HC Deb 04 July 1966 vol 731 cc89-121

The provisions of Section 17 of the Finance Act 1960 (entitlement to a deduction from the amount of income tax with which he is chargeable equal to tax at the standard rate on forty pounds shall apply to a married man with an incapacitated wife who has no young children and no daughter available to help him.—[Mr. Hirst.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Geoffrey Hirst

(Shipley): I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

This new Clause, as clearly indicated, deals with the question of relief for incapacitated wives. It has quite a number of implications, upon which my hon. Friends may wish to touch. I want to keep to one facet of it at this stage because, as the Chief Secretary will be aware, it is bound up with a Question which I tabled to the Treasury last February when I sought to ascertain what would be involved by such a Measure. I hope that I shall not get the argument which I know so well, that signature tune of the Treasury called "Purity of the Income Tax." To me it is as a red rag to a bull, and I hope that it will not be used again.

A married man with an incapacitated wife receiving child allowance can claim an allowance of £40 under Section 17 of the Finance Act, 1960. A taxpayer, depending on the services of his daughter because of age or infirmity, can also claim an allowance of £40 under Section 217 of the Income Tax Act, 1952. I have been asked to see whether this can be extended, because a very important section has been left out. I was surprised when this was pointed out to me, and in consequence I tabled a Question on 24th February, 1966, for Written Answer. I asked what would be the cost of extending the £40 allowance to a married man to meet the additional expenses arising out of his wife's infirmity, where he is at present unable to claim because he has no young children and no young daughter available to help him.

I have used that Question, as near as I could, as the substance of this new Clause. The answer which I received with great speed from the Treasury was to the effect that the cost could not be estimated but that it would be very small. That is exactly the answer that I had anticipated. I sincerely hope that because on this occasion I am making a speech somewhat shorter than I sometimes do, it will not be thought that I am any the less in earnest in my desire to see this little human amendment made to our tax laws. I trust that we shall get a satisfactory answer from the Treasury Bench.

Dame Irene Ward

I wish to support this new Clause, and I too will be very brief. In the last debate the new Clause was rejected by the Financial Secretary because, he said, of repercussions. My hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst) has pointed out that this new Clause is to make a fair and just whole of tax allowances. I mean w-h-o-l-e, in case the Chief Secretary was thinking of a h-o-l-e in the Finance Bill. I cannot see that there could be any possible circumstance under which the Chief Secretary could refuse to accept this Clause. There are many anomalies in this area of taxation, which is in a way related to social services, although it comes within the compass of the Finance Bill.

I suppose that it is due to the number of discussions and programmes about Parliamentary business on television that the public have become alerted to the injustices, anomalies and unfairnesses in our tax system. The Chief Secretary will know that quite recently we have seen the creation of a new and very important organisation called the Disablement Income Group. The incapacitated wife, named in this Clause, will form a very powerful part of this new group. I always believe in playing one Government Department off against another and I know that quite often things in which responsible Departments are interested and which they would like to have covered in Departmental legislation are stamped on by the Treasury. It is not very often that we have the opportunity to have a confrontation—this is a local confrontation and not a national confrontation—but perhaps we can get at the truth.

I asked the Minister of Health the other day whether he had met representatives of the Disablement Income Group to discuss their problems or whether he had told the Treasury about their problems. The right hon. Gentleman said that he had not received a deputation, which was a pity, because I am all for Ministers hearing about things from the ground floor and not living in their ivory towers. However, he said that he had correspondence on the matter. Therefore, I presume—and I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would do this because he is bound to be interested in this section of the community—that he put to the Chief Secretary the need to do something for these isolated and forgotten people. I believe that the Government are committed to doing something. I know that the pledge related to constant attendance allowance, but they do not seem to have made much progress on that. This would be an opportunity, through a tax concession, of fulfilling their election pledge up to a point.

On 18th February, 1964, the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance wrote to one of my Scots colleagues, who had referred to a case of total disablement. It happened to concern a spinster, but exactly the same could apply to an incapacitated wife. The letter was quoted, to no avail, during discussions on the Finance Bill last year. It reads: I wish to thank you for your letter in which you enclosed a copy of the letter which you had sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 5th January, 1963. I hope that the Chief Secretary has a copy of this letter, because it is very important. It goes on: In the Labour Party policy statement 'New Frontiers for Social Security' you will find we propose to give a constant attendance allowance to those who are chronically sick or disabled since we feel that this will be of considerable help". It certainly would. Reference to this case was first made on 5th January, 1963, when we were the Government. We did not get on with the case, as happens, because we are all human beings. If we do not win the battle at the beginning, we have to go on battling.

Nothing was done about this matter in the last Finance Bill. Here we have another opportunity to do something about it. There does not seem to be the slightest chance of this pledge being implemented, but our proposal relates to a tax relief concession. Here is an opportunity for the Treasury to implement the pledge given by the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance to a Member of Parliament. I am sure that she will accept in good faith the pledge given in "New Frontiers for Social Security" as being reliable. It would be very embarrassing to her, knowing her character as I do, if the Chief Secretary were to refuse to implement a pledge given by a very distinguished member of his party to one of my Parliamentary colleagues.

6.15 p.m.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley said, this is a very small proposal. As it is a very good thing sometimes to quote local cases, I should like to refer to a constituent, a ticket collector on the railways, who came to see me. The railwaymen have not been very well treated with regard to incomes or pensions. He had a wife who could not even lift a spoon to her lips. She could not switch on or off an electric light. She was absolutely crippled with arthritis. She lay in bed in her little house for years and years. Of course, the local authority had a responsibility. It sent a home help to the house, probably a subsidised home help on account of the husband's income. The health visitor went to the house. This woman lay all day by herself, although neighbours generously popped in to see her, sometimes with the light fading and not being able to turn on her little bedlamp to read.

Cases of this kind can be brought forward in very large numbers. As I say, this seems to be the one section of the community which does not receive tax relief. I cannot believe that the Chief Secretary will turn down this Clause. I therefore have the greatest pleasure in supporting it. I look forward to it being accepted with alacrity, graciousness and pleasure.

Mr. Bernard Braine

(Essex, South-East): I warmly support the new Clause. My hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst) said that it raised a narrow point, but it is a very important one. I am delighted that my hon. Friend tabled the Clause and that you, Sir Eric, in your wisdom, selected it for discussion. It concerns a matter which should excite our compassion. I do not know what the Chief Secretary will say, but if he is not able to say as much as his heart directs him, I hope that he will consider very carefully the weighty words which my hon. Friend used in a very moving speech, because the whole country is now alerted to the problems of the disabled as a result of devoted work done by hon. Members on both sides, and they expect to hear something fruitful from the Government.

It is astonishing that relief of the kind proposed in the Clause is not already given. We make many claims for our much-vaunted Welfare State. Some of us have travelled all over the world taking interest in the way in which other countries look after the poor, the sick and the incapacitated. In general, we do not do too badly in this country, but there are certain small islands of neglect, and the group of people whom the Clause is designed to help is one of the most neglected islands of all. They have been described by Professor Titmuss, who is more a friend of hon. Members opposite than of my hon. Friends, as the most deprived group of all in our affluent society. There may be historical reasons for this, and this is not the moment to go into them. We are, however, agreed, on both sides, that it is high time that we began to get our priorities right.

My hon. Friends speak from personal experience. I have been a Member of the House for sixteen years. I have always tried to take a keen interest in my constituency and I have known of such cases, although they are not many in number. There cannot be a member of the Committee who has not had his heart wrung, and there have not been moments when one has not wanted to weep, at the conditions in which some of our fellow citizens have to endure as a result of sheer misfortune, an accident or the contraction of a disease like polio or multiple sclerosis, which may lay a healthy and often most useful member of the community low and condemn them to a slow death, the process taking many years. One marvels at the extraordinary fortitude of the victims and the compassion and sense of duty and love of those who look after them. It is tremendously inspiring and very humbling to encounter. But we do nothing for them.

It is true that there are boroughs and county areas where the local health and welfare authority has a first-rate home help service and a meals-on-wheels service provided by those wonderful ladies of the Women's Voluntary Service. Often a great deal of help can be given. But only those who know disability in their family circle or who work in this field can know the strain of having a badly or a totally incapacitated member of the family being cared for at home.

I do not hesitate to quote a case which I brought to the attention of hon. Members on 17th June. This was the case of a Yorkshire housewife who had an incurable and paralysing disease, multiple sclerosis. She had had it for 17 years. The article, which appeared in the Daily Mail, said: At first her husband went on National Assistance to look after her. They couldn't manage so he went back to work and she went reluctantly into hospital. She was breaking her heart. Her husband brought her home. But he could not afford the £3 a week home help, so she went back into hospital. Now, at the age of 45, with a lively mind, she is in a geriatric ward. Her nearest neighbour is 99 years old. The article goes on to say that she no longer reads, so that her only contact with life is conversation, and she gets that once a day for an hour when her husband visits her. He is quoted as saying: She is praying to die. She cries nearly every night that she has no reason to live. She says if she could come back home to me she could go on living. The conclusion of the article is: Imagine what a disability income could do for her. This is really an argument for a constant attendance allowance, which we are not discussing now. The Government may have good reasons for not introducing a constant attendance allowance at this time. We know, however, that one in three of our chronically sick and permanently disabled patients in hospital under the age of 60 could come out of hospital tomorrow and go home if there was somebody at home to look after them. We know that to be a fact.

I have looked up the Ministry of Health hospital costing returns for 1964, which, I think, is the latest year for which figures are available. I see that on average, to keep one of these persons in hospital costs anything between—

The Chairman

Order. I do not want to interrupt the hon. Member, but he should not on this new Clause pursue the subject of the constant attendance allowance.

Mr. Braise

I entirely agree, Sir Eric. I will pass from that if I may be permitted to say one thing, because it is germane to my argument. The cost of keeping such persons in hospital ranges from between £15 to over £22 a week.

We are not asking for anything as generous as that. All that my hon. Friend is asking is that in the case of the husband whose wife is in hospital but who could come home if adequate care was available, or in the case of the husband who is already trying to cope with a totally incapacitated wife at home while doing his job at the same time, some small portion of his income taken from him in Income Tax should be returned to him in order to ease the burden.

The answer may well be that we ought to provide for all the totally incapacitated at home a reasonable constant attendance allowance; that might be the solution. My hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) said in her eloquent and moving speech that pledges have been made on this subject, but we are a long way from their fulfilment. As I say, this is not the time or the opportunity to discuss a constant attendance allowance. All that we are urging here is a simple act of generosity in returning to a man part of his own money to cope with a problem of a kind which, when one encounters it, tears one's heart.

This is a subject on which I could speak at considerable length. My hon. Friend's proposal is not only timely and just, but it is completely in line with what is already done in respect of other infirmities. The Chief Secretary should have no difficulty in persuading his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept the Clause. I know that the right hon. Gentleman is a man with a great heart. I hope that on this occasion he will listen to our arguments, accept them, and so do the right thing.

Miss Harvie Anderson

(Renfrew: East): I am glad to have an opportunity once more to put in a plea for this very clear section of the community who are so deserving of help. Although this year's new Clause is framed slightly differently, the arguments which have been used against it before—namely, that this section of the community is hard to define—will doubtless be brought out again.

Last year, the Chief Secretary's predecessor said that it was not possible either to define or to identify this section of the community. That was the main reason why no alleviation of this group of people could be given. I cannot see any difficulty in defining the section of the community which is dealt with in this Clause, because it asks that the Treasury should extend an accepted provision. The two conditions upon which it is to be extended are already known and defined. I hope, therefore, that the Chief Secretary will allow his heart to melt sufficiently to recognise that our proposal is at least a possible thing to do.

There must be quite a number of us—I must say in justice, on both sides of the Committee—who are rather tired of being told that it cannot be done mainly for the two reasons that there can be no definition of this section of the community and that it is too difficult to identify the people concerned. Therefore, I look forward to hearing at least a variation of the argument from the right hon. Gentleman and not a repetition of what his predecessor and, I regret to say, other predecessors have produced formerly.

Comparable categories are already dealt with, and these have been touched upon by my hon. Friends. Where the public conscience comes in in the argument, however, is that whereas for some years the blind and those with military disabilities have been recognised by the public as deserving of consideration, it is in very recent times, as my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) has said, that largely through the activities of the Disablement Income Group the public conscience has slowly been aroused in this sphere. If people are going to argue, as some do, that it is not possible to identify the 50 per cent. disabled or the 75 per cent. disabled, do let us go so far as to agree that it is possible to identify the 100 per cent. disabled. Therefore, if we can extend this provision to those individual cases, to cover the 100 per cent. disabled, that would be something.

6.30 p.m.

Only a week or two ago, outside here, members of the Government and other went to meet the 100 per cent. disabled who came long distances to represent to us here their case and, more important still, the case of others like themselves throughout the country. We went out, many of us, to see them, and we were deeply impressed by those we met. Do not let It be said today that on that occasion we paid lip service and lip service only to those who seek our help.

I do not want to refer to constituency cases, or, indeed, to the many cases which, I regret to say, have been on my files now for five years and more, but I should like just to refresh the right hon. Gentleman's memory of a case which I raised last year and in which hon. Members may think time to be an important factor. This is the case of a constituent of mine who for 21½ years now has been looking after his wholly incapacitated wife, who has been working at his own job at the same time, and has been doing all this with very little help. Yet he was able to write to me last year—as he was the year before that, and he was again this year—to say,

"You will recall that it has been my privilege"—

my privilege—

"to do this for twenty years"

—21½ now.

So I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider the 100 per cent. disabled cases, which can be identified, and at least to extend the provision already in existence to cover that section of the community we know exists and we know to be fully deserving.

Dr. Reginald Bennett

(Gosport and Fareham): May I in a very few words express my support for this new Clause. It has been explained with great feeling and sincerity by my hon. Friends and I feel that there could be nobody in the country who could have any doubt of the need and of the worthiness of the cases referred to in the Clause. I certainly know the distress which there is in such cases. I can imagine no more devastating handicap, one which cannot possibly be met by the activities and resources of a husband in the ordinary way. He has to look after his totally disabled wife and yet carry on his daily work at the same time and pay the full tax on all his income. This seems to me to be a concatention of burdens which nobody should be called upon to bear in these days.

I can remember from working in a mental hospital that one used to find there people who could not be regarded in any other way than that my hon. Friends have described, and because of those difficulties I can endorse the findings of my my hon. Friends. Mental hospital wards are often the places where totally disabled people are put through the sheer lack of any other way of helping them or making dispositions for them. From personal experience I can support this Clause, and admire the gallant efforts of the Disablement Income Group. I should like, therefore, to give the Clause my full support, and knowing that the Government have the skill to make the definition if they have the will to do so, and knowing that they know how little it would cost, I hope they will accept it.

Sir Stephen McAdden

(Southend, East): I intervene, as always, for a very brief time in order to support my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst) and my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) in presenting this new Clause and the temperate way in which they have urged it upon us. Obviously, this is a matter which could arouse a great deal of emotion, yet they have put their case reasonably,and calmly, and I very much hope that the Treasury will look favourably upon it.

My hon. Friend the Member for Tyne-mouth does not often make a mistake and puts her case extremely well, but, I hope she will forgive me if I say that on this occasion she made one little mistake—that was when she urged the Treasury to accept the new Clause because large numbers of people are affected by it. That is not an argument which impresses the Treasury, that large numbers of people are affected. If one were to say, "Only a few people are affected and it does not matter very much", one might perhaps persuade the Treasury to be more sympathetic, but as soon as my hon. Friend mentioned large numbers I saw the Treasury spokesman on the Government Front Bench look relieved, no longer worried, because he had got his answer: "We could not accept it because great sums of money are involved because so many people are affected." As my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley said, this is not the case, and I very much hope that the Treasury will give a sympathetic hearing to that.

I also support what ray hon. Friend the Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) said, because we talk of the Welfare State in very glowing terms these days, and very rightly, and yet we find that there are people who still suffer hardships, and we ought not to miss the opportunity of giving them some assistance; we should not necessarily wait till we can help everybody, but, as opportunity offers, we should take that opportunity, as it comes along to help those suffering special hardship.

I also support the new Clause for constituency reasons. It so happens that those who have incapacitated wives seek if they can to make up for the suffering which the incapacitated have to endure by giving them the opportunity of living in rather brighter surroundings than otherwise they might—if living in an industrial town or similar circumstances—and so we find very often that a man with an incapacitated wife will seek to live at the seaside, or, at any rate, in some pleasant surroundings, to make up for the sufferings of his incapacitated wife. Consequently in a constituency such as mine there are large numbers of people of this kind.

It may be possible for a husband to get some assistance from his local authority through the provision of home helps and the like, but the practice is not uniform throughout the country. The provision of home helps and the methods of charging for them vary from place to place. And let us remember that not only does the husband not get tax relief, which we hope by this new Clause he will get; not only does he not get that, but he has to pay to the local authority, according to his income, for the provision of the home help, for which, as I understand it, he gets no tax relief at all. Seeing that we do not give him any tax relief on what he pays for the provision of the home help surely it is only reasonable that this modest new Clause should merit consideration.

I do not think this Clause goes far enough. What about the wives with incapacitated husbands? There are lots of those about—and I am glad to see the Chief Secretary nods his head in agreement. This, then, ought to be considered. I very much hope that he will get up and say that he accepts both the principle of this new Clause and that it does not go far enough.

Mr. Braine

Is my hon. Friend aware of the fact that in the case of the incapacitated husband the wife of that man may not earn just over £2 10s. a week, for if she does he then loses dependant's allowance for her? In such a case the State takes an extremely mean view.

Sir S. McAdden

I am very grateful for my hon. Friend's support, and, naturally, I like to have it from him, because his constituency borders on mine and he ought to come to my assistance, as he has done on this occasion, as I seek to rush to his on this new Clause.

The point I am making is that we should hear in mind that there are many wives who go out to work year after year and yet look after husbands who have become incapacitated by diseases of various kinds, and those wives ought also to be brought into consideration.

I do not want to stand between the Committee and the opportunity to hear the Chief Secretary say that he recognises the force of the argument and that the Government are going to accept the new Clause—but redraft it, so as to ensure that not only husbands with incapacitated wives but wives with incapacitated husbands shall have the tax relief which is so urgently required.

Mr. Diamond

The House of Commons would be a poor place if we did not, on grounds of sympathy, seek to assist those whose lot is much worse than our own. Their case has been argued with great understanding and sympathy, and I should imagine that there must be very few of us who have not had direct experience of some individual who suffers from the sort of disability which the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst) has in mind.

I am in a little difficulty, Sir Eric. If I may say so, as I expected, you ruled that we are not considering in detail a particular pledge. It was not pledged that this form of Income Tax allowance would be in any Finance Bill in the present Parliament when the Government sought election. Whatever else was pledged refers to a different Minister and not to the Finance Bill. In view of that, may I concern myself with what is before the Committee, which is a proposal to give Income Tax relief in certain cases?

I have been asked to give a variation of the argument in my reply, because it is understood by many hon. Members that it is a matter which has come up before. It is a very difficult thing to do. If I may quote from the debate on 9th June, 1964, when a similar Clause was under consideration, the then Treasury spokesman, the hon. Gentleman who was then Member for Halifax and is now Member for Farnham (Mr. Maurice Macmillan) said: I must apologise … for repeating the arguments used previously on this subject from this Box. If I am answering the same argument as that put forward in previous years, it is difficult not to give the same answer. The hon. Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) recalled that her arguments were those which had been put forward on many an occasion. I will do my best to state the position and to say why the Government cannot recommend acceptance of the Clause.

The first main reason is that it does not necessarily touch on the real need. As has been pointed out, the assumption behind every speech has been that the person in difficulty has a large enough income that, after taking into account all the other allowances, there remains sufficient taxable income as to call for relief of the kind asked for. Of course, a person with that kind of income and that disability is infinitely better off than a person with a similar disability and no income. The proposal is to give help only to a particular section of people who have that kind of disability and, presumably, are put to extra expense on that account.

Miss Harvie Anderson

The right hon. Gentleman is not being really accurate. There is a large section of the community affected by the provisions who are not, for example, eligible for home helps. The section of the community which the right hon. Gentleman is now citing as being likely to suffer were he to have granted the provisions of the new Clause are all eligible for home helps. That makes a world of difference.

Mr. Diamond

A home help is only one of the points which are relevant in considering the additional expense to which a taxpayer is put on the grounds of the incapacity mentioned in the new Clause. It is only one of them. [Interruption.] I do not know whether the hon. Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) wishes to make his speech over again.

Mr. Braine

The right hon. Gentleman must not make such an assumption. There is all the world of difference between the theory that he is enunciating and the hard practice which families are enduring. We have in mind such cases as that of a totally incapacitated wife who can be kept alive only by the maintenance of some machinery, so that there is a need for someone to be with her all the time. All we ask for is that in that sort of case the husband gets some little financial assistance, which he does not get at present. Is it not high time that the right hon. Gentleman began to get his social priorities right?

6.45 p.m.

Mr. Diamond

Is it not high time that the hon. Gentleman turned his attention to what he is saying and got his thoughts right? What he is pleading for is a relief on the grounds of disability which is limited to the better off section of the community. That is what he is asking for.

Mr. Gower


Mr. Diamond

No, I shall not give way. I shall endeavour to answer.

[Interruption.] If hon. Members opposite would listen, I do not think that they would say that it was incorrect. It is as plain as a pikestaff that a tax relief cannot be given to people who are not paying tax.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Diamond

I cannot give way to five hon. Members at once. I will give way to the hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir S. McAdden).

Sir S. McAdden

When discussing the Finance Bill and tax allowances, is it not inevitable that any Amendment can be of benefit only to people paying tax? If the right hon. Gentleman's point is a valid one, can he not say exactly the same thing about every Amendment?

Mr. Diamond

If the hon. Gentleman would listen to my argument as carefully and as sympathetically as I listened to his, he would understand what I was trying to say. It is because what hon. Members opposite are seeking by their Amendment cannot be met by an Amendment or a new Clause to the Finance Bill that we ought to look to the proper method of meeting the need. It is no use saying that, because the need cannot be properly met by a new Clause in a Finance Bill, it must be met improperly or inadequately by such a new Clause.

The proper answer is that if what is being proposed is a bad proposal because it eliminates the more needy section of the population and deals with those who are better off—they would not have tax to pay otherwise—one ought to look for a satisfactory method. The satisfactory method is, if there is need, to deal with it positively through the social services and not in a partial and inadequate way through Income Tax relief. This is not the place to do it. It is because of that that every time it has been brought forward it has been given the same answer.

I have read part of what was said by the then Economic Secretary to the Treasury in June, 1964, which was the last time that a similar point was discussed. He went on: The reason I say that the Clause does not give relief to those who need it most is that it helps only the taxpayer and not those who are not within the Income Tax Code."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th June, 1964; Vol. 696, c. 380.] That is what a Conservative Minister said at the time, and it is so obvious that it cannot avoid being repeated.

The Committee seeks to alleviate a real difficulty in the wrong way. I am responsible for the Finance Bill, and I say that this is the wrong way of attempting to meet that kind of difficulty.

Dame Irene Ward

The whole basis of the Socialist Government has always been that they are so much better than the Tories. Why, then, does the right hon. Gentleman adopt the arguments advanced by a Conservative Minister?

Mr. Gower

Before the right hon. Gentleman deals with that intervention, may I take up the points about the persons who pay tax? We all meet these people in our constituencies, and invariably we find that the persons who do not pay tax get the most assistance. They are the people who can get home helps free of charge, whereas the people about whom we are talking are just above that income level. That is the whole point. They are above that level, and have to make do on inadequate means.

Mr. Diamond

The hon. Gentleman's argument is now getting a little clearer. What he is seeking to do is to suggest that those who are assessed on their income according to their ability to pay for a home help should get the home help at less than their ability to pay. I do not share that point of view. Nor do I share the point of view that the provision of home help, which is very much a part-time provision, is in any case a satisfactory solution in all these cases.

The first reason why no Government is able to accept this method is that it deals with the problem in a very unjust way. It selects those who are better off to receive assistance, and denies it to those who are worse off because they do not pay Income Tax. This is the reason which has been put forward time and time again, and the last occasion on which it was put forward was by a Conservative Government only two years ago, in June, 1964.

We then come to the question of cost about which I want to say something in amplification of the answer given to the hon. Member for Shipley. The Clause does not define disability, and disability can be of many grades. I am dealing with the point raised by the hon. Lady. I am trying to explain how, under certain circumstances, one can get a small cost. If we are dealing only with total incapacity in the way in which it is understood in the Income Tax Acts, the additional cost of the Clause will be small, but if we have a different definition—and it is not defined in the Clause—the cost will mount considerably.

If, for example, we made it coincide with everybody who was over 65 on the ground that at a certain stage there is an amount of disability which is very difficult to disprove or to argue about and therefore we may as well accept a simple definition of that kind, the cost would increase to approximately £15 million. If we went on to include every incapacity, which could be a part-time incapacity as well as a permanent one, the cost would rise to over £50 million.

The hon. Member for Southend, East is right. There is no justification for selecting one kind of disability as a reason for increasing the Income Tax allowance. There is no great justification for selecting the wife's incapacity as a reason for increasing that part of the personal allowance which is granted to a married couple, than there is for choosing the husband's incapacity for increasing that part of the allowance which is granted to a married couple. If every taxpayer's allowance was increased on the ground of incapacity, these figures would be infinitely greater.

There is no reason to stop at husbands. No distinction is drawn between a child's allowance granted to parents in respect of a normal, healthy child, and a child's allowance granted to parents in respect of a child suffering from some disability or incapacity, as a result of which the parents are put to greater cost. None of these things is taken into account in our Income Tax code. The code is not the proper place for taking them into account. This has to be provided for by the social services, and a direct and positive effort should be made to provide them. That is the place to provide help, and certainly not here. This is the wrong way of achieving what I recognise is a desirable human eleemosynary object. This is the wrong way of doing it, and therefore—

Mr. Hirst

The right hon. Gentleman is insulting the intelligence of the Committee by mentioning these vast cost extensions. My Clause is based on the question which I put to the Treasury. The Treasury knew what I had in mind otherwise it would not have answered in the way that it did, which is more intelligent than what the right hon. Gentleman is doing now. The Treasury said that the cost would be small. It knew what I had in mind and the right hon. Gentleman should stop introducing these red herrings to try to justify a bad argument. He is not doing himself justice.

Mr. Diamond

I do not know what question the hon. Gentleman is putting. He is making another speech. It will be useful to remember that in the event of the hon. Gentleman attempting to intervene again.

Dame Irene Ward

My hon. Friend is entitled to make more than one speech during the Committee stage.

Mr. Diamond

Afterwards, not as an intervention. I am dealing with the Clause, and the hon. Gentleman has not defined incapacity. I am telling him how the definition of the incapacity might affect the cost.

Mr. Hirst


Mr. Diamond


Mr. Hirst

I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman dare give way.

Mr. Diamond

The hon. Gentleman can speak again in his usual insulting way. I am merely telling the Committee that the cost could be anything from a small one, making an assumption about total incapacity, to a cost of over £50 million for dealing with all incapacity relating to one spouse only. One cannot say that there is a greater argument for one spouse than for the other, and in those circumstances I cannot recommend the acceptance of the Clause.

Mr. Dean

The Chief Secretary has given us the familiar arguments on this point. He says, first, that we are dealing with people who, by definition, because they are paying Income Tax, are not in as much need as those who are not paying it. The right hon. Gentleman has failed to recognise that in many cases those who do not pay Income Tax are getting substantial assistance because of an incapacitated member of the family. They are probably getting National Assistance or other benefits from the State. The chances are that in many cases they have the assistance of a home help, free of charge. In addition, they benefit from the Meals on Wheels and other services which they get free of charge. I am not saying that more cannot be done for this section of the community, but from the way in which the Chief Secretary spoke one would think that the Clause was dealing with rich people who can afford to provide these additional services for themselves.

The right hon. Gentleman must know from his constituency experience, as we all do, that the vast majority of the cases referred to in the Clause concern people who do not pay very much tax. They are in the tax bracket, but they are the people who are finding that there very little cash assistance is available for them. In my constituency there are many people who, because their wives are incapacitated, and because they are retired and living on small fixed incomes, are finding it more and more difficult to meet the extra costs of living.

What we are drawing attention to here is not so much the fact that there is incapacity—and I shall come to the difficulty of definition—but that because of a wife's incapacity there is inevitably an increase in the normal living expenses over and above those of a normal family, and that this fact in itself should be taken into account in our tax system.

This is a question of locking in the social service cash benefits with the tax relief system. If we accept the right hon. Gentleman's argument that all these cases should be dealt with through the social services, we will find a bottleneck in home help provided by local authorities, where there is already a shortage. In many cases a person's health will break down entirely, and he will have to go into hospital.

Mr. Hirst

At added expense, far and away beyond what we are considering now.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. Dean

Yes—at an expense far and away greater. The estimated cost of a place in a hospital or a local authority home is from £400 to £600 a year, and much of this additional expense will fall on the Exchequer, and therefore on the taxpayer, unless in this way we can lock in the social service cash benefits and services with the tax relief system, as my hon. Friend is suggesting.

Mr. Braine

I hoped that my hon. Friend would refer to the other tragic category which includes the totally incapacitated wife who is in hospital precisely because her husband, who is earning, cannot afford to keep her at home. That is the other side of the coin.

Mr. Dean

I am coming to that point. I have dealt with retired people on modest fixed incomes, but there is the other case to which my hon. Friend has just referred, and to which my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) also mentioned—the case of the young man with an incapacitated wife. Here again, such a man has the difficult choice either of leaving his wife completely alone all day or getting someone to come into the house to help. In many instances such a man cannot obtain home help from his local authority. It may well say, rightly, "We are short of home helps. We must concentrate on the old people first, because that is where the need is greatest. You are earning, and therefore you must provide your own and pay for it." In many cases it is right for a local authority to take that view. But if such a man succeeds in getting someone to come in to help his wife while he is at work we ought to recognise this additional necessary expense in our taxation system. If we do we shall find that in the long run the expenditure incurred by our State services will decrease.

The second argument is the difficulty of definition. I agree that it is not easy to differentiate and to decide where to draw the line. That is why I suggest that the criterion is not so much the fact of disability but the fact that additional expense is involved. In any event, to some extent the Government have succeeded in finding a satisfactory definition of disability in their Selective Employment Payments Bill. Clause 6 of that Bill provides a refund for certain households. including a household which includes a person in need of such assistance … by reason of being infirm, sick, or otherwise incapacitated for any reason …". In other words, the Government have answered their own argument. They have succeeded in defining "incapacity" for tax purposes.

Mr. Diamond

indicated dissent.

Mr. Dean

The Chief Secretary shakes his head, but that is what it is. It is a refund of tax according to the definition of "incapacity". I agree that the decision in that case is to be made by a Supplementary Benefits Commission, but the argument can be applied equally to tax relief in this case. Does the Chief Secretary wish to intervene?

Mr. Diamond

I merely wanted to point out that we shall come to that point on the appropriate Clause of the appropriate Bill.

Mr. Dean

But this is a very relevant point. One of his arguments why we should reject the new Clause is the difficulty of defining "incapacity". I am merely pointing out that the Government have done so in another Bill. The argument ere would seem to be on all fours with the argument here. I hope that the Chief Secretary will be able to satisfy us on that point.

The Chief Secretary seems to have forgotten that a similar Amendment was discussed last year. Whereas on this occasion the right hon. Gentleman gave the impression that no new thinking had been done about this matter, and that he was sorry that he had to put over all the old arguments, the Financial Secretary, in replying to similar debates on similar Amendments last year, said: I want to make clear that it is our earnest anxiety to examine these matters to see what reliefs, if any, we can carve out of the proposals which have been made which will be really practicable and workable".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd June, 1965; Vol. 714, c. 1877.] I hope that the Chief Secretary will tell us what progress has been made since then. It appears that the Government have found no practical or workable solution. In another part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, however, he gave the impression that no consideration had been given to this matter since the Financial Secretary made his pledge just over 12 months ago.

Mr. Gower

During the debates on the Financial Bills this year and last year we have grown to admire the stonewalling ability of the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary. They are a pretty good team at that operation. One of the great qualities of the Chief Secretary is that he conveys as much conviction when his heart is not in a job as he does when it is. Tonight, however, he spoke as though his heart was not in the job and I am sorry to say that he did not carry a great deal of conviction.

His first reason for not acceding to the principle of the new Clause was a remarkable one. He told us in some detail that the Government had given no pledge at the time of the last General Election. That is hardly a valid argument. We do not want a pledge in order to carry out a good action of this kind. We are better off without a pledge. I do not think that that is really a serious argument.

Mr. John Hall

Does not my hon. Friend agree that the mere fact that this was not promised at the last election makes it much more likely that it will be carried out?

Mr. Gower

It could be said that should it be carried out it will be all the more meritorious. I submit that the right hon. Gentleman's second argument, citing the Treasury refusal under the Conservative Administration of 1964, has no force. It is natural for a Government who are refusing an appeal by any group of Members to cite a refusal by their predecessors, but surely this great forward looking Administration—an Administration which was about to sweep the decks clean and bring in a new dynamic era—should be doing something else than going back for two years to find precedents for a refusal. That is not worthy of the Chief Secretary.

In the least worthy part of his speech the right hon. Gentleman said that this concession could not be granted because it would not give a commensurate benefit, and that persons who did not have an adequate income would not derive any benefit. As my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir S. McAdden) said. that is an absurd doctrine. It means that no adequate concession can ever be made to people who pay some Income Tax. This is as bad as "MacDermot's Law", which is saying a great deal—

Mr. Braine

What is that?

Mr. Gower

My hon. Friend should be well acquainted with it—

Mr. Hall

Perhaps I can help my hon. Friend and remind him that "MacDermot's Law" says that the higher the tax one pays the higher the tax one should have to pay in future and so on, ad infinitum.

Mr. Gower

Perhaps it would be out of order to elaborate on the doctrine known as "MacDermot's Law", but my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr. John Hall) has given in a nutshell some of its evil qualities.

Having given us the doctrine of "no pledge", having harked back to the refusal of two years ago and having also made the objection that this was not a satisfactory new Clause because it was based on a tax allowance, the right hon. Gentlemen went on to the questions of definition and cost. He has not, however, even replied to suggestions that he should take the simple definition of total incapacity. Here, surely, the question of definition would not arise and the cost would be minimal. Therefore, his objection on the basis of definition comes down to the fact that he does not want to make any concession—

Mr. Braine

Surely a definition in this case is possible as it is where the industrially injured and war injured are concerned. There is very clear machinery there to ascertain the facts.

Mr. Gower

I was about to ask, why cannot the Government, if they have the will to put the new Clause into operation, set up some system of tribunal? Why cannot the applicants be examined as they are in comparable cases? Is this beyond the ingenuity or wit of the Government? It is a confession that they have not the will to do it.

Perhaps I was wrong in suggesting that the question of the tax element in this was the least worthy part of the Government's case. The final one was perhaps even less worthy. In terms, the Chief Secretary suggested that he could not consider this concession for an incapacitated wife unless there were also a concession for an incapacitated husband. I would certainly support a concession for an incapacitated husband, but we are considering a new Clause dealing with an incapacitated wife. It is no good reason for refusal of this to say, "We are not considering a Clause based upon the other very deserving cases, too."

The right hon. Gentleman must look at this again. His answer conveyed no conviction. I am sure that he will reconsider what he has said, even after a little thought.

Mr. Frederic Harris

(Croydon, North-West): I have listened carefully to every speech on this very important and moving subject, on which I have often spoken myself over the years. I strongly join forces in support of all that has been said by my hon. Friends and I think that we owe a debt of gratitude to my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst) for having put down the new Clause. I am glad that it was selected.

As my hon. Friend said, he confined his approach to a very limited request, but the Chief Secretary broadened the issue considerably, which all of us appreciated. I am sorry to join my hon. Friend in his stricture of the Chief Secretary, but I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) was quite right when he commented adversely on what the Chief Secretary said. I would also remind the Committee of the disturbing fact that there have been hardly more than two or three hon. Members present on the other side of the Committee, and not a single one has yet stood to support this very worthy cause.

I was deeply disturbed that the Chief Secretary should take the line that, because a person pays tax, he should, in effect, not get relief. This is an extraordinary approach. In my constituency of Croydon, there is a very fine hospital—Queen's Hospital—which I will be visiting tomorrow. It is difficult to get a bed in Queen's Hospital and there is always a tremendous demand for them. They cater particularly for incapacitated people of this kind.

7.15 p.m.

All of us, who deal with the many daily problems of our constituents, come across many coming cases. We, as Members of Parliament, should do our utmost, surely, to try to encourage such people to have attention at home. This is essential, not only from the personal, moving and humane point of view, but also, if one wants to be so crude, because of the charge on public funds.

If the concession were limited even at this stage to the new Clause of my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley, it is agreed that the concession would be very small. Over the years, we have had a good deal of respect for the Chief Secretary, particularly when he was on this side of the Committee. He used to argue these things very forcibly himself—[An HON. MEMBER: "Much better than now."]—much better than now. He showed great ability and knowledge of accountancy and similar matters.

I was bitterly disappointed tonight that, after the excellent speeches from this side, the Chief Secretary should get up and, in effect, use yet another Treasury brief. We all know that the Treasury is tremendously hard-hearted, tragically, but surely this is one occasion when he could 'put that brief aside. Very effective speeches have been made from this side, particularly by my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward), who made a moving speech. Surely the right hon. Gentleman could have said that this was something which the Government could concede. Surely he could give such a concession.

If there are failures in the new Clause or if it does not go far enough, let the Government put the matter right in future. But because it does not do all the things which every hon. Member wants done is no reason for not giving the limited concessions which my hon. Friend has requested. I find the answers of the Chief Secretary very disturbing. I sincerely hope that, on reflection, he will feel that the argument has been strongly made from this side. He did not say, "It has been a very good argument and we shall do something about it in the near future". He did not give a word of encouragement.

It was the old Treasury argument pulled out again, to give nothing away and then: to say that it must not be given because these are influential people who have plenty of money, because they have the impertinence to pay Income Tax —[Interruption.] This is what the right hon. Gentleman said. He said that because they are paying Income Tax, we should give no concession. What awful people they must be, to pay for all the nonsense which the Government gets up to, by paying Income Tax. As my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir S. McAdden) asked strongly, what concession can we get on the Finance Bill unless it is by saving of Income Tax? This is such an obvious point that I should have thought that it would have struck the Chief Secretary—

Mr. Gower

Would my hon. Friend not agree that we now have"Diamond's Law", namely, "If you pay Income Tax, you must never get a tax concession."?

Mr. Harris

I am afraid that it looks that way.

However, I am being serious when I say that I listened to the whole of this moving debate. Each one of us knows case after case of this kind. My own experience goes back well over 18 years. We try to encourage people to be looked after at home, and to give them all the assistance that we can. This is surely a small concession to ask of the Treasury, and, even if it cost £20 million or £30 million, we chucked enough money away on free prescriptions, which are being abused like mad now.

At this late stage, will the Chief Secretary say whether he will reconsider this matter? Will he not admit that what he said to the Committee tonight was sheer nonsense? I do not know whether you heard the remarks of the Chief Secretary, Sir Barnett, but I assure you that they were nonsense, and when he looks at the report in HANSARD tomorrow I think that he will blush about his statement, because it was most unfortunate.

Miss Mervyn Pike

(Melton): The whole Committee is agreed that the Chief Secretary has given not only a most disappointing answer but also a sour twist to the conventional arguments on the new Clause. The Chief Secretary argued this sort of case very eloquently when in opposition, and I can only think that his attitude and the element of sourness, which we all disliked, came from the fact that in his heart he wants to accept the Clause, and in his mind he knew that his arguments were bad and could not stand up to debate. He was talking about real need, and he said that the people whom we were discussing were not in real need.

Mr. Diamond

I do not mind any irresponsible statement being made by hon. Members on the back benches opposite, but I did not say that. I made it perfectly clear that the people in the greater need were the people, by definition, who had less income.

Miss Pike

I wrote the words down, but I shall not argue with the right hon. Gentleman over greater need or real need. These people, I would argue, are in real need, and this sort of need is not comparative or proportionate. It is very difficult to balance one type of need against another.

We all have constituency cases, and I have a particularly poignant one of a young wife whose husband was getting on very well in his profession and was destined, we thought, to go to the top of the tree. Because she was stricken down and incapacitated his earning capacity has been reduced and his promotion prospects have been diminished, because he has to work near home. He feels that it is important to go home every lunchtime to see his wife. Here is real need and hardship of a kind that is very difficult to assess in financial terms. It is for that type of person, and for the compassionate and emotional reasons that weigh so hardly in these circumstances, that we should look very carefully at this sort of case.

We are talking about a husband who is alone—without a daughter, without help to look after his wife. Such a husband, looking after an incapacitated wife—usually totally incapacitated—has many burdens, other than financial. These circumstances cost him considerably more money. He has to come home very often at midday from his work, and he has to try to keep a standard of help in the home above anything that he would otherwise have undertaken. He has to face all sorts of difficulties and strains, but the greatest of these is that his wife believes that she is holding her husband back and is a financial drain on him. This very often builds up emotional strain that leads to greater illness.

We ask for very small relief in this matter, for minimal help. I do not argue that the granting of the Income Tax allowance would make all the difference, but it would make a great psychological difference in these cases. It would mean that the wife would not feel that she was such a real burden on the husband, because he would be getting some relief for the extra expenditure and the extra burden that he was carrying.

I know from my own experience, and from my constituency cases, that these circumstances often fall into three well-defined categories. The first is that to which I have already referred, where, because of his wife's incapacity, a husband is held back, since he has to spend more time at home and is unable to earn more money and pay more taxes—with all the difficulties that result from that.

Then there are the people who, because of the advances of science and medical engineering, are able to stay at home because they have mechanical aids that help them to come to terms with their incapacity. We welcome these things, which are among the most tremendous boons of modern civilisation. But they often entail a greater financial burden on the family where they are being used.

These people do not like their cases to be quoted, so I shall not particularise. In one case, because of the development of modern devices, the wife can now be at home and this has put a great financial burden on the family. It has almost brought financial ruin to the husband, because, having the wife at home, he has to have all the different household requirements that result from this. It is not just a question of the help in the house but the extra laundry, the extra fires, and the extra accommodation that is entailed. The wife knows that she is being an added burden just because she is enabled to take a greater part in life as a whole. The Clause would have a tremendous psychological effect in enabling her to stay at home.

The third and most important category is those people who have to go into hospitals and homes because their margins of income are so narrow. We are not now talking about wealthy people. On the whole, they are people living on very small incomes, people whose margins are very slight. Any increase in expenditure, such as indirect taxation or household expenditure, any minimal increase in taxation puts the whole family and its life at risk. I know of a very tragic case—and we must all know of them—where the wife has gone into hospital, because she is no longer in a position to sustain the whole burden—with all that this costs the country at this time. I do not think that the Chief Secretary can argue this question on financial grounds alone, because by giving this small concession he can in his own heart, and in his own reason, know that he can save great burdens that otherwise would fall on the State.

The excuse that I found most difficult to stomach was that it was difficult to get the definition. My hon. Friend said quite rightly that Clause 6 of the Selective Employment Payments Bill talks about disability. We all know the difficulties of definition here, and one of the main reasons for pressing for this to be on the Statute Book is that until we need to produce a definition we never shall have one. We shall always be making excuses. My hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, East (Miss Harvie Anderson) said that we could go for 100 per cent. incapacity. This is a good first step, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will say that the Government would go this far and further.

The Government spokesman said in debate last year that the Government were examining the whole question. I hoped that the examination would have included steps to try to find a definition. I know the difficulties, but have the Government really looked at this? What form has the examination taken? Has is been an examination as to the cost? Has it been an examination as to the definition? Has it been an examination as to the extent of the problem, or how we could reduce the problem as a preliminary first step? We all accept that this is a very broad problem, and that one can go further and further finding more and more hardship cases, but this is no reason why we should not take this very small step forward. Unless we take it we shall never begin to meet the problem.

We have had no explanation from the right hon. Gentleman and no reply to the very reasoned arguments of my hon. Friends. In those circumstances we should press the Clause to a Division because this is a subject on which we feel very strongly.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. Hirst

We have had a full discussion, and I realise that there is no hope of changing the right hon. Gentleman's mind today. On the other hand, I must tell him seriously that I am shocked by the answer which he gave. When hon. Members take the trouble to put down a Question to the Treasury, with the sense of responsibility which I have tried to show in this matter, in order to ascertain the cost, then the right hon. Gentleman should treat the matter seriously. Had the answer been that the cost was £20 million or £10 million, I should have deferred this proposal, out of deference to the Government's policy; I do not accept their policy but I acknowledge their point of view. But the answer which I was given was that the cost "cannot be estimated but it would be small". I know from experience what it means when the Treasury says "small". By heavens, it must be small.

I used precisely the same words as I had put in my Question. I have put down Clauses before and more often than not I have got into difficulties. But I have taken part in debates on 18 Finance Bills and I have learned a lot in 15 years. Previously I have put down Questions and I have afterwards tabled a new Clause on the principle involved without using the same words—and I have had the sort of speech from the Treasury Box that we had today. I thought, "This will not happen this time. I will use precisely the same words". But it did happen.

This is astonishing from a gentleman with the intelligence of the right hon. Gentleman. He knows me well enough. He did not need advice from the Treasury team on this matter. He should have known that I was wise to this and that I had put down the same wording in the Clause as had been in the Question. For the right hon. Gentleman to trail his coat through the Committee, intentionally misinterpreting the purpose of the Clause in order to try to aggravate everybody with an argument that this would cost a great deal of money, is nonsense. I had taken the specific trouble, which I should have thought the Treasury would have welcomed, to get the position clear—and yet I have had this argument from the Treasury. This is the sort of thing which angers the Committee and prolongs Finance Bill debates, and it will not

Division No. 90.] AYES [7.32 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Awdry, Daniel Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) More, Jasper
Balniel, Lord Harris, Reader (Heston) Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Bateford, Brian Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Bell, Ronald Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Murton, Oscar
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vera Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Biffen, John Harvie Anderson, Miss Heave, Airey
Black, Sir Cyril Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Nott, John
Blaker, Peter Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Osborn, John (Hallam)
Body, Richard Heseltine, Michael Page, Graham (Crosby)
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Higgins, Terence L. Percival, Ian
Brains, Bernard Hiley, Joseph Pike, Miss Mervyn
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hirst, Geoffrey Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Bulk's, Sir Eric Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John Prior, J. M. L.
Chichester-Clark, R. Holland, Philip Pym, Francis
Clegg, Walter Hordern, Peter Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cooke, Robert Hornby, Richard Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Costain, A. P. Hunt, John Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Crowder, F. P. Hutchison, Michael Clark Roots, William
Dalkeith, Earl of Kerby, Capt. Henry Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Dance, James Kirk, Peter Sharples, Richard
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Kitson, Timothy Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Knight, Mrs. Jill Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lambton, Viscount Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Lancaster, Col. C. G. Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Drayson, G. B. Langford-Holt, Sir John Vickers, Dame Joan
Eden, Sir John Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Ward, Dame Irene
Errington, Sir Eric Loveys, W. H. Weatherill, Bernard
Eyre, Reginald McAdden, Sir Stephen Whitelaw, William
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Maddan, Martin Wylie, N. R.
Glover, Sir Douglas Mawby, Ray Younger, Hn. George
Coodhart, Philip Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Gower, Raymond Mills, Peter (Torrington) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gresham Cooke, R. Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Mr. R. W. Elliott and
Hall, John (Wycombe) Miscampbell, Norman Mr. Anthony Grant.
Anderson, Donald Coe, Denis Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Archer, Peter Coleman, Donald Floud, Bernard
Armstrong, Ernest Conlan, Bernard Foley, Maurice
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Corbet, Mrs. Freda Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich)
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Cullen, Mrs. Alice Ford, Ben
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Dalyell, Tam Forrester, John
Bagier, Gordon A, T. Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Fowler, Gerry
Baxter, William Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Fraser, John (Norwood)
Bellenger, Rt. Hn. F. J. Davies, Harold (Leek) Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)
Bence, Cyril Davies, Robert (Cambridge) Freeson, Reginald
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Delargy, Hugh Gardner, A. J.
Bessell, Peter Dempsey, James Garrett, W. E.
Bidwell, Sydney Dewar, Donald Garrow, Alex
Bishop, E. S. Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Ginsburg, David
Booth, Albert Dickens, James Gourlay, Harry
Boston, Terence Doig, Peter Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)
Bowden, Rt. Hn. Herbert Driberg, Tom Gregory, Arnold
Bradley, Tom Dunn, James A. Grey, Charles (Durham)
Brooks, Edwin Dunnett, Jack Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Harper, Joseph
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W) Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Hazell, Bert
Buchan, Norman Ellis, John Heffer, Eric S.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) English, Michael Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Ensor, David Hooley, Frank
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Hooson, Emlyn
Carmichael, Neil Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Castle, Rt. Hn, Barbara Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Howie, W.

be missed by the general public, who will regret deeply the tone, nature and effect of the Treasury reply.

Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 110, Noes 190.

Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Murray, Albert Silverman, Syrney (Nelson)
Hunter, Adam Norwood, Christopher Slater, Joseph
Hynd, John Oakes, Gordon Small, William
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Ogden, Eric Snow, Julian
Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St. P'cras, S.) O'Malley, Brian Spriggs, Leslie
Johnson, James (K'stonoon-Hull, W.) Orbach, Maurice Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Oswald, Thomas Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Owen, Will (Morpeth) Swain, Thomas
Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Swingler, Stephen
Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Paget, R. T. Symonds, J. B.
Leadhitter, Ted Palmer, Arthur Tinn, James
Lee, John (Reading) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Tuck, Raphael
Lestor, Miss Joan Pardoe, John Urwin, T. W.
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Parker, John (Dagenham) Varley, Eric G.
Lomas, Kenneth Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Pentland, Norman Walden, Brian (All Saints)
McCann, John Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
MacDermot Niall Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Wallace, George
Macdonald, A. H. Price, Christopher (Perry Barr) Watkins, David (Consett)
McKay, Mrs. Margaret Price, William (Rugby) Weitzman, David
Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Pursey, Cmdr. Harry Wellbeloved, James
Mackintosh, John P. Rankin, John Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Maclennan, Robert Rhodes, Geoffrey Whitaker, Ben
McNamara, J. Kevin Roberts, Albert (Norrnanton) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
MacPherson, Malcolm Robertson, John (Paisley) Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Manuel, Archie Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Marquand, David Rodgers, William (Stockton) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Mason, Roy Roebuck, Roy Winnick, David
Maxwell, Robert Rose, Paul Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Mayhew, Christopher Ross, Rt. Hn. William Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Milian, Bruce Rowland, Christopher (Meriden) Yates, Victor
Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Short Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Mr. William Whitlock and
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.) Mr. Neil McBride.
Mulley, Rt. Hn, Frederick Silkin, John (Deptford)