§ 3.34 p.m.
§ The Chairman
The first Amendment on the Notice Paper, in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3B) Any person who receives a notice under subsections (1) or (2) of this section may appeal in writing against his retention, such appeal to be considered and determined by the Army Council or any officer not below the rank of major-general deputed by them.has not been selected, but may be discussed later with the Amendment in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3H) Any notice served under subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be accompanied by a statement informing the recipient that he has a right to appeal on the grounds that the effect of the note will be to inflict unusual hardship either upon him or his dependants and that in the event of his wishing so to appeal he should communicate the grounds of his appeal to his commanding officer forthwith.In calling the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown), in page 1, line 21, it is also possible to discuss four other Amendments, but these have not been selected for a Division. They are in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3F) This section shall not operate so as to prevent any doctor of medicine from taking up any appointment which he may have received prior to the receipt by him of any notice referred to in subsections (1) and (2) of this section.in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3G) This section shall not operate so as to prevent any person who has ben allocated a place in any full-time educational course at a university, college or comparable institution in the United Kingdom, from taking up that place on the appropriate day.in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3K) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall not apply to any such person who has qualified in a learned profession, trade or calling, which requires a training period of whole-time study lasting 1099 not less than three years, and who has obtained employment in such profession, trade or calling involving not less than one year's service, such employment being conditional on that person entering thereupon during the six months following the end of his whole-time service under the said Act of one thousand nine hundred and forty-eight.and the Amendment to Clause 2, page 2, line 36, at the end to add:or(d) who, having the qualifications specified in subsection (3K) of section one of this Act, is engaged in, or about to enter upon, an occupation for which he is so qualified involving, at the time of the acceptance thereof not less than one year's service of which six months have still to elapse".
§ Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke-on-Trent, South)
May I raise two points of order, Sir William? I do so in view of the special circumstances and I hope that you will listen with patience and magnanimity to what I have to say, for I desire to support my comments with evidence to prove that we should not proceed with this Bill.
§ The Chairman
I would be wrong to give the hon. Member any encouragement to raise points of order along those lines, because the House has already taken a decision that the Bill should be proceeded with and the Committee has no option but to do so.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
I wholeheartedly accept that, Sir William, but I want to point out that the introduction of this Bill is one of the most unconstitutional things that have ever been done in the history of Parliament. If you will listen to me with a little patience, you will see that there is something in the points I wish to raise. I am not used to raising points of order without there being something of substance in them.
In Committee, something happened about which hon. Members are now having a similar experience. As a result of our patience, and being familiar with the Standing Orders, we were gradually winning the support of the Chair. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]Since then there has been a hypercritical Select Committee's Report which has completely vindicated and confirmed the view held by my hon. Friends and which we put forward during the Committee stage.
My first point of order, therefore, is that in consideration of that hypercritical Report of the Select Committee— 1100 and I have it with me—should the Bill be proceeded with before the Money Resolution has been framed in accordance with Parliamentary practice?
My second point of order is this: some hon. Members, particularly my hon. Friends, have had some experience of Money Resolutions. We won great concessions for our fellow countrymen who were serving in the Armed Forces and we cannot easily forget what has taken place previously regarding Money Resolutions. Seeing that the Money Resolution to the Bill was not phrased in accordance with the Standing Orders and Parliamentary practice—and that a Committee of the whole House could not really be competent to give attention to it—and that the Treasury's representatives before the Select Committee accepted all that, I am wondering whether I shall be able to raise these important issues, perhaps on Clauses 2, 3, or 5.
§ The Chairman
I am obliged to the hon. Member for putting his points, but the facts, with which he may or may not agree, were in the possession of the House when the House decided that the Committee should proceed with the Committee stage of the Bill. Therefore, I feel it my duty to proceed with the Committee stage. I appreciate that the hon. Member has given notice that at a later stage he will seek to raise this matter again. We will see how we get on. For the present, I am in no doubt that we should proceed with the Committee's business, and I therefore ask the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) to move the Amendment.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
I am grateful for your Ruling, Sir William. I accept that the facts were before the House when we were considering the guillotine Motion. It only shows how we slipped up. I shall look forward to having an opportunity of raising the matter on Clause 2, 3 or 5.
§ Mr. George Wigg (Dudley)
Sir William, you told us that you would not call the first Amendment on the Notice Paper which seeks to add a new subsection (3B), but that it could be discussed on another Amendment. I did not hear what you said after that.
§ The Chairman
The information is given on the provisional notice of 1101 Amendments. With the Amendment in page 1, line 21, which seeks to add a new subsection (3H), which comes after the Amendment which is about to be moved, may be discussed the first Amendment on the Notice Paper to which the hon. Member has just referred. That Amendment has not been selected for a Division.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
I beg to move, in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3C) This section shall not operate so as to prevent any person from taking up any appointment in the service of Her Majesty's Government or of any local authority which he may have received prior to the receipt by him of any notice under subsections (1) and (2) of this section.I wish to try to mitigate the level of injustice which the Bill does to certain groups of individuals. I think that it is common ground that there can be no doubt that the Bill of necessity imposes grave injustice on certain people. The Government as well as everybody else must recognise that there is grave injustice upon persons who are selected arbitrarily.
The Government should be the more careful of this, since the position which has made the Bill necessary is exclusively of their own making. There is no crisis on our hands, other than the foreseeable one into which the Government have drifted. There has been no new emergency to deal with in Germany, where we have little more than half the number of troops whom we are obligated to maintain there by treaty, and were obligated to maintain there at the time when conscription was abolished. Equally, outside Europe we have no new emergency on our hands. Indeed, for the first time that I can remember since the war we have nobody on active service at all. Yet we have drifted into this situation.
This is not because the Government were disappointed in the number of recruits coming forward. In fact, the recruits whom they had expected have just about arrived. The sole trouble is that, having the Hull Report before them, knowing full well how many men they require for the existing commitments, knowing what those commitments are, without doing a thing about the situation, they have simply drifted into 1102 the situation where the inevitable occurred.
As we said when conscription was abolished, if we are to make this provision work, there must be one of two things. We have either to change our commitments, by reallocating within the Services or by abolishing them as no longer necessary to the interests of this country; or we have got to find new sources of recruitment outside these shores, within the Commonwealth. Neither of these lines was pursued. So we reached the inevitable situation, foreseeable, anticipated and seen by the Government and by everybody else, and supinely drifted into. In those circumstances, when injustice is proposed, arising so directly from the Government's responsibility, surely the Government have a special responsibility to mitigate that injustice as far as they can.
These Amendments which we are discussing together are designed for that purpose, to deal with particular cases, namely, the sort of employment which a man in the Armed Forces cannot walk directly into, the sort of employment the obtaining of which is of its nature a process which takes a good many months, a process which the man cannot initiate unless he can tell his prospective employer, "On the given date I shall be available".
We are, therefore, saying that where a man in this category applies for a job he shall be in a position to say to his prospective employer, "When that date comes I shall be free to take your job", and he shall be able to say that unless he has had notice that he is to be one of the unlucky ones to be called upon to do this extra service. In other words, until the appropriate notice shall have been received, people shall be in a position to apply for appointments on terms on which alone it is of any use to apply for an appointment. It is futile to apply for an appointment unless one is in a position to say that one can take it up.
If we do not accept this Amendment or get a specific assurance that these cases will be covered, we are not merely asking some men for an additional six months' service—since those whom we do ask to perform the additional six 1103 months' service we are delaying in their professions for an additional period of probably not less than six months—but we are equally delaying everybody whom we do not call up, because the uncertainty which is being created makes not only those who are called up but all those who are liable to be called up unavailable for any of these appointments.
Turning to the specific Amendments, the first relates to people applying for appointments in the Civil Service and in local government service. In the main, of course, these will probably be people with some sort of professional qualification, surveyors, medical officers, and the like.
§ Mr. Anthony Kershaw (Stroud)
On a point of order, Sir William. Before the hon. and learned Gentleman pursues that point, may I ask him to pursue it more quietly for the benefit of the right hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker)? I see that the right hon. Gentleman has now been woken up. I should not like to think that he was not slumbering well.
§ Mr. Paget
Considering that the time available has been cut down for this important Measure, it ought not to be wasted by trivial points of order like that, particularly from those benches.
This may not seem a serious point to the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw), but it is of vital importance to a considerable number of young men in the Services who have had their careers interrupted, who have made application for these jobs and who now know that they must be put behind every applicant who is not in the Service because only such applicants are in a position to take the jobs if offered to them. This is why we suggest, in our Amendment, thatThis section shall not operate so as to prevent any person taking up any appointment in the service of Her Majesty's Government or of any local authority which he may have received prior to the receipt by him of any notice…The next group—perhaps this is the most important of all—is covered by the Amendment in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3F) This section shall not operate so as to prevent any doctor of medicine from taking up any appointment which he may have 1104 received prior to the receipt by him of any notice referred to in subsections (1) and (2) of this section.This Amendment deals with the special case of doctors. Doctors, of course, have to go to appointments from the Army. A doctor cannot just step out of the Army and start earning in his profession. He must obtain an appointment with a hospital, with the National Health Service, or, perhaps, with a private employer. Of course, for the vast majority it is the National Health Service, and the structure of that Service requires that there must be an interval of a good many months, normally no fewer than six months, between application and commencement in the appointment. Generally, it is even more than that.
Do we really want to put doctors in the Service in the position of having virtually no employment except some sort of locum tenens work for a period of about six months after their discharge, even though they are not required by the Army? The uncertainty makes them unavailable for jobs at the time when they have to apply for them. Surely we should deal with that.
I have a letter here from a doctor which sums up the position very well:I feel that many National Service medical officers will be most anxious to return to more worthwhile hospital work as soon as possible and make up for the time spent in National Service. In my own case I have made application for a post in my teaching hospital beginning in September, 1962, but if service is extended my entry will be delayed for a further year. When specialising in surgery, one of the most important principles is to 'be in the right place at the right time' in applying for appropriate surgical posts. The chance of achieving this if more than two years have elapsed after leaving one's own teaching hospital gets less and less, as the hospital chiefs tend to forget their house surgeons and are very suspicious of the bad surgical habits that are so easily picked up in an Army hospital. It has been shown time and time again that three-year short service commission doctors rarely succeed in civilian hospital practice for these very reasons. I am sure that many of my colleagues are in a similar position and. as you can imagine, there is a strong feeling of grievance among those of us who have been placed at such a big disadvantage over those of our colleagues who have not had to render National Service.That is a man who actually has an appointment. He is lucky at least in this, that, having got it, if he is not recalled he will be able to take it up. But, after this point, it will be no use 1105 any doctor in the Service applying because no doctor in the Service will be in a position to say that he can take up an appointment. The result is that all these appointments will inevitably go to those who are in a position to undertake to take them. This is a disability which ought to be removed.
I have a letter here which deals with the situation from the point of view of the B.M.A.:The provision of the new Bill, therefore, only adds to a situation considered unsatisfactory and one which has led to an acute shortage of doctors in the Army in particular. Staying for a further six months will jeopardise the professional career of many a new doctor and as the first line of compensation we feel that some gratuity ought to have been paid.It seems to me to be a good deal better to deal with the matter by removing in this case the cause for compensation by excluding those who have an appointment as from the time that that appointment becomes available.
The next group are the students, and they are covered by the Amendment in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3G) This section shall not operate so as to prevent any person who has been allocated a place in any full-time educational course at a university, college or comparable institution in the United Kingdom, from taking up that place on the appropriate day.Here again, it is quite wrong to put National Service men in such a position that they cannot obtain places at the universities during the six months for which they might be liable for recall under the Bill. It will throw out all the university arrangements and their personal arrangements. We say, therefore, that regard should be had to the relevant academic year for which a man has obtained a place. He probably obtained the place two years before, in the vast majority of cases, before he went into National Service. He then serves his two years of National Service, and he has the right to expect that he will be free then to take up his place. If that arrangement is to come suddenly to an end so that none of these men knows whether he will be able to take up his position, there will be the utmost confusion
Surely, as suggested by the Amendment, the correct thing to do is to say, "In these cases"—that is, of those who have obtained a place in this sort of in 1106 stitution—"the period of additional service shall, be up to the beginning of the academic year". That period may be four months, five months, or whatever it is, but he should not be held after that time so that he can take up his appointment.
The other two Amendments which are being discussed are in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg). They seek to put in a compendious form and to cover all the cases involving this principle instead of the particular cases which I have picked out. I do not know precisely to what extent that may or may not be workable, but I feel that we should have an assurance from the Minister that the principle which runs through these Amendments is accepted—perhaps not in the Bill, but administratively—so that men applying for this sort of job can produce something to the board which states, "Here is the Minister's undertaking. If I get this appointment, I shall be able to take it up".
Only with an assurance of that sort which can be produced to the board will we be able to put these men in the Services, whether they are selected for further service or not, on an equal footing to compete with others for the jobs and appointments which are necessary to the commencement of their careers. If that is not done, their careers will be put back, not only for the time that they are required in the Army, but for a very considerable time after they come out of the Army.
§ Mr. E. Shinwell (Easington)
On a point of order. It may be a point of procedure, Sir William. We are operating under a guillotine Motion and, therefore, we are circumscribed in this debate. Would it not be advisable if, before the arguments on these Amendments are deployed, we had a response from the Secretary of State for War? It may be that he is ready to accept the proposition which has been made and to give the undertaking for which he has been asked. If so, we can dispose of these Amendments. If, on the other hand, he is not prepared to do that we shall know where we are and the debate can be organised in a more satisfactory fashion.
§ The Secretary of State for War (Mr. John Profumo)
I will watch the time very carefully. I am under some difficulty since the Opposition, perfectly justifiably on their part, did not feel able to accept the timetable Motion. I shall watch the position carefully to ensure that the division of these Amendments is done in such a way as to give me ample time to reply. If on any occasion I am, happily, able to accept in toto the whole thesis of a bundle of Amendments, I would not even wait for the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) to speak; I would rise at once. I should like to hear a little more discussion of these Amendments, but I give an undertaking that I will watch the position most carefully to ensure that I have time to reply on all occasions.
§ Mr. Shinwell
These Amendments have not been thrown at the head of the Minister this afternoon. He has had ample opportunity to consider their purpose and content. Surely he must have decided by this time whether he is prepared to give the assurance for which he has been asked, or whether he proposes to reject the Amendments. It would be to the advantage of everyone if we could ascertain what his views are now.
§ Mr. Wigg
I do not dissent from the views expressed by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). There is, however, a difference between us. Perhaps the Committee will allow me to express my regret that my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) is not with us today, because I know that he shares my views in detail. I went to see him last Sunday afternoon. I found him in good spirits and much better. We fell to talking about the Amendments on the Notice Paper. The point which quickly emerged in our talk was that once an hon. Member on either side of the Committee seeks to amend the Bill and to make it work more fairly then he accepts the basic principle which motivates my hon. Friend the Member for 1108 Coventry, East and myself, namely, that we are basing our actions on the principle of selective service.
My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton, with that first-class mind of his, put the matter very fairly. He spotted the difference between us. He was dealing with particular cases and I was seeking to establish principles. He did it eloquently and said that my Amendments put the matter in a compendious form. It would be arrogant on my part to think that my Amendments met his point.
This is a selective service Bill. It differentiates between men and women, between the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force and between those 60,000 who were not called up in November, 1960. Some of these Amendments are designed to remedy injustices which may involve financial ruin or the ruin of a man's career at its beginning or which may alter the whole course of his life. As soon as we start to put the matter right, we bring ourselves face to face with selective service.
I have argued—I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East will agree with this in every detail—that it is far more honest, far more competent and much better, in the interests of the Services, that the country should be brought face to face with the fact that in this modern world some form of selective service is absolutely essential if we are to have a defence policy which is worth twopence and which does not involve us in the expenditure of vast sums of money. The Americans were driven to this conclusion long ago.
Like my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton, I have some cases too, but they work the other way round. I will quote them later, but let me mention just one now. It concerns a lad in my constituency whose father came to see me last weekend. He is a boy from a working-class home who, at great sacrifice, has passed the G.C.E. with five subjects at O level and has gone on to obtain his Higher National Certificate. His ambition is not to be Prime Minister, to sit on the Government Front Bench, but to run a power station. That is a legitimate ambition. His service was deferred for five years. He was not called up until he was 23. The Army, quite rightly, requires of its young men that 1109 they shall serve in the defence of their country, but it is so "overflowing" with skilled men that it employs him as a lance corporal in the sergeants' mess to run the regimental tombola.
What happens when he comes out of the Army? He is married, but he has no home of his own. He has not a car. The alternative before him is to give up his career or do another couple of years of attendance at technical colleges in his spare time. The Army does not even want him in his technical capacity. It wants cooks and medical orderlies. These are the categories that the Army may want. It does not want power engineers, but the country does.
It is far better to look at this young man's qualifications and say that in the national interest he should be employed in civilian life completing his training, or that he is wanted in the Air Force or Navy and that his technical ability will be used. The country cannot afford to play ducks and drakes in this way because politicians do not have the "guts" to face the consequences of their own cowardice. That is what it amounts to and that is what we are faced with this afternoon.
In our earlier proceedings, when I moved the principle of selective service, supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East, the hon. Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Sir F. Maclean), my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) and one or two others, we did not get much change. We were told that selective service is not in accord with our British traditions. The alternative is, of course, to do the same thing in the unfairest possible way regardless of the consequences to individuals. We prefer this to telling our constituents that we have failed to face the issue of selective service, which we have had for years, and that in consequence we are now permanently tacking on to the country the same thing in the worst and most cowardly form.
I shall not dwell on this at length. I feel most strongly about it. The Army, unfortunately, is the victim of this system. It is no good for the Army or for the individual. I shall have no difficulty in going into the Lobby in support of these Amendments, but I hope that at least I have made it clear 1110 that I see plainly what I am doing; and I hope that the Committee sees clearly what it is being asked to do.
The Secretary of State will have no difficulty in rejecting the Amendment, because it brings the Department face to face with the logic of what is happening or what the Government have failed to do. My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) mentioned the Report of the Select Committee on Estimates, which came out so advantageously on the afternoon that the House had risen for the Christmas Recess, in which is revealed what some of us knew all along, that the number of men that were wanted was 15,000. It was politically inconvenient to put that in the Bill. The Select Committee, composed mainly of hon. Members on the Government side, says in its Report, in extremely critical terms, exactly what it thinks of the Government and of their failure, once again, to tell the Committee the facts.
Again, I am entirely at one with my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South, whose constituent I am, that this Committee is being asked to continue with the proceedings on the Bill never having been given the facts and never at any stage, on Second Reading or subsequently, being told the strength of the reserve forces. Some of us know what they are, but hon. Members, on both sides, must put down Amendments and take part in the discussions without knowing the level of the reserve forces, what they are hoped to be or what they will run down to.
As my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) has reminded the Committee, we are working under a timetable. I will not detain the Committee. I support the Amendments. I only hope that the Committee will accept their logic.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Sir Harry Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely)
I preface what I propose to say on the Amendments by assuring the Committee that I have never doubted the genuine desire of the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg), in particular, and of the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) that we should have effective Armed Forces of the Crown. I do not dispute their motives. Having listened 1111 to them today, however, it seems to me that the argument which they are employing is to some extent self-cancelling.
If the hon. Member for Dudley and the hon. and learned Member for Northampton are arguing, as, I think, they are and, I think, we all accept, that there are bound to be cases in which definite injustice results from the Bill, the various categories of people upon whom the Secretary of State can rely for drawing the necessary increases to the volunteer Regular Army should be made as wide as possible. The effect of all these Amendments is to extract from the field upon which the Secretary of State has to rely certain categories of people. That must result in the remaining categories who are not covered by the Amendments being drawn upon to a greater extent than otherwise would be the case. Certainly, there is a risk of that.
On Second Reading, we had from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State the assurance that every case would be examined on its merits, that a careful machinery to study hardship would operate and, therefore, that the individual sense of injustice would, it was hoped, be reduced to the absolute minimum. I cannot see any result more clearly coming from the Amendments than that if they were passed certain categories who are not covered by them will have a greater sense of injustice than they otherwise would have had.
§ Mr. Paget
Surely that is not so. In a few instances, of course, the procedure would work to excuse a man for a few months from part of his call-up, which would probably have to be done by somebody else. The whole point of the Amendments, however, is to remove the uncertainty for everybody in these categories, so that people would be in a position to apply for the jobs. That applies to the whole lot.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
All of us are only too anxious that the uncertainty should be removed as soon as possible. No one group of people is more responsible for the uncertainty continuing as long as it has than hon. Members of the party opposite. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] For the way in which they 1112 have behaved in forcing us into a guillotine procedure.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
I am convinced that there was a far greater chance of everybody who was likely to be affected knowing a good deal earlier than will now be the case had the Opposition not decided to filibuster on the Bill to a certain extent.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
That is my opinion and I am entitled to it. I certainly do not intend in any way to withdraw it.
§ Mr. Wigg
On a point of order. As that aspect has been introduced on the Clause, Sir William, I take it that it will be open to some of us to reply. The case against the Government in proposing the Guillotine on the Bill was never made on Thursday night. If, therefore, the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) says that it is not right, I for one would like the opportunity to prove to the hilt that the Guillotine was imposed not to guillotine us on this side, but to guillotine the Secretary of State for War.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
Before you give your Ruling, Sir William, may I at least justify what I have said by recalling that the hon. and learned Member for Northampton emphatically raised the whole question of hardship. What I have said was relevant to that issue.
§ The Chairman
The Committee understands very well that we are working under a timetable and that we do not want to waste time unnecessarily.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
I will not pursue that part of my argument further.
I turn now to the other and, perhaps, bigger question which underlies all the arguments against the Bill so far. I do not for a moment accept it, but let us 1113 suppose that the charges made against the Government of responsibility in having allowed the present situation to develop can be sustained. In that event, I must ask hon. Members who are still opposed to the Bill one question. Do they believe that if the Government were now to accept the policy of selective National Service for new men rather than what they are proposing in the Bill we should be able to fill the gap which has to be filled to keep our forces up to strength in various spheres?
If they do not believe that selective National Cervice on a long-term basis would produce that result—and we all accept that something must be done to bridge the gap—and if they have no better suggestion than those they have put forward so far for bridging it, they are seeing several big trees but not seeing the wood at all. If they insist upon harping on the reason why this situation has arisen, they should tell the Committee how they would propose to meet it.
Every one of these Amendments would make it more difficult. We should impose greater hardship upon the men called upon to serve if we started extracting people out of the categories that the Secretary of State can call up. I hope, therefore, that my right hon. Friend will reject the Amendments. I believe that they are sincerely put forward in a genuine desire to avoid injustice arising, but in saving one category from injustice they are increasing the injustice to others. We know that some injustice is inevitable, and we hope to keep that injustice to the absolute minimum. But the Amendments would make it only all the more difficult for the Secretary of State to do what he wants to do to bridge the gap, and those remaining in the categories after the Amendments had been applied would suffer increased hardship.
§ Mr. Shinwell
The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) was kind enough to recognise our sincerity in tabling these Amendments, and for that we are grateful. But apparently he does not appreciate the intention behind the Amendments, which is to avoid any possibility of injustice and unfairness. Injustice is implicit in this proposed legislation and for that the 1114 Opposition are in no way responsible. This is the legislation presented to the House of Commons by Her Majesty's Government through the medium of the Secretary of State for War.
I have been unable from the outset to ascertain why this legislation was thought to be necessary in the present situation. If the right hon. Gentleman had said to us, "We are now facing a crisis, an immediate emergency"—and I suppose that every emergency is immediate—and he had developed that theme and presented the facts, we would have understood him. It might well have been that the Opposition would have agreed, without debate, to accept the legislation in full. But a case has never been made out for this Measure. Nebulous, ambiguous statements have been made about the need for certain categories and certain numbers to be called up, and the impression has been created that one day there was going to be a crisis. I should have thought that the crisis would have been recognised before now. Indeed, the crisis, if it is such, has existed for many months.
The right hon. Gentleman did not ask for legislation of that character. We can have a crisis, prolonged and protracted and creating embarrassment and difficulties for all concerned, but nevertheless, it is not found necessary to take action until now. Presumably, it is not because of an impending crisis that the right hon. Gentleman wants this Measure. He wants to provide far filling certain gaps in categories in units in the forces. If that is all he wants, would the right hon. Gentleman be explicit and tell us why, and what kind of men he wants, what categories, and the actual purposes for which they are required? Does he want doctors, medical orderlies, catering staff, or batmen? Does he want men who cater for the needs of officers in various messes here and in Germany? We are entitled to have same information on these things.
I want to make clear beyond any possibility of doubt—and here I am speaking personally—that I want to see a standing Army that is effective and compact and capable of giving a good account of itself if circumstances require it to do so. But it seems to me that this method of building an effective 1115 Army is quite unnecessary. It has never yet been demonstrated that the number of men which the right hon. Gentleman has told us are required to reach the target of 165,000 or maybe 182,000 could not be obtained. We have never had any information on that head. Indeed, optimistic statements have been made from the benches opposite that the target could be reached. I hope that it is so.
I am not one of those who wish to abandon our defences. I am sceptical about the nuclear deterrent, because circumstances justify taking that line. The evidence disproves the need for a nuclear deterrent which, in effect, is not a deterrent at all, but the Navy, Army and Air Force—
§ The Chairman
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will try to restrict himself a little more closely to the Amendments.
§ Mr. Shinwell
With respect, Sir William, I thought that I was leading up to the point. After all, it is the whole purpose of the discussion to prove to the Committee and the country that the Army needs supporting units and ancillary enforcements, and therefore, men have to be retained for a longer period than it was thought necessary.
That is the whole purpose of the legislation and that is what the debate is about. The question arises whether the Bill can be operated with fairness and justice to all concerned, and that is why I asked earlier whether the Secretary of State would give us the undertaking for which he was asked. I could not see why the right hon. Gentleman could not have risen at that point, with all the information in his possession.
The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely said that if the Amendments were accepted they would narrow the field of selection. If we excluded the doctors, the students, those who have jobs or who are hoping to have jobs in local government and the like, we would narrow the selection and this would be even more unfair and unjust. But that is not our responsibility. The legislation is doing that in any event. As to whether this is selective service or not, in my judgment it embodies the principle of selective service. Whether 1116 that is right or wrong, the question for us now is whether it will be operated as fairly and justly as is practicable in the circumstances.
As I view it, if somebody has the expectation of an appointment with a local authority, or, being a graduate in a medical school, hopes to obtain an appointment as a registrar in a medical institution, or, being a student, is going through a course of study and hopes to take an examination in the expectation of an appointment, surely we are justified in asking, in respect of him and others in those categories, that they should be left out of consideration in this legislation. But the legislation does not do so—unless the right hon. Gentleman gives the undertaking for which we ask.
Will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that in the administration of this scheme he will exercise great judgment and caution in order to obviate unfairness? Will he give a firm undertaking to that effect and say, "I will come to the House from time to time and tell hon. Members what I am doing to ensure that there is no question of unfairness "? Unless he does that, there will be considerable uncertainty, and uncertainty means unfairness and injustice, particularly to those who hope to obtain appointments of the kind which have been mentioned.
Personally, I want to see the Army built up. In my judgment, for what it is worth, the Government have all the men they need. I hope that this is not entirely out of order, although it may be on the fringe of order, but if there is to be a difficulty about manpower there is a way out. The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely asked us whether we had any alternative. He asked whether we wanted complete conscription or a complete selective service. As far as I am concerned, I want neither. There is an alternative.
In a supplementary question which I put to the Prime Minister the other day, I pointed out that we were paying £70 million a year to maintain troops in Germany and that this was more money than the nation could afford. If we were not spending £70 million for that purpose, we might be able to get on to an even keel in this country, or, at any rate, 1117 we might be approaching it. It does not look as though there will be a satisfactory settlement with Germany—
§ Mr. Shinwell
I thought that I was perhaps going over the fringe of order, and I do not want to digress.
However, there is a solution to the problem. Instead of having that great mass of men on the Continent, and adding to them—for that is the proposition—we should bring them back. If we are not to get the money for them, let us bring them back to this country, and then we shall not need this legislation. If they were brought back to this country and trouble then occurred—the right hon. Gentleman speaks about an emergency and a possible crisis—they could be transported to where they would be of some value.
That is the alternative, but in the meantime let the right hon. Gentleman give us a firm and explicit undertaking that he will adopt measures to avoid any possibility of injustice, and let him tell us what those measures will be. That is what we ask.
§ Mr. Kershaw
The hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) deployed with some power the very respectable argument about selective service which he has deployed before, and the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) made far-reaching and very interesting suggestions—and I do not dissent too far from some of the things which he said. But I very much doubt whether any of those propositions could be brought into the Bill by these Amendments.
I apprehend that the effect of the Amendments would be to exclude from the Armed Forces for the time that this service is projected a number of the sort of people that the Army most wants so that it can fulfil its commitments in the best possible way. They would exclude everybody who has applied for a post in the Civil Service or in a local authority, doctors in certain categories, students and, by the last of the group of Amendments, everybody who has enlisted in a course of three years or more. These are the skilled people of the country, and, of course, they are entitled to con- 1118 sideration by the very fact that they have taken the trouble to became skilled and that they have used their brains to enable themselves to get into these categories. But I very much doubt whether it is democratic or fair to exclude them on those grounds alone from the incidence of service which will fall upon other categories of people.
In passing, I think that the smug conceit of the young doctor who wrote to the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) does not commend him at least for the way in which he thinks that he should do his service.
To seek in this way to avoid injustice to a few of the more highly qualified people, Who are better able than others to look after themselves after they leave the Forces—those who are in a position to walk into a job without any difficulty after they have completed their service—is not fair and not democratic and would be in the interests neither of the Army nor of the country. The Army does not need only those men who have no qualifications which can be written down on paper. Those are not the only men who ought to go into the Army. These Amendments, although they may fall into the general project of selective service, or something rather different, which have been put forward, would be anti-democratic and unfair and would cause the Bill to work less well than would be the case without them. I hope that the Committee will reject them.
§ Mr. Wigg
The hon. Member made the wounding charge that our Amendments are collectively unfair. Does he not know what the Secretary of State has done? He has 50,000 men, and by a stroke of the pen he has chopped off 25,000 of them by the use of a certain date. Apparently that is fair, but our attempts to sort out the other 25,000 are regarded as unfair. Is the hon. Member making that argument in order to wound us, or has he thought about the question properly?
§ Mr. Kershaw
I am not producing the argument to wound the hon. Member. I thought that it was quite fair. If we are to exclude men who, within a certain time, have made an application to join a local authority, and not to exclude others Who do not fall into some quite 1119 arbitrary category fixed by the Amendments, then we shall be even more unfair in the incidence of duty which is demanded of the ordinary person.
§ Dr. Alan Thompson (Dunfermline Burghs)
I should like to address myself briefly to the Amendment which relates to doctors, not because I think that other categories are less important but because I think that this merits some discussion at this point.
My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) dealt with some of the reasons why, from the point of view of their own careers, doctors should not be brought so widely within the terms a the Bill. I should like to deal with the other aspect—the very good reasons why, at this stage, the community should not be deprived for a day longer than is necessary of the services of doctors. This must be borne in mind.
If we look at the state of our hospital services we find that our teaching hospitals are becoming more and more dependent on Pakistani and Indian doctors. I am not criticising these doctors, Who do a fine job. There is a hospital not far from my constituency in which three-quarters of the medical staff are Pakistani and Indian. I hope that it is realised that the recruitment of these doctors depends entirely on the absence of post-graduate facilities in Pakistan and India, and that as soon as they have their own post-graduate courses our Health Service will face a great crisis. It is important to let our own local doctors get back into general practice and into the hospitals as quickly as possible.
Another aspect of the crisis is that during the past twenty years the country's population has risen by 10 per cent., but the proportion of doctors has risen only by one-third of that increase. In the arts faculties, the number of university students applying for arts degrees has risen by 70 per cent., the number of science students by 183 per cent., while the number of medical students has risen by only 7 per cent.
It takes seven years to make a doctor. Our aim at the moment is to train doctors and to get them out as quickly as possible to do the job where they are 1120 most needed. We are providing, it is true, since the Willink Report, for an extra 180 a year, but we really need an extra 2,000 a year. It would be out of order to refer to what we could do with more training and by opening more university places, but within the terms of this Amendment we can do something to ensure a flow of doctors quickly back to civilian life.
This matter is becoming even more urgent since, under the Health Service, retirement pensions are available for doctors and fewer general practitioners are staying on after retiring age. This problem thus concerns not only the hospitals, but also the general practitioner service. For all these urgent needs of the community, we should get doctors back to the hospitals and to general practice as soon as we can. I dissent from what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton said to some extent. I know that he was only quoting a letter which said that there is little worth while for a doctor to do in the Army, but I think that his young medical constituent was putting the point a little strongly.
§ Dr. Thompson
I shall not now discuss different branches of surgery and medicine. If we have soldiers, they have to be looked after medically. My complaint is not on that ground. Perhaps my hon. and learned Friend's correspondent has a point in that it is more worth while to a doctor's career to get back into the mainstream of major hospital teaching, with the climate of research where new advances are being made and where his manual and personal dexterity is being more practised over a wide range of cases. In addition, not the least important point from the promotion angle is that he gets into the social swim again. I accept my hon. and learned Friend's correspondent's view about that, but not about the wider conclusions about how useless doctors are in the Army.
I know that we do not want to plead for privileged cases, but the health needs of our community are so pressing at every level that I hope that the Minister will consider the case of doctors sympathetically.
§ Mr. Ede (South Shields)
I want to be as brief as possible and to deal only with the points raised by the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke), because I know that ordinarily he brings to this kind of question a quite dispassionate and logical consideration. We were originally told that the Bill was necessary to deal with a crisis. Whether the crisis has developed, whether it is developing, or whether it has vanished I am not sure, but I am sure that while the Treasury Bench is occupied by the persons who at present sit there we shall have a continuous series of crises.
There is another contest in which we are engaged—the economic and industrial test, for which we are as ill-equipped as we are for any military crisis. The kind of people whom my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) wishes to exempt are the people who are most important to the long-term decisions in that context. We are dealing with National Service. When the House gave a Second Reading to the Bill it adopted the introduction of selective service and in Committee we must respect that decision.
I say to the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely that he seems to have the officer's mind on this matter. All he wants is bodies—as many as he can get. Once he has got them, he says to the orderly sergeant, "Let me have so many men." I belonged to an Army even before the hon. Gentleman did.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
It is precisely because I share the right hon. Gentleman's view that we ought to have willing men who want to stay in the Army that, at the time when the Government of which he was a member introduced 1122 peacetime conscription, I expressed regret but felt it was necessary and hoped that it would end as soon as possible. That is still one of the reasons why I am against selective National Service for new men. I made the distinction in my speech between calling up new men for the first time and keeping in those who have already been called up.
§ Mr. Ede
The House, on Second Reading, has already decided the general framework of the Bill and I have to accept that decision and do the best I can with it in Committee. I suggest that the line on which my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley proceeded would enable the nation as a whole to get the best use of those men who come within the category of the Bill, and I hope that the Secretary of State will tell us, whether he accepts the Amendment or not, that he will see that we do not retain a man of the type mentioned by my hon. Friend merely to run "Housey-housey" in the sergeants' mess. That sort of thing indicates what I have just said. Perhaps there is a piano in the way and the attitude is, "Here is a man—let him go and do the job."
I do not think that the nation as a whole, not merely the Army, can afford selective service that is based on picking the three men on the right and making them step forward two paces, to be told that they can move the piano.
§ Mr. Frank Allaun (Salford, East)
I am supporting these Amendments because I believe that conscription is unfair for anyone in peace time and that to give them an extra six months' service is doubly so. But I must say that, if it is a hardship to prevent men from following the jobs listed in these Amendments, it is an even greater hardship to call up for an extra six months men who are married, who have young children, whose wives are pregnant, or who are the sons of widowed mothers. I know that I cannot deal with such cases because Amendments dealing with them have not been called, and I am not, of course, challenging your Ruling, Sir William.
§ Mr. Allaun
Yes. But what happens when we return to our constituents and 1123 tell them how we have voted on these matters? It is my emphatic view that these should be automatic reasons for discharge from National Service, never mind calling men up for an extra six months.
I support the exclusions mentioned in this batch of Amendments because I want as many as possible to be kept out of the conscription classes. It is very good that doctors, students, Government and local government employees should not have to serve an extra six months, but I cannot overlook the fact that many young people in my constituency, as in most constituencies, are engineering apprentices, and so on. They have to study and they go to colleges like the Salford Technical College. It is very difficult for them to have to break off their studies and then try to begin them again. The last batch to be called up are also to be subjected to this double call-up. There are many men who have completed their apprenticeships before going into the Services. They are 23 years of age, earning a man's wage and with a wife and children, and much more likely to be in that position than younger men.
If the men we wish to exclude were doing an important and worth-while job in the Army, there would be some argument on the Government side, but in long discussions with National Service men in my constituency I have found, as other hon. Members will have done in their constituencies, that their one complaint is that their service is a complete waste of time. I know that the Minister will not agree, but that is the reaction of the overwhelming majority of National Service men. It has been a complete waste of two years of their lives and now it is to be a complete waste of two and a half years of their lives. They resent it and I do not blame them.
One of the classes mentioned in the Amendments is those who enter local government service. In the great cities of the North the outstanding tragedy is lack of housing. The housing problem cannot be solved without plenty of trained, skilled men in the town hall, men able to plan the demolition of slums and the building of new houses. I assure the Committee that these services are 1124 in great difficulty because of staffing problems, and that the extra six months of National Service will add to those difficulties.
No doubt the Secretary of State will tell us that there is a shortage of doctors in the forces. I can appreciate that, but he must not overlook the far more serious shortage of doctors in the general community. I have previously referred to the attitude of the B.M.A. on this matter. It has very strong views and I would like to know whether the right hon. Gentleman has anything to say about them. If we cannot meet our commitments with 410,000 men, we should cut our commitments.
§ Mr. Profumo
I start by joining the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) in saying how much I regret that the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Cross-man) is not able to be here. He has taken a great deal of trouble about this matter and many of the Amendments are in his name. I would like to think that he will be returning before we conclude all the stages of the Bill, but it would be against my responsibility to continue our consideration of the Bill for any longer than is necessary and I hope that he will have a little recuperation.
The right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) asked me for an undertaking in view of what the hon. Member for Dudley said about somebody in charge of the sergeants' mess and running Bingo.
§ Mr. Profumo
It is one of those things.
I have already given the undertaking that I will see that we retain men under Clause 1 only when we need them for strictly military purposes. If the Service man in question is retained, he will not be retained unless it is necessary on military grounds. I felt that I ought to say that because the right hon. Member for South Shields was on a perfectly good point and I do not want the Committee to be under any misapprehension.
§ Mr. Profumo
No. If the hon. Member followed what I was saying—and I am sure that he did—what I was saying was that if he was retained it would be for strictly military purposes. He will not be retained to do anything frivolous. This is a major matter upon which the Committee has a right to have the position reiterated.
The effect of the Amendments would be to exempt from liability to retention under Clause 1 men who have, in various ways, made definite commitments for their employment after release, as well as students who have obtained places at educational establishments. I have already outlined the general objections to including exemptions of this kind in a Bill of this sort. The hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) put his finger on the difficulty, as he so often does. Once we begin to exclude people by categories, however strong a category may be, it becomes never ending. He made a case for many different categories and I have no doubt that other hon. Members could think of many more.
I am sure that the right way and the only way to deal with the problem is to deal with the cases generally by the administrative arrangements which I propose to apply for consideration of individual compassionate and hardship circumstances. I do not want to detain the Committee longer than I need, but it is my responsibility to reiterate and possibly to enlarge upon how I propose to go about this and to see how far I can meet the genuine feelings of the Committee on this subject. Perhaps I should give some account of how these arrangements will work and how the Advisory Committee which I am setting up will bear upon this.
I include under the compassionate heading those cases which affect a man's dependants, very often because of ill-health. Personal hardship concerns the soldier as an individual, for instance, his family business. There is already a working system for release on compassionate grounds. Release can be authorised where, for instance, domestic distress cannot be alleviated within a reasonable period of compassionate leave.
I am now proposing to go further in considering both these compassionate 1126 cases and hardship cases. From now onwards we will consider the cases of men who, in anticipation of normal release, have in good faith entered into undertakings which would be seriously prejudiced by extra service. This would include commitments of a business, professional, educational and financial nature, all the sort of cases which hon. Members have in mind.
If a compassionate or hardship case is perfectly straightforward, it will be considered, as up to now, by the branch of my Department concerned—and a very experienced branch it is; it has been doing this throughout the period of National Service—and it will be dealt with immediately. Less straightforward cases will be referred to the Advisory Committee to which I referred during the Second Reading debate and of which, as I have told hon. Members, Sir Reginald Denning has agreed to be Chairman.
I am now able to announce the other members who have agreed to serve on this Committee. They are Mr. E. R. Tucker, Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe; he will be able to advise on matters bearing on education, in which he has a very long and notable experience; Mr. T. H. Hodgson, until recently the National Officer of the Transport and General Workers' Union, and who is the representative of the Trades Union Congress and who will advise on cases in the industrial field—or help to advise, because they will all work together; Mr. A. L. Trundle, Chairman of the Board of the United Phosphate and Malt Co. Ltd., and who has had a long experience of industrial relations; he is a member of the Employers' Panel of the Industrial Court and of the Chancellor's Panel of the Civil Service Arbitration Tribunal, and from 1941 to 1948 he was the personnel manager of N.A.A.F.I. I am grateful to these gentlemen for their willingness to undertake an arduous task. Together with the Chairman, they will advise me on the more difficult cases.
As guidance to this Advisory Committee, I am going to ask the members to take into account the principles which are part of the regulations on hardship 1127 drawn up under the National Service Act 1948. So far these have worked very satisfactorily. They are published as Statutory Instrument, 1948, No. 2683, as amended by Statutory Instrument, 1957, No. 180. No doubt hon. Members are familiar with these Statutory Instruments, but if they are not they can be looked at.
I hope that we shall be able to go considerably beyond these terms of reference. As the Advisory Committee will be advising me, I want to give it as much scope as I can, and the grounds accepted for release will be wider and more flexible than was possible under the National Service Act.
§ Mr. Frank Allaun
That is an important announcement. Can the right hon. Gentleman make it clear whether he is referring merely to people who have businesses, one-man firms, and so on? Will this Committee deal with new jobs, or new categories? Does "hardship" include the widowed mother and the married people to whom I was referring?
§ Mr. Profumo
I tried to point out earlier, and on Second Reading, that hardship and compassionate cases will, as hitherto, come to my Department. Perhaps I can go further. I am not trying to pin responsibility on any member of the Committee, but, because of the delay, it looked as though it would be difficult for me to give the two months' notice which I promised I would give to the first people who might have to be kept on under this Bill. I have, therefore, made arrangements whereby a warning order has now gone out, and will, I hope, either today or tomorrow reach each member of the Armed Forces who is liable to be retained under this Clause telling him that he can now appeal on hardship grounds. Perhaps at a later stage I might be allowed to say more about this.
These cases will still come to my Department. If they are simple hardship or compassionate cases, they will be granted or rejected. If they are difficult cases, they will be sent to the Committee, the members of which I have announced. They will be considered by the Committee, and I shall be advised of the Committee's decision. All the hardship and compassionate cases which I have outlined will be covered, and if 1128 the hon. Gentleman looks at the Statutory Instruments to which I have referred he will see how this will work.
I was saying that I hope to go a little further.
§ Mr. Wigg
On a point of order, Mr. Hynd. If the Committee is not careful, we shall get into difficulty. I thought that when we reached the Amendment in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3H) Any notice served under subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be accompanied by a statement informing the recipient that he has a right to appeal on the grounds that the effect of the notice will be to inflict unusual hardship either upon him or his dependants and that in the event of his wishing so to appeal he should communicate the grounds of his appeal to his commanding officer forthwith.we would, at that stage, discuss the advisory machinery.
If we pass from the group of Amendments now under discussion, it will be out of order to refer to the discussion which has taken place on them when we reach the Amendment to which I have just referred.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I have been considering this point. Before the right hon. Gentleman was interrupted, I thought I heard him say that he was going on to deal with the categories mentioned in this group of Amendments. I took it that he was leading up to saying that they were to be included within the scope of the Advisory Committee, and in that respect I thought that he was in order. It is true that the general question of compassionate cases belongs to the next series of Amendments.
§ Mr. Wigg
With respect, Mr. Hynd, that does not meet the point. The Chair is also bound by the rules of order. If, having listened to the right hon. Gentleman, we pass from this group of Amendments, we shall be precluded from referring in detail to the Advisory Committee mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman. We had one announcement about General Denning on 19th December. We have now had another announcement, and later we shall deal with the appeal machinery.
I suggest, Mr. Hynd, that you allow this discussion to continue to stray over into the Amendment to which I referred 1129 earlier, and then later it and the Amendment in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3B) Any person who receives a notice under subsections (1) or (2) of this section may appeal in writing against his retention, such appeal to be considered and determined by the Army Council or any officer not below the rank of major-general deputed by them.can be taken formally. We could have a further discussion now on the announcement made by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I think that it would be more convenient if the Committee disposed first of this series of Amendments. I assure the hon. Member that he will not be out of order on the next group of Amendments in referring to the general question of compassionate cases.
§ Mr. Profumo
I apologise if I am not doing what the Committee wants, but it seems to me that the whole argument on this group of Amendments depends on the fact that these cases cannot be dealt with except in a general way. I was not able to announce the other members of the Committee earlier, because it is not easy to find responsible people who are prepared to give up their time, which they must do to do the job properly.
§ Mr. F. J. Bellenger (Bassetlaw)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many warning notices have been sent out?
§ Mr. Profumo
Warning notices have been sent out only in respect of those groups which would be due to leave their full-time National Service on or about 1st April. If the notices were not sent out now, it would not be possible to give two months' warning. I want the men concerned to have two months in which to put their cases to the Advisory Committee.
The first two groups have been given notice, but these are only warning notices. The statutory notices will be sent out when the Bill becomes law. The men concerned will be allowed to appeal on any of the grounds put forward by hon. Gentlemen. The appeals will come before the Committee, and be considered there.
§ Mr. Profumo
I have sent warning notices to all those members of the two groups whom I will have to keep if the Bill becomes law.
§ Mr. Profumo
I cannot say how many notices have been sent. Warning notices have been sent to all those whom I would have to keep. I am not sure whether I can get the information required by the right hon. Gentleman, but every man in those two groups who will have to be kept will receive a warning notice in time to appeal. Surely this commends itself to hon. Members.
§ Mr. Profumo
National Service works in this way. Men are discharged by groups, in the same way as they are called up by groups. The first group is due out on 2nd April and the second group on 4th April, or something like that. Notices have been sent to the men concerned because of the undertaking that I gave the House that they would receive two months' notice.
§ Mr. Profumo
I doubt whether the proportion is all that germane, but warning notices have been sent to about 2,000 men. It does not mean that there will be 2,000 men in every group.
§ Mr. Albert Evans (Islington, South-West)
The right hon. Gentleman said that he had sent warning notices to men in these two groups.
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. The point is not germane to this group of Amendments. There will be opportunity later to discuss the general question. At the moment we are discussing a group of Amendments which deal with certain specified categories.
§ Mr. A. Evans
Is the right hon. Gentleman giving notice to the men who are not to be retained so that they will be free from anxiety?
§ Mr. Profumo
No. I have not done this. Perhaps the hon. Member has not been able to attend all our early debates, or, if he has, he may have overlooked the point. It is some time ago now. I have already explained in Committee that after 1st April everybody in B.A.O.R. will have to regard himself as being held. This applies only to B.A.O.R. personnel. People in other theatres in early release groups will not have to be retained. I have warned provisionally everybody in the first two groups, in B.A.O.R. who is going to be retained. I hope that that is clear enough.
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. I hope that this point will not be pursued on this series of Amendments. It will be in order to discuss it on the Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill", but it is not in order at the moment.
§ Mr. Profumo
I now wish to mention some of the objections I have found to the individual Amendments. There seems to me to be no reason why men who have found civilian employment with Her Majesty's Government or with local authorities should be exempt while people who intend to work for private firms or in other categories should not be exempt. I appreciate the need for people in local government, but I should think that government should take a back seat in these problems. Therefore, I cannot see that it would be right for us to allow these categories to be exempted.
I now come to the question of doctors. First, I must take up the point made by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) when he read out, quite fairly, a letter telling the Committee what doctors felt. In part of the letter which he read out, which I presume came from a fairly young doctor, there was a reference to bad surgical habits being easily picked up in the Army. I must wholeheartedly repudiate any suggestion that bad surgical habits are easily picked up in the Army. This would be a monstrous thing to get out 1132 from the point of view of the Royal Army Medical Corps—one category in which we are very short of men—and we are doing everything we can to build up the reputation of this Corps. What this doctor says is irresponsible and is simply not correct.
I accept the idea behind the reading out of this letter by the hon. and learned Member, but these things are apt to get out of the Committee and to create quite the wrong impression. The integrity of the Royal Army Medical Corps is something that I cannot allow to suffer. I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will allow me to make that point.
I realise that there is a considerable shortage of doctors in civil life, but so there is in the Army, and I am concerned with seeing that people are kept in the Army for this period if they are necessarily needed on military grounds. I cannot keep men back without keeping back enough doctors to look after them. I must see that the strength of B.A.O.R. does not fall below an acceptable level during 1962, and with that there is an obligation to keep enough doctors to look after the men. If it is militarily necessary to hold back some doctors I must do so. It would be wrong for me to leave the Committee in any other frame of mind. If I did not take this action the scheme would fail.
Considerable anxiety has been expressed by hon. Members about the effect of Clause 1 on National Service doctors and dentists. I do not know whether it will help the Committee if I try to put the matter in perspective by quoting numbers. The number of people affected will not be large. The number of doctors brought within the scope of Clause 1 is about 180. This is the number who will be serving on 31st March of this year. Of these I calculate that I shall need to keep back about 36, and the inquiries that I have made suggest that only a very small percentage of that 36 have already made definite arrangements to take up civilian jobs. As I have said, this factor will be taken into account if any appeal is made in this sphere.
I now turn to the position of National Service dentists—and they are very important, although nobody has mentioned them today. About 28 will be serving, world-wide, on 31st March, and 1133 of these I shall probably need to retain only about four. These numbers are based on the assurance that I have already given to the House during the Second Reading debate that no more National Service men will be retained than is absolutely essential. I could not accept that doctors or dentists have a better case for exemption than persons in other professions or occupations, and the hardship claims of members of the medical profession will be given the same consideration as is proposed in the case of other retained National Service men.
I have already given an assurance about students, by way of a Written Answer on 6th November last year, when I made it clear that every consideration would be given to claims by National Service men and officers who had made arrangements to start or resume studies at universities and other higher educational institutions that they would not be retained in the Army beyond the date of their proposed commencement of studies. I am sure that this is the way to deal with such cases. As for professional men and tradesmen who have undergone lengthy training, amongst the men who will be liable to be retained under the Bill are many whose call-up for National Service has already been deferred in order that they could do their training first. I do not think that we can exempt men on the ground that they have undergone lengthy training when National Service has already been deferred to enable them to do that training.
In short, I feel unable to grant statutory exemption, but the arrangements for individual consideration which I have described will meet most, if not all, the points that have been made and in some cases will go further in the interests of the men concerned. I hope that, in the words of the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell), they will operate as fairly as is practicable in the circumstances.
In view of what I have said, I hope that the Committee will not press the Amendment to a Division.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Paget
I am not entirely clear about the undertaking which has been given by the right hon. Gentleman, but 1134 I shall return to that point in a moment. The right hon. Gentleman asked why people going into the public service ought to be treated differently from those going into private employment. The answer is that the public service method of recruitment is necessarily much longer. There is the system of the long list and then the short list, and then the interview by the committees, so that if a person is going into the public service the process of getting there takes him a number of months, which is not usual in the case of a person going into private service. That was the reason why I thought they should be treated differently. I thought it was a matter of some importance.
As for doctors, I am sorry if the letter that I quoted is to be regarded as a libel. I had already sent this letter to the Minister, and he replied in these terms:I know that the scope of medical practice in the Armed Forces is not as wide as it is in civil life—the population is young and relatively fit. Moreover, a reserve of staff has to be readily available for military operations and this is something of a handicap…That seemed to me—
§ Mr. Paget
I am afraid that I took it as a matter of common sense that work in the circumstances of Army operations inevitably meant that it was not possible to maintain the standards which are maintained at large hospitals. This is not an attack on the Army; it is a matter of fact and, I would have thought, of common sense. As for students, I understand that what I have asked for is fully accepted.
I do not write very quickly, but I tried to write down the terms of the right hon. Gentleman's undertaking. I understand that he himself—because, whoever advises him, the responsibility is his—undertakes to consider cases of men who, in anticipation of normal release, have entered into commitments 1135 in good faith. Does that mean that men who have applied for posts in the public service and local government and have been short-listed can say to the people from whom they are seeking a job, "If you give me this job I shall be available because, having applied, if I am offered it before my recall that will be a commitment which I shall have entered into and which comes within the Minister's undertaking"?
§ Mr. Profumo
It does not mean anything more than I have said. I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will read what I have said. These cases will be considered. My undertaking does not entitle a man to say, "If you give me this job I can give you an undertaking that I can accept it". It goes no further than I have said. It is in the realm of all the undertakings I have given, namely, that all these cases will be considered on their merits.
§ Mr. Paget
That surely refuses us the very thing we are asking for. This does not concern merely the men whom we want to retain it concerns far more the men we do not want to retain. It means that every one of these men is disqualified from obtaining appointments for a period of probably six months after he leaves the Army. It means that in respect of the whole lot of them, particularly the ones we do not want, we shall be imposing not six months unemployment, because they will probably get some sort of employment, but six months additional hiatus before they can get on with their careers.
So far as I understand it, the undertaking which the Minister has now given does not touch on that point. We shall have these unfortunate men precisely in this position. From the very nature of their career there has to be an application and arrangements made about six months before they take up the appointment. They are normally taken up during the period of service. Now they can no longer be so taken up. There is no undertaking to cover that. I am sorry, therefore, in view of what the Minister's undertaking amounts to, that I cannot withdraw the Amendment.
§ The Temporary Chairman
No, I think that the hon. Gentleman misunderstood me. I said that this could be discussed on the next group of Amendments, if it was in regard to compassionate cases.
§ Mr. Wigg
I am not dealing with compassionate cases. I am dealing with the full machinery, because it may deal with any kind of case. The right hon. Gentleman told the Committee earlier of the appointment of Lieut.-General Sir Reginald Denning and a number of other people, and it may be that a number of my hon. Friends may be deceived into applauding what may seem to be this liberal action. It is nothing of the kind. It is a major act of passing the buck.
§ Mr. Wigg
The Secretary of State shakes his head. A number of my hon. Friends had put on the Order Paper, out of the warmness of their hearts, proposals to write into the Bill statutory provisions which would give the soldier a right of appeal. I would have objected to that proposal because the Secretary of State, although sometimes he seems unaware of it, is the head of a disciplined force, and the power of discipline must not be got round, even in such a matter as this.
Decisions have to rest fairly and squarely on the shoulders of those who have the power to make decisions. The only person who can make this decision is the Secretary of State for War. He introduced this Measure. He knows perfectly well that when the notices go out there will be a howl. I am sure that hon. Members who are not present today to give us the benefit of their experience of Army matters will be putting down notices on the Order Paper and writing to the Secretary of State, particularly those who had narrow majorities in the last election. They are going to howl. The right hon. Gentleman wants an alibi. He refers first to the appointment of Lieut.-General Sir Reginald Denning. I applaud his public spirit, although I do not know him, and I applaud the public spirit of all those who will serve on this Committee. Who is Lieut.-General Sir Reginald Denning? He is the head 1137 of the S.S.A.F.A. What is the machinery that makes the inquiry? Who is it who will knock on the doors in Stake-on-Trent or Dudley? So we are going to have General Denning to sit in judgment on the facts which he is giving to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will kindly put "Passed to you, please", and push it back to the Committee again. This is a masterly piece of dodging the column. I have no doubt whatever that some hon. Members will be deceived by this, but I will tell the Secretary of State where the deception will not last too long—that is in the barrack room. The soldiers will know about this. They will know how many beans make five, even if the Army Council does not.
To take it one stage further—and here I think the right hon. Gentleman must have listened to the speech of my right hon. Friend who at one time was at the Ministry of Labour—my right hon. Friend made a speech on Second Reading giving the parallel of the Ministry of Labour's handling in these cases. But there is a world of difference between a man before and after he goes into the Armed Forces. Before he goes in he is a civilian with all the rights of appeal which the House of Commons wrote into the National Service Acts. At every stage he has a statutory right of appeal to the tribunal and, ultimately, if it concerns a matter of great principle to the umpire, and the decision of the tribunal or of the umpire is mandatory on the Government. It is not a Government court; it is part of our cherished tradition and has complete independence. Now the Secretary of State in order to give himself a second alibi takes out bits of the National Service Act and writes them into this Charter. It is flummery, absolute flummery. Of course these facts ought to be investigated, but the responsibility for holding these chaps in the Army is that of the Government and they should take the decision on the basis of—
§ Mr. Profumo
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but he is being less than fair if he believes what he is saying. If he knows of a better way I
§ should like to hear of it. I think this is the fairest way possible, and the reason why I am doing it this way is because I realise that the responsibility must and can only be mine. The members of this Committee are drawn from the widest sections—the trade unions, management, education and S.S.A.F.A.—and if the hon. Gentleman can think of a better and wider body of persons, I should like him to say so. They can only advise me, and it must be for me to take the final decisions. This is one of the reasons why I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. Wigg
I cannot do better than the Secretary of State, but even if we added a galaxy of angels to the Committee all it would do would be to strengthen my case. It is the Secretary of State's responsibility. Why does he want to pass the buck? Why does he want advice about it? It is a reflection on highly competent civil servants because the civil servants who advise him will be serving on the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman is erecting a piece of machinery and although ostensibly he is doing it in order to be fair, in fact he is erecting an alibi. This is an alibi for the Minister when the answers come to be drafted. The answer will be, "This is a very difficult case." He could almost have the answers cyclostyled or printed in advance. He will say that he referred the case to the Advisory Committee and that he had to accept its advice. That is precisely what will happen and what is intended to happen. I do not mind if the right hon. Gentleman thinks that is a good thing to do; all I tell him is that I do not think that it will deceive the troops. Of course it is not intended to deceive them, but they will know perfectly well that this is the same old firm under another name, but as long as we are quite clear what we are proceeding to do, I have no objection.
§ Question put, That those words be there added.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 190, Noes 269.1141
|Division No. 53.]||AYES||[5.30 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Bence, Cyril|
|Ainsley, William||Awbery, Stan||Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Albu, Austen||Beaney, Alan||Benson, Sir George|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Blackburn, F.|
|Blyton, William||Holman, Percy||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Boardman, H.||Holt, Arthur||Prentice, R. E.|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)||Hoy, James H.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Probert, Arthur|
|Bowies, Frank||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Randall, Harry|
|Boyden, James||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Redhead, E. C.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Hunter, A. E.||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Rhodes, H.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Janner, Sir Barnett||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Callaghan, James||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Jeger, George||Ross, William|
|Collick, Percy||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Short, Edward|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Kelley, Richard||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Kenyon, Clifford||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||King, Dr. Horace||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Deer, George||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Snow, Julian|
|Delargy, Hugh||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Dempsey, James||Lewis, Arthur (west Ham, N.)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Diamond, John||Lipton, Marcus||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Dodds, Norman||Loughlin, Charles||Steele, Thomas|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Driberg, Tom||McCann, John||Storehouse, John|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||MacColl, James||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McInnes, James||Strauss, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Vauxhall)|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Stross, Dr. Bamett(Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Evans, Albert||Mackie, John (Enfield, East)||Swain, Thomas|
|Fernyhough, E.||McLeavy, Frank||Swingler, Stephen|
|Finch, Harold||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Symonds, J. B.|
|Fitch, Alan||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Forman, J. C.||Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfield, E.)||Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Gaitskeil, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Manuel, A. C.||Timmons, John|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mapp, Charles||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Carmrthn)||Marsh, Richard||Wade, Donald|
|Ginsburg, David||Mason, Roy||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Gordon walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Mellish, R. J.||Warbey, William|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mendelson, J. J.||Watkins, Tudor|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Millan, Bruce||Weitzman, David|
|Grey, Charles||Milne, Edward||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Gariffths, David (Rother Valley)||Mitchison, G. R.||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Griffiths, Rt- Hon. James (Llanelly)||Monslow, Walter||Wigg, George|
|Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||Moody, A. S.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||Morris, John||Willey, Frederick|
|Gunter, Ray||Mulley, Frederick||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Williams, LI. (Abertillery)|
|Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Phllip (Derby, S.)||Williams W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Oram, A. E.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Hannan, William||Owen, WW||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Hart, Mrs. Judith||Paget, R. T.||Woof, Robert|
|Hayman, F. H.||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Healey, Denis||Parker, John||Zilliacus, K.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Herbison, Miss Margaret||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Peart, Frederick||Mr. Rogers and Mr. Lawson.|
|Hilton, A. V.||Pentland, Norman|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Bourne-Arton, A.||Channon, H. P. G.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Box, Donald||Chataway, Christopher|
|Allason, James||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J.||Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Julian||Boyle, Sir Edward||Collard, Richard|
|Arbuthnot, John||Braine, Bernard||Cooke, Robert|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Brewis, John||Cooper, A. E.|
|Barber, Anthony||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Corfield, F. V.|
|Barter, John||Brooman-White, R.||Costain, A. P.|
|Batsford, Brian||Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Coulson, Michael|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Craddock, Sir Beresford|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Bryan, Paul||Dance, James|
|Bell, Ronald||Buck, Antony||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Burden, F. A.||Deedes, W. F.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)||Butcher, Sir Herbert||de Ferranti, Basil|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A.(Saffron Walden)||Digby, Simon Wingfield|
|Biffen, John||Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Doughty, Charles|
|Bingham, R. M.||Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Drayson, G. B.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||du Cann, Edward|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Cary, Sir Robert||Duncan, Sir James|
|Duthie, Sir William||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Robertson, Sir D. (C'thn's & S'th'ld)|
|Elliott, R.W.(Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Lilley, F. J. P.||Robinson, Rt Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)|
|Emmett, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Roots, William|
|Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Litchfield, Capt. John||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|Farr, John||Longbottom, Charles||Russell, Ronald|
|Fell, Anthony||Longden, Gilbert||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Finlay, Graeme||Loveys, Walter H.||Sharples, Richard|
|Fisher, Nigel||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Shaw, M.|
|Fletcher-Cooks, Charles||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Shepherd, William|
|Fraser, Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)||MacArthur, Ian||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||McLaren, Martin||Skeet. T. H. H.|
|Gammans, Lady||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Gardner, Edward||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Smithers, Peter|
|Gibson-Watt, David||McMaster, Stanley R.||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Gilmour, Sir John||Maddan, Martin||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Maginnis, John E.||Speir, Rupert|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Maitland, Sir John||Stanley, Hon. Richard|
|Godber, J. B.||Manningham-Butler, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Goodhart, Philip||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Marlowe, Anthony||Stodart, J. A.|
|Gower, Raymond||Marples, Rt- Hon. Ernest||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Grant, Rt. Hon. William||Marshall, Douglas||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.||Marten, Neil||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Green, Alan||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Talbot, John E.|
|Gurden, Harold||Mawby, Ray||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Maydon, Lt-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Mills, Stratton||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Montgomery, Fergus||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Temple, John M.|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Morrison, John||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Neave, Airey||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Hay, John||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Hendry, Forbes||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Orr. Ewing, C. Ian||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Turner, Colin|
|Hobson, John||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Hocking, Philip N.||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Holland, Philip||Partridge, E.||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hopkins, Alan||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Hornby, R. P.||Peel, John||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Percival, Ian||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Hughes-Young, Michael||Pickthorn, Mr Kenneth||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Pilkington, Sir Richard||Walker, Peter|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pitman, Sir James||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek|
|Jackson, John||Pitt, Miss Edith||Wall, Patrick|
|James, David||Pott, Percivall||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Jenkin, Robert (Dulwich)||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Prior, J. M. L.||Webster, David|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho||Whitelaw William|
|Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Pym, Francis||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Ramsden, James||Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard|
|Kerby, Capt. Henry||Rawlinson, Peter||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Woollam, John|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Rees, Hugh||Worsley, Marcus|
|Kirk, Peter||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Yates. William (The Wrekin)|
|Kitson, Timothy||Renton, David|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Leavey, J. A.||Ridsdale, Julian||Mr. Chichester-Clark and|
|Leburn, Gilmour||Rippon, Geoffrey||Mr. J. E. B. Hill.|
§ Mr. G. W. Reynolds (Islington, North)
I beg to move, in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3H) Any notice served under subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be accompanied by a statement informing the recipient that he has a right to appeal on the grounds that the effect of the notice will be to inflict unusual hardship either upon him or his dependants and that in the event of his wishing so to appeal he should communicate the grounds of 1142 his appeal to his commanding officer forthwith.
With this Amendment we can discuss the Amendment in the same line in the name of the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) and other hon. Members, to add:(3B) Any person who receives a notice under subsections (1) or (2) of this section may appeal in writing against his retention, such 1143 appeal to be considered and determined by the Army Council or any officer not below the rank of major-general deputed by them.However, a Division will, if necessary, be called only on the first Amendment.
§ Mr. Reynolds
I am glad to be able to move this Amendment, if only to provide the Secretary of State with an opportunity to reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) who has already made practically the whole of the sort of speech which one might make in dealing with these two Amendments. He dealt very effectively with the part concerning the Amendment in his name.
We find ourselves in an unusual position, in that the Secretary of State, when discussing an earlier Amendment, gave us details of the machinery it is intended shall be set up to deal with the problem referred to in the Amendment which I have moved. My hon. Friend the Member for Dudley has drawn attention to what he considered to be one of the major defects in that machinery, namely, that the chairman of the committee—in whom in all other respects my hon. Friend appears to have every confidence—is closely connected with the organisation which will be responsible for collecting the information upon which the committee will have largely, although not entirely, to depend in advising the Minister.
By moving the Amendment we wish to make certain that any National Service man who receives a notice under the provisions of this Bill, when it becomes law, informing him that he is to be retained will at the same time be given the maximum amount of information about the appeal machinery available to him; the way in which he should make an appeal, and the reasons he may advance for claiming that he should not be retained for a further six months of service. We have endeavoured to set that out in the Amendment which I have moved, and I hope that the Secretary of State will tell us exactly what provision he proposes to make to ensure that soldiers who are told that they are to be retained in the Service are given full information of the methods of appeal open to them and the sort of procedure they will have to expect.
1144 The major joint stressed by my hon. Friend revealed his fear—which is shared by many of us—that although the committee which is to be set up will do a good job of work in sifting some of the information and putting recommendations before the Secretary of State, the decisions of the right hon. Gentleman may be affected by its recommendations. We must emphasise—it would appear that the Secretary of State is of the same opinion—that we must look to the right hon. Gentleman, because of his office, as being responsible for any decisions taken with respect to appeals which are made to him. Of course, once appeal machinery of this nature is set up, one always has at the back of one's mind the thought that while the Secretary of State may accept full responsibility for the decisions made, there is always a tendency on the part of a Minister—any Minister; I make no particular attack on the Secretary of State in this regard—once he has such an advisory committee to tend to shelter behind its recommendations.
Our main purpose in moving this Amendment is to make clear that we consider that the decisions have to be taken by the Army Council, represented here by the Secretary of State, and that we shall hold the right hon. Gentleman responsible for all the decisions. Therefore, although this matter has been partially dealt with already, I hope that we may once again have an assurance from the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. Profumo
It may be for the convenience of the Committee if I try now to answer briefly in respect of a matter to which I have—perhaps wrongly—already referred in connection with the discussion on an earlier Amendment.
I object to these Amendments because they seek to make statutory processes which I believe should be administrative. I can give the Committee this assurance. I am arranging that men who are warned or notified that they are due to be retained will be informed that they can appeal on compassionate grounds or on grounds of exceptional hardship. I hope that this assurance will meet one of the main points in the Amendment.
With regard to the second Amendment, if there is any fear that a commanding officer may refuse to forward an appeal, I can dispose of that immediately. 1145 I have given instructions that no appeal shall be held up by a commanding officer so long as it is supported by evidence. Even were a commanding officer to stop an appeal because it was not supported by evidence, the soldier concerned has a statutory right, under Section 181 of the Army Act, to make representations to his brigadier and then to the Army Council. The authority, of course, lies with me.
In assessing an appeal, no consideration whatever will be given to the military efficiency of the individual concerned. There appeared to be a feeling that perhaps the people whom the Army might want to use would not be able to leave because there would be some reason given for saying that they could not go. I have given explicit instructions—I hope that this will go some way to meet what some hon. Members may have in mind—that all these appeals will come to the War Office and will be dealt with by machinery which I believe to be the right machinery. But, in the end, I as Secretary of State must accept full responsibility for seeing that the provisions contained in this Bill are carried out in the way in which Parliament intends.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I think that the undertaking given by the Secretary of State is satisfactory. The reason why my name was added to the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) is that I wanted to ascertain the views of the right hon. Gentleman. Obviously, the authority is vested in his hands. The Army Council is the servant of the Secretary of State, and so that would seem to be all right. As for the rest, it seems to me that his guarantee provides the assurances required. Clearly, the men may make their appeal in writing and an appeal will be sympathetically received. In those circumstances, I see no reason why we should divide.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. Reynolds
I beg to move, in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3J) This section shall not apply to men who have served not less than six months of their national service overseas outside Europe.1146 We have already been given information by the Secretary of State about men who may expect to be retained under the provisions of this Bill. As I understand it, at any rate at present, for the first period with which we are dealing, men serving outside the European theatre in most cases will not be retained for a further six months after they have finished their National Service. So far as I can interpret what the Secretary of State said earlier, it is quite possible that in seven or eight months from now men serving in Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong or Cyprus, or any of the other far-flung and varied places in the world where British troops are stationed, can expect to be retained for a further period, in the same way as anyone serving in B.A.O.R. might be.
We have been told that it is not "bodies" which the Army requires. It is certain specialist groups of people who are trained in a certain way. We have also been told in earlier debates of the difference between the equipment and the various standards and the way in which the forces in central Europe will expect to operate as compared with the activities of men in Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong which will be completely different. Different types of duty and equipment are involved, and they will operate in a way which is different from the operations of the forces in the Central European theatre.
If there is a man in Hong Kong or in Singapore now, and if he knows his service will end in April, May or June, he may be pretty certain that he will not be retained for another six months. But towards the end of the year such a man may be retained for a further six months and the possibility is that he will he needed because of the European situation and because his services are likely to be required in Europe. It strikes me that if someone has been serving in an overseas station for a considerable pan of the period of his National Service, he will not have been in the fortunate position in which a soldier serving in this country or in Europe might find himself of being able to spend some part of his service on home leave. So that, to start with, it would be unfair to the individual soldier.
The greater question, however, is, would such a man be of assistance to the Army? A man may be brought back 1147 after he has done his basic training and spent twelve or eighteen months with a unit in Singapore or Hong Kong. He comes to the Central European area where the nature of training, the equipment and everything are essentially different. There is a substantial part of the Army which operates in an entirely different way and in a different atmosphere from that of Singapore and Hong Kong. Would it be of exceptional use to bring them from the Far East to Europe? Would the type of training given to the soldier concerned be of particular use to him in Central Europe? Would it not take two or three months for him to get acclimatised to the different methods of operating and organisation?
Will it be of great use to the Army or to the man himself? We feel it is unfair to a man who has done more than six months outside Europe to be brought under this provision by which he can be recalled by the Secretary of State for a further six months.
§ Sir D. Glover
If, instead of referring to six months, this Amendment had referred to twelve months, I should have had great difficulty in not supporting the Opposition.
A man who has done his training and joins a unit in which he does over half his service overseas will have had very few leaves, but when we consider that the first three months have been spent in training and that he has been out of Europe far six months, he will have been in Europe or at home for eighteen months of his service. We have to take into account the problems of my right hon. Friend in fitting people into holes. It is a question of fitting people into specialised holes, and it follows that there is not an over-surplus of supply all over the Armed Forces.
My right hon. Friend will have to tackle the problem with great skill if hardship is not to accrue to those who serve for a long time overseas. Although my right hon. Friend could not give a categorical assurance, I am sure that the Committee would like to have a firm assurance that the length of service in stations overseas where home leave could not be taken will be taken into account in deciding whether he will retain or release these men.
§ Mr. Profumo
I should like to be able to accept these Amendments, but I am afraid that I cannot do so for the very reasons that the Bill has been introduced. My job is to try to retain in B.A.O.R. a satisfactory number of people commensurate with our commitments to N.A.T.O. throughout this coming year.
This is the basis of why we are doing it. On Second Reading I made a long speech trying to explain how I would go about it. In the course of that speech I said that in the early release groups after April we should be able to allow those serving in theatres other than B.A.O.R. to come out at their normal times. I also said that later in the year, when there are fewer National Service men available, we shall probably have to keep back the majority of men, wherever they are serving, and transfer them to B.A.O.R. The reason why I cannot be categorical and cannot give an undertaking is that it depends on too many variables. If recruiting goes better than I expect and the build-up is quicker, I shall not need to hold so many men, but if it does not go so well as I expect I may need to hold more men. The point is that there must be enough in B.A.O.R. during 1962 to allow me not to draw on other theatres.
Even if it is not for the reasons which my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) and other hon. Members would like, the more we move people about the weaker the Army is. I do not want to move people about unless I have to, not only because turbulence is bad for the Army but also because it weakens the Army; though men may have to be moved later on. Among other things I have done, I have sent a very explicit and long instruction to commanders-in-chief all over the world so that they can pass to commanding officers as much information as we know. I do not think that the Committee need mind too much about numbers as the numbers of those who would benefit by a division of this kind would not be very great. Most National Service men are stationed either in this country or in B.A.O.R. The very success of regular recruiting has diminished the number of National Service men with six months' service outside Europe.
I understand what my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk said about 1149 a year's service overseas. No doubt hon. Members opposite would have put down another Amendment if they had thought that there were many who had served a year overseas and who would be affected. We shall watch the position as carefully as we can, but I must stick to what I said on Second Reading, that later in the year, when categories in Germany and B.A.O.R. run down, we shall probably have to move a lot of people from other theatres into B.A.O.R. to have more people in the categories we still require. That is to say, if a man were serving in Singapore who, for example, was a member of the Royal Armoured Corps and one of the last categories to be let out and if in B.A.O.R. there was no need for another man in the Royal Armoured Corps, he would be let out, whereas if he were a driver and a driver were needed in the B.A.O.R. he would be retained. While we accept the spirit of the Amendment and will do what we can in this direction, I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. Wigg
From time to time the Secretary of State reveals the blinding truth in a blinding flash. He has done it again and he has forgotten himself. He has thrown away his Departmental brief and has said that this has to do with Regular recruiting and is in order to keep the B.A.O.R. figures up over the next year. It is not the Berlin crisis; that is on the table for the moment.
Of course, the Army has always been under pressure to keep up the figures in B.A.O.R. They have been coming down in the scale from 84,000, to 77,000, to 64,000 and then to 45,000. Then there was a strike against Sandys, lip-service to 54,000, and now we have 51,000. Now we have a force which is completely unbalanced for the next year and wholly dependent on obsolescent American nuclear weapons. The Secretary of State has reached a stage where he has to do something about it. He has to find 15,000 from somewhere to save the face of his supporters who must face the truth in their constituencies. I congratulate the Secretary of State in that once again his honesty as a truthful man is getting the better of his nature.
§ Mr. Kershaw
I think that the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) has been blinded by his own truth more than 1150 somewhat because it has always been perfectly clear that the object of the Bill was to keep up the numbers of the Army available to B.A.O.R. Why this should be the moment to reveal it as a truth to the hon. Member I cannot understand.
The Amendment is put forward as a mitigation of hardship to people who have served for a long time outside Europe. I appreciate that. Of course they have not had home leave. On the other hand, there is often the argument that those who join the Army are very keen to go to foreign stations outside Europe and the United Kingdom which are more popular. They all wish to go there. To that extent, perhaps, the Amendment fails to come to the heart of the hardship matter and the Committee ought not to accept it.
§ Mr. James Dempsey (Coatbridge and Airdrie)
While it may be argued that these persons were anxious to volunteer for overseas duty, they are also extremely anxious to get leave from an overseas depôt to come to their home country. The Amendment is dealing with those who have given such service.
I paid attention to the assurances which the Minister has tried to offer. The Secretary of State, being a Minister of the Crown, must know that the Armed Forces are organised on such A basis that the availability of the troops has a tremendous influence over the nature and size of the forces required in the various theatres.
I would rather the Secretary of State had given an undertaking that anybody who was available from the home theatre, for instance, and who had never been abroad would be used to relieve the type of person he mentioned who might be serving in the Far East. Anyone who has served in the Services—almost every hon. Member has been in the forces at some time or other—is amazed at the fact that certain sections of the Services scarcely ever leave these shores, but others are sent all over the world. This is not a new experience. There is little danger of a professional footballer going to the Far East. We have had that experience in Scotland and no doubt in England. Unfortunately, if a man does not have influence of that nature in the military camp there 1151 is little hope of his being retained in this country.
The Secretary of State described some of the difficulties; I would rather he had said, "These are the difficulties, but I will try to be helpful. I will examine all the possibilities and if it is practicable to find men who have never seen service in various parts of the world I am willing to do so." It is time that the Secretary of State adopted this attitude. If he adopts my suggestion he will probably find that many Service personnel will be able to serve in these theatres and give a break to other lads who, probably out of a spirit of adventure, decided to opt for overseas service. Once their adventurous spirit begins to die down they start to think of home and the folks they have left behind. They are at this stage anxious to return home.
I have received several letters and many representations about the prospects of Service personnel serving overseas having more home leaves. This proves that they do not mind serving abroad but would like to be able to visit home much more often. There are certain regulations which militate against people who may want to go abroad enlisting, as the Secretary of State realises. I hope to write to him in a day or two about an individual who has attempted to volunteer, but who, because of one mistake in his life, has been deprived of the right to enlist. The right hon. Gentleman should examine the antique regulations and Victorian rules which have applied up to now. He should face the situation objectively by encouraging persons who are anxious to volunteer to do so. He should eliminate all the obsolete rules which still obtain.
§ Mr. Reynolds
I do not intend to take up very much time because, in the view of most hon. Members, the next Amendment is one of the more important Amendments with which we have to deal. The Secretary of State said that he has sent full information to overseas commanders-in-chief, who will pass it down, about the operation of the scheme provided for in the Clause. I am glad that someone has full information about this, because I think that we still have not anything like as much information as we should like. I hope that the Sec- 1152 retary of State will be able to give us an idea about what type of information he has sent. One difficulty we are in is that we do not know the classes of men to which the scheme is likely to apply. We do not know if they are to be doctors, drivers or gunners.
We have been told that the scheme is to apply both to fighting units and the tail, which does not help us a great deal.
The information sent to overseas commanders-in-chief will presumably give them some idea of the categories and trades which will be required. I hope that at some time the Secretary of State will find some method of giving the Committee the information which has been sent to commanders overseas. If the Secretary of State cannot give us the information on this Amendment, which deals specifically with men who have been stationed overseas for six months or more, I hope that he will do so at a later stage of the Bill. It does not look as if we shall have much time on the debate on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill". This information will presumably be as of much use to the Committee as it will be to the commanders-in-chief.
The Secretary of State may also like to tell us whether, if a man has served overseas for six months or more and it is then decided that he is to be retained, his overseas service can be considered under compassionate or hardship grounds? If any appeal is to be considered, could the fact that a man has served overseas out of the European theatre be used in support of his claim that he should not be retained for a further six months?
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. Wigg
I beg to move, in page 1, line 21, at the end to add:(3Q) Any person retained under this section shall be deemed to be a member of the Territorial Army for the purposes of section eleven of the Auxiliary Forces Act, 1953, and shall be paid a bounty of a sum equivalent to one hundred days' pay authorised by an order made under the said section eleven.I shall not detain the Committee very long on the procedural side of the Amendment. This is the Amendment which has caused a little trouble, because initially the Secretary of State was of the opinion, which was shared by 1153 hon. Members on both sides, that in view of the way the Financial Resolution was drafted it would be out of order to table an Amendment dealing with pay or bounties. It was only just before we met on 19th December that it was discovered outside official channels that there were two Acts which could be amended—the Army Reserve Act, 1950, and the Auxiliary Forces Act, 1953.
The Amendment seeks to provide that the overwhelming majority of National Servicemen become members of the Territorial Army on the day after they complete their two years' service. The Amendment, therefore, deems them to be members of the Territorial Army and on becoming so, if they are required, notice having been given, to do six months' further service they shall be given a bounty of one hundred days' pay. The advantage of saying one hundred days' pay as against stating a definite amount is that by so doing the maximum amount of flexibility is retained. The sum payable will relate to the rank the man is holding at the time and to his technical qualifications.
I am sure that the Secretary of State cannot object to the principle of granting a bounty in such circumstances. I have here a list of the many occasions on which he has made bounty payments to induce National Service men to enter into Regular engagements and men already serving on Regular engagements to extend their service. Under Clause 3 he is to pay an annual bounty of £150 to persuade men to join his "Ever-Readies".
We are dealing with a group of men who are surely the most unfortunate young men of this generation. They are caught right at the end of the National Service Acts. Many of them have been deferred for as long as five years. I have given the Secretary of State notice of one case. I never like mentioning an individual case in the Chamber if I can avoid it. If I cannot avoid mentioning it, I do not like to do so unless I give the Minister notice, so that, if I am talking nonsense, he can say so. I have details of other cases too, and hon. Members on both sides will have had cases submitted to them of men who have been deferred for five years or more to become doctors or engineers or to gain their G.C.E.s or national diplomas. They are men who with the passage of 1154 time have undertaken family obligations. Some of them have bought houses. They all have one thing in common, namely, that they are on the threshold of their earning career.
These young men have made themselves more valuable to the Army and the State as a result of their acts of self-denial in respect of their earning capacity, in their far-sightedness in not accepting well-paid jobs. By this means they have obtained high qualifications and a capacity to earn more money later on. Theirs has been very real self-denial in the sense of giving up their leisure time night after night and year after year, going from one examination to another, getting over one hurdle only to go on to the one ahead. In other words, their ambition has been to obtain the highest qualifications they could achieve.
Many of these men are the ones who are likely to be held. In the case of some of the doctors—I do not want to argue the case specially from the angle of the doctors—the hardship is much greater because it is for more than five years that they have earned little or nothing. They have qualified and gone straight into the Army, and they have had in mind going out into a hospital to gain more experience or to attain higher qualifications. In many cases they must have borrowed money from their parents and friends. These men will be looking forward to the end of their two years' service so that they can begin to earn some money and discharge their obligations. For them to be held without any financial recompense seems to me to be an act of very grave injustice.
Consequently, I am very glad that I found it possible to table the Amendment—I am sure that this view is shared by the Committee—so that we can test the feelings of hon. Members on this point. I have no doubt whatever that if this were left to a free vote there would be an overwhelming majority of hon. Members sharing the feeling, whatever our views might be about National Service—whether hon. Members are charged with being militarists or whether they sit on the clouds and are pacifists—that we must do the right thing. So far as money can be provided by the House to meet examples of gross injustice, I am sure there must be almost 1155 a unanimous wish on the part of hon. Members that such action should be taken.
I do not want to indulge in special pleading. Had this Measure been introduced three or four years ago when we were dealing with the ordinary run-of-the-mill National Service men doing their two years, coming in at 18 and going out at 20, my case would have been nothing like as strong as it is. But we have to remember that 60,000 men were removed from call-up by the arbitrary administrative action of the Minister of Labour in November, 1960, when he merely said "The Government do not want these chaps. So we just will not call them up." That resulted in our getting into the military service net this group of men who had been deferred for four, five or more years. One has also to remember, on top of that, the men who have gone into the Navy and the Royal Air Force and are completely exempt from these provisions.
In the light of those considerations, I think that I am as far removed from special pleading as I could possibly be in asking hon. Gentlemen to use their voices and influence and, in the ultimate, their votes if the Government will not agree to make sure that justice is done to these men. If these men have to be held for an extra six months in their country's service, I hope that the Committee will, so far as it has it in its power, remove from them the financial obligations which I am convinced in many cases border on ruin for them and the giving up of their studies.
I would at the same time remind hon. Members of the financial concessions that the Government offered last year, in pursuance of their policy, in the hope that men who are serving would undertake longer engagements or that men who are reservists would undertake service in the A.E.R. and so on. I feel that I am, without any special pleading, making a case which the Government cannot answer and that they must accept the Amendment.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)
In supporting the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg), I would not for a single moment claim that the Government are wrong in seeking to retain these men. After all, 1156 many hon. Members have served in the Forces much longer than these young men are being asked to do.
The hon. Member for Dudley, to whose ingenuity in tabling Amendments I have paid tribute in the past, has pleaded on behalf of those men who have been deferred in the past. Young men who are serving in the normal course of events and have not had the benefit of deferment are also in a special category, because they, too, come at the end of the queue. Those who are marginally younger by a few days or weeks are not required to serve in the Forces at all. Therefore, they have had a very considerable head start in establishing themselves in civilian life, and in so many spheres of civil life today seniority is more important than it was in the past. Therefore, the young men whom we are now calling upon to serve an extra six months are in a much worse position than those who have done National Service in the past when others of succeeding generations were following on behind.
There are two arguments which will probably be adduced against the Amendment. The first is that we cannot treat these men any better than Regular soldiers but that by giving them a bounty we should do so. There is not much force in this argument. After all, they will serve only for six months, and so it is a short-term problem. I cannot believe that any Regular soldiers worth their salt will be disaffected by the payment of a gratuity to such men, and if their morale is going to be adversely affected by it, I think the Army would be far better off without them.
The other argument is that there is not the money available. I believe that it would be infinitely better to pay a gratuity such as this than the rather inflated sums which are to be devoted to the "Ever-Readies". I believe that the "Ever-Readies" will be overpaid, and possibly substantially over-compensated, by the Government. It is also probable that we might find savings in the Army Estimates soon to be discussed to provide money which could be better devoted to this purpose, but one would be out of order in discussing Army expenditure in general now.
I believe that these young men will be harshly treated. I believe that we can 1157 make some financial recompense to them for the necessarily harsh treatment, and I hope that the Government will at least go some way towards accepting the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dudley, because I fear that, if they cannot move at all, I shall have to support the hon. Member in the Division Lobby.
§ Mr. Bellenger
I am very glad that the hon. Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) has supported the principle of the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg). Indeed, he has supported the actual Amendment. I hope that the Secretary of State, even if he will not go all the way that my hon. Friend wants him to go, will do something, because the principle has been conceded, inasmuch as he has told us that those whom he may call up from the Reserve in an emergency will be paid a bounty all the time they are there as "Ever-Readies".
The right hon. Gentleman may say that those men will get Regular rates of pay if they are kept in the Army for six months beyond their two years. I do not think that is good enough. After all, that is, one might say, the rate for the job they are doing, but what we ask for is something in addition to that to ameliorate the feeling of broken contract between them and the Secretary of State. These young men, their parents and others connected with them recognised when the National Service Act was passed that they had to do their duty, and, on the whole, they have done their duty without too much grumbling. They have suffered a certain amount of hardship already, and what makes it worse is that a great many of them will be selected for B.A.O.R., so that they have an additional grudge.
Does the Secretary of State want to have an Army or a portion of an Army suffering under a feeling that it has not been treated fairly? I suppose it will react on Parliament. Nevertheless, it is the Secretary of State who has taken the initiative, and I do not think it is an adequate answer, even to those hon. Members on his own side who are sympathetic to the point of view which has been put from these benches, for him to say that it is too much of a financial burden. After all, the extra six months will cost him something, 1158 and Parliament will be expected to pay for it. Why should Parliament therefore grudge an extra bounty such as the hon. Member for Dudley has asked for?
The whole question as to the future relationship of National Service, and whether it is to be the selective service which my hon. Friend seems to want, depends on whether the country will accept these things. Men will accept them—whether or not it is to be selective service, which this undoubtedly is—only if they feel that they are not being asked to bear a burden because they are a small minority, on whom the Secretary of State for War has his hands at the moment, and because they are in uniform—
§ Mr. Bellenger
Whatever it is that my hon. Friend wants, and it is sometimes a little difficult to find out what he does want, he is quite definite on this occasion about what he wants, and he even specified a hundred days' pay. I am glad he has done that, sentimentally, rhetorically, perhaps, but the fact remains that we have got to get the country with us. It may be necessary, if we are in an emergency, and it is quite possible that we may be, for a much bigger bill to be laid before Parliament. Why should the Secretary of State jib, as I expect he will, at the point of view that has been expressed behind him and on this side of the Committee? One does not want to delay too long, because we are working to a timetable, and there are other very important points which will arise on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill".
§ Mr. Brian Harrison (Maldon)
I should like to ask my right hon. Friend to consider very carefully whether he cannot accept this Amendment. It has very definite advantages, and, in particular, it has a form of justice in it in that the person to be retained would be paid at the rate authorised, so that qualified people with special qualifications would receive a better share.
It is quite clear that this short-term Measure to deal with a long-term problem—that is, the retention of people 1159 in National Service for six months—is an unsatisfactory solution to the long-term problem as we have it at the moment, but, if we are to use this method of retaining people after they have already carried out their statutory obligations, I think that the greatest consideration must be given to them. I very much hope that that consideration will be shown by my right hon. Friend in accepting this Amendment.
§ Mr. Frank Allaun
If the Secretary of State is a fair man, he must admit to himself, if not to us, that there is real injustice on the National Service man serving an extra six months. The Minister says that it is a regrettable necessity. I am sure that that is his argument. If it is a regrettable necessity, at least he can do the right thing by compensating them in this way, though I believe that some of the hardships which will be endured will not be compensated for financially, because it would be impossible to do so.
I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman that not only will the "Ever-Readies" receive £150 a year, as has been pointed out on both sides of the Committee, but they will also receive, as I understand it, an initial bounty of £50. What is fit for the goose is fit for the gander, and it seems a monstrous business that these people will receive so much while the conscripts will receive not a cent. This is really getting men on the cheap. What is more, the "Ever-Readies" will be men who like the Army; otherwise, they would not be volunteering. But these are men who, probably, utterly dislike service in the Forces. Surely, then, they should have some compensation.
Finally, I doubt whether this whole business was necessary at all. I think it results from a panic in August, when the American Government said to all the N.A.T.O. countries, "Show an increase in your service men." Even so, even if it is a regrettable necessity, which I doubt, the only fair thing is to give compensation to those people who suffer a double hardship.
§ Mr. Kershaw
A powerful case has been deployed by all the speakers in this debate, but I am afraid that I cannot associate myself with their opinions, 1160 although one has an inclination to do so on first thought. In the first place, I do not think that anybody except my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) has thought it out in the detail he should.
Those people when retained will get an increase. They will be on Regular rates of pay, and that is a quite considerable increase for some of them. Therefore, there is some financial compensation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I do not think that the comparison which the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) was making between the "Ever-Readies" and those who are retained was quite so powerful as he made out, because, after all, the "Ever-Readies" get nothing except this bounty. They are not getting a higher rate of pay, and the situation is not quite comparable.
§ Mr. Allaun
It is quite clear that in addition to the £3 a week they will be getting normal pay—perhaps getting £15.
§ Mr. Kershaw
Certainly normal wages have nothing to do with the Army or what we can grant the men. The induce-anent to them to come into the "Ever-Readies"—perhaps I am straying a little out of order—is this bounty.
§ Mr. Kershaw
Certainly the comparison with civilian rates of pay is one which one can make, but we are not concerned with that matter but with the rate of pay which the Army is giving. Although I have agreed before with what the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) has said I cannot agree with him about this. I cannot agree that an extra rate for them is, on the whole, necessary or fair in the circumstances.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Kershaw
Certainly, but the man held in retention is given this bounty and he is put to a certain amount of trouble, a certain amount of disability. He cannot move about and so on. Clearly, he undertakes an obligation in return for money. I do not think that the comparison, therefore, has quite the force which the hon. Member for Salford, East thought.
§ Mr. Kershaw
The "Ever-Ready" is under a limitation to make himself available. It is that obligation which he undertakes.
As nearly as I can calculate, this bounty, if it were paid, would cost some £5 million to £7 million. It is a hard calculation to make because one does not know how many people would be involved, but, on average, that would be the cost of it. It is a considerable sum to give. I do not really believe that the hardship involved in the six months to comparatively small numbers would really justify this large expenditure, much as, I am sure, the Committee would like to give it.
§ Mr. Shinwell
So far this debate has been conducted on the most friendly lines, and this is the first mean speech we have had.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I regret it all the more because it affords some encouragement to the right hon. Gentleman. I am quite sure that if that speech had not been made the right hon. Gentleman would have conceded if not the whole of the case at any rate 50 per cent. I beg him not to pay too much attention to the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw). It is a shocking moral lapse by the hon. Member to have made a speech of that character.
I want to adduce, in addition to the powerful arguments which have been deployed by my hon. Friends and others, one further suggestion. It is that the right hon. Gentleman should take into account what, apparently, the hon. Member for Stroud is not aware of, namely, the disparity between the pay 1162 of the National Service men and the Regulars. This has been operating ever since the beginning of the National Service Act. I had something to do with it. We provided a differentiation in pay. It was done for this purpose, in order to persuade the National Service men to join up for a longer period in the Regular Force, and it succeeded to a considerable extent.
Only the other day, with his usual courtesy, the right hon. Gentleman sent me a letter. It arose out of a Supplementary Question I had asked before the Recess. It related to the pay of the men who are to be retained. This is what I discovered, and what, apparently, many hon. Members of the Committee do not know. The pay of the men who are to be detained for a further six months is to be 11s. a day as compared with the 16s. a day of the Regulars on a six-year engagement. Why this disparity? Surely if men are to be called up for a further six months the very least we can do is to mitigate the hardships which are involved.
If the right hon. Gentleman is not prepared to concede the demand made by my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg), may I make the suggestion to him that, as an alternative, the men who are retained for a further six months should be paid the same rates as the Regulars if they occupy the same ranks? Is that not fair? Is there anything wrong with that? I am not so sure myself that men would not prefer that to accepting the 100 days' pay. After all, they are then on an equal footing with the Regulars. The man who is serving two and a half years is performing a very valuable function in the Army and he deserves the same consideration as the man who joined up as a volunteer.
I am not going to argue the case of the "Ever-Readies". I see the reason why the right hon. Gentleman has to provide an incentive. Without that incentive I doubt if there would be an excessive rush to join the Regular Force. It is the bounty which will provide the incentive, but in the case of those men who are being forced to remain in the Service and who will be in the Service for another six months, unless on compassionate grounds they are released for 1163 that period, it seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman must make some cencession, otherwise he is going to have an even more discontented body of National Service men than he has at present.
I do not subscribe to what some hon. Members have said about all the National Service men being discontented and regarding National Service as a complete waste. I know of many National Service men who have gained considerably, physically and mentally, as the result of being in the Army, although I do not doubt that many of them will be glad to get out and that many will object to being retained for another six months. But what I do say is that it is not advisable that we should add to the discontent which already exists, and I can imagine the position of any man who believes he is to go out of the Force very shortly and who receives a communication from the right hon. Gentleman saying that he has got to remain for another six months. If that letter is accompanied by a promissory note which indicates that he is going to receive either 100 days' pay or the same rate of pay as his brother the Regular in the Army, I believe it will mitigate the hardship involved.
I beg the right hon. Gentleman, if he cannot assure us now, at any rate to give the matter some consideration, and perhaps on Report he may be able to give us the assurance we require.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
When my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) first discussed the idea contained in his Amendment, which is, to a large extent, embodied in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg), my first reaction was that I could not accept the idea of paying these men more than would be paid to the volunteer. Since then, one or two other thoughts have occurred to me. Some of them have already been aired here, but one that I think is somewhat relevant has not so far been mentioned.
There was a time, not so many years ago, when we were dishing out "golden bowlers", as they were known, to certain Regular officers whose services were no longer required, and I find it a little paradoxical that we should now be refusing to give something by way of a "golden raincoat", or whatever it may 1164 be, to these men whom we are retaining, As I say, we were at one time prepared to give a "golden bowler" to men whom we did not want to keep on for as long as they would have preferred to stay. That is, perhaps, the strongest argument in favour of the Amendment and, to that extent, I think that I am persuaded to support the hon. Member for Dudley.
I have been making a rapid calculation of the probable cost. My hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) mentioned a sum of between £5 million and £7 million. I doubt whether it would cost as much. Averaging it out over all the men we keep, and we do not want to keep more than 25,000—I doubt if we shall keep as many as that—it would seem that the cost would be somewhere between £2,600,000 and £3 million. That is quite a lot of money, and with the pay pause we ought to give very serious consideration to whether we can do it at present.
The right hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) has said, and I agree with him to some extent, that Clause 1 involves a breach of contract. It is easy to blame the Government, but those who have really brought this situation about are all the potential volunteers who never volunteered. If we had got voluntary recruiting to the desired level this Clause would not have been necessary. so the people really responsible for causing the Government to break their contract with these men are a very considerable section of the younger part of our population—
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
I am, perhaps, a little more up to date in my figures than is the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget)—having spent a considerable number of hours at Woolwich today. I have yet to believe that had the volunteer figures exceeded even by one-third the present level those men would have been turned away.
On balance, I would say that the argument comes down decisively in favour 1165 of this Amendment, or something that will implement the same principle. I do not necessarily adhere to the exact wording used by the hon. Member for Dudley if the Secretary of State says that it is incorrect. Nevertheless, although not enough National Service men may, perhaps, have realised that their part-time service obligation or liability to recall was always there, I think that there is here a justifiable ground for saying that these men who are now doing their National Service did not expect to do full-time service for more than two years. We are now telling them to be ready to do it for up to two years and six months. If we could give the "golden bowler" to those whom we wished to get rid of before they wanted to go, surely we must do something comparable for these men.
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Dempsey
It is encouraging to note that all the speeches so far, with one exception, have been in favour of the principle contained in the Amendment. That principle is that those affected should receive some form of compensation, and I hope that the Minister will try to assess the situation in its true perspective.
I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will be the first to admit that the "Ever-Readies" will receive a bounty of £150, plus, of course, their civilian pay. They may do some training within their neighbourhood but will have their homes, wives and families continuously with them. No physical sacrifice is involved, generally speaking. If those men can receive such a bounty, in addition to their civilian pay, a very reasonable case can be argued for some kind of compensation for those who have to serve for a further six months, at the expense of civilian employment and home comforts.
Some of us know that many of the individuals who will be involved in further military service had made very elaborate plans for their return from National Service. Many of those plans will, as the Scottish bard has said, "gang aft a-gley" because of this technical breach of contract, and it is only fair that the Minister should recognise that he has some responsibility for such a situation, and should look favourably 1166 on the appeal for compensation for these Service personnel.
I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) has been rather modest in his selection of 100 days' pay, because we are dealing with people who will lose six months' civilian employment. They could have been working for 26 weeks, and could have earned much more than 12s. 6d. a day. According to the Minister of Labour, the average earnings of our workers are £14 a week. That is roughly 6s. an hour, or 48s. per clay. Those are not my figures but those of the right hon. Gentleman's right hon. Friend. To replace that loss, the Minister offers these retained individuals 12s. 6d. a day.
Even allowing for subsistence and the like, there is a very great difference between the rate that the National Service man will receive for the further six months and what he might have earned had he spent that time in civilian employment. It is very unfair that no cognisance should have been taken of the family loss—the loss in earning capacity—that the National Service man will suffer for the additional six months that he is being retained
I would remind the Minister that we are not here dealing with professional soldiers—with people who volunteered to endure the hardships and submit to the rigours of Army life—but with people whom we have physically compelled to enter the Service and endure its privations. We must remember that we have compelled them to suffer those rigours and privations for two years, and that we are now deciding to extend the period to two and a half years. If the Minister bears this in mind he will surely give a favourable reception to the principle contained in the Amendment. As I say, all except one hon. Member who has spoken on this subject has been convinced that a case for its acceptance has been made out. That being so, surely the Minister must give favourable attention to the representations that have been made to him?
This is not something which should be dealt with politically, for we have a responsibility to the individuals concerned—apart from any political or conflicting ideologies which may be involved—to see that the right thing is done. 1167 We are about to take a step which will mean that thousands of individuals who planned to return home at the end of two years' service will be obliged to continue for an additional six months. As we are creating that position we have a moral responsibility to see that these individuals are compensated, at least to some degree, for the excess service we are compelling them to give which will deprive them of earning in civilian employment.
If the Minister will merely indicate his willingness to look at this again, to take advice and analyse the possibility of extending the compensation principle contained in the Amendment, I am sure that he would be acting in the interests of both the Committee and the Service men concerned. I hope that the Minister will bear in mind the remarks of the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) regarding people who do not receive a few pounds in compensation but several thousands of pounds because their employment life has been interrupted. In this instance we are interrupting the employment lives of thousands of Service men who, but for our decision, would be returning home to take part in their normal day-to-day civil employment. Since we are interrupting it to the extent of six months we have a public and moral duty to these people, and I hope that the Minister will see the position in this light and indicate that he at least approves of the principle of this Amendment, which seeks to give them a bounty of 100 days' pay.
§ Mr. John Hall (Wycombe)
I had not intended to intervene in the debate on this or any other Amendment because I do not believe that this mistaken Bill can be made more palatable by any form of Amendment. I have been brought to my feet by the remarks made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) and his disclosures about the Regular rates of pay, and by the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) and his references to Vibe "golden bowler" and the "golden raincoat."
With due deference to my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely, the two are not the same. In the case of the 1168 "golden bowler", compensation is being given to someone whose career has been brought to an untimely end when the individual concerned might have had some anticipation of several further years of service. In the case under discussion, the Government are retaining men against their will in a career which they would be happy to give up as soon as possible. In this case, we are not depriving them of any financial gain except the possible one of their returning to civil life.
Nevertheless, there is some substance in the point made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Easington. It was not my original inclination to support the idea of giving bonuses to those retained for an additional six months because I was under the impression that they were to receive the full Regular rates of pay. If that is not so I think the Minister should tell us exactly what is the position. If I understood the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Easington aright, his information was that the rates of pay would be lower than the rates enjoyed by Regular serving soldiers. That is contrary to the impression that I had previously had. If one found that these rates differ in the way the right hon. Gentleman described, then one would have to consider one's support for the Amendment.
§ Mr. Profumo
The Amendment would deem all those who are to be retained under this Clause to be artificially in the Territorial Army for the purposes of one Section only of the Auxiliary Forces Act, 1953—that is, Section 11 dealing with government, discipline and pay.
I think that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) has worded his Amendment in this way to bring it within the rules of Order and I respect him for being able to do that. But I am concerned with whether or not I can accept the principle behind the Amendment and I am deeply moved by the appeals which have been made. I am particularly grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) for what he said. If the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Easing-ton (Mr. Shinwell) called that a mean speech, I am afraid that the Committee will feel that what I have to say is also mean—and I am sorry, in advance, if 1169 that is what hon. Members will think, for I must try to interpret this matter as carefully as I can,
A lot has been said about the principle involved. I must point out that bounties are, of course, paid in recognition of voluntary action or service.
§ Mr. Profumo
I am talking about bounties proper. I was saying that they are always paid in recognition of voluntary action or service. To pay bounties to those answering a statutory liability would be the first time that that has ever been done and it would be inappropriate.
§ Mr. Wigg
I had anticipated that remark and I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that he is incorrect. During the 1914–18 war Regular soldiers whose engagements expired during that war and who were held in Service under the appropriate Act were paid a bounty, which accumulated with interest, at the end of the war. Those people were held in compulsory service.
§ Mr. Profumo
I hope the hon. Gentleman will allow me to develop my case because I absolutely recognise the position. I said that bounties are paid for voluntary action or service. If Her Majesty's Government had wanted to rely on voluntary service for the purposes of this Bill—which I have already explained to the Committee—we should have gone about matters in a completely different way. That was not our purpose. Our purpose is precisely the same as that which motivated the Labour Government when they extended National Service for six months in 1950.
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) spoke about a breach of contract. I do not see why there should be one term of contract for one Government and another term for another Government. There was no thought in 1950 of a breach of contract when the then Government did what they thought—perhaps in different circumstances—to be absolutely right; to extend the terms of service for National Service men for another six months.
§ Mr. Profumo
I am not seeking to make a party point. I have listened 1170 patiently to the arguments that have been adduced and I am trying to answer the questions put to me. The then Government did not see fit to give any grant for disturbance to the National Service man who was thereby retained, in a similar way, for an unexpected further period of six months. That is all I am saying. The then Government did not see fit to compensate those men by paying them Regular rates of pay. Again, I am not making a party point. I would have said exactly that if my own party had done the same thing. I am comparing like with like. I am arguing a principle. There has always been a special rate of pay for National Service men. We are changing things for the better in recognition of the special circumstances.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
The right hon. Gentleman is wrong. He cannot go on talking in this fashion. Is he not aware that after eighteen months' service, National Service men were brought up to Regular rates of pay, quite apart from proficiency pay which the Regulars had and quite independent of whether they were tradesmen. Does he deny what I am saying? There is now a disparity as between 16s. which is the average rate for a man serving a six-year engagement and a rate of 11s. for the National Service man.
§ Mr. Profumo
I am saying that from the moment the National Service man enters his extended period of service, the pay will be the pay and allowances appropriate to a Regular soldier serving on Scale A. I think the right hon. Gentleman must have misunderstood.
§ Mr. Profumo
Please let me develop this point. I have the figures in front of me. I hope I have not misinterpreted them in the letter that I wrote. The right hon. Gentleman says that I explained that the rate was 11 s. at the minimum. The rate is 12s. 6d., not 11 s. It is 12s. 6d. for Scale A. The scale of 15s. that he quoted was the scale for a soldier serving more than six years. Scale A applies to a period up to six years. As these National Service men will not be serving for more than six years, we have put them on the 12s. 6d. rate, not 11s., which is the lowest 1171 rate on Scale A for soldiers who will be serving less than six years. Over six years, which they are not going to serve, the rate is 15s. This is not a large point, but I hope it answers my hon. Friend who raised it. We are going to put these men on Regular rates of pay applicable to the service which they are doing. The soldier will also get his marriage allowance at the rates applicable to a Regular soldier. In fact, marriage allowance was not permissible for National Service men. So we have done our best to try to put these soldiers, who I agree have been confronted suddenly with something which they did not expect, on to something like Regular rates of pay applicable to the service which they will be performing. I think this is the right way to do it. In addition, the National Service grants are available should circumstances justify them for the retained National Service man.
I should perhaps explain the effect of National Service grants and the new pay and allowances received by National Service men. As the Committee knows, National Service grants are intended to diminish hardship resulting from the reduction in a man's income when he is called up. They are paid on my behalf by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance. The new rates of pay and marriage allowance will mean an increase in income, and to that extent the grants will fall to be adjusted. None the less, the combined result of the changes in pay, allowances and grants will in all cases be distinctly favourable to a man and his wife. I am, of course, arranging that this position shall be explained to all the men concerned, and my right hon. Friend will explain it to the wives and families.
Some hon. Members have said that this is pretty mean, because they compare it with what people get in civilian life. I beg hon. Members to remember that it is no good quoting the 11s. or 15s. or any rate of pay because members of the Armed Forces get a great deal of increment in the form of free living, free transport, free food and all the things which are left out of consideration when one compares civilian rates of pay with Service rates of pay. I believe that any hon. Members who has travelled extensively and has seen the Armed Forces 1172 here and overseas will agree that, by and large, Regular rates of pay are no longer a real bone of contention.
May I return to the subject of the Amendment. I agree that there are gratuities. There is a gratuity of £20 which I am proposing should be paid to part-time National Service men if under Clause 2 they were to be recalled later on. But that is specifically to help with the out-of-pocket expenses which are likely to arise from the disturbance of recall. Retained men will not suffer that particular disturbance and, therefore, I do not think they qualify for a gratuity.
The hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) has again, in a helpful speech, put his finger on the situation. I agree with him. I do not think one can measure hardship in terms of money. I do not think one can measure disturbance in a case of this sort. There may be more disturbance to one man than to another. The only way of dealing with the situation is to take each case of hardship and disturbance on its merits and see what we can do to pay everybody who is retained the proper rate of pay for a soldier in that category.
My hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) raised the point of the "golden bowler." I do not think this is comparing like with like. The question of the golden bowler arose because Her Majesty's Government decided that they would bring to an end a voluntary contract. I ask the Committee to remember that there is all the difference in the world between a statutory obligation that this House places on members of the public, which we are now increasing, and a voluntary contract entered into between Her Majesty's Government and a member of the public. That voluntary contract may be to serve 6, 9 or 22 years which, in the case of the golden bowler, we have prematurely brought to an end. Therefore, we felt that we ought to give some compensation.
This we are not doing, and, with respect to my hon. Friend, I do not find that this is comparing like with like. I believe that the right way of dealing with this problem is the way that we propose to deal with it. That is to raise pay and allowances to the existing level of Regular soldiers and to deal with 1173 hardship cases separately on their individual merits. I regret to say that although I know this will be a disappointment to the Committee, I cannot agree to the Amendment.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman now agrees to bring the National Service men who are to be retained for another six months up to the level of the minimum pay of the Regular soldier?
§ Mr. Profumo
I regret that in trying to help the right hon. Gentleman I appear to have made it more difficult for him. Perhaps I could show him the Army Estimates and the appropriate columns. I am proposing to put all retained National Service men on Scale A.
§ Mr. Profumo
That is for those who serve up to six years. It starts at 12s. 6d. and not 11s. We are putting them on rates of pay applicable to people who serve regularly in the Service up to six years.
§ Mr. Profumo
It is Regular pay. It is Scale A Army pay. The right hon. Gentleman was thinking of soldiers who serve for more than six years.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Is this not the recruits' pay? When they join up for a period of six years they start with the figure mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman. That is the position. But why not put the National Service man who will serve 2½ years on the same footing as the Regular man who is himself serving 2½ years?
§ Mr. Profumo
The right hon. Gentleman has quoted the minimum pay on Scale A. It goes up. I have written to the right hon. Gentleman showing all these figures and the increments obtainable in certain circumstances, plus the marriage allowance which is given on top of that. I am certain this is the right way to compensate. We are putting these men on Regular rates of pay applicable to men serving up to six years but not more.
§ Mr. Paget
So as to have the matter quite clear, I will take the case of two men, Smith and Jones, who start their 1174 Army careers on the same day. Smith takes on a six-year engagement. Jones is called up for National Service. After they have both served two years together, Jones is required to serve a further six months. Is the pay which he receives during that further six months precisely the same as the pay which his friend Smith receives during those six months? That is the test. Is that not a fair question to answer? Will the Minister tell us?
§ Mr. Wigg
May I try to help my hon. and learned Friend? The right hon. Gentleman may not remember this, but on 27th November last—this is reported in column 49 of HANSARD—he told the House that the man who was retained for the 2½ years would receive the rate of pay applicable to a man on the short service Regular engagement of three years. That being so, he would start off with a rate of pay of 12s. 6d. for Grade IV advancing up to 17s. The Mr. Smith spoken of by my hon. and learned Friend enters on a six-year engagement. and he will have started at 15s. They will not be on the same rate of pay.
§ Mr. Profumo
I am sorry to have to intervene again. I think the difference between us is this. The hon. and learned Gentleman is referring to a man who joins up as a Regular on a six-year engagement and he asks whether his position will be the same as that of a National Service man serving his extra six months. The answer is "No", because the hon. and learned Gentleman is not comparing like with like.
1175 What happens is that a man who joins as a Regular soldier serving up to six years under scale A would be on exactly the same rates of pay as a National Service man now serving his extra six months. That is comparing like with like.
§ Mr. Paget
Can we compare like with like better than by taking the case of two twin brothers, George and John Smith? They join on the same day. They are in the same platoon. They have precisely the same qualifications. One joins as a Regular on a six-year engagement and the other is a National Service man. The Minister says that, at the end of the two years, he is putting the National Service man, so far as pay is concerned, in the position of the Regular.
I ask the simple question. the test question: does he or does he not get the same pay packet at the same time as his twin brother? The answer is that he does not.
§ Mr. Profumo
Perhaps we can take three brothers. One brother joins up on a three-year engagement. In other words, he serves less than six years. That is scale A. One brother joins on a six-year engagement, that is, more than six years, and that is scale B. One brother is a jolly good chap and he joins up for nine years or more, which is scale C. They will get 12s. 6d. 15s. and 18s. 6d., respectively.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Profumo
At the beginning. The one I am taking is the one on scale A at 12s. 6d. That is what the National Service man will get if he serves the extra time.
§ Mr. Wigg
They have swung over to a normal engagement for six years, but they have retained the three-year engagement for the Brigade of Guards, for certain branches of the Catering Corps and certain other branches. The Government have limited the three-year engagement to about 1,000 men a year, and it is a minority engagement.
§ Mr. Paget
No. Now no one can join for three except in those special Corps. The ordinary engagement is for six years. The National Service man will not get the Regular rate of pay. I do not propose to go further into that now. The case of the two twin brothers seems to me a sound basis for comparing like with like, and for the extra six months they do not have the same money.
My next point is this. Except for the political accident that in 1950 there was a different Government, I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman went back to that time to make a comparison. One could go back to 1938 or to 1916. Whenever we introduce conscription in wartime which applies throughout to everyone, totally different considerations apply. In 1950 we were at war in Korea. We increased the period of conscription to two years on the same terms for everybody. That is totally different saying that for a particular job we require 15,000 men—only the sort of number of civil servants the Minister has in his own Department—and we refuse to pay them the rate for the job. That is what it comes to. The right hon. Gentleman proposes to get the men on the cheap.
Then comes the most cynical observation I have ever heard from a Government. The right hon. Gentleman says 1177 that we only pay bounties when the service is voluntary. When we can pressgang them, when we can seize them by the ear, says the right hon. Gentleman, there does not have to be a bounty and we do riot have to waste money in that way. We have got the poor fellows and we do riot have to consider the rate for the job. After they have been collared and the press gang has got them, we do not have to consider any question of fairness. Could cynicism go further?
Fifteen thousand men only are required by the Government to get the Government out of a jam of their own making. The right hon. Gentleman suggests, not that they should be paid the rate for the job, but something less.
The Secretary of State knows perfectly well that if he put this on a voluntary basis, he would get scarcely a volunteer, even on the improved terms which my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley suggests. Is it unreasonable to ask that the Government should go some sort of way towards making the payment the rate for the job, the market rate, something a little nearer to what they would have to pay to get these men on the free market?
Is it unreasonable to say that the Government should pay these 15,000 men something nearer the rate for the job when they have to pay the rate for the job for the great array of civil servants whose wages have to be negotiated? How far do the Government think that they would get if they had to negotiate these rates with a trade union representative? Are they saying that if this were a fair negotiation their first offer would not be something miles in front of what they now suggest? Of course it would. They would not begin with a figure anywhere near their suggested figure in those circumstances. What they are doing is to treat these men in this way merely because the men have been press-ganged.
It is particularly vicious because this legislation is catching the very men who had long deferments in order, by sacrificing the present, to acquire large earning capacity for the future. The Government are making a derisory payment for that earning capacity and are doing 1178 so to suit their own convenience. This is a mean thing to do. Doctors, other professional men, those who have completed their apprenticeships and others who are qualified would be able to command wages on the civilian market far in excess of what the Government propose to pay them, even if the suggested bonus were added. On the civilian market they could double even the rate which would result from an acceptance of the proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley. This is not fair and decent.
Admittedly the Bill is unjust. It is an injustice imposed on individuals. It is unreasonable that the Government should not do something, that the nation should not do something, in terms of cash, not to compensate for that injustice, but in some measure to mitigate it and in some measure to bring what we pay into some sort of relationship with what we ask.
§ Mr. Wigg
I have no hesitation on this occasion about asking the Committee to support me in the Division Lobby. It is true that on Second Reading the Secretary of State said that these men would get the rate of pay applicable to men serving a three-year engagement. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) was absolutely right to point out that in July, 1957, the Government withdrew the three-year engagement as a normal engagement and substituted the six-year engagement for it. It is perfectly true that in the overwhelming number of units where these men will be retained the Regulars will be receiving rates of pay for a six-year engagement far above what these National Service men will receive.
The Secretary of State knows better than to hold out the palliative of higher rates for marriage allowance, because the minority of men who are married would prefer not to have a further six months' separation. That was a piece of sophistry on the part of the right hon. Gentleman and we should regard it as absolute nonsense. I hope that hon. Members in all parts of the Committee will serve their consciences this time and will support the Amendment.
§ Question put, That those words be there added:—1180
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 172, Noes 239.1181
|Division No. 54.]||AYES||[7.27 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Ainsley, William||Hannan, William||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Albu, Austen||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Peart, Frederick|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hayman, F. H.||Pentland, Norman|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Prentice, R. E.|
|Awbery, Stan||Harbison, Miss Margaret||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Probert, Arthur|
|Beaney, Alan||Hilton, A. V.||Randall, Harry|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Holman, Percy||Redhead, E. C.|
|Bence, Cyril||Holt, Arthur||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Hoy, James H.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Benson, Sir George||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Blackburn, F.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Blyton, William||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N,)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Boardman, H.||Hunter, A. E.||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics. S.W.)||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Ross, William|
|Bowies, Frank||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Boyden, James||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Short, Edward|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Janner, Sir Barnett||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Jeger, George||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Kelley, Richard||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Collick, Percy||Kenyon, Clifford||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Snow, Julian|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||King, Dr. Horace||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Lawson, George||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Deer, George||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)|
|Delargy, Hugh||Loughlin, Charles||Steele, Thomas|
|Dempsey, James||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Diamond, John||MacColl, James||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John|
|Dodds, Norman||McInnes, James||Swain, Thomas|
|Donnelly, Desmond||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Swingler, Stephen|
|Driberg, Tom||Mackie, John (Enfield, East)||Symonds, J. B.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||McLeavy, Frank||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Evans, Albert||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Timmons, John|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mallalieu, J.P.W- (Huddersfield, E.)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Finch, Harold||Manuel, A. C.||Wade, Donald|
|Fletcher, Eric||Mapp, Charles||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mason, Roy||Watkins, Tudor|
|Forman, J. C.||Mellish, R. J.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Millan, Bruce||Whitlock, William|
|Galtskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Milne, Edward||Wigg, George|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mitchison, G. R.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd(Crmrthn)||Monslow, Walter||Willey, Frederick|
|Ginsburg, David||Moody, A. S.||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Goodhart, Philip||Morris, John||Williams, LI. (Abertillery)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Mulley, Frederick||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Gourlay, Harry||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Oram, A. E.||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Grey, Charles||Oswald, Thomas||Woof, Robert|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Owen, Will||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James(Llanelly)||Padley, W. E.|
|Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||Paget, R. T.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Mr. Ifor Davies and Mr. McCann.|
|Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil(Colne Valley)||Parker, John|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Bishop, F. P.||Carr, Robert (Mitcham)|
|Aitken, W. T.||Bourne-Arton, A.||Cary, Sir Robert|
|Allason, James||Boyle, Sir Edward||Channon, H. P. G.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Braine, Bernard||Chataway, Christopher|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Brewis, John||Chichester-Clark, R.|
|Barber, Anthony||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)|
|Barter, John||Brooman-White, R.||Collard, Richard|
|Batsford, Brian||Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Cooke, Robert|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Cooper, A. E.|
|Beamish, Col, Sir Tufton||Bryan, Paul||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.|
|Bell, Ronald||Buck, Antony||Cordie, John|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Corfield. F. V.|
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Burden, F. A.||Costain, A. P.|
|Biffen, John||Butcher, Sir Herbert||Coulson, Michael|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A.(Saffron Walden)||Craddock, Sir Beresford|
|Bingham, R. M.||Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Rees, Hugh|
|Dance, James||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Ronton, David|
|Deedes, W. F.||Kershaw, Anthony||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|de Ferranti, Basil||Kirk, Peter||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Digby, Simon wingfield||Kitson, Timothy||Rippon, Geoffrey|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Drayson, G. B,||Leavey, J. A.||Robinson, Rt Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)|
|du Cann, Edward||Leburn, Gilmour||Roots, William|
|Duncan, Sir James||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Lilley, F. J. P.||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|Elliott, R.W.(Nwcsle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Russell, Ronald|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Litchfield, Capt. John||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Farey-Jones, F, W.||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'n C'dfield)||Sharples, Richard|
|Farr, John||Longbottom, Charles||Shaw, M.|
|Fell, Anthony||Loveys, Walter H.||Shepherd, William|
|Finlay, Graeme||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fisher, Nigel||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||MacArthur, Ian||Smithers, Peter|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||McLaren, Martin||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Gibson-Watt, David||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Gilmour, Sir John||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Speir, Rupert|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||McMaster, Stanley R.||Stanley, Hon. Richard|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Maddan, Martin||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Godber, J, B.||Maginnis, John E.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Maitland, Sir John||Stodart, J. A.|
|Gower, Raymond||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Grant, Rt. Hon. William||Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.||Marshall, Douglas||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Green, Alan||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Mawby, Ray||Talbot, John E.|
|Gurden, Harold||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Mills, Stratton||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Montgomery, Fergus||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Morrison, John||Temple, John M.|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Neave, Airey||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Hay, John||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Hendry, Forbes||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Osborne, John (Hallam)||Tiley, Arthur (Bradord, W.)|
|Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Hobson, John||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Turner, Colin|
|Hocking, Philip N.||Partridge, E.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Holland, Philip||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Hollingworth, John||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hornby, R. P.||Peel, John||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Percival, Ian||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Hughes-Young, Michael||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pilkington, Sir Richard||Walker, Peter|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Pitt, Miss Edith||Wall, Patrick|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pott, Percivall||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Jackson, John||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch||Webster, David|
|James, David||Prior, J. M. L.||Whitelaw, William|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Jennings, J. C.||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Worsley, Marcus|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Pym, Francis|
|Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Ramsden, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Rawlinson, Peter||Mr. Gordon Campbell and|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Redmayne, Rt- Hon. Martin||Mr. Michael Hamilton.|
§ It being after half-past Seven o'clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Question necessary to complete the Proceedings on Clause 1.1182
§ Question put, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 240, Noes 169.1185
|Division No. 55.]||AYES||[7.36 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Boyle, Sir Edward|
|Aitken, W. T.||Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Braine, Bernard|
|Allason, James||Bell, Ronald||Brewis, John|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Biffen, John||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Barber, Anthony||Biggs-Davison, John||Brooman-White, R.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Bingham, R. M.||Brown, Alan (Tottenham)|
|Barter, John||Bishop, F. P.||Browne, Percy (Torrington)|
|Batsford, Brian||Bourne-Arton, A.||Bryan, Paul|
|Buck, Antony||Hocking, Philip N.||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Holland, Philip||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho|
|Burden, F. A.||Hollingworth, John||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Hornby, R. P.||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Butler, Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden)||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Pym, Francis|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Hughes-Young, Michael||Ramsden, James|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Iremonger, T. L.||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Rees, Hugh|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Jackson, John||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Chataway, Christopher||James, David||Renton, David|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Jennings, J. C.||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Rippon, Geoffrey|
|Collard, Richard||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Cooke, Robert||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Robinson, Rt Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)|
|Cooper, A. E.||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Roots, William|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Cordie, John||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Russell, Ronald|
|Costain, A. P.||Kershaw, Anthony||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Coulson, Michael||Kirk, Peter||Sharples, Richard|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Kitson, Timothy||Shaw, M.|
|Critchley, Julian||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Shepherd, William|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Leavey, J. A.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Curran, Charles||Leburn, Gilmour||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Smithers, Peter|
|Dance, James||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmld, Sir Henry||Lilley, F. J. P.||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Deedes, W. F.||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Speir, Rupert|
|de Ferranti, Basil||Litchfield, Capt. John||Stanley, Hon. Richard|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Lloyd, Rt.Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E, M.||Longbottom, Charles||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Loveys, Walter H.||Stodart, J. A.|
|du Cann, Edward||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Duncan, Sir James||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||MacArthur, Ian||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Elliott, R. W.(Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Talbot, John E.|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||McMaster, Stanley R.||Tapsell, Peter|
|Farr, John||Maddan, Martin||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Fell, Anthony||Maginnis, John E.||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Maitland, Sir John||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)|
|Fisher, Nigel||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest||Temple, John M.|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Marshall, Douglas||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Gilmour, Sir John||Mawby, Ray||Thompson. Kenneth (Walton)|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Godber, J. B.||Mills, Stratton||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|Goodhart, Philip||Montgomery, Fergus||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Grant, Rt. Hon. William||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.||Morrison, John||Turner, Colin|
|Green, Alan||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Neave, Airey||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Gurden, Harold||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Orr-Ewing, C. Ian||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Walker, Peter|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Wall, Patrick|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Webster, David|
|Hay, John||Partridge, E.||Whitelaw, William|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Hendry, Forbes||Percival, Ian||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Worsley, Marcus|
|Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)||Pilkington, Sir Richard|
|Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Pitt, Miss Edith||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Pott, Percivall||Mr. Peel and Mr McLaren.|
|Hobson, John||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch|
|Ainsley, William||Benson, Sir George||Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)|
|Albu, Austen||Blackburn, F.||Cliffe, Michael|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Blyton, William||Collick, Percy|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Boardman, H.||Corbet, Mrs. Freda|
|Awbery, Stan||Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics. S.W.)||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Bowles, Frank||Davies, Harold (Leek)|
|Beaney, Alan||Boyden, James||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Deer, George|
|Bence, Cyril||Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Delargy, Hugh|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Dempsey, James|
|Diamond, John||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Dodds, Norman||Kelley, Richard||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Kenyon, Clifford||Roberta, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Driberg, Tom||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||King, Dr. Horace||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lawson, George||Rogers, C. H. R. (Kensington, N.)|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Ross, William|
|Evans, Albert||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Loughlin, Charles||Short, Edward|
|Finch, Harold||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Fletcher, Eric||MacColl, James||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||McInnes, James||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Forman, J. C.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Mackie, John (Enfield, East)||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||McLeavy, Frank||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Snow, Julian|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd(Crmrthn)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Ginsburg, David||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Gourlay, Harry||Manuel, A. C.||Steele, Thomas|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Mapp, Charles||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Grey, Charles||Mason, Roy||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mellish, R. J.||Swain, Thomas|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Millan, Bruce||Swingler, Stephen|
|Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||Milne, Edward||Symonds, J. B.|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Mitchison, G. R.||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Monslow, Walter||Thornton, Ernest|
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Moody, A. S.||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Hannan, William||Morris, John||Timmons, John|
|Hayman, F. H.||Mulley, Frederick||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Wade, Donald|
|Herbison, Miss Margaret||Oram, A. E.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Oswald, Thomas||Watkins, Tudor|
|Hilton, A. V.||Owen, Will||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Holman, Percy||Padley, W. E.||Whitlock, William|
|Holt, Arthur||Paget, R. T.||Wigg, George|
|Hoy, James H.||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Parker, John||Willey, Frederick|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Pavitt, Laurence||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Williams, LI. (Abertillery)|
|Hunter, A. E.||Peart, Frederick||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Pentland, Norman||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Prentice, R. E.||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Woof, Robert|
|Janner, Sir Barnett||Probert, Arthur||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Jeger, George||Randall, Harry|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Redhead, E. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. McCann and Mr. Ifor Davies|