§ (1) The Minister shall keep the Corporation, the publicly-owned companies and such organisations as appear to him to he appropriate and to he representative of the interests of iron and steel producers who are not publicly-owned companies informed—
- (a) of the proceedings of the Institutions of the European Coal and Steel Community so far as such proceedings are within his knowledge and appear to him to he relevant to the duties of the Corporation; and
- (b) of such other matters concerning the relationship between the United Kingdom and the said Community as in the opinion of the Minister are relevant to the duties of the Corporation and to the iron and steel industry generally.
§ (2) It shall be the duty of the Corporation to give advice and information to the Minister on any matters relating to their said duties being matters which have been referred by the Minister to the Corporation concerning the relationship between the United Kingdom and the said Community, or being matters which, in the opinion of the Corporation, ought to be taken into account in connection with the said relationship.
§ (3) Nothing in this section shall be taken as requiring the Minister to disclose to the Corporation or any such organisation as aforesaid any matter which in his opinion it is not in the national interest to disclose to them.
§ (4) In this section the expression 'the Institutions of the European Coal and Steel Community' means the Institutions mentioned in Article 7 of the Treaty constituting the said Community signed in Paris on 18th April 1951.—[Mr. Barber.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 4.7 p.m.
§ Mr. Anthony Barber (Altrincham and Sale)
I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.
During the Committee stage of the Bill a new Clause in similar terms was considered, together with a second new Clause, but, as right hon. and hon. Members who have studied our proceedings will know, most of the discussion was directed to the second of the two new Clauses and the reply of the then Parliamentary Secretary concerning this proposal was. I think most people would 670 agree, highly unsatisfactory. For this reason, we thought it right to return to the matter on Report.
The purpose of the new Clause can be simply stated. It makes it obligatory on the Minister to inform certain bodies of the proceedings of the European Coal and Steel Community and of certain other relevant matters concerning the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Community. The bodies to be kept so informed are the National Steel Corporation, the publicly-owned companies and the private sector. I hope that in reply the Minister will not waste the time of the House on technicalities and drafting points, because the purpose of the new Clause is quite clear.
The new Clause is not a cockshy irresponsibly thought up by a small group of Members of Parliament. It is almost identical with Section 4 of the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, and we believe that it is in the national interest that it should he included in the Bill.
When we considered the matter in Committee, the then Parliamentary Secretary adduced two wholly unconvincing reasons for the rejection of the Clause. He said, first, that what it sought to do could be done under the Bill as it stood. That is no answer, because precisely the same observation could have been made of Section 4 of the 1953 Act and about many of the provisions in the Bill. One has only to look, for example, at Clause 3(1,a), where there is set out a duty on the Corporationto promote the efficient and economical supply by the Corporation … of iron and steel products".Obviously, if the words had been merelyto promote the … supply … of iron and steel products",it would still have been open to the Corporation to do it efficiently and economically. The Minister cannot reject this Clause simply on the ground that power to do what is contained in this Clause exists in any event, because there is a further very important difference between accepting the Clause and rejecting it. That is that this new Clause, if accepted, would impose an obligation on the Minister.
§ Mr. J. J. Mendelson (Penistone)
Is the right hon. Gentleman now suggesting, in referring to Clause 3, that nowhere in 671 the opening stages of the Bill should there be a statement that it will be the duty of the Corporation to supply iron and steel efficiently? Is it not absurd to say that that was not necessary in a Bill of this kind?
§ Mr. Barber
The hon. Member has misunderstood the point I am making. What I am saying is that if the words "efficient and economical" had not been included in Clause 3 it would still have been open to the Corporation to supply its products efficiently and economically. There is no obligation in saying that, nevertheless, the Corporation and the Minister could do precisely what is stated in the Clause. We are seeking to impose on the Minister an obligation, precisely the same obligation as was contained in the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, which was then accepted by the House. It has done no harm; but, I believe, a considerable amount of good.
The second reason given by the Parliamentary Secretary for rejection of this Clause was quite puerile. He said that, unlike in 1953, we are now seeking membership of the European Community and, therefore, this provision is unnecessary. Unlike so many hon. Members opposite—including, I suspect, one or two in the Chamber at present—I wish the Prime Minister every success in his efforts to join the European Community, but we are by no means home and dry. We still do not know, for example, how General de Gaulle will react to the unpredictable and unique behaviour of our well-intentioned Foreign Secretary. There are many hurdles to be overcome before we join the European Community.
During other parts of our proceedings the Minister of Power used the argument that we are not yet members of the Community. He used that argument to reject Conservative Amendments which sought to bring the steel industry into line with the European system. Whatever the right hon. Gentleman himself may think about our joining Europe, he cannot have it both ways. If the argument of the Government still is, as it was in Committee, that this Clause is unacceptable because we hope to join the Community, then it becomes highly relevant to consider the effect of the Bill on our chances.
672 There may be no doubt at all that the nationalisation of steel as contemplated by the Labour Government makes access to the European Coal and Steel Community much more difficult. I say that because the Government's proposals for the iron and steel industry and the particular form of nationalisation which they have selected are incompatible with the policy which is now being followed by the European Coal and Steel Community. That is an incontrovertible fact.
As I have said before, under the Treaty of Paris and the E.C.S.C., ownership of itself is immaterial. There is no argument about that. But the control and the operation of steel enterprises is subject to the most definite requirements. The Government's proposals for the steel industry are without any doubt at all in fundamental conflict with the European system. I must make the point which I made in Committee, that the European system operates on the basis of a variety of individually operated companies, each representing no more than 10 per cent. of the total Community steel capacity.
We have been told quite specifically by the Government that the object of this Bill is tocreate a single unit of direction with a capacity of about 30 million tons of crude steel a year.The new National Steel Corporation would represent about 22 per cent. of the capacity of the combined market of the E.C.S.C. and the United Kingdom, compared with 8 per cent. of the combined market for the largest group at present in the E.C.S.C. The consequence is that if the Government go ahead with the creation of this giant monopoly it will be quite impossible to join the E.C.S.C. without fundamental changes in the Government's policy for the steel industry.
The reason for this is quite simple. Because of the dominant position of the National Steel Corporation, the High Authority of the E.C.S.C. would have power to override the British Minister of Power. The High Authority would actually have the power to fix the prices of British steel and to draw up production programmes for the Corporation. Is that what hon. and right hon. Members opposite want? That certainly is the 673 factual position. It is right that hon. and right hon. Members and those outside the House of Commons should know precisely what would happen if we were to join the E.C.S.C. and the steel industry were to remain on the lines which have been stated by Her Majesty's Government.
This position is brought about not because the Government intend to nationalise part of the industry. The incompatibility with the European system stems from two facts, first, from the determination of the Labour Government,to create a single unit of direction with a capacity of 30 million tons of crude steel a year.and, secondly, from the policy expressed by the present Foreign Secretary thatthere is no possibility of going back to real competition."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 6th May. 1965; Vol. 711, c. 1687.]So we have the ludicrous position that the Prime Minister is moving towards European integration, whereas his right hon. Friend the Minister of Power is pursuing a policy contrary to the practice of our European friends. Indeed, the Parliamentary Secretary admitted when we considered this matter in Committee that the practice proposed for the National Steel Corporation would require negotiation with the E.C.S.C. That was the understatement of 1966.
I conclude with this plea to the right hon. Gentleman. In these circumstances, it is surely prudent and sensible to include a provision in the Bill which would be advantageous in the unhappy event of the Prime Minister not succeeding in his attempts to join the European Community. I hope that, on reflection, the right hon. Gentleman will agree that this is a useful Clause and will agree to its incorporation in the Bill.
§ Mr. Nicholas Ridley (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)
I warmly endorse all that my right hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber) has said. The Parliamentary Secretary's argument in Committee to the effect that, as the present circumstances are different from those prevailing at the time of the 1953 Act, the Clause is not needed is an argument which, on closer examination, I find stupefyingly unrealistic. There are only two possibilities—either that we succeed in joining the Community or that we do not. If we are vetoed or excluded, 674 or if the Prime Minister decides not to let the negotiations proceed, we shall clearly have to go on as before, in which case it is absolutely vital that the Clause be added to the Bill.
On the other hand, if we were to succeed in entering the Community, then perhaps within six months from this date the whole Bill would be completely out of date anyway and would have to be revised. In these circumstances, it is therefore right to include in the Bill a Clause which insists on consultation between the Coal and Steel Community, the Minister and the Corporation.
The Parliamentary Secretary argued that the differing circumstances of the present time meant that all that we sought to do in urging the Minister to take a more European position might even be jeopardised by accepting the Clause. That was an extraordinary statement, because an obligation to consult cannot, and never could, do any harm. I believe that the Minister has recently gone to the Continent to attend a meeting of the High Authority, there not having been a meeting for 18 months previously. I hope that in answering the debate he will tell us exactly how he got on at the meeting and what were the results of any criticisms of the Bill which the High Authority or its servants put up to him.
At various times in Committee we made comments as to what in our opinion will be the main hazards of our joining if the Bill remains in its present form. My right hon. Friend mentioned some. There is the question of the large grouping. There is the question of pricing. There is the question of the commencing capital debt, which will be heavily subsidised by the fact that the compensation payable will be only two-thirds of the value of the assets of the steel companies.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We are getting into a general discussion on the Bill. The hon. Gentleman must come to the new Clause.
§ Mr. Ridley
I will leave the main objections. As you have rightly said, Sir, they are not within the scope of the Clause.
Before we part with the Bill it is important that the House as a whole is 675 informed of the High Authority's views on the Bill. It will be no good the Minister saying, after the Bill has been enacted, "We must make some changes in the Bill". We want to know what is involved at this stage.
I am one of those who take a somewhat pessimistic and gloomy view of our chances of success. The present application may not succeed. I hope with all my heart that I am wrong. I earnestly pray that our application will succeed. However, I do not regard this as the end of the story, because, if we were to fail, we would need to reshape all our affairs and to get ourselves into a posture such that the Community at a later date would accept us as a member.
The iron and steel industry is a sector where it is clearly our duty to readjust our affairs, just as it is in agriculture and in other spheres of activity, so that we are prepared, ready and reorganised to join the Community without all these endless negotiations, arguments and fuss. This is what General de Gaulle meant when he vetoed our application last time —"You are not ready". Therefore, it is vital that we take all steps possible to bring the steel industry into such a shape that it does not on a future occasion make it more difficult to join.
§ Mr. Brian O'Malley (Rotherham)
The hon. Gentleman suggests that it may be true that the shape of our steel industry would be one of the factors making our entry difficult, on the ground that the organisation of the industry would be incompatible with the E.C.S.C. Treaty. Is it not true also that the developing organisations of some of the European steel communities within the E.C.S.C. Treaty are incompatible?
§ Mr. Ridley
I should like to hear the hon. Gentleman substantiate that claim. There are problems, discussions and all sorts of difficulties within the Coal and Steel Community. That only demonstrates the advantages of our being a member. Then we could start to see how we would like it to be changed. We could argue our case and, perhaps, we could prevail. Those remaining outside are in an impossible position to influence the Community.
Whether we like it or not, we must adjust all of our affairs, all of our laws, 676 all of our practice, and all of our administration, so that we are acceptable. It is after we have joined that we can put our point of view and perhaps succeed in changing the rules or the practice more to our liking. Whether or not we succeed this time, it is a continuing part of policy for the steel industry to align itself to the practice and rules of the European steel industry. Whether we succeed or not, the Clause should be in the Bill. If we succeed, consultation will perhaps be succeeded by membership. If we do not succeed, we have a tremendous task to perform in bringing our steel industry and all sectors of our national life into line.
§ Mr. Mendelson
The hon. Gentleman is putting forward a very important doctrine which should be clear on the record. Does what he is saying mean that, because we are engaging in a probing operation which the Government hope will lead to negotiations and entry into the Common Market, all the mandate that the Government received from the people at the last General Election must be abandoned forthwith and all the engagements we have undertaken with the electorate must not be proceeded with?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. If the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) were to answer that at length, he would be quite out of order.
§ Mr. Ridley
I will answer it, Mr. Speaker, shortly with the single word, "No". I would hate to stray out of order by answering that lengthy interjection. The argument the hon. Gentleman used can be dealt with by quoting a statement the Minister made in Committee:I quite understand that there can be argument about whether we should or should not enter the European Economic Community, but it is rather different argument to say that, before we join—if we do—on terms we do not know, our legislation in this country should be tailored to meet that hypothetical situation."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee D: 17th November, 1966, c. 722.]This is the crux of the difference between those of us who believe that it is vital to be a member of the Community and those rather hesitant hon. Members who will only have it on their own terms. I think I can safely say, as the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) is 677 not here, that the majority of the Members in tie Chamber at present are in the first category. It is not a question of seeing whether we can get in from time to time. We must take to heart the lessons of the failures of the past. When we consider the steel industry—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. This looks suspiciously like drifting into a discussion about whether we should join the Common Market. The hon. Member must link what he says to this new Clause, which asks that the Government seek contact with the European Coal and Steel Community.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Ridley
I will conclude by saying that the task of shaping the steel industry to be acceptable to the Coal and Steel Community is one of the great opportunities which the Organising Committee and the Minister will have when the Bill becomes law. To my mind, this is the only really great opportunity in an otherwise miserable exercise. It seems extraordinary, when they are seeking to join, that they have made no effort to ascertain what this means in terms of reorganising our steel industry, and have not written into the Bill the need to consult, and the need to adopt European practice and regulations.
I believe that nobody in Europe or in this country who believes in a wider Europe is satisfied with the Government's attitude. I certainly am not, unless they are prepared to accept this Clause.
§ Mr. Michael Alison (Barkston Ash)
I support my right hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber), and my hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley), on this very important matter. I shall try to stick as closely as I can to the precise terms of the Clause, and address myself particularly to subsections (2) and (3), which relate to the duty of the Corporation to give advice and information to the Minister.
It seems to me that in the Bill we have something of a carte blanche. There are a number of permissive, rather vague, general provisions. For example, there is the new Clause, which we discussed yesterday, about the publication of prices. There is an enormous area still to be covered. There is the whole question of 678 the pricing system. We cannot but believe that the Government have some very fundamental ideas about pricing. If they do not, certainly the Organising Committee must have, but nothing has been spelled out about this.
There is a whole range of new development which the Organising Committee has to spell out. There is the question of the merging of existing steelworks into larger groups, the question of subdivision specialisation, and so on. There are many things which the Organising Committee, and ultimately the Corporation, will have to put into effect, and all that we are pleading for is the reasonable proposition that it should be obligatory on the Corporation to consider the impact which its proposals are likely to have on the sort of steel industry into which we might have to fit when we go into Europe.
It is self-evident that as things stand now there are considerable differences between the pricing system in this country, and the broad principles governing that of the Coal and Steel Community. Its fundamental guide lines are nondiscrimination, and what is technically known as transparency, that is, the possibility of all buyers and consumers knowing precisely all the terms and conditions of all sellers. The Community has the necessity of the basing point system of publication of prices. We regard it as essential that the Organising Committee should consider the system in operation on the Continent before it decides what system to devise in this country.
We know that the British steel industry as it exists now has given some thought to an E.C.S.C.—like pricing system. There is its zonal plan, with the idea of somehow compensating for the rather shorter hauls that we have in this country, and the absence of published freight rates, and so on. Ideas like this have been bruited around, but we want to make certain, by the acceptance of this Clause, that the Committee will consider what is going on on the Continent, and keep the Minister informed about the relationship between its proposals and those into which we might have to fit if we go into Europe.
I am particularly concerned about the way in which the pricing system will work, especially with regard to some of the ramifications of transport charges. This 679 will be one of the most interesting comparisons between the way in which we shall have to develop if we go into Europe, and the way in which the European system works.
§ Mr. O'Malley
Will the hon. Gentleman explain why the Opposition are so eager to introduce into this country a system of pricing which does not work on the Continent? One useful result could be achieved by passing that kind of information to the British steel industry, if it does not already know it. It should be told that the system in Europe is not working. Why should we have a system which has broken down elsewhere?
§ Mr. Alison
The hon. Gentleman seems repeatedly to argue that, simply because the Community has met with difficulties in remarkable circumstances, these difficulties will exist when circumstances change. At the moment, the Community is facing, difficulties not dissimilar to those with which the British steel industry is having to contend. There is a considerable softening of the market.
This does not mean that the whole system has been torpedoed. Difficulties are being experienced in Europe, but it is not certain that they are insurmountable. In fact, I think that they will be surmounted. I know that there are many new tendencies there, such as cartelisation, and so on. They are considering the major proposals in Germany to merge 31 firms into four big groups. We do not know what the results will be, but I believe that the principles of the Coal and Steel Community, namely, nondiscrimination, transparency, and competition, will be preserved.
The Community will be able to preserve the principles on which the original project was based, even though there may be variations in detail—import protection, extension of the money margins, and so on. It is not certain that all this will be torpedoed. These problems will assuredly be solved on the Continent. If they could get the Coal and Steel Community into existence under post-war conditions, they will be able to adapt it to meet present conditions, and we want to make sure that the British steel industry conforms in broad terms with the sort of pattern which is likely to emerge on the Continent.
§ Mr. O'Malley
We have an opportunity within the British steel industry to organise a pricing system on the basis of the experience gained from the Continent. De novo, we in this country have the opportunity of developing a system which could be the envy of Europe, and which Europe might want to follow.
§ Mr. Alison
I agree that we should consider developing something if we are starting a new pattern which will be fresh and novel, but I urge the Minister and the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) to bear in mind the fact that the future prosperity of the British steel industry will lie largely in exporting, and in operating in larger markets.
If the hon. Gentleman thinks that he can solve and evolve a British steel industry pricing system within the context of the United Kingdom market, with a growth rate which is negative, if not actually static, and with a utilisation capacity of 75 per cent., and that we can build it up into a self-contained operation in this island, he is mistaken. We must consider what is happening in Europe, and in fact all over the world, because that is where we will have to trade. They will try to push their products into this country, and we will have to try to push ours into theirs.
§ Mr. Ridley
If we develop a sensible pricing system, as the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) suggests, it will help if the Clause is accepted, because it will enable the Europeans to find out all about it from us.
§ Mr. Alison
I take the point made by my hon. Friend. We want there to be an awareness of what is going on. We want that sort of attitude of mind. We want a recognition which was noticeably left out by the Prime Minister in his original announcement that he meant when he talked about going into Europe. There seems to be a lack of awareness that the Treaty of Paris, as well as the Treaty of Rome, are part and parcel of what we shall have to adapt ourselves to, and what the Government will have to adapt themselves to. This is quite different from the problem of British agriculture. We have had an enormous amount of discussion about the adaptation of Britain in terms of agricultural change, but that is nothing like as serious as the adaptation necessary in terms of British steel, but nobody mentions that fact.
§ Mr. Winterbottom
—as to the point at which in our negotiations for entry into the Community there will be discussions about anything in the Bill before us, or how the hon. Member arrives at the conclusion that the prices difficulty will affect negotiations for entry into that body, when most of these things are unknown at present. Is not it a figment of his imagination?
§ Mr. Alison
I am not sure whether or not the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Winterbottom) had been laid low by the time we reached this subject in Committee, but he will recollect that one of the most important discussions was about the prices at which the assets of the steel industry would be taken over.
§ Mr. Alison
If the hon. Member is right in his claim that he was not sick al the time, it is plain that he was rapidly sickening. It is self-evident that some of the provisions of the Bill will profoundly sour the prospect of a successful application by the United Kingdom to enter the Common Market—especially the power to reduce prices of exports by reason of the lower capital debt which the Corporation will be saddled with when it takes over. The general attitude of mind that we want to reassert and re-emphasise continually is that when we come face to face with President de Gaulle across the conference table—which the Prime Minister will presently have to do—the President will not be concerned about what is written even into the Treaty of Rome, let alone the Treaty of Paris. He will not really be concerned with what is written into some of the Schedules and minor parts of the Bill. What he will be concerned with, as he was at the time of the Polaris deal, when he discussed the question of our accession with Mr. Macmillan, is the general trend of imports on Britain's accession.
We believe that it is crucial for the Prime Minister and the Government to realise that if the Common Market is to digest the biggest single monolithic steel- 682 producing unit, representing over 20 per cent. of total steel production in Europe, it is incumbent upon the Government to lean over backwards to show that in everything they propose in connection with any change in the British steel industry they will have some cognisance of the impact it will have on the Continent, and the way in which we shall be able to fit our steel industry into this complex in a constructive and productive way. It is on this matter that we want the Minister to give us a reasonably fair hearing.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
The right hon. Gentleman was in Luxembourg on Friday, 13th January, 1967. I preceded him by 48 hours, no doubt considering many of the points that he had been considering and consulting various people that he had consulted about the difficult and delicate matter of the impact of steel nationalisation upon Britain's tentative approach to entering the European Economic Community. The new Clause is concerned only with measures for consultations. I shall not stray very far into Common Market economic and financial arguments, but I must preface my remarks in that context by pronouncing my own view in clear and unmistakable terms, which is that the nationalisation of the British steel industry is totally and utterly incompatible with membership of the European Coal and Steel Community.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ The Minister of Power (Mr. Richard Marsh)
At the moment, as hon. Members know, statements like that which the hon. Gentleman has just made could be unhelpful to the sort of thing that we want to achieve. I ask him to clarify the point that he has made. He was in Luxembourg and the High Authority was there at the time. Can he name a single official of the High Authority who expressed the view that he has just put forward?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Eric Fletcher)
The hon. Member ought not to do that. He has said that the economics of our joining the European Community are not in order on the Clause, and he is right. He has prefaced his remarks by indicating his general 683 belief, and it would be quite wrong to pursue that matter any further.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I shall not be tempted by the right hon. Gentleman. There will be future opportunities to answer him, and I am never short of opportunities in these matters. I prefer Mr. Speaker to have ants in his pants when he is listening to my speeches—metaphorically speaking.
I now return to the issue of consultation. My hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) quoted from one of the earlier debates in Committee, and I want to quote part of the debate that is the nub of the matter in regard to consultation. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology, answering the Common Market consultation debate, said:That actual arrangements made with the High Authority in 1954 were, of course, met by an exchange of letters between the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) and the then President of the High Authority, and the Government certainly intend to reopen negotiations in order to bring this exchange of letters up to date. In particular, the Government intend to propose to the High Authority that as from vesting date the Iron and Steel Board member of the Council of the Association should be replaced by a member of the National Steel Corporation. I say that in answer to the hon. Member for Worcestershire. South."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. Standing Committee D. 15th December. 1967, c. 2453.]I claim that consultation in the form stipulated in the quotation is entirely inadequate for our needs. The British steel industry, whether in private hands or nationalised, is intimately concerned with the steel industry of Western Europe, and it is significant that although hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite often decry the efficiency of our steel industry in private hands, it has, notwithstanding intense world competition, maintained during the last few years its share of world markets for export, excluding consumption in this country. Does the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) challenge this?
§ Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)
The leading company in this country in the export of British steel is the publicly-owned company of Richard Thomas and Baldwins.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Richard Thomas and Baldwins have lost £12 million in the last two years. It is the only British steel company to lose money—no doubt aided and abetted by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot).
§ Mr. John Nott (St. Ives)
Does my hon. Friend agree that if steel companies such as Richard Thomas and Baldwins were to charge prices below world prices, thus sustaining large losses, it would then not be very difficult for them to maintain export levels?
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott). Penetration by British steel firms over the tariff wall into Europe at cut prices is likely to bring retaliation from the Community. I would want consultation for that and for many other reasons.
I want to return to the intervention of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale. Britain has maintained its share of world markets. The Benson Report quotes percentages of 12.7 in 1956, 12.5 in 1960 and 12.2 in 1964—the last published figure. The European Coal and Steel Community, excluding inter-trading, shows figures for 1956 of 53.1 per cent; 1960, 54.7 per cent.; 1964, 42.8 per cent.
So Britain and the European Coal and Steel Community between them had in 1964 55 per cent. of world export markets for steel and the only—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale is abysmal in his ignorance of the principal industry in his constituency. He should go back to Ebbw Vale and learn the economics of steel. He was better placed in Plymouth, among the West Countrymen talking about strawberries, celery, cucumbers and tomatoes. I will deal with the hon. Gentleman in a moment.
I repeat—55 per cent. of the world steel export markets are shared between the West European Community and Britain and we are holding our world markets. The very thin, tenuous link of consultation between this important Community and the nationalised British industry, we are told, according to the quotation from Committee, is to be a single member of the Corporation. That is all. He will be answerable to the Minister and it is doubtful whether we shall be able to extract more information from the Minister about the activities
685 of the Community through the single British representative on it, a member of the Corporation, than the information extracted from the right hon. Gentleman on the evening of Friday, 13th January, 1967, at London Airport, when questioned by the B.B.C.—
§ Sir G. Nabarro
As I listened to the right hon. Gentleman's comment on the B.B.C., which was innocuous, nasal and poorly delivered, I am sure that I am not mistaken in this matter.
I now want to turn to the major issue raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber)—the dominant position which would be occupied by the British steel industry, if nationalised, and if Britain were successful in joining the Common Market, inevitably involving us in signing the Treaty of Paris.
What the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale does not understand is that, out of 110 million ingot tons of steel produced in the Common Market, only 7.4 million are produced by a nationalised undertaking, and that is a part of the Italian steel industry. The other 93 per cent. is privately owned. If Britain goes in, with her nationalised steel industry with a capacity of 30 million ingot tons, that would bring the total to something more than 20 per cent. of the total capacity of the Common Market and would be utterly unacceptable to the High Authority.
686 It is for that reason that the consultation ought now to be strengthened. The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale challenged the respectability of my remarks in this matter, as to why this consultation should be strengthened at this point and why a nationalised British steel industry is incompatible with our entry into Europe. I can give the respectable support for my comment. The hon. Gentleman will know, as a representative of a steel-making constituency—South Worcestershire does not make any steel, but I have spent much of my life in association with the steel industry in a non-political context—
§ Mr. Manuel
I was not referring to the hon. Gentleman himself being impossible, but I was saying that it was impossible for him to be non-political.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
The characteristic of the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel) is to absent himself from the Chamber for long periods and, in his infrequent incursions into the Chamber, to remain sedentary and shout at speakers on this side. I deplore his habits.
I now quote the respectable support for my view. The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, as a representative of a steel-making constituency, will, of course, know the journal Steel International.—
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I am glad that the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Winterbottom) recognises it. The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale has never read it, evidently. Had he read the issue for November-December, he would have found these pregnant words in full and unequivocal support for what I have already said to the House:Once so effective and so promising, the E.C.S.C. is now going through a very bad patch. In the emergency, it has been suggested that its High Authority should be vested with executive rights of sanction. It should invoke its special reserve powers to limit steel output.687 This is why consultation at this minute is so important.It is at this threatening juncture that the British Government has resolved to carry the country into the European Economic Community, and the British steel industry, by the same token, into the E.C.S.C. From a narrow point of view, there are many, in a different political camp from Mr. Harold Wilson and his friends, who would consider such a departure fortuitously very fortunate. A completely State owned and controlled steel industry would be incompatible with membership of the E.C.S.C. The Labour Government's proposed National Steel Corporation would not rank for entry. As an out-and-out State dependency it would have no place in the steel scheme of things in the E.E.C. When Mr. Edward Heath was essaying to get Britain into the Common Market, some years back, it came out that, in the event of his success, the Iron and Steel Board would have to go. It just would not fit in with the proposed new arrangements.That joining the E.E.C., and thus the European Coal and Steel Community would put at naught"—This is the answer to the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson)—the Labour Government's plans for taking over the British steel industry may or may not already have been considered by Mr. Harold Wilson and his friends and advisers. On the score that the lesser must be sacrificed to the greater, it would he a handy way of giving up these plans and still saving face'.for the Labour Government—
§ Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)
On a point of order. Hon. Members opposite apparently have no intention of making speeches for themselves, but seem to intervene in nearly every speech from this side. Would it not be better for them to make their own contributions instead of constantly intervening?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
No, that is not a point of order. If the hon. Member Who is addressing the House chooses to give way, it is in accordance with the traditions of the House.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
For fear that I should lose control of the Floor, I would utter a few words. I now give way to the hon. Member for Brightside.
§ Mr. Winterbottom
In respect of the article from which the hon. Gentleman quoted, I respectfully point out that it was by a contributor and did not express either the official or the unofficial 688 opinion of the High Authority. It is not only an opinion of the contributor, but also an opinion largely shared in steel circles on the Continent by the authors of Le Plan Professionel, which has dominated the French steel industry for some time. This ought to be explained completely to get the full impact of what the hon. Member is saying.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. We cannot pursue this topic on this particular Amendment. We must confine the debate to the merits of the exchange of information.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I am deeply grateful to have your support, Mr. Deputy Speaker, as so many of these interventions from hon. Members opposite are irrelevant.
I was asked for public support for my statement that nationalised steel in this country was incompatible with—
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I shall not pursue it, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have quoted what I wanted to quote. It is not an opinion; it is commentary in a journal editorial, and a very valid one, too.
I conclude my comments by saying that it would be wise to strengthen our consultative links with the European Coal and Steel Community at the earliest date. The present arrangements are totally inadequate. The new Clause would greatly strengthen this consultative machinery, and for that reason I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will, if necessary, press this matter to a Division.
No doubt, we shall be opposed by Labour Members who are faithful to the nostrum, the shibboleth, the sacred cow of steel nationalisation, but I have succeeded in my purpose. Not only is consultative machinery essential, in the most intimate sense, between the European Coal and Steel Community and the British Iron and Steel Corporation, but the underlying factor has now been powerfully brought out in this debate that nationalised steel in Britain is utterly incompatible with the Prime Minister's efforts to enter Europe.
§ Mr. R. Gresham Cooke (Twickenham)
I want to make one point which 689 has not been fully brought out in the debate so far. The greatest problem at present facing the steel industries of the world, and particularly the steel industries of Europe and this country, is overcapacity. We have falling production, and only about 70 per cent. or perhaps under 70 per cent. of our steel capacity is being used. Equally, there is a great problem in Europe at present, and, of course, also in America. Yet we have plans in this country for plunging ahead. The Government may well have plans for increasing our capacity from 27 million to 35 million tons, or figures like that, in the next seven to ten years.
That is the kind of policy that the Labour Government would love to follow, because their criticism of the steel industry over the years has always been that it has not increased its capacity fast enough. In the 1960s, in response to thoughts of that kind, the steel industry increased its capacity very greatly, yet today in Sheffield and in other centres it is having to put men off because of over-capacity, and the production is not now required.
This is a problem that will face us very strongly in Europe. That is why I would like to see the very closest links between ourselves and Europe. What is the point of Europe going ahead and increasing capacity and our doing the same? I support this new Clause because it is so important at this moment to improve our links with Europe and to have the closest consultation; otherwise we shall find our steel industry with great over-capacity in the next few years, with consequent unemployment.
§ Mr. J. Bruce-Gardyne (South Angus)
I support this most important new Clause. I hope very much that the Minister will accept it as it seems to me to be of considerable psychological importance.
When a similar Clause was discussed in Committee, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology, who has now unfortunately left us again after his brief appearance, gave rather insubstantial reasons for rejecting it. The most substantial appeared to be that,To make such provisions with reference to one particular subject on which the relations between the Minister and the Corporation would have to be developed would be to suggest that other subjects on which the Minister will be dealing with the Corporation are in 690 some way less important."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee D, 15th December, 1966; c. 2453.]I can think of few subjects at present which are more important than the nature of our relationship with the European Community, which all of us on this side of the House at least, and some hon. Members on the other side, are hoping to join.
As several of my hon. Friends have already pointed out, the mere introduction of this Bill has immeasurably complicated and reduced the prospect of our entry into the European Community. I am afraid there is no doubt about this. My right hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber) pointed out in Committee, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology did not dispute it in replying to the debate, that in the High Authority's interpretation, the size of the National Steel Corporation would be far in excess of the 10 per cent. of the market which the High Authority considers acceptable. The Parliamentary Secretary simply said:The way in which the High Authority from time to time chooses to interpret the provisions of the Treaty is a matter for negotiation."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee D, 15th December, 1966; c. 2455]To my mind, this is to dismiss the objection rather lightly. This is one of the many matters on which the Front Bench opposite have some learning to do in the months ahead if they mean serious negotiation.
The other objection which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology raised to the similar Clause in Committee was that it was not really necessary anyway, because at this time we hoped to enter the European Community ourselves. It is true that, if we are successful in our approach to the European Community, then, obviously, the need for the form of consultation which the Clause is designed to achieve disappears. But I am bound to tell the Minister, having returned last week from Paris, and having had a number of discussions with some of the senior French officials most closely involved, that I regard the chances of this hope being realised during the course of the coming months, or at all under the present Administration, as remote. I regret to say that, but I think it is true. If this 691 negotiation fails—and it will fail because, basically, the Prime Minister lacks credibility as a European—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I have said that we cannot pursue in this debate the merits of the negotiation about joining the European Community. We can discuss only the desirability of the new Clause dealing with consultation.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I entirely accept that, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My point in making that statement was that at a time like this it is essential that we demonstrate our European credibility, and the new Clause is designed to do precisely that.
§ Mr. Peter Kirk (Saffron Walden)
There is a further point. If my hon. Friend is correct in his forecast, and I am afraid he is, this consultation becomes absolutely vital.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I was coming to that. It is the second barrel of support for the new Clause. The first barrel is that it would be a psychological gesture, so to speak, a demonstration that we are thinking and the Government are thinking in European terms, and—heaven knows—this is needed urgently. For that reason above all, I hope that the Minister will accept the new Clause. There is no reason why he should not.
As my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Kirk) has just pointed out, the second leg of the argument is that if, as I fear, the negotiation fails, the provisions of the new Clause will become absolutely vital. We shall then be outside the European Community for another two or three years until right hon. Gentlemen opposite have departed. We must be in a position to resume the negotiation successfully under a different Government, and we must in the interval maintain the closest possible consultation with the Coal and Steel Community.
I shall not go over the arguments about the need for consultation between the National Steel Corporation and the Coal and Steel Community which have already been admirably put by my hon. Friends. But I have one question to put to the Minister. If he is determined to resist the 692 Clause, will he explain precisely how consultation between the National Steel Corporation and the Coal and Steel Community is to be effectively assured? We have had no proper answer to that question either in Committee or in the brief and occasional interruptions from the benches opposite today.
I emphasise the great psychological importance of the new Clause. Whatever the Minister's feeling about our approach to the European Community may be and whatever the well known feelings of his hon. Friends may be, the country as a whole regards it as vital that the negotiations should succeed. He should, therefore, accept a new Clause of this kind which can only help the negotiation to succeed.
When I saw the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leyton (Mr. Gordon Walker) sitting on the Government Front Bench yesterday and also this afternoon, I was mindful of his new function as general Cabinet co-ordinator of the Government's chaos. In the context of this debate, the nationalisation of steel, on the one hand, and our entry into the Common Market, on the other, we see the utter lack of co-ordination within the Government. This is the main reason why the new Clause should be accepted now. Consultation on the relationship between the High Authority and the National Steel Corporation is vital, whether we enter the Common Market by the current negotiations or not.
The answers we had from the Minister yesterday to new Clauses 1 and 4, on pricing policy and on competition, were very depressing to us. To the High Authority they would be absolute anathema. If the Minister imagines that the answers which he gave would be beneficial to our entry, he is in need of the very information which the new Clause seeks to provide, information from the Corporation on the facts of life regarding the relationship between the High Authority and ourselves.
If we took our steel industry into the Common Market as one grouping, this country would produce 22 to 25 per cent. of its total output of steel. So far as I am aware, there is not at present a single producer within the Common Market under one control producing more than 8 or 9 million tons. Therefore, if we 693 succeed in entering the Common Market, it will be essential for the groupings within our industry to be not more than of the order of 10 million tons or so. It is fundamental to the principles of the Treaty of Paris that no company shall possess such a concentration of power as to make competition meaningless. The Phoenix Rheinruhr Thyssen merger was, I understand, held up by the High Authority for nearly two years principally because the combined companies would have had an output of about 8 million tons, yet we are talking here about our total output of about 30 million tons.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Winterbottom
The French steel industry has recently completed the first part of a reorganisation which gives a much bigger output in many of the French steel factories—in fact, it has been subsidised by the French Government—yet this has not been challenged by the High Authority. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman is speaking from hopeful imagination rather than from full knowledge of the facts.
§ Mr. Nott
I am not aware of the actual output of individual factories in the French steel industry, but I am quite sure that, from the point of view of control, which is what we are talking about here, there is no one French grouping under one control producing more than 10 million tons. If I am wrong, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will give me its name.
The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) referred earlier, as did my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro)—this raises another reason why consultation is essential —to the Italian steel industry. Although the Italian nationalised steel industry produces about 8 million tons, it is not under the sort of control which our industry will be under if the Bill goes through. Italsider and Finsider, the two Government controlled Italian steel companies have a substantial element of public shareholding in them, so that even to that extent they are dissimilar from what our National Steel Corporation would look like. Apart from that, even if one were to take in Fiat and the other Italian producers in addition to Italsider and Finsider, still the output of steel in Italy as 694 a whole would not amount to more than 12 million tons, yet we are talking here of our national output under one control of 30 million tons. The Italian steel industry, therefore, bears very little resemblance to what ours would look like were the Bill to go through.
We have discussed pricing policy and competition, two fundamentals within the Common Market, where there must be market transparency and re-alignment to competitive prices. These points do not seem to have been taken yet on the benches opposite. In addition, there is the whole question of the commencing capital debt of the Corporation, which was mentioned earlier. There is a strong probability that the High Authority will regard the substantial discount on asset value at which the Government are buying the steel companies as a hidden subsidy. [Laughter.] The hon. Member for Brightside (Mr. Winterbottom) may laugh, but that is true. When the Minister draws up a pro forma balance sheet of the National Steel Corporation, there will be a surplus on consolidation of about £350 million which can be used to write off the assets of the National Steel Corporation. If that takes place, the depreciation charged annually in the accounts of the National Steel Corporation will be about £25 million less, which will enable the prices of the steel products to be substantially reduced even further below the prices which now prevail in the Common Market. Therefore, this is just one other reason why we consider the new Clause to be vitally necessary. It does not appear to us that adequate consultation is taking place at present, that the relationship between the high authority and this country is being adequately regarded. For that reason, and in the context of the current negotiations, we very much hope that the Minister will accept the Clause.
§ Mr. Michael Shaw (Scarborough and Whitby)
I rise only to assure the right hon. Gentleman that we would like a different reply from that which we had in Committee. We do not believe that to say that the conditions are now different because we are actually negotiating with a view to getting into the Common Market is an adequate objection to the introduction of the Clause, or a similar Clause.
695 Has the Minister any specific objections to its wording? Are there any aspects of it to which he takes objection? Are there any parts of it which he would not in any case carry out, whether or not the Clause became part of the Bill? All we are trying to do is to ensure that what he regards as good and normal practice will be carried on when he is no longer in his present position. I am sure that he would think that to be very reasonable. Such Clauses have been operated in the past with success and with benefit, and should be carried on in the future.
§ Mr. Marsh
This has been an interesting debate for a number of reasons. Every hon. Gentleman opposite who has spoken has expressed his undying desire to see Britain's entry into the European Economic Community, and has given a long list of reasons why the Government's practices would disqualify it from membership. One hon. Gentleman opposite even gave us an insight into conversations he had in Paris recently, in which he discussed these very problems which face British entry. They might well have complained if at the time the last Government was attempting to negotiate—I say "attempting" because they were dreadfully unsuccessful—Labour Members had been carrying on discussions with foreign Governments on the impediments to British entry.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will withdraw that disgraceful and totally unjustified statement. What I was discussing in Paris and trying to find out was the conditions on which the French Government might regard Britain as acceptable, and I took every opportunity to state the great importance of British entry from the point of view of both Britain and France.
§ Mr. Marsh
I am not attempting to be controversial, because there is now complete unanimity between both sides of the House. Her Majesty's Government are now committed to examining the possibility and implications of British membership of the European Economic Community. That is what hon. and right hon. Members opposite want. All I am am saying is that if there are groups of people in Europe who do not want British entry into the Community and 696 who would look for reasons and arguments as to why Britain should not enter, they would find a pretty good case by just reading this afternoon's debate word for word. Hon. Members must have their own standards about these things and decide which is the best way of obtaining British entry.
§ Mr. Ridley
Does the Minister remember that when the last application was made speech after speech and attack after attack against the whole principle came from his party?
§ Mr. Ridley
Will the right hon. Gentleman compare that with the massive support he is now receiving from this side of the House to try to help him achieve his Government's policy?
§ Mr. Marsh
I am merely commenting on the discussion which has taken place. I think the whole argument has been that the Bill as it stands makes British entry into the European Economic Community difficult to well-nigh impossible. There is another argument which follows and which as my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) has pointed out, is very important. That is the significant argument as to how far the Government, engaged in negotiations, should go in drawing up its legislation now in the terms of rules laid down by organisations of which it is not a part, which have rules for their own convenience and in which the Government have no say.
I should have thought that the Government at the moment must embark on legislation designed to meet the purposes they regard as necessary for the welfare of the British economy and people generally. If subsequently they proceed to negotiate with the Community for British entry there will be a number of problems to settle. That is what negotiation is all about. When one negotiates one works on the assumption that one has something to offer the other chap and tries to work out an arrangement which will suit both parties. One does not argue that one has no right to views of one's own.
The suggestion that there is something indecent in our drawing up a Bill which will present difficulties for entry is an 697 extraordinary constitutional argument. It is a problem closely aligned with that of whether the dangers of failure are so high that the need to have contingency planning and the circulation and obtaining of information on this become a matter of argument. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say that the present position is so dangerous and difficult that we must have contingency planning on the assumption that we might not get in.
§ Mr. Barber
That is not our case. The case was that it is the simplest thing in the world for the right hon. Gentleman to accept the Clause. That would have saved an hour's debate and we could have got on with the real business.
§ Mr. Marsh
I do not think that that is so. For example, any of these national organisations present difficulty when one joins an international community. It is no secret that the National Coal Board presents difficulties. The Coal Board presented difficulties last time, and the Iron and Steel Board presented difficulties. When the party opposite was in office the then Minister of Power, the right hon. Member for Bridlington (Mr. Wood) said in answer to a supplementary Question:The position is that these powers,"—of the Iron and Steel Board—…are clearly incompatible with the treaty of Paris."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1962; Vol. 668, c. 932.]The Government then did not wind up the Board as a result. They assumed that this was something they would have to argue.
§ Mr. O'Malley
Is it not also true that the proposals put forward by the British Iron and Steel Federation on the eve of the Second Reading of the Bill were also incompatible with the Treaty?
§ Mr. Marsh
I do not think that there is any doubt that the Iron and Steel Board is incompatible with the Treaty as it stands. The Federation's proposals for a sort of high authority within the industry at that time would also have been a matter of great difficulty. I accept that the Bill also presents difficulties. In exactly the same way the National Coal Board presents difficulties.
I was in Luxembourg at this time last week to discuss with the European Coal 698 and Steel Community our mutual problems. I led a delegation including the Chairman of the National Coal Board and some of his officials. We discussed reports drawn up after discussions between the European Coal and Steel Community and officials of the Coal Board. We had with us the Chairman of the Iron and Steel Board, sir Cyril Musgrave, who also had his officials with him. All the reports were presented to the Council of Association as joint reports —on the one hand an official of the High Authority and on the other an official of the National Coal Board or the Iron and Steel Board.
Therefore, very close and real consultation exists. When the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (sir G. Nabarro) says that we cannot live in isolation from the Continent and that what we do in terms of steel is affected by what the Continent does, he is right. Nobody disputes it for a moment; it would be absurd to do so. That is why we have this close and continuing consultation.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Nott
Is it not true to say that in the new Clauses that were debated yesterday and in this new Clause all that the Opposition are seeking is recognition on the part of the Minister of the problems of pricing policy, competition and so on which exist? That is all that we are basically seeking recognition of. But so far the Minister has not agreed with any of these points.
§ Mr. Marsh
I can assure the hon. Member that when negotiations begin there will be so many people who will be prepared to point out all the difficulties to us that we do not need the Opposition to join in as well. We know what the difficulties are; everybody does.
The first point, therefore, is that the consultation takes place.
The second point is that there were two other items on the agenda for the meeting with the European Coal and Steel Community which hon. Gentlemen opposite want to write into the Bill and which I suggest are already in the Bill. These items were placed on the agenda as a result of submissions by the British. One item concerned world steel prices. The meeting decided to set up a continuing collaboration between officials from 699 Britain and officials of the High Authority. This is no exchange of circulars. It is an active working together between officials of the High Authority and the British Government. The second item on the agenda—
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin (Wanstead & Woodford)
With regard to that first item, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that what he and his officials were engaged on in Luxembourg in that connection was regulating international trade to provide a cosy home market at the expense of export opportunities, which is what his predecessor accused the industry of in the debate on 9th November, 1964?
§ Mr. Marsh
Hon. Gentlemen opposite started this, arguing that they wanted collaboration with the European Coal and Steel Community. The first attempt to get that collaboration has been welcomed by the European Coal and Steel Community and by British industry, and now the first sour note is sounded by one of the official spokesmen of the Opposition.
The second item on the agenda—placed there at our request—was the nationalisation of the British Iron and Steel industry. We discussed this in specific terms with the High Authority. In that discussion not one member of the High Authority raised any suggestion that the nationalisation of the British iron and steel industry was a factor which would prevent Britain joining the European Economic Community, and no one made any speech at any time which had anywhere near the degree of difficulty and virulence to be found in the speeches from the Opposition benches. [Interruption.] I am stating a fact. All that I am saying can easily be checked. I do not make mis-statements in public. The arguments and difficulties raised in this House are not raised when one meets foreigners who are involved in these matters.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
As the Treaty of Paris in this matter is absolutely explicit as to the 10 per cent. clause, and as the British nationalised steel industry would represent more than 20 per cent., then if no objection was raised in Luxembourg presumably it means that the Prime Minister will be able to dictate to General 700 de Gaulle that the Treaty of Paris is scrapped if we go in.
§ Mr. Marsh
No, but I can read the part that is important, and then when he has got time the hon. Member can read the rest of it himself.
The part that I propose to quote refers to the question of size, and size of itself is no more a barrier to British entry than ownership of itself is. This is Article 66. It states that:the High Authority is empowered to address to public or private enterprises which, in law or in fact, have or acquire on the market for one of the products subject to its jurisdiction a dominating position which protects them from effective competition in a substantial part of the common market, any recommendation required to prevent the use of that position for purposes contrary to those of this Treaty.The argument is not the question of size of itself. It is a difficult and complex series of negotiations, and the way in which the organisation operates is one of the factors.
§ Mr. Marsh
If the hon. Gentleman is correct, it will be an unusual experience for him, and he should enjoy it.
Let me deal with the position that we already face. Of course, the British steel industry under public ownership will be larger than any Continental competitor. But the production of the National Coal Board at the moment is equal to the production of the whole of the Six. The Corporation's production will represent only one-quarter of the combined steel production of the United Kingdom and the Six. I am dealing with this matter only because it was raised at such length by so many hon. Members opposite, and my purpose is to say, to begin with, that there is nothing in the Iron and Steel Bill which prevents British entry into the European Community. If Britain does not join the European Economic Community, whatever the reason is, it certainly will not be because of the Iron and Steel Bill.
701 I turn now to some of the specific reasons for not accepting the new Clause.
§ Mr. Alison
The right hon. Gentleman said "there is nothing in the Bill". There is nothing in the Bill about the future shape or pattern of the British steel industry. This is being left to the Organising Committee. One of the provisions in the new Clause is to suggest that the Minister should write in the need for this consultation between the Corporation and himself vis-à-vis Europe. Of course he could not discuss it with the Europeans, because he does not know what the facts are going to be.
§ Mr. Marsh
I am grateful for that intervention. The point made by the right hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber) was fair, that proposals of this type appeared in the Iron and Steel Act, 1953. But the position here is very different. The position of the Corporation is quite different from that of the Iron and Steel Board. The position of the Corporation is much more similar to that of the National Coal Board than to that of the Iron and Steel Board.
As was said earlier by my colleague who is now the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology, it is my intention to have consultations with the High Authority with a view to amendment of the exchange of letters between the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) and the then President of the High Authority, and to propose that as from vesting day a member of the Corporation shall become an actual member of the Council of Association.
We have had a debate of a certain length—I will not say a long one. This is a subject about which I know hon. Gentlemen opposite feel strongly. If the intention is that the British nationalised steel industry should have close and continuing contacts and consultations with the European Coal and Steel Community, those are taking place now on specific issues. I am surprised that hon. Gentlement opposite did not know this. It is inconceivable that they should not take place. How could we possibly talk about our own problems of surplus capacity without having such discussions?
§ Mr. Marsh
The hon. Gentleman keeps asking why I do not accept the new Clause. It would be pointless to put into the Bill statements about everything that we already do and that everybody else knows that we do, and that is taken without argument, anyway. Also, we do not want the Corporation to have the same relationships with European Coal and Steel Community as the Iron and Steel Board, because it is a different body from the Iron and Steel Board. It should be recognised that the Corporation is a body —not just a Government agency, but a commercial undertaking—which is operating and has consultations with the European Coal and Steel Community in its own right. This is, of course, what the Corporation will do.
Our relationship with the European Coal and Steel Community is a very important subject. A belief that any British Government would or could, in or out of the Common Market, act independently of those on the Continent is fallacious. If there is any belief in the House that whether we enter or do not enter the Common Market will be determined on the basis of the nationalisation of iron and steel, that, too, is fallacious.
On the surface, the new Clause is simple, calling for the circulation of information and for consultations. But information is already circulated and the consultations already take place. I recognise the right of the Opposition to raise what they want to raise, whether they embarrass the Government or not, but it is unfortunate perhaps at this stage that we had to have this debate, related not merely to consultation but including a long and exaggerated catalogue of difficulties which, it is claimed, the Bill presents to British membership of the Common Market.
§ Mr. Barber
I am not surprised that the Minister's speech was testy, because he is very conscious of the fact that what he is doing, not only in this Bill but in his statements, about the future organisation of the industry is incompatible with the European system and will make the Prime Minister's task of getting into Europe just that much more difficult. That is why he so carefully skated round the arguments put by my hon. Friends and myself and singularly failed to answer the criticisms made.
703 The right hon. Gentleman started by saying that all the speakers on the Opposition side wanted to get Britain into the Common Market. He could not say that of his own supporters. I suppose I shall be told that I am making life more difficult for the Prime Minister in his negotiations if I point out that at least 50 or 60 or 100 or more hon. Members opposite do not want us to enter the Common Market.
To any Labour Left-wingers who happen to be present—most seem to have gone for the moment—I would say that their substantial objections to joining the Common Market will not affect the negotiations at all. They may have talked incessantly in debate, but never have they marched to take action against the Prime Minister. The result is that, whatever the Prime Minister wants to do, we can be sure that all the Left-wingers will go into the Lobby on this score with him and maintain their £3,000 a year salaries. That is the truth.
The right hon. Gentleman then said that he objected to my hon. Friends exposing the obstacles to our entry into Europe. How naive can he become? Does he think that the leaders of industry and politics in Europe have not a clue about the obstacles and do not understand them and that it is unpatriotic for anyone on this side or any leader writer in any newspaper to discuss the obstacles? This is as ridiculous as the Foreign Secretary used to be when debating economic affairs, saying that when we said anything reflecting badly on the economy we were "knocking sterling". He spoke as though people abroad did not know what the state of the economy was. My hon. Friends were right to raise the points they did.
The right hon. Gentleman then uttered a significant sentence. He said that he accepted that the Bill presented difficulties. That was an interesting admission, because it confirmed the basis of what we had been saying. The Minister is deliberately embarking on a course which will make it more difficult for us to join Europe. What are people on the Continent to think of a Government who, on the one hand, seek to join the Common Market while, on the other, 704 put forward domestic policies which will not make it easy for us to join?
§ Mr. Marsh
If negotiations take place all these issues will have to be negotiated. There is no difference between this Measure and the Measure which nationalised the coal industry in this respect. [Interruption.] This is a serious matter. The country is engaged in major international negotiations, and it is not unusual that a Minister should be allowed to say a few words on the subject. There is no specific point in this Bill which would prevent the entry of Britain into the Common Market. It produces the same sort of points which will have to be negotiated as, for example, the National Coal Board or any other concentration of industry of this type.
§ Mr. Barber
Perhaps in support of what I am saying I can quote another unpatriotic source, the Financial Times, of 23rd November, 1966. An article then stated:Some stiffening in the powers of the High Authority of the E.C.S.C. (which was set up, like the Steel Board in Britain, in conditions of steel scarcity) is probable, and this will be greatly complicated by the presence of the huge National Steel Corporation; unless the N.S.C. takes the form of three or four competing and largely autonomous groups, it could become an important stumbling block to Britain's entry into the Community.I suppose that Mr. Geoffrey Owen, the Industrial Editor of the Financial Times, will also be thought unpatriotic. Presumably it will also be said that he should not have raised this question now.
I did not say that the Bill or nationalisation as such were obstacles to our entry into Europe. I said that the expressed proposals for the organisation of the steel industry put forward by the right hon. Gentleman, his predecessor and the present Foreign Secretary, who is now going around Europe, without any doubt are in conflict with the European system. Of that there is no doubt.
I gave the figures. The right hon. Gentleman can talk to anyone in the E.C.S.C. and they will not deny what I have said. The right hon. Gentleman quoted from Article 66 of the Treaty of Paris. That was very interesting, for he did not quote the last few lines of the paragraph. This is something that will be of considerable interest to hon. Members opposite in particular. We all know that the phrase "dominant position" as 705 at present interpreted by the E.C.S.C. means something over 10 per cent., although it may change its practice. We would have 22 per cent. of the market if the Bill goes through as it is and the industry is organised as the right hon. Gentleman proposes. We would have a dominant position. This would not prevent us joining the E.C.S.C., but what would follow? I will quote the passage, missing out certain words which are not relevant in this context:…the High Authority is empowered to address to public or private enterprises which…have a dominant position which protects them from effective competition in a substantial part of the common market"—the United Kingdom is certainly a substantial part—any recommendations required to prevent the use of such position for purposes contrary to those of this Treaty. If such recommendations are not carried out satisfactorily within reasonable time, the High Authority willȆfix the prices and conditions of sale to be applied by the enterprise in question, or draw up production or delivery programmes which it must fulfil.That is significant. We can sign the Treaty of Paris and join the E.C.S.C. and have this great monolithic organisation that the right hon. Gentleman wants and which was advocated by his predecessor and the present Foreign Secretary. We can have all these things, but of course it will be not the Minister of Power but the High Authority of the E.C.S.C. which will fix the prices and the conditions of sale and draw up the delivery programmes for the British steel industry. If that is what hon. Members opposite want, all I can say is that I do not go along with them.
The final comment of the right hon. Gentleman was a complaint against my hon. Friend the Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Patrick Jenkin). The right hon. Gentleman complained because my hon. Friend had quoted a passage from a speech in a previous debate by the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor, who is now somewhere in the Department of Economic Affairs. The interesting thing about that is that when he was in Luxembourg a short time ago, according
§ to all the newspapers—and he never denied this—the right hon. Gentleman raised the question of a world steel conference, and he was applauded for doing so. The industry was delighted and we were all delighted, and we all thought that it was a very good thing.
But the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor, now somewhere in the Department of Economic Affairs, when Minister of Power, said:
The industry's attitude is exemplified by its demands for a world steel conference which would not…be concerned with reducing tariffs and increasing trade, but with regulating international trade to provide a cosy home market at the expense of export opportunities." [OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th November, 1964; Vol. 701, c. 683.]
§ It was not my hon. Friend who was doing a disservice to Britain and the British steel industry, but the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor when he made that speech in 1964. I do not expect him to do it, but if the right hon. Gentleman had to comment on that speech, he would, of course, immediately dissociate himself from it, because it was a scandalous thing to say at that time.
§ I have not gone over again the points which I raised when I moved the new Clause. I have dealt with the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman. I conclude by saying that we entirely reject his complaint against us on this side of the House, or anyone else who writes articles, or who speaks in the country and who sees fit to raise in public the obstacles to our entry into Europe and who seeks to educate the right hon. Gentleman, the Prime Minister and the rest of the Government to do the right thing if they genuinely want to get into Europe. The right hon. Gentleman did not deal with the substance of my speech in moving the new Clause. What he said was wholly unsatisfactory and I therefore advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to divide the House.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 226, Noes 305.711
|Division No. 236.]||AYES||[5.55 p.m.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Batsford, Brian||Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Black, Sir Cyril|
|Astor, John||Bell, Ronald||Blaker, Peter|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n A M'd'n)||Berry, Hn. Anthony||Body, Richard|
|Balniel, Lord||Bessell, Peter||Bossom, Sir clive|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Biggs-Davison, John||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Onslow, Cranley|
|Braine, Bernard||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Brewis, John||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hastings, Stephen||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hawkins, Paul||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hay, John||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Bryan, Paul||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus, N&M)||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Heseltine, Michael||Peel, John|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Higgins, Terence L.||Percival, Ian|
|Burden, F. A.||Hill, J. E. B.||Peyton, John|
|Campbell, Gordon||Hirst, Geoffrey||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Carlisle, Mark||Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Pounder, Rafton|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Holland, Philip||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Hordern, Peter||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hornby, Richard||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Clark, Henry||Howell, David (Guildford)||Ramsden, Rt, Hn. James|
|Clegg, Walter||Hunt, John||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Cooke, Robert||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rve)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Costain, A. P.||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Roots, William|
|Crawley, Aldan||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Royle, Anthony|
|Crouch, David||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Crowder, F. P.||Kershaw, Anthony||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Kimball, Marcus||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Currie, G. B. H.||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kirk, Peter||Sharples, Richard|
|Dance, James||Kitson, Timothy||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.)||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Lambton, Viscount||Smith, John|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W, F. (Ashford)||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Stainton, Keith|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Stodart, Anthony|
|Doughty, Charles||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Longden, Gilbert||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Eden, Sir John||Loveys, W. H.||Teeling, Sir William|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Lubbock, Eric||Temple, John M.|
|Eyre, Reginald||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Farr, John||MacArthur, Ian||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Fisher, Nigel||Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty)||Tilney, John|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Forrest, George||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Fortescue, Tim||Macmilln, Maurice (Farnham)||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Foster, Sir John||Maddan, Martin||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)||Maginnis, John E.||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Marten, Neil||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Maude, Angus||Wall, Patrick|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Walters, Dennis|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Mawby, Ray||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Goodhart, Philip||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Webster, David|
|Goodhew, Victor||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Grant, Anthony||Miscampbell, Norman||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Monro, Hector||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Grieve, Percy||More, Jasper||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Gurden, Harold||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Wylie, N. R.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Younger, Hn. George|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Murton, Oscar|
|Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Neave, Airey||Mr. Pym and Mr. R. W. Elliott.|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Nott, John|
|Abse, Leo||Bacon, Rt. Hn, Alice||Binns, John|
|Albu, Austen||Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Bishop, E. S.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Barnes, Michael||Blackburn, F.|
|Alldritt, Walter||Barnett, Joel||Blenkinsop, Arthur|
|Allen, Scholefield||Beaney, Afan||Boardman, H.|
|Anderson, Donald||Bellenger, Rt. Hn. F. J.||Booth, Albert|
|Archer, Peter||Bence, Cyril||Boston, Terence|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Boyden, James|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Bidwell, Sydney||Braddock. Mrs. E. M.|
|Bradley, Tom||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Moyle, Roland|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Hamling, William||Murray, Albert|
|Brooks, Edwin||Hannan, William||Neal, Harold|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Harper, Joseph||Newens, Stan|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Norwood, Christopher|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Hart, Mrs. Judith||Oakes, Gordon|
|Brown, Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Haseldine, Norman||O'Malley, Brian|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Hattersley, Roy||Oram, Albert E.|
|Buchan, Norman||Hazell, Bert||Orbach, Maurice|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Heffer, Eric S.||Orme, Stanley|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Henig, Stanley||Oswald, Thomas|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Hilton, W. S.||Owen, Will (Morpeth)|
|Cant, R. B.||Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)||Paget, R. T.|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hooley, Frank||Palmer, Arthur|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Horner, John||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Chapman, Donald||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Park, Trevor|
|Coe, Denis||Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Coleman, Donald||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Howie, W.||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hoy, James||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Cronin, John||Hunter, Adam||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak)||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jeger, George (Goole)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Jenkins, Hugh (putney)||Probert, Arthur|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Randall, Harry|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Rankin, John|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Redhead, Edward|
|Davies, Robert (Cambridge)||Judd, Frank||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Kelley, Richard||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Delargy, Hugh||Kenyon, Clifford||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dell, Edmund||Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Dempsey, James||Lawson, George||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)|
|Dewar, Donald||Leadbitter, Ted||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth(St.P'c'as)|
|Dickens, James||Lestor, Miss Joan||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)|
|Dobson, Ray||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Roebuck, Roy|
|Driberg, Tom||Lipton, Marcus||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Dunn, James A.||Lomas, Kenneth||Rose, Paul|
|Dunnett, Jack||Loughlin, Charles||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Luard, Evan||Rowland, Christopher (Meriden)|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)|
|Eadie, Alex||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Ryan, John|
|Edelman, Maurice||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hn Ness (Caerphilly)||McCann, John||Sheldon, Robert|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||MacColl, James||Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Macdonald, A. H.||Shore, Peter (Stepney)|
|Ellis, John||McCuire, Michael||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'stle-u-Tyne)|
|English, Michael||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Short, Mrs. Renée(W'hampton,N.E.)|
|Ennals, David||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Sllkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Ensor, David||Mackie, John||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Mackintosh, John P.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Maclennan, Robert||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Fernyhough, E.||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Slater, Joseph|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Small, William|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||MacPherson, Malcolm||Snow, Julian|
|Foley, Maurice||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonehire, W.)|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Stonehouse, John|
|Ford, Ben||Mal1alieu, J.P.W.(Huddersfield, E.)||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Forrester, John||Manuel, Archie||Swain, Thomas|
|Fowler, Gerry||Mapp, Charles||Taverne, Dick|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Marquand, David||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Thomson, Rt. Hn. George|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mason, Roy||Thornton, Ernest|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mayhew, Christopher||Tinn, James|
|Gardner, Tony||Mellish, Robert||Tomney, Frank|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mendelson, J. J.||Tuck, Raphael|
|Ginsburg, David||Mikardo, Ian||Urwin, T. W.|
|Gourlay, Harry||Millan, Bruce||Varley, Eric G.|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Gregory, Arnold||Molloy, William||Wallace, George|
|Grey, Charles (Durham)||Moonman, Eric||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Weitzman, David|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Morris, John (Aberavon)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Whitaker, Ben||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|White, Mrs. Eirene||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)||Woof, Robert|
|Whitlock, William||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Wigg, Rt. Hn. George||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)||Yates, Victor|
|Wilkine, w. A.||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)||Winnick, David||Mr. Charles R. Morris and|
|Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)||Winterbottom, R. E.||Mr. McBride.|