§ Subsection (1) of section 2 of the principal Act (which authorises references to the Commission in respect of the prevalence of conditions to which that Act applies) as extended by section 2 of this Act shall be read and have effect as if the proviso to the said subsection were omitted therefrom.—[Mr. van Straubenzee.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. W. R. van Straubenzee (Wokingham)
I beg to move. That the Clause be read a Second time.
§ Mr. Speaker
I suggest that with this Clause we might discuss new Clause 3 No. 3—"Further extension of principal Act".
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
I think I should make it plain at the very outset, in case 36 the slightly obtuse legal language should mislead some Members, though I feel sure not the Treasury Bench, that there is a simple non-controversial object to this new Clause, namely, to bring within the ambit of the Monopolies and Mergers Act, as I trust it will become, the nationalised industries of the country. I am encouraged in making this argument to the House by the interesting report to which the House has just listened from the First Secretary of State, which is very germane to my argument, and to which I shall return later.
The Bill, as it has emerged from careful, detailed, and, I hope, constructive examination upstairs extending over a reasonable period of time, has significantly extended the powers of the Board of Trade in relation to monopolies and given it new powers in relation to mergers. But because of the provisions of what is defined in the Bill as the principal Act, the 1948 Act, the nationalised industries are effectively excluded from any of the existing powers and from any of the new powers which would come into being when this Bill becomes an Act. There have been in recent months significant advances in expressions of view from the Government Front Bench on the general subject of the necessity to inject a competitive spirit into the economy and an encouraging advance in the Treasury's view that this should include the nationalised industries. We recall that the First Secretary of State has acted in this particular field in relation to the Prices and Incomes Board. While I realise that I must not stray too far into that field, it is worth recording that only a few minutes ago we heard the First Secretary of State say that the conditions which he wanted to create were to add to and encourage the power of the customer "to shop around". That was his phrase, as near as I can paraphrase it, and it found a warm echo on these benches.
There are increasing numbers of people who are doubtful whether that particular aspect of economic policy will, by itself, be sufficient. There are increasing numbers of people who believe that an increasingly sharpened edge to competition is necessary both in the private and in the public sector. It is here that this Bill in general, and this new Clause and the associated new Clause in 37 particular, become so very important. We on this side regard it as quixotic, to put it at the least, that these gigantic enterprises are still carefully protected from the searching powers of existing legislation and the still more searching powers which this Bill will give if it comes on to the Statute Book.
I do not want to take the time of the House, but I would like to give three short examples of the sort of situation I have in mind, which will show that it might well be to the benefit of the nation as a whole and to the Government's economic policy if these new Clauses were accepted. We all know that the mining of coal is virtually exclusively in the hands of the State. That is the present state of the law. There is throughout the country a natural movement away from coal as a form of energy and that natural movement is being unnaturally resisted by the State. The principal competitor of coal is oil. Here, I declare an interest as one who is professionally connected with one of the oil companies.
Sales of coal to industry generally in the last three years have fallen by 2½ million tons in spite of the action of the State in protecting coal to the tune of £60 million a year from the fuel oil tax. It is equally accepted that one of the reasons why coal is up against this sharp edge of competition is the oil industry, which is itself intensely competitive. I do not need to give any examples of the competition between individual oil companies operating in this country.
We on this side of the House firmly believe that the intensive competition within the oil industry is healthy and leads to efficiency. It does not need to be ruthless, and I have only to give the example of the remarkable agreements which have come out of Fawley, from the Esso Company, to illustrate how far ahead the oil industry can be, or at any rate, some parts of the industry can be, in labour relations. The quixotic position is that the oil companies operating here are potentially within the ambit of this Bill while their competitor, coal, is not. That is a situation which will be put right by the acceptance of this new Clause.
The second example is also very much in the news. We are assured by the 38 Prime Minister that a Bill to nationalise steel will be presented to this House in the present session, in spite of careful questioning and an opportunity to get out of that undertaking, which he did not take, last week. One assumes this assurance still stands. In parenthesis I would like to say this, and perhaps the President of the Board of Trade would care to transmit it—I noticed a certain kindly consideration for the Opposition in the Prime Minister's statement on that matter, as though he might be anxious that we should not be prepared to sit throughout August to debate a steel nationalisation Bill. I hope the President of the Board of Trade will tell the Prime Minister that we are quite prepared to do without any Summer Recess at all if necessary. There is no reticence on this side of the House to do the necessary duty on that score.
To return to the strict letter of this new Clause, the steel industry uses electricity extensively and I am told by the British Steel Founders Association that it has carried out substantial trial tests on a number of its own members which shows that over the last three years the average cost of electricity per unit consumed in that industry has increased by 24.96 per cent., whereas all other costs of their production, taken together, have risen by 4.24 per cent. When the House considers that electricity charges in this massive industry, which is under the direct threat of public ownership, account for 5 per cent. of the total cost of steel production, it will realise how vitally important a constituent factor is the price of electricity. I am told that the rise is the equivalent of £2 8s. a ton.
I have no doubt that the President of the Board of Trade or the Minister of State, in reply, will refer to the plethora of consumer councils, advisory committees, and the like, which are certainly available in the nationalised electricity undertaking. But the real difficulty about making representations is that the tariff increases vary, not only from area to area, but even from customer to customer, and this makes it extremely difficult, particularly for the small consumer, to make effective representations. If the Government had the power in Clause 3(3) in relation to the electricity industry, how much stronger would be the case of the 39 small consumer on price increases proposed by the natonalised electricity industry. Ministers would be very out of touch if they were to suggest later in the debate that there was not at this moment a wave of indignation at the way in which small consumers must, willy nilly, accept the price increases for electricity recently imposed on them yet again.
The third of my three short examples is transport by road. My belief is that in the private sector of road transport—and I mean by this bus services and the like—as in the nationalised sector, such as in the London passenger area, we shall have to be a deal more adventurous in introducing new methods of transport. The time will come when we shall look afresh at the licensing system, which was designed for an inter-war period in totally different conditions. The contrast which I draw is that, whereas the private firms are potentially subject to examination under the Bill the great nationalised undertakings, such as the London Transport Board, are not.
In some places transport is at crisis point. I know that my constituency is not the only constituency where country bus services are closing down because, in part, of the restrictive licensing provisions. But in London, whatever examination the State might wish to make of the problem, they are outside the terms of the Bill because they are a nationalised undertaking and are expressly excluded by the principal Act. I should have thought that for a Government, who were trying, as I think is the case at times, courageously to introduce new methods in this field, it would be positively to their advantage to have the power of this Act behind them.
Let me give one example. The First Secretary of State has been prepared, typically, to have the courage to take and defend the decision about liner trains. I should like to see that extended into such things as labour-saving buses in London. However, both are being blocked by the intense conservatism of the last residue of high priesthood conservatism which is to be found in the trade unions. It would be positively to the advantage of a modernising Government to have the potential power of the Bill behind them when it becomes an 40 Act to induce a sense of urgency into the modernisation of the country, which we all agree is necessary.
Finally, there is a new reason why, in spite of the fact that previous Governments may not have acted in this sense, it is more timely than ever that this power should be given. The Government have removed extensively the restrictions on nationalised industries to manufacture. I do not argue about that; I should not be in order if I did. But that is the fact. This creates a new situation of which hon. Members opposite clearly approve. But, if they approve of it, they must face the consequences of it. They are not putting monopoly, whether it be State monopoly or private monopoly, on an equal footing. Take, for example, the railway workshops and their new freedom to manufacture commercially. The only customer in this country for the type of equipment which they manufacture is itself a nationalised industry. Whereas their competitors are potentially within the ambit of the Bill, the nationalised railway workshops are not.
I want to make it plain that what I am seeking to continue is the attack on monopoly. The new Clauses are not an attack on nationalised industries; they are an attack on monopoly. I believe them to be timely and consistent. For these reasons, I commend them to the House.
§ Mr. Charles Fletcher-Cooke (Darwen)
I wish to say a few words on what the new Clause is not about because whenever an attempt has been made in the past to bring the nationalised industries within the orbit of the Monopolies Commission the same argument is always put forward, namely, that Parliament has willed a monopoly and that it would therefore be foolish and otiose to ask the Commission to inquire into whether there was a monopoly or not. Of course, that is so, and we do not seek to reverse that position by these new Clauses. We do not seek to give the Commission power to investigate whether there is a monopoly in the nationalised industries. That would be ridiculous.
The purpose of the new Clauses is limited. It is to inquire whether, given a monopoly, things are being done by the monopoly which are against the public interest. In other words, it is only 41 the second of the two tasks which the Commission may usually undertake which we seek to introduce. It will not be good enough, therefore, for the Treasury spokesman to advance the usual argument, which is that Parliament has willed a monopoly and that, in these circumstances, there is no more to be said. For that reason I hope that we shall have from the Government spokesman a reasoned explanation about what is wrong with the suggestion that we should see how these monopolies use their powers.
A great many of the nationalised industries are not monopolist in the strict sense of the word, although almost all of them, I should say, are monopolist in the sense of the word as it is used in the Bill. I cannot see why the things which a State monopolist, or near-monopolist, does should not be inquired into in the same way as private monopolists and a judgment made as to whether those things are or are not in the public interest.
Nor is it good enough to say that the Minister is a sponsoring Minister or a responsible Minister and that he has power to give directions. No doubt, as a result of the adverse report of the kind which we suggest, the Minister would give directions and that would be enough; it would not be necessary to lay the formal order as in the case of private enterprise. But I do not see what is objectionable, in principle or in machinery, in giving the Commission the limited power suggested by these new Clauses, and I therefore support them.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Jay
I do not think that there is any difference between us in desiring, apropos this Clause as in other Clauses, to promote competition and to promote the greatest efficiency of these enterprises whether public or private. The only disagreement on the new Clause is about the legislative and the administrative method and machine by which we do it.
I entirely recognise that in the new Clause the Opposition are not seeking to give power to the Commission to inquire whether there should be a monopoly when Parliament has decided that there should be one; the Opposition recognise that that would be patently absurd. What is suggested is that Parliament having set up 42 the monopoly, and having given it power to do certain things and having given a Government Department certain powers over it, the things that it does should be inquired into by the Monopolies Commission.
I am not satisfied that even that would be a sensible procedure, for this reason. The fact is that Parliament, when it set up these organisations, did not merely decide that there should be a monopoly or a near-monopoly, however one defines it. It also decided to lay down a whole number of safeguards. It has given to the Government Department concerned—the Ministry of Power in the case of coal, gas and electricity—power of direction over the public enterprise in a number of specified ways. It has also set up consumers' councils, which may, perhaps, have limited powers but which are, nevertheless, additional to the other safeguards. When the policies of these enterprises come to be scrutinised, there is also a Select Committee of this House which can inquire precisely into the things done and can make recommendations to the House and to the Minister about how they should be set right.
Therefore, Parliament having made all these provisions, having decided that this should be the way in which these organisations should be controlled and having set up fairly elaborate safeguards, it would not be sensible for Parliament then to ask another public authority, in the shape of the Monopolies Commission, to take a view about precisely the general practices and policies of these enterprises which were already being supervised and regulated by an existing public authority.
The difference between the two sides of the House is not in any way as to whether there should be public regulation and supervision of the policies of the public monopoly. It is simply whether it is really sensible, when Parliament has set up a system by Statute, then to ask another authority to take a view as to whether those powers are being properly exercised by Parliament and the Minister concerned. That does not seem to me to be a sensible procedure.
If we think that the powers which Parliament has given for the supervision of these organisations are inadequate, the right course would clearly be to amend the legislation setting out those powers 43 and to ensure that they are such as Parliament thinks they ought to be and not to say, "We think that the legislation is inadequate, so we will ask somebody else to do the job."
I remind hon. Members opposite that that is the view which has been taken by Governments in all previous Parliaments in enacting legislation on monopolies and restrictive practices. Indeed, it was the view of the White Paper issued by the previous Government of the party opposite only in March, 1964, which proposed many of the changes which we are making in the Bill but in which there is no reference to any proposal to bring the nationalised industries within the ambit of this legislation. I am, therefore, following today precisely the doctrine adopted by my predecessor 18 months ago.
The hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee), who introduced the new Clause, said that there was an anomaly because the oil industry—which, I agree, is in competition with coal—would come under the jurisdiction of the Monopolies Commission whereas the coal industry would not. I should have thought that the anomaly was that at present the prices and policy of the coal industry are, within certain limits, subject to the supervision of a Minister and that the practices and prices of the oil industry are entirely free of control. The Bill will restore something more like equity in that it will make it possible, as the hon. Member said, conceivably for the oil industry to be examined by the Commission; and that will bring it into line with the coal industry, which is already subject to control by a Minister.
The hon. Member made a good point in saying that we now have the spectacle of the Prices and Incomes Board inquiring into some of the prices which are charged by public bodies such as the London Electricity Board and that this perhaps alters the argument. At first sight it may seem that it does, but when one looks into it a little more closely, it is apparent that it does not. In the first place, the Prices and Incomes Board has jurisdiction over wages and salaries as well as over prices and the powers given to Ministers by legislation setting up public enterprises have never included 44 any control over wages and salaries. Therefore, it could not be argued, as I have been arguing, that the powers already exist and that nothing further is required.
The real point, however, seems to me to be that the day-to-day management of a public enterprise has always been excluded from the authority of the relevant Minister. By and large, over the range of nationalised industries, Parliament has given the Minister considerable power over general policies and over the general conduct of operation of the boards of those industries. It has not, however, normally given him power over day-to-day decisions, for instance, on prices.
What the Prices and Incomes Board inquires into is not the general policy, the general constitution or the general set-up of an electricity, gas, coal or other authority. In the case of public enterprises as well as private firms, it will inquire into a particular suggested rise in prices or charges at a certain date. That would be something which is not normally within the power of the Minister. Therefore, it seems to us that there is no such overlap here as there would be if we were to bring nationalised industries within the scope of the Bill and give the Commission power to inquire into the very same issues as those on which Parliament has already given authority to the Minister.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain this point a little further? He is causing doubt, at least to some hon. Members. Surely, the very fact that there has been a reference to the new Prices and Incomes Board of an increase in a nationalised industry means that Parliament has intervened in the day-to-day administration of the nationalised industry. That could hardly be anything more day-to-day than the very facts that the Board is looking into.
§ Mr. Jay
That is precisely my argument; I am sorry that I did not make it clear. It is just because the interventions of the Prices and Incomes Board must in practice relate to day-to-day management—that is to say, individual changes in price—and since those questions of day-to-day management are not within the jurisdiction of the Minister 45 that no overlap is caused by the policy of permitting the Prices and Incomes Board to intervene in such cases, even in the case of nationalised industries.
Therefore, I do not think that the intervention of the Prices and Incomes Board in these cases alters the basic argument that as regards the general practices and policies of these enterprises, Parliament has given control over them to a Minister supplemented by consumers' councils and by the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries and that, therefore, it would be illogical and inefficient in administration and legislation to give power to another public body to intervene. That principle still stands.
Therefore, while I entirely accept the wish of hon. Members opposite to see that there is proper supervision and control of these enterprises, as well as the possible control of the Monopolies Commission over private firms, it would be a clumsy and inefficient way of doing it to add a second public body to those which already have the necessary power.
§ Mr. John Hall
In order to help us to consider these new Clauses more clearly, would the right hon. Gentleman say how often the recommendations of the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries have been debated in the House and how often its recommendations have been accepted by the industries concerned? He made reference to the Select Committee as being one way of dealing with the point we have in mind. It would be interesting, therefore, to see exactly how much power Parliament has over these industries, and what has resulted from its deliberations.
§ Mr. Jay
I did not rest my argument solely on the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries. Nor do I regard it as an unimportant body. As I think the hon. Gentleman will agree, the practice is that three days in a year should be given, normally, to debating Reports of the Select Committee, and it certainly has had a considerable influence on the policy of the Departments responsible, and, indeed, on the nationalised industries themselves. If the hon. Gentleman wants detailed chapter and verse for that I shall be very glad to give it him, but I think that he will agree with me that these Reports have been valuable and have been influential.
§ Mr. Terence L. Higgins (Worthing)
I must say I find the argument put forward by the right hon. Gentleman rather extraordinary, because surely we are at a time when the attitude towards the nationalised industries in this country is changing, and this is, indeed, reflected in the fact that we are now proposing possibly to submit the trade operations of the nationalised industries to the prices review body. I think the point when my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr. John Hall) is trying to make is that it really is not true at the moment that the scrutiny, and the time devoted in this House is detailed examination of the policies which the nationalised industries are carrying on, is really sufficient.
What we are really suggesting, I am sure both sides of the House will agree, is that one should have a consistent attitude towards pricing problems whether they be of a nationalised industry or whether they be of a private enterprise industry, and the reason why my hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) has put forward this new Clause, and why we on this side of the House are supporting it, is that we believe that the expertise which the Monopolies Commission has, and the increased scope for operation which it will have as a result of its being enlarged by this Bill, means it should adopt a comparative basis, comparing the private sector and the public sector.
The example which was given of the fuel industry is important because we do have at the present time a system, in the National Coal Board, for example, where pricing policy is either a regional pricing policy or a basing-point pricing policy, not similar to the pricing policy adopted by the oil industry. Some of us would feel that in both instances these policies should be challenged, and examined by some impartial body, but we feel it would be quite wrong if the policy of the oil industry were to be examined for pricing policy while at the same time the Coal Board's policy, possibly open to the same objections, were to be excluded from reference.
What is clear is that though a Report from the Select Committee comes to this House it is most unlikely that it will have had the opportunity to examine in detail the underlying policy in pricing which the body concerned has, because 47 it will have looked at every industry in isolation, whereas the Commission will have a comparative basis, and be able to look at the overall policy.
We on this side feel that it is essential that where private and public industry are competing, then, if their practices are to be investigated, they should be investigated by an impartial body, and it is for this reason we are putting forward the new Clause, and it is for this reason that I hope we shall support it.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Mr. A. G. F. Hall-Davis (Morecambe and Lonsdale)
The President of the Board of Trade perhaps did less than justice to one argument my hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) put forward, and I hope that he will think again about this matter, because I do not think that there is by any means a wide gulf between the thinking on this side of the House and the right hon. Gentleman's own thinking on this point. I think that if he were to accept this new Clause he would save himself considerable future trouble and would also create an even-tempered climate of opinion in industry, particularly industry which is competing aloneside—shall I say?—some of our big public monopolies.
It has been said that the attitude is changing towards this problem. The President of the Board of Trade referred to the White Paper of a year ago saying that it made no reference to this point. I would go so far as to say that there has been a very substantial development of public opinion and thinking both as to what our attitude to monopolies should be and what we should do to encourage competition. In the last twelve months there has certainly been a change in policy. We have had a change of Government in the last twelve months and, therefore, we are now considering the situation against a different background from the expected development of policy over the last thirteen years.
My hon. Friend referred to the fact that the powers of the nationalised industries in trade and manufacture have been extended. I think that this is a very material point in discussing this new Clause, because I think it is quite possible 48 that where the producing industries are nationalised industries, and their sole customer may well be another nationalised corporation, the situation could arise where industries which are now in competition with one another in the private enterprise sector of industry could be driven out of business by the extension of the trading of nationalised corporations with one another, and that is the situation where now a nationalised corporation is able to enjoy the benefit of—I think the phrase is—shopping around. Monopolies may yet be created without Parliamentary sanction at all, and they may be created by the extension of the activities of nationalised corporations, and as the result of this extension of competition, private enterprise, and the ability of firms to compete, may be eliminated completely from our industrial field. I would ask the President of the Board of Trade to reflect upon this point again.
I refer briefly to a fact which as been mentioned, that these Acts can be dealt with by amending them, as it were, one by one, if it is thought necessary, if it is thought that a change in the situation is necessary, but I do not think any of us would expect to amend them without disturbing the Parliamentary timetable. I imagine that such legislation cannot be put in hand in the Parliamentary timetable this decade, at any rate. So I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman takes the opportunity of putting into the Bill powers allowing public monopolies to be viewed in the same light as private industry.
To return to the point I made at the beginning, he might have encouraged the public sector of industry to be competitive. I could take a long time on this, and no one on the right hon. Gentleman's side has stronger views on the subject than I, about giving encouragement to industry to be truly competitive, but if we are to encourage industry to be truly competitive we have to give it confidence that it is operating in fair conditions. I make this almost a matter of principle and that we need to put industry in each sector on the same footing, and I see no reason why not. Why should not public industry be on the same basis as the private sector?
That is why I welcome so much the attitude of the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs on some of these matters. Almost drawing a bow at a 49 venture, I myself, when we were in Committee on the Bill, drew attention to this question of a national incomes policy.
I certainly think it is a very serious consideration in accepting this new Clause that wherever possible public enterprise and private enterprise should be subject to the same type of supervision and control. So I hope that the President of the Board of Trade will think again, because we on this side of the House as well have tried very hard to make this a lively and vigorous Bill, and if he were to accept the new Clause, not only would that be beneficial to the country, but we should feel that he accepted our attitude on this question.
§ Mr. Anthony Barber (Altrincham and Sale)
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question arising out of something which he said this afternoon, bearing on the statement by the First Secretary. As I understood it, the President of the Board of Trade said that the reference of a nationalised industry to the Prices and Incomes Board was not relevant because matters such as wages and prices were matters of day to day administration and were not under the direct authority of any Minister, whereas the sort of matters into which the Monopolies Commission would be inquiring were matters over which the Minister had power. This argument holds water only if the inquiry of the Prices and Incomes Board is limited to matters over which Ministers have no direct authority. In other words, it is limited to matters of day to day administration.
From what Mr. Aubrey Jones said, I had thought that that was not so, and before we reach a decision on the new Clause it would be helpful to know whether it is the right hon. Gentleman's view that the Prices and Incomes Board will be permitted to inquire only into those matters of day-to-day administration over which Ministers have no control.
§ Mr. J. T. Price (Westhoughton)
In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I suppose I must accept that the new Clause has been put down in good faith, but it is somewhat remarkable to me, and I think it is worth drawing attention to it, that although it may have been put forward in good faith, and has been argued so persuasively by a number of 50 hon. Gentlemen opposite, it was not put forward while the Bill was being discussed in Committee upstairs. We had eleven sittings upstairs, and the Bill has been under consideration since 8th April—that is three months ago. It is therefore remarkable that such a central point of principle as this is now assumed to be, judging by the short speeches to which we have just listened, should have been delayed for so long.
I am driven to the conclusion—and I do not wish to be discourteous to anybody—that this is a sort of late spanner thrown into the works. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] One has to draw rational conclusions from the evidence available. If this is so important, why was it not introduced three months ago? We discussed hundreds of Amendments in Committee upstairs, very often with great good humour, but this point, which is now regarded as so important, was not brought out. It has now been trotted out as though it has a fundamental bearing on this Measure. I do not think this is playing fair with the House.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
A matter of principle of such importance as this ought to be discussed in a forum which enables all Members of the House to take part if they wish to do so.
§ Mr. Price
The hon. Gentleman is entitled to take that view, but my experience of Standing Committees extend over many years. I have served on various Committees, discussing a variety of subjects, and it is my experience that important matters are usually introduced at an early stage of the Bill, and all this temerity about everybody having a chance to take part in the discussion does not sound convincing when we hear arguments against the Finance Bill being taken on the Floor of the House. One often hears it said that that Bill should go to a Committee upstairs.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
Only by hon. Members on that side of the House.
§ Mr. Price
I do not want to make much of the point, because I do not wish to waste time. Nevertheless, it is valid to point out that if this is such an important point of principle we ought to have heard about it some time ago.
I am sorry that I was not present at the beginning of this discussion. When 51 I came in a little while ago, the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee), who has shown great diligence during the discussions on the Bill, was on his feet, and I believe that I heard him make some reference to the nationalised industries, and particularly to railway workshops. I did not, unfortunately, get the complete drift of his argument, but perhaps I might point out that the railway workshops, which are part of a great nationalised industry, have been supported by this house in all its manifestations.
They have been supported by the Labour Government and by a succession of Conservative Governments, but they have aways been restricted in their competition with private industry. I have had quite a few differences of opinion with my right hon. Friends on this matter. I want to restore freedom to the nationalised industries. I want to give them freedom to compete on equal terms with private enterprise. They are unable to do this at present, and I hope that my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade will take particular note of what I am saying. I want to restore complete freedom to the railway workshops, which are part of a nationalised industry.
I know that there are bound to be differences between the two sides of the House, because this is what politics is about, but perhaps I might point out that the hon. and learned Member for Dar-wen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke), who has been so eloquent on this issue, did not have these inhibitions in a previous incarnation, when he was a Member of my party before he joined the party opposite.
§ Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
Oh, yes, he did.
§ Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman has read my 1945 election address. If he has, he will find there something similar to what I have said here.
§ Mr. Price
That will not do. I am a little bit too long in the tooth to accept that. If the hon. and learned Gentleman had these doubts in 1945, he would never 52 have been endorsed as a Labour candidate.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Dr. Horace King)
Order. I think that we have pursued the previous political history of the hon. and learned Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) for long enough. We must get back to the debate on the new Clause.
§ Mr. Price
Obviously I am a little out of order in being deflected from my purpose and drawing attention to other matters by the reply which I received from the benches opposite, though I might have been a little provocative.
Having reached this stage of the Bill, we are to a large extent agreed about its general objectives. I think that there is a large measure of agreement between the two sides on the principle of the Bill, and I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite will not, for purely technical purposes, or for publicity in the Press, which is obviously a factor in these matters, seek to obstruct the main purpose of the Bill by introducing red herrings at this late stage.
§ Mr. Jay
With the leave of the House, may I say that I take note of what my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. J. T. Price) has said, though I shall not pursue the argument back to anybody's election address in 1945.
I assume that the new Clause has been put down in good faith, even though I cannot claim to have attended all the meetings of the Committee. I also agree that there is no great gulf between us. All that we are discussing is whether, in addition to a number of admitted safeguards which the nationalised industries have imposed on them, we should add this extra one.
In reply to the right hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber), may I say that as far as the Prices and Incomes Board goes the situation as I understand it is that it is legally possible for the Government to refer a great range of projects to it, but it is for the decision of the Government, and it will normally not be the policy of the Government to refer to that Board issues which, clearly, come under the control of any individual Minister.
53 The hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Mr. Hall-Davis) said that if I wished to amend in various ways, the Statute setting up the nationalised industries, since that might take a number of years, it would be more expeditious to do it in this Bill. I did not say that I wished to introduce any such Amendments, or that they were necessary. I merely said that if one believes that, which, by and large I do not, that would be a more orderly way of doing it than introducing it in the Bill.
The hon. Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins) was a little unfair to the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries. He suggested that it did not really go very thoroughly, or at any rate deeply, into the policies and conduct of these industries, and that it would not be able to take into account, for instance, the competition that there might be between some fuel which was under national control and ownership, and some other fuel such as oil which was not, and therefore he thought that it should be referred to the Commission. But this is not true. It is within the competence and normal practice of the Select Committee to carry out very thorough investigations and to do it, if it wishes, annually and not just once-for-all as would happen in the case of the Monopolies Commission. I therefore do not think that that argument has any great force.
The situation is that we have very little supervision in these matters over private monopolies or semi-monopolies. We are suggesting that further powers should be taken in the Bill. On the other hand, we already have a great number of often very onerous safeguards on the conduct of the nationalised industries. I therefore do not think it reasonable to add to the nationalised industries further safeguards and further limitations on top of those which already exist just because we are introducing some safeguards in the case of private industry. If it were argued that the nationalised industries ought to be referred to the Monopolies Commission, it might as well be argued that the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries should in future inquire into private industry. Nobody seems to have argued that. It therefore seems to me more sensible to leave the position as the 54 Bill proposes and as the White Paper of the Conservative Party proposed only a year ago. This would ensure a due measure of supervision and control over both the private and the public sector.
§ Mr. Higgins
But the point which I made was somewhat different. I agree that no one has suggested that the Select Committee on Estimates should investigate the private sector. Nevertheless there is some case for uniformity of approach. The criteria which the Select Committee might adopt to see whether an industry was working in the best interests of the country might be somewhat different from that which the Monopolies Commission would use. For example—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
Order. The hon. Member may intervene briefly, but he has exhausted his right to speak in the debate.
§ Mr. Higgins
I was merely seeking to give an example in which consumers at a distance from the source of supply are subsidised at the expense of those who are near to it. This could be investigated on a uniform basis between private and public industry.
§ Sir William Robson Brown (Esher)
The President of the Board of Trade made a strong reference to safeguards. This House is the sacred spot for safeguarding the public and private interest.
I enter into the debate only because of the speech of the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. J. T. Price), in which he referred to the railway workshops. He not only said that the existing railway workshops should be competitive but implied that they could well be extended. I am worried by the fact that we could find ourselves in a position not only of creating a monopoly but of creating the worst kind of monopoly conceivable—the crushing out of existence of all competition for ever.
I will explain briefly and quickly what I have in mind. At present the railways industry puts out inquiries for certain machinery to be supplied by private enterprise. It will be in a position also to manufacture within its own workshops. The industry could put out the inquiries, establish all the competitive prices, place no orders whatever outside and then arrange the prices and costs within its 55 own organisation in order to say, "We are the cheapest and therefore we need not buy outside". The net result could be that over a period outside firms could conscientiously and sincerely compete, quote and reduce quotations and still be frozen out—and in the end be wiped out.
§ Mr. J. T. Price
The hon. Member is making a point of theory. In practice this does not happen at all. The railway workshops have to secure work for their own machinery and workers in competition with private industry. One of the great railway workshops in my constituency in Lancashire recently lost a major contract because a private firm undercut its estimate for the job. I am asking only for equality to be restored. They should have freedom to compete for work in private industry as well as entering into railways manufacturing and obtaining contracts for their own nationalised workshops. That is all I am asking.
§ Sir W. Robson Brown
I was interested in the intervention, but it does not relieve my anxieties one bit. The hon. Member merely goes one stage further; he says that not only should they have all their own work, but they ought to compete in the outside world, too. This goes from bad to worse.
I made this intervention because I wanted to hear what the President of the Board of Trade said about this matter and what is his view on what I have described as the most serious of all monopolies—perpetual monopoly by the crushing out of all private competition.
§ Mr. Peter Emery (Reading)
I start by congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) on moving the new Clause without any party rancour and on setting the trend for the short debate which we have had about the nationalised industries and the Monopolies Commission.
The hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. J. T. Price) went further than we normally expect him to go. There can be little doubt, surely, that we are moving the new Clause in good faith. In view of the fact that the debate has taken only 45 minutes and in view of the manner in which it has been conducted, it is a little unfair to suggest that there are ulterior motives behind our decision 56 to move the new Clause. This subject was mentioned on Second Reading by hon. Members on both sides of the House and in Committee on the Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill. It may be that the Opposition found that we had passed in Committee the right stage for moving such a provision and that the better place for moving it was earlier in the Bill. It was felt that rather than find artificial means of bringing it into the Committee stage it was better to move the new Clause in its proper place on Report.
§ Mr. J. T. Price
It would not be the case, would it, that hon. Members opposite have received a special brief from the Conservative Central Office drawing attention to the fact that, in their view, they had omitted something important?
§ Mr. Emery
There has been no brief from the Conservative Party on any aspect of the Bill since Second Reading. All the work has been done by Members of the Committee. At any time I should have been delighted to have a brief. All that will be said today will be without any help from the research departments of any political party, as I believe is also the case for Government back-bench Members.
May I turn to the wider aspects? An argument which I am afraid we shall hear many times on Report, and which has been advanced by the President of the Board of Trade, needs to be dealt with immediately—the argument that this provision is not necessary because it was not in the Conservative White Paper issued about 15 months ago. Hon. Members should understand clearly that the Bill goes much further than the Conservative Government's White Paper. We say that it would have been quite reasonable to have taken the steps set out in the White Paper. But if the Government, of their own decision, have decided to go further and to take in services to a much larger extent, and to be all-embracing in the legislation, we say that the Bill ought to be all-embracing and ought to take in all sections of the community. Consequently, no aspect of industry should be left out. That is why we have moved the new Clause.
May I follow up different points that have been made by my hon. Friend the 57 Member for Wokingham. He was concerned with the aspect that nationalised industries have to deal in competition with the rest of the private sector. It is quite clear today that the nationalised sector of industry is widening its interests. We on this side of the House do not condemn that. Indeed, we believed it would come. But, if it is to happen, we say quite categorically that we believe the nationalised industries should have to face up to the same regulations and rigours that are set private industry. Indeed, it is for that purpose that this Clause is being moved.
As an illustration, may I cite the position of the Coal Board which is now, sometimes in partnership with private industries in joint firms, sometimes by taking over further private enterprise industries, strengthening its own operations in the coal and the coal by-products field. Coal by-products today is a vast sector of industry, very nearly embraced in the chemical industry. In the same way, I do not know how many people realise that the National Coal Board is in a consortium looking for oil in the North Sea. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Jolly good luck to it."] I have some small interest in oil, but this has nothing to do with the point that it is quite reasonable that the National Coal Board should be attempting to safeguard some of its interests by acting in this manner. But, if it is to do so, surely it must have the same hurdles to overcome in its pricing policy or in its day-to-day operation and its monopolistic practices as private industry has.
I am very surprised to find that the President of the Board of Trade takes the line that he has done from the Dispatch Box, because I would like to refer him to a speech on the Second Reading of the Monopolies Bill, 1948, when the present Prime Minister said:But public monopolies are by no means excluded from the operations of the Bill. If one of them were to engage in activities not directly provided for with prescribed safeguards under the statute—if, for instance, the National Coal Board were to make mining machinery—and if the other conditions of the Act were not fulfilled, it would be possible to have such activities brought before the Commission."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd April, 1948; Vol. 449, c. 2032.]This seems an immensely reasonable quotation.
58 In this instance we believe the present Prime Minister was right. Indeed, we believe that there is every reason, because of what he said, why the Government should in fact accept the Clause. It seems to us that the President of the Board of Trade, unless he wishes to have a wigging in Cabinet tomorrow, ought to consider most fully the opinions expressed by his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, because here the Prime Minister is stating very nearly, though not exactly, the case we are propounding from this side of the House.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Jay
Why, if hon. Members opposite think that what the Prime Minister said in 1948 was right, did they not say so a year ago when they drafted the White Paper which I quoted?
§ Mr. Emery
I hoped I had dealt with this point. I hope we do not have to return to it time and time again in this debate. Let us get it quite clear so that we need not have it said again that something is different from the White Paper produced by the Conservative Party.
The present Government have decided to go very much wider than that White Paper and, because they are going very much wider, we on this side believe it should be all-embracing. I hope that we will not come back to this really fallacious argument on later Amendments, because no doubt other opportunities for using the argument will arise.
Let us consider also the competition the nationalised industries are setting up to the private sector. With the new feedstock the gas industry is likely to enter into competition with bottled gas and l.p.g. in serving new fields of demand of the consumer. It would be quite wrong if it were able to carry on this business in a manner which would be deprecated by the Monopolies Commission or which would go against the general operation of the Bill. Therefore, we come back to this view outlined by the Prime Minister, that where nationalised industries are merging into competition with the private sector, then nationalised industries must follow the same rules.
We can see only too well that nationalised industries are not holier than thou. It would be quite wrong to debate now the recent decision of the Restrictive Trade Practices Court in relation to a 59 nationalised firm breaking its undertakings. If that can happen in private industry, here is proof again that it can happen in the nationalised industries. It is because we know these sorts of things can go on that we believe that safeguards such as those in the new Clause should be written into the Bill.
I do not want to debate for long the very concise points put by my right hon. Friend the Member for Esher (Sir W. Robson Brown) on the railway workshops. We realise now that the railway workshops are in a position to compete with private industry, and it would be quite wrong for anyone to suggest that was not the case.
The other point which I think is of importance is that made by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. Although the Government might refer to the Prices and Incomes Board other matters outside the particular functions of prices and incomes, I do not think anyone in the House would suggest it would be good, proper or reasonable practice for aspects which should be properly considered on monopolies to be referred to the Prices and Incomes Board, and I hope very much that that would not be the view of the Government.
I now want to turn to the position of the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries, because the President of the Board of Trade referred to the safeguards that arise to the consumer and to the House from the operation of that Committee. I take that point, but I have here a few of the reports that have been made on the nationalised industries. There was a report on coal in 1958, on electricity in 1963 and on the gas industry in 1961. Indeed, I see in the report of the Committee on the gas industry in 1961 that even then there were references to the need for cheaper gas to be supplied to the consumer.
Is it argued that the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries is able to report on these industries frequently enough? There was a report on the electricity supply industry in 1963. Is it unreasonable of me to suggest that there is little likelihood of the Select Committee returning to the electricity supply 60 industry for a considerable time? I am not saying that one can rule the possibility out. The Committee has the power to return to that industry tomorrow, but in practice there is little chance of it happening. Therefore, if some time this year or next year a major monopolistic activity was undertaken by the electricity supply industry, it would stand a good chance of running another four or five years before the Select Committee returned to consider its operations.
What I do not understand from the arguments advanced from the Government Front Bench is why this power should not be provided. The Government need not use it. Not one argument has been advanced to show why it would hurt the Government to have this power. Normally hon. Members on this side try to limit the power of the Board of Trade, but on this occasion we believe that this is a specific power which should be in the command of any President of the Board of Trade to deal with the possibility of monopolistic practices operating in the nationalised industries.
It is no use suggesting that all the consumer councils and such bodies throughout the country would be able to deal with some of these monopolistic practices if a specific gas board or electricity authority decided to continue such a form of business activity. If there are not reductions in the price of town gas as new feedstocks come along, it may well be that in years to come the price of gas will have to be referred. This is the sort of thing where there is a monopolistic practice and where we on this side believe that the Government should have powers to act.
No genuine argument has been advanced to show why the power should not be there. It has merely been suggested that enough power exists already. That does not accord with the true facts. I believe that in view of the monopoly position of the nationalised industries it would be greatly in the country's interest that this power should exist as these industries extend their trading activities. Nationalised industries should not be treated as a favourite son who does not have to live up to the standards set for the rest of the industry practising in the private sector. If the Government cannot see fit to accept the Amendment, or, 61 indeed, to give some undertaking that they will reconsider the point and deal with it in another place, I shall have to urge my colleagues to divide the House.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 166, Noes 180.63
|Division No. 210.]||AYES||[4.54 p.m.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Fisher, Nigel||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen)||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fletcher-Cooke, Sir John (S'pton)||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Balniel, Lord||Foster, Sir John||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Mitchell, David|
|Barlow, Sir John||Gammans, Lady||More, Jasper|
|Batsford, Brian||Glover, Sir Douglas||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Bell, Ronald||Goodhart, Philip||Onslow, Cranley|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Goodhew, Victor||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Bessell, Peter||Grant, Anthony||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Biffen, John||Grant-Ferris, R.||Page, R. Graham (Crosby)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Grieve, Percy||Peel, John|
|Bingham, R. M.||Griffiths, Peter (Smethwick)||Percival, Ian|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Gurden, Harold||Pitt, Dame Edith|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Bossom, Hn. Clive||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J.||Hamilton, M. (Salisbury)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Redmayne, Rt. Hn. Sir Martin|
|Braine, Bernard||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Brooke, Rt. Hn. Henry||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hawkins, Paul||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Burden, F. A.||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Higgins, Terence L.||Shepherd, William|
|Buxton, Ronald||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Carlisle, Mark||Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Soames, Rt. Hn. Christopher|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Hooson, H. E.||Stanley, Hn. Richard|
|Chataway, Christopher||Hopkins, Alan||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Hordern, Peter||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Cole, Norman||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Cooke, Robert||Iremonger, T. L.||Thomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter|
|Costain, A. P.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton (Cambridge)||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Kilfedder, James A.||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Crawley, Aidan||Kirk, Peter||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Lagden, Godfrey||Walder, David (High Peak)|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Dance, James||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Walters, Dennis|
|Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr)||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Longden, Gilbert||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Dean, Paul||Loveys, Walter H.||Webster, David|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Lubbock, Eric||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Whitelaw, William|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||MacArthur, Ian||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Doughty, Charles||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Wise, A. R.|
|Eden, Sir John||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||McMaster, Stanley||Woodhouse, Hon. Christopher|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick|
|Emery, Peter||Maitland, Sir John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Mr. Francis Pym and|
|Eyre, Reginald||Marten, Neil||Mr. Geoffrey Johnson-Smith.|
|Fell, Anthony||Maude, Angus|
|Albu, Austen||Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & Fbury)||Davies, Ifor (Gower)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||de Freitas, Sir Geoffrey|
|Alldritt, Walter||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Delargy, Hugh|
|Allen Scholefield (Crewe)||Carter-Jones, Lewis||Dell, Edmund|
|Atkinson, Norman||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Dodds, Norman|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Chapman, Donald||Donnelly, Desmond|
|Beaney, Alan||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Driberg, Tom|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Dunn, James A.|
|Blackburn, F.||Crawshaw, Richard||Dunnett, Jack|
|Boston, T. C.||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||English, Michael|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)||Dalyell, Tam||Ennals, David|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Darling, George||Ensor, David|
|Bradley, Tom||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Evans, Ioan (Birmingham, Yardley)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Lawson, George||Redhead, Edward|
|Fletcher, Sir Eric (Islington, E.)||Leadbitter, Ted||Richard, Ivor|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Floud, Bernard||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Foley, Maurice||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Rowland, Christopher|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Sheldon, Robert|
|Freeson, Reginald||Lomas, Kenneth||Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.|
|Ginsburg, David||Loughlin, Charles||Shore, Peter (Stepney)|
|Gourlay, Harry||McBride, Neil||Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'c'tle-on-Tyne, C.)|
|Gregory, Arnold||McCann, J.||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Grey, Charles||MacColl, James||Silkin, John (Deptford)|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||MacDermot, Niall||Silkin, S. C. (Camberwell, Dulwich)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)||McGuire, Michael||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Griffiths, Will (M'chester, Exchange)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.||Mackie, John (Enfield, E.)||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)||McLeavy, Frank||Small, William|
|Hannan, William||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Snow, Julian|
|Hazell, Bert||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir Frank|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Manuel, Archie||Stones, William|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Marsh, Richard||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)|
|Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Mason, Roy||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)||Maxwell, Robert||Swain, Thomas|
|Holman, Percy||Mayhew, Christopher||Swingler, Stephen|
|Horner, John||Mellish, Robert||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)||Molloy, William||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Howarth, Robert L. (Bolton, E.)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Tinn, James|
|Howie, W.||Murray, Albert||Tomney, Frank|
|Hoy, James||Newens, Stan||Tuck, Raphael|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Hunter, Adam (Dunfermline)||Oakes, Gordon||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Hunter, A. E. (Feltham)||Ogden, Eric||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||O'Malley, Brian||Wallace, George|
|Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Oram, Albert E. (E. Ham, S.)||Weitzman, David|
|Jackson, Colin||Orbach, Maurice||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Janner, Sir Barnett||Orme, Stanley||Whitlock, William|
|day, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Owen, Will||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Jeger, George (Goole)||Palmer, Arthur||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'h'n & St. P'cras, S.)||Park, Trevor (Derbyshire, S. E.)||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Parkin, B. T.||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Pavitt, Laurence||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Pentland, Norman||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Perry, Ernest C.||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Popplewell, Ernest||Zilliacus, K.|
|Kenyon, Clifford||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Probert, Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry||Mr. Joseph Slater and|
|Mrs. Harriet Slater.|