HC Deb 25 June 1968 vol 767 cc267-98


Where a firm employing workers directly affected under an order notifies the Minister that it has reached a new productivity bargain subsequent to the making of the order, then the Minister shall be required forthwith to suspend the order pending a review and report by the N.B.P.I, of the new wage structure involved. No renewal of the order may take place until the N.B.P.I. has reviewed and reported on the change.—[Mr. David Howell]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. David Howell (Guildford)

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

The purpose of the Clause is to ensure, perhaps in rather optimistic mood, what the Government mean when they talk of productivity in the context of the Bill. We had a brief and, to many of us, not satisfactory debate upstairs on the subject. Yet it is one on which the Government have said, if not done, a great deal. Indeed, the right hon. Lady the Minister has argued from the first that the Bill has a new economic parentage, that it is different, in ways which I hope will be specified, from the past prices and incomes legislation, having built into it engines for ensuring higher productivity and earnings.

In an interview with The Sunday Times this week the right hon. Lady said that people in industry were saying that this was the lead they had been waiting for and that the talking had to stop and action taken. She commented: I have been saying this for a long time: we've got to get down to the grass roots. And she went on to talk about the services of the new Productivity Division of her Department, which, she said, would snowball.

We now seek to find out how all this will work. We want to ensure that, when there is all this talk about productivity bargains and criteria for use by the Prices and Incomes Board, sympathetic consideration may be further extended to a time and set of happenings after the application of an Order. In other words, we argue that, after an Order has been placed affecting particular firms or a single firm, there may well be a time when, as a result of new processes or new machinery on the shop floor, it will be necessary to reorganise the wage structure so as to relate it to productivity in new forms through different processes and in many cases to grant substantial wage increases.

We want to ensure that, if this situation comes—presumably the Government would like it to be brought about—and substantial wage increases are sought for particular workers during a period when an Order is in force, the structure can be reviewed and reported upon. If the Government accept the new Clause, it will show that not only are they serious about trying to encourage productivity bargains at the time they learn about wage increases, but are keeping a continuing watch to ensure that productivity bargains are not frustrated.

The other aspect is the question of how the new Productivity Division is to work. The right hon. Lady places her major emphasis on productivity in her argument for the Bill. In our brief debate on the matter in Committee, the question was raised of exactly how and when these able men appointed by the right hon. Lady were to get to the grass roots and what they were to do there. It transpired that the main way productivity is to be tackled is through the labour side— through labour productivity and, therefore, through the reorganisation of manpower in particular firms, regardless of the structure and capital structure and management of those firms. I am sure that I am not misquoting the Under-Secretary of State.

The question was then raised as to which firms were to be helped, and we got no satisfactory answer. The question concerned whether the firms to be helped were those which already have productivity bargains, with high productivity and high wages, or whether this service would be applied to inefficient firms. If it was to be inefficient firms, was this not a rather bizarre misdirection of the right hon. Lady's energies?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary argued, in return: … those who are at present employed in efficient firms, because of their efficiency have limited scope for increased productivity, whereas those employed in inefficient firms, because of their inefficiency, have greater scope for increased productivity."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee F, 30th May 1968; c. 406.] This would seem to present us with a world in which there are inefficient firms with low-grade or mediocre management, and that it is to these, where there is low productivity and inadequate thrust towards productivity bargains, that the whole attentions of the right hon. Lady's Department should be turned. This seems to be an extraordinary interpretation of the duties of the Government. Productivity is not just to do with the labour side, but is an amalgamation on outcome of the really intelligent and skilful combination of capital, equipment, labour, talent and management skill.

To move to a firm which is inefficient, with inefficient or mediocre management, and imagine that new ways of organising the labour side will produce efficiency, is to misunderstand what productivity is all about, or what is the outcome of the industrial processes which lead to higher output, with the same or lower resources, and, therefore, lower unit costs. It was this deep doubt among my hon. Friends about the Government's approach to productivity, underlined by the right hon. Lady's talking about going to the grass roots, that led us to put down this Clause.

We have always argued that productivity is not something that comes by issuing Girl Guide calls for more productivity all round. It does not come from going to the grass roots and concentrating on one side of industry. It flows from management thrust, from new ideas, innovation, from the application of new skills and talents on all sides. If the Clause were accepted, there would be a chance, where firms managed to mobilise enough incentive to strike productivity deals, that they would not be met with a blank refusal for the very substantial wage increases sometimes involved.

The famous Fawley agreement is supposed to be the father of these productivity deals. One of the senior executives involved in that deal is on record as saying that if the prices and incomes legislation had existed then, the deal would never have been struck. It is this kind of sentiment which must run through the minds of many managers and trade union leaders who are trying to get changes in wage structures, increases in earnings and a high rate of innovation in industry. Productivity comes from incentives to management, trade union reform of various kinds, but certainly not the kind proposed in the Bill, and as a result of a major and very different economic strategy from that which the right hon. Lady and her colleagues are pursuing.

Above all, we feel that the Bill is anti-innovation and will slow down the rate at which new techniques are introduced into industry. This will mean out-dated goods being sold instead of up-to-date goods which will help to bridge the export gap. The Clause seeks to ensure that in this case productivity will not be frustrated.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)

I have not disagreed with a word that my hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Mr. David Howell) has spoken in his able and thoughtful speech. My difficulty arises in examining the new Clause, which implies some sort of blessing to the Prices and Incomes Board. I should hesitate to give even implied approval to it. I can understand that the objection of the right hon. Lady to the Clause is that it would make the procedure unworkable. There would be nothing to stop firms saying that they had made a new productivity arrangement and the Order would have to be suspended. The process could be continued ad infinitum.

This Bill is a beastly and brutal thing. It is unjust and unfair, and I do not think that it will work. Where I differ most sharply from the Government and the right hon. Lady, is in the assumption they make throughout this nasty legislation that the Government and the Prices and Incomes Board together can control and oversee in detail the vast complexity of industrial relations. My fear is that they will, by their constant intervention and meddling, vitiate industrial relations rather than improve them.

They are constantly tampering with details which they cannot possible understand. Their interference with promises made is something which we should not lightly countenance. While I agree with everything said by my hon. Friend, I do not regard the Clause with any enthusiasm, because it involves the constant intervention of some board or other, in this case Mr. Aubrey Jones and his doubt-growing team, in the detailed and intimate affairs of industry. I cannot believe that this is wise or proper.

I anticipate that the right hon. Lady will invite the House to reject the Clause, for reasons which seem to be deplorable. I want to make it clear that I have reservations as to its value, although I understand my hon. Friend's motives in moving it. This discussion proves what a vain exercise it is for the House of Commons to attempt to improve such legislation. The real trouble is that it is so bad and unpleasant, so vile, that it is beyond improvement. The best we can do is to hack it about and, if possible, destroy it altogether.

Mr. Peter Emery (Honiton)

May I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) for placing the right definition on the Bill. Everyone who served on the Standing Committee would agree that there was a general feeling of loathing for the Bill. Our difficulty has been to improve it in the face of the obstinacy that the Government have displayed in allowing any improvements to be made. It has been a case of "Barbara knows best and this is what the Bill is to be." Therefore, the new Clause has some use. I see it as a test of the Government's seriousness and intent.

If the Government are interested in ensuring that increases in productivity are made, and if they wish to live up to the claims made in their speeches that they want to encourage the making of productivity bargains between trade unions, workers and industry, there can be no reason for rejecting the Clause. It attempts to ensure that when productivity bargains have been struck the Ministry cannot interfere and stop their being implemented, and any Order against pay rises which applied previously shall be ignored until a report has been made by the Prices and Incomes Board.

I understand the objection to extending the work of the Prices and Incomes Board. One of my condemnations of the Bill is that the Government, time and again, are pushing away executive decisions which should be made by Ministers and trying to get them carried forward in their name by a body which they suggest is impartial. This is a discreditable way of carrying on Government, and it should not be allowed.

I should like to consider for a moment the criteria of productivity, because they are essential in considering the Clause. In the relevant Statutory Instrument there are approximately eight lines of English which I fail to understand. I have attempted to interpret them in a more direct way by means of a proposed new Schedule, part of which appears on page 11292 of the Notice Paper. In paragraph 31 of the proposed Schedule, I provide that If payments by result or similar incentive schemes are operating and these are able to allow a person to increase his earnings the Government will not interfere yet. However, the N.B.P.I, is being asked to see if some method of interference can be worked out to allow the Government to get into the Act. It is expected that the forthcoming report of the Prices and Incomes Board will offer guidance on the application of incomes policies to systems of payment by result. This is exactly what I am trying to point out—that the question of productivity bargains is being shifted from the Government to the Board.

Sir Edward Brown (Bath)

This question is exercising the minds of all of us. We heard a statement by the Minister of Transport today bearing directly on this matter. He said that the present dispute would be settled merely by the unions going to the employers and accepting productivity terms for a 10½ per cent. increase.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Eric Fletcher)

Order. I do not think that we can go into that matter on this Clause.

Mr. Emery

The relevance of my hon. Friend's intervention—and I shall not pursue it too far—is that it shows that here we have a Minister suggesting a form of agreement to which obviously objection would be taken, whatever the productivity bargain. It is typical of the Government that one Minister does not know what another Minister is doing, and different views are being expressed from the Government Front Bench.

I will not pursue the question of the criteria for productivity bargains; no doubt we shall refer to them in different guises on other Amendments. The Clause allows the Minister, for the first time, to make a clear and definite statement of her views about increased productivity. If she seriously argues that the Clause will detract from her powers, we must cast great doubt on her intent. It goes in a direction in which the Conservative Party would wish to go, namely, to encourage freely negotiated bargains between employers and employees to increase productivity.

This is the only way in which major steps forward will be taken. We shall not get anywhere with pleading or by making speeches in the House. What is needed is more money in the pockets of the workers for more work. When an agreement has been made to that effect between employers and employees, any order limiting wage increases should fall. That is the purpose of the Clause.

Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)

I share the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) about the quality of this legislation, which enshrines a code which is the antithesis of that operating in the most successful industrial countries. Nevertheless, he will agree probably that the Bill is all we have to work on and that some of us have to patch even the most imperfect garment.

I should have thought that the Secretary of State would be disposed to wel- come the motive of the new Clause, if not its wording. Soon after her appointment, we all got the impression that she wished to see a breakthrough in productivity and productivity agreements. Whether that impression was created deliberately or inadvertently, I do not know. What can be the objection to the Clause, apart from the objection posed by my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil? He said that the objection might be that bogus claims might be made concerning agreements of this kind. I cannot feel that that is a serious objection. Companies and firms which wished to benefit in this way surely would put forward genuine agreements.

Mr. Peyton

My hon. Friend must not misquote me. I did not say that they would be bogus. All that I suggested was that it would be easy to reduce the procedure to a total nonsense by repeatedly saying, "We have made an arrangement".

Mr. Gower

I should not have thought that matters would develop in that way. Safeguards could be made.

The objection of the right hon. Lady the Secretary of State might be that acceptance of the principle of the Clause would place people in firms which had achieved productivity agreements in too advantageous a position compared with those in other firms. I should have thought that that was a bad objection. We should instil in the minds of those who are not in such firms or factories a recognition or knowledge of the benefits which will or might ensue from the achievement, laboriously perhaps, of successful new agreements of this kind.

The Minister might come along with the objection that there are some processes and some kinds of industry where it is more difficult to achieve successful agreements of this kind. I accept and recognise this. But, again, I should not think it a valid objection to the acceptance of this principle, because it would be in the interests of those people, too. If we can achieve over a wide front the working out of many more successful agreements, surely it is not only likely to benefit a particular industry, but it is likely to benefit the whole economy and render shorter the period during which the Government would consider it necessary to sustain this kind of legislation.

The more dynamic we can make our economy, even in the mind of this Government, the shorter the period during which we should have to endure this kind of legislation. Therefore, I plead with the Minister to consider this new Clause carefully. Here is the possibilty of putting something good into a sombre background. I hope that the right hon. Lady will look at it with sympathy.

Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)

For the reasons given by the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton), I think that this is obviously a wrecking new Clause. It provides an opportunity for anybody who is subject to an Order from the Board preventing an increase in wages to cancel that Order and make another arrangement to increase wages. It is plainly a wrecking new Clause. I am not necessarily against it for that reason, because I believe that the Bill is a piece of obscurantist nonsense.

Taking it in this sense and construing the Clause as meaning what it says, that we will stop the Board from cancelling or limiting wage increases, I ask why it should not do that. What is the purpose of trying to prevent wage increases? If we do not give the money to our workers, what do we do with it? Somebody spends it. If somebody spends it, what is the advantage in making provisions preventing the workers benefiting from it? I do not see the sense of this matter.

This is an attempt by the Government to control things that they cannot control. We cannot control prices. We can push them out of shape by preventing an increase in one direction, but the purchasing power being given by that means merely creates an equal and balancing increase somewhere else to take up that purchasing power. Equally, I do not believe that we can effectively control wages. The things we can control, and which the Government will not control, are our import and export policies and the use of our currency as a general reserve for the convenience of other people.

These are the kind of Socialist controls which the Government could and should make, but will not. What we cannot do, and what all Governments from the days of Rome onwards have not been able to do, is to create an artificial system of prices and incomes at the same time as we accept prices and incomes as our regulator. We cannot do that both ways, but that is what the Government seem to be attempting to do.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd (Sutton Coldfield)

I support the new Clause. Far from being a wrecking Clause, it is a very constructive one which will help the House and the country to avoid the great danger in the Bill. The Bill, if it means anything, is an attempt to make wages lower than they would otherwise be. I hold that low wages are a recipe for national industrial stagnation. One of the most important functions of high wages is to force our manufacturers and producers in general into the use of the most up-to-date machinery.

I do not want to develop my argument at great length, but I should like to approach the matter from three points of view. First, my experience in Birmingham is that whenever there is a boom which is accompanied by high wages that is the time when manufacturers are forced by economic circumstances to instal the latest labour-saving machinery. By doing so, they enable themselves to survive in a competitive atmosphere and they are able to pay those high wages.

When we were discussing this matter recently, a well-known industrialist—I have not got his permission to reveal his name—wrote to me, saying: One knows from one's own personal experience that again and again it is impossible to justify installation of the kind of automatic machinery commonly used in America because the labour-saving saving that it produces at our wage costs simply is not enough to pay for the machinery. I remember putting the argument in another way many years ago when talking to the head of the General Electric Co. I was urging on him the need to instal more automatic machinery of the kind used in America. He said, "Certainly, but I cannot do it. I cannot justify it, because wages here are so much lower than in the United States".

Knowing the right hon. Lady's intellectual interest in these subjects, I must remind the House that the matter has been approached at a high academic level in a celebrated book on British and American technology in which it is argued—and I have never heard the case rebutted—that one of the reasons for the dramatic surge forward in American production and industry in the 19th century, and the reason fundamentally why British world leadership in industry crossed the Atlantic in the last century, was the pressure exerted by high wages and scarce labour on the whole of the entrepreneurial classes in that country which urged them continually to develop more modern types of production.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Paget

Another example is agriculture. The hon. Gentleman would be astonished at the improvement in the techniques of agriculture.

Mr. Lloyd

To sum up this part of my argument, this point was made in an interesting way by comparing the performance of various countries in an article in the Financial Times by Mr. Harold Wincott, on 7th September 1965, at an earlier stage of the discussion on an incomes policy. He summed it up in this way: The more you brood over these figures "— that is, the figures for this country, Japan, the United States, West Germany and France— the more you are forced to conclude that our economic doctors are making a faulty diagnosis. The symptoms of the English Disease, as it is now known the world over, are not excessive rises in incomes and prices. My charts show plainly enough that most other countries have these symptoms to an even more marked degree than we have. The real cause of the English Disease is poor productivity. If only the T.U.C … would learn the lesson … That lesson, is quite simply, that the three countries where hourly earnings have risen most—Japan, West Germany and France—are the three countries where output per man-hour has risen most. It is for that reason that, as a matter of principle, I suggest we should support the Amendment. I know that the right hon. Lady's heart is in the right place, and that she wishes to see an increase in productivity and in wages, but she argues that at the moment she cannot afford that, and, therefore, she uses the blunt instrument of the Bill. Let us provide by the Amendment that the blunt instrument is suspended when a productivity agreement—and it must be a genuine one—can show that an increase in productivity will accompany a rise in wages. In that case, I maintain that it is for the national good that the operation of the Bill should be suspended.

Sir D. Glover

This is the first time that I have risen to address the House on any part of the Bill. From what I have heard this afternoon, the hon. Member whose views most closely fit mine on the Bill is my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton). I think that this is a shocking Bill. I agree with the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), who said that it was a nonsense. It really is a modern Statute of Labourers, and it will have very much the same effect on our industrial growth and efficiency.

The Bill is trying to control the uncontrollable. It is trying to put a strait-jacket on something which ought to be free and fluid. It is trying to regulate and put into recognisable form something which is automatically changing day by day. It is putting the emphasis on the established success of today, and hindering the small and developing companies of the present which ought to become the leaders of the future. It is trying to establish the format of an industrial society in a way which will lead the country into far more trouble than it will cure. To me the Clause is like thinking one can help a child who has two paralysed legs by giving it a third artificial leg which is also paralysed, which will, in effect, only hinder its locomotion.

I should like to hear a good deal more "turkey" talked about what the House means by productivity. It is only too easy to use these catch-phrases. I should like to know what they mean. Every efficient firm ought to be increasing its productivity day by day. Hardly a day should go by without something happening in a large organisation to increase its productivity. It is not every firm which falls into the classic case of the refinery at Fawley which was almost a complete new conurbation of an industrial complex where, starting from scratch, a productivity deal was eventually hammered out after two or three years of negotiation and put into operation. They were dealing with a new complex. Most industrial firms are dealing with—

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

It was not a new complex. The refinery had been there for a long time. They were installing new machinery. It is true that the new machinery was on a large scale, but it was only an improvement on an existing operation which had rendered great service to the country for many years.

Sir D. Glover

I accept what my right hon. Friend says, and I do not want to over-emphasise what I am saying. I am not saying that there will never be a productivity agreement. There will be many such agreements, but in the bulk of firms and industries there will not be a new dramatic productivity agreement. There will be what I call flowing productivity improvements going on all the time.

What the Clause is trying to do is to make firms arbitrarily notify the Board that they have produced a new productivity agreement, when in fact they have done something to try to meet orders. After a period of trial and error the agreement may turn out not to be a productivity agreement at all. In other words, it may not bring about increased productivity. The difficulty very often is that one does not know until afterwards whether what is to be done will increase productivity.

People can sit around a table and say, "If you forgo this we will do that, and if you do that we will do this" and everything is put down in writing, but whatever is agreed has to be translated into practice, not in the boardroom, but on the shop floor, in an enormous number of departments and processes, and it may be that when all the interlocking changes have been operating for six months they produce a disappointing result. It is only by putting into practice what has been done in theory that one can find out whether the advantages which were hoped for are gained.

I do not think that every productivity agreement will in practice turn out to produce all that the parties to the agreement hoped that it would. I do not mean that there will be no improvement if an agreement is reached which should bring about a 10 per cent. increase in wages following an agreement after a lot of negotiation between a firm and its workers, then after the scheme has been in operation for six or nine months it may be found that the forecasts were too optimistic, and that the figure should have been 5 per cent. instead of 10 per cent. There is no exact science in this, any more than there is in so much of industrial negotiation.

We are all working to improve the efficiency of the nation. Here, I agree strongly with my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd), because I have always been a strong supporter of a high-wage low-cost economy. I maintain that the best and most likely way to increase the productivity of the nation is to introduce innovations when it is financially desirable for that to happen. People will not put in a vast amount of new machinery if it is still cheaper to employ labour working old machinery.

One of the reasons against innovation and modernisation in the Lancashire textile industry was that it was cheaper to employ people to work the old looms because these had been written down until they stood in the books at nothing. If, because of high wages, it had been in the interests of firms to put in new machinery, the change would have been very much more rapid than it was.

The new Clause is an attempt to help the Government, as a result of our having lived with the Bill and become almost foster-mothers over many weeks, to make the unworkable work. I agree that it is the duty of an Opposition to try to make a Bill work. The new Clause is a marginal improvement which makes it more flexible and more likely to work. Therefore, if my right hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. R. Carr) decides to divide on it—although I think that its value is marginal but because it gives greater flexibility—I shall vote with him.

Mr. John Nott (St. Ives)

I was not on the Standing Committee and I am, therefore, glad to be able to speak for the first time on the Bill on a new Clause concerning productivity bargaining, one of the most vital aspects of the whole policy and one which has so far been woefully neglected by the Government since their first prices and incomes legislation in 1966.

Over the last two years, although much heat has been generated on this issue, there has been wide agreement between both sides of the House and among many hon. Members opposite who often appear to be locked in conflict, that a rise in wages should, as far as possible, be accompanied by a commensurate increase in production, that the economy needs to be run at a reasonable level of demand and that the Government's function is to educate the public to realise that persistent rises in wages are self-defeating. There is, therefore, little disagreement among the parties on these fundamentals.

The shame is that, since the Government introduced their first legislation, their public relations and the marketing of their policy has been so inept. While they could have emphasised the productivity aspect of the policy, all the emphasis has been on the restraint of incomes. Although, lately, the right hon. Lady has been trying to correct this widespread impression, the view still persists that the restraint of incomes is their basic concern. This has happened to the extent that the wage earner believes that the Government have deliberately set out to keep from him wage increases which are his due. The Government have convinced the housewife that the Government can and should hold back prices, whereas everyone knows that that is simply impossible for any Government to do so. Likewise, the unions have become convinced that the Government have set out to destroy the basis of their creation and to disrupt the collective bargaining system.

This has happened because the Government have persistently refused to emphasise the opportunities for the increase and encouragement of productivity bargaining. If one sets out to restrain incomes, one automatically reaches a point, which the Government reached some time ago, when one must also, as a political quid pro quo, hold back prices. This is the most disastrous thing for any Government to do, because one then removes the only mechanism in the market for bringing demand into balance with supply. The cash flow of efficient firms is disrupted, investment falls back and one is in the vicious cycle of recrimination and frustration which now faces the Government.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I must remind the hon. Gentleman that this is not a Second Reading debate on prices and incomes. We are discussing a new Clause.

Mr. Nott

The way in which the Government can get out of this predicament is by showing that they accept at least the basic reasoning of the new Clause. If it were accepted, it would give firms an incentive to promote productivity bargaining. Then, slowly, the Government could bring the unions and the people to understand that their policy was positive, not negative, and was aimed at encouraging productivity.

The aim of most productivity bargains is wholly good. My only criticism of the new Clause is similar to that of my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskiric (Sir D. Glover) that, in this form, it could easily be used as an excuse for the complete disruption of the Government's policy, and I cannot see them accepting it in this form. But if they can accept that more emphasis should be placed on encouraging productivity bargains and can show that they recognise that this is easily the most important aspect of their policy, it will have been worth debating.

Productivity bargains will not be encouraged in the type of atmosphere associated with a compulsory prices and incomes policy of the nature now before the House. In Report No. 36 of the Prices and Incomes Board, on Productivity Agreements, Mr. Aubrey Jones adopted the attitude that a prices and incomes policy creates the necessary atmosphere for the encouragement of such bargains. I believe this to be untrue and that productivity bargains, which everyone, on both sides, desires, can be encouraged and can succeed only in an atmosphere of the maximum flexibility and freedom in industry.

For that reason, although I see many obvious faults as, I expect, do my hon. Friends, in the wording of the new Clause, I support it because it emphasises the most important aspect of what should be the Government's policy. I hope that whoever sums up will concentrate on why productivity bargaining has not been given the emphasis which it might have been given throughout the past few years.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Philip Holland (Carlton)

Two objections have been made to the new Clause. The first, made by those who object to the whole Bill and to the idea of statutory intervention in wage negotiations, is that because the Bill is bad, everything to do with it is bad, so that no possible proposal would improve it. I agree that it is a bad Bill, but there is always the possibility that, at the end of the day, it will become law because we will not be able to defeat the Government on Third Reading. Thus, hedging our bets on that possibility, we should do all we can to give the Measure a few redeeming features.

On that basis alone it is worth considering any Amendments and new Clauses that are put forward. In the unhappy event that we will be stuck with the Bill and that it will become law, I urge my hon. Friends, who disagree with every line of it, and the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). to think again about this new Clause.

The second is a wrecking objection. The Clause states: No renewal of the order may take place until the N.B.P.I. has reviewed and reported on the change. If the Board has any ability at all, it should have the ability to stop obviously bogus claims. If it is incapable of doing that, it should not be in existence. But even if it does not have that ability and is a complete waste of time—and is an utter smokescreen which is incapable of acting efficiently—we should do what we can to ameliorate the position.

Even if the Clause would allow wages to go up and even if employers were faced with the prospect of effecting savings elsewhere—perhaps by investing more in new machinery, so increasing their capital investment, thereby increasing their productivity—it should be considered as an incentive. In this negative way it could act as an incentive to productivity. We can by this means, test the sincerity of the Government's desire to increase productivity and encourage productivity bargains.

The Clause would, therefore, do no more than to give an incentive to companies threatened by an order under the Bill to achieve a productivity bargain. On this basis alone it is worthy of support. The Government should accept it as an earnest of their goodwill and show that they are sincere in saying that they want productivity bargains.

My remarks do not imply that I support the principle of intervention in negotiations between employer and employee. In the event of our being stuck with the Bill, we must do all we can to give it some redeeming features. I hope, therefore, that if the Government do not accept it, hon. Members will press it to a Division.

The First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (Mrs. Barbara Castle)

The hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) coolly lectured the Government on their failure to put over in the country at large the productivity aspects of their prices and incomes policy. Having done that, he left the Chamber, no doubt feeling that he had done a good day's work. In so far as it is true—and I accept that it is true to a considerable extent—that the people have got a false image of the Government's prices and incomes policy, a very large proportion of the responsibility for that must rest with hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Sir D. Glover


Mrs. Castle

The whole tenor of the speeches of hon. Members opposite has been to repeat the theme which they are glad and delighted to see has caught on in some people's minds: that the policy is designed to hold wages down. They persist in repeating this on every public platform and they have repeated it today. They ignore, and insist on ignoring the fact that wages have risen more than prices in every year under a Labour Government and that real wages and earnings have been rising substantially.

Above all, hon. Gentleman opposite are desperately anxious to obscure the fact that in this Measure, and in the White Paper, the considerations of which the Bill is putting into force, there is offered to the people a better opportunity of increasing their real earnings by increasing productivity than was ever given by a Government in our post-war history.

The new Clause was disposed of so effectively by the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) that there is no need for me to argue the case against it at length. Of course, it is a wrecking proposal, since it does not make any sense in terms of the purpose of the Bill. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may say that they do not want the Bill, and they are free to oppose it in appropriate ways. But it is not convincing for them to produce a Clause like this and try to argue that it will somehow strengthen the whole battle for higher productivity.

I prefer the honesty of the hon. Member for Yeovil when he says, "I loathe the Bill and everything the Government are doing. We must, therefore, hack it about and, if possible, destroy it." The Clause is a bit of hacking about which would definitely have the result of destroying the emphasis which we are putting behind the importance of productivity, and that is why I ask the House to reject it.

It does not even specify what Orders it wants covered. One assumes that it deals with standstill Orders which are put on pay increases. Under the Government's criteria and the policy of the White Paper, a standstill will have been put on a pay settlement or claim because it neither satisfies the criterion of helping the lower paid nor fits in with the other criteria, particularly that which specifies that the cost of the increase must be offset by some realistic productivity quid pro quo, the reason why a claim or agreement would be standstilled.

The new Clause says, in effect, "What about the position in which employers and unions recognise the justice of the Government's original standstill?" That is a nice oblique tribute to the whole policy. "While recognising that the standstill was justified, because the agreement was not really a productivity bargain"— the more hon. Gentlemen opposite talk about the Bill the more they give us our whole case— "we will do what the Government want and work out a genuine productivity deal." In that situation, says the new Clause, the existing Order shall be revoked immediately, pending a review of the new productivity deal by the Board and its report on it.

The new Clause is supposed somehow to encourage firms to get down to discussing productivity, which the standstill Order said they should do in the first place. To talk as some hon. Members have done about their concern to see greater productivity and then to suggest that I should be compelled to revoke the standstill Order, whatever "phoney" productivity deal might be put to me, is surely double talk of the worst kind. It is obvious that the one thing my Department wants—this was the reason for the standstill Order in the first place—is for management and workers to work out genuine productivity deals.

I assure the House that we should lose no time in accepting such a deal. We want to encourage and attract workers to get away from the old concept of across-the-board inflationary and unjustified action and to get down to discussing real productivity in which my Department is their ally. This is the whole purpose of the new Productivity and Manpower Division that we are setting up. It is to be the ally of workers and management in the attempt to raise wages where those wage increases can be afforded because they have been earned. If anyone had any doubt about that it must have been dispelled by the remarks made by the new head of the division, Mr. George Cattell. He came from working for Rootes with a very fine record of productivity encouragement behind him, a very fine record in the techniques of the more efficient utilisation of manpower.

That is an aspect of productivity with which my Department is concerned. Mr. Cattell is on record as saying that the British worker should get higher wages. This is the theme. Can hon. Members opposite be so grossly irresponsible as to say at this moment in the country's history that the only way is to give an absolutely all-clear to wage increases regardless of whether they are related to higher production and productivity will follow? That has not been the result in recent years. Because we are working on such narrow margins, and have been since the war, we have to make all wage increases and productivity agreements parallel; not just sit back and hope that production will follow.

That this can be done, and is done through the influence of my Department, is shown in case after case which is reported and discussed day after day. I draw the attention of the House to a very recent example reported in last Sunday's Sunday Times. It was the article by its labour correspondent, Mr. Stephen Fay, which was headed: Power Gas and the D.E.P. forge a copper-bottomed deal. The article described how imperative this was to advance the completion date for the refinery being built for Power Gas for Continental Oil, at Immingham, and how the firm negotiated an incentive deal.

When we looked at it we could not call it a productivity deal, because there was no productivity built into it. The firm was desperate; it wanted to get its completion date reached and it took an easy way out which gave no guarantee. When the agreement came to us we said frankly, "It will not do." We said, "We are sorry. We will have to refer this to the Prices and Incomes Board, unless you sit down with us and see if we can forge a genuine productivity agreement." With the help of my Parliamentary Secretary and my officials we related the bonus to targets for completion.

5.45 p.m.

This is absolutely basic, life-saving common sense. At the end of the discussion we were glad to approve the deal. The article ends by saying: After long negotiations with the unions, a new agreement was officially accepted. By last week the labour force had responded and work on the site was going faster than ever before. The agreement has no guarantee of success of course, but it is copper-bottomed enough to satisfy the D.E.P. and it appears to satisfy the workers and it is important because it illustrates a pattern which will become more and more common in the industry in the next 18 months, one of benevolent intervention by the D.E.P. I make no apology to the House for that policy. On the contrary, I believe it is one of the most vital elements in our whole prices and incomes policy. That is the approach and spirit which permeates the whole Bill and the powers we ask for in this Bill. It is a spirit of positive help to both sides of industry. It is the basis on which alone we can afford the wage increases that the workers of this country have a right to expect. Because the new Clause—and its movers know it—would take away the power of my Department to continue to examine agreements as they come up until it is clear that the productivity quid pro quo fits in with the policy, it would fatally undermine a very important part of the policy, the positive and creative part and —I say without any hesitation—the patriotic part.

Therefore, I ask the House to reject the Clause. Hon. Members opposite know that if they were in power tomorrow they would have to face this problem and realise that the country has to become more productive. This is the only way we can get the higher standard of life to which our Government are dedicated.

Mr. R. Carr

I hope that the right hon. Lady has not begun as she means to go on in these debates. She must learn that "guff", or rhetorical oratory, is no substitute for a properly argued reply. I shall have to remind her, as I had often to say in Committee, that somehow or other machinery, including parliamentary machinery, is inclined to work better when it is given oil rather than acid. To try to reply to a new Clause, non-controversial in purpose even if the Government decided that it was not practicable in its workability, and well-intentioned in purpose, merely by abusing the Opposition—both our motives and our common sense—is not the way in which the Bill should be considered. Nor is it the way in which the people would wish it to be considered.

Apparently the right hon. Lady has not even troubled to understand the reason why we put forward the Clause. Instead, she accused us of responsibility for the false image which exists in the country of the whole purpose of the Government's prices and incomes policy.

The right hon. Lady said that it is our fault that the prices and incomes policy is understood throughout the country as being a policy to hold wages down. We could, although I do not suppose you would let us, Mr. Deputy Speaker, have a debate on whether that is not the purpose of the policy. It is difficult to understand what it is if it is not that. Whatever the purpose may be, I cannot believe that the right hon. Lady's hon. Friends, or the trade union leaders and their members outside the House, take their cue from what we say. They are men and women of experience and common sense. They see the effect of the policy, and they judge on that, not what we in the Opposition say, although I have little doubt that they may happen to agree with what we say.

Having accused us of responsibility for giving the whole policy a false image, the right hon. Lady then accused us of "phoney" double-talking and of being grossly irresponsible, all, apparently, because we have moved the Clause and are fortunate in having it selected for debate.

Having heard the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd), who speaks with great experience of industry, and as an ex-Minister, and of other hon. Members of the House, I find it difficult to understand why the right hon. Lady, instead of treating this as a serious subject and as an attempt to raise an important matter, should accuse us of being guilty of "phoney" double-talk, or of being grossly irresponsible. I can only hope that she has not begun as she means to go on.

Unlike the right hon. Lady, I will address myself to the purpose of the Clause and try to make clear what I should have thought would have been obvious. This policy is always referred to as a prices and incomes policy; indeed, the Bill is, unfortunately, called a Prices; and Incomes Bill. As we have made clear in previous years, we wish that it could be called a Productivity, Prices and Incomes Bill. The policy of the Government is not just a prices and incomes policy, it is really a productivity, prices and incomes policy. We must remember this in a practical form, and try to give expression to it in the Bill.

My hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) expressed doubt whether a prices and incomes policy helped productivity bargaining. He did more than express a doubt; he expressed an opinion that it would hold it back. My hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Mr. David Howell), in moving the Clause, referred to the Fawley agreement which, he said, is regarded as the father of all productivity agreements. He quoted the opinion of one of those who negotiated the agreement that, if prices and incomes legislation had existed at the time it would have been impossible to have negotiated the Fawley agreement.

I cannot help wondering, as we sit here today, what about the railways? Has the existence of prices and incomes legislation helped to expedite, or may it not rather have helped to slow up, the progress of productivity bargaining on the railways, the slowness of which is the reason why the public is, to put it mildly, suffering the inconvenience it is suffering today and will apparently suffer for some days further?

This legislation, in the view of nearly every practical person inside or outside the House, is perverse and damaging. Since it is so perverse and damaging, it is natural to ask whether it is any good trying to improve it. My hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) thought that perhaps it was not. So, perhaps less severely but almost to the same extent, did my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover). The hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), from the Government side, has said that this was obscurantist legislation because it sought to control things that no Government could control. Nevertheless, at this stage of the debate, we have to contemplate, as my hon. Friend the Member for Carlton (Mr. Holland) said, the possibility that we may have to live under this legislation, however much we dislike it.

Therefore, I suggest to the House that we are right to try to improve it, even if only slightly, and even although we must seize any and every opportunity to defeat it. We shall certainly seize the opportunity to try to defeat the Bill when it comes to Third Reading, but for the moment we have to work on the supposition that we may, alas, be unsuccessful in defeating the Bill and will have to live under it, and we must, therefore, try to improve it.

If we are to improve it—and this is the purpose of the Clause—we must put productivity right in the front line. It is no good putting it into the front line merely in speeches, or even in administrative action, if we are to have legislative powers governing this policy. We do not believe that we should, but if there are to be legislative powers then productivity should also appear in the front line of the legislative powers; and at the moment it is not even in the back line, let alone in the front line of the Bill. If we must have a Bill of this kind we want to see the importance of productivity recognised in words in a Clause in the Bill.

If the legislation is not to be entirely repressive and feeble it ought to be given every chance to act as a lever to bring about progress We believe that the provisions for punishment provided by the legislation should at least have a strong reformatory purpose and content, and that is the purpose of the new Clause. The position envisaged in the Clause is of a group of workers, whether in a company or in a sector of industry involving a number of companies, who have been made subject to a standstill order for up to 12 months, because, it is said, the settlement on which they had agreed with their employers did not match the criteria; either it was not a productivity deal at all or, to use the right hon. Lady's words, it was a phoney productivity deal.

So, within the philosophy of the Bill, it would have been right to impose a freeze Order upon them. What are we to do? Are we to allow the freeze Order to run for a whole year, or are we to give the employers and workers a chance, if I may put it crudely, to reform themselves? They have agreed on something, they have tried to get away with something, which is now not to be acceptable, and a standstill Order is clamped on to them. Having had that Order clamped on them, they repent of their ways, have new negotiations and reach a new agreement, which may be a genuine productivity agreement which it would be in the interests not only of themselves but of the country to implement. Are they, as the Bill at present says, to be prevented from doing something for 12 months merely because sentence has been imposed upon them, or are they to be given a chance to say that they have thought again and have come forward with a new productivity agreement which will give them the chance to have it judged and implemented without them having to work through the hard labour of the 12 months' punishment?

Mr. Leslie Spriggs (St. Helens)

The right hon. Gentleman will have heard some of his hon. Friends call the new Clause a wrecking Clause. Does this not make all he said this afternoon a lot of double-talk?

Mr. Carr

I am trying to explain the purpose of the Clause because I feel that the Government has not understood it. I hope that what I am saying will convince one or two of my hon. Friends who may have had some doubt, and also the Government, who are really the people who matter. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that there is a good purpose behind the Clause, that it is not irresponsible in its purpose, that it is not "phoney" double-talk and that it ought to be seriously considered, and has not yet been seriously considered by the Minister.

The purpose of the Clause is to give a chance to people who are subjected to a 12-month standstill, because they have agreed on a deal which does not meet the criteria, to come forward with a new deal. If the proposal contained in the new deal is a genuine productivity bargain, it would be in the interests of the country as well as those concerned, that it should be implemented quickly rather than be delayed for 12 months.

6.0 p.m.

Mrs. Castle

Does the hon. Gentleman not understand that a standstill Order is related to a particular agreement? If the original agreement is torn up, and a new one is reached, then the Order ceases to be effective. If it were desired to put an Order on a new agreement, because it was "phoney", then a new Order would be necessary.

Mr. Carr

This is very interesting news. What we are trying to write into the Bill is not that the Minister should have discretion to do these things, but that it should be written into the Bill in order to put productivity into the front line. We want to bring about the situation whereby, when workers who have had their wage settlement with their employer frozen, who come forward with a new agreement, then the Minister shall revoke the previous Order. We want this to be recognised in the Bill, so that the punishment contained in the original Order may have the chance to have a reformatory effect.

I realise that in certain circumstances this power could become a wrecking power, and it might be wise to suggest that the powers contained in the Clause should contain a provision to permit this to be done only once. It would be an incentive to people who had made an agreement which did not conform with the criteria, to come forward with an alternative agreement, so that they may have their previous sentence repealed. That is the purpose of the new Clause, and if we have misunderstood the Bill, if the right hon. Lady says that the power is already in the Bill, and we have not understood it, then this might not have been the case, if she had treated us seriously, instead of abusively. On the reply we have had so far I can only advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to vote for the Clause.

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

Division No. 238.] AYES 16 5 p.m.
Alison, Micheal (Barkston Ash) Glover, Sir Douglas Montegomery, Fergus
Allson, James (Hemel Hempstead) Glyn, Sir Richard More, Jasper
Astor, John Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Atkins, Humphery (M't'n & M'd'n) Goodhart, Philip Mott-Radcluffe, Sir Charles
Awdry, Daniel Goodhew, victor Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Gower, Raymond Murton, Oscar
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Grant, Anthony Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Baniel, Lord Neave, Airey
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Grant-Ferris, R. Nichols, Sir Harmar
Batsford, Brian Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Nott, John
Bell, Ronald Gurden, Harold Onslow Cranley
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hall, John (Wycombe) Orr, Cant L P s
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Osborn, John (Hallam)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Page, Graham (Crosby)
Biffen, John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Page, John (Harrow W.)
Biggs-Davion, John Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Pardoe, John
Birch, Sir Nigel Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Black, Sir Cyril Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Peel, John
Blaker, Peter Hastings, Stephen Percival, Ian
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Hay, John Peyton, John
Body, Richard Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Pike, Miss Mervyn
Bossom, Sir Clive Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Pink, R. Bonner
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Heseltine, Michael Pounder, Rafton
Braine, Bernard Higgins, Terence L. Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Brewis, John Hiley, Joseph Price, David (Eastleigh)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hill, J. E. B. Prior, J.M.L.
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hirst, Geoffrey pym, Francis
Bruce-Cardyne, J. Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Quennell, Miss J. M.
Bryan, Paul Holland, Philip Ramsden, Rt Hn James
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Hordern, Peter Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir peter
Bullus, Sir Eric Hornby, Richard Rees-Davies w. R.
Burden, F. A. Howell, David (Guildford) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Campbell, H. (Oldham, W.) Hunt, John Rhys williams, Sir David
Campbell, Cordon (Moray & Nairn) Hutchison, Michael Clark Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Carr, Rt. Hrr. Robert Iremonger, T. L. Ridsdale Julian
Cary, Sir Robert Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Robson Brown Sir William
Channon, H. P. G. Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Chichester-Clark, R. Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Rossi Hugh (Hornsey)
Clark, Henry Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Royle, Anthony
Clegg, Walter Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Russell, Sir Ronald
Cooke, Robert Jopling, Michael St John-Stevas, Norman
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Cordle, John Kaberry, Sir Donald Scott, Nicholas
Corfield, F. V. Kerby, Capt. Henry Scott-Hopkings, James
COstain, A. P. Kershaw, Anthony Sharples, Richard
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Kimball, Marcus
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Shaw Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Crouch, David Kirk, Peter Silvester, Frederick
Crowder, F. P. Knight, Mrs. Jill Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L-mington)
Cimningham, Sir Knox Lancaster, Col. C. G. Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Currie, G. B. H. Lane, David Speed, Keith
Dalkeith, Earl of Langford-Holt, Sir John Stainton, Keith
Dance, James Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Steel, David (Roxburgh)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield) Stodart, Anthony
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) LIoyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Rlpon)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) LIoyd, Rt. Hn. Sehwyn (Wirral) Summer, Sir Spencer
Digby, Simon Wingfield Longden, Gilbert Tapsell, Peter
Dodds-Parker Douglas Loveys, W. H. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Donnelly, Desmond Lubbock, Eric Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Doughty, Charles McAdden, sir Stephen Teeling, Sir William
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec MacArthur, Ian Temple, John M.
Drayson G. B. Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross & Crom'ty) Tilney, John
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Maclean, Sir Fitsroy Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Eden Sir John Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain van Straubenzee, W. R.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McMaster, Stanley Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Emery, Peter Maddan, Martin Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Errington, Sir Eric Marten, Neil Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Farr, John Maude, Angus Wall, Patrick
Fisher Nigel Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Walters, Dennis
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Mawbay, Ray Ward, Dame Irene
Fortescue, Tim Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Weatherill, Bernard
Fostor, Sir John Matdon, Lt.-Cmdr, S. L. C. Webster, David
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(Sffford & Stone) Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Miscamphell, Norman William, Donald (Dudley)
Gilmour, lan (Norfolk, C ) Michell, David (Basingstoke) Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgewater)
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E) Monro, Hector Wilson, Geoffery (Turto)

The House divided: Ayes 241 Noes 284.

Winstanley, Dr. M. P. Worsley, Marcus TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick Wylie, N. R. Mr. Reginald Eyre and
Woodnutt, Mark Younger, Hn. George Mr. Timothy Kitson.
Abse, Leo Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Albu, Austen Foley, Maurice McBride, Neil
Alldritt, Walter Ford, Ben McCann, John
Allen, Scholefield Forrester, John MacColl, James
Anderson, Donald Fowler, Gerry MacDermot, Niall
Archer, Peter Fraser, John (Norwood) Macdonald, A. H.
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Freeson, Reginald McGuire, Michael
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Galpern, Sir Myer McKay, Mrs. Margaret
Barnes, Michael Gardner, Tony Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)
Barnett, Joel Garrett, W. E. Mackie, John
Baxter, William Ginsburg, David Mackintosh, John P.
Bence, Cyril Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Maclennan, Robert
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Gourlay, Harry McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) McNamara, J. Kevin
Binns, John Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony MacPherson, Malcoim
Bishop, E. S. Grey, Charles (Durham) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Blackburn, F. Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Manuel, Archie
Blenkinsop, Arthur Griffiths, Eddie Marks, Kenneth
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Marquand, David
Boston, Terence Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. Mansh, Rt. Hn. Richard
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Boyden, James Hamling, William Mayhew, Christopher
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hannan, William Meilish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Bradley, Tom Harper, Joseph Milian, Bruce
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Milier, Dr. M. S.
Brooks, Edwin Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Haseldine, Norman Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Hattersley, Roy Molloy, William
Brown, Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Hazell, Bert Moonman, Eric
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Buchan, Norman Heffer, Eric S. Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Henig, Stanley Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Morris, John (Aberavon)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Hilton, W. S. Moyle, Roland
Cant, R. B. Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Carmichael, Neil Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Murray, Albert
Carter-Jones, Lewis Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Neal, Harold
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Noel-Baker, Frances (Swindon)
Chapman, Donald Howie, W. Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby,S.)
Coe, Denis Hoy, James Oakes, Gordon
Coleman, Donald Huckficld, Leslie Ogden, Eric
Concannon, J. D. Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) O'Malley, Brian
Conlan, Bernard Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Dram, Albert E.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hunter, Adam Oswald, Thomas
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hynd, John Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Crawshaw, Richard Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Palmer, Arthur
Cronln, John Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Janner, Sir Barnett Parkin, Ben (Paddington, N.)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Jeger, George (Goole) Pavitt, Laurence
Dalyell, Tam Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Pentland, Norman
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull W.) Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W.Ham,S.) Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Price, William (Rugby)
Delargv, Hugh Judd, Frank Probert, Arthur
Dell, Edmund Kelley, Richard Randall, Harry
Dempsey, James Kenyon, Clifford Rankin, John
Dewar, Donald Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Rees, Merlyn
Dobson, Ray Lawson, George Reynolds, Rt. Hn. G. W.
Doig, Peter Leadbitter, Ted Rhodes, Geoffrey
Dunn, James A. Ledger, Ron Richard, Ivor
Dunnett, Jack Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Lee, John (Reading) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Eadie, Alex Lestor, Miss Joan Robertson, John (Paisley)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St.P'c'as)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Ellis, John Lews, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Rodgers, William (Stockton)
English, Michael Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Roebuck, Roy
Ennals, David Lomas, Kenneth Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Ensor, David Loughlin, Charles Rose, Paul
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Luard, Evan Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Faulds, Andrew Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Fernyhough, E. Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Sheldon, Robert Taverne, Dick Wilkins, w. A.
Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Thornton, Ernest Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Short, Mrs, Renée (W'hampton, N. E.) Tinn, James Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Tuck, Raphael Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich) Urwin, T. W. Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Silverman, Julius Varley, Eric C. Williams, W. T. (Warrlngton)
Skeffington, Arthur Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley) Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Slater, Joseph Walclen, Brian (All Saints) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Small, William Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Winnick, David
Snow, Julian Wallace, George Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Spriggs, Leslie Watkins, David (Consett) Woof, Robert
Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.) Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor) Wyatt, Woodrow
Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John Weitzman, David Vates, Victor
Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Wellbeloved, James
Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Wells, William (Walsall, N.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Swingler, Stephen Whitaker, Ben Mr. Ernest Armstrong and
Symonds, J. B. White, Mrs. Eirene Mr. Ioan L. Evans.
Mr. Speaker

I have a brief statement to make. I undertook to give consideration to requests made by a number of hon. Members that I might have another look at the provisional selection of amendment for consideration on today's Report stage. As I said earlier, I was aware of the issues which hon. Members raised with sincerity and feeling.

Perhaps I might again emphasise the tremendous difference there is between the Committee stage and the Report stage as far as selection of Amendments is concerned. As the hon. Member for Poplar (Mr. Mikardo) remarked, it is most unusual for an Amendment which has been debated at length and defeated in Committee to be again selected for the Report stage. The principles of selection are different, just as the rules of debate are different. There are various shades of thought in the House about the Report stage. Some hon. Members have thought it unnecessary. Others have thought that too many amendments are being selected at this stage; and others—as today— have felt that too few have been selected.

The difficulty today is that most of those Amendments non-selected were rejected because they had been debated at length, and negatived, in Committee. Hon. Members seeking to put down Amendments on the Report stage can always count on the advice of the Public Bill Office if they will seek it. What seems clear to me is that it would be impossible to relax the principles governing selection on Report in such a way as to make Report a second Committee stage. I have, however, given very careful and serious thought to the points made earlier in the afternoon and I have decided to add to today's provisional list something from the special point of view of a group of hon. Members on the Gov- ernment side who otherwise, as was pointed out, have no Amendments of theirs selected today.

I have, therefore, decided to add the following Amendment to my list of those provisionally selected: Amendment No. 3; and also, Amendment No. 67 to be taken separately instead of being discussed on Amendment No. 56 which has already been selected. Amendment No. 118 will now be discussed with Amendment No. 61 and not with Amendment No. 56, as originally listed.

Mr. Michael Foot

May I thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Park

May I add my thanks to you, Mr. Speaker, and ask you whether you could give us guidance as to the point at which Amendment No. 3 will be taken?

Mr. Speaker

In its right place on the Order Paper. We simply follow the Paper chronologically and geographically. We come now to new Clause 4. Mr. Graham Page.

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