HC Deb 06 July 1960 vol 626 cc499-518

(1) In subsection (2) of section five hundred and twenty-five (meaning of "earned income") of the Act of 1952, at the end of paragraph (c) there shall be inserted the following:— (cc) any small maintenance payments, as defined by section two hundred and five of this Act, and any payments which, but for their amount, would be such small maintenance payments; and

(2) Section two hundred and seven (Duty of court to give information as to small maintenance orders) shall have effect in relation to any payments mentioned in this section as it has in relation to small maintenance payments and the expression "small maintenance order" shall, for the purposes of this section, be construed accordingly.—[Mrs. Castle.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

This is a Clause which attempts to deal with a point of hardship at present endured by a considerable body of deserving women, but it also raises an important point of principle which, I believe, is unanswerable. The Clause seeks to give the benefit of the two-ninths deduction of earned income relief to every wife who is separated from her husband and receiving a small maintenance payment from him.

I was very surprised, and so were a number of my constituents who are affected by the present position, to find that such payments are ranked as the unearned income of the wife and, therefore, are taxed as such without the benefit of earned income relief. A number of separated wives, both in my constituency and elsewhere, have written to me to complain that these small maintenance payments are income which is the husband's contribution to the maintenance of the wife which he would have to make in any event if she were still living with him and which she often needs to maintain the home, to which his children are entitled—often, she is looking after the children—and which is generally the family home, which he has deserted and which she is left with the burden of maintaining.

Therefore, these small maintenance payments ought not to be taxed as though they were some kind of investment income which the wife had not earned. It is ironical to class these small maintenance payments as investment income. They would be more appropriately described as disinvestment income, because they are the product of the failure of the wife's investment in marriage. She is awarded the money by the court to help to maintain the family home which was not broken up by her.

Therefore, from the purely human point of view, it seems an outrage to these women, who have faced the breakup of marriage and who have had to carry on with the family life and the family home with no companionship from the husband and with simply these small payments from him, suddenly to find that this money, which they regard as part of the ordinary housekeeping money, which they were getting before the home was broken up, is classified as investment income and is taxed as though it were unearned.

5.45 p.m.

I want, at this point, to come to an important technical side of the matter. In the Clause, I am not asking for any form of double tax relief. What happens at present is that these small maintenance payments are mostly paid by the husband out of earned income. Since, however, under the present law, these small maintenance payments are regarded as a charge on his income, they are deducted from his income before the earned income relief is assessed upon it. What this means under the existing law is that nobody gets earned income relief upon this slice of the man's income which goes to the wife for her maintenance. That is the point of principle to which I want particularly to draw the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Surely, this situation is quite wrong. Why should a slice of the man's income not be entitled to the normal tax relief that everyone else would get? Why should the benefit of it go to the Chancellor instead of to a woman who has to face life's struggle under additional difficulties? Clearly, the point of principle is that somebody should get the legitimate earned income relief on this slice of the man's earned income.

I maintain in the Clause that it is the wife who should get it, because the small maintenance payments come to her as a form of housekeeping money which she would have got had she remained in the man's companionship. It is most unfair that the break-up of the home, which, in the eyes of the law, is not the fault of the separated wife—that is, why she has the maintenance payment—should mean that she is deprived of her right to treat these payments as a form of housekeeping money.

I am well aware that the Chancellor may argue against me that same, at least, of these separated wives are already covered by the small income relief, which is the same in extent as the earned income relief and is available, I understand, to anybody with a total income of less than £300 a year, regardless of the source from which it comes—regardless, that is to say, of whether it is earned income or investment income.

That does not meet the principle involved, however, because it is, clearly, only wives with a very small income indeed who get the benefit of this. If the Chancellor brings this argument in aid in resisting the Clause, he will be saying that he is prepared to help only the separated wife who is living in something near to penury. I say that the separated wife ought not to have to be living in very stringent circumstances before she gets this tax relief which is equivalent to the earned income relief figure.

Even bearing this concession in mind in regard to the small income relief, the present position is that if the separated wife goes out to earn, She is immediately penalised—and, of course, the large majority of these wives have to go out to earn. All that the small maintenance allowance means to this class of separated wife to whom I am referring is a little bit of help. In a large number of cases, it is simply not enough to live upon and the separated wife has to go out to earn to keep the home together, particularly when children are involved. She certainly has to go out to earn if she wants to keep anything like the same domestic standard that she had looked forward to enjoying all her life when she entered into the marriage contract, which I repeat she did not break.

I should like to give an example of how things work at present. The separated wife going out to work might earn £6 a week, a typical woman's wage and certainly not a handsome one. In addition, she might receive 30s. a week maintenance allowance from her husband. In the present situation the small income relief will cover her earnings, but not her maintenance allowance in this case and that means that she would have to pay tax on the 30s. as if it were an investment income.

One woman wrote to me on these lines: I have a court order of £1 10s. per week made in 1944 owing to my husband's desertion and adultery with the woman with whom he still lives. As I had a son 4½ years of age I was compelled to do what work I could obtain and give him a home. It has been a very sore point with me to have to pay Income Tax on such a small allowance. Assuming that in this case she had earned £6 a week, that 30s. maintenance payment which she received under a court order would be treated as investment income or unearned income and taxed accordingly.

Under my proposed new Clause what would happen in this case would be that the woman would receive in future the two-ninths earned income relief on her 30s. a week court order payment, which would be some small help. I do not exaggerate the amount of help that it would give, but this woman is in a situation in which even a few pounds of tax relief a year is important. It might make all the difference between having a holiday and not having one or having a new dress or not having one, or buying something for the home which at the moment she cannot buy owing to sheer financial stringency.

This proposed concession is very modest. It does not go as far as I should have liked. I should have liked to have seen more done for the woman, but I have to put my request in this modest form to keep it within the confines of the principle which I have already stated, namely, that the 30s. she gets is something which has not under the present law been given the benefit of the earned income relief at all—the Chancellor has pocketed the relief.

I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to see that, in future, the separated wife shall have that relief. I have put my request in this modest way because I believe that the Chancellor will admit that the principle which I have outlined is unanswerable and I am confident that he will accept my Motion.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Jocelyn Simon)

I believe that this is the first time that we have had the pleasure of listening to the hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) on this Finance Bill. I know that the House will want to recognise her persuasive and, indeed, moving speech. The hon. Lady said that her case was unanswerable in point of principle, but, as so often happens in our debates, even the most unanswerable point receives some sort of answer. I shall certainly try to show why her new Clause is not acceptable and how, indeed, it runs counter to the tax principle which is pretty fundamental to this part of the code.

The hon. Lady moved the new Clause in very human terms. I can tell her that I have tried at times to put forward the case for these women. A few years ago I urged an Amendment to the Finance Bill which would make greater provision for the woman who is dependent on small maintenance payments, and the Amendment was accepted in a subsequent Finance Bill. But when it comes to this point I am bound to say that the proposal is not acceptable.

The hon. Lady puts her case in two ways. First, on the ground that these are women who are suffering hardship. I think that that is inherent in their posi- tion. They are women whose marriages generally have broken up and, almost ex hypothesi, through no fault of their own. Their position must obviously excite compassion. But recognising that this is not a sufficient case for asking for a tax definition in their favour, the hon. Lady goes on to say that she is not asking for double tax relief because the small maintenance payment is deducted from the husband's income before arriving at the figure on which he is entitled to earned income relief.

This is so, but the reason why it is so is that it is deducted from his earnings, and on that part of his earnings he does not pay any tax at all. It is not considered to be part of his income. In fact, the small maintenance payment is really only a matter of machinery and, as machinery, it is very much to the advantage of separated wives who are living in small circumstances. It means that they do not have to wait to recover a tax certificate from a feckless or ill-intentioned husband and then reclaim the tax. It means also that the whole amount of the weekly order by the court is handed over to the wife. It is not part of the husband's income, but it is taxable in her hands. Even where the small maintenance order is not strictly a maintenance order the same result is arrived at in that the sum is not taxable in the hands of the husband but is taxable in the hands of the wife.

I take it that for that reason in the new Clause the hon. Lady does not limit the provision to small maintenance payments as strictly defined. The point I make is that it is purely a matter of machinery. Whether it is a small maintenance payment or not within the meaning of the Income Tax code, the result is that the weekly sum awarded by the court is deductible by the husband from his income before that income is assessed to tax, and he does not receive the earned income relief on it because he is not taxed on it.

Mrs. Castle

Surely the hon. and learned Gentleman, in saying that the husband is not taxed on it, is admitting that nobody gets tax relief on it. He says that it is done that way because it is a quicker means of ensuring that the wife gets the money, but my answer is that the present arrangement makes the wife pay for an act of convenience. I am not asking that this sum should be tax-free. I am saying that the Government can secure their administrative convenience but that they should give tax relief at the point where the tax is paid, namely, by the wife. What possible objection can there be to that?

6.0 p.m.

The Solicitor-General

I was coming on to the objection to that, but I wanted to deal with the hon. Lady's point of departure and show that the reason why the husband does not get earned income relief on this part of his income is that he does not pay tax on it at all. It is not considered as part of his income for tax purposes.

Mr. Douglas Jay (Battersea, North)

The hon. and learned Gentleman is not suggesting, is he, that it is a mere matter of machinery whether or not this proposal is accepted? Does he agree that if my hon. Friend's proposal were accepted and earned income relief were granted on the income received by the wife, the wife would be better off in substance—that it is not just a matter of machinery, that it would leave the husband just as he was and that the wife would receive the relief? Is that correct?

The Solicitor-General

That is absolutely true. I do not think I said anything which would have implied the contrary. If I did, it was certainly inadvertence.

The real objection to the proposal is that this is not earned income in the sense for which relief is made, but earned income relief is given on income which is derived directly or indirectly from the personal exertions of the tax- payer—such things as the wages and salaries earned by those who are part of the working population, pensions in respect of past services and business profits earned by professional men, individual traders and so on.

Mr. Houghton

Did the hon. and learned Gentleman say "pensions"?

The Solicitor-General

If I called it a "pension" I should be using terms extremely inaccurately. "Pensions" so far as earned incomes relief is concerned are emoluments which are given in respect of past services whereby an income has been earned by personal exertion, and it is really playing with words to say that a housekeeping allowance paid to a wife is earned income in that sense or analogous to a pension.

Consequently, with very great respect to the hon. Lady, when she puts this as a question of principle I say that the approach is wrong in principle because maintenance payments, whether small or otherwise, are not earned by the exertions of the recipient. Apart from the inherent case of personal hardship, the woman concerned has no equitable claim to earned income relief in the computation of the tax liability which falls on her.

Mrs. Castle

Would not the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that it is playing with words to call this money investment income?

The Solicitor-General

I have never called it investment income. It was the hon. Lady who did so. It is quite wrong to equate unearned income with investment income. There are many types of income which do not rank as earned income which are not investment income. For example, sums paid by way of annuity under a deed of covenant are unearned income and not earned income, and yet they are certainly not investment income. One can think of a case which is very close to the cases which the hon. Lady has urged on us and which is not covered by her proposed Clause. We might have a wife who, instead of having a court order, had a payment under a deed of separation. That is not earned income, and it is certainly not investment income either. I should have thought that that case might be every bit as much deserving in the human sense in which the hon. Lady urged the proposed Clause as some of the cases which she has in mind. Also, in some of the cases of a deed of separation one cannot start on the hypothesis that it is a wronged wife.

I come back to the point that this is not income which is earned by the exertions of the recipient, and, therefore, it is not earned income. There are, after all, many cases of people who are living on small income derived from investment, derived from covenant, derived from deeds of separation, and so on, to which the general arguments which the hon. Lady urged are equally susceptible. But one comes back to it in the end that in none of those cases, any more than in this, is it earned income in the sense that it is got by the personal exertions of the recipient. One must look at the facts as they are.

The hon. Lady mentioned that there is an alternative relief in the case of the very poorest of the type of persons who would be beneficiaries under the proposed Clause. She fairly put the case of the small income relief. I do not want to over-emphasise that point. However, it means that an equivalent relief is available to those who have most to bear in the field which the hon. Lady has in mind. In addition, in the case of elderly separated wives there is the age relief of two-ninths of earned income—on any unearned income of a taxpayer aged 65 and over—and there the limit is £800 and not £300.

So in the end, although the hon. Lady has, as I think the House will appreciate, urged her case with great force and with feeling, it is unacceptable. This is not earned income. It is not in the nature of earned income. If we want to help people in this position we ought to do it in some other way.

In conclusion, it has been my experience that the courts take the tax position of a separated wife into consideration in fixing the amount of the order. My experience is that that has been increasingly so as the amounts that can be awarded by courts of summary jurisdiction have increased. Consequently, the tax liability may be an important consideration.

Mr. Diamond

I feel that the hon. and learned Gentleman has touched on a very bad point. The case that my hon. Friend has made is simply that of the revenue versus the wife. What the hon. and learned Gentleman is talking about is the court's decision as between husband and wife. This cannot possibly affect the fact. Whatever the court decided could not affect the pocket of the Revenue. My hon. Friend was properly saying that the Revenue should cough up and that the wife should get the benefit of it.

The Solicitor-General

In spite of what the hon. Gentleman says, I think that the point is a valid one. In deciding how much a wife ought to have for her support in the circumstances, the court will consider the tax position of not only the wife but also of the husband. One comes back to the point that whatever order is made in favour of the wife, whether a small maintenance order or not, it is deductible from the husband's gross income before assessing his liability to tax. For those reasons, I regret that I cannot advise the House to accept the proposed Clause.

Mr. Houghton

That is a very disappointing reply. A few moments ago we listened to very moving pleas by hon. Members opposite to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to put aside logic and consider the deep feeling in various parts of the House about the taxation of voluntary offerings given to clergymen and ministers of religion. The Chancellor announced that he was giving further consideration to the matter and would consult representatives of the various denominations in the real hope that some way would be found of giving acceptable relief in that direction.

We know that there are difficulties about the proposed Clause in logic, but there is a very human side to it which my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) ably described to the House. I would like to congratulate her on her entry into Income Tax debates. We have listened to many moving and, very often, provocative speeches from her, but this is a new rôle for her. I am inclined to ask where she has been all this time. I am sure that we will look forward to her participation in debates on these matters in future. It seems that she can touch some chords in the heart of the Solicitor-General that the rest of us cannot touch.

I want to discuss with the hon. and learned Gentleman these proposals on the more practical ground of taxation. The hon. and learned Gentleman says that this is not earned income. Earned income is what the Income Tax Act says is earned income, and this new Clause proposes to add to the definition of earned income. A learned judge once reminded the court that Income Tax is, after all, a tax on income, but the truth is that income for the purpose of the Income Tax Act is what the Income Tax Act says is income, and no other income is taxable. I think that we can, therefore, base our approach to this matter on the quite extraordinary traditions of our Income Tax, which apply definitions to certain types of income which are taxable and leave aside other income which is not.

In asking what is earned income, the reply is: what this House says is earned income is earned income. Already, in the past, the House has departed from the strict interpretation of earned income as being by the exertions of the individual by conceding earned income relief to such income as pensions.

I remember the time—if my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) will forgive me—when he argued that a retirement pension paid to a wife by reason of her own contributions was not earned income. I contended that it was. Eventually, the House accepted my view and the pension of a wife paid by virtue of her own contributions is now earned income. It is not necessarily the product of her own exertions, but we decided that it would be unfair and unreasonable to allow the husband's retirement pension to be treated as earned income, and the wife's pension in her own right as unearned income. We can decide that these maintenance payments shall be treated as earned income if we so will.

Is such a payment worthy of inclusion in the definition of earned income? This is housekeeping money one stage removed. If the woman were at home, performing the wifely duties which she has every desire to continue to do, this money would be paid Ito her for housekeeping, and the husband would receive earned income relief. He spurns and deserts the family home, however.

It may be argued that when this money is passed to her under the compulsion of the court it is for maintenance of the home as housekeeping money one stage removed. But the husband exercises his right to regard this payment as a charge on his income. Clearly, if he does so, he pays no tax on it. Nor does the Inland Revenue concede earned income relief on this earned income. It is charged against his income. He does not receive earned income relief from it. He passes money to his wife; she does not receive earned income relief on it. Therefore, on a parcel of earned income, the Inland Revenue escapes its obligation to concede earned income relief. That is a tenable argument and will stand up just as straight as many justifications for tax changes and reliefs in the past.

6.5 p.m.

The other justification for this proposal is that it is restricted to small main- tenance payments. These are made without deduction of tax and are directly assessable on the wife, subject to her own personal liability to tax. A Clause which has, I believe, never been mentioned in the course of our discussions on the Bill, is Clause 39, which extends the scope of the concessions given to small maintenance payments up to a maximum of £7 10s. That is a valuable concession to the wives concerned because it relieves them of the obligation, as the Solicitor-General said, of claiming back tax deducted from the payments made to them by the husbands.

The restriction of this concession to small maintenance payments ensures that the more lavish provisions for wives by the well-to-do—who, perhaps, can enjoy the luxury of separation more easily than poorer people—will not qualify for earned income relief. I see no reason to object to that discrimination in favour of the small maintenance payments, because the crux of this argument is that they are virtually housekeeping payments for the maintenance of the home and are not payments to maintain wives in some high standard of living. They are basic to the life and happiness of a wife who has been deserted by her husband.

Had we been given some hope that this matter would be considered in the spirit in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave an undertaking a short while ago, we would have felt differently about this, but there is a strong case here for more sympathetic consideration and we believe that something should be done—not necessarily, perhaps, strictly on the lines of this proposed Clause. There is only one way in which our disapproval can be expressed in concrete fashion in the House, and so I beg my right hon. and hon. Friends to divide the House.

Mr. James Dempsey (Coatbridge and Airdrie)

I have been trying to follow the Solicitor-General's arguments, but it is difficult at times to understand the reasons for those that he has so far adduced. We are dealing here with a great social problem, as I am sure he appreciates. Countless thousands of wives living with their husbands receive only housekeeping allowances. It is only husbands who receive this earned income relief. I wonder why these payments should be treated as unearned income.

The Solicitor-General referred to income which has been obtained as a result of personal exertions, but only recently I listened to an hon. Member opposite talking about disability pensions which were disregarded. Those pensions are earned income—they have been earned as a result of sacrifice on the battlefield, or in our industries. Yet it seems that they are designated as unearned income. I find myself in great trouble trying to determine what is earned income and what is not.

We have just decided that an Easter offering to a minister will be treated as earned income and taxable as such. In this case we are discussing a person who, through no fault of her own, finds herself in certain circumstances. Will the Solicitor-General explain to what extent a so-called maintenance allowance will be included in such a person's income for Income Tax purposes?

Let us take the example of a woman in this situation who is compelled to find employment and whose wage is not sufficient to warrant taxation, but whose aggregate income, if the so-called maintenance allowance is included, would rank for Income Tax. Would the maintenance allowance not be included as earned income in that case? One recognises the validity of the argument for regarding the pension of disabled people as earned income or disregarding it completely. They have made a physical sacrifice in the country's service. Why should not a similar decision be made in this case?

The sort of case which I have just instanced is not hypothetical and many similar cases can be found all over the country. The Solicitor-General spoke of maintaining taxation principles, but already various incomes are given special treatment or are ignored. In the circumstances which I have outlined, will a maintenance allowance be treated as income for Income Tax purposes or not? If the answer is in the negative, there may be some argument for the hon. and learned Gentleman's case, but if it is possible that the allowance will be taxed then the hon. and learned Gentleman should reconsider the whole position. It is reasonable, when a person is not responsible for the state of affairs which we are considering and when she is receiving a form of compensation for something denied to her, that she should be given special consideration.

Mr. Jay

May I give a second chance to the Solicitor-General? If he wants to meet the substantial argument put by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) and, at the same time, preserve the taxation principles in which he is interested, will he consider the following suggestion?

The hon. and learned Gentleman admits that in the case of age relief we give persons who are 65 years old and more a two-ninths earned income relief. In that case, we do not say that the income is earned income, but we treat it as if it were and we apply that arrangement up to a maximum of £800 a year. In the case of the small income relief, of which the hon. and learned Gentleman also spoke, again we do not necessarily say that that is earned income, but we treat it as if it were by applying the two-ninths relief up to a maximum of £300.

That applies to the maintenance payments of which we have been speaking. Unfortunately, however, in that case the maximum is not £800, but £300. Would it not be possible in the case of maintenance payments to say that the two-ninths earned income fraction shall apply up to a maximum not of £300, but of £800, which is the maximum which applies in the case of age relief?

The hon. and learned Gentleman would be doing no more violation to tax principles than we already do by approving of the age relief and the small income relief, but we would be doing something useful by saying that these people are in a position which is not fundamentally and humanly different from that of those who are 65 and more and we would also be meeting the need without considerable loss of revenue.

Mr. Diamond

Will the Solicitor-General consider a further argument? I am sure that from his deep knowledge of these matters outside the House, and his great knowledge of these fiscal matters, he must be very moved by the arguments put forward and not controverted.

Will he consider an aspect which must be resting heavily on his conscience? At the moment, perhaps, unwittingly, he is taking an unfair tax advantage from women in these circumstances. I do not suppose that that is his intention. He is getting that unfair advantage in that this money, which is supposed to be a simple transfer from husband to wife, would have attracted tax at a certain rate if the two had been living together—the standard rate, say, less earned income relief. Yet, when the money is transferred as a matter of administrative machinery the wife pays tax at the higher rate, namely, the standard rate, for example, or the highest possible rate under the provisions, without deduction of earned income relief.

It is conceivable that there are many cases in which the highest rate of tax would be payable and the only way to make sure that it is not paid is to accept the proposal of my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay)—at any rate, for consideration—if not up to the maximum of £800 which my right hon. Friend mentioned, then at least to the maximum of the earned income relief which would have been granted had it remained the income of the husband.

Dr. Edith Summerskill (Warrington)

It is very difficult to understand the Solicitor-General in this new guise. Before he was raised to his exalted position he seemed so receptive to these ideas. He seems to be a Jekyll and Hyde and I am very sorry to see this change, now that he is on the Front Bench, in someone who has studied the problems of women in adverse circumstances and who should not have to be taught these simple lessons from this side of the House.

I appreciate his refusal to acknowledge that this money is not unearned income in oases where the woman concerned is well off and living in a good deal of comfort, with no hardship, but how does the hon. and learned Gentleman's logical mind address itself to the problem in the lower income groups? There a woman may receive a sum of money for which, in return, she scrubs, cleans, makes clothes and does all sorts of things in the household, for which, as the hon. and learned Gentleman knows, people have to pay very highly today. Why does he not agree that that important and necessary work which she does in return for the money is earned income?

6.30 p.m.

Mr. Leo Abse (Pontypool)

I would have hesitated to intervene in a debate on Income Tax matters if it did not also touch upon matters with which we were dealing to some extent last week, and in connection with which I heard the hon. and learned Gentleman adopt an entirely different attitude. In his case a metamorphosis has taken place from a matrimonial lawyer last week to an Income Tax lawyer this week. Last week, the hon. and learned Gentleman told us that this maintenance, which could be obtained by going to the law courts, was essentially a housekeeping allowance, and he made it perfectly clear that he would resist any attempts we made to obtain orders under circumstances which would mean that the magistrates would be determining the housekeeping allowance. Now it is not to be treated as such. The housekeeping allowance of last week has suddenly become unearned income.

I would not have intervened, either, if it had not been for the fact that the Solicitor-General indicated—and my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) was correct in his interruption—that it was the practice in the courts to examine the Income Tax position in these matrimonial cases. That is far removed from my experience. In fact, when the courts have to determine the amount of these small payments they have to direct their attention to many matters. They direct it to the rent of the house, to the amounts paid on hire purchase, and to rates and gas payments. They very often go into complicated figures to find out how much the man must have to survive as an earning machine, and how much the wife needs.

Is it seriously suggested that at the end of the hearing of such a case either the clerk or the magistrate is able to give his full attention to the Income Tax position? I doubt whether either clerk or magistrate would have the capacity to do so. The blunt fact is that in 99 per cent. of the cases it is completely ignored.

I want to reinforce the argument which has been put forward that at least some consideration should be given in the case of small payments. The position of a deserted wife is harsh enough already. It usually means that the husband who is at fault does not have a very large earning capacity—or at least what he discloses is not large—and the payments that she receives are small enough without this harsh burden. It would show some sign of humanity if in these cases, which together make up a great social problem, affecting tens of

thousands of women, a little compassion were shown, rather than this very cold, illogical logic.

Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 176, Noes 250.

Division No. 133.] AYES [6.35 p.m.
Abse, Leo Holman, Percy Plummer, Sir Leslie
Ainsley, William Houghton, Douglas Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Hoy, James H. Probert, Arthur
Bacon, Miss Alice Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Randall, Harry
Benson, Sir George Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Rankin, John
Blackburn, F. Hunter, A. E. Reid, William
Boardman, H. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Reynolds, G. W.
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.) Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Ross, William
Bowles, Frank Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Royle, Charles (Salford, West)
Boyden, James Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Brockway, A. Fenner Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas Short, Edward
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Skeffington, Arthur
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Castle, Mrs. Barbara Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Small, William
Chapman, Donald Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Chetwynd, George Kelley, Richard Snow, Julian
Cliffe, Michael Kenyon, Clifford Sorensen, R. W.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Key, Rr. Hon. C. W. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) King, Dr. Horace spriggs, Leslie
Cronin, John Lawson, George Steele, Thomas
Crosland, Anthony Lee, Frederick (Newton) Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Crossman, R. H. S. Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Stones, William
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Lipton, Marcus Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Logan, David Summerskill, Dr. Rt. Hon, Edith
Davies, Harold (Leek) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Swingler, Stephen
Davies, Ifor (Gower) McCann, John Sylvester, George
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) McInnes, J. Symonds. J. B.
Deer, George McKay, John (Wallsend) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Dempsey, James Mackie, John Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Diamond, John Mahon, Simon Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Dodds, Norman Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)
Driberg, Tom Mallalieu. J.P. W. (Huddersfield. B.) Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John Manuel, A. C. Thornton, Ernest
Ede, Rt. Hon. Chuter Mapp, Charles Timmons, John
Edelman, Maurice Mason, Roy Tomney, Frank
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Mayhew, Christopher Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mellish, R. J. Wainwright, Edwin
Edwards, Walter (Stepney) Mendelson, J. J. Warbey, william
Evans, Albert Millan, Bruce Watkins, Tudor
Fitch, Alan Mitchison, G. R. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Foot, Dingle Monslow, Walter Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Forman, J. C. Moody, A. S. Wheeldon, W. E.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mort, D. L. Whitlock, William
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh Moyle, Arthur Willey, Frederick
Galpern, Sir Myer Mulley, Frederick Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Ginsburg, David Neal, Harold Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Oliver, G. H. Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Gourlay, Harry Oram, A. E. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Grey, Charles Owen, Will Winterbottom, R. E.
Gunter, Ray Padley, W. E. Woof Robert
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Wyatt, Woodrow
Hamilton, William (West Fife) Parker, John (Dagenham) Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Hayman, F. H. Paton, John Zilliacus, K.
Healey, Denis Pavitt, Laurence
Herbison, Miss Margaret Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hill, J. (Midlothian) Peart, Frederick Dr. Broughton and Mr. Redhead.
Hilton, A. V. Pentland, Norman
Allason, James Barter, John Bidgood, John C.
Amory, Rt. Hn. D. Heathcoat (Tiv'tn) Batsford, Brian Biggs-Davison, John
Arbuthnot, John Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate) Bingham, R. M.
Ashton, Sir Hubert Beamish, Col. Tufton Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel
Atkins, Humphrey Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Bishop, F. P.
Balniel, Lord Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm) Bossom, Clive
Barber, Anthony Berkeley, Humphry Bourne-Arton, A.
Barlew, Sir John Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth) Box, Donald
Boyle, Sir Edward Hirst, Geoffrey Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Brewis, John Hobson, John Partridge, E.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Hocking, Philip N. Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Holland, Philip Peel, John
Brooman-white, R. Holt, Arthur Percival, Ian
Browne, Percy (Torrington) Hopkins, Alan Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Bullard, Denys Hornby, R. P. Pike, Miss Mervyn
Burden, F. A. Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia Pitman, I. J.
Butcher, Sir Herbert Howard, John (Southampton, Test) Pitt, Miss Edith
Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.) Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Powell, J. Enoch
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Hughes-Young, Michael Price, David (Eastleigh)
Carr, Compton (Barons Court) Hulbert, Sir Norman Prior, J. M. L.
Cary, Sir Robert Hitchison, Michael Clark Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Channon, H. P. G. Iremonger, T. L. Proudfoot, Wilfred
Chataway, Christopher Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Ramsden, James
Cole, Norman Jackson, John Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Collard, Richard James, David Rees, Hugh
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Renton, David
Cordie, John Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Corfield, F. V. Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Ridsdale, Julian
Costain, A. P. Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green) Rippon, Geoffrey
Courtney, Cdr, Anthony Joseph, Sir Keith Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Kerans, Cdr. J. S. Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Critchley, Julian Kerby, Capt. Henry Robson Brown, Sir William
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Kerr, Sir Hamilton Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Cunningham, Knox Kimball, Marcus Sandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan
Curran, Charles Kirk, Peter Scott-Hopkins, James
Currie, G. B. H. Kitson, Timothy Sharples, Richard
Dalkeith, Earl of Lancaster, Col. C. G. Shaw, M.
Dance, James Leather, E. H. C. Shepherd, William
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Leavey, J. A. Simon, Sir Jocelyn
de Ferranti, Basil Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Skeet, T. H. H.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M. Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Smith, Dudley(Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)
Drayson, G. B. Lilley, F. J. P. Smithers, Peter
Duncan, Sir James Lindsay, Martin Spearman, Sir Alexander
Eden, John Linstead, Sir Hugh Stevens, Geoffrey
Elliott, R. W. Litchfield, Capt. John Stodart, J. A.
Emery, Peter Longbottom, Charles Storey, Sir Samuel
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Loveys, Walter H. Studholme, Sir Henry
Farey-Jones, F. W. Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
Farr, John Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Talbot, John E.
Fell, Anthony MacArthur, Ian Tapsell, Peter
Finlay, Graeme McLaren, Martin Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Fraser, Nigel McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Teeling, William
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Temple, John M.
Freeth, Denzil Macleod, John (Ross & Cromarty) Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Gammans, Lady McMaster, Stanley R. Thomas, Peter (Conway)
Gardner, Edward Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
George, J. C. (Pollok) Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Thornton-Kemeley, Sir Colin
Gibson-Watt, David Maddan, Martin Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)
Glover, Sir Douglas Maltland, Cdr. Sir John Turner, Colin
Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Markham, Major Sir Frank van Straubenzee, W. R.
Godber, J. B. Marshall, Douglas Vaughan-Morgan, Sir John
Goodhart, Philip Marten, Neil Vickers, Miss Joan
Goodhew, Victor Mathew, Robert (Honiton) Wade, Donald
Gower, Raymond Matthews, Gordon (Meriden) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Grant, Rt. Hon. William (Woodside) Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Green, Alan Mawby, Ray Wall, Patrick
Grimond, J. Mills, Stratton Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Grimston, sir Robert Montgomery, Fergus Watts, James
Hall, John (Wycombe) Morgan, William Wells, John (Maidstone)
Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Nabarro, Gerald Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Neave, Airey Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Nicholls, Harmar Wise, A. R.
Harvie Anderson, Miss Noble, Michael Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Nugent, Sir Richard Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Oakshott, Sir Hendrie Woodhouse, C. M.
Hendry, Forbes Ormsby Gore, Rt. Hon. D. Woodnutt, Mark
Hicks Beach, Maj. W. Orr-Ewing, C. Ian Worsley, Marcus
Hiley, Joseph Osborn, John (Hallam) Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Osborne, Cyril (Louth) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Page, Graham Mr. Bryan and Mr. Whitelaw.