HC Deb 30 July 1956 vol 557 cc945-65

Lords Amendment agreed to: In page 9, line 31, leave out from first "agreement" to "and" in line 34.

Lords Amendment: In page 9, line 38, leave out from beginning to "that" in line 39 and insert: Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the duty to furnish particulars under this section in respect of an agreement which at any time is subject to registration under this Part of this Act shall not be affected by any subsequent variation or determination of the agreement; and if at any time after an agreement has become subject to registration as aforesaid".

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

It will be convenient to take with this Amendment the Lords Amendment to line 43.

The effect of these Amendments is to give to industry until the end of the period given for registration to determine whether it will register or will vary the agreement. Supposing that the beginning of the period of notice was 1st November, it will not be necessary in the ensuing three months to register agreements which in that period have been dropped, or to register them in the form in which they happened to be on 1st November. We have done that because it has always been our desire, and I believe that desire has been shared on all sides of the House, that wherever possible industry should drop agreements for which it has no further use.

We do not want a lot of agreements registered if they are of no particular importance or purpose. It may be that industry will wish to drop a substantial part of its arrangements or have them in another form. We want industry to register the things which it wants to register, not the things it wanted to register at some other time, and we have, on reflection, come to the conclusion that we should have a final date to give industry an opportunity to get rid of any unwanted clauses or arrangements which it no longer feels to be necessary. What is required here is simply that by the final date, say, a three months' period from the 1st November or whatever it is, it should register the agreements which it wishes to have decided or adjudicated upon by the court, and none other.

Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas

On a point of procedure, I understand that the right hon. Gentleman was really addressing himself to the Amendment to line 38, but I understand, from the opening words of the Amendment to line 38, that there is a reference to an Amendment which, if carried, will constitute a new subsection (3). In fact, if I followed him rightly, the substance of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks was directed to the Amendment to line 43 and not to that in line 38. I mention this only as a matter of convenience, because we might have to take a different line on the Amendment to line 33 from that which we shall take on that to line 38.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

That is a very fair comment by the hon. and learned Gentleman, because the Amendments raise very closely connected but quite different points. One deals with the variation of agreements, and we wanted industry to have an opportunity to vary agreements, whereas the Amendment to line 33 deals with the length of the period and the date by which these things ought to be recorded by the Registrar. It is quite possible to have different views about the two Amendments, but they are linked closely together.

Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)

It seems to me that these two Amendments are so very closely linked that it is not possible to discuss one without the other. What the President is suggesting is that, if there is some vicious agreement which ought to be registered, the parties to that agreement should be given a short locus paenitentiae in which to cancel the agreement before it is registered. I can understand the force of that suggestion from the point of view of the Government, but I do not think the argument in favour of it will be particularly acceptable to the public, or, at any rate, to those members of the public who are anxious to understand this matter, and to try to stop restrictive practices taking place.

A great deal of what has been said during the whole course of our debates on this Bill on Second Reading, in Committee and again on Third Reading, has shown that, as the President himself has admitted, a great deal of this Bill will act as in terrorem, and that a great deal of the efficacy of the Bill depends not merely on its precise substantive provisions, but also on the kind of psychological impact which it will have on traders and others. One of the main purposes of the Bill, as the Parliamentary Secretary himself has said more than once, is to try to deter people from entering into restrictive practices.

On the two Amendments which we are now discussing together, the President has put the case for the Government very persuasively. He is saying, "We will give a locus paenitentiae to improvident or objectionable traders to cure their restrictive practices agreements before the time for registration comes," and he is really saying to them that, if they will tidy up these agreements before they are registered, he will let them off.

That is not satisfactory. Over and over again in the course of the proceedings on the Bill we have pointed out how difficult it is to tie traders down and to rely merely on registration of written agreements to cure this evil. The right hon. Gentleman and his Parliamentary Secretary know that there may be all kinds of unwritten agreements and verbal understandings which are just as objectionable and pernicious to the public interest as written agreements.

Therefore, speaking for myself, but I hope also for my hon. and right hon. Friends, I am completely against the idea expressed in these two Amendments. The other place is trying to get us to agree to a kind of prolonged locus paenitentiae during which people who have made agreements which are, ex hypothesi, contrary to the Bill, can make variations and changes in those agreements. They can introduce unwritten devices which otherwise would be condemned by the Bill and would be registrable. They would be able to leave things out and put them under the table, sub rosa, so to speak.

The whole sum and substance of the Amendments is not merely to encourage traders to do that, but to say that any devices which they adopt shall not be brought to light and they shall get away with them. I am against that. In the interests of good administration, these matters should be brought to light. If agreements are to be changed, I would prefer to see them registered as they are now and any variations which traders might think proper to introduce into them because of the provisions of the Bill registered also. I do not like the idea of giving industrialists and others, against whom the Bill is prima facie directed, an opportunity of tidying up their agreements within three months or six months before they become registrable.

I want everything to be registered so that we can see the changes made as the result of this desirable legislation, for which we take great credit. We all know that the Press is singing the praises of the President of the Board of Trade for having piloted through the House a Measure which was not hitherto in consonance with Conservative principles. We have done our best at all stages to improve the Bill and we take great credit for the immense improvements which have been made. The House of Lords is trying to undermine the salutary, progressive and liberal principles enshrined in the Bill. The Amendments to lines 38 and 43 are a subtle and ingenious attempt to undermine our good work in persuading the President of the Board of Trade to make substantial improvements.

I am loath to see Amendments inserted by another place to deprive this House of these excellent provisions to stop restrictive trade practices. This is a glaring example of the kind of change by which, by a very subtle strategem, the other place seeks to detract from and to diminish our good work.

In the Amendment to line 43, the President seeks to insinuate—I use the word in no offensive sense—a provision by which traders will have the opportunity for a period of time not specified, of changing the existing agreements—in fact, of determining them—and substituting other agreements which will obviously be worded to accord with the Bill. I have no doubt that many agreements will be varied as a result of the Bill, and it is quite right that that should be so. If we are to achieve the objectives to which we are devoted on this side of the House and to which the right hon. Gentleman has given lip-service on more than one occasion, we must, in the interests of sound public administration, see what is going on over the whole of this field.

These two Amendments raise a serious matter of principle. I object to two parties having this locus paenitentiae in which to vary their agreements and attune them to the Bill and enter into all kinds of devices and stratagems like substituting verbal understandings for written agreements to circumvent the objectives embodied in the Bill. I view the Amendments with alarm and suspicion because they open the door to evasion. This is not the right way to deal with the matter. We should not encourage this sort of thing. We should insist upon agreements being registered as they stand and allow the variations also to be registered. That would be much more satisfactory. Therefore, taking the most tolerant and charitable view possible of the attitude of the President, I cannot accept this Amendment, and I hope, in view of what has been said, that the House will agree that we should reject it.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. Jay

In order to explore how far the President is guilty, as my hon. Friend suspects, of a subtle and sinister strategy, may I ask him three questions? The right hon. Gentleman said at the end of his remarks—I thought a little incautiously—that he wished to ensure that any trader would have to register such agreements or arrangements as the trader wished to have adjudicated on by the court. I took the right hon. Gentleman to mean that what he is here intending is that the trader would be under an obligation to register any agreement or arrangement in force at the end of the period referred to in the Bill and that any that came into force after that period. Were that not so, I think there would be substance in what my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) is saying. Is the trader to be at liberty to get out of a registration because he does not wish to have it adjudicated on? That is my first question.

Secondly, are we to understand that what my hon. Friend calls the locus paenitentiae—and what I prefer to call the tempus paenitentiae—during which these persons are allowed to desist from their practices shall be a period of three months? As I understand it, there is nothing in the Bill as it now stands which lays down that this is to be a period of three months rather than six months or three years. If I am right, we are at present in the position that the Parliamentary Secretary has informed us that the intention of the Board of Trade is that it shall be a period of three months, but, so far as the Bill goes, it could be extended to any period to which the Board of Trade chose to extend it.

Thirdly, I wonder whether the President can guide us by telling us what arrangement on this point has been in the case of Sweden? We have been told at various stages during the discussions on the Bill—I think it came up again in another place—that the process of registration in Sweden has been very successful in the in terorem sense—again to quote my hon. Friend—in scaring people out of the practices by the mere prospect of their having to register them. Did the Swedish legislation say that all practices in force at the time that the corresponding instrument there was made would have to be registered, or did it allow this period of grace, to put it into plain English, before registration during which agreements could be terminated without being registered?

We have been told that something like one-third of the agreements in force in Sweden were terminated. I do not know how we could know that if the procedure which the President is now imposing were in force. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the successful result in that country was achieved by what he desires to do or what is asked for by my hon. Friend?

Mr. Wade

These Amendments raise a point of some substance and I have come to the conclusion that this House should approve them for reasons which I will try to indicate—although I must say at the outset that the remarks of the President of the Board of Trade tended to make me oppose them, or to be less inclined to support him, after hearing his reasons.

For the purpose of clarification, may I ask whether I am right in assuming that we are considering what happens after agreements become subject to registration, and not after the date when the Bill comes into force? I am inclined to the view that those interested in evasion will most likely make their alterations as soon as the Bill comes into force, if they have not done so previously, rather than wait until an order for registration has been made and then make them during the period before the last date for registration. Perhaps the President could clarify that point.

We are considering whether there should be an interregnum, or however one likes to describe it, during which parties to an agreement shall have the opportunity to cancel, withdraw or amend their agreement. During the earlier debates, I expressed the view that had registration been introduced several years ago—I think it would have been the wisest course to have started with registration—it would certainly have brought some interesting information to light, and subsequent legislation could have been introduced making clear what agreements were forbidden altogether and what agreements would be permitted subject to application to a court.

That policy was not adopted and here we have a Bill which combines registration investigation and prohibition. As a result there is a real danger of causing such delay in dealing with a mass of registrations and appearances before the court that the Bill may prove ineffective. Many hon. Members have pointed out that danger. Therefore, I come down on the side of any Amendment which may help to lessen the danger of undue delay and reduce the amount of work falling on the Registrar. For that reason, I feel inclined to support the Amendment.

I hold the view that Part I of the Bill does not cover some important agreements which should be registered and the day may well come when it will be necessary to extend the application of Part I. But the chances of doing so will depend, to some extent at any rate, on the success of this new procedure of the Registrar and the court in dealing with the vast number of agreements already covered by Part I. I am particularly anxious, therefore, that Part I should proceed as speedily as possible. Had this Bill not covered verbal agreements, I should have been very chary of approving these Amendments. But I hope it will be clearly understood in the country that verbal agreements into which traders may be tempted to enter, after having cancelled formal written agreements, will be registrable, if they come within the terms of Part I of the Bill. While I appreciate the arguments of those who object to the Amendments for the reasons which I have indicated I think that the House would be wise to give its approval to them.

Mr. George Darling (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

The hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) has voiced a typcial Liberal Party approach to this problem. After putting forward all the arguments for not accepting the Amendments, we understand that he is prepared to accept them. I agree that the question with which we are here concerned is not only one of registration, but before we can deal with restrictive practices there must, of course, be this widespread registration of practices, because it is the beginning of the story.

In answer to one comment made by the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West, I would point out that at the time when the Monopolies Commission was asked to investigate collective discrimination I suggested that a short Bill to provide for the registration of all agreements would help that work and whatever work might come later.

Mr. Wade

I do not disagree with the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. G. Darling) for one moment on that point. I merely observed that for, I think, the last eight years I and my colleagues have been advocating registration.

Mr. Darling

Then we are in agreement on that. We now want registration as quickly as we can get it, and what the Government are proposing in accepting these Amendments, and in asking us to accept them, is a further delay in registration.

On Second Reading, I think, the Parliamentary Secretary gave a solemn assurance that the registration of the worst practices, that is, collective enforcement of prices and the worst forms of collective discrimination, would be registered within three months of the passing of the Bill. I think that is what he said, although I have not looked it up and am merely consulting my memory. That is my impression. Now we are told that registration is not to begin for three months after this Bill has become an Act, and there can be delay as a result of the procedure laid down in the Bill itself.

I am reading these Amendments hurriedly—we have not had much time to go into them very deeply—but there can be delay in the classes of agreements and amendments that can be registered, because it does not suggest here that all agreements shall begin to be registered within three months of the passing of the Bill. There may be further delay because of the procedure laid down in the Bill itself which allows the President of the Board of Trade to ask the House for permission to register further classes of agreements. How long that process is to go on we do not know, and from the President's explanation we got no idea of the time-table which he expects to follow. He merely threw out a vague date, like December or January, or something, for the actual beginning of the registration of agreements.

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) who said that we should be far better off if, at this stage, we knew all the kinds of agreements that are now in existence for the restraint of trade and all the restrictive practices that are dealt with in the Bill. I am very suspicious, not of all trade associations, but of some trade associations, and I suspect that this breathing space will not be used by those trade associations to bring their agreements within what we would like to think are the terms of the Bill; that they will not get rid of their worst practices and carry on in a manner which would be approved by the Restrictive Practices Court.

I am confident that there are many groups of traders in the country who will use this breathing space, not so much to put themselves within the law as to find ways and means of carrying on—by verbal agreements, and by all kinds of under-cover arrangements which we will find great difficulty in bringing to the public—as they carried on before, though they will have scrapped their formal agreements as they stand today. Traders having that intention would be prevented from carrying it out if all restrictive practices within the groups that are called upon to register were registered at once and without a breathing space.

It may be that many trade associations will alter their practices so as to bring themselves within the law. There will not be a great deal of difficulty in registering the amendments of their agreements. That will go on for a period in any case, but the benefits of immediate registration are far greater than the difficulties which will be placed upon some trade associations that want to alter their agreements so as to bring them within the law. On balance it would be far better, from the public point of view, to have immediate registration of all agreements, without any breathing space at all.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Peter Remnant (Wokingham)

I do not quite understand the types of evasion, to be frank and to use that word, which the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. G. Darling) and other hon. Members have in mind. As I see it, some traders will endeavour to find ways round the law, and, in order successfully to find the way round, those practices will in any case have to be outside the wording and force of this Bill. I should not have thought that immediate registering of their agreements would alter that. The purpose of the Bill, and I am sure that this is agreed on all sides, is to eliminate restrictive trade practices which are against the public interest.

We have all, I think, had some apprehensions that that might take longer than we would wish, because the Court itself will be so full of work that, in order to get through it, an additional length of time will be necessary. I do not mind in the least who eliminates the restricted trade practice. If the trade thinks that it has an agreement which comes within the scope of the Bill, I would not take any exception to its acting in advance of the Court.

One point, however, I should like to make. I think it is correct that any agreement to be registered has to be an agreement which is in force. If that is the case—and I should like my right hon. Friend to emphasise that if he would—it eliminates a proposed agreement, or a proposed variation being registered when the previous agreement has not been cancelled and a varied agreement is substituted for it. If that is right, then I think it gets rid of the objections raised. The previous practice will have been abandoned in favour of one which, it is thought, comes within the provisions of the Bill. I hope that the House will accept the Amendment.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

With the permission of the House, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I should like to say that while I do not pretend to be an expert, I think that, on the whole, the Swedish case helps the Opposition's argument. The arrangement there is a little different. Those concerned are called up by the Monopolies Investigation Bureau, but it appears that that takes place at their own request. The number of agreements on the Swedish register has increased. It is now over 1,200. The difference in scale will be seen. Of course, I do not know how many there will be here, but my belief is that there will be more than 1,200, so we are dealing with rather a bigger administrative problem, and I will have a word to say about that administrative problem in a moment.

It is fair to say to the right hon. Gentleman that agreements that have been varied at any time since August, 1946, may be registered, even though they have been cancelled before the parties are asked to register them. Similarly, agreements cancelled after registration remain on the register, so it does rather fit in with what the right hon. Gentleman has said. That is how the calculation was made.

Detailed analysis shows that the likelihood of cancellation increases with the length of time that an agreement has been registered. Of the agreements registered in Sweden in 1948, 72 per cent. have been cancelled, and I only hope that we shall have the same experience in this country. While I concede that there is a case for registering everything as it was at a certain date, I do not think that the case can be put forward on the grounds of good administration, and it is the question of administration that is really giving me some quite considerable anxiety. We have said, and we adhere to it, that our present intention is that within three months of the order coming into force the agreements will be registered. But there may be a great number of them.

As was announced in another place, we have been considering a possible way of dividing the load into two by taking two separate batches of industry, but I must confess that our investigations have shown considerable difficulties about dividing industry into two, on any classification, which would not lead to quite considerable confusion at the margin. It may well be that we shall have to make an order covering the whole field of industry in one go. I am not oblivious to the fact that that would place a considerable strain upon the Registrar and his staff. I am most anxious not to add to that strain in any way. It will be a big enough job to record and register the agreements which are within this Bill and which will have to be adjudicated.

While I can see that from many points of view there may be some advantage in having on the Register agreements which will not have to be adjudicated, and in seeing how they are altered, I think it is a big price to pay for that if we put upon the Registrar the burden of both the agreements which are not wanted as well as the agreements which are wanted. I do not see much point in asking the Registrar to record both the original and the variation.

In the circumstances, I feel that the right course here is to say that we will make an order, bring it before the House I suppose in the resumed session in November—we certainly cannot do it before we adjourn for the Summer Recess—and that within three months of that order, which is the period which we have in mind at present although it is not a final decision, we shall require the great range of restrictive practices dealt with in this Bill to be recorded.

During that period industry will have an opportunity to drop these practices. If industry does drop them, so much the better, for what is the object of all this? The object of our deliberations is to have fewer restrictive practices, not more. The House ought to be happy that it should achieve that object and that we have a freer economy than we had before.

Some may be varied. But suppose they are varied; if the only restrictions which are left at the end of the day are restrictions which are so worded and guided that they are outside this rather carefully considered Measure, it will still be a pretty free economy. I do not say that we shall have done everything, but we shall have got rid of a tremendous amount of restrictions which have been cluttering up the commercial arrangements in this country. Therefore, I am not afraid of that contingency either.

As I say, I rest my case mainly on good administration. I am really concerned to give the Registrar, who is going to have an onerous and difficult job, the best opportunity of getting his register in order and recording those things which deserve registration.

Mr. Jay

Can the right hon. Gentleman confirm that any agreement or arrangement which would by its nature be registrable and which is in force at the end of the interregnum period, or which comes into force thereafter, would be registered?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for raising that point. Anything which is in force at the end, or comes into force thereafter, which is within the terms of the Bill or the order, will have to be registered.

Mr. Robert Edwards (Bilston)

I do not think the President of the Board of Trade has replied to the points which have been raised by my hon. Friends, and particularly by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher), in opposing these Amendments.

The President has made the point that it is better for collective practices of an evil nature to be dropped automatically and voluntarily by the groups of manufacturers and traders concerned. We all agree. But the Amendments do not help. We on these benches maintain that a period of three months provides traders and manufacturers with an opportunity of applying in another form the same practices which we want to be made illegal. It is in order to catch this kind of practice that we think immediate registration is necessary.

The Bill seeks to make illegal all collective practices for the maintenance of retail prices, but it makes legal single practices. All that is being done is that groups of firms which have collective agreements will have three months in which to make arrangements to slip through the meshes of this Measure.

During our discussions we came to certain conclusions, namely, that there was operating in this country a whole network of practices which were against the interests of the consumers and of our economy as a whole. We said that these practices should be made illegal and should all be registered. Now we have our decisions amended in another place, giving to the people with whom we are dealing a period of three months in which to make new arrangements.

These Amendments are unnecessary. If this is an evil thing—and we have all agreed that it is evil for the consumers and bad for the economy—why should there be three months' notice? Why should not the Act stipulate immediate registration? If there are administrative difficulties, they can be met. The principle of immediate registration—and at least the principle of registration within a month—should be maintained by this House. That is why we oppose these Amendments which allow new methods of regrouping in order to maintain practices which we all agree are evil and bad for the economy, which exploit the consumers and which should, therefore, be eliminated.

Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas

I cannot regard the President's reply as satisfactory. Logically, of course, I appreciate the force of what has been said by the right hon. Gentleman and by the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Remnant.) One can approach the Bill and say, "It provides that certain agreements shall be registered. Either there is an agreement within the Bill or there is not, and if one abandons or varies the agreement so that one is outside the Bill, one should not be registered and that is that." It is a nice clean logical answer which I immediately accept, and the force of which I appreciate. But, of course, the whole tenor of our attitude right through the Bill has been that there are too many loopholes in it. There are too many opportunities in the Bill for evading what was put forward on Second Reading as being the real purpose of it. What we find here in this Amendment introduced elsewhere and now brought before the House by the President is that a further opportunity is given, so that, after giving notice, those who practise what are admittedly agreements within the mischief of the Act may, after due notice from the Government, alter or vary them so as to avoid registration.

5.30 p.m.

What we are particularly anxious to have is information about these agreements, and about what is happening as regards variations, and so forth. It is valuable to have the information, even though by variation or by abandonment the provisions of the Bill can be avoided. In other words, we want to know not only what would be actually caught within the four corners of the Bill as regards any particular agreement, but we want to know what the practices in industry are, so that, if need be, there might in due course be an amendment of the Bill or, perhaps, the Registrar, having such information, will have an opportunity of finding out what in fact is happening as regards restrictive practices and the evasion of the provisions of the Bill.

I, like the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wale), am completely unconvinced by the administrative argument. I can understand, of course, that the President may not be anxious to have the register cluttered up by agreements which are not themselves within the Bill. But what he is contemplating here is a period within which registration may take place, and he is providing for a period of three months presumably to give a spreadover so as to give an opportunity to those who adopt these practices to consider the position and go through the machinery of registering and also to give an opportunity to the Registrar himself to register without an undue pressure of

work. The President is saying that if, before the end of what he suggests would be a period of three months, an agreement is varied or abandoned, then the agreement need not be registered at all. In those circumstances, there will certainly be a tendency to defer registering until the very end of the period, because if an agreement is either abandoned or varied before the end of the period so as to come outside the Act there will then be no regisration at all.

I do not want to put that consideration too high, but I would certainly put it as high as this, that the course he is proposing in this Amendment, the argument being based upon matters of administration, is at least as questionable from the point of view of the interests of the Registrar in having a trickle of registrations instead of a rush at one particular moment, as the Clause stands without the Amendment. He is by this Amendment tending to produce a surge of registrations at the very end of the period. I am quite unconvinced by the argument on administration upon which he bases his case.

As to the rest of it, it seems to us, on the point of substance, that it is desirable to know what is being done. We have in Sweden, a precedent which certainly has been valid. We are not doing anything revolutionary which has not been tried elsewhere; we are suggesting a course which has been tried elsewhere and found effective, as the President has indicated. For those reasons, I would certainly advise my hon. Friends not to agree to this Amendment.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 221, Noes 180.

Division No. 273.] AYES [5.35 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Cooper, A. E.
Aitken, W. T. Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Cooper-Key, E. M.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Bidgood, J. C. Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.
Alport, C. J. M. Biggs-Davison, J. A. Corfield, Capt. F. V.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Bishop, F. P. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Black, C. W. Crouch, R. F.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Body, R. F. Currie, G. B. H.
Arbuthnot, John Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Davidson, Viscountess
Armstrong, C. W. Boyle, Sir Edward D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Ashton, H. Braine, B. R. Deedes, W. F.
Baldook, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Digby, Simon Wingfield
Baldwin, A. E. Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Drayson, G. B.
Balniel, Lord Brooman-White, R. C. du Cann, E. D. L.
Barber, Anthony Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)
Barlow, Sir John Bryan, P. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Barter, John Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)
Baxter, Sir Beverley Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Gary, Sir Robert Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Channon, H. Farey-Jones, F. W.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Cole, Norman Fell, A.
Finlay, Graeme Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Pitt, Miss E. M.
Fisher, Nigel Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam) Powell, J. Enoch
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Profumo, J. D.
Fort, R. Joseph, Sir Keith Raikes, Sir Victor
Foster, John Kerr, H. W. Ramsden, J. E.
Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale) Kershaw, J. A. Redmayne, M.
Freeth, D. K. Kimball, M. Remnant, Hon. P.
Garner-Evans, E, H. Kirk, P. M. Renton, D. L. M.
Gibson-Watt, D. Lagden, C. W. Ridsdale, J. E.
Glover, D. Lambton, Viscount Rippon, A. G. F.
Godber, J. B. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Robertson, Sir David
Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Langford-Holt, J. A. Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Gough, C. F. H. Leather, E. H. C. Roper, Sir Harold
Cower, H. R. Leavey, J. A. Russell, R. S.
Graham, Sir Fergus Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Grant, W. (Woodside) Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Sharples, R. C.
Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Shepherd, William
Green, A. Linstead, Sir H. N. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Gresham Cooke, R. Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Spearman, Sir Alexander
Gurden, Harold Longden, Gilbert Speir, R. M.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)
Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Macdonald, Sir Peter Stevens, Geoffrey
Harris, Reader (Heston) McKibbin, A. J. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Studholme, Sir Henry
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Maclean, Fitzroy (Lancaster) Summers, Sir Spencer
Harvie-Watt, Sir George McLean, Neil (Inverness) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hay, John Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Teeling, W.
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Maddan, Martin Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Marshall, Douglas Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.
Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Maude, Angus Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Maudling, Rt. Hon. R. Touche, Sir Gordon
Holland-Martin, C. J. Mawby, R. L. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Holt, A. F. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Vaughan-Morgan, J, K.
Hope, Lord John Medlicott, Sir Frank Vickers, Miss J. K,
Hornby, R. P. Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Wade, D. W.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence Nabarro, G. D. N. Walker-Smith, D. C.
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Nairn, D. L. S. Wall, Major Patrick
Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Neave, Airey Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Nicholis, Harmar Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Hulbert, Sir Norman Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)
Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Nugent, G. R. H. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hyde, Montgomery Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Wood, Hon. R.
Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H. Osborne, C. Woollam, John Victor
Iremonger, T. L. Page, R. G. Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Pilkington, Capt. R. A. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Wills and Colonel J. H. Harrison.
Ainsley, J. W. Champion, A. J. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Albu, A. H. Chapman, W. D. Greenwood, Anthony
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Chetwynd, G. R, Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Coldrick, W. Grey, C. F.
Anderson, Frank Corbet, Mrs. Freda Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Awbery, S. S. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Bacon, Miss Alice Daines, P. Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Balfour, A. Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hamilton, W. W.
Beswick, F. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)
Blackburn, F. Davies, Harold (Leek) Hayman, F. H.
Blenkinsop, A. Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Healey, Denis
Blyton, W. R. Delargy, H. J. Henderson, Rt Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Dodds, N. N. Herbison, Miss M.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Donnelly, D. L. Hewitson, Capt. M.
Bowles, F. G. Dye, S. Hobson, C. R.
Boyd, T. C. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Holman, P.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Holmes, Horace
Brockway, A. F. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Howell, Denis (All Saints)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Hunter, A. E.
Burke, W. A. Fernyhough, E. Hlnd, H. (Accrington)
Burton, Miss F. E. Finch, H. J. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Flecher, Eric Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Irving, S. (Dartford)
Callaghan, L. J. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Gibson, C. W, Janner, B.
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Mulley, F. W. Smith, Ellis (Stoke S.)
Jeger, George (Goole) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Snow, J. W.
Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & S. Pncs, S.) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon, P. (Derby, S.) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Johnson, James (Rugby) Oliver, G. H. Sparks, J. A.
Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Oram, A. E. Steele, T.
Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Orbach, M. Stones, W. (Consett)
Kenyon, C. Oswald, T. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Owen, W. J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Lawson, G. M. Paget, R. T. Sylvester, G. O.
Ledger, R. J. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Panned, Charles (Leeds, W.) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Pargiter, G. A. Tomney, F.
Lewis, Arthur Parkin, B. T. Turner-Samuels, M.
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M. Paton, John Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Logan, D. G. Pearson, A. Viant, S. P.
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Peart, T. F. Warbey, W. N.
MacColl, J. E. Popplewell, E. Weitzman, D.
McInnes, J. Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Wells, Percy (Faversham)
McKay, John (Wallsend) Proctor, W. T. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
McLeavy, Frank Pryde, D. J. Wheeldon, W, E.
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Rankin, John White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Mahon, Simon Redhead, E. C. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Wilkins, W. A.
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Willey, Frederick
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Mann, Mrs. Jean Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Marquant, Rt. Hon. H. A. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Mason, Roy Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Mellish, R. J. Short, E. W. Winterbottom, Richard
Mikardo, Ian Shurmer, P. L. E. Woof, R. E.
Mitchison, G. R. Silverman, Julius (Aston) Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Monslow, W. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Zilliacus, K.
Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.) Simmons, C, J. (Brierley Hill)
Moss, R. Skeffington, A. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Moyle, A. Slater, J. (Sedgefield) Mr. Rogers and Mr. Deer.

Question put and agreed to.

Further Lords Amendments agreed to: In page 9, line 43, at end insert: (3) Where any agreement becomes subject to registration under this Part of this Act by virtue of an order made under section eight of this Act after the making of the agreement—

  1. (a) if, before the expiration of the period within which, apart from this subsection, particulars would be required to be furnished in respect of the agreement under this section, and before particulars have been so furnished, the agreement is determined (whether by effluxion of time or otherwise), subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall cease to apply to that agreement;
  2. (b) if, before the expiration of the said period and before particulars have been furnished in respect of the agreement, the agreement is varied, the particulars to be furnished under subsection (1) of this section shall be particulars of the agreement as varied, and subsection (2) of this section shall not apply in relation to the variation."

In page 10, line 9, leave out "party" and insert "person".

Lords Amendment: In page 10, line 25, at end insert: (6) In relation to an agreement to which this Part of this Act applies by virtue of subsection (6) of section six of this Act as if it were an agreement made between members of a trade association, or persons represented on the association by such members, references in this section to the parties to the agreement include references to those members or persons; and in relation to an agreement in which a term is implied by virtue of subsection (7) of the said section six, the reference in this section to the terms of the agreement includes a reference to that term, and references in this section to an agreement shall be construed accordingly.

5.45 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Derek Walker-Smith)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

The Clause deals with the furnishing of particulars for registration. The purpose of the Amendment is to add a further subsection to it. The purpose of the first half of the Amendment is to remove a defect in the Bill as drafted by extending the provisions of the Clause to persons who, although not themselves members of a trade association operating a registrable agreement, are represented on the association by other persons. As a result of this part of the Amendment, the persons represented on the association will also be under an obligation to furnish particulars of the agreement, and consequently thereto their names will have to be included in the particulars to be registered under subsection (1, a).

The second part of the Amendment links up with the Amendments to which my right hon. Friend referred in page 6, lines 20 and 23. This part of the Amendment provides that the particulars of a specific recommendation must be furnished to the Registrar and not simply the terms of the constitution of the association.