HC Deb 14 May 1946 vol 422 cc1689-837

As amended (in the Standing Committee and on re-committal) further considered.

NEW CLAUSE.—(Determination of questions as to quality of coal.)

(1) If any consumer of coal by notice in writing to the Board alleges that coal sold to him by the Board is of a quality inferior in any respect to that of coal of the class or description to which the price per ton or other unit demanded for the coal so sold applies in accordance with any list of prices for the time being in force, any question between the Board and the consumer arising out of that allegation shall be determined by arbitration under this Act and the arbitrator may by his award direct that such adjustment (if any) of the price so demanded as he may think proper shall be made. (2) In this Section the expression 'quality includes size."—[Sir A. Gridley.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

3.49 P.m.

Sir Arnold Gridley (Stockport):

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

This proposed new Clause consists of two Subsections, but I should not propose to ask the House to assent to the second Subsection, if it is your intention, Mr. Speaker, to call the Minister's Amendment in page 1, line 14, which proposes, after "available," to insert "of such qualities and sizes." If that Amendment is called and is accepted, as I have no doubt it will be, Subsection (2) of my proposed Clause will become redundant, and I propose, therefore, to confine myself to the first Subsection of the new Clause.

The purpose of this new Clause is clear. It is to provide conditions which would be included in all proper contracts between a buyer and a seller of any bulk product and to make sure that when the Coal Board is functioning and is in contractual relationship with consumers, it will be one of its obligations to supply coal of the quality and grade for which it contracted at fixed prices. Unfortunately, it has been the experience of all large consumers of coal in recent years, whether we like it or not, to have to put up with coal of a very inferior quality. I think no one can dispute that if the Coal Board is to enter into arrangements to provide coal of certain qualities at listed prices, and that coal does not come up to the agreed specification, then the prices should be relatively reduced by agreement. Failing agreement, the prices ought to be settled by arbitration under Clause 56 of the Bill. In this new Clause I have used the words, "list of prices" because I assume that the Board must prepare, when they are ready to trade, a list of prices of coal of varying grades and qualities, calorific values, and so on. There should be no difficulty whatever in preparing such lists. The Coal Survey has already pointed the way.

I said in the past, and I believe even today it is true, that there is very little redress if large consumers of coal do not get the quality for which they contracted. If a reduction in price is requested, it is seldom possible to secure it. I could quote hundreds of cases, but I only propose to quote one case to illustrate the point which I am making. Here is a case where a certain colliery supplying dry slack in 1939, supplied coal with an 18.1 per cent. dry ash content. In 1943 that coal had so seriously deteriorated that the dry ash content was no less than 42.6 per cent. There are hundreds of cases like that though perhaps they are not so extreme. In such a case surely it would be indefensible that a reduction in price should be refused.

This proposal will affect all users of coal. It very much concerns all large industrial consumers. I am not now, therefore, pleading only for the gas and electricity industries on whose behalf I spoke frequently in Committee upstairs. I have often been told, "Oh, you need not worry about the gas and electricity industries. They are going to be nationalised anyhow." It is a very curious proceeding for this House to legislate on the assumption that the House is going to pass certain Acts of Parliament some time in the future. We, as legislators, ought to legislate for things as they are now, and not as they may or may not be in two or three years' time. Today, I can safely say I am speaking on behalf of a great many industries which the Government do not intend to nationalise. Therefore, I hope the argument that has been used previously in repelling my request for consideration of consumers' interests will not be repeated. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman the Minister can reasonably refuse to accept my proposal. If he does, it is tantamount to saying that the Coal Board is not to be a model seller of a product. The Coal Board should set the example to the rest of the country and be prepared to shoulder all proper commercial risks and liabilities. I hope that the Minister will give favourable consideration to this new Clause.

Colonel Clarke (East Grinstead):

I beg to second the Motion

I think this Clause has increased in importance since we first saw it on the Order Paper yesterday because the Minister has not accepted some of our other suggestions such as an improved form of Coal Consumers' Council. This proposal gives an opportunity to provide proper protection for some of these great public utility companies. Before the war most of the big utility companies bought coal on any analytical basis of volatiles, ash, moistures, coking-index, thermal-value, etc., with a penalty clause. They knew what they were getting. They bought coal from certain pits, perhaps even from certain seams only in those pits. Each delivery was analysed, and when it did not come up to the contract analysis, a penalty was imposed. That system ceased during the war. This was probably inevitable. A pool system was formed under which these companies were unable to be certain even from what colliery or group of collieries the coal was coming. As my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Sir A. Gridley) has said, we hope that when the Board gets into operation we shall have a new basis with a proper list of qualities and prices. When that is done, and the prices are published, it should be possible again to have something in the nature of contracts not with a penalty clause—that is too much to ask of the Government—but with some machinery by which one could go to arbitration in cases where the coal does not come up to standard.

4.O p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Mr. Gaitskell):

I think there is no difference in principle between the Government and those who have moved and seconded this new Clause in so far as the Government are definitely anxious that, in due course, there shall be a more satisfactory classification of the various types of coal avail- able. However, we feel that the Clause itself is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons which I shall endeavour to explain. There are, first, certain drafting points which are not perhaps in themselves of overwhelming importance but are such as to weaken the proposed Clause. For example, the Clause reads: to which the price per ton or other unit demanded for the coal so sold applies in accordance with any list of prices for the time being in force.

We feel that that might give rise to difficulties. There might be a situation in which a particular type of coal is sold at different prices and one price might be appropriate in a particular case, and not in another case. That would lead to various difficulties. The basic difficulty we feel is this. The real problem here, surely, is one of contract between buyer and seller. In the normal course of events, if the supplier does not provide the coal which he has contracted to provide—and I noticed very carefully what the hon. Member for Stockport (Sir A. Gridley) said; he began with words very similar to those which I have just used—then, surely, the remedy lies in the courts in the ordinary way or through arbitration, if that is provided for in the contract, as I understand is frequently the case in these coal contracts. We cannot see any advantage in substituting for arbitration in the contract, arbitration under this Measure. Indeed, let me say at once that arbitration under this Measure would not be in the least appropriate for this particular purpose. The House will remember that in Clause 56 details are laid down of a panel which is to be appointed by the Lord Chancellor for the specific and temporary purpose of dealing with compensation and other matters. However, this is not a temporary Measure. In the new Clause the idea is that there shall be a sort of permanent arbitrator for settling what is, in essence, a commercial dispute and, as I have said, we cannot see any advantage there.

There is, however, a rather deeper point involved. The Clause, as drafted, simply says that where the Board does not supply the quality of coal at a particular price which is in line with an appropriate list, there shall be arbitration if required. I suggest to the hon. Member that that does not meet the complaint he is making. What he is asking for is a much closer specification of the types of coal. Perhaps I might illustrate that by an example. Suppose in the case of a public utility company, an electricity undertaking, there is a purchase of slack at, say, 25s. a ton. We will suppose that that particular slack is very poor in calorific value, and does not suit the undertaking. What remedy exists under this Clause for the undertaking if the only thing in the price list is slack from such and such a colliery at so much a ton? What I think the hon. Member really wants is a much more precise description of the various types of coal with, if possible, a guaranteed analysis. That, I think, is the point he made upstairs, quite rightly, and as I said at the beginning, so far as that goes we are entirely in sympathy with him. The difficulty is that at present, as everybody knows, there is a great shortage of coal and the price structure of the industry is in a very confused state. That is largely owing to changes of various kinds which have been made during the war, and which, as compared with the prewar position, have adversely affected the position of the public utility undertakings.

Finally, we feel that if there are immediate difficulties on this, and even perhaps as regards the matter of principle involved, this is a question which could very well be discussed by the industrial consumers' councils. This is precisely the kind of thing which my right hon. Friend had in mind when he put those councils into the Bill. Therefore, while we sympathise with the hon. Member—and I do not think there is any disagreement as regards policy and what we are aiming at—we must reject the new Clause, first because it is not very well drafted; secondly, because as I have tried to explain, it would not secure the object which he intends; thirdly, because that object is at present not practicable, though we hope it will become so before long; and, fourthly, because what is really at issue is a matter of contract between buyer and seller, and not a matter which it is appropriate to put into a Measure of this kind.

Captain Crookshank (Gainsborough):

At a risk, in the presence of the Attorney-General, of being considered reckless, may I offer a few comments on what the hon. Gentleman has said? He has taken exception to the drafting of the proposed new Clause. That is not a very valid objection because, all through the lengthy stages of this Bill, before he came on to the scene, we have made it quite clear that we cannot be certain that our drafting is correct, because we have to do it with more amateur weapons than those which the Government have at their disposal. In fact, we consider ourselves very fortunate that we have been able to get so many past the Rules of Order. It is a difficult matter in a technical Bill of this kind. Therefore, had the hon. Gentleman limited himself to that aspect of the case, we should have been very happy if he had accepted the Clause and given notice that in the revising Chamber, the necessary alterations would be made.

I am afraid, however, that I detected his speech the same dilemma that we have met all along in the consideration of this Measure; that is, that in spite of the revolutionary nature of the proposals in this Bill, the Government from time to time still talk of the industry in future very much as if it were to be run on the same lines as in the past. They do not seem to have got entirely into their heads how revolutionary are the changes which must inevitably come through this national coal monopoly. That is at the bottom of this particular problem. As I understand it, when the hon. Gentleman says, "This is a question of contracts and, in the normal case, the remedy would be in the courts," that is true today. But will that be the normal case in the future? I do not know. I am not so certain that everybody will have the same ease of access to the courts in these disputes in the future as they had in the past.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Shinwell):

There will be no difference.

Captain Crookshank:

No difference? They have a contract with the Board or with the Board's agents?

Mr. Gaitskell indicated assent.

Captain Crookshank:

Then, of course, you get the other consideration, that the Board is a monopolist power. At present the contracts, in so far as they exist, are made with the supplier of choice, and if you do not like that supplier for some reason or another, you go somewhere else and make another contract. The trouble is that in future you have only one party with whom you can deal. There is nowhere else you can go. That is why it seemed to my hon. Friend, the Mover, who has deep and long experience of these problems, that it ought to be laid down in the Bill that, if the consumer so decides, there should be all the time, and as a matter of right, the possibility of arbitration. There does not seem to be anything very wrong in that proposal. When the Parliamentary Secretary says that what he thinks my hon. Friend really wants is closer specification, well, he does, and he said so, frequently upstairs. However, that is not the point here. One can perfectly well have closer specification and still require some safeguard in case one does not get what one is expecting, either in quality or price. The fact of having a specification is no answer to the problem where a difference of opinion arises.

I hope, therefore, that the Minister will still bear this problem in mind even if he is going to reject the proposed new Clause today, because it is a problem which is going to remain. We tried to point out yesterday the position of the consumers' councils under the provisions later in the Bill. The new Clause which we proposed then was not accepted, and the Parliamentary Secretary suggested that it would lie with the consumers councils to deal with these problems. Perhaps it will, up to a point, but I do not see how they are going to deal with a dispute. It would have nothing to do with them. I am sorry, therefore, that the Minister has not given an adequate set of reasons for turning down this new Clause. As a counter offer, I put this to the Government. If the only thing worrying them is the drafting of the new Clause, let them make no mountain out of that particular problem, because it is a molehill. It is a matter which can easily be rectified if the will is there.

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay):

I do not look at this matter from the point of view of big companies or anything of that kind; I look at it solely from the point of view of the ordinary small householders and their desire to get coal when they pay for it. During the war we did not mind getting a certain amount of bad material in our coal; that was to be expected. But the unfortunate thing is that in the nine months since the war, stone dross and all sorts of other things have increased enormously. We have been very unhappy about this and in my constituency we call the waste stuff "Shinwells." We want to buy coal, not "Shinwells." I am now told by the Parliamentary Secretary that the reply which I have to give to my constituents when they ask how much longer they must pay for the dross and rubbish to which they have given this appropriate name, is that, in due course, this matter will be put right. The hon. Gentleman is not very experienced and I hope he will often use that phrase in the future. It is a complete and absolute "give away" and shows that the Government do not know in the least how they are going to deal with the matter, or when or where. I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for that innocent remark. It has given away the Government's position.

The hon. Gentleman then went a little further—and here I largely agree with him—and said that the real remedy for this was to have a proper description of the coal. Let us have a proper description and let us be told in future that we are going to have, say, 10 per cent. of coal and 90 per cent. of "Shinwells." We shall then know where we are. It may be that the amount will go up or down. It may be that a lot will be doubtful stuff, bricks and that sort of thing, and that one will not know what it is. But it would be a great help if we got something like that because we could get it separated and use it with other stuff for other purposes. This is a perfectly easy position to put. The Government are quite determined, by refusing this very excellent Clause, to do nothing whatever to try and protect the public in the immediate future and that is why I hope there will certainly be a Division on this Clause. Although I do not in any way wish to hurt the Minister, I think the public are nearly as sick of the appalling stuff which he is giving them in lieu of coal—and I think they are certainly as cross with him—as the miners themselves.

4.15 p.m.

Mr. Turner-Samuels (Gloucester):

It seems to me that there is some confusion of thought on this proposal which is not unusual on the other side of the House. Is it suggested that the machinery of arbitration should be recruited merely for this one small point, or is it proposed that the courts should be cut out altogether, and that any dispute or question which arises in these matters should be the subject of arbitration? This is a very limited point and, as it is expressed here, it is very obscure indeed. As far as I can gather, the point seems to be that if there is a contract or transaction in which coal is being purchased and that coal does not come up to the standard bargained for, as regards either quality or price, it is suggested the matter should go to arbitration. One has only to glance cursorily at this language to see its obscurity, and to realise that numerous questions may arise out of such a transaction quite apart from the limited context which we have here. Therefore, the thing becomes absolutely impracticable. In my submission the position should be left exactly as it is. If there is a dispute in regard to a transaction. whether in respect of the quality or price of the coal, or any of the terms of the transaction—because there are many terms in a transaction of this kind quite apart from the mere price or quality—it should be left to the ordinary channels of litigation in the courts. Arbitration on this point ought not to be conceded by the Minister, unless there is to be a very careful, logical and wide system of arbitration to cover any dispute which my arise out of these provisions.

Sir A. Gridley:

I do not want to press this new Clause to a Division if accommodation can be found between the Government and ourselves. I followed very closely what the Parliamentary Secretary said, and I believe that if we can get together we shall find that there is not much real difference of opinion between us. On the other hand, I do not like the idea of leaving out in the open, as it is left at present, what the Coal Board are prepared to do. As was said from the Front Bench on this side of the House, if the consumer had the option of going from one supplier to another, the position would be entirely different. But how does a consumer today know that he will be entitled to secure a specification and a price from the Coal Board which will be suitable to him? In the interests both of the Coal Board and of the consumer, there should be some provision in the Bill to make that position clear so that reasonable security will be provided which consumers can hang on to and so that they will not be left in the air as they are at present. If the Minister is prepared to meet me in the way I have suggested, I shall not press this Clause to a Division. Otherwise, I am afraid I must do so.

Mr. Shinwell:

I thought that the reply of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary on this point was conclusive. Moreover, we had very long discussions in Committee on this question, and on cognate questions of the quality and size of coal. As the hon. Member is aware, there is a Government Amendment on the Paper which, with the consent of the Chair, will be discussed later, and which, I think, meets the views expressed upstairs as regards widening the duties of the Board in respect of quantities, qualities and sizes of coal.

The only point at issue appears to be this. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) directed the attention of the House to the fact that we were about to create a monopoly. That is true, but it does not in any way prevent the public exercising the utmost vigilance relating to the activities of the National Coal Board. Indeed, it is by no means unlikely that much more publicity will be concentrated on the activities of the National Coal Board, certainly by hon. Members opposite, than has been the case with regard to the privately owned undertakings. Therefore it seems to me that that provides an adequate safeguard. Over and above that, I cannot conceive of any circumstances in which the National Coal Board would wish to deprive consumers of their legitimate rights. What advantage is to be gained by selling coal of an inferior quality to consumers upon whom the Board must rely if it is to function as it is intended in the Measure? In those circumstances, it does not appear to me that we require to go beyond what the Government have declared.

The hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) directed the attention of hon. Members to the unfortunate situation, as he regarded it, of some persons in his constituency, unspecified and about whom we have no information whatever. As the hon. Member knows, he has the right to impart such information to the Ministry of Fuel and Power if any of his constituent consumers are aggrieved. He directed attention to the plight of some persons who were recipients of coal, some part of which was regarded as inferior, and he described it in picturesque terms. The hon. Gentleman, who is not without intelligence and who has had long experience, knows full well that the situation today is quite different from what it was before the war, and in the course of, perhaps, 12 months or less, certainly no longer than 12 months, we shall have corrected the position and we shall be able to adopt screening methods. That depends largely upon the labour supply which will enable the screening operations to be more efficient and, therefore, to supply coal of the right kind to his constituent consumers. I hope, after that, they will no longer require to discriminate between the normal coal supplies and the inferior coal supplies which the hon. Gentleman has described.

This proposed new Clause which the hon. Member for Stockport (Sir A. Gridley) has asked the Government to accept, has no relation whatever to the position of domestic consumers such as the hon. Member for Torquay envisaged. The hon. Member for Stockport had in mind the larger consumers, those who purchase bulk supplies, such as the electricity, gas, iron and steel undertakings and the like. The hon. Member for Torquay had in mind the small domestic consumer who bought 1 cwt. or 2 cwt. of coal. Under this new dispensation, the National Coal Board—this monopoly, as the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Gainsborough described it—the consumers in the hon. Member's constituency will not purchase direct from the National Coal Board. They will purchase from the local coal retailer, and if they feel themselves aggrieved there is nothing to prevent them going to another coal retailer in the constituency.

Mr. C. Williams:

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving way to me, but the whole trouble is that——

Mr. Speaker:

This looks like a second speech, and I cannot allow second speeches.

Mr. C. Williams:

I would like to ask a question, if I may. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have had from the coal merchants and the consumers continual complaints that the quality is going down?

Mr. Shinwell:

I must have notice of that question. If the hon. Gentleman feels aggrieved about the supplies of coal in his constituency I hope he will give me the information. In all the circumstances, I think the hon. Member for Stockport would be well advised to withdraw this proposed new Clause. I give him the assurance that this matter will be very carefully considered.

Mr. Harold Macmillan (Bromley):

The right hon. Gentleman, I think, has very clearly put to us the difficulty which is inherent in the situation. Of course, the very fact that this is a monoply does alter the position which normally ruled. The Parliamentary Secretary referred to what is called a normal commercial contract, and a great feature of the commercial contract in normal times is that it is made between two people who both have the desire to preserve their good will and to gain commercial benefits both as buyer and seller. The right hon. Gentleman told us that the Board will be dealing through a number of retailers—that is quite true—and he said that if somebody was not satisfied with a particular agent or retailer, he could change that agent or retailer. That I took to be his argument.

Mr. Shinwell indicated assent.

Mr. Macmillan:

But the retailer or agent has only one supplier, namely, the Board. It all leads back to the ultimate monopoly. Therefore, this problem being a difficult one, I would have thought the Government would try to find every possible method of avoiding the almost inevitable dangers of monopoly. They want to have a monopoly for all kinds of reasons but, having got that situation, what one ought to do, I would have thought, would be to protect, as far as possible, the monopoly itself from falling into the lazy and unbusinesslike habits which follow upon being too easily in control of the whole business.

Mr. Turner-Samuels:

There is provision for arbitration.

Mr. Macmillan:

Had the right hon. Gentleman been prepared to make the industrial and domestic councils a reality instead of the creatures of the Ministry, I think my hon. Friend would have been happier about the position which he is trying to preserve. Whether the wording in the proposed new Clause is the right method or not, I hope that in the deliberations upon this Bill, in all its stages, the right hon. Gentleman will see whether he can strengthen the position of the public against the monopoly. Anything he can do in that respect will be to his benefit and to the benefit of his administration, because it will tend to give a greater degree of confidence in the operations of the Board. I hope that in these useful discussions the Minister will look into the question once more, and see whether by a Clause on these lines or by an Amendment to the Bill, at a later stage, he can do something to increase the degree of confidence which consumers may have in the protection of the service which they are likely to receive from this national monopoly when it is set up.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 140; Noes, 288.

Division No. 158.] AYES. 4.29 p.m
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Osborne, C.
Aitken, Hon. Max Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R Hollis, M. C. Pickthorn, K
Baldwin, A. E Holmes, Sir J. Stanley Pitman, I. J.
Baxter, A. B. Hope, Lord J. Prescott, Stanley
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Hudson, Rt. Hon R. S. (Southport) Raikes, H. V.
Bennett, Sir P. Hurd, A. Ramsay, Maj. S.
Birch, Nigel Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Bowen, R. Hutchison, Col. J. R.(Glasgow, C.) Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Bower, N. Jarvis, Sir J. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Jeffreys, General Sir G Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Jennings, R. Ropner, Col. L.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Keeling, E. H. Ross, Sir R.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Kerr, Sir J. Graham Savory, Prof. D. L.
Bullock, Capt. M. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col W. H Shephard, S. (Newark)
Byers, Lt.-Col. F. Lambert, Hon. G Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Carson, E. Lancaster, Col. C G. Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Challen, C. Law, Rt. Hon. R K. Snadden, W. M.
Channon, H. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Spearman, A. C. M.
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Spence, H. R.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Linstead, H. N. Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Lipson, D. L. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'ton, S.)
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E. McCallum, Maj. D. Teeling, William
Cuthbert, W. N. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Therneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Digby, Maj. S. W. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Dodds-Parker, A. D Maclean, Brig. F H. R. (Lancaster) Thorp, Lt.-Col R. A. F.
Drayson, G. B. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Touche, G. C.
Duthie, W. S. Macpherson, Maj N. (Dumfries) Turton, R. H.
Eccles, D. M. Maitland, Comdr J. W. Vane, W. M. T.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Manningham-Bu'ler, R E. Wadsworth, G.
Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Marlowe, A. A. H Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Marshall, D. (Bedmin) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Medlicolt, F. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke) Mellor, Sir J. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Molson, A. H. E White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Glossop, C. W. H. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Morris, H. (Carmarthen) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Gridley, Sir A. Morris-Jones, Sir H. Willoughby, de Eresby, Lord
Grimston, R. V. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) York, C.
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Neven-Spence, Sir B.
Haughton, S. G. Nicholson, G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—
Head, Brig. A. H. Nield, B (Chester) Mr. Drewe and Mr. Studholme.
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Sir C. Noble, Comdr. A H. P.
Adams, H. R. (Balham) Bechervaise A. E. Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)
Alpass, J. H. Benson, G. Brown, George (Belper)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Beswick, F. Brown, T. J. (Ince)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Burden, T. W.
Attewell, H. C. Binns, J. Burke, W. A
Awbery, S. S. Blackburn, A. R Butler, H W. (Hackney, S.)
Ayles, W. H. Blenkinsop, Capt. A. Callaghan, James
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Blyton, W. R. Chamberlain, R. A.
Bacon, Miss A. Boardman, H. Champion, A. J.
Baird, Capt. J. Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Chater, D.
Balfour, A. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Chetwynd, Capt. G. R
Barstow, P. G. Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Clitherow, Dr. R.
Barton, C. Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Cluse, W. S.
Battley, J. R. Brook, D. (Halifax) Cobb, F. A.

NEW CLAUSE.—(Candidature of employees.)

Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prevent any officer or person employed by the Board from offering himself as a candidate for election as a member of the House of Commons or of any local authority.—(Mr. H. Macmillan.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

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

This new Clause is simple and self-explanatory. Its meaning is clear and its purpose manifest. Had there been the kind of nationalisation which would have set up the coal industry like the Post Office, under the direct and immediate control of a Minister without the interposition of a public corporation, it would have been a matter of consideration what rules should be applied to the servants of the Minister as regards their rights as citizens. We know that in the fighting Services and in the Civil Service it is necessary, for discipline, to make rules as to those rights being surrendered or held by citizens in those services, although it has always been rather difficult to reach the exact balance between the needs of the Service, and what are regarded as the free rights of all individuals. But since we are not operating that kind of service, since the Board will be, as regards its servants, in the same position as any other corporation, and those who are serving it will be employees like the employees of any other bodies, I think there can be no doubt that it is right that they should have the same privileges and rights as their fellow citizens.

I owe this Clause entirely to the Minister himself; he is the fons et origo, the true and only begetter of this Clause. He is, if I may say so without any offence, one of the most remarkable examples of what no doubt we all have in our makeup, the characteristics partly of Dr. Jekyll and partly of Mr. Hyde. In this House and in Committee he moves very rapidly from gay and witty chaff to quite bitter and often rancorous attack, from suave and conciliatory charm—which nobody can exercise better than he—to violent paroxysms of emotion. Outside this House he is equally capable of showing both forms. For instance, in a broadcast which is very apposite to this subject which he delivered at the end of last year he is reported as saying: There would, be three partners in the industry, the nation, the miners and the colliery managers. To the managers as well as to the miners the future offered an inspiration and a challenge. They had their part to play in the reorganisation of the mines which was second to none in its importance. The partnership would be based on mutual trust and understanding.

Judge, then, of the emotion and confusion of these colliery managers, who I suppose we should all agree are an essential part of this great industry, when one of their number is singled out, by the same Minister who spoke so nobly of them on the broadcast, for a most bitter and personal attack. That, of course, is when the right hon. Gentleman gets to the county of Durham; he is always very dangerous in the county of Durham; it brings out his worst mood—I have been a victim, so I speak with great frankness. On 22nd February, I think it was, speaking in support of Mr. Joseph Hunter—whoever that notability may be—the Socialist candidate and old member for the Easington Division of the Durham county council, this is what the Minister said: It would be fantastic if in any part of industrial Durham any Tories were returned to the County Council.

I make no complaint of that at all, it is just good electioneering. Then he goes on to say: I am bound to say that for a mine manager to contest a seat in the Tory interest against a Labour man in a mining constituency is a first-class piece of impudence.

These are the partners on a basis of mutual trust and understanding. He then goes on to say: Mine managers re excellent men in their own department and I have the highest respect for them as technicians, but when it comes to social questions they appear to know as much about them as a pig knows about pianos.

4.45 p.m.

These are the delicate phrases, the carefully-chosen words of the Minister of the Crown responsible now for this great industry and soon to be far more responsible in a much more direct way. I think probably most of us would have felt when we read those words that that was just the kind of electioneering to which we are perhaps all somewhat prone, and to which we know the Minister is very prone, and I personally read it with mild amusement and wrote it off, thinking no more about it. Nevertheless, I think that the mine managers, in their position, had a very reasonable right to feel aggrieved, because the suggestion was that while it would be quite proper for one of their number to stand in the interests of a particular party, it was contrary to what was right and proper for him to stand in the interests of another party. They, therefore, through the National Association of Colliery Managers, asked the Minister to withdraw or qualify his statement.

I think he would have been well advised if he had said something like this: "That was just a thing I said in the heat of debate and the excitement of the platform, and I am sorry; it had no reflection upon you; you must not take it very seriously, and I withdraw it." That is what we do often enough in the heat of debate in this House or in Committee, when we have said something which we feel had better not have been said by somebody in a high position. The right hon. Gentleman, however, did no such thing. He sent them a reply, which of course I have not got, but which I understand was wholly unsatisfactory. I learn from the Press and indeed from the right hon. Gentleman's own speeches that he refused either to withdraw or to qualify what he had said, or to explain that the implications which were drawn from his words were incorrect. Indeed, the very next Saturday, at Horden in the county of Durham—that is his besetting sin, that is his danger—he said he had been reported to the Colliery Managers' Association, but this was not affiliated to the T.U.C. and he was not likely to be put upon the carpet—by the Prime Minister, I suppose. As a matter of fact he was put on the carpet by Sir Walter Citrine and also by the Prime Minister, but I am coming to that later on.

Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West):

He has never been the same man since.

Mr. Macmillan:

This trade union of mine managers, this association, can be freely insulted by the head of the industry because they are not members of the T.U.C., because they are not Socialist candidates and because they are not part of this tremendous machine which has brought the Minister and his friends into power. The Colliery Managers Association—[Interruption.]. If hon. Gentlemen opposite have no respect for liberty and freedom of speech, we still have some on this side. The Colliery Association then wrote to the Prime Minister and asked for a categorical assurance that it was not the policy of the Government to question the right of managers to engage in either local or national politics. The Prime Minister on 20th March gave the assurance that it was not the intention to prevent them from exercising their free rights as citizens. He went further in reply to Questions that on two occasions I ventured to put to him in this House. I think it will be in the recollection of those hon. Members who heard his reply, that it was that though the right hon. Gentleman was not to be put upon the carpet in this House, he was very nearly put upon the carpet outside. The implications of the Prime Minister's reply were very damaging to the Minister. He said the right hon. Gentleman was expressing a personal opinion only. He, therefore, purposely detached himself and dissociated himself from the opinions which the Minister had put forward. This matter, I think, can easily be cleared up if the Minister will now do graciously, what he could and should have done with even better grace to the Colliery Managers Association themselves. This is really a very important matter. If the policy upon which His Majesty's Government have embarked is to continue, and continue successfully; if four or five great industries are brought directly or indirectly within the purview of Government control, it is of the greatest importance that there shall be no kind of impression among any of them that the Government of the day bring upon them, in one direction or another, any kind of political pressure.

After all, already in the carrying out of this so-called nationalisation policy, there is in the hands of the Government of the day patronage upon a scale greater than has been held by any Administration since the dissolution of the monasteries. Every month and year, if they go on, that patronage will increase. A very large number of people, all classes of employees, skilled and unskilled, in clerical, managerial and other functions, will be, directly or indirectly, the employees of the State, subject to a considerable amount of possible political pressure. Now, it is surely important that the Government as a whole should make it clear that they take no interest whatever in the political views or occupations of this great and increasing range of persons. It is still more important that the head of the particular Ministry which is engaged in directing an industry should not indulge in these distasteful and ill-mannered comments. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will do, what, I am sure, nobody could do with greater grace than he, and say he made a mistake, in that speech, in suggesting in any way that it was improper for this gentleman to stand for the local county council. I hope he will make, even late in the day, some amende honorable to those gentlemen. He can most easily do it by making it clear that neither the Government as a whole, nor he, in respect of the particular industry over which he is about to preside, proposes even to inquire into, far less to influence, the political opinions of any of the very large number of men—numbering at present some 750,000, and with ancillary businesses, perhaps, a million in all—engaged in it. He can best do that, I suggest, by accepting this Clause and embodying it in the Bill.

Mr. Shinwell:

We have now had t he long waited attack. For some time the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) has been straining at the leash. In the course of our proceedings upstairs he essayed to embroil me in this somewhat embarrassing controversy surrounding the position of certain colliery managers in my constituency. But I imposed upon myself severe restraint. Had it not been for the right hon. Gentleman's attack I should have remained silent. I owe it, however, if not to hon. Members opposite, at least to my hon. Friends on this side, that an explanation of my conduct should be duly made. I say at once I do not propose to make an amende honorable. That I decline to do. There is nothing that I have said in my constituency, or, indeed, elsewhere, for which I need apologise. The right hon. Gentleman demands freedom of speech. So do I—for others and, equally, for myself. And let it be clearly understood—I hope this is not heresy—that the fact of being a Minister should not preclude one from expressing an opinion if one holds that opinion very strongly.

Naturally, opinions of one kind and another are sometimes offensive. I have been in this House several years—longer, I believe than the right hon. Gentleman—and frequently I have been castigated in the most opprobrious and, as I have frequently thought, in the most vile language. But I make no complaint on that score. Epithets have been hurled at me. Have I complained? I recall that there was an occasion on which I did complain—when direct action required to be taken, for which I subsequently apologised, not to the recipient of the direct action, but to the Chair, as, indeed, it was my duty to do in those circumstances. But we must not be squeamish and mealy-mouthed. We understand each other and, surely, we can give and we can take——

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham):

The right hon. Gentleman was lucky he did not get paid back in his own coin.

Mr. Shinwell:

The hon. Gentleman interjects to say that I was fortunate on the particular occasion I have in mind. That may well be. But I did emerge unscathed. I might not have emerged in that fashion. At any rate, I had the courage to take a chance.

Hon. Members: Oh.

Mr. Pickthorn (Cambridge University):

On a point of Order. As one of those now here who was present on the occasion in question, I wonder whether other accounts and explanations of what then happened will be in Order after the right hon. Gentleman has given his account?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hubert Beaumont):

The Debate has been allowed to proceed on certain lines, but I trust there will be restraint in the matter and manner of speech.

Mr. Nicholson:

Further to that point of Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. May I ask you to restrain the right hon. Gentleman from boasting of one of the greatest breaches of Order that has ever taken place in this House?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker:

It is not for me to judge of the past, but only to deal with the present.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. Shinwell:

I did not raise this Debate. I hope you will not allow me, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, to be disturbed by the infantile pedantries of the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Pickthorn).

Mr. Gallacher:

On a point of Order. As one who was present on that occasion, and as I went out with the Minister after he had performed that very desirable act, might I object to the statement that it was something of which anyone ought to be ashamed? It was very much needed, and I am proud of the Minister that he did it.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker:

I would remind hon. Members that we are not holding an inquest on this incident. I hope that we shall be sufficiently moderate in this matter, though I do not wish to spoil the cut and thrust of the Debate. Let me remind hon. Members that we have a Clause under discussion.

Mr. Henry Strauss (Combined English Universities):

Further to that point of Order. Mr. Speaker, on the occasion in question, characterised what was done as an outrage——

Mr. Deputy-Speaker:

I cannot accept that as a point of Order. I cannot deal with past happenings. I am concerned only with today's discussion.

Mr. Strauss:

My point is this. Is it in Order for the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher), having regard to the Ruling which Mr. Speaker gave on that occasion, to justify that which Mr. Speaker described as an outrage?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker:

I do not think it is necessary to make any further remarks on the matter. Let us proceed with the discussion upon the Clause.

Mr. Shinwell:

It is perhaps a little awkward that this matter has arisen, but if the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) had not evinced in this matter a little malice, and then, reclining in his seat, expect that I should stand at this Box and be contrite—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"]—The answer is that I have no intention of doing so. What is the precise matter before the House? It is not the speech which I delivered in my constituency, because that, if I may say so with respect, is quite irrelevant. Hon. Members on any side, and a Minister, are entitled to make speeches in their constituencies, and we shall continue to do so. No doubt the speeches will be hailed on one side with enthusiasm, and on the other with opprobrium—risks are entailed in making speeches.

Sir Ian Fraser (Lonsdale):

I am not fully acquainted with this matter, and should very much like the Minister to help me. Why was he annoyed with this manager? Was it because he was a manager, or because he was a Tory?

Mr. Shinwell:

I am always annoyed with Tories. Indeed, so much was I annoyed with Tories in my constituency at the time of the General Election, that when I was asked what was my policy, I said, "Clear the Tories out of County Durham." That they proceeded to do, including the right hon. Member for Bromley, and I suspect that this is the reason for the new Clause on the Order Paper. The simple issue is this. Are we to prescribe in the Bill that those employed by the National Coal Board shall not be precluded from exercising their legitimate rights as citizens, or are we to assume that as citizens the employees of the National Coal Board can, if they so decide, and without consulting the National Coal Board, except in certain circumstances which may emerge, contest in their constituencies for local or national purposes? I am going to ask hon. Members to agree with me that it is unnecessary to insert this provision in the Bill. Employees of the National Coal Board will not be civil servants—I made that clear during the Second Reading Debate—and consequently they have a perfect right to stand as candidates in any constituency. As regards the position of colliery managers, I want to repeat what the right hon. Member for Bromley said in connection with my observations about colliery managers. I have the highest regard for them as technicians—I believe British mining engineers are the best in the world—but it is my opinion, in a constituency where the great majority of the people are mine workers and the wives of mine workers, that it was a little impudent on the part of the local colliery manager to——[Interruption.] This is only my opinion. Surely, I am entitled to my opinion? I am just as entitled to my opinion as the right hon. and gallant Member for Pembroke (Major Lloyd-George), if indeed he has an opinion.

Major Lloyd-George (Pembroke):

I have an opinion, but I never regard it as impudent for anyone to hold a contrary opinion to my own.

Mr. Shinwell:

It is very easy to be amiable in these matters, and to be conciliatory or sit on the fence. Hon. Members on the other side have asked for this. They are getting it, and they do not like it. Hon. Members must make up their minds that they are not going to disturb me by their interruptions.

Mr. Nigel Birch (Flint):

We are succeeding very well.

Mr. Shinwell:

If the hon. Member, sitting on a back seat and smirking away in his characteristic fashion, imagines that he is disturbing me, he is mistaken. As regards these local colliery managers, if they want to stand in the Tory interest, they may do so, but that is their affair. I am entitled to describe it in picturesque language, and I shall do so as I feel disposed. There have been two results from the speech I delivered in my constituency, and I ask hon. Members opposite to take note of them. First, the local colliery managers lost their seats, and that was very desirable, and, secondly—and this is much more interesting—production has increased. If hon. Members opposite, and particularly the right hon. Member for Bromley, imagine that my speeches in the country have the effect of diminishing production, they are very much mistaken. It has had a contrary effect. I am completely satisfied with the technical activities of the colliery managers in my own area, and I am particularly satisfied with the efforts of the miners, who have achieved the target figures over and over again—I am very pleased that they have. If I thought that speeches of that kind would have a similar effect in other coalfields, I would consider taking similar action.

Finally, the right hon. Gentleman introduced a great many unseemly observations. He talked about attacking and castigating the other side; about rudeness, being temperamental and the like. The right hon. Gentleman introduced something which was most unseemly and inaccurate. He said that I was "put on the carpet" by the Prime Minister. How does he know? Has someone been divulging Cabinet secrets? If the right hon. Gentleman goes on in that fashion. he may be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

When the Prime Minister is asked whether the speech made by one of his most distinguished colleagues represents his opinion, and when he makes the reply that his colleague was expressing his personal opinion only, that is about as near as the Prime Minister can go.

Mr. Shinwell:

That is as jejune an observation as I have ever heard from the lips of the right hon. Gentleman. In my constituency, I expressed a personal opinion, and that is all it was. The right hon. Gentleman has expressed personal opinions in his own constituency—only they have probably not been so sensible as some of the opinions I have expressed. The Prime Minister understood that as such, and it was, therefore, unnecessary to castigate me, or question me on the speech. As for the Trades Union Congress or Sir Walter Citrine "putting me on the carpet"—well, I have not got to that stage as yet. Of course, you never can tell.

All I have to say about the proposed Clause is that it is unnecessary, irrelevant, and must be rejected. [Interruption.] I mean that it is irrelevant to the Bill. If this Clause were accepted by the Government, it would not produce an ounce of coal, and I am concerned with producing coal. [Interruption.] The right hon. Gentleman may ejaculate and interrupt as much as he likes about the effect of nationalisation, but we can have that out next week when we are discussing the Third Reading of this Bill—and I will take on any of them, at any time they like. I would not have talked in this fashion had it not been for the right hon. Gentleman. He asked for it, and I hope that he has got it, and now that he has got it, I hope that he will be satisfied.

Mr. E. P. Smith (Ashford):

I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that any officer or person employed by the Board would have a perfect right to offer himself as a candidate, except in certain circumstances. Can he say what are those circumstances?

Mr. Shinwell:

He may be a high-powered employee of the Board, whose services may be regarded by the Board as too valuable to lose, and, consequently, they advise him not to stand. That is the custom in many industrial constituencies.

Mr. Hopkin Morris (Carmarthen):

The right hon. Gentleman says that they will be eligible for election, and can stand as candidates, but they will be publicly appointed servants, if not civil servants, and in the same position as a servant of a public utility company. Let us take, for instance, the British Broadcasting Corporation, which is an independent corporation. None of its employees is a civil servant, but none of them may stand as a candidate for this House. Upon what authority does the right hon. Gentleman say that they will be eligible, apart from this Clause, to become candidates?

Mr. Shinwell:

The point does not arise at all. These are ordinary employees of industrial undertakings, although it is perfectly true that they are set up as a result of a Parliamentary Bill, and with the consent of this House. There is no reason why they should not stand if their employers are satisfied.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Jennings (Sheffield, Hallam):

I intervene because I feel that we have to get on with other matters. The right hon. Gentleman's speech has not relieved my mind on one or two rather serious considerations. I thought that he would have come forward this afternoon, and, in a friendly and genial way, have stated to the House, something to this effect: "That I had to make this speech in Durham——

Major Cecil Poole (Lichfield):

On a point of Order. In view of the fact that this Clause relates only to the position of officers and servants who are servants of the Board, may I ask you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, whether it is in Order to refer to the case of people who were never servants of the Board but who were privately employed? I respectfully suggest that that part of the discussion is out of Order.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker:

As previous speakers have been permitted to refer to this matter, perhaps we had better hear what the hon. Gentleman has to say.

Mr. Jennings:

I thought that the right hon. Gentleman, in a genial sort of way, would have given an explanation to the House as to why he deemed it necessary to issue a stricture on a colliery manager seeking election. I live in this county and I follow the right hon. Gentleman's speeches very closely. Some of them I treat with contempt, but I consider their effect on other people. It is in the interests of these other people that I wish to speak. The right hon. Gentleman made a speech which, in my opinion, was an extremely dangerous speech to go out to the country, and he says that he does not take back one word of what he said. He makes no apology and says the Tories he simply detests. Hon. Members on the other side must remember this: There are good technicians, and good colliery managers among Conservatives, and these people are asked to work together; but how can they, when their chief looks frowningly and with disdain on any of them who seek election to local government bodies? Does not that create in their mind a feeling that they may be penalised, in some way, by the Minister who is going to run the industry? [Laughter.] The Minister may laugh, but he has expressed that view, and an atmosphere of resentment will remain in the minds of these people until he withdraws it. The Minister may say that output has gone up in County Durham; but he may get it down again by some of his speeches. We in this House are here to protect the rights and liberties of the people outside. [An HON. MEMBER: "Who are?"] We all are—all parties. Surely, we are not going to make it a party issue, whether we stand in this House for the rights and liberties of the people.

Mr. Gallacher:

Can the hon. Gentleman the Member for Hallam (Mr. Jennings) give me the name of any one of the employees of the big corporations who has been allowed to stand as a candidate in support of nationalisation?

Mr. Jennings:

The reply to the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) is that one cannot find the head of any big corporation who supports nationalisation. I want to impress upon hon. Members on all sides of the House that if this new Clause is not accepted, the rights and liberties of the people will be interfered with by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Fuel and Power, who looks with frowns and disdain upon any colliery manager who has the impudence to stand in the Tory interest. He has expressed that opinion, and he has repeated it this afternoon. I say, with great humility, that he has made a dangerous speech and one that will not help to get increased output.

Mr. Tom Smith (Normanton):

Nobody regrets more than I do that the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) moved this new Clause in the manner in which he did, and I think he must accept some of the responsibility for what has occurred since. When I read the new Clause, knowing the record of the Conservative Party in its fight for individual freedom, the extension of the franchise and the right of every workman to stand for election to a local authority, I thought he was treating this thing seriously. I have known many colliery managers who have given good local government service in rural, urban and city councils, but I also remember the days before the great war, when I first stood for election, when the colliery manager regarded it as impudence on my part, as one of his workmen, to do so.

Mr. Macmillan:

That was very wrong of him.

Mr. Smith:

Of course, it was. This new Clause could have been made the medium for defining pretty clearly what is to be the position of employees of the Board when the Bill becomes law. Hon. Members opposite, in some of their speeches recently, have suggested that when the mines become the property of the State the ordinary mine worker will not have the liberty to strike, or the same liberty for public activities as under private ownership. That was preached many years ago by the Anti-Socialist Union. We on this side have never believed that, and we know that in practice it could not be carried out, but I must say that when the Ministry of Fuel and Power was first set up, and we had to ask prominent people in the industry to take jobs, the question of how they would stand in relation to their local government positions was one that caused some anxiety. I thought the right hon. Gentleman was trying to seek guidance on that point.

Let me give an example of what I have in mind. We established regional investigating officers, good, commonsense lads from the pits, to deal with absenteeism. The first question that arose was whether they could remain members of urban dis- trict councils, county councils, and so on. I think there will have to be clarity with regard to this matter. It is clear from the Bill that members of the National Coal Board cannot at the same time be Members of Parliament, but I have yet to hear any reason why a man holding a public position, doing his work conscientiously and competently, should not be allowed to take part in local politics. While I regret the tone of the speech in which this new Clause was moved, I think it will have served a useful purpose if it enables us to get some clarity in this matter. When I read the Clause first, I began to wonder what it was defining. There is reference to "officer or person." I have always understood that an officer in the Army has an abdomen and a private has a stomach. I wonder whether the ordinary miner is an officer or a person. No one need get hot under the collar about this matter. There are many officials in the great mining community, chairmen of boards, managers and workmen, who have contributed a good deal to the best in British local government.

Mr. Henry Strauss:

I feel so great a respect for the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith) that I cannot help feeling a personal regret that he was not in charge of the Measure introduced by the Government to deal with these matters. I think I have seldom heard a more unseemly or disgraceful speech from a right hon. Gentleman occupying the Government Front Bench than the speech made this afternoon by the Minister of Fuel and Power. I can understand that the hon. Member for Normanton would have preferred my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) to have moved this new Clause in different terms. I thought my right hon. Friend moved it in a very good speech, a very humorous one, and certainly one that gave no justification whatever for the tone of the Minister's answer. In spite of the cheers which the Minister got from the Benches behind him, I think there will be many in his own party who will disapprove of it as much as it is disapproved of on these Benches, and I am certain that when the Prime Minister reads the speech in HANSARD, he will have a similar reaction to that which he had when he read the Minister's speech in the country which has been mentioned. The Minister said that the new Clause is unnecessary. I share the view of the hon. and learned Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Morris) that that is by no means so clear. If I understood the Minister rightly, in one of the few relevant and serious things in his speech, he so far disagrees with Tories that he thinks none of them ought to exist in the county of Durham. If that is his genuine view—I hope he would not deceive the House in the matter—what is there to stop him giving a direction, under Clause 3 of the Bill, that the Board should prohibit its employees from standing in the Tory interest? [Interruption.] I get the support of the fatuous laughter of the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher), who gives me support in the only way in which he can give it. Will the Attorney-General say that no such direction could conceivably be given? The whole tone of the Minister's speech showed the greatest necessity for a Clause of this kind, and I hope this matter will be pressed to a Division.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham):

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman be kind enough to say how he justifies this attack on the Minister, who has just appointed a Coal Board which contains only two persons who have ever been associated with the movement which forms the Government of the country?

Mr. Strauss:

That matter has not the slightest relevance to the new Clause. I am attacking the Minister for the speech which he made this afternoon, and not for his appointments to the Coal Board. If I wished to attack him on that, I would certainly give reasons. I am attacking him for his speech this afternoon, which is the most disgraceful speech that has been heard from a Minister of the Crown. [An HON. MEMBER: "It was a good one."] It is extremely good from my Party's point of view, because, when the speech is read in the country, the failure of the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw or qualify his previous speech and the aggravation of his offence today will not redound to the credit of hon. Members opposite. I understand that the Minister has two alternative reasons for the speech he made in the country. One is that it was designed or intended to increase production. If so, the results have not been startling.

Mr. Gallacher:

Wait and see.

Mr. Strauss:

It will be a pity if we have to wait beyond next winter. The Minister said, secondly, that any Minister is entitled, while he is a Minister, to express his personal opinion. So he is, provided it is also the Government's opinion, or is not an opinion from which the Government have to dissociate themselves. When the right hon. Gentleman expresses an opinion that members of an important body in the industry for which he is directly responsible must not stand for public office, or that it is impudent for them to do so in the interests of his political opponents, and the Prime Minister has to say that he is expressing a personal opinion only, that is not a position in which it has been customary hitherto for a right hon. Gentleman holding such an important position to place the Prime Minister.

I would say that if there was a case—and undoubtedly there was—for this Clause when it was moved by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley it is very much strengthened now. Apart from the strength given it by the Minister's indecent reply, I cite in aid the main considerations put forward by my hon. and learned Friend on the Liberal Benches the Member for Carmarthen—I agree with him about the obscurity of the position in the absence of a Clause to this effect—and support some points made by the hon. Member for Normanton. It is not clear by any means that in the absence of this Clause the civil rights of the employees would be secure. It is not clear that the Minister could not give directions to the Board that would make it impossible in certain cases for these men to enjoy these civil rights. In these circumstances I hope that this new Clause, if it is not accepted will be pressed to a Division.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames):

I do not propose to comment on the speech which the Minister thought it consistent with the responsibilities of his office to make, but I propose following the line of thought suggested in the very reasonable speech of the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith). I wish to address the House on a matter which is somewhat more important even than the Minister's reminiscences" as to some of the less discreditable episodes of his career. First, I want to put to the House the position of the employees of this great national monopoly, and I would remind the House that the Clause which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) moved, does not confine itself to colliery managers, but covers, I understand, all the employees of the Board. So far we have had from the Government Front Bench no reassurance of any sort or kind. Consequently the disquiet, to which my right hon. Friend referred, has necessarily been very much increased. The position as I understand it is this. As the Bill stands there is nothing to prevent the Board on its own responsibility forbidding any of its employees to stand for public office. Therefore, there is nothing in the Bill as it stands to prevent the Minister giving a direction under Clause 3 (I) that the Board shall issue instructions to that effect. Therefore, there are two risks to the political freedom of very nearly one million people, and that I would repeat is a great deal more important for the House of Commons than the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman saw fit to treat it.

That matter having been raised, it is surely incumbent upon the Minister, who is responsible for this great and vital industry, to give us some clear and definite assurance. I cannot see why he should not accept the Clause, as the only answer which he has given in regard to it was that it would not raise one single ounce of coal. If he is going to apply that criterion to all the Clauses of the Bill he will have to reduce the number of them. In answer to his contention that this Amendment is not designed directly to raise a further ounce of coal, I would say it is not intended to. It is designed for a matter which appears to hon. Members on this side of the House to be of the utmost importance, and that is to guarantee the political freedom of almost one million employees. If the right hon. Gentleman does not consider that an important matter it will be, in due course, for those concerned to judge between him and those he represents, and those of us who take a contrary view. I would point out that not only is there a double risk of managerial direction as the Bill now stands, but there is also the possibility that the Minister's place may one day be filled by a Member not so conciliatory, impartial or reasonable as the right hon. Gentleman. Indeed one day it might be filled by the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher)—[Interruption]. I am glad to see that I have one supporter for that contention—the hon. Member for West Fife. Unless there is some definite provision in this Bill, which is, I suppose, to some extent, a precedent for future nationalisation Measures, very serious possibilities can arise. Many people who have no partisan feeling in the matter one way or the other, are gravely disquieted at the political implications of these nationalisation proposals. I say to hon. Members opposite who believe in nationalisation that if they want to kill nationalisation at its birth, they should do just what the right hon. Gentleman is doing.

Mr. Blyton (Houghton-le-Spring):

After listening to this Debate I should like to assure the Minister of Fuel and Power that the language which he used in relation to the colliery managers in the Seaham district of the county of Durham was as nothing compared with the language we have used for 26 years to the colliery managers in our mining villages. The hon. Member for Hallam (Mr. Jennings) referred to the rights and liberties of the people of the mines. I live in the same district. Surely he has not forgotten the liberties that the company in that area threatened after the 1926 strike. If a man was a councillor, a trade union official, a Communist or a member even of the ordinary lodge committee he did not get a start after the 26 strike because of his political and trade activities. At the same time, we had colliery managers doing their best to try to protect our own children who were being fed under the Children's Act administered by the county council. I can assure hon. Gentlemen opposite that if they had been negotiating wages with the colliery managers and agents they would have found that the language of the Minister of Fuel and Power was moderate compared with the language used from time to time during those negotiations. The speech by the Minister has been referred to. The right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) spoke in Durham in an effort to convert the miners to the Tory cause. It was a hopeless effort, as was borne out when the election results were declared, because fewer Conservatives were sent to Westminster to represent that part of the country than there had been before the Election. The right hon. Gentleman referred to us as a mining community and as a Socialist caucus. We did not get all hot or bothered about that. We accepted that in the spirit in which it was given, and because it was an attempt to win the Election.

>What is the position of the colliery manager today? No colliery manager can go forward even in the Tory interests as a candidate for any council unless he gets the consent of the agent or the director of the undertaking in which he is employed. I have known managers during the war who were directed either to give up their position as colliery manager or resign from the Home Guard. That happened in the area in which the hon. Member for Hallam lives. The liberty which Members opposite talk so much about today has not been much in evidence in the mines in days gone by. Miners will never accept the view that this Bill will take away from them the political activities which they have built up over the last 30 or 40 years. I believe that colliery managers, without any political prejudice, will get a fairer crack of the whip under this Bill than they have had in the past under private enterprise.

Mr. Hopkin Morris:

The important speech in this Debate has been made by the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith), who placed his finger on a really difficult problem. The Bill sets up a new position. What the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. Blyton) has just said may be true, but there are employers in the country who preclude those holding appointments under them from standing as candidates, either for local government elections or for this House. That may be unfortunate, but this Clause is something quite new. The right hon. Gentleman says that it is not his intention that the officers and employees of the Board shall be precluded from standing as candidates, whatever their party, and from taking their part in the civic life of this country. If that is so, does the Bill provide for that position? The hon. Member for Normanton gave instances in local government, as the law now stands. Take the case of an attendance officer, employed by a local education authority. Can he or not be a candidate for a county council election? I believe he cannot. There may be a very good argument, and I think there is, for excluding him; there may be a good argument for excluding these people from candidates for Parliament, but if that is not the intention a new position is being created, and some provision for that should be made in the Bill. The Bill provides, at the moment, that members of the Board cannot, quite properly, be candidates for this House. The Board may proceed to make regulations that all employed by them shall also be precluded——

Mr. Turner-Samuels:

Where is that?

Mr. Morris:

In Subsection (3).

Mr. Turner-Samuels:

But Subsection (I) describes what the Board can do.

Mr. Morris:

They can be directed by the Minister. It is an important and salutary departure by the right hon. Gentleman to say that people employed by the Board, other than the officers of the Board, shall be eligible, or can be eligible, to be candidates for Parliament. If that is true that is a new principle. Why cannot this be expressed in the Bill? I do not know that this is the ideal Clause on which it can be done, but perhaps the Minister will give us an assurance that he will look at the matter again, and see that the point is made clear in the Bill. All we have had is his speech, which will not be effective once the Bill becomes law.

The Attorney-General (Sir Hartley Shawcross):

I appreciate that the main, if not the only, purpose of this Clause was to enable the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) to give himself the gratification of making at some length one of those amusing speeches so detached from the realities of the Clause, although purporting to be addressed to it, which entertain us all. I am sure that the House enjoyed listening to him. But there are matters of greater importance involved, not in the right hon. Gentleman's speech, but in the Clause which has been put down in his name.

I agree that it is quite essential that the officers and employees of this Board should not be prevented by this or any other Act of Parliament from exercising their ordinary rights as citizens. But why are we dealing only with this question of standing for public office? Is that the only right in which Members opposite are interested? Why cannot we go a little further, and make some express provision in the Bill that officers and employees of this Board shall not be prevented from, shall we say, getting married? That is an important matter. What about another matter to which Members opposite always attach so much importance, that a man ought not to be prevented from owning his own house, or that no officer or employee shall be prevented from joining the Carlton Club?

5.45 p.m.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

Had the Minister said that it was a piece of impudence for an employee of the Board to get married, I certainly would have included that.

The Attorney-General:

The difference between the right hon. Gentleman and myself is that I am attempting to deal with the Clause and the Bill, while he is attempting to use the machinery of the Bill and the Clause to move a vote of censure on the Minister, which, I think, will be rejected in due course by the House. I suggest that it is exceedingly important that we should make quite sure that all officers and employees of the Board should retain those essential and vital human liberties for which we all stand, including the liberty to belong to the Carlton Club, or, even, liberty to vote for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley at the next Election. But it is not necessary to alter the Bill, because there is nothing in this Bill which prevents an officer or employee of the Board from exercising his ordinary rights as a citizen in regard to the matter which is the subject of this Amendment or, so far as I know, in regard to any other matter. This Bill, so far as I understand it, introduces no new principle. It provides that members of the Board, appointed by the Minister, shall be precluded from standing——

Mr. Hopkin Morris:

I did not say that the Bill introduces a new principle, but that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman did.

The Attorney-General:

I do not know to what speech the hon. Member is referring.

Mr. Morris:

The speech of the Minister this afternoon.

The Attorney-General:

I heard nothing in that speech which involved a new principle. What we are dealing with here is the Bill, and its actual terms. All I can advise the House about is what is in the Bill. When it is eventually passed into law, as it will be in due time, we shall have to construe and apply its provisions. What the Minister may or may not have said may, no doubt, pass into history, but it will not be quoted in the courts.

Mr. Henry Strauss:

Would the Attorney-General say that the Minister would be unable under Clause 3 (I) to give a direction to the Board to make it a condition of employment of their employees that they shall not stand for Parliament?

The Attorney-General:

I have no hesitation in saying that he has no power to give a general direction of that kind. If any such general direction were given by the Minister one could be certain that there would be a race between those going to the courts in order to challenge his direction and those coming to this House with a view to reducing his salary. I am not sure who would win, but it is clear that no Minister in his senses, even if he had the power, would dream of making any such direction, and that no lawyer would seriously suggest that any power to make a general direction of that kind exists under this Bill.

That is my view on the matter. An hon. Member opposite referred to the position of employees of the B.B.C. It is, of course, open to any commercial undertaking to make it a term of the contracts which they have with their employees that they shall not stand for public office. I believe certain commercial undertakings make such a stipulation, but it is only in regard to their higher officials, and the House will probably think it right that in the case of people occupying superior posts, it may be desirable, in certain cases, for an employer to make a provision of that kind in his contract with a particular official. That is a matter of contract in regard to which the particular employer is completely free to enter into such arrangements as he chooses with his employee if the employee chooses, on his part, to agree. There is nothing in the Bill which could affect the freedom of contract concerning these matters and nothing in the proposed new Clause. Even if this new Clause were passed it would still be open to the Board to say, "We will not employ anybody who stands as a candidate for Parliament or for a local authority." That is a matter on which the parties are perfectly free to arrive at any contract they may choose. That is the general position where you find that employees of an undertaking do not stand for Parliament. It is not because there is any legal disqualification against their so doing, but because they have chosen quite voluntarily not to stand.

The case of the school attendance officer raised by the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Morris) was a little different. In particular cases there may be legal prohibition, and one can see obvious reasons why an employee of a local authority should not be allowed to become a member of that authority, but that sort of consideration does not arise here. There is no statutory restriction, and when this Bill is passed into law there will still be no kind of statutory restriction against an officer or employee of the Board exercising any civic rights he chooses, whether it be to get married, to own his own house, to become a member of a local authority or of Parliament, or even to devote the whole of his time to his job

Mr. E. P. Smith:

I am very glad indeed to have had the chance of hearing the hon. and learned Attorney-General, who has emerged from his recent shell of silence to speak on this point. He has expounded the law to us as he sees it; but I myself have found in the past that it has cost me quite a lot of money to follow the legal opinion of hon. and learned Attorney-Generals when they have ceased to be hon. and learned Attorney-Generals, and, therefore, I place more faith in, and give more attention to, the actual wording of Clause 3 (I). I would ask the House to listen carefully to these words because I think they are tremendously important: The Minister may, after consultation with the Board, give to the Board directions of a general scharacter as to the exercise and performance by the Board of their functions in relation to matters appearing to the Minister—— that is the crux of the whole thing: matters appearing to the Minister to affect the national interest, and the Board shall give effect to any such directions. The Minister "may"; the Board "shall". I doubt if one could devise a wider or more all-embracing Clause than that. In fact—and I am not using the word in any offensive sense—it is a tyrannical Clause. It makes the Minister a tyrant. That may be all right if we are to have a benevolent tyrant, and sometimes one can find a benevolent tyrant, but I am bound to say that, after listening to the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Fuel and Power this afternoon, I am a little unsure whether he will always come down on the side of Dr. Henry Jekyll. I feel, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) has said, that there is more than a touch of Mr. Edward Hyde about the right hon. Gentleman, and I cannot help believing, in these circumstances, that it would be wiser for the House to pass this new Clause which says, quite bluntly: Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prevent any officer or person employed by the Board from offering himself as a candidate for election as a Member of the House of Commons or of any local authority. As I understand Clause 3 (I), the Minister quite definitely has that power—pace the hon. and learned Attorney-General—although he could not exercise it unless he himself elected so to do.

Mr. Raikes (Liverpool, Wavertree):

After reading Clause 3 (I) I find it difficult to understand how the learned Attorney-General is in a position to say definitely that the Minister could not, if he so desired, issue such directions. I notice that the Attorney-General qualified that a little by pointing out, with an airy wave of his hand, that, after all, even if the Minister had the power, Parliament would be running after him and people would be going to the courts, and so on, but I should have thought that there was a certain doubt in law, as the Bill stands, whether that power exists, and we are considering at the moment the power itself rather than whether it is likely to be exercised or not.

When I came into the Chamber at the beginning of this Debate I expected to hear a cheerful discussion of the merit or demerit of accepting this new Clause which would lay down absolutely, definitely and beyond doubt that persons employed by the Board could stand for office, and I was astonished and a little shocked by the extreme outburst of violence from the Minister. I do not know what has been happening in another place, but it seems to me that that form of violence makes it difficult to discuss serious Amendments with any due degree either of wisdom or calmness.

Mr. Shinwell

indicated dissent.

Mr. Raikes:

I notice that the right hon. Gentleman shakes his head at me, and not for the first time, but that troubles me little. We were told by the Minister, and by other hon. Members opposite, that the whole trouble of this discussion becoming heated was due to my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) bringing up the subject of a speech which the Minister had made. What does the Minister himself say? I want to deal with his speech for a few moments, I know that I shall remain in Order because I propose to deal only with what the right hon. Gentleman said himself, and, of course, that was all in Order. He said, first and foremost, that he claimed the right of a Minister to have an opinion of his own and to express it. I should be the last to disagree with that. All I would observe in regard to it is that it would be generally admitted that a Minister of the Crown should show rather greater restraint in his public utterances than a mere Back Bencher who has not the same degree of responsibility. I do not think that is an unusual doctrine to express, or an unreasonable one.

6.0 p.m.

Then the right hon. Gentleman, to my utter and complete astonishment, passed on from that to discuss an extremely disagreeable incident with which he was connected in his less wise days, when he was a Back Bencher. I do not want to go into that matter again, except to say that it seems to me astounding that a Minister of the Crown should apparently take the opportunity of glorying in an incident which, if followed by other Members of this House, would destroy democracy within a fortnight. Once the fisticuffs come in and the words stop, democracy is dead. I should have preferred to forget that incident, but when the right hon. Gentleman trotted it out this evening—[Interruption.]—he did trot it out.

Mr. Shinwell:

Who started it?

Mr. Raikes:

My right hon. Friend made no reference whatever to that incident, nor would one expect him to do so, in such circumstances. If a Minister who is to be the big boss of the colliery industry states that colliery managers are extremely impudent when they think of opposing Socialist candidates, unless that statement is withdrawn or modified, fear might be created in the minds of certain persons as to whether it would be advisable in the future to stand for local government office or indeed for Parliament. The statement might have an extremely unpleasant effect, as being the view taken by the boss not only of colliery managers as politicians, but of Tories in general. Therefore, I cannot consider that my right hon. Friend was in the least offensive to bring that point up. One often says things in the heat of the moment. If that little bit of sting had been taken out the case would have been very much strengthened against stressing the new Clause.

Instead of that, the point is rammed in with even more violence. We hear a lot about the general wickedness of the Tories. It is just as well that all employees of the National Coal Board should see it in black and white in a Clause of this Bill, that, whatever the personal views of the Minister may be and whether he is in a bad temper or a good one, Parliament in general has agreed and laid down that any person within the industry who desires to stand for office is entitled to do so. That is the gist of the proposed new Clause, and it has been strengthened by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. Far from hon. Members on this side of the House being unable to take it, the more often the right hon. Gentleman loses his temper the better for us.

Mr. John McKay (Wallsend):

I am surprised that the Debate has continued for so long. I have every confidence that the miners, when they advocated nationalisation, were not in any way attempting to restrict the liberty of any individual within the industry. When we are discussing the Bill we ought not to allow the past to overcloud our judgment. We should look forward to the future and see in what way we can make the mining industry a success. We have had much entertainment, but it seemed to me that the individuals who were giving the entertainment were dealing neither with the Bill nor with the proposed new Clause.

What is the real point at issue? It is whether officials in the mining industry, such as technical officers and so forth, shall have as much liberty as in the past or more. I suggest that, even leaving the Bill as it is, and without the proposed new Clause, there will be more liberty for the official and technical sections in the future than they have ever had in the past. They will have more freedom, and their minds will turn more in the direction of helping the industry and the party that brought nationalisation into the industry. I hope that the official section will have the same liberty as the rest of the people in the industry to get themselves, if necessary, upon a trade union footing, to affiliate with the Trades Union Congress and to get into the real spirit of the industry and work for its advantage and for the fulfilment of the object with which nationalisation is being brought into being. That is what we want and are striving for. There is no question, whatever hopes we have about the efforts of any individual within the industry, that it is important that every encouragement ought to be given to the technical and official sections, whether it be on the political issue or any other issue.

We need an organised industry. We want a unification of the spirit of good will. We want every man in every section to do his best to be useful. That is what we are out for. We are not out to restrict men but to give them greater freedom. That is why we believe in Socialism and in nationalisation. We think they will bring that result. We believe that in the past the official section had not liberty, but that does not mean that they shall not have it in the future. Nothing has been said in the Debate to suggest that any officer or official shall be prevented from using his political influence even more in the future than in the past.

The welfare of the industry is so important that it would be to the interest of the industry and of the country to give the technical side more power and more authority even, in political matters. If there were a group of them here it might be well. Therefore, there is nothing at issue in reality. Is there any individual in this House prepared to restrict the opportunity of an individual character—a man with some ability beyond the ordinary, a man who has a hold upon the mining section in which he is living, and has an opportunity to fulfil his own individuality and to help the industry and the country—who wants to stand as a candidate? I do not believe there is. I do not believe the Minister for Fuel and Power would ever attempt it, whatever he may say when he is in the constituency. We know perfectly well that there may have been personal animosity on some occasion. There may be personal animosity now, or a clash of intellects because of the attitude people are taking up. That does not matter to us. It should not matter to this House. The Clause is a political tactic if it is pressed to a Division. There is no argument for it, and I hope it will be withdrawn.

Mr. Pickthorn:

I think I shall be short and I hope I may be plain. I can pursue the former object in part by eschewing that topic which seems to be of most interest to the Minister, that is to say his own earlier life and combatant career. About that I think there is a great deal which might be said, but I think, on the whole, it would be in the interests of the House that we should not discuss that at any great length. Indeed, if I do discuss it in any way I shall not commit myself by the choice of direct epithet to indicate my opinion of his intellectual attainment or mental age. There is one point not strictly on this Clause which he and other speakers have discussed and about which I may permit myself a sentence, because I would go rather further than my Friends in my reprehension of the doctrine that a Minister may express a personal opinion of a practical matter within the ambit of the office over which he presides. I do not wish now to deploy the case against that view but I am sure I am right in saying that that is a new and unusual view, and I am also sure I am right in saying that that view is contrary to the interests of the Government. I am sure the Government will find themselves weakened if they allow themselves to get into the position of believing that a Minister may on a public platform and about public matters—worst of all, about matters in his charge—say things which may afterwards be dismissed as mere personal opinion.

I now come to what perhaps should have been the sole object of this Debate. I say that with no reflections on the Chair or anyone else—but we have discussed various topics. The point is, can the Minister direct the Board to exclude em- ployees or classes of employees from standing as candidates. I understand—if I may have the attention of the learned Attorney-General, because I wish to put a direct question to him—that the Attorney-General holds the view that Clause 3 (I) does not authorise the Minister to direct the Board to exclude employees or classes of employees from standing as candidates. I think that that was what the Attorney-General told us, and I hope he will correct me if I misunderstand him.

The Attorney-General:

I am quite clear for my own part that the Minister has no more power under Clause 3 to give a general direction of that character, than he has to give a general direction that no employee or officer of the Board must get married, own a house, belong to the Carlton Club or even permit himself to vote for the Senior Burgess for Cambridge University (Mr. Pickthorn).

6.15 p.m.

Mr. Pickthorn:

With respect, I was consulting the Attorney-General upon a matter on which the Attorney-General is presumably of the highest professional competence and a matter in which I have no professional competence, and I think, quite honestly, that I and the House were entitled to expect a direct answer. We did not get a direct answer. I leave that matter to the judgment of the House and the Attorney-General's profession—[Interruption.] I am asked to say again—and of the Attorney General's profession. I do not care how often I say it. My second point on the new Clause is—whether or not the Attorney-General is right in whichever is his opinion on the question I have just put—can the Board, in the absence of such direction from the Minister, direct that employees or classes of employees can be excluded from standing for elective offices? That is the second point. I understand—

The Attorney-General:

I thought the hon. Gentleman was addressing a question to me.

Mr. Pickthorn:

I was making a statement.

The Attorney-General:

I thought I heard the word "question" and that the hon. Gentleman was addressing it to me. I did not understand that he was only asking himself a question. I am sorry to deprive him of the opportunity of answering his own question, but I thought I had made that point quite clear. I am sorry if I did not make it clear to the hon. Gentleman, although I believe I did to everybody else. There is nothing in the Bill and nothing in the Clause to restrict the freedom of the Board to contract with the officers and employees as the Board and its officers and employees should think right.

Mr. Pickthorn:

That was the view which my untutored intelligence had taken. It was the view which I had gathered to be the view of the Attorney-General. I am glad to be certain on the point. That brings me to the next question. We now know that the Board can, if it chooses to do so, so arrange its contracts of employment that none of its employees shall be allowed to stand for elective office. The next question we have to ask ourselves is: Is that what we desire to be the result? It seems to me quite plain that it is not what we desire. It was made quite plain by the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith) that he did not want that result. I think I understood the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken aright, and I think he does not want that result. He does not wish these people to be at the mercy of the Board's decision that they are not to stand for elective office. But under the Bill as it stands the Board is to have that power. The Minister was not at all certain when he spoke. He spoke in very ambiguous language. He said, "of course they will be able to stand," and then in a rather lower voice, he said, "unless their employers strongly advise them not to." Three sentences later, he said there was no reason in the world why they should not stand and then he said in a lower voice, "if their employers are satisfied."

If that is the effect of the Bill as it stands, I do not wish to say that the proposed new Clause is the only way or the best way of correcting the Bill but what I do say without any fear of contradiction is that, if that is the effect, and we have been told that is the effect as the Bill stands, then there is an immediate duty on His Majesty's Government to tell us how they propose to avoid that. If not, it is evident that they are endeavouring to take this immense measure with the comparatively short discussion it has had—[Interruption]—as the Attorney-General would know if he had sat in this House before or read the history of his country—[Interruption.] If His Majesty's Government are not prepared to tell us how they propose to correct that defect in the Bill, then I say they are trying to put an immense Measure, with immense and unforeseeable effects on our constitutional life upon the Statute Book in a manner so irresponsible that it could hardly have been imagined until these latter days.

Mr. Jack Jones (Bolton):

I do not intend to make a speech because enough time has been wasted already in political antagonism. I want to ask a simple question which perhaps the hon. and learned Attorney-General would be good enough to answer. What would be the position of these officers of the Crown in regard to that particular part of the law?

The Attorney-General:

The Bill contains an express provision in regard to the members of the Board. The members of the Board appointed by the Minister will not be entitled to stand for Parliament. That is made clear by the provisions of the Bill itself. As to other officers of the Crown, that is a matter, as the House knows, that we are considering at present. If the House will permit me, I want to make it quite clear, that so far as the officers or employees of the Board are concerned—that is to say, not the members of the Board but its officers or employees—the Board is, of course, free to make whatever contract it chooses with them. It could provide that they, or a particular class of them—and one contemplates that the Board might think it right to provide that in regard, perhaps, to the men at the top—should not stand for Parliament. It could provide that they were not to be married men. It could provide by any contractual provision it liked that they were not to own their own property. You cannot make suitable provision in an Act of Parliament to guard against all those possibilities which might occur to hysterically minded people but which are not likely to take place in fact.

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay (Combined English Universities):

I have no part in the discussion which has been going on, but some of us are worried about the freedom of the individual in the growing number of industries which may be nationalised. Therefore, the argument of the learned Attorney-General that we do not expressly put into an Act whether a person shall have this freedom or that, I do not think quite meets the point. In the B.B.C., for instance, as has been said, they are not allowed to do so. Do I understand that it is to be the practice in industries, as they become nationalised, that no express provision will be made, but that it will always depend on a contract which the Board makes with its employees and not with this House? The Minister, in principle, was supporting the new Clause although the Clause made it more explicit. All I am asking is whether it rests with this House or on a series of Boards to make their individual bargains?

The Attorney-General:

Under this Bill, as it stands, it will rest with the boards. Under other Acts constituting other boards it may rest with the board or it may not. It may be a matter for provision in an Act if Parliament takes what I think would be a completely mistaken view about this matter. However, as the law now stands, and as it will stand when this Bill is passed into law, each case would be dealt with by the Board on its merits as a matter of contract. It is conceivable, just as any company or any public corporation can nowadays, that it might say that individual officers should not be Members of Parliament, but one can say that any attempt to lay down a general rule about that would be raised by hon. Members in this House, and no doubt it would be effectively dealt with. The great difficulty is that if we put in a Bill of this kind an express provision against the Board contracting with regard to one matter, we are in difficulty in regard to other matters which we have not covered. Lawyers have a Latin tag, "Expressio unius est exclusio alterius," and it might be argued that if you put into this Bill an express provision that servants of the Board are to be free to hold public office, because there was no express provision that they were free to marry, therefore, they were not free to marry.

Captain Crookshank:

I am no lawyer, but the Attorney-General has several times repeated the analogy of providing in a contract that a person is not to marry. Is that possible? Is not that the sort of contract which would be completely out of order on the grounds of being contrary to public interest, and, therefore, it never would be a contract?

The Attorney-General:

In many contracts there is a provision, as hon. Members well know—and the right hon. and gallant Gentleman ought to know best of all because he had so much experience in the late but not lamented Government—that in the event of the employee getting married, he will vacate his office.

Hon. Members:

School teachers.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

Can the Attorney-General quote any such cases?

The Attorney-General:

There are innumerable cases of that kind. A very common kind of case is that of people employed by commercial concerns on service abroad.

Mr. Keeling (Twickenham):

I want to make a suggestion which may shorten this Debate. The learned Attorney-General in his first speech said that there was nothing in this Bill, with or without this new Clause, to prevent the Board from making an agreement with their employees that they should not stand for Parliament or a council. On the other hand, the right hon. Gentleman the Minister said that nothing in the world should prevent an officer or employee from standing for Parliament or a council, and the learned Attorney-General did not differ from that view, although he said that a contract could prevent it. If the Minister and the Attorney-General are sincere in their view that nothing ought to prevent an employee of the Board from standing for Parliament, why should not the Government give an undertaking now that in another place they will introduce an Amendment to the effect that the Board shall not prevent an employee from standing for Parliament or a council? I am certain that if they would give that undertaking, which is consistent with what they have said this afternoon, we should not press this Clause to a Division.

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, 300; Noes, 148.

Division No. 158.] AYES. 4.29 p.m
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Osborne, C.
Aitken, Hon. Max Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R Hollis, M. C. Pickthorn, K
Baldwin, A. E Holmes, Sir J. Stanley Pitman, I. J.
Baxter, A. B. Hope, Lord J. Prescott, Stanley
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Hudson, Rt. Hon R. S. (Southport) Raikes, H. V.
Bennett, Sir P. Hurd, A. Ramsay, Maj. S.
Birch, Nigel Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Bowen, R. Hutchison, Col. J. R.(Glasgow, C.) Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Bower, N. Jarvis, Sir J. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Jeffreys, General Sir G Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Jennings, R. Ropner, Col. L.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Keeling, E. H. Ross, Sir R.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Kerr, Sir J. Graham Savory, Prof. D. L.
Bullock, Capt. M. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col W. H Shephard, S. (Newark)
Byers, Lt.-Col. F. Lambert, Hon. G Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Carson, E. Lancaster, Col. C G. Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Challen, C. Law, Rt. Hon. R K. Snadden, W. M.
Channon, H. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Spearman, A. C. M.
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Spence, H. R.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Linstead, H. N. Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Lipson, D. L. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'ton, S.)
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E. McCallum, Maj. D. Teeling, William
Cuthbert, W. N. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Therneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Digby, Maj. S. W. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Dodds-Parker, A. D Maclean, Brig. F H. R. (Lancaster) Thorp, Lt.-Col R. A. F.
Drayson, G. B. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Touche, G. C.
Duthie, W. S. Macpherson, Maj N. (Dumfries) Turton, R. H.
Eccles, D. M. Maitland, Comdr J. W. Vane, W. M. T.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Manningham-Bu'ler, R E. Wadsworth, G.
Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Marlowe, A. A. H Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Marshall, D. (Bedmin) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Medlicolt, F. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke) Mellor, Sir J. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Molson, A. H. E White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Glossop, C. W. H. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Morris, H. (Carmarthen) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Gridley, Sir A. Morris-Jones, Sir H. Willoughby, de Eresby, Lord
Grimston, R. V. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) York, C.
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Neven-Spence, Sir B.
Haughton, S. G. Nicholson, G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—
Head, Brig. A. H. Nield, B (Chester) Mr. Drewe and Mr. Studholme.
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Sir C. Noble, Comdr. A H. P.
Adams, H. R. (Balham) Bechervaise A. E. Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)
Alpass, J. H. Benson, G. Brown, George (Belper)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Beswick, F. Brown, T. J. (Ince)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Burden, T. W.
Attewell, H. C. Binns, J. Burke, W. A
Awbery, S. S. Blackburn, A. R Butler, H W. (Hackney, S.)
Ayles, W. H. Blenkinsop, Capt. A. Callaghan, James
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Blyton, W. R. Chamberlain, R. A.
Bacon, Miss A. Boardman, H. Champion, A. J.
Baird, Capt. J. Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Chater, D.
Balfour, A. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Chetwynd, Capt. G. R
Barstow, P. G. Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Clitherow, Dr. R.
Barton, C. Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Cluse, W. S.
Battley, J. R. Brook, D. (Halifax) Cobb, F. A.
Cocks, F. S. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Rankin, J
Coldrick, W. Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Reeves, J.
Collick, P. Hynd, H (Hackney, C.) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Collindridge, F. Hynd, J, B. (Attercliffe) Richards, R.
Collins, V. J. Irving, W. J Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Colman, Miss G. M Janner, B. Robens. A.
Comyns, Dr. L. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Roberts Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Cook, T. F. John, W. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Corlett, Dr. J. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Rogers, G. H. R.
Corvedale, Viscount Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Royle, C.
Cove, W. G. Keenan, W. Scollan, T.
Crossman, R. H. S Kenyon, C. Scott-Elliot, W.
Daggar, G. Kinley, J. Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.
Daines, P. Kirby, B. V Shawcress, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Lang, G. Shinwel , Rt Hon. E.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Lavers, S Shurmer, P.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Lee, F. (Hulme) Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Lever, Fl. Off. N. H Simmons, C. J.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughten) Levy, B. W. Skeffington, A. M.
Deer, G. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Skeffing on-Lodge, T. C.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lindgren, G. S. Skinnard, F. W.
Diamond, J. Lindsay, K. M. (Comb'd Eng. Univ.) Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Dobbie, W. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Dodds, N. N. Logan, D. G. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Douglas, F. C. R. Lyne, A. W. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Driberg, T. E. N. McAdam, W. Snow, Capt. J. W.
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) McEntee, V. La T. Solley, L. J.
Dumpleton, C. W. McGhee, H. G. Sorensen W.
Durbin, E. F. M. Mack, J. D. Sparks, J. A)
Dye, S. McKay, J. (Wallsend) Stamford W
Edelman, M. Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Steele, T.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwelty) McKinlay, A. S. Stephen C.
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Maclean, N. (Govan) Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) McLeavy, F Stokes, R. R.
Ewart, R. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Stross, Dr. B.
Fairhurst, F. Mainwaring, W. H. Stubbs, A. E.
Farthing, W. J. Mallalieu, J. P. W. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Follick, M. Mann, Mrs. J. Swingler, S.
Foot, M. M. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Forman, J. [...] Marquand, H. A. Taylor, H B. (Mansfield)
Foster, W. (Wigan) Marshall, F. (Brightside) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Martin, J. H. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Freeman Peter (Newport) Mason-MacFarlane, Lt .Gen Sir F. N. Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Gaitskell, H. T. N. Medland, H. M. Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Gallacher. W. Messer, F. Thurtle, E.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Middleton, Mrs. L Tiffany, S.
Gibbins, J. Mikardo, Ian Timmons, J.
Gilzean, A. Mitchison, Maj. G. R Titterington, M. F
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Monslow, W. Tolley, L.
Gooch, E. G Moody, A. S. Turner-Samuels, M
Gordon-Walker, P. C Morgan, Dr. H. B. Usborne Henry
Granville, E. (Eye) Morley, R. Viant, S P.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A (Wakefield) Morris, P (Swansea, W.) Walkden, E.
Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood) Mort, D. L. Walker, G. H.
Grenfell, D. R. Moyle, A Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Grey, C. F. Murray, J. D Warbey, W. N.
Grierson, E. Nally, W. Watson, W. M.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Naylor, T. E. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (LlanellY) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side) Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.
Guest, Dr. L. Haden Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E (Brentford) White, C . F (Derbyshire, W.)
Gunter, Capt. R. J. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon P. J (Derby) White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe) Noel-Buxton, Lady Whiteley, Rt. Hon W
Hale, Leslie Oldfield, W. H. Wigg, Col. G. E
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Orbach, M. Wilkes, Maj. L.
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wilkins, W. A.
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Hardy, E. A. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Harrison, J. Paton, J. (Norwich) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Peart, Capt. T. F. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Haworth, J. Perrins, W. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Piratin, P. Williamson, T.
Herbison, Miss M. Platts-Mills, J. F. F. Willis, E.
Hicks, G. Poole, Maj Cecil (Lichfield) Wilson, J. H.
Hobson, C. R. Popplewell, E. Wise, Major F. J.
Holman, P. Porter, E. (Warrington) Yates, V. F.
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Porter, G. (Leeds) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Horabin, T. L. Price, M. Philips Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Hoy, J. Proctor, W. T. Zilliacus, K.
Hubbard, T. Pryde, D. J.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Pursey, Cmdr. H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Ranger, J. Mr. Pearson and Mr. Bing.
Division No. 159.] AYES. [6.30 p.m.
Adams, H R. (Balham) Clitherow, Dr. R. Ewart, R.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Cobb, F. A. Fairhurst, F.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Cocks, F. S. Farthing, W. J.
Alpass, J. H. Coldrick, W. Follick, M
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Collick, P. Foot, M M.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Collindridge, F. Forman, J. C.
Attewell, H. C. Collins, V. J. Foster, W. (Wigan)
Awbery, S. S. Colman, Miss G. M. Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford)
Ayles, W. H. Comyns, Dr. L Gaitskell, H. T. N.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Cook, T. F. Gallecher, W.
Bacon, Miss A. Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Ganley, Ms. C. S.
Baird, Capt. J. Corlett, Dr. J. Gibbins, J
Balfour, A. Corvedale, Viscount Gilzean, A.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Cove, W. G. Glanville, J. E. (Consett)
Barstow, P. G. Crossman, R. H. S. Gordon-Walker, P. C.
Barton, C. Daggar, G. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)
Battley, J. R. Daines, P. Grenfell, D. R.
Bechervaise, A. E. Davies, Edward (Burslem) Grey, C. F.
Benson, G. Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Grierson, E.
Beswick, F. Davies, Harold (Leek) Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)
Bing, Capt. G. H. C. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side)
Binns, J. Deer, G. Gunter, Capt. R. J.
Blyton, W. R. de Freitas, Geoffrey Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe)
Boardman, H. Delargy, Captain H. J. Hale, Leslie
Bottomley, A. G. Diamond, J. Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Dobbie, W. Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Dodds, N. N. Hardman, D. R.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Donovan, T. Hardy, E. A.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Douglas, F. C. R. Harrison, J.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Driberg, T. E. N. Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Herbison, Miss M.
Brown, George (Belper) Dumpleton, C. W. Hicks, G.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Durbin, E F. M. Hobson, C. R.
Buchanan, G. Dye, S. Holman, P.
Burden, T. W. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Edelman, M. Horabin, T. L.
Callaghan, James Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwelty) Hoy, J.
Chamberlain, R. A. Edwards, John (Blackburn) Hubbard, T.
Champion, A. J. Edwards, N. (CaerphillY) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)
Chater, D. Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)
Chetwynd, Capt. G R. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) O'Brien, T. Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Oldfield, W. H Stokes, R. R.
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Oliver, G. H. Strachey, J
Janner, B. Orbach, M. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth)
Jeger, G. (Winchester) Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Stross Dr. B.
John, W. Paling, Will T (Dewsbury) Stubbs, A. E.
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Pargiter, G. A. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T. Taylor, H B. (Mansfield)
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Keenan, W. Paton, J. (Norwich) Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Kenyon, C. Pearson, A. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Kinley, J. Peart, Capt. T. F. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Kirby, B. V. Perrins, W. Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Lang, G. Poole, Maj. Cecil (Lichfield) Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Lavers, S. Popplewell, E. Thurtle, E.
Lee, F. (Hulme) Porter, E. (Warrington) Tiffany, S.
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Porter, G. (Leeds) Timmons, J.
Leslie, J. R. Price, M. Philips Titterington, M. F
Lever, Fl. Off. N. H. Proctor, W. T. Tolley, L.
Levy, B. W. Pryde, D. J. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
Lewis, T (Southampton) Pursey, Cmdr H. Turner-Samuels, M.
Lindgren, G. S Ranger, J. Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Logan, D. G. Rankin, J. Usborne, Henry
Lyne, A. W. Reid, T (Swindon) Vernon, Maj. W. F.
McAdam, W Rhodes, H. Viant, S. P.
McEntee, V. La T. Richards, R. Walkden, E.
McGhee, H. G. Ridealgh, Mrs. M. Walker, G. H.
Mack, J. D. Robens, A. Wallace, G. D (Chislehurst)
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Warbey, W. N.
Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Watson, W. M.
McKinlay, A. S. Rogers, G. H. R. Weitzman, D.
Maclean, N. (Govan) Royle, C. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
McLeavy, F. Scollan, T. Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Scott-Elliot, W Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Segal, Dr. S. White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)
Mainwaring, W. H. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A A. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Mallalieu J. P. W Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M Whiteley, Rt. Hon W
Mann, Mrs. J. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Wigg, Col. G. E.
Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens) Wilkes, Maj. L.
Marquand, H A. Shinwell, Rt Hon. E. Wilkins, W. A.
Marshall F. (Brightside) Shurmer, P. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Medland, H. M. Silverman, J (Erdington) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Messer, F. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Middleton, Mrs. L Simmons, C. J. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Mikardo, Ian Skeffington, A. M. Williams, Rt. Hon. T (Don Valley)
Millington, Wing-Comdr E. R Skeffington-Lodge, T. C. Williamson, T.
Mitchison, Maj. G. R Skinnard, F. W. Willis, E.
Monslow, W. Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester) Wills, Mrs. E. A
Moody, A S Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Wilson, J. H.
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Smith H. N. (Nottingham, S.) Wise, Major F. J
Morris, P (Swansea, W.) Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.) Woodburn, A
Mort, D. L. Smith, T (Normanton) Woods, G. S.
Moyle, A Snow, Capt. J. W. Yates, V. F.
Murray, J. D. Solley, L. J. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Nally, W. Sorensen R. W. Younger, Hon Kenneth
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Soskice, Maj. Sir F Zilliacus, K.
Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Stamford, W
Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brantford) Steele, T. TELLERS FOR THE AYES: Noel-Buxton, Lady Stephen, C Mr. Joseph Henderson and Mr. Hannan
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. De la Bide, R Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Astor, Hon. M. Digby, Maj. S. W. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Baldwin, A. E. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hollis, M. C.
Barlow, Sir J. Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W. Holmes, Sir J. Stanley
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H Drayson, G. B. Hope, Lord J.
Bennett, Sir P Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Howard, Hon. A.
Birch, Nigel Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (City of Lond.) Hudson, Rt. Hon. R S. (Southport)
Bowen, R Duthie, W. S. Hurd, A.
Bower, N. Eccles, D M. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Erroll, F. J. Hutchison, Col J R. (Glasgow, C.)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Fletcher, W (Bury) Jarvis, Sir J.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Jeffreys, General Sir G
Byers. Lt.-Col. F. George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke) Jennings, R.
Carson, E. George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W
Challen, C. Glossop, C. W. H. Keeling, E. H.
Clarke, Col. R. S Gomme-Duncan, Col A. G Kerr, Sir J. Graham
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Gridley Sir A. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U (Ludlow) Grimston, R. V. Lambert, Hon. G.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Gruffydd, Prof. W. J Lancaster, Col. C. G
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Law, Rt Hon R. K
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E. Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H
Cuthbert, W. N. Haughton, S G. Lennox Boyd, A T
Linstead, H. N. Nield, B. (Chester) Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Lipson, D. L. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Nutting, Anthony Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Low, Brig. A. R. W. Osborne, C. Studholme, H. G.
Lucas, Major Sir J. Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Sutcliffe, H.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Pickthorn, K. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Pitman, I. J. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'ton, S.)
Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R. Poole, O B. S. (Oswestry) Teeling, William
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Prescott, Stanley Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Maclay, Hon. J. S. Price-White, Lt.-Col. D. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster) Prior-Palmer, Brig O. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Raikes, H. V. Touche, G. C.
Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Ramsay, Maj. S. Turton, R. H.
Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Rayner, Brig. R. Vane, W. M. T.
Manningham-Buller, R E. Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead) Wadsworth, G.
Marples, A. E. Roberts, Sqn.-Ldr. Emrys (Merioneth) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Roberts, H. (Handsworth) Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall) Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Maude, J. C. Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham) White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Medlicott, F. Ropner, Col. L. White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Mellor, Sir J. Scott, Lord W. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. Shephard, S. (Newark) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen) Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W. Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Smith, F. P. (Ashford) York, C.
Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Snadden, W. M. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Neven-Spence, Sir B. Spearman, A. C. M.
Nicholson. G. Spence, H. R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES: Mr. Drewe and Major Conant.

Question put accordingly, "That the The House divided: Ayes, 139; Clause be read a Second time." Noes, 311.

NEW CLAUSE.—(Charitable subscriptions, etc.)

It shall be lawful for the Board to continue to make any subscriptions, donations or payments of any kind made by any colliery concern prior to the primary vesting date for any religious, charitable, educational or recreational purpose, and it shall also be lawful for the Board to make any subscriptions, donations or other such payments as aforesaid at any time for all or any of the said purposes.—[Captain Crookshank.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a Second time."—[Captain Crookshank.]

Colonel Lancaster (Fylde):

I will not detain the House for long on this matter. The object is to draw attention to something which was discussed in Committee and to which the Minister gave a sympathetic ear. This is to make it possible for the Board to continue with subscriptions which at present are undertaken by colliery concerns. I raise the matter with particular regard to the position of ministers of religion. Very often, where villages have grown up as a result of mining activities, and have become of such a size that the stipend of the minister has been quite inadequate, colliery concerns have made arrangements to increase that by way of additional stipend or by helping the minister with the education of his children. It has been a common practice. I hope that the Government will recognise that these payments in the aggregate will amount to a very small outgoing and it is something which is in the general interest. This suggestion would make arrangements to enable the Board legally to carry on these matters.

Mr. Shinwell:

I was very anxious on the Committee stage to assist the hon. and gallant Member in making such arrangements as would be necessary in order to continue the subscriptions and donations made by colliery undertakings, and presumably by the ancillary undertakings, to religious, charitable, educational and recreational activities. I looked into the matter, but I am advised that in the majority of cases there would be no risk of the Board being successfully challenged if it decided to continue these subscriptions. It appears to me that is all that is required. In any event, the wording of the proposed Clause is unsatisfactory. I agree that might be corrected at a later stage, but in view of the advice I have received, it does not seem to be necessary to proceed with this Clause. There is a difficulty in interpreting what is charity. I am afraid that would give rise to difficulties.

In regard to recreation and welfare, as is well known, many colliery undertakings provide recreational facilities for employees in the form of football fields, cricket pitches, and, in some cases, tennis courts and so on. Naturally, these will be taken over by the Board. I hope there will be no difficulty and I shall encourage in every way I can the taking over of these facilities because they promote well-being in the industry. It is expected that these will be transferred and utilised as at present. Of course, education is not a matter for the National Coal Board, but in so far as educational activities comprise activities undertaken by the Miners' Welfare Committee in respect of miners' scholarships, and the like, these will be continued under the provisions of the Bill. The Bill provides for the continuance of the Miners' Welfare Fund and it will come now under the direction of the Minister. I propose to do all I possibly can so long as I remain in office to encourage educational and recreational facilities. Therefore, in all the circumstances, I am sorry that I cannot comply with the request of the hon. and gallant Member. I am in full sympathy with him. I think, however, it is quite sufficient if we are assured that it is within the competence of the Board to continue such activities.

Sir Patrick Hannon (Birmingham, Moseley):

Does this mean that the contributions towards the maintenance of churches and chapels in all the colliery districts will now be eliminated entirely? I hope this matter is looked into very carefully and that we are not going to eliminate the Christian ideal.

Mr. Shinwell:

By no means. It is not my intention that there should be any cessation of donations provided by existing colliery undertakings to religious organisations. The National Coal Board can continue those donations if they think fit, provided it comes within the scope of their general powers. They have general powers but they are limited by the considerations respecting the conduct of the industry itself. Where the promotion of religious, educational, recreational or welfare activities is of advantage in regard to the organisation of the industry, I am advised that the National Coal Board can continue to make the contributions.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

It is typical of our proceedings in this House that we pass so rapidly, like an April day, from shadow to sunshine and from darkness to light. I think it very happy and appropriate that charity should now be the subject of our discussions. I am pleased with what the Minister has told us with regard to the charities he has in mind. I would like to press him a little further. It seems we are all agreed on the purpose. I understood him to say he did not think the Board could be challenged if they did in fact maintain the subscriptions which are now being paid to religious or other institutions for the benefit and welfare of the miners and their families and the district as a whole. Did the Minister mean they could not be challenged by the auditors, or that they could not be challenged by some member of the public bringing a challenge in that sense? I would be very grateful if he could tell us under what Clause he thinks it would be within the power of the Board to make this kind of contribution. Of course, it may be that, under Clause 1 (4), where the advancement of the safety of the persons employed is concerned, it could be done, but safety there would have to be considered as spiritual safety as well as material safety.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. Shinwell:

Under Clause 1 (3).

Mr. Macmillan:

If that is the case, and there is a clear legal provision that this can be carried out under Clause 1 (3), I would be satisfied, but I think I also understood the Minister to say that not only had they power to carry out that sort of thing, but it was their purpose to carry on the subscriptions which were, in fact, being made, or to add to them or change them in accordance with what appears to be the needs; in other words, they could carry on the ordinary functions that had been carried on in respect of these matters.

Mr. Shinwell

indicated assent.

Captain Crookshank:

May we have that confirmed? Might not the learned Attorney-General now join in the general reconciliation? I understood the Minister to say that this power was inherent in Clause 1 (3). That is the point on which I would like the confirmation of the Attorney-General, because all that Clause 1 (3) says is: The Board shall have power to do anything . . . which in their opinion is calculated to facilitate the proper discharge of their duties under Subsection (1). Subsection (1) does not seem to me to have anything in the world to do with this case. It is concerned with working and getting coal, securing the efficient development of the coal mining industry and making supplies of coal available.

Mr. Shinwell:

I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. and gallant Gentleman who has referred to Subsection (1). I mentioned Subsection (3) of Clause 1.

Captain Crookshank:

That is exactly the one on which I want the learned Attorney-General to advise us. Clause 1 (3) says, leaving out unnecessary words: The Board shall have power to do any thing . . . which in their opinion is calculated to facilitate the proper discharge of their duties under Subsection (1)

Mr. Shinwell:

Read on.

"or the carrying on by them of any such activities as aforesaid, or is incidental or conducive thereto."
The Attorney-General:

I am very glad to be able to take a small and modest part in this move from the ridiculous to the sublime. I think the Clause is wide enough. The same sort of problem arises in the case of companies having particular powers under their articles or memoranda of association to carry on a particular business, and the courts have always construed this power very widely in the matter of subscriptions to charitable organisations and that sort of thing. I think the view to take here, and the view that the courts would take, or the auditors if it arose as a matter for the auditors, is that it is conducive to the conduct of the Board's primary functions, getting coal and the rest, that they should contribute to charities which in their opinion are likely to promote the efficiency, happiness and well-being of the class of people from whom their employees are drawn. I think we have exactly the same kind of problem in the case of the Board, as in the case of any existing colliery company, and I do not think that the matter is more in doubt in the case of the Board, than in the case of the existing companies. There must, of course, be some limit, and the courts would eventually impose some limit on the purposes for which the money is expended, but the ordinary purposes which the new Clause has in view, and to which existing companies are directing their benevolence are within the powers of the Board.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson:

Is not the difficulty the fact that they will fall to be decided by the bodies running the individual collieries or groups of collieries, who would undoubtedly require some sort of central directive before they decided the matter? The purpose of the new Clause, as I understand it, is to give that permissive directive. Will the Minister himself give that directive, and say that he is anxious that the spiritual, as well as the worldly, welfare of the employees should be cared for? I think the point needs clearing up.

Miss Jennie Lee (Cannock):

I hope I understand this Clause correctly, but I am very anxious that false expectations should not be raised. Some of us have been disappointed because, under the Bill, we have not been able to deal directly with the problem of churches and institutions, as well as homes, which have been destroyed by subsidence. I understand from the learned Attorney-General that this now comes within the powers in this Bill, and that a grant could be given to a mining village, for example, to rebuild an institute or church, or even a miner's cottage, which has been pulled down because of subsidence.

Mr. Gallacher:

I ask the Minister to use very great care in the directions he gives to the Board in this matter. I do not like the proposed new Clause. I know that the miners are paying a political levy in order to get rid of the landowners and capitalists in this country, but we often get churches presenting a form of teaching that used to be very common, though they are rather more discreet and not so open about it now. It was about "the rich man in his castle and the poor man at the gate." [Laughter] I do not remember the words. Obviously, it would be wrong if the people representing the interests of the miners, who wanted to get rid of all this "high and lowly" stuff, were, at the same time, subsidising propaganda efforts of that kind. I think the Board would do much better to subsidise the local Communist propaganda.

Mr. Bernard Taylor (Mansfield):

Has the Minister any information about the amount of money that would be involved if this Clause were approved?

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

Miss Jennie Lee:

Can I have your guidance, Mr. Speaker? Have I to vote on this Clause without having the Minister's reply?

Mr. Speaker:

The Clause has been negatived.

NEW CLAUSE.—(Provision of moneys for research.)

(1) The Board shall set apart out of its revenues the sum of £3,000,000 during each financial year to be used in consultation with the Advisory Council of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Medical Research Council, for the promotion of—

  1. the invention or development of any invention or scientific discovery likely to be of benefit in the working, getting, making saleable, and utilisation of coal and the production, distillation, manufacturing, treating and making saleable of any products of coal;
  2. the alleviation and improvement of working conditions in the coal mining industry; and
  3. research in the causation, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of physical illness and disability amongst persons employed in the coal mining industry.—[Captain Crookshank.]
Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a Second time."—[Captain Crookshank.]

Colonel Lancaster:

This Clause raises a matter of general interest which has, of course, a number of aspects, and I am sure that hon. Members on both side of the House will want to express their views in regard to it, particularly on the matters of health and safety and, also, of scentific research. For the present I confine myself to the matter of technical research which is included in this new Clause. Here, again, the matter was discussed in Committee and, on that occasion, the Minister said that we were pushing against an open door. I feel sure that he is sympathetic to the purposes of this Clause. However, some benefit may be obtained from a discussion this evening in regard to it, and there are one or two aspects of technical research to which I would like to draw attention.

We have mentioned a sum of money—which, of course, embraces all these various activities—not with a view to limiting the activities of the Board or the Minister in this regard, but because we thought it necessary to specify a sum which is, possibly, not inadequate in the first instance. So far as technical research is concerned, very often no very great amount of money is expended; it is often more a matter of the individual expenses of the people who carry out the various investigations. Of course, those people who should concern themselves with technical research must, essentially, be practical men. The Minister mentioned upstairs that he proposed putting Sir Charles Ellis in charge of this aspect of the Board's activities. I hope he will do nothing of the sort. Sir Charles Ellis, no doubt, is the appropriate person to deal with scientific research, but technical research must inevitably come under the purview of the technically minded men on the Board. If research is to be of a practical nature, it must be carried out on the pit level by mining engineers, enginewrights, electricians and by all those concerned, and, by no means least, by the men themselves. They have a very real contribution to make in this regard and, very frequently, they have given evidence of their ability to do so. As the Minister is well aware, all sorts of research activities are going on at present, and I seriously suggest that, however important these may have been in the past, they are becoming increasingly important because, if we are to have anything like the reduction in the selling price of coal that is desired, it will be due, in great measure, to such technical improvements of an immediate nature rather than the more long-term aspect of the general reorganisation envisaged in the report.

7.15 p.m.

I would like to stress, for a moment, the international importance of technical research. We must recognise that such research, if it is to be valuable, cannot in any sense be confined to what we do in this country. About a fortnight ago, I went to see a very interesting film of mine machinery. I arrived in the dark and when the lights went on I was encouraged to see, not only a very ample supply of liquid refreshment laid out for us, but a number of hon. Members of the party opposite who had also gone to see the film. For a few minutes we had the advantage of the views of a very pro- minent member of the Miners' Federation on what we had seen and he expressed a very sturdy, but, I thought, rather nationalist, outlook on British technical abilities and, indeed, on the efficiency of British mining machinery. It would have been a little more convincing if he had been aware that both the machines which we had been witnessing that afternoon were of foreign make. He was looking at a pneumatic pick, which I had seen produced in Belgium in 1937 and which was subsequently copied in this country, and a scraping conveyor which had come straight from the United States. The trade of coalmining is one which is carried out all over the world, and there is a close affinity between all its technical problems. I hope that the Board will be encouraged to make their researches as wide as possible, not only on the Continent, but in the United States as well. I am inclined to go so far as to suggest that the more arrangements we can make for our technicians or, indeed, for men at every level of coal production, to visit and study methods abroad, the wiser we shall be.

Fifty years ago it was the normal thing for an individual taking his final certificate to spend some time abroad. At that time, such people usually went to the Pas de Calais coalfields. I hope that, as soon as arrangements can be made, every encouragement will be given to our technical men, not only to visit those countries engaged in mining practice, but also to spend some time in studying their methods and applying them to our own problems. Research, after all, is not a very spectacular thing. It is the result of steady, hard work over a period of time by people devoting the whole of their mental energies to the particular problems with which we are confronted. I hope the Board will spread their net very widely in this matter and that they will farm out among the various undertakings particular problems on which it is desirable to have research.

Sir P. Hannon:

If I may interrupt my hon. and gallant Friend for a moment, I would like to ask whether the sum mentioned in the proposed new Clause is supplementary to the amount already provided by Parliament through the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Mr. Hale:

On a point of Order. As some hon. Members wish to take part in the Debate, could we hear this private conversation?

Sir P. Hannon:

I am sorry if I did not make myself audible to the hon. Member opposite. I did not know what had happened upstairs in Committee, and I asked my hon. and gallant Friend whether the amount suggested in the new Clause was supplementary to the sum already provided by Parliament through the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which we know already enjoys considerable support in this House.

Colonel Lancaster:

The sum which we have put down in the proposed new Clause is additional to any other grants made by Parliament, but we do not want to be dogmatic about the amount we have specified. We had to put down something, and the sum mentioned is, possibly, a shot in the dark. In the first instance, it may be adequate or not, and at some later stage it may be desirable to increase or reduce it. Generally, we feel that this matter of research, particularly in the technical field, is one over which we must spread our net as widely as possible; we must embrace as much foreign practice as is feasible, and we must recognise that our ability to cut costs while maintaining wages at their present level, and, indeed, increasing them, and maintaining a general high standard of production will be more dependent on our ability to carry out practical research than any other direction in which the Board's activities may take place.

Colonel Clarke:

I hope the Minister will see fit to accept this new Clause. In any case, I hope he will give some answer to two points which I wish to raise. As he will see in this proposed new Clause, we presume that research will be the function of the Board and not of the Ministry. We would like to know whether that is the Minister's intention. At present there is a very great variety of authorities dealing with research, such as the Ministry of Fuel and Power and other Government Departments, colliery undertakings, distributors, manufacturers of appliances, and certain associations which are held jointly by one or other of those four. A good many people are anxious to know what is to be the position in the future, who is to find the money for research and whether research is to be carried out under the Ministry or the Board. That brings me to my second point, namely, what is to be done in the sphere of promoting economy in the use of fuel. It is believed in some quarters that there is tremendous scope for economy. I have heard the need for economy put as high as 35,000,000 or 40,000,000 tons. If we had that amount of economy today, we would be able to start our exports again on the same level as they were in 1939. I hope this proposed new Clause will be accepted, but in any case, when the Minister replies I hope he will clear up the points I have mentioned and, in particular, say whether the Ministry or the Board is to be responsible for research. I believe one or other should be, and it should not be run jointly between them.

Mr. Hale:

The hon. and gallant Member for Fylde (Colonel Lancaster) has initiated this discussion with moderation and knowledge. If his object in bringing it before the House was purely that of initiating a discussion on this exceedingly important matter, I am sure hon. Members on both sides of the House are grateful to him for doing so. If, on the other hand, his object was to make a serious addition to the Bill, I think the Clause as drafted may need a little more careful consideration, and I propose to accord it that consideration, with your permission, Mr. Speaker. May I, first of all, make what appears to me to be an observation of considerable importance? The object of the industry in the past has been profit making. There has been a good deal of emphasis in this Debate on the suggestion that the object of a nationalised coal industry should be the production of coal. We on this side of the House believe that the primary object of any industry is not merely production but the provision of safe, continuous, full and well remunerated employment for the persons working in the industry. It may be right to consider what has happened in the past. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) expressed a sentiment. He is entitled to do so because he is one who has advocated measures of reform in the past, including the primary measure of the nationalisation of the coal industry, but it may be well to look at what has happened in the past to get a picture of the amount of work that was done, particularly in the field of medical research. In 1938, the last full prewar year, 858 miners lost their lives by accident arising from their employment. That does not include those who paid the heavy initial toll of disease. In 1938, 3,157 miners were seriously injured and over 131,000 received injuries which incapacitated them for three days or more. That last figure, unfortunately, has not decreased but has increased, and in 1944 reached the appalling figure of approximately 175,000 out of the comparatively small number then employed in the industry. Those of us who have spent our lives in mining towns and who have been associated with the mining industry have spent years handling the tragedies of industrial disease which needed no research to prevent, and many of which are preventable in decent working conditions. With regard to nystagmus, it has been my unfortunate position to be associated with some of the dreadful decisions which have been given in the courts in connection with this disease, in particular with the discussion as to whether the disease is primarily due to an idiopathic susceptibility or to the dreadful conditions of work. In 1938 and long after, men have been obliged to crawl on their knees along 100 yards to the coal face, with a height of two feet or two feet six inches in which to work, and to spend the whole of their days on their knees and lying sideways with a pick, in damp conditions. It does not require research to establish the cause of disease, accidents and damage to limb which these men have sustained in the course of their duty. Of course, there has been effective research, and the Reid Report itself has exposed the great need for reorganisation in the mining industry, not merely for the production of coal or the making of profits but to make reasonably safe employment for the workers.

I do not dissent from one word which the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde said as to the need for continuous research, industrial as well as medical, and of the importance which he attached to the matter. But if we are to be challenged to insert in this first Bill for nationalising an industry, a compulsory levy of £3 million upon the prospective profits of the industry and earmarking them for a specific purpose, it is right and proper that we should consider what has been done in the past, and consider the nature of the association whom it is proposed primarily to endow with the responsibili- ties of this research. I hope in the few remarks I have to make that no one will suspect me in any way of derogating from the Medical Research Council or the Association for Industrial and Scientific Research, who have done a very great work with a limited income, and which was limited because hon. Members opposite were not willing to give to them the financial provision which was essential for the development of industrial research into these vital matters. I would like to make a passing reference to the cotton industry, because it has a close association with coal. In the coal industry we have silicosis, anthracosis, pneumoconiosis, and so on. In the cotton industry, in the town in whose representation I have the honour to share there are scores of thousands of people permanently crippled by byssinosis which is a preventable disease in decent industrial conditions with modern machinery.

7.30 p.m.

We know something of these matters. What provision has been made in the past by hon. Members opposite? I have the report of the Medical Research Council for the last prewar year. Lest there be any misunderstanding on this matter, let me make it quite clear that the functions of the Medical Research Council are not limited to investigating industrial disease. They cover the whole wide sphere of medical research from tuberculosis to beri-beri, from entomology to endocrinology, pathology, biochemistry, physiology, bacterio-chemistry, and so on.

I could reel off a score of different subjects which they are charged with investigating and which are, for this matter, of vital importance to the community. A Conservative Government, in the height of their power, thought that a sum, not of £3,000,000 for one purpose, but for all those purposes of £265,000 a year, of which £70,000 was earmarked for the erection of the new building at Mill Hill for the research centre. If we are to refer to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, to which the new Clause refers, it is well that we should try to find out what was the financial provision made in prewar years for the type of research envisaged by hon. Members opposite. The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research had as subsidiaries, or as associated bodies, two bodies only which had any connection whatever with medical, research——

Mr. Speaker:

The scope of this new Clause does not entitle hon. Members to go into the whole history of the Scientific and Industrial Research Department or the Medical Research Council. The new Clause only refers the matter to them. We are wasting time by going into the past, whether it be good or bad.

Mr. Hale:

The short point I wish to make is that if it is proposed to pay these two associations, or for them to have under their control, the sum of £3,000,000, it is right and proper that the House should consider the amount which was expended for these two purposes in the last prewar year in order that we can judge whether £3,000,000 is the appropriate figure or not.

Colonel Lancaster:

With respect, the new Clause does not propose to do anything of the sort. It only says "in consultation with" these two bodies. This is a sum to be spent by the Board or the Minister, on behalf of the whole field of research in regard to this industry.

Mr. Hale:

The course I will adopt, with your approval, Mr. Speaker, is to give the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde the only information at my disposal as to the amount which was being expended in 1938 in this country on this type of research. If he can mention any other bodies engaged in that research no doubt the House would be pleased to hear about it. The association to which I refer, the British Coal Utilisation Research Association, was only registered in April, 1938, and expended on coal industry research a sum of £28,000 in a year.

Colonel Lancaster:

This is entirely wrong. The research was carried on in this industry at great expense for a great many years. We cannot get down to the amount apportioned to particular bodies in this respect.

Colonel Clarke:

Out of the penny a ton welfare levy over £4,000,000 was spent on health research up to the time of the war.

Mr. Hale:

Might I ask the hon. and gallant Member what happened to that penny a ton levy under the last Government? I would point out that the levy to which he refers was a levy on the coal industry imposed by the Government in accordance with the report of the Sankey Commission, which recommended nationalisation and which hon. Members opposite——

Mr. Speaker:

We are now getting a long way beyond the scope of the new Clause.

Mr. Hale:

If I may say so, with respect, I entirely agree. The only point I wish to make on that is that the British Colliery Owners Research Association spent £15,884 in a year on industrial medical research within the industry. I do not suggest for a moment that there may not have been others, but those are comparable figures. The only other matter that remains for consideration in this connection is whether it is necessary to have this amount, or whether the Bill contains the necessary powers for that purpose. If the hon. and gallant Member for East Grinstead (Colonel Clarke) refers to Clause 1 (2, f) he will find that the functions of the Board specifically provide for: . . . their assisting the provision by others, of facilities for training, education and research. If he refers to Subsection (4) of that Clause he will see: The policy of the Board shall be directed to securing consistently with the proper discharge of their duties under Subsection (1) of this Section— (a) the advancement of the safety of persons in their employment and the promotion of their health and welfare. In my respectful submission, that covers the whole purpose of this new Clause, without making any specific financial provision. In conclusion, I extend this offer to hon. Members opposite. If this new Clause is not moved merely for debating purposes, but represents their serious contribution, their serious change of heart in this matter, and their serious desire to advance the cause of research, then I will pledge myself to this extent. The sum of £3,000,000, they say, represents approximately 20 to 22½ per cent. of the prewar profits of the coal industry. I am sure they would not desire to shackle the new national industry with this burden in contradistinction to that of other industries. If they would approve of the Chancellor of the Exchequer introducing a Bill to provide that a burden to that extent shall be placed on all industries in the country, and provision shall be made to the tune of 20 to 22½ per cent. of the profits of all industries in the country for the advancement of research in industry and in medical matters, then I will pledge them my support.

Mr. M. Philips Price (Forest of Dean):

I think this new Clause needs the consideration of the House. With other hon. Members on both sides of the House I have put my name to an Amendment further down on the Order Paper, which covers very much the same kind of ideas as those in the new Clause. With your approval, Mr. Speaker, I will speak to both that Amendment and this new Clause, because it covers very much the same ground. The object of the Amendment down in my name together with other hon. Members—in Clause 1, page 2, line 18, to leave out "and research," and to insert: (g) participating in the conduct of a joint organisation set up by the Minister for the purpose of promoting and co-ordinating scientific research and development related to the working and getting of coal, the treatment of coal, the manufacture of products and derivatives of coal, the efficient utilisation of coal and coal products, and the safety and health of persons employed in or about coalmines or in connection with any colliery activities; and the Board may contribute to the expenses of such organisation in any year a sum not exceeding the produce of a levy of sixpence per ton of coal raised during the year. —was to ascertain the intentions of the Minister in regard to the organisation of coal and fuel research. In Clause 1 (2 f) there is at the end just one reference to research. Along with a whole lot of other matters concerning training and education there are the words "and research." We felt that was, by itself, not really enough, and we would like to know what the Minister has in mind. It is true that in the Debate on the Money Resolution the Minister said he wished the Coal Board to take an active part in research generally. On the other hand, although I was not a member of the Committee, I understand he did there say that he thought the question of fuel efficiency and coal utilisation should be outside the scope of the Board. In other words, the Board should only concern itself with scientific research on production.

I suggest that it is undesirable to place a limitation of that kind upon the scientific research work of the Board. I see no reason at all why the scope of inquiry should not be very much wider. All enterprising private concerns which have anything to do with mining, or fuel of any kind, con- duct their researches, not only into the method of production but into the method of utilisation as well. That is extremely important today. Our industrial efficiency will depend upon the supply of cheap fuel, whether it be liquid, like oil, or coal. Moreover, it will depend also on efficient fuel utilisation. It has been proved on many occasions that the utilisation of coal in this country is very inefficient, in that only 70 per cent. of its available energy is actually used industrially, while 30 per cent. is wasted. That is a very serious matter; in view of our general industrial and economic position in the world today, and of the necessity to keep up our export trade and hold our own in the industrial battle of the world for foreign markets, it will be a matter of the utmost importance. Our coal is much more difficult to get than it was in the days of our fathers and grandfathers, and we have no coal near the surface ready to work as the Americans have. We must, in other words, see that the coal that is produced with so much blood and sweat and labour is to the utmost advantage.

Then, too, we have to see in what new methods and processes we can make use of the coal that we have got. There is, in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, ample opportunity for carrying on this work. It needs money, as hon. Members have said, and, of course, the Coal Board by itself cannot do this; I am not suggesting that it should. I am suggesting that the Coal Board, with its experience and financial resources, should contribute to a general research institution engaged in this very important, wide scheme of inquiry into both the production and the utilisation of coal. For that reason, I am glad the hon. Member has moved this new Clause, and I hope the Minister will consider the Amendment on the same subject which is down in my name and in the names of my hon. Friends.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

On a point of Order. Merely for the convenience of the House, Mr. Speaker, would you be able to inform us whether you propose to call the Amendment to which the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Price) referred or whether we had better discuss it along with this new Clause?

Mr. Speaker:

I had not proposed to call that Amendment and I think it would be more convenient if we took the two together.

Mr. Shinwell:

Hon. Members who were associated with the proceedings in Committee upstairs are well aware of my interest in matters of research, and indeed, I have indicated that interest, both in regard to coal and in other directions, in this House over a long period of years. Way back in 1924, when I was fortunate enough to be Secretary for Mines, and again towards the end of the period of office of the second Labour Government, I did all that was possible—and there were many difficulties in the way—to extend research in respect of fuel utilisation, safety and the like. My hon. Friend and other Members who have spoken, therefore, are pushing at an open door. It is a question of ways and means, it is a question of approach; the principle is accepted. Indeed, research must be an essential part of the reorganisation of the mining industry.

7.45 p.m.

There are, however, different types of research. There is research into safety in mines, and as the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale) pointed out, that is a very important and vital consideration affecting the lives and wellbeing of those who are employed in the industry. There has been a great deal of research in the past in that connection, but much more should be undertaken in order to provide congenial, healthy and safe occupations for those who work in the industry, particularly underground. As regards research into safety in mines, the question arises as to who shall be charged with the responsibility of promoting and undertaking such activity. This is a matter which has been the subject of controversy in the past, and the question has been posed as to whether such research activities should be undertaken by the industry or by the Ministry. Obviously, some measure of research must be undertaken by the industry. The mine manager, at present, in the past and in the future under the National Coal Board, is primarily responsible for the safety of the men under his supervisioin. That must always be so and, therefore, some measure of research into safety in mines must be the responsibility of those concerned with the organisation of the industry. Consequently, the National Coal Board will in a large measure be responsible. Equally, the Ministry must be answerable for research matters affecting the lives and wellbeing of the persons employed in the industry, because the health and safety of the mine workers is a matter of public interest. It affects production, for one thing, and there are other considerations involved. Besides, the Minister is answerable to Parliament, and questions will be raised in Parliament, and consequently it is my view that, while some part of the research must be undertaken by the National Coal Board, the other part must be undertaken by the Ministry of Fuel and Power, and provision is, therefore, made in the Bill for that purpose. As regards technical research, this is a matter primarily for the industry. The very fact of reorganisation implies technical research. It is impossible to prepare the layout of new pits or coalfields without undertaking research on a very extended scale and, indeed, research is going on all the time—geological, geophysical, and research of varying kinds. That must, of course, continue. There is research, for example, into the nature of the plant to be used in the production of coal, and into the subject of haulage—a very vital factor in the reorganisation of the industry, because it is useless to instal even the most modern machines at the coalface unless haulage arrangements are of the requisite character. Research of that kind is essential; research into the provision of the right kind of props and timber, in order to support the roof and protect the lives of the men, in addition to revitalising production—all these are matters which must be undertaken by the industry itself.

As regards research into utilisation, the industry must undertake some activity there, for example, as regards the cleaning and grading of coal, which is extremely important in producing the right quality to satisfy consumers, industrial and domestic. In particular, in order to expand our export activities, it is very essential that we should have the right cleaning and grading methods and the most modern forms of washing coal and the like, in order to assure ourselves that coal is being placed on the market with the greatest possible amount of satisfaction to the ultimate consumer. The subject of ash content, which has been referred to—I think by the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Price)—requires very active consideration and research, and to some extent that is being undertaken at present, although much more requires to be done. But with respect to the utilisation of coal generally over the whole field, that must be linked—I ask hon. Members to note this—with the ultimate intention of the Government in respect of our nationalisation proposals. We are nationalising coal now. We propose to nationalise electricity; we propose to nationalise gas. When we have achieved those tasks it will be the duty of the Ministry to coordinate all forms of fuel and power. Consequently, the Ministry must be held responsible for coordination as regards utilisation in all these industries.

The hon. and gallant Member for Fylde (Colonel Lancaster) objected to a statement I was alleged to have made upstairs—I have not got it before me, but I accept what the hon. and gallant Gentleman said—about the appointment of Sir Charles Ellis as scientific member of the National Coal Board. He thought we ought not to leave in the hands of Sir Charles Ellis the question of utilisation; but, obviously, the Board must concern themselves to some extent with the utilisation of the product they take over——

Colonel Lancaster:

What I said, so far as Sir Charles Ellis was concerned, was that the Minister had said that he would be in charge of technical research; and I said technical research, as applied to the technical production of coal, did not come under his purview, whereas the scientific utilisation of coal undoubtedly did.

Mr. Shinwell:

If I did say that he would be responsible for technical research, I must withdraw it, because I certainly did not mean that. Technical research would not come under the scientific member of the Board; it would come under the technical members of the Board, Sir Charles Reid and Mr. Eric Young, and their expert advisers. But there will be much for the scientific member of the Board to do as regards the question of the utilisation of the product. Moreover, we are transferring under this Bill ancillary and subsidiary activities to the Board, coke ovens, carbonisation plant; with all that that implies. Utilisation in a vast scale of activities must be coordinated. There is, also, the subject of research into the health of the miner. I separate that from research into safety measures. There is a distinction. Research into health is a matter that not only affects the miner personally, but affects production. Take, for example, the position in South Wales, where silicosis and pneumoconiosis exist on a vast scale. Fortunately, I am able to say—it has a bearing on the proposition before the House—that as a result of research measures, and preventive and curative measures, we are gradually overcoming the silicosis and pneumoconiosis diseases, which are associated with the presence of dust. Dust suppression methods are now being widely used, and I have reason to believe that, as a result of research, new devices are now being employed, or will shortly be employed, that will be of great advantage to the mine workers in the South Wales coalfield and, indeed, to mine workers in other parts of the country, for example, in Staffordshire, where the pits are very dusty. All that is being undertaken, and that is a matter partly for the Board and partly for the Ministry. There is one other matter to which I must direct the attention of hon. Members. Reference has been made to the British Coal Utilisation Research Association, which is associated with the Mining Association. That organisation may be transferred to the Board. Indeed, all research organisations associated with the existing colliery undertakings will be the subject of transfer ultimately. I think that deals with a point raised by one hon. Member.

Finally, I do ask the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde to withdraw his Clause, because it is quite impossible for me to accept the proposition which, in effect, means that we must ask the Board to expend £3,000,000 annually. It simply cannot be done. It would hamstring the Board and make it quite impossible for them to proceed. We must leave it to the Board and the Ministry, subject to public opinion on these matters, and to the opinion of those concerned with the industry, which must keep the Board and the Ministry up to scratch in this vital matter of research. A great deal might be said on the subject. I have said, perhaps, much more than I intended to say, but it is a most important topic, and one that affects not only the mining industry, but vitally affects the industrial future of the whole country. Whilst I am very anxious to promote these measures, I am not able to accept the Amendment.

Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone):

I have always felt that it is a great tragedy that all the millions of tons of coal dug up with such hardship, such danger, and such sweat of the brow should, to so great an extent, be wasted in their use when consumed either on the hearth fire or in industry. Any steps which can be taken to make more advantageous use of the coal which is dug up with so much labour, ought to be taken. I think the House will be gratified to know once again the attitude of the Minister towards research in all its forms in the winning of coal and its subsequent utilisation. I know—and I am sure that I speak for other hon. Members on this side of the House—that he will do his utmost to ensure that all possible research will be undertaken, by every means to improve the equipment with which to win coal more easily, to ensure the safety of miners, and to obtain the better utilisation of coal after it has been won.

The Minister did not say whether he was going to include any further Amendment or any further new Clause in this Bill, and I must say I was not really satisfied that the Bill, as now drawn, will ensure that all these things which the Minister wants, and all of us in all parts of the House want, will be done. I was hopeful that the right hon. Gentleman would make some suggestion, even though he did not accept, the proposal of my hon. Friends on this side, or the later Amendment which was also mentioned. I think these do make a more constructive, a firmer, basis than we have in the Bill for ensuring that research will be carried on in the best possible way for winning coal and for its utilisation afterwards. I must say that in so far as the Minister did not say that he would introduce another Clause or another Amendment he did disappoint me.

8.0 p.m.

We do not know what the future holds in store for us. It may be that most intensive research will have to be carried out on gasification of coal. Possibly, by gasification of coal much labour and danger to miners may be avoided. Surely there is a great field for research in this direction? An hon. Member opposite condemned using money on research, and called it a burden on the industry. Surely, devoting 10 per cent., 15 per cent. or 20 per cent. of the profits of an industry to research, is not a burden on an industry? Surely it is the most vital insurance which one can have, ensuring that the industry will become more efficient, that higher wages can be paid to those engaged in it, and that lower prices are charged to the consumer? It is only by research and by economising that we can hope to have cheaper coal for the consumer and higher wages for the miners. I hope that the Minister will reconsider the whole position, with a view to seeing whether it is not possible to strengthen research in all its aspects in regard to the winning and utilisation of coal. We also want research, ensuring that after the coal has been won it will be used and developed in the best and most advantageous way.

I should be happier if some more specific sum, whether a global sum on royalties or a sum based on the tonnage raised, could be allocated for research, because that would give a target at which to aim. There would be a reserve definitely allocated for research, and there would be no grumbling about money being taken away from the industry. I am sorry that the Minister has not seen fit to include something more definite in the Bill, ensuring that research will be carried on in the way that we want. We are gratified to know that the Minister is determined to ensure that the fullest possible energy is to be put into research in all its various aspects, because if that is not done, this country of ours, which depends so much for its prosperity on this industry, will no longer be a great power in the world. Coal is the basis of our effort, and the basis for the whole of our energies It must be utilised to the best possible advantage, and that can only be done if every possible use is made of research. It is because I believe that to be vital, that I am speaking in this Debate tonight, and that is why my name has been put to one of these Amendments, urging a greater amount of research.

Mr. Blackburn (Birmingham, King's Norton):

I wish to detain the House only a few moments, and I shall confine myself to the not very interesting subject of the way in which research should be organised. It seems to be agreed that we should have research as regards production and utilisation of coal on a scale which has never been contemplated before in this or any other country. An Amendment in the names of hon. Members on this side of the House, and of the hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield), suggests that a joint organisation should be set up by the Minister for the purpose of promoting and coordinating scientific research in relation to the production and utilisation of coal. My right hon. Friend has admitted tonight that research into the utilisation of coal should, in its broader aspect, be inseparable from research into the getting of coal. The two problems cannot be put on different sides.

I am bound to say that I am not particularly happy, because we find that the Government are doing precisely the same thing as they have done on previous occasions, namely, making responsibility for something which is of colossal importance, such as the coordination of these matters, dependent upon the Minister. One has the feeling that mysterious figures and bodies may be concealed beneath the cloak of officialdom. I for one am terrified of the danger that the first may be cramped by bureaucracy. I suggest that the first principle in planning an industry should be that the planning authority is clearly defined, so that the people depending on the effectiveness of the planning know to whom they can go with their ideas, and people will know to whom they may go for any plans and requests they wish to make for information on the subject. That is the first principle of planning. If we do not plan in the light but plan in the dark, we are surely not fulfilling the purposes for which this Government came into being. I regret that my right hon. Friend is absent. He has fought long and gallantly in the past against the big battalions, and he now leads the big battalions. It would, of course, be ludicrous for either of these proposals to be pressed to a Division. It would merely be inviting a massacre. Personally I think there would be no desire to press for a Division, because one would not get anywhere with it, but I beg the Minister to make it clear that it is not part of Socialism to try to contract the spacious universe into a tiny garden of Ministerial nominees. I ask him to make it plain that we desire the planned coordination of all matters we undertake, and, above all, that this vital question of fuel research upon which the prosperity of this country so largely depends, should be a matter openly known to all concerned, with responsibility clearly put upon the shoulders of persons other than the Minister. Responsibility put on the shoulders of a Minister is a responsibility which it is almost impossible to bring home on any occasion.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

We have very interesting and valuable Debate on this new Clause, which we are discussing more or less in connection with the Amendment to Clause I. I am sure that those who have heard the Minister today, and those who heard him on the Committee stage, are deeply impressed by his grasp of the subject. We discussed this matter at some length upstairs, and I think that today we have had a very interesting restatement of the position as he sees it. I think that the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale)—;I am sorry he is not in his place—was unduly scornful, both about the proposed new Clause and the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the former Minister for Mines (Mr. Grenfell) and other hon. Members, and I thought that he was not quite fair in regard to what has been done in the past. In order to make advances to the future, it is not always necessary to denigrate the past. We have made not inconsiderable advances in this country, and the standard of life to which, on the whole, we have reached is due, in a very large measure, to the energy and enthusiasm of peoples of all kinds, all grades and all classes.

I was more impressed by the speech made by the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Price) with his usual moderation and knowledge, and I found myself very largely in agreement with the principles underlying the Amendment to which he referred. Where, I think, the Minister made an important case was this: He pointed out, with perfect truth, that research covers a wide field, and that, as he claimed, the responsibility for certain types must rest with different organisations. He said that, so far as safety is concerned, it must remain with the Minister of Mines, and that, so far as health is concerned, that may be partly with what he calls "the industry" and partly with the Ministry. I am glad that we are still going to call it "the industry." I thought that was regarded as rather an old-fashioned, capitalist sort of term, but it was introduced, in quite a friendly sort of way. Technical research, for the production of coal in its widest form, is again with the Ministry. Everyone agrees with that. Technical research, for the utilisation of coal in the sense of its preparation for sale, comes within the industry; but, in the sense of its utilisation in its other stages—the making of oil and fuels and all the things one gets now from the remote stages of scientific development—that does not come to the industry but to the users of the other industries to which he referred. I thought that he overstated a little this division of functions, and that, from his point of view, he rather understated the advantages, such as they might be, of centralisation of ownership, which appears to be the main purpose of this Bill, and of the Bill which will follow it. At the same time, I think he made a case which commanded my general respect and assent on this question of what must be, so long as the Ministry remains and the whole thing is not handed over completely to the Board, the responsibility of the Ministry, is charged with the health and safety of the people concerned, just as the Home Office is charged with the general responsibility for factory legislation, regarding the health and safety of those workers.

I also feel that the difference—and it is a very big difference—betweem the Amendment mentioned and the proposed new Clause, which lies in the proposals in the Amendment for a joint organisation, is a point which might well be further considered by the Minister. Perhaps agreement might be reached on the purposes which we had in mind and the purposes which the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway had in mind. This question of organisation and management, this division of functions, could, I feel sure, be cleared up with general good will. I do not think that it would be difficult to make an adjustment—it is one of those things which have, to some extent, to be experimental—and I agree with the point that there should be a clear focus on whatever may be the responsibility of the Minister in respect of individual lives. What really is vital, because I know this from some experience, is that the House should adopt the common principle of the proposed new Clause and the Amendment, and say that there should be a certain sum of money, or a certain definite contribution because when the House of Commons say, "We want £3,000,00O spent, or sixpence a ton spent," that is a great urge, which makes Departments and organisations get on with the job. The important common factor between the Amendment and the proposed new Clause is that, while we propose £6,000,000, they propose sixpence a ton, which, I am informed, at the present output rate, is about £5,000,000 a year.

8.15 p.m.

I hope that if the Government cannot accept either the proposed new Clause or the principle underlying the Amendment because of the question of organisation, they will, at least, accept the principle of putting into the Bill a compulsory contribution, either of a sum of money per annum, to start with, or a levy per ton. They should do so in order that the House of Commons, entering on this great new experiment, shall mark its determination that effective and powerful pressure will be laid upon the question of research.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 130; Noes, 317.

Division No. 160.] AYES. [6.40 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Hope, Lord J. Peake, Rt. Hon O.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Howard, Hon. A. Pickthorn, K.
Astor, Hon. M. Hudson, Rt. Hon R. S. (Southport) Pitman, I. J
Baldwin, A. E. Hurd, A Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Barlow, Sir J. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Prescott, Stanley
Beamish Maj. T. V. H. Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.
Bennett, Sir P Jarvis, Sir J. Prior-Palmer, Brig O.
Birch, Nigel Jeffreys, General Sir G. Raikes, H. V.
Bower, N. Jennings, R. Ramsay, Maj. S.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W. Rayner, Brig. R.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Kerr, Sir J. Graham Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Carson, E Lambert, Hon. G. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Challen, C. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)
Clarke, Col. R. S. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Ropner, Col. L.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Scott, Lord W.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Shephard, S. (Newark)
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Linstead, H N Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Lipson, D L. Smith E P. (Ashford)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Snadden, W. M.
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E. Low, Brig. A. R. W. Spearman, A. C. M.
Cuthbert, W. N. Lucas, Major Sir J. Spence, H. R.
De la Bère, R. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Digby, Maj. S. W. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W. McKie, J. H (Galloway) Sutcliffe, H.
Drayson, G. B. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T (Richmond) Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster) Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'ton, S.)
Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (City of Lond.) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Teeling, William
Duthie, W. S. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Eccles, D. M. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Erroll, F. J. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Marples, A. E. Touche, G. C.
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Marshall, D (Bodmin) Turton, R. H.
George, Maj. Rt Hn. G Lloyd (P'ke) Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Vane, W. M T.
Glossop, C. W. H. Maude, J. C. Ward, Hon. G. R.
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Medlicott, F. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Gridley, Sir A. Mellor, Sir J. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Grimston, R. V. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Morris, H. (Carmarthen) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Williams, C. (Torquay)
Haughton, S. G. Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C Nicholson, G. Willink, Rt. Hon H. U.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nield, B. (Chester) York, C.
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Noble, Comdr. A. H. P Young, Sir A. S L. (Partick)
Hollis, M. C. Nutting. Anthony
Holmes, Sir J. Stanley Osborne, C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES Mr. Drew and Mr. Studholme.
Adams, H. R. (Balham) Edelman, M. McLeavy, F
Adams, W. T (Hammersmith, South) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwelty) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Edwards, John (Blackburn) Macpherson, T. (Romford)
Alpass, J. H. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Mainwaring, W H.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Edwards, W J. (Whitechapel) Mallalieu, J. P. W
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Evans, S. N (Wednesbury) Mann, Mrs. J
Attewell, H C. Ewart, R. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)
Awbery, S. S. Fairhurst, F. Marquand, H. A.
Ayles, W. H Farthing, W. J. Marshall, F. (Brightside)
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B Fletcher E. G M (Islington, E.) Medland, H M
Bacon, Miss A. Follick, M. Messer, F.
Baird, Capt. J Foot, M. M. Middleton, Mrs L
Balfour, A. Forman, J. C. Mikardo, Ian
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A J Foster, W (Wigan) Millington, Wing-Comdr. E R
Barstow, P. G. Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Mitchison, Maj. G. R
Barton, C Gaitskell, H. T. N Monslow, W.
Battley, J. R. Gallacher, W. Moody, A. S.
Bechervaise, A. E Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Morgan, Dr. H. B
Benson, G. George, Lady M Lloyd (Anglesey) Morris, P. (Swansea W.)
Berry, H. Gibbins, J Mort, D. L
Beswick, F. Gilzean, A. Moyle, A
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Murray, J. D
Bing, Capt. G. H. C. Gordon-Walker, P. C. Nally, W
Binns, J. Granville, E. (Eye) Nichol, Mrs. M E. (Bradford, N.)
Blenkinsop, Capt A Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Blyton, W R Grenfell, D R Noel-Baker, Capt. F E. (Brentford)
Boardman, H. Grey, C F. Noel-Buxton, Lady
Bottomley, A. G. Grierson, E. O'Brien, T.
Bowden, Flg.-Offr H W Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Oldfield, W. H
Bowen, R. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J (Llanelly) Oliver, G. H
Bowles, F G. (Nuneaton) Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side) Orbach, M.
Braddock Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Gruffydd, Prof. W. J. Paling, Rt. Hon Wilfred (Wentworth)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Gunter, Capt. R. J. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Brook, D. (Halifax) Haire, Flt.-Lieut J. (Wycombe) Pargiter, G. A.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Hale, Leslie Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T.
Brown, George (Belper) Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Brown, T J (Ince) Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Paton, J. (Norwich)
Buchanan, G Hardman, D. R Pearson, A.
Burden, T. W. Hardy, E. A Peart, Capt. T. F.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney. S.) Harrison, J. Perrins. W
Byers, Lt.-Col. F Hastings, Dr Somerville Poole, Maj. Cecil (Lichfield)
Callaghan, James Herbison, Miss M. Popplewell, E.
Chamberlain, R. A Hicks, G. Porter, E. (Warrington)
Champion, A. J. Hobson, C. R. Porter, G. (Leeds)
Chater, D. Holman, P. Price, M. Philips
Chetwynd, Capt. G. R Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Proctor, W. T.
Clitherow, Dr R Horabin, T L. Pryde, D. J.
Cobb, F. A. Hoy, J. Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Cocks, F S. Hubbard, T Ranger, J.
Coldrick, W. Hudson, J. H (Ealing, W.) Rankin, J.
Collick, P. Hughes, Emrys (S Ayr) Reid, T (Swindon)
Collindridge, F Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Rhodes, H.
Collins, V. J. Hughes, Lt. H. D (W'lverh'pton, W.) Richards, R.
Colman, Miss G. M Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Comyns, Dr L. Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Robens, A
Cook, T. F. Janner, B. Roberts, Sqn.-Ldr. Emrys (Merioneth)
Cooper. Wing-Comdr. G. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.) John, W. Robertson, J J. (Berwick)
Corlett, Dr. J. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Rogers, G. H R.
Corvedale, Viscount Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Royle, C.
Cove, W. G Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Scollan, T.
Crossman, R H S. Keenan, W. Scott-Elliot, W
Daggar, G. Kenyon, C. Segal, Dr. S
Daines, P. Kinley, J. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E A A.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Kirby, B. V Sharp, Lt.-Col, G. M.
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Lang, G. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Lavers, S.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lee, F. (Hulme) Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Shinwell, Rt Hon. E.
Davies, R J (Westhoughton) Leslie, J. R Shurmer, P.
Deer, G Lever, Fl. Off. N. H. Silverman, J. (Erdington)
de Freitas, Geoffrey Levy, B W Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Delargy, Captain H. J. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Simmons, C. J.
Diamond, J. Lindgren G. S Skeffington, A. M.
Dobbie, W. Logan, D. G. Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Dodds, N. N Lyne, A. W. Skinnard, F. W.
Donovan, T McAdam, W. Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
Douglas, F. C. R McEntee, V. La T. Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Driberg, T. E. N. McGhee, H. G. Smith, H. N (Nottingham, S.)
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Mack, J D. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Dumpleton, C. W. McKay, J. (Wallsend) Smith, T. (Normanton)
Durbin, E. F. M. Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Snow, Capt. J. W.
Dye, S. McKinley, A. S. Solley, L. J.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Maclean, N. (Govan) Sorensen R W.
Soskice, Maj. Sir F. Titterington, M. F. Wilkes, Maj. L.
Stamford, W. Tolley, L. Wilkins, W. A.
Steele, T Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Stephen, C. Turner-Samuels, M. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.) Ungoed-Thomas, L. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Stokes, R. R. Usborne, Henry Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Strachey, J. Vernon, Maj. W. F. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth) Viant, S. P. Williamson, T.
Stross, Dr. B. Wadsworth, G. Willis, E.
Stubbs, A. E. Walkden, E. Wills, Mrs. E A
Summerskill, Dr. Edith Walker, G. H. Wilson, J. H.
Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Wallace, G. D (Chislehurst) Wise, Major F. J.
Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Warbey, W. N. Woodburn, A.
Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet) Watson, W. M. Woods, G. S.
Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin) Weitzman, D. Yates, V. F
Thomas, George (Cardiff) Wells, P. L. (Faversham) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.) Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton) White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.) Zilliacus, K.
Thurtle, E. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Tiffany, S. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Timmons, J. Wigg, Col. G. E. Mr. Joseph Henderson and Mr. Hannan.
Division No. 161. AYES 8.19 p.m
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Jeffreys, General Sir G Ramsay, Maj. S.
Astor, Hon. M. Jennings, R. Rayner, Brig. R.
Baldwin, A. E. Keeling, E. H. Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Barlow, Sir J. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H Lancaster, Col. C G. Renton, D.
Bennett, Sir P. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Bossom, A. C. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Bower, N. Lennox-Boyd, A. T Ropner, Col. L.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Linstead, H. N Scott, Lord W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Lipson, D L. Shephard S. (Newark)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Clarke, Col. R S. Low, Brig. A. R. W. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Lucas, Major Sir J. Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Crookshank, Capt Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Snadden, W. M.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Spearman, A. C. M.
Cuthbert, W. N. McCallum, Maj. D. Spence, H. R.
Digby, Maj. S. W. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Dodds-Parker[...], A. D. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W. Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Drayson, G. B. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Studholme, H. G.
Drewe, C. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Sutcliffe, H.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Duthie, W. S. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'ton, S.)
Eccles, D. M. Marlowe, A. A. H. Teeling, William
Erroll, F. J. Marples, A. E. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Marsden, Capt. A. Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Marshall, D (Bodmin) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Medlicott, F. Touche, G. C.
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Mellor, Sir J. Turton, R. H.
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Molson, A. H. E. Vane, W. M. T.
Gridley, Sir A. Morrison Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Harris, H. Wilson Neven-Spence, Sir B. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Nicholson, G. Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Haughton, S. G. Nield, B. (Chester) Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C Noble, Comdr. A. H. P White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nutting, Anthony White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Hollis, M. C. Osborne, C. Willink, Rt. Hon H. U.
Holmes, Sir J. Stanley Peake, Rt. Hon O York, C.
Howard, Hon. A. Pickthorn, K.
Hurd, A. Pitman, I. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Poole, 0. B. S. (Oswestry) Sir Arthur Young and
Hutchison, Col J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Prescott, Stanley Major Conant.
Jarvis, Sir J. Raikes, H. V.
Adams, H. R. (Balham) Balfour, A. Bing, Capt. G. H C.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Binns, J.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Barstow, P. G. Blackburn, A. R
Alpass, J. H. Barton, C Blenkinsop, Capt A.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Battley, J. R. Blyton, W. R.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Bechervaise, A. E. Boardman, H.
Attewell, H. C. Belcher, J. W. Bottomley, A. G.
Awbery, S. S. Bellenger, F. J Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.
Ayles, W. H. Benson, G. Bowen, R.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Beswick, F. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)
Bacon, Miss A. Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Hardy, E. A. Paget, R. T.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Harrison, J. Paling, Rt. Ho. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Hastings, Dr. Somerville Paling, Will T (Dewsbury)
Brown, George (Belper) Haworth, J. Pargiter, G. A.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T.
Buchanan, G. Henderson Joseph (Ardwick) Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Burden, T. W. Herbison, Miss M. Paton, J. (Norwich)
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Hewitson, Capt M. Pearson, A.
Byers, Lt.-Col. F. Hicks, G. Pearl, Capt. T. F.
Callaghan, James Hobson, C. R. Perrins, W.
Chamberlain, R. A. Holman, P. Poole, Maj. Cecil (Lichfield)
Champion, A. J. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Popplewell, E.
Chater, D. Horabin, T. L. Porter, E (Warrington)
Chetwynd, Capt. G. R. Hoy, J. Porter, G. (Leeds)
Clitherow, Dr. R Hubbard, T. Price, M. Philips
Cobb, F. A. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Proctor, W. T.
Cocks, F. S. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Pryde, D. J.
Collick, P. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Collins, V. J. Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Ranger, J.
Colman, Miss G. M Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Rankin, J.
Comyns, Dr. L. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Cook, T. F. Janner, B. Rhodes, H.
Corlett, Dr. J. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Richards, R.
Corvedale, Viscount Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Ridealgh Mrs. M.
Cove, W. G John, W. Robens, A.
Crossman, R. H S. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Roberts, Sqn.-Ldr. Emrys (Merioneth)
Daggar, G. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Daises, P. Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Rogers, G. H. R
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Keenan, W. Royle, C.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Kenyon, C. Scollan, T.
Davies, Harold (leek) Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E Scott-Elliot, W.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras. S.W.) Kinley, J. Segal, Dr. S.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Kirby, B. V. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A
Deer, G. Lang, G. Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lavers, S. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Delargy, Captain H. J. Lee, F. (Hulme) Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Dobbie, W. Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Dodds, N. N Leslie, J. R. Shurmer, P.
Donovan, T. Lever, Fl Off. N. H. Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Douglas, F. C. R. Levy, [...]B. W Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Driberg, T. E. N. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Simmons, C. J.
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Lindgren G. S. Skeffington, A. M.
Dumpleton, C. W. Logan, D. G Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Durbin, E. F. M. Lyne, A. W. Skinnard, F. W.
Dye, S. McAdam, W. Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. McEntee, V. La T. Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Edelman, M. McGhee, H. G. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwelty) Mack, J. D. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Edwards, John (Blackburn) McKay, J. (Wallsend) Smith, T. (Normanton)
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Snow, Capt. J. W.
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) McKinlay, A. S. Solley, L. J.
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Maclean, N. (Govan) Sorensen[...] R. W.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Mcleavy, F. Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Ewart, R. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Sparks, J. A.
Fairhurst, F. Macpherson, T. (Romford) Stamford, W
Farthing, W. J. Mainwaring, W. H. Steele, T
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Mallalieu, J. P. W. Stephen, C.
Follick, M. Mann, Mrs. J Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Forman, J. C. Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Strachey, J.
Freeman, Maj J (Watford) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Stross, Dr. B.
Gaitskell, H. T. N. Marquand, H. A. Stubbs, A. E.
Gallacher, W. Marshall, F. (Brightside) Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Medland, H. M. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Messer, F. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Gibbins, J Middleton, Mrs. L. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Gilzean, A. Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Gooch, E. G Monslow, W. Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Gordon-Walker, P. C. Moody, A. S. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Granville, E. (Eye) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Thurtle, E.
Grenfell, D. R. Morris, H. (Carmarthen) Tiffany, S.
Grey, C. F. Mort, D. L. Timmons, J.
Grierson, E. Moyle, A. Titterington, M. F.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Murray, J. D. Tolley, L.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Nally, W. Turner-Samuels, M.
Griffiths, Capt. W. D (Moss Side) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Gunter, Capt. R. J. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Usborne, Henry
Hale, Leslie Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Hall, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Aberdare) Noel-Baker, Rt. [...]lon. P. J. (Derby) Viant, S. P.
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Noel-Buxton, Lady Wadsworth, G.
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. O'Brien, T. Walkden, E.
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Oliver, G. H. Walker, G. H.
Hardman, D. R. Orbach, M. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Warbey, W. N. Wilkins, W. A. Woodburn, A.
Watson, W. M. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland) Woods, G. S.
Weitzman, D Willey, O. G. (Cleveland) Yates, V. F.
Wells, P. L. (Faversham) Williams, D. J. (Neath) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Westwood, Rt. Hon. J. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley) Zilliacus, K.
White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.) Willis, E.
White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Wills, Mrs. E. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J. Mr. Collindridge and
Wigg, Col. G. E. Wise, Major F. J. Mr. Coldrick.

CLAUSE I.—(Establishment of National Coal Board and functions thereof.)

Mr. Gaitskell:

I beg to move, in page I, line 14, after "available," to insert "of such qualities and sizes."

This Amendment fulfils an undertaking given by my right hon. Friend in the Standing Committee. I think it was the hon. and gallant Member for East Grinstead (Colonel Clarke) who moved an Amendment making various proposals, including, for example, the establishment of an appeals tribunal. My right hon. Friend was not able to accept that particular proposal, but he felt that the point had been established that some reference to quality should be made in the first Clause of the Bill. He realised that it was important that not merely the quantities and the price should be right so far as the consumers were concerned, but that the quality should be right also. I endeavoured earlier this afternoon to emphasise that point when we were discussing a new Clause in the name of the hon. Member for Stockport (Sir A. Gridley). For these reasons, I hope the House will accept this Amendment without further delay.

8.30 p.m.

Captain Crookshank:

I propose to advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to accept this Amendment, the appearance on the Order Paper of which is entirely due to us. One of the astonishing things that emerged from the proceedings on this Bill was the extraordinary lack of thought given to it, due no doubt to the speed with which it was drafted. The Government were so anxious to get a Bill produced as soon as possible to satisfy the conflicting interests of those people who are behind them that they brought forward for consideration a Bill which had entirely overlooked this point. Anyone else who thought about it would have known it was one of the very first things to be considered. This part of Clause I deals with the duties of the National Coal Board, and very properly lays down in the early stages that their job is to get coal, which we only hope they will get, too; secondly, to secure an efficient development of the industry; and, thirdly, having got the coal and developed the industry efficiently, to make supplies of coal available in such quantities and at such prices as may seem to them best calculated to further the public interest. That was not really enough, because while quantity and price are useful measures by which to decide whether the public is getting what it wants, it also happens to be the case in this industry—and I daresay in many others that we may have to discuss from time to time in the future—that quality and sizes are also important. A great deal of discussion upstairs was directed to the proposition of the Minister that in future when selling coal far more attention would be given to its chemical or thermal properties, and to get that idea into the Board's mind at all we thought, in the Debates we had, that some reference to quality would be wise. I think that is true, because it does enable a far more scientific method of selling coal to be followed in the future than we have had in the past in this country.

This is not entirely a new problem, and to assist in the sale of this coal we think that these words should be inserted. We wish, at any rate, to advance along that road which anyone who studies this thing at all profoundly will consider is the right road. It was very odd to leave out any relation to sizes. From the point of view of the public interest it is extremely important that it should be laid down. Under this Clause we set up this Board as a new authority with certain statutory duties, and considering the wide variety of coals and the wide variety of the use of coal—one has only to think of this or that industry or this or that kind of equipment to understand the points—it is highly desirable that we should be able to use coals of various sizes to the best advantage. The whole modern theory of screening coal at the pithead is involved in this proposition. That is why I said it was very strange that in the hurriedly drafted Bill there was no mention about quality and size. Such a thing as that did not escape the notice of my hon. Friends who are very vigilant on all these matters on behalf of the public at large, and they were also able to note it through their own experience, which renders them exceedingly competent to deal with these rather technical points. As a result we did have considerable discussion in the Committee upstairs, and lo and behold, the first Amendment called on the Bill itself as we reach it on the Report stage is one produced by the Minister to meet our wishes and desires. Considering that all along we had the best of the argument and that the Minister has been so generous as to accept our point of view, I hope hon. Members behind me will not divide on this, but accept the advice that I respectfully tender to them of showing to all and sundry that even the Minister, when he sees a good case put up by us, is constrained by force of circumstances to accept it.

Mr. Hopkin Morris:

It is important to determine what is meant by equality in size. I think it would be difficult for the consumer to determine what is meant by these words.

Mr. Turner-Samuels:

When listening to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) I was reminded of a character who, in the reign of George III, put upon his equipage the words, "While I live I crow." I am not sure that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman had any foundation for assuming such wonderful results from the intervention of the Opposition. I believe it is very doubtful what the words mean, or what they will do, and that the Clause without them, having regard to the words "public interest," would be sufficient to achieve anything which the Opposition desired in this matter.

Colonel Clarke:

As one who had the credit of starting this hare, I may say that my idea of quality and size is perfectly simple. Size is well known all through the trade. Sizes vary slightly in different parts of the country, but there would be little difficulty in getting out a standard size for the whole country. Quality is also understood. I said earlier that quality was something which, in war- time, had rather gone by the board. Coal of a great many qualities has gone into one pool, from which people have had to draw. I hope to see the qualities sorted out. In the old days quality was based on a particular pit and seam. I hope it will be based more on some scientific and analytical value, either chemical or thermal, according to whether it is gas or steam coal.

Mr. E. P. Smith:

May I intervene in order to answer the point made by the hon. and learned Member for the otherwise delightful city of Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels)? The Bill as it stands makes no mention whatever of quality or size; it merely talks about quantity and price. The Minister, being the tyrant under this Bill, might, for example, choose to export our best and most desirable coal, from the point of view of quality and size, and to foist upon the long-suffering public something which has been picturesquely described by one of my hon. Friends as "Shinwell nuts." I think it is very important that the words "qualities and sizes," referring to coal, as may seem to them best calculated to further the public interest should be inserted in the Bill even though they may have no precise legal significance.

Amendment agreed to.

Captain Crookshank:

I beg to move, in page I, line 16, at the end, to insert: (d) securing that such supplies of coal as may be available shall be supplied without favouring or discriminating against consumers or distributors who are engaged in the same class of trade, business, manufacture or industry, or who require to consume coal of the same physical, chemical or thermal properties and whose consumption or requirements are comparable in amount.

Mr. David Eccles (Chippenham):

This Amendment is one of great importance and is intended to establish the principle that the National Coal Board who are to be the monopoly producers of coal shall sell coal at the same price to any two customers whose circumstances are alike. This is a very well established principle inserted in legislation dealing with monopoly supplies. The Electric Lighting Acts contained stipulations about what is known as undue preference. A public utility company is not allowed to sell electricity at different prices to customers in similar circumstances, and the House will recall that railways are not allowed to charge different rates for the same freight if it is going over the same distance. This is a principle which is so well established that we on this side of the House were astonished not to find it in this Bill. In Committee we asked the Minister why it was not there and we received the somewhat disturbing reply that the Minister wished to have powers to discriminate in selling coal even if it were to two like consumers. His actual words were these: Discrimination may be required. I am using these words deliberately, so that the country should know. Discrimination may be required, if the circumstances warrant it. That is a very serious principle to introduce into any Bill. One of the instances of desirable discrimination given by the right hon. Gentleman was in respect of prices for export coal. In that particular case, he said: We want to promote the export trade, and it may be that in given circumstances it will become essential to boost up the export trade, perhaps in an artificial fashion, by stimulating it with financial oxygen which is fortified by the internal trade." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 13th February, 1946; c. 78.] It would be interesting to know how the right hon. Gentleman squares that doctrine of subsidised exports with Command Paper 6709, to which the Government have put their name and where, on page 8, they are bound by this principle: Members engaging in State trading in any form should afford equality of treatment to all other members. To this end, members should undertake that the foreign purchases plus sales of their State-trading enterprises shall be influenced solely by commercial considerations such as price, quality, marketability, transportation and terms of purchase or sale. Fortunately we now have a Parliamentary Secretary who is known to take a great interest in the principles which underlie the foreign trade, and which accompany——

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hubert Beaumont):

I think the hon. Member is talking upon the Amendment which was not selected, in page I, line 16, at the end, to insert: having regard in particular to the respective requirements of domestic and industrial consumers, the export trade in coal and statutory undertakers.

Mr. Eccles:

I quite agree that my remarks might be applicable to that Amend- ment, but they are relevant to the one which has been moved. One of the reasons which the Minister gave for desiring to keep the power of discrimination was that he might use it in the export trade. In the present Amendment we are not particularly referring to the export trade, but it does come in. I hope that the difference between the Minister's principle of discrimination and the principle in Command Paper 6709, which I have read to the House, will be rectified. Another reason given for discrimination was that the same type of coal might have to be sold at different prices to different consumers. The ex-Parliamentary Secretary favoured us with one of his rare and interesting speeches on this point. He told us about the miner's coal. We understand that quite well. Miner's coal has to be sold at a different price from that at which it would be sold to the ordinary public, but we are attempting to safeguard the principle that no two miners in a like position could get their coal at different prices.

If we turn to the industrial field it becomes obvious that the principle of nondiscrimination between like consumers is of great importance. Suppose a brickworks owned by the Minister of Supply, and another brickworks owned by a private enterprise; or two brickworks owned by private enterprise, if that is preferable. I really do not mind which. Or it might be two water companies, one owned by a local authority and the other owned by a private undertaking. The demand for coal in each pair of cases we will suppose is exactly the same. By the Bill, the Minister of Fuel and Power can sell to one organisation at a different price from which he sells to the other. He stated in the Debate upon Clause I that he is quite ready to use his power to discriminate between those two like consumers.

The argument behind it is one which we have heard quite often from the right hon. Gentleman, namely that it is reasonable that the National Coal Board should be in a position to do everything that one of the old colliery companies might have done. Of course, private enterprise can, and quite often does, discriminate in selling its product between two consumers; but the point is, we are now creating a monopoly. Responsibility grows with power. There will be no choice before the consumer. He will not be able to go to another supplier if he thinks he is having an unfair deal. There will be no redress. Monopoly, as we have known it in the case of the electric power companies and the railway companies, has had to contain safeguards for the consumer. Cable and Wireless is at present a private monopoly. They have a rate which they charge to newspapers, a Press rate, for incoming and outgoing telegrams. Suppose they charged a different rate to newspapers which supported the Government from the rate which they charged to newspapers which opposed the Government. That would be manifestly unfair.

We seek to put into the Bill words which will make it illegal for any such discrimination as that to take place. The Government are forging an instrument of enormous power in creating this State monopoly. We all recognise that the more powerful the instrument is, the more care we must take that it is not used unjustly as between any two citizens. If we were simply to rest upon the words of the Minister upstairs, we should be afraid that our Amendment would be rejected because he has so definitely said that he desired discrimination, but, fortunately, we have a new Parliamentary Secretary and, fortunately, this new Minister said the opposite yesterday when he was making an eloquent speech upon consumers councils. He spoke as follows: This is one type of complaint they will have: Mrs. Jones will complain that her supplier is discriminating against her and favouring Mrs. Brown down the street. The council hears about that, she says she bas tried to get redress from the supplier, and the council will proceed to investigate." —(OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th May, 1946; Vol. 422, c. 1582.] Obviously the Parliamentary Secretary considers that discrimination between Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Brown is a bad thing and something which Mrs. Jones can bring to the council to seek redress. That is a ray of light, and we must hope that there will be no Division, because if there is, the Minister will find himself in one Lobby and the Parliamentary Secretary in the other. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to consider this. If the Government turns this principle down, the public must draw the only conclusion; namely, that this monopoly is to be different from the previous type of trading of this kind in that the Minister who is running it deliberately desires to discriminate in selling coal between two consumers whose demands in quality and quantity are the same. That is a thing which we should not allow to happen in this House, because we Members of the House of Commons are the only people who can protect the public against the abuse of monopoly power, and we ought not to allow this Bill to become law unless an Amendment of this kind is accepted and written in the Statute.

Mr. Peter Thorneycroft (Monmouth):

I rise to support this Amendment. It is one of a number of Amendments which have been moved from this side of the House for the purpose of protecting the consumers of coal against any possible hardship that might come to them owing to certain actions of the State monopoly which this Bill sets up. We make no apology for seeking to introduce Amendments to safeguard the interests of consumers. In this industry, as in many others, the position of the producers of coal is very fully safeguarded. On both sides of the industry there are many big and powerful organisations set up. The consumers have not got that, and it is our job in the House of Commons to see whether we can introduce safeguards for their position. I have heard a number of discussions already on this question of discrimination. What struck me most forcibly was that it did not seem to me that hon. Members opposite fully understood what it was that we were trying to do. It may be because I moved the Amendment on the Committee stage.

On this occasion we have had the benefit of listening to the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) and I think no one can have any excuse for not understanding quite fully what was our object after listening to his speech. We do not seek to impose upon the Coal Board the obligation to charge the same price to everybody. That would be a nonsensical obligation to put upon the Coal Board, and nobody suggests that such an obligation should be put upon it. What we do seek is to see that two customers in the same situation should be charged the same price. If, to take an elementary example, you have two brick works—whether publicly owned or privately owned, as my hon. Friend said does not matter a bit—some distance from the colliery using approximately the same amounts of coal and the same quality, then they ought to be charged the same price for the product which they are sold.

I want to emphasise that this provision is necessary in the Bill. If you have a system of private enterprise in which, if you are dissatisfied with one producer, you can go to another, then you have a very ready safeguard in your own hands. I mean private enterprise in the old sense [An HON. MEMBER: "Nonsense."] I saw in a section of the Beaverbrook Press this evening, which is always a little favourable to hon. Members opposite——

Hon. Members:

Since when?

The Attorney-General:

He is quite right.

Mr. Thorneycroft:

—a headline saying, "New freedom for shoppers." Apparently now, if you have been dissatisfied with your butcher or grocer for eight weeks, you can change him. That is a great step forward, but quite obviously that is not the sort of freedom which I have in mind. I say that in an ordinary private enterprise system, if you are dissatisfied with a trader, you can go round the corner to another trader and get your wants satisfied there. It is certain, that if you establish a monopoly, you cannot change the producer. There is only one producer. You have none of the safeguards which are given to you under an ordinary private enterprise system. There are advantages in a monopoly, but that happens to be one of the disadvantages of a monopoly and, as my hon. Friend said, this disadvantage of monopolies has been recognised in this House of Commons now for many years. In the Railway Clauses Act provision was made against discrimination, and there are similar provisions in the case of gas or electricity. So far as I know, no responsible politician in any party in this country has ever taken exception to those Clauses, or ever argued against them, and in those circumstances it really seemed a little astonishing to us that no such provision was made in this Bill.

I hope that when the Parliamentary Secretary replies he will not put up a lot of skittles which do not exist and start to knock them down. We are not really here concerned with increasing his difficulties, for example, over the export trade. As a matter of fact, nothing in this Amendment would prevent him from charging a different price for exports. If you pay for dollars, it is quite a different situation from paying for sterling. In that case it might quite easily be possible to discriminate. His difficulties there arise from quite different causes, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham pointed out. It does not prevent the Board charging, say, a bulk buyer a different price to a man who is buying in tons only, if they so desire to do. It is concerned only with two customers in precisely the same situation, and only in those circumstances should they be charged the same price.

I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will not say, as has been said already, "After all, supposing a customer is dissatisfied, Parliament will be on the tail of the Minister very quickly." We cannot turn this House of Commons into an organisation for haggling over prices with particular customers for particular amounts of coal. We are a body wholly unsuited to such an occupation and, indeed, I think it would be very disagreeable to us if we started to embark upon it and it would really ruin most of our Debates. We have not the time and we are most unsuited to it. The question of the detailed prices of coal in particular circumstances would be much better settled outside. The method by which it should be settled has been established over many years of legislation. Hon. Members opposite have spent many years advocating nationalisation. One would have expected that they should have studied some of the problems of nationalisation. Having at last introduced this great nationalisation Bill, they should have studied one of the elementary provisions which should be introduced in it.

9.0 p.m.

Sir A. Gridley:

During the whole of my business life, I have had to live under Sections and Acts which have prohibited me in my business from discriminating between one like customer and another. For nearly half a century now I have had to keep both eyes wide open on this matter. It pains me to see any Government, in nationalising an industry, proposing, as the Minister does and as the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) has made clear, to retain the powers to exercise discrimination. The industry to which I refer, the electricity supply industry, has been, as I claim erroneously, described as a monopoly. It is a quasi monopoly, certainly not a monopoly in the ordinary sense of the term; it is subject to competition from gas, oil and so on. Quite rightly in the past, Parliament never passed an Act dealing with gas or electricity which did not put those who were responsible for managing these quasi monopolies, or monopolies, as the case may be, under the restriction which made it impossible for them to discriminate between one customer and another.

As the Attorney-General will know, there have been cases going through the courts in which one consumer has alleged that he ought to have been given the same price or a more favourable price than a neighbour, and prolonged arguments have taken place to clarify what those discriminatory Clauses mean. The principle is thoroughly well established and understood; there is no difficulty about it. What is astonishing is that the Government, in taking over a great industry like coal, which it has to supply to every industry and to every householder in the country, determines to retain these powers of discrimination. I should have thought that this Government, which claims to know how to govern a country and run one industry after another should be a model of the way in which business should be conducted. It should be the great authority to show to the remaining industries under private control that it is the Government's intention to be scrupulously fair between one like customer and another.

I hope the Minister, who has listened to these arguments in Committee upstairs, has had time now to think over the erroneous position put forward and that tonight he is going to say that he is ready to abandon the false arguments he used and is prepared to agree that this monopoly which is to be set up should certainly have no powers to discriminate between the price or quality as between one consumer and another.

Mr. Jennings:

I wish to say a few words. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I have said a few words; I hope that what I have said has been of some interest to somebody and I make no apology for it If some Members are not interested in these matters, we on these Benches are trying carefully to see that the best is being done with this Bill, and that the consumer is getting a fair deal. There is one aspect which will present some difficulty to the Minister if he does not accept this Amendment. A section of the coke oven plants is being taken over under this Bill, while others are not. Those plants which are to be taken over will produce coke. [Laughter.] If some hon. Members opposite would listen they might learn something. We are getting a little used to this bawling now; we have had it for some time. If the Minister will do me the honour of listening to the end of my statement, I think he will agree that coke will be produced in Government plants directly in competition with private enterprise plants. This is a serious matter, and I am sure the Minister appreciates it as such. Is coal to be supplied to the nationalised coke ovens for the production of coke at the same price as that supplied to the independent private enterprise coke ovens? If not, the Government are using a weapon by which they can unfairly put the private coke oven plants out of business. That would be a wrong thing to do, and would be discriminating very wrongly, by means of a monopoly, as the coal industry is to be, against these private enterprise coke ovens. The Minister may be able to satisfy me on this point. It is one which is giving me some concern in the interests of that nondiscrimination which this Amendment seeks. The Minister might give the point some consideration and deal with it, in view of this Amendment.

Mr. Gaitskell:

Once again, I must begin by congratulating hon. Members opposite upon their excellent intentions, or at any rate on the rather spectacular acting, the crocodile tears, and the rest of it, which we have just observed. But I must say that I cannot congratulate them on the way in which they have tried, in this Amendment, to express those intentions, this strong feeling on their part on behalf of the consumers. I do not think this is a question of bad drafting, and I hope that the right hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) will not get up and say, "If it is merely a matter of drafting, you surely accept the principle." It is badly drafted, but that is so, in my opinion, because underneath this proposal there is a fundamental confusion of thought on the part of hon. Members opposite. First I would like to ask whether this Amendment is supposed to suggest that the Board should not favour or discriminate against a whole class of business men or traders, or whether it is intended that the Board should not discriminate as between members of that class? That is not what the Amendment says. It says: securing that such supplies of coal as may be available shall be supplied without favouring or discriminating against consumers or distributors who are engaged in the same class … and that might very well mean—

Mr. E. P. Smith:

"Class of trade."

Mr. Gaitskell:

Certainly. It says: … class of trade, business, manufacture or industry … That might very well mean that the Board should not discriminate, for example, against electricity undertakings as a whole as compared with gas undertakings. However, we can let that pass, though I am assured that that is the case. Let us take the rest of it. It continues: … or who require to consume coal of the same physical, chemical or thermal properties and whose consumption or requirements are comparable in amount. In other words, we can leave out the intervening sentence from "who" to "industry." We are then told that the Board must not discriminate simply against those who require to consume coal of the same quality. I have consulted my right hon. Friend on this point and he assures me that that is so. In fact, the "or" in the Amendment really makes nonsense of the whole thing. Let us consider for a moment what the position would be. It might well be that the Board might choose to supply coal more swiftly to a particular ship as compared with another ship. Why? Because the ship was needed urgently to bring supplies to this country. Under this Amendment that would be discrimination, but it would clearly be directly in the public interest that that sort of discrimination should take place. Again, so long as serious shortage exists, it might well be right that the Board should give priority to a particular steel works because, we will suppose, in that particular area there would be otherwise serious danger of unemployment. That would be discrimination according to this Amendment. Again, I suggest to the House that it would be very desirable.

I will take another point. What exactly is meant by "comparable in amount"? When the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) was speaking on this in the Committee stage, he moved, so to speak, from one position to another, giving way each time. The truth of the matter is that it is a very difficult thing to define discrimination. It is extremely difficult. One could say, as the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) said, "What we mean is consumers who are in a similar position or who are alike."

Mr. P. Thorneycroft:

The hon. Member says I moved from one position to another. I do not know what he means by that. If he is in any difficulty in attempting to define discrimination, I would advise him to get the hon. and learned Gentleman to look at the many Statutes in which the word has been defined already.

Mr. Gaitskell:

I am well aware of some of those Statutes. I venture to express the view that they are not so badly drafted as is this particular Amendment. To take the point raised by the hon. Member for Monmouth, I said he moved from position to position, and he did. He was interrupted, I think, by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale), who asked him what he would do about bulk buying. How much is this to be? Is it to be a continuous sliding scale, or is it to move in jerks? The words "comparable in amount" are so vague that one could get an almost complete "let out." The fact is that it is extremely difficult to define discrimination unless one has precisely similar circumstances, which is a very rare thing. However, I have already given one or two examples where discrimination is clearly desirable—between ships on occasion and between steelworks on occasion.

9.15 p.m.

Let us take the case of exports. The hon. Member for Chippenham took the view that any discrimination in the case of charging a higher price for exports than in the case of coal sold in the home market would conflict with the proposals put forward by the Americans, in Command Paper 6709. [Interruption.] Well, it might be higher or lower. The hon. Member quoted from that document: Members should undertake that foreign purchases and sales of their State trading enterprises shall be influenced solely by commercial considerations. I suggest that that would not, in any way, relate to either lower or higher prices, as between home and exports. What those words do mean is that one must charge different countries the same price. The same sort of difficulty about interpreting them would arise if this were to be applied in the home market only.

In any case, my right hon. Friend did not say that we would necessarily charge either a higher or a lower price for exports. All he said was that there might be circumstances in which that would be necessary. So there might be. We do not know, in the first place, whether the American loan will go through. We are certainly not sure whether the proposals in this document will be so widely adopted that we shall be drawn into them. There may very well be circumstances in the future in which we might wish to charge a higher or a lower price for exports, and, with respect, I do not agree with the hon. Member for Monmouth when he sees nothing in this Clause to prevent that. There is nothing in the Clause which distinguishes exports from the home market. If we take the second part of the Clause, and the last few lines in particular, why should there not be, for example, an electricity undertaking in France which was consuming coal of the same physical, chemical or thermal properties as one in England? We might wish to charge the French concern more and the English one less. The hon. Member nods his head, and I think he is in agreement with me. If that is the case, this Amendment would prevent us charging a different price for exports. Whether it would prevent us charging a lower price for miners' coal is a question of definition—whether we can call miners a class in "trade, business, manufacture or industry." I should very much doubt whether they fall within those categories, but let us leave the point.

The next question is this. The hon. Member for Chippenham also referred to the position of those who complained against unfair retail distribution, and he quoted something I said last night. I wonder if hon. Members opposite realise what they are really asking in this Amendment. They are asking that the Board should have imposed upon it a duty to see that no discrimination should take place, even as between one domestic consumer and another. Very well, but we know that the Board, at any rate, to begin with, is not going to take over coal distribution. That is to remain in private hands. How can it carry out such an undertaking? How can it control the coal merchant unless hon. Members opposite wish us to hurry along and nationalise coal distribution? If that is their intention, we naturally take notice of it, and I am sure my right hon. Friend will consider it, but it is the fact that, without having such control, it is exceedingly doubtful whether the Board can, in fact, prevent discrimination.

The truth, of course, is that certain types of discrimination are wrong, improper and unfair. We are all agreed about that. Of course, if some official salesman of the Board, because he did not like the face of the manager of a particular steelworks—no, I must not say steelworks, because they will be nationalised before long; I will say of some particular pottery—charged him more than another pottery, because he did not like his face or because the colour of his hair was different, or because they had had an argument about the price, that, of course, would be most improper and unfair, and it would depend on the contract whether it was legal or not. On the other hand, as I have tried to point out, there are occasions when discrimination is perfectly in order. It is necessary, indeed, when it is a question of settling priorities between one type of consumer and another. I have given many examples of that and I hope the point is sufficiently clear. It may be desirable between the export and home markets. In a Bill of this kind, one cannot deal with distinctions like that.

I am sorry to have to refer once more to the fundamental point that, although we agree that the National Coal Board is a monopoly concerned with the production of coal, nevertheless, it is a publicly owned monopoly. Hon. Members opposite must get out of their heads the idea that it is going to behave in the same way as private monopolies have behaved in the past. It is not; it would not have the same motive for doing so. It is not there to try and get the maximum of profit; it is there to act in the public interest. Once again—I am sorry to have to repeat it, but hon. Members opposite keep coming back to it—I must remind them that safeguards through the Consumers Councils are provided in the Bill. If, in fact, any complaint was put forward by a customer because he thought he was being unfairly treated, he could go to the council who could investigate the matter, and the council would be a very useful body for deciding whether it was fair or unfair. That is the kind of thing which, I suggest, cannot really be laid down in a Bill of this kind. For those reasons, I must ask the House to reject this Amendment.

Mr. E. P. Smith:

In advocating this Amendment, I would like to give the hon. Gentleman and the House one slight analogy from my own personal experience. For many years I have been interested in the management of mills in London. In 1941, these mills, which were worked by means of a supply of electricity, were destroyed by bombing and we had to move. We moved into an area in which was situated one of our principal competitors. There we had to negotiate for a supply of electricity; and we found at once that we were discriminated against. We were charged a much larger rate for the electricity we consumed than were our competitors, who were older inhabitants, just because we happened to come in during the operation of a new system of contract. It made a very considerable difference to our running expenses. Now, we were working entirely under the Ministry of Food; and the Ministry fixed both our costs and our selling prices. Consequently, the question of the rate of our electricity made the whole difference to us between working at a loss and working at a profit. We found it was impossible for us to carry on unless we could get equal treatment with our competitors. Fortunately, as I have said, we were working under the Ministry of Food, and, naturally, we were able to apply a little Ministerial pressure to the electricity company and so avoid the inequitable discrimination. I have adduced this case in order to show the hon. Gentleman the evils discrimination can cause. That, of course, was under private enterprise; but we expect—at least, we have been told ad nauseam—that under nationalisation we shall do a vast deal better. But I must say that I am in no way convinced by the reply which I have heard from the Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr. Henry Strauss:

The case has been put so admirably by my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) and supported by my hon. Friend the Mem- ber for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) that I should not have intervened but for the very curious speech of the Parliamentary Secretary. I cannot believe that he made the slightest attempt to answer the point of substance. Let me say at once that I agree with some of his criticisms of the drafting. I think, for instance, that the drafting could be improved by substituting the word "between" for "against", and the word "and" for "or". I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman could have obtained that interesting bit of information from his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General, who is sitting next to him. The matter being so easily corrected if it were merely a question of drafting, it is surely due to the House and to the country that somebody from the Front Bench opposite should deal with the question of substance. The question of substance is whether a monopoly shall have the complete legal right to discriminate in price between two trading competitors on purely arbitrary grounds. If they discovered, for instance, that the owners of two similarly situated factories were Liberals, unless there is something against discrimination, it would apparently be perfectly legal to sell at a cheaper price to one of those who support the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) and invariably agree with the Government and to charge a more expensive price to those who hold different political views and take their duties more seriously. [Interruption.] I am sorry the hon. Member opposite did not hear me. I will endeavour to make myself audible. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) is audible but, unfortunately, unintelligible. The first thing we want from the Minister on the point of substance——

Mr. Gallacher:

The hon. and learned Gentleman may be intelligible but he is not audible.

Mr. Strauss:

Until the hon. Member for West Fife can introduce a totalitarian system in this country, he will, no doubt—[Interruption.]. I do not think hon. Members opposite are going to find it so easy to put me off as they think. [An HON. MEMBER: "Get on with it."] I will get on with it as soon as I am given sufficient attention to enable me to get on with it. I am quite prepared to go on for a considerable time. The first question to which we desire a reply from some responsible Member on the Front Bench opposite, if he is not prevented from speaking by his own Chief Whip, is: Are they, or are they not, in favour of discrimination between traders similarly situated? If they are in favour of that, it is very important that the country should know it. It is also very desirable, if the Government are in favour of such discrimination, and if they have, indeed, made up their minds, that they should reveal to us on what principles they propose to exercise that discrimination. For instance, if there were two rival manufacturers, one a cooperative society and one a private enterprise, would they, or would they not, think it justifiable to sell at a lower price to the cooperative society? [Interruption.]

9.30 p.m.

Mr. Gallacher:

The hon. and learned Member has got us there.

Mr. Strauss:

I very much hope that those who report our proceedings will have noted how that serious question was received on the benches opposite. It will be legal for such discrimination to take place.

The Attorney-General:


Mr. Strauss:

So far nobody on the benches opposite has said whether or not they propose such discrimination.

The Attorney-General:

It is obviously illegal.

Mr. Shurmer (Birmingham, Spark-brook):

That is putting one section against another.

Mr. Strauss:

Hon. Members opposite are becoming more incomprehensible, which makes me think I have touched on a tender spot. I now gather, therefore, as indeed the Parliamentary Secretary stated, that they are in favour of discrimination. One example which he gave was that it might be in the public interest to give some priority to a ship. I understood from the example which he gave that that priority was a priority in time. He apparently assumed that the scarcity produced by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Fuel and Power would be permanent and that, therefore, a priority in time would be most important. Even on the assumption that the present Minister maintained a permanent scarcity of coal, and, therefore, rendered priority in time necessary in the public interest, in regard to certain supplies, that would not render necessary any discrimination in price. That example was used, as I understood the Parliamentary Secretary, to justify a discrimination in price. In any event, suppose the Parliamentary Secretary was right in every example he gave of possible advantageous discrimination in the public interest in certain cases, surely there is all the difference in the world between the present proposals and the Government laying down in the Bill the principles on which discrimination could be exercised and providing some judicial machinery to which those who considered they were unfairly treated could appeal. The idea of setting up a monopoly board which shall be perfectly entitled in law to exercise discrimination on absolutely arbitrary principles——

The Attorney-General:


Mr. Strauss:

I am delighted that the hon. and learned Gentleman says "No," because it seems to me that that makes it incumbent upon him to rise and explain under which Clause this is prohibited. If the learned Attorney-General has discovered a sufficiency of power in the Bill to stop the conduct that I suggest, perhaps he will be able to explain it to the House. As I understood the Parliamentary Secretary, he said he was aware of the various Clauses against discrimination in various other Statutes. I wonder does he approve of them, or does he disapprove of them? Does the Government propose to sweep them away? If not, why is it they approve of nothing of the kind in this Bill? The Parliamentary Secretary, in what he thought was an ingenious argument, I thought rather let the cat out of the bag. He said there could not be final control down to the retail consumer unless the retail industry were nationalised. What would be the good of that if, when the wholesale side of the business is nationalised, discrimination is allowed? That example was very much against the Parliamentary Secretary. Indeed, I thought his whole speech indicated that he had expected that one of his colleagues would make the speech. I do not desire to delay the House long. [Interruption.] This is a point that is of absolutely vital importance. What is proposed in this Bill is unique in our Statute law. There has been no previous case of setting up a monopoly, or a quasi monopoly, without guarding in the interests of justice, by means of the most careful machinery, against discrimination between two bodies similarly situated.

That is all thrown over in this Bill. As I said, I agree with the drafting criticisms of this Amendment, but it is put forward to remedy that glaring defect. No answer has been given to the substance of the case; surely we are entitled to know, if the Government insist on retaining the right to discriminate, on what principles they propose to exercise it, if they have made up their minds. In the absence of any adequate reply from the Benches opposite, I am sure that we should divide on the Amendment, because this is one of the most scandalous omissions in one of the most ill-drafted Measures of such magnitude ever brought before this House.

Captain Crookshank:

I certainly, unless we get some more satisfactory reply from the Government, would advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to register their protest in the Division Lobby on this Amendment. I am indeed surprised at the reply which we were given by the Parliamentary Secretary. He is said to follow the Chancellor of the Exchequer as his mentor, and I must say that he certainly did on this question; the weaker the argument became, the more vigorous his gestures. I seldom heard a worse case put up against a serious Amendment. The Parliamentary Secretary, I recognise, is at a disadvantage because he can only get what took place on the Committee stage by reading and by hearsay and therefore—I do not blame him for it; it is inevitable—he has not got, within his personal knowledge, the atmosphere of the debates and discussions which went on before. We come down, under the new system of small Committees, a tiny band who have been fighting this Bill in the recesses of a corridor upstairs, and bring our proposals—in so far as they are selected by you, Mr. Speaker—to the wider audience of the House, where hon. Members who have not been on the Committee have the opportunity of judging the arguments, we hope, on their merits. The merits of this particular Amendment are, it seems to me, exceedingly clear. We are out, as my hon. Friend has just said, to protect the consumers' interests, because we recognise that in a national coal monopoly of this kind there will be a great many complaints, and everybody in this country is, in one form or another, a consumer. We ourselves are the representatives of the consumers, each one of us, and it behoves us to walk very warily where their interests are likely to be harmed or injured by the Bill, either by what is in the Bill or what is left out of it.

One of the remarkable things which was left out was any reference to non-discrimination. I will not argue it all over again because my hon. Friends have done it so exceedingly clearly tonight. Hon. Members will remember that my hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) gave a description of two similar brickworks at a similar distance from the pit, and said that it would be wrong if they were charged different prices whereas, if they were charged the same price, quantities and other things being equal, it would be right and in accordance with the principles laid down by this House in other comparable cases, like the railways and the gas and electricity undertakings. That illustration, let me tell hon. Members, was not used for the first time tonight. It was used, if hon. Members like to refer to column 73 of the OFFICIAL REPORT of the second day's proceedings upstairs, by an hon. Gentleman who is not one of my supporters, but who, I think, is decidedly conspicuous by his absence tonight because he supported us then. I should like to give a quotation. It is from the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. Cooper). This is what he said: I suggest that the illustration given by the hon. Member for Monmouth about two similar brickworks at a similar distance from the pit being charged a non-discriminatory price, is a fair one. I think the Minister will agree with that. Would he, therefore, be willing to consider the incorporation in the Bill at some point, of this principle of non-discrimination." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 13th February, 1946; c, 73.] The hon. Gentleman, who is, presumably, not enamoured of the political views that we hold, was frank enough to admit upstairs that we had made our point. I submit to the House that the speeches we have heard tonight have made the point. It is all very well to have the Parliamentary Secretary rather patronisingly lopping and chopping at our Amendment, and saying that we do not know what it is that we want; but we know perfectly well what we are trying to get the Minister to accept. If he accepts the principle, and says that he will see that some such words will he inserted in the Bill at a later stage, we shall be satisfied, because we should trust him to do what he publicly pledged himself to do. But there has been no indication of that at all. Moreover, hon. Members know, and the Parliamentary Secretary will know when he has been here longer, that it is very unusual to get an Amendment selected on Report, in the same terms as an Amendment proposed in Committee. There are limits to the ways of saying more or less the same thing in legislative language, and it may well be that the Amendment we proposed upstairs would have been clearer and simpler had it been accepted. However, we wish to return to the point of principle. We were fortunate enough to get a form of words that you have been good enough, Sir, to call; and we have had a reasonably good discussion of the principle of discrimination. The Minister has himself agreed that he wants the power to differentiate. He thinks it is essential in certain circumstances. Though the Minister may go on saying he wants discrimination, I am perfectly certain that, in the long run, he will find it wrong and unwise. That is why we bring this forward right at the beginning of the duties of the Board.

Let the House see what part of the Bill we are dealing with. Right at the beginning of the first Clause of the Bill it is laid down that there should be a Board charged with the duties of working and getting coal; securing efficient development of the coal mining industry; and making supplies of coal available. We wish that this fourth duty should be laid down, that customers in like circumstances should be treated in a like way. I think I overheard—though, perhaps, I was not meant to—a whisper from the Attorney-General, that this point was, in fact, covered by the provision in Clause I (I, c), where it is laid down that a duty of the Board shall be to make supplies of coal available in such quantities—and, as we now put it, in such qualities—and at such prices as may seem to them best calculated to further the public interest. [Interruption.] The hon. Member agrees with the Attorney-General. That must be a great satisfaction to the Attorney-General. I really am surprised that these two lawyers have suddenly discovered this, because nobody mentioned it on the Committee stage, although we had the benefit of the presence of both the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General at intervals. They never said it. They never briefed their colleagues to say it. They did not brief the Parliamentary Secretary to say it just now. Therefore, I find it so much of an afterthought that, without taking legal advice, I shall not commit myself to their version being right. I do not think it can be, on the ordinary, commonsense interpretation of the word.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Harold Davies (Leek):

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman implying that it is not in the Bill? It says in plain English, "to further the public interest". Why brief anyone to say what is already in writing?

Captain Crookshank:

I am interested in that, because no one has yet indicated or defined what the public interest is.

Mr. Gallacher:

It is not the Tory interest.

Captain Crookshank:

Having got these various versions of what the words mean, I would point out that there is no definition of "public interest" in the Bill. The hon. Gentleman in his speech specifically said that he could see occasions when it might be desirable to provide one steelworks with coal rather than another steelworks. That is a novel definition of public interest. We have been trying to establish the fact that there should not be discrimination, and we have obtained from the Government no reason why that should not be put in the Bill. If they allow the Board to use discriminatory powers, they will land a number of people in great difficulties. It is within the knowledge of a good number of hon. Members that we are not only concerned in this Bill with the coal industry and colliery concerns, but that we are dealing also with a lot of ancillary and subsidiary businesses. Some of these the Government will take over, and some of them they will opt not to take over. In these cases a big field of difficulty is emerging, because the Government may, for example, provide through the Board, for their own taken-over industries, and discriminate against those which they have deliberately decided not to take over. Whatever may have been the reasons for not exercising their option, they may practically ruin a lot of other undertakings by the use of those discriminatory powers.

It seems to me fantastic that this sort of thing can happen, and it can happen under this Bill as at present drawn. Let the right hon. Gentleman swallow his pride and accept this. He has not been very agreeable in accepting our Amendments up to now, but if the words are really too much and stick in his throat in the swallowing process, let him say that he will accept the principle, and that he thinks it is right. [HON. MEMBERS: "He does not."] Logically, then, I suppose, in the next batch of Bills we shall have appeals for a corresponding Clause. It is wrong, and surely the right hon. Gentleman himself considers it is wrong—this very curious proposition. I do not

know whether the right hon. Gentleman was able to be here all the time, but those of us who were recognise that the Parliamentary Secretary got the worst of the argument, as the right hon. Gentleman himself got the worst of the argument upstairs. While he has the big numbers to ride over us roughshod on this important Amendment, I hope, even at this last moment, that he will say, that although he may not be able to accept the Amendment, he accepts the principle, and will endeavour to have something inserted at a subsequent stage. That would be the wise, statesmanlike and commonsense thing to do.

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, 324; Noes, 143.

Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Noel-Buxton, Lady Sparks, J. A.
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) O'Brien, T. Stamford, W.
Janner, B. Oliver, G. H. Steele, T.
Jeger, G. (Winchester) Orbach, M Stephen, C.
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras. S.E.) Paget, R. T. Strachey, J.
John, W. Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Stress, Dr. B.
Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Palmer, A. M. F Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Pargiter, G. A. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Keenan. W. Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Kenyon, C. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Paton, J. (Norwich) Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Kinley, J. Pearson, A. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Kirby, B. V. Pearl, Capt. T F Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Lang, G. Perrins, W. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Lavers, S. Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Lee, F. (Hulme) Popplewell, E. Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Porter, E. (Warrington) Thurtle, E.
Leslie, J. R. Porter, G. (Leeds) Tiffany, S.
Lever. Fl. Off. N. H. Price, M. Philips Timmons, J.
Levy, B. W. Pritt, D. N. Titterington, M. F.
Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Proctor, W. T. Tolley, L.
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Pryde, D. J. Turner-Samuels, M.
Lindgren, G. S. Pursey, Cmdr. H Ungoed-Thomas, L
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Ranger, J. Usborne, Henry
Logan, D. G Rankin, J. Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Lyne, A. W Reeves, J. Viant, S. P.
McAdam, W. Reid, T. (Swindon) Walkden, E.
McEntee, V. La T Rhodes, H. Walker, G. H.
McGhee, H. G Richards, R. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Mack, J. D. Ridealgh, Mrs. M Warbey, W. N.
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Robens, A. Watson, W. M.
Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth) Weitzman, D
McKinley, A. S. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Maclean, N. (Govan) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
McLeavy, F. Rogers, G. H. R. White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Royle, C. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Mainwaring, W. H. Scollan, T. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Mallalieu, J P. W. Scott-Elliot, W. Wigg, Col. G. E.
Mann, Mrs. J. Segal, Dr. S. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B
Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A Wilkins, W. A.
Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Marshall, F. (Brightside) Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Medland, H. M. Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Messer, F Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Middleton, Mrs. L. Shurmer, P. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R Silverman, J. (Erdington) Williamson, T.
Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Willis, E.
Monslow, W. Simmons, C. J. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Moody, A. S Skeffington, A. M. Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J
Morley, R. Skeffington-Lodge, T. C. Wise, Major F. J
Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Skinnard, F. W. Woodburn, A.
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester) Woods, G. S.
Mort. D. L. Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Yates, V. F.
Moyle, A. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Murray, J. D. Smith, S. H, (Hull, S.W.) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Nally, W. Smith, T. (Narmanton) Zilliacus, K
Naylor, T. E. Snow, Capt. J. W.
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Solley, L. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Sorensen, R. W. Mr. Collindridge and
Noel-Baker Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Soskice. Maj. Sir F. Captain Michael Stewart.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Crowder, Capt. J. F. E Harvey, Air-Comdre, A. V
Astor, Hon. M. Cuthbert, W. N. Haughton, S. G.
Baldwin, A. E. Digby, Maj. S. W. Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C.
Barlow, Sir J. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Beamish, Maj. T V. H. Donner, Sqn-Ldr. P. W. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Bennett, Sir P. Drayson, G. B. Hogg, Hon. Q
Birch, Nigel Drewe, C. Hollis, M. C.
Bossom, A. C Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Holmes, Sir J Stanley (Harwich)
Bowen, R. Duthie, W. S. Hope, Lord J
Bower, N. Eccles, D. M. Howard, Hon. A
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Erroll, F. J. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)
Braithwaite, Lt. Comdr. J. G. Fletcher, W. (Bury) Hurd, A
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Fox, Sqn,-Ldr. Sir G. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Hutchison, Col J R. (Glasgow, C.)
Carson, E. Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Jarvis, Sir J.
Clarke. Col. R. S. Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Jeffreys, General Sir G
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke) Jennings, R.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Keeling, E. H.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Gridley, Sir A. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Grimston, R. V. Lambert, Hon. G.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Neven-Spence, Sir B. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Nicholson, G. Studholme, H. G.
Linstead, H. N. Nield, B. (Chester) Sutcliffe, H.
Lipson, D. L. Noble, Comdr A. H. P. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Nutting, Anthony Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n. S.)
Low, Brig. A. R. W. Osborne, C. Teeling, William
Lucas, Major Sir J. Pickthorn, K. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Pitman, I. J. Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
McCallum, Maj. D. Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Mackeson, Lt. Col. H. R. Prescott, Stanley Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Touche, G. C.
Maclay, Hon. J. S. Raikes, H. V. Turton, R. H.
Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster) Ramsay, Maj. S. Vane, W. M. T.
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Rayner, Brig. R. Wadsworth, G.
Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Read, Sir S. (Aylesbury) Wakefield, Sir W. W
Maitland, Comdr. J. W Renton, D. Ward, Hon. G. R.
Manningham-Buller, R. E Roberts, H. (Handsworth) Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Marlowe, A. A. H. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall) Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Marples, A. E. Ropner, Col. L Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Marsden, Capt. A. Scott, Lord W. White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Shepherd, S. (Newark) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Medlicott, F. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Mellor, Sir J. Smith, E. P. (Ashford) York, C.
Molson, A. H. E. Snadden, W M. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen) Spearman, A. C. M.
Morrison, Rt. Hn. W. S. (Cirencester) Spence, H. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Strauss, H. G. (English Universities) Commander Agnew and Major Conant.

Question put accordingly, "That the proposed words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 139; Noes, 327.

Division No. 163. AYES [10.5 p.m.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Hope, Lord J Prior-Palmer, Brig. O
Astor, Hon. M. Howard, Hon. A Raikes, H. V.
Baldwin, A. E Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Ramsay, Maj. S.
Barlow, Sir J. [...]Hurl, A. Rayner, Brig. R.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Bennett, Sir P. Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Renton, D.
Birch, Nigel Jarvis, Sir J. Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Bossom, A. C. Jeffreys, General Sir G Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Bower, N. Jennings, R Ropner, Col. L.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Keeling, E. H. Scott, Lord W.
Braithwaite, Lt. Comdr. J. G. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Shepherd, S. (Newark)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Lambert, Hon. G. Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Carson, E. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Snadden, W. M.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Linstead, H. N. Spearman, A. C. M
Cooper-Key, E. M. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Spence, H. R.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Low, Brig. A. R. W. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Lucas, Major Sir J. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Studholme, H. G.
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E McCallum, Maj. D. Sutcliffe, H.
Cuthbert, W. N. Mackeson, Lt. Col. H. R. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Digby, Maj. S. W. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Teeling, William
Donner, Sqn-Ldr. P. W. Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Drayson, G. B. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Drewe, C. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Duthie, W. S. Manningharm-Buller, R. E. Touche, G. C.
Eccles, D. M. Marlowe, A. A. H. Turton, R. H.
Erroll, F. J. Marples, A. E. Vane, W. M. T.
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Marsden, Capt. A. Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Medlicott, F. Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke) Mellor, Sir J. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A G. Molson, A. H. E. White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Gridley, Sir A. Morrison, Rt. Hn. W. S. (Cirencester) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Grimston, R. V. Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Hannon, Sir P (Moseley) Never-Spence, Sir B. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V Nicholson, G. York, C.
Haughton, S. G. Nield, B. (Chester) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nutting, Anthony
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Osborne, C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hogg, Hon. Q. Pitman, I. J. Mr. Collindridge and
Hollis, M. C. Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry) Captain Michael Stewart.
Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Prescott, Stanley
Adams, Richard Balham)[...] Dye, S. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Logan, D. G.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty) Lyne, A. W.
Alpass, J. H. Edwards, John (Blackburn) McAdam, W.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) McEntee, V. La T.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) McGhee, H. G.
Attewell, H. C. Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Mack, J D.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Awbery, S. S. Ewart, R. Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)
Ayles, W. H. Fairhurst, F. McKinlay, A. S
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Farthing, W. J. Maclean, N. (Govan)
Bacon, Miss A. Follick, M. McLeavy, F.
Baird, Capt. J. Forman, J. C. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Balfour, A. Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Mainwaring, W. H.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Gaitskell, H. T. N. Mallalieu, J. P. W
Barstow, P. G Gallacher, W. Mann, Mrs. J.
Barton, C. Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)
Battley, J. R. George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)
Bschervaise, A. E Gibbins, J. Marshall, F. (Brightside)
Belcher, J. W. Gilzean, A. Medland, H. M.
Bellenger, F. J. Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Messer, F.
Berry, H. Gooch, E. G. Middleton, Mrs. L.
Beswick, F. Goodrich, H. E. Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.
Bing, Capt. G. H. C. Gordon-Walker, P. C. Mitchison, Maj. G. R
Binns, J. Granville, E. (Eye) Monslow, W.
Blackburn. A. R. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Moody, A. S
Blenkinsop, Capt. A. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Morley, R.
Blyton, W. R. Grenfell, D. R. Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)
Boardman, H. Grey, C. F. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Bottomley, A. G. Grierson, E. Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Mort, D. L.
Bowen, R. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Moyle, A.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side) Murray, J. D
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'I, Exch'ge) Guest, Dr. L. Haden Nally, W.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Gunter, Capt. R. J. Naylor, T. E.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Guy, W. H. Nichol, Mrs. M. L. (Bradford, N.)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe) Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Brown, George (Belper) Hale, Leslie Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hall, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Aberdare) Noel-Buxton, Lady
Buchanan, G. Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) O'Brien, T.
Burden, T. W. Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Oliver, G. H.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Hannan, W (Maryhill) Orbach, M
Byers, Lt.-Col. F. Hardy, E. A. Paget, R. T.
Callaghan, James Harrison, J. Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Chamberlain, R. A Hastings, Dr. Somerville Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Champion, A. J. Haworth, J. Palmer, A. M. F.
Chater, D. Henderson, A, (Kingswinford) Pargiter, G. A.
Chetwynd, Capt. G. R. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T
Clitherow, Dr. R. Herbison, Miss M. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Cluse, W. S. Hewitson, Capt. M. Paton, J. (Norwich)
Cobb, F. A. Hobson, C. R. Pearson, A.
Cocks, F. S. Holman, P. Pearl, Capt. T. F.
Coldrick, W. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Perrins, W.
Collick, P. Horabin, T. L Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)
Collins, V. J. Hoy, J. Popplewell, E.
Colman, Miss G. M. Hubbard, T. Porter, E. (Warrington)
Comyns, Dr L. Hudson, J. H (Ealing, W.) Porter, G. (Leeds)
Cook, T. F. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Price, M. Philips
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pritt, D. N.
Corlett, Dr. J. Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W ) Proctor, W. T.
Corvedale, Viscount Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Pryde, D. J.
Cove, W. G. Janner, B. Pursey, Cmdr. H
Crawley, Flt.-Lieut. A. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Ranger, J.
Crossman, R. H. S. Jeger, Dr. S W (St. Pancras, S.E.) Rankin, J.
Daggar, G. John, W. Reeves, J.
Daises, P. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Rhodes, H.
Davies. Clement (Montgomery) Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Richards, R.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Keenan, W. Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kenyon, C. Robens, A.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Kinley, J. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Deer, G. Kirby, B. V. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lang, G. Rogers, G. H. R.
Delargy, Captain H. J. Lavers, S. Royle, C.
Diamond, J. Lee, F. (Hulme) Scollan, T.
Debbie, W. Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Scott-Elliot, W.
Dodds, N. N. Leslie, J. R. Segal, Dr. S.
Donovan, T. Lever, Fl. Off. N. H. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A.
Douglas, F. C. R. Levy, B. W. Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.
Driberg, T. E. N. Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Lewis. T. (Southampton) Shawcross. Sir H. (St. Helens)
Dumpleton, C. W. Lindgren, G. S. Shinwell, Rt Hon. E.
Durbin, E. F. M. Lipson, D. L Shurmer, P.
Silkin, Rt. Hon. L. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet) White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)
Silverman, J. (Erdington) Thomas, Ivor (Keighley) White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Thomas, I. 0. (Wrekin) Whiteley, Rt Hon. W.
Simmons, C. J. Thomas, John R. (Dover) Wigg, Col. G. E.
Skeffington, A. M. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B
Skeffington-Lodge, T. C Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.) Wilkins, W. A.
Skinnard, F W. Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton) Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester) Thurtle, E. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Tiffany, S. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.) Timmons, J. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.) Titterington, M. F. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Smith, T. (Normanton) Tolley, L. Williamson, T.
Snow, Capt. J. W. Turner-Samuels, M. Willis, E.
Solley, L. J. Ungoed-Thomas, L. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Sorensen, R. W Usborne, Henry Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.
Soskice, Maj. Sir F. Vernon, Maj. W. F. Wise, Major F. J.
Sparks, J. A. Viant, S. P. Woodburn, A.
Stamford, W. Wadsworth, G Woods, G. S.
Steele, T. Walkden, E. Yates, V. F.
Stephen, C. Walker, G. H. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Strachey, J. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Stross, Dr. B. Warbey, W. N. Zilliacus, K.
Summerskill, Dr. Edith Watson, W. M
Symonds, Maj. A. L. Weitzman, D. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Wells, P L. (Faversham) Commander Agnew and
Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Major Conant.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Shinwell:

I beg to move, in page 2, line 4, to leave out from "producing," to the end of line 9, and to insert: or manufacturing any goods or utilities which are of a kind required by the Board for or in connection with the working and getting of coal or any other of their activities, or which can advantageously be produced or manufactured by the Board by reason of their having materials or facilities for the production or manufacture thereof in connection with the working and getting of coal or any other of their activities, and supplying and selling goods or utilities so produced or manufactured.

This Amendment relates to a matter which was raised in Committee. The Board is empowered to undertake certain activities and the right hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) raised, quite properly, the question of whether the Board would be entitled to embark on plant manufacturing activities. My answer at that time, to the best of my recollection, was in the negative, but, of course, there are certain activities which are now common to colliery undertakings and which would naturally be transferred to the National Coal Board.

So far as the manufacture of mining machinery is concerned, it is not our intention that the Board should be responsible. Certain colliery companies have engaged in the manufacture of types of loader and other apparatus, and it would not be fair to preclude the National Coal Board from undertaking similar tasks. Apart from that, there are questions of accessories and requisites associated with the plants required for mining activities. It is to make unmistakably clear what activities can be undertaken by the Board that I have placed this Amendment on the Paper. I hope that what I have said will satisfy hon. Members that it is not the intention that the National Coal Board should proceed any further than circumstances justify.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames):

In so far as it is possible to disentangle any clear meaning from the polysyllabic circumlocution in which the Amendment is couched, it would appear that, whatever the intention of the right hon. Gentleman, the Amendment widens already very wide powers. Indeed, it is a case not so much of painting the lily as of deepening the bottomless pit. It is not a proper justification of an Amendment giving these extraordinarily wide powers merely to refer very briefly, as the right hon. Gentleman did, to one aspect of the matter. Perhaps I might illustrate the width of the powers that are being taken, and the fact that no particular justification has so far been offered for taking them. I would recall the observations made by the Parliamentary Secretary upon a previous Amendment. He told the House that it was not the intention to nationalise coal distribution, yet here, in this Amendment, as large as life, is power for the National Coal Board to conduct coal distribution, as well as other activities. It really makes nonsense of Ministerial assurances that a matter should be dealt with in this piecemeal fashion, and that such assurances should be given on one Amendment while these wide powers are sought to be taken on the next Amendment. If hon. Members consider the Amendment they will see that the Board is given power for manufacturing any goods or utilities which are of a kind required by the Board for or in connection with the working and getting of coal or any other of their activities, or which can advantageously be produced or manufactured by the Board by reason of their having materials or facilities for the production or manufacture thereof in connection with the working and getting of coal or any other of their activities, and supplying and selling goods or utilities so produced or manufactured.

If the word "boggle" is a Parliamentary expression, the imagination may be said to boggle at the width of these powers. It appears doubtful whether there is any activity which the Board, advised no doubt by the adroit mind of the Attorney-General, could not see fit to undertake. I am certain that that is contrary to the intentions of hon. Members on all sides of the House—after all, this is a Bill to nationalise the coal industry—to confer powers upon the Coal Board, to conduct activities of every sort, right through our economic system. That is equivalent to setting up a sort of "Breakages, Ltd.," with the same width of powers and the same consequences that Mr. George Bernard Shaw foresaw when he coined that phrase. If the right hon. Gentleman arms the Board with these powers, he will meet trouble in two ways. First, the functions of the Board will be extended so widely that inefficiency will become more inefficient by reason of the vast scope of its activities.

Secondly, he is going to involve himself in a further difficulty. It is, I understand, the intention of this Government to nationalise large numbers of industries specified and unspecified—[Interruption.] I am glad to get confirmation from a no doubt authoritative source. But if we have the situation of this Board, under the direction of the right hon. Gentleman being entitled to interfere in the same activities as other nationalised industries, the possibilities of confusion and chaos are much increased and the right hon. Gentleman may well find himself involved in a series of frontier disputes with his colleagues, some of whom may be very nearly as truculent as himself. No argument has been adduced. [Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite are such authorities upon the subject of dogmatic and non-argued assertion, that I take their applause as encouraging. No argument has been adduced for taking powers for the Board to indulge in almost every kind of economic activity, such as are given in this Amendment. It would appear from the considerations that I have put before the House that it is undesirable that the Board should be equipped with these powers, but, be that as it may, it is surely unsound for a right hon. Gentleman to come down to this House and ask for these powers for the Board, justifying his request by no more than one cursory allusion to the manufacture of mining machinery. If what the right hon. Gentleman really desired to do, was to take power to manufacture mining machinery, I do not think it would be beyond the power of draftsmanship of his advisers—it might not even be beyond the power of the Attorney-General—to provide an Amendment giving them power to manufacture mining machinery, but it is really an insult to the intelligence of this House to justify an Amendment like this by that sort of argument.

Mr. Norman Bower (Harrow, West):

I support the case made by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) against this Amendment. The Minister certainly made this proposal sound very innocuous, but it does not look at all innocuous to me. It is a very wide extension of the original Clause—such an extension as to be almost revolutionary in character. This is a most extraordinary Bill altogether. It is called the Coal Industry Nationalisation Bill but I think it ought to be called the Blanket Nationalisation Bill, a Bill for nationalising practically everything in the country at one fell swoop. It not only provides for the taking over of many ancillary activities in addition to coal mines, but the Board is also to have power to produce or manufacture any goods or utilities which are required in connection not only with coal mining but also of the other ancillary activities which it has the power to carry on. That seems to open up unlimited possibilities in the field of production. There is no limit to the utilities which the Board will be able to produce. [Interruption.] Hon. Members corroborate that view. This seems to be the first step to the nationalisation of half the industries in the country. Why call it the Coal Industry Nationalisation Bill when it is something very much more? Perhaps the Minister will say why it is not possible to obtain the goods and utilities from the normal sources of supply and why the Board must be given these extraordinary powers to manufacture all these different goods and utilities. Perhaps he will also tell us whether this means that all these goods and utilities which the Board is to have the power to produce or manufacture will rapidly become as scarce as building materials have become since the Ministry of Works took power to go into business in the production of building materials in a big way. If that is to be the effect, and I fear it will be, the fewer things the Board has the power to produce, the better it will be for the country.

Captain Crookshank:

My hon. Friends have pointed out, what needed to be pointed out. At first sight hon. Members might have thought that this was not very much more than a drafting Amendment, because so many of the words in it appear in the lines which the right hon. Gentleman proposes to omit from the Clause. But it does, in fact, extend these powers very greatly. That may not be the intention, but the Minister's speech showed that it was proposed to deal with particular kinds of mining manufacture, drills, and what not.

Mr. Shinwell:

The point which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman raised.

Captain Crookshank:

The point I raised, yes. I recognise that the Minister has tried to meet that, but I want the House to realise that he has gone a great deal further.

Mr. Shinwell:

That is what happens when a concession is made.

Captain Crookshank:

The right hon. Gentleman must not say that when he gives us a concession, this is what happens. If he looks at the paragraph he wants to amend, he will see that it refers to producing various things and the last words are: in connection with the working and getting of coal or with such activities as are mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection; Therefore all the words, as I understand it, that appear at the beginning of Subsection (2) are for the purposes of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), that is, for the purposes of searching or boring for coal, treating, rendering saleable, supplying and selling of coal, producing, manufacturing, and so on, the products of coal. Therefore it is limited to the coal field.

Mr. Shinwell:

Yes, but the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will agree that frequently in the course of our discussions upstairs I made it clear that the National Coal Board would be entitled to undertake any of the activities now undertaken by colliery companies. Surely that would be fair? It would hardly be fair to prevent them from undertaking any activities now common to colliery undertakings. That was made very clear.

Captain Crookshank:

I know that is the right hon. Gentleman's view and it is one which we contest, but I do not think it need be argued on this Amendment. What I am saying is that as the Clause is now drafted, this power of purchasing and manufacturing other goods is limited to the purposes set out in (a), (b), and (c), that is, purposes concerned with coal. Now the Minister says, that the Board ought to be able to do a great many other things such as existing colliery concerns may do under their articles of association "and in order to enable that to be effected he has dropped the qualifying words, which provide that the activities must be" related to the working and getting of coal and proposes to add "or any other of their activities." That extends it to all the fields of subsidiary undertakings and the like, covered by the Schedule. At least I think it does. I take it that I am right? I only wanted confirmation on that point.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Glenvil Hall):

Take the words in their context.

Captain Crookshank:

They are: and supplying and selling goods or utilities so produced or manufactured.

Mr. Glenvil Hall:

Go on.

Captain Crookshank:

That is all there is on my Amendment Paper.

Mr. Glenvil Hall:

It is the words in the middle to which I refer.

Captain Crookshank:

If the Financial Secretary would like to explain his point by a speech, I should be very glad, but I thought that we were discussing the Amendment to Clause I, page 2, line 4, to leave out from "producing," to the end of line 9 and to insert these other words instead. When you get to the end of this Amendment, there is a full stop after the word "manufactured," and that is the end of it.

Mr. Glenvil Hall:

Line 4.

10.30 p.m.

Captain Crookshank:

I really do not know what the Financial Secretary is trying to demonstrate, but perhaps he will do it afterwards? All I am trying to put to the right hon. Gentleman is that, up to now, these activities were limited to manufacturing and producing various goods connected with coal. By the Amendment, that limitation will be removed and power extended to "any other of their activities." I want the House to realise that this governs all the other activities which are covered by subsidiary undertakings. It is absolutely clear that under this Amendment they would have the power to supply and sell the goods they produce. Therefore, it is not really fantastic to say that under these powers they can go into all these other fields of production of things which have nothing to do with the working and getting of coal.

Criticisms have been made of the way in which hon. Members on this side have drafted their Amendments. I am now criticising the drafting of this Amendment. The Minister certainly said that he did not intend to take the matter further than circumstances justified, but that means nothing at all. At the start the right hon. Gentleman himself and the Board which he himself controls might not go very far, but if we allow this provision to go into the Bill it can only mean making the powers very much wider than the Minister indicated. My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) is absolutely right. These are colossal powers. In so far as it was intended to meet the case I made upstairs, I am grateful to the Minister once again for listening to our arguments, but when he exceeds them, when he extends his concession to something which none of us want, then, I am afraid, he is doing us a disservice, and the House and the country a grave injury, not for the first time in this Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Glenvil Hall:

I beg to move, in page 2, line 37, after "account," to insert: (including, without prejudice to the generality of that expression, provisions in respect of their obligations under Sections twenty-six and twenty-seven of this Act).

Subsection (4) of Clause I to which this Amendment relates lays down that the policy of the Board shall be to secure: "(a) the advancement of the safety of persons in their employment and (b) that the revenues of the Board shall not be less than sufficient for meeting all outgoings properly chargeable to revenue account.

We want to add the words of the Amendment in order to make it clear that the obligations laid on the Board in Clauses 26 and 27 of the Bill are fulfilled. These words make this crystal clear. Those who were present during the Debates in Standing Committee will remember that this matter came up several times during the discussions and my right hon. Friend gave an undertaking that he would move an Amendment to make it certain that the Board's obligations under Clauses 26 and 27 would be carried out. We have done our best to meet the points raised in Committee upstairs. We thought that the original wording covered what was intended, but, in the discussions, some doubts were cast by hon. Members in various parts of the Committee as to whether the wording was sufficiently clear. Now we have done our best to make it obvious to everybody.

Mr. Jennings:

I rise rather to ask for information than to criticise the Subsection to which the Financial Secretary has referred. The Minister has referred to this Measure as a large venture involving a great deal of public money. I make no apology for raising this point, because I consider this is the place where we should protect public funds and public money, particularly when such large sums are involved. The Amendment makes no mention of the question of depreciation. In a revenue account, the Board should make a proper allowance year by year, or a separate figure should be debited to the revenue account. I ask the Financial Secretary to assure the House that proper rates of depreciation will be charged against the account in order to ascertain year by year what is the exact cost on an annual basis, so that we get an accurate figure.

Captain Crookshank:

Before the Financial Secretary does that, I should like to say that I am very much gratified by the fact that an Amendment of this kind has been moved. It was one of the points which we thought of paramount importance. As the hon. Gentleman says, we came back to it once or twice because there was no kind of yardstick or financial bottom by which anyone could know whether the industry was on a commercially paying basis, or not. A great national monopoly is not the same as an ordinary competitive business, but we on our side of the Committee felt that there ought to be some way of finding out whether, in general terms, the business was paying or not. I suppose it will always pay because it has the whole of the power of the Exchequer behind it, and there will never come a time when it will not pay in that sense. But that is a different thing from finding out whether it is on a reasonably commercial basis. We tried our hands at making various proposals to give a definition of the outgoings properly chargeable to revenue which it should be the duty of the Board to try to secure. If hon. Members will look at a later Amendment, they will see in a rather telescoped form what is meant by the Government Amendment. The Government Amendment refers to provisions in respect of their obligations under Clauses 26 and 27. As in all these complicated bits of drafting, when we come to Clause 26 we find it refers to payments incurred by virtue of the provisions of sections nine, sixteen, seventeen, twenty-one, thirty and forty-one … and it is quite a business to find out exactly what is meant

The Financial Secretary did not explain it to us because he assumed that we on the Committee knew all about it, and I suppose it did not matter very much what anybody else thought about it, though that was not very courteous to other hon. Members who were not on the Committee. What we tried to get clear was that the Board should run this business in such a way that, at any rate, there should be sufficient money—after all, they have got expenses to meet—to pay the interest and sinking fund upon the compensation which is going to be paid for taking over the industry at the beginning. It is a very reasonable proposition that the interest and sinking fund, which is covered by the amount of money they have to find in the interim period, and also for the compensation stock which they have to find for paying out the existing coal stock, which arose out of purchasing the coal measures themselves, and the interest and sinking fund in respect of two other large payments which the Minister has to make—the overdraft of £10 million and the amount which he has roughly estimated as necessary for modernising the business—should be considered as something which the Board must find out of its annual revenue, quite apart from the establishment of a reserve fund, which is what is done by the reference to Clause 27. The amount of the reserve fund, of course, is a matter for the Minister and the Treasury to discuss with the Board, but I think that everybody agrees that a Board like this should have some form of reserve fund and that contributions towards it should come from the annual income. After all, if there any profits in this affair, which one doubts, they will presumably accrue to the taxpayer, unless we put in some arrangement for a financial yardstick to the whole operations, including the setting up of a reserve fund. I am grateful to the Government for accepting our point of view, and I think it has improved the Bill enormously

I only hope that the Financial Secretary will explain why they did not take in a notional figure for depreciation and obsolescence. How do the Government propose to deal with that, which is a matter of considerable importance to ordinary industrial undertakings, which have to find the money and put it aside, otherwise they would run down to a considerable extent and might even go out of business? We do not envisage the coal industry going out of business on those grounds. It may go out on the failure of the new plan, but that is another matter. So long as the Government accept our point of view that the Bill should have something on these lines in it, we are grateful, but we have wondered why they did not put in anything about it. Subject to what the Financial Secretary may say about that, which is not such an important matter as this concession which they have just made, I would like on behalf of my right hon. and hon. Friends to thank them very much for accepting our general views on this subject and so improving a Bill which will be found, in other respects, to be bad.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Glenvil Hall:

By the leave of the House, I will quite briefly answer what has been said. I did not go into great detail, as the hour is getting late—[HoN. MEMBERS: "No, no"]—and I know hon. Members are anxious to get home. I should have thought that anyone who was sufficiently interested to look at it would see exactly what we have done, and why. One of the obligations of the Board is to run its accounts in a proper way. Originally, it was thought that that would be sufficient. In the Committee certain suggestions were made that the original Clause I (4, b) might be held to cover less than the obligations of the Board under Clauses 26 and 27, and my right hon Friend the Minister has put down a short Amendment which clears this up. What we have done is to marry Clauses 26 and 27 to Subsection (4) of Clause I If hon. Members will turn to Clause 26, they will find there a reference to all the various other Clauses—9, 16, 17, 21, 30 and 41—which recapitulate the various charges which the right hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) indicated to us should be taken into account over a period of years. The reason why we have not put in a figure for obsolescence and depreciation is because it is impossible, with any degree of accuracy, at this particular stage in our proceedings, to know just what figure should be put in. We have not taken over the industry yet. Undertakings have yet to be surveyed, valued and taken over, and it is impossible, before we know exactly what we are to take over, to lay down figures as to obsolescence and depreciation year by year.

Mr. Jennings:

Can the hon. Gentleman tell me where "depreciation," in specific terms, is really mentioned?

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

This "marriage" of the Clauses to which the hon. Gentleman has referred and which produces financial rectitude, which all hon. Members on this side of the House approve, will be received with the greatest possible expressions of pleasure and, if only one other matter were clear—the meaning of the wording: without prejudice to the generality of that expression … —one lingering impression of doubt in our minds would be removed.

Amendment agreed to.

Captain Crookshank:

On a point of Order. If the Amendment which we have put down to Clause 2 is not going to be selected, Mr. Speaker, may I respectfully make a submission about it?

Mr. Speaker:

No, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman cannot make a submission. I have made my selection, and I need not give any reason for not selecting a particular Amendment.

Captain Crookshank:

I was not going to question the reason, Mr. Speaker, but merely to make the submission that you might not have been aware that this Amendment is literally in exactly the same form as that part of the Civil Aviation Bill which deals with the setting up of a board of a similar nature.

Mr. Speaker:

I cannot see why that should affect the selection of this Amendment.

CLAUSE 3. —(Powers of the Minister in relation to the Board.)

Captain Crookshank:

I beg to move, in page 3, line 36, at the end, to insert: (2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing Subsection the Minister may, after consultation with the Board, give to the Board directions requiring the Board to submit a statement containing such particulars as the Minister may consider requisite for indicating the manner in which they propose to fulfil their powers and duties under this Act for the purpose of ensuring that the rate of coal production shall be maintained and improved, and that the coal mining industry shall be efficiently developed and the Minister may, if he thinks fit, approve, modify or vary such proposals and may give directions to the Board to carry out those proposals as approved, modified or varied by him.

Colonel Lancaster:

We feel that this Amendment will be of benefit to the industry and that it offers us at this late hour an opportunity of discussing what we feel is an important aspect of the situation. The Minister, of course, has power under the Bill to give directions to the Board and he is, in the last resort, responsible for what the Board does and the manner in which it carries out its responsibilities. The Parliamentary Secretary in two rather unhappy interventions in the discussion did say one thing to the point, when he said that the present position was an abnormal one. Those of us who have studied the most recent figures of production recognise that at whatever date the Minister decides to take over the industry he will find the situation fraught with every sort of difficulty. It I can have one moment of the Minister's attention, I want most seriously to draw his attention to the situation, which, I assure him, is giving people up and down the country a great deal of concern, and, I think, is giving members of his own party a good deal to think about as well. The situation is going to be no better, indeed it may be worse than the one which confronted the Minister when he assumed office in July last year.

He will remember that at that time he was confronted with a falling output, and he had the task of not only arresting the fall, but, of course, as he hoped, and indeed as he expressed to this House, of bringing about some immediate, but nevertheless necessary, improvements. I ventured at that time to suggest to him that it was unlikely that he would manage to do so because, in fact, the task he set himself was a great deal harder than he imagined. To arrest a declining tendency is one of the most difficult things to do, and when the Board takes over it is going to be confronted with a very delicate situation. If the Board by virtue of its general powers, and the policy laid down in this Bill, attempts to do things in a hasty manner, to take such measures, as may in due course be desirable and necessary, in the first instance, it may produce a situation where what is already a very dangerous position becomes indeed a critical one. However important it may be that in the course of time it should, for instance, superimpose on this industry standard methods of administration, accountancy, and general control of one sort and another, that can only come about when the circumstances warrant the Board's interfering in such a way as to render that possible.

Now it has, I suggest, three immediate tasks to complete. The first, and possibly most important, is the policy that control and authority are exercised at a point where they can be most effective. That is the Board's most important task. Then it will have to carry out a general survey of the industry which will enable it to put into force such plans of integration as are necessary before, indeed, it is possible to embark upon implementing the physical reorganisation which is set out in the Reid Report. These three tasks are such that some considerable time will need to elapse before it is either practicable or indeed wise, at this stage, to embark upon them. We have on this occasion the advantage which was not provided on the occasion of the Second Reading of the Bill, of having before us the deliberations of the Australian Federal Government upon their own experience of a similar situation. There, the Socialist Government had 15 years' experience of the nationalisation of their coal industry, or a great part of their coal industry. They have come to certain conclusions which have been set out in a summary of conclusions—a very detailed and liberal summary—which, no doubt, hon. Members on both sides of the House have had opportunities of studying.

Those who have studied these conclusions will be drawn to the inevitable conclusion that this matter of superimposing a control and a bureaucracy over vast and variegated industry of this sort is only likely to succeed if the most careful handling of it is undertaken. I have no doubt that the Minister himself sees this matter clearly. In fact, I had the impression throughout the Committee stage of the Bill that the Minister is, month by month, appreciating more definitely the task which lies ahead of him. At one time I thought he approached this matter with an unreasonable degree of optimism, but I think now that he believes the chances of immediate success are not great. It is only by exercising all his ingenuity, and by securing the loyal cooperation of the Board that he will get relief of the situation. I have tried to give some indication of the doubts and uncertainties in our minds in this matter, and to afford the Minister an opportunity to give the House, and indeed, the country, some idea of how he sees the task immediately in front of him, not the eventual task. We all know what can in due course be done when the administrative organisation is set up to conform with the best tradition of bureaucracy at its worst; but what we want to see is what the Minister is going to do in the next year or two.

Mr. Shinwell:

The Amendment is interesting and important because it deals with the functions of the National Coal Board, particularly as regards output of coal and development of the industry. It is a topic in which we are all interested, but obviously at this late hour I cannot afford to be expansive on this topic, however interesting. My view on the reorganisation was given in the Committee stage, and to some extent, on the Second Reading. This Amendment asks that the Minister shall exercise his prerogative of direction as regards the rate of coal production and also in respect of the efficient development of the industry.

11.0 p.m.

The first observation I want to make is that hon. Members opposite are not quite certain on which leg they wish to stand. At the outset of our discussions they were apprehensive because they believed that the Minister sought to exercise too much direction in respect of the Board's activities. I was asked several questions by the acting leader of the Opposition, who ventured to quote a book writen by the Lord President of the Council on the subject of Socialism, and advised that we should read each other's books; by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Mr. J. S. C. Reid), who said that this Bill made it possible for the Minister to be the complete dictator of the mining industry; and by the right hon and gallant Member for Pembroke (Major Lloyd-George), my predecessor, who wanted to know whether this was giving the Board full powers to run the industry, the implication being that the Board would not be free to undertake these tasks but would be wholly under the control and direction of the Minister.

That was the position at the outset of our deliberations, but now the hon. Members have changed their tune, and in this Amendment, and in two or three subsequent Amendments which bear on the same point, they are asking that the Minister should exercise the power of direction. There is provision in Clause 3 which enables the Minister to exercise the power of direction, but I would make it clear that it is not my intention, first of all, to interfere in the everyday administration of the Board's activities. Certain gentlemen have been invited to become members of the National Coal Board. I believe the Board will be a good one, an efficient one, and highly competent to discharge the tasks which it will be called upon to undertake. But clearly, having appointed the Board, I trust these gentlemen to engage in these activities and it would be highly improper to interfere in the administration. There is, however, power to exercise a general direction and hon. Members have inquired in which particular or particulars it is intended to exercise direction. My answer is that it may be necessary, having regard to social considerations that affect the public interest—take, as an example, the concentration of pits as a result of which some require to be closed down—to exercise the power of direction in order to ensure that the public interest is safeguarded. But clearly, if the National Coal Board proposes to close down a single pit for the purpose of concentration and the utilisation of the available manpower, which is in short supply at present, and may be for some years to come, it would be invidious for the Minister to interfere.

Then again, on the subject of export trade, it may be desirable for the Minister, having regard to the national economy, to exercise the power of direction and to urge upon the National Coal Board to place more coal at the disposal of the export trade. It depends upon the circumstances, but beyond that it would seem to me to be improper to proceed. As regards the two points embodied in the Amendment, perhaps I may be allowed to say this in respect of the rate of coal production. We have been asked in this Amendment to exercise direction in order to maintain the high rate of coal production. I would say at once that the designate members of the Coal Board, who have already been formed into an organised committee, and are going round the country making the acquaintance of the personnel in the coalfields, ascertaining the facts, considering technical reorganisation and the like, are well aware of the acute shortage of coal, particularly having regard to the potentialities of British industry in respect of production. They do not require to be informed on that head, and as all those gentlemen are fully familiar with the facts relating to the coal industry and the needs of British industry, it is quite unnecessary, redundant and superfluous to issue any general direction.

As regards the subject of efficient development, the National Coal Board—and the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde (Colonel Lancaster), who is him- self familiar with every aspect of the coal industry, would, no doubt, agree—will operate naturally within the framework of the technical report, and consequently will regard as one of its primary duties the efficient development of the industry on the basis of the reorganisation plans contained in that technical document. Therefore, I think we can be fully assured that all that the Amendment asks for is implicit in the proposed activities of the National Coal Board.

There is only one other thing I want to say. There is some justification for saying it in view of what the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde said. He directed attention to the difficulties of my task, particularly in view of the declining manpower and declining output. Fortunately—I can only speak briefly on this head—we succeeded in escaping any serious industrial trouble during the winter. I do not mean merely as regards the mining industry, where, I am very glad to say, there has been an atmosphere of goodwill, for which the National Union of Mineworkers and kindred organisations have been wholly responsible. I am very grateful to them, as indeed we all are. Long may it continue. I had the fortune to meet the National Union of Mineworkers this morning on a matter of vital importance, a meeting which was of a most friendly character, although I was in the chair—and, of course, was quite unprovoked, which does make a difference. We managed to survive the winter. There was a little shortage here and there, but on the whole there were fewer complaints than were made manifest during the same period last year. I can tell the House that, whereas during the comparable period last year—I am advised that at least 140 factories had to cease operations because of lack of fuel, we have had very few instances of that kind during the comparable period this year. That is very fortunate.

Major Ramsay (Forfar):

What on earth has this to do with the Amendment?

Mr. Shinwell:

I am replying to the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde, who raised the question of the maintenance of coal output. I think the hon. and gallant Member for Forfar (Major Ramsay), who is rather infantile, would no doubt agree. [Interruption.] The hon. and gallant Member should not interrupt. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] I am asked to withdraw, and as I am in a very conciliatory mood, I withdraw, and, if necessary, apologise to the venerable Gentleman opposite.

In fact, that point was raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Fylde. The question of maintaining the rate of coal output is a very important point indeed. We are all vitally concerned in it. The fact is that however we survived that winter, we are faced with a very grim prospect for next winter unless we not only maintain the rate of coal output, but increase it. Fortunately, there are very encouraging signs, although manpower is in short supply—very much shorter than it was during the comparable period of last year. Yet the output per manshift is on the increase, and all credit is due to the mineworkers for that fact. There is a still more encouraging sign. No doubt the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde is fully aware of the fact that immediately after a holiday period there is normally a decline in coal output. For the first time for a good many years, we discovered after the Easter holidays that instead of coal output declining, it has actually gone up although the manpower has not increased. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] That is a good omen. I am not content with that, far from it, and I beg hon. Members to understand that I fully appreciate the difficulties that confront us and that we are very anxious to avoid any interference with British industry during the next winter. We shall do all we possibly can to prevent that, but we are operating at a time when coal consumption for industrial purposes is rising rapidly. In March this year, coal consumption for industrial purposes was higher on the average than at any time during the war period. In those circumstances, we must exercise great care.

As regards the Amendment—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] But surely hon. Members are interested in coal output? [HON. MEMBERS: "And the Amendment."] If I had told a gloomy story to hon. Members, how delighted they would have been.

Captain Marsden (Chertsey):

Will the right hon. Gentleman let me put a question? Does what the right hon. Gentleman has said apply to coal for export?

Mr. Shinwell:

I am exceedingly sorry to say that we are not in a position to step up our exports. I shall be glad to, but we must have manpower in order to provide the necessary coal for export purposes. I cannot accept the Amendment, which induced the hon. and gallant Member for Fylde to raise this question of coal output and on which I have offered a few observations which I thought were quite relevant, but he can be assured, as can other hon. Members, that it is our full intention only to exercise direction where the public interest is vitally concerned and otherwise to leave to the Board the quite proper task of undertaking the everyday administration.

Captain Crookshank:

I was very glad when the Minister withdrew that adjective "infantile." After all, my hon. and gallant Friend served throughout the war, in which he was decorated. He went to the war in 1939, and the only conceivable sense in which that adjective could be used is that he is 3o years younger than the Minister, which is his very good fortune. If it had not been for many like him, we would not be here today sitting discussing the future of the coal industry. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am obliged to the Minister for having taken the opportunity of giving us a tabloid review of the present position in the coal industry. I agree with him that this is not the moment to discuss the estimates of his Department and all the ins and outs of what is going on in the industry today, but he certainly has no right—I do not know why he did, as he started so quietly—to throw across the House an allegation that we on this side of the House are not interested in the output of coal. Of course we are, just as everybody else is. Of course we all are, just the same as everybody else.

11.15 p.m.

Mr. Gallacher:

You are interested only in profits.

Captain Crookshank:

Not in the least. We are interested in increasing output, about which the Minister tells us, and we are gratified to hear of it from him, in relation to this basic industry on which everything else depends. If it is not flourishing, all our plans will go down the drain. Everybody agrees on that. I do not think the Minister really intends to be unkind but he does like dropping these precious things for which, however, there exists no justification whatever. I will say this to the Minister. A good deal of the value of this proposal is lost owing to the fact that our Amendment was not as we had wished incorporated in the Bill. We had in mind that the direction should be in writing, and that would have made a great deal of difference to the value of this proposal. Even so, there was some point in this Amendment, which sought to put upon the Minister the power to direct the Board to report to him what they were going to do on these two technical and economic points. Our general idea was that if there was reference to Parliament we could be satisfied, within limits at any rate, about what was going to be done and what the Minister was going to direct. However, as I have said, the value of the Amendment has practically gone and I do not think there is any great point in pressing the matter.

We have had some consoling information. I hope that the good news, such as it is, is going to last, and that it is not something in early May—[Interruption]. Really, I do not know what is the matter with the Communist Party. Mr. Speaker asked us to conduct our discussions on the Report stage with dignity and in that case it seems to me that the hon. Member ought to absent himself. The main object which we had in view not having been achieved, I think it would perhaps be best if we passed on to the next Amendment.

Mr. Gallacher:

I only want to say one word in reply to the remarks that have been made, and without prejudice to the generality of anything I may have said before. I would ask the Minister to throw this Amendment out of the bag and express my regret that we cannot throw the Tories out along with it.

Amendment negatived.

Captain Crookshank:

I beg to move, in page 3, line 41, to leave out Subsection (3), and to insert: (3) The Minister may give to the Board such directions as he may think necessary in relation to the exercise by the Board of their functions as to training, education and scientific and safety research.

Mr. Keeling (Twickenham):

This Amendment is designed to give effect to the Minister's own express desires and intentions, and we shall be genuinely surprised and more than disappointed if the Government cannot accept it. When this Subsection was discussed the Minister said it was desirable on occasion that directions should be issued about safety research. He said the subject of safety research should not be wholly vested in the Board and went on to say that the question was one of national concern. Then, as regards education, also mentioned in the Amendment, he said: These matters not only involve the Minister of Fuel and Power but also the Minister of Education and the Minister of Labour. Consequently it should not be left entirely to the Board to decide what should be done in this connection.

My right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) then said: Why not say so? Why not redraft the Clause to say that the Minister may give directions on those points? If the Minister would make it clear, we will not press it.

That is, we would not press the Amendment to the Bill. The Minister immediately jumped up and said: We will not be at loggerheads on the issue. I will do what I can to see that the point is clarified." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 27th February, 1946; c. 279–280.]

If that meant anything, it meant, according to our ordinary practice, that the Minister was going to put down an Amendment to give effect to what had just been said. On that understanding, and on that understanding only, my hon. Friend the Member for West Harrow (Mr. Bower) withdrew his Amendment. I presume that it is by a pure oversight that the Minister has not put down an Amendment such as ours. I hope, therefore, he will accept our Amendment.

Mr. Shinwell:

I am at some loss to understand why this Amendment has been put down. If the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) will look at Clause 3, he will see that the original Clause was redrafted by consent of the Committee and now reads: The Minister may, after consultation with the Board, give to the Board directions of a general character

Then, Subsection (3) provides: In the exercise and performance of their functions as to training, education and research the Board shall act on lines settled as aforesaid. I should have thought that that implied, "for the purposes we have in view." We used the term "research" in the widest possible sense. I do not know whether the hon. Member was present earlier in these proceedings.

Mr. Keeling:

No, I was not.

Mr. Shinwell:

We had an interesting discussion on certain Amendments relating to research, in a wide sense, and on very comprehensive lines. I gave an adequate assurance in regard to research in every possible direction. The hon. Member may rest content that this subject of research cannot possibly be ignored either by the Minister, or by the Board. We must give it the greatest possible attention and I should imagine that the words in the Clause are adequate.

Major Niall Macpherson (Dumfries):

I would like to comment on the phraseology of the Subsection in question. The words are still not clear to me. The Subsection provides: In the exercise and performance of their functions as to training, education and research the Board shall act on lines settled as aforesaid. Immediately before that we find: … the Board shall act on lines settled from time to time with the approval of the Minister. Presumably the "aforesaid" refers directly to the words: from time to time with the approval of the Minister.

I draw attention to the fact that Subsections (2) and (3) are quite different in character. The first one says: In framing programmes of reorganisation or development involving substantial outlay on capital account …

It is a question of framing of programmes, whereas, Subsection (3) says: In the exercise and performance of their functions as to training, education and research … This refers almost to the day to day working. The two are quite different in character.

If the Clause remains as it now appears, it seems to me that the initiative of the Board will be gravely hampered, and that if they follow out the Clause, it will mean having to refer to the Minister various plans. When the Government say "the Board," they must include the Board's employees in the districts and such instructions as they may give. I should have thought that training and educational arrangements would be on a comparatively low level; say, district level, or even lower. Undoubtedly, so far as research is concerned, the Minister is in a position to give directions, and, indeed, under Clause 39, safety is made his particular duty. In my submission, the Amendment will mean less interference with the activities of the Board than the Clause as it stands. The Minister will only give directions when he thinks it is necessary, whereas, in the other case, the Board will perpetually have to refer to the Minister in the normal exercise of their functions, matters concerning training, education and research.

Amendment negatived.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Jennings:

I beg to move, in page 4, line 4, after "thereto," to insert: sufficient to enable the Minister to ascertain the output costs of production of each undertaking of the Board and such other matters as the Minister may direct.

This Amendment relates to the information and accounts which the Board are to supply to the Minister, and it enlarges on the Clause in that it calls for detailed accounts from each undertaking. The Minister will remember that I raised this matter in Committee, and he assured us that proper accounts would be called for. I want to point out that, unless the Minister is supplied by the Board with accounts from each undertaking in the country, of the cost per ton in each district and in each area, the wages costs, the output costs and every possible detail in respect of each district in this country, the information he receives from the Board will not enable him to ascertain whether or not an undertaking is being carried on at a huge loss. It will, therefore, be possible for an undertaking which is carried on in a losing way, to be bolstered up by the profit areas and profit undertakings, if the figures are taken as a whole. That is a very dangerous position for the Minister because there may be many areas and many undertakings losing money very quickly and many millions of pounds may be involved in this position. If this information is not obtained, a great deal of public money may be involved, and I say that advisedly, because here again—and I make no apology for repeating it—we should protect the taxpayer and the public purse. This is an attempt to have a check on the position of each undertaking, so as to enable the Minister to ascertain how this huge venture as he calls it, is going on, and to be in a position to check the leak of millions of money, if there is a leak and if there is a loss going on, to enable him to check that loss before it gets to substantial figures and becomes alarming. This Amendment is in the Minister's interest. The Minister ought not to refuse any possible piece of information which would enable him, as the responsible Minister, to know whether this huge venture is proving a success or a failure. Millions of pounds can be lost in a venture like this and it is in the interest of the Minister and the country that the Board should be forced to supply him with all the information it can.

Mr. Shinwell:

I must ask the House to agree with me in rejecting this Amendment. I would direct the attention of hon. Members to Clause 3 (4). If they read that Subsection they will see that every facility is to be afforded by the Board to the Minister for obtaining all the necessary information in respect of the various activities of the Board I beg hon. Members to look closely at the wording of this Subsection. Moreover, as regards the Amendment itself, the words appear to me to be restrictive in character. For example, it says: sufficient to enable the Minister to ascertain the output costs of production… The word "sufficient" is restrictive in character, whereas the words in the Subsection are more comprehensive and would not restrict the power of the Minister to call upon the Board to provide all the information which, in his opinion was thought desirable as regards the operations of the undertaking. In addition, I would point out that the Amendment refers to the output costs of production of each undertaking of the Board…

I do not know what that means, because what we have in contemplation is not a series of undertaking,[...] but one undertaking. The National Coal Board will have one undertaking under its control—the mining industry. If we were to accept this Amendment, it would naturally follow that there must be a splitting up of the undertaking in order to make it consistent with the Amendment. That we do not propose to do. What we have in mind is the existence of one undertaking under the supervision of the National Coal Board. In any event, I am satisfied—and I said this, I believe, during the Committee stage—that the words in the Subsection are adequate for our purpose. I cannot see that we require words more comprehensive in character. In the cir- cumstances I am unable to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Jennings:

Am I right in assuming that the right hon. Gentleman is not going to call for the figures of each district, but proposes to take the districts as a whole?

Mr. Shinwell:

If I may reply to that question, I would say that of course there will be districts; there will be groups of pits, single pits, batteries of coke ovens, and the like, but they will be all comprised in one undertaking—the nationalised mining undertaking.

Colonel Hutchison:

This Amendment was intended to assist the Minister, and as he spoke I was almost persuaded that he intended to give what we wanted and what the whole country expects. Nothing is more certain than that the country will not be fobbed off by some kind of "mock-up" accounts which will not show whether one section of the industry is making a loss and being subsidised by another section of the industry; or whether one group of collieries is making a loss and its accounts are being camouflaged by another section. In Committee, the Minister seemed to be in complete agreement on this. He told us, time and time again, that he had nothing to hide, that he wanted to lay open to the country without let or hindrance, and without camouflage, how this great adventure was going; how each section of the industry was doing and whether this colliery was making a profit or that colliery a loss. Now I am completely fogged, because the Minister, to start with, talked in global terms of the whole industry as though he was going to encompass all these accounts in one lump sum which would tell the nation, and the House, and his own Party, nothing whatever about how things were going. Later he seemed to compromise on the previous remarks and to say "No, of course each area is going to present its own set of accounts, so that we can learn." I ask the Minister straightforwardly to tell us what we demand, and what the country demands. Here, after all, we have the great yardstick by which nationalisation will be judged. Upon the success or failure of this Measure—I personally am satisfied it will fail—the country is going to judge whether the rest of industry is to be nationalised with a prospect of success or not. Will the Minister tell us without equivocation whether he intends to allow us and the nation to know if this or that section of the industry, this or that colliery, is making a profit or a loss? Is he going to demand from the Board that accounts shall be kept which will allow the Minister to judge these great matters?

Mr. David Renton (Huntingdon):

My first impression was that the Minister's intention was to put the wording of Subsection (4) into Clause 3. I received a rude shock when I heard the Minister proclaim his intention to do something quite different from that which might naturally have been expected. In the years to come, when the mines have been taken over by the State, this House should be in a position to check what is going on; and one of the best ways of checking what progress is being made, how nationalisation is working out, will be a comparison between past results and the results that are then being achieved. Unless the results for each undertaking are called for by the Minister and disclosed separately, this House, and the country, will not be in a position to judge. For that reason, I support the Amendment. There is just one point I would urge in doing so. From time to time in future hon. Members may wish to put down Questions to the Minister of Fuel and Power on the results produced in any particular colliery or undertaking as envisaged in this Bill. They should be well within their rights in doing so. Unless the Minister has the power—and indeed I should have thought the obligation—to call for the specific information to which this Amendment draws attention, he will be gravely handicapped, and so will the House and the country.

Mr. H. Macmillan:

I must say that I was rather dissappointed with the reply. It seemed to me to show a considerable change of heart on the part of the Minister since the Committee stage. In the Committee he was at pains to show that, although we were to have single ownership, we should have competition and rivalry. He was hoping to combine the advantages of two systems under a single management. Now he tells us he is not prepared to ensure that the accounts shall be rendered in such a way that we shall be sure what are the results in any particular section of the coal industry proper or in any of the immense range of undertakings ancillary, or alleged to be ancillary[...] to, the coal industry which the Board will be able to include. This range is very great; it is greater, I think, than is generally understood by the country. But it will be a great shock to the country if they find as the experiment proceeds that there is no clear accounting system, no yardstick, by which the results can be judged.

I do not understand this curious lack of confidence of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite in their own plans. I should have thought that if they think they will succeed, they would be only too anxious to produce the most comprehensive and most carefully annotated accounts of their work. It is true that one of the weaknesses—I admit it quite frankly, not important in size, but troublesome in character—of the capitalist system is the occasional fraudulent and swindling promoter, who makes use of a system to injure rather than to promote the interests of the nation as a whole. That happens sometimes; it is unfortunate and all the efforts of Parliament and of the various committees—the latest of which is the Cohen Committee—are related to enforcing upon the great organisation of private companies or public companies, the need for a very clear statement of their accounts, making absolutely plain to the shareholders and the public the results of the different companies subsidiary, allied, and so forth, grouped together in one large undertaking. It has been said that the system of company accounting does not give sufficient information on the precise results of the various groups in one undertaking. I think the result of that system has been to make the information more precise, and accurate, and valuable each year, and if we are to be told that this industry is to be lumped together in one undertaking and that we are somehow to put in one single return what should be shown in a series of categories, in the industry itself and the ancillary businesses, I think we shall have a very bad result.

Therefore I hope the Minister will, in his own interest, think again whether he will not accept this Amendment, or promote it in another place in some other form, so as to make clear to the public that this enterprise upon which we are now to embark will be fairly judged, and that full information as to all its activities will be made available. [An HON. MEMBER: "It is all there."] The hon. Member says it is all there, but the Minister's speech has made it clear to us that he does not intend to use these powers, and he has made it clear to us in his speech——

11.45 p.m.

Mr. Shinwell:

There is no use the right hon. Gentleman dramatising himself and indulging in cheap heroics. The hour is too late for that sort of thing. He might have started it earlier, and we should have dealt with it. The fact of the matter is, I was dealing with the Amendment and saying how foolish it was. I did not say that we should not disclose the full financial transactions of the Board in respect of these undertakings. In Clause 29 it is set forth that the Board shall keep proper accounts and other records, in relation thereto, and all the rest that is required, including proper auditing. Moreover, it provides that the Minister shall lay a copy of every such statement and report before the House of Parliament. Surely the right hon. Gentleman does not want more than that.

Mr. Macmillan:

I do not think the right hon. Gentleman can get away with that. We have this vague phrase "The Board shall keep proper accounts." That is what Mr. Farrow said. Our complaint is that the provision here does not describe or give any details of the character of the accounts. It says "the Board shall keep proper accounts," but who shall decide what are proper accounts? The Auditor and Comptroller-General, who controls every other activity concerning money voted by this House, is to have nothing to do with these accounts. In the Committee the right hon. Gentleman appeared to indicate that he was not satisfied with the whole of Clause 29. He gave us to understand, and we were really satisfied, that whether the Bill laid it down precisely or not, it was his intention to put down in great detail the precise details of the regions. Now he says, "Oh, no, we will knock them together. They are not a series of undertakings, but one single undertaking. Therefore, we will lump all the accounts together." So it will be possible for skilled accountants to give the minimum of information

I think, in his own interests and the interests of this experiment, the right hon. Gentleman would be wiser to accept if not the actual words of the Amendment —which I still think are quite applicable— at any rate, words which he might find more suitable. A Government, when they accept Amendments, always say, "These are not the right words, and we must find others." We have all done that in our time. If the Minister could not accept these precise words, he could find words which would carry out our intention. The whole of this affair has given us grave

Division No. 164. AYES. [11.50 p.m.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Hollis, M. C. Nutting, Anthony
Astor, Hon. M. Hope, Lord J. Pitman, I. J.
Baldwin, A. E. Howard, Hon. A. Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Prescott, Stanley
Birch, Nigel Hurd, A. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O
Bossom, A. C. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Raikes, H. V.
Bower, N. Hutchison, Col. J R. (Glasgow, C.) Ramsay, Maj. S.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Jarvis, Sir J. Rayner, Brig. R.
Braithwaite, Lt. Comdr. J. G. Jeffreys, General Sir G Renton, D.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Jennings, R. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Keeling, E. H. Ropner, Col. L
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'Id'n) Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Scott, Lord W.
Carson, E. Lambert, Hon. G. Shepherd, S. (Newark)
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Spearman, A. C. M.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Linstead, H. N. Spence, H. R.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Low, Brig. A. R. W. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E. Lucas, Major Sir J. Studholme, H. G.
Cuthbert W. N. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Digby, Maj. S. W. Mackeson, Lt. Col. H. R. Teeling, William
Dodds-Parker, A. D. McKie. J. H. (Galloway) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Donner, Sqn-Ldr. P. W. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Drayson, G. B. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Touche, G. C.
Drewe, C. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Turton, R. H.
Duthie, W. S. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Vane, W. M. T.
Eccles, D. M. Marples, A. E. Ward, Hon. G. R.
Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Marsden, Capt. A. Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Maude, J. C. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Gage, Lt.-Col. C. Medlicott, F. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Mellor, Sir J. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Penick)
Grimston, R. V. Molson, A. H. E.
Hare, Lt.-Col. Hn. J. H. (W'db'ge) Neven-Spence, Sir B. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Houghton, S. G. Nicholson, G. Major Conant and
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nield, B. (Chester) Commander Agnew
Hogg, Hon. Q. Noble, Comdr. A H. P
Adams, Richard (Balham) Burden, T. W. Davies, Harold (Leek)
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Deer, G.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Byers, Lt.-Col. F. de Freitas, Geoffrey
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Callaghan, James Delargy, Captain H. J
Attewell. H. C. Chamberlain, R. A. Diamond. J.
Awbery, S. S. Champion, A. J. Dobbie, W.
Ayles, W. H. Clitherow, Dr. R. Dodds, N. N
Baird, Capt. J. Cobb, F. A. Donovan, T.
Balfour, A. Cocks, F. S. Douglas, F. C. R.
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J. Coldrick, W. Driberg, T. E. N.
Barton, C Collick, P. Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)
Bechervaise, A. E. Collindridge, F. Dumpleton, C. W
Benson, G. Collins, V. J. Durbin, E. F. M.
Beswick, F. Colman, Miss G. M. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Bing, Capt. G. H. C Comyns, Dr. L. Edwards, John (Blackburn)
Blyton, W. R. Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)
Boardman, H. Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.) Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Corlett, Dr. J. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Bowen, R. Cove, W. G. Ewart, R.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'ge) Crawley, Flt.-Lieut. A. Fairhurst, F.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Crossman, R. H. S. Farthing, W. J.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Dagger, G. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Davies, Edward (Burslem) Follick. M.
Brown, George (Belper) Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Foot, M. M.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Forman, J. C.

anxiety. In their original scheme by which they sailed into power, the Government sold shares to the public upon a faked prospectus, and they want to justify their results upon faked returns.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 115; Noes, 265.

Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Gaitskell, H. T. N. McKinlay, A. S. Shurmer, P.
Gallacher, W. Maclean, N. (Govan) Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. McLeavy, F. Silverman, J. (Erdington)
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) .
Gibbins, J. Mainwaring, W. H. Skeffington, A. M.
Gibson, C. W. Mallalieu, J. P. W. Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Skinnard, F. W.
Gooch, E. G. Marshall, F. (Brightside) Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
Goodrich, H. E Medland, H. M. Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Gordon-Walker, P. C. Messer, F. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Middleton, Mrs. L. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Mikardo, lan Snow, Capt. J. W.
Grenfell, D. R. Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R. Solley, L. J.
Grierson, E. Mitchison, Maj. G R. Sparks, J. A.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Monslow, W. Steele, T.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Morley, R. Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side) Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Stokes, R. R.
Guest, Dr. L. Haden Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Swingler, S.
Gunter, Capt. R. J. Moyle, A. Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe) Murray, J. D. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Hale, Leslie Naylor, T. E. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Hardy, E. A. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Noel-Buxton, Lady Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Haworth, J. Oliver, G. H. Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Herbison, Miss M. Orbach, M. Thurtle, E.
Hewitson, Capt. M. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Tiffany, S.
Hobson, C. R. Palmer, A. M. F. Timmons, J.
Holman, P. Pargiter, G. A. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Usborne, Henry
Horabin, T. L Paton, J. (Norwich) Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Hoy, J. Pearson, A. Wadsworth, G.
Hubbard, T. Pearl, Capt. T. F. Walkden, E.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Perrins, W. Walker, G. H.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Piratin, P. Warbey, W. N.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Platts-Mills, J. F. F. Watson, W. M.
Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'Iverh'pton, W.) Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Weitzman, D.
Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Popplewell, E. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Porter, E. (Warrington) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Janner, B. Porter, G. (Leeds) White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)
Jeger, G. (Winchester) Price, M. Philips White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Pritt, D. N. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Proctor, W. T. Wigg, Col. G. E.
Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Pryde, D. J. Wilkins, W. A.
Keenan, W. Pursey, Cmdr. H Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Kenyon, C. Ranger, J. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Rankin, J. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Lang, G. Reid, T. (Swindon) Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Lavers, S. Rhodes, H. Willis, E.
Lee, F. (Hulme) Richards, R. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Robens, A. Wilson, J. H.
Lever, Fl. Off. N. H. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth) Wise, Major F. J.
Levy, B. W. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Woodburn, A.
Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Woods, G. S.
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Yates, V. F.
Lindgren, G. S. Rogers, G. H. R. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Royle, C. Zilliacus, K.
Logan, D. G. Scollan, T.
Lynn, A. W. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
McGhee, H. G Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Mack, J. D. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Mr. Simmons.
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)

Further consideration of the Bill adjourned.—[Mr. Whiteley.]

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee and on re-committal), to be further considered this day.

Forward to