HC Deb 12 May 1952 vol 500 cc915-1025
Mr. Erroll

I beg to move, in page 12, line 7, to leave out paragraph (b).

The Clause, which deals largely with the administration of the tax, contains three small paragraphs which empower the Commissioners to make regulations for the administrative details of collection. In subsection (2), paragraph (a) obliges a trader to give an invoice and paragraph (c) obliges a trader to keep his records and to make them available for inspection. Naturally, one would take no exception to those two paragraphs, which, taken together, should provide sufficient information for the officer of the Customs and Excise to enforce collection of the tax.

Paragraph (b), however, is something altogether new. It requires a trader to ask for an invoice showing the details of a purchase of chargeable goods or the performance of chargeable services; and if he does not receive an invoice, an obligation is imposed upon the trader to report the failure to supply an invoice to the officer of Customs and Excise. It is a wholly undesirable principle to turn every trader into an ally of the Customs and Excise—a small sneak, in fact—and to have to report to them when a trader fails to produce an invoice for which, under the new legislation, he is compelled to be asked.

I submit that there is no need for paragraph (b) and that the powers given to the Customs and Excise under paragraphs (a) and (c) are quite sufficient for the enforcement of the tax without the snooping and sneaking powers which, but for the Amendment, are to be conferred under paragraph (b).

Mr. S. Silverman

It is not often that I spring so fast to the support of the Gov- ernment, but on this occasion I am bound to say that they are being a little hardly treated by their supporters. I read subsection (2) not as a subsection to provide more snoopers, but to remove the need for some snoopers.

What the subsection does is to say, "Let us not rely on outside spies at all. Let us rely on the trade itself."And if the documents are needed and should have certain things on them, there is nothing wrong in saying that when traders engage in a transaction which requires such a document, one of them should say to the other, "Give me the necessary document."If he goes on asking for it and does not get it, it is reasonable to infer that there is some improper reason for its not being supplied. I think that the Government are entirely right in the matter.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I think the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) has put the case with his habitual force and I must say that its substance has been such that I find it much easier to agree with than I sometimes do. It is, of course, a fact that any scheme of this sort does require the cooperation of the trader, and to describe the trader who works honestly and tries to co-operate as "a sneak "is perhaps a little forceful criticism and a trifle unfair.

My hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) was not right in saying that this is a novelty. Under the price control system administered by the Board of Trade over the last four years, there were analogous provisions, and when one recalls that most respectable trade is carried on with invoices, it does not seem unreasonable to require a trader, if an invoice is not forthcoming in the normal way, to supply it.

The whole of this scheme does depend upon its being honestly administered with the co-operation of the trade. That is why, on earlier Amendments, I laid some emphasis on the desirability of not overloading the trade with administrative work. But in this case all we are asking is that they shall co-operate so that the scheme shall be fairly administered and so that the honest trader shall not find himself at a disadvantage if an occasional black sheep tries to violate the provisions of the scheme.

Mr. Gaitskell

Before the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) presses his Amendment further, or seeks to withdraw it, I feel that a few words of congratulation are due to the Financial Secretary from our side of the Committee. After all, he has converted himself to a remarkable extent from poacher to gamekeeper in this matter.

I shall not draw you, Sir Charles, too far back into the past, but, remembering the Gas Bill, on which we spent many hours in Committee arguing its provisions— many of them about the rights of the individual—when I recall the hon. Gentleman's passionate defence of the rights of the householder as against the gas inspector, and when I remember the occasions on which at Question time and in debates on other Finance Bills he passionately devoted himself to the cause of deposit holders of banks, of traders who ought not to have to fill in forms and of many other individual subjects of Her Majesty, it is really at first sight somewhat remarkable that there should be a change of this kind.

But it is wonderful what a difference office makes to a man. It does let in the light where darkness had hitherto existed and makes him understand that, after all, it is not such a burden on the individual. We all feel a real pleasure that this change has taken place, and this sweetness and light in the defence of these various practices is a great reassurance to the Committee. But it must have been very difficult to make this change and we realise how difficult it was, not only because of the change itself, but because it means that for ever afterwards the hon. Gentleman will not be able to defend any of these individuals—and that is a great sacrifice. We all appreciate it, and congratulate him on the pleasant way in which he has made it.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It is very gratifying to receive such kindly words from an ex-gamekeeper and I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), finds poaching agreeable. Perhaps I may express the further hope that he will have plenty of time in the next four or five years to perfect himself in that art.

Mr. Erroll

I must say I am very disappointed with the answer given by the Financial Secretary. He tells me that this is not a new idea. We might have had some evidence why it is still so necessary. We have had no proof of the need for this power to insist on a trader being a sneak against his fellow traders. I am not, of course, going to divide the Committee, but I hope that perhaps next year we shall see the deletion of this Clause. If the Committee will allow me, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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

6.15 p.m.

Mr. Angus Maude (Ealing, South):

This Clause gives the Commissioners of Inland Revenue fairly wide powers to make Regulations regarding documents. I think it is right that certain assurances should be asked from the Financial Secretary before we pass the Clause because, unlike the right hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), I have a very high opinion of my hon. Friend and, great as is the anxiety of the Chancellor to get the Clause through, I am sure that is as nothing to his anxiety that Parliament should retain reasonable control over delegated legislation.

There are one or two points which, in the interests of traders and of the public, must be put in regard to the powers of the Commissioners to ask for and require documents under this Clause. Already the Commissioners by the publication of Notice 78D, have served notice on the trade that they will require certain innovations on invoices. I will give one example to the Committee to show that there are certain dangers of complication if bureaucratic action is allowed to run riot in this way. In addition to the normal requirements which have to be met by an invoice, it is proposed that the new series of code numbers shown in appendix A to Notice 78D should be required against each item on an invoice and the notice says that this must take place whether or not any Purchase Tax under the D scheme is payable.

If one looks at the code numbers involved, one can see that the extra amount of work required for a firm delivering an invoice is going to be very great indeed. If it were essential, if there were no other way of getting the information, one might not object very strongly, but, so far as we can see, the information called for simply duplicates information given in another way. It has been calculated that something like 10 per cent. extra work will be required to give the code numbers which the Commissioners propose to require. For example, in the case of a man's three-piece woollen suit, it will be necessary, in addition to giving the Purchase Tax rate and the D figure, which are already given in the simplest possible way by one letter and figure code in shillings to add the following code number, "M3 (A)/ M4 / M5 (A)."All that tells us is that it is a man's three-piece woollen suit and in any case that information is given on the invoice.

It seems to me that the benefit the Commissioners will receive from the introduction of these code numbers can only be very small. Neither I nor anyone in the trade whom I have consulted can think of a single instance in which it would make it easier for the Commissioners either to prevent fraud or to make investigations into fraud.

I hope the Financial Secretary will give us the assurance, before these onerous requirements and others of the same kind are made, that full consultation with the representatives of the trade will take place and that the Treasury will make every effort to restrict the Commissioners within the limits of common sense, brevity and simplicity. There is a great deal of apprehension in the trade that under the Regulations which the Clause empowers the Commissioners to make there will be an immense amount of extra work. As I have pointed out, these code numbers alone will add about 10 per cent. to the cost of preparing every invoice. That will probably have to be passed on to the consumers, and the public themselves will suffer. If my hon. Friend could re-assure us in this way, I think we should all pass this Clause in a much happier frame of mind.

Mr. Hale

I have been studying some of the observations made by the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) and my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman). I cannot find in the Bill, as presented to the House, any sanctions for imposing any of these Regulations. I take it that they are to be found in the Finance Act, 1940, and the sections referred to in the opening sentence of this Clause. I ask because the wording of subsection (2, b) is a little unusual. It gives power to make Regulations to impose obligations; the word "obligations "is a little unusual in this connection.

Is it to be a criminal offence if a man does not ask for an invoice, or forgets to ask again in the event of any failure to give it or, if that failure continues. he forgets to ask the prescribed person or does not know who the prescribed person is? If this is a reasonable sort of method to prescribe, it is reasonable to ask whether a man is to have 12 months' imprisonment imposed for it, and how it is to be enforced.

I ask the Financial Secretary to refer to one paragraph to which the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale made no reference—subsection (2, d)—which appears to me much more surprising than any of the others because, power having been given for everything that it is desired to do, the Financial Secretary adds that provision. I would not be surprised if he is not able to say that in the course of a subsection of some previous enactment at some time or other a somewhat similar provision has been included by some preceding Government and that the vigilant eyes of Members of the Opposition have not noticed it.

I thank the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale, who spoke with great eloquence and fervour, and certainly with courage and determination, for pressing this matter until he got an unsatisfactory answer, when he rose to ask leave to withdraw his Amendment.

Subsection (2, d) says:

for any incidental or supplementary matters. If this is a criminal Clause—I do not know—and if penalties are prescribed, and if they can be added for any "supplementary matters,"the Committee might reasonably inquire what is the interpretation of the Financial Secretary of "incidental "or what is supplementary to a failure to receive a form, or a, failure to ask for one, or a failure to notify someone that one should have had a form or, a prescribed person not having had one, the person concerned has failed to do something about it. What is incidental or supplementary to that?

The Financial Secretary will know that I am one of those who have been on the other side of the House when he has made impassioned appeals for liberty and has said that criminal matters must be handled with the most scrupulous care and scrupulous regard for the rights of the individual. If we are making a criminal offence there should be some method of finding out, either in the Measure or in Regulations, or even in a few sentences in HANSARD—which cannot be quoted in court—in some words of the Financial Secretary, what was in the mind of Her Majesty's Government when they recommended these words to the Committee.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I should like to answer first a point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, South (Mr. Maude). There will, of course, be consultation with the trade before these Regulations are made, and there is every intention that they shall be as simple as possible. Indeed, I think the Committee will appreciate that in the discussion of at least two previous Amendments I have indicated that it is the view of the Government that simplicity in these matters is of great importance. That will certainly apply to these Regulations.

The hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale), asked what would be the sanction behind the Regulations. He very nearly supplied the answer. It is, of course, in Section 33 (2) of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1940, read with Section 35 of the same Act. A further safeguard for the liberty of the individual—in which I appreciate the hon. Member for Oldham, West, shares the interest of some of us—in addition to the consultation before the making of the Regulations, is the fact that those Regulations will be laid before the House.

Mr. Hale

What is the penalty to be prescribed in the Regulations? What is "incidental or supplementary "?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

What is incidental or supplementary is a matter to be embodied in the Regulations and is susceptible to discussion when the Regulations are laid. I could not be expected to give a general ruling on that extraordinarily difficult point, nor indeed would such a ruling be binding on anyone.

So far as the penalties are concerned, I am advised that under the Finance Act, 1940, the penalty was put at a lower figure but by some subsequent Measure it was raised to a maximum of £100. Whether the Regulations prescribe so high a figure is a matter which will have to await the drafting of the Regulations, but I understand that to be the maximum structure within which they fall.

Mr. Erroll

The Financial Secretary has not really answered the point about the code numbers, which my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, South (Mr. Maude), has demonstrated are completely redundant and unnecessary, as the goods are adequately described by other means. Could the Financial Secretary not give us an assurance that this elaborate description by code numbers can be dispensed with?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I thought I had answered the point by saying that we favour the utmost simplicity possible. It is not possible, in replying in Committee, without previous warning, to argue a case for a particular system of code numbers. I have indicated to my hon. Friend our general wish for the greatest simplicity. It may well be that such a system of code numbers is the simplest method of doing the job. If my hon. Friend cares to discuss the matter with me, or to raise it in the House, with notice, at a subsequent stage, I shall be glad to deal with it. I hope that he will accept it as our general intention to make this matter as simple as possible.

Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)

Would the Financial Secretary, in answer to the question by my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale), as regards penalty, confirm that there is not only a penalty of a £100 fine but also a penalty of two years' imprisonment?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

All I can say is that it is provided in the Sections of the Finance Act, 1940. I have not had an opportunity to study them since the point was raised, but the provision is in the statute and is available to hon. Members.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I beg to move, That the consideration of Parts III to VI, of new Clauses and of Schedules 1 to 3 be postponed until after the consideration of Schedule 4. The object of the Motion is to move Schedule 4 as it has been printed on the Order Paper in order that we may continue the discussion of Purchase Tax in its application to the Schedules. The right hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), raised a point in regard to Schedule 3. It will be remembered that when we discussed a Government Amendment on fur-trimmed garments, which was referred to in the OFFICIAL REPORT of 8th May, we said we should be putting down a new Clause. The hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher), asked me to state, at the first opportunity, whether by moving up Schedule 3 we had prejudiced consideration of the new Clause. We are not moving up Schedule 3; therefore, the position is preserved.

I should like also to say, on procedure, that at a later date it may well be that one or two minor suggestions of the same sort will be made by the Government, perhaps, for example, after conversation with some right hon. and hon. Members opposite, and it may be convenient to move up the Schedule relating to the Excess Profits Levy for it to be taken at the same time as the Clauses on that matter. I give warning of that in case we come to some understanding at a later date, in which case I shall put on the Paper a Motion, which can be considered and accepted or rejected, as the Committee likes. It is really for convenience. Where I have some Government Amendments to any subject I shall attempt to put them on the Order Paper whenever I can so that they may have the maximum consideration. I hope that this procedural point is one which may assist the Committee.

6.30 p.m.

Mr. E. Fletcher

I am obliged to the Chancellor for dealing with the points raised during our discussion on Thursday. I understand from what he has said that he is keeping an open mind on the possibility of putting down another Motion with regard to the consideration of the Third Schedule; and that instead of dealing with the Third Schedule now, after this group of Clauses, he is waiting until after we have dealt with the Fourth Schedule. It may be the Chancellor will then put down a Motion similar to this for the discussion of the Third Schedule in conjunction with the new Clause on Purchase Tax—which is the first new Clause on the Order Paper—and the one from which the Third Schedule derives.

In order to get it clear, may I ask the Chancellor if he has considered whether it would be appropriate to dispose of the whole of the Purchase Tax part of the Bill by dealing with the new Clauses and the Third Schedule immediately after we have concluded our consideration of the Fourth Schedule?

Mr. Gaitskell

Before the Chancellor replies, may I ask him whether he is quite sure that there is nothing in the Fourth Schedule which has relation to the new Clause which he is going to move on fur-trimmed garments? Following on what my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) has just said, has he considered whether it will be possible to take the other new Clauses on Purchase Tax—there are several of them in the names of hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the Committee—immediaately after the Fourth Schedule, or at any rate at some earlier stage, or is it his intention that those other new Clauses shall be left in their normal position in the discussion of the Bill?

Mr. Butler

I think it is probably the case that there will be one or more new Clauses to be taken in their proper place at the end of the Bill. But we shall tidy it up as much as possible, and if it is possible to bring anything forward, I shall inform the Committee and the right hon. Gentleman. But it will be inevitable that something is left out of its proper place in the Bill.

In answer to the hon. Member for Islington, East, we shall take the Third Schedule in the proper place and the new Clauses will follow, and therefore his point will not be lost.

Mr. Gaitskell

As I understand it, then, it is the proposal of the Chancellor that we should now discuss the Amendments to the Fourth Schedule and that we should then return to Clause 10 of the Bill and proceed accordingly? I am not quite clear whether he proposes that the Schedules to the Income Tax part of the Bill and the Excess Profits Levy should be taken in their normal place or should also be brought in earlier. If he could clear that point, I should be obliged.

Mr. Butler

I had in mind that we might take the Excess Profits Levy Schedules with the Excess Profits Levy Clauses. If it were thought convenient, I would put down a Motion—I would here like to try to test the opinion of the Committee—to deal with the Income Tax Schedules with the Income Tax Clauses. But that is a matter for discussion through the usual channels. I think that if it is thought convenient, we might do that.

This is a most complicated Finance Bill in which hon. Members have legitimate interests, and have exhibited a sincere desire to put forward points representing their own point of view or that of their constituents. We are trying to take matters so that we do get through it before Whitsun and fulfil our duty of carrying out the financial business of the country.

Mr. H. Wilson

Further to the point raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), about fur-trimmed garments, I see that there is an Amendment to the Fourth Schedule, page 76, line 11, column 1, in the name of the hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. Braine) and other hon. Members to leave out the words, "or of fur skin." Would the Chancellor consider—perhaps not immediately—whether it would he more convenient for that Amendment to be taken together with other fur discussions, rather than that it should, as I fear it may, interfere with the conduct of the discussions we shall be having on some of the more specifically textile clothing items on Schedule 4?

Mr. Mitchison

There is one point which I do not understand and on which I shall be glad of an answer from the Chancellor. I refer to some of the new Clauses and in particular one proposed by the right hon. and gallant Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse), and others regarding the rate of Purchase Tax on boots and shoes.

It presents an alternative, though a very different one, to a number of Amendments standing in the names of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on this side of the Committee. Broadly speaking, the point is that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite want to alter the rate of the tax, while we wish to alter the point at which it begins to fall. It seems to me that it would be far more convenient if a matter of that sort could be discussed in conjunction with the Amendments instead of being left for discussion at a later stage. I hope the Chancellor will feel able to say that he sees no objection to that new Clause being taken at the end of the Amendments relating to that group.

Mr. Butler

The answer to the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) is that the Government have no power, nor is it their desire, to move about Clauses put down by private Members. We can only move about the Clauses or the Schedules in our own Bill which we have put down ourselves—so that the suggestion he makes would have to be carried out after discussion and by agreement. But I am certainly ready to talk to my right hon. and gallant Friend and to others concerned, including the hon. and learned Member for Kettering.

The answer to the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) is that we do not want to duplicate discussion about furs and skins. We shall have had quite enough discussion on Purchase Tax by the time we have finished—I doubt if any of us will want to hear about the subject again. Meanwhile, I will look into his point, but I would rather give a definite answer when we get nearer that portion of the Bill.

Question put, and agreed to.

Consideration of Parts III to VI, of New Clauses and of Schedules 1 to 3 postponed until after consideration of Schedule 4.


Air Commodore A. V. Harvey (Macclesfield)

I beg to move, in page 73, line 9, at the end, to insert: and textile material containing fifty per cent. or more by weight of silk. "In all our textile discussions and the problems which we have discussed in recent weeks the emphasis has been rather on Lancashire, which is the great cotton producing county. Nevertheless, there are smaller elements of the textile industry spread all over Britain and they have their problems which have been rather lost sight of.

It is generally recognised in the textile industry that the steady improvements in the rayon trade are gradually overhauling most other fabrics. But silk will always remain a very fine and high-grade article, although not necessarily expensive. It has a much better feel and texture and is something which I do not think will ever die, although the quantity may not increase so far as production is concerned.

It is sometimes said that nylon is ousting all other fabrics. Nylon certainly is a great invention and has begun to replace many other kinds of clothing, but the other day I was told of a lady who wears two pairs of nylon stockings at the same time. She finds nylons very cold and wears the two pairs for warmth. I understand that it is sufficient to wear one pair of silk stockings. And they probably look every bit as good if not better.

The Chancellor will agree that the future of Britain's exports depends on quality goods. It is already recognised that in North and South America quality goods are wanted, provided that we can offer them at the right price. It is useless manufacturers in this country trying to compete with the textile firms in Central Europe in the sale of the cheaper lines. That is why I make a special plea for the silk industry.

The D scheme acts against the higher priced fabrics. I recognise all the difficulties of the Douglas Committee. The terms of reference were too narrow. The late Government could have widened them just before they went out of power, and I think that my right hon. Friend could have done something, if he had had time, just after we came into office.

We have to back up our exports with a sound home market. It is not generally recognised that textiles have to be tried out in the home market in order to formulate designs which will sell abroad. This is a seasonal trade. Not only does the home market assist in achieving exports in silk, but the designs of many of the cheaper fabrics such as cotton and rayon are copied from the more expensive silks. The manufacture of silk goods renders great assistance in the production of the cheaper fabrics.

The silk industry is relatively worse off than it was before the D scheme was introduced. Silk is now taxed from 4s. a yard, which means 2s. 8d. a yard off. The D level for silk should be raised. It is taxed now at 66⅔ per cent. In 1947 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton), in the early hours of the morning, reduced the tax on silk from 100 per cent. to 33⅓ per cent. That is one of the very few good things which I can remember him doing. Shortly afterwards the tax went up to 66⅔ per cent.

This fluctuation unsettles the industry. That is why, to some extent, we have a recession. The textile industry needs certainty for the next two or three years on this question of tax. I mention rayon because it is produced parallel with the silk industry. In 1951 approximately 2 million square yards of finished rayon fabrics were imported into this country every week. Is this necessary? Why is it done? I ask the Government to take account of these vast imports. They react against silk and the other industries.

Recently I had pointed out to me a dress in a West End store. It cost £11 19s. It was a fine filament rayon. This is a fine technical improvement as a result of which one can hardly tell the difference between rayon and silk. The cost of the printed fabric, of which 4½ yards was used, was 29s. The Purchase Tax was £3. It is that type of tax which presents the difficulty. The lower-quality woollen goods in Class A of the D scheme are sold free of tax. Wool cloths with a wholesale price of less than 14s. 6d. a yard are free of tax, whereas the tax applies to silk at a wholesale price of 4s. a yard.

It does not follow that silk is more expensive. A man's woollen dressing-gown tax-free costs 75s. and a silk dressing-gown costs 40s. I am sure that hon. Members would like to have silk dressing-gowns because they last for a long time.

Dr. Barnett Stross (Stoke-on-Trent, Central)

At the beginning of his speech the hon. and gallant Gentleman discussed silk stockings and their obvious merit compared with nylons. He said that they were warmer. I entirely agree with him. Will he assure us that he will do his best —he is in a key position in the industry, as he represents Macclesfield—to persuade manufacturers to give our womenfolk more of the fishnet variety of silk stockings, if possible? Or will he try to persuade the Treasury that the manufacturers should be allowed to sell more fishnet silk stockings in this country? These stockings do not ladder, and they would be tremendously popular. They really would compete with nylons because they are ladderless.

6.45 p.m.

Air Commodore Harvey

The hon. Gentleman probably knows much more about this subject than I do. I can only tell him that my wife does not like fishnet stockings. She prefers the other type. But I will represent that point of view and hear what is said about it. I suggest that if Purchase Tax is not to be abolished on silk goods, then they should be put in category A instead of B. Silk would then bear a tax of 2s. 4d. a yard which would bring it more into line with rayon.

We have considerable unemployment in my constituency. We have had it now for nearly a year. I have often made the point that 70 per cent. of the industry in Macclesfield is connected with the manufacture of textiles. I am glad to say that the Government have helped in one way. A licence has been granted for a new industry, but we do not want too many new industries. We must protect our old industry, which is the manufacture of silk. There have been considerable exports—[Interruption.] The former Home Secretary may laugh—

Mr. Ede (South Shields):

I was laughing at the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Air Commodore Harvey

I cannot think that there is anything to laugh at, particularly the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We all depend upon him to give concessions. We must treat him with great reverence.

Let us preserve this great industry. If it is left in the present position regarding taxation, it will become increasingly difficult to make sales and gradually the industry will have to close down. There is already less trade. I believe that the recession may be only temporary. I have had indications from industrialists that they can already see a brighter horizon with inquiries from abroad‖[Interruption.] If the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell) thinks that is funny, I must tell him that I consider it to be rather encouraging. We must export to live. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman realises that.

Mr. Pannell

The reason I laughed had nothing at all to do with the laudable efforts to put silk in the export market. I thought that at that stage the hon. and gallant Gentleman's remarks were rather coloured by his political hopes.

Air Commodore Harvey

I really do not know what the hon. Gentleman was getting at. I have tried to make my argument on a non-party basis. I have tried not to be controversial. If the hon. Gentleman wants me to be controversial, I will be, but my main anxiety is to get a concession from the Chancellor, to get on with the Finance Bill and to get on with the trade of the country. I hope that full consideration will be given to this Amendment.

Mr. William Shepherd (Cheadle):

I want to reinforce what my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) has said about the difficulties of the silk industry. In my own constituency, which is very close to his, I am concerned only with cotton textiles, but I am close enough to Macclesfield to realise what difficulties that town is going through at the present time.

The Chancellor may be right when he says that the reduction or abolition of the Purchase Tax will not, in any general sense, be capable of restoring the textile trade, but I think he could say with absolute frankness and fairness that, so far as silk is concerned, a concession in respect of Purchase Tax would help the industry very materially indeed.

Under the existing arrangements, with a D line of 4s. a yard and tax of 66i per cent., this industry does bear a disproportionate burden as compared with wool or cotton. I do not think it is an industry whose condition or whose difficulties in respect of competition justifies it being called upon to bear this exceptional burden. The burden of competition on the industry is very real indeed. Silk has not been superseded entirely by nylon, but nylon is making very serious inroads into the market, and this fact really justifies the Chancellor of the Exchequer now doing something to encourage an industry of some considerable importance and not allow it to die.

I am not exaggerating when I say that, unless some real attempt is made to put the silk industry in a better position regarding taxation than now appears the case, there is every expectation that this industry, which was so strongly established in Macclesfield and which has done great credit to our country in all other countries of the world, will be in great danger of dying out. I therefore hope that Financial Secretary or the Chancellor will give some assistance to Macclesfield.

Mr. Fitzroy Maclean (Lancaster):

I want to support my two hon. Friends who have spoken in favour of this Amendment, the object of which is to help the silk industry. Although this industry is a small one, that does not mean that it has not been just as hard hit by the present depression as the rest of the textile industry.

I have in my constituency what I believe is the oldest silk mill in the country, and I know the alarm and concern which the people in the village of Gal-gate, where it is situated, feel about the present position. I am afraid that the silk industry is something of a Cinderella. It has suffered under the existing scheme and it seems likely to suffer again under the new scheme as well.

For this reason, I hope the Chancellor will see his way to accepting this Amendment. There is, first of all, the question of unemployment, and there is also the aspect of quality. Although this industry is a small one, it has always specialised in high quality goods, and there is no doubt that the high quality silk goods which we have sent to America and elsewhere in the past have been extremely valuable exports. It would be a tragedy if, by neglect of this industry, we were to kill this particular goose and deprive ourselves of the golden eggs which it lays.

In our view, the D line of 4s. a yard which is suggested is inadequate. We feel that silk should be included in category A along with wool, and that a D line of 14s. 6d. per yard should be fixed. Already, in Schedule 4 of this Bill, the Chancellor has a pretty wide range of animal life. They are given, I see, in alphabetical order, beginning with the alpaca, continuing with the camel, the goat, the hare, the lamb, the llama, the rabbit, the sheep and the vicuna, and ending up with the yak. Surely, my right hon. Friend can find room in his Noah's Ark for so small a beast as the silkworm?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am sure the Committee appreciates the concern which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) always shows in the future of this industry, with which his constituency has been so long associated, and I do not think that anyone would quarrel with a great deal of what he said on the desirability of assisting this most valuable exporting industry, and of the need to back up an export market with an adequate home market.

I think, however, that my hon. and gallant Friend perhaps a little underrated what we are, in fact, doing precisely to that end by the Bill as it stands. Silk was outside the old Utility scheme, and, in accordance with the recommendations of the Douglas Committee, is now being brought within the D scheme. As a consequence, whereas prior to the change there was no mitigation of the effect of the Purchase Tax, which fell fully on these products, it now receives the value of the D scheme, with the result that all lines bear less tax than they previously did. I think that that should convince my hon. and gallant Friend that. in a good deal of what he has been urging, he was really pushing at an open door.

Air Commodore Harvey

I am much obliged to my hon. Friend. He is quite right, it would help, but other fabrics, such as wool, are in a higher D level and are by that amount better off, whereas we are that amount worse off.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That is a point to which I am coming, but I have said that we start with the assumption that, from the general tax point of view, this industry, relatively, is not in such a bad position, because, whereas other industries used to have the clash of Utility or non-Utility, paying the full rate of tax above the Utility range and having exemption below it, this industry starts without a Utility range at all.

It is said that its relative position to the wool industry is deteriorating. I do not want to get involved in any discussion as to the relative merits or demerits of these two industries, or whether it is desirable to benefit one against the other, because that is a matter upon which I have no doubt hon. Members will be very much divided. It is, of course, the fact that there is not necessarily a close connection either between wool and silk or between cotton products and silk. It is really a question of judgment as to what is the right category in which to place this particular industry, and here we are starting with one which has absolutely benefited, in ay event, through the changes in the D scheme.

It is perhaps the converse case to these other industries which have been referred to in our discussions, and it does seem that, on balance, this industry is being treated not unreasonably in placing it in the same category as a considerable number of cotton products, some of them very high grade, which are in the category to which this particular level of he D scheme applies. We feel that, on balance, this is the reasonable place to put it, and that, in so far as Purchase Tax has an effect upon employment and prosperity in the industry, we are really treating this industry quite sensibly in placing it in the particular category in which it is placed in the Schedule

7.0 p.m.

My hon. and gallant Friend, and, indeed, many hon. Members who represent towns in which particular industries are concerned, will naturally and very properly stress the claims of those industries to what they regard as preferential treatment. But my right hon. Friend has to consider the matter over the whole sphere of textiles, and, on balance, when we are already giving this industry some assistance, it really seems that this is the right place to put it.

Mr. John Edwards (Brighouse and Spenborough)

The hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) is to be complimented on raising this matter because it is extremely important that we should not overlook the silk industry in our discussions on the D scheme and the Purchase Tax. It is, after all, an industry with a very fine tradition and a great past, and one that has made an extremely useful contribution over the years. We ought not, therefore, to overlook it.

I thought the Financial Secretary put his words rather strangely when he told his hon. and gallant Friend that he was pushing at an open door. Later, he seemed to shut this door very firmly on the ground that he had opened it for a little time at some previous point. I do not agree with everything that the hon. and gallant Member said in moving this Amendment—indeed, I think some of the comparisons he made were not necessarily sound—but there is no denying the fact that the silk industry, in common with the other textile industries, is at the moment in a bad way, and it would be a mistake not to do anything which would help it out of its present difficulties.

We on this side believe what we have said so often, that one of the ways in which these industries can be helped at the present time is by the removal of Purchase Tax or by the introduction of tax concessions of one kind or another. Therefore, we believe that in this particular case it would be right to help the industry further than it is proposed to help it.

The Financial Secretary is perfectly right in saying that, absolutely, the position of the industry has improved, but I think the hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield was also right when he maintained that, comparatively, the position of the silk industry was, in fact, worse—" absolutely "better; "comparatively "worse. Therefore, I think it right to ask the Financial Secretary to consider whether in these circumstances, even if he cannot go the whole way, he cannot go part of the way.

I know that if this concession were made, either in whole or in part, it would have certain consequences, and there is no doubt that there would be considerable difficulty in sorting out the categories. Quite frankly, when I consider this field of fibres, both natural and artificial, I find it difficult to put them into categories at all. The situation is very complex. One reacts upon the other. One cannot think about cotton without thinking of rayon, or about rayon without thinking about natural silk. All these things have an effect one on the other.

The situation not only in Macclesfield. but in a number of other places at the present time is such that it is right for those of us who have any silk interest to put this point of view to the Committee and to ask the Financial Secretary to reconsider the matter. As I have already said, even if he cannot go all the way, will he go part of the way? Will he say something that will at any rate restore the comparative position and thus help the people who are either unemployed or working short time? If he can make any concession, he will do so in the knowledge that it will help the industry.

Dr. Stross

I wish to put one or two short points to the Financial Secretary on this matter. I listened with great interest to the hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) because we Members of North Staffordshire also have some constituency interests. A number of our womenfolk go not to Macclesfield but to Leeds to work in the silk industry. I feel that this industry has a long and very interesting background, and I would be afraid to kill the worm that spins the golden web if only because I fear I should be haunted by the ghost of Marco Polo and those others who lived in his day, people who took great risks to bring the eggs of this particular worm into Europe and who gave us this thriving industry. It is a limited industry and any amelioration of tax cannot have any profound influence because there is a limit to the amount of material we can get.

The hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield made it clear that we must have a home market as well as a certain export market. Therefore, it is desirable that this limited industry—an industry where the tax cannot matter enormously to the Treasury—should be kept healthy in both ways. We should, as it were, keep the industry on its feet all the time and thus make certain of its contribution to the export drive by keeping its work-people fully employed.

The new difficulties that have recently arisen give fresh point to our pleas on this matter. I hope the hon. Gentleman has not said the last word on the subject and will tell the Committee that the matter will be reconsidered in view of all that has been said by hon. Members on both sides.

Air Commodore Harvey

I think that my hon. Friends, as I was myself, were disappointed with the Financial Secretary's reply. He usually argues with great force on all points, but today I felt that the matter had not been given very serious consideration. I am sorry to say that. He talked about our parochial views. But I have not been to Macclesfield and talked to one or two manufacturers and then come here with a brief. We have gone into this matter in some detail. In the last week I discussed it with Sir Ernest Goodale, who was a member of the Douglas Committee. He agrees with the views I put forward today.

I hope the Financial Secretary will say that he will reconsider this matter—which does not involve a great sum of money—between now and the Report stage. If that is not possible, and I fully appreciate all the difficulties which the Government have on hand at the moment—they have only been in office six months and the country is in a financial crisis, although very few people seem to realise it—I should like my hon. Friend to give an assurance that if the industry should deteriorate in the next 12 months my right hon. Friend the Chancellor will consider the matter very seriously at the time of the next Budget.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I hope I did not seem unsympathetic to my hon. and gallant Friend because, if I did, it was a false impression. I certainly would not and did not describe him as parochial in his views. The difficulty is, as he will appreciate, that this tax cannot be looked at in complete isolation. Indeed, it was part of his argument that it should be looked at in relation to the tax on wool fibres. Of course, it is equally material that it has to be looked at in relation to all kinds of cotton fibres, and, therefore, to some very considerable extent, that argument of relativity is cancelled out.

Mr. S. Silverman

Would not the anomaly disappear completely if only the Government would do what all Members for textile constituencies have unitedly asked them to do, that is, take Purchase Tax off textiles altogether?

Mr., Boyd-Carpenter

If I attempted to deal with that point, I am afraid I should be ruled out of order.

The hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. J. Edwards) asked very reasonably why we could not go part of the way, suggesting, I suppose, some intermediate figure. The hon. Gentleman will perhaps recall that the Douglas Committee did consider that possibility and rejected it. At paragraph 106 of their Report they said: …these fibres should not be treated exceptionally either by denying them the benefits of the scheme, of by fixing for them special D figures. And the distinguished Gentleman my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield quoted a moment ago was a member of that Committee.

What my hon. and gallant Friend said will be noted, of course. I think he will appreciate that in the circumstances, when we are introducing the whole new scheme of this tax, it would be very wrong to mislead the Committee by scattering assurances widely over the field. The scheme must be looked at as a whole. But he may be equally certain that the interests of this ancient and valuable in- dustry will be very carefully watched and that it is certainly far from the intention of the Government to see it brought to unnecessary difficulties.

Mr. Osborne

I am sorry to keep the Committee for more than a moment, but I think that what I want to say ought to be said. I fully sympathise with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) in making out a case for the industry in his own constituency. It is what he should do and what we all do. He based his case upon the fact that there is unemployment in his constituency. He hoped that if there were a reduction in this taxation, it would increase employment there.

I think we are deluding ourselves in keeping on saying this to one another and to the country. I do not think that the textile position would be materially improved at all in the next 12 months if the whole of taxation were taken off. We tend to forget what has been made so clear in United Nations reports time after time—that the textile problem in this country is part of the world textile problem and that, no matter what is done with taxation here, it would not materially help the position or, I am sorry to tell my hon. and gallant Friend, immediately alleviate unemployment in his constituency.

Air Commodore Harvey

How can my hon. Friend possibly make a statement like that when we are competing with the Swiss, the Italians, the Germans and the Japanese? Any concession—even on another 100,000 yards of fabric—would be of some assistance. We have heard that speech from my hon. Friend time and time again, and I am rather tired of it.

Mr. Osborne

I am sorry to disagree with my hon. and gallant Friend. I am as interested in the textile industry as he is. I want to see it prosper as he does, and I am as anxious about unemployment in industry as he is, because I have been one of the unemployed and I know what it means. But it is foolish to mislead ourselves and the nation and to kid ourselves, if I may use that term, that by altering taxation we shall immediately and materially increase employment in the textile industry.

My hon. and gallant Friend says that it would help us with our exports. It would do nothing of the sort. Exports do not carry Purchase Tax. I am saying all this again as a warning. I am sorry that my hon. and gallant Friend is tired of this speech, but I think it is a speech that ought to be made, because the one thing the nation must face at this juncture is facts which we find unpopular and unpleasant.

Mr. S. Silverman

It would be quite wrong—and I am sure you would not allow it, Mr. Anderson—if we were to attempt to repeat last Thursday's debate on the taxation of textiles, and I am not going to do it; but in view of the speeches we have heard from hon. Gentlemen opposite, perhaps it is worth while to point out that nobody has said at any time that any such measures as those proposed then or as are now proposed would afford any permanent remedy for the ills of any section of the textile trade. That has never been claimed.

The claim has been a quite different and a much more modest one, but I think a real one and one in which all hon. Members representing textile constituencies, except one, have concurred. It was that it would give an immediate fillip to the home market and by so doing would bring an almost immediate and significant alleviation, though not a cure, of the misery and suffering which is rising steadily in every textile industry at the moment.

7.15 p.m.

But I do not know what the two hon. Members opposite are quarrelling about. One of them thinks it would be a good thing to do. The other one thinks it would be a bad thing, but as both of them supported the Government in not doing it I do not know why they are wasting our time now.

Mr. Shepherd

I do not accept the relativity argument of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey). In so far as there is a relationship between the tax that ought to be levied on silk, on the one hand, and on wool and cotton, on the other, it is to my mind wholly in favour of making some concession to silk. The silk industry is in an unusual position because it is losing its trade to two new competitors—the rayon and nylon industries. The silk industry is basically and proportionately in a much worse position than the cotton industry, which is not in a general sense being superseded. The silk industry is being hit particularly hard by developments in new fibres, and therefore there is no reason why we should not go to its assistance. It will go out of existence unless it gets better treatment than 66⅔ per cent. tax above the 4s. level. I hope that between now and the Report stage my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary will take time to reconsider the position.

Air Commodore Harvey

The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) tried to score his usual points about going into the Division Lobby, but he had ample opportunities between 1945 and 1950 to support me on this measure.

Mr. S. Silverman

The hon. and gallant Member may or may not be right, but I do not see the application of what he says. Surely he will admit that the case on this point, as between what the position was in 1945 and what it is in 1952, is by no means the same case. The point is that we all now agree

unanimously that this ought to be done. We on this side of the Committee went into the Division Lobby to say it ought to be done. The hon. and gallant Member went into the Division Lobby to say that what he believed ought to be done ought not, in fact, to be done.

Air Commodore Harvey

Perhaps I have a better realisation of the position of the country than has the hon. Member. In asking leave to withdraw my Amendment I readily accept the assurances—[HON. MEMBERS: "No assurances."] The Financial Secretary said—hon. Members will read it in HANSARD tomorrow—that the Government will watch this industry very carefully. I assure hon. Members that I shall watch it also and I shall raise this matter again, if necessary. But I feel much happier about the assurances the Financial Secretary gave than about what was said by his opposite number in the past few years. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Hon. Members


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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 243 Noes, 268.

Division No. 120] AYES [7.18 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Cocks, F. S. Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)
Adams, Richard Collick, P. H. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefield)
Albu, A. H. Corbet, Mrs. Freda Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Cove, W. G. Grey, C. F.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Crosland, C. A. R Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Cullen, Mrs. A. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Dairies, P. Griffiths, William (Exchange)
Awbery, S. S. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)
Ayles, W. H. Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Bacon, Miss Alice Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Hall, John (Gateshead, W)
Balfour, A. Davies, Harold (Leek) Hamilton, W W
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J de Freitas, Geoffrey Hardy, E. A
Bartley, P. Deer, G. Hargreaves, A.
Benn, Wedgwood Delargy, H. J Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)
Benson, G. Dodds, N. N. Hastings, S.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Donnelly, D. L. Hayman, F. H.
Bins, G. H. C. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Henderson, Rt. Hon A. (Rowley Regis)
Blackburn, F. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C Herbison, Miss M.
Blenkinsop, A. Edelman. M. Hewitson, Capt. M
Blyton, W. R. Edwards, John (Brighouse) Hobson, C. R.
Boardman, H. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Holman, P.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)
Bowden, H. W. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Houghton, Douglas
Bowles, F. G. Ewart, R. Hoy, J. H.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Fernyhough, E Hubbard, T. F.
Brockway, A. F. Field, W. J. Hudson, James (Eating, N.)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Fienburgh, W Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Broughton, Or A. D. D Finch, H. J. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Follick, M. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Burke, W. A. Foot, M. M. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Burton, Miss F. E Forman, J. C. Irving, W. J (Wood Green)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S) Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Isaacs, Rt. Hon G A
Callaghan, L. J. Freeman, John (Watford) Janner, B.
Carmichael, J. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon H T N Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.
Champion, A. J Gibson, C. W. Jeger, George (Goole)
Chetwynd, G. R Glanville, James Johnson, James (Rugby)
Clunie, J Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon P C Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Orbach, M, Stewart, Michael (Fulhatn, E.)
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Oswald, T. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Keenan, W. Padley, W. E. Strauss, Fit. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Paget, R. T. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
King, Dr. H. M. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Swingler, S. T.
Kinley, J. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Sylvester, G. O.
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Pannell, Charles Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Pargiter, G. A. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Parker, J. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Paton, J. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Lewis, Arthur Pearson, A. Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Peart, T. F. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Logan, D. G. Plummer, Sir Leslie Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
MacColl, J. E. Porter, G. Tomney, F.
McGhee, H. G. Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Turner-Samuels, M.
McGovern, J. Proctor, W. T. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Mclnnes, J. Pryde, D. J. Viant, S. P.
McKay, John (Wallsend) Pursey, Cmdr. H. Watkins, T. E.
McLeavy, F. Rankin, John Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C)
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Reeves, J. Weitzman, D.
McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Wells, Percy (Faversham)
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Rhodes, H. Wells, William (Walsall)
Mainwaring, W. H. Richards, R. West, D. G.
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Robens, Rt. Hon A. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) While, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Mann, Mrs. Jean Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Manuel, A. C. Ross, William Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Royle, C. Wilkins, W. A.
Mayhew, C. P. Schofield, S. (Barnsley) Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Messer, F. Shackleton, E. A. A. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Mikardo, Ian Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Williams, David (Neath)
Mitchison, G. R. Short, E. W. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Monslow, W. Shurmer, P. L. E. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Moody, A. S. Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Williams, Rt. Hon Thomas (Don V'll'y)
Morley, R. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Williams. W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Mori, D. L. Slater, J. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Moyle, A. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Mulley, F. W. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Murray, J. D. Snow, J. W. Wyatt, W. L.
Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Sorensen, R. W. Yates, V. F.
O'Brien, T. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Younger, Rt. Hon. K
Oldfield, W. H. Sparks, J. A.
Oliver, G. H. Steele, T. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Wigg and Mr. Hannan.
Aitken, W. T. Bullock, Capt. M. Fisher, Nigel
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.
Alport, C. J. M. Burden, F. F. A. Fletcher, Walter (Bury)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Butcher, H. W. Fletcher-Cooke, C
Amory, Healhcoat (Tiverton) Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Fort, R.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Foster, John
Arbuthnol, John Carson, Hon. E. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Cary, Sir Robert Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Longdala)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Channon, H. Fyte, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton) Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)
Baker, P. A. D. Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Cole, Norman Garner-Evans, E H
Banks, Col. C. Colgate, W. A. Godber, J. B.
Barber, A. P. L. Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Gough, C. F. H.
Baxter, A. B. Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Gower, H. R.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Cooper-Key, E. M. Graham, Sir Fergus
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Cranborne, Viscount Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Harden, J. R. E.
Bennett, F M. (Reading, N.) Croslhwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Crouch, R. F. Harris, Reader (Heston)
Bennett, William (Woodside) Crowder, John E. (Finchley) Harrison, Col. J. H (Eye)
Birch, Nigel Crowler, Petre (Ruislip—Norlhwood) Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)
Bishop, F. P. Cuthbert, W. N. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)
Black, C. W. Davidson, Viscountess Harvie-Watt, Sir George
Boothby, R. J. G Deedes, W. F. Hay, John
Bowen, E. R. Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Heald, Sir Lionel
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A Donner, P. W. Heath, Edward
Boyle, Sir Edward Doughty, C. J. A. Higgs, J. M. C.
Braine, B. R. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Hill. Dr. Charles (Luton)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Drayson, G. B. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Dugdale, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L, Hirst, Geoffrey
Brooman-White, R. C. Duthie, W. S Holland-Martin, C. J.
Browne, Jack (Govan) Erroll, F. J. Hollis, M. C.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T Fell, A. Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)
Bullard, D. G. Finlay, Graeme Hope, Lord John
Hopkinson, Henry Marples, A. E. Shepherd, William
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Simon, J. E, S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Horobin, I. M. Maude, Angus Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Hortbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Maudling, R Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S L C Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Howard, Greville (St. Ivas) Medlicott, Brig. F Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Molson, A. H. E. Snadden, W. McN
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Spearman, A C M
Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J. Morrison, John (Salisbury) Speir, R. M.
Hurd, A. R. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Cark (E'b'rgh W.) Nabarro, G. D. N. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S)
Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Nicholls, Harmar Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Hylton-Foster, H. BH. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Stevens, G. P.
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Nield, Basil (Chester) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E)
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Nugent, G. R. H Storey, S.
Kaberry, D. Odey, G. W. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S)
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim. N) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Lambert, Hon. G, Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Studholme, H. G.
Lambton, Viscount Orr, Capt. L. P. S Sutoliffe, H.
Langford-Holt, J. A. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K Osborne, C. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Leather, E. H. C. Partridge, E. Teeling, W.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Thomas, Rt. Hon J. P. L. (Hereford)
Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) Perkins, W. R. D Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Peto, Brig. C. H. M Thompson, Ll.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Lindsay, Martin Peyton, J. W. W. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N
Linstead, H. N. Pickthorn, K. W. M. Tilney, John
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Turner, H. F. L
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Powell, J. Enoch Turton, R. H.
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. vane W. M F.
Low, A. R. W. Profumo, J. D. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Raikes, H. V. Vosper, D. F.
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Rayner, Brig. R. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Redmayne, E. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
McAdden, S. J. Remnant, Hon. P Walker-Smith, D. C.
McCallum, Major D. Renton, D. L. M. Ward. Hon. George (Worcester)
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Roberts, Peter (Heeley) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth).
Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Robertson, Sir David Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C
Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Webbe, Sir H (London & Westminster)
McKibbin, A. J. Robson-Brown, W Wellwood, W.
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Roper, Sir Harold Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Maclean, Fitzroy Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
MacLeod, lain Rt. Hon. (Enfield, W.) Russell, R. S. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Salter, Rt, Hon. Sir Arthur Wills, G.
Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas Wood, Hon. R.
Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale) York, C.
Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E Scott, R. Donald
Marlowe, A. A. H. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Drewe and Mr. Oakshott.

7.30 p.m.

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Frank Anderson)

Before we proceed further upon the Fourth Schedule, it has been suggested that for the purposes of discussion the Schedules should be divided into groups. It is suggested that we should take Nos. A.1 to A.7 as group No. 1; A.8 to A.18 as group No. 2 and A.19 to A.21 as group No. 3; but included with that group will be Nos. B.22 and B.23, at the bottom of page 77.

An Amendment will be selected and there will then be a general discussion upon the group as a whole. I suggest that that course might be taken.

Mr. H. Wilson

I am sure that that course will be for the greater convenience of the Committee and that, as a result, we can get a fuller debate than by the normal process. I understood you to say, Mr. Anderson, that one Amendment would be selected, upon which a discussion on the whole group would take place. I take it that that does not in any way suggest that when the discussion on the group is over voting will be restricted to that or any other one Amendment; but that, when we have had a discussion on the group, Amendments can be moved formally and put quickly, as may seem fit to both sides of the Committee.

The Temporary Chairman

That depends upon whether or not the Amendments are selected.

Captain Charles Waterhouse (Leicester, South-East)

Would it not be convenient to the Committee, Mr. Anderson, if, when you called a group, you at once indicated which Amendments you considered to be in order and therefore on which Amend- ments we would eventually be able to divide?

Mr. Wilson

Further to that point, might I suggest that that would not be a very helpful suggestion? In the first place, the Chancellor of the Exchequer did say, in the debates which took place three or four weeks ago—and the Financial Secretary said it 10 days ago—that very full consideration would be given to the points which were made in the debate. We understood that they had in mind the making of certain proposals. It would not be useful if the Chair were to indicate at the beginning of the discussion on each group which Amendments were to be called. We would all hope to press particular Amendments and proposals, and the Chancellor might indicate his willingness to accept some of them. Only then, I think, would it be appropriate for the Chair to indicate what Amendments were selected.

Furthermore, there would be consequential effects of particular Amendments. If an Amendment to make "a man's suit "read "a man's coat "were conceded, it would be nonsensical if there were not similar Amendments in respect of the waistcoat and the trousers. If a concession were given to cotton piece goods it would probably be appropriate to give a similar concession to cotton sheeting. I hope that you will not agree to the suggestion made by the right hon. and gallant Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse).

Mr. Gaitskell

I am sure my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) is right. We should be in great difficulties if the Chair decided, in advance of the discussion, what Amendments would be selected. While we agree that it would meet the convenience of the Committee to discuss these Amendments together, I suggest that we should, nevertheless, have the usual right to divide on particular Amendments if we thought fit. We have no desire to waste the time of the Committee; but this is an important matter. Hon. Members on both sides of the Committee have constituency interests to consider, and I think that the question of dividing should be kept quite separate and that we should wait, until after the usual discussion, to hear what Amendments were selected.

Captain J. A. L. Duncan (South Angus)

I should like to make a suggestion, Mr. Anderson. There is a large number of Members not present at the moment and you have made a statement which we shall not be able to read until tomorrow morning in HANSARD. In order to guide us and save the Chair a lot of time, perhaps you would see fit to put up in the "No" Lobby, on the notice board, a copy of what you have said.

The Temporary Chairman

I do not think I should be responsible for issuing a notice for the benefit of those who are not present to hear what I say. In regard to the selection of Amendments, as it has been suggested that there should be a wide discussion on the various groups, I feel it would be unwise to give any prior indication as to what Amendments may be selected. I think that is the position so far as I am concerned. Is it agreed that the group discussion should take place? [HON. MEMBERS: "Agreed."] The next Amendment will cover group 1. I will indicate that straight away.

Mr. Pannell

For the purposes of this debate, I take it that we are speaking generally to group No. 1; but I should like to know whether we are addressing ourselves at the present time to a particular Amendment.

The Temporary Chairman

Yes, we are.

Mr. Pannell

I beg to move, in page 73, line 32, to leave out "6 10 0," and to insert 8 5 0.

" The principle laid down with regard to this type of overcoat is that which runs through all men's and boys' wear. The effect of this Amendment would be to save the customer approximately 12s. by putting up the D line. The type of coat which we have in mind is something which sells in the trade at about £11 retail. It is a general complaint in the trade that most of the categories now under discussion are lumped together in a most untidy way, and the line between them is not drawn with any proper precision. For instance, page 74, line 8. refers to …Class A material, fully-lined or of sheepskin "— applicable to— Coats, cloaks and overall coats, being gar- ments not exceeding 42 inches in length, jackets (not including blouse-type jackets or pyjama jackets), blazers, overall jackets, waterproof capes and fishermen's oilskin skirts. When we consider the wide dissimilarity between all those things we see what a bad line-up it is.

The trade tell me that the real pinpoint of the argument is provided by the example of a jacket, which is the jacket of a suit, of course. It may be a high quality article, but it is lumped together with all sorts of things like overall jackets, waterproof capes, fishermen's oilskin skirts and so on. The trade say that there has been an attempt at what my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) called over-simplification. It is impossible to marry those different articles in this way.

The trade say that, even where the D line is at a medium level, it brings a lot of things within taxation which were not taxed before. Perhaps I may give another example of hardship, which will be found on page 74, line 10, referring to blazers. We have discussed the question of the additional allowances earlier, but we suggest that there should be a higher D line in this case, which causes a measure of hardship. Everybody knows that a blazer is one of those articles of wearing apparel the cost of which falls particularly heavily on parents at the time when they have to rig boys and girls up for school.

Such a case would arise in the case of young men and young women, too. It has to be remembered that this is an item which may be met through an educational grant, and it affects, particularly, young men and young women of 16 and 17 years of age. We all know the expense which falls upon parents today, to say nothing of the fact that this is the sort of garment which is often obtained through educational grants.

It is difficult to get a good D line, particularly when we have such a sloppy classification as that which occurs on page 74, line 15, which refers to

blouse-type jackets, waistcoats, cardigans, jerseys, sweaters, pullovers, slip-overs and bed jackets. Cardigans have long sleeves and need more materials; slip-overs have no sleeves and need less material; and waistcoats are made of a different material. The most important item in this classification, of course, is the waistcoat. The trade say that this classification is sloppy in every way.

I turn to the next point, on which I hope I shall have some support from hon. Members opposite. How do right hon. Gentlemen opposite reconcile this classification, on page 74, line 18—

Trousers (not including pyjama trousers), overall trousers, oilskin trousers, plus-fours, breeches, jodhpurs, kilts and bib-and-brace overalls "? I hope Scottish hon. Members are here, for to lump a plumber's mate with a highlander seems to me a very shocking thing to do. I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Scotland is not on the Government Front Bench at the moment, because he has received some condemnation from several of his hon. Friends—I notice only one is in his place—who seemed to suggest that the D line was so low on a kilt that they proposed to increase it to £7 10s. Here the D line is £2 5s.

If hon. Members consult the trade they will be told that one cannot buy even half a kilt on that D line. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Sir W. Darling), who is not in his place, with whom I discussed this matter last week, was shocked about it, because he thought it was an insult to Scotland. I can understand the kilt being linked with jodhpurs, a word which has a classy and county connotation, but not with the apparel of a plumber's mate. 7.45 p.m.

It is quite indefensible to have oilskin trousers in the same classification. Some hon. Members say, "Why worry? No Scot puts on a kilt when he wants to do any work." I do not know whether that is true or not, but I do know that any hon. Member who has consulted anybody in the trade will appreciate that the D line in this classification has no reality at all.

If hon. Members look at line 24, which refers to shorts, they will realise that this refers to cycling shorts, khaki shorts and white tennis shorts, and it also includes cord shorts—and cord shorts are very similar to cord trousers except that the bottoms have been cut off. [Laughter.] It may sound humorous, but for corduroy trousers the D line is 35s., whereas for corduroy shorts it is 10s. The trade advise me that there is no reality running through this.

If we were in a mood to filibuster on the Finance Bill, which we certainly are not, we should have an excellent weapon here in these classifications. They have given great dissatisfaction to the trade, because not only is there no precision but, as was said earlier in the debate, we have none of the allowances, such as the oversize allowance. I hope we shall hear something more about this from the Minister.

On page 73, line 23, we have a D line which refers to duffle coats. I hope hon. Members who live in Chelsea do not think that only the people who live there wear duffle coats. In fact, they are an article of wearing apparel for men who work on London's river, or navvies, and all sorts of people. Duffle coats perform a useful as well as an ornamental function, depending on the circle in which one moves.

Throughout these Amendments we are seeking, generally, to raise the D line to a higher level. We seek to raise it to a level nearer to that of the high-class Utility goods. This would mean that the sort of things which were not taxed before would not be taxed now—and many of these things are used by the lower income groups. I have sought to call attention to several items, and I hope we shall have support from hon. Members opposite and shall hear the voice of Scotland. Recently we had the example of an hon. Member opposite putting up a very strong case in favour of an Amendment, which he was not allowed to withdraw—and I do not know whether he went into the "Aye "Lobby or the "No "Lobby when we divided on it. One of my hon. Friends tells me he was badgered—

The Temporary Chairman

I think we had better stick to the terms of the Amendment rather than go back to the last Amendment.

Mr. Pannell

I bow to your Ruling, Mr. Anderson, but I thought it reasonable to inquire what support we have, especially at a time when an insult has been proferred to Scotland. I see one Scotsman, the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Bell), and I wonder whether we shall have his support?

Mr. Ronald Bell (Bucks, South)

I have come in to support kilts.

Mr. Pannell

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is of Scottish extraction or no', but I have been told in the trade that of all things which are bad in the classification, the kilt is the outstanding example of an insult to Scotland. This is a reflection upon Treasury officials or the Board of Trade officials, or whoever advises on the matter, and of all things. it is the sort of thing which should be pressed to a Division. I hope that Scottish hon. Members, including the one from Buckinghamshire, South, will have more courage than their comrade, the hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey).

Mr. Bell

Could the hon. Gentleman explain what he means by saying that kilts will be pressed to a Division?

Mr. Pannell

That is perfectly true. If the hon. Gentleman had been in earlier he would have heard that the D line was so low that one could only buy half a kilt. That is what I meant.

Mr. H. Wilson

I should like to support my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell) and deal with certain other items in the group which has been described as group 1. The particular Amendment that my hon. Friend moved is one of the most important in this group, because it is quite clear that the category there, as in so many of those given in the D scheme, is far too low in relation to what was the top Utility scheme.

The Committee will have noticed that many of the Amendments in the names of my right hon. and hon. Friends aim at bringing the D line very near to the top Utility price. To have the D line lower than the top Utility price means the imposition of tax on goods which are bought by the widest section of the community, and which were previously tax-free.

The other evening when we were debating the Motion, that Clause 7 stand part of the Bill, I gave one or two figures which had been supplied to me to show that in shops serving representative sections of the middle and lower income groups, a considerable proportion of the goods which were previously tax-free were now subject to tax. I have specially looked at those figures in connection with men's wear, which is the subject of group 1 now before the Committee.

Taking the figures from certain Cooperative societies—I am taking them because they are comparable with one another, although I can assure the Committee that exactly the same results would have been got if we had taken figures from privately-owned shops serving, roughly speaking, the same groups of customers—we get some interesting information. One Co-operative society on the South Coast says that 30 per cent. of the trade which was previously tax-free in men's wear will carry a tax under the Chancellor's proposal.

A large society in the East Midlands area states that 65 per cent. of the goods previously tax-free will now carry a tax, and the figures are 50 per cent. for the outfitting side and 100 per cent. for the bespoke side. Another society in the South Midlands states that 60 per cent. will be taxed which were not previously taxed, and a large society on the North-East Coast states that 50 per cent. will be taxed because Utility goods will now carry taxes.

Then a large society in the North-West states that 40 per cent, of non-taxed goods will carry taxes in future, and one in South Wales and another on the Welsh border give the figure of 80 per cent. as carrying tax. Another Midland's society states 57 to 60 per cent. on the outfitting side and 95 per cent. on the bespoke side. One of the largest Co-operative societies in the world states that. whereas 2½ per cent, of its trade had up to the present time carried tax. now the proportion will be 24 per cent.

Mr. Beresford Craddock (Spelthorne)

In order that I may follow the right hon. Gentlema argument, would he define what he means by "middle income group" and "lower income group"? What are the actual figures he has in mind?

Mr. Wilson

I do not think there are any recognised categories or groups. I think I can best explain the position to the hon. Member by stating that these groups buy most of their clothing at the Co-operative societies, because those are the figures covered by the examples I have given. If the hon. Gentleman would take the trouble to go to a large number of shops in his own constituency—I do not say necessarily in the West End—he will find the figures correspond to those I have given.

Mr. Beresford Craddock

Yes, but would the right hon. Gentleman say that the middle income group earned £1,000 or £1,500 a year and the lower income group £750 a year or below that? That is the information I should like to have.

Mr. Wilson

The habits vary so much in different parts of the country that it is hard to say, but in discussing the Chancellor's Budget proposals on 13th March, I gave a lot of figures which probably correspond to the groups I had in mind. Something like three-quarters of the population have an income of about £550 a year or less, and if one takes that figure it would perhaps correspond—I do not know—to the groups that I have in mind. That covers three-quarters of the population and, therefore, a large enough section to be of interest to the hon. Gentleman.

Throughout many of the discussions we have had already on the broad issues like silk and in the many discussions we shall have on individual Amendments to the Schedules, the healthy state and activity of particular textile and clothing industries and the boot and shoe industry have been and will be specially stressed. One must expect, as the Financial Secretary said, that there will be a number of hon. Members raising constituency points and particularly dealing with the problems of those industries which have been hit by the depression in consumer goods.

Once again tonight, as I did in the discussion on the Motion, that Clause 7 stand part of the Bill, I want to stress the very serious effect of the Chancellor's proposals in the D scheme, not only on the welfare of those industries about which my hon. Friends have argued, but also on the cost of living to the consumer. We know that in the general debates the Government have resisted pressure put on them by hon. and right hon. Members on both sides of the Committee to remove Purchase Tax altogether from clothing and textiles. One of the arguments used by the Financial Secretary and by the Minister of State for Economic Affairs was that a large section of the goods produced by the textile industries are free of tax already and yet they are not being moved from the shops. What we are bound to ask is, if it is now difficult to sell these goods without tax, how much more difficult will it be to sell them when tax is put on them? That is a problem which must face not only the textile industries, but the Government.

There are many detailed cases with which I might deal, but I shall confine myself to the first few Amendments on the Order Paper which come within group 1. There is the case mentioned by my hon. Friend of the duffle coats. Those who were following the Amendment will see that it deals with (a) and (b) in the Schedule, and we find that it says in (b) "Of class A material, not so lined." These are not just luxury garments. They are not used because they look nice, but because they are absolutely essential for a large number of outdoor workers like foresters, and others mentioned by my hon. Friend. Yet the Chancellor is going to put a tax on them when they were tax-free before.

My hon. Friend mentioned a shorter coat of class A material, which is mainly the jacket of a suit and he said that a wide variety was covered in this particular group. The advice from the trade, which I have consulted, suggests that the D level for this group is not at all unfair for a sports jacket, but for the jacket of a suit it is far too low. The Committee can well appreciate that a sports jacket takes far less to make up than the jacket of a suit. This group covers everything from a tennis blazer worn by members of a suburban tennis club to fisherman's oilskin garments. It is a very wide range. It is wide in the range of materials used, wide in the degree of essentiality, and wide in the range of prices covered. If the right hon. Gentleman were to put up that price to about £5 or so he could be sure that he would leave most of the existing tax free category still free of tax.

8.0 p.m.

My hon. Friend also mentioned—and this is very important in this context—the question of school blazers. We are all familiar with the problems of parents when their children are successful, as all parents hope their children will be successful, in winning scholarships to a grammar school or to other secondary schools. They have the problem of the cost of fitting out their children, and one of the unfortunate things about a great many of our schools—far too many—is that they insist on too much in the way of school uniforms, school blazers and so on, which very often can be bought only from one shop.

There is a monopolistic element in the sale of these blazers, and the parent is very hard put to it to find the money for fitting out his children. In the last Government my right hon. Friend who was then Minister of Education and I tried to take steps to cut down the rigid requirements of certain schools, especially some of the more exotic forms of blazer and other uniforms which certain schools demanded. These proposals of the Chancellor to tax school blazers in this way are a very serious addition to the cost of those entering certain schools for the first time.

My hon. Friend mentioned also group A 4, and said that within that group the waistcoat was obviously the most important of the items, to which he suggested we should confine most of our arguments. But, of course, there are certain other things in that group. For instance, the blouse-type garment is referred to. I am quite prepared to believe that no hon. Member on either side of the Committee would normally be seen during the week, or even on his day off, wearing a blouse-type garment. On the other hand, I am told by the people in the trade that they are very popular among that class of the community which our American friends persist in calling "teen-agers." I am sure the right hon. Gentleman, who I know is fundamentally a kind-hearted man, does not want to place an additional burden on the teenagers who buy these blouse-type garments.

Sir Herbert Williams (Croydon, East)

My right hon. Friend is over teen-age.

Mr. Wilson

I know he is over teenage; but I know also that if he is appealed to properly he will approach this thing with a mind which is ever young. The Minister of State represents a constituency which I used to represent, and I have no doubt he has seen the teen-agers in that constituency wearing the blouse-type garments. I hope that next time he goes up there he will be able to look at those teen-agers wearing those blouse-type garments without a sense of remorse that they are having to pay more for them as a result of the activities of himself and his right hon. Friends.

When we turn to group A 5, also referred to by my hon. Friend, containing trousers, jodhpurs, bib-and-brace overalls and kilts, this really is too wide a category. I join with my hon. Friend in regretting that the Secretary of State for Scotland is not on the Government Front Bench to join in the discussion on this. I am not sure that we ought not to move to report Progress to call attention to his absence. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will tell us that before the Government put this item in the Bill they had full consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland and got his agreement to this, which I—not as a Scotsman, but as a Yorkshireman, who is supposed to be half way there—would consider to be an iniquitous proposal.

There are, as there are bound to be in such a scheme—and I readily concede this to the right hon. Gentleman—several anomalies. I hope that, as a result of the representations made by some of the trade, and as a result of the arguments adduced in this Committee, the Government will make proposals to get rid of some of these anomalies. Perhaps the Chancellor will forgive me if I mention only one of these to him. It may have been brought to his attention already, because it is a very serious one. It indicates the kind of difficulty which is bound to arise with such a scheme. Fortunately, it is a difficulty which can be removed by the simple process of putting down an Amendment, either by my hon. Friends and myself or by the Government. The anomaly I have in mind is the extraordinary contrast between the tax positions of lined and unlined overcoats, for instance, and also lined and unlined jackets.

Perhaps the Committee will bear with me for a moment if I give two examples. I take an overcoat 42 in. in length, and first give the figures for a fully lined overcoat, with which I will then compare the unlined overcoat. In both cases the overcoat is identical apart from the lining. In both cases I am assuming the use of cloth at 20s. a yard. Taking the 42 in. overcoat, fully lined, the cloth at 20s. a yard is £2 13s. 4d.; trimming costs £1 2s. 5d.; cutting and making, 19s. 9½d., giving a total of £4 15s. 6½d. The selling price is £5 19s. 6d.; a 20 per cent. uplift to bring it to the statutory wholesale value—the right hon. Gentleman is familiar with the arguments about the uplift—is £1 3s. 11d., giving a total of £7 3s. 5d. Now the D figure for that is £6 10s., which means that Purchase Tax is carried on the difference between the wholesale value of £7 3s. 5d. and the D figure of £6 10s.; in other words, Purchase Tax is applied on the difference of 13s. 5d. which at 33⅓ per cent. is roughly 4s. 6d. The total price, including Purchase Tax, is about £6 4s.

An overcoat 42 in. in length not so lined gives very similar figures. The cloth is £2 13s. 4d.; trimming is 15s. 8d., because there is no lining to be done; cutting and making is 18s. 3½d., because it is a simpler job, giving a total cost of £4 7s. 3½d. The selling price is cheaper than the other at £5 9s. 3d.—and I should be glad to give the right hon. Gentleman these figures afterwards to have them studied—the 20 per cent. uplift to bring it to the statutory wholesale value is £1 1s. 10d., giving a total of £6 11s. 1d.

But here one gets the contrast. The D figure in this case is not £6 10s. but £2 5s., the coat being unlined, which leaves a difference between the wholesale value and the D figure of £4 6s. Id. The tax, of course, is 33⅓ per cent. of that difference, which is about £1 8s., compared with the Purchase Tax previously of only 4s. 6d. So the total price, including Purchase Tax, is £6 17s. 3d. for the unlined overcoat; whereas the price, including Purchase Tax, for the lined overcoat is not £6 17s. 3d. but £6 4s. In other words, the lined overcoat costs 13s or 14s. less than the unlined overcoat.

There is a very simple case, and there are others. Of course, the shopkeeper or retailer, or for that matter the wholesaler, has the very greatest difficulty in explaining to customers exactly why it is that a lined overcoat costs less than an unlined overcoat, and it makes it impossible to sell the unlined overcoat; the customer thinks that the retailer is swindling him, there are all kinds of suspicions, and he walks out of the shop. Exactly similar illustrations might be given, but I do not propose to weary the Committee with the same kind of detailed figures.

I could give exactly similar illustrations of the short coat not exceeding 42 inches in length where by a similar process the price, including Purchase Tax, is £4 12s. 4d. for a fully lined coat. The total price for an unlined coat of exactly the same attributes, apart from the fact that it is unlined, is £4 16s. 8d. In other words, the unlined jacket cost 4s. 4d. more than the lined jacket. The reason for that is that the lined jacket attracts Purchase Tax of only 7s. 4d., and the unlined jacket, because of the very low D figure for unlined garments, carries 16s. 11d. Purchase Tax; and once again, in the case of the short jacket as in the case of the overcoat, it is necessary for the shopkeeper to explain to the customer why it is that for two otherwise identical garments produced on the same day, in the same factory, of the same woollen material and perhaps by the same work-people, the customer has to pay more for the unlined than he has to pay for the lined.

There we have, I think, a very simple anomaly, and I hope that the Minister will very quickly get up and tell us that this is one of the anomalies he is going to remove. If it is not possible for him to tell us that tonight—because this may have been or may not have been brought to his attention—I hope that he will study that case and any other anomalies which hon. Members may bring to his attention, and that we shall have an assurance that some of these anomalies will be put right.

I could quite easily, but I do not propose to weary the Committee by so doing, produce a considerable number of other examples, both of anomalies as between one garment and another or of cases which do involve a very serious increase in the cost of living to the consumer, due to the fact that, whereas the Utility goods were previously tax-free, now a large proportion of the better class ex-Utility goods will carry a considerable rate of tax. I know that the right hon. Gentleman realises that this is one of the results of the abolition of the Utility scheme and introduction of the D scheme, and I hope that he is not going to argue on the lines of the Financial Secretary last week when we were discussing furniture, and say, "I am very sorry but, of course, you can get some other goods at a lower rate of tax: or you must not mind paying tax on things previously tax-free."

The right hon. Gentleman knows from his own constituency and on information he has, as we all know in all parts of the Committee, that a very large section of the community has up to now been buy- ing Utility garments and nothing but Utility garments. I am sure that this is even true of a large section of hon. Members in this Committee, certainly on this side and, quite possibly, on the other side of the Committee as well. All those who have been in that position—and many people have gone for the higher priced Utility goods because they were clothing of real value and gave some assurance of long-wearing quality—are now forced by the Schedule and by this scheme to pay more for those goods, and this is going to be very costly for many families.

We have appealed to the Government to drop this scheme and to drop Purchase Tax altogether on textiles. These appeals have fallen on deaf ears, and it would be wrong and out of order for me now to go back to those items, but I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to recognise that these individual D levels in the first group of this Schedule, which is all that we are debating at the present time, will cause real hardship to many families.

I hope that when he replies, he will tell us that in the case of every one of our Amendments and of one or two Amendments standing in the names of hon. Gentlemen opposite relating to this matter, he is going to put up the D level to the figure we propose, which broadly corresponds to the old Utility figure, and that he is going to relieve the anxieties of thousands of families all over the country who have been faced with the situation of having to pay taxes on goods which for the last seven or eight years have been tax-free.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Niall Macpherson (Dumfries)

I think that we should all be grateful to the Chair for allowing this group of items that are to be subject to Purchase Tax under the D scheme to be discussed together, because now is the opportunity to discuss the general principle and also to point out certain anomalies; and I am grateful to the Minister of State for Economic Affairs and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for listening to these anomalies.

I hope that the Chancellor will be able, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) has said, to indicate that he has found it possible to give way to the arguments that have been raised, and to set the D points in general higher, so as to enable many of the goods that previously came into the Utility classes and which are now no longer to be tax free to be relieved of tax. If, of course, that is not possible, it will be undoubtedly because of the financial position of the country.

It was inherent in the D scheme from the start, in accordance with the terms of reference given to the Douglas Committee, that the same amount of revenue should be raised by the Schedules as was raised under the old Purchase Tax scheme. Indeed, in their Report, paragraph 97, the Committee stated: We therefore feel that the loss of revenue would have to be made good by setting D below top Utility prices… The question, therefore, that the Minister has to decide is whether he is going to adhere to the plan of the previous Government and maintain the original amount of revenue that was being obtained under the Purchase Tax scheme—

Mr. H. Wilson

The hon. Gentleman really cannot argue like that. This point has been dealt with on a number of occasions in previous debates. When any Government sets up a Committee to deal with that tax question, it always has to produce proposals which will give the same amount of revenue. A Government knows that if it does not do that, some interest will come forward and make a strong case for a reduction. If the hon. Gentleman is ever Chancellor of the Exchequer—which will not happen for a very long time—he will find that any committees he sets up operate on that basis. When they produce their report, it is a matter for the Chancellor himself to decide what his revenue requirements are going to be.

The action of the hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), in setting up that committee last year did not mean that he had decided for all time to adhere to this level of Purchase Tax revenue and, as my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Rhodes) has pointed out several times, the fact that the textile industries have been caught up in this tremendous depression since that time would be a reason for change, even if there had been such a decision a year ago.

Mr. Macpherson

Supposing that it was admitted that the Chancellor was in- variably bound to indicate that he must get the same revenue out of any new scheme as was obtained under the old one, it still has to be remembered that the position of the country now is very much worse than it was at the time when the Douglas Committee was set up, and that we require to ensure that we get sufficient revenue this year and to ensure also, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has pointed out, that the main basis of the Budget should be maintained, which is quite simply that there should be the same amount of consumer goods available for distribution in this country as there was last year and not more.

That being the basis, it is very difficult to urge my right hon. Friend to give way on this point. Yet, if he finds it possible, there are undoubtedly great advantages in doing so. I leave that point there, because what has been argued from the other side is, in the main, that the D points should be raised in certain classes of goods. The classes have no doubt been worked out in order to put into one group the goods which are comparable in use or price, or both.

A very good case was made out for blazers. That is an instance of an article which appears to have been put in a certain group with which it has not a very close affinity. The blazer is used mainly either by secondary schoolchildren or by sportsmen. There is a very strong case for relieving parents of as much expenditure as possible on blazers and for not putting an additional tax on them.

It certainly appears that the kilt has been lumped in with a number of articles with which it is in no way comparable. After all, a kilt and a bib-and-brace overall can scarcely be described as interchangeable. There is really no basis of comparison between the two. For one thing, a kilt costs three or four times as much as any other article in the group, with the possible exception of jodhpurs, and it certainly costs a great deal more than jodhpurs.

That is no reason for taxing the kilt more; it is not a luxury merely because it costs three or four times as much as the other articles. Indeed, the burden falls particularly on pipe bands. Few collieries, municipalities and branches of the British Legion have not their pipe bands. The tax will also fall heavily on Rover Scouts in Scotland who wear the kilt.

The kilt lasts much longer than trousers do, but that is not a reason for taxing it more either. Even if a kilt does last three or four times longer, if it is Utility kilt it should be tax-free just as Utility trousers are. If trousers of a certain grade are tax free, a kilt made of equivalent material should also be tax free; for even if it lasts three times as long as the trousers last, three times zero remains zero and so the tax on the kilt should be zero.

The main point is that the general principle laid down by the Douglas Committee—and, I think, accepted by the Government—is that the tax should be determined by fixing D by reference to the median price. It is clear that all kilts will be well above the median price and all will, therefore, be subject to Purchase Tax. That is why my hon. Friends and I thought it desirable to give the kilt an entirely separate classification, in the same way as thigh length leggings are given an entirely different classification.

Mr. H. Wilson

The hon. Gentleman is putting forward an important argument. He has just said that all kilts will be above the median price. That is obviously self-contradictory in the sense that all kilts cannot be above the median price for kilts. It is certainly true that all kilts will be above the median price for the group including kilts. We are one with him on the subject of the kilt. In order to help the Committee, can he tell us what he would regard, if he accepts the Douglas Report, as a median price of a kilt or the price of a median kilt?

Mr. Macpherson

If I said that all kilts would be above the median price I meant that they would be above the price which has been fixed as the median price for the group. We are talking about group 5: Trousers…overall trousers, oilskin trousers, plus-fours, breaches, jodhpurs, kilts and bib-and-brace overalls… These articles of Class A material are fixed at 45s. per article. I am advised that the lowest possible makers' price at which one could get a kilt is £6 10s., and that is of Cheviot type, which is not very much worn for kilt purposes, certainly not by bands, for it is very much too bulky. The lowest possible makers' prices, I am assured, are £9 10s. for Saxony and £12 for worsted.

My hon. Friends and I have not been exceedingly generous in suggesting that the D point for the kilt should be £7 10s. That would be equivalent to a selling price of about £10. I urge my right hon. Friend to persuade the Chancellor to follow his own principle here and to fix the D point for the kilt by reference to the median price. He will make many people on the other side of the Border very happy if he will agree to this Amendment.

Miss Bacon

While I have a personal interest in women's clothes and hope to move some Amendments later in the Schedules, I have also a strong constituency interest in men's clothes. Thousands of my constituents are engaged in making men's clothes.

I am very pleased that my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) stressed the consumer's point of view in regard to these Amendments. While we have a very serious slump in textiles and in the clothing industry generally at present, it is important to remember that acceptance of the D levels will mean a great increase in the cost of living.

Let me see what these D figures do in the case of a man's suit. Under the D scheme as set out in the Schedules, the only three-piece suit of men's wear which will be tax free is one that costs £9 14s. or less. I do not quite know how this fits in with the median price. It seems to me that in the past the median price of a man's three-piece suit has been much higher than that figure.

It means that anyone who buys a suit costing under £9 14s. will get it tax free. These D figures also mean that anyone who buys a man's suit costing more than £25 will get a reduction. The serious point is that men's suits costing from £10 to £16, which are the most popular kind of men's suits, of which the trade sells most, will bear an increase ranging from approximately £1 to £2 because of Purchase Tax.

8.30 p.m.

Various anomalies have been pointed out tonight. I am pleased that my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton mentioned the question of linings, because in my talks with the trade I find that this is a very difficult problem. My right hon. Friend has given examples, which I do not wish to repeat, showing how unfair these D levels are in respect of the extra amount which is charged for lined goods.

I should like to put before the Chancellor one other anomaly and discrepancy which runs throughout the whole range of these made-up clothes. I refer to the great discrepancy there is between the change in the price of cloth and the change in the price of clothes. I will give one example to illustrate what I mean. Under the old Utility scheme a certain type of worsted cloth, specification 227A/ 1 of 55-inch width was 21s. 11d. per yard. That was the top Utility level. Under the D scheme this has increased in price to 22s. 2d.

The amazing thing, however, is that under the old Utility scheme the wholesale price of a coat made of that cloth was £8 16s. 9c. whereas under the new D scheme a coat made of that cloth is reduced in price to £6 10s. It will be seen that while the D price of the cloth has risen the D line for a coat made of that cloth has decreased considerably, which seems to suggest that the D figure for coats—and this applies also to suits—is much too low having regard to the price of the cloth from which it is made. I could give many examples not only in respect of men's wear but of women's wear to show that this runs throughout the whole of these Schedules.

I wish to put to the Financial Secretary one further point. I am afraid that the prices charged to the consumers will be much higher than those we have reckoned as being attributable to the increase because of the D scheme. I say that because I wish to direct the hon. Gentleman's attention to what was said in the "Fortnightly Review" of the Association of Retail Chambers of Trade a few weeks ago. It was stated that it would be a good practice to add Purchase Tax to the cost and reckon the profit on that cost. In other words, it seems that the trade is probably going to reckon its profits not only on the wholesale price but on the wholesale price plus Purchase Tax. That will mean a further increase.

I wish to conclude with one general remark. I believe that up to now the public as a whole has not felt the full effect of these D figures because there is a slump, which we hope is a temporary one, in the textile trade and prices have decreased because of unemployment and the slump. We hope that that slump will not last, and while it is true that certain goods in the shops have decreased in price in the last few weeks, that has been for a reason which we all regret. When we get back to normal prices those figures will mean a great increase in the cost of living of all the people of our country. I hope that an announcement is to be made that the D figures will be lifted considerably because, if not, we shall experience a great increase in the cost of living.

Mr. Geoffrey Hirst (Shipley)

I am very glad to follow the hon. Member for Leeds, North-East (Miss Bacon) because, as I think she knows, I have certain interests in an indirect way in common with her in my capacity as President of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce and we share something of the problems of the clothing trade. Also because my own constituency, Shipley, is renowned throughout the world in textiles and, as the Chancellor knows, I am deeply concerned over this question of the D level on textiles.

I do not intend to intervene for long. because I think the argument has been well deployed. I agreed with a great deal of what was said by the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell). I think it was a reasonable case, and I hope that my right hon. Friend will be able to meet it in some measure. I have four Amendments down myself, which no doubt has not escaped the attention of hon. Members opposite, in this very group at slightly higher figures. I have heard so much about my right hon. Friend having an open mind that I thought I would give him plenty of scope. I am sure he will not object if I say that up to date it has been rather more like a closed shop," but I hope we shall get a peep inside tonight.

I must make myself clear, as I have done in my constituency, that I am determined, as I was in the textile debate in March, to fight this thing as hard as I can to the very last ditch. But I will accept the decision of my right hon. Friend. As I have said publicly before, there is no question of my voting against the Government on this matter.

On the other hand, I do appeal with all the force I can to my right hon. Friend to decide now. I particularly wish him to decide now. I want no question of this being put off to Report stage or Third Reading. This delay has done almost more harm than the price level itself, and he would have been doing a great thing for the textile trade if, instead of having an open mind, we could have had from him a decision after the representations from the trade more than a month ago. Let us have the decision now. I will accept it, because I know he is reasonable. I have privately and publicly badgered him on this point, and so have other hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, and I am sure he has given careful thought to it.

But what I do not want to hear tonight is the type of remark I have heard before, particularly from my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Economic Affairs, that it is not very much, that it is only a matter of 2s. or 3s. or even 1s. 6d. That is not relevant at all. What we must understand about this problem is that the public is tax conscious. Even if it is only a matter of 2d. they will not have it at the present moment. That is one of the things which has added to the depth of the freeze. We want that freeze melted, and I still believe we can do it.

I am not impressed by the fact that two-thirds of the textiles are untaxed and therefore there is no argument for a reduction. I am not convinced because psychologically it would be a weapon of great value to convince the public that it is the time to buy, and I am honestly sure it is the time to buy. But they will not do so as long as we have these doubts and thoughts about it. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will show us that courage which I have respected ever since the days when I served in the Cambridge Union under his Presidency many years ago. I am sure that he will be definite here tonight.

The case put up by the Opposition is reasonable, and the D level they suggest is good. I consider their suggestions concerning women's garments is too high, but they are right for the men's section. I hope therefore that my right hon. Friend will make a decision which will benefit the textile trade as a whole and the consumers who look for a lead in this matter.

Mrs. White

We are all glad to have the vigorous support of the bon. Mem- ber for Shipley (Mr. Hirst), and I saw the Chancellor wilting under his attack.

It would appear to me that the group which we are discussing illustrates very well the point I tried to make earlier when we were discussing Clause 8. We have in several of these items, in fact in most of them except the first, a conglomeration of objects which are very ill-matched. The Chancellor must address himself to this principle. Either we must have a more discriminatory classification, or we must accept a higher D level for the entire group which runs through the Schedule as a whole.

It is incongruous to have grouped together articles which form part of a tailor-made suit and articles of a sports type in which there is obviously far less workmanship. I mention, for example, the fourth item on page 74. It might reasonably be argued that the D line of £1 1s. per article is suitable for slipovers, which are sleeveless garments and do not take up very much material, but unsuitable for a properly tailored waistcoat and even for a cardigan or a sweater, or a blouse-type jacket.

The Chancellor should make it clear to the Committee—and it might save a good deal of time later on if he did—what his attitude is to be. If one is to include these incongruously assorted articles, then one must accept a higher D line. Otherwise one is putting some articles in a position which is quite unreasonable to the consumer and which, I think, has already aroused a certain amount of disquiet and possibly resentment in sections of the trade.

In this arrangement of the Schedule, it might have been very much more useful had we taken the section on cloth first. It seems to be rather unrealistic to be discussing made-up garments before we have discussed the appropriate D level for the cloth out of which those garments are to be fashioned. It might have been much more for the convenience of the Committee had the Schedules been so arranged that we could have discussed this point first. It would be out of order to discuss now the D level on cloth, and I do not propose to do so. I simply state that it leads to some anomalies because we have not had an opportunity of discussing that item first.

I should like to make a general plea on the question of D levels for the majority of articles included in this group. The Amendments on the Order Paper in the name of my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself are modest Amendments. We have not gone anything like as far as the hon. Member for Shipley. We have had considerable discussion with the trade, especially those hon. Members representing constituencies in Leeds which are closely concerned with the men's clothing trade. We think that our Amendments are reasonable.

I wish to make a plea in connection with almost all the articles included in this group which are articles of men's wear and boys' wear. Although children's wear is excluded from the scheme, we know that some boys grow quickly and reach man's measurements before they reach man's age and, more important, man's earning power. Many of the garments are really boys' garments. They are almost all of a kind in which quality is essential.

I know from my own experience, and from that of my friends who have to budget very closely indeed for the requirement of their families, that nothing is more discouraging than to feel that because of increased prices one cannot buy a garment which will give really satisfactory wear and service. If the Chancellor persists in maintaining these very low D levels for some of these articles such as overcoats and suits, trousers, and so on, it will mean that there will be far more work for the mothers of the country, who will have to try to patch, to repair and make do with poorer quality garments.

8.45 p.m.

Clearly, what will happen, in order that the garments may be sold at all if they are subject to a higher tax, is that the manufacturers will economise in the quality of the linings, for example, and also in the workmanship, and that will mean that these garments, which should have a long life, because many of them will be subject to very hard wear, will deteriorate and require patching and repairing, which will be a very great discouragement to the housewife.

I feel that on nearly all the garments included in this group, the question of quality is of very great importance, and it is particularly unfortunate that the class of garment which is being most severely dealt with under the proposed D level is that class which included the better quality Utility garments. It was precisely that quality of garment which the careful and responsible housewife and mother tried to buy for her family, because she realised, when buying overcoats, suits and jackets, that it was false economy to buy the cheapest.

Under the previous Utility scheme, it was possible to obtain very satisfactory quality garments at reasonable prices and tax free. All concerned with the family aspect of the matter feel very strongly that it would be most unfortunate if we were to accept the D line which is proposed in this Schedule, and I therefore hope that the Chancellor will be able to accept some of the Amendments which have been put down by my hon. Friends.

Mr. Harold Davies (Leek)

On looking down the list of items in the Schedule, I must say that the Chancellor reminds me of an old Welsh parson who used to pray once a week and, being very devout, said. "Oh Lord, I do not ask you to give me money; all I ask you to do is to show me where it is, and I will do the rest myself." It seems to me that the Chancellor has a certain interest in some industries in my division because we produce quite a lot of knitwear. We have heard much about Lancashire and the cotton industry, and rightly and justly so, because that is one of the paramount industries in this country by means of which we pay for the food that we import.

I would remind the Chancellor that there are some places like Leek in these islands which produce very good material and which are interested in silk and rayon and knitwear. I was rather chagrined to find that the hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) was unable to press his Amendment upon the Chancellor when he asked for silk materials to be excluded from certain taxation. I would make my plea for the articles listed in class A 4 dealing with blouse-type jackets, waistcoats, cardigans, jerseys, sweatovers, pullovers, slip-overs, and bed jackets.

All these things are produced in Leek, and I believe that the D level is far too low. I look at the matter from both points of view—that of the consumer and that of the manufacturers—and I make the plea to the Chancellor to have a look at the D level, in this case fixed at £1 1s., and to see whether he cannot lift it up at least to £1 15s. I do not want to detain the Committee, because we are not trying to filibuster; we are trying to help the Government all we possibly can.

If the Chancellor, together with his right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Economic Affairs, is afraid that all this may end in a terrible inflationary situation, and if some right hon. and hon. Members opposite are afraid to go into the Division Lobby to vote for the Amendments they have put on the Order Paper, may I suggest a way out of the difficulty? I suggest that the Chancellor should earmark some of the Post-War Credits as textile coupons, and that he should pay them out to the value of £5 per person to be spent specifically on textiles in Lancashire, Leek and Leeds. Having made that suggestion, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see his way clear—although he could not do so in the case of his own back benchers—to concede a little uplift in the D level of the knitwear made in Leek.

Mr. William Keenan (Liverpool, Kirk-dale)

I wish to say a few words from the consumer's point of view. I remember a couple of Budgets ago that I got into a lot of trouble when criticising the cost of Utility wear, particularly children's footwear, which, of course, we are not discussing at the moment. It is obvious that, as a result of the D scheme, not only will there be a rise in the cost of wearing apparel, but, as my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) rightly pointed out, there will be a decrease in quality. We shall certainly get a range of clothing that will be below the D level, but it will not be worth buying.

Criticisms were made of the Utility scheme because of the prices charged. Under that scheme margins of profits were provided which none of us fully accepted, and many of us thought that they allowed the manufacturers and the retailers too much profit. I think we are likely to get an even worse deal as a consequence of the D scheme.

I want to remind the Chancellor of the position as it affects parents. Owing to full employment in the last seven years, parents have been able to buy the best quality Utility clothing for their children. It seems to me that the suggested change will prevent housewives from buying some of the quality clothing for their children which they have hitherto been able to purchase. Though I am here more concerned with children's clothing, the same criticism can be made in respect of adult clothing. People will not be able to continue buying the quality goods which hitherto they have been able to purchase under the Utility scheme.

It is from that point of view that many of us are worried. Certainly I am worried. Even under the Utility scheme a good quality coat for a child of seven, eight or nine years of age cost £5 or £6. The D scheme does not cater for that. People who are able to buy coats of reasonable quality for their children today will find that they are taxed under this scheme. The price will be increased and this will make it much more difficult for the average mother to purchase textile goods for her children. This is being done when everybody is crying out that we should maintain and increase the volume of consumption to help the textile industry. This scheme will result in under-consumption because of the effect on price levels of this re-arrangement of taxation.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood (Rossendale)

Although we have been discussing 15 Amendments together and one would have supposed that discussion would have been a little discursive, I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be the first to admit that it has been realistic and constructive. I hope very much that as a result of it we shall make some progress in obtaining some sort of concession in respect of the D scheme.

The Committee will be well aware that we on this side were anxious to get rid of Purchase Tax on textiles altogether. We have made two attempts to do that unsuccessfully and now, of course, we have had to fall back on what we regard as being a second best and to consider what sort of concession we can obtain during the Committee stage of this Bill.

Obviously, we had a number of alternative courses of action before us. At one time we considered the method, which has been suggested by the right hon. and gallant Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse) in the case of boots and shoes, of altering the rate of taxation. That, if it could be obtained, would be most acceptable. But we had one objection to it in that we felt that such a concession would spread relief over the whole range of goods, including what were previously non-Utility goods, whereas we preferred giving relief to those which previously have been Utility goods and which will now carry taxation.

Therefore, we adopted the method of putting down Amendments the effect of which is to raise the D level to that of the top price level under the old Utility scheme. Obviously, having accepted that principle, we had to put down a large number of Amendments in order that there should be no disparity between the categories in the Schedules of the Bill.

Tonight we have heard a great deal about the interests of the trade and of the consumers. We have not heard a great deal about the interests of the workers in these industries and yet, of course, it is from that point of view that all of us are approaching this problem as well as from the point of view of the interests of the consumers and the industry as a whole. I confess that there are a number of notable omissions from the Order Paper. Apart from the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst), who spoke with such conviction and so convincingly tonight, there have been no Amendments from hon. Members opposite representing Yorkshire constituencies, although production in Yorkshire is between 15 per -cent. and 30 per cent. down on last year.

Another notable omission is that there is no Amendment at all on the Order Paper at this point in the names of hon. Members representing Northern Ireland. It is true that later on this part of the Schedule there is one Amendment dealing with linen, but that has been put down by the hon. and gallant Member for Langstone (Mr. Stevens). It is only on the second part of the Schedule that Northern Irishmen appear to have woken up and to have put down Amendments dealing with the parlous condition of the linen industry in Northern Ireland at the present time.

9.0 p.m.

I think we are inclined to forget that there are more unemployed in Northern Ireland today than in any other part of the United Kingdom. Indeed, the situation is very serious, and because hon. Members opposite are failing to take advantage of their opportunities the Northern Ireland Labour Party are calling for the scheduling of Ulster as a development area. I hope the residents in Northern Ireland will remember the way that they have been let down by hon. Members opposite in this debate tonight.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Walter Smiles (Down, North)

We have been in constant consultation with the Government of Northern Ireland and the various bodies representing the linen industry over there. and we are awaiting the Chancellor's statement later on with great interest.

Mr. Greenwood

If that is the case, I cannot for the life of me think why the hon. and gallant Gentleman has put down Amendments to one part of the Schedule and not to the other. No doubt that is one of the things which may be obscure to the rest of the Committee but is perfectly clear to the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

There is another much more important omission, and that is the omission of any action on this part of the Schedule by hon. Members representing Lancashire constituencies. The right hon. Member for Blackburn, West (Mr. Assheton), is now well established as Lancashire Conservatism's "grand old Duke of York." Having marched his forces up to the top of the hill twice, he has even omitted to do that tonight, no doubt to save himself the trouble of marching them down again after another ignominious withdrawal on their part.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Dodds) referred earlier to this scheme as being what he called the product of a bureaucratic mind with a passion for tidiness and no regard for sociological effects. Indeed, as one has listened to this discussion tonight, I think there has echoed in one's mind the point of view put forward by many representatives of the trade, that it is a pity that no working draper or outfitter was represented on the Douglas Committee. One feels, too, that it is a tremendous pity that there does not seem to have been adequate consultation between the Government and the various trade organisations before this scheme was put into its final form.

It seems impossible to justify some of the extraordinary anomalies which hon. Members in all quarters of the Committee have pointed out tonight. My right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) tells us that unlined jackets and overcoats are more expensive than lined jackets and overcoats because of the operation of this fantastic and ridiculous scheme. We gather from my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-East (Miss Bacon), that overcoats and suits which were previously tax-free are now going to carry between £1 and £2 in tax. All down the list one can find anomalies and inconsistencies of that kind.

I want to endorse the view of the hon. Member for Shipley when he castigated the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the delay that there has been in announcing the final policy of the Government in this respect. I know that the right hon. Gentleman has really been trying to be helpful, appreciative and understanding of the industry's difficulties, but certainly in going on from a debate on textiles to the Finance Bill, and from the Finance Bill to the debate we had the other night on Purchase Tax on textiles, and then again on to the debate we had on Thursday night—all these promises of some sort of vague help in the future have done harm to the industry. I hope, as the hon. Member for Shipley hopes, that at last tonight we are really going to learn what is in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

There is another point on which I support the hon. Member for Shipley, and that is that I hope we shall not hear tonight any speeches from the Minister of State for Economic Affairs like the one we had from him the other night. Our point of view is simple, and it is this. If it is difficult to sell an article for £5 it will be much more difficult to sell it for £5 plus £1 tax. No amount of obscure reasoning on the part of the Minister of State will persuade me that that is an illogical point of view.

What an extraordinary conglomeration of articles this group covers. Some of them have been dealt with by my hon. Friends. There is item No. 1, which deals with overcoats. We are told that that also includes duffle coats and those coats which the employees of the Westminster City Corporation wear when we see them washing the streets of this great City in the early mornings when we go home; but when we look at the document issued by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, we find that the list includes not only duffle coats and donkey coats—which, I think, is the name of the coats worn by the employees of the Westminster City Corporation—but also: a wide range of academic, ecclesiastical, legal, etc., garments, e.c., cassocks, surplices and gowns. So we have duffle coats, donkey coats, surplices and academic gowns all lumped together under one quite arbitrary D level.

Then we go to item No. 3, which includes not only schoolboys' blazers but tacklers' vests—whatever tacklers' vests are. Then there is this curious question of the kilt. May I say that we on this side of the Committee are wholeheartedly in support of the Scottish contingent, which already seems to have left the field of battle—though I see that one Member is still with us, and we are all happy to see that. I think it is a pity to associate kilts only with Scotsmen, because kilts are also an Irish form of dress and any concession made in that respect will, I am sure, be equally welcomed by hon. Members representing constituencies in Northern Ireland—even those who have not yet found it convenient to take part in this discussion.

On going through this list, one finds that the Government's proposals are going to penalise wide sections of the general public—not only workmen but clergymen, school boys, Scotsmen, Irishmen, cyclists, and all kinds of young people who take part in all kinds of sport, such as tennis, rowing and a large range of similar activities. It is because we cannot find any consistent principle behind the proposal made by the right hon. Gentleman that we shall certainly take the opportunity tonight—unless the right hon. Gentleman has at last some real, positive, definite and specific concession to make—to divide the Committee on the Amendments in the names of my right hon. Friends and myself and also the Amendments standing in the names of hon. Members representing Scottish constituencies.

Mr. R. A. Butler

We have had a considerable debate at the opening of the discussion of the Fourth Schedule of this complicated Measure. The hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Harold Davies) quoted a clergyman, whom he compared with me. In passing, I should like to say that the clergyman's surplice and other religious clothing for the first time gets D provision—and I do not use "D" in any damnation sense. It gets tax concessions under this Bill. That is the first mistake into which the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) has fallen. He misunderstood the religious fervour and the humane considerations of Her Majesty's Government in introducing some of this religious clothing into this Bill.

I should like to answer the story of the hon. Member for Leek with one of my own. I am told of a clergyman who prayed on his knees on Sundays and on his neighbours for the rest of the week. If the hon. Member for Leek would like to take charge of that story and compare that clergyman with the Chancellor, I think it would be a very apt parallel.

The hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell), who opened this debate, said that there had been no particular example of filibustering. I quite accept that. I think everybody has been perfectly reasonable, and I hope that when I have finished my speech we shall be able to make further progress so that we do not sit too late tonight. Whether we sit late tomorrow night will not depend so much on filibustering. The Government are determined to finish this question of Purchase Tax tomorrow evening, and if we do not have filibustering we may well be able to do so. I prefer to think of this exercise in the words of the hon. Member for Leek as a "sweatover," which is a garment I have never heard of but which, I understand, is made in Leek and which is most suitable to us in the course of these debates.

We come to the very contentious question of kilts. Here again, there has been some criticism of the fact that my right hon Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, well known as one of the most vulnerable of Her Majesty's Ministers, is not present with us tonight. I do not want Scottish hon. Members to imagine that that is any sign of disrespect because I have had the closest contact with my right hon. Friend and with my own fellow Scots. I do not, however, wish the Scottish nation to regard £2 5s. as a general criterion by which the value of their nationality is to be judged. I fully accept that there are many kilts of very expensive quality. What I want to make clear is this: that for the first time, kilts are brought within the protection of the D scheme and, so far as they get relief, they are therefore better off, whether, as an hon. Member said, divided or not, than they ever were before.

It is true, as my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, North (Sir W. Smiles), said, that Northern Ireland Members have been closely in touch with the Administration and have attempted to put forward their point of view to the best of their ability. The fact that they have not taken part in the debate is a matter which I regard as one of great credit to them, because if we all took part in the debate, including all Scottish hon. Members, I can assure the Committee that we should be here all tonight and all tomorrow night as well. The fact that they have not taken part in the debate and yet have put their case is a great credit to Northern Ireland.

Mr. David J. Pryde (Midlothian and Peebles)

I am not interested in the kilt as a kilt, because it may be made of anything, but I have some interest in the material which provides the finest kilt—that is. tartan. Would the Chancellor of the Exchequer say something about tartan? I mentioned the subject in a previous speech.

Mr. Butler

I think it depends which tartan the hon. Gentleman means. The answer is, quite seriously, that the question of cloth must come up at a later stage in our debate and it would be out of order to raise the subject on this Amendment. I will bear the point in mind, however.

It is quite clear that this debate has referred mainly to the proposition that the D level should be raised above the general median figure which was agreed as a result of the Douglas Report and should be placed above the old Utility scale. That theme has seemed to underly a great many of the Amendments which are on the Order Paper at present.

I had thought, in the course of previous debates on this subject—and some comments were made on some occasions, and some on others—that it had been accepted that we cannot go back to the old Utility scheme. The reasons for this were cogently and clearly expressed, not by Her Majesty's Government but by an independent Committee appointed by my predecessor, namely the Douglas Committee. There were, therefore, three courses open, to one of which the hon. Member for Rossendale referred tonight. The first was to abolish the tax on textiles; and if I were to discuss that I should be out of order. Furthermore, we have already referred to it in previous debates. It would have cost something between £80 million and £100 million, which was more revenue than we could afford, and that course has already been rejected.

Perhaps the simplest course of all in dealing with the problem with which the Government were faced would have been a flat rate tax, probably at a lower rate, on all textiles and perhaps other goods in the D sphere—a course which was cogently and eloquently recommended by the right hon. Member for Blackburn, West (Mr. Assheton), who has taken so great a part in our debates in such a constructive manner. This is a course which I think the trade as a whole might have preferred, though hon. Members must remember that such a course, by the deliberate lowering of the incidence of the tax, would have a very heavy immediate reaction on retail stocks, which is another matter to which we have to turn when we come to the new Clauses, and I think it would have been resented in that respect by the trade.

I think this course of having a single low tax would have helped the export of high quality goods but it would have removed from the exemption from Purchase Tax many essential garments which the lower income groups have enjoyed free of tax for over 10 years.

I should like hon. Members opposite to realise that, however much they may criticise this scheme, it really comes from their own stable, from the Committee which they themselves appointed. Whether they like it or not, it is not a scheme brought forward politically; it is a scheme honestly brought forward as a result of an inquiry by a committee. Furthermore, this scheme still retains a large variety of cloths and garments, of the type to which these Amendments refer, outside the tax range under the D level. It was for that reason that I rejected a flat rate tax, although I have been very glad, and shall be glad in the future, to give every consideration to that sort of taxation, with all its simplicity.

9.15 p.m.

The Government adopted the D scheme despite its complications and the terrible Parliamentary difficulties which are involved. I should like to ask any observers of our Parliamentary institution whether they have ever seen such an opportunity for filibustering, time wasting or even genuine investigation of the details. I am asked by the hon. Member for Leeds, West, to evaluate exactly as a Minister of the Crown, upon whose shoulders are responsibilities of a somewhat heavy character outside dealing with the D scheme, between corduroy trousers and shorts. Frankly, if it were left to me I would not know the answer.

I think it is just as well to be quite frank with the Committee. If our constitution is going to impose upon Ministers an obligation to answer different matters of that sort, then our constitution will break down. I refer to some words of a great friend of all of us, the late Oliver Stanley, who took part in many debates on previous Finance Bills. He said he thought the danger of the Purchase Tax was that it might create a Dutch auction on the Floor of the House of Commons. It is a most dangerous subject to discuss, and that is why I have been so pleased at the spirit in which we have discussed it tonight.

What is the Government's general answer, therefore, to all the quite legitimate points, including the complicated point in the question by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) on lined coats and coats not lined? My reply to that point is that I must have a little more time to study it in detail and also the particulars which he is to send me. But what is the Government's answer to all these points about corduroy trousers, kilts, shorts, and the relationship between jackets and trousers? All these subjects I have lived with during the last few weeks, and while I am not an expert, I should like to give the Committee some indication of how we made up our minds.

We made up our minds by following the general philosophy and principle of the Douglas Committee, which was to take a genuine D at the median point. It may interest the Committee to know that we did not reach this decision in any haphazard manner but have a system behind us. The system involves us with a series of social surveys that were undertaken at various times. One was taken in May, 1951, when this Government were not even in office, and the other in November to December last and deals with the September-October purchases of housewives. The surveys into clothing expenditure were carried out by the Social Survey for the Central Statistical Office.

A random sample of 1,500 addresses was selected from each inquiry and a two-stage simplified scheme was used. The first stage was distributed between 60 and 70 administrative areas in Great Britain, including Scotland but not Northern Ireland. In each area a random sample of addresses was drawn from the original list. That shows that there is some basis for this scheme which is not political, and whether hon. Members agree with it or no, it was meant to be scientific.

Housewives were asked in these areas, and according to this system, to give an account of their purchases and of the price of the different goods that they bought. The result of that was a median principle which could be adopted for D and it is that general principle which has been inserted in this Bill and which we are now working.

I am not prepared at this stage to go back on that system, because I think we have something to stand on, and if once we get away from that we shall get into the most terrific mess and will get more inequality than hon. Members have pointed out in the course of these debates. Therefore, I maintain that it would be wrong to concede individual points about the Ds unless we are satisfied that there is a genuine grievance or abuse. I am afraid that on this Amendment I do not find that we can concede anything on the Ds. It is possible that on one or two later occasions—which I shall come to as we reach the blocks of Amendments with which they deal—we shall find an abuse which can be dealt with, but I am afraid I cannot on this one.

I come now to the general point raised by the Opposition, which is that they would like to raise the Ds above the old Utility level.

Mr. H. Wilson

Not above.

Mr. Butler

Up to the old Utility levels. My answer, in answering in advance anything the hon. Member for Leeds, West, may say, is that I believe it would cost between £30 million and £40 million to accept this on this Amendment and all the others. I am not able to spare that amount of money, and I do not believe that this move would help the lower income groups in this country.

Mr. Pannell

A few minutes earlier the right hon. Gentleman rather suggested that he had lived with these things for many weeks. So have we. I have done some research on this, and we have not attempted to have a Dutch auction. I hope he will take it from me that in all our inquiries, when we approached the trade we asked them not to give us any political answers at all, but to give realistic answers which would bring it somewhere round about the top Utility level. I could give him the names and addresses of the firms to which we have gone. In none of the examples we have put forward have we gone above any of the old Utility schemes. If I may say so, it is not we who ask him to evaluate. He puts the Finance Bill before us and he asks us to evaluate.

Mr. Butler

I respect the methods employed by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee in attempting to arrive at an abstract truth on this, but I do not believe, taking one article against another, that we can get any better principle than that laid down by the Douglas Committee, namely, the median principle, which we have tried to adopt throughout. If we start taking different principles by contact, quite honourably, with different trades, I think we can get into worse trouble than we have here. Therefore, I think this method is probably fairer than any other in arriving at a level for the Ds.

I maintain that to raise the Ds would be not only too expensive, between £30 million and £40 million—and I would have to do it for one if I did it for another—but would also, I believe, be a move in the wrong direction. It would increase the disparities and the approxi- mations which are inherent in the scheme as a whole.

I would remind the Committee—and I say this in a constructive spirit—that there are powers under the Bill to renew and alter the Ds by Order. I will give this undertaking: that this matter will always be kept under consideration, and, while I can give no date and therefore create no uncertainty, if there are difficulties at any time we can lay an Order and thereby correct a D if we find it to be wrong, apart from any which may arise on subsequent Amendments in which we think there is a grave case of abuse. I give that assurance in the spirit in which I hope it will be accepted.

I think that a move to raise the Ds, to take them back into the sphere in which we had too high a rate of tax on too narrow a range of goods—and it is remarkable to me to find how many, not only of traders and capitalists, but also of the workpeople have taken the view that unless we can reduce the tax on the quality range we shall not keep employment and encourage our exports—would be a move in the wrong direction.

I have therefore decided that, if I am to help the Committee and consumers, and traders in general, I must move in another direction. The hon. Member for Rossendale, in his clear speech, raised the point as to the direction in which we should move; and he said it was possible to move either in the direction of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse), or in the direction of hon. Members opposite towards raising the Ds. Again, respecting the sincerity with which these matters are put forward, I have decided to follow the line suggested by the right hon. and gallant Member for Leicester, South-East, and to move in the direction of reducing the rates rather than raising the Ds. I do this in the interest of the consumer and the interest of the trader.

The hon. Lady the Member for Leeds, North-East (Miss Bacon) asked for a statement to be made tonight, and the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst) and others have also made other requests that such a statement should be made. In passing, I would say that the hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) moved an Amendment about silk. Owing to the financial nature of the statement that I am about to make, I was unable to speak during the debate on that Amendment and had to remain utterly silent, and I must apologise to him if he was in any sort of embarrassment. The suggestions I have to make apply to silk as well as to the other matters with which I am dealing. They deal with the representations of the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. F. Maclean) and the hon. Member for Cheadle (Mr. Shepherd), who spoke from this side of the Committee.

I want to say that, in all the circumstances, the Government have decided to reduce the rate of 33℣ per cent. and 66⅔ per cent. on garments, footwear, gloves, cloth and household textiles by one-quarter; that is, the new rate will be 25 per cent. and 50 per cent. less, of course, the D allowances. This is to apply to all goods in groups 1 to 7 of the Purchase Tax Schedule and to group 9 (b) (iii)—travelling rugs. Hon. Members will see that this is almost a comprehensive reduction on nearly all articles under the D scheme.

The details will, of course, appear, because I have to move a Ways and Means Resolution, and I have had to consider whether to ask hon. Members to take that Ways and Means Resolution tonight, as we did in the Budget by simply passing around a blue paper, or to take what I think is the better and fairer course of putting it on the Order Paper as the first business tomorrow. I have decided to take the latter course—although according to Budget practice it would have been possible to take the former course—and to put it on the Order Paper and take this as first business tomorrow, in which case hon. Members will see its terms in the morning, and find that it applies to all groups in 1 to 7 and group 9 (b) (iii) of the Purchase Tax Schedule.

To avoid disturbance of trade, I have proposed that these changes should operate as from Wednesday, 14th May, and I estimate that the cost will be £17 million in a full year and for the remainder of this year—I have not got the exact figure—in view of the shorter time it will have to run, it will be something in the neighbourhood of £10 million. I hope that this move will help consumers generally and be in itself a contribution towards reducing the cost of living.

Mr. Jay

Does this reduction in rates include furniture as well as textiles?

Mr. Butler

I should want notice of that question. I do not want to give a false answer, but I can give an answer in a few minutes to the right hon. Gentleman, or he will see it in the Resolution. I do not think that it applies to furniture because we have not yet made an Order for furniture, and the matter would have to be considered, judging from the debate on Clause 7, when furniture was referred to, as being a subject which we are at present discussing with the trade with a view to introducing a scheme. As to the question of the future of furniture, I will look into it to see that there is no unfair discrimination.

9.30 p.m.

I was saying that I hoped this would help consumers and the cost of living. I hope it will also give some certainty to the trade, and I hope that the textile industry will now know where it stands. I can give an assurance to that hard-stricken area that it would have been impossible for me to take action which did not apply to all those other commodities and articles; it would not only have been unfair, but it would have been unsound.

I sincerely feel their difficulties, as do the Government, and I hope that this in its small way may be some extra help to them, to the boot and shoe and the gloves areas and to all the other areas affected. They will know exactly where they stand and will know that we are moving in the right direction in a difficult time, namely, that we have reduced this tax, which affects the cost of living, within the bounds of the Budget and the position will be decided in the light of what we can afford in making a concession as large as we can manage.

I hope that this will have met the point of my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley and my hon. Friend the Member for Langstone (Mr. Stevens). I should have liked to consider a greater concession, but the Revenue does not allow it.

I should like to remind hon. Members that, apart from the Resolution which will be put on the Order Paper and can be considered first thing tomorrow, a new Clause will be tabled and, as far as I can see, this will have to be considered later in the Bill and it will, therefore, give another opportunity for con- sidering the matter besides that given by the Resolution tomorrow. I hope that it will be possible to take the Resolution fairly briefly and to continue with our business on the rest of the Schedule.

This is the limit to which I can go. I hope the trade will accept it as such, and I hope that this concession, which applies almost to the whole range, will mean that we can shorten our debates by realising the help that is being given. In due course during the debates I shall be able to give some indication of the very great relief which this will be to the lower income groups in the purchases they will make of articles which may just fall within the level of the tax but which at the same time are of supreme importance to those whom we want to help most.

Mr. Gaitskell

The right hon. Gentleman has made an important statement, and I have no doubt that some of my hon. and right hon. Friends may wish to comment upon it immediately. As I understand it, we shall have an opportunity tomorrow of debating at any rate the greater part of what the Chancellor has said when we discuss the new Ways and Means Resolution which he is introducing, but I should like to make a few comments on what he has said and to give my immediate reactions to the announcement.

In the first place, the Opposition are glad that he has rejected the proposals for a flat-rate tax which would extend well below the present D levels. In our opinion, that would be a most retrograde step. It would clearly be a tax involving a heavier burden on people with lower incomes. There is no doubt that had the Chancellor contemplated any such thing it would have met with the most bitter opposition from this side of the Committee.

Secondly, I do not wish to discuss the proposal to abolish the tax altogether—we discussed that fully last Thursday, and I appreciate that it would be out of order—but one can perhaps at least comment on the Chancellor's new proposal by saying that it represents at least a small part of the loaf that we have been demanding. One-fifth of a loaf is better than none at all, and to that extent we welcome what the Chancellor has just told us.

However, I am bound to point out that there are some questions which I have to put and some criticism that I have to make about the decision. In the first place, I am not entirely clear from what the Chancellor has said what his attitude will be during the rest of our debates on the Fourth Schedule. I understood him to say that he would consider special cases, but he seemed to imply that there would not be very many special cases. I fancy that we shall be able to present to him some exceedingly strong cases.

There is, for instance, the case of boots and shoes. It is quite obvious that the concession which the right hon. Gentleman has announced is virtually, I will not say worthless, of course, but it is worth very much less to the boot and shoe industry than the proposals which we have made. I have no doubt that my hon. and right hon. Friends will seek to draw attention to that and to persuade the Chancellor to make concessions there. There is the case of furnishing fabrics, where I think that the level of D is generally recognised in the trade and the Committee to be absurdly low. There is the case of gloves, where I believe the same applies. There are no doubt many others.

Mr. Dodds


Mr. Gaitskell

My hon. Friend mentions outsizes, which we were discussing this afternoon.

If we are to have a real opportunity of securing concessions in this matter as we go through the Schedule, then we unreservedly accept a fifth of the loaf, hoping to get a lot more of it. But if this is intended as a bait or a bribe to hold us off from demanding what we believe to be necessary, we certainly shall not fall for it.

Mr. R. A. Butler

May I help the right hon. Gentleman? There were, of course, two possible tactics. Either I could have retained my statement to a far later stage in our debates, and thereby, in my view, have made them very silly, because Members would not have known what was in the Government's mind, or I could have brought it to the front, as I have done, in order that the Committee might work against that background, which would be of considerable help. It does not preclude certain matters which involve things that are not quite right in the scheme, and are still susceptible of Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman can really accept quite genuinely the bona fides of the Government in this matter.

Mr. Gaitskell

I am, of course, delighted to hear that. It means that the right hon. Gentleman's remarks about the certainty in which the textile industry would now be living are not quite so forceful as they might have appeared to be. From that angle I am very glad, because there is still a chance of reductions—that the certainty is not quite so absolute. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman was leading us to think that it was.

Mr. Butler

In answer to that, I would say that it is very important for the trade, not so much for us here. The certainty ought to be pretty good by tomorrow night, when I hope to finish the Schedule, whatever the hour to which we have to sit.

Mr. Gaitskell

We hope that there will not only be complete certainty but certainty which satisfies us as well. For the moment uncertainty continues.

There is one major criticism we have to make of the particular decision which the Government have made, and this was foreshadowed very aptly in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood). If the Chancellor had £17 million to give away, and if in any case the uncertainty was to prevail until tomorrow night, I think it would have been rather more courteous to the Committee, and certainly more satisfactory to this side of the Committee, if the Chancellor had waited to hear the case to be made on the various individual items and groups. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Members opposite say "No," particularly the right hon. and gallant Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse). He is now completely satisfied. He does not wish to press the case of his constitutents.

Captain Waterhouse

Wait and see.

Mr. Gaitskell

I shall wait and see with great interest what the right hon. and gallant Gentleman does. If hon. Members want to press their constituency cases, why are they making such a noise when I protest about a decision being made in advance? I should have thought that, under the circumstances, it would have been very much better to have waited to hear the case as it was put forward.

But there is an even more serious objection, namely that if a concession of £17 million were given by increasing the value of D, and the Chancellor says that our concessions broadly speaking would have involved about twice that amount—I do not know how accurate those figures are, but of course I accept them—then we should at least have been sure that a whole range of goods would have been taken right out of the tax and that the people who were not previously paying tax would not have had to pay it.

Whereas, of course, the concession he has granted, as my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale pointed out, really benefits far more the people who buy the more expensive garments and other articles. There is the same percentage reduction within the tax for everybody, and therefore on absolute terms it must bring greater benefits to those who pay the higher prices. So far as I know, that is quite simple and uncontroversial arithmetic. I cannot see that one can possibly dispute it. If we take the two ways, raising the value of D or reducing the rate of the tax, apart from any other consequences it may have, in the one case it means benefiting those who pay round about the top Utility level and, of course, it benefits a wide range, but in absolute terms it gives more and more benefit to those who buy the most expensive articles.

Mr. Ian Horobin (Oldham, East)

May we take it that the party opposite abandon the point that it is desirable to benefit the production in this country of high quality goods?

Mr. Gaitskell

No, Sir. We do not abandon that. We think a good case can be made out for its maintenance. I must admit there may be some conflict here and it is a matter of decision. But if a case can be made out that a valuable export trade is being lost—it would have to be a strong case, because it is often put forward without very much substance—no doubt the matter could he considered.

But it is a dangerous argument for the Chancellor, because over a wide range of articles covered by Purchase Tax which are now bringing in a substantial revenue he will find strong claims being made on quality grounds that the tax ought to be reduced; and in view of what he has said tonight he will not find it easy to resist those demands. However, we are not considering Purchase Tax as a whole this evening.

The right hon. Gentleman justified his decision in this matter by saying he was bound, or felt bound, to observe the general conclusions of the Douglas Committee Report, particularly so far as the proposal that the value of D should be fixed at a median point in the scale. I must insist that there was no recommendation from the Douglas Committee that the value of D should be fixed at any particular level. It really is not so. There was a reference to it as a possible solution, but in their recommendations it does not appear. It is simply and solely a decision of the Government that the value of D should be fixed at a median level.

I cannot see that there is any particular principle involved in this. It merely means that we go a certain way down the Utility scale instead of not so far, or instead of leaving it at the top. The Chancellor is on firmer ground in arguing that he would lose too much revenue. I do not wish again to elaborate our arguments on that, but I must point out that were he to lose the whole £30 million to which he refers, it would still be less than half of the amount he will have to pay in increased interest charges this year, and this is something we cannot eliminate altogether from our minds.

While we welcome this concession, as we would welcome any concession which will relieve and assist the position in the textile trades, we do not think it is the best way of spending this money, if I may put it in this way; of making this particular concession. We should certainly prefer it should have been given in a form which enabled the value of the various Ds to go up, and we shall continue to press very strongly for an increase in these values as we go along. I do not feel that what the Chancellor has said would justify us in allowing these Amendments to go through without a Division. We have something of a principle at stake here, and it is a principle on which we feel very strongly. Therefore, in the circumstances, I would advise my hon. Friends that we should divide the Committee.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Ralph Assheton (Blackburn, West)

It is only right that I should say, on behalf of some of us on this side of the Committee who have been giving the Chancellor a very great deal of trouble during recent weeks—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite can jeer if they like. I do not mind in the slightest. The hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) had better learn a great deal more about the Duke of York than he knows at present. He was not at all a bad general.

The greatest thing that the Chancellor has done for us has been to make it clear that we are to have some certainty in this matter by Wednesday. If there is one thing from which the whole of the trade has been suffering it is the uncertainty which has been in the air since the time of the Budget. At any rate, by Wednesday night we shall all know where we are. I cannot say here and now in full what my friends in Lancashire will think of this concession. Nobody is likely to sneeze at £17 million with the prospect of a little more during the course of these debates.

But the proposition which we originally put forward was a proposition of a very different character. Naturally there will be considerable disappointment, but it is much to the Chancellor's credit that he has taken such enormous pains and trouble to do something to help us in this matter. The full judgment of the Committee can only be given when we have gone through the various items in the list and heard where it is that the Chancellor will find it possible to deal with the various anomalies in this scheme.

There are certain cases which are well known—furnishing fabrics, gloves, boots and shoes, and so on—which have given an exceptional amount of trouble to hon. Members on both sides of the Committee. When, by tomorrow evening, we see where the Chancellor stands on these various items, we shall be in a position to make a judgment upon his whole plan and able to express an opinion upon it.

Mr. H. Wilson

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Blackburn, West (Mr. Assheton), seems to have convinced himself that he has given the Chancellor a lot of trouble with the actions he has taken and failed to take in the last few weeks. He has given the Chancellor just as much trouble as those small boys of all ages who find it good fun to hammer on somebody's front door and then to run away before the door is opened. That is all that the right hon. Gentleman has done.

If he is really concerned about where the trouble has been caused, I can tell him. The real trouble, as he will find out before very long, has been caused in the Blackburn, West constituency. I assure him that the constituents of that very depressed area will not overlook the actions of the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends in putting down that very brave Motion before Easter about Purchase Tax and then running away as soon as they had a chance.

Mr. Assheton

The right hon. Gentleman may recollect that the Motion which I put down at that time, and which I have stuck to all along, is that the Chancellor should be asked to reconsider the Purchase Tax. Also, I should like to tell him that in the Blackburn, West constituency there were no losses by the Conservative Party during the recent local elections.

Mr. Wilson

I do not think that the people of the Blackburn, West area had time to digest the results of the right hon. Gentleman's failure to vote with us as recently as last week.

It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to say that in his original Motion all he proposed was that the Chancellor should reconsider Purchase Tax. As he knows perfectly well, and we have not allowed him to forget it, within a day or two of that Motion being put down, he wrote a most powerful letter to The Times." I have no doubt that it was quoted in the constituency Press, and I have no doubt that he quoted from it in the constituency speeches when he made a very strong plea indeed for taking Purchase Tax right off clothing and textiles.

Mr. Assheton

And I still believe in it.

Mr. Wilson

Obviously, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) said, the Chancellor's statement will require careful study. We shall have time to consider it before the Ways and Means Resolution tomorrow, but I am very anxious to suggest to my hon. and right hon. Friends on this side, and I believe, too, with equal force to hon. Gentlemen opposite, that the statement made by the Chancellor tonight on first study provides no argument at all against the proposals made by my hon. Friends, and that we should press at least certain of these Amendments to a Division.

My right hon. Friend was quite right when he said that, if the Chancellor has got this money to use to ease the problem of the textile and clothing industries, it would have been far better to raise the D level right along the line. I can well understand the Chancellor's difficulties, and I think we are all convinced that he is anxious, within the limitations of his views about revenue, to do something for Lancashire and Yorkshire. Our only regret is that he has approached it on so small a scale, because we had warned him several times already that the revenue which he is hoping to save will never materialise as long as the textile industry is depressed, as long as Income Tax and Profits Tax are affected in the textile areas, along with the payment of unemployment benefit. He would have done far better with that money to have altered the D level.

The burden of the arguments produced from this side of the Committee have been to show that, for the group which we have been discussing—classes A (1) to A (17) —the effect of the Chancellor's original proposal was to impose tax on a whole range of goods—roughly speaking, half the old Utility range—which were previously tax free. The Chancellor did not attempt to disguise from the Committee the limits of the new proposals. All that he has done is to reduce the rate of tax on a wide range of goods previously tax free and which now have to pay tax.

There is the case quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-East (Miss Bacon), in connection with a man's suit. Under the proposals at present before the Committee, the purchaser will pay 30s. in tax more than was being paid before the D scheme was introduced. If I understand the Chancellor's proposal, the rate of tax will now be 25 per cent. on that part of the cost of the garment which exceeds the D figure, instead of 33⅓ per cent. on the excess over the D figure.

In other words, in that particular case, the customer will now be paying, not 30s., but 7s. 6d. less—in other words, 22s. 6d. —on that garment. There is a saving of 7s. 6d. on that garment which the customer will welcome as far as it goes, and which the producers of these garments will also welcome as far as it goes, but the fact still remains that our arguments are still sound, that over the whole range of goods which were once tax free tax will now be charged.

The interesting thing is that the Chancellor's proposals really affect the buyer of expensive goods over and above the old Utility prices, because the fact is that, concerning a suit which under the D scheme costs 30s. more than the old Utility scheme price for a suit of comparable quality, although the buyer of that suit saves 7s. 6d., the buyer of a more expensive suit, on which the tax under the present proposals is 40s., will save, not 7s. 6d., but 10s., because the more expensive the suit the greater the absolute saving. The Chancellor is, on the whole, using the small amount of money he has available for improving the position of those buying the more expensive rather than the less expensive articles of clothing.

The last point I wish to make is that the right hon. Gentleman said that the announcement of the change in the rate from 33⅓ to 25 per cent. did not preclude individual decisions of particular D levels within the Fourth Schedule. We welcome that, and in the course of the next two days we shall have a considerable number of proposals to make to him about D levels, and we hope he is going to make concessions on a good many of them.

As far as groups 1–7 are concerned —group 1 is now before us—we understood him to say that he has no concessions whatever to offer at the present time. If that is so, it means that he has not in any way met the points made by my hon. Friends and myself in the course of this evening. I naturally recognise that the difficult point about lined and unlined overcoats and jackets is one he will want time to study, although I thought the trade had brought that to the Treasury as one of the worst anomalies in the whole D scheme. If I am wrong about that, I apologise to the Chancellor, and will certainly make the figures available.

Apart from his offer to consider individual anomalies and at some unspecified time in the future to alter them, he has offered us no changes in the D level on any of the items in groups 1–7. Therefore, my hon. and right hon. Friends on this side of the Committee obviously cannot accept that as a solution of the problem either of the clothing industry or of the consumer whose cost of living has been raised by the D scheme and whose raised cost of living will be lowered only to a very small proportion by the concession announced by the Chancellor tonight.

Mr. Horobin

I only wish to intervene for a couple of moments as a Lancashire Member who did not see his way to add his name to the Motion of my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn, West (Mr. Assheton), in favour of the complete abolition of the Purchase Tax. I refrained from doing so for the reasons which the Chancellor has made very plain, because I felt it would be giving an uncertain benefit to Lancashire at the risk of completely unbalancing the Budget.

I welcome the solution which the Chancellor has chosen. Had he chosen the suggestion which has just been put forward to the Committee, he would not only have landed us with an ever-increasingly savage tax on these textile goods which

are the only hope of Lancashire in the future, but he would have got us no nearer to our object, the ultimate abolition of this tax.

It seems to me that the great advantage of the Chancellor's solution is that this year he has reduced the tax from 33⅓ to 25 per cent., which is as much as he can see his way of doing. Next year, I hope, it will come down to 20 or 15 per cent., and that in the natural course of events we shall see the total abolition of this mischievous tax.

For those two reasons I believe the Chancellor has done Lancashire far more good by sticking to his guns and choosing this method than by following the advice of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, or even the seductions of some of those who sit on this side. I am glad to feel that, if there is a Division on this Amendment, hon. Members sitting behind him will think that the Chancellor has done a good service not only to Lancashire, but also to the country as a whole.

Question put, "That '6 10 0' stand part of the Schedule."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 275; Noes, 253.

Division No. 121.] AYES [10.0 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Bullock, Capt. M. Fell, A.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Bullus, wing Commander E. E Finlay, Graeme
Alport, C. J. M. Burden, F. F. A. Fisher, Nigel
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Butoher, H. W. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Fletcher, Walter (Bury)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Arbuthnot, John Carson, Hon. E. Fort, R.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Cary, Sir Robert Foster, John
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Channon, H. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Astor, Hon J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton) Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)
Astor, Hon W. W. (Bucks, Wycombe) Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell
Baker, P. A. D. Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Cole, Norman Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Banks, Col. C. Colegate, W. A. Garner-Evans, E. H
Barber, A. P. L Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Godber, J. B.
Baxter, A. B. Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Gower, H. R.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Cooper-Key, E. M. Graham, Sir Fergus
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Cranborne, Viscount Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Harden, J. R. E.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gespert) Crouch, R. F. Harris, Reader (Heston)
Birch, Nigel Crowder, John E. (Finchley) Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
Bishop, F. P. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield>
Black, C. W. Cuthbert, W N. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)
Boothby, R. J. G. Davidson, Viscountess Harvie-Watt, Sir George
Bowen, E. R. Deedes, W. F. Hay, John
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Digby, S. Wingfield Heald, Sir Lionel
Boyle, Sir Edward Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Heath, Edward
Braine, B. R. Donner, P. W. Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Doughty, C. J. A. Higgs, J. M. C.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Drayson, G. B. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Brooman-White, R. C. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Browne, Jack (Govan) Duthie, W. S. Hirst, Geoffrey
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon P. G. T. T Elliot, Rt. Hon. W E. Holland-Martin, C. J.
Bullard, D. G. Erroll, F. J. Hollis, M. C.
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Shepherd, William
Hope, Lord John Manningham Buller, Sir R. E Simon, J. E. S (Middlesbrough, W.)
Hopkinson, Henry Marlowe, A. A. H. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Marples, A E. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Horobin, I. M. Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Marshall, Sidney (Sutton) Smyth, Brig. J G (Norwood)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Maude, Angus Spearman, A. C. M.
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Maudling, R. Speir, R. M.
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Medlicott, Brig. F. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J. Molson, A. H. E. Stanley, Capt. Hon Richard
Hurd, A. R. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Stevens, G. P.
Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Hutchison, Lt.-Com Clark E'b'grh W.) Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Nabarro, G. D. N. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Nicholls, Harmar Storey, S.
Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Nield, Basil (Chester) Studholme, H. G.
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Sutcliffe, H.
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Nugent, G. R. H. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Joynsen-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Oakshott, H. D. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Kaberry, D. Odey, G. W. Teeling, W.
Keeling, Sir Edward O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.) Thomas, Rt. Hon J. P. L. (Hereford)
Kerr, H. W (Cambridge) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Lambert, Hon. G. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Lambton, Viscount Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Langford-Holt, J. A Osborne, C. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Partridge, E. Tilney, John
Leather, E. H. C. Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Turner, H. F. L.
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Perkins, W. R. D. Turton, R. H.
Legh, P. R (Petersfield) Peto, Brig. C. H. M Tweedsmuir, Lady
Lennox-Boyd, Rt Hon. A. T Peyton, J. W. W. Vane, W. M. F.
Lindsay, Martin Pickthorn, K. W. M. Vaughan-Morgan. J. K.
Linstead, H. N. Pilkington, Capt. R. A Vosper, D. F.
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Powell, J. Enoch Wade, D. W.
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.) Profumo, J. D. Walker-Smith, D C
Low, A. R. W. Raikes, H. V. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Rayner, Brig. R. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Remnant, Hon. P. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Renton, D. L. M. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
McAdden, S. J. Roberts, Peter (Heeley) Wellwood, W.
McCallum, Major D. Robertson, Sir David Williams, Rt Hon. Charles (Torquay)
McCorquo-dale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Robson-Brown, W. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Roper, Sir Harold Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
McKibbin, A. J. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Wills, G.
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Russell, R. S. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Maclean, Fitzroy Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Wood, Hon. R.
MacLeod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfietd, W.) Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur York, C.
MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D
Macmillan, Rt Hon. Harold (Bromley) Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Macpherson, Maj Niall (Dumfries) Scott, R. Donald Mr. Drewe and Mr. Redmayne
Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Acland, Sir Richard Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Deer, G.
Adams, Richard Broughton, Dr. A D. D Delargy, H. J.
Albu, A. H. Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Dodds, N. N.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Brown, Thomas (Ince) Donnelly, D. L.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Burke, W. A. Dugdale, Rt Hon John (W Bromwich)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Burton, Miss F. E. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Edeiman, M.
Awbery, S. S. Catlaghan, L. J. Edwards, John (Brighouse)
Bacon, Miss Alice Carmichael, J. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J. Champion, A. J. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)
Bartley, P. Chapman, W. D. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon F. J Chetwynd, G. R Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Benn, Wedgwood Clunie, J. Ewart, R.
Benson, G. Cocks, F. S. Fernyhough, E.
Beswick, F. Coldrick, W. Field, W. J.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A (Ebbw Vale) Collick, P. H Fienburgh, W.
Bing, G. H. C. Cook, T. F. Finch, H. J.
Blackburn, F. Corbet, Mrs. Freda Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Blenkinsop, A. Crosland, C. A. R Follick, M
Blyton, W. R. Cullen, Mrs. A Foot, M. M.
Boardman, H. Daines, P. Forman, J. C.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon A. G Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Bowden, H. W. Darling, George (Hillsborough) Freeman, John (Watford)
Bowles, F. G. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Freeman, Peter (Newport)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Davies, Harold (Leek) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon H. T. N.
Brockway, A. F. de Freitas, Geoffrey Gibson, C. W
Glanville, James McGovern, J. Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mclnnes, J. Shackleton, E. A. A.
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) McKay, John (Wallsend) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield) McLeavy, F. Short, E. W.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Grey, C. F. McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mainwaring, W. H. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Slater, J.
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mann, Mrs. Jean Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Hall, John (Gateshead, W.) Manuel, A. C. Sorensen, R. W.
Hamilton, W. W. Marquand, Rt. Hon H. A. Soskice, Rt. Hon Sir Frank
Hannan, W. Mayhew, C. P. Sparks, J. A.
Hardy, E. A. Messer, F. Steele, T.
Hargreaves, A. Mikardo, Ian Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Mitchison, G. R. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Hastings, S. Monslow, W Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Hayman, F. H. Moody, A. S. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Morley, R. Swingler, S. T.
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Sylvester, G. O.
Herbison, Miss M. Mort, D. L. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Hewitson, Capt. M Moyle, A. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Hobson, C. R. Mulley, F. W. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Holman, P. Murray, J. D. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Houghton, Douglas Noel, Harold (Bolsover) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W)
Hoy, J.H. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Hubbard, T. F. O'Brien, T. Thurtle, Ernest
Hudson, James (Eating, N.) Oldfield, W. H. Tomney, F.
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Oliver, G. H. Turner-Samuels, M.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Orbach, M. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Oswald, T. Viant, S, P.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Padley, W. E. Watkins, T. E.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paget, R. T. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Weitzman, D.
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Pannell, Charles Wells, William (Walsall)
Janner, B. Pargiter, G. A, West, D. G.
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Parker, J. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Jeger, George (Goole) Paton, J. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Jenkins, R. H (Stechford) Peart, T. F. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Johnson, James (Rugby) Plummer, Sir Leslie Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Porter, G. Wigg, George
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, T. W. (Merioneth) Proctor, W. T. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Keenan, W. Pryde, D. J. Williams, David (Neath)
Key, Rt Hon. C. W Pursey, Cmdr. H. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
King, Dr. H. M. Rankin, John Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Kinley, J. Reeves, J. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Reid, William (Camlachie) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Rhodes, H. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Richards, R. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Lewis, Arthur Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Wyatt, W. L.
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Yates, V. F.
Logan, D. G. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
MacColl, J. E. Ross, William
Mr. Pearson and Mr. Holmes.

Amendment proposed: In page 74, line 22, leave out "2 5 0," and insert "3 0 0."—[Mr. Gaitskell.]

Question put, "That '2 5 0' stand part of the Schedule."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 272; Noes, 252.

Division No. 122.] AYES [10.10 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Baxter, A. B. Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Beach, Maj. Hicks Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)
Alporl, C. J. M. Beamish, Maj. Tufton Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Brooman-White, R. C.
Amory, Healhceat (Tiverton) Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Browne, Jack (Govan)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon P. G. T.
Arbuthnot, John Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Bullard, D. G.
Athton, H. (Chelmsford) Birch, Nigel Bullock, Capt. M.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Bishop, F. P. Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton) Black, C. W. Burden, F. F. A.
Aster, Hen. W. W. (Bucks, Wycombe) Boothby, R. J. G. Butcher, H. W.
Baker, P. A. D. Bowen, E. R. Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Carr, Robert (Mitcham)
Banks, Col. C. Boyle, Sir Edward Carson, Hon. E.
Barber, A. P. L. Braine, B. R. Cary, Sir Robert
Channon, H. Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J. Peyton, J. W. W.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Hurd, A. R. Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Powell, J. Enoch
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Cole, Norman Hutchison, James (Scotstoun) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Colegate, W. A. Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Profumo, J. D.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Raikes, H. V.
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Jenkins, R. C. O. (Dulwich) Rayner, Brig. R.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Remnant, Hon. P.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Renton, D. L. M.
Cranborne, Viscount Jones, A. (Hall Green) Roberts, Peter (Heeley)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Robertson, Sir David
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Kaberry, D. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Crouch, R. F. Keeling, Sir Edward Robson-Brown, W.
Crowder, John E. (Finchley) Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Roper, Sir Harold
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Lambton, Viscount Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Cuthbert, W. N. Langford-Holt, J. A. Russell, R. S.
Davidson, Viscountess Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Deedes, W. F. Leather, E. H. C. Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Digby, S. Wingfield Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Sandys, Rt Hon. D.
Donaldson, Cmdr C. E. McA. Legh, P. R. (Petersfield) SchoReld, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Donner P. W. Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T Scott, R. Donald
Doughty, C. J. A. Lindsay, Martin Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Linstead, H. N. Shepherd, William
Drayson G. B. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Simmons, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W)
Duncan, Capt J. A. L. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Water
Duthie W. S. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Elliot Rt Hon W. E. Longden, Gilbert (Herts. S.W.) Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Erroll, F. J. Low, A. R. W. Smyth, Brig, J. G. (Norwood)
Fell, A. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Spearman, A. C. M.
Finlay, Graeme Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Speir, R.M.
Fisher, Nigel Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F McAdden, S. J. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Fletcher, Walter (Bury) McCallum, Major D. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Fletcher-Cooke C McCorquolale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Stevens, G. P.
Fort, R. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Foster, John Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) McKibbin, A. J. Stoddart-Scott, Col.M.
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Storey, S.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Maclean, Fitzroy Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) MacLeod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Garbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Studholme, H. G.
Garner-Evans, E. H. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Sutclifle, H.
Godber, J. B. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries) Taylor Charles (Eastbourne)
Gower, H. R. Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Graham, Sir Fergus Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Teeling, W.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Marlowe, A. A. H. Thomas, P. J.M. (Conway)
Harden, J. R. E. Marples, A. E. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Marshall, Douglas, (Bodmin) Thompson Lt.-Cdr. R (Croydon, W.)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Marshall, Sidney (Sutton) Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Maude, Angus Tilney, John
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Maudling, R. Turner, H. F. L.
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C Turton, R. H.
Harvie-Watt, Sir George Medlicott, Brig. F. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Heald, Sir Lionel Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Vane, W. M. F.
Heath, Edward Morrison, John (Salisbury) Vaughan-Morgan, J K
Henderson John (Cathcart) Mott-Radolyffe, C. E. Wade, D. W.
Higgs, J. M. C. Nabarro, G. D. N. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Nicholls, Harmar Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Nicholson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Ward, Hon. George (Worecester)
Hirst, Geoffrey Nield, Basil (Chester) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Holland-Martin, C. J. Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Hollis, M. C. Nugent, G. R. H. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Oakshott, H. D. Wellwood, W.
Hope, Lord John Odey, G. W. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Hopkinson, Henry O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.) Williams, Gerald (Tonhridge)
Hornsby-Smith, Mist M. P. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Horobin, I. M. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Wills, G.
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Osborne, C. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Partridge, E. Wood, Hon. Ft
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Perkins, W. R. D. York, C.
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Peto, Brig. C H. M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Drewe and Mr. Redmayne
Aeland, Sir Richard Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.
Adams, Richard Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Bartley, P.
Albu, A. H. Awbery, S. S. Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Bacon, Miss Alice Benn, Wedgwood
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Baird, J Benson. G.
Beswick, F. Hargreaves, A. Pargiter, G. A.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Parker, J.
Bing, G. H. C. Hastings, S. Paton, J.
Blackburn, F. Hayman, F. H. Peart, T. F.
Blenkinsop, A. Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Plummer, Sir Leslie
Blyton, W. R. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Porter, G.
Boardman, H. Herbison, Miss M. Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Hewitson, Capt. M Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W>
Bowden, H. W. Hobson, C. R. Proctor, W. T.
Bowles, F. G. Holman, P. Pryde, D. J.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Houghton, Douglas Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Brockway, A. F. Hoy, J. H. Rankin, John
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Hubbard, T. F. Reeves, J.
Brought, Dr. A. D. D. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Reid, William (Camlachie)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Rhodes, H.
Burke, W. A. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Richards, R.
Burton, Miss F. E. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Hynd, J. B. (Atteroliffe) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Callaghan, L. J. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Carmichael, J. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Ross, William
Champion, A. J. Janner, B. Royle, C.
Chapman, W. D. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Chetwynd, G. R. Jeger, George (Goole) Shackleton, E. A. A.
Clunie, J. Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E
Cocks, F. S. Johnson, James (Rugby) Short, E. W.
Coldrick, W. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Collick, P. H. Jones, David (Hartlepool) Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Cook, T. F. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Crosland, C. A. R. Keenan, W. Slater, J.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Daines, P. King, Dr. H. M. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Dalton, Rt. Hon, H Kinley, J. Sorensen, R. W.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Soskice, Rt. Hon Sir Frank
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Sparks, J. A.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Steele, T.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Deer, G. Lewis, Arthur Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Delargy, H. J. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Dodds, N. N. Logan, D. G. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E
Donnelly, D. L. MacColl, J. E. Swingler, S. T.
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) McGhee, H. G. Sylvester, G. O.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. McGovern, J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Edelman, M. Mclnnes, J. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Edwards, John (Brighouse) McKay, John (Wallsend) Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) McLeavy, F. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Thurtle, Ernest
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Mainwaring, W. H. Tomney, F.
Ewart, R. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Turner-Samuels, M
Fernyhough, E. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Field, W. J. Mann, Mrs. Jean Viant, S. P.
Fienburgh, W. Manuel, A. C. Watkins, T. E.
Finch, H. J. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A Webb, Rt. Hon. M (Bradford, C.)
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Mayhew, C. P. Weitzman, D.
Follick, M- Messer, F. Wells, William (Walsall)
Foot, M. M. Mikardo, Ian West, D. G.
Forman, J. C. Mitchison, G. R. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Monslow, W. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Freeman, John (Watford) Moody, A. S. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Morley, R. Whiteley, Rt Hon. W
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon, H. T. N. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Wigg, George
Gibson, C. W. Mort, D. L. Wilkins, W. A.
Glanville, James Moyle, A. Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mulley, F. W. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Murray, J. D. Williams, David (Neath)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon Arthur (Wakefield) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Grey, C. F. O'Brien, T. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Oldfield, W. H. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Oliver, G. H. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Orbach, M. Woodburn, Rt. Hon A.
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Oswald, T. Wyatt, W. L.
Hall Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Padley, W. E. Yates, V. F.
Hall, John (Gateshead, W.) Paget, R. T. Younger, Rt. Hon K
Hamilton, W W. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Hannan, W. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hardy, E. A Pannell, Charles Mr. Pearson and Mr. Holmes
Mr. Gaitskell

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

I rise with the familiar question: what are the Chancellor's intentions? I was going to say that they may very well be honourable and they may be serious, but even so we must know something more about them. How late does it involve us in sitting with him this evening? I draw his attention to the fact that we have made substantial progress on a very important part of the Bill, and he has made a very important statement which we should like to have more time to study. Some of us have given the Committee our immediate reactions, but many of my hon. Friends, who had been proposing to speak on the second group in the Schedule will have to do some hurried calculations if illustrations and examples are not to be wrong.

I am sure that the Chancellor will agree that in the circumstances it is fair and reasonable—and he is always fair and reasonable—that they should take time to make these calculations. It is very late to start arithmetic of that kind, and I hope that in the circumstances he may be willing for us to have an early evening tonight. We all know from his grim determination that we shall probably be late tomorrow night, and in anticipation of what is to come he may be willing to let us go home a little earlier tonight.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I am asked what my intentions are, and therefore I make a proposal. The proposal I make is that I think it would be legitimate for the Committee to consider the next group and finish it by the hour at which we are becoming accustomed to rise; and that will leave us free to start tomorrow with boots and shoes, which are an important aspect of the problem. Otherwise, it will only mean that we shall have to sit longer tomorrow night, and I am sure we do not want to stay all night if we can avoid it. The issues are becoming well-known, and I do not think it will be necessary to sit all tomorrow night if we get through the business expeditiously early tomorrow. We should make little more progress now but should not sit beyond the hour to which hon. Members are becoming accustomed.

If that is agreeable, I would suggest reaching a decision on the next group before we rise, or at any rate not sitting too late, and then saving that time on our next sitting. I would remind the Committee that the Motion we are taking tomorrow will be followed by a Clause, so I should think that soon after that Motion is moved tomorrow we could proceed with the rest of the Schedule, and therefore not be too late.

Mr. Gaitskell

The proposal is, like the curate's egg, good and bad in parts. I do not think we can possibly undertake to reach a decision within an hour on this important second group of Amendments. I know that my hon. Friends have a number of extremely important individual cases to raise with the Chancellor, and he was good enough to say that he would listen to what we had to say on this. But if he insists we will certainly proceed. I hope, however, he will agree that, provided we have had a good debate, as I am sure we shall have, even if we have not reached the point where we can come to a decision, we shall be able to adjourn at half-past eleven. In the hope that that is so, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Pannell

I beg to move, in page 74, line 32, to leave out "17 6," and to insert "£1 5 0."

We come now to deal with the second group, which is concerned largely with gentlemen's underwear. The same sort of criticism applies as to the last group. I think the Chancellor will appreciate that our amended D line did not take cognisance of the news which he has given to us.

The first item in this group has to do with shirts. I am informed that, in this category, this gave more dissatisfaction to the trade than anything else. I believe the Shirt, Collar and Tie Manufacturers' Federation have taken this up with the Treasury, and they say that the price gives considerable dissatisfaction to general dealers, because all types of shirts are lumped together for the purposes of the calculation.

Shirts of different fabrics are lumped together. For instance, there are wool shirts at 14s. 6d. a square yard and cotton shirts at 4s. a square yard; formal shirts, sports shirts, winter shirts and summer shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and short- sleeved shirts, all lumped together. The same argument applies to pyjamas.

The Chancellor regaled us with a story earlier, and I am reminded of the story of the Scottish clergyman who prayed for rain. When he left his church rain began to fall; it rained all the week; when he went to his church next Sunday and mounted the pulpit rain was still falling, and he said, "Lord, Lord. This is ridiculous." The same arguments apply also to pyjamas. Also in the Schedule, of course, are undervests, singlets, pants, trunks, drawers; and there is a 15 per cent. allowance for wool.

We suggest that the general category should be broken down into two style categories, which would be far simpler: Singlets and Trunks: Class A material. Undervests and pants. Singlets and Trunks: Class B material. Undervests and pants. This would remove the anomaly of large sizes and the question of cotton vests and pants that has caused discussion, and would take into consideration the question of "all wool" goods for which the existing D line does not cater. Many of my hon. Friends have, I know, had considerable constituency representations on these matters.

Men's combinations, I understand, now have very little place in the British market, but for some unknown reason they are exported to America. The only public reference to them over here is by Cyril Fletcher from time to time on the radio.

There are considerable objections to the D line throughout the whole of the category. The Chancellor said that he is asked to differentiate between various style categories and that he has all sorts of examples flung at him. But it is his Finance Bill and his Budget and, obviously, the Opposition must take him up on the points that are presented to them. After all, it is the Chancellor who brought the scheme before us.

It may be that, as one of my hon. Friends said, there is over-simplification. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take note particularly of the figure of 17s. 6d. for shirts. Anybody who compares the list with the various style categories in the trade will know the difficulties involved, and we earnestly hope that this matter will be one of the things to which the Chancellor is prepared to give most active consideration.

Mr. Erroll

I wish to enter a very brief plea for cotton condenser garments, which are very much used by workers in heavy manual occupations of an arduous or dirty character, such as civil engineering, steel-making and the like, where a person's underwear is subject to a good deal of heavy wear and tear and may also-become soiled in the process of the work.

The advantage of cotton condenser underwear is that it can be readily cleaned by being boiled and does not suffer in the same way as heavy woollen articles. It is popular, too, because it is so cheap. The Amendment in my name —in page 75, line 4, at the end, to insert "other than cotton condenser garments"—seeks to raise the D level on cotton condenser underwear, so that the articles may continue to be cheap, useful and popular.

Mr. Ian Winterbottom (Nottingham, Central)

It may be thought that I should declare an interest in the woollen underwear industry. Due to an accident of birth, I have a name which suggests a certain physiological disability. Whatever may have given the disability to one of my ancestors, I assure the Committee that I do not suffer from it, and, therefore, I do not need to declare an interest.

I am very glad to have an opportunity of following the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll), because the point which he has raised is one that I intended to put forward as a very typical example of the inability of the Chancellor to foresee the whole of the implications of the impact of the introduction of this new type of taxation. As a result of accepting the D scheme he is altering the whole tax structure of the country, and thus producing all kinds of unforeseen consequences.

The Chancellor has told us that if we can convince him that there is a genuine grievance or abuse he will consider altering the Schedule. I should like to bring to the notice of the Committee further details of the effect of the tax on men's cotton condenser shirts and pants. In the past these articles were free from any form of Purchase Tax, but they are now carrying a tax of two shillings a pair. That is objectionable for two reasons.

These clothes are as much a part of a man's kit as is his pick or shovel. A man doing heavy or dirty work must have clothing of this sort which he can wash and wear again, and this tax will raise the price of an essential piece of a working man's equipment to a price that the ordinary working man cannot afford. The automatic drop in demand is already making itself felt in the industry in Nottingham which is manufacturing nearly one million of these garments a year. The demand has already fallen to such an extent that more than 100 men have been dismissed from one factory which has been closed completely. This is a case which merits attention by the Chancellor.

Another point I should like to mention, and which I should have raised had we been going through the Schedule item by item, is item 16 in the Schedule which deals with combinations. That may seem a rather small or narrow item to try to amend. Combinations are old-fashioned garments surrounded by an aura of comedy. As it is an old-fashioned garment it tends to be worn by old-fashioned people, who will be unable to afford the cost of, to them, this necessary garment. I urge the Chancellor to consider this small item, and give some assistance to a hard-pressed section of the community.

Mr. Geoffrey Bing (Hornchurch)

I have not spoken in this debate until now, and only do so because, on looking around, I see that the Father of the House seems to have left before we came to discuss the one subject on which he should have addressed us. In the absence of all the Conservative Members for Northern Ireland, I should like to make a plea for that industry which is the heart and centre of Northern Ireland. The Chancellor ought to consider that part of the country from which he derives his title Unionist, for after the recent elections in his constituency he will only be able to call himself Unionist or Independent.

He ought to do something about this industry, which makes shirts, but it has been left to me to raise this crucial matter relating to Northern Ireland. In Londonderry there is a higher degree of unemployment than in any other town in the United Kingdom, and it seems to me that that is a point which the Chancellor ought to take into consideration. He really ought to do something for the shirt in- dustry. A tremendous business has been built up depending on this one single commodity alone. There are factories in Londonderry which depend entirely on shirt manufacture, and if the present position continues the dreadful slump in Northern Ireland will go on.

I am sorry it was left to me to make this plea, but owing to the unfortunate absence of the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Wellwood) I felt that, out of pure fellow-feeling, someone on this side of the Committee ought on his behalf to speak for his constituency.

Mr. H. Wilson

I would support my hon. Friends who pressed for higher D levels throughout the whole range of this group. I do not think any of us need detain the Committee for long, because many of the considerations are the same as those which we urged unsuccessfully when we were discussing the other group earlier.

Like my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) I think it would have been a very good thing if the Committee had had a little more time to consider the effect of the statement by the Chancellor so that we could have given detailed figures; because it will mean some changes in the figures which we may quote at this hour. It is clear that the announcement by the Chancellor of the reduction from 33⅓ per cent. to 25 per cent. in the rate of Purchase Tax on items in the group we are considering will not weaken the force of the argument which we urge that, roughly speaking, half the goods which were tax-free will now carry tax. The only difference is that as a result of the announcement they will carry 25 per cent. less tax than they would have done.

There are a number of serious anomalies in this group, as there were in the previous group. I am not aware of any anomaly of the kind I illustrated when we were discussing the previous group, arising from the fact that the difference between the D levels for two comparable articles of clothing was excessive. I do not know of any, but there may be some which my bon. Friends will be able to mention. But there are some very bad cases within this group resulting from the fact either that the D level has been capriciously fixed or from the fact that the grading is too wide and requires subdivisions.

After hearing the statement of the Chancellor as to the way in which the particular D levels were reached, I am more suspicious than ever of their accuracy as a basis for carrying on the great volume of wholesale and retail trade in this country. They were based on a very small sample carried out by the Social Survey. Sometimes scientists tell us that these samples are accurate, but we know they can be highly inaccurate, as in the case of the Gallup Poll figures for the 1948 Presidential election in the United States of America and in the case of the "Daily Express" Election figures. But I will not pursue that, because I should be out of order.

We have asked how these figures were arrived at, and we have been told they were reached on the basis of a survey covering some 1,500 people. That may explain why some of these figures seem to be so inappropriate. My hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell) seemed quite definite that shirts provide the worst anomaly in the whole of this group.

10.45 p.m.

I do not want to disagree with my hon. Friend, and I know that if I do disagree with him, the Tory Press will produce their usual headlines about a split in the Labour Party, but as it happens, I do not really agree with him. I think that the worst anomaly will be found in other items of men's underwear. Certainly, there are some difficulties about shirts. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) has stressed what we had not heard, but should have been told, about the effect on employment in Northern Ireland as the result of the depression in the shirt trade at the present time.

One can find serious consequences of the D scheme as it affects shirts, and the trade in general is very much concerned about the anomaly as between cotton or poplin or even linen shirts, on the one hand, and wool shirts, on the other, and I think that is one of the things to which the Chancellor referred when he talked about the possibility of concessions.

To some extent I disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West. I think that the problem of men's underwear is even more serious. In many sections of the trade, it is felt that this figure of 4s. for Class B material is based on some serious mistake or miscalculation. It may have been even a misprint, or it may have been that the figure of 1,500 people covering the whole country included only three or four people who bought the particular kind of underwear referred to in the Schedule.

I understand that the survey was taken at one moment of time in last summer or early autumn, and the calculation may have been based on the fact that this figure of 4s. might be appropriate for Interlock or cellular vests, many of which sell in the summer months, but, for most other of the cheapest versions of vests and so on, 5s. 6d. would have been appropriate.

I shall not repeat the point raised by the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll). It is a very sound point, and the arguments impressed the whole Committee. Without going into that argument, I am sure that the Committee will recognise the force of our proposal to divide this category of singlets, vests, pants and drawers into two groups, because, obviously, there is a difference between a short singlet or a pair of short trunks, on the one hand, and undervests, long pants and so on, on the other.

When we began talking about these things and put Amendments down, particularly as it had been noticed that they were supported by my hon. Friends the Members for Nottingham, Central (Mr. Ian Winterbottom) and Brightside (Mr. R. E. Winterbottom), a certain amount of amusement was caused. When one starts talking about combinations and long woollen underpants, one realises that one is getting into the realm of the music hall. I associate combinations with Arthur Askey rather than Cyril Fletcher, though both have made important contributions to human culture in that respect.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, Central said, this is a serious argument, and the high cost of these things is a very serious item, considering that some people, for one reason or another—perhaps custom, or habit or even illness—find it necessary to wear some of these more expensive garments. Many men, as they get older, wear long woollen underpants. There may be arguments whether they should or not, but I am not qualified to go into that.

Some people, particularly if they are suffering from rheumatism or a similar complaint, find it necessary to have these long woollen garments, and it is fantastic that the D level on an article of men's underwear should really be related to the short pants which more fortunate people are able to wear. I have seen some figures provided by a Co-operative Society, and even with the Chancellor's announcement tonight of a reduction from 33⅓ to 25 per cent., the tax paid on the more expensive items, such as long pants and long-sleeved vests, will represent a very heavy imposition. Of course, now we are much less happy about the Government's proposals for maintaining quality, one has to remember that this will lead to a serious increase in the cost of living among our people, and especially the old folk.

To illustrate the same point in another way—and these are figures which I worked out before the Chancellor's announcement tonight—I have here some retail figures which show that, if one takes a class A vest costing £1 11s. 0d., it will, under the Schedule at present before the Committee, cost £1 14s. 4d. That is as the Schedule stands; it may be that the Chancellor's announcement will have the effect of reducing that by ninepence or so, but the price will still be 2s. 6d. or thereabouts more than it was; and if the garment is class D material, its price goes from 10s. 4d. to 11s. 8d.

We are becoming familiar with the argument used by the Government Front Bench about the D scheme. Perhaps they are getting used to our argument, but I do most seriously suggest that the figures which have been quoted in respect of the group at present being considered by the Committee show that there will be real hardship as a result of these excessively low D levels which are to be found in this Schedule.

Once again, we on this side of the Committee appeal to the Front Bench opposite to bear in mind two very real considerations. One, the effect on industries producing these articles—both the makers of the textile materials, and the industries making them up into garments; and that is not taking into account the wholesale and retail distributive trades. Let us consider the serious unemployment about which a great deal has been said; and, secondly, let us remember the factor of the cost of living so far as the consumer is concerned. Despite the changes conceded tonight—and whatever is said about those proposals, we on this side consider them to be on the wrong lines—there will be a serious rise in the cost of living for by far the greater proportion of the British people.

Mr. Dodds

I thought that the Chancellor, in discussing these Amendments, rather poured cold water on the idea of concessions which would cost £17 million; but in the course of his speech he made the remarkable admission that the suggested Amendments would cost the Treasury between £30 million and £40 million. Bearing in mind the background to the Douglas Committee Report, which was based on the need to raise as much revenue as under the old Utility scheme, and taking it that the Chancellor had that fact in mind when he put forward these D levels, then he must be getting the same amount of tax.

That means he is putting this £30 million or £40 million of taxation on the lower income groups. In other words, if the Exchequer is to get the same amount of money—that is what the Government have been pleading all the time, that the Douglas Committee fixed the D level to yield the same amount of money—and if the granting of these concessions would cost £30 or £40 million, the Government admit that they have put on the lower income groups who formerly bought goods free of tax £30 or £40 million of extra taxation. That is consistent with the allegation about the Budget that it is a re-distribution of wealth, and we have had a clear indication of that from the Chancellor.

I now wish to deal with items 15 and 16. The point I wish to make is based on a criticism made by Co-operative societies all over England, Wales and Scotland. In every single case there has been criticism of the proposal to include class B of item 15 at 4s. per article. Class B deals with undervests, singlets, pants, trunks and drawers. They are cotton or rayon garments. Co-operative societies all over the country say that they could not manage to provide pants priced at 4s. for men except those with a thin athletic figure.

In the case of long pants, worn mainly by the elderly man, there is no differentiation between them and the short pants. Class B includes merino, interlock, art silk, rayon, and, of course, condenser cotton. There is such a wide variation that to make a D level of 4s. shows clearly the kind of bureaucratic mind which has worked out these proposals. The trade say that the 14s. level for wool and wool and cotton mixed is much below what it should be.

I defy any business man to say that trunks can be manufactured for 4s. for any other than the thin athletic figure. The young may get away with it, but, by and large, there are no goods in this category that can be free of Purchase Tax. As I said earlier, we are seeing something new in the way of taxation. It is a tax on the dimensions of the citizen. Here we have a tax which will bear most heavily on the elderly who wear long pants.

In item 16 are combinations, which are not worn by very many people in this country. From researches I have made I have discovered that very few shops stock them. In most cases, the shopkeeper sends the size to the manufacturer and has them specially made up. It is farcical to put into this category a D line which in the case of class B is 7s. and in the case of class A 25s. The Douglas Committee in paragraph 102 of its Report more or less covered this point: In certain respects, especially for the purcase of the rarer and more expensive items"— and this is one of the rarer— in any class of goods, the figures obtained by the social survey may be subject to considerable error. 11.0 p.m.

I submit that in these two classifications there is ample evidence to indicate that there has been an error. But tonight we have had the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury stonewalling on every item, and they have not yet had the courage to admit that we have instanced one or more items in which it is obvious that a mistake has been made. Is it not possible that before we part with the Schedule there should be an admission that there has been a mistake in some of these D levels?

Earlier the Chancellor said that he has given what he could afford and that he will sympathetically look at some of the other items. I wonder if he had forgotten, when he got up, his interest in outsizes. I am not sure whether his absence while we were talking about out-sizes was deliberate, because he has a conscience, I believe. He has made it clear that he would look sympathetically on the question of outsizes, yet when we were discussing the point he was out the whole time, until after the Division.

Mr. R. A. Butler

May I express my sincere regrets? Unfortunately I have a great number of duties I have to transact elsewhere, and although I try to be here there are a few moments when I am engaged by problems outside.

Mr. Dodds

I am much relieved to hear that the fact that the right hon. Gentleman was not present during that important part of our proceedings does not mean in any way that he has lost his sympathy for outsize men and women. On that note of understanding, I shall leave the really hard things I wanted to say, hoping that in return for my generosity the right hon. Gentleman will in turn be generous towards some of the items I have mentioned.

Mr. Lee

Contained in this group are a number of items of clothing that are required only under working conditions—overalls, boiler suits, and so on. I should have thought that here the Chancellor would take account of the incidence of replacement of such garments. Men wearing these garments cannot hope to get a long life out of them. The hard-wearing nature of the work the wearer does should have been one of the considerations, since replacement will mean high cost.

I know that the right hon. Gentleman is concerned about the wage advances now being asked for. This question is most germane to that matter. If it can be argued, as it can be forcibly argued, that he is not treating this type of apparel in a special category, then the trade unions are fortified in asking for higher pay in order to get consideration for this type of point.

I was rather distressed when the right hon. Gentleman said that he accepted the median point argument. I thought he threw overboard completely the arguments which hon. Friends of mine and, indeed, his, have addressed to him for so long in regard to textiles—that in times of depression we should be prepared to consider purchasing power rather than to keep to a classical formula of mopping up purchasing power during an inflation.

If, in the years to come—if the right hon. Gentleman is in office that long, which I doubt—he adheres to the fixed attitude of mind which he displayed when he spoke a little while ago, that the only reason shirts exist is so that he can get some form of revenue out of them, we can have no hope that his fiscal policy will take cognisance of the position in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and other places which are now in the midst of a depression, and be used to correct and improve their economic atmosphere.

It was because I had in mind considerations of that sort that I deplored the absence of anybody representing the Board of Trade. I am not trying to make party points on this question; but it is most essential that the Chancellor should have the assistance of the Ministers of the Board of Trade when we are discussing such things as textiles and clothing, in which the Board of Trade should be specialising. The right hon. Gentleman knows that many of the deputations from Lancashire have discussed these vital matters with either the President or his officials at the Board of Trade, and it seems to us most peculiar that we should suddenly pass into a world in which the Board of Trade, apparently, takes not the slightest interest in those basic problems of clothing and textiles which, in the ordinary run of events, one would have thought to be within its field.

I am not saying for one moment that the right hon. Gentleman and the Financial Secretary are not aware of the problem; I know they are; but when all is said and done it is not within their field to discuss different values to be attached to different articles of wear. As I see it, their job is to look at the global taxation levels which they can obtain.

I should have thought that many of the arguments which have been addressed to the Committee by my hon. and right hon. Friends have been arguments which show that in certain types of product there is a distinct case for lessening the incidence of taxation. I hope that in future we can have the presence of the President of the Board of Trade or his junior Ministers in order that we can put to them individual cases.

I do not want to particularise on the differences in the D levels. The changes announced by the Chancellor are very welcome; and I shall not attempt to deploy arguments I should otherwise have liked to address to the Committee because I do not pretend that I can be accurate in my figures when taking those alterations into account.

I hope that instead of having a fixed conception and merely setting a D line according to how much money it is going to yield—which, incidentally, can be a very misleading argument, because if the depression in textiles continues he will not get anything like the yield for which he is budgeting—the Chancellor will see the necessity to deploy this economic argument in order to stimulate the sale of those things which are not selling well at the present time.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

We have had a good many suggestions on a good many aspects of this subject. The hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell), who moved the Amendment, criticised the arrangement in the Schedule on the grounds that it was wrong for shirts, generally, to be taken together. That is a criticism, which probably goes a good deal wide of this Amendment, although it is clearly relevant to it.

We have sought throughout these Schedules to achieve a fairly high degree of simplicity and workability in the scheme by not having too many separate categories. It is always arguable that we have gone too far, as the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Dodds) says. It is equally arguable that we have carried complexity too far. It is really a matter of judgment whether we have found the median point in this connection.

What is important to bear in mind is that, generally in the case of such items as shirts, the level of taxation involved is not very serious. I can tell the Committee the actual amounts involved with respect to one or two of the articles we have been discussing, particularly in the light of the concessions, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced about an hour ago on the subject of rates. Now, thanks to that adjustment of the tax burden, a poplin shirt with two collars, in the case of which, I understand, the popular retail price range runs from 18s. 0d. to 35s. 0d., now bears no tax at all at the bottom end of the range, the tax rising to Is. 6d. at the top. A drill shirt, retailing at between 16s. 0d. and £1, bears no tax.

Mr. Lee

Is the hon. Gentleman not quoting wholesale prices?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No. The D scheme relates to the wholesale price, but the prices I have given are the retail prices.

Mr. W. A. Burke (Burnley)

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us the address at which we can get poplin shirts at 18s. 0d.?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It would be contrary to precedent and, I think, to propriety, if I were to use this Box as an advertising agency for any retail establishment. I am advised that this is the popular retail price range for this particular type of article.

In a third case, an athletic vest, retailing at 4s. 0d. to 7s. 0d., the tax runs from nothing to 4d. Therefore, we are concerned, not with a very heavy incidence of taxation throughout this range, but with an incidence of taxation, which has been reduced by 25 per cent. as the result of the announcement which my right hon. Friend made today.

That is material from the point of view that if one is imposing a very heavy burden of taxation, it is arguable that one should produce, if necessary, an elaborate administrative system to make certain that its incidence falls with mathematical exactitude and a considerable decree of precision. Where one is dealing with shirts it is unnecessary, and it would be wrong, to produce an elaborate system, expensive and difficult to administer.

My hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) and the hon. Member for Nottingham, Central (Mr. Ian Winterbottom), both referred to cotton condenser garments. I have a good deal of sympathy with what both of them said. It was implicit, and indeed, explicit, in the Douglas Committee's recommendations that one would have, in substance, two sets of material —wool and similar fibres on the one hand, and cotton and similar fibres on the other.

11.15 p.m.

We really are going to make a very big breach in the Douglas recommendations and in the workability of the scheme if we create a new material category in favour of this material. There is a good deal to be said—and both hon. Gentlemen said it—for the special claims of a fabric which does play a very useful part and is of great advantage to many in industry, but none the less, and on balance, I do not think it right to create a special category to deal with it.

The right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) referred—as he himself said—very largely to matters which are in general controversy between the two sides of the Committee. He reiterated the general view which he and his hon. Friends hold on the general principle as to where the D levels should be fixed, and he expressed his belief that they should be fixed at or above the old Utility level. I know he will not think me discourteous if I do not enter for the fifth or sixth time the general debate.

I will, however, join issue with him over his contention about the levels being capriciously fixed. They were fixed as a result of a Social Survey investigation carried out by the perfectly impartial people in the Survey who served the late Government, as they serve this, with a very high sense of duty and a high level of efficiency. It is not so long ago that I had to contend with a considerable degree of criticism from the other side of the Committee because we had made some trifling reduction in the size of the Survey. The hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) will recall the occasion. I do not think it is quite fair to describe the results of the Survey in the way the right hon. Gentleman did. The specimen may not be mathematically accurate but that it is substantially accurate for working purposes we would not care to dispute.

Mr. H. Wilson

Of course none of us are impugning either the scientific ability or integrity of the members of the Survey. They have done a remarkable job over the last eight or 10 years in many inquiries which have been useful to the Governments of more than one party. But I would like to ask the hon. Gentleman whether he or the Chancellor has been into the question for themselves. Have they worked out whether the sample was big enough because this is a matter of great importance to individual families? Could the hon. Gentleman tell the Committee that, for he is basing all his arguments on the median balance and on the assumption that these figures give the right median figures?

Take any one of the items we are discussing—men's underpants, singlets, vests —how many of these were bought by the whole of the group covered by the Social Survey in this particular inquiry? Could he also tell the Committee, because the method of arriving at these figures is of fundamental importance, what discussions or consultations there were with the trades and industries concerned on the productive and distributive sides before the D figures were fixed by the Government?

We know all about the theoretical method, but how complete and large was the sample in respect of underpants, pyjamas, combinations or whatever it might be. If there were no consultations with trade and industry why is the Financial Secretary asking the Committee to agree to these capricious figures?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The right hon. Gentleman will not expect me to detail the activities of the Social Survey on each of the very large number of articles in the Schedule—

Mr. H. Wilson

Give any one of them.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

—because he knows perfectly well, from his experience at the Board of Trade, that that is not how the Social Survey works. The right hon. Gentleman has probably had better opportunities for knowing how the Social Survey works than have most hon. and right hon. Members. He knows perfectly well that it does not operate by reporting how many pairs of pants it has counted. It operates by carrying out, with its own trained investigators, with its own, by now, fairly well practised technique, the right method for assessing what it is told to assess; and it would not take matters any further if I were able, which I am not, to tell the Committee how many pairs of pants or anything else were counted by the Social Survey.

As regards the other point, the right hon. Gentleman knows equally well the limitations imposed by the necessity for Budget secrecy. He knows, as does the right hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), that in the preparation of a Budget it is neither possible, wise, nor in accordance with custom to disclose in advance matters that are material to the Budget.

But the result has now been available for some weeks. There has been the fullest opportunity for criticism or discussion, and the right hon. Gentleman's ipse dixit that he thinks these figures are wrong is not necessarily a contradiction of the skilled work that went to their production. But the figures are here for discussion, and it is a legitimate matter for hon. or right hon. Members to express their views on them.

What I am concerned to do tonight is to make it clear to the Committee the basis on which we are acting, the perfectly clear, well-established, well-known procedure by which the figures were ascertained. That is what the Committee, rightly, will concern itself with in our discussions, both on the Amendment and, because, as the right hon. Gentleman appreciates, the issue goes wide, all through the Schedule. The same point has been raised on previous Amendments, and will, no doubt, be raised on subsequent ones. But the hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Lee)—

Mr. Dodds


Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The hon. Member had an opportunity to make a speech. I am trying to reply to his hon. Friend the Member for Newton. When I have done that, I will gladly give way.

The hon. Member for Newton launched his attack on the principle of the median point. He made clear, as has been made clear from his side of the Committee on a number of occasions, that he did not agree with the principle of the median point. I should not assist either the hon. Member or the Committee if I were to give once again the reasons why we think, and why the Douglas Committee thought, that that was a reasonable basis on which to impose this tax, except to say that the hon. Member always puts his case so persuasively that I thought it would be discourteous not to mention it. Does the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Dodds) wish to intervene?

Mr. Dodds

My right hon. Friend tried to press the point so that we should get some information as to how these figures were arrived at. We have been told how the survey was taken and how many people were employed; but who, for instance, fixed in item 15, class B, under-vests, singlets and pants at 4s. per article? Was it the people in the Central Office of Information? Was it the Treasury, the Board of Trade, or who was it, because the people in the business, who know something about prices, cannot understand this figure? It would help us if we were told who fixed the 4s.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I have told the Committee, as indeed the Chancellor did on a previous Amendment, the precise

manner by which these figures were reached. I do not think I shall help the hon. Gentleman, and indeed I think I shall stand in danger of your censure, Sir Charles, on the grounds of tedious repetition, if I repeat it now. They were reached by the machinery of the Social Survey, acting as has already been described to the Committee. That is how the figure, together with the large mass of other figures, was reached, and I hope that will make it clear to the hon. Gentleman.

Question put, "That '17 6' stand part of the Schedule."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 255; Noes, 234.

Division No. 123.] AYES [11.35 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Cuthbert, W. N. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)
Allan, R. A (Paddington, S.) Davidson, Viscountess Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)
Alport, C. J. M. Deedes, W. F. Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Digby, S. Wingfield Hurd. A. R.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Donner, P. W. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Arbuthnot, John Doughty, C. J. A. Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R, (Blackburn, W.) Drayson, G. B. Hylton-Foster, H. B. H
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton) Drewe, C. Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)
Astor, Hon. W. W (Bucks, Wycombe) Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Baker, P. A. D. Duthie, W. S. Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E Jones, A. (Hall Green)
Banks, Col. C. Erroll, F. J. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.
Barber, A. P. L Fell, A. Kaberry, D.
Baxter, A. B. Finlay, Graeme Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)
Beach, Maj. Hicks Fisher, Nigel Lambton, Viscount
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F Langford-Holt, J. A
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Fletcher-Cooke, C. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Fort, R. Leather, E. H. C.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Foster, John Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Birch, Nigel Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)
Bishop, F. P, Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.
Black, C. W. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Lindsay, Martin
Boothby, R. J. G. Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Linstead, H. N.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Lloyd Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Boyle, Sir Edward Garner-Evans, E. H. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
Braine, B. R. Godber, J. B. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Gower, H. R. Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W) Graham, Sir Fergus Low, A. R. W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Grimond, J. Lucas. Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Brooman-White, R. C. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Browne, Jack (Govan) Harden, J. R. E. McCallum, Major D.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Bullard, D. G. Harris, Reader (Heston) Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)
Bullock, Capt. M. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Burden, F. F. A. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield) McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Maclean, Fitzroy
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Harvie-Watt, Sir George MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)
Cary, Sir Robert Hay, John MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Channon, H Heald, Sir Lionel Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Heath, Edward Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Henderson, John (Cathcart) Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Cole, Norman Higgs, J. M. C. Manningham-Buller,Sir R. E.
Colegate, W. A. Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Marlowe, A. A. H.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Marples, A. E.
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hirst, Geoffrey Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Holland-Martin, C. J. Maude, Angus
Cranborne, Viscount Hollis, M. C. Maudling, R.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F C Hope, Lord John Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hopkinson, Henry Medlicott, Brig. F.
Crouch, R. F. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Molson, A. H. E.
Crowder, John E. (Finchley) Horobin, I. M. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Mott-Radolyffe, C. E Roper, Sir Harold Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Nabarro, G. D. N. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Nicholls, Harmar Russell, R. S. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Nicholson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Nield, Basil (Chester) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Tilney, John
Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W (Rochdale) Turner, H. F. L.
Nugent, G. R. H. Scott, R. Donald Turton, R. H.
Odey, G. W. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Tweedsmuir, Lady
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.) Shepherd, William Vane, W. M. F.
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Vesper, D. F.
Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Osborne, C. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Partridge, E. Spearman, A. C. M. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Perkins, W. R. D. Speir R. M. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Spence, H. R.(Aberdeenshire, W.) Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Peyton, J. W. W. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Stevens, G. P. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Powell, J. Enoch Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Prior-Palmer, Brig O. L. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Profumo, J. D. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Raikes, H. V. Storey, S. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Redmayne, M. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) Wills, G.
Remnant, Hon. P. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Renton, D. L. M. Studholme, H. G. Wood, Hon. R.
Roberts, Peter (Heeley) Sutcliffe, H.
Robertson, Sir David Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.) Mr. Butcher and Mr. Oakshott.
Robson-Brown, W. Teeling, W.
Acland, Sir Richard Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Adams, Richard Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Albu, A. H. Edelman, M. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Edwards, John (Brighouse) Janner, B
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Jeger, George (Goole)
Awbery, S. S. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)
Bacon, Miss Alice Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Johnson, James (Rugby)
Baird, J. Ewart, R. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Fernyhough, E. Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Benn, Wedgwood Field, W. J. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
Benson, G. Fienburgh, W. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Beswick, F Finch, H. J. Keenan, W.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) King, Dr. H. M.
Bing, G. H. C. Follick, M. Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Blackburn, F. Foot, M. M. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
BlenkHisop, A. Forman, J. C. Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Blyton, W. R. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Boardman, H. Freeman, John (Watford) Lewis, Arthur
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Logan, D. G.
Bowden, H. W. Gibson, C. W. MacCell, J. E.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Glanville, James McGhee, H. G.
Brookway, A. F. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. McGovern, J.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Mclnnes, J.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefield) McKay, John (Wallsend)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Grey, C. F. McLeavy, F.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Burke, W. A. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Burton, Miss F. E. Griffiths, William (Exchange) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mainwaring, W. H.
Callaghan, L. J. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Carmichael, J. Hall, John (Gateshead, W.) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E)
Champion, A. J. Hamilton, W W Mann, Mrs. Jean
Chapman, W. D. Hannan, W. Manuel, A. C.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hardy, E. A Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Clunie, J. Hargreaves, A Mayhew, C. P.
Cocks, F. S. Hastings, S. Mitchison, G. R
Coldrick, W. Hayman, F. H. Monslow, W.
Collick, P. H. Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Moody, A. S.
Cook, T. F. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Morley, R.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Herbison, Miss M. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Crosland, C. A. R. Hewitson, Capt. M. Mort, D. L.
Cullen, Mrs. A Hobson, C. R. Moyle, A.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Holman, P. Mulley, F. W.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Houghton, Douglas Murray, J. D.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Hoy, J. H. Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hubbard, T. F Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J
de Freitas, Geoffrey Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) O'Brien, T.
Deer, G. Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Oldneld, W. H.
Delargy, H. J. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Oliver, G. H.
Dodds, N. N. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Orbach, M.
Donnelly, D. L. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Oswald, T.
Padley, W. E. Shackleton, E. A. A. Tomney, F.
Paget, R. T. Short, E. W. Turner-Samuels, M.
Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Shurmer, P. L. E. Ungoed-Thomas. Sir Lynn
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Watkins, T. E.
Pannell, Charles Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Weitzman, D.
Pargiter, G A. Simmons, C. J, (Brierley Hill) Wells, William (Walsall)
Parker, J. Slater, J. West, D. G.
Pearson, A. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Peart, T. F. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Plummer, Sir Leslie Snow, J. W. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Porter, G. Sorensen, R. W. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Soskice, Rt. Hon Sir Frank Wigg, George
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Sparks, J. A. Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Proctor, W. T. Steele, T. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Pryde, D. J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Williams, David (Neath)
Pursey, Cmdr. H. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Rankin, John Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Reeves, J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Swingler, S. T. Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Reid, William (Camlachie) Sylvester, G. O. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Rhodes, H. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Taylor, John (West Lothian) Wyatt, W. L.
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth) Yates, V. F.
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Thomas, David (Aberdare) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Ross, William Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Royle, C. Thomas, Ivor (Wrekin) Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Horace Holmes.
Schofield, S. (Barnsley) Thurtle, Ernest

Question put, and agreed to.

The Chairman

No Amendments on Page 963 are selected, so we now proceed to those dealing with boots and shoes.

Mr. R. A. Butler

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

should like to give the Committee knowledge of what is likely to be on the Order Paper tomorrow. Besides the Ways and Means Resolution, to which I referred earlier, or rather as part of that Resolution, there will be reference to a reduction of Purchase Tax on fur gloves. The reason is that it is part of the money part of the Ways and Means Resolution. Hon. Members will be able to study it in the morning and form their own conclusions.

Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.