§ 9.56 p.m.
§ Sir John Mellor (Sutton Coldfield)
I beg to move,That the Seizure of Food Order, 1946 (S.R. & O., 1946, No. 1823), dated 8th November, 1946, a copy of which was presented on 13th November, be annulled.This Order repeals and re-enacts a rather similar Order which was made in 1942. The Order authorises an officer of the Ministry who believes that an offence has been committed in respect of an article of food to seize that article. It further authorises the Ministry to sell the article of food. Food in this Order is given a very wide definition. It covers all food for human consumption and food 1543 for animals, including cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry. It is quite properly provided that where no conviction of the owner takes place, or perhaps there is no prosecution, the proceeds of sale of the article of food shall be paid to the owner, but—and this is the critical point, and the object of my main objection—the proceeds of sale are defined as the proceeds, less the Minister's expenses of seizure and sale. I think that that leads to a rather curious and indeed astonishing result. It means that an innocent owner whose goods have been seized by an officer of the Ministry pays the Minister's expenses of seizure, although the seizure is proved to be totally unnecessary.
It may be that the Parliamentary Secretary, when she comes to reply, will say: "That is quite true, but all this appeared in the Order of 1942, and we have had no adverse experience." She may say: "We have had no complaints." That may be true; I do not know. But my point is that if Parliament made a mistake in 1942 that is no reason why that mistake should be repeated in 1946, especially when we are now in a position to regard these Statutory Orders with a far greater degree of vigilance than was possible in the House in 1942. In order to ascertain the Minister's reaction, and indeed to give him an opportunity of revoking the Order and introducing another Order which would not contain this objectionable element. I put down a Question, and the Question and answer appeared in HANSARD on 20th November. I asked the Minister of Food:why the Seizure of Food Order, 1946 (S.R. & O. 1946, No. 1823), provides that the Crown shall retain any expenses of seizure out of the proceeds of sale by the Crown of an article of food, even when the owner has been acquitted of any offence alleged in respect of that article; and whether he will remove this injustice by revoking the Order.The Minister of Food replied:The wording in the Order is not "expenses of seizure" but "expenses incurred in connection with the seizure and sale" and in practice this means expenses incurred in selling the goods. I do not think any injustice is involved in making a charge for the expenses of sale, since these would be incurred by the seller in any case. So I do not propose to revoke the Order, which since 1942 has provided powers essential to the effective exercise of our controls."—[OFFICAL REPORT. 20th November, 1946; Vol. 430, c. 109.]One should regard the Minister's words 1544 with rather close attention. He said:In practice this means expenses incurred in selling the goods.Does he mean by those words that, in fact, no expense can be incurred in the course of seizure? I hardly think the hon. Lady will seek to defend such an explanation. If that were true, then the words to which I have referred are completely meaningless and unnecessary, and certainly ought to be removed, but in my submission the expenses of seizure can be very substantial indeed when we look at the category of various foods which are included in the definition. As I have pointed out, they include cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry, and I should imagine that the seizure of such livestock could involve quite an expensive operation. If I am right, this Order is unjust on the face of it. If the Minister is prepared to allow it to be annulled tonight, it will not involve the slightest difficulty to the Department. The Minister could make a fresh Order tomorrow leaving out these objectionable words. All that the Minister need do, as far as I am concerned in this argument, is to leave out the words "seizure and" in Paragraph 2 (2). Surely, if the Minister agreed—and I think that in framing the answer which I have read, he did agree—that these words are objectionable, he ought to be prepared to take Steps to remove them. In this matter we ought to have the support of hon. Members opposite, because, after all. this is the sort of point at which the House of Commons should look, and if I make a case, as I submit I have done, hon. Members will have the opportunity of seeing whether the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary can destroy it. If they do not think that she has destroyed my case they ought to support this Motion for the annulment of the Order. After all, this is an opportunity for them to show a spirit of independence without running the risk of bringing down the Government. They will be able to pride themselves on the fact that for once they voted on the merits.
§ Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham)
I would be obliged if the hon. Gentleman would tell the House whether, when the Order was passed in 1942 in identical terms—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—in precisely identical terms, he lodged a Prayer against it, and if the hon. Gentleman protested against the wording as he is protesting now.
Sir J. Mellon
I am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for his interruption I have already observed that the House of Commons in 1942 failed to observe this, and I accept my full degree of responsibility for having omitted in 1942 noticing this objectionable feature in the Order at that time. There has been no change in my attitude in this Parliament. In the last Parliament I voted frequently against Government Orders of this character and on points of this description. While I must admit that I was not sufficiently vigilant to observe this defect in 1942, I am sure that the hon. Member will accept my explanation that it was not from any hesitation to call attention to such matters that I did not raise it then. If I had noticed it I would have prayed to annul it and I would have voted against the Government.
§ Sir J. Mellor
I explained earlier, I think, that it was quite possible that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food would tell the House that her Ministry had no experience of any objections, and that she might say that that was one reason why the Order should be allowed to continue. I argued that that ought not to be accepted by the House, that we ought to consider this Order on its face value and, if we found something objectionable in its term, we ought to insist that a fresh Order should be introduced and this one revoked. I have rested my case on a very narrow front, and if the hon. Lady has any reply now, because up to now the Ministry have failed to make any reply, it should be extremely interesting. I think that my hon. Friends on this side of the House will develop the attack on this Order on wider grounds. However, I have made my case, and I ask the House to be willing to annul the Order in order that a fresh Order may be introduced by the Ministry without the objectionable feature of this one.
§ 10.9 p.m.
§ Mr. Spence (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Central)
I beg to second the Motion.
I should like to make it clear to the House and to the hon. Lady the Parlia- 1546 mentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food that on this side there is no objection whatsoever to the underlying purpose of this Order. The objection is to the unfairness that is accidentally created in the Article which has been quoted. What the Order means is, that if a person is suspected of an offence against the Ministry of Food, whatever station that person may be in or whatever his walk of life, the article of food which causes the suspicion is removed and he is given back what has been realised from the sale, less the cost of sale and the cost of seizure. I hasten to say, in making this point, that I am going a little further than my hon. Friend who moved this Motion. In order to be perfectly fair—and I think it is the purpose of this House always to be fair— when someone has been suspected of an offence and food is confiscated and sold— which should be the case if the person is found guilty—the food should be replaced in kind if he is subsequently found to be innocent. What could be fairer than that? A stock of this or that may be held for perfectly legitimate reasons; if it is taken away and sold and money is afterwards given in its stead, that does not replace the stock. The Minister has said again and again that she supports the consumer and wants to be fair to the people. I feel that the Order as it stands works unfairly to the unfortunate individual suspected of an offence and subsequently proved to be not guilty of that offence.
There are one or two other points upon which I should like to touch and which I think are important. In the Order, no direction is given that the official of the Ministry who makes the seizure should give a receipt. Surely that is not common sense. I admit the necessity of the seizure, since if black market goods are found on the move, they must be seized as they are found. In recommending that the House should ask the Minister to reconsider this matter tonight, I emphasise this point of equity and fairness on which we are all agreed. If this Order comes into operation as it stands it will not be a good thing for the House of Commons. We stand for fairness to all, and hon. Members opposite, in particular, insist on that. When I say that a man who is subsequently proved not guilty has to suffer under this Order, surely hon. Members opposite will not go into the Lobby against us tonight?
§ 10.13 p.m.
§ Mr. Marlowe (Brighton)
I think some hon. Gentlemen opposite have not quite understood what this Order is about I noticed that when my hon. Friend put forward the suggestion that hon. Members opposite should vote in our Lobby he was greeted by jeers, mainly from hon. Members opposite who have not a copy of the Order in front of them. Many of them, I should think, are not conversant with the terms of the Order. There was one interruption in particular from an hon. Gentleman opposite who suggested that as this Order had been in force for four years we should leave it as it is. If the hon. Gentleman had looked at the Order he would have seen that so far from having been in force for four years the present Order is new in one vital respect, as is made clear in the explanatory note. This says that the provision of the original Order has been enlarged, to authorise the seizure of food in respect of which it is believed that a price offence has been committed.
§ Mr. Janner (Leicester, West)
Will the hon. and learned Gentleman elaborate that remark and explain—
§ Mr. Marlowe
I gave way because I thought that the hon. Gentleman had a helpful suggestion to make.
§ Mr. Marlowe
I will give way when I have dealt with the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Janner). I can deal with only one at a time. As I was saying, I gave way because I thought that the hon. Member was about to say something helpful. All that he is asking me to do is to develop my argument, which I assure him I was about to do in any event. This Order enlarges the previous Order. It gives the Minister's inspector the power to seize, if he believes that an offence has been committed. No one would complain if someone who had been dealing in black market supplies suffered pecuniary loss. The danger is that this Order hits at the innocent. It is not enough that it deals also with the black market people. Perhaps hon. Members opposite do not realise that an inspector could come into any of their houses, take a chicken from their table and say, "I believe you got this in the black market." When the hon. Gen- 1548 tleman concerned had been found innocent, he would not get the chicken back. He would be given some money, which would be the price of the chicken less the cost of seizure and of sale. One does not know what costs would be taken into account. For instance, the expenses of running the department concerned with seizure, the wages of the inspector, and such matters might be reckoned as costs of seizure. There might not be very much money left.
§ Mr. Scollan (Renfrew, Western)
Will the hon. and learned Gentleman tell us what is the cost of seizing a chicken?
§ Mr. Marlowe
Unfortunately the Order is not drafted specifically to give us any information on that point. The costs might be quite heavy. Where a legitimate dealer is being deprived of goods, which have been removed from his warehouse, and where he has been subsequently found innocent, he will not get his goods back. It is not right to take a course which will inflict pecuniary loss upon a perfectly innocent person who has committed no offence, and against whom there may have been no reason for suspicion. The paragraph does not even require that the inspector should have a reasonable belief in the guilt of the person concerned. All that needs to happen is that the authorised officer may believe the person to be guilty. He may be quite wrong, but pecuniary loss will be one of the consequences of that belief. I believe this proposal to be unjust and to be a very improper approach for a Government Department to bring in an order which inflicts pecuniary loss upon a subject without giving him any remedy whatever, when the seizure may have been entirely wrong. The man accused may be entirely innocent and the inspector entirely wrong in his belief. The matter can easily be put right, and I ask the hon. Lady to look into the matter. Let her admit that there has been an oversight, and put the matter right.
§ Mr. Hale
As the hon. and learned Member was good enough to say that I had not read the Order, and as I understand that his argument is now developed —although I do not quite know what it was—perhaps he will allow me to say that the difference between the old Order and the new Order is that in the new Order there are words to the effect that the number of offences in respect of which 1549 action can be taken is now strictly limited, whereas they were not so limited in the Order of 1942.
§ Mr. Marlowe
I am now confirmed in my belief that the hon. Member has read neither of the Orders. I suspected before that he was not more than four years out of date.
§ 10.20 p.m.
§ Sir Ian Fraser (Lonsdale)
My hon. Friends have, I feel, made out a case. There is a point here for reasonable consideration. I submit that it is a point of real principle. It is deplorable that so many hon. Members opposite should be willing to let pass an Order which possibly perpetuates an injustice, which is drafted with needless strictness, and which interferes unduly and unfairly with the liberty of the subject. All over the country people are becoming more and more acquiescent in Orders and Regulations which interfere with their daily lives. It is deplorable that hon. Members, who come to this House declaring their belief in freedom and their interest in the common people, should sit there ignobly and pusillanimously willing to allow to pass by, merely for the sake of convenience or for the amour propre of a Minister, a piece of legislation which, if it were in a Bill and had to go through all the stages of a Bill, would undoubtedly be thrown out. There is a point of principle here. It is time that hon. Members of all parties in the House stood up for the rights of the House of Commons, the first of which is to prevent Governments from making tyrannical and objectionable proposals—
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman is getting on to a very wide subject and is now speaking of all kinds of Orders. He must deal with the Order under discussion, and must not continue in such general terms.
§ Sir I. Fraser
This Order is one of those which impose needless charges and great unfairness upon people, and because it is, in itself, bad, as my hon. Friends have shown, and because, in my submission, it offends against most important principles, I ask the House to vote against the Minister in this matter.
§ 10.23 P.m.
§ Mr. Challen (Hampstead)
It is obvious from the comments already made 1550 upon this Order that there are many fallacies contained in it. The fact that this is an old Order which is being re-imposed with some slight alteration does not prevent this House from considering ab initio the whole principle involved. In fact it imposes a greater responsibility on this House this evening to consider whether this Order should ever have been produced in 1942 in the original form. The only point I wish to make—there are many others which could be made— is in relation to the words mentioned by the hon. and learned Member for Brighton (Mr. Marlowe):Where it is believed by an authorised officer…We are basing the whole justification for seizure and sale of another man's goods upon the mere belief of what is called "an authorised officer." "Authorised officer" is defined in Article I as meaning any person authorised by or on behalf of the Minister. It also includes any constable and any member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. I do not know whether that means any constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, but whether it means any constable in England, Scotland or Wales, as well as any member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, I do not particularly concern myself. It is quite obvious that the person authorised can be a constable, can be any office boy or clerk, in fact any individual, male or female, delegated by some gentleman or lady in the Ministry of Food. This particular individual may hear some gossip in a local cafe or public house about some particular goods owned by a retailer, and there and then go off and seize those goods or, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Brighton said, take his chicken off his table and sell it merely upon his own belief.
I wish to stress this point, that there is no redress from that individual's belief. You cannot take the case to the High Court and charge him with not having acted reasonably, whereas the whole basic principle of all enactments of this nature, according to our law, has hitherto been that belief has to be based upon reasonable grounds. We know that principle so well from the famous Order I8B which was adjudicated upon by the House of Lords some years ago, where even the Home Secretary was required to act upon certain reasonable 1551 grounds in detaining His Majesty's subjects under I8B. The whole point of the dispute was whether it was open to the High Court to decide whether the Home Secretary had reasonable grounds, and the House of Lords, not without high authority to the contrary, held that the reasonable grounds could be decided upon by the Home Secretary himself, and that no outside body had power to decide whether the Home Secretary had reasonable grounds.
Here, however, even the police constable is not required to have reasonable grounds; he is not asked to determine in his own head whether it is reasonable for him to hold that belief. Many people of many creeds have the opinion that their rivals in other creeds hold beliefs that are based upon no reason, or have no basis in theory or fact. Nevertheless people hold those beliefs very strongly, and they go to the stake on behalf of them. Surely, when we come to the purely practical point of a person authorised by the Minister to seize somebody else's property, we require a little more than that particular individual should believe that an offence has been committed? If one examines the particular offence, one finds that it is of a very involved nature indeed. There are all kinds of alternative provisions. under which an offence might be committed, and this particular unknown person who is to be authorised to seize somebody else's property very often has not the legal knowledge to know whether an offence has been committed. What, in fact, happens? He is instructed by some official in the Ministry of Food to go and take that property. That is all the belief he has, and I beg to suggest that we are infringing to a very high degree upon the liberty of the subject, and upon the basic principles that ought to determine these matters, when we repose in a police constable, or in any other ordinary individual, the right to seize property in those circumstances without his belief being based, at any rate in his own opinion, upon some reasonable grounds.
§ 10.29 P.m.
§ Mr. Janner (Leicester, West)
I shall detain the House only for a few minutes. I suggest that the hon. and learned Member for Brighton (Mr. Marlowe) has himself, apparently, either not read the 1552 Orders properly, or has not appreciated the significance of the Defence Regulations appertaining to the Orders and referred to in the Orders. If he had he would not have spoken in such a flippant manner about the interventions of the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale) and myself. The hon. and learned Member was, apparently complaining of the fact that there was an enlargement in this Order, of the provisions contained in the 1942 Order.
The only enlargement, if it is an en-largment, is that Regulation 55AB of the Defence Regulations has been included as well as Regulation 55. Regulation 55AB refers to even more serious offences, I think my hon. friends will agree, than Regulation 55, and all that this Order does is to include offences which are referred to in Regulation 55AB. It reads as follows:The competent authority may be ordered to provide for controlling the prices to be charged for goods of any description, "etc.All that this Order does is to include these items. I could understand the point made by hon. Members opposite that cases of seizure are something that must be taken into consideration, and to that extent I agree with them, but I certainly cannot understand the hon. and learned member rising in such a wrathful manner.
§ Mr. Janner
No, I said"wrathful."I would certainly not have used the other word in this particular connection. I have only one other point to make. I think hon. Members have agreed that this Order is essential except in so far as the words complained of are concerned, but I would ask them to recollect that it is practically impossible to leave out words of this description. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why"?] First, in the case of a person who has offended, and is found guilty, it is perfectly obvious that the cost of seizure should be paid by him. In the case of a person found not guilty, it is no good saying that any officer could just come up and take anything he wants. If there was any ulterior motive in an officer taking such an action, there is a method in the law of the land by which that can be put right. The officer knows full well he must do what the law allows, and that be must have reasonable grounds for the action he 1553 takes. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I should like to know whether any officer would dare to take a chance, if there was not reasonable cause for him taking action. The case argued by the Opposition is too absurd for words. The facts prove that to be so. No such action as they suggest has ever arisen. Otherwise we should have known within the history of the Order of 1942 that such people had been brought before the courts and that action had been wrongfully taken. Therefore, in view of the serious nature of the offences with which we are dealing, I submit that these Orders, and this one in particular, must be retained. Hon. Members who have raised this point have really raised it on very trivial grounds which in themselves may defeat the very object for which they wished to have the Prayer annulled.
§ 10.33 p.m.
§ Colonel Sir Charles MacAndrew (Ayand Bute, Northern)
I would like to say a few words about this Order. It was passed by the Committee of which I am now chairman, and, as the House knows, it is one which could not be considered under the terms of reference of the Committee, because this Order being in the same terms as that of 1942, we could not say it was unexpected. It had happened before, but I do feel that if the Order had come before us for the first time, if it had been new to us, it would have been unexpected, and it would have been one about which we would have called for evidence from the Department. Speaking for myself, I feel I ought to tell the House that in circumstances such as those I should have felt it desirable to call for a report from the Department concerned, and in turn to have asked the Committee to make a report to the House.
§ 10.35 p.m.
§ Mr. Royle (Salford, West)
I am not arguing for this Order in legal terms. I have no knowledge of legal terms, but I have the advantage of knowing something about the Order from another point of view. I happen to have been an officer of the Ministry of Food and I have had to do some seizing. I have had occasion to go to farms where a licence has been granted to slaughter a pig. The farmer, or someone in his employ, ha? slaughtered that pig, and I have discovered that many of these pigs had eight feet. Seriously, I want to suggest that hon. Members opposite 1554 who are asking for the annulment of this Order are playing into the hands of the black marketeers.
Sir J. Mellon
Cannot the hon. Member see that there is nothing to prevent the Minister, if this Order were annulled tonight, making a further Order tomorrow, omitting the offending words?
§ Mr. Royle
It does not alter my point of view. I am quite confident that if this annulment went through tonight, it would definitely encourage the activities of the black market. Hon. Members opposite are asking us to annul the Order for the purpose of safeguarding against the possibility of an odd slip, but they completely ignore the dangers which exist on the opposite side.
§ Mr. Spence
The hon. Member has admitted that the Order is bad [HON. MEMBERS:"NO."] Will he not agree that a new Order that is watertight and sound, could be placed on the Order Paper tomorrow?
§ Mr. Royle
I do not believe it is possible. I go further and say, out of my own experience covering the years of the war, that no Ministry of Food official would take action at all unless there were reasonable grounds for him to take that action. I speak for a very large number of people whom I know. I am quite sure that no case can be pointed out where action has been taken throughout the war years when action has not been justified. Not only have I had experience as a Ministry of Food official. I am also a trader in articles of food. I want to say that all the honest law-abiding traders in food in this country are definitely behind the Order. I claim that I have more authority to say things like that, than hon. Members opposite have to make the statements we have heard tonight. I say that knowing the traders in food in this country. I am quite sure they are behind the Order and that, as a whole, they would object to the annulment of the Order. It is right that the fact that an article of food has been stolen should be circulated in the first place through the proper channels; it is also right, in the second place, that an article of food should ultimately be paid for by the Ministry in cases such as have been mentioned There is nothing in the Order to prevent that. I suggest that the Prayer for the annulment tonight is flippant in the extreme. 1555 We on this side of the House, in many such Debates as this, have resisted the temptation to get on our feet because we have not wanted to prolong Debates which, in the main, have been flippant.
§ Major Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely)
On a point of Order. Is it in Order for an hon. Member to refer to a Prayer as being flippant when you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, or Mr. Speaker have allowed it to be moved?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)
There is nothing that is not Parliamentary in what the hon. Member has said.
§ Mr. Royle
I must repeat it. I was not really trying to stress that point but I am drawn to my feet tonight because of what I feel to be excessive flippancy. I know what I am talking about when I say that there has never been, in my experience, anything which would justify hon. Members objecting to this Order.
§ 10.42 p.m.
§ Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone)
The hon. Members who moved and seconded the annulment of this Order have made a clear case, showing that grave injustice may be done to innocent citizens under the Order. The hon. Member for West Salford (Mr. Royle) said that by asking for the annulment of this Order we on this side are playing into the hands of the black market. The hon. Member may not know that the only way to draw attention to the slip which he himself admits occurs in this Order—
§ Sir W. Wakefield
—is to ask for its annulment. An Order cannot be amended. I think it is within the recollection of the House that the hon. Member opposite thought there was a slip in this Order.
§ Mr. Royle
I am sure that the hon. Member has not taken my words as I said them. I am sure the OFFICIAL REPORT will show that. I want to get my own words perfectly understood, as far as I can. What I said was that it was possible that such a thing might occur, which is altogether different from suggesting that it has occurred.
§ Sir W. Wakefield
I was in no way misrepresenting the hon. Member. I was 1556 under the impression that he said that there was a slip. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I said I was under that impression. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] The hon. Member says he did not say that, but that it is possible there may be a slip.
§ Sir W. Wakefield
The mover and seconder of the Motion have clearly shown that there has been a slip—let us put it that way—and that innocent people may be unjustly treated. From the interjections of hon. Members opposite, it would seem that it is suggested that, because this Order has been in force for some four years or so, therefore, it ought not to be altered even if, in the original instance, it was a bad Order.
§ Sir W. Wakefield
I did not say he did. I said that, judging from the interjections of hon. Members opposite, it is evident that they feel in the way I have suggested. I listened to hon. Members opposite, for many years, saying how legislation which ought to have been altered, had not been altered for five, 10, 15 or 20 years. We on this side are doing our utmost to alter some bad legislation and make it into good legislation within four years. I should have thought that hon. Members opposite would have supported us in our endeavours. I thought that hon. Members opposite would stand up for justice, and support the innocent—and it is quite clear from the terms of this Order that innocent people are going to suffer. I simply cannot understand why we have had no speech from hon. Members opposite in support of unfortunate and innocent people who are proved not guilty.
§ Sir W. Wakefield
Tonight it has been left once more to the Conservative Party to champion the rights of the common man by asking for the annulment of this Order. Once again the Conservative Party have shown that they are on the side of right. I ask the Minister to look 1557 at this Order fairly and justly, and to agree to its annulment and to the substitution for it of an Order which will prevent all black market racketeering. We on this side are just as anxious as hon. Members opposite to stop racketeering. We know perfectly well that this Order could be put right, and a fresh one substituted, without in any way assisting the black market. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up.] I am speaking up, so that I may be heard by those who are not too deaf to understand a right and just cause, and so that no one can go away from this House and say that they have not heard a few words in defence of the common man.
§ 10.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Raikes (Liverpool, Wavertree)
When the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary once addressed a joint meeting in support of a proposition to arm the female members of the Home Guard, I felt that she had courage. I hope that when she replies she will have courage enough to assist some of us to redress a wrong. There has been a lot of talk about the black market, but hon. Members opposite know perfectly well that what we are discussing here is not a question of the black market at all. Under Article 2 of the Order, as it stands, the cost of a seizure may have to be borne by innocent parties. An hon. Member opposite, who I am sure has admirable knowledge, said he did not think there was any likelihood that any responsible officer would act unreasonably in these matters. I am not disagreeing with him on that, but he went on to say further that there was a possibility of a loophole for a possible mistake. There is always that possibility unless the words are absolutely precise, and if we in this House wait, before remedying faults and possible dangers, until the innocent have suffered, this House will have failed to maintain the duty which is upon it.
The only real solution is for this Order to be re-enacted tomorrow with two words, "seizure and," left out. That would ensure that an innocent person shall not be in the position under this Order of having to pay for the seizure as well as for the sale. That seems to me to be the real point at issue, and if I may say so it was rather cheap to drag in the point about the black market.
§ 10.51 p.m.
§ Major Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely)
There are two points which it seems to me need explanation. One is the definition of food. As I understand it, food can include cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry. But no mention is made in paragraph (1) of the Order of whether or not these cattle, pigs, sheep or poultry are alive or dead. It seems very important to me that we should know what they are, because the hon. Lady is extremely interested in food production. Take the example of a cow producing tuberculin tested milk. What I do not understand about this Order is whether or not it affects cattle while they are alive. If so, what are the Orders at the present moment which restrict the purchase of such cattle? It seems to me this Order as it stands gives the power to an authorised officer of the Ministry of Food—and this is taking an extreme example, I admit—to go to a farmer and say "You have no business to possess this cow. I am going to take it away." And for all the owner knows the cow may be sold on the market and a high price obtained for it. Or suppose it is a pedigree animal, and a low price is obtained for it. If that is the case, and the owner is proved to be completely innocent, all that he is going to get is the amount that the Minister has managed to achieve as a result of the sale, less the expense of the Ministry of Food which might be one-quarter or less of the value of the cow sold.
§ Major Legge-Bourke
I am perfectly aware of what the hon. Member has said but in the Order there is no indication of whether the cattle are alive or dead. It is important that we should have that cleared up. I seem to remember that the hon. Member said that he was no lawyer, and had no legal experience. Yet at the end of the speech he had the presumption, if I may be pardoned the use of the expression, to say there was no alternative to the drafting contained in this Order. Either he is a legal expert or not. If he is not, then his point is not in Order.
There is another point in this Order, and that concerns the word "forage." 1559 In paragraph (1) of the Order the word "forage" is defined, but for some extraordinary reason, the word does not appear again. I do not know, therefore, why it has been included in the Order at all.
§ Mr. Hale
The word "forage" appears in the definition of "food." The word runs throughout the Order. With regard to the hon. and gallant Member's other point about live or dead cattle, the objection to the right to destroy is because food is perishable. If the cattle are alive there is no particular reason to sell or dispose of them; but if they are dead they may have to be sold.
§ Major Legge-Bourke
If the hon. Member reads the Order he will find that the word "food" is defined separately in another paragraph, and "forage" is defined underneath that. As regards the other point, I would suggest that if the hon. Member imagines that livestock are not sold, in these days, he should go into some provincial town and see a market going on.
The last point I want to raise arises out of "the extension of the explanatory note. The hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Janner) tried to give a completely different interpretation of the extension of this Order compared with previous Orders of the 1942 vintage. As far as I can make out, his argument simply boils down to the fact that the explanatory note is untrue or inaccurate.
§ Mr. Janner
Indeed, no. What I said was that the explanatory note referred to the fact that since Regulation 55 of the Defence Regulations was passed there had been a new Regulation known as Regulation 55AB which referred to offences which in some regards were even worse than those referred to in Regulation 55, and that consequently the extension was merely one which followed naturally.
§ Major Legge-Bourke
I should have thought that the only interpretation which this House was entitled to put on this Order was the explanation given by the Ministry. The hon. Member's interpretation will not quite do. If I may, I will give one example, which I think may be amusing, of the interpretation of this Order, which occurred in my constituency not so long ago. If hon. Members will read the Order again they will 1560 find that food and drink are included, the only drink excluded being water. Not so long ago, a keg of what purported to be whisky was purchased by an innkeeper in my constituency. When an endeavour was made to draw off the whisky from the keg, it was found that there was water coming out. When the matter subsequently went before the quarter sessions it was disclosed that the keg had been very carefully primed and contained a little glass container of whisky, the rest of the contents being water. I raise this particular matter because, as I understand it, the only person who comes into this Order is the owner. The owner in this case would have been the man who purchased it. Let us suppose for a moment—though this is not in question, I think—that the whisky was purchased fairly at the regulation price. Let us suppose that after purchase, an article is found to be completely bogus. Is the owner to be held responsible, or is it to be the originator of the bogus article? As the Order stands, the owner of that keg of whisky would be the person who purchased it at the intermediate stage. I suggest that the person who really should come in under this Order is the originator. It seems to me that this Order, from the points I have raised, is extremely untidy. The definition of food is completely vague, and gives no indication whether the cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry are alive. I would endorse the remark of my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir J. Mellor) in regard to forage.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summerskill)
If the hon. and gallant Member looks at the Order, he will see, in the last line but one, the words:Forage, and cattle, pigs. sheep, and poultry,and that the Order then goes on to define "forage.
§ Major Legge-Bourke
I quite understand the point, but at the same time, I should like to endorse the remarks made by my hon. friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield, that a refund will not suffice the owner, in view of the shortage of feeding stuffs. I hope therefore that the hon. Lady will redraft this Order to make it possible for the Ministry to guarantee replacement of forage instead of merely providing compensation.
§ 11.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Manningham-Buller (Daventry)
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman), in one of his usual interlocutory interjections, made a suggestion that a Member should first read an Order before making a speech in regard to it. I only wish that the hon. Member for West Salford (Mr. Royle) had followed that advice, because it seemed to me that the words he uttered bore no relation to the Order under discussion. I shall seek to indicate in what respect his observations were entirely fallacious and misleading. Speaking with all the authority of an ex-officer of the Ministry of Food, he said that no Ministry of Food officer ever took action unless it was reasonable. I have no doubt at all that no officer of the Ministry of Food ever takes action unless he thinks it is reasonable, but I should be astonished if the hon. Member can give information that prosecutions brought by the Ministry have in every case been successful. What we are concerned with here is where a prosecution has been launched by an officer of the Ministry, and it is shown, on facts produced which were not known by the Ministry, that the action should not have been taken.
The hon. Member says that the Prayers brought up by the Conservative Party are in the main flippant. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I thought that would bring some jeers from Members opposite, but if they regard it as a flippant matter that a man should be punished for an offence he has not committed, then the country at large will know what importance to attach to their statements, when they say that they exist to protect the rights of the individual. There is no question here of playing into the hands of the blackmarketeer. If a man has been guilty of a black market offence, he can be prosecuted and convicted. The question raised by this Prayer is whether an innocent rather than the guilty man should be punished. The rule in this country, until we had a Socialist Government, was that a man should be deemed innocent, until proved guilty. Under this Order as it stands—[HON. MEMBERS:"A Lord Woolton Order."]—a Lord Woolton Order made in war time; and hon. Members opposite who talk so glibly of progress, seem to be reluctant to improve this Order. Under this Order as it stands, if an innocent person has his food seized, what does he get? Merely the proceeds of 1562 the sale, less the expenses of the Ministry of Food.
§ Mr. Janner
May I ask my hon. and learned Friend one question? The Order does not say "must. "It says "may," and I should say that that means that when the Ministry examine the reasons for the confiscation, if they are satisfied there is no offence, no case is made out.
§ Mr. Manningham-Buller
The hon. gentleman, who is no friend of mine, has apparently misread Article 4. He seems quite content to appoint Ministry of Food officials to return food to the owner, who has been deprived of his goods for no reason whatever. It seems to me that this Order raises a matter of high principle, and I hope that when the hon. Lady replies she will not deal with it in any flippant fashion. It is obvious to any-' one who has taken the trouble to read the Order that it would be easy to put this Order in such a form that a person deprived of his food or forage could, if it were shown that the deprivation was wrongful, be compensated in full for the loss which he had suffered. Under Article 4, he will be compensated, but only to the extent of the proceeds of the sale less the expenses of the Ministry of Food. The innocent person will get back less than was taken from him, and all because of an erroneous view taken by an official of the Ministry of Food. If one does justice to a person found to be innocent, in a case of this kind one will not be breaking the law of the land.
§ 11.8 p.m.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summerskill)
I have listened carefully to the several speeches in this Debate, and I have been surprised at the legal wrangles which have taken place between the legal experts. I must say that I was particularly surprised to hear the hon. and learned Member for Brighton (Mr. Marlowe) challenge this side of the House and tell us that we had not read the Order. Of all the wrong interpretations we have heard to-night— and there have been several—his was the worst. He read the explanatory note, and said that the provisions of the original Order have been enlarged to authorise the seizure of food. Therefore, he said, something must be added to the Order, more than was in the 1942 Order. Unless he has digested Regulation 55AB he cannot understand it. The explanatory note 1563 means that the provisions of the original Order, which were diminished by the addition of Regulation 55AB, have been enlarged to authorise the seizure of food in respect of which it is believed that a price offence has been committed.- Since one of the most effective controls on black markets had been lost, its restoration is naturally desired.
It has been. suggested that a lot of innocent people have been summoned. I assure the House that this is the first complaint that we had. The number of acquittals is very small. I think in all there were 1,100 cases, and of these 10 resulted in acquittal. Provision is made in this Order for the seized article to be sold in accordance with the instructions given by or on behalf of the Minister of Food, the proceeds of the sale, less any expenses incurred, to be paid towards the satisfaction of any fine that may be imposed, or paid to the owner. The hon. and learned Member for Brighton said that if the House gave the Ministry such powers, the Ministry's officials would come along and charge up all sorts of little extras. I assure him—and I ask him to examine such cases as he may have heard of—that in no circumstances do we charge what might be regarded as Ministry's expenses. We charge only the expenses of transport and any expenses incurred in seizing and selling the article.
§ Mr. Manningham-Buller
In Article 2 we find these words:…the proceeds of the sale, less any expenses incurred by or on behalf of the Ministry in connection with the seizure (hereinafter called 'the proceeds of the sale') shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Order.and in Article 4 we read:the proceeds of the sale thereof shall be returned or paid to the owner.Surely that means the proceeds of the sale after the deduction of expenses?
§ Dr. Summerskill
We do return the proceeds of the sale after the deduction of expenses, but what I am dealing with at the moment is what the deductions are. The hon. and learned Member for Brighton has suggested that the Ministry's officials might have their own expenses included in the deduction. As a matter of fact, the Ministry bears those expenses and the owner is not called upon to bear ex- 1564 penses of that kind. Hon. Members might ask, what other expenses are incurred. Let me recall a case. We were trying to trace some cooking fats to a hotel on one occasion and the enforcement officers were making investigations near the hotel. They found 5,000 eggs in dust bins. What happened? First the police van was called to take those eggs on their first little journey. Then transport of another kind, a car, lorry or whatever it was, took the eggs to the nearest packing station. Expenses of that kind would be charged.
§ Dr. Summerskill
The hon. and learned Member must remember that even if the man is innocent, the Ministry of Food has incurred expenses in the selling of the innocent man's eggs, which the innocent man would have incurred himself.
§ Sir J. Mellor
Would the hon. Lady tell us quite squarely why an innocent owner should bear any of the Ministry's expenses of seizure?
§ Dr. Summerskill
I have explained to the hon. Member. I find it very difficult to understand what he means by expenses of seizure.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I am now defining expenses as they are. The hon. Member, for instance, has separated seizure from sale when he has said, "Let us remove those two words, seizure and." That would not effect his purpose at all, because it still leaves "sale" and our expenses in the case to which I have referred were incurred in selling the eggs. Most of the goods are perishable, and if we have to pay the cost of a refrigerator, there again we incur more expenses. In other words, the powers of the original Order have been diminished. It is necessary to introduce this in order to restore the powers which we have exercised since 1942. I shall also try to prove that the hon. and learned Gentleman has been wrong in some other respects. I can assure the House that this Order contains nothing that was not in the Seizure of Food Order, 1942, made at the time of the Coalition Government.
§ Sir C. MacAndrew
If the hon. Lady will cast her mind back she will remember that at that time there was no Committee such as we have now dealing with Orders. There was such an outcry from all sides of the House to check this sort of thing that the Committee was set up. I hope she will realise that if anything like this had come up the Committee would have drawn the attention of the House to it.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Does my hon. Friend also realise that the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr and Bute, Northern (Sir C. MacAndrew) speaks entirely for himself, and that I, as a Member of the Committee, even if it had existed in 1942, would not have shared his view?
Would the hon. Lady confirm that this Order was made in 1942 either by a secretary or a deputy secretary of the Ministry of Food?
§ Dr. Summerskill
I accept everything that the hon. and learned Gentleman says, but I do not think he would be so tolerant if a doctor made a wrong diagnosis during the war, and came along now and said, "I was rather rushed because it was wartime." If he has a responsible job to do he should do that job with all due sense of responsibility. The fact is—and I ask Members opposite to examine the Order carefully—that power to make Orders controlling prices was removed from Regulation 55, and inserted in the new Regulation 55AB. An offence, therefore, against a prices Order was no longer a breach of control. That is the relevant point, and the correct interpretation has been put upon it by my hon friend the Member for West Leicester (Mr. Janner). The Seizure of Food Order, 1942, no longer gave us powers to seize articles of food where the offence committed was one contravening our price regulations. If Members will read Regulation 55AB they will see that this has been made quite clear. If I may say so, the mover of the Motion has not read the Order carefully, because there is no need to delete the words, "seizure and," so as to make the Order meet his wishes. This Order gives us power to deduct expenses, but there is no reason why we should exercise that power. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Until this Order is accepted by this House the Ministry are deprived of their power to seize food believed to have been bought 1566 in the black market at excessive prices. I think that an innocent man probably would have to incur expenses approximately the same as we incurred on his behalf.
§ Mr. Manningham-Buller
I wonder if the hon. Lady would deal with this point. Why should an innocent person be made to pay anything for the seizure and sale by the Ministry of Food of goods, which, if left in his possession, he would have consumed?
§ Dr. Summerskill
Hon. Members opposite are talking about an innocent man. What I am saying is that if the food has been seized when the man is suspected, and if when we have made inquiries we prove to our satisfaction that the man is innocent, the food is returned, or if it is very perishable, it is sold and the amount is returned to the man without any deductions whatever.
§ Mr. Spence
If what the hon. Lady says is true, then there are no grounds for this Prayer. If a man is proved innocent and the food is returned to him or sold and the proceeds refunded to him without deduction, the Prayer is not necessary.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I hope the hon. Member will realise that the mover of the Prayer has been talking about the man who has been acquitted. I think that some hon. Members have been using the term "innocent" too loosely. I am now dealing with the man on whose premises rationed food has been found in circumstances which, to say the least, are suspicious. We would seize the food and I repeat, if the food was very perishable we would sell it, and then, if no charge was proved against him— —
§ Dr. Summerskill
No, I will not give way. I would remind the House that if the Order were annulled the Minister would have no power of seizure at all, where maximum price Orders have been contravened. The need for the power has been proved and established, especially in the cases of the inveterate and deliberate offenders among barrow hawkers. They cheerfully pay the small fines that are imposed on them in magistrates courts, when convicted of certain offences against the food regulations. but when they learn that the food is to be seized then the think 1567 more than twice about committing the offence. Where such goods are seized and sold by the Minister, the moneys realised, less the selling expenses, are paid to the owner. In such cases, therefore, the seizure of the food is not expropriation, but merely deprivation of the trader of capital for a few working days. I think no hon. Members in this House can object to the powers so exercised, and I would like to assure the House, as I have already indicated to the hon. and learned Member for Brighton, no deduction is made for expenses other than those that have been actually incurred in the disposal of the goods, for example, the transport charges or agent's commission, and the suspected man, would himself have to pay commission charges.
§ Sir J. Mellor
Could the hon. Lady explain why it is necessary for the Order to make any reference to seizure?
§ Dr. Summerskill
I ask the hon. Member to examine the Order. Our powers' of seizure are defined in the Regulations, and I must ask him to examine that carefully.
§ Dr. Summerskill
If an officer has seized food, I presume that he would regard the kind of transport that I have described, as part of the expenses of seizures If you seize food you have to put it on something; you have to take it to some place where it can be stored. Therefore, transport would be one of the costs of seizure. I have already explained to the House that in these cases where goods are retained and subsequently returned to the owner, no charge has ever been made for expenses for transport, storage, or any other charges. Since the Ministry sells on the owner's behalf, surely there is no injustice in charging him the expenses incurred; certainly there is no question of the Minister making any profit. I think I have already explained to the House that this Order has been operating without complaint. I would not, for one moment, say that an acquitted man might not experience some injustice. But there is no need to annul this Order. [HON. MEMBERS: "Remedy it."] Certainly I am quite prepared to look at every case. I have told the House there have been ten acquittals out of 1,100 cases.
§ Mr. Manningham-Buller
The hon. Lady has made a most important statement. She says she is prepared to examine every case. Of course we welcome that. But surely it would be much better, instead of leaving it to her discretion—and I know she will exercise it well—that the people of this country should know where they stand. Would not the hon. Lady consider making a fresh Order, ensuring that no innocent person will be penalised?
§ Dr. Summerskill
I have already explained that there is no necessity for fresh Orders. Surely hon. Members can trust the Ministry. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I have already told hon gentlemen opposite that their leader, the chairman of their organisation, was responsible for this matter. They trusted him when the Order was made. Unfortunately they did not examine it sufficiently closely, according to what they say now. If I undertake to examine those ten cases which have occurred this year, I am not making any loose promises; I am simply making a generous admission, when I say that perhaps some of these acquitted men—none of whom has complained to us—may have felt there has been some injustice. That would be the last thing the Ministry of Food would want to do, and, therefore, I shall certainly examine every case. In the future, when a man is acquitted, a most careful investigation will be made with a view to seeing how the proceeds of the sale of the seized goods shall be administered.
§ Major Legge-Bourke
May I ask one question? The hon. Lady has not explained fully this matter of sales. She has, apparently, not considered it. This Order takes no consideration of a person who has no intention of selling the article which is seized. Will the hon. Lady consider redrafting the Order, to cover those people who never wanted the stuff sold, but whose stuff is sold by the Ministry when it is seized, the people. thereafter, being found innocent?
§ Dr. Summerskill
The hon. and gallant Member must realise that the commodities mentioned here are perishable. That is why we talk about selling them.
§ 11.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)
The hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary has just made an announcement to the House which is of not inconsiderable importance. As I under- 1569 stand it—and she will correct me if I misrepresent her—she has admitted the possibility that this Order may work injustice to innocent persons, and she, therefore, has said to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller), that in such cases she will give personal examination to every case. That assurance of the hon. Lady is, no doubt, very creditable to her sense of justice, but it does not conclude this matter. I do not know whether the hon. Lady can appreciate the fact that, to a great many people of this country, their right to freedom from penalty, unless they are convicted of an offence, is, a vital thing. It is something which they regard as having of right, and not by the favour of any Minister of the Crown. The Parliamentary Secretary has said that, of her kindness, and the kindness of her Department, she will consider removing the penalties imposed upon the innocent. That is not good enough. If this House has any function, it is, surely, to ensure that penalties are imposed only on the guilty. The very fact that the hon. Lady has seen fit—advisedly—to make the very significant admission with which she concluded her speech, is an overwhelming argument in favour of taking back this Order, and recasting it in accordance with the established principles of law and justice in this country. There is a perfectly clear admission in the hon. Lady's statement—and, indeed, it is an inescapable admission if one considers the terms of this Order—that innocent people can be penalised I take no doctrinaire attitude on this matter. At the height of the great emergency of war, it is, no doubt, inevitable that innocent people should suffer in the national interest. But the hon. Lady has quoted figures which show conclusively that no such situation arises at present. A few moments ago she told this House that of 1,100 prosecutions undertaken under the previous Order only 10 had resulted in acquittal. Accepting as, I am sure, the House will, the accuracy of those figures, what conceivable public interest is served by victimising those 10 people? If the machinery of prosecution of her Department is so demonstrably efficient as to permit that quite remarkable batting average, then, surely, there is no justification, on any grounds of public interest, for ensuring that those 10 people shall suffer for offences of which 1570 they have not been convicted. The hon. Lady went on to argue that, because a similar Order -similar, at any rate, in its objectionable features—had been introduced in the year 1942 by the late Coalition Government, then hon. Members on this side of the House were prohibited from arguing against this Order. The hon. Lady cannot have it both ways. The late Coalition Government, be it good or bad, was supported by both major parties in this House, and whether it were so good or so bad a Government, it follows, inevitably, that both parties are entitled to argue that something done by that Government, in the heat of the gravest emergency this country has ever known, shall be freshly considered in time of peace. I do hope that the hon. Lady will not, in the case of this new House of Commons—which I understood had come here to sweep away all the relics of the past and to establish a glittering new order —try to justify an Order merely because the Coalition Government put forward something similar. Surely the hon. Lady will not argue, whoever else may do so, that the mandate of the electorate in 1945 was in favour of a religious and scrupulous adherence to everything which the Coalition Government had ever done?
The issue is simple. Has any justification been brought forward for penalising innocent people? The hon. Lady, as I understand it, made no attempt to do so. She went, at some length, into a delicately-phrased and, it would appear, rather carefully prepared argument on the distinction between the expenses of seizure, and the expenses of sale, but as I understood that argument, it was an argument that there were expenses of seizure as distinct from expenses of sale. I do not know whether the hon. Lady assents to that summary of her argument, but that was how I understood it. If her argument in reply to the hon. Baronet was that there were expenses of seizure as opposed to expenses of sale, and expenses so serious as to warrant the terms of this Order, I do not know whether the hon. Lady appreciates that, not for the first time in her career, her statements are entirely contrary to those made by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Food. When the right hon. Gentleman answered a written Question put by the hon. Baronet, he committed himself to this proposition: 1571The wording in the Order is not expenses of seizure 'but' expenses incurred in connection with the seizure and sale of any product This means expenses incurred in selling the goods.By no possible argument can that—for the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Food —comparatively clear statement be reconciled with the elaborate argument of the hon. Lady in favour of maintaining the penal clause in respect of expenses of seizure. The hon. Lady is in this dilemma: either her right hon. Friend is right, and there are in practice no expenses of seizure, or what conceivable reason is there, what justification is there, for putting in this Order a provision to exact from the innocent person the expenses of seizure? The hon. Lady really cannot have it both ways.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I think the hon. Gentleman is a little confused. May I recall the illustration I gave of the eggs? The eggs are seized, they are carried to the place where they will be sold; who can say whether the cost of transport is an expense of seizure or of sale?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I am inclined to agree with the hon. Lady as against her right hon. Friend. I was not attempting to argue that there were no expenses of seizure, I was only attempting to point out to the House the manifest difference between the view entertained by the hon.
§ Lady and that held by her right hon. Friend. If the hon. Lady challenges me, I am inclined to agree with her as against her right hon. Friend; I think there are expenses of seizure, and for that very reason—for the very reason that the hon. Lady and I are both right—this Order is the more serious, because this Order in evitably implies the imposition of those expenses upon innocent persons. I do hope that hon. Members opposite will respond to the appeal made by the mover of this Prayer. This is no party matter. and I ask hon. Members opposite are they really prepared to go back to their constituents, as sooner or later they will have to go back, and tell them that on a matter which raises no party principle of any sort whatever but is a matter of simple English justice they have voted for the imposition of what may be very heavy penalties on persons who have never been prosecuted. or who when charged have been found not guilty by the courts of justice in this land. I hope, sir, if honourable members' constituents ask them that question they will find an answer.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. William 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, 232; Noes, 781573
|Division No. 12.]||AYES.||[11.44 p.m.|
|Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)||Coldrick, W.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)|
|Allen, A C. (Bosworth)||Collick, P||Ganley, Mrs. C. S|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Collindridge, F.||Gibbins, J.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Colman, Miss G. M.||Gibson, C W|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Comyns, Dr. L.||Gilzean, A.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.||Glanville, J. E (Consett)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W)||Goodrich, H E.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Crossman, R. H. S.||Gordon-Walker, P. C.|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)|
|Baird, J.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Grey C F|
|Barton. C.||Deer, G.||Grierson, E.|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Delargy, Captain H. J||Guy, W. H.|
|Benson, G.||Diamond, J.||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Dobbie, W.||Hale, Leslie|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Dodds, N. N.||Hardy, E. A.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Driberg, T. E. N.||Harrison, J.|
|Boardman, H.||Dumpleton, C. W.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr H. W.||Edelman, M||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Hewitson, Capt. M|
|Braddock, Mrs. E M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Edwards N. (Caerphilly)||Holman, P.|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Evans, John (Ogmore)||Holmes, H. E (Hemsworth)|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||House, G.|
|Buchanan. G||Ewart. R||Hudson, J H. (Ealling, W.)|
|Burke, W. A.||Fairhurst, F.||Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)|
|Butler. H W 'Hackney, S.)||Farthing, W. J.||Hutchinson, H L (Rusholme)|
|Carmichael. James||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Irving, W. J.|
|Champion, A. J.||Foot, M. M.||Janner, B.|
|Clitherow, Dr R.||Forman, J. C.||Jay, D. P. T.|
|Cobb, F. A.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Jeger, G. (Winchester)|
|Jeger, Dr. S W. (St. Pancras. S.E.)||Nally, W.||Steele, T.|
|John, W.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.J||Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Jones, O. T. (Hartlepools)||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)||Stubbs, A. E.|
|Jones, J. H. (Bolton)||O'Brien, T.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Oldfield, W. H.||Symonds, A. L.|
|Keenan, W.||Oliver, G. H.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Kenyon, C.||Paget, R. T||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.||Pargiter, G. A||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Kinley, J||Parkin, B. T||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|Kirby, B. V||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Lang, G.||Paton, J. (Norwich)||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Layers, S.||Pearson, A||Thurtle, E.|
|Lee, F. (Hulme)||Peart, Capt T F||Tiffany, S.|
|Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Perrins, W||Timmons, J.|
|Lewis, A W J. (Upton)||Piratin, P||Tolley, L.|
|Lewis, J. (Bolton)||Platts-Mills, J. F. F.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Lewis, T (Southampton)||Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Popplewell, E.||Usborne, Henry|
|Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Porter, E. (Warrington)||Vernon, Maj. W. F.|
|Logan, D. G.||Porter, G. (Leeds)||Viant, S. P.|
|Longden, F.||Pritt, D. N.||Walkden, E.|
|Lyne, A. W.||Proctor, W. T.||Walker, G. H.|
|McAdam, W.||Pursey, Cmdr. H||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)|
|McGhee, H. G.||Randall, H. E.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|McGovern, J.||Ranger, J.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Mack, J. D.||Rees-Williams, D. R.||Watkins, T. E.|
|McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Reid. T. (Swindon)||Watson, W. M.|
|Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull. N.W.)||Rhodes, H.||Weitzman, D.|
|McKinlay, A. S.||Robens, A.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|McLeavy, F.||Rogers, G. H. R.||White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Royle, G.||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Scollan, T.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Segal, Dr. S.||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Marquand, H. A.||Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Marshall, F. (Brightside)||Sharp, Granville||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Mathers, G.||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Medland, H. M.||Shurmer, P.||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Mellish, R. J.||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Williamson, T.|
|Middleton, Mrs. L.||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)||Willis, E.|
|Mikardo, Ian||Skeffington, A. M.||Wise, Major F. J|
|Mitchison, Maj. G R||Skinnard, F. W.||Woods, G. S.|
|Moody, A. S.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Wyatt, W.|
|Morgan, Or. H. B||Snow, Capt. J. W.||Yates, V. F.|
|Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Soskice, Maj. Sir F.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Mort, D. L.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Moyle, A.||Stamford, W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr. Simmons and Mr. Hannan.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Hinehingbrocke, Viscount||Raikes, H. V.|
|Aitken, Hon. Max||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Howard, Hon. A.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Ronton, D.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Eoclesall)|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Keeling, E. H.||Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland|
|Birch, Nigel||Kerr, Sir J. Graham||Scott, Lord W.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Bowen, R.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Spence, H. R.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Lennox-Beyd, A. T.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Low, Brig. A. R. W.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Challen, C.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Turton, R. H.|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C-||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||MeCallum, Maj. D.||Wadsworth, G.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||MoKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Wakefield, Sir W. W.|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||' Mellor, Sir J.||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Eccles, D. M.||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)||Nicholson, G.||York, C.|
|Gage, C.||Orr-Ewtng, I. L.|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G.||Peto, Brig C. H. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Haughton, S. G.||Pitman, I. J||Mr. Drewe and Major Conant|
§ The House divided: Ayes, 77: Noes, 227.1577
|Division No. 13.]||AYES.||[11.54 p.m.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Aitken, Hon. Max.||Haughton, S. G.||Raikes, H. V.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Renton, O.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Howard, Hon. A.||Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecelesall)|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Robinson, Wing-Comdr Roland|
|Birch, Nigel||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)||Scott, Lord W.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Keeling, E. H.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Bowen, R.||Kerr, Sir J Graham||Stoddart-Scott. Col. M.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Turton, R. H.|
|Challen, C.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Low, Brig. A. R. W.||Wadsworth, G.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Wakefield, Sir W. W.|
|Corbett, Lieut-Col. U. (Ludlow)||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||McCallum, Maj. D.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Drewe, C.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||Winterton, Rt. Hon Earl|
|Eccles, D. M.||Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E.||York, C.|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Neven-Spence, Sir B.|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Nicholson, G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Sir John Mellor and Mr. Spence.|
|Gage, C.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Adams, W T. (Hammersmith, South)||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Ewart, R.||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe).||Fairhurst, F.||Lewis, J. (Bolton)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Farthing, W J.||Lewis, T (Southampton)|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Foot, M. M.||Lipton, Li.-Col M|
|Attewell, H C.||Forman, J. C.||Logan, D. G|
|Awbery, S. S||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Longden, F.|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Lyne, A. W.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Ganley, Mrs. C S.||McAdara, W|
|Baird, J.||Gibbins, J.||McGhee, H. G|
|Barton, C||Gibson, C. W.||McGovern, J.|
|Bechervaise, A. E||Gilzean, A.||Mack, J. D.|
|Benson, G.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||McKay, J. (Wallsend)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Goodrich, H. E.||Mackay, R. W G. (Hull. N.W.)|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Gordon-Walker, P. C.||McKinlay, A S|
|Blyton, W. R.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)||McLeavy, F.|
|Boardman, H.||Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood)||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr H W.||Grey, C. F.||Mallalieu, J. P W.|
|Bowles, F G (Nuneaton)||Grierson, E.||Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pt, Exch'ge)||Guy, W. H.||Marquand, H. A.|
|Braddock, I (Mitcham)||Haire, John E (Wycombe)||Marshall, F. (Brightside)|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Hale, Leslie||Mathers, G.|
|Brown, T J. (Ince)||Hardy, E. A||Medland, H. M|
|Buchanan, G||Harrison, J||Mellish, R J|
|Burke, W A.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Middleton, Mrs L|
|Butler, H W. (Hackney. S.)||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||MikardO, Ian|
|Carmichael, James||Hewitson, Capt. M||Mitchison, Maj. G. R|
|Champion, A J.||Hobson, C. R||Moody, A. S.|
|Clitherow, Dr R||Holman P.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Cobb, F A.||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Coldrick, W||House, G.||Mort, D L|
|Collick, P.||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)||Moyle, A.|
|Gollindridgs F.||Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton. W)||Nally, W.|
|Colman, Miss G. M||Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme)||Nichol, Mrs. M. E (Bradford, N.)|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Irving, W. J.||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr G.||Janner, B,||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E (Brentford)|
|Corbet Mrs. F. K. (Camb'wt.'l. N W.)||Jay, D. P. T.||O'Brien, T.|
|Crossman, R. H S||Jeger, G (Winchester)||Oldneld, W. H|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Jeger, Dr. S. W (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Oliver. G H|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||John W||Paget, R. T.|
|Davies, S O (Merthyr)||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Pargiter, G A.|
|Deer, G||Jones Elwyn (Plaistow)||Parkin, B. T.|
|Delargy, Captain H J.||Jones. J H. (Bolton)||Paton, Mrs F (Rushcliffe)|
|Dobbie, W||Keenan, W.||Paton, J (Norwich)|
|Dodds, N. N.||Kenyon, C.||Pearson, A|
|Driberg, T. E N||Kinghorn Sqn.-Ldr. E||Peart, Capt T F|
|Edelman. M||Kinley, J||Perrins, W|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Kirby, B. V||Piratin, P.|
|Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Lang, G.||Platts-Mills. J. F F.|
|Edwards, N (Caerphilly)||Lavers, S.||Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)|
|Evans, John (Ogmore)||Lee, F. (Hulme)|
|Porter, E. (Warrington)||Soskice, Maj. Sir F||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)|
|Porter, G. (Leeds)||Sparks, J. A||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Prill, O N.||Stamford, W||Warbey, W. N.|
|Proctor, W. T.||Steele, T.||Watkins, T E.|
|Pursey, Cmdr. H||Stewart Capt Michael (Fulham, E.)||Watson, W. M|
|Randall, H. E||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)||Weitzman, D|
|Ranger, J||Summerskill, Dr Edith||Wells, W. T (Walsall)|
|Rees-Williams, D. R||Symonds, A L.||White, C F. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Reid, T (Swindon)||Taylor, H. B (Mansfield)||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Rhodes, H||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Whiteley, Rt Hon W|
|Robens, A.||Thomas, I. O (Wrekin)||Willey, O G (Cleveland)|
|Rogers, G. H. R||Thomas, John R. (Dover)||Williams, D J. (Neath)|
|Royle, C.||Thomas, George (Cardiff)||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Scollan, T||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Segal, Dr S||Thurtle, E.||Williamson, T|
|Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A||Tiffany, S||Willis, E.|
|Sharp, Granville||Timmons, J.||Wise, Major F. J|
|Shawcross, C N. (Widnes)||Tolley, L.||Woods G S|
|Shurmer, P||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon||Wyatt, W|
|Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Ungoed'Thomas, L.||Yates. V F|
|Silverman, S S (Nelson)||Usborne, Henry||Zilliacus, K|
|Skeffington, A M||Vernon, Maj. W F|
|Skinnard, F W||Viant, S. P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Smith, S, H (Hull, S.W)||Walkden, E.||Mr. Simmons and Mr, Hannan|
|Snow, Capt. J. w||Walker, G. H|