HC Deb 30 June 1955 vol 543 cc590-607

(1) In any rating area an unoccupied hereditament shall be liable to he rated, and shall be included in any rate, for any rate period beginning on or after the date on which the first new valuation list for that area comes into force.

(2) The owner of an unoccupied hereditament shall be liable to pay rates in respect of that hereditament and the law as regards valuation and rating shall apply to that owner in relation to that hereditament as it applies to the occupier in relation to an occupied hereditament.

(3) In this section "owner" has the same meaning as in the Act of 1925.—[Mr. Gibson.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Gibson

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

This is an attempt to look forward a little. The subject matter of the Clause represents a problem which, before the war, used to be of very serious moment to rating authorities. As a member of an assessment committee many years ago in my own borough, I found that we always had to make an allowance for a percentage of unoccupied property on which we received no rates. The war and the aftermath of war, resulting in a shortage of housing property, to some extent got rid of the problem of empty property on which no rates were paid, but now the problem is reappearing fairly rapidly.

I know that in my constituency and in other boroughs in London many houses are deliberately held empty, or part-empty where they have been converted into two or three flats, in order to push up the price which the landlord hopes to obtain, with the knowledge that when the property is empty it does not cost him anything, because during that time he pays no rates. That seems a gross injustice to most of the ratepayers and the greater part of the community who have to go on paying rates.

The average wage earner cannot avoid paying rates, month after month and year after year, but owners of property can and do avoid paying rates as soon as a house becomes empty, and they are able to keep it empty in order to push up the price. It has always seemed to me a little peculiar that the Tory Party, which says that it believes in competition, should have been so very anxious to ease the burden of competition on property owners. Not the slightest effort has ever been made to take steps to prevent empty houses being held empty so that the price or the rent which the landlord could obtain could be pushed up.

In moving the new Clause, I submit that rates or part of the rates—say 50 per cent.—should be paid on all empty properties. I believe that that would have the effect of stimulating competition in the letting of houses and, what is equally important, stimulating competition in reducing rents and in enabling people who are so badly in need of accommodation obtain it at a more reasonable rent than they do at the present time.

When I hear of young married couples who are compelled to pay £3 a week for one room in my borough, I say that anybody who does not do all he can to push on with any step that can be taken to increase the total pool of housing accommodation is not being a good public servant. Many people who live in the area which I represent are, unfortunately, in the position I have described. A man or woman who keeps a house or a flat empty merely to obtain a high rent when it is eventually let is an enemy of the public. We should do something to remedy that situation. The small and mild measure which we suggest is that such people should be compelled to pay some rate on the property whilst it is empty.

After all, the public services go on and we have to go on paying for them. The roads have to be repaired and kept clean, public lighting has to continue, and sanitary inspectors have to be employed to see that houses are kept in a reasonable state of repair. The owner who keeps a house empty ought to be "punished" by making him pay a certain proportion of the rates while the house is empty. I believe that that would prevent there being a large number of empty houses which are becoming a feature in the country at present. It would help in getting those houses filled quickly in the large cities, and particularly in London, where there is such a great need.

I hope that the Minister will find it possible to be a little more sympathetic to this new Clause than he was to the new Clause which was moved a short time ago by the hon. Member for Croydon, North-West (Mr. F. Harris). If he is, I shall be very surprised, because never in my forty years' experience of local government have I yet found the Tory Party, locally or nationally, prepared to agree that there was any justice in making owners of properties who kept those properties empty pay a proportion of the rates while they were empty. I think that it is fair and just to do so. I am sure that as time passes empty houses will become a greater burden on the finances of local authorities, and I hope that it will be possible in this Parliament to have something done to relieve that situation.

8.0 p.m.

Mr. MacColl

I should very much like to support the new Clause proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson). I have a confession to make. I am a more moderate-minded man in many ways than is my hon. Friend, and I am bound to say that I do not think that the new Clause in the form in which it is drafted, whereby it is proposed to put 100 per cent. rates on every property is a practical proposition. I do not know what my hon. Friend's attitude would be, but my own feeling is—and I hope the Minister is prepared to indicate that he will introduce a comparable Clause at a later stage of the Bill—that it would be quite reasonable that there should be a reduction in the proportion of the rates paid by the owners of empty hereditaments.

Mr. Gibson

I did, in fact, say that I would be prepared to accept 50 per cent.

Mr. MacColl

I am very glad to find that my hon. Friend and I are one on that point, and as I am sure the Minister is going to make an offer to us, we shall be in a position to meet him on that point.

I do not think the right hon. Gentleman could reasonably get away with the argument which he used when we were discussing a previous proposed new Clause, that it was wrong to introduce some foundamentally new principles in the Committee stage of a Bill of this kind, and that if he were to do it we should rebuke him. Surely the point is that the Bill is his Bill, and he puts into it what he wants to put into it.

We can only get things into a Bill by moving Amendments and new Clauses during the Committee and Report stages, and our whole argument is that the weakness of this Bill is that it deals with the whole subject in a piecemeal manner. That, after all, was at the root of our troubles over the rating of water undertakings. The difficulty there arose because these other changes in the collection of rates were included in the Bill. It is because of the discrimination that has taken place against certain types of undertaking that the trouble has been caused.

This particular proposal for the rating of empty property has a very respectable history. It was originally recommended by the Royal Commission on Local Taxation in 1899, which is fifty-six years ago, when the Rating and Valuation Bill of 1925 was introduced, and an Amendment was moved in the Committee upstairs to include the rating of empty property. That was moved by a Labour Member, Mr. John Scurr, but it was moved with the support and, I think at the request of, the London County Council. In 1925 the London County Council was, of course, a Tory body, and it is interesting to note that a Tory county council as long ago as 1925 was pressing for the introduction of this reform.

Then, in 1936, a Bill for London only, the London Rating Unoccupied Hereditaments Bill—to give it its somewhat unexciting title—was introduced as a Private Member's Bill and was debated on the Floor of the House. I remember that quite well because I was at the time a hot blooded, young recruit to local government in London and, I remember, too, the interest about it in my own council, which was the most hidebound and reactionary Conservative council in the London area. Three times the finance committee refused to agree to opposition to the Bill by the council, and three times the vested interests in the full council referred the matter back to the finance committee.

I think that is a wonderful illustration of this issue, and it shows that the people who have the job of administering finances in local government pressed most for this improvement, while the people who opposed it were the people who opposed the Bill in the Committee upstairs in 1925—the vested interests and the property owners and others who were not primarily concerned with a fair and equitable distribution of local taxation but were concerned to safeguard their own interests. Surely the time has come now when we ought to get away from that point of view. A good deal has happened in the last twenty years, and the time has come when we ought to introduce this reform which in the City of London was originally introduced some time in the seventeenth century.

There are two practical reasons for it, based upon the workings of local government and there is a political argument or an argument of general principle—both of which were mentioned by my hon. Friend—which ought to carry very great weight. The first argument is that empty property is getting local government services for nothing. When a fire brigade goes along to an empty house which is burning—and an empty house is more likely to burn than an occupied house; in the case of most fire policies the householder has to give an undertaking that he will not leave the house unoccupied for longer than a certain period which shows the risk of fire in empty property—the captain does not say, "We will not put out your fire because you are not paying rates and because you have contracted out of your responsibilities."

The fire service is provided for all property, and the same is equally true of the police. The risk of breaking and entering is greater in the case of empty property than in the case of occupied property, and the burden and responsibility is therefore all the greater on the police. But no policeman walking on the beat or getting a 999 call that a man is on the roof of an empty house will say, "That is all right, the owner has not paid his rates and, therefore, it is a free for all." The police, at the expense of the rest of the community, have to deal with the situation.

Then there is the case of a landlord who is trying to let a house. If he finds the streets are in a very dirty condition, that the refuse has not been collected off the streets, that the cesspools are smelling, and that the roads are not made up, he knows that all this will reduce the value of the house which he is trying to let, and he will be the first person to write an indignant letter to his Member of Parliament complaining that he cannot let his house because of the condition of the road, the uncollected refuse, and so on. These are all a charge upon the people who are occupying property.

Those are some of the considerations from the narrowest financial point of view in favour of making the owners of empty property make some contribution to the rates. Those are the arguments which have weighed with those people who have looked at this problem and who have favoured something in the nature of the payment of rates on property which is vacant.

It may be said that there is not now the amount of empty property that there was in 1935 or 1936. But now, as my hon. Friend quite rightly said, there is more empty property than there was. I know that in my own borough the percentage of "empties" in the last financial year noticeably increased from the low point which it had reached. I should have thought that that was a very good argument for introducing some such plan as this.

The change could be introduced without any great effect immediately, so that it could be woven into the system of local taxation. A lot of people believe that this is a very good moment to make this change, because if we wait until there is a terrific number of "empties" then we will be told, "Property owners are hard hit as it is without making them pay rates on empty houses. They budgeted on the supposition that they were not going to have to pay." Therefore, I suggest, that this is the psychological moment to implement this proposal.

The other point is an argument on more general principles as to why I think that at the moment this is the most desirable thing to do. This point was also made by my hon. Friend. Not only in London but all over the country—I am sure that any hon. Member who represents an industrial constituency is aware of this—one of the biggest social problems we have is that some landlords are holding property off the market and refusing to let it in order that they can force up the sale price. They are anxious, wherever possible, to get rid of the tenants and to sell the property with vacant possession, sometimes at an absurd and economically ridiculous value.

I noticed this problem particularly when going round my constituency during the last Election. In areas crammed with hundreds and hundreds of people who are on the waiting list, waiting to be rehoused at the expense of the borough, houses are empty and they are being deliberately held empty in order to increase their selling value. That means a bigger charge on local authorities.

Mr. Powell

Would the hon. Gentleman explain how the selling value of a house is increased by leaving it empty for a year?

Mr. MacColl

If the hon. Gentleman cares to go through the history of how great fortunes have been made in business in this country and elsewhere, he will find that when a person has something which other people want, and can hold it back until the pressure of need is great, they will give him anything in order to get it. I seem to remember also that there are convincing illustrations in the Old Testament of how that is done. If the hon. Gentleman does not want to be more modern, I advise him to look at the Old Testament.

Mr. Powell

I should like an explanation based on the conditions of 1955, with an output of 350,000 houses a year.

Mr. MacColl

The answer is that the output of 350,000 houses is being absorbed by the large waiting lists in my constituency and in those of many other hon. Members. Or at least one hopes they will be absorbed, if one takes the Government proposals at their face value, by the somewhat miserable undertaking to rehouse 200,000 people by slum clearance. That is where the new houses must go.

Mr. C. Pannell

They are also taken up by people from places like Acton, where the space is completely built up and there are no other places on which to build within the borough. In such places the device of holding a house empty is common practice.

Mr. Powell

And what is the effect of it?

Mr. Skeffington

My hon. Friend is also aware, of course, that many of these new houses are being built for sale.

Mr. Powell

But these empty houses are for sale.

Mr. MacColl

I am happy that I have been able to be the means of so much political and social education of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), and I hope he will profit from it. One need not go too far into that point.

Everybody who is aware of the conditions in which the working classes of this country are living at the moment will agree that this is one of the biggest social problems of an industrial constituency. The proposal is a matter of making the owners pay a rate for the services which they are enjoying. They would be annoyed if some of the people on the waiting list were to go into those houses as squatters. Who stops them going in? The police, for whom the rest of the population have to pay while the landlord goes rate free.

Therefore, on both those counts—on the purely practical ground of local government finance as well as on the broader ground of social justice—there is a strong case for introducing this proposal, not in the remote future but now. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will realise that this practice, which started fifty-five years ago, has now acquired a new and pressing urgency which calls for immediate action, and I hope that he will be able to meet us on the matter.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Barnett Janner (Leicester, North-West)

I hope that the Minister will take note of what has been said so clearly and with such considerable force by my two hon. Friends. This is an important problem in most constituencies practically throughout the country. Empty houses can be found in very many streets in Leicester, and everybody knows the reason why they are kept empty. At the same time our waiting list for houses in Leicester is very large, as it is in most parts of the country.

It is not good enough to say that so many houses are being built. What is important is that people are not being housed at the rate which is necessary and they are gravely concerned about getting proper housing accommodation. What has been overlooked in the past, and what I hope will not be overlooked this evening, is that many houses are falling into the hands of landlords in consequence of certain lacunae that exist in the present Rent Acts.

We have endeavoured from time to time on this side of the Committee to have these remedied, but the fact is that today, for example, landlords obtain possession by turning people out who have been living for many years in dwelling-houses with a relative—and that relative, a father or a mother, having died possibly within a few days after the death of the original tenant. What happens then? The house is put up for sale and it may be kept empty until the landlord obtains the highest price possible. It is a simple proposition, it is being done every day, and I am sure the Minister knows it. The purpose of keeping the house empty is so that the owner may be able to bargain for as long as possible to obtain the highest price. He keeps it empty in spite of the crying need for housing accommodation. That happens in Leicester and elsewhere.

In addition, the policy of requisitioning empty houses has been practically abandoned, so there is yet another opportunity for an owner to keep his house empty until he can obtain the highest price. This is not a case affecting 100 or 1,000 houses but thousands and thousands, and so the Minister should take these matters into consideration.

What would the landlord have to lose even if the 100 per cent. rate were asked for? I think that my hon. Friends are more than reasonable in suggesting that the figure should be below 100 per cent. Yet even if the 100 per cent. were asked for, it would merely mean that for the period during which the landlord is bargaining for a higher price for his house, he would be paying for those services that have been so well described by my hon. Friends.

And why should he not? Is it because he cannot find purchasers for his house? The fact is that he can easily sell his house. Plenty of people would be prepared to buy it, and so he does not need to keep it empty. The only object of doing so is the one I have mentioned—to get the highest price. That being the case, the Minister should realise that this proposal is a reasonable way of dealing with individuals who are not prepared to pay due regard to the needs of the community and who want to extract from those needs the highest they can get. Taking into consideration what has been said by my hon. Friend, and also my few remarks, I hope the Minister will say that there is a special call now for this provision in order to enable people to have as much accommodation available as possible to meet their needs.

Mr. Sandys

Particularly in a period when there are long waiting lists for houses—although the number of acute cases of hardship is not so great as it was—it is distressing, worrying and irritating for people to see houses remaining empty which they feel should be occupied. The argument has been advanced that there are houses which were let in the past which, when they become vacant, are now left vacant until the owner can obtain what he considers to be a good price for them.

I do not think that the only problem is to ensure that the owner sells as quickly as possible, even though he may have to accept a lower price. One would like to see a larger number of these houses remain available for letting. Undoubtedly, many of them are no longer available to be let. The concern of the owner is to find someone to buy his house. As hon. Members are aware, there are a number of factors which contribute to that situation, but I do not propose to go into them now. The most desirable thing would be to ensure that these houses, which are essentially houses for letting, should remain so. There is a great demand for such houses, and it is worrying to see so many of them being sold instead of being let.

Having said that, I think that the hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) will recognise that he is proposing a major change in the principles of the English rating system, which has always been based on the taxation of the occupier and not the owner of property. The hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl) said that, as drafted, the Clause would raise a number of difficulties. I think that it would, although I shall not go into them now. In addition to drafting difficulties, there are serious practical and technical problems. But that is not the ground on which I propose to base my reply to the hon. Member for Clapham.

The main argument of the hon. Member was that had an owner to pay rates on empty property he would be induced to let it more quickly and more cheaply. I am not so sure about that. We are here discussing the play of economic forces. The hon. Member for Clapham argued that if a landlord found that he had to pay rates on empty property, it would pay him to sell for a substantially lower price in order not to have the property on his hands and have to continue paying rates.

Mr. Janner

But does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that these houses are sometimes empty for six, nine or twelve months or more? That would not be an advantage to the landlord, if rates had to be paid on the property.

Mr. Sandys

We can all form our own opinion about that. I am doubtful if it would make much difference. The rates levied on this type of property are not usually very substantial, whereas the prices which may be obtained would make it an advantage for landlords to wait in order to get a larger price. That would outweigh the fact that they might have to pay rates on their property for a quarter, or for two quarters. I am now voicing my assessment of the practical consideration which might weigh with an owner, and I submit to the hon. Member that were his proposal adopted, it would not make any substantial difference to the number of empty properties which would remain empty.

This situation which the hon. Gentleman deplores will, to a great extent, disappear as soon as the housing shortage is overcome. But the adoption of a proposal of this kind would undoubtedly discourage house building. People would not wish to build new houses if, in addi- tion to the cost of building a house, there was the danger of having to pay rates while they were looking for some one to buy it.

If I understood the debate correctly, there were two separate arguments made by hon. Members who supported the Motion. One was the purely practical case argued by the hon. Member for Clapham, to which I have already replied. The other was put by the hon. Member for Widnes who, while supporting the hon. Member for Clapham, also said that he thought owners of these properties ought to make a contribution towards the cost of public services—police, fire brigade, and so on—which were available to him, even though his property might be unoccupied. Once we adopt that principle, it takes us a very long way. It would be a complete departure from the historical basis of the English rating system.

8.30 p.m.

If owners ought to pay rates for police protection and fire services when their property is empty, why should they not pay rates for those same services, when their property is occupied? The situation that we would get to is: it is very important to an owner, although he has a weekly tenant in the house, that the house should not be burnt down and that damage should not be done. A proportion of the rates ought to be paid by the owner, therefore, at all times and the whole of the rates ought to be paid by him when the house is empty.

We should get very quickly to the introduction of what are called "owners' rates." That is what Scotland has. The whole system of owners' rates, as the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) who has just come in knows, has just been looked into very carefully by a high-powered Committee—the Sorn Committee. I will read a few sentences of what it said about owners' rates. Many of our witnesses endorsed the Committee's conclusion that the incidence of owners' rates was an important factor in the striking contrast between the number of houses built by private enterprise to let in Scotland and England and Wales in the years before the war, and we have received a strong consensus of evidence that the liability to owners' rates and the impossibility of predicting how they may rise is still one of the factors hindering the building of houses to let and one cause of the increasing disrepair of many houses. The Committee went on to say: The evidence thus briefly summarised has left us in no doubt that owners' rates are now an unnecessary and harmful complication in the Scottish system of rating, which disguises the finances of owners and occupiers of all classes of property and of rating authorities alike and impedes the provision of housing and the growth of industry. This is hardly the moment to introduce in England a system which has been condemned, and which will very soon be abandoned in Scotland.

Mr. Mitchison

It does not seem that the Scottish system of owners' rates has very much to do with the point that we are considering. I understand that on occupied houses in Scotland owners' rates and also occupiers' rates are paid. We are not suggesting that. To avoid the payment of rates in Scotland, one takes the roof of the house off. Nothing else serves the purpose. The practice of taking roofs off is spreading through the Highlands. I do not know what is done with the roofs afterwards, but there it is.

We are considering a very much smaller matter than that—whether or not rates ought to be charged on unoccupied houses. Every hon. Member would agree at once that that would in any circumstances be only a small proportion of the property on which rates are charged. The Minister's defence was the highly Conservative one that rates have always been based on occupation. That is perfectly true. The original rating Statute was intended to make the poor work, and one of the first purposes for which rates were imposed on occupiers of property was for providing the work material. It all goes back a long way, but so it has remained.

It has led to such absurd consequences as that which we see in connection with sewers today. Sewers have been rated in the past because sewers are regarded as occupied, for rating purposes. The London County Council is, in this connection, occupying the 21-foot-high monstrosity that we heard about in West Ham and East Ham. Occupation has gone far beyond the original meaning of the word, and has been applied to conditions very remote from those of the days of Elizabeth. While I have the greatest respect for the traditional aspect of the Conservative Party, I think it is going a little far if they cannot find any better defence than that this has always been the practice.

It is a comparatively small point, and I will state it the other way round. Is there any real reason why unoccupied houses should not pay rates? It seems to me that real property—houses and so on—does in fact make a contribution, as such, towards the expenses of local authorities. It makes it from the purse of the occupier—if I may use a rather Irish way of putting it—though even that is not without exception. Curiously enough, the owners of advertising hoardings are liable, as such. I do not know who occupies an advertising hoarding but, by Statute, the owners pay.

Is there any real reason why the owners of these unoccupied houses should not pay rates? In spite of what the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) said, it is perfectly obvious that the great reason for many houses being unoccupied is that the landlords are waiting to get the best price and think, rightly or wrongly—and we are not concerned with that—that they will get the best price by waiting. All of us who have any practical experience know perfectly well that in any town there will be found a number of houses unoccupied because the landlord will not make any other use of them as he wants to sell with vacant possession at the best price.

Mr. Powell

If the hon. and learned Gentleman had to buy a house in a town would he rather there were a hundred unoccupied houses for sale in that town, or none?

Mr. Mitehison

I am afraid that I cannot appreciate the relevance of the question. The point is that landlords do, in practice, and we all know perfectly well—perhaps they do not do so in Wol-verhampton; it may be a very curious town, but everywhere else—as indeed the right hon. Gentleman has just confirmed —that a certain number of landlords deliberately keep houses unoccupied because they want to sell them and think that they will get the best price that way.

To put it quite mildly, that is a pity. That being so, is there any reason why those houses should be exempt from rates? One point put was, "Well, of course, if you charge them rates you will discourage people from building houses." I think that the right hon. Gentleman put it that way, but that really is rather remote. A man puts up a very considerable sum of money to pay for the building of a house, knowing that he will have to wait a little time to sell or let it, as the case may be. I should have thought a very much more serious consideration on the question of leaving the building empty would be that he was not getting any interest or return on his expenditure during that period. On the question of rating or no rating, I should have said that that sort of liability is not likely to make very much difference.

Similarly, from the point of view of the local authorities, I should not for one moment say that the local authority was going to make a mint of fresh money out of this proposal. My view is simply that I see no real reason why rates should not be paid on these unoccupied houses. I am not a bit convinced by the argument that rating has always been based on occupation, because occupation has become such a highly artificial thing. I do see good social reasons for discouraging—mildly, but discouraging—the practice of landlords keeping a house unoccupied in order to get the highest possible price for vacant possession.

Therefore, by a combination of what seems to me to be reasonable justice and what I regard as social expediency—without exaggerating the importance of it—I think that the proposed new Clause is right, and I do not see why the right hon. Gentleman should not accept it. That is our general view on this side of the Committee, and we propose to give expression to it.

Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 133, Noes 175.

Division No. 12.] AYES [8.39 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W. Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.) Broughton, Dr. A. D. O.
Albu, A. H. Blackburn, F. Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)
Allaun, F. (Salford, E.) Blenkinsop, A. Brown, Thomas (Ince)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Boardman, H. Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)
Anderson, Frank Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)
Awbery, S. S. Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Castle, Mrs. B. A.
Bacon, Mist Alice Boyd, T. C. Chapman, W. D.
Baird, J. Brockway, A. F. Clunie, J.
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Irving, S. (Dartford) Reid, William
Collins, V.J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Janner, B. Robens, Rt. Hon, A.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Cove, W. G. Jeger, George (Goole) Ross, William
Craddook, George {Bradford, S.) Johnson, James (Rugby) Short, E. W.
Crossman, R. H. S. Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Deer, C. Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Dodds, N. N. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Skeffington, A. M.
Donnelly, D. L. Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Snow, J. W.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Sparks, J. A.
Edwards, Robert (Bllston) King, Dr. H. M. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Lawson, G. M. Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Stones, W. (Consett)
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) MacColl, J. E. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Gibson, C. W. McKay, John (Wallsend) Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)
Greenwood, Anthony McLeavy, F. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Grey, C. F. Mainwaring, W. H. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.) Viant, S. P.
Hale, Leslie Mellish, R. J. Warbey, W. N.
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Messer, Sir F. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Hamilton, W. W. Mitchison, G. R. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Hastings, S. Morrison,Rt.Hn.Herbert(Lewls'm,S.) West, D, G.
Hayman, F. H. Moyle, A. Wheeldon, W. E.
Healey, Denis Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Herbison, Miss M. Oram, A. E. Wilkins, W. A.
Hobson, C. R. Orbaeh, M. Willey, Frederick
Holman, P. Oswald, T. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Holmes, Horace Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Houghton, Douglas Parker, J. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Parkin, B. T. Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Howell, Denis (All Saints) Paton, J. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Hubbard, T. F. Peart, T. F. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Popplewell, E. Zilliacus, K.
Hunter, A. E. Proctor, W. T.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Pursey, Cmdr. H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Pearson and Mr. J. T. Price.
Agnew, Cmdr. P, C. Duthie, W. S. Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Aitken, W. T. Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)
Alport, C. J. M. Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Keegan, D.
Amory, Rt. Hn.Heathcoat(Tiverton) Errington, Sir Eric Kerby, Capt. H. B.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W, J, Fell, A. Kerr, H. W.
Armstrong, C. W. Finlay, Graeme Kirk, P. M.
Atkins, H. E. Fletcher-Cooke, C. Lagden, G. W.
Baldwin, A. E. Freeth, D. K. Leavey, J. A.
Balniel, Lord Gammans, L. D. Leburn, W. G.
Barber, Anthony Cower, H. R. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Barter, John Graham, Sir Fergus Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
Baxter, Sir Beverley Grant, W. (Woodside) Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Green, A. Linstead, Sir H. N.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Greaham Cooke, R. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
Biggs-Davison, J. A, Grimond, J. Longden, Gilbert
Bishop, F. P. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Black, C. W. Gurden, Harold Macdonald, Sir Peter
Body, R. F. Hall, John (Wycombe) McLaughlin, Mrs. P.
Boothby, Sir Robert Hare, Hon. J. H. McLean, Neil (Inverness)
Bossom, Sir A. C. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Madden, Martin
Boyle, Sir Edward Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Maitland, Cdr. J.F. W.(Hornoastle)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eyre) Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macolesfd) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hon. Sir R.
Bryan, P. Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Markham, Major Sir Frank
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Harvie-Watt, Sir George Marples, A. E.
Campbell, Sir David Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Marshall, Douglas
Cary, sir Robert Heath, Edward Mathew, R.
Channon, H. Hills, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Maude, Angus
Chichester-Clark, R. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Mawby, R. L.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Horobin, Sir Ian Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Nabarro, G. D. N,
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Nairn, D. L. S.
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Howard, John (Test) Neave, Airey
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th.E. & Chr'ch)
Crouch, R. F. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Nield, Basil (Chester)
Cunningham, S. K. Hughes-Young, M. H, C. Nugent, G. R. H.
Currie, G. B. H. Hurd, A. R. Oakshott, H. D.
Dance, J. C. G. Hyde, Montgomery O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Davidson, Viscountess Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H. Osborne, C.
Deedes, W. F. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Page, R. G.
Digby, S. Wingfield Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Dunoan, Capt. J. A. L. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Vosper, D. F.
Pott, H. P. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Powell, J. Enoch Speir, R. M. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Price, David (Eastleigh) Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.) Wall, Major Patrick
Raikes, Sir Victor Steward, Sir William (Woolwich W.) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Redmayne, M. Storey, S. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Remnant, Hon. P. Studholme, H. G. Whitelaw,W.S.I.(Penrith & Border)
Ridsdale, J. E. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington). Williams, Rt. Hn. Charles (Torquay)
Rippon, A, G. F. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Teeling, W. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Roper, Sir Harold Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury) Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Thornton-Kemsley, C. N. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Tilney, John (Wavertree) Woollam, John Victor
Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. Vane, W. M. F.
Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough,W.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Robert Allan and Mr. Godber.

Question put and agreed to.