HC Deb 18 June 1952 vol 502 cc1308-27
Mr. Albu

I beg to move, in page 9, line 19, at the end, to insert: and in no case before the expiry of a period of twelve months from the date of the coming into force of this Act. The purpose of this Amendment is to give the Government time to reconsider their whole attitude towards Purchase Tax on what is at present tax-free furniture, and also to reconsider their whole attitude towards the present Utility scheme for furniture and the substitution for it of any form of D scheme.

The debate which we had on the Committee stage on this subject was extremely unsatisfactory to my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself, and from the evidence I have had it was extremely unsatisfactory to the trade and the consuming public, not only because of the refusals given to the Amendments we proposed, but also because of the lamentable ignorance displayed by the Financial Secretary in the replies he gave to me on that occasion. It was absolutely clear to those of us who understand the industry and the way in which the Utility scheme had been operating that the Financial Secretary, and I therefore presume his right hon. Friend, had no idea how this trade works or how in fact the Utility scheme has been operating in the trade.

I would refer the House to the speech the Financial Secretary made on 8th May and I will quote the answer he gave at that time: It may be that some articles which do not now bear tax will in future bear it, but it may equally be that certain articles which now bear tax will be relieved; and that still others which now bear tax will bear it in a less degree. It is beside the point to ask me to justify the imposition of a new tax and heavier burdens on the housewife, when all that we are concerned with at the moment is the adjustment of Purchase Tax from the old system of Utility with, above it, the whole weight of tax, a Utility scheme. … and then he goes on to refer to the possible substitution of a D scheme.

What is clear from that is that the hon. Gentleman had not understood that a very small amount of furniture had, since the war, borne any tax at all, and that it would be absolutely impossible to introduce any sort of D scheme comparable with that for textiles, where the D goes on the median price range, without bringing a vast amount of furniture within the tax range which has so far been tax-free.

The hon. Gentleman went on, after I had pointed that out to him in an interruption: I think the hon. Gentleman will find that his 90 per cent. relates to only that part of furniture production to which the Utility specifications apply. But of course, 90 per cent. of the whole furniture production of the country has been Utility production, subject to the guarantee of quality and tax-free. There is no question of a limited part of the production being tax free. The whole 90 per cent. of the production, a very vast proportion of the production bought by the ordinary consumer in the country, has been tax-free.

I must quote the hon. Gentleman again, because his remarks show the extraordinary ignorance of the Government in the handling of this matter, and why we have this great anxiety, and why this matter must be postponed. He said: When we are discussing the merits of this matter it is fair to appreciate that while it is true to say … that some articles will bear tax under the D Scheme which do not at present, other articles, and by no means articles of the highest quality, will be relieved of it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th May, 1952; Vol. 500, c. 612–13.] We all agree there are one or two articles which at the present time, because of specifications, do not come under the Utility scheme, and therefore have not been exempt from tax. Nobody denies that there are all sorts of anomalies which need rectifying in the present Utility scheme. I remember that the hon. Gentleman referred to some types of chairs made for use at the Festival of Britain which could not be sold in the export market because they could not be made in the home market, and because they could not be brought into the Utility range and sold tax-free.

9.0 p.m.

I do not think that there is any difficulty about rectifying anomalies of that sort. But the number is so small that by no stretch of imagination would it be possible to bring enough of them into the tax-free range to balance the proportion of the production of the industry which could be brought under tax if anything like a D scheme at the median level were introduced.

My hon. Friends and myself have had representations and letters from manufacturers and the trade unions concerned expressing the serious position. There is no question but that the trade as a whole is united in this matter. The Furniture Development Council, which represents both sides of the industry, in its annual report said, The Council strongly holds the view that, since furniture provided under the Utility scheme is for the necessities of the home of the lower income groups, such furniture should not be subject to Purchase Tax of any kind. On the question of utility specification they say: … a Utility specification on the lines of that existing at present should be maintained. We fully understand that the Board of Trade are discussing this matter with all sections of the industry. Naturally, if there are anomalies in the existing scheme we want to see them rectified. But it will take time for manufacturers to adjust designs and methods of manufacture, and there is a considerable degree of unemployment already. The furniture industry is suffering, as are other industries, from a slump in the consuming industries. Something like 5 per cent, or 6 per cent. of the workers in the industry are on short time or unemployed. The total number in the industry is about 125,000 or 126,000.

Because of these anxieties we do not think that it is right for the Treasury to take the powers they are taking to introduce such a scheme. There is no question but that at least 12 months would be required to think this matter out and to become familiar with the difficulties I have described. This Amendment would ensure that these would be no possibility of such a scheme being introduced for at least 12 months. I have been assured by the trade that it will take them at least 12 months to work out any alternative scheme of Utility specification or specifications on standards, and so on.

This is a matter of great seriousness to the trade and the consuming public. We all know that in this trade before the war there were too many manufacturers whose products did not come up to a decent standard. But, apart from the question of standards, this is not the time to introduce into the field of Purchase Tax a whole new range of consumer goods, especially the type of goods which are necessary to a young couple setting up home for the first time. It is true that these are consumer goods. They are a form of capital consumer goods for the family.

Apart from the effect on the industry itself, this new proposal will undoubtedly impose great hardship on young married couples, to say nothing of those who, when they get a little older, have from time to time to replace furniture. I should be prepared to withdraw this Amendment if the Financial Secretary could show me how it would be possible to introduce a D scheme with the sort of median level introduced for textiles and other goods without in fact imposing a very much heavier burden on the purchase of furniture. I do not believe that it is possible to do that.

I shall be interested to see whether the Financial Secretary can get out of the difficulties which he got into during the Committee stage when he tried to explain how this scheme would work. He has had time to look into the matter again, and I shall be most interested to hear what he has to say. I see no way in which he can get out of this difficulty. It is a most serious matter to take power to impose such an increase at present. I hope sincerely that my right hon. Friends will press this matter very hard indeed.

Mr. Frederick Lee (Newton)

I beg to second the Amendment.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The hon. Member for Edmonton (Mr. Albu) was good enough to say that we were in a muddle over this matter. I know that tu quoque is the meanest form of repartee, but the hon. Gentleman said that acceptance of this Amendment would ensure that there was no possibility of a D scheme being adopted during the next 12 months. It would not do anything of the sort. If the House accepts this Amendment, there will be nothing whatever to prevent my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade from preparing a scheme and bringing it into effect.

All this Amendment would do would be, in effect, to keep the old Utility scheme in respect of a limited amount of furniture at present in warehouses. Acceptance of this Amendment would neither accelerate nor postpone the action of my right hon. Friend in the introduction of a D scheme for furniture. It would merely retain the old Utility scheme, with exemptions in respect of a certain amount of existing furniture, and therefore, if the hon. Gentleman says that we are in a state of confusion, I am bound to say that the same comment may perhaps be made about him.

What I think he was trying to do, without succeeding—and I know the difficulties of drafting without expert help—was to destroy the provisions of the Bill under which a D scheme for furniture could be introduced by Order, and I think the House would wish me to deal with that intention of the hon. Gentleman, as well as with the particular and rather unsuitable vehicle which he has selected for expressing that intention.

We had quite a long debate during the Committee stage on this issue, and I think I can summarise it accurately by saying this. A number of hon. Members opposite were anxious lest the D scheme for furniture should be introduced prematurely and without proper discussion with the trade and proper thought. That, I think, accurately summarises the speeches made on that issue during a fairly prolonged debate.

The Douglas Report treated the case of furniture in some degree differently from the way in which it treated the other commodities with which it dealt. The Report suggested that, before a D scheme for furniture was introduced, arrangements should be made to secure that standards of quality at least as effective as those under the old Utility scheme should be provided. It is largely for that reason that we did not apply the D scheme to furniture in the way that, under this Bill, we have applied it to other articles within the ambit of the Douglas Report.

As I explained to the Committee during that debate, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is taking part in discussions with the trade with a view, among other things, to securing that that recommendation of the Douglas Committee is implemented and that proper safeguards of quality are inserted in any D scheme that may result. I gave an assurance at that stage, which I willingly repeat, that there is no intention on the part of my right hon. Friend to rush these discussions through, as the hon. Member for Edmonton appeared to fear, and to put them into effect without proper time for thought. As a result, I cannot tell the House when it will be possible to bring the scheme forward, but I think it is quite another thing to say, as the hon. Member for Edmonton said, that we should put it out of the picture altogether that it should be introduced within the next 12 months.

May I put forward this consideration? There are few things more damaging to trade in the field of Purchase Tax than prolonged uncertainty. There are few things more discouraging to the buyer than the knowledge that the rate of Purchase Tax is likely to be varied in the near future. In any event the discussions, of course, go on. The hon. Member's intention is to prevent the discussions, when successful, from being put into effect until 12 months from now. I suggest to the House that nothing could be worse for the industry than for it to be known that a new system of Purchase Tax was to be introduced, but that as a result of this restriction it could not be introduced for perhaps some months.

That would be a wholly unsatisfactory state of affairs and, I should have thought, a thoroughly damaging one to all concerned in the industry. As I pointed out on that occasion, the House has not given up its right to consider the scheme when it is complete. Under the provisions of this Bill, though the scheme can be introduced by Order, that Order is subject to the affirmative procedure. The House will have the opportunity of debating and, if it thinks fit, of rejecting the proposals when they are complete. Under the Bill they will have to be presented to the House.

It would obviously be my right hon. Friend's intention to produce as good a scheme as he could, but if hon. Members are right and the scheme does include the defects which the hon. Member for Edmonton fears, then it will be open to the hon. Member, or, indeed, to any other hon. Member, to persuade the House to reject the scheme when the Order is laid. I suggest that that is really a more practical way of dealing with the affairs of this industry than to put the possibility of a D scheme into cold storage for 12 months, as the hon. Member seems to wish.

I have tried to deal with the matter on the lines of the hon. Gentleman's intention rather than on the lines of the strict construction of his Amendment. I do not hesitate to do so because I suggest to the House that compulsory delay of the implementation of that scheme which, if the discussions go with reasonable speed and smoothness, we hope may be arrived at in some months' time, could not really be in the interest of anybody.

I appreciate that there are hon. Members opposite who regret the passing of at any rate certain parts of the Utility scheme. That is a matter of controversy and of understandable difference between us, but I really do not think we are serving the interests of this industry or of the national economy by saying that in one respect we should deliberately preserve for a further 12 months this particular aspect of the Utility scheme even though everybody knows that at the end of those 12 months it is coming to an end. Therefore, I hope the hon. Gentleman will not desire to press the matter further.

Mr. Albu

Before the hon. Gentleman sits down, would he deal with the point about the median level? Is it the Government's intention to introduce a scheme which will impose the tax on a much larger proportion of furniture than at the present time?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The House must judge the scheme as a whole when it sees it. All I can say at this stage is that I have little doubt that my right hon. Friend will try to follow the general proposals of the Douglas Committee and to select the median point. The exact effect of that is something to which, I suggest, this House should give proper consideration when the scheme is in detail before it and when hon. Members can calculate the precise effects of it both from the hon. Gentleman's point of view regarding the imposition of tax where it is not imposed at present and also on the general merits of the scheme.

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

Is it the intention of the Government to introduce such a scheme as soon as the report has been received?

9.15 p.m.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am not sure what the hon. Member means. It is not a question of a report, but of discussions which are taking place. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is informing his mind by discussions with, among others, the industries concerned. When those discussions are terminated, it will then be for my right hon. Friend and the Government to consider the facts which have arisen in those discussions and to provide a scheme.

Mr. Frederick Messer (Tottenham)

I thought that when this Amendment was moved one or two points were put to the Government which were important and which do not appear to have been answered. If, when the Chancellor first introduced the Budget he had any idea of introducing a D scheme for furniture he must have understood the principle upon which a scheme of that kind must be operated. If one has read the Douglas Report or has had any experience at all of the industry one realises that there is no comparison between furniture and textiles. I would say that it is quite impossible for agreement to be reached between the trade and the Government on the establishment of a D scheme.

The Utility scheme is understood, but how is that to apply to furniture, with the exception of a very small percentage of ornamental furniture which is made? What will come within the range of a D scheme? Will it be a utility type of furniture in the sense that kitchen furniture is Utility? Will it be furniture of a special quality? Will it be decided that D furniture will include a proportion of hardwoods and of plywoods and is made in accordance with special styles?

I am sure, from my conversations with them, that representatives of the furniture industry have already made up their minds that if a D scheme is imposed it will not be possible for them to strike a line below which one can call that furniture the kind of furniture that should be tax free and above which tax should be paid. This is important, because at the moment unemployment in the furniture trade is growing to an extent which those in the trade consider to be serious and which if it is continued unchecked, will become alarming. This is an aspect of the matter which cannot be ignored.

I agree with the Financial Secretary that there is nothing worse than indecision and doubt for creating a situation which will lead to greater unemployment. Employers will not indulge in building up stocks if there is any doubt as to how those stocks are to be released and under what conditions they are to be sold. One can understand that. It would have been far better if this Amendment had been adopted, and if necessary redrafted, and a certain time allowed to elapse so that the trade should know within a certain period just what range of furniture they could go on manufacturing.

Now, until the conversations are concluded, manufacturers will manufacture as little as possible. They will want to know just what sort of D scheme is to be imposed. I suggest that it will be impossible to operate a D scheme, because the trade will find it very difficult to create the type of machinery that will enable furniture to be recognised as above or below the D level. For those reasons it would have been very much better if the Government had agreed to let us have a period of 12 months within which we could explore the whole field so that within that 12 months manufacturers, then secure in the knowledge that they would be free from the fluctuations which otherwise would arise, would be able to continue manufacturing and keeping their men employed.

In my constituency there is one of the biggest furniture manufacturers in the country; but I am not speaking merely because of that. I have an interest in the furniture trade because in my more honourable days I earned my living in that trade, and I can see that there will be the possibility of increasing unemployment because of the doubt about what sort of scheme will finally be introduced. For these reasons I suggest that the Government might consider whether or not they can put a limit to the period within which the exploration shall take place and allow manufacturers to understand just what their position would be up to a certain period of time.

I suggest that the Parliamentary Secretary has not dealt constructively with the position and that the House ought to have a little more information which will give us some sense of security, for at the moment the manufacturing employers and the trade unions themselves are very anxious about their future.

Mr. Jay

I think the Financial Secretary really underestimates the case against extending the D scheme to furniture at all. I wish that he would even now forsake his brief and look at this whole matter with an open mind. He said that on the Committee stage and today we have argued in favour of a postponement of the introduction of this scheme. That rather underestimates, if it does not misrepresent, our argument.

Our argument has always been that no case has really been made out at any stage for introducing the D scheme and extending the Purchase Tax in the furniture industry at all. The Government seem to have rather a light-hearted attitude to this matter, and they do not appear to understand that opinion in the furniture industry on both sides is overwhelmingly against the whole scheme.

What is the case for having a D scheme here or in textiles or in any other industry? The main case as made by the Douglas Committee is that the present differential between imported and home produced goods is contrary to our international obligations under the Geneva Agreement, and so forth. That is the main substance of the case, and it is, indeed, the case made by the Chancellor. The Douglas Committee made it perfectly clear that that argument will not apply at all to the furniture industry. Therefore, the main argument is completely irrelevant.

In addition to this, the Douglas Committee also made clear that the Utility scheme is perfectly workable and has great value as a guarantee of quality in this industry. The Financial Secretary rather implied that the Douglas Committee recommended that there should be a D scheme for furniture. Of course, it did nothing of the kind. It mentioned certain anomalies in the existing Utility scheme, but at no point did it recommend that there should be a D scheme introduced into the furniture industry. Indeed, on an impartial reading of the Douglas Report one would conclude that the members of the Committee did not really contemplate that this scheme would be introduced at all.

The Financial Secretary seemed to argue—and this threw a curious light on the Government's mind—that there would be something awkward or anomalous about having a D scheme in the textile industries and continuing the old Utility scheme in the furniture industry. But a moment's thought will show that there is absolutely no substance in that. After all, the D scheme will not be introduced over a very large number of goods, such as wireless sets, motor cars and all sorts of other things which are subject to Purchase Tax. It is quite possible not merely to postpone but to refrain from introducing the D scheme conception into this industry.

In addition to all that it means—and I note that the Financial Secretary did not deny this tonight—extending Purchase Tax, which now applies to only about 10 per cent. of the total output of furniture, to a very much wider proportion of the products of the industry. If it is the intention of the Government to introduce this median it would mean extending it to something like 50 per cent. of the output.

I would remind the Financial Secretary that, although he implied it tonight, the Douglas Committee did not recommend that this median principle should be applied even in the textile industry. That is a decision of the Government and was one which the Douglas Committee came nowhere near recommending in the case of the furniture trade.

Therefore, it seems that there is no case for making any major alteration. In addition to that, it has become apparent, since the Committee stage—as my hon. Friends who represent constituencies where the furniture industry is situated would agree—that there is a very severe depression in the furniture industry at present, and this extension of the tax is calculated to intensify that depression.

One of my hon. Friends quoted the Furniture Development Council. I have here a letter from an executive of a furniture firm referring to speeches made on the Committee stage of this Bill. That letter says: In company with our representatives I have recently concluded a tour of the furniture retailers in the Midlands, Lancashire, South Wales, South Coast and London and, taking into account reports from representatives in the rest of the British Isles, I am painfully aware of the fact that trade is desperately bad, due in the main to the prevailing shortage of money amongst consumers because of the rising cost of living. There is not the slightest shadow of doubt that the introduction of the D … scheme which has as its basis the introduction of a level above which Purchase Tax is chargeable will render trade even more impossible than it is at the moment and eventually contribute to unemployment in this industry, at present employing some 125,000 persons. Throughout the country the public and retailers are insisting that prices come down, and this is certainly not the time to contemplate legislation which will have the reverse effect and might add up to £10 to the selling price of, say, a bedroom suite which hitherto has borne no tax at all. That is what the Government are doing. Without any shadow of a case being made out they are applying a high tax to a large range of furniture products at a time when, admittedly, on the evidence of all those in the industry, there is a severe and intensifying depression and unemployment. The Financial Secretary has advanced no reason for doing this except certain rather tendentious—not intentionally tendentious, I am sure, but certainly tendentious—references to the report of the Douglas Committee.

The only other argument which was advanced by the Financial Secretary was that uncertainty would be harmful to the industry. I should like to tell him what my correspondent says about that argument. He says that it would be possible to remove uncertainty if an announcement were made that the scheme would not be put into effect on furniture. I think that the Financial Secretary would agree that that argument works equally well either way. One has to decide the main issue of policy on the merits of the case.

9.30 p.m.

I hope, therefore, that the Financial Secretary will be prepared to think about this again, and perhaps give me this assurance tonight. I cannot see why the Government should wish to force this scheme upon an industry which is entirely opposed to it. Quite apart from the increased burden on the consumer, what conceivable reason can there be for doing that? Would he be prepared at least to give us this assurance, that even though these consultations take place, the Government will not force a scheme of this kind upon the furniture industry and will not introduce an order into the House unless they have the agreement of the industry, for instance, through the development council, which, after all, is a public body set up by the Government to speak for the industry and which represents both sides of it?

Mr. Joseph T. Price (Westhoughton)

May I ask the Financial Secretary a question before the debate winds up? He is overlooking the fact that already a large element in the manufacture of certain types of furniture consists of textiles. Surely before any global D line for a new tax is placed on manufactured furniture, the furniture, or at least upholstered articles, will already be attracting tax on the textiles above the D line.

If and when the Financial Secretary brings forward the report to which he has referred, I hope he will bear in mind that if a new tax is placed upon furniture, and furniture is subject to the D line, it may well be that double taxation will take place because of the tax already levied upon the textile content of upholstered furniture. This would be a double burden upon an industry already seriously harassed and uttering cries of despair about present prospects.

Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

I sincerely hope that we shall have another word or two from the Financial Secretary, because this situation is alarming. Here we have the position in which the Government, by interfering with reasonable Utility schemes, have already raised the price of textiles at a time when it was the last thing they should have done. They are raising the cost of living all round, and, not satisfied with that, they are determined to raise the cost of furniture, too.

All the Financial Secretary has told us is that later there will be a scheme. True, consultations are taking place, but he has been asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) whether or not he will abide by an agreement within the trade before it is introduced. He has told us tonight that there will be a scheme, but he does not know what it will be like. Some of my hon. Friends think it will be impossible to introduce any scheme, but after what we have seen I think they underestimate the chaos-creating powers of the President of the Board of Trade and the Government.

I sincerely hope that we shall have a reply to this specific question. If this consultation with the furniture industry shows that the two sides of the industry are opposed to the introduction of any such scheme, will the Government drop any idea of rushing one through? Can we have a straight answer to that question?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If I may have the leave of the House to reply, the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) can have the straight answer to his question The question which the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) and the hon. Member for Kilmarnock asked me was this: whether, in the event of the consultations at present taking place resulting in the view of the industry being against a D scheme, would I give an undertaking that, as a result, there would be no D scheme? The right hon. Member for Battersea, North knows perfectly well that that is not an undertaking which any responsible Government could give.

Mr. Jay

Without prejudice to the benches behind me, may I point out that what I said was an undertaking that such a scheme would not be introduced unless the agreement of the Furniture Development Council was obtained. If the Government think this scheme is desirable in the public interest, they presumably believe that the industry will therefore be willing to accept it.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The right hon. Gentleman cannot get out of it like that. He has asked that the industry should be given a veto on the introduction of a scheme, but that would be a most improper undertaking for me to give, even if I were willing to give it. The views of both sides of the industry are material factors, and my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is taking many steps to inform himself of them. It is a very different thing from consulting outside interests, as all Governments do in matters of this sort, to coming to the House and saying that a decision by the outside interests shall be binding upon the Government of the day. That is what the right hon. Gentleman has asked me to do and I cannot do so, and have no intention of doing it.

The ultimate decision in this matter is not for the industry, is not even for the Government; it is for this House. Under the procedure, if the Government decide to come forward with a scheme it will be in the form of a Treasury Order and will be subjected to the affirmative Resolution procedure.

One or two other points have arisen in the course of the debate and I will deal with them, since it would seem discourteous not to do so. The hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. J. T. Price) raised an interesting point, but I think I can reassure him. The general practice has been that the textile content of furniture passes to the furniture manufacturing industry before it gets to the point at which it is subjected to Purchase Tax. It does not go to the point at which it would incur tax as a textile. If the hon. Gentleman has any exceptional cases which he knows of and will direct my attention to them I will look at them. In general, it goes as a raw material, and will only bear tax as a finished article or furniture.

Mr. J. T. Price

Do canvases and articles of that sort used in garden furniture undergo the same process?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I must have notice of that question. I should not like to attempt to give an answer straight away. I will communicate with the hon. Gentleman on the point.

The hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Messer) also raised an important point about the industry having a little time to adjust designs. That is an important point which must spring from the hon. Gentleman's close personal acquaintance with the problems of this industry. It is a factor which the President of the Board of Trade will bear in mind and which will, no doubt, affect him, if he brings forward the scheme, in the selection of the operative date. I would not like to leave the hon. Gentleman under the impression that we shall not have in mind this important consideration.

The right hon. Member for Battersea, North was perfectly frank in his support

of this Amendment. He does not want a D scheme for furniture at all. That is a point of view legitimately held. It is a matter of opinion and of discussion between us, but it is not a point raised directly, or intended to be raised, on this Amendment, which proceeds on the assumption that there will be a D scheme for furniture and that the decision of the Committee stands. It seeks merely to postpone the decision.

That seems to get the worst of both worlds. To fix a period for the adjustment of designs, such as the hon. Member for Tottenham referred to, is one thing, and is obviously not unimportant, but a blank 12 months during which nothing would be done even though decisions have been reached is a totally different matter. I am certain that hon. Members on both sides will want the industry to prosper; would not wish it to fall between two stools like this.

If hon. Members opposite had been responsible for an Amendment in Committee to delete the relevant portion of the Clause embodying the scheme, the issue would have been clear cut, though it would have been unsatisfactory. But surely, once it is accepted that there must be a D scheme for furniture, as the House in Committee accepted, it is wrong and short-sighted to impose this close season of 12 months.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 244; Noes, 264.

Division No. 170.] AYES [9.40 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Cullen, Mrs. A
Adams, Richard Bowden, H. W. Daines, P
Albu, A. H. Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Dalton, Rt. Hon. H
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Brockway, A. F. Darling, George (Hillsborough)
Alien, Scholefield (Crewe) Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Davies, Harold (Leek)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Deer, G.
Awbery, S. S. Brown, Thomas (Ince) Delargy, H. J.
Bacon, Miss Alice Burton, Miss F. E. Dodds, N. N
Baird, J. Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Donnelly, D. L.
Balfour, A. Callaghan, L. J. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W Bromwich)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A J Carmichael, J. Ede, Rt Hon. J. C.
Bartley, P. Castle, Mrs. B. A. Edwards, John (Brighouse)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Champion, A. J. Edwards, Rt Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Bence, C. R. Chapman, W. D. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W)
Benn, Wedgwood Chetwynd, G. R. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Benson, G. Clunie, J. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Beswick, F. Cocks, F. S Ewart, R.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Coldrick, W. Fernyhough, E.
Bing, G. H. C. Collick, P. H. Finch, H. J.
Blackburn, F. Corbet, Mrs. Freda Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Blenkinsop, A. Cove, W. G. Follick, M.
Blyton, W. R. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Foot, M. M.
Boardman, H. Crossman, R H. S. Forman, J. C
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) MacColl, J. E. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E
Freeman, John (Watford) McGhee, H G. Short, E. W.
Freeman, Peter (Newport) McGovern, J Shurmer, P. L. E.
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon H. T. N. McInnes, J. Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Gibson, C. W. McKay, John (Wallsend) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Glanville, James McLeavy, F Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Slater, J.
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Mainwaring, W. H. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Grenfell, Rt Hon D R Mallalieu, J. P. W (Huddersfield, E.) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Grey, C. F. Mann, Mrs. Jean Snow, J. W.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Manuel, A. C. Sorensen, R. W.
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mayhew, C. P. Sparks, J. A.
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mellish, R. J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Hall, John (Gateshead, W.) Messer, F. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R
Hamilton, W. W Mitchison, G. R. Strachey, Rt. Hon J
Hannan, W Monslow, W. Strauss, Rt. Hon George (Vauxhall)
Hardy, E. A. Moody, A. S. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E
Hargreaves, A. Morgan, Dr. H. B. W Swingler, S. T.
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Morley, R. Sylvester, G. O
Hastings, S. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H (Lewisham, S.) Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Hayman, F. H. Mort, D. L. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Moyle, A. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Mulley, F. W Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Harbison, Miss M. Murray, J. D. Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Holman, P. Nally, W. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Houghton, Douglas Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Thurtle, Ernest
Hoy, J. H. Oldfield, W. H. Tomney, F.
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Oliver, G. H. Turner-Samuels, M.
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Orbach, M. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Oswald, T. Viant, S. P.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Padley, W. E. Wallace, H. W.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Watkins, T. E.
Irvine, A. J, (Edge Hill) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Weitzman, D.
Irving, W. J (Wood Green) Pannell, Charles Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Pargiter, G. A. Wells, William (Walsall)
Janner, B. Parker, J. West, D. G
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Paton, J. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Peart, T. F. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Plummer, Sir Leslie Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Johnson, James (Rugby) Popplewell, E. Wigg, George
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Porter, G. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Wilkins, W. A.
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Proctor, W. T. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Pursey, Cmdr. H Williams, David (Neath)
Keenan, W. Rankin, John Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Kenyan, C. Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Reid, William (Camlachie) Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)
King, Dr. H. M. Rhodes, H. Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Kinley, J. Richards, R. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Wilson, Rt. Hon Harold (Huyton)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Wyatt, W. L.
Lewis, Arthur Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Yates, V F
Lindgren, G. S. Ross, William
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Royle, C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Logan, D. G. Schofield, S. (Barnsley) Mr. Pearson and
Mr. Kenneth Robinson.
Aitken, W. T. Bennett, William (Woodside) Carson, Hon. E.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Cary, Sir Robert
Alport, C. J. M Birch, Nigel Channon, H.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Bishop, F. P. Churchill, Rt. Hon W. S.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Black, C. W. Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J Boothby, R. J. G Cole, Norman
Arbuthnot, John Bossom, A. C. Conant, Maj. R. J. E.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Bowen, E. R. Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Boyd Carpenter, J. A. Cooper-Key, E. M.
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton) Boyle, Sir Edward Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Bucks, Wycombe) Braine, B. R. Cranborne, Viscount
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr J. M. Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N. W.) Crookshank, Capt Rt. Hon. H. F. C
Baldwin, A. E. Bromley-Davenport, Lt-Col. W. H. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.
Banks, Col. C. Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Crouch, R. F.
Barber, A. P. L. Brooman-White, R. C. Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)
Barlow, Sir John Browne, Jack (Govan) Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)
Baxter, A. B. Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)
Beach, Maj. Hicks Bullard, D. G. Davidson, Viscountess
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Bullus, Wing Commander E. E Deedes, W F.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Burden, F. F. A. Digby, S Wingfield
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Butcher, H. W. Dodds-Parker, A. D.
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Donaldson, Cmdr C. E. McA.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Donner, P. W.
Doughty, C. J. A Lambton, Viscount Robson-Brown, W.
Drayson, G. B. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Dugdale, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir T (Richmond) Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Roper, Sir Harold
Duncan, Capt. J. A L Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Duthie, W. S. Lindsay, Martin Russell, R. S.
Erroll, F. J. Linstead, H. N. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D
Fell, A. Llewellyn, D. T. Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Finlay, Graeme Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Fisher, Nigel Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Low, A. R. W. Scott, R. Donald
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Shepherd, William
Foster, John Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell McAdden, S. J. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Gage, C. H. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Mackeson, Brig. H. R Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) McKibbin, A. J. Soames, Capt. C.
Garner-Evans, E. H. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Spearman, A. C. M
George, Rt. Hon. Mai. G. Lloyd Maclean, Fitzroy Speir, R. M.
Glyn, Sir Ralph MacLeod, Rt. Hon Iain (Enfield, W.) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Godber, J. B. MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Gough, C. F. H. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries) Stevens, G. P.
Gower, H. R. Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Graham, Sir Fergus Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Storey, S.
Grimond, J. Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Markham, Major S. F. Studholme, H. G.
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Marples, A. E. Summers, G. S.
Hare, Hon. J. H. Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Sutcliffe, H.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton) Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Maudling, R. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr S. L. C. Teeling, W.
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Medlicott, Brig. F. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Mellor, Sir John Thomas, P J. M. (Conway)
Hay, John Molson, A. H. E. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Heald, Sir Lionel Morrison, John (Salisbury) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr R. (Croydon, W.)
Heath, Edward Mott-Radclyffe, C. E Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nabarro, G. D. N. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N
Higgs, J. M. C. Nicholls, Harmar Tilney, John
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Touche, Sir Gordon
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Nield, Basil (Chester) Vane, W. M. F.
Hirst, Geoffrey Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K
Holland-Martin, C. J Nugent, G. R. H. Vosper, D. F.
Hollis, M. C. Oakshott, H. D. Wade, D. W.
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Odey, G. W. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Holt, A. F. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.) Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Hope, Lord John Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Walker-Smith, D. C
Hopkinson, Henry Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M P Osborne, C Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Horobin, I. M. Partridge, E. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Peake, Rt. Hon. O Watkinson, H. A.
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Peyton, J. W. W. Wellwood, W.
Hurd, A. R. Pickthorn, K. W. M. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Pitman, I. J. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Hutchison, Lt -Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Powell, J. Enoch Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H M. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Jennings, R. Profumo, J. D. Wills, G.
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Raikes, H. V. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Rayner, Brig. R. Wood, Hon. R.
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Redmayne, M. York, C
Keeling, Sir Edward Remnant, Hon. P.
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Renton, D. L. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lambert, Hon. G. Roberts, Peter (Heeley) Mr. Drewe and Mr. Kaberry.