HC Deb 01 April 1968 vol 762 cc79-107

For the purposes of sections 32, 46, 47 and 48 of the Patents Act 1949:

  1. (a) 'the services of the Crown' shall be deemed to include any sale or supply of a patented invention for the purpose of providing services under Part IV of the National Health Service Act 1946 or Part IV of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947, and
  2. (b) any use of such an invention for the purpose of providing those services shall be deemed to be a use of the invention for the services of the Crown.—[Mr. W. O. J. Robinson.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. W. O. J. Robinson (Walthamstow, East)

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

It will be generally recognised that the Clause is prompted by the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Relationship of the Pharmaceutical Industry with the National Health Service—Cmnd. 3410—colloquially referred to as the Sainsbury Report. Recommendation 11, in page 2 of the Report, states: That, since the negotiation of prices may sometimes fail to result in agreement, a procedure must be available to which Ministers may have recourse; and that Ministers should consider amendment of the National Health Service Acts to bring the General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services within the definition of 'services of the Crown' for the purpose of Section 46 of the Patents Act, 1949. This is the first National Health Service Bill that has been brought before the House since that Report was published, and I strongly suspect that it may well be the last such Bill for some time. It was therefore thought right to seek to insert the Clause in implementation of that recommendation, more particularly because in Clauses 24 and 63 the Minister is seeking to obtain extended powers for the purchase and supply of goods and materials both by the Minister and, through him, by the executive councils for the purpose of Part IV of the 1946 Act.

I suppose that I should summarise the provisions of the Sections of the Patents Act, 1949, to which the proposed new Clause relates, but I propose to do so only in general terms, first, in order to economise in time and, secondly, because I have no wide knowledge of a very specialised branch of the law.

I take first Section 46. That Section enables any Government Department or person authorised by that Department to "make, use and exercise" any patented invention in the services of the Crown, free in general terms, from the restrictions of the patent, but subject to various specific conditions. One condition is very rightly a requirement that appropriate terms for the use of the invention shall be agreed between the Government Department and the patentee and, if agreement is unable to be reached between them, the matter shall be determined by the courts. It is important to realise that there is adequate protection for the patentee when the invention is used in this way.

Section 47 protects the rights of any persons, other than the patentee, who may have acquired property rights in the patent. Section 48 requires the reference to the court of any dispute in regard to the matter by any Government Department or any authorised person of these powers and, secondly, as to the terms on which the invention shall be used. The provisions of Section 32, so far as it is material to this new Clause, empower the court on the petition of a Government Department, to revoke a patent if it is satisfied that the patentee has without reasonable cause failed to comply with a request from the Department of the use of the invention for the services of the Crown upon reasonable terms. I am sure that the House would agree, in view of these provisions, that it is not necessary to argue the merits or demerits of patent rights being dealt with in this way. Clearly this has been the law, not only since the Patents Act, 1949, but as far back as the Patents, Designs and Trade Marks Act, 1883, and possibly even earlier. It is not necessary to have to argue that the provisions of the Patents Act, may be exercised, at least in part, in relation to the National Health Service.

It has already been established that the National Health Service in one part has been permitted to take advantage of these Sections. It was clearly established, true by a majority decision, in the case of Pfizer Corporation and the Ministry of Health in the House of Lords in November, 1965, that the use of a patent invention for the treatment of both inpatients and out-patients of National Health Service hospitals—I stress the importance of the right to use it for outpatients—was a use in the services of the Crown and, therefore, permitted the Minister to invoke the powers of the Patents Act.

I believe and hope that the sole question which has to be argued on the new Clause is whether or not the right inherent in that judgment ought to be tended to cover the services provided under Part IV of the National Health Service Act, 1946, generally referred to as the general medical and pharmaceutical services. I believe I am right in saying that the court was not called upon to make any decision on this particular point. I gather that the Ministry made no claim to be entitled to invoke the Act for the purposes of the general medical and pharmaceutical services since it was apparently advised that these particular services could not be regarded as a "service of the Crown" for the purposes of the Section.

I find it extremely difficult to understand how this distinction could be drawn between what clearly are two parts of one comprehensive Health Service. The distinction seems to be both illogical and anomalous. I am fortified in saying that by the fact that the anomaly was acknowledged by one of the Lord Justices in the Pfizer case. Lord Reid, who said, as reported in All England Law Reports, 1965, page 454: It seems anomalous that there should be this distinction depending on the nature of the organisation which Parliament has set up and not on its purpose. One of the purposes of my argument is to establish the proposition that the Health Service is one service. Although it might be divided into parts for convenience of operation and management, it is still one service.

5.45 p.m.

I will outline a little of the history of this matter The Ministry of Health was established in 1919 by the Ministry of Health Act. This provided for the appointment of a Minister for the purpose of promoting the health of the people throughout England and Wales. The Act made it the Minister's specific duty to take all such steps as might be desirable for the effective carrying out and co-operation of measures conducive to the health of the people. He was to take full steps in every direction to promote the health of the community. This clearly indicated that it is one service and the Ministry is concerned with each and every branch of the service.

This is certainly confirmed by Section 1 of the National Health Service Act, 1946, which places on the Minister the statutory obligation to promote the establishment of a comprehensive Health Service designed to secure improvement in the physical and mental health of the people. Surely the provision of a hospital service forms only a part of the obligations of the Minister. How can it be said that it is in the "service of the Crown" to secure the improvement in health of the people when treatment is given in hospital, but not when the same objective is pursued through the general practitioner and the pharmacist?

I am comforted to know that my doubts and difficulties are echoed in far more authoritative quarters. I quote from paragraph 329, on page 30, of the Sainsbury Committee's Report: To most observers it will seem surprising that the General Medical and Pharmaceutical 'Services are not in law a service of the Crown', while the Hospital Services are. Both of these services are provided for under the same legislation (the National Health Service Act, 1946, in England and Wales, the National Health Service (Scotland) Act, 1947, in Scotland, both services are under the ultimate authority of the Minister of Health (or, in Scotland, of the Secretary of State for Scotland); the administrations of the two services overlap at many points. However divided may be the organisations, the general medical and pharmaceutical services are equally as much Exchequer-financed as the hospital service. The manner of financing is a good test in finding whether or not one branch differs from another.

Further to illustrate my argument, I will read an extract from the judgment of Lord Justice Wilberforce in the Pfizer case. This was a dissenting judgment and the quotation was used by the Lord Justice as an argument against the application of the provisions of the Patents Act applying even to the hospital service. I quote again from All England Law Reports, 1965, page 475: it seems to me rather strange that the Minister should seek to cut the National Health Service in two, saying (as he does) that he is responsible for a service of the Crown for Part 2 services and that Part 4 services are a service of some authority (most possibly a function of the Crown) when the whole service, a national service, is the Minister's responsibility and when he bears the cost under one part as under the other. Then comes a particularly cogent argument: Does the patient, who consults a general practitioner, or who takes his prescription to a chemist really think that he is using some local service? Or would he find it easy to accept that while he is in hospital he can be supplied, as a service of the Crown, with Italian tetracycline and may continue to be so supplied while he remains an out-patient, but that when, in the course of his convalescence, his G.P. takes over and continues the prescription, the same chemist supplying tetracycline is not doing so in the service of the Crown? That summarises more adequately than I can my argument.

There is an additional distinction, which was not referred to by the Lord Justice, between the hospital and the general practitioner service. This again is an example of no logical difference between the two services. What if the treatment of a patient is carried out in a general practitioner hospital or the general practitioner wing of a general hospital?

Here we have the same patient, being treated in a hospital by a particular doc tor for a particular complaint, and receiving a particular treatment. By the Pfizer judgment, there is no question that the medical attention and treatment, even though by a general practitioner, is rendered as part of the services of the Crown. The patient is then discharged, to lie in his own bed. He is visited again by the same doctor who treated him in hospital, he receives the same treatment, and undoubtedly the same medicine. The only difference is in the bed and in the four walls.

Yet this treatment is no longer regarded as being in the service of the Crown. Again we could look fit the patient receiving treatment as an outpatient at the hospital. He receives a prescription which he may take to a local chemist if the hospital pharmacist is not able to undertake the work for one reason or another. All this is in the service of the Crown. He is then referred by the hospital back to his own general practitioner, and again receives the same treatment, the same medicine is prescribed, and the same chemist supplies the drugs. In the first case it is in the service of the Crown, in the second it is not.

To illustrate this a little more I refer to the question of disposable sterile syringes. I do so, as hon. Members opposite will recognise, because this, as the Minister said, was what triggered off the insertion of the provisions in the Bill. It the sterile disposable syringe is supplied by a hospital doctor, is used by a hospital doctor in a hospital building, it is within the ambit of the provisions of the Patents Act. If it is used by a general practitioner, for the same patient, for the same complaint, in the same arm, it is not. Can this anomaly really be justified?

It may be argued that the distinction lies in the fact that the doctor and chemist are not employed by the Crown and their work is done on their own behalf. I would argue that they are all taking part in carrying out the duty imposed upon the Minister of Health to provide a comprehensive Health Service. Whether he chooses to carry this out by persons directly employed by him or others, under a contract of service, surely cannot make any difference.

Let us examine this a little further. Suppose it were decided in future that general practitioners should be paid on a salary basis. Would the situation then be changed? Certainly in the eyes of the patient there would be no difference. The only difference would be in the way in which the doctor's remuneration was calculated and paid. I believe that there is at least a tentative agreement between my right hon. Friend and the medical profession that an opportunity might be presented, some time, for groups of general practitioners who so wished to be paid on a salaried basis rather than on fees. If that were adopted one would presumably have two classes of general practitioner.

Again it must be acknowledged, even though there are two different groups in relation to payment, that there could be no difference whatever in the services which they performed. Is it to be seriously suggested that these two groups might be practising next door to one another, one being remunerated by salary and performing services to the Crown, and the other not doing so? Not only is this anomalous, it is absurd.

I realise that if the new Clause were adopted it might lead to a further infringement of the protection granted to patentees. I am sure that if my right hon. Friend found it necessary to invoke these additional powers he would not do so unless it were absolutely necessary, and a last resort. I share the view of the Sainsbury Committee that he would undoubtedly in such an event report his action to the House and his use of the powers would then be open to Parliamentary discussion and control.

I have not referred at all to the advantages which might accrue to the Exchequer, and the benefits which may result to the Health Service by the application of these Sections of the Patents Act to the Part IV services. I have not done so deliberately, because I am concerned purely with the mechanics and logicality of the situation. It may be that some of my hon. Friends, if they catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will try to raise this point. I hope that my right hon. Friend will look at this new Clause, and that it will commend itself to the House.

Mr. Nigel Fisher (Surbiton)

Not for the first time I have to declare an interest in the pharmaceutical industry. As the hon. Member for Walthamstow, East (Mr. W. O. J. Robinson) has said, this new Clause extends the use of Section 46 of the Patents Act to the pharmaceutical services as a whole, instead of merely to the Hospital Service. The hon. Gentleman called in aid of his arguments the Sainsbury Committee Report. For me that is no recommendation, because I thought it a very superficial report, in this as in other respects.

I am not concerned to argue as the hon. Gentleman did, as between the pharmaceutical service generally and the hospital service in particular. I do not think that Section 46 should apply to either. I want to argue the case on much wider grounds than he did. He should not need reminding that patents are the life-blood of the pharmaceutical industry, and its main protection against the piracy of a new discovery. There is no incentive whatever to carry out expensive research if the result of it can be copied by a rival and sold, without any research on his part.

Without adequate patent protection research would not be worthwhile, innovation would cease, and in the end this would kill our valuable export industry. Section 46 of the Patent Act enables Her Majesty's Government to obtain supplies for the services of the Crown of patented drugs from unlicensed sources abroad. It was used for this purpose by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) when he was Minister of Health. It was a mistake, which I understand he now acknowledges and it has not been used since. In parentheses, I may add that it was somewhat surprising to me that the great exponent and high priest of free enterprise should have struck such a blow against it when he had the power to do so!

This loophole in the patent law of which he took advantage was never intended to apply to pharmaceutical products, but was intended I believe to apply to defence equipment or something of that sort. It remains a threat in the hands of the Minister, and this new Clause, if the right hon. Gentleman accepts it, would extend his powers and encourage fears in the industry that he intended to use them. If he does not intend to do so there is no point in his accepting the new Clause.

The use of this big stick by the right hon. Gentleman would no doubt in some cases produce an ephemeral short-term financial saving and that is presumably the point of the new Clause. It would certainly result in a long-term loss to our balance of payments, and in serious discouragement to research. Its use is also dangerous to health, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman to note that point particularly, because he has a responsibility to do so. I say this because continental imports might well be sub-standard and would be very difficult to check for quality if spread through the whole pharmaceutical service.

I agree that they might be cheaper. Italy, for example, sells abroad at prices much lower than her domestic prices in order to encourage exports. There is no other way in which she can encourage exports because, due to her own lack of patent protection, expenditure on research in Italy is only 1.5 per cent. of sales, whereas in Britain it is about 8.5 per cent., and Italy has understandably produced only one significant new drug. As we know, she has an adverse balance of payments for pharmaceutical products whereas our own balance of payments is a very favourable one indeed.

Paradoxically, I understand that Italy is now likely to introduce legislation to give some patent protection—indeed, she may already have done so—because of these very considerations. It would be ironic if, at the same time, we were to weaken the protection which we give to our own pharmaceutical industry. It is extraordinary that hon. Gentlemen should seriously recommend discriminating against this industry of all industries in the patent protection which we afford to it. I think I am right in saying that the inventor of a new type of machine gun has better protection than would be allowed to the inventor of a cure for cancer or for coronary thrombosis—quite extraordinary state of affairs.

The pharmaceutical industry is of the greatest importance both to the health o: our people and to our exports and balance of payments. Acceptance of the new Clause would in my view be a classic case of penny wise and pound foolish, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman and the House will decisively reject it. The proper way to deal with this issue, if the Minister wants to deal with it at all, is to leave it to the Banks Committee to consider. He certainly ought not to introduce it through the back door in this Bill against the interests of the industry and, incidentally, against the strong advice of the C.B.I.

6.0 p.m.

Mr. Pavitt

Not for the first time, I find myself following the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) and disagreeing with all that he says. I listened with interest and admiration to the case put by my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow, East (Mr. W. O. J. Robinson), a massive and well argued case which showed beyond question the anomaly which exists when half of the National Health Service is counted a service to the Crown and the other half is not. The case was so formidable that, if my right hon. Friend cannot accede to our request, I shall be very disappointed, and so will a good many of my hon. Friends.

The hon. Member for Surbiton has no regard for the Sainsbury Report. I, on the contrary, have considerable regard for it, though I shall not try to out-Sainsbury Sainsbury, as I have been accused of doing in another Committee elsewhere in this building. We waited for the Sainsbury Report for a long time, and the pattern was set by a most important report, in which the health services throughout the whole world have been interested, the Kefauver Report in America, which made an examination in depth of the way in which drugs were supplied in that country. That report is relevant to this debate because of the amount of medicines supplied on prescription and paid for by the British Exchequer through the National Health Service and the proportions represented by the different countries of origin of the companies supplying them: 49 per cent. are American, 14 per cent. Swiss, 10 per cent. other European countries, and only 27 per cent. of British manufacture by British-owned companies. Therefore, when the hon. Gentleman talks about protecting the rights of the British pharmaceutical industry, he is talking not so much of British manufacturers but, in effect, of a vast international concern.

The hon. Gentleman's hope is that the power to purchase drugs for the service of the Crown should not apply either to the hospital service or, as we now propose, to the general medical service. I agree with his right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell)—the only point, I think, in the whole of my experience in the House on which I have ever agreed with him. The hon. Gentleman said eloquently that patents are the life-blood of the industry. I remind him of a similar comment made when the equivalent debate was going on in the United States over the Kefauver Report. The question of patent monopolies was being discussed, and it was said that the opposition point of view, that is, the view of the manufacturers and a minority on the investigating committee, would lead one to believe that patents are a God-given right to the United States of America, that without them free trade could not go on, and the whole American system of free enterprise would crumble. A similar argument is now advanced by the hon. Gentleman, who thinks that this is a vital interest of the industry.

The hon. Gentleman argues that to do w Tat we propose would give a short-term gain but a long-term loss. In my view, neither would necessarily follow. We would hope to have, at least, a permanent gain if one were able to negotiate from a position of strength a better price for the drugs which the Minister needs for the service. When we are spending £169 million on drugs, in other words, a quarter as much again as we spend on the whole of the general practitioner service, the Minister of Health has a direct responsibility to reach the best possible bargain he can for the taxpayer. Therefore, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West took powers under Section 46 of the Patents Act to purchase drugs for the hospital service, he was absolutely right. He did his duty to the House and to the country.

Previous experience of this practice has set the precedent of reporting to the House. Any action taken by my right hon. Friend, if the new Clause were added to the Bill, would inevitably be open to Parliamentary discussion and control. This is a safeguard which should allow my right hon. Friend to yield to the considerable pressure which I and others have been putting upon him.

Section 46 is a selective instrument, which was used to very good effect by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West. The amazing feature of that action was that the right hon. Gentleman is noted for being an extreme supporter of the value of a market economy. But even he found, because of the monopoly position given to drug manufacturers under the Patents Act, that it was necessary to take power of that kind. It is right, therefore, that we should take similar power in respect of drugs administered under the general practitioner service for patients treated not necessarily in hospital but in their own homes.

I come now to some of the effects of taking such a power. On Tuesday, 14th April, 1964, The Times published a report about contracts for £300,000 which were placed by the Ministry of Health with three British firms to import drugs for the hospital service. The report told us: Proprietary tetracycline is marketed at present at about £45 for 1,000 tablets. Last year, imported tetracycline was sold to the hospitals at about £6 10s. for 1,000, and the new contract may bring the figure down to about £4–£5 for 1,000". If that was possible, it must be in the interests of the taxpayer that this weapon should be used to bring such price levels down from £45 to between £4 and £5 for 1,000 tablets. One could cite other examples where it is necessary for my right hon. Friend to bring pressure to bear if he is to secure the right sort of bargain.

In view of the 49 per cent. of drugs used in our Health Service which are made by American firms. I refer again to the Kefauver Report and give the example of the tranquilliser Sparine. In Canada, the price was 3.15 dollars, in the United States 3 dollars, and then, at the end of a list of countries with varying prices, one finds that in Germany the price was 0.80 dollars. In no case was the difference due to a different standard of living in the country concerned. Mexico, for example, paid twice as much for this tranquilliser as did Germany.

The market economy goes haywire and shows up the false situation which exists when there is a monopoly and any price can be demanded. The House will be familiar with the example of Mallory batteries used by the users of hearing aids. These also are subject to patent rights. There is only one company producing these batteries for people who wear post-aural hearing aids in this country. On 1st January, the price was put up by 50 per cent., from 1s. 9d. to 2s. 10d. There may be as many as 1½ million people who have paid £40 or £50 for such hearing aids, but this one firm could decide that all those hearing aids were useless if it ceased to manufacture the batteries without which the aid will not operate. In an attempt to find a way round this, and knowing the ingenuity of Japan with exports, I tried to find out if it would be possible, should the firm decide to go out of production, to import similar batteries from Japan. I found that the Japanese did export batteries of that type but that there is a patent which covers them owned by Messrs. Mallory. Mallory is an American firm which controls the supply of batteries in this country, and has an agreement with the Japanese that they will not export Mallory batteries to Great Britain.

Therefore, because of patent rights not only is there a monopoly in the nation seeking to buy a drug or invention that might be of use to people suffering from illness and needing treatment under its national health service but there can be an international cartel or monopoly which prevents it from obtaining them from any other point of the compass. Last year 31 million man-days were lost to production through bronchitis alone. With the extension of the provision that the Minister may buy in bulk common drugs used in large quantities for treatment of ailments like bronchitis he would know that where a specific drug which can be purchased in bulk more cheaply he has the right to all the weapons in his armoury that Sainsburys would use when buying groceries and Marks and Spencer when buying commodities for their stores. There must be power for the Minister to provide in the best possible way.

Another case where the discrepancy because of patents is so large concerns the firm of Bayer, which the hon. Member for Surbiton mentioned. In a letter in The Guardian just after the Second Reading debate it was stated that the retail price charged by Bayer for … 2 × 500 Tabs Panadol each containing 0.5 gram of the drug Paracetamol was 67s., while the retail price of 1,000 Tabs Paracetamol 0.5 gram B.P. from the same pharmacy was 36s. This is not just a question of a few shillings either way. It is a large discrepancy.

Therefore, I hope that the House will accept the new Clause so admirably moved by my hon. Friend. I do not suppose that my right hon. Friend the Minister would need to use its provisions, but they will mean that when he is negotiating and seeking to bring down the amount the taxpayer pays for drugs, he at least has an alternative on his side which helps him to secure the best possible bargain for us all.

Mr. Fortescue

I think that the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) said that only 27 per cent. of the drugs used in this country were of British manufacture. It should be made clear that all drugs used in this country are made in this country, but that a large proportion is made by firms belonging to American or Swiss companies. I think that the hon. Gentleman implied that all these were imported, but that is just not so.

The 11th recommendation of the Sainsbury Committee was that: … Ministers should consider amendment of the National Health Service Act 1946 to bring the General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services within the definition of services of the Crown' …". Two important medical Bills have been published since the Report was issued, the Bill we are discussing and the Medicines Bill. In neither is there any implementation of that recommendation. There was no mention in the Second Reading debate on this Bill, there is nothing in the Bill, there was no mention in 12 sittings of the Committee, and no Clause has been introduced by the Minister today. Likewise, there is nothing in the Medicines Bill to show that the Minister is willing to do anything about that recommendation. It seems to me that in those circumstances it is highly unlikely that the Minister will accept the Amendment. If he does, the House, and especially hon. Members on this side, will want to know what has made him change his mind at the very last minute.

As has already been said, a previous Minister of Health used Section 46 of the Patents Act, 1949, to cover supplies of five drugs to National Health Service hospitals in 1961, with repeat orders in 1962 and 1964. In 1965 a case was decided by the House of Lords arising from the use by the Minister of Section 46. Three of the five Law Lords who beard the case came to the conclusion that the use of Section 46 represented a very serious impairment of the protection given to inventors by patents. The strongest comment was by Lord Wilberforce, who said: My Lords, such a definition of the powers of the Crown, to use or authorise the use of patented inventions, seems to me to be alarmingly wide and to make a formidable incision into the supposedly valuable monopoly rights which the Crown has granted to the patentee. Those views were echoed by Lord Pearce and Lord Reid.

6.15 p.m.

National Health Service hospitals use between 10 and 15 per cent. of the drugs prescribed in this country, the balance being used by the general pharmaceutical and medical services. Therefore, the Clause would expand very largely the incision, as Lord Wilberforce said, into the rights of the patentee which have already be en made by the decision in the Pfizer case. We on this side of the House believe that that incision should be entirely eliminated and that supplies to the National Health Service hospitals should also not be covered by Section 46.

The proposed new Clause goes very far in the opposite direction and proposes further to erode the rights of patentees granted to them by the Crown. A formidable case has been made by hon. Members opposite on the need to do something. We on this side of the House perhaps have the responsibility to make alternative proposals as to what should be done instead of extending Section 46 to the general and pharmaceutical services.

I propose, first, that if Section 46 is to be used by Ministers—not only the Health Minister, but any Minister, for this could apply to any service of the Crown and not only the Health Service—it should be subject to a prior authorisation procedure whereby, before the Minister could by a stroke of the pen tell a patentee that his patent rights no longer exist in regard to a certain product, he would have to submit that proposal to an independent person. A High Court judge or someone of that status would be a suitable person, and he would examine whether the proposed use of Section 46 would be in the public interest, and whether the patentee had been unreasonable as regards his prices or in any other matter. This would restrict the Minister's power to take away property—and a patent is the property of a patentee—arbitrarily and without good reason.

Mr. W. O. J. Robinson

Does not Section 48 provide that any dispute as to the exercise of the power may be referred to the court for decision?

Mr. Fortescue

It does. I am proposing an extra stage in that procedure whereby, outside the courts, semi-judicial inquiries should be held before the stage of going to law is reached. I understand that a proposal on these lines will be submitted to the Banks Committee, which has been set up by the President of the Board of Trade to examine the patent system and patent law in general. We should await the report of the Banks Committee on the whole patent law before more consideration is given to the Clause.

There is another point that was partly made by the hon. Member for Waltham-stow, West (Mr. W. O. J. Robinson) in his speech, which I thought very persuasive, although I did not agree with it. What should happen if there is a deadlock in price negotiation between the Minister and the manufacturer, if the manufacturer's price appears to the Minister to be too high, and the manufacturer replies, "That is my price, and that's it"? The public must obviously be protected. If the Minister thinks that the price is too high something should be done. I believe that such a deadlock is very unlikely, because any manufacturer in his senses would see that he could not win, and would thus be very reluctant to come to a. point of complete deadlock. But it could happen, because the Minister's advisers, admirable as I am sure they are, are not always right. We all make mistakes. Even Minister's advisers have been known to nod. So there could be a case where the drug manufacturer says, "No. I am certain that in this case I am right and they are wrong, and I want to take this to arbitration." An independent and broadly-based tribunal could and should be established to which such cases could be referred, because they raise points not only of the price and efficacy of drugs but of the balance of payments, the research effort of pharmaceutical companies, and many other matters. They can easily be matters which cannot be fully investigated and ruled upon by the advisers to the Minister of Health.

I urge the Minister not to accept the new Clause at this stage but to give further consideration to the whole question.

Mr. Herbert Butler

One of the main difficulties with which committees, and particularly management committees, are concerned from year to year is the increasing cost of drugs and dressings. Each time we review our estimates during the year, one of the things which we find most difficult to control is the cost of drugs and dressings. Our medical advisory committees indicate to us in no uncertain terms that they are responsible for the treatment of patients and that they do not control the price at which we have to purchase the drugs.

My hon. Friends who drafted the new Clause have put their finger on something about which even the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) could do nothing when he was Minister of Health. He was appointed for the purpose of cutting the cost of the Health Service. He tried to do the job, and eventually left the post. He visited anonymously one or two hospitals in my constituency, but we never got much assistance from him in devising a better service for the patient. That was not his job. His job was to cut the cost of the Health Service.

Mr. Dean

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman wants to be fair. Would he concede that my right hon. Friend introduced a major hospital building programme?

Mr. Butler

It is not appropriate to discuss it now, but we had a beautiful Blue Book and a ten-year programme which meant nothing at all. When I served on the regional board and we discussed the proposed developments embodied in the Blue Book, we were not talking about facts at all; we were talking about fictions of the Conservative Party.

Anyone with any experience of the National Health Service knows that it is most difficult to control the cost of drugs and dressings. We have increased the number of nurses, which is a contributory factor in our expenditure. I do not know whether hon. Members opposite are talking in legalistic terms or about what happens to the patient, but any Minister in control of the National Health Service must do something about the cost of drugs and dressings. Whether the Patents Act is an impediment in doing that, or whether somebody in the Law Courts has done something, does not interest me. I want my right hon. Friend to have power, as a result of the Sainsbury Report, to deal with the ever increasing costs of drugs and dressings to the public. One of the most terrifying things is our lack of power to control the cost of drugs. I hope that my right hon. Friend will accept the new Clause so that we can deal with it.

Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)

Like my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Fortescue), I was surprised that the hon. Member for Walthamstow, East (Mr. W. O. J. Robinson) should attempt to hang such a significant change on a new Clause on Report. I was amazed, as possibly you, Mr. Irving, were, at the wide divergence of view expressed by the hon. Gentleman and by my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher). It seemed to me that their views were irreconcilable, although my hon. Friend the Member for Garston attempted to reconcile them in his closing remarks.

I object to the new Clause for another reason. What hon. Members opposite are saying, in effect, is that drugs subject to patent are disproportionately expensive and that their price should be reduced. In other words, they are saying that the value of patent protection should be diminished. They are going about it in a most objectionable manner. They are proposing to cut down the value of the patent protection vis-à-vis the manufacturer abroad, the foreigner. He is the only person who would not benefit from the new Clause. There would still be protection for the patentee in this country who has evolved a new and valuable drug as against someone who sets up a rival manufacture in the United Kingdom. Hon. Members opposite propose to take no action against him; the protection remains. But the protection will be diminished against the products of a manufacturer in a foreign country.

It is quite objectionable that we should give preference to a manufacturer in Italy, Germany, America or any other overseas country as long as he manufactures abroad and write down the protection vis-à-vis those who manufacture in this country under similar working conditions, similar wages and similar taxes. It would be deplorable if the Minister were to accept the new Clause.

Mr. K. Robinson

The new Clause, which was very clearly explained by my hon. Friend the Member for Waltham-stow, East (Mr. W. O. J. Robinson), derives from the recommendation of the Sainsbury Committee. The hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) does not do the pharmaceutical industry any service by constantly denigrating the Sainsbury Report. I have asked him before to compare it with the Kefauver Report in the United States.

Mr. Fisher

I did not like that Report either.

Mr. K. Robinson

I gathered that the hon. Gentleman might not, but the attitude of the Sainsbury Report to the British pharmaceutical industry was very different from that of the American Report.

The purpose of the new Clause is to apply to the services provided under Part IV of the National Health Service Act the provisions relating to the Crown use of patents contained in Sections 32, 46, 47 and 48 of the Patents Act, 1949. As my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow, East explained, the principal provision is contained in Section 46, which enables any Government Department and any person authorised by a Government Department to make, use and exercise any patented invention for the services of the Crown. The conditions specified in the Section include a requirement that the terms for the use of the invention shall be agreed between the Government Department and the patentee or, in the case of a dispute, determined by the court.

Section 48 deals with the reference of disputes as to Crown use, and, frankly, I doubt whether there was any need for my hon. Friends to include this in their new Clause. Section 47 deals with the right of licensees in respect of Crown use, and Section 32 deals with applications to the court for revocation of patents.

6.30 p.m.

The hon. Member for Surbiton rather suggested that the application of Section 46 to the Part IV services was somehow an action which should not be taken in advance of the general review of the patent system and patent law by the Banks Committee. The Sainsbury Committee did not take that view. As the hon. Member knows, there were a number of issues on which the Sainsbury Committee said that it did not want to pronounce and which should be referred to the Banks Committee. The Sainsbury Committee did not, however, recommend that this aspect of patent law should be referred to the Banks Committee. It clearly envisaged that action on it might be taken in advance of the Banks Committee's recommendations. The Sainsbury Committee, no doubt, considered that the proposal did not raise any major patent issues. This seems to me to be the right view to take.

Executive council services are, in practice, closely allied to Crown services in that unlike, for example, the nationalised industries or the local authority services, they derive all their funds from the Exchequer. Moreover, although the status of the doctor who prescribes and the pharmacist who dispenses drugs under the Part IV services is different from that of their counterparts under the hospital service, the situation concerning the patient and the public interest is the same.

The hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Fortescue) seemed rather to be arguing that Section 46 offends the rules of natural justice in that it empowers Government Departments to take away part of a patentee's monopoly rights arbitrarily and without any reference to an independent body.

Use of Section 46 is not completely arbitrary, in that compensation in lieu of royalty is determined either by agreement or by the court. The court can ensure that the patentee gets a fair reward for his invention. In practice, Section 46 is likely to be used only if the difference in price between drugs from licensed and unlicensed sources is very great.

Mr. Fortescue

Would not the Minister agree that the terms of compensation under Section 46, and as used in the past under that Section, have never been acceptable to the patentee, who reckons that he is getting the bare minimum of compensation, which by no means compensates him for his loss in his patent being exercised?

Mr. K. Robinson

I am aware that most commercial organisations never think that they get enough for their products. The fact is, however, that the provision exists for this figure to be determined by the court. In other words, it goes to arbitration. The essence of arbitration is surely that neither side is satisfied or that both sides are satisfied with the result.

The hon. Member also asked why this provision was not included in the Medicines Bill or in the present Bill as drafted. The short answer is that all the Sainsbury recommendations were under consideration at about the time the Bill was being considered on Second Reading and at the beginning of its Committee stage. We were concentrating first on the Sainsbury recommendations which had relevance to the Medicines Bill so that the drafting of the Bill could be finalised. Emphatically, the new Clause is not relevant to the Medicines Bill. It is for that reason there was no consideration of including it in that Measure.

Reference has been made to the one occasion when Section 46 was invoked by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell). I was interested to hear the hon. Member for Surbiton, who has now left, say that his right hon. Friend felt that it was a mistake to have done that. I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman is on record as having said that. It might be interesting to know whether he confirms or contradicts what his hon. Friend has said. I do not think that it resulted in any serious encroachment on the patent rights of pharmaceutical firms.

Certainly, the most sparing use has been made of the Section and no new application has been made during the lifetime of the present Government. I know that people will argue that there can be no guarantee that Governments will continue to act reasonably, but Governments will always have an interest in a strong pharmaceutical industry and will be strongly inhibited from using the Section in any way that is damaging to the industry. Moreover, practical difficulties are involved in the application of Section 46. That alone suggests that it is unlikely to be used except in circumstances envisaged by the Sainsbury Committee, which is mainly as a procedure of last resort.

I have listened carefully to all the speeches in this debate and to the discussion of what is, I accept, an important new Clause. One or two points have been raised which I would like to consider further, and there is always the possibility of further Amendments in another place. I am, however, satisfied that the balance of argument of principle is in favour of the new Clause and I am prepared to recommend the House to accept it, on the basis envisaged by the Sainsbury Committee that this power would be used only as a procedure of last resort where there might be deadlock after full negotiations.

As regards pharmaceutical products, I share the Sainsbury Committee's hope that revised arrangements regulating prices, which I am currently discussing with the industry, will greatly reduce the chances of my having to resort to the use of these powers. Like the Committee, I recognise the strong feelings which were aroused in the industry by the action of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West. I do not, however, think that the legitimate interests of the industry would be in any way prejudiced if the Section 46 procedures were used in the way which I have just indicated.

I would find it difficult, and, perhaps, rather embarrassing, to advise the rejection of the new Clause when I recall how I pressed the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West to extend the application of Section 46 in this same direction when he invoked it way back in 1961. Since I became Minister of Health, my record has been blameless in this regard concerning the industry, because I have not had occasion to make any new application of this procedure. I have, in fact, terminated the use of Section 46 in respect of those products for which it was in operation when I became Minister. As a result, I probably got a better bargain for the National Health Service.

There is a strong Crown interest in ensuring that patented inventions required for the purpose of Part IV services are supplied promptly and on reasonable terms. Whether drugs are prescribed by a general practitioner or a hospital doctor, the Exchequer meets the cost and Ministers of the Crown have equal responsibility for ensuring that prices are reasonable. It is right that they should have the same powers available to assist them in their responsibility in respect of both services.

The new clause does not appear to me to raise any major new issue affecting patent law and the patent system, and I share the Sainsbury Committee's view that it need not wait upon the Report of the Banks Committee. The Report of that Committee when received will, however, provide an opportunity for reviewing this provision.

As regards inventions other than drugs, while it would be right in principle that the same procedures of last resort should be available, I do not foresee circumstances in which I should need to use these powers for products or services other than the general medical and pharmaceutical services. If the House accepts the new Clause, I should like to consider further whether it should be limited to general medical and pharmaceutical services, which, I imagine, is what my hon. Friends have in mind.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan (Farnham)

Even the assurances and qualifications which the right hon. Gentleman introduced towards the end of his defence of this new Clause, which has come in at the last minute, do not convince me that we should accept it or in any way further it on its course.

The whole argument of the hon. Member for Walthamstow, East (Mr. W. O. J. Robinson) seemed to show how right we on this side in Committee were to oppose the Minister's attempts to extend unduly his manufacturing and purchasing powers, since whatever the intention of the new Clause may be, and although the Minister assures us that he will use it in only a limited way, it writes on to the Statute Book a very considerable increase in the powers which he has already been given by other parts of the Bill.

The hon. Member for Walthamstow, East made some reference to the anomaly which exists in making the criterion whether Section 46 of the Patents Act should or should not be used not the purpose but the nature of the mechanism which was set up. This may or may not be an anomaly, but it is certainly the criterion which in nearly all cases of Purchase Tax is operated, for the perfectly adequate reason that it is very difficult to make an effective definition of purpose and easier to do so of mechanism. I really cannot accept the argument which came from the other side of the House, notably from the hon. Member for Walthamstow, East and the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt), that because a principle is being juridically stretched to create an anomaly, that anomaly should be removed by stretching it still further. In other words, I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) that if there is anomaly the right way to remove it is not to extend the provisions of those Sections of the Patents Act but to introduce legislation which limits their existing use.

The hon. Member for Willesden, West made it clear that his real purpose—I am not saying it is a disreputable purpose—was to buy drugs cheap for the National Health Service, really by doing so in a manner which enables the taxpayer to avoid paying research and development costs. It is rather as if he were recommending the Secretary of State for Education and Science to get cheap books for State schools from pirated editions which did not give the authors royalties—a practice which, alas, is extending overseas, but, happily, despite hon. Gentlemen opposite, not in this country yet. I think that the argument that monopoly works only one way was rather overworked by hon. Members opposite. In other words, if it is true with regard to any particular product that the manufacturer has a monopolistic power which could be abused, it is equally true, as far as products in general are concerned, that the Government are a sufficiently important customer to make it a very foolish commercial activity to antagonise them in any way at all.

My hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton declared his interest. I have none in this, except that which was mentioned by the Minister towards the end of his speech—the efficiency and the development and research of the pharmaceutical industry—and I hope that by the time we have finished with the Bill and the Medicines Bill some future Lord Platt delivering the Harleian Lecture in twenty or thirty years' time will be able to pay the same tribute to the contribution of the pharmaceutical industry, untramelled by attempts to direct its development by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, as Lord Platt was able to do so long ago.

Of course, we all of us share in the desire to develop confidence in the industry and its future. This is an exporting industry, and it is important not to do anything which will prevent investment in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry, and I should have thought that Members on the Treasury Bench would have thought it important not to do anything which will inhibit investment of foreign capital in the United Kingdom.

I think the only special interest which I have which the Minister has not is perhaps rather more concern than he showed about possible abuse by the State monopoly, as much as and in addition to any private monopoly.

6.45 p.m.

My arguments against the new Clause, despite the right hon. Gentleman's acceptance of it, are really threefold. First, it is wrong in principle to attack patent rights in this rather piecemeal way. Secondly, it is mistaken in practice to seek to deal by this means with this problem—whichever it is, because hon. Gentlemen seemed somewhat confused as to whether they were seeking to find a method of preventing disagreement on prices or merely seeking to prevent misuse of monopoly rights. Whichever it is, I think it is mistaken in practice to seek to deal with the problem by this means, particularly as there are other methods open to the Minister, both under the Patents Act and in other ways.

Thirdly, I think the method by which this new Clause has been introduced, at a very late stage of the Bill, is underhand, to say the least of it. It is really no good the Minister saying he was so busy thinking about the application of the Sainsbury recommendations to the Medicines Bill that he had not time to think about their application to this Bill, especially when he was so proud of the pressure which he put upon my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) at the time my right hon. Friend used Section 46 for the hospital services—pressure which he put upon him to extend it even further.

This new Clause extends to other parts of the Health Service these provisions of the Patents Act. I do not think I need argue in detail the case put by hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House, but I would just add one suggestion, that this use of Section 46 rather calls into question the whole value of patent rights granted by the Crown in circumstances where the main customer of any goods or end product produced through those rights is becoming more and more the Crown. We are dealing, in all this legislation on medicines, with a situation where the Minister is obtaining—and we shall argue about it later this evening—greater powers to manufacture, to sell, to distribute various goods, appliances, and so on, and I am beginning to wonder what exactly is the value of patent rights granted by the Crown in cases where the sole customer or the main customer of the end product is the Crown, and so that, under this new Clause, any use of goods is at a licence fee to be agreed, other than that set by the manufacturer.

This, to me, speaking as a publisher, is an extremely familiar process. It is exactly the argument put forward by the developing countries to justify their producing, in their own countries, educational textbooks for educational purposes at royalties decided by themselves rather than those set by the author upon his copyright. It seems to me that the Minister, in all his arguments, was really using very much the same attempt to justify this practice.

I think that in general principle this new Clause is bad. I think the way it extends the powers of Section 46 is the wrong way of doing it. I deplore the fact that the Minister should have seen fit, without any serious attempt to argue it, to accept the new Clause, which appeared on the Notice Paper only last Friday. As far as I know, it was hardly discussed with outside interests affected. It was argued rather thinly by the Minister in a way which leads one to believe that he is more concerned with agreeing with his hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow, East on at least one aspect of his whole policy that he is with the contents of the new Clause. I must, therefore, ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to reject it.

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

The House divided: Ayes 167, Noes 116.

Division No. 103.] AYES [6.50 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Oakes, Gordon
Alldritt, Walter Hamling, William O'Malley, Brian
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Harper, Joseph Oram, Albert E.
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Orme, Stanley
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Haseldine, Norman Osborn, John (Hallam)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Hazell, Bert Oswald, Thomas
Barnes, Michael Heffer, Eric S. Owen, Witt (Morpeth)
Baxter, William Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town) Padley, Walter
Bence, Cyril Hooley, Frank Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Horner, John Parker, John (Dagenham)
Binns, John Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Pavitt, Laurence
Bishop, E. S. Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Pentland, Norman
Booth, Albert Hoy, James Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)
Brooks, Edwin Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hunter, Adam Probert, Arthur
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Hynd, John Randall, Harry
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Irvine, Sir Arthur Rankin, John
Buchan, Norman Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Jeger, George (Goole) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St. P' c' as)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow. E.)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jones, Dan (Bumley) Ryan, John
Coe, Denis Jones, J, Idwal (Wrexham) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, s.)
Coleman, Donald Judd, Frank Sheldon, Robert
Conlan, Bernard Kelley, Richard Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Craddock, George (Bradford, s.) Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Crawshaw, Richard Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Lawson, George Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Leadbitter, Ted Skeffington, Arthur
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Slater, Joseph
Dell, Edmund Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Small, William
Dempsey, James Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Snow, Julian
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Lipton, Marcus Spriggs, Leslie
Dickens, James Loughlin, Charles Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Doig, Peter McBride, Neil Symonds, J. B.
Dunn, James A. MacDermot, Niall Taverne, Dick
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) McCuire, Michael Thornton, Ernest
Eadie, Alex Mackie, John Tinn, James
Edelman, Maurice Maclennan, Robert Tuck, Raphael
English, Michael McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Urwin, T. W.
Ennals, David McNamara, J. Kevin Varley, Eric G.
Ensor, David MacPherson, Malcolm Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Manuel, Archie Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Faulds, Andrew Mapp, Charles Wallace, George
Finch, Harold Marks, Kenneth Wellbeloved, James
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Maxwell, Robert Whitlock, William
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mendelson, J. J. Wilkins, W. A.
Fraser, John (Norwood) Millan, Bruce Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Freeson, Reginald Miller, Dr. M. S. Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Garrett, W. E. Milne, Edward (Blyth) Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Gourlay, Harry Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Woof, Robert
Grey, Charles (Durham) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Wyatt, Woodrow
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Moyle, Roland TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Mr. Alan Fitch and
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Newens, Stan Mr. Ernest Armstrong.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Buck, Antony (Colchester) Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Astor, John Campbell, Gordon d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Baker, W. H. K. Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)
Bell, Ronald Cary, Sir Robert Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos, & Fhm) Clegg, Walter Digby, Simon Wingfield
Biffen, John Cooke, Robert Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
Blaker, Peter Cordle, John Eyre, Reginald
Boardman, Tom Costain, A. P. Farr, John
Body, Richard Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Bossom, Sir Clive Crowder, F. P. Fortescue, Tim
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Cunningham, Sir Knox Foster, Sir John
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Dalkeith, Earl of Gibson-Watt, David
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Dance, James Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.
Goodhart, Philip McMaster, Stanley Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Goodhew, Victor Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Royle, Anthony
Gower, Raymond Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Russell, Sir Ronald
Grant, Anthony Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Scott, Nicholas
Gresham Cooke, R. Mills, Peter (Torrington) Sharples, Richard
Hall, John (Wycombe) Monro, Hector Silvester, Frederick
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) More, Jasper Stodart, Anthony
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Higgins, Terence L. Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Teeling, Sir William
Hill, J. E. B. Murton, Oscar Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Nabarro, Sir Gerald van Straubenzee, W. R.
Holland, Philip Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Hooson, Emlyn Onslow, Cranley Walters, Dennis
Hordern, Peter Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian Ward, Dame Irene
Hunt, John Osborn, John (Hallam) Weatherill, Bernard
Hutchison, Michael Clark Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) Webster, David
Iremonger, T. L. Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Irvine, Bryant Codman (Rye) Peel, John Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Percival, Ian Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Pounder, Rafton Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Kershaw, Anthony Price, David (Eastleigh) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Knight, Mrs. Jill Prior, J. M. L. Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Langford-Holt, Sir John Pym, Francis Woodnutt, Mark
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Quennell, Miss J. M.
Loveys, W. H. Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lubbock, Eric Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Mr. R. W. Elliott, and
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey Mr. Humphrey Atkins.

Motion made, and Question, That the Bill be now read the Third time, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 55 (Third Reading), and agreed to.

Clause added to the Bill.

It being Seven o'clock, and there being Private Business set down by direction of The CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS under Standing Order No. 7 (Time for taking Private Business), further Proceeding stood postponed.