§ 11.52 p.m.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)
I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Order, dated 1st December, 1948, entitled the Control of Engagement (Amendment) Order, 1948 (S.I., 1948, No. 2608), a copy of which was presented on 1st December, be annulled.The point raised on this order is of great importance and also of great simplicity. The effect of the order is simply to extend for a further year Statutory Instrument 2,021 of 1947, generally known as the Control of Engagements Order, which would otherwise expire at the end of this year. The order, to annul which this Motion is moved, continues that Control of Engagement Order until the end of 1949. In that connection it is of some interest to the House 198 to observe what was said on the substantive order by the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies), who I am glad to see in his place tonight, and who on that occasion moved to annul that order. The hon. Member for Westhoughton said:We are promised, of course, that this. regulation will come to an end in December, 1948. I have no faith at all in that promise."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd November, 1947; Vol. 443, c. 1343.]If I may respectfully do so, I should like to congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his prescience and gift of prophecy.
What is perhaps more important in this connection is what was said by the Minister of Labour in reply to the Motion which was moved by his hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton. He said:Therefore, this Control of Engagement Order, S.R.O., 1947, No. 2021 was made on 18th September, came into force on 6th 199 October, and ceases to have effect on 1st January, 1949. It has been said today that now we have started it and have said it will be for a certain time only, it will continue. I have a very strong feeling, however, that Parliament is still paramount and that the House of Commons will have a right to say whether or not it shall continue."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd November, 1947; Vol. 443, c. 1359.]This Motion is put down—and I think that no hon. Member will disagree that it is for that reason entitled to be put down—to enable Parliament to see whether that order is or is not to be continued. Now, if this provision is continued tonight for a further year, I have not the slightest doubt that this time next year the Parliamentary Secretary if he is still on that Bench will be in his place urging its continuance for a further year. I have no doubt my prophecy will prove just as accurate as the prophecy of the hon. Member for Westhoughton just over a year ago.
The questions raised on this order are, I think, of profound social as well as of great economic importance. It so happens that this House has spent the greater part of the day in discussing another form of compulsion—compulsory military service, and I would only say this: whereas the subject matter of discussion of the earlier part of the day concerns at most the interference with the liberty of the individual during a period of 18 months, with a limited interference for another four years, the order with which the House is now concerned affects the liberty of the greater part of the male population of this country from the age of 18 years to the age of 51 and the greater part of the female population of this country from 18 to 41. Therefore, it does have a far wider impact upon personal liberty even than the very serious impact upon personal liberty of the other matter which has been discussed. I hope those Members who have expressed themselves very forcibly on the subject of personal liberty earlier in the day will appreciate that those considerations, in another degree -and in another context, but raising in many cases the same principle, arise on this order.
I anticipate that when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour replies he will say that the step of continuing this order has been taken as a result of consultations with the 200 National Joint Advisory Council, and he will say, what is perfectly true, that that step was taken with the agreement—I gather not very enthusiastic agreement, but agreement—of the representatives of both employers and employed. That does not, in my submission to the House, even begin to conclude the matter, since, in the words of his own Minister, "It is Parliament that is paramount." I am suggesting that there is a very good reason why the view of that body, however much one may respect it, may to some extent be discounted in this connection. There are clearly obvious advantages to employers in this order. It imposes a control upon labour which is no doubt highly convenient to a certain number of employers. Again, from the point of view of some of the bigger unions, there is a certain stability given, and 72 unions as authorised agencies under the order have considerable powers given to them by it. It is not, therefore, from the point of view either of organised employers or of the representatives of the organised workers, but from the point of view of the individual citizen to whom this House is responsible, that I suggest the House should consider this order.
The only conceivable justification for an order such as this is the gravest national necessity, coupled with proof that that national necessity is really efficiently served by such a provision. This provision itself marks a change in the policy of the Government. In the admirable report for 1947 presented by the Ministry of Labour the history of these labour controls is set out with great clarity and detail. Up to 1947 the policy was to remove the controls progressively, and it was only at the end of 1947 that the policy was reversed and these controls were imposed with more rigidity. The first point I want to put to the Parliamentary Secretary is that if national necessity or emergency is the test which is applied, and if the position is worse now and will be worse after another year than it was early in 1947, it seems to me—I do not want to raise ordinary party controversy on this matter—to cast a grave reflection upon the consequences of three-and-a-half years of Socialist administration.
I submit to the House that this test of efficiency is not really made out. I myself am a believer in liberty, not merely as a vague philosophic idea wholly 201 divorced from practical realities, but as a conception of great practical value. I very much doubt if efficiency will be secured by using this order with the force of law to compel people to work where they do not wish to work. Because that, of course, is the test. Unless that is what the Government want to do this order is a waste of time. If the Government are prepared to permit labour to go where the individual worker wants to, then the order is not required. No doubt the Government at the present time use persuasion in the first place, but compulsion is there in reserve in order to compel people to work where they do not want to I doubt the efficiency of that. I believe that with this order we can see so me connection with the low level of output in certain industries, because a man compelled to work where he does not want to, and still more perhaps a woman, cannot have a spirit behind their drive for output in the same way as an in individual whose heart is in that particular trade.
There is another aspect of it—what a deterrent this order constitutes to those who are prepared to try to go into one of the essential industries. The person who is in an unessential trade—I do not mean the four categories of people covered by what is colloquially known as the "Spiv order" which covers only a small section of the community—but I mean a person not in an essential trade who contemplates going into mining will, no doubt, be deterred by the fact that once he goes into mining he stays there for life so far as the Ministry of Labour are concerned.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Ness Edwards) indicated dissent.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
The Parliamentary Secretary says, "No." Will he agree that if such a person goes into a mine he cannot leave it without the permission of the Ministry of Labour until he attains the age of 51?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
So that there may be no misunderstanding, I should like to point out that any non-mining volunteers 202 who go into the mining industry do so on a three months' trial, and if they cannot stick it they are allowed to leave. That has been publicised all over the country to encourage non-miners to go into the mining industry.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I am fully aware of that, but I put this to the Parliamentary Secretary—in the first place, the three months are not included in the order, have no legal force at all, and are merely at the discretion of the Minister; secondly, once a three months test is passed, the person doing so is tied to the industry until he attains the age of 51 or, as the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) said, until the order is revoked. That, to my mind, is a considerable curtailment of freedom. In agriculture, I understand, even the three months' rule does not apply. A person who goes into agriculture will be tied to that industry, so far as the Ministry is concerned, until he reaches the age of 51. Does not the Parliamentary Secretary appreciate that that must constitute a serious deterrent, particularly to a young person who is prepared to try work in an essential industry, but who does not want to commit himself for life?
We have heard a great deal of the deterrent effect of long terms of engagement in the Services. But none of them involves so long a liability as this order imposes in connection with civilian industry. I wonder if the Parliamentary Secretary or his Minister, appreciates the immense deterrent effect. I have seen it in personal cases which I have come across, when people say they will not leave their present jobs if by so doing they merely hand themselves over to the control of the Ministry of Labour.
Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise that the compulsory powers behind the order do a great deal to destroy the good influence of his officers throughout the country? I yield to no man in my appreciation of the work of many of the Minister's principal officers and managers throughout the country; I know of the singular tact and capacity of the manager in my own area; but a good deal of that good influence is destroyed in the minds of the individuals concerned by the fact that these officers are not merely people whose only function is to assist, but are people with power to compel It is that 203 element of compulsion which, to my mind, vitiates much of the good work which I realise the Ministry is doing in other respects. It seems to me that even from the point of view of efficiency this order is of extremely doubtful value.
I understand that when the Essential Work Order was taken off the cotton industry there was at first concern about what the consequences would be. But they were not at all bad. If the Minister took his courage in both hands and said that he proposed to abandon compulsion in this matter, I believe that, far from the disastrous consequences which he contemplates, after a little temporary dislocation, it would have good results. But so long as the Minister relies upon compulsion, so long will there be an incentive to go on with compulsion. There will be no incentive for the Government, by adjustment of financial policy, to see that labour is distributed voluntarily instead of compulsorily; there will be no incentive by means of the price mechanism to get labour distributed voluntarily. So long as this House goes on giving the Minister the power which he has in this order, so long will he go along the path of compulsion rather than along the more difficult path of persuasion. So long as the House goes on giving this power, I do not believe that the Government will put their house in order and free labour from these controls.
But I must be quite frank with the House. Even if I were wrong in these submissions on the subject of efficiency, I should still oppose renewal of the order because it seems to me to take away in peace time from the citizens of this country the right freely to choose the sphere in which they will seek to earn their living, is to deprive them of a fundamental liberty. I do not think that is justified. The thing which distinguishes free men from serfs is the right to choose at what they will work. It is no answer to say that before the war economic pressure exercised a considerable sanction in this direction. Two wrongs do not make a right. If hon. Members deplore that that was the case before the war, it is no justification for the Government's seeking to exercise even more compelling pressure backed by all the forces of the law.
204 I believe most sincerely that it is wrong, socially and morally, and that it can do no good, but much harm, for this policy of compulsion to be continued against the people of our country. I do not believe that one should deprive an adult person in a mature and grown-up society such as ours of the right to choose his or her work as he or she thinks fit. We are reminded that concessions have been made, but that has been as a kindness, and not of right, and there is always behind it all this power of compulsion. It is because I believe it is profoundly wrong to take away from English people their right to choose the line of life in which they shall work that I beg to move the Motion.
§ 12.11 a.m.
§ Sir John Mellor (Sutton Coldfield)
I beg to second the Motion.
This form of control should be discontinued not only because it constitutes a major interference with the personal liberty of the subject, but also because it is defeating its own object. It is defeating its own object because it is immobilising labour in many ways and especially in the industries where labour is considered least necessary. It is quite natural that persons in existing occupations should hesitate to leave because if they did so they would come into the clutches of the Ministry of Labour. My hon. Friend has referred to the special treatment which is given under these orders to the coalmining and agricultural industries—those lobster-pot arrangements by which people may enter into those industries, and move about inside them, but which they may not leave.
The Parliamentary Secretary sought to correct my hon. Friend with regard to the right of leaving one of those industries, and mentioned that recruits to the coalmining industry were permitted to leave during the first three months of service. But, as my hon. Friend pointed out, that was a purely discretionary matter, and it was not in the order. I want to emphasise that point, because some time ago the trial period was put at six months, and later it was reduced to three. That shows how little recruits can rely on this sort of indulgence because it is not in the order. Had it been in the order, it could not have been reduced.
205 I ask for an assurance from the Minister, if this order is going to be accepted by the House. There have been powerful influences at work to bring about a "closed shop" in the coalmining industry, and, if that should come about, could we have an assurance that the effect of this order will be lifted altogether from the industry? I ask that because those engaged in the industry who are not members of a trade union, would be in an intolerable position. I also want to ask the Minister if there is any appeal under this order from the decision of the Ministry. In the case of a man directed by the Ministry or one of its local officers, there is an appeal to a tribunal, but has a man under this order any right of appeal from the refusal of the Minister, or one of his local officers, to permit him to enter the employment of his choice? Is there no right of appeal? My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) put that question to the Parliamentary Secretary in the Debate which was raised by the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) in November last year. The Parliamentary Secretary was then unable to answer the question, but said that he would find out. I want to know if he has found out now?
My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames also touched on the question of approved employment agencies through which the Minister of Labour sometimes operates. It is said in the report of the Ministry of Labour for 1947 that no fewer than 71 out of the 85 approved agencies are trade unions. I think that is giving the trade unions too big a vested interest in control. It is obviously to their advantage in increasing their membership, and I do not regard that situation as healthy at all. Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will reply to that point. Finally, I consider that continuation of this form of control is objectionable both in principle and in practice and this order should be annulled.
§ 12.17 a.m.
§ Mr. Rhys Davies (Westhoughton)
I should not have intervened in this Debate at all, had it not been for the fact that both the hon. Gentlemen who have spoken mentioned my name. I said all I wanted to say when I moved the annulment of this order giving power of direction of labour 12 months ago, but 206 there is one thing that ought to be said tonight. I cannot understand the mental acrobatics of those Conservatives who sit on the other side of the House. Of all the foul compulsions imposed by the State on a man, surely the worst is to compel him to train to kill his fellows whom he has never seen. The hon. Gentlemen on the other side have done that all today. Now they come to protest against compelling men to move from one job to another. I agree with the arguments they have put forth, but I am not going to vote with them because what they are doing now is just sheer hypocrisy.
Let me say one other word on the issues at stake in this order. Since the order was imposed 12 months ago, we have been told by the Minister of Labour that the direction of labour has been very kindly and gently implemented. Only a very few persons have been prosecuted. I imagine, however, that the failure of the Minister of Labour to prosecute more has in a large measure been due to the opposition to the order on the Floor of the House. The Ministry knows full well that it could prosecute many more if it wished, because it has the legal power to do so.
I should say, in passing, having helped to build this Labour Party, that if we sat on the other side of the House tonight and a Tory Minister did what my right hon. Friend is proposing, every Labour Member would go into the Division Lobby against it. I should like to say just one thing more. l have been in politics and in this House a long time, and I have long ago decided that what is wrong when we are in Opposition, cannot be right when we are in the Government. Nobody could compel my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to do anything. Nobody has been able to compel him. I have changed my job four times in my life of my own free will. Nobody has been allowed to order me about. There is only one person in the world who compels me to do anything—that is my wife. And that is true of all decent married men. The right hon. Gentleman, if he does not mind my saying so, may find himself in due course ordering men about who are as good as if not better than himself.
§ 12.20 a.m.
§ Colonel Dower (Penrith and Cockermouth)
While admiring the hon. Gentleman 207 for expressing what he no doubt feels, I cannot follow his argument when it is applied to the defence of this country. It would be out of Order to develop that, but if a number of volunteers come forward to fight for their country and others hang back, it is not fair. The hon. Member should also consider the matter in relation to the question, if it came to that, of defending his wife against attack.
We on this side of the House feel that this particular infringement of personal liberty is the very worst one of all—the worst, the most inexcusable and the least reasonable. As the seconder of the Motion said, if in peace time a man can be told what he is to work at, and told he is to continue if he does not want to work at it, if that is not servitude and slavery, I do not understand the meaning of the word. I cannot understand the hon. Gentleman the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) saying that if the Government supporters were on our side of the House, they would vote against this Measure. I can see no reason in their supporting this direction of personal labour.
§ Mr. Rhys Davies
If hon. Members were on this side of the House, they would probably do exactly what they are now complaining about.
§ Colonel Dower
I can assure the hon. Member that is not so. We have a greater amount of freedom in our party than the hon. Member has in his. The question I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary is what choice of jobs is to be given to a man? Is the choice to be in the same industry? If he does not want to work in a particular industry, can he have the choice of a complete change, or will the change be within a particular industry? I most sincerely make this appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite. I know this order is only to extend a obnoxious thing, which the hon. Member for Westhoughton agrees is obnoxious, but if one goes on sinning it becomes second nature. Once we start year after year extending a particular measure, there is a temptation that it will become more and more acceptable, less and less argued against, and one's conscience will be injured less and less by the direction of labour. I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary to give some kind 208 of indication, if this is to be continued for another year, that it is likely to be the last year. Otherwise, we have to accept an obnoxious state of affairs in which an infringement of one of the cherished privileges of the British people may well become a permanent feature of the law of this free country.
§ 12.25 a.m.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
I agree with my hon. Friends that the opposition to the renewal of this order from the other side of the House is pure humbug and hypocrisy. I understand that it purports to be based on the principle that men and women ought to be free to choose their own jobs according to their own will. Is there any Member of this House who would dare to assert that there has ever been at any time in this country any such right? Is it really pretended that there has ever been any time when a man has been able to choose what job he would do?
§ Mr. Silverman
No, not against my will. Does the hon. Gentleman really suggest that the miners would all voluntarily have chosen to be miners, against all other professions? Is it suggested that, when dock labour was casual, a man would choose voluntarily, from all the occupations he might have chosen, to be a casual dock labourer? Do hon. Members carry their argument a stage further? Do they suggest that a man should be free to decide whether he will work at all, or not? Is it suggested that that choice has ever been open to anybody? It really is nonsense, and they know it is nonsense.
What they want is that there should be a reservoir of unemployed labour, driven to do all the objectionable tasks, and the existence of which employers can hold over others who want better conditions. What the Government have said is that, if it is right in times of economic crisis that the Government should exercise control over the national resources, national wealth, and national raw materials, it is also right that they should have the power to deploy the 209 national labour force to the best advantage of the community. That deployment of the labour force, as the Government have done it, so far from depriving men and women workers of any liberty they ever enjoyed, has added most extensively to their liberty.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Is the hon. Gentleman's argument then that this is not a temporary expedient to get over a temporary difficulty, but an admirable social development that he would desire to make permanent?
§ Mr. Silverman
I would say, speaking for myself—and I have no right to speak for anybody else—that so long as the issue is in doubt whether this country can make itself economically independent and earn its own living, the Government ought to retain all powers that are necessary to make certain that our economic resources are used to the best advantage. If they were to lose courage and persistence in that endeavour, they would place in jeopardy, not merely the security of this country but the security of civilisation. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite have already conceded that principle in the vote they have given tonight. They do not like military conscription any more than I do. They recognise as much as I do what a serious inroad it is upon people's liberty to take them from their normal avocations, against their will, and train them to be soldiers, and compel them to fight if war should come.
They excuse that interference with liberty on the ground that the defence and security of the country demand it. That is how they defend it, and although I do not agree with them because I do not accept the necessity, I can understand and respect their arguments. But I cannot for the life of me see how, having accepted that argument in that unpleasant matter, 'as it is for many people—of military conscription, they can fail to apply the principle of the argument to other circumstances, if it is established that the security of the country is equally involved.
The security of the country does not depend only on being able to defend itself in case of war against common foes. It also depends on its ability to maintain its own economic independence, earn its own living, and stand on its own feet. Unless we are able to do that, we cannot 210 defend ourselves militarily in case of war. What the hon. Member has done is to give his support to putting men into uniform, and deny his support to the necessity for providing them with the materials of war after they are there.
§ Mr. Silverman
Yes, I do, but I think the hon. Gentleman misled himself about that. He said that what we were doing under this order was to compel people from the age of 18 to 51. That is not true. It is true only on the assumption, the unproved assumption, that this order will be continued and renewed every year for 33 years.
§ Mr. Silverman
Let us keep to the serious side of the argument. I think that the hon. Gentleman's argument is true on the assumption that this order is continued every year for 33 years, and I say that that is an assumption which he has no right to make. He may very well say—and I do not quarrel with him for a moment—"I believe it will be continued next year." He may well say, if the situation does not improve, that it may be renewed for perhaps a number of years, but I do not think he has the right, and I do not think that on consideration he would claim the right to assume, in support of his argument, that it is to be continued for 33 years. If he does make that assumption, I think he is bound to make the assumption that military conscription will be continued for the same period. If he makes both assumptions, then the distinction he has asked me to draw has been obliterated.
Let us take another point made by the hon. Gentleman. He said, "Suppose that we do not treat this Debate tonight as being a Debate about the principle of the control of engagements, let us assume that the House conceded that principle last year." Then, he says, "Yes, but last year the Government said it was not going to be renewed beyond December, 1948." Therefore, he argues—quite reasonably, and I do not quarrel with him—that unless the Government can show that the economic situation 211 has deteriorated in the meantime, they have no right to break the pledge they then gave not to continue it beyond December, 1948. But what the hon. Gentleman fails to realise is that he himself has voted today for making the economic situation worse. That is conceded on all sides. There is a difference of opinion in the House as to how far that deterioration was necessary, but nobody denies that if we increase the period of compulsory military conscription from 12 to 18 months, we do some damage to our economic set-up. The damage is a serious one.
What are the figures? I understand that the annual intake under the Military Service Act, after making allowance for deferments, is 160,000. I hope the hon. Member is going to follow my argument. What the hon. Member who moved this Prayer voted for half an hour ago was to keep 160,000 effective young workers out of industry for 50 per cent. longer time. That is the economic effect of what we have done by our vote today, and the hon. Gentleman, having voted to make the economic situation worse and having conceded that if the economic situation is worse then we must renew the Control of Engagement Order, now refuses to do so.
I say, with great respect, that I think this cannot be maintained; and no one—I put it quite bluntly to him—seriously thinks it can be maintained. If he is going to say that he is against it altogether, he is entitled to say that. No doubt it is a beautiful argument, though I think it is a wrong one. But if he says that the principle is conceded, and if the vote he has given on the other matter has so worsened the economic situation, then he is bound in justice to his own argument to concede to the Government the powers they are seeking in this order. If he does not, he is open to the charge made by my hon. Friend a moment ago, and which I make myself, of being completely inconsistent in his argument.
§ 12.37 a.m.
§ Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)
I did not intend to intervene at any length in this Debate and certainly would not have done so but for the speech made by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman). I never think that 212 it advances a debate in this House for one hon. Member to accuse another of hypocrisy, and I do not think it has helped matters tonight. If the hon. Gentleman accuses hon. Members above the Gangway of having voted for compulsion in the military forces half an hour ago and of now demanding that compulsion should not be brought into civilian affairs, they can make the answer, tu quoque, because the hon. Gentleman also took my view with regard to the vote given about half an hour ago, and voted against compulsion for military purposes. I hope he will therefore join with me in protesting against this compulsory order, so that no charge of inconsistency can be made against him such as he is now making against hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
The right hon. and learned Gentleman is making a perfectly fair but plausible point, but I think it is more plausible than fair. I do not think there is any inconsistency between the vote I gave against military conscription and a vote in support of this order. My objection to military conscription is precisely that it interferes with economic development at a time when the safety of this country depends more upon that than anything else.
§ Mr. Davies
Whether I am making a plausible point or not remains to be seen, but apparently it is quite a telling point. From the remarks made by the hon. Gentleman at the opening of his speech, it really sounded as if he were suggesting to the House that none of us had ever been free to choose anything or go anywhere or do anything.
§ Mr. Davies
I could not understand what the hon. Gentleman was trying to say. It looked to me as if he were trying to say there was no difference between freedom and serfdom, that there never has been any freedom in this country at all, and that really we have been under a system of slavery throughout. It looks exactly as if the hon. Member is saying, "I do not know why we abolished serfdom from this country a few centuries ago or why the Americans had to fight a civil war in order to abolish slavery, or why serfdom was abolished in Russia under the Czars 60 or 70 years ago only 213 to be renewed under Stalin." The hon. Member instanced the miner, and said the miners did not choose their jobs. If the hon. Member knew the miners of South Wales as I do, he would know that for five and six generations they wanted to work in the mines. Let the hon. Gentleman ask some of his hon. Friends if that is so. It was the one thing they wanted to do in those days. If they were not fairly treated, that is another matter.
I do not want to pursue those lines of argument because I think they are quite unprofitable. To me compulsion is negative to what is the fundamental right of any individual. It is wrong in principle and being wrong in principle it is, therefore, wrong in economics. The answer made by right hon. Members opposite when I first raised this matter was that the workers had been subject in the past to the compulsion of Unemployment. As the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) said, two wrongs do not make a right. My colleagues and I on these benches hate unemployment, and we did our best to relieve the suffering of the unemployed. Nothing will justify people suffering from unemployment, and if a man is compelled to leave the place where he desired to remain and is driven away by the threat of starvation it does not justify the Government saying, "Because the threat of starvation was held over you, we are holding over you the threat of a criminal code." It is wrong in principle, and we also know that compulsory labour is also uneconomic and will not assist the country in any shape or form.
One final word about the economic situation. We all know how grim it is, but the point made by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne was that so long as the situation remained difficult and dangerous, power must be taken not only over materials, but over men. Power taken by whom? The very people who are able to do this say, "We are the Government. We know the situation, but we refuse to do something with regard to materials and we will exercise our power over free men." The Government are going to he judges in their own case, and that is a principle to which I could never be a party.
§ 12.42 a.m.
§ Mr. David Eccles (Chippenham)
One of the reasons why the Government want 214 this order is that the industries which are popular with the planners are not popular with the workers. Will they ever be? I do not believe the time will ever come when the Government will be able to do without this order under conditions where the Government plan and where they deliberately create more jobs than there are men. This year we must have a clear statement from the Parliamentary Secretary whether he thinks it is possible to do without this labour control in a planned society of the kind which we see growing up day by day in this country.
Two years ago I made a speech in Liverpool in which I ventured to prophesy that we should get into this trouble year after year, until the Government would have to apply for an order such as this. I said that there was an alternative method to the re-deployment of labour in this country and that would be a wages policy. I went on to argue that it was quite certain that the Labour Government and trade union leaders would prefer direction of labour to a wages policy. That is clear enough, because a wages policy would take power away from them. I also said that the workers would prefer a wages policy.
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) said it is very difficult to man-up the dirty industries, because in conditions of full employment no one wanted to be a dock worker or go down a mine. I do not believe that to be true; but it is going to be true if we have a continuing period of full employment. It will be necessary then, I think, to give adequate incentives to man-up the dirty industries, or we shall have to have a labour control for ever. I gather from the arguments which the Government have put forward before that they prefer this. order. Are they going to make the order permanent? Will they ever listen to the claim for higher wages and different conditions in those industries?
There is one country where they have got on without such an order as this. That country is Sweden. It is interesting to notice that the relative wages there are very different from the wages here. What is the Government's policy in regard to manning-up these industries, because this is not going to be a temporary affair? During the war we had direction of labour; but it never worked, unless the people taken out of one industry and put 215 into a war industry, were also given higher wages. It never worked unless it was accompanied by a material incentive. Do the Government think that this order is going to work unless they also attend to the relative level of incentives? Why not do it without the order?
Is this order efficient? Does it help us to redistribute labour and increase production? I think the hon. Member for Kingston -upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) touched upon the crux of the matter. I do not think the order is efficient. Take agriculture, for instance. I know a fair amount about this industry, and I know that the farmers in my part of the world want the order taken off. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary if he will be good enough to say, when he replies, whether he considers that the farmers want the order on or off, because in my part of the world we are quite certain about it. We might lose a few men, but I do not think we should mind about that. We think that we could attract many more into the industry if the order were not operating.
The fact is that what we want in agriculture is cottages, not controls. I believe that applies to other industries, also. The argument of the Government may be that if the order were removed, there would be a wages scramble. That might have been true a year ago, when we were in the middle of the inflation caused by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, but now that money is tighter, I do not believe that there would be a wage scramble. On the contrary, the supplies of money and goods in the country today more or less compare. Therefore, if some demanded higher wages if the order were taken off, some would have to be paid less and re-deployment would have to take place. It is not taking place.
It is this "freezing" of a distortion which is making things more difficult. It is making employers in non-essential industries bid up for their employees. If a man is to keep his labour force together, and the employment exchange is not going to allow him to take on any new labour, he is bound to give very large extra inducements to keep up his labour force. I think that one of the effects of this order is precisely to cause bidding up wage rates in non-essential industries. Furthermore, I do not believe 216 that when a man is told he cannot go into the job which he wants and, instead, is sent to something which he does not like, it is not only that man's own production which falls but also the production of those with whom he comes into contact because he is bound to affect people around him.
If only the Government would take the risk and remove this order, very little bad effect would result and we should have the redistribution of labour which we want. The real question, I think, is "Can we have a half-planned society?" I say that because this is a half-hearted sort of compulsion and I do not believe that there is a halfway house between allowing men to be attracted to the jobs they want and having the complete regimentation which there is in Russia. Here we find the worst of both worlds, and I hope that the Government will take it away.
§ 12.51 a.m.
§ Lord John Hope (Midlothian and Peebles, Northern)
I promise the House that I will speak for only one minute. I rise to say that there is one reason why the Government must oppose the revocation of this order; and that reason is that its retention is inseparable from Socialism. The State cannot own the means of production and distribution and exchange without directing labour and, for that reason, the Government are bound to oppose the revocation of this order. That is the duty of the supporters of the Government, just as we on this side of the House will be forced by our principles to divide the House in order to seek the revocation of the order.
§ 12.52 a.m.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Ness Edwards)
There can be no objection at all from anyone on this side of the House to right hon. and hon. Members opposite praying against this order, and in that sense the Minister of Labour was quite correct when he said that Parliament is paramount in spite of what the National Joint Advisory Council may do, or anybody else. So far as I recollect—and I am speaking without my brief when we last discussed this subject, the Minister did not indicate that that was the last of the order. Tonight, the order is before us and we are having a further discussion on it.
§ Mr. Kendall (Grantham)
Will the Parliamentary Secretary, then, give an assurance that the Whips will not be on tonight and that we can have a free vote?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
That is not a matter for me. We have gone over a large amount of the ground tonight which has been traversed before, and much of the comment has, I suggest, been irrelevant. Let us really hear the facts. There is no power of direction under this order; it contains no authority to direct anybody. Under it, one cannot direct a man from one job to another, and it seems to me that much of the discussion has been quite irrelevant; that it should have been related, not to this order at all, but to the Defence Regulation 58A.
Many remarks have been made which do not concern this order. All that this Control of Engagement Order does is to ensure that when anyone leaves a job and goes to the employment exchange, as he must, if he is within the age categories, then he must be offered the choice of four jobs. Hon. Members will remember that this was the undertaking given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour in the last Debate on the matter. These jobs must be essential jobs, and they have the right to choose one of them. If they do not choose one of these jobs, under the Control of Engagement Order, the Minister of Labour has no power to compel them, but he can exercise power, conferred on him by Defence Regulations. We have, therefore, been discussing the functions of the Minister under an entirely different instrument, which is not the one before the House tonight.
§ Sir J. Mellor
Surely the hon. Gentleman will agree that a man would not be permitted to take any other job with the consent of the Minister of Labour, and is not that, in effect, direction by virtue of this order?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
The Minister of Labour has no power of direction under this order. I do not want to score a point by a slick argument——
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
The Minister of Labour, under the Control of Engagement Order, would require an unemployed person to take his employment 218 through the local labour exchange. The exchange manager or officer would offer the unemployed man four alternative jobs, and if the man said, "I am not going to take any of them," the Minister would have to issue a direction under Defence Regulations, and not under this order, to be able to exercise any powers in relation to that man. That is the machinery by which the direction reaches an unemployed worker.
By the continuation of the Control or Engagement Order, the position, as far as the functions of the Minister of Labour are concerned, remains the same as it was 12 months ago. It will apply to the same categories of persons as it did 12 months ago. The exceptions are those which were provided for when we discussed the matter 12 months ago.
Now I come to the approved employment agencies. I was questioned about these by a number of hon. Gentlemen. There are a number of trade unions and other agencies including the British Legion, the National Association for the Employment of Regular Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen and other similar associations. It was suggested by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sutton Cold-field (Sir J. Mellor) that this was a very unhealthy sign. If it is unhealthy, it is something which has been existing for very many years. The banking industry had its own agencies, the insurance industry had its own agency and the printing industry has for 20 years had its own agency.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
It is quite true they have no compulsion; but the right hon. Gentleman should have told the House the whole truth, and that his association has agreed with the printing trade union that they will not employ anyone else unless he is a member of the union. Any printer unemployed cannot find employment with the right hon. Gentleman's association unless that printer becomes a member of the trade union.
§ Mr. McCorquodale
I really cannot allow that. We are not a closed shop in the printing trade. It was denied in this House the other day, and the Minister of Labour had to admit it. We are 219 not a closed shop. There is a large measure of organisation, but we are by no means a closed shop.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
We will leave the printing industry to its very comfortable and good industrial relations, but it has had one of those trade union employment agencies for 20 years.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
I am prepared to accept the longer period, and I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will not say that is an unhealthy sign in the printing industry. We do have a number of small craft unions, diamond cutters, and people like that. They are approved employment agencies, and I do not regard it as an unhealthy sign. It is an extremely small minority, and the significant thing—and I am speaking from memory—is that I do not think one of those trade unions are directly represented on the National Joint Advisory Council which considered this matter before it was brought to the House.
Let me deal with one or two of the other points. Since this order was considered 12 months ago, there has been one prosecution under the order. That was a prosecution of an employer about which no doubt more will be heard in this House, because I understand there is a question about it on the Order Paper.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
I do not want to go into it any further. That is the extent of compulsion—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—that has been applied to an employer who attempted to defy the Control of Engagement Order. I am not going to say, because it would be foolish, that lots of other employers would not have liked to defy the order if there had not been that element of compulsion or the right to prosecute in the background.
The National Joint Advisory Council, on which the agricultural industry is represented, unanimously recommended the acceptance of the continuation of this order. The Women's Consultative Committee, representative of all sides of this House, unanimously recommended the acceptance of the continuation of this 220 order. Even the representative of the Liberal Party on the Women's Consultative Committee recommended the continuation of this order.
Let me take the points raised by the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). He has admitted that this order is of great economic and social importance, and I agree with him. I agree that we ought not lightly to take away the liberty of the subject, especially in matters of this sort. Let me take the next point of the hon. Member for Kingston. He suggested that this order affected the greater part of the male and female population. There he is in error. It only affects the workers when they become unemployed. So long as they are in employment nothing can be done about it.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
The hon. Gentleman cannot get away with that. Does he not appreciate that it affects everybody in this sense, that it must be a factor in their minds when they are deciding whether to leave one job and go to another?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
The vast majority of men who go to work in the pits stay in the pits. The vast majority who go to work in agriculture stay in agriculture. This order deals very largely with the floating population, the people who are changing their jobs, and it is untrue to say that it affects the great majority of the population. But I do not want to quibble about that. The point I want to make is that it does not affect any person until that person becomes unemployed. It does not prevent anyone from changing his job. It does not prevent anyone from leaving a particular pit, or a particular farm. Take the textile industries: it does not prevent a worker going from one mill to another, or from one essential job to another. There is no restriction in that sense. The restriction is to prevent people from going into the less essential jobs. That is the degree of the restriction—[Interruption.] True, as defined by the Government. I accept that right away.
From the other side of the House the Government have been pressed to increase exports of dollar-earning goods. Time and time again we have been criticised for not building up our exports quickly enough. This is the answer. 221 This Control of Engagement Order does enable us to influence people to go into the right jobs.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
The hon. Gentleman says "force." If we do not have this order, which is the instrument whereby the Ministry of Labour can exercise persuasion, we may be compelled to rely directly on force. I think this ought to be faced. The vast majority of workers are accepting advice, quite genuinely, without any question of force or penalty, and are slowly and surely going into the industries where they can best help this country.
I hope hon. Gentlemen opposite are not going to say that the workers are bereft of patriotism. They are not. It is only a very small minority with whom there is trouble. The average worker will not know which is the most essential industry into which he should go. There is a hydro-electric scheme in North Wales. Is it suggested that the unemployed in South Wales will know about it, unless the Ministry of Labour officials inform them that there is an important job being done for Wales, and say, "Will you go and work there?". The same thing applies to electricity generating stations, and the great steel mills being built in South Wales now. In that sense, under this order the Minister of Labour is able to guide people who are willing to accept guidance. The vast majority of workers in this country are prepared to accept guidance as to the place in which they can make the biggest contribution to the national rehabilitation. I think the right hon. Gentleman will accept that, by and large, the workers of this country are prepared to be guided. If the Prayer succeeds tonight, the very instrument which enables us to guide them would be taken away from us.
Now I come to the question of the efficiency of this order. If it is efficient and produces results, I take it that some hon. Members opposite would be prepared to accept it. [Interruption.] I know that some hon. Gentlemen have said they would not do so in any circumstances, but I was wondering whether, if it is efficient, the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) would support it. Here we are with this great dollar gap. We have to face the economic rehabilitation 222 which has to be carried out. We have to face this adverse trade balance which has to be covered. If this Control of Engagement Order enables us to bridge that gap and give our people more clothes and food, are hon. Gentlemen opposite prepared to vote for it? That is the practical test.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing (Weston-super-Mare)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give way? He asked a question——
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
It was a rhetorical question. I asked hon. Gentlemen opposite who have spoken—and it was with their statements that I was dealing—whether, if evidence shows that this order does enable us to solve the economic problems of this country, they are prepared to support it? I take it that none of the hon. Members opposite——
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing rose——
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
Let me finish this sentence and I will give way. I gather that some hon. Gentlemen opposite would be prepared to support it, if it were proved that it did enable us to get the job done more efficiently.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving way. I would point out that his argument is completely fallacious so long as he maintains this order in being. How can he test the situation so long as he maintains this order in being under these conditions?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
I am afraid that does not answer the question. On the other hand, there was a period when this order was not in existence.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
There was a period since the end of the war when this order was not in existence. We had declining manpower in cotton and wool, and declining manpower in agriculture, and hon. Members opposite were continually chivying my right hon. Friend and myself to get more labour into agriculture. We were being driven to recruit foreign labour into agriculture under pressure from hon. Members opposite. The same thing is true with regard to the mining industry. I say that the existence of this Control of Engagement Order is enabling us to get a better balance in our labour force and to man undermanned industries, In agriculture we have supplied the need 223 to such an extent that now we have some unemployment. [Interruption.] We have seasonal unemployment in agriculture already manifesting itself. That is the position, and I hope hon. Members will at least give me credit for giving the facts to the House.
§ Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison (Glasgow, Central)
Will the Parliamentary Secretary also agree that he is manning up the least essential industries even faster than the essential industries?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
That is an amazing question. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will look at the figures, he will find that the first preference jobs in the engineering industry have been manned up at a rate 400 per cent. greater than the non-essential.
§ Colonel Hutchison
I have the figures here. In transport and shipping, 1,438,000 rises in mid-1948 to 1,472,000; that is higher than the target figure. It is the same for building, civil engineering, local government and the civil service; these are all higher instead of lower, as was expected in the Economic Survey.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
Why does not the hon. and gallant Gentleman be fair with the House? I thought he was going to challenge the statement that first preference jobs in the engineering industry had been filled at a rate 400 per cent. greater than the unessential part of engineering. That is the statement I made and no attempt has been made to contradict it.
Let me take one or two other figures. I take the textile industry. Cotton was going down very fast. We have reversed the order, and this year it has climbed back. This was the first increase since 1925, when the cotton industry was having such a bad effect on the people employed in it. The hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames made a very good point when he said the industries popular with the planners were unpopular with the workers. I think he should have carried that argument a little further and explained why. The basic industries of this country have been unpopular with the workers, and he knows why. They have been underpaid; and not only that, the general physical conditions have been really shocking.
The Government's policy has been quite clear. It has been to increase the 224 wage level in the undermanned industries and try to improve the working conditions in very many of those industries which have been undermanned. But that cannot be done in five minutes. We cannot change the Lancashire cotton mills in five minutes. Even where we are getting much co-operation from employers, with the limitations of materials and labour, and all the new machinery, labour-saving devices, and other plans, it will take years before we put the Lancashire cotton industry in a position to attract all the labour necessary to enable the cotton mills to contribute as they could towards stopping our dollar gap.
The same story is true of wool and equally true, I must admit, of agriculture. Generations of neglect of the countryside; no houses, or not as many as there should be, and many of them not much better than pigsties—that is the reason we cannot get labour into agriculture and why it is necessary that we should maintain this Control of Engagement Order in this industry.
I must deal with one or two other points before I sit down. In regard to the right of appeal, the unemployed person—and this applies only to the unemployed person—goes to an exchange and no action can be taken against him unless a direction is issued under the Defence Regulations. Then he gets the right of appeal against the direction. In that sense he has a right of appeal against any action taken against him by the Minister.
I have dealt with all the questions that were addressed to me including the matter of the employment agencies. So far as I know, no one has said that his point had not been dealt with. Finally, I should like to make this last point. If the Motion is carried tonight, it will take from the Ministry of Labour an instrument that has been successful, that has caused no hardship upon any workers, under which there has only been one prosecution, under which the manpower of the nation has been built up in the main industries and under which we have had a substantially improved economic position in this country. Because of those things I ask the House to reject the Motion.
§ 1.21 a.m.
§ Mr. McCorquodale (Epsom)
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour has been most gracious in en-deavouring 225 to answer the points put to him by my hon. Friends. I sympathise with him in having such a difficult task to justify this order. I must confess that I was not impressed at the outset by his argument as to the scope of this instrument. This instrument is only part of the whole control of labour which this Government are at present operating though it is an essential part. My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) and other hon. Friends have put the arguments and I do not propose to repeat them at this late hour, except to say this. A year ago almost to the day I was fighting a by-election. I made the control of labour and the direction of labour one of the principal planks in my election programme. That was one of the reasons why I was privileged to be able to increase my majority by nearly 10,000 votes. I recommend other hon. Members who think that in this matter they have the country with them to try the same thing, and they will get a rude awakening.
I do not believe that this order is necessary and I am perfectly sure that it is undesirable. The Minister spoke about the persuasion in the labour exchanges. That is what we want to see. We want to see the labour exchanges places where people can go to be offered jobs, not where they go to be ordered out to jobs. I do not believe that anything approaching persuasion can be used when there is a threat of compulsion in the background. The Parliamentary Secretary
§ spoke about manning agriculture to such an extent that there is now some seasonal unemployment. If that be the case, surely it is high time that the ring fence round agriculture was removed, so that if they wish to do so people can get out. I cannot see any argument for keeping up this ring fence if the situation is as satisfactory as the hon. Gentleman describes. Regarding the cotton industry, about which I know a little, I do not believe that this order has contributed to the improvement in that industry.
I do not wish to proceed to argue this case at this late hour. I will content myself by saying that about 20 months ago the Lord President of the Council, speaking at an important meeting—I think it was the T.U.C., or Labour Party conference—said, when discussing this question:
They are an infringement of the liberties of the people which we are not prepared to accept.
We on this side of the House believe he was right, and we are not prepared to accept this gross infringement of the liberties of the people. Hence we are prepared, tonight, to go into the Lobby to support this Prayer.
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Order, dated 1st December, 1948, entitled the Control of Engagement (Amendment) Order, 1948 (S.I., 1948, No. 2608), a copy of which was presented on 1st December, be annulled.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 74 Noes, 117.227
|Division No. 32.]||AYES||[1. 26a. m.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Grimston, R. V.||Nicholson, C.|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.||Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)||Nield, B. (Chester)|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Nutting, Anthony|
|Bossom, A. C.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Odey, G. W.|
|Bowen, R.||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt. -Col. W.||Hope, Lord J.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)||Pickthorn, K.|
|Byers, Frank||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Prior-Palmer, Brig O|
|Challen, C||Keeling, E. H.||Raikes, H. V.|
|Channon, H.||Kendall, W. D.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Langford-Holt, J.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Thomas, J P L. (Hereford)|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Darting, Sir W. Y.||Low, A. R. W.||Turton, R. H.|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|De la Bère, R.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H||Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|Digby, S. W.||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||McFarlana, C. S.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Drayson, G B.||Maclean, F. H. R. (Lancaster)||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Drewe, C.||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.|
|Eccles, D. M.||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Mr. Boyd-Carpenter and|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Marshall, D (Bodmin)||Sir John Mellor.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)||Paton, J. (Norwich)|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Grey, C. F.||Pearson, A.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Guy, W. H.||Peart, T. F|
|Attewell, H. C.||Hale, Leslie||Perrins, W.|
|Barton, C.||Hamilton, Lieut. -Col. R.||Popplewell, E.|
|Bechervaise, A. E||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Randall, H. E.|
|Boardman, H.||Herbison, Miss M.||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)|
|Bowden, Flg. Offr. H. W.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Royle, C|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)||Hobson, C. R.||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Holman, P.||Sharp, Granville|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Hoy, J.||Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (St. Helens)|
|Burke, W. A.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Silverman, J. (Erdington)|
|Chamberlain, R. A||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Silverman, S. S (Nelson)|
|Champion, A. J.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Skeffington, A. M|
|Cobb, F. A.||Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)||Smith, C. (Colchester)|
|Collindridge, F.||Janner, B.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S. W.)|
|Collins, V. J.||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S. E.)||Snow, J. W.|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Corlett, Dr. J.||Keenan, W.||Swingler, S.|
|Crawley, A.||Kinley, J.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Symonds, A. L|
|Daggar, G.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Taylor, R, J. (Morpeth)|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Longden, F.||Weitzman, D.|
|Deer, G.||Lyne, A. W.||West, D. G.|
|Diamond, J.||Mackay, R. W G. (Hull, N. W.)||Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Edinb'gh, E.)|
|Dodds, N. N.||McLeavy, F||White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||MacPherson, M. (Stirling)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Dumpleton, C. W.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Wigg, George|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Middleton, Mrs. L.||Wilkins, W A.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)||Mikardo, Ian||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)||Mitchison, G. R.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Evans, S. N (Wednesbury)||Monslow, W.||Williams, R. W. (Wigan)|
|Fairhurst, F||Neal, H. (Claycross)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Farthing, W. J.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Orbach, M.|
|Freeman, J. (Watford)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gibbins, J||Palmer, A. M. F.||Mr. Simmons and Mr George Wallace|