HC Deb 25 June 1947 vol 439 cc494-511
Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Mr. Foster.

Major P. Roberts

On a point of Order. Am I to understand that my Amendment dealing with decentralisation is not being called?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member is not being called.

Major Roberts

May I ask the assistance of the Chair as to whether it would be in Order, on recommittal, to bring up this question, as it has the support of very nearly 95 per cent, of the local authorities in this country, and was not discussed on the Committee stage?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

No, it will not be in Order.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Further to that point of Order. When we come to the recommittal, a point will arise. I do not want to get involved in the argument now, because I shall be able to discuss it with whoever is in the Chair at the time. Mr. Speaker told us, I think yesterday or on Monday, that we should have to have a second Report stage in respect of the Clauses and the Amendments that have been recommitted. I merely enter this caveat. We want to know in what position we shall be in regard to our manuscript Amendments, because we have had no opportunity of putting any Amendments for the Report stage on the Order Paper. Presumably, the second Report stage will follow immediately upon recommittal, and the question really arises whether it would be in Order to put down this Amendment as a new Clause, assuming that it is not in Order to move it now, and assuming also that my hon. and gallant Friend desires to move it then. This does raise an important question of principle, which has been put forward by the overwhelming mass of the local authorities.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The right hon. Gentleman has put to me a question which he knows is difficult to answer. The Ruling was that this Amendment has not been selected by Mr. Speaker, and therefore cannot be discussed. With regard to the other question asked by the right hon. Gentleman, I have no doubt that he will find another opportunity later on of putting that question.

Mr. Hudson

I only mentioned it, because I thought it would be for the convenience both of the Chair and the House. We realise that we shall have an opportunity to raise the point later on.

Mr. John Foster (Northwich)

I beg to move, in page 65, line 14, to leave out Subsection (2), and to insert: (2) Where an offence under the last foregoing section or any regulation made under this Act which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of or to be attributable to any negligence on the part of any director manager or secretary or other officer of the body corporate he as well as the body corporate shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. The Clause deals with the prosecution of directors who were members of a body corporate which had been found to have committed an offence, and the Clause, as it stands, puts a very severe burden of proof on the directors. It states: (2) Where an offence…has been committed by a body corporate, every person who at the time of the commission of the offence was a director, general manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or was purporting to act in any such capacity, shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence unless he proves that the offence was committed without his consent or connivance and that he exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence as he ought to have exercised having regard to the nature of his functions. That is a very severe burden of proof, and the object of the Amendment is to make the Clause more in accordance with the ordinary rules of the criminal law and of the law of the land, by making the prosecution prove that the directors acted without due diligence and that they consented or connived. I submit that this would not prevent the proof of offences in those cases where offences had been committed, but it would avoid Injustices where the burden of proof placed on the directors is too high.

As I understand it, the learned Solicitor-General, when moving Clause 54, said that the Clause has precedents in other Statutes besides the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act. I do not know of any, and I would be obliged to him if he would point out to me where this Clause has any precedents. Even if it has precedents in addition to the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act, my submission is still good that it places too great a burden of proof on the directors—and also on officials of the company, because the Clause mentions the general manager, secretary or other similar officer—to prove affirmatively that the company acted without their consent and connivance. It is very difficult to prove a negative, and very difficult to prove affirmatively the degree of diligence which they should have used.

Whatever case there may be about authority for this Clause, the House will recollect that the exact wording of this Amendment is to be found in the two Insurance Acts passed last year by this House and sponsored by the Government. The exact terms of this Amendment were introduced into both those Acts. I would therefore ask the learned Solicitor-General to point out why it is necessary in this Bill to cast this very severe burden of proof on directors and officials of the company, when it was not done in the two Insurance Acts. I would also ask the Solicitor-General, in view of what has been said by the Minister in connection with the burden of proof, to accept the principle of this Amendment, even if he finds that the wording is not quite correct, though, in my submission, it is correct, because it follows the other Acts of Parliament. I hope he may accept the principle with regard to the onus of proof, and have the matter considered.

Sir A. Gridley

I beg to second the Amendment.

The Solicitor-General

The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment asked for a precedent, and also asked why we should place such a severe burden upon directors and upon other officials of the same standing in the same company. In the first place, there is ample precedent, and in the second place, I do not accept that the burden is a severe burden. On the contrary, it is a comparatively light burden. May I take each of those points in turn? There is a whole series of Acts in which, in one form or another, the burden of proof is placed upon the directors to exculpate themselves. Apart from the point about directors, the hon. Gentleman referred to the system of our law. I might mention to him that the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916, Section (2) places a burden upon them to show that they were not guilty. That is a most important Act, but there are other cases in the criminal law in which a defendant is required to show that he is not guilty of the offence with which he is charged, so that it is quite inaccurate to say that it is anything like the universal rule of law that the onus of proof rests upon the prosecution.

Mr. H. Roberts

May I interrupt? I should be very glad, if there is a whole series, of Statutes, as the learned Solicitor-General says, to hear what they are, so that I may look them up at my leisure. I have my doubts.

.30 p.m.

The Solicitor-General

The hon. Gentleman is really unduly suspicious of me. Had he allowed me a few more minutes, I would have stated each and every one on which I rely. I intend to do so now. I have mentioned the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1916, and I will now give a list of the others in sequence. The first one is the Representation of the People Act, 1918. I am taking a series spread over 30 years. Section 34 (4) of that Act as amended by the Representation of the People (No. 2) Act, 1922, says: Where the person guilty of an offence against this Section is a body of persons corporate or unincorporate, every director or officer of that body shall, unless he proves that the act constituting the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent, be guilty of the like offence. There are similar provisions in the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1920, Section 13, (2, c)as amended by the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1932. If the hon. Gentleman would like to verify that I am telling the truth, he should look up that Act. The next one is the Dentists Act, 1921, Section 5 (2). The next, the Treaties of Washington Act, 1922, Section 2 (2). Then comes the Theatrical Employers' Registration Act, 1925, Section 6 (3). There is the Betting and Lotteries Act, 1934, Section 29; the Public Health (London) Act, 1936, Section 248 (2); the Public Health Act, 1936, Section 195; the Building Societies Act, 1939, Section 15 (1); Ships and Aircraft (Transfer Restriction) Act, 1939, Section 5; Prices of Goods Act, 1939, Section 18, and then we get to the Coal Act, which was referred to. I am sure the most impartial listener will concede that that is an impressive list.

Mr. Pickthorn

It is very difficult to follow this list. Could the hon. and learned Solicitor-General now give us the time period covered, first, the earliest date, and, second, the Section in the Prevention of Corruption Act which was the first to which he referred?

The Solicitor-General

The earliest time covered was the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1916, Section 2. The first one after that was 1918, and then I gave a selection spread over many years of administration and ending up in 1939, and then we followed on in 1946. So there is ample precedent. For example in the Prices of Goods Act, the words are: Unless he proves that the contravention was committed without his consent or connivance and that he exercised all such diligence to prevent the contravention as he ought to have exercised having regard to the nature of his functions as a director or officer of that body and to all the circumstances. There we have almost an exact precedent for this particular Clause. Is it fair or is it accurate to say that this places a severe burden on directors? It does not really do so at all. Suppose a director in a large company is charged with one particular type of function in the company's life and is concerned with only one particular phase of it. He can perfectly well exculpate himself, supposing an offence is committed which is within the province of other employees or directors of the company. He is let out in the concluding words of the Clause if he can prove that it was committed without his consent or connivance.

Then he has to prove that he exercised all such diligence to prevent the offence, having regard to the nature of his functions in that capacity and all the circumstances. If he can show that he was justified, that other people were doing his job and that he should not have been expected to meddle in the work of his colleagues and other employees of the company, then he escapes the liability of conviction. Therefore, it is really not true to say that it is a severe burden. The hon. Gentleman asked why we put directors under this responsibility. It is because we think that a director who assumes the responsibility which attaches to his appointment should be placed under a certain measure of responsibility to see that the company complies with the law.

Mr. Pickthorn

Is he not under that responsibility already?

The Solicitor-General

Not unless he is placed under it by virtue of a Clause drafted in this form. In general, we say that it is not sufficient that the company alone should be liable to prosecution, and that directors responsible for its activities should be under some measure of responsibility. But we have so phrased the Clause that if they can show that they have behaved reasonably in the matter—and I think that is a fair summary of what the Clause does—they can escape liability. I submit that it is perfectly fair. It is no less and no more than fair. Therefore, I ask the House to reject this Amendment.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am sure the House is very interested in the list of Acts containing a similar provision which the researches of the hon. and learned Solicitor-General have brought to light. It would be equally possible to bring out a long list of Acts in which no such provision has been contained. I do not think it is particularly helpful to debate the matter purely on the basis of two conflicting lists. Surely, the hon. and learned Solicitor-General will agree that the onus of establishing innocence should not be placed upon an accused person unless there is some really substantial public necessity for doing so. It is up to any Government putting forward such a proposal to show that the public need really requires some such provision.

In the few minutes since the hon. and learned Solicitor-General gave us the benefit of his researches, I have not had the opportunity to go into the details of the Acts to which he referred, but it is apparent from the names of them that the great majority are Acts dealing with offences which are particularly difficult to prove. That is certainly so in the case of the Prevention of Corruption Act, because there, as the hon. and learned Solicitor-General I am sure will agree, one is dealing with matters the truth of which it is peculiarly difficult to establish. Therefore this House, in 1916, thought fit to transfer the onus of proof. If the basis is that this ought not be done unless compelling reason is shown for doing it, I think the House is entitled to hear a little about what that reason is. The hon. and learned Solicitor-General will recollect that in Committee this matter was discussed. He discussed it, rather on the lines he has done today, on the basis, "Well, it has been done frequently before; therefore, let us do it again." In the twenty-second days proceedings of the Committee, he said: With regard to the second point, the hon. Member asked for a justification of putting the onus on the directors and persons in the position of directors It is the same justification which has been accepted by the House, for example, in the case of the Coal Act, and in other Statutes It is not a modern invention at all."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee E, Thursday, 15th May, 1947; c. 1044.] I submit that that is not good enough. If we are to be asked, for good and compelling public reasons, to transfer the onus, we are entitled to be told what those reasons are. The fact that it has been put into 20 other Acts is no reason for putting it into this Bill. We have not so far been told why it is necessary. The only approach to some such argument came in the concluding passages of the Solicitor-General's speech this afternoon. He said —and I think there was great force in it —that directors have considerable general responsibilities towards their companies from which they should not be allowed easily to escape. That argument might apply if the Clause, as it stands, dealt solely with directors, but it does not. The hon. and learned Gentleman kept referring to directors, but, in fact, the Clause refers to a director, general manager, secretary or other similar officer. Therefore, if the Solicitor-General's argument on that point has weight, it has weight only with reference to directors, and it has not anything like the same weight with reference to general managers, still less to secretaries, and even less to similar officers, whoever they may be. The Solicitor-General brushed aside the burden which this Clause puts upon an accused person. The House will appreciate that the accused person must do two things. Once it has been proved that a company has committed an offence, he must prove: that the offence was committed without his consent or connivance and that he exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence as he ought to have exercised having regard to the nature of his functions in that capacity and to all the circumstances. I ask the Solicitor-General, from his considerable experience in the courts, to appreciate that that is a heavy burden to discharge, that it may involve technical difficulties of proof which may be very hard to discharge, and it is not any light burden that he proposes to put upon these people. We have not been given any reason for this provision, except that it has been done before. When a man is brought up on a charge of housebreaking, it is no defence to prove 20 previous offences.

Mr. Basil Nield (City of Chester)

The answer advanced by the Solicitor-General to the proposed Amendment was twofold. He said, first, that there was ample precedent for this sort of Clause, and secondly, that the burden on the accused is not very strict. I wish to say a few words in answer to each of those points. First, as to precedent, my hon. Friend the Member for Northwich (Mr. J. Foster) made it clear that there is ample precedent the other way, and that in many Statutes the onus rests upon the prosecution to prove that a director, or manager, or secretary is guilty of acting knowingly. The Solicitor-General has cited other enactments in which the onus is the other way. Let us, therefore, forget precedents.

With regard to the Solicitor-General's point that the burden is not very strict, I suggest he is disregarding the real question of principle which is here involved. The position, as I understand it, is that if the Clause goes unamended, where a body corporate has committed an offence the secretary may at once be proceeded against, and he is then called upon to prove himself innocent of the offence. That offends against the primary rule in our criminal courts. It is no exaggeration to say that any reputation which our system has throughout the world, has among its first bases this rule, that no man may be convicted unless the prosecution prove that he is guilty. Every time this House invades that general principle, it does something very serious so far as the liberty of the subject is concerned. In this case 1 agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) that no real reasons have been shown why there should be any departure from that vital rule of law which is largely responsible for the reputation which our system of justice possesses.

6.45 p.m.

Mr. H. Roberts

I am sorry the Solicitor-General should think that I am unduly suspicious or that I am challenging his accuracy. Nothing of the kind. My object in asking for a list is this. One has not only to look at a list of Statutes, but to look very carefully into the wording of every Statute to ascertain the reasons which induced Parliament from time to time to frame them in that way. If one looks at the Prevention of Corruption Act, one finds that unless there was a re-enacting Statute the initial reference was wrong. The date of the Prevention of Corruption Act was not 1916 but 1906, and it is notable that it was a very long time before that precedent was followed. Let us hope that the caution which was observed a generation ago will now be repeated.

Sir Peter Bennett (Birmingham, Edgbaston)

I have studied very carefully the wording of the Clause. I am speaking as an ordinary director of an ordinary company. The hypothetical board meeting to which the Solicitor-General referred does not fit in with my experience of the way in which business is conducted, and if there were trouble or difficulty in my company I would much prefer to have to answer under the proposed new Subsection than the one which it is sought to delete. Today the handling of affairs is very complicated and difficult. Owing to the requirements of the law, directors are called upon to sign many documents, and the only way in which that can be done is by trusting somebody whose business it is to peruse them beforehand. One has to sign them entirely on the trust which one has in one's secretary or legal advisers. It would be much more just if we had the proposed new Subsection.

I would remind the House of a story of a man who had to sign a great many documents. He was let down badly by one of his clerks who said, "I will get the old man to sign a document agreeing to shoot himself within a week," and he did. When a director has to sign a document he says to his secretary whom he has trusted for years. "Is this all right?" and if the secretary says, "Yes," the director signs it. Later on the director may be asked, "Did you sign a document agreeing to do all these things without having read it?" But I can assure the House that if a director were to read all the documents which are put in front of him to sign, he would never do anything else. Therefore, the proposed new Subsection fits in with the practical way in which affairs are carried on more than does the Subsection in the Bill. I support the Amendment because I believe justice would be more likely to be done if it were accepted and that injustice would easily happen under the present Subsection.

Mr. Pickthorn

I hope that even now the Solicitor-General may think it possible to advise his right hon. Friend to think again about this Amendment. I do not claim to be a lawyer but I have looked hastily at the first of the precedents the Solicitor-General gave us, and I will begin by saying that this surely is precisely the sort of point where a lawyer ought not to rely upon precedent. Where a principle is so strong and so long-established as the principle about the onus of proof in criminal cases, there surely, precedent ought not to be allowed to have any but the very slightest weight, we should surely on each new proposal approach that proposal with a strong prejudice in our minds against it. That is the first point I would raise.

Secondly, with regard to the precedents the Solicitor-General quoted; for all his youth, I should have thought it was not fair for him to tell us that "there is nothing modern about it," and then to adduce precedents none of which go back before 1916. That is not very ancient history. We were already then in the epoch when war and socialism were uncontrollably producing each other and thus whittling down our civil liberties Incidentally, I would not for a moment compete in learning against him but I think there was an older precedent than his oldest. I have a faint recollection of my studies of criminal law and I thought there was a statutory provision shifting the onus of proof against persons found in possession of house-breaking tools after dark—in London and Birmingham, I think; I do not know why Birmingham I think that was the case. I do not quote it, as conclusive, but I hope to show that it is relevant to the argument. Now to come to the first instance which the Solicitor-General quoted, that is, the statute of 1916—and there, he said, was an exact precedent. But the precedent is extremely inexact.

The Solicitor-General

I did not say it was a precedent for this Clause 1 quoted that as an instance of an invasion of what has been described by the hon. Gentleman as a chief principle of English law, that the onus was on the prosecution. It is an exception to that principle. The other cases I quoted were precedents, in one form or another for this Bill.

Mr. Pickthorn

I apologise for any inaccuracy, and I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will do me the justice of believing that I had no intention of over stressing what he said. What he says now is, I think, sufficient for my argument. What he says is that the Statute of 1916 is a precedent, and if not exact at least persuasively close—a precedent for the reversal of onus of proof. That is what he says. I would submit that that is mistaken. It is not at all a close analogy: in Section 2 of the Statute of 1916 a condition precedent is provided to the reversal of the onus, is that there shall have been proof that money has been paid to an employee of the Government by some one seeking a contract. That has to be proved first; the reversal of the onus of proof in that case is on the point whether the purpose was or was not corrupt. But, first of all before that reversal takes place it is necessary for it to be proved, under the Act of 1916 it is necessary for it to be proved, that somebody is seeking a contract with a Government Department and has given money or money's worth to somebody employed in that Government or public body

Now, that is a very different thing from anything that has been suggested here, where the thing to be proved first is a breach by a company of multifarious ministerial regulations, and I do say with proper respect for the Solicitor-General and for his advisers, that it really is not fair to the House that he should have quoted this Section as an analogy without full exposition and warning of the distinction being given to us. It is not only accidental or insignificant that there is a difference. I could not do more than look up one of the Statutes the hon. and learned Gentleman quoted. I think I have fairly given the gist of that one. But if we take the list of the other cases he quoted, I think it would not require very much imagination to guess why this kind of reversal of proof was permitted in connection with these kinds of subjects. Dangerous drugs, for instance were in the list he gave. First of all, nobody deals with dangerous drugs without knowing he is doing something special, that in dealing with dangerous drugs he has a particular responsibility, above what he feels most days. Drugs are things which people are aware have a close potential relation with acts of moral obliquity; and the fact that they are in the possession of A or B, or pass from A to B is strong circumstantial evidence. I am sorry that this argument is long, but I must do my best to make it clear, because I think the matter is of immense importance, and if I cannot make a clear exposition short, I must put it fully. Drugs are a kind of special category. The same thing is true in the case of theatrical employers, and in the case of betting establishments, and I believe it true also in the case of the earlier Statute, and true of all the cases quoted, that we must be put on extreme caution by the nature of the act or material itself; these are cases where a very strong degree of presumption can be drawn from the circumstances.

If, as in the earliest case, if my learning was right about the house-breaking tools —we find a man at three o'clock in the morning in a back street in Birmingham with a sack full of burglar's tools—there is a strong degree of presumption, and I believe that that has been generally true for each of these reversals of the onus hitherto. I do ask the House—and I should have hardly thought it necessary to ask any lawyer—to agree that even in these cases where the things concerned, where moral obliquity, actual or apprehensible, or where circumstantial evidence elements are strong, even in such cases the House ought to be extremely reluctant o extend this practice. Here we are being asked to extend this transfer of the burden where there is no characterisation by the elements which I have ventured to indicate. It is not only for breaches of the Clause preceding that now before the House that the onus of proof is being shifted, but it is in connection with any kind of delinquency against ministerial regulations under this Bill; and I make bold to say that not many Members of the House realise how immensely wide that category of punishable actions that may be. I do beg the House to believe that unless it can be proved that this is absolutely necessary for the administration of this system, we should insist that it really is an interference with the principles of the English law, and the ordinary liberties of Englishmen, which the House has no justification whatever in permitting to the Government.

Mr. Beechman (St. Ives)

Although this discussion has gone on for some time, I feel I ought to take a few moments to say something about this matter, because we are faced with a principle of the utmost moment. Those of us who have taken examinations in criminal law will remember—I am afraid that, as far as I am concerned, it was some little time ago —and I have no doubt at all that the learned Solicitor-General will well remember, that one of the stock questions to be expected or feared, was, "Name the cases in which the defendant is divested of the protection of the onus of proof in a prosecution." I can recollect that one went on to list, if one had studied one's books, the case of the house-breaking act to which my hon. Friend the Senior Burgess for Cambridge University (Mr. Pickthorn) has referred; and another to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has not referred, the case in which there is a prosecution of somebody for serving liquor to a young person.

These instances were all an innovation quite recently, and they were brought into our law for special protection of the community, so we were taught, in cases where the crime was a very serious one, and where there was a special measure of responsibility; and, finally and most importantly, where it was very difficult for the prosecution to make out its case. Thus, in the case of serving drink to a person under age, it would be very difficult for the prosecution to show that the person serving the drink knew the age of the person who took the drink; and it was very necessary to protect young people from having liquor. In these circumstances I say that the precedents which the hon. and learned Solicitor-General has cited are no precedents at all. They are simply instances of well known exceptions which should not be

followed as precedents if we are to maintain the protection which we have had in regard to personal liberty in this country.

7.0 p.m.

There is yet another clear innovation in this Clause, and it has been referred to by the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). Here the defendant, having lost the protection of the onus of proof, has got to show that he did not consent or connive, and that he took reasonable care. It has never been thought necessary, in my recollection, that one should have to show that one had taken reasonable care in a case where fraud is charged, where it is sufficient to show that one had not been reckless. The result of this will be that a secretary, a manager, or a director, having been given some figures by an accountant, and having perhaps not had the time or the necessary documents to investigate the figures fully, will be told that he has not taken reasonable care, and will be thereby convicted of fraud in a manner which, as far as I know, has never obtained in this country before. I say that the learned Solicitor-General is making history, and bad history at that. History is one of the lew things we can still make without a licence; we give him no licence to rob us of this protecton of our civil liberties.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 276;Noes, 111.

Division No. 285.] AYES. 7.2 p.m
Adams, Richard (Balham) Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Cove, W. G.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge) Crossman, R. H. S.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Daggar, G
Alpass, J. H. Brook, D (Halifax) Daines, P.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Brooks, T J (Rothwell) Davies, Edward (Burslem)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Brown, George (Belper) Davies, Ernest (Enfield)
Attewell, H. C. Brown, T. J (Ince) Davies, Harold (Leek)
Austin, H. Lewis Bruce, Maj. D W T Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)
Awbery, S. S. Buchanan, G Davies, R. J (Westhoughton)
Ayles, W. H. Burke, W. A Davies, S. O (Merthyr)
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B Carmichael, James Deer, G.
Bacon, Miss A. Castle, Mrs B. A de Freitas, Geoffrey
Balfour, A. Chamberlain. R. A Delargy, H. J.
Barstow, P. G. Champion, A J Diamond, J.
Battley, J. R. Chater, D Dodds, N N
Beattie, J (Belfast, W.) Chetwynd, G. R Donovan, T
Bechervaise, A. E Cluse, W. S Driberg, T E N
Belcher, J. W Cobb, F. A. Dumpleton, C W.
Berson, G Cocks, F. S. Durbin, E. F. M
Berry, H. Collindridge, F. Edwards, Rt Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)
Beswick, F. Collins, V J. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)
Binns, J. Colman, Miss G. M. Edwards, W. J (Whitechapel)
Blenkinsop, A. Comyns, Dr L Evans, E. (Lowestoft)
Blyton, W. R. Corlett, Dr. J. Evans, John (Ogmore)
Bowdon, Flg.-Offr. H. W Corvedale, Viscount Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Ewart, R. McEntee, V. La T. scollan, I
Fairhurst, F McGhee, H G Scott-Elliot, W
Farthing, W. J McKay, J (Wallsend) Shackleton, E. A.
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Sharp, Granville
Follick, M. McKinlay, A S. Shinwell Rt Hon. E
Foot, M M Maclean, N (Govan) Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Forman, J. C. McLeavy, F Smmons, C J
Gaitskell, H. T. [...] Macpherson. T. (Romford) Skeffington, A. M
Gallacher, W. Mainwaring, W H Skinnard, F. W.
Ganley, Mrs C. S Mallalieu, J P W Smith, C (Colchester)
Gibbins, J. Mann, Mrs. J Smith, H. N (Nottingham, S.)
Gibson, C. W Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Smith, S. H (Hull S.W.)
Gilzean, A. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Snow, Capt J W
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Marquand, H A Solley, L. J
Goodrich, H. E. Mathers, G. Sorensen, R. W.
Gordon-Walker, P. C. Medland, H. M Soskice, Maj Sir F
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Mellish, R. J Stamford, W.
Grenfell, D. R Messer, F. Steele, T
Grey, C. F. Middleton, Mrs. L. Stephen, C.
Grierson, E Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Mitchison, G R Strauss, G R. (Lambeth, N.)
Griffiths, W D. (Moss Side) Monslow, W. Stobbs. A. E
Guy, W H Moody, A S Swingler, S.
Haire, John E (Wycombe) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Sylvester, G. C
Hale, Leslie Morley, R. Symonds A. L.
Hall, W. G. Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Taylor, H B (Mansfield)
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Taylor, R, J. (Morpeth)
Hardy, E. A. Moyle, A Taylor, Dr S. (Barnet)
Harrison, J. Mulvey, A. Thomas, D E. (Aberdare)
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Murray, J. D Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Haworth, J. Nally, W. Thomson, Rt Hon. G R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Herbison, Miss M Naylor, T. E. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Hewitson, Capt- M Neal, H. (Claycross) Thurtle Ernest
Hicks G Nichol, Mrs M E. (Bradford, N.) Tiffany, S
Holman, P. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Timmons, J.
Holmes, H E. (Hemsworth) Noel-Baker, Capt. F E (Brentford) Titterington, M. P
Hoy, J. Noel-Buxton, Ladv Tolley, L.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing W.) Cldfield, W. H. Turner-Samuels, M
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Oliver, G H. Vernon, Maj. W F
Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W.) Orbach, M. Viant, S. P.
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Walker, G. H
Irving, W. J. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Janner, B. Palmer, A. M F Wallace, H W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Jeger, G. (Winchester) Parker, J. Warbey, W. N.
Jeger, Dr S. W (St. Pancras, S.E.) Parkin, B T Watkins, T. E.
John, W Paton, J. (Norwich) Watson, W. M.
Jones. D T (Hartlepools) Pearson, A Webb, M (Bradford, C.)
Jones, J H. (Bolton) Peart, Thomas F. Wells P. L (Faversham)
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Piratin, P. West, D. G.
Keenan, W. Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
King, E. M. Popplewell, E Wigg, Col. G E.
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E Porter, G. (Leeds) Wilkes, L
Kinley, J. Proctor, W. T Wilkins, W. A.
Kirby, B V Pryde, D. J. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Lang, G. Pursey, Cmdr. H. Willey, O G (Cleveland)
Lavers, S. Randall, H E Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Lee, F (Hulme) Ranger, J Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Leslie, J R. Rees-Williams, D. Ft Williams, W. R- (Heston)
Lever, N H Reeves, J. Williamson, T.
Levy, B. W Reid T, (Swindon) Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Rhodes, H Wyatt, W.
Lindgren, G. S. Ridealgh, Mrs. M Yates, V. F.
Lipton, Lt.-Col M Poberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Young, Sir R, (Newton)
Logan, D G Robertson, J. J (Berwick) Zilliacus, K.
Longden, F. Rogers, G. H. R
Lyne, A. W. Ross, William (Kilmarnock) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
McAdam, W. Royle, C Mr. Joseph Henderson ano
McAllister, G. Sargood, R Mr. Hannan.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Buchan-Hepburn, P G T Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Bullock Capt M Drayson, G. B
Astor, Hon. M. Butcher, H. W Drewe, C.
Baldwin, A. E. Challen, C Eccles, D, M.
Barlow, Sir J. Clarke, Col. R. S Eden, Rt Hon. A.
Beechman, N. A. Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter
Bennett, Sir P. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col O E Fletcher, W (Bury)
Boies,-Lt.-Col. D, C (Wells Crowder, Capt. John E Foster, J. G (Northwich)
Bossom, A. C. Cuthbert, W N Fraser, H, C. P. (Stone)
Bower, N. Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Fraser, Sir I (Lonsdale)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Digby, S. W Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D P M
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Dodds-Parker, A. D Gage, C.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P W George, Maj Rt. Hn G Lloyd (P'ke)
Gridley, Sir A. MacLeod, J Raikes, H V
Gruffydd, Prof. W J Macmillan, Rt Hon Harold (Bromley) Reid, Rt Hon. J S C (Hillhead)
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Haughton, S G Maitland, Comdr. J W Roberts, H (Handsworth)
Headlam, Lieut.-Col Rt Hon. Sir C Marlowe, A. A. H. Ropner, Co, L
Hogg, Hon Q Marshall, D (Bodmin) Ross Sir R D (Londonderry)
Hollis, M. C. Marshall, S. H (Sutton) Scott, Lord W
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R S (Southport) Mellor, Sir J Shepherd, W S. (Bucklow)
Hurd, A. Molson, A H E. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W
Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen) Spearman, A. C M
Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Morris-Jones, Sir H Spence, H R.
Jarvis, Sir J. Morrison, Rt Hon W S (Cirencester) Stanley, Rt. Hon. O
Jeffreys, General Sir G. Mott-Radclyffe, C E Studholme, H. G
Kendall, W D. Neven-Spence, Sir B Sutcliffe, H.
Lancaster, Col. C G Nield, B. (Chester) Taylor C S (Eastbourne)
Langford-Holt, J. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Thorneycroft, G. E P (Monmouth)
Law, Rt Hon. R. K Nutting, Anthony Thornton-Kemsley, C N
Legge-Bourke Maj E. A. H O Neill, Rt Hon Sir H Thorp, Lt.-Col. RAF
Lindsay, M (Solihull) Osborne, C. Touche, G. C.
Linstead, H N Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Lipson, D L Pickthorn, K White, J B. (Canterbury)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir H Ponsonby, Col. C. E Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. 0 Prescott, Stanley York, C
MacAndrew, Col. Sir C Price-White, Lt.-Col. D,
Macdonald, Sir P (I of Wight) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Major Conant and Major Ramsay.

Question put, and agreed to.