HC Deb 05 July 1960 vol 626 cc383-95
Mr. Milian

I beg to move, in page 72, line 39, to leave out "one-twentieth" and to insert "three-eightieths."

The Fourth Schedule deals with compensation for loss of office. The Committee will recall that the first £5,000 paid as compensation for loss of office is not assessable to tax under the Bill. Apart from the £5,000, however, there can be substituted a standard capital superannuation benefit, which is calculated under the Schedule. In calculating the standard capital superannuation benefit, what is done is that an allowance of one-twentieth of the annual salary averaged over the last three years of service is allowed for each year of service. If, however, we compare the calculation of this notional lump sum, called the standard capital superannuation benefit. under the Schedule with a roughly similar provision for approved superannuation schemes—that is, superannuation schemes approved for taxation purposes—we have the difference that the lump sum payment under an approved scheme is calculated on roughly a fraction of three-eightieths, whereas the lump sum payment under the Fourth Schedule is calculated on a fraction of one-twentieth.

We are entitled to know why there should be this distinction between the standard capital superannuation benefit and the normal provisions which are made for approved superannuation schemes. After all, we are trying to put people who suffer loss of office and who get these compensation payments, which come under Clause 36 of the Bill, on roughly a similar footing for taxation purposes as other people who get lump sums under approved superannuation schemes.

This is a point which I raised on the Schedule in Committee. At that time, the Financial Secretary replied that In some circumstances"— he was dealing with approved superannuation schemes— the fraction might be slightly more than three-eightieths. Since it is necessary for the purposes of the Schedule to have a simple fraction, one-twentieth has been chosen as a sort of rounded-up figure."—(OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th May, 1960; Vol. 624, c. 790.] That strikes me as an utterly inadequate explanation.

Why is it necessary, for the purposes of the Schedule, to have a simple fraction? There is nothing else in the Schedule which is the least bit simple and there does not seem to be the least necessity to have a simple fraction here. In any event, if we want a simple fraction, the nearest simple fraction to three-eightieths is not one-twentieth, but one-twenty-fifth. Three-eightieths is 3¾ per cent. To round that up, we get a figure of 4 per cent., which is one-twenty-fifth. In the Schedule, we have a rounding-up of 3¾ per cent. to 5 per cent. That is quite unnecessary and indefensible.

The point is by no means a small one. If we calculated a standard capital superannuation benefit under the Schedule as it stands at a rate of 5 per cent. for each year of service or one-twentieth and the standard capital superannuation benefit amounted to £10,000, which it might do, to calculate at 3¾ per cent. or three-eightieths the equivalent figure would be £7,500. This is by no means an extravagant example. It is the sort of example which is likely often to arise in practice.

10.30 p.m.

It really does make a considerable difference to Clause 36 and the Fourth Schedule whether the sum which is allowed tax-free is either, say, £10,000 on the one hand or £7,500 on the other. I do think that the explanation we were given when this matter was raised previously in Committee was quite inadequate. There may be a better explanation; if so, I hope we shall hear it tonight; but to say that it is necessary for the purposes of this Schedule to have a simple fraction and then to take one-twentieth as a sort of "rounded-up figure" seems to me to be not giving the Committee the sort of explanation the Committee really requires. I hope that the Committee will press this Amendment on the Government

Sir E. Boyle

My remarks on an earlier Amendment that there would be an occasion later in the proceedings on the Bill for prize giving lead me now to say I gladly award the hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Milian) his prize at this moment. Especially when one considers that he is taking part for the first time in proceedings on a Finance Bill. Certainly a prize is due to the hon. Member if only for his proficiency on the Fourth Schedule, which is not one of the more immediately accessible parts of this year's Finance Bill. I would also say to the Committee, in view of the quotation from one of my own speeches, not, I suspect, as the result of independent research, by Mr. Harold Wincott in the Financial Times and also by the Star, that I am going to take special care over the commas when seeing how my speeches on the Schedule are reported on Report.

I have looked at the matter again since we discussed it in Committee before. I certainly think it is necessary, as I said, that we have here a simple fraction. There is an additional argument which I did not put before why I think this fraction of one-twentieth is not an unreasonable one.

It is quite true that the figure of three-eightieths which is proposed in the Amendment is the figure which obtains in the Civil Service Superannuation Scheme. On the other hand, I think it is worth remembering how that fraction of three-eightieths appeared in that scheme. The lump sum produced by the application of this fraction, namely, three-eightieths, was originally about one-quarter in value of the total retirement benefit, and so the general practice in the case of approved superannuation schemes is to permit the lump sum equal to one-quarter in value of the value of the total retirement benefit.

Of course, in recent years there has been some increase in the expectation of life, and that has resulted in the calculation on this basis being somewhat more generous than the calculation based on the three-eightieths of retirement salary. So I think, having looked at it again, that acceptance of the Amendment would mean that the lump sum exempted in the Fourth Schedule to this Bill would be somewhat less generous than most individuals would have got under an approved scheme if there had been one.

I can only repeat to the Committee that I think that the figure of one-twentieth we are proposing is not an unreasonable one. I think that my description of it as an "approximated and rounded up figure" was reasonable, particularly so because we have to have a simple figure for administrative purposes. I do not think myself that there is any great advantage in having any intermediate figure between three-eightieths and one-twentieth. Having considered this matter again, while I understand that the hon. Member has not changed his view, I can only give the Committee my own advice that the fraction we originally proposed of one-twentieth is not an unreasonable fraction to accept.

Mr. Mitchison

There was certainly not a little circumlocution about that. The short answer to the talk about the simple fraction is that it does not lie in the mouth of a Government who keep Income tax at a standard rate of 7s. 9d. in the £ to talk too much about simple fractions; for 7s. 6d. is one side and 8s. is the other, and whichever be the rate either is more simple than 7s. 9d.

Really that sort of argument is quite unconvincing. I should have thought that if we have three-eightieths in the Civil Service arrangement it is better on that account. I should have thought that if we are to lean to one side or the other in this figure it is better to lean to the lower fraction, for the reason that what the Government are doing here is exempting people from a provision designed to limit severely the golden handshake operation—an operation which I should not have thought anybody in the Committee would approve. [Interruption]. Well, I do not know about the other side of the Committee, but that is what we on this side would say. In these circumstances I would much prefer three-eightieths, first because it is nearer the truth, secondly because it is the Civil Service figure, and thirdly because the defence put up for one-twentieth, with great respect to the Financial Secretary for whom I have the highest esteem, is completely bogus from beginning to end.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

The Financial Secretary said earlier that he would distribute prizes. When he began I gathered that one was about to be given during the speech he made on the Amendment. He indicated more or less that what my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) said covered everything, and then he ended by neither distributing the prize nor accepting the Amendment. Where are we on the Amendment? Surely the hon. Gentleman does not propose to leave it there.

Mr. J. T. Price

I do not wish to be unfair to the Financial Secretary, who usually comes well briefed to the Committee with some evidence of having done his homework, and very difficult it is at times. But surely this sort of argument in trying to defend this proposition is not worthy of him. It is no use his trying to bluff his way through this and confuse us by quoting mortality figures and the impact of the improvement in those figures on this question. It is a quite irrelevant argument.

Stripped of its superficialities, this is a simple question. It is that under existing arrangements superannuitants who take part of their benefit as a lump sum are given the existing concession of three-eightieths. It has been the constant endeavour of many people who are professionally and technically interested in superannuation funds to limit as far as possible that proportion of the benefit which is paid out in a lump sum. Strong influences have been brought to bear to limit this sort of thing. When we come to deal with the consequences of what has been euphemistically called the golden hand-shake, the handing out of capital sums as compensation to redundant directors and people of that order, this proposal gives under the terms of the Schedule a preferential benefit of one-twentieth. What is it? Let us reduce it in mathematical terms. It is four-eightieths against three-eightieths.

Mr. Ross

An additional eightieth.

Mr. Price

I do not want a blackboard to demonstrate in this Chamber that one-twentieth is the same as four-eightieths and, therefore, the difference we are discussing is one-eightieth. Bertrand Russell once said that even the most abstract philosophical concept could be reduced with a clear-thinking mind to mathematical terms.

I am not here to argue that, and I should find it very difficult to do so, particularly at this time of night. Nevertheless, that is what we are dealing with here—the difference between four-eightieths which the Treasury are handing out to the golden handshake boys and three-eightieths which we are giving to our hard-working civil servants and all the thousands of beneficiaries who have been members of industrial pension funds for many years.

I object, and I would be prepared to counsel my colleagues who decide these things that this is a matter of principle on which we should be prepared to divide the Committee. This proposal is not justifiable. If the Chancellor and his colleagues on the Treasury Bench are not able to give us an assurance that they will reconsider this, I hope very strongly that my hon. Friends will divide the Committee and register our protest against it.

Sir E. Boyle

Listening to the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. J. T. Price), I was reminded of the concluding lines of Housman's Parody of a Greek Tragedy, in which the victim says "Aye, aye, another blow. That makes the third", and the chorus says "If that be so, thy state of health is poor but thine arithmetic is quite correct." The hon. Gentleman's calculations worked out absolutely right.

I have considered this, as I promised the Committee, since we last discussed it on the Committee stage. I would again make the point that we do not, of course, want to erode the whole principle of the Schedule and the Clauses to which it applies. We are dealing here with a form of tax avoidance, one of many with which we are dealing in the Bill, but if we accepted the Amendment it would mean that the lump sum exempted under the Schedule would in many cases be less generous than an individual could have got under an approved scheme if he had been in an approved scheme. It is primarily on this ground that my right hon. Friend believes that the fraction of one-twentieth is a fair and reasonable one, and it is for these reasons that I invite the Committee to reject the Amendment.

Mr. Diamond

It was a great pity that the Financial Secretary introduced the argument that it was a convenient fraction to use one-twentieth rather than three-eightieths, because when one descends to arguments like that it gives the impression that there is no real argument to rely on and that one is reduced to an unreal argument of that kind. It is a very simple matter. One has to do the sum one way or the other. The person retires and has been so many years employed, and one takes the number of years and multiplies them by four-eightieths or three-eightieths. It cannot really be said that the argument of convenience carries any weight at all.

The proposal gives additional relief from Income Tax and Surtax of 33⅓ per cent. It is a simple thing on looking at it. As my hon. Friend pointed out, it is a question of three-eightieths or four-eightieths. It is a question of a proportion of 3:4. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) gave the example of £7,500 as against £10,000.

It is an increase of £2,500 on £7,500, which is an increase of one-third in the amount which escapes Income Tax and Surtax, the combined rate of which might be 15s. or 16s. in the £. The Government are giving a benefit there of one-third compared with what is regarded as acceptable to the whole of the Civil Service and to members of all approved schemes.

We ought to stand firm on this. We suspect that the Government do not mean business on the golden handshake, and unless they accept our Amendment they show that they do not mean business.

Question put, That "one-twentieth" stand part of the Schedule:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 184, Noes 118.

Division No. 130.] AYES [10.44 p.m].
Aitken, W. T. Gammans, Lady MoMaster, Stanley R.
Allason, James Gibson-Watt, David Maddan, Martin
Amory,Rt.Hn.D.Heathcoat(Tiv'tn) Glover, Sir Douglas Maginnis, John E.
Arbuthnot, John Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Markham, Major Sir Frank
Atkins, Humphrey Goodhew, Victor Marten, Neil
Balniel, Lord Gower, Raymond Mathew, Robert (Honiton)
Barber, Anthony Green, Alan Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)
Barlow, Sir John Grimston, Sir Robert Mawby, Ray
Barter, John Hall, John (Wycombe) Mills, Stratton
Batsford, Brian Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Montgomery, Fergus
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Morgan, William
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Nabarro, Gerald
Berkeley, Humphry Harvey, John (Waithamstow, E.) Nugent, Sir Richard
Biggs-Davison, John Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Bingham, R. M. Hendry, Forbes Partridge, E.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Bishop, F. P. Hirst, Geoffrey Peel, John
Bossom, Clive Hocking, Philip N. Percival, Ian
Bourne-Arton, A. Holland, Philip Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Box, Donald Holt, Arthur Pike, Miss Mervyn
Boyle, Sir Edward Hopkins, Alan Pilkington, Capt. Richard
Brewis, John Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patriola Pitman, I. J.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Pitt, Miss Edith
Bryan, Paul Hughes-Young, Michael Powell, J. Enoch
Bullard, Denys Hutchison, Michael Clark Price, David (Eastleigh)
Butcher, Sir Herbert Iremonger, T. L. Prior, J. M. L.
Carr, Compton (Barone Court) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Chataway, Christopher Jackson, John Proudfoot, Wilfred
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) James, David Ramsden, James
Cole, Norman Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Collard, Richard Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Rees, Hugh
Cooper, A. E. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Cordle, John Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green) Ridsdale, Julian
Corfield, F. V. Kerans, Cdr. J. S. Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Courtney, Cdr. Anthony Kerby, Capt. Henry Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Craddock, Sir Beresford Kerr, Sir Hamilton Roots, William
Critchley, Julian Kershaw, Anthony Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Kirk, Peter Scott-Hopkins, James
Curran, Charles Kitson, Timothy Sharples, Richard
Currie, G. B. H. Leavey, J. A. Shaw, M.
Dalkeith, Earl of Leburn, Gilmour Simon, Sir Jocelyn
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Skeet, T. H. H.
de Ferranti, Basil Lilley, F. J. P. Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)
Donaldson, cmdr. C. E. M. Litchfield, Capt. John Smithers, Peter
Drayson, G. B. Longbottom, Charles Spearman, Sir Alexander
Elliott, R. W. Loveys, Walter H. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Emery, Peter Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby Storey, Sir Samuel
Farr, John Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
Fell, Anthony MacArthur, Ian Tapsell, Peter
Finlay, Graeme McLaren, Martin Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Fisher, Nigel McLaughlin, Mrs, Patricia Temple, John M.
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maclean,Sir Fitzroy (Bute&N. Ayrs.) Thomas, Peter (Conway)
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin Wall, Patrick Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.) Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth) Woodhouse, C.M.
Turner, Colin Watts, James Woodnutt, Mark
van Straubenzee, W. R. Wells, John (Maidstone) Worsley, Marcus
Vane, W. M. F. Whitelaw, William Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Vickers, Miss Joan Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.) Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St M'lebone) Wise, A. R. Mr. Brooman-White and
Mr. Chichester-Clark.
Ainsley, William Hayman, F. H. Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Allaun, Frank (Salford) Herbison, Miss Margaret Probert, Arthur
Awbery, Stan Hilton, A. V. Randall, Harry
Bacon, Miss Alice Holman, Percy Redhead, E. C.
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.) Houghton, Douglas Reynolds, G. W.
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.) Hoy, James H. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Bowles, Frank Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Ross, William
Boyden, James Hughes, Emerys (S. Ayrshire) Skeffington, Arthur
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Hunter, A. E. Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hynd, H. (Accrington) Small, William
Castle, Mrs. Barbara Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Cliffe, Michael Janner, Barnett Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas Spriggs, Leslie
Crosland, Anthony Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Crossman, R. H. S. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Stones, William
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, T. w. (Merioneth) Sylvester, George
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kelley, Richard Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Deer, George Kanyon, Clifford Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Dempsey, James King, Dr. Horace Thomas, Ionwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Diamond, John Lawson, George Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)
Dodds, Norman Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
Donnelly, Desmond McCann, John Thornton, Ernest
Ede, Rt. Hon. Chute MaoColl, James Timmons, John
Fitch, Allan McInnes, James Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Fletcher, Eric McKay, John (Wallsend) Wainwright, Edwin
Foot, Dingle Mahon, Simon Watkins, Tudor
Forman, J. C. Manuel, A. C. Wheeldon, W. E.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mapp, Charles White, Mrs. Eirene
Galpern, Sir Myer Mason, Roy Whitlock, William
Ginsburg, David Millan, Bruce Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mitchison, G. R. Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Gourlay, Harry Monslow, Walter Winterbottom, R. E.
Grey, Charles Moody, A. S. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Morris, John Woof, Robert
Griffiths, W. (Exchange) Mulley, Frederick Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Gunter, Ray Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby,S.)
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Oram, A. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hannan, William Oswald, Thomas Mr. Sydney Irving and Mr. Short.
Hart, Mrs. Judith Pentland, Norman
Sir E. Boyle

I beg to move, in page 72, line 42, to leave out "an amount equal" and to insert: a sum equal to the amount or, as the case may be,". It might be convenient if we take this Amendment together with the next Amendment, in line 44, after "tax)", insert "received or".

As I shall try to explain, the first Amendment is in a sense consequential on the second, which is the principal Amendment. These Amendments cure what I think will be generally agreed to be a defect in paragraph 4 of the Fourth Schedule. The Committee will remember that the paragraph defines what we mean by standard capital superannuation benefit. Paragraph 3 of the Schedule gives relief, in the case of a payment which is not a payment for loss of office, on the excess of the standard capital superannuation benefit over £5,000, and paragraph 4 lays down the rules for calculating the standard capital superannuation benefit.

The first step is to take, broadly speaking, one-twentieth of the retiring salary for each year of service. Sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph 4 provides that there has to be deducted from this amount any tax-free lump sum receivable under a pension scheme. The trouble is that the Schedule as originally drafted provided that in calculating the standard capital superannuation benefit a deduction should be made for the value of the tax-free lump sum received or to be received under certain schemes or certain funds. In the Schedule as amended in Committee we substituted the word "receivable." This was to cover the case of a man whose retirement benefits under a scheme had not yet become due and who might reasonably contend that no lump sum was to be received—I will put in a comma here in view of my previous experience—because when the time came he might not exercise his option to take any of the benefit in the form of a lump sum.

It was thought at that time that the word "receivable" would cover anything which had already been received or could in future be received as a lump sum. On further consideration of this Schedule, it seemed possible that it could be argued that sums actually received before the relevant date for the purposes of this Schedule were not covered. If that argument succeeded, it would mean that the taxpayer might be entitled to relief on a standard capital superannuation benefit without any deduction for a lump sum actually received from a pension scheme.

As a result of the second of these Amendments, there will have to be deducted any tax-free lump sum received, or receivable, from a pension scheme. I think it will be generally agreed by those who approve the principle of the Schedule, and in particular those like the hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) and the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond), who felt that the Schedule was a little loose in its original drafting, that this Amendment makes an improvement.

The first of the two Amendments is in a sense consequential on the second. Paragraph 4 (c) at present refers to the value at the relevant date of a lump sum payment. It is apt to cover the case where it is necessary to value as at the relevant date a payment to be received in the future, but I think the Committee will appreciate it is not apt wording in view of a payment already received. Under the Amendment the amount to be deducted will be a sum equal to the amount or to the value of the lump sum, and this will cover both types of case.

I have explained this at a little length because this is an important Schedule and these Amendments improve the situation and lay down beyond peradventure that people will not get more than their proper payment under the terms of the Schedule as it will now be drafted.

Mr. Jay

Is this a case where the Committee asked the Government to make a change and the Government accepted it, or where the Government simply had second thoughts about their own Bill?

Sir E. Boyle

It is a little between the two. I think I can say that without equivocation. I do not remember the specific point, although a number of others were raised on the Fourth Schedule.

Mr. Mitchison

They were raised on the Bill as a whole.

Sir E. Boyle

We discussed the Fourth Schedule for about an hour and a half in Committee. As a result of that discussion, I came to the conclusion that possibly I had not myself given quite so much care to the study of he Schedule as was ideal. I have particularly looked at the Schedule between that stage and the next to see whether there might be any points where the wording needed tidying. It was in effect as a result of the exhaustive examination and scrutiny by hon. Members opposite and some of my hon. Friends that we came to realise that these words were needed.

Dr. Horace King (Southampton, Itchen)

The hon. Gentleman has made a perfectly lucid explanation, but could he tell us why we have to have such an elaborate form of words when all that has been done could have been done by substituting the words, "or received" or "receivable"?

Sir E. Boyle

I rather doubt whether it is quite so simple. A great many complaints were received about the drafting of this Schedule when we discussed it in Committee. I have made inquiries and I am assured that a rather expansive draft—that is to say, avoiding some of the rather more difficult subsections which hon. Members did not like, such as paragraph 8 and so on—would have involved an exceptionally long Schedule.

The wording of the Schedule shows the great difficulty of dealing with some of these tax avoidance Clauses by specific powers in every case. I will not enlarge on that at this hour of the day. But the wording shows the great difficulty even of isolating what may seem a relatively simple example of tax avoidance, at the same time retaining all the words in the Schedule which are necessary if the Clause is to be effective.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 72, line 44, after "tax)", insert "received or".—[Sir E. Boyle.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Schedule, as amended, be the Fourth Schedule to the Bill.

11.0 p.m.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

We should not pass the Schedule without making one or two further comments on what has happened during the debate this evening. If I may say so without offence, the Financial Secretary has little on which to congratulate himself on the way in which he has dealt with Amendments to the Schedule.

My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) in an excellent speech, moved an Amendment standing in his name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond). The Financial Secretary began by paying him a compliment, as though he were a master handing out a prize, and we thought that he would accept what was a straightforward Amendment which any reasonable Government would have included in the Bill from the beginning. Not a bit of it. While admitting that the arguments were strong, in the end he turned the Amendment down in what I thought was a rather derisory manner—

The Chairman (Sir Gordon Touche)

Order. The right hon. Member cannot discuss on this Question an Amendment which has been negatived on a Division.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I bow to your Ruling, Sir Gordon, and I will not pursue that point. I will deal with the Schedule as it stands. It will hand out very large sums to individuals while denying them to civil servants and others who in my view are as much entitled to them.

Mr. W. R. Williams (Manchester, Openshaw)

More entitled to them.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

As my hon. Friend says, they are more entitled to this treatment. Yet we do not hear a single squeak from anyone on the Conservative benches when an injustice of this kind is perpetrated, without a blush, by the Treasury. I protest most strongly against the Schedule being passed in this form.

Question put and agreed to.

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.