HC Deb 14 June 1950 vol 476 cc226-442
The Chairman

It may be for the convenience of the Committee if I say that I propose to call the first Amendment on the Order Paper on the understanding that the general principle involved will not be debated again on the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." I hope the Committee will agree with that, and, on that understanding, I call Mr. Oliver Lyttelton.

3.35 p.m.

Mr. Oliver Lyttelton (Aldershot)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 17, to leave out subsection (1).

We on these benches quite understand, Major Milner, that if the general argument is developed upon the Amendment which you so kindly call—a procedure which will, I think, be for the convenience of the Committee—it will not be open to us to raise general matters again on the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

May I say at the outset that the Opposition are deprived of the presence of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Stanley) and also of my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North (Mr. Peake) by illness, a thing which I personally very greatly regret, and I think that my regret will be shared on all sides of the Committee. The deliberations on these matters would have been greatly assisted by the wit, urbanity and Parliamentary experience which my two right hon. Friends are accustomed to develop on these occasions, and I ask for such indulgence as the Committee is prepared to give me in trying to be an unworthy substitute for them.

The object of this Amendment is perfectly clear; it is to abolish the increase of 9d. a gallon on petrol. I should like to remind hon. Members of the history of the Petrol Duties. After a lapse they were reintroduced at 4d. a gallon in 1928, raised to 6d. in 1931, and, as a crisis measure, to 8d. plus 1d. in 1938. Our discussion on this Amendment must, to some extent, be bound up with the matter of petrol rationing, especially on the yield of the taxation, and I find it extremely difficult to discern any general theme running through Government policy on the matter of petrol.

During the Budget speech, if I read the Chancellor aright, he regarded the Petrol Duty mainly as a means for reducing consumption. In fact, he used the rather curious or inverted phrase: Fiscal inducements to economy have become necessary."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th April, 1950; Vol. 474, c. 74.] I should have said that fiscal burdens were to be put upon the population in order to reduce consumption. Since he used those words, petrol rationing has been abolished altogether, and, surely, we are entitled to ask whether the Petrol Duty was intended primarily as a revenue tax or to restrict consumption. Furthermore, we are entitled to ask whether the Chancellor anticipates success for his policy of reducing consumption or whether he anticipates its failure, in which case his estimates of the revenue to be derived from the tax would have to be raised upwards. That is a point on which, I think, the Committee is entitled to have further information from the Government. We are now among the most highly taxed in respect of petrol in the whole Commonwealth, and only in Pakistan, Ceylon and Malaya are these taxes exceeded.

I ask the Committee to accept this Amendment for several reasons. The first is a general point. We consider any increases in taxation not to be tolerable at this time considering the present general level of taxation which, at 43.7 per cent. of the national income, is the highest in the world. We consider that there should be no increases in taxation, and that where relief is obviously necessary it must be made out of economies in Government expenditure. On this Amendment we cannot, of course, deal with the general budgetary position, but must attack those taxes which appear to be against the public interest, and I borrow the phrase from one which is continually in the mouths of hon. Members opposite—"The public interest"—a catchword very often. If the Government reject this Amendment it will only redouble and add weight to our representations on others.

Secondly, there are massive trade reasons which make this duty thoroughly unsound. It will raise the cost of production and the cost of distribution, for example, by increasing fares all over the country and by making the transport of components within the various assembly plants in industry more expensive. Thirdly, it represents the pursuit of the anti-motoring and anti-motorist policy which is a feature of the intentions of the present Government, both in the past and now. I have already dealt with the general point that we consider any increases in taxation intolerable at the present time. I want to go on to discuss, in greater detail, first of all the trade reasons and then the motoring reasons.

Allied to the trade reasons is the matter of the cost of living. The Chancellor himself estimated that passenger transport costs would go up by 4 per cent., I think, in the country and by 5 per cent. in London. I do not think that these percentages, though no doubt quite accurate, give a really true picture of the burden which the population will have to bear. Many of these increased costs cannot be absorbed by the existing transport organisations and industry, and increased fares will become inevitable. The signs of these are already clearly to be seen.

The additional tax in a full year on these undertakings, as far as I can obtain estimates, is as follows—British Transport Commission £6 million, London Transport £1,250,000, Scottish Motor Traction £156,000, and in South Wales £50,000; and there are many municipalities which are working on a very fine margin and will have to pass on the increased duty to the passenger.

Manchester estimates the increased cost at £185,000 a year, Birmingham at £188,000, Liverpool £105,000, and there are corresponding increases in smaller municipalities. We think that this steady rise in this particular cost of living is one of the most unsatisfactory features of our present economy. To keep some perspective of this duty it is necessary to see what the cost of living has been. The Ministry of Labour official index of retail prices begins in 1947 at 100. In 1948 it was 104, in 1949 109, in December, 1949, 113 and in April, 1950, 115.

It must be expected that the increase of this Petrol Duty will most hardly hit the middle classes and what is called in America the white collar worker, not because they necessarily use more transportation to go to work than the industrial worker, but because their salaries and wages have not shown the same buoyancy during the last five years as those of people engaged in industry. Even after the Lord President discovered the middle classes at about the time of the General Election, and before he discovered Scotland considerably afterwards, hon. Members opposite have been courting the middle classes and expressing sympathy. But when it comes to action we find a tax which will particularly hit them. Not only the middle classes, but the whole of that section of the population who travel to work will find the cost of getting to work, particularly in great cities, greatly increased. All these costs are a very important item in the family budget.

Let me turn for a moment to the effect upon the cost of production, which is very much wider than one would be led to expect when looking at the tax at first. We have become accustomed, and none of us has any complaint about that, to a continuous stream of exhortation—necessary exhortation—to lower British industrial costs. Only by lower costs are we going to maintain even our present standard of living and break into new export markets. The exhortations are so familiar that I need hardly repeat them. It is only when it comes to action that these exhortations are seen to be mere words. They are mere lip-service to an idea.

3.45 p.m.

We do not need to be told that our economic life exists in buying raw materials, working them up into a finished article and exporting some of them. The general matter of internal transport costs can be very well illustrated by the case of Birmingham. Birmingham imports raw materials from the seaboard, pays inward freight, works the materials into finished articles and distributes them over the country or sends them to a port for export. So, Birmingham, in the centre of England, is particularly interested in the matter of costs of internal transport. The burden, so to speak, is doubled compared with many cities nearer the seaboard. Rail freights have already been increased by 16⅔ per cent. A city like Birmingham will have to bear this on inward and outward freight. Now the alternative of transport by road—very much used because it is more efficient in many cases—is to bear a new tax.

May I use another instance very familiar to hon. Members in all parts of the Committee? There were times in the cotton and textile industry when cotton in various stages of processing used to move from one works to another by rail. Piece goods went to the weaver and woven goods to the finisher, bleacher and dyer and so forth by rail. Now this traffic is largely covered by road, because short-haul road traffic is a much more efficient means of carrying cotton through the various processes than transport by rail, and for no greater reason than that obviously transport by road involves only two handling costs. All through the report of the American Productivity Committee runs the thread that we must try to reduce our handling costs in Great Britain. Here, where we are trying to do it, an extra tax is imposed.

In face of these exhortations about reducing costs, and particularly costs in handling, it is a dismal paradox that not content with raising rail freights, the Government should now put an extra burden on road freight. It makes us believe that these exhortations are mere words and that it is Government deeds that raise costs. Nothing will persuade me that the Government, in desiring to make road transport more expensive, are not trying somehow to support the nationalised railways. That is a very vicious principle and if it is carried out, as it may be in other fields, it will have a disastrous effect upon the whole national economy by turning traffic away from methods which are most efficient.

I have mentioned textiles more particularly, but there are many industries I could cite. The increase in the cost of building is going to be serious as a result of this tax. I have a copy here of a letter from an area market manager of the National Coal Board. This is what he says: Arising from the increase in haulage rates and haulage costs resulting from the 1950 Budget, it has been found necessary to increase the price of common building bricks ex works. At the same time, it is also necessary to increase the road haulage rates. I therefore beg to announce that as from and including Monday the 15th inst. the price of common building bricks ex works will be increased by 2s. 0d. per 1,000 and that as from the same date road haulage rates will be increased by 7½ per cent. Having learned the official jargon to some extent he finishes: Trusting to be favoured with a continuance of your esteemed orders. I am, yours faithfully, Area Market Manager for N.C.B. But he has let a considerable cat out of the bag in the course of this agreeable letter.

Now let me refer to the cost of distribution and to the often reiterated demands, with which we on these benches concur, that the cost of distribution should be reduced to the minimum consistent with efficiency and with the convenience of the consumer. Again it seems to us that these exhortations are mere lip service. When it comes to trying to put them into effect the Government introduce a tax which will have the effect of raising the cost of distribution all over the country.

Already I see forecasts on such varied subjects as laundry, vegetables, perishable goods and milk, which show that the cost to the consumer of these articles will have to be increased as a result of this tax. I notice that "The Times" estimates the total rise in the cost of living to be about 1 per cent. That is a serious matter at any time, but I think hon. Members will agree that it is doubly or trebly so now when a fall in the cost of living should be one of the prime objects of our economic and fiscal policy.

The third point which I want to put before the Committee is what I call the anti-motoring and anti-motorist policy which the Government have always pursued. I think this arose originally from the idea that the motor car belonged to the privileged few and that, therefore, to be anti-motorist was to be a good Socialist. Unfortunately, the momentum of these past heresies has carried forward into the minds of hon. Members today when the situation is very different and when one of the semi-necessaries, or semi-luxuries if you like, which the population most desire is a motor car and when motoring is carried on so much by the small man. It is entirely wrong to think that motorcars belong to the privileged few, even to Ministers.

This idea that motoring is a specialised activity which can be singled out has been much reinforced by some of the economic advisers to the Government who advised them that the British export motor industry was down and out. Their view, as so often happens with economic advisers, has been entirely disproved by the event. The figures will show that the export of vehicles is the largest single export to the hard currency areas out of the whole of our exports. I think it has exceeded our traditional first export to hard currency areas, namely whisky. We shall be referring later to the figures referring to commercial vehicles but in commercial vehicles alone, the increase in our exports has been 1,000 per cent. since 1938.

The motor industry itself will be affected by this tax particularly in the transport of components into the assembly works from a variety of sources, and these are efficiently carried only by road. Of course, it is very pertinent to remember that the motor industry is a large consumer of petrol for engine testing, vehicle testing and for delivery to docks for export and so forth. This tax will bring a direct increase in the cost of our exports at a time when I should have thought it would be clear to everybody that the margins in our favour are very narrow.

I believe that the cheapest American automobile is the Chevrolet 21 horsepower, now selling at about 1,550 dollars, and we have to try and compete with that with smaller types of vehicles, of which I think the 10 horse-power is the very smallest which has any chance of competing in that particular market; these are selling at just under 1,500 dollars today and are doing a fairly good business. I estimate the increase in the cost of these vehicles at between £10 and £20, which is just the critical cost in the export market.

Lastly, there is a very technical matter with which I must weary the Committee for a moment, and that is connected with the general design of our motor cars. The present Minister of Town and Country Planning when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer eventually agreed that the tax upon horse-power, calculated upon the old formula, distorted the design of British motor cars, and I should think that every hon. Member would agree that where taxation has a direct effect upon design it is bad. At least, the then Chancellor thought so, and on this occasion he was, I believe, wise and far-seeing. I cannot speak for any other occasion. Since the flat rate of tax in 1947 was introduced, the British designer has been able to design motor cars and engines for the needs of the user and not primarily for the need for reducing the fiscal burden on the motorist.

The figures show that this has indeed happened. Since 1947 the average motor car engine size has increased from 1,391 cubic centimetres to 1,700 cubic centimetres. We should all consider that in modern conditions that trend towards larger engines is highly desirable, especially for export. I believe there is no single cause which is more responsible for the buoyancy of our export of motor cars than the fact that we have been able to design bigger engines.

Clearly the doubling of the present Petrol Duty—that is what it is; it is a 100 per cent. increase—will nullify many of the previous measures, and it is once again going to swing us back on to high speed small engines designed primarily to reduce the consumption of petrol. I think that what appeared to us before to be an enlightened realisation of the possibilities of export by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer will be cancelled out by the doubling of this tax by his successor.

My arguments on this Amendment might be summed up like this. We do not believe in any general increase in taxation. An increase of 100 per cent. in the Petrol Duty will send up the cost of living and will bear hardly upon family budgets, particularly of those who have to be carried to work as so large a proportion of the workers in the country are. At the same time, as a husband finds a most unwelcome increase in his budget due the increased fares, his wife will find when she goes shopping that the increased cost of distribution brought about by this tax will put up the price of the things which she buys, and will give a further impetus to the rise in the cost of living which is such an evil feature of our present times.

Lastly, the motorist, who for reasons best known to hon. Members opposite is regarded by them as a man using a luxury, is going to have a very sharp rise in the cost of his motoring. I estimate that to be, on the most modest use of the motor car, about £12 10s. a year, and in many cases it will be £20 or more. There are some people so hedonistic in outlook that they actually like to take their cars out for pleasure and go to the seaside or to the country—most reprehensible, no doubt, and entirely against the New College and Winchester view of what is proper. But there it is, these unregenerate people think they are entitled to a little fun. If we ignore the idea of going to the seaside in a small motor car, we must not ignore the fact that there are many other forms of motoring like that carried on by doctors, surgeons, midwives, nurses and school teachers upon whom this tax will bear very heavily. It is very difficult to fasten upon them the terrible charge that their motoring is for pleasure. They will find their cost will rise sharply. It seems to me that, at this time, the tax goes quite against what should be our policy. I think it is a very ill-judged measure. It will have a great effect not only on the cost of living but also upon the cost of production, upon our ability to export and upon the cost of distribution.

4.0 p.m.

Surgeon Lieut.-Commander Reginald Bennett (Gosport and Fareham)

It is with most unusual diffidence and humility that I rise to make my maiden utterance in this House, particularly as my maidenly status is, to say the least, becoming a little long in the teeth, and it is with added diffidence that I face the Wykehamist cohorts across the Floor as a humble member of Winchester and New College who most definitely opposes their views.

I find it very difficult to understand what is the object of this tax. The idea of saving petrol and dollars does not seem to have been carried very far in consequence of the tax and it seems to me that the effect on so many of the function of this country, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) so ably pointed out, will be disastrous. I should like, in particular, to mention one point which unduly hurts the members of the constituency which has done me the honour of sending me here, and it is the effect of the tax on bus transport.

In the constituency from which I come, we have a small 'bus company, the Gosport and Fareham Omnibus Company, which carries an enormous amount of traffic. For 50 years, ever since it started with horse tram cars, the company has never once increased its fares and for 10 years past, during which time the cost of wages and other expenses has risen by £35,000 a year, this company has succeded in so increasing its traffic and efficiency as never to ask for more money in fares. Now has come this sudden blow in this Budget which will cost this small company £9,000 a year straight away. It has at last reduced the company to calling upon the authorities to allow an increase in fares—and that after such a long and splendid record.

The increase will hit everybody using this company, which provides a service that may well be the envy of Londoners, because it is one of the very few in the country which has a penny fare. From now on, there will be an addition of a halfpenny on every stage and there will be a halfpenny on every workman's ticket. From now on, everybody using the company's services, which in effect is everybody in the district, will have an addition to the budget for every member of the family.

I think this is a most iniquitous and unfair imposition, an extra burden on the cost of living which should be avoided. The tax does not seem to have any clear purpose except that of "raising the wind" and I should like most humbly, and as a maiden speaker, to offer my support of this Amendment to annul it.

The Minister of State for Economic Affairs (Mr. Gaitskell)

It is with very real pleasure that I offer my sincere congratulations to the hon. and gallant Member for Gosport and Fareham (Surgeon Lieut.-Commander Bennett) on his most successful maiden voyage. He has had, of course, a very good education and he has also a very distinguished war record. All of us very much enjoyed his speech which, if I may say so, I think with the agreement of all hon. Members, was almost unnecessarily brief. We could well have listened to him longer, and we look forward to doing so on many future occasions.

I should like also to join with the right hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) in expressing our regret at the absence from the Committee of the right hon. Members for Bristol, West (Mr. Stanley) and the Member for Leeds, North (Mr. Peake). I hope I shall not be giving offence to any other right hon. or hon. Gentleman opposite if I say that we regard them as among the wittiest and most penetrating speakers on the Opposition side. Of course, in the present state of affairs in this Committee we cannot regret the absence of any Member of the Opposition, but had it been possible I would gladly have had them here to speak, so long as they disappeared immediately they had concluded their speeches. I say all that despite the fact that both right hon. Gentlemen were educated at Eton and not at Winchester.

The implications of this Amendment are, of course, perfectly clear. It not only involves the complete abolition in so many terms of Clause 1—of, indeed, all the first five Clauses of the Bill—but, if carried, it would completely transform the Budget because it would also mean dropping Clause 19 and the reliefs in Income Tax proposed in that Clause. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] The reason is that the purpose of the Petrol Duty was to "raise the wind"—to use the phrase of the hon. and gallant Member for Gosport and Fareham—to relieve Income Tax. It is true that other arguments have been brought into the discussion and will be brought into it, but the purpose of the tax is perfectly clear. It was introduced in order to provide the necessary finance to secure the reduction in the rate of Income Tax from 6s. to 5s. and from 3s. to 2s. 6d. on the first part of income subject to taxation. Indeed, the actual amount of revenue to be raised by this Petrol Duty is expected in the first year to be £68½ million, whereas the Income Tax reliefs cost £72 million.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer made the position perfectly clear in his Budget statement, from which I should like to quote a few words. At the end of his speech, he said: The Committee will therefore see that what we propose—apart from a few minor adjustments—is the increase of an indirect tax which is very broadly spread in order to give proportionately more relief in direct taxation to the lower income groups, although all Income Tax payers will get some benefit."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th April, 1950; Vol. 474, c. 78.]

Mr. Lyttelton

The right hon. Gentleman will perhaps agree that his right hon. and learned Friend also gave other reasons which appear in column 74 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, the principal reason being to achieve a reduction in consumption.

Mr. Gaitskell

I have already said that, of course, other arguments were brought into it. When one wants to "raise the wind" for a particular purpose, in this case for the relief of Income Tax, one naturally looks round to see what is the best way of doing it. Various considerations then come into the picture. I will deal with those in a moment, but I must first make it perfectly plain that if it had not been for the desire of my right hon. and learned Friend to relieve Income Tax it would not have been necessary to impose this Petrol Duty, and one cannot really separate the two things one from the other.

Mr. Lyttelton

I am very sorry to interrupt again, but this is a very novel type of argument which is seeking to link some particular rise in revenue with some particular reduction in taxation. I think the argument falls completely to the ground. The right hon. Gentleman can deal with this position only from the point of view of the whole budgetary position.

Mr. Gaitskell

So far from being novel, it was in fact precisely the argument used by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition when he introduced the original Petrol Duty in 1928. He was there seeking to find the funds, or "raise the wind," if hon. Members prefer that phrase, to provide money to relieve industry from rates, and that was his argument brought into the course of the Debate again and again.

It has been suggested, not by the right hon. Gentleman today but in the Press—and no doubt it will be suggested by other hon. Members—that, because of the de-rationing of petrol and the increase in revenue which follows from it, it is no longer necessary for us to have this tax or at any rate to have such a large tax. I think it will be for the convenience of the Committee if I explain straight away what is the attitude of the Government to this matter.

Of course, the effect of the Amendment would be to reduce the increased revenue from the Petrol Duty from the present figure of £68½ million this year, plus a further £20 which we expect will be received as a result of de-rationing, to approximately £10 million. In other words, the increased consumption as a result of de-rationing will bring in another £20 million on top of the £68½ million, whereas, if we were to do away with the tax altogether, the only addition at the old tax rates would be the extra £10 million from de-rationing.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd (Wirral)

Is the right hon. Gentleman assuming that there will be no reduction in consumption?

Mr. Gaitskell


Mr. Lloyd

May I make the point clear? If there is no reduction in consumption, the tax will yield more.

Mr. Gaitskell

The figures I have given are perfectly clear. The original estimate was £68,500,000 after taking into account any reductions there might be—

Mr. Lloyd

In consumption?

Mr. Gaitskell

In consumption. As I say, we then had de-rationing, which we estimate will bring in another £20 million from the Petrol Duty. I was only saying—it is a small point really—that if the Amendment were carried, instead of getting this total of £88,500,000 we should get only about £10 million from de-rationing. In addition, we expect to increase the revenue from licence duties, because of the bringing to an end of the half-rate concession, by another £3,500,000, so that the net effect of de-rationing should be some £23,500,000; and it is that sum—or something like it—which has, of course, been discussed in the Press, and various suggestions have been made as to what might be done with it.

I have to tell the Committee straight away that the greater part of it has already been absorbed by the changes which have been announced and with which the Committee are familiar. In particular we shall need to find another £7 million this year to provide the National Assistance amounts which the Minister of National Insurance announced recently—I think just after the Budget speech. Furthermore, we shall need to find another £3,500,000 to meet the cost of the special grants to agriculture in order that it may be relieved from this particular tax so far as agricultural vehicles are concerned. That makes £10,500,000. The third important change which is going to cost us some revenue, since the tax was announced, is the new Clause on unilateral relief for double taxation. Without going into the matter in detail at this moment, which would obviously be out of order, I can say that we expect to lose some £9,500,000 as a result of that Clause, making in all about £20 million which has already been absorbed. The right hon. Gentleman emphasised that what he was criticising was the level of Government expenditure. Of course, quite rightly, he did not go into details, and I do not propose to do so either, for it would be quite out of order.

I say again that the real issue is this. Was it a good plan or was it not a good plan to make this switch in taxation? Was it a good plan on the one side to reduce the rates of Income Tax and on the other to find the money for it by increasing the Petrol Duty? I do not think there is very much doubt among any hon. Members that the tax remissions are something which we all desire. It is very seldom that tax remissions are not desired. But I would go further than that. I would say that these particular remissions, the reduction of the 6s. and 3s. rates to 5s. and 2s. 6d. were particularly favoured by the Opposition themselves. Indeed, I think I am right in saying that they claim the authorship of them. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] They presumably cannot object to the reasons for the increase in the Petrol Tax. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] They really must face up to this. The reason this tax on petrol has been increased is entirely to find the money for the Income Tax remissions. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."]

Now I will come to the special considerations which also enter in so far as Petrol Duty is concerned. The first thing to which I want to draw the attention of the Committee is this. The Petrol Duty, as the right hon. Gentleman said, was first introduced in 1928. It was 4d. a gallon. It was increased in two successive bites at the cherry to 8d. a gallon and by another 1d. to 9d. a gallon in 1938. It has a very respectable pedigree, supported by both sides of the Committee. If I may say so, many of the arguments which the right hon. Gentleman used against this particular increase in taxation being made now were dealt with very admirably by Conservative speakers and Conservative Front Bench men during the Debates in 1928 and again in 1938. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman made himself familiar with those arguments in order that he might know what the reply of the Government was likely to be.

4.15 p.m.

Mr. Lyttelton

The level and the degree of the tax have some bearing.

Mr. Gaitskell

I am just coming to that. The significant fact is surely that the proportion of the Petrol Duty to the total revenue had, of course, fallen very substantially before we put if up again. Ninepence a gallon before the war brought in a sum of approximately £60 million, which was then, in proportion to the total revenue, 6½ per cent. In 1949—that is, the last tax year—the Petrol Duty revenue was very little changed. It had gone up by about £2,250,000 to £62,500,000; but, the percentage of the Petrol Duty revenue to the total revenue had fallen from 6½ per cent. to just over 1½ per cent. [Interruption.] I do not understand why the right hon. Gentleman thinks that is so peculiar or thinks it so irrelevant. It is, of course, extremely relevant to any serious fiscal policy because, in fact, what has happened is that we have had very substantial increases, not only made by this Government but made by the Coalition Government during the war, in Income Tax, Death Duties, Purchase Tax, Tobacco Duty, Beer Duty—all the other things—

Mr. Osborne (Louth)

And inflation.

Mr. Gaitskell

—while all the time the Petrol Duty has remained unchanged. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why."] I ask hon. Members to pay attention to what I can assure them is a serious argument. [Interruption.] Somebody says it is too intellectual, but really a little intellect is not a bad thing.

Is is obviously the duty of any Chancellor of the Exchequer, when every Budget comes, to consider whether there should be changes in the level of taxation as between different taxes, and my right hon. and learned Friend, in my view, is absolutely right to say that Income Tax, in relation to the Petrol Duty, has become too high, and that it would be a good thing to increase the Petrol Duty and reduce the Income Tax. [Interruption.] I am bound to say I cannot understand why the Opposition find it so difficult to appreciate what obviously is the duty of any Chancellor of the Exchequer.

We are defending a perfectly legitimate policy. The right hon. Gentleman talked about the matter being silly but, if I may say so, he will not find it nearly so silly if he looks at it from the point of view of the Income Tax payer. I should have said that, far from its being silly, there is everything to be said for reducing a tax which is very keenly felt and increasing a tax which, whatever may be said about it—and I shall deal with the criticism in a minute—is certainly not going to be felt nearly so keenly. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] If hon. Members opposite or their predecessors in fact found in the then Budget and the then national income that the tax should be 9d. per gallon, they should certainly not be against a tax of 1s. 6d. a gallon with a far higher national income and a far higher total revenue. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] That is, I think, a very important consideration.

I should like to turn to one or two other arguments. Reference has been made by the right hon. Member for Aldershot to the position in other countries. Well, it is very relevant. He referred to the Commonwealth. It is quite true that, for the most part, the taxation in the Commonwealth is lower. If we turn to Europe, what is the position? Taxation in all the countries of Western Europe—I am afraid I am not so well-informed about the position behind the Iron Curtain—is still, after this duty, above the rate of petrol taxation in this country. For instance, in Denmark, the duty is 1s. 11d.; in Norway, 2s. 1d.; in Sweden, 2s. 10d; in Switzerland, 1s. 8½d.; in Belgium, 1s. 9½d.; in France, 2s. 5d.; in Italy, 4s.; and in Holland, 1s. 7d. Now in all these cases, or nearly all, not only is the duty higher than here, but it has also been increased during the last two years.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Is the right hon. Gentleman dealing solely with the tax on petrol or with the total taxation upon road vehicles?

Mr. Gaitskell

I am dealing with the Amendment, which is concerned with the tax on petrol. [Interruption.] Really, I am not going to be driven into getting myself out of order just because of jeers from the Opposition.

Mr. Arthur Colegate (Burton)

Surely the figures the right hon. Gentleman has given us about the Petrol Duty in these other countries is, on his own showing, quite useless unless he tells us what the Income Tax in those countries is.

Mr. Gaitskell

On the contrary, it is extremely relevant, because one of the arguments which is frequently put forward against this duty is that it will penalise us, our industry and our road transport, compared with other countries, whereas that quite clearly is certainly not the case so far as the Continent of Europe is concerned. On the contrary, it is—

Mr. Walter Fletcher (Bury and Radcliffe)


Mr. Gaitskell

I have given way a good deal, and I must get on.

It is quite clear that in comparison with other countries we are still taxed less highly. On the question of tourist traffic, as to whether tourists will go to France, or Italy, or other parts of Europe, or come here with their cars, we still have a substantial advantage, and that I claim is certainly most relevant when considering the arguments about this duty.

The right hon. Gentleman referred to the need which my right hon. and learned Friend had emphasised, to restrict consumption, and I should like to deal with that. Of course, since the Budget, rationing has come to an end; and it has come to an end because we have been able to obtain agreement with the American companies that they will supply for sterling oil for which we previously had to pay dollars. That leads, I think, to two rather different arguments. In the first place, the abandonment of rationing has meant that there is no other way by which we can, if it were desirable in the economic interests of the country, restrict the consumption of this important commodity except by taxation.

We have therefore to rely purely on fiscal means, if it is desirable still to restrict imports. Well, is it? Obviously it is not so necessary to restrict imports of this commodity, since we are not in the same position so far as dollars are concerned. But it remains the fact—and I must emphasise this to the Committee—that the so-called sterling oil that we obtain still has a quite substantial dollar content; and I would certainly go so far as to say that on that account, and in the interests of the balance of payments of the country as a whole, economy in petrol is most desirable. I submit that it is certainly a serious thing to have done, to have increased the duty, still leaving it at a comparatively low level, in order to exercise some brake on the consumption of this commodity.

Criticisms of the duty fall, I think, into three different groups. First, there is the criticism on behalf of the private motorist. Frankly, I do not believe that many private motorists are worrying very seriously about this duty.

Mr. Jennings (Sheffield, Hallam)

Oh, are they not!

Mr. Gaitskell

It is fair to say this, that although of course there is no causal connection between de-rationing, or even the increase in the ration, and the Petrol Duty, this duty has nevertheless to be considered against the background of the fact that de-rationing has come, and there is not much doubt—at any rate from my experience with them—that the motorists are pretty satisfied with de-rationing plus the duty. We must not forget that motorists also pay Income Tax, and most of them at any rate get a substantial benefit from that, which, in many cases, considerably exceeds the increased duty that they will pay on the petrol.

The second main criticism concerns commercial vehicles. While nobody denies that the increase in the Petrol Duty is bound to increase their costs, we really must preserve some sense of proportion in this, and here are some figures showing the increase in operating costs resulting from the increase in the duty, comparing them in each case as a proportion of fuel costs to operating costs, with what the position was before the war. To start with, I take the light 10 cwt. delivery van doing, say, 200 miles a week. Before the war, in 1937, their operating costs were about 5.38d. per vehicle-mile; the fuel cost of that was .6d., making a percentage of 11.2. By 1948 the operating costs had just about doubled to 10.73d. per vehicle-mile; the fuel costs had gone up to .97d.—just about one penny—so that the percentage had fallen from 11.2 to 9 The duty which we now propose to put on increases the fuel costs to 1.33d. per vehicle-mile—an increase of one-third of a penny per mile; that is the substance of it; an increase of 3 per cent. in their operating costs. Seriously, I cannot see how anybody can say that that will be crippling and will do serious damage, or indeed will upset the finances of the business to any considerable extent.

Mr. W. Fletcher

May I put one question which, if the right hon. Gentleman can answer it, must support his argument? When he takes the figure of 200 miles, is that a figure for which he has any sort of supporting figures? It appears to me to be extremely low, and therefore to vitiate his argument.

Mr. Gaitskell

These figures were, in fact, based on cost tables published by the "Commercial Motor," which is certainly not a Government publication, and I think this is a reasonable figure to take.

I do not want to weary the Committee with too many examples, but perhaps I may just take the figures for the larger vehicle of four tons doing, say, 300 miles a week. There is the same sort of picture: the increase in their operating costs is only 4 per cent.

Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone)


Mr. Gaitskell

Only 4 per cent., yes. We have had thrown at us increases of 7½ per cent. in their charges as though they were due entirely to the Petrol Duty. Well, they certainly are not justified by the Petrol Duty; they clearly cover other increases in costs as well.

Mr. Peter Thorneycroft (Monmouth)


Mr. Gaitskell

I am sorry, but I have given way a good deal already and I must be allowed to get on with my speech.

Mr. W. J. Taylor (Bradford, North)

May I put this question?—

Mr. Gaitskell

I daresay the hon. Gentleman will have an opportunity later. We shall be here for many, many hours still to come, and there will be plenty of opportunity for him to put his question then.

For the public service vehicle, again the same sort of picture obtains: the fuel costs have gone up from 2d. per vehicle-mile to 2.9d. per vehicle-mile, but the percentage of their operating costs represented by fuel costs is still below what it was before the war. That comes back to the point I was making earlier, that as a percentage of costs the Petrol Duty is still low compared with before the war, and it is the relationship of this duty to total costs that is the relevant consideration.

The third criticism concerns industry itself. Obviously, if the effect on the costs of commercial vehicle operation is only 4 per cent., then the effect on total costs of industry must be negligible, even compared with that. Only in cases where transport costs formed a very high proportion of the total costs would it be anything like 4 per cent., and in most cases it would be well below 1 per cent.

4.30 p.m.

There are several Amendments on the Order Paper on this special case of oil for particular industries, and I do not propose to trespass on them, but before I sit down I must deal with one or two remarks which the right hon. Gentleman made towards the end of his speech.

I cannot accept the extraordinary story that we are in any way prejudiced against motorists. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] As a matter of fact, having been Minister of Fuel and Power, I think I can say that I have had a good deal of experience and contact with the motoring organisations, and I assure the Committee that my relations with them were, despite the somewhat difficult circumstances of petrol rationing, always extremely cordial, and I do not think that they would ever suggest that there was any prejudice in my mind against motorists. Why should there be, seeing that I have been for many years a member of one of the motoring organisations concerned, and seeing that my right hon. Friend, so he tells me, was one of the pioneer motorists of this country? [HON. MEMBERS: "The red flag."] It may be that the red flag was appropriate in that case, and it is a pity that it was not also appropriate in the case of some of the pioneer motorists on the other side. Really, this extraordinary story is complete nonsense.

As a matter of fact, it is as a result of the efforts of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power, and, if I may say so, my own attempts when I was Minister of Fuel and Power, that we managed to secure this agreement with the American companies which has brought rationing to an end; and to say that we were prejudiced against motorists in doing that is obviously absurd. The right hon. Gentleman also said, for some reason which I cannot understand, that the advisers of the Government were prejudiced against the motor manufacturing industry. That is complete nonsense. As a matter of fact, my right hon. and learned Friend, in the course of his Budget speech, went out of his way to pay a special tribute to the motor manufacturing industry [HON. MEMBERS: "He was wise."] He may have been wise, but I say that the argument that we were in any way prejudiced in this matter cannot be sustained.

The other argument the right hon. Gentleman used was that this tax would have a detrimental effect on engine design. I should like to deal with that point. In the first place, it is sheer nonsense, when we take it in conjunction with de-rationing, to suggest that there will be any great difficulty for the motor car manufacturers to sell vehicles on the home market. It is quite obvious that de-rationing will tend enormously to increase the demand for these vehicles, and I should have thought, although I have not been into it, that the second-hand market for cars is already booming. Therefore, to suggest that they will change their designs because of an increase in the Petrol Duty affecting the home market, affecting, that is to say, 20 or at the most 30 per cent. of their total output, is obviously ridiculous.

Sir Peter Bennett (Birmingham, Edgbaston)

It might interest the right hon. Gentleman to know that motor car designers are at the present moment designing smaller cars. I can tell him that from personal knowledge.

Mr. Gaitskell

I do not know whether they started doing that since 18th April, or whether it began earlier. It may be so at the present moment, but I was going on to add a further argument. It cannot be sustained, if we are attempting to sell cars all over the world, that we can and must sell cars with only large engines. In every country in Europe there is a high petrol duty. How are we going to sell cars with a high petrol consumption in those circumstances? No doubt, the motor manufacturers are thinking in terms of those markets, and are probably thinking in terms of petrol economy in other markets as well. All I say is that in that case it cannot be said that this particular tax is seriously interfering with their business. The fact is that we have a choice here. It would have been very easy for my right hon. and learned Friend neither to have increased the Petrol Duty nor to have reduced the Income Tax. He could have introduced a Budget that made no substantial change at all. That would have saved us all a lot of trouble. He came to the conclusion that it was right to make this change, and that is what we are concerned with this afternoon.

I am sure that he was right, and that it was desirable to relieve taxation at the particular point where the first rates of Income Tax come to be paid. I am certain that many millions of people who have been getting the benefits of this remission for the past month will agree that he was right in doing that. The increase in Petrol Duty has come at a time when we can be satisfied that, although it will of course have some influence on distribution costs, there is nevertheless no reason to apprehend that it will have a very serious effect on our trade, and it will be balanced by the benefits resulting from the reduction in Income Tax. I hope, therefore, that the Amendment will be rejected.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite (Bristol, North-West)

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to elaborate one point? He told the Committee that the increased revenue was being earmarked to meet increased National Assistance allowances, concessions for agricultural vehicles, and other matters. I ask him to elaborate that argument.

Mr. Gaitskell

There is nothing to elaborate.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

The point is this: Did the Government, in announcing the increased allowances on 19th April, know that petrol was to be de-rationed, because the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations told us yesterday—

The Chairman

I think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman is going far too wide of the mark.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The right hon. Gentleman has made what I think Members of the Committee will agree was a remarkable speech; he certainly opened up a number of issues on which I imagine widely different views will be held. I shall deal with some of the points that he made in the order that he made them. The first matter on which I desire to pursue him, if I may, is the point of the £20 million and the £10 million. He said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer reckoned that he would get from this tax in the circumstances in which he introduced it so many million pounds. Then there came de-rationing, and he calculated that that would put up the yield by £20 million, and the effect therefore of this amendment would be that the new revenue which the Chancellor of the Exchequer would get as the result of de-rationing would be reduced to £10 million, presumably half of the extra £20 million. I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman is with me so far.

These figures show that there is absolutely no basis at all in the Chancellor's contention that he desired to reduce the use of petrol by this tax. The purpose of increasing the tax was to reduce the consumption of petrol; therefore presumably if the tax is not put on there will be no reduction in consumption. Therefore there will be the yield from the gallons of petrol which are not saved and also a yield from the extra petrol used as a result of de-rationing. I should have thought that that point was fairly obvious, and the right hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. In a moment I shall attempt to deal with what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said which will underline the point that I have tried to make.

The next point with which he dealt was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when introducing this tax, quite clearly linked it up with the remission in Income Tax. Of course, we welcome the remission in Income Tax, which is one of the few sound things in the Finance Bill. It is rather curious, however, when we read the Chancellor's speech, to see exactly what he said under the heading "Tax Changes: Major Proposals." This is what he had to say: I now come to a major matter which has a bearing upon our dollar balances as well as upon our domestic revenues. We are one of the few countries that have not yet tried to persuade users to economise in petrol—a commodity still very expensive in dollars—by means of price increases. In almost every other country which relies so largely upon imports of petrol, the retail price is a good deal higher than it is here. He then gave the figures. The time has come when some of the other automatic methods of restricting the consumption of petrol, such, for instance, as the shortage of vehicles, are disappearing, so that fiscal inducements to economy have become necessary. Indeed it is difficult to think out a better case for fresh taxation. We here have a commodity costing us a great many dollars; where demand at present prices exceeds supply; where the rate of tax has not been increased since before the war; where rationing in a large part of the field—that covered by commercial vehicles—cannot effectively restrict consumption and where some of the factors which have hitherto tended to restrict consumption are now disappearing. Furthermore, an increase in the tax on petrol, which is at present only 9d. a gallon, will, we hope, lead to savings in consumption by commercial vehicles, so that it will be possible without any great increase in imports, to do a little better for the ordinary car user."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 18th April, 1950; Vol. 474, c. 74–5.] And so, he said, he proposed to increase the tax. Not one word was said about the primary purpose of imposing this tax being to raise revenue.

Mr. Gailskell

That is because the hon. and learned Member quotes only one part of the speech and leaves out the other part altogether.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I should not have thought it unreasonable to read the passage where the right hon. and learned Gentleman introduces the proposition.

Mr. Gaitskell

It is surely right also to read the passage where my right hon. and learned Friend sums up the consequences and effects of the Budget as a whole.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

That is the argument which the right hon. Gentleman would not have. He would not permit us to take revenue and expenditure as a whole, but told us that we had to link up these two specific matters. It is surely not unreasonable, when looking at the reasoning which led the Chancellor to introduce a particular tax, to refer to the passage of the speech in which he introduced the proposition.

The right hon. Gentleman's next argument was that we had to have regard to the proportion now borne by petrol taxation to total taxation as compared with before the war. What he left out altogether was the enormous increase that has taken place in indirect taxation, which vitiates his comparison. He then went on to a comparison with other European countries, in connection with which, I submit, the question I put was a perfectly fair one. It is completely inconclusive to draw such a comparison, unless one takes into account the total vehicle taxation in each country. I am told that in France there is no actual vehicle taxation, and that in Italy the vehicle taxation is less than it is here. The right hon. Gentleman's figures are quite valueless unless he also shows the other taxation imposed on road transport by way of licence duties, Purchase Tax and the equivalent.

4.45 p.m.

He then dealt with the criticisms put forward against the tax by the various types of users, and spoke of the private motorists. It is very important that the Committee and members of the public should realise the amount of petrol used by private motorists. I do not know whether these figures are correct, but they were given in the "Sunday Times" on 23rd April. Of the total pre-Budget consumption of petrol and heavy oils, 7 per cent. was attributable to the basic ration for private cars, 23 per cent. to supplementary rations, which were presumably granted for the most part for purposes connected with business or industry, and 38 per cent. for commercial goods vehicles. Passenger vehicles took 10 per cent., and the remaining 22 per cent. was used by aircraft, stationary engines, industrial processes and so on.

So, even if the right hon. Gentleman is right and the pleasure motorist has no objection to this increase, it goes a very little way towards justification for it. In fact, a great deal of the pleasure motoring is done by people with very small means, people who are living on a comparatively small margin. To them, this is a very substantial imposition.

The right hon. Gentleman then dealt with the costs of exports, and he put forward the argument that it would really have no substantial effect in increasing costs. Perhaps I might be allowed to give a practical example. This is a letter which was sent the day after the Chancellor had introduced his Budget, and it comes from a shipowner. When speaking to our docks office this morning, I asked as a matter of interest how many vehicles delivered cargoes for a particular ship loading in London. The answer was 162. The weight of the fuel tax, plus the new Purchase Tax on commercial vehicles, will presumably fall heavily on firms delivering cargoes to the docks. I suppose that there will be dozens of vessels which will be affected. The figure of 162 was just about typical for every day in the year. Anyone who has any connection with the ports knows that vast convoys of commercial vehicles are constantly descending on the docks, bringing goods for export or taking away raw materials or other imports. I should have thought it was a proposition that could hardly be sustained, that this will not result in a substantial increase in the cost of our exports at a time when we are fighting in many cases against very keen competition. An increase of 3 or 4, or 10 per cent., or whatever it is, is definitely a matter which cannot be lightly endured.

The next point with which the right hon. Gentleman dealt was that of engine design. I really thought he missed the point altogether, or else he is not in tune with the action that was taken by his right hon. Friend, the present Minister of Town and Country Planning, who reduced the horse-power tax because he thought it would be a good thing to encourage motor manufacturers not to concentrate upon small engines, as we were in danger of losing markets overseas by doing so.

Mr. Gaitskell

Surely the reason for the change in the horse-power tax was to get away from too many rates of taxation leading to too many different designs.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I know that some of my hon. Friends are much more qualified to speak on this than myself, but I clearly understood that one of the primary reasons was to avoid the concentration upon small engines. At any rate, that is what we were told at the time. People in this country had been led by the heavy rate of horse-power tax to go in for small vehicles. They were demanding 8 horse-power cars which would bear a tax so much lower than 25 horse-power cars. It meant that the manufacturers were being encouraged to produce small cars, in the same way as this increase in the tax on petrol will encourage them to go in for cars with the smallest petrol consumption.

Mr. Crossman (Coventry, East)

Will the hon. and learned Member tell us the number of cars we have exported of under 12 horse-power since the new tax, as compared with the period before the new taxation was introduced, because then we can discover whether we are selling small cars abroad?

Sir P. Bennett

The orders were taken months ago.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I am afraid that I cannot give the figures, but I do not think it would be of the slightest relevance if I could give them, because the cars which have been exported in the past few weeks are as a result of orders taken months ago.

Mr. Crossman

Yes, since the change in the horse-power tax.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I thought the hon. Member was referring to the time when the Petrol Duty was increased.

Mr. Crossman

No, the horse-power tax.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I do not know what that figure is, but if the hon. Gentleman does, no doubt he will contribute it to the discussion. The fact is, as was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Edgbaston (Sir P. Bennett) the motor manufacturers at the present time are studying the matter again, and they are seeing if as a result of this tax, they will have to go back to smaller designs, but I think that that would have been sufficiently obvious—

Mr. Gaitskell

Is it the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument that the Petrol Duty should never be altered?

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

That is a hypothetical question. What I am suggesting is that the Petrol Duty should not be doubled, because if the cost of running cars is increased, there is bound to be a greater demand for smaller models.

There are two further matters to which I wish to refer briefly. One is the question of passenger fares, with which the right hon. Gentleman dealt very shortly. I am told that the Passenger Vehicle Operators Association, which can speak for 80 per cent. of the independent buses and coach owners, estimate that the increase in their gross operating costs will be 10 per cent. as a result of this increase. That must mean a substantial increase in their fares throughout the country.

The other matter to which no reference has yet been made is the effect of this duty upon the ratepayers. In the comparatively small district where I live I am told that the effect of the duty will be a 1d. rate because of the extra operating costs of the municipality. In larger cases the cost will be even more. That is yet another example of the way in which this new impost is going to increase the burden of the cost of living upon ordinary people in this country. It is a thoroughly bad tax. If one can go back to the Chancellor's own words, that it is difficult to think out a better case for fresh taxation, it reminds me very much of some of his pre-devaluation statements. I do not think there could be a better case for not having this increase in taxation.

Mr. Crossman

I should like to reply to some of the points made by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. I do not think it can be said that those who represent motor car cities can be accused of being anti-motorist. In Coventry we have more motorists per head of the population than any other city in Britain. I made very careful inquiries in Coventry about the effect of the Income Tax concessions as offset by the increased Petrol Duty. I did not find a single working class motorist who did not get considerable gain by the new concessions in Income Tax, even if he is likely to pay more for his petrol at the increased price. It is no good anybody telling me that the average working class motorist is going to lose in this connection. He is going to get more by his Income Tax concessions than the extra cost of petrol even after the ending of de-rationing.

I want to come to the central point which interests motor car cities, and I feel that the Opposition have not been fair with this Committee today. After all, this is a product with a dollar content. It is like tobacco. We did not ration tobacco by coupon. We rationed it by price. Perhaps I would rather have seen it rationed by coupon, but we did not do it. Nobody on the Opposition benches has ever objected to the principle, that, if imports with a dollar content have to be reduced and the Government are not prepared to ration them by coupon, then the price has got to be increased. What other way can be found to ensure that the amount of dollars being expended is something which we can afford?

Hon. Gentlemen opposite have been furiously opposed to rationing. They have been demanding the end of rationing of petrol for over three years. If we are not going to ration by coupon, but are going to restrict the dollar expenditure on petrol, how can it be done except by price?

Mr. Osborne

By sterling petrol

Mr. Crossman

I do not think that many Members in this Committee need me to tell them that even sterling petrol has a dollar content. It is also unnecessary for me to tell this Committee, apart from the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne) that with de-rationing there will be a slightly greater expenditure of dollars than if we had rationed petrol. Even under the new agreement with the American oil companies, it is well known that we shall have a slightly greater expenditure of dollars—taking the dollar content of sterling petrol into account. We could not have afforded this extra concession except for the additional prosperity which we are enjoying.

So if we are not going to ration by coupon, and consideration has to be given to the dollar content, the only other method of rationing is by price. Further, the price must be fixed at the sum at which it is calculated that it will cause a restriction in the volume to the amount which we can afford to use. Therefore, I should have thought that even if we had not increased the duty in the Budget before de-rationing we should have had to increase it now, unless we were going to waste this amount of dollars. I believe that argument requires answering at least once from the other side of the Committee if they are concerned in getting this country independent of American aid and getting us out of our dollar expenditure difficulties.

The right hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) had a contemptuous passage in his speech in which he said that he believed there must have been some consideration in the Government's mind for the railways when they imposed this tax. I should think there was! I know there are no railway directors on the other side of the Committee, and they are only concerned now with private enterprise road haulage. Obviously, the retail price of petrol is largely determined by the tax. There is nothing "natural" about the net price of petrol. It is fixed in terms of general public interest, partly in terms of "dollar content" and partly in terms of getting a fair balance between road and rail. Whether the petrol price is low or high, it has an influence on the railways as well as on the road.

Nobody here can tell this Committee that this Government has been anti-motorist. For over four years this Government have been helping the motor industry in the sense of permitting a vast increase in the number of motor vehicles on the road, and making competition with the railways more severe than in 1938. I quite understand the accusation that the Government are anti-railway, but not the accusation because of the increased duty on petrol of being anti-road. That is the most fantastic accusation ever made.

Mr. Spence (Aberdeenshire, West)

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that all the heavy transport is oil-driven and is not subject to the same tax?

Mr. Crossman

I understand that it is the same tax.

I have made a little calculation of the comparative cost of road and rail transport to the ordinary person. Suppose one is travelling from Oxford to London—

Brigadier Head (Carshalton)


Mr. Crossman

Winchester would mean too intimate a conversation. Suppose I take the other College to which we are all attached. If I go from New College to London by road and take my wife with me, in a ten horse-power car, allowing something for depreciation as well as oil and petrol costs, the amount comes to 14s. By rail it costs £2. Is that being unfair to the motorist? Is that weighing in favour of the nationalised industry against the motorist? The motorist, of course, today—and this is the problem we are up against—cannot afford to go by rail, because even with the increased tax, travel by road is so much cheaper than travel by rail.

Mr. Jennings

In arriving at 14s. for this particular journey, has the hon. Gentleman not considered that there are many more costs in motoring than petrol and oil?

5.0 p.m.

Mr. Crossman

It is a very difficult calculation, but 12s. was allowed for petrol and oil, and we threw in 2s. for depreciation of the car. [Laughter.] Yes, hon. Members can laugh. The amount allowed for depreciation is a very high percentage if I may say so, and I considered that I was not being unfair in the calculation. I am grateful to hon. Gentlemen opposite for laughing at the figure because if there is a distortion in my figures, it is to overstate road cost against rail. [An HON. MEMBER: "First or third class?"] Third class by rail, including buses at either end, for two people. Fourteen shillings was the actual cost, and that is the thing with which people are concerned. That is why it is so fantastic for the Opposition to say that the Government's policy has been anti-motorist or that the motorist cannot afford the extra 9d. If the Opposition are not prepared to give a subsidy to the railways, which in my opinion is absolutely necessary, they cannot possibly resist this slight increase in motorist's charges which still leave motoring more than twice as cheap as third class rail travel between two cities in this country.

I come to the other factor. The right hon. Member for Aldershot told us that the Government had been "anti" the motor car industry. What industry has made larger profits in the last four and a half years? I agree that it has done a jolly good job, but let no one tell me that the motor car industry's exports will be ruined by the increased price of petrol, even if it costs a little more to take the cars down to the docks. This is an industry which could afford to offer Sir John Black £100,000.

If it is really concerned about the export drive, the industry need not pass on this slight increase in its costs. It can carry the increase by way of a slight reduction of profits. That is all that the increased cost of petrol can possibly mean to the motor car manufacturer. I never heard anything so disingenuous as the argument that the poor, bankrupt, motor car industry is going to be ruined because the terrible cost of petrol in taking cars from their factories to the docks will just make the difference between selling a car in America and not selling it. What nonsense all that is, but that is what has been solemnly stated.

Mr. Nabarro (Kidderminster)

The hon. Member represents a motor car constituency and he ought to know that in the great majority of cases, motor cars sold in the United States of America are sold at a trading loss.

Mr. Crossman

In that case I cannot see that the very slight increase in the cost of petrol to the docks will decrease the net profit of the motor car companies, who are apparently engaged in their industry for pure, altruistic reasons. That is something that we in the motor car cities do not believe. We do not believe that the motor car companies make a loss. We believe that they are building up a long-term business in America, because they think that they can make money there.

Mr. G. B. Craddock (Spelthorne)

The hon. Gentleman is stressing the huge profits and is suggesting that there are very large profits in the motor car industry. Am I right?

Mr. Crossman


Mr. Craddock

Then may I ask the hon. Member what is the percentage of profits to the capital employed in the motor car industry?

Mr. Crossman

The suggestion that I should be asked to go into the percentage of profit of each motor car firm is fantastic. I think we are all agreed that it is a profitable industry. The very slight increase in its overhead costs is something that the industry can afford to carry by way of decreased profits instead of passing on the increase to the consumer.

Now I come to the extraordinary argument about the effect of the 9d. increase upon the design of cars, as though, suddenly, since the Chancellor's announcement, the people down in Coventry had turned back to designing the little car. Can we not study the percentage of cars produced in this country which are of 12 horse-power? Three years ago—I know, because I was one of the intermediaries—the motor car makers came to the Government and said that they wanted to have the horse-power tax abolished so that they could concentrate the models. They did not want to have 8, 10, 12 and 14 horse-power cars. They wanted to "bunch up" their models—say only a 10 and a 12. That was the problem.

They also predicted to the Government that the medium horse-power car was the car of the future. Motor car makers are not infallible in their predictions. I do not blame them for being wrong, but they have found that they have sold overwhelmingly the small cars in the United States as well as elsewhere. We cannot compete with the United States in the manufacture of the medium or high horse-power car because they can do those things better. The one car we can sell there is the little car, the comic little car that one's wife can drive to the station. [An HON. MEMBER: "Comic?"] Yes, by standards of size. Why the Americans like the British car is because it is so small, so fascinatingly small and so ingeniously produced. It is a charming little thing compared with the huge American car.

Mr. Nabarro

Is the hon. Member seeking to deride, for instance, the 3½ litre M.G. as being a little car?

Mr. Crossman

It is a very well known fact that the main charm of the British car for Americans is the ingenuity with which, in a very small volume of cubic capacity, an enormous amount of power has been secured. That is one of the attractions of the M.G. and Riley. The Americans are charmed by its size. The American has always believed in bigness, but there is sometimes virtue in smallness. Swiss watches have charms for the Americans. By our ingenuity and skill we have won a place in the American market.

We are beginning to get the Americans to understand that the British small class car is worth consideration. So anybody who tells me that the 9d. increase in petrol has had the slightest influence upon motor car design or who quotes the hon. Member for Edgbaston (Sir P. Bennett)—who did not say anything of the kind but merely that they were still planning small cars as of course they are—should remember that the small car accounted for 80 per cent. of the output before the increase of tax just as it does for 80 per cent. after the increase of tax. Let us have no more nonsense about that.

Where, outside America, is petrol economy not the main requisite of car travel? In Switzerland, petrol is more than 4s. per gallon, in France it is 3s. 7d. and in Germany it is 4s. 7d. Everywhere in Europe cars are largely produced for petrol economy. Even in countries like Belgium they like the small car which does not block up the street and is convenient for turning. The British car is beating the American car because it is better designed for Europe. British conditions are like European conditions, and British roads are more like European roads. We do not make American-type cars because we do not live in American conditions, and so our cars sell. Petrol economy is one of the conditions which is likely to remain in Europe for many years. Again, do not let us have this nonsense any more.

May I come back, as a challenge to the Opposition, to the first issue raised by the right hon. Member for Aldershot? It is not denied that the dollar content of petrol, whether from the sterling area or from Venezuela is still an important element. Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that once we abolish rationing by coupon, we need to restrict the volume of consumption by means of rationing by price? So we are to have rationing by price—or should the Government decide to leave the full margin of profit to the oil companies? After all let us be quite clear—if petrol were in a free market, it would sell for more than it is selling at now, because the oil companies could extract more than 3s. per gallon. But it is not a free market: it is a fixed-price market.

Therefore, the price has to be fixed in the public interests of this country. As it is a matter of public policy what the tax on petrol should be then, (a) for reasons of dollar economy, (b) for reasons of a fair balance between road and rail and (c) for the reason that, on the whole, the motorist should pay his share—if I smoke I have to pay a heavier price because of its dollar content—then why should not the motorist who drives his car also pay his share, if thereby we can achieve a reduction of Income Tax which benefits everybody, motorist or no?

Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)

The hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) seeks to support this duty with two reasons neither of which appealed to his right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Economic Affairs. I can well understand his completely rejecting the argument which was put forward as the main argument of the right hon. Gentleman. I shall come to that in a moment, but I would first refer to the two reasons which the hon. Gentleman has advanced in support of the increased taxation. One is that if rationing is abolished it is nevertheless essential to keep down the consumption of petrol, and that the way to do that is to increase the price.

That is not an argument which appealed to the right hon. Gentleman today, and it was not one which was put forward by the Chancellor, although at the time when he introduced the duty petrol rationing was in existence, and only a few days ago we were told that it was not known at that time that rationing would not continue during the whole year. No wonder, therefore, that in defending the increased duty, the right hon. Gentleman never referred to that.

Mr. Crossman

He did.

Mr. Davies

If he did, it was so delicately referred to that—

Mr. Gaitskell

I am sorry if the right hon. and learned Gentleman missed it, but I certainly did refer to the position and to the way it had changed as a result of the abolition of rationing. I said that it was, nevertheless, also desirable to keep some curb on consumption and that that was one justification for the duty.

Mr. Davies

I shall come in a moment to the main points of the right hon. Gentleman. The other point made by the hon. Member for Coventry, East, was that the cost of railway transport had gone up so much that it was only right and proper that we should penalise the road in order to even things up. In defending this duty the right hon. Gentleman made reference to Debates which took place in 1928 and 1929 in this House. I would commend to hon. Gentlemen opposite that Budget and the speeches made by hon. Gentlemen who were then in Opposition and who were saying how iniquitous it was to put a duty on road transport merely in order to compel people to adopt a form of transport which did not suit them, namely, to make them go by rail rather than use what was, for their purposes, the more efficient road transport. It was a very strong argument which was put forward then by the financial and economic expert of the Socialist Party, Mr. Philip Snow-den, and it was supported by the whole of the Labour Party at that time.

What has happened that this change of attitude should now take place? Is it because the railway companies have been nationalised that it is now right and proper that they should be supported not only by any subsidies which might have to be paid but also by penalising road transport? That was not one of the reasons referred to by the Minister this afternoon.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

Does it follow from what the right hon. and learned Gentleman is saying that the change of front on this issue on the part of the Opposition is also due to the fact that the railways have since been nationalised?

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Davies

It may be, indeed. I find myself rather in agreement with the hon. Member. As I said during the Budget Debate we, and we alone, have a clean sheet on the matter because when the duty was moved by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer now the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, we condemned it for the very same reasons that were advanced by the members of the Labour Party at that time and on grounds similar to the ones now advanced by hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway.

We now come to the main point—it is really an interesting one—put to the Committee in support of this by the right hon. Gentleman, namely, that the Revenue will be deprived of between £70 million and £72 million this year and about £80 million in a full year by the reduction in Income Tax, and that that has to be found in some way. Let us consider that. The Income Tax upon lower incomes has been reduced. The purpose which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had in mind was the very excellent one which so many of us have pressed upon him during these years, that it would not only relieve those people but tend to encourage increased production and especially overtime. According to the Chancellor, the whole point was that we should do our very utmost to increase production and at the same time keep down the cost of living. Very well. This change has been made but it has not affected all lower income groups because a vast number of people do not come within the Income Tax scales at all.

The purpose was to relieve people of taxation and help to boost production. Let us see how we are doing it. First of all, it is said that it is necessary to find that money I do not think for one moment that it is possible to get a Budget of £4,000 million so nicely and conveniently balanced that if we reduce our taxation by about £72 million in the current year, we must of necessity find that amount somewhere else. No Chancellor of the Exchequer at any time has balanced his Budget to such a degree that there can be no fluctuation in the amount of either expenditure or revenue.

However, let us assume that that is so. What happens? It is not denied by the right hon. Gentleman nor apparently by anybody on the other side of the Committee that the effect of this duty is to increase costs. It will increase the cost of transport, production, distribution and travel; it will generally increase costs all round. There is nothing which more quickly affects the price of any article than an increase in the cost of transport. Its effect is far quicker than any change in the price of raw material or even in wages because it affects the raw materials as they come in to be manufactured and it affects the finished article as it is being delivered, and, what is more, it affects the costs of the working people in coming to the factory to produce the goods. It is, therefore, admitted that general costs go up and that this is a general charge upon the whole community.

Now comes the interesting point. The defence of the right hon. Gentleman—is this a new Socialist doctrine?—is that it is right to put an extra penalty on the community as a whole in order to relieve or benefit a smaller number. According to the right hon. Gentleman, the whole justification for the tax is this, "We have relieved a smaller number of a certain amount of tax and in order to give that relief we must spread the burden round upon everybody." Already it is going to increase the cost of fares in London, and apparently everywhere else too. That, apparently, is the justification which is put forward by the right hon. Gentleman for bringing forward this tax.

I thought there were many reasons against this tax when it was first put forward by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but the reasons now advanced by the right hon. Gentleman are the most convincing I have yet heard against it and I hope, therefore, that the Committee will accept this Amendment.

Mr. Peter Thorneycroft (Monmouth)

I welcome the opportunity to intervene for a few minutes in this discussion on the Petrol Duty. I, too, listened with astonishment to the speech of the Minister of State for Economic Affairs defending the measures put forward in this respect. I have no doubt it has happened before, but I cannot remember any right hon. Gentleman from the Treasury Bench seeking to balance parts of the Budget in the way that the right hon. Gentleman did. I was astonished to hear him say that this duty is allocated to the relief of the Income Tax and that they are about the same figure. But, since the argument has been advanced, may I have an assurance from the Minister that when we discuss other taxes later, such as a Purchase Tax of 33⅓ per cent. on commercial vehicles, this argument will be abandoned and there will be no suggestion of increasing revenue?

The right hon. Gentleman admitted that he was hoping for a windfall of some £23½ million from the de-rationing of petrol—his revenue would go up in a way which he had not anticipated at the time of the Budget. But he said we could not have any of that because it had already been spent. When was it spent? He said that some of it has to go back in the agricultural rebate, but did not the right hon. Gentleman know at the time of the Budget he would have an agricultural rebate. Was he just trusting to luck that something might turn up at some time?

Lieut. - Commander Braithwaite

Perhaps he was going to Ascot.

Mr. Thorneycroft

It seems to me to be a most incredible argument to advance from the Government Front Bench. It shows a degree of financial irresponsibility which is a little terrifying—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes, I think it does show a degree of financial irresponsibility which is a little terrifying when one is considering matters running into millions of pounds. Was not the double taxation considered by the right hon. Gentleman? How does he expect to pay the losses? We ought to be given some explanation. I will leave the matter there, but I hope that at an early stage somebody from the Front Bench will explain how these things were to be dealt with unless the right hon. Gentleman knew at the time of the Budget that he intended to de-ration petrol. If so, it would have been much more honest to say so.

The next argument of the right hon. Gentleman was one of the most astonishing of all. He said it was true that the total amount of revenue from petrol was the same before this increased duty as it was before the war, but before the war, he said, it was 6½ per cent. of the revenue, now it is only 1½ per cent., therefore we must put it up. That kind of argument frightens me because it means that the more money the Government are spending, the more they must go on spending in order to put up all the taxes. It does not hold out much hope for the future. Then he said that private motorists were not worrying at all about this tax. I do not know what private motorists he meets. Maybe Ministers are not worried about this tax. They can travel about quite comfortably in the large cars we see in Palace Yard, but I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that there are a lot of people in this country with incomes a good deal lower than ministerial salaries who are worrying a great deal about this petrol tax.

Then, he said that the increases in the costs of these commercial vehicles were much overstated and that there was not much in it really. He produced a lot of figures, the result of which he asked us to believe was 3 per cent., 3½ per cent., something of that kind, on the costs. Then why is it that the Road Haulage Executive have put up their rates by a minimum of 7½ per cent.? If there was anything whatever in the argument of the right hon. Gentleman about the real effect on commercial costs, which I doubt, the Road Haulage Executive, on his own evidence, are guilty of perpetrating an immense racket on the public.

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain, or will somebody explain, how, if the figures now used by the Government are the right figures, increased charges of 7½ per cent. can possibly be justified? That is the absolute minimum; many are going up much more. Might I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he sends for the Minister of Transport before we finish our discussion on this Clause and ask him what he is up to? There seems to me to be a grave discrepancy between Members on the Front Bench.

That is all I propose to say at the moment about the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. I will refer to one or two other points later, but now I will come to the speech of the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) who raised a vital point, namely, the railway side of all this business. The hon. Gentleman said it was suggested that the Government had the railway position in mind, and he went on to say that he hoped they did have it in mind. Might I ask the Front Bench whether they did have this in mind? I will willingly give way for an answer. We are entitled to know.

I hope the right hon. Gentleman is not feeling indisposed? It is a simple question, as to whether or not, in imposing this tax, the Government had in mind the position which had arisen in the railway industry. Are we to assume that they did not bear in mind the railway position at all? This may surprise the right hon. Gentleman, but I should have thought it would have been irresponsible not to bear in mind the railway position. I should have thought it was a matter which certainly ought to have been considered.

I appreciate that hon. Gentlemen opposite have buried a good deal of Socialism at Dorking, but I did not know they had gone back to regarding the Budget as a mere profit and loss account, just a matter of "raising the wind" and getting a bit more money to make a concession here or there. I thought the modern idea of a Budget was to design taxes with a careful eye on the effect they would have on the industries concerned. What effect did they expect this to have upon the transport industry? I really think that the right hon. Gentleman might say what, in his view, is likely to be the effect.

What the right hon. Gentleman has done has been what every hon. Member on this side of the Committee has always prophesied he would have to do—he has had to force up the costs on one side of the transport industry to keep pace with the rising costs on the other. We have always said they would have to do it. After all, if we accept the attitude and policy of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, that we have a great integrated State monopoly, there are only two ways it can be done: one is to do what the hon. Member for Perry Barr (Mr. C. Poole) is always suggesting, which is to direct the traffic on to the particular form of transport that one wants; the other is to work it through the costs and the prices. This time, of course, the Government have worked it through the costs and prices. I agree that it will not shock the hon. Member for Coventry, East, and I agree with him that obviously they had it in mind

Mr. Crossman

Would the hon. Member go further and agree that the only alternative, if he disapproves of this step, would be to subsidise the nationalised railways in much the same way as we subsidise the private enterprise farmers? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] If we do not do that, what are we to do?

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Thorneycroft

The hon. Member had better move a little further away from his Front Bench before he makes any further remarks of that kind. I was only going thus far with the hon. Member: I agree with him that the Government had the railways in mind.

Mr. Crossman

They should have

Mr. Thorneycroft

They did have. If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite had come along and said, quite openly and plainly, "We have got into a muddle with our nationalised railway system, we have grossly misunderstood and under-estimated the amount of revenue that we would get; already the increased charges which we have got, the increased fares which we put up in October, 1947, have tended rather to drive traffic away rather than to bring it to us, and now we have put up the charges by another 16⅔ per cent."; had they said that the effect of this would be to drive even more traffic away unless they did something quickly about the railways, I do not say that we would have agreed with right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, but their argument would have been a little more intelligible than it is as now presented. But of course, they did not say that.

For my part, I wish that we had been wrong in our forecast as to what was happening. I think that very few hon. Members opposite realise the damaging blow that taxation of this kind is to our transport system. Within a brief span of 10 days, the Chancellor increased charges upon the transport industry amounting to £120 million a year, of which this one item represents, I think, £68 million, which is quite a substantial part. The road haulage part of the transport industry is carrying £225 million in taxation. Every housewife, as she goes shopping and has to pay the extra 1d. in her bus fare, knows the effect of this kind of taxation. I agree with my hon. Friend who said that no tax could have been better designed to force up prices and to increase export costs.

I do not know whether the Minister of State for Economic Affairs has read what Mr. Arthur Deakin has said about this sort of thing. I would commend him to read Mr. Deakin's evidence before the Transport Tribunal. Mr. Deakin made it perfectly plain that if there was one thing above everything else which would tend to encourage demands for wage increases, it was increases in transport charges. Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman utterly indifferent to that sort of consideration when he is framing his Budget and imposing taxation of this character?

It is said that other countries have petrol taxes and the rest at a high level. I am not interested particularly in what taxes other countries have. I am much more concerned in what taxation is imposed in this country. After all, other countries have other sorts of advantages over us. Some of them are bigger in area or have more people in them or more raw materials or things of that kind. We have one special and particular advantage in that we have a short haul from our great centres of production to our export seaports. That cheap transport from our coal mines and centres of production to our exporting ports is one great commercial advantage which we possess, and anything that is done by a Budget to take that advantage away from us is an extraordinarily retrograde step.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that we should not have very much increase in charges as a result of the additional duty. He said, of passenger buses, that the increase should not lead to many additional applications for increases in fares."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th April, 1950; Vol. 474, c. 75.] Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman really believe that? I do not believe that he does. I should have thought it was obvious that if the price of petrol was put up, there would be demands from the bus companies to put up their fares.

What is happening? My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gosport and Fareham (Surgeon Lieut.-Commander Bennett), in an admirable maiden speech, gave a typical example of a bus company, which for years and in the face of immense difficulties has been able to hold down its fares, which now finds that with this increase it has to put up its fares for the first time. That is being repeated all over the country, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows it.

The Road Haulage Executive have put up their charges by 7½ per cent. But let me tell hon. Members that they have put them up by a good deal more than that figure. Seven and a half per cent. was the minimum; they held themselves free to put up the rates even more where, in their own words, the basic rates recently charged have been unduly low and uneconomic in relation to the general level. That gives them a fairly wide scope. I had a case sent to me by the Road Haulage Executive where the unit manager, who has just been taken over and nationalised, was told to put up the whole lot by 20 per cent. Of course, they are going to put these charges up; indeed, they are bound to do so.

I hope that some right hon. Gentleman opposite will tell us what the Government think the effect will be. Do they agree that it is going to cost £10 or £20 more per car? What is to be the price of coal distribution? We are entitled to know these things. It is important that people should be told in advance rather than find out bit by bit afterwards. What is the average increased cost on the building of a house, for example? Heaven knows, it is high enough already. The right hon. and learned Gentleman should tell us.

I suggest that the arguments which the Chancellor advanced in favour of this duty have been very much weakened. He is on record in his Budget speech as having put forward four arguments. One was that the extra petrol would cost dollars. How many dollars will it, in fact, cost now? Let us have an account in some detail of this arrangement that has been come to, because I should have thought it was perfectly plain that the dollar argument has been at any rate very seriously weakened—[An HON. MEMBER: "Not in Coventry."]—no, not in Coventry, but very seriously weakened outside Coventry from the time when it was put forward in the Budget.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman said he believed it was necessary to do some rationing by price. Rationing by price—I am very glad to see right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite studying these matters—does not mean putting up the price to the maximum possible extent. It means charging a price which bears some relation to the amount which is available. My own belief is that if petrol was charged at 2s. 3d. or 2s. 6d. a gallon, there would at present be adequate supplies in the world.

The Government are getting £23½ million which they did not anticipate when the Budget was drawn up. We say that that amount should go back to the motorist as a right. To refuse that to the motorists would be a very gross injustice. But our case, of course, goes a great deal further. We believe that the whole of this tax is unnecessary, is vicious, and is calculated to do all the things which the Chancellor, if he was a wise one, would not at present be attempting to do.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

I confess at once that this tax is not popular. It costs people money, it renders their pleasure more expensive, it adds to the cost of industry, and it must eventually in some degree add to the costs of everything. In that, however, it is like every other tax in the world that has ever been imposed at any time. Not only this duty is unpopular, but all taxes are unpopular. If a Chancellor of the Exchequer, in meeting the nation's needs year by year, were to wait until he could find a popular tax, we would have to do without a great many of the things we like to have and for which most of us are prepared to pay. The real test of the duty is not whether it is popular, but whether the object intended to be served by it is an object which the House and the nation would like to see achieved, and secondly, whether the means chosen to finance that desired object are suitable means and do less harm than any other available method of raising the equivalent amount of money.

It seems to me when I look at this duty from that standpoint, using that yardstick or criterion, that the exhibition the Committee have had this afternoon is really quite lamentable. The opposition to this duty seems to be a classical example, a laboratory specimen, of the kind of fractious and factious criticism which we were told at the beginning of this Parliament the Opposition were trying to avoid.

The Chancellor made it perfectly clear in his Budget speech that he wanted to reduce the burden of Income Tax in respect of the lower classes of Income Tax payers. I take it that that objective has the unanimous support of the Committee. Is there anybody—I know of nobody and certainly I have heard of no speaker today—who says that is something the Chancellor ought not to have wanted to do, or ought not to have done? Everyone is in support of that. The only difference between the two sides of the Committee is that we on this side are prepared to pay for it, whereas the Opposition, characteristically enough and in accordance with long-standing tradition, are in favour of all the social services, all the amenities, all the advantages for the hardest hit sections of the community that cost them nothing.

They are prepared and very anxious to support all these advantages because it is not a very good way of being elected to Parliament if you oppose them; but when it comes to raising the money without which it is impossible to do that, they always find it is the wrong time, the wrong method and that everything is wrong about it but the objective. In exactly the same way they have always been in favour of every advance in the social services, but always at some other time and somewhere else. If they are in favour of these Income Tax reliefs, how else are they to be paid for?

I have listened with great care, as I always do, to the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), the Leader of the Liberal Party. I found his speech most disappointing. [Interruption.] I really did. I rather gathered from it that the Liberal Party were going to oppose this duty and support the Conservative Party in opposing it. I know there is no reason why, if a man makes a mistake once, he must go on repeating it. I had hoped the right hon. and learned Gentleman had thought better of it by now. He is in favour of Income Tax reliefs. He did not tell us how they were to be paid for otherwise than by this method. He made some general statement that in a Budget which amounts to so many millions, or thousands of millions, there ought to be some other way of saving money on something else in order to enable us to get these Income Tax reliefs without paying for them. But that is not good enough. It is all right for the official Opposition, but one expected better things from the right hon. and learned Gentleman.

Mr. Lyttelton

May I ask the hon. Member whether it would have been in order for the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery to discuss other methods of raising revenue when the Amendment before the Committee deals with the Petrol Duty, to which I suggest the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) should address himself?

Mr. Silverman

I confess I had not thought of that one. It seems that the only reason which has prevented either of the Oppositions from telling us what were the actual specific savings that could have been effected elsewhere in order to enable us to have the Income Tax reliefs without raising this duty was that they were afraid that the Chair would have stopped them telling us. I am not sure whether that is so or not. I heard Major Milner say at the beginning of the discussion that on this Amendment the Debate could range over a wide field, bringing in everything, provided it was not repeated on the Motion that the Clause stand part. But supposing the right hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) were right and that it was out of order on this occasion to specify what were the savings out of which these Income Tax reliefs could be found, that was not out of order in the Budget Debate. If they know and will not tell us now because they are afraid the Chair might stop them letting us know, they could have done it then.

5.45 p.m.

In any case, I was not dealing with the right hon. Member but with the right hon. and learned Gentleman, from whom, as I said, I expected better things. I thought that at least he would be able to tell us where these savings could be effected and how it ought to be done. The Opposition have not done that, they have shirked it, they have dodged it and avoided it and go on shirking, dodging and avoiding it. Suppose it were even true that the Government might have found the means by saving money elsewhere and had failed to do so, on that basis does the right hon. and learned Gentleman still think that it would be right to withhold these Income Tax reliefs, or does he think we ought to go on with the Income Tax reliefs all the same, finding the money for it, if not in the way he would have preferred, then in the way we are proposing by this duty?

Mr. Clement Davies

The main point I was making was that it rather surprised me that a relief was given to a smaller class—those who up till now were in a position to pay Income Tax and were now to get relief by an extra charge made on those who never were in the position to pay Income Tax—and that the extra charge is spread all over the country in order to give a privilege to a few. Does the hon. Member think that is right and good Socialism?

Mr. Silverman

I should have thought it was very good Liberalism, and as such I support it. When has there ever been anything wrong in raising money from the whole community in order to relieve the hardest hit. What is wrong with that? The right hon. and learned Gentleman says that because they never paid Income Tax their income was not high enough, but he is forgetting that it was not more than two or three years ago that that was not true. [Laughter.] I am sure hon. Members of the Committee want to address themselves seriously to the argument. It is true, is it not, that several millions of people have been relieved of the liability to pay Income Tax by the successive Budgets of this Government in the last three or four years? Surely that is so. The Opposition always supported us in that. They would have liked us to relieve other people first, but they never went to the length of opposing our Income Tax reliefs.

Mr. Lyttelton

Is the hon. Member in order on this Amendment in discussing Income Tax and the incidence of Income Tax on the population?

The Deputy-Chairman (Colonel Sir Charles MacAndrew)

This Amendment deals with a very narrow point.

Mr. Silverman

I was a little astonished that the right hon. Gentleman should have raised that point of order, because he devoted his whole speech to exactly the same point.

Mr. Lyttelton

indicated dissent.

Mr. Silverman

Oh, yes, certainly, and every speaker so far has related the Petrol Duty to the Income Tax reliefs. We have been invited from the beginning of this Debate right up to the last speech to relate the Income Tax reliefs to the Petrol Duty. That is the very argument with which I am dealing; that is the very argument with which the right hon. and learned Gentleman invited me to deal.

I say again to him that if a need has to be relieved there is nothing wrong in raising the means for relieving it from the whole community provided that the method of doing that is not inequitable, provided that the method of doing it does not do greater harm than some other method would have done. Even the assumption of the right hon. and learned Gentleman was that the money might have been saved elsewhere, an assumption which I do not make and which I refuse to make until someone points out something on which he would take the responsibility of saving if he thinks the money might have been saved otherwise. I still say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that, the Government not having raised the money otherwise, he is faced today with the choice of allowing the Petrol Duty proposal to go through, as the Government propose, or of withdrawing the Income Tax reliefs which he deems to be necessary and would like to support.

Mr. G. B. Craddock

The hon. Member has made play with the Income Tax relief given to a few million people. We are very glad that has been done, but is it not a fact that those same people did not pay Income Tax in 1939, and yet we did not have to raise the Petrol Duty then?

Mr. Silverman

Most of the people affected had no incomes before the war, and if the hon. Gentleman had his way in this matter he would bring about again that state of affairs to which he referred. The Opposition are in a dilemma. They must either vote for the Petrol Duty increase as proposed by the Government or they must face the position that they will not permit the financing of the Income Tax reliefs which they have been prominent in demanding. That is their dilemma.

The second part of the criterion which I ask them to apply is whether the other effects were inequitable or wrong. The hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) made great play with the effect of this proposal upon the railways. I did not gather from him whether he thinks that the Government have done this with the railways in mind or whether he thinks they ought to have had the railways in mind. I should like him to say, if he will, whether he thinks there would have been anything wrong with the proposal even if the Government had taken this step with some notion of equalising the burden of costs between road and rail. Would it be wrong, would it be a monstrous thing to do?

I can understand the hon. Member hesitating because it was the Leader of the Opposition who first advanced the principle that a Petrol Duty ought to be imposed in order to protect the railways from the roads. Perhaps one might read the quotation again. It was quoted in the Budget Debate by the Minister of State for Economic Affairs, but I think it will bear repetition. The Leader of the Opposition, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: We have only a limited fund of capital to employ every year in every direction, and it would not be in the public interest—and this is one of the foundations of my argument—to spend in the next few years several hundreds of millions of additional money upon our roads, apart from the present grants upon the roads, if the result were to render artificially and prematurely obsolete the splendid British Railway systems which represent a thousand million pounds of national capital, and afford employment to nearly 700,000 men."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th April, 1928; Vol. 216, c. 856.] Supposing the Government had had some kind of consideration of that sort in their mind—I do not know whether they had or not—the only difference between the situation when the Leader of the Opposition enunciated that principle and the situation today, is that today the railways really are national capital whereas in those days they were not. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are in the position of wishing to impose a Petrol Duty in order the relieve the burdens of the privately-owned railways but think it a monstrous thing that it should be done to alleviate the burdens of the nationally owned railways, which seems to me to be a rather difficult position to defend before any fair minded tribunal.

If some extra means had to be found of raising extra revenue in order to finance the Income Tax reliefs which have the unanimous support of the Committee, it seems to me that no place could have been found where the tax could be more equitably raised, imposing so little burden upon the community as a whole, other than this. I hope that the Committee will accept the Government's proposal.

Dr. Hill (Luton)

When I listened to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget speech and to the remarks which simply, logically and forcibly he adduced in favour of the increased Petrol Duty, I was left quite clearly with the conclusion that the considerations which had led him to propose this increase were that petrol was costing us more dollars than we could afford, that demand was outrunning supply, that the increased tax would produce needed economies, and lastly, that the duty had not been increased since before the war. Three of those four arguments have for the most part been blown away by the Government's own action in the complete de-rationing of petrol.

To my astonishment—and having heard some few speeches in this House, to be astonished at the speech of the Minister of State is perhaps not exceptional comment or unusual criticism—disregarding those arguments put forward by the Chancellor, the Minister today contrived to suggest that the deliberate purpose of the tax was to make possible the Income Tax relaxation which has been made. He seemed to suggest indeed that they had calculated the amount of Income Tax concession, that they had searched round for a tax which would yield approximately the same sum, and relating the one to the other had decided that in the interests of a section of Income Tax payers this increased duty should be imposed.

We have had a further suggestion today from the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) that the Chancellor, knowing that de-rationing was to come, and determining by some superior omniscient planning to calculate the sum of money which would effect the deterrent which it was the Chancellor's wish to effect, arrived, by a process of calculation, and no doubt of democratic planning, a the sum of 9d. as the amount to add in the public interest to reduce the consumption of petrol. Not only does that presuppose that the Chancellor knew at the time of his Budget speech of the intention to de-ration petrol; it also presupposes a wisdom, a knowledge and a capacity to calculate which the hon. Member for Coventry, East, showed that he does not himself possess by his own calculation of the cost of motoring between Oxford and London.

6.0 p.m.

And then the second argument. It is a deliberate and very obvious electoral trap devised to ensure that whenever in any Budget there is to be a decrease of taxation accompanied by an increase of taxation, one is, so far as possible, to be related to the other; so that those who oppose increases of taxation can be held, when it is convenient, to be opposing this particular form of remission of taxation. And the underlying argument of it all is, of course, that the present high level of taxation must remain, that it is sinful to suggest that taxation should be reduced by economies. The whole thing seems to me to be a clumsy manoeuvre to manipulate the critics of increased taxation into a position of criticising any particular remission which may be alleged to be due to it.

I confess that, perhaps in my innocence, as a new Member of this House, I had assumed that the arguments which were designed and contained in the Budget speech were genuine arguments to a particular end. My innocence is fast going. Indeed, it seems that the effect of petrol on logic is to inflame it beyond all reasonable use. I remember that the Minister of Health dealt with this subject of petrol. I remember that when the Opposition argued that the cut in the housing programme should be restored, the Minister of Health replied by challenging them to say where other cuts should be made; and when in fact the Chancellor increased the housing programme to its former level, and the right hon. Gentleman was asked where in fact he had made the necessary cuts, he told the House they came in part from increased production.

Then, with a typical wag of the finger at the Opposition he said that we had to choose between importing timber and importing petrol for this pleasure-loving Opposition. He implied, with that air of perspiring virtue in which he finished the speech, that he, the virtuous, had chosen to import timber—though heaven knows where that is—rather than petrol. Within a few weeks the right hon. and learned Gentleman his colleague informed the House that petrol rationing in its entirety was to go. And so I became accustomed to that form of tortuous logic by that one example; but I think even that has been excelled today by the Minister of State.

I wish to refer briefly to one or two points which have not so far been covered. I will not go over the ground, obvious to everyone, that the one justification—if justification there is—that remains for this tax is that it is a money raiser. I will not repeat the argument, or the expression of astonishment, that at a time when this country needs above all lower costs, at a time when this country is above all bothered by a rising cost of living, there should have been selected for this particular piece of money raising an instrument which increases the cost of production and increases the cost of living to a much greater extent than right hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the Committee are prepared to admit.

I would refer to an aspect of this matter from the angle of the motor car industry, representing as I do a motor car town. I hope indeed that the residents of Coventry will regard the speech of the hon. Member for Coventry, East, as fairly representing the angle of a motor car town—but I very much doubt it. As I see it it is a piece of gross ingratitude to an industry which, by its zeal and success in the export field, has perhaps done more for this country than any other exporting industry. I agree with one thing that the hon. Member for Coventry. East, said, and that is that the amount of increased cost involved in the actual driving of motor cars from the factory to the ports is relatively small; in the case of my own town, practically every car is in fact driven to the port. There is an appreciable, if small, element of cost.

But what I have in mind is that at a time when the home field is receiving relatively few cars, it cannot be pretended that the increase in petrol cost can have a general or a widespread influence on the industry. Incidentally the argument of the Minister of State really amounts to the fact that because the Budget is four times what it was in 1938, then every other tax shall be four times what it was. If that sort of argument is in his mind, and if it is followed, I am fearful of the future.

When the motor car industry returns to satisfy the home market, it will no doubt seek to do what it rightly did before the war, and make the motor car available to the largest possible section of the community. It is a pity that the process has begun—for that is what it seems to be—of so raising the cost of motoring as to discourage members of the community who find it not too easy to buy small motor cars from so doing, because of the factor of running costs. I think in general that it is a poor return to the motor industry for all they have done for this country that that should be done.

No reference has been made to the fact that this increased duty is in some cases a reduction of remuneration. We hear a great deal about the freezing of remuneration, but in this case for some people there is an absolute reduction, which is something that would fill with horror hon. Members on the other side of the Committee if it came to their particular field or group. I give two examples of this. Members of the local government service who are on mileage allowances find their position is that for the first 3,600 miles they run on the old rates and they are being permitted increases only above that level. It is a relatively small amount but to some people it is a relatively important problem.

Again, there is the case of the general practitioners. A few weeks ago, before the Budget speech, the Minister of Health announced the sum to be available for their remuneration for the year beginning 1st April, 1950. The remuneration of general practitioners is a gross amount; 18s. is paid into a pool to cover all then-practice expenses as well as their remuneration. Those practice expenses were calculated on the old rate of motoring costs and the result of this is that general practitioners have a reduction of remuneration of between £15 and £30 a year. The part about it which I think no one would wish to happen is that this reduction of remuneration falls most heavily upon the rural practitioners who have the greatest distance to travel.

It is most unfortunate that in this and in other groups there should be not merely an increase in costs which can be passed on, but a reduction of remuneration by a way not easily understood. I say "not easily understood" because I notice that when the Parliamentary Secretary answered a Question put down by an hon. Member on this side of the Committee, he said in effect that the Government were not prepared to make increases or additions to remuneration. Nothing of the sort is involved.

Therefore, despite what we have heard about the relative quietness of the private motorists—I imagine that they think it more worth while to write to hon. Members on this side of the Committee than to hon. Gentlemen opposite about this—despite what we have heard about the varying arguments and the magnificent calculations that went to arrive at the sum of 9d., it still remains what it was at the beginning, a tax on the industrial and commercial costs of this country. It is a tax which will result in an increase in the cost of living. I hope that the country will recognise for what it is worth this thin device of saying that those who dare to oppose this particular form of increased taxation are aiming their criticism at a particular form of remission. That is a cheap and shabby trick which I hope the people will clearly recognise.

Mr. Crosland (Gloucestershire, South)

I hope it will not be thought in bad taste if on this occasion I give my entire support, for what it is worth, to the right hon. Gentlemen on the Government Front Bench. I do not want to follow the speech of the hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Hill) in detail. I cannot compete with his level of oratory, for one thing, and also the detail of some of his arguments escaped me. But I should like to take up his expression of surprise at something which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health said some weeks ago. The Minister of Health is fully capable of looking after himself, but it might be said that there was no contradiction in saying four weeks ago, "If you want more timber, you cannot have more petrol as well" and not saying that now. In the interval we have had this new circumstance of the new offer by the American oil companies to supply a greater quantity of petrol.

Dr. Hill

It was on 22nd May that the Minister of Health said: In fact, in choosing between petrol and timber we are choosing houses for the people before luxury products."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd May, 1950; Vol. 475, c. 1787.] I assume that he was better informed than hon. Members behind him of the progress and prospects of successful negotiation.

Mr. Crosland

I do not know why I should constantly be in the position of defending someone who so little needs defence from a new back bencher, but I must point out that the decision to deration petrol was taken after that, on 26th May. It was taken on the basis of an offer from American companies which had only very recently been received and accepted.

The point about which I want to speak is one which arose during the speech of the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) when, right at the end, he made what I think is the most significant comment from hon. Gentlemen opposite during this Debate. We have constantly asked what they thought was the proper price for petrol. The hon. Member for Monmouth said that he thought 2s. 3d. was a perfectly reasonable price for petrol at which we would be able to afford all the supplies we needed. This is, I think, a very striking and rather revolutionary statement which can bear one of two interpretations. Either the hon. Gentleman thinks that at 2s. 3d. the consumption of petrol would be greatly increased over what it is at 3s. 0¾d.—he thinks that at 2s. 3d. there would be much greater consumption and, therefore, far higher imports and higher dollar expenditure, but he does not mind about the extra dollars—or he thinks that consumption at 2s. 3d. would not be significantly more than what it is at 3s. 0¾d.

If he accepts the second alternative, then the whole of his argument that we are using this tax to drive a great volume of traffic off the roads on to the railways falls completely to the ground. It would be rather interesting to know, either from him or from the right hon. Gentleman who will speak later from the Opposition Front Bench, which of those alternatives the party opposite accept. In fact, it seems perfectly clear that at the moment the free market price of petrol would certainly be very much higher than 2s. 3d. My opinion is that it would be considerably higher than 3s. It is higher than 3s. in every other European country.

6.15 p.m.

The fact that we have had to ration petrol when it was 2s. 3d. and that even at 3s. we cannot allow free imports, suggests that it is still below the market price. There is no doubt that if we left it to the free play of market forces, the price would be considerably higher. At any rate, it would be much higher than 2s. 3d. If 2s. 3d. was an artificially low price, we want a clear statement from the Opposition of their policy about prices. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, in his Budget speech, said that he believed in the higgling of the market. The phrase, "the higgling of the market" has a very pleasantly nostalgic ring—shades of the great Victorian economists, and so on. But if we were to have prices determined by the higgling of the market, what would be the price of petrol?

Clearly, it would mean a much higher price than 2s. 3d. On this side of the Committee we do not believe that all prices should be settled by the higgling of the market. On the contrary, we believe that for food, housing and one or two other necessities it is the job of the Government to keep prices artificially below what the higgling of the market would suggest. Some Members of the Opposition are uneasy about doing that even with food. They do not like food subsidies. They say that there ought to be a market price even for food, but the Opposition, if they are unhappy even about food, presumably think that petrol falls into the genera] category of goods whose prices should be determined in a free market. It would be interesting—and it is important to get the issues clear—if we could have a statement from them whether they believe that the price of petrol should be determined by free market forces and if not, why not. And if they do believe in the market price, why do they object to a tax which brings us much nearer the market price?

I should like to discuss the relationship between the higher price of petrol and de-rationing. The hon. Member for Luton suggested that now that we had de-rationing, all the case for a higher price for petrol falls to the ground. I should not have thought that that was so. I should have thought it likely that the higher price of petrol was a necessary condition of de-rationing. It is clear that this increase in the price of petrol will choke off a considerable amount of consumption and it is clear that, although we have this new and extremely important offer from the American oil companies, we must still economise in the use of petrol. In other words, if the extra demand due to de-rationing were greatly to exceed the extra petrol which we have been offered by the American companies, then once again our dollar import bill would go up in a manner we cannot afford. I should have thought that it was clear that the higher price of petrol which we shall have as a result of this tax will choke off a considerable amount of demand which would otherwise have been there and that what would have been a very dangerous and hazardous gamble—to de-ration at the old price—becomes now a perfectly reasonable risk at the new price.

I should also like to comment on the question of the effect of this tax on the prices of our exports. There has been a great deal of discussion about that in this Debate. The new tax has been called a tax on exports, and so on. There has been a lot of argument from both sides of the Committee as to precisely what effect on our general level of export costs this tax will have. I do not think that the effect will be much The hon. Member for Monmouth spoke of the Road Haulage Executive having raised their charges generally by 7½ per cent., which he thought was a very high rate of increase indeed. That may be so in the case of the Transport Commission, but if it is generalised over the great bulk of our ordinary export commodities, surely the rise in price cannot be at all significant. Some one suggested that it would be an average of one per cent. It may be two per cent. I do not know.

My point is that if the threat of inflation is still a serious danger to our exports—personally I do not believe it is a very great danger—I do not think that it arises mainly from the possibility of a slight increase in our costs of this sort. I think that the danger of inflation comes mainly in a different form. If we have inflation, we have a great' pull on the home market, with too much money chasing too few goods. It is then much too easy to sell in the home market, and there is no pressure on the manufacturer to go into the export market, and particularly the dollar market. I am certain that that is a much more serious threat from inflation than any possibility of an increase of one or two per cent. in costs.

Sir Harold Webbe (Cities of London and Westminster)

Will the hon. Gentleman allow me to ask him a question? Would he regard an increase of one or two per cent. in the prices of our export goods as insignificant?

Mr. Crosland

I would regard it certainly as insignificant, after devaluation. The position regarding our exports as a whole after devaluation is that our prices are perfectly competitive in a great many lines. [Interruption.] Certainly, in a wide range of goods. If we take whisky, for example—if we had, an increase in price of 30 per cent., we should still sell as much as before. By and large, it is quite clear that our exports as a whole are competitive in price, and we are now selling in competition with the Americans in other markets, such as Canada, Brazil, etc. If our exports are not competitive in price, will someone explain the behaviour of the volume of our exports in the last few months? Over the last few months, there has been a greater inclination to export goods through the very fact that, owing to the state of the home market, there was an incentive to manufacturers to push their goods into the export trade.

Now, the petrol tax is a particularly good tax from this disinflationary point of view, because not only does it cut down the demand for petrol, but it also cuts down other demands on the home market by its secondary effects. If people spend less money on petrol for their cars, they will spend less money in hotels and holiday accommodation and many other things. [Interruption.] It is perfectly true, and it should be obvious that an important result of the duty is that if people drive about in their cars less than before they will spend less money in hotels and use existing holiday facilities less frequently. There will be important secondary effects entirely in the right direction. It will mean that resources in use in the home market will then become available for the export market generally.

If I may end up by a comment on the road and rail aspect of the matter, I would say that I have not the faintest idea what was in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nor have we."] I am not, unfortunately, on; of the confidential advisers of my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor; indeed, we should have had a much better Budget if I had been; but we have to face up to these things. What was in the mind of the Chancellor on this road and rail question I do not know, but I can see nothing immoral in taking account of the effect of the increased duty on petrol on the railways.

The hon. Member for Monmouth put forward an extremely eloquent argument, in which he said that it is nonsense to take a tax in isolation, and that it was the duty of a Government to consider the effect of that particular tax on all other industries and its possible effect on the country as a whole. I agree with the hon. Gentleman; it was a perfectly reasonable and sensible thing to do. I do not think that it is any more unreasonable now than it was 20 years ago when the then Chancellor of the Exchequer took the line which some of us are now taking, and, if it is true that some of my right hon. Friends on the Government Front Bench then criticised him for doing that, it only shows how far this party has progressed in the last 20 years.

I am entirely convinced by the argument, and I see nothing whatsoever that is immoral, undesirable or sinister in welcoming the effect of the increased Petrol Duty on the railway system of the country; after all, we have a great volume of the country's capital now invested in the railway industry, and it is such that no Government, whether the railways were public or privately owned, could be indifferent about it, and it is not at all immoral to take that fact into account. I therefore support the increased Petrol Duty because it will do something to bring the price of petrol nearer to its real market price, it will encourage economy in something which still has an important dollar content, it will help to even out the balance between road and rail, and my only complaint against it is that it was not imposed two years ago instead of today.

Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North)

I should like to follow, if only for a few moments, the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland), because I cannot imagine that, following upon the remarks he made, he will receive any sudden request from commercial undertakings to favour them with his help and advice in the running of their businesses. I would only ask the hon. Gentleman to attempt to carry out this selling of our export goods in the easy way in which he thinks it can be done. I understand that he has experience in selling whisky overseas, but I suggest to him that there are a great many other things besides whisky in which we have to increase our export sales. I suggest to him that, if he had some practical experience in this direction, he would realise that much of what he has said is nothing but sheer nonsense.

Mr. Crosland

I cannot compete with the hon. Gentleman in that particular matter, but I did say that the volume of our exports in the last few months suggested that our prices were really competitive, and I should like to know the answer to that.

Mr. Harris

I am quite happy to take on any hon. Member for a full discussion of the whole question of selling our goods overseas, but any suggestion of a tax which would make the task of our manufacturers and exporters more difficult is something that we should absolutely deplore.

Mr. John Cooper (Deptford)

Would the hon. Gentleman, with his commercial knowledge, be good enough to demonstrate to the House what the effect of this increase in the cost of petrol will be on his own export trade?

Mr. Harris

I am not going to make an individual point. I am going to demonstrate the effect of any increased taxation upon industry. I said the same thing during the Debate on the last Finance Bill. Any increase of taxation has to be borne by our home industry, and means, of course, a material change in costs and in the prices which we have to charge for our goods in the export market. The transport costs of any business undertaking have always been a small percentage of the total costs of the business, but in the last four or five years, under Socialism, transport costs have gone up by over 60 per cent. I say quite definitely that transport costs in manufacturing industry have risen from a very small percentage a few years ago to one of the highest single costs in manufacturing business today. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nonsense."] It is not nonsense, it is the fact. In the last few months, these transport costs have risen very drastically, and I appeal to the Government to realise that these additional burdens which they are placing upon industry throughout the country are acting as a wicked brake upon industry today.

It is a very serious matter, and hon. Members opposite should not think that a commercial country like ours can go forward and prosper with such a brake put upon it. The effect on the cost of living and on export prices will be inevitable. On that point, I mention straight away the increase in the price of paint. It has gone up by 9d. a gallon. Hon. Members opposite may desire to see this brake placed upon industry, but I know of car dealers in my own constituency who have had many cancellations of orders, and one dealer alone, as an immediate result of this extra burden, received cancellations to the value of £3,000. Therefore, I cannot believe that it is to the benefit of the country to place such additional burdens upon industry.

6.30 p.m.

With regard to the cost of living, I wish to make this one specific point. I do not know whether hon. Members opposite fully realise the effect of these additional burdens upon the workers. I believe they think that workers do not use cars very much, or do not have any need of petrol. I have here a letter from a company in my own constituency in which there appears the following paragraph: We hear murmurings amongst our employees as to the increase in the cost of living. Discontent is spreading as they realise that any increase at source must inevitably fall upon them and reduce the spending value of their wages. They feel that the effect is clearly in fundamental conflict with the Government's declared policy of (1) increased production, (2) the avoidance of an increase in the cost of living, and (3) the continued expansion of the national export efforts. That is typical of the sort of letters which every hon. Member, at any rate on this side of the Committee, receives from industry generally.

Mr. Pannell (Leeds, West)

Did that letter come from one of the supporters of the hon. Member's party or from one of our supporters?

Mr. Harris

What an extraordinary remark for an hon. Member to make. Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that private enterprise is not supporting the whole of this country, and that it segregates itself as either a supporter of the Tories or the Socialists? Certainly, it does not.

I say quite distinctly that in the last few years the Government have had an extraordinary outlook concerning the support given to private enterprise in this country. To suggest that placing these extra burdens upon industry will benefit the country in the years to come is sheer nonsense. This is a wicked tax; it is a burden upon industry, and it is a burden upon the people who wish to spend a little time in relaxation. Irrespective of what the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, said, I say that indirectly, and eventually directly, this increase is going to prove a definite detriment to our export trade which all of us are trying to secure, and which we all know we must secure if this country is to survive.

Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)

I am not an economist, and my knowledge of the ways of finance is very slight. Therefore, it is with a good deal of diffidence that I enter this Debate. However, there are certain comments I wish to make upon the speeches delivered by hon. Members opposite. First, I draw attention to a remark made by the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft), who, I regret, is not now in his place, about the irresponsibility of the Government Front Bench regarding financial matters. As I continued to listen to the speech of the hon. Member for Monmouth, I thought the denunciation of irresponsibility came very uncomfortably from his lips, because when one looks back over the last five years one realises that the most marked feature has been the extraordinary success of the financial planning which has taken place during that time. [Laughter.] When hon. Members opposite laugh at a statement like that, and when they remember how, from time to time during the last five years, they have prophesied woe and disaster for this country—

Mr. Lyttelton

May I ask the hon. Gentleman—?

Mr. Brockway

No, I am not going to give way—and when they have done so much to undermine the financial position of this country—

Mr. Lyttetton

On a point of order. Is the hon. Member in order, Sir Charles, in discussing financial matters over such a wide field?

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. Gentleman ought really to restrict his remarks to the Amendment.

Mr. Brockway

I was answering an argument made from the other side.

Mr. Lyttelton

Will the hon. Gentleman now give way?

Mr. Brockway

No, I do not think I will. I am prepared to give way when the right hon. Gentleman has given me an opportunity of making my point. My point is that right hon. and hon. Members opposite who now call the financial policy of this Government irresponsible have, during the last five years, been undermining the financial position of this country, and that it is time they recognised the very great service which the Government Front Bench have rendered on that matter.

Mr. Lyttelton

I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way at long last. Does he or does he not think it a financial disaster that we have had to devalue the pound.

Mr. Brockway


Mr. Lyttelton

Well. I do

Mr. Brockway

I am placed in some difficulty now, Sir Charles, because the right hon. Gentleman who did not wish me to take a broad line in my speech is now inviting me to do so. I say to him straight away that the result of the devaluation of the pound has been proved to be justified by the success of British exports in the world, and should be defended by hon. Members.

My other point is in relation to the speech of the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) and particularly in relation to that of the hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Hill). If I may say so—and I say it quite humbly—I have been impressed by the speeches made by the hon. Member for Luton since he has been a Member of the House. They have rather surprised me after the radio broadcast which he made during the election, but, in my view he has today gone back and down to the level of that radio speech. He made the point that when we say now that the Petrol Duty balances the reduction in Income Tax, it is a new argument. Those of us who listened to the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer remember that, as he came to his conclusion, the greatest emphasis was placed upon the fact that the taxation of petrol was balanced by reduced Income Tax on the lower levels of Income Tax payers. No one who heard that speech could have doubted that that was in the Chancellor's mind at that time.

Those are the preliminary remarks I wanted to make. I shall have no hesitation at all in going into the Lobby to support this Petrol Duty. There are two aspects of this duty to which I should like to draw the attention of the Front Bench, and about neither of them have we heard anything in the Debate so far.

The first is the fact that this is a tax not so much on petrol used by motor cars as upon the industries themselves and their processes, and many of these industries are engaged in the export trade. In part of my constituency, Slough, we have a large number of light industries. Those light industries are heavily engaged in the export trade. This duty upon petroleum spirits and hydrocarbon oils-will have quite a serious effect upon those-industries. I have already approached, the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this matter. I urge that, even at this late-hour, something may be done about it.

The other point which I urge even more emphatically refers to a section of the community upon whom this tax will fall heavily. That section is the war-disabled men and women who are a pathetic and; yet a noble sight in our streets driving-their petrol-driven chairs.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Is it in order for the hon. Member to refer to this matter? Is it not the case that there is an Amendment on the paper dealing with this specific point? Would it be in order to discuss it now?

The Deputy-Chairman

No, it would not be in order to discuss it now. I was going to stop the hon. Member. An Amendment will be called dealing with that point.

Mr. Brockway

I will leave what I was. going to say upon that point until then. I hope very strongly indeed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be able to consider this matter.

Mr. Jennings

I should like to support this Amendment because I think this tax does harm in a variety of ways. The way in which the increased cost of petrol affects the general practitioner has been mentioned from these benches. There is also the question of the commercial traveller who has to run a car out of his salary. Will not 9d. a gallon on his weekly running costs prove a very important financial loss to that man? There are thousands of such people up and down the country.

I want to mention two points. The Minister for Economic Affairs alarmed me by one of the most amazing speeches. I have heard in this House in 20 years. It raised the argument that no relief in taxation could be given unless some other form of tax was imposed. If that is the policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer then I think he is a most dangerous man to have in charge of our finances. Surely, an entirely different proposition should be borne in mind in the preparation of the Budget. The Chancellor, in reviewing what reduction in taxes was possible, should have looked first at the expenditure of the Government. I am certain he could have found relief in taxation instead of putting an additional duty on petrol.

6.45 p.m.

It is just humbug to say this was done to give relief in taxation to a number of people. The true answer is that the Chancellor looked at his finances and he saw that every possible tax was put on this country, with the exception of a tax on fresh air. He cannot harness fresh air; that is why it is not taxed at so much a breath to the people of this country. So he said, "Right, I will go into petrol"—a most dangerous item so far as our export markets are concerned.

I am not going to suggest that in the great City of Sheffield this tax will put us out of the export market competitively; but this is only one of the variety of burdens which this Government has been responsible for adding to the cost of production. The costs of coal, gas, electricity, and so on, have been increased, and now the cost of petrol. Government spokesmen ask manufacturers to keep down the cost of production. The serious thing is the cumulative effect which the actions of this Government have on the cost of production. If hon. Members think that transport in a great steel works is of small moment, I can tell them of dozens of specially built wagons and trailers going in and out of steel works every day. The cost of transport is a very important item in the cost of production. Whether the relief is large or small it is the duty of the Government to relieve the cost of production, instead of adding to that cost.

There is great anxiety among all sections of the community today that the cost of living is more than the housewife can bear. Here is another addition to that cost of living, in transport charges, bus fares and so on, and there is an increase in the cost of distributing milk. Does not the Chancellor realise that this was a very dangerous duty to impose? It will inflict hardship on masses of our people. On behalf of the great industries in Sheffield I ask him to reconsider this imposition on petrol. It will affect the cost of production, if not to a large measure then to some measure; and it is the duty of the Government, as I have already said, to help reduce the cost of production.

It is just humbug to freeze wages and increase the cost of living. No wonder the trade unions are beginning to get unsettled. The cost of living is getting beyond the general public. It is no use the Government telling people they are going to bring it down, when here is a case in which they are increasing it. This is a very bad tax. The Government ought to have found the relief they have given in taxation by keeping down expenditure; and they could have found that relief a thousandfold. Taxes in this country will have to be looked at, and this Government will have to reduce its expenditure. There is no question that we are living beyond our income, and the sooner we realise that the better.

Mr. Jenkins (Birmingham, Stechford)

I must say that the scale of reductions in expenditure which the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. Jennings) seems to have in mind must be very large indeed if he thinks we can find the amount of this Petrol Duty a thousand times over by cuts in our public expenditure.

Mr. Jennings

Government expenditure.

Mr. Jenkins

Is the hon. Gentleman serious about this—£75 million multiplied a thousand times? I do not want to pursue that matter, because I do not think the hon. Member was being particularly serious about it.

I should like to say a few words about a subject which has already been discussed by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) and the hon. Members for Croydon, North (Mr. Frederic Harris) and the Cities of London and Westminster (Sir H. Webbe), and that is the extent to which our export prices could bear a small increase of the order of perhaps 1 per cent. or 2 per cent. without their being made seriously uncompetitive. I should like to mention some figures which were given to the House a few weeks ago by the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) during the Second Reading of the Finance Bill. He was saying that he was seriously worried about the fact that our prices had increased more than American prices. He said that our wholesale prices were 226, the index being 100 in 1937, whereas American wholesale prices were only 177.

Do the Committee realise what a striking proof this was of the fact that our prices must now be very competitive indeed? As two devaluations have taken place since 1937, one at the beginning of the war and one recently, the fact that our prices are now only 226 compared with the Americans' 177 means that we are far more competitive vis-à-vis the Americans today than we were in 1937. These figures, which the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington used as those most favourable to his case were, if interpreted properly, a most striking example of the strength of the case of hon. Members on this side of the Committee who say we are to-day perfectly competitive.

Mr. Lyttelton

Do we understand that the exhortations about reducing the costs of our exports can be safely ignored?

Mr. Jenkins

Nobody could regard anything which puts up the cost of exports as other than a serious matter. That does not necessarily mean that we should have to accept the point of view put forward in this Debate that something which puts up export costs by perhaps 1 per cent. or 2 per cent., if it serves other important and worthwhile purposes, is a disastrous thing in itself. That is the proposition which I was putting forward.

Hon. Members opposite seem to have been suffering from the odd delusion that there must be only one reason for imposing a tax, and that if they can discover that the Chancellor seems to have been affected by more than one reason they think they have proved that there was something wrong about the whole tax. The hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) and the hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Hill) both fell into this most extraordinary error. The hon. and learned Member for Wirral practically went into a textual criticism of the Chancellor's Budget speech to try and show that what he first said when he was introducing the tax was not that it would make any tax concession possible but that it would save petrol. It seems to me perfectly reasonable that there should be more than one reason for introducing a tax, and that a tax is all the better if one can find a number of reasons which converge at the point of that tax, instead of only one reason to support it. That is the case with this tax at the moment.

There is, first of all, the question of petrol economy. I am amazed at hon. Members opposite speaking as though the need for any petrol economy disappeared automatically when the end of rationing was announced. Surely they now accept the fact that sterling oil does have a substantial dollar content—though it took them a very long time to accept it. Surely they are concerned about dollar expenditure, even marginal amounts of dollars. Surely the Opposition must be concerned about that. After all, they profess to see our present position as one which is much more dangerous than we on this side of the Committee see it.

If that is so, surely they must regard any marginal increase in dollar expenditure as an extremely serious matter. Surely, therefore, even though rationing has ended and even thought this agreement has been made with the American companies, the Opposition cannot believe that it does not matter how much petrol we consume. Surely, also, they must take the view that we would consume more petrol at the price of 2s. 3d. a gallon than at the price of 3s., and that therefore this tax serves a useful purpose in saving dollars in this way.

The second reason for the tax is, of course, the direct way in which it is linked with the Income Tax concession. The right hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) this afternoon seemed to be amazed that one should attempt in a Debate of this sort to introduce a direct relationship between one tax and a remission.

Mr. Lyttelton

I thought the hon. Member devoted a large part of his argument to saying that it was wrong to suppose that one tax was related to another remission, and that, on the contrary, there ought to be a great number of reasons for introducing a tax.

Mr. Jenkins

I do not think that is a very good argument. Surely it is perfectly reasonable to say that if we collect money from a new tax then we can make a certain desirable remission; surely one can go on and say that this new tax will also serve certain other useful purposes. Surely there is nothing remotely illogical about that, even to the right hon. Member for Aldershot. I should have thought that it was perfectly reasonable to link these two points very closely together. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Economic Affairs mentioned, this is exactly what the present Leader of the Opposition said when almost exactly the same Debate took place 22 years ago. Then the Labour benches were putting forward the arguments against the tax—and doing it much better than the other side has done this evening—and the Conservatives were putting forward some of the arguments which we have been putting this evening.

But the Labour leaders who put the arguments from the opposite benches in those days are no longer here, whereas the chief speaker from the Government benches is very much alive, although he is not in the Chamber at the moment; I refer to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. On that occasion he brought forth all the arguments. He pooh-poohed the effect of the tax on public transport. He referred to road and rail transport, and he also linked the tax very directly with the de-rating concession which was being given to industry at the time. He attacked Mr. Philip Snowden, saying that if this tax was wrecked as the Opposition were trying to wreck it, they would destroy this great concession to productive industry. It is equally competent for us to say to the Opposition that if they wreck this tax as they are trying to do they are also wrecking the Income Tax concession.

Mr. G. B. Craddock

The hon. Member talks about 22 years ago. Will he not agree that the economy of our country at that time was in a much more prosperous and healthy condition than it is in today?

Mr. Jenkins

I am extremely interested to hear that from the hon. Member. I should like to know if his Front Bench supports him in the view that in 1928 the economy of this country was in a much healthier and more prosperous condition that it is in 1950, when one compares the large-scale unemployment—

Mr. G. B. Craddock


Mr. Jenkins

If the hon. Member wants to be proud of an unemployment figure of just over one million, he is entitled to be so.

Mr. Nabarro

The hon. Gentleman is proud of a figure of three million.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. Jenkins

I am most interested to hear that it is the view of the Opposition that, judged by all the important criteria, the British economy in 1928 was in a far healthier state than it is in 1950, especially when we remember that in 1928 our exports were flagging, our production was still down to its pre-1914 level and in this respect we were lagging behind almost every other country in Europe.

Mr. W. Fletcher

What was the value of the pound?

Mr. Jenkins

One would indeed like to know what are the standards by which the Opposition judge the health of the economy if that is the conclusion which they reach. From the intervention of the hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe (Mr. W. Fletcher) it would appear that the standing of the pound on the international money market is the only thing which counts to the Opposition.

Mr. W. Fletcher

I thank the hon. Member for giving way. I did not say the international market, but the value of the pound. I wanted to know what was the purchasing power of the pound inside this country and outside this country. If the hon. Member can invent a better criterion than that I should be very glad to hear what it is.

Mr. Jenkins

If the purchasing power of the pound is the only criterion, then we have been becoming worse and worse off for about the last eight centuries. We have all been getting poorer and more miserable and been having lower living standards, because the purchasing power of the pound has been going pretty steadily down during most of that time.

The Temporary Chairman (Colonel Ropner)

I hope the hon. Member will limit his discussion about the last eight centuries and devote his attention to the present.

Mr. Jenkins

I apologise, Colonel Ropner, but I was at least aided in my excursions. As I say, on the precedent of the speech of the right hon. Member for Woodford, in 1928, we are quite entitled to link these two matters directly—the Petol Duty and the Income Tax concessions; so that if hon. Members opposite do not want one of them, then they do not appear greatly to want the other.

I should have thought that the Income Tax concessions would have appeared very important to the Opposition because, after all, they had an important Amendment on this subject in last year's Budget, a declaration of war against Socialist finance they called it. They said that Income Tax was the heaviest burden and was the one they must fight hardest. That Amendment was a very bad Amendment in many ways. This is a better Amendment. [Laughter.] I mean, this is a better concession in connection with Income Tax because it affects all Income Tax payers and is not regressive in the degree of concession which it gives. I should have thought, therefore, that it would have recommended itself to the Opposition and that they would have been prepared to make this exchange, to have accepted the Petrol Duty in exchange for the Income Tax concession.

Of course the Petrol Duty, like any tax, has certain disadvantages, but it also has certain advantages and the great majority of people will most certainly gain more from the Income Tax concessions than they will lose through the increase in the Petrol Duty. Anyone who receives the full Income Tax concession—and one does not have to earn a very large sum to do that—receives, I think, £11 5s. a year.

To spend that amount of money a man would need to use petrol at the rate of more than 25 gallons a month, and I do not think many people will use more than that amount. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] At any rate, not many private motorists will use more. Of course, there will be some people who spend the whole of their time in motor cars and who will use more, but the ordinary private motorist will not use anything like 25 gallons a month and will, therefore, be not worse off but better off as a result of this exchange. I think it is a very reasonable exchange, and one for which I shall certainly vote.

Mr. Henry Strauss (Norwich, South)

I had no intention of intervening in this discussion until I heard the extremely interesting speech of the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland). I listened to everything he said with the greatest interest and I thought he put forward a solid argument but perhaps the Committee did not quite realise in all quarters how very significant that argument was.

The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, did not dispute for one moment that this tax would increase the cost of living. He pointed out that in numerous ways it would increase the cost of living, although he thought that in some respects perhaps the increase had been exaggerated. The tax will increase the cost of raw materials in various industries and will increase the cost of transport, including public transport, and there are many hon. Members opposite who appear not to have noticed the very serious view taken by the Trades Union Congress and others of the effect of the proposed increase in transport costs in the London area. But the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, whose maiden speech, I regret to say, I did not hear, though I read it with great interest, did not dispute any of those facts. He said that this tax would increase the cost of living.

What I want to emphasise is that he is the first hon. Member I have heard from the opposite side of the House who has said that that is the Government's object—that it is the Government's object to increase the cost of living and to lower the standard of living. The hon. Member pointed out—and here I agree—the very great danger of inflation, and then he said that the value of this tax was that people will have to pay more for their transport and more for their raw materials, and as a result will have less to spend on other things, because it is the policy of the Government not to allow their incomes to increase.

I think that those are very significant admissions from one of the intellectuals of the party opposite, and it is very valuable that the country should know that the great object of this tax, which has been put in the very forefront of the Budget, is to combat inflation by compelling people to spend more money on something which is a necessity—transport—in order that they shall have less money to spend on other things, and that the result is to lower the standard of living and to increase its cost.

Mr. Crosland

It is a great privilege to be flattered by the hon. and learned Member for Norwich, South (Mr. H. Strauss), but I do not want to claim undue credit for having put forward what he seems to think is a very revolutionary suggestion. I was only saying what I thought was now accepted on all sides of the House—that inflation is a bad thing and that one method of dealing with it was by taxation. I was not making anything more than those two propositions.

Mr. Strauss

With one important addition—that I think the hon. Member intends to support the Government in the Division Lobby tonight. That is rather important. He intends to support the Government in the Division Lobby tonight because he realises the danger of inflation and because he says that this is a way of combating inflation, and combating it how?—by increasing the cost of living and decreasing the standard of living.

I give full credit to the hon. Member for the logic of his argument and I do not want the effect of his argument to be lost either on the Committee or on the country. He said that this is where we have been led by the policy of His Majesty's Government, who can now combat the inflation with which we are threatened only by lowering the standard of living and increasing its cost. On that admission, which I regard as a true admission, I think the Opposition are well content to go into the Division Lobby against this tax. I hope the hon. Member's speech will be widely read and that the honesty of his argument will be appreciated. It is far more honest than most of the arguments we have heard from that side of the Committee today.

Mr. Crosland

I apologise for intervening once again, but I must insist that I am not putting forward any new argument which applies for the first time in the case of the Petrol Duty. After all, the idea that one can restrict the inflationary pressure by indirect taxation has been accepted, in effect, by both sides of the Committee for the past five years. I do not think hon. Members Opposite objected to the argument that the tobacco tax was being raised as a disinflationary measure. I do not think there was any objection to that argument three years ago.

Mr. Strauss

The hon. Member constantly suggests that I am accusing him of having adduced a novel argument. The only thing which is novel about his argument is its complete honesty. He has said in so many words that this policy is necessary because in the state which we have now reached the Government have nothing to suggest for combating inflation except the lowering of the standard of living of the people of this country. And that is a most important argument.

Now I come to the only other point with which I wish to deal. One of the other great intellectuals of the party opposite—the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, will forgive me if I pass from him now—the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) likewise mentioned the example that the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, used in his last interruption—I do not say "interruption" in any offensive way: he intervened most justifiably because I was dealing with his speech—the example of tobacco. There is, at least, this difference between tobacco and petrol. I am not going to make light of the extremely heavy tax on tobacco, but, at least in comparison with petrol, tobacco is a luxury. One of the objects of the increased Tobacco Duty—I remember the present Minister of Town and Country Planning saying one of his objects in putting on the extra tobacco tax—was to decrease the consumption of tobacco. That was the object of putting it on.

Now, in the case of petrol, with the exception of one small sector, namely, what may possibly be described as pleasure motoring—with the exception of that one small section—the Government do not wish to decrease the consumption of petrol. On the contrary, in so far as they desire increased output, increased prosperity of industry and increased use of the numerous products of our industry in which petrol forms a part, the Government do not wish to decrease the consumption of petrol at all—with the exception of that one sector. Therefore, to put on this great new tax—because it is a great new tax—on petrol, however else it can be explained and justified, can really not be justified on any analogy with tobacco, because it is on quite a different footing.

I know how many other hon. Members on both sides of this Committee wish to speak, and therefore I confine myself to those points that I have made. I only repeat this, that I hope that the significance will not be lost on the Committee or the country of these admissions by two of the chief intellectuals of the party opposite. I am quite genuinely saying that. I am not making fun of the hon. Gentlemen. I have the greatest respect for the intelligence of each of them. Perhaps I should say the intellect rather than the intelligence—if the hon. Member for Coventry, East, will forgive that slight amendment.

Mr. Crossman

It relieves me.

Mr. Strauss

Their admission is that what we are faced with is the real danger, or the actual presence, of inflation, and that to deal with inflation we must increase the cost of living with a corresponding decrease in the means of enjoyment of the people who will be taxed by this new impost. They have said, "We will go into the Lobby confidently in support of this new tax because we realise—and here we agree with the Opposition—that it will increase the burden on industry and the cost of living, and will diminish its standard."

7.15 p.m.

Sir Richard Acland (Gravesend)

I thought that the hon. and learned Member for Norwich, South (Mr. H. Strauss), was a little less than scrupulously fair in his criticism of my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland), because it seemed to me that he did very little more than find an extremely effective vote-winning formula for stating the obvious truth that all methods which any Government take to combat inflation are always and invariably unpopular. It would, of course, always be pleasanter to the people concerned in paying a tax not to have to pay it. A tax, whatever it is, imposes a burden by leaving less money in the pockets of people after they have paid it, and it thereby reduces their real standards of living. Another way of saying that is to say it increases the cost of living, and the hon. and learned Gentleman simply found an ingenious way of saying that a Government which resolutely does its duty in combating inflation must take measures which are unpopular.

However, I am glad he brought this subject into contact with the question of inflation because some of the points I wish to make relate to the same theme. There are a great many Amendments on the Order Paper to be discussed before this Committee stage is concluded. I am not close-minded on any of them; but I do not absolutely promise not to seek to speak on some of the later ones. There are a good many arguments for voting against the proposed Amendments which are common to all or to almost all, and I should like to offer those arguments in relation to the particular Amendment which we are discussing so as to have a better chance of being able to vote silently against other Amendments to which the same arguments would, no doubt, be equally applicable.

The Committee stage of the Finance Bill is a happy hunting ground for the Opposition, no matter which party may be in Opposition. During the Committee stage the Opposition are in a position to propose reductions left, right and centre, each one of which is popular—or would be if it were passed—as, indeed, this proposal to reduce the Petrol Duty would, of course, be popular if it were carried. The Opposition are in the position of cashing in on the popularity of each of the separate proposals which they put forward. I think it is rather important, though, that the Opposition should at some time come face to face with what would be the consequences if all their proposals were carried.

The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Norwich, South, has reminded us that there is common agreement on all sides of the Committee about the need for combating inflation. I think there is also agreement that a sizeable Budget surplus is one of the most effective instruments against inflation, and that every proposed tax concession which, if carried, would whittle away the Budget surplus, has an inflationary tendency. So far as inflation is concerned, I cannot help feeling that this country is today in a much better position than we were six months ago, and I even suspect that we are in a rather better position today than our own Front Brench expected us to be three months ago.

I do not know, but it seems to me probable that, owing to the steadiness and diligence of the whole of our working population, whether working by hand or by brain, owing to the unexpectedly rapid increase in our productivity, which must surely be much more than the 2½ per cent. mentioned in the White Paper on which the Budget proposals were based, and owing to a number of other factors which I will not go into in detail, we have now got something in hand in the battle against inflation which we did not expect to have. During the next 12 months we shall be able to do certain things which we thought we should be unable to do when the Budget Speech was made, and in the months when it was being prepared.

The Temporary Chairman

Previous occupants of the Chair have allowed a very full discussion, but the hon. Gentleman must now relate his remarks, somehow or other, to the subsection under discussion.

Sir R. Acland

I can indeed do that in saying, Colonel Ropner, that from the point of view of keeping up the battle against inflation a reduction of the Petrol Duty would be one of the things which we could do; and if we are considering it in isolation, without reference to anything else, it would be a very nice thing to do. We could carry out any one of the many proposals which will be made by the Opposition during the Committee stage. But if we carried out the whole lot I believe it would cost £400 million, and in our battle against inflation we should thus be £400 million worse off than we are at the moment, and we would therefore find it very much harder to do other things which, from the point of view—

Mr. John Hay (Henley)

The hon. Gentleman mentions the figure of £400 million as an estimation of the cost of accepting all the Amendments we have put down. Would he tell the Committee how he arrives at that figure?

Sir R. Acland

I should be called to order if I went into detail on that; but I have reason to believe that my figure is about right. From the point of view of the battle against inflation, to give such concessions would be a giving away, a surrender so to speak. To give the concession involved in this Amendment would make us some £88 million worse off in the battle against inflation.

Mr. Hay

Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that the whole point of this Amendment is to try to save money for our taxpayers and thereby reduce the cost of living? What we are here asking is, not that this Petrol Duty should be reduced but that the present duty should not be increased, which is what the Government are doing.

Sir R. Acland

Nobody denies for one moment that any tax concession is very popular, and very pleasant indeed for the people who benefit by it; it leaves more money in their pockets to spend, and from that point of view it is pleasant, but inflationary.

Mr. W. Robson-Brown (Esher)


Sir R. Acland

It will be a bit difficult to make my speech if I am interrupted by more than one Member at once.

Mr. Robson-Brown

The point I want to have clear is that the £88 million to which the hon. Gentleman refers is no concession at all to industry. This tax, which is now being imposed upon industry, did not exist before, and is a positive handicap to production at home and to exports abroad.

Sir R. Acland

Any tax that anyone likes to mention is unpleasant to those who have to pay it. If we did not have to worry about inflation and a few other things the whole lot could be remitted and we could all have a gorgeous time. This Amendment will be extremely popular with the people who do not like paying this duty, but my point, which applies to this proposal and to all the other proposals which the Opposition intend to put forward—in relation to which I shall keep silent—is that this concession to those who would enjoy it must be weighed up against the other concessions which will be demanded of us in the course of the next 12 months by all sorts of people to whom I, for one, think it is much more important that we should give concessions.

I shall get called to order again if I go into detail, and I mention only one class of case—the need for giving a concession to schoolmasters in respect of their salaries. If we give all the concessions proposed by the Opposition on this Finance Bill it will be infinitely harder to afford concessions which are rightly being demanded by such people as schoolmasters, and by other underpaid workers. Therefore, as it is my intention to vote against this and many other Amendments, when doubtless I should be much more popular if I voted for them, I am grateful for being permitted to say that I shall do so in order that we may now resist the inflationary tendencies which this and all the other Opposition Amendments would have if passed. I vote against this Amendment so that we may keep in hand what is needed if we are later in this year to make concessions needed far more urgently by many different sections of the community than this concession on the price of petrol is needed by those who would like to see it granted.

Air-Commodore Harvey (Macclesfield)

In following the hon. Baronet the Member for Gravesend (Sir R. Acland), I should like to say that my real concern in this matter is the effect this duty will have on the cost of living rather than the enjoyment of motorists—although the latter is important, because we have fought a long and difficult war, our people have had trying times since, and I should like to see the British people enjoy themselves. I think they are entitled to do so.

What does annoy me is to hear hon. Members opposite, like the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman), talk about the prosperity of this country. I think that is a very misleading and dangerous statement to make. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because it misleads the public. In two years' time we shall not be able to live on the help of the United States. Hon. and even right hon. Members opposite have come to think that it will last for ever. I am not saying that we are not entitled to all the help we get from America. Of course we are; we fought perhaps a more difficult war than they did. But this country must stand on its own feet in two years' time—perhaps sooner.

The real question here is what effect this duty will have on our exports. The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) said that 1 or 1½ per cent. increased costs was of no significance for British exports. That just shows the ignorance of hon. Members opposite—particularly the intellectuals—when speaking about matters relating to trade. If the hon. Gentleman had had any experience of trying to sell British goods abroad he would realise that sometimes it is a question of a half of 1 per cent. Firms in my own constituency export textiles quite successfully to North America, and are now getting down to very fine margins. Many of the textiles which come from Scotland to Macclesfield to be dyed or printed, and then sent back and eventually exported, are carried by road transport because it is quicker and cheaper.

There will be a most serious effect if this Petrol Duty is allowed to remain on British exports of high quality goods. At the moment, there is very little competition from Germany and Japan. I hope that the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South will bear in mind from now on that we have to face competition from those two countries. Last week it was stated in the Press that India had signed a contract with Japan for two power stations. They got the contract at a very low figure. That has happened in Turkey and other countries all over the world. I hope that hon. Members opposite will appreciate the difficulties with which industry will be faced.

7.30 p.m.

The cost of living has steadily gone up. It is thought that this measure will increase the cost of living by one per cent. I do not think that it will stop at that; it is continuous. I know that in my constituency, which is an industrial constituency, the constituents whom I see are constantly complaining about the increased cost of living. Wages are pegged, and I think that people have behaved admirably in not pressing, in most cases, for increased wages. They cannot go on doing so. I am afraid that this duty is going to have a very bad effect in that respect.

In the rural areas, I do not think that delivery vans will go so far afield as they did previously in delivering goods. They may find that they are unable to do so in the Pennines, for example. I hope that all these points will be considered. The hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Hill) referred to medical practitioners. They, if anybody, have had a bad deal in recent years. They are under-paid, they work all hours of the day and night, and many of them have very old motor cars which are using a lot of petrol. That applies to everyone who has an old car. The petrol consumption is considerably higher in that case than if one is fortunate enough to have a new car. There is a waiting period of five years before one can get a new car, and in the case of a doctor with a 25 horsepower motor car it means another £30 a year, less the bit he gets back on Income Tax. I think that this whole thing is a ramp. The extra £20 million which the Government have acquired in the form of increased tax since petrol came off the ration should definitely be handed back to the motorist.

The Minister of State carefully balanced it up to show how the Government were proposing to spend the extra £20 million. He did not say how much would be saved by way of civil servants who dealt with food, the points system and petrol rationing. There must be many savings which could be made. I ask the Government to bring about a real saving. We have been taunted this afternoon because we have not given instances where money could be saved in Government expenditure. I look forward to the Debate when we can give instances—[Interruption.] If the Financial Secretary to the Treasury wants to interrupt, perhaps he will get up instead of mumbling to himself. We cannot hear a word that he is saying. I believe the Government should get down to this. Whenever they give something away in a Budget, we have to make up for it in another respect. Let the Government start giving things away and paying for it out of their own purse. I am sure that that could be done and will be done when this party comes into power.

Mr. Angus Maude (Ealing, South)

It seems unfortunate for hon. Members opposite that the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir R. Acland) should have chosen to lend his support to the Socialist economists opposite in a discussion on inflation. It seems to me that he did even more than my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. H. Strauss) in bringing out the quite extraordinary admission of the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) who, when he was hunted and trapped was forced to come right out into the open with his submission, said that it was desirable to conquer inflation and that one of the best methods of conquering inflation was by high taxation. He then went a little further and said that, so far as he knew, there was no reason against conquering inflation by means of indirect taxation, of which he seemed to think that this tax was a good example. This illustrates precisely the fallacy in Socialist economics which we on this side of the Committee are always trying to demonstrate.

They can see no further than the immediate disinflationary effects of an increase in taxation. The secondary effects of an increase in indirect taxation, such as this, which are entirely inflationary, appear always to escape them. It cannot be claimed for a moment that to place an impost of this kind on virtually every manufactured product in this country and on the transport and distribution costs of every product in this country, will have any effect in the middle and long run except an inflationary one. Yet we are told—and the hon. Member for Graves-end expatiated at some length on this—that this is a magnificent method of keeping inflation in check. Let us wait until all the fares, freight charges and distribution costs have gone up, and then let us see whether the pressure for increased wages has an inflationary or a deflationary effect. I have very little doubt myself as to which it will be.

Even before the hon. Baronet rose, we were treated to speeches by a succession of Socialist economists making the most pathetic attempt to justify this duty, to find good reasons for this increase in tax, and, in the end, coming only to the conclusion that this tax was justified because it was the only one they could find to increase. I do not know whether the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) realised the extraordinary implications of what he was saying. What, in fact, he said was this, "We wanted to give concessions in Income Tax," and he added—and in this he was merely following, and he repeated it many times, the point which the Minister of State for Economic Affairs made—" the only tax we could find suitable to increase in order to make an Income Tax concession, was an increase in the Petrol Duty."

Does the hon. Member realise what that means? It means that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has got himself into a position where the rates of taxes and duties are in every case jammed so tight against the ceiling, that the yield begins to fall if he increases them further. Petrol was the only isolated thing he could increase without a reduction in yield. What shall we hear next year, when we know that virtually all the expenses of the social services are bound to go up? Are we then to be told that we cannot increase the duty on beer and tobacco and on this, that and the other, because they are already at penal levels, but that we may add another sixpence on petrol because that is still the only thing left that we can successfully increase? That is very much the position in which we seem to be left. That was, I think, one of the reasons which the Minister adduced, and, if I may say so, it seemed to me that most of the remainder of his statements were equally peculiar.

Several of my hon. Friends have already dealt with the suggestion that because the Petrol Duty represented a smaller proportion of the Revenue now than it did a few years ago, it was, therefore, a good thing to increase it now. I have not, since the right hon. Gentleman spoke, had time to look in detail at the revenue derived from various other duties, but I should be very surprised if that argument did not provide a first-class reason for increasing a number of other items. I should like to know whether it would not be a reason for increasing the tax on sugar or matches, and quite a number of other things.

Again, the right hon. Gentleman, in the course of what seemed to me and to most of my hon. Friends to be a singularly weak defence of a very vicious tax, quoted, as an illustration of the effect on industrial costs and the cost of living figure, a 10 cwt. delivery van. He said, just as the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, went on to say, that an increase of 3½ per cent. or 4 per cent. in running costs could not be considered very dangerous. It is very nice to be able to take such a light-hearted view of these things. The point is that we seem to have heard that sort of remark before. I seem to have heard it in the case of base metal prices at the time of devaluation, and we seem to have heard it in the case of rail freights and coal prices.

When we add a 1 per cent. to 2 per cent. increase to another 2 per cent. to 3 per cent., it does not take very long to get into the region of a 10 per cent. to 20 per cent. increase in costs at a time when our travellers are coming home with empty order books. How much longer are we to hear that another 1 per cent. or 2 per cent. does not matter? It seems to me to be a most extraordinary attitude to be taken by a party which has been busy in the last five years nationalising industries on the grounds that they were too inefficient to keep down their costs.

Finally, the Minister said that the Government could not be held to be distorting the pattern of demand for motor cars by increasing the price of petrol. He said that in any case we did not want to export only large cars, and that to increase the cost of petrol would not affect the home market for large cars very much, but that if it did, it would not have much effect on exports. The fact is that the demand for large cars must have some effect on export, because it is precisely for this reason that the Purchase Tax on large cars has been reduced in this Budget; it is because we cannot export large cars at competitive prices without their being a good home market. This was considered to be a sufficiently important export market to make it worth while making a special exception in the case of Purchase Tax. Yet, to increase the Petrol Duty to an extent which must inevitably distort the pattern of demand for cars, as my hon. Friend the Member for Edgbaston (Sir P. Bennett) has clearly shown, is considered something of no importance, whatsoever.

7.45 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman finished by comparing the relative rates of tax on petrol in a number of European countries. He did not, however, as has already been pointed out, attempt to add in the rates of direct tax on horsepower to show a truly comparative rate of taxation on motorists and users of commercial transport in these various countries. He demonstrated, to his own satisfaction at least, that the petrol tax per gallon is far higher in most of the other countries in Western Europe than it is in the case of Great Britain, and he said that since it is so much higher elsewhere, this increase cannot be held to be prejudicing our competitive position in the export market. What an extraordinary argument. He is proposing to add to the tax borne by British firms by way of transport costs another 9d. a gallon. How can it conceivably be argued that that does not put British industry in a worse competitive position with other European countries than before the increase was imposed? The most elementary work with pencil and paper, such as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power treated us to in the course of the Budget Debate, would show without the slightest doubt that it must prejudice our competitive powers as against the other countries of Europe, to say nothing of countries elsewhere in the world.

We are left, in the end, after this light-hearted rigmarole of mutually contradictory excuses, with the simple fact that this tax will put up the costs of industry and add to the cost of living just at the time when the lowest paid workers are beginning to get restive with the wage freeze, and when the Budget, on the admission of Members opposite, has given them no Income Tax concession. We are left with an increase whose only justification, as far as I can see, according to Members opposite, is that this is the only item they can find for an increase, and that this is a very good method of rationing petrol by price, which is what Members opposite accused us of wanting to do at the time of the General Election and said they would never do. We are left with this increase which is a rather dubious means of combating inflation and exactly corresponds in total to the Income Tax concessions Members opposite thought it would be of advantage electorally to grant. If that is the best case they can put up for this increase, I have no hesitation in urging the Committee to accept the Amendment we have proposed.

Mr. Jack Jones (Rotherham)

I am one of the last persons who would be accused of being an alleged intellectual, but perhaps it would be a good thing if one of the ordinary sons of the spade and hammer were to say what he thinks about this problem. I should be the last to suggest that anyone could argue logically, truthfully, or in fact that this increase of 9d. a gallon on petrol will not have an effect on the cost of living. Everyone who is prepared to face the truth knows that any increase in the cost of our raw materials will have some effect on the production and on-costs of industry.

I am one of those who will defend to his death the right of a Socialist Government to impose a tax on those who can best afford it and give relief to those who have already had to wait too long for that relief. The point is whether this is a tax that can be used to the advantage of the community or not. That is the test I apply. In other words, is this increase necessary, and can the amount collected be used to serve a useful purpose for the benefit of those whom the taxation should benefit?

No one on this side wants to impose an increase of 9d. a gallon because it is funny, or because there will be a medal for doing so. If hon. Members opposite are primarily concerned with big business, the best thing they could be doing would be to see how they can offset this 9d. increase. They would then be doing a better service than by moaning and groaning because this increase has been imposed. New benefits have come to our people and this money has got to be found somewhere. I make no bones about it; I shall support the Government in getting the money where they think best, in order that the standard of life of our people shall be uplifted.

One hon. Member complained that workpeople were murmuring in the presence of their managers because something had gone on to petrol. I can remember the days when none of the workpeople were in a position to murmur over such matters, for they had no job. I remember the days when 9d. on petrol would not have caused even one murmur among those people because they had not a car or a motor cycle in which to use the petrol. These people are fortunate today in being able to murmur in the presence of their managers about something which they look upon as an imposition.

I do not want to make a long speech, but if the Opposition, as I know very well, were to carry out what they propounded during the last election, they would have to find the extra money to give all the benefits about which they talked. I do not want to go too wide of the issue before the Committee or I shall be called to order, but the fact is that here we have a Government which has taken upon itself the responsibility of spending a certain amount of cash in the interest of the nation and they have to find it. They have made certain decisions to raise that money, and one of those decisions will be carried into effect and implemented in the Lobbies tonight.

What can the Opposition do to offset the effects of this extra duty of 9d. a gallon on petrol? I could go into factories which Members of the Opposition control and show them where by economies they could easily find the amount of money to offset the effects of this 9d. increase in the Petrol Duty.

Mr. Osborne

Before the hon. Gentleman goes into our factories and finds the economies which he says we can make, will he not agree that he would find vastly greater economies in Government factories, as he did when he visited them a year ago?

Mr. Jones

The hon. Gentleman will not deny that I went round seeking financial economies in our factories, and it is because of that experience that I know these economies can be found in factories, even in the most efficient, which are controlled by private enterprise, and that those economies could offset the 9d. per gallon on petrol. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne) made a fair point when he said that there are economies which can be effected in Government circles, and that is paying credit to one junior Minister who found such economies, as I think all Socialist Ministers should do. It is the duty of any Government, whether Socialist or otherwise, to see to it that every penny piece provided by the taxpayers of this country shall be debited or credited.

I want to close by saying that if the Opposition will take in hand this question of the slight increase in cost—for, after all, when worked out in percentages, it means that to big business—they will find it can be offset by efficient administration. If, instead of murmuring and groaning for electoral purposes, they concerned themselves in their factories with discovering economies, they would have no need to complain, but would support the Government in their endeavour to give our people the standard of life that they deserve.

Brigadier Thorp (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

I want to speak for a short time about the rural areas in this country. I do not think they have been mentioned so far tonight, and I wish to show how they will be affected by the increase in the price of petrol. It will undoubtedly affect the cost of distribution everywhere. The Government and their supporters have admitted this. Let us take the case of the rural areas as compared with the towns. In the town it is very often quite easy to walk to the shops or even, if one has to go a little further, to take a 2½d. ticket on tram or bus. We in the rural areas have got to come from the hills and from the outside countryside right down to the towns, and very often the fare is 1s. 6d. or 2s. 6d. If we do not go down to the towns or villages ourselves, our goods have got to come out by transport, and generally it is a long distance, which is bound to affect the cost of distribution.

The costs of distribution in the rural areas are going up, and that brings me to the next point I want to make—the fact that this duty on petrol is to be used to reduce Income Tax. That may be perfectly true, but first we must realise that the cost of living is going up and is bound to increase still further because of this increased duty. That will more than offset the actual relief in Income Tax that is to be given. Certainly in the rural areas that is so.

Other methods should have been employed to provide the necessary money for Income Tax concessions. It could have been done perfectly well by a reduction in Government expenditure. Will any hon. Member opposite deny that if the Government really got down to the job they could save, out of an annual expenditure of £4,000 million, something like £72 million? I should like to have a look at the Government books just as the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) wanted to have a look at the books of private enterprise companies. If we put our specialists on to them, we could effect the necessary economies.

I should like to mention one or two other small points of concern to the rural areas. The cost of house building is going to be increased. I had a case only last Saturday where the builders have to travel 25 miles daily to where the houses are to be built. That has got to be done five days a week. Do not tell me that the increase of 9d. a gallon will not increase the cost of building houses in the rural areas. I am certain that it will. I have also had a letter from the Milk Marketing Board, who say that the cost of the distribution of milk has got to go up in the rural areas, because the margin at present on such work is too small to enable them to carry this extra 9d. duty.

The rural doctors will be hit very hard on their mileage. I wish that hon. Members opposite would come round with my local doctors some time. They cannot use their cars in many cases on the hills but have to walk, but even allowing for that they have a big mileage. Their loss in total income may be anything up to £30 or £40 a year because of the increase in the cost of petrol. In conclusion, I emphasise that those in the rural areas will be affected much more seriously than those who live in the towns. This increased duty ought not to be imposed, and the Committee should vote against it tonight.

8.0 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Walter Smiles (Down, North)

I should like to call the attention of the Committee to the fact that in many parts of Northern Ireland we are entirely dependent upon sea transport and motor transport. I would thank the Minister of State for Economic Affairs, or the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for having at long last abolished petrol rationing. Of all the restrictions to which we were subject, I received more complaints about that regulation than any other. I believe it cost us nearly £1 million per annum to administer it and it was certainly an economy well made by the Government when it came to an end. Most of my friends who do pleasure motoring, or business motoring for that matter, prefer to pay a little more—I do not say 9d. a gallon—for their petrol and to get rid of the horde of civil servants who, one could not help imagining, had a sadistic pleasure in frustrating the motorist.

An hon. Gentleman opposite mentioned exports, and suggested that another 30 per cent. increase in the price of whisky would not affect the exports of whisky at all. Curiously enough, this morning I was discussing with a man the cost of living overseas. He said: "It's very high indeed. We pay 26 rupees for a bottle of whisky." I am sure that if that price were increased by 30 per cent., probably the imports of whisky into that particular country would tend to go down. We had a speech by an hon. Member whom I have heard called an intellectual, the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman). He was talking about the ingenuity of motor car designers in producing a small car. I can tell this Committee that that ingenuity is nothing to the ingenuity that is required on the part of a large man to get into a small car nowadays. When the hon. Member meets his friends in Coventry I hope he will put that point before them.

In Northern Ireland the question of transport is of vital importance. This week I was discussing the establishment of a new industry in Northern Ireland. The interested director said that the establishment of that industry was entirely a matter of the cost of transport. In Northern Ireland at one time our railways paid the highest dividends of any in the United Kingdom. That was from 1890 until 1900. They had very short hauls and large numbers of passengers, and they seemed to make very good dividends out of them. Now that these short hauls make the worst dividends and a lot of losses instead of profits, these railways have been abandoned. More will be abandoned in the future, I think. The director who was interested in Northern Ireland said: "Our market is largely in the Midlands and in London, and although there are lorries carried across the sea from Lame to Preston without being unloaded, the cost of transport may be prohibitive. It may be as much as £20,000 a year." There are a lot of advantages in Northern Ireland, but it is difficult to get £20,000 back again.

At a lot of places along our coast the small coal boats go into our little harbours. The coal is taken away from these harbours and distributed to farmers by lorry. There is no question of railways, so they have to use oil and the cost of oil affects exports. One of the greatest of our exports is seed potatoes, which come right down to East Anglia and into the South of England. Here is another case of using lorries from the farm to the steamer. For our fish, there is a haul from Northern Ireland right to Billigsgate Market. In all those matters we shall be affected very much indeed by the increase in the Petrol Duty, which will increase the cost of living to everybody in the country. I believe that the cheapest form of locomotion in the world is still the motor bicycle with one man driving, one man on the dicky seat and another fellow in the sidecar. That is what one of my constituents said when he was complaining about the cost of petrol.

All our bus fares in Northern Ireland have gone up. I see that the price of our coal is to be increased. Those will be hit again by the increase in the Petrol Duty. It is all right for the very fortunate few who live beside their work but most people, even some of those who work at Harland and Wolff's, sometimes live as much as 20 miles away from work. The increase in the Petrol Duty will hit all our export industries. Sir Frederick Rebbeck, who is the chairman of Harland and Wolff's, has said lately that it is very difficult to get orders for more passenger liners—and passenger liners mean dollars. Our linen industry is doing splendidly and is another export which provides dollars for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, although before the right hon. and learned Gentleman devalued the £ many looms were not running. The Petrol Duty increase will affect the price of linen and of shipping. It is all very well to say that if a man lives beside his work he will not spend anything on petrol. The hon. Member for Hallam (Mr. Jennings) mentioned that the cost of fresh air was the only thing not increased in price. If the workman wants to take a trip to the seaside, and buys a bus ticket, he will find that the cost of fresh air has been put up for him. For these reasons and others, I shall go into the Lobby tonight to vote against this increase.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks (Chichester)

If anybody were so bold as to read the OFFICIAL REPORT of this Debate in five years' time he might be staggered at the paucity of argument put up from the Socialist benches in support of this increase in Petrol Duty. We have listened attentively and with interest to such speeches as have been made from the other side and it is surprising that almost entirely they have been made by theoretic economists. I was glad once more to hear the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland), as he comes from the same college which I attended. I should have enjoyed the opportunity, had it happened to be mine, of congratulating him on his maiden speech the other day. Not having been able to do so then, perhaps I may do so now. On that occasion, as no doubt the Chancellor of the Exchequer will recall, the hon. Member warned the Chancellor that he was going to drop a few small pebbles on his head.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Stafford Cripps)

I did not feel them.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I must say that the hon. Member's aim was very accurate indeed. He has flung some bricks through the whole of the Treasury case and I would say to the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South that I am sure we on this side of the Committee shall welcome his further interventions in our Debates with great interest so long as he maintains his early form. We are quite sure that we shall enjoy them continuously.

I was glad also to hear, in addition to the economists and others who have spoken, the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones), who began to put what I hoped was going to be the practical point of view from the Socialist benches. I was disappointed. The hon. Gentleman did not seem to be able to make out a case, despite the strength with which he sought to wade his way through very heavy seas indeed. He urged that this increase was a proper measure which he was prepared to support, on the understanding that we gave an equal benefit or return to those members of the community in the lowest Income Tax category. If the hon. Gentleman had gone into the matter with any great degree of detail I am certain that he would have assured himself that the argument which he produced was the very argument which should have induced him to vote against the increase of duty. This increased duty will not give Income Tax benefits to the lowest Income Tax paying members of the community. It will not offset the cost of living which the Petrol Duty will impose upon them.

The hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Jenkins) put before the Committee the fact that at its maximum the Income Tax benefit to an individual would be limited to about 4s. 6d. per week or about 11s. 5d. per annum.

Sir S. Cripps

It was about £11 per annum.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I am sorry. I think it was £11 5s. per annum. As to the effect of the Petrol Duty, upon that is built not only the direct effect but the indirect effect of the increased costs which will flow from it. The increase in the budget of a family in the lowest Income Tax groups is likely to exceed the limit of 4s. 6d. per week.

I listened with eagerness to the Minister of State for Economic Affairs to hear what arguments he would adduce in favour of the duty. So far as I could understand it, it boiled down to the novel proposal that petrol was a good thing upon which to increase the duty because it had not been raised as much as other duties had. If that is the way in which this country is to suffer the heavy increases in taxation which are introduced from time to time by the Socialist Government, it is a vicious circle; there will be no end to it. It simply means that they go through the list of taxes until they find one which has not been raised as much as others and say, "Here is an opportunity to increase taxation. We will therefore do so." There really seems to be no end to it.

Even if it were to be admitted—I do not admit it—that the object of increasing the Petrol Duty is to enable the Income Tax rebate to be given, the rebate could well be met from other sources. Already, there is the £23 million which has fallen into the Treasury coffers unexpectedly. In addition to that, there are the economies which the Government tell us they will effect as the result of the relaxation of controls which have been announced. Also, the Government showed us at the time of devaluation that when the need is there economies can be effected. I wish the Government would accept an offer which I am sure that the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) would be prepared to make, and that is to go through the Government Departments, not only the Government supply Departments, to see where and how economies can be effected.

Mr. Jack Jones

I did not say that at all. I said that I would go into the factories owned and controlled by hon. Gentlemen opposite and—very easily in my opinion—find where this small additional cost could be offset by efficiency. I have been accused of having gone into factories of the Department with which I was associated, and found where money could be saved.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I fully appreciate that that was what the hon. Gentleman said, but I said that I was sure that he would be willing to make the offer to the Government, and I hope he will consider that. This duty will fall exceedingly heavily upon industry as a whole, and particularly upon the heavy transport side of industry. The right hon. Gentleman called attention to Continental rates of tax, but they are no parallel whatsoever. We cannot compare Continental rates of petrol duty and our own rate of Petrol Duty in relation to the effect upon industry unless we also compare other taxation rates affecting industry such as the Purchase Tax on motor lorries in this country, the Excise Duty and all the other taxes which affect the transport industry. We ought also to take into account the completely different transport system, because unless we do so, we are not comparing like with like.

The effect upon our motor production industry will be exceedingly serious. I wonder whether the Government really intend to preserve the policy which was put into operation two years ago to encourage the building of the larger engined motor cars, because this duty is calculated to reverse that policy. When his attention was called to that, the Minister appeared to be inclined to approve the proposal for a change in design in order to meet the Continental market demand, but surely that cannot be the Government's intention. They cannot intend to levy taxation with a view to encouraging industry to switch from the dollar market to the Continental market, but that is, in effect, the line of argument which follows as the result of the nature of the duty they are imposing.

I hope that the Chancellor will consider the effect on the costs of rural industry. I go even further than did my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Brigadier Thorp) in that connection, particularly with regard to the agricultural industry. There is practically nothing which goes on or is taken off a farm which is not conveyed by a petrol driven engine. The increased price of petrol will raise the costs of transport for all agricultural products and for the raw materials of agricultural production to a very great degree, which is bound to be reflected in the ultimate costs of production which, as the Committee know, are taken into account in the February price review. The result is bound to be a direct increase in the cost of living as a result of the increase in the cost of food production.

The immediate effect on the private motorist of the increase in Petrol Duty is offset by his joy at the freedom to buy petrol which is not rationed, but that is a transitory situation and will not last beyond the summer holidays. Private motorists are taking advantage of their freedom and are spending the money which they have available, regardless of the increased cost of petrol. But once the summer holidays are over the Chancellor of the Exchequer may well consider it necessary to revise his estimates about what the duty is likely to bring to the Treasury. The duty is a vicious one, because petrol is essential every minute in the life of every person in the country. It is bound to increase the costs of every commodity in the country which is produced, transported or distributed. The cumulative direct and indirect effect of the increase will not be felt immediately, but will be felt continuously and increasingly as the months go by.

Sir W. Wakefield

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, North (Sir W. Smiles) gave the Committee details of the effect of the increased cost of petrol in Northern Ireland, showing, in many and varied directions, how the cost of living would increase. About a quarter of a century ago ex-President Hoover set up a Senate Committee to go into the question of transport costs in relation to the final price of the finished article. That Committee found that approximately 75 per cent. of the price of the finished article was represented by transport costs. That is an astounding figure, and I do not think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, in imposing this increased tax on petrol, can realise how important a part is played in industry generally in assessing costs and, in particular, the additional cost of transport.

Hon. Members opposite have been commending this tax as highly desirable and useful, but I cannot see that it can do anything but help unemployment because it is bound to have an adverse effect on our production and our exports. What concerned me, and, I believe, will greatly concern the Committee, was the speech made by the Minister of State for Economic Affairs and his general attitude towards costs. Again and again the hon. Gentleman said that it would mean only a 4 per cent. increase in cost. Hon. Members opposite made reference to the fact that 1 per cent. or 2 per cent. did not matter, and the Minister said again and again that the rise in costs because of this tax would be negligible.

Once again we have an example of a Socialist Government doing exactly the opposite of what they say. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and other occupants of the Front Bench have said repeatedly how vital it is to increase exports and to reduce costs, and yet this action is the thing above all else that will raise costs in every home and factory. I have here a letter from the National Union of Manufacturers, giving two examples of the effect of this tax. To illustrate what I have been saying I will read what one manufacturer says about the effect of this rise in tax on his export trade: One of our main products is dress shields, and we are exporting 66⅔ per cent. of our production. We are informed by our suppliers in the rubber industry that the increased tax on petrol will apply to spirit used by them for commercial purposes. … The previous rate of taxation on petrol has been, we believe, 6d per gallon and will involve tax at 1s. 3d. per gallon. The approximate cost of duty to our overseas buyers on this figure is 1s. 6d. per gross pairs on dress shields. Another manufacturer, this time of canvas goods, writes: We are already finding that in many markets our prices for made up canvas goods are on the high side and with the increase in proofing resulting from this new tax it will, we are afraid, seriously reduce the export of these articles. That is what is happening up and down the country to many of the smaller and medium-sized manufacturers who are faced with this tax, not only in regard to transport but also in regard to use in their productions. I can only think it is a most desperate step that the Government are taking in introducing this tax.

The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) and other hon. Members opposite have suggested that we on this side are in a difficulty; that, on the one hand, we want to reduce taxation and, on the other, to maintain or increase benefits, and that these two things cannot be done together. As everybody knows, if a business is badly directed and badly managed there are no bonuses for the workers, no dividends for the shareholders and the cost of goods to the consumer is too high. If, however, there is a change of direction and a different policy adopted by better management, workers get more money, shareholders get dividends and the price to the consumer is reduced. That is exactly what ought to happen to this country. Given a change of policy and better management there is no reason why reduction in taxation should not have been given in exactly the way the Chancellor has done it without, at the same time, an increase in petrol tax.

Hon. Members opposite are always taunting us about what we would do. We certainly would not have wasted £30 million to £40 million on groundnuts or £11 million on potatoes or £200 million on fuel shortage and the like. Hundreds and millions of pounds are squandered by wrong policy and management. That is where saving can take place. Many examples have been given and, as the months go by, many more will become evident. One example is that of taxicabs. Before the increased tax on petrol was imposed, owing to increased cost's everywhere, the taxicabs were running at a loss. Now because of this increased tax the men driving the cabs are deeply concerned that they will not be able to earn enough money while the taxicab proprietors are concerned that they will not be able to operate the taxicabs. That is an example of what is happening everywhere.

Hon. Members opposite have suggested that this is an anti-inflationary tax, but I cannot conceive of any tax being more likely to bring about inflation. After all, Mr. Arthur Deakin and the T.U.C. have said that the result of a tax of this kind is that the cost of living is bound to rise, and that means that wage increases are bound to follow. We cannot expect people week by week to have to pay more for fares and various commodities without desiring, and rightly so, an increase in wages which results immediately in the vicious spiral which the Chancellor has warned us against and which his policy was designed to avoid. The one thing that would have been anti-inflationary would have been to help industry to reduce costs by not imposing this increased tax on petrol. Hon. Members opposite seem to think that people in industry use petrol for the sake of using it. In a well-managed business the industrialist uses as little petrol as possible and watches economies in every possible way, so to suggest that a lot of petrol is squandered for the sake of squandering it is nonsense.

I ask the Chancellor to look again at this tax and, if he is determined to put some tax on petrol, to make it only 3d. instead of 9d. Perhaps that would prevent some of the loss in production and export trade which is bound to follow if he persists in maintaining this tax in the way he is proposing.

8.30 p.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd (Birmingham, King's Norton)

First, I should like to congratulate my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gosport and Fareham (Surgeon Lieut.-Commander Bennett) on his excellent maiden speech. He concentrated on the theme of the rise in the cost of living which must result from the imposition of this tax, and he gave a peculiarly apt illustration by quoting the instance of a transport and bus company in his constituency which for 10 years had succeeded in avoiding a rise in the price of fares but which, as a result of this tax, had at last been forced to do so.

This argument that the tax will lead to a rise in the cost of living has been pressed by very many of my hon. Friends, including my right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton). Even while we have been debating, I see that a report has come through that the chairman of the Southern Gas Board has attributed an increase of Id. a therm in the price of gas in the Southern Area to the increase in freight charges, Purchase Tax on commercial vehicles and the Petrol Duty. I do not know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer can give any information tonight about whether this increase, which has apparently already taken place in the southern area, is likely to be followed by similar increases in other parts of the country.

The Government must face the fact that they start off under a handicap with public opinion when they introduce an increase in this tax because of their record with regard to petrol generally for some time past. Whatever hon. Gentlemen opposite may say, there is a widespread impression among motorists that the Government have been, and are, pursuing an anti-motoring policy. The instance which comes most clearly to mind is that of petrol rationing where the Government were pushed and prodded by us and where, in the end, they have really been washed away by the flood of the petrol surplus.

That, I think, much increased the difficulty of the task of the Minister of State for Economic Affairs this afternoon. He had to make a kind of transposition of the arguments in support of this tax, placing a completely different emphasis upon them from that which had been placed by the Chancellor when he introduced his Budget. It is rather like those acts one occasionally sees on the music hall stage in which an acrobat is engaged in poising a great weight, very often of other acrobats, upon one arm and then upon the other. Much to the delight of the audience the acrobat succeeds in transferring the weight from one arm to the other. But, of course, in that case the audience see what is done and they applaud the extraordinary virtuosity of the performer.

The difference today has been that the Minister of State has been endeavouring to make this transposition without the Committee and public opinion becoming fully aware of it. In his Budget statement the Chancellor justified this tax primarily as the restriction of a commodity with a high dollar component. What is more, with great delicacy he calculated the effect of the restriction. It was to be just that additional amount of mileage during the year. When cross-examined by my right hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) later in the Debates, he indicated that in a way it was merely a reallocation of consumption from one type of consumer to another, and that there would be just a marginal increase.

In his original statement he could not conceal his enthusiasm for the tax. It was a wonderful tax. It was the best possible case he could think of. Indeed, it was a kind of planner's masterpiece to fit the exact circumstances with which he was confronted at that time. Since then, the circumstances have been entirely changed by the de-rationing of petrol. I should like to know how it is that, if it was a planner's masterpiece in the first circumstances, it can possibly remain so without any change whatever in the circumstances with which we are now faced. Indeed, in concluding his revenue argument in the Budget, he used these words: In the circumstances which I have already explained to the Committee I believe that that is a rather larger surplus than we need budget for this year, and so I have looked round to see what modest adjustment in taxation could best be used to take up the slack."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th April, 1950; Vol. 474, c. 77.] Those are not exactly the words of a man who was desperately keen to reduce the Income Tax and who had looked round to find out which was the best means by which to raise money. They are the words of a man who was best described by one of my hon. Friends earlier in the day as one who, having made his general revenue calculations, decided later on to make this concession with regard to Income Tax.

If the Minister of State for Economic Affairs presses that point, I must say to him that we are very little impressed by his argument that the Government have looked round to find out on which tax there had been the least increase since before the war. Our position is that the Government should rather have looked round to see which was the field of expenditure which had been increased most since the war and in which there was the greatest possibility of economy at the present time.

Although the Minister of State entirely changed the weight of the argument for this tax from the argument of restricting a dollar commodity, which was the argument which the Chancellor used, to that of the necessity of finding revenue, he did, nevertheless, still adduce the dollar argument. I admit that he did it in a rather half-hearted way, but still he used it, and I must tell him again that on that point we are not very much impressed with his argument. I fear that the Government will never carry conviction on this matter until they give the House and the country far more figures than they have done so far in regard to this most complicated field of finance. While I would be prepared to enter into an argument in detail, I think we can deal with this matter on a more or less simple basis, because we know that both the Minister of Fuel and Power and the Lord President, in his peregrinations in Scotland, have told us that de-rationing can be effected, according to the Lord President, with very few dollars being involved, and, in the case of the Minister of Fuel and Power, at the cost of an amount which was not appreciable. I think that was the phrase he used.

We know that the Government's estimate of the increased consumption as the result of the de-rationing of petrol was one million tons a year. Therefore, we have it on record from the Government that the dollar expenditure necessary to finance the increased sum of one million tons of petrol per year is not appreciable. Nobody concerned with these petroleum matters would expect, at the wildest estimate, that there would be an increase of 500,000 or one million tons as the result, for example, of the lower price of petrol. Even if there were a considerable further increase in petrol consumption, it would not really amount to any appreciable figure in dollars. I do not think that the Government would be wise to press that argument too far.

Then we have heard from the other side of the Committee, and particularly from the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman), this idea that, if the Government did not increase the Petrol Duty in some way, the petrol companies would have increased the price of petrol and would have profiteered to the extent of many millions of pounds. That is a favourite argument, but in fact nobody has yet proposed to do away with the control of prices. I had the duty of introducing the control of prices myself in 1939, and it is still in operation. The margins are worked out by the Government, and although I fear that they may be worked out with regard to the least efficient and least well-placed producers, the control is still in operation, so that the Government would be capable of stopping any profiteering or any undue increase in the price of petrol. Therefore, I hope the Committee will recognise that as a completely fallacious argument.

I say to the Chancellor at this stage that I hope, after he has heard the arguments from this side of the Committee, he will think this a rather delicately balanced matter, not one entirely of black and white, but one on which people can change their opinion and can easily take different points of view.

Sir S. Cripps

That is obvious.

Mr. Lloyd

The right hon. and learned Gentleman says it is obvious. I was just going to ask him if he could tell us whether he had had very great difficulty in converting the Financial Secretary to the support of this tax, because the Financial Secretary is one of the great economists of the party opposite. That being so, we naturally pay special attention to what he says, but it was not so long ago when he said, with regard to the Petrol Duty, that he thought we would all agree that an increased Petrol Duty would do very serious damage to industry and to trade as a whole. As I say, I do not know whether the Chancellor had great difficulty in converting him, or whether it is just one of those cases where the gentleman really does know better when he actually arrives in Whitehall. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman may have an opportunity of explaining later on.

The Minister of State for Economic Affairs made a most extraordinary statement later in his speech when he said that he did not believe that many private motorists were worrying seriously about this tax. He added that he thought they were pretty well satisfied with de-rationing combined with the new tax. I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree that was what he said, and I am sure he was sincere in saying it. He explained that he had been Minister of Fuel and Power, and had therefore been brought into contact with the motoring organisations. Of course, he would agree that I had the same opportunity of being in touch with the motoring organisations, arid indeed, now that rationing is abolished—I hope for ever—I hold the melancholy record of doing so for longer than all the other Ministers combined.

The thing that impressed me as a result of that work was that motoring was far more widespread in the country than most people realise. I agree that there are quite a number of motorists who are not seriously concerned about this tax. It has already been mentioned that it does not have any direct impact on the Ministers in their official capacity. It is also the case that Ministers are allowed, very properly, to have the private use of their official cars if they pay for it, and the Financial Secretary has told us that there is an economic charge made for this facility. Of course, the Government do not pay Purchase Tax on their cars, and I do not know whether they have included any factor of depreciation. I have no doubt that the Chancellor has probably issued fresh regulations and increased the charge to Ministers as a result of the increase in the Petrol Duty.

Sir S. Cripps

If the right hon. Gentleman had read HANSARD, he would know.

Mr. Lloyd

That, of course, is quite proper, because we must have fair shares all round. But there is quite a different class of motorist—and this is the point I want to make—the motorist with whom, I must admit, I first became thoroughly acquainted when I was in the Petroleum Department, and with whom I have endeavoured to keep in contact ever since. He is the working-class motorist, the small motorist. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Hon. Members may jeer, but this is a really serious problem. The kind of motorist I am thinking of is the small man who, very often, has a tin on the mantelpiece to which he and his wife, and sometimes his sons living in the house, subscribe for the running repairs of the car. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen may laugh, but, believe me, their laughter will be received in the industrial districts in quite a different spirit. In some of the cases I was investigating in the Midlands, during the Recess, the Chancellor has actually caused some domestic difficulty. In one case, both wife and husband subscribed 2s. a week, not for the petrol but for the running repairs to the car. Since the new Petrol Duty the wife has refused to subscribe because she thinks her husband is taking the money, to pay for the increased price of petrol.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Ivor Owen Thomas (The Wrekin)

Would the right hon. Gentleman, for the information of the House, indicate—if it is correct that the husband and wife saved 2s. a week for the running and maintenance of the car—how much a week they saved for the purchase of the car originally?

Mr. Lloyd

If he had gone into this matter at all, the hon. Gentleman would realise that the way a working man buys a car is nearly always out of savings accumulated, for example, during wartime. That is the way I found it. This particular man—the Committee may as well have it—[An HON. MEMBER: "Can we have his name and address? "]—said: "Since the Government have increased the price of petrol, and are keeping the tax at 25s. per horse power, I am sure the Government do not want a working man to show off in a car of any kind."

Mr. Chetwynd (Stockton-on-Tees)

Would the right hon. Gentleman say whether the man had the Income Tax rebate?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not think hon. Gentlemen opposite ought to take the view that they should not encourage a working man to have a car when possible. If hon. Gentlemen opposite will permit me, I am going to give the Committee the words of an extrusion drawpress operator on this matter. As hon. Members know, that is very heavy and hot work. The man had an ancient Ford which fell to pieces. I asked him what was his reason for wanting a car. He said: "Come and do my job, chum, for five days in a week in the black hole of Calcutta "—that is what he called his place—" and go home every night to a house up a yard in Aston. By the time the week-end comes along you will want to get out and breathe a spot of fresh air. I do not want to show off with a gleaming sort of chariot. I am looking for an old one that will go."

Hon. Gentlemen opposite may find it amusing, but the reason the working man wants a car and finds this Petrol Duty so burdensome is not merely that he wants the pleasures that people want in getting out into the countryside at the week-end; he also knows of the very great difference it makes to a number of men in the time they take to get to their work. In many instances, in our big industrial cities, it takes 45 minutes to get to work in the morning and sometimes as much as an hour or even an hour and a half in covering the same journey back at night because one gets involved in peak-hour traffic. With a car that same journey can be made in 20 minutes each way. That means that if a man can get a car, and the cost of running is not too high, he can often save as much as an hour in the time he is away from home.

I should have thought that hon. Members opposite would have realised that this is a very important question. Psychologically there is the question of the hours of labour, but there is also the question of a man's leisure time. If a man can save as much as an hour a day in his journey to and from work, it means that his leisure time is increased by an hour a day. It is in many respects almost equivalent to a reduction in the hours of labour. If the Chancellor should think that I am not being sufficiently responsible in this matter, I should like to quote to him from the Report on Building of the Anglo-American Council on Productivity.

The Chairman

I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Member, but he is really going a good deal wide of the question before the Committee. As I understand it, he is arguing that the working man must have a motor car for certain reasons. If he were to argue that the cost of motoring was increased or something to that effect, it would be more to the point.

Mr. Lloyd

Thank you very much. Major Milner. Indeed, I was coming to that point, and I was wishing to say, in regard to the last case I cited, that the man said he would sell his car and stop motoring altogether if petrol increased by another halfpenny.

The point I want to make on the question of production is that the Report says that when we are considering the question of labour productivity in Britain and America full allowance must also be made for the conditions which produce the fatigue to which British workmen are at present subject. The American worker will probably be fresher at the beginning of the day owing to the cheap fuel and the abundant supply of motor cars, instead of his having to be in uncomfortable public transport which may take a disproportionately longer time to cover a given distance.

We wish to see in this country a big increase in motoring. The amount of motoring is dependent upon several factors, of which the price of petrol is undoubtedly one. In our recent Debates the Minister of Fuel and Power told us about the high price of petrol in European countries, and he went on to say that there was very little motoring in those countries compared with this country. He did not, however, draw the obvious conclusion that the two things were very strongly connected. We want to see that expansion. In one of our recent Debates we had an argument as to whether there had been an increase of about 50,000 or less in the number of motor cars as compared with before the war. The figure was two million. In America during the same period, largely owing to the influence of cheap petrol, there has been an increase of 10 million cars. We would like to see a similar development of popular motoring in this country.

The reason we are so anxious about this tax is that we feel that it may have an insidious and permanent effect in stopping that development. I should like the Chancellor to tell us whether he intends this tax to be permanent or not. My anxieties might be slightly mitigated on this point if he could tell us that on his own argument of restricting a dollar commodity, he feels that the dollar shortage may pass and that he may be able to reduce the tax. The whole history of this tax has been that, once imposed, it stays, and that is the real danger of this tax to the future of popular motoring for the small man in this country.

Sir S. Cripps

We have had an interesting discussion upon this rather well-worn topic, which has been debated so many times in this House, both recently and in past years.

I am bound to say that I do not think any Chancellor of the Exchequer can be surprised when practically everybody opposes a new tax or an increase in an existing tax. In fact, that has been the function of successive Oppositions to whatever party they may have belonged, and these arguments against the increase of the petrol tax can be found in the past coming from every party in this Committee, although not consistently—not consistently even for the Liberal Party, because in 1931, in the first Budget, they did not oppose the increase of the petrol tax by 2d. and in the second Budget they took part, as members of the Coalition Government, in increasing it by a further 2d. There is, therefore, no quite consistent behaviour as regards this tax except that the behaviour of the Government has always been one way and the behaviour of the Opposition, of whatever party it may have consisted, has always been the other way.

It is not perhaps to be wondered at, therefore, that we expected that there would be quite a firm opposition upon this matter, but I am bound to say that I have been rather disappointed by the mildness and ineffectiveness of the attack. There seems to be some confusion in peoples' minds as to the reason for this new tax, although I thought I had made it fairly clear in my Budget Statement. In deciding upon a Budget two principal matters arise. Having reviewed the past, the first is whether new taxation is necessary and the second is, if so, how it should be imposed? Those are the two principal points. The first is whether new taxation is necessary, and that, of course, depends upon what is proposed as regards remissions of past taxation.

I could not explain now—it would not be in order, and I explained it very fully in my Budget speech—the view which we took about the necessity for maintaining the balance of the Budget from inflationary and disinflationary points of view, and so on; but seeing that we took the view, which, I think, has been shared by everybody in the Committee, that it was desirable to make a remission in direct taxation, particularly so far as the lower groups of Income Tax payers were concerned, obviously it became clear that if we were to do that and also to maintain the balance of the Budget—that is to say, maintain our disinflationary situation in the country—then we must raise some money by some other means in order to make that change-over in the incidence of taxation.

The remission which we were giving was a remission in direct taxation. It would not, therefore, have been at all easy to substitute it—

Mr. H. Strauss

Replace it.

Sir S. Cripps

I am much obliged to the hon. and learned Member, who is always so helpful to us as a conscience as regards good English.

Mr. Osborne

Very necessary.

Sir S. Cripps

It is quite necessary for both sides of the Committee. As I was saying, it would not, therefore, have been at all easy to replace it by fresh direct taxation. It was a question of what should be used to replace this taxation and, obviously, it would have been illogical and, in fact, impracticable to do it by new direct taxation. The only way one could, in fact, have done it was by increasing the Surtax and that would have meant lowering the Income Tax, because one cannot get more than 20s. in the pound, unfortunately, out of taxpayers. At any rate, I have undertaken not to do that and I could not myself resort to that, although I have no doubt some hon. Members would have liked me to do it.

It therefore became a question of replacing the tax by some indirect taxation and the question was: What form of indirect taxation would be the least harmful and the least oppressive and the least undesirable, assuming that one takes the view, as I do, that all taxation is undesirable and that it is only a matter of sheer necessity which compels one to impose it? On that examination of the situation we came to the conclusion that this Petrol Duty was the best replacement for that which we proposed to give by way of remission.

9.0 p.m.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) stated that, in his view, it was not necessary to find this money. I should like to give him a very grave warning, if I may. That really is the grandest fallacy of the spendthrift. He says, "Well, never mind that we cannot balance the Budget. We hope we shall be able to, but because it is a very large sum anyway, do not let us, therefore, worry to try to find the necessary money." That is, I assure him, the most dangerous form of financing. Many people have ended up in the Old Bailey and other places as a result of that sort of philosophy. Anyway, we are not going to be driven into it, even by the right hon. and learned Gentleman. We felt that it was necessary to do something to find that money, which he agrees is desirably being devoted to this remission of taxation.

It is quite true, as has been said by a number of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen, that practically any form of taxation can be argued as having, and in fact to some extent must have, an effect upon the cost of living. The remission of the Income Tax also, of course, has an effect on the cost of living, but in the desirable direction. In just the same way the new indirect tax must, of course, also have some effect upon the cost of living. But I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that it is one of the most common things in Budgets, and, indeed, in the financial arrangements of many countries, to find that a widespread tax is imposed in order to be able to give benefit to a particular section of the community who the Parliament or other controlling body considers deserve that particular remission or benefit or whatever it may be. In fact, that is the most usual way in which to proceed with things like social services which relate necessarily only to a part of the population. They are not spread over the entire population, anyway.

In the same way, time after time I have been urged by the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his friends to make special allowances for children, to make special allowances for married people, and so on and so on, and that is one of the commonest ways in which taxation is adjusted. This particular adjustment is in relation to a certain section of people who have incomes of a moderate amount and who, we felt, could get some benefit from these remissions, and also relates to overtime rates and other matters which have often been considered as possible preventives of an increase in productivity. Therefore, we do not take the view that the right hon. and learned Gentleman does, that this is something extraordinary. It seems to us that this is a perfectly ordinary way in which to adjust taxation between different groups of the public.

Mr. C. Davies

Is this not the first time taxation or an increased cost of living has been imposed on the very poor—because everybody is affected—to give benefit to those who are not quite so poor?

Sir S. Cripps

It was exactly the same when this tax was originally introduced, and the same as when the indirect tax on tea and sugar was introduced. In the same way we have taxes upon tobacco and upon beer, which fall upon everybody. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] In exactly the same sense that the Petrol Duty falls upon everybody—in exactly the same sense. Well, there is scarcely anybody who delivers goods who does not drink beer. That is just as much a part of the cost of delivery as is petrol. I must confess that I do not drink beer. There is really nothing in that point of the right hon. and learned Gentleman as regards the redistribution of taxation.

I now come to one or two points made by the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft). He asked what the position was as regards the railways and this taxation. Of course, when any new tax is imposed anybody who is responsible must see what its effect is likely to be on everything—every kind and sort of relationship which that new tax has. Having done so, I am bound to say that I came to the conclusion that this duty would have no effect upon the relationship between road and rail transport. If I had intended or wanted it to have such an effect it would have been necessary to put on a duty of something like 3s., 4s. or 5s. on petrol in order to get a big enough difference to influence traffic, but that was not the object or the desire of this taxation.

The hon. Gentleman also said that the fact that the road transport authority had increased their rates by 7½ per cent. showed that our estimate of 4 per cent. increased costs could not be right. It is a perfectly simple calculation that the extra cost would be 4 per cent. taken on the known and ascertained costs of Tuning such transport, and if he was careful, as I have no doubt he was, to read the statement put out by the road transport authority he would see that that specifically covers a number of other items in addition to the Petrol Duty. It covers an accumulation of pay increases which have not today been dealt with; it covers the new Purchase Tax on vehicles, and, as they say, a number of other items. There is, therefore, really nothing in that argument.

He also raised the same point as the right hon. Member for King's Norton (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd), as to whether the argument as regards the saving of dollars could still be maintained. It is perfectly true that, having arrived at the decision that we should have to have some form of indirect taxation, as I said then, and as I say now, we examined the different possibilities and looked at the attractive and unattractive parts of the arguments in favour or against that. In favour of the duty on petrol, one of the important items was the fact that it was an import with a large dollar content. I would beg the Committee to remember that, though we are primarily very much more concerned at the moment with dollars, we are also concerned with the over-all balance of trade in this country. Because things do not cost dollars we do not get them for nothing; we still have to pay for them by the export of goods. We therefore do not want to over-import, even if things do not cost dollars. But in this particular case there was at that time a very large dollar content.

It is perfectly true that since then, owing to the arrangement which has been, I think, so well come to with the American companies it has been possible very much to reduce the dollar content of this extra petrol and, as has been said, it has come down to a comparatively small sum compared with what it would otherwise have been. The argument on dollars is not, therefore, as strong as it was at the time it was first put forward, but it is still a perfectly valid argument that this is an article which, on the whole, we desire not to be used more than necessary in this country. In other words, we would like to economise in it.

It was pointed out by one or two speakers that de-rationing had been made easier through this increase in the price of petrol. That is perfectly true. The risks which were entailed as regards the extra volume that we should have to import were diminished by the fact that the price had gone up, because I think everybody who has spoken today has agreed that one of the tendencies of this increase in price must be to make people more economical in the use of petrol. That, I think, is a perfectly obvious fact which nobody can possibly deny. So there is still a perfectly good and valid argument that this is one of the classes of articles of which we desire to restrict the import to reasonable proportions, and the fact that the price had been increased by this amount assisted us in bringing in de-rationing.

The hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Hill), who spoke about my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health's perspiring eloquence—we were glad that he could equal the perspiration, but I did not notice the rest—admits that there is really no affect upon the export position so far as the Luton cars are concerned, and that is a very large business, as all of us know, carried on very well and very efficiently. I think that is absolutely accurate, and all that has been said about jeopardising our export business is really gross exaggeration.

I have watched the efforts of a great many people who have tried to sell cars, and I think they have done it with great success. Indeed, if I may say so, in 1946, when, at a meeting of motor manufacturers, I suggested that they should sell at least 25 per cent. of their output overseas, the only reply I got was "Tripe"; but it is proved that they can export 80 per cent. overseas, and for that we are very grateful.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman not agree that the task has been made a little easier by the lack of American competition in many of the countries concerned?

Sir S. Cripps

There are, of course, many things that make it a little easier and many that make it a little harder, and it is on the balance between the two that success or failure depends. I was only saying that I agree with the hon. Member for Luton that so far as the export of oars is concerned, this just does not have any effect, and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree with his friend about that.

A further point that was made by the hon. and learned Member for Norwich, South (Mr. H. Strauss), in one of his interjections which was not concerned solely with the English language, was that it was apparently the policy of His Majesty's Government, according to my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland), that we should raise the cost of living. That was part of the policy. I assure him that it is not. It may be the effect of this or that tax that that happens, but it was not done with the purpose of achieving that end; it was done for the other purposes which I have already mentioned.

Mr. H. Strauss

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has referred to my speech. I pointed out what the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Crosland) had said. He pointed out that this tax was designed and calculated to combat inflation precisely by raising the cost of living. It was the admission of the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, to which I drew attention.

Sir S. Cripps

I think that the confusion was that he did not say that it was designed for that purpose; he said that it would have that effect, which is rather different. I only want to make it clear that so far as the Government are concerned that was not one of the matters which they took into account as being a good point in favour of this tax.

9.15 p.m.

If I may pass on, the hon. Member for South Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) gave a figure with which most of us are fairly familiar—the figure given in the report of Mr. Hoover on transport costs, where it was stated that the cost of an article as to 75 per cent. was transport. Of course, the meaning of transport in that case is something very different from the meaning of transport here. It was not Mr. Hoover who first worked this out. It was, in fact, worked out in this country at the time of the First World War. The question was: How much is the cost of moving things if every movement in a factory is worked out; that is, movement from one place to another and all the rest of it? It is found, if wages are apportioned to this movement, that a very large proportion of the total cost is, in fact, movement, but it does not mean transport by public vehicles or anything of that kind. Therefore, his figure is, I venture to think, an entirely fallacious one.

The only two examples he gave of increased costs were where the increase was due to a manufacturing process in which this fuel, light hydrocarbon, had been used, and did not relate whatsoever to increases in transport costs. In fact, the peculiar thing about the quotations he gave was that although they were trying to make out a case against this tax, neither mentioned the fact that it was going to increase the cost of transport. That seems to me to be a very good bit of evidence. It is, anyway, not a very large factor as far as these manufacturers are concerned.

He then made what I think was a rather astonishing proposition, that not putting the tax on would have been an anti-flationary device. It seems to me to be an extraordinarily difficult proposition that if you do nothing it is an anti-inflationary device. I do not quite understand that, because if we keep on doing nothing, then apparently we shall never get any inflation.

Mr. Osborne

You have got it.

Sir S. Cripps

Not because we have done nothing. I am glad that the hon. Member confirms me. I do not think, that that argument is one to which I need pay much attention.

Finally, I come to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for King's Norton. I thought that he set out to try and prove a slightly difficult thing. He tried to prove that we were against an increase in working-class motoring and that this tax, coupled, of course, with the relief in Income Tax, would be likely to militate against it. I suggest to him that the saving in Income Tax for those people to whom he is referring, who will all be people paying Income Tax in the 3s. and 6s. ranges, will be much more likely to encourage them to acquire or to run motor cars than that the increase in petrol is likely to affect them adversely. Indeed, I think that he has chosen the very worst possible case, because the greatest net benefit will come from these two things to the class of people with whom he has been dealing. I hope that when the lady and gentleman told him about putting 2s. in the box, he told them that they would have an extra 4s. in future to put with it.

I think that I have covered, as fully as I can, all the points raised in this Debate. I am bound to say, having listened to it most attentively, that I feel in exactly the same frame of mind as when proposing this increase in the Budget. I believe that, on balance, it will be a good thing for the people of this country. It will help them. [Laughter.] Yes, the people who, everyone agrees, most desire and deserve it, get this large remission of Income Tax. The cost of this increased duty to them and the general public will, on the whole, be infinitesimally small. I ask the Committee, therefore, to support this Clause.

Several Hon. Members


The Chairman

The Question is—

Mr. Osborne

On a point of order. Is it not true that back benchers have an ancient right to take part in Debates of this nature?

The Chairman

That is not a point of order.

Several Hon. Members


The Chairman

Hon. Gentlemen must resume their seats when I rise. In my view the Committee are ready to come to a decision.

Hon. Members


Mr. W. Fletcher

On a point of order. At the beginning of this Debate, Major Milner, you made the point that Members would be able to talk on a fairly wide front on this Amendment, and you

hoped that they would not talk on the Motion that the Clause stand part. If we are closured and prevented from speaking now, may I say—

The Chairman

The hon. Gentleman appears to be challenging what I said at the beginning of the Debate, which has nothing to do with the matter.

Mr. Quintin Hogg (Oxford)

On a point of order. Did I understand you, Major Milner, to rule that the Committee were ready to come to a decision? Surely that cannot be done without a Motion of Closure from someone on the Government Front Bench?

The Chairman

I express the hope that the Committee will be willing to come to a conclusion.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Whiteley)

rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes. 302: Noes, 289.

Division No. 17.] AYES [9.22 p.m
Acland, Sir Richard Castle, Mrs. B. A Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)
Adams, Richard Champion, A. J. Evans, E. (Lowestoft)
Albu, A. H. Chetwynd, G. R. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Clunie, J. Ewart, R.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Cocks, F. S. Fernyhough, E.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Coldrick, W. Field, Capt. W. J.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Collick, P. Finch, H. J.
Awbery, S. S. Cook, T. F. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)
Ayles, W. H. Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.) Follick, M.
Bacon, Miss A Cooper, J. (Deptford) Foot, M. M.
Baird, J. Corbet, Mrs. F K. (Peckham) Forman, J. C.
Balfour, A. Cove, W. G. Fraser, T. (Hamilton)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A J Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Freeman, J. (Watford)
Bartley, P. Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Freeman, Peter (Newport)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon F J Crosland, C. A. R. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N
Benson, G. Crossman, R. H. S Ganley, Mrs. C. S
Beswick, F. Cullen, Mrs. A. Gibson, C. W.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A (Ebbw Vale) Daines, P. Gilzean, A.
Bing, G. H C. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Glanville, J. E. (Consett)
Blackburn, A. R Darling, G. (Hillsboro') Gooch, E. G.
Blenkinsop, A Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Blyton, W. R. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Greenwood, A W J. (Rossendale)
Boardman, H Davies, Harold (Leek) Greenwood, Rt Hon A. (Wakefield)
Booth, A. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Grenfell, D. R.
Bottomley, A. G Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Grey, C. F.
Bowden, H. W. de Freitas, Geoffrey Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Deer, G. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Delargy, H. J. Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange)
Brookway, A. Fenner Dodds, N. N. Gunter, R. J.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Donnelly, D. Hale, J. (Rochdale)
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Donovan, T. N, Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Driberg, T. E. N. Hall, J. (Gateshead, W.)
Brown, George (Belper) Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich) Hall, Rt Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Dye, S. Hamilton, W. W
Burke, W. A. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C Hannan, W
Burton, Miss E. Edelman, M. Hardman, D R
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Edwards, John (Brighouse) Hardy, E. A.
Callaghan, James Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Hargreaves, A.
Carmichael, James Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Harrison, J.
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Mann, Mrs. J. Silverman, S. S (Nelson)
Hayman, F. H. Manuel, A. C. Simmons, C. J.
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley R.) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A Slater, J.
Herbison, Miss M. Mathers, Rt. Hon. George Smith, Eills (Stoke, S.)
Hewitson, Capt. M Mellish, R. J. Snow, J. W
Hobson, C. R. Messer, F. Sorensen, R. W.
Holman, P. Middleton, Mrs [...] Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F.
Holmes, H E. (Hemsworth) Mikardo, Ian Steele, T.
Hoy, J. Mitchison, G. R Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Hubbard, T. Moeran, E. W Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.) Monslow, W. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Moody, A. S. Strauss, Rt. Hon G. R. (Vauxhall)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Morgan, Dr. H. B Stross, Dr. B.
Hughes, R. M. (Islington, N.) Morley, R. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Sylvester, G. O
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham S) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Mort, D. L. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Irving. W. J. (Wood Green) Moyle, A. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Mulley, F. W Thomas, I O (Wrekin)
Janner, B. Murray, J. D. Thomas, I R. (Rhondda, W)
Jay, D. P. T. Nally, W. Thomas, T. George (Cardiff)
Jeger, G. (Goole) Neal, H. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Thurtle Ernest
Jenkins, R. H. O'Brien, T. Timmons, J.
Johnson, J. (Rugby) Oldfield, W. H. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Oliver, G. H. Tomney, F
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Orbach, M. Turner-Samuels, M
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Padley, W. E Usborne, Henry
Jones. Jack (Rotherham) Paget, R. T. Vernon, Maj. W
Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Paling, Rt. Hn. Wilfred (Dearne V'Ily) Viant, S. P
Keenan, W Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wallace, H. W
Kenyon, C. Pannell, T. C. Watkins, T. E
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Pargiter, G. A Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
King, H. M. Parker, J. Weitzman, D.
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Paton, J. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Kinley, J. Pearson, A. Wells, W. T (Walsall)
Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D Peart, T. F. West, D. G.
Lang, Rev. G. Poole, Cecil Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Lee, F. (Newton) Popplewell E. White, Mrs. E. (E. Flint)
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Porter, G. White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Lever, N. H. (Cheetham) Proctor, W. T. Wigg, George
Lewis, A. W. J. (West Ham, N.) Pryde, D. J. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.
Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.) Pursey, Comdr. H. Wilkes, L.
Lindgren, G. S. Rankin, J. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Upton, Lt.-Col. M. Rees, Mrs. D. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Logan, D. G. Reeves, J. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Longden, F. (Small Heath) Reid, T. (Swindon) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
McAllister, G. Reid, W. (Camlachie) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
MacColl, J. E. Rhodes, H. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
McGhee, H. G. Richards, R Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Huyton)
McGovern, J. Robens, A. Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham, C.)
McInnes, J. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Winterbottom, R. E. (Brightside)
Mack, J. D. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Wise, Major F. J.
McKay, J. (Walisend) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.) Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.) Woods, Rev. G. S.
McLeavy, F. Ross, William (Kilmarnock) Wyatt, W. L.
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Royle, C. Yates, V. F.
McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Shackleton, E. A. A. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H
Mainwaring, W. H. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Shurmer, P. L. E. Mr. Collindridge and Mr. Sparks.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Aitken, W. T. Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E.
Alport, C. J. M Birch, Nigel Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A
Amery, J. (Preston, N.) Bishop, F. P. Butcher, H. W.
Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Black, C. W. Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)
Arbuthnot, John Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Carr, L. R. (Mitcham)
Ashton, H (Chelmsford) Boothby, R. Carson, Hon. E
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bossom, A. C. Channon, H.
Astor, Hon. M. Bowen, R. Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.
Baker, P. Bower, N. Clarke, Col R. S (East Grinstead)
Baldock, J. M. Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Clarke, Brig T. H. (Portsmouth, W.)
Baldwin, A. E. Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Clyde, J. L
Banks, Col. C. Braine, B. Colegate, A.
Baxter, A. B. Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G Conant, Maj R. J E.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Cooper, A E. (Ilford, S.)
Bell, R. M. Brooke, H. (Hampstead) Cooper-Key, E. M.
Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston) Browne, J. N. (Govan) Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)
Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport) Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne)
Bennett, W. G. (Woodside) Bullock, Capt. M. Cranborne, Viscount
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Hyde, H. M. Profumo, J. D.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hylton-Foster, H. B. Raikes, H. V.
Crouch, R. F. Jeffreys, General Sir G. Rayner, Brig. R.
Crowder, F. P. (Ruislip, N'thwood) Jennings, R. Redmayne, M.
Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (F'chley) Johnson, H. S. (Kemptown) Remnant, Hon. P.
Cundiff, F. W. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Renton, D. L. M.
Cuthbert, W. N. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.) Kaberry, D. Roberts, P. G. (Heeley)
Davidson, Viscountess Keeling, E. H Robertson, Sir D. (Caithness)
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (M'tgomery) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Davies, Nigel (Epping) Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H Robson-Brown, W.
De la Bère, R. Lambert, Hon. G. Rodgers, J. (Sevenoaks)
Deedes, W. F. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Roper, Sir H
Digby, S. Wingfield Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Russell, R. S.
Donner, P. W. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M. Lindsay, Martin Sandys, Rt Hon. D.
Drayson, G. B. Linstead, H. N Savory, Prof. D. L.
Drewe, C. Llewellyn, D. Scott, Donald
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Dunglass, Lord Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Smith, E. Martin (Grantham)
Duthie, W. S. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Longden, G. J. M. (Herts. S. W.) Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington)
Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter Low, A. R. W. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Erroll, F. J. Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.) Snadden, W. McN.
Fisher, Nigel Lucas, Mr. (Brentford) Soames, Capt. C.
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Spearman, A. C. M.
Fort, R. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Foster, J. G. McAdden, S. J. Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone) McCallum, Maj. D. Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Stevens, G. P.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Gage, C. H. Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) McKibbin, A. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Storey, S.
Gammans, L. D. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Maclean, F. H. R. Stuart, Rt. Hon J (Moray)
Gates, Maj. E. E. MacLeod, I. (Enfield, W.) Summers, G. S
George, Lady M. Lloyd MacLeod, J. (Ross and Cromarty) Sutcliffe, H.
Glyn, Sir R. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Granville, E. (Eye) Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Teeling, William
Gridley, Sir A. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Thompson, K. P. (Walton)
Grimond, J. Marlowe, A. A. H. Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)
Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans) Marples, A. E. Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Grimston, R. V. (Westbury) Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Harden, J. R. E. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Maude, A. E. U. (Ealing, S.) Tilney, John
Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) Maude, J. C. (Exeter) Touche, G. C.
Harris, R. R. (Heston) Maudling, R. Turton, R. H.
Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Medlicott, Brigadier F. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.) Mellor, Sir J. Vane, W. M. F.
Hay, John Molson, A. H. E. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Head, Brig. A. H. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T Vosper, D. F.
Heald, L. F. Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen) Wade, D. W.
Heath, Colonel E. G. R. Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Morrison, Rt. Hon W. S. (Cirencester) Wakefield, Sir W. W. (St. Marylebone)
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Higgs, J. M. C. Nabarro, G. Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicholls, H. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Hill, Dr. C. (Luton) Nicholson, G. Waterhouse, Capt. C.
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Nield, B. (Chester) Walkinson, H.
Hirst. Geoffrey Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Hogg, Hon. Q. Nugent, G. R. H. Webbe, Sir H. (London)
Hollis, M. C. Oakshott, H. D. Wheatley, Major M. J. (Poole)
Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Odey, G. W. White, J. Baker (Canterbury)
Hope, Lord J. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Hopkinson, H. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Hornsby-Smith, Miss P. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Wills, G.
Horsbrugh, Miss F. Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Wilson, G. (Truro)
Howard, G. R. (St. Ives) Osborne, C. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire) Perkins, W. R. D. Wood, Hon. R.
Hudson, Sir A. U. M. (Lewisham, N.) Peto, Brig. C. H. M. York, C.
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Pickthorn, K. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Pitman, I. J.
Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J. Powell, J. Enoch TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hurd, A. R. Prescott, Stanley Mr. Studbolme and
Hutchinson, G. (Ilford, N.) Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.) Brigadier Mackeson.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 302; Noes, 288.

Division No. 18.] AYES [9.36 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D.
Adams, Richard Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Lang, Rev. G.
Albu, A. H. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Lee, F. (Newton)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Ewart, R. Lever, N. H. (Cheetham)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Fernyhough, E. Lewis, A. W. J. (West Ham, N.)
Awbery, S. S. Field, Capt. W. J. Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.)
Ayles, W. H. Finch, H. J. Lindgren, G. S.
Bacon, Miss A. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Baird, J. Follick, M. Logan, D. G.
Balfour, A. Foot, M. M. Longden, F. (Small Heath)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Forman, J. C. McAllister, G.
Bartley, P. Fraser, T. (Hamilton) MacColl, J. E.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Freeman, J. (Watford) McGhee, H. G.
Benson, G. Freeman, Peter (Newport) McGovern, J.
Beswick, F. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N McInnes, J.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Mack, J. D.
Bing, G. H. C Gibson, C. W. McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Blackburn, A. R. Gilzean, A Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.)
Blenkinsop, A. Glanville, J. E. (Consett) McLeavy, F.
Blyton, W. R. Gooch, E. G. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Boardman, H. Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Booth, A. Greenwood, A W J. (Rossendale) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Bottomley, A. G. Greenwood, Rt Hon. A. (Wakefield) Mainwaring, W. H.
Bowden, H. W. Grenfell, D R. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Grey, C. F. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Mann, Mrs. J.
Brockway, A. Fenner Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Manuel, A. C.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Gunter, R. J. Mathers, Rt. Hon. George
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hale, J. (Rochdale) Mellish, R. J
Brown, George (Belper) Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Messer, F.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hall, J. (Gateshead, W.) Middleton, Mrs. L
Burke, W. A. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mikardo, Ian
Burton, Miss E. Hamilton, W. W. Mitchison, G. R
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Hannan, W. Moeran, E. W
Callaghan, James Hardman, D. R. Monslow, W.
Carmichael, James Hardy, E. A. Moody, A. S.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Hargreaves, A. Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Champion, A. J. Harrison, J. Morley, R.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hastings, Dr. Somerville Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Clunie, J. Hayman, F. H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Cocks, F. S. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley R.) Mort, D. L.
Coldrick, W. Herbison, Miss M. Moyle, A.
Collick, P. Hewitson, Capt. M. Mulley, F. W.
Collindridge, F. Hobson, C. R. Murray, J. D.
Cook, T. F. Holman, P Nally, W.
Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.) Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Neal, H.
Cooper, J. (Deptford) Hoy, J. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Peckham) Hubbard, T. O'Brien, T.
Cove, W. G. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.) Oldfield, W. H.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Oliver, G. H.
Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Orbach, M.
Crosland, C. A. R. Hughes, R. M. (Islington, N.) Padley, W. E
Crossman, R. H. S. Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paget, R. T.
Daines, P. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Paling, Rt. Hn. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Darling, G. (Hillsboro') Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Pannell, T. C.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Janner, B. Pargiter, G. A
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Jay, D. P. T. Parker, J
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jeger, G. (Goole) Paton, J.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.) Pearson, A
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Jenkins, R. H. Peart, T. F.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Johnson, J. (Rugby) Poole, Cecil
Deer, G. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Porter, G.
Delargy, H. J Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Dodds, N. N. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Proctor, W. T.
Donnelly, D. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Pryde, D. J.
Donovan, T. N. Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Pursey, Comdr. H.
Driberg, T. E. N. Keenan, W. Rankin, J.
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich) Kenyon, C. Rees, Mrs. D.
Dye, S. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Reeves, J.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. King, H. M. Reid, T. (Swindon)
Edelman, M. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Reid, W. (Camlachie)
Edwards, John (Brighouse) Kinley, J. Rhodes, H.
Richards, R. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Robens, A Sylvester, G. O. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Wigg, George
Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.
Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.) Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare) Wilkes, L.
Ross, William (Kilmarnock) Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin) Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Royle, C. Thomas, I. R. (Rhondda, W.) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Shackleton, E. A. A. Thomas, T. George (Cardiff) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Thurtle, Ernest Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Shurmer, P. L. E. Timmons, J. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Silverman, J. (Erdington) Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Huyton)
Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Tomney, F. Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham, C.)
Simmons, C. J. Turner-Samuels, M
Slater, J. Usborne, Henry Winterbottom, R. E. (Brightside)
Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Vernon, Maj. W. F Wise, Major F. J.
Snow, J. W. Viant, S. P. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Sorensen, R. W. Wallace, H. W. Woods, Rev. G. S.
Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F Watkins, T. E. Wyatt, W. L.
Sparks, J. A. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.) Yates, V. F.
Steele, T Weitzman, D Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. West, D. G. TELLERS FOR THE AYS:
Strauss, Rt. Hon G. R. (Vauxhall) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E.) Mr. Popplewell and
Stross, Dr. B. White, Mrs E. (E. Flint) Mr. Kenneth Robinson.
Aitken, W. T. Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Heath, Colonel E. G. R.
Alport, C. J. M. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Amery, J. (Preston, N.) Crouch, R. F. Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.
Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Crowder, F. P. (Ruislip, N'thwood) Higgs, J. M. C.
Arbuthnot, John Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (F'chley) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Cundiff, F. W. Hill, Dr. C. (Luton)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Cuthbert, W. N. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Astor, Hon. M. Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.) Hirst. Geoffrey
Baker, P. Davidson, Viscountess Hogg, Hon. Q
Baldock, J. M. Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (M'tgomery) Hollis, M. C.
Baldwin, A. E. Davies, Nigel (Epping) Holmes, Sir J Stanley (Harwich)
Banks, Col. C. De la Bère, R. Hope, Lord J
Baxter, A. B. Deedes, W. F. Hopkinson, H.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hornsby-Smith, Miss P.
Bell, R. M. Donner, P. W. Horsbrugh, Miss F.
Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M Howard, G. R. (St. Ives)
Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport) Drayson, G. B. Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire)
Bennett, W. G. (Woodside) Drewe, C. Hudson, Sir A. U. M. (Lewisham, N.)
Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)
Birch, Nigel Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)
Bishop, F. P. Dunglass, Lord Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.
Black, C. W. Duthie, W. S. Hurd, A. R
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Hutchison, G. (Ilford, N.)
Boothby, R. Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)
Bossom, A. C Erroll, F. J. Hyde, H. M
Bowen, R. Fisher, Nigel Hylton-Foster, H. B.
Bower, N. Fletcher, W. (Bury) Jeffreys, General Sir G.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A Fort, R. Jennings, R.
Bracken. Rt. Hon. Brendan Foster, J. G. Johnson, H. S. (Kemptown)
Braine, B. Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone) Jones, A. (Hall Green)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Kaberry D.
Brooke, H. (Hampstead) Gage, C. H. Keeling, E H
Browne, J. N. (Govan) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Bullock, Capt. M. Gammans, L. D. Lambert, Hon. G.
Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E. Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A. Gates, Maj. E. E. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Butcher, H. W. George, Lady M. Lloyd Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Glyn, Sir R Lennox-Boyd, A. T
Carr, L. R. (Mitcham) Gomme-Duncan, Col. A Lindsay, Martin
Carson, Hon. E. Granville, E. (Eye) Linstead, H. N
Channon, H. Gridley, Sir A. Llewellyn, D.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Grimond, J. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
Clarke, Col. R. S. (East Grinstead) Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans) Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Clarke, Brig. T. H. (Portsmouth, W.) Grimston, R. V. (Westbury) Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)
Clyde, J. L. Harden, J. R. E. Lockwood, LI -Col. J. C.
Colegate, A. Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Longden, G. J. M. (Herts, S. W.)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) Low, A. R. W.
Cooper, A. E. (Ilford, S.) Harris, R. R. (Heston) Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Lucas, Mr. (Brentford)
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.) Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.
Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne) Hay, John Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O
Cranborne, Viscount Head, Brig. A. H. McAdden, S. J
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Heald, L. F. McCallum, Maj. D.
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh) Pickthorn, K. Stuart, Rt. Hon J (Moray)
Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Pitman, I. J. Summers, G. S.
Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Powell, J. Enoch Sutcliffe, H.
McKibbin, A. Prescott, Stanley Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.) Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Maclean, F. H. R. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Teeling, William
MacLeod, I. (Enfield, W.) Profumo, J. D. Thompson, K. P. (Walton)
MacLeod, J. (Ross and Cromarty) Raikes, H. V. Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Rayner, Brig. R. Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Redmayne, M. Thomton-Kemsley, C. N.
Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Remnant, Hon. P. Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F
Manningham-Buller, R. E. Ronton, D. L. M. Tilney, John
Marlowe, A. A. H. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth) Touche, G. C
Marples, A. E. Roberts, P. G. (Heeley) Turton, R. H.
Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Robertson, Sir D. (Caithness) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.) Vane, W. M. F.
Maude, A. E. U. (Ealing, S.) Robson-Brown, W. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Maude, J. C. (Exeter) Rodgers, J. (Sevenoaks) Vosper, D. F
Maudling, R. Roper, Sir H. Wade, D. W.
Medlicott, Brigadier F Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry) Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)
Mellor, Sir J. Russell, R. S. Wakefield, Sir W. W (St Marylebone)
Molson, A. H. E. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D Walker-Smith, D. C.
Moore, Lt.-Col- Sir T. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen) Savory, Prof. D. L. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Mormon, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Scott, Donald Waterhouse, Capt. C
Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle) Watkinson, H.
Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Smith, E. Martin (Grantham) Watt, Sir G S. Harvie
Nabarro, G. Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Webbe, Sir H (London)
Nicholls, H. Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington) Wheatley, Major M. J. (Poole)
Nicholson, G. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) White, J. Baker (Canterbury)
Nield, B. (Chester) Snadden, W. McN. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Soames, Capt. C. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Nugent, G. R. H. Spearman, A. C. M. Wills, G.
Oakshott, H. D. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.) Wilson, G. (Truro)
Odey, G. W. Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde) Wood, Hon. R.
Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Stevens, G. P. York, C.
Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Osborne, C. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Perkins, W. R. D. Storey, S. Mr. Studholme and
Mr. Wingfield Digby.
The Deputy-Chairman (Colonel Sir Charles MacAndrew)

The next Amendment, that in the name of the hon. Member for Esher (Mr. Robson-Brown), is not selected, and the next one selected is that in the name of the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser) and his hon. Friends. It might be for the convenience of the Committee if we were to discuss that Amendment with the Amendment at the top of page 236—in page 1, line 20, at the end, to insert: Provided that the rate of the duty shall remain at ninepence a gallon for hydrocarbon oils used for the propulsion of invalid chairs driven by disabled persons. Both deal with more or less the same subject.

Mr. Lyttelton

With great respect, Sir Charles, these two Amendments are on very different subjects. It might be for the convenience of the Committee to take them together, and I do not wish to express an opinion on that now, but they are widely differing points. I do not know if it would be for the convenience of the Committee to take them together, but, if so, we must ask that there should be separate Divisions on them.

The Deputy-Chairman

Separate Divisions would be perfectly all right, and, if the Committee wish to discuss them separately, I do not mind. It seems to me that they cover rather the same point, one being concerned with disabled persons and the other with the Ministry of Pensions. It is for the Committee to decide whether it is desired to discuss them separately.

Sir S. Cripps

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite that, if he and his hon. Friends wish to have a Division on each Amendment separately, they should have them. The Amendments obviously deal with different points.

The Deputy-Chairman

Very well. The point I was wondering about was the scope of the Debate.

Sir Ian Fraser (Morecambe and Lonsdale)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 20, at the end, to insert: except that in the case of disabled ex-Service men and women who have been provided with a motor vehicle by the Ministry of Pensions, the rate of the duty shall remain at ninepence a gallon. The Chancellor has suggested that the Debate to which we have been listening during the afternoon followed the precedent familiar in this House where, in Committee on a major matter in the Budget, the Opposition must needs take a different view from that of the Government. I do not accept that, and I do not dissent from it, but I would like to remind the Chancellor, and right hon. and hon. Members of all sides of the Committee, that there is another good custom under which back bench Members, without speaking particularly for any party, may raise a matter which is poignant and interesting, and about which a great many people feel that something should be said.

There is also a very good custom whereby Chancellors of the Exchequer, from time to time, have found it possible to meet requests of this kind where they have only made a modest call upon the public purse and where there has been the feeling that, by and large, it was a good thing to do. I hope that hon. Members on all sides may feel that this Amendment comes within that category.

Some 1,300 ex-Service men and women of both wars who have been given small motor cars by the Ministry of Pensions are involved in this Amendment.

Commander Pursey (Hull, East)

Given by the Labour Government.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Sir I. Fraser

I should hope that we might have discussed this matter without cheers and counter-cheers.

Commander Pursey

It is a purely party point.

Sir I. Fraser

May I make an appeal to right hon. and hon. Members either to cheer or to remain silent, but not to indulge in cheers and counter-cheers? There is no party point here. If any party point is sought to be made, I would just mention that hon. Members on all sides were responsible for the initiation and the carrying through of the proposals under which these men and women received these motor cars. I am glad that is so; that, I venture to suggest, is how we should deal with this matter.

There are 1,300 men and women who have been given motor cars by the present Government, and there are some 1,300 who have also received from the Ministry of Pensions either motor tricycles or a small attachment to their bicycles, so that there are some 2,600 men and women involved, all of whom were disabled in the very highest degree in one or other of the two wars. Only such persons qualify at all. I also wish to emphasise that each one of those persons has been chosen by the Ministry of Pensions because he is so disabled. The reason why they have been chosen to receive these vehicles is because their disability requires the provision of such vehicles in the same way as if a person loses a leg, he requires the provision of an artificial limb, or, if he loses an arm, he requires the provision of an artificial hand. In the same way, if a person is so wounded that he requires any other piece of apparatus or treatment he receives it.

These particular people are immobilised by their specific type of disability, and, therefore, the Ministry has made up to them this immobility by giving them mechanical mobility. On the average, this new tax will add some £10 a year to the cost of living of these people. This is not the time to argue whether they are sufficiently well pensioned or not, but I will only observe that they are not sufficiently highly pensioned for this sum of £10 a year to be a negligible amount. It is, in fact, a serious amount for such persons.

I now wish to make the point which I have already implied, that it would never occur to any Minister to put a tax on a man's artificial leg. But, here, we are proposing to put a tax on his mechanical means of locomotion. Surely, the principle is the same. We never intended this. I do not suppose for a moment that the Chancellor ever thought of the consequences upon this particular group. If he did, everyone will sympathise with him if, in preparing his Budget, he thought that could be taken care of when it arose. I hope that is his view and that he will make it clear tonight.

I have been in touch with a few of these men to find out how they are getting on with their motor cars and tricycles. My information is that, in spite of their very great disabilities, some two-thirds of them use these vehicles to go to work. The Committee must rejoice to think that so many seriously disabled men have work to go to. That is no new feature in our life. Happily, the seriously disabled, with the help of trade unions, employers and Governments ever since the end of the First World War, have been very largely and well employed.

Some two-thirds of them go to work in their chairs or little motor cars. The other third use them for calling at their clubs, going to see their friends or for pleasure trips. Whichever way it may be, there cannot be anyone who does not rejoice that these men, otherwise immobilised, have this method of locomotion placed at their disposal.

It has been said that one cannot pick out a small number of people like these and exempt them from tax without causing overwhelming administrative difficulties. The difficulty of exempting old age pensioners from the Tobacco Duty was overcome, and the administrative difficulty of making up to farmers for a tax which the Chancellor did not feel they ought to bear was overcome, or is presently to be overcome. Therefore, any argument that this cannot be done on grounds of administrative difficulty does not carry any weight whatever. Moreover, I emphasise that this class mentioned in my Amendment is specifically defined and positively known to the Government, because every one has been provided with a free vehicle by the Government. Therefore, any argument that they are not known, that there is any doubt, or that it cannot be done could not possibly be put forward by the Chancellor from that Bench.

We have on the Paper two Amendments—my Amendment, which deals with a specific class to which I have referred, and the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Bridlington (Mr. Wood) which deals with a different kind of vehicle, only the invalid chair not the small motor car, and a different class of person, namely, those who use invalid vehicles. There are different principles involved here, and I want to make clear the view taken by myself and my hon. Friends, which is certainly sympathetic to but different from that taken by those moving the other Amendment.

The first point that arises for consideration is the difference between civilians and soldiers. I want to approach that matter with the utmost discretion, and, I hope, with the ear and the sympathy of the Committee. It does not make much difference, if one is blind or legless or ill, whether one acquired the disability in war service, in civilian service or through natural causes. One is subject to the same handicap and disability. But there is a difference as to the obligation of the community according to the way in which that particular handicap or disability may have arisen. There may come a time—I hope there will—when we can afford, and are moved, to regard all disabilities as being capable of being treated equally, and when we can afford to treat them all equally. We are not in such a time now.

10.0 p.m.

The ways in which disabilities among civilians and soldiers are treated are different. There has been a long tradition in this land that the nation owes a special debt to those who go voluntarily or who are sent to the front line to serve the land, and I suppose that has been partly due to a sense of obligation to those who defend our shores in the military service. That is a proud tradition and one not lightly to be thrown away. It is also partly due, no doubt, to the difference between those men and the men who stay at home, and I do not use those words in any disparaging sense. Some must stay at home, but the nation would not survive unless some voluntarily or, at any rate, willingly went abroad and flew and sailed and fought in lands all over the world. If on no higher basis than that of self-preservation, we must not lightly throw away the regard we have had for all those who serve in the Armed Forces.

There are other reasons for some distinction in this matter. The man in civil life may well be employed by a private firm which introduces its own superannuation scheme. The private firm is free to introduce such a scheme either solely out of the employers' funds or by contribution from the employer and employee. It is free to introduce into that scheme all kinds of insurances against accidents and risks, and I know of many enlightened firms with schemes of this sort which are very wide in their provision for accidents of different kinds.

It is obvious that the total compensation obtained by a man who is gravely disabled is the point to be considered. There are, indeed, State schemes, such as in the mining industry, which is covered by an Act of this Parliament, by which the miners and their employers may make special arrangements to augment the compensation which the State gives for disabilities, by adding something by their own contributions to what the State provides, and the miners have been enlightened enough and wise and generous enough with the aid of their employers to introduce such a scheme. Therefore, private persons who are employed may well be better provided for in some cases than the ex-Service men who can only look to the Ministry of Pensions. They cannot agree with their employer to have a contributory scheme which may be more advantageous to them. They can only look to the Ministry of Pensions and, ultimately, to this House. There is, therefore, a special case for taking special care of those whom we invite or send to fight our battles, and who have not these other advantages.

We are in process of developing a State in which men are more equal in their incomes, their expenditures and in the way in which we regard them. I welcome that. I support that development which is slowly going on in our land. But we cannot change things all at once, and if we are to say that we will do nothing to compensate these ex-Service men for the special handicap put upon them by this tax because we are not yet ready to do it for all the disabled, it would seem to me that we are escaping an obligation by an unworthy excuse. We cannot expect at once to arrive at a stage in which all are cared for as we wish. I suggest that should not be a reason for not putting this small matter right.

In my consultations with many of these ex-Service men I have noticed a fine, sturdy sense of citizenship. Some of them said, "This will cost us £10 each. We are not men who can afford that and we think that the generous gift of a motor car or a tricycle, and of an allowance to run it, should not be undermined by taxation of this kind." Others among them said—the more thoughtful of them, who have studied political or economic affairs, "Ought not all to pay taxes if they can afford them? What we really want is that the pensions we are paid should be such as would make it possible for us to pay for the rising cost of living and to pay the taxes."

But that is not the position today and, since it is not the position, I earnestly hope that appeals will be made from all sides of the Committee to the Chancellor to meet this small demand, which is small so far as the taxpayer is concerned but important so far as the individuals are concerned, as a gesture to show that we have in mind the men who fought and were wounded in our service.

Mr. Brockway

I wish to support, not the terms of the Amendment, but broadly its purpose. I appeal to the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser) to broaden the scope of the help which he wishes to give. I tell him frankly that I have taken a view of war which is different from that of the ex-Service men whom he represents, but nevertheless my first emotion is to assist those who have served in war because the State, which demands that men and women shall be prepared to give their lives for the nation, has a duty to them which I believe takes priority over the duty to others.

While I say that, I at the same time make this appeal to the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale. If this were a matter, say, whereby ex-Service men should be helped and others should not, then there might be something in the argument which he has presented, but surely when the number of disabled men who could be assisted in this way is comparatively small in this nation, those who stand for the claims of ex-Service men could say that the same rights should be extended to the old and to the disabled, in whatever way their disablement may have occurred. I argue that point particularly strongly because much of the disablement has followed accidents in work necessary for the nation, in work which in war-time, even from the point of view of the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale, is as important as the work of the ex-Service men. Often disablement was caused by civil defence and other service. I strongly appeal to the hon. Member to agree that the basis of the help which will be given by this Amendment should be extended to all who are disabled in that way.

Sir I. Fraser

It is not possible, I believe, to amend an Amendment on the Order Paper, but even if it were—and I hope my statement did not indicate that I had any desire to stop anyone from being helped—the fact is that the art of politics is the art of the practicable, and this Amendment is practicable. It could be worked. It may be that when my hon. Friend the Member for Bridlington (Mr. Wood) moves his Amendment, it will be found to be practicable, too. At any rate, in view of what has been said, I hope the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) will vote with me on my Amendment.

Mr. Brockway

I indicated in my opening remarks that I supported the object of the Amendment but not its terms. I criticise its terms on grounds exactly the opposite of those mentioned by the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale. I do not believe that an Amendment in this form is practicable. I believe there will be administrative difficulties which will make it impracticable, and I think it is probable that any Chancellor of the Exchequer would find it necessary to approach this question on the basis of a rebate similar to that given to agriculture rather than on the basis of a direct exemption from the operation of the tax granted to a particular section.

Having said that, I want to direct my main appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I ask him to listen to this appeal which, I am perfectly sure, is supported on all sides of the Committee to this appeal for the disabled, whose life is changed almost to imprisonment, deprived of social contact and of the sun and the air and the trees without these motor-propelled vehicles. I hope my right hon. and learned Friend will be prepared to make in form the concession which we are asking in this Amendment. I do not believe that the amount will be as large as the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale has suggested, but for the pensioned folk even pennies count. I make an appeal with all the strength that I can command to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to meet this request, which, I believe, is supported on all sides of the Committee.

Mr. Crouch (Dorset, North)

At this late hour I do not propose to speak very long or to detain the Committee, but I do feel very strongly about the additional expenditure which is inflicted as a result of this tax upon men and women who have suffered, and are suffering, from injury which they sustained during the war. These vehicles have been awarded by the Ministry of Pensions because it was considered that it was impossible for these people to earn their livings without, them, and to go about in public transport.

Mention has been made of the additional cost that will fall upon these people. I know an instance where the additional cost works out at over £23 a year. That is based upon the amount of fuel that was granted by the Ministry of Fuel and Power when petrol was still rationed; and it was petrol granted solely upon disability grounds. That works out at something like 9s. 6d. a week. On the other side, I am aware that some concession is derived from the reduction in Income Tax. That amounts to £11 10s. a year. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on behalf of these people, to do something, either in the form suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser), in the same way as something was done about tobacco for the old age pensioners, or in direct grants to relieve those who are subjected to a very considerable diminution of the pensions which they have been awarded. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept this Amendment, and do something to relieve these people from this extra expenditure.

10.15 p.m.

Sir S. Cripps

The proposal that is before the Committee is one which, I think, would naturally appeal to anyone with any feelings of humanity. One of the most difficult jobs, I suppose, of all Chancellors of the Exchequer is to resist at times their own feelings when they would like to be generous with other people's money, and in the present case, of course, there are the very special reasons which the hon. Gentleman the Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser) dealt with in moving his Amendment.

Let me first say that the actual form of his Amendment is one that it would not be possible to accept. On this question of the Petrol Duty it has been said by many Conservative Chancellors of the Exchequer that it is quite impossible, as an administrative matter, to vary the duty according to the use of the hydrocarbon oil. Obviously, it creates the most tremendous possibilities of "black marketing"; it is a very difficult matter to check up; and it needs a whole complicated machine to put it into operation. If anything of this sort is required, I think the Committee would agree that we should rather look at the question of assisting directly those who are suffering and who have had these advantages of motor vehicles put at their disposal.

I am sure the Committee will appreciate that it was only after a very long period of time during which this proposal had been put forward that any Chancellor of the Exchequer eventually agreed to provide these cars for disabled ex-Service men. That beginning is one which I think everybody now accepts as a most desirable factor. The Committee will no doubt bear in mind the fact that in association with the provision of cars, a very substantial sum of money is also provided annually for the purpose of running the cars. For various expenses in connection with the running of the cars £45 a year is provided to each of these people who have these motor cars. On the other hand, so far as the tricycles are concerned, it has never been felt or found necessary to do more than to provide the tricycle and maintain it. No allowance has ever been paid, so far as tricycles are concerned, with regard to their running, garaging, or whatever it may be.

It would not be possible for us to take any steps to introduce, as a result of this Petrol Duty, a new method of dealing with these ex-Service men, but where there is already some provision, I understand that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions would be quite prepared to reconsider the amount which is provided for running, in the light of the fact that this extra increase has taken place in the Petrol Duty. On that quite clear understanding, and with the hope that we may be able to announce what it will be and how much the adjustment will be after he has had an opportunity of considering it, I ask the hon. Gentleman if he would withdraw his Amendment. I want to make it quite clear; I do not want there to be any misunderstanding about this. This only relates to those cases where already some allowance is paid to the person who has the vehicle, and does not introduce any new method as regards those who have vehicles but who have no allowance paid in respect of those vehicles. I want that to be quite clear.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Does that cover the 1,300 people mentioned by my hon. Friend?

Sir S. Cripps

It covers the 1,300 people that he mentioned, but it does not cover the people with tricycles.

Sir I. Fraser

The right hon. and learned Gentleman will probably be aware that those who have tricycles may, as an option, apply for motor vehicles. Of course, the Minister has not yet told us whether when the first batch of motor vehicles has been distributed, it is his intention to go on with this policy of substituting the four-wheeled vehicle for the three-wheeled vehicle. There is not a great deal in it so far as the initial cost is concerned, because three-wheeled vehicles made for a limited number of disabled people are quite as costly to make as small motor cars made by mass production. I hope, therefore, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer may be able to tell us two things: first, that when the Minister of Pensions considers augmenting the allowance to the 1,300 motor car men, the Chancellor will have the money in the kitty to meet the demand; and secondly, that he will not prevent a further substitution of the three-wheeled vehicles for the four-wheeled vehicles as time goes on.

Sir S. Cripps

As regards the first point, of course I shall see that the money is provided for the Minister to do what he considers necessary in making this adjustment. As regards the second point, I cannot give any sort or kind of undertaking. I did not even know that there was this question of substitution in the mind of the Minister, and I could not possibly, without examining the figures and so on, come to any sort of conclusion as to what I could or could not agree to. I think that we must deal with it as it is at the present moment. I think that my right hon. Friend has a good enough reputation over the way in which he has dealt with this subject matter during the last two or three years, and I should have thought that the matter might be left quite safely in his hands.

Sir I. Fraser

May I thank the Chancellor of the Exchequer for meeting the request we have ventured to put before him, in so far as he has met it. In the circumstances I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Lionel Heald (Chertsey)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 20, at the end, to insert: except that, in the case of aviation spirit supplied for the. use of flying and gliding clubs duly authorised and approved by the Minister of Civil Aviation, the rate of duty shall remain at ninepence a gallon, and the Treasury may make the necessary regulations for giving effect to this exception. This Amendment is designed to relieve flying and gliding clubs from the increased Petrol Duty, and I would like to say at once that I regard this matter as being an entirely non-party one. I know that this Amendment is supported in principle by many hon. Members on the opposite side of the Committee, including several Members on the Front Bench, and therefore I hope that it will be possible for a number of Members on the other side to support us, although they may have to risk displeasure from above in doing so.

Ten years ago today, it would not have been necessary to remind anyone in this Committee of the importance of the flying clubs. We were then in that heaven-sent respite between Dunkirk and the beginning of the Battle of Britain, when the squadrons of the Royal Air Force were being strengthened and supported by the assistance of the Auxiliary Air Force and the Volunteer Reserve; and among them were many pilots who had been trained in the flying clubs and gliding schools. We heard at that time many stories of the work of what were called by the Press, with their usual imaginative grasp of a new headline, "the week-end flyers."

No one who remembers those days would require any more emphasis than that. If it were needed, it would have been found in the lists of decorations awarded to, and also in the lists of casualties among, these men. Although our preparedness was lamentably small in respect of the air, we had, at any rate, made some provision for making use, while there was yet time, of the equipment and instructors who were available, and, when they were also available, of the airfields from which these trainees could fly.

Five years ago it would not have been necessary to make such a reminder, because at that time, as many Members will remember, the House was mourning the loss of a very much liked and respected Member, Commander Brabner, one of the shining examples of the amateur flier before the war, when he was unfortunately killed in an accident in 1945. He was one of the Joint Under-Secretaries of State for Air, and had won the D.S.O. in Crete and the D.S.C. in Malta. But for the flying clubs, it is extremely unlikely that he would ever had been attracted to the air. In other realms of flying, men like Daunt of Gloucester, or Humble, the Hawker experimental pilot, were brought into flying through their association with flying clubs.

We have terribly short memories in this country in relation to matters of National Defence. Surely, in the cold war of today, the need for potential pilots is not less than it was in 1939, but the supply is far worse. The figures are alarming. Even in 1939, with our woeful unpreparedness in many respects, there were 400 aircraft flying in the clubs which provided these most valuable men, including many of our best instructors during the war. In 1947 there were 300, and in 1949 there were 275. Today, there are probably little more than 200. The flying members of the clubs had been reduced by 30 per cent. between 1947 and 1949.

Most significant of all, the A licences went down by 40 per cent. between 1947 and 1949—from 750, in 1947, to 450, in 1949. There are probably fewer than 3,000 A licences today in the whole country, as against over 5,000 before the war. Now the 9d. increase comes along. I have satisfied myself that in many cases this is going to be the last straw for young men contemplating flying. I have talked to them quite recently, and it means an extra cost of 5s. on the present cost of £3 an hour for tuition or practice. They say it is prohibitive. It means that a young man will have to find something else to do.

I talked to one young man not long ago who regularly walks between five and six miles in order to fly. He told me that with another 5s. he had "had it." My experience in the Volunteer Reserve from 1938 to 1945, when I regret to say that I was chairborne rather than airborne, which did not prevent me from learning a little about these things, convinced me, when I heard the announcement in the Budget, that it would disastrously affect these flying clubs. I made it my business to inquire into the matter, and, having got the facts, I communicated with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Civil Aviation, not on political grounds, but on urgent grounds of National Defence.

10.30 p.m.

The reply of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, who replied briefly on behalf of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was entirely negative. It did not suggest that there were any administrative difficulties; indeed, the present Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation explained very cogently to the House some two years ago that there were no administrative difficulties. I call him in aid upon that. No reference whatever was made to my mention of the question of National Defence. Only one answer was given—that there was a principle of taxation whereby it is impossible to discriminate in the application of a tax. Every hon. Member knows that such discrimination is in fact applied in this case and that in the Budget Debate the right hon. and learned Gentleman actually announced his intention of giving relief to what he described as: … one class of user of hydrocarbon oils where the circumstances are such that I feel justified in proposing a measure which will offset the effect of the increase of duty."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th April, 1950; Vol. 474, c. 75.] That, of course, was agriculture. We know also that fishing is favoured, and that in the case of certain branches of aviation, such as overseas flights, relief is given. I can only say that it is rather an insult to the intelligence of the receiver—or so I felt—to suggest that it was unheard of to make any allowance for a particular class. I remember hearing it stated that there was a bonus of £3,500,000 which would not now be required in that interesting arithmetical calculation which we were given on the basis that the relief of Income Tax was balanced against the Petrol Duty.

There is no question of ruining the Budget by the £10,000 to £12,000 which will be involved in this case. Although he was very occupied at the time and has since been away—and I hope he has benefited from it—I am hopeful that the right hon. and learned Gentleman may be able to treat the arguments in this case on their merits in the way that he used to do, and which we all knew so well, in another sphere. Even if at the start he may have taken the view that he was not in a position to do anything, I hope he will take into consideration the famous injunction of Cromwell about infallibility.

I do not ask the Committee to condemn the right hon. and learned Gentleman without his being heard, for, having been a pupil of his for many years at the bar, I would not like him to think I was not well grounded in legal principles. I ask him two things. Will he inform the House whether he has been in consultation with his colleagues, the Ministers of Civil Aviation, Defence and Air; whether they have agreed with his views in this matter, and what advice they have given him? Secondly, I ask him not to say that this matter was discussed two years ago and dealt with then. That was in another Parliament, and there are many reasons—in fact there are 300 reasons—why it should be reconsidered; and therefore I hope the right hon. and learned Gentleman will consider this case on its merits.

Mr. Gaitskell

The hon. and learned Member for Chertsey (Mr. Heald) can rest assured that we fully agree with him that the value of flying clubs is no matter for party dispute, any more than are our anxieties about the case of ex-Service men. We fully share his sentiment about the important work which these clubs have done and their potential value for the future of our defence. In the Amendment there are technical difficulties of a kind similar to those which my right hon. and learned Friend referred to in the previous Amendment. The Amendment suggests that aviation spirit supplied for the use of flying clubs should be exempted from the increase in duty. I presume that means when it is used in aircraft, and not for any other purposes. But that is a small point.

The real difficulty is the same as with the previous Amendment. Despite what is said to have been stated by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, it is extremely difficult to make exemptions in favour of particular users without considerable administrative costs and the risks of serious abuse. It would mean that there would have to be careful records kept by these flying clubs and inspections by Excise or Customs officers, and obviously with an advantage of this kind there would be risk of evasion. It may be asked by hon. Gentlemen, "Why should that be so when we are dealing with aviation spirit?" But aviation spirit could be mixed with motor spirit and used to drive motorcars.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in dealing with aircraft, if petrol is put into the tank it has to be written in the log-book and signed by a qualified engineer? The scope for "fiddling" is absolutely nil. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that the engineers' licences depend upon their honesty.

Mr. Gaitskell

I cannot agree that there would be no scope for "fiddling" in this particular case, and the plain fact is that it would not be prevented without a considerable expenditure of manpower. It is not a simple thing, and could not be done without involving considerable administrative difficulties. There would be an additional burden on the Customs and Excise officers and there would be a danger of abuse.

That does not mean that we are not sympathetic to the general proposition put forward, but we feel it could be dealt with more happily in other ways. At the present moment the Government do encourage these clubs with a grant of £30,000 a year, and, although we cannot accept the Amendment, my right hon. and learned Friend is prepared to consider, in consultation with the Secretary of State for Air, whether some increase could be made in this grant allowed for the training of Air Corps cadets in recognition of the increase in the expenditure of these clubs since the training scheme was launched.

I am quite clear that that is the sensible way to deal with this matter. We do not want the flying clubs to be penalised by this tax, and we recognise that to some extent they would be. We prefer, however, to deal with them, not by making an exemption in the way the Amendment suggests, but by considering whether we cannot instead increase the grant which is made to them. I very much hope that, with that explanation and assurance, the hon. and learned Member will be prepared to withdraw his Amendment.

Mr. Perkins (Stroud and Thornbury)

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us more about the grant to the flying clubs? I did not know that there was a grant.

Mr. Gaitskell

I do not know that there is much more that I can say. A grant of £30,000 a year is now given by the Air Ministry for training purposes.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan (Reigate)

We are glad to hear that there is a chance of the Government increasing the grant now made under the A.T.C. scholarship scheme; but I think it should be appreciated that the grant now amounts to £30,000 a year and, owing to the increase in the Petrol Duty, that is diminished in value. The present grant under the scholarship scheme alone is reduced by approximately £1,700 a year. But that is not the full story. The Petrol Duty will cost the clubs themselves something in the neighbourhood of £10,000 a year extra. If there are not flying clubs and junior clubs which are successful, the scheme will fall to the ground. I hope that if the Minister is going to be sympathetic towards an increased grant, he will not just give an increase to replace the £1,700, but will also do something in regard to the £10,000 extra cost which will fall on the clubs yearly.

Mr. Gaitskell

I endeavoured to make it clear that it would not apply only to the £1,700, but that the idea was to review the grant in the light of the increase in expenses since the training scheme started.

Mr. Rankin (Glasgow, Tradeston)

I wonder whether it would be possible for my right hon. Friend to make a further statement on this matter. I am sure that all hon. Members welcome the decision which has been taken, but while we admit the difficulties which will face the flying clubs, I hope that my right hon. Friend will recollect that this extra duty will inflict considerable hardship on the British European Airways Corporation. Its expenditure as a result of the imposition of this tax will increase by something like £130,000 a year.

The Deputy-Chairman

I do not understand how that matter arises on this Amendment.

Mr. Rankin

My point, Sir Charles, was to ask my right hon. Friend, if he made this concession, to consider extending it a little so as to embrace the Airways Corporation.

The Deputy-Chairman

That is rather outside the scope of the Amendment.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd (Mid-Bedford)

The hon. Member for Tradeston (Mr. Rankin) was speaking of Government corporations, which have actually unlimited rights on the national Exchequer, and he attempted to bring them into any concession granted in response to this Amendment. But we have not heard definitely of any concession. All we have heard is that the right hon. Gentleman will consult with the Air Minister about whether something can be done. This Amendment has been on the Order Paper for some considerable time. The effect of this increased tax on the flying clubs is well known to the Government. I think that we want, before my hon. and learned Friend decides whether or not to withdraw the Amendment, some assurance that something more than a good intention is in the mind of the Government and that they really believe it will be possible to offset this increased charge, not only in so far as the scholarship scheme is affected, but also as regards other charges to which these clubs have recently been subjected. If we are to co-operate at this stage of the Finance Bill, I think we ought to have some more definite assurance than that which the right hon. Gentleman has given.

10.45 p.m.

Air-Commodore Harvey

While not doubting the right hon. Gentleman's sincerity, may I say that I do not think he has gone far enough? In the last four-years we have had this same point debated annually, and on each occasion there has been the assurance that the matter was being considered in consultation with the Secretary of State for Air. That is all very well, but it just does not help the ordinary man who joins a flying club. I want something to be done to enable the man in his twenties or early thirties to learn to fly, with assistance to make up for the extra cost of the petrol. After all, these clubs are training men who would go to our fighter or bomber squadrons in time of emergency. Cannot we have something much more clear and definite? The right hon. Gentleman has not gone far enough in informing the Committee, and I ask for a further assurance that there will be something more definite.

Mr. Gaitskell

I am sorry that hon. Members opposite do not seem to be entirely satisfied. If I might read again the words which I gave, they might be more content. They are words which were very carefully chosen. My right hon. and learned Friend is prepared, in consultation with the Secretary of State for Air, to consider whether some increase could be made in the grant of £30,000 for the training of Air Corps cadets in recognition of the increase in the clubs' expenses since the training scheme was launched. Of course, the expenses include the Petrol Duty. The words are as wide as possible, and the reason we use this particular channel is that this is the channel through which the grant is made at present to the clubs. It could be argued that it might be possible to start some new system of grants through the Ministry of Civil Aviation, but I do not think that will be done. It is obviously desirable that the position of the clubs, and their financial situation, should be thoroughly gone into by the Secretary of State for Air.

I want to assure hon. Members that this is not a device to get through the Bill, or to evade any question which may be put to us by the Opposition. I want hon. Gentlemen to accept that this is simply the best way of dealing with the problem. We cannot deal with it on the lines of the Amendment, but that is by no means the end of the matter.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The right hon. Gentleman speaks of consideration being given to this matter; will he tell the Committee whether there is to be any limit to the time of that consideration?

Sir S. Cripps

There is the usual procedure, which is for any hon. Member to put down a motion on the Report stage.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman mean that if, in fact, this Amendment were withdrawn and brought forward again on Report stage, he would then give a definite statement to the House?

Sir S. Cripps

I should hope before that, but it is the usual procedure, as hon. Members know, that when an undertaking is given on Committee stage, the subject can be reintroduced on Report.

Mr. Geoffrey Cooper (Middlesbrough, West)

May I ask my right hon. and learned Friend whether there is not a wider issue? The reply of the Minister of State for Economic Affairs was that the question would be considered so far as it affects the training scheme. Is that all?

Sir S. Cripps


Mr. Cooper

May I, then, ask whether it can be reconsidered in the wider aspect of private flying clubs as well? There is, we should remember, a great deal of pioneer flying by these clubs and by individual members, and they should not be placed in an unfair position by this change.

Mr. Charles Ian Orr-Ewing (Hendon, North)

Does this include the gliding clubs? The Amendment includes them.

Mr. Gaitskell

indicated assent.

Mr. Heald

I should like to express my appreciation of the manner in which this matter has been dealt with and to say how glad I am that it is not necessary, as I hoped it would not be, to divide the Committee on a matter in which we are all interested. I am sure that we are all anxious to wish these clubs the best of luck, and the finest way to do that is to deal with this matter other than in an atmosphere of controversy. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Wood (Bridlington)

I beg to move, in page I, line 20, at the end, to insert: Provided that the rate of the duty shall remain at ninepence a gallon for hydrocarbon oils used for the propulsion of invalid chairs driven by disabled persons. I was much encouraged by the concession which the Chancellor was able to make in the earlier Debate on the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser), but I hope that what he said about the tricycle provided by the Ministry of Pensions will not, in his mind or in the mind of the Government, prejudge the issue and the principle which we are to discuss on this Amendment.

As I see it, and as my hon. Friend has already said, a different principle is involved here affecting mainly civilians, although there may be ex-Service men and women who have not so far been fortunate enough to receive a car or tricycle from the Ministry of Pensions. However, it is mainly a civilian problem. It is a greater problem even than that dealt with on the other Amendment because these men and women, unlike other people, have not received any help in their own transportation, and therefore they have to provide themselves with a tricycle or some means of conveyance, or they have to get their friends to help them to do so, and all the cost not only of providing that conveyance but also of maintaining it and running it—because no £45 is given to help them—falls on these people, who are probably in a very poor financial state.

I shall not try to go too deeply into the details of how the Amendment would he administratively possible—I do not know whether I should be in order in doing so—but I liked the suggestion by the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) when he talked about a rebate. If that is possible we should be willing to agree to any change of wording as long as the principle of the Amendment is accepted.

Many of these people—it is much more difficult than in the case of the previous Amendment to estimate the numbers involved—can get to their work or play only with their conveyance. Without it they are unable to get to their work and cannot have a day in the country or by the seaside. As so many of them are unable to walk, as all of them are unable to cycle and as very many of them are unable to travel by public transport, it is absolutely essential that they should have this conveyance and be able to continue to run it, otherwise they will be completely cut off from their work and their play.

These people are by fate deprived of a great deal that makes life worth living. They face great natural difficulties. Many of them suffer great pain, and quite a number of them, despite the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, find it genuinely difficult to get and to keep work. All of them face these difficulties; some of them all three, all of them one or more. The subsection which we are discussing makes these difficulties that much greater. The Amendment seeks to lessen those difficulties.

I ask the Government to remember their principle of fair shares, with which I certainly agree; but I would point out humbly that fair shares in this case are not, and never will be, the same as equal shares. One can give to these people the same shares as are given to other able-bodied people, and still these two sets of people will have unfair shares. The present Government, and past Governments, have recognised this principle that equal shares and fair shares are not the same thing. It has been recognised in disability pensions; it has been recognised in the principle behind the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act; and it has been recognised in the generous provision by the Ministry of Pensions of cars for disabled ex-Service men. All we are asking in this Amendment is that this principle shall be given effect to in the case of people who have lost the use of their limbs and who, therefore, should be given, not equal shares with able-bodied people, but fair shares relative to the rest of the community.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)

The intention of this Amendment is to protect from the increased incidence of the Petrol Duty a limited and admittedly unfortunate class of persons. The Committee will have noted, as my hon. Friend pointed out, that this Amendment, unlike that which the Committee discussed a little time ago, deals with disabled persons no matter in what circumstances their disability was contracted. Like my hon. Friend, I am not particularly wedded to the particular method set out in, the Amendment. What is important, and what raises an issue of not inconsiderable principle, is that this Committee, in deciding that in general the Petrol Duty shall be increased, decides whether or not this particular section of the community shall be exposed to that increased incidence.

I think that the case is stronger in that this is a class of persons which does not receive, in connection with their means of transport, any grant whatsoever from a Government Department. To that extent, the case is, in a way, perhaps stronger than that which was so well put by my hon. Friend on a previous Amendment. This is a class of persons who, if the Committee does not pass this Amendment, will find, without any counter-balancing receipt of funds from public sources, an increase in its cost of living. That is a point of considerable importance and I think it runs quite counter to the general principles of taxation which the right hon. and learned Gentleman adumbrated on the main Amendment a little time ago.

As I understand it, the right hon. and learned Gentleman put petrol in the same category as beer and tobacco, and indeed the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, on the Second Reading, put it in the category of luxuries. I am not concerned—and indeed I should be out of Order—to argue, whether in general that is a right classification or not. All that I want to say is that, with respect to the class of persons concerned in this Amendment, that is not true. By reason of their disability, petrol is not a luxury. Petrol is a necessity for getting to and from their work. Petrol is a basic necessity of any ordinary life for them, and therefore the principle which the right hon. and learned Gentleman rightly or wrongly applied to petrol in general manifestly does not apply to this particular category of persons, to whom petrol is a substitute—and a poor substitute at that—for the ordinary physical means of getting about which the more fortunate of us possess. I hope the right hon. and learned Gentleman will appreciate that there is a real distinction between these people and the rest of the community, whom he regards as having petrol as a luxury.

11.0 p.m.

I am not at all impressed by the threat of administrative difficulties. If it is possible for the Minister of Agriculture to protect from the increased incidence of this duty a very large section of the community, the farmers, it surely is not beyond the capacity of the Departments concerned to protect this very much smaller class, using very much less petrol and using it only in one particular kind of vehicle. I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, or whoever is to reply for the Government, will deal with the matter on the basis of principle and will not seek to hide behind administrative difficulties, which every hon. Member knows perfectly well the Government could overcome if they desired to overcome them, and which, indeed, they have overcome in the case of the farmers.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has argued in favour of an increased Petrol Duty in general on two grounds—that it will raise revenue and that it will decrease consumption. I submit that neither of those grounds applies to this category of persons. No Chancellor of the Exchequer would wish to select this category of persons as a source of revenue and no one would suggest that their consumption of petrol should be reduced when one appreciates that it is absolutely fundamental to their carrying on anything like a normal life. I hope the right hon. and learned Gentleman will appreciate that it would be very wrong for any Government, merely because it is the easy way out, to put an increased burden on this section of the community when the doing of it is quite contrary to all the principles by which the Government have supported the main tax itself.

There is this consideration, too, though I do not put so much weight on it. The right hon. and learned Gentleman cannot say that this proposal will upset the balance of the Budget. He cannot say that it will affect his proposals for alterations in Income Tax. I do not know what the amount involved is; if the Chancellor has given the Amendment as much consideration as it deserves, he will give these figures; but I shall be very surprised if the figures are at all substantial, because these vehicles use comparatively little petrol.

But that does not mean that the sum, though small against the background of the national Budget, is small to this class of persons. In the very nature of things, they are very often people for whom, as the Minister of Labour knows well, it is so difficult to get really remunerative work. It is quite a small sum from the Treasury point of view, but it is nothing like so small from the point of view of many of these unfortunate individuals who are desperately trying to balance their personal budgets against the background of rising prices. The Chancellor has a responsibility upon him to devise means to ensure that he does not apply to a. section of the community to whom it would do desperate harm an increase for which there is not the slightest justification either in principle or in expediency.

Mr. Arthur Colegate (Burton)

I support this Amendment. I agree that the administrative difficulties are not really serious. To suggest merely one means of overcoming them, it would be very easy to demand that doctors' certificates should be produced before the rebate in question was granted. That would not be difficult at all. The amount involved must be absolutely infinitesimal: I cannot conceive that it would amount altogether to as much as £20,000 in a year, and I think very probably less. As my hon. Friends have pointed out, we are dealing with a class of persons upon whom the rising cost of living is falling particularly heavily because they have no chance of increasing their incomes. They are usually found jobs of a very limited nature and it is very difficult for them to increase their incomes. We all know that a great many people on piece-work do a little more work when the cost of living rises.

Here we have a very limited class. There is hardly any possibility of abuse, or any serious chance of decreasing the amount of tax which, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman has told us, he expects will be yielded by de-rationing petrol. Out of that extra yield of £20 million, let the right hon. and learned Gentleman put aside this tiny percentage which is so small that I hardly dare mention it. As the Chancellor has done something for those using carriages supplied by the Ministry of Pensions, to leave out another group of invalids will create a feeling of jealousy and friction which will be easily avoided by a little imagination on his part, and an even smaller amount of money.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)

It would be difficult for those of us on this side of the Committee to listen to this discussion and not intervene, and to listen to concessions being made to flying clubs and not make any observation about this Amendment. I think I should not be unfair to the hon. Member for Bridlington (Mr. Wood), although he was careful and moderate, if I said that perhaps the amount of hardship has been exaggerated. These vehicles do a great many miles to the gallon indeed, and the additional cost is not going to be very much; but I agree with the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) that we are dealing with a class of the community who are likely to feel even a very small burden. However, I do not fully understand the point about the necessity for a medical certificate.

Mr. Colegate

It is really perfectly simple. A doctor's certificate might be regarded as necessary to show that the man was using an invalid carriage because he was an invalid, and by presenting it to the Post Office he could get the necessary rebate. It is perfectly simple if there is the will behind it.

Mr. Hale

That might very well be, but there is nothing about that in the terms of the Amendment as moved, and why a medical certificate is wanted at all I do not know. I cannot imagine people buying invalid carriages unless they have to do so. They are exceedingly difficult to get. There is a long waiting list for them, and people who are gravely disabled have the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining them.

It seems to me that there are two ways in which this matter could be quite simply dealt with. The first is possibly open to some objection. Perhaps the amount of hardship that is being caused to men in full employment is so slight that it might be disregarded, although it is quite true that they do tend to be in the lower-paid ranks of employment. But there would be no difficulty in the Chancellor consulting the Minister of National Insurance, or the Chairman of the National Assistance Board, and arranging quite simply that any persons in receipt of a Government grant through sickness or through need for public assistance—and I hope there would be included those unfortunate people who still rely on the Workmen's Compensation Act as it was before the Industrial Injuries Act came into force—should have some small additional allowance made to them. It would not be a very difficult thing to arrange for some small additional allowance to be made to these people using mechanically-propelled chairs. That would discriminate between those out of work and those in work.

There is a simpler method. I see no difficulty in any owner of a mechanically-propelled vehicle of this kind presenting his certificate at a post office and drawing an allowance which would compensate him for the small increase that is being put upon him by the increased duty. I hope my right hon. and learned Friend will consider this. We are being put in a difficulty in giving concessions to flying clubs, many of whose members are people of considerable wealth, and then wondering whether giving a concession to these invalids is going to prove too difficult. I hope some indication will be given by the right hon. and learned Gentleman that these practical methods of doing it will be considered.

Mr. Mott-Radclyffe (Windsor)

I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will show the same sympathy towards this Amendment as he did to the former one. I entirely agree with the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Leslie Hale) that the administrative aspect need raise no insuperable difficulty. The suggestion he has made is a practical one. Any Government has an over-riding obligation to pay-particular attention to that section of the community who, through no fault of their own, are suffering disability; whether they be ex-Service men or civilians makes little difference.

I draw the right hon. and learned Gentleman's attention particularly to the point made by my hon. Friend that the invalid chairs of these persons are their sole means of movement, either for going to work or for recreation. If by any means one deprives them of their chairs, or if the cost of running them becomes outside their means, one deprives them of movement altogether. It is also true—and I hope the Chancellor will not deny this—that the majority of these disabled persons are week in and week out fighting a steadily losing battle against the rising cost of living, a rise which is going to be increased still further by the general incidence of the increase in the Petrol Duty. I am sure that he-would be the last person to suggest that rationing by price should apply exclusively to that section of the population which is disabled. For that reason I appeal to him in company with other hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, to view the Amendment with great sympathy.

11.15 p.m.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

This matter came to my notice from the ex-Service point of view, and I want to appeal to the Chancellor because it has a local aspect as far as he and I are concerned. As the Chancellor knows, there are in the City of Bristol some eight homes occupied by disabled men of the First World War. On the Saturday following the Budget, two or three of these men came to see me in their invalid chairs to put to me the difficulties they will have to face if this increase goes through. Quite obviously, this is a very different case from the previous case of the motorcars. As the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Leslie Hale) has said, the consumption of petrol is very small in this case. I went into it with these men, and we found that the consumption was two gallons a week on an average.

We sat down and worked it out, finding that the cost per annum would be £3 18s, That is not a very alarming figure, but it is, nevertheless, another impost falling on these disabled men at this very difficult time when the cost of living is increasing. These men do not benefit from the argument adduced by the Minister of State for Economic Affairs earlier. There is no question of the increase in the Petrol Duty giving them Income Tax relief, because they are below the Income Tax level in a large number of cases.

There are, of course, administrative difficulties. The hon. Member for Oldham, West, was quite right in suggesting that some of the difficulties could be got over by using the Post Office. There might, for instance, have to be a standard mileage laid down for relief. I am sure that my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment would not quarrel with some arrangement of that kind. After all, we did have our way, after a great deal of pressure, in the matter of tobacco for old age pensioners. We were told that it was administratively impossible to give that relief, but the difficulty was got round, and so I am sure it could be in this case.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, South)

The fact that Ministers have spoken early on previous Amendments on which there have been concessions makes me fear somewhat about the fate of this Amendment. I am wondering precisely on what grounds the Chancellor can turn down the Amendment. He could surely not do so on the grounds of administrative difficulties, because many suggestions have been made from both sides as to methods by which a rebate could be given. It is true to say that we shall have to devise some standard mileage in granting a rebate and apply it all round. That is a method which will do rough justice, and no doubt in the course of a year or so the process could be fined down to give a fairer treatment all round. But even rough justice is something worth while at the present time.

I cannot believe that the Chancellor will try to differentiate between this class of persons and the class for whom he has made a concession. Surely we have got to a stage where we should not regard concessions to ex-Service men as something due to them for their service in the war so much as for the circumstances in which they now find themselves. If we consider the matter from that point of view, how can it be said that their circumstances are different from those of disabled persons in the civilian grades of life? There may be Civil Defence workers and others who have these vehicles and ought to be given this concession. Why miners, builders and industrial workers of all kinds and classes should be thought to be in a different position from ex-Service men at the present time, I do not understand. I hope that, even though he has chosen to speak late in this Debate, the right hon. and learned Gentleman is going to give us the concession for which we ask and which I am sure hon. Members on this side will desire to press.

Mr. Hollis (Devizes)

When my hon. Friend moved the previous Amendment he expressed the hope, which I am sure was shared by an overwhelming majority of members of the Committee, that we should not treat it in a party spirit, and the same holds good about this Amendment. On the previous Amendment, the only hon. Member opposite, who spoke, apart from the Chancellor, was the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway), whom I am sorry to see is no longer in his place.

His argument was twofold. On the one hand, he objected to my hon. Friend's Amendment on the ground that it was not wide enough and dealt merely with ex-Service men. If that is the only difficulty, all he has to do is to support this Amendment as well. To what extent he spoke for all hon. Members opposite I do not know, but he was the only hon. Member to speak On the other hand, he said that he could not support the Amendment on account of administrative difficulties. From the experience on previous Amendments, we must foresee the possibility that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will say that there are administrative difficulties about accepting this Amendment in its present form. It is not necessary to argue this because the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Leslie Hale) has finally clinched that point and provided a way in which the substance of this concession can certainly be made without administrative difficulties.

Therefore, whatever the form, I hope that the Chancellor will see his way to give satisfaction to the opinion, which seems to be so widely held in the Committee, that a concession should be made on this point as the logical complement to the concession he made on the previous Amendment.

Sir S. Cripps

This, again, is a very difficult question and one which naturally entrains the sympathy of those to whom it is put. First of all, may I give the facts of the situation so that we may all know what we are discussing?

There are from 5,500 to 6,000 petrol-driven invalid chairs at present in use in the country. Of these, 1,272 are supplied by the Ministry of Pensions to pensioners who are disabled ex-Service men. A further 1,151 are supplied under the National Health Scheme by the Ministry of Pensions as agents for the Ministry of Health. In both cases the chairs are issued, maintained and repaired free of charge to the users. Over and above that, in the case of the users of invalid chairs who qualify for payments by the Assistance Board, the cost of petrol for travelling to work and for moderate and reasonable recreation is provided for in calculating their allowances, and of course it will be provided for at the higher cost now that the petrol costs more. So that provision is already made as regards the users of these invalid chairs.

The proposal of the hon. Member for Bridlington (Mr. Wood), who naturally entrains our sympathy because of his own sufferings in this matter, is that in addition a sum of about one-eighth of a penny per mile should be paid, in one way or another, to these persons in order to make up for the extra tax which will be imposed upon the petrol they use. This would be a completely new departure compared with that with which we have dealt on an earlier Amendment, where already a contribution was made to the running of the vehicles, which are much more expensive vehicles to run because they are motorcars and not tricycles. I then said specifically that we were prepared to adjust payments where these are already made but were not prepared to initiate new payments for this one-eighth of a penny a mile in cases where payments had never been made. This applies to the whole of these invalid chairs.

This increase is not a matter of sufficient importance—indeed the hon. and gallant Member for Bristol, Northwest (Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite) gave a measure of its size—on which to start a new principle. Nor indeed, if once one did introduce a new principle and give some form of subsidy, would it be possible to stop at those people who have invalid chairs. There are people who are invalids who have motorcars; there are people who are invalids who use other people's motorcars and are taken about in them. There are a number of other cases besides these which it would be difficult to define, and immediately a grant was made in this case they would be raised by hon. Members in all parts of the House.

Much as I regret it, I feel that it would not be right to start on a new principle of giving grants in those cases in respect of this extra cost of one-eighth of a penny a mile, and that the Committee should satisfy itself with remedying those cases where already grants are made, leaving the others to be dealt with as hard cases by the National Assistance Board, and otherwise to continue the principle of supplying to these people, where required, a tricycle, with repair and maintenance free of charge, and let the cost of the petrol fall on the actual user. I hope that, with that explanation of the position as it is now, the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his Amendment.

Captain Crookshank (Gainsborough)

I am afraid that the right hon. and learned Gentleman's reply will go no way at all towards satisfying the case which my hon. Friends have so eloquently put forward, and which was supported from the other side of the Committee. I noticed that in his speech the Chancellor said two or three times that all that was involved was one-eighth of a penny a mile, as if he was trying to reduce the problem and make it appear that it did not exist at all although my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North - West (Lieut. - Commander Braithwaite) did produce actual budgets of working people for whom it was likely to involve a cost of £3 10s. 0d. a year. While it is true that there are cases where this involves chairs provided by the Ministry of Pensions as agents of the Ministry of Health, there are still others who are left out. It. is not a large number, for the right hon. and learned Gentleman has given us a grand total, so he could not argue it from the point of view of cost. I did not expect he would.

11.30 p.m.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman took his stand on the new principle and said that giving grants in cases like this would be dangerous because, he asked, why should they stop at invalid chairs?—there are invalids who use motorcars and others who are taken about in other people's motorcars. That may well be the case, but I should not have thought that one need trouble at this stage too much about it, because there cannot be such a great hardship in the case of people who are travelling about in motorcars. Obviously, a disabled person who can get the use of a motorcar, or who can have a motorcar to take him to his work or his recreation, or whatever it may be, will do so in preference to using an invalid chair. I imagine that those who use invalid chairs are largely those who have not got

the use of a motorcar. I can, of course, think of exceptions. There was, for example, a former hon. Member of this House who used an invalid chair. However, I do not think the right hon. and learned Gentleman need worry too much about an extension of the principle being asked for next year or the year after.

It has been established, although the Chancellor says that the additional cost is only one-eighth of a penny a mile, that those who have the lowest incomes and are disabled and have to use these invalid chairs are going to be worse off because of the increase in the duty. It would have been reasonable for the right hon. and learned Gentleman to say that between now and the Report stage he would see whether one or other of the administrative devices which have been suggested could be explored. I do not know at what rate these invalid chairs are licensed. It may be that some concession in the rate of the annual licence would provide a simple way out of the difficulty.

I should have liked the right hon. and learned Gentleman at least to have said that he would look into the matter again. I appeal to him, before he finally closes his mind at this stage of the Debate, to tell us that, having made the speech which he probably intended to make before the Debate started and having heard the other speeches which have been made, including my own, he will reconsider the matter and save us further discussion tonight. Will the right hon and learned Gentleman do that?

Sir S. Cripps

I am always prepared, as the right hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, to reconsider matters; but I think it would be rather misleading if I promised to reconsider this matter at this stage and so gave the impression that I was likely to alter my view.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 286; Noes, 300.

Division No. 19.] AYES [11.34 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Baldock, J. M. Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth)
Alport, C. J. M. Baldwin, A. E. Birch, Nigel
Amery, J. (Preston, N.) Banks, Col. C Bishop, F. P.
Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Baxter, A. B. Black, C. W.
Arbuthnol, John Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Bell, R. M. Bocthby, R.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston) Bossom, A. C
Astor, Hon. M Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport) Bowen, R.
Baker, P. Bennett. W. G. (Woodside) Bower, N.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Hill, Dr. C. (Luton) Nugent, G. R. H.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Oakshott, H. D.
Braine, B. Hirst. Geoffrey Odey, G. W.
Braithwaile, Lt.-Comdr. J. G Hogg, Hon. Q. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Hollis, M. C. Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Brooke, H. (Hampstead) Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Browne, J. N. (Covan) Hope, Lord J Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Hopkinson, H. Osborne, C.
Bullock, Capt. M. Hornsby-Smith, Miss P. Perkins, W. R. D.
Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E Horsbrugh, Miss F. Peto, Brig. C. H. M
Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A. Howard, G. R. (St. Ives) Pickthorn, K.
Butcher, H. W. Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire) Pitman, I. J.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Hudson, Sir A. U. M. (Lewisham, N.) Powell, J. Enoch
Carr, L. R. (Mitcham) Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Prescott, Stanley
Carson, Hon. E. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
Channon, H Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Hurd, A. R. Profumo, J. D.
Clarke, Col. R. S. (East Grinstead) Hutchinson, G. (Ilford, N.) Raikes, H. V.
Clarke, Brig. T. H. (Portsmouth. W.) Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Rayner, Brig. R.
Clyde, J. L. Hyde, H. M. Redmayne, M.
Colegate, A. Hylton-Foster, H. B. Remnant, Hon. P
Cooper, A. E. (Ilford, S.) Jeffreys, General Sir G. Renton, D. L. M.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Jennings, R. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Cornell, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Johnson, H. S. (Kemptown) Roberts, P. G. (Heeley)
Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne) Jones, A. (Hall Green) Robertson, Sir D. (Caithness)
Cranborne, Viscount Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Kaberry, D. Robson-Brown, W.
Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Keeling, E. H. Rodgers, J. (Sevenoaks)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Roper, Sir H.
Crouch, R. F. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Crowder, F. P. (Ruislip, N'thwood) Lambert, Hon. G. Russell, R. S,
Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (F'chley) Lancaster, Col. C. G. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D
Cundiff, F. W. Langlord-Holt, J. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D
Cuthbert, W. N. Law, Rt Hon. R. K. Scott, Donald
Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh. S.) Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle)
Davidson, Viscountess Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (M'tgomery) Lindsay, Martin Smith, E. Martin (Grantham)
Davies, Nigel (Epping) Linstead, H. N. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Deedes, W. F Llewellyn, D. Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington)
Digby, S. Wingfield Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Snadden, W. McN
Donner, P. W. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Soames, Capt. C.
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Spearman, A. C. M.
Drayson, G. B. Longden, G. J. M. (Herts, S. W.) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Drewe, C. Low, A. R. W. Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.) Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Stevens, G. P
Dunglass, Lord Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Duthie, W. S. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. McAdden, S. J. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter McCallum, Maj. D. Storey, S.
Erroll, F. J. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Fisher, Nigel Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh) Stuart, Rt. Hon J (Moray)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Studholme, H. G.
Fort, R. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Summers, G. S.
Foster, J. G. McKibbin, A. Sutcliffe, H.
Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Maclean, F. H. R. Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Gage, C. H. MacLeod, I. (Enfield, W.) Teeling, William
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) MacLeod, J. (Ross and Cromarty) Thompson, K. P. (Walton)
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)
Gammans, L. D. Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Tnorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Gates, Maj. E. E. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Thorp, Brigadier R. A F
Glyn, Sir R. Marlowe, A. A. H. Tilney, John
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A Marples, A. E. Touche, G. C.
Gridley, Sir A. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Turton, R. H.
Grimond, J. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans) Maude, A. E. U. (Ealing, S.) Vane, W. M. F.
Grimston, R. V. (Westbury) Maude, J. C. (Exeter) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K
Harden, J R. E. Maudling, R. Vosper, D. F.
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Medlicott, Brigadier F Wade, D. W.
Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) Mellor, Sir J Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)
Harris, R. R. (Heston) Molson, A. H. E. Wakefield, Sir W. W. (St. Marylebone)
Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.) Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen) Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Hay, John Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Head, Brig. A. H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Waterhouse, Capt. C
Heald, L. F. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Watkinson, H.
Heath, Colonel E. G. R. Nabarro, G. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Henderson, John (Cathoart) Nicholls, H. Webbe, Sir H. (London)
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Nicholson, G. White, J. Baker (Canterbury)
Higgs, J. M. C. Nield, B. (Chester) Williams, C. (Torquay)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
wills, G. Wood, Hon. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wilton, O. (Truro) York, C. Major Conant and
Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick) Major Wheatley.
Acland, Sir Richard Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)
Adams, Richard Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Lever, N. H. (Cheetham)
Albu, A. H. Ewart, R. Lewis, A. W. J. (West Ham, N.)
Allen, A C. (Bosworth) Edwards, John (Brighouse) Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Fernyhough, E. Lindgren, G. S.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Field, Capt. W. J. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Finch, H. J. Logan, D. G.
Awbery, S. S. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington. E.) Longden, F. (Small Heath)
Ayles, W. H. Follick, M McAllister, G.
Bacon, Miss A. Foot M. M MacColl, J E.
Baird, J. Forman, J. C. McGhee, H G
Balfour, A. Fraser, T. (Hamilton) McGovern, J.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Freeman, J. (Watford) McInnes, J.
Bartley, P Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mack, J. D.
Belinger, Rt. Hon. F. J Gaitskell, Rt Hon. H T. N. McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Benton, G Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.)
Beswick, F. Gibson, C. W. McLeavy, F.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Gilzean, A MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Bing, G. H. C. Glanville, J. E. (Consett) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Blackburn, A. R Gooch, E. G MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Blenkinsop, A. Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mainwaring, W. H.
Blyton, W. R. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Rossendale) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Boardman, H. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Booth, A. Grenfell, D. R. Mann, Mrs. J.
Bottomley, A. G. Grey, C F. Manuel, A C
Bowden, H W. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Marquand, Rt Hon. H. A.
Bowles, F G. (Nuneaton) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Mathers, Rt. Hon. George
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Griffiths, W D. (Exchange) Mellish, R. J.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Gunter, R. J Messer, F.
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Hale, J. (Rochdale) Middleton, Mrs. L
Broughton, Dr A. D. D. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mikardo, Ian
Brown, George (Belper) Hall, J. (Gateshead, W.) Mitchison, G. R.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hall, Rt. Hn. W. Glenvil (Colne V'll'y) Moeran, E. W
Burke, W. A Hamilton, W. W. Monslow, W
Burton, Miss E Hardman, D R. Moody, A. S.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Hardy, E. A Morgan, Dr. H B.
Callaghan, James Hargreaves, A. Morley, R.
Carmichael, James Harrison, J. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Hastings, Dr. Somerville Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S)
Champion, A. J. Hayman, F. H Mort, D. L.
Chelwynd, G. R. Henderson, Rt. Hon A. (Rowley R.) Moyle, A.
Clunie, J. Herbison, Miss M. Mulley, F. W.
Cocks, F. S Hewitson, Capt. M Murray, J. D.
Coldrick, W Hobson, C. R Nally, W.
Collick, P Holman, P Neal, H.
Collindridge, F Holmes, H E. (Hemsworth) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Cook, T. F Hoy, J. O'Brien, T.
Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.) Hubbard, T. Oldfield, W. H.
Cooper. J. (Deptford) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.) Oliver, G. H.
Corbet, Mrs. F K. (Peckham) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Orbach, M.
Cove, W G Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Padley, W. E
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hughes, R. M. (Islington, N) Paget, R. T
Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S Hyud, H. (Accrington) Paling, Rt. Hn. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly)
Crosland, C. A. R. Hynd, J. B (Attercliffe) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Crossman, R. H. S. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Panned, T. C
Cullen, Mrs. A. Irving W J (Wood Green) Pargiter, G. A
Daines, P. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G A Parker, J.
Dation, Rt. Hon. H. Janner, B Paton, J.
Darling. G. (Hillsboro') Jay, D. P. T. Pearson, A
Davies, A Edward (Stoke, N.) Jeger, G. (Goole) Peart, T F
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St Pancras, S.) Poole, Cecil
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jenkins, R. H. Popplewell, E.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Johnson, J. (Rugby) Porter, G.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
de Freitas, Geoffrey Jones, G T. (Hartlepool) Proctor, W. T.
Deer, G. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W Ham, S.) Pryde, D. J.
Delargy, H. J Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Pursey, Comdr. H.
Dodds, N. N. Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Rankin, J
Donnelly, D. Keenan, W Rees, Mrs D
Donovan, T. N Kenyon, C. Reeves, J.
Driberg, T E. N. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Reid, T. (Swindon)
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich) King, H. M Reid, W. (Camlachie)
Dye, S. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Rhodes, H.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Kinley, J. Richards, R.
Edelman, M. Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D Robens, A.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Lang, Rev. G. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Lee, F. (Newton) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Evans. Albert (Islington, S. W.) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Rogers, G. H R. (Kensington, N.) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Ross, William (Kilmarnock) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Whiteley, Rt. Hon W
Shackleton, E. A. A. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare) Wigg, George
Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H Thomas, I O. (Wrekin) Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.
Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E Thomas, I. R. (Rhondda, W.) Wilkes, L.
Shurmer, P. L. E. Thomas, T. George (Cardin) Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Silverman, J. (Erdington) Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Thurtle, Ernest Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Simmons, C J Timmons, J Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Slater, J. Tomney, F Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Turner-Samuels, M. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Snow, J. W. Usborne, Henry Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Huyton)
Sorensen, R. W. Vernon, Maj. W. F. Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham, C.)
Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Viant, S. P. Winterbottom, R. E. (Brightside)
Sparks, J. A Wallace, H. W. Wise, Major F. J.
Steele T Watkins, T. E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.) Woods, Rev. G. S.
Stokes, Rt. Hon R. R Weitzman, D. Wyatt, W. L.
Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Wells, P. L (Faversham) Yates, V. F.
Strauss, Rt. Hon. G R. (Vauxhall) Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Stross, Dr. B. West, D. G.
Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Sylvester, G O. White, Mrs E. (E Flint) Mr. Hannan and
Mr. Royle.

11.45 p.m.

The Chairman

I take it that the Committee will agree to discuss the next three Amendments together. The first one is in the name of the right hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton), and the others are in the names of the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll)—in page 2, line 37, at end, add: (7) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any light oils used in any aircraft or used in connection with the construction or testing of any engine intended to be fitted in an aircraft or motor vehicle. and the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles)—in page 2, line 37, at end. add: (7) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any light oils used in an agricultural tractor, agricultural stationary engine or other appliance used on farms or for forestry purposes.

Mr. Lyttelton

I beg to move, in page 2. line 37, at the end, to add: (7) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to:—

  1. (a) any white spirit; and
  2. (b) any light oils, other than white spirit, which are not used as fuel in mechanically propelled vehicles constructed or adapted for use on roads."
The object of the Amendment is to exempt from the tax, first of all, any white spirit, and secondly, any other light oils which fall outside the category of white spirit and which are not used as fuel upon the roads. I think it is correct to say that technically the difference between hydrocarbon oils and white spirits is that white spirits are oils which do not give off an inflammable vapour at temperatures of less than 22.8 degrees centigrade. I find it easier, to think of white spirit as a liquid between motor spirit and kerosene. Here again, in imposing a tax, we see how little is meant by all these protestations about the need for lower costs and increased exports, because the use of these white spirits and other industrial oils covers the users of a very great number of industries. These oils are used, for example, in paint manufacture and rubber manufacture, in dyeing and cleaning, in boot and floor polish, in paint processing, gelatine and glue manufacture, seed crushing, linoleum manufacture, wallpaper, printing ink, cellulose lacquer, and enamel white.

Taking the white spirit alone, according to my information, the consumption of this industry amounts to about 42,500,000 gallons per annum. I am bold enough to hope the Government will see their way to accept this Amendment because they appear already to have accepted the principle. For example, a rebate is granted for fuel used in fishing vessels and lifeboats and also for aircraft flying outside the United Kingdom. So the Government have already shown that they accept the principle of no duty where the imposition of the duty hampers productive industry. It appears to us on this side of the Committee that once this principle is conceded over a limited number of industries, it should apply to all industries using these white oils. It appears that the case is absolutely unassailable and overwhelming.

The next Amendment on the Paper, the arguments in favour of which will be developed by my hon. Friends, deals with aviation spirit, and I do not want to anticipate their arguments. I merely wish to say that the effect of the duty is particularly severe upon the manufacturer, because it is a curious fact that no less than 65 per cent., according to my information, of the taxed aviation spirit which is used in this country is used for the bench-testing of aeroplane engines or in trial flights by the manufacturers of aircraft.

Of course, the agricultural position is not yet quite clear, because heavy oils used as tractor fuel are already exempt from duty and a means is being adopted of giving a rebate, of which we are not yet in possession of the details, for light oils used in tractors. There would not appear to be any difference between this side of the Committee and the Government on the principle that the duty should not fall upon producers, but we require, in these and other matters, rather more detail.

I want to turn to the matter of stationary engines and trucks used in industrial plants. Here again, it seems to me, that the tax places an extra cost upon industry, whose exports we all agree it is necessary to increase, and in that way it is really another very great folly. Recently I have been reading with very close attention a number of reports of the Anglo-American Productivity Council and all through these reports there runs the theme that we should try in every way to increase our mechanical handling and to reduce handling charges in our industry as much as we can. A very large technique has grown up in the U.S.A., even more than here, in these kinds of handling, and in handling operations in plants these trucks are used extensively.

I think that at every point where this Amendment touches our production we find that the tax imposes a very serious increase of costs upon industry, first of all in the white spirit and light oils actually used for various industries, and secondly by charging a tax upon these mechanical vehicles which will be used for handling. I do not think that the administrative difficulties, which I think may be considerable, should in any way blur what should be a common principle that this tax should not fall upon productive industry and should not tend at this time to increase costs of production in a number of industries which I have cited and also increase handling costs within the plant of a great many other industries.

Mr. Erroll (Altrkicham and Sale)

I think that in examining the proposals we have put forward from this side of the Committee it is necessary that we should realise that a tax which was designed originally to raise revenue from road fuel is in fact collecting money from a wide range of activities, which was never the purpose of the original duty. "Light hydrocarbon oil" is, of course, a classification appropriate perhaps to 1928 when the duty was originally imposed, but it is certainly not appropriate to 1950 when there have been such considerable advances in oil technology and when the range of uses of light hydrocarbon oils has been so surprising and amazingly extended.

Of the many activities which were never envisaged at the time for tax, the industrial use forms only one, but it is an extremely important use which has been outlined by my right hon. Friend. White spirit, and of course special boiling-point spirits, will be duly taxed at the rate of 1s. 6d. a gallon and the tax will therefore be needlessly inflating industrial costs at a time when the Government, as well as everyone else, have said how necessary it is to cut down industrial costs as far as possible.

It is, I know, the practice to give a refund of duty when finished articles containing a known amount of industrial solvent are exported, but there are many cases where this is not practicable—cases where, for example, the solvent is present to a relatively small extent, or is actually dissipated in the manufacturing process in this country. This is particularly serious in the case of the manufacture of rubber articles where as often as not the solvent has evaporated during the process and cannot be recovered. Industrial solvents are also used in the manufacture of linoleum, wallpaper and a wide variety of other articles. The tax is an important element in industrial costs. It is estimated that 42 million gallons were used last year, and this will bring an additional yield of £3 million to the Revenue, if the Amendment is not accepted.

In addition to the uses of white spirit and S.B.P. spirits, there is a growing use of petrol as a fuel for stationary engines and runabout factory vehicles. One has only to visit the Mechanical Handling Exhibition now in progress at Olympia to realise the wide development there is in this field. It seems nothing short of iniquitous that this equipment should carry a tax of 1s. 6d. a gallon on its fuel.

There is another small industrial use Which is swept into the range of taxed raw materials, and that is the preparation of medicinal linaments and embrocations. Where these are manufactured from alcohol, the duty can be refunded, but where turpentine is used duty has to be paid at 1s. 6d. a gallon. These turpentine-based linaments and embrocations are being increasingly prescribed under the National Health Service and thus medicaments more expensive than they need be are being prescribed. It should not be difficult to provide relief as it has already been given for other uses. There are no serious administrative difficulties, and other countries give this relief, especially those industrial countries with whom we are in increasing competition in common markets.

I should like now to deal with the Amendment standing in my name and the names of my hon. Friends. We see an industry which has developed clearly since 1928, but which has nevertheless been subjected to a fuel tax of 1s. 6d. a gallon. It seems most inappropriate that a tax originally evolved to raise revenue for road construction should in fact apply to airplanes, and then, of course, not to all airplanes. There is the additional disadvantage to this rough-and-ready system of tax collection that in respect of airplanes which use heavy hydrocarbon oils, such as paraffin in jet-propelled engines, no tax is borne, whereas piston-engined aircraft using aviation spirit are compelled to pay the tax at the full rate.

A further element of anomaly is that airplanes which are leaving this country for flights abroad get the full rebate of tax. It is only those airplanes on services solely over the United Kingdom that have to pay the duty. This is a very serious handicap to charter firms which have already been prevented by the Ministry of Civil Aviation from putting up their fares to recoup their ever-increasing running expenses. It should also be a serious matter for B.E.A.C.'s internal services, although it is not so greatly important to them, perhaps, because it means that they will only reach their "target deficit" instead of not exceeding it. Anyhow, any difference will always be made good by the Exchequer.

But a far more serious aspect of this tax is the extent to which it inflates the cost of manufacture and testing of new aircraft. Britain is pre-eminent in the design and construction of modern and ever better aircraft. This can only be achieved with the most thorough testing not only of the power plant but later of the aircraft themselves. All this testing both of engines and craft must be carried out with fuel taxed at the rate of 1s. 6d. a gallon.

12 midnight.

This is a serious imposition on one of Britain's vital industries. It is estimated that some 15 million gallons of fuel so used would yield about £2,250,000, which is surely a heavy additional impost. There is no doubt that tax relief would be easy to achieve administratively. Aviation spirit is not suitable for use in motorcars. It is unlikely that there would be any evasion, or any transfer of spirit from the pumps of reputable companies into the tanks of the executives or employees. In any case the Customs have a perfect remedy in the system adopted in other fields of requiring a large bond from manufacturers or others which would be forfeit if there were any slackness in the administration of any tax relief scheme. Other countries, notably the United States and New Zealand, give tax relief on petrol used for aviation, and there seems to be no reason why we should not do the same.

I want to turn now to agriculture. During the previous Parliament I pressed the Chancellor to give a measure of fuel tax relief in regard to petrol used for tractors, and I was interested that in his Budget speech the right hon. and learned Gentleman did propose a measure of relief from the increase in the present duty to agricultural tractors. That is welcome as far as it goes, but the method he proposes of a flat rate subsidy is clumsy, and I am informed that it is proving difficult to work out between the interested parties. It would surely be much better to adopt a more comprehensive system of tax relief, which would take into account not only agricultural tractors but also stationary engines and agricultural appliances which consume petrol as their main fuel.

The position in agriculture is particularly anomalous. There are three main types of agricultural tractor—the paraffin-powered, the petrol-powered, and the diesel. The paraffin tractor goes tax-free in regard to fuel. The diesel also uses a tax-free fuel. One type alone is singled out for discriminatory treatment: the petrol-driven tractor must use fuel bearing tax at the full rate. Had there been no discriminatory taxation, little use would have been made of the paraffin-driven tractor, and we see, therefore, an example of what can only be called "taxation engineering" and development jeopardised by the high rate of tax levied on one fuel alone. The kerosene tractor is difficult to start, and there is also the idle running time necessary with the paraffin-powered tractor, heavy maintenance charges, and serious dilution of lubricating oil.

There are great manufacturing advantages to be gained by concentrating on petrol-powered tractors, which would enable British firms making tractors to compete more satisfactorily with their American competitors. It seems wrong that a mere accident of classification should entail that one type of tractor only should have its fuel taxed. The amounts involved are not excessive and could certainly be contemplated by the Treasury. Some 58 million gallons of petrol were used last year, which bore tax of about £2 million at the old rate. At the new rate, the tax yield will be about £4 million.

I have mentioned particularly tractors, but the same argument applies to all other types of agricultural machinery. That is why I suggest it would be much more satisfactory, to achieve the result the Chancellor desires, to allow the farmer to buy his fuel at the full taxed price, and then to claim a rebate in the same way as is done in the case of other fuels and commodities for which a drawback is given. It might be added, in passing, that the farmer already obtains a tax relief in respect of diesel fuel for diesel tractors and handles this rebate in a perfectly honest and decent way. There seems to be no reason why he should not send in his application for a rebate on Petrol Duty in the same thorough and honest manner.

It might be said that this represents one more form for the farmer to fill in, but there would be no compulsion for him to do so, although it would be to his advantage to get the rebate. It should not be difficult for the Customs to devise adequate safeguards for a system which they have already applied successfully in other parts of our economy, particularly as this system of tax relief has been adopted successfully for farmers in other countries which have concentrated upon efficient agricultural production.

I suggest that as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has met with considerable difficulty in evolving a satisfactory system of tractor subsidy, he should give consideration to this alternative method which has advantages over his proposals. In all these proposals affecting industrial, aviation and agricultural uses, the sums involved are not large. The difficulty arises from the ever-widening field of use of hydrocarbon oils. I suggest that we should tidy up these anomalies and help to cut down the costs of industry, aviation and agriculture.

Mr. G. Cooper

I did not altogether follow the arguments of the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll), particularly in his reference to the Corporations. He tended to indicate that the Corporations, particularly B.E.A.C., were not very concerned whether they made a profit or a loss. In my recent contacts with B.E.A.C., I find that members of the staff at all levels are extremely anxious to show a profit at the earliest date. This is an Amendment that might almost have been put down by the Chancellor himself, in so far as it is part of the Government's policy to show an early success in their nationalised undertaking. It is a strong argument to suggest that by making a concession to the Corporations on Petrol Duty they will be able to show an earlier profit.

Sir W. Wakefield

Would the hon. Gentleman include private charter air companies as well as State airlines in this concession?

Mr. Cooper

I do not see any reason why they should be excluded. Earlier in the Committee's deliberations, we heard there were to be discussions between the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Air in regard to a concession to flying clubs. If the Chancellor showed some sympathy with the case for flying clubs, surely his sympathy should be more pronounced in this instance. Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether this is a case in which without introducing any undue administrative problems, he could give a concession to the nationalised Corporations in the way I suggest?

In the case of B.E.AC., I understand the increase in tax will make as great a difference as £3 an hour on flying time, and in the course of a year the amount will be something like £130,000. This additional expenditure will mean an increase in the deficit that has to be charged to the public. It is a transaction which simply takes that amount out of the pockets of the Corporations and puts it into the public purse, and in turn the public purse will pay it out to meet the deficit of the Corporations. This is an unnecessary series of transactions from which nobody will benefit except perhaps a few additional civil servants who will be required to do the work.

The case for B.O.A.C. is not so strong. They already receive a concession on overseas operations; but in testing aircraft in this country and in running passenger buses, they will be affected by this increase in the Petrol Duty. Therefore, I put it to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that it would be in the interests of these nationalised undertakings to make this concession. In regard to the charter companies, there should not be any differentiation between them and the nationalised undertakings in this case. They receive their licences to operate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and, so far as they are earning foreign currency and doing useful public work, they should be encouraged. I hope the right hon. and learned Gentleman will take these points into account in considering the Amendment.

Mr. Hurd (Newbury)

I desire to speak on the third of the three Amendments now being discussed—that in the name of the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles), which seeks to exempt from the increase of 9d. in the duty any light oils used in an agricultural tractor, agricultural stationary engine or other appliance used on farms or for forestry purposes. I would make it clear that we are not asking for any financial concession. The Chancellor has already allowed £3,500,000 a year to be paid from the public purse to farmers to compensate them for the additional 9d. a gallon they will have to pay on fuel used in certain tractors and farm machinery. What we suggest in this Amendment is that there is a more straightforward way of refunding to the farmers this extra cost and a practicable way of doing it without running into yet another agricultural subsidy scheme.

12.15 a.m.

This direct refund of Petrol Duty to farmers operates quite satisfactorily in several other countries where there are petrol duties, notably in Scandinavia, the United States and Canada. I have here particulars of the scheme which operates in the Province of Ontario. The refund of 11 cents a gallon tax which is charged under the Gasoline Tax Act is worked in this way. Where it is shown to the satisfaction of the Minister—that is, the Minister of Agriculture—that gasoline has been purchased for purposes other than the motive power for motor vehicles on the highways of Ontario, and has not nor will not be used for such purpose, the Minister may on application of purchaser of such gasoline remit the tax paid by the purchaser. The purchaser has to make application in due form within six months of the purchases, and there are safeguards.

The Government are entitled to carry out investigations and take evidence on oath if there is a suggestion of fraud. There are heavy penalties imposed where fraud is proved: the penalty for a false return on the first offence is a fine of not less than 500 dollars and not more than 5,000 dollars or from six months' to three years' imprisonment. For a second offence the penalty is a fine of up to 10,000 dollars or seven years' imprisonment, or both. These are good swingeing penalties. I do not question the honesty of farmers in Ontario, but I am sure that if there were such penalties here it would ensure a high standard of honesty as regards petrol returns or the rebate of tax.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has proposed a compensating grant. I feel that this compensating grant, which is going to cost about £3,500,000, is more likely to be open to abuse than is a direct refund, such as is in operation in Ontario, and which I have quoted. At best this compensatory grant can be only a hit-or-miss method for the extra 9d. a gallon paid for petrol used on the farm. Take, for instance, the tractor used for 30 days a year. That is going to qualify for the same grant as the tractor used for 300 days. Yet the additional 9d. a gallon tax on petrol used in one tractor would mean £13 but on the other £130, and there is to be a flat rate grant of £28. I do not want to abolish that grant, but it does show how unequal and wasteful any grant system such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes is bound to be.

I would urge the right hon. and learned Gentleman to look again at the problem to see whether he cannot bring himself to operate the direct refund system such as works satisfactorily in Canada, the United States, Denmark and Sweden. I am sure that that is the best way of dealing with this problem. I am in favour of the exemption of productive industry from any further tax, and I wish we had not got this extra 9d. on petrol for agriculture, but I suggest that there is a better way than the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes and that is to give a direct refund such as our Amendment suggests.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan (Perth and East Perthshire)

I should like to dwell very briefly on one particular point and that is the subject of dry cleaning. It is a serious matter to the dry cleaning industry, an important industry in my constituency, that the white spirit used in it should be exempted from the additional tax. This industry has not increased its charges—

Mr. Hector Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

Is not this a dying industry?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Aberdeen has long been famous for exporting jokes; some of them are very good, and some are a little far-fetched: but if the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes) says it is a dying industry I agree, but not in the way he suggests. I am referring to cleaning, and will make clear for what purpose this spirit is used.

This industry has not increased its prices by more than 30 per cent. during the whole of the war and since that time, which I think every hon. Member will agree is very creditable. But the addition of this tax will mean to this industry immediately an addition of 35 per cent. to its expenses. We have to realise that the firms which will have to pay this tax on the spirit used for dry cleaning also have to pay the additional tax on petrol for the motor transport they run for the delivery and collection of garments for cleaning. So really this industry is having to pay twice. It has to pay once on the dry cleaning processes, and again on carrying the results of those processes to and from clients.

I do not think the total amount which will accrue to the Revenue through the tax on this spirit in connection with dry cleaning will make much difference one way or the other from the point of view of revenue; but it will make a considerable difference in the expenses of this type of firm. The cost of living is going up constantly and steadily under the beneficent rule of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. It will continue to do so in accordance with Socialist principles and planning. Is it really desirable, and does the hon. Gentleman who is to reply to this Debate wish, that the housewife, who depends very largely on dry cleaning for the benefit of herself and her family, shall have this additional charge imposed upon her?

I do not think it is reasonable that this industry should be called upon to bear this tax in view of the very good effort which it has made by not raising its prices, except by a very small amount, compared with many other industries, during the difficult days of the war and since the war. I think it would be unwise for me to press this point further, because I have stated the facts as they are. [An HON. MEMBER: "There is plenty of time."] I do not wish to take up time. I propose to allow other hon. Members on this side of the Committee who evidently have something to say the opportunity to say it.

All I ask is that the right hon. Gentleman should realise that here is an industry which is very important in the everyday life of people all over Britain. It is doing a good job of work at reasonable prices. This tax will impose a great burden on the industry, which is already in considerable difficulty with transport and so on. That is the statement which I wished to make, and which I have had the privilege of making, on behalf of this industry. I hope the right hon. Gentleman's smiles indicate that I can hope for his approval, and that I need go no further because he will concede to this industry what I think it deserves.

Captain Hewitson (Hull, Central)

The advisers of my right non. Friend on the Front Bench have not looked at the real impact which this extra tax is going to have upon some sections of industry as it affects prices and in turn will affect wage claims by the workpeople employed in the industries concerned.

For a few moments I should like to refer to the paint industry. I happen to be joint secretary of the National Paint Joint Industrial Council, and there are within my constituency paint manufacturing concerns which are among the largest in the country; so I can claim to know something of this industry. The second industry to which I wish to refer is that of linoleum manufacture. Recently, in that industry, the wages paid have been very low; wage claims have been held off at the request of my right hon. and learned Friend. These claims have been held off in a genuine attempt to lower the prices of the products bought by the housewife. Linoleum has been reduced in price over the last 12 months through that grand effort by the workers in this industry in restraining claims which would have gone forward for higher wages, thereby enabling the ordinary working-class home to have cheaper floor covering.

This increase in the tax on the light hydrocarbon oils means that we shall go back to the old prices to the housewife, and if the extra tax can be put on and the price raised, the linoleum workers in Lancashire, who have a basic rate of 95s. 0d. a week, will wonder. Are they going to be content? Will the workers in the Scottish factories in this industry, With a 94s. 0d. basic rate, be content to restrain their claims. I do not think so, and they will be justified in permitting their claims to go forward; and the trade union officer who will put their claims will be justified in saying that, if the Chancellor raises the commodity price by this tax, then he has no right to say to the working people, "You must restrain yourselves."

In the paint industry, we hear again of the infinitesimal increase, but we have been hearing that for the last two years. A slight increase—a point in the cost of living index; quite infinitesimal. We have so many; that is the trouble, and they take some carrying. In the paint industry, this extra duty on light hydrocarbon oils will have a tremendous effect on the prices of export goods as well as goods for the home market. A gallon of paint means a lot of exports and the extra price of that gallon of paint going on to almost everything we export will have an impact on prices. As these small increases accumulate, we shall reach the stage where our prices will clear us off some of the overseas markets. The answer is what? To go to the workmen to ask for reductions?

Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke-on-Trent, South)

That is what has happened in the past.

Captain Hewitson

They have done it before, but it has stopped. I suggest that between now and the Report stage the Chancellor should again consult with the advisers whom he consults—the gentlemen in Whitehall who know what is best for us. If he cannot get all the advice he needs from that source, let him apply to some of us practical people who know what is wanted and can give advice on how to get down some of the costs.

12.30 a.m.

In the paint industry are thousands of men and women who have loyally restrained their wage claims over the last two years. We have not looked at the balance sheet and said, "This section is doing well; we are diving in to get our share." That has not been our policy. We have been asked to hold the fort, and we have held it. Surely we are now entitled to ask—we are prepared even to plead with them—our friends on the Front Bench to help us. When I say "us" I mean not the trade union officials but the men and women in the workshops who have been so loyal to their cause.

I ask the Government, between now and the Report stage, to examine the effect which the extra duty on light hydrocarbon oils will have upon our manufacturing industries, because it must be reflected in prices and once it shows itself in prices we shall have the fear of the old days of unemployment and wage reductions. We have now reached a stage where we cannot face that. In the workshops we have been loyal to the Front Bench. Now it is time for the Front Bench to help us so that we can help them.

Mr. Carr (Mitcham)

I am anxious to support the Amendment. One of the chief things about which I wish to speak is the paint industry. I represent a constituency which is one of the chief homes of the industry in this country. I am glad to be able to tell the Committee that the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central (Captain Hewitson) has relieved me of most of the things that I wanted to say. I must congratulate him on putting that point of view.

I do not know whether it is generally realised that 35 per cent. of every gallon of paint consists of the solvents which are affected by this extra duty. That means that on account of the solvents alone every gallon of paint will increase in cost by 3½d. or 4d. That is not the end of the story. Other raw materials which the paint industry has to buy, such as driers, are also prepared at earlier stages with the aid of many of these hydrocarbon oils. These also will go up in price. The final effect on the price of a gallon of paint will thus be much more than the 3½d. or 4d. a gallon which is represented by the direct extra cost of the solvents.

That may not seem very much, but the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central, drew attention to the multitude of domestic and industrial articles which are finished with paint, lacquer or some allied product. Therefore, it represents an enormous amount over the whole field of industry and must add considerably to the cost of living at home and to the cost of exports which we must sell in order to maintain our standard of living.

It can be argued, of course, that when paint is exported it is possible to draw back the duty. So it is, and that is admittedly some help. For every gallon of paint exported as paint, there must be many more gallons which are exported as finished articles, for example, motorcars, refrigerators, and a great number of other things. I could go on giving many other examples in the case of other industries where this duty is going to have a like effect. Take the case of boot and floor polish, about which I have some knowledge and with which I feel it is my duty to tell the Committee that I have some personal connection. That is going to be put up in price by 1d. per lb. Again, a small amount but a considerable amount over all the purchases of the housewives of the country in the course of a year.

I hope we are not going to hear the arguments that this is such a small matter that it is not worth bothering about. I was very glad to hear the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central (Captain Hewitson) make the point that we have had so many infinitesimal increases. "Oh, it is so small," we are told when we talk about matters of expenditure, "that it does not matter." It would be a good thing if right hon. Gentlemen opposite had pinned on their desks the old motto about pennies making pounds. They do make pounds, and I hope we shall not hear that argument put forward as a reason why this Amendment should not be accepted.

I hope also we are not going to have put against it the argument on the lines we heard earlier this afternoon about the fallacy of the comparison between prewar and today, and that this duty is a lower percentage of total cost than it was pre-war. There could be no greater fallacy because I, for one, think the duty, as applied to these articles at least, was wrong before the war. I am sure that may be an argument which may appeal to hon. Members opposite who are so fond of finding what was wrong before the war. I hope we shall not hear that argument brought forward on this Amendment. If it was wrong before the war in our conditions then of comparative economic stability and wealth— [Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite may laugh, but I think our balance of trade position was incomparably better then than it is now. If it was wrong then, it is even more wrong to add to that burden under present conditions.

I think I may look to other countries. We heard earlier in the Debate about the duty on petrol charged by other countries. That was advanced as a reason why it was all right for us to increase the duty on petrol in this country. I want to apply that argument in the reverse direction in this case. If it was applicable then, I think it is applicable in a reverse direction now. Other countries have found it advisable and necessary to help their manufacturing industries by giving special remissions in the duty on those light hydrocarbon oils used in industries such as the rubber industry and all those other industries we have heard mentioned.

I submit that at this time when it is more important than ever that we should be fully competitive with other countries, we just cannot afford deliberately to put ourselves at a disadvantage in this respect, even though it may be argued in total that it is not such a large one. If other countries can help their industries in this way, we ought to do at least as much in this country.

There is no argument, I hope, that this is an administrative impossibility. I fear we may have that argument. There again, I want to turn to other countries. If these other countries can do it to help their industries, surely we can. Surely, most of all, if a country like America, which has not only to cope with ordinary Federal but with State taxes as well, can overcome the administrative difficulties, so can we in this country. Indeed, this Government and previous Governments have set an example in this matter in things like fuel for aircraft outside the United Kingdom, heavy oil for various purposes and kerosene—examples that we have already heard mentioned.

I submit that this is an Amendment which it is the duty of the Committee to accept. I am encouraged by the comparative silence of hon. Members opposite into feeling at least that they have no arguments to put forward against the Amendment, and in fact the few voices we have heard from the other side have actually been in favour of it. So I am indeed hopeful in pressing the right hon. Gentleman to accept this Amendment, because unless we do accept it we are going to take a deliberate action in this Committee to put up our industrial costs.

Only last autumn the Chancellor came to the House and said how grave the position was, that unless we got our costs down quickly we would suffer severe calamities. We believed that to be true, but if it was true then it is still more true now and it is no good, if it is true, taking even one small step to hinder this reduction of costs, because our very livelihood and standard of living depend upon it. I do say that a little bit of example in these matters is a great deal better than a lot of sermons.

Sir P. Bennett

I wish to speak for a few moments on the first Amendment and to follow the lines of other hon. Members in pointing out the unfairness of applying a tax which was primarily imposed for the purpose of dealing with transport, to those industries which use by accident the same materials as the raw-material base for their industry. It is a pure accident that the same materials are used and they are raw materials which happen by that accident to come into the class which the Chancellor has picked upon for taxation purposes.

Manufacturers should not be put in the position of having to say, "That material is taxed; what can be found as an alternative?", because that is what they must do. We have a drive throughout industry to lower costs. We are sending teams to America to study means of reducing costs, and here the Government by administrative action will put a burden on industry which is quite needless. I am sure the Government would never have chosen this particular raw material for taxation purposes but for the fact that it was a motor fuel. That being the case, it will put up the cost of a very large range of materials used in the home and export industries. This thing will happen purely as an accident and not as deliberate policy, and we feel very strongly that these materials should not be taxed at all.

12.45 a.m.

We have put forward arguments in the past suggesting that they should be free of tax, but now they have this double tax which is causing trouble and concern throughout the whole country. Hon. Members on both sides of the Committee will have received literature which is not partisan, and we have all been much impressed with the strength of the case. We should not be fobbed off with the old story that this is going to be difficult administratively. I know perfectly well that if we told the Customs and Excise the problem, and told them we knew they could solve it, they would certainly find a way of helping industry.

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

I think I can claim that I have approached this matter from as non-party a point of view as is possible at the present time. I remember that 14 years ago I moved an Amendment against a Government which I generally supported, on a matter closely related, if not almost analogous to, that dealt with in the Amendment we are discussing.

I was deeply impressed by the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central (Captain Hewitson). I thought he cut at the very root of the matter, but I think he made one mistake. He asked the Chancellor to reconsider the matter between now and the Report stage. I think that is delaying to a degree which is quite unnecessary. The case is so overwhelmingly strong that the question should be considered at once. After all, these matters are not brought before us without full advice and consideration by the Government. Why are we being invited to wait until the next stage of the Bill? From every angle a case has been made, both inside and outside the Committee, for the removal of this tax.

There are only two main points which can possibly be made by the Government in refusing to consider this group of Amendments. The first is that it is administratively impossible. Various hon. Gentlemen have pointed out that the difficulties of administration have been overcome in other countries, and have been overcome in this country, too, in relation to other types of taxation. There is to my certain knowledge—and I defy the Government to deny it—no administrative difficulty whatsoever which could possibly arise if these Amendments were accepted.

There would be inconvenience certainly but, after all, why do we as a nation employ those who serve us so well today? To suffer inconvenience is precisely the reason why they are paid any salary at all. Inconvenience may be caused to His Majesty's Ministers as well in having to work out schemes. But why are Ministers paid salaries? It is their duty to study matters in detail and present schemes to the Committee. No Minister can possibly tell the Committee in all truthfulness that administratively these proposals are not possible.

There is another reason which is not given quite so openly by Members of the Government in resisting these proposals. It is the motive of distrust. It is the feeling that if they give way on this matter some little group of spivs or cranks or butterflies will exploit it to the detriment of the community. But those who would be affected by this are not the type of people who could possibly come within the category of spivs or racketeers, or anything of that kind. I can only imagine that when the Government tell us, in resisting Amendments, that if they accepted these proposals they would open the way to some evil doing, it is part of the mentality which rests behind so much of present-day Socialism. We have heard the argument so often that I pray that we are not going to be given it again tonight on this Amendment.

Finally I would say this, and it is the same argument that I used 14 years ago. One of the points I was putting to the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, against the increased tax on diesel oil was that however carefully one applies and uses taxation, where that taxation can affect the costs of primary industry and development, in the long run one is going to damage the industry and development of this country. It is impossible to apply any tax on the nature we are dealing with in these Amendments in a broad rule-of-thumb method without doing damage in some way to somebody, in adding to costs, in making development difficult. I cannot imagine a worse time to apply flat, rule-of-thumb methods such as are suggested in this Bill, and which we wish to amend. It is the most dangerous period

We have only to look at what is being done in development production in different countries and at the tremendous efforts being made because they realise we are making tremendous efforts in this country. I should like to hear the arguments between engineers and production experts in other countries if they see this going through without amendment. Of course they will be delighted. I am certain that His Majesty's Ministers do not mean that they should be delighted, but Ministers cannot grasp the point that they cannot overlay the cost of production with the difficulties inherent in their proposals without doing serious damage to industry and production in this country. I beg them to reconsider the matter.

Mr. Emrys Hughes (Ayrshire, South)

I rise to ask for some sympathy for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the spokesmen of the Treasury. The House has sanctioned enormous expenditure, and has given the Chancellor and the Treasury the difficult task of meeting that expenditure without increasing the economic difficulties of the country. That is the dilemma in which the Opposition finds itself. They could afford to vote for adding to the burdens of this country at a time when I, for example, was asking for some reason why we should be spending some £800 million on armaments. If we say to the Chancellor that he has to find £800 million for armaments this year, mostly obsolete, and probably £1,000 million next year, we cannot complain when certain proposals are brought forward for collecting the money in a way which must add to the economic difficulties of the country.

I have heard some astonishing arguments put forward in other Debates by, for example, the hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe (Mr. W. Fletcher), who I see is very anxious to make difficulties for the Treasury in this Debate. I remember, when we were discussing expenditure on Malaya, the hon. Member bringing forward the amazing proposition that we should sanction an unlimited expenditure of money to bribe the Chinese there. I give that only as an example and illustration. If ever there was an example of throwing money down a bottomless pit, it was provided by the hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe, who is now coming along to criticise the Chancellor for imposing this taxation on hydrocarbon oils and other items mentioned in the Amendment.

Mr. Snow (Lichfield and Tamworth)

On a point of order. What has this to do with Scottish housing?

Mr. Hughes

The hon. Member asks the question, and I shall proceed to enlighten him; but before answering the question on Scottish housing, I want to follow up the point made by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hull, Central (Captain Hewitson). I thought his was a most notable contribution to the Debate.

The fact cannot be denied that this increase must impose some increase in the cost of living for the lower-paid workers, the lower-paid workers in the linoleum industry, as well as in the railways and many other industries. The position has been put very clearly by my hon. and gallant Friend, and it is something which many trades unionsts are asking who are far too politically conscious to be taken in by the specious arguments of the Opposition that they represent the lower-paid wage earners.

Let me ask my hon. and gallant Friend why he, too, is so belated in his criticism. Ought he not to have come along and protested with me against this expenditure of £800 million? If we are to spend this amount, we cannot expect the burden not to fall ultimately on the lower-paid workers. My hon. and gallant Friend, as a trade union leader, will have to face the fact, as will the Labour movement, that someone has to pay for this expenditure. According to the figures the Chancellor has given me, the lower-paid wage earner pays 5s. 11d. per week for armament expenditure, which means that a linoleum worker who receives £4 14s. a week and has a wife and two children pays £1 3s. 8d. for the costs of defence. I know of no way in which this bill can be met except by taxation. If we continue the policy of increasing this huge expenditure, then it can only be paid for by lowering the standard of living of the people.

1.0 a.m.

The hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe interpolated in this Debate the question of costs involved in our trade competition with Germany and Japan, but he forgets that neither Germany nor Japan has this huge burden of war debt—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe is an irresistible attraction. Before I leave the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central, if it is the position that the lower-paid wage worker receiving £4 14s. a week has to pay, directly and indirectly, 23s. 8d. a week for the so-called Defence Services, I would like him, not to think when the time comes to find the money, but to join in the protest when we are voting the money to be found.

Captain Hewitson

Does the hon. Member not think that if we did not find £800 million to keep our factories safe, we would probably not have any factories for our people to work in?

Mr. Hughes

That shows the rather superficial way in which the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central, is looking at this. To think that factories get safer in an age of atomic warfare—

The Deputy-Chairman (Colonel Sir Charles MacAndrew)

I think the hon. Gentleman is going a bit beyond the three Amendments we are discussing.

Mr. Hughes

Yes, but I would not go on if there were not these interruptions.

The concession involves paint, and paint is needed for houses. Contractors who tender for painting municipal houses will increase the amount of their estimates and ultimately it has to be paid by the workers in their rents. There is no escaping the point. We have to look at the picture as a whole. Instead of giving the Chancellor the problem of finding the money, the House should look farther ahead and in voting these huge sums realise the economic effect that it will have on industry, the social services and housing. All this is very relevant. It is the background that matters. After it all comes the day of reckoning and I, for one, think that it is coming now in all the proposals made in these Amendments.

Mr. W. Fletcher

I do not know whether hon. Members noticed during the speech of the hon. Member for Ayrshire, South (Mr. Emrys Hughes) that a strong buzzing sound was heard throughout the Chamber. That was the bee in the hon. Member's bonnet buzzing about under cover of this Amendment. I should like to talk about the rubber industry, which draws part of its raw materials from the area for whose troubles the hon. Gentleman suggests my chief remedy is to bribe the Chinese. I did not say that.

But before coming to that, I think we can put this whole question in its true perspective in this way. Suppose that this series of raw materials to be used in industry were not fortuitously attached to motor spirit and were not, therefore, dealt with under the Finance Act, and the Government had simply come forward saying, "Here is a Bill that taxes raw materials used in the following industries …" What would hon. Gentlemen who sit on the other side of the Committee have said about it if it were not incorporated in this particular stage of the Finance Bill?

What would the rest of the world, and the people of this country, be saying if the Government had presented these things under these colours? It would be considered as rank madness and against every single theory they held, and against everything they have been saying for the last five years, if they presented a greatly simplified Bill that taxed raw materials used in important industries engaged in the export drive.

In the rubber industry white spirit is used in the proofing processes and in vulcanisation. To put a tax on it is perfectly clearly to jeopardise in a great degree the export drive being carried out by this industry. The figures are there to prove it and cannot be denied by those on the Front Bench, or on any other bench, opposite. At the present moment there is considerable uneasiness in this industry because the high cost of rubber affects this country, whereas cost of synthetic rubber available to the United States is lower, and it is from our point of view a dollar product which cannot be bought, and is, therefore, harmful to our export trade. If we are to add to it this unnecessary and fortuitous burden, do the Government really think they are going to give this industry a chance of surviving? It seems to me to be rank folly, and if it had been isolated, as I suggested, no hon. Member opposite would have gone into the Lobby in support of it.

What is true of the rubber industry is also true to a lesser or greater degree of other industries. Let us not talk of administrative difficulties or pretend that there would be abuse. Let us say that these taxes on the essential raw materials of many industries which go through our industrial life must be resisted and defeated. If, like me, there are hon. Members opposite representing industrial constituencies who know the truth of what I have been saying, let them take this opportunity of saying to the Government, "You will not tax the raw materials of those industries which are doing what you asked them to do in the export drive." This is the clearest occasion on which the opportunity to defeat the Government should be taken.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Douglas Jay)

I think we should agree that nobody would impose any tax which would add in the slightest exten to the cost of living if it could be avoided. I imagine that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, when he introduced the tax in 1928, would have provided some exemption for the industries we have been discussing this evening if there had been some simple method of doing so. We considered the effect on these industries when we had the increased tax in mind, before the Budget, and we have also considered it since.

It is no good simply ignoring the practical administrative difficulties which led the Leader of the Opposition to take the original decision which he took when the tax was introduced. Those difficulties do exist, and there is no doubt that, though perhaps at a very considerable cost in manpower and money they could be overcome, nevertheless the cost would be very great. One hon. Member who spoke—I think it was the hon. Member for Edgbaston (Sir P. Bennett)—pointed out that white spirit and certain of these industrial oils are distinguishable from motor spirit. That, of course, is true; but the central difficulty arises from the fact that these industrial oils can in some cases, if mixed with petrol, be used as motor spirit; and some of the industrial oils which cannot be so used are interchangeable themselves with other industrial oils which can be used in that way.

Sir P. Bennett

Carburisation today is a bad enough problem without making it worse by doing that.

Mr. Jay

I am not suggesting that it should be made worse in that way, but unfortunately it can be done. The fact is that all these oils and motor spirits are interchangeable in that way. Therefore, if a tax is imposed on some of them and not on others, it will lead to differences in price and will put a high premium on evasion and abuse. Therefore, one is confronted with the difficulty that either, on the one hand, one must embark on a complex and expensive administrative experiment or on the other hand, must face considerable risk of evasion.

I do not think any hon. Member who has spoken has reminded the Committee of the fact that such a duty was introduced in this country in 1909, that exemptions of this kind were provided for the reasons we have heard tonight, and that the complexity of the resulting administration became so great that the scheme broke down, and the tax was abandoned, for that very reason, in 1920.

Mr. Carr

Can the hon. Gentleman say, in view of his remarks about the mixing of motor spirit with these other spirits, whether he has had investigated the possibility of including a trace of some substance, as was done in the case of red petrol? That seems to be a possibility worth considering. Can the hon. Gentleman also tell the Committee whether he has investigated the ways in which other countries administer these remissions of tax?

Mr. Jay

All of these possibilities have been considered, and the conclusion of that consideration is that anything of that sort would lead, as it did formerly in this country, to great complications. This question of the practicability of such exemptions is not in any way a party matter, because exactly the same view has been taken and the same conclusion reached by other Governments, many of them Conservative Governments, which have been confronted with this problem since the tax was first introduced. Indeed, the classic statement on this doctrine was made, as so many other classic statements have been, by the present Leader of the Opposition in the House when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He then said: If you start to give these exemptions you will end by attempting to confine the burden of the petrol duty exclusively to the road user. You cannot possibly deal with cattle-feeding stuffs without also dealing with dyeing and cleaning, with the manufacture of cake, with the making of glass, and all those interesting and complicated trades of which we have heard. If one did that, one would undoubtedly vitiate the tax; one would undoubtedly have destroyed the tax altogether. 1.15 a.m.

The right hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) used the argument that, since it had been possible to have an exemption for the fishing industry, it must be possible to provide exemptions in other cases. I must say that he was gravely out of step with his leader, because it was the present Leader of the Opposition who introduced the exemption for the fishing industry, but who said that he did it on the specific understanding that that was the only exemption which could be made and that it was not to be extended to other cases. The right hon. Gentleman said, quite eloquently, as we would expect, that the Government would be prepared to face the trouble and the expense on behalf of the poor men who gathered the harvest of the sea, provided the concession did not lead to more serious and less defensible concessions, which would largely vitiate the principle

I think that that is sound, and I could quote more on this subject by the late Mr. Neville Chamberlain, among others, and the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison), when he was Financial Secretary.

Mr. Ian L. Orr-Ewing

Would the hon. Gentleman tell the Committee what was the amount of the tax when it was imposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill).

Mr. Jay

The tax, I think, was 4d., but the principle remains the same. So much for the practical difficulties of the moment.

Mr. Molson (The High Peak)

Is not a drawback allowed in cases where these light oils are used for export goods and the light carbon oil is still preserved when the article is exported? Is not the position different from that where the process uses this oil and it becomes volatilised in the process?

Mr. Jay

I am coming to that point, if the hon. Member will wait just a few moments. It may be that a major attempt at considerable cost should be undertaken to overcome this difficulty if the tax were really a serious burden, or a serious addition to the costings of the industries we are considering; but the fact is that, in practically all these cases, the addition is exceedingly small.

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hull, Central (Captain Hewitson) instanced the case of the paint industry, because he has great knowledge of it. He actually said that this tax would have a tremendous effect on costs and prices in that industry. Well, I think that the use of the word "tremendous" is exaggerating. The actual effect will be 2½d. a gallon of paint, which is rather less than one per cent. on the price of the paint. If one calculates what that means on the price of some manufactured article on which the paint is used, I think the result will be found to be very small indeed. The hon. Member for Edgbaston spoke of motor cars, but I am advised that the total effect of this ninepence on the price of motor cars, allowing for paint and rubber tyres, and all the other materials in which these oils are used in motor cars, will be about 5s. 3d. a car on a vehicle costing several hundreds of pounds. That is a pretty negligible amount.

Sir P. Bennett

The hon. Gentleman has not had to sell goods to the motor trade if he thinks 5s. is negligible.

Mr. Jay

I gather that the hon. Gentleman, who has a great knowledge of this trade, does not dispute my figures. Another case which was quoted was the manufacture of polishes. There again, the addition amounts to not more than about one per cent. of the total value of the product.

The hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Molson) inquired about the drawback given for exports. It is true that where goods contain oil at the time of export, as in the case of paint, a drawback is allowed. That is another reason for understanding why the additional duty is not such a heavy handicap to exports as has been suggested. The reason that is administratively possible is that when the goods are exported they pass through the Customs barrier, and therefore no elaborate additional organisation is necessary to check them at that point; but it is a totally different matter when the goods are not exported.

Squadron-Leader A. E. Cooper (Ilford, South)

The hon. Gentleman mentioned that the increase in the cost of paint would be something like 2½d. a gallon. Would he be good enough to tell the Committee the source from which that information came? It has already been pointed out that the solvents in the paint represent a minimum of 35 per cent., and 35 per cent. of 9d. is certainly more than 2½d. The hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but I have personal knowledge of the industry because I work in it.

Mr. Jay

I am advised that the figure is 2½d. If our information differs, I am afraid that we cannot argue it out now.

For all those reasons, it seems to us that over the general field the difficulties which would be involved in any attempt to make exceptions of this kind would not be worth while. Indeed, it is just for that reason that in the case of agricultural tractors, where we thought there were grounds for some relief, we adopted the method not of a refund of the duty but of an ad hoc payment relating to the tractor which is run by the farmer. The principle of selling the oil or the petrol at the same price to all users and relieving certain users by a subsidy, grant or whatever one may choose to call it is in the end administratively more workable, costs less in manpower and runs much less risk of evasion and abuse than the alternative policy of providing for a refund of the duty. I think that applies equally to the case of civil aviation which was raised on the second Amendment and was urged by my hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, West (Mr. G. Cooper).

Mr. Hard

When the hon. Gentleman makes that statement, does he do so with full knowledge of the experience of such countries as Denmark, Sweden and the United States, where there is a refund of the petrol tax in the case of agriculture?

Mr. Jay

Certainly, but the conditions relating to agriculture, in particular, are very different in some of those countries, particularly in Canada. My hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, West, argued that instead of charging the duty on aviation spirit and at the same time paying a subsidy to the aviation companies, if we remitted the duty and were thereby enabled to reduce the subsidy we should make a saving in administrative manpower.

As a matter of fact, exactly the reverse is true. If you were to provide a particular rebate for spirit used in aviation, you would need a considerable addition to the administrative manpower on the Customs side, whereas by the present method there is very little cost of that kind. I am not sure how far the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) was urging us to exempt aviation spirit used in all civil aviation in this country. It can, of course, be argued that it is not particularly sensible for the Government to raise money with one hand from the aviation Corporations and to pay it back with the other by way of subsidies. On the other hand, I think that if we were to give an exemption, particularly in the instance of civil aviation, it would be said that we were, by the back door, as it were, subsidising a publicly-owned industry while privately-owned industries were being asked to pay a higher price.

Mr. G. Cooper


Mr. Jay

If the hon. Member will allow me to finish? Therefore, I think also it is a sounder principle that the same price should prevail, but where particular relief is necessary, the whole should be given in the form of a particular subsidy.

Air-Commodore Harvey

How does the Financial Secretary account for the fact that last year, the Government enabled B.O.A.C. to import spare parts from America free of duty?

Mr. Jay

Importing, if I may say so, is a different matter. I was just going to say that the aviation Corporations are, of course, as the hon. Gentleman knows, relieved of this tax on all spirit used in flights outside this country. That, of course, is in accordance with the general principle, that any commodity which bears a tax is relieved of that tax in so far as it is exported and used abroad. That is an accepted principle of the Customs administration and it has not involved us in any additional difficulties.

Mr. Cooper

Before the Financial Secretary leaves that point, could I suggest to him that he has really missed the point I was trying to make? Surely, the Government have got some interest in letting it be seen that these Corporations, given a fair chance, can at an early date show themselves to be successful operators? Really, what the Government are doing is to impose an additional burden on them which is going to make that particular achievement of theirs almost impossible.

Mr. Jay

I think my hon. Friend rather missed the point of what I was saying, which is that on the whole we think it is fair that these Corporations should pay the same price for petrol as other people and as indeed the Services do at the present time.

Mr. Cooper

The positions are not comparable.

Mr. Jay

Therefore, for all these reasons, we think it is better to follow the same policy as was laid down by the Leader of the Opposition in this matter and to maintain the same price, including the tax for all its uses, bearing in mind that the effect on industrial and agricultural costs is exceedingly small, and to give relief in particular cases where a case is made out, as we have done with agricultural tractors, and as we have agreed this evening to consider doing in the case of, for instance, war disabled persons whom we were discussing earlier. For all these reasons, we must ask the Committee not to accept these three Amendments.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Before the Financial Secretary sits down, is he not going to say anything about the dry-cleaning industry?

Mr. Lyttelton

I do not want to detain the Committee for more than a minute or two, but the Financial Secretary's reply is entirely unsatisfactory in every respect. We are now becoming rather tired of hearing this argument that the increase in cost is quite negligible. The accumulative effect of the thing is going to be very great upon the trade of the country. From his arguments, I understood him to be in sympathy with the idea that productive industry ought not to be saddled with extra tax. He then said that his argument was that the administrative difficulties were too great, and he tried to draw some analogy between administrative difficulties being too great between a tax of 1s. 4d. a gallon and a tax of 1s. 6d. a gallon.

1.30 a.m.

I ask the Government now to take another look at this matter, because really the effects will be very serious. The cost of a 1s. 6d. per gallon duty will be inequitable compared with the advantages which will be conferred by a rebate to these productive industries. I ask the Government, at this late moment, to give the matter further consideration, because I have never heard thinner arguments than those put forward by the hon. Gentleman.

The Chairman

I hope the Committee will agree to come to a decision.

Hon. Members


Air-Commodore Harvey

I rise to speak only because the Financial Secretary has given quite an inadequate reply. He has not once referred to the large industry of manufacturing engines and airframes. I am afraid he is not even listening to me: he has fobbed us off with a bad speech and now he is not even listening.

The aircraft industry has made an enormous contribution to the present economic position of this country. Last year they exported £34 million worth of engines and airframes. Yet to this industry, progressing so much in spite of all the difficulties they have had—production was stopped during the war of several types of aircraft—the hon. Gentleman will not give reasons even for turning it down. This industry, which exports a very large quantity, does so with skilled labour and very few raw materials. It earns large sums, it paid last year £600,000 in tax, and this year it will pay over £1 million in taxation.

It is all very well for the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, West (Mr. G. Cooper) to talk about the future profits of B.O A.C., but at the rate they are going it will be a very long time. I am much more concerned to see the industry dealt with by efficient business men—

Mr. G. Cooper


Air-Commodore Harvey

The hon. Member referred to the losses of B.O.A.C. and B.E.A.C. We all hope they want to make a profit, but that will not happen for many years. I realise that this Government looks upon a £2,500,000 loss as chicken-feed. What about the charter companies which have taken over internal routes from B.E.A.C.? They are going along without subsidy. Why not copy them? The Committee has been treated with discourtesy in this matter, and I hope everyone on this side will vote against the Chancellor's proposal.

Mr. Mitchison (Kettering)

I was profoundly distressed by the fears of the hon. and gallant Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Colonel Gomme-Duncan) that the cost of dyeing would be increased in this way and by the apprehensions of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Hull, Central (Captain Hewitson) when I took the trouble to ascertain what was happening in these two industries.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

I have not referred to the dyeing industry. I referred to the dry-cleaning industry. I am sure the hon. Member has looked up the wrong industry.

Mr. Mitchison

The hon. and gallant Member referred to the industry as the dyeing industry, and if he did not mean it, I cannot help it. I took the trouble to ascertain what was happening in both these industries, and it so happened that a large dyeing and dry-cleaning firm has recently published its report. It happens, too, that two large paint-making companies have recently published their reports. I discovered from these reports, as indeed I expected, that the profits of the two paint-making companies increased last year by £130,000. They were making pretty substantial profits the year before. There has been a similar increase in the dyeing and dry-cleaning company which amounts to £18,000.

All I wish to say to the Committee is that it seems most improbable that either the dyeing and dry-cleaning industry or the paint industry are going to be ruined or seriously impeded by this increase, for these three companies, out of the increases in their profits, could afford to meet the additional tax on about 4 million gallons of petrol or hydrocarbon oils, and I am certain the companies do not use that amount between them.

Mr. Spence

I want to draw attention to the hon. Gentleman's references to the wickedness of paint and dry-cleaning companies in making a profit.

Mr. Mitchison

I said nothing of the kind.

Mr. Spence

I leave judgment on this matter to the Committee, which heard the words used and the inference made.

We want to be clear in the Committee, in view of the statements that have been made, about the consumption of white spirit. Can the Government confirm or deny that the total gallonage is in the neighbourhood of 50 million gallons a year, and that the total sum involved in additional taxation will be between £2 million and £3 million? It is no good saying that it will amount only to 2d. a gallon. The tax must be met out of the working expenses of industry. It must either come out of the industry itself or go on to the price of the commodities. We cannot afford at this time, when we are fighting for our existence in the export markets, to have a direct tax like this on our raw materials which will raise the price of almost every product in the engineering and chemical fields.

Mr. Spearman (Scarborough and Whitby)

My right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) referred to the fact that the speech of the Financial Secretary was most unsatisfactory. I think it was not entirely satisfactory to the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, West (Mr. G. Cooper) and the hon. and gallant Member for Hull. Central (Captain Hewitson). As regards the hon. Member for Ayrshire, South (Mr. Emrys Hughes), I found it rather difficult to follow his speech. I thought at the beginning that the Government were going to have the unusual experience of having him as their only supporter in this Debate. Halfway through his speech, he seemed to find his loyalty to the Government a little more than he could sustain, and there seemed a chance that he might join us in the Lobby later on. The hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central, spoke as a trade union leader, from the trade union point of view. I hope he was amply consoled by the support he got from this side for the lack of enthusiasm with which his speech was received on the Government side.

Yesterday evening the Chancellor of the Exchequer insisted on retaining an important and unpopular tax because, as I understood him, he knew of no other effective way of checking inflation. If he had been prepared to take advice from this side, we could have pointed out far more effective ways of checking inflation, and I think our advice would have been more pleasant to the hon. and gallant Member for Hull, Central, who clearly is not of the opinion that the Government's policy of raising the cost of living is the most effective check to inflation.

I want to ask now for only one small concession—if the hon. Gentleman will reconsider the tax on S.B.P., which I understand means Special Boiling Point No. 1. This spirit is used for lighters and for dry-cleaning, but I am interested in its use for heating, cooking and lighting in the "Silver Light" gas generating plant. In the rural areas of my constituency, and no doubt in many other parts of the country where electricity and gas are not available, this process is used. Under this Government we have not had that expansion of electricity supplies we would like to have seen, and owing to the price of electricity and the high taxation it is impossible for many poorer people to get electricity or gas put in. They are therefore dependent on this spirit for the necessities of life.

The cost of relieving these people would be very small. It is not a luxury, but a necessity. The Chancellor may not consider that heating is necessary for cooking, but I think he would admit that lighting is necessary for the hard work he does in the early hours of the morning. I suggest that this spirit used in the rural areas for these purposes is an essential thing, and it is being used by those who are not well off and cannot afford to get electricity or gas. I ask him to consider this matter, which will not cost much and will not have any effect in lowering the cost of living.

Several Hon. Members


The Chairman

I hope the Committee will now come to a decision.

Mr. Whiteleyrose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put. "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 292; Noes, 281.

Division No. 20.] AYES [1.45 a.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Donovan, T. N. Isaaes, Rt. Hon G A
Adams, Richard Driberg, T E. N. Janner, B.
Albu, A. H. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich) Jay, D. P. T.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Dye, S. Jeger, G. (Goole)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Edelman, M. Jenkins, R. H.
Awbery, S. S. Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Ayles, W. H. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)
Bacon, Miss A. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Baird, J. Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Balfour, A. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Jones, William Elwyn (Conway)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Ewart, R. Keenan, W.
Bartley, P. Edwards, John (Brighouse) Kenyon, C.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Fernyhough, E. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W
Benson, G. Field, Capt. W. J. King, H. M.
Beswick, F. Finch, H. J. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Kinley, J.
Bing, G. H. C. Follick, M. Lang, Rev. G
Blenkinsop, A. Foot, M. M. Lee, F. (Newton)
Blylon, W. R. Forman, J. C. Lee. Miss J (Cannoak)
Boardman, H. Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)
Booth, A. Freeman, J. (Watford) Lewis, A. W. J. (West Ham, N.)
Bottomley, A. G. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T N Lindgren, G. S.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Brockway, A. Fenner Gibson, C. W. Logan, D G
Brook, D. (Halifax) Gilzean, A. Longden, F. (Small Heath)
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Glanville, J. E. (Consett) McAllister, G.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Gooch, E. G. MacColl, J. E.
Brown, George (Belper) Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. McGhee, H. G.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Greenwood, A W. J. (Rossendale) McGovern, J.
Burke, W. A. Grenfell, D. R. McInnes, J.
Burton, Miss E. Grey, C. F. Mack, J. D.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Callaghan, James Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.)
Carmichael, James Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange) McLeavy, F.
Castle, Mrs. B. A Gunter, R. J. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Champion, A. J. Hale, J. (Rochdale) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Clunie, J. Hall, J. (Gateshead, W.) Mainwaring, W. H.
Cocks. F. S. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Coldrick, W. Hamilton, W. W Mailalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Collick, P. Hannan, W. Mann, Mrs. J.
Collindridge, F. Hardman, D. R Manuel, A. C.
Cook, T. F. Hardy, E. A. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.) Hargreaves, A Mathers, Rt. Hon. George
Cooper, J. (Deptford) Harrison, J. Mellish, R. J.
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Peckham) Hastings, Dr. Somerville Messer, F.
Cove, W. G. Hayman, F. H. Middleton, Mrs. L
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Henderson, Rt. Hon. A (Tipton) Mikardo, Ian
Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Herbison, Miss M. Mitchison, G. R.
Crosland, C. A. R. Hewitson, Capt. M Moeran, E. W.
Crossman, R. H. S. Hobson, C. R. Monslow, W.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Holman, P. Moody, A. S.
Daines, P. Holmes, H E. (Hen'sworth) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hoy, J. Morley, R.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Hubbard, T. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Mort, D. L.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Moyle, A.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Hughes, R. M. (Islington, N.) Mulley, F. W.
da Freitas, Geoffrey Hynd, H. (Accrington) Murray, J. D.
Deer, G. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Nally, W.
Dodds, N. N. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Neal, H.
Donnelly, D. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
O'Brien, T. Royle, C. Viant, S. P.
Oldfield, W. H. Shackleton, E. A. A. Wallace, H. W
Oliver, G. H. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H Watkins, T. E
Orbach, M. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E Webb, Rt. Hon M. (Bradford, C.)
Padley, W. E Shurmer, P. L. E Weitzman, D.
Paget, R. T. Silverman, J. (Erdington) Wells, P L (Faversham)
Paling, Rt. Hn. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly) Silverman, S. S (Nelson) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Simmons, C. J West, D. G.
Pannell, T. C. Slater, J. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E)
Pargiter, G. A Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) White, Mrs E. (E. Filnt)
Parker, J Snow, J. W. While, H. (Derbyshire, N E.)
Paton, J. Sorensen, R W. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Pearson, A Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F Wigg, George
Peart, T F Sparks, J. A. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.
Poole, Cecil Steele, T Wilkes, L.
Popplewell, E Stewart, Michael (Futham, E.) Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Porter, G. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R (Vauxhall) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Proctor, W T Stross, Dr. B. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Pryde, D. J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Pursey, Comdr. H. Sylvester, G. O. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Huyton)
Rankin, J. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham, C.)
Rees, Mrs. D Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Winterbottom, R. E. (Brightside)
Reeves, J. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare) Wise, Major F. J.
Reid, T. (Swindon) Thomas, T. George (Cardiff) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Reid, W. (Camlachie) Thomas, I O. (Wrekin)
Rhodes, H. Thomas, I R. (Rhondda, W.) Woods, Rev. G. S.
Richards, R. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Wyatt, W. L.
Robens, A. Thurtle, Ernest Yates, V. F.
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Timmons, J Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Tomney, F
Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Turner-Samuels, M TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.) Usborne, Henry Mr. Bowden and Mr. Delargy.
Rats, William (Kilmarnock) Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Aitken, W. T. Cooper-Key, E. M. Grimston, R. V. (Westbury)
Alport, C. J. M. Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Harden, J. R. E.
Amery, J. (Preston, N.) Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne) Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)
Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Cranborne, Viscount Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.)
Arbuthnot, John Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Harris, R. R. (Heston)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W) Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.)
Aslor, Hon. M Crouch, R. F. Hay, John
Baker, P. Crowder, F. P. (Ruislip, N'thwood) Head, Brig. A. H.
Baldock, J. M. Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (F'chley) Heald, L. F
Baldwin, A. E Cundiff, F. W. Heath, Colonel E G. R.
Banks, Col. C Cuthbert, W. N. Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Baxter, A. B. Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.) Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Davidson, Viscountess Higgs, J. M. C
Ban, R. M. Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (M'tgomery) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston) Davies, Nigel (Epping) Hill, Dr. C. (Luton)
Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport) Deedes, W. F. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Bennett, W. G. (Woodside) Digby, S. Wingfield Hirst, G. A. N
Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hogg, Hon. Q
Birch, Nigel Donner, P. W. Hollis, M. C.
Bishop, F. P. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)
Black, C. W. Drayson, G. B. Hope, Lord J
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Drewe, C. Hopkinson, H.
Bossom, A. C. Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Hornsby-Smith, Miss P.
Bowen, R. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Horsbrugh, Miss F.
Bower, N. Dunglass, Lord Howard, G R (St. Ives)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A Duthie, W. S. Howard, S G. (Cambridgeshire)
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Hudson, Sir A. U M. (Lewisham, N.)
Braine, B. Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G Erroll, F. J. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Fisher, Nigel Hulbert, Wing-Cdr N J
Brooke, H. (Hampstead) Fletcher, W. (Bury) Hurd, A. R.
Browne, J. N. (Govan) Fort, R. Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T Foster, J. G. Hutchison, Lt. -Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Bullock, Capt. M. Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone) Hyde, H. M
Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E. Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Hylton-Foster, H. B
Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Jeffreys, General Sir G
Butcher, H. W. Gage, C. H. Jennings, R.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Johnson, H. S. (Kemptown)
Carr, L. R. (Mitcham) Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Jones, A. (Hall Green)
Carson, Hon. E. Gammans, L. D. Joynson-Hicks, Hon L W
Channon, H. Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Kaberry, D.
Clarke, Col R. S. (East Grinstead) Gates, Maj. E. E. Keeling, E. H.
Clarke, Brig T. H. (Portsmouth, W.) Glyn, Sir R. Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)
Clyde, J. L. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H
Colegate, A. Gridley, Sir A. Lambert, Hon. G.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Grimond, J. Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Cooper, A. E. (Ilford, S.) Grimston, Hon. J. (St Albans) Langford-Holt, J.
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Nield, B. (Chester) Stevens, G. P.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Nugent. G. R. H. Stewart J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Lindsay, Martin Oakshott, H. D. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Linstead, H. N. Odey, G. W. Storey, S.
Llewellyn, D. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J (Moray)
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Summers, G. S.
Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Sutcliffe, H.
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Osborne, C. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Longden, G. J. M. (Herts. S. W.) Perkins, W. R. D. Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Low, A. R. W. Peto, Brig. C. H. M Teeling, William
Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.) Pickthorn, K. Thompson, K. P. (Walton)
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Pitman, I. J. Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Powell, J. Enoch Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Lytlelton, Rt. Hon. O Prescott, Stanley Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
McAdden, S. J. Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.) Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F.
McCallum, Maj. D. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Tilney, John
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Profumo, J. D. Touche, G. C.
Macdonald, A. J. F (Roxburgh) Raikes, H. V. Turton, R. H
Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Rayner, Brig. R. Tweedsmuir, Lady
McKibbin, A. Redmayne, M Vane, W. M. F.
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Remnant, Hon. P Vaughan-Morgan, J. K
Maclean, F. H. R. Renton, D. L. M. Vosper, D. F
MacLeod, I. (Enfield, W.) Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth) Wade, D. W.
MacLeod, J. (Ross and Cromarty) Roberts, P. G. (Heeley) Wakefield, E. S. (Derbyshire, W.)
Macmilian, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.) Wakefield, Sir W. W. (St. Marylebone)
Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Robson-Brown, W. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Maitlend, Comdr. J. W. Rodgers, J. (Sevenoaks) Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Marnningham-Buller, R E. Roper, Sir H. Ward, Miss I (Tynemouth)
Marlowe, A. A. H Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry) Waterhouse, Capt. C
Marples, A. E. Russell, R. S. Watkinson, H
Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D Webbe, Sir H. (London)
Maude, A. E. U. (Ealing, S.) Scott, Donald Wheatley, Major M. J (Poole)
Maude, J. C. (Exeter) Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle) White, J. Baker (Canterbury)
Maudling, R. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Madlicott, Brigadier F. Smith, E. Martin (Grantham) Williams, Gerald (Tenbridge)
Mellor, Sir J. Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Wills, G.
Molson, A. H. E. Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington) Wilson, G. (Truro)
Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen) Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Wood, Hon. R.
Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Snadden, W. McN. York, C.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Soames, Capt. C. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Spearman, A. C. M.
Nabarro, G. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Nicholls, H. Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.) Mr. Studholme and
Nicholson, G. Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde) Brigadier Mackeson.

Question put accordingly, "That those words be there added."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 281; Noes, 295.

Division No. 21.] AYES [1.57 a.m.
Aitken, W. T. Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Davidson, Viscountess
Alport, C. J. M Brooke, H. (Hampstead) Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (M'tgomery)
Amery, J. (Preston, N.) Browne, J. N. (Govan) Davies, Nigel (Epping)
Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Deedes, W. F.
Arbuthnot, John Bullock, Capt. M. Digby, S. Wingfield
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E Dodds-Parker, A. D.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A. Donner, P. W.
Astor, Hon. M. Butcher, H. W. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M.
Baker, P. Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Drayson, G. B.
Baldock, J. M. Carr, L. R (Mitcham) Drewe, C.
Baldwin, A. E. Carson, Hon. E. Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)
Banks, Col. C. Channon, H. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Baxter, A. B. Clarke, Col. R. S. (East Grinstead) Dunglass, Lord
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Clarke, Brig. T. H. (Portsmouth, W.) Duthie, W. S.
Bell, R. M. Clyde, J. L. Eden, Rt. Hon. A.
Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston) Colegate, A. Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter
Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport) Cooper, A. E. (Ilford, S.) Erroll, F. J.
Bennett, W. G. (Woodside) Cooper-Key, E. M. Fisher, Nigel
Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Fletcher, W. (Bury)
Birch, Nigel Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne) Fort, R.
Bishop, F. P. Cranborne, Viscount Foster, J. G.
Black, C. W. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone)
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)
Bossom, A. C. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.
Bowen, R. Crouch, R. F. Gage, C. H.
Bower, N. Crowder, F. P. (Northwood) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (F'chley) Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Cundiff, F. W. Gammans, L. D.
Braine, B. Cuthbert, W. N. Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.) Gates, Maj. E. E.
Glyn, Sir R. Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.) Ross, Sir R. D (Londonderry)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Russell, R. S.
Gridley, Sir A. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D
Grimond, J. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D
Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans) McAdden, S. J. Scott, Donald
Grimston, R. V. (Westbury) McCallum, Maj. D Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle)
Harden, J. R. E. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Smiles, Lt.-Col Sir W
Hare, Hon. J H. (Woodbridgs) Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh) Smith, E. Martin (Grantham)
Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) Macdonald, Sir P (I. of Wight) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Harris, R. R. (Heston) McKibbin, A. Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington)
Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.) Maclean, F. H. R. Snadden, W. McN
Hay, John MacLeod, I. (Enfield, W.) Soames, Capt. C
Head, Brig. A. H. MacLeod, J. (Ross and Cromarty) Spearman, A. C. M.
Heald, L. F. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Heath, Colonel E. G. R. Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Henderson, John (Catheart) Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde)
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W Manningham-Butler, R. E. Stevens, G. P
Higgs, J. M. C. Marlowe, A. A. H. Steward, W. A (Woolwich, W.)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythernshawe) Marples, A. E. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hill, Dr. C. (Luton) Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Stoddart-Scott. Col. M
Hinchingbrocke, Viscount Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Storey, S.
Hirst. Geoffrey Maude, A. E. U. (Eating, S.) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Hogg, Hon. Q Maude, J. C. (Exeter) Stuart, Rt. Hon J (Moray)
Hollis, M. C. Maudling, R. Studholme, H. G.
Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Medlicott, Brigadier F. Summers, G. S.
Hope, Lord J Mellor, Sir J Sutcliffe, H
Hopkinson, H Molson, A. H. E. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Horsbrugh, Miss F. Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen) Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Hornsby-Smith, Miss P Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Teeling, William
Howard, G R. (St. Ives) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S (Cirencester) Thompson, K. P. (Walton)
Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire) Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)
Hudson, Sir A. U. M. (Lewisham, N.) Nabarro, G. Thorneycrott, G. E. P (Monmouth)
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Nicholls, H. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Nicholson, G. Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F.
Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J. Nield, B. (Chester) Tilney, John
Hurd, A R. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Touche, G. C
Hutchinson, G. (Ilford, N.) Nugent, G. R. H. Turton, R. H.
Hutchison, Lt. -Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W) Oakshott, H. D. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Hyde, H. M. Odey, G. W. Vane, W. M. F.
Hylton-Foster, H. B. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K
Jeffreys, General Sir G. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Vosper, D. F
Jennings, R. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Wade, D. W
Johnson, H. S. (Kemptown) Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)
Jones, A (Hall Green) Osborne, C. Wakefield, Sir W. W (St Merylebone)
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L W Perkins, W. R. D. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Kaberry, D. Peto, Brig. C. H. M Ward, Hon. G. R (Worcester)
Keeling, E. H. Pickthorn, K. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Pitman, I. J. Waterhouse, Capt. C
Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Powell, J. Enoch Walkinson, H.
Lambert, Hon. G. Prescott, Stanley Watt, Sir G. S Harvie
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.) Webbe, Sir H. (London)
Langford-Holt, J Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Wheatley, Major M. J. (Poole)
Law, Rt Hon. R K. Profumo, J. D. White, J. Baker (Canterbury)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Raikes, H. V. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Lannox-Boyd, A Rayner, Brig. R. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Lindsay, Martin Redmayne, M. Wills, G.
Linstead, H. K. Remnant, Hon. P. Wilson, G. (Truro)
Llewellyn, D. Renton, D. L. M. Wood, Hon. R.
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth) York, C.
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Roberts, P. G. (Heeley) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C Robson-Brown, W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Longden, G. J. M. (Herts. S. W.) Rodgers, J. (Sevenoaks) Major Conant and
Low, A. R. W Roper, Sir H. Brigadier Mackeson.
Acland, Sir Richard Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Burke, W. A.
Adams, Richard Bing, G. H. C. Burton, Miss E.
Albu, A. H. Blenkinsop, A. Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Blyton, W. R. Callaghan, James
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Boardman, H. Carmichael, James
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Booth, A. Castle, Mrs. B. A.
Awbery, S. S. Bottomley, A. G. Champion, A. J
Ayles, W. H. Bowden, H. W. Chetwynd, G. R.
Bacon, Miss A. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Clunie, J.
Baird, J. Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Cocks, F. S.
Balfour, A. Brockway, A. Fenner Coldrick, W.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Brook, D. (Halifax) Collick, P.
Bartley, P. Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Cook, T. F.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Broughton, Dr. A. D. D Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Benson, G. Brown, George (Belper) Cooper, J. (Doptford)
Beswick, F. Brown, T. J. (Ince) Corbet, Mrs F. K. (Peckham)
Cove, W. G. Isaacs, Rt Hon. G A. Proctor, W. T.
Craddock, George (Bradferd, S.) Janner, B. Pryde, D. J.
Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Jay, D. P. T. Pursey, Comdr. H.
Crosland, C. A. R. Jeger, G. (Goole) Rankin, J.
Crossman, R. H. S. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.) Rees, Mrs. D.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Jenkins, R. H. Reeves, J.
Daines, P. Johnson, J. (Rugby) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Reid, W. (Camlachie)
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Rhodes, H.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Richards, R.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Robens, A.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Keenan, W. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
de Freitas, Geoffrey Kenyon, C. Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Deer, G. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Delargy, H J. King, H. M. Royle, C.
Dodds, N. N. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E Shackleton, E. A. A
Donnelly, D. Kinley, J. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H
Donovan, T N. Lang, Rev. G. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Driberg, T E. N Lee, F. (Newton) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Dye, S. Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lewis, A. W. J. (West Ham, N.) Simmons, C. J.
Edelman, M. Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.) Slater, J.
Edwards, John (Brighouse) Lindgren, G. S. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Snow, J. W.
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Logan, D. G. Sorensen, R. W.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Longden, F. (Small Heath) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F.
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) McAllister, G. Sparks, J. A.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) MacColl, J. E. Steele, T
Ewart, R. McGhee, H. G. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Fernyhough, E. McGovern, J. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Field, Capt. W. J. McInnes, J. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Finch, H. J. Mack, J. D. Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Vauxhall)
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) McKay, J. (Wallsend) Stross, Dr. B.
Follick, M. Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.) Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith
Foot, M. M. McLeavy, F. Sylvester, G. O.
Forman, J. C. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Fraser, T. (Hamilton) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Freeman, J (Watford) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mainwaring, W. H. Thomas, T. George (Cardiff)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Thomas, I. R. (Rhondda, W.)
Gibson, C. W. Mann, Mrs. J. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Gitzean, A. Manuel, A. C. Thurtle, Ernest
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Timmons, J.
Gooch, E. G. Mathers, Rt. Hon. George Tomney, F.
Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mellish, R. J. Turner-Samuels, M.
Greenwood, A W J. (Rossendale) Messer, F. Usborne, Henry
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A (Wakefield) Middleton, Mrs. L. Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Grenfell, D. R. Mikardo, Ian Viant, S. P.
Grey, C. F. Mitchison, G. R. Wallace, H. W.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Moeran, E. W. Watkins, I. E.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Monslow, W. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford. C.)
Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange) Moody, A. S. Weitzman, D.
Gunter, R. J. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Hale, J. (Rochdale) Motley, R. Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) West, D. G.
Hall, J (Gateshead, W.) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Hill, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mort, D. L. White, Mrs. E. (E. Flint)
Hamilton, W. W. Moyle, A. White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Hannan, W Mulley, F. W. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Hardman, D. R. Murray, J. D. Wigg, George
Hardy, E. A. Nally, W. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.
Hargreaves, A Neal, H. Wilkes, L.
Harrison, J. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Hastings, Dr. Somerville O'Brien, T. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Hayman, F. H. Oldfield, W. H. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley R.) Oliver, G. H. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Herbison, Miss M. Orbach, M. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Hewitson, Capt. M Padley, W. E. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Huyton)
Hobson, C. R. Paget, R. T. Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham, C.)
Holman, P. Paling, Rt. Hn. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly) Winterbottom, R. E. (Brightside)
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wise, Major F. J.
Hoy, J. Pannell, T. C. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Hubbard, T. Pargiter, G. A. Woods, Rev. G. S.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.) Parker, J. Wyatt, W. L.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Paton, J. Yates, V. F.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeett, N.) Pearson, A. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Hughes, R. M. (Islington, N.) Peart, T. F
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Poole, Cecil TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Popplewell, E. Mr. Collindridge and
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Porter, G. Mr. Kenneth Robinson.
Irving, W. J (Wood Green) Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
The Chairman

Does the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) desire to move the next Amendment?

Mr. Erroll

Yes, Sir. I beg to move, in page 2, line 37, at the end, to add: (7) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any light oils

used in any aircraft or used in connection with, the construction or testing of any engine intended to be fitted in an aircraft or motor vehicle."

Question put, "That those words be there added."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 281; Noes, 294.

Division No. 22.] AYES [2.9 a.m.
Aitken, W. T. Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Alport, C. J. M. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Langford-Holt, J.
Amery, J. (Preston, N.) Dunglass, Lord Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Duthie, W. S. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Arbuthnot, John Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Lennox-Boyd, A. T
Ashton, H. (Chelmstord) Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter Lindsay, Martin
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W) Erroll, F. J. Linstead, H. N
Astor, Hon. M Fisher, Nigel Llewellyn, D.
Baker, P. Fletcher, W. (Bury) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
Baldock, J. M Fort, R. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Baldwin, A. E. Foster, J. G Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)
Banks, Col. C. Fraser, Hon H. C. P. (Stone) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C
Baxter, A. B. Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Longden, G. J. M. (Herts. S. W.)
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P M. Low, A. R. W.
Boll, R. M. Gage, C. H. Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.)
Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport) Gammans, L. D. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.
Bennett, W. G. (Woodside) Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O
Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Gates, Maj. E. E. McAdden, S. J.
Birch, Nigel Glyn, Sir R. McCallum, Maj, D.
Bishop, F. P. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Black, C. W. Gridley, Sir A. Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh)
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Grimond, J. Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)
Bossom, A. C. Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans) Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Bowen, R. Grimston, R. V. (Westbury) McKibbin, A.
Bower, N. Harden, J. R. E. McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Maclean, F. H. R.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) MacLeod, I. (Enfield, W.)
Braine, B. Harris, R. R. (Heston) MacLeod, J. (Ross and Cromarty)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr J. G. Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.) Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)
Brooke, H. (Hampstead) Hay, John Maitland, Comdr. J. W.
Browne, J. N. (Govan) Head, Brig. A. H. Manningham-Buller, R E.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Heald, L. F. Marlowe, A. A. H.
Bullock, Capt. M. Heath, Colonel E. G. R Marples, A. E.
Bullus, Wing-commander E. E. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Marshall, D. (Bodmin)
Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A. Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)
Butcher, H. W. Higgs, J. M. C. Maude, A. E. U. (Eating, S.)
Butler, Rt. Hon R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Maude, J. C. (Exeter)
Carr, C. R. (Mitcham) Hill, Dr. C. (Luton) Maudling, R.
Carson, Hon. E. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Medlicott, Brigadier F
Channon, H. Hirst. Geoffrey Mellor, Sir J.
Clarke, Col. R. S. (East Grinstead) Hogg, Hon. Q. Molson, A. H. E.
Clarke, Brig. T. H. (Portsmouth, W.) Hollis, M C. Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen)
Clyde, J. L. Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)
Colegate, A. Hope, Lord J Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)
Cooper, A. E. (Ilford, S.) Hopkinson H. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hornsby-Smith, Miss P Nabarro, G.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Horsbrugh, Miss F. Nicholls, H.
Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne) Howard, G. R. (St. Ives) Nicholson, G.
Cranborne, Viscount Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire) Nield, B. (Chester)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Hudson, Sir A. U. M. (Lewisham, N.) Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Nugent, G. R. H.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Oakshott, H. D.
Crouch, R. F. Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J. Odey, G. W.
Crowder, F. P. (Ruislip, N'thwood) Hurd A. R. Ormsby-Core, Hon. W D.
Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (F'chley) Hutchinson, G (Ilford, N.) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Cundiff, F. W. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Cuthbert, W. N. Hyde, H. M. Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.) Hyllon-Foster, H. B. Osborne, C.
Davidson, Viscountess Jeffreys, General Sir G. Perkins, W. R. D.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (M'tgomery) Jennings, R. Peto, Brig. C. H. M
Davies, Nigel (Epping) Johnson, H. S. (Kemptown) Pickthorn, K.
Deedes, W. F. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Pitman, I. J.
Digby, S. Wingfield Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Powell, J. Enoch
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Kaberry, D. Prescott, Stanley
Donner, P. W. Keeling, E H. Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M. Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Drayton, G. B. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H Profumo, J. D.
Drewe, C. Lambert, Hon. G. Raikes, H. V.
Rayner, Brig. R. Spent, Sir P. (Kensington, S.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Redmayne, M. Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde) Vosper, D. F.
Remnant, Hon. P. Stevens, G. P. Wade, D. W.
Renton, D. L. M. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)
Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth) Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.) Wakefield, Sir W. W (St Merylebone)
Roberts, P. G. (Heeley) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.) Storey, S. Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Robson-Brown, W. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Redgers, J. (Sevenoaks) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray) Waterhouse, Capt. C.
Roper, Sir H. Studholme, H. G. Watkinson, H.
Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry) Summers, G. S. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Russell, R. S. Sutcliffe, H. Webbe, Sir H. (London)
Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne) Wheatley, Major M. J. (Poole)
Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.) White, J. Baker (Canterbury)
Scott, Donald Teeling, William Williams, C. (Torquay)
Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle) Thompson, K. P. (Walton) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W. Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.) Wills, G.
Smith, E. Martin (Grantham) Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth) Wilson, G. (Truro)
Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N. Wood, Hon. R.
Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington) Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F York, C.
Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Tilney, John Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Snadden, W. McN. Touche, G. C.
Soames, Capt. C. Turton, R. H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Spearman, A. C. M. Tweedsmuir, Lady Major Conant and
Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.) Vane, W. M. F. Mr. Galbraith.
Acland, Sir Richard Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Hargreaves, A.
Adams, Richard Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Harrison, J.
Albu, A. H. Davies, Harold (Leek) Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Hayman, F. H.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley R.)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) de Freitas, Geoffrey Herbison, Miss M.
Awbery, S. S. Deer, G. Hewitson, Capt. M.
Ayles, W. H. Delargy, H. J. Hobson, C. R.
Bacon, Miss A. Dodds, N. N. Holman, P.
Baird, J. Donnelly, D. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)
Balfour, A. Donovan, T. N. Hoy, J.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Driberg, T. E. N. Hubbard, T.
Bartley, P. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.)
Benson, G. Dye, S. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)
Beswick, F. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Edelman, M. Hughes, R. M. (Islington, N.)
Bing, G. H. C. Edwards, John (Brighouse) Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Blenkinsop, A. Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Bryton, W. R. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Irvine, A J (Edge Hill)
Boardman, H. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Irving, W J. (Wood Green)
Booth, A. Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Bottomley, A. G. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Janner, B
Bowden, H. W. Ewart, R. Jay, D. P. T.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Fernyhough, E. Jeger, G. (Goole)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Field, Capt. W. J. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Brockway, A. Fenner Finch, H. J. Jenkins, R. H.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Johnson, J. (Rugby)
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Follick, M. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Foot, M. M. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)
Brown, George (Belper) Forman, J. C. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Burke, W. A. Freeman, J. (Watford) Jones, William Elwyn (Conway)
Burton, Miss E. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Keenan, W.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N Kenyon, C.
Callaghan, James Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Carmichael, James Gibson, C. W. King, H. M.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Gilzean, A Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.
Champion, A. J. Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Kinley, J.
Chetwynd, G. R. Gooch, E. G. Lang, Rev. G.
Clunie, J. Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Lee, F. (Newton)
Cocks, F. S. Greenwood, A. W J. (Rossendale) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)
Coldrick, W. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)
Collick, P. Grenfeil, D. R. Lewis, A. W. J. (Watt Ham, N.)
Collindridge, F. Grey, C. F. Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.)
Cook, T. F. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Lindgren, G. S.
Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Cooper, J. (Deptford) Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange) Logan, D. G.
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Peckham) Gunter, R. J. Longden, F. (Small Heath)
Cove, W. G. Hale, J. (Rochdale) McAllister, G.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) MacColl, J. E.
Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Hall, J. (Gateshead, W.) McGhee, H. G.
Crosland, C. A. R. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) McGovern, J.
Crossman, R. H. S. Hamilton, W. W. McInnes, J.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hannan, W. Mack, J. D.
Daines, P. Hardman, D. R. McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Dalten, Rt. Hon. H. Hardy, E. A. Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.)
McLeavy, F. Peart, T. F. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Poole, Cecil Thomas, T. George (Cardiff)
McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Porter, G. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Thomas, I. R. (Rhondda, W.)
Mainwaring, W. H. Proctor, W. T. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Pryda, D. J. Thurtle, Ernest
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Pursey, Comdr. H. Timmons, J.
Mann, Mrs. J. Rankin, J. Tomney, F.
Manuel, A. C. Rees, Mrs. D. Turner-Samuels, M.
Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Reeves, J. Usborne, Henry
Mathers, Rt. Hon. George Reid, T. (Swindon) Vernon, Maj. W. F
Mellish, R. J. Reid, W. (Camlachie) Viant, S. P.
Messer, F. Rhodes, H. Wallace, H. W
Middleton, Mrs. L. Richards, R Watkins, T. E
Mikardo, Ian Robens, A. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford. C.)
Mitchison, G. R Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Weitzman, D.
Moeran, E. W Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Monslow, W. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Moody, A. S. Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.) West, D. G.
Morgan, Dr. H. B Ross, William (Kilmarnock) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Morley, R. Royle, C. White, Mrs. E. (E. Flint)
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Shackleton, E. A. A White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Mort, D. L Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E Wigg, George
Moyle, A. Shurmer, P. L. E. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.
Mulley, F. W Silverman, J. (Erdington) Wilkes, L.
Murray, J. D Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Nally, W. Simmons, C. J. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Neal, H. Slater, J. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
O'Brien, T. Snow, J. W. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Oldfield, W. H. Sorensen, R W Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Huyton)
Oliver, G. H. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham, C.)
Orbach, M. Steele, T. Winterbottom, R. E. (Brightside)
Padley, W. E. Stewart, Michael (Fulham E.) Wise, Major F. J.
Paget, R. T. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Paling, Rt. Hn. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J Woods, Rev. G. S.
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Vauxhall) Wyatt, W. L.
Pannell, T. C. Stross, Dr. B. Yates, V. F.
Pargiter, G. A Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Parker, J. Sylvester, G. O.
Paton, J. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Pearson, A Taylor, R. J (Morpeth) Mr. Popplewell and
Mr. Sparks.

2.15 a.m.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 294; Noes, 281.

Division No. 23.] AYES [2.20 a.m
Acland, Sir Richard Burton, Miss E. Donnelly, D.
Adams, Richard Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Donovan, T. N.
Albu, A. H. Callaghan, James Driberg, T. E. N.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Carmichael, James Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Castle, Mrs. B. A. Dye, S.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Champion, A. J. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Awbary, S. S. Chetwynd, G. R. Edelman, M.
Ayles, W. H. Clunie, J. Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)
Bacon, Miss A. Cocks, F. S. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Baird, J. Coldrick, W. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)
Balfour, A. Collick, P. Evans, E. (Lowestoft)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Collindridge, F. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Bartley, P. Cook, T. F. Ewart, R.
Benson, G. Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.) Edwards, John (Brighouse)
Beswick, F. Cooper, J. (Deptford) Fernyhough, E
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Peckham) Field, Capt. W. J.
Bing, G. H. C. Cove, W. G. Finch, H. J.
Blenkinsop, A. Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)
Blyton, W. R. Crosland, C. A. R. Follick, M.
Boardman, H. Crossman, R. H. S. Foot, M. M.
Booth, A. Cullen, Mrs. A. Forman, J. C.
Bottomley, A. G. Daines, P. Fraser, T. (Hamilton)
Bowden, H. W. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Freeman, J. (Watford)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Freeman, Peter (Newport)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.
Brockway, A. Fenner Davies, Harold (Leak) Ganley, Mrs. C. S.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Gibson, C. W.
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Gilzean, A.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. de Freitas, Geoffrey Glanville, J. E. (Consett)
Brown, George (Belper) Deer, G. Gooch, E. G.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Delargy, H. J. Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Burke, W. A. Dodds, N. N. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Rossendale)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Mack, J. D. Shackleton, E. A. A.
Grenfell, D. R. McKay, J (Wallsend) Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H
Grey, C. F. Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) McLeavy, F. Shurmer, P. L. E
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Gunter, R. J. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Simmons, C. J.
Hale, J. (Rochdale) Mainwaring, W. H. Slater, J.
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Hall, J. (Gateshead, W.) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Snow, J. W.
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mann, Mrs. J. Sorensen, R. W.
Hamilton, W. W. Manuel, A. C. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F.
Hardman, D. R. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Sparks, J. A.
Hardy, E. A. Mathers, Rt. Hon. George Steele, T.
Hargreaves, A. Mellish, R. J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Harrison, J. Messer, F. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Middleton, Mrs. L. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J
Hayman, F. H. Mikardo, Ian Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Vauxhall)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley R.) Mitchison, G. R. Stross, Dr. B.
Herbison, Miss M. Moeran, E. W. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith
Hewitson, Capt. M. Monslow, W. Sylvester, G. O.
Hobson, C. R. Moody, A. S. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Holman, P. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Morley, R. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Hoy, J. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Thomas, T. George (Cardiff)
Hubbard, T. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.) Mort, D. L. Thomas, I. R. (Rhondda, W.)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Moyle, A. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Mulley, F. W. Thurtle, Ernest
Hughes, R. M. (Islington, N.) Murray, J. D. Timmons, J.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Nally, W. Tomney, F.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Neal, H. Turner-Samuels, M
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J Usborne, Henry
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) O'Brien, T Vernon, Maj. W F.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Oldfield, W. H. Viant, S. P.
Janner, B Oliver, G. H. Wallace, H. W
Jay, D. P. T. Orbach, M. Watkins, T. E.
Jeger, G. (Goole) Padley, W. E. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.) Paget, R. T. Weitzman, D.
Jenkins, R. H. Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly) Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Johnson, J. (Rugby) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Pannell, T. C. West, D. G.
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Pargiter, G. A Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Ed'nb'gh, E.)
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Parker, J. White, Mrs. E. (E. Flint)
Jones, J. H. (Rotherham) Paton, J. White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Pearson, A. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Keenan, W. Peart, T. F. Wigg, George
Kenyon, C. Poole, Cecil Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Popplewell, E. Wilkes, L.
King, H. M. Porter, G. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Kinghorn, Sqn, -Ldr. E Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Kinley, J. Proctor, W. T. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Lang, Rev. G. Pryde, D. J. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Lee, F. (Newton) Pursey, Comdr. H Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Rankin, J Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Huyton)
Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Rees, Mrs. D. Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham C.)
Lewis, A. W. J. (West Ham, N.) Reeves, J. Winterbottom, R. E. (Brightside)
Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.) Reid, T. (Swindon) Wise, Major F. J.
Lindgren, G. S. Reid, W. (Camlachie) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Rhodes, H. Woods, Rev. G. S.
Logan, D. G. Richards, R. Wyatt, W. L.
Longden, F (Small Heath) Robens, A. Yates, V. F.
McAllister, G. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
MacColl, J. E. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
McGhee, H. G. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
McGovern, J. Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.) Mr. Hannan and
McInnes, J Ross, William (Kilmarnock) Mr. Royle.
Aitken, W. T. Bell, R. M. Braine, B.
Alport, C. J. M. Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston) Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.
Amery, J. (Preston, N.) Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport) Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.
Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Bennett, W. G. (Woodside) Brooke, H. (Hampstead)
Arbuthnot, John Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxleth) Browne, J. N. (Govan)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Birch, Nigel Buchan-Hepbum, P. G. T.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bishop, F. P. Bullock, Capt. M.
Astor, Hon. M. Black, C. W. Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E.
Baker, P. Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A.
Baldock, J. M Bossom, A. C. Butcher, H. W.
Baldwin, A. E. Bowen, R. Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n).
Banks, Col. C. Bower, N. Carr, L. R. (Mitcham)
Baxter, A. B. Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Carson, Hon. E.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Channon, H.
Clarke, Col. R. S. (East Grinstead) Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Powell, J. Enoch
Clarke, Brig. T. H. (Portsmouth, W.) Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J. Prescott, Stanley
Clyde, J. L. Hurd, A. R. Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
Colegate, A. Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Cooper, A. E. (Ilford, S.) Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Profumo, J. D.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hyde, H. M. Raikes, H. V.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Hylton-Foster, H. B. Rayner, Brig. R
Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne) Jeffreys, General Sir G. Redmayne, M.
Cranborne, Viscount Jennings, R. Remnant, Hon. P.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Johnson, H. S. (Kemptown) Renton, D. L. M.
Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Roberts, P. G. (Heeley)
Crouch, R. F. Kaberry, D. Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (Finchley) Keeling, E. H. Robson-Brown, W.
Crowder, F P. (Ruislip, N'thwood) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Rodgers, J. (Sevenoaks)
Cundiff, F. W. Kinigsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Roper, Sir H.
Cuthbert, W. N. Lambert, Hon. G. Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.) Lancaster, Col. C. G. Russell, R. S.
Davidson, Viscountess Langford-Holt, J. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Davies, Nigel (Epping) Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Scott, R. D.
Deedes, W. F. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle)
Digby, S. Wingfield Lindsay, Martin Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Linstead, H. N. Smith, E. Martin (Grantham)
Donner, P. W. Llewellyn, D. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington)
Drayson, G. B. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Drewe, C. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Snadden, W. McN.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Soames, Capt. C.
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Longden, G. J. M. (Herts. S. W.) Spearman, A. C. M
Dunglass, Lord Low, A. R. W. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Duthie, W. S. Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.) Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde)
Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Stevens, G. P.
Erroll, F. J. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Fisher, Nigel McAdden, S. J. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) McCallum, Maj D. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Fort, R. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Storey, S.
Foster, J. G. Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone) Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Mackeson, Brig. H. R Studholme, H. G.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. McKibbin, A. Summers, G. S
Gage, C. H. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Sutcliffe, H.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Maclean, F. H. R. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Gammans, L. D. MacLeod, I. (Enfield, W.) Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) MacLeod, J. (Ross and Cromarty) Teeling, William
Gates, Maj. E. E. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Thompson, K. P. (Walton)
Glyn, Sir R. Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Gridley, Sir A. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Grimond, J. Marlowe, A. A. H. Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F
Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans) Marples, A. E. Tilney, John
Grimston, R. V. (Westbury) Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Touche, G. C.
Harden, J. R. E. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Turton, R. H.
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Maude, A. E. U. (Ealing, S.) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) Maude, J. C. (Exeter) Vane, W. M. F.
Harris, R. R. (Heston) Maudling, R. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Medlicott, Brigadier F. Vosper, D. F.
Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.) Mellor, Sir J. Wade, D. W.
Hay, John Molson, A. H. E. Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)
Head, Brig. A. H. Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen) Wakefield, Sir W. W. (St. Marylebone)
Heald, L. F. Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Heath, Colonel E. G. R. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Nabarro, G. Waterhouse, Capt. C.
Higgs, J. M. C. Nicholls, H. Watkinson, H.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicholson, G. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Hill, Dr. C. (Luton) Nield, B. (Chester) Webbe, Sir H. (London)
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Wheatley, Major M. J. (Poole)
Hirst. Geoffrey Nugent, G. R. H. White, J. Baker (Canterbury)
Hogg, Hon. Q. Oakshott, H. D. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Hollis, M. C. Odey, G. W. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Wills, G.
Hope, Lord J. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Wilson, G. (Truro)
Hopkinson, H. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Wood, Hon. R.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss P. Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) York, C.
Horsbrugh, Miss F. Osborne, C. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Howard, G. R. (St. Ives) Perkins, W. R. D.
Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire) Peto, Brig. C. H. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hudson, Sir A. U. M. (Lewisham, N.) Pickthorn, K. Major Conant and
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Pitman, I. J. Mr. Galbraith.