HC Deb 09 December 1946 vol 431 cc930-45

Considered in Committee, under Standing Order No. 69.

[Mr. HUBERT BEAUMONT in the Chair]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make provision for centralised buying, selling and distribution of raw cotton and for the establishment of a Commission for that purpose (in this Resolution referred to as 'the Act'), it is expedient to authorise—

  1. (a) The issuing out of the Consolidated Fund of sums for periodical advances to the said Commission as follows, that is to say—
    1. (i) for the purpose of meeting outgoings of theirs properly chargeable to revenue account, advances such that the aggregate outstanding at any time in respect thereof, and of such part of the net value of assets transferred to them by virtue of the Act as may be treated thereunder as an initial advance for that purpose, shall not exceed 931 the aggregate of that part of that net value and seventy-five million pounds, and
    2. (ii) for the purpose of meeting outgoings of theirs properly chargeable to capital account, advances not exceeding in the aggregate ten million pounds (reckoned without bringing into account such part of the net value of assets transferred to them by virtue of the Act as may be treated thereunder as an initial advance for that purpose),
    subject to provision for the making of payments by them to the Board of Trade by way of interest on such initial and periodical advances and of repayment thereof.
  2. (b) The issuing out of the Consolidated Fund, for payment to the said Commission and credit to their reserve fund, of a sum representing the net profit accruing to the Board of Trade from the discharge of their raw cotton functions on or after the first day of April, nineteen hundred and forty-six, determined having regard to all relevant considerations including the net value of assets transferred as aforesaid.
  3. (c) The raising of money by the Treasury, in any manner in which they are authorised to raise money under the National Loans Act, 1939, for the purpose of providing sums to be issued out of the Consolidated Fund as mentioned in this Resolution or of providing for the replacement of sums so issued.
  4. (d) The payment into the Exchequer of payments to be made as aforesaid by the said Commission to the Board of Trade, the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of sums paid into the Exchequer representing such payments, and the application of sums so issued in redemption or payment off of debt, or, in so far as they represent interest, in payment of interest otherwise payable out of the permanent annual charge for the National Debt."—[Mr. Marquand.]—(King's recommendation signified.)

12.37 a.m.

Mr. R. S. Hudson (Southport)

We are being asked by this Resolution to authorise the payment out of the Consolidated Fund, that is to say, by the taxpayers of the country, of formidable sums to achieve the purposes of the Cotton Commission. Discussion of a Money Resolution is limited, and I shall do my best to try to remain within the Rules of Order, even though the task may be somewhat difficult. We have had two days' discussion on this subject, during which the question was debated very largely on a technical level, and in technical terms, and I shall try to put the objections which we on this side entertain into as simple language as possible.

The purpose of the Commission was defined by the Secretary for Overseas Trade as having the duty of equalising its outgoings and its income over the average of the good and bad years. Subject to that, it was to achieve a long term stability in the price of raw materials. The question we have to consider tonight is whether the provision of the very large sums visualised in this Resolution will achieve the aim set out by the Secretary for Overseas Trade and, at the same time, achieve it without excessive cost to the taxpayer. Can the Commission equalise, or be expected to equalise, its income and outgoings over the average of good and bad years, and at the same time serve the best interests of the cotton industry? I am inclined to doubt it. The Working Party stated that the industry must be able to buy its cotton in the cheapest available market, and avoid being placed at a disadvantage with other countries so far as the actual price of cotton is concerned. The essential part of that is the price paid by the English buyer compared with the price at which the foreign buyer is able to obtain that cotton.

Well, what has happened? Today spinners are in fact paying 1½d. to 2d. a 1b. over the price that competitors have to pay who have access to free markets. Presumably we may say that the result of that is that the Commission and through them the taxpayers under the terms of this Resolution are making money and to that extent it is a good thing from the taxpayers' point of view. But that argument has been countered by Members of the Government who say "Oh no. When you consider today that the spinners are paying 1½d. or 2d. a pound more than the open market world price, you must concede that for a considerable time beforehand he was paying considerably less", and to that extent the taxpayer is suffering. I suggest that two wrongs do not make a right, and when the taxpayer is suffering as he is today, it is no consolation to him to know he was making a profit previously.

Let us now consider the profit or surplus of £24,000,000 which, is inherent in this resolution. That is a purely paper profit or surplus. I think I am correctly interpreting the view of the Members of the Government, certainly as far as I understand them, in saying that as the sale of cotton at lower prices continues the profit will disappear. What happens if the process continues and the world price drops faster than sales? There will be a loss which will fall to be repaid by the Commission, in the terms of the Resolution. Both the taxpayer and the spinner will suffer in that case. And in that case we shall be interested to hear from the Secretary for Overseas Trade how the provisions of the last sub-paragraph in the Resolution can be carried out.

The second argument put forward in favour of providing these large sums of money is that it will result in stability of prices, and of raw materials. The Chancellor of the Exchequer argued that it was one of the disadvantages of the prewar system that in the years 1929 to 1939 cotton fluctuated between 45 and 60 per cent. But what has happened under control. We have had a wider fluctuation. In 1944 there was an increase overnight and I stress that it happened overnight, of 4½d. a lb., which represented an increase on East Indian cotton of 100 per cent. and on Egyptian cotton of 35 per cent. On the 31st October, prices were increased overnight by 5¾d. a lb. It so happened by a piece of irony that that increase coincided with a world drop in America of 4d. The taxpayers through the Commission are going to be asked to guarantee stability and I should like to ask the Government whether they think it possible to guarantee stability of prices, when we are dealing with an article subject to enormous variations from time to time in crop Not only is there the weather, the boll weevil or the increase or decrease in yield, but it is one of the crops in the world subject to the widest fluctuations of yield. I need only instance the fact that from one year to another the cotton crop in the United States varied from 9 million to 18 million bales.

12.45 a. m.

During all our discussions we have had no answer yet on how the Commission is going to achieve stability. All that we have had is a statement from the Government that it is hoped that this stability will be achieved. It is usual, perhaps, on these occasions, to quote "Alice in Wonderland," and I would suggest that to-night we ought to be reminded of that passage: I've said it once, I've said it twice, I've said it thrice, It must be true. Another important claim put forward is that this new system will give safeguards to the buyer against, price fluctuations because there will be a cover. It will give cover against price fluctuations, but at whose expense? At the expense of either the taxpayer or the consumer, or both. I do not think that that will be denied by the hon. Gentleman It must be remembered that neither the taxpayer nor the consumer had to foot this bill when the Liverpool Cotton Exchange was in operation. Nor does this scheme assure the unfortunate spinner of being able to buy his cotton as his foreign competitor can do.

I turn now to the important question of sampling, which affects both the revenue and the expenditure of the Commission. There again, there is likely to be direct conflict betwen the Commission representing the taxpayer, and the spinner as the consumer of the raw material Lancashire will be more dependent than ever before on the quality of its goods in the future years, and the Commission being human, will, when it has enormous stocks of cotton on hand, be much more anxious to get the spinner to accept a sample of what is in stock than to give the spinner what he really wants. The personal touch and the needs of the producer will be things entirely lost, and I would remind hon. Members that after all this money which is to be put up has been paid out, our foreign competitor will still enjoy those advantages which we Have lost.

I turn to the international issue, which may appeal more to hon. Members opposite. What is to be the effect abroad? The Secretary for Overseas Trade, who is responsible for our overseas business, ought to regard this with considerable concern. What is to be the effect abroad of the Government putting this enormous potential power into the hands of a single corporation? The President of the Board of Trade defended the scheme on the ground that a big buyer can buy more cheaply. He added that we were giving maximum assistance, not to the producer, but to the cotton industry of Lancashire. That is utterly opposed to the spirit, if not to the letter, of the Bretton Woods Agreement, and it is opposed to the spirit if not the letter of the trade agreement with the United States. I thought that we had learned the lesson of prewar days, which was that to beggar your potential customers was not the best way to do business. Investing these huge sums of public money in an important international commodity like cotton, which we do not produce ourselves, which is produced entirely abroad, is bound, in our view, to lead to misunderstanding with the United States. It will certainly encourage those who believe in high tariffs, in isolationism, and in protection, and may well lead to retaliation in other spheres which will do our overseas trade untold damage.

Finally, I would refer once again to the Lord President's statement that the test of nationalisation is the test of efficiency. Here tonight we are being asked to pass the issue of tens of millions of public money without any effective check. The action of the Government, indeed that of the majority of the House, in laying down that no person shall be allowed to import cotton except the Commission, means that the incompetence or the inefficiency of the Commission can never be effectively challenged or exposed, even by the Public Accounts Committee of this House. It is because, for all these reasons, we believe these enormous sums of public money should not be hazarded, that we shall vote against this Resolution.

Sir John Barlow (Eddisbury)

The Committee is asked tonight to authorise the expenditure of some £110,000,000 to help to start this new Cotton Buying Commission. That amount is made up of £75,000,000 to be made by advances as required, £10,000,000 of capital account as required, and £25,000,000 virtually accrued profit since the 1st April this year. We must remember that in addition to these sums, the Cotton Commission will take over the existing stock in this country, which we are told amounts to some £90,000,000. I imagine that this represents something in the region of two million bales of cotton. That in itself, is a very large amount, and is of very great value. When cotton is purchased normally by traders in this country, it is usually bought on the sixty-day bill from America, or the ninety-day bill from Egypt; or else against invoice on arrival in this country, which really means payment a few days after landing. I believe that the Government usually pay dollars in America when they make purchases. Now it would appear that the Government are acquiring some £200,000,000, apart from the capital funds, and that will allow them to carry and pay for a full stock for present usage of about two years cotton. That is a very large amount. I think far larger than has ever been the custom in Liverpool or in this country as a whole. When such a stock is built up, it may be very dangerous for the Government and very dangerous for the taxpayer, who may have to foot the bills. I submit that this £75,000,000 which is asked for in paragraph (a) of the Resolution is unnecessary. The value of the present stock, representing £90,000,000, is sufficient in itself to meet the financial requirements for handling the cotton required for use in this country. I should like to know what interest—

Mr. Keenan (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

Is it not true that the merchants did not handle cotton for this country alone, but. that they also bought and sold abroad? They were not confined to cotton in this country alone.

Sir J. Barlow

Although this does not arise particularly on the Financial Resolution, may I say that the Commission, under the Bill, are empowered to sell abroad, as well as to supply the requirements of our own mills. In spite of that. I maintain that the £90,000,000 representing stock is amply sufficient for the requirements of the Commission. Before leaving the figure of £75,000,000 which will be advanced as required, I would like to ask what rate of interest the Commission will pay the Government for that money, and also what rate of commission the Commission will pay on the upwards of £10,000,000 required on capital account.

I turn to paragraph (b) of the Resolution, which refers to a sum representing the net profit accruing to the Board of Trade from the discharge of their raw cotton functions on or after the first day of April, nineteen hundred and forty-six. We are told that that may vary downwards if cotton diminishes in value. I would like to know exactly how that £25,000,000 or lesser amount has been made up. It is represented to us as net profit. If that is the case, has it borne any interest? If so, what interest? Is it tax free, or what is commonly called gross profit? There is a very great difference between the two. Is it subject to warehousing, and other charges, or is it entirely free? I would like the Minister to give us much more informa- tion and to tell us exactly how the £25,000,000 has been built up. Does it take into account the present amount spinners are paying over the world value for cotton? Does it include the fictitious 1½d. or 2d. a lb. on present Lancashire prices over New York prices?

I would like to know also whether the Commission will be allowed to have various amounts outstanding, fluctuating according to their requirements. Will they pay interest on the net figure useable, or will they have a larger figure, or possibly substantial amounts dying idle with the bank? It seems to me that, having such a large capital as this available—£200,000,000 for working capital and £10,000,000 for capital expenditure—may be very dangerous for any Commission dealing in a raw commodity. They would start off in such a strong position that they could buy and buy and in the course of time they might build up a position which would be embarrassing for the Government both commercially and politically. That, however, is perhaps going rather outside the Financial Resolution. It has already been stressed, but I will not press it further except to say that it may be borne in mind by the taxpayer at some early date.

1.0 a.m.

Mr. Erroll (Altrincham and Sale)

I should like to follow the point by the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Sir J. Barlow), that the losses incurred will be very serious indeed, if the buying Commission sets out with a grandiose plan for buying, and buying all the time. We have had some experience in other countries of what State buying can lead to. The Government of the United States of America found that buying cotton was a most expensive process, which resulted in very-serious losses before the war. So I do hope the Minister will bear that in mind, and will issue a directive to the Commission not to indulge in too rapid buying owing to its strong initial financial position.

I would ask the Committee to reject the whole of the Resolution. It appears to me nothing more than an extravagant excursion into the realms of commerce, by a Government which is scarcely competent to deal with these matters. I was alarmed to notice in the speech of the President of the Board of Trade that he is quite prepared for losses to be borne by the Exchequer. When questioned last Monday about losses being incurred, he cheerfully admitted: If there are losses incurred over a long period of years which cannot be balanced up against profits those losses will fall to the Exchequer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd December, 1946; Vol. 431, c. 158.] If so, that is a thing that did not happen before the war on the Liverpool Cotton Exchange. Losses were borne by the merchants, and not by the taxpayers. It may be it is better that the taxpayers should pay rather than the speculator, but that is a doctrine not hitherto enunciated. We find, too, that, should there be any question of profits not accruing so rapidly to the Commission as they should, the President admitted that the profit of the Commission would be made out of the spinners. He said: The spinner has it made up for him out of the consumer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd December, 1946; Vol. 431. c. 155.] So once again the consumer pays. [HON. MEMBERS: "He always did."] Now he is going to pay a little more.

I pass now to one of the so-called benefits of the scheme, which it is going to cost a considerable sum of money to implement, and that is, the elaborate and very rigid cover scheme which is being put forward as being better than the old futures market. It was stated by the Secretary for Overseas Trade that there was no cover operating for stocks of yarn; that the cover scheme at present operated for spinners was arranged only to cover sales of yarn or stocks of cotton supplied by the Commission, and that the Commission accepted financial responsibility only in respect of changes of price as regarded yarn sales and raw cotton sales. It was further pointed out that stocks were not covered because spinners had not asked for that facility.

It is quite understandable that spinners would not require stocks to be covered on a rising market, but it is quite likely that they would ask for an extension of the facility on a falling market, at the very time when the Commission will be very hard pressed, indeed, to meet its financial commitments. Therefore, this large sum of money, which is to be given to the Commission by this Resolution, may not even be sufficient to provide a cover scheme, which is imperfect as it stands at present, and can be made really perfect only by the reintroduction of the old futures market. The Commission will, of course, with the aid of the money provided by this Resolution, if granted by the Committee, be going in for bulk buying in the United States and other countries.

I should like to draw the attention of the Committee to the grievous wrongs which are being perpetrated in the Empire by the policy of the present control which, I understand, will be perpetuated by the Commission with the money which is being granted. At the present, extremely low prices are being paid for raw cotton in East Africa, and it is sold at a high rate to the spinners in Lanes, and there seems to be no prospect of higher or more reasonable prices being paid to the East African growers.

One provision of the Bill, which has not attracted very much attention so far, is the implementation of research which, I presume, will have to be borne out of the moneys, either earned by the Commission, or voted to the Commission by this Resolution. I should be grateful if the Secretary for Overseas Trade, when replying, would indicate whether the money voted by this Resolution will actually be used for research as indicated in the Bill. I am all in favour of research myself, but I do query whether the Commission is the right body to carry out research. I think research ought to be carried out, either further back in the producing country, or else further forward in the spinners' department, but I do not think that an organisation for handling raw cotton is necessarily the best organisation for carrying out research into raw cotton. Perhaps, the Secretary for Overseas Trade will give us some indication of the nature of the research to be carried out with the money voted by this Resolution. I will not detain the Committee longer. We have debated sufficiently widely to show that the Committee ought to reject this Resolution.

Mr. Marquand (Secretary for Overseas Trade)

Such a large number of questions have been asked by hon Members opposite that I am afraid my reply must necessarily be rather scrappy Let me begin by dealing with the last question by the hon. Member for Altrincham (Mr. Erroll). He wanted to know why the Commission had power to spend money on research. It is not contemplated, I think, that the Commission will itself set up an organisation for undertaking research into the processing or growing or breeding of cotton. This power is taken in the Bill in order to make it competent for the Commission, if it wishes to do so, to make grants to an appropriate research organisation to do work that might help the Commission in its task of providing Lancashire industry with a supply of satisfactory cotton.

Mr. Stanley Prescott (Darwen)

It does not say so in the Bill.

Mr. Marquand

No. The wording of the Clause is, that it has power to spend money on research. No doubt, we can discuss that when we reach the Clause in Committee. The hon. Member for Eddisbury (Sir J. Barlow) asked why do we want such a large sum of money as is provided for in the Bill, to cover the value of the stocks of cotton which are being transferred by the Beard of Trade on the appointed day to the Commission. It is suggested—it is in the financial Resolution and in the Financial Memorandum accompanying the Bill—that there should be advances from the Board of Trade to the Commission equal to the value of the cotton stocks on the appointed day at current market prices, plus an amount not exceeding £75,000,000. He wanted to know why we thought it necessary to ask for as large a sum as £75,000,000. It is true that at present prices and present consumption rates in Lancashire this total of £165,000,000 would cover two years' stocks. But if we take the prewar rates of consumption at present prices, then it covers only 16 months' consumption of stock. At present consumption rates at double present prices it would cover 12 months' consumption. The extra. £75,000,000 is taken in order to cover—

Mr. R. S. Hudson

During the earlier Debate the President of the Board of Trade used exactly the opposite argument to refute an argument put up for this side. He said that we were not in the future going to use these enormous quantities of cotton, because we were permanently to have a smaller cotton industry, with fewer cotton operatives, than before the war.

Mr. Marquand

I do not know that I necessarily said that we were going to have a larger consumption, but we have to allow for the possibility of some increase in consumption. We do not look forward to the industry being no larger. It may have no more workers but we certainly hope that it is going to have a larger output, and therefore a larger consumption. We also have to allow for the possibility of prices rising. We do not compel the Board of Trade to advance this £75,000,000 to the Commission, and we do not compel the Commission to accept it. I was asked whether it was contemplated that the Commission will have large sums of money lying at the bank. The Commission will be entitled to repay the Board of Trade as they want, and there is provision that they will not allow the balance to exceed a certain amount which is considered prudent.

I was also asked what rate of interest on these various advances was contemplated. There are some advances on capital account in respect of fixed capital assets which the Commission may acquire from the Board of Trade, or may subsequently decide to acquire for the purposes of carrying on business, such as offices and the like. It is contemplated that capital of that amount will pay rate at the interest of long-term capital, and the appropriate rate today, as is well known, is about 2½ per cent. The cotton stock will be regarded, for the most part, as working capital, and other advances which may be made from time to time, under one of these provisions, will also count as working capital. It as contemplated that all working capital will pay a rate of interest of about one per cent., or whatever is the appropriate interest for working capital at that time.

Sir J. Barlow

Does that cover the £75,000,000 and the £90,000,000 value of cotton being taken over?

Mr. Marquand

We recognise that we have a large stock of cotton in hand. It may be argued that there will remain in that stock a hard core which will not be turned over all the time, which may properly be regarded as permanent capital. That is recognised, and provision is made for the Board of Trade and the Treasury to agree on a proportion of stock which can be regarded as fixed or permanent capital, which will pay the rate of interest appropriate for long-term advances.

Sir J. Barlow

Is that to be on the 2½ per cent. basis?

1.15 a.m.

Mr. Marquand

The total on which 2½ per cent. would be paid is the £10,000,000, plus the hard core of the value of the cotton stock. I am not going to say that the 2½ per cent. will always be the appropriate rate—far be it from me to forecast. I was asked how the £25,000,000, which constitutes the reserve funds of the Commission, was made up. I thought that I had explained that in the Debate on the Second Reading, when I said that we reckoned that the Cotton Control would make a trading profit in the current financial year of from £10,000,000 to £12,000,000, partly as a result of rising prices, and partly because of wise or fortunate buying. The £10,000,000 or £12,000,000 was accounted for by an increase in revenue from the sale of cotton, and the remainder of the £25,000,000 was made up by an increase in the value of the stocks of cotton held by the Commission. The increase in the value of the stocks is approximately from £76,000,000 to £90,000,000, which we guess may be their value on the appointed day. That is how the £25,000,000 is made up. The sum of £10,000,000 or £12,000,000 represents the excess of receipts from the sale of cotton over what it cost to buy the cotton, and it has been paid into the Exchequer.

Mr. Hudson

How can it have been paid into the Exchequer if it does not exist?

Mr. Marquand

The money is receipts from the sale of cotton obtained by selling cotton at a higher figure than was paid for it. That portion of the £25 million; which is £11 or £12 million, represents the surplus of revenue over that expenditure. I trust that answers the question as to whether tax had been calculated, or something of that kind. It had not. The hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) referred to the fact that the cover scheme, although at present giving spinners all they want in existing circumstances, would not do so if the circumstances changed. That was admitted by my hon. and learned Friend during the Second Reading Debate. I have not had time to look at what he said exactly, but I think I am right in saying that he also said that the Cotton Control and its advisory committee were, at the moment, discussing with the industry the possibility of extending the cover to yarn as well. If he did not, then I say it now—

Mr. Erroll

Has not the hon. Gentleman made a slip of the tongue? Does he not mean yarn stocks?

Mr. Marquand

Yes, yarn stocks, I beg the Committee's pardon.

Mr. Walter Fletcher (Bury)

When the hon. Gentleman said, "extending the control," surely he meant extending the cover?

Mr. Marquand

If I said "control" I certainly meant cover. We are talking of the protection of the spinners against a change in price.

I had some sympathy with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South-port (Mr. R. S. Hudson). Through some accident or other he had been denied the opportunity of making a speech on the Second Reading, and he made the best of his chance on this occasion. He traversed almost the whole subject, and I do not propose, at this late hour, to attempt again to state the reasons why we have introduced this particular scheme. The right hon. Gentleman asked whether we could achieve stability in the price of cotton and I say that we have already achieved it. We have guaranteed the spinner against fluctuations and the changes in prices which were made have been made at long intervals. We see no reason why the Commission carrying on the work of the Control cannot continue to do that.

The right hon. Gentleman asked, and asked quite legitimately within the terms of what we are supposed to be discussing tonight, whether we could equalise our income and outgoings over the good and bad years to avoid burdening the taxpayer. That is a question well put on this

Division No 35. AYES 1.27 a.m.
Adams, Richard (Ralham) Attewell, H. C. Barton, C.
Adams. W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Awbery, S. S. Battley, J. R.
Alexander, Rt. Hon A. V. Bacon, Miss A. Bechervaise, A. E.
Allen, A C. (Bosworth) Baird, J. Benson, G.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Barstow, P. G. Bing, G. H. C.

Financial Resolution. He said he was inclined to believe we would not. I am inclined to believe we will. I do not wish to deceive the Committee and say we are absolutely certain or that ten years hence it may not be found that some loss to the taxpayer may have occurred. But with the reserve fund, which will be approximately £25 million in hand, as the result of our good fortune in having accumulated during the war considerable stocks of cotton, we find it hard to believe that over a period of six to eight years it should not be possible to average out the fluctuations and leave the taxpayer at no disadvantage and at the same time during that period be able to keep prices at such a figure as will put the Lancashire industry at a competitive advantage and not a disadvantage. I must admit, if the Commission does its work badly, and makes a mess of the transactions, then the taxpayer will suffer. If it makes a mistake it will be a big mess. It is perfectly true, of course, that if the National Coal Board makes a mistake, it may be a bad mistake and one bigger than an individual pit owner could make. We rest our case as Socialists in the belief that, if we set up centralised organisations of this kind, and apply the best skill and the best brains to them and apply the motive of public service in the public interest, then, if they are administered properly, gross blunders will not be made, and, on balance, large scale buying will be to the advantage of the Lancashire cotton trade.

Sir J. Barlow

The hon. Gentleman has pointed out that on the capital account the fluctuations may be about 2½ per cent. I think that is correct. May I suggest it is quite unnecessary to have the full value in hard core capital? It would be cheaper to finance the trade in this way; there would be a substantial saving and there is no reason why the Government should not do it and thus a large amount of capital would be unnecessary.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 190; Noes, 76.

Blackburn, A. R. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) O'Brien, T.
Blenkinsop, A. Grey, C. F. Oldfield, W. H.
Blyton, W. R. Grierson, E. Oliver, G. H.
Beardman, H. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Orbach, M.
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Gunter, R. J. Paget. R. T.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Palmer. A. M. F.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Hale, Leslie Parker, J.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Hall, W. G. Parkin. B. T.
Bramall, Major E. A. Hamilton, Lieut -Col. R. Perrins, W.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Piratin, P.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Hardy, E. A. Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hastings, Dr Somerville Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)
Bruce, Maj D. W. T. Howison, Capt. M. Popplewell, E.
Burden, T. W. Holman, P. Porter, E. (Warrington)
Burke W. A. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Pritt, D. N.
Callaghan, James House, G. Randall, H. E.
Champion, A. J. Hoy, J. Ranger, J.
Clitherow, Dr. R. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Robens, A.
Cobb F. A. Hushes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Roberts Goronwy (Caernarvenshire)
Cocks, F. S. Hughes, H. D. (W'lvarh'pton, W.) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Coldrick, W. Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Royle, C.
Collick, P Hynd, H (Hackney, C.) Sargood R.
Collindridge, F. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Scollan T.
Collins, V. J. Jeger, Dr S. W. (St Pancras S. E.) Shurmer, P.
Colman, Miss G. M. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Comyns, Dr. L. Kesnan, W. Simmons, C. J.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Kenyon, C. Smith, C. (Colchester)
Corbet, Mrs F. K. (Cambwell, N.W.) Key, C. W. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Corlett, Dr. J. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Smith, S. H. (Hull. S. W.)
Cove, W. G. Kinley, J. Snow, Capt J. W.
Crawley, A. Kirby, B. V. Solley, L. J.
Crossman, R. H. S. Lang, G. Soskice Maj Sir F.
Daggar, G. Lavers, S. Stewart, Capt Michael (Fulham E.)
Daines, P. Levy, B. Stokes, R. R.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Lindgren, G. S. Stubbs, A. E.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Longden, F. Symonds, A. L.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Lyne, A. W. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Davies, Harold (Leek) McAllister, G. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Deer, G. McGhee, H. G. Thomas. I O (Wrekin)
Diamond, J. Mack, J. D. Thomas John R (Dover)
Dobbie, W. Mackay, R. W G (Hull. N.W.) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Dodds, N. N. McLeavy, F. Thorneycroft Harry (Clayton)
Donovan. T. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Tolley, L.
Driberg, T. E. N. Macpherson, T. (Romford) While C. F. (Derbyshire W.)
Dye, S. Mainwaring, W. H. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Ede, Rt. Hon J. C. Mallalieu, J. P. W. Witkes, L.
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Manning, Mrs L. (Epping) Wilkins, W. A.
Evans, John (Ogmore) Marquand, H. A. Wiley O. G. (C'eve'and)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Mathers, G Williams J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Ewart, R. Medland, H. M. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Farthing, W. J. Mellish R. J. Wills, E.
Field, Captain W.J. Middleton, Mrs L. Wills Mrs E. A.
Fletcher E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Mitchison, Maj G. H. Woods, G. S.
Follick, M. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Yates, V. F.
Fool, M. M. Mort, D. L. Zilliacus, K.
Gaitskell, H. T. N. Moyle, A.
Gibson, O. W. Murray, J. D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gilzean, A. Nicholls H. R. (Stratford) Mr. Pearson and
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Noel-Baker. Cant F. E. (Brentford) Mr. Joseph Henderson.
Gordon-Walker, P. C. Noel-Buxton, Lady
Amory, D. Heathcoat De la Bere, R. Lambert, Hon, G.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Digby, S. W. Legge-Bourke, Maj E. A. H.
Baldwin, A. E. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. Lindsay, M (Solihull)
Barlow, Sir J. Erroll, F. J. Lucas Major Sir J.
Birch, Nigel Fletcher, W. (Bury) Mackeson Brig H. H.
Boles, Lt. Col. D. C. (Wells) Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Macmillan Rt. Hon. Harold (Bremley)
Bossom, A. C. Fox, Sir G. Maitland Comdr J. W.
Bowen, R. Fraser, Sir I (Lonsdale) Manningham Bullet, R. E.
Bower, N. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Marlowe, A. A. H.
Boyd Carpenter, J. A. Gage, C. Marshall D (Bodmin)
Brathwaite, Lt.-Comdr J. G. Gates. Maj. E. E. Mellor, Sir J.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Gomme-Duncan Col A. G. Neven Spence, Sir B.
Carson, E. Grant, Lady Nield, B. (Chester)
Clarke, Col R. S. Gridley, Sir A. Noble Comdr A.H. P.
Clifton Brown. Lt.-Col G. Hare, Hon J. H. (Woodbrige) Peto, Brig C. H. M.
Conant Maj R. J. E. Hope, Lord J. Pitman I. J.
Corbett, Lieut. Col. U (Ludlow) Hudson. Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Prescott, Stanley
Crosthwaite Eyre, Col O F Hulbert Wing. Cdr N. J. Price White, Lt. Col. D.
Cuthbert, W. N. Joynson-Hicks, Lt -Cdr Hon L. W. Prior Palmer, Brig O.
Davidson, Viscountess Keeling, E. H. Ramsay, Maj S.
Roberts, H. (Handsworth) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne) York, C.
Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Spearman, A. C. M. Touche, G. C.
Stanley, Rt. Hon. O. Turton, R. H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Wadsworth, G. Mr. Drewe and
Strauss, H. G. (English Universities) Wheatley, Colonel M. J. Commander Agnew
Stuart, Rt. Hon J. (Moray) Willoughby de Eresby, Lero

Resolution to be reported this day.