§ Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 84 (Money Committees).—[Queen's Recommendation signified.]
§ [Sir CHARLES MACANDREW in the Chair]
§ 10.12 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I beg to move,That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to require, amongst other things, the British Transport Commission to dispose of the property held by them for the purposes of the part of their undertaking which is carried on through the Road Haulage Executive, it is expedient to authorise the payment—I am glad to say that the Transport Bill, the Second Reading of which has just been passed by such a substantial majority, imposes on the Exchequer no charges of any great substance. If hon. Members will look at pages 4 and 5 of the Explanatory and Financial Memorandum to the Bill, they will see there are only two parts of the Bill which are of any substantial financial consequence to the Treasury.
- (a) out of moneys provided by Parliament—
- (i) of any increase in the sums payable out of moneys provided by Parliament under section twenty-four of the Vehicles (Excise) Act, 1949, which is attributable to the institution of a transport levy treated for the purpose of collection and other connected purposes as if it were part of the excise duties under the Vehicles (Excise) Act, 1949;
- (ii) of sums estimated to be equal to the total amounts or additional amounts which, if the said excise duties had been chargeable in respect of Crown vehicles, would have been payable by way of the said transport levy under the said Act of the present Session in respect of vehicles used for the purposes of Government departments;
- (iii) of temporary advances to any transport fund provided for by the said Act of the present Session not exceeding in all fifty thousand pounds;
- (iv) of any increase in sums payable out of moneys provided by Parliament which is attributable to amendments of section six of the Cheap Trains Act, 1883;
- (v) of any increase in the sums payable out of moneys provided by Parliament under subsection (4) of section one hundred and seven of the Transport Act,
1720 1947, which is attributable to enabling persons to be appointed to act in the place of absent members of the Transport Arbitration Tribunal;
- (vi) of any administrative expenses incurred by the Minister of Transport in the execution of the said Act of the present Session (including any charges and expenses of licensing authorities and other persons incurred in or by reason of the execution thereof which are directed under subsection (3) of section twenty-two of the Road and Rail Traffic Act, 1933, to be paid as expenses of the roads department of the Ministry of Transport); and
- (vii) of fees and allowances to referees and members of boards of referees appointed by the Minister of Labour and National Service under the provisions of the said Act of the present Session relating to pension rights of and compensation to officers and servants, and of allowances to persons giving evidence before any such referee or board;
- (b) out of the Consolidated Fund, of any additional sums required by the Treasury for fulfilling any guarantee of British transport stock or of any temporary loan raised by the said Commission by reason of provisions of the said Act of the present Session—
- (i) substituting, for the existing limits on temporary borrowing by the Commission and on borrowing by the issue of transport stock otherwise than for the purposes specified in paragraphs (b) and (d) of subsection (2) of section eighty-eight of the Transport Act, 1947, a single limit of two hundred and seventy-five million pounds on the aggregate of the amounts outstanding in respect of the principal of any British transport stock issued otherwise than for the purposes specified in the said paragraph (d) or in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section eighty-nine of the Transport Act, 1947, and in respect of any temporary loans raised by the said Commission;
- (ii) allowing the said Commission to borrow in excess of the said limit for the purpose of redeeming any British transport stock which they are required or entitled to redeem or of repaying any money temporarily borrowed by them;
- (c) into the Exchequer—
- (i) of repayments from the Transport Fund of the temporary advances referred to in sub-paragraph (iii) of paragraph (a) of this resolution; and
- (ii) of any increase in the sums falling to be paid into the Exchequer under subsection
1721 (2) of section one hundred and twenty-three of the Transport Act, 1947, which is attributable to any provision of the said Act of the present Session.
I see that there are various Amendments on the Paper and I shall have to devote some argument to some of the points raised on those Amendments, but I can say, broadly, by way of introduction, that there are only two substantial financial points that arise—contributions to the Transport Fund by Government Departments towards payment of Part I as it used to be called or now as it is called, the levy.
The Government Departments other than the Service Departments, which do not generally engage in commercial activities, are to pay their proper contribution to the levy. At the moment, as long as the levy remains at 13s. 6d. the cost to Government Departments will be about £112,000 a year. It is our hope that a successful selling back to private enterprise will lead to a speedy termination of the need for the levy at all.
The second major financial consequence to which I ought to draw attention is that it may be necessary, during the early stages of the Transport Fund, for there to be a payment from the Treasury to the Fund to meet any expenses to which the Fund may be subject before the levy is raised. The expenses of the Fund, which would include, for example, the current costs of the Disposals Board, may have to be met before the money is actually raised. It will only be a matter of months. We all hope that it will have a very short life. The levy will first be imposed on 1st January, 1954. Repayments will certainly be made early in 1954. That is the only other substantial charge. It is relatively small, but it is still of some importance.
§ 10.17 p.m.
§ Mr. A. C. Manuel (Central Ayrshire)
I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman questions arising from the imposition of the levy. As I understand, every vehicle over one ton unladen weight has to pay 13s. 6d. for every quarter ton of that unladen weight. What effect will the levy have on the various sections of the community who own vehicles? What will the effect be upon agricultural interests? In recent years there has been a great deal of mechanisation in agriculture, and many farmers own a large number of lorries. They own tractors which are frequently used beyond the farm and are equipped with trailers.
What type of licence will the tractor need when it gets on to the public roads? Is it a C licence, when it is used for conveying farm produce to the nearest railway station and when it returns to the farm carrying coal or other necessities for the farmers and his workers? Do these agricultural lorries and tractors have to pay the levy? I fear that the imposition of the levy on our mechanised agricultural community will be very heavy. If the Minister can tell me that the farmers who operate lorries and tractors equipped with trailer equipment will not have to pay it, I want to know how he has decided that the lorry operated by the farmer outside the farm is escaping the net spread in this Bill.
As I understand, 600,000 vehicles belonging to hauliers will be asked to contribute to this levy. The large proportion of these people will be gaining nothing from the Act which will emanate from this Bill. As there are only 40,000 vehicles to be sold, even if they are all sold, I am concerned that the people buying those vehicles are the only ones who will gain anything from the sale whereas the levy will be spread over a much wider field. Already, my mail is very heavy with communications from my constituents, mostly friends of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who are objecting strenuously to this levy. They say they will gain nothing from the sale of the vehicles and they want to know why the levy is being imposed upon them.
The Minister explained that the levy will count for relief for Income Tax and Profits Tax exemptions, but he—
§ The Chairman
Order. The hon. Gentleman is getting beyond the Money 1723 Resolution. The House has agreed to the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ Mr. Manuel
I am sorry, Sir Charles. I was dealing with the 13s. 6d. per quarter ton of unladen weight which is the levy to be paid, and bound up with that in the Money Resolution is the argument that they will be relieved insofar as Income Tax and Profits Tax assessment is concerned.
§ Mr. Manuel
If I might ask for your guidance, Sir Charles, my point is that they will be relieved of this payment when it comes to Income Tax and Profits Tax assessment, and therefore, I thought that I was in order. Though the levy is to be paid, at the end of the day it is the transport user who will pay it through dearer transport and dearer freight rates either by road or rail. I hope that the Minister can give an assurance that our agriculture, especially in Scotland, will not be affected insofar as agricultural vehicles using our public roads do not have this added oncost.
I am surprised at the treachery to Scotland shown by certain people associated with this Bill. The Minister is a Scot. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Home Secretary is a Scot—
§ The Chairman
It is not a question of sympathy; it is a question of keeping within the rules of order.
§ Mr. Manuel
If I may be allowed, Sir Charles, I am talking about the levy, which is what we are discussing. As I understand, many of the people responsible for the Bill and the levy are Scotsmen, and I consider this to be treachery to Scotland so far as the public interest is concerned, as big a treachery as was the Treaty of Union of 1707. I want to try to keep within the rules of Order. I recognise that you, Sir Charles, are in a peculiarly difficult position. I am speaking for you. You are one of my constituents and, incidentally, I am one of yours.
§ Mr. Manuel
So far as concerns the levy being imposed on 600,000 vehicles and only 40,000 vehicles being available for sale how can the right hon. Gentleman justify that burden? Will he also say how it will apply to vehicles owned and operated by the agricultural community? Can the Minister give us any information before we pass from the Money Resolution?
§ 10.26 p.m.
§ Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)
I want to ask some general questions about the Money Resolution. The Amendments were put down by my right hon. and hon. Friends largely to get from the Minister the information which so far has been singularly lacking. I can best illustrate my meaning by reminding the right hon. Gentleman that it was from the benches opposite that the hon. Baronet the. Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn), with all his experience in these matters, said he believed that the Bill would be extremely expensive to the Treasury. We are now asked to consider a Money Resolution on the plea that was made in the course of the debate on the Bill itself that it is only a little one.
The Resolution may in form be a little one, but I think the Minister will agree that the first three provisions in the Resolution raise the question of the sufficiency of the Transport Fund for the purposes for which it is intended. The first of those provisions relates to the expenses of local authorities in collecting the fund; the next to contributions in respect of what I may call Crown vehicles; and the third one relates to what in colloquial language I may call the "float" put up by the Treasury to keep the fund going until some money comes into it.
It is, surely, pertinent to inquire whether that float is sufficient. Incidentally, it is pertinent to inquire what is the amount that is estimated to be the expenses of collection by the local authorities. I am well aware that in the Financial Memorandum there is an observation that these expenses cannot be estimated, but I venture to think that the Minister can do a little better than that. The reason that seems to prevent there being an estimate is his singular 1725 silence on the levy that goes into the Transport Fund and the payments that come out of it.
As regards inquiring into the sufficiency of the float for the purpose of keeping the Transport Fund going, I begin with the levy. So far as I am aware, the only information we have had about the main purpose of the levy—the provision for compensation in respect of what I call the loss of goodwill—is the figure of £33 million that was given by the Home Secretary, not for the first time, in replying to the debate today.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Is it not a fact, Sir Charles, that in Committee on this stage of the Money Resolution, the constitutional Prerogative reserved to the Crown for the raising of any charge on the people would prevent a discussion now as to whether there ought not to be a greater amount of money paid into the fund than the Bill provides? [HON. MEMBERS: "Gag."] No—I am quite prepared to stay here as long as the House desires. I only want to know, because it will have an effect on the pattern of my reply.
§ Mr. Mitchison
May I make a very short statement? What the right hon. Gentleman said may be the case, but I submit that it is open to this Committee to withdraw the provision of a float altogether, for any reason—and the reason may be that they regard the float as insufficient. What I am discussing at the moment is whether the float is sufficient or insufficient in order that the Committee may decide whether they shall withdraw altogether a provision which they may regard as nugatory, derisory and, in all the circumstances, ridiculous.
§ The Chairman
As I have already said, all we are dealing with now is the authorisation of payments.
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)
On a point of order. While it is always understood that it is out of order for anyone, except from the Treasury Bench, to move a Motion or an Amendment or a Bill which involves expenditure of public money, that has surely never been extended to mean that in argument, without such Motion or Amendment or Bill, it is not open to any hon. Member to say at any time that the Government ought to be spending more money on some object than, in fact, they propose to spend. Indeed, if such an opinion or 1726 such an argument were out of order, the record of our debates in HANSARD would be reduced by about nineteen-twentieths.
§ Mr. Mitchison
If I may resume, of course any discussion in Committee will be bound by the terms of the Money Resolution we pass today. I return to what I was saying when the Minister unsuccessfully intervened. Let me be quite neutral: for the purpose of deciding the amount of the float for the Transport Fund, can the Minister give us any assurance about how much it is expected to raise by the levy? Can he tell us, for instance, on how many vehicles it will be levied? Can he say how much it is expected to get for each vehicle? I submit that the request which I am making to the Minister is a reasonable request and one which the Committee, with all their financial responsibilities, are entitled to have answered.
Now to deal with the other side of the Transport Fund—its payments out. I have already mentioned that the only figure I know is that of £33 million. It appeared originally in the form of a payment for goodwill by the Commission itself. It re-appeared in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, West (Mr. P. Morris). It received somewhat aristocratic embroidery from the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), who quite rightly pointed out that no one really knows about it. But the Minister must know, and he ought to tell us the amount it is expected to pay out under this head of compensation.
We are entitled to an even more important explanation. There is another form of compensation to be paid out of the Transport Fund—and that is, compensation to officers and servants. Although I cannot go into the merits or demerits of anything of that sort at this stage, I submit that, in order to judge the sufficiency or insufficiency of the float, we are entitled to know what the figures are for these various heads of payments, including that which I mentioned last. Those are the main questions which I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman on these first three heads. I add one small postscript to the first of those heads. I notice that a figure has been provided to only one, namely, for the Crown vehicles. No doubt it would help us if the Minister could explain how that figure—£112,000—is made up.
1727 I turn from that to another point that is raised in this Money Resolution—the question of borrowing by the Commission. The Minister and the Committee are well aware that under the Transport Act there were two limits to borrowing. There was a limit for stock borrowing—£250 million, if I remember rightly—and a limit for temporary borrowing. The only relevant provision that appears in the Bill is that instead of there being two limits there shall be one limit and that it shall cover both the stock borrowing and the temporary borrowing.
I quite understand that that may involve the Commission one way or another in smaller or larger charges, but what puzzles me—and I hope the Minister will enlighten us—is what expenditure the Treasury will incur on account of turning these two limits into one single limit. There again, I should have thought, especially with the galaxy of financial talent that I see sitting on the Minister's left, that he would be able to give us some indication of what the financial results of this change are going to be. I do not want to get out of order, but perhaps we can have some indication of why the change is made at all, or what it is all about, because speaking for myself, and I believe for other Members of the Committee, at present I have not the foggiest idea of the reason for it or why any expenditure should be incurred by the Treasury in connection with it.
I proceed to the next point, which we ought to have elucidated. We are to have a limit for the total borrowings by the Commission, and that limit is to cover both temporary borrowings and stock borrowings. There is, however, a provision—and this will apparently entail some further expenditure by the Treasury—that the Commission may borrow in excess of that limit if it is to use the money to redeem stock. If there were two limits I could have understood the reason for some provision of that sort, but I wonder if the Minister could explain why it is necessary to put that proviso into the Bill, and accordingly why it is necessary to have that part of the Money Resolution.
Again I feel bound to ask the Minister this. We are told that whatever the Treasury does incur by way of expense 1728 in connection with this matter will be quite small. Surely the Treasury of all Departments—the galaxy of financial talent is still with us—must be able to give us some idea of the amount involved. I have an uneasy feeling that just as in the Bill generally, so in the financial provisions there has been a singular lack of preparation and a singular extent of confusion in the minds of the Government, or alternatively there has been such a reticence towards this Commission as is really improper when one is dealing with public money.
After all, prima facie it is quite obvious that the financial consequences of this. Bill will be very large indeed, and it is a very curious state of affairs if in the Financial Memorandum the Minister is able to confine himself to the scanty information about administrative expense, contributions, Crown vehicles and all the rest of it that appears there, and to say nothing whatever about the substantial financial results of the Bill; to hide, as it were, behind the Transport Commission and the Transport Fund, and at the end of it all to come to the House and say that from the point of money, millions are involved, but the only expenses that we are to consider are certainly very small and quite intangible. One can hardly accept that.
§ 10.40 p.m.
§ Mr. C. W. Gibson (Clapham)
I rise to make only one point, and I do that because neither in the moving of this Money Resolution, nor in the discussion on the Bill, has anything been said about the Clause dealing with compensation which is to be paid from money obtained from the levy. The Minister should say something about that matter, and I ask him so to do because if the Government's plan for selling all the 40,000 lorries materialises, then there will be displaced a very large number of workpeople—drivers and others, maintenance men, clerks, and those in the depots. These will all go, and under the Bill provision is made for compensation and pension rights to officers and servants employed by the Commission from the moneys received in the levy.
It seems to me a very peculiar sort of situation that not a single hon. Member of this Committee who claims to have some authoritative knowledge of road haulage, as distinct from other forms of trans- 1729 port, has been called today. That seems most peculiar to me.
§ Mr. Gibson
I am sorry, but I am sure it will be agreed that as nothing has been said about the particular aspects of this problem, some hon. Member should now call attention to the matter. It is a problem which affects the lives of thousands of workers up and down the country, people who are entitled to some statement about that portion of the Money Resolution dealing with the question of compensation rights. I would like to know if it is proposed to consult those people most concerned before regulations are made. Are the trade unions to be consulted?
Is sufficient money to be provided by the levy really to compensate fully and adequately the people who may be affected? Is it to be such as will cover the possibility of all the people at present employed on the road haulage side of the Commission being compensated for loss of job or pension rights? It is disgraceful that the Minister did not think it worth while to say anything about this matter when moving the Money Resolution, and I invite him to get up now and give some feeling of encouragement to the people with whom some of us are most concerned that they will get a fair crack of the whip.
§ 10.45 p.m.
§ Lieut. - Colonel Marcus Lipton (Brixton)
Speeches which have been made so far on this Money Resolution indicate, beyond a peradventure, the inadequacy of the remarks of the Minister of Transport in moving it and asking the Committee to accept it. If we are to estimate the financial magnitude of what we have been discussing in the House during the past two days, what the Minister said seems to boil down to something like £112,000, which is quite fantastic. I am quite prepared to admit that after two days in which the weight of the argument has been against him, and after two days culminating in a vote by which he just scraped home by the skin of his teeth, the right hon. Gentleman is a little tired. I am prepared to make all those allowances for the right hon. Gentleman; but in my view they do not excuse the 1730 inadequate and very futile way in which he introduced this Money Resolution.
I am just as ignorant of what is involved in this Money Resolution as any hon. Member sitting opposite—and possibly the Minister himself—and no greater admission of abysmal ignorance could be made than that. If we examine the Resolution we find that in paragraph (a) there are specified no fewer than seven directions in which payment may have to be made out of moneys provided by Parliament. Seven specific outgoings are recorded in the Resolution. [HON. MEMBERS: "What are they?"] I am coming to that in a moment if the Committee will allow me to do so. I am trying to cope with this Resolution to the best of my ability.
Here we have a Government which prides itself on being composed of businessmen, of financial experts, of people who know the value of money, and all that kind of thing, and yet here are seven items specified and in respect of not a single one have we had a vestige of a clue from the Minister of Transport as to what is involved.
In the first place the Resolution holds out the prospect of some increase attributable to the institution of a Transport Levy, and this increase will be treated as if it were part of the Excise duties under the Vehicles (Excise) Act, 1949. It may well be that by treating this increase as part of the Excise duties under that Act some savings will be made, because it will not be necessary to create a separate Department or employ additional civil servants to deal with this increase; but we are not told whether any extra staff will be required to cope with the increased sum of money that will be payable nor are we given any information as to the total of this particular increase.
When we come to paragraph (a, ii) we are not told what is involved or what additional amounts of Excise duties have been chargeable or would have been chargeable in respect of Crown vehicles. Not a single piece of information—not one hard figure—has been given to the Committee in that respect. In paragraph (a, iii) we are treated a little better. There at least we know the maximum sum of £50,000, because the… temporary advances to any transport fund provided for by the said Act of the present Session …1731 cannot exceed £50,000. It would be interesting to know for what purpose these temporary advances to the Transport Fund will be required. On that point, too, we have had no information whatever from the right hon. Gentleman.
Let us proceed to paragraph (a, iv). It is anticipated that there will be some increase in the sums payable by Parliament out of public funds, assuming that certain Amendments are going to be effected in the Cheap Trains Act, 1883. We are all very interested in the Cheap Trains Act, 1883, and we should like to know to what extent these cheap trains envisaged in the Act of 1883 have become very much dearer trains as a result of the peculiar activities upon which the Minister of Transport is engaged.
§ Mr. John Paton (Norwich, North)
I am sure it would help the House very greatly if my hon. and gallant Friend could give us the provisions of the relevant Section of the Cheap Trains Act, 1883.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
I should be very pleased to do so, but I believe that many hon. Members wish to take part in this discussion, and I will not presume to take up the time of the Committee. I assume that right hon. Gentlemen on the Government Front Bench know what is contained in Section 6 of the Cheap Trains Act, and if my hon. Friend presses the matter no doubt the Minister of Transport, when he replies, will give the necessary information. It may well be that others of my hon. Friends, who have today been looking at that particular legislation, will be able to make their valuable contribution to the discussion.
Coming now to paragraph (a, v), it appears some extra funds are to be paid to certain persons to enable them to act as members of the Transport Arbitration Tribunal in the place of absent members. I do not know why it is assumed that when this Bill reaches the Statute Book members of the Transport Tribunal will be absent to any substantial degree. If there is to be some form of absence with or without leave on the part of the members of this Tribunal, I should like to have some idea of what financial liabilities are involved.
1732 How long will a member of the Transport Arbitration Tribunal be entitled to absent himself from that duty, or can he absent himself on half pay for a lengthy period which is not specified in the Bill? If he is absent, what kind of reasons will be accepted as adequate for this absence? Is there to be any refund of the fees payable to absent members because of their absence, which can be transferred or paid to those persons appointed to take their places? There again we have no information at all.
I think the Minister of Transport is not treating the Committee with the courtesy to which it is entitled. Here we are engaged upon consideration of a Money Resolution based on legislation—possibly the last major piece of legislation which the present Government will be able to produce before they are turned out of office—and we have very little information on these important points. I am sure that in those circumstances the requests for information that I have ventured very respectfully to submit to the Committee, which are reasonable and normal requests, will be acknowledged by the Minister, and that specific and courteous answers will be forthcoming.
When we proceed a little further we find that in paragraph (a, vi) the Minister of Transport envisages that he may incur additional administration expenses in his Department, some of which will include charges and expenses of licensing authorities. Others will arise because of additional expenses of the road department of the Ministry of Transport. On those two important extensions of the Department's activities we are given no information.
Then we come to another class of persons not previously mentioned in the Money Resolution, namely the boards of referees appointed by the Minister of Labour and National Service. In this respect I felt that the hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) was perhaps labouring under a misapprehension when he thought that paragraph (a, vii) made some provision for the payment of pension rights to the members of the transport industry, about which he is an acknowledged expert. It only provides for the fees and allowances which are to be paid to these referees, and those referees are to decide upon the pension rights and compensation to officers and servants.
1733 The financial liability involved in that sub-paragraph does not, in my submission, include the pensions or compensation which will have to be paid to the many people who may be displaced from their present employment. It will, of course, provide for one consequence of that displacement, namely, the hearing of claims and appeals by those people; and for the purpose of hearing those claims and appeals it may be necessary to appoint a very large number of referees and members of boards of referees working under the control of the Minister of Labour to work out and assess those pension rights and the compensation claims. These are likely to be very large, and it will take a long time for the Ministry of Labour referees to settle them In my submission, there will have to be some inter-Departmental transfer from the Ministry of Transport to the Ministry of Labour, because it would be unfair that the Ministry of Labour Vote should have to bear the increased expense arising out of the foolishness of some conduct on which the Minister of Transport may have embarked.
I shall have to leave one or two points for other hon. Members to deal with, because we on this side of the Committee do not believe in monopoly, and there is no reason why I should even seem to be monopolising this discussion on the Money Resolution. But when we come to paragraph (b) there are points which are causing disquiet on this side of the Committee and which ought to be ventilated, for in paragraph (b, i) the Minister is taking unto himself, or unto the Transport Commission, the right to exceed the existing limits of temporary borrowing.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
If my hon. Friend will turn to page 322 on the Order Paper he will see in the subparagraph at the top of the page that the Minister of Transport wants to substitute something for something else. I cannot put it any more briefly than that. If my hon. Friend wants to know what that something is he will have to study the text, and if he is any wiser afterwards than any of us then he is a better man than I am.
Although the Minister of Transport said that the preceding paragraph was 1734 just small beer, and almost the petty cash in the Ministry of Transport which the office boy looks after, the provisions in paragraph (b) involve many millions of pounds, because the Minister knows very well that if the Commission is to embark on a policy of temporary borrowing it will not be to raise £50,000 or even £100,000, but large sums. It should be remembered too that as long as the present rate of interest is increasing that is an additional reason why we should study with greater care than ever the commitment we are being asked to accept.
When we look at that paragraph closer we find the even more alarming statement that, notwithstanding the substitution of a higher level, apparently the Commission is permitted to borrow in excess of the amountfor the purpose of redeeming any British transport stock which they are required or entitled to redeem or of repaying any money temporarily borrowed by them.That may amount to many more millions of pounds.
I hope I have conveyed my profound suspicion of the right hon. Gentleman. Speaking particularly as a London member, we in London have bitter reason to regret his antics because fares have already gone up, and it looks as if they will go up again, so that an additional financial liability on the people of London looks like being a direct consequence of the Money Resolution which the Committee is being asked to accept. I hope I have convinced hon. Gentlemen opposite with a valid argument. They knew nothing about the matter when I started. Although they may not know much more now perhaps they are a little more suspicious.
I hope as the result of such contribution that I have been able to make that the Minister will perhaps agree to withdraw the Money Resolution and give us a better opportunity to study it when we are not so tired after two days of strenuous debate, and when we have had time to consider the matter in a better and calm perspective. If he is not willing to withdraw or postpone it I hope the Committee on both sides will turn it down completely and ask him to come to the Committee again with a better one.
§ 11.5 p.m.
§ Sir Frank Soskice (Sheffield, Neepsend)
If the right hon. Gentleman is convinced of anything, I feel sure he will be convinced by the speeches to which we have just listened that many of my hon. Friends on this side of the Committee are not satisfied with the opening speech that he made in explanation of his Money Resolution. It was a short speech and, like many speeches made on that topic, it was designed largely to reassure the Committee that the Money Resolution did not involve any expense other than a purely negligible one.
But I thought we were being taken to task by the present Government for just that expenditure of small amounts which cumulatively, they said, amounted to large ones. My hon. Friends have asked a large number of questions, and, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will agree, rightly asked, as their duty required, which they still require to be elucidated. Many of my hon. Friends and myself put down Amendments to this Money Resolution, the purpose of which was to extract information as to its object. And the questions which would have been asked when those Amendments were moved are the questions which have been put to the right hon. Gentleman in the course of this debate. I do not want to repeat them—indeed it is almost cruelty to the right hon. Gentleman to add to the flow which has already been levelled at his head—but there are one or two short questions that I want to put to him which I hope will also be answered.
Paragraph (a, i) of the Money Resolution deals with the expenses of collecting the levy. The Commission is to be enabled to run transport companies. The right hon. Gentleman today gave an indication that the range of those companies might be somewhat extended beyond what we had hitherto thought was to be their range. Are those companies themselves to pay the Transport Levy? If they are, surely that is a case of the Commission itself, by means of that payment, simply contributing towards making up the capital loss which is to be sustained through the disposing of the road haulage vehicles.
If that is the situation, I feel sure that the right hon. Gentleman will realise that it is quite idiotic, wholly illogical and quite impossible to justify, and that might 1736 be one reason why he would accept the suggestion of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) that he should withdraw the Money Resolution altogether. If he cannot see his way to do that, I hope he will be able to satisfy my hon. Friends and myself on that point. It is possible that there is some Clause in the Bill which we have overlooked which would exempt those companies from the obligation of paying the levy. If there is one, we have not discovered it and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to point it out to us.
So far as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) indicated in the course of his speech, we have not had any explanation other than the statement—because it was hardly an explanation—contained in paragraph 18 of the Explanatory Memorandum of the reason for which the two limits of £250 million and £25 million in respect of temporary borrowing and borrowing by the issue of stock have now been joined together in one over-riding limit of £275 million. I have no doubt that there is a good reason for it, but unless I have overlooked it, it has not been given in the course of the debate, nor has it been stated in any document issued by the Government. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give an explanation for that change. The object of it is not apparent and we feel sure that there must have been some motive behind it which we hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to tell us.
I want to ask the Minister one other question. The Bill provides, and the Money Resolution reflects it in its terms, that Government Departments are to £112,000. Why should Government Departments be called upon to make a contribution when they will get no benefit at all? The benefit from the Bill goes to the road hauliers who get back the vehicles.
§ Sir F. Soskice
The right hon. Gentleman says not. Perhaps he will indicate what benefit the Government Departments are to get. It is not at all apparent, but the benefit which the road haulage companies are to get is very apparent and self-evident.
1737 The Explanatory Memorandum makes it perfectly clear that the figure of £112,000 is to be paid in respect of the period up to the end of 1955. The levy is to be imposed, as I understand from the Bill, from 1st January, 1954. If it is to be about £4 million a year—and I gather that the Minister has provisionally in his mind that about £20 million will be required—the levy would have to go on for five years. If the £112,000 is simply to cover the period until the end of 1955, I suppose it follows, if Government Departments are to continue to make that contribution, that they will have to go on doing so for a period of years after the end of 1955. They will have to go on paying for a period of five years from 1954.
If that is correct, my calculation is that they will have to pay more than £250,000 in the aggregate over the period during which the levy will run. What possible justification can there be for calling on Government Departments to make a contribution of that magnitude when they get no advantage from it at all? In any case, it is more or less a book-keeping entry: it is an outgoing from one Government sector which is received by another Government sector. There does not seem to be much sense in that. What is the logic behind the proposal?
We shall listen anxiously to see whether the right hon. Gentleman can supplement his opening speech with adequate answers to these questions and the others that have been asked. He knows we do not like the Bill, but we have a reasonable attitude towards his Money Resolution, and we put down reasonable Amendments to try and ascertain its purpose and scope. I hope that my hon. Friends will agree that if we do not obtain adequate replies it would be our plain duty to indicate our displeasure by recording a vote in the Lobby.
§ 11.14 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I should like to thank the right hon. and learned Member for Neepsend (Sir F. Soskice) on the courteous and friendly way in which he made his observations. It is always a pleasure to see him, outside or inside this House, and I shall do my best to deal with the questions courteously, as I was asked by the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) and succinctly, as he also asked me.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Then if the hon. and gallant Gentleman wishes to carry on this debate later I have added another word to his vocabulary.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman said that in my introductory speech I attempted to paint any financial consequences of this Bill as a mere bagatelle. I can ony say that the taxpayers would certainly wish that the cost of nationalising this industry could have been carried out for the trifling cost at which denationalisation is to be conducted. I shall deal briefly but, I hope, adequately, with the various points that have been raised. I must congratulate many hon. Members for the ingenuity with which they have contrived to make a number of observations, all of which, I am sure, were strictly in order; and I hope that by the time we reach the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill no hon. Member on either side of the House will have expired.
The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel)—I remind him that but for the Treaty of Union, about which he was so angry, he would not himself be in the House—raised one point which I can answer at once. There is no change whatever contemplated in the licensing system, and none of the agricultural vehicles that he sees, and which we are all glad to see, about the lanes and fields of Britain will have their licensing structure altered in the least.
As to the payment of the levy, it is linked with the payment of the Excise Duty. I do not propose to be drawn into defining precisely all those varieties of vehicles which are exempt from Excise and those which are not. The short answer is that no vehicle in private hands will pay the levy unless it also pays Excise. I hope this meets the hon. Member's query. The hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) raised a question that was later raised by other hon. Members: that was, as to the charge on the vehicles of the Crown, or Government Department vehicles, of the levy. It appears to us that the Service Departments, which never engage in commercial or quasi-commercial activities with their vehicles in any way, should not pay the levy but there seems to us no reason at all why a distinction should be made 1739 between vehicles in private hands and vehicles in the hands of the State.
Far too often the ordinary taxpayer feels that he is subjected to a burden from which the people—this is how they argue, however wrongly—who impose the burden are exempt. In our view, this charge should be general for all who will, we believe, equally profit from the freeing of long-distance road haulage, whether they are Government Departments or private citizens. Similarly—this answers the point, I hope, although I do not suppose the hon. and learned Member will be satisfied; and if he is not satisfied on this or any other point, we have many days to come on the Committee stage of the Bill—the Commission itself will pay the levy on those vehicles that are in its hands. There will be no loss on the vehicles it retains. They will be retained at the book value at which they are entered.
I remind the Committee of the very substantial changes that have been made in the two Transport Bills that I have had the honour of introducing. The changes that have been made in the volume of vehicles that the Commission is being allowed to retain—and those will be wholly withdrawn from the auction—will represent for all to see, and for the Commission to prove, the effectiveness of national ownership, the largest single body of haulage vehicles in Britain in public hands, with all the advantages that that brings.
§ Mr. Mitchison
Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves the point of what I may call "Crown vehicles," will he tell us how he proposes to treat Post Office vehicles?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
In the same way, the limitation on size applies to Departmental and private vehicles alike, and a large number of Post Office vehicles will escape the levy altogether. I will come to the calculations in reply to the hon. and learned Member. A road vehicle, in whatever hands it may be, qualifies for the levy by size.
The hon. and learned Member also raised the question of what he called the adequacy of the "float"; and not in any way to bring the discussion to an end, but solely to acquaint myself with the precise procedure—for it is very rare to 1740 have a lengthy debate with Amendments on a Money Resolution—I asked a question of the Chair. At the moment, the levy is designed to yield £4 million annually. As the hon. and learned Gentleman knows, it will be first collected on 1st January, 1954, and payments out of the Transport Fund will start on 1st January, 1955. Until the end of 1955, it will be at the rate calculated to bring in £4 million.
At the end of that year it will be revised in the light of the contingency that we have to meet, and we shall have to settle what sum it will be for the remaining and the expiring period. That period, although it may have to take the form of being a period of three years, can be cut short; and if, in the course of three years, the causes for which the levy is raised cease to operate, that can be done. It is certainly my hope that when, at the end of 1955, a re-calculation has to take place, it will be for a period which will see the end of a charge which nobody likes.
The hon. and learned Member asked me—and I hope he will not expect me to answer in the same detail, if I could—exactly how the levy is to be calculated. The appropriate Schedule to the Bill gives a great deal of information. I am quite prepared to go through its provisions, but I think it would be tempting too far the good nature of the Committee if I merely recited the calculations there. Perhaps I may answer the hon. and learned Member by giving a few figures which appear neither in the Bill nor the Schedule.
At the moment the levy is on vehicles of one ton and over. There are some 340,000 goods vehicles which do not weigh more than one ton unladen and which will, therefore, altogether be exempted from the levy. That leaves 560,000 vehicles; and 520,000 of them do not exceed four tons in unladen weight. It is the intention of the Bill that this overwhelming majority—520,000 out of 560,000—will pay a levy which at the very most will be £10 16s. and which at the least—and a great many of them will pay the least—will be £3 7s. 6d. Only a fraction of the vehicles chargeable with the levy—some 40,000—will pay more. The vast majority will not pay more than £10 16s. and a very large number of those will pay only a sum rising from £3 7s. 6d.
1741 Perhaps I may add this comment—I think it is in order, as I was asked the question: if the unladen weight for exemption were raised so that vehicles of under 30 cwt. were exempt from the levy, the levy would have to be increased, but our calculations show that it would have to be increased by only one shilling, and it would have the effect of taking 80,000 vehicles outside the scope of the levy.
The hon. and learned Gentleman also asked me how we were to calculate the estimated loss on the sales. I do not think he put it quite so crudely as that. He knows that it is quite impossible to answer the question, and all I can tell him is that we all hope that once the Bill is law, whatever our views may be as to the wisdom and propriety of the Bill, the transition will be carried out smoothly. I think we all hoped that on 1st January, 1948, which was the vesting day of the Labour Party's Nationalisation Act. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] It is the tradition of this country. When the heat of battle is over, we all try to make things work. I think that is broadly true.
I very much hope that there will be only a small loss. We cannot tell, and it would be idle to prophesy, what that loss may be. But on this point I would once more remind the Committee of this fact: the vehicles of which it is intended to dispose made an average profit of £10 million a year before they were nationalised, and out of that profit the Exchequer got a very considerable sum. When people talk about a national loss and hold up their hands in horror at the possibility of a £20 million loss, they should remember that that is only two years of the profit which these vehicles made in private hands and which we are confident they can, given freedom, make again.
§ Mr. H. Morrison rose—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has come in, but I will give him time to get his breath, and then I will give way. The answer I give to the hon. and learned Member for Kettering is that at the end of two years we have to re-calculate the levy, and we shall then have the facts on which to go, because the disposal will be completed by the end of 1954, we hope. The 25-mile limit will be ended by the end of 1954, 1742 and when we have to re-value the levy we shall have the facts at our command.
§ Mr. H. Morrison
The right hon. Gentleman now says rather indiscreetly that these vehicles made £10 million a year profit before, and that he hopes they will make £10 million profit again. Why is he going to auction them at knock-out prices on the assumption that they are not going to make any profit at all?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I thought the reply of my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary was extremely generous in the circumstances when he said that if an ex-Cabinet Minister really had such naivety as to believe that one could carry out a complicated business transaction on those terms he was scarcely qualified to fill an important job. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] The answer is, of course, that we are about to sell, as soon as the Bill is law, property from which, through all sorts of circumstances, the goodwill has disappeared. The goodwill has, in existing hands, disappeared. [HON. MEMBERS: "No"] Hon. Members may dislike this fact and may disagree with it, but this is the whole basis on which this part of the Bill is designed.
If, in fact, we are right in our contention that in present hands the goodwill has disappeared, how can we possibly expect to get all that goodwill back? This I concede to be a genuine argument against the Bill which, I have no doubt, will rear its head again when we have long and elaborate discussions on the Question "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill"
§ Mr. Mitchison
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman one question? If I have anticipated what he was going to say I hope he will forgive me. Like Rosa Dartle, I only want some information. Is he satisfied that the Transport Fund, raised in this way and with these obligations upon it, will provide surely and continuously for the compensation provisions to personnel which have to be met?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I was most certainly coming to that, for I took very ill the remark of the hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) that no one had mentioned compensation. I spoke at great length about it yesterday. I was coming to that point.
The hon. and learned Member for Kettering mentioned the question of 1743 borrowing provisions. Clause 25 (1) of the Bill makes provision for greater flexibility in the existing borrowing powers of the Commission. At the present moment the Commission can borrow £25 million for temporary borrowing and £250 million for borrowing by the issue of stock. This change is to meet a request by the Commission. They want to have greater flexibility, and we are very ready to do as they request.
The purpose of the Clause is not to increase the total of the borrowing powers but to increase the flexibility of their borrowing powers. It is possible that it might add some fractional extra cost to the Treasury, and I wish to be absolutely clear on this. I think it is highly unlikely. It would be quite insignificant. The amount which the Commission could borrow and the amount subject to the Treasury guarantee would be on clearing costs and similar things. There is probably nothing in it, but to make quite certain we have put in this possible trifling extra cost to the Treasury.
The hon. Member for Clapham and, indeed, the hon. and learned Member for Kettering, raised this question of compensation. I am very anxious that the Bill, when it finally reaches the Statute Book, should not only be fair to the men who work in transport but should seem to be fair to them as well. I believe this can be done, and when I said yesterday that we would hurry on with the regulation—I am taking power in the Bill in Clauses 26 and 27 about these regulations—I really meant what I said.
I have the liveliest recollection of what happened when hon. Members opposite liquidated by compulsion large numbers of private hauliers, many of them in my own home district and many others in the districts of other hon. Members in this Committee. It was 2½ years before any compensation Regulations were published. For 2½ years these people, many of them in business in a small way—indeed, the main charge is that we are handing this business back to a lot of small fry who will not have the great organisational strength of big business—were left uncertain as to what they would get, and they did not get any money for 2½ years. We will do our best to see that the compensation regulations are published before the process of disposal is started.
1744 The hon. Member for Clapham talked as if a large number of people were going to be put out of work. Does he realise the consequences of what he says? If an efficient transport concern can be run by fewer people, it must consequently be inefficient now and to suggest that great numbers of people will be thrown out of work is a reflection on those who are now running the industry. I say that because I think he should be fully aware of the consequences of his argument. It is the view of H.M. Government that there will be room for the vast majority of people, but, in the process of change, no one can say with absolute certainty that a person here and there may not find himself without a job.
§ Mr. Gibson
I do not want the right hon. Gentleman to misinterpret me. What I said was that if the Government succeeds in getting rid of 40,000 lorries, that must mean that 40,000 drivers, with all the repair and clerical staff will be affected. All I ask is for an assurance that adequate compensation will be available to provide for these people if, in the sad event of this happening, these people suffer.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I know the hon. Gentleman does not want to see people out of work, any more than do I, or any of my hon. Friends; but, if we want efficient transport, then there may be some temporary disturbance in some lives. We shall do our utmost to protect all people concerned, and, of course, a great many will gladly find re-employment in private hands. If there are those who are out of work, or displaced—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
—then if they fall within the purview of the compensation provisions—and I use almost the same language as that used by our predecessors in the 1947 Act—we shall certainly do our best to protect them.
I have said that we will do our best in regard to compensation regulations. Now, I am asked will there be enough money. The same answer applies. There certainly will be by the time the levy first comes up for review about the end of 1955, for £8 million will have been paid in by then. There is provision for temporary advances, up to £50,000, pending the arrival of money from the levy, and we are determined to see that 1745 the fund will always be in funds. If there is not enough money, these advances would apply; and when the recalculation takes place in 1955, if there is not sufficient, then the levy will have to be more. I hope that meets the point which has been put by the hon. Member, because it is a sincere attempt to explain what is the true position.
§ Mr. Ernest Popplewell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West)
It is very important from the right hon. Gentleman's view to see that justice is done. That is what he says, and I agree; but will he try also to see if it is possible to give an undertaking that, before the Bill goes to Committee, the type of regulations which he has in mind in so far as the assessing of what is to count for compensation rights shall be made known? Can hon. Members see the regulations brought within the Bill, as in the 1921 Act? If that is not possible, then may we have some indication of the kind of basis which is to be used in arriving at the compensation to be paid?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Would I be in order if I said that I shall gladly consult with the proper trade union authorities as to the form which they would like to see the regulations take? I will look at the point which the hon. Gentleman has raised.
§ Mr. Manuel
Would the right hon. Gentleman meet my point about compensation? Does he fully understand that when these 40,000 vehicles are sold the men will not be bought along with them? He has no control over who the buyers will be or where they will be located, and if the buyers of a large proportion of the vehicles are 200 miles from where
§ the lorry drivers live, will the sum of compensation which he envisages in his Money Resolution be sufficient to cover the loss of their positions?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
To answer that question would be to anticipate in far too great detail the form which the regulations will take; but I will look at the point raised by the hon. Gentleman.
The hon. and gallant Member for Brixton, in addition to raising a number of points with which I have tried to deal, referred to the Cheap Trains Act and the Clauses in the Bill which amend that Act. Briefly, the position under the present situation is that when there was an alteration in the standard ordinary fares of British Railways, as a result of the agreements which the Service Departments have with the British Transport Commission, troops on duty were travelling cheaper than they did before. This was nobody's intention and it is now proposed to amend the Cheap Trains Act and, as the Committee will see, the Secretary of State, the Admiralty, the police authorities and the Commission will make their own arrangements. I think this will commend itself to all hon. Members who are anxious that those on duty should travel cheaply but are also anxious that the Commission should become a properly paying institution.
I hope I have answered the various points which have been raised. I have certainly tried to do so. I thank the Committee for the courtesy with which they have advanced their arguments and I hope that it is a good presage for the way in which our future debates will be conducted.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 270.1751
|Division No. 5]||AYES||[11.40 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Brooman-White, R. C.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Browne, Jack (Govan)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Buchan-Hepburn, Rt Hon. P. G T.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Bullard, D. G.|
|Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Bullock, Capt. M.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Bennett, William (Woodside)||Bullus, Wing Commande, E.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Burden, F. F. A.|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Birch, Nigel||Butcher, H. W.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Bishop, F. P.||Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)||Black, C W.||Campbell, Sir David|
|Baker, P. A. D.||Boothby, R. J. G.||Carr, Robert (Mitcham)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Carson, Hon. E.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Boyle, Sir Edward||Cary, Sir Robert|
|Banks, Col. C.||Braine, B. R.||Channon, H.|
|Barber, Anthony||Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N. W.)||Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)|
|Baxter, A. B.||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Cole, Norman|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Colegate, W. A.|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Profumo, J. D.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Raikes, H. V.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Redmayne, M.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Kaberry, D.||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Keeling, Sir Edward||Robertson, Sir David|
|Deedes, W. F.||Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||Lambert, Hon. G.||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Lambton, Viscount||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Donner, P. W.||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Russell, R. S.|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||Leather, E. H. C.||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Drewe, C.||Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.||Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Lindsay, Martin||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)|
|Duthie, W. S.||Linstead, H. N.||Scott, R. Donald|
|Ecoles, Rt. Hon. D. M.||Llewellyn, D. T.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Erroll, F. J.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)||Shepherd, William|
|Fell, A.||Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter|
|Fisher, Nigel||Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Low, A. R. W.||Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)|
|Fort, R.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Snadden, W. McN.|
|Foster, John||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||McAdden, S. J.||Speir, R. M.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||McCallum, Major D.||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Macdonald, Sir Peter (I of Wight)||Stevens, G. P.|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)|
|George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd||McKibbin, A. J.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Godber, J. B.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Storey, S.|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Maclean, Fitzroy||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)|
|Gower, H. R.||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Studholme, H. G.|
|Gridley, Sir Arnold||Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)||Summers, G. S.|
|Grimond, J.||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Markham, Major S. F.||Teeling, W.|
|Harden, J. R. E.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Hare, Hon. J. H.||Marples, A. E.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Maude, Angus||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W)|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Maudling, R.||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.|
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Tilney, John|
|Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Medlicott, Brig. F.||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Mellor, Sir John||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Molson, A. H. E.||Turton, R. H.|
|Heald, Sir Lionel||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Heath, Edward||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Higgs, J. M. C.||Nicholls, Harmar||Vosper, D. F.|
|Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Nield, Basil (Chester)||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Nugent, G. R. H.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Hollis, M. C.||Nutting, Anthony||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Odey, G. W.||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Holt, A. F.||O'Neill, P. R. H. (Antrim, N.)||White, Baker (Canterbury)|
|Hope, Lord John||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)|
|Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Horobin, I. M.||Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence||Osborne, C.||Wills, G.|
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Partridge, E.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Howard, Greville (St. Ives)||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham N.)||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Pete, Brig. C. H. M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Peyton, J. W. W.||Major Conant and Mr. Oakshott.|
|Hurd, A. R.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)|
|Adams, Richard||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)|
|Albu, A. H.||Gibson, C. W.||Mort, D. L.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Glanville, James||Moyle, A.|
|Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)||Gooch, E. G.||Mulley, F. W.|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Murray, J. D.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)||Nally, W.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Grey, C. F.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.|
|Baird, J.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Oldfield, W. H.|
|Balfour, A.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Orbach, M.|
|Bartley, P.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Oswald, T.|
|Beattie, J.||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Padley, W. E.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Hamilton, W. W.||Paget, R. T.|
|Bence, C. R.||Hannan, W.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Hardy, E. A.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Benson, G.||Hargreaves, A.||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Beswick, F.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)||Pannell, Charles|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Hastings, S.||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Hayman, F. H.||Parker, J.|
|Blackburn, F.||Healey, Denis (Leeds, S. E.)||Paton, J.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)||Pearson, A.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Herbison, Miss M.||Peart, T. F.|
|Boardman, H.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Bottomley, Rt Hon. A. G.||Hobson, C. R.||Poole, C. C.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Holman, P.||Popplewell, E.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Porter, G.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Houghton, Douglas||Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Hubbard, T. F.||Proctor, W. T.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Rankin, John|
|Burke, W. A.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Reeves, J.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Reid, Thomas (Swindon)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Reid, William (Camlachie)|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Rhodes, H.|
|Carmichael, J.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Champion, A. J.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Janner, B.||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Ross, William|
|Clunie, J.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Royle, C.|
|Coldrick, W.||Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)||Schofield, S. (Barnsley)|
|Collick, P. H.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Short, E. W.|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)|
|Daines, P.||Keenan, W.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Kenyon, C.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Slater, J.|
|Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)||King, Dr. H. M.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Snow, J. W.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Deer, G.||Lewis, Arthur||Sparks, J. A.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Lindgren, G. S.||Steele, T.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Donnelly, D. L.||MacColl, J. E.||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||McGhee, H. G.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||McInnes, J.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Stross, Dr. Barnett|
|Edelman, M.||McLeavy, F.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Edwards, John (Brighouse)||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Swingler, S. T.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)|
|Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Thomas, David (Aberdare)|
|Ewart, R.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Manuel, A. C.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Field, W. J.||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Fienburgh, W.||Mayhew, C. P.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Finch, H. J.||Mellish, R. J.||Timmons, J.|
|Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Mikardo, Ian||Tomney, F.|
|Follick, M.||Mitchison, G. R.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Foot, M. M.||Monslow, W.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Forman, J. C.||Moody, A. S.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Freeman, John (Watford)||Morley, R.||Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Weitzman, D.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Wells, Percy (Faversham)||Wilkins, W. A.||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Wells, William (Walsall)||Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|West, D. G.||Williams, David (Neath)||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)||Yates, V. F.|
|White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)||Mr. Bowden and|
|Wigg, George||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)||Mr. Kenneth Robinson.|
§ Resolution to be reported To-morrow.