HC Deb 14 May 1958 vol 588 cc508-39
Mr. Ross

I beg to move, in page 8, line 34, to leave out "have permanent" and to insert "cease to have".

Even before I start to move the Amendment I know what the Government will say, which rather disappoints me. They made it more or less a condition of giving way on the last Clause that they would turn down this very reasonable Amendment to which they had promised to give consideration.

May I remind the Secretary of State exactly what happened in Committee? He was faced not only with support for this Amendment from this side, but speech after speech in favour of it by his hon. Friends. One of the features in Committee was that it was only on this Clause that we managed to get hon. Gentlemen opposite to speak. I am sure that it was merely because they had got to the point of bursting with indignation at what the Government are doing and they could not contain themselves any longer.

We had a very able speech from the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. M. Clark Hutchison), who was followed by the hon. Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore). There were also speeches from the hon. Members for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir D. Robertson) and Central Ayrshire (Mr. Nairn). Every one of those hon. Members told the Government that they did not like what was being done, and that, having heard their justifications for what was being done, they were appalled. Eventually, the Secretary of State got to his feet and said: I have listened with the greatest care to the arguments, and I would like to consider them carefully. I would not agree to the deletion of the Clause this morning, but I promise between now and the Report stage to examine the arguments which have been proposed and see whether there is any other way that this can be properly achieved."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 22nd April, 1958; c. 654.] Faced with a rebellion like that, the right hon. Gentleman took the easy way out. I was rather suspicious at the time, but I withdrew my Amendment so that we could discuss it again; and by the selection of our Amendment we again have that right. I hope that hon. Members opposite who took that line in Committee will repeat their arguments tonight, because to give local authorities the right to rate in respect of town halls and the like does not measure up in any way to the importance of what the Government are doing in relation to local authorities' powers of borrowing.

Let us get clear exactly what is happening. To any uninformed person, the Clause does not make much sense. The only intelligible words are those in parenthesis, which say: (which restricts the power of local authorities to borrow money)". The Clause refers us to the 1951 Act and to subsections and Sections of the 1947 Act. When all that is boiled down, however, it means that we are left with a Statute referring to the powers of local authorities to borrow money for all purposes, whether or not they are to be aided by grant from the Government.

This is well worthy of the attention of all those who have proclaimed the Bill as a flourish of freedom for local authorities and who have described it as the great covenant of liberty for the county councils and the town councils of Scotland. Before local authorities can do anything of a practical nature, they have to borrow money for capital expenditure. The Statute will now read: A county council or town council shall not without the consent of the Minister concerned borrow money to meet any expenditure of a capital nature for any purpose. So the people in St. Andrew's House and Whitehall know better than anyone else. This is what is called freedom for the local authorities. They are to be tied completely in respect of everything they do.

We are told by the Secretary of State that he could give way on Clause 11 because a double check would have been entailed. In how many items of relevant expenditure will there still continue to be a double check? The right hon. Gentleman knows quite well that in future, in relation to school building, the approval of the Secretary of State will still he necessary and the check on expenditure will remain. It applies time and time again.

We pointed out, and we were supported by the Secretary of State's hon. Friends, that what we are dealing with is the removal of words which were introduced first under wartime regulations and then continued by the 1951 temporary Act, which was to end in 1953. Scottish local authorities were to be given a measure of freedom that they had before the war, when they could borrow provided that there was a two-thirds majority of the council in support. This means that not only do we make permanent this overriding and all-embracing control which has existed since the wartime regulation was introduced, but that we deny to Scotland and to Scottish local authorities the powers of borrowing that they had before the war. There is no justification for it. It is certainly not in the realms of Tory philosophy.

I want to protest. I protested during the Committee stage that the Joint Under-Secretary was not in his place. We have had him here a considerable part of today, but he is not now in his place. He holds a considerable measure of responsibility, which certainly demands explanation from him of why the Government are doing this. I want once again to remind the Committee exactly what the Joint Under-Secretary, the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson), in a Liberal flight of Tory fancy, said in 1951, when the Labour Government introduced this provision to last only for a few years. He said this: We have been told time and again that the control of capital expenditure is one of the essential controls which the Socialist Government intend always to exercise. In that case, why should three years be mentioned? Is this just another bit of camouflage, or do the Government really think we shall get round that recovery corner in three years?"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 28th November 1950; c. 1785.] The hon. Gentleman is now a member of a Government who tell us that they must make this thing permanent. We shall never get round recovery corner. I will quote the Secretary of State in relation to this optimistic opinion about getting round recovery corner. During the Committee stage, in an enlightening speech, he said: Our reserves are not what they were. They cannot be after fighting a Second World War. That was a strange illumination which came suddenly to the Tories many years after the war was ended. The right hon. Gentleman continued: The whole question of capital expenditure remains today a problem which any Government has got to watch if we are to keep our financial structure stable. Is it possible to foresee in the reasonably near future that this careful watch can be dispensed with? I would doubt it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 22nd April, 1958; c. 653.] There it is—recovery corner—and they were worrying about a Bill which lasted three years. Here, tonight, we are giving it permanent effect and denying the Scottish local authorities their right to that measure of freedom which they had.

During the Committee stage we made it clear that, although we did not like it, we were prepared to accept such Amendments as would allow the Government to continue in operation with the Expiring Laws Continuance Act, giving year to year force to this provision. The Government, obviously since they have taken no action, have rejected that offer. I was interested to note that those hon. Gentlement who did speak their minds about this and I give them credit for this, put down an Amendment asking for this provision to be continued until 1961.

That, also, has obviously been rejected by what was said in relation to the previous Amendment. The Government intend to keep this Clause in the Bill unchanged. I hope that those hon. Gentlemen will resist this attack upon Scotland and upon our freedom. Why should the Government, in every second speech made from the Box opposite, say that it is a matter of trusting the local authorities, when they will not trust the local authorities to raise and spend money in all the difficult circumstances of today for purposes for which they receive no grant?

This is the essence of distrust, and we must consider the small field in which this is effective. We had the figures from the Joint Under-Secretary because we discussed this in November, when he brought it forward on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. This effects between one-twentieth and one-thirtieth of all Scottish capital expenditure. I know the argument that is being given to the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland by his hon. Friend. The point is that it is the only portion that is turned down. All the other requests from local authorities to borrow under this are agreed. So they are wise, they are just, they are right, and they are supported by the Department.

This means that to receive one-thirtieth of expenditure the Government are prepared to fasten for ever this fetter on Scottish local authorities, this Tory shackle, probably pinning the label "freedom" upon it. I wonder that the Secretary of State for Scotland has the courage to come to the Box and proclaim himself as the Secretary of State for Scotland, and talk about liberty, freedom and the rest of it. It does not mean a thing in the context of what he is doing here. What does it mean for local authorities?

We were told in Standing Committee that local authorities would be allowed to borrow up to £5,000 without going to the Secretary of State. What does £5,000 mean to the City of Glasgow? Are we to be told that what is fit for the City of Glasgow is fit for small burghs such as Newmilns, in my constituency? For a small burgh like Newmilns, with its limited resources, £5,000 is a reasonable sum, but, proportionately, Glasgow should be allowed £50,000 or £100,000. If we had seen a reasonable approach to this matter by the Secretary of State, we should not have raised this subject again.

9.0 p.m.

I want to quote again the Joint Under-Secretary, the Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson). In 1950, he said that he firmly believed that if local authorities were forced to apply to the Secretary of State, even although unanimous that some expenditure should be incurred, they were relieved of their essential responsibility, and the result was that instead of considering whether they were absolutely convinced that the expenditure was necessary in the interests of those whom they represented, they put the responsibility on the Secretary of State. In other words, if local authorities have to decide for themselves and know that there is no further check, they may give more careful consideration to expenditure and even that one-thirtieth which has been turned down would not have been presented.

That is a relevant argument and I appeal to the Secretary of State to think about it once again. There has been no indication, certainly not from what he said about the last Clause, that he is giving this matter due consideration. What his hon. Friends said in Standing Committee was right. His hon. Friend the Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Nairn) could not bring himself to go into the Lobby to support us, but he said that he believed that local authorities were responsible people and that the Government could be more generous. The Government do not intend to be more generous and I ask the hon. Member to say what he intends to do about it.

There was the hon. Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore), who is my Member of Parliament and whom I am watching very carefully tonight.

Sir T. Moore

How lucky the hon. Member is.

Mr. Ross

I am perfectly sure that when the votes were counted in Ayr in the 1945 General Election the hon. Member left the room and said how lucky he was that he had managed to beat me by 700 votes when his former majority had been 14,000.

The hon. Member said that a vital principle was at stake and I hope that he will not allow that vital principle to go by the board. It is not enough to make speeches. He must record his vote tonight in favour of our Amendment. He said that this was a matter of policy and of trusting the local authorities and that the Government were breaching a gap in that policy and that a vital question of principle was involved. He was not alone. The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir D. Robertson) said that permanent control could not be justified.

I want to know how the Secretary of State intends to justify it, especially in present circumstances. It is not so easy for local authorities to get a two-thirds majority as the deciding factor in relation to borrowing—although our Amendment will change that two-thirds majority. It is certainly not easy in present circumstances, when every local authority is concerned about the rising costs of all capital expenditure in which it is involved and in which the responsibility to ratepayers is such that expenditure is under constant guard. It is certainly not easy to get money even after it has been agreed to borrow. Rates of interest are another barrier, provided that someone can be found prepared to lend the money. There is also the attitude of the ratepayers themselves to be considered.

I wonder whether the hon. Member has seen some of the local election results which have been coming in from Scotland today. They show that in Lanarkshire, where the Tory hopes were very high, the Government's policy of freedom for Scottish local authorities is scorned by the people. There has been a net gain of three seats for the Labour Party.

I hope that the Secretary of State will properly address his mind to what this provision means to Scotland. In Committee, I suggested that what was happening here was that Scotland was being brought into line with England. We value our liberties—even that small measure of freedom which was returned to us in 1947. Let it be recorded that the people who threaten that liberty are the Tory Party. They are very fond of the word "freedom", but when it comes to the deed they are prepared to shackle us, not for two or three years but permanently, by this Measure.

Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr)

I am very grateful for this opportunity of speaking to the Amendment, especially as I understand that a later Amendment in the name of some of my hon. Friends and myself is likely to be out of order. I should like to congratulate my constituent upon giving such an admirable resumé of the purposes of the Amendment. I also congratulate him on having made such a careful study of the technique of his Member. He has profited from it.

Mr. Ross

My study is continuing.

Sir T. Moore

As the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) has explained, the Amendment has been moved for one purpose only—to give local authorities full power to borrow such money as they may need without reference to or control by the Secretary of State for Scotland. On the other hand, as the hon. Member also pointed out, the Government desire to make permanent their present control over such borrowing which, at the moment, depends for its annual renewal upon the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. The arguments on both sides, to which I listened very carefully in Committee, are so persuasive and so almost convincing that the only way out of the impasse, or the only way to solve the problem, seems to be some form of compromise.

The Opposition ask why, since it is the declared policy of the Government—indeed, it is inherent in the Bill—to give more authority to local councils, their borrowing powers should be subject to the overriding authority of the Secretary of State. The Opposition's case is very soundly based. They say that it is better to leave the position as it is and allow it to be reviewed annually when the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill is discussed.

On the other hand, the Government say that it is their policy to get rid as quickly as possible of all those war-time controls and regulations which so irritated us for many years after the war and which have now become a perfect pest. Indeed, they believe in the most admirable policy, so much appreciated by the people of this country, of "setting the people free". That is a policy which is supported by hon. Members on this side of the Committee.

We are grateful to the Government for the exemplary way in which they have discarded the Defence of the Realm Regulations to the extent of about 253 in the last five or six years. But, and this is very important, to reduce that number by one and then make that one a permanent part of our legislation, as is being done in this Bill, seems to me an odd and a stupid procedure. I do not consider it good enough. We all recognise that in the present economic situation the Government must control the powers of borrowing, whether in the private or the public sector of industry. They use the Capital Issues Committee, the banks and other bodies for this purpose. Surely it cannot be right to make this control—which is very properly exercised at present—a permanent control?

In common, no doubt, with other hon. Members, I have received a number of letters of protest about this Bill. I have replied by pointing out that the declared purpose of the Bill is to give more authority and responsibility to local authorities and therefore to promote more interest in local government by members of town councils and county councils throughout the country. In that way we shall secure the greater interest and voluntary service of the best qualified people in the community. If we pass this Clause without amendment it will make nonsense of my reply.

My hon. Friends and I see the arguments on both sides and they are fair and reasonable. We believe that a compromise is the only way out, and so we suggested—in an Amendment which, no doubt, was out of order—that Government control of borrowing should be limited to a period of three years. It might be argued that that gave the impression the Tory Party believed that the present economic situation and the need for financial restraint will continue for that period. I hope hon. Members will rid themselves at once of such an impression. Because of their wise and farsighted policies, we believe that the present, and the next Conservative Government will have solved our difficulties long before the period of three years is ended. I come back to what to me is the most heavily weighing factor, this permanency of control, which is thwarting one of the fundamental principles of the Tory Party. We have said time after time that we trust local authorities and desire to repose the utmost confidence in their powers and decisions.

This exercise of permanent control means the undermining of the foundations on which our policy is based. If the Government accept this compromise suggestion it will mean that in three years' time, by 1961, all local authorities will have the right and power to borrow such moneys as they need for their services and for their expansion, without any overriding authority except their own sound common sense and the backing of a two-third majority of their members.

I ask my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to pay serious attention, as I know he will, to this plea from one who is normally one of his most loyal supporters, but I assure him that if he cannot give better arguments against my proposal than his hon. Friend gave in Committee, I shall be forced to register my disapproval of his action by not leaving my seat if a Division takes place.

9.15 p.m.

Mr. Woodburn

May I say how interested we were to find the dilemma of the hon. Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore) being exposed to us in such clear and lucid terms? His attitude on this question of principle is going to be a perpetual embarrassment to his colleagues on that side of the Committee. As far as I can make out, up to now the Conservative Party's success at elections and, indeed, their whole arguments in the country consist of saying something which they do not subsequently practise. If the hon. Gentleman is now to insist that they should practise what they preach, his Government will be placed in an unearthly dilemma on such questions as nationalisation, controls and things of that kind.

The Conservatives say that they do not believe in any controls and that they do not believe in subsidies, yet they have subsidies here and there and they have controls right and left. I would agree with the hon. Gentleman entirely that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) has said, this control has just no reason whatsoever. It is a perpetuation of something because nobody seems to have thought what should be put in its place. I agree with the hon. Member for Ayr that after the Secretary of State gave his promise to consider this matter, something should have come out of it, whether it was the proposed compromise which the hon. Gentleman's Amendment suggests, or whether it was some adjustments such as my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock has suggested, giving great places like Glasgow a different kind of measure to small towns of a few thousand inhabitants.

I have tried to think of a reason for turning down this Amendment. It may be that the Secretary of State, realising the hopelessness of local authorities being at the mercy of moneylenders, with their slick methods, thought that they need to be protected by a kindly mother from St. Andrew's House to watch over them and see that they are not misled by clever financiers. It may be that. It may be, of course, that the Government want to see that the City of London gets all the business. I recollect the time when Sir Patrick Dollan, as the Treasurer of Glasgow, came to the City of London and Mr. Montagu Norman to negotiate a loan for Glasgow. He went back very indignant at the terms offered, and promptly borrowed from the people of Glasgow themselves at a much lower rate. It may be that the Secretary of State and the Government want to protect the City against any tricks of that kind by shrewd Scots who want to borrow cheaper at home.

There may be other interesting reasons why nothing has been brought forward to put in its place, but I should have thought that after the Secretary of State heard the arguments on the Committee stage, he might have been impressed that something should be done, and yet he has done nothing. It seems to me quite unjustifiable that nothing has been done, and that this situation is to stay put. His hon. Friends on the benches opposite put very cogent arguments to him and there are several things that local authorities could be allowed to decide without this grandmotherly supervision over every little detail.

I understood that one of the purposes of this Bill was to try to relieve St. Andrew's House of a great deal of this unnecessary detailed supervision over local authorities. In fact, it causes more irritation than all the big controls. When it was required to build a little shed in a railway shunting yard, the matter had to go through a great circumlocution department and down to London before permission could be obtained. We have had cases of that kind, and these little controls have caused far more irritation than the big controls.

I am satisfied that the Government have plenty of controls outside the financial ones, from the point of view of building and capital expenditure. I agree that the Capital Issues Committee ought to see that the general capital expenditure does not outrun our capacity to build, construct and erect, but we are not talking of amounts of that kind. We are talking about some reasonable latitude to the local authorities and some freedom to them to have discretion. My hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock explained that a two-thirds majority was required for approval to be given, and, normally speaking, I think we can take it that if there were anything doubtful there would be sufficient of a minority to stop the matter until it went to the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State ought to have been thinking about some controls which gave freedom and yet retained the necessary discretion for the Government to achieve what has been suggested by the hon. Baronet. We are a little disappointed that so little has come out of the consideration that the Secretary of State has given to this matter, and we hope that even at this late date he will assure the Committee that when the Bill goes to another place he will introduce an Amendment which has some constructive idea in it and which does not just make this a permanent control giving no reasonable latitude to local authorities.

Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison (Edinburgh, South)

I support the views which have been put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore). In my opinion, a vital point of principle is involved. Before the war our local authorities in Scotland had wide powers of borrowing—much wider than the same sort of local authorities had in England. When the war came, these powers naturally were restricted, and they have been kept restricted by virtue of the Local Government (Scotland) Acts of 1947 and 1951. The powers have been kept going by means of the Expiring Laws Continuance Acts. I do not quarrel with that, and I do not mind my right hon. Friend having powers temporarily, but I do quarrel with his taking these powers permanently as Clause 11 proposes.

I know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is no lover of controls. Equally I realise that he does not like the Expiring Laws Continuance Acts, and I can understand that. I also know that he is making administrative arrangements for local authorities, if they so wish, to be able to borrow up to £5,000. That is a step in the right direction, and I am grateful to him for taking it.

Against all that, however, we have to look at the purpose of this Bill, which is to give greater freedom to the local authorities. We are giving them more financial responsibility by means of the general grant, and this Clause as at present drawn runs counter to that. It will give the Secretary of State permanent powers over the local authorities.

I cannot agree with that. It is wrong in principle. I am prepared to give my right hon. Friend powers, if need be, while our finances are in a difficult state. I would go as far as my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr and give him powers for three years. Further than that I shall not go.

Before the war, local authorities in Scotland had wide powers of borrowing. They had had them for many decades. I want to see those powers restored as soon as possible. I should like to see them restored to Edinburgh now, because it is a well-conducted city with an excellent Town Council, and I have great faith in it. I recognise that other areas are perhaps not quite up to Edinburgh's standard. I therefore ask my right hon. Friend to think again about Clause 11. If he insists upon pushing it through as drafted, I am afraid I cannot go with him into the Division Lobby.

Mr. Grimond

Before the Secretary of State replies, I would press him to state more fully why he is making this power permanent. It has nothing to do with the financial embarrassments of the Government. They would not need to have permanent power for that. It would imply, in that case, that there will be financial difficulties into the indefinite future.

I have the feeling that this is an effort to get round the purpose of the Bill. In Committee, the answer given by the Joint Under-Secretary, in reply to questions why these powers were being kept, was that owing to the change-over in the grant system it was necessary to have some further control over the power of local authorities to borrow for purposes which were not covered by the general grant. If I am right about that, it is a very odd reason. I share the Secretary of State's suspicion of the Expiring Laws Continuance Act, but is it really the case that we are to write into the Bill a provision that over a certain amount a local authority must get the right hon. Gentleman's permission to borrow?

The right hon. Gentleman will have to examine the purpose for which the borrowing is wanted before he gives his decision, and he will have to discriminate between borrowing for one purpose and borrowing for another. He already has the interest rates of the Treasury at his disposal and he is using them. He was unable to give any case in which he would withhold his permission on the ground that the local authority was abusing its powers.

We are now to have written into the Bill a permanent power based on a wartime regulation, physical in nature, and based on suspicion of the local authority. The Secretary of State shakes his head, but that is a point with which I would like him to deal. The only other reason I can think of is that the Conservative Party intend for all time to keep on this war-time control. It seems to me that on the two horns of that dilemma the Secretary of State for Scotland is impaled.

Mr. Ross

The Secretary of State claims to be a Liberal.

Mr. Grimond

That is a political matter into which I would not like to go on this Amendment. I should like to put down a further Amendment which could be discussed.

9.30 p.m.

Mr. George

I shall be brief on this issue tonight, but I cannot let it pass without some comment, because during the Committee stage a promise which was made by the Secretary of State stopped some of us from continuing a discussion we were having. He said he was very impressed with many of the arguments and he would think over the position to see whether a way could be found. That thought has not resulted in any explanation, and the Clause remains unaltered, so that some of us felt constrained to put down the Amendment which, unfortunately, is not in order.

I have never subscribed to the oft-repeated statement, frequently uttered by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), that the Secretary of State continually is dragged at the tail of England. Nor do I subscribe to the statement that he is unduly swayed by the views of officialdom in Scotland or London. I do not agree with those charges which have been made, but the fact is that this Clause does bring us into line with England and we know that the English local authorities are bound in this way.

We know, and it has been said so often, that the Scottish local authorities used to be free to borrow without seeking the permission of the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State thoroughly rebutted the charge that the Clause was dictated for that purpose. During the Committee stage he said: This is no result of pressure on the Scottish Ministers to conform."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 22nd April, 1958; c. 652.] He went on to say that in judging what to do he decided by what was the right thing to do for Scotland and whether it was honest. Those were his criteria for deciding on this issue. Those are admirable sentiments, and we appreciate and share those sentiments. I readily pay tribute to the great honesty and sincerity of my right hon. Friend in his high office.

But what emerges from all this? The Secretary of State in a Conservative Government, in deciding upon a Measure, and deciding, as he said it ought to be decided, by judging whether it was the right and honest thing to do for Scotland, clamps a permanent control over local authority borrowing where complete freedom was traditional. It is not as though a tremendous amount of money were involved. The sums involved have already been given. Let me repeat them. They are quite trivial. However, the principle of the matter is substantial. The money involved in 1956 was £3.8 million, which was turned down, and in 1957 it was only £2 million.

I believe that this step being taken by Clause 11 is wrong psychologically. It is wrong from the practical angle in that it is not winning co-operation from or giving encouragement to the local authorities. It is contrary to humanist thinking, as my hon. Friends have said. It denies any of the promises and pronouncements which have been given, by my right hon. Friend himself, by the Joint Under-Secretary of State and by Lord Strathclyde. It runs counter to the purposes of the Bill.

The underlying purpose of this Measure is to give local authorities increased financial independence and to encourage local government electors to take a fresh interest in local government affairs. I deeply believe, as do my hon. Friends, in maximum freedom for local authorities at all times, consistent with Government responsibilities. Where local authorities are spending local money on local schemes, thought up and judged by local men, and with a two-thirds majority deciding, I believe their freedom should some time in the future be complete. I appreciate that there is a £5,000 grant, which may be important to small areas, but it is a bagatelle to large areas.

I cannot help feeling that this is perilously near a breach of faith with the local authorities. They were free until 1940, and they then accepted this restriction in war quite readily, and the continuation of it long after the war did not produce any real feeling among them, but in recent years they have felt that the time should be near at hand when they should get their traditional freedom restored. They have remained utterly co-operative, however.

On 21st of November, the Joint Under-Secretary of State said: I think it fair to say that the local authorities do not like this Measure …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st November, 1957; Vol. 578, c. 675.] They knew the national need was paramount. They still know that national needs are paramount. They appreciate that, and they co-operate on that basis, but all the time they have thought this restriction a temporary measure and that it would end and that their traditional freedom would be restored to them.

I quote my hon. Friend again. In that same speech he said: The Government are very much indebted to local authorities for their statesmanlike appreciation of the position and for their restraint."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st November, 1957; Vol. 578, c. 675.] They do not like it, but they have shown restraint. Why did they show restraint? It was because they thought this was temporary and the time would come when it would be wiped away. They hoped it would be wiped away far more quickly by those on this side of the Committee than those on the other side. I do not deny the need for control of public expenditure at this time. Incidentally, I do not believe the statement made by the Joint Under-Secretary in Committee upstairs that when the block grant came in there might be a swelling up in this field of non-grant-aided expenditure. We suggest that a compromise between the one year examination and permanent control is three years.

Even at this late stage, I appeal to my right hon. Friend to give this matter a second thought. The climate of today will not last long. The policy the Government is pursuing to stabilise the £ will, I am quite sure, result in stabilising the £ and allowing industry to expand. In the light of that expansion, I think local authorities should feel that they can be rid of this burden and not have to face the future permanently under the dictation of the Secretary of State.

Mr. Lawson

The hon. Member for Pollok (Mr. George) put his finger on the real reason for this Clause when he said that it was the practice in England and that that was the explanation. A very large part of the explanation is that because this is the practice in England, Scotland is being made to toe the line. I know that the Secretary of State denied this, but he has not produced any evidence to the contrary.

I was particularly interested in the arguments of the Joint Under-Secretary as to why this measure of control should be made permanent. I still find that very interesting. The hon. Gentleman said, when we were discussing Clause 11: it is the only control that the central Government have over the spending by a local authority of its own funds on items which are not specifically grant-aided. He went on to say: Prior to the introduction of general grant, such spending is comparatively trivial, but with the change-over to general grant and the consequent loosening of central control, it will be more than ever necessary that in the national interest the spending by local authorities should conform to the general economic pattern laid down by the Government of the day."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee. 22nd April 1958; c. 637–8.] The only reason I can read into this is that the money which local authorities are in future to receive under general grant will be for the purposes not specifically regarded as grant-aided. None of them will be earmarked in the sense that they receive a certain sum of money from the central Government which is to be spent on those services. My understanding of the Bill is that everything possible has been done to eliminate the means of tracing the proportion of money which goes to these services. The whole of the money will be lumped together and not paid in respect of those services. That money is not a block grant to be spent on those services, but a general payment will be made to the local authority. If what the Under-Secretary said means anything, it means that the local authority can spend the money more or less as it pleases None of these services is to have a certain amount of money spent on it.

The Under-Secretary said that when the general grant becomes the practice instead of the specific grant earmarked for purposes, each receiving a percentage grant, instead of this item of the local expenditure being trivial it will become important. The hon. Member did not use the word "important", but that is what he meant. Formerly it was a small matter, but now it becomes a big matter. On the basis that none of these services will have a specific sum which must be spent on it, there will be a freedom to spend or not to spend on these services, and the local authority might use the money for rate-saving purposes or some other purpose quite different from development expenditure.

That suggests to me a distrust by the Government of local authorities. If hon. Members read the speech of the Joint Under-Secretary of State further they will see that, as reported in column 639, he speaks of local authorities sometimes finding it difficult to resist local pressures which might cause them to act in ways contrary to the national interest, which in this case, presumably, is the spending of adequate money on the service on which it ought to be spent. These remarks show a fear and distrust of local authorities. If local authorities are to be given money which can be used for other purposes than those for which it is intended, then, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Nairn), the Government have conceded our case. The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire said as much in an intervention on that occasion.

Do the Government rest their case on that kind of argument? It was the only argument presented which had any substance. The argument presented by the Secretary of State was just nonsense, but here at least was an argument of substance, although it was a product of distrust of local authorities and of a recognition of the fact that local authorities will be placed in a position in which they may use this money for purposes other than those for which it should be spent.

May I for a moment consider the claims of Conservative freedom? I believe that hon. Members opposite have deceived themselves with their own propaganda. If we study Conservative freedom, we must ask the question, "Freedom for whom?" Very quickly we see that Conservative freedom was no more than the power of the person who had the wealth to use his wealth in ways which he considered most advantageous to himself. That was the freedom—the freedom of the purse and to use the purse in the interests of those who possessed it. When it comes to freedom for others, for example freedom to obtain jobs and to hold on to jobs, freedom for people to protect their health standards, to do what they can to raise their standard of life and to see that their children obtain the best education possible, Conservative freedom breaks down.

Hon. Members opposite think that they believe in freedom. I am prepared to concede that they honestly think they believe in it. In practice, however, they fall down on their belief. Perhaps a short example will make the point clearer. Hon. Members opposite also think that they believe in competition. That was one of the great slogans which they used in the last Election—"Freedom of competition." Yet it is a fact that during most of this century the business men and even those independent gentlemen the farmers have done everything they could to escape from competition.

The history of our economy over the past fifty years has been an endeavour to escape from competition and I suggest that one does not believe in something from which one endeavours to escape. Similarly, with this question of freedom; it is freedom so long as it suits them but they are very ready to abandon it when it does not. The point now emerges in the words of the gentlemen opposite themselves—this particular Clause is a violation of what they consider to be freedom. Let us see them go further than merely sitting on those benches when we divide. Let them come into the Lobby with us. We shall see whether they are prepared to do their bit in fighting for the freedom in which they are supposed to believe, but I doubt whether any of them would come into the Lobby tonight. We shall see whether they genuinely believe in this freedom they speak so much about.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Lawson) has given me some tempting ground on which to follow. I saw Sir Gordon looking gently towards him. You restrained yourself, Sir Gordon, so I will not stretch your powers of restraint too far. But has not the hon. Member for Motherwell realised the profound difference between the philosophy of his party and that of those on this side? His party is tied up to the hilt in controls for control's sake, quite irrelevant to the needs of the moment. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "Get back to the Amendment."] I will do so when I have dealt with the speech which has just been made.

Hon. Members opposite dislike me following up the speech which the hon. Member for Motherwell has made, one so damaging to the cause of the Amendment which stands in the name of his hon. Friend—because he did let a lot of cats out of the bag and showed clearly that the party opposite still believes in controls for control's sake and that the purpose of the Amendment is largely—

Mr. Lawson

What has this to do with controls?

Mr. Maclay

Hon. Members opposite must learn that when I am on my feet I do my best to answer the debate. The moment I start to answer, if they do not like my answer to the speech that has just been made, they say, "Come to the Amendment," regardless of the fact that the previous speaker did not speak at all about the Amendment. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order."] I notice that the Chair was keeping a watchful eye upon the last speaker and I understood that he would keep a watchful eye upon me, but I must not be told by hon. Members to be discourteous when I am trying to be courteous to the hon. Member who has just spoken.

Mr. Lawson

Might I suggest to the hon. Gentleman that he goes as far as the Chair permits? When the Chair pulls him up, that will be different.

Mr. Maclay

I like to have my own ideas of order, and I do not like stretching those ideas too far, although I have done so in the past. But I hope I have made the point clearly. There is a profound difference between the views of hon. Members opposite and those on this side on the question of controls. They cannot deny that; and it points to the fact that this Amendment is not so much an indication of their tremendous concern for the freedom of local authorities, but is rather a good chance of embarrassing myself and Her Majesty's Government at the moment when the hon. Member knows my hon. Friends have grave doubts about this. But how does that link up with the whole philosophy which is the basis of the actions of hon. Gentlemen opposite?

Mr. Woodburn

Why does not the hon. Gentleman ignore us and give way to the pleas of his hon. Friends? Why pay any attention to us? Let him say that he is ignoring us but that he recognises the reasons put forward by his hon. Friends and will act reasonably in regard to them?

Mr. Maclay

I was going to discuss a little further what has been said by my hon. Friends as well as by hon. Gentlement opposite. I do appreciate the great depth of sincerity which motivates my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore) and my hon. Friends who have spoken.

Mr. Lawson

Apart from the rest of us?

Mr. Maclay

No, I admit the sincerity of the speeches which have been made, but I do not admit the consistency of speeches of hon. Members opposite in relation to their actions.

Mr. T. Fraser

I was a member of the Government that passed the 1951 Act. Is the Secretary of State saying that we were dishonest in 1951 when we passed that Act? If he is, let him make that clear. If he is not, what reason has he to say that we have been dishonest or inconsistent in seeking to bring this Act to an end?

Mr. Maclay

I did not use the word dishonest. I used the word inconsistent, which is a different thing. It is perfectly possible to be honest, and to be inconsistent, and it is fair to point out an inconsistency if it exists. I have been puzzled when hon. Members opposite have insisted on the procedure under the annual Expiring Laws Continuance Act. That is one of the reasons why I feel that I must maintain my position in this matter, because I do not think that that annual procedure is the right one if one feels that for a fairly long time to come, perhaps a year, or two, three or four years maybe, an Act has to be continued.

May I deal with the main points which have been made on both sides? Of course, I have given this matter very careful and anxious thought since the Committee stage when I said that I would look into it. May I recall the words that I used: I think this Amendment must be rejected. I have listened with the greatest care to the arguments, and I would like to consider them carefully. I would not agree to the deletion of the Clause this morning, but I promise between now and the Report stage to examine the arguments which have been proposed and see whether there is any other way that this can be properly achieved. I do not hold out hopes of being able to do it. It would be wrong, however, not to say that I am at least prepared to consider the arguments."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 22nd April 1958; c. 654.] I have, of course, looked at the figures as carefully as possible. The conclusion I have come to is that one must deal with the substance and not the shadow. I know that it sounds odd for somebody on this side standing at this Box and saying that a certain type of control looks like being necessary for some years to come. It is the type of control that any nation with a permanent balance of payments problem and an inflationary problem has to have in mind. The total expenditure of local authorities is a large proportion of all expenditure, and it would be quite wrong to imply that in the next year or two—and I am being frank and honest—there is any likelihood of our being able to allow capital expenditure regardless of the consequences to the national economy. That is a different thing from the detailed type of control, which I intensely dislike. This is not detailed control.

The second reason why it is right to maintain the Clause is this. The very fact that it is in the Bill enables some quite substantial relaxations of irritating smaller controls. That is the substance of what I want to achieve in the Bill—getting the maximum possible freedom that means something for local authorities.

I thought that the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) was slightly ungracious in the way in which he received the alteration that we made to Clause 10. I think that it was the hon. Member for Hamilton who implied that I had made this concession in order to appease my hon. Friends. It is fairly clear that I have not appeased them from what they said. But this is one of the Clauses where relaxation is possible.

Coming to Clause 12, we have been able to ease up on extending the borrowing period for sums borrowed for a wide variety of purposes. There is also this despised £5,000. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) gave some figures and spoke about one-thirtieth. We propose that in future all applications for borrowing consent for sums of less than £5,000 should be approved automatically without examination of the merits, provided that the total amount of capital investment for the year allows this course to be followed. This was looked on as a very small concession. Three thousand and twenty-six applications to the value of just over £4 million were approved in the financial year 1957–58. That was out of a total of 4,247 applications. The important figure is the 4,247 applications.

By this relaxation, we will get rid of all the detailed nagging worry about these, both in the work in St. Andrew's House and by local authorities. There are other relaxations which I hope by administrative and other means we will be able to achieve. All this is made much easier provided one has the knowledge that we have a certain overriding control to see that the whole balance of local government borrowing for capital purposes is correct in relation to the nation's economy.

That leaves the question of duration. I would dearly like to feel that it was right to accept the compromise proposal of my hon. Friend, but I think that it would be running away from the main issue.

Mr. Ross

Will the right hon. Gentleman have another look at these figures? We have had figures before, and we were told by the Joint Under-Secretary on 21st November that the value of applications affected by the Clause and which were turned down was £1,666,000 and that the actual number of those rejected was 107 Surely, the 107 is all that is at stake. A simple process of arithmetic and averages shows that the number of these that would be covered by the right hon. Gentleman's figure of £5,000 is negligible.

Mr. Maclay

I have given the figures, I am sure correctly, for the under-£5,000 operations. These figures were in the financial year 1957–58.

Mr. Willis

Are these all grant-aided?

Mr. Maclay

Let us get these figures. It is also possible—I repeat it to make it clear—that all applications for borrowing consent for sums of less than £5,000 should be approved automatically and, in the financial year 1957–58, the total number of applicants was 4,247. If it is not a substantial advantage to dispose of that number of applications, with all the work that is entailed on both sides, I do not know what a substantial advantage is.

Mr. Ross

Surely, the right hon. Gentleman realises that he is now continuing this permanent control for the sake of stopping the 107 applications. Had he accepted this proposal, he would have wiped out the need for the whole lot as well as for those under £5,000.

Mr. Maclay

We are on a different point and I do not want to confuse the figures. Mine are quite clear.

I was coming to the question of duration. It is very tempting to put in a figure of two or three years, but it is more frank to put it in the Bill as we have done. As soon as a situation develops in which all this kind of control can be abolished, it is perfectly possible to bring a one-Clause Bill before the House to delete Clause 11 and then it will have gone for ever. By that procedure, we avoid the business of an annual Bill. The Expiring Laws Continuance Bill is a useful Measure, but it should only be used where absolutely necessary and when there is a good chance of getting rid of an Act within a year or possibly two years. The practice of annual continuance conveys the implication that a Measure can be got rid of at the end of a year.

It is very tempting for Governments—let us be frank—to slip things through in that procedure which some hon. Members may be watching for and catch. We have always said, and it is part of our principles, that if a situation demands that one of these Acts must go on year by year, it is more frank to come to the House and explain the reasons for it. The fact that we have had this intensely interesting and rather strong debate, in which, I greatly regret, I am not completely at one with my hon. Friends, shows the justice of this procedure, because we have had to explain fully how we are doing this.

I repeat that there is no distrust of the local authorities. In certain conditions it is essential to keep a balance between the borrowing by the local authorities for their purposes and borrowing for all other purposes of the country. The minute that this need has gone it will be perfectly simple for a short, uncontroversial Bill of one Clause to delete Clause 11. I hope in the years to come that will be possible, and I hope I shall be here when it is possible. It may be soon, and it may not be soon.

10.0 p.m.

Mr. McInnes

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean five, 10 or 15 years?

Mr. Maclay

I will not hazard a guess. I hope it will be soon, but I would not say at the moment, watching the tendencies in the world, that in the next year or two we are likely to be completely free from the possibility of balance of payments problems or of certain inflationary problems. That is one of the things on which the Government have discovered over the years they have to keep a close watch.

I repeat that I am sorry that I cannot meet my hon. Friends. I have considered various ways of meeting them, but I did not think these were justified. It is better to do it this way and, when the time comes to get rid of this type of control, to do so by a one-Clause Bill. That being so, I must insist on the Clause remaining in the Bill.

Mr. T. Fraser

I honestly believe that the right hon. Gentleman is deceiving himself. I do not think he is deliberately deceiving the Committee, but he is most certainly doing so, because he has repeated himself in saying that if we think it will be two or three years before we can get rid of controls entirely we should be frank about it, put them into permanent legislation now, and bring forward a one-Clause Bill in two, three or four years' time.

If the right hon. Gentleman believes that this is the intention of his Government. I do not believe him. I can tell him that the argument he advanced in favour of making this a permanent provision in a Statute is precisely the argument which was given to us in 1951 when we were the Government, by the Treasury officials, and which we rejected. The difference between us and the right hon. Gentleman is that he has accepted it.

Why is the instrument of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill used at all? It is precisely to deal with a provision of this kind which, we say, should be subject to revision from year to year. If he believes that this power to be exercised by the central Government over the borrowings of local authorities is a matter which should be examined against the background of the general economic situation, the balance of payments, and so on, that is the kind of thing which the Government, and the right hon. Gentleman acting for the Government, should make possible for us to review from year to year. It should be continued in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill and not written into a permanent Statute. By doing the latter the Minister does not make any provision for us to consider it from year to year.

It may well be that it was his hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary who was more frank when, in Committee, he said: Getting rid of expiring laws continuance is in line with our general policy of getting rid of wartime controls, but we appreciate that some control by the Government over spending by local authorities will always be necessary.'—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 22nd April, 1958; c. 639.]

Hon. Members


Mr. Fraser

Who was the more frank, the Secretary of State or his hon. Friend? I think that it was his hon. Friend who spoke for the Government on that occasion. The fact is that the right hon. Gentleman has been trying to get the Bill accepted by the people of Scotland on the ground that it would give a measure of freedom to the local authorities. That was stated to be the purpose of the Bill. I never believed it to be so. It is certainly not the effect of the Bill, and every hon. Member who represents a Scottish constituency, particularly those who have participated in this discussion, knows that what I say is true.

The right hon. Gentleman mentioned one or two slight adjustments in administration made from time to time. Those adjustments are always being made and will continue to be made irrespective of

what party is in power. The right hon. Gentleman set up a working party to study administrative arrangements between local authorities and the central Government. Will he publish that report, which he has now received? Will he tell us that the working party was able to recommend any easement of controls which would have justified the extravagant language he used about freedom having been given to local authorities? Of course he will not.

Local authorities have been cribbed, cabined and confined by the Government. Their borrowing position has been made substantially worse than it has been for very many years. They have been driven to the open market and into the clutches of the money lenders. They are paying more than twice as much for the money they borrow as they did when the right hon. Gentleman's party became the Government less than seven years ago. Local authorities are getting a raw deal from the Government.

The right hon. Gentleman had a wonderful opportunity of taking one small decision which would have helped his hon. Friends to put this Bill across as a Measure granting freedom to local authorities in Scotland. He could have done that by accepting the Amendment and responding to the blandishments of his hon. Friends. He has failed to do that. We have a great deal of business still to conduct, and we had better reach a decision on the Amendment and on the Clause. I invite hon. Gentlemen opposite, who have been so bitterly disappointed by what the right hon. Gentleman has said, not to be content with siting on their Benches when the vote is taken, but to follow their arguments with their votes.

Question put, That "have permanent" stand part of the Clause:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 174. Noes 142.

Division No. 125.] AYES [10.7 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)
Alport, C. J. M. Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Bryan, P.
Arbuthnot, John Bennett, Dr. Reginald Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.
Armstrong, C. W. Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Burden, F. F. A.
Ashton, H. Bingham, R. M. Chichester-Clark, R.
Atkins, H. E. Bishop, F. P. Conant, Maj. Sir Roger
Baldwin, A. E. Black, C. W. Cooper-Key, E. M.
Barlow, Sir John Body, R. F. Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.
Barter, John Braine, B. R. Corfield, Capt. F. V.
Craddook, Beresford (Spelthorne) Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Peel, W. J.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Currie, G. B. H. Hurd, A. R. Pike, Miss Mervyn
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.) Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Deedes, W. F. Hyde, Montgomery Pitman, I. J.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pitt, Miss E. M.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
du Cann, E. D. L. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Ramsden, J. E.
Duncan, Sir James Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green) Rawlinson, Peter
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Joseph, Sir Keith Redmayne, M.
Elliott, R. W. (Ne'castle upon Tyne, N.) Keegan, D. Remnant, Hon. P.
Errington, Sir Eric Kerby, Capt. H. B. Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Farey-Jones, F. W. Kerr, Sir Hamilton Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Finlay, Graeme Kershaw, J. A. Roper, Sir Harold
Fisher, Nigel Kimball, M. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Kirk, P. M. Sharples, R. C.
Langford-Holt, J. A.
Foster, John Leather, E. H. C. Shepherd, William
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Leavey, J. A. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)
Gammans, Lady Leburn, W. G. Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)
Garner-Evans, E. H. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Gibson-Watt, D. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Glover, D. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Glyn, Col. Richard H. Linstead, Sir H. N. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Godber, J. B. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Studholme, Sir Henry
Gough, C. F. H. Macdonald, Sir Peter Summers, Sir Spencer
Gower, H. R. Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Teeling, W.
Graham, Sir Fergus Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Temple, John M.
Grant, W. (Woodside) McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Green, A. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Gurden, Harold Maddan, Martin Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Hall, John (Wycombe) Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Marlowe, A. A. H. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Marshall, Douglas Vane, W. M. F.
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Mathew, R. Vickers, Miss Joan
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Mawby, R. L. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh Whitelaw, W. S. I.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hesketh, R. F. Nabarro, G. D. N. Wood, Hon. R.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Woollam, John Victor
Holland-Martin, C. J. Oakshott, H. D. Yates, William (Tbe Wrekin)
Hornby, R. P. O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Horobin, Sir Ian Page, R. G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Mr. Wills and
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Partridge, E. Mr. Brooman-White.
Ainsley, J. W. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Edelman, M. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Bacon, Miss Alice Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Janner, B.
Balfour, A. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Jeger, George (Goole)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Fletcher, Eric Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Foot, D. M. Jones, David (The Hartlepools)
Benson, Sir George Forman, J. C. Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Blackburn, F. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)
Bonham Carter, Mark George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Car'then) Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Gibson, C. W. Kenyon, C.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Lawson, G. M.
Brockway, A. F. Grey, C. F. Ledger, R. J.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Grimond, J. Lee, Frederiok (Newton)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Hale, Leslie Logan, D. G.
Carmichael, J. Hamilton, W. W. Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Hannan, W. McAlister, Mrs. Mary
Champion, A. J. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.) McCann, J.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hayman, F. H. McInnes, J.
Clunie, J. Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis) McKay, John (Wallsend)
Coldrick, W. Herbison, Miss M. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Hobson, C. R. (Keighley) Mahon, Simon
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Houghton, Douglas Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Howell, Denis (All Saints) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hoy, J. H. Mann, Mrs. Jean
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hubbard, T. F. Mason, Roy
Deer, G. Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Mitchison, G. R.
Diamond, John Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Moody, A. S.
Donnelly, D. L. Hunter, A. E. Moss, R.
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Moyle, A.
Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Ross, William Timmons, J.
Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Royle, C. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Oram, A. E. Short, E. W. Wade, D. W.
Oswald, T. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Watkins, T. E.
Owen, W. J. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.) West, D. G.
Padley, W. E. Slater, J. (Sedgefield) Wheeldon, W. E.
Paget, R. T. Sorensen, R. W. Willey, Frederick
Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Williams, David (Neath)
Parker, J. Stones, W. (Consett) Williams, Rev, Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)
Pentland, N. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Prentice, R. E. Stross, Dr, Barnetr (Stoke-on-Trent, C.) Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Sylvester, G. O. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Probert, A. R. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Winterbottom, Richard
Proctor, W. T. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Redhead, E. C. Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.) Woof, R. E.
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Thornton, E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Pearson and Mr. Wilkins.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 173, Noes 141.

Division No. 126.] AYES [10.17 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.
Alport, C. J. M. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh
Arbuthnot, John Gurden, Harold Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Armstrong, C. W. Hall, John (Wycombe) Nabarro, G. D. N.
Ashton, H. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)
Atkins, H. E. Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Oakshott, H. D.
Baldwin, A. E. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Barlow, Sir John Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Page, R. G.
Barter, John Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Partridge, E.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Peel, W. J.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Henderson, John (Cathcart) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Bingham, R. M. Hesketh, R. F. Pike, Miss Mervyn
Bishop, F. P. Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Black, C. W. Holland-Martin, C. J. Pitman, I. J.
Body, R. F. Hornby, R. P. Pitt, Miss E. M.
Braine, B. R. Horobin, Sir Ian Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Brooman-White, R. C. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Ramsden, J. E.
Bryan, P. Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Rawlinson, Peter
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Redmayne, M.
Burden, F. F. A. Hurd, A. R. Remnant, Hon. P.
Chichester-Clark, R. Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.) Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Hyde, Montgomery Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Roper, Sir Harold
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Sharples, R. C.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Shepherd, William
Crosthwalte-Eyre, Col. O. E. Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green) Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)
Currie, G. B. H. Joseph, Sir Keith Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Keegan, D. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Deedes, W. F. Kerby, Capt, H. B. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Kerr, Sir Hamilton Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Kershaw, J. A. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
du Cann, E. D. L. Kimball, M. Studholme, Sir Henry
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Kirk, P. M. Summers, Sir Spencer
Duncan, Sir James Langford-Holt, J. A. Teeling, W.
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Leather, E. H. C. Temple, John M.
Elliott, R. W. (Ne'castle upon Tyne, N.) Leavey, J. A. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Leburn, W. G. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Errington, Sir Eric Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Farey-Jones, F. W. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)
Finlay, Graeme Linstead, Sir H. N. Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Fisher, Nigel Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Macdonald, Sir Peter Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Foster, John Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Tweedsmuir, Lady
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Vane, W. M. F.
Gammans, Lady McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Vickers, Miss Joan
Garner-Evans, E. H. Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Gibson-Watt, D. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster) Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Glover, D. Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Glyn, Col. Richard H. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Whitelaw, W. S. I.
Godber, J. B. Maddan, Martin Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gough, C. F. H. Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Wood, Hon. R.
Gower, H. R. Marlowe, A. A. H. Woollam, John Victor
Graham, Sir Fergus Marshall, Douglas Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Grant, W. (Woodside) Mathew, R.
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Mawby, R. L. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Green, A. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr, S. L. C. Mr. Wills and Mr. Legh.
Ainsley, J. W. Hayman, F. H. Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis) Parker, J.
Bacon, Miss Alice Herbison, Miss M. Pentland, N.
Balfour, A. Hobson, C. R. (Keighley) Prentice, R. E.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Houghton, Douglas Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Howell, Denis (All Saints) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Benson, Sir George Hoy, J. H. Probert, A. R.
Blackburn, F. Hubbard, T. F. Proctor, W. T.
Bonham Carter, Mark Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Redhead, E. C.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Hunter, A. E. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Ross, William
Brockway, A. F. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Royle, C.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Short, E. W.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Janner, B. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Carmichael, J. Jeger, George (Goole) Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
Champion, A. J. Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Sorensen, R. W.
Chetwynd, G. R. Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Clunie, J. Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Stones, W. (Consett)
Coldrick, W. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Kenyon, C. Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Lawson, G. M. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Ledger, R. J. Sylvester, G. O.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Logan, D. G. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Deer, G. Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Diamond, John McAlister, Mrs. Mary Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Donnelly, D. L. McCann, J. Thornton, E.
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) McInnes, J. Timmons, J.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. McKay, John (Wallsend) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Edelman, M. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Wade, D. W.
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mahon, Simon Watkins, T. E.
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) West, D. C.
Fletcher, Eric Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.) Wheeldon, W. E.
Foot, D. M. Mann, Mrs. Jean Willey, Frederick
Forman, J. C. Mason, Roy Williams, David (Neath)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mitchison, G. R. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)
George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Car'then) Moody, A. S. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Gibson, C. W. Moss, R. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Moyle, A. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Grey, C. F. Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Winterbottom, Richard
Grimond, J. Oram, A. E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Hale, Leslie Oswald, T. Woof, R. E.
Hamilton, W. W. Owen, W. J.
Hannan, W. Padley, W. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.) Paget, R. T. Mr. Pearson and Mr. Wilkins.