§ (1) Subsections (1) and (2) of section nine of the Finance Act, 1956 (which provide relief from income tax on certain savings bank interest) shall, subject to the provisions of the next following subsection, apply in respect of dividends on shares of a society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1954, or under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts (Northern Ireland), 1893 to 1955, and in respect of interest on deposits with such a society or with a registered friendly society, as they apply in respect of interest on deposits with the Post Office savings bank.
§ (2) Where by virtue of the last foregoing subsection the amount of surtax payable by an individual would exceed the sum of—
- (a) the amount of surtax which would have been payable by him, if that subsection had not been passed, and
- (b) the amount of relief, if any, to which he is entitled by virtue of that subsection
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. Norman Dodds (Erich and Crayford)
I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.
In a year in which the Government have displayed amazing generosity towards those whom the Chancellor calls the hard-pressed Surtax payers it is hoped that the Clause will be acceptable to the Treasury as an act of equity and common justice to millions of those who in the economic sense are little people and that thus we shall end an injustice which we in the co-operative movement charge as having begun in 1956. We feel that in the special circumstances of this year we 1238 have a right, and certainly a better right than the Surtax payers, to expect that the Clause will be accepted when in the Budget the Government have proposed huge Surtax reliefs and their excuse for so doing has been blown sky-high by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay).
When he proposed the reliefs in his Budget speech, the Chancellor told us that they were justified on the ground of creating an incentive by rewarding earned income. My right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North, however revealed on 7th June that a large part of the relief would go to unearned income and thereby clearly indicated how the Chancellor had intended to mislead the Committee. We feel, therefore, that against that background there is a very strong case this year for accepting the Clause, and particularly in a year during which the Treasury has increased the National Insurance contributions and Health Service charges. We feel that, before it is too late, the Government should have the chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of millions of people by accepting this Clause.
By the extension of relief under Section 9 of the Finance Act, 1956, the first £15 of interest on savings in the Post Office Savings Bank and the ordinary departments of trustee savings banks is exempted from Income Tax. We of the co-operative movement do 1239 not quarrel that that should have been done for the small savers. Our quarrel arises in that co-operative small savings were not included in that relief. We say that because the co-operative business is a unique type—we feel that the Treasury seems to forget this—particularly in respect of small savings, we think that the 1956 Act extension made a discrimination of some consequence. I can assure the Treasury Bench that we shall never stop protesting until that is swept away.
The purpose of the Clause is to extend the Income Tax concession given in 1956 to cover interest on shares invested with a society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, and also the interest on deposits in penny bank accounts. If the Clause were accepted, it would mean that the first £15 of interest on such investments and deposits would be exempted from Income Tax, thus bringing them into line with the Post Office Savings Bank and the trustee savings banks.
We believe that the concession would be an incentive and would encourage genuine small savings the co-operative way. At this time, particularly in view of the mess the Government are getting the country into, this encouragement is vital, together with similar encouragements, to the well-being of the community as well as in removing an injustice imposed upon the people's movement by the 1956 extension.
It is possible that we shall be told by a Treasury Minister that an important reason for not giving the concession is that the Past Office and trustee savings banks have a fixed rate of interest at 2½ per cent. Although, in the co-operative movement, the interest rates are particularly modest, they vary from 2½ per cent. to 3½ per cent. If that is advanced as one of the main reasons for not accepting the Clause, we do not accept it, because we say that the co-operative type of savings should still get a concession even though there is the very small difference in interest rates between 2½ and 3½ per cent.
Since many co-operative societies pay only 2½ per cent., I would ask the Treasury Minister to say whether societies which agreed to a 2½ per cent. rate of interest would be included in the same way as the Post Office and trustee 1240 savings banks. If the answer is "No", then it shows what nonsense was talked by the Economic Secretary last year when he used this argument to turn down a new Clause which was proposed by a Co-operative Member.
Last year, my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Sydney Irving) raised the question of the dangers of the transfer of small savings from the co-operative movement into the Post Office or trustee savings banks because of the £15 concession. It was rather remarkable that the Economic Secretary, who had the point put to him, completely ignored it when he replied. Later in his speech, my hon. Friend asked the Economic Secretary for an answer. I notice that the Economic Secretary is not paying much attention this afternoon. If he is, I congratulate him on being able to do two things at once. My hon. Friend asked whether the Economic Secretary was going to answer the question about the dangers of a transfer from the co-operative movement to the Post Office and trustee savings banks. In reply, the Economic Secretary said:I made inquiries today about that point and I was told that there was no evidence that depositors or shareholders in co-operative societies had switched on a large scale."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd June, 1960; Vol. 625, c. 447.]This was followed up at Question Time for several weeks. There is nothing that the Economic Secretary or anyone else on his behalf said, and nothing from any investigations that were made, which shows that any real inquiry was made on that point. I give whoever is to reply for the Government due warning now that we should like to know what investigations took place which enabled the Economic Secretary to make that statement. Judging from my inquiries, I do not believe that any earnest request was made for this information. I believe that the Treasury Bench could not care less what happened in this sense.
I see the Economic Secretary nodding. It is all right for him to do so. He was given opportunities in subsequent weeks at Question Time. He did not like the Questions, and he certainly never gave an answer. Things come to those who wait, and we will wait. We should like to know what inquiries were made then and what has been made since which have enabled any representative of the 1241 Treasury to say that there is no evidence that the concession has not been harmful to the co-operative movement. I cannot believe that the matter was not looked at before I moved the Clause, because it was obvious to anyone who takes an interest that this matter would arise this afternoon. I shall await with interest an answer to the question.
Each year since 1956 we have pressed for this reform. In view of the handout to the Surtax payers, I feel that this year more than any other there is a case for our getting our share. It will be very revealing to see the attitude of Treasury Ministers towards the small savers of the co-operative movement in the way in which they deal with this point, bearing in mind the background of the Budget. We can only conclude that in this respect too little thought is given to the welfare of the people's movement. This may spring from lack of knowledge in the Treasury about the social work of the great co-operative movement, which I suggest justifies encouragement and not the discouragement which we have come to expect from the Treasury Bench in recent years in all aspects of co-operative trading operations. It is about time there was a change of heart.
§ Sir E. Boyle
How would the hon. Member explain the encouragement given by all Government Departments—by the Government collectively—to the Bill sponsored by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin), at the beginning of the Session?
§ Mr. Dodds
Is that the best that the Government can do for the co-operative movement? There may have been a little help in one respect, but there have certainly been a lot of kicks which considerably outweigh that.
Does the Financial Secretary believe that that is the best that can be done for the co-operative movement? Is he satisfied that what is done is a great thing? We certainly do not. I could, if it were not out of order to do so, give a list of decisions made by the Government in recent years which are very discouraging to the co-operative movement. Nevertheless, I grant the one Bill which the hon. Gentleman has mentioned. I thank him very much for it, and hope it will encourage him to better efforts in the future.
1242 In putting forward this scheme for the small saver in the co-operative movement, I remind the Government that the average amount of the individually held share capital in co-operative retail societies is about £20, and that these societies have just less than 13 million members. We do not ask for this concession to be extended to interest on co-operative loan capital, because there is no statutory limit on these forms of capital. We are being particularly reasonable in this. We ask for the concession only in respect of interest in co-operative shares and the Penny Bank accounts, where there is a statutory limit which is of very modest proportions when one considers the value of money now.
Never has there been a greater need to encourage co-operative small savings or, indeed, any small savings, because it looks as if this country is in for a rough time and that circumstances are such that it is in the national interest to give real encouragement—more than we have had so far from the Government—to the co-operative movement. The way to do that at present is to accept this Clause.
The co-operative societies play an important part in promoting thrift. During the last financial year nearly £60 million was returned to members by way of dividend. Over the past fifteen years this has amounted to over £1,000 million. Recently, it was shown that savings in the co-operative movement amounted to over £300 million, which included a figure of just over £250 million in share interest.
Although these are large sums of money, it should be remembered that they are the savings of nearly 13 million people. In the last 100 years or so, one of the most prominent features of the movement has been the encouragement of thrift—the putting away for a rainy day. That has done so much to alleviate acute distress among great numbers of families who have encountered hardship in troubled times.
I have in mind the remark made by my hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton), who said that when he looked at the representatives of the Treasury here he thought that they looked rather like inverted Micawbers—looking not for something to turn up but for something to turn down. I can imagine that they cannot get at that Box fast 1243 enough once again to take up the rôle of inverted Micawber. I cannot really believe, however, that we have so many stony-hearted Ministers at the Treasury at the moment, because what we are asking for is reasonable and would be a genuine encouragement to small savers at a time when such savings are needed.
The co-operative movement invests a goodly proportion of its surplus, after trading requirements, in Government securities. I remind the Financial Secretary of that, although we have said it every year. I hope that it is not forgotten. I doubt whether many organisations employ as much of their surplus in Government securities as the co-operative movement does. Above all, it is accumulation from the small savers, which is very important. At the moment, about 30 per cent. of co-operative investment is in Government securities. No doubt this is not as much as the Government would like. No doubt that is the basis on which they say that they cannot accept this proposal, in view of the position of savings in the trustee savings banks and the Post Office. We do not accept that argument. It is in the best interests of the Government to encourage rather than discourage these savings, particularly in these troubled times.
Here is a golden opportunity to make up in part for past misdeeds by this Government in connection with the co-operative movement. By accepting this Clause, they can help to raise co-operative savings to a level similar to the Post Office and the trustee savings banks savings. I hope that the Treasury Bench believe that this matter is viewed in the movement with deep concern. We can but hope that this year the Government will do something to encourage the movement in its savings. That would be in the best interests of this country.
§ Mr. John Hall (Wycombe)
Will the hon. Gentleman say whether the number of depositors in co-operative societies during the last twelve months has increased or decreased?
§ Mr. Dodds
There is no marked difference, but, taking into account past years, we believe that there should have been a substantial increase. There has not been, however., It is not good enough to say that because the number has not 1244 gone down the movement has not suffered as a consequence. The history of the movement is of steady progress, and that has not been maintained in a satisfactory way.
§ Mr. Laurence Pavitt (Willesden, West)
I support my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Dodds) who has made out a most complete and comprehensive case for the Clause. I differ slightly from him in recognising that the Government have this year come a little way towards us in supporting the Industrial and Provident Societies Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin), and also the Consumer Protection Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Bilston (Mr. R. Edwards). Nevertheless, we come again to the charge of unfair discrimination against a very large section of the community through differentiation in the terms and encouragement for small savings in the co-operative societies and in other organisations.
In common with many other hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, once a year I find myself speaking at a rally to encourage small savings. It is usually initiated by the regional organiser of the National Savings Movement. The mayor, members of the local council, other local dignitaries and I all give great praise to those in the community who have helped the Government by saving and to the voluntary collectors who facilitate it. Each year when the Chancellor of the Exchequer presents his Budget he makes great play of giving thanks to the many people who have helped the Exchequer by saving and to the National Savings Movement.
It is in that light that we are trying to press the Government to help us in our efforts to increase small savings by ordinary people through the medium of the co-operative societies. It often seems difficult to get right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to understand the fundamental difference between shares in a co-operative society and shares in a joint stock company, and also the vast difference between the outlook of the ordinary person who put his money into a society in a similar fashion and with a similar mental attitude to that of an 1245 ordinary bank customer, and the outlook of a person buying shares on the Stock Exchange who, especially if the latter is a "bull", buys shares with money he has not got or is a "bear" who sells shares which he has not got in order to make a profit. There is an absolute difference, not only financially but mentally and psychologically, in the Government's approaches to the different sectors of finance, the joint stock companies, on the one hand, and co-operative societies on the other.
The savings of the little man, for which we are asking for exemption, have no capital appreciation. If £1 is put into a co-operative society in 1900, in 1961 it is still £1. Unfortunately, owing to the lower value of the £, £1 put in in 1900 no longer buys as much as it did in those days. Nevertheless, all the time it is in the society it receives a fixed interest, which never amounts to more than 3½ per cent. and which is a fixed rate in the same way that the Post Office Savings Bank rate is fixed.
There is never any question of a golden hand-out of a one-for-one share bonus to the person whose money has accumulated in a co-operative society. He is never in the position of suddenly having a one-for-one share bonus declared so that he gets extra shares and so that his original holding of £9 8s. 6d. becomes nominally worth £18 17s. The way in which the money is accumulated is not understood by the Treasury.
§ Sir E. Boyle
I do not want to interrupt the hon. Member unnecessarily, but I am not sure that he fully understands the workings of the London Stock Exchange.
§ Mr. Pavitt
For my sins, I spent half-a-dozen years on the floor of the London Stock Exchange and I have worked both in stockbrokers' and stock jobbers' offices. I assure the hon. Member that although I learned my misdeeds early and managed to get out of it, I spent some time in stock jobbing and stock-broking. His comment probably arose because I used the odd number of shillings rather than the normal formula and one does not invest in shares at odd amounts, as a rule, although there are stock units, as the hon. Gentleman knows.
I return to the basic and fundamental differences which affect the Clause. 1246 Savings accumulated in the form of the share capital are the essence of our argument. What invariably happens is that a person receives a dividend upon goods purchased in a co-operative shop and, instead of being drawn out, that divident remains, so that over a period of years capital is accumulated. That is the only way in which a person living on a weekly income which is very narrow can ever accumulate savings. I was most fortunate in my early life because all the pairs of shoes which I wore as a child were purchased as a result of savings accumulated in the local co-operative society by my mother. That was at a time when shoes for the children of working men were not always quite so plentiful as they are now.
The question that a co-operative society faces is whether people should be persuaded to spend the money they get as dividends in the shop where they draw them, thus increasing the prosperity of that society, or whether they should be persuaded to retain that money as part of their savings. This is a difficult problem. If one is seeking to do the best possible for the business, there is a temptation to point out that if the money is saved Income Tax will have to be paid on it and that it might as well be spent to provide some immediate benefit. We would like to be able to persuade people to put more and more away, so that these 13 million small investors can accumulate savings against a rainy day. If they are persuaded to put the money away when it is paid as dividends at the end of the half year, that may be of assistance in the autumn when the Chancellor's regulators will probably go to work with a view to mopping up too much money chasing too few goods. That is one reason why at this time the Chancellor should accept this provision.
My hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford said that the present membership of co-operatives was about 13 million, which is one in four of the population. But that is out of the total population of men, women and children. The working population is 26 million or 28 million, so that, roughly, one in two of the working population is a member of a co-operative society. In a debate the other day it was pointed out that at Barnsley every single magistrate, including the chairman of the 1247 local Conservative Party, was a member of a co-operative society. This is not just a small section of the community but a very wide section.
Can there not be some social justice so that this quarter of the population is given precisely the same benefits which it would get if it put money in the Post Office Savings Bank? Last week a very small section of the community benefited to the extent of £83 million through the Finance Bill, and of this sum, the Chancellor is prepared to give back £19 million in respect of unearned income to people in the Surtax bracket. Why should there not be some slight concession in the case of people with savings of less than £20? My own society, the London Society, has a membership of 1,300,000 and a capital of about £17½ million, so that the average is very much less than £20 per member. Surely it is possible for the Chancellor, without sending the country bankrupt, to make this very small concession for the ordinary person saving through co-operatives and similar organisations.
This concession would be an advantage not only for the capital accumulation within the society but, because the share capital is withdrawable and not transferable—which means that inevitably a high degree of liquidity has to be maintained as a large part of the money has to be easily accessible—a very large percentage must always go into Government securities. At the moment that figure is about 30 per cent. Thus, in effect, the co-operative societies are doing a job for the Government by canalising money not into blue chips and speculative securities but into Government funds and local authority loans. Thus, the Clause should be of great benefit not only to the 13 million co-operators but to the Government. I hope that this year the Government will say that, at a time when they have been so generous to Surtax payers, at least the little men and women who are members of co-operative societies will get their due rights.
§ Dr. J. Dickson Mabon (Greenock)
When the Financial Secretary intervened to interrupt my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Dodds), he demonstrated quite well the remarkable schizophrenia of the Government in relation 1248 to the co-operative movement. It is perfectly true that in 1952 and again this year the Government agreed to amend the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts to allow the amount of share capital in co-operative societies to rise from £200 to £500, in 1952, and to £1,000 this year. But it is also perfectly sensible to recognise that the Government did not do that out of benevolence, or because of their good disposition towards the co-operative movement, but because of their feelings towards a certain part of it.
In other words, whenever an agricultural co-operative society comes forward with suggestions, the Government look upon them benignly, but whenever we who apparently represent mainly retail or wholesale co-operative societies—although we protest about that being said—make suggestions, the Government immediately suspect us of special pleading and insist that they will not take action and that this is a vested interest. We protest about this attitude and say that the Government should take a fresh, balanced view.
When out of office, the Conservatives, in their Industrial Charter and various other declarations, proclaimed their belief in co-partnership—echoing the Liberal Party policy of co-ownership. They never denounced the co-operative movement ideologically at any time, although in the House of Commons it often appears that many of them are antipathetic to it and that some of them are fast asleep as tonight, when these matters are discussed.
It is somewhat irrational of the Government to agree to the improvement of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts and to be willing to beat their breasts about it, as the Financial Secretary did, claiming that they are well disposed to the co-operative movement, when they will not listen to sensible argument on the matter of the interest on shares. We have this performance far too often in Finance Bills. We constantly come up against instances where the Government fail to produce the facts. Unfortunately for us, we are unable to produce the collective facts which might buttress a collective argument on this matter. All that we can do is to recite the knowledge that we have of our own societies.
1249 7.0 p.m.
It is true that many people who would otherwise leave their interest to accumulate in the co-operative movement take the money out at the appropriate time and spend it. They do not put it into the Post Office. This proposal is not intended to take money which would otherwise go into the Post Office and put it into the co-operative movement to fructify and develop the movement in its trading capacity.
I believe that that is one cause of the Government's attitude. I believe that that is why they are adamant about this. Why do the Government not produce facts to substantiate their claim? They were invited to do so last year. They have been unable to produce such evidence, and I am convinced that we will not hear it tonight. What is the position of the Government? Their attitude is one of prejudice, and unthinking prejudice at that, and this, from the Financial Secretary, is a bit much. We expect something more from him. It is said that a man's best friend is his dogma. The Financial Secretary ought to think about these prejudices and try to justify them in a rational way.
If it is the case that at the moment people draw their money out, is it not in the national interest that we should enable the societies to accumulate this money? I am willing to concede the argument that if people leave their money in the co-operative movement to the extent which the hon. Gentleman claims—and the Government have given their blessing to the increased amount which can be invested—the co-operative movement is perhaps able to compete more effectively in the distributive fields. If that is why the Government are against the co-operative movement expanding, that they do not wish to give it any advantage of any kind, they ought to say so. They ought to be quite blunt about it.
I am a co-operative member, and I am not abashed about it. I do not apologise for being a member. I am proud of it. If the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) gets his way, and we all have to declare our incomes and affiliations on both sides of the House, no doubt there will be many surprises, but there will be no surprises in the cases of my hon. Friends. We have long ago openly declared our interests.
1250 In the co-operative movement one can own as many shares as one likes up to the legal limit, but one has only one vote. That makes a substantial difference. There are no capital gains in the co-operative movement. There may be a collective gain for the movement, but there is no gain for an individual shareholder.
If we applied a little grey matter—not you, Sir Samuel, because I know that being an impartial chairman you sympathise with us—I am sure that the Government would see that there is an ideologically fundamental difference between an association of individuals under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts and another association under the Companies Act. There ought, therefore, to be a fundamental difference in the fiscal treatment of two such associations.
Our argument is based on a national and not only on a co-operative movement point of view. We would help the National Savings drive if we were able to get this movement in as one more part of the five-pronged campaign by the Government to develop National Savings. If we exempt this part of people's savings, the Government will take one more step towards improving the position of National Savings.
I should like to see that argument rebutted. I should like to see these points taken in that order. We do not want, and I hope that we will not get, the usual nonsense from the Government; a series of contradictory arguments about favouritism, without an acknowledgment of the peculiar position in the economy of the co-operative movement. We want a straight-shooting contribution from the Treasury Bench. If the Government do not like the co-operative movement as such, let them say so. If they do that, they will offend their agricultural friends. They will offend the people who helped to sponsor the Bill which my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin) carried through the House not long ago.
It is obvious that the Tory Party has not thought this out. It ought in our modern society to have shed this class prejudice about the co-operative movement. It ought to be able to recognise the position of the co-operative movement in this country. It ought to recognise that it has a valid position, just as 1251 the trade union movement is often said to be the fourth estate of the realm. The Government ought to be prepared to look at this again and make this concession because of the co-operative movement's unique position in the economy.
§ Mr. A. E. Oram (East Ham, South)
The case for the acceptance of this new Clause has been argued this evening, as it was in earlier years, largely from the point of view of the consumer retail co-operative society. My hon. Friends have acknowledged their association, as I do mine, with that side of the co-operative movement, but I urge the Financial Secretary to consider this also from the point of view of the agricultural and horticultural co-operative societies.
It has been pointed out several times that a Bill has recently been passed raising the limit on the individual holding of share capital in the co-operative movement from £500 to £1,000. The Financial Secretary rightly pointed out that the Government gave full support to that Measure, and in that way showed their sympathy with co-operative development.
It was clear from the introductory speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin) when he introduced that Bill that the co-operative interests particularly anxious that the Bill should be passed were the agricultural co-operatives. The retail societies had no objection to the Bill, but they were not so directly concerned as were the agricultural co-operatives.
We welcome this friendly attitude by the Government, and we know that there are many hon. Gentlemen opposite who support the development of co-operation in farming communities. We are also pleased to recall that during the last Session the Government passed the Horticulture Bill. We were glad to support that Bill because it provided for Government funds to be set aside for the encouragement of co-operatives among horticulturists.
We give due credit to the Government for those things, but, if they genuinely want to encourage co-operative societies, why not accept the new Clause, because this is one of the most effective ways in which the Government could help to 1252 encourage the development of agricultural co-operatives? This new Clause is of equal significance to agricultural co-operatives as it is to the societies for which I and my hon. Friends speak, if not proportionately more so, because the farmers' co-operatives do not have thousands of members on whom they can call for small collections of capital. In a farmers' co-operative society there are a few thousand at the most. It is evident that with a few thousand or even a few hundred people getting together to form a co-operative society, each contribution of capital must be the greater. That is why the range between £500 and £1,000 is very important to the organisers of farmers' co-operatives.
Let us now consider the matter from the point of view of the interest payable on that range of shareholding as it concerns people who, when my hon. Friend's Bill ultimately becomes law, will be asked to deposit with their farmers' co-operatives sums in excess of £500. In these societies, as in the retail societies, interest payments are kept to a minimum of about 3 per cent. That is part of the co-operative principle. Three per cent. of £1,000, which it is hoped farmers will contribute to their societies by way of capital, amounts to £30, and the Income Tax on that—which will be chargeable unless the Clause is accepted—is a significant amount for a farmer to pay.
Consequently, as soon as my hon. Friend's Bill becomes law, thousands of co-operative farmers will be faced with an immediate and practical dilemma. They will want to support their neighbours in the formation or development of a co-operative society. That society will need more capital, and will be calling upon its members to invest more capital, but if they do so they will have to pay Income Tax on the interest which those shares will earn. By not accepting the Clause the Government are going in the exactly opposite direction to that which they took, and which we welcomed, in the Horticulture Act and my hon. Friend's Industrial and Provident Societies Bill, From the logic of that point alone I urge the Government to give further thought to this matter, from the point of view of the most welcome development in the agricultural communities, which they and their supporters profess to support. Tonight provides the test whether they wish to encourage the 1253 development of co-operative forms of enterprise. If they genuinely wish to do so they will accept the Clause; if not, their claims to be the friends of co-operators are very suspect.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Govan)
The Financial Secretary intervened to use the Bill which I had the privilege of promoting as an example of the Government's good intentions towards the co-operative movement. On various occasions I have indicated my appreciation of the help which I received from the Government Front Bench and also from back benchers in putting my Bill through the House. I do not suggest that if that Bill had been concerned solely with the consumer side of the movement it would have had some difficulty in finding its way through the House. But I do not think it would be wrong to say that because it also affected the producers its passage was considerably helped.
Nevertheless, those of my hon. Friends who are interested in and belong to the co-operative movement pay tribute to the help we received in putting that Bill through. I hope that the Financial Secretary will adopt the suggestion made by my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Dodds) and confirm the attitude of the Government in the case of the Industrial and Provident Societies Bill as being merely their first instalment of the help they are to give us. Tonight is the Government's chance. The Financial Secretary will have realised from what has been said that within the co-operative movement there is a deep sense of grievance because of its members' firm belief that the Government discriminates against them.
The hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. John Hall) asked whether the number of depositors in the savings side of the co-operative movement had increased or decreased. He meant to fertilise that question a little further by showing that if the number of depositors had increased it was an argument against any help being given by the Treasury. The fact is that the number of depositors has neither increased nor decreased, but the amount of savings—the amount of dividends left in the care of the societies—has diminished. That is because people today are finding it harder to live. Those who purchase with the co-operative societies feel that at the end 1254 of the six months they cannot allow their dividends to remain within the society as capital, and for the most part they withdraw them because they are finding life very hard under this Tory Government, despite the Prime Minister's assurance that they have never had it so good. The number of depositors has not varied much, but the amount of savings has decreased.
That emphasises not merely the difficulty which people have in saving; it also shows the disadvantage under which the co-operative movement labours. It cannot go into the open market and borrow money in the way that joint stock companies do. It pays a lower rate of interest, and in doing so it is helping the Government to keep the price of money low. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is a matter for argument. It may be to the disadvantage of the societies, but they are nevertheless helping to keep the price of money lower than the Government can keep it. Because they are not profit-making organisations, they cannot afford to pay the market rate for money.
Last week the Chancellor told me that the Government could not lend money at less than about £8 per cent. interest to the under-developed territories. That is the price which the Government are now charging. They cannot reduce that. But the co-operative movement does not, as a rule, pay more than 4 per cent. on its loan capital, and, I think, 3½ per cent. on share capital, or less. Because of that it cannot attract money from the open market in competition with the Government, or any other money lending agency. That is a tremendous disability in a capitalist world. The co-operative movement does not try to operate in keeping with capitalist principles, because it is not producing commodities for profit. But the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. and learned Friend continue to treat the movement as if that was what it was doing, and in that way the Chancellor discriminates against us.
We have detailed examples of discrimination and I will not repeat them. The Chancellor discriminates against co-operative savings in relation to Post Office savings. We do not in the least object to savings in the Post Office and the interest on them receiving preferential treatment, but, if preference is to be given there, we feel that logically the 1255 Chancellor should give the same sort of preference to the co-operative movement, because, like the Post Office, it is fundamentally a non-profit-making body.
As we told the Chancellor last week, he discriminates in relation to the Profits Tax—I hope that the advice being given to the Financial Secretary by the hon. Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Sir A. Spearman) will be useful to the hon. Gentleman. Not only does the Chancellor discriminate in this way, but also in the treatment of capital possessed by certain members of the community. When they apply for assistance their co-operative savings are treated differently, and more unfairly, than savings from other sources. Those are three examples. But the most topical and, in my view, the most unfair act of discrimination is in the present Budget, where the right hon. and learned Gentleman has given a rebate of £83 million to the Surtax payers. That money is to be distributed among a small, select group in the community, numbering, I should say, at the most about 300,000 people. I do not know whether I have exaggerated their number or underestimated it. At the same time the right hon. and learned Gentleman is refusing to give £2 million to 13 million members of the co-operative societies.
That is all that the proposal in this new Clause would cost the right hon. and learned Gentleman if he accepted them. The Economic Secretary gave that answer about the cost a year ago. So that to one section of the community in this Finance Bill the Chancellor of the Exchequer is giving £83 million; to a small group, not nearly so important as the co-operative membership which for the most part is comprised of people who really work. Those in the group which is getting the £83 million live largely on their wits. Of course they do, and the Financial Secretary knows that perfectly well.
These are the sort of things that create grievances in the minds of the great mass of working-class people for whom we have the privilege of speaking in this Committee. If the Financial Secretary's intentions are as good as he indicated when he was referring to my Measure, now is the chance for him to put them into operation. I know that he is a very learned person. So, I believe, is 1256 the Economic Secretary. I believe that they are both dons.
§ Mr. Rankin
I am not going to use any adjective or qualification.
They know all about the ten-year war with Troy, and all those other things, but in this Chamber last year we finished another ten-year war—a war about the cinema tax. We fought it in this Chamber for ten years, and finally the Chancellor gave way. Now the cinema tax has been abolished. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is facing what may prove to be another ten-year war. It will be a co-operative war, and it will go on, assuming that the Financial Secretary and the Economic Secretary continue to sit on the Government Front Bench. It will be a war to do away with discrimination against the co-operative movement such as is practised by this Government on the lines which we have indicated.
I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is prepared to wage that war. His easiest way out would be to sue for peace now. I have always been told that no war is worth waging. Sometimes one emerges worse off than at the beginning. So why waste all the fine speeches which the hon. Gentleman will be making? Why waste all the beautiful words he will be using for the false cause he will be espousing? Why waste time on these things? Why not accept our new Clause now and save time? Time is money, and money is the thing which the Chancellor wishes to save and that is why he is trying to knock a few odd "bobs" out of the co-operative movement.
Of course, the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows that £2 million is nothing and that he would not miss it. He could have taken it out of the £83 million quite easily. That would have saved a great deal of worry and the need to listen to many speeches, with the knowledge that those speeches will be delivered again next year, if necessary, and the year after. There will be no use in saying, as was said last week, that we have heard it all before. That was said about the cinema tax, but in the end the Government gave way. They will hear these speeches again. The subject will be pursued from different angles, 1257 but the speeches will be heard. We wish to avoid hearing the same replies, and tonight the hon. Gentleman has a chance to say something new—that he will accept the new Clause
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ Sir E. Boyle
Just to get the record straight, may I say that the Economic Secretary is not a university lecturer, and neither am I.
§ Mr. Rankin
The use of the word "don" in Scotland is somewhat different from its use in England. When we use it we mean a brilliant fellow.
§ Sir E. Boyle
To get the record completely straight, my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary obtained a first-class degree in law as a prisoner of war, and I obtained a third-class degree in modern history at Oxford. Therefore, my hon. Friend can claim to be more learned than I, but neither of us can claim to be learned in ancient history.
Perhaps we had better get back now to the Clause, but I must say that when I was listening to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin) I was occasionally reminded of the rather lengthy speeches of the Homeric epics.
The object of this new Clause is to extend to dividends or interest on shares or deposits in co-operative societies the benefits of the existing Income Tax relief on the first £15 in a Post Office Savings Bank, or the ordinary department of a trustee savings bank. That existing relief dates from the Budget of 1956. With no disrespect to anyone who has taken part in the debate this evening, it seems that we have got rather away from the relief and the reasons why it was originally introduced.
The relief was originally intended as a specific incentive to the small saver to lend to the Government and trustee savings banks. It was confined to individuals, and does not cover trusts and corporate bodies, but those deposits which attract a rate of interest of 2½ per cent. It does not cover the deposits in the special investment department of 1258 trustee savings banks which are not lent directly to the Government and on which a higher rate is paid, nor other Government securities such as Defence Bonds.
Naturally enough, as I well remember, five years ago pressure developed during the Committee stage of the 1956 Finance Bill for the extension of this relief to friendly societies, co-operative societies, building societies, municipal banks, joint stock banks and a variety of miscellaneous savings institutions. The Prime Minister, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, made it quite clear that he proposed to restrict the concession firmly to savings institutions which had two features—first, that the rate of interest should be static at 2½ per cent. and, secondly, that the money saved would pass directly to the Government.
These were not at all arbitrary conditions. They were essential to the whole purpose which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister had in mind when making this concession. My right hon. Friend was not just seeking, in a general way, to encourage small saving. The whole point of the concession was to encourage small savers to make a kind of voluntary contribution to the Budget surplus at a time when, as now, budgetary policy was a factor of first-class importance for the management of the economy. As my right hon. Friend explicitly pointed out during the Committee stage debate, it was essential that the money saved should pass directly to the Government, because it would enable more of the State's borrowing needs to be met without increasing the liquidity of the joint stock banks.
As a result of the debate we had in Committee in 1956, Treasury Ministers—of whom I was one—agreed in principle to extend that concession to any savings institution which was ready and able to adopt the two essential features of a 2½ per cent. rate of interest, and direct investment of all deposits with the State by forming a separate department as a trustee savings bank. In the upshot, when we reached the later stages of the Bill, the only body ready to take action on these lines was the Birmingham Municipal Bank and for that reason an Amendment was inserted enabling that institution to come into the scheme.
1259 It seems to me, five years later, that the arguments today are exactly the same as they were in 1956. I am putting exactly the same case as I would have put five years ago. I should make it quite plain that there is no question here of any prejudice by the Government against retail co-operation. In answer to the hon. Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon), who made a very agreeable speech to the Committee, I think I can say that I am as relatively free from class prejudice as most Britishers. I am not terribly friendly to pretty well all dogmas but, looking on this proposal on its merits in the terms of the 1956 proposals, we have to realise that co-operative societies pay only modest rates of interest.
Of course I realise that the amount of shareholdings in the societies is limited by statute to £500 and that savings deposited in the co-operative movement are valuable from the economic point of view at a time of heavy pressure on our resources and, most relevant perhaps, I realise that co-operative societies invest a large proportion of their surplus funds in Government securities. That is all true, but the fact remains that the existing relief was given for the specific purpose of encouraging lending at a modest rate of interest direct to the Government.
The mere fact that the deposits of an institution such as a co-operative society may be invested in Government securities does not mean that an increase in those deposits automatically helps Government's budgetary and monetary policies. Such an increase may involve no more than the purchase of securities from other holders. The co-operative societies use the money invested in them primarily to finance trading. They cannot claim to be purely savings agencies. If we admitted the claim of all co-operative societies to the 1956 concession, it would be almost impossible to withhold a similar concession from a whole range of institutions whose case would be at least as strong.
This is an important point, because the 1956 concession, although I believe it was fully worthwhile on economic grounds, was by no means cheap, as I know the Committee realised. The amount of relief which will be given under this concession as it stands is in 1260 1961–62 likely to be approximately £12 million. If we were to extend the exemption to dividends and interest from industrial and provident societies and registered friendly societies, the extra cost would be about £2 million in a full year. As I have explained, I do not believe we could stop there. I believe that we should be driven further and further towards exemption for the first £15 of investment income generally. This would cost a further £38 million in a full year which, quite apart from any short-term budgetary considerations, is a far larger sum than any Chancellor could ever contemplate for this sort of purpose.
I must therefore ask the Committee to accept the continuation of the limits to this concession which have been in force ever since 1956, and to reject this new Clause. In answer to the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Dodds), to whom I listened with attention and who made a forceful speech—and we welcome him to these debates—there is no evidence that shareholders or depositors in co-operative or friendly societies have switched their savings into Post Office savings banks on a large scale. There is no evidence that that has happened, but, in view of what he said, I shall look into the matter further and write to him about it.
§ Mr. Dodds
Last year the Economic Secretary said that inquiries had been made. We had subsequent tussles in the House. I challenged him or the Financial Secretary to say whether that investigation was made. I repeat that I do not believe it was made. This clearly indicates that we were fobbed off, because it is difficult to find this information. In a very limited circle, I know of people who have withdrawn their money as a consequence. Even the secretary of a co-operative society does not know why people withdraw their money, but I happen to know several people who have withdrawn their money because of this concession given to the Post Office. Therefore, I say to the hon. Gentleman that, unless he can bring convincing information to the contrary, I cannot accept that an investigation has been made. I am surprised that last year the statement was made by the Economic Secretary when he had no information which was worth bringing forward.
§ Sir E. Boyle
The hon. Gentleman has delivered his rebuke. Both my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary and I have listened to what he said this evening. It was exactly for that reason, with no intention of fobbing anybody off, that I said that I had taken note of his point and would look into the matter further with my hon. Friend and communicate with the hon. Gentleman.
In so far as the co-operative movement, as I fully recognise, is facing some difficulties at present, I believe that they arise far more from increased trading competition than from any substantial reduction in its share and deposit funds. I say with all friendliness, and meaning no at all to retail co-operatives, that I wonder whether some of the things the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford said this evening were in the best interests of the co-operative movement. In the closing parts of his speech he seemed to be making things out to be more difficult than they really were. He has raised the point and I will certainly communicate with him after reviewing the evidence.
§ Mr. George Darling (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
The difference between the Financial Secretary and ourselves is that we do not believe that we are asking for special concessions in taxation in respect of the small savings invested in co-operative societies. I agree, as I am sure that my hon. Friends agree, that co-operative societies are not purely savings institutions. They are, in our view, mainly savings institutions. We do not disagree that, if this concession, if I can call it so for the moment, were granted, it would encourage savings in other similar institutions
§ and the relief would have to be given to other institutions which have the same kind of fixed capital, fixed interest rates, and so on.
§ The arguments of my hon. Friends are based on the assertion that savings in co-operative societies and deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank and trustee savings banks are identical in character and should be taxed in precisely the same case. That is the substance of their case. It has been very ably presented, and there is no point in going over it again. It has not been satisfactorily answered by the Financial Secretary. I am sure that it will not be satisfactorily answered by his successor, until we get a change of Government, when a different view will prevail.
§ There is no point in saying, as the Financial Secretary said, that because the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1956, the present Prime Minister, did something we should continue to do it now. The fact that he then made a profound mistake, in our view, is one of the reasons why we think that the Clause should be accepted and included in the Bill. As the Financial Secretary made it quite clear that the mistake which was made in 1956 is to be continued, my hon. Friends will be quite justified in registering their dissatisfaction with the Government's view and their disappointment with the Financial Secretary's reply by voting for the inclusion of this Clause in the Finance Bill.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 165, Noes 235.1265
|Division No. 211.]||AYES||[7.43 p.m|
|Ainsley, William||Crosland, Anthony||Grey, Charles|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Griffiths, David (Bother Valley)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Darling, George||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)|
|Awbery, Stan||Deer, George||Grimond, J.|
|Bacon, Mist Alice||Diamond, John||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Dodds, Norman||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)|
|Bence, Cyril||Donnelly, Desmond||Hamilton, William (West Fife)|
|Benson, Sir George||Driberg, Tom||Hannan, William|
|Blyton, William||Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John||Hart, Mrs. Judith|
|Boardman, H.||Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||Hayman, F. H.|
|Bowden, Herbert W, (Leics, S.W.)||Edelman, Maurice||Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)|
|Boyden, James||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Herbison, Miss Margaret|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Hewitson, Capt. M.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||Hill, J. (Midlothian)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Fitch, Alan||Hilton, A. V.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Fletcher, Eric||Holman, Percy|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Holt, Arthur|
|Callaghan, James||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Houghton, Douglas|
|Chapman, Donald||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)|
|Chetwynd, George||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Gourlay, Harry||Hoy, James H.|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Moody, A. S.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Mort, D. L.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Hunter, A. E.||Moyle, Arthur||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Mulley, Frederick||Steele, Thomas|
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Neal, Harold||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Janner, Sir Barnett||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)||Stonehouse, John|
|Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Oliver, G. H.||Stones, William|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Oram, A. E.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Oswald, Thomas||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Owen, Will||Sylvester, George|
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Padley, W. E.||Symonds, J. B.|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Paget, R. T.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|King, Dr. Horace||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Lawson, George||Parker, John||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Parkin, B. T.||Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)|
|Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Logan, David||Peart, Frederick||Timmons, John|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Pentland, Norman||Tomney, Frank|
|McCann, John||Popplewell, Ernest||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|MacColl, James||Prentice, R. E.||Wade, Donald|
|McInnes, James||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Probert, Arthur||Whitlock, William|
|Mackie, John (Enfield, East)||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|MeLeavy, Frank||Rankin, John||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Reid, William||Willey, Frederick|
|Manuel, A. C.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Mapp, Charles||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Mason, Roy||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Mayhew, Christopher||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Mellish, R. J.||Ross, William||Wool, Robert|
|Millan, Bruce||Short, Edward||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Milne, Edward J.||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Monslow, Walter||Small, William||Mr. Sydney Irving and Mr. Redhead.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Crosthwalte-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Hendry, Forbes|
|Aitken, W. T.||Cunningham, Knox||Hiley, Joseph|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Curran, Charles||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Currie, G. B. H.||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount|
|Balniel, Lord||Dance, James||Hirst, Geoffrey|
|Barber, Anthony||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Holland, Philip|
|Barter, John||Deedes, W. F.||Hollingworth, John|
|Batsford, Brian||de Ferranti, Basil||Hopkins, Alan|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hornby, R. P.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Howard, John (Southampton, Test)|
|Bell, Ronald||du Cann, Edward||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Duncan, Sir James||Hughes-Young, Michael|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)||Eden, John||Hurd, Sir Anthony|
|Bidgood, John C.||Elliot, Capt. Waiter (Carshalton)||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Elliott, R. W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Bishop, F. P.||Emery, Peter||Jackson, John|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Errington, Sir Eric||James, David|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Farr, John||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Braine, Bernard||Finlay, Graeme||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey|
|Brewis, John||Fisher, Nigel||Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)|
|Brooman-White, R.||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Freeth, Denzil||Kerby, Capt. Henry|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Gammans, Lady||Kerr, Sir Hamilton|
|Bryan, Paul||Gardner, Edward||Kirk, Peter|
|Buck, Antony||Gibson-Watt, David||Kitson, Timothy|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Glover, Sir Douglas||Lambton, Viscount|
|Burden, F. A.||Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Leather, E. H. C.|
|Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)||Goodhart, Philip||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Goodhew, Victor||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Grant, Rt. Hon. William||Lindsay, Martin|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R.||Linstead, Sir Hugh|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Green, Alan||Litchfield, Capt. John|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Grimston, Sir Robert||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Longden, Gilbert|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Gurden, Harold||Loveys, Walter H.|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby|
|Cole, Norman||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Cooke, Robert||Harris, Reader (Heston)||McAdden, Stephen|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||MacArthur, Ian|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||McLaren, Martin|
|Corfield, F. V.||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John|
|Costain, A. P.||Hastings, Stephen||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)|
|Coulson, J. M.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||McMaster, Stanley R.|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)|
|Critchley, Julian||Henderson-Stewart, Sir James||Maddan, Martin|
|Maginnis, John E.||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Markham, Major Sir Frank||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Marlowe, Anthony||Pym, Francis||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Marshall, Douglas||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Mawby, Ray||Ramsden, James||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Rawlinson, Peter||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|Mills, Stratton||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Turner, Colin|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Roes, Hugh||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Rees-Davies, W. R.||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Morrison, John||Renton, David||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Nabarro, Gerald||Ridsdale, Julian||Vickers, Miss Jean|
|Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)||Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis|
|Noble, Michael||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Nugent, Sir Richard||Russell, Ronald||Walder, David|
|Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Seymour, Leslie||Walker, Peter|
|Orr-Ewing, C. Ian||Shaw, M.||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek|
|Osborn, John (Hallam)||Shepherd, William||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)||Webster, David|
|Page, John (Harrow, West)||Smithers, Peter||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Spearman, Sir Alexander||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Speir, Rupert||Wide, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Partridge, E.||Stevens, Geoffrey||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)||Wise, A. R.|
|Peel, John||Stodart, J. A.||Wolrige-Cordon, Patrick|
|Percival, Ian||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Peyton, John||Studholme, Sir Henry||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Pilkington, Sir Richard||Talbot, John E.||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Pitt, Miss Edith||Tapsell, Peter|
|Pott, Percivall||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)||Mr. Chichester-Clark and|
|Price, David (Eastleigh)||Teeling, William||Mr. Whitelaw.|
|Prior, J. M. L.||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|