HC Deb 16 December 1952 vol 509 cc1325-63

10.12 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Henry Strauss)

I beg to move, That the Draft Clothing Industry Development Council (Dissolution) Order, 1952, a copy of which was laid before this House on 1st December, be approved. This Motion is to approve an Order, under Section 8 of the Industrial Organisation and Development Act, 1947, for the dissolution of the Clothing Industry Development Council. The House will be aware from an answer to a Parliamentary Question, given on 1st December, that the representatives of both sides of the industry have agreed to set up a voluntary body with more limited functions in succession to the body whose dissolution is being sought.

The general purpose of all development councils is set out in the statute. It is: to increase efficiency or productivity in the industry, to improve or develop the service that it renders or could render to the community, or to enable it to render such service more economically. The Clothing Industry Development Council was set up under an Order made on 16th November, 1949, and came into operation on 1st January, 1950.

On the policy of development councils in general and some councils in particular, there has from time to time been a difference of opinion between the two sides of the House, but there has also been—and I would mention this tonight—a very general measure of agreement on certain matters. Both sides of the House have always recognised how much the success of a development council would depend on the agreement and co-operation of both sides of an industry.

Perhaps I might quote just two sentences uttered on the same day in this House, one by the late Sir Stafford Cripps and the other by my right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton). Sir Stafford Cripps, on 3rd June, 1947, said: … the success of the councils will, of course, depend very largely upon the degree of co-operation given by both sides of industry."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd June, 1947; Vol. 438, c. 92.] And my right hon. Friend said: I think it is the general opinion on both sides that these development councils will not be successful and will not attain the object we all have in view unless they are set up with the good will of all concerned."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd June, 1947; Vol. 438, c. 53.] Since the present Administration came into power, its attitude has been made clear on several occasions. My right hon. Friend has made it clear that valuable work in an industry can often be done by a central statutory organisation, provided that it is willingly accepted. Perhaps I might remind the House of my answer, given on 31st March this year, to the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Slater), when I said: My right hon. Friend is prepared to establish further development Councils only where there is substantial agreement on both sides of an industry that such a council is desirable."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 31st March 1952; Vol. 498, c. 97.] At the end of the present month the Council will have been in existence for three years and, under Section 8 (3) of the Act, the Board of Trade would have been bound in any event to consult the council and organisations representing both sides of the industry on whether the council should continue and, if so, whether the Order setting it up required amendment. Such consultations have been held.

As hon. Members know, this Council has never enjoyed the confidence and support of the main employers' organisations. They opposed it from the beginning and this necessarily hampered the Council's work. It prevented it from ever becoming an effective central body representative of the industry as a whole and enjoying its support and good will. As a result of his consultations and experience, my right hon. Friend came to the conclusion that agreement between the various sections of the industry would never be reached on the basis of the continuance of the present Council. There was, indeed, no alternative to dissolving the Council as a preliminary to any agreement on a voluntary basis, and I think the same conclusion was reached by many who had loyally supported and believed in the Council.

I should like to pay my tribute to those who worked so hard and well to achieve good results notwithstanding these difficulties. The difficulties I have described make all the more creditable what the Council and its servants have been able to do. The Board of Trade and, I think, this House, are grateful to all who have helped in this way. It might be invidious to single out particular members, but the Council as a whole would probably like me to mention the independent Chairman, Captain Fox-Williams, for his hard and disinterested work, and I might also mention the Vice-Chairman, Sir Richard yeabsley.

I should also like to say that the trade unions have always supported the Council, and perhaps the House will allow me to express my appreciation and that of my right hon. Friend of Dame Anne Loughlin, General Secretary of the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers, whose wisdom and advice have been so readily placed at our disposal throughout these negotiations. I am very glad indeed that both sides of industry—the employers on their side, under the leadership of Mr. Gerrish and the trade unions on their side—are co-operating in setting up the new voluntary body. Each side of industry has made its contribution to this settlement. I think the House would also wish me to mention the consultant service—under the director, Mr. Loweth—which constituted one of the main activities of the Council's work. The service advised free of charge individual firms on factory layout and organisation, and I believe that this work was appreciated by many.

The Order itself provides, as the statute lays down, for three things—for the winding up of the Council, for a levy should the assets be insufficient to meet liabilities, and for the application of the surplus. Perhaps I may say a word under each of those headings. For the winding up, the powers of the liquidator will be similar to those of a liquidator where a company is wound up by the court. As for the provision for a levy should the assets be insufficient to meet liabilities, that is inserted as a proper matter of caution, but I can assure the House that there will be no need to make use of that power.

That brings me to the application of the surplus, which it is thought will be substantial. If the House will turn to Article 9 of the Order, they will find that it provides how the surplus money shall be dealt with. If they look at paragraph (4) of Article 9 and the Schedule to the Order, they will see that the Board of Trade may from time to time make payments out of the account into which the surplus is placed for purposes connected with the industry for which the Council was established, being purposes specified in the Schedule hereto. That is the Schedule to the Order.

Although naturally I cannot argue it tonight, I want also to inform the House that, as my right hon. Friend made clear in an answer to a Question which I gave the other day, there may in due course be a levy under Section 9 of the Act for the purposes which that Section lays down, but that must come before the House on an Affirmative Resolution when the matter can be discussed. Dealing with the general use of these surplus assets, it is my right hon. Friend's intention to make them available to the new voluntary body.

Perhaps the House would like me to say a word of explanation about the position of persons employed by the Council. I am advised that the position is that if this Order is approved by Parliament and comes into force on 1st January next year, that will act, by operation of law, as a notice of dismissal on that date. The legal rights of each person employed by the Council will then be a matter between him and the liquidator. Each will, no doubt, have his contract of employment express or implied, and on the implications of that contract the actual monetary sum to which he is entitled will depend.

Mr. Harold Wilson (Huyton)

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman allow me to ask a question on this? Does this mean that the liquidator will have no freedom whatsoever except to apply the legal terms of the contract? Does it mean that the liquidator, for instance, would not be able in any way to exercise common humanity and decency in providing compensation to these people?

Mr. Strauss

I was going to invite the right hon. Gentleman's attention to what, I think, are the relevant matters in the Order. I think the liquidator will have exactly the same right to do the just and proper thing—and that, I feel certain, both sides of the House desire—as any liquidator would if the company were being wound up in the ordinary way. It may be for the convenience of the right hon. Gentleman if I draw his attention to Article 4 of the Order. Under Article 4 (1) of the Order the liquidator in the course of the winding up of the Council will have certain powers, with the sanction of the Board of Trade, and one of those is, of course, to deal with claims against the Council.

Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)


Mr. Strauss

I really think I ought to continue. If hon. Members would like to develop any point I may, perhaps. address the House again, but I should like at the moment, if it is agreeable to the hon. and learned Gentleman, to continue. If the matter were agreed between the liquidator and the servant of the Council, that settlement would be made with the sanction of the Board of Trade. I think that will be of interest to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson), who, I know, is concerned with this position.

Mr. Mitchison

Before the hon. and learned Gentleman leaves that point. Is it not that the position is that the liquidator under this Order has, as the hon. and learned Gentleman has just told us, exactly the powers of the liquidator of a company? The liquidator of a company has no power whatever to be generous. He has no power to behave as a good employer would behave in similar circumstances. He is bound to distribute the assets of the company and deal with its liabilities strictly according to law.

Mr. Strauss

I do not know quite what the hon. and learned Gentleman means by "generous." Certainly the liquidator has no power to treat the funds available as funds freely at his disposal for any purpose, but I think he can make a proper settlement with the persons concerned, and I think they can be properly and justly treated.

Mr. Ronald Williams (Wigan)

Will the bon. and learned Gentleman forgive me? When he uses the term "properly and justly treated" would he be a little more specific? May I put the point to him in this way? Suppose that an employee is working under a contract of service, that it may be terminated by a month's notice, and that that is the legal basis of the contract as between the employee and the Council. Is the hon. and learned Gentleman saying that the liquidator has the power to give a month's notice and bring the contract to an end, or to pay a month's wages in lieu of notice and bring the contract to an end, or is he suggesting to the House that there are some other powers in this Order? I am submitting to him that there are no other powers at all, and that there is no room for the liquidator to do anything but carry out the strict legal terms of the contract which exists between the worker and the Council.

Mr. Strauss

I have endeavoured to explain that if this Order is passed by Parliament the notice of dismissal will be automatic on 1st January. That is what I am advised. But the rights of those who have claims against the Council will fall to be decided between the liquidator and those concerned. Paragraph 4 of the Order is the one which shows what those rights are.

Mr. Williams

Is not that inhuman?

Mr. Strauss

It would be better if hon. Gentlemen would make their speeches, and perhaps later I can reply to the questions they ask. It is not easy, as I know the right hon. Member for Huyton found, to bring the clothing industry together and to create an effective central body. It has a loosely knit structure divided into many sections. The new body will be an experiment, as indeed was the Council which it is now proposed to dissolve. Its functions will be more limited and its financial facilities will be more restricted.

But it will start with one immense advantage. It will start not in discord but in agreement between the two sides of the industry who will enjoy equal representation on it. I believe that this House will wish it well in the confident hope that it will tackle in a practical way the problems of a great industry.

10.32 p.m.

Mr. Harold Wilson (Huyton)

Not even the persuasive tones of the hon. and learned Gentleman will succeed in convincing the House that this Measure arises out of anything except a surrender to certain vested interests. As to the terms of the Order, nothing he has said, even in reply to the many questions from my hon. Friends, has in any way satisfied this side of the House that fair provision is being made for those who have worked for the Council. But before I come to that point, on which I want to put a few questions to the hon. and learned Gentleman, I should like to say something about the background to this Order.

We have to face the plain fact—the hon. and learned Gentleman did not attempt to disguise it—that ever since the original Development Council Order was passed by this House in 1949 the clothing trade associations have been completely hostile to the proposals. Their hostility did not arise out of any economic or trade motives. Their hostility arose purely from political and doctrinaire reasons.

There is a further point. We are tonight discussing only the Clothing Industry Development Council, but if the House passes this Order it is in effect making Sir Stafford Cripps' Industrial Organisation and Development Act, 1947, a dead letter. That Act passed through this House virtually as an agreed Measure. There was considerable discussion on it and Amendments were made. It was always envisaged by the then Government that there might be an industry in which the employers were unitedly or mainly opposed to the establishment of a development council.

Sir Stafford Cripps at that time made it clear that, in those circumstances, provided a substantial majority of those engaged in the industry wanted a development council, the Government would feel free to appoint one. There was an Amendment moved in another place, and carried, which specifically dealt with that point, though later experience showed that the wording of that Amendment, which came from the other side, was not quite so clear when it had passed into law.

It is a fact that independent bodies which reported on the in dustry recommended a development council. One of the three recommended a continuing body. That was recommended before the idea of a development council had been introduced. The other two working parties, which reported at a later stage, both recommended the establishment of a development council.

I am bound to say, from my experience of dealing with this and other industries, that I was more than a little surprised at the sudden hostility which blew up, a hostility which in some way became infectious, covering a number of industries which previously had supported, or accepted, the idea, and now turned against it. I do not think that was dissociated from a special meeting called by the Federation of British Industries for the purpose of concerting the attitude of various employers' organisations to development councils.

Turning back to clothing, I would say that if ever an industry needed a council, this is it. I am not saying that the industry is inefficient, because it would be right to pay tribute to a considerable number of firms which are doing a wonderful job in the export trade. One thinks of some firms which have broken into the dollar market—Canada, the United States of America—with some fine products and at reasonable prices. Some of us, when in America, have contrasted the price which has to be paid for a suit with the price for which a suit can be bought in this country.

That, again, is a tribute to a large section of the British clothing industry. But there is a large number of small units—and not all of them small—which are inefficient. There were some set up by get-rich-quick merchants after the war—small clothing establishments which are not on the level of efficiency which characterises the best units of the trade.

There were a number of problems to be settled by the Council. Among them was that of quality. Now that the Government have scrapped the Utility scheme it is all the more necessary to have a development council to prescribe standards. Indeed, the Government is making use of the Furniture Development Council in its new proposals, which are to be debated shortly. Another important issue is the high cost of distribution, which affects consumers and producers. A problem which has dogged the industry for generations is seasonal employment. It was always envisaged that the Development Council would deal with that. Then there is the problem of efficiency.

I agree with the Parliamentary Secretary that no tribute is too high to pay to those who have co-operated with and worked for the Development Council during these three difficult years. I join with him in his tribute to the chairman and vice-chairman, to the independent members, to the trade union members, and to those of the employers' side who joined the Council despite the official boycott of the trade association. I would like to join in his tribute to the staff, and particularly to the production efficiency service which was run by the director of the organisation.

Even so, we are bound to ask the hon. and learned Gentleman what is going to happen. He said that there is going to be a continuing body. I gather that the Government had to work hard to persuade the employers to agree even to that voluntary body; but what kind of voluntary body are we to have? It will have no independent members, judging by what we have been told. It represents the two sides of the industry. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will tell us who is to protect the interest of the consumer. Who is going to protect the public interest? In the Wool Advisory Council, there are independent members for the purpose of protecting the consumer and the public interest in general. Then, I gather, there are to be 20 a side on this body, 20 employers and 20 trade union representatives. Where does the hon. and learned Gentleman think it will meet—at the Albert Hall?

I understand that the reason for this is due to one simple fact. This industry always argued that there could not be a Development Council because it was really a large number of separate industries and, therefore, there was no possibility of a single body. But although they said that they could not unite to form a development council, they did unite to oppose a Development Council. They formed a standing joint committee of some 16 trade associations, and the leaders of that campaign now find themselves embarrassed with a request from those who have supported them that they should have representatives on this new body. So, whether they like it or not, they have to have getting on for 20 members, and that means, of course, because we all agree with the principle of equal representation of the two sides, 20 trade union members as well.

The hon. and learned Gentleman has not told us what is to happen about those trade associations who have co-operated with the Development Council. There have been two or three of those. They loyally worked to make the Council a success. Now, I understand, they are to be left out. Representation is to be confined to the obstructionists, to the 16 who form the standing committee of protest, and those bodies that worked faithfully and well are now to be left out. What is the President of the Board of Trade going to do to secure representation on this body for those trade associations who have helped during these difficult years?

I should like to hear something from the hon. and learned Gentleman, because I put a Question down to him a few days ago about the future of the Efficiency Service. Is this Efficiency Service to continue? There have been rumours that a non-profit-making company was to be formed for this purpose and that in the last few days all these schemes have come to nought. If they have come to nought, it is hardly surprising in view of the ungenerous attitude of the hon. and learned Gentleman and of the President on the question of terms of service of those who have been working for the Development Council.

It seems to me extraordinary—and, I am sure, it does to hon. Members in all parts of the House—that when this Council comes to an end, as is proposed, in a few days' time, all the staff who have been working for it will be simply dismissed and thrown out of the service with no redress and no compensation. The hon. and learned Gentleman must remember that some of these members of the staff—one thinks particularly of the director, but not only of him—came to this work from good jobs elsewhere. They took up this work because they believed it was a national service—and they were right—and they have worked unceasingly to promote the greater efficiency of this important industry.

Perhaps in their contracts there is very little protection of the kind referred to by the hon. and learned Gentleman. Does that mean that this liquidator, to whom he referred—this mysterious per- son—will be forced to throw these people out without a penny compensation? There are abundant precedents in other industries for compensation for loss of office.

Quite recently, this sort of thing has been introduced for the Civil Service. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman want the staff of this Development Council to be treated worse than the Civil Service? Then, of course, we are all familiar with what frequently happens in the Press in some of those newspapers owned by noble Lords and others. There is sometimes a decision to change the editor of a newspaper. When the editor is changed, whatever the terms of his contract, it is quite usual that he receives some compensation for loss of office, very often a year's salary. Will it be impossible for the liquidator to offer any terms of that kind?

Mr. William Shepherd (Cheadle)

Is the right hon. Gentleman telling the House that knowing there was a real danger of the non-success of this Development Council, he as the Minister responsible took no steps to see that in the contracts of these individuals there was provision for compensation?

Mr. Wilson

The hon. Member knows perfectly well that the contracts that were signed with the members of the staff were the responsibility of the Development Council and not of the Board of Trade at the time. We had no power to interfere in the matter of these contracts; but here is a very different case.

The hon. and learned Gentleman talks about the liquidator, but we do not know who is to hold that appointment, although I understand that he has been appointed. Is this liquidator to have power to pay one penny more than is prescribed in these contracts? We are given to understand that he will have the same power as the liquidator of any private undertaking; but are we to understand that that means that even although the liquidator requires the sanction of the Board of Trade for the purpose of his public activities, the liquidator may not, and the Board of Trade cannot force him to, pay what would be just and reasonable in all the circumstances? Perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will correct me, but in any case, I hope he will realise that we on this side—and I suspect that some of his hon. Friends are with us—feel a profound concern about this. We, and they, want this Development Council to go out with some show of decency for those who have worked for it.

I suspect that the Parliamentary Secretary has not given his mind to this matter until this evening. He should be reminded of Ebenezer Scrooge, for I imagine that if it had been necessary to appoint a liquidator for his activities, the terms of reference would have been similar to those with which we are concerned this evening.

Mr. Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

He did reform in the end.

Mr. Wilson

Yes, he reformed in the end, but only at the festive season, and I hope that as we approach Christmas, the Parliamentary Secretary will think again and be warned perhaps by the "Ghost of Christmas yet to come."

Mr. Nicholls

May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman represents the "Ghost of Christmas past"?

Mr. Wilson

We on this side of the House represent the "Ghost of Christmas yet to come", and what I was saying was that we have yet to hear from the Parliamentary Secretary more about this liquidator. Who is he? What kind of power is he to have?

Will the Parliamentary Secretary make it quite clear, above everything else, that the Minister will be responsible to this House for the actions of the liquidator? I know that it is laid down that the sanction of the Minister is required for certain actions of the liquidator, but not all; may we be told tonight if hon. Members will be allowed to question the Minister about the actions and the functions of the liquidator? Will the Minister make any sort of report to the House, especially on the subject of compensation to staff?

I am not going into the question of the substitute body which is to be established, but I would say that it appears to us to be inadequate and unsatisfactory. It will have insufficient powers, and certainly there is no suggestion at all that it is going to do anything to protect the consumer. Of course, the Parliamentary Secretary takes some pride and satisfaction from the fact that the principal trade union in this industry accepts the new arrangement, but he knows very well that it does so only under protest. The trade union would have been far happier if this Council had continued, and only when it found that the Government and the employers were ganging up to bring the Council to an end, did it agree to salvage something from the wreck; even if only this inadequate body. I agree with the union that it is useful to save something out of the wreck and, taking up the point made by the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. H. Nicholls), I very much hope that this continuing body, weak and inadequate though it is, may form a continuing organisation which will one day blossom out again into a full development council.

Having said that we support the idea of getting something out of the wreck, we must really blame the Government for the fact that the wreck is taking place. Employers throughout the last year or two of the Labour Government were obviously engaged in playing out time hoping that there would be an Election and that they would have a Government more in accordance with their own views on this question. Well, they got their Government in October, 1951, and now, a year later, the Government have caved in to their pressure.

It is all very well for the hon. and learned Gentleman to say that we cannot have a development council with the employers against it. He knows perfectly well that if the Government had stood firmly these backwoodsmen and obstructionists would have given in and co-operated with the Development Council. After all, they could not hope to go on playing out time any longer as they only had to look forward to another Labour Government and we certainly would not cave in to their pressure.

This is really a very serious matter. The Government have capitulated to a number of trade association secretariats, principally secretariats who did not want to see their work cut into by any other body—a group of people who set out deliberately to organise a boycott and to frustrate something which had been passed by the clear will of this House and which, I think, was generally desired in very many sections of the industry. The Government have capitulated to that campaign and to that boycott.

The Minister knows, as the whole House know, the importance of getting maximum productivity in this industry. He must know that this new body will not be the way to do it.

The Government have still to learn that they have responsibility, not only to the employers, but to both sides of industry, to the consumers and to the national interest as a whole and their capitulation to trade associations means that they are not carrying out that responsibility. Therefore I appeal to the House, who may be more aware of this than the hon. and learned Gentleman and some of his hon. Friends, to vote against this Measure and say that we are not going to tolerate this action of a weak Government in its capitulation to a trade campaign.

10.54 p.m.

Mr. William Shepherd (Cheadle)

The right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) has stated his case in moderate terms, as befits one who is in a rather difficult spot himself. Before I deal with the case as I see it, I want to refer to one or two of the remarkable statements he made.

The first is that this industry has to deal with the very high cost of distribution. It is quite improper to say that. The distribution costs of clothing and textiles in the United Kingdom are among the lowest, if not the lowest, in the whole world. It is quite wrong for the right hon. Member, who has been President of the Board of Trade, to make statements which have no foundation in actual fact.

Mr. Edward Shackleton (Preston, South)

My right hon. Friend did not say that.

Mr. Shepherd

I am quite well aware of what the right hon. Member said, and he is able to contradict it if he wishes.

Mr. Wilson

I said that one of the four problems they have to deal with is the problem of costs of distribution. If the hon. Member is perfectly satisfied with the costs of distribution in the clothing trade, perhaps he will tell that to the House.

Mr. Shepherd

I only remind the right hon. Member that he referred to the high costs of distribution and I was pointing out, in fairness to the industry which is having an attack made upon it, that the costs of distribution in this country are among the lowest of all the countries of the world. When the right hon. Member talks of the interest of the consumer being safeguarded, he should know that it will not be safeguarded—and we must face this quite clearly—by having individuals on development councils. It will be safeguarded in its primary sense by having competition.

I know from my experience of this industry that it is not one which, in ordinary times and normal circumstances, is exactly free from competition. It will be safeguarded, in the second sense, by the action of the Government in trying to establish some specific standards of quality. These are the two bases on which the proper safeguards of the consumers' interests will take place.

I want to join in the general tributes paid to the members who have worked on this Council. It has been a disheartening task, because it is difficult to work for a body of this kind with a feeling that very few of the members are actual supporters. I think we can say that those who have tackled this task have done it with great distinction and have served the Council well. I am glad we have the opportunity tonight to discuss the question of the Development Council, even in some detail. I make no apology, because this experiment of a Development Council is not an unimportant one. The House is entitled to spend some time in its consideration.

When the Industrial Organisation and Development Bill was before the House, we stated specifically that we felt the compulsory powers which the Government was taking, and the compulsory basis for this kind of organisation were wrong. Who will now say, in the light of some years of experience, that the view expressed by His late Majesty's Opposition was wrong? Who will say that our view, that the compulsory element would not work, has not proved to be the proper one?

I want to refer only to this particular industry where there was a marked opposition. But, who will say in those industries where there is no opposition, but in a general sense a desire to do something, that the compulsory principle has been very satisfactory? All of us. reflecting over these years, will agree there is something wrong in the set-up of development councils. There was certainly something wrong in the set-up of this Council.

What could the right hon. Gentleman, who set it up, have expected from it? He knows, as well as anybody, that a development council is a body with only two statutory powers. One, to exact a levy, and, the other, to demand statistics. It has not the authority to cause his actions to have any effect upon its members. What could have been more futile than to have set up a development council for the clothing industry, knowing full well that the Council would have no authority to inflict its views on the members? What could the right hon. Gentleman have expected more than a monument to mock his obstinacy? He is the man who is really responsible for the disaster today. He talks about the wreck. Who is to blame? And he talks about the ship which was destined to be wrecked before long.

The clothing industry is not an easy one in which to get any co-operation. largely, I think, because it has gone through very difficult times in the past. It is a very highly seasonal industry. It has had ruthless and vicious competition in the past when it was very difficult to live. The members of this trade are not accustomed to co-operation. If one has a nice stable background as an industrialist, it is easy to be co-operative. It is not so easy when one has to struggle for one's living. That is what most of the firms in this business did. They had to cater, for a great part of their lives, to suit the whims and fancies of women.

I assure the House, as one who has a little to do with business, it is very difficult to cater for the whims and fancies of women and not to develop into an anti-social being. I think these individuals have had a very trying time, with the fluctuations of fashion. Instead of the right hon. Gentleman trying to blame the Government for changing the Council from a compulsory one to a voluntary one, would it not have been better to look for the reasons for failure?

Why have we had the failure in this instance? Why it is that on the whole development councils are not yielding the results we thought at one time that they would yield? The first reason, I think, is that insufficient use has been made of the voluntary principle. Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like the voluntary principle. When we have to overcome a lot of difficulties and reconcile differing points of view the voluntary principle has great merit. I think the time will come when even hon. Gentlemen opposite will realise that the voluntary principle can accomplish what compulsion cannot in many spheres of activity.

The second reason is that there are already too many organisations. Industry has become littered with organisations. I tried some years ago to draw up a chart showing the relationship between all the organisations established by the Government and other bodies in industry. The chart became absolutely unreadable. There were no channels of communication; no lines of responsibility. What my hon. Friend might well do, in his capacity as Parliamentary Secretary, is to try to get order out of this mass of organisation and overlapping bodies, because until we do something of that kind we shall not get the best results out of these councils.

We must realise that generally speaking employers today spend too much time on the politics of industry. Some of these big organisations have their executives chasing all over the country attending meetings of various organisations. In a more competitive society, into which we are now fortunately emerging, there will not be time for industrialists to spend so much of their capacity in the politics of industry.

Another point I wish to make is that on the whole these councils have too many functions. In the original Schedule they had 17. I am glad to see that the organisation is to reduce them, because clearly these councils try to eat into too many other fields. The Clothing Council would have been far more successful bad it had fewer objects.

I am glad that my hon. and learned Friend has announced the formation of a voluntary council. I think it has a chance of success, whereas what the right hon. Gentleman did had no chance of success at all. In the first place, in a voluntary effort we would get in many individuals who previously stood out. With fewer functions we shall certainly have less conflict with other organisations, and we shall get more co-operation which was not obtainable under the old regime. I wish to mention a point relevant to the question of why the councils have met with such opposition. It is because hon. Gentlemen opposite have played a big part in unnecessarily generating opposition to development councils. How many times have I heard hon. Gentlemen opposite talk about development councils as if they were the back door to nationalisation—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I have heard hon. Gentlemen opposite say that those industries which they could not nationalise they would control by development councils.

Mr. R. Williams

Since the hon. Member has made a charge of that sort, will he mention one specific occasion and indicate the constituency of an hon. Member who made such a statement?

Mr. Shepherd

I can only refer the hon. Member to one specific example, though I am not restricted to one example, because this statement has been made time and again. If the hon. Gentleman does not know of this he cannot have been attending here or listening to his hon. Friends. [HON. MEMBERS: "Tell us."] I will refer to one example, and perhaps the right hon. Member for Huyton will remember it. The former Member for Wycombe, in a discussion on this Order, at one time inferred that this Council had the authority to take some measure of control over the industry. Indeed, he asked the right hon. Gentleman if he would not instruct this Council to bring the machinery of the industry up to date and make provision for machinery in the furniture industry. Clearly—

Mr. C. N. Thornton-Kemsley (Angus, North and Mearns)

Would the hon. Gentleman make it clear that it was the last hon. Member but one for Wycombe?

Mr. Shepherd

Yes, Sir. Here was an hon. Gentleman representing the furniture industry talking about the power of the development council to put machinery into the industry which, of course, it had no authority whatever to do. I suggest that if we want a mixed economy in which we have public enterprise and private enterprise working side by side, it is no good threatening all the time the private sector of industry with this or that organisation. As I see it, the vast majority of employers, even in this industry, are anxious to do a good job, to deal with their employees fairly and recognise that they have a responsibility to the community. It is much better to foster that view and that spirit of co-operation than to try to apply compulsion to them.

Mr. John Edwards (Brighouse and Spenborough)

Does the hon. Member think it helps to foster a spirit of co-operation if the hon. Member describes those who serve on the Council as "Quislings" as he did when this matter was last under discussion?

Mr. Shepherd

I never described anyone who sat on this Council as a "Quisling." What I said was, if the Development Council was set up against the wishes of the majority of the trade, it would only end in disaster and it would be extremely unfortunate for everyone concerned. I make a plea and a strong plea for the voluntary principle. I believe the Government are right, and I am sure the history of the voluntary council will show that the Government were right.

Mr. Edwards

Before the hon. Member sits down, since he denies using the word "Quisling," perhaps I might quote him when he was referring to the former President of the Board of Trade: He can have his members of the councils, his Quislings or semi-Quislings."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st November, 1949; Vol. 469, c. 349.]

Mr. Shepherd

I think it is perfectly proper to say that if there are some members of the trade of known Socialist principles—

Mr. Mitchison

On a point of order. When an hon. Member says he has not used the particular expression and he is then shown by HANSARD that he did use it, is it not in accordance with the traditions of this House that he should frankly say that he has made a mistake?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hopkin Morris)

That is not a point of order for me.

Mr. Shepherd

I think I have endeavoured to explain the use of the word, which I do not recollect using at the time. I am explaining the circumstances in which it was used. It was that there were these members, whom I shall not name, who were members of the Socialist Party, and who were prepared to acquiesce in forcing this Council, which I feel would be disastrous. For that reason, I used rather strong terms. Perhaps it would have been better had I not used such strong terms.

11.10 p.m.

Mr. H. Rhodes (Ashton-under-Lyne)

I think it is quite obvious that the hon. Member for Cheadle (Mr. Shepherd) played a not unconsiderable part in stirring up quite a lot of political animosity on the introduction of the Development Council. He is obviously convicted out of his own mouth.

With regard to his point about there being too many organisations, that is precisely what was said by the Government that introduced the original Order. They said the organisations were not strong enough, that there should be some centralisation and that some order should be brought into the industry. I would also point out to the hon. Member that the progress that has been made in this industry has not been made all by one side. The struggles that the trade unions had to bring the industry through the period when there was sweated labour under trade boards to the position of reasonable dignity that the employees enjoy today, represent the actions of responsible people, and those people have taken quite a large share in the running of this Development Council.

If I had not known the people who must have framed this document I should have said that they were malevolent. But they are not. They are quite ordinary folk; in fact, they are mentioned in paragraph 4. They are the solicitors of the Board of Trade. I cannot pick on them from the point of view of the Order itself, but it does look as though a malicious and malevolent influence crept in as it went along, because it winds up in a grand frenzy and says: This Order may be cited as the Clothing Industry Development Council (Dissolution) Order, 1952, and shall come into operation on the 1st day of January, 1953. I want to address one or two questions to the Parliamentary Secretary and I hope he will answer them. First, how has the present Development Council failed in its job? [Interruption.] I am asking the Parliamentary Secretary. I would not dream of asking the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Sir W. Darling). If the hon. Member wants to join in later and tell us how it has failed we shall be prepared to join in the fun. The Schedule sets out what the new body is intended to do. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary if the old organisation has failed in the effort to promote export trade? Has it failed in its efforts to improve quality and design? What about the training of persons engaged or proposing to engage in the industry? Surely he knows what has been going on. Surely he has read the reports, which have not been couched in extravagant terms but have been modest in view of the fact that there has been achievement of a very high order.

Is it in connection with the stablisation of measures, because he must reckon with the fact that the Development Council was on to this question long before it was suggested by the returning members of the Anglo-American productivity team? In fact, the Council were well on with their job then. What is to happen to the work that has been done? What is going to happen in the attitude to productivity in this industry? Has the old Council failed in its work in this field? I say that the Council has achieved a tremendous success, because for the first time in the history of this trade productivity has been regarded properly. Modern methods have been accepted as they came along. If other industries had worked on this basis there would be some hope for the future of British industry in this industrial age. This attitude has come about in this industry during the life-time of the Industrial Development Council.

This Order is bankrupt in more senses than one, for whoever has been responsible for framing it has put in a liquidator on the basis of a bankrupt concern. This organisation never has been bankrupt, either financially or in ideas. What proposals is the Parliamentary Secretary to make; what answer will he give to my right hon. Friend's questions about the dismissal of the personnel? There are only 40 employees, and they can be classified as I have already suggested. There is no reason at all why a really generous settlement cannot be reached.

The Parliamentary Secretary will be very uneasy about this. He has been propelled by influences which probably make his work easier at the Board of Trade, but, on the other hand, he will have some pangs of conscience. With the changing pattern of industry in this country there will still be the need for statutory power to assist in the organisation and re-organisation of our older industries. In the life-time of the present Government we shall see requests not just for the levies under Section 9 of the Act, but demands for something more substantial and more suitable to the needs of the time.

11.19 p.m.

Mr. Robson Brown (Esher)

I do not want to enter into the confused and chequered history of this Development Council, but to speak for those people who might well suffer. The director and officers of the productivity consultative team probably have done the most outstanding work of any section of this Council. I join with the Parliamentary Secretary in his compliments to everyone associated with the Council, but the day to day work, the expert work, has been done by this section. I have the record, which makes it quite clear that many efficient firms have thought it wise and proper to use their advice. There are no fewer than 1,000 companies in the industry who have called upon them at one time or another in their short history.

I am most concerned about the situation in which we find ourselves tonight. I understand the complications of the law, of legal procedure, and the like; but I found the explanations of the Parliamentary Secretary on this matter not as clear as I should have liked and much more involved than I should have wished.

We cannot place the responsibilities of the Government upon a liquidator unless the President of the Board of Trade gives to him, under these special circumstances, clear and precise instructions as to the wish of the Government. I believe that the House is with us in this matter. It arises again and again under many circumstances and different conditions in connection with the ebb and flow of Government institutions.

I know that one could argue dispassionately from the point of view of the lawyer that there was a Statutory Instrument, and that the people, when they took up their positions in the organisation, should have known what that instrument was, what a very doubtful kind of instrument it was and what poor protection it would provide. But these men were industrial experts. They came in irrespective of politics with the wish and the will to serve the industry. I should be surprised if anybody on either side of the House would attempt to take away from that fact. They have done their job extremely well in good heart and spirit. It might also be argued that they ought to be shrewd, far-seeing and hard-headed, and that 6 or 12 months ago they ought to have handed in their notices and protected themselves, instead of being faced at the last hour of the last month of the year with all the weight and power of an Order to terminate their employment.

I understand that these men and women stayed and worked in the hope and belief that this organisation, somehow or other, would continue, and that their services, somehow or other, would be required. I say to my own colleagues on this side of the House that I know, from information available to me, that they had every right to believe that that would happen and that certain arrangements may well have been arrived at which would have continued their services.

There were certain aspects of the matter on which, naturally, they had some doubt, and I cannot blame them for that. I should like to know whether they are to be expected to work out the ordinary legal notice of one or two months, or something of that kind? Are they—as they deserve—to receive in lieu of notice some cash payment commensurate with the risk and embarrassment they have suffered? Some of them are highly skilled men, jobs are not easy to get. Their expert experience cannot be put on the market very readily. As a Government and as a House of Commons we ought to show a great deal of sympathy with them.

It might be argued that this sort of thing cannot be encouraged, that it might spread and be regarded as a precedent. I do not know the position elsewhere, but I know that this is an abnormal situation and it is necessary to show a largeness of heart in the matter. In any good company—and most companies are good companies—with good employers—and most employers are good employers—we should never in any circumstances consider releasing these men without at least a minimum of six months' pay in lieu of notice.

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh, South)

What about the Liverpool Cotton Exchange?

Mr. Robson Brown

Whatever wrong may be carried out in one case should not be regarded as a precedent in another.

Sir W. Darling

Does not my hon. Friend agree that the policy followed by the late Government in the treatment of the life-time employees of the Liverpool Cotton Exchange can be applied appropriately to these circumstances?

Mr. Robson Brown

I should hope that a Conservative Government would not do anything about which we have criticised other people in the past, or give any advantage to hon. Members opposite.

I will close with an appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary, and through him to the President, to give instructions to the liquidator to see that these people are not kept in uncertainty. They have families to consider, and their own positions. And when this Council is dissolved, I hope that information will be given to us, either on the Floor of the House, or by the staff, which will satisfy the conscience of everyone.

11.25 p.m.

Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn, East)

I am sure that the House has been impressed by the speech we have just heard. I think that what the hon. Member for Esher (Mr. Robson Brown) has told us confirms the belief of many of us on this side that this dissolution Order is not inspired by the legitimate needs of the industry or the consumer, but is part of the doctrinaire destructiveness which we have come to associate with the party opposite. The creation of the freedoms they talk about is the creation of the freedom to stagnate, freedom to stand still, freedom to do nothing about producing inside the industry, and inside the distribution, the maximum efficiency in the interests of the consumers, about whom hon. Members opposite prate so much.

The hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Major Beamish) called out, a few moments ago, "The consumers elected us at the last Election." I hope that the consumer will realise that once again, in this dissolution Order, there has been betrayal of his interest, and that he merely serves as a symbol in the propaganda of the party opposite at Election times.

When it comes to the question of raising standards or trying to meet the needs of the women in the home, we find merely doctrinaire destructiveness. As the hon. Member for Esher told us, the Development Council is being destroyed because it was working effectively. He mentioned the increased efficiency which a team of trained staff had produced. The director of a clothing firm has told me that after the efficiency team of the Council had advised some 200 firms, there was, in these firms, an average increase in efficiency of about 32 per cent.

Sir W. Darling

Prices are coming down.

Mrs. Castle

If it is a result of this action that prices are coming down, why are we destroying this Council? Clearly, the purpose of this Order is to stop this kind of activity. If that is not so, why do we have to abandon a body which has been set up with such effectiveness?

The hon. Member for Cheadle (Mr. Shepherd) clearly supported this Order because he wants contraction of the Council's functions, a contraction of the work. When he tells us that he believes in the voluntary principle, and that it will achieve all that we want, I am reminded of the Press Council on the voluntary basis, for which we are still waiting, and for which we shall wait for an indefinite period. What I am concerned about tonight is the effect on the improvement which we want in clothing prices and standards.

What particularly alarms me is that as a result of the abandonment of this body we shall now be handed over completely to the most reactionary and restricted influences. I get very tired of being told, as the hon. Member for Cheadle told us, about the whims and fancies of women and the difficulties they create for the clothing industry. I assure the hon. Member that the whims and fancies of women are never paid any attention whatever by manufacturers, and that we are still trying to find an effective way of trying, by our whims and fancies, to influence production. Women have been fighting for years for a better standardisation of sizes in clothing and for a better range of sizes. If we leave it to the voluntary principle, we shall wait for ever.

The vaunted service that comes from the voluntary principle does not seem to materialise. I am tired, too, of being told, "Leave it to the operations of the competitive principle." There is no such thing, because what happens when we disband public bodies like this, with independent members on them, is that behind the scenes arrangements are made which penalise the customer and take all the real effectiveness out of competition.

I want to give the House one example, and this is the prime reason why I intervene in the debate. We now have two things happening in a whole range of services which are of tremendous importance in the interests of the consumer. We have, on the one hand, the abandonment of all the controls of the Utility scheme. The price controls, specification controls, margin controls and all the guarantees and protection for the consumer are being disbanded as the D scheme is being extended to a wider and wider range of goods.

What is being put in its place? In the furniture industry, at least there is still a Furniture Development Council which can watch the interests of the consumer to some extent, but in the field of clothing we shall not have even that kind of guarantee. We have here the deliberate abandonment by the Government of a body which could have been a watchdog for the consumer, with the result that the activities which could be carried out to lower the cost of living will not be carried out. The old private arrangements will be made behind closed doors, and the consumer will once again be left out.

The Order that set up the original Development Council included in its Schedule among the functions that the Council was to operate: Promoting research for improving arrangements for marketing and distributing products. arid the constitution of the Council included as one of the representatives one person having special knowledge of matters relating to the distribution of products of the industry. I do not know whether the functions of the new voluntary council are to include that general survey over distribution. I hope that they will, because as the industry is at present organised, prices are being kept unnecessarily high against the consumer.

I wish to give an example and to mention one firm in particular, not because I have any kind of animosity against that firm but because I believe that what this firm is doing is typical of what is being done by other firms also. I speak of a firm for which I have very great respect, and that is Horrockses. I have great respect for them because I think the quality of Horrockses women's clothing is very high indeed. Their standards of design are extremely high, and I have on more than one occasion appeared in the House in Messrs. Horrockses' products.

I was alarmed, however, when a retailer, in a part of the country which I cannot name in case he is penalised, showed me only a few weeks ago a letter sent to him as an agent of Horrockses— a letter, obviously, of a circular type that is going to all agents of Horrockses—telling him that in his chain of shops, in which he was selling their goods, he could only be supplied with those goods if he observed a minimum retail margin of 50 per cent. He said to me, "Mrs. Castle, this is absolutely absurd. I can sell these items and make an adequate profit on a retail margin of 20 per cent.; I shall be very satisfied with that."

Here in this House we talk of the cost of living, and the hardships upon the consumers, and the need for efficiency; and hon. Members opposite plead with us to "leave it to the competitive principle." If we leave it to the competitive principle, operating behind closed doors, the sort of thing I have just mentioned goes on. It is intolerable that the consumer should be forced to pay 30 per cent. more on the retail margin than is legitimately, and admittedly, necessary.

It is only by such a body as that with which we are concerned tonight, and by this House accepting responsibility for the protection of the consumer, and by having both sides of industry represented, together with independent members, that we shall have the injection of a real spirit of healthy competition inside the industry. I can only deplore the dissolution of the Council when it has contributed so much to the efficiency of the industry, and I indict hon. Members opposite with the charge of the most outrageous hypocrisy ever known in the history of British politics.

11.38 p.m.

Mr. Eric Johnson (Manchester, Blackley)

I must admit that, in the past, I have been somewhat prejudiced against this Development Council, but, as a result of a visit to its premises in Manchester, I have discovered that it has done a lot of valuable work. At the same time, it is my contention that that work could still be done as well, and perhaps better, by a voluntary body.

I beg to differ from the hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn, East (Mrs. Castle) in her remarks about the voluntary body not being able to look after the interests of the consumer. I believe it can, and I hold the somewhat strange belief that the consumer is often much better able to look after himself than some hon. Members opposite would have us believe.

The voluntary body, if set up, should be for those firms who want it; and those firms should pay for its services. Those who do not want the services should not be compelled to pay. I believe that the time may well have come for the dissolution of the Development Council, but I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will be able to assure the House that the new voluntary body will be set up as quickly as it possibly can be.

I am sure that many of those who have worked for the Council in the past are most anxious to go on working with the proposed new body, and it is only fair, therefore, that those people should be told as soon as possible just where they stand. Many of them want to go on serving with the voluntary body, believing that it will do just as good work as the Council. Otherwise, many of them may drift away. I have spoken to them, and many tell me they have had offers of other jobs; and, after all, they have to safeguard their own futures. This is their living, and if they do not know where they stand—if they do not know whether they will be appointed to the voluntary body—they may well be lost to it. That would be a most unfortunate thing.

I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will be able to assure the House later that he feels fairly confident that the new body will be able to give at least as good a service to the industry as the Clothing Industry Development Council have done and, what I think is more important, that it will be able to afford to give that service. Perhaps he may be able to give us a rather more exact idea of the value of the surplus assets of the Council, which, he has told us, are substantial. I suppose that these assets will be used to give the voluntary body a start and when they have been used they will have to depend for continuation on the Levy.

My hon. and learned Friend spoke of the levy and said it might be discussed on some future occasion. I wonder if he could tell me whether the levy is to be a compulsory levy, imposed on all firms in the industry whether they want to use the new organisation or not, or is to be paid only by those firms who want to use it. It seems to me a somewhat strange doctrine to impose a compulsory levy on what is said to be a voluntary body. I believe that those firms who feel that they want to use the new organisation should pay and those who do not want to use it should not be compelled. Most hon. Members, probably all, will recognise that this new body will have a great deal of useful service to give the industry and I am sure that they will wish it well.

11.42 p.m.

Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)

I am sure that everyone on this side of the House and many hon. Members opposite will agree with what the hon. Member for Esher (Mr. Robson Brown) and the hon. Member for Blackley (Mr. E. Johnson) said in support of the plea of my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) on behalf of those who have been engaged in the work of this Development Council.

I suggest, with considerable conviction, to the Parliamentary Secretary that the liquidator has no power whatever to go beyond the strict letter of the law, any more than has any other liquidator. A liquidator, I would remind the hon. and learned Gentleman, is a kind of statutory cad, while a trustee in bankruptcy—as we have been told by an eminent judge—is entitled, and, indeed, bound, to act as a gentleman. On this occasion I do not ask for that high standard of a liquidator. Under this Order, he is not even able to act like a good employer. For that reason alone it ought to be reconsidered and not pressed on the House now.

The origin of this and other development councils was in the working party reports and the Heavy Clothing Industry Report was the first. It was signed by Sir Cecil Weir who ought to command our respect as an independent man of good sense and unrivalled business and administrative experience. It was also signed by Dame Anne Loughlin, to whom commendatory reference has been made and another distinguished lady, a constituent of mine, Miss Edith Maycock, who knows this industry very well. Incidentally, she was a member of a party which went to America and made comparisons there.

They said, and they were unanimous about it—the employers' representatives, independent members and trade union representatives—that the reason for having a strong independent element was to remove any suspicion that the organisation might tend to operate in a manner which would put the interests of the industry before the national interest—and those of us who listened to the hon. Member for Cheadle can have no doubt that that is a very real danger and suspicion—and, in addition, to secure to the organisation the advantage of experience in other industries. The effect of this Order is to remove the independent chairman and other independent members, thus taking away the guidance they have so successfully given to this industry, with the results stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Rhodes), with all the knowledge and experience he has of the industry. It is undoubted that it has done excellent work and it is equally undoubted that an important element in this has been the independent members of the Council. The employers have spent the whole of their time carping at it, for ideological reasons.

Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)

The reason the opposition came from the trade was because the clothing industry is so diversified, and takes in so many quite separate industries, that the Council could never operate, and did never operate, satisfactorily. It was ill-conceived and, from the first, had not a chance of delivering the goods.

Mr. Mitchison

That is exactly the reason it should not be deprived of the independent chairman because, otherwise, the voluntary body will either fall into the hands of one section of the industry as against another, or will be, what I believe it will be, a hopeless muddle.

Nobody wants to oblige people to do things for no particular reason. But there is such a thing as a national interest in these matters. I should have thought the discussion tonight would have made it clear that it needed a good deal of safeguarding. What we are asked to do is to neglect that entirely. The voluntary principle is going to be, not what the employees in this rather haphazard and not very well-organised industry want, and not even what the weaker employers want. It is to be the wishes of those who have so far spent their time in the rather discreditable job of trying to secure independence and control for themselves, and for no one else, without regard to the best interests of the industry, of the nation, and particularly of the workers in it.

I would say that some extraneous element is absolutely necessary, not only because of the character of the industry, but for another reason. We know that the difficulty in this industry has been that it is of a highly seasonal character and that it has an undue share of intermittent unemployment whatever the general level of employment may be anywhere else. That causes a great deal of suffering. To leave it now, in effect, to the so-called voluntary principle will mean letting down the consumers and the workers in the industry.

I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary and his right hon. Friend will stiffen themselves a little against the pressure that is put on them. I have a little bit of pressure here. Somebody spoke about the levy. Let me tell the House what these gentlemen have suggested. They say: It is a fundamental feature of our scheme that money shall be collected only to finance a programme which has already been settled and that each section of the industry shall pay only for such services as are of benefit to that section. That is the voluntary principle. I call it the law of the jungle and this particular application of it a piece of parish pumpery disgraceful to the person who wrote it. It is the business of this House and the Government to resist it. We must have some regard to our responsibilities. Let this decision now be reconsidered.

11.50 p.m.

Mr. Ronald Williams (Wigan)

I hope that as a consequence of the observations made in this debate, and not least the observations made from the Government side, the Parliamentary Secretary, even now, will withdraw this disgraceful Order. If it were objectionable on no other ground, it would be objectionable on the ground that the Government themselves are doing something in relation to the contracts of service which the staff have with the Council, and the staff are quite helpless in the matter. The contracts will suddenly be brought to an end and there will be no provision made to recompense them for the loss and damage they have suffered.

The Government have not a very good record in this respect, but it is a little better when they take second thoughts. It will be remembered that when the White Paper was introduced in relation to the transport policy of the Government there was no reference to the giving of compensation to people whose contracts of service would have been brought to an end entirely by arbitrary Government action. In the White Paper the Government were quite wrong on that point and had they introduced legislation in the terms of the White Paper it would have been a quite disgraceful and shabby thing to do. But better counsels prevailed after they had reconsidered the matter.

I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to reconsider that matter now in relation to this Order, because fundamentally, it is the same thing. It is a shocking thing when a Government interferes in a contract and brings it arbitrarily to an end, leaving nothing to enable acts of mercy or decency to be done.

The Parliamentary Secretary, I thought, had a guilty conscience on this point when he made his opening remarks. He made it rather worse by what he said than if he had just read the Order. He certainly gave me the impression that not only were the Government going to bring these contracts to an end, but that it was being done advisedly. That makes the case even more disgraceful than would have been the case had it merely been overlooked. The Parliamentary Secretary said something which was distasteful to me. He tried to get out of the difficulty by referring to certain points in the Order.

He invited us to study paragraph 4. Well, let us look at paragraph 4. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to imagine his position if a contract of service which he had was suddenly brought to an end by Government action, and he looked at paragraph 4 of this disgraceful Order to see what his position would be. He would find that the liquidator, with the sanction of the Board of Trade, had power to bring, defend or continue any action or other legal proceedings in the name and on behalf of the council. Cold comfort there, surely, for a man who is kicked out of his job without any compensation at all. It might be that the person would look at sub-paragraph (b) to see if that would help him.

Then he would find that the liquidator, again with the sanction of the Board of Trade, has power to execute in the name of and on behalf of the Council any of their functions so far as may be necessary for the beneficial winding-up thereof. How will that help a person who has been thrown out of his employment, without any redress whatever?

It is necessary to dispose of this part of the Order because we have been invited to consider it by the Parliamentary Secretary and he has said that we shall find the answer here; that here is something that can be done so far as the employee is concerned. Paragraph 4 (1, c) talks about the appointment of a solicitor to assist him in the performance of his duty, and carries things no further. He gets no help from sub-paragraphs 4 (1, c) and (1, d), and that concludes the particular part of this Order to which the employee is referred.

I say to the Parliamentary Secretary that there is no chance at all for the person who has been wrongfully and scandalously dismissed in this peremptory manner to do anything much more than to get himself going with his law suit. The Parliamentary Secretary has done something in relation to this Order which, in my submission, is absolutely disgraceful, and I ask him at this stage to reconsider it and withdraw this disgraceful measure.

11.58 p.m.

Mr. H. Strauss

I wish to answer, out of courtesy to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Huyton (Mr. Wilson) and others, a few of the points, and I will come, at the end, to the matter which obviously concerns a number of hon. Members on both sides of the House, and which was alluded to in rather extravagantly inaccurate terms by the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. R. Williams).

The right hon. Member for Huyton said that, in a sense, the passing of this Order ended the effect of the statute. That really is a great exaggeration. Those councils set up under the statute that can act effectively will do so, but, where there is one which cannot perform its functions because of lack of agreement with the industry, it may have to be brought to an end. But that does not mean that the statute has lost all its use.

In connection with the attitude of the trade unions, I dare say that there is little difference between us, but I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that I attempted to express with complete accuracy what I understood when I answered his recent Parliamentary Question. I said "the unions regretted that the Council had not enjoyed this support and confidence and that, in these circumstances, my right hon. Friend has had to ask Parliament to dissolve it." I believe that was a completely accurate statement of the attitude of the trade unions. Regretting it, as they did, I thought they realised its necessity. The right hon. Gentleman said that the only explanation is that we have capitulated to vested interests. A more accurate statement of the matter is that we have recognised the facts. I sometimes wonder whether one of the deepest convictions of hon. Members opposite is the great principle of non-recognition of fact.

There is one matter which was mentioned by the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Rhodes)—the work that has been done by the Council on body measurements. That work will be able to be completed. If the hon. Gentleman will look at Item 3 of the Schedule, he will see that one of the specified purposes is the collection and formulation of statistics. The money necessary for the completion of the work would, if necessary, come from the surplus funds. I come now to the matter that has quite genuinely troubled a great number of hon. Members, and I must assume that my exposition was a bad one. When hon. and right hon. Gentlemen talk about people receiving great injury without any possibility of redress they are saying something which is quite wrong. What I said would happen by operation of law is that this Order, coming into force on 1st January, would itself act as the termination of the contract; but the rights that then ensue are enforceable, if necessary, by legal action. But I think they can and will be settled amicably and justly between the liquidator and the persons concerned, and the arrangement will then have to have the sanction of the President.

I believe that the position is that under the Order the liquidator has power to do what is reasonable and appropriate, with the sanction of the President. I think that the function of the President laid down in the Order makes it quite improper for me to express in advance, an opinion of what is reasonable and appropriate; but let me say at once, in reply to the point made by the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) and others, who say, "Why did not you go beyond what was right and proper, reasonable and appropriate and take power to give a gratuity?"

Mr. Mitchison

I never said anything of the sort.

Mr. Strauss

I am sorry if I misunderstood the hon. and learned Gentleman. I thought he was asking for the power which a private person might have to give what I called—without using it as a term of abuse—a gratuity, meaning something quite beyond anything involved in the contract.

I can understand the argument being put forward that it is desirable. All I can say is that if hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite hold that view they should have framed Section 8 of the statute differently, because it is absolutely clear, as I am advised, that we must introduce an Order somewhat in this form to dissolve the Council within the meaning of that Section; and to lay down terms of generosity going beyond anything that is fair and reasonable under the particular contract would be—in the view which I am advised is the considered view of Her Majesty's Government—ultra vires their powers under the Act.

Mr. Wilson

The hon. and learned Gentleman began his explanation—which I do not think leaves us very much clearer than we were before—with the words "I think"—"I think the liquidator is permitted to behave in an amicable and reasonable manner." It surely would have been desirable, particularly in view of the strength of feeling on both sides of the House—for him to have been quite clear on this matter before he came to the House.

I am still not clear whether the liquidator would be able to go beyond the legal terms of any contract that might exist. The hon. and learned Gentleman has just suggested that it might be considered ultra vires Section 8 of the Act. That is perhaps a matter which can be left to my legal friends to deal with; but is he telling us now that even with the pressure of the Treasury it is quite impossible for the liquidator to make any provision beyond the contract?

Mr. Strauss

I can conceive that there may be a contract that has prescribed exactly what shall be due in those circumstances. It is conceivable, and I have little doubt that that would prevail. Very often however there might be a question of the determination of the contract by operation of law. I agree that the claim is then capable of legal determination, but what the liquidator could then do, if what purports to be a legal claim is brought, is to compromise the claim with the approval of my right hon. Friend.

What I was suggesting was that it would have been ultra vires for this Order to prescribe generous treatment of these men regardless of their contracts. Let me give one example to the right hon. Gentleman. Suppose one of these gentlemen, straight away, gets more profitable employment elsewhere. Is he suggesting that he will have suffered a great inconvenience? If hon. Gentlemen opposite will consider what the Order provides and consider the limitations of Section 8 of their own statute they will find their charges groundless.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 169; Noes, 132.

Division No. 52.] AYES [10.2 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Delargy, H. J.
Adams, Richard Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dodds, N. N.
Albu, A. H. Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Donnelly, D. L.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Brown, Thomas (Ince) Driberg, T. E. N.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Burton, Miss F. E. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Callaghan, L. J. Edelman, M.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Carmichael, J. Edwards, John (Brighouse)
Awbery, S. S. Castle, Mrs. B. A. Edwards, Rt Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Bacon, Miss Alice Champion, A. J. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Baird, J. Chapman, W. D. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)
Balfour, A. Chetwynd, G. R Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J. Clunie, J. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Bartley, P. Coldrick, W. Fernyhough, E.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Collick, P. H. Field, W. J.
Bence, C. R. Corbet, Mrs. Freda Fienburgh, W
Benn, Wedgwood Cove, W. G. Finch, H. J.
Benson, G. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Beswick, F. Crosland, C. A. R. Follick, M.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Crossman, R. H. S. Foot, M. M
Bing, G. H. C. Daines, P. Forman, J. C
Blackburn, F. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Blenkinsop, A Darling, George (Hillsborough) Freeman, John (Watford)
Blyton, W. R. Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Freeman, Peter (Newport)
Boardman, H. Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Gibson, C. W
Bowen, E. R. Davies, Harold (Leek) Glanville, James
Bowles, F. G. Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Gooch, E. G.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth de Freitas, Geoffrey Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Brockway, A. F. Deer, G. Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Slater, J.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Grey, C. F. Mainwaring, W. H. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Snow, J. W.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mallalieu, J P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Sorensen, R. W.
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mann, Mrs. Jean Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Grimond, J. Manuel, A. C. Sparks, J. A
Hale, Leslie Mayhew, C. P. Steele, T.
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mellish, R. J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Messer, F. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Hamilton, W. W Mikardo, Ian Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Hannan, W. Mitchison, G. R Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Hardy, E. A. Monslow, W. Stross, Dr. Barnett
Hargreaves, A. Moody, A. S. Swingler, S. T.
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. Sylvester, G. O.
Hastings, S. Morley, R. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Hayman, F. H. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Mort, D. L. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Herbison, Miss M. Moyle, A. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hewitson, Capt. M. Mulley, F. W. Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Hobson, C. R. Murray, J. D. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Holman, P. Nally, W. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Holt, A. F. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Thornton, E.
Houghton, Douglas O'Brien, T. Thurtle, Ernest
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Oldfield, W. H. Timmons, J.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Oliver, G H. Tomney, F.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Orbach, M. Turner-Samuels, M.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Oswald, T. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paget, R. T. Usborne, H. C.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Viant, S P.
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wade, D. W.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Palmer, A. M. F. Wallace, H. W.
Janner, B. Pannell, Charles Watkins, T. E.
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Pargiter, G. A. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Jeger, George (Goole) Parker, J. Weitzman, D.
Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Paton, J Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Peart, T. F. Wells, William (Walsall)
Johnson, James (Rugby) Plummer, Sir Leslie West, D. G.
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Popplewell, E. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Porter, G. Wheeldon, W. E.
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Proctor, W. T. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Keenan, W. Pursey, Cmdr. H Wigg, George
Kenyon, C. Reeves, J. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Wilkins, W. A.
King, Dr. H. M. Reid, William (Camlachie) Willey, F. T.
Kinley, J. Rhodes, H. Williams, David (Neath)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Williams, Rev Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Lewis, Arthur Ross, William Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Lindgren, G. S. Royle, C. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Shackleton, E. A. A. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Logan, D. G. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
MacColl, J. E. Short, E. W. Wyatt, W. L.
McGhee, H. G. Shurmer, P. L. E. Yates, V. F.
McInnes, J. Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
McKay, John (Wallsend) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
McLeavy, F. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Bowden and Mr. Pearson.
Aitken, W. T. Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Bullard, D. G.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Bullock, Capt. M.
Alport, C. J. M. Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Bennett, William (Woodside) Burden, F. F. A.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Butcher, H. W.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Birch. Nigel Campbell, Sir David
Arbuthnot, John Bishop, F. P. Carr, Robert
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Black, C. W. Carson, Hon. E.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bossom, A. C. Cary, Sir Robert
Baker, P. A. D. Boyd-Carpenter, J. A Channon, H.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Boyle, Sir Edward Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.
Baldwin, A. E. Braine, B. R. Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)
Banks, Col. C. Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)
Barber, Anthony Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Cole, Norman
Barlow, Sir John Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Colegate, W. A.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Conant, Maj. R. J. E.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Brooman-White, R. C. Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Browne, Jack (Govan) Cooper-Key, E. M.
Craddock, Beresford (Speithorne) Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Cranborne, Viscount Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Jennings, R. Pitman, I. J.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Powell, J. Enoch
Crouch, R. F. Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Jones, A. (Hall Green) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Profumo, J. D.
Cuthbert, W. N. Kaberry, D. Raikes, H. V.
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Keeling, Sir Edward Rayner, Brig. R.
Davidson, Viscountess Kerr, H. W. Redmayne, M.
De la Bere, Sir Rupert Lambert, Hon. G. Remnant, Hon. P.
Deedes, W. F. Lambton, Viscount Renton, D. L. M.
Digby, S. Wingfield Lancaster, Col. C. G. Roberts, Peter (Heeley)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Langford-Holt, J. A. Robertson, Sir David
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Donner, P. W. Leather, E. H. C. Robson-Brown, W.
Doughty, C. J. A. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Roper, Sir Harold
Drayson, G. B. Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Lindsay, Martin Russell, R. S.
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Linstead, H. N. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Duthie, W. S. Llewellyn, D. T. Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Erroll, F. J. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Fell, A. Longden, Gilbert Scott, R. Donald
Finlay, Graeme Low, A. R. W. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Fisher, Nigel Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Shepherd, William
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Fort, R. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Foster, John McAdden, S. J. Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) McCallum, Major D. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Snadden, W. McN.
Fyfe, Rt Hon. Sir David Maxwell Macdonald, Sir Peter Soames, Capt. C.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Spearman, A. C. M.
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) McKibbin, A. J. Speir, R. M.
Gammans, L. D. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Garner-Evans, E. H. Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Spans, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd Maclean, Fitzroy Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Glyn, Sir Ralph Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.) Stevens, G. P.
Godber, J. B. MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Gough, C. F. H. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Gower, H. R. Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Storey, S.
Graham, Sir Fergus Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Gridley, Sir Arnold Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Studholme, H. G.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Markham, Major S. F. Summers, G. S.
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Marlowe, A. A. H. Sutcliffe, H.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Marples, A. E. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Harden, J. R. E. Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hare, Hon. J. H. Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton) Teeling, W.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Maude, Angus Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Maudling, R. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Medlicott, Brig. F. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Mellor, Sir John Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Molson, A. H. E Tilney, John
Hay, John Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Touche, Sir Gordon
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Turner, H. F. L.
Heald, Sir Lionel Morrison, John (Salisbury) Turton, R. H.
Heath, Edward Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nabarro, G. D. N. Vane, W. M. F.
Higgs, J. M. C. Nicholls, Harmar Vosper, D. F.
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Nield, Basil (Chester) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Hirst, Geoffrey Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Holland-Martin, C. J. Nugent, G. R. H. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Hollis, M. C. Nutting, Anthony Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Oakshott, H. D. Watkinson, H. A.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Odey, G. W. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Horobin, I. M. O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) White, Baker (Canterbury)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. William, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Orr-Ewing, Charles tan (Hendon, N.) Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J. Osborne, C. Wills, G.
Hurd, A. R. Partridge, E. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Wood, Hon. R.
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Perkins, W. R. D. York, C.
Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Peto, Brig. C. H. M TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Peyton, J. W. W. Mr. Buchan-Hepburn and Mr. Drewe.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Division No. 53.] AYES [12.7 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Nabarro, G. D. N.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Garner-Evans, E. H. Nicholls, Harmar
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Gough, C. F. H. Oakshott, H. D.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Gower, H. R. O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Arbuthnot, John Graham, Sir Fergus Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Gridley, Sir Arnold Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Grimond, J. Osborne, C.
Baldwin, A. E. Hall, John (Wycombe) Partridge, E.
Banks, Col. C. Harden, J. R. E. Perkins, W. R. D.
Barber, Anthony Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Pitman, I. J.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Hay, John Powell, J. Enoch
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Heald, Sir Lionel Profumo, J. D.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Heath, Edward Raikes, H. V.
Birch, Nigel Henderson, John (Cathcart) Redmayne, M.
Bishop, F. P. Higgs, J. M. C. Renton, D. L. M.
Bossom, A. C. Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Bowen, E. R. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Roper, Sir Harold
Boyle, Sir Edward Hirst, Geoffrey Russell, R. S.
Braine, B. R. Holland-Martin, C. J. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Hollis, M. C. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P Scott, R. Donald
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Horobin, I. M. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Brooman-White, R. C. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Shepherd, William
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Bullard, D. G. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Spearman, A. C. M.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Hurd, A. R. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Burden, F. F. A. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Butcher, H. W. Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Stevens, G. P.
Campbell, Sir David Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Carr, Robert Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Cary, Sir Robert Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Storey, S.
Channon, H. Kaberry, D. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Kerr, H. W. Summers, G. S.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Lambert, Hon. G. Sutcliffe, H.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Lambton, Viscount Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Langford-Holt, J. A Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Cranborne, Viscount Law, Rt. Hon. R. K Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Leather, E. H. C. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Legh, P. R. (Petersfield ) Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Crouch, R. F. Linstead, H. N. Tilney, John
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C Touche, Sir Gordon
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Longden, Gilbert Turner, H. F. L.
Digby, S. Wingfield Low, A. R. W. Vane, W M. F.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. McCallum, Major D. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Donner, P. W. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Doughty, C. J. A. Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) White, Baker (Canterbury)
Drayson, G. B. Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Drewe, C. Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Markham, Major S. F. Wills, G.
Fell, A. Maude, Angus Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Finlay, Graeme Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C Wood, Hon. R.
Fisher, Nigel Mellor, Sir John
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Molson, A. H. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Morrison, John (Salisbury) Mr. Studholme and Mr. Vosper.
Galbraith, Cmdr, T. D. (Pollok)
Albu, A. H. Brockway, A. F. Fernyhough, E.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Field, W. J.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Callaghan, L. J. Fienburgh, W.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Carmichael, J. Finch, H. J.
Awbery, S. S. Castle, Mrs. B. A. Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Bacon, Miss Alice Champion, A. J Forman, J. C.
Bartley, P. Chetwynd, G. R. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Bence, C. R. Collick, P. H. Freeman, John (Watford)
Benn, Wedgwood Corbet, Mrs. Freda Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.
Benson, G. Crosland, C. A. R. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Beswick, F. Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)
Blackburn, F. de Freitas, Geoffrey Grey, C. F.
Blenklnsop, A. Deer, G. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Blyton, W. R. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Boardman, H. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Han, John T. (Gateshead, W.)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Edwards, John (Brighouse) Hannan, W.
Bowden, H. W. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Hargreaves, A.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Hayman, F. H.
Herbison, Miss M. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Sylvester, G. O.
Holman, P. Mulley, F. W. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Houghton, Douglas Nally, W. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Oswald, T. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Palmer, A. M. F. Thornton, E.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Pargiter, G. A. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Pearson, A. Usborne, H. C.
Irving, W. J (Wood Green) Peart, T. F. Watkins, T. E.
Janner, B. Popplewell, E. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T Porter, G. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Jeger, George (Goole) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) White, Mrs.Eirene (E. Flint)
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Rhodes, H. Willey, F. T.
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Keenan, W. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
King, Dr. H. M. Ross, William Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Royle, C. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Lewis, Arthur Shackleton, E. A. A Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
MacColl, J. E. Short, E. W. Woodburn, Rt. Hon, A
McGhee, H. G. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Wyatt, W. L.
McInnes, J Slater, J. Yates, V. F.
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Snow, J. W. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Mann, Mrs. Jean Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Mayhew, C. P. Steele, T. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mitchison, G. R. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Horace Holmes.

Resolved, That the Draft Clothing Industry Development Council (Dissolution) Order, 1952, a copy of which was laid before this House on 1st December, be approved.

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