HC Deb 08 July 1946 vol 425 cc108-37

Where in consequence of the provision of air transport services or the carrying out of any work by any of the three corporations under the provisions of this Act any undertaking constituted for the purpose of providing air transport services or the carrying out of other forms of aerial work which was in operation on the first day of September, nineteen hundred and thirty-nine, is unable to continue to provide such services or to carry out such work, such undertaking may by notice in writing served upon the corporation through whose activities such inability arises require such corporation to acquire the said undertaking and all the assets thereof at a price to be agreed between them and to pay compensation for development costs such price and compensation in default of agreement to be determined by arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration Acts, 1889 to 1934.—[Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison (Glasgow, Central)

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

We on this side of the House regard this Clause as one of importance, and, indeed, as containing a measure of gravity, from which, if the situation is left as it stands at present, ripples and eddies will radiate outwards into many other spheres and do a great deal of harm. The White Paper spoke of physical assets, which caused some surprise, because, I think, at that time, the Government had proposed that the only people entitled to be compensated were those with physical assets. So we waited for the Committee stage of this Bill with considerable interest, and we waited with a considerable attack. During the intervening time, the Government, we believe, began to see that something more was required. Nevertheless, they introduced nothing into the Bill to provide for compensation at all, and the Bill today is in the curious position of containing no Clause providing for compensation. In Committee, we were informed by the Parliamentary Secretary, lather to our astonishment, that he was already in consultation, with the object of providing compensation on the basis of a going concern as between a willing buyer and a willing seller, for two of the concerns which had laid claim to compensation. We were glad to hear that this small crack had been made in their armour, but we were still surprised to find that, in the event of this willing buyer and willing seller not being able to arrive at a conclusion together, there was no provision for arbitration. However, I want to pass on from that.

We welcome the fact that the Government have now seen something of the red light which is shining if they pursue this system of improper compensation to its conclusion, so I want to examine for a moment the types of concern which, in our view, are entitled to compensation. The concerns which are being dealt with, as between a willing buyer and a willing seller, are limited to those operating in 1945, and so, leaving those aside, let us see what other types of concern may fairly make out a case for compensation. They divide themselves into four classes. There are first, those concerns, or individuals, who, as a direct result of the war, were injured or damaged and have no possibility of restarting. We have heard from the Attorney-General a great deal about the inevitability of sacrifice in wartime, and we realise and accept that, but there are certain concerns which must be distinguishsed and be given discrimination, as compared with others. So we have this first category of concerns which suffered direct war damage, something like a bomb or a shell, and which have no possibility of restarting, or do not intend to restart. Then we have the concerns which suffered direct war damage, but will, nevertheless, be able to restart. Thirdly, we have those which suffered damage as the result of Government action, no doubt as a consequence of war, and which will be allowed to restart; and, in the final category, those which suffered from Government action and which are being prevented by further Government action from restarting.

In the first category of people, I believe there is really no case for compensation, and it is not their case which I am pleading. Nevertheless, this Government, and previous Governments, accepted responsibility by making provision for war damage insurance, and so the property of these people will be compensated. The next category is those who have suffered direct war damage and are restarting. There is no case here, and, again, it is not their case we are pleading. Thirdly, we come to those who, through Government action, suffered war damage and are being allowed to restart, and, again, we are not making out a case for them.

We come, finally, to the last category of those who were, by Government option, put out of their business and who are, by Government action, being prevented from restarting. The Air Navigation Restriction Order, 1939, in effect, stopped these concerns from being able to carry on their ordinary avocation. It might well be argued that this restriction was a necessity and flowed normally as a consequence of the war. But it was that Order which put eight or ten concerns out of business. These concerns can, in their turn, be divided into two categories. First, those which were compensated on the basis of a going concern at the time the Air Navigation Restriction Order came into force. I do not know whether any of them were so compensated, but perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary can tell us. For my part, I would claim nothing for these companies if at the time that they were put out of action they were given compensation as going concerns, and if due allowance was then made for goodwill. But if, on the other hand, they were requisitioned and only the physical assets were compensated for and nothing was paid for goodwill, then, I think, they have a just and obvious grievance.

A word about development costs and goodwill. It has been fashionable to treat goodwill in rather a derisory way, but it is a very real thing. In every commercial negotiation for purchase or sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller, goodwill always plays its part. It may or may not be there, but it is always taken into account. Indeed, when the railway companies took over the air services round the country, they paid considerable sums of money for goodwill. I agree that there cannot be development costs and goodwill. My interpretation of goodwill is that it is made up of development costs, plus service, plus safety, and, as a result of all that, the goodwill is arrived at which is a priority over somebody else's concern which is not run so seriously. Therefore, goodwill represents profits.

There are rare occasions when goodwill might exist and ought to be paid for even if there are no profits, but I am prepared to concede that that is a rare occasion. Broadly speaking, goodwill follows and flows from profits. Therefore, it really comes to this: Were these eight or ten concerns which were compulsorily put out of action in 1939 and compulsorily kept out of business, requisitioned as going concerns at the time their assets were taken over? If they were not, should they not, now be entitled, having then been making a profit, to a measure of compensation over and above that which they got at the time? If that is not so, it comes precious near to confiscation, and the moment this, or any other Government, allows confiscation to become part of their policy, they strike at one of the pillars of human society. That is something which makes nonsense of any appeal to enterprise, whether from the exalted lips of the Prime Minister or anybody else. Who would build? Who would create? It means a virtual return to jungle life and no one can have any confidence in the future or in his fellow man. Therefore, I would urge the Government to pay a proper compensation under this Clause. At the most, only a small sum would be involved.

There is a tendency to sneer at goodwill, but the Government have accepted it in connection with doctors' practices in the Health Bill. Do the Government solemnly contend that the whole of the doctor's practice consists of his black bag and the instruments in it, or, if the Communist Party were unwise enough to make an offer for the organisation of the Socialist Party, would the Socialist Party be content to accept the price of the pamphlets and the booklets? They would get a very low price indeed, and they would be thoroughly dissatisfied. At the moment, the Government stand accused of injustice. I hope that they will put this injustice right and not let it go out to the world that this, the Mother of Parliaments, is nothing better than a pickpocket.

At the present moment it is fashionable for other countries to kick Britain about, and the Government are following the classic tradition of the bully and are kicking their own people about. But our nationals will not stand for chat indefinitely. The Government must really learn to distinguish between the people of Great Britain and the goats at Bikini. The people of this country will get tired of being tethered by legislation and by licences to the decks of these islands, there to be bombarded by unwise and unfair legislation, and to be expected, at the end of the day, still to be disconsolately munching a disgusting diet of red tape and paper. Some day the Government will find that the goat has realised that it has horns.

Air-Commodore Harvey

I beg to second the Motion.

We had a very good Debate in Standing Committee on a point very similar to this, and I was more than surprised that the Government did not give way, because it strikes one as being a very elementary injustice that, when a business is formed and, through no fault of its own is prevented from commencing operations it should, at the cessation of hostilities, be prevented from commencing operations. The right hon. and learned Attorney-General said in Committee that the position of these prewar charter companies was somewhat similar to that It the shopkeeper who had been prevented from carrying on his business. I submit that this is an entirely different problem. The shopkeeper was either called up or his place was bombed which, naturally, stopped him carrying on his business unless, of course, someone else carried on in his stead. The prewar air operator is in an entirely different category. His activities were stopped either because of air raids or because the air raid warning system might have interfered with his operations. He had every reason to believe that at the end of the war he would be allowed to continue as an air operator. But, a year after the cessation of hostilities, he is told by Parliament that he is not to be allowed to do so. I submit that that, as my hon. and gallant Friend said, is bordering on confiscation. I am delighted to hear that the railways and allied airways are to be paid out if a satisfactory arrangement can De agreed regarding the question of goodwill or development costs, whatever it is called.

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Gandar Dower) is not in his place, because I think it would be a good thing if he enlightened the House in connection with his dealings with the Ministry and the Treasury. The amount involved is very small, indeed, and it would probably cost less than £40,000 or £50,000 to settle the claims of these companies. They did yeoman service in the years before the war in commencing airlines, knowing perfectly well that they were going to make a loss. They started from scratch in great difficulty; they had to make aerodromes, train engineers, get out specifications and have their aeroplanes built. They were the pioneers of the civil air routes in this country and did a great service to the country two or three years before the war broke out when we were in desperate need of trained pilots in readiness for when the crisis came. When the crisis did come, the aircraft belonging to these operators were purchased by the Government. They were taken over and used as ferry aircraft, carrying officers and equipment to the various theatres of war. It is generally accepted that the operators were liberally paid for their aircraft, but, since the war, they have not been given the chance to buy similar aeroplanes, even at the price at which their own were taken over. They are not to run scheduled services, but may run charter companies. That is quite a different thing, and it is most unfair: The Minister of Supply has given very unsatisfactory replies to questions when dealing with this point on various occasions.

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Glasgow (Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison) said that 12 companies were involved. I do not know the exact figure, but I think it is probably nearer three. First, there is Western Airways, which was operated by Air-Commodore Whitney Straight with great success before the war, I imagine that he is the biggest claimant. He himself went to the war and had a most distinguished record. He kept a nucleus of his staff, but at this day they are waiting to join up in their prewar occupation if they are allowed to do so. Then, there are Air Dispatch and Wrightways. These companies operated with great success before the war. They had a very small accident rate—a far better record than Imperial Airways or British Airways—and, what is more, Western Airways in South-West England operated at rates cheaper than the railways and they operated services by night. Nevertheless, that company was closed down at the end of March, 1940. It had carried 120,000 passengers. That is a real business; it is not like a small flying club. Over a period of seven or eight years they had built something that was really worth while, and it was a public institution. Their loss was £31,605. The losses each year in the progress of the company became less, and I believe that had there been no war, in two or three years Western Airways would have turned that loss into an eventual profit, and would undoubtedly do so now were they allowed to operate. It is not a question of goodwill. These people went into business, knowing that they would lose money, and they said, "If we run our business economically, if we are free of accidents and we get a good staff together, in five or six years we shall operate at a profit and recoup the losses we shall have made." They knew that they would do that. Therefore, it is not goodwill. It is simply development costs. I ask the Government to view this matter in the sensible way. To date, they have been viewing the matter from the point of view of compensation and, to that extent, I think their reputation has gone down considerably.

The Attorney-General

If the present proposal were to provide compensation for all those who were put out of business by circumstances connected with the war, whether by direct Government order, a Defence Regulation or something of that kind, or by other facts resulting from the outbreak of war, and who, after six or seven years, coming back in conditions which are probably completely changed, find themselves unable to resume their businesses, I personally would have the very greatest sympathy with such a proposal. I suppose every one of us in this House must know a score of cases—and, in all, there must be thousands of them—where professional men and businessmen, compelled to stop their professions and to close down their businesses at the outbreak of war, possibly because they were called up or because Defence Regulations forbade the continuance of businesses of that kind, come back and now find that either because of the lapse of time or because they have got no capital left, or because they are too old and other people have stepped into their shoes, they are quite unable to take up life at the place where they left it off in 1939. Those are all cases for which everybody must feel the greatest sympathy, and if one could provide them with some form of compensation, if it were right so to do, all of us would have the greatest happiness in doing so. But that, of course, is not what this proposed new Clause seeks to do.

It proposes to provide gratuities to those who happened to be concerned in civil aviation before the war, not because the Government are taking over anything from them now, not because the Government are confiscating anything now, but because in 1939 they were prevented by the Orders which had to be made then in the interests of the defence of the country, from continuing their activities, and because now, when they come back and may want, not to carry on a continuing business, but to start afresh and build up a new undertaking, they find that they are seeking to start in a field in which private enterprise is no longer permitted. That is a purely fortuitous circumstance, which in no way distinguishes their position from the position of a man who was, say, a student in 1939, and comes back now and finds that because of the inexorable fact of the passage of time, it is no good starting again, or from the position of the man who no longer has the money with which to set himself up again, or the little shopkeeper who, because of the incidence of Defence Regulations, was forbidden from carrying on a particular business in a particular place, and who comes back now and finds that he has not got the money with which to set himself up in business of that kind again.

What happened here in the case of those who were engaged in civil aviation, as in the case of people who were engaged in the manifold other activities of life, was that, faced as they were with the emergency resulting from the outbreak of war, their businesses and professions—indeed, in the case of very many of them, their very lives—had to be put aside, and there was no question of any compensation being paid to them at that time. No compensation can be paid to such people at this time, if, indeed, they are still alive to receive compensation at all, unless it can be said that at this time the Government are taking over from them and acquiring from them something which is of value to the country. Otherwise, any kind of compensation must be, in effect, a mere gratuity to a particular class of people who come back and find by chance, not that they are prevented from setting up businesses which they are otherwise at present in a position to set up, but that there happens to be a statutory restriction in a particular field of endeavour to private enterprise at a time when, quite apart from such a restriction, they might themselves be wholly unable to resume the business which they had abandoned in 1939.

The hon. and gallant Member for Central Glasgow (Colonel Hutchison) referred to confiscation. It sounds very shocking that a Government should be concerned in something which should be described as confiscation. And so, indeed, it would be. I do not know —I have not a dictionary by me—but I would have thought that the ordinary dictionary meaning of "confiscation" was "to take something which was not yours without paying for it." In these cases nothing is being taken which is not being paid for; nothing is being taken, because in these cases there is nothing to take. If there were tangible assets of these businesses in 1939, such as aircraft, as the hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield (Air-Commodore Harvey) very fairly and frankly said, they were paid for when they were taken in 1939. Nothing of any tangible value now remains, except the possibility that these men might have wished to start afresh in a field which, as it now turns out, is no longer open to private enterprise.

Air-Commodore Harvey

The learned Attorney-General does not seem to realise that some of these companies have kept a nucleus of their staff during the war. They have engineers and pilots available to start work if they could get the aircraft to operate.

The Attorney-General

That may be so, but a nucleus of staff in itself constitutes a liability and not an asset. That is not a thing for which compensation can be paid. Hon. Members must appreciate this, and I am sure they will if they think about it. The Government, in dispensing public funds, can only pay compensation for something which is of tangible value when they acquire it. A staff which is kept on, dealing with matters apparently not concerned with civil aviation, is not a tangible asset which can be acquired for value. Where an existing operator has something tangible to sell, and is prevented from selling it, that might be a proper case for compensation. Where he has got a tangible asset which he is not allowed to sell, or a tangible asset which is taken away from him by the Government, the Government acquiring value in return, that might be a proper case for paying compensation.

Where the Government, by one means or another, are acquiring something of value to the Government, that clearly would be a proper case for compensation. That is not this case. This is a case where the Government are being invited to pay compensation for something which the Government and the country have not received; where the Government are being invited to distinguish between particular sections of the community, all of whom have suffered grievously from the war, and to pay compensation fortuitously to one small section because of the fact that, whether it was able or not to resume business in civil aviation, Parliament has decided that that is a field no longer open to private enterprise. I am bound to ask the House to say that is not a case in which it would be right to pay compensation. While we sympathise with those who might have wished to resume their activities in civil aviation, just as we sympathise with those who would have liked to resume their studies at the hospitals, or their practices at the law, we are not able to provide them with compensation for the fact that, owing to the war, it is now no longer possible' for them to do so.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am glad we have now got an opportunity of again dealing with the extraordinary story—for it is a quite extraordinary story—of the Government approach to problems of compensation for those people who have made this country air-minded. The Government are now "cashing in" on the labours and the sacrifices of some dozen people who made this country air-minded. At a time when it will be, for the first time, a profitable business, a Government who claim to represent the ordinary, hard-working citizens are going to steal the profits the first time the profits come along. I do not think we can find words too strong, in which to express our condemnation of what the Government are doing. I entirely agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Air-Commodore Harvey) in regard to the incongruity whereby this utter ungenerosity and lack of public spirit is being shown in the case of civil aviation when in so many other directions, as I gladly concede, the Government have behaved fairly and reasonably in the realm of compensation.

The learned Attorney-General used a phrase from a dictionary, namely, the definition of "confiscation" being "taking something which is not yours without paying for it." We on these benches accept that definition, and I would like to apply it to the circumstances in hand. The right hon. and learned Gentleman talked as if it was open to half a dozen companies, which have been expropriated at any time during the period of the war, to make their claims for compensation. If, for example, on 3rd September, 1939, when every decent citizen was putting everything he had into the common pool, and not asking for anything in return at that stage, ready to give his life and all his accumulated ex- perience, they had then interrupted our concentration on the war by demanding some compensation, there might have been a case. I suppose it is suggested that Air-Commodore Whitney Straight, instead of immediately rejoining the Royal Air Force, should have spent some months in London arguing on behalf of his corporation what compensation they were entitled to have. Instead of that, in distinction from what a good many Members of the present Administration did in 1914, he went straight off to fight in the war; he did not think it was then a proper time to plead the case for compensation. Once the war had started his business—and there are others like him—was gone. Naturally, at no period during the successive years was there a possibility of their making application.

The emergency was a continuing business, and it has only just come to an end. Now, for the first time, we have an opportunity of seeing that justice is done to these people, by whose past labours and sacrifices alone will the Government s schemes in the air succeed, if they are to succeed. The learned Attorney-General used the most extraordinary parallels to justify this act of confiscation and robbery. He talked about the little tradesman who had lost his business. We all have the utmost sympathy for the little tradesman who has lost his business, though a great many of them find, and found, that Hitler's bombs did not damage him very much more than the ruthless advances of the cooperative societies. [Interruption.] I am certainly sticking to that.

Mr. Woods (Mossley)

Can the hon. Gentleman state a single case where there has been any confiscation of someone by a cooperative society?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The hon. Gentleman was not following my argument. I was not at that moment referring to confiscation but to the fact that bomb damage had done an immense amount of harm to small businesses, and in passing I said they had also fallen victim to another form of attack.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hubert Beaumont)

I hope the hon. Gentleman will not pursue that line of argument. It is entirely out of Order.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think you will agree, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, there is nothing very improper in my passing reference. I was led by the indignation—and the natural indignation, because it was a good point —into developing it. I will not take it any further, as I am not allowed to. The right hon. and learned Gentleman talked as if there was a parallel between the small tradesman who had been bombed out of his business, or lost his business, and the civil aviation services.

The Attorney-General

I did no such thing. I was not referring to cases of bomb damage. Compensation is provided for that. I was referring to cases of people who, by the Defence Regulations, were prevented from carrying on their businesses, or were prevented from carrying on their practices because they were called up to serve in the Forces.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I fully accept that explanation of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. The same argument applies equally precisely to what he says he said as it does to the impression I formed of what he said. I am glad he has now cleared it up. We can dismiss the case of the small tradesman whose business was bombed. There is the case of the tradesman, or somebody else, who was prevented by the coming of the war from carrying on his business. What is his position now, now that he is out of the Forces, or now that the emergency is over? He is absolutely free to start again. This is the test we apply, and this should be the test of whether or not there should be compensation. When the Swinton proposals were before the House the noble Lord, who was then in charge of the Bill in another place, drew attention to the fact that there was no confiscation and no reason to pay compensation because the small private operators were going to be free to go on with their business in a different way, either as shareholders in the great corporations, which was provided for, or as subsidiaries in the corporations, as Portsmouth Airways had already arranged to do. The noble Lord said then in another place something which I think is strictly right: The test that should be applied is this: are you putting a man out of business or are you preventing him starting up in a business again which he had before? He then added, in regard to his own Bill. You are inviting him to come in; you are inviting him either to go into the main corporation or into a subsidiary company for running the business. My first answer to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, when he attempts to draw a parallel with the tradesman or the professional man who could not carry on his business because of the coming of war, is that now there is nothing to stop him starting his shop again; indeed, it is expressly provided that he gets facilities from local authorities for starting his business again, except on account of age, which finds all of us, and which prevents people who, no doubt, built up the Labour movement in the past from sitting on the Front Bench opposite now. That is hardly an argument with which to dismiss the claims of these younger pioneers. Secondly, the right hon. and learned Gentleman drew a parallel with the people who wanted to go to the universities and who through age, lack of money, or something else—very-often, indeed, because of changed ideas—now find themselves unable to go to a university. He said also that there are large numbers of other people who, for one reason or another, cannot carry on their trade, but those people do not see the Government carrying on their trade for them. Very many people cannot start their trade again now because they have not the means, or because they are too old, but they did not see the Government starting their businesses and conducting them, taking the profits to themselves. Really, there is no parallel between the cases advanced by the right hon. and learned Gentleman and the situation of these pioneers who in the past, with every sort of difficulty, made this an air-minded country.

I would now like to remind the House briefly of the background of this business. In the electoral programme of the Socialist Party this phrase appears: Costs of compensation to the private interests initially affected. At that time they were attempting to show the country that compensation would be paid everywhere; the black-coated worker, and, indeed, the capitalist himself, had nothing to fear of the future. As soon as they were elected came the White Paper, in December, 1945, but composed some months before. Here the wording changed; instead of "compensation" we have "payment for physical assets." The right hon. and learned Gentleman talked about the operators who have been expropriated having been paid for their physical assets in 1939. There is just cause for going back to 3rd September, 1939. If at that date I had had half a dozen Dragon Rapides bought from De Havil-lands, and I wanted to sell them, to whom else could I sell them but to the Government? What possible value did they command? I was no longer allowed to fly them anywhere, I could not sell them abroad, I had to sell them to the Government. There was no question there of a willing buyer and a willing seller. There was a forced sale to the Government—apart from the fact that then everybody was giving all he had without querying the consequences, or nearly everybody, and most certainly the sort of people about whom we are concerned tonight.

Then came another Act, an Act of the Coalition Government. About 10 companies were operating when the war started. On 3rd September, 1939, as part of the general mass of regulations and orders that were passed by this House, the Air Navigation (Restriction) Order was passed which put eight of those 10 companies immediately out of business. The pilots went off to the Air Force, the planes were sold to the Government, and the businesses were temporarily extinguished. Only two private companies continued. Air-Commodore Harvey: May I interrupt my hon. Friend? There were three —Western Airways continued to operate until March, 1940.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Yes, in order to save the time of the House, I said eight were extinguished. Actually seven were immediately extinguished and the eighth was extinguished some months afterwards, in March, 1940, as my hon. and gallant Friend is right in saying. Seven or eight were immediately extinguished, and two stayed on in business. Which were the two? They were Allied Airways, whose chairman and managing director is a Member of this House, and Railway Air Services. Why were they allowed to continue to operate? For the purely chance reason that they flew over water, and that has never been disputed. It was thought that their situation was different and that they should be allowed to continue—a fortuitous circumstance which enabled them to survive. The right hon. and learned Attorney-General has said that there is some difference between their situation and that of other people. Of course there is. They have had seven years' experience in the war, at a time when every day in the air was equal to six months before the war. Over all their competitors they have had that protected experience. In addition they had something more. They were guaranteed against loss all through the war, and their profits at 4 per cent. were guaranteed too. Their situation was indeed very different. I have no quarrel with the decision of the Government to do the fair and proper thing by Allied Airways and Railway Air Services, but I do most strongly protest against those two companies being given different treatment for fortuitous reasons, and after they have had seven years' protected flying during the war.

What about the other companies, whose rights should be upheld? Western Airways, as my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield said, sank a lot of money in making people air-minded. They flew in the West of England. People remember them in Cardiff and Weston-super-Mare, for example, and over a number of years they lost £31,000. They were just beginning to get going and get something back. In 1939 this House set up an Air Transport Licensing Authority. It gave Western Airways a seven-year contract for very lucrative services at home and abroad, and only a few months of that contract had run when the war came. The head of the company went off to win matchless distinction in the war. The company—or its assets—was sold to the Government. They had a seven-year contract of which only a few months had run. Now that the emergency is over, surely that company is entitled either to be allowed to use up the remainder of its contract—six years and more— for those lucrative services, a contract given to it by a British licensing authority in good faith and taken in good faith at the end of 1939, or, if they are not to be allowed to do that, they should be given some compensation for the loss of the contract entered into solemnly and in good faith.

What about Air Dispatch? People remember the services which that little company rendered by flying people from one aerodrome to another, quite apart from their services to France, which were faster and more comfortable, often, than those of the great corporations. They lost some £12,000. I do ask the Government to listen to the voice of common gratitude and decency. I believe we have made out a case which will commend itself to the House as a whole. Very little public money is involved in this, but a great justice can be done, or a grave injustice if a contrary step is taken. Let it not be said that, because there are only a dozen people involved and they have no voting strength, the Government, whom the cynics think live by counting heads, have no regard for justice. Let us see that justice is done in this House, and that the proper treatment which is to be given to Railway Air Services and Allied Airways, against which we have no quarrel, is extended also to that small handful of private operators to whom equally we are indebted and with whose welfare we should be equally concerned.

7.45 p.m.

Sir T. Moore

The right hon. and learned Attorney-General has made his usual cynical defence, and I am glad he heard me say that before leaving. Of course, the House as a whole will probably agree that we are under no legal obligation, but we are under a moral obligation, arid when we left this subject or a kindred subject in Committee a fortnight ago we had a bland and persuasive assurance from the Parliamentary Secretary that he would probably have something hopeful and satisfactory to tell us on the Report stage, as he was at that time in negotiation with the operators concerned. I have here got the reports of the Committee to which I refer. For the benefit of those hon. Members of the House who were not Members of the Standing Committee, I should perhaps inform them that this Bill for nationalising civil aviation differs substantially—indeed almost fundamentally—from all the other ill-conceived Measures with which the Government have practically submerged the House. It does not refer, throughout the whole of its wordy and verbose phraseology, to the words, "compensation for the air line operators."

Hon. Members on both sides will remember that the Government were able to be very generous with the Bank of England, they were even able to be lavish with the coal owners, though they accepted it against their will. They are offering fantastic bribes to the doctors, and, of course, they are obviously willing to do the same thing with the aerodrome owners. Why these distinctions? Why this distinction between the owners of aerodromes and the air line operators? The reason is not far to seek. The air line operators are small fry, little organisations with few votes, of no great political influence or value. That, of course, is a sign of the most blatant dishonesty on the part of the Government, which everyone will acknowledge. The aerodrome owners are in a different category altogether because they arc mostly local authorities, and local authorities, no doubt with Socialist affiliations, have Socialist majorities whose votes can be depended upon, So they must be placated, they must be treated tenderly.

That is the attitude of the Government towards one of the most vital and important services that we are about to embark on. That is the cynical attitude of the Government towards these pioneers of the air to whom this country owes so much for what they have done to make our people air-minded, and for other things as well that I could mention. It was under those adventurous spirits that our Battle of Britain pilots were trained before the war. In fact, I do not suppose we should have had this Bill going through Parliament today if it had not been for those young men of 15 or 20 years ago who took enormous risks with great courage, ingenuity, enterprise, guts and determination. And now the one thing the Government can do, the one great gesture of gratitude, is to decline to give them any form of compensation. I gather from the shaking of the head of the hon. Gentleman opposite that the negotiations have not so far resulted in anything very satisfactory, and that therefore the Government are in fact declining to give these young men, now grown older, any compensation for the pluck, the toil and the risk they took so many years ago to put an air-minded Britain on an air-minded map.

I do not know whether it is any use arguing or pleading with this Government. I know that the hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary has good intentions. We know the result of good intentions, and where they lead. But I do hope that, fortified by the arguments that have been adduced and by the brilliant contributions that have been made from this side of the House, despite the lamentable silence amongst the Government's own supporters and fortified by the moral justice of the case, the Government will think again, and that the hon. Gentleman will implement the undertaking that he gave us in Committee so that these not now so young men, shall have some reward for the grand enterprise they showed in those far off days.

Sir Patrick Hannon (Birmingham, Moseley)

I do not like to remain silent when an act of great injustice is being perpetrated, especially when it is against ex-Service people. I should like to hear from the Parliamentary Secretary what undertaking he gave in Standing Committee upstairs. Did he, in fact, indicate that he was prepared to reconsider the very just claim of these people, when the Bill came to the Report stage) I followed the striking speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedford (Mr. Lennox-Boyd), which, was, indeed, one of the finest contributions I have heard in this House in the cause of justice for a long time, and I was astonished that the Attorney-General left the House without making some response, or offering some apology for the attitude he took in his own speech. I hope that in this House, whatever our feelings may be on political questions, in which lines of demarcation divide us from time to time, we shall not allow injustice to be done, particularly to people who cannot help themselves. We have always defended the right. Burke stood up in this House and claimed protection for minorities. It has been a fundamental principle of the processes of Debates in this House of Commons, that minorities shall always be heard and always defended. I look to the Lord Privy Seal. I appeal to him, as an old Parliamentarian who has the highest sense of personal honour. I ask him how he feels about this treatment of those who have been pioneers in the air, and who were really responsible for the training and preparation of the men who manned the planes that flew in the Battle of Britain. I am perfectly——

Mr. Rees-William (Croydon, South)

May I ask the hon. Gentleman——

Sir P. Hannon

I apologise for not giving way, but I am about to conclude. I am perfectly certain the Lord Privy Seal does not want to see injustice done to those men, and I appeal to him to support the Parliamentary Secretary in implementing whatever promise or undertaking was given in the Standing Committee. We are dealing with very serious questions. The example of this House is copied in all parts of the Commonwealth and in all foreign nations. The conduct of the House of Commons has always had a moral influence in the progress of mankind. Do not let us be associated with any act of injustice.

Mr. Rees-Williams

Before the hon. Gentleman sits down, and in the interests of truth and justice, with which we on this side of the House are as much concerned as are hon. Members opposite, may I ask him whether he has entirely ignored the work of the Royal Air Force and of the Auxiliary Air Force before the war, in training the Battle of Britain pilots? I am surprised to hear tonight, for the first time in my life, that that was solely the concern of a few private civil aviation firms.

Sir P. Hannon

I should be the last person to ignore either the Royal Air Force or the Auxiliary Air Force. I am personally associated with the Royal Air Force. But that does not prevent me from making an appeal on behalf of those who are unjustly affected by this Bill.

Group-Captain Wilcock

I should like to support completely the proposal put forward by the Opposition, that compensation should be given; but on quite different grounds. I can see no more justification for giving compensation here than for giving compensation to anyone who, for instance, had a lorry at the beginning of the war and had to sell it, on a falling market; or to a farmer who could not run his farm because he was called up; or to hundreds of other people, who are like examples. Nevertheless, I do support the proposal, because I am quite sure that any compensation given to these pioneers will be "ploughed back" into the aircraft industry in some form or another. Therefore, it might be worthy of the consideration of the Parliamentary Secretary, not to give any monetary payment, but to give some special facilities to these people to get them back into aviation. But compensation should not be given on any other ground, for if it were, we on this side of the House should ask the Government to see that every shopkeeper, and everyone else who suffered similarly because of the war, was also compensated.

Mr. E. L. Gandar Dower (Caithness and Sutherland)

I think it fair to make it dear that I am personally embarrassed at making an oration at my own funeral. It is rather unfortunate that such a new Member in this House should find one of the most important things which comes along touching him personally. It is not acceptable. But I do feel that if I can honestly express my views to this House it may be of some guidance in the matter. Why are these companies asking for these development costs? For one reason only—because they have no chance to resume. You would never have heard, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, of the question of development costs, if the companies had been allowed to pursue the enterprises to which they committed themselves before the war. I, therefore, support this new Clause because, unless it is properly admitted, I fear I must regard the Bill as one of expropriation. If this is to be the last time that the names of these companies are to appear in HANSARD, I should like to name them. They are: Air Dispatch, Atlantic Coasts Air Services, British-American Air Services, Portsmouth and Southsea Aviation, the Straight Corporation, Wrightways, the group of companies controlled by the railways, and, of course, my own company, Allied Airways. All these companies were suppressed in the spring of 1940, except the Railway Air Services and Allied Airways.

Speaking as one of the fortunate ones to come into the arena of negotiation—very doubtful negotiation—as to com- pensation and development, I would say we take no pleasure in our favoured position, because, if we were one of those companies shut down in the spring of 1940, we should feel this injustice deeply. There can be nothing in the Bill which gives any guarantee of compensation. It is suggested that negotiations will be made for purchase, but, in the event of breakdown, what rights have the companies to stand on? The Government can expropriate them completely, and without payment of anything, if the text of the Bill is to be followed. We are informed that negotiations have been proceeding for some time and that, in fact, they are at a fairly advanced stage. I have no wish to bring a cloud of depression over the House, but I regret that, speaking for my own company, we have had one meeting only, and gone away from it bewildered; and we do not feel that the system of negotiation is likely to lead to great success. It is suggested that we should form an estimate of the amount of traffic which might be carried by our present airlines if the company were able to increase the services, and then estimate the profits. At best it is guess work. It might also lead to over-optimism. One feels that it is unwise to proceed on such a basis. It should be a question of actuarial approach to the accounts of the company, and a question of admission of development costs. It is as well to consider what companies have to offer at this juncture when they are to be suppressed. In the case of Allied Airways they offer operations since 1934. During that time heavy initial losses were met; apart from that, the company ran services to districts of meagre population and landing ground had to be developed. Except for nine months, in the whole of the history of these 14 years the company have had no assistance from the Government. We have had some reference today to a 4 per cent. guarantee against loss throughout the war. We have been proud to serve.

8.0 p.m.

Mr. Rees-Williams

On a point of Order. I understand that we are not dealing with the company about which the hon. Member is speaking, which is in a different category.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I think that the hon. Member has been in Order so far.

Mr. Gandar Dower

We were dealing, I think, with the question of possible arbitration in connection with all companies which may be taken over by the Government. I was stressing the vast difference in the improvement of prospects of an air line company founded in 1934. The number of passengers has risen from 1,300 to 14,000, and receipts from £25 a week to £1,000. I suggest that that is the future which is being stripped from this company, which is not allowed to restart. We have had reference to lack of physical assets and their value. I would remind the Parliamentary Secretary that in 1944 a company which had no physical assets whatever was purchased for a sum approaching £100,000. It was purchased by the railways. I am referring to North Eastern Airways, which had a creditable record for operating air services from London to Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. It was suppressed in 1940, but the railways were prepared to pay £100,000 for its goodwill and development, and the licences it held from the Air Transport Licensing Authority.

Hon. Members on this side of the House have been kind enough to pay tribute to pioneers. I thank them, but I can assure them that if one loves the job there is no hardship in pursuing it, and that there is far greater hardship in finding you have lost it. I have been "bitten" by aviation since I was 12 years old, when I pursued Graham White in his flight from London to Manchester. I still treasure the stub ends of the cigarettes he threw away. I ran away from a public school to Larkhill to see early flying, and I was soundly thrashed on return. I should be glad if a gesture of the Parliamentary Secretary would allow me to continue in aviation today. These personal admissions can be of no interest to the House, but I would say to him what I said when I first met the Minister of Civil Aviation: "I trust, whatever policy is advanced by the Government, I may be permitted to continue an active and responsible part in it. I cannot conceive living from day to day without having aviation to worry about." I do not think that I could conclude on a better note.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Eloquent appeals have been made, notably by the hon. Member for Moseley (Sir P. Hannon) and the hon. Member for Mid-Bedford (Mr. Lennox-Boyd), on the grounds of justice, that we should pay compensation to those operators who have not been operating since 1940. It is an appeal to which I am bound to be sensitive. Like other hon. Members on this side, I have always taken the view that in any scheme of nationalisation, there must be fair compensation. After full consideration, I can honestly say that in my opinion the Government's decision is right, and that we are behaving very fairly towards those companies which are being taken over. The hon. Member for Mid-Bedford said that he could not find words too strong to condemn the Government's action, but these must be his second thoughts. The most effective answer which I can give to him is that the first Amendment, which stood on the Order Paper in his name on this subject, confined compensation to companies operating on 1st November, 1945.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am grateful to the Parliamentary Secretary for giving way. As I explained, that was purely a clerical error. When we found that it would limit compensation to the two companies, as the Government apparently intended to limit it, I wrote to the Parliamentary Secretary and took appropriate steps. I am surprised that he should suggest that I have changed my mind.

Mr. Thomas

That explains my point. If it was purely a clerical error, then it shows that it could not have been a very important principle or the hon. Gentleman would surely have been conscious of it beforehand. If it was so obvious, his original Amendment would have been dated 1st September, 1939, instead of 1st November, 1945. I am inclined to think that the hon. Member originally thought that the date of the announcement of the Government's policy was the right date.

Let me divide these companies into their several categories, and then I think the House will be convinced that we have done the right thing. First, there are the companies formed since 1st November, 1945, which was the date when the Government's policy was announced. These companies were given clear warning in the White Paper that no compensation would be paid, and they formed themselves with that knowledge. Then there are the companies operating immediately before the Government's announcement. These are the seven companies which are grouped in the Associated Airways Joint Committee, and Allied Airways (Gandar Dower) Limited. The Swinton plan would have taken over these companies on the basis of compensation for their physical assets only. When we came to approach this question we used very careful language about it. I stated in the House that the Government had not yet been convinced that a case had been made out for payment on any other basis. We studied this question carefully, and we came to the conclusion that we should take over these companies as going concerns, on the basis of a sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller. The way in which that would work out in practice would be similar to that worked out in the case of the acquisition of the coal mines and of coal itself, and many other forms of property. It would be necessary to determine the net maintainable revenue of the undertaking and then multiply it by the appropriate number of years' purchase. These things are well understood by accountants, and I do not think that there will be any difficulty, if there is good will on both sides, in reaching an agreement.

I ought perhaps to add that the Channel Islands Airways will also be taken over in the same way. I have not mentioned it previously because it is outside this country, and the Bill will be applied to the Channel Islands by Order, but it is well to make clear perhaps that what I am saying relates to the Channel Islands Airways as well. Those are the proposals for the companies operating immediately before 1st November, 1945. The hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) seemed to think that I had given some undertaking in Committee, but I challenge him to find any such undertaking in the official record; I never encouraged the idea that I should have more information to give to the House on the Report stage. Quite obviously, that could not be done in the stage that the negotiations have reached. The Associated Airways Joint Committee have made their estimate of their net maintainable revenue, and, therefore, the negotiations are in an advanced state. Allied Airways (Gandar Dower) Ltd., have not yet given an estimate of their net maintainable revenue.

8.15 p.m.

Having, I hope, convinced the House that we are dealing favourably with the companies operating immediately before 1st November, 1945, I now turn to the companies in operation at the outbreak of war but closed in 1940. As a matter of fact, there was no immediate break in the operation of these internal airlines. They were formed into National Air Communications and went on until June, 1940, and then, with the exception of the five companies which were then grouped in the railway services, and Allied Airway (Gandar Dower) Ltd., they were put out of business, and they have not been able to resume business. I have gone into this question very carefully, and the grounds for not paying compensation in their case seems to me to be very strong. In the first place, these companies, it ought to be remembered, had no definite security of tenure. It has been said in the Debate today that they would have been able to resume operations if a Socialist Government had not been elected, and had not brought in a Bill to nationalise the scheduled services. That is not the case. They operated under licence granted by the licensing authority in 1939 for a period of seven years. There was no guarantee that when those licences expired they would get new ones. I do not want to rest my whole case on that, but it is a fact that they had no security of tenure. It was conditional on their getting licences from the air licensing authority of those days.

Secondly, the companies were generously treated in 1940 in that their aircraft, for which there was then no market, were acquired at very reasonable prices. It has been argued that the companies did not get a good price for their aircraft, because there was no demand, but they were, in fact, paid for at the prices ruling in 1939, immediately before the war, at a time when there was a great demand for civil aircraft which could not be satisfied. The prices were high, and it was on that basis that compensation for their physical assets was paid. I have never heard the companies complain on that score. Thirdly, it must be remembered that most of these companies had remunerative work during the war. They were put on to repairing aircraft and other work for the Government; it was, of course, payment for work done, but it has to be taken into account in the overall picture.

Finally, I come to the main argument on which I must resist compensation and that is the one already detailed by the Attorney-General. It is that any goodwill and any development expenditure which they might have had in 1939 has been destroyed by the intervention of the war, as in the case of many other types or business. The sum involved is, admittedly, not large. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have made that point. It would, in fact, for all the companies involved, and there are more than those that have been instanced tonight, be only £80,000. It is not, therefore, a large sum in itself. That is the payment for goodwill and development expenses, as claimed by themselves in a statement based on the date 1st September, 1939. Although it is not a large sum, the Government have to be as, careful with £80,000, as with £80 million. It is one of the foundations of Parliamentary government that this House maintains the most careful control over any form of expenditure. If this sum cannot be justified on its merits, I cannot justify it on the grounds that it is "only a little one." That argument has often been used but has seldom found favour with those to whom it has been used. I cannot see any justification for such a payment, for the reasons given by the Attorney-General and those which I have now added. We cannot pay this sum without paying compensation to the very large numbers of persons who come in similar categories. Hundreds of thousands of persons have not been able to resume the occupations which they had before the war. That is the essence of the argument which led us after much consideration to the conclusion that no compensation could be paid to the prewar airline operators put out of business in 1940.

There are one or two other points raised in the Debate today to which I ought to reply. The hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs said that the aerodrome owners were being put into a different category because they had many votes, whereas the prewar airline operators had few votes. Such considerations would not enter our mind, but I must point out that the aerodrome owners have a physical asset which is being taken over. There is no compensation for goodwill or development, and the basis of compensation is laid down in the public Acts. These are, of course, the Acquisition of Land Act, as amended by the Town and Country Planning Act. They will be paid at 1939 values, with the appropriate supplement, where a supplement is due. They are being paid, therefore, for their physical assets on the basis of existing enactments, and there is no differentiation of treatment. The hon. and gallant Member for Derby (Group-Captain Wilcock), has a very generous heart indeed. He argued that the money being paid would be "ploughed back" into the aircraft industry in some form or other. I hope that it would go back in that way, and that might mitigate the payment to some extent, but if we want to help the aircraft industry, we can find many ways of doing it other than by paying the sums now claimed. I think that the hon. and gallant Member's argument amounted to no more than this: He wants to, be sympathetic and generous to these, companies, the sum involved is small, and the Government can very well afford this small act of generosity. I should like to be able to do it, bin I can only do it if there is some principle on which I can work. I cannot see drat any case has been made out to pay compensation to these operators, who are in the same position as many hundreds of thousands of other people.

Colonel Hutchison

I should like to reply very briefly to the Debate and to the views of the Front Bench. We have seen a classic example of schizophrenia between the Parliamentary Secretary and the right hon. and learned Attorney-General. The Parliamentary Secretary, whose mentality in this matter I like-much better than that of the Attorney-General, has been labouring with difficulty to try to show us that there is nothing in a case for compensation for goodwill. Our argument is that if there is; a case for compensation, let the arbitrators and the accountants get working on it. The Parliamentary Secretary has shown he has weakened sufficiently in his attitude to take over those concerns which, in principle, were going concerns, at November, 1945. That principle we thoroughly commend, and that is the principle we wish applied to those who were shut down in 1939 and 1940 and prevented from operating. We ask the Parliamentary Secretary to apply the same logic to those concerns as to those which were going concerns up to 1945. What is the mentality of the Attorney-General? He introduced so many in- consequences and so many unparalleled examples of the case we tried to make, that it would delay the House if I tried to follow him, but I should like to fix on two words of transcendental importance that he used. He said the Government's policy was to pay only for tangible assets. I am glad to see that the Attorney-General has just come back, because shortly after he uttered those words he fled, no doubt to find some tangible assets in some dining room. I would like to ask the Attorney-General is he prepared to substantiate that attitude as regards purchase money with the

Minister of Health, and preach the same doctrine in regard to doctors and dentists. Is that the Government policy in regard to the coal stockholders, to small transport undertakings and to those shareholders in iron and steel because it is a new and desperately dangerous departure? So far from our apprehension being lightened, it is only deepened by the right hon. and learned Gentleman's pregnant words.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The House divided: Ayes, 90; Noes, 258.

Division No. 237.] AYES. [8.25 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Hope, Lord J. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Hulbert, Wing-Comdr. N. J. Prescott, Stanley
Astor, Hon. M. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Renton, D.
Baldwin, A. E. Hutchison, Cot. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Roberts, Mai, P. G. (Ecclesall)
Bower, N. Jeffreys, General Sir G. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Langford-Holt, J. Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland
Braithwaite, Lt-Comdr. J. G. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Ropner, Col. L.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Ross, Sir R.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lindsay, M. (Solihull) Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Bullock, Capt. M. Linstead, H. N. Smithers, Sir W.
Channon, H. Lipson, D. L. Snadden, W. M.
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Grosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Macdonald, Capt. Sir P. (I. of Wight) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R. Studholme, H. G.
Drayson, Capt. G. B. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Taylor, Vice-A dm. E. A. (P'ddt'n, S.)
Frasar, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Marlowe, A. A. H. Teeling, William
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Marsden, Capt. A. Thorneyoroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Turton, R. H.
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Maude, J. C. Vane, W. M. T.
Gridley, Sir A. Mellor, Sir J. Walker-Smith, D.
Grimston, R. V. Molson, A. H. E. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Hare, Lieut.-Col. Hon. J. H. (W'db'ge) Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Williams, C. (Torquay)
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Neven-Spenee, Sir B. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Haughton, S. G. Nicholson, G. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Peto, Brig. G. H. M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hollis, M. C. Pickthorn, K. Major Conant and Mr. Drewe.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Blenkinsop, Capt. A. Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Boardman, H. Corlett, Dr. J.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. Bottomley, A. G. Crossman, R. H. S.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Daggar, G.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Davies, Edward (Burslem)
Allighan, Garry Brook, D. (Halifax) Davies, Ernest (Enfield)
Alpass, J. H. Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Davies, Harold (Leek)
Attewell, H. C. Brown. George (Belper) Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Austin, H. L. Brown, T. J. (Ince) Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)
Awbery, S. S. Bruce, Maj. D. W. T. Deer, G
Ayles, W. H. Buchanan, G. Diamond, J.
Bacon, Miss A. Burden, T. W. Dobbie, W
Baird, Capt. J. Burke, W. A. Donovan, T.
Balfour, A. Callaghan, James Driberg, T. E. N.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Castle, Mrs. B A. Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)
Barstow, P. G. Champion, A. J. Durbin, E. F. M.
Barton, C. Chaster, D. Dye, S.
Battley, J. R. Ghetwynd, Capt. G. R. Edelman, M.
Bechervaise, A. E. Clitherow, Dr R. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)
Belcher, J. W. Cluse, W. S. Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)
Benson, G. Cocks, F. S. Evans, E. (Lowestoft)
Berry, H. Collick, P. Evans, J. (Ogmore)
Bing, G. H. C. Collins, V. J. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Binns, J. Comyns, Dr. L. Ewart, R.
Blackburn, A. R. Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)
Follick, M. Marshall, F. (Brightside) Skinnard, F. W.
Foot, M. M. Mayhew, C. P. Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
Foster, W. (Wigan) Medland, H. M. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Middleton, Mrs. L. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Mikardo, Ian Smith, T. (Normanton)
Gibbins, J. Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R. Snow, Capt. J. W.
Gibson. C. W. Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Solley, L. J.
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Monslow, W. Sorensen, R. W.
Goodrich, H. E. Moody, A. S. Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Gordon-Walker, P. C. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Stamford, W.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Greenwood, A. W. d. (Heywood) Moyle, A. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Grenfell, D. R. Murray, J. D. Stubbs, A. E.
Grey, C. F. Nally, W Swingler, S.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Naylor, T. E. Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Neal, H. (Claycross) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Guest, Dr. L. Haden Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Gunter, Capt. R. J. Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe) Noel-Buxton, Lady Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Hale, Leslie O'Brien, T. Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Hamilton. Lieut.-Col. R. Oldfield, W. H. Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Oliver, G. H. Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Hardy, E. A. Orbach, M. Tiffany, S.
Harrison, J. Paget, R. T. Titterington, M. F.
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Tolley, L.
Haworth, J. Palmar, A. M. F. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Pargiter, G. A. Turner-Samuels, M.
Hewitson, Capt. M. Parker, J. Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Hicks, G. Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T. Usborne, Henry
Holman, P. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Pearson, A. Viant, S. P.
House, G. Peart, Capt. T. F. Walkden, E.
Hoy, J. Perrins, W. Walker, G. H.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Popplewell, E. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Porter, G. (Leeds) Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Irving, W. J. Price, M. Philips Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Jeger, G. (Winchester) Pritt, D. N. White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S. E.) Proctor, W. T. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Pursey, Cmdr. H. Wigs, Col. G. E.
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Randall, H. E. Wilkes, Maj. L.
Key, C. W. Ranger, J. Wilkins, W. A.
Kinley, J. Rankin, J. Wilkinson, Rt. Hon. Ellen
Kirby, B. V. Rees-Williams, D. R. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Lang, G. Reeves, J. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J. Reid, T. (Swindon) Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Lee, F. (Hulme) Richards, R. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Leslie, J. R. Ridealgh, Mrs. M. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Lewis, A. W J. (Upton) Robens, A. Williamson, T.
Lewis, J. (Bolton) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Willis, E.
Lindgren, G. S. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.
Logan, D. G. Rogers, G. H. R. Wilson, J. H.
Lyne, A. W. Royle, C. Woodburn, A.
McAdam, W. Scollan, T. Woods, G. S.
McEntee, V. La T Scott-Elliot, W. Wyatt, Maj. W
McGhee, H. G. Segal, Dr. S. Yates, V. F.
McGovern, J. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Mack, J. D Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Zilliacus, K.
McLeavy, F. Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Shurmer, P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Mr. Collindridge and
Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Simmons, C. J. Mr. Coldrick.
Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Skeffington, A. M.