(1) Any allowance payable out of the public revenue to or in respect of any class of persons
being either members of the armed forces of the Crown or women serving in any of the capacities mentioned in the Sixth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1946, shall not be regarded as income for any of the purposes of the Income Tax Acts.
(2) This section shall have effect from the beginning of the year 1950–51.—[Mr. Low.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. A. R. W. Low (Blackpool, North)
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
These allowances differ, of course, from pay and that is why they are called allowances. They are given in general to cover expenses, or in substitution of provisions made in kind for other members of the Armed Forces. For example, many members of the Armed Forces live in barracks or accommodation for which they do not have to pay. Some allowances are given in substitution of that accommodation, and my reason for raising this now is to try to ensure that officers and men who are in receipt of Service allowances are really given the proper allowance for the expense or the provision in kind which the allowance is meant to cover.
I do not think that this proposed Clause will be resisted by the Government on the grounds of its cost. I express that opinion for two reasons. First, I asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what it would cost and he was unable to reply; he said it had not been worked out. Secondly, I express that opinion for the reason that, even if the Government accept this new Clause, they have it in their power to alter allowances in such a way that there would be no extra cost on the Exchequer. We would think it rather bad treatment if the Government did that, but the question of the cost on the Exchequer is not raised right in the forefront.
But the Clause raises at once a Treasury principle, a principle of taxation on which I imagine most of the Debate will run. It also raises, as any Debate on Service pay and allowances must raise, the wider question of the difficulties that serving officers and men are in today. But it is, of course, on the taxation principle that I expect we shall hear most of the Debate and it is on that that I want to concentrate my remarks.
I tell the Committee at once that I am conscious of my inadequacy to put the 1145 points as well as they might be put because this is a matter of Income Tax law and principle to a great extent. But, I think the Chancellor will probably be able to read between the somewhat halting points I put to him what is worrying me and my hon. and gallant Friends. This is no strange doctrine to the Armed Forces. The White Papers on pay and allowances issued in 1946, particularly the one in connection with post-war pay for commissioned officers—Command Paper 6750—had paragraphs dealing with the previous taxation position. I will quote from that:During the war … and to a considerable extent before the war, pending a review of the taxation position of all allowances paid to members of the forces, marriage allowances, lodging allowances, family allowances and allowances in respect of children have in general not been taxed.The change was made when there was that review which was anticipated throughout the war and it was announced in these two White Papers. I do not think that at the time the announcement was made everybody in the House and, I venture to say, everybody in the Government, appreciated the great changes which would be made. The arguments for the change were also put in the White Paper. They said:It is anomalous that an appreciable proportion of the emoluments of Service personnel should, contrary to normal practice, be free from tax. To this extent, Service personnel did not share in the gains or losses due to the decreases or increases in Income Tax which affect the rest of the community,While, of course, that may be argued, service personnel also did not share in the gains of earnings which have been given to the rest of the community, and as I shall argue in the course of my speech, it is really impossible to consider Service pay and allowances as a whole in exactly the same way as we consider the emoluments of civilians. As we have often argued, they certainly bear relation in total to civilian earnings but it is impossible to apply exactly the same principles. I give this as my first reason—one has only to look at the history of these allowances.
What, for example, we call now marriage allowances for officers were, before the war, marriage rates of lodging allowance and furniture allowance and other allowances which were given to officers as substitution of furniture in 1146 kind, of lodging in kind and of fuel and light in kind. They were allowances given in substitution of provision made in kind for other members of the Forces. That was the origin of these allowances on which I particularly want to concentrate. It is even easier to see when we are not dealing with the married officers' allowances, but with lodging allowance now given to single officers. That allowance was given to the single officer which could not be accommodated at public expense in public quarters without charge and without provision of furniture in kind and without provision of fuel and light in kind. I wish to emphasise that if hon. Members will look at the history they will see that these allowances are really given in substitution of provisions made in kind.
There are people who consider that the marriage allowance, for example, enjoyed by an officer or other rank is really part of his general emoluments. If that is so, all I have to say is that the single men are paid very badly indeed as we understand the meaning of the word. The marriage allowance and lodging allowance are given to the officer or man for some definite reason in substitution for something which his colleagues otherwise enjoy in kind. In the Debate the other night on the National Fire Service allowances, to which I shall shortly refer, the matter was very well put by one of my hon. Friends when he said that in cases such as this, when payments were made in lieu of provisions in kind, those provisions should be made free of tax.
A moment or two ago I referred to the fact that in 1946 there was this change from the position whereby these allowances were free of tax to the position that marriage allowance and lodging allowance were treated as part of the emoluments and were made subject to tax. This has caused, as I think the Committee is aware, real hardship and resentment in the minds of many people. It has caused hardship because the result of imposing taxation on these allowances has in many cases been to reduce the amount actually enjoyed by the officer for the purpose covered by those allowances. It has caused resentment because the whole atmosphere that surrounded the issue of these White Papers on pay was one of improvement in rates of pay.
1147 It has also caused resentment because when the Government brought in this new rule that these allowances should be made subject to tax they expressly provided that it should not come into force for a year. They did that because they knew that hardship would be caused. Another point of importance which has followed from that decision to delay the bringing into force of this provision for a year is that as a result we in this House did not at that time receive the full impact of opinion in the Forces on the change that had been made. The change was announced and there was a gap of a year and a half before its effects were felt. I say that to explain that, although we have on other occasions discussed this point, it has not previously been debated in this House as a major point since 1946. That delay had its effect in the informing of public opinion and the opinion of Members of this Committee.
I have said that in many cases the result of imposing taxation on these allowances had caused officers in particular to receive less for their lodging or other purposes covered by the old marriage rates and lodging allowances. I wish now to give the Committee some examples of the effect. Before the 1946 code came into operation a married major received £234 per year tax free by way of marriage rates and lodging allowance. Under the present system he received £338, which, after tax deduction, is reduced to £216, which is less than he previously had. A captain likewise now receives £338, which in his case is reduced only to £227 in comparison with the £232 which he previously received. A colonel received £245 net in comparison with £283 under the original pay code.
I should like to make another comparison. As the result of the imposition of taxation on marriage allowances in particular we get the extraordinary result that of an allowance which is expressly given, according to the allowances regulations, to enable a man to meet his current family obligations, less is drawn net by a senior officer than is drawn by a junior officer. That seems to me to be quite illogical. If an allowance is given for a particular purpose one would imagine that a major had as much need in that respect as a young subaltern but the major now receives only £216 net a 1148 year whereas the subaltern receives £250 a year. I am not quarrelling with the fact that the subaltern receives £250 a year; I am quarrelling with the extraordinary fact that a major receives £34 less. A lieutenant-general whom one might have thought would also have family commitments receives £189 10s; net. That is a most extraordinary result which is brought about because taxation has been applied to allowances which were designed not simply to meet expenses as we understand them but to substitute for provisions in kind.
It is no use saying that in other branches of our life pay does not include provision in kind. In the Forces it does. It is largely for that reason that one has to treat the Forces as a special case. The Government have shown a willingness to treat the Forces as a special case from the point of view of their ration allowance. The Government have acknowledged that the ration allowances given in lieu of rations should not be taxed. That is covered in Section 30 of the Finance Act, 1946. That acknowledges that there is a special case. I plead with the Chancellor that the whole of this position should be considered as a special case.
§ Mr. George Wigg (Dudley)
Will the hon. Member tell us what items he has included in working out his net sums? Are they only fuel, light and lodging allowances?
§ Mr. Low
No. In certain instances furniture allowance is still payable so the comparison would have been false had that been included.
I hope that the Committee will forgive me for trying to make a broad survey on this matter. Before I pass on to another point I would say that in this matter it is the officers who have suffered most but the other ranks suffer as well. It is easier, however, to take one's examples from the officer level. I have taken them bearing in mind also, as I hope the Committee will bear in mind, that although there may not be as many officers as men, a unit with bad officers must be a bad unit, 1149 whereas a unit with good officers can never be a bad unit. I have in my remarks been referring mainly to the Army, but as the Chancellor will see, my hon. and gallant Friends who are supporting me in bringing forward this new Clause speak in this House for all three Services. Although it is right for me to take the Army as an example, I know they will follow me by giving examples, if necessary, from their own Services.
Before I conclude I wish to remind the Chancellor that when this post-war Pay Code was introduced certain assumptions must have been made about the rate of Income Tax. We have discussed this matter from time to time in Service Debates, but I think there is no better proof of the remark I have just made than an extract from the speech made by the right hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) who was in 1947 Secretary of State for War. On 30th July, 1947, in defending the position of Service pay and allowances he said:However, the Committee has reason to hope that taxation will be reduced, and I know that is the intention of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to achieve that"—Then my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Stanley) interjected, "Oh". The right hon. Member for Bassetlaw went on:The right hon. Gentleman may be cynical "—and my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West said, "Sceptical." The right hon. Member for Bassetlaw went on:He is cynical sometimes too—sceptical of the remarks of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer."—(OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th July, 1947; Vol. 441, c. 517.]now the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, Minister of Town and Country Planning."]—I beg the pardon of the right hon. Gentleman, he has been promoted. But what does all that mean? It does show that in the mind of the then Secretary of State for War the rate of taxation has certainly operated, particularly when he considered this question of allowances and pay. It is quite wrong that allowances given for specific purposes should be reduced in value—or increased in value, if the Committee like to put it that way—by the rate of taxation running at a given moment.
1150 It would be wrong just to leave the argument there. There are other cases in Government service where tax-free payments, or payments which have the effect of making the original payment tax-free, are made to Government servants. One of those we debated the other night, the National Fire Service. In that instance Regulations were approved enabling the Secretary of State for Home Affairs to make compensatory payments so as to cover all taxation paid on rent allowances by certain officers in the National Fire Service. It was argued that that complicated way of doing it was necessary, otherwise, so the Under-Secretary for Home Affairs told us, it would not be fair between man and man, owing to the differing tax liabilities. That of course, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) pointed out, was a very good argument in support of the Clause which I am moving today.
I believe it is also the practice in the Police Force to give tax-free allowances to cover the cost of accommodation; so much is it the practice that I believe the police are advertising for men and saying that a tax-free allowance is being given. But let me come nearer home. It is also the practice in the Civil Service to give tax-free allowances to civil servants who move their station. Many of these—
§ Mr. Douglas Houghton (Sowerby)
If the hon. Member is referring to transfer grants in the case of established civil servants, they are taxable.
§ Mr. Houghton rose—
§ Mr. Low
I know that the hon. Member is an expert, but I think he must let me state my case as I understand it to be. In any case, I know that when a civil servant has to find accommodation at a new station, for three months I think it is, he is given a lodging allowance to help pay for accommodation until his family join him, and that lodging allowance is free of tax. If a serving officer moves his 1151 station and is given a lodging allowance in addition to his marriage allowance until his family join him, that lodging allowance is not free of tax; so that there is a discrepancy there. I stand by my facts; I have looked them up as well as an amateur can look them up.
It may well be stated by the Chancellor, "All you are out to do is to get more pay for the Forces." Certainly I am out to do that. Certainly there are other ways of doing that besides getting this Clause accepted by the Government. Certainly it is true of this Clause that if it were accepted it would impose no burden on the Defence Estimates; the burden would lie somewhere else, and in fact the Defence Estimates might be reduced, but I do not think we should deal with such petty points. We are out to consider these people, and I hope we shall also consider the fact that sooner or later the Government must come to the view that they are not giving sufficient net allowances to members of the Forces, both officers and other ranks, to enable proper Regular Forces to be kept up.
Many of us on this side of the Committee, who have advocated that steps should be taken to improve this position, have always said that in our opinion if this is done ultimately—and after not a very long interval—the Government will be able to save money and save the numbers of men in the Forces. Therefore I do not think that on this occasion any question of over-burdening the Exchequer can arise in contradiction to the arguments which I have put forward.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
I always listen with an open mind to speeches from ex-Service personnel on the other side of the Committee, always realising that they now represent what is the most powerful trade union in this House.
§ Mr. Hughes
I think we should examine the facts and figures on their merits, and also with regard to other members of the community, because it would be quite possible for any other trade union to put forward just as reasonable a case for the exemption of 1152 their allowances from taxation. I can quite understand that the butchers, for example, could put up quite as reasonable a case as the Service members.
§ Brigadier Clarke (Portsmouth, West)
Will the hon. Member admit that the Army, Navy, and Air Force have no trade union and that we are the only people who can speak for them? The trade unions can speak for themselves?
§ Mr. Hughes
All I can say is that if they have no official trade union they have a very efficient substitute for it in this House. We hear the point of view of that, shall I call it "unofficial organisation" on every possible occasion in this House. Indeed, the hon. and gallant Member for Portsmouth, West (Brigadier Clarke) nearly made me take a collection for the brigadiers on the last occasion he addressed this House, which was on the occasion of an Adjournment Debate—
§ Mr. Hughes
We must not be sentimental about these things, and I therefore invite the Committee to look in rather greater detail at the propositions we are now expected to endorse. We are expected to take it for granted that Army, Navy and Air Force officers are so badly treated that they deserve special concessions which should be cheerfully contributed to by less fortunate members of the community. I could put up quite as good a case, if not a better case, for the exemption from Income Tax of miners. Let us examine some of the figures which have been given us in the Army Estimates, to see whether there are any compassionate grounds for accepting the principle of this proposed new Clause. Let us start at the lower end of the scale. The second-lieutenant has 13s. a day, ration allowance of 3s. 4d. a day, lodging allowance of 11s. a day, and a marriage allowance of 18s. 6d. a day. All these figures are from the Army Estimates, according to which—
§ Mr. Hughes
No, I have not; I have looked at them very carefully. According to this table of statistics, a single second-lieutenant gets £499 a year and a married second-lieutenant gets £636 a year—£12 a week. The great majority of the taxpayers, the wage earners, are not getting £12 a week, and see no logical reason why special consideration should be given to one particular uniformed class. After three years a married second-lieutenant gets £14 6s. a week, which is a very good income compared with the low-paid railwaymen, or even with the low-paid men working in the mines.
§ General Sir George Jeffreys (Peters field)
The hon. Gentleman says that after three years a married second-lieutenant gets £14 6s. a week. What is argued by the Government is, not that he gets £14 6s. a week but that he gets £14 6s. worth a week: he does not draw all that in cash. His lodging is estimated at so much a week; he does not get the cash. The only thing that can be said is that he does not have to pay anything for his lodging. Actually, his lodging may very likely be the cold, bare ground, as I can assure the hon. Gentleman was the case with myself for many months when I was a young officer.
§ Mr. Hughes
I can quite understand the point of view of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but it is not reasonable to ask us to accept the theory that today the second-lieutenant is sleeping on the cold, bare ground.
§ Mr. Charles Ian Orr-Ewing (Hendon, North)
What allowance has the hon. Gentleman allowed, in his own mind, for the fact that those in the Services may be posted to Malaya or elsewhere abroad? Now that the party opposite have accepted our policy, and abolished the direction of labour, that sort of thing cannot happen to the miners of whom the hon. Gentleman is speaking, or others in the same category.
§ Mr. Hughes
The miner cannot, of course, be sent to Malaya, but the miner suffers a good many inconveniences and discomforts which the normal Army officer does not. If the hon. Gentleman would care to come to my constituency I can show him miners living three in a room who have to share their beds, some 1154 going on the night shift and others on the day shift. If we are to be sentimental about it, I can put up quite as good a case for lodging allowances for miners as hon. and gallant Gentlemen opposite can put up for lodging allowances for officers. The miners and those who represent the miners must be convinced that this is a reasonable concession that is being asked for. Given the whole picture I do not think it can be argued that we are entitled to give the Army officer special treatment in the way of allowances.
I have quoted the case of the second-lieutenant, but as we go higher in the scale the anomaly gets worse. An unmarried major after six years, gets £1,010 a year, or £20 a week. I submit that the £20 a week major ought to be prepared to face the Income Tax collector just as other people do. I fail to see why hon. and gallant Gentlemen who can face the foe without a tremor are so shocked at the prospect of meeting the Income Tax collector. The married major gets £22 a week. We go up the hierarchy and come to the colonel, and then to the brigadier—
§ Mr. Hollis (Devizes)
I presume, on his argument, that the hon. Gentleman claims no allowance on his own Income Tax. Is that so?
§ Mr. Hughes
I am not discussing theory. I am discussing the hard facts of the reasonable income paid to Army officers, and I do not think we can accept the assertion that they are so harshly treated as to deserve exceptional treatment from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That is the general proposition, and I now want to illustrate it by taking the case of the brigadier.
§ Mr. Hughes
I do not see why the hon. Gentleman should get so excited. I am just reducing the matter to the facts which should be available to the ordinary person who is asked to support the principle of this proposed new Clause. Now, the brigadier gets £3 17s. a day—
§ Mr. Hughes
—3s. 4d. a day ration allowance, 17s. a day lodging allowance, 1155 and £1 3s. 6d. a day marriage allowance. A single brigadier gets £1,776 a year, or £34 a week, and the married brigadier gets £36 a week. I submit to my hard-headed friend from Edinburgh that he cannot go to an Edinburgh audience, even an audience composed of Edinburgh Tories, and justify his action in supporting this proposed new Clause, in view of the average wage of the lower paid citizens of Edinburgh.
§ Sir W. Darling
The hon. Gentleman is quite mistaken. I should have no difficulty in facing such an audience. What the hon. Gentleman does not understand is the difference between income and allowances.
§ Mr. Hughes
If the hon. Gentleman represented a Scottish constituency he would not be so facetious about housing. In passing, I would just point out to him that any Member for a Scottish constituency who does not on every possible occasion draw attention to housing is neglecting the duty he was sent to this House to perform.
Let us now take the general. The general gets £8 a day. I will not go into the question what kind of general—
§ Colonel Gomme-Duncan (Perth and East Perthshire)
There are three grades of general: generals, lieut.-generals and major-generals, all on different rates of pay and allowances.
§ Mr. Hughes
I am well aware of the different grades of general, but what I can reasonably argue is that generals should be paid by results, when these figures might not look quite so unreasonable.
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Braine (Essex, Billericay)
Would the hon. Gentleman extend that principle to Ministers of the Crown?
§ Mr. Hughes
Yes, to Ministers of all parties.
The reason why we have these interruptions is because the facts which I have given are upsetting the case put by hon. and gallant Gentlemen opposite. The general gets £8 per day, and I am quite sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for Dunbarton, East (Mr. Kirkwood) 1156 could not justify voting for this new Clause before a meeting of engineers in Dumbarton.
§ Mr. Hughes
The general receives 3s. 4d. a day ration allowance, £1 a day lodging allowance and £1 6s. a day marriage allowance. The unmarried general receives £3,346 a year, or £64 a week, and the married general gets £70 a week. I will conclude with the case of the field marshal, having gone right up the scale. The field marshal receives £9 a day, 3s. 4d. a day ration allowance, £1 a day lodging allowance and £1 6s. a day marriage allowance. A single field marshal receives £70 a week and a married field marshal £71 per week.
With these facts before us, we are asked to accept the principle that we should dole out relief in taxation to people who, compared with the civilian population, are reasonably well paid. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take the point of view of the great majority of the citizens, and not yield to the demands of those in this House who speak for a small, privileged section of the community.
§ Brigadier Head
I am extremely glad to be called at this time because of what I consider to be a serious subject, and on which I have never heard a more drivelling speech than that just delivered by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes). If the hon. Member thinks that he does himself any credit, or that he does any credit to the Committee by delivering such a speech, I am entirely in disagreement with him. We are discussing here a case of extremely hardship to all three Services, who kept the hon. Gentleman safe and enabled him to be here today. I am fed up with his drivelling about this matter; my patience is exhausted.
I want to turn to this matter of allowances and say that the subject we are discussing concerns one point alone, and that is that, at present, if we want to have a good standard of officers in the Services, we shall have to improve their conditions. They are living in conditions of great financial difficulty, quite unable to keep up the status which is expected of them in their position. The same 1157 thing is happening in this country as always happens in peace-time, when we get undue control by the Treasury and there is no vote for giving money to these people, with the result that the Treasury give them very little. By this action we are not only making their own lives more difficult, but we are making it much more likely that there will be another war.
I say to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is always busy talking when a point is made against him, that he is being forced into this position by the Minister of Defence. This matter of allowances rankles more than anything among officers because it has been nothing more or less than a swindle. The Treasury said that they would put up Service allowances, but the officers concerned found that, when the new rate of Income Tax was introduced, they were reduced again. That was the worst piece of economy in which the Treasury have ever indulged, because it resulted in innumerable good officers leaving the Service, while those who remained were much embittered by the action of the Treasury. The Chancellor has still got a great deal of good will in the Services. Members get up on the benches opposite and talk about how well we are doing in Malaya and the wonderful performances of the troops. Why should we not consider the future of the officers and the senior noncommissioned officers?
I will tell the Chancellor one more thing. Within six or nine months, he will be forced by outside pressure to put up the pay of these men. He has lost a great deal of the good will of the Services and there is now a great wastage. If the Secretary of State for War had the guts to say so, he would say that the wastage of officers and N.C.Os. in the Forces today was so great that it was causing the very gravest concern to himself, to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, to the First Sea Lord and to many others. They keep silent. Why? They want to try to retrieve the ragged political reputation of the Government because of the change made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman would do well to be very careful about this matter. I know that two other Chancellors have done this, with the result that many of our people have been 1158 slaughtered unnecessarily because of the restriction on money to keep our Forces in a state of adequate preparation.
§ Mr. Wigg
I trust that I shall be able to speak with a little less heat than the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head). I think his speech was very unfair to hon. Members on this side of the Committee, who, ever since 1945, have done their best to try to improve the conditions of Service. I remember having tried to respond, though not always successfully, to the plea of the noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) that we should discuss these Service matters on a non-party basis.
§ Earl Winterton (Horsham)
As the hon. Gentleman has referred to me, may I say that, so far as he is concerned, I entirely agree with him, and that he is justified in what he has said, but when we have to listen to a speech such as that which has just been delivered by the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway—
§ Earl Winterton
I am not making a speech; I am entitled to make an interruption, and the hon. Gentleman will find that he will not get anything out of me by shouting at me. What the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) said was perfectly fair, but, when we have to listen to such a disgraceful speech as that from the hon. Member below the Gangway, from a man who was out to destroy this country during the war—
§ Earl Winterton
My reference was to the fact that throughout the last war the hon. Gentleman did all he could to impede the progress of the war effort of this country by speeches in the House.
§ Mr. Wigg
I join with the noble Lord in regretting certain aspects of my hon. Friend's speech. I thought he was singularly ill-informed, but it is not wholly the fault of my hon. Friend; it was partly due to interventions from the other side, which had nothing whatever to do with this new Clause. Hon. Gentlemen opposite must learn that they cannot dish it out if they cannot take it themselves. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite wants to discuss Service conditions from the First World War onwards, I am at his service, and not only here but in his constituency or in mine. I know only too well the generosity with which the Services were treated by a Conservative Government. Let us not come here and presume, pretend or suggest that a Labour Government is the epitome of meanness while the Tory Party has always been open-handed in its generosity and in its treatment of officers and N.C.Os.
There is a great illusion implicit in this Clause. The hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Low) assumed, and so did his hon. Friends who are associated with him, that allowances before the war were not taxable.
§ Mr. Wigg
It just is not true. Lodging allowances and the other allowances for an officer at the age of 30 were only introduced in 1919 by Army Order 324. They were only granted to an officer when he attained the age of 30. Therefore, for the hon. Gentleman to come here and give a bald figure like that, without taking any account of the facts, is unfair.
Another allowance which was taxable before the war, in just the same way, was the Colonial allowance. My hon. Friend the Member for Ayrshire, South, persisted in talking about the pay and allowances of the senior ranks. In his Army, apparently, there is nobody below the rank of 2nd lieutenant—they presumably run from 2nd lieutenant up to field-marshal. What he overlooks, and what hon. Members opposite overlook, is that when an officer reaches a certain seniority he gets a staff appointment, and, before the war, all allowances for staff appointments were taxed. Therefore, what the Treasury were trying to do—and I am not here to defend the Treasury or to suggest that they are generous in their treatment of the Services; they are not—when the new pay 1160 code was introduced was to import a little common sense into this business.
I am not lacking in raising my voice in support of the need for generosity to the Armed Forces if we are to get the Forces we want. But it is no use hon. Members opposite coming here and trying to bully the Chancellor, or raising their voices and shouting, and suggesting that they were generous to the Forces and that we on this side were not. That is absolutely untrue. I deplored the remark of the hon. Member for Blackpool, North, who suggested that if we want a good regiment we must have good officers. Perhaps he will forgive me if I think the same regarding N.C.Os.
§ Mr. Wigg
It would have been better had the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) raised his voice when the hon. Gentleman opposite spoke about officers, instead of by way of an afterthought.
I do not think there is any difference of view between the hon. Member for Blackpool, North and myself, when the Tory Party talk about Service conditions, they should first do a little bit of research to see how the Armed Forces of the Crown were treated when they were in power. [An HON. MEMBER: "What did the Labour Party do"?] The Labour Party stopped the reductions in the rates of pay.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Lang)
The hon. Gentleman must not go back to that; he must confine himself to the Amendment.
§ Mr. Wigg
I am the last person, Mr. Lang, to dissent from your Ruling, but I do not want to be victimised in the same way as was my hon. Friend the Member for Ayrshire, South. He was interrupted by a number of irrelevancies, and, when he fell for them, he was charged by hon. Members opposite with making a disgraceful speech. I was interrupted and asked what the Labour Party did. I am quite prepared to tell hon. Members Opposite what they did, and also what the Tory Party did.
§ The Temporary Chairman
That is just what the hon. Gentleman must not do; he must not discuss either what the Labour Party or the Tory Party did.
§ Mr. Wigg
If, in fact, improvements in pay and conditions are to be given to the Armed Forces, they should be given by the front door and not by the back door. I do not believe that the acceptance of this Amendment would help the Forces at all. If it were accepted, the headlines in tomorrow morning's newspapers would convince the Forces that certain improvements had been made, whereas, on investigation, a considerable number of officers and N.C.O's would find that, once again, they had been caught up in a mass of regulations which they imperfectly understood. They would find that they were being given emoluments with one hand which were being taken away with the other. The pay codes introduced in 1945 and 1946 were the foundations upon which we should build. A great number of improvements could be made, and I am not going to suggest that they could be brought about in certain ways, but I am quite sure that the acceptance of this Amendment is not one of them.
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)
I hope that before very long a right hon. Gentleman will rise from the Front Bench opposite at least to repudiate on the part of the party opposite the sneers which the hon. Member for Ayrshire, South (Mr. Emrys Hughes) thought fit to direct against men in the Services, some of whom are at this moment, as the Secretary of State for War well knows, fighting and dying for vital British interests in the jungles of Malaya. It is obvious that one of the explanations for the failure of recruiting must be the fact that speeches of that sort can be made from the benches opposite and are not instantly repudiated by the responsible Ministers.
The hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) left us until the last minute of his speech far from clear whether he was for or against the Amendment. I do not propose to follow him, even if it would be in order, into a long controversy as to who in the past treated the Services best. The practical issue is, what are the Government going to do about it now, and what, within the rules of order, they are going to do to deal with the very real grievance concerning which my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Low), has done a good service to 1162 this Committee and to this country in putting forward in this new Clause.
I would say to the hon. Member for Ayrshire, South, that there is no suggestion behind this Amendment, as he stated, of special concessions to anybody. There is put forward a principle which is already applied by Government Departments in other cases, in particular the case of the Fire Brigade. When the hon. Member says that a powerful trade union is seeking to obtain special advantages of this particular kind for its members, I ask him to argue that out with the Fire Brigade's union which succeeded in convincing the Home Secretary of the desirability of granting in substance, a precisely similar concession to senior officers of the Fire Brigade. The principle accepted down to 1946 was, as right hon. Gentlemen Opposite know, that where somebody receives either a payment in kind, which is anyhow tax free, or where he cannot get that payment in kind, the alternative allowances, those allowances should be tax free. That is all.
The excursions of the hon. Member for Ayrshire, South, into the realms of tax avoidance show that he did not succeed in grasping that point. The point in its simplest form is this. In many cases, the exigencies of the Service dictate that a man gets a benefit in kind which is tax free, but where, because he cannot get it in kind, he gets it in cash, the Chancellor helps himself to a very large proportion of it. That is the principle at issue, and it is precisely the principle to which, as my hon. Friend pointed out, the Home Secretary applied his mind in the earlier months of this year when he had precisely this problem to face in dealing with certain senior and responsible officers of the Fire Brigade.
Although he did not give them tax immunity—no doubt because of certain technical difficulties to be found not very far from Great George Street—he gave them the substance of tax free allowances by an ingenious and somewhat complicated method of, first of all, paying them allowances, allowing those allowances to be subjected to tax, then paying them a compensatory allowance to cover the tax on the original allowance, and, when that compensatory allowance was subjected to tax, the right hon. Gentleman paid them a further compensatory allowance to make up for that tax, an ingenious 1163 expedient, the substance of which is to make these allowances, for the reasons I have given, tax free.
If hon. Gentlemen opposite want a statement of these reasons made from that Box within the last few weeks, perhaps they would allow me to read to them the admirably lucid exposition of the same doctrine that this Amendment puts forward by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department. He said:Before these Regulations, the men in the Fire Service used to get not only their pay—that is, basic and pensionable pay—but either free quarters or rent allowance. Under the Income Tax law, a man occupying free quarters 'as a necessary consequence of his employment'—I stress that, because it is not only the essence of the Income Tax law on this point, but also overwhelmingly important in regard to firemen—does not pay Income Tax on the value of those quarters. The man who received rent allowance instead did pay Income Tax on that rent allowance. I stress again that in the case of firemen, this 'necessary consequence of their employment,' is a factor of the greatest importance.To make it fairer, therefore, those who got rent allowance were given this extra compensatory grant to cover the Income Tax they paid."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd May, 1950; Vol. 475, c. 1802–3.]That is exactly the point at issue here.
Therefore, with great respect to the right hon. Gentlemen opposite, it would be no use their getting up and saying that to accept this Amendment will be to violate principles of tax law. If there be any force in that statement, that violation has already been effected by no less a person than the Secretary of State for the Home Department and Deputy-Leader of the House of Commons. We shall be forced to the conclusion that if this Amendment is not accepted and the same benefit given in the same circumstances to the Services as were given, in my view very properly, to the firemen, we shall be forced to the conclusion that the reason is to be found in the different weight carried in the counsels of His Majesty's Government by the Home Secretary and the Minister of Defence.
§ Earl Winterton
I appreciated the reference the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) was good enough to make to my hon. Friend and myself. It is quite true that we have endeavoured to keep these matters out of party controversy. My hon. Friends who have their names 1164 to this Amendment, and myself, have been pressing this matter of improved pay for a very long time.
It would be obviously out of order for me, or indeed for any of us, to go into the history of the matter. What I think are relevant and appropriate to this Clause are these facts, which I would most earnestly commend to the notice of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I very much hope that they will be reinforced privately in conversation by the Secretary of State for War who, most appropriately, is sitting next to the Chancellor at the moment. I cannot but believe that the argument that I am about to address to the Committee through you, Mr. Lang will, at any rate, evoke an echo in the heart of the Secretary of State for War.
The arguments which we used in the past for an improvement in pay was that so far as is possible, pay and allowance should not be an undue bar, such as they are at the present time, to getting a sufficiency of officers or men for the Army, with the consequence that it will be necessary to keep on conscription for all time. I think that that practical argument can be backed by what might be called the sentimental argument that it is right and proper that men who are prepared to sacrifice their lives in the service of their country should be given every possible advantage that can be given under our existing system. No one would disagree with that.
This is my short point, which I would put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer with the most earnest and genuine appeal to him: everyone of my hon. and gallant Friends on this side of the House, most of whom have had more recent experience of the Service than I have, will agree with me in saying that under present taxation the advantages gained to the Services by recent accretions of pay have been largely lost. In fact, it goes further than that. I have met officers, n.c.os. and warrant officers who have said to me—it is their own language not mine—"It is the ordinary dirty game of politicians. They announce, for the purpose of getting support, that there is to be a rise in pay and then they take it away with taxation, which makes the rise of no value at all."
I shall press this on a Tory Government when we are in power, when I hope my 1165 right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crook-shank) will be Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I, in support behind him, will press this upon him. I have sometimes divided the House on financial matters with a Conservative Government in power, and I shall be prepared to do so in future. I most earnestly beg the Chancellor, before he replies, to have regard to the points I have put—that at present he is taking away with one hand what has been given with the other in the shape of improved pay and conditions. Until that state of affairs is improved we shall never get an improved recruitment to the Armed Forces.
§ Sir S. Cripps
We have had a very interesting discussion, and I am sure hon. Members in all parts of the Committee will, as they always do, feel very great sympathy with serving officers and men in all the conditions of their service which I am sure all of us, including my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes), would be most anxious to make as good as possible.
On a point of order. I am sorry to interrupt, but with the greatest respect, Mr. Lang, we have listened to six speeches and one other. The six speeches represented the point of view of the Army, and, while this does affect all three Services, it affects them in different ways, and I submit that the Royal Air Force should have its views represented.
§ The Temporary Chairman
That is not a point of order. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is now answering. It may be open to the hon. and gallant Gentleman to put his point of view subsequently.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am very anxious not to cut anybody out, but so many hon. Gentlemen have asked for some indication of our point of view that I thought it was only courtesy to the Committee that I should give it to them.
I think it is right to say that we are not here discussing, nor could we discuss on this new Clause, the question of the remuneration of the Forces. That is a much broader and wider question. What we are debating is whether it is right or wrong to levy Income Tax upon certain allowances which are paid to members of the Forces. That really is a 1166 comparatively narrow point. I do not desire anything I say, as regards this, to indicate either a lack of sympathy or an acceptance of a point of view that they should or should not have greater remuneration. What I want to deal with is the question as to whether this is the right way to do it, if anything is to be done, or whether some other or more regular method should be adopted.
It has been suggested that, as a matter of principle, where an allowance has taken the place of a provision in kind that, therefore, automatically it should be free of tax. That, of course would be quite untenable, because a large part of many people's incomes today represents what was originally a contribution in kind. For instance, take the parson who gets tithes which used always to be paid in the form of corn, or whatever the land yielded. It has been replaced now by money. One does not say that because if has been replaced by money it is not part of his income. It is a common factor in a developing civilisation that at one period provision is made in kind and, at another period, by payment of sums of money.
Take the marriage allowance of officers—I do not think that was ever provided in kind. The children's allowance for officers was never provided in kind. Some of these payments were replacing payments in kind, some were contributions in the form of cash.
§ Brigadier Head
The point is that quite apart from being in kind, marriage allowance was tax free. Then a beneficent Treasury said, "See how nice we are to the Services; we shall put up the marriage allowance." Everybody said, "Good"; then, after a short calculation with a pencil, they found that the new marriage allowance was less than what they had been complaining about.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Sir S. Cripps
Because the hon. Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Low) spoke before the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head), and I am dealing first with the argument of the hon. Member for Blackpool, North.
§ Brigadier Head
I do not wish to deprive the right hon. and learned Gentleman of his opportunity of replying.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I propose to deal with the argument of the hon. and gallant Member, but at the moment I wish to confine my remarks to what was said by the hon. Member for Blackpool, North. I am pointing out that there cannot be any principle by which Income Tax does not attach to a payment which originally was represented by provision in kind.
§ Sir G. Jeffreys
Is it not a fact that tithes at all times were the parson's income, and that they were an entirely different thing from an allowance given to the parson with which to find himself a rectory or a house? What we are criticising is the taxation of an allowance given for a specific purpose.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am sorry, but it is the fact. Take the allowances which were made at one time to many employees who used to live in and who now, instead of living in, live out and get paid a wage instead of what used to be provided for them and which the Truck Acts were passed to stop. That has been converted now into part of the wage. Nobody argues that, therefore, that part of the wage cannot attract taxation. It would be a fantastic argument. What we are dealing with here is part of the income, and it relates to the question as to whether a man is married or not. He has a different income if he is married and a different one if he is single. I put aside the argument that there is a principle by which these sort of allowances cannot be taxed.
The next point is whether these allowances ought to be taxed, which is quite another question altogether, and that is the question which the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton was raising. Let me deal with that. 1168 Originally, a great many of these allowances were not taxed but some of them were. I think that some of the naval allowances, such as the naval marriage allowance—I am not quite sure—were taxed. Some of them, at least, were taxed even before the last war. Attempts were made to bring some sort of order into this rather chaotic situation by which some allowances were taxed and others were not taxed, and things were uneven as between the different Services.
When it was decided, as it was decided immediately after the war, to go into the whole question of the basis of remuneration in the Services, it was then thought desirable and necessary to regulate this question as regards taxation. The way in which it was regulated was that as regards eight different kinds of allowance, three were subjected to taxation and five were not. That was explained at length in the White Paper, and the reason that was stated was that it was undesirable for a considerable proportion of the officers' or other ranks' income to be free of taxation when civilians had the whole of their income subject to taxation. It made too great an inequality in conditions between the two.
This has no relation to whether one or the other were getting enough, or more than enough, or less than enough, to live on. This was a question of bringing about inequality between the burden, whatever it was, that had to be imposed by the State as between different classes of people in the State. That led to the results, which have been stated perfectly fairly, that the marriage allowance, the composite lodging allowance and certain miscellaneous additions like tropical allowance and things of that sort, were subject to taxation, whereas the other allowances, such as ration and leave allowances, and so on, and many more, were not subjected to taxation.
§ Earl Winterton
Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman deal with this point? The result was that when these increased emoluments—I think that is the correct word—were announced for the Army, it was afterwards found that as a result of the taxation of allowances, in many cases people were no better off and others were, in fact, worse off.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I do not think it would be accurate to say that. In some particular instance, if it is isolated, it may 1169 be that there was not as much pay, but if we take the total of the emoluments that were paid, I cannot guarantee it but I think that in every case people were better off—and no doubt they needed to be, because their expenses were higher. I want to make it clear that I am not saying whether they have got enough or not. All I am arguing is the question whether this method of regulating taxation is the right one or not.
§ Brigadier Head
I do not think that most of us on these benches would object so much to the principle of taxation if we thought that as a result of taxation the amount of payments to the person receiving the allowance was adequate for his needs. But our point is that irrespective of the fact that the cost of living has risen very considerably since before the war, a man is getting less allowance now when he is taxed than he was before when he was tax free, despite the rise in the cost of living.
§ Sir S. Cripps
The hon. and gallant Gentleman and many others want to make the point that they think the remuneration is not sufficiently high. The point I am making now is that if that be the case—and let me assume it is for a moment—this is the wrong way to try to correct it. It would be wrong if some hon. Members were to say that miners' remuneration is not sufficient and that we should introduce some special provisions as regards taxing miners. That is the wrong way to do it. The right way to do it is to pay the miners more and let them still pay whatever taxation falls upon them, if that is a necessity. What I am saying here is that if there is a case to be met here, the case cannot be met by casual dealing with Income Tax. It must be met by a re-consideration of the whole situation, and a proper dealing with the rates of remuneration.
§ Commander Noble (Chelsea)
Would not the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that the general basis of the 1945 Pay Code was that Income Tax would go down? Many of us on this side of the Committee have had it categorically from the Service Ministers that that was the basis of the whole Pay Code.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I presume it has always been the hope of everybody that taxes would go down. That is a very common hope. Of course, they have gone down from 10s. to 9s., but that is not a very big fall, perhaps, in the consideration of some people. Again, I think that is really not a relevant point. The point is that this new structure was erected upon the basis of a certain type of taxation which was explicitly set out and which was laid down in order to bring uniformity into a system which prior to that had not been uniform. It really would be quite wrong now to remove that basis which has been laid down to try and correct the total amount of remuneration which is received. If the total amount is to be corrected, it must be corrected by other means. What has been laid down as the fair and proper method of taxation so as to spread the burden should be continued, but the alterations must be made elsewhere, if they are to be made.
I would ask hon. Members not to think that because I am turning down this proposal I am unsympathetic or that I do not think men in the Services are doing a good job, because it really is not quite fair to take that point of view. Many of us have to have some regard to guarding the national revenue and we cannot quite casually do things of this kind. I think, therefore, that the right method is to leave the tax as it is and, on appropriate occasions, for hon. Members to take the steps they think necessary to change the total remuneration.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman to deal with an issue with which he has not so far dealt? Whatever the rates of pay, and whether they are tax free allowances or not, why is there disparity of treatment between two officers of the same rank, one of whom receives allowances in kind tax free while the other, who is supposed to have the equivalent of those allowances, is subject to tax?
§ Sir S. Cripps
The basis of these supposed equivalents was the knowledge and understanding that they were taxed. That is the whole fallacy. The whole of this structure is based upon the assumption that these three types of allowances would be taxed; the figures and everything else have been fixed in relationship to that state of affairs. Obviously, 1171 therefore, it would not be right to disturb that state of affairs, upon which the whole structure has been erected.
§ Sir G. Jeffreys
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman not mistaken in thinking that this pressure from my hon. Friends is for the purpose of increasing the emoluments? It is, on the contrary, a question of whether the allowances are sufficient to provide the service for which they are intended, for instance, in the matter of the provision of houses. Are the allowances given sufficient to provide suitable houses for officers after deduction of Income Tax?
§ Sir S. Cripps
I can only answer that by saying that these allowances were included in the original state of affairs on the basis that they were subject to Income Tax. If they were not sufficient it is not because they have been taxed, but because they must have been wrongly calculated originally when they were made subject to Income Tax. I think that that is a false point.
§ 8.15 p.m.
All of us are more than disappointed at what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said. I can quite see the difficulties of his position because this new pay code was brought into being, but the least he could have done, if he is in touch with Service opinion at all, which I do not think he is, was to give the Committee some assurance that he or the Government would look into this matter in some detail. That would go some way towards satisfying our doubts.
The Chancellor said there was too great an inequality in conditions. I submit there is too great a difference between conditions of service. The man who gets home and has every weekend off compared with the serving officer or N.C.O. who is posted all over the world, living sometimes in very unpleasant conditions, is something that the Chancellor ignored entirely. He says that this is the wrong way in which to correct that position. For five years we have made speeches, three, four and five times in a year on the Services Estimates and debates and we have never been given any encouragement by the Government. We have done everything we can to see if we could get any satisfaction for those concerned. 1172 Certainly in our policy at the election—I do not want to go too wide of the mark in this Debate—we made our position very clear. That is one of the things which the Government do not criticise us for in these Debates.
I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chelsea (Commander Noble) when he said that when the pay code was introduced it was anticipated that the rate of Income Tax would come down. If that had happened it would not have been too bad.
§ Mr. Houghton
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman suggesting that Income Tax has not come down, bearing in mind the increase in the allowances and the wide extension of the belt of the lower rates of tax?
To suggest that Income Tax has come down may be one thing, but indirect taxation and the cost of living have steadily increased in the last five years. That is exactly what the electors are complaining about at the present time in addition to those in the Services.
I submit the Chancellor of the Exchequer is out of touch with Service personnel, and the Secretary of State for War should inform him of the feeling in the ranks and among the officers, he having had experience in two Services. Most of the officers are now worse off than they were 25 years ago. The hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) asked us to give some comparisons. I will give him one. In 1927 I was a flying officer in the Royal Air Force. That was the equivalent of a first-lieutenant in the Army. I drew £32 a month, on which I paid 24s. Income Tax. I lived extremely well, and was very happy on it. The flying officers today still receive the same rate of pay but those for the N.C.O.s and ranks have gone up a little bit.
I was submitting that the pay for the ranks had gone up, but that the rate of pay for the officer is still the same as it was 20 years ago. Whatever else the Socialist Government may have done, they have made 1173 life for the junior officer more difficult. Civilians in good jobs are not going to join the Services if they can stay in their civilan jobs. My hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Ward) quite truly said recently that a civilian batman in the Royal Air Force earned more than a pilot officer flying one of the modern jet aircraft at 600 miles an hour. Let the right hon. and learned Gentleman read the casualty list of the R.A.F. On many days he will find casualties to pilots flying modern aircraft. They do not complain about that, for that is part of their job. I would ask the Government to take that point into consideration when thinking of emoluments.
These officers are posted with their families to different parts of the world, and the Royal Air Force runs no education scheme like the Army. As a consequence, they are unable to get their children into Service schools and they have to pay high fees to educate their children, that education being constantly interrupted by postings. They are paying high rents for their furnished houses because of the lack of married quarters, and they simply cannot live on what they are getting. The wives of young officers living abroad and of N.C.O.'s, too, have to go out to work in very difficult climates like the Middle and Far East. It is quite wrong that they should have to do that in the tropics.
The Government should really tackle this problem. I do not care which way they do it, whether by giving more basic pay or accepting this new Clause, but if they would undertake to do something they would satisfy to some extent the officers and other ranks, provided they eventually receive more than they are receiving today to counteract the increased cost of living. We on this side of the Committee do not want to see conscription go on for ever. We believe that if the problem is tackled correctly there would be more volunteers of the right type wishing to make the Services their career. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Government to give this matter their serious attention, and if they do not do so we shall when we come into power.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
Many of us see great cogency in the Chancellor's argument about how desirable it is that this result 1174 should be achieved. Notwithstanding that the method, my hon. Friends and I feel that we would like to see something done. For five years we have continually pressed this subject, but the position remains unalleviated. We should be satisfied if the Chancellor would say that these matters of pay would pass immediately under review. I do not use that in the sense that nothing is to happen. This has become a very urgent question, and something should be done, ignoring for the moment how it should be done. As my hon. and gallant Friend said, what really matters is what is coming in. It is a matter which should be reviewed at once, and if the Chancellor would give us an assurance on that point that would satisfy us on these benches.
§ Mr. Houghton
I think the speech to which we have just listened confirms the opinion on this side of the Committee that most of the contributions made by hon. Members opposite would have been more appropriate to a Debate on the Estimates than to a discussion of the principles of taxation. We are, after all, considering a proposal to add a new Clause to the Finance Bill to exempt from taxation certain allowances now being paid to the members of the Forces. So it is a question of taxation and not of the adequacy of those allowances or of the adequacy of the pay of the Forces generally, and I think we shall only get into a worse state of confusion if we continue to mix up the principles of taxation with the level of remunerations. Here we are discussing a matter of taxation, and I think that, on that point, the Chancellor made an overwhelming case in support of the need for continuing on as uniform a basis as possible the principle that taxation should be levied on income, and that allowances are, for the most part and in most cases, income.
It is quite true that at the time when the White Paper on pay and allowances in the Forces was issued, account had been taken of the fact, in revising both the allowances and the pay, that under the new schemes these allowances would be subject to Income Tax. The hon. Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Low) referred to certain allowances which are paid in the Civil Service on transfer of an established officer from one station to another. I can 1175 say from personal knowledge of those negotiations that when we invited the opinion of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue whether such allowances would be subject to tax, and we were advised that they would, we then set to work to recalculate the transfer allowance in the knowledge that the allowances paid would be subject to tax. That is what was done when the allowances were revised under the White Paper scheme of 1946, and that is what was done when there was a recent review of allowances payable in the National Fire Service. So in fixing these allowances an attempt has been made to maintain the principle that allowances are subject to tax, and that the amount of the allowance should be taken into account.
§ Brigadier Clarke
The hon. Member will accept, then, that if we tax allowances not taxed before we should add that amount of the tax, so that when we tax the allowances they will still be producing the same amount of emoluments as before? That did not happen.
§ Mr. Houghton
The difficulty, of course, in increasing allowances to take account of taxation is that the amount of taxation will be variable according to the personal circumstances of the individual, whereas one must add a uniform sum of the allowance for everybody to take into account the fact that Income Tax will be levied on the allowances. So that obviously it was never supposed for a moment that, because these allowances would be subject to tax and increased because of that, all would be better off and all would have the same increase in net incomes as a result. Some were worse off when tax was levied; some were better off. I am sure that hon. Members opposite will remember that the White Paper proposals on allowances and pay cost a great deal of money, and that the net cost to the State was very considerable.
So I think that it would be as well if we do keep these things entirely separate—the principles of taxation and the level of taxation, which is not under consideration now. The acceptance of this proposed new Clause would set in train many repercussions of considerable inconvenience and difficulty to the Revenue.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am afraid I cannot go any further than what I have already stated, and I must deal with this new Clause as what it is, and say that this is not a matter that we can deal with by way of amendment to the Income Tax law. If it is to be dealt with at all, the question of the remuneration of the Forces must be dealt with in some other way.
§ Mr. Low
Before we go any farther I must say I think the Chancellor has really not met the spirit in which my right hon. Friend addressed the Committee. We are all anxious to get a proper answer to this and we should have liked to have some information from the Chancellor of what is going on. Since he has answered as he has, I want to get from him now, if I can, a further answer to some of the points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) and me, which are really very relevant to the smaller point on which he chose to dismiss our argument. In particular the Chancellor has just told us that, in comparison with the position that operated before 1946, allowances have been increased to cover the amount of tax that was due to be paid upon them. That, I think, was his argument. I am sure he will correct me if I am wrong.
Why, then, is it that in the National Fire Service the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department said that that procedure would not do. He said that if we increased the rent alowances to take account of the average amount of Income Tax paid it would mean we should ignore the particular man's liability. It is the particular man's liability that we have put to the Chancellor, and he has simply not answered at all. In particular he has not answered the point that a senior officer is not given net such a large marriage allowance as the junior officer. Why is that? Why cannot he answer these points instead of dismissing them when—as I am sure he will acknowledge—we have tried very reasonably to narrow the point of this Debate.
§ Sir S. Cripps
The hon. Gentleman asked me if I would answer the point he raised. That answer I thought I gave quite clearly, that when this new structure of remuneration was introduced in 1177 1946 it was introduced upon the basis of tax being allowed for on these three types of allowance which I have mentioned. That was thought out and was considered, and I do not think that at that time it was criticised—generally criticised—as not being the best way. Nor indeed on the Estimates has that been criticised as being the method of building up the remuneration. That is all we are dealing with here. We are not dealing with the total amount of remuneration. We are dealing with the method with which it has been built up, and the method must be to put the Income Tax charge on those three types of allowances. There is no reason at all for getting rid of that method if for the last four years it has been considered a reasonable way.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I must say we are very dissatisfied on these benches with the way in which the Government have treated our proposition. We want to get something to relieve what is really a pressing problem in the Services. All we get is a rather desiccated statement that the method we have suggested is not the best. If the Chancellor would say that the matter of Service pay was a subject which preoccupied the Government, and that he would look into it as a matter of urgency, we should have some reason to suppose that this matter would be looked into, instead of being deferred once again to the Greek Kalends. If they really persist in this attitude we shall, very reluctantly, have to divide the Committee.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Quintin Hogg (Oxford)
I really do not see how my hon. Friends have any other course open to them but to divide the Committee. It is unfortunate that this should be so, because I do not think that any one would care to treat the pay or remuneration of the Armed Forces as a matter for a Division, which must necessarily take a party form. If a grievance remains wholly unsatisfied at the end of a Debate, and those of us who put it forward feel that it is justified, I really do not see what other course is open honourably to us other than to take a Division, in order to record our opinion on the matter.
The Chancellor has committed himself to the definite point of view that we are 1178 bound to look at this matter simply as a question of tax law, in complete divorce from the state of grievance as to the rate of remuneration of the Services. I should have been prepared to accept that plea, although as a matter of fact I think it is mistaken, if it had been accompanied by some sort of promise that the general grievance would be remedied in some way or other. This Committee cannot leave a grievance unremedied simply because by the rules of order the Opposition are compelled to express their dissatisfaction in a particular way.
We are entitled to demand a substantial relief of grievance and not simply an appeal to legalistic, fiscal argument. My own view is that the legalistic, fiscal argument is mistaken. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has argued plausibly that the allowances payable to the Forces, being part of income, should be taxed as income, and has sought to compare it with the remuneration paid in various civilian occupations. He cited the occupation in the mines.
§ Mr. Hogg
Historically we have built up our remuneration of the Services on a theory of basic pay which gives to the single man a rate of remuneration far lower than that which a comparable person would earn in civilian life. These allowances have grown up very largely in order to make provision for special cases and they have been a form of economy by the State. They have developed in such a way that they compensated the serving man who found himself in one of several special situations for the low rate of basic remuneration which the Services have received. I do-not think it is fair to treat these allowances entirely in the same way as we should treat comparable sources of income in civilian life. Therefore, the legal argument is doubtful.
No one would accuse me of being an unduly military figure. I did my best when the time came. It did so happen 1179 that during part of my life I came very closely into touch with some professional officers with whom I have remained upon terms of friendship. I have been profoundly disturbed by the way in which some of them, whose integrity and devotion to duty are beyond all question, have spoken to me of the way they are now being remunerated professionally as serving professional officers. I am left in the situation that, although I should have
§ liked to see this matter dealt with by a promise from the Government to remedy the grievances generally, since I can see not the slightest trace of intention to remedy the grievances, there is no other way but to join with my hon. Friends in taking the matter to a Division.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 266; Noes, 295.1183
|Division No. 33.]||AYES||[8.35 p.m|
|Aitken, W. T.||Drayson, G. B||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Drewe, C||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Amery, J. (Preston, N.)||Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Dunglass, Lord||Leather, E. H. C.|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Duthie, W. S.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W)||Eccles, D. M.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Lindsay, Martin|
|Baker, P||Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter||Linstead, H. N|
|Baldock, J. M.||Erroll, F. J.||Liewellyn, D.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Fisher, Nigel||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)|
|Banks, Col. C.||Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H||Fort, R.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)|
|Bell, Rt. M.||Foster, J. G.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C|
|Bennett, Sir P. (Edgbaston)||Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone)||Longden, G. J. M. (Herts, S. W.)|
|Bennett, R. F. B. (Gosport)||Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)||Low, A. R. W.|
|Bennett, W. G. (Woodside)||Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.||Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Bevins, J. Rt. (Liverpool, Toxteth)||Gage, C. H.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)|
|Birch, Nigel||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H|
|Bishop, F. P.||Gammans, L. D.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O|
|Black, C. W.||Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh)||McAdden, S. J.|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Gates, Maj. E. E.||McCallum, Maj. D.|
|Boothby, R.||Glyn, Sir R.||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S|
|Bower, N.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Gridley, Sir A.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.|
|Braine, B.||Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans)||McKibbin, A|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Grimston, R. V. (Westbury)||Maclay, Hon. J S|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.||Harden, J. R. E.||Maclean, F H R.|
|Browne, J. N. (Govan)||Harris, R. R. (Heston)||MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)|
|Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E.||Harvey, I. (Harrow, E.)||Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)|
|Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A.||Hay, John||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Head, Brig. A. H.||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffn W'ld'n)||Heald, L. F||Marples, A. E.|
|Carr, L. R. (Mitcham)||Heath, Col. E. R.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)|
|Carson, Hon. E.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)|
|Channon, H.||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Maude, A. E. U. (Ealing, S.)|
|Clarke, Col. R. S. (East Grinstead)||Higgs, J. M. C.||Maudling, R.|
|Clarke, Brig. T. H. (Portsmouth, W.)||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Medlicott, Brigadier F.|
|Clyde, J. L.||Hill, Dr. C. (Luton)||Mellor, Sir J.|
|Colegate, A.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Molson, A. H. E.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Hirst, Geoffrey||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.|
|Cooper, A. E. (Ilford, S.)||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Hollis, M. C.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.|
|Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne)||Hope, Lord J.||Nabarro, G.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hopkinson, H. L. D'A.||Nicholls, H.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss P.||Nicholson, G|
|Cross, Rt. Hon. Sir R.||Horsbrugh, Miss F.||Nield, B. (Chester)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Howard, G. R. (St. Ives)||Noble, Comdr. A. H P|
|Crouch, R. F.||Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Crowder, F. P. (Ruislip-Northwood)||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Nutting, Anthony|
|Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (Finchley)||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Oakshott, H. D.|
|Cundiff, F. W.||Hudson, W. R. A. ([...] N.)||Odey, G. W.|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Hurd, A. R.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.|
|Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.)||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Hylton-Foster, H. B.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Davies, Nigel (Epping)||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|de Chair, S.||Jennings, R.||Osborne, C.|
|Deedes, W. F.||Johnson, Howard S. (Kemptown)||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Kaberry, D.||Pickthorn, K|
|Donner, P. W.||Keeling, E. H.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M||Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Prescott, Stanley||Spearman, A. C. M.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W)||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K|
|Profumo, J. D.||Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.)||Vosper, D. F.|
|Raikes, H. V.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde)||Wade, D. W.|
|Rayner, Brig. R.||Stevens, G. P.||Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Redmayne, M.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Wakefield, Sir W. W. (St. Marylebone)|
|Remnant, Hon. P.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Renton, D. L. M.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)|
|Roberts, P. G. (Heeley)||Storey, S.||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Waterhouse, Capt. C|
|Robson-Brown, W. (Esher)||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)||Watkinson, H.|
|Rodgers, J (Sevenoaks)||Studholme, H. G.||Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie|
|Roper, Sir H.||Summers, G. S.||Webbe, Sir H. (London)|
|Ross, Sir R D. (Londonderry)||Sutcliffe, H.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Russell, R. S.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Ryder, Capt. R. E. D||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)||Williams, Sir H. G. (Croydon, E.)|
|Sandys, Rt. Hon. D||Teeling, William||Wills, G.|
|Savory, Prof. D. L||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Scott, Donald||Thompson, K. P. (Walton)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle)||Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)||York, C.|
|Smith, E. Martin (Grantham)||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.||Young, Sir A. S. L.|
|Smithers, Peter H. B. (Winchester)||Tilney, John|
|Smithers, Sir W (Orpington)||Touche, G. C||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)||Turton, R. H.||Major Wheatley and|
|Snadden, W. McN.||Tweedsmuir, Lady||Mr. T G. D. Galbraith|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Daines, P||Hardy, E. A|
|Adams, Richard||Darling, G. (Hillsboro')||Hargreaves, A.|
|Albu, A. H.||Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)||Harrison, J.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Hayman, F. H.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)|
|Attles, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Herbison, Miss M.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Hewitson, Capt. M.|
|Ayles, W. H.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Hobson, C. R.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Deer, G.||Holman, P.|
|Baird, J.||Delargy, H J.||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)|
|Balfour, A.||Diamond, J.||Houghton, Douglas|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Dodds, N. N.||Hoy, J.|
|Bartley, P.||Donnelly, D.||Hubbard, T|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J||Donovan, T. N.||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.)|
|Benson, G.||Driberg, T. E. N||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)|
|Beswick, F.||Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A (Ebbw Vale)||Dye, S.||Hughes, Moelwyn (Islington, N.)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Edwards, John (Brighouse)||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)|
|Boardman, H.||Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)|
|Booth, A.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Janner, B.|
|Bottomley, A. G.||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Jay, D. P. T.|
|Bowen, R.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Jeger, G. (Goole)|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Ewart, R.||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Fernyhough, E.||Jenkins, R. H|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Field, Capt. W. J.||Johnson, James (Rugby)|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Finch, H. J.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)|
|Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)|
|Brooks, T. J. (Normanton)||Follick, M.||Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Foot, M. M.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Forman, J. C.||Jones, William Elwyn (Conway)|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Keenan, W.|
|Burke, W. A.||Freeman, J. (Watford)||Kenyon, C|
|Burton, Miss E.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N||King, H. M.|
|Callaghan, James||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.|
|Carmichael, James||George, Lady M. Lloyd||Kinley, J.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Gilzean, A.||Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Champion, A. J.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Lee, F. (Newton)|
|Chetwynd, G. R||Gooch, E. G.||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)|
|Clunie, J.||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Rossendale)||Lever, L M. (Ardwick)|
|Cooks, F. S.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield)||Lever, N. H. (Cheetham)|
|Coldrick, W.||Grenfell, D. R.||Lewis, A. W. J. (West Ham, N.)|
|Collick, P.||Grey, C. F.||Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.)|
|Collindridge, F.||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Cook, T. F.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Lipton, Lt.-Col, M.|
|Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Griffiths, W. D. (Exchange)||Logan, D. G.|
|Cove, W. G.||Gunter, R. J.||Longden, F. (Small Heath)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hale, J. (Rochdale)||McAllister, G.|
|Crawley, A.||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. Hn. W. Glenvit (Colne V'll'y)||McGovern, J.|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Hamilton, W. W.||McInnes, J.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Hannan, W.||Mack, J D|
|Daggar, G.||Hardman, D. R||McKay, J. (Wallsend)|
|Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.)||Popplewell, E.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|McLeavy, F||Porter, G||Thomas, I. R. (Rhondda, W.)|
|MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.||Proctor, W. T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Pryde, D. J.||Timmons, J.|
|Mainwaring, W. H.||Pursey, Comdr. H.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Rankin, J.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Rees, Mrs. D.||Usborne, Henry|
|Mann, Mrs. J.||Reeves, J.||Vernon, Maj. W. F.|
|Manuel, A. C.||Reid, T. (Swindon)||Viant, S. P.|
|Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Reid, W. (Camlachie)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Mathers, Rt. Hon. George||Rhodes, H.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Mellish, R. J.||Richards, R.||Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford. C.)|
|Messer, F.||Robens, A.||Weitzman, D|
|Middleton, Mrs. L.||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Mikardo, Ian||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||West, D. G.|
|Moeran, E. W.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Edinb'gh, E.)|
|Monslow, W.||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)||White, Mrs. E. (E. Flint)|
|Moody, A. S.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B||Royle, C.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Morley, R.||Shackleton, E. A. A.||Wigg, George|
|Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H||Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Wilkes, L.|
|Mort, D. L.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Moyle, A.||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Mulley, F. W||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)||Willey, O. C. (Cleveland)|
|Murray, J. D.||Simmons, C J.||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Nally, W.||Slater, J.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Neal, H.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J||Snow, J. W.||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Oldfield, W. H.||Sorensen, R. W.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. d. 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.|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly)||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.||Woods, Rev. G. S.|
|Pannell, T. C.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Vauxhall)||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Pargiter, G. A.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith||Yates, V. F.|
|Parker, J.||Sylvester, G. O.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Paton, J.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Pearson, A.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Peart, T. F.||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)||Mr. Bowden and Mr. Sparks.|
|Poole, Cecil||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|