HC Deb 18 June 1968 vol 766 cc923-67

3.47 p.m.

Sir Gerald Nabarro (Worcestershire, South)

I beg to move Amendment No. 1, in page 2, line 33, leave out 'elevenpence' and insert 'eightpence'.

The Chairman

With this Amendment, I think that it would be convenient for the Committee to discuss Amendment No. 153, in page 2, line 33, at end insert: (b) (i) the duties specified in the foregoing subsection shall be charged at the rate of three shillings and eightpence where the aforesaid oils are delivered for home use as a propellant fuel for invalid carriages, as exempted from vehicle excise duty under section 6 of the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1962; (ii) vouchers in one gallon and five gallon units shall be issued by the Ministry of Transport and made available on demand at Post Offices; and where such vouchers bear the registration mark and class of vehicle concerned, or some other appropriate and specific mark of identity, and the vouchers as thus marked have been duly stamped or endorsed by a justice of the peace or an officer of a local authority, the holder of such a voucher shall, on surrendering it, be entitled to buy and to receive hydrocarbon oils bearing duty as specified in subsection (b)(i) above in the quantities designated on the said voucher, in and only in the vehicle thereon specified; and the retail or wholesale suppliers of such hydrocarbon oils, in exchange for such vouchers received, may buy and receive hydrocarbon oils at the aforesaid rate of duty charged, in the quantities designated, from his supplier. No. 154, in line 33, at end insert: (b) (i) the duties specified in the foregoing subsection shall be charged at the rate of three shillings and eightDence where the aforesaid oils in question are delivered for home use as a propellant fuel for vehicles modified for invalids as defined under section 11 of the Finance Act 1964; (ii) vouchers in one gallon and five gallon units shall be issued by the Ministry of Transport and made available on demand at Post Offices; and where such vouchers bear the registration mark and class of vehicle concerned, or some other appropriate and specific mark of identity, and the vouchers as thus marked have been duly stamped or endorsed by a justice of the peace or an officer of a local authority, the holder of such a voucher shall, on surrendering it, be entitled to buy and to receive hydrocarbon oils bearing duty as specified in subsection (b) (i) above in the quantities designated on the said voucher, in and only in the vehicle thereon specified; and the retail or wholesale suppliers of such hydrocarbon oils, in exchange for such vouchers received, may buy and receive hydrocarbon oils at the aforesaid rate of duty charged, in the quantities designated, from his supplier. and No. 155, in line 33, at end insert: (b) (i) the duties specified in the foregoing subsection shall be charged at the rate of three shillings and eightpence where the aforesaid oils are delivered for home use as a propellant fuel for vehicles qualified to display, and displaying, disabled driver car badges as specified in Ministry of Health circular 17/61; (ii) vouchers in one gallon and five gallon units shall be issued by the Ministry of Transport and made available on demand at Post Offices and where such vouchers bear the registration mark and class of vehicle concerned, or some other appropriate and specific mark of identity, and the vouchers as thus marked have been duly stamped or endorsed by a justice of the peace or an officer of a local licensing authority, the holder of such a voucher shall, on surrendering it, be entitled to buv and to receive hydrocarbon oils bearing duty as specified in subsection (b) (i) above in the quantities designated on the said voucher, in and only in the vehicle thereon specified; and the retail or wholesale supplier of such hydrocarbon oils, in exchange for such vouchers received, may buy and receive hydrocarbon oils at the aforesaid rate of duty charged, in the quantities designated, from his supplier.

Sir G. Nabarro

This Amendment is concerned with motor spirit, largely for motor cars. However, before embarking on my speech, I want to make one or two observations about our procedure today in the context of the Amendment. Sir Eric, your first selection demonstrates at once the crass fatuity of the system of recommitting the Bill to the Floor of the House. I am about to make a speech calling for a reduction in the amount of duty on motor spirit, which will very largely be a reproduction and repetition of the speech made in Standing Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison).

My arguments may differ slightly, but the gravaman of the charges against the Socialist Administration for a huge increase in the duty on motor spirit will be almost exactly the same. Why we have to endure a repetition of this kind of thing, I cannot think.

Mr. R. B. Cant (Stoke-on-Trent, Central) rose

Sir G., Nabarro

I will give way in a moment to the hon. Member. He should not get agitated yet. He will have a great deal to provoke him before I am through today.

Of course, the arguments having been thoroughly canvassed upstairs—sadly without my presence on the Committee— [HON. MEMBERS:. "Why did you not go there?"] The cacophony opposite of cries, "Why did I do go there?", if I heard them correctly, is evidently in total ignorance of the facts of the situation.

Immediately it was decided that the Finance Bill should be taken in Committee upstairs, I offered my services. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I suspect that the Chancellor took all possible steps to avoid my presence on the Committee. He knows of my behaviour in the House during the last 15 or 20 years but so far, save only for a modest Second Reading speech, I have been disenfranchised during the detailed discussions in Committee on a Bill which raises the level of taxation in Britain by a bigger margin than any Bill in the whole of Britain's history.

There is no better method of epitomising the increase in the level of taxation in a single record than in the matter of motor spirit. [Interruption.] Perhaps the hon. Members opposite who are jeering at me will have memories long enough to recall that in 1964 the present Prime Minister and the present Home Secretary—

Mr. Joel Barnett (Heywood and Royton)

On a point of order, Sir Eric. It might help hon. Members if we could be told whether, on each Amendment throughout the course of the Recommittal stage, we are to have a sort of Second Reading debate.

The Chairman

I was myself beginning to think that we should most profitably use the time allotted by the Business Committee for the Recommittal stage of the Bill if we applied ourselves to the particular Amendments that have been selected rather than to extraneous matters.

Sir G. Nabarro

No extraneous matters have fallen from my lips yet, Sir Eric. Otherwise, you, in your meticulous fashion, impeccable in your chairmanship, would have called me to order at once.

I was reminding the jeering Socialists opposite that in 1964 and in 1966 both the present Prime Minister and the present Home Secretary, immediately prior to the General Elections of those years, promised the entire electorate of Britain that there would be no call for substantial increases in taxation. Yet in no sphere has there been a sharper and heavier increase in taxation than in the burden falling on the motorist in this country.

The Chancellor regards this form of taxation as sumptuary. If he asks me to define sumptuary, I should say it is a consumer tax capable of easy and relatively painless collection. I hope that he will agree with that definition. That is why this heavy burden has fallen on the motorist. Time and again, since 1964, in flagrant violation and contradiction of pre-election promises, the tax on the motorist, that is on his motor spirit, has been sharply increased. [Interruption.]

I am glad to have driven one Socialist from this Chamber, a temporary incumbent of his seat with a majority of only 80 votes. I am sorry that the hon. Member jeered. He will not be here to survive the broken promises in regard to increased duty on motor spirit. In 1965, again in 1966, again in 1967, and again in 1968, the Chancellor has singled out motor spirit for an increase, and this year the amount was 4d. per gallon.

This first Amendment seeks to reduce the amount of the increase from 4d. per gallon to 1d. per gallon. The cost of the Amendment would be approximately £57 million. If calculated pro rata, the 4d. per gallon on motor spirit would yield £76 million for a full year, of which about one half is for motor cars and about one half for commercial vehicles. If the amount of the increase were thereby reduced to one 1d. per gallon instead of 4d. per gallon, it follows that the increased tax collected would be about £19 million in a full year and the cost of the Amendment would, therefore, be about £57 million in the full year.

The figure of the increase of the tax burden on the motorist was not put to the Committee upstairs in terms of the aggregation of increase in taxation on the road user. Measuring 1964, that is, the year ended 31st March, 1964, against the year ending 31st March, 1969—a span of five years—in the first of those years the total sum collected from road user taxation was £777 million. During the year to 31st March, 1969 the total sum raised from road user taxation will have reached the phenomenal figure of £1,561 million. It more than doubled in five years.

Out of the £777 million in the year to 31st March, 1964, £120 million was contributed to Purchase Tax, £171 million to licence duties and the bulk, £486 million, to motor fuel taxation. In a span of just five years motor fuel taxation has risen from £486 million to £946 million, licence duties to £421 million, and Purchase Tax to £194 million, the total reflecting this increase of more than 100 per cent., from £777 million to £1,561 million, from all road user taxation.

Even the most vicious Socialist—[HON. MEMBERS: "Are there any?"] Are there any? They are all vicious in their attacks on taxpayers, because the party opposite believes utterly in a high level or taxation at all times.

Mr. Cant


4.0 p.m.

Sir G. Nabarro

The hon. Member says, "Nonsense", but can he believe in a lowering level of taxation when his party has not reduced a single tax in four years? This Amendment has been selected first because the Socialists regard motoring as a luxury, notwithstanding that there are 10½ million motor car owners in Britain today, the majority of whom own small cars. They are not all Tories by any means, but they will all be Tories at the next election. The Chancellor does his party no greater disservice than year after year to pile increasing taxes on the shoulders of the motorist without any hope of reduction at any future date. He is justifiably unpopular on that account. There is no easier way of raising a cheer at a Parliamentary by-election these days than by talking about the fiscal iniquities of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the context of motor taxation. The second easiest way to raise a cheer is to talk about his inflationary policies.

When the Chancellor puts up by 4d. a gallon the duty on motor spirit he adds at once a great sum of money to the cost of the distribution of food and all the essentials of daily life. It may be true that the Selective Employment Tax— which I hope we will be debating here tomorrow—is a powerful factor in inflationary tendencies. I put easily second the increase in motor duties both in respect of spirit and the motor duty licences because they go straight on to the price of the articles in the shops. They go on overnight.

If hon. Members do not believe me ask the Co-ops. The Co-ops are the principal offenders. It is always they who campaign for a reduction in the duties on motor spirit; a reduction in Selective Employment Tax, or its abolition. Most largely the Co-ops are concerned with distribution; only to a minor extent with manufacture. The Co-ops at least have learned one eternal verity of commerce, which is that all indirect taxation is viciously inflationary— [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent is mumbling away about wanting more inflation. Does he want more inflation?

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

No, you want it.

Sir G. Nabarro

I wish, Sir Eric, that you would restrain the hon. Gentleman the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) from shouting "You this and you that". I will give way to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent if he wants to intervene.

Mr. Cant (Stoke-on-Trent, Central)

I tried once before. I was merely saying that you and your colleagues on that side of the House—

The Chairman

Order. Hon. Members should address their remarks to the Chair.

Mr. Cant

I have sat here on many occasions when hon. Members opposite have made plea after plea to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reduce the balance of taxation in favour of greater indirect taxation and less direct taxation.

Sir G. Nabarro

You kindly selected today Amendment No. 25, Sir Eric—

The Chairman

Order. We cannot, on this Amendment, enter into discussion about the relative merits of direct and indirect taxation.

Sir G. Nabarro

I entirely agree. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Cant) does not understand the rules of order. He must be more careful. On a later Amendment I shall discuss the whole matter of indirect taxation. I am not going: to be drawn on it today.

I am sure that every quarter of the Committee will agree that an increase in the duty on motor spirit—and half of this increase is in respect of commercial vehicles—is violently inflationary because it adds to the cost of distribution at every stage and is as vicious in an inflationary context as the Selective Employment Tax. For all these reasons I must deplore the Chancellor's decision to raise the petrol duty.

The right hon. Gentleman has doubled the burden on road users' taxes between 1964 and 1969. That is a dismal record indeed and an utter contradiction of the promises he and his Cabinet colleagues made before the General Election of 1964 and before the General Election of 1966. I shall continuously and unremittingly rub his nose in these fiscal facts during the short remaining period between this date and the next General Election.

I am delighted that my oratory is sufficiently seductive to attract the hon. Gentleman to sit below the Gangway.

Mr. Gordon Campbell (Moray and Nairn)

I should like to support the Amendment. My hon. Friend has pointed out with clarity that motorists and road vehicles have had to bear a tremendous burden of taxation. I and my hon. Friends from Scottish constituencies are sorry that you have not selected our Amendments affecting Scotland, Sir Eric, but the general position of taxation in the country is one that concerns us a great deal.

The Ministry of Transport, some months ago, commissioned a study of what was called track costs with the object of working out to what extent motor vehicles covered the costs of the roads and services which they used. When that report was issued, a short time ago, I suspect that the Minister—it was the former Minister—was surprised to find out what we had been telling her from this side of the House for a long time—that the total of taxation paid by road vehicles amounted to about twice as much as is spent on the construction and maintenance of roads and related services. This was the conclusion in the report after calculations by several methods.

That report on track costs completely undermined what the Minister was trying to do in the Transport Bill with two taxes there, and it was not surprising that those two taxes were removed from the Transport Bill. Unfortunately, the Chancellor is now trying, through fuel duty and the Excise duties, to raise the equivalent amount of money, and a lot more, almost twice as much as would have been raised under the taxes under the Transport Bill. Therefore, I support my hon. Friend in seeking to stop the huge increase being proposed in this Bill on petrol duty.

Turning to Scotland, when hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite and on the benches behind fail to recognise that general increases in transport costs have a greater effect on the remoter areas of Britain than elsewhere, one realises how little they know about what goes on in different parts of the country. When we have pointed out in debates in the House and upstairs that a substantial increase in the costs of road transport has a greater effect in raising costs in the North of Scotland than it does in an industrial area in the South, hon. Members on the other side have actually disputed this on the grounds that the respective duty is the same in both places. The important point that they have failed to appreciate is that distance enters into ordinary life and business activities in the remoter areas, so that the additional cost of transport is more damaging than in other areas.

To illustrate this simply, where markets and supplies are 100 or 200 miles away, an increase in transport costs has much more damaging and painful effects than where markets and supplies are only five miles away. I have put this simple point to the Government in the past and they have sought, with their supporters behind them, to dismiss it.

This is a matter of great concern to Scotland, particularly to the North and West Highlands. One Amendment which we put down, to which I will merely refer in passing, sought to exempt the islands. This was on a good precedent, because the Government agreed to one of our Amendments to the Transport Bill and announced exemption from quantity licensing in the case of the islands. In this Amendment we have taken the wording which the Government used to define the islands in theirs.

Certainly, in the islands and the North and West of Britain extra transport costs mean that petrol is considerably more expensive to buy at the petrol pump than in the South of England. The extra costs of sea and other additional transport mean that petrol is more expensive when dispensed and retailed. I refer to that in passing, because that is an example of remote areas which suffer additionally when there are substantial increases in transport costs. I hope that the Government, for the first time, will start considering these remote areas and the damage that is being done to them when transport costs are increased.

It is all very well for the Government to talk about development boards and what they are doing with investment grants, which in fact, only go to manufacturing industries. General talk by the Government about regional development becomes nonsense when it is completely contradicted and nullified by measures like this which, to such an extent, put up the costs of transport.

Mr. Angus Maude (Stratford-on-Avon)

The reason we feel strongly about increases in fuel duties is that this form of indirect taxation is infinitely more vicious and inflationary than any other. I am astonished that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have not been able to appreciate this. There is a case, which we cannot debate in detail here, for moving from direct to indirect taxation, but this form of indirect taxation enters into the costs not only of distribution but of production of almost all goods in the country.

It has an effect on the competitiveness of our exports and on raw materials being carried by road. Everything carried by road to the factories suffers in this way. It has a cumulative and multiplying effect which spreads throughout the whole of industry. Not merely that. It also has a vicious and distorting effect on the whole transport system. It is impossible to get the most efficient transport system in the country through the operation of market forces if the Government distort the relative costs of different kinds of transport every time they get into a mess with their finances and bring in an allegedly deflationary Budget.

My hon. Friend the Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. G. Campbell) spoke of the effect on the remote areas of Scotland. It has an effect everywhere in the countryside. We are in terrible trouble in the Midlands with our rural transport. Buses are continually being taken out of service because they are uneconomic. More and more people rely upon cars to get to their jobs. The combined effect of the increase in petrol duty and the increase in motor vehicle licence duty has been that innumerable working-class people have been forced to lay up their cars, and they are now finding great difficulty in getting to work with railway lines and rural bus services being closed down all the time.

I do not want to detain the Committee further. However, it should be obvious that this particular tax increase has an effect which spreads throughout all classes of the community. It has an adverse effect on export, it is directly inflationary, and it causes confusion and discomfort in a way that other forms of indirect taxation do not. I hope that the Chancellor will see fit to accept the Amendment.

4.15 p.m.

Mr. John Nott (St. Ives)

I should like to add a few words in support of my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro). I believe that this increase in petrol duty will bear extremely hardly on the rural areas of the country. It is an exceptionally regressive form of taxation which one does not expect from a Socialist Chancellor.

In 1952, petrol duty was 2s. 6d. In 1964, after many years of Conservative government, it had been raised to 2s. 9d., an increase of 3d. After only four years of Socialist Government, petrol duty has been raised by nearly 50 per cent. and now amounts to 3s. 11d. In four years the duty on petrol has been raised by a vastly greater amount than the mere 3d. which occurred during the years of Conservative rule.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Harold Lever) indicated dissent.

Mr. Nott

The Financial Secretary shakes his head. I hope that he will comment on my figures when he gets up to speak.

I believe I am right in saying that now the petrol duty is designed to raise £1,100 million. It involves an increase of nearly £75 million this year. This is an enormous burden to place on the poorer sections of the community, who, to a large extent, will bear this burden.

In his Budget statement the Chancellor indicated that only about 50 per cent. of families owned motor cars. That may well be the case taking the country as a whole; but, taking the outlying rural areas, the proportion of car ownership is very much greater. By necessity, the only people who do not own cars in most of the rural areas are old ladies and young children who cannot hold a licence. The rest of the community require cars, because there are no bus services.

In half the constituency which I represent there is no bus service of any kind. In another part I speak for about 6,000 people in the Lizard peninsula of Cornwall, where the bus services are practically non-existent. Hard as we try to get them replaced, it is impossible. I believe that Cornwall has a higher proportion of car ownership than anywhere else in the country, which is a most interesting figure bearing in mind that, according to the Inland Revenue, in income terms it is probably the poorest part of the country. In Cornwall, people need cars to get to work, to go shopping, to go to church, to deliver meals on wheels, and to provide an auxiliary hospital service for old people who want to get to and from hospital. A car is certainly not a luxury in rural areas. It is an absolute necessity.

If the Chancellor continues to increase petrol duty, it can only lead ultimately, and quickly at the present rate, to rural depopulation of our villages. Surely it is right that one of the Government's principal aims should be to try to change the trend towards rural depopulation by their regional development policies. I cannot think of any single tax—and this goes with Selective Employment Tax—which is more calculated to act against the Government's regional development policies than an increase in petrol duty of this nature.

This duty will also bear particularly hardly on those parts of the country which rely for their principal industries on early potatoes, fish, cabbage, and other horticultural and fishing products, where the transport element in total distributive costs is very much higher than it is in respect of a commodity which is perhaps—

Mr. Tony Gardner (Rushcliffe)

For the sake of clarity, will the hon. Gentleman tell the Committee the price of petrol in those countries which are our most serious competitors in horticultural products?

Mr. Nott

The argument about whether we have higher petrol prices, or lower taxes, or better living conditions than the French, the Germans, or the Italians is time-wasting and ridiculous. I am not concerned with the petrol tax in France, Germany or Holland. All I am concerned in seeing in this House, and in representing my constituency, is that the petrol tax does not rise to such a degree that people are prohibited from doing their shopping and going to work. The petrol tax in France and Germany is no concern of mine in dealing with the Amendment. This tax bears particularly hardly on areas where horticulture plays an important part, or where the fishing industry is of extreme importance, and for this reason I fully support this important Amendment.

I said earlier that this was an especially regressive tax. It will add greatly to the cost of living in the outlying areas where, because of their distance from the main centres of population, transport costs form a far greater proportion of total costs than they do in Birmingham, or London, or in the central parts of the United Kingdom.

It is astonishing that in West Cornwall, after deductions for National Insurance contributions and taxation, the take-home pay of the average worker is about £12 a week. The average level of council house rents is perhaps £3 a week. This means that the margin on which the average worker has to live is about £9 a week. If petrol tax is raised in the way contemplated, and following, as my hon. Friend says, the motor vehicle duty increases, there will be a substantial increase in the cost of living in areas where the average take-home pay amounts to the figure which I have mentioned.

The Multiple Shop Federation—and I think that it made these calculations in connection with the Transport Bill— reckons distribution costs due to the increases in petrol tax and motor vehicle licences are likely to rise by between 9½ per cent. and 11 per cent. This represents a 1¼ per cent. to 1½ per cent. increase in the final selling price of goods. My constituents with an average take home-pay of about £12 a week are in no position to bear this further impost of 1¼ per cent. to 1½ per cent. in the price of necessary commodities like food and fuel.

I support the Amendment. I know that the Financial Secretary is a generous, warm-hearted man, and that he has with him a brief which will shortly indicate to us that the Amendment has been accepted.

The Chairman

Sir Douglas Glover.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear.

Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)

After those warm words of greeting to me, I am sorry that I cannot say to the benches opposite that my speech will be filled with much joy and feelings of happiness.

I support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) about the Amendment. All our taxation is far too high, and is strangling the initiative of the nation. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott), who says that he is not concerned with taxes in France, or Germany, or anywhere else. Most of the developed countries are getting themselves into the situation of having a taxation structure which is out of balance, and where the population has less and less control over its environment. Control is in the hands of the State, and the supreme example of this is the taxation of fuel.

One knows that the rise in petrol tax and the increase in taxation of the internal combustion engine since the Government took office is due to the fact that they have a built-in prejudice against the motor car. It is no use the Financial Secretary laughing. They are still convinced that anybody who has a car is automatically a plutocrat, and perhaps I might prove that by evidence.

During my short period in the House, when the Conservative Party, dealing with the matter in a much more practical manner, as is their wont, brought in an alteration to the electoral system whereby any political party could use as many cars as it wanted to at election time, Labour Members seethed with rage. They said that it was being done to create a bias against the poor people who had no cars. They said that they would not be able to go and vote, whereas, in fact, as everybody knew, as many people who went to the polls in cars voted Labour as they did Conservative.

Hon. Gentlemen opposite still have that prejudice. They think that there is something slightly indecent in a family having a car, so this tax is designed to try in some way to put the clock back and force us all to give up our cars. They know that they will not succeed, but they are paying the right sort of tribute to those old and ancient glories of the past. When they are thinking about where to get some more "lolly" to do some more "goody business" somewhere, they say, "The easiest way of raising money is to put another tax on petrol and on the automobile; to put another tax on any form of transportation except rail". That really is how the tax structure on the automobile and on the fuel that it uses has grown up.

I am certain that when we were in power we were all the time fighting against this in the Treasury, because this is an easy way of raising money. It is very much simpler and in many ways a less painful way of raising money than getting it by other taxes, but over the years all that it has succeeded in doing is to put an enormous burden on our industrial machine because so much of the oncost is due to the taxes we are discussing this afternoon.

This tax structure reduces our competitiveness and makes the demand for increased wages stronger, because when people find that their basic needs—and surely one of the basic needs is the ability to transport oneself from A to B—cost more, they say that to balance the increase they must have extra wages and salaries. These taxes bear heavily on the means of transportation, and particularly on the transportation of the individual.

One of my hon. Friends spoke about the effect of this tax in rural districts. I know how it affects many people in my constituency. But it is not only the rural districts. My rural friends should remember that when one is in bottom gear, in a traffic block or sitting waiting for the lights to change in an urban district, one is probably using petrol at a greater rate per minute—not per mile—than those in rural districts.

4.30 p.m.

Mr. Maude

The point we were making, particularly in respect of rural areas, is that in urban areas it is possible for people to get to work by public transport whereas in many rural areas today there is no public transport at all to get people to work.

Sir D. Glover

I was not disagreeing with my hon. Friend, for I agree with him; but I was pointing out that the problem of the cost of running a car still applies, with this increased taxation in urban areas almost as much as in rural areas.

I would ask the Financial Secretary to say on what grounds the Treasury can justify the increase, not just in this Budget but ever since the party opposite (got into power? The increase in petrol alone is almost 50 per cent., not taking into account increased taxation on the vehicles themselves and so on. On what basis of principle have these taxes been increased? I know that the hon. Gentleman may say, "We have a very largely increased amount of spending in the Budget. We have to raise the money from somewhere and we feel that this is as fair a way of raising it as any".

I start off with the premise that I believe we are spending too much. I think that all of my hon. and right hon. Friends on this side of the House would agree. But let us start with the Socialist view that we are not spending too much and that what we are spending is all carefully organised and very sound, meeting with the private support of the Financial Secretary, who has no doubt that this is most desirable, and that this is an ideal world in which to live. Let us work on that assumption. I would still say that any person trying to get a fair collection of money to cover the bill, this expenditure, would inevitably conclude that today we are raising too much of it from the fuel tax.

If we take direct and other taxation, we are raising far too high a percentage today from fuel taxation. I would like to know, therefore, knowing of the increase that this puts on the cost of living, distribution and transportation, what philosophy, what thinking has gone on in the three years since the Labour Government got into power that has caused them in those three short years to increase fuel taxes by almost 50 per cent., and how they can justify that as a basic sensible policy, in a society in which petrol is a vital necessity, needed not by a small minority but by the great mass of the nation, both in their own private lives and in their commercial and industrial lives, so that it is a part of the life blood of the nation.

How can the Government believe that they are increasing efficiency and increasing the well-being of the nation when they are increasing these taxes by 50 per cent. in three short years? Until the hon. Gentleman can give a satisfactory reply to that—and I do not think he can—I am quite certain nobody on this side of the Committee will have any doubt at all that my hon. Friend's Amendment ought to be enthusiastically supported.

Mr. Julian Ridsdale (Harwich)

I hope that the protests we make on this side of the House will one day make the Government realise that it is wiser to cut Government spending than to face the increased taxation which the country is having to face today, including petrol tax. I do not want to get into a Second Reading argument here about the merits of direct or indirect taxation, or about the general level of Government spending. I merely want to say, in support of my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro), that this tax on petrol and all the other taxes the Government have introduced are inflationary and are adding to the cost of production. I want, also, to support my many hon. Friends from rural areas. Those who have small fixed incomes know how much this tax is affecting them and their pockets.

I speak with great feeling, because just recently, in my constituency, the bus fare from one rural town to another, a distance of 20 miles, has gone up by no less than 40 per cent. and this at a time when we are talking about keeping prices and incomes steady. This is partly caused by the kind of increased tax on petrol that the Government have introduced. The comment of my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) that the price of petrol had increased since Labour came into power from 2s. 3d. to 3s. 11d., an increase of 50 per cent., makes one realise why some bus fares are going up in the way they are. I use this opportunity which my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South has created to protest most strongly to the Government at the 40 per cent. increase in bus fares which has taken place during the last week or two in my constituency.

Mr. Marcus Worsley (Chelsea)

Sir Eric, you have chosen for discussion with Amendment No. 1, to which previous speakers have addressed themselves, three Amendments in the names of my noble Friend and three of my hon. Friends, and my remarks are mainly devoted to those. I do not want to suggest that I do other than wholly support the case that has been made from this side. I do not believe that this Government have ever understood the blow-lamp which they have put under the boiler of inflation by their continuous increases in petrol tax.

I want to refer not to the general case against tax increases on this scale, but to the particular case of the effect of increases in petrol duty on a particular category of people, namely, the disabled. You ruled, Sir Eric—obviously rightly— that a general debate on direct and indirect taxation would be out of order at this point. I am not for a moment attempting to challenge that Ruling. All I would like to do is to quote the words of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his Budget speech, on indirect taxation: … indirect taxation, to some extent at any rate, offers the individual a choice. If he is horrified by the impost he can abstain from some part of his consumption and produce the same demand reduction by saving. I certainly should not object to that."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th March, 1968; Vol. 761, c. 276.] These words are tragically ironic when applied to the kind of people covered by these three Amendments. It is harsh and ironic to say that there is any element of choice for a person whose ability to get around and enjoy life depends on his invalid chair. There is an overwhelming case, in the terms of the Chancellor's own advocacy of indirect rather than direct taxation, for an exemption for these people.

I know that the Financial Secretary will criticise the admittedly somewhat cumbrous machinery which would be involved; and no one on this side would pretend that it is other than cumbersome. But it is the increase in petrol tax which has created the need for this machinery. I would agree if the hon. Gentleman preferred a system of moderate petrol duties with the same tax paid by the fit and disabled, but we have outrageously high petrol duties which have also been sharply increased in normal and interim Budgets since 1964. Therefore, these are not normal times. These increases have borne hardly on a section of the community which no one would wish to single out for punishment. Therefore, there is an overwhelming case for this cumbrous machinery to make a humane alteration.

I say this the more because, for people who rely on an invalid carriage, it makes all the difference whether they can use it freely and without too much thought of the cost or whether they have to be careful about it. These people have had no compensating increase in benefit since the Budget and there is none in the offing. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not use the promised increase in supplementary benefit as an argument against the Amendments. These people have suffered substantial increases in costs and no compensating advantage, and I hope that the Committee will support the Amendments.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson (Truro)

I support the Amendments. There is still a tendency, in an emergency, when we need more revenue, to turn to the so-called luxuries and to lump petrol with wines, spirits and tobacco. That is obsolete, because petrol has long ceased to be a luxury. My hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) was right to say that, in the remoter areas, particularly Cornwall, petrol is a necessity. We have largely lost our rural railways and are losing our rural bus services, and the number of cars there is greater per head of the population than anywhere else. My hon. Friend was right to say that, in Cornwall, despite this large number of cars, incomes are much lower. I would have thought, in fact, that the average take-home pay was less than the £12 a week which he mentioned.

Rural dwellers must use their own transport to get to work. When agriculture and tin mining were the main industries in Cornwall, men walked to work, but many fewer people are now employed in agriculture, because it is more mechanised, and the tin mines have gone, although we hope that they will return. The only possible employment for many in the villages is in the towns and their only means of transport is their own, although they may find it difficult to maintain a car or motor cycle.

Moreover, many families of moderate incomes are two-car families, because the husband needs one for work and the wife needs another for shopping. Families of similar means in London would not dream of having two cars, but this is a necessity in these areas, and petrol tax increases bear hardly there. I hope that this will be borne in mind.

Mr. George Younger (Ayr)

I regard this debate as a general protest at continuing rises in petrol duties rather than at this particular one. We must bear in mind that raising petrol revenue has ceased to have much to do with hydrocarbon oils or petrol, but has become simply a method of raising taxation. If the Financial Secretary proposed a new form of taxation and suggested putting it blindly across the population, irrespective of means or conditions, he would be rightly and severely criticised, but every time the hydrocarbon oils duty is raised it falls more hardly on those who depend on petrol to get about and do the normal things which appeal to most of us who spend much of our time in cities.

We all think, first, of the hardship to people who run cars, but a much greater hardship, which has a far wider effect, is the immediate and noticeable increase in shop prices caused by an increase in petrol duty. This is no myth; one can see an immediate increase in prices of detailed items following such an increase of duty, particularly in remoter areas. I was in a small village shop about four weeks ago to buy a few things, and in that one visit I found three small grocery items which had gone up in price by 1d. in the previous week or so.

I was told that it was because of increased transport costs. The proprietor could not specify whether this meant increased petrol costs or licence duty, or the effects of the Transport Bill, but it was clear that it was largely due to increases over a long period in the price of petrol. The effect is direct and painful, particularly on remoter areas. My hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) mentioned particularly the fact that people in these areas have lower average earnings than in the country as a whole.

While I shall be delighted if the Financial Secretary agrees with the case we have been making, I hope that he will at least give an undertaking that in the months ahead the Government will look very closely indeed—far closer than they have done before—at the possibility of grading increases in petrol duty in favour of the remoter areas. There would be nothing unusual, new or extraordinary about there being differing prices for petrol at garages throughout the country. One need only travel north, into the Highlands, or towards the South-West, to see that different prices are charged the further one gets from the distribution points.

There would be no difficulty in administering such an arrangement and having different rates of hydrocarbon oil duty for remoter petrol stations. The Treasury would get a lot of co-operation from the oil companies in drawing the demarcation lines, and so on, and there would be little difficulty in establishing this principle. Once established, it would benefit all because the more overcrowded the South-East and the other large centres become the more advantageous it is for people to be encouraged to live in the less cramped areas. Such a move would be in favour of the Government's regional policy and the Government would be thanked for many years to come.

I hope, therefore, that the Financial Secretary will say, even without commitment, that the Treasury will look carefully into the question of producing a differential rate of petrol duty to help the rural areas.

Mr. Paul Dean (Somerset, North)

This might be an appropriate moment for me to intervene, in particular, about Amendments Nos. 153, 154 and 155. These proposals deal with a rebate of fuel duty for various categories of disabled people, particularly those who have invalid carriages, vehicles which are adapted for their own use and vehicles which qualify for the disabled drivers' car badges as specified by the Ministry of Health.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) said, the case in favour of this gets stronger every time the fuel duty is increased. There are three main arguments in favour of a rebate for the disabled. The first is an obvious one; the steep increases which have taken place in the fuel duty in the last few years. It has increased by nearly 50 per cent. in the last three or four years and is one of many increases in the cost of living to have greatly affected disabled people. How much of the £900 million to be raised by the Bill will bear on disabled people?

The Prime Minister said clearly at the time of devaluation and when cuts in Government expenditure were announced that those most in need would be protected. Many of the people covered by this series of Amendments come within the category of people in need. There is no doubt that this increase in fuel duty, together with many other increases in the cost of living, will mean a decline in the standard of living of many disabled people. It is an odd way of fulfilling that pledge given by the Prime Minister. The Financial Secretary cannot possibly make out that there has not been a decline in the standard of living of a substantial number of disabled people.

The Financial Secretary will no doubt use the argument which has been produced whenever we have discussed this matter; that this subject should be dealt with not through the taxation system, but through the social service arrangements. While I accept that this is a somewhat clumsy way of trying to achieve our objective, it is the immediate way at our disposal to get action taken now. If the hon. Gentleman says that this should be done through the social services, then he should bear in mind that we have discussed disability pen- sions on a number of occasions and that whenever we have put forward proposals along these lines the Government have said, "We are considering the matter" or "We must wait until more money is available". We have, as a result of this state of affairs, never been able to hope for early action on this matter. We are, therefore, seeking to bring immediate help for this category of people.

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not use the argument that the proposal contained in Amendments Nos. 153, 154 and 155 would cost too much—

Mr. Harold Lever indicated dissent.

Mr. Dean

—because he said in the Standing Committee that it would cost less than £1½ million a year. I am glad to note that the hon. Gentleman does not intend to use that argument.

The second main argument in favour of our proposal is the immense importance of mobility for disabled people. Those of us who are not disabled take mobility for granted. While we curse the traffic jams, we can at least travel by underground or walk. The disabled cannot. One of their most prized possessions is the means of mobility, for it helps them to lead a reasonably normal life—to get to their work, to the shops, to visit their relatives and friends and take part in recreational activities. Few aids to living are more important for the disabled than their means of mobility.

The third main argument in favour of our proposal is that these special vehicles can in no sense be regarded as a luxury, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea pointed out. They are not an optional extra but are an essential part of the life of disabled people, many of whom depended completely for getting about on vehicles which have been especially adapted for them. In many instances these people cannot use buses or other public transport facilities. It is impossible for them to contract out of the increased fuel duty.

The importance of these points was brought home to me when I had the privilege earlier in the year of opening the spring fair of a disabled persons' motor club. It was wonderful to see the help that the club is providing for its members and for other disabled people. All those with whom I spoke said that their number one priority was their means of transport. I trust that the pledges given by the Prime Minister will be implemented and that the Amendments will be accepted, for this is one means of implementing those pledges immediately. It would also be an excellent means for us to help those who are valiantly trying to help themselves.

5.00 p.m.

Mr. Harold Lever

We have had a very interesting debate, opened by the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro), whose absence from the Standing Committee we all regretted. Many of us must have felt that he was one of the few Members who would have been heard without amplification, in spite of the somewhat unusual acoustic conditions that prevailed then. We are grateful to him for moving this Amendment with his accustomed moderation.

The points raised ought to be dealt with generally at first. The general atmosphere of criticism from the other side appears to be that there is an element of malice in the raising of this tax, an element of dislike of the motorist. The hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) went so far as to say that we had an antipathy to the internal combustion engine. It seemed to be a remarkable antipathy to nurse. I am sure that I am achoing the feelings of every hon. Member, especially those on this side, when I welcome the hon. Member for Ormskirk back, and say that we rejoice in the fact that he is now in full health and showing, by the vigour of his chastisement of the Government, that he is unimpaired in his capacity to render service to the House.

To deal with his point first, we must get some simple facts clear. In the modern society, petrol is inevitably attractive as a means of raising indirect revenue, not only to members of this Government but to the previous Conservative Government. When the Conservative Government came in in 1951, the level of petrol tax was 1s. 10½d. Before they left office they had raised it to 2s. 9d. a gallon, an increase of merely 50 per cent. When we came in pertol tax was 2s. 9d. and we have raised it to 3s. 11d., a rather smaller percentage increase.

Mr. Victor Goodhew (St. Albans)

A shorter time, too.

Mr. Lever

If we take the shorter time under the Conservatives we get an even worse effect. When hon. Members opposite were in power the tax was 1s. 10½d. When we take a much shorter time, say about five years, we find that in 1956 it was 3s. 6d. a gallon.

Sir G. Nabarro


Mr. Lever

I did not know that the Suez group or the Suez Canal actually determined the rate of duty per gallon.

Sir G. Nabarro

The hon. Gentleman is historically wrong. He said five years after the Tory Government came in, in 1951—I am going slowly to allow him to collect his wits. Five years from 1951 is 1956, the autumn of that year. Suez took place in September, 1956, and the special Suez surcharge, in the form of an increased duty of 1s. a gallon was put on by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd), the then Minister of Power, in 1956. It was later removed. That was entirely a temporary measure, and has nothing to do with the general matter. It is a most dishonest point.

Mr. Lever

The hon. Gentleman may lash himself into a fury, but the fact is that the Conservative Government, in 1956, increased the charge in one year by 42 per cent. The fact that they took it off later is beside the point of my argument. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon. Members must try to relate their arguments to reality, not to their internally nourished fantasies.

They complained that I was quoting the beginning and end of the Conservative Government's record over petrol duty. They thought that this was over a long period, and I have taken it over a short period. If one takes the unhappy incidents in the middle, whether they be Suez or anything else, the fact is that it was not those which raised the petrol duty. It was the Conservative Chancellor who raised it by 1s. a gallon in one year.

Mr. Nott

According to the hon. Gentleman's figures, during the last three or four years of the Labour Government the petrol duty has gone up by 1s. 2d., whereas when the Conservative Party was in power for three times that period it raised it by 10½d. over the same period. On those figures, I do not see what the hon. Gentleman has to boast about.

Mr. Lever

It may be that when we get these annual arguments after we have been in power for 13 years we will be able to show a similar proportion. I know that it is hard for hon. Members opposite to see the proportions, but, if one takes proportions, the percentage increase while the Conservatives were in power was getting on for 50 per cent. This does not cohere with the kind of argument made from the opposite side that there is malice or incompetence on the part of the Labour Government. During Conservative rule over 13 years there was a 50 per cent. increase in the duty. It is not unreasonable for me, therefore, to remind hon. Members opposite that any Government are liable to have recourse to some increase in duty to raise revenue.

Mr. Maude

The hon. Gentleman will surely concede that there is some difference between an annual increase of less than 4 per cent. and an annual increase of 15 per cent. or 16 per cent?

Mr. Lever

It did not work out as an annual increase of 15 per cent. It was, unhappily, much jerkier than that. I can understand that hon. Members opposite, in Committee on the Finance Bill, want to disclaim all responsibility for foreign policy decisions. I will not weary the Committee with the details, but hon. Gentlemen would be completely wrong in supposing that there was a gentle progression of that kind. Taking the first year of Conservative Government, they increased the duty from 1s. 10½d. to 2s. 6d., an increase of 7½d. or 30 per cent.

This is rather like the record of the present Government—the duty has gone up rather sharply at the beginning, but who knows, the rates of increase may decline in later years. The hon. Member must not delude himself into supposing that the Conservative 42 per cent. increase in duty took place at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum.

Mr. Maude

On average.

Mr. Lever

I am hoping that, on average, over the next 13 years of Labour Government, there will be a similar argument available to us, though not necessarily in opposition. This is a tax which inevitably has some effect on transport costs, but it is, fortunately, gradual and very small. In the cost-of-living index it comes to one-tenth of one point, and that will be gradually achieved, at its peak effect. It is not a very startling increase on the cost of goods, and explains why the Conservative Party felt able to increase the duty by 42 per cent. or so.

The hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) was at his most parochial today, and said that he did not care what petrol cost or what petrol duty was in other countries. But I must answer the debate, which concentrated on the competitive effect of the duty in terms of raising the price of petrol and of transport, even on export goods. If this is a decisive aspect of competitiveness, we are in a very competitive position. The cost of petrol per gallon in Portugal is 8s. 5d., in France it is 8s. 3d., in Italy it is 7s. 9½d., in Belgium it is 6s. 9d., in Norway it is 6s. 8d., in Denmark it is 6s. 5d., in Germany it is 6s., and in the United Kingdom, after the tax increase, it is between 5s. 9d. and 5s. 10d.

Mr. Nott

What is it in the Fiji Islands, which is just about as relevant to what we are debating?

Mr. Lever

If the hon. Gentleman thinks that the price of petrol in the Fiji Islands is exactly as relevant to the argument about export competitiveness as the price in France, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Germany and Holland, I must leave him to his own thoughts, because I am not in tune with them.

Sir G. Nabarro

Would the hon. Gentleman get on the same wavelength, if he wants to use this as an argument? I am with my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) in thinking that it is largely irrelevant, but, if he wants to use it, why not quote the comparison which is really valid? That is the comparison with the United States, where comparable petrol costs 2s. 4d. a gallon against 6s. here. He is making our petrol more and more uncompetitive for our exporters.

Mr. Lever

I was quoting what I thought was relevant. The hon. Gentleman may think that that comparison is more relevant, like the Fiji Islands. I do not know where the hon. Gentleman gets his figures, but the figures I have are that the comparable petrol cost 3s. 5½d. a gallon in the United States. It is very much cheaper than it is here, for obvious reasons that are not very relevant to our discussions.

Mr. Ridsdale

Will the hon. Gentleman admit that in that country direct taxation is very much lower and the consumers have much more money to pay the increased prices?

Mr. Lever

Even I if I were prepared to admit that, it would not be true. If I detailed the comparative situation in terms of direct taxation, I should soon be called to order.

The fact is that this moderate increase in the price is not unfair in the circumstances of this year's Budget. Its effect on the cost of goods is tiny. Its effect on our competitiveness with other European countries can be judged from the level of petrol prices in those countries. In all the circumstances, the Governments' case must be that this is a reasonable increase, making its contribution to a substantial increase in taxation which unhappily was inevitable in the present circumstances. I expect on hosaanas of joy from any taxpayer, and motorists are no exceptiton, but I am afraid that this is a burden that must be borne and accepted.

The hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) asked that different rates should be considered for different parts of the country. On the face of it, that seemed to me impracticable, but I will have the idea looked at, without making any commitment. Perhaps I should not comment further than that.

I have every sympathy with those who want to help invalid carriage users and protect them against any increase in duty. Unhappily, no Government, including the Conservative Government when they increased petrol duty, have been able to find a way to shield particular users of this kind from the hardship or consequences of a petrol duty increase. The Amendment is impracticable. It could not be administered, and it could not be policed. There would be immense administrative problems.

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson

Am I not right in thinking that in the Transport Bill there is a provision to make a rebate to buses? Is it not possible to make a rebate to invalid carriage users?

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Lever

There is in this Bill provision for a rebate to buses. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for drawing attention to the point that we have shielded buses from the effect of the petrol duty increase. That is possible in the case of the relatively few large scale transport operators. It is certainly not possible to do it in the case of each invalid carriage users. I greatly regret this. It is not from any lack of sympathy that we cannot accede to the request, or, I suppose, that previous Conservative Governments could not accede to similar requests. I regretfully turn it down on the ground that its administration would be impossible and either grotesquely expensive in relation to what was granted or hopelessly badly policed.

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Harold Gurden)

Mr. Fortescue.

Mr. Maude

Before the hon. Gentleman sits down, will he deal with the question of the particular hardship to the rural areas?

The Temporary Chairman

Order. The hon. Gentleman had sat down. I called Mr. Fortescue.

Mr. Tim Fortescue (Liverpool, Garston)

I am sorry that I was unable to catch the eye of the Chair before the Minister spoke, but perhaps in view of what he said that is just as well.

I have already learned in my brief experience in the House that there is not much future in appealing to the generosity, warmheartedness and open-handed affluence of any members of the Treasury team. This happens several times a year with monotonous regularity and the answer is always the same. I am sure that this is so whichever Government are in power. Therefore, it seems to me that the only way to try to persuade the hon. Gentleman of the virtue of the three Amendments dealing with invalid carriages is to persuade him that their acceptance would be in the Treasury's interests as regards money spending, and would not cost him anything. This I shall briefly try to do.

In the Health Services and Public Health Bill, which has just returned to the Commons from another place with a few Amendments, but no Amendment to the part of the Bill with which I am now concerned, the Minister of Health, to the general acclamation of both sides of the Committee which dealt with the Bill, has taken powers under Clause 33(3), which states: The Minister may, … make payments by way of grant towards costs incurred by any such person as is mentioned in subsection (1)"— that is, people entitled to invalid carriages— in relation to an invalid carriage or other vehicle provided by the Minister for or belonging to that person, that is to say, … the purchase of fuel for the purposes of the vehicle, … The Financial Secretary has just said that this is impossible, that the administrative complications which would arise from helping the small numbers of individual people who run invalid carriages to pay for their fuel would be quite out of the question. Yet in another Bill before the House, unopposed by anybody, one of his right hon. Friends is taking powers to do so if he wishes. If he uses those powers, and makes grants to the operators of invalid carriages to help them with their fuel costs, the cumbersomeness of that method of paying for fuel will be far greater than the cumbersomeness of the proposals in the three Amendments.

The Minister of Health would have to pay out some money to the operators of invalid carriages to enable them to pay for their fuel, the cost of which includes the extra tax which is now being laid on them. Therefore, the money would be paid out by the Government with one hand and collected by them with the other. I know that this has been rather a favourite device of the Government in financial matters. We have only to consider the family allowances and the Selective Employment Tax which have been foisted on us by the Government to see that this is what they like doing.

I do not think that anybody in the Committee, even on the Government side, would pretend that it is a very tidy or easy way of collecting money. Therefore, I seriously suggest to the hon. Gentleman that he should look at the powers which his right hon. Friend has taken in the Health Services and Public Health Bill. He will then find that they are much more far-reaching and far more clumsy than anything suggested in the Amendments, and that both from the point of view of economy of taxation and ease of administration it would befit him far better to accept our Amendments and thus obviate the necessity for his right hon. Friend to make the grants for fuel for invalid carriage operators which he proposes.

Mr. Michael Noble (Argyll)

I want to reinforce what has been said by a number of my hon. Friends and perhaps to encourage the Financial Secretary, who is coming at least a little way in our direction, to look even more seriously at some of these problems than he has indicated that he will do. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) that the possession of a car today is of tremendous importance to a vast range of people. Twenty years ago, at the end of the war, people wanted houses. Now, due to the successful Conservative housing policy, they have their houses and want cars. In most parts of the country, including, I am sure, the Financial Secretary's constituency, the number of cars has probably doubled, trebled or quadrupled over the last 12 or 13 years. It is what people want. It is the modern way of moving around.

But I hope that some time the hon. Gentleman will stay a few days with me in the wilds of Argyll. He will see that exactly the same thing has happened there but for quite different reasons, in that people must have motor vehicles if they are to live any sort of modern life at all. We have practically no railways and few buses, which are irregular in timing. There is no other way of getting around apart from cars, and if we are to keep people in such areas it is a strange paradox that they must be able to get away if they are to be prepared to stay. Cars in such areas are essential.

It is not really surprising, although it often does come as a surprise to people, that the Island of Orkney has, I believe, the highest density of cars in Europe. One would not expect this of a Scottish island but I believe that it is still true. It was certainly true a few years ago when I checked the figures. In these areas, there are practically no railways or rural bus services. Only private cars are available for people to be able to move about.

One of the aspects I have found a little disturbing—and I am not quarrelling with the hon. Gentleman's figures, because I am sure he is right—is the attitude that, if we put up the cost of petrol, it puts only one-tenth of 1 per cent. on the price of goods. This is disturbing because, for the first time in my life, in the Western Highlands there are a very large number of vans going between the local villages on journeys of 60 or 70 miles a day delivering goods but the owners are saying that they can no longer continue to do so and are taking their services off. The hon. Gentleman might say that this is not purely because of the cost of petrol. It is also, of course, because of the Selective Employment Tax, the increased vehicle licence duty and other increases imposed by the Government.

Mr. Harold Lever

I hope I did not, by a slip of the tongue, say one-tenth of 1 per cent. on the cost of goods. It is one-tenth of one point on the cost-of-living index which results from the increase in petrol duty.

Mr. Noble

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I took it to be the other. But I have raised this point with the Scottish Office and it has given me this sort of figure. It says that it is only a tiny percentage. But there is an accumulation of tiny percentages which have been imposed steadily over the last three or four years since the Socialists came to power, and it has fundamentally changed the view of many distributors and suppliers in the outlying areas. If these people go, as they are going, what is the rest of the community to do?

There is only one alternative. The people in these areas must use their own cars more regularly for much greater distances. In my constituency, people regularly drive 60 or 80 miles. I can go 100 miles in one direction and 160 in another by road without leaving my constituency. People must go long distances for their food and drink, and if all these extra costs mean the withdrawal of distribution services, then the only alternative is, for them to drive very long distances at weekends or whenever they can in order to obtain the things they need for their ordinary existence.

There is a good fundamental case for the Treasury to consider carefully the problems of differential taxation for the areas of large distances in the rural parts of the country. The case is particularly valid for a number of islands, where the cost of petrol is often 6d. or more a gallon greater than elsewhere because of the problems of distribution. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will look at this again and will bring in some effective legislation to put the matter right at an early date.

I do not feel entirely sympathetic with a Government who, having promised no extra taxation, have, even if only for a short period of three or four years, increased petrol duty and distribution costs so vastly. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South on raising this point and I feel strongly in support of his case.

Mr. Goodhew

Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed the strange transformation of the hon. Member for Manchester, Cheetham (Mr. Harold Lever) from the back benches to the position of Financial Secretary to the Treasury. When he sat on the back benches, he was full of reasonableness and understanding. He was constantly attacking Treasury thinking and was full of common sense. Now that he has moved a few feet up the Chamber, he has suddenly absorbed the spirit of the Treasury almost to the point of callousness. He has been reduced from his old common sense to the tortuous arguments and juggling with figures of the Treasury.

The figures which the hon. Gentleman gave will not wash. We are not talking about an isolated example of an increase in taxation. He is clobbering the motorist this time. Not only is there 4d. a gallon on petrol but £7 10s. a year on the vehicle licence duty—an increase of 43 per cent. If he claims that the Government are less harsh on the motorist than the Conservatives were, he should look at it in the context of the Bill and see what the Government are doing to the running costs of the average man's car, many of which do quite small mileages a year. To these people, the additional cost of petrol and licence duty will make a great difference.

The hon. Gentleman also ignores the fact that, when previous increases were made, it was at a time when direct taxation was being reduced. That makes a great difference. Someone who brings home more money in his pay packet is thus left with a better opportunity of deciding his own priorities in spending. But the Government have increased direct taxation as well as indirect taxation, on petrol in particular, while telling us that we must not have increased incomes to enable us to afford it.

I mentioned in Committee upstairs the aircraft workers in my constituency, many of whom must use cars in order to get to the Handley Page Works at Rad-lett, just inside my constituency, or to the Hawker Siddeley Works at Hatfield, just outside it. No doubt, when asking for pay increases to help meet extra costs, they will come up against the Prices and Incomes Bill. This is quite a different atmosphere in which to talk about increases in taxation. I wonder if he considers the commuters who live in a constituency like St. Albans. The trains are not very comfortable—[AN HON. MEMBER: They catch fire!]—They catch fire from time to time. This has caused a great deal of concern among my constituents, and has caused them to want to motor.

5.30 p.m.

The line is overcrowded and the rolling stock is uncomfortagle. Many of my constituents choose to motor part of the way in, which is what they have been asked to do. If their work takes them to a point well south of St. Pancras, it is much more convenient for them to motor part of the way in and pick up the underground, instead of going to St. Pancras by train and then on to the underground. These people will all suffer. They will suffer these increases at a time when the Government are showing a determination that they should not have increased incomes to enable them to afford it.

The same applies to those who have to motor their children to school. Parents work on a roster system by which they collect three or four children in one car and take them all to school. They have to do it, because there are no bus services in rural areas, and in many cases the education authority will not provide school buses. These people will be asked to pay the extra impost, and all because the Financial Secretary says that petrol is an attractive means of collecting revenue.

It is a great mistake for the Government to consider that the motorist is somebody who is there to be clobbered and who can always be forced to pay more. There is a law of diminishing returns, and many motorists work on a narrow margin. The margin between being able to afford to run a motor car and having to pack it up all together is a very narrow one. If many people are driven off the roads, the Financial Secretary will be faced with the difficulty of providing public services, which will be much more expensive to the Government. I hope that he will think seriously about this before Report stage, although, as I say, the transformation which has come over him since he has moved from the back bench leads me to think that that is a faint hope.

Mr. Iain Macleod (Enfield, West)

Before my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) wraps up this very valuable and important debate, I would draw the attention of the Financial Secretary to one point on Amendments Nos. 153, 154 and 155, which are being discussed with Amendment No. 1—the three Amendments which suggest that differential and favourable treatment should be given to those who are invalid or disabled and who have to use an appropriate form of transport.

The Financial Secretary was sympathetic to the idea behind those proposals, as are all hon. Members on both sides of the Commmittee. He advanced two arguments against them, The first was that the idea was impracticable, and the second was that it could not be policed. I should like to put to the Commmittee very shortly that both those propositions are wrong.

On the question of whether it be impracticable or not, the class of person that we are considering does not have to pay vehicle excise duty and can obtain a certificate to this effect for display. It is quite true that the classes of people that we are trying to help are not exactly co-terminus with that group, but it is a very poor argument to say that one declines to help a most deserving group of people because one cannot be quite sure that one is helping all of them. Beyond argument there is in the system of exemption from excise duty a method of identification which is available to the Treasury. The problem of giving special help in the social services, wherever it may be, is basically a question of identification. We know who are and who are not disabled, and, therefore, identification cannot be a problem which could stand in our way if the will to help these people is there.

I turn to the second point, that it cannot be policed, and that if coupons for a cheaper form of petrol were given to disabled drivers it might lead to the same sort of abuse that unquestionably happened with tobacco coupons for old age pensioners. There is a profound difference between the two. Coupons for tobacco were given to people, whether or not they smoked, as long as they asked for them, and many people who did not smoke were more than happy to give their coupons away. That position does not arise here. People are not disabled because they want to be disabled. They are disabled for any one of a hundred reasons. It is part of the tragedy of their lives and it is inconceivable to think that coupons issued to a disabled person would be traded for the gain of a penny or two that could come from letting somebody else have them.

In this context I pick up a point made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech. When he spoke about increases in taxation he said that for many people there was at least an alternative; that is to say, instead of paying the higher prices they could save the money. This is an absolutely valid argument for drinking spirits and for smoking, but it is not a valid argument for petrol for disabled drivers. They literally have no choice in these matters, unless they are prepared to vegetate in their homes, and we all know that the one thing above all others that is vital for disabled people is to keep them, as far as possible, in the full flow of ordinary life.

I am quite certain that the argument about policing has no validity. The argument about it being impracticable is, I concede, a little more difficult, but nothing like as difficult as has been claimed, in view of the exemptions from vehicle excise duty that already obtain.

I do not want to go into the party political side of this argument, because it is an argument that appeals very much to both sides of the House, but an undertaking was given by the Prime Minister that people most afflicted, would on the whole, as far as it could be done, not suffer from devaluation. Unless something like this is done, that part of that pledge is broken. So, between now and Report stage, I ask the Financial Secretary to reflect again on the two points: is it practicable, and can it be policed? I have a feeling that he could well come to the House on Report with a more helpful answer than he was able to give today.

Sir G. Nabarro

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for referring to this as a valuable and important debate. Indeed, it has been a most one-sided debate. The voices of 18 of my right hon. and hon. Friends have been raised in support of mine in condemning this iniquitous increase in the motor spirit duty. Not a single voice, other than that of the Financial Secretary, has been heard from the benches Opposite. All of this adds weight to the most propitious and apposite comment of my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover), that Socialists have some antipathy towards the internal combustion engine; they do not like it. They are envious of people with motor cars, they regard motor cars as the perquisites of the Tory rich.

They will find out to the contrary at the next General Election. The motorists' vote in this country is critically important. I have recognised it since I entered politics. That is why I have always championed the motorist, and look where I have got. There are 10½ million of them today, and they are growing apace. They utterly resent the continuous and penal increases in the three related forms of taxation heaped upon them by the Socialist Administration since the autumn of 1964.

I intend to castigate the Financial Secretary in the mildest terms for his behaviour today. It was rankly dishonest when he said that, in the first five of their 13 years, the Tory Government increased the petrol duty by more than the Socialists have increased it in the last four years. I have quickly calculated five years forward from October, 1951, to October, 1956, having realised that the shilling per gallon Suez special premium was put on in the autumn of 1956 for a few short weeks to act as a special rationing measure in the extraordinary difficulties of those months, and removed very shortly thereafter. It is as dishonest to calculate the shilling premium arising from Suez into petrol duties as it would be to say that unemployment in 1947 was 2.2 million due to the extraordinary behaviour of the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell). Of course, it was not his fault that every factory in the country shut down, and I have never suggested that it was—much.

It is just about as dishonest to calculate that into the general argument that was used by the Financial Secretary. Over 13 years between 1951 and 1964, my party demonstrated that it was the friend of the British motorist. I do not want to anticipate what I shall have to say on a further selected Amendment on Purchase Tax and other aspects of taxation, and this is only a passing reference, but it was the Tories who reduced the Purchase Tax on cars from 60 per cent. to 25 per cent. It is the Socialists who have put it in reverse. I remember my right hon. Friend the Member for Barnet (Mr. Maudling), on Guy Fawkes' Day in 1962, bringing Purchase Tax on motor cars down from 50 per cent. to 25 per cent. in one go— the motorist's friend indeed. It was my party which said that the licence duty on cars was far too high at 25s. per horse power and made it uniform at £10 per car. Where has it gone now? First, it went to £17 10s., and now to £25—

The Temporary Chairman


Sir G. Nabarro

A passing reference only, Mr. Gurden.

The Temporary Chairman

I thought that we had already passed the reference. Let us come back to the petrol duty.

Sir G. Nabarro

I was endeavouring to demonstrate that the three aspects of taxation on motor cars are interdependent. I know that we are only discussing the petrol duty, but my party drastically brought down Purchase Tax on cars, drastically brought down the vehicle licence duty and, over 13 years, very mildly increased petrol duty. The party opposite has increased the vehicle licence duty—

Mr. Harold Lever

On a point of order, Mr. Gurden. I do not in the least mind these passing references, but, as I have denied myself similar references to matters wholly unrelated to the Amendment, I must ask you whether it would be in order for me to deal with the comments made about the Purchase Tax on cars, vehicle licence duties and other matters in a further reply.

The Temporary Chairman

I had already reminded the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) of this, and I allowed other hon. Members to make passing references. No doubt the hon. Gentleman will now come back to the Amendment.

5.45 p.m.

Sir G. Nabarro

Mr. Gurden, I apologise. I was endeavouring to demonstrate the friend that my party is towards the motorist in every sense, whereas the party opposite is the enemy of the motorist, and 10½ million car owners in the country would do well to recognise that simple fact of life.

In the 12 months to 31st March, 1964, which was the last full year of Tory Government, the sum raised from road users in all forms of taxation was £777 million. In the 12 months to 31st March, 1969, the sum budgeted for is £1,561 million—

Mr. Gardner

It will be well spent.

Sir G. Nabarro

The hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Gardner) supports it, and HANSARD will record the fact tomorrow. Under Socialist administration, taxation on the motorist has more than doubled. That may be the policy of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. If it is, it is a very bad one, and the nation will condemn it. Indeed, it is a cardinal reason for the disastrous results at the polls of the party opposite in municipal elections and Parliamentary by-elections. A huge burden of additional taxation has been heaped on the motorist. That is why I am so proud to stand here as the friend of the British motorist—

Mr. James Dempsey (Coatbridge and Airdrie)

Listen to the chairman of the club.

Sir G. Nabarro

The hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) may jibe, but at least I drive a British car.

Mr. Dempsey

I do not drive any car.

Sir G. Nabarro

I know. I doubt whether the hon. Gentleman even has a driving licence. Mr. Gurden, it is fortunate that this has been the first Amendment selected. I now make an appeal to you. We have two important issues to decide. Amendment No. 1 deals with the general proposition that the duty on motor spirit should be increased not by 4d. a gallon but by only 1d. The other three Amendments deal with the important matters raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) about disablement. If we cannot have separate Divisions on those two issues, may I recommend to

Division No. 216.] AYES [5.49 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Nott, John
Astor, John Goodhart, Philip Osborn, John (Hallam)
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Goodhew, Victor Page, Graham (Crosby)
Awdry, Daniel Gower, Raymond Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Grant-Ferris, R. Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Peel, John
Bell, Ronald Hall, John (Wycombe) Peyton, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Pink, R. Bonner
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Pounder, Rafton
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Biffen, John Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Biggs-Davison, John Harvie Anderson, Miss Prior, J. M. L.
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Hastings, Stephen Pym, Francis
Black, Sir Cyril Hawkins, Paul Quennell, Miss J. M.
Blaker, Peter Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Rees-Davies, W. R.
Body, Richard Higgins, Terence L. Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Bossom, Sir Clive Hiley, Joseph Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hill, J. E. B. Ridsdale, Julian
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hirst, Geoffrey Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Holland, Philip Royle, Anthony
Bryan, Paul Hordem, Peter Russell, Sir Ronald
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Hornby, Richard St. John-Stevas, Norman
Bullus, Sir Eric Howell, David (Guildford) Scott, Nicholas
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Hunt, John Scott-Hopkins, James
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Hutchison, Michael Clark Sharples, Richard
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Iremonger, T. L. Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Chichester-Clark, R. Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Silvester, Frederick
Clark, Henry Jopling, Michael Sinclair, Sir George
Clegg, Walter Kaberry, Sir Donald Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Cooke, Robert Kershaw, Anthony Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Kimball, Marcus Speed, Keith
Cordle, John King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Stainton, Keith
Corfield, F. V. Knight, Mrs. Jill Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Costain, A. P. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Cradciock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Lane, David Summers, Sir Spencer
Cunningham, Sir Knox Langford-Holt, Sir John Tapsell, Peter
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Temple, John M.
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Digby, Simon Wingfield Loveys, W. H. Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Lubbock, Eric Tilney, John
Doughty, Charles MacArthur, Ian Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Maekenzie, Alasdair (Ross&Crom'ty) Wainwright, Richard (Coine Valley)
Drayson, G. B. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Eden, Sir John Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain Walters, Dennis.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McMaster, Stanley Ward, Dame Irene
Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Maddan, Martin Webster, David
Emery, Peter Maginnis, John E. Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Errington, Sir Eric Marten, Neil Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Eyre, Reginald Maude, Angus Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Farr, John Mawby, Ray Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Fortescue, Tim Maydon, Lt.-Cdr. S. L. C. Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Foster, Sir John Mills, Peter (Torrington) Woodnutt, Mark
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Worsley, Marcus
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Monro, Hector Wylie, N. R.
Gibson-Watt, David Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Younger, Hn. George
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Murton, Oscar TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Glover, Sir Douglas Nabarro, Sir Gerald Mr. Jasper More and
Glyn, Sir Richard Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Mr. Anthony Grant.

my right hon. and hon. Friends that they record their disapproval of the Government's policies by supporting Amendment No. 1, and then dividing on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill"? That will demonstrate that we wish to register our disapproval under both those headings.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 185. Noes 247.

Albu, Austen Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Moyle, Roland
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Gregory, Arnold Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Alldritt, Walter Grey, Charles (Durham) Murray, Albert
Anderson, Donald Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Neal, Harold
Armstrong, Ernest Griffiths, E. (Brightside) Newens, Stan
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby,S.)
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Norwood, Christopher
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Oakes, Gordon
Barnett, Joel Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Ogden, Eric
Baxter, William Hamling, William O'Malley, Brian
Beaney, Alan Hannan, William Orme, Stanley
Bence, Cyril Harper, Joseph Oswald, Thomas
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Haseldine, Norman Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Bidwell, Sydney Hattersley, Roy Palmer, Arthur
Bishop, E. S. Hazeil, Bert Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Blackburn, F. Heifer, Eric S. Park, Trevor
Blenkinsop, Arthur Henig, Stanley Parker, John (Dagenham)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Herbison, nt. Hn. Margaret Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Booth, Albert Hilton, W. S. Pavitt, Laurence
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Horner, John Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Boyden, James Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Pentlands, Norman
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Bradley, Tom Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Brooks, Edwin Hoy, James Price, Thomas (Westhoughton.)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Huckfield, Leslie Probert, Arthur
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Randall, Harry
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Rankin, John
Buchan, Norman Hunter, Adam Rees, Merlyn
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hynd, John Reynolds, Rt. Hn. G. W.
Butler Herbert (Hackney, C.) Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hitt) Richard, Ivor
Callaghan Rt. Hn. James Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cant, R.B. Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Carniichael, Neil Jeger George (Goole) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Keinneth (St.P'c'as)
Coe Denis Johnson, Carol (Lewieham, S.) Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow,E.)
Cole'man, Donald Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull W.) Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Concannon, J. D. Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Conlan Bernard Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Crawshaw, Richard Judd, Frank Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Cronin John Kelley, Richard Sheldon, Robert
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Kenyon, Clifford Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R' ter & Chatham) short, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Collen, Mrs. Alice Kerr, Russell (Feitham) Srlkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Dalyell, Tarn Lawson, George Silverman, Julius
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Leadbitter, Ted Slater, Joseph
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Ledger, Ron Small, William
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Snow, Julian
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lee, John (Reading) Spriggs, Leslie
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lester, Miss Joan Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Dempsey, James Lever, Harold (Cheetham) SummerskillHn. Dr. Shirley
Dewar, Donald Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Swain, Thomas
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Lipton, Marcus Symonds, J. B.
Dickens, James Lomas, Kenneth Taverne, Dick
Dobson, Ray Loughlin, charles Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Doig, Peter Loard, Evan
Dunn, James A. Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Thornton, Earnest
Dunnett, Jack Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Tinn, James
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Maccoll, James Tuck, Raphael
Dunwoody Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) M acdonald, A.H. Urwin, T.W.
Eadie, Alex McGuire, Michael Varley, Eric G.
Mckay, Mrs. Margreat Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Edelman, Maurice Mackenzie, Gregor (Ruthergien) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mackenzie, Gregor (Ruthergien) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Wallace, George
Ellis, John McNamara, J. Kevin Watkins, David (Consett)
Ennals, David McNamara, J. Kevin
Ensor, David MacPherson, Malcolm Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S. Wellbeloved,James
Evans, Loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Faulds, Andrew Manuel, Archie whitaker, Ben
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Marks, Kenneth White, Mrs. Eirene
Fletcher, Raymond (Likeston) Marquand, David Wilkins, W.A.
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Maxwell, Robert Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Mayhew, Christopher Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Mikardo, lan Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchki)
Forrester, John Millan, Bruce Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Fraster, John (Norwood) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Winnick, David
Freeson, Reginald Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Galpern, sir Myer Moonman, Eric Woof, Robert
Gardner, Tony Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Garrett, W. E. Morris, Alfred (Wythenehawe) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Mr. John McCann and
Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Morris, John (Aberavon) Mr. Neil McBride.

Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill put forthwith pursuant to Order [11th June]:

Division No. 217.] AYES [5.58 p.m.
Albu, Austen Garrett, W. E. Mayhew, Christopher
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Mikardo, Ian
Alldritt, Walter Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Millan, Bruce
Anderson, Donald Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Armstrong, Ernest Gregory, Arnold Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Grey, Charles (Durham) Moonman, Eric
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Morgan, E;ystan (Cardiganshire)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Griffiths, E. (Brightside) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Barnett, Joel Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Baxter, William Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Morris, John (Aberavon)
Beaney, Alan Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Moyle, Roland
Bence, Cyril Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Muiley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Harmling, William Murray, Albert
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Hannan, William Neal, Harold
Bidwell, Sydney Harper, Joseph Newens, Stan
Bishop, E. S. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.PhiIip(Derby,S.)
Blackburn, F. Haseldine, Norman Norwood, Christopher
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hattersley, Roy Oakes, Gordon
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Hazell, Bert Ogderl, Eric
Booth, Albert Heffer, Eric S. O'Maley, Brian
Bottomley Rt. Hn. Arthur Henig, Stanley Orme, Stanley
Boyden, James Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Oswald, Thomas
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hilton, W. S. Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Bradley, Tom Homer, John Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Brooks, Edwin Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Palmer, Arthur
Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Howarth, Harry (Welingborough) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Park, Trevor
Buchan, Norman Hoy, James Parker, John (Dagenham)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'bum) Huckfield, Leslie Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Pavitt, Laurence
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Cant, R. B. Hunter, Adam Pentland, Norman
Carmichael, Neil Hynd, John Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Coe, Denis Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Prlce, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Coleman, Donald Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Probert, Arthur
Concannon, J. D. Jeger, George (Goole) Randall, Harry
Conlan, Barnard Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) RanKin, John
Crawshaw Richard Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Rees, Merlyn
Cronin, John Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull W.) Reynolds, Rt. Hn. G. W.
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Richard, Ivor
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Roberts, Albert (Normartton)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Judd, Frank Roberts, Cwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Dalyell, Tam Relief Richard Robertson, John (Paisley)
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Kenyon, Clifford Robinson,Rt.Hn.Kenneth(St P'c'as)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Robinson W. O. J. (walth'stow, E.)
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Kerr, Russell (Feitham) Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lawson, George Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Davies, I for (Gower) Leadbitter, Ted Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Dempsey, James Ledger, Ron Shaw, Arnold (Illford, S.)
Dewar, Donald Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Sheldon, Robert
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Lee, John (Reading) Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.
Dickens, James Lestor, Miss Joan Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Dobson, Ray Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Doig, Peter Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Silverman, Julius
Dunn, James A. Lipton, Marcus Slater, Joseph
Dunnett, Jack Lomas, Kenneth Small, William
Dunwoody, Mrs. Cwyneth (Exeter) Loughln, Charles Snow, Julian
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Luard, Evan Spriggs, Leslie
Eadie, Alex Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Edelman, Maurice Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Swain, Thomas
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) McCann, John Symonds, J. B.
Edwards, William (Merioneth) MacColl, James Taverne, Dick
Ellis, John Macdonald, A. H. Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Ennals, David McCuire, Michael Thornton, Ernest
Ensor, David McKay, Mrs. Margaret Tinn, James
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Tomney, Frank
Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Maclennan, Robert Tuck, Raphael
Faulds, Andrew McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Urwin, T. W.
Fletcher, llaymond (Ilkeston) McNamara, J. Kevin Varley, Eric G.
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) MacPherson, Malcolm Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.) Wallace, George
Forrester, John Manuel, Archie Watkins, David (Consett)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Marks, Kenneth Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Freeson, Heginald Marquand, David Weitzman, David
Galpern, Sir Myer Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Wellbeloved, James
Gardner, Tony Maxwell, Robert Whitaker, Ben

The Committee divided: Ayes 244, Noes 181.

White, Mrs. Eirene Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Wilkins, W. A. Willis, Rt. Hn. George TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.) Winnick, David Mr. Neil McBride and
Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A. Mr Alan Fitch.
Williams, Clifford (Abertillery) Woof, Robert
Alison, Michael (Barketon Ash) Glyn, Sir Richard Osborn, John (Hallam)
Astor, John Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Goodhart, Philip Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Awdry, Daniel Goodhew, Victor Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Grant, Anthony Peel, John
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Grant-Ferris, R. Peyton, John
Bell, Ronald Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Pink, R. Bonner
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hall, John (Wycombe) Pounder, Rafton
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Got. & Fhm) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Biffen, John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Prior, J. M. L.
Biggs-Davison, John Harvie Anderson, Miss Pym, Francis
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Hastings, Stephen Quennell, Miss J. M.
Black, Sir Cyril Hawkins, Paul Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Blaker, Peter Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Rees-Davies, W. R.
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Body, Richard Higgins, Terence L. Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Bossom, Sir Clive Hiley, Joseph Ridsdale, Julian
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hill, J. E. B. Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Braine, Bernard Hirst, Geoffrey Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Royle, Anthony
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Holland, Philip Russell, Sir Ronald
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hordern, Peter St. John-Stevas, Norman
Bryan, Paul Hornby, Richard Scott, Nicholas
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Howoll, David (Guildford) Scott-Hopkins, James
Bullus, Sir Eric Hunt, John Sharples, Richard
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Hutchison, Michael Clark Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Iremonger, T. L. Silvester, Frederick
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Sinclair, Sir George
Chichester-Clark, R. Jopling, Michael Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Clark, Henry Kaberry, Sir Donald Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Clegg, Walter Kershaw, Anthony Speed, Keith
Cooke, Robert Kimball, Marcus Stainton, Keith
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Cordle, John Knight, Mrs. Jill Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Corfield, F. V. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Summers, Sir Spencer
Coatain, A. P. Lane, David Tapsell, Peter
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Langford-Holt, Sir John Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Cunningham, Sir Knox Lewi s, Kenneth (Rutland) Temple, John M.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Tilney, John
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Loveys, W. H. Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lubbock, Eric Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Dodds-Parker, Douglas MacArthur, Ian Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Doughty, Charles Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Walters, Dennis
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain Ward, Dame Irene
Drayson, G. B. McMaster, Stanley Webster, David
Eden, Sir John Maddan, Martin Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Maginnis, John E. Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Marten, Neil Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Emery, Peter Maude, Angus Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Errington, Sir Eric Mawby, Ray Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Farr, John Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Woodnutt, Mark
Fortescue, Tim Mills, Peter (Torrington) Worsley, Marcus
Foster, Sir John Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Wylie, N. R.
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) More, Jasper Younger, Hn. George
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Gibson-Watt, David Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Murton, Oscar Mr Reginald Eyre and
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Nabarro, Sir Gerald Mr Hector Monro.
Glover, Sir Douglas Nott, John
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