HC Deb 20 June 1950 vol 476 cc1097-124

.—(1) As from the nineteenth day of April, nineteen hundred and fifty, the enactments relating to purchase tax shall have, and be deemed to have had, effect as if in Group 35 in Part I of the Eighth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1948, there were omitted the whole of sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii) of paragraph (a), with the exception of the word "First" in the second column, where last occurring. (2) As from the first day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty, the said enactments shall have, and be deemed to have had, effect as if there were added—

  1. (a) as a new paragraph (d) in the said Group 35 the entry:—
  2. "(d) Road vehicle chassis, mechanically propelled First … …";
  3. (b) as a new paragraph 5 in the Fourth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1946 (which sets out the classes of goods relevant to the provisions about the application of chargeable processes), the entry:—
5. Road vehicle chassis, mechanically propelled. (4) For the purposes of the said enactments a chassis designed for a mechanically propelled vehicle shall be deemed to be mechanically propelled, whether or not complete with an engine and other parts and accessories required for the purpose, and the expression road vehicle chassis" shall include so much of a chassis-less road vehicle as may be determined by the Commissioners to be in effect chassis, and references to a vehicle's chassis shall be construed accordingly. (4) The Schedule (Purchase tax: supplementary provisions as to road vehicle chassis and road vehicles) to this Act shall have effect for the purpose of the purchase tax in respect of road vehicle chassis, and for the purpose of adjusting contractual rights in certain cases in relation to purchase tax in respect of road vehicles. (5) Subsection (2) of this section may be varied or revoked—
  1. (a) in so far as it amends the Eighth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1948, by an order of the Treasury under section twenty-one of that Act;
  2. (b) in so far as it amends the Fourth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1946, by an order of the Treasury under section sixteen of that Act;
as if it had been contained in such an order, and an order varying or revoking the said subsection (2) or the said Group 35 may, in connection therewith, vary or revoke any provision of subsection (3) of this section or of Part I of the Schedule (Purchase tax: supplementary provisions as to road vehicle chassis and road vehicles) to this Act.—[The Solicitor-General.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Frank Soskice)

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This Clause imposes Purchase Tax on the chassis of new vehicles. I do not think that the Committee would want me to repeat the reasons which have already been fully canvassed why this tax is imposed upon the chassis of new vehicles. The object of the Clause is merely to carry out a proposal which my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary made in an earlier Debate on the subject of the taxation of commercial vehicles. The Clause is to be read in concert with the Schedule which appears later on the Order Paper and which contains the machinery provisions for actually imposing the tax. The tax will fall upon the chassis of any new completed goods vehicles.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

This Clause, so far as I can understand it, accurately brings into effect the undertaking given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer when we discussed Clause 13, but we think that, in this form, the Clause is only one degree less objectionable than was Clause 13. This is a most mischievous proposal, and I think that most hon. Members regard it as a limited concession. It is a formidable imposition upon the road haulage industry. The Minister for Economic Affairs has estimated that the cost will involve a rise of some 3½ per cent. in transport costs. I am glad to see that the Minister of Transport is in his place, because I hope that, when we have Ministers from various Departments present in the Chamber, we might have the opportunity of hearing from them on this particular matter.

All I need say at this stage, because we shall have an opportunity later of discussing some of the more detailed objections, is that we are very far from satisfied about this Clause. We regard it as one which is calculated to put up costs and prices in this country, with very bad effects on the pocket of the housewife and wage demands. In fact, it is contrary to everything that the right hon. and learned Gentleman maintains he is trying to do. In such circumstances, we shall not have the slightest hesitation in dividing the Committee against the Clause.

Several Hon. Members rose

The Chairman

We had a very long Debate on this matter on Clause 13, and we shall have a further opportunity on the Schedule. I thought that the Committee was, on the advice of the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft), willing to come to a decision.

Sir W. Wakefield

I wish to raise a point which was not raised before. I do not know whether it is desirable to do that now or later, but if, of course, I can raise it now, I will not raise it later. The point I wish to put to the Chancellor is why a Purchase Tax reduction cannot be granted in respect of London taxicabs because, there is no Purchase Tax charged on passenger vehicles.

Sir S. Cripps

On a point of order. This has absolutely nothing to do with taxicabs. It could not conceivably have anything to do with taxicabs.

Sir W. Wakefield

Further to that point of order. Surely, Major Milner, the question of Purchase Tax to be paid on London taxicabs is relevant to the discussion because, after all, taxicabs are commercial vehicles in so far as they carry fare-paying passengers.

The Chairman

This Clause, I understand, applies only to goods vehicles.

Mr. Summers (Aylesbury)

I am well aware that many of the arguments against the principles on which the other Clause was founded have already been dealt with at some length by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee. I do not wish to detain the Committee by going over at any great length the various points of principle which are still inherent in this Clause just as much as they were in the Clause for which this has been substituted.

I want to draw attention to one particular aspect of this question of principle which I do not think was referred to in the earlier speeches on this subject, or dealt with in any detail. The Clause and the principles that lie behind it are unique in two particular respects. The first, a tax upon capital, has already been dealt with, and the second is the fact that it is in relation to the investment programme—

Sir S. Cripps

On a point of order. As I understand it, Major Milner, at the time we discussed Clause 13 it was proposed by you that we should stop the Debate because the matter could be debated later. The Committee agreed that matters of principle should be debated on Clause 13 and that we would deal with matters of detail when we came to the new Clause and the Schedule attached to it. In those circumstances, therefore, is it in order for the hon. Gentleman opposite to revert to the discussion of principle?

The Chairman

It may be strictly in order, but as there was an understanding, naturally the Committee would wish to keep to that understanding. I hope, having regard to the very large number of Clauses and the time that they will take up, that that will be so.

Mr. Lyttelton

Further to that point of order. I was not in the Committee until a minute or two ago, but I am sure that my hon. Friends and I have no wish to be repetitive on matters which have already been covered. However, I want to make it quite clear that as we are against the principle of the tax, we wish to have an opportunity of dividing against this particular Clause. It is for you, Major Milner, of course, to judge whether we are repetitive or not.

The Chairman

It is not only a question of being repetitive, but a question of there being an understanding that there would be no repetition of what was said on the previous Clause. I cannot prevent hon. Members committing a breach, whether it be small or large, of that understanding, but I understood from the hon. Member for Monmouth that he was expressing the view of the Opposition on the matter when he indicated that a Division was desired. We can, of course, have a Division forthwith if that is the wish of the Committee.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I hope you will forgive me saying so, Major Milner, but I had no intention of expressing, nor would it have been in the slightest degree proper for me to do so, the views of hon. Members on this side of the Committee and so deprive them of the opportunity of putting forward their views. If this discussion is allowed to continue, I think we can get through this Clause in a quarter of an hour and get on to the next one.

4.45 p.m.

Sir W. Wakefield

I now have the Clause in front of me, which I did not have at the time the Chancellor of the Exchequer suggested that what I was saying was not in order. The marginal note says: Road vehicles and road vehicle chassis. There is no mention of commercial vehicles in this connection. In those circumstances, therefore, I submit that it is in order for me to discuss Purchase Tax on a road vehicle, whether on a body or a chassis.

The Chairman

I am sorry but the marginal note is not part of the Bill.

Mr. Summers

I think, in as much as I started by saying that it was not my intention to repeat a number of the arguments already adduced against the principle underlying this Clause, that the interjection of the right hon. and learned Gentleman has wasted far more time than if he had allowed me to continue my speech, in which case I should have resumed my seat long since.

Although I deprecate as much as anybody the lamentable effect of this Clause on the costs of transport and believe that not one lorry will be diverted to export as a result of it, there is only one aspect of this matter to which I want to draw attention. We have been told that the reason why the tax on commercial vehicles is desirable is because the investment programme has gone all wrong through the increase of sales over forecast to the tune of some £37 million. All the statements which I have read and listened to on the subject suggest that the total investment programme for last year has gone wrong because of the combined circumstances of the production and sale of commercial lorries. That is quite untrue.

What, in fact, has happened is that a number of items of investment have been far less than the forecast and that the item relating to commercial lorries has been substantially more than was forecast, with the results that the intentions overall in regard to investment have not differed materially from the intentions of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I should have thought that it would have been much more in the national interest had he paid attention to those who have, in fact made less than he intended should be made, rather than concentrate on the increased productivity brought about in this particular industry.

The other point is that referred to in paragraph 118 of the Economic Survey for 1950. There, we are told that investment in new plant has to be curtailed excessively to allow for the replacement of old plant which will inevitably have to continue to be used. I wish to draw the attention of the Committee to the following words in that paragraph: In the revised programme new work has had to be reduced proportionately more than total investment because expenditure on maintenance and replacement forms a considerable part of gross investment in the United Kingdom "— Is particularly want to draw the attention of the Committee to the words which follow— and must, in many instances, have a first claim on investment resources. A very large number of the commercial vehicles which have been sold have, in fact, been replacements of old ones. If the intentions of the Government in this White Paper are to be relied upon, that is a first charge on our investment resources. In those circumstances, the censures on that industry for exceeding a forecast would appear to be completely out of place. I want to register my protest at the arrogant assumption that the claims for investments are more likely to be—

The Chairman

The hon. Member is really going far beyond the new Clause before the Committee. The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to continue on those lines.

Mr. Summers

As I understand it, this Clause is based on certain principles, and whatever may be the understanding between the several sides of the Committee I put it to you, Major Milner, that what I am saying is as much in order as similar remarks on the preceding Clause.

The Chairman

In my opinion, the hon. Gentleman's remarks were not in order. This is a matter which, in essence, is confined to a question of a specific Purchase Tax. As I understand him, the hon. Gentleman is going into the wide ramifications of industry.

Mr. Summers

What I was saying was that the justification put forward for a tax on commercial vehicles is directly related by statements of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to a breach in the investment programme, which this particular section has, in fact, carried out. It is with that justification that I concluded by saying that here we find a number of traders taking the view that the cost of production will be reduced if they replace their old lorries. In contrast, we find the planners saying that if they do that it will be a bad thing. I want to protest against the arrogant assumption that in these questions the planners are right and the combined wisdom of traders all over the country, anxious to reduce costs, is regarded as wrong.

Brigadier Peto (Devon, North)

I sat through the entire Debate on Clause 13 and I was anxious to make one or two remarks on this topic. Whether there was any agreement or otherwise I do not consider that I am bound by any agreement which would prevent me from not representing the views put to me by my constituents. As such I propose to—

The Chairman

If every hon. Member took that view it would never be possible to carry out any of the many understandings that have to be carried out for the good governance of the House.

Mr. John Foster (Northwich)

On a point of order. I have turned up what was said at the time. I should have thought that it did not amount to an understanding.

The Chairman

Perhaps the hon. and learned Member would allow the hon. and gallant Member for Devon, North (Brigadier Peto) to continue. I am at the. moment looking up that point to which the hon. and learned Member for Northwich wishes to refer me. If we could allow hon. Members to continue with their speeches I should be grateful.

Mr. Foster

On a point of order. I was trying to submit that no engagement had been arrived at. In order to establish that point, I was proceeding to refer you, Major Milner, to a column of the Official Report which I quite appreciate you are able to turn up for yourself. But that was not the point of my intervention. The point was to draw a deduction from what had been said, and to submit to you, that no understanding had been reached. I referred you to the column so that you should be able to follow it. I submit therefore that that is a point of order.

The column is 584 of Thursday the 15th. There you did say: … the appropriate way to deal with it would foe for the Amendment to be withdrawn and the present Clause negatived and then we could later discuss the proposed new Clause. Then my right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) said: May I say that would not be agreeable to us …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th June, 1950; Vol. 476, c. 584–585.] and he went on to say that we should like to discuss the principle, and that details could be considered on the Schedule.

Colonel Ropner (Barkston Ash)

I am sure it is the desire of both sides of the Committee that any agreement that was entered into should be carried out. Are we to understand that it is part of the function of the Chair to enforce an agreement of that sort?

The Chairman

Quite the contrary. I do not think the Chair can enforce anything of that sort. It is a matter for the good sense of the Committee. The position here is that the principle was fully discussed, and ought not to be repeated. If there be any details, it would appear that the proper time for discussing those details is on the Schedule.

Mr. Lyttelton

At the time these interchanges took place we had not seen the new Clause. It was not on the Paper. That is very germane to this particular discussion.

Brigadier Peto

I always find it extremely difficult to speak in the House of Commons, but I find it even more difficult when so many points of order and one thing and another are raised at the earliest part of my speech.

Nevertheless, I intend, with your permission, Major Milner, to put forward very briefly certain views which I have collected during the past week-end from traders, merchants and trade associations in my constituency. They have consulted me and they have advised me as to the repercussions of the proposed 33⅓ tax on chassis. They regard it as a punishment of traders who, up till now, have tried their best to supply and to serve people in the district. They cannot see why they should have this penal tax put upon them, and they bitterly resent it. They were asking me what I thought of it. I told them I consider the Chancellor of the Exchequer is like a headmaster, who has a small boy in front of him who has not done anything much, and who says, "I am not going to expel you, but I am going to beat you on the chassis instead." They seem to think that about hits the nail on the head.

In addition to that, I have had correspondence from the Chamber of Commerce at Ilfracombe. They raised a particular point. The Ministry of Food keeps a very close watch on charges made in the milk distributive trade—down to two decimal points of a penny, I understand. A few months ago the charges were reduced. When the 9d. tax was put on petrol these were restored. Now, there is going to be a further claim on account of the increased cost of commercial vehicles. That is but another instance of a cost that will be bound to fall ultimately on the consumer. People are thinking now that the cost of living is too high. This is one more example of Government action that is going to put that cost up. On these grounds, I shall certainly vote against this Clause.

Mr. David Renton (Huntingdon)

Like my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Devon, North (Brigadier Peto), I sat here for two and a half hours when the original Clause was discussed last week. I had many points which I then wanted to put, but I intend to show the forbearance which, I am sure, both sides of the Committee would wish. I shall confine my remarks to two points not yet put on the original Clause, or on the one we are now considering.

The first point is on the original Clause and is by way of challenging a statement which was made by the Financial Secretary when speaking of Clause 13. He said that this tax was not intended to be permanent, and I see that the OFFICIAL REPORT records that several hon. Members laughed. Of course, it is obviously a matter about which one would laugh, because most taxes, when they are first introduced, are not intended to be permanent. The purpose of most taxes is not primarily revenue producing when they are first introduced. The have some other purpose, as we are told that this tax has.

5.0 p.m.

I invite the Committee to look ahead to the days when we may wish to encourage the expansion of the production of commercial vehicles in this country. I am not saying whether we are necessarily following a restrictionist policy, but one day we may want an expansionist policy. Let us guard against the possibility that when that day comes the Chancellor of the Exchequer will say, "No, you cannot remove this tax on commercial vehicles. We want it for the production of revenue."

The Chairman

I hope the hon. Gentleman will apply his argument to the new Clause.

Mr. Renton

I am just making this one point, which I agree is on the general principle, but I am trying to put it very briefly. I would call in aid of the argument which I am adducing a remark made by the Chancellor on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill, when he said that we are now raising something like £200 million a year in Purchase Tax and added that if anyone wished to reduce that Purchase Tax he would have to find some other means of raising the revenue. I suggest that we should not commit the Treasury to relying upon this tax for the purpose of raising revenue, knowing quite well that we may very quickly wish to take it off, and that when we want to do so some £10 million will have to be found from elsewhere. That is my first point.

My second point is this, and concerns only the new Clause. It is, as hon. Members will have observed, in very complicated terms, and the form of this Clause differs significantly from the form of the original Clause 13. That Clause sought to amend the Finance Act, 1948, but we now find that the Finance Act, 1946, is invoked and has to be amended as well. The inner meaning of the total net result is not very easy for hon. Members to understand. I find some difficulty in trying to ascertain the exact implications of this new Clause. When we have a complicated provision of this kind before the Committee it is usual, as indeed it is also very helpful, if someone on the Government Front Bench will explain the exact implications.

I was hoping that the Solicitor-General would explain to us exactly how the Finance Act, 1946, was brought in and why it was necessary to bring it in when the matter appeared to be covered be an Amendment to the Act of 1948. Perhaps if we can have such an explanation now it may save time in the long run, because it may help us to understand rather better than we otherwise should the also complicated terms of the new Schedule which is on the Order Paper and which we shall have to consider in detail at a later stage. I hope I have justified taking up these few minutes to press the Government to do that.

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

When this Clause was moved, Major Milner, you were good enough to give the Committee the advantage of your guidance by suggesting that points of controversy might be reserved until we reached the Schedule. I wish to confine my very brief remarks to the draftsmanship of the new Clause which we shall be passing if we give it a Second Reading. It is, after all, the residuary legatee of Clause 13 deceased. It is the Government's effort to produce new wording. It represents the retreat made on the subject of commercial vehicles which, if translated into terms of human functions, would mean that we are all taxed in future on the torso rather than on the other parts of our anatomy.

I would ask the Solicitor-General, who, presumably, advised the Government on this matter, whether something could be done to improve subsection (3), if nothing else. There have been imported into our language during the past 50 years, owing to the French being a jump ahead of us in motor matters, certain French words such as "garage" and "chauffeur." I think that "chassis" must come among them. But what is to be said of an Act of Parliament which contains this definition: … the expression 'road vehicle chassis' shall include so much of a chassis-less "— what a fearful hybrid— road vehicle as may be determined by the Commissioners to be in effect chassis, and references to a vehicle's chassis shall be construed accordingly. One sympathises with those who have to do the construing.

Mr. Poole (Birmingham, Perry Barr)

It is perfectly plain.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

The hon. Member for Perry Barr (Mr. Poole) is a master of lucidity and, when I sit down, no doubt can explain to us exactly what subsection (3) means and how it is to be interpreted. In the meantime, lesser mortals than he are in order in raising this point in the Committee.

I support my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Devon, North (Brigadier Peto) who gave a striking example of how a boy might be chastised upon the chassis. How agreeable it would have been—or would it have been?—when we were at school if we had been chassis-less on occasions and yet "determined by the Commissioners to be in effect chassis." We should do something before we let this Clause pass. This is nothing to do with the merits of the matter. It is merely a question of draftsmanship which shows every sign of haste as a result of the demise of Clause 13 and the attempt of the Government to produce a substitute. I think so highly of the Solicitor-General that I am sure he will now leap to his feet to tell us that between now and the Report stage he will produce a new Clause which is at least comprehensible.

The Solicitor-General

I do not think that I can add anything to the general arguments that have been advanced in the course of this discussion, and, with the permission of the Committee, I will confine myself to the last two speeches which dealt with the rather more technical aspects of the drafting of this Clause.

As will be known by hon. Members who consider the Purchase Tax legislation, it is complicated, and it is complicated for this reason: the tax falls upon the wholesaler or the manufacturer, except in the case where he is selling the chargeable article to another registered wholesaler or manufacturer who wants to take it into stock or use it as materials for chargeable goods which he produces. Therefore, when one drafts a new Clause one has to take account of that situation. One has to deal with these two alternative situations: one where the chargeable point of time—that is to say, the point of time at which the tax falls—arrives when the article in question is still a chassis; and the other when the chargeable point of time arises when the chassis has become incorporated into a vehicle.

Most of these rather complicated Clauses are simply designed to bring this about. When the chargeable point of time arrives when the chassis has not yet become incorporated into a vehicle, the tax is then charged upon the chassis. That is comparatively simple. When, however, the chargeable point of time comes, when the chassis is part of the vehicle, if one looks at the Schedule which deals with the sale of the vehicle one finds that a vehicle is to be treated simply as if it were the sale of a chassis. That is why there is all this complicated drafting.

When I speak about "The chargeable point of time" I should explain what I mean. "The chargeable point of time" is an expression sometimes used in connection with this sort of legislation. When a wholesaler is selling to a retailer that is the time when the tax falls to be charged in a transaction of this sort. But when the wholesaler sells to another registered purchaser who wants it for stock the chargeable point of time—the point of time at which the tax charge arises—does not arise until that purchaser has himself made up the chassis into another article which constitutes a chargeable article. The charge is imposed when he sells the completed, chargeable article.

When we are trying to impose a tax on a chassis what we have to do is to calculate the wholesale value of the chassis when the chassis is no more than a chassis at the point of time the tax falls upon it. We charge the wholesale value of the chassis. But at the chargeable point of time, perhaps, the chassis has already become part of a whole vehicle, and we have then only to charge that part of the whole vehicle which constitutes the chassis element in it. That is brought about by paragraph 3 of the Schedule.

The remaining paragraphs of the Schedule deal with provisions which are designed to bring about a separation of what is a chassis and that which are extraneous additions to chassis. If hon. Members will look at paragraph I they will see what the additions are—the driver's cab, accumulators which are used for the purpose of supplying the power to propel the chassis, and so on. It is necessary, because the tax is upon the wholesale value of the chassis alone when there are a whole lot of accretions, to specify them so that they can be separated from the chassis itself. That is the reason for paragraph 1 of the Schedule. The only other part of the Schedule to which I shall refer is paragraph 3 (2), which is that part which defines what a goods vehicle is. I think it is comparatively straightforward. [Laughter.] I said "comparatively;" I did not say "straightforward" alone. If one fits in the various exceptions set out in the Eighth Schedule of the Finance Act, 1948, one sees that it works into a comprehensible result.

The last paragraph enables Purchase Tax to be remitted when the chassis becomes part of a vehicle, which is not a commercial vehicle and which is not a vehicle upon which Purchase Tax falls. That is a necessary provision, because if a chassis is not sold as part of a commercial vehicle no tax is paid on it.

If we go back to the new Clause it will be seen that all it does is introduce that Schedule. The hon. and gallant Member for Bristol, North-West (Lieutenant-Commander Braithwaite) made some reference to the word "chassis-less" and without saying that I agree with the general criticism put forward, I agree with remarks about the artistic character of the expression. This is when there is a strengthened body which includes the chassis as part of it. For example, in some makes of tanker vehicle that state of affairs is found, and paragraph 1 (3) is designed to deal with that. A composite structure of that sort constitutes a strengthened body, which incorporates a chassis, and the chassis cannot really be separated from the body because it is part of one and the same structure. Then when we are imposing the tax we notionally sub-divide the vehicle, and we have to ask ourselves what portion of this composite structure is to be regarded as a chassis. If that is not done it is not known What is to be charged. What is to be charged is only the wholesale value of the chassis, and that is the object of this paragraph.

I accept that this is extremely complicated drafting, and I wish it were possible in some form or another to draft it in more simple language. I can assure hon. Members that I have said to the draftsmen very much the same as hon. Members have said to us this afternoon. It really is impossible, if one goes into the structure of Purchase Tax legislation, to reduce it into more simple language than it is and I am very sorry that it should appear in this form. However, it is quite unavoidable.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Hollis (Devizes)

If we were more confused as to the meaning of this Clause before the Solicitor-General spoke to the Committee, we are in a much greater state of confusion now. It is more than a comic point. If it is really impossible to draft this legislation in such a way that it is unintelligible to the Solicitor-General, to anybody in this Committee, or indeed, to anyone in this country, surely that is a very good argument against the legislation. If it were some form of a personal excuse on the part of the right hon. and learned Gentleman we would be delighted with it, but it goes beyond that, and what we are concerned about is whether it is wise or foolish to put this utterly unintelligible legislation through Parliament. It is utterly unintelligible as it is now.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman made the distinction between a chassis that is no more than a chassis and what was an addition to a chassis. That was simple enough, but then we had something which was more than a chassis and which raised the question of a chassis-less body. We are told that when there is extra strength in a body that includes a chassis, for some reason or another this extra strong body should be called chassis-less, yet it is deemed to be a chassis within the meaning of the Act. We do not wish to delay the work of the Committee this afternoon. We have a lot of business to get through, and the last thing that is desired is for the Committee to be flippant. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to object to our debating this Clause at all, but all these matters could not have been debated before this wonderful farrago of rubbish went into the Bill, because this is a new concession which the Chancellor made to us. I would go into the Lobby against this new Clause on its intrinsic merits, but apart from those intrinsic merits it is insulting to the people of this country to pass this Clause in its present form, for it is absolute rubbish.

Mr. Poole

I confess that when the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Holderness was speaking I said that the Clause was perfectly clear to me. It was very much clearer to me then, having read it, than it was after I had heard my right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General. To me it is perfectly simple and clear, though I confess to having a revulsion of feeling against Parliamentary draftsmen in the normal course of events. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen have always claimed that they are business men, but apparently they have a prime ignorance of modern production methods in the motor car industry. That is really exactly what they are showing us, and it has been revealed by every speech that they have made.

This Clause is perfectly simple, for this reason. Under normal motor car construction, prior to the recent innovations, a motor car chassis was made and the body builder fitted the body on it. They were two perfectly separate pieces of work. It was easy to see what portion of the cost of a vehicle was represented by the construction of the chassis, and what was the portion of the cost which fell upon the body. Today, however, there are many motor cars which carry no chassis, and which are chassis-less, for the simple reason that the whole body is pressed out and the ancillary parts, springs and wings, are fastened to what is really the body: there is no chassis in the way in which one normally understands the term.

I should have thought that many bon. Members opposite would have been familiar with these facts. Will they tell the Committee what is wrong with the description in the Clause of the case of that type of construction? I am not an expert in this work, but I have seen the process by which the whole body in one transaction is pressed out of one piece of steel. How is it possible to decide what portion of that one engineering operation forms the chassis and what forms the body?

Mr. Hollis

That is exactly what is intended here.

Mr. Poole

I will come to the point now. In the Clause it says that: … the expression 'road vehicle chassis' shall include so much of a chassis-less road vehicle…. Let us substitute for "chassis-less road vehicle" the words "stamped out or pressed out body." Then the Clause would read: … the expression 'road vehicle chassis' shall include so much of a stamped out or pressed out body as may be determined by the Commissioners to be "— what would have been the chassis if the chassis had been provided.

I am sorry that I cannot help hon. Members to make up for their deficiency in understanding, but if they would really seek to understand subsection (3) rather than to find some levity in its draftsmanship, and if they had an elementary knowledge of the methods operating in the motor car industry today, they would not have the slightest difficulty in understanding why it has been necessary to have this Clause to make provision for that type of vehicle which is made without any chassis but is pressed out of one piece of steel in one operation.

Sir H. Williams

When I listened to the Solicitor-General I thought I was dreaming, and that I was listening to the Prime Minister explaining the Schuman Plan. Apparently I was wrong. Now we have had at our disposal the great experience of the technical expert about chassis-less chassis, but I am still in some difficulty. I am glad that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite) drew attention to the words … for a mechanically propelled vehicle shall be deemed to be mechanically propelled whether or not complete with an engine and other parts … In other words, these mechanically propelled vehicles, whether mechanically propelled or not, are all known to the expert on motor car construction. I think I understand that a little bit.

There is, however, a point here to which my hon. and gallant Friend did not draw attention, and that is that the interpretation of these words and of the vehicles is to be left, without anybody understanding it at all, to be determined by the Commission. This is a serious constitutional point. I happen to have one business connection where we deal a good deal with Purchase Tax. I must not go on to the general principles, but this Clause raises them, because this is to be a decision made by the Commissioners, and decisions made by the Commissioners are sometimes quite fantastic. I could quote illustrative examples of the complete folly of the decisions that are made.

It seems to me that Parliament is abdicating its responsibility—or will be if it passes this new Clause. There is not to be any Statutory Instrument embodying the decisions of the Commissioners. We are simply saying that all this stuff that none of us understands—and even the Solicitor-General admitted that he did not understand it, and that he had protested to the draftsmen about the unintelligibility of the wording—is to be interpreted by a Commission in decisions that will not be debateable here. All this is unintelligible, or has become unintelligible, even to the Solicitor-General. The Chancellor of the Exchequer finds himself quite incapable of defining these things in precise terms, and so he his handing the baby, or the chassis-less chassis, or whatever it is, to the Commissioners.

I do not think that the Commissioners ought to have these powers to determine something which Parliament ought to determine. I think this is a monstrous abdication of our constitutional responsibility. We must remember that at the moment we are engaged in discussing the Second Reading of a Clause. We are not on a Clause in Committee but on Second Reading. If we pass the Second Reading we could have a further discussion on the Question, "That the Clause be added to the Bill," but on the Second Reading of a Clause, as on the Second Reading of a Bill, the discussion is of necessity very wide.

We are entitled to ask why the Clause has been put down. The main reason is because of the arrogance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am sorry he has gone out. I meant him to hear this; I hope he will read it. He has stated that there are too many of these vehicles in the country. He said so in his Budget speech. It is a monstrous piece of impertinence for any Minister to dictate to the people who is to have a motor vehicle. I do not like it. He had the ambition he expressed in a book about 15 years ago, to the effect that there should be one Act of Parliament under which it would be possible to issue orders. Has he entirely abandoned that attitude of mind? Now he says there are too many commercial vehicles. But people buy commercial vehicles because they think they can usefully use them. It is much better that they should decide that than that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should decide it for them. I do not like this attitude at all, and when I say I do not like it I am speaking, as I know, on behalf of a vast number of people who have written to me about it, and for a vast number of people who have written to other hon. Members.

This is a thoroughly bad Clause. It will put up the cost of living. It will add substantially to the rates of my own borough, and to the rates of everybody else's borough. It imposes additional expense on the municipal authorities. Its purpose is not to make revenue. The purpose is to try to force people to do something other than that which they wish to do. It is totally undemocratic. I think people ought to make their own choices. I certainly much prefer making my own choice as to whether or not I need or will purchase a commercial vehicle, to being dictated to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am against the Clause in principle. It is thoroughly bad. It will disturb the economy of the nation, and is a piece of impertinence designed to dictate the way in which we conduct our lives.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, South)

The hon. Member for Perry Barr (Mr. Poole) said that we on this side of the Committee were ignorant of the methods of modern motor car manufacture. The very reverse is true. We understand the way in which modern motor cars are assembled; and that is why we are complaining against this Clause, which, in terms almost approaching those of the Athanasian Creed, tries to tell us to believe what we know is incomprehensible. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has really got himself into very great difficulties today. First he came down here and withdrew the tax because he wanted to exempt the body builders, whom he knew could not be taxed successfully because of their diversity.

Now he is forced into the position where he cannot find the terms which will be understood by any legal authority or even by the Commissioners for Inland Revenue themselves, in which to describe how these vehicles, which we all know under modern methods are assembled together, can possibly be separated for the purpose of tax. This only goes to reinforce our argument that not only on the aspect of the bodies is this tax ridiculous and wrong, but it is also wrong on the aspect of the chassis themselves. We know perfectly well that when the Government get down to the business of exacting the tax from the chassis manufacturers, they will be in exactly the same series of difficulties, if not worse, than they would have been if they had left the position as it was. That reinforces our demand that the tax as a whole should be withdrawn.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Foster

There is one great difficulty about the chassis of the "chassisless" vehicles, and it is that on the vehicles with chassis there are certain conditions which are described in the Schedule. In the case of the one-piece vehicles about which the hon. Member for Perry Barr (Mr. Poole) spoke, I appreciate that the object of the Clause is to enable the Commissioners to decide which part of the one-piece vehicle is chassis and which is not. I followed the Solicitor-General on that point. If the hon. Gentleman looks at the Clause again, I think he will see that there is nothing to stop the Commissioners deciding that things like cabs, which in the Schedule are permitted to be added to the chassis, can be added by the Commissioners to this notional chassis.

The Commissioners take a one-piece vehicle and there is no limitation at all on their discretion. They may say, "In this one-piece vehicle, this will be the chassis," and they may include the cab. But with a vehicle with a separate chassis and body, under the Schedule they are not allowed to put the cab. Surely, that is wrong. As my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) said, the Commissioners should at least have some restriction on their discretion. They should not be able to decide that the whole lorry is a chassis. There must be some principle.

The root of the fallacy is that there is no decision of what is a chassis in either branch of this Clause. There are certain things which one is not allowed to count as part of the chassis, including the driver's cab. There is nothing to describe whether other things are part of the chassis or not. I am no expert on lorries, but I can well imagine certain articles attached to a chassis which the Solicitor-General would say were part of the chassis and which I would say were not part. The more obvious ones are mentioned in the Schedule. They include a driver's cab, accumulators, turntables, coupling gear or equivalent mechanism. But, surely, in the case of chassis-less vehicles the Commissioners must be helped to decide what is and what is not subject to tax.

I ask the Chancellor to look at this matter again and to bring out the definition of chassis, to apply it separately, and then to help the Commissioners by saying, "Such part of a vehicle as in the case of a vehicle without chassis would be equivalent to a chassis." I think that he needs words like that to help him to make the Clause clear. This position shows how hopeless this tax is. The Chancellor is determined in his view, which we on this side of the Committee say must be wrong, that it is over-investment to buy new commercial vehicles to replace old and antiquated vehicles. Because he has got what I call this insane principle in mind and he introduces a Clause which does not work out at all. If he does not accept that principle, at least let him introduce a Clause which makes sense.

Mr. P. Roberts

There is one point which constitutes a grave danger. We have had a rigmarole of words, but nothing has been said about what will happen when the Government try to take off this tax. They have already said that they cannot deal with the coach builders, and we know for what a long time the chassis are in the hands of the coach builders. A great deal of hardship will be caused to that industry if or when the Government want to take off this tax. The chassis goes to the coach builder and it may be with him for three or four months whilst he is putting on the body.

If the tax comes off, the coach builder may be left with many vehicles on which tax has been paid. Of course, anyone who wanted to buy a lorry at that time would not buy a vehicle on which the tax had been paid. Obviously, they would buy the cheaper one without the tax. The coach building industry may be left with thousands of vehicles on which they have paid Purchase Tax for the chassis. We have considered this problem before when Purchase Tax has been taken off other goods. The Government will find it a most difficult problem to solve. In fact, it may be so troublesome that a future Chancellor may say, "We cannot take Purchase Tax off these lorries because we know the trouble we should have."

This Debate must have shown to the Government that this form of words really will not do. I ask the Minister not to take the line that because the Clause is on the Order Paper it must go through. I ask him to consider the arguments we have presented and to reconsider the Clause with the idea of deleting some of the obvious anomalies. Otherwise, with firm conviction, I shall go into the Division Lobby to vote against it.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

This valuable discussion arose out of a modest plea on my part a few minutes ago for clearer draftsmanship. I think that the result has been valuable to the Committee. The hon. Member for Perry Barr (Mr. Poole), who interrupted me on a previous occasion, has done his best to explain this Clause. May I say to him in passing that I no longer have the honour to represent Holderness? Like himself, redistribution has caused a translation. What the electors of Perry Barr have done for him, the electors of Bristol, North-West, have done for me. We both find ourselves transplanted.

I thought that the hon. Member for Perry Barr was somewhat harsh in his comments upon what was said by the Solicitor-General whom I have always found to be a most painstaking Law Officer. No Law Officer in my experience has ever been more assiduous in his duties. In explaining the abstruse language of the various Bills which he has had to pilot in the last five years, a great strain has been placed upon him and his ingenuity. I thought that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was not only conscientious this afternoon but revealing. He confessed that he found his task impossible. Coming from a Law Officer of the Crown, I thought that that was guidance to the Committee which it would be most unwise for us to turn down. When the hon. Member for Perry Barr said that he understood the Clause until the Solicitor-General intervened, I thought that that was a matter for a Wednesday meeting upstairs. With the Government's present slender majority, I should have thought that it was a matter for the Lord President of the Council.

There is one lesson which emerges from this discussion. There is a Law Officer of the Crown, well versed in his task and in his profession, who has failed in spite of all his efforts to explain this new Clause. Let us not blame the Solicitor-General. The new Clause was hastily put together following the demise of the original Clause 13. It bristles with anomalies. I shall not return to this chassis-less problem which confronts the Committee. One cannot make bricks without straw and one cannot make bodies without chassis. It is all very difficult and abstruse. I should have thought that there were two courses open to the Government as a result of this discussion. The first is to drop the tax, which is obviously unworkable; the second is that, if they persist in this curious hybrid arrangement, the Clause as at present drafting should be withdrawn and an effort made on the Report stage to put it into intelligible language.

After all, the Minister of Town and Country Planning is no longer at the Treasury. We were accustomed in his time there to curious phrases which could be interpreted in one way or another; very much like the interpretation of the Minister of Town and Country Planning of the Schuman plan and the Socialist Party's attitude towards it. I am quite sure that this short discussion has been valuable, if only because it has shown that the new Clause is not only quite incapable of interpretation, but that the tax itself is quite incapable of being operated.

Mr. Michael Astor (Surrey, East)

I want to make one small point and to ask a question. I wonder whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when enacting his principle that there were too many of these vehicles on the road, consulted with the Minister of Transport from the point of view of public safety. I know that in the part of the country where I live, the small men who are for the most part using light commercial vehicles are driving vehicles which are a danger to the public. I have talked to garage owners and to tradesmen about this, and the opinion I have conflicts completely with the principle which the Chancellor of the Exchequer established in making this tax. I should be grateful to know whether he did consult the Minister of Transport and whether his opinion is the same as mine on that point.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 287; Noes, 276.

Division No. 32.] AYES [5.45 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S
Adams, Richard Brockway, A. Fenner Crosland, C. A. R.
Albu, A. H. Brook, D. (Halifax) Crossman, R. H. S.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Cullen, Mrs. A.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Daggar, G.
Awbery, S. S. Brown, George (Belper) Daines, P.
Ayles, W. H. Brown, T. J. (Ince) Darling, G. (Hillsboro')
Bacon, Miss A Burke, W. A. Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)
Baird, J. Burton, Miss E. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)
Balfour, A. Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Davies, Harold (Leek)
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J Callaghan, James Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)
Bartley, P. Carmichael, James Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Castle, Mrs. S. A. de Freitas, Geoffrey
Benson, G. Champion, A. J. Deer, G.
Beswick, F. Chetwynd, G. R. Delargy, H. J.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Clunie, J. Diamond, J.
Bing, G. H. C. Cocks, F. S. Dodds, N. N.
Blackburn, A. R. Coldrick, W. Donnelly, D.
Blenkinsop, A. Collick, P. Donovan, T. N.
Boardman, H. Cook, T. F. Driberg, T. E. N.
Booth, A. Cooper, G. (Middlesbrough, W.) Dugdale, Rt. Hon. J. (W. Bromwich)
Bottomley, A. G Cove, W. G. Dye, S.
Bowden, H. W. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Crawley, A. Edelman, M.
Edwards, John (Brighouse) Lee, Miss J. (Canneck) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Lever, L. M (Ardwick) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Lever, N. H. (Cheetham) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Lewis, A. W J. (West Ham N.) Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Lewis, J. (Bolton, W.) Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Lindgren, G. S. Shackleton, E. A. A.
Ewart, R. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H
Fernyhough, E. Logan, D. G. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Field, Capt. W. J. Longden, F. (Small Heath) Shurmer, P L E.
Finch, H. J. McAllister, G. Silverman, J (Erdington)
Follick, M. MacColl, J. E. Silverman, S S. (Nelson)
Foot, M. M. McGhee, H. G. Slater, J.
Forman, J. C. McInnes, J. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Freeman, J. (Watford) Mack, J. D Snow, J. W.
Freeman, Peter (Newport) McKay, J. (Wallsend) Sorensen, R. W.
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T N Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir F
Ganley, Mrs. C S McLeavy, F Sparks, J. A.
Gilzean, A. MacMillan, M K (Western Isles) Steele, T.
Glanville, J. E. (Consett) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Gooch, E. G. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Stokes, Rt. Hon. R R
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Rossendale) Mainwaring, W. H. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R (Vauxhall)
Grenfell, D. R. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Stross, Dr B.
Grey, C. F. Mann, Mrs. J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon Edith
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Manuel, A. C. Sylvester, G. O.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Gunter, R. J. Mathers, Rt. Hon. George Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Hale, J. (Rochdale) Mellish, R. J Thomas, D. E (Abordare)
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Messer, F. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hall, J. (Gateshead, W.) Middleton, Mrs. L Thomas, I. R. (Rhondda, W.)
Hall, Rt. Hn. W. Glenvil (Colne V'll'y) Mikardo, Ian Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Hamilton, W. W Mitchison, G. R Thurtle, Ernest
Hannan, W Moeran, E. W Timmons, J
Hardman, D. R Monslow, W Tomlinson, Rt. Hon G
Hardy, E A. Moody, A S Tomney, F
Hargreaves, A Morgan, Dr. H. B Turner-Samuels, M
Harrison, J. Morley, R. Usborne, Henry
Hayman, F. H Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Vernon, Maj W F
Henderson, Rt. Hon A. (Rowley Regis) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Viant, S P.
Herbison, Miss M. Mort, D. L Wallace, H W
Hewitson, Capt. M. Moyle, A. Watkins, T. E.
Hobson, C. R Mulley, F. W Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford. C.)
Holman, P. Murray, J. D. Weitzman, D
Holmes, H E. (Hemsworth) Nally, W. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Houghton, Douglas Neal, H. Wells, W. T (Walsall)
Hoy, J. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. West, D. G.
Hubbard, T. Oldfield, W. H Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Edinb'gh, E)
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, N.) Oliver, G. H White, Mrs. E. (E. Flint)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Orbach, M White, H (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Padley, W. E. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Hughes, Moelwyn (Islington, N) Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly) Wigg, George
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Pannell, T. C Wilkes, L.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Pargiter, G. A. Wilkins, W. A.
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Parker, J. Willey, F. T (Sunderland)
Janner, B. Paton, J. Willey, O. G (Cleveland)
Jay, D. P. T Pearson, A. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Jeger, G. (Goole) Pearl, T. F. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Jeger, Dr. S. W (St. Pancras, S.) Poole, Cecil Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Jenkins, R. H. Popplewell, E Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Johnson, James (Rugby) Porter, G. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J H (Huyton)
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Price, M. Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Winterbottom, I. (Nottingham, C.)
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Proctor, W. T Winterbottom, R. E (Brightside)
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Pryde, D. J Wise, Major F. J
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Pursey, Comdr. H
Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Rankin, J. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Keenan, W. Rees, Mrs. D. Woods, Rev. G. S.
Kenyon, C. Reeves, J. Wyatt, W. L.
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Reid, T. (Swindon) Yates, V. F.
King, H. M. Reid, W. (Camlachie) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr E Rhodes, H.
Kinley, J. Richards, R TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lee, F. (Newton) Robens, A Mr. Collindridge and
Mr. Royle.
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.
Arbuthnot, John Beamish, Maj. T. V. H Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Bell, R. M. Boothby, 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. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Hirst, Geoffrey Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Braine, B. Hogg, Hon. Q. Osborne, C.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Hollis, M. C Perkins, W. R. D.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Peto, Brig. C. H M
Browne, J. N. (Govan) Hope, Lord J. Pickthorn, K.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Hopkinson, H. L. D'A. Powell, J. Enoch
Bullock, Capt. M. Hornsby-Smith, Miss P. Prescott, Stanley
Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E. Horsbrugh, Miss F. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O
Burden, Squadron-Leader F. A. Howard, G. R. (St. Ives) Profumo, J. D.
Butcher, H. W. Howard, S. G. (Cambridgeshire) Raikes, H. V.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Rayner, Brig. R.
Carr, L. R. (Mitcham) Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Redmayne, M.
Carson, Hon. E. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N) Remnant, Hon. P.
Channon, H. Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J. Renton, D. L. M.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Hurd, A. R. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Clarke, Col. R. S. (East Grinstead) Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Roberts, P. G. (Heeley)
Clarke, Brig. T. H. (Portsmouth, W.) Hyde, H. M. Robertson, Sir D. (Caithness)
Clyde, J. L. Hylton-Foster, H. B. Robinson, J. Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Cologate, A. Jeffreys, General Sir G Robson-Brown, W. (Esher)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Jennings, R. Rodgers, J. (Sevenoaks)
Cooper, A. E. (Ilord, S.) Johnson, Howard S. (Kemptown) Roper, Sir H.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W Russell, R. S.
Craddock, G. B. (Spelthorne) Kaberry, D. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D
Cranborne, Viscount Keeling, E. H. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Savory, Prof. D. L.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Lambert, Hon. G. Scott, Donald
Crouch, R. F. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Shepherd, W. S. (Cheadle)
Crowder, F. P. (Ruislip-Northwood) Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Crowder, Capt. John F. E. (Finchley) Leather, E. H. C. Smith, E. Martin (Grantham)
Cundiff, F. W. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Smithers, Peter H. B. (Winchester)
Cuthbert, W. N. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Smithers, Sir W. (Orpington)
Darling, Sir W. Y. (Edinburgh, S.) Linstead, H. N Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Davidson, Viscountess Liewellyn, D. Soames, Capt. C.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Spearman, A. C. M.
Davies, Nigel (Epping) Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
de Chair, 5. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Spens, Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Deedes, W. F. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Stanley, Capt. Hon. R. (N. Fylde)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Longden, G. J. M. (Herts, S. W.) Stevens, G. P.
Donner, P. W. Low, A. R. W. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord M Lucas, Major Sir J. (Portsmouth, S.) Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Drayson, G. B Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Drewe, C Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Storey, S.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. McAdden, S. J. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Dunglass, Lord McCallum, Maj. D. Summers, G. S.
Duthie, W. S. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Sutcliffe, H.
Eccles, D. M. Macdonald, A. J. F. (Roxburgh) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter McKibbin, A. Teeling, William
Erroll, F. J. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Fisher, Nigel Maclay, Hon. J. S. Thompson, K. P. (Walton)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Maclean, F. H. R. Thompson, R. H. M. (Croydon, W.)
Fort, R. MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.) Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Foster J. G. MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N
Fraser, Hon. H. C. P. (Stone) Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Tilney, John
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Touche, G. C.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Turton, R. H.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Marlowe, A. A. H. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Vane, W. M. F.
Gammans, L. D. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Maude, A. E. U. (Ealing, S.) Vosper, D. F.
Gates, Maj. E. E. Maudling, R. Wade, D. W.
George, Lady M. Lloyd Medlicott, Brigadier F. Wakefield, E. B. (Derbyshire, W.)
Glyn, Sir R. Mellor, Sir J. Wakefield, Sir W. W. (St. Marvlabone)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Molson, A. H. E. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Granville, E. (Eye) Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. Ward, Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Gridley, Sir A. Morris, R. Hopkin (Carmarthen) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Grimond, J. Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Waterhouse, Capt. C
Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Watkinson, H.
Grimston, R. V. (Westbury) Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Harden, J. R. E. Nabarro, G. Webbe, Sir H. (London)
Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.) Nicholls, H Wheatley, Major M. J. (Poole)
Harris, R. R. (Heston) Nicholson, G. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Nield, B. (Chester) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Hay, John Noble, Comdr. A. H. P Williams, Sir H G. (Croydon, E.)
Heald, L. F. Nugent, G. R. H. Wills, G.
Heath, Col. E. R. Nutting, Anthony Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Oakshott, H. D. York, C.
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W Odey, G. W. Young, Sir A. S. L.
Higgs, J. M. C. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hill, Dr. C. (Luton) Orr, Capt. L P. S. Mr. Studholme and
Mr. Wingfield Digby.