HC Deb 04 March 1953 vol 512 cc500-22
Mr. Jack Jones

I beg to move, in page 3, line 40, after "supervision," to insert "and control."

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I think that it might be convenient if the next Amendment, also in line 40, were discussed at the same time.

Mr. Jones

It is our view that the two Amendments have rather different meanings, and if the Committee agree, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, we suggest that they be taken separately.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

indicated assent.

Mr. Jones

I had something to say on Second Reading about the powers of the Board, and at that time, after reasonable scrutiny of the Bill, I thought that the Board's powers were negligible. As we have gone along and been able to enter into more detail as to what the Board can and cannot do, I have come to the conclusion that the powers of the Board are completely negligible, except in one respect; that is to say, they have power to veto any proposed extension or expansion; they have power to stop development, but they have no power whatever within the orbit of the Bill to do anything objective with the idea of putting into real operation what they are called upon to supervise.

There may be a lot of conjecture and different explanations about the meaning of "supervision" and "control." Our idea of supervision is that the body to be set up, comprising these extremely able people, shall supervise the whole of the industry. They have an enormous range of subjects to cover. The extent of their duties was laid down in the White Paper in 23 paragraphs, and these have now been increased by the addition of their duties and obligations under the Schuman Plan provisos.

We find that the Board have an extensive range of work to cover but have no power whatever to implement their findings in regard to their consultations and their intensive research in the application of their wisdom to all the variety of subjects with which they will have to deal. We believe that is wrong. We know that the Government have already indicated to us in no uncertain terms that they will not have anything to do with the control of the industry by the Board. We are, therefore, concerned about this Board having only supervisory work, not even power.

The Board are set up to promote efficient production, to see that plants are efficient, that there is education, research, expansion and extension, to see that raw material supplies are adequate and the distribution of raw materials correct. Having supervised and made contact with all sectors and having spent many hours in consultation with the powers that will be, the Board will then find they have not the slightest power at all to implement any of the things that they think should be done in the public interest, particularly if those who ought to do them will not do them. We think that is wrong.

We believe that this Board, who are set up primarily to work in the public interest, should have the power to control the industry, and by the word "control" we do not mean what we shall probably be told by the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary at the end of this debate—that what we want to set up is a body of snoopers to go round the industry and dictate day-to-day policy on how to run the works, how this or that type of steel should be made and what should be the quantity and the quality. What we do suggest is that in major, fundamental principles affecting the iron and steel industry the Board shall have some control.

This afternoon we had long debates on the vexed problem which is analogous to this question of the Board's powers. I listened with great interest to the last debate on the technical situation, but not a word was said about the sociological situation. We were not able to debate the issue of the location of industry, and we are greatly concerned that here is a Board who are being set up to do a job of work and who have no power to implement that particular job when they have decided what shall be done.

All that the Board can do is to go along to the Minister and say, "We have drawn up this long and carefully prepared report on the situation. We have gone into the whole of the details of the industry and we have decided what shall be done. We have failed to get agreement, and we suggest that you yourself should set about building a steel works." That is provided for in the Bill, but we think it is a bit of window dressing. To put into the Bill provision for something that has already been destroyed by de-nationalisation seems to us to be farcical. I said before, and I say again, that we cannot expect a Tory Minister in this age to build a Government-owned and controlled steel works when he is at the moment taking away all public control from steel works, for that is diametrically opposed to Government policy.

We think that this Board should have some control, and that where they find that the public interest has not been served they should have the power to do things. We are not suggesting these should be minor, petty. pin-pricking things. The Board should have control and be able to recommend the introduction of new directors where they find that the production capacity has not been used extensively, and they should be able to suggest the introduction of people who will carry out the work. Why should the Board not have the necessary control to put things right where necessary without having to go to the Minister? We could talk for weeks on end as to what the Board should do or might do.

We know what happened to Clause 13. It sought to give the Board some objective work to do, but such work was taken from them. In the first instance, we found the foundry industry getting to work. They looked at the proposals, and the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro), who is an extremely able representative of Kidderminster, commenced operations and that sector of the industry began to throw mud at the Bill. They plastered it until what had looked like hardboard became like plasterboard. The foundry people are able to make plaster like the stuff I am referring to.

Then the Federation had a look at the Bill. They decided that the Board might have power to do things that the Federation would not want them to do, so the Federation went to work, and at that stage the plasterboard became pasteboard, a thing of paste, a sham. I am satisfied that Steel House has been very much at work since the Bill has been before us. deciding, for example, that Clause 13 gave the Board too much power and should be removed.

We now find ourselves with a Board who can have consultations and can talk about all the things that can be talked about, but who cannot in any shape or form implement any of the decisions they make. That is the crux of our complaint. The Board, consisting of able men receiving high salaries, capable men with the interests of the country at heart, may spend hundreds of hours in consultation and may come to certain conclusions. but will have no power of control wherewith to implement the decisions they have arrived at.

In the previous debate we put forward the sort of thing we are asking for. There is the question of expansion. If the Minister does not know—and we believe he does not and will probably tell us that he is not aware of the fact—let me inform him that I have been given information from a very authoritative source. I have already heard figures quoted to the nearest ton showing where the next two million tons capacity in this country are to be produced. I have heard figures mentioned in circles that count in the steel industry. There must be some authoritative plan, otherwise figures could not be mentioned. If the Board in their wisdom thought that the plan which is now being talked about and discussed did not suit the public interest, what could the Board do about it?

We have in mind events that are happening in South Wales this very minute. Men are reverting to a six-hour day from an eight-hour day in order to make room for men who have been displaced, and they are willing to receive only three-quarters of their original pay packets in order to absorb men who might otherwise be unemployed. We all knew that Margam was coming into operation and what the results would be. If there had been a plan by the Board, having regard to the sociological conditions that would arise, perhaps some of the work now being done at Appleby Frodingham in the Brigg area could have been done elsewhere. In the Brigg area there is a dearth of labour—750 people are required. At some stage in the operations a thousand people have been wanted.

The Board should be able to plan not only technically and from a structural and industrial point of view, which is very necessary, but with regard to prices and deliveries. We want the Board, after the deliberations that must take place, at the end of the day to have control and power to implement decisions that they will wisely make. We ask the Minister to give careful consideration to this suggestion. We said at the start that the Board had no teeth. If we do not get the Amendment accepted we shall think that even their gums have been pulped. They will not even have gums that are of any use. They will be a facade. 9.15 p.m.

These debates and the refusal by the Minister to accede to our request to give that power to the Board expected by the steel workers of this country, has created great interest among them. I have received telegrams both yesterday and today from 20,000 steel workers, who at their meeting last Saturday objected most vociferously—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] —well, the representatives of 20,000 of them. I do not think the House would ever charge me with wanting to misrepresent the facts. I refer to the accredited representatives of those 20,000 men, the people who really represent steel workers, not phantoms. If they did not, there would not be the relationship which exists in the industry.

By representatives I do not mean Left-wing jumped-up somebodies from nowhere out to make mischief. They are the best people in the world. They are not—I will repeat the term—jumped-up somebodies from nowhere out to make mischief. There are such people, but not in the steel industry. This matter has caused a great deal of concern. I have in my possession letters referring to the subject from the representatives of 10,000 of my constituents.

If the Minister wishes to keep the good will of the people in the industry, as I believe he does, he must pay serious regard to our request that this Board, instead of being toothless and possessing no powers; instead of being in the position to talk themselves hoarse without being able to do anything, shall be given the power of control by the insertion of these words.

Mr. Fienburgh

I beg to second the Amendment.

It will be a relief to the House to know that I do not propose to go over the arguments adduced in support of a similar Amendment moved in Committee. It is no use trying to argue this point with the Minister in his present frame of mind. As soon as we try to come to grips with him in a concrete argument about whether the industry is to be controlled or not, he elevates himself to a high moral plane far beyond our reach. He puts on, as it were, pasteboard wings and a cardboard halo and says: Our policy and intention is not to set up an organisation to run and control the iron and steel industry centrally, but to lead it and guide it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 29th January, 1953; Vol. 510, c. 1242.] I can hear the Minister, wearing his pasteboard wings and cardboard halo, singing. "Lead kindly light" to as hard-bitten a set of businessmen as there has ever been in this country. He also said in Committee: … the main strength and influence of the Board will depend upon its moral influence and its power of persuasion."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1953; Vol. 510, c. 1243.] The Minister did not move in the same circles as those in which I was brought up, where a great feature every year was the Sunday school outing. I am sure the school which the right hon. Gentleman attended did not have an outing. Dear and honourable old ladies tried to guide us by using moral persuasion and all that sort of thing. But we still rushed harum-scarum around the countryside, leaving a trail of devastation and breaking our arms and legs ad lib. The iron and steel industry is much stronger and more vicious than an outing of choirboys. No amount of moral persuasion and pious argument, no chanting of, "Lead kindly light," will influence or restrain them from taking any direction they wish to follow.

From my tender years I would not have the impertinence to pretend that I can describe adequately the steel masters of the inter-war years, or indeed of today. I have not come into contact with them very closely and I will fall back, as indeed we often have to, on a quotation which has been used before. I wish to quote Sir William Firth, who himself was a steelmaster. I am sorry to have to refer to him again. I know that hon. Gentlemen opposite writhe inwardly whenever I mention his name, and I do not blame them. Incidentally, this is a quotation from the days when he had not fallen out with the Federation. He was still one of their leading men.

Speaking of these gentlemen whom it is hoped to lead by moral persuasion, he said: Thirty years' close contact with the trade entitles me to believe that I understand its mentality … and it is my recognition of the futility of hoping that individuals will subordinate their private interests to national interests that caused me to criticise the present scheme. There is a man who knew the industry—speaking of the days before he had fallen out with the industry—who described adequately and firmly the futility of expecting them to subordinate their private interests in the national interests. Yet the Minister now tells us that he will do it by moral persuasion.

That is why I say that it is no use trying to meet him logic with logic. He is quite beyond our reach. He has gone on to his higher moral plane on this issue. Therefore, although we will press our Amendment, I have not the faintest hope that he will accede to it.

Mr. Sandys

I am quite prepared to face the rebuke of the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Fienburgh). The success of the new organisation which we seek to set up under this Bill will depend mainly upon the leadership of the Board and the co-operation of the industry. I do not believe that that is a source of weakness. If those two elements were not available there would be something seriously wrong with the industry and with the Board. We confidently expect both these elements.

To strengthen the hands of the Board we provide them with powers which we consider effective not because they are numerous but because they are applied at the strategic points—development, prices and raw materials. The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) said that the Board has an extensive range of supervisory duties but insufficient powers to carry them out. My first observation on that is that the Amendment will not add one jot or tittle to the powers of the Board. It will alter the powers in no way whatsoever.

The hon. Gentleman has been long enough in this House to know that conferring control upon some body does not give them any power. No court of law would say that the Board could exercise power over the industry simply because in one Clause of the Bill there was this reference to control over the iron and steel industry. Control would have to be defined precisely so that the courts could interpret what kind of control it was. I am sure that the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison), who is very wise in these matters, would not interrupt me to say that I was misleading the House.

Mr. Mitchison

No, but if the right hon. Gentleman were prepared to give them control, we hope that he would provide them with the necessary powers to exercise it.

Mr. Sandys

I think it is a good thing to provide the powers and write the Preamble around them afterwards, but it is quite clear, and I wish to make this very plain, that the insertion of this word "control" in this Clause will not make any difference whatsoever to the Board's powers, and that is the first point.

The hon. Gentleman also said that by control he did not mean an army of snoopers or people who would try to dictate to the industry in regard to its day to day management. He was a little vague as to exactly what he meant by control. He mentioned a lot of things which he would like the Board to be able to do, but which the insertion of this word would not give them power to do. The hon. Member for Islington, North, who has now left the Chamber, in his speech in Committee, said that he had looked up the word "control" in a dictionary, and had found that one of its meanings was "to exercise power over."

Having listened to the hon. Member who moved the Amendment, and to other hon. Members earlier during the Committee stage, I believe that, by and large, that is what hon. Members opposite mean by control—" to exercise power over." Mr. M. Turner-Samuels (Gloucester): Assuming that what the Minister says about the word "control" is correct, and I must confess that I think it is, would he be prepared to substitute the word "direction" for "control"?

Mr. Sandys

I am trying to deal with the Amendment which has been moved, and I want to be clear. I am not trying to "pull a fast one" on anybody, but I believe that that interpretation represents the view of hon. Members opposite about the meaning of "control"; that is to say, "to exercise power over." In other words, we give special powers, and they exercise these powers over the industry.

Mr. Turner-Samuels rose——

Mr. Sandys

I am sorry, but I cannot give way; I must make myself clear, because unless one is clear on the subject to which one is addressing one's remarks, it is very difficult to reply to the debate. I understand that the hon. and learned Gentleman is in agreement with his hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North, that a good interpretation of the word "control" is "to exercise power over" in this case, over the iron and steel industry.

Mr. Jack Jones

I am sorry if I did not make myself clear. We did not want an army of snoopers, but we did want the Board to have powers of control. I am quite willing to accept the definition that they should have this power, after consultation, and I accept the definition "to exercise powers over," because that is exactly what we want.

Mr. Sandys

It is just as well that we should know what we mean by control.

The purpose of Clause 3 is to define in general terms the duties and functions of the Board. The hon. Member is quite right; they have wide duties of supervision over the iron and steel industry, and the purposes for which these supervisory duties are to be exercised are summarised in this Clause, namely, to promoting the efficient, economic and adequate supply … of iron and steel products, That is the objective towards which the Board are asked to work; those are its marching orders. Under Clause 3 they are given wide supervisory duties, but no powers with which to carry them out. The insertion of the word" control" in the Preamble to Clause 3 will not by itself give to the Board any added powers.

9.30 p.m.

In other parts of the Bill the Board have powers relating to development. prices and raw materials, and those powers are obviously there to be used when necessary in order to promote the efficient, economic and adequate supply of iron and steel products. The only effect of the Amendment, as I see it, would be, instead of leaving the exercise of those powers to some extent permissive, to require the Board to use them in order to promote the efficient, economic and adequate supply of iron and steel products. Do the Opposition fear that, without this Amendment, the Board would fail to exercise the powers entrusted to them when necessary in order to further this objective? If not, I cannot see any object or purpose in inserting the word "control" in the Clause. The only effect of inserting the word—especially if it were interpreted more fully—would be to make sure that the Board exercised those powers in regard to prices, raw materials and development when necessary in order to carry out the duties set out in Clause 3 (1).

I do not wish to be at cross-purposes with hon. Members opposite. We have put those powers into the Bill so that they shall be used when necessary to promote this objective. I do not like the word "control," because it is vague, but I would be prepared, if you, Mr. Speaker, would allow me, and if it would give satisfaction to the party opposite, to move an Amendment to insert in Clause 3, after the words It shall be the duty of the Board to exercise a general supervision over the iron and steel industry the words and to such extent as they may consider necessary the powers conferred on them by this Act. In various places in the Bill the Board are given the right to exercise certain powers, but it is not obligatory for them to do so. The word "may" appears in different places in the Bill, which states that the Board "may" do this or that. The effect of these proposed words would be to make it mandatory upon the Board to use those powers in so far as it might be necessary to do so to secure the objectives which are set out in Clause 3.

I have used the words "exercise of powers," which is the definition which the hon. Member for Islington, North gave the House of the word "control." I suggest, therefore, that that is a clear, precise and lucid interpretation of this word "control," using it in a sense which is not isolated, but is the same as the exercise of the Board's powers under various other Clauses of the Bill. If my suggested Amendment is rejected by the party opposite I will not take the trouble to move it.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

The right hon. Gentleman is always anxious to meet us and sometimes goes out of his way to make concessions, but I do not think he has met us at all in his suggested Amendment as an alternative to our Amendment. It really does not add to the authority of the Board in the slightest degree. Therefore, while we are grateful to him for suggesting this alteration it does not meet our point of view. We have something quite different in mind. When we said "control" we meant control, and that the Board should have a different status to that given to it at the moment.

If the word "control" had been inserted, there would have been a number of consequential Amendments, which we would have expected the Government to make or which we would have moved if the Government had not been able to do so. We cannot accept the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion and if we do not vote on this Amendment and divide the House it is because of the lateness of the hour and because we have another Amendment which we want to discuss. We thank the right hon. Gentleman for his suggested alternative, but we think that the Board should be a Board of authority with a large measure of control over the iron and steel industry and that unless it has that control it will not be of the slightest use.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

Having made the concession, would not the Minister be prepared to substitute the word "direction"? That would include all the powers to which he has referred and would also embrace further essential directions in connection with the exercise of the Board's duties.

Mr. Sandys

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and by leave of the House I should like to say that the word "direction" would not apply here at all. It would not work in the context of the Clause. Even though I understand that the words of my suggested Amendment do not satisfy hon. Members opposite, I believe that they do go some little way in the direction which they desire and, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I am still prepared to move that those words be inserted if hon. Members opposite would like me to do so.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

My advice is that those words do not strengthen the authority of the Board. If the right hon. Gentleman tells us that they do, we will accept that. Obviously, we will not oppose it. We will accept his view that in a very small way his proposed words strengthen the authority of the Board. If so, well and good.

Mr. Sandys

With your permission, Mr. Speaker. may I move my suggested Amendment?

Mr. Speaker

We must first get rid of the Amendment which is before the House.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment made: In page 3, line 40, after "industry," to insert: and to such extent as they may consider necessary the powers conferred on them by this Act."—[Mr. Sandys.]

Mr. Mulley

I beg to move, in page 3, line 40, to leave out "with a view to promoting," and to insert: in the public interest and to promote. The purpose of this Amendment is to ensure that It shall be the duty of the Board to exercise a general supervision over the iron and steel industry in the public interest and to promote the efficient, economic and adequate supply under competitive conditions of iron and steel products.… It will be a surprise to the House that we have to move this Amendment on the Report stage. When the White Paper setting out the general outline of the proposed legislation was first introduced, it was quite clear to me that it was the intention of the Government that the proposed Board should act in the public interest.

When the Bill was drafted, however, this was not made clear and an Amendment was accordingly inserted on the Committee stage to put the matter beyond doubt. To the great surprise of my right hon. and hon. Friends the Minister resisted that Amendment. This is such an important matter that we must press again for the words "in the public interest" to be inserted.

When the Minister addressed the House in sponsorship of the proposals contained in the White Paper he quoted from the 1937 Report of the Import Duties Advisory Committee. The passage he quoted was: It is … desirable that the industry should be encouraged to continue to work out its own organisation and frame its own policy in cooperation with some body representative of the State so that there may be a full and fair trial of the possibility of combining individual responsibility and initiative on the one hand with co-ordinated action and full recognition of national interests on the other."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 23rd October, 1952; Vol. 505, c. 1282.] I do not want to argue the difference between national and public interests, but the Minister made it quite clear in his speech that his objective was to combine the advantages of private enterprise with those of public supervision.

While we may dispute the possible effect of this form of supervision as compared with the one which we want, it is certain that no one envisaged that the Board which was to be set up to do the supervising would not act in the public interest. There was a controversy recently in America when a prospective member of the Cabinet ventured to say, "What is good for General Motors is good for America." We feel that some people who may be on the Board in future and who are now in the steel industry may take the view that what is good for the steel industry is good for the public. They may be sincere in their view but we, as Members of Parliament who are responsible for the public interest, should not let such a point of view pass unchallenged.

In trying to get the Minister to accept this Amendment at the second time of asking, I would refer him to other portions of the Report of the Import Duties Advisory Committee from which he quoted with such glee on the first occasion he spoke in the House on this subject. They also said they thought it desirable that there should be … a body wholly independent of the industry, in so far as that policy affects the general public interest. Again, in their summary and conclusions, they make it quite clear that the problem of the industry is … to secure the systematic planning of the industry as a whole and the maintenance and development of internal co-ordination and cooperation … with the continuance of international agreements, whilst at the same time avoiding the evils of monopoly, safeguarding the public interest and fostering efficiency. Every argument adduced for a Board of any sort is that it shall exist to safeguard the public interest. Hon. Members opposite have admitted by the Bill itself that private enterprise cannot be trusted to act in the public interest. If it could, there would be no argument for the existence of a Board at all.

I think that the Minister was on sound ground when he said, in his reply to the last Amendment, that the word "control" would add nothing to the powers of the Board. Equally, I may say that if the Minister resists the insertion of the words "in the public interest," it is quite clear that he desires the Board to act in the interest of the industry and not, as we desire, in the public interest.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. G. Darling

I beg to second the Amendment.

Although I have some notes here for an excellent speech, I will sacrifice them in order that the Minister may have time to explain why he intends to accept the Amendment and to commend it to the House.

Mr. Sandys

I think I explained very fully, when we discussed the same point in Committee, why we did not feel disposed to include the words "public interest" in this Clause. The reason is not that we are against the public interest or that we do not wish the Board to behave in a responsible, public-spirited way. It is that we think it right that the responsibilities of the Board for the efficiency of the industry should be kept distinct from the Government's responsibilities for the wider national interest.

That does not mean that the Government may not draw the attention of the Board to national interests and ask the Board to take these into account. As I explained earlier, we consider that the Board, formed in accordance with the qualifications laid down in the Bill, will be a very fit and proper body to decide matters relating to the efficiency, organisation and progress of the iron and steel industry. However, we do not consider that they could possibly be qualified to take the wider view of what are or what are not the interests of the nation as a whole, extending far outside the purview of the iron and steel industry. We do not exclude the possibility or desirability of the Government from time to time drawing the attention of the Board to matters of national interest and asking them to take these into account.

There are two main spheres in which the national interest may need to be taken into account in the decisions of the Board—those of prices and development. In our view, the public interest on prices is completely safeguarded by the power which the Bill confers upon the Minister to override the Board, although I expect and hope that this overriding power will be used sparingly, because if it has to be used often, then clearly the Board have failed in their duty.

Nevertheless—and there is no doubt about this, which should appeal to the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) who likes the word "direction"—the Bill provides to the Minister a complete power of direction to the Board about prices, to be exercised in the national interest. Thus, so far as prices are concerned, the public interest is fully safeguarded by the provisions of the Bill, and the Minister, whom we consider to be the right person to decide what is or is not in the public interest, is provided with complete power of direction over the Board.

It is true that on development the Board are not required, under the Bill as it now stands, to consider the wider national interests, because, as I have already said, we do not think that the Board are qualified to form an opinion on those issues; nor is the Minister given any power to direct the Board in regard to development. The problem of unemployment has been very much stressed in the earlier debates as one of the important aspects of the national interest which should be taken into account. To meet that important point we have, as hon. Members will see, on the Order Paper an Amendment to propose to Clause 4, page 5, line 29, at the end, to insert: (2) Without prejudice to the promotion of the efficient, economic and adequate supply of iron and steel products, the Board shall, in their consultations with iron and steel producers under the preceding subsection, have regard to any considerations relating to employment in Great Britain to which the Minister may have asked them to have regard. It enables the Government to draw the attention of the Board to matters relating to employment, and to ask the Board—without prejudice, of course, to their primary duty to promote the efficient, economic and adequate supply of iron and steel products—to take into account the employment considerations which the Government may ask them to take into account.

Mr. Chetwynd

In time of slump would that Amendment enable the Board to go ahead with schemes of capital investment to maintain full employment? That is the really crucial point.

Mr. Sandys

The Board's duty is to look after the efficiency of the iron and steel industry. If it were a question of a programme of public works, or some such activity, the primary object of which is to provide employment, that quite clearly, in our opinion at any rate, would be outside the scope of a board of this kind. This Amendment will enable the Government to say to the Board, other things being equal, "We consider that it would be advantageous if you could see that, in further development schemes, more industry is sited in a Development Area in order to help in the national policy of ensuring full employment." That, as I see it, is broadly what the Government could ask the Board to take into account in the discharge of their duties.

I know it is very difficult to please hon. Members opposite, particularly at this hour of the night, when, I have no doubt, they have decided already to have a Division. Notwithstanding that, and notwithstanding the somewhat unreceptive attitude to my efforts to meet the Opposition on the last Amendment—this time I am, as I say, quite expecting a rebuff—it is my wish that, at the end of the day, we shall make this Bill one which, as far as is humanly possible, meets the wishes of hon. Members opposite. I believe that to be in the interest of the endurance of the organisation which we are seeking to set up.

In a further attempt to go some way—I believe it goes a long way, but I am not hopeful—towards meeting the views of hon. Members opposite, this is what I propose to do. I make no conditions. Hon. Members can vote it down when the time comes; they can vote against it on this occasion, although I believe it goes some way towards meeting them.

When we come to the Clause which I mentioned just now, which says the Board shall have regard to any considerations relating to employment in Great Britain to which the Minister may have asked them to have regard, I propose to refer not only any considerations relating to employment, but also any other considerations relating to the national interests so that we shall give the Minister power, in regard to development, to draw the attention of the Board to matters which affect the national interest; and subject to the discharge of their general functions they will have the duty to take those considerations into account in connection with their activities on development. I hope that goes some way towards meeting hon. Members opposite, but I am not hopeful that it will prevent a Division at ten o'Clock.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

The right hon. Gentleman can easily avoid a Division by accepting our Amendment. We should all be delighted if he did. He has suggested, as an alternative—I do not know whether he thinks it is an alternative—amending the Amendment he has put down. At first sight—and I think my view would be the same at second sight—the Amendment does not meet our point in any substantial way. It deals with what the Board should have in mind when they are advising the Minister whether he should undertake development and produce more production facilities. That is a very limited aspect. The Minister has already told us he does not think he will ever act under this—

Mr. Sandys

The right hon. Gentleman has not got this quite right. I know it is very difficult. This comes in at the beginning of Clause 4, and, therefore, covers all the consultations which the Board

will have with the industry and so enables the Board to try to exercise their influence on the industry in the light of the considerations the Minister has put to them.

Mr. Strauss

We will consider that when we come to it.

To put my case briefly, we think that in all matters—it is not only price or whether there should be development—the Board should look at the industry from the point of view not only of the industry but of the public interest. It should not be a body concerned solely with the interests of the industry and its development, prosperity and future. That is a wrong conception, and is not our conception. We say that this body, which is set up to fulfil the Government's pledge to carry out some public supervision over the industry, should in all matters consider what the public interest is, and that means the interest outside the iron and steel industry. As the right hon. Gentleman is obviously not prepared to meet us on that point, we must divide the House. as he expected.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes. 260; Noes, 236.

Division No. 116.] AYES [10.0 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Burden, F. F. A. Foster, John
Alport, C. J. M. Butcher, Sir Herbert Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Campbell, Sir David Fraser, Sir Ian (Merecombe & Lonsdale)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton) Carr, Robert Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Cary, Sir Robert Gammans, L D.
Arbuthnot, John Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Garner-Evans, E. H.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Clyde, Rt. Hon. J. L. Glyn, Sir Ralph
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Cole, Norman Gomme-Duncan, Col. A
Astor, Hon. J. J. Colegate, W. A. Gough, C. F. H.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Conant, Maj. R. J.E. Gower, H. R.
Baldwin, A. E. Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Graham, Sir Fergus
Banks, Col. C. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Gridley, Sir Arnold
Barber, Anthony Cranborne, Viscount Grimond, J.
Barlow, Sir John Crosthwaite-Eyre, Cal. O. E. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)
Beamish, Maj. Tutton Crouch, R, F. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Beach, Maj. Hicks Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Hall, John (Wycombe)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Hare, Hon. J. H.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Davidson, Viscountess Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Deedes, W. F. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
Birch, Nigel Digby, S. Wingfield Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)
Bishop, F. P. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)
Black, C. W. Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Harvie-Watt, Sir George
Bossom, A. C. Donner, P. W. Hay, John
Boyd-Carpenter, J.A. Doughty, C. J. A. Head, Rt. Hon. A. H
Boyle, Sir Edward Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Heald, Sir Lionel
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Drewe, C. Heath, Edward
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M. Higgs, J. M. C.
Brooman-White, R. C. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)
Browne, Jack (Govan) Fell, A. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Findlay, Graeme Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Bullard, D. G. Fisher, Nigel Hirst, Geoffrey
Bullock, Capt. M. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F Holland-Martin. C. J
Hollis, M C Marlowe, A. A. H. Scott, R. Donald
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Marples, A. E. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R
Holt, A. F. Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton) Shepherd, William
Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Maude, Angus Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P Maudling, R. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Horobin, I. M. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Medlicott, Brig. F. Smyth, Brig J. G. (Norwood)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Mellor, Sir John Snadden, W. McN
Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Molson, A. H. E. Soames, Capt C
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Spearman, A. C. M
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas Speir, R. M.
Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J. Morrison, John (Salisbury) Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Hurd, A. R. Nabarro, G. D. N. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Nicholls, Harmar Stevens, G. P.
Hutchison, Lt.- Com. Clark (E'b'gh, W.) Nicholson Godfrey (Farnham) Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hylton-Foster, H. B. H. Nield, Basil (Chester) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P. Storey, S.
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Nugent, G. R. H. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Nutting, Anthony Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Oakshott, H. D Studholme, H. G
Johnson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Odey, G. W. Summers, G. S.
Kerr, H. W. O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Sutcliffe, Sir Harold
Lambert, Hon. G. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Teeling, W.
Lambton, Viscount Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K Osborne, C. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Leather, E. H. C. Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Perkins, W. R. D. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C N
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Pickthorn, K. W. M. Tilney, John
Lindsay, Martin Pitman, I. J. Touche, Sir Gordon
Linstead, H. N. Powell, J. Enoch Turner, H. F. L
Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Turton, R. H.
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Vane, W M. F
Lockwood, Lt.-Cot. J. C Profumo, J. D. Wade, D. W.
Longden, Gilbert Raikes, Sir Victor Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire. W.)
Low, A. R. W. Rayner, Brig. R Walker-Smith, D. C.
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Redmayne, M Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Lucas, P B. (Brentford) Remnant, Hon. P. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
McCallum, Major D. Renton, D. L. M. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C
McCorquodate, Rt. Hon. M.S Roberts, Peter (Heeley) Wellwood, W
Macdonald, Sir Peter Robertson, Sir David Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Robson-Brown, W. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Maclean, Fitzroy Roper, Sir Harold Wills, G
MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty) Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley) Russell, R. S. Wood, Hon. R
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. York, C.
Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E. Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas Mr. Vosper and Mr. Kaberry.
Markham, Major S. F. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Acland, Sir Richard Brockway, A. F. Dodds, N. N.
Adams, Richard Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Donnelly, D. L.
Albu, A. H. Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Brown, Thomas (Ince) Edelman, M.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Burton, Miss F. E. Edwards, John (Brighouse)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Awbery, S. S. Carmichael, J. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Bacon, Miss Alice Champion, A. J Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)
Baird, J. Chapman, W. D. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Balfour, A. Chetwynd, G. R. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Clunie, J. Fernyhough, E.
Bartley, P. Coldrick, W. Fienburgh, W
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Collick, P. H. Finch, H. J.
Bence, C. R. Corbel, Mrs. Freda Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Benn, Hon. Wedgwood Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Follick, M.
Benson, G. Crosland, C. A. R. Foot, M. M.
Beswick, F. Grossman, R. H. S. Forman, J. C.
Blackburn, F Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Blenkinsop, A Darling, George (Hillsborough) Freeman, John (Watford)
Blyton, W. [...] Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N
Boardman, H. Davies, Harold (Leek) Gibson, C. W.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Gooch, E. G.
Bowden, H. W. Deer, G. Gordon Walter, Rt. Hon. P. C
Bowles, F. G. Delargy, H. J. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mann, Mrs. Jean Sorensen, R. W.
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Manuel, A. C. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hale, Leslie Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Sparks, J. A.
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenville (Colne Valley) Mellish, R. J Steele, T.
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Messer, F. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Hamilton, W. W. Mitchison, C. R Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Hannan, W. Monslow, W. Strauss, Rt. Hon George (Vauxhall)
Hardy, E. A. Moody, A. S. Stross, Dr. Barnett
Hargeaves, A. Morgan, Dr H. B. W Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E
Hastings, S. Morley, R. Swingler, S. T.
Hayman, F. H. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Sylvester, G. O.
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Herbison, Miss M. Mort, D. L. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Hewitson, Capt. M. Moyle, A. Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Marpeth)
Hobson, C. R. Mulley, F. W. Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Holman, P. Murray, J. D. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Neal, Harold (Bolsower) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Houghton, Douglas Oliver, G. H. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Orbach, M. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Oswald, T. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Paget, R. T. Thornton, E.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Thurtle, Ernest
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Timmons, J.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Palmer, A. M. F. Tomney, F.
Irving, W. J (Wood Green) Pargiter, G. A. Turner-Samuels, M.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Parket, J. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Janner, B. Paton, J. Usborne, H. C.
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Peart, T. F. Viant, S. P.
Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.) Plummer, Sir Leslie Wallace, H. W.
Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford) Popplewell, E. Weitzman, D.
Johnson, James (Rugby) Porter, G. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Jones, David (Hartlepool) Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Wells, William (Walsall)
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) West, D. G.
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Proctor, W. T. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Pryde, D. J. Wheeldon, W. E.
Keenan, W. Pursey, Cmdr. H. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Kenyon, C. Rankin, John White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
King, Dr. H. M. Reeves, J. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Kinley, J. Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Wigg, George
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Reid, William (Camlachie) Wilcock, Group Cant C A B
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Rhodes, H. Wilkins, W.A.
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Richards, R. Willey, F.T.
Lewis, Arthur Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Lindgren, G. S. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Logan, D. G. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
MacColl, J. E. Ross, William Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
McGhee, H. G. Shackleton, E. A. A. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
McGovern, J. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley Woodburn, Rt.Hon. A
McInnes, J. Shurmer, P. L. E. Wyatt, W. L.
McLeavy, F. Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Yates, V. F.
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
McNeil, Rt. Hon. H. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Mr. Pearson and
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) Mr. Arthur Allen

Resolution agreed to

It being after Ten o'Clock, and objection being taken to further Proceeding, further consideration of the Bill, as amended, stood adjourned.

Bill, as amended (in Committee and on re-committal), to be further considered Tomorrow.