HC Deb 17 February 1947 vol 433 cc921-37
Mr. R. S. Hudson

I beg to move, in page 2, line 31, to leave out "each," and to insert "a period."

Considerable discussion took place upstairs on the question of the period for which a civic restaurant might be allowed to carry on making a loss. In the Bill, as it stands, the Clause reads: Every civic restaurant authority shall use their best endeavours to ensure that their income under this Act is sufficient to defray their expenditure thereunder… Then follow the words which are most important: …and if the account kept by any such authority under the last foregoing subsection shows a deficit in respect of each of three consecutive financial years, the said powers shall cease to be exercisable by that authority at the expiration of six months from the end of the last of those years… That means that it would be possible for a local authority to make quite a substantial loss in the first year and also in the second year, and then, by a process of adjustment—not to put too fine a point upon it—to show a very small profit, and start off again making heavy losses in the fourth and fifth years. Indeed, it is a rather ingenious example of the kind of thing which in the days of the Suffragette movement, was exemplified in what was called the "cat-and-mouse Act." Under that Act, if one of the Suffragette prisoners went on hunger strike for so long, she was let out, but, as soon as she had recovered, she was put back again. We believe that that is a wrong system, and, in order to make sure that local authorities are not allowed to suffer losses over an indefinite period, which, indeed, was what the Minister of Food himself proclaimed as his intention, we desire to alter the wording of the Clause, so that the sentence will read: a deficit in respect of a period of three con secutive financial years, By that means, it would be possible to prevent a local authority from incurring losses for more than the three-year initial period which the right hon. Gentleman himself suggested as the limit.

Mr. Marlowe

I support this Amendment, because it really tests the sincerity of the Government's approach to this matter. If the Clause is allowed to stand as it is, it shows that the Government are not having regard to the question of whether these restaurants pay their way or not; that they are quite prepared to let them lose substantial sums of money and be subsidised out of the rates. I have before raised this question of the unfairness of private traders being expected to subsidise their competitors, and it would be wrong to open up that question now, but here is the simple issue. The Government are not concerned whether, in the three successive years, losses are incurred; they are prepared to see these restaurants lose money for each of the three years, one after the other, and have that loss made up by the ratepayers. Although we object to the whole principle, if we are to have the principle at all, we believe that it is fair that the question of loss or profit, or balancing equally, should be spread over the period. As the Bill stands, if a loss is incurred over each of these years, then the Minister can certify that the circumstances are such as to warrant the continuance of the restaurant, and there is no end to the matter. They may go on making losses every year. If our Amendment is accepted, there is, at least, some safeguard for the ratepayers, and it is from the point of view of the protection of the purses of the ratepayers that we are putting forward this Amendment. I beg the Minister to accept it in order to ensure that ratepayers' money is not wasted in these absurd adventures.

Dr. Summerskill

I cannot accept this Amendment, because, in my opinion, if this change was made, this Bill could, quite rightly, be regarded as a piece of harsh administration. The House will remember that, originally, the Bill proposed to give the civic restaurant authority a period of grace of five years before it was expected to make a profit. During the Second Reading Debate, my right hon. Friend appreciated that the House felt that this period of grace was, perhaps, a little too long. Therefore, on the Committee stage, we made what I think was a generous concession. We reduced the five-year period of grace to three years, and we changed the word "period" to "each" for that reason.

The right hon. Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson) is now anxious to change the word "each" to "period" The difference, I am sure, is appreciated by most hon. Members. If we substitute "each" for "period," it will mean, as the right hon. Gentleman says, that a civic restaurant can make a loss on its first and second years, but must, in its third year, make a profit big enough to wipe out the losses of the two previous years. [Interruption.] That will certainly be the result though the Front Bench and the back benches opposite, appear to differ on this matter. If this Amendment were accepted, the Bill would stand as originally drawn before we made the Amendment upstairs in Committee. That is what the right hon. Gentleman is asking for. We feel that that would be grossly unfair to a civic restaurant authority for the simple reason that, as every catering expert would tell this House, it takes a few years for a catering establishment to get on its feet. We must give the civic restaurant authorities an opportunity—a breathing space, let us say—to establish themselves. Therefore we say that they may incur a loss for the first and second years, but that, in the third year, they must show a profit. I think that the right hon. Gentleman will agree that that is fair.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Surely the hon. Lady will agree that the proposition I put forward was that they could make a profit in the fourth and fifth years, and then proceed to make a further loss. Taken over a period of six years, the total profit may be microscopic, whereas the total loss may be very large. Perhaps I did not make myself quite clear in my original statement. This change defeats the ostensible object of the concession made upstairs by the Minister of Food.

Dr. Summerskill

I am afraid that the right hon. Gentleman is not quite clear about the Amendment which he has moved, or about the present position. He is right when he says that, as the Bill stands, civic restaurants could make a profit in the third year and, by so doing, would be allowed to continue in the fourth and fifth year to incur a loss. But I must remind the right hon. Gentleman that members of local authorities are not morons. Many of them are businessmen and people of integrity. They would be anxious for their authority to be solvent, and would not acquiesce in a project of this kind, which had been proved not to be run on satisfactory lines, to continue in the way suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. It is no good indulging in these hypotheses. All sorts of things might happen, but we have to place confidence in the local authorities of the country.

Finally, I think that, if the right hon. Gentleman examined the returns of many catering establishments, he would find that they have taken much longer than a year or two in which to get on their feet. He will also find that they have incurred losses. But every businessman knows that it is not a question of the loss incurred in the first or second year; it is a question of the profit or the condition of the business during the current period. If these authorities proved that, in the third year, they were doing well, then they would be allowed to continue. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that the Minister has discretionary powers and that, if it could be proved that, in the third year, a civic restaurant was making a profit, the Minister would allow it to continue.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Harold Roberts (Birmingham, Handsworth)

I beg to call attention to the Minister's power of review mentioned by the Parliamentary Secretary, and to remind the House that local authorities are not starting new undertakings, but are taking over established and profitable British restaurants. The assessment of profit or loss is not made on the individual restaurant, but on the undertaking of the local authority, and I think it is unreasonable to allow a local authority to make a loss for three years running without going to the Ministry. I might just say one word about the remark made by the Parliamentary Secretary that members of a local authority are not morons. I hope I am not one myself, for I may say that I am a member of a Civil Defence Committee which deals with civic restaurants, and I think we have proved our intelligence by declining to be taken over on conditions from the Ministry until we have a clear, definite and final understanding with Whitehall. There is, however, a great temptation to carry on with a losing restaurant and not to cut one's losses. The danger is rather greater when one is playing with the ratepayer's money and not one's own. It is in the public interest that this should not happen. The temptation might be even greater if one happens to be a member of a local authority, which is bound by pledges to support the Socialist Government through thick and thin.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks (Chichester)

I find a common denominator with the Parliamentary Secretary in her remarks on the character of local authorities. I agree that they are intelligent people, and I am sure that they can be relied on to do their work intelligently. But the hon. Lady's argument falls to the ground, because if they can be relied upon to close a restaurant after three years' bad trading, how much more can they be relied upon to close down after five years. There is no reason why the Amendment should not have been accepted in Committee. I cannot see the force of the Parliamentary Secretary's argument against the acceptance of this Amendment. It is all very well to say that a catering establishment requires three years to get into its stride and make a profit. That might be true of the Ritz, or the Berkeley, or some place of that sort, but if a restaurant catering for the day-to-day trade is not able to get on to a paying basis within three years, it is thoroughly badly managed, or it is not required and is not meeting a public need.

The only possible argument for the civic restaurant is the exceptional case which arises where there is, for some reason or other, no possibility of facilities being provided on a remunerative basis. That exceptional case—and there are probably not more than a dozen in the whole country—is provided for in another Subsection. The Parliamentary Secretary has, I suggest, made no case to show why a civic restaurant should be allowed to continue trading if it has made a loss for two years consecutively, then makes a profit in the third year, and then for two years makes a loss, while in the sixth year it makes a profit. No case has been made for this, as against the case where at the end of three years the restaurant should have made a profit. That is the criterion—that you are on a competitive basis with the ordinary commercial establishment, which has to make a profit from year to year. But there is no possible chance of a commercial establishment being able to stand against this. I urge the Parliamentary Secretary to consider this matter again. I think the Government have appreciated the point which is being made now, as on Second Reading. But they have not gone far enough. This Amendment is, I consider, a compromise. It does not go as far as I would like; on the other hand it does something to ensure that the activities of the local authorities will have to be on a competitive basis against which the ordinary commercial houses of similar character in the same district will be able to compete.

Mr. Orr-Ewing (Weston-super-Mare)

I support the Amendment from a different angle. Part of my constituency consists of Weston-super-Mare. It has certain peculiar rights under which I have rather forestalled some of the powers to be given by this Bill. I do not suggest that the authority would abuse such powers as are given to them, but I feel that this Subsection is one which we should consider with the greatest care, in relation to this Amendment, because it pins the responsibility as regards the accounting on to the local authority as to trading transactions. In the later part of the Clause we come to a different aspect of the matter. The Minister can exercise his own judgment on whether the venture is to go on, or is to stop. But in relation to this Amendment we are pinned down to a very narrow point. I support the Amendment because I think that the wording decreed by the Minister gives too much latitude to the local authorities. It gives what is almost tantamount to an invitation to them so to frame their accounts between period and period, as to show a sufficient trading profit to keep within the framework of the Bill.

I do not consider that a sound principle at all. Anything we do in this House, I suggest, which would put into the minds of local authorities some scheme, some manner, by which they can just keep within the law, within the desire of the Minister, within the desire of Parliament, is not very helpful. In all this sort of legislation I suggest we have to be extremely careful, to ensure that a true trading account shall be shown. The Amendment would cause local authorities to consider their trading in this relation far more carefully than the Minister's wording would enable them to do. We all recognise that at the beginning of this enterprise obviously you cannot make the showing you would like to make. Obviously that is so. But that point is covered in the next part of the Clause. All we have to consider here is the effect of the words as they stand, with this Amendment, on the framing of the accounts of local authorities. The Minister is to be armed, under this Bill, with most prophetic powers; he is to tell exactly what is to happen in the future; but I am concerned with what the local authorities have to face at present. I am concerned with the fact that the local authorities should be pinned down to place accounts before their electors, the ratepayers, with the most meticulous exactitude, and not with an eye to the future. As the Clause stands, without the Amendment, it is an invitation to a local authority to frame its accounts so that there should be a prospect given. I do not believe that is a healthy state of affairs. Therefore, I think it would be most unwise—

Dr. Summerskill

I think the hon. Member is speaking on the wrong Amendment. Surely, the hon. Member is speaking on the Amendment, in page 2, line 26, at the end, to insert: Such accounts to show such expenses as would normally be payable by a catering establishment. The House is not dealing with that now.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I can assure the hon. Lady that she cannot have listened to a word that I have said, if she is under the impression that I am speaking on the wrong Amendment. I am speaking on the right Amendment. I have been in the House ever since the Amendment was moved, and I am sorry that the hon. Lady has given away the fact that her attention has strayed to such a degree. I apologise if what I was saying was not of such a fascinating character as to attract her attention to the actual meaning of my words. I do not propose to repeat on the Report stage of this Bill everything that I have already said on it. I think that possibly we shall have an opportunity of testing in the Division Lobby the value of the arguments produced on this side of the House, but I would say that if the House is going to pass legislation of this sort, which will give an excuse to local authorities to trim their accounts in any way, it is most unhealthy. I hope the Minister will reconsider this Amendment for what it is worth, and it is worth a great deal as guidance to local authorities.

Mr. Gallacher

I could not help taking note of the remarks of the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Orr-Ewing), about the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary, to the effect that it was unfortunate she did not get the opportunity of understanding his meaning. I hope the local authorities fail to understand his meaning, or do not get an opportunity of understanding it. He is a very honourable gentleman—at any rate, he believes he is —but he has a very low opinion of the honour of other people if he can get up and make a speech such as he has made tonight. This Amendment does not prevent a local authority from making a loss on a civic restaurant. What it does is this. If a local authority start a restaurant on the scale that many local authorities have started such restaurants—on a big scale—they may lose £100 in the first year. In the second year, when they have got things going, they do very much better, since they do not have to buy so many odds and ends, but nevertheless, they lose £50. Then, in the third year, they get things running in grand style and have a profit of £50

Sir W. Darling


Mr. Gallacher

Any number of businesses have lost £100 in the first year, £50 in the second year, and in the third year showed a profit. I want to ask my esteemed Tory friend—

Sir W. Darling

I know nothing about it.

Mr. Gallacher

The hon. Member did not make a penny in the first year.

Sir W. Darling

I do not know anything about the finances of the "Daily Worker."

Mr. Gallacher

This Amendment would take three years as the period, and over three years, a restaurant such as I have described would have lost £100. That shows what a childish attitude hon. Members opposite have on this question. The most amazing thing was the speech made by an hon. Member on these Benches. Of course, hon. Members on these Benches have not the traditions that the Tories have. They have never had the robber experience that the Tories have had. It is suggested that local authorities would run their restaurants at a loss for the first year, at a loss for the second year and then in the third year make a slight profit. They would return to a loss in the fourth year and in the fifth year, while in the sixth year they would again make a small profit, which would enable them to continue trading in the next few years. I ask hon. Members on this side of the House to think of the mentality of Members on the other side of the House who could put forward a suggestion of that kind. I suggest that we should get rid of such Members as quickly as possible.

10.45 p.m.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

I support the Amendment because it seems to me that a period of three years suggested is not an unreasonable period in which to see whether a civic restaurant can be a successful business or not. A civic restaurant under this Bill is not concerned merely with providing meals. There is also the power to sell liquor which can be consumed on the premises. Also, there is no limit to the trading which a local authority can carry out through civic restaurants. They can sell tobacco, sweets, millinery or anything else they like.

Mr. Stubbs (Cambridgeshire)

Why not?

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Why not? The Attorney-General laughs, but there is no limit to the undertakings which a civic restaurant can undertake. I think the question has already been raised that a civic restaurant could make a loss for the first two years, and perhaps a heavy loss at that, and then make a small profit in the third year. That goes on in the same way in the next two years, and in the following year again there is a small profit. Under this system there is no end to the loss which can attend the ratepayers' money. That is quite wrong. It has already been pointed out that a great many restaurants are already in being. If these have losses for two years and then make a small profit, that loss, too, will fall on the rates. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will reconsider this matter. It should be remembered that we are dealing with the ratepayers' money and not with the money of private individuals, and for that reason it is unfair to the ratepayers that they should have to shoulder any, losses which may arise.

Mr. Nicholson

The Parliamentary Secretary made two particular statements on which I should like to comment. First, she said that it was common amongst people in the catering trade to fail to make a profit for the first two years. As a person interested in catering, I can assure her that that is quite wrong. Many catering establishments are run by very small people who have put their savings into the business, and they are not the sort of people who can afford to put such money as they have into a catering business and then make a loss for the first two years, being quite satisfied with their first profits in the third year.

My other comment is that the hon. Lady quite rightly paid a tribute—which will be sincerely re-echoed on all sides of the House and especially on this side—to local authorities up and down the country. Local authorities are the embodiment of our natural gift for self-government, and, speaking by and large, they represent perhaps the state of democracy of which we should be most proud. But there are, and there have been, foolish and irresponsible local authorities, and we are not in this Amendment attempting to legislate for the good and sensible ones.

This is a safeguarding Amendment to protect the ratepayers against irresponsible local authorities, and the Parliamentary Secretary knows perfectly well that there have been such authorities. I will not name them—it would be invidious to do so—but I beg the Parliamentary Secretary to regard this Amendment as an attempt to safeguard the ratepayers of a local authority which lacks a sense of responsibility. If she thinks that the Amendment might go too far, I would remind her of the proviso (a) which gives the Minister full power to override the consequences of this Amendment. This Amendment has become to some extent the victim of rather light-hearted party warfare, and I would like to bring it back to the realm of satisfactory politics. This is a good Amendment, and the Parliamentary Secretary will not regret it tomorrow morning, if she finds then that she has accepted it tonight. Nobody in this House has a greater respect for the hon. Lady's acuteness of mind and Parliamentary skill than I have, but the cold weather or something seems to have affected her. Her skill may be great in summer, but it is not winter skill.

Mr. C. Williams

I will not follow some of the discussions which have been taking place about the respective merits of local authorities. There are good ones and bad ones. About 18 months ago, a very bad one was produced in part of my area, and they were so incompetent that they were turned out, at the next election. That is neither here nor there, but it is an example of what may happen. I congratulate the Government. They have had a wonderful day. Over and over again they have got the leader of the Communist Party to get up and explain the things they could not explain themselves. I wonder if this is a new Coalition. Is it a question of working a passage? It is a very interesting position. I notice that almost every hon. Lady Member is smiling at the idea. After all, the hon. Member cannot be as bad as the average Front Bencher is now. That is humanly impossible.

What really interested me was a very short phrase in the Minister's speech.

She said, with that complete disregard of finance and sound administration which is the prevailing outlook of the Government, that she did not want any harsh administration in this matter, and went on to explain the position about the first, second and third years, with an eventual profit on the third year. It is a curious thing that, today, when we are faced with the most appalling financial position that this country has ever known, there should be no representative of the Exchequer here during this Debate when this matter is essentially a financial matter, because if the local authorities break down, it is the Exchequer which has to do something—

Dr. Summerskill

May I correct the hon. Gentleman? The Exchequer does not come in on this. This is a local authority matter.

Mr. Williams

I am sorry that the hon. Lady once again forces me to repeat what I said, and to do so at greater length, which I did not want to do. I know that if things go well everything will be all right, but I have known local authorities come to the Exchequer when they get short. That is what they will do if they have big losses under this Bill. I think it is a bad thing that the Government have disregarded an old custom of the House whereby the Financial Secretary to the Treasury was almost invariably present at Debates, to watch the interests of the Treasury, to see that the kind of speech made by the hon. Lady was not made. It is wrong that in our present crisis the Treasury do not send a representative here, that they take no interest in administration. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is always lax in his attendance, except at Budget time. It shows a complete lack of foresight and determination on the part of the Government to get this country out of its present appalling crisis.

Question put, "That 'each' stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 280; Noes, 119.

Division No. 83.] AYES 10.53 p.m.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Baird, J. Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Balfour, A. Bing, G. H. C
Alpass, J. H. Barstow, P. G. Binns, J.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Barton, C. Blackburn, A. R.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Bechervaise, A. E. Blenkinsop, A.
Attewell, H. C. Belcher, J. W. Blyton, W. R.
Awbery, S. S. Benson, G. Boardman, H.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Berry, H. Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.
Baoon, Miss A. Beswick, F. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Pursey, Cmdr. H
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Randall, H. E.
Bramall, Major E. A. Hynd, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Attercliffe) Ranger, J.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Irving, W. J. Rees-Williams, D. R.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Reeves, J.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Janner, B. Reid, T. (Swindon)
Bruce, Maj D. W. T. Jay, D. P. T. Rhodes, H.
Buchanan, G. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Burke, W. A. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Robens, A
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley) Roberts. Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Castle, Mrs B. A Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Champion, A. J. Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow) Rogers, G. H. R.
Clitherow, Dr. R. Jones, J. H. (Balton) Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Cobb, F. A. Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Royle, C.
Cocks, F. S. Keenan, W Sargood, R.
Coldrick, W Kenyon, C. Scott-Elliot, W
Collins, V. J King, E. M Segal, Dr. S.
Colman, Miss G. M. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr. E. A. A.
Comyns, Dr. L. Kinley, J. Sharp, Granville
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Kirby. B V Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.) Kirkwood, D. Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)
Corlett, Dr. J. Lang, G. Silverman, J (Erdington)
Crossman, R. H S. Lavers, S. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Daggar, G. Lee, F. (Hulme) Simmons, C. J.
Daines, P. Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Skeffington, A. M
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Lever, N. H. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Levy, B. W. Snow, Capt J. W
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Solley, L. J.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lindgren, G. S. Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Davies, Hadyn (St. Paneras, S.W.) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Sparks, J. A.
Deer, G Longden, F. Stamford, W
Delargy, Captain H. J Lyne, A. W. Steele, T.
Diamond, J. McAllister, G. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Dodds, N. N McGhee, H G. Strachey, J.
Donovan, T Mack, J. D. Stross, Dr. B.
Driberg, T. E. N. McKay, J. (Wallsend) Stubbs, A. E.
Dugdale, J (W. Bromwich) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Dumpleton, C. W. McLeavy, F. Swingler, S.
Durbin, E. F M. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Symonds, A. L.
Dye, S. Macpherson, T. (Romford) Taylor, H B. (Mansfield)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Mallalieu, J. P. W. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Edelman, M. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.) Marshall, F. (Brightside) Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Edwards, John (Blackburn) Mayhew, C. P. Thomas, I. O (Wrekin)
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Medland, H. M Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E)
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Mellish, R. J Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Ewart, R. Messer, F. Tiffany, S.
Fairhurst, F Middleton, Mrs. L Titterington, M. F.
Field, Captain W. J. Mikardo, Ian Tolley, L
Fletcher, E G M.(Islington, E.) Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R. Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Follick, M Mitchison, Maj. G R Usborne, Henry
Foot, M. M. Monslow, W. Vernon, Maj. W F
Foster, W. (Wigan) Moody, A. S Viant, S. P.
Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Morley, R Walkden, E
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Walker, G. H.
Gaitskell, H. T H Mort, D. L Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Gallacher, W. Moyle, A. Warbey, W. N.
Ganley, Mrs C. S Murray, J. D Watkins, T. E.
Gibbins, J. Nally, W. Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Gibson, C. W Neal. H. (Claycross) Weitzman, D.
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Gooch, E. G. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Wells, W. T (Walsall)
Goodrich, H. E. Noel-Baker, Capt. F E. (Brentford) West, D. G.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon A. (Wakefield) Noel-Buxton, Lady Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.
Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood) O'Brien, T. White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)
Grenfell, D R Oldfield, W. H Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Grey, C. F. Oliver, G. H Wigg, Col. G. E.
Grierson, E Orbach, M. Wilkes, L.
Griffiths, W D (Moss Side) Paget, R T. Willey, F T. (Sunderland)
Gunter, R J Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Willey, O G. (Cleveland)
Guy, W. H Palmer, A. M. F Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Hale, Leslie Pargiter, G A Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Hall, W. G Parker, J. Williamson, T
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col R Parkin, B. T Willis, E
Hardman, D. R Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Wilson, J. H
Hardy. E A Paton, J. (Norwich) Wise, Major F J
Harrison, J Pearson, A. Woodburn, A.
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Peart, Capt. T F. Woods, G. S
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Piratin, P Wyatt. W.
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Platts-Mills Cecil (Lichfield) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Hewitson, Capt M Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Holman, P Popplewell, E. Zilliacus, K
House, G Porter, E. (Warrington)
Hoy, J Price, M. Philips TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hudson J. H. (Eating, W.) Pritt, D. N Mr. Collindridge and
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pro[...]or, W. T Mr. Hannan.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G Grimston, R. V. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Aitken, Hon. Max Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Orr-Ewing, I L.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Haughton, S. G. Osborne, C.
Astor, Han. M. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Peto, Brig. C. H. M
Beechman, N. A Howard, Hon. A. Pitman, I J.
Birch, Nigel Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Boles, Lt.-Col D. C (Wells) Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Rayner, Brig. R.
Boothby, R. Jarvis, Sir J. Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Bossom, A. C Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W Renton, D.
Bowen, R. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Bower, N. Lambert, Hon. G. Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A Langford-Holt, J. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Lindsay, M. (Solihull) Ropner, Col. L.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T Linstead, H. N. Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Bullock, Capt. M. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Sanderson, Sir F.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Low, Brig. A. R. W. Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Challen, C Lucas, Major Sir J. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Channon, H. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Studholme, H. G.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Teeling, William
Crowder, Capt. John E. MacLeod, J. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Cuthbert, W. N. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Darling, Sir W. Y. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
De la Bére, R. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Vane, W. M. F.
Digby, S. W. Marlowe, A. A. H. Walker-Smith, D.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Marples, A. E. Ward, Hon. G. R.
Eccles, D. M. Marsden, Capt. A. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L, Medlicott, F. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Mellor, Sir J. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Molson, A. H. E. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. York, C.
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)
Gage, C. Neven-Spence, Sir B. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Nicholson, G. Mr. Drewe and Major Ramsay
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Nield, B. (Chester)

Question put, and agreed to.

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot (Scottish Universities)

On a point of Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, there are two further Government Amendments on the Order Paper, the second of which—in page 4, line 13, at the end, to add: (4) Where the Minister of Food is satisfied that the council of any county in Scotland are unreasonably refusing to exercise their powers under this Act in any district of the county he may by order transfer the powers of the county council so far as relating to that district to the district council, and thereupon the district council shall become and the county council shall cease to be the civic restaurant authority for that district. —embodies a Parliamentary bargain. The Minister responsible made a statement earlier in which Mr. Speaker's advice was sought, and I put it to you, Sir, that an Amendment moved earlier by the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) and supported by certain hon. Members on this side of the House was sought to be withdrawn by the hon. Member for West Fife, because the Minister gave a positive and definite assurance that he was meeting the point by Amendments he himself would move later. If those Government Amendments are not in fact to be moved, I wish to move the Adjournment of the Debate so that the Govern- ment may make a statement on the action they propose to take, to fulfil the Parliamentary bargain of which we were all witnesses.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)

I should not be prepared to accept that Motion, but if the right hon and gallant Gentleman raises the matter on a point of Order and the Minister desires to make a short statement, I will allow him to do so although this may not be strictly regular.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Westwood)

The Amendment which stood in my name was an honest endeavour to keep the bargain which was made by this House, but I have not been taught, and it would be extremely difficult for me to learn to defy the Chair, and the Chair, I understand, has ruled that the Amendment in question would not be in Order. I accept that Ruling, but I shall endeavour to have the matter discussed in another place with a view to giving effect to the bargain which has been made.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. William Whiteley)

Before you call the Third Reading, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, since the hour is a little late and we do not want to use too much electric light in these days, may I suggest to the House that if we take the Industrial Organisation [Money] Resolution we might adjourn the Third Reading Debate until a later date, and discuss the matter through the usual channels?

Bill to be read the Third time Tomorrow.