HC Deb 27 July 1953 vol 518 cc965-1024

7.11 p.m.

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

I beg to move, That the Draft British Transport Commission (Compensation to Employees) Regulations, 1953, a copy of which was laid before this House on 9th July, be approved. It would be convenient for the House if I gave an outline of these Regulations and made one or two observations which I have undertaken to the trade unions and others that I would make. Owing to the absence of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, it will also fall to me. by leave of the House, to reply to the points that may arise during the debate, and I hope that hon. Gentlemen will accept me on these two occasions.

In the debates on the Transport Bill, I said that we would do our best to have these Regulations submitted to Parliament before the process of dispersal started, and I said that in framing these Regulations I, as well as my Department, would consult the trade unions and other interested bodies to get a wide measure of agreement. I hope I shall be forgiven if I remind the House that we are asking for a decision on these Regulations less than three months after the Transport Bill became an Act of Parliament, while in 1947, under the Socialist Government, the compensation Regulations for railways, canals and the London Passenger Transport Board did not appear until 11 months after the Act, and nearly three years afterwards for the road haulage employees.

I fully realise that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) was breaking new ground, and we have had the benefit of the work that was then done, but none the less I think those who have worked so hard in my Department and elsewhere to get these Regulations before the House quickly deserve the thanks of all of us.

I have consulted, as I said I would, the Trades Union Congress, the 12 unions and staff associations and, of course, the Commission itself. As those hon. Members who are interested in this highly important matter know, there have been a wide variety of compensation provisions since 1945 and 1948 under the various nationalisation Acts, and there has emerged a common pattern in most of those Regulations. I have very largely followed the common pattern in the case of the railways, improving it in at least three particulars. The Regulations are broadly based on the common pattern set by the Labour Government's Regulations, and indeed are expressed in exactly the same language.

The House may realise that the main features of these common patterns have been that there shall be an eight-year qualifying period in the industry, and the cause of claim shall arise within 10 years from the date of the statutory change; that the claim must be made within two years of the cause arising; that interim payments can be made while the claim is being assessed; that each payment can be up to two-thirds of the earnings less deductions in respect of other earnings and unemployment benefit; and that this interim payment is payable up to 13 weeks from the date of the claim, by which time the claim for compensation must be decided.

In connection with this, regard has to be had to the efforts to obtain alternative work, and in judging what is reasonable alternative work the relative security of one job and another is considered, and the extent by which the individual claimant has, in fact, sought alternative work. The long-term compensation up to 65 in the case of men and 60 in the case of women is an annual payment not to exceed one-sixtieth of the loss of pay for each year of service, plus one-sixtieth for each year of service after the age of 45 with a maximum of two-thirds, thus deliberately weighting the amount in favour of the older man or woman. The award, as the House has known in the past, can be reviewed within a period of two years, and after that it is final. There is provision now, as there has always been, for appeal to an independent tribunal.

All these features and others in previous Regulations relating to railwaymen we have preserved, and they are virtually the same as in 1948 and, as I have said already, are often in the same language. We have, however, improved in at least three particulars the position of any railway claimant who might be displaced or whose position might be worsened through the compulsory reorganisation imposed on the railways by the recent Statute.

In the first place, an aggrieved claimant could under our new Regulations go to the appeals tribunal direct and not through his employer, the British Transport Commission. Secondly, in computing the interim payment only two-thirds of the earnings are to be set off instead of the whole of the man's earnings. This brings the interim payment for railway-men into line with what we are proposing for the road haulage workers. The object of this is to avoid penalising a conscientious man who may deliberately take a job at once at a lower rate of salary or wages while he is waiting for a better one. In allowing this principle for displaced road haulage workers, it seemed only fair to apply it also to railwaymen.

Thirdly, while the 1948 Regulations provide for the setting off of two-thirds of the actual unemployment benefit, in this case the full single man's benefit is to be set off, and this is done deliberately to avoid penalising a man with dependants. I think we can claim in the case of railwaymen that we have improved on the Regulations submitted to the House under the late Administration.

But the common pattern in the earlier Regulations in 1948 was not applied by the late Government to road haulage workers in general in the same way as it was to railwaymen. There were quite understandable reasons for this. There was no previous history of statutory compensation in the road haulage industry as there was in the case of the railways. The late Government proposed in the case of road haulage workers long-term compensation up to the age of 65 based on the years of service, but there was the considerable restriction that it was given only to those who could show that in their previous employment they had an expectation of compensation to retiring age in the event of discharge. That, as hon. Members know, was an exceedingly difficult thing to do. In fact only six people succeeded in taking advantage of that provision for long-term compensation, all the rest were limited to the short-term compensation, 13 to 26 weeks according to age and length of service; and to get that, a man had in most cases to have had substantially more than eight years' service.

When I became Minister I was conscious of the hardship caused to a number of individuals by this strict regulation. Some of them were those who had been their own employers before they had passed into the service of the Commission, others had not, but both groups had alike to prove that they had an expectation of compensation. Hon. Members who listened to the speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Solihull (Mr. M. Lindsay) on 25th July, 1952, in regard to the case of a certain man in the road haulage industry, Mr. Hurst, will know of some of the hardship that was caused.

Mr. James Callaghan (Cardiff, South-East)


Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Very definitely caused to people who could not prove——

Mr. Callaghan indicated dissent.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Let the hon. Gentleman wait until I have finished before he says anything.

Mr. Callaghan

I am saying it now.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Shall I sit down? I do not know whether the Front Opposition Bench are really anxious to see that these Regulations are framed in a manner fair to all concerned, but I hope the hon. Gentleman will wait for any elucidation that may be necessary until I have finished what I have to say.

Mr. Callaghan

The only point I am concerned with is that in developing the case of hardship, the Minister should also indicate that Mr. Hurst, or his firm, of which he was the major proprietor, was paid compensation amounting to over £200,000.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That was not compensation to the individual, but, as the hon. Gentleman knows, that matter was discussed at great length in the House and it is by no means as simple as the hon. Gentleman has suggested by that interruption. As I have said, we were not satisfied that this was fair, or that it was reasonable to expect people to have to prove an expectation of compensation in an industry where we all know that expectation existed only in a very few cases. My right hon. Friend the present President of the Board of Trade, in the debate on 28th June, 1950, made it plain that the Conservative Opposition, as it then was, did not regard that provision as fair.

So I thought that when we were drawing up these new Regulations, and taking account of the changed circumstances, it was right and proper to have provisions that were both wider in scope and less restrictive than had been the previous provisions. We have come to the following conclusions in regard to road haulage workers. The first necessity for road haulage workers who may be displaced is to give them short-term assistance on a wider basis to tide over the interim period. It is our conviction that the majority of them will be absorbed in new employment and that the disturbance will be very small, but for those for whom there is an interim period there should be some short-term assistance with fewer restrictions and on a wider basis.

The terms of the proposed short-term assistance are set out on page 13 of the Regulations in the Explanatory Note. They follow, broadly, the short-term compensation provisions of 1950 but there are important improvements. The first improvement is that the resettlement payment is not confined to those with eight years' service. It will be possible to get it for employees with even less than two years' service if, for example, disposal should be started before the end of this year and they have been less than two years in the service of the Commission.

Another improvement is that the maximum duration of the payment now depends solely on age and not on the length of service. For example, a man of 45 can get the resettlement payment for 13 weeks, a man of 58 can get it for 26 weeks. That is based on our conviction that it is harder for an older man to get resettled.

The hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. P. Morris) urged me in the House in May this year, and some of the trade unions have done the same, to widen the basis of compensation so that anybody who was working for the Commission should be entitled to it. They argued that, at any rate until the Government White Paper came out, men might have been in some uncertainty as to the intentions of the Government, and they urged that we should take the date of 1st May, 1952, as the operative date.

We made it perfectly clear in the House as long ago as November, 1951, what were the intentions of the Government. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in the debate on the Address used these words: Whatever else hon. Members opposite may have doubt about, they cannot have any doubt about our intentions in this matter."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 12th November, 1951; Vol. 493, c. 720.] And then he proceeded to say what our intentions were. It seems to me, therefore, to be perfectly fair to say that no one entering the service of the Road Haulage Executive after that could do so with any conviction that he was entering secure employment. It would have been possible to make the date of entry 12th November, 1951, when that Government statement was made, but, as the last of the compulsory acquisitions did not take place until December, 1951, we are now providing that for resettlement payment a man must have been continuously employed since 31st December, 1951, and that is not unreasonable under all the circumstances.

Mr. J. A. Sparks (Acton)

What exactly does the right hon. Gentleman mean by "continuously employed"?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

In continuous employment with the same employer, that is, the Commission, since 31st December, 1951.

Mr. Sparks

The Minister means, presumably, that the man works the full period of time that a normal permanent employee would work, that is, a normal 44-hour week?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

There is no confusion on this point with the unions concerned. Everyone on the permanent staff—and it was clearly understood by the unions in my talks with them what that means—displaced from the Road Haulage Executive by the Act who has served since 31st December, 1951, is eligible, but for those not on the permanent staff a period of three years' service at the date of discharge is required as evidence that they are not transient employees but genuinely working for a continuous period with the Commission.

So much, for the moment, for the resettlement payments for road haulage workers. We have altered the provisions as to long-term compensation, for road haulage workers in the following particular. Remembering the hardship caused to people who could not prove that they had an expectation of compensation with their previous employer, in these Regulations I have abandoned the 1950 requirement that there must be such an expectation of compensation in their pre-nationalisation employment.

I felt it vital to do this, otherwise the Regulations, although they might look well, would be as ineffective in this way as the requirement of our predecessors in the same particular, but I could not at the same time retain the provision in the earlier Regulations in 1950 which allowed any service with any A or B licence work to count towards the eight years' qualifying period. Had I done that, men displaced by the Transport Act would have long-term compensation up to the age of 65, even if they had neither a right nor an expectation of any compensation in their previous employment and had never become settled in any employment, not even with the Commission. I do not believe that anybody facing the issue frankly would have thought that such a wide departure from the principles of compensation would be fair or proper.

To sum up in that field, to be eligible for long-term compensation, a man must at the date of loss of work have had eight years' continuous service, including service with his last employer before transfer to the British Transport Commission; but he need not have had an expectation of compensation with his previous employer. This will bring in a lot of people, and we regard it as a considerable advance on the provisions in the previous Act, whereby virtually no one was able to claim long-term compensation because an expectation of such compensation could not be proved.

Mr. James Harrison (Nottingham, East)

On page 6 of the Regulations there is a definition of "whole-time service." Would the right hon. Gentleman interchange the words "whole-time" for "continuous"? Whole-time service need not necessarily be continuous.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I speak subject to correction by my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General, but "whole-time service" means, I think, service of not less than 30 hours paid employment a week, during which period a man is not entitled to take any paid service with anybody else. That is quite different from "continuous service," which means that a man is continually employed by the same person.

Mr. Harrison

I was thinking of such things as military service, which is covered in page 3 of the Regulations but which might not be covered by the word "continuous."

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We have expressly provided that military service—compulsory National Service—shall count as continuing employment. If there is any further doubt, I shall clear it up later, but I am myself in no doubt that it ranks equally with employment with the Commission or with the previous employment.

Mr. Herbert Morrison (Lewisham, South)

The right hon. Gentleman has referred three times to the 1950 Regulations. Does he mean that year or 1948? I had forgotten about the Regulations of 1950 and what they were.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not think it unfriendly if I say that he has, perhaps, conveniently forgotten. There were other Regulations in, I think, 1948 dealing with railway and canal workers and the London Passenger Transport Board, but it was not until 1950, I think, that we had the Labour Government's Regulations relating to road haulage workers. That is one of the mild charges that I made in justifying my claim that the present Government had been more prompt about it. The 1950 Statutory Instrument No. 1083 contained the Regulations which were brought in by the previous Administration three years after the disturbance.

There are three other points that I should like briefly to make. I have undertaken to certain interested bodies that I would make these observations. First, as the House knows, and as certainly the hon. Member for Swansea, West is aware, I am under a statutory obligation by Section 27 of the Transport Act—I have been dealing with Section 28 up to now—to bring in provisions in regard to pensions. There is one aspect of the pensions Regulations which has a bearing on compensation.

As the House may know, we are proposing to provide that a pensionable employee over the age of 40 shall be compensated for any loss he may suffer of opportunity to earn further pension by further service—by discharge from the Commission's service, for example—by supplementing the pension preserved for him under the separate Regulations that I propose to make under Section 27. If a man is unable to continue longer and thereby eventually earn a greater pension, we are providing in the Regulations under Section 28 that for that particular loss of long-term pension he also can rank for compensation.

These Regulations relating to pensions are well advanced. I have sent them to the trade unions for their comments. They do not require an affirmative Resolution; they are subject to the negative procedure. It should be possible, if all goes well and we get a wide measure of understanding in the matter, for me to bring in these pension Regulations during the Recess. If anybody wants to debate them, the negative procedure can apply as soon as the House reassembles.

Mr. Sparks

The right hon. Gentleman, I understand, is explaining that if the pension rights of a displaced worker are better than any pension rights that he may acquire in a new employment, the difference will be made good to him by way of compensation. Will that be a permanent payment of compensation until such time as the displaced worker ceases to draw pension because of death, or will it be limited in period of time?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

What I was saying was not quite that. I was saying that if a man, by discharge from the Commission's service, is prevented, as he might well be, from qualifying later for a larger pension which he had an expectation of getting, for that loss of eventual pension—for the difference between what he gets and what he could have got—he will be entitled to rank for compensation.

Mr. Percy Morris (Swansea, West)

May I put a hypothetical case? Assume that a man has had 35 years' service, with every prospect of 40 years' service, but as a result of the Act has had to finish after 35 years' service; do I understand that, because of the prospective loss, the Government now say that they will give that man compensation for the additional five years?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

On an immensely complicated matter of this kind it is always difficult to answer a hypothetical question, but I shall do my best to answer it in more detail when I wind up the debate. I can, however, say this. Subject always to the maximum amounts which are laid down for this annual payment up to the age of 65 for men or 60 for women, a loss of pension rights can be made good by a supplementary pension, as provided for in the Regulations that I shall make under Section 27. I should be a little loth without further thought to answer specifically on that point, although I hope I may be able to do so later.

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

The Minister made an important statement when dealing with the pensions Regulations that are to be made under Section 27. He said that his proposals had been sent to the trade unions and that he hoped to lay the Regulations during the Recess. How soon does he hope to lay them, and how soon are they likely to become operative? How long is it since the Minister sent his proposals back again to the trade unions?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am not suggesting that the trade unions have had them for more than a few days.[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Not at all. I am certainly not going to wear a white sheet about our speed either in the field of compensation or of pensions. We have dealt first with compensation. That has occupied the attention of those officers in my Department who are now applying themselves to pensions. I am only anxious to make it plain that I do not propose to wait until the House reassembles in October before I introduce the pension Regulations. If they are ready, I shall bring them in straight away, and then they are subject only to the negative procedure.

Mr. C. W. Gibson (Clapham)

May I ask the Minister——

Mr. Speaker

I wish there were fewer interruptions. It is a somewhat disorderly debate for the House of Commons when the Minister is getting up and sitting down every few minutes.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I thought it essential to make a general introductory statement, otherwise some of the things that required to be mentioned might not be said if I was not asked questions about it. I am here for the convenience of the House as long as the debate continues and when eventually I wind up the debate I shall try, with any legal help that may be forthcoming from my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General, to deal with any points that arise.

The second thing with which I am anxious to deal is certain misgivings that have arisen about the phrase "suitable employment." The suggestion has been made that this might make men take inferior jobs or the alternative might be the loss of their compensation. All hon. Members interested in these things know-that this is a fairly common form of words in similar Regulations—indeed, ins the Regulations introduced by the last Government. These words are also used in the National Insurance Act, 1946, for which again we have to thank the previous Administration. Section 13 of the National Insurance Act uses those words more than once. I shall deal with this when I wind up, if hon. Members wish. Section 13 (5) expressly provides against "suitable employment" being interpreted harshly in the period immediately following the loss of employment.

Finally, I have been asked by one or two of the unions to say a word about paragraph 7 of the Second Schedule, which governs the assessment of compensation. These conditions are almost the same as in the earlier Regulations, introduced by the last Government. They require the Commission to assess the amount of compensation according to the circumstances of the particular case within the maximum limits laid down in paragraph 8. In considering this compensation, the Commission must consider whether the conditions of any new employment compared with the previous, employment are better or worse—for example, from the angle of security of employment—and then deal with each case on its merits.

I am grateful to the House for the interest shown in these Regulations. I have taken a keen interest in them from the start. I regarded it as an inseparable part of my duty as Minister to see that they were introduced and that they were carefully drawn. I have had help from the Commission, the trade unions and not least from colleagues in my Department, who have worked very hard so that these Regulations should appear before the House rose for the Summer Recess. Whilst I shall be glad to answer any questions which may be raised, I think I can claim that in regard to railwaymen we have preserved all that was good and improved their conditions, and have considerably improved the conditions of the road haulage workers. It is with confidence that I commend the Regulations to the House.

7.42 p.m.

Mr. Herbert Morrison (Lewisham, South)

We are obliged to the Minister for the exposition he has given of Regulations that are not only complicated but, in some cases, very difficult to understand. I know the difficulties of draftsmen over these things, and I do not want to be too rough about them.

I wish to quote from the Second Schedule, paragraph 3 in particular, as an example. If I read that paragraph at a public meeting—an assembly of road transport workers or railwaymen—I think I would have a rough house. I am not sure that they would not say, "What is all this about; what does it mean? Talk English." I will read the paragraph: The amount of the resettlement payment payable to an applicant in respect of loss of employment shall be a sum which, when added to a sum equal to the aggregate of the following sums:—

  1. (i) two-thirds of any sums the applicant is receiving under a service agreement or contract; and
  2. (ii) where he is or would if he made a claim thereto be entitled to draw unemployment, sickness or injury benefits, (he sum which would be so payable in respect of a person having no dependants,
is equal to two-thirds of his current net emoluments immediately before his loss of employment. When one has read all that one begins to ask, "What is the chap going to get?" I think it is very difficult to answer. I rather gather that what it all comes to is that he cannot get more than two-thirds of his existing wage or salary. This is an example of drafting which I am bound to say will make it exceedingly difficult for the average workman concerned to understand the position. It may be said that he has his trade union officials who will understand it. I daresay they will. That, of course, demonstrates the great value of men belonging to a trade union. But what about the non-union chaps—the special friends of the Conservative Party? How are they going to understand when they read this with no trade union officials to advise them? These are complicated and complex Regulations.

There is a point to which our attention has been drawn by one of the trade unions concerned, the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association. They and, I believe, the Transport and General Workers' Union have had a communication from the Road Haulage Executive to the effect that, in view of the uncertainties and fluidity of the present situation, substantive promotions, permanent promotions, are not being made for the time being and that future promotions or upgradings will be on an acting or temporary basis. Of course that arose out of the utter insecurity and uncertainty created for all sorts of people—not only in road transport but, to some extent, in rail transport as well—consequent on the passing of the Transport Act. The Regulations refer to permanent employment. I should like the Minister to say in his reply whether this stipulation in the Regulations in certain respects as to permanent employment will be interpreted as meaning that the permanent employment of the officer or servant is his ordinary substantive rank and not the acting or temporary basis on the basis of which current promotions are to be made.

Clearly it is not the fault of the officer or servant that he is promoted at this time on an acting basis. I should have thought that he ought to be compensated on the rank he holds, even if it is on an acting basis, because the acting or temporary basis is not the fault of the Commission. It is not the fault of the Railway Executive, or the Road Haulage Executive, but is the consequence of the Act of Parliament for which this Government are responsible. The unions and the House are entitled to know whether in those cases compensation will be payable on the lower or substantive rank or on the so-called acting or temporary basis. I can understand the motives of the Commission and the Road Haulage Executive, but I should think that in all the circumstances compensation ought to be payable on the basis of the position to which the man has been promoted, even though it is only on an acting or temporary basis.

The next point is the qualification for resettlement payment. The right hon. Gentleman has dealt with the question of what date ought to be taken as the basis for the date upon which the employee was in the employment of the Commission, or one of its Executives. The choice is between 1st December, 1951, and 1st May, 1952. The unions have put their case to the Minister and he has rejected it. I think the unions have a strong case for their point of view. This Transport Act, introduced by the Government, is the result of a fair amount of evolution. There were declarations in the Speech from the Throne and a debate in which statements were made, it is true, but there was more than one public declaration of policy. The final declaration of policy, if I recall rightly, was not made public until the White Paper of May, 1952.

Therefore workpeople, seeking employment with the Commission or one of its Executives were perfectly entitled to take the point of view, up to May, 1952—it may be that they would have been rather unwise so to do in view of the nature of the Government and their policy, but a lot of people who go about the world are hopeful philosophers—" It looks as if the Government are not clear in their own minds what they are going to do." That indeed is the case. "We do not know what provision they will make for this, that and the other, including compensation. Therefore, I shall give up the job I have and chance it on the basis of what appears to me to be a rather better job in the employment of the Transport Commission or one of its Executives." That is a rather understandable point of view. One might say that it was risky, but it was understandable.

I should have thought that justice requires that the date should be fixed not at the period of those early and somewhat speculative stages of Government policy, but at the point at which it had become firm policy in the White Paper of 1952. In those circumstances, therefore, we think that the union view was right and that the operative date in this connection should be, not 31st December, 1951, but 1st May, 1952. After all, the amount of money involved so far as the compensation authority is concerned is not all that great. I think that the Minister might make this concession in order that justice should not only be done but should appear to be done as well.

I turn to the length of the resettlement period, which is dealt with in Article 2 of the Second Schedule. The Minister has been at pains to argue that in some respects the Government have, in his judgment, done better than was the case in respect of certain Regulations made under the Transport Act, 1947. I wish to put to the House the point that running through all the arguments that we shall have tonight and all the points that the Opposition will make and through nearly all the points which the trade unions have made to the Minister, the fact must be faced, and ought to be faced, that the circumstances of the operation under the Transport Act, 1953, are of a totally different order to the circumstances which obtained under the Transport Act, 1947.

The Minister has made play with the 1950 Regulations. That is all right; but those circumstances were not at all a tragic affair as compared with the situation which we now face. The only case which the Minister quoted of a grievance was that of a man who received compensation of over six figures, according to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That is grossly untrue. The individual with whom I was dealing received £800. This was not only debated in the House; it actually came before the Lord Chief Justice and other judges, when many harsh comments were made. It would be grossly untrue if it were allowed to go out that anything approaching £200,000 was paid to the man, whose compensation was £800.

Mr. Morrison

It is the case that the compensation to the firm of which, presumably, he was a member—[An HON. MEMBERS: "The principal proprietor."]—the principal proprietor, was extensive and that he received some personal compensation on top. He went to the courts, I gather, but did not succeed. This case has been brought up when we are discussing the affairs of very humble workmen who have sometimes had difficulty in thinking in terms of three figures, let alone six, or some hundreds of pounds.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will pardon my intervening again, but I gave way a number of times when I was speaking. That again would be grossly unfair. I quoted that case because it was debated at length in the House. It was one of many cases in which no compensation other than what the Lord Chief Justice called a derisory figure was payable. There were only six people who contrived to get compensation at all. Yet the party opposite made great play about the compensation which would be available. The Regulations were so drawn, however, that only six received compensation. I say that we have been fairer and more honest.

Mr. Morrison

The right hon. Gentleman quoted this case of a man who was comfortably off—comfortably placed, I understand. I think it is indicative of the psychological approach of Conservative Ministers that they are somewhat quicker to see an injustice in the case of well-to-do people than in the case of poor people. It may be that we on this side of the House are quicker to see an injustice in the case of poor people rather than in the case of well-to-do people. I should expect it to be that way, and that is a state of affairs which will continue.

The argument to which I was addressing myself was that under the Transport Act, 1947, the whole business was that of the absorption of a host of existing railway, road transport and other undertakings and the transfer of their ownership to a responsible public authority which would be acting in a public-spirited way. They would take over the properties and they would take the officers and servants of the existing private undertakings and would then consider the problem as a responsible public corporation owning and continuing to operate all those undertakings.

The British Transport Commission sought to reduce dismissals to the minimum, and to a great extent succeeded. Indeed, I am informed that under the 1947 Act about 1,000 claim forms were issued, which was a very modest number in all the circumstances. Approximately only 500 cases were eligible, and of those about 250 were in respect of loss of employment, the remaining 250 being for diminution of emoluments. So the claims were very limited, and it must be remembered that those claims—only a few hundred—were in relation to the 85,000 staff now employed by the Road Haulage Executive.

The truth is that in that operation a great responsible public authority was taking over the undertakings and the workpeople concerned and it was the natural desire of the public authority that dismissals should be reduced to the minimum; and that where they were inevitable and could not be helped compensa- tion was paid. Moreover, in that case it is much easier to deal with the problem as a matter of wastage, as it is sometimes rather unkindly called, as the years pass; that is, men die or resign for one reason or another, and it is then possible for the public authority not to fill the positions thus made vacant if it is not necessary to do so. That is an infinitely less painful process than is likely under the Act of 1953.

What is happening now is not a transfer of undertakings and physical assets from private ownership to a great public authority; it is a transfer of physical assets—and, let me add, of the human beings who go with the physical assets—from a public authority to private concerns. But whereas under the 1947 Act, when the physical assets were taken over, the human beings were transferred as well, in this case the physical assets are to be sold with no obligation and no automatic corresponding consequence that the human beings who have been working with the physical assets will go with them into the new ownership.

Moreover, none of these private employers to whom the undertakings will be sold will be under the slightest obligation to employ any of the men who have been working for the undertaking. Therefore, if the Labour Party in this House, and their trade union colleagues outside, are asking for somewhat better conditions under these Regulations than was the case under the earlier Regulations, it really is to be expected.

I say, quite frankly, that there are some arguments which I have advanced tonight I would not feel obligated to advance were the transfer the other way, from private enterprise to public authority, because public authority is in an easier position to discharge the obligation and more trusted to be able to do so. As a matter of fact, some of these purchasers of the physical assets will not want to discharge the obligation, but some will not be able—and therefore off it goes.

I notice that the right hon. Gentleman said he consulted the Trades Union Congress and the trade unions concerned, and we are all very glad that should be so. He consulted the British Transport Commission. But he did not say whether he consulted the Road Haulage Association, which I understand was consulted in connection with the policy, very fully consulted. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman would care to tell us now——

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I can say straightaway that to the best of my knowledge this matter did not appear to be their responsibility. We are dealing with compensation for people displaced from service with the British Transport Commission, and I have consulted the proper bodies. I have no recollection of raising the matter with the Association.

Mr. Morrison

I thought that would be the answer, but now see where we are. Under the 1947 Act it was a transfer to a public authority which had to meet the compensation and the arguments for that compensation. In this case it is a transfer from public authority to private authority. On the Bill itself and the policy behind the Bill the Minister consulted the road hauliers and the Road Haulage Association. But here is a case where he ought to have consulted them. He should have said to them, "Now gentlemen, we are faced with this delicate and complicated operation which may be rather brutal if we are not careful, and I do not want it to be so. What arrangements can you enter into with me, as Minister, on behalf of your members to see to it that the minimum hardship and trouble is inflicted upon the chaps now employed by the British Transport Commission?"

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That is quite another matter. The right hon. Gentleman has suggested I should have consulted them as to the terms of compensation which would have to be paid by the compensating authority. As to how the transition can be most smoothly accomplished that, of course, is a matter properly to be discussed with the Road Haulage Association and with many other bodies. I was accused of consulting them too much before setting up the Disposal Board. The Board and the Commission are now responsible. It would be clearly improper for me to engage in talks, either with those members of the Road Haulage Association on the Disposal Board or with the Association itself. If I did so, and the right hon. Gentleman prised out that fact, he would come running to this House as if he had unearthed another scandal.

Mr. Morrison

I understand that what all that means is that the right hon. Gentleman has not consulted with the Road Haulage Association as to how they are proposing to discharge to the best of their ability a public duty and make this operation as painless as possible to the workpeople concerned.

We did criticise the right hon. Gentleman for having certain relationships with many of these gentlemen and some of the financial undertakings they have created. My hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) was very active in the matter, and I think he was right. But this is another story altogether. Where are these people going? From a public authority to private enterprise. And the private enterprise trade association, which the right hon. Gentleman was so careful to consult about the policy the Conservative Government should pursue regarding the possible reorganisation of transport, has not been consulted—they who are to receive these assets—as to what they can do to make the transition as smooth as possible.

This is typical again of the Conservative psychological approach. When it is a question of acting against the community—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—yes, in selling assets belonging to the community and handing them over to the friends of the Conservative Party, this trade association representing friends of the Conservative Party are fully consulted. When it comes to the poor devils of workpeople who are to be left in the air, or on the streets when the physical assets go, they do not consult the receivers of the physical assets to see what they are going to do to make this operation——

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson (Truro)

Before the right hon. Gentleman goes any further——

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Member will go further one day, but never mind.

Mr. Wilson

—can he tell us whether the trade unions concerned have had any negotiations with the Road Haulage Association recently as to wage agreements?

Mr. Morrison

I do not know, and I cannot see what wage agreements between the unions and the Road Haulage Association have to do with the policy to which I am now referring. Here the Minister is making Regulations under which it is his duty to make this transition as smooth as he can, and as least harmful and damaging as possible to the workpeople, and he has not consulted the very people who are largely concerned. But he has consulted the Commission.

Regarding the length of the resettlement period, and certain other matters, the Minister and the House should realise that we are now engaged in totally different transactions from those transactions under the Act of 1947. I will go further, I will even make a move in the Minister's direction. In the case of the Railways Act of 1921, which was a compulsory merger by Act of Parliament of some hundred or so companies—[HON. MEMBERS: "One hundred and twenty."]—over 100–111—separate railway undertakings into four main-line groups of companies, there were provisions for compensation.

In that case it was the transfer of what were in many cases small railway companies to four large companies. It was much easier, much more certain, that the four great companies would have a better opportunity to take care of the workpeople; that they would be more responsible and reasonable in providing compensation, or making the operation as easy as they could. I think my railway friends will agree that they did their best in that direction. But this is a different operation from that, which was a private ownership merger towards private monopoly on the railways.

This is a case where we are dealing with a large number of small operators who either will not be concerned with making this thing work justly, equitably or smoothly, or who will just not be able to do so because of the circumstances in which they are working. That must be realised. In those circumstances the likelihood of the men being without reasonable employment is much greater than under the Act of 1947, and materially greater than under the Railways Act of 1921. Therefore it seems to the trade unions, and to us on this side of the House, that in the circumstances of this operation the maximum period for resettlement payment should not be 13 weeks, and 26 in case of certain of the older men, but should be 52 weeks. That seems to us to be a case worthy of consideration.

The unions have argued—I admit this is rather more disputable—again taking into account the special circumstances of the totally different operation from that under the Act of 1947, that the maximum payment should be, and could be, the full rate of pay at the time of the loss. In their judgment the proportion proposed in the Regulations is no longer adequate in view of the circumstances with which we are dealing under this Act.

I come now to the qualifying period of service for long-term compensation under Regulations 4 and 5. Again it appears to us that the qualifications for compensation should be less rigorous than they were in the Regulations made under the 1947 Act and that the qualification period for this purpose, as requested by the unions, should be not more than two or three years, instead of the eight years specified in Regulation 4 (2, c) and Regulation 5 (2, b). In the circumstances with which we are now dealing, that appears to us to be a reasonable thing to claim.

Moreover, the unions make a further claim, which I should have thought was fair and proper, taking into account the nature of the road haulage industry. These Regulations are rigid. Some of these men have been employed by the Commission and the Road Haulage Executive and before that as drivers of vehicles carrying A licences and sometimes carrying B licences. In this industry change of employment is more frequent than on the railways, for example. Men move about to better their employment. It seems to us, therefore, that the A and B licence service should be taken into account in calculating an employee's period of service and that the period of service required should be reduced in accordance with the terms which I have mentioned.

As to the scale of compensation payment dealt with in the Second Schedule, paragraphs 6 and 8, it is claimed that as in the case of the resettlement payment the maximum payment should be equivalent to the full rate of pay at the time of the loss. The Minister dealt with the next point on which I cannot follow why, if I may say so, he is somewhat sticky. It is the point about suitable employment, namely that if the workman has a chance of suitable employment or if he gets that employment that serves to take him out of the compensation provisions.

The trade unions ask that the words "reasonably comparable" should be substituted for "suitable." I forget what the terms are in the Rent Restriction Acts, but I do not think that the word used is "suitable." My impression is that the phrase is "reasonable alternative accommodation" or "equivalent accommodation." No doubt we shall hear more about that when the Government bring in their legislation dealing with rent restriction, which I understand they are considering; but "suitable employment" is not as good a term as "reasonably comparable employment." We think that these words should be substituted for the words "suitable employment" in the Regulations.

I draw the Minister's attention, moreover, to the point that he actually uses these words "reasonably comparable" in Regulation 2 (a) which ends with the words … and he is not offered by the Commission a reasonably comparable office or situation;. … When the Minister replies, perhaps he will be good enough to tell us why the words "reasonably comparable" are used in that Regulation and yet he declines to use them in the other Regulation. I should have thought that if they stand up in that Regulation and the words are reasonable in themselves he might be willing to consider their use in the other case. The Minister has given a view of his interpretation of "suitable employment." I did not gather that he specifically stated that the words "suitable employment" are as wide or as good as "reasonably comparable," nor, of course, would it bind the courts of law if he did say that; but perhaps he will deal with the matter further later on.

Those are the points which we have wished to raise. It may be that some of my hon. Friends, particularly those who are associated with the industry, will wish to raise others. It is no good the Minister arguing comparisons between 1947, 1948 or 1950, and 1953. The circum- stances are entirely different. The previous operation was a great public operation of absorption of private competitive undertakings. One of the reasons for absorbing them was that they caused no end of trouble in the matter of standards and conditions. They were absorbed by a great public authority which could be trusted to discharge its responsibilities in a responsible spirit, whereas in this case, though the Commission will pay out the compensation, they are not in control of the situation.

It is a situation in which these men are scattered and it is very uncertain what will happen to them because this is a transfer of assets from a great public authority to a whole host of individual proprietors of one sort or another. I beg the House to take that into account. It is a vital and essential difference between the situation under the 1947 Act and that under the 1953 Act.

We have given careful consideration to the question whether at the end of the debate we should divide or not. We agree that the Minister has met the unions and has had friendly consultations with them and that in a number of respects he has been able to make concessions. On the other hand, there are outstanding a material number of points and we apprehend that when this Act works in conjunction with these Regulations there will be an awful lot of un-happiness among many men and possibly women employed in this transport world who will feel pretty bitter and miserable about the whole thing. They will have difficulties because of insecurity of employment and there will be difficulties under the Regulations in respect of the points to which I have drawn attention.

On balance, we think it is reasonable that all these people should have the right to know and that the country should have the right to know when these troubles arise, which may cause a great number of difficulties, who supported this situation and who did not. In these circumstances we feel that the House ought to have a Division. Without saying that everything in the Regulations is wrong, but saying that there is enough in them which is unsatisfactory, in order to make clear who is responsible and who is not we propose to divide the House at the end of this debate.

8.19 p.m.

Major Sir Frank Markham (Buckingham)

I do not share the gloomy prognostications of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison), because I think that these Regulations mark a new step forward in the legislative history of this country. They place on the Statute Book for the first time recognition by a Government that they have a duty and a respect to pay to those who leave nationalised industry and go into private industry. Hitherto there has been nothing comparable with these Regulations on the Statute Book and therefore I welcome them. They are something new, just, and very valuable to the structure of this country. I am rather puzzled why the right hon. Gentleman should have regarded them with so much disapproval when obviously, from the point of view of himself and of every thoughtful Member of this House, these Regulations should be wholeheartedly welcomed.

There is one point in the Regulations which leaves me a little confused—a matter which does not appear to have occurred to the right hon. Member for Lewisham, South. Let me first of all read the Explanatory Note, the first paragraph of which, to my mind, emphasises the whole purpose of these Regulations: These Regulations provide for the payment by the British Transport Commission of compensation to their officers or servants who suffer loss of employment or loss or diminution of emoluments or pension rights or whose position is worsened in consequence of the denationalisation of road haulage, the modifications of the functions of the Commission, or the re-organisation of the railways, provided for by the Transport Act, 1953. That seems perfectly clear. Then it says in the third paragraph: To be eligible for long-term compensation a claimant must at a given date have had eight years continuous service after the age of 18. I link that up with Regulation 3 (4, d) which reads: In this Regulation the expression 'whole time service' means employment after attaining the age of eighteen years—(a) as an officer or servant; … (d) on war service following immediately upon any of the preceding employments. My question to the Minister is this. Where a man—obviously a young man—has had his period of service with the railways or with the nationalised road haulage undertaking interrupted by military service, is it quite clear that the military service is reckoned in lieu of service with the railways or with the road haulage undertaking? My point is that no man who serves his country in the Armed Forces of the Crown should be penalised because he has been so called up and has not remained at his work, as so many other railway or road haulage workers have.

I welcome these Regulations, and I am astonished that hon. Members opposite do not recognise that this is one of the most generous measures which could be provided.

8.23 p.m.

Mr. David Jones (The Hartlepools)

It is a pity that the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham) did not grace this Chamber with his presence while the Minister was trying to explain these Regulations. If he had done so, he would have realised that the Minister said that he had moulded these Regulations upon something that the right hon. Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) had said when he was in the position now occupied by the right hon. Gentleman.

The other interesting feature is that he now tells us that when employees leave the nationalised industry to return to private employment, they are to be compensated. The simple fact is that it is because the Minister does not think that private enterprise will want them that he is providing compensation. If they can be found a job, there will be no compensation. I am not sure whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman is under the impression that they are to get compensation as well as a job, but if that is what he thinks, he has an awful shock coming to him one of these days, particularly in the constituency which he represents.

I think my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) is right. These Regulations ought to be resisted in the Division Lobby, because they are certainly not good enough in the circumstances in which these people are likely to find themselves. The Minister told us that he had had long consultations with the Trades Union Congress. Indeed, he told us that the period of cause of action is to be 10 years, but what he did not tell the House was that in his original outline of the Regulations he provided for five years. It was only when the Trades Union Congress drew his attention to that, and asked for an unlimited period of cause of action, that he reviewed the situation. In that respect the Minister has not been honest with the House——

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The hon. Gentleman has no right whatever to say that. In the course of negotiations on matters of this kind with the Trades Union Congress or with any other body, obviously there is a good deal of give and take. Certain suggestions are made; some are knocked down by one side or the other, and eventually an agreed compromise on some matters is reached while on others the parties do not agree. To refer to one period of my talks, and say that at every stage I should have said how my mind developed in the talks, is very unreasonable. I presented a complete picture to the House, and by that I stand.

Mr. Jones

I shall justify the charge before I finish. I say that the Minister has not been honest with the House. In his original outline he indicated a period of five years. The Trades Union Congress asked for unlimited time. But that is not the whole of the story. In the debate on 18th December, 1952, the Minister referred to a question which had been asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, West (Mr. P. Morris). This is what the right hon. Gentleman said: The hon. Member for Swansea, West asked about the period of action. The period of action is not laid down in the Act of 1947, but in the Regulations. The period is 10 years in the Labour Government's Regulations. I see no reason why it should be different, but that is the sort of point I should like to discuss with the various bodies I have mentioned."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th December, 1952; Vol. 509, c. 1663.] I charge the Minister with having put five years in the Regulations in order that he could appear to be making a concession to the Trades Union Congress.

The Minister went on to tell us that the date 1st May is not justifiable because of something that his right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary said in the House in November, 1951. He proceeded to read the first part of this extract, and I want to read the second part. The Home Secretary said: Whatever else hon. Members opposite may have doubt about, they cannot have any doubt about our intentions in this matter. Then he went on to explain what they were, and he said: They are set out quite clearly in our election documents. … Was it not the Prime Minister who said, during the previous Administration, that the insertion of a promise in an election programme is not binding on any future Government? What reason have we to suppose that, because the Tory Party put something into their election programme, that policy will be followed by the Government, after the statement which the present Prime Minister made in 1950? What right has anybody to assume that a document prepared by the Conservative Central Office binds the Government to carry out the policy laid down when the party are elected to power? It is a new doctrine that because a political party inserted a statement in an election programme it must be taken——

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hopkin Morris)

That is a little remote from the Regulations which we are now discussing.

Mr. Jones

With due respect, the Regulations mention a date upon which a person must be in the employment of these authorities if he is to receive compensation. The Minister has argued—and he quoted in aid the very passage from HANSARD which I am now quoting—that the pledge given by the Home Secretary ought to be taken as a guarantee that at some time or other this Government would carry out that pledge, I am endeavouring to say that that is not the case.

In any case, it is advancing a new doctrine if a promise in a programme of a political party is to be taken as binding that party, when it becomes a Government, to do something at some future date. I have merely called in aid the speech made in this House by the present Prime Minister, when he was Leader of the Opposition, in which he said that putting a statement into a programme was no reason for carrying it out. That is not good enough. There is nothing in the speech of the Home Secretary which conveys anything at all, because he goes on to say: They are set out quite clearly in our election documents, and our intention is, as it has always been, to diminish the monopolistic powers of the British Transport Commission over the long-distance section of the road haulage industry, and to give an opportunity to those private hauliers who wish to do so to return into a business from which so many of them have been ousted…."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th November, 1951; Vol. 493, c. 720.] That is no indication of what the programme was.

I would remind the Minister of Transport that in the debate on the King's Speech on 6th November, 1951, there were merely these few words: Proposals will be made to facilitate the extension of private road haulage activities."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th November, 1951; Vol. 493, c. 53.] In those circumstances I suggest that there is no justification whatsoever for taking 31st December, 1951, as the date. I want to prove to the right hon. Gentleman, out of his own mouth, that he argued that the White Paper was a declaration of policy. On 21st May, 1952, there was a debate in which the right hon. Gentleman took part; indeed, he opened it. He said: I must ask the House to listen to an argument which may take a little time to evolve, but the purpose of the White Paper is to direct Parliamentary and public attention in advance of the appearance of the Bill to the broad issues of policy and principle involved. If he is to be honest with the people who are to be displaced in this industry, he should admit that that is the first intimation that anybody had of the detailed policy that was to be followed by this Administration and by his Department.

The right hon. Gentleman went on to deal in detail with that policy. He said: In regard to the sale of road haulage assets, there are one or two observations I should like to make to the House. Her Majesty's Government will be glad to see the former owners of long-distance road haulage undertakings come back again into the business. We are particularly anxious to see again those people who were compulsorily acquired and to whom no compensation, however high, was really a return for what they have lost, people who had spent their whole life in a business they had themselves created and who gave local and personal service to their friends and neighbours."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st May, 1952; Vol. 501, c. 481–491.] I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman must be honest with those people who, through this Act of Parliament, will be put out of work—and I say those words deliberately—because of the policy of the disposal of the road haulage industry which he proposes to follow and which is designed to that end. The first point I want to make, therefore, is that there is every justification for making 1st May, 1952, the operative date, and neither the right hon. Gentleman nor the Government by any stretch of the imagination can justify choosing the date 31st December, 1951.

I want to say a few words about the resettlement period. The Road Haulage Executive have built up not only a whole series of trunk routes which we know include the principal towns of the country but also, in very many parts of the country, substantial repair and overhaul depots. Very many skilled people, some in supervisory capacities, are employed in these depots. I have tried to examine the scheme as carefully as I can, but I cannot see how these depots can remain in existence. They must inevitably be broken up. Large numbers of people, highly skilled in the motor engineering world, will inevitably find themselves out of a job.

The right hon. Gentleman has argued from the beginning—and, indeed, the Prime Minister said this in the White Paper debate in 1952—that the small men were to come back into this industry. The right hon. Gentleman said these people who gave personal service were to come back into the industry. If they do, they are bound to displace large numbers of people, many the wrong side of 40 to get jobs easily. To tell men of that kind, highly skilled men, that at the end of 13 weeks or something between 13 and 26 weeks, through no fault of their own but through the deliberate action of the Government, they are to be placed on the scrap heap, or, at best, upon the lists of the employment exchange, is all that this Government can do for them seems to me to be betraying all the fine promises which the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues gave when the Bill was being debated in this House and in another place.

I therefore suggest that the least the right hon. Gentleman can do is to give to the older people a 52-week resettlement period. If he brings the date forward to 1st May, 1952, and doubles the period of resettlement, he will to some extent, at any rate, mitigate the hardship which has been created.

I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South that this is an entirely different type of operation. He read out the number of claims that have been made so far as compensation is concerned. I had some experience during a previous period of reorganisa- tion on the railways when the 120 companies were amalgamated into four under the Railways Act, 1921. I know that there were very many men in those days, middle aged, skilled at their jobs, who did not know what was to happen. They were skilled craftsmen. In the absence of a job in the railway service, and having to go into some other industry at the age of 45 or 50, they were good only for unskilled labour. That is the sort of thing to which large numbers of these people are today to be condemned.

I do not want to repeat what my right hon. Friend said earlier, but when the road haulage organisation was being built up by the British Transport Commission, it was the ambition and desire to create and build up a road haulage organisation covering the whole of the country. Very few of the people who desired to go with their vehicles were denied the right to go over to the new organisation. Has the Minister sought from the Road Haulage Association or from the prospective purchasers of transport units an undertaking that they will take over, to man the vehicles in their control, the equivalent number of men now working them in the control of the Road Haulage Executive who will be displaced?

Has he made any inquiries at all? Has he made any attempt whatsoever to safeguard the employment of those people? Or does he believe these Regulations are going to be good enough to satisfy people who are being thrown from pillar to post? Not because of anything they have done, not because of shortcomings on their part, but because of a promise made by the Tory Party to the Road Haulage Association, these people are now being thrown to the wolves.

Indeed, already anxiety is being felt. Here is a letter dated 18th July from a man in the employment of the Road Haulage Executive who does not know what is going to happen to him. He says in a letter to an hon. Friend of mine: I beg to take this opportunity of writing to you in an endeavour to seek your guidance in connection with the grave position I find myself in with the denationalisation of road transport. I am aged 45, married, with two children. I obtained grammar and technical school standards. My lifetime has been spent in transport, 28 years with Messrs. Pickfords and the last two years with the Road Haulage Executive. I attained an executive position in Messrs. Pickfords as a branch manager at"— and he gives the name of the town— and in November, 1951, obtained a transfer with no personal gain to myself to another group of the Road Haulage Executive, to assist in reorganising a depot which had been very badly controlled, with an adverse trading return amounting to thousands of pounds. During the last two years my endeavours have been rewarded and my depot is now a commercial proposition revealing a profit on each four weekly period. Sir, in the event of Pickfords and its subsidiaries continuing to operate as heretofore, has any provision been made for staff previously in their employ to be reinstated? I have been a contributor to a superannuation scheme introduced by Messrs. Pickfords for the past 28 years. My house is mortgaged with this firm, which, I trust you will appreciate, places me in a very unhappy position. I must be frank and say I was warned not to leave the employ of my previous employers, but my experience plus long spells of duties have proved an asset to the Road Haulage Executive. Thanking you in anticipation of a reply at your earliest convenience. … This is one of the men whom the right hon. Gentleman says, because of something nebulous which was said by the Home Secretary in this House in November, 1951, ought to be satisfied with that. If that is the best which the right hon. Gentleman can do for these people whom he is displacing deliberately by the introduction of the Measure, I am very glad that I shall go into the Division Lobby tonight to vote against these Regulations.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson (Truro)

I wish in a very few words to welcome these Regulations, and I do so because I am quite satisfied, notwithstanding the speeches that have already been made by the right hon. Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) and the hon. Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. D. Jones), that there is no justification whatever for suggesting that these Regulations are not better drafted and more comprehensive than either of the two previous sets of Regulations dealing with compensation which have appeared under the Transport Acts. It really is preposterous that we on this side of the House should discontinue to hear the suggestion that the road hauliers must be bad employers if they are private hauliers.

Mr. Callaghan

You cannot re-write history.

Mr. G. Lindgren (Wellingborough)

Does the hon. Gentleman really expect us to forget that during all the period of the inter-war years those were the only people with whom we could not get trade union agreements?

Mr. Wilson

The hon. Gentleman cannot get away with that one. I interrupted the right hon. Member for Lewisham, South to ask him if the Road Haulage Association had had any recent negotiations with trade unions. I am informed that they have had satisfactory negotiations and there has been no complaint.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

This seems, too, to me to be a little remote from the Regulations.

Mr. Wilson

I bow to your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I was led into digression by the hon. Gentleman. The point I want to make is that I am satisfied that these Regulations are better drafted and more comprehensive than the Regulations which arose out of the 1921 Act or the Transport Act, 1947. As the House is aware, I have certain experience of dealing in a legal capacity with the 1921 Act and the Regulations which arose under it. I think that the hon. Member for The Hartlepools will confirm that the Regulations under the 1921 Act were extremely vaguely worded and that many controversies arose on the compensation Clauses under those Regulations, particularly in the case of the South Wales Railways, with one of whom the hon. Gentleman was employed before both he and I were servants of the Great Western Railway Company.

Mr. D. Jones

The hon. Gentleman will agree that it was a Coalition Government with a predominantly Tory majority who drafted the 1921 Regulations.

Mr. Wilson

I was saying that these are very much more satisfactory Regulations than those put forward under that Act. It is a fact that cases under those Regulations were dragging on right up to the beginning of the war, and I am told that cases are still from time to time arising, especially in connection with the South Wales Railways, because when a man retires he may claim that his conditions as to the age of retirement were worsened by reason of the amalgamation of 1921. These Regulations today are a great improvement on those because those Regulations had no time-limit on the period under which the cause of claim could arise.

It was most unsatisfactory from the employers and employees point of view that there should be no time-limit. In the Regulations which we have before us there is a time limit of 10 years within which the cause of claim must arise, and that applies not only to the railways under Regulation 5 but to Regulation 4 which deals with long-term compensation for road haulage employees. In that respect the Regulations are a great improvement upon the preceding ones.

There is a second very good point. Regulation 5 is in very much the same terms as the railway Regulations arising under the 1947 Act which came into force in 1948, but besides Regulation 4 which deals with the long-term compensation for road haulage employees who have been in the employ of the Road Haulage Executive for eight years, we also have Regulation 3 which provides for resettlement payments as a temporary measure and is something new. I do not follow this argument of the hon. Member for The Hartlepools, who seemed to think that Regulation 3 was unfair because it applied only from a certain date.

Mr. A. Hargreaves (Carlisle)

Can a man have served the Road Haulage Executive for eight years?

Mr. Wilson

Regulation 4 specifically provides permanent compensation. Regulation 3 is an interim measure to provide compensation for a man changing his job. One hon. Member said that it is nothing unusual for a man to change his job in the road haulage industry. It is nothing to do with the way in which the road hauliers treat their employees; it is the custom of the industry for men to change their jobs from time to time. Here we have a provision which will enable men to get something which they would not otherwise have in the ordinary course.

Mr. D. Jones

I do not want the hon. Member to mislead the House. Will he tell us what would happen to a man who got a 13 weeks' resettlement payment if at the end of the 13 weeks he had not found a comparable job?

Mr. Wilson

A man who gets 13 weeks' resettlement payment is 13 weeks better off than a man in private industry who changes his job frequently during the course of a year. If the man was a permanent employee of a firm which subsequently became absorbed in the Road Haulage Executive, he has permanent compensation under the new Regulation, but if he has been only a short time in the employment of the Road Haulage Executive it is probable that he is a man who is changing his job from time to time and he has temporary compensation for 13 weeks, or it may be up to 26 weeks, which will cover the interim period.

The argument that this is unfair has been put forward with a great deal of force except when it comes to the alternative. Having explained at great length the hardships which would arise under Regulation 3, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Lewisham, South went on to say that he wanted 52 weeks instead of 26. If it is going to be such a great hardship and these men are going to be "thrown on the scrapheap"—that was the right hon. Gentleman's expression—surely the argument is not between 26 and 52 weeks. Either the men are being given a temporary payment while changing jobs or else hon. Members opposite are asking for some better form of compensation. Hon. Members opposite cannot have it both ways.

These Regulations are an improvement upon the previous ones in many respects, and my right hon. Friend and his advisers are to be congratulated upon bringing them forward.

8.55 p.m.

Mr. A. Hargreaves (Carlisle)

The hon. Member for Truro (Mr. G. Wilson) agrees that the Regulations are very useful, but he does not know why. He is not seized of the point that when the 1947 Act brought the Road Haulage Executive into existence it made a vast difference to the security attached to employment. That is the whole point of the argument against the present Regulations. There is a real need for the Minister to recognise that when the men went into the service of the British Transport Commission, it offered them security and better conditions and in most cases infinitely better salaries and wages. I was wondering whether there was going to be any objection to that statement from the other side of the House.

Mr. G. Wilson

That is very far from the truth.

Mr. Hargreaves

That comes from a railwayman.

Mr. Percy Collick (Birkenhead)

The hon. Gentleman opposite is a solicitor, not a railwayman.

Mr. Hargreaves

It is not untrue; it is exactly what happened. In the case of Pickfords, for instance, when the men were brought into the service of the British Transport Commission it represented an increase in wages of 35s. a week. That applied to members of the union to which I belong.

Mr. Wilson

Why did not the hon. Gentleman's union get the better wages from Pickfords? It was a big enough company.

Mr. Hargreaves

Again the hon. Gentleman does not realise that we could not function fully until the men came under the Road Haulage Executive. The hon. Gentleman does not begin to understand the position about these Regulations.

The Minister has a direct and personal responsibility to these people. I know he recognises that, but will he recognise that he has to do his very utmost to see that these Regulations take into account the fact that these men, having been employed by the British Transport Commission—I know that he has argued against this in the past—feel that, when they go into a smaller undertaking and to an unknown employer, they are to some degree embarking on a sea of insecurity? Therefore, we are entitled to ask for these Regulations to be an improvement on previous compensation Regulations.

The 1921 Act attempted to give the employees a bigger organisation which could offer them better superannuation and better salaries. The 1947 Act offered to them the same kind of principles, and they were much more ready then to accept the Regulations governing compensation than to accept the present Regulations, which appear to be a reversion to conditions of employment in the past which they did not like, with smaller salaries and security almost non-existent.

I should like to make it clear that these people are not asking to be made secure against every ill wind that blows. They are not asking to be "feather-bedded" in regard to their conditions, but they are entitled to ask the Government, which are responsible for these schemes, to see that their terms and conditions are not worsened. In the past the House has always recognised that, and it is the central and essential principle which the House and the Minister must recognise.

Now may I invite the right hon. Gentleman's attention to a point of detail about which I am not satisfied—the question of the emoluments upon which compensation is to be based? Since the announcement of the Government's policy many thousands of positions which had been graded for salary, pension, and so on, have been varied in that regard because vacancies have been filled on a temporary basis. I do not know whether in his negotiations the Minister has heard of the mystic letters D.O.P., which represent difference of pay as between the pay attaching to an appointment and the lesser grade which undertakes appointment on a temporary basis? Obviously, that difference will affect the emolument of the person concerned and his entitlement to pension. I am certain that the Minister seizes the point, and while I do not necessarily want him to deal with it this evening, I ask him to go into it and say that he will have some regard to it.

Another question to which the Minister's attention was drawn earlier was that of reasonable employment or comparable employment. The phrase which we would like him to use is referred to in Regulation 2 on two occasions. In Regulation 2 (a) the last phrase is "a reasonably comparable office" and in the last paragraph it is "be deemed to be not reasonably comparable." If the Minister would use that term within the Regulations as applicable to the kind of work which people displaced under the operation of the Act do undertake, rather than the phrase "suitable employment," it would be preferable. "Suitable employment" might not apply to transport at all, whereas "reasonably comparable" work is work associated with transport. Suitable work for the individual might not be associated with transport and might take no account of the skill, technical or otherwise, and long experience within the transport industry. I hope the Minister will take that into account in considering this matter.

My main point is that in road and rail transport a serious atmosphere of insecurity has been aroused. The Minister ought to take more account of this and so ensure that these Regulations are an improvement upon those which followed the 1921 and 1947 Acts.

9.5 p.m.

Mr. R. J. Mellish (Bermondsey)

It is the burden of our case on this side of the House—this is the answer to the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. G. Wilson)—that these Regulations are being introduced into an entirely different atmosphere in the transport industry. The hon. Member must believe that we are sincere in that. When the 1947 Act came into operation in 1948, I was closely associated with many trade union officials who were engaged in the change-over from private enterprise to public ownership. In my area some 60 firms were taken over. One would have imagined that there would have been a great deal of friction and difficulty. Speaking for myself, however, I had not a single complaint, and I am assured by the unions that when the employees were taken over they were in the main taken over entirely.

But that will not apply today; it just is not possible. It is almost certain that the vast number of those who buy the lorries will not, in the first instance, at any rate, take on the drivers automatically with the vehicles. The buyers will take only the better quality vehicles and obviously they will not want those drivers who are redundant because of the fewer vehicles that will be bought.

There is one respect in which the Regulations do not satisfy us and which so far has not been mentioned, not even by my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison). I understand from the trade unions that up to the time of the proposals of the Conservative Party, they were in process of negotiation with the Road Haulage Executive for a pension scheme for lorry drivers. They had, in fact, got to an advanced stage of negotiation. One of my colleagues in the trade union movement assures me that another year would have seen the fruition of such a pension scheme.

Does the Minister not realise how galling will be the Regulations to lorry drivers who were within a year of being within a pension scheme for the first time in their lives but who again are to be denied any possible hope of ever being in a pension scheme of any kind, because private enterprise cannot give it to them?

I ask for this concession, and the Minister will know that what I say is true. After long negotiations, that pension scheme almost came to fruition. Cannot the Minister now accept for these drivers that had there been a pension scheme he would give it to them under the Regulations? Can he not accept some form of compromise which would concede something to these men? Under the nationalised undertaking, they would have had their pension scheme within a year, but the Minister has now denied them its fruition.

There can be no comparison whatever between conditions in transport today and in 1948. I hope, therefore, that the points that were raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South will be considered. Much has been said of the older men in the industry but one thing of which we can be certain is that in comparison with 1948 their prospects are now much worse. The Minister recognises this and is to give them compensation for 26 weeks. There is no reason why he should not make it 52 weeks. These men, who have been in transport for a long time, some of them most of their lives, will have great trouble now in finding alternative employment. That is the view of most of us in the industry, and I hope that the Minister will look with favour at the suggestion to increase the length of the resettlement period.

9.9 p.m.

Mr. C. W. Gibson (Clapham)

It is important that stress should be laid on the point about the date of operation. I do not propose to argue it in detail, because it has already been mentioned by one or two of my hon. Friends from this side of the House. It seems to me and to the trade unions that a date in May, 1952, would be a much more reasonable date to put into the Regulations than the date put in by the Minister. I think it also important that the words "reasonably comparable" should be in Regulations dealing with employment given in exchange for another job rather than the words "suitable employment." A man might get some alternative suitable employment, but it would not be reasonably comparable with the kind of job he had under the Transport Commission. That point ought to be covered. There should be no doubt about the justice of the way in which the Regulations are drafted.

I want to stress, most particularly from the point of view of the road haulage men, the necessity for reducing the qualifying period of eight years of employment. The effect of this provision will be that most of the road transport men—lorry drivers and so on—will be cut out of compensation. I do not know whether that is the intention, but that is what will happen. I would press the Minister very strongly to accept the suggestion put to him by the trade unions concerned that the period should be about three years rather than eight. In so doing he would give the road haulage men, who I anticipate will be much more affected by this than most of the railwaymen, a much fairer chance of getting compensation if—as some of us fear will happen—they are thrown out of employment or suffer serious loss or diminution of earnings.

I want also to refer to the Second Schedule, over which the Minister took some trouble. Paragraph 5 deals with the loss or diminution of pension rights. I defy anyone who is not a lawyer to understand it and I doubt whether many lawyers could understand this paragraph. I have read paragraph 16 and find a full stop at the end of the fifth line and then 10 lines without a full stop. It is extremely difficult to understand, except the old phrase which some of us are so used to in negotiations with Government Departments, "whichever shall be the less." Whatever happens, at the end of the sentence—if we understand it—it is that the lesser of the two payments will be made, if any.

Paragraph 17 is even worse. I have tried to understand it, because the Minister referred to it. It is a paragraph which, apparently, gives some compensation in cases where men lose pension rights because of a change of employment arising out of the de-nationalisation of road transport. It consists of 15 lines before one comes to a full stop and it is quite impossible for most people to understand. In the course of a long trade union experience, on many occasions I have, as a lay lawyer, tried to interpret the meaning of such paragraphs as this, but this one has beaten me. If a road transport worker or a railway worker has this presented to him and is told, "This is what you are entitled to if your pension rights are interfered with," I cannot see how on earth he will understand it.

I should like the Minister to deal with this matter. It seems that even the parts which, on the explanation of the Minister, appear to give compensation are limited by an earlier provision which limits the amount of compensation persons may get to one-sixtieth of current annual emoluments. If a man who has long service gets reasonably large compensation on the one-sixtieth basis, is he to get compensation for loss of pension rights in addition, or is it limited by the amount covered by that paragraph? As I understood what the Minister said, he is subject to the maximum. It seems to me, therefore, that this paragraph really does very little for the man concerned. If these Regulations are to be issued, I plead that they should in some way be rewritten in plain simple English which the average man in the transport industry can properly understand, and that there shall be a careful and simple explanation of them.

My only other point is that if these Regulations go through tonight, as I fear they will, it is absolutely essential that there should be a spirit of willingness to give the men the benefit of the doubt, where there is any doubt, when these Regulations are applied. I have considerable experience of the compensation Regulations under the Electricity Act. I know that under these, where there is some doubt, unless the benefit of it is given to the workman, the workman suffers nine times out of ten and has a grievance, and there is trouble as a result. I suggest that if the Minister gets these Regulations approved and wants to make them work, he must give instructions that they must be worked reasonably and with sympathy, and that where there is any doubt, the workman should be given the benefit of the doubt.

9.16 p.m.

Mr. A. C. Manuel (Central Ayrshire)

The Minister recognises that the denationalisation of road transport must create disturbance and loss of employment. That is the reason for the introduction of these Regulations. Some of us have a vivid memory of what happened when there was a big merger of 120 different railway companies into the four main-line companies. The compensation provisions were quite ineffective, and I could not find anyone who got compensation under those previous Regulations. I knew many thousands of railway men who were displaced or who lost their grade position and lost a great deal of money over many years. We are afraid that we shall have a repetition of that position when these Regulations are brought into force.

Once the Act is put into operation, the Minister cannot say how many railway-men will be displaced consequent upon the competition which the railways will receive from road competition on certain stretches. He cannot tell us how many railwaymen will lose their grade position or their wages. I am sure that the denationalisation of road transport will cause great upheaval among railway and road transport workers. After the sale of the road haulage units, are workers expected to move about the country to keep their employment? I wish the Minister to deal with that point—are they expected willy-nilly to move about the country in order to keep their jobs?

Road haulage depots have been built up; they have been strategically sited to meet the needs of road traffic movements about the country. These vehicles are now to be brought up and operated, not to meet the geographical needs of the country. Hosts of other reasons will be brought into the reckoning—where the private operator lives and where he has been accustomed to having his business; and—of a certainty—these units which will operate will be much smaller than those built up by the Road Haulage Executive. The smaller owner will have his own employees; possibly he will be buying the vehicles because he needs new ones, and possibly he will prefer to recruit his workers from his own area.

That is the position as I see it. If transport workers are asked to move their homes for hundreds of miles in order to keep their jobs, and do not do so, will they come under the compensation Regulations? They may not be able to do so because the move would result in worse conditions of employment, possibly less wages; or it may be because there would be difficulty in securing a home in the new area. It may be that an operator would be asked to remove to Scotland, and I imagine that that would be a blow to some Englishmen. It might possibly be an even greater blow to a Scotsman to be asked to come, say, from Glasgow to the outskirts of London in order to retain his job.

I cannot imagine local authorities putting a clause in their housing allocation schemes to provide accommodation for transport workers in order to help this Government who have displaced those workers. I asked about this matter on Committee stage and the Minister promised a reply, but he forgot to make it on that occasion. I appreciate of course that he had then many other matters to deal with, but I would ask him to deal with this question tonight. The people we are discussing have given their lives to the industry. They have built it up and are the very timber of it. We want something much better than these Regulations as a protective measure for them, and if the Minister cannot provide it I for one will have much pleasure in voting against them.

9.23 p.m.

Mr. Percy Morris (Swansea, West)

In pressing the Minister to withdraw these Regulations for further amendment I am not unmindful nor unappreciative of the agreements he has already reached in conversations with the trade unions and other interested parties. I have no doubt the Minister fully understands the position, although he is not prepared to concede all our points of view.

British transport has a long and chequered history. Three major Acts of Parliament have had a great influence upon the well-being of employees and the transport services of this country; the Railways Act of 1921, and the Transport Acts of 1947 and 1953. It is perfectly true that those three Acts have several analogies. They have features in common, which my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) and the Minister were perfectly right to quote in support of their arguments. But I would remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that there is a fundamental difference between the Act of 1953 and the other two Acts to which I have referred. The 1921 Act and the 1947 Act aimed at integrating not only the transport services but the staff organisation. It was an attempt to set up a cohesive body administering the transport affairs of Great Britain, and I fear that the people who were responsible for that re-organisation have not been given the credit that was due to them.

The first thing that the Minister said today was that he took pride in the fact that he had been able to introduce the Regulations within three months of the passing of the Act and that the Labour Government took 11 months to introduce Regulations for the railways and three years to introduce Regulations for the Road Haulage Executive. He compels me to remind him of the chaos out of which we had to evolve order. Does he not realise that when we took over there were nearly 3,700 different transport concerns in the country and that the overwhelming majority of them had no trade union conditions?

Does he not realise that the first thing we had to do was to clear the Augean stables and set the house in order to encourage men and women to remain in the industry under decent and proper conditions? It was a great administrative achievement on the part of the Road Haulage Executive to get that house in order in such a short time, and to be able to introduce Regulations governing such things as compensation really adds to their credit.

On the question of compensation there are two or three broad principles of which I should like to remind the House. The first is that when we acquired these private concerns to merge them into a public service the public had to pay compensation. Now that the right hon. Gentleman is handing over to private concerns this great public asset, the public have to pay compensation. The public have to pay on every occasion. I invite the right hon. Gentleman to reply to the direct question put by my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South: if he is going to let the Road Haulage Association take over these public assets, is it not fair to ask them to accept the liabilities as well? It is because the right hon. Gentleman has not done that that we have so much cause for complaint.

I am astonished that the right hon. Gentleman should quote the company which he mentioned on the question of hardship of compensation. I should not like to try to adjudicate between him and my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). I will not do so now but will content myself with quoting the actual facts from HANSARD. My hon. Friend asked the Minister of Transport what was the total amount of compensation paid by the British Transport Commission for the acquisition of Hurst and Payne Limited and its allied company. The answer on 1st August, 1952, was £200,840. But what are the facts governing that situation? Mr. Hurst … was employed as managing director at a salary of £3,000 a year with an annual commission of £1,000; making £4,000 altogether. He had other advantages such as an entertainment allowance and the use of a car."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th July, 1952; Vol. 504, c. 1052.] On nationalisation, when the Road Haulage Executive examined the position they said to Mr. Hurst, "Why, you can have a job as group manager"—and to his credit he accepted it—" but that job is not worth more than £1,200 per annum."

It surprises me that people have not noticed that while as a rule the Government are accused of paying extravagant salaries and paying very much more than the business world, here we have a competent Government Department like the Road Haulage Executive telling a man frankly that the job is not worth more than £1,200, although previously he was getting £3,000 a year, £1,000 commission, and an entertainment allowance and the use of a car. He must have thought that the Road Haulage Executive was speaking the truth and he was glad to accept the position. The extravagance is not on the part of the Labour Government but on the part of the Government represented by the Minister in this debate tonight. To quote that as a case of hardship is to introduce a tone of irony into the matter which surprises me very much indeed.

The hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham), who has retired from the scene for a few minutes, welcomed these Regulations because he said it was the first time the House had been given an opportunity of approving such regulations. Of course, it is the first time. It could not have happened unless the Government decided to denationalise the Post Office or the Civil Service. It is the first time that such a situation has arisen, and it is because the matter has not been dealt with adequately that we are asking the Minister tonight to withdraw these Regulations and amend them still further.

May I emphasise the first point made by the Deputy-Leader of the Opposition tonight when he asked for an interpretation of a point in a letter sent by the Road Haulage Executive to the General Secretary of the trade union. It was the point where they say: .. in view of the current uncertainties and in order to avoid increasing the problem of grade redundancy that might well become serious in the event of a rapid run-down of the organisation … we are arranging that any promotions or upgradings should be made on an acting higher grade duty basis. We want the right hon. Gentleman to tell us frankly, if and when some of these men who are serving on an acting higher grade basis are entitled to compensation, the amount will be arrived at by taking the whole of the figure into consideration.

Some people say that the point is quite clear, but I am disturbed by a phrase which says that other payments which do not reflect a permanent state of affairs will not be calculated. It is obvious that a man acting on a temporary basis is not engaged in a permanent state of affairs. But it would be manifestly unfair to give him lower compensation because he had had to accept the post on an acting basis in view of the state of flux through which the industry is passing just now. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give us his personal view on this matter.

The right hon. Gentleman seemed to be proud of the fact that he was making the qualifying date for compensation 31st December, 1951. I repeat the request that it should be 1st May, 1952. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman is that in the debate on the Loyal Address the policy of the Government was made known. Our reply to that statement is that the White Paper was not issued until 1st May, 1952. I would add that anybody reading that White Paper is unable to find a single reference to the conditions of the staff.

It was only as a result of a debate in this House, when we exposed the perils to which the operational and administrative staff were being exposed, that the right hon. Gentleman said that he would put that right in the second Bill that would be brought forward. It is manifestly unfair to take 31st December, 1951, as the qualifying date. Why does the right hon. Gentleman worry about it? Surely the difference between 31st December, 1951, and 1st May, 1952, cannot mean very much to him. If his confidence in the Levy is fully justified, the money will be available and the men to whom we are doing an injustice unless we accept the second date will have their injustice set right.

No reference has been made tonight to the question of the appeals procedure. I know the right hon. Gentleman will say that that is not a matter for him but for the Ministry of Labour. That is true, but we want to hear something from him in the matter. This is his Act, and these compensation Clauses are his responsibility. We want to know in what strain he has been talking to the Minister of Labour about this Question. Does he agree that we have a case in the matter?

The House should be informed of the difficulties. In the case of appeals, the only possibility is to apply to the High Court for a writ of certiorari. That cumbrous and expensive machinery is the only way of appealing. No appeal is possible when a tribunal decide on a point of fact, or even on a point of law, unless the tribunal state their reasons, and no obligation rests upon them to state any reason for their decision. We have had a very unhappy experience in many cases because of the present unsatisfactory appeals machinery.

It has been suggested that this machinery requires revising, not only in respect of the transport industry but of every other industry, but our problem tonight concerns the men and women who are engaged in the transport industry. We want the Minister to commit himself definitely and tell us precisely what are his views about this matter, and what representations he has made to the Minister of Labour, who was here a moment or two ago and whom I was hoping would hear our views on this matter.

There is some query as to the period with regard to resettlement payment. We say that it should be a minimum of 52 weeks, unless the person concerned finds suitable employment. The Regulations we are discussing are quite inevitably expressed in cold, formal and legal terms, but, as some of my hon. Friends have reminded us tonight, they are of vital concern to the men and women who have spent their lifetime in this industry. I suggest that even the men and women who were engaged in the private sector before nationalisation, have devoted nearly the whole of their time and talent to transport, and are now being compelled to seek other employment, should be given a longer period than the Minister suggests, to try to adjust themselves to their new circumstances.

This is a deliberate act on the part of the Tory Party, and they ought to put up with the consequences and provide for the displaced men and women. I have asked on previous occasions for evidence that the compensation proposals in respect of the various features which I have mentioned are satisfactory to the people concerned. If we can find £2,080 for a small firm of approximately two directors, there should be no quibbling about giving the men and women 52 weeks in which to resettle. There ought not to be any ambiguity as between 31st December, 1951, and 1st May, 1952. There must be no ambiguity, either, in respect of the men who are qualifying for compensation and the conditions under which they qualify.

If I were to reflect upon the experience of the last 32 years, I would say that even the Railways Act of 1921 and the Transport Act of 1947 made better provision for these people than does the Act of 1953. In the 1947 Act a dual task was performed. Order was evolved out of chaos, and a transport service was established which met the needs of the public far and wide. Men and women who had been employed under the most shocking conditions were given proper salaries, proper sick pay, entrance into a superannuation scheme, and holidays each year.

All this has been done since 1945, and now these public assets are being handed over to the private investors. The Tory Party gave a pledge to the Road Haulage Association, at every level early in the October before the General Election. Nobody has denied that. The Chairman of that Association said that the Opposition—referring to the Tory Pary of the time—had promised them, at every level, that if they got into power they would denationalise transport. We are asking for a quid pro quo. If they were ever promised that, the Minister is entitled to say to them, "Now that these men are leaving the security of employment, where their conditions were infinitely better than they ever had before, and now that they are going into your service, what are you prepared to do to lend a helping hand?"

Is it beneath the dignity of the right hon. Gentleman to ask members of the Road Haulage Association to give these men a trade union salary and to give them proper provisions for superannuation? Could he not say that they should maintain arrangements in respect of sick pay and annual holidays? Could he not say, "Do what you can to give them a ladder of promotion. They had this under public employment. You must see that these men are given good conditions which are worth having and which will encourage them to remain in your employ"?

The Road Haulage Association have been very successful in lobbying Her Majesty's Government in their actions. We want the Minister to be equally successful and, if I may say so, equally persistent in his efforts to lobby them to give those employees, north, south, east and west, the conditions which are their due. I do not want to introduce anything of an intimidating nature into the debate. The country has decided that for the time being the Tory Party should rule. I warn the Tory Party that these acts of sabotage in respect of industrial conditions will have their repercussions. If we were more concerned with political prestige than with the rights due to men and women we would not oppose these Regulations but would let the Government carry on and give them enough rope to hang themselves. But we are not sacrificing principle to expediency. We are really worried and concerned about the well-being of these men in the industry.

We therefore ask the Minister to take these Regulations back and amend them in the way we have suggested. It will cost him nothing at all because he can get the money out of the Levy. The Road Haulage Association should be grateful to him and should pay up cheerfully. For those reasons, I support my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South and ask the House, if the Minister does not meet us reasonably tonight, to reject these Regulations so that he can start all over again.

9.42 p.m.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Hargreaves) said that he hoped I was conscious of the uncertainties in which many people find themselves as a result of Government legislation. This is almost inherent in Government legislation and we all regret it, whatever the cause may be. Most changes are unwelcome to all of us, and I have noticed that frequently to be the case in practice with the Socialist Party, certainly much more frequently than many of their spokesmen would suggest. Most people dislike changes even if, in their heart of hearts, they know that the result of the change in the long run may be for the better.

It is, as I have said, our hope that there will be a very smooth transition in that part of the road haulage business which is to pass from the public into the private sector. I very much hope, and I take it that hon. Members on both sides of the House equally hope, that the number of people who will be obliged to take advantage of these Regulations will be very small indeed. We all hope that.

The concluding speech of the hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. P. Morris) was couched in vigorous language and inspired by the knowledge, of which he is undoubtedly an expert, of the background of these Regulations. It is quite true that I did not consider—and I repeat that I was right not to consider—that it was part of my proper province to consult the Road Haulage Association on the precise terms of the compensation to be paid by the British Transport Commission to those who lost their employment, but I lose no opportunity of urging on all those engaged in the road haulage business, and particularly those who will have renewed and greater opportunities in the future as a result of the Government's Act, their obligation to keep the standards and conditions of employment as high as possible and to make the indifferent employer look to the good employer so as to raise his standards to those of the good employer. I have no doubt whatever that in this business there will be improvements all along the line, although I would repudiate completely the oft-repeated assertion—repeated without any justification—that there were scarcely any good employers in the road haulage business.

The hon. Member for Swansea, West made a number of points, most of which, I think, had been made by previous speakers, and I shall take them up as I go along and deal with the various observations that have been made, but there are two points on which I should put the hon. Gentleman right. He said it was the case that the public always paid. In the sense that the users of transport in the long run have got to pay for the cost of transport, of course that is true, whatever the policy may be; but he said that the public paid compensation when the private industry was taken over and now the public are going to pay again.

Of course, the truth of the matter is that, though the British Transport Commission are the compensating authority under these Regulations, the cost of compensation of the road haulage employees will be borne out of the levy, and so it will in fact be borne by the very people who, the hon. Gentleman said, ought to bear it, the new owners and the owners of the road haulage industry, and by those other operators of transport, the C licensees, who are going to find as a result of the better service to be available that their opportunities of service will be better looked after than before.

There is one other point the hon. Gentleman made which, I think, ought to be picked up. He dealt with the question of appeals, and no one else, I think, referred to that. I did myself in my opening speech refer to appeals but not to this particular aspect. When the trade unions spoke to me about their dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the appeals procedure, I pointed out to them that under Section 28 (3) of the Transport Act, just like Section 101 (3) of the Socialist Government's Act, the appeals under these Regulations are to go to the appeals tribunal set up by the Minister of Labour and if they did not think that the appeals machinery was working smoothly they should realise, as indeed they freely did, that the procedure of this tribunal covered many subjects quite apart from transport, and only the Minister of Labour could properly deal with this issue.

Then they said to me, "Will you represent to the Minister that we are disturbed about it in this and other fields?" I said that I would certainly point out to the Minister of Labour that the trade unions had doubts on this matter, and we did so inform him, and that is now, I understand, the subject of direct communication between the Trades Union Congress and the Ministry of Labour.

Mr. P. Morris

The right hon. Gentleman has missed the point I was making. He has just recited that he has conveyed to the Minister of Labour what the trade unions thought about the matter. I am asking the right hon. Gentleman what he thinks about the matter. Does he agree, and is he prepared to support us in our representations? I am not imputing to him any failure to report what he said he would to the Minister of Labour, but will he support us in our representations? The new procedure is unsatisfactory. Does he agree?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As I say, it is now under direct discussion between the Minister of Labour and the trade unions, and I think we had better see what emerges from those discussions. It is the appeals machinery in the Socialist Act of 1947 that is causing the trade unions a certain amount of anxiety.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) asked whether these Regulations could be rewritten in simpler English. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) quoted one passage of the Regulations which, I recognise, is in rather elaborate prose. It would be possible, if I had time, to take Statutory Instrument 1083 of 1950 for which his Government were responsible, which dealt with the same subject, and find a great many phrases in it that one would require to sit quietly by oneself wholly to elucidate on first reading. But let me point out to him that if his Government's Regulations were couched in simpler English, in the upshot they did not give anybody long-term compensation, and surely it is better that the Regulations should be complicated and do justice than be simple and prevent justice from being done?

Mr. Lindgren

All that happened under the 1947 Act was that a few employers lost their businesses without in fact losing their livelihood, but these people are losing their livelihood, and there is a difference between the two.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I cannot accept that explanation of the difference, but I hope to deal with one or two points to show that we are really looking after people who may lose certain rights.

The hon. Member for Clapham referred also to paragraph 16 in the Second Schedule, and he said he could not make out what it meant. It is perfectly plain. It deals with the point which I made earlier about the continuation of pension rights under the separate Regulations which I am going to introduce, I hope, during the Recess.

Under Section 27 of the Act we shall preserve the pension rights by service up to the date of loss. One hon. Member, in an interruption, quoted the case of a man aged 50 years who had 30 years' service. We would preserve his pension rights to that extent now under the Regulations to be issued under Section 27, but by the compensation to which I drew attention today we would increase his pension rights by the pension that he would have earned if he had done 40 years' service, that is, by one added year for each year of service after 40, so that he would not be at a disadvantage even if he was in no position to continue to make his payments as a contributor under the British Transport Commission.

I think that a trade unionist would prefer to have a complicated Clause and be all right than to have a simple Clause that gave him nothing at all. The right hon. Member for Lewisham, South, in his wide-ranging speech, raised almost every other issue which has been raised tonight. May I say that perhaps his juggling with figures this afternoon would manifestly qualify him to any treasurership which might ever be available, even if some of the wild language which he used about the matter was not designed to facilitate that very end.

The right hon. Gentleman asked about the people who are employed now on a temporary basis. He asked whether they are going to get compensation on their temporary pay or only on their substantive pay. The answer is that compensation is based on the annual rate of earnings at the time of the loss, and whether these are acting earnings or permanent earnings does not affect the issue. I draw attention to page 1 of this Statutory Instrument which sets out the definition of "current net emoluments." The next point which the right hon. Gentleman raised was the question of the qualifying period.

Mr. P. Morris rose——

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have only six minutes and there are other questions I should like to answer.

The hon. Members for Swansea, West, Clapham and The Hartlepools (Mr. D. Jones) all dealt with this point. The hon. Member for The Hartlepools got very impassioned about my failure to date from the White Paper and my insistence that we ought to date from December, 1951. Then he proceeded to quote from a letter which, if I understood him correctly, came from somebody who would appear to have 30 years' service and therefore would qualify three times over; but I am not claiming that that gentleman is so qualified, because I do not want to take up the functions of the compensation authority. The quotation he gave of the actual instance——

Mr. D. Jones

The right hon. Gentleman's charge was that the Home Secretary on 12th November did in fact set out the Government's policy. I proved by quoting the Home Secretary's speech that he did nothing of the kind. In fact the right hon. Gentleman himself on 21st May, in the debate on the White Paper, actually admitted in his speech that he was then setting out the Government's policy.

Mr. Morris

Does the right hon. Gentleman——

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I cannot give way to the hon. Gentleman. I felt it right to give way to the hon. Member for The Hartlepools because I referred to a letter which he quoted. In my last five minutes I must deal with other points which have been raised.

I shall not again go over the qualifying period, the long-term compensation and the other issues with which I dealt fully in my opening speech, but as a number of hon. Members have spoken about "suitable employment" and showed that they have confused it with "comparable employment," I wish to make a few observations about it.

If hon. Gentlemen opposite will look at page 7 of their own Regulations of 1950 they will find "suitable employment" used on the two relevant occasions. There has been some confusion about this. A man can be refused compensation because he does not take up "suitable employment." I defend the use of those words because they occur in the 1950 Regulations and in the 1946 National Insurance Act of the Socialist Government, and the phrase is common form. But if the man accepts "suitable employment" which is not "comparable employment," he gets compensation for the difference between the new job which is not comparable and his previous job.

I think hon. Members slightly confused the phrases "suitable employment" and "comparable employment." In Section 5 of the National Insurance Act, 1946, it is expressly provided that the phrase "suitable employment" and the whole section should not be rigorously interpreted in the period immediately after the loss of employment. If there are any further worries about that matter, I will gladly discuss them with hon. Gentlemen on any suitable occasion, publicly or privately, but I do not believe that their fears are justifiable.

Mr. Manuel

Might I put one question to the right hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

My hon. Friend the Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Mark-ham) asked me a very important question about National Service. He wanted to know if it is clear that, when a man's appointment with the Road Haulage Executive is interrupted by military service, the military service ranks as continuing service with the Road Haulage Executive. I can give an absolutely definite "yes" to that. Service with the Road Haulage Executive and service with the State as a National Service man constitute continuous employment.

The hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) raised a very important point. He said it would be very galling for road haulage drivers now leaving the employment of the Road Haulage Executive to find that there will shortly be a pension scheme for the Executive's employees. I ask him to ponder upon the consequence of that observation if there is soon to be——

Mr. Mellish

That is not what I said. I said that a pension scheme for Road Haulage Executive employees was being negotiated and if it had not been deferred because of the introduction of the Bill, drivers now leaving would be in a pension scheme. I asked the right hon. Gentleman what he was prepared to do about the pensions guarantee in the light of what he had said.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That is exactly what I was saying. The hon. Gentleman said that it would be galling for people who might be leaving the service of the Commission to know that if they had stayed they would have got a pension and to see those remaining get a pension. But has the hon. Gentleman not realised that there would not have been a pension scheme at all but for the efforts not only of the British Transport Commission and the trade unions but of Her Majesty's Government? After the short period that this Government has been in office, we are entitled to claim very considerable credit by reason of the fact that a problem which baffled our predecessors looks as if it is in process of being solved. After this full discussion, I hope the House will approve the Regulations by the large majority which they deserve.

Mr. P. Morris

Before the right hon. Gentleman sits down, will he clarify one point? What will be the position about compensation for a man who by force of circumstances is compelled to accept promotion on an acting or temporary basis?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I said that a salary is taken into account with the net annual emoluments and it did not matter for that purpose whether it was the salary from a temporary job or a permanent job. I made that perfectly clear.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 248; Noes, 234.

Division No. 222.] AYES [7.0 p.m.
Altken, W. T. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lambert, Hon. G.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Duthie, W. S. Lambton, Viscount
Alport, C. J. M. Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M. Langford-Holt, J. A
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Leather, E. H. C.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Erroll, F. J. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Fell, A. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
Arbuthnot, John Fisher, Nigel Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Lindsay, Martin
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Fletcher-Cooke, C. Linstead, Sir H. N.
Astor, Hon. J. J. Ford, Mrs. Patricia Llewellyn, D. T.
Baker, P. A. D. Fort, R. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Foster, John Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Baldwin, A. E. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
Banks, Col. C. Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Barber, Anthony Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Longden, Gilbert
Barlow, Sir John Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Low, A. R. W.
Baxter, A. B. Gammans, L. D. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Beach, Mai. Hicks Garner-Evans, E. H. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Beamish, Maj. Tufton George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Godbor, J. B. McAdden, S. J.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Macdonald, Sir Peter
Bennett, Or. Reginald (Gosport) Gough, C. F. H. Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Gower, H. R. McKibbin, A. J.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Graham, Sir Fergus Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)
Birch, Nigel Gridley, Sir Arnold Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
Bishop, F. P. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Maclean, Fitzroy
Black, C. W. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Macleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.)
Boothby, Sir R. J. G. Hall, John (Wycombe) MaLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Bossom, Sir A. C. Hare, Hon. J. H. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Boyle, Sir Edward Harris, Reader (Heston) Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Braine, B. R. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macolesfield) Markham, Major Sir Frank
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N. W.) Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Marlowe, A. A. H.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Harvie-Watt, Sir George Marples, A. E.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Hay, John Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Brooman-White, R. C. Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)
Browne, Jack (Govan) Heath, Edward Maude, Angus
Billiard, D. G. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Maudling, R.
Butcher, Sir Herbert Higgs, J. M. C. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C
Campbell, Sir David Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Medlicott, Brig. F
Carr, Robert Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Mellor, Sir John
Cary, Sir Robert Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Molson, A. H. E.
Channon, H. Hirst, Geoffrey Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Holland-Martin, C. J. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Hollis, M. C. Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Cole, Norman Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
Colegate, W. A. Hope, Lord John Nabarro, G. D. N.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Neave, A. M. S.
Cooper, Sqn, Ldr. Albert Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Nicholls, Harmar
Cooper-Key, E. M. Horobin, I. M. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Craddock, Beresford (Shepthorne) Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Nield, Basil (Chester)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Noble, Comdr. A. H. P
Crouch, R. F. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Nugent, G. R. H.
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Nutting, Anthony
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J. Odey, G. W.
Cuthbert, W. N. Hurd, A. R. O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Davidson, Viscountess Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
De la Bere, Sir Rupert Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Deedes, W. F. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-super-Mare)
Digby, S. Wingfield Jennings, R. Osborne, C.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Partridge, E.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Donner, Sir P. W. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Perkins, W. R. D.
Doughty, C. J. A. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W Peto, Bri. C. H. M.
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Kaberry, D. Peyton, J. W. W.
Drayson, G. B. Keeling, Sir Edward Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. Sir T. (Richmond) Kerr, H. W Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Pitman, I. J. Snadden, W. McN. Turner, H. F. L.
Pitt, Miss E. M. Soames, Capt. C. Turton, R. H.
Powell, J. Enoch Spearman, A. C. M Tweedsmuir, Lady
Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Speir, R. M. Vane, W. M. F.
Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Profumo, J. D. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.) Vosper, D. F.
Raikes, Sir Victor Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Rayner, Brig. R. Stevens, G. P. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)
Redmayne, M. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Rees-Davies, W. R. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Remnant, Hon. P. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Renton, D. L. M. Storey, S. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Roberts, Peter (Heeley) Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) Watkinson, H. A.
Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Robson-Brown, W. Studholme, H. G. Wellwood, W.
Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Summers, G. S. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Roper, Sir Harold Sutcliffe, Sir Harold Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Russell, R. S. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne) Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.) Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Teeling, W. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Scott, R. Donald Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury) Wills, G.
Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Shepherd, William Thompson, Kenneth (Walton) Wood, Hon. R.
Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.) York, C.
Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn.'Peter (Monmouth)
Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington) Thornton-Kemsley, Col C. N. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Touche, Sir Gordon Mr. Buchan-Hepburn and
Mr. Oakshott.
Acland, Sir Richard Driberg, T. E. N. Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Adams, Richard Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
Albu, A. H. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Edelman, M. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Attles, Rt. Hon. C. R. Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Keenan, W.
Awbery, S. S. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Kenyon, C.
Bacon, Miss Alice Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Baird, J. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) King, Dr. H. M.
Balfour, A. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Bartley, P. Fernyhough, E. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Bence, C. R. Finch, H. J. Lever, Leslie (Ardwiek)
Benn, Hon. Wedgwood Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Lewis, Arthur
Benson, G. Foot, M. M. Lindgren, G. S.
Beswick, F. Forman, J. C. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Logan, D. G.
Bing, G. H. C. Freeman, John (Watford) MacColl, J. E.
Blackburn, F. Freeman, Peter (Newport) McInnes, J.
Blenkinsop, A. Gibson, C. W. McKay, John (Wattsend)
Blyton, W. R. Glanville, James McLeavy, F.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Gooch, E. G. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Bowden, H. W. Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Bowen, E. R. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Bowles, F. G. Grey, C. F. Mann, Mrs. Jean
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Manuel, A. C.
Brockway, A. F. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mayhew, C. P.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Grimond, J. Mellish, R. J.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Hale, Leslie Messer, Sir F.
Burke, W. A. Half Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mikardo, Ian
Burton, Miss F. E. Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Mitchison, G. R.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Hamilton, W. W. Monslow. W.
Callaghan, L. J. Hannan, W. Moody, A. S.
Carmichael, J. Hargreaves, A. Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Morley, R.
Champion, A. J. Hastings, S. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W)
Chetwynd, G. R. Hayman, F. H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Clunie, J. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Mort, D. L.
Collick, P. H. Herbison, Miss M. Moyle, A.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hewitson, Capt. M. Mulley, F. W.
Cove, W. G. Holman, P. Murray, J. D.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Nally, W.
Crosland, C. A. R. Holt, A. F. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Crossman, R. H. S. Houghton, Douglas O'Brien, T.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hoy, J. H. Oldfield, W. H.
Daines, P. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Orbach, M.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Oswald, T.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Padley, W. E.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Hynd, H. (Accrington) Paget, R. T.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Janner, B. Palmer, A. M. F.
Deer, G. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Pannell, Charles
Delargy, H. J. Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Paneras, S.) Pargiter, G. A.
Dodds, N. N. Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Parker, J.
Donnelly, D. L. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Pearson, A.
Peart, T. F. Snow, J. W. West, D. G.
Plummer, Sir Leslie Sorensen, R. W. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Popplewell, E. Sosklice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Wheeldon, W. E.
Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Sparks, J. A. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Praetor, W. T. Steele, T. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Pryde, D. J. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Pursey, Cmdr. H. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Wigg, George
Rankin, John Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B
Reeves, J. Stross, Dr. Barnett Wilkins, W. A.
Reid, William (Camlachie) Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Willey, F. T.
Rhodes, H. Swingler, S. T. Williams, David (Neath)
Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Sylvester, G. O. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Taylor, John (West Lothian) Williams, Rt. Han. Thomas (Don V'll'y)
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth) Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Ross, William Thomas, David (Aberdare) Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Royle, C. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Shaokleton, E. A. A. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Shinwell, Rt. Hen. E. Thornton, E. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Short, E. W. Timmons, J, Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Shurmer, P. L. E. Turner-Samuels, M. Wyatt, W. L.
Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Yates, V. F.
Simmonds, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Viant, S. P. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Skeffington, A. M. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent) Weitzman, D. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield) Wells, Percy (Faversham) Mr. James Johnson and
Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Wells, William (Walsall) Mr. Wallace.
Division No. 223.] AYES [10.0 p.m
Aitken, W. T. Hare, Hon. J. H. Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Nugent, G. R. H.
Alport, C. J. M. Harrison Col. J. H. (Eye) Nutting, Anthony
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Oakshott, H. D.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Harvie-Watt, Sir George Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D
Arbuthnot, John Hay, John Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Heath, Edward Osborne, C.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Henderson, John (Catheart) Partridge, E.
Astor, Hon. J. J. Higgs, J. M. C. Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Perkins, W. R. D.
Baldwin, A. E. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Peto, Grig. C. H. M.
Banks, Col. C. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Peyton, J. W. W.
Barber, Anthony Hirst, Geoffrey Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Barlow, Sir John Holland-Martin, C. J. Pitt, Miss E. M.
Baxter, A. B. Hollis, M. C. Powell, J. Enoch
Beach, Maj. Hicks Hope, Lord John Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Hornsby-Smith, Mist M. P. Ralkes, Sir Victor
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Horobin, I. M. Rayner, Brig. R.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Redmayne, M.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Birch, Nigel Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Remnant, Hon. P.
Bishop, F. P. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Renton, D. L. M.
Black, C. W. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Roberts, Peter (Heeley)
Bowen, E. R. Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Hurd, A. R. Robson-Brown, W.
Boyle, Sir Edward Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Braine, B. R. Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Roper, Sir Harold
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Russell, R. S.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Jennings, R. Scott, R. Donald
Browne, Jack (Govan) Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Shepherd, William
Bullard, D. G. Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Butcher, Sir Herbert Jones, A. (Hall Green) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Campbell, Sir David Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Carr, Robert Keeling, Sir Edward Snadden, W. McN.
Cary, Sir Robert Kerr, H. W. Soames, Capt. C.
Channon, H Lambert, Han. G. Spearman, A. C. M.
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Lambton, Viscount Spelr, R. M.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Langford-Holt, J. A. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W)
Cole, Norman Leather, E. H. C. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Colegate, W. A. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Stevens, G. P.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Linstead, Sir H. N. Storey, S.
Crouch, R. F. Llewellyn, D. T. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Studholme, H. G.
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Lookwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Summers, G. S.
Davidson, Viscountess Longden, Gilbert Sutcliffe, Sir Harold
Deedes, W. F. Low, A. R. W. Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Digby, S. Wingfield Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Teeling, W.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Doughty, C. J. A. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Macdonald, Sir Peter Thompson, Ll.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Drayson, G. B. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. McKibbin, A. J. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Duthie, W. S. Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Touche, Sir Gordon
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Turner, H. F. L.
Erroll, F. J. Maclean, Fitzroy Turton, R. H.
Fell, A. MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Vane, W. M. F.
Fisher, Nigel Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Vosper, D. F.
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)
Ford, Mrs. Patricia Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Fort, R. Markham, Major Sir Frank Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Marlowe, A. A. H. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Marples, A. E. Watkinson, H. A
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton) Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Maude, Angus Wellwood, W.
Gamer-Evans, E. H. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
George, Rt. Hon. Maj G. Lloyd Medlicott, Brig. F. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Godber, J. B. Mellor, Sir John Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Molson, A. H. E. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Gough, C F H. Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Gower, H. R. Morrison, John (Salisbury) Wills, G.
Graham, Sir Fergas Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gridley, Sir Arnold Nabarro, G. D. N. Wood, Hon. R.
Grimond, J. Neave, A. M. S. York, C.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Nicholls, Harmar
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hall, John (Wycombe) Nieolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Major Conant and Mr. Kaberry.
Harden, J. R E. Nield, Basil (Chester)
Acland, Sir Richard Hamilton, W. W Pargiter, G. A
Adams, Richard Hannan, W. Parker, J.
Albu, A. H. Hargreaves, A Peart, T. F.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Harrison, J. (Nottingham E.) Popplewell, E.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Hastings, S. Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)
Awbery, S. S. Hayman, F. H. Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Bacon, Miss Alice Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Proctor, W. T.
Baird, J. Herbison, Miss M. Pryde, D. J.
Balfour, A. Hobson, C. R. Pursey, Cmdr. H
Bartley, P. Holman, P. Rankin, John
Bence, C. R. Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Bonn, Hon. Wedgwood Houghton, Douglas Reid, William (Camlachie)
Benson, G. Hoy, J. H. Rhodes, H.
Beswick, F. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Bing, G. H. C. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Blackburn, F. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Blenkinsop, A. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Ross, William
Blylon, W. R. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Royle, C.
Boardman, H. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Shackleton, E. A. A.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Bowles, F. G. Janner, B. Short, E. W.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Brockway, A. F. Jeger, George (Goole) Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Skeffington, A. M.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Johnson, James (Rugby) Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)
Burke, W. A. Jones, David (Hartlepool) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Burton, Miss F. E. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Snow, J. W.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Sorensen, R. W.
Callaghan, L. J. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Carmichael, J. Keenan, W. Sparks, J. A.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Kenyon, C. Steele, T.
Champion, A. J. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Chetwynd, G. R. King, Dr. H. M. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Clunle, J. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Stross, Dr. Barnett
Coldrick, W. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E
Collick, P. H. Lewis, Arthur Sylvester, G. O.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Lindgren, G. S. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Cove, W. G. Logan, D. G. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) MacColl, J. E. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Crossman, R. H. S McGhee, H. G. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Cullen, Mrs. A. McInnes, J. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Darling, George (Hillsborough) McKay, John (Wallsend) Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) McLeavy, F. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Timmons, J.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Turner-Samuels, M
Deer, G. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Delargy, H. J. Mann, Mrs. Jean Viant, S. P.
Donnelly, D. L. Manuel, A. C. Wallace, H. W.
Driberg, T. E. N. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Mayhew, C. P. Weitzman, D.
Edelman, M. Mellish, R. J. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Messer, Sir F. Wells, William (Walsall)
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Mikardo, Ian West, D. G.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Mitchison, G. R. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Monslow, W. Wheeldon, W. E.
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Moody, A. S. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Fernyhough, E. Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Finch, H. J. Morley, R. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Wigg, George
Foot, M. M. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B
Forman, J. C Mort, D. L. Wilkins, W. A.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Moyle, A. Willey, F. T.
Freeman, John (Watford) Mulley, F. W Williams, David (Neath)
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Murray, J. D. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Gibson, C. W Nally, W. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Glanville, James Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)
Gooch, E. G. O'Brien, T. Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Gordon Walker, Rt Hon. P. C Oldfield, W. H. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) Oliver, G. H. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Orbach, M. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Grey, C. F. Oswald, T. Wyatt, W. L.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Padley, W. E. Yates, V. F.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Griffiths, William (Excharge) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Hale, Leslie Palmer, A. M. F TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Pannell, Charles Mr. Bowden and Mr. Pearson.
That the Draft British Transport Commission (Compensation to Employees) Regulations, 19S3, a copy of which was laid before this House on 9th July, be approved.