HC Deb 25 February 1946 vol 419 cc1680-714

9.20 p.m.

Mr. David Eccles (Chippenham)

1 beg to move, That the Order in Council, dated 20th December, 1945, with respect to the Defence Regulations relating to the Control of Industry (S.R.& O., 1945, No. 1618), a copy of which Order was presented on 22nd January, be annulled.

Mr. Maclay (Montrose)

On a point of Order. May we ask whether the President of the Board of Trade is going to be present while this Motion is being taken?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)

I imagine that some Member of the Government will be at hand, in a moment.

Mr. Maclay

Might I point out that this Order gives fantastic powers. to the President of the Board of Trade for an indefinite period? It is inconceivable that the right hon. Gentleman should not be here himself, during this discussion.

Mr. Eccles

This is an omnibus Order and in moving this Motion I will give some, and only some, of the reasons why I consider it to be against the public interest that the Government should have these powers. Defence Regulations 54C, 54CA, 55, 55A, 56 and. 78 gave the Government complete control over industry. By these regulations they had complete control over the production and price of every article, over the provision and price of every service and over the location of all industrial premises This Order concerns the whole work of the Board of Trade, and the first thing it does is to redefine the scope of these regulations. The new definition is made by reference to Section 1 (1) of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, which says that these regulations listed in the Order: Should have effect for the purpose of so maintaining, controlling and regulating supplies and services, as— (a) to secure a sufficiency of those essential to the wellbeing of the community for their equitable distribution of their availability at fair prices;… There follow three other purposes but I will only trouble the House with the third. It is: (c) to facilitate the readjustment of industry and commerce to the requirement of the community in times of peace. The House will see that the scope of these regulations covers the entire industry and trade of the country. There is not a single firm, not a single service, and not a single new factory extension, which cannot be brought within the scope of these regulations. So much for the scope of the regulations; now for the powers which will be exercised under the regulations. I cannot do better in illustrating the extent of those powers than to refer to one of the regulations, No. 55, which is to be modified under the Order in Council we are now discussing. Under Regulation 55 the President of the Board of Trade, or the other competent Minister, may by Order provide for regulating or prohibiting the production, treatment, keeping, storage, movement, transport, distribution, disposal, acquisition, use or consumption of articles of any description and in particular for controlling the prices at which such articles may be sold. It is, therefore, clear that under these regulations the Government will possess the power to do anything they like with any form of production and distribution. Once this Order is through, if the House is unwise enough to let it pass, I should not be at all surprised if we heard from the Government that they did not intend to pass any more Bills for nationalising any particular industry, because it would be quite unnecessary to do so.

I want especially to draw the attention of the House to a change in Defence Regulation 55. If hon. Members turn to page 5 of the paper which sets out Statutory Rules and Orders Nos. 1615/30, they will see that under Regulation 55, a new paragraph (2, a) is proposed, to take the place of the old paragraph (2, a) The reason for that is that the old paragraph gave the Minister power to do what he already had power to do under Regulation 54C. As 54C is not being continued, it is thought necessary to put explicitly into this new Regulation 55 practically the same power as that contained in Regulation 54C. This is a most obnoxious power. It enables the Minister, presumably the President of the Board of Trade, to require any firm or undertaking which comes within the general scope of this limitless regulation, to employ any person or persons, and for such period as the Minister may direct. In other words, if the President of the Board of Trade thinks that any firm is going slow, or is being over careful in taking on men, he has the power to force the business to add to its staff any man or woman whom he nominates, and for any period he thinks desirable.

Further, under this paragraph (2A) he can compel a business to take on workers, even if taking them on is contrary to any statutory obligation already in existence. For example, I believe that under the Factories Act, 1937, a firm is not allowed to employ more than a certain number of workers per 400 cubic feet. Under this regulation the President of the Board of Trade can force a firm to take on more men than the law, as it now stands, permits as good for the health of the workers. We must know why the Board of Trade want to have this sort of power in peace time. If we were the parliament of Ruritania, we should expect the Lord Chamberlain or the Grand Vizier, to bring forward an Order of this kind for the employment of all the nephews and nieces of his friends. As it is, we are a conscientious nation, facing the prospect of a manpower shortage for years to come. The House must really have, from the Parliamentary Secretary, the fullest details of why power is needed to force employers to take on staff against their better judgment, because this makes nonsense of their responsibility to their shareholders and indeed" makes nonsense of private enterprise. It would be more logical to take the firm over, lock, stock and barrel. This is the kind of power which corrupts the whole system.

I wish to offer one or two general observations about the comprehensiveness of the powers in this omnibus Order. If they are not to be used, they should not be taken. If they are to be used, it is my conviction that far from stimulating output, they will put a brake upon it.

The familiar argument for powers of this kind is that, during the war emergency, they were obviously necessary and that the emergency through which we are now passing, is no less important than that of the war and, therefore, powers of the same sort are wanted now. That argument breaks down upon examination, because two of the fundamental factors that were present in war are absent now. In the first place, during the war the Chiefs of Staff could say, with certainty, what they wanted British industry to produce. They were able to give the Ministers concerned, as I remember very well, a blue print that was clear enough to make production planning practical business. Secondly, employers understood the necessity for this plan and they co-operated, with all their resources, in carrying it out. There was a plan, and the whole nation approved of it. There is now no master plan and, even if there were, under a return to party Government, only half the nation would approve of it.

The President of the Board of Trade will find that if he seeks to use compulsion in present circumstances, it simply will not work. I want to show the House what will happen if the President of the Board of Trade uses these powers. He will do so, because he will think that he knows better than the owners and managers of certain firms what those firms ought to produce in the public interest. It is no part of my argument whether the right hon. Gentleman does or does not possess a superior brand of wisdom in regard to matters of taste and consumption. Perhaps he does. My argument is that, in existing circumstances, the use of these powers will turn against him. They will be a brake upon consumption, and will not stimulate consumption. Compulsion was respected in the war when a Coalition Government was leading a united nation to victory. Compulsion is resented now, because industry and trade are every day threatened by a vindictive policy of one political party. In those circumstances—

Mr. Speaker

These Orders in Council are now passed under the Act of Parliament. One must not criticise an Act of Parliament which this House has passed.

Mr. Eccles

1 abide by your Ruling, Mr. Speaker. What I was attempting to say was that the regulations here have now got a new scope, on account of this Order in Council. They are now to apply to an entirely different range of industry from that to which they did apply up to the time this Order is passed.

Mr. Speaker

I gather these. Orders have been passed under an Act of Parliament, which has been passed by this House.

Mr. Eccles

My submission is that if a power such as that contained in this new paragraph (2a) which is set out in this Order in Council—if I may confine myself to the new power which is put into Regulation 55—if a power of that kind is used, it might, perchance, cause a little extra production in the firm to which it is directly applied. The President of the Board of Trade will find, however, that the secondary influence of that power on all the other industries— which will be paralysed, by the feeling that this very power may soon come upon them—will more than offset any production that he may get through, forcing an employer against his will to take on a particular number of persons. That being the case, I am sure that the supply of goods and services which it is designed to improve by this power, will in fact fall, and, if that happens, it will be the poorest section of the people who will suffer. For that and other reasons, I ask the House to accept this Motion for the annulment of the Order.

9.35 p.m.

Major Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)

I beg to second the Motion.

On the last occasion on which the House had the opportunity, on the initiative of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hillhead (Mr. J. S. C. Reid), of discussing one of these regulations, the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, who replied to the Debate, suggested that the tone of the speeches made in support of the Motion indicated that the attack was not upon the regulation in question, but upon the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, which the House passed last October. To prevent any misapprehension of that sort arising in the mind of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, who I understand is to reply, I wish to make it clear that the gravamen of the attack contained in this Motion is not, and could not be, upon the Act of Parliament, but upon. the exercise of the powers conferred by that Act. As the House will recollect, that Act gave the Government power which they could exercise were it necessary or expedient, and the question that arises on the Motion tonight is whether the circumstances of today are such as to justify the taking of these enormous powers. As my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) has pointed out, among other things—and there are a number of regulations covered by this Order—there exists, in the continuation of Number 55 of the Defence Regulations, as amended by this Order, this power to give directions to the undertakers: to carry on the undertaking in accordance with those orders or directions, and, in particular, requiring the undertakers to employ upon such work and for such period as may be specified in the order or directions, such persons, or such class or description of persons, or such number of persons, or such number of persons of such classes or description, as may be so specified; So far as one can gather from the turgid language which the Board of Trade's draftsmen have seen fit to adopt, it would appear that what is intended is to take power to give directions to any business in the country that they shall employ only such individuals or such class of people as the President of the Board of Trade may direct. I do not know what exercise of these powers is intended, but it would appear, for example, that, under this regulation, it would be perfectly open to the right hon. Gentleman to direct a certain enterprise to employ only trade unionists. I do not know whether that is the intended exercise, but the submission I make to the House is that a power so wide and so important to the whole structure of our industrial life, should not be sought or obtained merely under the machinery of a Defence Regulation. I am certain that hon. Members on both sides of the House will concede me one thing, namely, that these powers are of enormous importance, however they may be exercised. I submit that to use the machinery of the Sup- plies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act to take power to effect what amounts to a revolution in this country, is, in some considerable degree, an attempt to go behind the back of this House.

Some of my hon. Friends have felt some surprise that the President of the Board of Trade seeks such powers. I would say that they are wrong to be so surprised. The President of the Board of Trade in 1933 wrote a book saying what he was going to do. Just about that time a man called Schickelgruber was saying what he was going to do, and neither of those enterprising gentlemen was believed at the time. May I refresh the memory of the House on what was written by—if I may say so with respect—the less notorious of the two authors, the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, in a publication entitled "Where Stands Socialism Today?" which was published in 1933, at exactly the same time as the other publication to which I referred.

Mr. Pritt (Hammersmith, North)

Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman permit me for a moment—

Mr. Follick (Loughborough)


Major Boyd-Carpenter

I regret I cannot give way to two hon. Members at once, and I know both of them will be glad to hear—

Mr. Pritt

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman would give way for a moment,' I would like to tell him that he is nine years out—it was in 1924.

Major Boyd-Carpenter

The book was published by Rich and Cowan in 1933, but if the hon. and learned Gentleman thinks there is any point in its comparative antiquity—and I appreciate that as a member of a very influential profession he considers that the older the case the more effective—I will accept the earlier date.

Mr. Pritt

On a point of Order. Is it in Order, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. and gallant Gentleman should not give way when he is accusing people of misrepresenting a position and they desire to put the matter right?

Mr. Speaker

It is within the discretion of the hon. and gallant Member. As a matter of fact, I was listening very care- fully to what was said, but I did not have an opportunity of getting up.

Major Boyd-Carpenter

If the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt) would give himself the rather rare pleasure of listening for one moment, he would observe that far from suggesting he was misrepresenting me in any way, I was trying to thank him for his assistance, however clumsy, to me in making my case. I will accept, if only to gratify the hon. and learned Gentleman, that the book was written in 1923. If he prefers I will say in 1023. But what I am sure hon. Members would like to hear is what the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade said he was going to do and what, in my submission, he—

Mr. Speaker

I would point out to the hon. and gallant Gentleman that what we would like to hear is something about the Order.

Major Boyd-Carpenter

In my respectful submission, Mr. Speaker, what I was trying to put to the House, despite certain harassing fire from the hon. and learned Gentleman, was the interpretation of the real meaning of this Order in the light of the express and written intention of the right hon. Gentleman whose Department is concerned. What the right hon. Gentleman said was: The devising of detailed administrative methods for the carrying out of the Socialist plan are not matters with which the House of Commons need concern itself. Ministers with the advice of their administrative staff and experts should handle that work. Full powers to that end should be delegated to them. In my submission, that is precisely the point of this Order and hon. Members opposite, who have manifested a certain impatience in the discussion of these matters, might be well advised to appreciate exactly what it is that is being done. I went out of my way to quote those words of the right hon. Gentleman whose Department is concerned, because I thought hon. Members opposite would be more inclined to accept them from him than from this side of the House. I would ask hon. Members opposite who have, as I say, manifested a certain impatience,, and very few indeed of whom seem to have the regulation in front of them, to consider the powers that have been taken. There is the power to which I have already referred, of compelling the under takers in any industry to employ such persons, and such persons alone, as are specified by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. But there is another regulation contained in this Order, to which no reference has so far been made, and that is Defence Regulation 78, which is carried on also by the regulation which the House is at this moment discussing. I would particularly commend this regulation to the attention of hon. Members opposite who are interested in nationalisation. If I may indulge in apparent flippancy—

Mr. Pritt

I have never known the hon. and gallant Gentleman do anything else.

Major Boyd-Carpenter

I am obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman for the interjection. I appreciate that on the subject of irresponsible flippancy he is a master. I would, none the less, prefer to discuss Regulation 78. Regulation 78, one might describe as nationalisation without tears. Hon. Members will see that in paragraph (1, b) it is provided: If it appears to the competent authority "— and I would remind hon. Members opposite that the word "competent" is used in a wholly technical sense— that it is expedient that all the shares in the company should be held on behalf of that authority, the competent authority may by order made with the consent of the Treasury transfer the shares of the company to such nominees of the competent authority (in this Regulation referred to as ' the transferees ') as may be specified in the Order.

Mr. Speaker

This is a regulation which has already been passed by the House. The only point now before the House is whether these instructions should be carried out in peacetime, and not only in wartime. The hon. and gallant Member cannot now discuss what has been passed by the House.

Major Boyd-Carpenter

With respect, Mr. Speaker, I agree. Statutory Rule and Order No. 1618, the subject matter of this Motion, is one which continues in time of peace this Regulation 78. The submission I was making to the House was that Regulation 78, one of whose provisions I have just read, does provide that the whole shares of an undertaking can be taken over by the competent authority. It is provided in a further paragraph in the same regulation, which it is sought to apply in time of peace, that these shares shall be taken over at a valuation decided by the Treasury. That, surely, in one word, is nationalisation. It is nationalisation without the trouble to hon. Members opposite of bringing a Nationalisation Bill before this House. It is nationalisation without any compensation machinery such as is set up by other Measures. It is plain nationalisation by Defence Regulation, adapted for use in time of peace. Again, I say to hon. Members opposite that it is not necessary, at this stage, to discuss whether nationalisation be a good or a bad thing. The question is, surely, whether this regulation is the proper method of carrying out nationalisation.

There is one further question. We have been told again and again in connection with these regulations that although the powers which they give the Government are enormous, it is not intended to exercise those powers. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary, or whoever replies for the Government, to answer these two questions. What in February, 1946, is the necessity for taking powers to direct who shall be employed in particular industries and what, in 1946, is the emergency which makes it, in the words of the Act, "necessary or expedient" to take power to nationalise industries by Defence Regulations?

9.50 p.m.

Mr. Maclay (Montrose Burghs)

I rise to support this Motion with the same grim determination as that which was shown by the hon. and gallant Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Major Boyd-Carpenter). Up to now, when speaking in this House, I have never detained it for more than 18 minutes, and I am certainly going to do my best now to get through in the same time, although it will be extremely difficult. If hon. Members opposite want to know exactly what Orders such as the one under discussion mean, they will find that it takes time, but I will do my best to be clear, brief and concise. I frankly doubt if more than one hon. Member opposite could say what can happen if this Order is not annulled, and as I cannot see that any hon. Members have it in front of them, I can only assume that they probably do not know its contents. It will therefore be necessary for me to make some quotations from the various Orders and documents that I have here. In the Order under discussion there is a reference to Defence Regulation 55A, and if there is any hon. Member opposite who knows what that particular regulation involves, I should be most interested if he would say so.

In trying to find out what the Government are doing by Order in Council one must start with the List of Rules, Orders, etc., required by Statute to lie upon the Table, and circulated to Members. One may then notice that among many others there is lying on the Table for 39 days an Order affecting this particular Defence Regulation, and on further exploration which involves another document one finds that it is concerned with the location of industry. One then discovers quite a small entry at the bottom of one of many pages, which makes it clear that Defence Regulation 55A is involved, an indication that it is concerned with the location of industry, and then about 20 more words. But if one wants to find out what is actually referred to, then it is absolutely necessary to read the particular regulation. As I cannot see that any hon. Member opposite has got before him this book, which includes the Defence Regulation in question, I am afraid I shall have to read it, because I do not see how anyone opposite, without this book in their hand, can understand what it is about. This then is the regulation: If the Board of Trade consider it expedient so to do in the interests of public safety, the defence of the realm or the efficient prosecution of the war, or for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community, the Board may, by order made as respects the United Kingdom or any area in the United Kingdom, provide for prohibiting, subject to the provisions of the order, the carrying on at any premises in the United Kingdom, or, as the case may be, that area of a trade or business of any such class as may be specified in the order which is not carried on at those premises on such date, or at some time during such period, as may be so specified. That, I submit, is not easy to understand and for that reason it has to be very carefully studied. Then one has to find out what is going to happen as a result of this new Order and one turns to the third column of the appropriate Schedule. I submit that every hon. Member opposite ought to have done exactly what I am doing now, because it is the only way of discovering what extraordinary effects this particular Order will have if it is not annulled. This then is going to be the alteration to the regulation: After the word ' community ' in paragraph (1) there shall be inserted the words ' or for any of the purposes specified in subsection (1) of section one of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945 '. One must then get hold of the Act mentioned in the last quotation and look at Section 1, Subsection (1). The hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) has dealt with that and has read out parts of it. Hon. Members, if their memories are good, may realise now what is meant by the amended regulation. Nevertheless if one is doing the job properly one must turn up the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act. So, off we go again. It is fortunate that this bound volume of Act and Defence Regulations exists. Otherwise one just could not compete. I am going through all this for the very good reason that I want to emphasise that this method of regulation under Statutory Rules and Orders is most dangerous and requires the closest attention of every Member of this House.

Mr. Bowles (Nuneaton)

Is the hon. Member praying against a Statutory Rule, or an Order, or an Order in Council? From his use of the phrase it would appear the hon. Member obviously does not know what he is talking about.

Mr. Maclay

I am joining in the prayer against the Order in Council dated 20th December, 1945. I accept the rebuke from an hon. Member who is an expert. Having gone through all this business to find out what is the result of this Order in Council, I think hon. Members opposite will be surprised to learn that the effect of it all is that the President of the Board of Trade will have power, for a minimum of five years, to prohibit in any premises or area in the United Kingdom the carrying on of any trade or business which he may specify. What is more, he may delegate his functions to any specified persons or class of persons. These are the most fantastically wide powers, slipping through in this Order in Council, and in a very small section of it. I really do think it is most important that every hon. Member of the House should realise what can happen, the original clue being no more than a very small note in the circulated List of Rules and Orders required to lie on the Table.

There is another point however which is even more important. At the end of the last Parliament we had before us in. this House the Distribution of Industry Bill. In order to get it through before Parliament dissolved, certain Clauses had to be left out. Among these was Clause 9 of the original Bill which would have given the Government certain powers. I must ask the indulgence of the House if I quote this Clause also because it is very important to the argument. Clause 9 (1) read as follows: Where it appears to the Board of Trade that the provision of further industrial premises in any area would be seriously detrimental to the proper distribution of industry, the Board may by order direct that this section shall apply to the area. The purpose of the Section was to enable the Board of Trade to put restrictions on the erection and extension of industrial buildings in certain areas. I now turn to yet another quotation, from the present Chancellor of the Exchequer who was then President of the Board of Trade. He started taking this Bill through the Committee stage, but before it was through, the Labour Party withdrew from the Coalition and the piloting of the Bill fell into other hands. In the first meeting of the Committee after the new Government had been formed the present Chancellor of the Exchequer was moving that the Debate be adjourned because although there were certain Clauses in the Bill which everyone agreed were urgently needed there were others which were controversial, and discussions of these would prevent the Government obtaining the Bill in the time available. At that meeting of the Committee the right hon. Gentleman said: We were engaged at our last meeting in discussing Clause 9, and it appeared that there was likely to be considerable debate on the Clause on which, more than on any other Clause, there had been shown to be differences of opinion in the Committee. I attach great importance to the provisions of Clause 9. I think it is indispensable that the Government should have the powers sought to be conferred upon them under the Clause, and I shall continue to promote that opinion both outside the House and on suitable occasions inside the House in future. Later, he said: My suggestion is, and so far as I can offer advice to the Committee my advice is, that Clause 9 should now be dropped, without any prejudice to its being brought forward again by whatever Government is in power after the election."— [Official Report, Standing Committee A, 29th May, 1945, c. 603–604.] What I am getting at is this. This Clause, which was withdrawn because it was controversial—and there were hon. Members of every shade of political opinion who were worried about it—has reappeared, not as a Bill which can be discussed, but as a very small section of an Order in Council which, if it had not been for the efforts of my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. D. Eccles), might not even have been prayed against. It really is a most preposterous way to achieve powers which were recognised in the last Parliament to be likely to be disapproved of by hon. Members of every shade of opinion. I wish to register a very strong protest about it, and I should be grateful if the Parliamentary Secretary, in replying to this discussion, will tell us whether I am not correct in saying that the powers the President of the Board of Trade gets under this Order are far greater than the powers he would have got under Clause 9 of the old Distribution of Industries Bill. If he is in any doubt about that, I suggest he should consult the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, because he had very strong views about it and seems likely now to get his own way and more than he then expected in a manner which can only be described as highly improper.

Those are the main reasons why I am in complete support of my hon. Friends who have moved this Motion. The powers given have been well described by the previous speakers. I have tried to make clear what the amended Regulation 55A does; it is very difficult to keep this business straight, because one is referring and cross-referring the whole time. Do hon. Members opposite really think it right that the President of the Board of Trade should have power to prevent a crofter from starting a little tweed-making business in a hut in his back yard? Because the President of the Board of Trade can stop that, just as he could stop the General Electric Company from extending their very large operations? Is it right that he should have these fantastic powers, stretching all over the country, for five years from now, with the power to continue them for a longer period by Order in Council? Finally, may I say that some of the powers which the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade is taking may well be used to good account? If he is going to use some of these powers for restricting industrial development in areas already over-developed, well and good. But he ought not to do it this way. He should have come to the House, quite frankly, and tried again to get the old Clause of the Distribution of Industries Bill which was dropped, brought up to date and submitted as a new Bill.

10.7 p.m.

Mr. Pritt (Hammersmith, North)

I intervene only for a very few minutes, to say a word from the back Benches on the. speech just delivered by the hon. Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay)—a very clear, lucid and charming speech. But there are two or three facts worth bearing in mind, and the first is that English legal provisions are very technical. They are equally so whether one uses the ordinary statutory method or the method being objected to here. The hon.—he ought to be also learned—Member pointed out that if people were not very vigilant this thing would pass without challenge. But it has been challenged and is being discussed. There is not much in that argument, therefore. The next thing he pointed out was that this Order is wide enough to apply to a crofter in the Western Hebrides who might start spinning a little Harris tweed. Of course, if we have to take powers that are wide enough, they are bound to cover narrow things as well, and if we seriously consider setting out to make legal provision to deal with this situation in such terms as he suggests then the hon. and almost learned, Member. would not take 18 minutes but 180 to dilate upon them.

10.9 p.m.

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh, South)

I should like to indulge in some observations on this particular subject. Like other hon. and some hon. and learned Members, I am perplexed at the way in which this legislation is placed before the House. These are democratic times and, with all respect to the hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt), the laws of the country should be understood by the people. No one will dispute my claim to be among the more ignorant Members of this House; but it is the duty of the Government to make plain to all citizens, however indifferently educated or ignorant, their intentions and their purposes; and this presentation of an elaborate conglomeration of intentions, purposes and obscure designs, is not likely to commend itself to simple folk, of whom, perhaps, in this House, I may be looked upon as a typical example.

My concern is principally with Regulation 54CA. I take it that I should not be allowed to discuss this at all because of the fact that it has been passed by this Parliament in the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945. I should not be allowed to discuss it at all except that there is an Amendment and that under the heading "Subject matter "—in S.R.& O. 1618—I learn that "Additional powers as to war production undertakings," are being adapted and the words "essential production" are being substituted for "war production" in the Regulation 54CA. I find myself in possession of a copy of "Defence Regulations (printed and amended up to and including May, 1945, 16th Edition)." I would refer to 54CA, where this important matter appears to originate. I hope my efforts to understand the perplexities of the law will secure the ready admiration of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for North Hammersmith.

From 54CA I learn that the competent authority for a war production undertaking carried on by a company— and very rightly during the war—may desire to have the power to nominate directors to such a concern in order that the industry may be more efficiently conducted. While that would be a proper and fitting matter during the war, this Amendment is of a very different character. The essentials of war production are one thing, and those of peace production are, surely, entirely different. While the policy of winning the war might justify the appointment by His Majesty's Government of the directors of a company engaged in war production, I do not think that anyone would urge that the same overriding necessity compelled them in time of peace.

I would pray against this proposal which gives the Government power to substitute war production undertakings for essential production. If this is generally known throughout the country, the uncertainty alleged to be already existing in many industries will be intensified and deepened. On page 144 of Regulation 54CA, paragraphs (a) and (b), the Government have power to place a director—one director but not exceeding three—on the board of any company which is engaged in what is described as, or deemed by the competent authority to be, essential production. The authority to do that is on the understanding that they are providing, in some way or other, some capital assets for the use of the company. This is a very far reaching and disturbing proposal. There are well known cases why in wartime this arrangement should be made/ but I can hardly believe that the hundreds and thousands of limited liability companies in this country, engaged in what may well be essential peace production, contemplate or expect that the Government of the day have power or indeed the inclination to place on their board one, two or three directors on the understanding that they are securing certain assets for the conduct and expansion of their business, and with the authority which they thereby possess. I would oppose that regulation until it is more widely known, and until chambers of commerce, the Federation of British Industries, and the trade unions themselves are made fully aware of this detailed proposal, which—I agree—justifiable in wartime, cannot, with equal cogency and validity, be justified in time of peace.

I am in the same quandary with regard to Regulation 55—" General control of industry "—on which, again, I take it, I have no right to address the House but for the fact that the President of the Board of Trade is modifying and altering the original Statute Order. That has been referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. D. Eccles). There again, very wide and far reaching powers are being claimed by the Minister, not only in the handling of the business itself, but in the direction of labour. He claims the power "to employ upon such work and for such period as may be specified in the order or directions, such persons, or such class or description of persons, or such number of persons, or such number of persons of such class or description, as may be so specified; and no obligation or limitation imposed on the undertakers… This is not as deep as a well or as wide as a door, but it will serve as containing all the elements which lead to complete serfdom and enslavement of the working population of the country. I now come to 55A, where the allocation of industry is the subject. There, again, had the Minister not sought to alter the original Act, I would have had no cause or justification for intervening. This question of the location of industry is one of the most agitating of the many disquieting proposals which have come before the country. I represent a constituency which is not likely to fall within the Government's location of industry plans, but this directive power will add to the disquiet which already exists. The location of industry is a subject of the widest possible ramifications, and one which should not be controlled, examined, and dealt with by such a method as this. I consider that the arrangement of 8,500,000 people within the London area would be a strategic, national and economic menace. I would have little opportunity of discussing such a question on this matter, yet the enlargement and restriction of London and of my constituency, can only add to the disquiet.

I look at Regulation 58A, and there my natural suspicions are brought very acutely to the surface when I learn of the powers of competent authorities as regards the keeping of books, the making of returns, entry, and inspection. What alarms me is paragraphs 3 and 4, which state: An inspector may on production of the warrant issued to him enter any premises used,or appropriated for the purpose of any undertaking to which such warrant relates and may inspect such premises and any other articles found therein and may require any person carrying on the undertaking or employed in connection therewith to produce such books, accounts or records or furnish information.… These are powers of search which would lead to considerable alarm and despondency if the commercial world generally knew about them. They are powers which inspectors of taxes do not possess, and which are not even possessed by the Home Secretary. Now they are to be possessed by the President of the Board of Trade, whose success in organising what have been described as "snoopers,' is not the least notorious of his achievements. This reference then to inspectors creates that feature of disquiet which, at a time when industry should be placid and calm, is wrong, because it imposes on it the possibility of inspection of its books, accounts and records and other required information, which is a policy not calculated to encourage the development and the expansion of our trade. I could follow at some length the other items. I have a good deal to say if I have any encouragement on No. 35E, which deals with the sale of controlled articles in execution of diligence in Scotland "— a homely and appropriate topic, or 1 could proceed to the discussion of the safeguards for persons carrying on offensive trades closed under concentration arrangements but I feel I have said sufficient even to convince Members opposite, who, I know, believe themselves to be the custodians of liberty, that this kind of legislation, this obscure method of imposing unknown laws upon ignorant people, is not a policy which can be supported and which the Members on this side of the House, at any rate, will oppose and will pray for the annulment of this Order in Council.

10.22 p.m.

Sir Arnold Gridley (Stockport)

I did not intend to intervene in this discussion, but, having listened to the speeches which have been made, I feel it is my duty to enter two protests against the Order in Council. I am told that the most valuable research has been carried out into the effect of this Order in Council, and that the great majority of the Members of this House do not appreciate its effect. I sat on the Committee which considered the Distribution of Industries Bill. Before the consideration of the Committee stage of that Bill was taken some of us had conversations with the then President of the Board of Trade—I think I am correct in saying that—because all parties were anxious that that Bill should go through as quickly as possible. There was grave opposition to Clause 9, which has been referred to, and a general understanding was arrived at that, if we would agree to the rest of the Bill going through, Clause 9 would be dropped. Clause 9 was dropped from the Bill. This is my first protest, because I consider that a Clause of that kind, about which there was so much justifiable difference of view, should not now be brought forward in the way which it would appear to be in this Order in Council. If the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade is willing to meet us on this side of the House in respect of the particular point, we shall be satisfied as far as this, my first protest is concerned.

My second protest is this. I find, in going about the country, a feeling which really makes me most unhappy. I find in every industrial town or city to which I go that business men, striving to do all they can to get industry going again, are suffering intensely from a sense of frustration and hampering in getting replies, consents or otherwise, from Government Departments. Wherever one goes one hears this from business people, "What is the use of making an effort to get industry going, for our labour is taken away and the Government are continually interfering? We have to ask whether we can do this, and we are told ' No, you cannot do that.' Is it really worth while making an effort to get industry going? "

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman should address himself to what is contained in the Order in Council and should not go beyond it.

Sir A. Gridley

What I intended to lead up to was this. One of the matters which makes it more than difficult to carry on industry in the national interest is the fact of legislation of this kind. In the national interest I make my second protest against powers of this kind being taken in this country.

10.24 P.m.

Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone)

There is one point upon which I should like an answer, if possible, and it arose on what the hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Sir W. Darling) said. He pointed out that the Amendment that was down was that for the words "for war production" there were to be substituted the words "for essential production." I should like to know what is essential production? War production is a reasonably definable thing, but what is essential production? Who is there that can define essential production? What is considered essential production now may have been a luxury 100 years ago. What is essential production? [An Hon. Member: "It is very simple."] Is it, essential for export?

Sir W. Darling

Silk stockings.

Sir W. Wakefield

Is it essential for home production, or what is it essential for? Surely, the House is entitled to have some explanation of what this very general term means. Who is to decide what is essential? Is it to be officials at the Board of Trade? This small point illustrates the substance of the argument which hon. Members on this side are making. When Orders are brought in and terms such as that to which I have referred are used, there are bound to be difficulties. I would like to have an explanation of what is meant by the word "essential."

10.26 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Belcher)

In reply to the question of the hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) about who is to judge what is essential, the Department which is concerned with the particular problem or industry will judge what is essential production. That may not be altogether satisfactory to hon. Gentlemen opposite, but what in the past decided what was essential before powers of this kind were obtained by the Government?

Sir W. Darling

The market

Mr. Belcher

The profitability of a particular article. If an article was profitable to a manufacturer, it was made, irrespective of whether or not the making of it performed any useful service from the national point of view. If another article was not so profitable, however much it might be desirable to produce that article from the national point of view, it was not produced. With all the faults, I prefer what we are now asking. I have listened carefully to the speeches that have been made, and most of them appear to have been directed, not so much against this Order, as against the system of delegated legislation. I am not called upon now to plead the case for the system of delegated legislation. That matter has been argued in the House on many occasions, and I think there is a consensus of opinion that in these times delegated legislation is not a luxury but is something without which we cannot do. There has to be delegated legislation. Therefore, I do not feel called upon to deal with that point. I find that whenever I have to answer Prayers against Board of Trade Orders, I have first to deal with the fertile imagination of the hon. Member opposed to this particular Order under review. Certain powers are being taken by the Minister, and there is sketched out for our delectation a picture of the awful things which might be done by a Minister possessed of those powers. All I will say is that in this country there are very many people who possess powers which, if they were not used properly, would inflict very great hardship upon our population. If magistrates abused their powers, there would be a great deal of hardship imposed upon a section of the population But, in fact, these powers are not used in an unjust fashion. They are used wisely.

Major Boyd-Carpenter

Because there is a right of appeal.

Mr. Belcher

I know it may be said by hon. Members that what I am saying is not in the Order, and therefore cannot be operated. Surely, however, we have sufficient common sense to believe that Government Departments possessing these powers will use them wisely. The hon. and gallant Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Major Boyd-Carpenter) interjected that in the case of magistrates who might use powers unwisely, there is the right of appeal. I would point out that in the case of a Minister who uses the powers unwisely or unfairly, there is an appeal to the House. The Minister is responsible to the House. That is a right of appeal every bit as valuable as that in the courts. The hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) and the hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Sir W. Darling) were both concerned about the powers in regard to the direction of labour which are conferred by this Order. The power to direct labour is something which is not confined to this Order. I am able to say that so far as the President of the Board of Trade is concerned, it has never been used. Labour has been directed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, under a totally different Order.

Mr. Eccles

Then why does the President of the Board of Trade want this paragraph (2a)?

Mr. Belcher

That paragraph is required in case the President of the Board of Trade may want to use these powers.— [Laughter.] I have been in this House long enough to learn that it may be just as well on some occasions, to wait until the end of the sentence before laughing. The powers contained in this Order are not confined to the President of the Board of Trade. The Order covers powers given to quite a number of Ministers. In this case there is power for the Minister of Supply to direct labour in a particular direction. But what I was going to say was that, as far as the President of the Board of Trade is concerned, that power has not been used, and it would never be used unless it was absolutely necessary in the national interest.

Mr. Eccles


Mr. Belcher

I have already given way. [Interruption.] May I now come to the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Kingston-upon-Thames—

Mr. Eccles


Mr. Belcher

I do not intend to give way again. I understand it is within my right not to give way unless I choose to do so. The hon. and gallant Member for Kingston-upon-Thames said that hon. Members on both sides of the House would agree that the powers taken under this Order were enormous. I agree. They are drastic powers. The hon. and gallant Member went on to say that they were revolutionary. A further point was made by the hon. and gallant Member, and also by the hon. Member for South Edinburgh, that they were being applied in peacetime, which was something different from wartime. On the point that these powers are revolutionary, we had a rather laboured quotation from "a book written by my right hon. and learned Friend the President of the Board of Trade either in 1933 or 1923—there seemed to be some doubt about the date—to the effect that the details of a programme for socialising industry should not be subject to Bills to be debated in the House, but should be left to the Ministers and their Departments; in other words, delegated legislation. I can only say that my right hon. and learned Friend should be extremely grateful to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wood-ford (Mr. Churchill) who was head of the Government responsible for introducing the Order which is here being carried on for a further five years [Hon. Members: "Wartime."] Then I was asked why there should be this direction of labour in February, 1946.

Major Boyd-Carpenter

If the hon. Gentleman must quote me, may I remind him that the question I asked was "What was the necessity, in February, 1946, for these powers? "

Mr. Belcher

The necessity, as I was going on to say, was that although we have finished fighting the war, we are still confronted by an extremely difficult situation. These powers are taken in order to enable us to deal with that situation. They may never be necessary, but we should have them, in case they are necessary. I suggest that we had experience between the wars, of situations arising in this country, which were not dealt with, Because powers were not available to. deal with them. Here is one example. If we had had a Distribution of Industries Act in the years that this country was suffering from the effects of the world economic collapse, we might have been able to do quite a good deal to stop the growth of industry round London to which the hon. Member for South Edinburgh referred, and we might have been able to compel the provision of new and diversified industries in those parts of the country where new and diversified industries are required. But we did not have the power. We intend in the postwar years to have those powers.

1 was asked what were the arguments for nationalising industry by this process. We are not proposing to nationalise industry by this process. The power to which the hon. and gallant Member for Kingston-on-Thames referred was the power to acquire the shares of a particular company. Why is the power desired? Simply because we believe that the interests of all the people should be paramount, and if a company is misusing or not using as effectively as it might, its plant, its premises and the people who are working for it, then it should be possible for the Government to take over that section of an industry, and run it in a way that will be better for the people. It is not a roundabout way of nationalising industry. It is not nationalising industry at all. It is taking under public ownership and control a particular enterprise, which is not the same thing as nationalising industry. Again, may I point out that this power was possessed during the war. It was recognised that in wartime it was essential for such a power to be possessed by the Government. I think hon. Members on the other side of the House would agree, but what they fail to realise is that, on this side of the House we regard the job which has to be done in the peace years, of providing for our people a better and more secure and dignified life, as being every bit as important as the job of running a war, that is why we regard these powers as being necessary.

Surely the same argument applies to the speech of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Maclay) who criticised the powers taken here in connection with the location of industry. I was also asked a question about the original Clause 9 in the Distribution of Industry Bill. Well, the short answer to the question why we have in this Order a provision to cover the Clause which was withdrawn from the Distribution of Industry Bill is this— that the Distribution of Industry Bill was a compromise product of a Coalition Government, whereas what we are doing is not a compromise. What we are doing is to bring forward the policy of the Government, which is a majority Government. I say to hon. Members criticise by all means the powers as such, but do not suggest that there is anything wrong about altering the compromise verdict of a Government, in which we on this side of the House, were a minority partner.

Mr. Maclay

I would like to get the matter clear. The point I was trying to make was not necessarily that the Clause was altogether bad, but that when it was brought forward previously, it was considered so controversial by all sides of the House—the Party opposite thought the same—that it was withdrawn so that it might come up again as a new Bill in another Parliament and be thoroughly threshed out. My great objection is that I do not think there is one Member sitting opposite with the slightest idea of what is happening.

Mr. Walkden (Doncaster)

May I suggest to the Minister, as a Member of the Committee concerned with the Measure in question, that, if we could have threshed out that particular Clause, it would not have been deleted from the Bill?

Mr. Belcher

The argument of the hon. Member for Montrose and that advanced by the hon. Member for Stockport (Sir A. Gridley) seems to be that because this paragraph of the Order is similar to Clause 9, the disputed Clause in the Distribution of Industry Bill, and because that Clause in that Bill was controversial, it was wrong of this Government to bring into this Parliament a similar form of words in this Order. That argument ignores the fact that there has been a General Election and that we on this side of the House have been given a mandate to carry through.

Mr. Maclay


Mr. Belcher

I think I know the point of view. The hon. Member is suggesting it should not be done in this way and that we should have a separate Bill. But I would point out that there is opportunity for Debate. In fact we are debating this matter now, and it is possible for hon. Members to vote against the proposal. I come, finally, to the point made by the hon. Member for South Edinburgh about the inspectors. I am not surprised to find this point arising, but I am perfectly prepared to defend the right of a Government Department to appoint inspectors, who will have the power to demand access to books and various other things in certain cases. Everybody knows that at the present time, and for years past, because of what has been happening in the world, because of the shortages caused by nearly six years of war, there are numbers of unscrupulous people who cheat the general public and obtain unfair advantage over their more scrupulous competitors. If hon. Members opposite are not concerned about the general public being cheated, surely they will protect decent business enterprises from unfair people, and black marketeers who disobey the law. These inspectors are necessary and we must retain them until we have, by production and better distribution, achieved what is necessary to meet the demand. I see no reason why this Order should not succeed. The arguments advanced against it I have tried to deal with fairly, and I can only ask the House if this is carried to a vote, to support the Order and enable us to go ahead.

10.44 p.m.

Mr. Oliver Stanley (Bristol, West)

The reply of the Minister is unsatisfactory, but I will refer to one point which all my hon. Friends on this side think very unsatisfactory. That is the question relating to the control of labour and the forcing of employers to take a number of people, or a specific individual, into their employment. That question was put with all seriousness from this side of the House, and the Minister made a rather curious reply. He said that his Department— the Board of Trade—never used such a power. and never, in fact, intended using it. He then referred us to the fact that the Minister of Supply might want to use these powers. That might have put us in rather a difficult position, because, obviously, we could not expect the hon. Gentleman to answer for the Minister of Supply, and we would have been left without an answer to our question in what circumstances these powers would be used. But, fortunately for us, we have on the Front Bench the Minister of Supply. Therefore, I should like to address to him the question which it would have been unfair to address to the hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. He told us that the Minister of Supply wants these particular powers.

Mr. Belcher

I said he might want these powers.

Mr. Stanley

Might we hear from the Minister of Supply the reasons why he wants them, what are the circumstances in which he contemplates using them, and what is the justification for these very extreme powers?

10.46 p.m.

Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)

I rise because of the reply which was given by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade to the question raised by the hon. Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay). I understand that the Parliamentary Secretary says that it is right to introduce now, by way of Order in Council—which is usually confined to questions of machinery—a matter, the principle of which was in high controversy in the discussions on a Bill sometime before. Powers are being sought, now the war is over, to give to the President of the Board of Trade the right to direct industry to an area, or to prohibit that industry in a particular area. In the Bill which was introduced in the last Parliament, a Measure designed to give very great assistance to four particular areas, which a great number of us supported in principle, hon. Members took strong exception to what would have been the reversal of what we had all thought desirable, namely, a reallocation of industry in a proper way. We objected to that Bill because it rather encouraged the position which had been created prior to the war, and would induce people to go into those very areas. We objected, in particular, to Clause 9 because we said it would be giving facilities to local authorities and to business people to go into these crowded areas, with all the troubles likely to arise which arose between the two wars.

Objection came particularly from Labour Members, and from Members from Lancashire, and also from Members like the hon. Member from Montrose Burghs and myself, who were telling the House what the House, and certainly hon. Members who have come into the House since, know only too well. We spoke of the terrible exodus from the rural areas into those thickly populated areas. We warned the then President of the Board of Trade, who is now the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that we could not allow him to have these powers because we knew what had been done recently, and what is being done, I believe, today. Men may be desirous of starting an industry in a rural area, in an old market town which used to be the centre of the rural area, and the Board of Trade will have the power to say, "No; you shall not. But you can go into one of those areas which used to be called distressed areas and are now called Development Areas." That was why we objected so strongly to Clause 9 of the Distribution of Industry Bill. There was tremendous opposition to that Clause from hon. Members opposite, who were then sitting on the other side of the House. It was an objection in principle. We asked that the Bill should be taken away and reconsidered, and brought forward again as a complete Measure dealing with the whole allocation of industry. It was, according to the President of the Board of Trade then, a compromise Measure, the best he could do. But there was a clear understanding that if he had the majority that he now has, he would have been introducing a complete Bill dealing with this, and would not adopt a backstairs method of dealing with the problem. The Government ought not to use these powers to deal with a situation governing the whole of the country, and so raise an important matter of principle which concerns every constituent in every part of the country. I protest strongly at the incomplete and insufficient answer which the hon. Gentleman gave.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)

My right hon. Friend the Member for West Bristol (Mr. O. Stanley) has asked the Minister to reply to a definite question. The Minister of Supply seems to be imitating the dormouse in "Alice in Wonderland." Will he please not be so sleepy, but awaken himself and give us an answer?

10.51 p.m.

Major Cecil Poole (Lichfield)

The hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) and hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite must have been suffering from a serious lapse of memory when they cheered the suggestion that we were doing something revolutionary by legislation by Order in Council. Surely, we are following a precedent which was well established and initiated by the Tory Party in 1931?

Mr. Speaker

We are discussing an Order in Council—not the policy in general.

Major Poole

With all respect, Mr. Speaker, neither am I discussing the policy in general, but I am suggesting that there is nothing irregular or immoral in the procedure which is taken under this Order in Council, because it follows a precedent which was so well established by hon. Members and by the Government of the day in 1931, the only difference then being—

Mr. Osborne (Louth)

It is now a Socialist Prime Minister.

Major Poole

Orders in Council were used to attack the working class, whereas we are now using them in an endeavour to safeguard the working class.

10.53 P.m.

Mr. R. S. Hudson (Southport)

I venture in all seriousness to suggest that we are really faced with an extraordinary situation. The Under-Secretary gave a long speech in defence of this Regulation and attempted to answer the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. D. Eccles). As I understand it, he said these powers were not required by his Department, or not likely to be used by them. I think he said they would not be used.

Mr. Belcher

Would the right hon. Gentleman please understand that I did not say these powers, speaking generally—all the powers conferred—would not be used? He realises that?

Mr. Hudson

I think the hon. Gentleman said that to the best of his knowledge and belief this particular power was not required by his Department, and would not, in fact, be used by the President of the Board of Trade. He was then asked who was likely to use them, and he said several of his colleagues in the Government, but he mentioned one Minister in particular—the Minister of Supply—who was likely to need them. It will be within the recollection of the House that my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham asked—and I think he was entitled to ask—for examples of where these powers were required, and the. sort of cases in which it was anticipated these powers would have to be used to achieve some particular purpose or to prevent some damage to the public interest. Surely, that is a perfectly reasonable question to ask when these wide powers are being sought?

We must assume, in fairness to the Parliamentary Secretary, that he had in his own mind, presumably as a result of the inter-departmental communications which normally precede the introduction of an Order of this kind, the fact that he or some member of his Department must have been present at meetings of his Department and others concerned. He must have had at the back of his mind the sort of case in which the Minister of Supply would want to use these powers. I admit frankly, and I think everyone will admit, that neither the hon. Member nor the Government would come down here, and ask for these powers irresponsibly. They must have some idea of the case for which they want the powers. The Minister of Supply has been referred to specifically, and I think we should appeal to his good sense and fairness and try to persuade him to tell us what he has in mind. I really think that before we leave the subject we are entitled to ask him to rise and explain.

10.55 p.m.

Mr. Belcher

With the consent of the House I will speak a second time, but I will be extremely brief. I should have though that hon. and right hon. Members on the other side would have found it quite easy—with the fertile imagination which they displayed earlier on when conjuring up awful visions of the use of these powers by the President of the Board of Trade—to visualise all kinds of circumstances which would necessitate the possession of these powers by certain Departments such as shall we say the Ministry of Supply? We have at present for instance, a tremendous job of work to do in providing civilian clothing outfits for demobilised Service men. We want to be sure that as we demobilise our more than 100,000 Service men per week we give them the civilian clothing we promised them. In those circumstances it might well be necessary—it has not been hitherto, because it has been done by agreement—to have this power of directing labour into a particular branch of production in order that we might honour our bargain. I suggest that if hon. Members consider some of the problems with which this Government, like every other Government in the world, is confronted, they will agree that these powers, drastic as they may be, are every bit as necessary now as they were when they were drafted in fact by a Government under the leadership of. the right hon. Member for Woodford.

Mr. Hudson

That may be so, but the point is that there is no reason why the Minister of Supply, who is present and beaming all over his face, should not get up and inform us what he has in mind.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Whiteley)

rose in his place, and claimed to move, " That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: Ayes, 171; Noes, 53.

Division No. 86] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Adamson, Mrs. J. L. Berry, H. Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)
Allen, A. G. (Bosworth) Bing, Capt. G. H. C. Brown, T. J. (Ince)
Attewell, H. C. Binns, J. Burden, T W.
Ayles, W. H. Blyton, W. R. Burke, W. A.
Bacon, Miss A. Boardman, H. Callaghan, James
Baird, Capt. J. Bottomley, A. G. Castle, Mrs. B. A.
Balfour, A. Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Champion, A J.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Clitherow, Dr. R
Barton, C. Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'ge) Cobb, F. A.
Bechervaise, A. E. Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Coldrick, W.
Belcher, J. W. Brook, D. (Halifax) Collick, P.
Collindridge, F. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Collins, V. J Jones, Asterley (Hitchin) Shurmer, P.
Colman, Miss G. M. Keenan, W Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Crawley, Flt.-Lieut. A. Lavers, S. Simmons, C. J.
Daggar, G. Lee, F. (Hulme) Skeffington, A. M.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Skinnard, F. W.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
Deer, G. Lindgren, G. S. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S)
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lyne, A. W. Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Delargy, Captain H. J. McAdam, W. Sparks, J. A.
Diamond, J. McEntee, V. La T. Steele, T.
Dodds, N. N. McKay, J. (Wallsend) Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Douglas, F. C. R McLeavy, F. Strachey, J.
Driberg, T. E. N. MacMillan, M. K. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Mallalieu, J. P. W. Symonds, Maj A. L.
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Marshall, F. (Brightside) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Mathers, G. Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Medland, H. M. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Fairhurst, F. Middleton, Mrs. L. Thorneycroft, H.
Farthing, W. J. Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Tiffany, S.
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Usborne, Henry
Follick, M. Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Walkden, E.
Foot, M. M. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Foster, W (Wigan) Murray, J. D. Warbey, W. N.
Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Neal, H. (Claycross) Watkins, T. E.
Ganley, Mrs. C S Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Gilzean, A. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Gooch, E. G. Oliver, G. H Wigg, Col. G. E.
Gordon-Walker, P. C Palmer, A. M. F. Wilkes, Maj. L.
Grey, C. F. Pargiter, G. A. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Grierson, E. Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Peart, Capt. T. F. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Platts-Mills, J. F. F. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Gunter, Capt. R. J. Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Willis, E.
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Popplewell, E. Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J
Hardman, D. R. Pritt, D. N. Wilson, J. H.
Hardy, E. A. Pursey, Cmdr. H. Wise, Major F. J
Haworth, J. Ranger, J. Woodburn, A.
Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Reid, T. (Swindon) Woods, G. S.
Hobson, C. R. Rhodes, H. Wyatt, Maj. W.
Holman, P. Richards, R. Yates, V. F.
House, G. Ridealgh, Mrs. M. Younger, Maj. Hon. K. G.
Hoy, J. Robens, A. Zilliacus, K.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Mr. Pearson and
Janner, B. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Captain Blenkinsop
Amory, D. Heathcoat Grimston, R. V. Renton, D.
Baldwin, A. E. Head, Brig. A H. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Barlow, Sir J. Hollis, Sqn.-Ldr. M. C. Robinson, Wing-Comdr Roland
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Howard, Hon. A. Spearman, A. C. M.
Birch, Lt.-Col. Nigel Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Bowen, R. Hurd, A. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J.
Boyd-Carpenter, Mai. J A. Hutchison, Col. J. R (Glasgow, C. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Thorneycroft, G. E. P.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E Maclay, Hon. J. S. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F
Darling, Sir W. Y. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Turton, R. H
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Marples, Capt. A. E. Vane, Lieut.-Col. W. M. T.
Drayson, Capt. G. B. Marshall, Comdr. D. (Bodmin) Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Eccles, D. M. Mellor, Sir J. Wheatley, Colonel M. J
Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Neven-Spence, Major Sir B. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Nicholson, G.
Gammans, Capt. L D Noble, Comdr. A. H P TELLERS FOR THE NOES:—
Gomme -Duncan, Col. A G Osborne, C. Mr. Drewe and Commander Agnew.
Gridley, Sir A Pitman, 1. J

Question put accordingly:

" That the Order in Council, dated 2Oth December, 1945, with respect to the Defence Regulations relating to the Control of Industry (S.R.& O., 1945, No. 1618), a copy of which

Order was presented on 22nd January, be annulled."

The House divided: Ayes, 54; Noes, 171.

Division No. 87.] AYES. ll.10 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Gammans, Capt. L. D.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Darling, Sir. W. Y. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G
Baldwin, A. E. Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Gridley, Sir A
Barlow, Sir J. Drayson, Capt. G. B. Grimston, R. V.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Drewe, C. Head, Brig. A. H.
Birch, Lt.-Col. Nigel Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Hollis, Sqn.-Ldr. M. C.
Bowen, R. Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Hope, Lord J.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Howard, Hon. A.
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Nicholson, G. Thorneycroft, G. E. P.
Hurd, A. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Osborne. C. Turton, R. H.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Pitman, I. J. Vane, Lieut.-Col. W. M. T.
Maclay, Hon. J. S. Renton, D. Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall) Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Marples, Capt. A. E. Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Marshall, Comdr. D. (Bodmin) Spearman, A. C. M. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Mellor, Sir J. Stanley, Rt. Hon. O. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—
Morrison, Maj. J.G. (Salisbury) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. Mr. Eccles and
Neven-Spence, Major Sir B Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) Major Boyd-Carpenter
Adamson Mrs. J.L. Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Pritt, D. N.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth ) Ganley, Mrs. C. S Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Attewell, H. C. Gilzean, A. Ranger, J.
Ayles, W. H. Gooch, E. G. Reid, T (Swindon)
Bacon, Miss A Gordon-Walker, P. C. Rhodes, H.
Baird, Capt. J. Grey, C. F. Richards, R.
Balfour, A. Grierson, E. Ridealgh, Mrs. M
Barnes,Rt.Hon. A. J. Griffiths, D. (Bother Valley) Robens, A
Barton, C. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Bechervaise, A. E. Gunter, Capt. R. J. Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.
Belcher, J. W. Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Berry, H. Hardman, D. R. Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Bing,Capt. G. H. C Hardy, E. A. Shurmer, P.
Binns, J. Haworth, J. Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Blyton, W. R. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Simmons, C. J.
Boardman, H. Hobson, C. R. Skeffington, A. M.
Bottomley, A. G. Holman, P. Skinnard, F. W.
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W House, G Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
Bowles, F. G.(Nuneaton) Hoy, J. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'ge) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Sparks, J. A.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Janner, B. Steele, T.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Jones, D. T (Hartlepools) Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Jones, Asterley (Hitchin) Strachey, J.
Burden, T. W. Keenan, W. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Burke, W. A. Lavers, S. Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Callaghan, James Lee, F. (Hulme) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Castle, Mrs. B. A Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Champion, A. J. Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Clitherow, Dr. R. Lindgren, G. S. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Cobb, F. A. Lyne, A. W. Thorneycroft, H.
Coldrick, W. McAdam, W. Tiffany, S.
Collick, P. McEntee, V. La T. Usborne, Henry
Collindridge, F. McKay, J. (Wallsend) Walkden, E.
Collins, V. J. McLeavy, F. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Colman, Miss G. M MacMillan, M. K. Warbey, W. N.
Crawley, FIt.-Lieut. A. Mallalieu J. P. W. Watkins, T. E.
Daggar, G. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Marshall, F. (Brightside) Whiteley, Rt. Hon W-
Davies. Harold (Leek) Mathers, G. Wigg, Col. G. E.
Deer, G. Medland, H. M. Wilkes, Maj. L.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Middleton, Mrs L. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Delargy, Caption H. J. Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Diamond, J. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Dodds, N. N. Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Williams, W. R. (Heston) '
Douglas, F. C. R. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Willis, E.
Driberg, T. E. N. Murray, J. D. Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Neal, H. (Claycross) Wilson, J. H.
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Wise, Major F. J.
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Woodburn, A.
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Oliver, G. H. Woods, G. S.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Palmer, A. M F. Wyatt, Maj. W.
Fairhurst, F. Pargiter, G. A. Yates, V. F.
Farthing, W. J. Parkin, FIt.-Lieut. B T. Younger, Maj. Hon. K. G.
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Peart, Capt. T. F. Zilliacus, K.
Follick, M. Platts-Mills, J. F. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:—
Foot, M. M. Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Mr. Pearson and Captain Blenkinsop
Foster, W. (Wigan) Popplewell, E.


Resolved, "That this House do now adjourn."— [Mr. Mathers.]

Adjourned accordingly at a Quarter past Eleven o'Clock.