HC Deb 11 June 1951 vol 488 cc1863-915
Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

I beg to move, in page 20, line 22, to leave out from "consideration" to the end of line 23.

This is rather a complicated question, and I should have preferred to try to put the story across at a more reasonable time of day or night, but since we are condemned to this sort of marathon race, however tired the brain of the explainer or the listener, I must do what I can to make it clear.

The object of the Clause is to prevent the avoidance of Profits Tax at the time of a repayment of capital—that is, a capitalisation of reserves, a subsequent reduction of capital, and the distribution of that reduced part of the capital in the form of cash. No objection is taken to this manoeuvre, that is tax levying, in the case of equity capital, or to the principles of the Clause; but an anomaly arises when we are dealing with loan capital or debenture repayment because no Profits Tax is levied on that repayment if at the time of issue it was issued for full cash consideration.

We think that this is anomalous, and that it can be unfair. It need not necessarily be cash that a company receives as a result of issuing loan capital; it may be plant, or a ship, or goodwill. It seems to us unfair that the issue of debentures resulting from the acquiring of the plant, ship, or goodwill should, when it is repaid, suffer Profits Tax, whereas if that same issue had been made in respect of the receipt of cash, it is not.

1.15 a.m.

Further, let me show how it could be easily circumvented. Let us assume that the owner of a ship offers to sell it for £100,000 to a company which wants to buy it. The company says it is sorry, but it has not the money to pay. "All right," says the owner. "I will lend you £100,000, and you will issue 5 per cent. debentures to that amount. You will then have the money which will allow you to buy this vessel and you will buy it." When that debenture issue which has been made in return for the loan to buy the ship is repaid, it will not be liable to Profits Tax under the Clause, because the issue was made in respect of a cash consideration. But if the same owner had gone to the company and said, "Let me have the ship for 100,000 five per cent. debentures," when these were repaid, they would have been liable for tax.

It is easy for anybody considering the issue of debentures, to get round this provision and make the issue not liable for Profits Tax, when it comes to be repaid. The hon. Gentleman might say that much loan capital of this sort has already been issued and it would be extremely difficult to check whether full consideration had been received by a company in respect of its assets. My answer to that objection is that there was no impulse, need or advantage in the past, when taxation was more reasonable, to issue debentures for other than the full consideration. On balance, we will find that in the past debentures were not issued except when the company received value for their money.

As it stands, this is an anomalous Clause. It is nonsense to subject an issue of debentures to treatment of one kind when made in respect of cash and to treatment of another kind when made in respect of the full consideration. These words, "full consideration" are all important. The Clause is anomalous, unfair and easy to circumvent.

The Attorney-General (Sir Frank Soskice)

We limit the words in the last part of subsection (5) for the reason that we think that, if loan capital subscribed for any consideration were on repayment not to count as reduction, there would be a fairly easy way to get round the provisions of the Clause. For example, let us take the case where there were preference shares with considerable arrears of dividend. Suppose we omitted the words which the hon. Gentleman desires to be omitted, it would be easy to issue notes to the shareholders to whom the arrears of preference dividends were owed and in that way to cancel out the arrears in return for the notes. Clearly, if paid-up, preference dividend should rank as distribution. If these words were left out, the scope for evasion on the lines of which I have given one example would be made possible.

I agree that there are a number of perfectly bona fide cases which we should try to take outside the Clause. I agree with the hon. and gallant Gentleman's example of the sale of a ship. That kind of case ought to be taken outside the scope of the Clause. I agree with him when he says it is anomalous to have the transaction done by an exchange of cheques and not be within the Clause, but to do it merely by selling the ship and to have it within the scope of the Clause.

That I agree is an anomaly, and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman would be good enough to ask the leave of the Committee to withdraw the Amendment, I would undertake to put down, I hope by the Report stage, an Amendment which would take out of the Clause what can be regarded as a genuine case of the kind that he has instanced. I am sure that he will agree, however, that the Clause should not be so worded as to make evasion easy, but I agree there are a number of perfectly genuine cases which, as the Clause is at present worded, may come within its scope.

Mr. Lyttelton

May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman what he means when he says that he hopes to do it by the Report stage? If he does not do so by then, there is no other stage.

The Attorney-General

I am anxious to be careful in my wording of an undertaking, but I have every confidence we shall have thought it out by the Report stage.

Mr. Lyttelton

I do not want to be rude, but we do not share the right hon. and learned Gentleman's confidence that he will have thought everything out by the Report stage. What we want is an undertaking that he will deal with the matter on the Report stage, and I gather that he is giving that undertaking. Is that so?

The Attorney-General indicated assent.

Mr. Pitman

It seems to me that we are singling out for particularly harsh treatment for taxation under this Clause those companies which are least able to bear the tax, which is worse than Income Tax and which is not going to produce the desired result. Let us take company "A" which has had a prosperous and excellent time in the last 20 years and paid its dividends regularly and does not pay any tax at all in consequence. Now I gather it is the view of the Attorney-General that company "B," which has been going through a very bad time in the last 20 years, should be taxed because of its misfortunes in the past, and when it comes in its time, as it is in duty bound to do, to pay nothing at all on its capital but to pay for the arrears of dividends in the past 20 years it is taxed on that, whereas the other company has distributed its dividends over the whole 20 years without tax.

That is an aspect on which the Committee might seek guidance, because it seems to be unfair and out of keeping with the principle that taxation should be borne on the shoulders of those best able to bear it. It is most unfair and a breach of the principles of taxation.

Mr. C. S. Taylor (Eastbourne)

Before my hon. Friend withdraws his Amendment, I should like to raise a question on this Clause so far as it affects redeemable preference shares.

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Diamond)

I take it that the hon. Gentleman is going to relate his remarks to the Amendment and not the Clause?

Mr. Taylor

I will do it later if it will be more convenient. I thought it might be convenient here, as it was a point similar to the one we were discussing on the Amendment.

The Temporary Chairman

It is not in order to deal with any matter other than that in the Amendment.

Mr. P. Roberts

What the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said goes some way to meet the point, but he said he did not want certain illegalities to take place. I draw his attention to the next Clause, which contains very wide powers—I hope they will not be so wide in a few hours' time—so I hope he will not tie himself too much in this Clause.

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

I am obliged to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for going some way to meet us in the point with which I have confronted him. I should like to study more carefully, in the light of normal day, the illustrations which he gave. If this particular preference share were repaid, I should have thought that was not "full consideration." In view of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's explanation, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Maudling

I beg to move, in page 20, line 28, at the end, to add: (6) Section thirty-six of the Finance Act, 1947, shall have effect as if for the proviso to subsection (1) of that section there were substituted the following proviso: Provided that no sum applied in repaying in whole or in part a loan or in paying off in whole or in part by way of either reduction, redemption or in liquidation or otherwise, the share capital of the person carrying on the trade or business shall be treated as a distribution except to the extent that the sum so applied shall exceed—

  1. (a) a sum equivalent to the amount of such loan or the amount paid up or credited as paid up on the account of the nominal value of the capital so paid off, together with any premium paid to such person as a condition of the making of such loan, or the issue of such capital, or any premium not exceeding fifteen per cent. of the amount of such loan or the nominal value of such capital which such person was obligated by the terms of such loan or the payment off of such capital, whichever is the greater; and
  2. (b) a sum equivalent to the amount of cash or the nominal amount of any securities received by such person under or by virtue of any Act of Parliament in respect of the acquisition of the whole or any part of the assets of that person trade or business.
I think I should apologise for the complexity of the drafting of the Amendment which possibly matches the complexity of the drafting of the Clause itself. I hope my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Colonel Gomme-Duncan) will not be too vigorous in his criticism of our drafting. I shall do my best to explain the purpose of the Amendment, which is to extend the provisions of a proviso to Section 36 of the Finance Act of 1947. That Section describes "distribution" for Profits Tax purposes and sets out a wide range of payments, including the distribution of assets, and the payment of dividends or bonuses, which are treated as a distribution. The proviso says: Provided that no sum applied in repaying a loan or in reducing the share capital of the person carrying on the trade or business shall be treated as a distribution. In other words, that proviso says that no sum used to repay a loan or reduce the share capital of the business shall be regarded as a distribution for Profits Tax purposes.

Our contention is that the proviso does not go far enough, and this Amendment is designed to widen it in four particular regards. In the first place, it does not appear by any means certain that the provisions of the proviso would apply in the case of a liquidation. I know that Section 35 (1, c) applies to a liquidation, but I am not sure that it applies to every case of a liquidation, e.g., in the case of a share premium issued for other than cash. The right hon. and learned Gentleman should enlighten us on the point.

The second objection is that the proviso does not appear to cover the case of redeemable preference shares because the redemption of a preference share is not a reduction of capital. I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman will be able to deal with the point. While I am on the subject of redeemable preference shares and Profits Tax, perhaps I may call his attention to a point which is worrying many people at present—namely, the situation of the Section 21 companies in relation to Profits Tax. People are somewhat concerned to know the extent or length of redemption which the Treasury regard as the appropriate length of redemption in the issue of a security of this kind which is not regarded as an avoidance device. I think an answer to that question is widely required.

The third objection to the proviso is that it does not appear to cover the position when there is a premium on a share when the share capital is being reduced, and our Amendment is designed to include the premium element in share capital within the phrase "reduction of share capital" and so exclude the repayment of such premium from being treated as a distribution. The issue of shares at a premium is, of course, a common occurrence nowadays—and I think it is recognised by Section 56 of the Companies Act, 1948—and any premiums involved in an issue of shares are incorporated in the capital structure of the company. Therefore, it seems to me reasonable that any premium on an issue should be included in the issue of share capital for the purposes of this proviso of Section 36 of the 1947 Finance Act.

1.30 a.m.

Similar, but not entirely similar, considerations apply where there is a premium on paying off a security, not a premium on issue, and in our Amendment, in order to avoid possibly opening the door to certain avoidances, we have limited the amount of premium on paying off which should be allowed to a maximum of 15 per cent. of the nominal value of the security, which seems to me in ordinary circumstances a reasonable amount. Those are the first three ways in which we wish to extend the proviso of Section 36 of the 1947 Finance Act.

The fourth and final way is that covered by paragraph (b) of the Amendment, namely, the position which arises when a company which received Government stock under a nationalisation Act wishes to distribute that stock to its shareholders. Take for example, the case of a company which had a substantial interest in the iron and steel industry, which has now been nationalised. If the company hived off its steel-making assets, the company would remain in being and in exchange for the subsidiary company which it had created to take over its steel-making assets would have received Iron and Steel Stock, so the company would be holding Iron and Steel Stock.

Under present legislation, as I understand it, if the company which has received this compensation stock were to distribute it to its shareholders, that distribution becomes liable to Profits Tax. On the other hand, where the company, instead of hiving off, is totally taken over, the individual shareholders are entitled to receive the nationalisation stock in respect of their steel-making assets without any deduction whatever for Profits Tax.

There seems to be a complete anomaly, dependent upon whether the company concerned has or has not exercised the option to which it is entitled of hiving off its steel-making assets. It seems clear that where the company which has received compensation stock of that kind seeks to distribute it to its shareholders, it is not carrying out a distribution of profits in any sense, but is carrying out a distribution of assets—assets which are no longer needed for the conduct of the business. It seems to me wrong that in those circumstances such distribution should be subject to Profits Tax.

Those are the four ways in which we wish to extend the proviso of the 1947 Finance Act. As the Attorney-General has been moderately accommodating so far in his reaction to Amendments moved from this side of the Committee, I hope he will be prepared to be equally accommodating on the points I have submitted for his consideration, which I think are backed with arguments of equity which deserve consideration.

Mr. P. Roberts

There is another aspect of the nationalisation point, so eloquently put by my hon. Friend, which I should like the Attorney-General to consider, and that is under the Coal Industry (Nationalisation) Act. As both he and the Chancellor know, partial satisfaction payments of a capital sum are being made to the collieries concerned, if they apply, up to between 50 per cent. and 80 per cent. of the value of their undertakings. As I understand it, those colliery companies have recently, quite properly, paid out that money, amounting to large sums in some cases, as a reduction of capital. It is clearly a question of capital compensation which has been received into the hands of the company.

It appears to me that, under this Clause as drafted, any future payments of partial satisfaction will be very severely penalised. I asked a question of the Minister of Fuel and Power a little while ago, and the figure which he gave in reply was that approximately 25 per cent. to 28 per cent. had been paid out. Therefore, if this partial satisfaction arrangement is to continue, there may be many millions of pounds which will come into the hands of the companies. These companies could then pay the actual compensation, and would have paid the money out. I should therefore like to ask the Attorney-General whether this point has been considered.

The Attorney-General

I am sorry to say that I feel that we cannot accept this Amendment. What it seeks to do is to substitute for the present Section of the Finance Act, 1947, which describes what are to be regarded as distributions, a new provision widening the present one. As the matter stands at present, redemptions of capital and repayments of loan do not count as distributions. In the case of a liquidation, not only does that not count as a distribution, but even the payment of a premium subscribed for the issue of the shares does not. What the Amendment seeks to do is, in effect, to say in the first place that if capital is reduced by premiums on the issue of the shares which were originally subscribed for, not on liquidation but during the life of the company, that payment of premium is itself not to rank as a distribution.

There is, I should have thought, no reason for that. Where the original shares were not subscribed for at a premium, and where the reduction is sought as a kind of gratuitous premium, that is a distribution of the profits as is any ordinary dividend. There is no real distinction in principle but only in form. If when shares were orginally issued no premium was paid out on the issue of the shares, there can be no possible argument for saying that the premium is not a kind of distribution. The hon. Gentleman says that that should not be the case when the premium is paid back upon the reduction of capital, and that when the original shares were paid up that premium was paid on the issue.

It is said that in circumstances of that sort, at any rate, the premium ought not to rank as a distribution. In point of fact, the situation could rarely arise because of the provision of Section 56 of the Companies Act, 1948, which the hon. Member mentioned when moving the Amendment, because, under the provisions of the Section, the premiums paid on the issue of the shares can only be used for certain purposes. They have to be carried in a share premium account. They can be used for making a bonus issue of unissued shares, and can be used for repaying premium expenses of the company.

That kind of use could not count as a distribution. So, if the premiums originally subscribed are used for these purposes no question of distribution would arise. In ordinary cases there could not in any event, if premiums originally subscribed are paid back on a reduction of capital, be a distribution.

Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth (Hendon, South)

These premiums may have been paid before 1948, and they would not be covered by the Act of that year. Will the Attorney-General deal with that point?

The Attorney-General

The answer is that a provision of Section 30 of the 1947 Act, to which I shall refer, puts an overall limitation on what is to be counted as a distribution.

If I may come back to the point with which I was dealing, under the terms of Section 56 there is only one use for which premiums subscribed upon the issue of shares can rank as a distribution, that is when they are used for paying the premium on the redemption of redeemable preference shares. That premium can rank as a distribution, and I submit that there is no reason why it should not. After all, there is the overall limitation to the amount which can be charged to the distribution charge. I will come back to that, because it is also the answer with regard to the nationalisation stock.

I shall deal with the question of limitation, which is not only my answer for nationalisation stock, but also for premiums originally subscribed and used for paying premiums for redeemable preference shares. Under Section 30 of the 1947 Act, setting up this Profits Tax structure, one can only be charged in the aggregate and the higher charge, to the extent that, since 1947, one has made profits. Section 30 limits the over-all charge to that, so that when one pays in respect of any particular amount, that part must represent that part of the profits which the company has made since 1947.

I urge upon the Committee that this is a most important consideration. One cannot treat as a distribution attracting the higher charge anything in excess of profits which the company has made since 1947. Inasmuch as that is the over-all limitation, it does not matter on what that charge falls, whether it is nationalisation stock being distributed, or some other profits. That being so, the whole argument advanced in favour of the view that one should exempt this nationalisation stock, or premiums paid up on preference shares, must go.

Mr. P. Roberts

The right hon. and learned Gentleman referred to the distribution of nationalisation stock or some other profits, but our argument is that nationalisation stock represents assets, and not profits.

The Attorney-General

It is something distributed, and the hon. Gentleman says that when that stock was distributed, one should not have that distribution charged at the higher charge. One can only be charged to the extent to which one made profits. So that, when one bears in mind that the whole amount on which one can pay distribution charge is limited to post-1947 activities, it does not matter on what portion of the profits the charge is drawn. To the extent that one distributes post-1947 profits, the charge falls thereon.

Let us suppose that one could be charged at a sum in excess of 1947 profits on any distribution at all; supposing one had a company which had been in existence, for example, for twenty years, and during that time had made half-a-million pounds out of profits, and that after 1947 one distributed the whole half-a-million profit. Then, there would be a case for saying that one must limit the charge to something which one earned after 1947 in the way of profits; but since the Act does limit the charge to post-1947 profits, there really can be no case for differentiating one distribution from another, so long as it is within the over-all limitation.

1.45 a.m.

The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment apologised to the Committee for the complexity of the problem he raised and I have done my best to try and explain the answer I desired to give in intelligible form. I agree it is a very difficult answer, and I hope I have made it at least not too obscure, but the basic consideration is this over-all limitation.

If I may resume the point I was making, it is only rarely that the case will arise in so far as the premiums are subscribed upon issue shares. It is in these rare cases where it can arise that repayment of the premiums can count as distribution and also in the case where a company distributes nationalisation stock. It is all subject to the limit, and therefore there is no case for making a distinction between one type of distribution and another so long as it is within the post-1947 limit. Therefore, I ask the Committee to reject the Amendment.

Mr. P. Roberts

I have tried to follow the Attorney-General and I would ask him if I have this correct. In the case of a steel company which is nationalised and has made a profit since 1947, let us assume the profit made was to the tune of £100 before 1947 and £100 after 1947, and that it makes a distribution to cover, not the £200, but £100. Can the company select and say, "I am paying the pre-1947 profits and retaining for business the post-1947 profits," or is it that any payment made must be allocated as to the profits?

The Attorney-General

A company makes before 1947 £100 profit and it makes after 1947 £100 profit—by a profit, I mean after deducting its outgoings and so on—and it then distributes £100, after 1947, to shareholders in the form of dividends or in any of the other forms described in Section 36. It would pay the higher distribution charge on £100. Supposing it distributes £150—in other words, it distributes £50 of £100 it made before 1947—it will still only pay the higher charge on £100.

Mr. Pitman

I, too, have tried very hard to understand this particular Clause. I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General, will help me over this question of profits, as to whether it is capital profit or revenue profit, and whether that distinction enters into the case in understanding this Clause properly. He used the word "Profits" indiscriminately in a context in which it might either have been a revenue profit during the period since 1947 or a capital profit as the result of some transaction which had taken place during that time.

Perhaps I could best bring the problem to a head by asking him what exactly is the case with a coal company which has entered the period with considerable distributable reserves, and which has since received its compensation stock as distributable capital and which, since 1947, has on revenue account been losing all the time? In other words, if there has been a capital profit since 1947 but there has been a revenue loss during that period, will this, since it counts as a distribution on capital profit rather than on revenue profit, attract the Profits Tax where there have in fact been no profits?

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

I want to put this question to the Attorney-General: supposing a company makes a distribution of money which it has received by way of compensation under the nationalisation scheme, that it also pays a dividend in the ordinary way, and that it also sets part of its profits to reserve. As I understood the right hon. and learned Gentleman, he said that the amount of tax at the 50 per cent. rate would be limited to the amount of profits that the company has actually earned since 1947.

But if we take those considerations together, it seems to me that notwithstanding that the company is really putting a very substantial part of the profits it has earned since 1947 to reserve, the Revenue will be able to say, "Oh no, you are distributing these nationalisation moneys and we look to those in the first place. Therefore we are going to say that you are making a full distribution, and we shall charge you at the higher 50 per cent. rate on the full amount of profits you have earned." If that is so, it is quite unfair and the matter ought to be looked at again.

The Attorney-General

May I intervene again to deal with that one point, because it rather crystallises the argument? Certainly if the stock is distributed and the profit is put to reserve, the charge falls upon the stock. Conversely, supposing the stock were distributed and instead of putting the profit to reserve that were distributed, the charge would fall upon the distributed profit. But in either case it has to be limited to such a sum as represents profits earned by the company since 1947.

Mr. C. S. Taylor

I have tried to listen carefully to the right hon. and learned Gentleman in his explanation of this Clause, and I realise that the purpose of it is to prevent the avoidance of the higher rate of Profits Tax by the capitalisation of reserves and then subsequently, or immediately after, having a capital repayment, which up to now has not been regarded as a distribution of profits. The Clause provides for the repayment of loan capital and does not regard the repayment of loan capital as a reduction of capital under certain circumstances. But it does not deal in any way with the repayment of redeemable preference shares—which in many cases is absolutely analogous to the repayment of loan capital—and the repayment of those redeemable preference shares may have nothing whatever to do with any capitalisation of profits or reserves.

I should like to give the Committee as simple an example as I can of what I have in mind. There may be a company with, say, 6 per cent. redeemable preference shares outstanding and which, under the terms of the issue, cannot be—

The Temporary Chairman

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman again. Perhaps he would make it clear in his example how this is related to the Amendment as opposed to the Clause?

Mr. Taylor

I hate to admit this, Mr. Diamond, but I read the Amendment carefully and I thought it pretty well covered any reduction of capital which might be made under Clause 27. I submit that as the case of redeemable preference shares has already been raised, both by the mover of the Amendment and by the Attorney-General, I should be in order in bringing forward this matter.

The Temporary Chairman

I should be most grateful to the hon. Gentleman if he would show me how it is related to the Amendment, as I myself cannot follow this.

Mr. Taylor

Only, as I say, that I thought the Amendment covered any possible reductions in capital which might be made.

The Temporary Chairman

Then I imagine it would be more convenient for the hon. Member to make his speech on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Taylor

If I may, I will continue on that Motion, if I happen to catch your eye, Mr. Diamond.

Mr. Erroll

I think the Attorney-General has made himself most abundantly clear, and thereby only revealed how unsatisfactory this Clause is if it goes through unamended. He said that where a company had made a certain profit and had also distributed some stock received as a result of the nationalisation of one of its subsidiaries, the amount of Profits Tax payable is the amount relating to the amount of distributed profits, but if the profit was not distributed, the amount of tax payable would be the sum of what would be payable on nationalised stock distributed.

Surely this is most unsatisfactory, because such distribution is not distribution of profits at all. It is distributed as a result of nationalisation and if the company concerned had not taken the necessary steps to exclude this from the general nationalisation Measure, there would have been no distribution to make. It is not profit that is being distributed, but compensation for loss of part of the assets the company originally held.

It is utterly wrong and false to suggest these are in any way profits that should be taxed as distributed profits. If profits are not distributed there should be no distributed Profits Tax levied either on them or on compensation shares that happen to be distributed, quite apart from the financial prosperity or otherwise of the company. As the Clause stands, unamended, it is quite unsatisfactory.

Mr. P. Roberts

I ask the Attorney-General whether he will not reconsider this provision, because I think very unfair results may come from it. Many colliery companies, for instance, have continued in trade in other forms of business. I can think of one, with which I have no personal connection. It is Butterley, which, I understand, has continued in some other form of business, on which it made profits. This company is receiving, or may receive, partial compensation, and if that partial compensation is paid out, then the whole of the profits that colliery company has made in its other trading activities are going to be assessed as distributed profits. If I am wrong, I will give way at once.

The Attorney-General

Supposing, since 1947, it had made £1,000 and since 1947 or at any time it had received £1,000 of Government stock or anything else, and it distributed Government stock and paid out its profits; it has distributed £1,000 of stock and it has also paid out in dividends the £1,000 it has made since 1947. It will only pay the higher charge on £1,000.

Mr. Roberts

I appreciate that, but the point I am making is that, having made that £1,000 profit in making, say, boots and shoes, they have also received £1,000 compensation for the colliery that has disappeared from their books. They now wish to get that £1,000 profit on boots and shoes in order to build up their boots and shoes business. But they have to pay up the £1,000 they received in compensation, and they do not make their distribution on that £1,000; then they are going to be assessed on the whole of the £1,000 they pay out in compensation against the profits on, say, boots and shoes.

2.0 a.m.

The point I wish to put to the Attorney-General—and I hope he will reconsider it before the next stage—is that where a concern which has received money as compensation for nationalised assets goes into some other form of business and makes profits in that other form of business, and deals in a prudent way—in other words, making necessary reserves for continuation of business—that should be deemed to be separate from any distribution under the nationalisation stock. That is all I am asking and I think it is reasonable. A number of companies have gone into other businesses and if, in the next few years, when they pay out compensation stock, it is going to be treated as a dividend distribution, it is going to be very unfair. I am quite certain the Government could not have intended that. Therefore, I ask very confidently whether the learned Attorney will reconsider it.

Sir Patrick Spens (Kensington, South)

May I put it this way? The distribution of compensation stock which represents shares in a subsidiary or part of the assets one had has got to be done by a reduction of capital, and it is a payment back to shareholders of their capital. It is not a payment of profits at all. Of course, it is perfectly true that there can be reductions of capital by which a company indirectly pays back profits which have been capitalised and which were originally profits and not capital. The difficulty of the Government is that they want to say that every single distribution, whether in essence a distribution of capital or a distribution of profits, shall attract a tax if, in fact since 1947, the company has made no profits at all.

Take two companies—one which has made no profit at all since 1947 and one which has. Both of them receive compensation under one of the nationalisation Acts. Both return that compensation to their shareholders. The one will attract no duty at all, because it has made no profit since 1947. The other will attract duty to the extent to which it has made profits since 1947. That cannot be right. It is a capital distribution, a clear capital distribution going back as capital to its shareholders, and in these circumstances surely it is wrong that it should attract any duty of this sort, which relates to profit making and nothing else except profit. The matter ought to be reconsidered. Where the distribution is clearly a capital distribution, there clearly cannot be any justification for bringing a company under charge for tax.

Mr. Jennings

There must be some confusion. I cannot agree that the Attorney-General is right. I have always understood that this is a tax on trading profits, and now the Attorney-General is saying that because compensation is paid and it is distributed, the amount falls for taxation under this Clause. Surely compensation is a payment for capital assets and has nothing to do with trading profits. There must be some mistake, and I beg the Attorney-General to listen to the arguments put forward, because it cannot be fair or right that compensation should be subject to this tax. There will be a grave injustice done if this is not put right.

Mr. Erroll

There is a very real feeling on this side of the Committee that an injustice is going to be done if the matter is not remedied. Surely the object of this Clause is to prevent avoidance of Profits Tax by two devices—either by capitalising reserves and subsequently reducing the capital, or by the reverse process. There are two stages which must be gone through before avoidance can occur.

In the cases which have been described we are dealing essentially with only one stage in the process, and apparently that stage is going to attract Profits Tax; but it is the second stage which should attract tax, not the first. If the Attorney-General would bear that in mind, and show by some Amendment that it is only on the completion of the second stage that tax is attracted, we should avoid the difficulty in which we find ourselves and distribution of compensation could be avoided. Surely it is only if there is a subsequent capitalisation of accumulated reserves that distribution should attract tax.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The hon. and learned Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) gave the example of two companies, in both cases entitled to compensation, but in one case the profit is made after 1947 and in the other case it is not. Does that mean that a company which has made a profit after 1947 is liable to pay this tax on compensation and a company which has not made a profit escapes tax? If so, how does the Attorney-General justify that on grounds of equity?

The Attorney-General

Section 36 clearly provides what are to be distributions, and one is assets. Supposing Government stock has been given to a company and it distributes that stock to its members. That is a distribution in kind. Having ascertained that there is a distribution, which is just as much a distribution as an ordinary payment of dividend by the company, and—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] That is plainly what Section 36 says: (1) Subject to the provisions of the next succeeding subsection, wherever

  1. (a) any amount is distributed directly or indirectly by way of dividend or cash bonus to any person; or
  2. (b) assets are distributed in kind to any person."
Those are two categories of what in Section 36 of the 1947 Act are regarded as distributions. To go back to the example given by the hon. and learned Gentleman, it makes all the difference whether the company has made profits since 1947 or not. It is only being taxed on its 1947 profits to the extent that it makes a distribution. Whether it pays a dividend after 1947, or whether it distributes in kind stock that it has received is immaterial. Both are distributions.

When there is a distribution one has to ask to what extent the distribution involves payment of the higher charge. It is then one applies the limitation. One has to say, "How much has this company made since 1947 in the way of profits?" When one has discovered that, one knows the limit, one can tax the distribution, whether in kind or the ordinary payment of dividends. In the case of a company which did not distribute stock but paid dividends out of profits earned before 1947, it would not have to pay distribution charge on those dividends except to the extent that since 1947 it had made profits. Therefore, the distinction between the two exists whether the distribution is of stock or payment of dividends.

Sir P. Spens

I understand perfectly what the right hon. and learned Gentleman is saying, but the second distribution he referred to is clearly a distribution by way of capital, whereas the first is a payment by way of dividend. A company cannot distribute its capital assets—at least it used not to be able to do, and I do not believe directors can do that today. They have to go through a strict process to do it. While I appreciate that this Clause has been drafted for taxation purposes, there is a great difference between making a distribution of earned profits and making a distribution of capital assets. I submit that it is wrong and it ought to be stopped, and we shall stop it if we can.

Mr. Pitman

The hon. and learned Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) is drawing attention to the fact that this Committee do not think that the distribution of capital and the distribution of revenue profits are the same thing. Whatever the Act of 1947 may have done in Section 36 is not necessarily binding on us to make us do something again today which then was wrong and is now shown up to have been wrong.

May I give the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General an example of the sort of thing he will be up against. Suppose a company receives compensation. According to its own books, it has no profit balance on the profit and loss account, but it has this compensation. It is perfectly entitled, if it goes through the proper legal formalities, to distribute that compensation as a capital distribution to its shareholders.

It is common knowledge that while one set of books are kept by the company and audited by their chartered accountants, the Inland Revenue can keep a separate set of accounts for their own purposes, so that while the company's books show no profits, the Inland Revenue may turn round and say they have £5,000 profit and that this distribution of compensation is not a capital distribution, but a distribution of revenue profit. Then the company are in a nice kettle of fish. There will be a debt due to the Inland Revenue for Profits Tax on that distribution and a breach of the Companies Act by the directors in having distributed what later turns out to have been not legally distributable. It is that sort of anomaly we are trying to remove before it is too late.

Mr. Maudling

When I heard the right hon. and learned Gentleman's answer to the first part of the Amendment, I thought he dealt very reasonably with the point made, but on the second half I find a considerable difference in principle on the matter. From the right hon. and learned Gentleman's speech, we know that the Government intend to continue to regard the distribution of capital assets as distribution of profits for the purposes of Profits Tax. If that is the effect of Section 36 of the 1947 Act, that only confirms the principle contained in my Amendment.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 280; Noes, 291.

Division No. 112.] AYES [2.15 a.m.
Aitken, W. T. Boyle, Sir Edward Cranborne, Viscount
Alport, C. J. M. Bracken, Rt. Hon. B. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Braine, B. R. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Crouch, R. F.
Arbuthnot, John Braithwaite, Lt.-Cr. G. (Bristo N. W.) Crowder, Capt. John (Finchley)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Brooke, Henry (Hamustead) Cundiff, F. W.
Astor, Hon. M. L. Browne, Jack (Govan) Cuthbert, W. N.
Baker, P. A. D. Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Davidson, Viscountess
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Bullock, Capt. M. Davies, Nigel (Epping)
Baldwin, A. E. Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. de Chair, Somerset
Banks, Col. C. Burden, F. A. De la Bère, R.
Baxter, A. B. Butcher, H. W. Deedes, W. F.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Digby, S. Wingfield
Bell, R. M. Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Dodds-Parker, A. D.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Carson, Hon. E. Donner, P. W.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Channon, H. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm
Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Drayson, G. B.
Birch, Nigel Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Drewe, C.
Bishop, F. P. Clyde, J. L. Dugdale, Maj. Sir Thomas (Richmond)
Black, C. W. Colegate, A. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Dunglass, Lord
Booth by, R. Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert (Ilford, S.) Duthie, W. S.
Bossom, A. C. Cooper-Key, E. M. Eccles, D. M.
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Corbet, Lt.-Col. Uvedale (Ludlow) Eden, Rt. Hon. A.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Erroll, F. J. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Fisher, Nigel Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Robson-Brown, W.
Fort, R. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Foster, John Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.) Roper, Sir Harold
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Low, A. R. W. Ropner, Col. L.
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Russell, R. S.
Fyte, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Gage, C. H. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Gammans, L. D. McAdden, S. J. Shepherd, William
Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Gates, Maj. E. E. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Gridley, Sir Arnold McKibbin, A. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Snadden, W. McN.
Grimston, Robert (Westbury) Maclay, Hon. John Soames, Capt. C.
Harden, J. R. E. Maclean, Fitzroy Spearman, A. C. M.
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard (N. Fylde)
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Macpherson, Major Niall (Dumfries) Stevens, G. P.
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Maitland, Cmdr. J. W. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Manningham-Buller, R. E. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hay, John Marlowe, A. A. H. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Head, Brig. A. H. Marples, A. E. Storey, S.
Heald, Lionel Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Heath, Edward Marshall, Sidney (Sutton) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Maude, Angus (Ealing S.) Studholme, H. G.
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Maude, John (Exeter) Summers, G. S.
Higgs, J. M. C. Maudling, R. Sutcliffe, H.
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Medlicott, Brig. F. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Mellor, Sir John Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Molson, A. H. E. Teeling, W.
Hirst, Geoffrey Monckton, Sir Walter Teevan, T. L.
Hollis, M. C. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Thompson, Kenneth Pugh (Walton)
Hope, Lord John Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Thompson, Lt.-Cmdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Hopkinson, Henry Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Thorneycroft, Peter (Monmouth)
Hornsby-Smith, Miss P. Nabarro, G. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Nicholls, Harmar Thorp, Brig. R. A. F.
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Nicholson, G. Tilney, John
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Nield, Basil (Chester) Turner, H. F. L.
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Turton, R. H.
Hudson, Rt. Hon. Robert (Southport) Nugent, G. R. H. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Nutting, Anthony Vane, W. M. F.
Hurd, A. R. Oakshott, H. D. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Odey, G. W. Vosper, D. F.
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Hutchison, Col. James (Glasgow) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Hylton-Foster, H. B. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Jennings, R. Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Osborne, C. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Watkinson, H.
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Perkins, W. R. D. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Kaberry, D. Peto, Brig. C. H. M. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Pickthorn, K. Williams, Charles (Torquay)
Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Pitman, I. J. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Lambert, Hon. G. Powell, J. Enoch Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Wills, G.
Langford-Holt, J. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Profumo, J. D. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Leather, E. H. C. Raikes, H. V. Wood, Hon. R.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Rayner, Brig. R. York, C.
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Redmayne, M.
Lindsay, Martin Remnant, Hon. P. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Linstead, H. N. Renton, D. L. M. Mr. Heath and
Llewellyn, D. Roberts, Maj. Peter (Heeley) Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith.
Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (King's N'rt'n) Robertson, Sir David (Caithness)
Acland, Sir Richard Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Bowden, H. W.
Adams, Richard Bartley, P. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)
Albu, A. H. Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Bonn, Wedgwood Brook, Dryden (Halifax)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Benson, G. Brooks, T. J. (Normanton)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Beswick, F. Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Brown, At. Hon. George (Belper)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Bing, G. H. C. Brown, Thomas (Ince)
Awbery, S. S. Blenkinsop, A. Burke, W. A.
Ayles, W. H. Blyton, W. R. Burton, Miss E.
Bacon, Miss Alice Boardman, H. Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)
Baird, J. Booth, A. Callaghan, L. J.
Balfour, A. Bottomley, A. G. Carmichael, J.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Popplewell, E.
Champion, A. J. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Porter, G.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Clunie, J. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Proctor, W. T.
Cocks, F. S. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Pryde, D. J.
Coldrick, W. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Callick, P. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Rankin, J.
Collindridge, F. Janner, B. Rees, Mrs. D.
Cook, T. F. Jay, D. P. T. Reeves, J.
Cooper, Geoffrey (Middlesbrough, W.) Jeger, George (Goole) Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Cooper, John (Deptford) Jenkins, R. H. Reid, William (Camlachie)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda (Peckham) Johnson, James (Rugby) Rhodes, H.
Cove, W. G. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Richards, R.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jones, David (Hartlepool) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Crawley, A. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Crosland, C. A. R. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Crossman, R. H. S. Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Keenan, W. Ross, William
Daines, P. Kenyon, C. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Gallon, Rt. Hon. H. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) King, Dr. H. M. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Kinghorn, Sqn. Ldr. E. Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kinley, J. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Lang, Gordon Simmons, C. J.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lee, Frederick (Newton) Slater, J.
Deer, G. Lee, Miss Jennie (Carnnock) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Delargy, H. J. Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Dodds, N. N. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Snow, J. W.
Donnelly, D. Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.) Sorensen, R. W.
Driberg, T. E. N. Lewis, John (Bolton, W.) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Lindgren, G. S. Sparks, J. A.
Dye, S. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Steele, T.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Logan, D. G. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Edelman, M. Longden, Fred (Small Heath) Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Edwards, John (Brighouse) McAllister, G. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) MacColl, J. E. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) McGhee, H. G. Stross, Dr. Barnett
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) McGovern, J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) McInnes, J. Sylvester, G. O.
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Mack, J. D. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Ewart, R. McKay, John (Wallsend) Taylor, Robert (Morpeth)
Fernyhough, E. Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.) Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Field, Capt. W. J. McLeavy, F. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Finch, H. J. MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Follick, M. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Foot, M. M. Mainwaring, W. H. Thurtle, Ernest
Forman, J. C. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Timmons, J.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Tomney, F.
Freeman, John (Watford) Mann, Mrs. Jean Turner-Samuels, M.
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Manuel, A. C. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Usborne, H.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Mathers, Rt. Hon. G. Vernon, W. F.
Gibson, C. W. Mellish, R. J. Viant, S. P.
Gilzean, A. Messer, F. Wallace, H. W.
Glanville, James (Consett) Middleton, Mrs. L. Watkins, T. E.
Gooch, E. G. Mikardo, Ian. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mitchison, G. R. Weitzman, D.
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Moeran, E. W. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Monslow, W. Wells, William (Walsall)
Grenfell, D. R. Moody, A. S. West, D. G.
Grey, C. F. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh E.)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Morley, R. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) While, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mort, D. L. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Gunter, R. J. Moyle, A. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Hale, Joseph (Rochdale) Mulley, F. W. Wilkes, L.
Had, John (Gateshead, W.) Murray, D. Willey, Frederick (Sunderland)
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Nally, W. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Hamilton, W. W. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Williams, David (Neath)
Hannan, W. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Hardman, D. R. O'Brien, T. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Hargreaves, A. Oldfield, W. H. Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'lly)
Hastings, S. Oliver, G. H. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Mayman, F. H. Orbach, M. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Tipton) Padley, W. E Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Herbison, Miss M. Paget, R. T. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Hewitson, Capt. M. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Wise, F. J.
Hobson, C. R. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Holman, P. Pannell, T. C. Wyatt, W. L.
Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Pargiter, G. A. Yates, V. F.
Houghton, D. Parker, J. Younger, Hon. K.
Hoy, J. Paton, J.
Hubbard, T. Pearson, A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Peart, T. F. Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Royle.

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

Mr. C. S. Taylor

I think it is a question of third time lucky, because I believe that anything I say now on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill" must be in order. I do not think it will be necessary for me to repeat what I said in my opening remarks when speaking to an Amendment. The Attorney-General will remember that I was dealing with the case of redeemable preference shares, and I said I thought that in many cases the repayment of loan capital was analogous to the repayment of redeemable preference shares, and that, although this Clause provided in certain cases for the repayment of loan capital to be considered hot as a reduction of capital, the repayment of redeemable preference shares is. At that moment I was about to give the Committee an example of what I had in mind.

Suppose a company which had outstanding, say, 6, 7 or 8 per cent. redeemable preference shares which, under the terms of the issue, could not be repaid until this year, and that company decided to pay off the redeemable preference shares out of the proceeds of, perhaps, a new issue from ordinary shares, or indeed the issue of preference shares, at a lower rate of interest—which, of course, would be extremely good business from the company's point of view—the company then finds itself in this position.

If it had capitalised any reserves after 6th April, 1949, or if at any time in the future it should capitalise those reserves, it would be penalised in that one or other of the amounts would be treated as subject to the higher rate of Profits Tax. The operation of the capitalisation of reserves, which may have taken place any time after 6th April, 1949, or at any time in the future, would have absolutely no connection with the operation of the repayment of the redeemable preference share capital. I submit that, as these two operations have absolutely no connection, it would be wrong to penalise the company placed in that position.

The Chancellor may have had representations on this matter. If he has, I am sure he has considered them. I am sure that the Clause goes further than he perhaps intended it should, and all I am asking today is that the matter should be further considered before the Report stage, and I hope that, if the Chancellor agrees with the submissions I have made, he will then be able to table an Amendment to cover the point.

2.30 a.m.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Before the Committee parts with this Clause, may I raise one matter arising out of the debate on the last Amendment, when the Attorney-General, despite considerable pressure, insisted that the nationalised industries profits rank for the purpose of this machinery. I feel, in view of that, that between now and the Report stage, the Government ought to insert a new definition of "a distributable sum." which appears in this Clause, because surely nationalised stock is the result of the purchase by the State of capital assets.

I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Local Government and Planning could stay for just 30 seconds. I am sorry if I am interrupting his programme. He will recall that in an eloquent speech during the Second Reading of what afterwards became the Transport Act, he described the railways, which the State was about to purchase, as "a poor bag of assets." It may have been a poor bag, though that is a matter of opinion, but the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer who, after all, took through the Finance Act of 1947, did at least regard that as a purchase of assets. This evening we have been told from the Treasury Bench that it was nothing of the kind—that they are a poor bag of income, a poor bag of distribution.

The Minister of Local Government and Planning (Mr. Hugh Dalton)

The hon. and gallant Member has a dim memory of what he describes as eloquent words used some years ago, and verified later.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Eloquent words, certainly, but on the record. I remember the emphasis with which they were delivered. They were the right hon. Gentleman's opinion at the time, and he was speaking as Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day on behalf of the Government of that time. That is the only point I want to establish. It is rather soon for us to have that definition upset by the Attorney-General. I would suggest that there is cause here for a new definition to be inserted on the Report stage, of what in fact constitutes a distributable sum. I thought that the hon. Gentleman was on the point of giving way. His amanuensis made so many journeys to the Official Gallery that I thought we were going to have a concession. But there is time between now and the Report stage to have full consultation.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I have another question about this Clause. It is an exceedingly complicated Clause and I do not profess to understand what it means. After the last discussion I am not very much clearer. But I am told that, in the case of private companies which are caught by Sections 46 and 55 of the 1940 Finance Act—a series of provisions which, I think, most people agree at present are quite out of place having regard to the changed conditions which cause great hardship to small estates—it has been the practice to issue redeemable preference shares to enable a deceased director's estate to be provided with the money to pay Death Duties.

As the right hon. Gentleman is aware, under the provisions of these Sections of this Act the shares have to be valued on the estate basis, and not on the market value basis, because they have no market value. That has frequently the effect of meaning the complete insolvency of that estate. I am told that one method of getting around that is to issue redeemable preference shares; but if this is done in the future, in view of this Clause, such shares would be subject to the penalty of 40 per cent. Profits Tax. I should like an assurance as to truth of that, for if it be true, then how does the right hon. and learned Gentleman justify it?

Mr. P. Roberts

Before permitting this Clause to pass, I do make one final plea to the Attorney-General and to the Chancellor to reconsider this one particular point about distribution of compensation stock; because after the Clause goes through, it may be that those companies wishing to continue in business will have to put their present structure into liquidation. That will mean extra trouble for those companies which are trying to carry on and trying to help the prosperity of the country, and I do sincerely hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will reconsider this later, or will give an undertaking to make an amendment on the Report stage.

Mr. Pitman

One of the effects of this Clause will be that it is greatly to the advantage of the Government to defer, to the last possible moment, making compensation payments under the various Acts. It is, I suggest to the Committee, quite clear that if only the Government can wait until a company in its other activities has made a profit equal to the value of the compensation to be paid, then the whole of that compensation, when paid, will be treated as distribution of revenue under the terms of this Clause. It will then, of course, be subject to a taxation of 40 per cent. The effect of this will be that a company which got its compensation early will have had 100 per cent., and the other firm, having tried to carry on rendering a service to the community, will find its compensation deteriorating to the extent of 40 per cent.; and this is compensation which the House, as a deliberate act of justice, decided should be paid for the property taken over.

The Attorney-General

I cannot but help thinking that some apprehensions by hon. Members opposite are not very well founded. First, why should this Clause induce any company to change its structure? What we are really concerned with is the capitalising of profits, and then repaying in the form of bonus issues, or by some other means; there are processes having the same effect. It should not be permissible for a company, under the guise of an alteration in its capital structure, to distribute to its members something which really should be subject to the tax, and which would be subject if distributed as dividends in the ordinary way.

That is really all that this Clause seeks to do. Hon. Members expressed apprehension as to the effect of Section 36 when we discussed the last Amendment to this Clause, but I have already given such answer as I can to that, and I again impress on the Committee the importance of over-all limitation and the higher distribution charge. It cannot exceed by one penny the amount of profits which the company in question has made since 1947—[An HON. MEMBER: "Why should it?"]—Quite, why should it?—and it does not. That is the point—it does not. Therefore, when one is looking at a distribution such as is described by Section 36, a distribution of assets referred to in Section 36 or distribution in the form of payment of dividends referred to in Section 36, one is always looking at a distribution which has to be in the over-all limit I have described.

Mr. P. Roberts

Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman say that it was reasonable and prudent for a company to pay out every penny of profit it makes in one particular year, because that is what the result will be on the companies? Every penny of profit will have to be paid out and taxed at 40 per cent. The normal way, surely, is that a company would keep a certain amount back and pay at 10 per cent.? Instead of being paid at 10 per cent. it has all to be paid at 40 per cent.

The Attorney-General

I cannot agree to that. It need not distribute its Government stock; it can keep it. And it need not distribute its profits, but can place profits to reserve. Nothing in this Clause compels it to alter that course. It can do that just as much as it has ever done. The description or definition of what is to be a distribution is contained in Section 35 and Section 36 of the Act of 1947 and has been part of this Profits Tax system for many years past and has not given rise to any difficulty. It was sought to be amended in a number of respects and I have given the answer in reply to the proposals made by the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment.

May I deal with one or two specific points raised? The hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) referred to the incidence of Death Duties in Section 46 of the Finance Act, 1940, and he said that in some cases, when it was found necessary to pay the Death Duty assessed under Section 46 of the Act by reference to the appropriate proportion of the company's income, preference—

Captain Duncan (South Angus)

On a point of order, Major Milner. Is it in order for an hon. Member to stand in the Gangway when the right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Attorney-General, is speaking?

The Chairman

It is not of course in order to remain in one position standing in the Gangway.

The Attorney-General

To get back to the point I was just answering, this Clause does not impose any charge for tax unless one has not only issue of capital but also its redemption. The mere issue of preference shares for any particular purpose does not of itself attract tax. One has to have the bipartite transaction by an issue and a redemption. Therefore, I should have thought that the mere fact that preference shares are issued could certainly not attract the tax. The hon. and learned Gentleman only gave a very sketchy account of the transaction he had in mind, but I do not see how any charge for tax could arise.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I did it because we are trying to get on as quickly as we can. If one is challenged upon these matters, which are very complicated, it would be easy to discuss them to advantage for a very long time. I do not know whether the Leader of the House knows this, but we have discovered something which is a very substantial injustice and which would not have been discovered unless we had had this discussion. Of course the transactions I put forward sketchily involved the issue of preference shares and their redemption. I admit that I did not explain fully the second part of the transaction. Could the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether there will be any discretion to the Treasury in deciding whether any such transaction would attract this added tax and, if there is to be no such discretion, what interval of time it is likely will have to lapse between issue and redemption?

2.45 a.m.

The Attorney-General

If there is an issue and redemption there is no lapse, and the Section operates automatically. Therefore, if the necessary conditions described in the Section are fulfilled by the transaction which the hon. and learned Gentleman has in mind, the tax is automatic.

In conclusion may I deal with the point made by the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor). His point was that there was no logical distinction between preference shares issued for cash when they are redeemed and the repayment of a loan which had been made for cash.

Mr. Taylor

Redeemable preference shares.

The Attorney-General

Redeemable preference shares subscribed for cash, and a loan which had been made by the provision of cash. I should like to consider that further to see if some slight change could be made in view of the point brought to my notice by the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Eccles

I do not see how we can accept the answer of the Attorney-General. It is curiously unsatisfactory because we are all agreed upon the main object of the Clause, which is that when reserves have been capitalised, and thereafter there is a reduction of capital made in the ordinary course of business, that should attract Profits Tax. But in the course of these discussions we have become seized of a great injustice in respect of this compensation stock. I do not think it matters much whether Section 36 of the 1947 Act definitely defines a distribution in such a way that that compensation stock is caught. If it is caught, and it seems to be unjust that it should be caught, then surely we ought to amend this Clause?

Whatever else may be the result of catching that stock, I think my hon. Friends must have made it abundantly clear that it will have an effect upon the decisions of the directors of those companies

whether they continue in active business with their old companies or not. I think it cannot be disputed that it is in the interests of the country that companies like that which was mentioned should go on trading and use their knowledge and skill in some other direction.

They may say it is not worth it because, if they make any profits, it will make it impossible for them to distribute the compensation stock which may not be needed in their new activities because that would attract Profits Tax. Surely the Attorney-General will agree this is not a distribution of past profits. It is a distribution of capital forced upon the company, not as a decision of that board of directors, but primarily because the Government took the step of nationalising the coal industry. Flowing from those decisions we ought to make an exception of this. I do not know what my hon. Friends will do, but I do not think we can let the Clause go unless we get some assurance.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 292; Noes, 280.

Division No. 113.] AYES [2.50 a.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Callaghan, L. J. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Adams, Richard Carmichael, J. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Albu, A. H. Castle, Mrs. B. A Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Champion, A. J. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Chetwynd, G. R. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Clunie, J. Ewart, R.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Cocks, F. S. Fernyhough, E.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Coldrick, W. Field, Capt. W. J.
Awbery, S. S. Collick, P. Finch, H. J.
Ayles, W. H. Collindridge, F. Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Bacon, Miss Alice Cook, T. F. Follick, M.
Baird, J. Cooper, Geoffrey (Middlesbrough, W.) Foot, M. M.
Balfour, A. Cooper, John (Deptford) Forman, J. C.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Corbet, Mrs. Freda (Peckham) Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Hartley, P. Cove, W. G. Freeman, John (Watford)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Freeman, Peter (Newport)
Benn, Wedgwood Crawley, A. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.
Benson, G. Crosland, C. A. R. Ganley, Mrs. C. S.
Beswick, F. Crossman, R. H. S. Gibson, C. W.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Cullen, Mrs. A. Gilzean, A.
Bing, G. H. C. Daines, P. Glanville, James (Consett)
Blenkinsop, A. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Gooch, E. G
Blyton, W. R. Darling, George (Hillsborough) Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Boardman, H. Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)
Booth, A. Davies, Harold (Leek) Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield)
Bottomley, A. G. Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Grenfell, D. R.
Bowden, H. W. de Freitas, Geoffrey Grey, C. F.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Deer, G. Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Delargy, H. J. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Dodds, N. N. Griffiths, William (Exchange)
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Donnelly, D. Gunter, R. J.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Driberg, T. E. N. Hale, Joseph (Rochdale)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Dye, S. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Burke, W. A. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Hamilton, W. W.
Burton, Miss E. Edelman, M. Hannan, W.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Edwards, John (Brighouse) Hardman, D. R.
Hargreaves, A Mann, Mrs. Jean Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Hastings, S. Manuel, A. C. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Hayman, F. H. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Snow, J. W.
Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Tipton) Mathers, Rt. Hon. G. Sorensen, R. W.
Herbison, Miss M. Mellish, R. J. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hewitson, Capt. M. Messer, F. Sparks, J. A.
Hobson, C. R. Middleton, Mrs. Steele, T.
Holman, P. Mikardo, Ian. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Mitchison, G. R. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Houghton, D. Moeran, E. W. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Hoy, J. Monslow, W. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Hubbard, T. Moody, A. S. Stross, Dr. Barnett
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Morgan, Dr. H. B Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Morley, R. Sylvester, G. O.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Mort, D. L. Taylor, Robert (Morpeth)
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Moyle, A. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Mulley, F. W. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Murray, J. D. Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Nally, W. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Janner, B. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Jay, D. P. T. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. Thurtle, Ernest
Jeger, George (Goole) O'Brien, T. Timmons, J.
Jenkins, R. H. Oldfield, W. H. Tomney, F.
Johnson, James (Rugby) Oliver, G. H. Turner-Samuels, M.
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Orbach, M. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Padley, W. E. Usborne, H.
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Paget, R. T. Vernon, W. F.
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Viant, S. P.
Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wallace, H. W.
Keenan, W. Pannell, T. C. Watkins, T. E.
Kenyan, C. Pargiter, G. A. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford. C.)
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Parker, J. Weitzman, D.
King, Dr. H. M. Paton, J. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Kinghorn, Sqn. Ldr. E. Pearson, A. Wells, William (Warsall)
Kinley, J. Peart, T. F. West, D. G.
Lang, Gordon Popplewell, E. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Porter, G. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) While, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Proctor, W. T. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Pryde, D. J. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.) Pursey, Cmdr. H. Wilkes, L.
Lewis, John (Bolton, W.) Rankin, J. Willey, Frederick (Sunderland)
Lindgren, G. S. Rees, Mrs. D. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Reeves, J. Williams, David (Neath)
Logan, D. G. Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Longden, Fred (Small Heath) Reid, William (Camlachie) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
McAllister, G. Rhodes, H. Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'lly)
MacColl, J. E. Richards, R. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
McGhee, H. G Roberts, Rt. Hon. A. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
McGovern, J. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
McInnes, J. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Mack, J. D. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Wise, F. J.
McKay, John (Wallsend) Ross, William Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Mackay. R. W. G. (Reading, N.) Royle, C. Wyatt, W. L.
McLeavy, F. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley Yates, V. F.
MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Islet) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Younger, Hon. K.
McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Shurmer, P. L. E.
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Silverman, Julius (Erdington) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mainwaring, W. H. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Kenneth
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Simmons, C. J. Robinson.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Slater, J.
Aitken, W. T. Black, C. W. Carson, Hon. E.
Alport, C. J. M. Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Channon, H.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Boothby, R. Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Bossom, A. C. Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)
Arbuthnol, John Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Boyle, Sir Edward Clyde, J. L.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bracken, Rt. Hon. B. Colegate, A.
Astor, Hon. M. L. Braine, B. R. Conant, Maj. R. J. E.
Baker, P. A. D. Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Cooper, Son. Ldr. Albert (Ilford, S.)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Braithwaite, Lt.-Cr. G. (Bristol, N. W.) Cooper-Key, E. M.
Baldwin, A. E. Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Corbett, Lt.-Col. Uvedale (Ludlow)
Banks, Col. C. Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)
Baxter, A. B. Browne, Jack (Govan) Cranborne, Viscount
Beamish, Major Tufton Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. O.
Bell, R. M. Bullock, Capt. M. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Crouch, R. F.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Burden, F. A. Crowder, Capt. John (Finchley)
Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Butcher, H. W. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)
Birch, Nigel Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Cundiff, F. W.
Bishop, F. P. Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Cuthbert, W. N.
Davidson, Viscountess Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Raikes, H. V.
Davies, Nigel (Epping) Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Rayner, Brig. R.
de Chair, Somerset Lambert, Hon. G. Redmayne, M.
De la Bère, R. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Remnant, Hon. P.
Deedes, W. F. Langford-Holt, J. Renton, D. L. M.
Digby, S. Wingfield Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Roberts, Major Peter (Heeley)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Leather, E. H. C. Robertson, Sir David (Caithness)
Donner, P. W. Legge-Bourke, Maj E. A. H. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Robsorr-Srown, W.
Drayson, G. B. Lindsay, Martin Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Dugdale, Maj. Sir Thomas (Richmond) Linstead, H. N. Roper, Sir Harold
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Llewellyn, D. Ropner, Col. L.
Dunglass, Lord Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (King's Norton) Russell, R. S.
Duthie, W. S. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Eccles, D. M. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.) Shepherd, William
Erroll, F. J. Low, A. R. W. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Fisher, Nigel Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Fort, R. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Foster, John Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O Snadden, W. McN.
Fraser, Sir I. (Morecambe & Lonsdale) McAdden, S. J. Soames, Capt. C.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Spearman, A. C. M.
Gage, C. H. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) McKibbin, A. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard (N. Fylde)
Gammans, L. D. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Stevens, G. P.
Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Maclay, Hon. John Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Gates, Maj. E. E. Maclean, Fitzroy Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Gridley, Sir Arnold MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Storey, S.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Grimston, Robert (Westbury) Macpherson, Major Niall (Dumfries) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Harden, J. R. E. Maitland, Cmdr. J. W. Summers, G. S.
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Manningham-Buller, R. E. Sutcliffe, H.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Marlowe, A. A. H. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Marples, A. E. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Teeling, W.
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Marshall, Sidney (Sutton) Teevan, T. L.
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Maude, Angus (Ealing S.) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Hay, John Maude, John (Exeter) Thompson, Kenneth Pugh (Walton)
Head, Brig. A. H. Maudling, R. Thompson, Lt.-Cmdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Heald, Lionel Medlicott, Brig. F. Thorneycroft, Peter (Monmouth)
Heath, Edward Mellor, Sir John Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Molson, A. H. E. Thorp, Brig. R. A. F.
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Monckton, Sir Walter Tilney, John
Higgs, J. M. C. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Turner, H. F. I.
Hill, Dr. Charles (Lutort) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Turton, R. H.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Vane, W. M. F.
Hirst, Geoffrey Nabarro, G. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Hollis, M. C. Nicholls, Harmar Vosper, D. F.
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Nicholson, G. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Hope, Lord John Nield, Basil (Chester) Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Hopkinson, Henry Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss P. Nugent, G. R. H. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hen Florence Nutting, Anthony Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Oakshott, H. D. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Odey, G. W. Watkinson, H.
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Webbe, Sir Harold
Hudson, Rt. Hon. Robert (Southport) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Wheatley, Maj. M. J. (Poole)
Hudson, W. R. A (Hull, N.) Orr, Capt. L. P. S. While, Baker (Canterbury)
Kurd, A. R. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Williams, Charles (Torquay)
Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Hutchison, Lt.-Cmdr. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Osborne, C. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Hutchison, Colonel James (Glasgow) Peake, Rt. Hon. O Wills, G.
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Perkins, W. R. D. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hylton-Foster, H. B. Peto, Brig. C. H. M Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Jennings, R. Pickthorn, K. Wood, Hon. R.
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Pitman, I. J. York, C.
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Powell, J. Enoch
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Kaberry, D. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Mr. Drewe and Mr. Studholme
Profumo, J. D.

3.0 a.m.

Mr. Lyttelton

I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again."

My object in doing so is to draw attention to the fact that we have now reached Clause 28, which is extremely complicated and contains wide interference with the liberty of the subject in peace time. There appears to be no valid reason why this Clause should be discussed at this hour, there is plenty of Parliamentary time, and there is no pressing legislation.

Mr. Nally

The hearts and minds of all of us must support the Motion, and the poignant speech about the desirability of finishing at this hour, but there is still Government business to be accomplished. The overwhelming majority of hon. Members had made up their minds that we were going to be reasonably late tonight. I am hoping that we shall have from the Government Front Bench a short and frank answer. If we are not going to have an answer, but simply a Division, those of us who have been kept to this hour purely to fulfil the purposes of a political stunt—[Interruption]—by an Opposition Front Bench whose attendance at all-night Divisions since 1945 will not bear analysis—[Interruption]—I see no reason at all why we should not continue. [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide."] I and a number of my hon. Friends intend—[Interruption.]

The Chairman

I would request hon. Members to permit the hon. Gentleman to continue his speech.

Sir T. Moore

On a point of order. Surely one is allowed to applaud the hon. Member's speech?

Mr. Nally

I was not a Member of the House at the time, but I can remember being present when the hon. and gallant Member who made that interjection was being applauded from the other side for informing the House that Hitler was a statesman to be trusted.

Sir T. Moore

That is a lie.

The Chairman

I ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw that remark.

Sir T. Moore

I will do anything you ask, Major Milner, but will you kindly tell me what redress I have when an hon. Member does tell a lie?

The Chairman

The hon. Member must withdraw his expression. There are other expressions which may indicate what he wishes to convey.

Sir T. Moore

As I said before, I am willing to do anything you ask, but would you kindly suggest an appropriate expression?

Mr. Nally

Perhaps some of the observations have escaped me. I did not hear a withdrawal, but I assume it has been made. We have Government business still to do, and hon. Members are reasonably alert. So far as my hon. Friends and I are concerned, within the limits of our powers as back benchers, we shall insist upon the Government carrying out what they have already announced to be their programme for today and tomorrow.

Mr. Churchill

This frivolous performance gave me the strange impression, perhaps not altogether inappropriate to the hour at which we are sitting, that we were listening to a sleep-talker. I would ask the Leader of the House to reply to the request that has been formally made to him by my right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton).

Little though I like His Majesty's Government or their composition—[Interruption]—my life has not been spent in endeavouring to win the love of the Minister of Defence—little though I like the composition or appearance of the present Government, I think it would be a definite setback if the present Leader of the House, the Home Secretary, or even the Prime Minister, who I see in his place, were to be replaced by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bilston (Mr. Nally), who is taking advantage of this opportunity to act with a measure of independent authority which his Parliamentary stature in no way warrants.

Before we embark on this most important Clause, which we are sure it is impossible to take in view of the programme proposed to us this afternoon, I would ask the Leader of the House to consider carefully whether the progress made by the Government does not constitute a considerable harvest reaped during the hours we have sat.

It is now only 3 o'clock, and we could quite easily return to our dwellings—[HON. MEMBERS: "How?"] I think there is very little to be said for the argument about transport. After all, the political levy gives to Government supporters the means of acquiring an ample fund to make the necessary arrangements for vehicles. I had never seen in all my life such a crowd of vehicles at the House of Commons until I reached the days when the Socialist Government held power, and in that bygone period of which the hon. Gentleman spoke with so much force there used to be a handful of hansoms, four wheelers and a few carriages. In that respect it has not turned out so bad after all. I hope my suggestion about the use of the political levy will be carefully considered.

I am anxious that an answer should be given by the Home Secretary to the definite request which was made to the Government. What the Government proposed earlier in the day was so utterly absurd in this important debate and discussion. The right hon. Gentleman wanted to crush in Clauses 25, 26 and 27 before a quarter to 12. In addition, there were to be Clauses 29, 30 and 31. Obviously, so far from being generous, that was generous only in the sense that it reached such a low level of absurdity that it made it easy for the Opposition to take their decision, and in that respect we must be thankful to the right hon. Gentleman. I hope that he is going to respond to the request with his customary urbanity and that no frivolity or levity will be allowed to creep in by introducing topics that are no concern of our Parliamentary life.

Mr. Ede

I think it is quite obvious that the only answer that can be given to this motion is that the Government are unable to accept it. It is not the Government's intention to ask the House to rise at the hour we have now reached.

Hon. Members

Why not?

Mr. Kenyon (Chorley)

Because we cannot get home.

Mr. Ede

Having said this, and as long as it is so, we must consider Clause 28, much as I regret that we should have to take it at this time of the day.

3.15 a.m.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I submit that the new thesis propounded by the right hon. Gentleman is a matter of the most serious import. It seems that the Government are seeking to establish a precedent that if the Committee or the House sits after 11.45 p.m., it might as well continue to sit until 6 o'clock in the morning. This is a matter of importance, not only in connection with tonight's Business but beyond it, for it is laying down a timetable for the curtailment of Members' privileges and the arrangement of their Business. The whole purpose of the Committee is not to sanction the raising of taxes from the pockets of the people of this country until their representatives have had an opportunity of having their grievances redressed. Far from being able to discharge this duty in a free and proper manner, we are having our arrangements programmed for us through the middle of the night and are being subjected to a Guillotine as to the hours within which we may or may not conduct our debates. I submit that, quite apart from the arrangements for tonight's debate, this is a precedent which the Committee ought not to accept.

Mr. H. Strauss

In proceedings of the House in the 15 years or more during which I have been a Member it has been customary for the Government, in making their decision on a case of this kind, at least to purport to connect that decision with the public interest. It is something of a novelty for the Home Secretary to abandon the principle which he announced on previous occasions—that it was not desirable to take a Clause of the kind to which we shall now proceed—unless this Motion is accepted—except at the beginning of a day. He is now saying, not that it is in the public interest that we should continue, but that he has decided to disregard the public interest altogether for the personal and private convenience of Members, and to say that because a certain hour has been passed we shall therefore continue to some very much later hour, again fixed quite regardless of any consideration of public interest.

I do not pretend to be taken by surprise by this decision on the part of the Government. Their obvious interest is to discuss a Clause such as Clause 28 at a time when it is virtually certain that the proceedings of the Committee will not be reported. [HON. MEMBERS: "What about HANSARD?"] I mean, when they will not be reported in the Press; the proceedings will certainly be reported in HANSARD. [HON. MEMBERS: "What are you worried about?"] I am asked what I am worried about; I will gladly explain. I am worried that this House should so far lose its reputation that the Leader of the House can announce an important decision and can say, "I make this announcement on an arbitrary decision of the Socialist Party and without the slightest regard for any consideration of the public interest." That is a perfectly fair paraphrase of what he said.

Not one single argument based on the public interest has been advanced for continuing this discussion now. The Government have no legislation announced which would prevent the whole of this Finance Bill from being properly and adequately discussed within reasonable hours. I thought it was characteristic, and perhaps even desirable, that the hon. Member for Bilston (Mr. Nally) should have given a command to the Government Front Bench, which, I am bound to say, he judged well, because they eagerly accepted his leadership. Whether that is a matter which will fill hon. Gentlemen opposite with pride when they read the hon. Gentleman's remarks in HANSARD tomorrow, or when they see that the Leader of the House has produced no argument for the course which he says he will follow. I rather doubt.

It is a rather serious matter that we should proceed, in all-night sitting following all-night sitting, to discuss the one important Measure of the Session, when economic matters of vast concern to the country have to be discussed, and that hon. Gentlemen opposite, for no reason that can be stated or suggested in debate, should say that they prefer those matters to be discussed, if at all, at an hour when they will not and cannot be reported in the public Press, the sole motive for the Government's decision being the personal, private convenience of hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Mr. Watkinson

When this Motion was previously before the Committee I thought I heard the Leader of the House say that if the Committee sat beyond roughly 12 o'clock it would continue to sit until the first public transport was available. I therefore thought that I should like to give him the opportunity of correcting that statement, because I am sure he did not intend to imply that the convenience of Members or the availability of public transport had established a new constitutional precedent in the Committee.

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

I think that the only thing that was worse than the Home Secretary's decision was the reason he gave for it. I am perfectly certain that hon. Members on both sides of the Committee would, as they have in the past, have been prepared to debate important matters throughout the night had there been no reasonable alternative in the public interest to so doing. But the right hon. Gentleman did not, and indeed could not, pretend that there was any such public reason.

He knows perfectly well that there is adequate time available before the necessary termination of the Session to discuss at leisure, and to give proper analysis to, all the provisions of this Bill during the hours of daylight. He knows that perfectly well, but what he said was that it was his decision, founded, I understand, on some principle of personal convenience of some of his followers, that in no circumstances could the Committee, or I suppose the House, rise at the sort of hour at which we now are. That is an astonishing proposition.

In the past it has always been assumed that this House regulated its proceedings and its sittings for the sake of efficiently performing its public business. We have now had, for the first time, from the Leader of the House, the proposition that the whole machinery of Parliament is to be kept in operation for a totally different purpose—for the purpose of suiting the personal convenience of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Now, I do not underrate that personal convenience. If it can be served without detriment to the public interest, then by all manner of means let it be served; but it is, it seems to me, desperately and dangerously wrong to reverse the order of priority and to say that the public business must yield precedence to the personal convenience of any section of hon. Members.

It will surely be admitted beyond dispute that the careful discussion of complicated Clauses of the major financial Measure of the year is, at any rate, less easy at half-past three in the morning than it is at half-past three in the afternoon. Surely, if this House has any justification for its existence, it is that it should give to these important matters the closest and most efficient analysis. That consideration is being admittedly sacrificed by the Home Secretary to personal convenience. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] An hon. Member says "No," but the Home Secretary says "Yes." We had experience only a few minutes ago of the diversity of leadership on the benches opposite. Now, apparently, a further centre of resistance is developing.

We have had from the Government Front Bench a perfectly frank statement—and I give the Home Secretary credit for his frankness—that the reason for this is that it is inconvenient for certain hon. Members if the Committee rises at this hour. I do not believe that in the history of the House such a statement has ever before been made by a Leader of the House. It seems to me that if this Government had done nothing else of which to be ashamed, it ought to be deeply ashamed of having prostituted the procedure

of Parliament by subordinating public duty to private convenience. If hon. Members opposite cannot appreciate that shame, let me tell them that their constituents, when they get their chance, will show it to them.

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

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

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

Division No. 114.] AYES [3.28 a.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)
Adams, Richard de Freitas, Geoffrey Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
Albu, A. H. Deer, G. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Alien, Arthur (Bosworth) Delargy, H. J. Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Dodds, N. N. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Donnelly, D. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Driberg, T. E. N. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Awbery, S. S. Dye, S. Janner, B.
Ayles, W. H. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jay, D. P. T.
Bacon, Miss Alice Edelman, M. Jeger, George (Goole)
Baird, J. Edwards, John (Brighouse) Jenkins, R. H.
Balfour, A. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Johnson, James (Rugby)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Bartley, P. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
Benn, Wedgwood Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Benson, G. Ewart, R. Jones, William Elwyn (Conway)
Beswick, F. Fernyhough, E. Keenan, W.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Field, Capt. W. J. Kenyon, C.
Bing, G. H. C. Finch, H. J. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Blenkinsop, A. Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) King, Dr. H. M.
Blyton, W. R. Follick, M. Kinghorn, Sqn. Ldr. E.
Boardman, H. Foot, M. M. Kinley, J.
Booth, A. Forman, J. C. Lang, Gordon
Bottomley, A. G. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Freeman, John (Watford) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Freeman, Peter (Newport) Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Gibson, C. W. Lewis, John (Bolton, W.)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Gilzean, A. Lindgren, G. S.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Glanville, James (Consett) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Burke, W. A. Gooch, E. G. Logan, D. G.
Burton, Miss E. Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Longden, Fred (Small Heath)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) McAllister, G.
Callaghan, L. J. Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) MacColl, J. E.
Carmichael, J. Grenfell, D. R. McGhee, H. G.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Grey, C. F. McGovern, J.
Champion, A. J. Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) McInnes, J.
Chetwynd, G. R. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mack, J. D.
Clunie, J. Griffiths, William (Exchange) McKay, John (Wallsend)
Cocks, F. S. Gunter, R. J. Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.)
Coldrick, W. Hale, Joseph (Rochdale) McLeavy, F.
Collick, P. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)
Collindridge, F. Hall, John (Gateshead, W.) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Cook, T. F. Hamilton, W. W. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Cooper, Geoffrey (Middlesbrough, W.) Hannan, W. Mainwaring, W. H.
Cooper, John (Deptford) Hardman, D. R Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda (Peckham) Hargreaves, A. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Cove, W. G. Hastings, S. Mann, Mrs. Jean
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hayman, F. H. Manuel, A. C.
Crawley, A. Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Tipton) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A
Crosland, C. A. R. Herbison, Miss M. Mathers, Rt. Hon. G.
Crossman, R. H. S. Hewitson, Capt. M. Mellish, R. J.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hobson, C. R. Messer, F.
Daines, P. Holman, p. Middleton, Mrs. L
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Mikardo, Ian.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Houghton, D. Mitchison, G. R
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Hoy, J. Moeran, E. W.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hubbard, T. Monslow, W.
Moody, A. S. Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Tomney, F.
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Turner-Samuels, M.
Morley, R. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Usborne, H.
Mort, D. L. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Vernon, W. F.
Moyle, A. Ross, William Viant, S. P.
Mulley, F. W. Royle, C. Wallace, H. W.
Murray, J. D. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley Watkins, T. E.
Nally, W. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Shurmer, P. L. E. Weitzman, D.
Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Wells, Percy (Faversham)
O'Brien, T. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Wells, William (Watsalt)
Oldfield, W. H. Simmons, C. J. West, D. G.
Oliver, G. H. Slater, J. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh E.)
Orbach, M. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Padley, W. E. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Pagel, R. T. Snow, J. W. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Dearne V'lly) Sorensen, R. W. Wilcook, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Wilkes, L.
Pannell, T. C. Sparks, J. A. Wilkins, W. A.
Pargiter, G. A. Steele, T. Willey, Frederick (Sunderland)
Parker J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Paton, J. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. Williams, David (Neath)
Pearson, A. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Peart, T. F. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Porter, G. Stross, Dr. Barnett Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'lly)
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Proctor, W. T. Sylvester, G. O. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Pryde, D. J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Pursey, Cmdr. H. Taylor, Robert (Morpeth) Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Rankin, J. Thomas, David (Aberdare) Wise, F. J.
Rees, Mrs. D. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Reeves, J. Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, WO Wyatt, W. L.
Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin) Yates, V. F.
Reid. William (Camlachie) Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Younger, Rt. Hon. [...]
Rhodes, H. Thurtle, Ernest
Richards, R. Timmons, J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Bowden
Aitken, W. T. Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)
Alport, C. J. M. Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Gammans, L. D.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Clyde, J. L. Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh)
Arbutfnot, John Colegate, A. Gates, Maj. E. E.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert (Ilford, S.) Gridley, Sir Arnold
Astor, Hon. M. L. Cooper-Key, E. M. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)
Baker, P. A. D. Corbett, Lt.-Col. Uvedale (Ludtaw) Grimston, Robert (Westbury)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthome) Harden, J. R. E.
Baldwin, A. E. Cranborne, Viscount Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)
Banks, Col. C. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)
Baxter, A. B. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harris, Reader (Heston)
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Crouch, R. F. Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield)
Bell, R. M. Crowder, Capt. John (Finchiey) Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—North wood) Harvie-Walt, Sir George
Bennett, W. G. (Woodside) Cundiff, F. W. Hay, John
Kevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Cuthbert, W. N. Head, Brig. A. H.
Birch, Nigel Davidson, Viscountess Heald, Lionel
Bishop, F. P. Davies, Nigel (Epping) Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Black, C. W. de Chair, Somerset Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) De la Bère, R. Higgs, J. M. C.
Boothby, R. Deedes, W. F. Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)
Bossom, A. C. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Donner, P. W. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Hirst, Geoffrey
Boyle, Sir Edward Drayson, G. B. Hollis, M. C.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. B. Drewe, C. Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)
Braine, B. R. Dugdale, Maj. Sir Thomas (Richmond) Hope, Lord John
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Hopkinson, Henry
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cr. G. (Bristol, N. W.) Dunglass, Lord Hornsby-Smith, Miss P.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Duthie, W. S. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Eccles, D. M. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Browne, Jack (Govan) Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Howard, Greville (St. Ives)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)
Bullock, Capt. M. Erroll, F. J. Hudson, Rt. Hon. Robert (Southport)
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Fisher, Nigel Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)
Burden, F. A. Fort, R. Hurd, A. R.
Butcher, H. W. Foster, John Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Hutchison, Lt.-Cmdr. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Fraser, Sir I. (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Hutchison, Colonel James (Glasgow)
Carson, Hon. E. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.
Channon, H. Gage, C. H. Hylton-Foster, H. B.
Jennings, R. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Spans, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard (N. Fylda)
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Stevens, G. P.
Kaberry, D. Nabarro, G. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Nicholls, Harmar Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Nicholson, G. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Lambert, Hon. G. Nield, Basil (Chester) Storey, S.
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Langford-Holt, J. Nugent, G. R. H. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Nutting, Anthony Studholme, H. G.
Leather, E. H. C. Oakshott, H. D. Summers, G. S.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Odey, G. W. Sutcliffe, H.
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Lindsay, Martin Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Linstead, H. N. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Tee ling, W.
Llewellyn, D. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Teevan, T. L.
Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (King's Norton) Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Osborne, C. Thompson, Kenneth Pugh (Walton)
Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Peake, Rt. Hon. O Thompson, Lt.-Cmdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Perkins, W. R. D. Thorneycroft, Peter (Monmouth)
Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.) Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Low, A. R. W. Pickthorn, K. Thorp, Brig. R. A. F.
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Pitman, I. J. Tilney, John
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Powell, J. Enoch Turner, H. F. L.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Turton, R. H.
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Tweedsmuir, Lady
McAdden, S. J. Profumo, J. D. Vane, W. M. F.
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Raikes, H. V. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Macdonald, Sir Peter (I of Wight) Rayner, Brig. R Vosper, D. F.
Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Redmayne, M. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
McKibbin, A. Remnant, Hon. P. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Renton, D. L. M. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Maclay, Hon. John Roberts, Maj. Peter (Heeley) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Maclean, Fitzroy Robertson, Sir David (Caithness) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.) Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Robson-Brown, W. Watkinson, H.
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Macpherson, Major Niall (Dumfries) Roper, Sir Harold Wheatley, Maj. M. J. (Poole)
Maitland, Cmdr. J. W. Ropner, Col. L. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Manningham-Buller, R. E. Russell, R. S. Williams, Charles (Torquay)
Marlowe, A. A. H. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Marples, A. E. Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Wills, G.
Marshall, Sidney (Sutton) Shepherd, William Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Maude, Angus (Ealing, S.) Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Maude, John (Exeter) Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Wood, Hon. R.
Maudling, R. Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington) York, C.
Medlicott, Brig. F. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Mellor, Sir John Snadden, W. McN. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Molson, A. H. E. Soames, Capt. C. Mr. Digby and Mr. Heath.
Monckton, Sir Walter Spearman, A. C. M.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

The Chairman

I must warn the Committee that the Division bells are out of order. I will give instructions that the

messengers do inform hon. Members in all parts of the House when Divisions are called.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 281; Noes, 291.

Division No. 115.] AYES [3.39 a.m.
Aitken, W. T. Birch, Nigel Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.
Alport, C. J. M. Bishop, F. P. Burden, F. A.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Black, C. W. Butcher, H. W.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)
Arbuthnot, John Boolhby, R. Carr, Robert (Mitcham)
Ashton, H. (Cheimsford) Bossom, A. C. Carson, Hon. E.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Channon, H.
Astor, Hon. M. L. Boyd-Carpenter, J. A Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.
Baker, P. A. D. Boyle, Sir Edward Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Bracken, Rt. Hon. B. Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)
Baldwin, A. E. Braine, B. R. Clyde, J. L.
Banks, Col. C. Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Colegate, A.
Baxter, A. B. Braithwaite, Lt.-Cr. G. (Bristol, N. W.) Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert (Ilford, S.)
Beamish, Major Tufton Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Cooper-Key, E. M.
Bell, R. M. Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Corbelt, Lt.-Col. Uvedale (Ludlow)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Browne, Jack (Govan) Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)
Bonnet, William (Woodside) Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Cranborne, Viscount
Bevins, J. R. (Liverpool, Toxteth) Bullock, Capt. M. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Profumo, J. D.
Crouch, R. F. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Raikes, H. V.
Crowder, Capt. John (Finchley) Kaberry, D. Rayner, Brig. R.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Redmayne, M.
Cundiff, F. W. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Remnant, Hon. P.
Cuthbert, W. N. Lambert, Hon. G. Renton, D. L. M.
Davidson, Viscountess Lancaster, Col. C. G. Roberts, Maj. Peter (Heeley)
Davies, Nigel (Epping) Langford-Holt, J. Robertson, Sir David (Caithness)
de Chair, Somerset Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
De la Bère, R. Leather, E. H. C. Robson-Brown, W.
Deedes, W. F. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Digby, S. Wingfield Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Roper, Sir Harold
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Lindsay, Martin Ropner, Col. L.
Donner, P. W. Linstead, H. N. Russell, R. S.
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Llewellyn, D. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Drayson, G. B. Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (King's Norton) Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Drewe, C. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir Thomas (Richmond) Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Shepherd, William
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Dunglass, Lord Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Duthie, W. S. Low, A. R. W. Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Eccles, D. M. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Eden, At. Hon. A. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Snadden, W. McN.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Soames, Capt. C.
Erroll, F. J. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Spearman, A. C. M.
Fisher, Nigel McAdden, S. J. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Fort, R. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Foster, John Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard (N. Fylde)
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Stevens, G. P.
Fraser, Sir I. (Morecambe & Lonsdale) McKibbin, A. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell McKle, J. H. (Galloway) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Gage, C. H. Maclay, Hon. John Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Maclean, Fitzroy Storey, S.
Gamrnans, L. D. MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Gates, Maj. E. E. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Studholme, H. G.
Gomme-Dunoan, Col. A. Macpherson, Major Niall (Dumfries) Summers, G. S.
Gridley, Sir Arnold Maitland, Cmdr. J. W. Sutcliffe, H.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Manningham-Buller, R. E. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Grimston, Robert (Westbury) Marlowe, A. A. H. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Harden, J. R. E. Marples, A. E. Teeling, W.
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Teevan, T. L.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Marshall, Sidney (Sutton) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Maude, Angus (Ealing S.) Thompson, Kenneth Pugh (Walton)
Harvey, Air-Codre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Maude, John (Exeter) Thompson, Lt.-Cmdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Maudling, R. Thorneycroft, Peter (Monmouth)
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Medlicott, Brig. F. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Hay, John Mellor, Sir John Thorp, Brig. R. A. F.
Head, Brig. A. H. Molson, A. H. E. Tilney, John
Heald, Lionel Monckton, Sir Walter Turner, H. F. L.
Heath, Edward Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Turton, R. H.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Vane, W. M. F.
Higgs, J. M. C. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Hill, Dr. Charles (Lutott) Nabarro, G. Vosper, D. F.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicholls, Harmar Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Nicholson, G. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Hirst, Geoffrey Nield, Basil (Chester) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Hollis, M. C. Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Nugent, G. R. H. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemourh)
Hope, Lord John Nutting, Anthony Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Hopkinson, Henry Oakshott, H. D. Watkinson, H.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss P. Odey, G. W. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Wheatley, Maj. M. J. (Poole)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Williams, Charles (Torquay)
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Hudson, Rt. Hon. Robert (Southport) Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mara) Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Osborne, C. Wills, G.
Hurd, A. R. Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hutchkison, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Perkins, W. R. D. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Hutchison, Lt.-Cmdr. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Wood, Hon. R.
Hutchison, Colonel James (Glasgow) Pickthorn, K. York, C.
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Pitman, I. J.
Hylton-Foster, H. B. Powell, J. Enoch TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Jennings, R. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Major Conant and
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith.
Acland, Sir Richard Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Awbery, S. S.
Adams, Richard Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Ayles, W. H.
Albu, A. H. Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Bacon, Miss Alice
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Baird, J.
Balfour, A. Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Monslow, W.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Moody, A. S.
Bartley, P. Grenfell, D. R. Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Grey, C. F. Morley, R.
Bonn, Wedgwood Griffiths, David (Bother Valley) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Benson, G. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mort, D. L.
Beswick, F. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Moyle, A.
Sevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Gunter, R. J. Mulley, F. W.
Bing, G. H. C. Hale, Joseph (Rochdale) Murray, J. D.
Blenkinsop, A. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colns Valley) Nally, W.
Blyton, W. R. Hall, John (Gateshead, W.) Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Boardman, H. Hamilton, W. W. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Booth, A. Hannan, W. O'Brien, T.
Bottomley, A. G. Hardman, D. R. Oldfield, W. H.
Bowden, H. W. Hargreaves, A. Oliver, G. H.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Hastings, S. Orbach, M.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Hayman, F. H. Padley, W. E.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Henderson, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Tipton) Paget, R. T.
Brooks, T. J. (Normanton) Herbison, Miss M. Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Dearne Vally)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hewitson, Capt. M. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hobson, C. R. Panned, T. C.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Holman, P. Pargiter, G. A.
Burke, W. A. Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Parker, J.
Burton, Miss E. Houghton, D. Paton, J.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Hoy, J. Pearson, A.
Callaghan, L. J. Hubbard, T. Peart, T. F.
Carmichael, J. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Porter, G.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Champion, A. J. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Proctor, W. T.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Pryde, D. J.
Clunie, J. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Cocks, F. S. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Rankin, J.
Coldrick, W. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Rees, Mrs. D.
Colliok, P. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Reeves, J.
Collindridge, F. Janner, B. Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Cook, T. F. Jay, D. P. T. Reid, William (Camlachie)
Cooper, Geoffrey (Middlesbrough, W.) Jeger, George (Goole) Rhodes, H.
Cooper, John (Deptford) Jenkins, R. H. Richards, R.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda (Peckham) Johnson, James (Rugby) Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Cove, W. G. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jones, David (Hartlepool) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Crawley, A. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Crosland, C. A. R. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Crossman, R. H. S. Jones, William Elwyn (Conway) Ross, William
Cullen, Mrs. A. Keenan, W. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Daines, P. Kenyon, C. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) King, Dr. H. M. Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Kinghorn, Sqn. Ldr. E. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kinley, J. Simmons, C. J.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Lang, Gordon Slater, J.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lee, Frederick (Newton) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Deer, G. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Delargy, H. J. Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Snow, J. W.
Dodds, N. N. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Sorensen, R. W.
Donnelly, D. Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Driberg, T. E. N. Lewis, John (Bolton, W.) Sparks, J. A.
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Lindgren, G. S. Steele, T.
Dye, S. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Logan, D. G. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Edelman, M. Longden, Fred (Small Heath) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Edwards, John (Brighouse) McAllister, G. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphlliy) MacColl, J. E. Stross, Dr. Barnett
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) McGhee, H. G. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) McGovern, J. Sylvester, G. O.
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) McInnes, J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Mack, J. D. Taylor, Robert (Morpeth)
Ewart, R. McKay, John (Wallsend) Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Fernyhough, E. Mackay, R. W. G. (Reading, N.) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Field, Capt. W. J. McLeavy, F. Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Finch, H. J. MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Follick, M. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Thurtle, Ernest
Foot, M. M. Mainwarig, W. H. Timmons, J.
Forman, J. C. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Tomney, F.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Turner-Samuels, M.
Freeman, John (Watford) Mann, Mrs. Jean Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Manuel, A. C. Usbarne, H.
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Vernon, W. F.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Mellish, R. J. Viant, S. P.
Gibson, C. W. Messer, F. Wallace, H. W.
Gilzean, A. Middleton, Mrs. L. Watkins, T. E.
Glanville, James (Cornell) Mikardo, Ian. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Gooch, E. G. Mitchlson, G. R. Weitzman, D.
Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Moeran, E. W. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Wells, William (Walsall) Willey, Frederick (Sunderland) Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
West, D. G. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland) Wise, F. J.
Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh E.) Williams, David (Neath) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
While, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint) Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery) Wyatt, W. L.
White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.) Williams, Ranald (Wigan) Yates, V. F.
Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'lly) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Wilkes, L. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Wilkins, W. A. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.) Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Royle.
The Chairman

I should notify the Committee that the Division bells are out of order. I have instructed the messengers and the Serjeant-at-Arms to inform hon. Members and call out "Division!" when a Division is called.

The Minister of Works (Mr. G. Brown)

They are working again, Major Milner.

The Chairman

I am informed by the Minister of Works that they are on again.

Mr. Churchill

Might not the House have been informed of that fact before the decision was taken, because it certainly might have made a difference to the decision if the machinery of the House has broken down under the strain put upon it?—[Interruption.]—On a point of order, might I ask the Minister whether we could be informed what time it was known that this was broken down? Is it not rather a serious matter that Members should not have the bells ringing in the regular way?

The Chairman

I think the right hon. Gentleman was not present in the House, the moment I was notified—I assume it was on the authorities of the House knowing the bells were off—I did inform the Committee, and I did so before appointing Tellers. It was not possible to do so at any earlier moment.

Mr. Churchill

I should be very churlish if I did not make my acknowledgment to you, Major Milner.

Mr. Logan (Liverpool, Scotland)

It is not without precedent. The wires have been cut in the House before today and Business went on.

Mr. Somerset de Chair (Paddington, South)

Is it not difficult to take our Business at this time, and if in addition the bells break down is it not making it extremely difficult?