HC Deb 30 July 1956 vol 557 cc1026-55

Lords Amendment: In page 10, line 33, after the words last inserted, insert Clause B: (1) Any person who promotes or takes part in a race or trial of speed on a public highway between bicycles or tricycles, not being motor vehicles, shall, unless the race or trial is authorised, and is conducted in accordance with any conditions imposed, by or under regulations under this section, be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds. (2) The Minister or, in relation to Scotland, the Secretary of State may by regulations authorise, or provide for authorising, for the purposes of the foregoing subsection the holding on a public highway of races or trials of speed of any class or description, or a particular race or trial of speed, in such cases as may be prescribed and subject to such conditions as may be imposed by or under the regulations and may prescribe the procedure to be followed, and the particulars to be given, in connection with applications for authorisation under the regulations, and regulations under this section may make different provision for different classes or descriptions of races and trials. (3) Without prejudice to any other powers exercisable in that behalf, the chief officer of police may give such directions with respect to the movement of, or the route to be followed by, vehicular traffic, during such period, as may be necessary or expedient to prevent or mitigate congestion or obstruction of traffic, or danger to or from traffic, in consequence of the holding of a race or trial of speed authorised by or under regulations under this section, including a direction that any road or part of a road specified in the direction shall be closed during any such period to vehicles or to vehicles of a class or description so specified, and section thirty of this Act shall apply in relation to directions given under this section as they apply in relation to the directions therein mentioned. (4) The power to make regulations conferred by this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution by either House of Parliament. (5) In this section the expression 'public highway' does not include a footpath or bridleway.

Mr. Molson

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

This proposed new Clause deals with the regulation of cycle racing on highways. When I was replying to the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies), who complained at the number of new Clauses we had to deal with, I said that in the case of one I would give a special explanation. He will understand from what I am now saying that it would not have been appropriate to introduce the Clause when the Bill itself was first introduced.

For a long time the only form of cycle racing on the roads of this country consisted of time trials. These are cycling trials in which individual riders start at timed intervals and race against the clock.

Mr. C. R. Hobson (Keighley)

That is what we are doing.

Mr. Molson

That form of racing was and still is regarded as comparatively innocuous. During and since the war there has been a considerable development of massed start cycle racing. The former Departmental Committee on Road Safety considered this matter in its interim report of 1944 and final report of 1947, and recommended that that form of racing should be discouraged because of the danger it caused, both to those participating and to other road users.

8.45 p.m.

In addition to these massed start cycle races, there is a new development which has recently been introduced called the team time trial, in which groups of cyclists starting together at time intervals race against the clock, but in competition with other teams. In 1953, the Departmental Committee on Road Safety was asked to look into this matter. It considered it, and some members of the Committee, including especially chief constables, were in favour of prohibiting these massed start cycle races altogether. A majority of the Committee, however, decided to recommend for a trial period of two years the voluntary adoption by the interested organisations, in consultation with Government Departments and the police, of certain conditions, and asked for the voluntary co-operation of the cycling organisations.

We allowed the full two years to elapse, and, in January this year, the Departmental Committee again considered reports from the police on the result of this Report with its recommendations which the Committee had made in January, 1954. It had been hoped that the cycling organisations would voluntarily have imposed the kind of restrictions which the Committee thought desirable. These were of a thoroughly reasonable nature, such as that the cyclists would be required to avoid major road junctions and right-hand turns in the middle of traffic, that the races should not take place through built-up areas, that notice should be given to the police a month before they were undertaken, and that they should be undertaken in agreement with the police.

Unfortunately, no attention at all was paid to those recommendations, and so, in January this year, the Departmental Committee drew the attention of my right hon. Friend to this fact and asked that something should be done about it. It is for that reason that we are now proposing to include this Clause in the Bill in order that these cycle races of all kinds can be brought under control.

The words of the new Clause are wide, and that is because it is so extraordinarily difficult to draw a distinction between cycle races which are really quite unobjectionable and those which we feel involve danger and inconvenience to traffic. I am willing to give the complete assurance to the House that it is only these particular kinds of dangerous races which we intend to prevent. We are prepared to discuss with the cycling associations the wording of the regulations, and I give a full assurance that we shall do our best to ensure that the kind of cycle races which have been going on for so long, and to which no one has taken any exception, shall still be allowed. It is only those particular forms of cycle racing which have been so strongly criticised by the Departmental Committee on Road Safety that will be affected by the regulations.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Some of us are not happy about this Clause because it is, as the Parliamentary Secretary stated, very wide and gives the Minister power to ban completely cycle races of all types, including time trials, and we know that many of the cycling organisations are worried on that score. Strong representations have been made by some of them.

I think there is some misunderstanding as to what these mass starts really are. Races which have mass starts do not have the competitors lined up right across the road. All that happens is that they start two abreast and very quickly spread out. I doubt whether many hon. Members who drive cars have encountered large numbers of cyclists carrying out mass starts which constituted a danger to the public and to other users of the road or which obstructed the traffic. One could make out quite a strong case against such mass starts, but, as we are anxious to get on as speedily as possible this evening, I do not propose to develop the matter.

All I want to say is that we shall hold the Parliamentary Secretary to the assurance which he has given. We take it that in no circumstances is it proposed to ban time trials—that they will be permitted as they are at the present time—and that the regulations will provide only for regulating the type of race which, in the generally accepted sense, constitutes a danger to users of the highway, that what constitutes a danger will be agreed in consultation with the cycling organisations, and that this House will have full opportunity of discussing the regulations before they are imposed. If the Parliamentary Secretary gives those assurances, it may be that my hon. Friends will be satisfied.

Mr. William Teeling (Brighton, Pavilion)

I am afraid that I am still not particularly happy about the Clause. I cannot see why it has to be so comprehensive. If there is only one point about which my hon. Friend is worried, why have we not dealt with just that point? In another place the representative of the Government admitted that the Clause gives the Minister power ultimately to ban the sport completely.

My hon. Friend has said that he is introducing controls. Most of us on this side were elected to get rid of controls. I admit to reading Mr. Gordon's column every Sunday in the Sunday Express, in which he points out the unnecessary controls being used in bureaucracy generally. I am told that these time trials are no longer being held. I can only say that I have visited these mass groups of cyclists all round Sussex.

Mr. Molson


Mr. Teeling

No, following, and sometimes ahead. At my age, I have given up that sort of thing. Nobody could possibly think that these groups of cyclists represented, as the impression was given, a vast number of cyclists all over the place. No more than fifty cyclists are allowed in these groups.

I have seen these events on a Sunday in Sussex, on the main road to Eastbourne, and on the main road to Brighton, and I could see no risk nor to other drivers on the road or the populace in general. They have been perfectly ordinary runs, and have been well run. I believe, that about four policemen are able to look after these runs, whereas for the veteran car event and for the Stock Exchange walk to Brighton about a hundred policemen are used to look after the traffic.

It may well be that in future we shall find athletics generally—even fox hunts go along the road, I suppose—all coming under the Ministry. In France, where cycle racing is a tremendously more developed sport than it is here, the traffic is certainly not stopped in any way. The traffic goes on one side of the road, and the police are in control in the towns and villages. I have followed such events for several miles and certainly nothing went wrong.

My right hon. Friend has also spoken of different reports which have been made, but in the White Paper of 1954 the Ministry of Transport stated that there was no evidence that the sport was dangerous. In 1955, the Ministry promised to take no action without consulting the controlling bodies. Have they consulted the controlling bodies now? It was also stated that there should not be more than 1,000 events a year. In actual fact, only about 800 have been held. This is supposed to be a dangerous sport and one which causes congestion. I hope I have cleared up the point about traffic congestion, especially in regard to the trip to Brighton.

As regards the danger, I gather that in the last five years the accident rate involving cyclists has been going down, whereas that involving others on the road has been going up very considerably. Again, I understand that insurance companies, who must know what they are doing, charge these cyclists only 4s. for a third-party risk insurance policy of £2,500 and £250 personal risk. That policy covers the whole of Europe, and that rate is, I believe, the smallest in existence. If that is so why should we even think that cycling is dangerous?

My right hon. Friend may not think that he can reconsider this matter, but, if he cannot, will he make doubly sure that when these regulations are to be made he will stick to that one particular point? Otherwise, there is always the danger of some Minister at some other time seeking to use these powers more extensively. Chief constables and local authorities may also seek to do so, because for them it is easier and much better if they have not too many people to deal with. In actual fact there are only fifty at a time.

Mr. Frank McLeavy (Bradford, East)

I agree very largely with what the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Teeling) has said in regard to Brighton. I take the view that no Minister of Transport should be given these unlimited powers over the cycling community. This is one of the misfortunes springing from these Amendments having been moved in another place. The time factor, the availability of the Amendments to hon. Members only last Wednesday, has made it physically impossible to put down reasoned Amendments in order to have a reasonable debate on this matter. In addition, we are expected to get through all these important Amendments with a very severe time limit.

I trust that the Joint Parliamentary Secretary can give the House a very definite assurance that, before regulations are laid, a statement will be made to this House that there have been discussions between the various parties involved and that the House will have an opportunity to express its views. The position would be this. Whether it be a Labour Minister of Transport or a Minister of Transport on the benches opposite, once he had laid the regulations, the Whips would be applied and, whatever commonsense was expressed on the Opposition benches, the Whips would see that those regulations were carried.

9.0 p.m.

This is a question of the reasonable liberty of the poorer person, the person who uses a bicycle. This is a restriction which, if we attempted to apply it to any other type of vehicle, would be strongly opposed, and rightly so, in the public Press. The Minister is asking for these unlimited powers in an objectionable way. Unless he can give some definite assurance that hon. Members will at least have an opportunity of making then-views known to the Minister before the regulations are made, I hope that we shall turn down this Amendment. We have discussed this matter more or less on a non-party basis, and if the Minister cannot satisfy us that we can protect the cycling community from a stupid and irresponsible Minister in the future I hope that this Amendment will not be accepted.

Vice-Admiral John Hughes Hallett (Croydon, North-East)

Although, unlike my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton Pavilion (Mr. Teeling), I am still an active cyclist, I nevertheless fully support this Amendment, and I am glad that the Government have decided to bring it in. At the same time, it is quite clear from what has already been said that there is considerable anxiety lest the powers which the Government are taking will be abused so as to bring to an end a popular and a rather important sport. It would be serious if it came to an end, if only from the point of view of our trade and export of lightweight cycles, which largely depends on this type of racing.

I feel sure that the fears are entirely groundless. Perhaps I might quote from the current number of the C.T.C. Gazette. After referring to this proposed new Clause, it says: If it is passed, the law here will then resemble but will be less exacting than that in France where no race or trial can be held except under the signed authority of the Ministers of the Interior, of National Defence, of Public Works, of Transport and Tourism, of Education and of Finance.

Mr. Ernest Davies

That does not go as far as this Clause would permit the Minister to go. This Clause would permit him to ban the races completely.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

That is perfectly true, but only if the Government were to abuse their powers. I feel sure that they will not do that.

This Clause will depend upon the attitude of the racing bodies to the regulations. As matters stand, there is only one body which promotes races of this sort—the British League of Racing Cyclists—which was founded only in 1942, and this had very great success in promoting these races.

I entirely agree with everything that has been said with regard to the extraordinarily low accident rate. But to my mind the essential factor lies in the assurance which my right hon. Friend has already given, that in any new regulations the interested parties, including the League, will be consulted. I would, however, like to ask my right hon. Friend one question. Is it the intention that the regulations shall be so framed that it is left to the discretion of the local authority to decide in detail how they are to be enforced? I ask that because I think it is a matter of very great importance, since local conditions vary so tremendously.

Mr. Frederick Mulley (Sheffield, Park)

This might appear, from many points of view, to be a small matter, but it does raise an important question of principle. I was very disappointed to hear the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Croydon, North-East (Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett.) I think it ill becomes the House for any Member on either side to be prepared to give carte blanche powers to a Minister, when no case whatever for the exercise of those powers has been made out, and to say he is quite content to leave it to the good offices of the Minister to see that those powers are not abused. In many countries, that is exactly how dictatorial powers have been allowed to emerge. I hope that when we go into the Lobby tonight on this Amendment, as I hope we shall do, we shall have with us a big following from the benches opposite.

As I see it, this is a question of the liberty of the subject and one which ought to be pressed to a Division.

Mr. Hobson

A matter of common decency.

Mr. Mulley

I feel that a very great affront was done to the House by putting this Clause through in another place. We spent some three months in Committee considering this matter and we had a very lengthy Report stage. The whole bag of tricks was given away by the right hon. Gentleman when he said—and I took down his words—that the Minister's attention had been drawn to this matter in January last.

It seems to me that there are two possible conclusions one may draw from that, either that he and his right hon. Friend in considering the whole matter of road safety, as they were allegedly doing in presenting this Bill to the House, had allowed any idea of possible accidents arising from this sort of racing to escape their minds, or, secondly, they had no reason, until their attention was drawn to this matter, as he puts it, to suppose that any danger from these races existed. We must draw one or other of those conclusions, as I see it.

Mr. Molson

I do not think the hon. Gentleman could have listened to the explanation I gave. The Departmental Committee on Road Safety considered this matter and presented a Report in January, 1954. It recommended that no action should be taken for two years in order to give the cyclists an opportunity of regulating things themselves. It was, therefore, only in January, 1956, that it became proper for us to consider what action to take, because the cyclists had been promised two years in which to put their house in order.

Mr. Mulley

I listened very carefully to the right hon. Gentleman's explanation and found it most unsatisfactory. I will only point out to him that there is a long time between January and July.

I should have thought that if the Minister was presenting a Bill before the House of Commons when that two year period had elapsed, the least he would have done would be to ask for a report as a matter of urgency so that he could have introduced an Amendment in Committee or on Report. This is an attempt to rush this Clause through in the last minutes of a very important Measure. The least the right hon. Gentleman could do, I feel, would be to bring some evidence of the danger and inconvenience that these cycle races cause. We have had evidence from the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Teeling) as to the very low insurance rates which are charged by people who are in insurance not for the benefit of cycling but for the profit of the insurance companies. Their rates are not calculated on philanthropic or athletic considerations. Certainly, no figures have been put before us tonight of any accidents which have occurred as a result of holding these races.

I would suggest that, before the House is asked to form an opinion, we should at least hear the other side of the case. Up to the present, all the speeches, in my considered opinion, have been against the Clause, and at least we ought to have the other point of view from the Minister before we make up our minds finally on the matter.

The point which weighs most heavily with me is the very wide manner in which the Clause is drawn. If there is a particular class of race to which objection can be taken, surely it should be specified in the Clause. As my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) has said, the Clause as drafted is sufficient to permit the Minister to ban this sport altogether. I would suggest that it is both a harmless sport and one of value both from an athletic point of view and also looking, as we must these days, to the sordid commercial possibility of our exports. The exports of the cycle industry have increased, and I believe that the eminence of our cyclists, which they can attain only by these races, is one of the factors involved.

I ask the Minister to give a little more thought to this matter than evidently the Government have so far given to it. My hon. Friend suggested that we ought not to have the regulations until there have been consultations and until we have had a fuller opportunity of knowing what views are expressed. Furthermore, by the negative procedure, regulations have statutory effect as soon as they are laid. If we pray against them, there is no possibility of amending the regulations. As my hon. Friend has said, no doubt the Whips would be on and the matter would be virtually outside the sphere of argument.

If the Minister cannot give an assurance tonight that the Government will withdraw the Clause and consider it again, we should vote against it. I cannot accept assurances from Ministers when legislation is of this wide and comprehensive character and will interfere with the sport and freedom of a large number of quite important and useful citizens.

Sir F. Medlicott

I find myself compelled to accept the principle of the Clause but wholly dissatisfied with the reasons that my right hon. Friend has given for supporting it. I think that there is great confusion of thought behind the Clause, because it has not been made at all clear whether the Government are worried more about congestion on the roads or danger. No evidence has been given as to whether any undue number of accidents has been caused by what, I think, is aimed at by the Clause—the massed cycle race. That is the type of race which is the object of the Clause, and I think it is well known that those races are run by the British League of Racing Cyclists.

There seems to be abroad a certain amount of prejudice against the cyclist as such. Amongst the motoring community, there is a certain prejudice, I think, because the cyclist does not pay tax. It seems to me that instead of being sorry about it, we should rejoice that anybody can escape the network of taxation. We certainly should not be prejudiced against cyclists on that account.

There is, however, a prejudice also because of the number of accidents which involve cyclists. I venture to suggest that the cyclists who take part in the mass races are the cyclists who are hardly ever involved in accidents. We all know that the dangerous cyclist is the wobbler. The competent racing cyclist follows a definite track and is the least dangerous of all cyclists on the roads.

I was rather sorry to hear from my right hon. Friend of the difficulties which apparently have arisen in the world of cycling in agreeing the conditions under which races should take place. Incidentally the term "mass racing" is misleading. The numbers who take part are strictly limited, and from the start they are never allowed to ride more than two abreast. All fair-minded motorists know very well that we rarely have trouble from the kind of racing cyclist who is organised in the mass races.

The difficulty presented by the Clause has not been covered by my right hon. Friend in his reference to the negotiations which took place whilst—presumably—the Clause was being framed. I am told that although there is a joint committee which is supposed to speak for the cycling world, the British League of Racing Cyclists has never been able to obtain representation on that committee, although it organises the sport of which my right hon. Friend has spoken. I am given to understand that that organisation has been kept out of that consultative body, and I hope that as a result of this debate that omission will be remedied.

9.15 p.m.

There seems to be confusion about this Clause. We have been given no evidence to show that these cyclists are the cause of any casualties. Indeed, evidence shows the contrary. If the aim of the Clause is to avoid congestion, then it seems to me that it is not wide enough. There are several activities on our roads which are far more troublesome than these events. For instance, there is the London to Brighton walk, the "Old crocks" race, and—dare I mention it?—the London to Barking police walk, and that annual traffic headache—the Lord Mayor's Show. There are many obstructive tendencies on our roads, and I cannot see why the racing cyclists should be picked out as they are by this Clause. We do not want the roads to become the monopoly of the motorists. There is something to be said for encouraging physical exercise.

Rather derogatory reference was made in another place to cyclists. The great Tour de France was referred to in these terms: There is the Tour de France, where the whole sweat of cycles goes all over France dislocating the traffic for miles around. I think the Tour de France is a wonderful event, and that we should be proud if we could achieve something like it in this country. I would like Britain to get a better footing, if I may use that expression in this context, in the world of international cycle racing.

I hope that my hon. Friend will clear up one matter. He referred to "preventing" certain kinds of cycle racing. I am sure that that was a slip of the tongue, because the Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Lord Mancroft, in another place said: I am not suggesting that we wish to ban it, or to be hostile towards it; all we seek to do under this clause is to make certain that it is carried out under proper conditions…."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 2nd July, 1956; Vol. 19, c. 303–4.] I hope that in arranging those conditions there will be consultation with the bodies representative of the world of cycling, and that something will be done to make sure that this healthy, vigorous sport is allowed to be developed and encouraged in the interests of British prestige and sport generally.

Mr. C. Pannell

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Norfolk, Central (Sir F. Medlicott) has spoken, as he usually does, as a sort of political Billy Graham. He is prepared to take anything from Ministers by an act of faith. He himself referred to the danger of being a wobbler on the roads. He is a political wobbler, as a National Liberal usually is. Consequently, he makes a speech with a little criticism in it and some exhortation, but when we go into the Lobbies he will be behind the Minister. [An HON. MEMBER: "On a tandem."] We on this side of the House are prepared to divide the House on this Lords Amendment.

The Minister insistently told us what committees had been doing and that they had reported, but he did not once tell us any solid reason for which the Government came to their decision. Not once did he address himself to the reasons that have brought the Government to this decision; except that they had given racing cyclists two years to put their house in order. That is a meaningless cliché in this context. It is merely a matter of how they should organise their races on the road.

The expression "trust the Minister" does not mean anything either. The courts are not interested in what is in the mind of Parliament but only in what is in the Clause. It is the easiest thing in the world for a chief constable, dressed in his little brief authority, to say, "We do not like it. Ban it." I doubt whether any one of their Lordships has ever ridden a bicycle. It is a fact that if anyone surveys the other place—which we are told is a cure for admiring it—he will find that most of the members are old, and it is usually true that when men have got too old to set young men bad examples they try to teach them good ideas.

This Clause was inserted into the Bill in another place. I attended the Standing Committee for over three months, and it would have been perfectly possible for the Minister to have brought this proposal forward in Committee where we could have argued about it and eventually made this a respectable Clause. All the powers which could ban this sport could have been limited to the matter which the Minister is now pinpointing, namely, the question of the mass starting of races. I do not think that mass starts are mentioned anywhere in the Clause.

It may be necessary, in order to secure a proper prestige for a great sport which has a considerable degree of importance in connection with the export trade, to put other things on one side for one day or so in a year. Cyclists are an important part of the community. Nobody bothers when foxhounds go through a country town and hold up the traffic, least of all their lordships.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

Is it not a fact that under the Clause the police will have power for the first time to close roads to enable these races to be run more smoothly and efficiently?

Mr. Pannell

I am dealing with foxhounds. The hon. and gallant Member had better interrupt at the right point. The Minister has not proceeded at more than 5 m.p.h. since we started our debate, and if we are to have any more irrelevant interruptions we shall be speaking at this time tomorrow night.

I was making the point that nobody objects to foxhounds moving along the road, and nobody objects to riding schools. Somebody has mentioned the London to Brighton road race and also the Old Crocks Race, which I agree would be a suitable subject for discussion in another place. I do not object to all these activities. They are part of the social habits of our people. This is a vicious form of Clause designed to strike against the handsomest vehicle on the road. The Clause is too wide and it gives the Minister too much power. It seems to me that most local authorities and chief constables already have all the powers they need under the present law.

This is a miserable device introduced at the last moment. The whole business of introducing these Lords Amendments in the last days of a long Session is a complete abuse of the Government's powers. The fact that this is a road safety Bill seems to me one more reason for our sitting a few days longer. It is not only events in the far ends of the earth with which we should be concerned and not only death on the road but the legitimate recreational activities and amusements of our people.

The Minister has not given one solid reason in favour of the Clause and I hope that we shall divide the House against it. Further than that, after certain speeches from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Teeling) and others, I hope they will follow us into the Lobby and show that they are not the dumb, driven cattle of the Government.

Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Isle of Thanet)

I, for one, oppose this proposed Clause, and I shall most certainly vote against it, if necessary. I want to say why. My first reason is that I came to this House rather sooner than I might have done by reason of being a broken-down athlete. I certainly am not going to impose on any other sport restrictions which I would not have on my own sports and those with which I have been associated all my athletic life.

For example, the athlete on the roads will not be prohibited in his long-distance running. The cricketers are not subject to some sort of restriction because they play on a village green where a ball may be hit over the highway; nor is a person who likes to travel in an old car, such as I used to play with as a youngster when I could not afford a new car. So I see no earthly reason why those engaged in cycle racing should suffer this damage.

Furthermore, there is only one part of the speech of the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) with which I disagree. He seemed to think he was defending some proletarian right. I personally think that I am defending a good aristocratic right. Indeed, I have always regarded the philosophy of the Tory Party to be one to protect the sportsman in every field of sport.

In the old days the Tory Party received many votes from very good types of sportsmen who objected to any form of control over their sport. I should need a very strong case to be made out at the proper time before I would for one moment support any Clause which would limit, or give any Minister power to dictate over cycle racing or any other sport. The fact of the matter is that one day we might reach the horror of the Labour Party being returned to power. If that terrible day comes there is an even chance that the present Leader of the Opposition might be misguided enough to make some hon. Lady, such as the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham Minister of Transport. Her attitude of mind to professional boxing being what it is, if that attitude were applied to cycle racing, what a situation we should find then as regards cycle racing on the roads.

Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke-on-Trent, South)

Does not the hon. Gentleman mean the right hon. Lady who now represents a safe seat in Lancashire?

Mr. Rees-Davies

Yes, I am very sorry, I had forgotten. I mean the right hon. Lady the Member for Warrington (Dr. Summerskill.)

I cannot change my views because I am sitting on this side of the House. I agree with the view expressed in other days on that side of the House, when the party now represented on this side of the House was on the other side of the House, that we should never give to Ministers powers which they might abuse. For the last ten or fifteen years I have heard Ministers say "Of course we shall be reasonable; of course we shall not impose a ban on this or that." The job of the House is not to give them the chance to impose it. I have not the slightest intention in any circumstances of doing anything other than voting against the Clause. I merely hope that I can persuade the Minister to withdraw it.

9.30 p.m.

I want to pose this question fairly and squarely to the Minister. Does he think the new Clause would have got through Standing Committee. Not a chance. We spent a very long time in Standing Committee, and there was every opportunity for the proposal to be brought forward then, but it was not. It has been brought forward at a later stage in another place for one purpose only, that it would then reach this House when we wanted to go away for the Recess. It so happens that, unlike other hon. Members, I do not want to go away for the Recess anyway. I want a debate on Suez in any event before I go, and, therefore, I am content to stay here all night on this subject to see whether I can persuade the Government to give way.

I have listened to the views which have been expressed on this side of the House, and it seems to me that those of us who take an interest in road traffic matters are utterly disunited on the Clause. None of us likes the Clause as it stands, and I do not believe that any of us feels that it is necessary at this stage.

I have not been engaged in cycling since I was at Cambridge, and then I preferred to run. I suggest that those concerned with cycling who have heard the debate know that they are in danger of being regulated if they do not take reasonable measures. Is there any evidence at all that those who are concerned with cycle racing are not prepared to listen to advice from the police in order to assist?

I want to make three points. First, there is no evidence at all that there have been any excessive number of road accidents arising from cycle racing. Secondly, there is no evidence that racing cyclists have created any undue obstruction whatever. Consequently, it seems to me that the case has not been made out. Even if it had been made out on those points, I think we should go to those concerned with the sport and ask them to make proper regulations. There is no evidence that they have been asked to make regulations governing the sport. Do hon. Members think the M.C.C. would tolerate this sort of behaviour about cricket? I am sure that it would not.

Mr. Hobson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there has not been a single prosecution for obstruction arising from road races?

Mr. Rees-Davies

I am indebted to the hon. Member. I do not know whether that is so or not.

I also want to say—this is about cycling generally—that I think there is a feeling on the part of the general public that some club rallies do not behave with proper road manners. Some of these cyclists ride three and four abreast. However, the Clause does not deal with that at all. If this were a provision to prohibit people from riding three or four abreast, the House might well give due weight to that argument, but that is another matter altogether. If there were to be regulations to prevent club rallies from failing to comply with certain provisions, I should certainly look with the keenest interest at them, but the purpose of the Clause is to regulate cycle racing, and, so far as I know, racing cyclists are the elite of the cycling world, the very people who are generally the best behaved.

I believe that the whole matter can be dealt with by reasonable persuasion. The case for statutory intervention at this stage is not proved. Even if the need for statutory intervention at this stage had been proved, it is too late for it to be introduced through the back door, after the Bill has passed through another place.

For these reasons, I invite the Minister, who is always most approachable and amenable, to reconsider the matter. I have not had an opportunity to express my views to him because the Bill has come back to us so suddenly. I speak for no lobby; I have not been lobbied by anybody. I merely take the view, quite sincerely, that this Lords Amendment is not good legislation and that it is contrary to Tory principles.

Mr. Thomas Steele (Dunbartonshire, West)

I think that all of us on this side of the House will agree with the hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies.) I am not so sure whether we agree with his statement about the philosophy of the Tory Party, but at least we are interested that that has come out of the debate. I have not heard a single speech from the other side of the House in support of the new Clause.

It seems to me that the debate has been very similar to what happened when the Bill was being discussed in Committee upstairs. It was a very good Committee. We discussed these subjects in a non-political fashion, and the number of occasions on which the Minister agreed to take matters back and give them further consideration was remarkable. Had this Amendment been discussed in Committee upstairs, I am convinced that the Minister would have also taken that back for further consideration.

The case against the Amendment has been made out. Sufficient about the principle embodied in the Amendment has been said, and I rise only to ask the Parliamentary Secretary, or the Solicitor-General for Scotland, whom I am glad to see in his place, what the position in Scotland is. Has there been any objection from chief constables? Has there been any consultation with the cycling interests, or has the Scottish Office merely decided to tail along with the English Minister?

Mr. Nigel Nicolson (Bournemouth, East and Christchurch)

In order to shorten the debate, I intend to put my argument in the form of four questions to my right hon. Friend. Firstly, is it a fact that since 1942, when the British League of Racing Cyclists was formed, there has not been a single serious accident involving a competitor, or spectator of a road cycling race? Secondly, do not the police already possess sufficient powers to prevent a form of race which might cause obstruction or danger to the competitors or to the spectators?

Thirdly, does my right hon. Friend not agree with my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) that it is slightly absurd that we should introduce these regulations for the most careful category, the most skilled category of cyclists, when we do nothing at all about those crowds of cyclists who often fill a narrow road from one side to the other in cycling clubs? Fourthly, how can my right hon. Friend explain this sentence in a letter which I have received from the British League of Racing Cyclists: Cycle racing should not be banned but greater co-operation should be sought with the British League of Racing Cyclists for better control "? I cannot reconcile that statement from the main cycling organisation with the suggestion, which I believe my right hon. Friend made in his opening speech, that he has in vain appealed to that organisation for co-operation. If, apparently, it has improved the standards of safety upon the roads, and if the police already have the necessary powers, and if the League is prepared, as it says, to enter into detailed conversations on how to improve the situation even more, why is the Clause necessary?

Mr. George Chetwynd (Stockton-on-Tees)

This has been an incredible debate. We have heard a wonderful new slogan for the Tory Party—"Be a sport and vote Tory". It seems to me that the members of the Tory Party will need the assistance of a lot of sporting people at the next Election to get them out of their difficulties. In view of the criticisms levelled at this proposed new Clause from both sides of the House, I fail to see how the Minister can persist with it. He has been punctured not only in the front wheel but in the back wheel as well, and we had a remarkable picture of one of his hon. Friends trying to help him out by attacking him right, left and centre and then saying that he would not vote against him. It would seem that the feeling of the House is completely against this new Clause, and I hope that we shall be able to defeat the Government in the Division Lobbies.

The Minister based his argument mainly on the question of the danger involved, but he gave no evidence of what was the danger. He made no statement about what particular kind of cycle road race he was aiming at, and I think that he should tell us exactly what form of road cycle racing he is referring to. Would an event similiar to the Tour de France be banned and, if so, why? Would time trials be banned, and, if so, why? Most of the club races take place on Sunday mornings, long before many hon. Members are up, when the roads are free from heavy traffic and there is little danger. The Minister should be more forthcoming about this than he has been so far. He should tell us exactly what he wishes to ban, and give us reasons why, and see whether there is not a better way in which he could achieve what he desires than by the clumsy method proposed here.

Some comments have been made about cycling clubs, and I agree that on occasions members of these clubs can cause danger. But most of them are extremely well behaved, and I should not like it to be thought that this House has anything against them. The point has been made that racing cyclists are skilled men who are able to get in and out of traffic no matter how thick it is. It seems to me that, apart from walking, the quickest way of getting about nowadays is by taking part in one of these cycle races. In view of what has been said, I hope that the. Minister will withdraw this Clause and see whether he can arrive at some more amicable arrangement.

Sir Peter Roberts (Sheffield, Heeley)

I wish to say that I am not able to support my right hon. Friend, unless we can be told something much more convincing than we have yet heard.

Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)

It is quite clear that the feeling of the House is against this Clause. Quite recently, I moved the rejection of an Amendment from another place to the Hotel Proprietors (Liabilities and Rights) Bill. I did so on the ground that it is quite wrong to interfere with private rights unless first there is proper consultation. Here again we have exactly the same thing—a bright idea thought up somewhere else. It is quite the wrong way to legislate. I ask the Joint Parliamentary Secretary—for whom we all have a very great respect—to recognise the will of the House in this matter. It is quite clear that this right ought not to be interfered with in this casual way, when the interests concerned were not consulted before the introduction of the Bill.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Molson

It is only with the permission of the House that I can speak again, but in view of the number of questions which have been put to me I am confident that hon. Members will give me an opportunity of answering them. First, I should like to give the House my own personal assurance that it did not occur to us for a moment to try to slip the Clause into the Bill in another place because we thought that it would not pass a Committee of this House.

The facts are that the Clause was moved by the Government at the special request of the Departmental Committee on Road Safety.

Mr. Hobson

They are not members of this House.

Mr. Molson

Hon. Members opposite are quite aware that it is a consultative committee which was actually constituted in its present form at the time when the party opposite was in power. It was set up to be representative of Government Departments, the police, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and other bodies concerned with road safety. It is an entirely non-political body, composed of public-spirited people who try to make recommendations in order to reduce road accidents.

On four occasions this Committee and its predecessor—I say that because it was reconstituted in 1947—has considered this question of massed start cycle racing. The reason why it was not possible for us to take a decision in this matter until January this year was that the Report was presented in January, 1954, at which time an undertaking was given to the cycling interests that for a period of two years we should not take action, and we appealed to them to give effect to the recommendations made by the Departmental Committee.

I have been asked why, in moving that the House should agree to the Amendment, I did not go into the details of the way in which these different kinds of cycle race are conducted. I did not do so because I thought that hon. Members who are concerned with this matter and who have received letters from cycling interests would have read the Report of the Committee. It appointed a sub-committee and received a good deal of evidence upon the subject. I should like to read paragraph 18 of its conclusions and recommendations. It said: We wish to emphasise the following points. First, the presence of a comparatively large body of cyclists racing against each other on the public roads at speeds between 20 and 30 miles an hour or even faster must inevitably create a hazard, particularly in built-up areas. This hazard can only be avoided at the expense of other road users, who are subjected to inconvenience and delay. Secondly, massed-start events organised on a commercial basis inevitably involve publicity, and large numbers of vehicles and spectators congregate at certain points on the highway. This is particularly so in built-up areas, and, consequently, adds further to the already serious problem of traffic congestion. Thirdly, we attribute the fact that very few accidents have taken place largely to effective control by the police. If the sport is allowed unrestricted development and the same measure of effective control is maintained, an intolerable and unjustifiable burden would be placed on the Police Force. Fourthly, while it is arguable that the general public might occasionally accept some limitation of their rights on the highway for genuine sporting purposes, we doubt whether they would do so where commercial interests predominate. We have examined the possibility that the public might be prepared to accept activities of this kind…. We doubt, however, whether public interest in the sport would be sufficient to justify this, and in any event, such a development would seem to be unacceptable to the promoters of this form of racing. These considerations taken together lead us to the conclusion that massed start cycle racing is a potential source of sufficient danger to the public to warrant more positive action on the part of Her Majesty's Government. On occasions during the debate on this Bill, we have been criticised because there are not more provisions in it dealing with road safety, and when the body set up by the previous Government to advise us on road safety presents a report of this kind, it seems to us that it is not a matter that should be ignored.

Mr. Mulley

The right hon. Gentleman should recognise that he is speaking by leave of the House, and ought to show a little courtesy in reply. Will he cut the matter short by giving us the number of accidents which have occurred as a result of these races?

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson (Truro)

That is not the point.

Mr. Molson

That is not the point. I have indicated that it is chiefly because of the immense trouble taken by the police that more accidents have not occurred.

Mr. Paget

What race meeting, what point-to-point meeting, does not involve the police controlling the traffic on the roads for a long period—much longer than for a bicycle race?

Mr. Molson

I do protest at hon. Gentlemen opposite objecting to me reading from this Report at some length. I have been criticised for not advancing arguments during the debate, but now that I am replying to the points that have been raised, I am criticised because I am reading the Report at length. [Interruption.] Really, if hon. Gentlemen intend to divide on this issue, I ask them at least to listen to the arguments being put forward.

In January, 1954, the Committee recommended …that for a period of two years the sport of massed start cycle racing, including team time trials, should be allowed to continue on the following conditions". These conditions are important, for hon. Gentlemen who have expressed a dislike of the wideness of the terms of this Amendment have agreed that something in the way of regulations may be required, and these are the kind of regulations which we intend to include when we act under this Amendment: (i) that the three bodies interested should immediately set up a control council to administer an agreement on the lines of the one negotiated but not yet ratified. (ii) That the number of events in any one year should be limited to one circuit of Britain or similar circuit and an agreed number of local races. (iii) With the exception of the circuit of Britain, massed start events should be begun and completed before 9 a.m."— I will come back to that point later. (iv) Circuits forming part of courses should not be less than 15 miles in length. (v) Courses should be planned so that major road junctions and right hand turns are avoided. (vi) There should be no racing through built-up areas. (vii) The start and finish of each race should take place off the highway. (viii) Courses and arrangements …should be agreed with the Police in advance, one month's notice at least being given of any race.

Mr. Mulley

Tory freedom.

Mr. Molson

The cycling organisations have had two years in which to organise themselves and to introduce regulations, including regulations of this kind. I venture to suggest to the House that those are reasonable conditions which might well be applied. It is because the organisations have not been willing in these two years to act upon them that we consider that it is now necessary for the Government to take action. We gave them their opportunity for two years and now we think it necessary to take action.

I am prepared to undertake that there shall be the fullest consultation between my right hon. Friend and these organisations before any regulations are made. [HON. MEMBERS: "Too late."] There is not the slightest intention of bringing to an end or preventing the kind of time trials which are taking place at the present time. It is not even intended completely to ban mass start races, but only to apply to them the kind of regulations recommended in this Report. I put this provision forward on behalf of the Government as a reasonable provision for road safety and for preventing the congestion of traffic, and I undertake that the regulations shall not in any way go beyond what is needed for those two purposes.

Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)

Without entering into the merits or demerits of the proposals, one thing seems to be quite clear. A good many hon. Members on both sides of the House gave a great deal of time and thought to the consideration of this Bill in its earlier stages. They have complained that this is such an important matter that full consideration should have been given to it in Committee instead of it being presented to the House only a day or two before we rise for the Summer Recess.

It seems to me that if the House pronounced freely on the matter this Clause would be defeated. I have not heard a single word spoken in favour of the Bill from either side of the House. I know that the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation has been unable to be present, but I would point out to him that the sense of the House is that this Clause ought not to be voted upon, and that if a free vote of the House upon it was allowed it would be defeated. This is a non-political matter, and I think I am voicing the view of the House when I say that hon. Members would prefer the Minister to take back his Clause rather than divide upon it.

10.0 p.m.

The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

I am glad of the opportunity which the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) has given me of apologising to the House very sincerely for being unable to be present until now. All I can say is that I have just come from one of a series of meetings which have been going on since the Bill started. I apologise, but I could not be here.

The right hon. Gentleman has asked me to look again at this matter. I know it is the wish of the House, and it has, I understand, been expressed today, to try to get this Bill, so before I deal with the specific Lords Amendment which is now before us, I think that all of us in this House might just turn our minds for a moment to the great necessity there is, I believe, to get this Measure on the Statute Book before we rise for the Summer Recess.

As every right hon. and hon. Member knows, any alterations which are made to it mean that the Bill will have to go back to the other place, and that perhaps means that it will have to be deferred another two months or more. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Oh, yes, because do not think there would be time to deal with it before. That is one point which is, I think, quite germane to our consideration if this House wants to get the Bill—and, indeed, we have a vast amount of work to do on it departmentally if we are to implement it.

As to the particular Clause, Mr. Speaker, the guarantee in this Clause—and I underline everything which my right hon. Friend has said—is that nothing at all will be done under it until there has been full and proper consultation on the matter with the cycling associations and other interests. I say, quite firmly, that not a single act will be taken to make any regulations or anything else until there has been that full consultation. When that has been done, if anything is brought forward that is objected to by this House, the regulations will have to lie upon the Table and can be prayed against.

1 can only make this pledge; that full consultations will be held, and that all the cycling associations and everybody interested will have full opportunity to put their case. They will be listened to, and if what they say is at all reasonable it shall be put in the regulations, subject only to the general overriding consideration of road safety, as my right hon. Friend has said.

I have thought long and deeply about this. I know that the right hon. Gentleman will accept that he has not been in very much on this Bill, though, of course, he has a perfect right to intervene, as we all have. Nevertheless, I have lived with this Bill since I have been Minister. I have given it all the consideration I can, and I honestly and sincerely believe that this is the right course of action. I therefore respectfully recommend to the House that we proceed and, if necessary, divide, but bearing in mind that I have

pledged that full consideration will be given to all the views which have been expressed.

Mr. John Hynd (Sheffield, Attercliffe)

The Minister has just given us an assurance that the provisions of subsection (4) will be strictly complied with, but are the regulations confined to subsection (2)? Subsection (1) provides that: Any person who promotes or takes part in a race … shall be committing an offence. That is without issue of regulations, and that applies also to subsection (3.) In those circumstances, would he tell us what his assurance means, because it seems to me that, in spite of his assurance, offences can be committed.

Mr. Watkinson

The fact is, of course, that the penalty provisions are not at all operative until we have made some regulations. All I can say is that the regulations will be framed to take the most careful account of all that is said. I really think that there is not just the possibility but the certainty of getting a reasonable agreement here. That is what I want to see. That has been our aim with the Bill all through the piece. As has been said, it is not a party political matter. It is something that has to be negotiated and consulted about, and I believe that if we accept the Clause we need not worry about the penalty provisions, but they must be there to police it.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 200, Noes 162.

Division No. 275.] AYES [10.5 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Digby, Simon Wingfield
Aitken, W. T. Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Drayson, G. B.
Allan, B. A. (Paddington, S.) Boyle, Sir Edward du Cann, E. D. L.
Alport, C. J. M. Braine, B. R. Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Brooman-White, R. C. Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David
Arbuthnot, John Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)
Armstrong, C. W. Bryan, P. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Ashton, H. Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn
Baldwin, A. E. Carr, Robert Errington, Sir Eric
Balniel, Lord Cary, Sir Robert Farey-Jones, F. W.
Barber, Anthony Channon, H. Fell, A.
Barlow, Sir John Cole, Norman Finlay, Graeme
Barter, John Cooper-Key, E. M. Fisher, Nigel
Baxter, Sir Beverley Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Corfield, Capt. F. V. Fort, R.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Foster, John
Bidgood, J. C. Crouch, R. F, Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Currie, G. B. H. Freeth, D. K.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Dance, J. C. G. Garner-Evans, E. H.
Bishop, F. P. Davidson, Viscountess Gibson-Watt, D.
Black, C. W. D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Glover, D.
Body, R. F. Deedes, W. F. Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan
Gough, C. F. H. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Remnant, Hon. P.
Gower, H. R. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Ridsdale, J. E.
Graham, Sir Fergus Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Rippon, A. G. F.
Grant, W. (Woodside) Linstead, Sir H. N. Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Green, A. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Gresham Cooke, R. Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Roper, Sir Harold
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Longden, Gilbert Russell, R. S.
Gurden, Harold Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Shepherd, William
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Macdonald, Sir Peter Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) McKibbin, A. J. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesld) McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Speir, R. M.
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) McLean, Neil (Inverness) Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P.(Kens'gt'n, S.)
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Maddan, Martin Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Studholme, Sir Henry
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Markham, Major Sir Frank Summers, Sir Spencer
Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Marlowe, A. A. H. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Marshall, Douglas Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Maude, Angus Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Holland-Martin, C. J. Mawby, R. L. Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Holt, A. F. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Hope, Lord John Medlicott, Sir Frank Touche, Sir Gordon
Hornby, R. P. Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Nabarro, G. D. N. Vosper, D. F.
Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Nairn, D. L. S. Wade, D. W.
Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Neave, Airey Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Hulbert, Sir Norman Nicholls, Harmar Wall, Major Patrick
Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H. Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Iremonger, T. L. O'Neill, Hn. phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Osborne, C. Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Page, R. G. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Joseph, Sir Keith Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Wood, Hon. R.
Kaberry, D. Pitman, I. J. Woollam, John Victor
Kerr, H. W. Pitt, Miss E. M. Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Kershaw, J. A. Pott, H. P.
Kimball, M. Powell, J. Enoch TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Kirk, P. M. Profumo, J. D. Mr Richard Thompson and
Langford-Holt, J. A. Ramsden, J. E. Mr. Godber.
Leavey, J. A. Redmayne, M.
Ainsley, J. W. Donnelly, D. L. Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs, S.)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Johnson, James (Rugby)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Dye, S. Jones, David (The Hartlepools)
Awbery, S. S. Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Bacon, Miss Alice Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Baird, J. Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Kenyon, C.
Balfour, A. Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) King, Dr. H. M.
Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.) Fernyhough, E. Lawson, G. M.
Beswick, F. Finch, H. J. Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Blackburn, F. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Blenkinsop, A. Gibson, C. W. Lewis, Arthur
Blyton, W. R. Greenwood, Anthony Lindgren, G. S.
Boardman, H. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Grey, C. F. Logan, D. G.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Bowles, F. G. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) MacColl, J. E.
Boyd, T. C. Griffiths, William (Exchange) McInnes, J.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Hall, Rt. Hn. Clenvil (Colne Valley) McKay, John (Wallsend)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hamilton, W. W. McLeavy, Frank
Burke, W. A. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Burton, Miss F. E. Hayman, F. H. Mahon, Simon
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Herbison, Miss M. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hewitson, Capt. M. Mann, Mrs. Jean
Callaghan, L. J. Hobson, G. R. Mason, Roy
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Holman, P. Messer, Sir F.
Champion, A. J. Holmes, Horace Mikardo, Ian
Chetwynd, G. R. Howell, Denis (All Saints) Mitchison, G. R.
Coldrick, W. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Monslow, W.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Mort, D. L.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hunter, A. E. Moss, R.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hynd, H. (Accrington) Moyle, A.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Mulley, F. W.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Irving, S. (Dartford) Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Deer, G. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Oliver, G. H.
Delargy, H. J. Janner, B. Oram, A. E.
Dodds, N. N. Jeger, George (Goole) Orbach, M.
Oswald, T. Shurmer, P. L. E. Warbey, W. N.
Owen, W. J. Silverman, Julius (Aston) Watkins, T. E.
Paget, R. T. Slater, J. (Sedgefield) Weitzman, D.
Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Wheeldon, W. E.
Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Snow, J. W. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Pargiter, G. A. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Parker, J. Sparks, J. A. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Parkin, B. T. Steele, T. Wilkins, W. A.
Peart, T. F. Stones, W. (Consett) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Popplewell, E. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Sylvester, G. O. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Proctor, W. T. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Pryde, D. J. Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.) Winterbottom, Richard
Rankin, John Thomson, George (Dundee, E.) Woof, R. E.
Redhead, E. C. Tomney, F. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Rees-Davies, W. R. Turner-Samuels, M. Zilliacus, K.
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Usborne, H. C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Viant, S. P. Mr. Pearson and Mr. Simmons

Question put and agreed to.