§ 10.15 p.m.
§ Mr. F. V. Corfield (Gloucestershire, South)
I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Minister of Land and Natural Resources Order 1965 (S.I., 1965, No. 143), dated 29th January, 1965, a copy of which was laid before this House on 4th February, be annulled.There are three main reasons why we on this side of the House oppose this Order and wish to have it annulled. First, there is the general reason that, despite a good deal of probing, we have yet to be given any good reason why this Ministry, with its Minister and two Parliamentary Secretaries and a staff already costing the taxpayer about £110,000 a year, is either necessary or desirable. I should like to stress that there is nothing personal in this opposition. The Minister and his two Parliamentary Secretaries are popular and respected by the House. We are delighted that they have jobs in the present Administration, but we do not think that this is a good enough reason for us to create a whole new Ministry for that purpose, and, looking round, we doubt whether that was the only way in which their talents might have been employed.
Our second reason is the way in which these Orders for transferring functions from other Ministries are being presented to the House. I understand that this is only the first of three such Orders, but until we have seen and had an opportunity to study the other two it is clearly impossible to judge what they all add up to and whether in toto they even begin to make a sensible sphere of responsibility for a whole new Ministry.
The only authoritative statement that we have had was an Answer by the Prime Minister to a Question of mine on 26th November, and that statement fell into four main parts. The first was of a somewhat general nature, dealing with the Minister's function to participate in the formulation of plans which are the responsibility of the First Secretary. The Minister was to have 1066 general responsibility for the availability and development of natural resources, though not, as far as we can gather—no doubt I shall be corrected if I am wrong—for many of the most obviously important—coal, iron ore, sand and gravel and oil, let alone the important resources of the sea. The Minister was to be responsible for the establishment of the Land Commission, but there are a number of other bodies of similar constitutional make-up to the Land Commission and no one has ever suggested that it was necessary to form separate Departments for them.
The second paragraph of the Prime Minister's Answer deals apparently directly with the contents of the present Order. It has at least the merit that it is a good deal clearer about the intention than is the Order itself. In the third paragraph we have some indication of what is to come—some sort of differentiation between the functions of the right hon. Gentleman and those of the Minister for Housing and Local Government in respect of water. Finally, in the fourth paragraph there is a most careful caveat to make sure that the Minister in charge of land and land resources has no possible responsibility for land use and planning.
This is the background against which we have to consider this first Order, and it is a pretty vague and unsatisfactory one. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster did his best to elaborate when we were discussing the Machinery of Government Bill, but when we put down some questions to the Minister it became increasingly obvious that what the Chancellor of the Duchy told us had very little to do with the responsibilities of the Minister as he himself understood them.
The third ground of objection is that we think little or nothing of the Order itself, either in what it seeks to do or the way in which it purports to do it, and since the Prime Minister in his Answer gave pride of place to the transfer of the national parks functions to the Minister, I propose to do likewise despite the fact that those functions are taken second in the Order.
The Order starts by transferring, with apparently some slight exceptions, the functions of Part II of the National 1067 Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949. One's first reaction must be to ask, What about Part I? Part I is headed "The National Parks Commission", and it contains four Sections. Section 1 established the Commission, and, this having been done, there are no further functions to be exercised by either Minister; but this applies to a good many of the other sections which are included in the transfer list, and it is a little difficult to see why, for that reason alone, it should be excluded.
Section 2 deals with the constitution of the Commission and the appointment of its members, and the Minister's functions thereunder are transferred under paragraph 2 (2,a,ii). Section 3 enables the Minister to give to the Commissionsuch directions of a general character as appear to him expedient in relation to the exercise ofthe Commission's functions. Except that there is, in effect, a saving reserving to the Minister of Housing and Local Government the power to give directions in relation to those parts of the Commission's functions for which he retains control, that Section also is transferred. Finally, Section 4 deals with the Commission's Annual Report, and here, too, such Ministerial functions as exist are transferred.
In short, therefore, such Ministerial functions as there are under Part I, subject only to the reservation as regards Section 3 to which I have referred, are transferred. I hope that the Minister will tell us why the Order does not say so in clear and unmistakable terms, taking Part I in its numerical order along with the other Parts of the Act to which the Order does refer specifically.
Next, we are told that, although the Minister's functions under Part II are transferred, those under Section 6(4,f) and (h) as well as those under Section 9(2) are expressly excluded. Why? Section 6(4,f) empowers the Commissionto make recommendations to the Minister and, where the Commission deem it appropriate, to other Ministers as to any proposals for the development of land in a National Parkwhich the Commission does not consider to be consistent with the character of a national park. What is the object of specifically reserving this particular reference to the Minister of Housing and Local 1068 Government? Even if the Section were transferred, it would still, as worded, permit the Commission to make recommendations to the Minister of Housing and Local Government if it thought that that was appropriate.
Presumably, the reason behind this exclusion is that the Minister of Housing and Local Government remains responsible for planning. This, of course, is one of the anomalies to which we particularly object. We have the Minister of Land and National Resources expressly made responsible by the Prime Ministerfor future policies relating to the availability of land as the community needs it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th November, 1964; Vol. 702, c. 215.]That is land use planning. Later, the Chancellor of the Duchy put it rather more fully when he said that the Government felt it was timethat general oversight of the use of our scarcest commodity"—that is, land—should be undertaken so that land use could be looked at in the broad to see whether the best use is being made of it for forestry, agriculture and urban development, and whether and how land at present unused can be brought into use".Again, referring to the Minister's responsibility, he used the wordsgeneral oversight and assessment of the use of land throughout the country."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th December, 1964; Vol. 703, c. 1565–6.]All this is land use planning and very little else, yet land use remains the exclusive preserve of another and senior Minister with, unlike the right hon. Gentleman, a seat in the Cabinet.
So, despite this Order, we find that, by exclusion of this particular paragraph in Section 6(4), the intention appears to be that the Minister is not even to have ultimate control over development even within the national parks. Although national parks are one of the very few matters in which, we have been told, he is to have complete responsibility, in fact he will not have any responsibility for development because this is particularly reserved to his right hon. Friend.
Section 12 of the Act, which is included in Part II, empowers a local planning authority to make arrangements for securing the provision of accommodation, meals and refreshments, camping sites, 1069 and so forth, and for such purposes they may erect such buildings and carry out such work as appear to be necessary or expedient. There are no Ministerial functions in this Section at all. I must therefore ask the right hon. Gentleman what is the significance of including that Section under the Ministerial functions to be transferred. Does it mean that the right hon. Gentleman is, after all, to have ultimate planning jurisdiction for this type of development—the power to call in an application, to hold an inquiry and to give a decision? Or does it mean absolutely nothing at all? These are the only two alternatives, as I see it, reading the Act in the light of this Order.
Next there is Section 6(4,h), which in effect empowers the Commission to refer any matters to the Minister where it is not satisfied that the local planning authority is conforming to its advice and policy in regard to a particular national park. This is treated in the same way as Section 3; after express exclusion in paragraph (i), it is then expressly included in paragraph (iv), subject to a saving similar to that in regard to Section 3 in favour of the Minister of Housing and Local Government.
Here we appear to have the situation—and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will enlighten us—in which if there is some positive policy of development within a national park and the Commission disagrees with the local planning authority, it is to complain to the Minister of Housing and Local Government under Section 6(4,f), because he has ultimate responsibility for planning; but apparently if there is merely a negative policy involving on the part of the local planning authority sins of omission rather than of commission, the Commission is to complain to the Minister of Land and Natural Resources, though what he does about it, in view of the fact that he has no planning jurisdiction and therefore no powers over local planning authorities, is not readily apparent. I have no doubt that he will enlighten us—or rather, we hope that he will—and more effectively than he did at Question Time the other day.
If a local planning authority fails to comply, for instance, with the requirements of Section 10(4), there appears to be no power to enforce them to do so other than those of call in and decision reserved to the Minister of Housing and Local Government under the town and 1070 country planning Acts, to which there is specific reference in that Section. But, of course, under the town and country planning Acts the right hon. Gentleman has no function or powers at all, so again it is not readily apparent what is the purpose of including Section 10 in this transfer list.
Moving on from Part II, there is, of course, no mention of Part III, and, as with Part I, we inevitably wonder what is happening to Part III of the Act. The Ministerial functions under that part presumably remain with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. But why? Part III deals with nature conservation, which is surely a subject very closely allied with that of national parks. Both are aimed from a land point of view at preserving land.
§ Mr. Speaker
May I draw the attention of the House to the scope of this debate? I understand an argument being within order which says that because other functions are not transferred those which are transferred by this Order should not be transferred. But what the hon. Member cannot say is within the scope of the debate is an argument that other functions should be transferred. I should be grateful if the House would follow that line.
§ Mr. Corfield
The point which I was trying to make was that there appears to be no distinction from the point of view of land use and natural resources between these two functions. I therefore suggest that the fact that Part III is not included is very good ground for leaving Part II with the same Minister, the Minister of Housing and Local Government. I should be interested to know what there is of particular interest to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in a nature reserve which does not apply to a national park.
Moving on to Part IV, which deals with public rights of way, we find that the only functions that are to be transferred are those under Sections 51 to 55, which deal with long-distance routes. As I understand it, the ultimate acquisition of any land required in connection with these long-distance routes and the maintenance of any footpaths or bridle paths which may be created become the responsibility of local highway authorities. So on the transfer of these functions local highway authorities are faced 1071 with yet another Minister with whom to deal. They already have to deal with the Ministry of Transport in relation to their main vehicular highways, they deal with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in relation to the rest of Part IV concerning the responsibilities for making the survey of footpaths, maintaining them and so on, and now they have to deal with the right hon Gentleman simply because a footpath or bridle path may form part of a long-distance route.
One cannot help questioning how this sort of division can possibly lead to increased efficiency of administration. It is no answer to say that that is a logical transfer simply because the National Parks Commission has certain duties in initiating proposals for these long-distance routes. It also has special responsibility with regard to the designation of areas of outstanding natural beauty. That comes under Section 87, which at first sight appears to be one of the Sections which are transferred, but, in fact, this responsibility remains wholly within the sphere of the Minister of Housing and Local Government because, although Section 87 is included in the provisions of Part VI in respect of which functions are transferred, they are, like the provisions of Part V, which relate to access to open country, transferred only in so far as they are applicable in relation to land in a national park. So we have the rather ludicrous situation that the Minister of Housing and Local Government holds all these powers in relation to areas of outstanding natural beauty, but, for some curious reason, the right hon. Gentleman seizes upon his powers in connection with long-distance routes. Again, if one ought to stay with the Minister of Housing and Local Government, so ought the other.
In Part VI, Sections 89–94, for instance, deal exclusively with general powers conferred upon local planning authorities for purposes connected with the provisions of the Act. Here we find that the only Ministerial powers or functions that can have any relevance to the Order are functions under Sections 90 and 91, which refer exclusively to powers of local authorities in relation to making byelaws. If there ever were a function of local authorities which one would have thought would remain the response- 1072 bility of the Minister responsible for local government, it was the one in respect of the making of byelaws. But this is quite happily transferred, while the planning side, which is vital to the right hon. Gentleman's functions, is firmly retained.
Again, in Sections 93 and 94, the only Ministerial functions concern the Ministry of Transport, so they presumably do not come under the Order at all. One wonders again what the significance of including these Sections in the Order is.
Finally, I want to ask a few questions with regard to Sections 95 and 97, which are specifically mentioned in the Order. As I understand it, Section 95 is excluded in sub-paragraph (i) and then reintroduced in Article 2 (4). As I read it, the effect of the exclusion of Section 95 is completely to exclude Section 95 (2) and to amend Section 95 (1), and the net effect is that, whichever Minister—either the right hon. Gentleman or the Minister of Housing and Local Government—approves expenses of the Commission, those expenses will be defrayed by the right hon. Gentleman. But since Section 95 (2) remains unamended and untransferred, the Minister of Housing and Local Government remains responsible for paying the officers and servants of the Commission. What the logic of that is is beyond me, because Section 92 (2) makes it the responsibility of the Minister of Housing and Local Government…to pay such salaries…as he may with the approval of the Treasury determine.The National Parks Commission is, when all is said and done, primarily concerned with the national parks, and if there is any sense in transferring Ministerial functions for national parks to the right hon. Gentleman I would freely agree that it is sensible that he should defray the expenses. But what conceivable object can there be in the Minister who is responsible for the purely residual activities of the Commission remaining responsible for paying the staffs?
Then, apparently, we come to a somewhat similar muddle in Section 93, as amended, because this has the effect of making the Minister of Housing and Local Government and the right hon. Gentleman jointly responsible, with the consent of the Treasury, for the making of any regulations with regard to the 1073 payment of Exchequer grants to which this Section refers.
Where the regulations refer to England only, payment is to be made to local authorities by the right hon. Gentleman, but since paragraph 5 of Article 2 specifially excepts regulations in relation to Wales and Monmouthshire, in applying sub-paragraphs (a) and (b), one infers that, where regulations refer to Wales, payment will be made by the Minister of Housing and Local Government, who remains the Minister in the Act but will apparently have no particular power over Wales. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will say that another order is coming to amend that one. Then we shall have the situation in which payment will be made by the Secretary of State for Wales, who will have had no conceivable power or opportunity to take part in making the regulations. This does not appear to us to be very sensible.
I turn now to the transfers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food set out in paragraph 1 of Article I. The first to be mentioned is the Ministerial function in relation to allotments. This, no doubt, is a subject of importance, but I suggest that it has two major aspects.
The first is a purely horticultural one in the sense that allotments can, particularly in times of emergency, as we remember during the war, make a useful contribution to food production. But in more ordinary times, the function of allotments is predominantly recreational, and it is this second aspect which is by far the most important in relation to land use at the present time. But it is recreational very much in the urban sense. Ordinary country people do not usually have allotments, because they mostly have gardens.
The availability of land for allotments and the use of existing allotment land is very much a planning matter and subject to the same sort of considerations from a planning point of view as land for other recreational purposes, such as playing fields and public parks. If there is, therefore, to be a transfer of these functions from the Ministry of Agriculture, the appropriate transferee would certainly seem to be the Minister of Housing and Local Government. We hope that the right hon. Gentleman will tell us what is so peculiar about allotments that makes them so particularly suitable for his 1074 Ministry, other than the fact, which we appreciate, that this is not a matter now about which the Ministry of Agriculture would perhaps put up any major resistance and that the right hon. Gentleman was beginning to scrape the barrel a bit for some functions to be transferred. I am not suggesting that the right hon. Gentleman will do any harm to allotments, but I am intrigued to know what good he will do by this transfer.
I suggest some similar comments would seem to be equally applicable to the second set of functions to be transferred, those relating to common land. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will tell us what it is that particularly distinguishes common land from other open land with grazing rights, and so on, which makes it a particularly suitable responsibility for his Ministry. Again, I would have thought that the considerations were such that it either inevitably belonged to the Ministry of Agriculture or, if there were to be a transfer, the person to whom it should be transferred would be the Minister of Housing and Local Government.
§ Mr. John M. Temple (City of Chester)
Perhaps my hon. Friend will agree that this matter is too much of a hot potato for the Minister of Agriculture, which is why it has been transferred to the Minister of Land and Natural Resources.
§ Mr. Corfield
That might be so, but I was about to suggest that the main reason might be that as one of the largest pieces of common land was the New Forest, there might be some connection between this and the third item of transfer, namely, the Forestry Commission. However, again we shall look forward to the right hon. Gentleman's explanation.
I want to make only two comments about the transfer of the Forestry Commission. The first is that forestry seems to us to be very closely tied up with agriculture, much more with agriculture than with anything else. When all is said and done, the Forestry Commission was established to grow timber, and any national park aspect which may have come to the mature forests is purely fortuitous and certainly not the main function of the Commission. Whether afforestation is the proper use of land depends almost entirely on the suitability of the soil and climate for other crops. It must be very seldom that afforestation 1075 offers any sensible alternative to any other form of use—urban development, or even the exploitation of minerals, although, of course, it could have a useful function in the reclamation of land after the minerals have been extracted.
When I put this aspect of the matter in a question the other day, the Parliamentary Secretary said that it seemed to the Government to be a considerable advantage to have a Minister who could look at the wider problem, which the Minister of Agriculture might sometimes find it difficult to do when trying to serve two objectives. Of course, from time to time there will be a difference of view about marginal land, about whether its best use might lie in extensive farming of some sort, or in afforestation; but how is that likely to be better resolved by two Ministers, each firmly committed to consider one of these aspects—one forestry and one agriculture—than by one Minister with a duty to balance between the two?
§ The Minister of Land and Natural Resources (Mr. Frederick Willey)
On a point of order. The Order does not deal with the Forestry Commission or afforestation.
§ Mr. Speaker
Apparently it transfers functions under Section 13 of the Forestry Act, 1951, and tree preservation orders under another Statute.
§ Mr. Corfield
I merely wanted to add that there appears to be remarkably little ground for suggesting that this is likely to differ very much from the proposed Land Commission, and we do not think that that is any better justification for a new Ministry than would be the Forestry Commission. We do not accept that the situation is improved by adding bits and pieces from other Ministries, as the Order seeks to do. In so doing, all it does is re-emphasise in every paragraph the absurdity of having a Minister responsible for land and natural resources who is carefully excluded from anything to do with land use planning.
§ 10.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)
I do not wish to detain the House for more than a minute or two, but the speech to which we have just listened from the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) was a remarkable one from 1076 an hon. Member who was suggesting that my right hon. Friend the Minister had not been given sufficient powers. I understood from the hon. Member's speech that he was examining the Order carefully and suggesting on a number of the items that they indicated that my right hon. Friend did not have any great number of powers allocated to him under the arrangements made by the Government in the establishment of this new office. If that was the case and if the hon. Member was so eager that so little should be transferred from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, I do not see why he got so angry about it and why he even had to put down a Motion about it. If it was the case that so little was transferred, he should have been very satisfied. He should have been content to say that this was a fictitious office which had been created in which very few powers were vested.
If that was the hon. Member's case, he made a great song and dance about it. He could have done the whole thing much more briefly. Indeed, if it were not for the generous turn of mind which we all know you to possess, Mr. Speaker, you might have had him up for tedious repetition, because this was exactly what was said when we had the earlier discussion on a Bill for the establishment of my right hon. Friend's office.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I am well aware of my own generosity, and also that on assuming the Chair I missed one or two sentences at the opening of the discussion of the matter, but any venture, on either side of the House, to discuss the general responsibilities of the Ministry on this Order would exceed the generosity of which I am capable.
§ Mr. Foot
I am glad that we see eye to eye on these matters, Mr. Speaker. I hope that we always remain in this unanimity of opinion on the matter. Eager as, I am sure, you would be not to pass any condemnation on the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South, who introduced the Motion, I take your remark as being a rebuke to him on the manner in which he introduced it. It was only because I wished to cross your "t's" and dot your "i's" that I got up to make this speech.
I was referring to the earlier occasion—and it is a legitimate point for us 1077 to make from this side of the House—that at the beginning of this Parliament a Measure was introduced which set up some new Ministries, including the Ministry of my right hon. Friend. That Measure which was introduced into Parliament described generally the functions to be performed by the new Ministry. Debates took place in the House on the subject, and I participated in, some of them. As I look round the House tonight, it seems to me to be somewhat fuller than when we had the original discussion. What is occurring is that some hon. Members opposite are raising afresh the question of what are the exact powers allocated to my right hon. Friend—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I hate to disturb the parity of understanding between the hon. Member and myself, but all that the Order deals with is the transfer of certain functions and I cannot allow him to talk about anything else.
§ Mr. Foot
If I am wrong, Mr. Speaker, I am happy to be corrected, and there is no one I would rather be corrected by than yourself, but, as I understand the Order, it specifies some of the functions which are transferred from other Departments to my right hon. Friend. This is why some of us find it so difficult to understand why the Opposition should raise such a howl, if that is a proper description of the hon. Member's speech; because if functions are being transferred to my right hon. Friend, I should have thought that hon. Members opposite would have applauded it. They previously complained that insufficient powers were being given to my right hon. Friend. It is a great credit to his position in the House that so many people should be coming around saying that he should have more powers. I dare say my right hon. Friend is gratified at the way in which even Members of the Opposition come forward and say that he has been most ill-used in not having sufficient powers granted to him.
Of course, it is not an easy matter to define the exact limits which occur when a new Department is established. Those of us who have sat in this House for some years have seen this operation occur on many occasions, whenever a 1078 new Ministry has been established. It is no use hon. Gentlemen opposite saying that this is a new development, as though it were only under this Government that new Ministries have been established. There have been whole series of occasions in the past 20 or 30 years when new Ministries have been set up. Indeed, if we take the whole history of modern administration, it will be seen that over the past 40 or 50 years the number of Ministries has something like doubled, or more. Whenever a new Ministry is established, it is always the resort of a bankrupt Opposition to come forward and say, "Let us see what political advantage can be extracted by defining the exact limits which should apply to this Department." Whenever a new Ministry is established they say, "Why could not these functions have been performed by the previous Ministry? When we were in charge these functions were performed by some other Department, so why is it necessary to have a new Department set up at all?"
This is all they have said tonight, and that is why, Mr. Speaker, I thought I was perfectly in order in saying that what they have said about this Order is no different from what they said when first the proposal of the Government was introduced for setting up this new Department. The criticism then could have been that if the Ministry was required to perform these functions it would be very difficult to draw the lines of demarcation between this new Ministry and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and the Ministry of Agriculture, and, I dare say, other Ministries as well. I will guarantee that if anyone looks back at the debates which have occurred in this House when other Ministries have been established he will discover that exactly the same kind of criticisms occurred then. Whenever a new Ministry is set up some smart alecks on the other side get up and say, "Where is the line to be drawn?"
I dare say it is not always easy to draw the line. I dare say that, after the line has been originally drawn, a bit later, after experience, after practice, after the Ministry has been in operation, it may be desirable that the line should be drawn somewhere else; it may be drawn wider or narrower. Of course, that is learned only from actual administrative practice.
1079 If that is true, then it is extremely foolish for the Opposition to bring forward such a Prayer as this so early in the period of office of the new Department. If the Opposition knew their business, they would have waited a bit longer. They would have waited to see whether my right hon. Friend's administration had led to some confusion. If they could have come to the House and said, "Here, the way in which this line has been drawn has produced some failure in administration, has produced some hopeless inconvenience for the citizens, has injured the protection of our natural resources"—if they could have said that, they would have had some case. But there was not a word of that in the hon. Gentleman's speech. It was purely a theoretical exercise, saying, "It so happens that you have drawn the line wrong." The hon. Gentleman and his advisers would have been much wiser if they had waited, if they had a case at all, till they had got some substance on which to base their arguments.
We know the way these matters are brought forward. I understand from reading the Notice Paper that we have two Prayers this week, one tonight, another tomorrow night. Of course, I should be put out of order, Mr. Speaker, and I am sure you would have me up, if I were to refer to tomorrow's Prayer. Therefore, I would not dream of so doing.
It is an extraordinary coincidence that immediately after the decision has been taken by the Opposition that there is to be forthright, persistent, dynamic, howling opposition, we get two Prayers in a single week. This is the only reason why we have this one.
Hon. Gentlemen should have learnt some of the generosity which I attributed to you, Mr. Speaker. They should let my right hon. Friend get on with his task. They have plenty of time to put down Questions about it. They do not speak with the same voice. Sometimes they say that he has not got a job, and in the next breath they protest because he is getting on with the job of producing a Bill about what is going to happen to the land in this country. We are not sure which angers them most.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We cannot discuss Bills which may be in the future. 1080 The hon. Member must get back to nice things like tree preservation orders.
§ Mr. Foot
Mr. Speaker, you have made my case much more eloquently than I can make it myself. I understand from your intervention that tree preservation is perfectly in order. If the Opposition had a single word of criticism to make of the Government about how they had arranged tree preservation, I am sure that they would have brought it forward. But they have not got it. I do not complain if the House is kept here late at night if matters of substance are raised, but no question of substance has been raised under this Prayer. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nor by the hon. Gentleman."] The hon. Gentleman has not raised any question of substance. He has been concerned to discuss solely the functions allocated to my right hon. Friend. He has not made a single criticism of my right hon. Friend's administration.
The purpose of Prayers under the system in this House is to provide an added check on the administration of the Government, and, of course, if an order is laid, in whatever circumstances, it is proper for anybody to criticise it if he wishes. We all know that there are a whole host of orders coming forward every week. The Opposition's business is to sit down and select those which they think can provide them with the best case against the Government, or, if one likes, the best case on behalf of the citizen, or the best case illustrating the incompetence of the Government.
This is their best case. One of the first orders which they have selected to pray against under the new dynamic leadership of the Opposition, following the fact that they have had the authorisation of a leader, without the election, even though they now have the opportunity of electing a leader if they want one, is one in which they breathe not a word of criticism of my right hon. Friend. I hope that, despite the fact that he has been selected for this privilege, he will not be deterred in the least and that he will go ahead with his job, knowing that after he has been in office for three months, or three and a half months, Her Majesty's Opposition have searched in every nook and cranny to find some criticism of him but have not been able to discover a single word.
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ Mr. John M. Temple (City of Chester)
I start by taking the advice of your good self, Mr. Speaker, and referring to the most important matter which you brought to our attention, namely, the tree preservation orders. Just because you picked them out as the most important item in the Order, surely it cannot be a very important Order. I suggest that there is little justification for the creation of a Ministry of Land and Natural Resources. Nothing in the Order—even the tree preservation orders—can justify the creation of a whole Ministry. That is why we on this side of the House have tabled—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member cannot discuss the advisability of creating a Ministry. He can discuss the advisability or not of transferring the functions which this Order proposes to transfer.
§ Mr. Temple
I accept your advice, Mr. Speaker, with due deference, as I did in my opening remarks. I will return smartly to the tree preservation orders, because the transfer of this small function makes my case fairly simply.
These tree preservation orders are small, and essentially associated with land use planning—something which our planning authorities have made good use of and which are nothing whatsoever to do with the production of timber. My hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) made a very detailed and comprehensive speech on this Order. He threaded his way through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949, with a remarkable degree of skill. All 115 Sections were examined by him, and he endeavoured to show the House what an extraordinary mix up has been created in the allocation of functions under that Act.
Tonight we are seeing a demonstration of the proliferation of duties. I am amazed that the Order has been brought before the House in this form, transferring certain functions from the Ministry of Agriculture and others from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Why, if we can have an Order tonight transferring certain functions from certain Ministries, should not we have a complete transfer of functions, so as to justify the existence of the Ministry of 1082 Land and Natural Resources? Until we know a little more there is not much justification for the existence of this Ministry. Can we hope to be told a little more about this transfer of functions under the Order?
Contrary to what the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) says, this is the tip of an iceberg, and underneath there is a tremendous amount of hidden activity. I should like to know something about it. I hope that we shall have a full explanation from the Minister. It will need a full explanation to justify his Ministry. I hope that he can justify it, because, as my hon. Friend has Said—
§ Mr. Speaker
If the Minister does he will be out of order. That is why I had to stop the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). This Order is concerned with the transfer of certain functions, and that is all that is before the House.
§ Mr. Temple
The Order justifies the criticism that what will happen under this change of function is that there will be a severe dichotomy between planning itself and administration. It is to this major factor that I wish to draw attention. The Minister will have responsibility for the overall planning of the National Parks Commission, but under the Order he will not have responsibility for detailed administration. That is the criticism which can with real justification be levelled against his Ministry.
§ 11.4 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Blenkinsop (South Shields)
I wish to intervene to express on behalf of myself and many of my hon. Friends our pleasure that many of the functions detailed in the Order have been transferred to my right hon. Friend. Many of us who have been seriously concerned with the matters included in the Order, and in particular with questions of the national parks and common lands, have been particularly critical of past Administrations because they have shown themselves signally incapable of doing anything about matters on which they have given pledges to the country in respect of the proper use of our national parks, and so on. Here, at last, we have a Government prepared to ensure, through the transfer of these powers, that 1083 we have a Minister to give his particular attention to many of these questions about which many of us are concerned.
Therefore, on the quite serious basic issue of the best way in which we can ensure that the whole matter of the proper use of national parks and of our common lands is developed, my hon. Friends and I take the view that only by there being a special Ministerial responsibility allocated are we likely to make any progress. We are encouraged in that view when we have in mind the long lapse of years after the Royal Commission on Common Land reported, and the fact that it is only after my right hon. Friend was appointed, with the transfer of functions provided for in this Order, that we get action; and a Bill introduced in another place to carry out, at least in part, the recommendations of that Royal Commission.
I thought that the House might very well be offended by the casual way in which the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) referred to questions of common land. We have not had the pleasure of hearing him discussing any questions relating to common land or national parks while he has been a Member—
§ Mr. Corfield
Of course, the hon. Gentleman was, regrettably, away from the House for a whole Parliament.
§ Mr. Blenkinsop
I accept "regrettably"—that is acknowledged—but I gather from the hon. Gentleman's intervention that he did, in fact, make comment on national parks, otherwise there is no point in his intervention. On the other hand, many of us have given a good deal of thought to these questions, and we are conscious that new Measures need to be introduced to deal with these issues.
It is only by means of the transfer of functions here provided for that we can get a Minister devoting sufficient time to this matter, and ensuring that we at last have the legislation to amend the National Parks Act that we have been promised for many years. Over the past 13 years, Ministry after Ministry has promised this revision of the Act. Year after year, it has been spoken of with monotonous reiteration by Minister after Minister from the Conservative benches. They have even included it in many of 1084 their election pledges and promises, yet it has never been done, and I submit that it is only by ensuring that a new Minister has the duty and function of giving consideration to the subject that we are likely to get the new legislation for which we are looking.
Indeed, I can say on behalf of my hon. Friends that if we were to fear that we would not get that new legislation, we might join with hon. Members opposite in doubting the wisdom of the Order—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Gentleman's difficulty, with respect, is that what are hereby transferred are functions under existing legislation. We cannot deal with future legislation.
§ Mr. Blenkinsop
I recognise that, Mr. Speaker. I nevertheless submit that this Order gives my right hon. Friend the opportunity of so examining the administration of the national parks as to make it possible for him later to introduce Measures that many of us will be very glad to see. It has already made it possible for my right hon. Friend to see that a Measure is introduced with regard to common land, which he could not have done without the transfer of powers provided for in this Order.
Quite frankly, I do not particularly welcome the terminology of the Order. I find it difficult to understand—as, obviously, did the hon. Gentleman. He apparently thought that the Forestry Commission was provided for, but it is patently clear that it is not, and he was out of order in referring to it. However, one can forgive the hon. Gentleman for that, because I admit that the Order is difficult to follow. It is not peculiar in that, because I do not think there is a single Order ever submitted to the House that is particularly clear to the average layman in its reading. But, of course, we are helped by the Explanatory Note thoughtfully provided for us, which tells us rather more clearly precisely what is to happen.
I feel that the hon. Gentleman raised a rather frivolous point when he talked about whether or not the duties under Part I of the Act were being transferred. It is surely quite clear from even a cursory examination that certain Sections from Part I are being transferred, as are referred to in the Order. Why the hon. 1085 Gentleman should make such a long story about the fact that the words "Part I" are not included in the Order, I cannot understand. It seemed to me that, like other matters the hon. Gentleman raised, this was quite frivolous. Many of my constituents regard their allotments with apparently a great deal more concern that he does.
The real point is that the hon. Gentleman has shown in his comments that he really knows nothing whatsoever about national parks or common lands. He has taken no interest in the subject before, and has raised this matter purely as a technical exercise. He has displayed a very serious ignorance of a very important subject which many of us on this side of the House expect and hope that my right hon. Friend will show a great deal of activity about in the coming weeks and months.
§ 11.12 p.m.
§ The Minister of Land and Natural Resources (Mr. Frederick Willey)
I think that the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) should take the cautionary advice of my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). I should really like to know where the Opposition stand on this matter. We all know that in the inner recesses of the Tory Party there are anxious debates going on about what lost them support in the last General Election. It is generally assumed that this was more due to a lack of policy on land than anything else, and that is what has been revealed tonight.
We had a speech from the hon. Gentleman of rather more than half an hour devoted to the Order. It contained nothing constructive, but was purely destructive, and I thought mainly ill-informed. As my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) has just pointed out, the transfer of functions under Part I of the National Parks Act is quite clear under this Order, and it is also quite clear that the functions under Section 95(2) are transferred. So much is quite clear to anyone who casually looks at the Order. When the hon. Gentleman went on to deal with the Forestry Commission we realised that he had not even casually looked at the Order.
1086 What we are concerned with here is really quite a simple matter. We have a Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, and I understand it is to be opposed on every occasion by the Opposition. They are opposed to anything constructive being done about land or our natural resources. With a simple Order such as this the hon. Gentleman told us first that he could not understand it because he was awaiting further Orders. He could have awaited further Orders before he prayed against this one, but he wanted to pray against this Order just to show his hostility to my Department.
The hon. Gentleman then said apparently that if we have such a Department—and this is the question which I have to deal with now—the functions transferred under the Order should not be so transferred. He did not deal with quite a number of functions and therefore I can assume by inference that it is right and proper that the functions to which he did not refer should be transferred to the Department for Land and Natural Resources.
The hon. Gentleman referred to planning. I should like to know what his view is on planning. Does he suggest it should be taken out of the hands of local authorities? That is the inference from what the hon. Member has been saying. We were discussing the national parks and responsibility for planning. Responsibilities for planning machinery are left where they are. If there was any sense or relevance in what the hon. Member said, he was saying that these planning functions should be transferred to my Department. What we have to devise and try to formulate is a distinction between strategic and tactical planning. That is not easy. It will take time to evolve, but we will evolve it. The hon. Member has not faced the problem. All he could suggest was that their planning powers should be taken away from the local authorities. That is quite intolerable. That is the inference of what he said about national parks.
Let us deal with the various functions transferred by the Order. A number of functions is transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture. I am sure that the hon. Member would concede that most of these functions may be quite adequately discharged by the Ministry of Agriculture, but it is inappropriate for them to be 1087 left there. The hon. Member referred to two, and only two. In particular, he referred to common land and to allotments.
The hon. Member made one or two facetious remarks about allotments but here is a fair amount of land—about 80,000 acres—used by about three-quarters of a million people and it is difficult to say that this is properly the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture. A line is drawn between smallholdings and allotments. Allotments are the bridge between rural and urban activity. The hon. Member might have suggested, though I do not think that he did, that such a responsibility should be transferred to the Minister of Housing. I do not think that it would be appropriate to be so transferred, for here is a case where one has an individual holding and an individual enjoyment, and it is proper to say that here is a land use that should be more properly transferred as a responsibility of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources.
If one considers the division of function in government, one has to consider the whole time whether this is a function which should have a separate and articulate voice. It is obvious that hon. and right hon. Members opposite do not believe in land and natural resources having an articulate voice and that they will resist it. It is well past the time that they should have such a separate and articulate voice in government. If they have such a voice, then quite obviously in dealing with allotments, they are better the responsibility of the Minister of Land and Natural Resources. We are convinced that neither the local authorities nor the allotment associations are satisfied with the present arrangements, and I am considering with my colleagues what should be done. An early announcement will be made about what it is proposed to do.
In the same way, responsibility in respect of common lands, has been transferred to my Department. They are not purely or necessarily agricultural land. They can be divorced from the responsibilities of the Minister of Agriculture in the same way as allotments can be, but, equally, now that there is an articulate voice in this respect too, we have been able to deal with them much more expeditiously than the previous 1088 Government did. There were six years of delay, with promise after promise about what would be done. Now, within six months, we have taken action, and we have the Bill being considered in another place.
§ Mr. R. H. Turton (Thirsk and Malton)
If there is an agricultural right to stray over common land, will that be transferred or remain a matter for the Minister of Agriculture?
§ Mr. Willey
Responsibilities for commons are transferred to my Department. I am not saying that there is no agricultural use of commons, any more than I am suggesting that allotments do not serve a food purpose. I was saying that these are land uses which can much more appropriately be transferred to the new Department, and both allotments and commons will benefit from the transfer.
Now, the national parks. I know the hon. Gentleman's allegiance and attachment to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, but I should not have thought that that Ministry was the appropriate Department for responsibility for National Parks. We are transferring the functions in respect of the national parks to the new Ministry, and, at the same time, we are transferring responsibility for approving long-distance routes.
Nevertheless, in doing this, we recognise that there is planning machinery and a planning responsibility, and that that responsibility rests where it is. We do not consider it wrong that there should be a local responsibility for local planning. The hon. Gentleman can make fun of the provisions of the Order, but, as he knows, having had Departmental responsibility, it is as lucidly expressed as such an Order can be. If he challenges what we are doing and wants to take his right hon. and hon. Friends into the Division Lobby against it, he must make two points. He must say that it is wrong that the national parks should be transferred to the new Department, and he must also say that it is wrong, if we do that, to leave planning responsibility where it is with the local authorities. That is what he must establish, and that is what he will be voting on.
§ Mr. Willey
My reading of the hon. Gentleman's speech in HANSARD will serve only to show that it was more inaccurate even than it appeared as one listened to it.
We shall have the same result in regard to the national parks, that there will be a more articulate voice and individual responsibility for them. Moreover, we are considering the question which the hon. Gentleman was considering all the time he was at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government but did nothing about namely, a countryside policy.
When the hon. Member considers why, in spite of his talents, he was so unfruitful, he will probably realise that it was no reflection upon himself but a reflection upon the fact that the functions were wrongly placed, and that the responsibility for the sundry bundle of functions in this Order—in particular, allotments, commons national parks and tree preservation—are right and proper responsibilities within a single Department. Moreover, it is also right and proper at last to have a Department which is concerned with the broad strategic use of land and to provide that broad questions of land use should at last have an effective voice in Government.
§ Mr. Willey
I should like to ask the hon. Member where he stands. Will he support his hon. Friends in the Division Lobby? If he does, he is endeavouring to prevent me from having the functions about which I have been talking. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot say that he wants a land policy and then on every opportunity attempt to frustrate such a policy.
This is one of a series of transfer function Orders. We say that it is right and proper that these functions should be transferred to a Ministry of land use and that there should be such a Ministry. If the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends vote against us tonight they will make it clear that they are opposing a policy for land and opposing a direct responsibility for such land use in connection with allotments, commons and national parks. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will use his influence, considerable as it is, to persuade his hon. 1090 Friends that it would be as well to take the cautionary advice of my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale, to accept that what the country urgently needs is a sense of policy for land use, and to recognise that this Order is doing no more than provide the Ministry responsible for that policy with some of the functions which it ought properly to have.
§ 11.28 p.m.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)
The right hon. Gentleman was rather coy in deferring his rising until twelve minutes past eleven. Until we had heard his speech some of us were a little surprised by that. Now that we have heard it we know that he was very wise, for he knew that he had no answer to the cogent, detailed and well-reasoned speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield).
He made no attempt whatever to answer my hon. Friend. That is the more humorous in view of the fact that on at least six occasions the right hon. Gentleman described himself as an articulate voice speaking for these interests. Indeed, that was his only justification, apart from a complete misrepresentation of what my right hon. Friend said about planning. My hon. Friend did not say a word—if the right hon. Gentleman had listened he would have known this—about removing planning from the local authorities. The right hon. Gentleman knows that the Minister of Housing and Local Government has the central Government's planning powers. What my hon. Friend said, and what the right hon. Gentleman has not answered, is that if there is to be a Minister with central Government responsibility for land, that Minister is a farce and a sham unless he has planning powers.
The right hon. Gentleman knows that as well as I do, and he knows perfectly well that the functions which we are discussing have been scraped round from Whitehall in order to find some sort of justification for the right hon. Gentleman, his Parliamentary Secretary, his Permanent Secretary and the staff of 78 who, as he told me, at an annual cost of over £100,000 he has in his Department. The House knows perfectly well, and from the right hon. Gentleman's failure to 1091 answer our points he has confirmed it, that there is no justification for his Department and no justification, therefore, for the transfer of these powers, and I hope that my hon. Friends will register their opposition.
§ It being half-past Eleven o'clock, Mr. SPEAKER put the Question pursuant to Standing Order No. 100 (Statutory Instruments, &c. (procedure)).
§ The House divided: Ayes 158, Noes 179.1093
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Glyn, Sir Richard||Murton, Oscar|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Neave, Airey|
|Astor, John||Goodhew, Victor||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Batsford, Brian||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Nugent, Rt. Hn. Sir Richard|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Griffiths, Peter (Smethwick)||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Page, R. Graham (Crosby)|
|Bessell, Peter||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Biffen, John||Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Peel, John|
|Biggs,-Davison, John||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Percival, Ian|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Hawkins, Paul||Peyton, John|
|Blaker, Peter||Hay, John||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Box, Donald||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Price, David (Eastieigh)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J.||Hendry, Forbes||Pym, Francis|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Higgins, Terence L.||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir peter|
|Braine, Bernard||Hiley, Joseph||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Brooke, Rt. Hn. Henry||Hirst, Geoffrey||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Roots, William|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Hooson, H. E.||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Buck, Antony||Hordern, Peter||Sharpies, Richard|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Homeby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame P.||Shepherd, William|
|Buxton, R. C.||Howard, Hn. G. R. (St. Ives)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Carlisle, Mark||Howe, Geoffrey (Bebington)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswlck)|
|Chataway, Christopher||Hunt, John (Bromley)||Stainton, Keith|
|Chichester-Clarke, R.||Jenkln, Patrick (Woodford)||Stanley, Hn. Richard|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Johnson Smith, G.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Cole, Norman||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Cooke, Robert||Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Jopling, Michael||Teeling, Sir William|
|Costain, A. P.||Lambton, Viscount||Temple, John M.|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Thomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon. S.)|
|Crowder, F. P.||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Curran, Charles||Longbottom, Charles||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr)||Loveys, Walter H.||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Lubbock, Eric||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Dean, Paul||Mackie, George Y.(C'ness & S'land)||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain||Wall, Patrick|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||McNair-Wilson, Patrick||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Maginnis, John E.||Weatherill, Bernard|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Maude, Angus||Webster, David|
|Eden, Sir John||Maxwell-Hyslop, R.J.||Whitelaw, William|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Williams, Sir Rolf Dudley (Exeter)|
|Emery, Peter||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Wise, A. R.|
|Farr, John||Mills, Stratum (Belfast, N.)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen)||Mitchell, David||Wylle, N. R.|
|Foster, Sir John||Monro, Hector||Younger, Hn. George|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||More, Jasper|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Morgan, W. G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Giles, Rear-Admiral Morgan||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Mr. MacArthur and Mr. R. W. Elliott|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Abse, Leo||Bishop, E. S.||Conlan, Bernard|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Blackburn, F.||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)|
|Alldritt, W. H.||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Cullen, Mrs. Alice|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Boardman, H.||Dalyell, Tam|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S. W.)||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Davies, Harold (Leek)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Bradley, Tom||Davies, Ifor(Cower)|
|Barnett, Joel||Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Delargy, Hugh|
|Baxter, William||Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Dempsey, James|
|Bence, Cyril||Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & Fbury)||Dodds, Norman|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Carter-Jones, Lewis||Doig, Peter|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Chapman, Donald||Donnelly, Desmond|
|Blnns, John||Coleman, Donald||Driberg, Tom|
|Duffy A. F. P.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dunn, James A.||Kelley, Richard||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Kenyon, Clifford||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lawson, George||Ross, Ht. Hn. William|
|English, Michael||Leadbitter, Ted||Sheldon, Robert|
|Ennals, David||Lever, L, M. (Ardwlck)||Shore, Peter (Stepney)|
|Ensor David||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Short, Rt. Hn. E.(N'c'tle-on-Tync,C.)|
|Fernyhough E.||Lomas, Kenneth||Short, Mrs. Renée(W'hampton. N. E.)|
|Finch Harold (Bedwellty)||McBride, Neil||Silkin, John (Deptford)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||MacColl, James||Silkin, S. C. (Camberwell, Dulwich)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||MacDermot, Niall||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McGuire, Michael||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mclnnes, James||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Ford, Ben||MacKenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Small, William|
|Freeson, Reginald||MacMillan, Malcolm||Solomons, Henry|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir Frank|
|Garrett, W. E||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Ginsburg, David||Manuel, Archie||Steele, Thomas|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mapp, Charles||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Gregory, Arnold||Mellish, Robert||Stonehouse, John|
|Grey, Charles||Mendelson, J. J.||Symonds, J. B.|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Millan, Bruce||Taverne, Dick|
|Hale, Leslie||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Hamling, William (Woolwich, W.)||Molloy, William||Tinn, James|
|Hannan, William||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Harper, Joseph||Morris, Charles (Openshaw)||Varley, Eric G.|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Morris, John (Aberavon)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Hattersley, Roy||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick (SheffieldPk)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Hayman, F. H.||Murray, Albert||Wallace, George|
|Hazell, Bert||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Warbey, William|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)||Watkins, Tudor|
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Norwood, Christopher||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Horner, John||Oakes, Gordon||Whitlock, William|
|Howie, W.||O'Malley, Brian||Wigg, Rt. Hn. George|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Oram, Albert E.(E. Ham, S.)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Hunter, Adam (Dunfermline)||Orbach, Maurice||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Hunter, A. E. (Feltham)||Oswald, Thomas||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Owen, Will||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Palmer, Arthur||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Jackson, Colin||Pentland, Norman||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Popplewell, Ernest||Woof, Robert|
|Jeger, George (Goole)||Prentice, R. E.||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry|
|Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Reynolds, G. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Mrs. Harriet Slater and Mr. McCann.|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Richard, Ivor|