HC Deb 11 December 1952 vol 509 cc678-825

3.53 p.m.

The Chairman

I understand that it will be for the convenience of the Committee if, with the first Amendment which I propose to call, namely, in page 12, line 12, to leave out from "column," to "of," in line 13, we also take the Amendments on page 210 of the Order Paper. If that is the wish of the Committee, the discussion can take place on the first Amendment.

Mr. Herbert Morrison (Lewisham, South)

We are much obliged and we think that will meet the general interest, Sir Charles. There are, however, two points which I should like to raise now. The first is that there will be certain Amendments, not many, on which we propose to divide the Committee. We should like to divide on more, but, unfortunately, the time available under the Guillotine is so limited that we have to some extent to deny ourselves our rights. When the Guillotine falls would it be possible for us to divide the Committee upon any Amendments that may be outstanding?

The other point I want to put is that it seems to me doubtful whether in the time at our disposal we shall reach Clause 11 by 7.30 and we were proposing to raise some important matters on it, including the priority of claims on the Transport Fund, compensation to work people, and so on. Would it be possible for the Minister to give us some indication of his attitude to these matters during the discussion on Clause 10, although they do not arise until Clause 11?

The Chairman

If I might, I should like to answer the question the right hon. Gentleman has directed to me and then the Minister may want to answer the second one. Once the Guillotine falls I am not empowered, by the Order of the House, to accept any Amendments except the one under discussion other than Government Amendments, so I cannot meet the right hon. Gentleman on that point under the Orders of the House.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

I share the view of the right hon. Gentleman that it would be better to deal with all the points on Clause 10 in so far as we can within the time allotted. As to the question of the priority of repayments, I or one of my hon. Friends will be ready to make a few observations about that in the course of the discussion on Clause 10 if it is in order.

Mr. Morrison

I am much obliged. I understand your Ruling, Sir Charles, with regard to the outstanding Amendments even if they are moved together, but I suppose the answer to that would be that they cannot be. I only wish to draw attention to the fact that it is absolutely clear that under this Guillotine it has been impossible all along for the Committee to express itself, and now we are in a position where we cannot divide on essential Amendments unless we take the time for the Division out of that which is allocated which, goodness knows, is short enough.

Mr. Alfred Barnes (East Ham, South)

I beg to move, in page 12, line 12, to leave out from "column," to "of." in line 13.

This Amendment brings us to the point of considering the levy, that ill-thought out piece of legislation. Those who are qualified to speak for trade and industry in this country are bewildered by its imposition. I have followed the comments in trade papers and in the general Press and speeches by those who are qualified to speak on it, and I notice that there has been universal disagreement with the proposal. I must confess I have not seen any statement by the Government, or received one from them, that appears to justify it.

Before I go on to comment on the Amendments we are to discuss along with the one I have moved, I should like to make one or two general comments on the class of vehicle that is to be subject to this levy. There is one omission in this general condemnation, and I think it is worthy of commenting upon this afternoon. I do not think that, even now, traders appreciate that this levy will fall on all those owners that are untouched by the Transport Act, 1947.

There are four classes of commercial goods vehicles. There is the C licence group that represents the personal vehicles of a great number of traders. On the road haulage side there is the long-distance group of vehicles. At the other end of the scale there are those engaged in short-distance hauls. The fourth group is what we term specialist traffics.

Under the Transport Act, the C licence group, the specialist traffics and the local hauliers were exempt. They were not touched. It is upon these three groups that the levy is now to be imposed. I do not think that that fact has been fully appreciated by the commercial interests. These three groups are, by this form of levy, to find approximately £20 million for the anticipated loss on the disposal of the road haulage undertakings. That means that over 500,000 vehicles will bear a special tax for the sale of 35,000 vehicles. That brings out very clearly the disastrous and unbusinesslike policy of the Government.

4.0 p.m.

I want to deal with this aspect of the problem in relation to what has been our experience when a new tax has been thought out and imposed by the Government of the day. This is particularly apt in relation to this proposed tax, because our previous experience in this field of taxation has been so unfortunate. I remember the debates in this Chamber when the petrol duty was being introduced. We were told on that occasion that that duty was just as specific in its purpose as it is claimed by the present Government is this proposed levy. On that occasion it was to provide a fund which motorists themselves would pay for the extensive reconstruction of our roads, which was required as a result of the development of road transport.

Before we embark upon a new tax of the kind proposed in this Clause, which will be very varied and onerous in its incidence, we ought to give at least a few moments thought to the importance of precedence in the field of taxation. Before the petrol duty had been very long in force we found the Chancellor, the Treasury, and the Government of the day diverting the revenue raised by it from its original and specific purpose to the general budgetary needs of the nation. A reduction in taxation did not result. As a matter of fact, almost in every successive year the duty has been increased.

Today, the petrol duty alone yields a sum to our national Revenue amounting to approximately £230 million a year, whereas the contribution from that taxation—which was originally imposed for the reconstruction of our road system—is only in the neighbourhood of about £35 million a year from the national Exchequer. Since then the Purchase Tax on motor chassis has been imposed and licence duties, bringing the figure to about £340 million a year. Surely it is grossly unfair and inequitable that an industry of this character should bear the further burden of this £4 million a year for the purpose of meeting a deliberate act of Government policy.

A few moments ago, when we were discussing the business of the House of Commons, we dealt with Purchase Tax. That has provided another very interesting precedent in taxation. I remember the imposition of that tax. It was imposed for two specific purposes—to provide war revenue and to reduce civil consumption for a particular period. It has been retained during the post-war years. In the early post-war years it had a direct and inflationary effect upon our finances. Now it is having a depressing effect upon production.

I want to emphasise again the danger of imposing new taxation for specific purposes which serve the immediate and temporary convenience of a Government. We see quite clearly now that the Treasury, having got their grip on the Purchase Tax, will not surrender it as a tax, but are devoting attention to imposing the D schemes. I mention this to emphasise how dangerous it is for the Committee to embark upon this levy and for the commercial community to be misled into the belief that it will be imposed for a short period.

How has the sum involved in this levy arisen? In our debates so far on this Bill it has been quite clear that this loss is not inevitable. It could be avoided. When we discussed Clause 3 of the Bill the hon. Member for Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones) put forward a proposal from the benches opposite, so no one can argue that the point which I am raising is linked in any way with any ideological or political approach. The hon. Member put forward a proposal which I contend no one with a knowledge of these affairs would say was an impracticable way of dealing with the situation.

It was argued that it might delay the liquidation of these 35,000 vehicles. I do not think that it would do so, although there is a point in that argument. But when this Committee is considering the imposition of a new tax on a special and selected class of the community as against a possible delay of a month, two months, three months or six months, and involving not the frustration of Government policy but a different method of applying Government policy, surely we should consider seriously whether this levy is necessary and the loss which it is to cover is inevitable

I do not challenge the decision of any Government to apply their policy if they gain the support of Parliament. I may disagree with it as strongly as I disagree with the process embodied in this Bill, but I do not challenge the right of a Government, returned by the vote of the people, to carry out their policy. But there are certain standards of political conduct in this country which it is essential that all Governments should follow if Parliament is to retain its moral authority in the community.

We have passed through a period in the last 10 years when the circumstances of our national life and the problems with which the Government have had to grapple in the field of rationing have very substantially undermined the moral authority of Parliament in relation to many Regulations, Orders and matters of that description. While many of those things have been inevitable I do not think that we should follow deliberately a course when it is not necessary.

The second principle which is fundamental to the control of Parliament over financial matters, and essentially taxation matters, is that if one admits that a Government returned at the polls have a right to carry out their policy, so it follows that the whole nation who have returned that Government must accept responsibility for the actions of the Government during their period of administration. If the present Government are deliberately and unnecessarily putting public property on the market and inviting a loss of £50 million, £25 million or £20 million—whatever the figure may be—then I claim that the finances of the whole country and of the Treasury, which is the instrument of Government financial responsibility, should bear the loss.

That is the issue that this Committee is facing in these Amendments—namely, whether the Government of the day, having deliberately incurred a loss, have the right then to recover it by imposing taxation. This is a very dangerous precedent and one which is causing widespread uneasiness in practically all the trade associations. I quite agree that they do not understand properly how to make their will effective in Parliament during the Committee stage.

That, in my view, is one of the disadvantages of the Government's policy of rushing this Committee stage through. It is not giving opinion in the country and the interests affected by this form of taxation time to digest and understand what is being perpetrated. What is being perpetrated in Clauses 10 to 13 is that the Government of the day are transferring a Treasury liability to a selected group of citizens. I know of no precedent so far that follows lines of this description.

Let us see where the incidence of this tax will fall. The Minister tried to indicate, by fixing the tonnage exemption limit at one ton, that he was removing the incidence of this tax from the whole of the retail vans engaged in retail distribution. Actually, he is doing nothing of the kind. Those of us who have a practical knowledge of the retail distribution trade know that he is not effecting this objective.

One of the Amendments among this group that we are discussing deals not with the exemption of retail delivery vans on a tonnage basis but their exemption on the ground that they are delivery vans for the benefit of the householders. There we see the inequity of this proposal of the Minister. That brings out very clearly the discriminatory nature of this tax. Obviously, if there was any justification at all for this proposal—which I say there is not—then if there is a loss of £20 million on the sale of British Transport property. that is reflected in £20 million of British Transport Stock that was issued against the purchase of this group of vehicles.

In the ordinary way, if we incur a loss in our business we take steps to wipe that out in the balance sheet. The whole of this problem which we are discussing, and which is causing so much disturbance and disquiet in all walks of life, could have been met by the Treasury cancelling out £20 million of Transport Stock and accepting the liability of the interest charge on that. There is nothing wrong in that, because the Treasury are liable to the stockholders for the interest on the whole of the Transport Stock if the British Transport Commission at any time fail to meet their obligations.

4.15 p.m.

Returning to my point about discrimination, if the Government were justified in collecting this loss from some section of the community, their only justification would be to levy it if it could be restricted to those who use the roads, and it should be collected over the whole of the road users instead of only certain commercial groups. It should be collected from road passenger services and others as well. But the Government have narrowed the policy down and they proposed to exempt a certain number of retail delivery vans. We say that in that case the whole of the delivery vans should be exempted. In the case of local authority vans, what right have we to take the charge off the Treasury and put it upon the ratepayers? There is no justification at all.

I have not intended to cover the whole of the field. I shall be content, in moving this Amendment, to open the discussion and, at the same time, to make one or two essential points very clear. First, there is no need for this loss. It could have been avoided, and evidence of that has been forthcoming in our discussions in Committee. Secondly, as the Government intend deliberately to incur this loss, it should fall upon the Treasury and not upon a selected group of individuals. Thirdly, if the Government intend to impose it upon a certain group of individuals, there is no justification to select particular groups.

I hope that between now and the Report stage our debates on these matters will arouse sufficient understanding among the trading community so as to prevent the Government establishing this dangerous precedent.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. R. Maudling)

The right hon. Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) has, if I may say so, moved this Amendment with characteristic moderation and weight. I listened to his remarks very carefully, and I hope that it will be for the general convenience if, at this stage, I say some things about the Government's attitude to the levy in principle and about certain aspects to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred.

If by any chance it should be wondered why, as a representative of the Treasury, I am speaking on this matter, I would point out that it is an example of coordination and integration for which hon. Members opposite have asked, and that it does not in any way bear out the suggestion that the levy is a tax, because I hope to show that it is nothing of the kind.

I should like to put this discussion on the levy in the context of the Bill as a whole, because we are now at the Committee stage and we are discussing a proposal which is an integral part of the Bill, and if this proposal is abandoned that is a comment on the Bill as a whole. We are discussing these matters within the context of the Second Reading debate where the House accepted the proposition that road haulage as a whole should be de-nationalised in the interest of obtaining greater efficiency.

The Government's view is that by this Measure of de-nationalisation greater efficiency of road haulage will be obtained, and it is within that context that I wish to argue the case for the levy because it seems to me proper to argue the case as this stage of the Bill.

What is the levy meant to cover? It is meant to re-imburse the Commission for three things: first, the compensation they will have to pay to officers and servants of the Commission for any loss they have suffered; secondly, the payment of a sum fixed as £1 million in the Bill as compensation for disturbance; thirdly—the residuary, and probably the largest sum—the so-called capital loss, as defined in the next Clause. The levy is designed to cover those three things and the capital loss is liable to be the major item.

The Commission took over these assets and paid for them on two bases. They paid for the vehicles as vehicles. on a basis of replacement cost less depreciation, and they paid for the goodwill, as it is called and as it stands in the books of the Commission, on the basis of the purchase, over a certain number of years, of the profits of the companies which were taken over. I understand that the item for goodwill—amounting to over £30 million—represents an average of just over three years' profits, a suggested rate of profit of something like £10 million per annum.

What are the Commission going to sell? It has been suggested by hon. Members opposite that the Commission will merely be selling vehicles by "dumping them on the market," to use a phrase which I have heard on some occasions. It may be that I have misunderstood what hon. Gentlemen opposite said. At any rate, I want to make clear what, in fact, the Commission are selling. They will be selling vehicles organised in operable units. That is the first point. As the Committee is aware, vehicles organised in operable units are very much more valuable than individual vehicles sold as such.

The second point is that these transport units will carry with them automatic carriers' licences, which will also be a very valuable asset. The third thing they will be selling is the relevant portion of the Commission's monoply value created by statute because, at any rate until the end of 1954, the people who purchase the operable units will be able to operate them, as the Commission had been able to do, free from the competition of other road hauliers who are restrained within the 25 mile limit.

It is quite clear that so far from buying a mere collection of vehicles people buying operable units will be buying businesses—going concerns—with substantial rights in the shape of licences to operate with a certain degree of protection against competition. Therefore, the difference between the figure in the Commission's balance sheet and the amount arising from the sale of the vehicles will not necessarily be so large as has been suggested.

Mr. A. Edward Davies (Stoke-on-Trent, North)

This is a very important point. The right hon. Gentleman refers to the monopoly value created by statute which will have to be taken into account when the sale occurs, but is it not a fact that the Commission have not been in a monopoly position over the last 12 months but have had competition and have been losing money to original permit holders and C hiring licence holders, and that they have not the monopoly value which he adduces?

Mr. Maudling

I am grateful to the hon. Member for his interjection. I do not want to mislead the Committee in any way. I am also grateful for what he has said about the Commission losing money at the expense of C licence holders, which is relevant to a later part of my argument. It is perfectly true that the Commission are subject to competition, but they are not subject to competition from the whole range of A and B licence holders restrained within the 25-mile limit.

Mr. Ivor Owen Thomas (The Wrekin)

The right hon. Gentleman repeatedly refers to operable units. Will he tell the Committee what is the definition of an operable unit? Does he mean that there is a minimum number of vehicles in an operable unit, or could even a single vehicle be an operable unit?

Mr. Maudling

All that is determined by other Clauses to which it would be quite out of order for me to refer at the moment. The general principle is that the vehicles will be sold in operable units.

There is a suggestion that by hastening the sale of these vehicles the price to be obtained for them will be unnecessarily depressed. That is an argument to which one must obviously pay serious attention. The impression has been given to the Committee—and I cannot acquit the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) of this—that the Commission will be loading on the roads vehicles which are not being used at present. That is not so. It is a transfer of ownership and with that transfer or ownership will presumably go the transfer of the business in which those vehicles are engaged. As the vehicles are sold off as vehicles they go out of the hands of the Commission and the traffic which those vehicles meet is available for the private operators.

Therefore, I think it is quite misleading to talk about vehicles being dumped on the roads in excess of the existing transport demand. On the contrary, I think that if the process of disposal were drawn out too long there would be a very definite danger that the price received in the transfer of vehicles would be depressed further than it need be.

Let us turn to the question of what the loss will be and from what source it will arise. It is obvious that the main source of the loss, if any, will come from that item in the Commission's books which is described as goodwill. That item represents the purchase of the profits that were being made by the companies that were taken over. That goodwill has already vanished. No profits are now being made. Roughly speaking the Road Haulage Executive made enough on their operations last year to cover their capital charges and their proportion of overheads. This year they are not doing that, by a large margin. The profits which were purchased and called goodwill in the accounts of the Commission no longer exist. A loss has taken place. When the right hon. Gentleman talks about the Government causing a loss by selling the vehicles at market price what he means is that the market price reveals the loss that has already taken place.

I think that hon. Members opposite, including the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East, are sometimes led astray by the right hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton). I must warn him against this dangerous influence on a growing career. When the right hon. Member for Bishop Auckland was challenged on the fact that Treasury bonds which he issued at 100 had fallen to about 70, and he was asked about the losses incurred by the people who bought those bonds, he said that they did not suffer any loss until they sold them. That seems to me to be a singularly peculiar argument. If I own a house which falls down is it true that I have lost nothing until I sell the ruins? The fact is that by taking the market value of these assets by putting them on the market we shall disclose the loss that has already taken place because of the disappearance of the goodwill.

Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)

It may be that the loss is caused by nationalisation, but that has nothing to do with industry. It is still an act of government. The whole argument is that this loss, whether caused by nationalisation or de-nationalisation, is an act of government and is nothing to do with industry.

Mr. Maudling

An act of which Government? It is an act of the Government of hon. Members opposite.

4.30 p.m.

Mr. H. Morrison

I understand that the hon. Gentleman represents the Treasury. Why has he the face to stand there and blame all this on to the Commission when he knows perfectly well that the Treasury, of which he is a new nationalised servant, has collared part of the money in taxation, that there have been changes in insurance rates, that wages have been increased partly as a result of the removal of food subsidies, and that the very threat to the industry is bound to damage the Commission? Why should the representative of the Treasury make a speech which is calculated to decrease the money the Commission are likely to get for the sale of these vehicles on the market?

Mr. Maudling

The right hon. Gentleman should not try that sort of argument. I am a cockney, too, and I have anticipated that particularly acute form of argument.

Mr. Morrison

This is race prejudice.

Mr. Maudling

Race prejudice is sometimes a very good thing, when it refers to what we are discussing now.

Let us consider the items to which the right hon. Gentleman refers. Motor insurance premiums have been increased, and anyone with any knowledge of the insurance industry knows quite well that, until they were increased, for some time the premiums on motor business were far too low. Anyone who looks at the figures of the insurance companies knows that. Users of motor vehicles—all of us with motor cars or lorries—were getting lower rates of premium than the risks justified.

Furthermore, the increases to which the right hon. Gentleman referred apply just as much to private industry as to the nationalised undertaking. I have yet to be informed that the profits of the private road haulier have been completely absorbed by these increases. Certainly, they have not been reduced to nil. Perhaps I may rebut the argument of the right hon. Gentleman which suggests that I am depreciating the value of the assets to be sold. He need not think that the public in general and the potential purchasers in particular believe the Road Haulage Executive are making a large profit, because they can read the figures just as well as I can. We have therefore this accrued loss, now being recognised.

Mr. F. Beswick (Uxbridge)

That has nothing to do with capital assets.

Mr. Maudling

It has to do with goodwill, as I have been trying to explain, although it is a little difficult to explain some of these things. The loss has accrued. We cannot determine the exact size.

The next question is: who is to pay for the loss? Perhaps I may address my next argument to this very important point. The right hon. Member for East Ham, South seemed to suggest that the loss should fall either on the Treasury or on the holders of Transport Stock. I was not quite sure about what he meant because he suggested that the equivalent amount of stock should be cancelled by the Treasury although the interest guarantee would continue. But if an equivalent amount of stock were cancelled, we must remember that the stock is held by individuals and that they will suffer the loss.

Mr. Barnes

I appreciate that point. I took the hypothetical figure of a £20 million loss, which is money which the Government itself have used. That is reflected in £20 million of Transport Stock issued. That should be cancelled by Government decision. It could be wiped out completely or could represent an annual interest charge which the Treasury would accept for the Transport Commission, who would still retain the £20 million on their books. The clean decision would be to cancel the whole of the loss.

Mr. Maudling

But this stock is held by individuals, and if it were cancelled they would bear the loss. I imagine that the right hon. Gentleman means that Treasury stock should be substituted for Transport Stock—Treasury stock of some kind or another: in other words, that the whole loss should be borne by the Treasury. I certainly think it is agreed that it would not be right for the Commission to bear this loss, because it would probably fall on the taxpayers. I do not see any reason for that; and no valid reason has been advanced why the loss which has accrued should fall on the taxpayers as a whole, because there are people who benefit from this Bill—

Mr. Beswick

Those who take the lorries.

Mr. Maudling

Exactly. They are the people who pay the levy. There are people who benefit from the Bill. I hope the Committee will agree with the simple proposition that there is much to be said for putting any cost that arises out of the Bill upon the shoulders of the people who benefit.

Mr. Beswick


Mr. Maudling

I have in mind the point which the hon. Gentleman will probably make. If not, I will gladly give way a little later, but I have already given way a good deal and I hope I may be permitted to make this argument.

Mr. John Hynd (Sheffield, Attercliffe)


Mr. Maudling

I must complete this argument.

The question is: who benefits by the Bill? I hope that the Opposition are not going to argue that the A, B and C licence holders do not benefit from it. I want to quote what was said by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East on 3rd December when, referring to the Disposal Board, he talked about the Board being packed with representatives of trade and industry, the persons holding A. B and C licences. These people and their friends stand to gain from the very operations to which the Board are being asked to have regard."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1952; Vol. 508, c. 1677.] He constantly refers in that speech to the "stronghold" which the A, B and C licence holders will have on the Disposal Board.

Mr. James Callaghan (Cardiff, South-East)


Mr. Maudling

I am quoting from HANSARD and not from the right hon. Gentleman; perhaps there is some difference. It is quite clearly recorded in HANSARD that the hon. Gentleman, speaking on behalf of the Opposition, expressed with great vehemence the view that the A, B and C licence holders would benefit from the Bill. If that is the view of the Opposition, why should not the A, B and C licence holders pay for the benefit? Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite are shedding tears on behalf of the A, B and C licence holders which would make a crocodile blush.

Mr. Beswick

The Parliamentary Secretary is quite able to give his own explanation without quoting from my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). Will he explain how a retailer who delivers bread in vans will benefit from the Bill?

Mr. Maudling

If the hon. Gentleman will permit me, that is what I was going to do, but I wanted, first of all, to dispose of any suggestion that hon. Members opposite have the slightest interest in the imposition of this levy on A, B and C licence holders. They have not. I do not say that there is not an argument against it; I merely say that the Opposition are not the people to put it forward.

Who will gain from the Bill? The A and B licence holders will gain by the removal of the 25-mile limit. Surely there is no doubt about that. That is something for which they have been asking for a long time. By the removal of the limit which hon. Members opposite imposed, they will receive a benefit.

Next, I turn to the C licence holders. In what way will they benefit from the provisions of the Bill? As I said when I started, we are examining this Amendment in the context of the Government's policy, which is based on the belief that by this Bill we shall provide to trade and industry a better and more efficient road haulage service. To the extent to which that principle is recognised—and it is a pre-supposition of this stage of the Bill—trade and industry as a whole and the C licence holders in particular will gain.

Since 1947 many industries and many businesses have developed their own fleets of C licence vehicles not because they wanted to but because they were dissatisfied with the service provided by the nationalised undertakings. We have heard of an example quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. Carr) from his own experience. All of us who have any contact with trade and industry know that industrialists have found that the services provided by the Road Haulage Executive have not in every case been satisfactory. They have found many reasons. They have found, for example, that, whereas the people who used to do the work, the private hauliers with whom they were used to dealing, would send the same driver every time to handle their particular goods, under the Executive their goods have suffered because a different driver was sent from the depot to handle them on successive occasions. The farming community have found out that under the present set-up the efficiency has been reduced, and the figures of the increase in the number of C licence holders show, I submit, and confirm what we already know.

Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)

In what countries?

Mr. Maudling

If the hon. and learned Gentleman does not know, we are at the moment discussing the United Kingdom.

Mr. Mitchison

The hon. Member might remember that there has been a similar, and in many cases a larger, increase in other countries, where none of this has arisen.

Mr. Maudling

I am not aware that there were C licences in other countries, and I am talking about C licences.

Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)

On a point of order. I understand that the hon. Gentleman is now deploying an argument over the whole field of C licences. I only ask, Sir Charles, that you should note this now because some of us will equally want to reply on a wide field on the subject of C licences, and the reason for the increase in the C licences since 1946. If it is in order for the Economic Secretary, I trust, Sir Charles, that later, if we are fortunate enough to catch your eye, we shall be given the same latitude.

The Chairman

That is a most extraordinary point of order—to suggest that I should allow one hon. Member to say something and not another. I do not understand it.

Mr. Maudling

I was trying to deal with general and particular aspects of the matter, because I understood that that was within your Ruling, Sir Charles.

Quite clearly, industrialists and businessmen do not want to invest their capital at present in running their own C licence vehicles, if they can get the same function satisfactorily performed by public hauliers, the A and B licence holders. The experience that they have had has led them to increase their own transport, and that is not necessarily an economic process, because it has been necessary to make up for the relative inefficiency of the services provided by the Road Haulage Executive.

The next question is to what extent the charge that falls upon people who pay the levy will be passed on, either to the Exchequer or to the public in general.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. C. W. Key (Poplar)

Would the hon. Gentleman give the reasons why this levy should be imposed upon local authority vehicles?

Mr. Maudling

If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I shall, as I did intend, come to that, but I am making a rather long speech. However, I understand that it is desired that I should deal with the general case and the particular items.

The question is to what extent the levy will be passed on. It is argued, I think, by some of the trading organisations that the whole of this levy will, in fact, be offset against taxation, and that, therefore, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will contribute more than half of it. Of course, it is true only to the extent that the levy operates pro rata with reduction of profits to be made. I do not expect that. For one thing I am quite confident that a good deal of the levy will be absorbed in increasing operating efficiency by private enterprise firms.

Secondly, to some extent, the levy will be included in the elements which determine transport costs as a whole for the users of transport. Therefore, to some extent the cost of the levy will be passed on to the users of transport. But our whole thesis is that it is the users of road transport qua users of road transport who will have the benefit of the Bill, and it does seem not unreasonable that they should carry at any rate part of the burden of the levy. [HON. MEMBERS: "The users?"] The users and consumers.

The right hon. Gentleman who opened the debate asked for the precedents for what he proceeded to describe as a tax. This is not a tax. It does not go to the Treasury. Neither my right hon. Friend nor I will touch a penny of this —perhaps to our regret. The fact is that not one penny can go to the Treasury. It is different in that way from the examples which the right hon. Gentleman quoted. It is an intra-industry levy, and the best precedents to which I can direct the right hon. Gentleman for making a similar levy, a levy on one part of industry and transferred to another, are the marketing boards, the White Fish Authority, the coal charges scheme, and the railways freights rebates which were used under the 1947 Act, if I am instructed correctly, to bolster up the subsidy to Scottish shipping. Those are the precedents. It is not a question of a tax at all.

Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Trades-ton)

I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way. He says it is not a tax. Does he mean by that, that it is not a direct tax but, in fact, an indirect tax ultimately borne in many cases by the consumer?

Mr. Maudlin

No, I do not mean that at all. It is not a tax because it does not flow to the Treasury, and it cannot flow to the Treasury, and, therefore, cannot be diverted by the Treasury to any other purpose. It is a levy imposed on one part of industry and passed on to another.

I am anxious to make this clear, because, I think, there is a good deal of unnecessary apprehension in the country as a whole, particularly among users of road transport, about adding to or an increase of this levy. It is not in the hands of the Treasury. It is not a tax which can be increased by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is specifically a levy raised from one part of the transport industry for a specific purpose which is imposed by the terms of the Bill to be applied continuously to that specific purpose and to that purpose only, and when the purpose for which it has been created has been exhausted, when the loss has been met, then automatically the levy must be extinguished.

I am most anxious to make that clear. I do not want the impression to go out that it is a new tax which can be increased by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

There is another point. This levy is being collected by the machinery already used for collecting the Road Fund tax. No new taxing machinery is being set up. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer wanted to get more money, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, he could do that by raising the Road Fund licences, without any question of an increase of the levy at all. The fear that this could be increased at any time. I submit to the Committee, is without any basis whatever.

Mr. Coldrick (Bristol, North-East)

I realise, of course, that the levy is imposed in consequence of the Government's action, but is not the person who is called upon to pay it entitled to regard it as a tax?

Mr. Maudling

If the hon. Gentleman wants a precedent for a levy imposed in consequence of Government action I refer him to the Act of 1926 and the charges for voltages—a tax on certain consumers of electricity for the benefit of the whole. I would remind him that this is not a loss that has resulted from this Government's action. It is a loss which has already accrued. I did not think I would get the agreement of the Opposition on that point, but it is my submission.

Mr. Rankin


Mr. Maudling

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

I want to turn to certain particular points. I understand that we are arguing both the general and the particular, and I want to come to some particular points. First of all, as to the amount of the levy and the need for the levy. I notice in the document which has been circulated by trading organisations that they make very clearly the point that it is not to the weight of the levy but to the principle of the levy they object. The figures with which I have been furnished show that on a range of road operating vehicles, the range from two and a half tons to seven and a half tons, the cost of the levy is likely to work out at from.05 to.03 of a penny per ton mile, which is a very small figure indeed, compared with total costs.

It is argued in their literature, with which, no doubt hon. Members have been provided, and it has been argued on more than one occasion, that it is the principle and not the weight of the levy to which they object. They seem to have a little suspicion that if the Government should change, if the Government should become a Labour Government again, this might be increased.

Mr. H. Morrison

No, no. Who said that?

Mr. Maudling

I said there was the suspicion.

Mr. Morrison

Who said it?

Mr. Maudling

I think it is implicit in the view of the trading interests. They fear that this may be made a precedent for increased taxation. Doubtless they think that this Government is one to decrease taxes and that it is the party opposite that would increase them. I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman finds this difficult to accept, but I am not going to be deterred in any way by that, although I do not want to discomfort him. [An HON. MEMBER: "Another hare."] There are no hares in the Committee at the moment to chase.

I want to deal with the particular points raised by the right hon. Gentleman, and which are very relevant, about retail deliveries, local authorities, and, of course, the vehicles of the Commission and the vehicles of Government Departments. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am sorry that hon. Members opposite think I have been talking too long, but it is largely because of the interruptions on which I have given way, and because I want to deal with the whole thing.

So far as retail deliveries are concerned, I sympathise very much with the point of view of the right hon. Gentleman, as does my right hon. Friend. But there is a very considerable practical difficulty about exempting vehicles by classes or by their use because the levy is to be collected through the machinery of the Road Fund tax. That involves, of course, rebates and the opportunities for licensing for a short period, and so on, which will be a considerable benefit to people paying the levy. The machinery of collection is based only on categories and not on uses or classes of vehicles. Therefore, we attempted to meet the question of the retail delivery vehicle by imposing the one-ton limit.

There is an Amendment on the Order Paper to raise that from one ton to 30 cwt. I know that when we come to consider that matter my right hon. Friend will do so sympathetically, because it is an attempt to meet a very genuine point which the right hon. Gentleman has in mind, but which, from the point of view of practical administration, could be met more effectively through the method of increasing the ton to 30 cwt. than by trying to exempt vehicles by uses, which would lead to a great many anomalies and difficulties.

A great number of local authority vehicles, such as Fire Service vehicles, ambulances, road rollers, gulley cleansing vehicles, and so on, are already exempted by reason of the way in which the Bill is drafted. So far as the other vehicles on which local authorities already pay Road Fund tax are concerned, it seems to us that local authorities are commensurate with private hauliers, and that it is right that they should pay the levy. I understand that when the 1933 Act was passed, Parliament considered that local authorities were carrying on businesses such as, for example, the business of dust collection, and in some cases doing things direct which in other cases were done by contract.

Mr. H. Morrison

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman again, but do I understand from what he is saying that the Government propose to increase the exemption limit from one ton to 1½ ton?

Mr. Maudling

The Amendment dealing with that point comes later; it is not before the Committee at the moment. I said that my right hon. Friend would consider it sympathetically, but he wants to listen to the arguments on that particular point. If there are no arguments on it, he will certainly have plenty of opportunity to study the implications of it between now and the Report stage.

Mr. Callaghan

Tell that to the Leader of the House.

Mr. Maudling

The next point was the vehicles of the Commission, which was also raised on one of the Amendments we are now considering.

Mr. C. W. Gibson (Clapham)


Mr. Maudling

I am sorry I cannot give way to the hon. Gentleman, but he will, no doubt, have a chance to catch the Chairman's eye later.

The reason for including the vehicles of the Commission is that if the Commission did not pay their share of the levy, which is supposed to fall on the road haulage industry as a whole, then the share pro rata to be paid by the private road hauliers would be increased, and there would be an unfair competitive advantage as between one and the other.

So far as Government Departments are concerned—leaving aside the Service Departments—they are very largely engaged in trading activities with their vehicles. For instance, I understand that the Post Office, which until recently had a great deal of its carriage done by outside hauliers, decided to have its own vehicles. Where Government Departments are carrying on commercial undertakings with road vehicles, it seems to us that they should pay this levy pari passu with the private road hauliers.

I have tried to deal with the principle. I dealt with capital allowance at considerable length and the particular needs of it. I would say to the party opposite that if from now on they are going round saying to the road haulage people that they were their champions, they are likely to get a rather dusty reception. The A and B licence holders will read what has been said about them by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East and will remember what the party opposite would like to have done when they were in power, and what the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) would like to do now. They cannot have it both ways, which is what they are trying to do on this occasion.

If, as they argue, the road haulage industry, the A, B and C licence holders, are to benefit by this Bill, then they cannot argue about those people carrying the burden of the levy. This is not a tax; this is a specific temporary levy imposed for a particular purpose and within the contents of proposals for increasing the efficiency of transport in this country as a whole. I would ask trade and industry to regard this levy as it should properly be regarded, as an investment in greater efficiency.

Mr. Pannell

The Parliamentary Secretary has spoken, of course, with his customary fluency, but it is obvious that he does not know much about the transport industry. I can remember two years ago leading a delegation of Members of Parliament for the withdrawal of Clause 13 of the Finance Bill because of the clumsy drafting by the Treasury of the provision for the imposition of Purchase Tax on vehicles. I remember, too, that because of those representations the Treasury had to withdraw the whole Clause.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The hon. Gentleman's Government.

Mr. Pannell

They are the same officials, the Treasury officials. We are speaking about the Treasury at the present time, and the Parliamentary Secretary, if I may say so, did not betray too much knowledge of the C licence position. My views, of course, may be somewhat heterodox on the C licence position, but at least I can say that I have had a lifetime's experience of transport.

The hon. Gentleman said that those who benefit should pay the levy, and he went on to say that it is a very small impost. That, I believe, is the excuse made by every father who conceives an illegitimate child—it is always a small one. But, be that as it may, I look upon the levy as one of the worst features of the Bill. We know that compensation is to be paid in this case by the innocent parties. The Government have created the chaos, but the compensation, of course, is to be paid by all sorts of people who are innocent parties. In this sense, I look upon the Minister as a sort of moral buccaneer. [An HON. MEMBER: "Immoral buccaneer."] I did not say that; what I said was the nearest I could get to an insult without being too personal.

I will now deal with an aspect of the matter which should appeal to the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) but which, of course, the Treasury would not think about. It is the distortion of engineering design for fiscal policy. It is undoubtedly a fact that because the over 2½-ton vehicles were restricted to a speed of 20 miles an hour, excessive overloading occurred in vehicles not so restricted. The Minister himself would probably agree with that.

We are now going to create another anomaly. Vehicles of under one ton will not pay the levy whereas vehicles above one ton will. Though it is only a small thing, it will go on, because the safest vehicle is discriminated against. It is a loading that increases with weight, so that an extra burden is being placed on the heaviest vehicles which are the safest. Every engineer knows that, and I am objecting as an engineer to the bedevilment of design by fiscal policy—

5.0 p.m.

I gathered from the speech of the Minister, and his sympathetic reference to the Amendment of the noble Lord for 1½ tons, that it is considered to be a far better datum line for the delivery of bread and foodstuffs, but it makes no difference to my objection.

Mr. Maudling

If the hon. Gentleman studies the levy, taking the cost per ton mile, he will see that the heavier the vehicle, the less will be the levy per ton mile.

Mr. Pannell

It is really ingenuous of the hon. Gentleman to say that; the levy is put on each extra quarter of a ton and builds up. In the costing of transport departments we consider the cost against a vehicle. Only the Treasury can go in for transport statistics like that.

Mr. David Ormsby-Gore (Oswestry)

Does the hon. Gentleman mean to say that he never works out the cost per ton mile?

Mr. Pannell

The hon. Gentleman had better argue that out with his noble Friend, who generally agrees with what I have said, namely, that the over 2½ tons speed restriction has bedevilled engineering design. That remark is one of the flippancies of the hon. Gentleman, but this is a fact and everybody knows it. No one with any engineering knowledge would controvert my argument, that one of the effects of this levy will be that the smallest type of vehicle will tend to be overloaded.

Now I come to the general question of C licences, on which I do not hold the view that seems to have gathered on the other side of the Committee. It seems to me that the Minister, the Economic Secretary and the Prime Minister have all been reading the pamphlet written by my hon. Friend the Member for Perry Bar (Mr. Poole) "Job lots for the boys," and when I find that kind of quadruple alliance I think something has gone wrong. I can understand it with regard to the Prime Minister. He has adopted a Bevanite policy on arms, so there is no reason why he should not adopt one on road transport. That seems fair enough.

I disagree fundamentally that the growth in C licences denotes dissatisfaction with the nationalised industry. The majority displaced the horses and manpower used during the war because we could not get vehicles. I have here a statement issued by the Ministry of Transport a year ago, which says: An examination of the uses of the vehicles added to the C fleet during the period November, 1948, to April, 1950, showed that over one half were wholly engaged in retail delivery and other local work within a radius of 25 miles. That applies particularly to the Amendment about delivery work.

There is another aspect as to the particular attraction of C licences. I have here a letter from someone in industry I have known for a lifetime, to whom I wrote on this subject. He replies as an engineer and transport manager and the fact that he is of a different political persuasion from myself does not matter. He tells me that his nation-wide organisation decided to keep statistics upon the amount of loss, pilferage and all the other considerations which come into the picture. He says that their own crews naturally have an interest in seeing that the goods are delivered in good condition and says that the following might be of interest: From the statistics we keep, during a period of three months one in 3,800 units handled by ourselves was lost, damaged or delayed, whilst one in 420 units handled by the public services was lost, damaged or delayed, with the Post Office being the worst offender, followed by rail, and then carriers (which at that time were mostly private enterprise). They are the only statistics I know on this aspect. It will be appreciated that in the case of a firm having its own fleet, the fact that it has personal charge of its goods from first to last is tied up with the question of goodwill and delivery. I have always been one of those who think that the late Government were right to keep C licences outside the nationalised industry, not for any reason that would please hon. Gentlemen opposite but on firm Socialist grounds.

I look upon transport as a means to an end. I have railwaymen in my constituency who often think of it as an end in itself, but in considering the interests of consumers, transport is only a means to an end and the transport department of a big industry is no more than the cutting-out room of a tailoring factory or the cashier's office of the Co-op. When all is said and done, the simplest definition of a C licence is that it is a device to do away with the middle man.

There is yet another aspect. The allowances made by the Treasury have encouraged people to go in for C licences. Between 1945 to 1949 the cost of replacing old machinery and plant, including motor vehicles, used in business was assisted by allowing 20 per cent. of initial cost as a deduction from taxable profits in the first year. That was followed by spreading the remaining 80 per cent. over the agreed life of the machinery. On a vehicle costing £1,000, this meant that £400 could be charged against profits in the first year. Everyone who knows about such things realises that all these elements are concerned in the taking out of a C licence.

I do not believe that the great increase in C licences has had anything to do with the shortcomings of nationalisation. It would have happened whatever took place. It is part of the price paid for full employment, for the general surge of prosperity which has had its effect upon the consumer industries and has resulted in the retention of door to door deliveries—with general prosperity.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Can I take it that the hon. Gentleman does not agree with many of his hon. Friends that the development of C licences has deliberately trenched in on the legitimate business of the Commission?

Mr. Pannell

No, I do not, and they know it, so it is no use the Minister making that point.

The Deputy-Chairman (Mr. Hopkin Morris)

I am a little puzzled to know how this is associated with the levy under this Clause.

Mr. Pannell

With great respect, Mr. Hopkin Morris, I have anticipated your objection by raising it with your predecessor when the Minister was deploying his argument in a field far wider than I have done. I asked whether we should have an opportunity to deploy our arguments widely. The Chairman ruled—as a matter of fact I thought he seemed a little indignant that I should have asked—that he would give latitude for a fair rebuttal of the arguments posed by the Minister. That is the reason, and that is the source from which it springs.

C licences are, of course, the largest innocent party to be affected by the levy. The Minister deployed his general argument to suggest that they would derive some advantage from it, and he gave us a dissertation on the forces which had brought about C licences. He even suggested that they were due to the failure of the nationalised industry. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman has very much practical experience of that side of the business and I will attempt to answer him for his general edification and for the benefit of the Committee.

People often speak about Government Departments, but now another argument has to be deployed. What is the use of Government Departments continuing to set up organisation and method machinery when the Government immediately embark upon forms of taxation that mean the transfer of one form of tax from one Government Department to another? That is quite fantastic. The same sort of thing applies with regard to local government. If one were to read the list of vehicles in local government which are affected, its length is alarming. When I asked a borough surveyor the number of vehicles that would be used, he filled up a whole page.

I want now to come to the wider implications of the levy, bearing in mind that it is in line with the whole policy of the Government. In the Budget we had the slashing of the food subsidies. We had in that Budget an increase in the duty on petrol, with the resultant increase in the cost of food distribution. It was said at the time, of course, that it was only a small addition, but all the organisations and trades have suggested that it had an inflationary effect upon the general cost of distribution. Transport costs are now extremely high and are an extensive element in distribution charges.

We have had all that, and now we come to the transport levy. Whether it is large or small, it is simply another tax on distribution. Whether one uses the example of the Co-operative societies or any other trade, it is still a distribution tax. The Co-operative societies are responsible for 20 per cent. of the county's trade in staple foodstuffs. The Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society, which is the one I know best, operates from Eirth to Esher and down as far as Croydon, and is completely suburban. I have my own views about the remarks of those who thought that C licences should have been nationalised—in a field where nationalisation could not have been brought in.

In that vast area of the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society, there are three or four central bakeries from which bread is delivered to the shops, mostly by vehicles of over three tons. These are just as much an element in food distribution as the little vans that peddle the streets. Similarly with milk distribution, the types of vehicles employed are Leyland "Bulls" and "Tigers," great articulated vehicles carrying enormous weights of up to 15 tons. These are the vehicles that supply all the smaller depots. It is no use talking of vehicles in terms of a ton or a ton and a half for food distribution.

In case the Minister and his hon. Friends find the subject of bread and milk a little monotonous, let me refer to a great trading organisation in my constituency—Montague Burton—who clothe one in five of the people. Their C licence fleet is probably one of the biggest in the country and comprises all heavy vehicles. Everything, for any part of the country, has to go to or from Leeds. Transport is a large element in the tailoring business. Once more, the levy is simply another increase of tax for all these people, whether their trade is in food or in clothes. What are they to gain from this political piracy which we are now discussing? They gain absolutely nothing, and it is just another impost on them.

5.15 p.m.

In speaking about C licences the Minister was careful not to break down the figure. Generally speaking, he never breaks down figures. I should be very pleased to have the C licence figures for vehicles over one ton; those below that size, of course, do not matter in this connection. The larger vehicles are an essential part of the transport and distribution of goods and services up and down the country.

For the various reasons that I have stressed—the question of the bedevilling of engineering design, the general idea that this is just another impost on food distribution that will have its effect on the goods that are peddled from door to door, and for similar considerations—and in view, most of all, of the points made by my right hon. Friend but upon which I have not touched, I say that this thing is thoroughly vicious in principle as it calls upon certain sections of the community to bear a tax which, if it had to be borne at all, should be carried by the whole community. For these reasons, I suggest that the idea of the levy ought to be rejected.

Mr. Robson Brown (Esher)

I cannot follow all the secondary arguments deduced by the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell), and I do not want to make any observations regarding the levy on C licences on the ground of the financial burdens that would be imposed upon the industry, because that is really a minor and secondary point. I do not think that any holder of C licences would pursue that argument very long. I feel, however, that a matter of great principle is involved as far as C licence holders are concerned.

In the first place, I do not see under any aspect of the Bill any benefit that can come to the C licence holders, either directly or indirectly. I hope that before we come to the Report stage my right hon. Friend will look again at this matter and will, perhaps, give the question of the levy on C licences further consideration.

I was very interested to hear some of the forthright observations by the hon. Member for Leeds, West regarding the question of C licences and nationalisation. I entirely agree that C licence holders were never within the possibility of any practical form of nationalisation, and they never will be. The arguments deduced on that score have always been out of date and not valid in practice or in common sense. What I have felt is that the C licence holders are operating vehicles inside their own companies for their own purposes and not in competition in the general market. Modern practice has proved that they operate them because they are economically beneficial and in their best interests, and I think that this kind of effort should be encouraged.

As far as the principle is concerned, it is within the memory of most Members of the House of Commons that on many occasions over the last 20 or 30 years imposts of one kind or another have been imposed upon the road transport industry which have been of short duration or whose benefits would be fully returned to the industry. I refer in particular to the Road Fund, which has been mentioned from both sides of the Committee. I believe that the industry is carrying a pretty heavy burden in the £340 million per annum paid direct to the Treasury. There is licence duty, Purchase Tax, petrol tax, and 85 per cent. of it is paid by commercial users.

Quite frankly, as a matter of principle, I think that we should be careful in imposing levies, particularly of this kind. In principle, I believe the levy is unfair to the C licence holders, and that in practice, based on past experience, it might well be imposed for a long and indefinite period. I readily accept the positive and categorical assurance of the Economic Secretary, and that has relieved my mind considerably, but behind him stand the Treasury and the Service Departments. He might not be there for ever—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear"] Another Conservative Minister might take his place; and that process will perhaps go on for ever.

Mr. Norman Dodds (Dartford)

Now tell us the one about the three bears.

Mr. Brown

I did not think the hon. Gentleman's mind was quite as simple as that, but I certainly will not take up the time of the Committee by dealing with a matter of that kind.

Now I wish to deal with something which, I think, will have the general approval of the whole Committee. I sympathise with one element in the imposing of this levy on A and B licence holders, and that is the provision of some funds, which I hope are adequate and sufficient, for the officers and servants who may suffer as a result of this Measure. In modern times the humble servants of many sections of State and industry are frequently crushed under the Juggernaut wheels of political affairs, and the impact of that on their lives is perhaps not properly appreciated. It is, therefore, to the credit of the Government that they have taken care to see that that matter is properly provided for, and I congratulate them upon it.

Mr. Maudling

Let me assure my hon. Friend that in the Bill there is responsibility on the Commission to make these payments, and direct responsibility on the Minister, which cannot be avoided, to make sure that sufficient funds are available from the fund to reimburse the Commission.

Mr. Brown

I thank my hon. Friend for that reassurance. I do not doubt it was one of the reasons for the levy on the A and B licence holders, which I entirely support. I appreciate that reinforcement, and his reassurance on the matter. I only hope that between now and the Report stage the Minister will give further consideration to taking away the levy on C licence holders.

Mr. Mitchison

I wonder why the representatives of the Treasury have turned up in such force today. Have they come to assure us that this is not a tax? Is that the reason? Or are they a little dissatisfied with the performance of the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary yesterday? That may be the case, and I can see reason for it.

We have been embarked by the Economic Secretary on to the high seas of principle, and I should like to follow him a little in that respect. It is quite true that after sailing on them for some time he finally found a supreme principle—I do not quite know what it was—in the difference between a gully cleanser owned by a local authority and a dust collector owned by the same authority.

Mr. Maudling

The principle arises from the Labour Government Act of 1949.

Mr. Mitchison

I do not think it does, with respect. I think that it comes from something quite different, and I will tell the hon. Gentleman what it is. It was possible for private enterprise to compete with one—at a pinch it might be let out to contract and, therefore, it ought to be bullied and taxed when in the hands of a municipality—but not with the other. Gully cleansing, to take the hon. Gentleman's own instance, was never let out to contract, so the principle was that we ought not to be particularly hard on it. The principle he found, as I see it, in dealing with public corporation vehicles was exactly the same principle as he took in the case of Government Departments. If there is anything a public authority is doing, however necessary, however salutary, and however much in the public interest it may be, then tax it, if it is in any way something that private enterprise can even remotely be interested in. It was on that ground that he defended this remarkable distinction about the vehicles of public authorities; and it was on that ground, and no other, that he took the distinction between the vehicles of Service Departments and all other Government vehicles. That was one principle he found in the course of his embarkation on the high seas.

The other principle does not seem to me to be a principle at all. It consisted in his saying that a large amount of goodwill had been lost, as I understood him, by the mere act of nationalisation. He will excuse my saying that that is complete nonsense from beginning to end.

Hon. Members


Mr. Maudling

indicated dissent.

Mr. Mitchison

His hon. Friends do not agree, and I see him shaking his head. Did he not say that?

Mr. Maudling

I was pointing out that the goodwill item in the Commission's accounts is based on the profits of the companies they took over, and that the profits they took over have now entirely disappeared.

Mr. Mitchison

Let me put it in another form, which I think he will find equally true. What has happened is that a better service has been rendered to the community by the Commission and profit has not been taken out of trade and industry for the benefit of those who ran transport vehicles before. That is exactly the same proposition put in a different way. It seems to me, if I may say so with respect—I know it was so ruled, and I make no reflection on the Chair—somewhat irrelevant to what we are considering at the moment. The item of goodwill appearing in the Commission's books was the sum paid to the owners of groups of transport on the profits made in their group business, or the individual owners' profits made in their business, taken, as the hon. Gentleman rightly pointed out, on a yearly basis. on a purchase value, I think he will find, of between two and five years in the Bill, which he said worked out at about three years' purchase. It was therefore, a payment for goodwill, nothing more and nothing less; it is rightly so described in the Commission's books, and it is there still.

Does the hon. Gentleman really suppose that when certain vehicles have been used for carrying out a particular service between one place and another the transfer of those vehicles from the hands of public owner to the private owner, or from one private owner to another private owner, destroys the value they have of being the vehicles that habitually carry the traffic between one point and another? That, of course, is what goodwill is, and it is there just the same.

The Economic Secretary had better go and have an argument with his hon. Friend the Member for Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones), who put forward a very sensible Amendment the other day, and having supported it with very great eloquence here voted against it in the Lobby. He put forward a very sensible Amendment which raised the point whether the goodwill still was not there, and I completely fail to see why it is not there, and what the point of this levy is on that ground, on a question which we are supposed to treat as one of principle. I just do not understand it.

Mr. Norman Cole (Bedfordshire, South)

Does the hon. and learned Gentleman consider that this goodwill can be translated, on the same charges by the private enterprise haulage people, into remunerative rates afterwards? Does he mean they will do the same service and still make a profit, which the B.T.C. cannot make? Does he not agree that the goodwill is no good unless it can be translated into profits?

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Mitchison

Really, I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has got the point in the least. I do not understand what his question means, to start with. May I put the matter in the same terms as those of his hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury?

It is perfectly simple. The Economic Secretary pointed out quite rightly, as did his hon. Friend the Member for Hall Green yesterday, that the difference between having a number of isolated lorries and having a group of lorries which is performing a particular service is that the group is definitely more valuable. The difference is what I call loosely "goodwill" and what appears to be called loosely "goodwill" in the Transport Commission's Accounts. We get the benefit of that goodwill in any transfer, public to private, or private to public, or private to private, when dealing with such a matter as a group of vehicles that has habitually carried goods between one point and another or handled one kind of traffic.

The A and B licence holders who are buying these lorries will get this benefit, and to the extent that the Transport Levy hits them I would say that as a levy it is useless and wholly pointless. It was suggested that the levy might be borne by the public, but we are told that it cannot be borne by the public. So the right hon. Gentleman proceeds to put it on part of the public directly and upon the whole of the public indirectly. The part of the public is that which is buying the groups of vehicles, and not merely the A and B, but the C licence people, including the municipal vehicle owners and the owners of retail distribution vehicles—who have nothing whatever to do with it. The whole of the levy is put on them, and through them it is put on to the shoulders of the community in an exceedingly unsatisfactory and exceedingly foolish way.

Of course it will put up the price of milk and bread and so on, and of all the ordinary services which in a civilised community are continually rendered by one part of it to another. It will be a charge on all those things. It is obvious that any levy of this sort eventually puts a charge on the ordinary citizen through the industries which are there to perform necessary functions for those ordinary citizens. The charge comes down to them in the long run. This transport charge is put on the ordinary citizen, for whom? For the benefit of the people who will buy these vehicles from the Government, and for nobody else, so far as I can see.

We are told, too, that this charge is not a tax because it does not come to the Treasury. I think we could give several instances to disprove that. There was one very obvious one, and I am surprised that the Economic Secretary did not notice it. He had only to look back a little way to find that the Government are removing the Development charge because it is inconvenient to landlords. At the same time they are puttting on the Transport Levy because they think it will be helpful to their friends. This seems a very curious way of lowering the level of taxation.

We were told today by the Economic Secretary that the singular virtue of the present Government was that it lowered the level of taxation. I did not see many signs of it in the last Budget, which produced a number of new and pretty objectionable forms of taxation. The general level of it was fully as high as under the previous Government. I do not see any signs of it in a Government which proceeds to take off a charge because it is inconvenient to the landlords and then puts on this Transport Levy for no possible reason.

What ought to have been done was to sell the vehicles properly first of all, in the way which was suggested by the hon. Member for Hall Green yesterday, and was supported by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on this side of the Committee. Secondly, if the Government found there was a loss, they should have put it on to the Exchequer as a whole for it to be collected properly and reasonably by taxes, instead of by a levy like this.

This levy is muddled and foolish, and makes all sorts of unreal distinctions between one size and type of vehicle and another, and one kind of vehicle and another. Is uncertain in its duration, and in its incidence. It has every conceivable vice. It finally comes down on the ordinary consumer, not according to his ability to pay but on every single citizen who needs the ordinary goods and services of life. I say to the Government: If you are going to tax, do it straight, and according to ability to pay. Do not put on silly, complicated, stupid measures like this.

Mr. Grimond

Unlike the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison), I think the Economic Secretary to the Treasury has not embarked upon the high seas of principle but is skating upon the thin ice of expediency. I believe the Treasury said that in accordance with the policy of the Government on no account could they have any further charges on them. The Minister of Transport appears then to have said to the Treasury: "If you want a levy of this sort, you must come down and defend it." So the Treasury have sent here one of their most elegant debaters, who certainly cut some pretty figures on the ice but once or twice was, I thought—to mix the metaphor—in danger of falling into pretty hot water.

He seemed at one moment to be defending the proposition that any Government are entitled to throw on to an industry losses occasioned by their predecessors in office. He said that as this was a loss created by nationalisation, and as his Government were reversing nationalisation, they were entitled to ask the industry to bear the loss.

Mr. Maudling

I referred to the false claim by the Opposition that the losses were due to an act of the present Government.

Mr. Grimond

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman does not want to take that principle too far. If successive Governments are to nationalise and de-nationalise, and spread the loss over industry, we shall soon be bankrupt.

The hon. Gentleman's next point was that the Bill was intended to benefit the road hauliers. I thought the whole case for the Bill was that it would benefit the public. In that case, it is surely reasonable to ask the public to take the roundabouts with the swings, and to bear any losses. I hope the hon. Gentleman and the representative of the Ministry of Transport have been impressed with the point that the people who benefit by this Bill will not be the sole payers of the levy. That is quite obvious. Some people who do not benefit from the Bill are to pay the levy.

Take an extreme case. In my own constituency we are not directly touched by either nationalisation or de-nationalisation. In Orkney, we should find ourselves in the sea, if we went on a radius of 25 miles. But, as I understand it, we shall have to pay the levy because some Government, it may be the previous Government or the present Government, have made a mistake.

The hon. Gentleman then dealt with the sale of the Commission's assets. I was not quite sure what his argument was. At one moment the hon. Gentleman seemed to say that those assets would be sold as business units and that there would be an element of goodwill and monopoly attached to them, so the losses would not be heavy. But the levy was designed partly to make up for the loss of goodwill. At another moment he seemed to say that the loss was total. If the argument is that the people who buy the vehicles should be charged something for the goodwill embodied in the business units, surely that would be reflected in the sale price, if the sale is conducted well. It is up to the Government and to the Disposal Board to see that the sales are well conducted.

The only argument which appeared to have some force behind it was that in which the hon. Gentleman tried to argue that this was a transfer within the industry. Unfortunately, I do not think it is. In all previous cases he quoted, so far as I know it has not been a case of the Government trying to pass on to industry the losses made through no fault of the industry. The precedents he mentioned were cases where, as part of a reorganisation or a marketing scheme, the industry agreed to a levy for its own benefit. Here, on the Government's own showing, we are charging the industry for losses which were due to the Government or to a Government-sponsored commission.

The fact of the matter is that this is entirely a device for concealing taxation. I remember that in a previous Parliament the Conservative Party threw suspicion on the then Labour Government by saying that they were seeking to conceal taxation by putting up Post Office charges. I think that this is very much the same position. This is a device for saying, "We are not going to put up taxation," in the hope that the public will not notice that they are paying a tax. I entirely endorse the principle which was put forward by the mover of this Amendment, which is, that if an industry is asked by the Government to incur a loss or to undertake an extra burden, then the Government, on behalf of the general body of taxpayers, should reimburse that industry.

I remember an argument of the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Beswick) in a debate on Civil Aviation—a subject which should appeal to the Economic Secretary. He rightly agreed that if B.E.A. were asked to run an uneconomic service for social reasons they should not be asked to pay the cost. It may well happen that in other forms of transport the Government may, for social or strategic reasons, want services run or rates reduced and they should be prepared to pay for such services or reductions.

One may want to change the form of structure of our transport industry in a way which may involve some incidental loss. In that case, too, I cannot help thinking that, unless there are strong reasons to the contrary, the Government should bear the charge and bear it squarely and fairly, as a social service, so to speak, payable by the Treasury.

If we accept this principle, which puts upon industry a tax because of the errors of a Government, we are embarking on a very difficult course indeed. I would sincerely ask the Minister and the Economic Secretary to reconsider this matter, and see if they cannot devise some scheme which will do away at least with the gross unfairness attached to the present proposals.

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

I do not want to detain the Committee for long, but I should like to make some observations with regard to the C licence holders. I was impressed by the argument of my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary so far as concerns the A and B licence holders. I am not, however, convinced that he deployed the strongest arguments in regard to C licence holders.

5.45 p.m.

It seems to me that there is a great difference between those types of C licence holders who deal with the distribution of goods, so far as the retailer is concerned, and those who are concerned solely with industrial activities. I think that we should be very wary in imposing any extra burden on those trades engaged in retail activities. We have been told that a concession is likely to be made by increasing the weight from 20 cwt. to 30 cwt. I do not think that this entirely meets the case. I think that the Treasury should think again as to whether it is not more practicable to differentiate the C licence holders by industries rather that by weight.

I hope that between now and the Report stage some means will be found of relieving the section of C licence holders concerned in retail activities from this burden, which, after all, is unjust because they do not derive any benefit whatever from this Bill.

Mr. John McKay (Wallsend)

I do not want to engage in the discussion on the general principle of the levy. I want to emphasise the proposals contained in the Amendment which stands in my name and that of my hon. Friends, relating to concrete truck mixers.

The point to which I wish to draw attention arises out of the new inventions which are taking place. We now have machines running upon the roads which are more than transport vehicles. There is a new kind of vehicle which is being used in connection with building and road-making. The people concerned with these machines say that they are paying the ordinary licence duty because they carry some kind of goods. But the kind of machine to which I am referring mixes up materials into concrete while they are being conveyed from the central stations to the places where the concrete is required.

The structure of the machine is such that it is one complete body, but the main part of it is used for manufacturing purposes. Concrete is manufactured while the vehicle is travelling on the roads. The people concerned with these vehicles believe that they have been overlooked under this method of licensing charges, and they wish to draw particular attention to the matter.

The Amendments which I have on the Order Paper propose that there should be exemption of these particular machines from the levy. They have been prepared to pay the present licence duty, but now this new levy comes upon them, and they feel that they will be called upon to bear an unfair burden.

These are not ordinary transport vehicles. On the question of the size of various transport vehicles, one can argue whether the levy should be increased in accordance with the size and weight of the vehicle, on the ground that the greater the weight and the greater the size, the more goods it can transport. In the case of these particular machines, however, they are made for one special purpose only. They are not made for the purpose of carrying ordinary goods. They are made to carry cement mixers and to manufacture cement as the vehicles proceed on the road.

The machine is said to be a splendid thing for the building trade. It is reducing the cost of building. It is felt that it is not fair to calculate the levy on the entire weight of the machine as three-quarters of the weight, which is very great, comprises the manufacturing part. The matter has not been considered before and I now ask the Minister to give special attention to the advisability of separating the manufacturing part from the transport part of the machine.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton, South-West)

The hon. Member for Wall-send (Mr. McKay) has been discussing a very marginal instance of the application of the principle contained in the Clause. I now want to bring the Committee back to the general principle itself.

While the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) was making his disquisition on the subject of goodwill, I picked out a gem of a sentence from what he said, much as one extracts a currant from a very stodgy suet pudding. Referring to the transfer of long-distance haulage from the private hauliers to the British Transport Commission, the hon. and learned Gentleman said, "A better service has been rendered to the community by the Commission."

Lest there should be any misapprehension in the minds of the Committee about where the interests of road transport lie, I will quote some sentences from a letter recently written to my right hon. Friend and published in the Press, by one of the associations of such users which has been most opposed to this Clause. The Association of British Chambers of Commerce say in their letter: The creation of a State monopoly of long-distance road haulage was, in the association's view, a serious mistake. The association considers that only by the re-introduction of the widest possible measure of private ownership and management into the industry can a really efficient, flexible and economical road haulage service be provided. Just for the purposes of this Clause hon. Members opposite have constituted themselves the spokesmen of A, B and C licence holders. But let us remember that the interests of the A, B and C licence holders and their customers are with the Bill as a whole. When the Bill is put into effect, the savings in the cost of road transport which will result will be far greater than the temporary addition of.05d. per ton mile which is involved in the levy.

Mr. Mitchison

As the hon. Gentleman referred to me, may I assure him that I did not in any sense constitute myself as a spokesman for either the A or the B licence holders? I believe they are doing uncommonly well out of the Bill.

Mr. Powell

But the community, in turn, is their customer, and my contention is that the community as a whole is the residiary beneficiary of the Bill. As the right hon. Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) plainly stated, the Committee has to decide one issue. Assuming—it is a reasonable assumption—that there will be a difference between the total sum for which the road haulage assets of the British Transport Commission are disposed of under the Bill and the relevant sum evaluated under a subsequent Clause, should that difference be borne by the community at large direct, or should it be placed, as the Clause places it, upon the holders of A, B and C licences? I propose to take separately the categories from which the Clause seeks to recoup the difference.

To begin with the C licence holder, the case for involving the C licence holder in the levy is implicit in most of the arguments on the nationalisation of transport which have come from the Opposition. The very fact that the C licence holder was to have been dealt with by the 1947 Act—until the Co-operative societies got busy—was evidence that the then Government regarded the very existence of C licences, the possibility of a free multiplication of C licences, as a channel through which might flow away the value which the State was acquiring by the Act. It is for that reason that the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) and other hon. Members have asserted that they will in any future scheme ensure that the C licence holder is not able freely to convey his own goods in his own vehicles.

The best statement of the case for including the C licence holder was made by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West (Mr. Popplewell) on the Second Reading of the Bill. He said: So far as the build-up of C licences is concerned, that, I think, shows one of the weaknesses of the 1947 Bill, and when we return to power we shall tighten up in our next nationalisation proposals. He went on: Amongst these hundreds of thousands of C licence owners, what do we find? We find that there are no fewer than 55,000 of them engaged in long-distance transport; in other words, 38 per cent. are engaged on long-distance transport of over a 40-mile radius."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 17th November, 1952; Vol. 507, c. 1496.] The hon. Member went on to confirm that estimate by an investigation which was made by the British Transport Commission. He stated clearly there that genuine long-distance haulage business which was being conducted on vesting day by private enterprise A and B licence holders has since then been transferred to the C licence holders who operate vehicles of the heavier weights.

If that is so, the case for recouping part at any rate of the difference between the estimated value of the Commission's assets and the disposal price from the C licence holders is unassailable. I was, however, delighted to hear my right hon. Friend say that he was seriously considering raising the lower limit of exempton from the levy, because this argument does not apply to C licence vehicles which are not engaged in long-distance road haulage properly so-called. I believe that if my right hon. Friend can see his way to raise the limit from a ton to 30 cwt. a great many C licence holders who cannot in strict logic be called upon to pay the levy will be exempted.

I received a letter a few days ago from the town clerk of my own borough expressing anxiety about the local authority vehicles which would be involved. He mentioned in particular the school meals vans. I was very interested and very concerned about that and I wrote inquiring whether, if the limit were raised from a ton to 30 cwt., those vehicles would be exempted. I found that we have in Wolverhampton 11 school meal vans; 10 of them are of less than a ton unladen weight and will, therefore, in any case not be liable to the levy, and the remaining vehicle has an unladen weight of between a ton and 30 cwt. and would be exempted by our Amendment. In the Black Country we are not noted for our addiction to light meals: and I have no reason to assume that the school meal vans plying in Wolverhampton are of a lighter unladen weight than those plying elsewhere.

I feel therefore that the raising—

6.0 p.m.

Mr. Pannell

In fairness, the hon. Member should point out that he is making a purely local point and it is quite possible that many local authorities have designed school meals vans above that weight.

Mr. Powell

I have taken the test which was available to me and I have informed the Committee of the result it yielded. I have no reason to suppose that that result is in any way untypical.

Mr. Beswick

Would the hon. Member tell us the weight of the other vehicles used by the local authority?

Mr. Powell

I was particularly interested in the case of the school meals van and made my inquiry into that.

Mr. Beswick

What about all the others?

Mr. Powell

Perhaps if the hon. Member has data on that he will give it to the Committee. Take a category like laundry vans. Most laundry vans doing delivery work are between 20 cwt. and 30 cwt. and would be exempt from the levy if the limit were raised from one ton to 30 cwt. I believe that with that Amendment the application of the levy to C licence holders would be substantially, although not without exception, fair and logical.

We now come to the A and B licence holders. I was greatly struck and surprised by a remark made in the debate a couple of days ago by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), in which he accused my right hon. Friend of being unwilling to introduce real competition into the long-distance road haulage industry. The hon. Member said: he knows that the Transport Commission have never feared competition from the private road hauliers if they can have their hands free."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th December, 1952; Vol. 509, c. 355.] In that case, why was the 25-mile limit written into the 1947 Act? In that case why have we not had Lord Hurcomb coming to my right hon. Friend and begging him to remove the 25-mile limit and give the British Transport Commission a chance to show what they can do? That is the clear implication if the Commission have never feared the competition of private road hauliers. When the State acquired the long-distance road haulage businesses it was thought essential that competition by private enterprise should be kept strictly out of it and should only be allowed within that magic ring-fence under permits issued and revoked at the discretion of the Commission.

That being so, it is obvious that the assets which had to be thus protected when they were acquired in 1947 will have their selling value altered by the new conditions which this Bill seeks to create, and that the benefits of that alteration—the business which was being performed by private road hauliers at the inception of nationalisation—will flow in future both to the successors of the Commission and to the other A and B licence holders after the lifting of the 25-mile limit. Equally logically, therefore, it follows that the rest of the difference between the two figures in question should be recouped from the holders of A and B licences.

Ultimately the beneficiaries of this Bill will be the whole community. Indeed, the whole community will indirectly bear part of the trivial and temporary burden which the Bill imposes upon road hauliers. But that the burden should be directly imposed on the holders of A, B and C licences, is inherent in the alteration in the character of long-distance road haulage which this Bill as a whole brings about.

Mr. S. N. Evans (Wednesbury)

The hon. Member for Wolverhampton South-West (Mr. Powell) is a very able debator, but he is arguing on this occasion a case which cannot succeed. How can he argue that as a result of this Bill the community as a whole will be better off and then object to the losses which are to be incurred being levied on the community as a whole?

Mr. Powell

The simple answer is that when a burden is imposed upon any section of trade or industry it is in part passed on to the community, but in part remains to be borne by that section.

Mr. Evans

Well, on this side of the Committee at any rate we must resist this new principle of taxation which is being evolved. The alternative would be a subsidy and the Conservative Party have queer views about subsidies.

Mr. G. Lindgren (Wellingborough)

Except to their pals.

Mr. Evans

Subsidies to their pals, such as farmers—that is social progress and in the national interest—but subsidies for the lower income groups and for food—that is Socialism. The Government cannot argue on the one hand that this Measure will benefit the community as a whole and then proceed to levy this tax on a small proportion. I notice that that proportion is getting less.

I can understand the electoral advantages of giving concessions in respect of any tax to certain parts of the community. That has great attractions to all political parties and always has had. But this levy, the more confined its impact becomes, the more unjust, unfair and indefensible it is. In part it is precisely as though the living theatre were being compelled to subsidise the cinema and television. There is no difference at all.

Mr. Maudling

It would be fair to point out that the bulk of the Amendments to be argued from the hon. Member's side of the Committee are designed to do precisely that; to limit the area on which the levy falls.

Mr. Evans

I know all about that, but of course that does not stop me advancing the argument. The Government have already excepted about 360,000 vehicles from the incidence of this levy. Now we understand they are to exempt a still further proportion—that proportion of vehicles which is between one ton and 30 cwt. I hope they understand what they are doing because they are reversing the whole method by which authorities draw up the railway rate schedules so that high rates can be placed where they can be spread and low rates conceded to basic industries The more they remove these low-weighted vehicles from the incidence of this levy the more they lay the burden on the basic industries of the country. I believe that is a very bad thing to do.

As the Committee know, I have an interest in this matter. I have 16 machines upon which I shall have to pay this levy. I do not expect that I shall land in the workhouse as a result of the amount I shall have to pay, but I would emphasise that there is a very important principle involved here. Only to that do I wish to direct my brief remarks

If the Government are convinced that this proposal is in the interests of the community as a whole, then the community as a whole should bear any loss sustained. I found the arguments of the Economic Secretary to the Treasury a little contradictory. He argued that because of the monopoly rights conferred on the people buying these lorries there would not be much of a loss on the sale of the lorries. He then proceeded to argue that the goodwill had gone.

It seems to me that those two things are contradictory. Goodwill is not a matter which can be assessed in one year. It is something which is built up over a period, and has no balance sheet value for some considerable time. The amount paid in goodwill to the dispossessed former owners of the haulage industry would, of course, have to be written off over a long period of time.

Mr. David Renton (Huntingdon)

Perhaps the hon. Member will recollect that in the Transport Act, 1947, and the Regulations made under it there is no reference at all to goodwill or compensation for goodwill. There is reference only to the loss of private earning capacity, which in transport is surely something very different.

Mr. Evans

Yes. I understood the transfer was effected on the basis of a valuation of the lorries, plus something between three and five years' profits for goodwill—

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson (Truro)

Cessation of business.

Mr. Evans

—but I will not pursue it. I think that this levy is a monstrous brat. It was conceived in electoral sin out of ideological prejudice and should be strangled forthwith.

Mr. Wilson

I do not propose to follow the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. S. N. Evans) into the ramifications of his argument, because I do not propose to delay the Committee for very long. I wish to refer to an argument raised earlier by the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell).

I gathered that his argument—and this is the argument of a number of hon. Members on the other side of the Cornmittee—was that C licences had not increased as a result of nationalisation, but for other reasons, such as the transference of work from horse-drawn traffic and bicycles and tricycles and so on. Of course there have been increases from other causes, but it so happens that a number of instances have come to my notice where it was admitted that C licences have been taken out as a direct and immediate result of nationalisation.

In the short time I propose to detain the Committee, I wish to say something which will destroy the whole of that argument put forward by hon. Members opposite. In my constituency there is a man who was a long-distance road haulier and whose business was nationalised. In addition, he owned a quarry in the West Country, not in Cornwall, from which, with his own vehicles, he used regularly to take traffics from the West Country to Stoke-on-Trent.

When he was nationalised—and incidentally, I believe he has not yet been paid out in full—his own vehicles, which were now a unit, proposed to charge him an increased charge of 39 per cent. for taking his own traffics to the same destination. That was one of the immediate effects of nationalisation. He did not think that was a very good idea, and so he applied to British Railways. They supplied him with a truck. It was a coal truck and very dirty, and he had to have it cleaned out at his own expense. He loaded it with felspar. It never got to its destination at all. When he inquired about what had happened to it he was told that unfortunately this expensive material had been tipped on to the railway lines and used as ballast. The consequence was that he took out C licences and ever since has been transporting his own materials to Stoke-on-Trent, and coming back empty. That was a direct result of nationalisation and there have been many other instances.

Mr. Ronald Williams (Wigan)

I am trying to follow the argument of the hon. Member. Is he suggesting that that man should now be obliged to pay this levy, or that he should be exempt?

Mr. Wilson

I am saying this is an indication that the argument that C licences have not increased as a result of nationalisation is not true. This man wants to be a road haulier again, and I hope that he will be. He has indicated that he hopes to be successful in bidding for one of the units which may be for sale as a result of this Bill.

Mr. Williams

If the hon. Member will read through this Amendment he will appreciate that we are discussing not nationalisation but the levy itself. I am sure it would be of great assistance to the Committee if he would tell us whether he wishes the levy imposed upon this man, or whether he is asking that this man should he exempted from it?

6.15 p.m.

Mr. Wilson

I started by saying that I was confining myself to the argument put forward by the hon. Member for Leeds, West, who is not in the Chamber at the moment, although he has been here most of the afternoon. He made the point, very strongly, that one of the chief reasons why C licences should not be subject to any levy at all was that they had nothing whatever to do with nationalisation and had not increased in number by reason of nationalisation.

The other instance I wish to give the Committee occurred when I met a group of road hauliers a considerable time ago, before the change of Government. I was discussing transport problems with them, and most of them had a grouse about the 25-mile limit. In the West Country the 25-mile limit applies particularly hardly because with us some part of the radius is always in the sea. One of the hauliers did not seem to mind the 25-mile limit a bit. I thought that was rather curious and I asked him why.

He said, "I am running on C licences." It was a meeting of hauliers and I said, "You cannot be running a haulage business on C licences." He said he was and that his practice was something like this. He went to a market and when a farmer bought some cattle or produce he paid a cheque to the farmer and then took the purchase in his lorry as his own. He carried it wherever he liked and received at the end of the journey a cheque from the farmer for a slightly larger sum than he had paid out.

Mr. Lindgren

Good Tory philosophy.

Mr. Wilson

That was some time ago and I do not think that any harm is done in recalling it.

Naturally there have been cases where the result of nationalisation has been a considerable increase in the number of C licences. I do not think the argument that the increase in C licences has nothing to do with nationalisation should be taken into consideration when we are discussing this Amendment.

Mr. C. W. Gibson (Clapham)


Mr. H. Morrison

I am sorry for my hon. Friend, but here we are. There are three Divisions to come, and we have to allow time for them, but I will return to that point in a moment. I will not be longer than I can help in saying what I have to say.

The point we are discussing is one of importance. This levy has been described as the keystone of the Bill and the Government attach fundamental importance to it. What is it all about? The Bill starts by making some changes in transport organisation which have the effect of damaging financially certain of the undertakings of the Commission which will be left in the hands of the Commission. The capital assets of the Commission are to be damaged, and there will also be damage by way of disturbance.

All this is admitted by the Government. It is asserted by the Government. Indeed, that is the case of the Government for bringing in any compensatory provisions at all. So we start on the basis that the Government are by this Bill, damaging certain transport undertakings which are in the possession of the Commission. That in itself is bad, I should have thought. It is injurious that property which has been purchased and built up should be affected in this way. Nevertheless, that is the policy of the Government.

Why are they injuring the Commission? Why do the Government go out of their way to damage the interests of this publicly owned concern? [HON. MEMBERS: "They hate it."] As some of my hon. Friends say, they hate it. They hate public enterprise and public ownership. There is, of course, the second reason, which is that they entered into undertakings, at and before the Election, with the private road hauliers that in return for a victory at the Election, during which the Conservative Party anticipated that they would get the financial and electoral support of road hauliers and possibly their organisation—though as to that I would not know because Tory Party funds are secret—and in return for these political and material considerations the Tory Party would do the road hauliers a good turn.

The whole business is very near corruption. But for the fact that I am not sure that I would be in order, I would go further and be a little more categorical about what I have said. It is bad that a vested interest should be able to make an arrangement with a political party, or that the political party should volunteer an arrangement that, "If you support us electorally, and if"—as was hoped—"there will be advertising paid for by you"—as there was—" or funds contributed to the political party, then we shall do something for you which is beneficial to your trade."

Whether it is openly done or privately done, that is one of those things which I should have thought are foreign to the British way of life. We ought not to do it. But the promises were given, the undertakings were made.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, South)

This is Second Reading stuff.

Mr. Morrison

I am speaking strictly on the levy. The hon. Gentleman may be in the chair of the Tory Transport Committee but he is not in the Chair of this Committee. The undertaking having been given, the legislation has to be brought in to damage the Commission and to confer favours upon the private road haulage owners. Then comes the question, "How is the financial damage to the Commission to be put right?"

These are the two essential characteristics of this Bill. One is that it damages the undertakings of the Commission and the other is that the Government are then faced with the financial problem of how to compensate the Commission—not only the Commission but the workpeople whose livelihoods are involved in all this business. So, the second attack upon the industry arises. Having taken the properties of the Commission, the second assault upon the industry comes by way of this new tax upon commercial transport. That in itself is an injury to commercial road transport. It is an additional burden upon that element of transport and, therefore, a burden which has in some way to be shared by the industry as a whole, by the public, and so on.

That is the basis on which the Government stand. They are in a dilemma about how the tax should be apportioned. I should have thought that if the tax had to be imposed upon road hauliers, the right thing would have been to say, "Who are the road hauliers who will benefit by this operation?" Clearly, the beneficiaries will be the firms, the gentlemen or the undertakings who buy the vehicles from the Commission. Therefore, this position could have been met by, so to speak, a second purchase tax upon those vehicles sold to these private gentlemen. On their own admission, indeed almost on the insistence of the Economic Secretary to the Treasury of all people, the Government are going out of their way and nearly breaking their necks to produce every argument whereby these gentlemen can buy below the commercial value.

Mr. Maudling

Surely, the one thing calculated to reduce the value of the vehicles would be to threaten an additional purchase tax upon them?

Mr. Morrison

Is the Economic Secretary to the Treasury now making a declaration on behalf of the Treasury that Purchase Tax is thoroughly bad? I must say that I like the Economic Secretary. I often admired his smoothness of speech and retentive memory when he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He has been fluent enough today; but he has not made a good start from the point of view of the Treasury. He has advanced some arguments for which he will be sorry in due course. If I were a betting man, I would bet that the Treasury people are sorry about them already.

Surely, it would be right and equitable that there should be a tax on the purchasers of these vehicles That would be one way. But there is a second right and equitable thing to do. This is an assault on the Commission and its undertakings by the Government and by the House of Commons as the instrument of Her Majesty's Government. It is an assault by Governmental and Parliamentary authority upon a public authority set up by Parliament to fulfil certain functions and to own certain property. It is admitted that a consequence of the assault is that the Commission will be financially damaged.

It will be damaged in two ways. It is admitted that as a result of the sale the undertaking will suffer a capital loss. There is a lot to be said for the statement of my right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) in favour of the view that the Treasury should make an arrangement whereby a certain amount of the capital stock of the Commission should be cancelled and the Commission's indebtedness reduced to compensate them for that. Certain secondary provisions must be made out of current revenue. These include compensation for workpeople, etc., which it would be legitimate to argue should be a charge against the Treasury itself. Certainly, it ought not to be a charge against the Commission.

The Commission having undertaken the responsibility for compensating displaced labour if it happened as a result of the Act of 1947, then logically it ought to be the purchaser of these vehicles who should compensate labour displaced under this Bill. I realise the administrative difficulties. If that cannot be done, then it seems to me that there is a good case to be made for the Treasury carrying the burden.

It seems to us that this is a general tax upon road commercial transport, upon A and B licence holders, even though ultimately they will get some benefit out of the 25-mile radius provision, though I do not think that that question has been dealt with before on the basis of cash payments one way or the other. The C-licence people will have to pay as well. whether or not they are really involved in this transaction.

6.30 p.m.

The local authorities are also really very cross that they should be brought into this matter. My hon. Friends and I have been receiving many letters from all over the country from town clerks objecting to the taxation of local authority transport—dust vehicles and various other vehicles. What have they done to deserve this? They are not in the world of commercial road transport at all, so far as I know. Why should municipal government be assaulted? Why should the ratepayers incur this bitter enmity of the Tory Party and the Conservative Government? [An HON. MEMBER: "They lost the L.C.C. elections."] Well, they have not lost everything; they have a job to hold on, it is true, and they have lost a lot,

I cannot believe that the Minister of Transport, because his party lost some municipal elections, in which he boasts he takes no interest, but in which the Prime Minister does take an interest, would attack the local authorities. Surely. there is no case for punishing the ratepayers with this levy. It is not their fault, and, therefore, the town clerks and the others who have written to my hon. Friends are quite right to make a protest about it. So are the people who speak for the great Co-operative movement, with which some of us are very much associated.

I gather that this levy will cost the London Co-operative Society £5,320 a year; the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society £2,171; Birmingham £1,561, and so on, and a proportion will have to be paid by other retail businesses. What have they done to deserve this? What has the consumer done to deserve it, because, in the end, it will be paid for by the consumer, unless it is paid for by working people employed by these undertakings in other ways, which, as we are up till now still in a period of full employment, is not very likely.

Therefore, the levy is not only a bit rough, but it is inequitable as regards an enormous proportion of the people who will have to pay it. It was argued by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and it has been argued before, that, after all, this loss is not the fault of the Government, but is the fault of nationalisation, and that is an argument that is bound to evoke a response in Tory hearts. I do not think that is right.

It is said that the number of C licences has increased because of nationalisation. I would not say that there is no case in which a chap who has become a C licence holder has done it because he preferred it, because he was not fully satisfied with the other services. There have been cases of C licence holders who have taken them up because they did not like, for one reason or another, the services provided by the former A and B licence road hauliers. It is perfectly understandable that they preferred to have the exclusive ownership and operation of vehicles of their own instead of having to hire them from somebody else. There is nothing peculiar to this country about that, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) said.

If we take vehicles as a whole, because we cannot segregate C licences in the case of other countries, and compare 1938 with 1950, the index figure for the number of goods vehicles—that is, all of them—in the United Kingdom rose from 100 to 177. In that, there will be a large element in respect of C licences, but they do not wholly account for the rise. In Western Germany, the figure rose from 100 to 176, which is about the same; in Belgium from 100 to 172; in little Switzerland from 100 to 181, and in the Netherlands from 100 to 157. Therefore, the probability is that the rise is general.

It is also argued that the fact of nationalisation has depreciated the value of the vehicles. I do not agree about that. First of all, the Commission had to take over a very mixed bag of vehicles; some of them were very good, some of them middling and quite a number were very bad. They had to spend a lot of money on the repair of these vehicles, on making them efficient and so on, and, in some cases, it meant replacement, and that cost had to be met. Meanwhile, the Government have been busy imposing taxation. The petrol tax has gone up, and that is a material addition to the cost of running the industry. Insurance increased and wages have risen, partly owing to the Budgetary policy of the Government in respect of the subsidies on food.

Therefore, it really is partisan and unfair to say that the smaller profit of the publicly-owned undertaking is the result of nationalisation. Moreover, what was the reason for part of the larger profit of the privately-owned undertakings? Well, some things were, as I have indicated, not being done. It is notorious, particularly among my trade union friends in the industry, that the law was being evaded and set aside by many of those undertakings in a way profitable to themselves but bad for the country and injurious to safety on the roads. That has been changed, and a good deal of capital expenditure has been entered upon.

Mr. Renton

Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that this infringement of the law, to which he has just referred and about which he seems to be trying to make a point, is peculiar to private industry?

Mr. Morrison

I would say that, as a whole, it is. I would not say that such a breach of the law has never occurred in a publicly-owned undertaking, but I do want to say that there were extensive breaches of the law in respect of private undertakings that will bear no comparison with anything that might have happened with publicly-owned vehicles.

Mr. Renton

As the right hon. Gentleman has said that, will he bear this in mind? His hon. Friend, the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, should know that this is not an isolated case. Is he not aware of the case in which the Road Haulage Executive pleaded guilty to 43 cases of failing to keep records, in which an investigation was made by the Ministry, which revealed that—and I am here quoting from the report in a local newspaper—among these cases were nearly 600 irregularities regarding hours and 200 instances where records had not been kept? The report goes much further, and shows that the Road Haulage Executive had completely broken down on their system of keeping records.

Mr. Morrison

I shall be very careful about giving way to the hon. Gentleman again, not because of what he said, but because of the time taken to say it. That is really a footling point. Questions have been put to the Minister about the number of prosecutions and the number of failures to do this, that and the other, and the numbers in respect of private industry are out of all proportion to these cases to which the hon. Gentleman refers. The hon. Gentleman must know that, because, I understand. he does know something about the privately-owned industry through his professional associations, and he must surely know that public enterprise, in that respect, has a very much better record indeed, by comparison.

There is the other point about the public industry. It is said that their value has gone down through their own fault. I deny it. I say the physical value of the average vehicle in use today is higher than before the Transport Commission came into operation. Let us come to the question of goodwill. This is something which struck me about the speech of the Economic Secretary to the Treasury. I have seen amalgamations in transport and in other spheres, not between a public authority and a private authority but between private undertakings themselves. If we go into the history of the purchases of transport and other undertakings by private companies who buy them for the sake of getting hold of them and making co-ordinated, bigger concerns, it will be found that they do not purchase purely upon the basis of physical valuation or profits; they purchase on the basis of what it is going to be worth to get hold of them and so to make a bigger undertaking.

I do not believe that the element of goodwill need all go. The Minister could have got the benefit of a greater element of goodwill if he had accepted the Amendment which was proposed yesterday by the hon. Member for Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones), but he would not accept it. Therefore, I say that these arrangements are not reasonable, are not fair and are calculated to damage the receipts that will come from the sale of these vehicles. We are opposed to these proposals and to the levy as a whole. We think it right that the local authorities and the retail traders should not pay at all, and we propose to press some of the Amendments to a Division.

I hope that on this matter hon. Members opposite as well as the Opposition will think carefully about the subject. They have certainly had a lot of pressure from various people associated with the road transport industry. The British Road Federation is opposed to the whole principle of the levy, and as far as I can tell everyone connected with road transport is opposed to it. So are we. We think it is clumsy; it is inequitable and unjust. Incidentally, we should like the right hon. Gentleman to tell us about the priorities of the claims upon the Transport Fund because we are anxious that labour shall not be last upon that matter.

I must come to the end of my observations. I hope that the Committee will be good enough to bring the debate to an end at seven o'clock because we propose to have three Divisions, and the time taken in Divisions cannot be used for speaking. The story of this Bill in Committee this week is conclusive evidence that this Guillotine is a wicked thing. We have to cram all this argument into a short time. There are many hon. Members on both sides who wanted to speak on the various subjects, but they could not do so because of the Closure. We have the Guillotine brought into operation so that the subjects cannot be brought before the Committee, and I want with all the earnestness at my command to say that I think the Government are treating the House very shamefully; it is a contemptuous Parliamentary practice; and we feel deeply indignant about it, as I am sure any fair-minded observer of our Parliamentary institutions would be.

6.45 p.m.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) for having brought his speech to a close at 6.45. He did this in response to my request because I wanted to make some observations, not only on Clause 10 but on Clause 11, if that is allowed. I had intended to limit any comments I had to make to the right hon. Gentleman's remarks on these subjects, but I cannot let this observation about the Guillotine pass without saying that when the Transport Act, 1947, was under discussion, even though it was being taken upstairs, 35 Clauses passed without any discussion at all because of the Guillotine. By a curious coincidence, that is the exact number of Clauses in the Bill which we have now presented to Parliament.

I think the whole Committee will congratulate my hon. Friend the new Economic Secretary to the Treasury on his masterly speech. It was a brilliant analysis of this very limited charge, and in the wide sweep of his observations he covered every aspect of this very modest charge and all the points that would have been raised on the Amendments. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have repeatedly talked about this temporary, limited levy as if it were a tax, but my hon. Friend made it quite clear it is not a tax and none of the revenue it raises will go into the Treasury.

We have been very entertained by the efforts of the Opposition to paint this as a tax. If it were a tax, I would be entitled to say, as many of my predecessors have said, in the words of Burke: To tax and to please, no more than to love and be wise, is not given to men. While I am in the mood for quotation, and as so much has been said about my personal character in previous debates on this Bill, perhaps I may remind the Committee of words used by Dr. Johnson almost 200 years ago when speaking on another levy, though he called it a tax. He said: A hateful tax levied upon commodities"— this is the point that will please hon. Gentlemen opposite— and adjudged not by the common judges of property but judged by wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid. This is not a tax. As the Committee knows, the original purpose was to be two-fold. There was to be, as now, a temporary levy to recoup any capital loss of the Commission, as well as to safeguard the compensation of employees who might be disturbed, and to recompense the Commission for disturbance to them during the period of transition.

Originally there was also to be a second and permanent part of the levy to compensate the railways for any diversion of traffic that might ensue through greater competition on the roads. The opposition to the levy and the whole question of the principle involved was very largely devoted to the second part, namely the permanent levy, which would have represented, I agree, a new principle in our society. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) talked about trade and industry being bewildered by the levy. It was the second part that caused the disturbance and the lack of comprehension in trade and industry. It is not for me to go into the detailed reasons for that part of the levy because it plays no part in this Bill, but it was to have been a permanent part of our fiscal machinery so as to compensate the railways in any way that seemed prudent for any loss of traffic that they might suffer.

It seemed to me from the start that if a better way could be found to help the railways' competitive position that would be a good thing to do, and in the immense changes in the railways' competitive position brought about by the new charges' proposals, which we shall discuss for a certain part of next week, we think we have found a better way. That being so, there was no reason then to retain Part II of the levy, the permanent part, and the objections in principle have therefore very largely disappeared.

Now we are dealing with this temporary levy. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) spoke as if it was a new principle of taxation. It is no new principle at all. As my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury has pointed out, there are innumerable illustrations in marketing Acts and many other fields where there is a transfer of funds for a particular or sometimes a strictly limited purpose from one side of an industry to another. What we have to settle is who shall pay for the loss on goodwill and the need of compensation and the need of payment for disturbance. Should it be paid by the Commission? I think that everybody agrees that would be grossly inequitable and that in the long run it would be largely paid by the users of the railways.

Should it then be paid by the general taxpayer? When the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. S. N. Evans) spoke and said that the Treasury should pay, he knew that that meant the taxpayer. Anybody who votes against this Clause tonight and against the levy is voting in favour of any loss on the sale and other charges being placed on the ordinary taxpayer.

Mr. Mitchison

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would explain something. He talks about a loss accruing to the Commission. Does not the loss entirely depend upon obtaining an insufficient price for the lorries and for goodwill?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I spoke about the loss to the Commission through disturbance, and for that there is provision from the Transport Fund. There is also a loss which will accrue to the Commission on the sale, for which they are to be recouped, and this is the main purpose of this levy. We very much hope that there will be no loss. Anything that hon. Members opposite can do, once the principle of the Bill is accepted, to see that there is no loss will be a patriotic and statesmanlike action.

I turn now to the various arguments put forward in favour of this levy not being charged on C licensees. In the case of holders of C licences, the Opposition are trying to get the best of both worlds. The hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell) has said more than once that he was very glad indeed that the C licences had not been included eventually in the 1947 Act. But there are large numbers of Members of his party who go freely round the country saying that one of the reasons for the failure of the Commission to provide an integrated system is the steady leakage of long-distance haulage and other forms of transport to C licensees and away from the Commission. Foremost among others in making this point has been the hon. Member for Perry Barr (Mr. Poole), whose absence from our debate we all regret. I fear that his absence may mean that he is unwell again.

But there is this attempt on the part of the Opposition to get the best of both worlds. It would be very wrong not to charge this levy on all those sections of industry that will gain by the better competitive services which will be offered. We think that it would be wrong to put C licensees in a favourable position because, although there is no compulsion about this, we hope that one of the results of the Bill will be to attract traffic back to A and B licences, which we believe are more economical than the C licences in their present form.

Mr. Pannell

The right hon. Gentleman said that anyone who voted against this tax would be voting in favour of levying the tax on the general community. Would he not agree that those who go to the Lobby with him to vote for this levy will be voting in favour of this tax being passed on to the consumer eventually?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I would not say that any charge put on an industry might not in the long run find its way to the consumer. I will say, however, that the charge in this case is so trifling and so temporary that it could not specifically be held to be a serious factor in the cost of living.

The hon. Member for Leeds, West asked me if I would break up some of the figures. I will not weary the Committee by reciting, as I could, all these figures, which are official, of the various unladen weights and numbers of vehicles in the various categories. There are some 340,000 vehicles of less than one ton unladen weight. They will not pay a levy at all. There are 560,000 vehicles of over one ton, and of these 520,000 are under four tons. In their case the levy would be between £3 7s. 6d. a year and £10 16s. during the initial period—the next two years. Then there are 40,000 more vehicles that are of a heavier tonnage and, of course, would pay more.

It has been suggested that the limit should be raised from one ton to 30 cwt. The precise consequence of this would he that it would exempt 80,000 more vehicles from the levy. If the same revenue were to be derived—that is £4 million a year for the next two years—it would demand an increase of ls. a unit, that is ls. on 13s. 6d. on those who would continue to pay. It might be that if this concession of raising the limit were granted it would be very much better to lose a little of the revenue and leave the unit charge at 13s. 6d., in which case there would be a decline in the £4 million of something over £300,000.

I am very sympathetic to the idea behind this Amendment, and it is not in the least for party or political reasons. I think that a case has been made out that the retailers, local authorities and many others may well find themselves largely excluded from paying the levy if the ceiling can be raised to 30 cwt. I give an undertaking that I will look most sympathetically on that proposal between now and the Report stage. It seems to us that this is a much better way of doing it than attempting to discriminate between the various uses to which the vehicles are applied.

We are anxious that this machinery should be simple and cheap. That is why we apply the same machinery as applied in the Vehicles (Excise) Act, 1949. I think that we shall find that in that way we shall help local authorities and retailers better than by attempting to distinguish, with all the wrangling that might then arise, about the use to which the vehicles should be put. A whole series of local authority vehicles are wholly exempted from the levy—such things as road sprayers, gulley cleansers, trench diggers, vehicles for overhead works, fire service vehicles and ambulances and so on, and all others of less than one ton weight.

With regard to the point made by the hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. McKay), it would be impossible to distinguish between cement vehicles and others. It is better surely to raise the ceiling rather than to distinguish the use. If anything were to be done for the type of vehicle to which he referred, it would have to await any general review of the ordinary taxation system with regard to mobile plants generally.

Mr. Mitchison


Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Finally—and I am only hurrying to carry out my promise to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Lewisham, South—I should like to speak briefly about Clause 11. As the Committee knows, the levy will be paid to a Transport Fund and there will be certain payments out of that fund in a specific order. The first payment would go to the Board's expenses, secondly there would be small repayments to the Exchequer, if there is any need for them, which ought to come to an end early in 1954. Then there would be repayment to the Commission to repay them for their duty to give compensation to any of their officers who might be concerned.

The compensation Regulations would be made broadly along the same lines as those under the Labour Government's 1947 Act. But it is my hope to get the Regulations out much sooner than the two and a half years delay which was inevitable under the previous Government. No doubt I shall be asked about this particular Order. The reason is, firstly, to remunerate the Board, for they have no other source, and secondly to remunerate the Commission, who themselves will have the responsibility of looking after the compensation payments. No one will be delayed in receiving that compensation, but the money will be paid in that

sequence. The Commission will be paid back if they have already paid.

I am conscious that there may be some anxiety about this particular wording, and though I do not think the consequences would be as feared, I am quite ready to look again at this wording and see whether we can find some words which would ensure that the very human problem involved is more adequately protected than may appear to be the case.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. Ernest Popplewell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West)

Would the right hon. Gentleman say what took place in the discussions with the trade union movement with respect to writing into the Bill at a later stage the general principle of the terms of compensation as distinct from the details of the Regulations?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am having my third meeting with the representatives of the trade unions tomorrow, I am glad to say, and I think it would be unwise at this stage to say anything about the form that those conversations are taking.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment proposed: In page 12, line 19, at end, insert: Provided that the transport levy shall not be levied on a goods vehicle used for the conveyance of goods by a retail trader to his customers, or to a goods vehicle constructed or adapted for use and used as a mobile shop. For the purpose of this proviso the expression "retail trader" shall include a person who repairs, cleanses or otherwise treats articles of personal clothing, household furnishings or other articles of a similar nature, and the collection and deliveries of such articles to members of the public shall be deemed to be the conveyance of goods by a retail trader to his customers.—[Mr. Callaghan.] Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 260; Noes, 274.

Division No. 41.] AYES [7.4 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Beswick, F. Burke, W. A.
Adams, Richard Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Burton, Miss F. E
Albu, A. H. Bing, G. H. C. Callaghan, L. J.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Blackburn, F. Carmichael, J.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Blenkinsop, A. Castle, Mrs. B. A.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Blyton, W. R. Champion, A. J.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R Boardman, H. Chapman, W. D.
Awbery, S. S. Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A G. Chetwynd, G. R
Bacon, Miss Alice Bowden, H. W. Clunie, J.
Baird, J. Bowles, F. G. Coldrick, W.
Balfour, A. Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Collick, P. H.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Brockway, A. F. Corbel, Mrs. Freda
Bartley, P. Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Cove, W. G.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)
Bann, Wedgwood Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Crosland, C. A. R.
Benson, C. Brown, Thomas (Ince) Crossman, R. H. S
Cullen, Mrs. A. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Reid, William (Camlachie)
Daines, P. Jeger, George (Goole) Rhodes, H.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Richards, R.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Johnson, James (Rugby) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Jones, David (Hartlepool) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Ross, William
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Deer, G. Keenan, W Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Delargy, H. J. Kenyon, C. Short, E. W.
Dodds, N. N. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Donnelly, O. L. Kinley, J. Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Driberg, T. E. N. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Slater, J.
Edelman, M. Lewis, Arthur Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Edwards, John (Brighouse) Lindgren, G. S. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Snow, J. W.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Logan, D. G. Sorensen, R. W.
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) MacColl, J. E. Soskiee, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) McInnes, J. Sparks, J. A.
Ewart, R. McKay, John (Wallsend) Steel, T.
Field, W. J. McLeavy, F. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Fienburgh, W. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Strachey, Rt, Hon. J.
Finch, H. J. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Stross, Dr. Barnett
Follick, M. Maltalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Swingler, S. T.
Forman, J. C. Mann, Mrs. Jean Sylvester, G. O.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Manuel, A. C. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Freeman, John (Watford) Mayhew, C. P. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mellish, R. J. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Messer, F. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Gibson, C. W. Mikardo, Ian Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Glanville, James Mitchison, G. R. Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Gooch, E. G. Monslow, W. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Moody, A. S. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. Thorney croft,Harry (Clayton)
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Morley, R. Thornton, E.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Thurtle, Ernest
Grey, C. F. Morrison. Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Timmons, J.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mort, D. L. Tomney, F.
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Moyle, A. Turner-Samuels, M.
Grimond, J. Mulley, F. W. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Murray, J. D. Viant, S. P.
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Nally, W. Wade, D. W.
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Watkins, T. E.
Hamilton, W. W Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Hannan, W. O'Brien, T. Weitzman, D.
Hardy, E. A. Oldfield, W. H Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Hargreaves, A. Oliver, G. H. Wells, William (Walsall)
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E) Orbach, M. West, D. G.
Hastings, S. Oswald, T. Wheeldon, W. E.
Hayman, F. H. Padley, W. E. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Paget, R. T. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Henderson. Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Herbison, Miss M. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wigg, George
Hewitson, Cant. M. Palmer, A. M. F Wilkins, W. A.
Hobson, C. R. Pannell, Charles Willey, F. T.
Holman, P. Pargiter, G. A. Williams, David (Neath)
Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Parker, J. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn(Abertillery)
Holt. A. F. Paton, J. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Houghton, Douglas Pearson, A. Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Peart, T. F. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Plummer, Sir Leslie Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Popplewell, E. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Proctor, W. T. Wyatt, W. L.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Pursey, Cmdr H Yates, V. F.
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Rankin, John Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Reeves, J.
Janner, B. Reid, Thomas (Swindon) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Royle and Mr. Wallace.
Aitken, W. T. Baldwin, A. E. Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Banks, Col. C. Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Barber, Anthony Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Barlow, Sir John Bennett, William (Woodside)
Anstruther-Cray, Major W. J. Baxter, A. B. Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)
Arbuthnot, John Beach, Maj. Hicks Birch, Nigel
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Beamish, Maj. Tufton Bishop, F. P.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Black, C. W.
Baldock, Lt.-Comdr. J. M. Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Boothby, R. J. G.
Bossom, A. C. Henderson, John (Catheart) O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Higgs, J. M. C. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Boyle, Sir Edward Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Braine, B. R. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Hirst, Geoffrey Partridge, E.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Holland-Martin, C. J. Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Hollis, M. C. Perkins, W. R. D.
Brooman-White, R. C. Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Browne, Jack (Govan) Hope, Lord John Peyton, J. W. W.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Bullard, D. G. Horobin, I. M. Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Bullock, Capt. M. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Powell, J. Enoch
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Burden, F. F. A. Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Butcher, H. W. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Profumo, J. D.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Hurd, A. R. Raikes, H. V.
Campbell, Sir David Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Rayner, Brig. R.
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Redmayne, M.
Carson, Hon. E. Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Remnant, Hon. P.
Cary, Sir Robert Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Renton, D. L. M.
Channon, H. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Robertson, Sir David
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Jones, A. (Hall Green) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Roper, Sir Harold
Cole, Norman Kaberry, D. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Colegate, W. A. Keeling, Sir Edward Russell, R. S.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Lambton, Viscount Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Lancaster, Col. C. G. Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Cranborne, Viscount Langford-Holt, J. A. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Scott, R. Donald
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Leather, E. H. C. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Crouch, R. F. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Shepherd, William
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Simon, J. E. S.(Middlesbrough, W.)
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Cuthbert, W. N. Lindsay, Marlin Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Linstead, H. N. Snadden, W. McN.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Soames, Capt. C.
Deedes, W. F. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Spearman, A. C. M
Digby, S. Wingfield Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Speir, R. M.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Longden, Gilbert Spen, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Low, A. R. W. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Donner, P. W. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Stevens, G. P.
Doughty, C. J. A. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Drayson, G. B. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Storey-Scott, Col. M.
Dugdale, Rt.Hn. Sir Thomas(Richmond) McAdden, S. J. Storey, S.
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. McCallum, Major D. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Duthie, W. S. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Summers, G. S.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Sutcliffe, H.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. McKibbin, A. J. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Erroll, F. J. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Fell, A. Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Teeling, W.
Finlay, Graeme Maclean, Fitzroy Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Fisher, Nigel Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Fort, R. Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Foster, John Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Tilney, John
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Touche, Sir Gordon
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Marlowe, A. A. H. Turner, H. F. L.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Turton, R. H.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton) Vane, W. M. F.
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Maude, Angus Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Gammans, L. D. Maudling, R. Vosper, D. F.
George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Wakefield, Edward(Derbyshire, W.)
Gemme-Duncan, Col. A. Medlicott, Brig. F. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Gough, C. F. H. Mellor, Sir John Ward,Hon. George (Worcester)
Gower, H. R. Molson, A. H. E. Ward, Miss, I. (Tynemouth)
Graham, Sir Fergus Morrison, John (Salisbury) Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Gridley, Sir Arnold Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Nabarro, G. D. N. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Nicholls, Harmar Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Hall, John (Wycombe) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Nield, Basil (Chester) Wills, G.
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Noble, Cmdr, A. H. P. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Nugent, G. R. H. Wood, Hon. R.
Hay, John Nutting, Anthony
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.
Heald, Sir Lionel Oakshott, H. D. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Heath, Edward Odey, G. W. Mr. Drewe and Mr. Studholme.

Amendment proposed: In page 12, line 19, at end, insert: Provided that the provisions of this Act relating to transport levy shall not apply to any vehicle owned by a local authority (as defined in subsection (1) of section one hundred and

nineteen of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947).—[Mr. J. Hynd.]

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

The Committee divided: Ayes. 261: Noes, 272.

Division No.42.] AYES [7.11 p.m
Acland, Sir Richard Ewart, R. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Adams, Richard Field, W. J. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Albu, A. H. Fienburgh, W. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Finch, H. J. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Mann, Mrs. Jean
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Follick, M. Manuel, A. C.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Forman, J. C. Mayhew, C. P.
Awbery, S. S. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mellish, R. J
Bacon, Miss Alice Freeman, John (Watford) Messer, F.
Baird, J. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mikardo, Ian
Balfour, A. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N Mitchison, G. R
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Gibson, C. W. Monslow, W.
Bartley, P. Glanville, James Moody, A. S
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Gooch, E. G. Morgan, Dr. H. B. W
Bence, C. R. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Morley, R.
Benn, Wedgwood Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Benson, G. Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Beswiek, F. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mort, D. L.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Grey, C. F. Moyle, A.
Bing, G. H. C. Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mulley, F. W
Blackburn, F. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Murray, J. D
Blenkinsop, A. Grimond, J. Nally, W.
Blyton, W. R. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Boardman, H. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) O'Brien, T.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Oldfield, W. H.
Bowden, H. W. Hamilton, W. W. Oliver, G. H.
Bowles, F. G. Hannan, W. Orbach, M.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Hardy, E. A. Oswald, T
Brockway, A. F. Hargreaves, A. Padley, W. E.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Paget, R. T.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hastings, S. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hayman, F. H. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Healey, Donis (Leeds, S.E.) Palmer, A. M. F.
Burke, W. A. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Pannell, Charles
Burton, Miss F. E. Herbison, Miss M. Pargiter, G. A
Callaghan, L. J. Hewitson, Capt. M Parker, J.
Carmichael, J. Hobson, C. R. Paton, J.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Holman, P. Pearson, A.
Champion, A. J. Holt, A. F. Pearl, T. F.
Chapman, W. D. Houghton, Douglas Plummer, Sir Leslie
Chetwynd, G. R. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Popplewell, E.
Clunie, J. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)
Coldrick, W. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Proctor, W. T.
Collick, P. H. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Pursey, Cmdr. H
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Rankin, John
Cove, W. G. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Reeves, J.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Crosland, C. A. R. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Reid, William (Camlachie)
Grossman, R. H. S. Janner, B. Rhodes, H.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T Richards, R.
Daines, P. Jeger, George (Goole) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Johnson, James (Rugby) Ross, William
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Jones, David (Hartlepool) Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Short, E. W.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Keenan, W. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Veer, G. Kenyon, C. Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Delargy, H. J. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Dodds, N. N. Kinley, J. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Donnelly, D. L. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Slater, J.
Driberg, T. E. N. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lewis, Arthur Snow, J. W.
Edelman, M. Lindgren, G. S. Sorensen, R. W.
Edwards, John (Brighouse) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Logan, D. G. Sparks, J. A.
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) MacColl, J. E. Steele, T.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) McInnes, J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) McKay, John (Wallsend) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) McLeavy, F. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Stross, Dr. Barnett Turner-Samuels, M. Wilkins, W. A.
Swingler, S. T. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Willey, F. T.
Sylvester, G. O. Viant, S. P. Williams, David (Neath)
Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Wade, D. W. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Taylor, John (West Lothian) Wallace, H. W. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth) Watkins, T. E. Williams, W. R. (Droylesden)
Thomas, David (Aberdare) Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.) Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Thomas, George (Cardiff) Weitzman, D. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.) Wells, Percy (Faversham) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin) Wells, William (Walsall) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Thomson, George (Dundee, E.) West, D. G. Wyatt, W. L.
Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Wheeldon, W. E. Yates, V. F.
Thornton, E. (Farnworth) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Thurtle, Ernest White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Timmons, J. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Tomney, F. Wigg, George Mr. Royle and Mr. Holmes.
Aitken, W. T. Digby, S. Wingfield Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Donner, P. W. Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Doughty, C. J. A. Jones, A. (Hall Green)
Arbuthnot, John Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Johnson-Hicks, Hon. L. W
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Grayson, G. B. Kaberry, D.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W ) Drewe, C. Keeling, Sir Edward
Baldock, Lt.-Comdr. J. M. Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas(Richmond) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)
Baldwin, A. E. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lambton, Viscount
Banks, Col. C. Duthie, W. S. Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Barber, Anthony Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M. Langford-Holt, J. A.
Barlow, Sir John Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Baxter, A. B. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Leather, E. H. C.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Erroll, F. J. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Fell, A. Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Finlay, Graeme Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Fisher, Nigel Lindsay, Martin
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Linstead, H. N.
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Fletcher, Walter (Bury) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Fort, R. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Bennett, William (Woodside) Foster, John Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Longden, Gilbert
Birch, Nigel Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lansdale) Low, A. R. W.
Bishop, F. P. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Black, C. W. Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Boothby, R. J. G. Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Gammans, L. D. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Boyle, Sir Edward George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd McAdden, S. J.
Braine, B. R. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. McCallum, Major D.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Gough, C. F. H. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G.(Bristol, N.W.) Gower, H. R. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Graham, Sir Fergus Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Gridley, Sir Arnold McKibbin, A. J.
Brooman-White, R. C. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Browne, Jack (Govan) Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Hall, John (Wycombe) Maclean, Fitzroy
Bullard, D. G. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Macleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.)
Bullock, Capt. M. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Burden, F. F. A. Harvie-Watt, Sir George Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Butcher, H. W. Hay, John Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Butler Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E
Campbell, Sir David Heald, Sir Lionel Marlowe, A. A. H.
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Heath, Edward Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Carson, Hon. E. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)
Cary, Sir Robert Higgs, J. M. C. Maude, Angus
Channon, H. Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Maudling, R.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Medlicott, Brig. F.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Hirst, Geoffrey Mellor, Sir John
Cole, Norman Holland-Martin, C. J Molson, A. H. E.
Colegate, W. A. Hollis, M. C. Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Hope, Lord John Nabarro, G. D. N.
Cranborne, Viscount Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Nicholls, Harmar
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Horobin, I. M. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Niootson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E)
Crouch, R. F. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Nield, Basil (Chester)
Crowder, Sir John (Finohley) Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Nugent, G. R. H.
Cuthbert, W. N. Hurd, A. R. Nutting, Anthony
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Hutchison, Lt.-Com.Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Oakshott, H. D
Deedes, W. F. Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Odey, G. W
O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Scott, R. Donald Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R Thornton-Kemsley, Col, C. N.
Partridge, E. Shepherd, William Tilney, John
Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Touche, Sir Gordon
Perkins, W. R. D. Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington) Turner, H. F. L
Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Turton, R. H.
Peyton, J. W. W. Snadden, W. McN. Vane, W. M. F.
Pickthorn, K. W. M. Soames, Capt. C. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Spearman, A. C. M Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Powell, J. Enoch Speir, R. M. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Price, Henry(Lewisham, W.) Spans, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Profume, J. D. Stevens, G. P. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Raikes, H. V. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Rayner, Brig. R. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) White, Baker (Canterbury)
Redmayne, M. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Remnant, Hon. P. Storey, S. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Renton, D. L. M. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Robertson, Sir David Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Wills, G.
Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Studholme, H. G. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Summers, G. S. Wood, Hon. R.
Roper, Sir Harold Sutcliffe, H.
Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Russell, R. S. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.) Major Conant and Mr. Vosper.
Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Teeling, W.

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

Mr. H. Morrison

The two Divisions which have taken place on Amendments to the Bill have shown Government majorities first of 14 and now of 11. This is a few days after the boastings of the Prime Minister—[HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"]—of how majorities were being maintained. Each time he tapped the Box and asked. "Is that incompetence?"

There have been debates on certain Amendments to the Clause. We started a little before 4 o'clock and we had to finish the whole debate at 7 o'clock; and we shall be executed in the course of the next five minutes. We have had debates on vitally important matters—how this levy will be charged, whether it should be charged on vehicles in the retail trade, whether it should be imposed on local authority vehicles. Even for this purpose, the opportunity for debate has been hopelessly inadequate. But that is not the only point. It is also the case that other important Amendments were on the Order Paper which hon. Members on both sides have voluntarily given up their right to move.

Mr. G. Lindgren (Wellingborough)

Not voluntarily.

Mr. Morrison

I agree: voluntarily within a Guillotine which we did not voluntarily impose upon ourselves. It is not as if these were mere talking debates. I think hon. Members who have listened to the debates will agree that they have been relevant and businesslike and that there has been nothing in the way of obstruction. [Interruption.] Here comes the so-called Leader of the House of Commons. He is the mere instrument of one side of the House without having the slightest respect for the rights of others.

The debates which we have had on vitally important elements of public policy have themselves been inadequate, and there have been a whole series of debates which we have had to forgo on Amendments which ought to have been moved and which hon. Members have been unable to move.

There is another point. It was agreed by the Chairman of Ways and Means, when he was in the Chair, that on this Question we could make some reference to Clause 11, because that is within the Guillotine Time-table, although we have not formally and technically reached it. This is the other scandal: Clause 11 will not be discussed at all. Yet Clause 11 deals with the make-up of the Transport Fund out of which these payments have to be made to the Commission and to the work people for compensation, and for other matters in which hon. Members on this side of the House have a vital interest—and about which hon. Members opposite ought to insist on seeing fair play.

We cannot even move an Amendment on Clause 11, and we can debate it only to the limited extent available to me now by way of protest—and I cannot deal with the Clause. It is a shocking thing that we have been unable to debate this important Clause which goes to constitute the Transport Fund, which fixes the priorities and deals with the possibility that there may be insufficient money in the fund, and what is to happen then—matters upon which vital questions of public policy arise and in which the interest of the ordinary common or garden working people in this transport industry arise.

This is the result of this treatment of the House of Commons by a combination of the so-called Leader of the House and the Minister of Transport. A Guillotine can be tested by what happens, and nobody who has sat through this Sitting today, in the discussion on Clause 10, or through the Sittings of the other day and last week, could have failed to realise that we are discussing these Measures inadequately.

This question of a levy upon licence holders of A, B and C licences raises matters of most vital concern for the industry. It is all very well to say that it is merely a temporary measure. When the Road Fund was introduced by Mr. Lloyd George, that was to be a very special measure. He said the whole of the money raised would be spent upon the

roads. Speaking for the Conservatives, Sir Austen Chamberlain said they regarded it as a very fair proposition but if it were intended to take the money for general revenue, they would oppose it. But in 1926 a bad man came along; the present Prime Minister was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and there was the first raid on the Road Fund for general purposes.

How is the road transport industry to know that this new levy, or what we call a tax—legitimately, I think—will not be increased as the petrol tax has been increased and will not be used for general purposes? Yet we have been unable adequately, properly or fully to discuss this Clause at all. We are utterly unable to discuss Clause 11 at all, which is a matter of vital concern, and of interest to the workpeople in this industry. I want to make the vigorous protest of the Opposition. It would have been far better for this Bill to have gone upstairs, where we could have discussed it in smaller numbers—

It being half-past Seven o'Clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 273; Noes, 262.

Division No. 43.] AYES [7.30 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Cuthbert, W. N.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Brooman-White, R. C. Deedes, W. F.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Browne, Jack (Govan) Digby, S. Wingfield
Anslruther-Gray, Major W. J. Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Dodds-Parker, A. D.
Arbuthnot, John Bullard, D. G. Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Bullock, Capt. M. Donner, P. W.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Doughty, C. J. A.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Burden, F. F. A. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm
Baldwin, A. E. Butcher, H. W. Drayson, G. B.
Banks, Col. C. Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Dugdale, Rt. Hon. Sir T. (Richmond)
Barber, Anthony Campbell, Sir David Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Barlow, Sir John Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Duthie, W. S.
Baxter, A. B. Carson, Hon. E. Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Cary, Sir Robert Eden, Rt. Hon. A.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Channon, H. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Erroll, F. J.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Fell, A.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Finlay, Graeme
Bennett. Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Cole, Norman Fisher, Nigel
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Colegate, W. A. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Fletcher-Cooke. C
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Fort, R.
Birch, Nigel Cooper-Key, E. M. Foster, John
Bishop, F. P. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Black, C. W. Cranborne, Viscount Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lansdale)
Boothby, R. J. G. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)
Boyce, Sir Edward Crouch, R. F. Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Gammans, L. D.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. C. (Bristol, N.W.) Crowder, Petre Ruislip—Northwood) George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Gough, C. F. H. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Roper, Sir Harold
Gower, H. R. McAdden, S. J. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Graham, Sir Fergus McCallum, Major D. Russell, R. S.
Gridley, Sir Arnold McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Sandys. Rt. Hon. D.
Grimston. Sir Robert (Westbury) Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Hall, John (Wycombe) McKibbin, A. J. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Harris,Frederic (Croydon, N.) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Scott, R. Donald
Harrison, Co[...] J. H. (Eye) Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Maclean, Fitzroy Shepherd, William
Harvey-Watt, Sir George Macleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Hay, John Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Smithers, Sir Wadron (Orpington)
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries) Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Heald, Sir Lionel Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Snadden, W. McN.
Heath, Edward Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Soames, Capt. C.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Spearman, A. C. M.
Higgs, J. M. C. Marlowe, A. A. H. Speir, R. M.
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Maude, Angus Stevens, G. P.
Hirst, Geoffrey Maudling, R. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Holland-Martin, C. J. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hollis, M. C. Medlicott, Brig. F. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Mellor, Sir John Storey, S.
Hope, Lord John Molson, A. H. E. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Morrison, John (Salisbury) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Horobin, I. M. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Summers, G. S.
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Nabarro, G. D. N. Sutcliffe, H.
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Nicholls, Harmer Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Teeling, W.
Hurd, A. R. Nield, Basil (Chester) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Nugent, G. R. H. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Nutting, Anthony Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Oakshott, H. D. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Odey, G. W. Tilney, John
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Touche, Sir Gordon
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Turner, H. E. L.
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Turton, R. H.
Kaberry, D. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Vane, W. M. F.
Keeling, Sir Edward Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Partridge, E. Vosper, D. F.
Lambton, Viscount Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Perkins, W. R. D. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Langford-Holt, J. A. Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Peyton, J. W. W. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Leather, E. H. C. Pickthorn, K. W. M. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Pilkington, Capt. R. A Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Powell, J. Enoch White, Baker (Canterbury)
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Price, Henry (Lewisham. W.) Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Lindsay, Martin Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Linstead, H. N. Profumo, J. D. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Raikes, H. V. Wills, G.
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Rayner, Brig. R. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Redmayne, M. Wood, Hon. R.
Longden, Gilbert Remnant, Hon. P.
Low, A. R. W. Renton, D. L. M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Robertson, Sir David Mr. Drewe and Mr. Studholme.
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Acland, Sir Richard Blackburn, F. Chetwynd, G. R.
Adams, Richard Blenkinsop, A. Clunie, J.
Albu, A. H. Blyton, W. R. Coldrick, W.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Boardman, H. Collick, P. H.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Corbel, Mrs. Freda
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Bowden, H. W. Cove, W. C.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Bowles, F. G. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)
Awbery, S. S. Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Grossman, R. H. S.
Bacon, Miss Alice Brockway, A. F. Cullen, Mrs. A.
Baird, J. Brook, Dryden, (Halifax) Daines, P.
Balfour, A. Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Darling, George (Hillsborough)
Bartley, P. Brown, Thomas (Ince) Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Burke, W. A. Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)
Bence, C. R. Burton, Miss F. E. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)
Benn, Wedgwood Callaghan, L. J. Davies, Harold (Leek)
Benson, G. Carmichael, J. Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)
Beswick, F. Castle, Mrs. B. A. Deer, G.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Champion, A. J. Delargy, H. J.
Bing, G. H. C. Chapman, W. D Dodds, N. N.
Donnelly, D. L. Keenan, W. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Driberg, T. E. N. Kenyon, C. Ross, William
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Kinley, J. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Edelman, M. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Short, E. W.
Edwards, John (Brighouse) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Lever, Harold (Cheatham) Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Lewis, Arthur Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Lindgren, G. S. Slater, J.
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Ewart. R. Logan, D. G. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Field, W. J. MacColl, J. E. Snow, J. W.
Fienburgh, W. McInnes, J. Sorensen, R. W.
Finch, H. J. McKay, John (Wallsend) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Fletcher, Eric (Islington. E.) McLeavy, F. Sparks, J. A.
Follick, M. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Steele, T.
Forman. J. C. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Freeman, John (Watford) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mann, Mrs. Jean Stress, Dr. Barnett
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Manuel, A. C. Swingler, S. T.
Gibson, C. W. Mayhew, C. P. Sylvester, G. O.
Glanville, James Mellish, R. J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Gooch, E. G. Messer, F. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mikardo, Ian Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Mitchison, G. R. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Monslow, W. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Moody, A. S. Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Grey, C. F. Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Griffiths, David (Rather Valley) Morley, R. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Grimond, J. Morrison, Rt. Hon. St. (Lewisham, S.) Thornton, E. (Farnworth)
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mort, D. L. Thurtle, Ernest
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Moyle, A. Timmons, J.
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Mulley, F. W. Tomney, F.
Hamilton, W. W. Murray, J. D. Turner-Samuels, M.
Harman, W. Nally, W. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hardy, E. A. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Viant, S. P.
Hargreaves, A. O'Brien, T. Wade, D. W.
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Oldfield, W. H. Wallace, H. W.
Hastings, S. Oliver, G. H. Watkins, T. E.
Hayman, F. H. Orbach, M. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Osborne, C. Weitzmen, D.
Henderson, Rt. Hon A. (Rowley Regis) Padley, W. E. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Herbison, Miss M. Paget, R. T. Wells William (Walsall)
Hewitson, Capt. M, Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Deanne Valley) West, D. G.
Hobson, C. R. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wheeldon, W. E.
Holman, P. Palmer, A. M. F. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Holt, A. F. Pannell, Charles White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Houghton, Douglas Pargiter, G. A. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Parker, J. Wigg, George
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Paton, J. Wilkins, W. A.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pearson, A. Willey, F. T.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Pearl, T. F. Williams, David (Neath)
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Plummer, Sir Leslie Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Popplewell, E. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Proctor, W. T. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Janner, B. Pursey, Cmdr. H. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Rankin, John Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Jeger, George (Goole) Reeves, J. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Jager, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Wyatt, W. L.
Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Reid, William (Camlachie) Yates, V. F.
Johnson, James (Rugby) Rhodes, H. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Richards, R.
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Roberts, Goronwy (Caemarvonshire) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Mr. Royle and Mr. Holmes.

Question, "That this Schedule be the Second Schedule to the Bill," put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The CHAIRMAN then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at half-past Seven o' Clock.



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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 274; Noes, 253.

Division No. 44.] AYES [7.42 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Duthie, W. S. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M. Longden, Gilbert
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Low, A. R. W.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Arbuthnot, John Erroll, F. J. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Fell, A. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Finlay, Graeme Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Baldock, Lt.-Comdr. J. M. Fisher, Nigel McAdden, S. J.
Baldwin, A. E. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. McCallum, Major D.
Banks, Col. C. Fletcher-Cooke, C. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Barber, Anthony Fort, R. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)
Barlow, Sir John Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Baxter, A. B. Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) McKibbin, A. J.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Mcclay, Rt. Hon. John
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Maclean, Fitzroy
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Gammans, L. D. Macleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.)
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Gough, C. F. H. Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Bennett, William (Woodside) Gower, H. R. Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Graham, Sir Fergus Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.
Birch, Nigel Gridley, Sir Arnold Marlowe, A. A. H.
Bishop, F. P. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Black, C. W. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)
Boothby, R. J. G. Hall, John (Wycombe) Maude, Angus
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Maudling, R.
Boyle, Sir Edward Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Maydon, Ll.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Brains, B. R. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Medlicolt, Brig. F.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Harvie-Watt, Sir George Mellor, Sir John
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Hay, John Molson, A. H. E.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Heald, Sir Lionel Mott-Radclyfia, C. E.
Brooman-White, R. C. Heath, Edward Nabarro, G. D. N.
Browne, Jack (Govan) Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nicholls, Harmar
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Higgs, J. M. C. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Bullard, D. G. Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Bullock, Capt. M. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nield, Basil (Chester)
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Burden, F. F. A. Hirst, Geoffrey Nugent, G. R. H.
Butcher, H. W. Holland-Martin, C. J. Nutting, Anthony
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Hollis, M. C. Oakeshott, H. D.
Campbell, Sir David Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Odey, G. W.
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Holt, A. F. O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Carson, Hon. E. Hope, Lord John Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Cary, Sir Robert Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Channon, H. Horobin, I. M. Orr-Ewing, Charles lan (Hendon, N.)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Partridge, E.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Peaks, Rt. Hon. O.
Cole, Norman Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Perkins, W. R. D.
Colegate, W. A. Hurd, A. R. Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Peyton, J. W. W.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Craddock, Berestord (Spelthorne) Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Cranborne, Viscount Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Powell, J. Enoch
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. O Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. 0. E. Johnson, Erie (Blackley) Prior-Palmer, Brig. 0. L.
Crouch, R. F. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Profume, J. D.
Crowder, Sir John (Finohley) Johnson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Raikes, H. V.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Kaberry, D. Rayner, Brig. R.
Cuthbert, W. N. Keeling, Sir Edward Remnant, Hon. P.
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Renton, D. L. M.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Lambton, Viscount Robertson, Sir David
Deedes, W. F. Lancaster, Cot. C. G. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Digby, S. Wingfield Langford-Holt, J. A. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Roper, Sir Harold
Donaldson, Cmdr C. E. McA. Leather, E. H. C. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Donner, P. W. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Russell, R. S.
Doughty, C. J. A. Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Drayson, G. B. Lindsay, Martin Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Drewe, C. Linstead, H. N. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas(Richmond) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton Scott, R. Donald
Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Vosper, D. F
Shepherd, William Sludholme, H. G. Wade, D. W.
Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Summers, G. S. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington) Sutcliffe, H. Walker-Smith, D C.
Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Snadden, W. McN. Teeling, W. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Soames, Capt. C. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford) Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Spearman, A. C. M. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway) Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Speir, R. M. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton) White, Baker (Canterbury)
Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.) Williams, Rt Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Stevens, G. P. Tilney, John Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Touche, Sir Gordon Wills, G
Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Turner, H. F. L Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Turton, R. H. Wood, Hon. R.
Storey, S. Vane, W. M. F.
Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Major Conant and Mr. Redmayne.
Acland, Sir Richard Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Adams, Richard Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Albu, A. H. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Lewis, Arthur
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Ewart, R. Lindgren, G. S.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Field, W. J. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M
Awbery, S. S. Fienburgh, W. Logan, D. G.
Bacon, Miss Alice Finch, H. J. MacColl, J. E.
Baird, J. Fletcher, Erie (Islington, E.) McInnes, J.
Balfour, A. Follick, M. McKay, John (Wallsend)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Forman, J. C. McLeavy, F.
Bartley, P. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Freeman, John (Watford) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Bence, C. R. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Benn, Wedgwood Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Benson, G. Gibson, C. W. Mann, Mrs. Jean
Beswick, F. Glanville, James Manuel, A. C
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Gooch, E. G. Mayhew, C. P
Bing, G. H. C. Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mellish, R. J.
Blackburn, F. Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Messer, F.
Blenkinsop, A. Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Mikardo, Ian
Blyton, W. R. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mitehison, G. R.
Boardman, H. Grey, C. F. Monslow, W.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Griffiths, David (Rather Valley) Moody, A. S.
Bowden, H. W. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
Bowles, F. G. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Morley, R.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Coins Valley) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Brockway, A. F. Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Hamilton, W. W. Mort, D. L.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hannan, W. Moyle, A.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hardy, E. A. Mulley, F. W.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Hargreaves, A. Murray, J. D.
Burke, W. A. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Nally, W.
Burton, Miss F. E Hastings, S Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Callaghan, L. J. Hayman, F. H. Oldfield, W. H.
Carmichael, J. Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Oliver, G. H.
Champion, A. J. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Orbach, M.
Chapman, W. D. Herbison, Miss M. Oswald, T.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hewitson, Capt. M. Padley, W. E.
Clunie, J, Hobson, C. R. Paget, R. T.
Coldrick, W Holman, P. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Co!lick, P. H. Houghton, Douglas Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Corbel, Mrs. Freda Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Palmer, A. M. F.
Cove, W. G. 〤Pannell, Charles
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Pargiter, G.
Crosland, C. A. R. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Parker, J.
Grossman, R. H. S. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Paton, J.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Pearson, A.
Dames, P. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Peart, T. F.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Plummer, Sir Leslie
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A Popplewell, E.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Janner, B. Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T Proctor, W. T.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Pursey, Cmdr. H
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Rankin, John
Deer, G. Johnson, James (Rugby) Reeves, J.
Delargy, H. J Jones, David (Hartlepool) Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Dodds, N. N. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Reid, William (Camlachie)
Driberg, T. E. N. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Rhodes, H.
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Keenan, W. Richards, R.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Kenyon, C. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Edelman, M. Key. Rt. Hon. C. W Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Edwards, John Brighouse) Kinley, J. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Ross, William Taylor, John (West Lothian) Wheeldon, W. E.
Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Short, E. W. Thomas, David (Aberdare) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Shurmer, P. L. E. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.) Wigg, George
Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin) Wilkins, W. A.
Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.) Willey, F. T.
Slater, J. Thorneycrott, Harry (Clayton) Williams, David (Neath)
Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Thornton, E. (Farnworth) Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) Thurtle, Ernest Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Snow, J. W. Timmons, J. Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Sorensen, R. W. Tomney, F. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Turner-Samuels, M. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Sparks, J. A. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Steele, T. Viant, S. P. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Wallace, H. W. Wyatt, W. L.
Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Watkins, T. E. Yates, V. F.
Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Stross, Dr. Barnett Weitzman, D.
Swingler, S. T. Wells, Percy (Faversham) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Sylvester, G. O. Wells, William (Walsall) Mr. Royle and Mr. Holmes.
Taylor. Bernard (Mansfield) West, D. G.


Mr. Ernest Davies (Enfield, East)

I beg to move, in page 15, line 18, to leave out "one million pounds (for," and to insert: such amounts as may be determined from time to time by the permanent members of the Transport Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of the Fourth Schedule to this Act (in respect of.

The Deputy-Chairman

Perhaps it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we considered, with this Amendment, the next one: in page 15, line 19, to leave out "while," and to insert: as the result of the disposal of.

Mr. Davies

Yes, Mr. Hopkin Morris, we would prefer to do that if it is for the convenience of the Committee.

We now come on to Clause 12, having discussed the levy inadequately and only to the extent that the Guillotine permitted. We have skipped over the Second Schedule and Clause 11 without being able to discuss them at all, and now we come to what inevitably will be a truncated discussion of Clauses 12 and 13. We have only two and a half hours in which to discuss these most important Clauses. Clause 12 is particularly important in view of the fact that it decides how the losses which result from the sale of the Transport Commission's organisation and from the dislocation of their business which will result from the sale of the road haulage undertaking are to be made up to them. It is with that aspect this Amendment deals.

By the Bill an amount equal to £1 million is to be paid to the Commission for the loss from disturbance suffered by the Commission whilst the assets of the existing road haulage undertaking are being disposed of. In our Amendment we are substituting for £1 million the proposition that the Transport Tribunal should be given the responsibility of determining the loss to the Commission as a result of the disturbance which is bound to result, in fact which has already resulted, from Government policy in this unwarranted and unnecessary disposal of the road haulage undertaking.

We have proposed this Amendment because it appears to us that this £1 million must inevitably be far too small. Indeed, it is ludicrously small. I cannot understand how the Minister decided upon this amount. It would appear to be pure guesswork. He must have drawn it out of a hat. As a matter of fact, the proposals in the original Bill were more sensible than they are in this second attempt, because originally the amount was to be fixed by the Minister after consultation with the auditors of the Commission, and the payments to the Commission for disturbance were to go on during the transition period. No terminating point was fixed as to the transition period except that it ran until the 25-mile limit of operation was removed.

Under this Bill the 25-mile restriction ceases at the end of 1954. So it appears that that would have been the transition period, which means that the £1 million would have been £500,000 a year-that is, if we amalgamate the proposals in the two Bills and say that the transition. period as now fixed is until the end of 1954 and £1 million is to be paid over for compensation to the Commission for that period.

The Committee must realise the dislocation to the business of the Transport Commission that is resulting already and which is bound to increase as the road haulage undertaking is disposed of. The dislocation would be far less if the Minister were not in such indecent haste to dispose of the undertaking by the end of 1953. He has told this Committee on more than one occasion that he hopes that by the end of 1953 all the Road Haulage Executive undertaking will have been disposed of, because he is going to sell the 40,000 vehicles off within nine months.

The dislocation will be increased further as a result of the disorderly manner in which he proposes to sell them off. It was suggested by the hon. Member for Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones), in moving one Amendment, that there should be a far more orderly disposal of the assets. Unfortunately the Minister rejected that in the same way as he has rejected practically all the Amendments which have been proposed from both sides of the Committee. We on this side have suggested a more orderly disposal, but the Minister prefers to embark upon a forced sale, and if a forced sale is hurriedly carried out one is bound to get a worse price than if a business is disposed of in an orderly manner.

This £1 million is considered to be adequate to cover the losses which are already being incurred by the Road Haulage Executive as a result of Government policy. Government action, from the day the White Paper was published up to the present time, has resulted in a deterioration of the position. It was bound to do that because once a large business such as the British Road Services is informed that it is not only to be sold off but broken up, atomised, disintegrated, clearly the position must worsen.

The staff, particularly in the higher grades, begin to look for other jobs. Capital investment practically comes to an end. How can one expect an undertaking of the size of British Road Services, which knows it is to cease to operate by the end of 1953, if the Minister can carry through his policy, to reorganise itself in such a way that it can continue to earn and increase its profits? It is impossible for an undertaking to carry on successfully once it is known that it is to be sold, as it were, to the wolves.

8.0 p.m.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury made great play with the fact that the Road Haulage Executive is not now making the pofits it was making last year. According to him, its working surplus has been reduced to nil, although the figures have not been published and we have no information apart from what he and the Minister of Transport have told us.

As the Minister has done, the Economic Secretary referred to the fact that, before nationalisation, £10 million was being made by the undertakings which were taken over. That is by no means a definite figure. It is a figure which the Government representatives have estimated on the basis of the compensation paid. In the first place, a certain amount of additional compensation was paid, and some of it was on a very generous scale, and a mere calculation of so many years' purchase does not really result in a fair figure for an estimate of the profits earned.

Be that as it may, even if £10 million was earned before nationalisation and only £3¼ million was earned last year, that does not mean that the Road Haulage Executive was not doing an extremely successful job. Once we provide a public service, profits are not the main test of success; it is the provision of the public service which counts. The Road Haulage Executive has in many cases not raised its rates to the same extent as private enterprise would have raised them, as is shown by what happened in East Anglia. Private enterprise proposed to raise its rates for the carriage of farm produce, but British Road Services declined to do so and private enterprise also had to refrain from raising its rates. That is only one instance of many.

Even if it is not making profits today,—and that I doubt—British Road Services is still providing a remarkable service, and its staff and the workers deserve great credit for the fact that the organisation is carrying on and providing such a good service in the light of the known fact that by the end of next year it is to be disintegrated and destroyed. The adverse effect on the staff cannot possibly be denied or avoided. It is difficult for both the Road Haulage Executive and those working in the industry.

For instance, the Road Haulage Executive would like to move some of its drivers and other workers to certain depots in order to consolidate and operate more economically and efficiently. Quite understandably, workers are reluctant to change their base of operation at present. They are not sure whether they will become redundant within a few months and they do not want to pull up their roots in one part of London and be found accommodation in another part of London in order to operate from a different depot when the permanence of their employment is uncertain.

Another reason why there has been a falling off in the Road Haulage Executive's profits, apart from the trade recession which has taken place, is the flagrant evasion taking place on the roads today of the statutes which govern the operation of road haulage. There is no question whatever that up and down the roads of Great Britain a great number of lorries, some with C licences and some without licences, are carrying goods which would otherwise be carried by the public services or by private operators who abide by the law. No attempt has been made to enforce the law. I consider the Minister to be guilty of failing to implement the law in regard to the operation of road haulage at present.

Apart from the losses which are accruing to the Transport Commission as a result of Government policy, which the £1 million is supposed to cover, there are prospective losses during the sale of the road haulage undertakings in the transitional period. It is impossible to estimate those losses, although they will certainly far exceed the £1 million. Once the sale of the operable units begins, the losses of the Road Haulage Executive are bound to accumulate, because, as at present organised, the road haulage services are operated as a national network, and the fact that the organisation is operated as a single undertaking leads to considerable savings in administration and overheads and to economy and efficiency of operation

We have often referred to the collection of goods from the whole of the Metropolis and the full loading of the vehicles and their operation on directional services with their loads balanced against the traffics from the cities to which they run. Once we break up that national network there is bound to be a steady decrease in full loading and an increase in partial loading and empty running. The losses of the Road Haulage Executive during the transitional period when the organisation is steadily run down through the proposed sales will mount and become very substantial.

The profitability of the Road Haulage Executive has so far been based on its construction as a national organisation. Clearly, once we begin destroying that national organisation there will be a run-down in the profits; once that national organisation is disrupted, as it is proposed to disrupt it, losses become inevitable. Apart from that, as the operable units are sold, there will be increased competition on the remunerative routes and the profitable business will be divided among private enterprise and the public service, and in the process the Road Haulage Executive is likely to suffer.

The Minister is in duty bound to look again at the figure of £1 million. If he contemplates the loss which is already accruing to the Road Haulage Executive as a result of the disorganisation of the Executive, as a result first of the announcement of Government policy, and second with the introduction of the first Bill and now of the second Bill, and contemplates the losses which are bound to be made during the period of the sale of the operable units, he must admit that £1 million is inadequate and should be augmented.

The purpose of the Amendment is to point out that it is impossible for the Minister to determine what the loss will be. Nobody can possibly hazard a guess as to what it will be during the transitional period. It is essential that the Commission be assured that the revenue lost as a result of the sale of its road haulage undertaking will be made up. The Commission must be certain of full compensation, for otherwise the community will suffer and in the long run the community will pay. The only way to assure the Commission that the disturbance shall not result in loss to it would be to give the task of assessing the loss to permanent members of the Transport Tribunal, which could make periodical estimates, as is proposed in the Schedule, and the amounts could be paid over to the Commission from the Transport Fund, from which the £1 million is to come.

If the Transport Tribunal were given that task it would not be a difficult one, in consultation with the Commission, to work out in due course what the loss from disturbance was up to the date when the last sale has taken place and the Commission has been completely relieved of responsibility for operating that section of road haulage undertakings it is proposed to sell.

The Minister is destroying a national asset. He is not content with destroying this national asset, but is taking from it in the meantime its revenue and is not proposing here to compensate it to the full for the loss which it will sustain, let alone for the permanent loss which will accrue to the railways and which in the original Bill it was proposed to meet also. If he is to be fair to the Commission he should accept the Amendment and make certain that the Tribunal assess the losses instead of the Minister making a guess at it as, in my view, he has done by fixing the figure at this inadequate amount.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

I am afraid I did not hear, Sir Charles, whether you were going to allow discussion of the new Schedule at the same time as we discussed this Amendment. There is, I think, a Fourth Schedule [Determination of loss from disturbance under paragraph (b) of subsection(1) of Section twelve of this Act] to be moved by hon. Friends of the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) in relation to the Amendment which he has now moved.

Mr. Davies

I think the noble Lord is under a misapprehension. The Amendment we are discussing now is to Clause 12, page 15, line 18, and the consequential Amendment. but there is no Schedule attached to it.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

With respect, there is a Schedule mentioned in the Amendment which is on the Order Paper. We have heard quite a long argument from the hon. Member about how the Transport Tribunal is to replace this £1 million and investigate the accounts of the Commission so that it may find out what the disturbance loss is. When we wonder how that is to be done, we find later on the Order Paper a Schedule which goes with this Amendment. I shall be grateful for your Ruling, Sir Charles, as to whether the words contained in that Schedule might be taken into consideration now.

The Chairman

I was under the impression that they would be and that that Schedule was consequential. I could not understand why the names attached to the proposed Schedule did not correspond exactly with the names attached to this Amendment, because I thought the Schedule was part of the Amendment.

Mr. Davies

I apologise if I did not refer to the Schedule. It is a consequential Amendment to that which I have moved. The names are different, but that is by accident and there is no motive behind it.

The Chairman

We can discuss the Schedule now, as I take it that they go together.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Thank you, Sir Charles. I understand that we can discuss the Schedule which is in names other than the names attached to the Amendment. One would have thought that hon. Members opposite would have done their work more efficiently so that the names were the same. The hon. Member for Enfield, East did not seem to know that the Schedule was on the Order Paper with the purpose of telling us exactly how the Tribunal would find out what is the disturbance loss in relation to the Commission. I think he must be extremely pleased that the right hon. Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) is not present to see the plight into which the Labour Party have fallen and which he must regret very much.

Here we see exactly how the Labour Party propose that these disturbance losses, which are to be compensated out of the levy, are to be ascertained. The Transport Tribunal are to go into the matter and examine the accounts of the Commission.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. R. Williams

If the noble Lord refers to the Schedule again—I assume that he has read it—I think he will agree that what it says is that the permanent members of the Transport Tribunal shall go into the matter. There is a distinction which I am sure he will appreciate. It is a very significant one.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

I see the words "permanent members of the Transport Tribunal," but I do not think there is anything very important in that.

Mr. Williams

The noble Lord should appreciate that there is a distinction and a well known one.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

The fact that they are permanent members does not make it any better. It is just an expert corps on the Transport Tribunal, and they are to act as a committee specially appointed to determine the amounts to be paid to the Commission. They are to sit as a committee and the Minister is to obtain from them: As soon as may be after … nineteen hundred and fifty-four … an estimate of the loss from disturbance suffered by the Commission as the result of the disposal of the assets of the existing road haulage industry. They are to sit with a president, and it is all very formal and elaborate. I do not know whether the Tribunal do this now or whether they relish the suggestions put forward by the Labour Party that, with a president or vice-president, they should examine witnesses and that documents should be put before them and they should do certain things by certain dates.

The hon. Member for Enfield, East and his hon. Friends have neatly fallen into the same error from which the Government equally neatly extricated themselves six months ago. I am sorry that the hon. Member and his friends are six months behind the time and have not spotted the wisdom of the decision of my right hon. Friend and the Ministry. My right hon. Friend and the Ministry discovered that in the first Bill which was presented to the House, in July, they had provided for the levy to be required to fulfil two functions, and today we have heard from the right hon. Member what those functions were. One function was to compensate for the loss of severance and disturbance, and the other function was to compensate for the expected loss on the railways due to the transference of goods to the roads. It was immediately seen by my right hon. Friend and the Ministry that that last factor in the levy would involve a perpetual investigation of the state of the railways and a perpetual examination of the accounts of the Commission, and that it would give the Commission every sort of opportunity for—I will not say falsifying their accounts, because they would do no such thing—but putting forward suggestions that certain losses which were in fact due to the sale of vehicles were due to the loss of merchandise to the roads. When that was realised that part of it was left out of the levy, and very wisely too.

We would never have been able to get any reality into this matter at all. To have persisted in it would have been, in effect, to give the Transport Tribunal almost completely overriding powers, such as the Treasury itself claims. It would have required them to sit from day to day ascertaining what were the fluctuations in the economy, either up or down, and whether there was a trade recession or a trade boom, to arrive at some figure which would satisfy that first part of the levy now discarded.

The hon. Gentleman and his friends now seek to do precisely the same thing by this Amendment, and through this Schedule which we have been discussing. The Tribunal is to go into the losses which the Commission are considered to suffer by virtue of this disturbance. How much wiser is my right hon. Friend to put in a flat figure of £1 million as a gift to the Commission and settle the matter once and for all. Nobody knows exactly what is the disturbance value. To find out exactly within the nearest penny, which is what the hon. Gentlemen opposite appear to want to do, would mean using the machinery of the Tribunal and wasting the time of the officials day by day and hour by hour.

We were told just now by the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. R. Williams) that this is to be the permanent members of the Tribunal, members with great skill, judgment and ability, who spend their full time on other subjects, and who would have to spend a lot of time finding out what is the disturbance value to the Commission by taking out these vehicles and transferring them to the road.

I do not think the members of the Transport Tribunal know anything about roads at all. they have never prepared any charges schemes for roads. They have never seen a vehicle in their lives—[Laughter.] Why should they have seen vehicles? They are concerned with railways. They have seen locomotives and—

Mr. Ernest Davies

Does the noble Lord know, or realise, that the Transport Tribunal had to assess the London charges scheme, and that the London Transport happened to operate a few vehicles, buses and the like?

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

We all know that, as a large part of its work the Tribunal is busy with railways—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—and here we have the hon. Gentlemen opposite trying to take away these highly paid personnel from more important duties and causing them to apply themselves to the roads. This Amendment will not work. It is quite unacceptable, and I rejoice that my right hon. Friend has decided on a once-for-all payment of £1 million for the likely disturbance.

Mr. J. A. Sparks (Acton)

Before the noble Lord sits down, may I ask him—

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

I have sat down, the hon. Member can make a speech.

Mr. R. Williams

It is always a great delight to follow the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), and it is only rarely that I have that pleasure. It is particularly pleasant to follow him at a time, such as now, when he is in so agreeable a mood; and when, possibly as a result of over fatigue following his incessant activities upon this Bill, he should have put forward to the Committee a most over-simplified statement, and should have condemned out of hand this Amendment, presumably implying by that his acceptance of what the Government have put in this Bill.

He has referred to the capacity of these eminent gentlemen to deal with this problem. I should have thought on this point of competence that since his own Government a few months ago thought these very people were the people to deal with a far more complicated problem—which incidentally included this problem as part of that greater and more complicated problem—whatever doubts he may have about it being right and proper for these eminent gentlemen to consider these intricate matters, he would have had no doubt at all about their ability to do so.

He might fairly quarrel with us about whether or not some other tribunal might do so, or whether or not this is a static problem. We might have a long discussion and argument about that. But a previous Bill of his own Government on this very point should surely dispose once and for all of the absurd suggestion that these gentlemen, the permanent members of the Tribunal, are incapable of dealing with this issue.

I wish now to leave the noble Lord and concentrate upon the Minister. I must say, perhaps with some risk, speaking from this side of the Committee, that I feel a great deal of sympathy with the Minister. My heart goes out to him. After all he has an extremely difficult task to perform. In his present appointment he is obliged to deprive the Committee of his great and recognised ability and knowledge in the field of colonial affairs.

I am sure that many of my hon. Friends who have met him on previous occasions in connection with those very important matters would like to say—and this seems an appropriate moment to say it—that at the present time, when colonial affairs are so important, it is a shame that his great ability and experience should be lost by his being transferred to the disgraceful job of putting this appalling Measure through the House. I think so much of the Minister that I sympathise with him. I do not blame him one little bit for this. To me it seems that his appointment to this task is about the nearest thing to political assassination that we have come across in modern times, and my heart goes out to him.

In the course of their dealing with this vitally important matter in Clause 12 the Government have approached their task without a due sense of the seriousness of the problem. They have adopted an attitude of slap-happy flippancy in subsection (1, b). If the Minister will follow me and read it, perhaps for the first time, I am sure that he will be appalled at the drafting and at the openings which this gives to an Opposition which is, after all, not ungenerous as Oppositions go. The subsection says: One million pounds (for the loss from disturbance suffered by the Commission while the assets of the existing road haulage undertaking are being disposed of). That is what we are seeking to amend. Leaving aside for the moment the question of the £1 million, to which I will return later, the words, "loss from disturbance" are not defined. Nobody knows what disturbance is and what it will result from. The subsection is absolutely silent on this point and then it coolly goes on to say that the £1 million is: (for the loss from disturbance suffered by the Commission while the assets of the existing road haulage undertaking are being disposed of). In other words, a point of time is noticed. During that time, I put it to the Minister, earthquakes may occur and as a consequence disturbance might be caused to the Commission. If the disturbance happens while the disposal of the assets of the undertaking is taking place, that is sufficient.

8.30 p.m.

Surely, it is a long time since a Committee of this House has been given by the responsible Government of the day a piece of drafting as absurd in its form as this, which is palpably open to the most serious objection. Surely, if we are not to have the word "disturbance" defined, we are entitled to have some indication as to what such disturbance will result from. In this matter the Minister has merely accepted the words as they have appeared without analysing them or considering their consequences. That is regrettable.

As to the sum of £1 million, this is a splendid idea, says the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South. In other words he says, "Have a shot at it. It doesn't matter what disturbance means. As long as it happens while the disposal is going on, the disturbance cannot be evaluated; so leave it to guess, conjecture or surmise; fix a figure—£10,000, £1 million or £10 million or whatever it might be. Do not give any explanation to the Committee as to how we arrive at that figure."

This is an absolutely shocking way of dealing with a vitally important question. It shows that the Government have no sense of responsibility, that they simply do not care what the word "disturbance" means or what loss will be suffered as a consequence of their irresponsible actions. They take no interest at all in that question. They are not even sufficiently interested to see that their drafting correctly covers the points which they are seeking to cover.

In these circumstances I say that one should look most carefully at this Amendment. One should ask whether this is a problem which will be quickly solved. Is it a problem which is one of those nice easy simple matters which can be disposed of with one of those waves of the hand to which the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South treated us a little earlier? Or is it a most complicated and difficult question which will be with us for some considerable time? I put it to the Minister in all seriousness that this arrangement could go badly wrong and that if the Government have to face up to a public scandal as a result of the dislocation of the transport industry they will have themselves to blame for approaching this matter in such an abominable and irresponsible manner.

If we are to approach this question sensibly and say, "This is not an easy or a temporary matter; it is a matter which may go on for a considerable time and give rise to the most intricate problems," then how are we to solve the question of the evaluation of the loss? The Government obviously do not care about it, so somebody else must take an interest and ask if this important question can be solved at all.

Quite obviously, since it is a continuing matter and is likely to be for some time, and is likely to involve considerable complexities, it is right that there should be available a body of responsible people who will examine very carefully what is going on in relation to this loss, and the losses which are imposed by the Government upon the Commission. If one accepts that, then one is bound to say that the body must be sufficiently experienced, and must contain men of wide experience and eminence, if the problem is to be solved at all, since it is quite obvious that the Government are making no attempt to solve it.

If it be found that this sum of £1 million is only one-tenth of what is necessary, what are the Government going to do? Will they bring in a new Bill, come to the House again and tell us that they have had "fourth thoughts" on this matter? Surely, we of the Opposition should not be too alarmed if that should occur; except that, I would say in passing, since the Government have become so completely discredited on this issue, it is hardly possible for anything else to happen over which they could become even more discredited. I suggest to them in all seriousness that this very serious problem should receive the attention of the permanent members of the Transport Tribunal.

Why have my colleagues and I suggested that this is the proper body to deal with it? I disagree most emphatically with the observations of the noble Lord, particularly when he adopted an attitude which implied a great condescension so far as these men were concerned. He really behaved in his earlier observations as if he were patting them on the head. Such matters, it seems to me, are outside the range of his experience, and I think that he is showing just a little insolence in taking up that attitude, not only as far as the permanent members of the Tribunal are concerned, but as far as his own Government are concerned, since they themselves, when they were faced with what is, fundamentally, this very problem, chose these very men to consider it and deal with it.

It really amounts to this. We have to decide quite clearly in our minds whether this is a simple little problem about which we can safely guess, without being involved in any serious consequences at all, or whether it is, in fact, a continuing, difficult and complicated problem, and it is because I consider that it is the latter that I give my support to this Amendment.

It really has been a most painful experience to note the action of the Government in bringing forward this levy at all. The Clauses which relate to this abominable levy, which nobody supports apart from a few on the Government Front Bench, since it is virtually indefensible, have been passed. Having made the grave mistake of having passed it in this Committee, for heaven's sake, let the Government act responsibly in the manner in which the loss for disturbance is going to be assessed. If they are not prepared to do so, all I have to say to the Minister is that he is carrying into this field precisely the same attitude of flippant irresponsibility which he has adopted in bringing forward the levy.

Mr. Cole

I listened with very great care to the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) in moving the Amendment and I want to take him up on a number of points particularly when he said that this is a forced sale and that the situation will be worse because it is a speedy sale.

Surely, the hon. Member and other hon. Members will realise that, in a matter of this kind, the greatest business expedition which can take place in a reasonable way is going to be the best from the point of view of price? What would certainly be to the detriment of the Commission in the way of disturbance would be created if the sale were to be a long drawn out affair over a number of years.

In point of fact, there is nothing that is particularly or unreasonably quick about it. It may take six months, nine months or even longer, and it has been talked about and mooted for many months past. I suggest that the period which we envisage for the sale of the assets is not unreasonably short and is likely to appeal to most business people. I say that there is nothing forced about it but that it is part of the ordinary legislation which is passed by this House in due course in the ordinary manner of business and afterwards carried out in a proper business-like fashion.

Hon. Members opposite should achieve some consistency in their arguments, and find a basis of agreement. This afternoon the hon. Member for Enfield, East was saying that one of the causes of loss on disturbance to the Commission will come at a later stage of the sale when there will be competition with those people who have already started in private enterprise. Only two days ago the hon. Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. D. Jones) was welcoming this competition and said it would be a good thing for the Commission to have. The Opposition cannot have it both ways, and we hope there will be a clear-cut decision so that neither the Commission nor private enterprise will suffer undue loss because of competition at the wrong time. We have been discussing policy this evening and we have had many crocodile tears about this levy from the other side of the Committee. Their opposition seems to be at rather a late stage, but it has come vociferously in this Committee. We know at the moment that it is one of the features of the levy that the Bill lays down for disturbance a round sum of £1 million to be met by the levy. But if we were to adopt the Amendments now being discussed there would be an uncertain sum quite incalculable for several years to come, which would have to be borne by the people who are to pay the levy.

Whether the levy is liked or disliked, it is nice to know where we stand. These Amendments would result in a wave of uncertainty coming over the industry for many years to come. Let us see what are the terms of the first Amendment. This is what it says: such amounts as may be determined from time to time by the permanent members of the Transport Tribunal. It is my personal opinion that the members of the Transport Tribunal will be glad to see this Amendment defeated. What does the phrase such amounts as may be determined from time to time mean and how long is it going on?

The people who will have to pay this levy might very well find out after six or nine months or even a year that the amount would be increased, then there would be a concession for six months, and later it would decrease. There will be doubt and uncertainty about the whole matter, whereas in the Bill the levy is dealt with in a firm, businesslike and proper method by the fixing of a definite amount.

I want to refer to a proposed new Schedule, which is a concrete part of the Amendment, and to paragraph 2 in particular. The whole thing is very far from definite and is characteristic of many parts of these Amendments. It says: As soon as may be after the end of the year nineteen hundred and fifty-four and thereafter at yearly intervals"— to paraphrase the words of the old song—how long is this going on— the Minister shall obtain"— note the ramifications of this process— from the permanent members of the Transport Tribunal … an estimate"— how long is it going to take to calculate that with all the books and paraphernalia which come from the British Transport Commission— of the loss from disturbance suffered by the Commission as the result of the disposal of the assets of the existing road haulage industry. This estimate of the disturbance would still be going on in years to come when the whole purpose of this Bill would have been probably forgotten.

8.45 p.m.

Whatever may be the defects of the Bill it is at least a good thing that there is this definite sum in it. It is true that it is impossible to calculate the amount. No Member of this Committee can say with certainty that the amount of £1 million might well not be generous, but at least we have got a sum of money which will be one constant as part of the amount to be raised by the levy.

I only wish that at this stage we could know, for good or ill, what will be the loss on the sale of the capital assets of the Commission. I do not think anybody in this Committee wants anybody in the country to have to pay the levy, but it is a necessary part of the Bill. I wish we could inform those who are to pay what the round sum will be, what the rate per year will be, and how long the liability will last. We cannot do that, but we have wisely put into this Bill a round sum of £1 million for disturbance. I hope that the Committee will reject the proposed Amendments and Schedule.

Mr. Arthur Holt (Bolton, West)

My curiosity is aroused about the method by which the Minister arrived at this figure of £1 million. Is it based upon some small percentage—slightly over 1 per cent.—of the turnover per year? There must be some basis. The Minister could hardly have said, "Nought is no good, one is the next figure, so let us make it £1 million."

It is important that this sum should not be too ungenerous, because it will look a little bad if, in the returns for next year and the following year for the depleting road haulage service in the accounts of the Commission submitted to Parliament, a very large loss is shown due, as it will be said, to the disposal of the undertakings of the Road Haulage Executive. Whatever the sum is, and I agree that it must be to a large extent a guess, it could be an intelligent guess.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It is.

Mr. Holt

Why not, for instance, a year's profit? It was £3,250,000 last year. Possibly the Minister has figures for this year, and I have heard rather disturbing reports that possibly there is no profit at all and that there may be a considerable loss. If that is so and the Minister has some estimates already, that is a thing which is relevant, because it may be argued that if the Road Haulage Executive are making a loss they might like to pay some money to get rid of it. That argument is a little far-fetched, but at least it might influence to some extent the amount to be paid.

Mr. Callaghan

Why not carry it to the extreme of levying the Commission because they are losing their road haulage?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

If I may reply to the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt), my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury tells me that in the course of his observations he will relate the figure to the profit or otherwise.

Mr. Callaghan

We shall look forward to hearing him.

Mr. Holt

I shall not take up the time of the Committee much longer. I am panting to hear the answer of the Economic Secretary. There are two important things to be borne in mind. We want the Transport Commission as they get going, with the removal of many restrictions by means of this Bill, to have a fair chance. It would be quite wrong and dangerous to the development of transport in this country if they were loaded with a considerable loss as a result of our not making a sufficiently generous allotment of money in respect of disturbance on the sale of the vehicles. I hope shortly the Economic Secretary to the Treasury will enlighten us on how he has arrived at this figure and will show that in fact it really does err on the safe side.

Mr. Maudling

I agree with the hon. Members for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) and Wigan (Mr. R. Williams) as to the importance of this matter, and I must say that I share the views of my noble Friend on the question of its complexity and the difficulty of arriving at any accurate figure in assessing the loss suffered by the Commission as a result of disturbance. I think, however, that we should take this item relating to the payment to be made to the Commission in the context of the other payments that are being made as well. I think it is proper to regard the whole context of the compensation payments to the Commission rather than pick out one item, because they are to some extent interrelated.

The Commission are to receive a payment in respect of the shortfall of what they receive on their physical assets. They are also to receive a payment in respect of the goodwill shown in their books. They are also, as hon. Members will see from subsection (4), to be reimbursed in respect of the expenses on the sales, any rights or liabilities into which they have already entered as part of their existing business, and any contractual losses relating to their existing business which they may suffer as a result of the disposal of their assets.

All those matters which might in a sense be thought to be included in the term "disturbance of the business" are already specifically dealt with in subsection (4). The £1 million is not intended to cover them. Nor is it intended, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Cole) said, to cover any losses suffered by the Commission as a result of competition from private hauliers—a point which, I think, was in the mind of the hon. Member for Enfield, East.

The hon. Member for Enfield, East also said that disturbance was already taking place as a result of the Government's proposals. I do not think that that argument can be supported from the facts, and certainly the glance that I have had at the latest traffic returns available shows that the traffic of the British Road Services has been picking up reasonably recently. I agree that that is partly seasonal, but I do not think there is anything in the figures to support the hon. Gentleman's argument that disturbance is already taking place.

The Amendment with which we are dealing proposes that this loss should be assessed in the way set out in the proposed Schedule, and that, I think, as the hon. Member for Enfield, East pointed out, is drawn from the earlier Measure. It was proposed in that Measure that this method should be used to assess the amount which should become payable to the Commission by reason of the diversion of traffic from rail to road. There was a widespread measure of public criticism of that provision on the grounds that it would be impracticable to ask the Members of the Transport Tribunal to make any such assessment. This Government, as ever, attentative to the views of informed public opinion, accepts that point of view. [Interruption.] It is a great virtue to be able to change one's mind, as we do, particularly when it is for the better.

The proposal to ask the Transport Commission to assess this loss on disturbance is, in my view, asking something that is impracticable, because it cannot be accurately assessed. That is one reason why I say that it is better to have a definite sum and not to leave it to be determined by gentlemen who, distinguished and knowledgeable as they are, will be presented with an impossible task. It is better to have a cut and dried sum rather than to try and assess the virtually unassessable.

The next point is that if the Commission are paid, as they are to be under this Bill, a definite sum with respect to disturbance, there is a very considerable incentive to them to minimise the loss on disturbance as much as they possibly can. That is a point which is worth bearing in mind.

I come now to the question whether the loss from the disturbance, estimated at £1 million, is an adequate sum, setting it—as I said I should like to do—in the general context of the compensation to be paid to the Commission. The sort of thing that is envisaged by disturbance, as I understand it, is the loss or reduction of profit—whichever term one likes to use—on the part of the undertaking retained by the Commission as the lorries are sold off. For example, if a depot is sold off a certain amount of re-routeing of vehicles and changing of operating arrangements will have to be brought into force. That is obviously a disturbance and it is bound to cause the Commission a certain amount of loss.

We have tried to reach an estimate of what would be a fair figure in the general context of compensation payments for losses arising from disturbance, but I want to make it quite clear that this is a matter which cannot be mathematically determined. I am sure that hon. Members with a knowledge of the transport industry will agree that it is quite impossible to determine mathematically what is or may be the loss arising from disturbance. Therefore it is obviously right to arrive at an estimate. Hon. Members opposite may call it an intelligent guess, but we say it is an intelligent estimate.

Mr. Percy Collick (Birkenhead)

We should not call it that.

Mr. Mandling

We should call it an intelligent estimate, and I think it is not unreasonable to consider the amount involved in relation to the current profitability of the Road Haulage Executive. In the last year for which accounts were published there was an operating profit in the neighbourhood of £3 million; but it is fair to say that it is a matter of some doubt, which could not be absolutely determined, whether even that operating profit represented the full contribution that the road haulage services should make, in capital charges and overheads, to the Commission. If that £3 million operating profit represented any genuine profit it was a very small one.

Since then, for a variety of reasons, some of which have been referred to, the profitability of the road haulage services has declined. The final figures are not yet available for this year, but I am sorry to say that the operating profit—or the excess of receipts over outgoings—will be substantially smaller than it was last year. Therefore there will not be a genuine profit at all on the operation of British Road Services. In those circumstances I do not think that the estimate of £1 million is altogether unreasonable.

In addition to receiving payment in respect of the physical assets, the Commission are to reimbursed, in so far as they do not gain from the sale of vehicles, for the peak value of their goodwill. They are being reimbursed for the goodwill which represents the acquisition of profits amounting to an annual sum of something like £10 million. Those profits have disappeared, but under our proposals the Commission are still receiving payment in respect of that goodwill. That does not seem to be a very ungenerous proposition. In fact, if the provisions were based on giving the Commission the value of two to five years of their current profits, as was given to the hauliers who were taken over, the amount they would receive would be very much smaller, because there is no genuine profit.

I am trying to explain to the Committee how we arrived at the decision that, on balance, it would be impracticable to ask the permanent members of the Transport Tribunal to assess this sum, which cannot be estimated with any mathematical certainty. We considered that in the total context of the compensation being paid to the Commission in respect of the profitability or lack of profitability of the road haulage service the sum of £1 million was not unreasonable and certainly did not err on the side of meanness.

9.0 p.m.

Mr. Edward Davies

I listened carefully to what the Economic Secretary said, but I think that my hon. Friends are by no means satisfied with his statement. It is clear that the Government have no idea what the proper sum should be. I underline what was asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies): where does disturbance begin and end? The Economic Secretary said that, so far as he knew, traffic receipts appeared to be rising, but he conceded that that might be due to seasonal traffic.

We know as well as he does that over the last month traffic has been falling away because of the Government's proposals. That decline has not been due to incompetence on the part of the Commission. It has been due to these proposals, which have been well known from the time the Government issued the White Paper and the first and second Bills. Indeed, traffic has been declining over the last six or 12 months, and there could be a legitimate argument that there has been disturbance throughout that time.

In fact, many of the people who were bought out subsequently acquired C licences. They were paid for the goodwill of their business and the Commission should have enjoyed that business over the last year, but in fact it has been taken from them, not because of any incompetence but because cheaper rates were quoted. This business of cut prices has been going on all the time and, as a result, many vehicles are out of service. The definition in the Bill is quite arbitrary, and I suggest that the sum of £1 million has as much connection with the actual figure as we have with the man in the moon.

Mr. Callaghan

We hope it will be possible to move on to some of the other Amendments. I fully appreciate the anxiety of the hon. Members for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) and Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson) about this matter, and, indeed, there are many other hon. Members who would like to speak about these proposals. I am glad we have had this short debate but, as the Committee know, there are other Amendments on the Paper of great importance which deal with the definition of the capital loss which the Commission will incur, and we hope that it will be possible for some of them to be considered.

One of the advantages which a Guillotine confers on the Government is that appeals for progress must came from the Opposition, while the Government Front Bench merely sit back and watch the clock. The Opposition must try to get their Amendments discussed, which means that there must be a certain amount of co-operation if we are to get through the business in the time allowed to us—and hon. Members know our views about that.

The question of the road haulage capital loss will involve a substantial Amendment. We are now talking about a sum of £1 million, but when we get to the next Amendment we shall be talking about as much as £20 million, in the Minister's own estimate—a figure which some people put very much higher.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I do not know where the hon. Gentleman gets his justification for the constant reiteration that that is my estimate. The most gloomy estimate made has suggested that a sum of that kind may be lost, but it is certainly not my estimate, and all the evidence coming along now suggests that that figure is wildly out and that there is every reason to believe that we shall have substantial sales and a far lower loss than some people think.

Mr. Callaghan

I am very glad to hear that. I, too, have heard that that estimate is wildly out. I have heard that the figure may be as much as £40 million.

The Deputy-Chairman

Does not this discussion arise on the next Amendment?

Mr. Callaghan

Indeed it does, and if the Minister has some optimistic news to give us about the amount of capital loss, that is all the more reason why we should move on quickly, because I am sure he will want to give us that good news.

I want to spend the next two or three minutes discussing what we suggest should be substituted for the amount of compensation which the Commission are to get for disturbance. For the sum of £1 million, we would substitute an investigation by permanent members of the transport tribunal. If there is one thing quite clear from the discussion it is that the Government have no idea what the measure of disturbance to the Commission will be. The Economic Secretary has been brought in after the event to rationalise it and, as he usually does, he has done it extremely well; but even he could not disguise the nakedness of the case or the fact that the figure given has no relation to the principles involved.

He said that the reason why the Government's first thoughts had been changed was deference to public opinion. Now, the Economic Secretary is very quick to learn, but he has not followed what it was that the criticism was levelled against in this particular case. The Minister said "Hear, hear" when the hon. Gentleman said that, and that only goes to show that the Minister has not understood it either—or else that he understood it but was trying to mislead the Committee.

What the Economic Secretary said public criticism was directed against was this figure of £1 million to cover the loss by disturbance that, public criticism said, the permanent Members of the Tribunal could not determine. That in fact was the criticism that was directed against the proposal in Clause 13 in the old Bill that has now disappeared. Public criticism was directed against the impossibility of the permanent members of the Tribunal determining how much would be the average annual loss of net railway revenue as a result of the transfer of goods to road traffic. That was what the criticism was directed against.

Mr. Maudling

I thought I made it quite clear. That was what I was referring to. I referred to the effect on the Tribunal under the original proposal. and the amount of dislocation.

Mr. Callaghan

That being the case, the hon. Gentleman will agree with me that his point was quite irrelevant, because that Clause has completely disappeared. I agreed with the criticism, and, indeed, I uttered it myself. It was an impossible task to give to the permanent members of the Tribunal. What is not so impossible is to ask them to determine whether the figure that can be assessed in the light of the Commission's experience on disturbance is greater or less than £1 million. The Government's figure is not related to any principles at all.

I should like to deal with the sort of situation that will arise. Presumably, when this Bill becomes law, in a matter of nine months the Commission, according to the Minister, will wind up its road haulage undertaking. One depot will be sold off, or three-quarters of the vehicles of a depot will be sold, and one quarter of it will be left; or out of 80 vehicles in a depot 60 will be sold, and 20 will be left. Let us consider for a moment the dislocation that that will cause, and the difficulties that will be built up between two long-distance depots, which are at the moment exchanging traffic nightly and daily. One of them will be left as to three-quarters and the other will be destroyed. What is to be the reaction upon the Commission's goodwill there?

What are their remaining customers to do in that situation? How will they look after their customers in that situation? What is to be the dislocation in trade and commerce and industry while this is going on? The Minister, through his refusal to accept his hon. Friend's Amendment yesterday, has made it impossible for the Commission to dispose of this undertaking in an orderly way. The dislocation and the loss of goodwill—I am using it not in the technical sense but in the broadest sense—the loss of good will to the Commission, because they will be unable to satisfy their customers, with bits of their undertaking being sliced off at any moment when someone puts in a tender for them, are really almost indescribable, and it is unworthy of the Government to propose that the loss in amount shall be £1 million without any idea of what will happen.

Presumably, we shall have cases, as this organisation disappears, in which the staff will resign. Suppose a group manager decides to leave one morning because he gets an offer of another job. The depot may not be sold; the vehicles will still be there; the customers will still have to be served. The manager may take two or three of the staff with him when he goes. What will be the consequences at the depot? One would not like to contemplate the consequences of taking the Prime Minister out of the Government. At least, he would leave a gap. If the manager of a road haulage depot disappears from the road haulage depot that will cause a gap there, too.

If the Prime Minister goes out of the Government, something has to carry on the work of the Government. If the manager goes from the depot someone will have to carry on the work of the depot when the manager has gone. Nor is there any encouragement for him to stop. I am not saying that that is the case with the Prime Minister. He has every encouragement to stay. How will the Commission reduce their expenses in step with the fall in gross receipts? Has anybody any idea at all how this is to be done? The real truth, I fear, is that this is one of the prices the Minister has paid for the support, however unwilling and however grudging, of his road haulier friends. He has tried to buy their support; he has not wholly succeeded.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

All these considerations, important as they are, should have been in the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite as well in 1947 when there was imposed on a large number of small private hauliers an obligation to carry on, even after the notice of acquisition had been sent and before the actual tender had taken place. They were people without the capital resources of the British Transport Commission; people often working on loans from the banks and on overdrafts, all of which were in jeopardy as soon as the nationalisation proposals were made.

Mr. Callaghan

I also remember that these people were given proper compensation; indeed, I would say generous compensation. Our complaint against the Government here is that the compensation is not only not generous to the Commission, but is niggardly. That is the difference. It is a very different thing to ask a man to carry on when he knows that his compensation will be based on the most generous years' profits that he has ever earned in his life, as they were. The Minister knows that the years immediately following the war were the most profitable the road hauliers have ever had.

When the Economic Secretary throws this figure of £10 million around, let him remember that in those years the Government of that day were asking people not to travel, when the Government were getting coal hauled around the countryside in road haulage vehicles. The road hauliers could not fail to make a living then. They made very substantial profits indeed, because the railways were unable to carry the traffic in those days, and everyone knows it.

For the Economic Secretary to follow the bad example of the Minister and tell us that the fact that road hauliers are no longer making £10 million, as they were in the years when the railways were turning traffic away and the road hauliers were being invited to carry everything they could, is merely saying that the road hauliers had the best years of their lives then, and they know it. It was all very well to say to people then, "Carry on because your compensation will be based upon the most profitable years you have ever enjoyed." What the Minister is now saying to the Commission is," Carry on. Do the best you can, and we will do the worst by you," because no one in his senses can say that the figure of £1 million bears any relationship to the amount of disturbance.

Has the Minister asked the Commission to estimate what the disturbance will be? Have they volunteered any figure to him? Has he asked them? Has he entered into conversations with them? I do not know whether he has or whether he has not. Has he? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] We will give him time to think about it. I really should have thought that, as their undertaking is being disturbed, as they have got to carry it on, even when he has finished hauling it about, he would at least have gone to them and said, "What is your estimate of the disturbance I am going to cause your business?" I warrant that if it had been the road hauliers he would have gone to them, and quickly enough. Indeed, he has been to them.

When the right hon. Gentleman iterrupted me just now I was in the process of saying that this figure of £1 million which has been substituted for the original proposal is the price he has had to pay for their support. He went to their annual dinner and told them he was seriously handicapped because he could not get their support. No one in the country was supporting him then, not even the road hauliers. He has managed to get their support at last, temporarily; and he has managed to get it by substituting the figure of £1 million for a figure that should be determined by an independent tribunal if he were determined to hold the scales fairly between the Commission and the road hauliers.

I say once more to the Minister what I have said to him before. He should be thoroughly ashamed of the way in which he is holding the balance in this matter. He has responsibilities to the Commission as well as to the hauliers, and never in the course of these debates does he show any inkling of a desire to carry out his obligations to the Commission and to the public undertaking.

9.15 p.m.

I must say that this is one of the instances in which the Government's second thoughts are certainly worse than their original thoughts. Originally they tried to act fairly by the Commission. Originally they said, "Let us give to an independent body the job of assessing how much disturbance will take place." But in order to placate their friends the Minister has sold the pass and given away the Transport Commission. When one of his hon. Friends says that this Bill will be forgotten, let me tell him and his supporters that we shall never forget this Bill. We shall hold it up to the Tory Benches in the years to come as an example of the way in which public enterprise has been sold down the river for the sake of a small vested interest. It is unworthy of the Minister and unworthy of the Government over which the right hon. Gentleman presides.

Mr. Renton

The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) has no right to stand at that Despatch Box and thump it as be did just now. He has forgotten perhaps that when his party nationalised the transport system of this country—[An HON. MEMBER: "And will again.")—they said it would be run economically and that it would have to pay its way from year to year, taking one year with another. He has also forgotten perhaps that at the end of four years it has accumulated a net deficit of £40 million. [An HON. MEMBER: "Road haulage.") I am talking about the British Transport Commission. The road haulage sector of it did not have a financial result of which it could be the least proud.

Mr. Popplewell

Why does not the hon. Member, in justice, say what happened in the last two years of private enterprise when £71 million were lost?

Mr. Callaghan

The hon. Gentleman does not want to do justice.

Mr. Renton

I am trying to compare the promise of the party opposite with their performance. The hon. Gentleman mentioned the question of forgetting in a short time to come the results of this Bill. It may well be convenient to the hon. Gentleman to forget it in a short time. I know that political prophets are often too bold, but my prophecy is that the country will be quick to realise that the Conservative Party saved them from having to bear increased accumulated net deficits and has saved them from having to bear poor financial results from the Road Haulage Executive.

The hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies), in moving this Amendment, spoke of costs reduced by nationalisation. He conveniently ignored those costs which have been increased by nationalisation and which we shall be reducing by de-nationalisation. [An HON. MEMBER: "That is funny."] This is not funny. The Road Haulage Executive contains a bureaucratic pyramid which has been imposed upon the industry, which was not there before, but which has to be paid for. That is why, in spite of the fact that the rates which the British Road Services charge to their customers have gone up higher in the period than the rates of private enterprise—[HON. MEMBERS: "Not true.") I do not want to put myself out of order, Mr. Hopkin Morris, by pursuing that too far; but, if hon. Members opposite will make the inquiries which I have made in the past 48 hours, they will find that it is so.

Not only that, but, if they will discuss the matter with some of the people who are running British Road Services, they will agree that that is where the weakness principally lies. Now in spite of the rates having gone up, they have produced these poor financial results. Why? It is because of the bureaucratic pyramid, the organisation between the operating units at the operational level, and up through, groups, districts, divisions, and goodness knows what, until it finally reaches the heaven of the Road Haulage Executive.

When we de-nationalise we hope that bureaucratic pyramid will quickly disappear and that there will thus be a saving in cost. I assume that whoever advised the Minister that £1 million would be a fair sum to allow for any disturbance there might conceivably be in the process took into consideration the fact that there will be savings of that character. They may well be other savings, too. I hope one saving will be in the enormous volume of pilferages from the

vehicles of the Road Haulage Executive that we have had in recent years.

One of the arguments which we always advanced against nationalisation was the difficulty of unscrambling; but my right hon. Friends have decided that the difficulty here is one which must be faced in the national interest. A Clause such as this is a necessary part of any unscrambling process. We must consider it carefully, and we must not lack courage in considering it. We must arrive at the nearest approach to accuracy and justice that we possibly can, and we must not be diverted from our purpose. For the first time in the history of this country the Government are having the courage and the sense to do a bit of unscrambling. I wish the Government well, and I disagree entirely with the Amendment.

Mr. Percy Morris (Swansea, West)

Will the hon. Gentleman explain his astounding statement that the Conservative Party has saved the transport system by de-nationalising it? Has he a glimmer of an idea of the history of transport?

Question put, "That 'one million pounds for' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 267; Noes, 249.

Division No. 45.] AYES [9.22 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Brooman-While, R. C. Doughty, C. J. A.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Browne, Jack (Govan) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Drayson, G. B.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Bullard, D. G. Drewe, C.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Bullock, Capt. M. Dugdale, Rt.Hn. Sir Thomas (Richmond)
Arbuthnot, John Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Burden, F. F. A. Duthie, W. S.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Butcher, H. W. Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.
Baldock, Lt.-Comdr. J. M. Butler, Rt. Hon.,R. A. (Saffron Walden) Eden, Rt. Hon. A.
Baldwin. A. E. Campbell, Sir David Erroll, F. J.
Banks, Col. C. Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Fell, A.
Barber, Anthony Cary, Sir Robert Finlay, Graeme
Barlow, Sir John Chanson, H. Fisher, Nigel
Baxter, A. B. Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F
Beach, Maj. Hicks Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Fort, R.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Cole, Norman Foster, John
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Colegate, W. A. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lansdale)
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)
Bennett, William (Woodside) Cranborne, Viscount Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollak)
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F G Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Birch, Nigel Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Gammans, L. D.
Bishop, F. P. Crouch, R. F. George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd
Black, C. W. Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Gomme-Duncan, Col. A
Boothby, R. J. G. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Gough, C. F. H.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Gower, H. R.
Boyle, Sir Edward Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Graham, Sir Fergus
Braine, B. R. Deedes, W. F. Gridley, Sir Arnold
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Digby, S. Wingfield Grimond, J.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Dodds-Parker, A. D. Grimslon, Hon. John (St. Albans)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Grimslon, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Donner, P. W. Hall, John (Wycombe)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) McKibbin, A. J. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Maclay, RI. Hon. John Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Maclean, Fitzroy Scott, R. Donald
Hay, John Macleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Shepherd, William
Heald, Sir Lionel Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Heath, Edward Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Higgs, J. M. C. Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E Smyth, Brig. J. C. (Norwood)
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Marlowe, A. A. H. Snadden, W. McN.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Seames, Capt. C.
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton) Spearman, A. C. M
Hirst, Geoffrey Maude, Angus Speir, R. M.
Holland-Martin, C. J. Maudling, R. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Hollis, M. C. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Medlicott, Brig. F. Stevens, G. P.
Holt, A. F. Mellor, Sir John Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Hope, Lord John Matson, A. H. E. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Morrison, John (Salisbury) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Horobin, I. M. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Storey, S.
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Nabarro, G. D. N. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Nicholls, Harmer Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Studholme, H. G.
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Nield, Basil (Chester) Summers, G. S.
Hurd, A. R. Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Sutcliffe, H.
Hutchison, Lt.-Cont. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Nugent, G. R. H. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Nutting, Anthony Teeling, W.
Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Oakshott, H. D. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Odey, G. W. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) O'Neill, Phelim (Ce. Antrim, N.) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R.(Croydon, W.)
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C.
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Tilney, John
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Touche, Sir Gorden
Lambton, Viscount Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Turner, H. F. L.
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Partridge, E. Turton, R. H
Langford-Holt, J. A. Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Vane, W. M. F.
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Perkins, W. R. D. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Wade, D. W.
Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Peyton, J. W. W. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Pickthorn, K. W. M. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Lindsay, Martin Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Linstead, H. N. Powell, J. Enoch Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Watkinson, H. A.
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Profumo, J. D. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Longden, Gilbert Raikes, H. V. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Low, A. R. W. Rayner, Brig. R. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Redmayne, M. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Remnant, Hon. P. Wills, G.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Renton, D. L. M. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Wood, Hon. R.
McAdden, S. J. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
McCallum, Major D. Roper, Sir Harold TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Mr. Vosper and Mr. Kaberry.
Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Russell, R. S.
mackeson, Brig. H. R. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Acland, Sir Richard Bowden, H. W. Darling, George (Hillsborough)
Adams, Richard Bowles, F. G. Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)
Albu, A. H. Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Davies, Harold (Leek)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Deer, G.
Awbery, S. S. Brown, Thomas (Ince) Delargy, H. J.
Bacon, Miss Alice Burke, W. A. Dodds, N. N.
Baird, J. Burton, Miss F. E Driberg, T. E. N.
Balfour, A. Callaghan, L. J. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Carmichael, J. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C
Bartley, P. Champion, A. J. Edelman, M.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Chapman, W. D. Edwards, John (Brighouse)
Bence, C. R. Chetwynd, G. R. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Bonn, Wedgwood Clunie, J. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Benson, G. Coldrick, W. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)
Beswick, F. Collick, P. H. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Corbel, Mrs. Freda Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Bing, G. H. C. Cove, W. G. Ewart, R.
Blackburn, F. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Field, W. J.
Blenkinsop, A. Crosland, C. A. R. Fienburgh, W.
Blyton, W. R. Grossman, R. H. S. Finch, H. J
Boardman, H. Haines, P. Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Bottomtey, Rt. Hon A. G. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Follick, M
Forman, J. C. Logan, D. G. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) MacColl, J. E. Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Freeman, John (Watford) McInnes, J. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Gibson, C. W. McKay, John (Wallsend) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Glanville, James McLeavy, F. Slater, J.
Gooch, E. G. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Snow, J. W.
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E Sorensen, R. W.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mann, Mrs. Jean Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Grey, C. F. Manuel, A. C. Sparks, J. A.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mayhew, C. P. Steele, T.
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mellish, R. J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Messer, F. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mikardo, Ian Strom, Dr. Barnett
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Mitchison, G. R. Swingler, S. T.
Hamilton, W. W. Monslow, W. Sylvester, G. O.
Hannan, W. Moody, A. S. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Hardy, E. A. Morgan, Or. H. B. W. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Hargreaves, A. Morley, R. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Merpeth)
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Hastings, S. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hayman, H. Mort, D. L. Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Moyle, A. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Mulley, F. W. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Herbison, Miss M. Murray, J. D. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Hewitson, Capt. M. Nally, W. Thornton, E. (Farnworth)
Hobson, C. R. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Thurtle, Ernest
Holman, P. Oldfield, W. H. Timmons, J.
Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Oliver, G. H. Tourney, F.
Houghton, Douglas Orbach, M. Turner-Samuels, M.
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Oswald, T. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Padley, W. E. Viant, S. P.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Paget, R. T. Wallace H. W.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Watkins, T. E.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paling, (Dewsbury) Weitzman, D.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Palmer, A. M. F. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Pannell, Charles Wells, William (Walsall)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Pargiter, G. A.
Janner, B. Parker, J. West, D. G.
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Paton, J. Wheeldon, W. E
Jeger, George (Goole) Peart, T. F. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Jager, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Plummer, Sir Leslie White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Popplewell, E. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Johnson, James (Rugby) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Wigs, George
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Proctor, W. T. Wilkins, W. A.
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Pursey, Cmdr. H. Willey, F. T.
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Rankin, John Williams, David (Neath)
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Reeves, J. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertilfery).
Keenan, W. Reid, William (Camlachie) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Kenyon, C. Rhodes, H. Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Richards, R. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Kinley, J. Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Wyatt, W. L.
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Ross, William Yates, V. F.
Lewis, Arthur Royle, C. Younger, Rt. Hon. K
Lindgren, G. S. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Short, E. W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Pearson and Mr. Arthur Allen.

9.30 p.m.

Sir Frank Soskice (Sheffield, Neepsend)

I beg to move, in page 16, line 36, after "account," to insert: or the value computed in accordance with subsection (5) of this section. whichever is the higher.

The Deputy-Chairman

I think it would be for the convenience of the Committee, if with this Amendment, we discussed the next Amendment, in page 17, line 31. at the end to insert: (5) The reference in paragraph (a) of the previous subsection to value computed in accordance with this subsection is a reference—

  1. (a) in relation to road vehicles acquired by the Commission under the provisions of Part III of the Transport Act, 1947. to the amount of compensation paid to the transferor under section forty-seven of the Transport Act, 1947, in respect of the vesting of the vehicle in question in the Commission, adjusted, however.
  2. (i) in the case of a vehicle registered at any time under the Roads Act, 1920, by deducting where one or more complete years have elapsed between the date when the vehicle was acquired by the Commission and the date of the sale under this Act one fifth of the said amount of compensation in respect of the first year, and in respect of each subsequent year, one fifth of the said amount as reduced by the total reduction falling to be made in respect of the previous years; and
  3. 797
  4. (ii) in the case of a trailer (other than a superimposed trailer) by deducting where one or more complete years have elapsed between the date of acquisition by the Commission and the date of sale one seventh of the said amount of compensation in respect of the first year, and. in respect of each subsequent year, one seventh of the said amount as reduced by the total deduction falling to be made in respect of the previous years; and
  5. (iii) in either case, if the physical condition of the vehicle is materially better or worse at the date of sale than the normal physical condition at that date of a vehicle of the same type and age, by adding to or deducting from the said amount of compensation as reduced by the deductions, if any, falling to be made under paragraph (i) or (ii) of this paragraph such amount as fairly represents the difference, and
  6. (b) in relation to any other property to an amount equal to the amount which the property would fetch if sold in the open market, estimated as at the date of sale and as if this Act had not passed.

Sir F. Soskice

We were very disappointed at the attitude of the Government towards the last Amendment, which dealt with the compensation to be paid for disturbance. I hope they will adopt a more accommodating attitude towards the Amendment I now move.

The purport of this Amendment is a different one. It deals with the second head of compensation which the Commission are to receive on what is called, in Clause 12 (1), the "road haulage capital loss." The reason why we have put down this Amendment, and the next Amendment in line 31, which goes with it, is because it seems to us that, owing possibly to an oversight, the Government have not made the right provision for the purpose of estimating what is the road haulage capital loss which is to form the other head of the compensation to the Commission.

Clause 12 provides that the Commission is to get, besides the £1 million compensation for disturbance, a sum to compensate it for road haulage capital loss, and that it is to receive that sum out of the levy. Having provided that, it was obviously necessary for the Government to define what it meant by road haulage loss. That they proceed to do so in subsection (4) of the same Clause. The definition the Government have adopted, broadly speaking, is this. They say that the Commission is to be paid the amount by which the actual sums received by the sale of road transport vehicles falls short of the written down value of those vehicles as carried in the books of the Commission.

It is common knowledge that the figure at which an asset is carried in the accounts of an undertaking very often in its written down form does not represent what may be loosely termed the real value of the asset. I use the expression "real value" in a general and loose sense. I think that the Committee know what I mean by it. What we are trying to do is to provide that loss on disposal of the vehicles and the other property of the Commission shall be compensated in a sum which will give back to the Commission approximately what it loses in real terms.

It loses a vehicle. A vehicle is taken from it and sold at a comparatively small sum. The amount which the Commission should receive to compensate it in respect of that loss should be the difference between the amount which is received and what I have described as the real value of the vehicle. It is difficult to define in terms of legislative enactment what is meant by the phrase "real value." It is a concept which I think is perfectly clear to the ordinary person. One knows what one means by it. One knows perfectly well that the written down value of an asset in a balance sheet very often, and indeed generally, is not the real value in the ordinary sense in which I have used that term.

I have tried to make a rough and ready computation as to the written down value of the road haulage property carried in the books of the Commission. I should like to refer to the Account for 1951. Cmd. 8572, presented by the Minister of Transport in June, 1952. They are the latest available. On page 40 of those Accounts is an analysis of the fixed assets. There one gets an indication of what is the written down value of these vehicles and the road haulage property generally.

The item "British Road Services" was brought in at a gross book value of £68 million. The Accounts show that in respect of the period ending 31st December, 1951, a depreciation figure of something like 62 per cent. was applied to that gross book value. That figure is shown on page 54 where the breakdown of the depreciation appears. The result was that the gross book value of £68 million was reduced to a net book value of about £25,500,000.

That is a very large figure of depreciation. No doubt it was a perfectly justifiable figure and no doubt there are good reasons why it should be written down in that way; but I put it to the Government that it cannot be said that the real value in the sense in which I used that term is £25,500,000. This Clause provides that the only compensation which the Commission is to receive in respect of the disposal of its property is the amount by which the sum received on sale falls short of that written down value—in this case £25,500,000.

I am sure that the Minister of Transport and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury will realise that that really is not compensating the Commission upon a fair basis. The real question is how the Government are to define the figure by reference to which the compensation is to be assessed, that is to say, the figure which is to be taken as that by which the shortfall is to be measured.

What we have done in our Amendment is to try to formulate a fair statement of that figure, and, in order to arrive at that fair statement, we have followed the formula used in Section 47 of the Transport Act, 1947, to achieve a very similar purpose. In Section 47 of the 1947 Act, what was being done was this. An attempt was being made to arrive at a fair figure of compensation which the Commission should pay to the individual private operators when it took over their road vehicles, and, equally, it would not have been fair to compensate them upon the basis of the written-down value of those vehicles. Accordingly, the formula which we have adapted was used in Section 47, and the compensation was based upon the replacement value, subject to the deduction of five per cent. for each year, in effect, that the vehicle in question had been in commission. That was the rough effect of Section 47, and what we have done in our Amendment is to embody in it a very similar idea.

We have provided that the shortfall should be measured against the real value of the vehicles disposed of, and that the real value should be quantified in the terms we have mentioned. We take the compensation paid, and we ask how long the vehicle has been in the possession of the Commission since it was acquired by the Commission, and we write down that compensation figure by a straight line, as it is called, of 5 per cent. depreciation for each year that the vehicle has been in the possession of the Commission and used by the Commission.

Mr. Maudling

I am not quite clear about what the right hon. and learned Gentleman is saying, because the Amendment refers to a deduction of one-fifth in respect of each year.

Sir F. Soskice

I am sorry, I said 5 per cent. when I meant one-fifth, and I am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman. It is, of course, one-fifth in respect of each year in which the vehicle has been in use by the Commission. That is the position with regard to ordinary vehicles.

A figure of one-seventh is taken in the case of trailers, and, equally, that was the figure taken in Section 47 of the 1947 Act. Then, Section 47 also provides for the case where money has been spent on the vehicle since its acquisition, and that is reproduced in the Amendment in paragraph (iii) of the Amendment, with deals with that case.

Finally, there is a provision which deals with property other than these vehicles and trailers, and, in respect of that property, the figure is to be assessed by reference to what the property would have fetched if sold in the open market, estimated, as at the day of the sale, as if this Act had not been passed, and that is the language of Section 47 of this Act. In other words, we have to discard in our computation of the sale value of the vehicle the fact that this de-nationalisation Bill is being passed, and we have to try to see what it would have fetched in the open market if no such Bill had been passed. That was done in the case of the 1947 Transport Act.

I hope I have explained the purport of the Amendment. On the merits, I submit to the Committee that there really cannot be any answer to the claim that some such attempt should be made to compensate the Commission otherwise than merely by reference to the written- down value. That is really to give the Commission nothing like the real compensation which it should get.

It may very well be that the Amendment which we have put forward, which is, after all, an Amendment of some complication, may have defects, and possible serious defects. I do not know; we have tried to do our best, but it may be that the experts may look upon it as a somewhat home-made Amendment, although I hope it is not. If it has defects, I would simply say that we have put it down in order to bring to the notice of the Government the need for some change in the direction suggested. If it is defective, I hope the Minister of Transport and the Economic Secretary will say that they will give consideration to it, and will give an undertaking that, on Report, they will come back with some Amendment to the Transport Bill which would ensure that the Commission receives fair compensation.

At the moment, I suggest to the Committee that it really is not going to receive fair compensation, but that it will be compensated on an artificially reduced basis by reference to an artificial figure which, of necessity, is much less than the real value of the assets they are losing. It does not give them the compensation which they ought to have and which I am quite sure the Government, if they think fairly on the matter, as I am sure they will, would wish them to have. I am sure they realise they are not doing so by giving them the sale price of the vehicles and measuring that against the written down value.

Those are the reasons behind this Amendment, and I hope the Economic Secretary to the Treasury will say that the Government at least see there is merit in this suggestion, and even if they cannot accept the Amendment as it stands—and I suggest it is not unreasonably generous to the Commission but is reasonably fair—they will put upon the Order Paper some Amendment which achieves at any rate the object which we have in mind, and which I feel sure they must accept upon its merits.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Maudling

The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Neepsend (Sir F. Soskice) has moved this Amendment with his customary logic and persuasiveness. I regret I shall not be able to accept it, but I do not think he is altogether surprised at that. As to the technical side of the Amendment, I have been advised by the experts that, as he feared, there are some technical defects, although I must confess I cannot see them.

I also imagine that if we arrange for the Commission to be paid by way of compensation something greater than the written-down value of the assets in their books, we might come up against balancing charges which the right hon. and learned Gentleman and I have discussed before. We must deal with the principle which, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman says, is an important one. The question is, are the Commission being fairly compensated by these provisions? I would say once again—and I will explain later on why I say this—

Mr. Mitchison

The hon. Gentleman talked about balancing charges, but is he quite sure that the position is not exactly the opposite? This Amendment refers to the price of purchase, and it then takes off what I think is the standard tax allowance year by year in the manner in which it is usually taken off, and does it not necessarily result in the right amount from the inspector's point of view, so that the Government's original draft might introduce an awkward question on balancing charges?

Mr. Maudling

I shall not join issue with the hon. and learned Gentleman on this matter, for it is a side issue. However, I think I am correct in saying that balancing charges arise for any undertaking or trading organisation if they dispose of assets at a price greater than their written-down values for Income Tax purposes, but that is not material to the important argument which we are considering.

The question is whether compensation as a whole is fair. The right hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment seeks in principle to divide the physical assets which are disposed of between those taken over from the private hauliers and those acquired direct subsequently by the Commission. Taking first the assets that were acquired from the private hauliers, the right hon. and learned Gentleman's suggestion is that there should be applied to them a depreciation of 20 per cent. on what, I think, is a reducing balance, which is normal for Income Tax purposes. The Commission base their depreciation on the straight line. But I am informed, after a careful study of the proposal, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment would in money terms be very small in respect of the vehicles acquired from the hauliers. So far as we can estimate, if this proposal were substituted the amount at which those assets were to be valued would be very little, if any, different from the amount at which they stand in the books of the Commission. That is the information that I have received from sources the accuracy of which I have no reason to doubt.

Mr. I. 0. Thomas

Would the hon. Gentleman indicate what is the number of the vehicles upon which that part of the estimate to which he refers is based?

Mr. Maudling

I am afraid I have not the figure by me, but I do not think it is relevant to the principle which we are discussing. The first point that I want to make is that, as far as vehicles acquired from road hauliers are concerned, the Amendment would complicate the assessment of the figure and, as I am advised, would not add any material amount, if at all, to the amount received by the Commission.

The other part of the Amendment deals with assets of all kinds acquired by the Commission for themselves and not acquired by the Commission from existing road hauliers. In this case an estimate is to be made, as on the date of sale and as if the Act had not been passed, of the value of that property and what it would have fetched on the open market.

In my view the practical problems involved in reaching any such assessment would be quite insuperable. The range, the amount, and the diversity of the property involved is, of course, very large; and to estimate at any time the market value of such property, whether one estimates unit by unit or in whatever terms, would be extraordinarily difficult. But to try to estimate it also at the date of sale and as if the Act had not been passed would, in my judgment, be impracticable.

I appreciate the strength of the argument of the right hon. and learned Member for Neepsend that very often the book value of assets is a very different matter from the real value of assets. I should fairly point out that that is an argument which we on this side of the Committee advanced from the benches opposite when nationalisation compensation proposals were being put forward. I accept that there is an obvious difference between them.

But what applies to the physical assets applies also to the goodwill. If it is true that the real market value of the physical assets is different from the book value, it is equally true that the real market value of the goodwill is very different from the book value; because, as I have explained already, the book value of the goodwill upon which basis the Commission are to receive compensation represents purchase of profits which no longer exist. I know that hon. Members opposite do not accept that, but I consider that it is a valid argument.

Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)

When a Commission like this take over a large concern with many of the vehicles in a bad condition, the first thing that they do is to put those vehicles into a good condition, naturally. That does not necessarily appear in the books and, therefore, the value in the books may be very different from what is the real physical value of the Commission's vehicles. I cannot see, for instance, how it will be decided who will get the vehicles at book value, because I assure the hon. Gentleman that that will create fortunes for many people in this country.

Mr. Maudling

The right hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. The price paid by the purchaser depends upon offers received by the Commission, and we are discussing the amount to which the price shall be made up for the benefit of the Commission out of the levy. Either we must take both the physical assets and the goodwill at book value or both at current market value.

If the Committee look at the matter as a whole it is clear that by no means are we being unfair to the Commission if we give them the full value of their goodwill and at the same time confine them to the book value of their physical assets. Because if it is true, and it may very well be, that the real value of the physical assets of the Commission is greater than the book value, it is equally and probably more true that the real value of the so-called goodwill, which stands at the orginal figure in the books of the Commission, is very much below a figure based on three years' profit at something like £10 million a year.

It is true that the serious proposal put forward by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield, Neepsend would be another method of calculating this sum. So far as the physical assets are concerned, it would possibly arrive at a figure nearer their truer value, but it would be a process complicated and difficult to the point of being impracticable; and if at the same time we follow the logic of the argument put forward by the right hon. and learned Gentleman, not only must we treat the physical assets on a basis of real value but we must treat the goodwill on a basis of real value, and that would be not to the benefit but to the detriment of the Commission.

Mr. Mitchison

I am sorry to differ completely from no less an authority than the Economic Secretary to the Treasury about the difficulty and the impracticability of what is suggested in this Amendment. He let the cat out of the bag a good deal earlier. He pointed out quite rightly that the effect of this Amendment is to make the purchase price paid by the Commission apply to Income Tax deductions at the rate and in the way in which Income Tax deductions are in fact applied.

If it is such a difficult figure to ascertain, I suggest it is because he has omitted to discover from the Board of Inland Revenue what is the correct Income Tax figure at which these assets stand. Subject to what he may say, one of the great advantages of this Amendment seems to be that the aggregate arrived at in it is the correct Income Tax aggregate. I submit that the provision made in the Bill itself must involve balancing charges. It is certain to, because the figure is certainly not arrived at in the way in which the Income Tax valuation is arrived at from year to year.

I should like to know whether any correspondence or communications have passed on this matter between the Ministry and the Income Tax authorities, and if so, whether any question of a balancing charge or a balancing allowance has been raised. I wonder whether, before the hon. Gentleman rises to his feet, he will make certain from his right hon. Friend that there has been no such communication, and whether the question of the balancing charge or balancing allowance has been discussed. Further, has there been no such communication with the Commission? I should be surprised if this matter has not been raised and if an opinion has not been expressed on it.

Mr. Maudling

In reply to the first point, if the hon. and learned Gentleman will look at paragraph (a, iii) in the Amendment he will see reference to if the physical condition of the vehicle is materially better or worse.… The ascertainment of whether it is better or worse is a complication superimposed upon the Income Tax deductions which, to my mind, would to some degree complicate the actual assessment. The point of complication that I was raising mainly was under paragraph (b) in relation to the estimate of the other property of the Commission at market price.

So far as balancing charges are concerned, which I raised purely in parenthesis, the normal Income Tax law would apply to the transactions of the Commission.

Mr. Mitchison

Quite so, and if in fact the normal Income Tax law applies, then under the Bill as at present drafted, there is bound to be a balancing charge or a balancing allowance, or else we are talking about nothing but mere differences of language, and I think we are all agreed that we are not doing that. In those circumstances, this proposed method of doing it is far simpler and fairer than what is proposed in the Bill.

10.0 p.m.

Paragraph (a, iii), deals with a comparatively small matter, and it is certainly not a particularly difficult thing to do. I feel certain that my right hon. and learned Friend who said that we were not tied to the precise words and form of the Amendment, would be only too glad to consider and would probably welcome any suggestion from the Government on a minor point such as this. But what we want to get at is the really substantial point—as I think was really agreed by the hon. Gentleman—that book values may be quite misleading.

It is not altogether unfair that people who have to settle their Income Tax affairs on one basis should be compensated on the same basis. When the Government act as a tax-collecting authority we do not want them to receive payment on one line if, when they act as a compensating authority by introducing compensatory provisions, they do so on another line. That is what they are doing under the provisions of this Bill.

These Amendments are put forward in order to avoid injustice to the Commission, and the effect of them, taken together, is that the Commission should not be put in an unfair position by reason of the alternative selected by the Government, but that they should be allowed to opt, for their benefit, for the more favourable of the two provisions. If these Amendments operate on or very near the Income Tax basis, what is the objection?

We are told that the difference is quite a small one. That is as may be, but we were given such extraordinarily little information as to what, if any, was the amount of the difference or how it worked out, that we are in no position to judge. We have had to accept so many shortcomings and so much confusion on the part of the Government on the ground that they were only small matters that I would say, with respect, that we do not mind one illegitimate child, but a whole litter is really a little too much. The Economic Secretary might have a look at these Amendments and accept their principle.

With regard to goodwill, I have already put the point—and I beg leave to put it again because I think it is profoundly important—that the whole question really hinges on what appears to be the intention of the Government to sell these vehicles to private traders at prices which are not the right ones because they do not include the true value of the goodwill. That is particularly so in the case of the transport units which are to be the backbone and the substance of the sale, according to the Government.

The goodwill must exist. It cannot be lost by any legislative change. Under any form of ownership it depends, in the nature of the case, on the facilities continually provided by these vehicles on one route or one form of traffic. It must be there. Why should the Government sell assets to private traders at a special price for the benefit of those traders without charging the full amount for goodwill? There ought to be no such thing as compensation for goodwill, for the simple reason that there should be no loss of goodwill. If there is a loss of goodwill it has nothing whatever to do with what this Government, the past Government, or any other Government did. It attaches to the vehicles by virtue of the service they perform, the routes on which they operate and the traffic they carry.

Apparently it is intended deliberately to throw away that goodwill—and then we are asked to provide a fund to compensate for it. In my view subsection (4, d) ought not to exist at all because there is no reason whatever why the full amount of goodwill should not be recovered from the purchasers. I see no reason why, if the price that was paid for the physical assets is to be the basis of their sale, the price paid for the goodwill should not also be the basis of its sale.

Compensation ought not to exist at all, but certainly, if it does exist, it should be a small amount. The full book value of the goodwill, and rather more in many cases, because the rotten vehicles have been sorted out in many instances, ought not to be a matter of compensation; it ought to be recovered from the people who will buy these vehicles. If the Government or the Commission or the Board, or whoever it may be, cannot get proper prices for the vehicles, then they ought not to be sold. They have no right to make job lots of goodwill or anything else for private purchase out of public property.

Mr. Niall Macpherson (Dumfries)

The hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) is dealing with two sub jects—first of all, with goodwill; and secondly, with the value of the vehicle. As far as I can understand him, he wants us to accept the book value of the goodwill but not the book value of the vehicles. That is his argument. He says that goodwill is something which attaches to vehicles by reason of the services they render. Of course, that will be so under monopoly, and if the monopoly is retained, but if the monopoly is broken then, by virtue of the fact that competition is established, the goodwill changes. Indeed, it could be argued that the mere fact of establishing monopoly at all suppresses the goodwill entirely, because goodwill is really a customer preference for one service or one article of goods rather than another.

Mr. Mitchison

That argument is unworthy of the hon. Gentleman and of those on the benches opposite who have made similar remarks during the debates or have applauded them; and let me tell them why. What will the purchaser get? He will get a fleet of vehicles which have habitually carried certain goods, let us say, from Newcastle to Darlington or wherever it may be. or he will get a group of vehicles which habitually carry some kind of traffic or another.

The additional virtue, over and above the mere physical asset, is that this is the way in which, under public ownership or private ownership, and quite apart from any question of ownership at all, people have been accustomed to send their goods, and those are the vehicles in which the goods have been sent. If I may use a term used by a judge, it is a kind of cat goodwill, which depends on the fleet, and it is not a kind of dog goodwill, which depends on who is the master.

Mr. Macpherson

I always welcome the hon. and learned Gentleman's interventions, however long they may be, although I do not know what his right hon. Friend will have to say about that. Of course, it is true that when goodwill passes there is a certain inertia of the goodwill. If we pass from monopoly back to competition, that inertia is destroyed by the dynamics of competition. We should also clearly understand the difference between the two systems which are here proposed of estimating the value of the vehicles.

In the first case, we accept the aggregate of the book value. In the second case, if I understand the right hon. Gentleman's argument correctly, each single vehicle is to be revalued individually, and not only in a certain form but somebody has to come along and estimate whether the value of that vehicle, if sold in the open market, would be greater or less than the revalued amount. I think that is the position, because under subsection (5, a, iii), in either case, if the physical condition of the vehicle is materially better or worse at the date of sale … somebody must come along and say whether it is better or worse. Who is to say that? The Amendment itself does not provide for that. Is it to be the Commission who will say that? Is it to be the Disposal Board that says it? This Amendment really does not make sense.

I have said that under this Amendment the value of the vehicles is to be reassessed individually, but, as the Economic Secretary said at an earlier stage, one of the assets of this Bill is that it enables the vehicles to be sold off as units, and, thereby, it enhances the value of the vehicles. Of course, if the vehicles were sold off only as individual vehicles, without being a unit, in a certain state of maintenance and repair, then, quite clearly, the aggregate value would be much lower; but by reason of the fact that they are going to be sold off as units—very often, no doubt, as going concerns—the value is likely to be higher.

I would suggest that the whole of this Amendment is based on a really unfounded fear. I would suggest that it is extremely improbable that the value that will be realised for these vehicles will be anything near the book value. I suggest that it is going to be infinitely higher, and that the higher value of the vehicles is going to be a good set off against the loss of goodwill, and that, thereby, the Transport Fund will be called on to a very much less extent than would otherwise be the case. I recognise that the value of the vehicles individually is no doubt higher than the book value, and I know that in many cases the Transport Commission has repaired vehicles and has put those vehicles in a good state of repair without charging that to the value of the vehicle. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirling (Mr. Woodburn) and I both got our information on that from the same source. I know that to be true.

Nevertheless, I believe that that value will be estimated when the tenders come to be made. People will come along to inspect what they are going to buy, and they will set their value on the vehicles. Really, there are only two ways of assessing the value of a vehicle; either by the book value, or by the value that a willing purchaser is prepared to pay. In fact the value is to be set by the value that the tenderer is prepared to pay, and that, I believe will be considerably higher than the book value, and, thereby, the calls on the Transport Fund will to that extent be considerably less. I really do not think that this is a well thought out Amendment, although I see the point of it. I hope the Committee will reject it.

Mr. Callaghan

I should like for a few minutes to try to get clear what we are discussing in this particular Amendment. What we are in fact discussing is this, that the Government intend to sell off a public undertaking at a loss. I suggest that it is probably the first time in the history of our statutes that we have had a Clause in a Bill like Clause 12, which sets out to say that a loss is going to be involved in an undertaking which the Government are about to embark upon, and that they propose to make up that loss in some way or another to those upon whom they are visiting it.

10.15 p.m.

Before we get lost in the technicalities of goodwill, the value of the vehicles, and whether it ought to be replacement value or book value, or whatever it may be, we ought once more to bring home to the Minister what he is doing. He is wantonly breaking up an organisation to which attaches a goodwill which has been bought by the public, paid for by the British Transport Commission, and which stands in the accounts of the British Transport Commission at the sum of £31 million. He says, "By the action that I am taking I intend—and, indeed, it flows naturally from what I am doing—that this £31 million which is now written into the accounts of the Commission shall disappear." The second thing he says in doing this—

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

On a point of order. Is not goodwill totally irrelevant to this Amendment? The only reference to goodwill in this Clause is in subsection (4, d), to which there is no Amendment on the Order Paper. This Amendment deals only with paragraph (a) of subsection (4) and, I submit that all argument about goodwill is totally irrelevant.

Mr. Callaghan

If I might follow that up, I should indeed be happy to accept that submission if it were for me to do so, but I would just point out that we did not introduce this about goodwill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] The argument about goodwill was introduced by the Economic Secretary. He is an honest man, and he nods his head, even though his hon. Friends may disagree with him. He knows he introduced the argument in order to destroy our case. If I am out of order, then the whole of this discussion over the last hour has been out of order.

The Chairman

I should have thought that "the aggregate net value of property" would include goodwill.

Mr. Callaghan

I only wish the noble Lord had raised his point of order when the Economic Secretary was speaking.

I should now like to continue to deal with what is happening under the Clause as it stands, which we are trying to improve. The Minister is also saying, "I am taking vehicles, rolling stock and plant and equipment whose book value is £68 million. I intend to sell it, and it may well be that it will result in a loss when I have sold it. I am taking land, buildings and permanent way valued at nearly £14 million, and I am going to sell those in such a way that the loss may fall upon the British Transport Commission, and through them eventually, of course, upon the Revenue." It is important that we should understand that this is what the Minister is doing.

The Minister is taking an undertaking whose value written in the British Transport Commission accounts, after taking into account depreciation, is of the order of £66 million, and he is saying, "I recognise that I am going to sell this at a loss, so I propose in some way or another to try to make up to the British Transport Commission some part of that loss." I ask the Minister, in the first place, why he is doing this at all. I wonder what his hon. Friend the Member for Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones) has been thinking about this discussion as he has been sitting there. Yesterday, he moved an Amendment—or was it the day before?

Mr. Aubrey Jones (Birmingham, Hall Green)

The day before.

Mr. Callaghan

These days pass before us in a rapid kaleidoscope as we glide through this Bill. I wonder what the hon. Gentleman has been thinking as this, discussion has been going on? The effect of the Amendment he moved the other day, if the Minister had accepted it, would have meant that there would have been no loss on sale, and the Economic Secretary would not have been able to introduce his argument about goodwill, because the purpose of that Amendment was that companies should be formed by the Commission before the units were sold, whose value should include the goodwill that would attach to those companies.

It is by the default of the Minister in rejecting that Amendment, which we were ready to support, that any goodwill which may be lost is now being lost. The purpose of that Amendment was to preserve the goodwill which he knew was there, and which is being destroyed by the Minister because of the method he has adopted to break up and sell this organisation. If he had endeavoured to keep it together in the form of public companies to be formed by the British Transport Commission before sale, as was suggested in that Amendment of his hon. Friend, we would not now be faced with this Clause and the Economic Secretary would not have had his argument. There can be no dispute between the Economic Secretary and myself that the book value of the rolling stock, plant and equipment is less than the real market value, the current replacement value today.

Mr. Maudling

I said that it might well be, I did not say that it was, because it is so difficult, if not impossible, to estimate what would be the real market value.

Mr. Callaghan

Well, then, the Economic Secretary says that the current replacement value might well be higher and that is my view also. But why should he not take the same basis in determining the road haulage capital loss now as was taken in determining the compensation that should be paid to private hauliers in 1947?

Mr. Mandling

Is the hon. Gentleman arguing that the goodwill of the Commission should be estimated on five years' purchase of their current profits?

Mr. Callaghan

I have been arguing for the last five minutes that the Government, by the method they have chosen for selling these transport units are destroying the goodwill which need not have been destroyed had they adopted the Amendment put forward by the hon. Member for Hall Green which we were ready to support. And if they have themselves destroyed the goodwill by the way in which they are parcelling up these units, it is not proper that they should charge their default to the British Transport Commission.

Now I come to the physical assets. The British Transport Commission have taken a number of very old vehicles which appeared in their books at ridiculously low prices, representing the value at which they were taken over but which, having been rebuilt in their own workshops, are now practically new vehicles. And they are standing in their books at figures as low as £50, £100, £150 when they are worth a couple of thousand pounds. I am saying that the Minister ought to have another look at this because he is being unjust to the British Transport Commission. If the basis of current replacement values was good enough when we were buying out the private haulier, it should also be good enough at a time when the British Transport Commission is being bought out. I have yet to hear any satisfactory answer to that argument.

I am ready to agree that perhaps our Amendment has certain defects. I thought it was almost abstruse and obscure enough to have got past the Parliamentary draftsman. I do not pretend to understand every word and, if that is so, we can be certain that the Parliamentary draftsman is right. But even assuming its drafting defects, is it not clear that there is no reason for choosing one basis that is favourable to the road haulier when he is taken over, and then choosing an unfavourable basis for the British Transport Commission when we are selling back to him? It means that he is getting it twice: he has been bought out at the top of the market, he will now buy back at the bottom of the market when, as we know, conditions are different from the time when he was taken over.

This is an abstruse point and I am sure that if the Minister had any hand in the drafting of this Clause, which he probably did not, he would not unwittingly do the British Transport Commission an injustice of this sort. There is an injustice here. They are not getting the compensation they ought to have. If the Minister and the Economic Secretary will look at the Amendment again I am sure they will agree that they are being unjust to the British Transport Commission. In effect, they are visiting upon the Commission, upon its revenues and upon the public generally a loss which they ought not to bear. I am afraid we are again near the Guillotine. I suppose the discussion will just drag itself out in a desultory way and some one will be guillotined. I am determined that it shall not be me this evening, for I am getting tired of being guillotined every time. We cannot get an answer from the Government in the time that is left, but perhaps one of the Government supporters will throw himself into the breach.

Between now and the Report stage the the Government should look again at the Amendment and at the principle which underlies it, and, even if they cannot accept the detail, they should at least bring forward something more akin to the basis of compensation adopted in 1947 when we took over the hauliers. If the Government treat the British Transport Commission on the same basis, we shall feel that they have at least on this one occasion done justice as between the Commission and the road hauliers who are buying the Commission out.

I fear that we shall have to go to a Division on the Amendment because we wish to record our view that the Commission is not receiving justice at the hands of the Government, but, if the Economic Secretary or the Minister will undertake to consider the Amendment again between now and the Report stage, we shall have to consider what course of action we must follow.

Mr. Angus Maude (Ealing, South)

I am not really throwing myself into the breach, I shall try not to be desultory, and I do not in the least mind being guillotined. I do not in the least see why the discussion on the Amendment should close without somebody pointing out what seems to me to be obvious. There is a fundamental fallacy in the Amendment. I found the arguments of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Neepsend (Sir F. Soskice) logical in the extreme and absolutely unexceptionable, but they seemed to start from an assumption which was false and to move towards an ultimate objective which was never stated.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman wants the Committee to accept an Amendment which will substitute for the written-down book values of these assets the current market value. The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) said that what was intended was the current replacement value. This is a most extraordinary proposition. It is clear that in many cases the book values are well below the other values. The Transport Commission's Report makes it clear, saying that many of the vehicles stand on its books at pre-war values and that, if the rise in replacement costs continues, the difference may continue to grow.

If we were to insist on current replacement costs it would be totally illogical unless there was some prospect of the need to replace. Since by definition we are taking the business away from the Transport Commission so that they will not need to replace these assets, the case for compensating at current replacement values does not exist.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman did not bring the question of goodwill into the argument. The only conceivable way in which the argument can be made logical is to bring in the goodwill. Nevertheless, if he wants to compensate for goodwill there is no reason to suppose that simply taking the current market replacement value of assets, which depends upon the supply and demand for the vehicles, will give an accurate assessment of the difference attributable to goodwill.

It is clear that there is no logic whatever in the Amendment. If we are to take away the business there is no need to pay a replacement value, because the Commission will not have to replace. All that is necessary is a compensating payment which will balance the balance sheet. So long as the balance sheet is made to balance after the operation has gone through, it is quite unnecessary to write up the value of the assets for compensation purposes.

It being half-past Ten o'Clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes. 253: Noes, 272.

Division No. 46.] AYES [10.30 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Gooch, E. G. O'Brien, T.
Adams, Richard Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Oldfield, W. H.
Allan, A. H. Greenwood. Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Oliver, G. H.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Grenfell, Rt Hon. D. R. Orbach, M.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Grey, C. F. Oswald, T
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Griffiths, David (Rather Valley) Padley, W. E.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Paget, R. T
Awbery, S. S. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Bacon, Miss Alice Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Baird, J. Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Palmer, A. M. F.
Balfour, A. Hamilton, W. W. Pannell, Charles
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Hannan, W. Pargiter, G. A.
Bartley, P. Hardy, E. A. Parker, J.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Hargreaves, A. Paton, J.
Bence, C. R. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Pearson, A.
Benn, Wedgwood Hastings, S. Pearl, T. F.
Benson, G. Hayman, F. H. Plummer, Sir Leslie
Beswick, F. Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Proctor, W. T.
Bing, G. H. C. Herbison, Miss M. Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Blackburn, F. Hewitson, Capt. M. Rankin, John
Blenkinsop, A. Hobson, C. R. Reeves, J.
Blyton, W. R. Holman, P. Reid, William (Camlachie)
Boardman, H. Houghton, Douglas Rhodes, H.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Richards, R.
Bowden, H. W. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Bowles, F. G. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Hynd, H. (Accrington) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Brockway, A. F. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Ross, William
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Royle, C.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Isaacs, Rt. Hon G. A. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Janner, B. Short, E. W.
Burke, W. A. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Burton, Miss F. E. Jeger, George (Goole) Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Callaghan, L. J. Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Carmichael, J. Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Johnson, James (Rugby) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Champion, A. J. Jones, David (Hartlepool) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Chapman, W. D. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Snow, J. W
Chetwynd, G. R. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Sorensen, R. W.
Clunie, J. Jones, T W (Merioneth) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Coldrick, W. Keenan, W Sparks, J. A.
Collick, P. H. Kenyon, C. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Corbel, Mrs. Freda Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Cove, W. G. Kinley, J. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Stross, Dr. Barnett
Crosland, C. A. R. Lee, Mass Jennie (Cannock) Swinger, S. T.
Crossman, R. H. S. Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Sylvester, G. O.
Raines, P. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Taylor. Bernard (Mansfield)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Lewis, Arthur Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Lindgren, G. S. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Logan, D. G. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Davies, Harold (Leek) MacColl, J E. Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) McInnes, J. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Deer, G. McKay, John (Wallsend) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Delargy, H. J. McLeavy, F. Thorneycroll, Harry (Clayton)
Dodds, N. N. MacMillan, M K. (Western Isles) Thornton, E.(Farnworth)
Donnelly, D. L. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Thurtle. Ernest
Driberg, T. E. N. Mal[...]alieu, E. L. (Brigg) Timmons, J
Duglate, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Mallaleiu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Tomney, F
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Mann, Mrs. Jean Turner-Samuels, M.
Edelman, M. Manuel, A. C. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Edwards, John (Brighouse) Mayhew, C. P. Viant, S. P
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Mellish, R. J. Wallace, H. W.
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Messer, F. Watkins, T E.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Mikardo, Ian Weitzman, D.
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Mitchison, G. R. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Moody, A. S. Wells, William (Walsall)
Ewart, R. Morgan, Dr H. B. W West, D. G.
Field, W. J. Morley, R Wheeldon, W. E.
Fienburgh, W. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) While, Mrs Eirene (E. Flint)
Finch, H. J. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Mort, D. L. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Follick, M. Moyle, A. Wigg, George
Forman, J. C. Motley, F. W Wi'cock, Group Capt. C. A. B
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Murray, J. D Wilkins, W. A.
Freeman, John (Watford) Nally, W. Willey, F. T
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Williams, David (heath)
Gibson, C. W. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Williams, Rev.Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Glanville. James
Williams, Ronald (Wigan) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Williams, W. R. (Droylsden) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.) Wyatt, W. L. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton) Yates, V. F. Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Holmes.
Aitken, W. T. Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M. Low, A. R. W.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Erroll, F. J. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Fell, A. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Arbuthnot, John Finlay, Creams MoAdden, S. J.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Fisher, Nigel McCallum, Major D.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Baldock, Lt.-Comdr. J. M. Fletcher-Cooke, C. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)
Baldwin, A. E. Fort, R. Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Banks, Col. C. Foster, John McKibbin, A. J.
Barber, Anthony Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Barlow, Sir John Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
Baxter, A. B. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Macleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.)
Beach, Maj. Hicks Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Gammans, L. D. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Gough, C. F. H. Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Gower, H. R. Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Graham, Sir Fergus Marlowe, A. A. H.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Gridley, Sir Arnold Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Grimond, J. Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)
Birch, Nigel Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Maude, Angus
Bishop, F. P. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Maudling, R.
Black, C. W. Hall, John (Wycombe) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.
Boothby, R. J. G. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Medlicott, Brig. F.
Bossom, A. C. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Mellor, Sir John
Bowen, E. R. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Molson, A. H. E.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Boyle, Sir Edward Hay, John Mott-Radclyfe, C. E.
Brains, B. R. Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Nabarro, G. D. N.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Heald, Sir Lionel Nicholls, Harmar
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Brstol, N.W.) Heath, Edward Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nield, Basil (Chester)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Higgs, J. M. C. Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Brooman-White, R. C. Hill, Dr Charles (Luton) Nugent, G. R. H.
Browne, Jack (Govan) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nutting, Anthony
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Oakshott, H. D.
Bullard, D. G. Hirst, Geoffrey Odey, G. W.
Bullock, Capt. M. Holland-Martin, C. J. O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Hollis, M. C. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Burden, F. F. A. Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Campbell, Sir David Holt, A. F. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Hope, Lord John Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Carson, Hon. E. Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Partridge, E.
Cary, Sir Robert Horobin, I. M. Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Channon, H. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Perkins, W. R. D.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Peyton, J. W. W.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Cole, Norman Hurd, A. R. Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Colegate, W. A. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Powell, J. Enoch
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Protonic, J. D.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Raikes, H. V.
Cranborne, Viscount Johnson, Eric (Blackleg) Rayner, Brig. R.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Redmayne, M.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Remnant, Hon. P.
Crouch, R. F. Kaberry, D. Renton. D. L. M.
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Crowder, Petro (Ruislip—Northwood) Lambton, Viscount Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Cuthbert, W. N. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Roper, Sir Harold
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Langford-Holt, J. A. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Deedes, W. F. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Russell, R. S.
Digby, S. Wingfield Leather, E. H. C. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Donner, P. W. Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Doughty, C. J. A. Lindsay, Martin Scott, R. Donald
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Linstead, H. N. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Drayson, G. B. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Shepherd, William
Drewe, C. Lloyd, Major Guy (Renfrew, E.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas (Richmond) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Smithers. Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Longden, Gilbert Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Snadden, W. McN. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Soames, Capt. C. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Spearman, A. C. M. Testing, W. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Speir, R. M. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Spans, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway) Watkinson, H. A.
Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard Thompson, Kenneth (Walton) Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Stevens, G. P. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W) White, Baker (Canterbury)
Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Thornton-Kemsley, Col, C. N. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Tilney, John Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Touche, Sir Gordon Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Storey, S. Turner, H. F. L. Wills, G.
Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) Turton, R. H. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K. Wood, Hon. R.
Summers, G. S. Vosper, D. F.
Sutcliffe, H. Wade, D. W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Studholme and Mr. Butcher.

The CHAIRMAN then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at half-past Ten o'Clock.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes. 271; Noes. 252.

Division No. 47.] AYES [10.40 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C Holland-Martin, C. J
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hollis, M. C.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Crouch, R. F. Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)
Amory, Heathooat (Tiverton) Crowder, Sir John (Finehley) Holt, A. F.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Hope, Lord John
Arbuthnot, John Cuthbert, W. N. Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Horobin, I. M.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Deedes. W. F. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Digby, S. Wingfield Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Baldwin, A. E. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Howard, Greville (St. Ives)
Banks, Col. C. Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)
Barber, Anthony Donner, P. W. Hurd, A. R.
Barlow, Sir John Doughty, C. J. A. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Baxter, A. B. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)
Beach, Maj. Hicks Drayson, G. B. Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas (Richmond) Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Duncan, Capt. J. A. L Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Duthie, W. S. Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M. Jones, A. (Hall Green)
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbastsn) Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Kaberry, D.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Erroll, F. J Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)
Bovine, J. R. (Toxteth) Fell, A. Lambton, Viscount
Birch, Nigel Finlay, Graeme Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Bishop, F. P Fisher, Nigel Langford-Holt, J A.
Black, C. W Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Boothby, R. J. G Fletcher-Cooke, C Leather, E. H. C.
Bossom, A. C. Fort, R. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H
Bowen, E. R. Foster, John Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. 1
Boyle, Sir Edward Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonedate) Lindsay, Martin
Brains, B. R. Fyffe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Linstead, H. N.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pallok) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Gammons, L. D. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd Longden, Gilbert
Brooman-White, R. C. Gough, C. F. H. Low, A. R. W.
Browne, Jack (Govan) Cower, H. R. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Graham, Sir Fergus Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Bullard, D. G. Gridley, Sir Arnold Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Bullock, Capt. M. Grimond, J. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) McCallum, Major D.
Burden, F. F. A. Grimston Sir Robert (Westbury) McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Butcher, H. W. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)
Campbell, Sir David Hall, John (Wycombe) Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) McKibbin, A. J.
Carson, Hon. E. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Cary, Sir Robert Harvey, Air Cdre A. V. (Macclesfield) Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
Channon, H. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Macleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Hay, John MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Heald, Sir Lionel Macpherson, Maj. Mall (Dumfries)
Cole, Norman Heath, Edward Maitland, Comdr. J F. W. (Horncaslls)
Colegate, W. A. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Higgs, J. M. C. Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Marlowe, A. A. H.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Hinchinghrooke, Viscount Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)
Cranborne, Viscount Hirst, Geoffrey Maude, Angus
Maudling, R. Rayner, Brig. R. Sutcliffe, H.
Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Redmayne, M. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Medicott, Brig. F. Remnant, Hon, P. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Mellor, Sir John Renton, D. L. M. Teeling, W.
Molson, A. H. E. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Morrison, John (Salisbury) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Roper, Sir Harold Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Nabarro, G. D. N. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Nicholls, Harman Russell, R. S. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Tilney, John
Nield, Basil (Chester) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Touche, Sir Gordon
Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas Turner, H. F. L.
Nugent, G. R. H. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale) Turton, R. H.
Nutting, Anthony Scott, R. Donald Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Oa[...]shott, H. D. Scott-M Ler, Cmdr. R. Vosper, D. F.
Odey, G. W. Shepherd, William Wade, D. W.
O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Orr, Capt. L P. S. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Snadden, W. McN. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Soames, Capt. C. Watkinson, H. A.
Partridge, E. Spearman, A. C. M. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Speir, R. M. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Perkins, W. R. D. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.) Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Peyton, J. W. W. Stevens, G. P. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Pickthorn, K. W. M. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Wills, G.
Pilkington, Capt. R A. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Powell, J. Enoch Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Wood, Hon. R.
Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Storey, S.
Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Prolumo, J. D. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Mr. Studholme and Mr. Drewe.
Raikes, H. V. Summers, G. S.
Acland, Sir Richard Crossman, R. H. S. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)
Adams, Richard Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hastings, S.
Albu, A. H. Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hayman, F. H.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Henderson, Rt. Hon. A (Rowley Regis)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Davies, Harold (Leek) Herbison, Miss M.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Hewitson, Capt. M
Awbery, S. S Deer, G. Hobson, C. R.
Bacon, Miss Alice Delargy, H. J. Holman, P.
Baird, J. Dodds, N. N. Houghton, Douglas
Balfour, A. Donnelly, D. L. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Driberg, T. E. N. Hughses, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
Bartley, P. Dugdale, Rt. Hon John (W. Bromwich) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C Hynd, H (Accrington)
Bence, C. R Edelman, M. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Benn, Wedgwood Edwards, John (Brighouse) Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Benson, G. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Irving, W J. (Wood Green)
Beswick, F. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Isaacs, Rt. Hon G. A.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Janner, B.
Bing, G. H. C. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T
Blackburn, F. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Jeger, George (Goole)
Blenkinsop, A. Ewart, R. Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)
Blyton, W. R. Field, W. J. Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)
Boardman, H. Fienburgh, W. Johnson, James (Rugby)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Finch, H. J. Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Bowden, H. W. Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
Bowles, F. G. Follick, M. Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Forman, J. C. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Brockway, A. F. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Keenan, W.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Freeman, John (Watford) Kenyon, C.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Gibson, C. W. Kinley, J.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Glanville, James Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Burke, W. A. Gooch, E. G. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Burton, Miss F. E. Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Callaghan, L. J. Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Carmichael, J. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Lewis, Arthur
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Grey, C. F. Lindgren, G. S
Champion, A. J Griffiths, David (Rothe, Valley) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M
Chapman, W. D. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Logan, D. G
Chetwynd, G. R. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) MacColl, J. E.
Clunie, J. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) McInnes, J.
Coldrick, W. Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) McKay, John (Wallsend)
Collick, P. H. Hamilton, W. W. McLeavy, F.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hannan, W. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Cove, W. G. Hardy, E. A. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hargreaves, A. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Crosland, C. A. R. Mallalieu, J. P W (Huddersfield, E.)
Mann, Mrs. Jean Proctor, W. T. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Manuel, A. C. Pursey, Cmdr. H. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Mayhew, C. P. Rankin, John Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Mellish, R. J. Reeves, J. Thornton, E. (Farnworth)
Messer, F. Reid, William (Camlachie) Thurtle, Ernest
Mikardo, Ian Rhodes, H. Timmons, J.
Mitchison, G. R. Richards, R. Tomney, F.
Moody, A. S. Robens, Rt. Hon A. Turner-Samuels, M.
Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Ungoed Thomas, Sir Lynn
Morley, R. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Viant, S. P.
Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Ross, William Wallace, H. W.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Royle, C Watkins, T. E.
Mort, D. L. Schofield, S. (Barnsley) Weitzman, D.
Moyle, A. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Muley, F. W Short, E. W. Wells, William (Walsall)
Murray, J. D. Shurmer, P. L. E. West, D. G.
Nally, W. Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Wheeldon, W. E.
Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
O'Brien, T. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Oldfield, W. H. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) Wigg, George
Oliver, G. H. Snow, J. W. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B
Orbach, M. Sorensen, R. W. Wilkins, W. A.
Oswald, T. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Willey, F. T.
Padley, W. E. Sparks, J. A. Williams, David (Neath)
Paget, R. T. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Palmer, A. M. F. Stross, Dr. Barnett Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Pannell, Charles Swingler, S. T. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Pargiter, G. A. Sylvester, G. O. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Parker, J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Paton, J. Taylor, John (West Lothian) Wyatt, W. L.
Pearson, A. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth) Yates, V. F.
Peart, T. F. Thomas, David (Aberdare) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Plummer, Sir Leslie Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Holmes.

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

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.