Callaghan, James. Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Lavers, S.
Carson, E. Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Freeman, P. (Newport) Lee, F. (Hulme)
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T. Stokes, R. R.
Levy, B. W. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Strachey, J.
Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Palon, J. (Norwich) Stross, Dr. B.
Lewis, J. (Bolton) Peart, Capt. T. F. Stubbs, A. E.
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Perrins, W. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Logan, D. G. Platts-Mills, J. F. F. Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Longden, F. Poole, Major C. C. (Lichlield) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Lyne, A. W. Porter, E. (Warrington) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
McAdam, W. Porter, G. (Leeds) Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
McAllister, G. Pritt, D. N. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Mack, J. D. Proctor, W. T. Thomas, John R. (Dover)
McKinlsy, A. S. Pryde, D. J. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Maclean, N. (Govan) Pursey, Cmdr. H. Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (E'b.g'h, E.)
McLeavy, F. Ranger, J. Thorneycroft, H.
MacMillan, M. K. Rankin, J. Tiffany, S.
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Rees-Williams, Lt.-Col. D. R. Tolley, L.
Mainwaring, W. H. Reeves, J. Turner-Samuels, M.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Reid, T. (Swindon) Usborne, Henry
Mann, Mrs. J. Rhodes, H. Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Richards, R. Viant, S. P.
Mayhew, Maj. C. P. Ridealgh, Mrs. M. Wadsworth, G.
Medland, H. M. Robens, A. Walkden, E.
Messer, F. Roberts, G. O. (Caernarvonshire) Walker, G. H.
Middleston, Mrs. L. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Rogers, G. H. R. Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Monslow, W. Royle, C. Watson, W. M.
Montague, F. Scott-Elliot, W. Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Moody, A. S. Segal, Sq. Ldr, S. Weitzman, D.
Morley, R. Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Shurmer, P. Wells, Maj. W. T. (Walsall)
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.) Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) While, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Mort, D. L. Simmons, C. J. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Moyle, A. Skeffington, A. M. Whittaker, J. E.
Murray, J. D. Skinnard, F. W. Wigg, G. E. C.
Naily, W. Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester) Wilkes, Maj. L.
Naylor, T. E. Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Wilkins, W. A.
Neal, H. (Claycross) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Nichols, H. R. (Stratford) Smith, T. (Normanton) Williams Rt. Hon. E. J. (Ogmore)
Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Snow, Capt. J. W. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Noel-Buxton, Lady Solley, L. J. Willis, E.
O'Brien, T. Sorensen, R. W. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Oldfield, W. H. Soskice, Maj. Sir F. Wise, Major F. J.
Orbach, M. Sparks, J. A. Wyatt, Maj. W.
Paget, R. T. Stanford, W. Yates, V. F.
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Steele, T. Zilliacus, K.
Palmer, A. M. F. Stephen, C.
Parker, J. Stewart, Capt. M. (Fulham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Mr. Mathers and Mr. Pearson.
Aitken, Hon. M. Dodds-Parker, Col. A. D. Jarvis, Sir J.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Armagh) Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W. Jeffreys, General Sir G.
Amory, Lt.-Col. D. H. Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G. (Penrith) Jennings, R.
Asshelon, Rt. Hon. R. Dower E. L. G. (Caithness) Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W.
Baldwin, A. E. Drayson, Capt. G. B. Keeling, E. H.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Drewe, C. Kerr, Sir J. Graham
Beattie, F. (Cathcart) Duthie, W. S. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Bennett, Sir P. Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Lambert, G.
Birch, Lt.-Col. Nigel Erroll, Col. F. J. Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Fletcher, W. (Bury) Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Boothby, R. Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Bower, N. Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Lindsay, Lt.-Col. M. (Solihull)
Boyd-Carpenter, Maj. J. A. Fraser, Lt.-Col. Sir I. (Lonsdale) Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Braithwaite, Lt. Comdr. J. G. Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Gates, Maj. E. E. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'br'ke) MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Glossop, C. W. H. McCallum, Maj. D.
Bullock, Capt. M. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R.
Butcher, H. W. Gridley, Sir A. McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster)
Challen, Fit.-Lieut. C. Hare, Lt.-Col. Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) MacLeod, Capt. J.
Channon, H. Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Haughton, Maj. S. C. Maitland, Comdr. J. W.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Headlam, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. Manningham-Buller, R. E.
Cooper-Key, Maj. E. M. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Marshall, Comdr. D. (Bodmin)
Corbett, Lieut. Col. U. (Ludlow) Hollis, Sqn.-Ldr. M. C. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Holmes, Sir J. Stanley Maude, J. C.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hope, Lt.-Col. Lord J. Medlicott, Brig. F.
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E. Howard, Hon. A. Mellor, Sir J.
Cuthbert, W. N. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Molson, A. H. E.
Darling, Sir W. Y. Hurd, A. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.
Davidson, Viscountess Hutchison, Lt.-Cdr. Clark (Edin'gh, W.) Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)
Digby, Maj. S. Wingfield Hutchison, Lt.-Col. J. R. (G'gow, C.) Morrison, Rt. Hn. W. S. (Cirencester)
Neven-Spence, Major Sir B. Sanderson, Sir F. Thorneycroft, G. E. P.
Nicholson, G. Savory, Prof. D. L. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Scott, Lord W. Thorpe, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Nutting, Anthony Shephard, S. (Newark) Touche, G. C.
Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W. Turton, R. H.
Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Smith, E. P. (Ashford) Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Pickthorn, K. Snadden, W. M. Walker-Smith, Lt.-Col. D.
Pitman, I. J. Spearman, A. C. M. Wheatley, Lt.-Col. M. J.
Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Spence, Maj. H. R. White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Poolu, Col. O. B. S. (Oswestry) Stanley, Col. Rt. Hon. O. White, Maj. J. B. (Canterbury)
Prescott, Capt. W. R. S. Stoddart-Scott, Lt.-Col. M. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Price-White, Lt.-Col. D. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. Williams, Lt.-Cdr. G. W. (T'nbr'ge)
Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Studholme, H. G. Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.
Ramsay, Maj. S. Sutcliffe, H. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne) Young, Maj. Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall) Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Robinson, Wing-Comdr. J. R. Teeling, Flt.-Lieut. W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Ross, Sir R. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) Major Mott-Radclyffe and
Commander Agnew.

Question put, and agreed to.

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

5.19 p.m.

Colonel Oliver Stanley

I do not know, Mr. Beaumont, whether it is convenient for you to say now, but you will notice there is a block of Amendments on pages 200 and 201 of the Order Paper, which raise questions similar to those we have been discussing. Owing to the form in which this Clause is drafted, these Amendments have been put down to the Schedule. If any of those Amendments were not to be called by you, the only opportunity for discussing them would be on the question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." Therefore, it might be convenient for you to give a Ruling now.

Mr. Charles Williams

I wonder, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, if I might ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, during the Division interval, he has been able to think out an answer to the question I put to him a few minutes ago. I see the right hon. Gentleman is smiling. I hope he will be able to announce that my ideas are first-class and that he will give way at once. Is that the intention?

The Deputy-Chairman (Mr. Hubert Beaumont)

Perhaps I should inform the Committee that on the First Schedule we are not taking the first three Amendments because they are covered by the Debate which preceded the Division. We are proposing to take the remaining Amendments on Part II of the Schedule.

Mr. C. Williams

Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he would give an answer to the question which I put seriously just now, on behalf of a large section of the community; and if he cannot consider the matter now, will he at any rate look at it favourably because of the very great arguments put forward on their behalf?

Mr. Dalton

I will go on looking at everything which is still in Debate on which any Member or any section of the Committee feels strongly. But I have no hope that I can accept the suggestion made, for the simple reason that one cannot determine to what use a particular car is to be put—except perhaps the London taxi, with which we have just dealt. Whether a car will be used for purely private use or for plying for hire we cannot tell, so the whole proposal is impracticable in that form.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.