§ Mr. D. L. Mort (Swansea, East)
I beg to move, in page 6, line 23, after "Britain," to insert:or to cease or substantially to diminish the use of any production facilities in Great Britain.
§ Mr. Speaker
If it is agreeable to the House, I would permit discussion on this Amendment to range over the Amendments on the Paper to page 6, line 36, page 7, line 13 and the Minister's Amendment to Clause 14, page 14, line 27, because they all cover the same subject matter.
§ Mr. Mort
We are obliged to you, Mr. Speaker, for that arrangement, which is very convenient and we are quite prepared for the subject to be covered in the way you suggest.
The reason I was chosen to move the Amendment is that we want to pinpoint the powers which the Minister has in a certain direction. In moving an earlier Amendment, the Parliamentary Secretary said that it was possible for the Board to deal with great human problems. I want to draw attention to a serious and grave human problem and to suggest that the Minister has power invested in him to deal with it. I refer to the problem of the tinplate trade, which has been mentioned before in these debates. I want to convey 1183 to the House the anguish and mental disturbance that now exists over a large area from Port Talbot to Kidwelly.
I speak with all sincerity, and I wish I had the eloquence and the ability to convey the feelings of the men among whom I move and know. I want to express their fears, and to say how delighted we should be if, in the reply to this Amendment, the iron curtain could be drawn aside a little to give them a little hope. When people lose hope, they lose everything. We want the Minister to use his powers to insulate the workers in this district from the worst blast of the economic storm which affects not only men in South Wales, but throughout the country. It is like a mammoth, treading the earth and seeking whom it might devour. We are entitled to ask the Minister to exercise the powers with which he is invested in the Bill and to make a public declaration that he is ready to do so.
§ Mr. Spencer Summers (Aylesbury)
The hon. Member is making his speech with considerable understanding, but would he say what he means by "insulating" the workers from the economic blizzard?
§ Mr. Mort
I will refer to some of the insulations that I suggest. One is that the Minister should use his powers to keep intact the areas that have grown around a few small works. The hon. Member for Esher (Mr. Robson Brown) is aware how these industries have grown up in South Wales. I have seen them grow. Now we have communities with four tinplate works, two steel works and an iron works. They all started in a small way. Who were the shareholders? The local butcher and grocer, yes, and the Baptist minister. A number of these areas are facing absolute poverty because their only industries are closing down.
The insulation I want is for the Minister to exercise his powers to save some of those industries in order to maintain the life of the small communities. One illustration is that of the tinplate hand mill, which is going. There is no salvation for it, but we must remember that many steel works catered for the tinplate mills in the manufacture of tin bars. It is possible at a very low capital expenditure for those steel mills to turn out rods, sections and billets. That will insulate the people in those Welsh valleys.
1184 6.30 p.m.
Then we have the factories themselves. Nothing gives me a greater heartache than to see the old works in which I served my apprenticeship 30 years ago now being dismantled, some of them with good suitable buildings. For instance, the Elba Tinplate Works, in Swansea, has a modern building with every facility, it has its own electricity and is near the docks. Why cannot that be converted into a small engineering shop to produce deep stamping and drop forgings?
There is a committee sitting now of which Lord Lloyd is the chairman. It is an influential committee on which are a number of important industrialists who are there to try to solve this problem. As reported in the Press, Lord Lloyd said the other day that no Government pressure would be brought to bear on industrialists to open up in South Wales, but a certain amount of persuasion would be used. I did not like reading that. I am not suggesting that the Government can act as dictators in that respect, but the Government and the House must take note of the evil sociological effects of the development of industrialisation.
I have used the following illustration before, but it illustrates what people are thinking. When I once asked an old tinplate philosopher, "What do you think of the Abbey Works, Tom?" he turned to me and said, "David, if the scaffold is made of gold and studded with diamonds, it is not much consolation if its object is to cut your head off." That is how they are thinking, because they can see there is nothing there for them. The tinplate industry is doing as much as it can under the redundancy scheme. The men who own and run the industries in South Wales are good, noble people, but it is not their job to deal absolutely with this problem and they should not be expected to do so. It is a problem for the Minister and I hope, as the result of moving this Amendment, that certain recommendations will be made and a message of hope given to what I consider to be some of the finest people in the world.
§ Mr. George Chetwynd (Stockton-on-Tees)
I beg to second the Amendment.
It is a great privilege to support the Amendment which has been so eloquently moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Mort). I am sure 1185 that his words have touched the hearts and minds of all of us in this House, and I hope they will spread far wider, throughout his own area and throughout the industry. I am sure that the Minister must respond to them in the spirit with which my hon. Friend moved the Amendment.
The Board, as well as having to supervise the industry, will have to pay some regard to the national interest and, whether it is specifically stated or not, will not be able to avoid some responsibility for protecting the national interest in such cases as my hon. Friend mentioned. Under this Clause the Board can refuse consent where the proposals for development will prejudice seriously the efficient development of production facilities. Our main contention, both in Committee and at present, is that a closing down of part of a works or of a whole works is just as much a deterrent to efficient production as are schemes to promote new works or to extend existing works.
None of us wishes to stand in the way of progress and I am sure that my hon. Friend would be the last person to do that. Obviously, there are cases where, through obsolescence, and so on, works must at some time or other face the prospect of having to close down. None of us would justify a works, whether nationalised or in private hands, being carried on beyond a certain period through obsolescence. Yet we all know of cases in the past where works were closed and production was shut down for reasons other than obsolescence, and we are afraid that those conditions may easily be repeated in the not-too-distant future.
Already, we are hearing murmurings about fears of over-production. I welcomed the latest news this morning about the 18 million ingot tons of iron and steel production. I think it is a magnificent achievement, but some people may not feel quite so happy about it. I am thinking particularly of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) because he has been talking already about the dangers of over-production and of the fact that people are having to go round—"touting for orders" was his elegant phrase. We are facing the danger of a contraction of this industry not based on grounds of efficiency, but on grounds of maintaining profits at the highest possible level.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I have a real constituency interest in watching the production of tinplate rise as rapidly as possible. Tens of thousands of tons of good Worcestershire fruit have been wasted every year in the last few years simply because growers and processors could not get enough tinplate. I am delighted that the output is going up so fast.
§ Mr. Chetwynd
If that is so, I am amazed at the earlier interventions of the hon. Gentleman and I hope that at a later stage he will withdraw them.
In considering the efficient development of the industry, it seems only common sense to us that the Board should have all this information at their finger-tips at the earliest possible moment. I want to give one illustration from an incident which took place in my own constituency in the summer of 1951.
We have there an old established iron and steel works mainly working on scrap iron. The company concerned, and the Iron and Steel Corporation, made great endeavours to maintain the firm in production as long as possible, and even at the risk of starving some of the South Wales industries of scrap, it maintained its production as long as was absolutely necessary. In the end the day had to come when we could no longer expect that works to keep in production, using in an inefficient way scrap which could be better used in other parts of the industry and, indeed, in other parts of the firm's own plant about 12 miles away. I know that the closing of that works was not carried out in the best manner possible. In fact, the management gave notice to the men going on their summer holidays that they were to have a fortnight's notice and that was the end of that.
Naturally, I raised this matter with the Iron and Steel Corporation, not that we could do anything about the works in question, but to make sure that this sort of thing should not happen again. I received specific assurances from the Chairman of the Corporation that there had been an unfortunate slip and that the Corporation had been taking the most energetic measures to see that the works should be kept open as long as possible and to see that the skilled men should find alternative employment in other parts of the industry. He also gave me an assurance that this could not 1187 happen again under a nationalised undertaking.
I took that as it came, but I want to Make sure that even under a private undertaking this kind of thing will not happen and, added to the sociological demands of my hon. Friend for the acceptance of this Amendment, that should carry some weight.
The Minister has put down an Amendment which goes some of the way to meet our points on notification. If I remember aright the Committee stage debate, the question is divided into two parts. One is whether the Board should have the right to veto a closing down, and the other concerns notification. I realise that it is almost impossible for the Government or the Board to tell a private industry to carry on when it no longer wishes to do so. With a nationalised undertaking, however, the problem is solved, because uneconomic plants can be maintained in existence if there are other good reasons for doing so, and their losses can be met from the profits of another part of the industry. Obviously, we cannot expect a private industry to operate in this way and one of the faults of denationalisation is that it makes this sort of thing impossible.
I am concerned now with notification. Although the Minister's Amendment says that firms which contemplate a closure in whole or in substantial part should give notification as early as is practicable, I do not think that it goes far enough to meet our point of view. When it has said that, that is all it says and nothing else follows. We do not know what action will follow notification. We assume that firms will give notice as early as they can, and that is the end of it. Our suggestion is that there should be a period of at least three months before a closure in whole or in part is possible, and we think that that is the least for which we can ask in these circumstances.
It is difficult to compel a firm to carry on at a loss, but every effort must be made to continue the works in being as long as possible so that other arrangements can be made under the terms of the Bill; in order that other firms which may be interested in expansion may have a chance of taking over the existing works, so that the Government themselves can carry on if they think fit or some 1188 alternative industry may be brought in to take the place of the declining old one. We feel strongly on this matter, because we wish to protect the workers in the industry and, through them, the people who are dependent upon it for a livelihood.
§ Mr. Gower
I should like to add a brief comment to what has been so ably said by the hon. Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Mort). Hon. Members on this side as well as on his own side of the House will endorse much of what he said in very graphic terms of the plight of those who are, in a way, the victims of progress.
It is not always a pleasant thing to see the results of progress. In America and in the Soviet Union there are whole areas of the countryside where the remains of obsolescent plant and the relics of out-of-date industries are a rather unfortunate sign of progress. We do not, of course, want that progress to have unhappy repercussions on the lives of human beings when those repercussions can possibly be avoided. That, I think, is the case which the hon. Member for Swansea, East and the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Mr. Chetwynd) sought to establish.
The Amendment proposed by my right hon. Friend seems to go a considerable way to meet the wishes of the sponsors of the Amendment from the Opposition. I cannot see that the actual terms of the first two Opposition Amendments are objectionable and I should be interested to know whether my right hon. Friend has any strong objection to them. The Ministerial Amendment, as so often happens in matters of this kind, uses the expression "works of substantial size." I appreciate that this term is frequently interpreted in courts of law, but it might be wise, possibly at a later stage, to incorporate either an interpretation Clause to give an idea of what "substantial" may mean, or to incorporate an adjective which might define the term. I do not think it would be wise to leave this matter to a possible examination of its meaning in court.
The hon. Member for Swansea, East spoke of a part of the world which I know extremely well, and what he sought to establish was something with which we 1189 can all sympathise. He would, no doubt, agree that, on the other hand, there must perhaps be some unfortunate results of industrial progress. We cannot always prevent those results, because we should be putting too heavy a burden on our productive industry, but we must do what lies within our power to minimise them.
§ Mr. Mitchison
I was glad to hear the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) give even qualified support to the Amendments of my hon. Friends. I point out to the hon. Member and to the House that there is a substantial difference between the effect of those Amendments and the Minister's Amendment.
The Minister's Amendment does two things. First, as the hon. Member for Barry has pointed out, it defines very roughly indeed—and I entirely agree with the hon. Member, in a very unsatisfactory way—the kind of works the closure of which will entail any obligation. The Amendment simply refers to "works of substantial size." The Government ought to be a little more careful in the use of the word "substantial." We had it on an earlier occasion from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and now we have it again.
What is a "substantial size"? Whatever it is, it will differ if steel works continue to get larger and larger, and what is substantial from the viewpoint of, say, 50 or 60 men working in an undertaking may not look as large when regarded from the centre of administration. It simply will not do to have a vague definition of that sort. We, on the contrary, by linking up the matter with the other proposals with regard to the Board's consent in Clause 5, give the Board power to determine, on the lines and subject to the provisions there laid down, the cases in which action is required. Our suggestion is more definite and, I suggest, much more sensible than the very vague language of the Minister's Amendment.
The second point is that as far as the obligation is concerned—and this, too, the hon. Member for Barry pointed out—the only obligation is that the Board shall be informed of the proposals as early as possible. These are proposals to close down large works—"works of substantial size"—proposals upon the social and economic effect of which my hon. Friends have dwelt and the seriousness of which 1190 is emphasised by the long history of the industry and its repeated trouble in connection with the closing down of works because of what seemed to be at the time, and might well have been, sound technical reasons.
There is no industry in the country in which closures of works have led to more disastrous social consequences, whatever the economic advantages in some quarters may have been. I will not dwell on it as the House knows perfectly well the history of this matter. We know that these closings, often for perfectly good technical reasons, have been paid for, quite literally so far as the workers are concerned, by tears and suffering and, as far as the country is concerned, by unemployment, of which I believe we are all heartily ashamed. It is, therefore, no light matter that the only obligation in connection with it is to be toinform the Board of the proposals as early as practicable.I want to be quite fair to the right hon. Gentleman and other right hon. and hon. Members opposite in this matter. I quite see that if we denationalise an industry and return it to private competition, by so doing we largely deprive ourselves of the power of obviating this kind of misery and unemployment. That is one of our fundamental objections to the Bill, but accepting the principles of the Bill, difficulty is found in saying to a private owner, particularly a very large private owner whom one finds principally in this industry, "You must go on running your works at a loss."
I can quite see that, and when Amendments were moved in Committee that was part of the answer given to us by the right hon. Gentleman. The rest of the answer was, "After all, there is some provision because, in Clause 4 (3), the Minister, if he thinks that existing production facilities ought to be kept in use in the national interest, may take them over or make arrangements about them." That was the main argument put up in connection with the proposal that there ought to be some power to keep work going.
§ Mr. Mitchison
I did not suggest that. I think I would be out of order, and 1191 certainly would be wasting the time of the House, if I went into a long discussion, but I should have thought it obvious to hon. Members on both sides of the House that the larger the unit of control the better the chances of keeping steady employment in it. I am not going further on that now and I do not ask hon. Members opposite to agree or disagree with me at this point about it, because I want to come back to the point I was making.
It was said to us, "There is power already, just for this reason and just in this kind of case, to keep a plant in operation and that power is given to the Minister in the national interest, and the national interest will, of course, include the provision of employment." But the answer to that and the answer which the Amendment in the name of the Minister is intended to meet, but does not meet, is that if we are to put the machinery into operation we must at least give the Minister time to do it.
Under the Bill as drafted one of the numerous signs of haste and uncertainty in the preparation of it was that there was no provision whatever to give the Minister even any notice of what was to happen. We were told that it would come to his notice in the ordinary course of events and so on. Now we have a provision that he is simply to have information "as early as practicable."
I suggest to the House that no one really knows what that means. In what circumstances would an owner, proposing to close down his works and put 2,000 out of work, consider it practicable to let the Minister know? Would it be when he finally made up his mind, or a little earlier? Supposing a calamity happened and the market broke, or the floods came. In those circumstances "as early as practicable" may be on the actual eve of the day.
I dare say the right hon. Gentleman will recall that in Committee I pointed out what shocks he was subject to and, while we did not propose to provide him with smelling salts, we did what we could to save him from those shocks. We are proposing that for three months—only for three months and not necessarily for three months—the works should continue in operation. I should like hon. Members opposite to consider this. Supposing 1192 they were going to sack a responsible officer in a large steel works. Would they really consider it decent to do so—apart from the law of the matter—with under three months' notice? I am certain they would not. The same, of course, would apply in the case of old employees.
But what we are considering is not the sacking of one employee, but whether we are to put perhaps 2,000 or 3,000 out of work. I suggest to the Minister that it is only right and equitable, in a case like that, that we should impose on the owner of that works the obligation of going on for three months, even if he does lose something by it. We have left a way out by allowing the Board to consent earlier if the Minister approves. On the other hand, we have allowed the Minister to enlarge the time in proper cases.
But the fundamental point is whether it is really right and fair that people should be allowed to close down works and throw thousands out of a job without giving three months' notice? If we are to weigh the matter in the scales of justice, is it right that we should allow the possibility of three months' loss when, in fact, the far weightier consideration in the balance is the displacement from employment and the human effects which may result and the larger effect on the national interest?
All we are asking is for three months for the Minister to make up his mind, and to make preparation for that will take time, as to exercising his powers in a proper case. All we are asking the House to do is to allow their hearts to get the better of them for a moment and to allow the weight of social considerations to balance the risk that a person or a company may have to keep on a works at a loss for three months. That would not do nearly as much harm as the alternative.
§ Mr. Sandys
The hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) said that the issue on this Amendment was whether it is right that a firm should be allowed to throw two or three thousand people out of work without three months' notice. He hoped that we would allow our hearts to guide us in this matter. I am sure that all our hearts were touched by the deeply sincere opening speech of the hon. Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Mort). We know the 1193 background against which he was making that speech.
The hon. Member referred to the anxiety that is felt in South Wales today, and he referred in particular—I thought it was a most helpful and constructive suggestion—to the necessity for examining the possibility of converting some of the hand mills that were being closed to other purposes, for example engineering. Of course that is outside the scope of the iron and steel industry, and would be outside the scope of an Iron and Steel Board. The Government are concerned that all means of ensuring alternative employment shall be examined. That is a task for the new and representative committee set up under the chairmanship of Lord Lloyd. The hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Mr. Chetwynd) also spoke about the distress caused by the closing of works. He said it was difficult, under free enterprise, to prevent rapid closures but that, under nationalisation, this problem was solved. I shall say a word about that in a moment.
This Amendment is similar to that moved by hon. Members opposite during Committee stage. It contains two proposals. The first relates to the duty of notification. The second obliges the producer not to close down his works or reduce his capacity without the consent of the Board and the Minister. I explained earlier why the Government could not accept the second proposal.
§ Mr. Mitchison
I think the right hon. Gentleman will find this Amendment differs from the other in that consent is deemed to be given at the end of three months. It therefore amounts to three months' notice and does not depend on the consent of the Board.
§ Mr. Sandys
The hon. and learned Gentleman is correct to some extent, but this Amendment does provide for the Minister or the Board requiring the works to be maintained in production even beyond the period of three months.
§ Mr. Mitchison
It so provides, but I suggest it is obvious that would not be done except in exceptional cases. Three months is clearly indicated as the normal time.
§ Mr. Sandys
I will say something about the three months' notice in a moment, but it is the same proposal with the exception referred to by the hon. and learned Gentleman.
I said during the Committee stage that it was impracticable to tell a firm to remain in production even though they were making a heavy loss, and that the effect of a veto by the Board might be to drive them into bankruptcy. This might result not only in financial difficulties for the firm, but in a heavy loss to the creditors. Who would be responsible for that? Would it be the firm, although they were maintaining production against their will? Or would the Government have to accept responsibility for discharging the debts which the company incurred when being forced to continue production while running at a loss? Those are questions which are not easy to answer.
We are all agreed on the desirability of a firm notifying the Board and the Government as quickly as possible if they intend to close down their works, or any substantial unit of production. There are two reasons for this; first that the Board and the Minister may know of the supply and unemployment problems which may arise, and secondly that the Minister may be given an opportunity to consider whether he should use his power under Clause 4 (3) to acquire the works and keep them in production. The hon. and learned Member for Kettering said that the Minister must be given reasonable time to make such a decision; I agree. The decision cannot be taken at a few hours' notice.
We have considered the proposal of hon. Gentlemen opposite that the Bill should provide for a minimum period of notice. The hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees stressed the importance of that period being at least three months. I agree that is a reasonable and satisfactory time. But, in many cases, it is not practicable to insist on three months' notice. The hon. Member for Swansea, East referred to the cloud of anxiety which at present overhangs the tinplate industry in South Wales. My recent experience of that industry has strengthened my view that such a proposal is not practicable. It has long been realised that when the new continuous strip mills were set up at Trostre and Velindre, most of the old hand mills would sooner or later have 1195 to close down. But it was not expected that these closures in the tinplate industry in that area would begin on the present scale so soon.
Only last May the Corporation assured me that the need for closing down these hand tinplate mills might not have to be faced for some years. The industry expected that the demand for tinplate of all kinds would be sufficient not only to maintain Trostre in full production but also to provide adequate employment for most of the old hand mills. It was expected last May that there would be no serious problem of redundancy until Velindre came into production in about five years' time. I am glad to see that two hon. Gentlemen opposite, the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. Barry) and the right hon. Gentleman, who know this area well, agree with those facts.
This is the background against which we have to consider the Amendment. Contrary to these reasonable expectations, there has been a sudden contraction of demand for tinplate. I am not speaking of all kinds of tinplate but of the lower grades—what they call wasters—made by the hand mills in South Wales. As a result, the companies concerned, with the approval of the Corporation, decided to close permanently 39 hand mills in 10 works, seven of which were closed completely.
I look at this Amendment in the light of this recent experience. I was informed in general terms of this problem on 11th December but it was not until 12th January that I received a complete list of the works which were to be closed. Notices were given to the work-people concerned on 23rd January. They took effect on 2nd February. I wish that there could have been longer notice. I said so to the Corporation and to the companies. I am not trying to make a party political point, but even under a regime of nationalisation with all the powers referred to I was not successful in doing more than obtaining some slight delay. This is not the occasion to discuss whether or not longer notice could have been given. It is certainly not my wish to criticise the action taken by the Corporation or by the companies. There were substantial reasons for their action. But it is relevant to the point made by the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees 1196 who said that nationalisation provided the complete solution to the problem of sudden closure.
The fact is that, under nationalisation, works employing about 2,300 men in one of the most difficult employment areas closed at less than one month's notice. These are the facts against which I judge the practicability of this proposal. I do not mention this in order to criticise the Corporation or the companies, but merely to explain why it is unrealistic for an Act of Parliament to provide that there must be a period of three months' notice.
It might be said that we could substitute a shorter period, say one month. I have considered that. One month would be so much less than is desirable that, on balance, it would do more harm than good. That is why, although I am far from satisfied with it, I have been forced to fall back on this rather vague phrase, "as early as practicable." It is better to say that than to provide for an inadequate period of notice which would make everybody feel that they had done all that was necessary if they complied with it. Although it does not go as far as I should like, the Amendment in page 14, line 27, goes as far as is feasible in an Act of Parliament.
The hon. and learned Member for Kettering said that not only did he not like the phrase "as early as practicable" but he did not like the word "substantial."
§ Mr. Sandys
I am not a lawyer, but I should like to quote to the hon. and learned Gentleman an authority which perhaps will carry weight with him. I refer to the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Neepsend (Sir F. Soskice) who, during one of our debates on this subject, when addressing himself to the Solicitor-General, said:The hon. and learned Gentleman cavils at the expression 'substantial' …the position was reversed then—… and I agree that it might, perhaps, be improved upon.This word, "substantial" occurred in an Amendment put forward by the party opposite.
§ Mr. Sandys
The same argument applies. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said:It is one which, as he knows, is used in the Rent Restrictions Acts. It has given rise to a certain amount of difficulty, but nevertheless it has been, broadly, an expression which the courts have found no excessive difficulty in interpreting. At any rate, we adopted it and it implies a clear conception of what we have in mind."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th January, 1953; Vol. 510, c. 1133.]With that explanation from a former Attorney-General, I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite will withdraw this Amendment and that, later, they will accept the alternative Amendment to which I have referred.
§ Mr. Jack Jones
We realise that the right hon. Gentleman has been dealing with a sociological problem. It is difficult to find an answer which can be put into words and inserted in the Bill. I do not want to go into detail. My hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Mort) did that sufficiently in his eloquent speech. Our main objective is to ensure that in future the fullest possible amount of planning shall be done by the Board in an effort to obviate the evils which arise when any works are closed.
The word "substantial" does not appeal to me. If I were Bill Jones who was getting the sack next Saturday, that would be 100 per cent. substantial so far as I was concerned. If I am one of 2,000 concerned, it is just as substantial. Do not let us quibble about what it means in toto; what matters is what it means in detail to the individuals concerned.
We can sympathise to some extent with the Minister over what is happening in South Wales. We all knew for a long time that the new works at Trostre would come into operation, and we all knew that one day some men would become redundant. But it came extremely suddenly; those men felt the hammer falling when they least expected it. I accept the argument about the technical difficulties of giving three months' notice. If I were in South Wales and got three months' notice that my services would be no longer required—that is, the Parliamentary way in which they put it in any industry—I should not wait three months to find another job; I should be off.
1198 I know that some of the companies look at the problem in that way, and say. "If we gave three months' notice we would not be able to operate the works." I recognise that that is one of the technical difficulties that arise from giving long notice. It has been argued that nationalisation does not completely obviate this difficulty, but it can go a long way towards doing so. I heard one hon. Member talking about the fat pheasants and the crows. I feel that we should take some of the fat off the pheasants, and that is the sort of thing we can do under nationalisation. The rich companies could be soaked if necessary to help obviate these difficulties. However, I do not propose to discuss that point any further.
We believe that on sociological matters—we would not agree with him so much on political matters—the Minister's interests lie with the people. It is only right to say that. I believe that as an individual—I stress the word "individual"—the interests of the workmen are very close to his heart. We do not propose to divide the House on this Amendment, but we trust that the Minister will continue to be guided by his humanitarian instincts in his relations with the Board, and that these instincts will guide the Board in their relations with the industry and the industry in its relations with the people engaged in it.
§ Mr. Robson Brown
I feel very strongly about this question of giving an adequate fixed period of notice to the employees, and I have sought some way in which that might be done. I believe that the Minister has given sufficient arguments to make it evident that such cannot be done. Originally, I had some sympathy with the proposed new subsection (7) in page 7, line 13, which seeks to provide a specific three months' notice. The only thing I would say against it is this. A manager should be encouraged to work the plant under his control as long as it is possible to do so, and, as the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) has said, to give a statutory three months' notice might militate against that.
The one deciding factor in the operation of any works is the state of the order book. If the orders are not there, then with the best will in the world, no matter 1199 what decisions are taken, the works cannot operate, and the situation might create a serious financial liability on the company. Generally speaking, I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Minister spoke as sympathetically as he did because I know that he echoes the feelings of every hon. Member on this side of the House.
§ Mr. Fienburgh
We should not let such a solemn and sad occasion pass without uttering a requiem dirge for the Industrial Charter that the Conservative Party produced during their years of opposition. During those hectic years, when they sought enthusiastically with many committees, under the leadership of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, to find some formula which would attract public support, they produced an Industrial Charter.
One of the most trenchant and interesting proposals in the Industrial Charter was, first of all, the suggestion that it was wicked that a man should be fired at very short notice. They went further and suggested that a man should be given the longest possible notice and that some form of Industrial Charter, like a highway code for industry, should embody this provision. This hon. Members will find embodied in that Charter. It is very sad indeed that we should be burying it so quietly, and I thought that I ought to make these few valedictory remarks on such a sad occasion.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The Solicitor-General
I beg to move, in page 6, line 42, at the end, to insert:they shall state in writing to the person making the proposal, but without giving information relating to any individual business, their reasons for that refusal, and.Perhaps it would be convenient if we discussed, at the same time, the two Amendments in line 45.
These three Amendment are intended to alter subsection (4) of Clause 5, which came in for a rather powerful attack from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, West (Mr. Simon). I told him of the extent to which I thought we should be able to meet the views he then put forward, and I think that these Amendments fulfil what I said on that occasion.
1200 The Amendment I have moved meets the point which was raised, that when the Board refuse their consent to any development proposals, before the person who has applied for that consent appeals he should be informed of the reasons for the Board's refusal. It seeks to provide for that, subject to the safeguard that it does not put upon the Board the duty of disclosing to the applicant confidential information which they have received from other persons in the industry and which it would not be right for them to disclose to the applicant.
§ Mr. Mitchison
If the hon. and learned Gentleman looks at the Amendment, he will find that that is not what it says. It is far wider than that. It says that they are not to give information relating to any individual business. It does not say a word about confidential information. If the reasons for coming to a decision necessarily involve certain information about the business, what are they to do?
§ The Solicitor-General
I was taking the matter shortly. Perhaps I should not have done. While I fully understand the intention of the Amendment, I was summarising it by saying that the Board should not be required to disclose information—I said "confidential"—relating to any other individual business. It may well be that that information which has come to the Board is one of the reasons for refusing an application. Surely the hon. and learned Gentleman will recognise that if that is the position the information could not rightly be disclosed to the unsuccessful applicant. That is the safeguard with which I was dealing, quite shortly. Subject to that exception, as the hon. and learned Gentleman will see, the Board have to state in writing to the person making the proposal their reasons for the refusal.
The next point dealt with in Committee was that of the drafting of this subsection, which might make it appear that the Minister should consult the Board last and after he had heard anything that the applicant had to say. I think that the second Amendment, by altering that drafting, makes it quite clear that the Minister will consult the Board, but that he is by no means bound to consult either the Board or the applicant last; nor is 1201 he limited in the number of occasions on which he can consult either of them.
The third Amendment is purely drafting, as, also, is the fourth. I hope I have explained satisfactorily what these Amendments do, and I hope that my hon. and learned Friend who criticised this subsection will recognise that we have gone as far as is possible, and I think entirely, to fulfil the undertaking given on that occasion.
§ Mr. Mitchison
We on this side would not wish to interfere in this friendly matter between the hon. and learned Gentleman and his supporters. Indeed, we see the purpose of the Amendments, and take no objection to them, but we do not altogether like the language, and I would humbly suggest to the hon. and learned Gentleman that he might consider whether the first Amendment is not too widely drawn. Obviously, the intention is to prevent confidential information being passed, but, as it is, there appears to be no qualification, and it seems to me that it amounts to a prohibition to pass on any information relating to any individual business. That is a very sweeping prohibition, and I believe goes further than the hon. and learned Gentleman intends. However, we shall not oppose these Amendments; we agree with them in principle, and that is our only comment on them.
§ Mr. J. E. S. Simon (Middlesbrough, West)
When my hon. and learned Friend the Member for York (Mr. Hylton-Foster) and I put down for the Committee stage the Amendments which have given rise to these Amendments, we did so because we felt that an important point of principle was at stake; namely, that where there is an appeal to a Minister by a private citizen whose ordinary civil rights have been invaded, natural justice should be done as far as he is concerned, and natural justice should also be seen to be done.
What seemed to us to be objectionable in the Clause as drafted covered two points. The first was that the appellant, as be is called, was not made aware of the case which he had to meet, and the second was that the Board, who were invading his rights, were placed in a very favourable position—an unfairly favourable position—and one that could give rise to great misunderstanding, in that the 1202 Minister was obliged to consult the Board last before coming to his decision and always after hearing the appellant. There was a third point which we all desire to see put right, and that concerned the non-publication of the report of the civil servant whom the Minister appointed to hear the representations of the appellant.
I recognise that my hon. and learned Friend gave strong reasons during the Committee stage why he should not meet that last point; I must confess that I am disappointed that he could not do so, but I see the force of the objections. On the other hand, it would be most ungenerous not to recognise that my hon. and learned Friend has gone every bit as far as he undertook to go in Committee, and has met what we regarded as the two main and very serious objections to the Clause as it was drafted. I should like to express my thanks and those of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for York for the way he has met us.
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss
Will the Solicitor-General undertake to look at the language here, because my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) is convinced that this wording goes beyond the purpose which the learned Solicitor-General has in mind? If he will look at it again before the Bill goes to another place, we would be grateful.
§ The Solicitor-General
With the leave of the House, may I say that I did nod when the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) was speaking, because I did not know whether I should have another opportunity of speaking. Of course, we will look at the point.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendments made: In line 45, after "writing," insert:
and shall consult with the Board.
§ In line 45, leave out "him," and insert "the appellant."
§ In page 7, line 2, leave out "after consultation with the Board."—[Mr. Sandys.]
§ Mr. Frederick Lee (Newton)
I beg to move, in page 7, line 8, to leave out subsection (6).
The House will remember that, on the Committee stage, the Minister introduced an Amendment to add the subsection which I am now moving to delete, and 1203 the effect of the introduction of the new subsection was to remove iron foundries from the supervision of the Board. Our Amendment seeks to give back to the Board the powers which the Minister himself originally decided that they ought to have. I know that hon. Members often speculate as to the motives which drive Ministers and Governments to change their policies after the introduction of a Bill, but, in this particular instance, there is no need for any speculation, because I think the Minister and his hon. Friends agree that he has bowed to pressure from the foundry owners. The Minister's speech in introducing subsection (6) was just about the strangest commendation of a change in a major Measure, which I have ever heard in eight years' membership of this House. He said:Personally, I remain satisfied that the Bill, as it is now drafted,"—that is, before the Amendment was accepted—makes it clear that the Board is not intended to concern itself with minor schemes of this kind; … Nevertheless, there is no harm in making quite sure."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th February, 1953; Vol. 511, c. 694.]For my part, I thought that sounded like a final and very feeble rebuke to the torturers before murmuring the fatal words, "I beg to move."
My hon. Friends on this side feel some sympathy with the Minister in having to re-awaken in his breast the horrors of his extremely painful interviews with the chief inquisitor, the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro), who, on the Committee stage, informed the world of his instruction to the Minister to cut out this nonsense about supervision over foundries. I should have thought that the hon. Member himself could have been satisfied with the great extent of his triumph which had taken place in private without publicly flaunting it in the Minister's face and subjecting him to such obvious embarrassment.
The right hon. Gentleman is indeed unfortunate in his power behind the throne. My reading of history leads me to understand that in these matters there is generally at least some compensation for the occupant of the throne. But, so far as the Minister is concerned, I find no compensation whatever. Certainly not for him the cooing blandishments of a Pompadour or a Dubarry. Fate, it 1204 appears, has decreed that, in his case, the dulcet whisperings must give way to something which sounds more like the roar of a wild bull of the pampass than the cooing and so on which we generally associate with these delicate associations between the power behind the throne and the occupant thereof.
The right hon. Gentleman said that there was no harm in making quite sure, but great harm has already been done by his introduction of subsection (6). The T.U.C. is extremely alarmed about this matter, and is very much up in arms against it. It will not escape the notice of the right hon. Gentleman that the T.U.C. took such a dim view of his change of heart in the matter that they actually issued a statement on it which reads as follows:The T.U.C. General Council express their opposition to the Amendment made by the Government to the Iron and Steel Bill to relieve foundries of the duty to submit their development schemes to the Iron and Steel Board for approval. They are opposed to this unjustifiable concession to pressure from foundry owners, and, as they have made clear to the Minister of Supply, are convinced that it is essential to give the Iron and Steel Board adequate powers to supervise foundry development. Working conditions in many foundries have for long been unsatisfactory. The General Council therefore welcomed the Government's original decision to include foundries within the supervision of the Iron and Steel Board, as this would enable the Board to exercise a general influence towards raising health, safety and welfare standards in foundries. The amendment of the Bill in this way will, in fact, leave the new Board with less power to exercise control over foundry developments than the former Board—a non-statutory body—possessed.The right hon. Gentleman knows that the members of the T.U.C. General Council are not quick to rush into print on these matters. They are men who take a sober view of these things, and I hope that when, after careful deliberation, the full weight of the General Council comes down in uncompromising opposition to his weakness in giving way to the foundry owners led, or at least spoken for, by the hon. Member for Kidderminster, the right hon. Gentleman will see that he has made a cardinal mistake and one which will rankle for long in the minds not only of the members of the General Council, but in the minds of many trade unionists associated with them and for whom they speak.
The Minister argued in that same speech that development schemes in 1205 foundries had been small. He seemed to deduce from that fact that they were unimportant. But the smallness of a scheme is no criterion of its importance. Indeed, those of us who have had some dealings with industry generally and with foundries in particular know perfectly well that there is no single grandiose scheme which can ameliorate all the difficulties which one seeks to get rid of. It is only by a sequence of relatively small schemes that one gets results. Indeed, one could instance many small development schemes which have yielded very beneficial results.
The fact that only minor schemes have as yet been undertaken in an industry which is notoriously the Cinderella of the metal industries denotes the large amount of development which still has to be done, and I would have thought that was the attitude which the Minister should have adopted before introducing the Amendment on the Committee stage. For many years both the Labour Government and the present Government have been spending considerable sums of money on research in order, among other things, to rid the foundries of dust which is responsible for silicosis and other diseases from which foundrymen suffer.
The results of that research have not yet been applied. I remember when I was at the Ministry of Labour that one of the things we were trying to do was to implement the results of that research, to bring them to fruition and to get them to floor level in the foundries in order that the toll of silicosis and other diseases could rapidly be diminished. But as yet those responsible for this research have not been able to bring their work forward sufficiently quickly to allow the improvements in health in foundries to take place. Yet, despite that fact, the Minister now tells us that the Board are not intended to concern themselves with minor schemes of this kind.
§ Mr. Lee
Those were his words, and I hear confirmation of them coming from the hon. Member for Kidderminster. The sheer heartlessness of this attitude is most appalling. I am trying to address myself to a serious issue, and I would advise the hon. Member for Kidderminster to keep away from the annual 1206 conferences of foundry workers because the ridicule which he is pouring on their efforts to eliminate disease from the foundries may bring him into actual physical contact with a few particularly hard and gnarled fists.
§ Mr. Nabarro
The hon. Gentleman must not make these wild statements. The Iron Foundry Workers' Union in my constituency are on the closest and most amicable terms with their Member of Parliament, for they realise, of course, that they have no stronger supporter for improving working conditions in factories than their local Member.
§ Mr. Lee
It is most peculiar that the hon. Gentleman who has boasted of his supremacy over the Minister and who has done everything he possibly can to get iron foundries out of the control of a responsible Board should now hope to convince this House that he is doing so because of his love for the foundry workers and because he desires to press ahead with better conditions in foundries. I should think better of him if he would be honest enough to tell us that his sole interest is that of the foundry owners, and at that, may be, not the most reputable section of foundry owners.
As I was saying, it is essential that we should go ahead and get results from the research for which this Government and the last Labour Government have been paying so dearly, and it is at this very time that the Minister has decided to remove this industry from the supervision of the Board. Quite apart from welfare, there is great need to supervise the expansion and development of the foundry industry.
Welfare and efficiency must go hand in hand. Large sections of the engineering industry depend for their raw material on the supply of castings from the foundries. We all agree on the necessity for a great expansion of engineering production, but it is quite impossible for that to happen if in many sections of the industry the pace has to be measured by a shortage of castings coming from the foundry industry.
I hope that even at this stage the Minister will go back to his previous ideas and realise that it is quite essential that we should have supervision of the foundry industries by the Board. As foundries develop and begin to expand 1207 their products, they will draw off supplies of iron and steel products which in present conditions go to other manufacturing sections of the engineering industry. In a brief intervention during the Committee stage of this Bill, I tried to point to the changed nature of the foundry industry. I referred to the introduction of prefabrication which is, as yet, in its infancy and is a feature of which we must take note in the context of this Bill. Even moulding, which has survived as a handcraft to this day, is beginning to enter a stage of mechanisation.
In these days when developments are being made at an increasing tempo, how can the Minister pin his arguments on the basis that only small developments have taken place? It is the excuse of the servant girl that, after all, the baby was only a little one. It has no basis in logic. The Minister must know that he was perfectly right in the first instance to have insisted on the iron foundries remaining under the supervision of the Board. I hope that even now, having seen the reaction in most responsible quarters to his surrender on that issue, he will decide that, rather than bow either to the ogling or the braying of some of his hon. Friends, he will stand on his principles and turn down Kidderminster and other interested quarters. I hope that he will tell us that, on consideration of the arguments which have been adduced in this House and of the reaction of the trade union movement, he will agree to accept the Amendment and to delete this subsection (6).
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)
I beg to second the Amendment.
This is my maiden speech on this miserable, partisan Measure. When the Minister introduced subsection (6) on Committee stage, he made a very short speech. I do not blame him for that. I have seen many Ministers of this Government trying to defend a weak case, but never has a Minister had such a weak case to defend as when the right hon. Gentleman moved the Amendment to introduce this subsection (6). He told us:The purpose of this Amendment is to exempt the foundries from the application of the Board's power of veto in respect of development schemes under Clause 5."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th February, 1953; Vol. 511, c. 693.]1208 The remainder of the speech was an explanation, not of the necessity for the Amendment, but of the lack of need for it.
If I were to accept the Minister's explanation—and of course I do not—even then, as a former teacher of English who dislikes redundant phrases, I would oppose this subsection. But I do not accept the Minister's explanation on Committee stage. There is much more to it than what the Minister said at that time. His simple explanation by no means covers the case. The Board have what I would term very limited powers of vetoing development in the iron and steel industry under this Bill. This subsection has taken from them any power of vetoing development of iron foundries, no matter how extensive that development might be. I hope that the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) has realised that the power of veto has been taken completely out of the hands of the Board, not only in the case of minor developments, but of major developments in the industry.
§ Miss Herbison
It is quite clear to us that this subsection is not an example of redundancy, as the Minister tried to make it out to be, but is a subsection that will do harm to industrial efficiency. Quite clearly, this is another example of this Government's shocking lack of interest in the national well-being. We remember this Government, or leaders of this Government, telling the country during the Election that what was needed was strong, wise, decisive leadership. They said, "Only return the Tory Party to Government and you will get that wonderful leadership." What a farce their Ministers have made of that claim.
I do not think that this country has ever had a Government who have shilly-shallied so much over important things as have the members of this Government, from the Prime Minister right down to the merest junior Minister. The Government have yielded to every act of pressure that has been brought upon them by their wealthy supporters, and it is yielding to acts of pressure that has led to shilly-shallying and not the decisive leadership that the nation was promised and perhaps had a right to expect.
1209 This subsection is another example of the Government's protecting the interests of the few. At one time it was the brewers; this time it is the foundry owners. The Government can only provide this type of protection at the expense of the interests of the majority of the people of this country. For that reason again, I oppose this subsection and hope that the Minister will withdraw it.
It seems to me, from my little knowledge of them, that foundries are an important and integral part of the iron and steel and engineering industries. If the Minister is convinced that in the interest of efficient production it is necessary to give the Board certain powers of veto on development in iron and steel, he has no case whatever for not extending that power to development in foundries.
It is true that the right hon. Gentleman said on Committee stage that in the majority of cases foundry development was a small development; but it is no use his saying that no foundry scheme in the future would be large enough to come within the scope of the Board's veto powers. I am sure that he does not want to add one other claim to the already extravagant claims of this Government by suggesting that he or any other member of this Government is a prophet or a seer.
If the right hon. Gentleman is interested in industrial efficiency and in the maximum output of our industry, he ought to realise—as my hon. Friend who moved this Amendment proved—that although in the past developments in foundries have been mainly small ones, that is no reason to think that they will continue to be so in future. From my study of this question, I would say that if we are to pay our way in the world—as we can do only if we get a higher degree of efficiency in all our industries—and if the foundries are to play their part both in the iron and steel industry and in future engineering developments, there must be what I term major developments in the foundry industry. If we are to have those major developments the Minister should be ready to accept this Amendment, because what he thinks is necessary for iron and steel must also be necessary for any major developments in foundries.
1210 Most people would agree that, in assessing the factors which lead to industrial efficiency and higher production, the health and safety conditions of the workers must not be ignored. It is of the greatest importance to safeguard and improve those conditions. The hon. Member for Kidderminster seems to think that subsection (6) has no effect on this question, but if he has read the Garrett Report he will realise that the elimination of this subsection would make it possible for the Board to do something to bring about the fulfilment of the recommendations made in that report.
I hope to convince the hon. Member that that is so. I was fortunate to be able to present a Private Member's Bill in this House, and I chose one dealing with health and safety conditions in foundries. That Bill got its Second Reading, and we meant to take it to the Committee stage. Here I should like to praise one of Her Majesty's Ministers—the Minister of Labour—who co-operated to a very great extent on this Measure and who, in, the shortest possible time, published draft Regulations. I thank him for the very great help he gave us.
But a Private Member could never be ambitious enough to try to incorporate in a Private Member's Bill all the recommendations of the Garrett Report. Many of those recommendations are still not contained in Regulations and they may not be for some time. If the Minister had not inserted this subsection (6) the Board would have had limited powers of veto, and if they had wanted to make this Cinderella of the engineering industry more attractive to our ambitious young men—and I use the word "ambitious" in its very best sense—they could have said, as far as any major development was concerned, "We will give our permission to carry on with that major development so long as we are assured that every recommendation of the Garrett Report is carried out." That would have been one of the biggest improvements in the foundry industry. It would have led to better conditions, happier workers and much greater production.
I hope the Minister will take these facts into account and forget the small pressure group of foundry owners who have been at him since this Bill was suggested. He should put their interests completely behind him and keep in mind the real 1211 interests and the future industrial efficiency of this nation.
§ Mr. Nabarro
It would be ungracious of me not to acknowledge a maiden speech on this Bill. I shall therefore be very restrained in my comments on the speech delivered by the hon. Lady. I am sure she does not mind; she is a tough customer and she can take criticism in good heart. Her speech was in marked contrast to that of the hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Lee). At least the hon. Lady was tolerably accurate, whereas the hon. Gentleman was wildly inaccurate.
What has this Clause, and the inclusion in it of subsection (6), to do with health, safety and welfare? If the hon. Gentleman had read the Bill in any great detail he would have observed that in Clause 3 (1) there appear these words, as being a direct responsibility of the Board:… the arrangements for the promotion of the safety, health and welfare of persons employed in the iron and steel industry. …In so far as the Board are not able to make the necessary provisions, the requirements of the Factories Acts will look after any deficiencies there may be.
§ Miss Herbison
We realise that that provision is contained in Clause 3 and also that there are certain provisions in the Factories Acts; but even those provisions are not sufficient to bring about what the supporters of the Foundry Workers Bill were asking for. That is why I stressed the fact that one way of getting all those provisions in any new major development was by giving the Board this power. By quoting Clause 3 the hon. Member does not do away with the case that has been made from this side of the House.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I shall answer the hon. Lady so long as I can remain in order. Early in her speech she confessed that she had only little knowledge of iron foundries. I must therefore sympathise with her. The problem with regard to health, safety and welfare in iron foundries is not that of new developments and new foundries, but of raising the standards in the old foundries. I should be out of order if I pursued health, safety and welfare. The hon. Member for Newton placed himself grossly out of order in doing so, 1212 for there is no mention of those matters in this Clause.
Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hopkin Morris)
I did not think the hon. Gentleman intended his remark to be understood in that way.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I intended no disrespect to you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I am complaining that the hon. Member's speech was wildly irrelevant. I wrote down a few words from one of the early sentences of his speech. He said, "The effect of the deletion of subsection (6) would be to remove iron foundries from the control of the Board." In fact, nothing of that sort would occur. All that would happen is that the Board—as the hon. Lady recognises, in complete contradistinction to her hon. Friend—will not have control over the development of iron foundries.
The right hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. G. R. Strauss) interpolated the word "nonsense" in a speech I made on the Committee stage. I am sure he will remember the incident. I said how difficult it would be for the Board to exercise any close degree of supervision over development plans for iron foundries due to the fact that there are more than 2,000 foundries in this country and the overwhelming majority of them are small ones. I said that, as the Bill is drafted, if a foundry wished to double its plant and add one sandbox to an existing sandbox, involving the employment of four men instead of two, they would have had to apply to the Board for permission.
A controversy developed about what is a minor scheme. Both the hon. Member for Newton and the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North fastened on the point that minor schemes would be excluded, but my right hon. Friend's difficulty in a matter of this sort is obviously that of defining what is a minor scheme. A foundry which had one sandbox and wished to add one more would regard that as a major addition, whereas a foundry with 100 sandboxes which wished to add one more would be adding only 1 per cent. If we endeavoured to apply the terms of Clause 5 (2) to iron foundries 1213 there would be very great difficulties indeed. I have been completely consistent throughout this Bill——
§ Mr. Shurmer rose——
§ Mr. Nabarro
I will not give way. The hon. Member is a notorious nuisance in the House. Perhaps I may come back to what I said on Second Reading. These were the words I used, as reported in column 703:Secondly, the Board should have no restrictive powers affecting the development of iron foundries except in cases where such development is called for in an amount of more than £250,000 as an aggregate of plant and buildings."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th November, 1952; Vol. 508, c. 703.]In other words, I was pleading that only large foundry development schemes should come within the scrutiny and under the jurisdiction of the development powers of the Board.
My right hon. Friend decided to go rather further. He said he could well afford to exclude altogether the large schemes from the Board's development plans because there were so very few of them. I think that, on balance, my right hon. Friend's decision is wise. In the last few years there have been only a handful of schemes involving a capital expenditure of more than £250,000, and whether they should come under the development control of the Board seems to be largely academic. No engineering undertaking will spend £250,000 or more on a new foundry unless the demand for its products, its castings and its associated products exists and is likely to continue.
The hon. Member for Newton referred to alarm in the Trades Union Congress about this subsection. I have not had the privilege of seeing that expression of alarm.
§ Mr. Nabarro
The hon. Gentleman produced a foolscap sheet, but he did not read the whole of it. I think he read one sentence.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I should be interested to know whether the T.U.C. expressed alarm about the whole question of the iron foundries in this proposed set-up or only about the removal of development control—because it is only the latter which we are discussing here. We are not discussing health, safety, and welfare. What the T.U.C. expressed alarm about was the prospect that health and safety and the general interests of the workers in the industry would not be fully safeguarded. The hon. Member for Newton should be a little more precise in his argument.
§ Mr. Lee
The hon. Gentleman is quite right. The T.U.C. are alarmed about the effects of the action of the Government in introducing Clause 5 (6) into the Bill at all because of its effects on the supervision of development. They believe it will have detrimental effects upon development which could, in turn, affect the health of the workers.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I find it difficult to believe that the T.U.C. would feel any alarm at all about the removal of control over large development schemes. But to return to what I said earlier, the T.U.C. expressed alarm about the interests of the workers and about health, safety and welfare; and those points are fully covered in Clause 3, augmented and supplemented by the requirements of the Factories Acts.
Both the hon. Gentleman and the hon. Lady made reference to the foundry owners. I do not represent the foundry owners. I have spoken on foundry matters throughout the Bill from a long experience of that branch of the engineering industry, but I do not represent the foundry owners. The Council of Iron-foundry Associations, if this is any news to the hon. Member for Newton, made no mention whatever in their representation to my right hon. Friend of the removal of these powers in relation to development.
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Nabarro
The hon. Member should let me complete my sentence. I saw the confidential memorandum which the Council of Ironfoundry Associations distributed to their 2,000 members. They had the courtesy to send me a copy. [Laughter.] There is no cause for amusement. They made certain recommendations for the improvement of the Bill, and they were fully justified in doing so.
May I make one or two observations about my right hon. Friend's very wise decision to remove development control over iron foundries from the Board? It would have been impossible to operate such control efficiently in view of the very large number of small foundries in this country and of the problem of defining what was a minor development. That was the first reason. The second reason, which no one has yet mentioned, was the special position of tied foundries in engineering works. This Bill is not intended to exercise control over the general engineering industry or supervision over any part of that industry, but had iron foundries been brought, in toto, under the control of the Iron and Steel Board, it would have been necessary for an engineering works with a tied foundry—a foundry devoting its entire output to the finished products of that engineering concern—to make application to the Board in order to extend the production facilities of the foundry.
That would have led to an intolerable situation, with the Iron and Steel Board having a measure of control over an engineering undertaking or enterprise. Surely that would have been wholly wrong. Also, it would have been impossible to operate it efficiently. In removing iron foundries from the control of the Board my right hon. Friend gave effect to the representations which had been made to him by the iron foundry industry and, I readily confess, by myself. [Laughter.] The hon. Member for Newton need not cackle like a broody hen.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I said what I had to say publicly on Second Reading. There was no subterfuge or concealment about it. I said it in good humour and with a sincerity based on quite a long experience in these matters.
1216 I hope my right hon. Friend will reject this misconceived Amendment, which is based on erroneous statements and has been moved by an hon. Member who has not yet taken the trouble to read the Bill although it has been in the hands of hon. Members for several months. I trust that if a Division is forced on this Amendment, a decisive majority will be recorded against the machinations of hon. Members opposite.
§ Mr. Sandys
The hon. Lady for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) said that on a previous occasion I made a short speech. I hope to make a short speech again now. The hon. Lady said that she was making, so to speak, a maiden speech on the Iron and Steel Bill this evening. Perhaps it was not quite as maidenly as most of the speeches which had been made on this Bill. The hon. Lady is a newcomer to our debates, and is perhaps a little out of touch with the constructive and amicable atmosphere which prevailed until her entry.
The hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Lee) based himself, as did the hon. Lady, largely on the necessity to remove this subsection in order to ensure better working conditions in the iron and steel foundries. This Clause is concerned with the veto power of the Board over development. It was never intended that it should be used as a means of examining detailed plans—washing arrangements, canteens, dust conditions and things of that kind—which are essential for the well-being of a factory or a foundry.
This Clause is concerned with the broad pattern of the development plans of the industry. As the hon. Lady herself pointed out, conditions in the foundries were examined by the Garrett Committee in 1947. On the basis of the recommendations of that Committee, and stimulated, no doubt, by the hon. Lady and her hon. Friends in bringing in her Bill the other day, my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Labour produced, as the hon. Lady said—she made a gracious reference to him and singled him out from the rest of this "miserable" Government—these Regulations, which I have here and with which the hon. Lady is familiar: the Iron and Steel Foundries Regulations, 1953. These, I think, as the hon. Lady will agree, go a long way in the right direction. It is in that way, I believe, that we shall make 1217 more progress towards improvement of conditions than by any veto Clause, such as is now proposed on foundry developments.
The other argument advanced by the hon. Member for Newton was that the rest of the industry—no doubt he had in mind the engineering industry—was dependent upon an adequate supply of castings and that some expansion of casting capacity might well be necessary to meet the needs of the whole industry. But again, I think, the hon. Member overlooks the fact that this Clause is not concerned with expansion but is concerned with vetoing a development scheme. This would, therefore, be quite an inappropriate place in the Bill to provide for the kind of expansion which the hon. Gentleman has in mind.
These expansions are dealt with under a different Clause, as well as the efforts which the Board should make to promote and encourage these expansions. The hon. Gentleman quoted me as having said on an earlier occasion that I was introducing this subsection to make sure, although, in my opinion, it was not entirely necessary to insert it, and would probably not have a very great effect upon the action of the Board in this connection.
The hon. Gentleman took some exception to that. I would point out to him and his hon. Friends that I have accepted a number of Amendments from hon. Members opposite, the sole purpose of which was to make sure that we were quite clear what the Board would do on certain matters. On a number of occasions, I have said that I do not consider an Amendment is necessary, but if there is any doubt as to the meaning of the Bill, let us by all means cross the t's and dot the i's and make sure that there is no possible uncertainty.
§ Mr. Lee
Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is one thing to agree to put in an Amendment after considerable discussion in the House of Commons in which a number of hon. Members showed concern about the issue, and quite another thing for him to come along to the House and say, in effect, "Because of the arguments I have heard behind closed doors, I now propose to do this in spite of the fact that I think these arguments are wrong"?
§ Mr. Sandys
That is not what I said. I said on Second Reading, and previously in the debate on the White Paper, that, in my opinion, this veto Clause would not affect foundry development, because the Bill says that these schemes are not to come within the scope of the Board's veto without the insertion of subsection (6) unless they would, in the opinion of the Board,seriously prejudice the efficient and economic development of production facilities in Great Britain.It has to be a fairly substantial scheme seriously to prejudice the efficient and economic development of production facilities in Great Britain.
Even if the subsection had not been inserted, very rarely, if ever, would a foundry scheme have come within the scope of the veto Clause as it is drafted, but since there was anxiety in the industry about the possible application of the Clause in a way which was not intended, I thought it right to make the position perfectly clear. After all, the Bill is not purely a Parliamentary instrument. It is to some extent a charter, an experiment in a new relationship between the Government, a public body and a privately owned industry. If the scheme is to be a success, it is important that we should as far as possible carry with us in spirit, and not only by legislation, all the essential elements in industry who will have to play their part.
I turn now to the subject of working conditions, which has been stressed more than any other and which was, I believe, in the mind of the T.U.C. in making its statement. As my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) correctly pointed out, the supervision of the safety, health and welfare of employees in the foundry industry, as in all other parts of the iron and steel industry, is provided for under not Clause 5, but Clause 3. Clause 3 applies to all the activities set out in the Third Schedule and this includes foundries as well as other iron and steel activities.
Some foundries have excellent conditions; I have been very much impressed by some that I have visited, but others leave much to be desired. There is a wide gap between the best and the worst 1219 in the foundry industry, and I am sure that the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North is keenly aware of that. I sincerely hope that the Bill will, among other things, have the effect of improving the general level of foundry
|Division No. 119.]||AYES||[8.31 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd||MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Glyn, Sir Ralph||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Godber, J. B.||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)|
|Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Gough, C. F. H.||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Gower, H. R.||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Graham, Sir Fergus||Markham, Major S. F.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Gridley, Sir Arnold||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Baker, P. A. D.||Grimond, J.||Marples, A. E.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)|
|Banks, Col. C.||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)|
|Barber, Anthony||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maude, Angus|
|Barlow, Sir John||Harden, J. R. E.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C|
|Baxter, A. B.||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Medlicott, Brig. F.|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)||Mellor, Sir John|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Molson, A. H. E.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas|
|Birch, Nigel||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Bishop, F. P.||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.|
|Black, C. W.||Hay, John||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Heald, Sir Lionel||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Heath, Edward||Nield, Basil (Chester)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Higgs, J. M. C.||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.|
|Brains, B. R.||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hill, Mrs. E. ((Wythenshawe)||Nutting, Anthony|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)||Hirst, Geoffrey||O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Hollis, M. C.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Orr-Ewing, Charts Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.|
|Bullard, D. G.||Horobin, I. M.||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Wston-super-Mare)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence||Osborne, C.|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Peake, Rt. Hon. O|
|Campbell, Sir David||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Carr, Robert||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Channon, H.||Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.||Hurd, A. R.||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Clyde, Rt. Hon. J. L.||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L|
|Cole, Norman||Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.||Profumo, J. D.|
|Colegate, W. A.||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Raynor, Brig. R.|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Jennings, R.||Redmayne, M.|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Crouch, R. F.||Kaberry, D.||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Crowder, Peter (Ruislip—Northwood)||Lambton, Viscount||Robson Brown, W.|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Law, Rt. Hon R. K.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Leather, E. H. C.||Ropers, Sir Harold|
|Deedes, W. F.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Russell, R. S.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Linstead, H. N.||Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||Llewellyn, D. T.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Drewe, C.||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Dugdale, Rt.Hn. Sir Thomas(Richmond)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.||Scott, R. Donald|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Longden, Gilbert||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.||Low, A. R. W.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Fell, A.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Finlay, Græme||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)|
|Fisher, Nigel||McCallum, Major D.||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Fletcher-Cooke, C||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Speir, R. M.|
|Fort, R.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)|
|Foster, John||McKibbin, A. J.||Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Stevens, G. P.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||Maclean, Fitzroy||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)|
§ conditions throughout the country; if it does I shall be well pleased.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 247; Nose, 231.1223
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Tilney, John||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Storey, S.||Touche, Sir Gordon||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Turton, R. H.||Wellwood, W.|
|Studholme, H. G.||Tweedsmuir, Lady||Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)|
|Summers, G. S.||Vane, W. M. F.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Sutcliffe, Sir Harold||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Teeling, W.||Wade, D. W.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Turo)|
|Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)||York, C.|
|Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr. Oakshott and Mr. Wills.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Mort, D. L|
|Adams, Richard||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)||Moyle, A.|
|Albu, A. H.||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D R||Mulley, F. W.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Grey, C. F.||Murray, J. D.|
|Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Noel-Baker Rt. Hon. P. J|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Orbach, M.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Oswald, T.|
|Balfour, A.||Hamilton, W. W.||Padley, W. E|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J.||Hannan, W.||Paget, R. T.|
|Bartley, P.||Hardy, E. A.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Bence, C. R.||Hargreaves, A.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Hastings, S.||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Benson, G.||Hayman, F. H.||Pannell, Charles|
|Beswick, F.||Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)||Parker, J.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Herbison, Miss M.||Paton, J.|
|Blackburn, F.||Hobson, C. R.||Peart, T. F.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Holman, P.||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Blyton, W. R.||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Poole, C. C.|
|Boardman, H.||Hoy, J. H.||Popplewell, E.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Porter, G.|
|Bowden, H. W.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Price, Joseph T (Westhoughton)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pryde, D. J.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Pursey, Cmdr. H|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Rankin, John|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Reid, Thomas (Swindon)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Reid, William (Camlachie)|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Rhodes, H.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Janner, B.||Richards, R.|
|Carmichael, J.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)||Roberts, Coronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Champion, A. J.||Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Ross, William|
|Coldrick, W.||Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Royle, C.|
|Collick, P. H.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley|
|Cove, W. G||Keenan, W.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Kenyon, C.||Short, E. W|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||King, Dr. H. M.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Kinley, J.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Lewis, Arthur||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Lindgren, G. S.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Deer, G.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Logan, D. G||Sparks, J. A.|
|Dodds, N. N.||McGhee, H. G||Steele, T.|
|Donnelly, D. L.||McGovern, J.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||McLeavy, F.||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Edelman, M.||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.||Stross, Dr. Barnett|
|Edwards, John (Brighouse)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Manuel, A. C.||Thomas, David (Aberdare)|
|Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Fienburgh, W.||Mayhew, C. P.||Thomas, Iorwerth(Rhondda, W.)|
|Finch, H. J.||Messer, F.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Follick, M.||Mitchison, G. R.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Forman, J. C.||Monslow, W.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Moody, A. S.||Thornton, E.|
|Freeman, John (Watford)||Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.||Timmons, J.|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Morley, R.||Tomney, F.|
|Gibson C. W.||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Gooch, E. G.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Viant, S. P.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Watkins, T. E.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)|
|Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Weitzman, D.||Wigg, George||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Wells, Percy (Faversham)||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.||Yates, V. F.|
|Wells, William (Walsall)||Wilkins, W. A.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|West, D. G.||Willey, F. T.|
|Wheeldon, W. E.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. Pearson and Mr. A. Allen.|