HC Deb 29 June 1948 vol 452 cc2107-11

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Lyttelton

I beg to move, in page 3, line 9, to leave out "one-third," and to insert "one-half."

I do not want to take the House through all the arguments which have led my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Derby (Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe), my hon. Friend the Member for Bucklow (Mr. Shepherd) and myself to put this Amendment on the Order Paper. I would draw the attention of the House to the fact that it is not a matter of altering from one-third to one-half the total amount of goods manufactured, processed or distributed to qualify as a monopoly, because the Bill already relates to one-third of the production or processing or distribution of goods in a substantial part of the United Kingdom. Incidentally the absurdity of the title of the Bill is shown in that there might be three competing monopolies in Rutlandshire. The object of this Amendment is to make the Bill apply to one-half of the production, processing or distribution in a substantial part of the United Kingdom. The arguments were fully discussed in the Committee so I will not repeat them.

Mr. Belcher

I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has not gone over all the arguments which were produced during the Committee stage. It is perfectly true, as he said, that this matter was very well discussed in Committee. I merely wish to say that the figure we have inserted in this Bill is one which we believe will enable the provisions of the Bill to apply to an industry in which there is a substantial degree of monopoly. I am advised that this provision can be compared with the American practice and that in fact the provisions we make in this Bill about one-third and its application in a substantial area of the United Kingdom are not so difficult at the provisions of the various pieces of American legislation on this matter.

Mr. Lyttelton

I would like to keep this matter straight. The essential difference between the legislation of the United States and ours is that in the United States any form of price fixing such as we propose to include is ipso facto illegal, so the entire basis is different. We should be careful not to draw comparisons.

Mr. Belcher

We are not dealing with price fixing only in this Bill. There is in America what is known as the "rule of reason." This is an attempt to import the rule of reason into our legislation on this matter in this country.

I hope that it will not be necessary to argue this matter at length. I do not wish to repeat the arguments which were used by my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply. The right hon. Gentleman is not without knowledge of the fact that there was pressure from the Government side of the Committee to reduce the figure to something lower than one-third. We have contented ourselves with this figure of one-third. We believe it is a figure which will bring within the provisions of this Bill those industries and sections of industry which ought to come within its purview.

Question put, "That 'one-third' stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes 255; Noes 63.

Division No. 248.] AYES. [8.20 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Grenfell, D. R. Moyle, A.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Grey, C. F. Murray J. D.
Alpass, J. H. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Nally, W.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side) Naylor, T. E.
Attewell, H. C. Guest, Dr. L. Haden Neal, H. (Clay Cross)
Austin, H. Lewis Gunter, R. J. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Awbery, S. S. Guy, W. H. Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)
Arles, W. H. Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Noel-Buxton, Lady
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Hale, Leslie Oldfield, W. H.
Bacon, Miss A. Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Oliver, G. H.
Baird, J. Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Balfour, A. Hardy, E. A. Palmer, A. M. F.
Barstow, P. G. Harrison, J. Pargiter, G. A.
Barton, C. Haworth, J. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Battley, J. R. Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford) Paton, J. (Norwich)
Bechervaise, A. E. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Pearson, A.
Belcher, J. W. Hewitson, Capt. M. Peart, T. F.
Benson, G. Hicks, G. Perrins, W.
Berry, H. Hobson, C. R. Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Beswick, F. Holman, P. Popplewell, E.
Bing, G. H. C. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Porter, E. (Warrington)
Binns, J. Hoy, J. Porter, G. (Leeds)
Blackburn, A. R. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Price, M. Philips
Blenkinsop, A. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Proctor, W. I.
Blyton, W. R. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pryde, D. J.
Bottomley, A. G. Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Pursey, Comdr. H.
Bowden, Flg. Offr. H. W. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Randall, H. E.
Bowen, R. Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.) Ranger, J.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge) Janner, B. Rees-Williams, D. R.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Jeger, G. (Winchester) Rhodes, H.
Bramall, E. A. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras S.E.) Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Jenkins, R. H. Robens, A.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T. Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Royle, C.
Buchanan, Rt. Hon. G. Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Sargood, R.
Burden, T. W. Keenan, W. Scollan, T.
Burke, W. A. Kendall, W. D. Segal, Dr. S.
Callaghan, James Kenyon, C. Shackleton, E. A. A.
Carmichael, James Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Sharp, Granville
Champion, A. J. Kinley, J. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Chetwynd, G. R. Kirby, B. V. Shurmer, P.
Cobb, F. A. Lang, G. Simmons, C. J.
Cocks, F. S. Lee, F. (Hulme) Skeffington, A. M.
Collins, V. J. Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.
Colman, Miss G. M. Leslie, J. R. Skinnard, F. W.
Cook, T. F. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Smith, C. (Colchester)
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Lindgren, G. S. Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Corlett, Dr. J. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Snow, J. W.
Cove, W. G. Logan, D. G. Solley, L. J.
Crawley, A. Longden, F. Sorensen, R. W.
Daggar, G. McAdam, W. Sparks, J. A.
Daines, P. McAllister, G. Steele, T.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) McEntee, V. La T. Stubbs, A. E.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) McGhee, H. G. Sylvester, G. O.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) McGovern, J. Symonds, A. L.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) McKay, J. (Wallsend) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Deer, G. McKinlay, A. S. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
de Freitas, Geoffrey Maclean, N. (Govan) Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Diamond, J. McLeavy, F. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Dumpleton, C. W. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Thurtle, Ernest
Durbin, E. F. M. Macpherson, T. (Romford) Tiffany, S.
Dye, S. Mainwaring, W. H. Timmons, J.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield) Titterington, M. F.
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Mann, Mrs. J. Tolley, L.
Evans, Albert (Islington, W.) Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Turner-Samuels, M.
Evans, John (Ogmore) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Marquand, H. A. Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Ewart, R. Marshall, F. (Brightside) Viant, S. P.
Fairhurst, F. Mayhew, C. P. Wadsworth, G.
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Middleton, Mrs. L. Walker, G. H.
Follick, M. Mitchison, G. R. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Forman, J. C. Monslow, W. Warbey, W. N.
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Moody, A. S. Watkins, T. E.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Weitzman, D.
Gibson, C. W. Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Welts, P. L. (Faversham)
Gilzean, A. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Mort, D. L. West, D. G.
Westwood, Rt. Hon. J. Williams, R. W. (Wigan) Wyatt, W.
White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley) Yates, V. F.
Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. Williams, W. R. (Heston) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Wigg, George Willis, E. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Willey, F. T. (Sunderland) Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Willey, O. G. (Cleveland) Wise, Major F. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove) Woods, G. S. Mr. Collindridge and
Mr. R. Adams.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Grimston, R. V. Pickthorn, K.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Baldwin, A. E. Haughton, S. G. Raikes, H. V.
Barlow, Sir J. Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. Ramsay, Maj. S.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Hogg, Hon. Q. Robinson, Roland
Bennett, Sir P. Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Ropner, Col. L.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Jennings, R. Sanderson, Sir F.
Bower, N. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Lambert, Hon. G. Snadden, W. M.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Turton, R. H.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. MacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Maclean, F. H. R. (Lancaster) Walker-Smith, D.
Drayson, G. B. Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Drewe, C. Manningham-Buller, R. E. While, J. B. (Canterbury)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Marsden, Capt. A. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Fraser H. C. P. (Stone) Marshall, D. (Bodmin) York, C.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Nutting, Anthony
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Orr-Ewing, I. L. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gammans, L. D. Pete, Brig. C. H. M. Mr. Studholme and
Brigadier Mackeson.
Mr. Belcher

I beg to move in page 3, line 9, to leave out "in question," and to insert "of that description."

This is purely a drafting Amendment to correct a misprint.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

That covers quite a number of Amendments.

Mr. Belcher

Yes, Sir.

Amendment agreed to.

Consequential Amendments made.