HC Deb 30 May 1961 vol 641 cc140-72

Question again proposed, That "eighteen" stand part of the Clause.

8.33 p.m.

Mr. Willey

When the debate was interrupted, at seven o'clock, I was dealing with the Chandos Committee and saying that I had two points to raise. The first point I raised was that that Committee might well have come to its conclusions—indeed, it must have come to its conclusions—with some reservations and qualifications about which we know nothing. In the absence of this information it is extremely difficult to come to any firm conclusions upon the recommendations themselves. When we are considering the advance of £18 million from public funds we really cannot accept that position.

Having given the junior Minister time to be here, I will proceed to the second point, hoping that he will inform the Minister of this point when the Minister joins us in our discussions.

The second point that I raise about the Chandos Committee is that we do not know and there is no evidence to indicate that the Committee had before it any information about Eagle Airways. The question of the Cunard Company being involved in air transport and in particular in trans-Atlantic air transport was not considered by the Chandos Committee at all, and this is a matter which must affect our views about the moneys which ought to be advanced for the "Q/" project. I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman is not with us, because he knows that I am replying to matters which he raised in answering the debate. It places us in great difficulty when a Minister at a few minutes to seven o'clock tries to conclude the debate and then has not the courtesy to come to hear the reply. He is not only discourteous to my hon. Friends but also now to the whole Committee.

If the right hon. Gentleman were here I am sure that he would concede that his major point, perhaps, was that without this substantial public subvention the British might have to retire from the express passenger service in the North Atlantic, but this was the question which was expressly excluded from the consideration of the Chandos Committee. All that the Committee could endeavour to answer was the question of "how". It was not asked whether such a vast commitment of public moneys was justifiable.

In these circumstances, therefore, we need far more from the right hon. Gentleman, if he were here, in justification of his essential argument that without this subvention we should have to retire from the trans-Atlantic express passenger service. All that the right hon. Gentleman did in support of his case was to make citations from his Second Reading speech. I do not want to be discourteous to the right hon. Gentleman but, as he is now graciously joining us, I would tell him that if a Minister makes a bad Second Reading speech it does not help us in Committee to repeat that speech. But that is all that the right hon. Gentleman did in his appearance at the Dispatch Box. But the first of these major questions which face us, and which he did not endeavour to answer, is the assumption upon which this public money is being supplied to the Cunard Company, and that assumption is that the enterprise is commercially justifiable.

The new circumstances which now face us are that Mr. Bamberg and Sir John Brocklebank have given evidence in support of Eagle Airways. It seems from their reply that they do not regard this as an enterprise which is commercially justifiable. That is the only interpretation that we can put upon their words. They were unwilling to finance it.

Then there is other evidence. Reference has been made in debate to the leading article in The Times. The interesting thing about that leader is that it indicates that there is a difference of opinion in the board of Cunard itself. I am quite sure that this is true. The Minister has not denied this and I think that we can assume that The Times would not have published such information by way of an editorial unless it was well-informed. If it be a fact, as we must assume, that the Cunard board itself is not satisfied that this enterprise can be commercially justifiable, this is a further new circumstance.

What surprised me about the Parliamentary Secretary—we welcome him to our debates and hope that he will get off to a better start when we reach later Amendments—was that when I asked him about Eagle Airways he said that there had been no discussions with the Cunard board. But, surely, if £18 million is being advanced there should be the closest consultation. If £18 million were being advanced to a nationalised corporation, would there be discussions? What would happen to a Minister who said that there were to be no discussions?

So we have the position, apparently, that there are two new circumstances. The first is that there appears to be a difference on the Cunard board itself about whether this enterprise is worth while. Secondly, it is clear that the Cunard group has been carrying out operations which are bound to affect this enterprise and which could well turn this enterprise from being one which was commercially attractive to one which was commercially unattractive—without any discussion or consultation with the right hon. Gentleman.

In the proceedings before the Air Transport Licensing Board, the spokesmen for the Cunard group, Mr. Bamberg and Sir John Brocklebank, made it clear that they bad proceeded to the purchase of the two Boeings without even obtaining a licence from the Board. They were asked about it, and they said that they had contracted to purchase. They also said that the contract to purchase had an escape clause which terminated on 7th June, and that they had no intention of taking any advantage of that clause. So, at any rate, Cunard Eagle Airways is in a position to proceed with the purchase without obtaining a licence to run the Boeings across the Atlantic.

It was further able to say "Looking ahead as far as 1964, we anticipate that we shall then proceed to the purchase of V.C.10's." This is a matter which is relevant to our discussion on this Amendment. It is relevant in two senses. In so far as it affects the judgment that we take about whether the sum should be £18 million or £12 million, we are entitled to know, and the right hon. Gentleman ought to know, how this purchase was financed. We all know, of course, that there is a difference between purchasing a couple of aircraft and purchasing a ship, but as this is affecting the resources of the company and as this is a reflection of the position of the Cunard Company, maybe, in raising money, we are entitled to know about it. Any person exercising prudent commercial judgment would know, but the right hon. Gentleman does not know. This seems to be a flippant, frivolous disregard for substantial sums of public money.

As to the second way in which the transaction is relevant and important, when Mr. Bamberg and Sir John Brocklebank were questioned at the inquiry before the Board, it was suggested to them that Cunard Eagle Airways was taking these steps to share in the prize—the money to be obtained from trans-Atlantic air services. It was even suggested responsibly to Mr. Banberg and Sir John Brocklebank that they were taking this step as an attempted rescue operation against the failing fortunes of the Cunard Company. Is this so?

8.45 p.m.

We are entitled to know whether the Minister has considered what effect this proposed air service will have on the commercial prospects of the new liner, and also what consultations he has had with the board of the Cunard Company to discover its motives in wanting to enter this air traffic. In the past few days we have had the annual meeting of the Cunard Company. It is clear that many of the commercial assumptions made by the company have been proved wrong. That was practically admitted by Sir John Brocklebank in his statement to the meeting. I am not saying that he could have forecast them correctly.

There is, however, a third factor. We want to know what evidence was put before the Chandos Committee, because that Committee could base its conclusions only on the evidence presented to it. I gather that the case for the Government is that the proposal for the new liner and the proposal of the company to buy these two aircraft are two separate things, and that we should divorce them. That is not the view of the board of the company or of Sir John Brocklebank, because Sir John went out of his way to quote Sir Percy Bates, who was Chairman nineteen years ago. He recalled that Sir Percy had said that sea and air services were complementary and that the one must have an effect upon the other. Sir John added that the board had now been able to take the steps envisaged nineteen years before, and that the two services were commercially complementary.

The Minister is being unfair to himself and to his intellectual ability if, for facility in debate, he says that these two things are entirely separate, when the Cunard Company itself regards them as being complementary. He pays no regard to the stake which the company, in common with most other shipping lines, is putting into civil aviation as an insurance against meagre returns in shipping.

This factor is something which should affect our judgment on the amount of money to be advanced from the public purse to the Cunard Company, but the right hon. Gentleman has not tried to answer these questions. All the factors have been recognised by Sir John Brocklebank as relevant, but all the right hon. Gentleman says is, "Well, I have not discussed this with the Cunard Company. All I am doing is to provide £18 million from the public purse. Why should anyone cavil or question me?"

Several hon. Members have said that this is an exceptional case, that it is only being done for the Cunard Company, where there are particular circumstances. But the right hon. Gentleman says, dramatically and rhetorically, "Are we to throw our hands in on the express trans-Atlantic passenger service?" But the view of the Chamber of Shipping is that this proposition is a pattern for further cases, and that what is good for Cunard may well be good for other shipping lines. This is a new consideration—something which was not put to the Chandos Committee. That is why the arguments advanced by several of my hon. Friends are relevant. If £18 million is to be tied up in this case it will make it more difficult for money to go, justifiably, elsewhere. We have to regard this on a wider scale. If we talk of subsidising a certain line we must bear in mind other lines whose competitors are subsidised. This is not particular to the trans-Atlantic run. It is therefore relevant to see how great is the national interest in this run, as compared with other services which we run in the Commonwealth.

Mr. Marples

Can the hon. Member give some examples?

Mr. Willey

I am not going to give examples.

Mr. Marples

Why not?

Mr. Willey

I am relying on the general case put by the Chamber of Shipping.

Mr. Marples

It would help the Committee if the hon. Member gave some examples of subsidised competition which is as fierce as that which exists on the North Atlantic run.

Mr. Willey

That is not what I said. The right hon. Gentleman is too clever by half. I said that other lines were competing against subsidised competition. If the Minister wants to controvert that statement he will have another opportunity later on. I ask him to consult the Chamber of Shipping on this matter. I say that in almost every line or service we are operating against shipping which is subsidised in one form or another.

The express passenger service is subsidised on one ground only by the United States, and that is defence. I have not heard anything about defence in regard to this matter. I should like to know whether defence considerations enter into it. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell us.

Mr. Martin Maddan (Hitchin)

A specious argument.

Mr. Willey

It is not a specious argument; it is very relevant, and I will tell the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mr. Maddan) why. We are now concerned with defence services within N.A.T.O. and I should have a very serious argument with the United States if they were not prepared to discuss these matters through N.A.T.O. The right hon. Gentleman is so slippery that he would not think of this. He is very slippery in escaping from any point I put to him, but he cannot face this. The remarkable thing is that this was a straightforward opportunity for the right hon. Gentleman to do what he has been pressed to do by shipping interests supported by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, namely, to raise this matter nationally and to say that if these are defence costs they should be discussed through N.A.T.O., in order to ascertain what the appropriate defence costs are. If it is to the advantage of America to load defence costs on to its trans-Atlantic express liner, it affects us, and the provision we make, which is something which should be discussed within N.A.T.O. We cannot understand why the Government have never had the initiative to take this step, in spite of its being raised repeatedly by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee.

I want to return to the statement of the General Council of the Chamber of Shipping which, after referring to the fact that the Government had decided to help the Cunard Company, went on to say: It follows that the Government should consider other cases where equally urgent reasons can be shown for Government help. I gather that the earlier intervention by the right hon. Gentleman was to deny that. That is a matter between him and the Chamber of Shipping. But if the Chamber of Shipping says to us, "We do not accept this as a case for which there is no parallel; on the contrary, now that the Government have intervened to subsidise shipping in the particular respect of the Cunard 'Q/', we want other cases to be considered," I should have thought that we needed a broad inquiry as to what commitments might be involved before settling the amount in this case.

For those reasons it seems clear that nobody except the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden)—who apparently has no financial interest in the Cunard Company but who appears to have been bought entirely by that company—and the hon. Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. J. Howard), who has a constituency interest, has any enthusiasm for the Bill. There are several matters about which we have no information and about which we ought to have information before we can make a judgment.

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will agree that the best thing to do is to adjourn further consideration of the Bill—which will enhearten the Patronage Secretary and relieve him of many of his difficulties—and again consult the Cunard Company to find out what the position is about its available resources and to await the decision about Eagle Airways, because we do not yet know what the position is to be.

Finally, the right hon. Gentleman should be straightforward in his discussions with the Chamber of Shipping and be in a position to discuss this matter frankly without the commitment of £18 million. For those reasons, and in the national interest, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will agree not to proceed further now, but to discuss the matter and then to return to the Committee.

Mr. Diamond

I have already had the opportunity to address the Committee, but I want to invite the Minister to return to the one topic which he owes it to his stature and integrity to deal with more specifically. That is the question of whether this company has or could find the funds required. The Minister has said many times that this is a wrecking Amendment, and other hon. Members have supported him in that view. It is a wrecking Amendment only if the £6 million, by which we suggest the amount should be reduced, cannot be found by Cunard. If Cunard cannot find it, then the proposal that the amount should be reduced by £6 million would mean that the scheme could not continue.

We are saying that Cunard can find the amount and the Parliamentary Secretary has removed whatever doubt there was. He said quite specifically that the probable explanation for the apparent irreconcilability of the authoritative statement of the Minister on the one hand, and the authoritative statement of the chairman of the company, on the other, was that Cunard was saying that it did not have the money available out of its existing resources and did not want to borrow, or anything like that. The Minister dealt with this point very clearly and fully when he said that the story started when Cunard told the Government that it could not find enough capital either from its own resources or by borrowing on the market.

"Borrowing on the market" means going to the money market and saying, "We have certain assets; we are prepared to charge them in order to borrow money for certain developments which we wish to pursue." The Parliamentary Secretary said that the company did not wish to charge its assets for this purpose and that was why the Minister was justified in saying that it did not have the resources. But the Minister said precisely the opposite and said that it could not borrow on the market, that is to say, it could not offer the security and get the money.

We really ought to know which it is. This may be a mistake and even the Minister may not know what is in the Chandos Report and may not know what evidence was submitted to the Chandos Committee. He told me that there was a distinguished chartered accountant on the Committee and that that was why I should accept, hook, line and sinker, what the Committee reported. Of course there was a distinguished chartered accountant on the Committee, but I would bet £3½ million to ¼d. that he did not accept anything without getting evidence of it. No distinguished chartered accountant does. I am not a distinguished chartered accountant, but I am not accepting anything without the evidence, and the evidence I have is that in his maiden speech at that Box the Parliamentary Secretary said that the Minister was utterly wrong and was misleading the Committee and that the sole reason why the Bill was introduced was that Cunard could not find the money. Cunard's chairman said that it could, and one or other is misleading this Committee in a disgraceful manner.

9.0 p.m.

Mr. Callaghan

I shall not keep the Committee long. I want to press the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire (Mr. Diamond). The Committee is entitled to a clearer answer than we have had so far. If the Minister is not ready to reconsider what has been said, I shall cheerfully vote against him, because, having listened to every word of every speech since the beginning of the debate, the Minister has utterly failed to convince me, my hon. Friends, and many of his hon. Friends.

I can adduce no new argument. I can only give my impression as a friend of the shipping industry who follows its fortunes, who knows the divisions which exist in the shipping industry about this venture on which the Government are engaged, and who is bound to say that the Minister is now asking for £18 million with an argument which has never before been placed before the Committee. Do we need a weekly express service across the Atlantic? No one has answered that question. The Minister has assumed that it does not need answering. He has assumed that it is proved before it is stated.

The right hon. Gentleman has assumed, and his argument has been proceeding on the basis, that this is 1934, and that because in 1934 we built two ships which could ply the Atlantic in 4½ days between the Ambrose Lighthouse and the Scilly Isles, or whatever the boundaries were, at a time when there was no commercial flying, we need to continue to do that today. The argument has been put time and again from these benches. Anybody interested in speed today will go by air.

The Minister said that the French and the Americans had done this. I ask about another maritime nation. What about the Dutch? Where do they stand? Does the Minister know the policy of the Dutch Holland America Line? It is building 15,000, 20,000 and 30,000-ton vessels, cutting out first-class and tourist class, and having one-class vessels and making a roaring success of them. They are not crossing the Atlantic in 4½ days. They are doing it in seven days, and they are filled to capacity. Are we building prestige symbols, or are we a commercial trading nation which should build ships which will pay?

This argument has never been put by the Minister. He did not put it to Chandos and, because he did not, Chandos did not answer it. Chandos said, "Assuming that we are told to have a service like we had in 1934, how best can we do it?" And the answer was "We must have a 75,000-ton ship". That was the question Chandos asked, and the question he answered.

We cannot maintain a weekly express service without two of these vessels. The Minister can keep going for the next five years with the "Queen Elizabeth", but what will happen after that? What the Minister is committing us to now on the basis of this argument of a weekly express service is another expenditure of £18 million when he wants to replace the "Queen Elizabeth". Otherwise, there is no case for coming to the Committee and saying that this sum of money is required for a vessel of this size.

I have heard what has been said about the argument the Minister has put today, the argument he put on Second Reading, and the argument put by Sir John Brocklebank at the hearing before the International Air Transport Authority. I do not see how the Minister can escape from the fact that either he misled the House on Second Reading, or, alternatively, that he was so slipshod that he did not know the facts. It is one or the other. Let us be clear about this. He did not actually say so, but he left the House with the impression that the Cunard Company could not raise this money. I went away with that impression. I listened to most of the Second Reading debate, and that was the impression I got, as did most hon. Members.

The Chandos Committee's Report implied that the Cunard Company could not put more than this amount of money into this project. That can be read two ways if one is clever. The significant words are "into this project". Reading it again in the light of what came out when Sir John Brocklebank gave evidence, I can see how the Minister can get up this evening and justify that this is what he meant—but it is not the impression he gave.

Cunard says that it was not willing to invest—or that it could not invest—more than £12 million in this project. The right hon. Gentleman will rely on the words "in this project". But everyone in this Chamber with a reputation for fair-mindedness will know that the impression given by the Minister was that the company could raise only £12 million.

Mr. Marples indicated dissent.

Mr. Callaghan

The right hon. Gentleman is shaking his head now, but I can only tell him what everyone in the Chamber believes. It is his own reputation which will suffer if he tries to deny it.

We now know, as a result of the evidence given by Sir John Brocklebank, that the company could raise the money, but was unwilling to do so because it did not think that this was a commercial risk. That is an entirely different argument. The Minister stands convicted either of sliding over this, so that he gave the impression of misleading us, or of not knowing the facts. If it is the second, it is culpable on the part of the Government to enter into an arrangement with the Cunard Company when the Government and the company are telling different stories. The Government have not tied up their arrangements with the Cunard Company if they cannot agree so that both tell the same story. "It does not matter what we say," said Lord Melbourne. "so long as we say the same thing." The Cunard Company and the Government cannot say the same thing for five minutes at a time.

We are being asked to find money on a case which is entirely unproved, and I strongly resent it. One reason why the Committee has not come out more strongly against the Bill is that too many people tend to regard the workers as children. They think that because there is a bait of a 75,000-ton ship offered they cannot oppose. I oppose, and I will willingly go to any shipyard area in the country and explain why. This case has not been proved. I am anxious, willing and desirous, as a friend of the shipping industry, that more money should be devoted to the industry. If it has to come by Government subsidy, well and good. But there are better and other ways of providing the money and better and other ships on which it could be spent. I say that the Government have made out no case at all and the Minister has failed in his duty to the Committee to prove a case. Therefore, I think that we ought to vote for the Amendment.

Mr. Shinwell

I shall not venture to detain the Committee longer than is necessary, but we have to consider what has happened during this debate. To begin with, is it not significant that very few hon. Members opposite rallied to the support of the Minister? Indeed, apart from the "heavenly twins", the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) and the hon. Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. J. Howard)—one a director of a subsidiary concern who, apparently, has not contributed any finance to the project but hopes to gain something from it, and the other with a constituency interest of a somewhat remote character, not necessarily associated with the building of the ship— there has been hardly a speech from the other side on the subject before the Committee.

No doubt there is time for them to do so, and there may be other hon. Members who wish to make a contribution, but my reason for rising is that the Minister—I must choose my words carefully in view of what happened earlier on—has either deliberately or unwittingly sought to evade the issue. He has failed completely to answer the questions posed by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) and my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). It is remarkable that one can address oneself to the facts over and over again, in Committee or in the House, during a debate, and yet make no impact on the minds of hon. Members opposite. Either they refuse to listen, or they ignore the suggestions made to them.

What are the facts which have come before us in this debate? The first is this, and it is unchallengeable. The Cunard Steamship Company was not short of funds; neither is it short of funds now. That is the first unassailable fact. The second is that, in order to replace a vessel of this size, even if it requires a subvention, it need not be a subvention of this character, and the reason is obvious. I ventured to point out to the Committee earlier, as indeed other hon. Members have done, that according to the Cunard Company's balance sheet—and surely this is a fact—the company has £16 million available in its own funds for the purpose of capital replacement. Not a word was said about that by hon. Members opposite. Reference was made to £14 million, I think by the hon. Member for Southampton, Test and I believe by the Joint Parliamentary Secretary, and the assumption was that this was the whole of the funds available in the coffers of the Cunard Company for replacements.

What are the facts? There is £16 million available for replacements, and £15 million worth of investments plus nearly £4 million cash at bank. There are general reserves or general assets of £55 million. The argument that has been adduced in support of this project is the one that we require a ship of this character. I should imagine that the answer to that is simply this. If the Cunard Company really believes that in the next ten or twenty years a passenger ship of this character is required in the North Atlantic, why then does the company create this subsidiary company of Eagle Airways in order to carry passenger traffic by air? Obviously, carrying passenger traffic by air is in competition with the steamship line. Obviously the company believes in the favourable future of the one or the other.

In my opinion, the Cunard Company is not quite sure of itself, and I should not be at all surprised if the idea of the second "Queen" came, not from the Cunard line, and I am pretty well satisfied not from the shareholders of the Cunard line, because there is no evidence of that, but from the Government, and for this reason. The Prime Minister, at the last General Election, injected into the election manifesto a promise about two "Queens", and in a half-hearted fashion the Government are trying to live up to the promise they made. Will the Minister be good enough and decent enough—I put it quite bluntly to him, with no reference to his integrity. I do not doubt his integrity. I do not doubt the integrity of hon. Members opposite, although I have a little suspicion about the hon. Member for Gillingham.

Mr. Burden

On a point of order. This is about the third time that the right hon. Gentleman has made an absolutely disgusting imputation. I have declared my interest. I must ask for the protection of the Chair against any further imputations of that type.

The Temporary Chairman (Major Sir Harry Legge-Bourke)

I think that the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) heard either the Chairman of Ways and Means or myself give a very clear Ruling about imputations on hon. Members' integrity. I hope that he will feel able to withdraw the remark.

Mr. Shinwell

All right, I withdraw it, although I think that the hon. Member for Gillingham is unduly sensitive.

Hon. Members


The Temporary Chairman

I think that the right hon. Gentleman knows that there is only one way to withdraw, and that is unconditionally.

Mr. Shinwell

I am quite prepared to withdraw if the Chairman suggests it, but not for the political infant opposite.

9.15 p.m.

Mr. Maddan

If the right hon. Member will not withdraw for the "political infant" as he calls my hon. Friend the Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden), will he withdraw for the honour and tradition of this Chamber and of the Chair?

Mr. Shinwell

What I was about to say when I was unnecessarily interrupted was that the hon. Member for Gillingham is unduly sensitive. Consider what has been said about me in this House, not only since the last General Election but over a period of more than thirty years. I have been castigated, lambasted and abused and that has created a considerable impression in my mind, yet hon. Members opposite get excited and consumed with anxiety if someone ventures to detect defects in their characters. I do not put it higher than that.

I was saying that I do not for a moment doubt the integrity of the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary, but I plead with them for heaven's sake tell us the truth.

When the Minister was replying to the debate he talked about heavy subsidisation of foreign shipping. I have dealt with that in this House over the years. I believe that I know as much about it as any other hon. Member. I know about the heavy subsidisation of the United States. That goes back very far indeed. A remarkable thing about subsidisation by foreign Governments of foreign shipping is that it is done for strategic reasons, as in the case of the United States. My hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) was quite right about that. We know about the Liberty ships and so on and we know that that has a bearing on this matter.

Flags of convenience and flags of discrimination are the real bogy for the ship owners of this country, as the Chamber of Shipping will tell hon. Members and as they could be told by Sir John Brocklebank or Sir Colin Anderson, who knows as much about shipping in this country as anyone. Why do they continue this nefarious practice in the United States? It is for strategic reasons. What do they care about the British mercantile marine so long as they can uphold their mercantile marine, at very high costs with wages more than we can pay and more favourable conditions than are to be found in British ships—which makes American shipping very costly?

It is not only for strategic reasons that they subsidise heavily, but also because American shipping companies have not the financial facilities which are available to companies like the Cunard line. I wonder whether that came before the Chandos Committee and whether it examined the position meticulously to ascertain the facts about the financial assets of foreign shipping companies. Does anyone suppose for a moment that the Dutch or French shipping companies have assets similar to those of the Cunard line? Let them inquire. That probably is the main reason why foreign Governments subsidise their shipping.

Mr. Maddan

Will the right hon. Member develop his argument in relation to the American shipping companies?

Mr. Shinwell

I have said all that is necessary to be said about that.

Mr. Maddan

Not at all.

Mr. Shinwell

When we have the debate on shipping and shipbuilding which has been promised we can go into that more thoroughly.

Mr. Maddan

Will the right hon. Member be more precise? Following his argument about foreign shipping companies—he was speaking particularly of American shipping companies and said that they have not assets such as those available to the Cunard—will he spell out the details?

Mr. Shinwell

I shall be interested if the hon. Member can inform me of any American shipping company which has assets of £55 million, £16 million available for replacement, investments of £15 million, with cash at the bank of nearly £4 million and property and interests worth £4 million. I think that is quite sufficient for the purpose.

Mr. Maddan

Will the right hon. Gentleman examine that position in comparison with the United States?

Mr. Shinwell

I appreciate that over a long period of years, even before the First World War—and I am thinking of the Matson Line—the American Government subsidised shipping. But, as I have said, the reason was partly strategic and partly because American shipping costs are extremely high and they are unable to provide replacements to the extent—

Mr. Maddan


Mr. Shinwell

I will not give way at the moment.

Mr. Maddan


The Temporary Chairman

The hon. Member should not remain standing if the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) does not give way.

Mr. Shinwell

On the question of the subsidisation of foreign shipping by foreign Governments, we must consider what would have happened if the Minister had told hon. Members simply that the Cunard line had no money, that they were very hard up but that they wished to replace their ships, irrespective of whether it was another "Queen". Perhaps it could have been a ship of a smaller type. Then hon. Members would have sympathised with the Minister and with the Cunard Company.

But it is obviously, equally, that hon. Members would have addressed themselves to the needs of other ship owners and shipbuilders. There has been a great deal of talk about the other ship owners not having made application. What is the position of some of them? Take, for example, the Royal Mail Steamship Company, one of the best in this country and in the world. It has spent more than £16 million—and in Belfast with Harland and Wolff—over a period of years building three fine vessels.

At that company's meeting the other week, Mr. Bowes, the chairman, announced that there would be no dividend. The company's prospects are bleak, apart from cruises and in some other ways. He was hoping that the Government would boost that trade. What about the "Canberra", about which we have heard so much? It is a vessel of about 40,000 tons and it was paid for by the P & O line—£16 million—without asking for a penny from the Government. Where did that company get the money? It got it, of course, from the shareholders or by going into the money market. That is the normal process. I do not want to inject too much politics into this, but by the normal capitalist processes there should be none of this pleading for public money for private enterprise.

The P & O company went to its shareholders or to the money market. That happens with other companies. What is the result of these companies going to that market? Do they get the money at 6¾ per cent.? Not on your life. They pay 8 per cent. or even 8¾ per cent.—but they get it.

Consider Eagle Airways, of which the hon. Member for Gillingham is one of the exalted directors. No doubt he was promoted by Mr. Bamberg, about whom we have heard a great deal this afternoon and who has admitted that there is a close link between Eagle Airways and the Cunard Company. [HON. MEMBERS: "Of course."] But that was denied—even by Government Front Bench spokesmen. I know that it has been suggested that one of the reasons why we are fighting this aspect of the Bill is that we are afraid of the repercussion on the British nationally-owned airlines. Nothing of the sort. There may be some case for competition, even in the air. I will not dispute that, any more than I dispute the need for occasionally subsidising distressed industries, as long as the money is to be wisely spent and wisely distributed.

That is not our case. Our case is simply that, having accepted the Bill on Second Reading—I admit that freely—we are seeking not to wreck it but to conserve the nation's finances. Where is the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke)? Where is the hon. Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell)? Where are the other hon. Members who announce from time to time their readiness to strangle the Government because of the Government's inflationary tendencies? Where are they? Here is their opportunity.

What is to be done about this? I suggest that the Minister should rise and tell the Committee that the Cunard Line has all the money it requires for this purpose; or if it has not sufficient money, that there is a way out. Let Cunard abandon this project of Eagle Airways, which will cost £6 million if not more, and use the £6 million to help to replace the old "Queens" by building a new "Queen". That is very simple. That is ail the company has to do.

What about Eagle Airways? I make a suggestion, and do not charge the director anything for this advice. I suggest that company should go into the market and try to raise the money. This debate will help. The company is pleading poverty, pleading that it cannot raise the money. What nonsense that is. I know very little about business methods and business affairs, but I venture the opinion that if a sound project is presented to the City of London, the City will lap it up. The Eagle Airways project is either "phoney" or sound. I am beginning to think that it is a "phoney" project.

Why does not the Minister rise and satisfy the Committee by giving us a modicum of the truth? Let him tell the Cunard Company where it gets off. Let him give Cunard the £12 million but not £18 million. Look how generous we are—£12 million loan at 6¾ per cent. when in the market Cunard would have to pay 8 per cent. for the money, if the company could raise the money at all. A sum of £3½ million is to be given, never to be returned. That is a gift. We shall never see it again. Let the Minister accept our Amendment, which is not a wrecking Amendment. He will have his Bill and Cunard will have the ship. It may be good, bad or indifferent but we shall have something for our money, although not control. We come to the question of control later.

Mr. P. Williams

Would it not be much simpler for the Minister to accept the obvious consensus of opinion of the House, to redraft the terms of reference of the Chandos Committee and to start all over again?

Mr. Shinwell

I was about to say, Out of the mouth of…babes and sucklings… A Daniel has come to judgment. I accept that suggestion. Will the Minister do that? Everybody will be satisfied, even the Cunard Company, even Sir John Brocklebank. He will be satisfied. We have heard over and over again in the course of the debate that he has said that Cunard can find the money quite independently and that there is no inability to provide it. We have argued over and over again that Cunard can find it. The Government ought to be ashamed of themselves. The next time any of my hon. Friends asks a question about the old-age pensioners and matters of that sort and the Government say that they have no money, I will remind them of the Cunard Company. The Minister had better get up now and tell us the truth.

9.30 p.m.

Mr. Mellish

At this stage we should hear further from the Minister. This is my second intervention on the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman will know, if he has much experience of proceedings in Committee, that in Committee it is not unusual for a Minister to rise three or four times on an Amendment of importance. At 6.45 this evening he made a speech which he obviously thought was a winding-up speech. He wanted us to arrive at a quick decision. He does not realise that his speech raised even more doubts. We want some clarification of what he said. That is the trouble with this Minister. Every time he talks he will not stick to his brief. The moment he leaves his brief he gets everybody into trouble.

One thing we want to know is whether he was correct in saying that the Chandos Committee was set up as a result of representations by the Cunard Line. That is the impression he left with me. If that is the impression he intended to convey—I think that he did convey it to the whole Committee—I say emphatically that it is wrong. It just is not true. It would be unfair to let it go out from the House of Commons that the Chandos Committee had anything to do with representations made by the Cunard Line. I will not bore the Committee with all the details of why the Chandos Committee was set up. The hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) was absolutely right: the terms of reference of the Chandos Committee were a millstone around everybody's neck. The setting up of the Committee had nothing to do with the Cunard Line's approach to the Government. In fairness to the company, the Minister should clarify that.

The second thing that the Minister did not tell us is this. When the Chandos Committee was sitting, did it know that the Cunard Line had money available in the way that we now know it has, as evidenced by its interest in Eagle Airways? The Minister has the private confidential information. It is not asking too much if we ask him to disclose that part of it. We were told previously that we could not expect to learn what the evidence before the Committee was. We were told that it was so confidential. However, that part of it is not confidential. We are entitled to know that, because we have since learned that £6 million is available to the company. That is the second question the Minister should answer. That is an additional reason why he should rise again and reply to the debate.

I want to know also what discussions there have been with the Cunard Line, since the Chandos Committee reported, on the £6 million which has now come to light. Have the Government taken a dim view of this? Do they consider that the Chandos Committee should have had this evidence, if it did not have it?

Is what we have read in The Times today right? Does the Minister know anything about it? Will he give us his views on it? Is it the fact that the directors of the Cunard Line are now in grave doubts about the whole project? Are the Government aware of this? Is The Times overstating the case? Is The Times telling the truth? We are entitled to know, because we are being asked to agree to the loan of £18 million of public money. We are entitled to know whether it will be spent in the right way.

I will now ask the Minister another question. This is an additional reason why he should rise again. He said that United States and French lines are being very heavily subsidised and that it is, therefore, inevitable that this line has to be subsidised. An hon. Member opposite intervened when my right hon. Friend was speaking on this point. Is it not a fact that this is not the only line which is subsidised by these Governments? Many other lines are being subsidised as well. Can we now take it from the Government that, as a consequence of the Bill and all that it means as regards shipping, lines which are in competition with subsidised foreign operators will have the right to come to the Government and demand subsidies? Will the right hon. Gentleman answer that? This is the case which has been made. It has been argued that other shipping lines are being heavily subsidised by foreign Governments and we must help ours out. If it was only the North Atlantic line, I could understand the argument, but it is not. Almost every British shipping line is now facing subsidised competition.

I turn now to the size of the ship. It is said that we must have a 75,000-ton prestige liner. The Americans have not got one. The French have not got one. They are crossing the Atlantic with 55,000-ton liners, and I understand that they are doing extremely well. I wholeheartedly support what my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) said. The question of speed is absolutely irrelevant, and the Minister knows it, although in my view he does not know anything at all about shipping, otherwise he would not have made such stupid speeches as he has made.

A speedy Atlantic crossing is made by air. Those who cross the Atlantic by boat do not do so because they want to cross quickly. They cross by boat because they want to go in comfort, to read and to relax. That is a well understood fact today. Years ago it may well have been said that the quicker one got across the Atlantic the better and the best way for that was by boat. It is not so today. If speed is wanted, passengers go by air.

The Minister must understand that we are in Committee and that he can rise as often as he wants, provided that when he rises he gives us the answers to which we are entitled. I want the Minister quite clearly to understand that to many of us the Bill provides Government money for the wrong cause to the wrong people at the wrong time. He ought not fob us off with some of the stupid arguments that he has used in the past.

Mr. Marples

After the most courteous speech which I always get from the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish), I will respond to his invitation to speak again. The "United States" is 960 feet in length and weighs 53,330 gross tons. The "France" is of 60,000 gross tons. The Chandos Committee decided that 75,000 tons was the right size and tonnage for this ship.

In reaching that decision it had the assistance of the Yarrow Admiralty Research Department after it had exhaustively examined almost every range and weight of ship. The Yarrow Admiralty Research Department has played a great part in the technical side of our shipbuilding industry. That was its advice to the Chandos Committee. That Committee accepted the advice, and recommended accordingly

The hon. Member asked whether what appeared in a leading article in The Times was right. I cannot, Sir Gordon, speak for The Times, and I have no intention of speaking for the leader writer of The Times. I do not know whether the article was right or wrong or where the newspaper got the information from—

Sir Lynn Ungoed-Thomas (Leicester, North-East)

The right hon. Gentleman could find out.

Mr. Marples

It is not for me to decide whether what the newspapers say—

Mr. Mellish


Mr. Marples

No, I shall not give way—

Mr. Mellish

On a point of order, Sir Gordon. It is important, if we are to get some sort of cohesion of debate, to know something more about this. A statement has been made in The Times that the board of directors of the Cunard Company, which is to build the ship, is split on the issue, and has made a most serious allegation. I ask you, Sir Gordon, to bring some sense into this debate by asking the Minister to tell us whether the statement in The Times about the board of directors is right or wrong. It is as simple as that.

The Chairman

That is not a point of order.

Mr. Marples

We are grateful for the way in which the hon. Member for Bermondsey raised his point of order, but I do not think that it is for any Minister to defend any leading article in a newspaper. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] The hon. Gentleman said that this route is subsidised and other routes are subsidised, too. The hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) said exactly the same thing—[Interruption.] Will the hon. Member for Bermondsey allow me to make a reply, or does he intend to go on intervening? I am really trying to answer. I do hope that he will be courteous to me and will give me the same chance as he had. I never interrupted him.

The real point is that this express Atlantic service is the most heavily subsidised shipping route in the world. The normal Atlantic service is not, and the Cunard competes there without a penny of Government money. This express service is the most heavily subsidised service in the world. I challenged the hon. Member for Sunderland, North to mention other routes that he had in mind, but he said, "Oh, the Committee knows that there are many of them"—but he did not say which they were. I repeat that this is the most heavily subsidised service—

Mr. Willey

I went further than that. I challenged the right hon. Gentleman to tell me of a liner service where we are competing with ships flying other flags where those ships are not subsidised in one form or another.

Mr. Marples

The assertion was made by the hon. Gentleman, not by me. He made the assertion—he must prove it. He must not adopt this negative attitude. He made a positive assertion, and all I asked of him was, "Can we have the proof?". Now he says, "Can you prove that it is not true?".

This is a wrecking Amendment—I am certain of that—and if it were carried this is what would happen. There would be no replacement of the "Queen Mary". No ship would be built, because the new "Queen Mary" could not face this heavily subsidised competition without some form of Government assistance. If the Opposition wishes to divide on this, then I suggest that at this stage we do divide, and the country will know the Opposition do not want this replacement.

Mr. Willey

I am sure that the Committee would be surprised if I did not respond to the right hon. Gentleman's challenge. I want to deal now with subsidised shipping, but, first, I would ask the right hon. Gentleman why he has replied to none of the questions I asked him. He is the Minister in charge of the Bill. Shall we ever dispose of the Bill in this sort of way? I say again, because I do not think that hon. Members opposite are seized of the point, that here we are dealing with the advancing of £18 million from the Exchequer. If this were being advanced to a nationalised corporation hon. Members opposite would be, quite properly, insisting upon further information—or some information. We cannot get it from the right hon. Gentleman.

I remind him again, we have raised the question of Cunard Eagle Airways. It is quite clear that this affects the issue we are discussing. All that the Government have said so far is that they have had no discussions with Cunard. That is all. We cannot get any information. We know—it is quite clear, because Mr. Bamberg and Sir John Brocklebank have said so—that Cunard Eagle Airways has bought two Boeings for £6 million.

Sir A. V. Harvey

It paid for them.

Mr. Willey

I know that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Macclesfield (Sir A. V. Harvey) has been courteous and helpful enough to give us some information about the purchase of the aircraft. Why cannot we get some information from the Government? It may be that the hon. Gentleman's surmise is correct. If it is correct it would be very helpful to the right hon. Gentleman's case if he could give it. As he will not give it, I do not think that his surmise is correct.

But here is a fact. There was an escape clause which gave Eagle Airways the opportunity to escape, and that runs till 7th June, but the hon. Gentleman knows quite well that Eagle Airways has said that it does not intend to take advantage of the escape clause. The Boeings are bought. We have no information as to how this transaction was financed. We are entitled to know.

It must be equally obvious that if the Cunard group is successful in its application then this will affect the commercial prospects of "Q/". It must do. Or should I say it is arguable that it does? But we do not know at the moment whether this application will be successful. Would it not be better to await the event of the application?

I come to the further question I put to the Government. I asked the Government whether they had ever been consulted about this by Cunard, and the answer was, "No". But surely the Government ought to be consulted. What does the right hon. Gentleman think he is? An office boy? He is dealing with £18 million. Who is he to be kicked around by? Has he no respect for himself and his office? Surely he ought to have been consulted. I do not know his views because he has not expressed them, but he could have said, "All right, go ahead with this transaction". But what disturbs me is that the Cunard group never thought of consulting the right hon. Gentleman.

The right hon. Gentleman has the answer. He is the only member of the Committee who has the answer. What does the Chandos Committee know about this? I will hazard a guess: it knew nothing at all. It considered this purely as a shipping matter. It did not know that Cunard was to be both a shipping and an airways concern. It did not know that the objective the Cunard group had sought for nineteen years was coming to fruition.

The right hon. Gentleman says, of course, "We have got to regard these things separately. They have nothing to do with each other." That is not the view of the Cunard group, or of Sir John Brocklebank. His view is that these are complementary, and, of course, we all know that practically every big shipping line is trying to get into civil aviation, and quite properly. But this does affect the question whether "Q/" is a commercial proposition or not. I am glad that the debate has been worth while because the right hon. Gentleman, for the first time, is nodding in agreement.

Mr. Marples


Mr. Willey

If the right hon. Gentleman nods in an affirmative way to show disagreement, then we really must not continue this debate further. I thought that, at any rate, we had got one point home.

9.45 p.m.

I want to deal with what the right hon. Gentleman challenges me about on subsidised shipping. He has not answered this point. He is discussing this with the Chamber of Shipping now. The Chamber says, "We take note of the moneys that are being advanced, the £18 million, and the £3¼ million grant going to Cunard. We do not accept this as being exceptional. This may well be the pattern for aid to British industry. We recognise now that this is quite novel. The British Government are now prepared to subsidise British shipping." This all comes out in the statement made by the Chamber of Shipping and I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has given broad consideration to all this. This obviously affects the amount of moneys that we should properly advance to Cunard. The Government surely are not an inexhaustible source of funds to private enterprise. They should consider this in the light of new circumstances.

It was not the shipping lines that intervened. It was the Government. Hitherto, British shipping has said, "We can get along without subsidy. We do not want to be subsidised. We are in an international market and we have our own reasons for resisting support for British shipping by way of subsidy." But what the Chamber of Shipping is saying now to the Government is, "You have breached this and you are saying, 'Because this is a heavily subsidised express service across the Atlantic we must provide subsidy'." But this is quite new.

Mr. Marples

The hon. Gentleman says that this is quite new. This subsidy for express passenger services was started before I was born, in 1904.

Mr. Willey

It is quite new in this context. The right hon. Gentleman knows that well enough. Even in relation to express passenger trans-Atlantic services we have said that compared with the Americans and the French we are not subsidised. They are the only competitors we have on this service. Who else is there? But the Government are saying, "We are prepared to compete with the Americans and the French in subsidies". The Chamber of Shipping says, "If you are going to do that there are other cases where subsidies might be appropriate." Therefore, the Government should pursue discussions with the Chamber of Shipping before deciding on this amount. This was a matter on which the Chandos Committee was not asked to consider. The first issue that arises is this question of subsidised lines. In conceding the principle now that the British Government will compete with other countries in subsidies, other liner services must be considered.

To reply to the right hon. Gentleman's particular challenge to me, I will state what I have stated before. As far as I am aware, in all the express liner services where we are competing with ships flying other flags we are competing with shipping which is subsidised in one form or another. I did not know that this was an issue between us but I concede that this trans-Atlantic service is more heavily subsidised than others. But this does not give us any escape from the general problem which now arises that if we are considering the relative subsidies and relative difficulties that British shipping is facing elsewhere, these ought to be considered before a decision is taken in a particular case.

My very real doubts about the action of the Government arise on this point. What the Chamber of Shipping has repeatedly said is that this is a matter which can be effectively dealt with only through international action. But this is what the right hon. Gentleman is not doing. That is why I put to him that in this case what is disturbing us more than anything else is that this was a field in which there was an opportunity, I believe, for effective international action, because this is a matter which affects N.A.T.O. The Americans provide all their subsidies to this trans-Atlantic express run on the ground of defence.

Because they make this provision on the ground of defence it would have been right and proper for this matter to be discussed through the N.A.T.O. Council. It ought to have been discussed there.

We are entitled to say to the Americans, "If this provision is being made on the ground of defence, we have to consider the complementary part that we play in Western defence." It would have been proper to come to an agreement with the Americans so that there would be more equity in the provision made on this route and so that we should be able to run the Cunarder on a trans-Atlantic express route without the present heavy subsidies.

Because the right hon. Gentleman has failed to answer any of these points—although he has had the courtesy to rise and try again—we still feel thoroughly dissatisfied with what he has said.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Martin Redmayne) rose in his place, and claimed to move, That the Question be now put:—

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 134, Noes 94.

Division No. 176.] AYES [9.52 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Fisher, Nigel Jennings, J. C.
Aitken, W. T. Fletcher-Cook, Charles Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Barlow, Sir John Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Kerr, Sir Hamilton
Barter, John Gammans, Lady Leavey, J. A.
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Gardner, Edward Leburn, Gilmour
Berkeley, Humphry Glover, Sir Douglas Litchfield, Capt. John
Biggs-Davison, John Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby
Bingham, R. M. Goodhew, Victor Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Bishop, F. P. Gower, Raymond McLaren, Martin
Black, Sir Cyril Green, Alan Maddan, Martin
Bourne-Arton, A. Gresham Cooke, R. Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
Box, Donald Grimston, Sir Robert Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Gurden, Harold Mawby, Ray
Bullard, Denys Hall, John (Wycombe) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Montgomery, Fergus
Carr, Compton (Barons Court) Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) More, Jasper (Ludlow)
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd) Noble, Michael
Cleaver, Leonard Hastings, Stephen Osborn, John (Hallam)
Cole, Norman Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Page, Graham (Crosby)
Cooper, A. E. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Partridge, E.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Hendry, Forbes Peel, John
Cordle, John Hiley, Joseph Percival, Ian
Corfield, F. V. Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe) Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Coulson, J. M. Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Pilkington, Sir Richard
Craddock, Sir Beresford Hocking, Philip N. Pitman, I. J.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col, O. E. Holland, Philip Pitt, Miss Edith
Cunningham, Knox Hollingworth, John Pott, Percivall
Curran, Charles Hopkins, Alan Quennell, Miss J. M.
Dalkeith, Earl of Hornby, R. P. Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Deedes, W. F. Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia Rees, Hugh
de Ferranti, Basil Howard, John (Southampton, Test) Renton, David
Drayton, G. B. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Hughes-Young, Michael Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Elliott, R.W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.) Hutchison, Michael Clark Seymour, Leslie
Emery, Peter Iremonger, T. L. Shaw, M.
Errington, Sir Eric James, David Shepherd, William
Finlay, Graeme Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn
Skeet, T. H. H. Thomas, Peter (Conway) Whitelaw, William
Smithers, Peter Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.) Wise, A. R.
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm Walder, David Woodnutt, Mark
Storey, Sir Samuel Walker, Peter Worsley, Marcus
Studholme, Sir Henry Wall, Patrick
Tapsell, Peter Ward, Dame Irene TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Teeling, William Watts, James Mr. Gibson-Watt and
Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury) Wells, John (Maidstone) Mr. F. Pearson.
Ainsley, William Hunter, A. E. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Awbery, Stan Hynd, H. (Accrington) Skeffington, Arthur
Blyton, William Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.) Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan) Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Callaghan, James Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Snow, Julian
Chetwynd, George Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Cliffe, Michael Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Spriggs, Leslie
Collick, Percy Kelley, Richard Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Kenyan, Clifford Stones, William
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Lawson, George Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Sylvester, George
Deer, George Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Symonds, J. B.
Delargy, Hugh McInnes, James Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Diamond, John McKay, John (Wallsend) Thornton, Ernest
Dodds, Norman Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Thorpe, Jeremy
Ede, Rt. Hon. C. Manuel, A. C. Tomney, Frank
Finch, Harold Mellish, R. J. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Morris, John Wade, Donald
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Moyle, Arthur Wainwright, Edwin
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh Neal, Harold Wigg, George
Galpern, Sir Myer Paget, R. T. Wilkins, W. A.
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Parker, John Willey, Frederick
Grey, Charles Parkin, B. T. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Grimond, J. Pentland, Norman Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Hannan, William Randall, Harry Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Hayman, F. H. Rankin, John Woof, Robert
Herbison, Miss Margaret Redhead, E. C. Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Holman, Percy Robertson, John (Paisley) Zilliacus, K.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Ross, William
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Cronin and Mr. McCann.
The Chairman

The Question is, That "eighteen" stand part of the Clause. As many as are of that opinion say "Aye". To the contrary, "No". I think that the "Ayes" have it.

Hon. Members


The Chairman

Clear the Lobbies; lock the doors.

Mr. Callaghan

Did you say, "Lock the doors", Sir Gordon?

The Chairman

I am sorry; unlock the doors.

Sir J. Barlow (seated and covered)

On a point of order. Do I understand that the doors were locked some time ago, Sir Gordon?

The Chairman

I inadvertently gave that order, but I cancelled it.

The Committee divided: Ayes 135, Noes 89.

Division No. 177.] AYES [10.1 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Bullard, Denys Curran, Charles
Aitken, W. T. Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Dalkeith, Earl of
Barter, John Carr, Compton (Barons Court) de Ferranti, Basil
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.) Drayson, G. B.
Berkeley, Humphry Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
Biggs-Davison, John Cleaver, Leonard Elliott, R. W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)
Bingham, R. M. Cole, Norman Emery, Peter
Bishop, F. P. Cooper, A. E. Errington, Sir Eric
Black, Sir Cyril Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Fisher, Nigel
Bossom, Clive Cordle, John Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Bourne-Arton, A. Corfield, F. V. Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)
Box, Donald Coulson, J. M. Gammans, Lady
Brewis, John Craddock, Sir Beresford Gardner, Edward
Bromley-Davenport, Lt. Col. Sir Walter Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Gibson-Watt, David
Brown, Alan (Tottenham) Cunningham, Knox Glover, Sir Douglas
Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Kerr, Sir Hamilton Shaw, M.
Goodhew, Victor Leavey, J. A. Shepherd, William
Gower, Raymond Litchfield, Capt. John Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn
Green, Alan Longden, Gilbert Skeet, T. H. H.
Gresham Cooke, R. Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby Smithers, Peter
Grimston, Sir Robert Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Gurden, Harold MacArthur, Ian Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Hall, John (Wycombe) McLaren, Martin Storey, Sir Samuel
Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Maddan, Martin Studholme, Sir Henry
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd) Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest Tapsell, Peter
Hastings, Stephen Mawby, Ray Teeling, William
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Montgomery, Fergus Thomas, Peter (Conway)
Hendry, Forbes More, Jasper (Ludlow) Turner, Colin
Hiley, Joseph Noble, Michael Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe) Osborn, John (Hallam) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Page, Graham (Crosby) Walder, David
Hocking, Philip N. Partridge, E. Walker, Peter
Holland, Philip Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe) Wall, Patrick
Hollingworth, John Peel, John Ward, Dame Irene
Hopkins, Alan Percival, Ian Watts, James
Hornby, R. P. Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth Wells, John (Maidstone)
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia Pilkington, Sir Richard Whitelaw, William
Howard, John (Southampton, Test) Pitman, I. J. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hughes Hallet, Vice-Admiral John Pitt, Miss Edith Wise, A. R.
Hughes-Young, Michael Pott, Percivall Woodnutt, Mark
Hutchison, Michael Clark Quennell, Miss J. M. Worsley, Marcus
Iremonger, T. L. Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
James, David Rees, Hugh TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Renton, David Colonel J. H. Harrison and
Jennings, J. C. Seymour, Leslie Mr. Finlay.
Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Ainsley, William Hynd, H. (Accrington) Skeffington, Arthur
Awbery, Stan Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
Blyton, William Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.) Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech(Wakefield) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan) Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Snow, Julian
Callaghan, James Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Chetwynd, George Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Cliffe, Michael Kelley, Richard Stones, William
Collick, Percy Kenyon, Clifford Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lawson, George Sylvester, George
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Symonds, J. B.
Deer, George McInnes, James Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Delargy, Hugh McKay, John (Wallsend) Thornton, Ernest
Diamond, John Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Thorpe, Jeremy
Dodds, Norman Manuel, A. C. Tomney, Frank
Ede, Rt. Hon. C. Mellish, R. J. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Finch, Harold Morris, John Wade, Donald
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Moyle, Arthur Wainwright, Edwin
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Neal, Harold Wigg, George
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh Paget, R. T. Wilkins, W. A.
Galpern, Sir Myer Parker, John Willey, Frederick
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Parkin, B. T. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Grey, Charles Pentland, Norman Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Grimond, J. Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Randall, Harry Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Hannan, William Rankin, John Woof, Robert
Hayman, F. H. Redhead, E. C. Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Holman, Percy Ross, William Zilliacus, K.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hunter, A. E. Mr. Cronin and Mr. McCann.

It being after Ten o'clock, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

Committee report Progress.