§ TAX RELIEF FOR DISABLED PERSONS
§ In section 9 of the Finance Act 1962, as amended by section 10 of the Finance Act 1965, for the references to £100 and £200 respectively there shall be substituted references to £130 and £260 and these sections shall also apply to any other seriously disabled person, which means a person who is deaf, dumb or otherwise handicapped by loss of physical or mental faculty which is substantial and likely to be permanent.—[Mr. Worsley.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. Marcus Worsley (Chelsea)
I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.
The House will be grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing us to debate the new Clauses together because they all cover points relating to disability. The Minister of State seems to be in that situation; I hope that it is nothing serious.
This is the only chance which we shall have during the passage of the Bill to do something constructive to ease the burden on the mentally and physically disabled, with whom we all have sympathy. Clearly, there will not be debate across the Floor of the House about that sympathy; the debate will be about how to help them. In times of economic crisis, like the present, that in itself is no reason to exclude from our consideration subjects like the one dealt with by the new Clause. These people still deserve our sympathy and help through the Bill.
The new Clause has a double purpose. Some of the other Clauses which we are discussing relate to only one of these two purposes. We are proposing that, first, the existing blind person's relief should be brought up to date, and, secondly, the relief which is paid only to the blind should be expanded to a general relief for disabled people.
I wish to start by discussing the first of those two aspects, to which new Clause No. 113 is related. The figures 1506 are simple. This relief was introduced in 1962 by the Conservative Government. Taking the base of 100 in January of that year, the cost-of-living index, which must be the indicator which we use in these matters, had risen in May this year to 124.9— 125 in round terms. The House will know how much of this increase has been the result of Labour Government and that the steps taken by this Government during the current year and earlier years have deliberately increased the cost of living.
We propose to increase the relief to £130, because we have no confidence whatever that the rise in the cost of living is likely to stop in the immediate future. Indeed, all the policies of the Governent make it absolutely certain that it will continue. To be precise, we should increase the relief to £125, but we have proposed the figure of £130.
When the Royal Commission on Taxation of Profits and Income recommended such a disability relief in 1954, it advocated that it should be not less than £100. As far back as 1954 it was thought that £100 was the absolute minimum. Here we are in 1968 and the £ is very much less valuable. Of course, if the Minister says now that he is quite happy to accept £125, I think it likely that my hon. and right hon. Friends will accept that with pleasure, but the point is that the relief introduced in 1962 has lost an appreciable part of its value. It is, after all, a relief not of very wide application, a relief confined to people who need it, and it is a relief, I must remind the House, which helps a category of people who are not currently helped through the National Insurance scheme—and that I shall return to in a minute.
There is an overwhelming case at least for preserving the real value of this relief for people who are, by definition, in need of help. So the case we make on this Clause is that, whatever else is done, it is only a matter of elementary justice that the relief should be increased to keep pace with the falling value of the £. Of course, I appreciate that these reliefs cannot be valid in successive Budgets; we cannot have a sort of sliding scale; but I do think, and I invite the Minister to agree with me about this, that when the figure has moved as far as this and the cost-of-living index has 1507 risen 25 points there is an absolutely overwhelming case for a change.
The second object, to which, if the House will permit me, I should like to devote rather more time, of the Clause is to widen the application of relief. We feel that the time has come to build on the foundation laid by the Conservative Government in 1962, and to move at least some of the way towards a proper overall disability relief. I suppose that different forms of disability excite different amounts of sympathy in different people, but can anyone really argue that a blind person has any greater need of tax relief than, for instance, someone who suffers from multiple sclerosis?
One can enumerate the hard cases easily enough, but surely the fact is that blind people have been selected not because they are in greater need of this relief, but because they are easier to identify. I believe that if there is a case —and I believe there is a case, and certainly both sides of the House have accepted this for some years now—for blind relief, then there must also be a case for relief for other major disabilities.
I should like to quote from the Royal Commission to which I have already referred. It had this to say in 1954 on this matter, thatthere are many kinds of disability … so severe that they modify the whole conditions of a person's life and impose upon him a constant levy of extra expense that may fairly be said to affect the taxable capacity of his income. … Our general conclusion is that grave disability ought to be the subject of allowance. It presents itself to us as a personal circumstance that sets apart those who suffer from it and directly affects their relative capacity to pay.This, of course, is the criterion on which one must judge a tax relief. There is nothing in that about singling out the blind for special treatment. The Report makes a clear and overall case for a disability allowance across the board.
The Minister will, of course, realise that although we are discussing the question of tax relief, all these tax reliefs, or many of them, have, as it were, their mini-images in National Insurance. I refer, but only briefly, to the fact that many of us on this side of the House who have been pressing for some time for corresponding disability benefit have 1508 made just the same criticisms about the present National Insurance scheme, that it helps certain limited forms of disability only; we have made of that scheme criticisms similar to those we are making this afternoon of the tax structure. I mention this because the same problem arises, and I should like to say a word about it.
There is, to begin with, of course, the problem of definition. I would certainly not wish to suggest to the House that this problem of definition is one which can be easily solved. Nevertheless, I should like to make one further quotation —and the House will be relieved to hear it is my last—from the Royal Commission's Report, because in paragraph 203 the Commissioners dealt with this point:'"The difficulty reinforces the need to begin cautiously "—as, of course, was done in 1962, though in a different way—and to confine qualification to 100 per cent. disablement. But we feel at the same time that the difficulty is not insuperable and ought to be faced. Machinery of the kind that we have in mind does in fact exist, though created for the purpose of war pension administration; and some of the qualifications, e.g., blindness, do, as it were, prove themselves.In other words, the Royal Commission, in considering this matter, thought that machinery should be established, and that there were precedents for the machinery, for making the kind of distinctions which we have in mind.
In our Amendment we have used the wording, as the Minister will recognise, of the industrial injuries scheme, and my hon. Friends, in the related new Clause 42, have used the industrial injuries scheme, and also the war pensions scheme, as the machinery for making this sort of decision. We feel that the time has come to move on this matter, that these words, which are well-established now, which have been in use and been in operation for 20 years, could be used as the machinery for making this distinction.
The Minister will, of course, know that the Government are currently carrying out a considerable survey into the whole question of disability. This we very warmly welcome. Such a survey is overdue, and must be valuable, but I hope that the Minister will not use this survey as an excuse for inaction on this matter. The survey will take a long time to complete; 1509 it will take a long time to digest when completed. I do not believe that we can wait till the survey is fully completed. I believe that we have reached a stage for a real attack on this problem.
It is, after all, as I said earlier, the only way we can help those in work, and what can be more important in this field than to help those persons who can still keep in work? Naturally enough, many of these people find it difficult to earn high remuneration; others, of course, cannot succeed in finding work at all, but where there is a possibility of work surely that should be encouraged. So we do not believe that the kind of cash benefit that we have in mind for disability is an alternative to a tax relief of the character we are mentioning. On the other hand, we feel that it is something that will run together with it very well.
I also hope that the Government will not use the classic argument for doing nothing, namely, to start talking about borderline cases. It is always easy to make a nonsense of almost any improvement by saying that there is a case on the borderline which produces hardship. There are always borderline cases which are difficult, but if we use this argument across the board we would have hardly any benefits and hardly any tax reliefs at all.
Surely the important thing is to tackle the substance of the problem and if, in the working of the scheme, there are found to be difficulties on the borderline, perhaps we can put them right later. However, this should not be an argument against any improvement in the scheme. If the Government can come forward with a better definition than we have succeeded in doing either in this new Clause or in any other new Clauses on the Notice Paper, we shall be only too delighted to accept it.
We are trying to establish two principles in this Clause. The first principle is that when a tax relief of this character has been allowed and, largely through Government policy, has become eroded, then it is time that the Government took action and accepted a variation in the rate of tax relief.
Secondly, the story which I have tried to unfold of the initial recommendation of the Royal Commission's Report for a disability tax relief, followed by the 1510 introduction of a partial scheme in 1962, all adds up surely to an unanswerable case to widen this provision so that it covers the whole, or at least the greater part, of the disability sphere. This is what we urge the Government to do. This is why we have put down this Clause.
§ Mr. Speaker
I should like to announce that I have given consideration to the request of the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) that I might be prepared to allow a Division on some of these other grouped Amendments. I have given some thought to this and I am prepared to allow a Division on new Clause 42 when we come to it, if requested by the Opposition.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member may not move new Clause 42. He is speaking on the present Motion, but he may, however, talk about new Clause 42 as much as he likes.
§ Mr. Ridsdale
I welcome talking on new Clause 42 in conjunction with new Clause 36. If the Government are not able to agree and help on new Clause 36, I hope that at least they will realise that this Clause, to help the blind, is not so costly and will, therefore, go some way towards helping this very needy section of the community. The objective of new Clause 42 is to help a very small section of the community who are extremely hard hit by devaluation and inflation and, alas, cannot do anything to help themselves. This was brought home to me very much because of one special case with which I had to deal in my constituency. The cost is extremely small, but it would mean an extra £10 to £12 per year for those who are over 70 and those who are blind and whose income would be from about £700 to a maximum of £765 a year.
First, I will establish the facts, especially in view of the verbal gymnastics of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury when he replied to a Question of mine in the House in April. I asked:Is it not a fact that the blind allowance is taken away on reaching the age of 70?1511 The Financial Secretary replied,That is not so."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd April, 1968, Vol. 762, c. 156.]Yet, on 5th April, when I endeavoured to establish the facts and asked whetherhe will seek to enable blind persons over the age of 70 years to be allowed both the blind allowance of £100 and age exemption relief against income tax",the hon. Gentleman replied:I do not think that it would be right to increase the income limits for age exemption to reflect particular allowances due to the individual concerned."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th April, 1968; Vol. 762, c. 150.]The facts are clear. At 70 age allowance comes into effect for everyone. The blind cannot have both age and blind allowance. The blind allowance ends at 70 years of age. After 70, the blind are still without the £100 concession. This then is the first question that I ask the Minister: why, when a person who has been receiving blind allowance, should it be taken away, especially when he needs it now far more than ever?
My hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) has spoken about the severe rise in the cost of living. This is a class in the community which cannot help itself. Surely help should go to those who need it most. Is not this equivalent, at a time of inflation, rising prices and devaluation, to a severe cut in pay? I hope that the House will show its humanity to this most needy section. I am sure it would be the wish of everyone in the country that something should be done for these people.
What would be the cost of this concession? I hope that the Minister will tell us. Does the Minister realise that I am not talking about rich men, but those hardest hit by inflation—people like General Post Office pensioners, railway super-annuitants, public service pensioners and anyone whose income adds up to between £700 and £750 a year, or under £1,000 a year, and whose misfortune it is to become blind. These are the people that I want to help. I hope that the Minister will not use the argument that help would go to a few rich blind people as well, because I am certain, if that was the case, that those people would be only too willing to forgo any of the advantages that they may gain.
The people I am talking about and whom I want to help have a National 1512 Insurance pension of £385 and some other form of pension of about £300, plus possibly a little capital bringing in an additional £50 a year. They receive £665 a year free of tax. For the rest, nine-twentieths has to go to pay tax. On £700 a year I know that that £10, especially to the constituent whose case I have mentioned, will mean a great deal.
Therefore, I hope that the Minister will be able to give this concession.
I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for saying that we might have a Division on this Clause. I know how much in human terms this means to this very needy section. I do not want to stress too much the rise in the cost of living and how much these people are affected, but in some constituencies the average income is anything between £500 and £i,000. These people, who are the hardest hit, should be helped as much as possible. I would like the Government to give every concession they can so that we can do it across the board. This may be too costly, but let the Minister realise that a concession is given until people reach the age of 70. To take it away then is inhuman. I therefore hope that the Minister will be able to give this help to those who are being hit hardest by inflation, and who cannot help themselves.
§ Dame Irene Ward (Tynemouth)
I am glad that these Clauses, which deal with a wide range of disabled people, are being discussed this afternoon. One of my regrets under the new method of dealing with Finance Bills is that discussions of this kind, which used to take place frequently under the old system, seem to have been almost entirely eliminated. I am, therefore, very grateful to my hon. Friends the Members for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) and Harwich (Mr. Ridsdale) that we are able to discuss this problem in depth, because it is essential that it should be so discussed.
My hon. Friends have deployed the case admirably over the whole range of the problems involved, but I want to concentrate my remarks on one aspect only. If a person does not have the full use of his limbs, or suffers from ill-health, or is blind, or is unable to use his brain to the full extent, the problem of heating becomes one of the most important considerations in his life. If a blind person 1513 makes every effort to fend for himself— and we all agree that the disabled have a splendid record of trying to help themselves—but finds that he is unable to move about and has great difficulties in coping with the rigours of our weather, he must have adequate heating to keep himself in reasonable comfort. When disabled people return home after having done a day's work, probably under difficult circumstances, they need the benefits of additional heating.
If it is proposed to increase the cost of gas, electricity, or coal, the proposal may be submitted to the Prices and Incomes Board, which, in its wisdom, may decide that the additional costs facing the nationalised industries justify the increases. In my part of the country we have an above-average number of retired people which includes an above-average number of disabled people. Most people cannot afford coal anyway, but disabled people find it extremely difficult to deal with it, particularly if they live in rather restricted conditions in flats. Violent increases in the price of gas and electricity have imposed enormous burdens on the disabled and the blind, and it is imperative that they should be helped by some form of tax relief.
In this great country of ours we can take credit for many technological achievements. It is childish to say that we cannot establish an administrative machine to identify those who would be entiled to take advantage of the provisions of these Clauses. After all, the Government must know the number of disabled people being employed in any firm. They have to be identified by the employer to make sure that the firm is operating within the law. I have always felt that the answer about the difficulty of creating the necessary administrative machine was rather facile. The public will no longer accept that answer.
We have done a great deal to stimulate interest in the disabled and in the blind. A number of committees have been formed in the various regions, and blind people are well aware of the many pledges which have been given that extra money would be provided to help them. The right hon. Lady the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity has promised to examine the question of equal 1514 pay for equal work. If the proposal is implemented, the cost will be £600 million a year. What we are asking for will not amount to anything like that sum. What attitude can the disabled and the blind adopt if the Government say that they are prepared to consider a proposal which would cost £600 million a year, but are not prepared to consider a cause which is dear to our hearts? What attitude can they adopt if the Government cannot even say that they will examine the possibility of creating the necessary administrative machine? It will be much easier to do that than it will be for the right hon. Lady to negotiate with employers and trade unions on the question of the rate for the job.
Whenever I rise to support new Clauses or Amendments of this kind to Finance Bills I feel that we shall win, but somehow or other we never do, and this is most depressing. I have spent a great deal of my political life arguing with my party, and when we win the next General Election the first thing that I shall expect from my party is action. The Socialists can put that in their pipes and smoke it. We will smoke better pipes than the Socialist Party.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The only action that the hon. Lady can ask for at the moment is on the new Clauses.
§ Dame Irene Ward
What I want now is the acceptance of the Clauses. Hope springs eternal, and I have a feeling that perhaps the Minister will say that he will accept the Clauses with pleasure. I am certain that they cannot cost much money. The other day the right hon. Lady who runs the Ministry of Social Security announced that she would give £44 million to a section of the community which, she said, required additional benefit. I am not arguing about that; I have no doubt that that section deserves it. But many people deserve support from the Government in present circumstances, and if help can be given to one needy section of the community there is no reason why help cannot be given to this section, because if any section deserves our support it is this one.
I cannot think what I can do to persuade the hon. Member. As my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea said, I hope that the Minister will not give us 1515 all the old answers. If I were to sing, "Tell me the old, old story" it would be a shock to the House—
§ Dame Irene Ward
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I have lots of friends who tell me, "I should be delighted to have you come and stay with me, provided that you do not sing". Here I am staying, and I am not singing. I am warning the Minister, however, that unless we have a satisfactory answer today there will be such a wave of additional nausea against the Government that I hope it will blow him out of the seat that he is now occupying.
I am grateful to my hon. Friends for putting down these new Clauses. A great deal of self-restraint has been exercised by people who have worked so hard for this good cause over the years, because they have had so little opportunity, under the Bill, to discuss the needs of people who really need our support and help.
I give my support to the Clauses. I cannot believe that any Minister could be so lacking in humanity as not to accept them. Never mind what the Treasury says. I am sick of the Treasury. If some people from the Treasury would like to go round the country and speak to those who are interested in the disablement income groups and the blind, we should be happy to take parties of them round.
We are now to re-educate civil servants, and I suggest that the first group that we should deal with—which would be the easiest to re-educate—are the Treasury officials. Let them speak to the people who have been helping to sustain our economy under difficult circumstances. They will see that these people need and deserve our help. If the Minister would like any help with the Treasury officials he can count me in. I shall be delighted to take one in each hand and show them some of the problems of these people.
I hope that the Minister will not delay very long before saying "Well done". It would be wonderful for his side of the House. His party is split from top to toe. It would be a good thing for hon. Members opposite to be able to close their ranks on something which ought to unite both sides of the House.
§ Mr. John Pardoe (Cornwall, North)
It is always a delight to listen to the speeches of the hon. Member for Tyne-mouth (Dame Irene Ward), even if it is difficult to follow them. She said that the first thing she would expect her party to do when returned to power would be to take action on this matter. I am sure that that could be the last thing she would get, but I shall be here to help her remind her party. [Interruption.] If I am not here nobody in the Conservative Party, apart from the hon. Lady, will remind it of this matter.
§ Mr. Pardoe
Two issues are involved in these new Clauses. The first is an increase in the level of tax relief for blind persons. On the basis of the inflation that has taken place since the level was last fixed, only a few years ago, there is an unanswerable case for such an increase. I do not see how the Minister can refute that. I do not like to think of the problem that lies before him in trying to do so. Bearing in mind all the facts about the cost of living we known that the case is unanswerable, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will accept it.
I am wholeheartedly in support of widening relief for the disabled generally, but I am not so wholeheartedly committed to increased tax relief for one section only. I should prefer to see the relief given right across the board rather than to a group. I hope that this idea is something that we shall move towards, partly because of the activities of certain groups and partly as a result of the investigation which the Government are undertaking.
It would appear that a principle has been established that where there is a case for tax relief for some group or other—whether it be a small or a large minority—there is also a case for a national income provision, within Ministry of Social Security terms, for the same group. We should accept that principle. If it is true that it costs a disabled standard rate taxpayer more than an able-bodied standard rate taxpayer to live, and, therefore, there is a case for lax relief, so, also, is it true that it costs a disabled non-standard rate taxpayer more than it costs an able-bodied non-standard rate taxpayer. We should, 1517 therefore, try to bring these two low income groups within the National Insurance provisions.
In our attitude to tax relief and National Insurance provisions we should realise that income maintenance is the basic principle at stake. What we are trying to do through tax relief—whether it be in respect of families with children, elderly people, or expectant mothers, under the National Insurance scheme, or in whatever way it may be—is to ensure that people do not find their standard of living falling because of circumstances beyond their control—because they retire, or fall out of employment, or become sick, or, as in this case, become disabled or blind.
I know that the Minister will suggest that many difficulties and problems will arise on the borderline. How do we define the borderline? It has been suggested that this matter would obsess the Minister. If the Minister is to argue on these lines, however, he must face the fact that the way in which we now decide whether people shall receive reliefs of one sort or another in respect of their incomes, or through the Ministry of Social Security, or through grants for running a car or the allocation of an invalid carriage, needs to be changed.
We should change the whole basis of assessment of eligibility. For instance, it has been shown to be wrong to base eligibility for relief in respect of a lung complaint upon X-rays. The only way in which it can be done in such a case is on the basis of clinical observation. We know of many cases where pneumoconiosis has been shown to be present at death although X-ray photographs did not show it to be present during life. If the Minister is to argue about all the problems that arise he must agree to take a wider and more clinical approach, rather than to rely on the X-ray approach, which I am sure his civil servants will suggest that he adopts.
I wholeheartedly support the Clause and those which relate only to disablement or blindness, and I hope that the Minister will accept that, eventually, we should go further—and the sooner the better.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)
I suggest to the hon. Member for Cornwall, 1518 North (Mr. Pardoe) that this matter is too urgent to await any alteration of the National Insurance arrangements or the present survey into disability. This is a grave matter for those affected. It is all very well for us, in the calm and perhaps unreal atmosphere of this Chamber, to discuss these matters objectively, but seldom, if ever, since the war have so many of the people who are living in these conditions been faced with such a savage diminution of their living standards. Therefore, the case for these Clauses is comprehensive and fair.
Nothing that we can do today will really compensate these people for their loss of faculty or blindness or other disability, but at least in the present economic difficulties—whatever the reasons: we can argue that another time —with devaluation, rises in the prices of gas, electricity and food and all the things which particularly affect the living standards of many of these people, the case for the Clauses, and particularly for the provision to bring the present amount more realistically into line with present costs, is—I agree with the hon. Member for Cornwall, North—unanswerable.
Treasury Ministers are sometimes wrongly accused of being hard-hearted. It is easy to make this claim, but if the hon. and learned Gentleman rejects the principle that the benefit should merely be altered to compensate for changes in the cost of living, and so on, he could then be legitimately accused of some hardness of heart.
As to the extension to the other categories, does he feel that the line can be held on this wholly artificial distinction between blindness and other disabilities? This probably came into being, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) suggested, merely because blindness was easier to identify. But this should not be beyond the ingenuity of Ministers and their advisers. If the Government have the will to give some modest relief to people in these categories, they can do it. What we want to know is whether they have the will. We certainly do not want to hear what my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) called the "old, old story" of excuses and arguments about difficulty. All we want to know is that they have the will—if so, they could find the solution.
1519 This matter is urgent. The position of many of these people has been so prejudiced by inflation, devaluation and changes in the cost of the things they need that action should be taken now, and this is the most convenient vehicle —perhaps the only one—which we can use, certainly before the Summer Recess, and perhaps for a long time ahead. We cannot wait for surveys or National Insurance changes. The position of these people must be ameliorated now. I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will not refuse to accept the Clauses.
§ Mr. Tim Fortescue (Liverpool, Garston)
In a brief intervention in the corresponding debate in Committee on the Finance Bill last year, which, happily, was taken on the Floor of the House, I suggested, in a debate on a new Clause providing for tax allowances for the disabled, that the Treasury would turn it down on one of three grounds.
The first was that it was the wrong moment for giving any money to anyone. I said that it was never the right moment. The second was that it was administratively impossible, on which I quoted from a speech of the present Home Secretary when in opposition on 30th May, 1962, moving almost exactly a similar Clause:… I would make the reforms irrespective of administrative complications and tell the Inland Revenue to get on with them. I have seen this happen in the past in connection with P.A.Y.E."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th May, 1962; Vol. 660, c. 1448–9.]Since, last year, when we made this suggestion, that right hon. Gentleman was head of the Treasury team, it was difficult for the Government to make that excuse.
The third ground on which I suggested that they would turn down the Clause was that Income Tax relief in these cases was the wrong method. The Chief Secretary then chose the third of those alternatives. He did not say that it was the wrong moment—it is never the right moment—or that it was administratively impossible, which would have been difficult, in view of the quotation which I have just given from his right hon. Friend. He chose the third. He expressed sympathy and said that the blind and disabled should be helped much more, but added that this was not 1520 the right way to do it and that it should be the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Security. He made a long and eloquent speech in that sense, and the Clause was turned down.
This year, it will be more difficult for his hon. and learned Friend. Unless he says that this is the wrong moment —it always is, so that is no excuse— this year, we have drafted the Clause differently, so that the reasons which he gave last year for this being the wrong method are no longer valid. His argument was that it would be absurd to give Income Tax relief to the disabled while doing nothing for those disabled who do not pay Income Tax, and that one could not possibly do that in ethics, morals or social rectitude, since the better-off would be helped and the worse-off would not.
Therefore, this year, we have worded it differently, and if the Minister of State accepts new Clause 36 the disabled will have the same choice as the blind now have—that is, they will be able either to have a tax allowance or to have a tax free cash benefit. So we believe, incon-trovertibly and unanswerably, that we have spiked this gun, which I suspect the hon. and learned Gentleman would have sought to shoot. Out of the three alternatives which I gave last year, there is none left, so he will have to think of something different. It will be interesting to see how he gets himself out of this dilemma, because there seems to us to be no reason for not accepting the Clause. I understand that his instructions almost certainly are not to accept it, but his logic will be carefully examined on this side and I strongly fear that it will be unacceptable.
On another point, I ask the Minister seriously to look at the present claim form for Income Tax relief, to see whether something could not be done to make that part containing the entry for the Income Tax relief for the blind more easily identifiable and simple to complete. At the moment, it is difficult to find it at all, but I imagine that there are many elderly people involved in trying to find it. Even when one finds it, it is not simple to fill it in. It could be easily simplified. Could this very minor help to the blind be considered?
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I am grateful to Mr. Speaker for stating 1521 a few moments ago that we could have separate Divisions on new Clauses 36 and 42. I mention that at the outset so that there shall be no possible basis for future misunderstanding.
The four Motions grouped together, of which three are new Clauses and one is an Amendment, are somewhat diverse in character, though, loosely, they hang together. They all have a common objective of trying to do something for the chronically disabled. I was most impressed by what was said earlier by my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward), for her voice has been heard loud, clear and continually, over all the years I have been in the House, demanding a better deal for men and women living, sadly, on small fixed incomes, a phrase which she coined in Parliamentary parlance, and notably my hon. Friend's pleading year after year for those who are disabled.
I rise to make only two or three points briefly in support of her argument. My name is a attached to new Clause 36, directly after the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley), who moved the new Clause so cogently and with a good deal of support from economic facts and figures.
The first point to which I address myself is a simple economic and financial fact of life, which is that inflation in our community is more rampant than it has been at any time since 1951. Sterling was devalued on 19th November, 1967. The Treasury announced, in answer to a Parliamentary Question in February, 1968, that the value of the £ had dropped to 19s. 8d. in the period of 10 weeks following devaluation. The Treasury announced in May, 1968—three months later—that the value of the £ since devaluation had dropped to 19s. 3d. It may easily be calculated that that rate of inflation equals about 10 per cent. per annum.
But the effects of devaluation have not yet worked through our economic system. In my judgment, the most virulent period is yet to come. I believe that the most virulent period will be in the second half of 1968; that will be the period when the greatest hardship is brought to bear on disabled men and women.
What should be the measure of immediate advance in their allowances for 1522 tax purposes or cash grants or any other system decided upon is arguable and is a matter for debate. The figures mentioned in new Clause 36, I think, are approximately correct. Possibly the figure should not be exactly 30 per cent; the figure may be 25 per cent., or 35 per cent. I do not know. But these people should have a generous advance to offset the chronic influences of inflation following the devaluation of sterling last November.
My second point concerns the proclamations which always accompany statements of economic and financial hardship when Socialist Ministers make them. The famous pronunciamento of the Prime Minister on 20th July in the year before last, the equally famous one on 16th January this year, and the others were followed by Ministerial statements saying, "We will protect the weakest members of the community from the hardships which may arise from our policies". No greater hardship can arise than the rampant inflation burning large holes in the threadbare pockets of the disabled. They suffer greater hardship than anybody else. If the Ministerial proclamations about helping the weakest members of the community mean anything at all, we should interpret them this afternoon as meaning that the disabled will have additional allowances or cash grants, whichever is the system chosen.
The third point which I make, shortly, is party political in character—and it ought to be. Four Motions are grouped together. The third is new Clause 113. I am surprised to see that is in the name of a Socialist Member—the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Dunbar), who had a majority of 1,799 votes on 31st March, 1966. His is a highly marginal seat. I wonder why he is not here to lend his voice in support of his Clause, selected by Mr. Speaker and being debated with two other new Clauses and one Amendment set down by Tory Members. Where is the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South? Has he been bludgeoned by the Treasury Ministers to stay away? Did I gather that the hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Hamling) said that he was under the couch?
§ Sir G. Nabarro
He is not in sight. He is not here to support his own new Clause. What a disgraceful episode! I hope that it will not go unnoticed in Aberdeen, where voters count. I see that Socialist Members are entering the Chamber fast. There may be an opportunity yet for the hon. Member to appear. Had he been here, I hoped to persuade him to join me in asking Mr. Speaker for a separate Division on his new Clause so that all my Tory right hon. and hon. Friends could go into the Lobby with his Socialist adherences—if any, for only his name appears on the Motion.
It is a muted voice. It calls for an increase in allowances for the blind. New Clause 113 asks for increased allowances only for the blind and not for other disabled men and women. But he is a generous chap is the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South. He wants an allowance of £50 more for every blind person —an increase from £100 a year to £150 a year, a very generous sentiment indeed. He put that on the Notice Paper of the House, but he has not come here to speak for his own Motion. I castigate him accordingly.
With those few words, I support new Clause 36 and I support new Clause 42. Were there a separate Division, I should support the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South, Socialist though he is, for his sentiments are noble. I hope that the Treasury Ministers will give us a crumb of comfort in their replies, in the form of advanced allowances for all disabled men and women, or, as an alternative, cash grants in the form recommended by my hon. Friend.
§ Lord Balniel (Hertford)
The purpose of this group of Clauses is to help the disabled. They have been moved powerfully and persuasively by my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) and supported by the absolutely conclusive arguments of all my hon. Friends and even by the representative of the Liberal Party.
The purpose of the Clauses falls into two parts. On the one hand, there is the intention to restore the value of the allowances available to the blind to the original level at which they were fixed in 1962. There is the other and wider purpose to extend the narrow category of disability from blindness alone so as to 1524 cover all forms of disability which are deserving not only of our compassion, but also of our help.
It is right that we should remember that it was in 1962, as the result of a long and arduous campaign waged by my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dame Joan Vickers), that for the first time an allowance for the blind was included in a Finance Bill. We have though this time to consider the Clauses in the context of a Budget which will harm the standard of life of the community as a whole. In such a context we must go out of our way particularly to help those sections of the community who are not able to help themselves. We must implement the undertaking which was so freely given by the Prime Minister to protect the most vulnerable sections of the community from the full impact of devaluation and the rising cost of living.
We are asking in one Clause that the allowance for the blind should be restored to the purchasing power at which it was originally fixed and which, since then, has been eroded by about 25 per cent. The debate is taking place in the context of an absolute deluge of price increases. As my hon. Friends the Member for Harwich (Mr. Ridsdale) and the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) said, the deluge of price increases has as its central core the disturbing fact that the emphasis of the increases is on those prices which cause the greatest hardship to the housebound and the disabled. Gas, electricity and other fuel prices: these are the prices which have a greater impact on the disabled and the elderly than on any other section of the community.
I should have thought that the argument simply to restore the allowances to a value which they held in 1962 was so absolutely conclusive that I cannot see what kind of argument the Minister will advance against it. I can only assume that he will be prepared to meet our request when he rises to address the House.
There is the wider aspect on some of the Clauses, and it is on this that I wish to develop the argument in slightly greater detail. The Clause, as in former years, is designed to extend the category of disability so as to cover all forms of disability. I intend to argue the case on 1525 its merits rather than to refer to the speeches and the promises which were made by the Ministers when they were in Opposition. In a purely political context, I do not deny that it is tempting and totally relevant that I should refer to the promises which were made by hon. Gentlemen opposite when they were in opposition, but this is a sterile form of debate, and not in the best interests of the handicapped and the disabled. The arguments of merit are the arguments which matter.
When a somewhat similar Clause was debated during the passage of the last Finance Bill, the Government spokesmen primarily devoted their arguments to problems of definition and problems of administration. I intend to refer to these, since so far the Government have not made their case that the problems are insuperable. Before I do so though, I intend to echo the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea, that we feel that there is a better way of helping the disabled.
The Clause is drafted as it is because it is the only way which is open to us within the existing machinery to bring help to the disabled, and help must be brought urgently and now. Because of rising prices, there is an urgent need to bring help, even although the help which we suggest in the Clause is not the absolute ideal which we would like to achieve.
I have for a long time been interested in the problems of the disabled as have those of my hon. Friends who have spoken in the debate. It is in the experience of all of us as Members of Parliament that, at the heart of many of the problems of daily life for the disabled, lies the question of income deficiency. The disabled have a dual problem to face over and above their physical or mental disability.
On one side, it is difficult for them to find employment and, even having found employment, they find it difficult to earn the wages and salaries which persons in good health are able to obtain. Their problems in finding employment have been accentuated and increased by the introduction of the Selective Employment Tax, and they will be redoubled when the Selective Employment Tax is increased.
§ The Minister of State, Treasury (Mr. Dick Taverne)
To avoid dealing with this point specifically, may I interrupt the hon. Gentleman to say that he is no doubt aware of the special exemption which is made for the disabled, exempting them from the Selective Employment Tax increase.
§ Lord Balniel
If the Minister will look at the Selective Employment Payments Act, 1966, Section 6(2), he will find that it is a very limited class who are exempted. The general impression gained by hon. Members in their constituencies is that the problems of the disabled have been made greater by the impact of the Selective Employment Tax. So on the one side, their problems of earning are greater, and, on the other, their expenditure is greater. Their expenditure on clothing is greater. Many of them have artificial limbs; many can only move with the support of crutches, and it is common knowledge that because of this the clothing expenditure of the disabled is greater than (hat of persons in good health.
The same applies to expenditure on transport. They cannot use the Underground or the buses, and very often they cannot use the railway service. They have to use taxis or other more expensive forms of transport. They have to undertake the adaptation of their houses to meet their special needs and this also involves them in considerable expenditure. They are unable to decorate their houses themselves as would be done by persons in good health. They must employ decorators to do it for them. They have to ask friends to undertake their shopping for them, and are not able to shop around for the best bargains.
As Chairman of the National Association for Mental Health, I am interested in the problems of the mentally handicapped, be it through mental illness or subnormality. Yesterday, I was addressing the International Conference on the Rehabilitation of the Disabled. In a few days' time I shall be speaking at the big rally in London of the Disablement Income Group. All of us who have this background knowledge and who are interested in the problems of the disabled are aware of the anomalies which exist. Some disabilities, because they are 1527 caused by industrial injury or accident, receive benefit, but long-term incapacity caused, for instance, by multiple sclerosis, poliomyelitis, muscular dystrophy, or deafness receive no benefit.
Our aim as a country must be to see that we accept the principle that all forms of disability should be treated alike, whether the cause is an industrial injury or accident or whether it is some other cause such as disease. There is much strength in the argument that we should move towards the payment of a cash allowance, which is the point made by my hon. Friends the Members for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Fortescue) and Barry (Mr. Gower). In this way one could bring help to the disabled housewife as readily as it is provided for the person suffering from an industrial injury. The wording of the new Clause is a step in that direction, because it is designed to treat all disability the same, whatever its cause.
However, no cash allowance exists at the moment, and my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea has drafted the Clause so as to use the existing machinery of the tax system, which is the only means available to us under the Finance Bill. The Government argue that it is difficult to define "disability" and that the Clause is difficult to administer. The definition that we have used is, however, that used in the industrial injuries scheme.
If the Government cannot go the whole way, surely they can make some move in this direction. Certain diseases are prescribed under the industrial injuries scheme, and I cannot see why it is not possible to attempt to prescribe other diseases for the purposes of the Clause. Why, for example, cannot the Minister prescribe multiple sclerosis, poliomyelitis, deafness, of muscular dystrophy? I cannot see why he should not attempt to move in this direction.
The Clause also highlights the lack of statistical information about the extent of chronic disability. We all know the number of persons who are disabled and in receipt of war disablement pensions, the number in receipt of industrial injury pensions, the number in receipt of sickness benefits for over six months, and the number in receipt of supplementary benefits because of disablement. We do not, however, have statistical information 1528 about the number of chronically disabled people who are not in employment, and we do not know the number of disabled housewives.
If the Government accept the Clause, the Minister will be forced to draw up a complete disablement register. It has been expected for a long time. Because of the delays which have occurred in the past, we believe that the time has come when we should force the Government to draw up such a disablement register so that at least we know the extent and degree of disability in the country.
The review of social security has proceeded for so long that the Government must now be in a position to announce whether it is their intention to introduce an allowance for the disabled. I hope that the Minister of State will announce that that is his intention. Every day which passes, price increases grow greater and the hardship for the disabled grows greater. The disillusion is the greater because the Government promised so much when they were in opposition, and they have fulfilled so little in practice.
In default of an announcement today of the Government's intention to introduce some form of disability allowance, I believe that we are right to press for the inclusion of this Clause in the Finance Bill, accepting that it is not completely ideal. It will not bring help to all the disabled, but it will bring substantial help to many who are suffering great hardship at present.
§ Mr. Taverne
Perhaps I might deal, first, with the wider question which has been discussed in this debate, which is that of the disabled in general and not just that of the blind.
The arguments which have been put forward very forcefully and in many cases very eloquently are not dissimilar to those advanced last year and in something like 10 out of the last 14 Finance Bills. The House is aware of this, and if the hon. Member for Hertford (Lord Balniel) taunts the former Opposition with what they said in those debates, I hope that some restraint will be exercised, because it is also true that the majority of his colleagues, with the exception of the hon. Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward), were sufficiently persuaded by the arguments advanced from the Treasury 1529 Bench against a similar type of proposal in 1962 that they voted against the introduction of a special disablement allowance. We must see the position against the background of previous debates.
We had much the same debate last year, when a similar new Clause was before the House. As far as I can see, the only difference between the wording of the present Clause and the one last year is that on this occasion the wordswhich is substantial and likely to be permanentare used instead ofwhich is likely to be permanent.We are concerned with very much the same issue.
In the past, when these issues have been before the House, Treasury Ministers have expressed sympathy, but, except for one occasion in one direction, they have not found it possible to agree to the proposals. That one occasion was in 1962, when the special allowance for the blind was introduced. I must make it quite clear that, when it was introduced, it was not intended as a first step, as a number of hon. Gentlemen have suggested today. The Chief Secretary at that time explained that it was felt by the Government that, with the blind being an easily identifiable group because they could be identified through being on local authority registers, it was possible to treat them exceptionally, but quite impossible to extend the benefit wider or implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
This is not because there is some kind of callousness which enters into the souls of those who become Treasury Ministers. In all these debates, they face the dilemma that, if they show an understanding of the problems involved, they are called hypocritical, and if they say that the real difficulties must be looked at, they are described as callous. But that it is not callousness was shown last year when my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Dr. David Owen), speaking not as a Treasury Minister and not on behalf of the Disablement Income Group, but certainly as a Vice-Chairman of that Group, reluctantly had to come to the conclusion that this was not the way in which relief should be given.
I know that this will not make what I have to say more palatable to hon. 1530 Members opposite, but I, too, have been in correspondence with the Disablement Income Group and I know the problems. I hope that we can approach the question on merit, as the hon. Member for Hertford said, and will not argue that one side has a monopoly of compassion and that callousness on the part of the Treasury makes it indifferent to the sufferings of the disabled.
The main argument last year, as it is now, was that of fairness. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Fortescue) said that he would anticipate the arguments advanced, and hoped that they would not be the same as those used on a previous occasion. It is very easy to say that one may answer the arguments now put forward, but may not use the main argument on which it has been necessary to rely on the 10 occasions when the question has been raised in the past 14 years.
The main objection to the relief embodied in the Clause is based on fairness and the difficulties of avoiding unfairness. A Government must be concerned with social policy as a whole, and consider it both from the point of view of social welfare and taxation policy. They must weigh up the needs to raise revenue and the way in which relief can fairly and best be given through allowances, and the way in which other means, such as cash payments, can be used to deal with particular problems. They must use for the maximum benefit whatever funds they have or raise.
The means of granting relief provided for in the Clause is the least effective for those in the greatest need and suffering the greatest hardship, such as those to whom the noble Lord referred, who find it impossible through their disability to obtain employment. It will help those who are in comparatively less need. It will help those who are better off more, and do nothing to help those for whom the hardship is greatest. This cannot be denied. The only real solution must lie in the direction which the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) mentioned, and to which a number of other hon. Members referred, through long-term disability payments.
§ Mr. Fortescue
I said that under our new Clause this year it was not true that 1531 the better off would be helped more, because the blind person's allowance can also be taken in the form of tax-free cash benefit, and that we propose that that choice should be extended to the permanently and substantially disabled. Last year's argument was valid then, but it is no longer valid.
§ Mr. Taverne
Exactly the same question applies as before. Under the Clause, a benefit will go to those who pay tax. None will go to those who do not pay tax. Those who do not come within the taxable range get no benefit from the relief, and they are those who suffer the greatest hardship and face the greatest difficulties.
A further aspect of the fairness or unfairness in the Clause arises from the administrative complications. If the relief is given as the Clause suggests there will be cases where the sense of unfairness will be increased. I am aware that the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income suggested that this allowance should be given, but all Governments who have examined it and tried to implement the recommendation have encountered insuperable administrative difficulties, or at any rate difficulties of a kind which would increase the sense of unfairness in particular cases. The found it impossible to take into account all the varieties of personal circumstances in granting tax relief.
If the Clause were adopted there would be endless argument about what is a substantial loss of physical or mental faculty, and in numerous cases where the argument was lost compared with others where it succeeded there would be an increased sense of unfairness. I think that it was the hon. Member for Chelsea who said that we should not worry about the resentment caused in borderline cases. That is not the argument that we are used to meeting when we are debating the Selective Employment Tax, when, time after time, hon. Members opposite say that what is inherently objectionable about it is that it leads to borderline disputes which create such a sense af unfairness that the tax as a whole becomes monstrous and unjust. When we come to questions like the concessions to hotels in rural areas the point is often made that it would be 1532 better not to give the concession because of the unfairness as between those who get it and those who do not.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Does not the Minister agree that the disabled are easily identifiable? There is no administrative problem with disabled men and women because if they are registered disabled they carry cards.
§ Mr. Taverne
But the Clause does not suggest that only registered disabled should receive that benefit. If the Clause were adopted it would be necessary to decide whether particular individuals had suffered a substantial loss of physical or mental faculty, whether they were deaf, dumb or otherwise handicapped by loss of physical or mental faculties. We should have to deal with cases of the chronic sick and people who became handicapped through increasing age. We should deal with a number of cases where it is very difficult to decide who comes within the description and who does not. There is no existing system of medical assessment except in the cases of war disablement and industrial injuries. In these cases, the taxpayers involved would in any event be in receipt of tax-free disability payments and, therefore, under the Royal Commission recommendation, they would probably not get the benefit from the tax concessions.
The degree of disability resulting from injury can largely be determined by a set of rules, but when one comes to chronic illnesses or some of the other disabilities, the assessment is bound to be much more subjective, and it is bound to be much more difficult to be consistent. In such cases, the great sense of resentment between those who came on one side of the line and those who came on the other would be enormous, quite apart from the large number of appeals, objections and applications which would be involved.
The Royal Commission said that one should start cautiously, but it did not suggest that one should start with anything less than 100 per cent. disability. Even if one took the "substantial" rule under the 1946 Act, which meant 20 per cent., it would be very difficult to determine what is a 20 per cent. disability. Therefore, there would undoubtedly be an increased sense of unfairness under 1533 the Clause over the way in which some would get the allowance and some would not. It would be most difficult to administer, and it would not deal with those cases where the hardship was greatest.
§ Mr. Taverne
That is true to some extent, but there are more blind people receiving outside payments than, for example, the chronic sick, the deaf, or many of the other categories which would be involved. To some extent I take the hon. Gentleman's point. Indeed, it is one which can be made against the increase in the allowance to the blind which is being sought. In any event, he is right in this respect, that it has always been a very small percentage of the total in receipt of the allowance. Less than one person in four is in a position to claim the allowance in any event.
The hon. Member for Harwich (Mr. Ridsdale) said that one can make one concession to the blind and say that their allowance should be additional to the old-age allowance which exists. But there is a snag. The blind allowance is an additional allowance to the other allowances which exist and one cannot regard the blind allowance in that sense separately from other personal allowances. If there were special additions to the ordinary age exemption limits for blind people there would be no answer to a claim that there should be special additions in all other cases where the elderly person was entitled to some tax allowance over and above the basic single or married person's allowance— for example, the dependent relative allowance.
One cannot treat the different allowances separately. While one can recognise the case in equity for doing so, it has never been the case that the personal allowances in various Finance Bills have been raised in accordance with the rise in the cost of living.
§ Mr. Taverne
The hon. Lady, on the ground that she voted against her party, is entitled to make that objection, but the fact remains that that kind of remark is always made by a party in opposition, and this was not done when the Conservative Party was in power. Certainly, the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro), in 1962, recorded his vote against a very similar clause.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I do not want to get myself out of order by answering the hon. and learned Gentleman, who was not in the House in 1962 anyway and does not remember the circumstances and the continuous increase in Income Tax allowances granted by the Tory Party. But I want to follow up the interjection by my hon. Friend the Member for Tyne-mouth. "There is no reason why we should not start now", she said with characteristic candour and bluntness. I would add that there is a perfect analogy from the chapter of administration by the Labour Government, who brought in the wage-related benefits. A wage-related benefit is precisely the same as what we are pleading for in principle.
§ Mr. Taverne
The hon. Member has a point in saying that the kind of problem with which we are concerned here is not dissimilar from other forms of social benefits, like a wage-related unemployment benefit, which was introduced by the Labour Government. The way that I should like to see this difficulty solved —I think that it is the right way in which the problem should be approached— would be through a social service benefit, which could be dealt with possibly—this is a matter which is being considered— by some wage-related contributions. So the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South, in his interruption, has very much reinforced the argument I was making at the beginning.
I was saying that one cannot treat this allowance as separate. After all, the cost of living increase affects all forms of allowances. These are problems which one should consider together. On this problem, as the hon. Member for Garston will no doubt note, one must have regard to the overall economic circumstances of the time.
For these reasons, with the greatest regret—I know that hon. Members will not readily accept this, but I think it is something which anyone who deals with 1535 the problem must feel—I cannot ask the House to accept the Clause.
§ Lord Balniel
The hon. and learned Gentleman has concentrated his argument overwhelmingly on the proposal to extend the categories so as to cover all the disabled. We are in that respect disappointed with the argument which he has developed against the Clause. What he has not done is to explain to the House why he is not prepared to accept the specific proposal to restore the value of the allowance to the blind, which has been eroded now by 25 per cent.
§ Mr. Taverne
I have done so. There are two answers. The first is the general answer, which, admittedly, I introduced by way of reply to an interjection from the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower). That is that in this case a factor which one has to consider is whether one should use the money available in the best possible way by increasing tax allowances or whether one should seek to meet the problem by a general approach of social security. In the case of the increased tax allowance to the blind, once again the benefit of the concession would go not to those who are worse off, but to those who are comparatively better off.
§ As to the second answer to the problem, I explained that the blind allowance was an additional allowance to other personal allowances, and that the kind of considerations about increases in the cost of living which apply to the blind allowance apply equally to other personal allowances. It is impossible to say that in the case of one particular allowance the cost-of-living index should operate and that in the case of other allowances it should not.
§ Mr. Ridsdale
I have listened to what the Minister has had to say, and I think that he has been most callous towards a very needy section of the community. He has made promises about social service relief. I remind him that sympathy without relief is like mustard without beef.
My hon. Friend the Member for Tyne-mouth (Dame Irene Ward) is right when she asks why we should not start helping people now. For this reason, I ask my hon. Friends to support me in the Division Lobby.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time: —
§ The House divided: Ayes 167, Noes 204.1539
|Division No. 262.]||AYES||[5.27 p.m.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hordern, Peter|
|Allason James (Hemel Hempstead)||Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Hunt, John|
|Astor, John||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Awdry, Daniel||Eden, Sir John||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Emery, Peter||Jopling, Michael|
|Balniel, Lord||Errington, Sir Eric||Kirk, Peter|
|Beamish, Col Sir Tufton||Eyre, Reginald||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Farr, John||Lane, David|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Fisher, Nigel||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Fortescue, Tim||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dtfield)|
|Blaker, Peter||Gibson-Watt, David||Loveys, w. H.|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Glover, Sir Douglas||Lubbock, Eric|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Glyn, Sir Richard||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Braine, Bernard||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||MacArthur, Ian|
|Brewis, John||Gower, Raymond||Mackenzie,Alasdair(Ross&Crom'ty)|
|Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter||Grant, Anthony||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||McMaster, Stanley|
|Buchanan-Smith Alick,(Angus,N&M)||Gurden, Harold||Maddan, Martin|
|Buck, Anthony (Colchester)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maginnis, John E.|
|Campbell, B. (Oldham, West)||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Marten, Neil|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Maude, Angus|
|Carr, Rt. Hn, Robert||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Mawby, Ray|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hawkins, Paul||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Clegg, Walter||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Cooke, Robert||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Monro, Hector|
|Corfield, F. V.||Higgins, Terence L.||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Costain, A. P.||Hill, J. E. B.||More, Jasper|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Dance, James||Holland, Philip||Murton, Oscar|
|Davidson, James (Aberd'nshire, W.)||Hooson, Emlyn||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Royle, Anthony||Waddington, D.|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Russell, Sir Ronald||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Nott, John||Scott, Nicholas||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Onslow, Cranley||Scott-Hopkins, James||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian||Sharples, Richard||Walters, Dennis|
|Osborn, John (Hallam)||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Sinclair, Sir George||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Smith, John (London & W'minster)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Speed, Keith||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Pardoe, John||Stainton, Keith||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Summers, Sir Spencer||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Peel, John||Tapsell, Peter||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Percival, Ian||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Pike, Miss Mervyn||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow.Cathcart)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Prior, J. M. L.||Temple, John M.||Wylie, N. R.|
|Pym, Francis||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret||Younger, Hn. George|
|Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||van Straubenzee, W. R.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Ridsdale, Julian||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Mr. R. W. Elliott and|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Vickers, Dame Joan||Mr. Timothy Kitson.|
|Albu, Austen||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Forrester, John||Manuel, Archie|
|Anderson, Donald||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Marquand, David|
|Archer, Peter||Freeson, Reginald||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Galpern, Sir Myer||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Garrett, W. E.||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Gourlay, Harry||Millan, Bruce|
|Barnes, Michael||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Barnett, Joel||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Milne, Edward (Blyth)|
|Baxter, William||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Molloy, William|
|Beaney, Alan||Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)||Moonman, Eric|
|Bence, Cyril||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Moyle, Roland|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Hamling, William||Neal, Harold|
|Boston, Terence||Hannan, William||Newens, Stan|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Harper, Joseph||Norwood, Christopher|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Oakes, Gordon|
|Bradley, Tom||Heffer, Eric S.||Ogden, Eric|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Henig, Stanley||O'Malley, Brian|
|Brooks, Edwin||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Oram, Albert E.|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Hooley, Frank||Orme, Stanley|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Homer, John||Oswald, Thomas|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch A F'bury)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Owen, Will (Morpett)|
|Buchan, Norman||Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Hoy, James||Palmer, Arthur|
|Cant, R. B.||Huckfield, Leslie||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Chapman, Donald||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|coe, Denis||Hunter, Adam||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Coleman, Donald||Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Pentland, Norman|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Cronin, John||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Perry, Ceorge H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.|
|Dalyell, Tam||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull,W.)||Probert, Arthur|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Jones,Rt.Hn.SirElwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Rankin, John|
|Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Rees, Merlyn|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Judd, Frank||Richard, Ivor|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Kelley, Richard||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Dell, Edmund||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Dempsey, James||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Dewar, Donald||Lawson, George||Rose, Paul|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Ledger, Ron||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)|
|Dickens, James||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Sheldon, Robert|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lomas, Kenneth||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton.N.E.)|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Loughlin, Charles||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McBride, Neil||Silverman, Julius|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||MacColl, James||Slater, Joseph|
|Ellis, John||Macdonald, A. H.||Small, William|
|English, Michael||McGuire, Michael||Snow, Julian|
|Ensor, David||Mackenzie, Cregor (Rutherglen)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Mackintosh, John P.||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Maclennan, Robert||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Fernyhough, E.||McNamara, J. Kevin||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeslon)||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Swingler, Stephen|
|Taverne, Dick||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Thornton, Ernest||Wellbeloved, James||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Tinn, James||Whitaker, Ben||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Tuck, Raphael||White, Mrs. Eirene||Winnick, David|
|Urwin, T. W.||Whitlock, William||Woof, Robert|
|Varley, Eric G.||Wilkins, W. A.||Yates, Victor|
|Walker, Harold (Doncaster)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Wallace, George||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Watkins, David (Consett)||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)||Mr. Alan Fitch and|
|Mr. John McCann.|