§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ The Deputy-Chairman (Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris)
It would be for the convenience of the Committee to discuss with this Clause the new Clause "Decrease in relief from rates in respect of industrial and freight-transport hereditaments."
§ Mr. Sparks
This is a very short and concise new Clause, but, if carried, it will effect a very considerable change for the better in the financing of local authorities. It is important for us, first, to have some regard to the circumstances under which derating of industry was introduced in the Local Government Act, 1929. This was a major Measure affecting local government, and it brought about an 556 extensive reorganisation of local authority functions, but we are concerned with only one part of it—the major part—which refers to derating.
In the new Clause, I am concerned not with the derating of agriculture but with the derating of industry. The 1929 Act effected a major diversion of local sources of revenue away from local authorities, and its net result was to place a heavier burden on the ordinary ratepayers than had been placed upon them previously.
In order to give the Committee the setting in which this Act was passed, it would be better for me to give three short quotations, because they express in perhaps better words than mine the purpose of the Act and, as they are more authoritative, they will undoubtedly carry more weight. In the Budget debate of 1928, when the principles of the Local Government Act, 1929, were brought before the House, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the present right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) said this in defence of the principle of the derating of industry:We have, however, to face the fact that unemployment remains obstinately chronic around the dismal figure of 1,000,000, and that all those basic industries which used to be the glory of this island, which must always constitute an essential element in the life of every nation, and which are vital to our export trade—all those industries are at the present in serious eclipse."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th April, 1928; Vol. 216, c. 844.]Mr. Chamberlain, who was Minister of Health, and who had charge of the Bill when it was introduced into the House on 26th November, 1928, said this, in introducing the Bill:At a stroke, £24,000,000 a year is going to be lifted from the back of industry. It is safe to say that not less than three-quarters of that huge sum will go to those industries which are most depressed, which used to give the greatest employment, and which today are lying derelict and almost helpless."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th November, 1928; Vol. 223, c. 88.]Lastly, Command Paper 3134 of June, 1928, in which the proposals of the Bill were outlined in detail, contain this opening paragraph:As a result of a careful review of the difficulties of productive industries the Government have, as local authorities are aware, come to the conclusion that the basis of rating of agricultural, industrial and transport properties needs to be revised, and they have adopted a plan which they believe will not only place the rating of these properties on a 557 more rational basis but will, more than any other political action which could be taken, contribute to the revival of agriculture and the basic industries. … Obviously, if local authorities are to suffer so serious a loss of rating power, some alternative source of revenue must be provided. …That is what was said in the House twenty-seven years ago when the principle of derating was conceived as an aid to industry in a time of great and serious depression, when unemployment was wholesale and when poverty was great.
That Bill and that principle failed completely in its purpose. We did not have to wait until 1955 to prove that. I have not the time to indicate as fully as I should like my justification for that statement, but in 1929, when derating was conceived, the number of registered unemployed stood at 1,466,000, whereas in five years' time it had risen to 2,470,000, although in 1938 it had fallen to 1,818,000. That does not take into consideration the millions of workers who were deprived of Unemployment Insurance benefit and who had to go to the Poor Law authorities to obtain relief.
Another test as to whether the main purpose of derating was accomplished can be found in our export figures. In 1929, exports from this country amounted in round figures to £729 million, but in 1938 they fell to £470 million. That proves my first point, that the main purpose of industrial derating failed completely.
Now we have to proceed to the next point and have to ask ourselves what services the community supplies to industry and to what extent industry is dependent upon the community. In the first place, industry enjoys the protection of our police system and the service of fire fighting and fire prevention which are provided by the community. Roads have to be provided to give access to and from industrial undertakings, and they have to be maintained at heavy cost year by year. Streets giving access to and from industry have to be lit, and that cost has to be borne by the local authorities.
Technical education is essential for industrial development today, perhaps more than ever it was twenty-seven or twenty-eight years ago, and considerable sums of public money are now being spent upon it from which industry derives the advantage by way of skilled 558 workers, technicians and those who manage our industrial enterprises.
Again, the community provides a system of public health without which we should have epidemics and disease throughout the country, and that, in turn, would affect the attendance of workers in industry. Then we have the social service of housing without which there would be no workers available for employment in industry. Lastly, there is education without which, again, we should not have a labour force able to grapple with the serious problems with which industry is faced today.
Without all these activities and services which are provided and paid for by the community, it is very doubtful whether industry could exist. Therefore, we are entitled to ask what industry pays for these services, and when we make an inquiry into that question we get these astonishing results. In 1952–53, the total expenditure of local authorities amounted to £916 million, of which derated industry contributed only £11½ million.
If we narrow the issue a little and confine our comparison to rate-borne expenditure, that is, the expenditure incurred by local authorities on their general services which are a direct charge upon the rate, leaving out of account, of course, the equalisation grant and other Government grants and allowances, we find that in 1952–53 the rate-borne expenditure of local authorities amounted to £351 million towards which, again, derated industry only contributed £11½ million.
That being so, we are entitled to ask whether rates are a burden on industry or whether industry is a burden on rates. The figures which I have just given, and which can be proved and checked from authoritative sources, indicate quite clearly that industry is a burden upon rates. We also have to remember that the great problems in our towns and cities today of slum clearance, rehousing and redevelopment, all very costly services, arise directly from our industrial system.
Way back over the years when industry began to grow and develop, anything was considered good enough in which to house the workers who were required in industry. Even today, despite what has been done by way of housing, our towns 559 and cities contain festering sores, and immense sums of money are required to remedy that position and to provide decent housing standards for our people.
All this is a burden upon the rates and upon public funds, and industry's contribution to the cost of it is almost negligible. In fact, in 1951–52, industry's contribution to the rates was 3.5 per cent. of the total rateable value. Before leaving that point, I want to make a reference to the distressed areas, and particularly to the industrial ruins of the special areas, because they emphasise, perhaps more clearly than I have been able to do, the responsibility which industry creates upon the community. In his Report for the year ended 30th September, 1937, the Commissioner for the Special Areas said:I well remember the depressing effects that the great slag heaps and the ruins of dismal factories had upon me on my first visit … I am now asked to clear up, on behalf of the Government, these unsightly ruins of concerns that in former days no doubt paid their shareholders handsome dividends. I have visited areas of desolation still bearing traces of the earlier industrial activities belonging to industries still powerful and prosperous, business reasons alone having induced them to vacate the sites. The problem of restoration needs to be dealt with more systematically and on a comprehensive scale … A firm which deserts an old industrial site is frequently bankrupt and cannot itself clear the site before it leaves, but I trust that a repetition of such tragic relics may be avoided, either by a system of compulsory insurance or by putting responsibility for clearance on the industry as a whole.That seems to be the picture as it was in 1937, and, although much has since been done to clear up these ruined industrial areas, a lot still remains to be done and the money has yet to be found with which to do it.
I now pass to the effects of industrial derating upon the finances of local authorities. There is no doubt whatever that the financial burden upon local authorities has been increasing very rapidly in recent years and has now reached a point where the future activities of local authorities are very seriously threatened.
I want to give the Committee some idea of the increasing burden which has fallen upon local authorities—much of it due to the derating proposals of the 1929 Act. In the year 1930–31, the average rate poundage levied by local authorities throughout the country was 11s. 8d. For the present 560 year, it is 22s. 11d. In other words, it has nearly doubled. The loss of rateable value to local authorities by industrial derating in 1930 was £21 million. Last year it was £39 million.
The rate-borne expenditure of local authorities—that is, that expenditure of local authorities which is directly chargeable to the ratepayer or to the rate—has risen from £148 million in 1931–32 to £351 million in 1952–53. That is an increase of 137 per cent. It will be realised that those figures are nearly three years old. I wish I could obtain the 1955–56 figures, because they would show that the increase in rate-borne expenditure is considerably higher than the figure which I have given.
Now let us consider the growth of local rate-borne and grant-borne expenditure. If we take 1938–39 as the basic level, by 1950–51 the expenditure upon grant-aided services had increased by 129 per cent. and upon non-grant-aided services by 96 per cent. Expenditure upon education went up by 162 per cent. Taking all the services together, the expenditure of local authorities for the year 1931–32 was £325 million and in 1952–53 it had risen to £916 million—an increase of 182 per cent.
Another important factor which we must take into consideration is the narrowing of the basis of local taxation. If we look again at Cmd. Paper No. 3134, which gave in detail the Government's case for the Local Government Act of 1929 and its derating provisions, we find this said:The most important effect of the derating proposals on the position of the local authority is clearly a narrowing of the basis of taxation available to that authority which necessarily involves a greater or less impairment of the capacity to meet considerable fluctuations in certain classes of expenditure inevitable from time to time.6.15 p.m.
I should like to illustrate that point by again quoting one or two figures. I must resort to these figures in order to prove my case. In the year before industry was derated, it contributed 10.03 per cent. of the rateable value of local authorities. Immediately after derating that figure fell to 3.41 per cent. Freight transport hereditaments, which bore 4.25 per cent. of the rateable value, fell to 1.14 per cent. during the same period. The significant figures are those in relation to dwelling-houses and other hereditaments, including shops. The 561 year before derating took place they bore 82.12 per cent. of the local rateable value, and they rose to 94.21 per cent. after. These figures indicate the extent to which industry has been relieved of rates and the ordinary ratepayer, the householder and the shopkeeper have had their proportion of the rates increased.
In passing, I should like to mention the effect of industrial derating upon my own county and constituency. In 1929, the loss of rateable value to the County of Middlesex as a result of industrial derating was about £236,000, or 1.75 per cent. of the county's rateable value. Middlesex is a county which has developed industrially in the last twenty-five years, and the loss to my county is probably as great as to any other county. In 1955, that loss was £2,452,000, or 10½ per cent. of the rateable value of the county. The county lost £1,496,000 a year in rate income as a result of industrial derating.
In 1955, my constituency is losing £319,000 in rateable value, which is equivalent to 36 per cent. of the rateable value of the borough. The loss of rate income in Acton is about £347,000, which is equivalent to a rate of 3s. 2d. in the £. In other words, if industrial derating were repealed ratepayers in Acton would save a 3s. 2d. rate.
If we carry this investigation a little further we can obtain a better picture. In 1929, the actual losses of all local authorities as a result of industrial derating—and I am leaving out agricultural derating—was £20 million a year. I emphasise the fact that all new industrial development since 1929 was excluded from benefit through the Exchequer block grant. That grant was intended to recoup local authorities for the loss of rates as a result of industrial derating, but it was not a permanent compensation; it was a sum, included in the Exchequer block grant, which was to diminish year by year or in quinquennial periods, and was to be completely extinguished in fifteen years, although I believe that it continued for nineteen years before it was finally extinguished.
Today, there is no compensation payable to any local authority in the country for the losses it incurs as a result of industrial derating, because the old Exchequer block grant went in 1948, and in its place we had the Exchequer equalisation grant, which takes no 562 account whatever of losses to local authorities through industrial derating.
What would be the effect of the repeal of industrial derating? In 1951–52, the rates paid by the derated industries totalled approximately £10½ million. If derating were repealed, they would contribute £42 million, but offsetting that figure are other factors. The local authorities would not receive all the benefit of that increase, because as the result of the repeal of industrial derating there would be a reduction in the Exchequer equalisation grant, based on the figures of 1951–52, from £53.8 million to £46.6 million, a reduction of £7.2 million. That reduction in the Exchequer equalisation grant would not be due to the repeal of industrial derating as such, but to the fact that the national average of rateable value per head would rise and upon that the Exchequer equalisation grant is based.
The Exchequer equalisation grant is now based on the average rateable value per head throughout the country. Those local authorities below the average get the grant, and those above it get nothing. With the ending of industrial derating, the average would go up, and the amount to be distributed under the Exchequer equalisation grant would correspondingly fall by £7.2 million, and the education grant would be affected. On the basis of the 1951–52 figures, the education grant would drop by £5.4 million. That would mean that there would be a reduction of Government grant totalling £12.6 million. The net effect to the local authorities of all that would be that they would benefit, as the result of the repeal of industrial derating, by approximately £20 million a year. Industry would thereafter contribute 12.2 per cent. of the rate burden as against 3.5 per cent. now.
I want to wind up my case for the repeal of industrial derating in this way. First, the case for industrial derating no longer exists, if ever there was a case for it. In present circumstances, industry is enjoying a period of great prosperity. Local authorities at the present time receive no compensation whatever for their derating losses. Can industry afford to pay its full rate? Let us look at the position?
I have here some very interesting figures. I have, in the first place, the gross profits for companies operating in the United Kingdom in 1928–29—the year 563 of the Local Government Act, 1929—and in 1953. The gross profits of companies operating in the United Kingdom in 1928–29, in round figures, were £1,200 million. In 1953 the gross profits went up to £3,153 million, so if we take the 1928–29 figure as 100 the 1953 figure was 263.
Let us narrow the field. Let us take the gross profits of manufacturing, productive and mining industries, all of which enjoy derating. The figures which I have given would include a number of companies which do not enjoy derating, as well as those which do. The figures which I will now give narrow the field to those industries which receive the benefit of industrial derating. The gross profits of the manufacturing, productive and mining industries in 1928–29, in round figures, were £478 million. In 1952—and this figure is three years old—the profits were £1,465 million. Again, if we take 1928–29 as 100, the comparative figure for 1952 is 306. In other words, the profits of this group of industries which get the advantage of derating have gone up in the period from 1928–29 to 1952 by 206 per cent.
That is not the whole story. In 1953, the gross profits of all companies were £194 million higher than in 1952. I have not been able to sort out from that figure precisely how much can be allocated to the group the profits of which I have just given. I think it reasonable to state that about one half of it could be attributed to them. These are authentic figures. They can be vouched for, and are contained in official documents in this House. It can be seen clearly that whatever might have been the plight of industry in 1929, the conditions today bear no comparison whatever with the position then.
In 1953, the derated industries increased their profits by more than twice the amount of the rates which they would have paid if derating had been repealed. The right hon. Gentleman will probably tell us that if we repealed the derating of industry in this way, the Treasury would suffer. Let us look at the position. It is quite true that if industry in future pays 100 per cent. of its rates, as every other ratepayer has to do, except agriculture, it could claim an increased amount by way of allowance from tax.
564 It is estimated that the Treasury would lose about £18½ million. That is not all loss to the Treasury. It would save by reduced Government grants £12½ million, which narrows the difference to £6 million. It is by no means certain that the Treasury would lose even that, because the rate of industrial profit is increasing substantially. That would more than offset any small loss which the Treasury might suffer as a consequence.
Even if the Treasury has to suffer to some extent the Government must agree to do something soon about local government finance. The system is beginning to break down. The position is rapidly being reached at which local authorities will have to slow down their essential services for lack of the means to carry them on.
Industrial derating has failed in its purpose. Industry does not contribute a fair share of the rate burden, while domestic and shop hereditaments bear an unfair proportion of that burden. There is no new source of revenue open to local authorities to meet the growing expenditure made necessary by rising costs and extended services. In present circumstances, industry can well afford to pay its full share of the rate burden.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North-West)
May I now move the proposed new Clause standing in my name and the name of the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison), which seeks a decrease in the relief from rates in respect of industrial and freight-transport hereditaments.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Sir Gordon Touche)
The hon. Member cannot move it now, because only one Clause may be moved at a time. He can discuss his proposed new Clause now, in the discussion on the new Clause which has already been moved.
§ Mr. Harris
It is a little unfortunate for me that this new Clause has been called before the Clause dealing with a reduction of rateable value of business hereditaments, which I have upon the Order Paper, and which I still hope will be called. I am trying to achieve a measure of relief for small traders, and the only way I can see of doing so now is by a measure of derating for them—unless we hold up all the new assess- 565 ments. In order to bring the whole of this matter on to a more fair basis I propose to confine derating to a smaller percentage—50 per cent. instead of the present 75 per cent.
The hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks) made a very interesting speech, and gave many figures and much information which he had obviously gone to great trouble to obtain. This information will bear close examination by hon. Members who have an interest in local government. Nearly all of us must have some personal interest to disclose in this matter, if it is only to the extent that all ratepayers will be affected if the Government accept any adjustment in derating. There will then rise a difference in the rates that we shall pay on our houses and on any businesses with which we may be associated.
During the time in which I have been interested in local government, I have always felt that derating has become outmoded and outdated, particularly during the last few years. As the hon. Member for Acton said, the concession was originally granted about twenty-six years ago, when industry was in difficulties, and in a period of slump and unemployment. New forthcoming rating assessments may make derating more unfair, especially to the small ratepayers who have to bear much of the burden of them, because a relief of 75 per cent. of the new rate assessments will still be granted to industry. A proportionately much heavier burden even than now will thus fall upon small traders, shopkeepers and householders if industry continues to receive 75 per cent. easement on the higher assessments.
We can all fortunately claim that, industrially, this is a boom time. In these circumstances, it is increasingly difficult to justify derating for industry at all; but the abolition of the 75 per cent. easement immediately would be a tremendous change. That is why I am proposing gradually easing the situation by adjusting it 25 per cent. at a time, to which I believe nobody can object. It is also true, as the hon. Member for Acton said, that rates are charged against profits, and bring in that way a certain measure of taxation relief for companies. Shopkeepers and small traders, however, find it difficult to make a living. I do not see how any hon. Member can disagree with some reduction of this 75 per cent. ease- 566 ment to industry. It would mean a fairer share of the reassessment burden for everybody.
I should like to have produced detailed facts and information for the benefit of the Committee, but as such facts and figures have been produced by the hon. Member for Acton there is no point in my going over that ground again. The principle is the same. We should try to spread the rate burden in such a way that it is as fair as possible to all ratepayers, and if we cannot share it justly and equitably at the present time we may as well advance as far as we can in the right direction. After the proposed reassessments, the rates burden may become heavier, and in a further five years householders as well as traders and small shopkeepers will have an increased assessment burden to bear. How can we still permit industry to enjoy a full 75 per cent. derating?
Among my colleagues in the Committee and in business these may be unpopular things to say, but when industrialists face the fact that reassessment is taking place and that a very unfair share of this new burden will eventually fall on householders and small traders, I am sure they will agree to a measure of readjustment which will gradually lead us to the goal to which the hon. Member for Acton is moving. I do not think we should try to reach it absolutely at this moment and do away with derating altogether. I should, however, like to see that goal eventually achieved. Whilst I should like to see derating done away with in time, it would be ridiculous for me to make such a proposal at the moment, as I am forced, in fairness, to fall back upon a measure of derating for the small traders.
However, let us make derating operate as fairly as we can. I hope that the Minister will see his way to reducing the present 75 per cent. concession to industry to 50 per cent. Then we shall at least be going in the direction of justice which many hon. Members desire ultimately to reach.
§ Mr. Simon Mahon (Bootle)
This is the second time I have spoken in this Chamber, and the first time in Committee.
I wish to compliment my hon. Friend the Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks) on the magnificent way in which he presented the case for our industrial towns. The tremendous amount of detail that 567 he has given to us today exemplifies to the greatest possible extent the need for the abolition of the 1929 Act. I have had the pleasure of hearing Government spokesmen on many occasions now, and from them one would assume that one only had to ask for an alleviation of our social and industrial difficulties and everything would be done to help us.
Coming, as I do, from the town of Bootle—and I shall say a lot about Bootle while I am here—may I ask what the Government intend to do for us now? The whole of our waterfront is taken up by the Mersey Docks and HarbourBoard. I have stated before in this House that that Board is derated to the extent of 71 per cent., and if Bootle had the advantage of the full rate it would benefit to the extent of 3s. 4d. in the £.
The burdens facing the industrial towns now are such that the financial implications can not be met much longer. It is harder to live in an industrial town, it is harder to be educated in an industrial town, and we have such a great burden of housing and slum clearance that eventually we shall have to slow down on these services. We look to the ending of derating as our only means of alleviation of our financial conditions. I can see no other way out. The Government should try to help us in this matter.
In Bootle we have the greatest ships in the world coming into port, bringing in the wealth of the nation and taking out our great exports. Has any hon. Member ever thought of the high cost of the fire brigade to a town of only 76,000 people? Bootle has the responsibility of keeping ships free from fire, and of fighting fires of great dimensions. We have had the country's biggest fires there. There may be a certain amount of cynicism among hon. Members about our position, but the cost of these services is getting out of all proportion. We are making a great social and industrial contribution and we are not getting a fair return for the effort which we make.
We put up with the smoke. The fact that we have the highest tuberculosis rate speaks for itself. We have a great number of bad houses, and we have the responsibility of getting rid of the town's slums. I want to know what the Government really mean to do. I did not intend to make a speech this afternoon 568 but I must ask whether the Government are in earnest about all this, as from time to time they suggest they are. If not by doing away with this anachronism of legislation, the 1929 Act, how do they intend to help towns like mine?
That Act never served its purpose. When our people were unemployed in their thousands we thought that the effect of the Act would be to attract industries to the depressed areas, but it never succeeded in its purpose. If one now suggested to hon. Members opposite that they were living in the past they would take the strongest possible objection, but I suggest that the time has come when the Government really must face their responsibilities. In Bootle we cannot for much longer meet the social calls of the people in the way we should, and have tried to, meet them.
At the same time, we see places such as Southport, Bournemouth and Brighton enjoying the benefits of the efforts made in the industrial towns, and having a much "cushier" ride than the people in such towns as mine. We make a tremendous contribution to the country, and our health suffers as a consequence of making that effort. I wish that the Government would face this situation more realistically. If they will not, will they please tell us how they intend to help the industrial local authorities?
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckinghamshire, South)
I feel a good deal of sympathy with the new Clauses which my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North-West (Mr. F. Harris) has put on the Paper, but for reasons different from those which he set forth. It may he hopeless at this stage to hope for logic in our local government finance, but I have always considered that the change introduced in 1929 by the partial derating of industry was a step in that direction. There is no logic, no case, for the plural rating which the full rating of industry represents.
Reference has been made to industry watching the burden placed upon shops and houses grow, but everyone engaged in industry lives somewhere and is himself a ratepayer as a resident. Industry, apart from those who work in it, is merely a form of activity.
§ Mr. Bell
Whether or not it is a profitable form it is an activity of human beings who live somewhere and pay rates, and when we remember that more than half of the rates levied go to pay for education which industry, so defined, does not, of course, use—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—of course it does not. It is no use hon. Members opposite denying it. Of course, without education the people who take part in industry would be less skilled and productive—that is obvious—but education is something enjoyed by human beings and not by such abstract legal personalities as limited companies.
§ Mr. Bell
Exactly. That is the sort of difficulty to which I am going to refer. And more than half of the burden of rates represents expenditure on education.
There are other services of a social nature which are not appurtenant to industry but to living human beings, and I doubt very much whether 50 per cent. derating adequately represents that distinction. It would, however, at least make a valuable contribution towards it, because industry does not use only one or two services. It uses the refuse collection, police, streets and many other services. At the same time my hon. Friend's first proposed new Clause recognises that the same is equally true of other kinds of business premises, such as shops. Though may be not for quite the same reason, I entirely agree with him that a degree of derating should apply to those also. [Interruption.] The interjections of hon. Members opposite are too incoherent for me to understand.
§ Mr. Pannell
Did the hon. Member hear the most exhaustive speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks)?
§ Mr. Pannell
Therefore, may I interpolate that a day or two ago the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) moved an Amendment and I expressed the hope that he would come in on the case for derating. From both sides of the Committee my hon. Friend the Member for Acton has received considerable congratulation on a most exhaustive statement which should add to the education of hon. Members opposite.
§ Mr. Bell
I thought the hon. Gentleman had some question to ask by way of clarification of my speech. He appears to be clarifying something that he said in one of his own speeches a few days ago, referring to my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) who, I am sure, is well able to defend himself and will, no doubt, do so at the appropriate time.
§ Mr. Bell
I did not have the pleasure of listening to the speech of the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks), which. I understand, lasted for about 38 minutes. I have had the pleasure of listening to speeches by the hon. Member previously, one of which lasted longer than his speech today. I am aware of the hon. Gentleman's point of view. Knowing his reputation for consistency, I am prepared to believe that he said nothing today which was different from what he has said on previous occasions.
The proposal in one of my hon. Friend's new Clauses to extend this degree of derating to business premises has the same attraction of logicality as the original derating of industry, and I think that in the long run—perhaps not in an Amendment to this Bill, but when the whole structure of local authority finance and of local government is being reconsidered, as it is going to be—these matters ought to be carefully considered. I hope that hon. Members opposite will not close their minds to any suggestions of this kind.
We ought to have, in relation to local government finance, a policy which is logical and fair. We cannot avoid some anomalies in local government finance, but I think that we ought to approach the matter from the point of view, not simply of sharing the burden among those who can pay, but of trying to work it out on some basis of logicality. If that is so, a degree of derating can be justified for industry and business premises.
Moreover, I do not think that any substantial benefit would be enjoyed by anyone if industry were re-rated, because it would simply be added partly as a cost to industry, and partly as a charge to the Exchequer, and the result would be, first, that the cost of products consumed in this country would rise to that extent; 571 and, secondly, an increased part of the cost of local authorities services would be borne by the Exchequer, although they would be outside our control——
§ Mr. Bell
What I was saying was that an increased proportion of local authority expenditure would be borne by the national Exchequer. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because, as the hon. Gentleman rightly says, rates would be to some extent diminished, and inasmuch as industrial rates would be an allowable expense against Income Tax on the part of industry, it would represent a charge on the Exchequer. There would be a shifting of the burden in part from the ratepayers to the Exchequer. [Interruption.] Hon. Members may not agree, but, after all, we are in Committee, when the procedure allows hon. Members to speak when they want to and as often as they want to.
The third consequence would be very serious indeed; namely, that the competitive power of our industry in export markets would be impaired. If the rate burden on industry were to be increased by 75 per cent., only part of which would be allowable against taxation, we should injure the competitive power of our own industrial products in relation to foreign industry. At a time when we are witnessing a narrowing of the margin of price advantage which we enjoy over other countries, that factor should weigh very heavily with hon. Members.
I therefore ask the Committee not to support the new Clause but, at the same time, to bear in mind, when this general question arises in the future, that there is a logical case to be made for derating on its merits; and, secondly, that if re-rating were introduced it would not benefit the general body of the country and would harm our export prospects.
§ Mr. A. Blenkinsop (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East)
We have listened with lessening interest to the ramblings of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. R. Bell), who invariably thinks out his speech as he goes along.
§ Mr. Blenkinsop
I accept that. I was wondering whether I should pay the hon. Member the graceful tribute of suggesting that he was thinking on his feet.
I had hoped that on this new Clause, as on previous Amendments which have been discussed, we would have found agreement on both sides of the Committee about the need for alteration, but unfortunately the hon. Member for Bucking-shire, South cannot be numbered among those who are anxious to encourage the Government to look at this problem afresh and try to secure a more equitable agreement than has been reached up to now.
I want to put very shortly the position as it stands in a constituency like mine, a heavy industrial area where, in addition to the problem of derating, we have the problem of the lack of any contribution from the Exchequer equalisation grant, which other areas have been to employ, to help to meet part of the loss of revenue. Therefore, this problem is felt more bitterly in an industrial area like mine than in some other parts of the country.
I want briefly to mention in detailed practical terms the problems that face us. We have in Newcastle a loss of about £270,000 a year due to derating, which amounts to something like the percentage, referred by my hon. Friend the Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks), about 10 per cent. of our rateable value. In an area like ours, where there is evidence in all parts of the town of the relics of past private enterprise, which has left to local authorities a very heavy burden of clearance and redevelopment before any new modern industry could take its place, it seems especially hard, at a time when industry is doing well, when there are very large profits indeed being made by industry in the area, that they should not be willing and able to bear this modest burden—for modest burden it is in relation to the size of profits being made by industry in the area—and so help to relieve the very real financial difficulties of the local authorities.
It has been said that to some extent this will be merely a transference of burdens. It is true that to some extent it would mean that a charge would be borne by the Exchequer instead of by the local authorities, but the general claim of the local authorities—one that 573 I thought had general acceptance on both sides of the Committee—is the need for more income under their own control. The argument that some part of this burden—and how much that would be is also arguable—would be borne by the Exchequer does not meet the point that local authorities should have under their own control the finances urgently needed for the essential work of development in their areas, the cost of which they have to bear and which has largely been put upon them by the action of private enterprise in years gone by.
Newcastle appears to be a typical example of a heavy industrial area where, in view of those with whom I have discussed the problem, industry would be quite capable of meeting the modestly increased charge which would fall upon it, and from much of which industry would get relief. I hold the view that the time has come not merely for a partial but for a complete repeal of the 1929 Act in its effect on industry. In that way we could help local authorities to gain a little independence in their financial activities—an independence which, I am sure, we all agree is desirable.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Duncan Sandys)
We have had a most interesting little debate, The hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks) has been chided, agreeably, on the length of his speech, but I must say that of all his speeches to which I have listened—and I have listened to many by him—this presented a very comprehensive and well-balanced statement of the case for the re-rating of industry. I do not say that he puts all his points with absolutely judicial impartiality, but I think that anyone interested in the subject must have felt that it was a very fair and well-balanced statement which left very little for anybody else to say in support of the argument.
He made it clear that his new Clause would make a major change in our rating system. No one can deny that the re-rating of industry would represent a major alteration in the structure of our rating system. I think hon. Members will agree—even those who supported the new Clause—that the tail end of the Committee stage of a Bill which deals with quite different matters is not the proper occasion 574 on which to make a revolutionary and drastic change in the law.
§ Mr. Sandys
—to be considered in Committee, perhaps a proposition making such a major change but one with which hon. Members opposite did not agree, I should have heard the objection that it was not fair to bring before the Committee such a major proposition when it had not been before the House on Second Reading, which is the right moment to discuss the purpose and policy underlying the Bill.
As I have explained on an earlier occasion, the scope of the Bill is fairly modest. It contains much detailed matter on which we have had lengthy debates, but it is essentially a Bill for tidying up a number of loose ends which have been left by previous legislation on the subject and for settling such matters as the rating of gas boards, charities and sewers. Generally, it seeks to simplify the procedure for introducing the revaluation due to take place next spring. I have made it clear all the way through that it was not the Government's intention to use the Bill to make any major changes in the basis of valuation between one class of property and another.
I take no exception to the fact that this point has been raised in this way. Indeed, we have had an interesting debate. Nevertheless, I am sure hon. Members will not expect a major change of this kind to be introduced during the Committee stage of a Bill which did not originally embrace such issues.
I do not think I need reply in detail to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North-West (Mr. F. Harris), because he covered the same ground as that covered by the hon. Member for Acton. The hon. Member for Bootle (Mr. Mahon) told us what a very fine place Bootle is. I have always heard that myself. One of my relatives represented Bootle in the House for more than twenty-five years, and I have always thought that it must be a very fine place.
575 The hon. Member for Acton referred to the history of the circumstances in which the derating of industry was introduced in 1929. The only fact which I would add to his review is that derating was introduced as a result of a full and comprehensive review of the whole of local government finances. This was one of the conclusions and outcomes of that review, which was undertaken by the Government at the time.
I believe that the various elements in local government finances are essentially inter-related, the one dependent upon the other, and that it is not a good thing to try to settle one element in isolation from the rest. Before deciding whether there is a sound case for the re-rating of industry, in whole or in part, it is therefore necessary to do what was done on a previous occasion—to consider the structure of local government revenue as a whole.
In the statement which I made to the House shortly before the dissolution, when I announced the progress which was being made in the discussions between local authority associations on the proposals for the reorganisation of local government, I said that the Government had decided to undertake a full review of local government finances as part of the problem of local government reorganisation. I can now tell the Committee that the Government Departments concerned have already begun that study of the problems which are involved. These inter-Departmental studies, as anybody who is familiar with the subject will realise, will inevitably take a number of months. After that, we shall have talks with the local authority associations and with representatives of the other interests concerned.
I can give the assurance that we shall push ahead with this review as fast as we can. At the same time, I must point out that it will not be possible to reach any firm conclusions until we are able to measure the full effects of the revaluation next year. It will not be possible to reach any final conclusions on these important issues until we know the outcome of the revaluation.
However, I can assure the Committee that the review which we are undertaking will be a most comprehensive review. All aspects of local government finance will come within its purview and will be examined, including, of course, 576 the question of the derating of industry. Pending the outcome of that review, I think it would be quite wrong for the Government to prejudge the issue. I hope, therefore, that the Committee will not expect me—I am sure it does not—to express any opinion this afternoon on the arguments which have been advanced and will not wish to press this issue today.
§ Mr. Mitchison
It is quite extraordinary what inordinate cowardice the subject of local government finance induces in Ministers. Apparently there was a comprehensive review of local government finance in 1928 and the only result appears to have been the derating of industry as to three-quarters of its value.
§ Mr. Mitchison
And the block grant. Since then it seems that constant review, urgent consideration and the rest have been proceeding quite interminably under one Government after another. It is not only hon. Members opposite who have hesitated to do anything definite whatever about local government finance.
It is the business of the Opposition to call the attention of the Government, by Amendments as far as it legitimately can, to what it thinks ought to have been put into this Bill. Without hesitation, I say that right hon. and hon. Members on this side of the Committee think that the rerating of industry to its full liability ought to have been put into this Bill and that is why we put forward this proposed new Clause. It is all very well to talk about this being discussed in Committee, but this matter was raised again and again on Second Reading. We went to the country on this particular proposition, and to say that it is a new and surprising development to find it here is really asking a bit much of us.
The remarkable thing about this discussion has been that, first, we have a reasoned, detailed, careful, weighty statement from my hon. Friend the Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks), which certainly called for any answer that could he given him. The right hon. Gentleman, quite rightly, praised it as a statement, but as to answering it said nothing whatever except that this was not the time to do it and that the matter was shortly to be reviewed. We have heard that before.
577 Meanwhile, what exactly is it we are asking about local government finance? I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman that if we have to consider re-allocation of functions among local government authorities we have also to consider re-allocation and general questions of finance, but we are asking that local authorities should be given a larger subject—not for assessment; that is already done—for rating than they have at present. There is no question of altering the valuation lists. The valuation lists will already provide for the assessment of industry. The simple proposition is that they should be allowed to collect the full assessable value instead of a quarter of the assessable value from industry. What local authority would object to that?
What is the objection of the right hon. Gentleman to assenting to it now? He tells us it is a matter of timing and a matter of the occasion, but after all, this Bill does not stand by itself. When introduced it was described as the end of a process that had been going on for seven years for a very considerable alteration of the whole basis of local government finance. Comparatively simple though some of the provisions of the Bill may be, it will come into operation roughly at the same time and consequent upon a very comprehensive re-assessment of property in the country. It may be said that it is not a large legislative change, but it is the end of a process and the end of the process is an enormous change in the basis and weight of the incidence of rates on individual ratepayers and classes of ratepayers.
What is the objection to taking that moment to do this perfectly obvious bit of common justice? I say it is a bit of common justice; I am not in the least convinced by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. R. Bell), who told us that it would put up the costs of the products of industry at a highly critical time. I should have thought that if there were a time when industry could take its fair share of the burden it was now. If he is to tell us that at the moment industry is so badly off that it cannot pay the same share of rateable assessments as is paid at the moment by individual citizens, I would ask him to take that proposition away, think it over calmly, and reflect that if 578 he can believe that he can believe anything.
§ Mr. R. Bell
The hon. and learned Member, I am sure, will remember that I did not say industry could not pay it; I said that industry should not be asked to pay it.
§ Mr. Mitchison
That is a fascinating proposition. Industry is not to be excused on the grounds of indigence; it is to be excused on some other ground of high morality. What is the morality that entitles industry to pay only one-quarter of the share when everybody else in the country—commerce and, above all, the ordinary domestic ratepayer—is paying the full share? What is the morality of the distinction when this is an exemption which falls most heavily on the industrial areas—therefore, most heavily on the very places where the greater part of the population find the payment of rates the greatest burden—and which falls most heavily on those authorities which at this time and in these circumstances are finding it hardest to make ends meet and to discharge their proper functions and duties as local authorities?
That is the present position. To be told that there is some rule of convenience which excuses us from making this quite obvious change, to be told that there is some rule of natural justice which entitles industry, of all groups in the community, to this special benefit, simply makes us on these benches sit back and indulge in one great horse laugh at the whole Tory Party. Really, that kind of excuse cannot stand for a single moment. From the point of view of relations between local authorities and the Government surely at this moment when we have been listening to hon. Members opposite talking with a kind of crocodile air of solicitude for the local authorities—about the value of the work they do and the value of their independence—to find them now refusing to give local authorities the benefit of a certain amount of freedom by having some degree of revenue over which they can have control, I suspect that the real answer to all this lies not here at all but in relations between the Treasury and the rest of the Government.
The effect of this Measure if it were put through would be, as my hon. Friend the Member for Acton and others have 579 pointed out, to deprive the Treasury of a considerable part of revenue—these payments by industry would be admissible deductions for tax purposes—and to give it to the local authorities instead. By what right is the Treasury retaining money which was raised by the local authorities before 1928, money which is their obvious due and which was taken away from them only for the purpose of meeting a particular dire emergency at the time—and a fairly ineffective effort it was too? By what right is that being done at a time when local authorities are sore put to it to carry out their obligations?
§ Mr. Mitchison
I am obliged to the hon. Member. I was nearly forgetting it. "What about the block grant?", he asks. Leave it where it is; increase it as you will. What possible answer is the block grant or the existence of the block grant to taking this particular step and allowing local authorities again to levy the full amount from industry?
Therefore, because we are not impressed by the argument that this is no occasion for doing it and because we are not impressed by the reluctance of the party opposite to do that, the justice of which none of them has denied, with the possible exception of the hon. Member
§ for Buckinghamshire, South, we propose to divide on this new Clause. I hope we shall not take too long about it, having regard to the agreement that was come to the other night.
§ Mr. W. T. Proctor (Eccles)
I should be lacking in my duty to my constituents if I did not protest against the action of the Minister in the announcement he has made, which will be received with dismay. When the Bill came before the House we were faced with three propositions. A certain proportion of property would be revalued at 1955 values and some at 1939 values and the industrial section valued at 1955 values was to receive a rebate of 75 per cent. In making his statement, the Minister has in effect repudiated his pledge to the country that he would deal with this situation as soon as the effects of the forthcoming revaluation could be properly assessed. He has had plenty of evidence in the House of Commons of the effect of this revaluation, and this was the moment he could have chosen to redeem his pledge; but, by taking the action he has done, he has repudiated his pledge and refused to deal with the obvious injustices of this revaluation.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 139, Noes 188.581
|Division No. 11]
|Ainsley, J. W.
|Irving, S. (Dartford)
|Albu, A. H.
|Dodds, N. N.
|Allaun, F. (Salford, E.)
|Donnelly, D. L.
|Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)
|Jeger, George (Goole)
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
|Jones, David (The Hartlepools)
|Bacon, Miss Allce
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
|Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)
|Evans, Albert (Islington, 8.W.)
|Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)
|Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
|Gibson, C. W.
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
|King, Dr. H. M.
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.
|Grey, C. F.
|Lawson, G. M.
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.)
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)
|Bowles, F. G.
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)
|Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
|Boyd, T. C.
|MacColl, J. E.
|Brookway, A. F.
|Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)
|McKay, John (Wallsend)
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.
|Hamilton, W. W.
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)
|Hayman, F. H.
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)
|Mellish, R. J.
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.
|Herbison, Miss M.
|Messer, Sir F.
|Chapman, W. D.
|Hobson, C. R.
|Mitchison, G. R.
|Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.)
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)
|Collins, V. J. (Shoreditoh & Finsbury)
|Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)
|Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda
|Howell, Denis (All Saints)
|Oliver, G. H.
|Cove, W. G.
|Hubbard, T. F.
|Oram, A. E.
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
|Crossman, R. H. S.
|Hunter, A. E.
|Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
|Davies, Harold (Leek)
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
|Parkin, B. T.
|Skeffington, A. M.
|Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
|Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
|West, D. G.
|Snow, J. W.
|Wheeldon, W. E.
|Peart, T. F.
|Sparks, J. A.
|White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
|Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
|White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
|Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)
|Wilkins, W. A.
|Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
|Stones, W. (Consett)
|Proctor, W. T.
|Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
|Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
|Pursey, Cmdr. H.
|Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
|Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
|Taylor, John (West Lothian)
|Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
|Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
|Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
|Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
|Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
|Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
|Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
|Viant, S. P.
|Yates, V. (Ladywood)
|Silverman, Julius (Aston)
|Wade, D. W.
|Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
|Warbey, W. N.
|Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
|Wells, Percy (Faversham)
|TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
|Mr. Holmes and Mr. Short.
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.
|Gresham Cooke, R.
|Molson, A. H. E.
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)
|Nabarro, G. D. N.
|Alport, C. J. M.
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)
|Nairn, D. L. S.
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.
|Hall, John (Wycombe)
|Nicolson, N. (B'n-m'th, E. & Chr'ch)
|Armstrong, C. W.
|Hare, Hon. J. H.
|Nield, Basil (Chester)
|Atkins, H. E.
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)
|Nugent, G. R. H.
|Baldwin, A. E.
|Harris, Reader (Heston)
|Oakshott, H. D.
|Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)
|O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Maccesfd)
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)
|Baxter, Sir Beverley
|Harvie-Watt, Sir George
|Page, R. G.
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
|Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
|Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.
|Holt, A. F.
|Pott, H. P.
|Bishop, F. P.
|Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
|Powell, J. Enoch
|Black, C. W.
|Horobin, Sir Ian
|Price, David (Eastleigh)
|Body, R. F.
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence
|Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
|Bossom, Sir A. C.
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)
|Raikes, Sir Victor
|Boyle, Sir Edward
|Howard, John (Test)
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.
|Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)
|Remnant, Hon. P.
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry
|Hughes, Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.
|Ridsdale, J. E.
|Brooman-White, R. C.
|Hughes-Young, M. H. C.
|Rippon, A. G. F.
|Hurd, A. R.
|Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
|Campbell, Sir David
|Roper, Sir Harold
|Cary, Sir Robert
|Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.
|Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
|Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
|schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
|Cooper-Key, E. M.
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
|Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.
|Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)
|Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
|Corfield, Capt. F. V.
|Speir, R. M.
|Craddook, Beresford (Spelthorne)
|Kerby, Capt. H. B.
|Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'g't'n, S.)
|Crouch, R. F.
|Kerr, H. W.
|Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)
|Kershaw, J. A.
|Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
|Cunningham, S. K.
|Kirk, P. M.
|Currie, G. B. H.
|Lagden, G. W.
|Studholme, H. G.
|Dance, J. C. G.
|Leather, E. H. C.
|Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
|Leavey, J. A.
|Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
|Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)
|Leburn, W. G.
|Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
|Deedes, W. F.
|Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
|Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R.(Croydon, S.)
|Digby, S. Wingfield
|Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
|Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.
|Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)
|Vane, W. M. F.
|Doughty, C. J. A.
|Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)
|Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
|Linstead, Sir H. N.
|Vickers, Miss J. H.
|Duthie, W. S.
|Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
|Vosper, D. F.
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M.
|Wakefield, Sir Waved (St. M'lenone)
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
|Walker-Smith, D. C.
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn
|Macdonald, Sir Peter
|Wall, Major Patrick
|Errington, Sir Eric
|Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)
|Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
|McLaughlin, Mrs. P.
|Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
|McLean, Neil (Inverness)
|Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)
|Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)
|Williams, Rt. Hn. Charles (Torquay)
|Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
|Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
|Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
|Freeth, D. K.
|Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)
|Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
|Gammans, L. D.
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
|Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
|Godber, J. B.
|Markham, Major Sir Frank
|Woollam, John Victor
|Cower, H. R.
|Marples, A. E.
|Yates, William (The Wrekin)
|Graham, Sir Fergus
|Grant, W. (Woodside)
|TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)
|Mawby, R. L.
|Mr. Wakefield and
|Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.
|Colonel J. H. Harrison.