HC Deb 19 January 1967 vol 739 cc711-97

(1) The Minister shall by regulations provide for the establishment of a Tribunal to determine—

  1. (a) applications by companies not coming into public ownership to restrain the Corporation or any publicly-owned company from engaging in any such discriminatory practices as are described in section 3(1)(b) of this Act;
  2. (b) appeals by companies not coming into public ownership against the terms of any notice published under section 13(2) of this Act or served under section 36(2) of this Act.

(2) If the applicant satisfies the Tribunal that the Corporation or any publicly-owned company has engaged in such discriminatory practices as are described in section 3(1)(b) of this Act, the Tribunal shall so determine and publish its findings and the reasons for its findings and so report to the Minister and to the applicant and to the Corporation, and the Minister and the Corporation shall give effect to the determination.

(3) If the applicant satisfies the Tribunal that the terms of the notice published under section 13(2) of this Act, or served under section 36(2) of this Act would affect the appellant unfairly, the Tribunal shall so determine and publish its findings and the reasons for its findings and the Minister shall give effect to its determination.

(4) The Minister and the Corporation and the publicly-owned companies shall provide the Tribunal with all such information and other assistance as the Tribunal may reasonably require for the proper performance of their functions —[Sir J. Hobson.]

Brought up, and read the first time.

Sir John Hobson (Warwick and Learnington)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

The purpose of the new Clause is to provide for the setting up of an independent tribunal which can decide in three different and separate situations between the citizen, on the one hand, who considers that he has been unfairly and unjustly treated or adversely affected and, on the other hand, either the Corporation and the Minister whom he blames for these events. It is not suggested that the proposed tribunal should have any power to award damages or to give any legal remedy. It would simply report and publish its findings and reasons. Either the Corporation or the Minister, which- ever is concerned, would then be under an obligation to comply with those findings and to implement a decision.

There cannot be much doubt that if the tribunal were set up and produced findings the Minister and the Corporation, if under a statutory duty, would comply. The first situation which we think ought to be dealt with is under Clause 3(1,b) of the Bill. Under that Clause there is a duty on the Corporation to see that neither the Corporation nor the publicly-owned company shows any undue preference to or exercises any unfair discrimination against persons who use iron and steel products.

In particular, they are not to exercise such discrimination in relation to supplies or price. If there is a shortage of supplies, everyone should have a fair ration. They are not to give advantages to one user of steel against another by varying the price between the two. It is an agreed purpose of the Bill, inserted as I understand it by the Government, that there should not be any such preference or discrimination, either by the Corporation or the publicly-owned companies.

However, the Bill provides that even if such unfair discrimination or preference exists, there is to be no liability upon the Corporation, who are meant to have prevented it. This arises under subsection (3) of the Clause. Not only that, but there is no machinery for deciding whether such unfair discrimination or preference has taken place, there are no sanctions of any sort against it, there is no possibility of any independent investigation into the facts of such a complaint and no possibility of putting it right unless the Corporation decides to do so.

Complaints may be made against the Corporation so that the Corporation alone, when a complaint is made about its conduct, would have to decide whether it had permitted any of these practices. It must be wrong that in a matter of this importance a complaint against the Corporation should be dealt with by the Corporation alone. The future private sector is very worried that there will be discrimination against it. It is also vital for the steel-using industry, the motor car industry and many others, that the Corporation and the publicly-owned companies should treat them equally fairly.

To make sure of this, we ought to see that reasonable suspicions and firm complaints are investigated, and are seen to be investigated, and that there is no suspicion that they are being covered up. For this reason we propose the tribunal, Which in a sense is an ombudsman for the industry. It could look at files and investigate the complaint and give an independent view, which the citizen who thinks that he has been unfairly treated could rely upon.

There is no doubt that the mere existence of such an independent tribunal would act as a deterrent and would have a beneficial effect in that it would ensure that such unfair discrimination or preference did not occur. The Minister objected to the principle of this proposal in Committee. First of all there was a suggestion of a different body. We proposed this independent tribunal but his objection to it was that it would undermine the commercial character of the Corporation and its operations. This surely is wrong. It is absurd to take that view if one reads Clause 3(1,b), which expressly provides that ordinary commercial considerations and the public interest are grounds on which the Corporation or the publicly-owned companies may vary terms or conditions of supply or may vary prices between different users.

If, therefore, the Corporation decides, for proper commercial reasons and for ordinary commercial considerations, to embark on variations or preferences in prices or supplies it can easily show to an independent tribunal that the cause of what appeared to be unfairness was its mere commerical discrimination, and it has nothing to fear from an investigation into the matter. What is aimed at in the new Clause is unfair discrimination or undue preference undertaken for reasons which are not commercial. Against such a practice there is no sanction and no safeguard and no possibility of discovery or investigation. That is what is feared, and that is the purpose for which we think this independent tribunal should exist. We think that it is necessary and would be useful in preventing what the Bill is aimed at preventing.

I said that there were three purposes for which the tribunal might be needed. The second arises under Clause 13, subsection (2) of which gives the Minister the most remarkable delegated powers. He may, by publishing a notice as he thinks best and framed as he judges convenient or expedient, take power to himself to prevent anyone, without his consent, from setting up for the first time, reconstructing, and even from making the smallest addition to any plant, machinery or any premises used in any part of the iron or steel industry. In other words, he is given complete control down to the tiniest detail over any change in the plant and machinery or premises of the private sector.

Constitutionally, I am astonished that such enormous delegated powers should be given to the Minister on his say-so and by his putting his signature to a document. This provision gives the Minister complete power over the private sector to control it as he pleases. Such a power could, if exercised, result in the private citizen affected going to prison, because he is subject to an injunction. If he disobeys the injunction, the penalty is prison. This power is exercisable by the Minister by a notice incapable of correction at the instance of anybody which will create obligations even on those who have never seen the notice or had it served on them or drawn to their attention. This is the result of giving delegated powers in this form.

The Select Committee on Delegated Legislation, which reported in 1953 and whose Report has always been accepted as authoritative, dealt with various classes of delegated legislation orders. One of the classes which it mentioned is orders which are deemed to be of special importance—that is, politically or constitutionally important, or important because they may operate to the prejudice of particular persons or classes of person. The Clause 13 power being placed in the Minister's hands is plainly within that category, for two reasons: first, because it is politically important, and, secondly, because it is certainly a power which might be exercised to the prejudice of the private sector.

The Select Committee said that any powers within that category should be subject to affirmative Resolutions of both Houses of Parliament before they operate. Yet, under Clause 13, they are not to be even laid before Parliament for information or to be subject to the negative Resolution procedure or Prayer. This is certainly miles from what the Select Committee suggested for this class of power, namely, that it should be subject to affirmative Resolution by both Houses.

I am astonished at the moderation of our proposal. We do not even say that Parliament should have control over the exercise of this power by the Minister—a power which, as I have said, the Minister can give to himself as an absolute and unchallengeable right, however injurious it may be to an individual or group of people.

6.15 p.m.

Unhappily, we know from experience that all Ministers are not always right. We know that even Ministers who are nearly always right are frequently not always right. We know that even Ministers who are almost nearly always right frequently, by the bluntness of the instrument which they create and by their failure to appreciate the implications of words which they have employed in legislation, may have disastrous effects on individual citizens or groups of citizens. Equally, we know that often Ministers, like most people in power, are reluctant in the extreme, once they have made an order, to have it challenged or altered.

I should have thought, therefore, that it was necessary to provide for an independent body which can tell a Minister that he has made a mistake, however great or small, and even though it affects only one or two people it is important that the Minister should be told, when taking to himself this absolute power, that there is the chance that an independent body should consider what he has done and advise him that, while it may agree with him almost totally, there is some way in which it can be improved. The tribunal which we propose is certainly less cumbersome and certainly more convenient to the Minister than having to go through the affirmative Resolution procedure in both Houses. But it is a necessary and essential check on the exercise of the absolute executive powers conveyed by Clause 13 on the Minister.

The third matter with which the tribunal should be able to deal is the power given in Clause 36(3). This is an important power, but it is less important than the power which the Minister can confer on himself under Clause 13. By Clause 36, the Minister has power to give notice to a producer requiring him to send to the Minister forecasts of his output, of the capacity of his plant, and of other details of his iron and steel production such as are set out in the notice.

The Minister can require forms to be filled in. He can require information to be given in detail. He can require it to be given at periodic intervals within a limit of time. Suppose that the unfortunate citizen feels that this is hard on him and is totally unnecessary. It is a criminal offence if he does not obey the Minister's letter. The Minister may say, "You tell me this, that and the other". If the citizen does not do it, he commits a criminal offence. This is an uncontrolled power given to a Minister by delegated legislation to create a criminal offence and to put people in peril of the dock.

If individuals or any class of people think that they are being unfairly treated and that the whole process is a lot of mumbo-jumbo, an independent body—I should have preferred Parliament to do it—such as a tribunal set up by the Minister should be able to look into the matter and adjudicate between the citizen who complains and the Minister.

These are important matters. In our constitution in this country we have always tried to provide checks and balances between the Executive and the citizen who is affected by the Executive. I submit that in these circumstances it is right that on these occasions there should be a small check and balance, in the form that we have put forward, upon the absolute executive powers which the Minister is taking to himself by the Bill.

Mr. Charles Fletcher-Cooke (Darwen)

Whenever I read in a Bill the magic words, "It shall be the duty of the Corporation or of the Minister" or "It shall be incumbent upon the Corporation and the Minister", I always ask myself, "Is this just propaganda? Is this propaganda in the form of legislation, or is it law making in the sense that if the duty is broken there is some sanction provided?" If no sanction is provided, and if any possibility of sanctions is positively removed, as in Clause 3, it means that when we say that we are legislating, we are not legislating at all, but are just putting in the form of pious propaganda what is law.

It therefore seems to me that this raises an important principle, not merely for this Bill but for all the Bills which have gone before and all those, I fear, which w ill come after by which duties are imposed upon public persons and public bodies, but in which there is no remedy if the duty is broken. That is why it seems to me that we are here seeking to create an important and salutary precedent which might be imported into many other Bills concerning public authorities, not merely saying that there is to be a sanction but also seeking to redress the possibility of tyranny and oppression, and seeking to redress it in such a way that the citizen or the company has redress as of right and not merely if he excites some hon. Member to raise a matter in the House, with all the chances and lack of chances that that machinery so often affords.

For Clause 3, what is suggested here seems to me very similar to what the Monopolies Commission can do in respect of private corporations. The Monopolies Commission is not empowered to examine the behaviour of nationalised industries. I have always thought that that part of the Act which deals with the abuse of monopoly position should be capable of being used for the purpose of seeing whether nationalised industries abuse their monopoly position. It is only too true to say that there is not much point in using the other part of the Act, which is for the purpose of inquiring whether a monopoly exists. Obviously it does exist, and will exist under the Bill, even though in this case it is not a complete monopoly, because the new Corporation will certainly be over one-third of the market.

But the Act setting up the Monopolies Commission goes on to say that the question is not merely whether there is a monopoly. Obviously there is a monopoly here, within the definition of a monopoly. The question is also whether that monopoly is abusing its power. Clause 3(1,b) is almost a classic example of the danger of a monopoly, in the technical sense of the word, abusing its powers by discriminating in respect of its products in favour of people it likes or against people who, for some reason or another, it dislikes. The Monopolies Commission can examine just that point under the Act.

I should have preferred that the new Steel Corporation and many of the old nationalised industries were susceptible of investigation by the Monopolies Commission in respect of the abuse of a monopolies position. Certainly some of the electricity boards and some of the behaviour of the Post Office might well be so examined.

But I see that you are a little restless, Mr. Speaker, and I hasten to return to the new Clause. If the Monopolies Commission is not to be able to do this, then some other tribunal should do it. It is much the same task. Perhaps this tribunal would be a sort of Monopolies Commission for the nationalised industries as a whole.

I do not think that I have ever seen anything quite as strong as subsection (3)— though I may be wrong—in positively withdrawing any sanction that might exist. I know that there is always a dispute between lawyers when a statutory duty is imposed in so many ways on a public authority. There is always a dispute whether that gives the private citizen who is damnified by what he considers a breach of that duty, the right to go to the courts. This is always a matter of dispute.

Here the dispute has been resolved by the Government in the most brutal fashion by their saying that there shall be no remedy at all. Perhaps, these being economic matters and being very sensitive matters, the Government do not feel that the judges are the right people to look at them, although I do not agree with that suggestion. But surely they cannot have that objection to the tribunal proposed here, which would have no power other than that of drawing public attention to what is going on.

That is a sanction, but it is a fairly frail sanction. Surely the Minister is not so frightened of the activities of his Corporation that he will shy away from that. It will be a very good test of his bona fides in the matter, particularly under Clause 3, if he objects to treating his Corporation in the same way as that in which the Monopolies Commission treats I.C.I. or Unilever or the tobacco companies, for example. Why should not his Corporation have that treatment? The Monopolies Commission has not much more power than this tribunal would have, but there is the very salutary sanction of publicity, and we feel that that is the very minimum that we should demand.

For that, among other reasons, I strongly support the new Clause.

Mr. John H. Osborn (Sheffield, Hallam)

I listened with interest to the speeches on the new Clause by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Sir J. Hobson) and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke).

We have discussed in Committee the question of fair competition and of ensuring fair competition and all the powers that should be given to the Minister. I first raised the issue of discrimination when we were discussing Clause 3. In Clause 3(1,b) there is a reference to the fact that neither the Corporation nor a publicly-owned company shall show undue preference to or exercise unfair discrimination against… Subsection (3) begins: Nothing in subsection (1) above shall be construed as imposing upon the Corporation any form of duty or liability enforceable by proceedings before any court. 6.30 p.m.

I raised this whole question early on in the Standing Committee, when we put up an Amendment, No. 109, to insert: and any question whether or not the Corporation have complied with their duties under this paragraph shall be determined by the Arbitration Tribunal". At that time we were referring to the tribunal which had been set up under a previous Act and would have operated under Clause 28. The Minister originally, I think, was a little bit dubious about the purpose of this, but I hope now, after the remarks in the Committee, he will give this case his very careful consideration. The Minister later showed concern that I was so worried about the private sector because he felt I was setting about ensuring that the private sector should be able to operate unfairly against the public sector. It was in the early hours of the morning that he said that, and I can understand that he could have felt a little short-tempered, but I can assure him that the aim of hon. Members on this side was and is to ensure that there should be fair competition, in favour neither of the private sector nor of the public sector.

We have discussed the issues—the prices at which goods are to be sold from one customer to another, the prices of raw materials made available to one manufacturer compared with another, bearing in mind that many of the raw materials, including iron ore, would be under the Corporation; then there is the question of the availability of finance, and will the public sector be able to obtain loans at favourable interests rates which will be denied to the private sector? Then, of course, there is the danger of discrimination between one public body outside the steel industry against the private sector of the steel industry.

These various points were raised in the Committee, but when there is disagreement whether there has been fair or unfair competition it is vital that that disagreement should be resolved rapidly, and my own view is that resolving the matter by going to the courts would not be speedy and therefore would frustrate the private sector—as it would be in this instance.

We made reference from time to time to the report, "The manufacturing powers of the nationalised industries", published by the C.B.I. some time ago. In section 6, on page 16, it stresses that A system of enforcement would be necessary to see that those criteria were in fact followed. This would be best put in the hands of an independent body with a small permanent staff or panel of professional advisers. Its tasks would be (i) To establish the standard return on capital for an industry and to review it from time to time, (ii) To act as an appeal tribunal for complaints against nationalised undertakings of unfair trading, and in particular of preferential treatment where arms length trading is prescribed". We have this document behind us, and it prompted us to propose new Clause No. 5 with a view to setting up a tribunal but, unfortunately, it was not called. However, when Clause 28 was being discussed in Committee I raised this matter with the Minister, and he said: Notwithstanding, the point he raises"— he meant me— is a clear one, and, of course, I would be willing to meet and discuss with the private sector this or any other point it may raise."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee D. 13th December, 1966; c. 2288.] In December, this was a matter of concern to those operating the private sector. The outcome of this was that the private sector made a protest to the Minister. He referred to this in Committee. It wrote subsequently, and I do not know the contents of the letter or the contents of any reply the Minister sent. Subsequently, the Minister reminded us in Committee of the absolute powers of discretion he had over the public sector as well as the private sector, and this prompted many outside this House to insist that there should be some outside body to ensure that there should be fair competition and fair treatment, and those are the sentiments behind this new Clause, which relates not only to Clause 3(1,b) but also to Clause 13 relating to capital development and also to Clause 36(2) relating to the furnishing of information.

This argument about the need for this has been put over very lucidly, but I think it relevant to outline a typical problem which has faced the private sector of the steel industry within the last 48 hours. I refer to the Millom Hematite Ore and Iron Company, in Millom. It could well be that a decision of the Iron and Steel Board under the 1953 Act is a classic example of the sort of decision which would frustrate and kill private enterprise.

I delay in expressing any opinion on the rights and wrongs of this decision because it could be wrong to do so in detail as I have not enough information, but, as I said in Standing Committee, I have been privileged to sit on the Council of the British Iron and Steel Research Association for a year or 18 months and have been able to witness the enthusiasm of those who have developed the concept of spray melting. I had the privilege to meet Dr. Pearson, amongst other people, and have seen how this particular process had been developed in Hoyle Street, Sheffield. I believe I referred on Second Reading to the enthusiasm there was about it, and I certainly did so in Committee.

There are various aspects with which big manufacturers have been preoccupied, in the early stage of insulation, the electric arc, the L.D. furnace and the Kaldo furnace. They have been preoccupied by the fact that they are likely to have surplus capacity. Rightly or wrongly they were not inclined at that time to give this new technique of continuous melting a trial.

This small company in Millom decided to take it on and give it a try and on 12th October last year they had an open day. The Press were impressed. There has been a series of articles which appeared in the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Financial Times, even the Sheffield Telegraph, a paper well known in the Standing Committee, in The Guardian, a more detailed article in the Observer, and the New Scientist. They said that there were aspects of this which showed great promise. I have seen the enthusiasm amongst those associated with this in B.I.S.R.A., without reservation as the process developed.

In The Times, on 18th January, there was this remarkable statement, that this steelmaking plant, a British invention, is the most exciting new development the world iron and steel industry has seen for many years, is being held back from commercial development by the Iron and Steel Board…World-wide interest has been aroused… It seems to be absolutely incredible that a decision of this type should be made. The Board issued last night the reasons for this, and they are reasons which hon. Members on this side will have to study very carefully, and that is why I shall not be unduly critical of the reasons.

On the other hand, the Sheffield Telegraph was able to comment in a leader—I was surprised it said it— The Iron and Steel Board's kiss of life. I am not sure that it is the kiss of life for this small company which took a chance to develop this process because it thought it fitted in with its own requirements. The article said: So what seemed the kiss of death becomes the kiss of life, and Britain has need of it. Finally, it said: All the world loves a fighter, and there will be much sympathy with Millom in its fight to secure its spray refining. A decision has been made by the Iron and Steel Board, and last night I received a letter from the managing director of Millom, Mr. Davies. Subsequently, I telephoned him and he told me of his disappointment. I have no doubt that he is an energetic person. His company has taken the trouble to develop the process and take it through its first stage. He is now denied the right of developing it further, for whatever reason.

If a little firm takes a chance like that, and is crushed by the decision of an autocratic body, whether it is the Iron and Steel Board which was set up by the 1953 Act, or some other body which would result from decisions by the Minister under Clause 13 of the Bill, it is vital that, somehow or other, that firm should have some redress. I raised the question because we have to ask ourselves if decisions of the Iron and Steel Board or decisions of the Minister under the Bill are right ones, and how we are to know whether they are right ones.

The other interesting point about that case is that it proves that the Iron and Steel Board really has the powers which the Socialist Government said that it had not and which justified the nationalisation of steel. The right hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss) put forward the idea that a stronger Iron and Steel Board might be the best solution for nationalising the steel industry. I would suggest that the Millom case shows that, if necessary, the Iron and Steel Board has those teeth and has used them.

As I see it, under Section 6(4) of the 1953 Act, if the Board refuses its consent to any such proposal it must state in writing its reasons to the person making the proposals. The procedure is outlined. In the case to which I have referred, under the Act, Millom may now appeal to the Minister if it does not like the decision of the Iron and Steel Board.

In the present Bill, Clause 13(5) says: …the Minister shall, before giving or refusing his consent, consider the report of the person so appointed". But, under the new Act, we must still have an independent body acting as an arbitration tribunal to ensure that, in such a case, there has been fairness.

This is the first example of many instances where the Minister or a body set up by him will frustrate energetic development and success. Although Lancashire Steel is setting up a larger unit and has had Iron and Steel Board approval for it, and although other steel firms are said to be interested in it, at the time of taking the decision it was one small firm which elected to take up the process which had been developed by B.I.S.R.A. It has taken a risk, and it will now pay dearly for taking that risk. What redress has the private sector in this or in other instances when decisions, whether justified or not in terms of administrative or planning convenience, are taken?

I ask the Minister to outline what sort of procedure he visualises under the Bill where a private company takes a chance and receives world wide acclaim. I think that scientists, technologists and engineers will admit that there is still much development to do, and it could be right that other firms should do it—

Mr. Shaw

Am I correct in assuming that not only would the company lose if it is not allowed to go on with its development but, quite apart from its own development, the whole scheme would be held back, because this is the only practical application which so far has been made?

Mr. Osborn

It would. However, if a small company has developed know-how over a period of time, it means that it has a lead which it would now wish to exploit and maintain.

I have told the House about an experience which I had over ten years ago when I thought that I had a process which had a technological lead. To maintain that lead, the essence was speed. With an enthusiastic managing director and company, the need is to give them every possible chance so that there will not be time for other firms, despite their larger technological and financial resources, to catch up and overtake. Given time, someone else may take on the process, and the firm's technological lead slips back.

The background to the example which I have referred to is a mixed one, because it was the enthusiasm of people in the B.I.S.R.A. which developed it. However, it shows the relationship which exists between a small firm and its research association.

The real point is that a decision has been taken. The right hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Peart) will be concerned, because, if the company has been hit on the head, it will have a setback which will mean closures and shutdowns. We now come back to sociological and regional problems, because no one knows what other interests in the area will be affected. Has the Iron and Steel Board considered that point? It is an example of the serious problems which will be before the country when the Bill becomes law.

6.45 p.m.

Sir John Eden (Bournemouth, West)

I have listened with a great deal of interest to what my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. J. H. Osborn) had to say. I was glad that he cited this case as an example of the sort of disputes and differences which could occur in the future between the private sector and the public authority, whatever may be devised to take the place of the Iron and Steel Board in the future.

Mr. Marsh

The hon. Gentleman says that it is an example of what could happen under the Government's Bill. In fact, it is a good example of what has happened under the Conservative Government's Iron and Steel Act.

Sir J. Eden

We are concerned to see the sort of procedure that is likely to be established in the future for settling a difference of this kind as a result of the passing of this Bill into law. That is why we press this Clause on the Government. We want to see established some judicial form of procedure by which such a dispute can be resolved without the aggrieved party having to turn to the Corporation or to the Minister for final judgment. The Corporation, of course, would be a very interested party.

I thought that the example given by my hon. Friend was an extremely appropriate one. Here is a small private enterprise company which has embarked upon a new venture at considerable risk to itself, though admittedly in conjunction with and with the active support of the British Iron and Steel Research Association. It has been extremely successful. The result of the company's labours and ingenuity has led to the installation of a spray refining system at its works. It is the only installed working process of which I have knowledge.

What the company wanted was to get assistance to develop it still further, and it needed £1 million for the purpose. Consent for that was withheld by the Iron and Steel Board. There may have been reasons for it.

Mr. J. H. Osborn

I have not got—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I cannot allow hon. Gentlemen to pursue this case in detail. We must link it now to the need for a tribunal to settle this kind of case.

Sir J. Eden

Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether, before I continue, I might hear my hon. Friend's intervention?

Mr. Speaker

indicated assent.

Mr. Osborn

I have not got the Press release before me, but I believe that the expression was "deferred", rather than "held back."

Sir J. Eden

I think that it is also the company's view that "deferment" is a polite way of saying "no". That was the implication, but I hope that the deferment will ultimately lead to the matter going ahead. It was not my intention to go into the detail of the process. It was clearly outlined by my hon. Friend, and he gave full emphasis to its significance. The point I wish to make is that this decision was taken not by the company concerned using its commercial judgment, but by a quasi-official body which had been established to act as a sort of go-between between the private enterprise steel industry and the Government, and we are worried about the establishment of just such a procedure in the future. That was essentially a bureaucratic decision, and not a commercial one, and I want to ensure that where a company comes up against something like that it will be able to take its case to a proper body to get the dispute resolved.

During the Committee stage the Minister went out of his way—after a considerable amount of debate—to reassure the Committee that he was interested in the industry as a whole, and not just in the public sector; that he was as concerned about the healthy growth of those companies which would remain in the private sector as he was to ensure the satisfactory development of the Corporation and its publicly-owned companies. I have no doubt that that is correct, and he went some way to try to meet us on the point that there should be proper appeal procedure in the event of a dispute arising.

We are grateful to the Minister for the steps which he has taken along those lines, but I have here the copy of HANSARD which records the speech made by the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power. The hon. Gentleman referred frequently to his belief that the introduction of some kind of formal arbitration machinery such as is proposed in this Clause would severely restrict the commercial freedom of the Corporation in a way contrary to the principles on which we"— that is, the Government— wish to see it operating. The hon. Gentleman went on to say: If we were to sew up any kind of price structure, adding on top of the publication of price lists, on top of whatever machinery may be created by the Minister with the industry, further machinery for arbitration of disputes between producers, we should get a quite unworkable machine."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee D, 17th November, 1966; c. 748–9.] I could quote other references to show that that apparently was the view of the Government. I take it from that that they were certain that disputes would arise.

The Bill contains Clauses about nondiscrimination, but I am not convinced that the arguments put forward in Committee are strong enough to make me accept that this non-discrimination should not be enforceable. I should like to see established some independent, formal procedure to enforce non-discrimination on prices and on other areas of dispute which are likely to arise between the private sector, the Corporation, and any one or all of the publicly-owned companies.

I do not believe that the Consumer Council is the proper body for this. The Minister might call the Consumers' Council in aid, but this Council has no power to redress grievances. It will only be able to report back to the Corporation or to the Minister. What we are calling for in this Clause is something infinitely stronger. We say that if the tribunal finds in favour of the appellant, and finds that he has been discriminated against, it shall so determine and publish its findings and the reasons for its findings…and the Minister…shall give effect to the determination. That is much stronger, much more positive, and much more in keeping with our sense of fair play and justice. That is what we want enshrined in the Bill, because once the Bill becomes law there will be established a nationalised manufacturing industry which will be in a substantially dominant position over a comparatively small, though none the less important and significant, private sector.

We want to ensure that where, in the private sector, there are developments of the kind to which my hon. Friend has referred, and which I, to, have mentioned, there is no discrimination against them. We want to ensure that if there is a likelihood of discrimination against the private sector on pricing, there will be a proper, effective, and independent arbitration procedure to decide on the appellant's case. I have strong reasons for supporting the Clause, and in view of the interest which the Minister has displayed in securing the future health of the private sector, I hope that he will accept it.

Sir G. Nabarro

To put the matter in its correct perspective, I think that we ought to say now that 93 per cent. of the industry is to be nationalised, and 7 per cent. of it is to remain in private hands, if we use as a measurement the output or manufacture of steel. This will put the public sector, not in a position of a very substantial majority, as my hon. Friend said, but in a position of overwhelming supremacy. It will be able to crush the private sector by many direct and specific, or overt, practices.

I have intervened in the debate at this late stage for one reason, and I propose to do so very shortly, for I am no lawyer. I fear that the Minister will say that a tribunal of the kind suggested in the Clause is not really a practicable proposition, that it has no proper precedents. I want to draw his attention to the best possible analogy, to an Act of Parliament put through this House by his party, the Race Relations Act, 1965. This Statute seeks to protect 750,000 coloured people in this country from discrimination against them by an overwhelming majority of 53 million white people. It does that by the establishment of a Race Relations Board. Reading back through that Act, I find the words "discrimination", "discriminating", and "discriminatory" used over and over again.

That is exactly the position, in a material context, in which the private sector of the steel industry will find itself if the Bill reaches the Statute Book. I am sorry that the Parliamentary Secretary to le Ministry of Power is so mirthful about what I am saying. Why is he giggling? After all, he was promoted only a few days ago. His name, Mr. Reginald Freeson, is the second name on the Race Relations Act, 1965 (Amendment), Bill which was brought to this House during this Session. I am in good order, Mr. Speaker, because the Bill has been withdrawn, and I may therefore allude to it. It is no longer before the House. The hon. Gentleman's was the second name to that Bill, and if one reads it as it was printed, one finds the word "discrimination" used over and over again.

I claim that that is a precise analogy to the private sector of the steel industry, although the one is a moral and ethical issue with which I am much in sympathy—the racial relations issue—and the other, about which we are talking tonight, is an utterly material, industrial and commercial issue. I hope that we shall not have any nonsense from the Minister of Power to the effect that there are no respectable precedents for the kind of judicial tribunal suggested by my right hon. and learned Friend.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. Marsh

This is an important subject, and it is quite right that the House should be mindful of a Bill of this type which can affect the interests of people, whether it be many people or a few. In this case most of the appellants would hardly be widows and orphans, but that does not make much difference in terms of numbers involved. It is important that there should be proper accountability for decisions which affect people's livelihoods, and that these should be made public. What we are arguing about is the way in which this should be achieved.

Much concern has been expressed by the private sector. As I said yesterday, the fears expressed are unjustified. People in the private sector have made representations to me on this matter, however, and the Government have done what they could, and they will continue to do what they can, to see how far they can meet those fears. One fear is that the Corporation will be encouraged to operate to the detriment of the private sector. There is a constant fear that it is necessary to protect the private sector against the encroachments of this very large organisation.

Although I have said it many times in Committee it has not been accepted by many in the private sector that the Minister of Power is also the sponsoring Minister for the steel industry and that there is no sense in maintaining a private sector of that industry and then allowing it either to be destroyed or wither away. If the Government decided that they did not want a private sector in the steel industry, the thing to do would be to nationalise the lot. The Government have taken a conscious decision not to do so. That means that they have taken a considered decision that the private sector is as important as the public sector to the economy of the nation.

I make this point in general terms because, underlying many of the pressures that have been created, there is a fear that the Government, consciously or unconsciously, would allow the private sector to be destroyed.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

I do not understand the Minister's argument about the impartiality of a sponsoring Minister. The Minister of Aviation is the sponsoring Minister both of the nationalised corporations and the independent operators, but does the right hon. Gentleman really say that the Minister of Aviation has never favoured the nationalised corporations?

Mr. Marsh

I do not want to comment on a Department other than my own. It is as much as I can do to keep up with mine. I merely say that a very real fear exists in this matter, and that I genuinely believe that it is completely misplaced. The private sector of the steel industry is essential to the effectiveness of the industry as a whole. It has a special part to play. It sometimes makes special

products and special steels, and its help is essential to the whole industry.

It follows that we must decide how far the Minister and Parliament can be relied upon to keep the ring so as to ensure that the views of people aggrieved by decisions are taken into account and that questions are settled impartially, where they can be. I shall come to the question of partiality in a moment.

The hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. J. H. Osborn), whose ingenuity in raising questions of this type I learned to admire in Committee, raised a specific and important point which was indicative of the argument that he was putting forward. I have said that this arose out of an existing Act—something already with us. An hon. Member had asked what could be done in the case of an aggrieved person—although in this case the person would be a company—against a decision of this type? What is being done is exactly what the hon. Member has been doing—quite rightly—namely, to raise this issue in Parliament, because the Minister is responsible to Parliament. The Iron and Steel Board is responsible for its activities to the Minister. The Board has not taken a final decision on this matter, and I cannot pursue it. I cannot judge the issue, precisely because this decision may well be referred to me.

Sir J. Hobson

The difficulty is that under the 1953 Act any decision of the Board which affects a citizen is subject to appeal to the Minister, who has then, acting in a quasi-judicial capacity, to listen to representations from both sides, just as the Minister of Housing and Local Government takes quasi-judicial decisions. One then has a form of appeal, and it is not merely a question of administration.

Mr. Marsh

Perhaps I may leave the particular and return to the generality. When these matters are raised in Parliament Ministers have to stand up and justify their actions. That is one of my arguments about the responsibility of Parliament.

My objection to the Amendment, and to the creation of this intervening body, is precisely that in the question of discriminatory practices, for example, we have all agreed—some more enthusiastic- ally than others—that one important thing about this exercise is that we are now nationalising a different type of industry. There must be a recognition of the fact that there has to be a maximum amount of commercial operation consistent with public responsibility. We have discussed how this can be achieved, and there have been differences of opinion on the point.

We cannot run a nationalised steel industry as a social service. It is a manufacturing industry, and must be run as such. When I say that we are going to run it in this way it follows that the Corporation and the companies must have a degree of freedom over pricing. Yesterday, it was suggested by hon. Members opposite that there must be complete freedom between different groups on the subject of pricing. We accept all this. That being so, these groups must have the right to charge different prices, or to discriminate against certain of their consumers, if there is a good commercial reason for so doing.

People who feel that they are being discriminated against unfairly must then have some way in which to ensure that their grievances are aired. They can do this either by representation to the Minister or by way of the Consumer's Council, or both. The hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) said that he did not see the Consumer Council as a body which could be—

Sir G. Nabarro

The Minister has got it wrong. My hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth, West (Sir J. Eden) made the point about the Consumer's Council. The analogy that I made was to the Race Relations Board. That is a much more accurate analogy, because that Board has judicial force behind it the Consumer's Council has not.

Mr. Marsh

With respect, I would have thought that the Consumer's Council, which has been accepted as a method of redressing the grievances of consumers in the nationalised industries—

Sir G. Nabarro

Not by me. No, Sir.

Mr. Marsh

All I can say is that this has been accepted and not changed. Hon. Gentlemen have been for 13 years in charge of this body. If they have been discontented, they have at any rate accepted that this has been the natural way of representation. The analogy is closer with the other nationalised industries than with the Race Relations Board and discrimination, which is a different subject. The Consumer's Council is charged specifically with a duty to consider any matter affecting the interests of consumers, including prices. When the Minister receives the report of the Council he is then empowered to give directions on any matter which arises.

At present, therefore, the decisions in relation to aggrieved bodies are made public. Changes have been made in the Bill to ensure that the Minister's reasons for rejection or acceptance are published. There is the right of appeal to the Consumer Council and the obligation upon it to inform the Minister, who then has the ability to direct the Corporation in specific cases.

However, what we are arguing about then is how far this satisfies the position—

Sir G. Nabarro

Not at all.

Mr. Marsh

The hon. Gentleman is entitled to his point of view, but this is a serious subject and if one does not agree that people have the right degree of access to appeal it is wrong to defend the issue.

I believe that such a tribunal would cut across the direct personal responsibility of the Minister to Parliament. If the hon. Member for Hallam at some stage were dissatisfied with the decision reached in a case, and wanted to pursue it, he would rightly demand to know what the Minister had done and challenge this as direct Ministerial responsibility. Development and the withholding of consent for development are important decisions to the industry and to the economy, but the important thing is that Ministers or Governments must accept responsibility for these decisions and not say that "some other tribunal has decided." As to the analogy with housing and local government, that Minister is hearing an inspector and taking a decision—

Sir J. Hobson

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain, as he is making the point that the tribunal is unnecessary because the Consumer's Council exists, what the Council would have to do with powers under Clauses l3 and 36?

Mr. Marsh

I was talking of Clause 3. I will come on to the other secondary points in terms of forecasts and statistics and the question of withholding consent. These are major decisions which should be taken; the Minister must have control and the Government has to stand for them.

There is a special situation, however, in relation to Clause 3, as it affects the private sector companies which may be not only in competition with the nationalised sector, but also dependent on it for supplies of raw materials and semifinished products. I hope to announce concessions. There is a later new Clause, in the discussion on which I hope to make a statement and subsequently to table an Amendment which will relieve some of the difficulties and fears of the private sector.

Basically, if the argument is that the Corporation would want deliberately to conduct its operations to the detriment of the private sector, it is an untenable one. Second, the procedure for protection in the Bill at the moment is adequate. Third, the type of appeals tribunal as suggested in the Amendment has no precedent. I do not condemn it for this, but given the machinery for consumer representation—these consumers are pretty powerful—and the fact that the Minister can give directions and is answerable to Parliament in such cases as the example referred to by the hon Member for Hallam, the new Clause is unnecessary and will, if anything, detract from the responsibilities of the Minister.

7.15 p.m.

Mr. Barber

I am disappointed—as I am sure the industry will be—at the Minister's reaction to the cogent arguments advanced from this side in support of the new Clause. After all, its sole object is to ensure fair competition between the public and private sectors. The Clause has the avowed object of providing equity for the 200 smaller iron and steel companies which will continue under a capitalist system. We know that such a proposal is anathema to many hon. Gentlemen opposite, but it is not good enough for the right hon. Gentleman to say, "I am the sponsoring Minister. It is my duty to look after the private as well as the public sector and see that there is fair play between them."

I do not doubt the right hon. Gentleman's sincerity. When he says that he wants a good, healthy private sector, I know that he means it and will do his best to ensure it, but he is not the only Minister who will be Minister of Power and operating the Bill. There may well be others. Suppose that the right hon. Gentleman, unhappily, were not well for a week or two and his new Parliamentary Secretary was in charge. Is it seriously believed that his Parliamentary Secretary would be likely to exercise any judgment between the public and private sectors in the same way as the right hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Marsh


Mr. Barber

Let me finish. I should be grateful if the right hon. Gentleman will intervene in a moment on this point. I should like, first, to complete my argument.

As I said the other day, the Parliamentary Secretary—presumably his views have not changed: if they have he can say so—said to his electors in his election address—[Laughter.] The hon. Gentleman laughs. Perhaps he did not mean it. However, what he said was: We reject the selfish, greedy doctrines of capitalism. This is the 10 per cent. of the iron and steel industry which will be under the sponsorship of the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Marsh

I have no doubt that my hon. Friend would take decisions, if I were incapacitated, with even more efficiency than I. My argument was not that Ministers have an attraction to the private sector, that they feel fond of it and some are nicer to it than others, but that the whole reason for maintaining the private sector is that it is an integral part of the steel economy and essential to it. No Minister would want, while there is a private sector of this size, to see it lose any efficiency—not because he has an affection for it, but because it is necessary.

Mr. Barber

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman could clear this up simply. He says that he will be fair between the public and the private sectors. Would he quite clearly say whether or not he agrees with his hon. Friend's reference to the "selfish, greedy doctrines of capitalism"? Let him "come clean" and say so. This is very important. Does he agree or not?—We take it, then, that the right hon. Gentleman is embarrassed by his hon. Friend and we leave it at that. Otherwise, of course, the Minister would have answered my question. This is highly relevant.

When the Minister says that it is his policy to promote what he calls a healthy, viable private sector, I accept that assurance, but I most certainly do not accept it from many right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite. We know, from what they have said, that they would do everything they possibly could to extend public ownership. However, I leave it at that. Hon. Members can draw their own conclusions.

The right hon. Gentleman may laugh, but the proposal we have put forward is of immense importance to the private sector of industry. The right hon. Gentleman has already gone some way in the new Clauses he has proposed to meet the fears of the private sector, and for that we are grateful; but among these 200 companies in the private sector, there is still a genuine fear that the all-powerful Steel Corporation, bolstered by the unlimited resources of the Exchequer, will squeeze many of them out of business. That is what they believe, and there is the genuine fear that there will be unfair discrimination by the Steel Corporation not only on the question of prices, but also in other ways. If this were to happen, then the very size of the Corporation, and the resources behind it, would always ensure that it won.

The possibility of unfair discrimination cannot be considered in isolation. It must be considered together with the unlimited powers in Clause 2 of the Bill, which enable the Corporation to take over and to control any company in the country —and when I say "any company", I mean literally any company in the country.

The Minister has always maintained that the great safeguard here arises from the fact that such a take-over could only be by agreement. Of course, if the Steel Corporation were artificially to cut its prices of those products manufactured by a competing company in the private sector, it would not have the slightest difficulty in artificially depressing the value of the shares of that company, so forcing that company to its knees and acquiring it at a knock-down price.

That is the sort of thing of which those in the private sector are genuinely afraid. The right hon. Gentleman can laugh when I quote from the views of some of his hon. Friends, and of his Parliamentary Secretary in particular, but the people outside who are affected by these views do not laugh. They may be wrong, but they take them as being the genuine opinions of the Minister concerned, in this case the Parliamentary Secretary. He thought they were of sufficient importance to include then in his election address. I know that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite laugh about election addresses, about the pledges they give. They say, "It is all a little bit of Parliamentary fun; we are in for a few more years with a majority of 100, so the electors do not matter". I say in all sincerity that unless the hon. Gentleman withdraws in due course what he said—not necessarily tonight —it will cause a good deal of embarrassment to the right hon. Gentleman.

The right hon. Gentleman has already recognised the necessity for legislating against undue preference and unfair discrimination. Why not take this further step of providing for the oversight of these matters by a wholly independent tribunal which would command the respect of both the nationalised sector and the private sector? There are bound to be occasions when a private enterprise company is not content with the Minister's action concerning, for example, the limitation of the provision of new capacity. I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. J. H. Osborn) for raising this matter, which has arisen under the 1953 Act and which is the sort of thing that can arise.

I very much regret that the Minister has not accepted at least the principle of the Clause, and, in the light of his reply, I must ask my hon. and right hon. Friends to take the matter to a Division.

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

The House divided: Ayes 232, Noes 302.

Division No. 237.] AYES [7.24 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Crouch, David Gurden, Harold
Astor, John Crowder, F. P. Hall, John (Wycombe)
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Cunningham, Sir Knox Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Awdry, Daniel Currie, G. B. H. Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)
Baker, W. H. K. Dalkeith, Earl of Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Balnief, Lord Dance, James Harris, Reader (Heston)
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.) Harrison, Brian (Maldon)
Batsford, Brian Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vera
Belt, Ronald Digby, Simon Wingfield Harvie Anderson, Miss
Berry, Hn. Anthony Dodds-Parker, Douglas Hastings, Stephen
Bitten, John Doughty, Charles Hawkins, Paul
Blggs-Davison, John Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Hay, John
Black, Sir Cyril Drayson, G. B. Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward
Blaker, Peter du Cam, Rt. Hn. Edward Heseltine, Michael
Body, Richard Eden, Sir John Higgins, Terence L.
Bossom, Sir Clive Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshatton) Hill, J. E. B.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Hirst, Geoffrey
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Eyre, Reginald Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Braine, Bernard Farr, John Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin
Brinton, Sir Tatton Fisher, Nigel Holland, Philip
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Fletcher-Cooks, Charles Hooson, Emlyn
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Forrest, George Hordern, Peter
Bryan, Paul Fortescue, Tim Hornby, Richard
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus, N & M) Foster, Sir John Howell, David (Guildford)
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh(St'ffrord & Stone) Hunt, John
Bullus, Sir Eric Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Hutchison, Michael Clark
Burden, F. A. Gibson-Watt, David Iremonger, T. L.
Campbell, Gordon Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Carlisle, Mark Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Cary, Sir Robert Glover, Sir Douglas Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Channon, H. P. G. Glyn, Sir Richard Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)
Chichester-Clark, R. Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Jopling, Michael
Clark, Henry Goodhart, Philip Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith
Clegg, Walter Goodhew, Victor Kerby, Capt. Henry
Cooke, Robert Grant, Anthony Kershaw, Anthony
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Grant-Ferris, R. Kimball, Marcus
Costain, A P. Gresham Cooke, R. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Grieve, Percy Kirk, Peter
Crawley, Aldan Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Kitson, Timothy
Knight, Mrs. Jill Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Summers, Sir Spencer
Lambton, Viscount Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Osborn, John (Hallam) Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)
Langford-Hott, Sir John Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Page, Graham (Crosby) Teeling, Sir William
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Page, John (Harrow, W.) Temple, John M.
Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Pardoe, John Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe) Thorpe, Jeremy
Longden, Gilbert Peel, John Tilney, John
Loveys, W. H. Percival, Ian Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Lubbock, Eric Peyton, John van Straubenzee, W. R.
McAdden, Sir Stephen Pike, Miss Mervyn Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
MacArthur, Ian Pink, R. Bonner Vickers, Dame Joan
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Pounder, Rafton Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Price, David (Eastleigh) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Maddan, Martin Prior, J. M. L. Wall, Patrick
Maginnis, John E. Pym, Francis Walters, Dennis
Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Quennell, Miss J. M. Ward, Dame Irene
Marten, Neil Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Weatherill, Bernard
Maude, Angus Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Webster, David
Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Rees-Davies, W. R. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Mawby, Ray Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Ridsdale, Julian Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Roots, William Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Miscampbell, Norman Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Monro, Hector Royle, Anthony Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Russell, Sir Ronald Woodnutt, Mark
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) St. John-Stevas, Norman Woreley, Marcus
Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Scott, Nicholas Wylie, N. R.
Murton, Oscar Sharples, Richard Younger, Hn. George
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Neave, Alrey Sinclair, Sir George TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Nicholls, Sir Harmar Smith, John Mr. David Mitchell and Mr. More.
Nott, John Stainton, Keith
Onslow, Cranley Stodart, Anthony
Abse, Leo Chapman, Donald Fernyhough, E.
Albu, Austen Coe, Denis Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Coleman, Donald Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Alldritt, Walter Concannon, J. D. Foley, Maurice
Allen, Scholefield Conlan, Bernard Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich)
Anderson, Donald Corbet, Mrs. Freda Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)
Archer, Peter Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Ford, Ben
Armstrong, Ernest Crawshaw, Richard Forrester, John
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Cronin, John Fowler, Gerry
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fraser, John (Norwood)
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Cullen, Mrs. Alice Freeson, Reginald
Barnett, Joel Dalyell, Tam Galpern, Sir Myer
Beaney, Alan Darling, Rt. Hn. George Gardner, Tony
Belienger, Rt. Hn. F. J. Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Garrett, W. E.
Bence, Cyril Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Ginsburg, David
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Davies, Harold (Leek) Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)
Bidwell, Sydney Davies, Ifor (Gower) Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Binns, John Davies, Robert (Cambridge) Gregory, Arnold
Bishop, E. S. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Grey, Charles (Durham)
Blackburn, F. Delargy, Hugh Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Dell, Edmund Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.
Boardman, H. Dempsey, James Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)
Booth, Albert Dewar, Donald Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Boston, Terence Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Hamling, William
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Dickens, James Hannan, William
Boyden, James Dobson, Ray Harper, Joseph
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Doig, Peter Hart, Mrs. Judith
Bradley, Tom Driberg, Tom Haseldine, Norman
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Dunn, James A. Hattersley, Roy
Brooks, Edwin Dunnett, Jack Hazell, Bert
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Heffer, Eric S.
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Henig, Stanley
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Eadie, Alex Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret
Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Edelman, Maurice Hilton, W. S.
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly) Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)
Buchan, Norman Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Hooley, Frank
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Horner, John
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Ellis, John Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) English, Michael Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Ennals, David Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)
Cant, R. B. Ensor, David Howie, W.
Carmichael, Neil Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Hoy, James
Carter-Jones, Lewis Evans, Ioan L. (Blrm'h'm, Yardley) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Mikardo, Ian Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Millan, Bruce Ryan, John
Hunter, Adam Milne, Edward (Blyth) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Sheldon, Robert
Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Molloy, William Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Moonman, Eric Shore, Peter (Stepney)
Jeger, George (Goole) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'stle-u-Tyne)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Short, Mrs. Renée(W'hampton,N.E.)
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Morris, John (Aberavon) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Jones, J, Idwal (Wrexham) Moyle, Roland Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Judd, Frank Murray, Albert Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Kelley, Richard Neal, Harold Skeffington, Arthur
Kenyon, Clifford Newens, Stan Slater, Joseph
Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Norwood, Christopher Small, William
Lawson, George Oakes, Gordon Snow, Julian
Leadbitter, Ted O'Malley, Brian Spriggs, Leslie
Ledger, Ron Oram, Albert E. Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Orbach, Maurice Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Lestor, Miss Joan Orme, Stanley Taverne, Dick
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Oswald, Thomas Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) Thornton, Ernest
Lipton, Marcus Owen, Will (Morpeth) Tinn, James
Lomas, Kenneth Paget, R. T. Tomney, Frank
Loughlin, Charles Palmer, Arthur Tuck, Raphael
Luard, Evan Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Urwin, T. W.
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Park, Trevor Varley, Eric G.
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Parker, John (Dagenham) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Walden, Brian (All Saints)
McBride, Neil Pavitt, Laurence Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
McCann, John Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Wallace, George
MacColl, James Peart, Rt Hn. Fred Watkins, David (Consett)
MacDermot, Niall Pentland, Norman Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Macdonald, A. H. Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) Weitzman, David
McGuire, Michael Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Wellbeloved, James
McKay, Mrs. Margaret Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Whitaker, Ben
Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Price, Christopher (Perry Barr) White, Mrs. Eirene
Mackie, John Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Whitlock, William
Mackintosh, John P. Price, William (Rugby) Wigg, Rt. Hn. George
Maclennan, Robert Probert, Arthur Wilkins, W. A.
MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Pursey, Cmdr. Harry Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Randall, Harry Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
McNamara, J. Kevin Rankin, John Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
MacPherson, Malcolm Redhead, Edward Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Reynolds, G. W. Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Rhodes, Geoffrey Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfield, E.) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Manuel, Archie Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Mapp, Charles Robertson, John (Paisley) Winnick, David
Marquand, David Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.) Woodbum, Rt. Hn. A.
Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Rodgers, William (Stockton) Woof, Robert
Mason, Roy Roebuck, Roy Wyatt, Woodrow
Mayhew, Christopher Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Yates, Victor
Mellish, Robert Rose, Paul
Mendelson, J. J. Ross, Rt. Hn. William TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Rowland, Christopher (Meriden) Mr. Walter Harrison and Mr. Fitch.
  1. New Clause 10.—(REVIEW OF UNECONOMIC ACTIVITIES.) 9,112 words
  2. cc766-70
  4. cc770-9
  6. cc779-97
  7. Clause 1.—(THE NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION.) 6,093 words, 1 division