HC Deb 10 November 1948 vol 457 cc1651-81

8.8 p.m.

Sir John Mellor (Sutton Coldfield)

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Order, dated 18th October, 1948, entitled the Food Rationing (General Provisions) Order, 1948 (Amendment No. 3) Order, 1948 (S.I.. 1948, No. 2319), a copy of which was delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on 19th October, in the last Session of Parliament, be annulled". This order amends the Food Rationing (General Provisions) Order by making, among other things, a certain insertion in Part II of that order which deals with the rationing of traders. The provision in the order against which we are praying and to which I would first call attention is this. It provides in Article I (b): …No retailer of any rationed food shall knowingly permit any of the persons set out in the Schedule to this Order to exercise any control, direct or indirect, financial, managerial or otherwise, over the policy, management or conduct of the business. If we turn to the Schedule to find the persons who are so prohibited we find first of all: any person who was the holder of a licence —I am now paraphrasing for the sake of comparative brevity. It covers: Any person who was the holder of a licence…or any retailer who was the holder of a ration document…and whose licence or ration document has been revoked, …as a result of his being convicted of an offence against any of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, or any Order made thereunder, in respect of any article of food. It also covers offenders against certain statutes dealing with food. Again, it covers: Any person who was a director or officer of any body corporate whose licence or ration document has been revoked… Finally, it provides—and this is the last category of prohibited persons— Any person having the control or management of any premises in respect of which an Order under Regulation 42C of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, has been made, at the time of the making of such Order. As I have already stated, it is provided that: No retailer of any rationed food shall knowlingly permit any person set out in the Schedule…to exercise any control, direct or indirect, financial, managerial or otherwise, over the policy, management or conduct of the business. It seems to me a pretty tall order that persons falling within the scope of the Schedule who have been convicted of some offence, and in consequence have had their licences or ration documents revoked by the Ministry, should further be pursued by punishment in the form of being stopped from getting a job in a managerial capacity with a retailer of rationed food. We have here a scheduled class of untouchables created by this order. They are people who not only have been punished twice but thrice.

First, there is the conviction with the penalty of a fine or imprisonment which, quite appropriately, will have been imposed by the court; then there is the punishment by the Ministry in the revocation of their licences or ration documents; and third, the punishment of being precluded by the terms of this order from obtaining a job within the scope of the provision which I have read. That is repugnant to the British sense of justice. Whatever may be said about the general aspects of the matter, I draw attention —as I warned the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food that I would —to the particular case of those mentioned in the third paragraph of the Schedule. I will read that paragraph again: Any person having the control or management of any premises in respect of which an Order under Regulation 42C of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, has been made. at the time of the making of such Order. Regulation 42C of the Defence Regulations enables a chief officer of police to make an order closing undesirable premises. He must first be satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe certain things. These include: that persons are permitted to be on the premises between ten o'clock in the evening and six o'clock in the morning for the purpose of eating or drinking or dancing or being entertained; —and that they pay for that pleasure. He must also be satisfied that:

  1. "(i) drunkenness or disorderly or indecent conduct…takes place on the premises, or
  2. (ii) criminals or prostitutes … are to be found on the premises."
If he is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe those things, then he has power under Regulation 42C to make an order closing the premises. It is further provided in the Regulation that any person who is aggrieved by such an order may appeal to a court of summary jurisdiction and the court shall, if it is satisfied by the appellant that there is no reasonable cause to believe the matters which gave rise to the police suspicions, revoke the order, without prejudice to its previous operation. I think that hon. Members will have guessed already what I am driving at. Reverting to the third paragraph of the Schedule, it will be noted that what it says is: …in respect of which an Order …has been made. It does not say: "Where an order is in force."

The result of those words is that where someone, who has had control or management of premises which have been closed by order of a chief officer of police under Regulation 42C, has gone on appeal to the court of summary jurisdiction and has obtained revocation of that order and has been completely exonerated from all fault, he still will be under the disability imposed by paragraph 3. We have the astonishing position that a perfectly innocent man, declared to be so by the court of summary jurisdiction, will labour under a disability so long as this Schedule remains in force. I do not know whether in drafting this order the Ministry of Food intended to be so vindictive. No doubt the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary will tell us. It is intolerable that such an order should be allowed to continue in force for one day. That is the reason why I move to annul the order tonight.

8.18 p.m.

Mr. Drayson (Skipton)

I beg to Second the Motion.

The hon. Baronet has explained his reasons for objecting to this order most fully. I should like to add a few remarks protesting against the fact that those who have already been punished by the courts and have had their licences revoked should be prevented from taking up further employment in a managerial capacity in work in which no doubt they are highly skilled. I regret the element of vindictiveness which appears to be introduced by this order. It seems to be on a par with the treatment of some miners—the new Socialist principle that one can be barred from any further employment in a particular industry for committing some offence. We on this side of the House thoroughly detest any idea of that sort. I hope that the hon. Lady will see fit to look again at paragraph 3. If she is advised by the Solicitor-General that there is substance in the point made by my hon. Friend, I hope that she will agree to have that part of the order amended.

8.20 p.m.

Colonel Dower (Penrith and Cockermouth)

I think this order is very confusing, and that it is by no means easy to understand clearly what is happening. I am not at all sure whether it rules out future employment only in a managerial capacity. The hon. Lady nods her head that it does, but I take the interpretation of the phrase— financial, managerial or otherwise. It seems to me that the words "or otherwise" might mean almost anything, and in regard to management, why do we find the words "or conduct"? What is meant by "or conduct"? If it is management, why not repeat the word "management." It really is not easy to understand exactly what the punishment, is going to be, or who, in fact, will be penalised.

My hon. Friend who moved this Prayer drew the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary to the second schedule, which is terribly involved. I have gone to the trouble of reading Regulation 42C of the Defence (General) Regulations. It is a very long regulation, it is highly complicated and it seems to embrace all sorts of conditions which do not seem to have very much connection with the object which the Ministry are trying to achieve. For instance, I would invite the Solicitor-General to tell me exactly what is meant by the word "associates." What is an associate? Presumably, we are all associates of anybody whom we happen to meet occasionally, and so it seems to me that all kinds of unknown factors may be brought into this order.

With all respect to the mover of this Prayer, evidence of drunkenness submitted to the court is, I presume, the only evidence that need apply under Regulation 42C, which says: (c) "that while persons are so present on the premises— (i) drunkenness or"— Presumably, therefore, drunkenness having taken place, there is no need for any other undesirable factors to enter into it at all. I think this order is a typical example of the kind of order which the average Member of this House cannot possibly understand. What is to be obtained by it, and who are to be affected by it?

I would like to endorse what has already been said on one aspect of this order, and to point out that, if a man is punished by a court of summary jurisdiction, he serves his punishment. Why follow him for ever afterwards with a kind of halter round his neck? He has been brought before a court, which has told him that he has done certain things which he should not have done and for which he is punished. He pays that punishment, but that is not the end under this order. So far as I can see, for the rest of his life he is liable to be penalised.

We all know of certain newspapers which drag out some unfortunate person's past, and while I do not favour that practice, I would point out that, under this order, the person who is penalised will not be able to get back into his profession, and even if he succeeds in getting back in the lowest degree, he will still be denied any opportunity of promotion, however efficient he may in fact become. For those reasons, I sincerely hope that the hon. Lady will sympathetically consider this Motion.

8.26 p.m

Mr. Maclay (Montrose Burghs)

It seems rather fantastic, at this stage of this Parliament, to make the remark about the price of liberty being eternal vigilance, but I think this is one of the occasions when one should make that remark. I recall it particularly as in recent weeks I have had occasion to make a general study of what has been happening in the sphere of local government. I was quite horrified, as I went through all the implications of all the Acts passed in this Parliament, to find how our liberties were being taken quietly away, how power was becoming more centralised in the Executive, and how all these things are going on for the most plausible of reasons. Some of these Acts went through this House unopposed.

I have vivid memories of one, in connection with which I found nobody to support me when I wanted to oppose it. [An HON. MEMBER: "Related to this order?"] I am coming to that. My theme is the gradual disappearance of the liberties of our country. I really believe that hon. Members opposite, if they studied this situation, would begin to wonder whether they are really alive to what is happening. It does seem quite fantastic that a man should be punished, not once or twice, but three times for an offence.

What is the legal punishment provided in this order? One is tempted to turn back to the early days of this Parliament when the original Act, under which this order is made, was before the House—the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act. During the Second Reading Debate, I very well remember asking the Minister in charge of the Bill to what the word "transitional" applied. I asked whether it was the transition from war to peace, and whether we could be satisfied that it did not apply to the transition from one system in this country to the system of Socialism. I received an assurance that the Bill meant exactly what it said, and I was told that I could dismiss the latter idea, because if Socialism was coming, it would come separately and on its own account. I wonder whether that is really true, because, if we examine the Supplies and Services (Extended Purposes) Act, 1947, we shall still fail to find anything under which this order could be justified.

I think that all hon. Members ought to watch very carefully indeed the use which is being made of these powers under the Supplies and Services Acts. It is all very well to say that these extreme powers are necessary, and that we must continue these Defence Regulations for a further period because the world is so unsettled, but if they are to be used for this kind of interference with the liberty of the subject, it is a very serious matter indeed.

I wonder whether the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary have really considered the full implications of the wording of this order now before us. This wording goes a very long way, and there is one particular point on which I hope we shall receive a definite assurance. If one of these wretched people, who is debarred from acting in a managerial capacity under this order, turns over a new leaf and decides to join a co-opera- tive society, what happens to him? Is he allowed to do so? What happens to him then? I think the hon. Lady would discover that, by paragraph 1 (b), that wretched individual would certainly not be able to use his vote in the co-operative society. Whether he would be allowed to join at all, I do not know. I think that is a very material point, because, if a person uses his vote as a co-operator, he exercises a direct or indirect control over the business of the co-operative society. I hope that point will be cleared up completely.

I could go on declaiming a magnificent Liberal speech on the withdrawal of the order. However, I feel that some of my hon. Friends who sit immediately below me will do it better than I can, but with no more conviction, although probably, with greater experience. I sincerely hope that they will carry on this argument because I am convinced that this order constitutes a very serious change in our attitude towards the freedom of the individual to make good even after committing an offence. A man who has done wrong and decides to go straight in the future is, by this order, debarred from participation in his chosen profession.

8.32 p.m.

Mr. Bowen (Cardigan)

I wish to say a few words in support of my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay). I regard any extension of this practice by the Ministry of Food, to hound people who have been convicted under Ministry regulations, to the extent of driving them from their ordinary means of livelihood to another, as indefensible. There may have been some excuse, or even reason, for this type of action in time of war; but here we have the Ministry of Food extending their powers under this procedure in time of peace. Let us think what would happen if these powers were applied in other spheres, with reference to other offences. If a collier is convicted for stealing coal, is it suggested that the Ministry of Fuel and Power should then consider whether, in future, he should be employed as a collier, or whether he should have to be a surface worker?

I will give the House an example of that because it shows to what a situation we shall come if we follow this path. I remember the particular instance of an old lady—I do not attempt to defend her conduct—who had a small stall in a country market. She chose to sell rabbits, and apparently she overlooked the fact that she was not entitled to sell them without a licence. Eventually, owing no doubt to her own stupidity, she was deprived of her right to trade in that market. It occurred to me at that time —and, indeed, under this regulation presumably——

Mr. Harrison (Nottingham, East)

Will the hon. Gentleman tell us whether this lady was deprived of her right to sell rabbits in the market without first being warned by the Ministry?

Mr. Bowen

She was warned, and she was deprived of her right of carrying on her trade in accordance with the regulations then existing. I make no complaint about that. But, to my mind, the whole process whereby a person may be deprived of his or her normal chosen means of livelihood—because that is what it is coming to—is thoroughly bad. We have here a list of offences, some of which may be highly technical. Many people in this country have been convicted of offences in connection with the points banking account where it has been admitted on all sides that the offences were merely of a technical nature. Sometimes they have a serious element, but very often it has been elicited by the tribunal dealing with the matters that they were highly technical offences. Despite that fact, here we have the position where a person in that category may have to change his occupation, or be prepared to take a position in that occupation carrying no responsibility.

Mr. Bechervaise (Leyton, East)

Would it not be better if the hon. Gentleman read out the points made after paragraph 1 (b)?

Mr. Bowen

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is referring to paragraph 1 (b), which says: No retailer of any rationed food shall knowingly permit any of the persons set out in the schedule to this order, to exercise any control, direct or indirect, financial, managerial or otherwise, over the policy, management or conduct of the business. I am not dealing with the position of the retailer, but with that of the person affected. That position was dealt with in the illustration given by my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose Burghs. I agree with him that, if that procedure is followed, a person who comes within these regulations could not become an ordinary member of a co-operative society, because, if he did, he would then be in a position to exercise control, direct or indirect, over a retail business. That just shows where regulations of this kind lead us.

I take strong exception to this further attempt on the part of the Ministry of Food to adopt a system alien to criminal proceedings in this country. I challenge the Parliamentary Secretary to give me illustrations of offences in any other category—other than food offences and offences of that type—where this form of punishment or this procedure is adopted. I think that, instead of extending the scope in this sphere, we should now be doing all we can to limit it with a view to doing away with it entirely.

8.38 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summer-skill)

The hon. Baronet the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir J. Mellor), who moved the Prayer against this order, and his supporters are, I think, not quite clear in their own minds why this order had to be made in the first place. It is, of course, an amendment of the Food Rationing (General Provisions) Order. I want, quite briefly, to explain to the House the changes that have taken place in the distribution of food during the last 18 months. We now have to differentiate between those traders who deal in licensed foodstuffs and those who deal in what might be regarded as permit foodstuffs.

The hon. Gentleman will recall that, during the last 18 months, we have de-licensed greengrocers, fishmongers and grocers. The result is that we have now released something like 425,000 licencees during the last 18 months. As a result of that, we had to amend the original Food (Licensing of Retailers) Order. The hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield will remember that, in the first place, he was going to pray against the amendment to the Retailers Order, but he has changed his mind tonight, and I can quite understand why he has done so.

Sir J. Mellor

The Prayer against that order might come later on.

Dr. Summerskill

And the reply might be more or less the same. The hon. Member must realise, of course—and I am sure he does—that the amendment to the General Provisions Order against which he is praying tonight is consequential on the Food (Licensing of Retailers) Order, because whereas the Retailers Order relates to those traders who are dealing with licensed foods, this Food Rationing (General Provisions) Order deals with those traders who now receive a permit for food which they are allowed to sell. In order to clear up the position, it was necessary, therefore, to make this amendment to the General Provisions Order.

Every hon. Member opposite has overlooked the most important point. The hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield condemned the policy; I think he used words to the effect that we were filching the liberties of the people. Does he realise that this is a continuation of the policy which was established in 1943 under the Coalition Government? [HON. MEMBERS: "In wartime."] If hon. Gentlemen think that it is right that traders in rationed food should be penalised in wartime, surely in these days of continuing scarcity these traders should be penalised in the same way if they commit offences.

Mr. Manningham-Buller (Daventry)

I interrupt the hon. Lady merely to clarify something which she has already said. Does she say that this new Article 2A existed before?

Dr. Summerskill


Mr. Manningham-Buller

What was it called then?

Dr. Summerskill

If the hon. and learned Gentleman has the main Retailers Order which I have just been talking about, he will notice the third schedule. This is an Amendment. The point is that this is a continuation of the policy which we have pursued since 1943. It has been necessary, of course, to include in the Amendment to the General Provisions Order this schedule which has been criticised tonight, in order that people who are now dealing with what we might call permit foods, are treated in the same way as those who deal with licensed foods.

Now may I come to the grievances? We have been asked why it is necessary further to penalise these men, and why, having revoked their licences, we should prohibit them from serving in a managerial capacity in another food concern. Surely the House must realise that before these men have their licences revoked we examine very carefully the charges made against them. Finally, my right hon. Friend makes a decision. In every case there is evidence that these men have been guilty of offences which make them quite unfitted to be a suitable link in the chain of distribution. [Interruption.] I ask hon. Members to be patient. It would make nonsense of our revocation procedure if, having revoked their licences, we allowed them to go back into another food concern where they would have control, where they could direct policy, and where there would be the risk that they might continue in the same way as before.

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

I am sure the hon. Lady is not attempting to mislead the House. She says "in a managerial capacity," but when one looks at the explanatory note on page 3 it says: over the policy, management, or conduct of his business. Is it not rather narrowing the question to say that a man or a woman who is serving at a stall or a kiosk is acting single-handed in a managerial capacity? Surely, this affects an individual employee in a stall or kiosk who is merely carrying out the orders of other people. Is such an individual, by the hon. Lady's ruling, included in this bar?

Dr. Summerskill

If the individual is serving in a subordinate capacity, then he is allowed to take a job, but if he should decide to buy a kiosk after he has had his licence revoked, that would not be allowed, of course.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre (New Forest and Christchurch) rose——

Dr. Summerskill

I am sorry I cannot give way again. I will deal with the question of the subordinate job in a moment. I would like the House also to remember that not only may a man try to get a job as a manager of a food concern, but it is quite common for people to put up what might be regarded as a "stooge." They may, when their licence has been revoked, transfer their business to another man, while the offender is behind the scenes and operating the busi- ness the whole time. I think hon. Members have frequently come across cases where that has been proved. We feel the time has come to stop that kind of practice.

It has been suggested that such people are being punished twice. I want the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Orr-Ewing) to appreciate that there could be a subordinate in a stall or kiosk. Whoever is running it might employ somebody to serve there during a certain number of hours. This person whose licence has been revoked can, if he wishes, serve in that capacity.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

May I make my point again? I am saying that under this order as it stands, as I read it—I hope I may be corrected—the individual who, by what to most people would appear to be a peccadillo, may be in trouble on this issue, may wish to seek employment. He seeks the employment of serving in a kiosk under a perfectly honest management who may control or own various stalls or kiosks. Under this order he will be debarred from so doing. Though the management is perfectly honest, he is not allowed to accept a subordinate position.

Dr. Summerskill

I have already told the hon. Member twice that the person can accept that position. I am saying that he can accept a subordinate position. If a man is running a kiosk and selling bread or meat or something like that, the offender who has had his licence revoked can be employed as a subordinate, but he cannot act as a manager and he cannot control that kiosk.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

The order does not say so.

Dr. Summerskill

Further, after the offender has had his licence revoked, he is given five weeks in which to sell his business. If he feels that there is some hardship and that five weeks is not long enough, he can appeal to the Department, and we are prepared to lengthen the period. He can then, if he wishes, take subordinate employment.

The hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Bowen) said that he could not think of anybody who was treated so harshly, and asked if I could suggest an analogous position. Certainly. The legal profession, I believe, strikes solicitors off the roll if they abscond with their clients' money. This is done in order to protect the public, and I want to emphasise that our object is to protect the public. Our primary object is not to punish the owner of the kiosk or shop, but to protect the public. Of course, it happens that a solicitor who is struck of the roll, suffers. In my own profession if a doctor is guilty of infamous professional conduct, he is struck off the register—not primarily to punish him but to prevent him from practising.

Another case which I thought of while the hon. Gentleman was speaking, going lower down the scale, is that of the garage proprietor who relies in some measure on driving his cars in order to run his business. He has his licence revoked, perhaps for life. He suffers, but that licence was revoked to protect the public. We feel strongly that we are the custodians of the people's food, and that it is for us to protect the people from those who have often proved to be rogues.

The hon. Member for Cardigan has been a long time in discovering Regulation 42C. The first order was made in 1943, and I know he has been in the House since then. So far as I know there has been no complaint at all about the operation of paragraph 3 of the Schedule to this order, but on reading it I agree that it seems a little unfair because it appears that a man in charge of a catering establishment which is the resort of prostitutes, will be penalised because he was there when the order, to close the establishment was made, although that order was afterwards revoked. Paragraph 30 (1) of the Food Rationing (General Provisions) Order says: The provisions of the Food Rationing Orders, 1948, are subject to any directions which may at any time be given by or on behalf of the Minister, and to any licence or authorisation which may be granted by or on behalf of the Minister under the said Orders or under any of them. The man may appeal to the Minister, who has full power to reinstate in a case of that kind. The hon. and learned Gentleman is very meticulous in these matters. It seems that he and I have lived through this moment before, when we discussed the Seizure of Food Order. I agree that paragraph 3 could and should be redrafted. It has been in operation for five years, and nobody on the opposite side of the House has objected, but I am prepared to redraft it in these words: Any person who, at the time of the making of the Order under Regulation 42C of the Defence (General) Regulations in respect of any premises, had the control or management of such premises; provided that such Order shall not thereafter have been revoked under paragraph (2) of the said regulation. I think that would remove a real grievance, and I would like the hon. Gentleman to allow me to amend the order in that way.

Mr. Maclay

Can the hon. Lady give me assurance on the co-operative point? It may seem ridiculous, but I think the wording means that the man cannot be a member of the Co-operative Society. Is she satisfied that that is not so?

Dr. Summerskill

I can assure the hon. Member that we treat co-operative societies—[HON. MEMBERS "Especially well—no, in precisely the same manner as other food establishments. The man who has had his licence revoked could take a subordinate position in a co-operative society, but not a managerial position.

Mr. Maclay

But could he become a member of the co-operative society, because a member exercises control over the operations of the society?

Dr. Summerskill

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree that control, in that case, is very remote.

8.55 p.m.

Mr. Manningham-Buller (Daventry)

Far be it from me to express an opinion upon the difficult question, whether a member of a co-operative society has remote or any control over the operations of that society. But I must confess that I am puzzled by what the hon. Lady has said in defence of this order. First, she made, or attempted to make, in her customary fashion, a strong speech in its defence; but then, having done her utmost in that respect, she came to the conclusion—and I think the proper conclusion —that part of this order is now, whatever it may have been in the past, quite indefensible; and she asked whether we would consider some amendment to it. Of course, we cannot amend this order now. Does she mean that she accepts this Prayer, or does she wish, by keeping this order in force, to keep in force for some time the extraordinary situation that arises under Regulation 42C. I am not at all clear from what she said whether she is opposing this Prayer or acceding to it. She left me in complete doubt about that.

Dr. Summerskill

I should like the hon. and learned Gentleman to allow me to redraft that part, but I do not want the order to be annulled. That is quite in order. It is quite possible. We should have this order. We want the definition laid down in it to continue. I think the hon. Gentleman knows me fairly well, and knows that if I give an undertaking that that part of the Schedule will be redrafted, there will be no need, of course, for the order to be annulled.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

The hon. Lady has asked me if I would allow her to amend this order. I wish I were in the position to say whether or not she should amend it; but I do not, and we on this side of the House do not control these things. She must come down on one side of the fence or the other. She admits, as she has to admit, that part of this order is bad. We say, "Take it away and bring in a new order. Take it away." [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear.] She says it is bad. Let it be annulled, and let her bring in a new one tomorrow, without any delay at all, without any possible chance of anyone's committing an offence under Regulation 42C and escaping the close net of the Ministry of Food. She has asked us for leave to amend the order but that is not recognising the position that exists in this country at the present time. I would say to her, in all sincerity, that the proper course would be to let this Prayer succeed tonight, and to bring in a fresh order with the amendment tomorrow.

Mr. Harrison

Would that be satisfactory?

Mr. Manningham-Buller

It might be satisfactory so far as that particular point is concerned, but there are other points which merit the consideration of this House. The first point to which I should like to draw the attention of the House is the interesting discrepancy between the Explanatory Memorandum and the hon. Lady's speech in support of this order. If explanatory memoranda are to serve any useful purpose they should explain the purpose of the order, and its effect. Really, the hon. Lady's speech, eloquent as it was, did not cover or incorporate a single point of the Explanatory Memorandum, which is quite short. I must say that I join with my hon. Friend who moved this Prayer in disliking thoroughly this form of order, and I will put my reasons quite shortly.

First of all, we have to have someone who is prosecuted and convicted, it may be on indictment before a High Court judge, for an offence under the Defence Regulations, or for an offence against the Larceny Act, or against the law of food control. As a condition precedent to any action under this order, we have to have a trial and conviction. It may be at the Old Bailey; it may be at the Assizes. The judge, on the accused being found guilty, will naturally want to know, and usually takes every possible step to find out, all the relevant circumstances before determining what penalty should be imposed. The penalty under these Acts need not be a small one. That having taken place, what is the next step? The case then goes to the Ministry of Food to determine whether or not the man's licence should be revoked— —the licence or ration document should be revoked or the points banking account should be closed. That, of course, is an Executive act, and there may be—I do not challenge this—cases where it is necessary in the public interest that, consequent upon the conviction, that step should be taken by the Ministry of Food. I do not challenge that in the least, but I hope that in all cases where that may ensue, that possible consequence will be brought to the attention of the tribunal before whom the person has been found guilty.

It does not stop with revocation because, these two conditions having been satisfied under this Measure, one finds it becomes an offence not for the convicted person to seek employment in a managerial capacity in the business of a retailer of rationed foods; it does not become an offence for him to try to get employment of the same character as that in respect of which he was convicted; but it becomes an offence for someone who has not been convicted at all, who is perfectly innocent, knowingly to employ him. May I put this position; we may get a man who is convicted of an offence under the Larceny Act, and the court before whom he appears, having regard to all the circumstances, think that the right course is to bind him over on probation. The Ministry of Food may say, in spite of that, "We do not think he can go on holding a licence; the licence must be revoked." That may be a perfectly proper course to take; but then that man goes to seek employment with some other retailer, that may be miles away, and maybe he tells him a hard luck story. If that retailer takes him on he commits a criminal offence.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Frank Soskice) indicated dissent.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

The Solicitor-General shakes his head, but one sees in paragraph (1) (b)that any retailer of any rationed food who employs that man, although the court which has gone fully into the circumstances thinks that the proper sentence upon him for the crime of which he has been found guilty is to bind him over—any retailer who employs that man, with the knowledge of that fact, commits a criminal offence in respect of which a serious penalty may be imposed upon him. I feel that that is wrong in these days. After all, the war has now been over for three years. The hon. Lady said that there was some similar provision in the general order. She, I am sure, is much more familiar with the general order than I am. At the moment, I cannot put my finger on it——

Dr. Summerskill

The 1943 Local Distribution Order.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

I am most grateful to the hon. Lady. She referred. us to the wrong order.

Dr. Summerskill

When I said the main order I was thinking of the order from which we derive these powers which is the 1943 Local Distribution Order.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

I am most grateful to the hon. Lady. She did lead me astray for one moment—but only for one moment. However, I quite understand her difficulty, with this mass of orders, in referring to the correct order in answer to a question, and I am grateful to her now for telling me which is the correct order. I am sorry that I have had no opportunity of looking at that order, but the situation, surely, has changed. This order is creating a new offence, otherwise the words in Paragraph 1 (b)are unnecessary. If it is already an offence knowingly to employ someone who has been convicted of an offence in relation to food under the Larceny Act then this new order is entirely unnecessary.

Dr. Summerskill

I thought I had explained that to the hon. and learned Gentleman. During the last 18 months we have changed our method of distribution. As I explained in my preamble, we have licensed food and permit food. It was necessary, therefore, to amend the Retailers' Order and to amend the General Provisions Order; that is why it has had to be mentioned twice.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

Both orders may be amended, but it is unnecessary to repeat part of the provisions in either a statute or a regulation creating a criminal offence. If the words in the original order are similar to the words set out in paragraph 2 (a)here, then there was no need to repeat them. I assume that they are not the same words, but I have not had an opportunity of checking them. If the hon. Lady intends to take this order back, I do ask her to look at this again, because surely it is putting a very heavy onus on an employer. The second and the greater objection I have to this is the principle—the principle of black-listing certain people arbitrarily, without any trial or any inquiry as to whether it is right to black-list them.

Mr. Tiffany (Peterborough)


Mr. Manningham-Buller

Oh, yes, indeed. The hon. Member must follow: convicted at an assize court after full inquiry, sentenced for the offence, and then in the exercise of the discretion of the Ministry the licence revoked; but then, following upon that, black-listed because he cannot be employed by anyone in a retailer's business who knows of the circumstances.

Mr. Tiffany

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman apply his argument in this direction? On his argument that it is wrong to punish on two occasions, if the manager of a business is convicted of theft and sentenced by the court is it wrong for the employer to dismiss that man—on the ground that he should not be punished a second time?

Mr. Manningham-Buller

That, of course, shows the woeful confusion of thought in the hon. Gentleman's mind. [Laughter.] —The hon. Member may laugh, but that man who is dismissed and convicted can go and find other employment in a similar business in another town without anyone being guilty of a criminal offence. Under this order the hon. Gentleman will realise that the individual who is convicted of an offence and who loses his licence cannot be employed managerially, financially or otherwise—whatever "or otherwise" means—in any other retailer's business in any other part of the country where that retailer knows that that man has been convicted.

Mr. Tiffany

Surely, the original argument, as adduced earlier and continued, was that it was wrong to punish a second time. But that happens on practically every occasion.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

I am afraid the hon. Member really is showing himself to be incapable of either following the argument or understanding the order. If when he is alone tonight he reads the order through to himself several times he will see, I am sure, that what I am saying about the order is right. If the hon. Lady is going to take away this order, as I think she must in view of what she has said, I ask her to look at this part again. Is it really necessary at this time, in addition to the power of revocation? It is all very well for her to say that under Regulation 30 of the General Regulations there is power to grant a licence. Does that mean that the Ministry of Food will licence particular employers to employ particular persons who have been convicted? If so, a very wide field is opened up.

In one part of her speech I did not follow the hon. Lady very clearly. It is all very well for the Ministry to talk about "custodians for the people" when speaking of Regulation 42c, but under that regulation the offence is drunkenness on the premises, for which an order is made by the chief constable. That, surely, has very little to do with the Ministry of Food?

Dr. Summerskill

Well, prostitutes do eat.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

I was not denying that elementary principle and I assume that, even if an order is made under the regulation, they still have to eat somewhere and are still entitled to get rations from the Ministry of Food without any revocation of a licence?

Surely, there is a broad distinction between offences under the Defence Regulations other than this one, the Larceny Act, the Sale of Food Act and the Food and Drugs Act, and an offence under Regulation 42. I am at a loss to see why Regulation 42C is brought into the picture at all. If someone has an order made in respect of his premises under that regulation, it seems somewhat illogical that he should not be employed in the business of a retailer in some other part of the country because, presumably, the man who has been convicted under that order had, or may have had, nothing to do with the retailing of food.

The hon. Lady did not deal with one further point on which I wish we could have an answer. In answer to a question she tried to define what was meant by "employment in a subordinate capacity"—financial, managerial or otherwise. What about the man who is employed in an intermediate capacity? Is it an offence so to employ somebody who has been convicted?

Dr. Summerskill

Can the hon. and learned Gentleman give me an illustration?

Mr. Manningham-Buller

Let us take the manager of a shop and suppose that under him are two or three individuals who are in charge of larger numbers of individuals. Are the two or three directly under him; do they come within this definition or not?

Dr. Summerskill

They are in a subordinate capacity.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

The manager may be in a subordinate capacity to the managing director of the company. The hon. Lady must go a little further than that.

Supposing that in a shop with two or three branches in the same building, each selling different articles, there is one manager and one person in charge of each branch of the shop, and under each person in charge of a bit of the shop there are several assistants. What is the position of the person in charge of each bit of the shop—managerial or subordinate?



Mr. Manningham-Buller

There ought not to be this vagueness about the interpretation of this order which, on the face of it, creates a criminal offence. The hon. Lady did her best to defend an order that is really not at all easy to defend. Even she, who has defended so many bad orders in her time, has failed, as she admits, to defend one part of it. In those circumstances, I hope she will say that this order will be withdrawn and a new one brought in tomorrow, one to which no objection can be taken, otherwise we can only do our best to assist her by voting against it.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I submit that we are in some confusion. The Minister in charge of the order and resisting the Prayer has already said she is not prepared to stand by the drafting of the schedule on which the order is made and has gone so far as to submit an alternative—which I think I am right in saying she hoped would appeal to those supporting the Prayer for the annulment of the order. In view of that and the fact that it is quite impossible for the House to amend an order, or any part of it, may I ask your Ruling Mr. Deputy-Speaker? Are we debating an order which is in existence, or a proposal for the removal of the order?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)

Clearly the House is debating an order in existence. I understand that the hon. Lady undertakes to bring in a fresh order and contemporaneously to revoke the existing order. It is a matter for the House and for the hon. Member in whose name the Motion stands, but in the circumstances he may wish to withdraw the Motion.

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)

Would not the sensible thing be for the Minister to withdraw the order which she has promised to amend now? Then, when it is withdrawn, we can go on to other business and she will get the new order all right. It seems to me that the Minister is holding up this matter.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I hardly think that is a point of Order. It seems to be a matter of argument addressed to the Minister on the course she does, or does not, desire to take.

9.16 p.m.

Mr. Hopkin Morris (Carmarthen)

The hon. Lady's argument is quite interesting. First she justified the continuation of an order made in 1943, a war order. Part of this order today, on her own admission, does not apply to existing conditions. She is not pleased with the last part of it. Then she puts forwards the defence, I think the correct and very right defence, that a part of the severe punishment, the revocation of the licence, is imposed for the protection of the public. I fully agree that it is necessary for the protection of the public.

I hope that when she considers the order she will further consider the provision that the person must first be prosecuted and convicted and then the licence revoked. Note what happens. He is prosecuted and convicted before the court, but the licence is revoked by the Minister. In the instance she gave of the person driving a car under the influence of drink, whose licence may be revoked because of the danger he may inflict on the public, that licence is revoked by the court as part of the judgment of the court which inquires into the offence. Where guilt is established, all the facts should be brought to the court and that court should have the power to revoke the licence, if it is revoked.

Mr. David Jones (The Hartlepools)

The hon. and learned Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Hopkin Morris) will admit that in the past when a man has been convicted, his employer has, dismissed him next day.

Mr. Hopkin Morris

If I understand the hon. Member aright, he complains about that as being unjust. If he does that, I agree with him, because that action is taken by a body which has never heard the evidence.

Mr. Attewell (Harborough)

How does it affect the doctor, or the solicitor?

Mr. Hopkin Morris

That, again, is not done by the court, but by a professional body, a professional trade union acting on their own initiative. That is completely outside the scope of the administration of justice. We are arguing that an executive Department should not act judicially but that the court should have complete power of judicial action as the body which hears the evidence and tries the offender. I am not objecting to the revocation of the licence, but that a Department which does not hear the evidence and before whom the offender himself is not heard, should revoke the licence. I hope the hon. Lady will look at the order again and bring the whole matter into line and transfer this power to the jurisdiction of the court.

Colonel Dower

What a hope.

Mr. Hopkin Morris

I hope the hon. Lady has some sense of the position of justice in this country, and I hope the Government have too. I do not think the position is as hopeless as the hon. and gallant Member for Penrith and Cocker-mouth (Colonel Dower) says. If she is prepared to take back the order why not take it back now? There were reasons for such orders during war-time. Because of the exigencies of war, there was a good deal of had legislation, which cannot be justified in peace-time. It is a bad thing to come into this House in peacetime to justify legislation because it was inevitable in war-time. If the hon. Lady is going to look again at the order she should look at it in the conditions of peace-time and the proper administration of justice, leaving the whole decision to the court that tries the defendant.

9.21 p.m.

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)

The hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary made a statement about supplies being more or less the same which interested me. There has been a remarkable similarity about her replies. I noticed, as the hon. and learned Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Hopkin Morris) said just now, that one of her chief delights was to turn on the party on these Benches and tell them that the National Government had to do the same thing in time of war When she says that, the Prime Minister, on those rare occasions when he comes here, or the Leader of the House or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster do not look at her too favourably, because she is back-biting them in that remark.

Her speech tonight was on the normal level, but she has for the first time of which I am aware, admitted that one of her orders contains a real blunder. I appreciate the fact that for the first time the hon. Lady has admitted that something is wrong. There is always hope for the sinner who goes on sinning year after year, when once he or she begins to per- ceive mistakes. I congratulate the hon. Lady on this sign of humility and real knowledge.

Perhaps the Solicitor-General can explain what is the use of this House passing this order tonight with the knowledge that it has in it a bad mistake which must be amended at once. Any honest Government would not allow it to run for a single day after the Parliamentary Secretary's admission. If the Government are going to allow it to run, I say more shame to them, although I would be more surprised if they took the honest course. Are we going to pass this order tonight in the knowledge that it must be withdrawn in a few days? Have we to divide on this order and go through all the paraphernalia knowing that the order may he withdrawn?

It should also be withdrawn because of one or two points which have emerged in this Debate. I do not think that a lot of Members on the other side of the House quite realise yet that under this order, if a man is turned out and his licence taken away under one of these orders, and if by chance he is employed by one of the great co-operative societies, it is liable to get into trouble. It is my duty, being one of those ordinary Members closely connected with every concern in his division, to look after the great co-operative movement, as well private interests. [Laughter.] I notice. when I say that, that one or two of these remote high-ups whom I see scattered on the Benches below the Gangway, and who are far removed from the common people of this country, naturally laugh and jeer. But that is not the only reason why this order should be withdrawn. I say that three years after the war we really ought not to have this sort of perpetual punishment, or at least punishment until the orders are withdrawn.

The Parliamentary Secretary referred to the fact that, in the cases of a great many thousands of people who had to have licences, the whole of the licensing system has been taken away. How do we know that the Government may not stop the whole licensing system for many of these trades during the next few months. Only a few days before bread rationing was taken away, we were told that it was wicked to suggest that it should be ended. We suggest that few of these licences are necessary today. I say quite frankly that, so far as this matter is concerned, this method of punishment which prevents a man who loses his licence from going back into his trade is wrong.

I end by appealing to the hon. Lady to look round at her own benches when they are full. Sometimes very much graver offences are committed and one can see that many high-ups in the Government today get off after a certain amount of time. How am I to answer a question from a constituent who loses a licence, and is deprived of his livelihood for many years and whose wife and family may be in poverty in consequence, when he says, "How does my position compare with the very much worse things in the eyes of many of us, that happened with the late Chancellor of the Exchequer?"

9.28 p.m.

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

I wish to say only a few words after the graceful speech of the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams). I have never seen him more mobile or more graceful, and I think that the whole House is grateful to him for the way in which he put his points. I ask the hon. Lady whether she would not be better advised to withdraw this order. I do not like the idea of it going out from this House that Ministers can make mistakes over this and that and then come down to this House and say, "We know we have done wrong, but we are not going to withdraw it. We know that we can do it in some other way. We think we have another loophole. We admit the mistake and that we have been wrong for some time, but we can do it in such a way as to escape blame."

I compare the attitude and position of the Minister with the attitude and position in which a small trader often finds himself or herself under the munificent regulations under which they have to operate at the present time. They do not have a second chance, they cannot withdraw a mistake. They are stigmatised in the public Press if some little case has gone through the courts. It does them an immense amount of damage. It affects their families and it may affect their livelihood for years to come. I do not think that it is right for a Minister to say, "I know there is a mistake here. We can redraft the order. This is the sort of thing we should like to say. We ask those who are opposing this order to accept our redraft and to give a second look at it." Why should a Minister be given a second chance when the ordinary trader is not? I have no personal bias in this matter, but I do not think it is good for any Ministry that this sort of thing should happen.

My second reason for wishing the order to be withdrawn is because of what has been said about the extraordinary switch-over in the application of justice in this country. The employer is made responsible for the whole of the past record of a man or woman whom he wishes to employ. What are we coming to under these conditions? Is the identity card to become a permanency under this order? Is the record of a man who has gone through the courts, or who has a black mark against him from the Ministry of Food under Regulation 42C. to be stamped on his identity card? Is the employer in any food retail establishment to say, "Ach, yes, it is Boot,'" or "Ach, it is not 'goot'"? We are getting very near to that state of affairs. We must all carry our licences and show our past records before we can be given licences from the Ministry of Food to be employed by a private retailer——

Mr. Sargood (Bermondsey, West)

The hon. Gentleman just made a point with regard to a person who has been convicted and has a record. Is it not a fact that many hundreds of employers in this country require that a man must disclose on his application form for employment whether he has had a conviction for any form of offence?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I do not think that that question has very much to do with the subject we are discussing. Let me give an example. A retailer applies to the Ministry of Labour, through the employment exchange, for the services of some individual, man or woman, to help in a retail trade connected with licensed foods. Will he get the criminal record of the man who is offered to him through the employment exchange? Of course, he will not. Yet, under this order, he is responsible for employing that man or woman if that person has been previously convicted. I think the Minister will agree that the order as drafted makes the employer responsible for employing an individual if a conviction has been recorded against that individual.

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Gentleman will see the word, "knowingly." The order says: No retailer of any rationed food shall knowingly permit… In the case he is quoting, the man would not know.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

If one of the people came along from the Ministry of Food and inquired into a case of knowingly or unknowingly defrauding the people and making mistakes about licences, and if he applied the same sort of value to the word "knowingly," when used in this respect, nobody would have a dog's chance of standing up against this order. The word "knowingly "in these circumstances means very little indeed.

It is a great pity that the Minister does not withdraw this order. That would be a graceful act. We are not embittered about this business, but it would be very much better to deal with it in that way. She should not say in the same breath, "I know that a mistake has been made—a drafting error has been made—and that the mistake has been found out. We want to put it right and here is the way in which we want to do it." All the arguments adduced from this side of the House have shown points which clearly have not been fully considered. Answers to those points have not been fully and properly given. If there were any answers, we have had the learned Solicitor-General present on the Front Bench, and those answers could have been provided. They have not been provided, and I think that is because the points that have been made are unanswerable. I beg the Government to withdraw the order and leave the whole field clear for the introduction of a new draft.

9.35 p.m.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre (New Forest and Christchurch)

I think we have been rather side-tracked in the last half-hour. The hon. Lady has repented about paragraph 3 of the Schedule and has said that where the order has been revoked the penalties under it will not be fulfilled. As I understood her, that is the sole concession that she is willing to give. She has made no attempt to answer the point directed to her. If she looks at paragraph 1 (b) she will see that in perfectly open employment, without any question of conviction, of legal proceedings or an appeal or anything else, she will still be entitled to say that the licence or ration document can be revoked, but, once she has done that, the full implication of this order comes into force. There is no question about somebody who may have been convicted of drunkenness or larceny, but only that, for some reason or other, they have incurred the displeasure of the Minister of Food. If the hon. Lady looks at the main order, she will see, in Article 24 (c), that she has the power of cancelling the registration of a person, or the nomination of an establishment, and, under Subsection 2. Any person to whom any such instructions are given under this Order shall comply with such instructions. While, in fact, the hon. Lady has come here and said that she may have made a mistake, under Regulation 42C, she will reserve to herself the very right, which we have challenged, that her Ministry, without reference to anybody, may make somebody liable under this order and have the means of depriving them of future employment in this industry.

The hon. Lady has also been very careful not to state on any occasion what the words "or otherwise" mean. My hon. and learned Friend on the Front Bench tried to obtain from her a definition of the word "managerial," but he was unsuccessful, and even he did not try to find out what the words "or otherwise" mean. The hon. Lady has not been forthcoming in trying to elucidate that matter. As the order now stands, anybody in the categories which she has enumerated can be debarred from employment, not by his having committed an offence, but simply because the Ministry have revoked his licence; and, not only that—he may find that, under Section 30 of the main Act, these words "or otherwise" will still debar him.

I suggest that, when the hon. Lady has admitted a small fault, it would be much more honourable to take back the whole order, under which she is trying to exercise powers for which there is no justification, and for which she has produced no reason whatever. She should, in honour, take the order back and try to produce something which will meet her requirements, which we on this side of the House admit, without imposing an intolerable burden on working people. The hon. Lady has said that nobody will suffer, but how can she say that when, in fact, she still retains the power to debar anybody from continued employment in any of the categories which come under this order. I hope she will think again, not because we quarrel with what she is trying to do, but because what she would achieve under this order will be the last thing which she wants to do.

9.40 p.m.

Mr. Royle (Salford, West)

During the last half hour, the Debate has centred on a question of wording and has become a quibble on legal matters, and, as a result, we have got completely away from the fundamentals of this order. I want to bring the House back to what the amendment of this order really means. The order is designed to provide protection, not only for o the population, but, I suggest, for the legitimate trader who is playing the game in the course of his rationing activities. I suggest that hon. Members opposite are tonight very definitely defending the criminal class.

The Ministry of Food never revoke a licence unless there is very strong justification for doing so. Cases are heard in the law courts, or in the higher court, and only after many prosecutions, in most cases, are licences revoked. That proves conclusively that a serious offence has been committed. I suggest that it is wrong for any Member of this House to place such individuals in a position to repeat the offence in the same town or in another part of the country. As a trader myself, I would object to people who were constantly kicking over the traces in important matters of this kind continuing in business to the detriment of honest traders. I sincerely hope that the Minister and my hon. Friends will resist the Prayer to the utmost.

Question put, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Order, dated 18th October, 1948, entitled the Food Rationing (General Provisions) Order, 1948 (Amendment No. 3) Order, 1948 (S.1., 1948, No. 2319), a copy of which was delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on 19th October, in the last Session of Parliament, be annulled.

The House divided: Ayes, 50; Noes, 242.

Division No. 3.] AYES [9.42 p.m.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W Spearman, A. C. M
Bennett, Sir P. Langford-Holt, J. Spence, H. R.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Lipson. D. L. Studholme, H. G.
Bossom, A. C Low, A. R. W. Sutcliffe, H.
Bowers, R. Maclay, Hog. J. S Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Bower, N. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Touche, G. C.
Butcher, H. W Manningham-Buller, R. E Wadsworth, G.
Carson, E. Marlowe, A. A. H. Wakefield, Sir W. W
Channon, H. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Walker-Smith, D.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G Medlicott, Brigadier F. Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Conant, Maj R. J. E Morrs, Hopkin (Carmarthen) White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Morris-Jones, Sir H. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Dower, Col. A V. G. (Penrith) Odey, G. W. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Drewe, C. Orr-Ewing, I. L. York, C.
Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone) Rayner, Brig. R.
Gage, C. Sanderson, Sir F. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Shephard, S. (Newark) Sir John Mellor and Mr. Drayson
Jennings, R. Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Adams, Richard (Balham) Blackburn, A. R. Coldrick, W.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Boardman, H. Collick, P.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. Bowden, Fig. Offr. H. W. Collindridge, F.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge) Collins, V.J
Alpaca, J. H. Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Cook, T. F.
Attewell, H. C. Bramall, E. A. Corlett, Dr. J.
Austin, H. Lewis Brook, O. (Halifax) Cove, W. G.
Ayles, W. H Brown, T. J. (Ince) Cullen. Mrs. A
Bacon, Miss A Bruce, Maj. D. W T Daggar, G.
Baird, J. Burden, T. W. Daines, P
Balfour, A. Burke, W. A. Davies, Edward (Burslem)
Barstow, P. G Callaghan, James Davies, Harold (Leek)
Barton, C. Castle, Mrs B. A Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)
Battley, J. R. Champion, A. J. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Bechervaise, A. E Chetwynd, G. R Deer, G.
Benson, G. Cobb, F. A. Diamond, J.
Berry, H. Cocks, F. S. Dobbie, W.
Dodds, N. N Lang, G. Royle, C
Donovan, T. Lavers, S. Sargood, R
Driberg, T. E. N. Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J Scollan, T.
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Lee, F. (Hulme) Scott-Elliot, W
Dumpleton, C. W Leslie, J. R. Shackleton, E. A. A.
Dye, S. Levy, B. W. Sharp, Granville
Edwards, John (Blackburn) Lewis, J. (Bolton) Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Shurmer, P.
Evans, Albert (Islington, W.) Lindgren, G. S. Silkin, Rt. Hon. L
Evans, John (Ogmore) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Lynn, A. W Simmons, C. J.
Ewart, R. McAdam, W. Skeffington, A. M.
Fairhurst, F. McAllister, G. Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Farthing, W. J. McEntee, V. La T Skinnard, F. W.
Fernyhough, E. Mack, J. D. Smith, C. (Colchester)
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E) McKay, J. (Wallsend) Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Follick, M. Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Forman, J. C. Maclean, N. (Govan) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Fraser, T. (Hamilton) McLeavy, F Steele, T.
Freeman, J. (Watford) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H T N Mallalieu, J. P W. (Huddersfield) Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Ganley, Mrs. C. S Mann, Mrs. J. Swingler, S.
Gibbins, J Medland, H. M Sylvester, G O.
Gibson, C. W Mellish, R. J. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Gilzean, A. Middleton, Mrs L Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Mikardo, Ian Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood) Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Grenfell, D. R. Mitchison, G. R Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Grey, C. F. Monslow, W. Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Grierson, E. Moody, A. S. Thorneycroft, Harry (Glayton)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J (Llanelly) Morgan, Dr. H. B Thurtle, Ernest
Gunter, R. J. Morley, R. Tiffany, S.
Guy, W. H. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Timmons, J.
Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.) Titterington, M. F.
Hale, Leslie Mort, D. L. Turner-Samuels, M.
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Moyle, A Ungoed-Thomas, L
Hardy, E. A. Nally, W. Viant, S. P.
Hastings, Dr, Somerville Neal, H. (Claycross) Walker, G. H.
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E)
Herbison, Miss M. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Warbey, W. N.
Hobson, C. R. Noel-Baker, Capt. F E. (Brentford) Watkins, T. E
Holman, P. Oliver, G. H. Watson, W. M
Horabin, T. L Orbach, M. Weitzman, D.
Hoy, J. Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Hubbard, T. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Parkin, B. T. West, D. G.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) While, H. (Derbyshire, N.E)
Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Paton, J. (Norwich) Whiteley, Rt. Hon W
Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Pearson, A. Wigg, George
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Peart, T. F. Wilkins, W. A.
Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool) Perrins, W. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.) Porter, G. (Leeds) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Proctor, W T Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Danner, B. Pryde, D. J. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Jay, D. P. T. Pursey, Comdr. H Williams, R. W. (Wigan)
Jeger, G. (Winchester) Randall, H. E. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Ranger, J. Willis, E.
Jenkins, R. H. Rankin, J. Wills, Mrs. E. A
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Reid, T. (Swindon) Wilson, Rt. Hon. J H
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Rhodes, H. Woods, G. S
Keenan, W. Richards, R. Yates, V. F
Kenyon, C Ridealgh, Mrs. M
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Robens, A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Kinghorn, Sqn.Ldr. E. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Mr. Hannan and Mr. George Wallace
Kinley, J Ross, William (Kilmarnock)

Question put, and agreed to.