§ Order for consideration, as amended, read.
§ 3.33 p.m.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Derick Heathcoat Amory)
I beg to move,That the Bill be recommitted to a Committee of the whole House in respect of the Amendments to Clause 19, page 14, line 3; Clause 20, page 16, line 12; Clause 21, page 17, lines 24, 26, 33, 36, 37, 41, and 44 and page 18, lines 6, 12 and 14; Clause 23, page 20, lines 36 and 42; Clause 25, page 22, lines 27, 30 and 41, and page 23, line 15; Clause 26, page 23, lines 24, 25 and 42 and page 24, line 5; Clause 27, page 25, line 37, page 26, line 26, 233 and page 27, lines 11, 12, 15, 20, 24, 25 and 28; Clause 32, page 30, line 22; Clause 33, page 31, line 17; Clause 34, page 32, line 44; Clause 35, page 33, line 14; Clause 40, page 39, lines 30 and 34; Clause 41, page 40, line 17; Clause 60, page 50, line 43; Clause 65, page 54, line 28; Clause 67, page 55, line 43; Schedule 4, page 72, lines 42 and 44; and Schedule 7, page 81, column 3, line 30; and the new Clauses (Confirmation of double-taxation Agreement with the Republic of Ireland), (Estate duty: graduation of charge where benefits from company surrendered) and (Modification of s. 50 in relation to partnerships) and the new Schedule (Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic of Ireland with respect to certain exemptions from tax), standing on the Notice Paper in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Mr. Speaker
Perhaps I had better indicate that I am prepared to select only in a modified form the Amendment of the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) to the Recommittal Motion. If he would be good enough to confine his Amendment to Clause 30, page 28, line 29, and to Schedule 4, page 72, line 39, I would be prepared to select it in that form.
§ Mr. John Diamond (Gloucester)
On a point of order. Would it not be in order to move it in that form a little later, after discussion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Motion?
§ Mr. Harold Wilson (Huyton)
On a point of order. I am not sure, Mr. Speaker, whether you have formally put the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Motion.
§ Mr. Wilson
I rise to oppose the Chancellor's Motion because of the quite unprecedented way in which the House has been treated by the Government in respect of the Report stage and recommittal of the Bill. During earlier stages of the Bill there have been far more Government Amendments than we have ever known in any previous Finance Bill since the war. That is an indication of the very muddled character of the Government's mind on this question. I am not referring to the changes made following representations made in Committee, but to those made after second thoughts and muddled reconsideration.
234 Whether the Chancellor is responsible —if he has any authority any more in his Department is doubtful from some of the statements which we have read lately—or whether it was the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General we do not know, but even before today the House has never been treated in the way the Government have treated it over this Bill.
As a House, we have a responsibility for control over finance and control over taxation, and this is not the way to do it. Altogether, there are 201 Amendments or new Clauses on the Notice Paper, every one of which, if selected, if the House is to do its duty, should be properly debated. Of that 201, the Chancellor has put down no fewer that 129.
There has been no case, certainly since the war and, I believe, not in all our fiscal history, when the Chancellor has put down so many Amendments on Report. It may be that one or two are the result of assurances which he gave at an earlier stage that he would consider this or that point, but there are very few of those and I think that they would not reach double figures. Nevertheless, there are 129 Amendments in the name of the Chancellor.
It is not for anyone on either side of the House to question your selection of Amendments for discussion, Mr. Speaker, but it is quite obvious that if there is a limited amount of time available for Report—and on that question I propose to say a word in a moment—the number of Amendments which you feel you can select, and which can reasonably and adequately be considered in that period, will be affected by the number of Amendments in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which, of course, are automatically selected.
Therefore, I suggest that, because of what the Chancellor has done in tabling these Amendments, the House is denied its normal rights, on Report, of putting down and having considered Amendments which will be appropriate both to the Bill itself and to the new Clauses which may be moved from either side of the House. As I have said, in the main these 129 Amendments do not represent reconsideration of points raised in debate in Committee. They represent some 235 administrative or legal muddle between the Treasury and the Law Officers, or whoever is responsible for advising the Chancellor on these legal questions—I do not know whether the Attorney-General wants to take the responsibility for all this or not.
In almost every case they are particularly difficult Amendments. In the main, they are not Amendments which will be easily comprehended by any hon. Member who is not blessed, or cursed, with legal training or great knowledge of accountancy, and yet all of us have the duty of properly considering them.
Many of them were put down by the Chancellor at a late stage and a number of them were put down in a form which made it almost impossible to consider them. I mention those Amendments, for example, where the Chancellor put down one Amendment to a Clause a few days ago and, when one had finally comprehended that, another Amendment was later put dawn which threw the meaning of the Clause in an entirely different direction. That has meant that the amount of preparatory work to be done by hon. Members has been doubled. I therefore feel that we should make it quite clear to the Government—and in this I hope that we shall have the support of hon. Members opposite—that this is not the way to treat the House of Commons when dealing with fiscal legislation.
§ Mr. Wilson
Or any legislation—I quite agree with my right hon. Friend, but I am sure that he will agree that the House has rather more responsibility towards financial legislation.
A great fuss about it, quite rightly and properly, has been kicked up by the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) and other hon. Members at various times this year, and yet we are treated like this and have 129 Amendments which we are supposed to consider and debate adequately.
I wonder whether the Chancellor has made any calculation of how he thinks the House can get through these Amendments in the time. Has he worked it 236 out? If we allowed only 20 minutes for each of the Chancellor's Amendments, we would take 40 hours of debate—more than 40 hours.
§ Mr. Wilson
That allows no time for Divisions, including those genuine Divisions pressed from this side of the House and the "phoney" Divisions called by hon. Members opposite, who do not usually go into the Lobby. I except the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro), who has shown a little more courage this year than in past years, which we very much welcome.
This means that the Government are making no allowance for any Amendments to be moved by anyone from this side of the House or by back benchers opposite. This means 43 hours of uninterrupted debate to get the Bill through the Report stage in two days.
I make it quite plain to the Patronage Secretary that when we agreed to do our best to help him get the Report stage in two days—and we agreed because we considered that the House was rather tired of the Bill—it was not with any understanding that there were to be 129 Government Amendments on Report. At least, we could have expected some intimation that we were to have that kind of Bill. The Patronage Secretary must have known that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General were in such a state of muddle that they were to put down so many Amendments.
I hope that before we are asked to vote on this Recommittal Motion the Chancellor will tell us how he thinks we can get through this business. Does he expect the House to let his Amendments go through on the nod, without adequate debate? Is that what he is hoping to achieve? Or does he hope that, once again, we will bale him out by withdrawing many Amendments, to which we attach importance, so that we can get through in reasonable time? Or is there to be coercion of hon. Members opposite —which so far has not been very effective—
§ Mr. Wilson
—to get them to withdraw, or not to press, their Amendments? What thought has been given by those responsible for these Amendments and for planning the time of the House to the way in which the debate is to be conducted?
If it is considered reasonable that two days be allocated to Report, as has been done in past years when we have had a reasonable division of the time of the House between Government and Opposition and between Opposition and Government back benchers, I wonder how mud time the Chancellor thinks will be left after the Recommittal Motion has been dealt with. Recommittal may or may not be regarded as technically part of the Report stage—and there are always arguments about that—but it is quite clear that some of the Amendments from page 2611 to page 2623 of the Notice Paper, 13 pages of Amendments on Recommittal, are of considerable importance. It is quite clear that the Report stage will not be begun before a fairly late hour tonight. How the Patronage Secretary will then be able to say that we shall have two days on what I would call a genuine Report stage. I do not understand.
For those reasons, unless we get from the Chancellor a clear explanation of how this has happened, and a proper expression of apology to the House for this unprecedented treatment of hon. Members, we shall oppose the Recommittal Motion in the Division Lobby.
I am amazed by what the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. EL Wilson) has said. We are here dealing with complicated, difficult and important matters and with a long Bill, as I made clear to the House when the Bill came before us on Second Reading. This is the first time that I have heard complaint because the Government have listened to what has been said in Committee and have attempted progressively to improve the Bill. I made it perfectly clear at the start of the Committee stage that I should listen to what the Committee said and that I hoped that we would be able to improve the Bill further. We have done exactly that.
The number of Amendments looks formidable on paper, but I think that it will be found that many of them are linked together to form one group. I 238 do not want to cut debate short, but many of the Amendments will be self-explanatory, or almost so, because they give effect to points which we said we would consider.
I am amazed that the right hon. Gentleman, of all people, should complain, because, after listening to what the Committee said, the Government have taken action to improve the Bill still further. I hope that we shall soon start on our work and that we shall continue in that spirit.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have studied the Amendments and that hardly any fall into the category he has mentioned? In the course of our discussions, when we get to the Bill, will he indicate which fall into that category?
§ Mr. Diamond rose—
§ Mr. Speaker
It might be wise if I were to remind the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) that if he wants to move his Amendment in the form that I indicated he must not speak to the main Motion.
§ Mr. Diamond
I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker. It was for that reason that I refrained from rising earlier.
I beg to move, at the end to add:and in respect of the Amendments to Clause 30, page 28, line 29; and Schedule 4, page 72, line 39, standing on the Notice Paper in the name of Mr. Diamond".
§ Mr. Donald Chapman (Birmingham, Northfield)
On a point of order. As you will know, Mr. Speaker, there are about 40 pages of Amendments on the Notice Paper. If it is convenient to ask you now, can you tell us at what time it became known which Amendments would be selected, and whether any list was posted? You will be aware that we have come to the House with 40 pages of Amendments and with most of us having no idea which have been selected. I do not know at what time of the day any list was made available, but we are faced with a formidable list of intensely technical Amendments on which some of us have spent many hours' study, and now we find that many of them will not be discussed. How has the convenience of the House been served in this instance?
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member rose while I was proposing the Question.
Question, That those words be there added, put and agreed to.
§ Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)
On a point of order. I am not clear about the procedure in this case. I understood that you originally suggested to the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) that he should amend his Amendment by limiting it to Clause 30, page 28, line 29 and to Schedule 4, page 72, line 39. I gather that my hon. Friend did not avail himself of that opportunity of amending his Amendment.
§ Mr. Speaker
What I understood the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) to be doing was moving his Amendment in the form in which I had told him I would be prepared to select it. As the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) will realise, that confined the Motion to the Amendments to Clause 30, page 28, line 39 and Schedule 4, page 72, line 39. The Amendment was moved in that form and has now been agreed to by the House.
I now take the opportunity of answering the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman), who asked about the convenience of the House. One seeks to serve the convenience of the House as best may be. As far as I remember, the process of selection by the Chair—and I distinguish myself from the Chairman because I do not know the position with regard to him—was finished about 12 noon. I then dictated the result to the appropriate officer of mine and had it passed out.
In the case of the Chair it is not the practice to publish a list, but I am sorry if that mechanism did not result in the hon. Member's being informed. If he will see me privately, I will find out how and by what means he seeks his information in this case, because I desire to save hon. Members the trouble to which they are otherwise subjected.
§ Mr. Chapman
I am obliged to you for what you have said, Mr. Speaker, but the situation is almost intolerable when we have a list of Amendments as long as this and then find that half of them are not being called. Would it be possible for you to consider some means 240 of informing the House at an earlier time than three or four hours before the debate is due to begin, much of which time is taken up with lunch?
§ Mr. Speaker
I will do all I can to lessen the burden on hon. Members. I have suffered from it miserably myself in relation to Finance Bills. I know the difficulty, and it will be borne in mind, but it is not possible to consider the precise selection until the Notice Paper is complete. That rather imposes a zero hour with regard to the starting time for selection.
§ Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton, South-West)
I beg to move, at the end to add:and in respect of the Amendment to Clause 61, page 52, line 11, standing on the Notice Paper in the name of Mr. J. Enoch Powell".
§ Mr. Fletcher
I oppose the Amendment. I feel that the House is in considerable difficulty about the procedure at which we have now arrived. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Huy-ton (Mr. H. Wilson) said, there are on today's Notice Paper over 200 Amendments and new Clauses, of which over 129 are in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In accordance with the custom of the House we shall no doubt have to deal with, and perhaps debate, each of those Amendments. It is obvious that they will all be called.
In addition to those 129 Amendments there are 72 Amendments on the Notice Paper in the names of my right hon. and hon. Friends and in the names of the hon. Members opposite below the Gangway. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) is now proposing, as an Amendment to the Chancellor's Motion for Recommittal, that the Bill should also be recommitted in respect of an Amendment which he has chosen to put down. I object to that. The House should also object to it, because it is obvious that there is a limit to the time available for discussing the Report stage of this very complicated Finance Bill. As you yourself indicated, Mr. Speaker, you are not prepared to put to the House the Amendment which my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester has put on the Notice Paper—
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) may have put 241 it on the Notice Paper, but it was not put to the House in that form. The hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) is at present confined by the rules of order to the question of the second Amendment to the Chancellor's Motion.
§ Mr. Fletcher
The House will be in a very grave difficulty if it accepts the Amendment to the Chancellor's Motion, because hon. Members will involve themselves in considerations with regard to a timetable. I was pointing out that whereas, according to the Notice Paper, my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester was proposing the Bill's Recommittal in respect of several Amendments, in response to your suggestion he has confined his Amendment to the originally proposed Motion for Recommittal to two Amendments, one to Clause 30 and one to the Fourth Schedule.
I have had an opportunity of considering the Amendment to Clause 61, page 52, line 11, in which the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West is interested. I am not sure whether this consideration applies to the Government Front Bench or tc the Opposition Front Bench, but at this stage back benchers have no means of knowing which Amendments you are proposing to select on Report. You were good enough to make a few observations on that subject to us just now.
When we considered the Finance Bill in Committee the Chairman of Ways and Means, for the convenience of hon. Members, put up a notice in the Lobby indicating which Amendments were to be selected. In so far as the Report stage is concerned we have no means of knowing which of these 72 Amendments are to be called apart from the 129 put down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
I think it reasonable to assume, although I may be wrong, that they will not all be called. I make that assumption because, were they all called, according to my calculations it would take seven or eight days of the sittings of the House to deal with them, in addition 10 the Amendments in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Therefore, if I am correct in assuming that, apart from the 129 Amendments in the name of the Chancellor, the whole 72 242 other Amendments will not be called, it follows, Mr. Speaker, if you have not already done so, that you will have to adopt some process of selection of those Amendments now on the Notice Paper that you are proposing to call for debate in the time which will be available.
I do not know whether that time is limited, but judging from recent history I assume that it is. I feel a great difficulty in supporting the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), because if the Amendment be accepted and if the Bill be recommitted —as I hope it will not be—in respect of the Amendment to Clause 61, page 52, line 11, it follows that that Amendment will have an equal chance with the other 71 of being selected for debate. I think it reasonable to assume that if the Bill is recommitted in respect of that Amendment there is, at any rate, some chance—I put it no higher—that that Amendment might be selected by you for debate.
Were that to happen, it seems to me that it would seriously prejudice the chances of the various Amendments in the names of my right hon. and hon. Friends being called and I attach far more importance to them than I do to the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West. I do not think that it would be appropriate at this stage for me to deploy an argument with regard to the Amendment for the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, but I think it right to say that we are already committed to embark upon a wholly unprecedented discussion of a whole series of highly complicated and controversial Clauses of the Bill. I have never known an occasion when a Finance Bill has been introduced with such little forethought—
§ Mr. Speaker
The observations of the hon. Member must relate to the Amendment to which he is speaking. That has nothing to do with the introduction of the Finance Bill.
§ Mr. Frank Bowles (Nuneaton)
I am glad, Mr. Speaker, that you have cut out some of the Amendments which it was proposed to discuss on Report stage. We are all getting rather tired of the 243 Bill. But I wonder how it is that Mr. Speaker can limit the Amendments to be selected by the Chairman of Ways and Means. Can you, Sir, tell me how it is that you selected the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond)?
§ Mr. Speaker
It seems to me a strange puzzle for one with the hon. Gentleman's great wisdom in this field. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman was not present but I intimated that the only form in which I was prepared to select the hon. Member's Amendment to the Recommittal Motion was in a modified form.
§ Mr. Bowles
I was present and I did hear that, Sir. I am not criticising your action, Mr. Speaker. I am very glad that you were able to limit the number of Amendments selected by the Chairman of Ways and Means. But I was interested to know how it was that you are able to do so.
§ Mr. Speaker
I do not do anything of the kind. I select Amendments to the Motion of the Chancellor for Recommittal of the Bill. That falls within my province. I intimated that I was only prepared to select the first one in a modified form. I do not invent these tortures. This has been done by the House and my predecessors for a long time.
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall (Colne Valley)
Might not it save time and enable us to get on with the real business if you, Mr. Speaker, will intimate whether you will accept the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell)?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. There is here some desperate confusion. The Question was, in fact, proposed by me and discussion on it is going on. That indicates that, so far as the Chair is concerned, the Amendment is acceptable.
§ Mr. Fletcher
If I may interrupt the speech I was making to you, Mr. Speaker, to add a word to that point of order—
§ Mr. Fletcher
I venture to do so only in the interests of the procedural arrangements of the House. Surely it must be 244 right for the House to decide, if it wishes, on what Amendments it is prepared to have a Recommittal Motion agreed. It is your prerogative, Mr. Speaker, to decide what Amendments shall be called. Surely the House must reserve the right to decide questions of Recommittal. Surely the position must be that the Chancellor proposes the Recommittal—
§ Mr. Speaker
I am sorry. I am now confused. The hon. Member is in a position to address the House if he so wishes, or to address me, I suppose, on a point of order. I am not clear what he is doing. I am not appropriating or using any power which the Chair does not already possess. One of them is to select the Amendments to the Recommittal Motion.
§ Mr. Fletcher
I am hoping to address you, Sir, on a point of order. I think that it of great importance in relation to the future conduct of the procedure of this House—the point of order as raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Bowles) and supported by my right hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Glenvil Hall).
As I understand it, the point of order is this. The House, if necessary by a vote, can decide whether or not a Bill shall be recommitted and whether it should be recommitted to the whole House or, if necessary, to a Standing Committee. As I understand it, the House can decide to recommit a Bill either in respect of Amendments proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or by any hon. Member on this or the other side of the House.
Once the House has decided whether or not there should be a Recommittal in respect of certain Amendments, it is then your prerogative, Mr. Speaker, to decide what Amendments shall be called. It seems to me, with respect, that it would be depriving the House of its rights if you were to limit the right of the House on Recommittal, if hon. Members desire and if the House, by a vote, decides, that a Bill shall be recommitted. I suggest, with respect, that is a matter for the House to decide.
If the House decided that it wanted the Bill to be recommitted in respect of all the Amendments on the Notice Paper in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester, the House would be so entitled to decide. The House having done so, you, Mr. Speaker, would be perfectly entitled to decide which 245 Amendments should be called or which should not be called—
§ Mr. Fletcher
With respect, to preserve the rights of the House, I hope that it will be agreed that I have correctly stated the procedural position.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member has got it wrong. The House confers on the Chair certain powers of selection. One of those is to select the Amendments to a Recommittal Motion. That is all that I have purported to do. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman need trouble about it; the books are full of precedents for that kind of operation. I cannot give them to him out of my head, but they can be sorted out at some other time if he is interested. The strict position is that there is an Amendment before the House standing in the name of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell)
§ Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)
I hope that my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) will not persist in his opposition to the Amendment which is before the House. I think that he was very unfair to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell). He suggested that the Amendment should not be pressed, but that the Amendment to the Bill should take its place in relation to other matters discussed on Report, but, as I understand, unless that Amendment is dealt with in Committee, it will not be moved at all.
My hon. Friend desires to be fair to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, but if he suggests that we have already got so much to do that we cannot accept this Amendment, which would add to the amount of work we have to do, my hon. Friend is being unfair because he is blaming the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West for something which actually is the fault of the Government. The effect of the action of the Government in putting down so many Amendments on Recommittal in respect of which you, Mr. Speaker, do not exercise any discrimination the Government think that the Bill should be improved in a particular manner, is that the Government Amendments come automatically before the House.
It is not even the Chancellor of the Exchequer who is at fault. It has been 246 suggested that 129 Government Amendments are involved. If the Chancellor recognises that the Bill is so faulty, it is our duty to put it right. We cannot allow faulty legislation to go forward undiscussed. We must take whatever action is necessary, but the point is that we have not time to discuss it. For some reason or other we have the idea in our heads that we shall not have time. My right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) suggested that if 20 minutes were taken in discussion of each Government Amendment that would take 43 hours, but my right hon. Friend apparently forgot that we might wish to vote against some of those Amendments. My right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton also forgot that, in addition, the Amendments affect 16 Clauses—
§ Mr. Speaker
I think that there is some difficulty about this. May I ask the hon. Member to remember that his observations must be addressed to the particular Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell)?
§ Mr. Ross
Yes, Mr. Speaker, but we have to appreciate that this would be adding to our temporary difficulties over the amount of time available. The position is that after dealing with the Clauses we shall reach the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill". If that applied to the 16 Clauses and to the Schedules, much more than 43 hours would be involved.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
My hon. Friend will realise that I said that to debate these Amendments alone would take 43 hours. I was well aware, indeed I mentioned the point, that more time would be taken in Divisions. Clearly, we should take 60, 70 or 80 hours, at a minimum, for the whole debate. My reference to 43 hours was in relation to the Chancellor's Amendments only.
§ Question, That those words be there added, put and agreed to.
§ Main Question, as amended, again proposed.247
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Ede
I understand we are now able to resume the discussion which was initiated by my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson). I want to add my protest to his at the way in which the House is being treated at this stage of the Bill.
It is customary to regard the Finance Bill as the most important Bill of the year. Generally, it occupies on the Floor of the House more time than any other Bill. I could not have resisted the Amendment moved to the Chancellor's Motion by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), on the sound ground that "dog does not eat dog." He is a back bencher the same as I am. If he wants to get some position for a back bencher which he can only get in this way, I feel bound to support him, even though it might mean that some other matter I wished to discuss might be squeezed out as a result. That is the kind of dog fight we can quite properly get into if we both recognise our canine attitude to the whole matter.
The Government ask us to consider 129 Amendments. Even on the assumption that some of them will be taken together and that, on occasions, the whole of the debate will consist of the right hon. Gentleman or one of the Ministers associated with him merely standing after the first Amendment has been disposed of and saying "Drafting", or, if he cannot understand it at all and the rest of us cannot, saying, "Purely drafting", that would take a very great deal of time. I cannot think that my right hon. Friends who are responsible on this side of the House for dealing with what are called the usual channels could have had any conception that this was the kind of thing that we were to be asked to do when two days were suggested for the Report stage of the Bill.
I am one of those who are opposed to the Finance Bill being taken in Committee upstairs, because I believe that the traditional duty of this House carefully to scrutinise all Government demands for expenditure is one that, even in these days, we must carry out to the best of our ability. I hope that this is not one of the efforts that are being made to prove that the Finance Bill is really too burdensome for the House of Commons to undertake. That is a departure from the historic tradition of 248 the House to which I cannot think that anyone who really respects the traditions of the House could ever contemplate assenting.
Unfortunately, we have had a series of Bills this Session in Committee upstairs when it has been quite clear that the Government had no intention of accepting Amendments. The House was expected to believe that only a Government draftsman can draft a Measure, that any form of words put forward by an ordinary hon. Member can always be dismissed in the words of the Minister, "I do not like the drafting of this. Although the idea is good these words are quite unacceptable." It is the duty of the House of Commons to examine all Bills in Committee, whether upstairs or on the Floor of the House, with meticulous care.
If the Government find that as a result of the arguments to which they have listened it is necessary to amend a Bill —and that, I understand, is the defence of the Chancellor, who tells us that he has been so generous in listening to what my right hon. Friends and others have said—[Interruption.] Some hon. Members opposite expressed their admiration of him at various stages of the Bill in a purely negative form. I am glad that the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) nods in approbation of that, although, curiously enough, on this occasion he confines himself to silent recognition of the accuracy of the statements which are being made about him.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I am just waiting to see what happens. That is the prudent thing to do, having regard to the extraordinary complexity of this situation.
§ Mr. Speaker
I am waiting to be quite sure that we remain within the rules of order. Perhaps I might remind the right hon. Gentleman that the debate on the Recommittal Motion is restricted to the purpose and extent of the proposed recommittal.
§ Mr. Ede
I hope that that was precisely the point which I had reached, although perhaps I may have gone, as is not unusual on these occasions, by a rather devious route to get to that point.
The Chancellor says that he is amazed at my right hon. Friend because the majority of these Amendments have been put down to meet points that are 249 raised by hon. Members. Whether that be so or not, we are faced with the situation that we have a tremendous task in front of us if we are merely to have explanations from the Treasury Bench as to what they propose to do, and we are then left to say, "You have done exactly what we asked, and, therefore, there is no more to say about it." I hope that a future Finance Bill will never come to the Report stage in the condition which this one has reached, and that the House, when it starts on the Report stage, will never again have to contemplate the length of discussion and the number of Amendments that we have to deal with today.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
I beg to move, That the debate be now adjourned.
For nearly an hour we have been debating a question of fundamental con-
§ cern to the rights of the House and of hon. Members, and during all this time the Leader of the House has not thought fit to be present. That is quite scandalous when something of this magnitude has arisen, affecting the responsibilities of the Leader of the House. He should have had something to do with approving or disapproving and considering these things being put on the Notice Paper. We ought to adjourn our debate until some such time as the Leader of the House can see fit to be present to listen to what the House has to say.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to Standing Order No. 26 (Dilatory Motion in abuse of rules of House), put the Question forthwith, That the debate be now adjourned:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 179, Noes 239.253
|Division No. 127.]||AYES||[4.23 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Crey, Charles||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Ainsley, William||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Manuel, A C.|
|Albu, Austen||Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||Mapp, Charles|
|Aliaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Grimond, J.||Marsh, Richard|
|Awbery, Stan||Gunter, Ray||Mason, Roy|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Hall, Rt. Hon, Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Mellish, R. J.|
|Benson, Sir George||Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Boardman, H.||Hannan, William||Millan, Bruce|
|Bowden, Herbert w. (Leics, S.W.)||Hart, Mrs. Judith||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Bowles, Frank||Hayman, F. H.||Monslow, Walter|
|Boyden, James||Hesley, Denis||Moody, A. S.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Henderson, Rt.Hn.Arthur(RwlyRegis)||Morris, John|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Herbison, Miss Margaret||Moyle, Arthur|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Hilton, A. V.||Mulley, Frederick|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Holman, Percy||Neal, Harold|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Holt, Arthur||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Houghton, Douglas||Oliver, G. H.|
|Chapman, Donald||Hoy, James H.||Oswald, Thomas|
|Chetwynd, George||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Owen, Will|
|Cliffe, Michael||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hunter, A. E.||Paton, John|
|Crosland, Anthony||Hynd, H. (Aoorington)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Peart, Frederick|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Pentland, Norman|
|Davies, Ifor (Cower)||Janner, Barnett||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Deer, George||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Probert, Arthur|
|Dempsey, James||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Randall, Harry|
|Diamond, John||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, s.)||Rankin, John|
|Dodds, Norman||Johnston, Douglas (paisley)||Reid, William|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Driberg, Tom||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, Jaok (Rotherham)||Ross, William|
|Ede, Fit. Hon. Chuter||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Royle, Charles (Salford, West)|
|Edelman, Maurloe||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Kelley, Richard||Short, Edward|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||King, Dr. Horace||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Evans, Albert||Lawson, George||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Fitch, Alan||Ledger, Ron||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Fletcher, Eric||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Small, William|
|Foot, Dingle||Lever, L. M. (Ardwiek)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Forman, J. C.||Lipton, Marcus||Snow, Julian|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Logan, David||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||McCann, John||Steele, Thomas|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||MaeColl, James||Stonehouse, John|
|Ginsburg, David||Mclnnes, James||Stones, William|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mahon, Simon||Summerskill, Dr, Rt. Hon. Edith|
|Swain, Thomas||Wainwright, Edwin||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Swingler, Stephen||Warbey, William||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Sylvester, George||Watkins, Tudor||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Taylor, Bernard (Manefield)||Weitzman, David||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Taylor, John (Weit Lothian)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)||Woof, Robert|
|Thomae, lorwarth (Rhondda, W.)||Wheeldon, W. E.||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)||White, Mrs. Eirene||Zilliacus, K.|
|Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)||Whitlock, William|
|Timmons, John||Willey, Frederick||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Tomney, Frank||Williams, D. J. (Neath)||Mr. Redhead and Mr. Cronin.|
|Wade, Donald||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Aitken, W. T.||Glover, Sir Douglas||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)|
|Allason, James||Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||McMaster, Stanley R.|
|Alport, Rt. Hon. C. J. M.||Goodhew, Victor||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)|
|Amory,Rt.Hn.D.Heathcoat(Tiv'tn)||Gower, Raymond||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Grant, Rt. Hon. William (Woodside)||Maddan, Martin|
|Balniel, Lord||Green, Alan||Maginnis, John E.|
|Barber, Anthony||Grimston, Sir Robert||Maitland, Cdr. Sir John|
|Barlow, Sir John||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.|
|Barter, John||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Markham, Major Sir Frank|
|Batsford, Brian||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Marples, Rt Hon. Ernest|
|Beamish, Col. Tufton||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Marshall, Douglas|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Marten, Neil|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)|
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth)||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vers (Macclesf'd)||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)|
|Bidgood, John C.||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Harvey Anderson, Miss||Mawby, Ray|
|Bingham, R. M.||Hay, John||Mills, Stratton|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Niget||Henderson, John (Cathoart)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Bishop, F. P.||Hendry, Forbes||Moore, Sir Thomas|
|Bossom, Clive||Hicks Beach, Maj. W.||Morgan, William|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Hiley, Joseph||Nabarro, Gerald|
|Box, Donald||Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Neave, Alrey|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Nicholls, Harmar|
|Braine, Bernard||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Nugent, Sir Richard|
|Brewis, John||Hirst, Geoffrey||Oakshott, Sir Hendria|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hobson, John||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Brooman-While, R.||Hocking, Philip N.||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Holland, Philip||Osborne, Cyril (Louth)|
|Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)||Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Hopkins, Alan||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Partridge, E.|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Howard, John (Southampton, Test)||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Chataway, Christopher||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Peel, John|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hughes-Young, Michael||Peroival, Ian|
|Clarke, Brig, Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth|
|Cole, Norman||Iremonger, T. L.||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Collard, Richard||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pilkington, Capt. Richard|
|Cooke, Robert||Jackson, John||Pitman, I. J.|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||James, David||Pitt, Miss Edith|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Cordle, John||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho|
|Costain, A. P.||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Joseph, Sir Keith||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Rees, Hugh|
|Critchley, Julian||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Renton, David|
|Crowder, F. P.||Kershaw, Anthony||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Cunningham, Knox||Kirk, Peter||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kitson, Timothy||Robertson, Sir David|
|Dance, James||Lagden, Godfrey||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Roots, William|
|de Ferranti, Basil||Leavey, J. A.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Leburn, Gilmour||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lilley, F. J. P.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan|
|Duncan, Sir James||Lindsay, Martin||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Eden, John||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Sharples, Richard|
|Elliott, R. W.||Litchfield, Capt. John||Shaw, M.|
|Emery, Peter||Longbottom, Charles||Shepherd, William|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Longden, Gilbert||Simon, Sir Jocelyn|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Loveys, Walter H.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fell, Anthony||Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby||Smith, Dudley(Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Smithers, Peter|
|Fisher, Nigel||McAdden, Stephen||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||MacArthur, Ian||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Forrest, George||McLaren, Martin||Speir, Rupert|
|Fraser, Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N.Ayrs.)||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Gammans, Lady||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|George, J. C. (Pollok)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Summers. Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Tapsell, Peter||Vane, W. M. F.||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir John||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret||Vickers, Miss Joan||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)||Wise, A. R.|
|Thomas, Peter (Conway)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Derek||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Tilney, John (Wavertree)||Watts, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Turner, Colin||Wells, John (Maidstone)||Mr. Bryan and Mr. Noble.|
|Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.||Whitelaw, William|
§ Original Question, as amended, again proposed.
§ Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)
I do not think that the House ought to be content either with the absence of the Leader of the House, which it has just supported, or with the fact that there have been so few protests against what is a scandalous state of affairs. Having put, or caused to be put, over 120 Amendments on the Notice Paper, the Chancellor can apparently defend them only by saying that these arise out of Committee proceedings. The plain fact is that the majority of the Amendments do not arise out of Committee proceedings and, accepting, as of course I do, the absolute honesty of the Chancellor, my only conclusion is that he does not know his own Amendments, how they arose, or what is their purpose.
What is the object of taking a Finance Bill in this detail? It is to give hon. Members on both sides of the House an opportunity in Committee to suggest alterations to the Bill in one form or another and to give the Government an opportunity of taking those suggestions on their merits and dealing with them by acceptance, modification or rejection.
The Amendments which we are now asked to consider all come at the very end of the Bill, and in those circumstances private Members have no opportunity, if they make sound criticism, of having that criticism properly considered and dealt with in the way in which Amendments can be dealt with during the Committee stage. It is, therefore, all wrong that on any important Bill this mass of Amendments should turn up at this late stage. It is doubly wrong on the Finance Bill. We must consider how it has happened.
When it was introduced, the Bill bore the signs of not having been properly considered in advance. It departed from the Budget statement. Its language was confined. What it was after was far from clear to those who had to consider what was legal and what was not legal 254 for them to do. It was, of course—it still is—an extremely complicated Bill. It has not been made any simpler by the Amendments which have been introduced from time to time and those which we are now being asked to consider.
I say to the Government, "If you cannot bring in a Finance Bill which is reasonably coherent, clear and static in the sense that you will not depart from it as it goes through the House, then you had better bring in two Finance Bills, rather than try to do it in this muddled way, for the effect of it is that the House as an organ of control over our national expenditure becomes comparatively useless at this stage". Surely that is the last thing we want. Surely hon. Members opposite, who make a fuss about the public control of expenditure, cannot back their own Government in taking this procedural matter in this way and so depriving the House of its opportunity of proper control.
This is a very serious matter. This is a Bill which has been introduced in a hurry and which was ill-considered and ill-digested, and we are asked to accept the consequences of the Government's muddle and confusion. It is disgraceful that we should be asked to do it, and doubly disgraceful that we should be asked to do it on a Finance Bill. It is our duty as the Opposition to stand up for the rights of the House and for the institutions of Parliamentary democracy, and to say to the Government, "This is a method of wrecking effective democracy and effective financial control in this country. Stop it or get out."
§ Mr. Chapman
I have already made my protest, on a point of order to you. Mr. Speaker, about the muddle in which today's proceedings are bound to involve us. When we came to the House today we found that, owing partly to the difficulties which you are in, but mainly to the extraordinary length and complexity of the Government's Amendments, we were faced with 40 pages, mainly of intensely technical, Amendments.
255 We come here ready to discuss some of them as best we can. I am not criticising you, Sir, but we then find that there is no list in the Lobby to show which Amendments are selected, which all adds to the utter confusion. We find that you have to advise an hon. Member to move his Motion in a particular form, depending upon your selection of Clauses and Amendments. In the end, we are bound to go through the day not knowing whether we have prepared in vain, or have come here to do any worth-while business.
The reason I oppose the Motion, as amended, is that in my view it epitomises the case for taking these technical Clauses of the Finance Bill off the Floor of the House, not recommitting them to a Committee of the whole House as the Motion requires, but committing them to a Committee upstairs.
May I give the House a few figures which I have been able to find during an hour's research in the Library? We have occupied about 400 pages of HANSARD on the Committee stage of the Bill. Of those 400 pages, we first occupied 150 pages discussing those things which this House as a House should be discussing—the rate of Income Tax, the rate of Profits Tax, Entertainments Duty, and such subjects as that. We went on to roughly another 150 pages, no fewer, on technical problems of tax evasion, dividend stripping, and evading Income Tax by disguising revenue as capital gains in the form of land and property dealing. We went on for page after page in HANSARD, 150 out of 300, dealing continuously with technical matters, with the House three parts empty and showing no real interest, because it is a Committee function to do the detailed technical job of scrutinising that part of the Bill.
§ Mr. Diamond
I am following my hon. Friend's argument most closely. He has just said that there was scant attendance. In fact, every hon. Member who was present will know that the Government back benches were fuller than I have ever known them for any length of time on any Bill of any kind, and I would like to ask my hon. Friend which Committee he had in mind that could accommodate all the hon. Members who wanted to take part?
§ Mr. Chapman
My hon. Friend will recall that the benches opposite—and I do not wish to make a strongly partisan point here—were full mainly when we were dealing with hobby farming, and virtually only then. It was that that really packed the Committee at that time—
§ Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North-West)
When we discussed the whole of the Commonwealth yesterday, there were generally about five Labour Members present in the afternoon and evening.
§ Mr. Chapman
I am not talking about yesterday, but about the Finance Bill; and whether we should spend, not one day on the Commonwealth but six, nine and 12 days every year in Committee on the Finance Bill when such large sections of it are so intensely technical.
That is what happened in Committee. Let us look now at what is happening today. We have 40 pages of Amendments. From the late information I have received, Mr. Speaker, I gather that you have not selected 10 pages of the Amendments. That leaves 30 pages. I find that 16 of those 30 pages are mainly, again, to do with tax avoidance, and technical matters involving Clauses 19 to 32.
It is really farcical. Not only do we come here today not knowing whether Amendments are selected, and being involved in last-minute preparation, but we are now in the situation that for six or eight hours—perhaps longer—we must debate technical matters that should be dealt with at leisure in a Standing Committee for two and a half hours at a time—which is the usual length of time that Committees sit—with ample time for reflection and preparation in between. That is the proper way to handle technical matters like this.
My right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) said that he did not believe that the Finance Bill should be sent to a Committee. I hope that, on reflection, he will agree, as many hon. Members will agree, that the real job of scrutinising taxation of major moment should remain on the Floor of the House, but that when technical matters are contained in a Bill of such length and complexity as this year's Finance Bill those matters should be dealt with in a Committee; that we should turn to that procedure which, I 257 think, was envisaged by the Select Committee on Procedure, taking perhaps half the Bill on the Floor of the House and the other half in a Committee.
I hope very sincerely, because I have done some work on the Bill, that this year will mark the watershed, and that if we are ever again in for Bills like this we will discuss the whole question of whether part, at least, should be dealt with in a Committee—
§ Mr. H. Wilson
I hope that my hon. Friend will acknowledge that whether the main part of the Committee stage should be taken in a Committee or on the Floor of the House—and here I very much agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) — the position seems to be—under this Government, with the deplorable legal advice they seem to be getting, and the muddle that the Treasury is in—we should still face a prolonged Recommittal and Report stage, wherever the Committee was.
§ Mr. Chapman
That remains for discussion on another occasion, but I hope that my right hon. Friend will agree thus far; that if there is a case for taking part of the Finance Bill in a Committee—
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Chapman
My right hon. Friend should be a little more generous than that. He should admit that one sometimes has to consider whether, if there might be a case for something like that, today's example might be a good one to quote. In other words, if there ever was a case at all, I would say that the experience this year will be one of the best examples we shall be able to bring forward in support of arguing that it is necessary that part, at least, of the Bill should be dealt with in a Committee.
I agree, of course, with my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) that on this occasion, under this Government, we might have been faced 258 with another long Recommittal procedure, but we would first have had an opportunity to deal with it in a Committee. If that had been done, we would have sat for two and a half hours at a time, with many technical people debating and exploring the technicalities, and there would have been that interval in which the Government could have had second thoughts. I would have helped in that respect.
However, we are debating this Recommittal Motion. I restate my belief that Parliament is not well served by conducting its business in this way, and I hope that this is the last year we shall get into such a muddle.
Since the right hon. Gentleman spoke, I have not had time to analyse in detail the Amendments and new Clauses, but I am still of the opinion that the majority of those put down by the Government are the result of, and stem from, considerations during the Committee stage. We tried to put them down in as good time as we could, and most of them have been down for some days. In view of the harmonious proceedings that we have had so far, I would have expected that, if he was dissatisfied, the right hon. Gentleman would have made his approaches to me and not have waited until today.
So far, we have got through our business on the Bill with reasonable despatch and in reasonable time. I hope that we shall continue that spirit, and apply ourselves now without further expenditure of time to the formidable task—as I admit and agree that it is—that lies ahead of us.
§ Mr. Fletcher
The Chancellor has made a most extraordinary statement. He started by saying that he had not had time to analyse the Amendments that he has put down—
§ Mr. Fletcher
Surely the Chancellor should have analysed them before my right hon. Friend spoke. For the right hon. Gentleman to admit that he has not analysed—
I think that the hon. Gentleman is not being reasonable. 259 What I meant by "analysing" was analysing which Amendments arise directly from our considerations in Committee, and which have been put down for other reasons. It was purely that analysis to which I was referring, and I think that every other hon. Member of the Committee was quite clear about that.
§ Mr. Fletcher
I am very sorry. My natural inclination is to try to be generous to the Chancellor and always to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he does not make matters very easy for me.
When the right hon. Gentleman first addressed the Committee in support of the Recommittal Motion he should have known how many of these 129 Amendments were the result of proposals made from this side, and how many resulted from other causes. We have taken the trouble to analyse these 129 Amendments and, lest there may be any misunderstanding about it, I say that the whole burden of our complaint on the Recommittal Motion is that the overwhelming majority of the 129 Amendments in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer do not arise as a result of constructive suggestions that we have made.
A few of them do, but the overwhelming majority of them are purely and simply the result of muddle and mismanagement and mistakes by the Chancellor and by the Treasury in the Bill they produced. Most of them flow directly from the failure of the Chancellor, the Attorney-General and his advisers to produce this Bill to Parliament in a proper form. They are the result of discoveries, at a late stage, of legal and technical Amendments that must be made by the Government to make some parts of the Bill intelligible. The whole burden of our protest is that the Chancellor and the Government are really treating the House with contempt. They are introducing a most technical and complicated Bill which has been discussed in Committee, and, at this very late stage, they have discovered that Clause after Clause is neither intelligible nor valid unless subjected to the 129 Amendments tabled for the Report stage.
We should be failing in our duty if we did not make it plain to the country that this is the kind of muddled adminis- 260 tration in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is leading us. It makes it very difficult for the House of Commons to carry out its traditional duty of criticising the fiscal policy of the Government. What has happened? Since the Bill passed its Committee stage, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has raised the Bank Rate. He has introduced a credit squeeze. He has altered the whole fiscal policy. Now we are being asked to decide on 129 Amendments of a technical character.
To make things worse, we were asked before we knew the bulk, volume and complexity of the Amendments to try to do all this in two days. I am not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman has announced his desire to resign from his office. I have every sympathy with him. The only thing puzzling me is the curious competition between the Minister of Education and the Minister of Housing and Local Government to succeed him.
§ Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr)
On a point of order. Can one protest at this series of competitive speeches, even using exactly the same language as the speech made by the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison)?
§ Mr. H. Wilson
On a point of order. Since many of the Clauses in respect of which Recommittal is being asked of the House involve administration by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and since we have come to accept, over a period, certain assurances given by the right hon. Gentleman that he will administer these Clauses in this or that particular way, I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that it is relevant for my hon. Friend to raise the point that at the very moment when we are being asked to recommit we do not even know who the next Chancellor of the Exchequer will be. Since it would appear relevant for my hon. Friend to say that, I wish to ask him why he confined himself to those two right hon Gentlemen—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Since I have ruled the hon. Member for Islington, 261 East (Mr. Fletcher) out of order, I cannot allow the right hon. Gentleman to go out of order rather worse on the same Motion. I am not of the opinion that succession to the Chancellorship, if any, is a matter in order on the Question before the House.
§ Mr. Fletcher
If that is your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to pursue for a moment the question of the successor to the Chancellorship, if any. I desire to say this, because it is relevant to the Recommittal Motion. I can quite understand—indeed, I can sympathise with—the desire of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to resign from the heavy burden of his office in view of the intolerable confusion which the present Finance Bill has produced.
I do not criticise the right hon. Gentleman. I sympathise with him. I quite understand his emotions and sentiments. It must have been an intolerable strain to think out, draft and table 129 Amendments to a Bill which he produced as recently as two or three months ago, knowing when he did so that under the provisions of the "Gibson Bowles Act"—I say that without any disrespect to my hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Bowles)—unless the Bill was carried into law within a certain time the Resolutions which the House passed at the end of his Budget speech so that they could have the effect of law would cease to have the effect of law.
§ Mr. Fletcher
I can understand the difficulties, trials and tribulations which the right hon. Gentleman must have had to suffer in the last few months knowing that this voluminous and complex Bill with all its technicalities is based on Resolutions which will be in force for a limited time unless the House carries the Bill.
We are being asked now to rush 129 Amendments through in two days. I do not think that this is treating the House of Commons with respect. Sometimes the House is criticised in the Press for not doing its elementary duty of controlling the Government in matters of finance. I am most anxious that we 262 should fulfil our duty. I am anxious that we should not connive at complicated measures of finance being passed into law without adequate and full opportunities of discussing them.
I am appalled at the suggestion that the right hon. Gentleman should come here this afternoon and propose a Recommittal Motion in the unexplained absence of the Leader of the House. No reason has been given why the Leader of the House is not here to support the Chancellor of the Exchequer and justify the extraordinary precipitousness in dealing with this complicated matter. We have a duty to the country. We know that the Chancellor is tired. We know that the Government are tired.
Further than that, we know that they are trying to camouflage their deficiencies and negligence by trying to deflect the attention of the public to other matters. It is obvious that the one serious matter on which the attention of the public ought to be concentrated at present is the deficiencnes of this Government, and notably the deficiencies and muddle of the Government in dealing with the finances of this country and not having any coherent fiscal policy.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I must rely on the hon. Gentleman's discretion to remain within the rules of order.
§ Mr. Fletcher
I apologise, Mr. Speaker, if I am carried away. If I am carried away, it is only because I feel so strongly that it is in the interests of the country to resist the Recommittal Motion. I resist the Motion because I think that it is typical of the conduct of the Government. It is the kind of thing which this country, if well informed, would want to condemn tooth and nail, because it is symbolic—
§ Mr. Fletcher
It is not only intolerable. It is symbolic of the methods to which the Government have descended.
§ Mr. Fletcher
It is symbolic of their attitude in trying to put through complicated fiscal legislation of this kind in a great rush and trying to pretend that these matters are so technical that they 263 do not bear examination. Having presented the Finance Bill in April, on 5th July the right hon. Gentleman comes forward in a white sheet, without a glimmer of excuse, without the support of the Leader of the House, with the tentative support of the Attorney-General in a very belated manner, and moves this Motion.
For the right hon. Gentleman, now on the eve of his resignation, with which we all sympathise, to put forward this preposterous plan and ask the House to carry it through in a day and a half is typical of the depths to which the Government will sink. I hope that the House will reject the Motion as a condemnation of the total inadequacy of the Government to look after the fiscal affairs of the country.
§ Mr. George Wigg (Dudley)
On a point of order. I would not have intervened in the debate had it not been for the running stream of comments from the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro).
§ Mr. Speaker
That is not in order on this Question. Perhaps the hon. Member will get on to something else.
§ Mr. Speaker
I did not hear them. There are some hon. Members who seem to find it difficult to listen, but I should be obliged if the hon. Member will confine himself to the Recommittal Motion.
§ Mr. Wigg
Needless to say, I will adhere to your direction, Mr. Speaker. But I must point out that the hon. Member for Kidderminster does not exactly whisper. I can only note with regret that the more offensive of his comments escaped your attention. It is not only what he said, but what he did. I understood that it was a requirement of the customs of the House that an hon. Member should take his place and keep it, but the hon. Gentleman, to my observation, has sat in one place and then another, twice he went out and then returned to his seat—
§ Mr. Speaker
I still have difficulty in relating the peregrinations of the hon. 264 Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) to the Motion.
§ Mr. Wigg
These remarks, Mr. Speaker, are directed to points of order both in relation to what the hon. Member said and what he did, although both may have escaped your notice.
One can understand that the hon. Member for Kidderminster is in a mood of joy today because he has been elected one of the best dressed men of the year. I congratulate him, but for one awful moment I noticed a hole in his sock. He must be careful. I congratulate the hon. Member today because, a year ago, he spent a great deal of time and money on it but he was pipped at the post by the President of the Board of Trade. I can never understand just—
§ Mr. Speaker
I am very sorry but, although I have many responsibilities in the Chair, I cannot yet follow why this is a point of order.
§ Mr. Wigg
I have now left the point of order, Sir, and I was coming on to my general remarks.
The hon. Member for Kidderminster failed last year to achieve what is, after all, his lifelong ambition, to be a tailor's dummy. The President of the Board of Trade succeeded. I presume that both are now candidates to become Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is only right to point out that they need one qualification for that office which a tailor's dummy does not need, that is to say, integrity.
§ Mr Wigg
Yes, and intelligence.
If the hon. Member for Kidderminster had possessed both those qualifications, he would have come to the House of Commons today and not sat there making offensive remarks at my hon. Friends but would have risen to his feet and expressed the concern which any hon. Member should feel about the rights of the House of Commons. The procedure which the Government are forcing through today is an offence against the rights of the House. This kind of thing is happening week by week and month by month. The rights of hon. Members are being whittled away. The whole thing is treated as a piece of buffoonery. Nothing is reported about it. But, in the times in which we 265 live, democracy is on trial, and today it has received another blow.
If there was one task which I should have expected the hon. Member for Kidderminster to show concern about, it would be the watch-dog function of the House of Commons over finance. The procedures which the Government have produced today are a travesty, and I am sure that the Patronage Secretary, for whom I have great respect, ought, before he goes to sleep tonight, to have a look at the precedent which he is establishing today. Although we understand that the Chancellor is not to be with us much longer, he surely is concerned for the rights of the House of Commons and its privileges, and I should have thought that the wisest thing would be for the Government to agree to accept a Motion for the Adjournment of the House, to think again, and do the job in accordance with our ancient traditions.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
The last thing the Patronage Secretary can hope to do is to go to sleep tonight.
I do not want to prolong the debate unduly, but I wish to express agreement with what my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) has just said.
§ Mr. Wilson
No, about the levity with which some hon. Members opposite treat what is a very serious matter affecting the rights of the House and of hon. Members. I ask right hon. and hon. Members opposite what their attitude would have been if a Labour Chancellor, ten years ago, had come to the House of Commons at the Report stage with 129 Amendments after an unprecedented number of re-thinks, changes of view and changes of drafting in Committee. Of course, they would have kept the House up all night, night after night dealing with the thing. Now, we have a situation where hon. Members opposite—I am not referring just to the buffooning of the hon. Member for Kidderminister (Mr. Nabarro) who has just walked out, but to others from whom we should expect a rather more serious approach—treat the matter before us this afternoon quite lightly. We have had no protest from hon. Members on the benches opposite.
266 Another thing to which attention should be drawn is the fact that the Leader of the House has not seen fit to be here for this important debate. He should have been here for two reasons. First, he represents the House as a whole and he should be concerned about the rights of hon. Members in all parts of it. Secondly, he has a very real responsibility for the planning of the Parliamentary timetable. It is he who tells us each week what is to be debated next week. He must bear a very heavy responsibility. He had enough power, if he wanted to use it, to tell the Chancellor that he was not standing for this. He had enough power, if he wanted to use it, when he saw what was happening, to get the Chancellor and the Attorney-General and bang their heads together at an earlier stage to induce them to produce something reasonable earlier in the year to enable the House to deal with it properly. Apparently, the right hon. Gentleman has such scant regard for his duties that he feels it necessary neither to be here nor to send an apology or an adequate explanation for his absence.
We understand that Ministers sometimes have to be elsewhere, but we have today been debating one of the fundamental issues in the control of the House of Commons over the Executive and over finance. Also, we have been holding the Government to account for what has been an unprecedented muddle in the drafting of the Finance Bill. I should have thought that the Chancellor or someone would have told us when, in past years, we have a Finance Bill which had so many Amendments of this character. Of course, the answer probably is that there has never been one in all history.
Where do the Government think they are going in the matter of the timetable? We are asked to recommit. I suggest that Recommittal involves the reconsideration of a great number of Clauses. If we decide not to recommit, we shall be able to make faster progress and deal with the Report stage properly. My hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) referred to the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913. All of us know that this Bill has to receive the Royal Assent within four months of the Budget day Resolutions. Budget day was 267 4th April. This means that by 4th August the Bill must have gone through all its stages.
By convention and custom over many years, it has been usual for the Finance Bill to be in another place for one month before the four months elapse. I know that during the last year or two the Government have fallen down badly on that, but, nevertheless, we are here asked to arrogate to ourselves the right to hold up the Bill still further by this unnecessary recommittal purely because the Chancellor failed to discover earlier that he needed all these Amendments or, if he did discover it, because the Attorney-General was a little unproductive and lethargic in producing the drafts required.
We are entitled to know, before we take this step and recommit, when the Chancellor knew that all these Amendments were necessary. Did he know at the time of the Committee stage? He has tried to spin the yarn about the Amendments being due to assurances he had given. When he was pressed about this, he said that he thought that the Committee would want him to improve the Bill and he now says that all these Amendments are designed to improve it. Did anyone think that the Chancellor would put down Amendments designed to worsen the Bill? Obviously, he put them down because he thought he would improve the Bill.
Whose Bill is it that the Chancellor wants to improve? It is his own. He has had many opportunities at every stage to ensure that the Bill would be in an adequate state for consideration by the House. After all, he had six months between the election and Budget day to consider what he wanted to introduce in the House, and between Budget day and the presenting of the Finance Bill he had a lot more time. Why has he taken all this time to decide what is the appropriate form of words?
Apart from the new Clauses, the Bill completed its Committee stage before the Whitsun Recess. Was it or was it not then clear to the Chancellor that all these Amendments would be needed? If it was clear, why did the Leader of the House propose that we should take a fortnight off at Whitsun so that hon. Members opposite could go to Ascot? 268 I except from my remarks here my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede). We all know of his long service and we are all prepared to exempt him on special occasions of that kind. I know something of what my right hon. Friend did at that time, and we had a long discussion about it But, in order that hon. Members opposite could get that week off to go to Ascot, we have had to rush the concluding stages of the Bill so that the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913, could be honoured. The co-operation on the Bill has been unique in the history of Finance Bills. Time after time we withdrew Amendments during the Committee stage. Time after time I asked my hon. Friends not to pursue a particular point so that we could make progress with the Bill. In spite of all that and after agreeing that we would try to complete the Report stage in two days, we are faced with this activity on the part of the Chancellor.
Why could not the right hon. Gentleman have made it clear to the House before the Whitsun Recess that this would be the position? If he had, I am sure that a different attitude would have been adopted towards the extra week which the Patronage Secretary gave to hon. Members opposite.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke-on-Trent, South)
Throughout the passages of Erskine May dealing with the Finance Bill it is made clear that the House of Commons is the supreme authority for dealing with matters of finance. I should like to ask my right hon. Friend whether there has been adequate consultation on the Bill. If he accepts my premise with regard to past practice in the House, should not there have been consultation so that adequate time could be provided for a reasoned consideration of the Bill?
§ Mr. Wilson
My hon. Friend is very suspicious about consultations on adequate time being given to the Bill. I want to tell him straight away that, so far as I am aware, there has been no consultation between the two sides of the House about the content of the Notice Paper. There were consultations in which we indicated the hope that we could complete the Report stage in two days, but that was on the assumption that normal time would be allowed to debate the Amendments which we tabled 269 and any other Amendments. It was never understood and nor were we at any time given any indication that we would be faced with an unprecedentedly heavy Notice Paper on Recommital and the Report stage.
I do not wish to detain the House any further. In view of the highly unsatisfactory procedure which has been followed and the utter failure of the Government to be able to produce a Bill drafted in such a way that it could stand up even to their own rather uncritical examination for more than a fortnight at a time, in view of the discourtesy shown to the House by the Leader of the House in not being
§ present, and in view of our concern to assert the rights of the House as a whole and of hon. Members on both sides of the House individually over matters of finance, we intend to oppose the Motion.
§ Original Question, as amended, put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 256, Noes 185.273
|Division No. 128.]||AYES||[5.13 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||de Ferranti, Basil||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Jackson, John|
|Allason, James||Drayson, G. B.||James, David|
|Alport, Rt. Hon. C. J. M.||Duncan, Sir James||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Amory,Rt.Hn.D.Heathcoat(Tiv'tn)||Eden, John||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Elliott, R. W.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Emery, Peter||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey|
|Balniel, Lord||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)|
|Barber, Anthony||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Joseph, Sir Keith|
|Barlow, Sir John||Fell, Anthony||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.|
|Barter, John||Finlay, Graeme||Kerby, Capt. Henry|
|Batsford, Brian||Fisher, Nigel||Kerr, Sir Hamilton|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Beamish, Col. Tufton||Forrest, George||Kirk, Peter|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)||Fraser, Hn. Hugh(Stafford & Stone)||Kitson, Timothy|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Lagden, Godfrey|
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth)||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Leavey, J. A.|
|Bidgood, John C.||Gammans, Lady||Leburn, Gilmour|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gardner, Edward||Lilley, F. J. P.|
|Bingham, R. M.||George, J. C. (Pollok)||Lindsay, Martin|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Glover, Sir Douglas||Linstead, Sir Hugh|
|Bishop, F. P.||Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Litchfield, Capt. John|
|Bossom, Clive||Goodhew, Victor||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Gower, Raymond||Longbottom, Charles|
|Box, Donald||Grant, Rt. Hon. William(Woodside)||Longden, Gilbert|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Green, Alan||Loveys, Walter H.|
|Braine, Bernard||Grimston, Sir Robert||Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby|
|Brewis, John||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||McAdden, Stephen|
|Bryan, Paul||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||MacArthur, Ian|
|Bullard, Denys||Harris, Reader (Heston)||McLaren, Martin|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia|
|Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy(Bute&N.Ayrs.)|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Harvey, John (Walthamstowe, E.)||McLean, Neil (Inverness)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)|
|Channon, H. P. G||Hay, John||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)|
|Chataway, Christopher||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||McMaster, Stanley R.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Hendry, Forbes||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)|
|Cole, Norman||Hicks Beach, Maj. W.||Maddan, Martin|
|Collard, Richard||Hiley, Joseph||Maginnis, John E.|
|Cooper, Robert||Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Maitland, Cdr. Sir John|
|Cooper, A. E.||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Markham, Major Sir Frank|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Hirst, Geoffrey||Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest|
|Cordle, John||Hobson, John||Marshall, Douglas|
|Corfield, F. V.||Hocking, Philip N.||Marten, Neil|
|Costain, A. P.||Holland, Philip||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)|
|Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Hopkins, Alan||Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Critchley, Julian||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Mawby, Ray|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Howard, John (Southampton, Test)||Mills, Stratton|
|Cunningham, Knox||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hughes-Young, Michael||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Dance, James||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Moore, Sir Thomas|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Iremonger, T. L.||Morgan, William|
|Nabarro, Gerald||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Neave, Airey||Robertson, Sir David||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Nicholls, Harmar||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool,S.)||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|Nugent, Sir Richard||Robson Brown, Sir William||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Roots, William||Turner, Colin|
|Ormsby Gore, Rt. Hon. D.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Osborne, John (Hallam)||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Osborne, Cyril (Louth)||Scott-Hopkins, James||van Straubenzee, W. R,|
|Page, John (Harrow, West)||Sharples, Richard||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Shaw, M.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir John|
|Partridge, E.||Shepherd, William||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Simon, Sir Jocelyn||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Peel, John||Skeet, T. H. H.||Wakefield, Sir Waveil(St. M'lebone)|
|Percival, Ian||Smith, Dudley(Br'ntf'rd & Chiswiok)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Derek|
|Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Smithers, Peter||Wall, Patrick|
|Pike, Miss Mervyn||Smyth,Brig. Sir John (Norwood)||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Pilkington, Capt. Richard||Spearman, Sir Alexander||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Pitman, I. J.||Speir, Rupert||Watts, James|
|Pitt, Miss Edith||Stevens, Geoffrey||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Powell, J. Enoch||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)||Whitelaw, William|
|Price, David (Eastleigh)||Storey, Sir Samuel||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho||Studholme, Sir Henry||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Proudfoot, Wilfred||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Rawlinson, Peter||Tapselt, Peter||Wise, A. R.|
|Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Rees, Hugh||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Renton, David||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Ridley, Hon. Nicholas||Thomas, Peter (Conway)||Mr. Brooman-White and Mr. Noble.|
|Abse, Leo||Grimond, J.||Mellish, R. J.|
|Ainsley, William||Gunter, Ray||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Albu, Austen||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Millan, Bruce|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Awbery, Stan||Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Monslow, Walter|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Hannan, William||Moody, A. S.|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Hart, Mrs. Judith||Morris, John|
|Benson, Sir George||Hayman, F. H.||Moyle, Arthur|
|Boardman, H.||Healey, Denis||Mulley, Frederick|
|Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics. S.W.)||Henderson, Rt.Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Neal, Harold|
|Bowles, Frank||Herbison, Miss Margaret||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)|
|Boyden, James||Hilton, A. V.||Oliver, G. H.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Holman, Percy||Oswald, Thomas|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Holt, Arthur||Owen, Will|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Houghton, Douglas||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Hoy, James H.||Parkin, B. T. (Paddington, N.)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Paton, John|
|Callaghan, James||Hunter, A. E.||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Chapman, Donald||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Peart, Frederick|
|Cliffe, Michael||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Pentland, Norman|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Cronin, John||Janner, Barnett||Probert, Arthur|
|Crosland, Anthony||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Randall, Harry|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Reid, William|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech(Wakefield)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Deer, George||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Delargy, Hugh||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Ross, William|
|Dempsey, James||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Royle, Charles (Salford, West)|
|Diamond, John||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Dodds, Norman||Kelley, Richard||Short, Edward|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Kenyon, Clifford||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. Chuter||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Edelman, Maurice||King, Dr. Horace||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Ledger, Ron||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)||Small, William|
|Evans, Albert||Lipton, Marcus||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Fitch, Alan||Logan, David||Snow, Julian|
|Fletcher, Eric||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Soskioe, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Foot, Dingle||McCann, John||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Forman, J. C.||MacColl, James||Steele, Thomas|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||McInnes, James||Stonehouse, John|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Stones, William|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mahon, Simon||Summerskill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Edith|
|Ginsberg, David||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Swain, Thomas|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Manuel, A. C.||Swingler, Stephen|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mapp, Charles||Sylvester, George|
|Grey, Charles||Marsh, Richard||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Mason, Roy||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||Mayhew, Christopher||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)||Wheeldon, W. E.||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Timmons John||White, Mrs. Elrene||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Tomney, Frank||Whitlook, William||Woof, Robert|
|Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn||Wigg, George||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Wade, Donald||Willey, Frederick||Zilliaous, K|
|Wainwright, Edwin||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Warbey, William||Williams, Rev. LI. (Abertillery)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Watkins, Tudor||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)||Mr. Lawson and Mr. Redhead.|
|Weitzman, David||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
§ Bill immediately considered in Committee.
§ [Sir GORDON TOUCHE in the Chair]