HC Deb 29 April 1947 vol 436 cc1883-99
Mr. Assheton

I beg to move, in page 6, line 34, to leave out "provided by order," and to insert: determined by the Commission with the approval. In case anyone should be in doubt as to the stage we have reached, I would point out that we have now come to Clause 5 of the Bill which deals with the important question of the Executives. As the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary—and, I think, a good many other hon. Members of the House—are aware, this is a very important matter and is not one in which there is any party conflict so far as I am aware. It is purely a question of trying to make up our minds what is the best way of setting up Executives if they have to be set up. Under the Clause as drafted the number and the names of the Executives are to be such as may from time to time be provided by order of the Minister. The Clause then goes on to say that there shall be; Executives known respectively as the Railway Executive, the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive, the Road Transport Executive and the London Transport Executive and, as from the appointed day, an Executive known as the Hotels Executive. The point I want to make is that it would be much better to allow the Commission which the Minister is to set up to do the planning and look after the policy of transport, to have a chance of deciding what Executives they want to establish. If the Commission are to work as a commercial concern and as a business undertaking, it does seem to me reasonable that they should have control of their own agencies and sub-agencies. The Minister explained on the Committee stage—I hope I am putting his point correctly and that he will inform me if I am not—that he preferred to have the appointment of these Executives in his own hands because he suggested that if that was the case they would be directly responsible to Parliament and that he would therefore be in -a position to answer to Parliament for their actions. I suggest that there is nothing in that point at all. Being responsible to this House for the Commission the Minister is, of course, also responsible for the Executives. I would have thought that the question who appoints the Executives does not affect that question at all. What we want to do is 'to place the Commission in a position of responsibility.

12 m.

I should like to ask what would be the effect on the prestige, influence and effectiveness of the Commission if they are not allowed to make these appointments. Does the Minister think that he will find it so easy to get good men to take on the jobs of being chairman and members of this Commission if their powers are to be so limited as they will be under the Clause as drafted? I do not know what means the Commission will have when it is set up. I do not know whether hon. Members in the back row on the, Government side of the House are interested in this Bill or not, but possibly they will allow the rest of us to discuss it without being interrupted by their conversation. It is one of the most important of the Bill with which we are now dealing, and the hon. Member for Rochdale (Dr. Morgan), who has given his attention to this Bill from time to time, will, I hope, give his attention to this matter.

I suggest that there is great doubt whether there ought to be a Docks and Waterways Executive. What is to happen to the docks? I understand that when the appointed day is reached the Minister will automatically find himself in charge of the railways' docks, because they belong to the railways, but there are other docks which are owned by local organisations and it is doubtful whether the Commission needs a Docks Executive at all. It would be wiser if it were left to the Commission to consider this matter for a little bit before the members make up their minds. The Minister of Transport expects that this Bill will become law by July or August. I do not know whether it will or not, but surely it would be wiser to let the Commission consider these matters for a little and then make up their minds how they are going to deal with this business.

There is one other point which I should like to raise. It is not desirable for a Government to have more patronage than is necessary. They have not only the power of appointment of the Commission, but the power of appointment of all the Executives, which extends the range of Government patronage very much indeed, beyond what, in my view and that of my hon. Friends on this side, is desirable. The Minister may take a different view, but the Amendment which I propose will leave the Commission free to determine with the approval of the Minister the number of Executives.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd (Wirral)

According to Subsection (4) of this Clause, the Executives are to be the agents of the Commission in the exercise of such functions as the Commission shall delegate to them. If they are the Commission's agents, why should not the Commission have the initiative with regard to their number and their names? In Clause 4, for example, provision is made for the Minister, after consultation with the Commission, to do certain things, and then it is laid down that the Commission shall act on certain lines which will be settled from time to time with the approval of the Minister. It is apparently vital that in the number and the names of the Executives the Minister shall have a say, but there is no provision for consultation. We are entitled to ask why should that be so? Apparently the Socialist Government are prepared to create these huge public corporations to carry out these functions and at the same time they are scared stiff of them.

We say that if the Government are going to destroy enterprise and initiative in this way by setting up a Commission to carry out these various transport functions, we should at least try to save something from the wreck and give the Commission which are to do the job some independence, some initiative, some chance of being master in their own house, and in that way give them the second best, that is, some chance of feeling that they are responsible for carrying out their job. It would appear that the Government are frightened of the Commission and are determined to hedge them round with all sorts of restrictions and regulations, and are quite unwilling to give them independence in any real sense of the term. We are entitled to know why they do that, and to submit that the Amendment which has been moved by my right hon. Friend is a substantial improvement to a very bad Bill.

Mr. Maclay

The reasons which have been put forward in support of this Amendment are strictly relevant, and I feel certain that it will have the support of the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) and other Scottish Members. It has been one of the unfortunate things about the discussion of this Bill that the Scottish aspect of the Executives has not been fully discussed. I was completely puzzled in Committee as to why that was not possible, but one must abide by the Rulings of the Chair, and the important Amendments which many of us wished to move, and which would have been supported by all Scottish Members, were not discussed. I cannot go into this matter in great detail now, but I support this Amendment because I have every hope that if the Commission were left the responsibility for deciding the number of Executives, it might be prepared to consider seriously the question of having a Scottish Executive. The Minister appears to be adamant on that matter, but I trust that the hon. Member for West Fife, who is well known for his support of Scottish rights, will support the Amendment.

Mr. Nield

In supporting this Amendment, I would refer the House to Subsection (1) of this Clause, in which it is indicated that the task of these Executives is to assist the Commission. As my hon. Friend the Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) has pointed out, under Subsection (4) another of their tasks too is to be the agents of the Commission. If one goes to the Second Schedule, which is mentioned in Subsection (2), one finds that the personnel of the Executives are remunerated by the Commission. In those circumstances, it would seem very sensible that it should be the Commission which decides the number of Executives. I support very strongly what has been said by my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Assheton) about the undesirability of extending patronage in this manner.

Mr. Gallacher

If there were the slightest possibility that, through this Amendment, there would be an independent Executive for Scottish transport, I would support it fully, but this Amendment could never, as the Bill stands, provide for any such thing. It simply means that the power would be taken out of the hands of the Minister and placed in the hands of the Commission to provide the Executives. There would be no possibility by this Amendment of getting an independent Scottish transport board. Therefore, J shall not support it.

Mr. Maclay

Is it not clear to the hon. Member that the Bill says quite clearly that

The number and names of the Executives shall be such as may from time to time be provided by order of the Minister … and that the Amendment seeks to change that from "provided by order of the Minister" to "determined by the Commission"? It would then be in order for the Commission to do it.

Mr. Burden

I am sorry that the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) fell so easily to that appeal to his nationalist sentiment. May I recall to his mind a little bit of history in regard to the original railway grouping? Under the Railways Act of 1921 it was proposed, in the first instance—and I have some knowledge of the circumstances—that Scotland should form a union of its own for its railways. Never was there such a howl of indignation as that which came from the Scottish railway managers at that time. They had to be appeased by being grouped with the railways of England I only rose to say how sorry I was to see how easily the hon. Member for West Fife fell.

Mr. Speaker

I cannot see what Scotland has to do with this Amendment.

Mr. Barnes

I am glad, Mr. Speaker, you have made that point. It emphasises that the matter we are now considering has nothing to do with the numbers or type of the Executives. This is just a simple, clear division of opinion on who ought to be responsible, in the first place, for the actual appointment of the Executives. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Assheton) quite accurately described the statement I made during the Committee. What I emphasised was that either the Executives were to be appointed by the Minister after consultation with the Commission, or the Commission was to appoint the Executives after consultation with the Minister. I took the view that if the position was reversed, as this Amendment proposes to do, the Commission would be under the obligation to consult the Minister and discuss the appointments with him. It would be a most undesirable state of affairs if the Commission and the Minister disagreed on appointments of that character. That is the first point.

Secondly, if the Commission makes the appointments—I would like the attention of the right hon. Gentleman—

Mr. Assheton

I was not inattentive. I was merely observing to my hon. Friend that exactly the same would apply under the Bill.

Mr. Barnes

That is where I disagree. The fact that the Minister appoints the Executives makes it clear that Parliament can address Questions to the Minister on particular appointments, and that avenue is generally a public safeguard in matters of this character.

Mr. Brendan Bracken (Bournemouth)

If that obtains here, why does the Minister of Fuel and Power refuse resolutely to give information to the House about the appointment of members of various boards?

Mr. Barnes

I do not intend to be drawn from this Amendment to discuss other proposals. They should be discussed on their merits. If the hon. Member disagrees and questions any procedure of that character, he is strengthening the case I am now submitting against this Amendment; because my contention is that the responsibility should be fastened fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Minister to make these appointments, in view of the importance of bodies of this description, the size of the capital invested, and of the fact that the public and every interest in the country is affected by transport. There is everything to be said in favour of the responsibility resting fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Minister. If it does so in this case, it will enable Members of the House to put direct questions to the Minister on the appointment of members of the executive.

12.15 a.m.

If the position were reversed, as is proposed by the Amendment, then that opportunity would be obscured because the Minister might easily say that this is a decision which rests on the Commission. In matters of this character there should be a definite responsibility, clearly defined in the Bill. It should not be possible in appointments of this importance for there to be possible allegations of patronage and, if hon. Members consider that the principle of patronage is involved, there is still greater need for the matter to be subject to public ventilation. The Minister, when an appointment is made which arouses feeling in Parliament, can make a check.

The right hon. Member for the City of London said he did not see the need for a Docks Executive. I see every need for it. Immediately the railways are vested in the Commission, the railway docks must be severed from the Railways Executive, and passed to the Docks Executive. [An HON. MEMBER: "What is meant by 'immediately'?"] Immediately in the sense that they must be established under the new regime as soon as the Bill becomes operative. The railway docks are representative of about 25 per cent. of the port trade of this country. The canals and inland waterways will pass to the Docks Executive, and the Commission will need to group docks under the various schemes made from time to time. Although the schemes would permit the creation of a special body to administer any port, or group of ports, they would have to subscribe to the general co-ordination of all the ports of this country. I suggest that the statement that there is no need for this Executive does not strengthen the argument, and, despite the long discussion in Committee, I am entirely convinced that the procedure under the Bill is the wisest.

Mr. Assheton

May I make clear one point? I did not say that there should not be a Docks Executive. What I said was that the Commission was the right body to determine whether or not there should be one.

Mr. H. Strauss

Are not the merits of the rival proposals dependent on what the Minister desires to be the status of the Commission? If the Executives were to be the agents of the Minister there would be everything in favour of his appointing them. But the extraordinary proposal in the Bill is that he appoints them, while they are to be the agents of the Commission. A body, to have any independence in the eyes of the public, should be able to appoint its own servants and agents. Really, the only effect of the Minister's insistence on the provisions of the Bill as they stand, will be that the Commission will be held to be less responsible for the acts of these Executives, since the Commission will be able to defend itself for any folly which may be committed by the Executives by saying. "We never appointed these people, and we have, therefore, no responsibility for them." While I could understand the right hon. Gentleman's insistence on his responsibility for the appointment of these Executives, I submit that it is pure con- fusion for him both to insist on that, and also to insist that they shall be the agents of some other body.

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh, South)

This is a most extraordinary Clause because I search in vain, and I have a not inconsiderable experience of business, to find a similar arrangement elsewhere. I do not know of any great business of any size, and there are a great many, which would have this method of engaging and appointing their staff. I do not know of any president of any great company who is ready to number and name the executives who are to discharge his responsibilities. I will take it further. If this practice were proposed in any of the great trade unions it would be laughed out of court. Is it conceivable that the elected president of a great trade union would be ready to name and number his executives? That would be an incredible and an impossible position.

I submit that this is a graver matter than it appears in the Minister's statement. He has to justify an organisation of the most intricate character and the most widespread character this country has ever seen. He has to justify an organisation which contains a Railway Executive, Docks and Inland Waterways Executive—and that includes locks and other waterways—Road Transport Executive, Road Haulage and London Transport Executive and, from the appointed day, Hotel Executive. I voted against the National Insurance Bill and fell into a certain amount of odium for my action. I was one of two hon. Members who voted against it. It is a relevant point because I was not against universal national insurance, but I knew that one could not set up an organisation of that character in the short period of 18 months. The postbags of hon. Members will bear out what I am saying, that we are finding it impossible to set up machinery for such an extensive piece of business such as universal national insurance

This important Commission has got to chop and change about at every stage at every whim and behest of Parliament. That seems to me to be placing the transport of our country in an impossible position. I should be surprised to learn that any man of business experience, no matter what temptations or inducements were offered to him, would accept that. I would not like to be in the position of the Minister who has to answer for things in this House. The Minister has to be prepared to answer questions from me about a railway porter at Thankerton, or be prepared to explain why one of MacBrayne's steamers—

Mr. Barnes

The hon. Member is quite wrong when he takes it as far as the staff. It is members of the Executive I referred to and quoted in my remarks.

Sir W. Darling

I agree that the Minister is strictly correct in his interpretation, but I would point out the position if I brought before his notice the case of an employee of the transport system who, in my well-founded opinion, had failed to get justice from his Executive in the hotels—and the hotels are not so easily run, as the right hon. Gentleman may learn from some hon. Members sitting behind him. Mr. Piazza may well come to him in place of one of the hon. Members sitting behind him and complain that he has been ill treated in the North British Station Hotel. None the less, we are setting up the largest business organisation this country has ever contemplated. We have a comparative failure in the system of national insurance which has caused pain, anxiety, annoyance and irritation. This is a very much larger organisation, and I beg the Minister to reconsider the question.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, Southern)

The rejection by the right hon. Gentleman of our Amendment leaves his original words in the Bill. They are not very certain words. It says "the number and names of the Executives shall be such as may from time to time be provided," and then it goes on to say "by order." By whose order? By Order in Council? There is nothing in Clause 4 to give the Minister power to make Orders in Council. We must be able to ask Questions about which members must be appointed. It would be much better to have members appointed by the Minister so that there should be an opportunity of Questions in this House about it. The Questions will only be with reference to appointments by the Minister in the first place. My right hon. Friends have pointed out that in the rest of this Clause the Executives become subordinate to the Commission in a number of aspects. The Minister will be asked about these much more than about the appointments in the first place, and the Minister is going to do what the Minister of Fuel and Power does, take cover behind the Commission and refuse to answer questions about the Executives. It is quite clear that that is his intention. He should look at this again and see if it would not be proper to introduce in another place words to meet the Amendment proposed by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Barnes

In reply to the noble Lord, the words "by order" apply to a Ministerial order.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

One point we all want to get clear. Although the Minister made certain signs which seemed perfectly clear to me, they are not included in the report of these proceedings. Is it his intention to be answerable to this House for the appointment and work of the Executives? That is what we want to get clear.

Mr. Barnes

The purpose of the Amendment was to provide for appointment of Executives and not for the general work of administration of the Executives.

Mr. Linstead

A further question on that point. I understand the Minister's argument was that if he were to appoint the Executives we could ask Questions about their appointment. The corollary was that if the Commission appointed the Executives, we would not be able to ask Questions about their appointment. That seems to me to raise the very important question as to how far, through the Minister, the actions of the Commission can be questioned. Can the Minister explain why it should be that if the Commission appointed the Executives this House could not ask him questions about their appointment?

Mr. Barnes

Merely from the standpoint of Parliamentary experience, as each stage is removed from Ministerial decision, it appears to me that the question becomes more shrouded in doubt as to how far a Minister is responsible for the acts of the body he has appointed. That being the case, it occurred to me—and this matter was given very full consideration —that, on balance, in view of the importance of the Executives and the public interest likely to be shown in appointments of that description, it is for the Minister to accept responsibility.

12.30 a.m.

Mr. Bracken

I had some experience in this House for many years in defending the B.B.C. I had no responsibility whatever for the appointments to the executive, and I told Parliament from time to time that it was a matter for the B.B.C. But the Minister here is appointing the Executive and he tells us that Parliament will have control over the Executive merely because he gives his Ministerial approval to some names. What we want to know more clearly is, that having appointed these Executives, and taken the responsibility for their appointment, it surely is for the Minister to inform the House, if it questions him, about the doings of these Executives, otherwise his argument is nonsense. It is no use coming to the House and saying this is a very democratic process if the Minister is going to announce that Lord Citrine or Sir Ben Smith has been transferred from one board to another, and it is all over. What we want to know is how Sir Ben Smith or Lord Citrine is going to function. I ask the House, and particularly Members of the Government side, to take note that I had the harrowing experience of having to defend an executive I had not appointed. I want the Minister to explain himself a little more adequately. Does he really think that by coming to the House and saying, "I have appointed Mr. Jones an executive" he has fulfilled his responsibility, and does he not think that a corollary of his appointment is to allow the House to ask about the doings of these Executives which are running the most important business of this country, which is transport?

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

The Minister has exhausted his right to reply.

Mr. Bracken

There is the Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

May I press this a little further? I regard this as of considerable importance and I think the Minister would share this view. As I understood the argument, it was this: He said he was going to take responsibility for appointing these Executives, because it would enable the House of Commons to exercise its democratic functions. He devoted a considerable proportion of his remarks to that theme. Surely, if the only thing the House is going to learn is just that some name is announced and from that moment onwards the veil is drawn over the whole proceedings and no further questions can be asked—I suppose even as to the salary being paid, or certainly as to what action he is taking—it seems to me we are going through the most incredible procedure in attaining an object which is hardly worth while. If the name of the gentleman is all I am to be given, I would beg the Minister not to go to the trouble to practise this farce in the House of Commons. Let him hand over honestly to the Commission and let them get on with it, but if he is going to shelter behind the Commission, let him say so now.

Mr. Barnes

If I may speak again with the leave of the House, I have no desire to avoid the issue at all. I was under the impression that I had stated the position clearly more than once, and I have no desire to hide from any interrogation from the other side. The argument is now, apparently, that if the Minister claims the right of appointing the Executives, it carries with it the purpose of enabling Parliament to subject that decision to examination to satisfy itself that it is a right and proper appointment; and it follows, of necessity, that Parliament has the right to discuss every administrative act of the Executives. That was the point. If that can be substantiated, and hon. Members opposite do not dispute the fact that the Minister should appoint the Commission, we can then proceed to argue that the Minister, having appointed the Commission and the Commission the Executives, they then become the agents of the Commission. The same argument applies, and it would still follow that Members would have a right to question every administrative act of the Commission. In logic, we should therefore get to the same position. By that process we carry the issue to an absurdity. There is a clear difference in process here, but it is limited to this. If the Commission appoint the Executives, the Minister is only responsible for appointing the Commission, and only the names and salaries and the capacity of the Commission is then subject to interrogation. If it is desired to take it further, it means, the Minister having appointed the Commission, every subsequent act of the Commission is subject to Parliamentary interrogation.

Mr. Bracken

In my judgment, if Parliament decides to nationalise the transport of this country, the Minister should be responsible for both his Commission and the Executives.

Mr. H. Strauss

Does the Minister not think that it is desirable that somebody—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order."] I think I am in Order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member may only ask a question.

Mr. Gallacher

The Minister has finished. He has sat down.

Mr. H. Strauss

When Mr. Speaker tells me that I am wrong I shall sit down, but I will not take my orders from the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher). The point I was trying to make is this: Does not the Minister think it is desirable that someone should be responsible for the acts of these Executives? Once they are appointed, the Minister says that he is not responsible, but the Commission is not responsible either. Will the Minister say who is responsible in these circumstances?

Sir John Mellor (Sutton Coldfield)

It seems that the House is to be in a very weak position under this provision, and will be in a great deal weaker position than under the Railway Control Agreement, because up to now the House has had adequate opportunities of questioning the Minister on matters of railway administration. It now appears that under nationalisation we shall have something far less. This is a most significant and serious change. I assumed that under nationalisation the House would have more opportunities of criticising the administration and the conduct of the Executives through the Minister. What the Minister has now said leads to the opposite conclusion. Before we part with this Amendment, we should hear more from the Minister, or, if he has exhausted his right to speak, then we should hear something from the Parliamentary Secretary.

The Minister may have exhausted his right to speak, but the Solicitor-General and the Parliamentary Secretary have not, and this matter is of such grave importance that we ought not to leave it where it is. If the House is to lose its right to criticise the administration of the railways—a right we have enjoyed in a fair measure under the Railway Control Agreement—then we shall have come to a pretty pass.

Mr. C. Williams

This discussion seems to be getting interesting. The Minister condescended to tell us that he will appoint members of the Executives by Ministerial order. That means that we shall have no proper say in the matter. The right hon. Gentleman said that if it was done' this way the House would have a better chance of questioning the Minister. But why not go a little further? Instead of doing this by Ministerial order, let it be done by an Order which must be laid on the Table, which can be prayed against if necessary? We should then have some say whether the Executives are suitable or not. It should be made clear what type of appointments will be made, and I am sure that hon. Members opposite will want to know what salaries will be paid. I could wish that the Minister would reply himself on this point, and not leave it to his next but two neighbour on his right, who is sound asleep.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan (Perth and Kinross, Perth)

I want to appeal to the Minister to let the House of Commons have a say in this matter. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. H. Strauss) put the point clearly when he said that so far as he could see nobody would have any control over, or say in, the appointment of the Executives. We are entitled to know who is responsible.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 274; Noes, 117.

Division No. 158.] AYES. [12.45 a.m.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Baird J Binns, J.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Balfour, A. Blackburn, A. [...]
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Blenkinsop, A
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Barton, C. Blyton, W. R.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Battley, J. R. Boardman, H.
Alpass. J H Bechervaise, A. E Bottomley, A. G
Attewell, H. C Berry, H. Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.
Austin, H. Lewis Beswick, F. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)
Bacon, Miss A Bing, G. H. C. Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl Exch'ge)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Holman, P. Price, M. Philips
Bramall, E. A. Homes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Pritt, D N.
Brook, D. (Halifax) House, G. Proctor, W. T
Brooks, T J. (Rothwell) Hoy, J. Pryde, D. J.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hubbard, T. Pursey, Cmdr. H
Bruce, Maj. D. W T Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Randall, H. E
Burden, T. W Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Ranger, J
Burke, W A. Hughes, H. D. (Wolverh'pton, W.) Rankin J
Butler, H W. (Hackney, S.) Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Reeves, J.
Callaghan, James Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Carmichael, James Irving, W. J. Rhodes, H.
Champion, A. J. Janner, B. Ridealgh, Mrs M
Chetwynd, G. R Jay, D. P. T. Robens, A
Cobb, F. A. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Cocks, F. S. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Coldrick, W Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Collick, P. Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow) Royle, C.
Collindridge, F. Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Sargood, R.
Collins, V J Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Soollan, T
Colman, Miss G. M Keenan, W. Shackleton, E. A. A
Comyns, Dr. L. Kenyon, C. Sharp, Granville
Cook, T F. King, E. M. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Corbet, Mrs F. K (Camb'well, N.W.) Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Shurmer, P.
Corlett, Dr. J Kinley, J. Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Cove, W. G. Lang, G. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Crawley, A. Lavers, S. Simmons. C J
Crossman, R. H. S. Lee, F. (Hulme) Skeffington, A. M
Dagger, G. Lee, Miss J. (Gannock) Skinnard, F. W
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Leonard, W Smith, C (Colchester)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Levy, B. W Smith, S. H (Hull, S.W.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Solley, L. J
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Lewis, J. (Bolton) Sorensen, R. W.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Deer, G. Lindgren, G. S. Sparks, J. A
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Stephen, C.
Delargy, H. J. Logan, D. G. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E)
Diamond, J. Longden, F. Strauss, G R (Lambeth, N.)
Dobbie, W. Lyne, A. W. Stubbs, A E
Dodds, N. N. McAdam, W. Swingler, S
Driberg, T. E. N. McAllister, G Sylvester, G. O
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) McGhee, H. G. Symonds, A. L
Dumpleton, C. W. McKay, J. (Wallsend) Taylor, H B. (Mansfield)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Taylor, R J. (Morpeth)
Edelman, M. McKinlay, A. S Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Edwards, John (Blackburn) McLeavy, F Thomas, D E. (Aberdare)
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Macpherson, T (Romford) Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Mainwaring, W. H. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Mellalieu, J. P. W. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Evans, John (Ogmore) Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Tiffany, S.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Timmons, J.
Ewart, R. Mathers, G. Tolley, L.
Fairhurst, F. Madland, H. M. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon G
Farthing, W. J. Mellish, R. J. Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Field, Capt. W. J. Meager, F Osborne, Henry
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington. E.) Mikardo, Ian Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Follick, M. Millington, Wing-Comdr. E R Wallace, C. D. (Chislehurst)
Foot, M. M Mitchison, G. R. Wallace, H W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Forman, J. C. Monslow. W Warbey, W. N
Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Morgan, Dr. H. B Watkins, T. E
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Morley, R Watson, W. M.
Gallacher, W. Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffie[...] C.) Weitzman. D
Ganley, Mrs. C. S Morris, P. (Swansea W.) Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Gibbins, J. Moyle, A Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Gibson, C. W Murray, J. D West, D. G.
Gilzean, A. Nally, W. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Neal, H. (Claycross) Whiteley, Rt. Hon W
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Nicholls, H. R (Stratford) Wigg, Col. G E.
Grey, C. F. Noel-Buxton, Lady Wilcock, Group-Capt. C A B
Grierson, E. O'Brien, T Wilkins, W. A.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Oldfield, W. H Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side) Oliver, G. H. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Guest, Dr. L. Haden Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Gunter, R. J. Palmer, A M. F Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Guy, W H. Pargtter, G. A Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Parkin, B. T Willis, E.
Hall, W. G. Paton, Mrs F. (Rushciiff[...] Wills, Mrs. E. A
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Paton, J (Norwich) Wise, Major F. J
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Pearl, Cap. T. F. Wyatt, W.
Hardy, E. A. Platts-Mills, J. F. E Yates, V. F
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Popplewell, E.
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Porter, E. (Warrington) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hewitson, Capt. M. Porter, G. (Leeds) Mr. Pearson and Mr. Daines.
Hobson, C. R.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G Gomme-Duncan, Col. A Nicholson, G.
Aitken, Hon. Max Grant, Lady Nield, B. (Chester)
Amory, D Heathcoat Gridley, Sir A. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Anderson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Scot. Univ.) Grimston, R. V. Nutting, Anthony
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Astor, Hon. M. Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Pitman, I. J.
Baldwin, A. E Haughton, S. G. Poole, O B. S. (Oswestry)
Barlow, Sir J. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Baxter, A. B. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Rayner, Brig. R.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H Hogg, Hon. Q. Renton, D.
Beechman, N. A Hollis, M. C Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Birch, Nigel Howard, Hon. A. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Bowen, R Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland
Bower, N. Hurd, A. Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Scott, Lord W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt. Col. W. Joynson-Hicks, Hon L W Shephard, S. (Newark)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Smithers, Sir W.
Butcher, H. W. Lambert, Hon. G. Spearman, A. C. M.
Byers, Frank Lancaster, Col. C. G. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Channon, H. Langford-Holt, J. Stuart, Rt. Hon J. (Moray),
Clarke, Col. R. S. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Linstead, H N Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Teeling, William
Cooper-Key, E. M. Lucas, Major Sir J. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F
Crowder, Capt. John E. McCallum, Maj. D Touche, G. C.
Darling, Sir W. Y Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Vane, W. M. F.
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Wadsworth, G.
Digby, S. W. McKie, J H. (Galloway) Walker-Smith, D.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Ward, Hon. G. R.
Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Wheatley. Colonel M. J
Drayson, G. B. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Williams, C (Torquay)
Eden, Rt. Hon A. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Marlowe, A. A. H. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Foster, J G. (Northwich) Marshall, D. (Bodmin) York, C.
Fraser H C. P. (Stone) Mellor, Sir J.
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D P. M. Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E. Mr. Drewe and Mr. Studholme.
Gage, C. Neven-Spence, Sir B.
George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Lloyd (P'ke)
Mr. G. R. Strauss

I beg to move, in page 7, line 32, to leave out "obligations."

In Committee the hon. and gallant Member for Central Glasgow (Colonel Hutchison) pointed out that the words "obligations and liabilities" were used in this Bill in many places, whereas in the Electricity Bill the word "liabilities" alone had been used. In order to make the two Bills similar, we have put down a number of Amendments to take out the word "obligations" wherever the words "obligations and liabilities" appear. It it little more than a drafting Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made; In page 7, line 34, leave out "obligations."—[Mr. G. R. Strauss.]