- (1) There shall be established in accordance with the provisions of Schedule (The Postal and Telecommunications Board) to this Act a Postal and Telecommunications Board (in this Act referred to as 'the Board') which shall have the powers and duties conferred or imposed on it by or by virtue of the following provisions of this section.
- (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any of the provisions of this Act or any exclusive or other privileges, powers or duties conferred or imposed on the Post Office by or by virtue of any of those provisions, the Board shall have power to license the provision and performance of postal and telecommunications services, including any facilities or services ancillary or incidental to any such services, whether generally or in any area or for any purpose or by any means or system specified in the licence.
- (3) Any licence so granted may be granted either unconditionally or subject to any conditions specified in the licence and either irrevocably or subject to revocation as therein specified, and nothing done under and in accordance with any licence under this section
1460 shall constitute an infringement of any privilege conferred on the Post Office by this Act.
- (4) In exercising their discretion to grant or refuse to grant any licence applied for under and in accordance with this section and their discretion to attach conditions to any such licence, the Board shall have regard to—
- (a) any services or facilities then provided by the Post Office and the general duty of the Post Office under section 9 of this Act,
- (b) the extent to which the licence will authorise the provision of services or facilities not or not adequate provided by the Post Office or services or facilities necessary or desirable in the public interest in addition to any services or facilities then provided by the Post Office.
- (c) the extent to which the grant of the licence will promote or encourage the provision or development, whether experimentally or otherwise, of services or facilities required or likely to be useful in the public interest, and
- (d) any objections or representations made in accordance with any relevant regulations made under subsection (7) of this section.
- (5) In any licence authorising the use of wireless telegraphy apparatus, the Board shall
1461 include a condition specifying the frequencies on or between which such apparatus may or the frequencies on or between which it may not be used, and in fixing such frequencies the Board shall have regard to any direction from time to time given to them in writing by the Minister as to the frequencies for the time being reserved by the Minister for the exclusive use of the Forces of the Crown, police, fire, ambulance or other security services.
- (6) If at any time the Board are satisfied, whether or not any application or representation has been made to them for the purpose, that it is right and proper so to do they may revoke, suspend or vary the licence, but if any licence is revoked, suspended or varied by the Board otherwise than on the application of the holder of the licence, the revocation, suspension or variation shall not take effect until the expiration of the period prescribed by regulations made under subsection (7) of this section for the making of an appeal against the Board's decision nor if an appeal is duly made during that period until the determination or abandonment of the appeal.
- (7) The Minister shall by regulations make provision—
- (a) for requiring, except in such circumstances, if any, as may be specified in the regulations, publication of notice of the making of any application for the grant, revocation, suspension or variation of a licence under this section and for the making of objections or representations with respect to any such application;
- (b) as to the persons entitled to be heard by the Board at any meeting to consider the grant, revocation, suspension or variation of any such licence;
- (c) for conferring a right to appeal to the Minister from any decision of the Board with respect to any such licence or any application for such a licence upon the holder of or applicant for the licence and upon such other persons, if any, as may be specified in the regulations, and generally as to such appeals, including in particular provision as to the time by which any such appeal must be made, the other persons, if any, to be made parties thereto, and the liability of any of the parties in respect of costs or expenses incurred in connection therewith;
- (d) as to the form and manner in which any application, objection or representation shall be made to the Board;
- (e) with respect to the furnishing by persons making an application, objection or representation to the Board of information or documents relevant thereto;
- (f) generally as to the procedure of the Board.
- (8) Any power to make regulations conferred on the Minister by this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument, and any such instrument shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.—[Captain Orr.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.1462
§ Mr. Speaker
With this new Clause, I suggest that we take new Clause 8—(Appeals to the Minister in connection with Licences under section 27):
I suggest, also, that we take the following Amendments:
- (1) Any person, being the applicant for or the holder of a licence under section 27 of this Act, or a person of any class for whose benefit a licence applied for or granted under that section will enure, who is aggrieved by the refusal or failure of the Post Office to grant the licence or by any term or condition upon or subject to which the licence is or is to be granted, or by the revocation of the licence, may within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner appeal to the Minister.
- (2) On any appeal under this section the Minister shall have power to make such order as he may consider just and reasonable and to give such directions to the Post Office for giving effect to his decision and the Post Office shall give effect to any directions so given.
- (3) The Minister shall by regulations make provision as to the time within and the manner in which appeals under this section must be made, the persons to be made parties to any such appeal, the holding of inquiries for the purpose of hearing such appeals and the appointment of the person by whom any such appeal is to be heard, the furnishing to the Minister of information or documents relevant thereto, and generally as to the procedure on the hearing of such appeals.
- (4) Any power to make regulations conferred on the Minister by this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and any such instrument shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
No. 78, in page 28, line 39, leave out paragraph (c).
No. 79, in line 43, leave out paragraph (d).
No. 80, in page 29, line 7, leave out from 'fine' to end of line 8.
No. 93, in page 31, line 20, leave out Clause 27.
§ We can also take the new Schedule:
§ THE POSTAL AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD
§ 1. The Board shall consist of not less than five nor more than twelve members appointed by the Minister, who shall also appoint two of those members to be chairman and deputy chairman respectively of the Board.
§ 2. Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, the chairman, the deputy chairman and each of the other members of the Board shall hold and vacate his office in accordance with the terms of the instrument appointing him.
§ 3. The Minister—
- (a) shall pay to any member of the Board such remuneration (whether by way of salary or fees) and such allowances as the Minister
1463 may with the approval of the Treasury determine; and
- (b) in the case of any member of the Board with respect to whom the Minister may with such approval determine, shall make such provision for the payment of a pension to or in respect of that member as he may so determine;
§ 4. If the Minister is satisfied that the chairman or deputy chairman of the Board is temporarily unable to discharge the functions of his office owing to illness or any other cause, he may appoint some other member of the Board to act for the time being in the place of the chairman or deputy chairman, as the case may be.
§ 5. If the Minister is satisfied that a member of the Board—
- (a) has without the permission of the Board been absent from meetings of the Board for a continuous period exceeding six months; or
- (b) has become bankrupt or made an arrangement with his creditors; or
- (c) has by reason of illness or any other cause become unable or unfit to act as a member of the Board,
§ 6. The Board may act notwithstanding a vacancy in the membership thereof, and no act of the Board shall be invalidated by reason of any irregularity in the appointment of any member thereof or by reason of any person irregularly acting as a member thereof.
§ Captain Orr
I had not expected to move the Second Reading of this new Clause quite so early in our proceedings, Mr. Speaker, and would not now be doing so had it not been for the extraordinary and premature action of the Government Whip in closing the previous debate—
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls
My hon. Friend might like to emphasise the fact that the first official act of the new Government Chief Whip has been to gag Parliament by moving the Closure. It offers terrifying 1464 prospects for the rest of the life of this Parliament.
§ Captain Orr
My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) would appear to be right.
We have just been discussing the very important issue of Parliamentary accountability, and we now come to the general question, which I believe to be at least of equal importance, it is how this House can preserve its rights and curtail the enormous extension of monopoly in the Bill. It has been rightly said that under the Bill the new Corporation will have the monopoly of all monopolies. The new Clause, together with the new Schedule, would set up a postal and telecommunications board, while Amendment, No. 93 would leave out Clause 27, which deals with the licensing powers of the new Corporation.
For the benefit of those who were not members of the Standing Committee, it is necessary, to underline the necessity for the Clause, to stress the enormous extension of the monopoly powers given to the new Corporation by the Bill over those monopoly powers already existing in the Post Office. I do not wish to labour at great length all the arguments which were deployed in Committee, but it is essential to enumerate the extensions of monopoly over which the new Clause seeks to exercise a modest degree of control.
I invite my hon. Friends who were not on the Committee to look again at Clause 24 of the Bill. They will find words which are so wide and so little qualified by anything which appears subsequently that what we are dealing with in the Bill is not a simple transfer of the intentions of the present Post Office, but a new nationalised Corporation. Together with those powers are being transferred all the rights of the Crown which the present Post Office carries with it and all the rights of Parliament.
We are not in this legislation nationalising one commodity; we are not nationalising coal, or electricity, or gas, We are nationalising every conceivable form of telecommunications in this country, not only existing telecommunications 1465 but any which it is possible to conceive will exist in the future.
It is not creeping nationalisation. It is the most comprehensive piece of nationalisation of everything which is likely to happen in telecommunications of which man can possibly conceive. It is the most massive piece of nationalisation in advance removing all the rights of Parliament to control it in the future and handing over to the new Corporation powers to license its own competitors. It is as if one amalgamated B.O.A.C. and B.E.A. and at the same time made them the Air Transport Licensing Authority. It is just as bad.
§ Captain Orr
I do not want to argue all the details of the monopoly which were argued in the Committee. I would remind my hon. Friends of some of the things which now come under the new Post Office monopoly which were not in the existing monopoly. They include the remote control of machinery, interconnected pipelines between chemical plants and oil refineries, burglar and fire alarm systems operated or monitored remotely, and internal services. We discussed in Committee the question of all the common services which might be supplied within blocks of flats. Because of the licensing power in Clause 27, the Corporation has the power to take over all those if it so wishes. None of that is reserved to the Minister or to Parliament.
The common services which are involved include central heating, remote lighting control, watchmen control systems, door-opening systems, common radio and television sets. There is no point in labouring all these matters. But it goes beyond that. The Corporation will have power to control by licence its competitors in all kinds of subjects, such as vehicle control on the public highway. If anybody were to invent a system of automatic headlight dipping this would come within the scope of Clause 24 and would be an infringement of the present monopoly of the new Corporation and would require a licence from it. The new Corporation could in the future, if it wished, take such matters into its own public control. This would involve all kinds of remote signal systems—even model boats and model aeroplanes.
1466 The future of certain existing services, which are of great importance and which are run by private enterprise, could be totally jeopardised. In a sense the power is being given for their nationalisation in advance, in particular, the relay services. I am certain that my hon. Friends will wish to develop this matter. We have had certain assurances from the Postmaster-General. He is an honourable man and I accept them. But he will not be the Minister for ever, and the people who now comprise the Post Office will not always be in charge of the new Corporation. Power has been given to the Corporation, if it wishes totally to nationalise all the British relay services without any reference to Parliament, without its being possible even to question the Minister in the House.
I have declared my interest in the matter of radio-telephony. There are at present a large number of private radiotelephony schemes run by ambulance authorities, police, fire services and taxis, and many schemes are run by doctors in relation to their surgeries. There are telephone-answering services as well as other kinds of radio-telephony services which are run privately, with a licence from a Minister of the Crown who can be subjected to questioning in the House about it if there is anything unfair in the licensing system.
In future, all these schemes will require two licences. They will require a licence from the new Minister, and those concerned will have to go to their competitor, a public corporation, to get a licence. There is in the Bill at present no way in which this arbitrary power which is given to the new Corporation can be controlled. There is no referee, no kind of licensing authority of any kind.
Before coming to the question of how one should cope with the situation, I should like to mention one great danger which may result as an extension of this monopoly. I do not know whether hon. Members have ever read a most interesting periodical called the U.K. Press Gazette. In the issue for the week beginning 24th February there is an excellent, discerning and far-seeing article by somebody who is well-known in the House, Mr. George Clark, the Assistant Political Correspondent of The Times, a man whose judgment everybody in the House has come to respect.
1467 I should like to read one or two excerpts from the article, which begins by saying:Fleet Street and the newspaper industry generally would do well to take a closer look at the Committee debates now taking place on the Post Office Bill, a massive document of 230 pages which will establish the Post Office as a public corporation no longer answerable through the Postmaster-General to Parliament.The article goes on to say that the Press should take a greater interest in this matter. Mr. Clark says:Admittedly, the argument has to stray into a Jules Verne realm of prediction, and the circumstances will not be accepted by all devoted 'print and paper' men as probable. Yet there are many in the industry"—that is, the newspaper industry—who now recognise that in perhaps 30 years' time newspapers will reach the home without the delay (and expense) of type-setting, block-making, making up pages, long runs on printing presses, sending out vans and railway bundles, and relying in the end on the newspaper boy trudging up the garden path. By a pre-set device on the television set or an attachment to it, members of the family will be able to select the newspaper or newspapers they want in the morning. During the night, sensitised sheets will be fed automatically on to the screen of the reproduction unit and in the morning, in the tray beneath the apparatus, will be the morning papers. They will not be, perhaps, in the format which we now know. But the news in written form, with all the usual features, will be there ready for the husband who wants to read in the hovertrain or monorail car on the way to the office or factory.Later, Mr. Clark asks some very important questions about the new Corporation. He asks:Would it be the right kind of body to decide which newspapers should have the available channels?This is very important. At present, only the new Corporation will decide. It is true that the Minister has power over the allocation of frequencies, but the power of licensing lies with the new Corporation. Mr. Clark also asks:Would monopoly control over the design of equipment at the end of the Post Office line militate against the invention of cheap reproduction units?And:Would newspapers be allowed to offer their own production sets in the homes of their readers?He develops the argument at some length, and I hope that hon. Members who are interested in this matter will read it.
1468 Later, Mr. Clark says:And if the future could be more clearly seen I have no doubt that newspaper proprietors, especially those in the regions with compact circulation areas, would challenge the Postmaster-General. Would it not pay a newspaper to establish its own land lines and perhaps instal rented reproduction machines?Why not? But it would not be possible if the Bill is not amended and if there is not an independent body to deal with these matters and say whether the newspapers could run their own lines. At present, the new Corporation will decide whether newspapers can run their own lines. This power should be reserved either to Parliament or to an independent licensing body.
Mr. Clark finally commends my new Clause, which in Committee was an Amendment. He says that the proposal is thatthere shall be a Postal and Telecommunications Board sitting in judgment above the Post Office with the power 'to license the provision and performance of postal and telecommunications services, whether generally or in any area, or for any purpose or by any means or system specified in the licence'. When the new era of 'piped' newspapers arrives, one of the most serious problems facing the established newspapers could be the threat of 'free newspapers' financed and run directly by advertisers or groups of advertisers. If allowed on the channels, these publications could cause a colossal falling-off in display advertising revenue and change completely the whole basis of newspaper financing. Thus one of the questions which would have to be settled in the early days would be the extent to which the networks could be used for direct advertising purposes. Surely a task for the Board proposed by Captain Orr?That is one aspect of the problem.
The question which arises is: how can this monopoly position be remedied? When we were discussing Clause 24 in Committee, we sought, without great success, to preserve the licensing powers in the hands of the Minister. We thought that meantime this was the best solution. Had the Minister retained the power to license, he could well have seen fair play between the new Corporation and all its present and future competittors. But we were turned down. I thought that the Minister's reasons for turning us down were not good, but they were fairly argued. It is a pity. It would have been better if the Minister had retained the power. We would then have had a breathing space to consider the best 1469 method of controlling this monopoly in future.
I am suggesting that there should be a Postal and Telecommunications Board. I have dealt with the matter with great care. The new Clause is so drafted as to be fair throughout to the new Corporation. There is a small misprint in the new Clause which is the fault either of myself or of the Table Office; it is probably mine. My hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Mr. Mawby), with his eagle eye, has pointed it out to me.
§ Captain Orr
Yes. The words in the new Clause are "or not adequate". They should be "not adequately provided". A new Schedule goes with the new Clause, but I am not necessarily committed to the Schedule. I should not be inflexible if the Minister wanted a different form for the Postal and Telecommunications Board.
As an analogy, I have in mind some kind of licensing authority. In the United States there is the Federal Communications Commission, in which is vested the control and regulation of all broadcasting and communications. Its purposes could be broadly defined as regulating interstate and foreign communications by wire and radio in order to create an efficient nation-wide communications service with a reasonable level of charges. It has seven members with a seven-year tenure. The chairman, who is appointed by the President of the United States, controls the executive. It is organised into a number of executive offices and it has four main bureaux and one task force.
The four main bureaux are of interest. One, the C.A.T.V., is responsible for the development and implementation of rules for television stations, the kind of functions which the Postmaster-General at present performs in relation to our broadcasting authorities and which it is proposed to retain in his hands.
§ Captain Orr
I accept the correction. My hon. Friend is perfectly right: I misread my own notes. It is the broadcasting bureau which covers these functions. The C.A.T.V. is responsible for dealing with relay stations, again a function which the Postmaster-General now performs and which he proposes to hand to a competitor of the relay stations, which is very strange.
There is the common carrier bureau which has regulations for federal and telecommunications services including rates, services, accounting methods, licensing radio facilities and communications for common carriers and which is responsible for satellite communications.
One deals with safety and special radio services, the licensing and running of radio stations not in broadcasting and not in the common carrier category—aviation, marine, police, public agency, industry.
The F.C.C. is extraordinarily expensive. I do not advocate a precisely similar organisation for this country, although I was formerly attracted by it. We require something a little simpler. In 1966, the F.C.C. cost 17 million dollars, about £7 million, and employed 1,550 people. Its main function is acting as a licensing and regulatory authority. It maintains its large staff to review and inspect communications services. It acts as a controller of monopoly services. It is the arbitrator between national operator, equipment supplier and customer interests.
There is one recent interesting example of its function of arbitration. In 1965, the hearing examiners of the F.C.C. changed the interpretation of Tariff 132 giving telephone companies monopoly supply and installation rights of terminal equipment, a very important decision. The Carterfone decision in the United States was of great significance and it showed that this body was able to prevent this form of extension of monopoly.
If we had had a similar body in this country, the G.P.O. would not be in the position of having a monopoly, as it were, beyond the front door. I would hope that there would be some body. The present proposal is that the whole decision as to the extent of the existing telephone monopoly should be taken from Parliament and from the Minister and handed 1471 to the Corporation, an interested party itself.
The trouble with the F.C.C. in the United States and the first reason why I do not commend a precisely identical set up here is that it is expensive to operate. Its hearings and investigations may be lengthy. It takes a long time to get decisions. An enormous body of case law has arisen around it and in some ways it is like a jungle with enormous pickings to be made for lawyers. I do not recommend it now, although it used to attract me. We would be better with a somewhat simpler system such as I have devised. But the F.C.C.'s great advantage is that it separates the regulatory functions from monopoly control.
I return to the new Clause. What I am suggesting is that there should be a postal and telecommunications board. The main function of this board would be to havepower to license the provision and performance of postal and telecommunications services, including any facilities or services ancillary or incidental to any such services, whether generally …It provides that the licence so granted may be granted unconditionally or subject to any conditions which may be specified. In other words, the new board would have power to lay down whatever conditions might be necessary, say, to protect the interests of the Corporation itself, the main provider of the telecommunications services. All kinds of regulations and conditions are necessary, particularly when it comes to broadcasting.
In subsection (4) I lay down the various things to which the board shall have regard. I ought in fairness to the new Corporation to make it plain to the Minister that this is not an anti-Post Office Clause, for the board would have to take account of the services or facilities provided by the Post Office and the general duty of the Post Office under Clause 9. It would have to take into account the extent to which the licence would authorise the provision of services or facilities not provided by the Post Office. This would apply to a wide range of communications in which the Post Office is not adequately supplied.
For historic and many other reasons, and hon. Members opposite may say that 1472 it has been starved of capital, the Post Office has a monopoly the very existence of which prevents the provision of important and valuable services in telecommunications which British industry could provide. If the Minister will not agree to the judge being the Minister in Parliament, let the judge be an independent board which would be an arbitrator as to what might be in the public interest in this matter.
The board would be entitled to take into account the extent to which the granting of a licence would permit or encourage the provision or development, whether experimentally or otherwise, of services or facilities required or likely to be useful.
There is another important provision in subsection (4)(d) which says that any objections or representations made under subsection (7) may be allowed to go to appeal. In other words there would be an appeal procedure.
When we were discussing parliamentary accountability, I asked an hon. Member opposite what would happen if a taxi firm in his constituency which operated and controlled its taxis by radio were aggrieved by a decision of the Post Office. Suppose that for some reason the new Post Office Corporation decided in future to do what private enterprise does now and provide the sets, the base stations, transmitters and receivers for radio taxis, ambulances, the fire service, or anything else. There is no procedure by which the present operators of those services will have any appeal.
Had the last new Clause been accepted, somebody might have been able to ask a Parliamentary Question on their behalf. As the Bill is drafted, however, there is to be no appeal. The Minister will have power to allocate frequencies to those operators. If it was a question simply of denying them the frequency on which to operate or changing the frequency—which is an expensive process and involves new crystals and all kinds of things—one could ask a Question of the new Minister.
The important thing is that under the Bill the whole situation is being changed. Not only if one wants to operate a system of radio taxis does one have to go to the Minister to get his licence to operate on a certain frequency, but one now has to go to the new Corporation to get a licence to operate these things.
1473 If the new Corporation were to say, "Notwithstanding the Minister's allocation of a frequency, we have decided not to renew your licence as an operator of radio taxis", what can the proprietor or the group of owner drivers who run the radio taxis do? They have absolutely no redress. They must go to their own competitor, to the man who is trying to muscle in on their business. He is to be sole judge and jury and they will have nobody to whom to appeal. They cannot appeal to Parliament or to the Minister because he has no power in the matter. All I am seeking to do by the new Clause is to set up a body to whom such people could appeal.
My hon. Friends will, no doubt, be able to think of an enormous number of examples where this kind of development could take place. I am willing to accept what the Minister said, that it may not be the intention of the present people in the Post Office that there should be this kind of extension of nationalisation. Up to now, a very happy relationship has existed between the users of mobile radio and the Post Office. There have been a mobile radio committee and a frequency advisory committee on which users and manufacturers have been represented and frequency allocation has been discussed and has normally been well and reasonably done, to the satisfaction of everybody concerned. British frequency planning has been good, as I said in Committee upstairs, and I congratulate the Post Office upon it.
In the new Corporation, however, we are creating something the outcome of which we are quite unable to see. First, we are discontinuing it as a Department of State. It should be remembered that the amicable arrangement of which I have spoken for the users of mobile radio came about in the first place as a result of Parliamentary pressure. It was a result of the great frequency change which had to be made at the time of the introduction of commercial television. That was its origin. Whether it would have come about in the natural course of events I do not know, but it came about originally as a result of Parliamentary pressure.
We are now faced with the situation that we are getting a new Corporation which will not be subject to that pressure and we are giving it power to be judge 1474 and jury in all these matters. It may well be that the department in the Post Office which at present regulates frequencies will remain with the Minister—I understand that that is the intention—and may continue to endeavour to do the job as reasonably and as well as it has done it heretofore. That department in the Post Office, however, which is now becoming the new body which allocates and regulates these things, will no longer be the sole master because the new Corporation is to have a department which deals with licences as well.
What will happen in the event of a clash between the two? What will happen if, on the one hand, the Minister says, "We think that a certain system of telephone answering should be licensed or that a certain system of radio telephony ought to be allowed to connect to the public network" but the Corporation, on the other, says, "No. This is infringing the monopoly which Parliament gave us. We want to supply these services. We think that they should in future be nationalised and should continue to be nationalised." The department of the Corporation could defy the Minister and force him into the position either of giving a general directive about the whole thing or of giving in. The whole thing is absolutely unsatisfactory.
There is a need for some such body as I propose. I have done my best to make it a body which is credible and viable. If hon. Members will do me the courtesy of reading the new Clause in full, they will see that this is a genuine and serious attempt to improve the Bill. I hope that the Postmaster-General will not regard it as a political manoeuvre or a peg on which to hang a further argument about monopolies. It is nothing of the sort. It is a genuine attempt to improve the Bill.
If the Minister has the future of the new Corporation at heart, he would not suffer in any way by accepting the new Clause. It would be to the great advantage of the Post Office. I do not believe that a public corporation would wish to be judge and jury in its own cause. I do not believe that if we asked B.O.A.C. and B.E.A. whether they would like between them to take over the functions of the Air Transport Licensing Board, they would wish to do so. I do not believe that British Road Services 1475 would like to take over the issue of C licences.
It would be in the interests of the new Corporation to have a body between itself and the public and Parliament which could be seen to be apart. If it were extended with the authority and licence of my proposed Postal and Telecommunications Board everybody would see that it was just and would probably accept that it was in the national interest. I hope, therefore, that the Postmaster-General will accept the new Clause. I certainly commend it to my right hon. and hon. Friends.
§ Mr. Frank Tomney (Hammersmith, North)
I have listened to most of the speeches in the last two days. Not having had the advantage of being a member of the Committee on the Bill one becomes engrossed in the complexities of the Bill as the picture begins to unfold, but it seems to me that it is a long way from the original Telegraph Act, 1879, or even the Telegraph Act, 1949, and that we are now approaching legislative avenues at which Parliament ought to take a long, long look, because of the way the Telegraph Acts are being shaped to operate.
When I first read new Clause 8—and it is to that new Clause to which I want in the main to address my remarks—I did so without any great warmth for it. Then I received a communication about it from my union, and that opened completely new avenues of thought for me and I began to think deeply about it and I began to see better and with concern what it was intended to remedy.
One of the best traditions of this House is that if one has an interest one declares it, and I declare mine on behalf of my union, and my interest, although a subsidiary one, in a relay company. I declare my interest also because it might be held to be affecting my judgment in the matter. So I gladly declare at once these two interests, my union interest, and the broader aspect of the interest in a relay television and relay broadcasting company with which I am concerned, because in the company we have a considerable stake as a union. Therefore, we view with a certain amount of apprehension some of the provisions of the Bill, especially if they 1476 were carried to their ultimate conclusion. The hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) has outlined his new proposal for a board, and I think it should receive the consideration of the Minister.
We have now in communications a situation which has grown up on the basis of invention and ingenuity, and it has effects in industrial life and social life. During the last 40 years relay services have group up in Great Britain and become a new and established business, because people find its services of use, and it serves its customers in an especially close manner. There is nothing in the Bill which would prevent the new Corporation from itself being an active competitor in this field of communications and services, and from being active to the detriment of the established companies.
It could mean, of course, that if the Post Office were itself a competitor for a new licence it might completely disregard the applications of its competitors. In this manner it might disregard the interests of my union members. Once the Post Office became an operator in these services, perhaps producing its own programmes, it might introduce a new union and that would be the Post Office Workers' Union, which is not my particular union. My union is rather alarmed at this consideration, and it is a real one, because over the years we have negotiated with relay companies excellent wages and terms and conditions, allied with pension rights. These are now accepted features in the pattern of this industry.
But the consideration is wider than that. One cannot easily transfer to a public corporate body the cosy customer relationship, with local counter service at a local shop dealing in television and radio services. It is not possible. To centralise these services, to make them the province of a mandatory body, some distance removed from the customers, is just asking for trouble with the public. When one's radio breaks down one wants service for it within the hour. One does not want the matter referred to somebody else a long way away. When a man wants to see the Cup Final on the television and his radio breaks down he wants it seen to within the hour. It is just this close and cosy relationship with the customers which relay companies have established 1477 and with which the Government at their peril would interfere.
The industry has had a long run now. We have seen it grow with some faults but also with benefits for the public. We have seen competition come in, and there is great competition much to the public benefit. With this industry catering, as it does, so closely for the public need, I think, quite frankly, that the position should be left with the established concerns. It will not be easy for anyone if the relay companies are shut out from new contracts or if the new Corporation itself becomes a tenderer.
It will not be easy for the Post Office to recover its capital costs unless it goes into the retail and rental business. When a relay company lays out its initial, heavy capital expenditure it is a long time getting it back, and even then the return is only marginal for a number of years. So there are no vast fortunes to be made in this.
Therefore I want the Postmaster-General to look carefully at what he is doing in this industry. Despite the assurances that he gave that the position of licences will continue till 1976—I think it is—there is no guarantee that this will be so, and certainly there is no guarantee about what may happen after that time.
It is a very arguable proposition indeed whether there would be any national dividend accruing to the nation by any direct competition with the established relay companies and their purposes and services. It would be well to leave this question alone.
I hope the Postmaster-General will take note of what has been said on this matter. We should look objectively at the propositions contained in new Clause 7, and also at the pattern which is followed in the United States, a pattern which I know something about. It is a little cumbersome and it has taken a long time to evolve—but all United States legislation is like that. It need not take so long in Great Britain, which is a smaller country, with smaller problems, and with smaller organisations very tightly knit, and with greater inter-relationships between competing companies.
We should seriously consider what the hon. and gallant Member for Down, 1478 South proposes for this separate licensing tribunal or authority or board, whatever we may call it, with a court of appeal in the Minister. That was the basis of new Clause 6 which we discussed this morning, containing, as it did, provisions for the protection of individual constituents, but it did not contain the same provisions as new Clause 7 and new Clause 8 for the protection of individual companies. If we have any sense at all in these matters, and I hope we have, we will take that into consideration, and the mandatory position of the Post Office, and whether they should be allowed to operate subsidiary services, as there at the moment, to the disadvantage of everybody concerned. I should have thought we would be in no great difficulty about that.
I was not on the Committee and so have not had the advantage of listening to all the arguments. I have not been able to read the complete HANSARD reports, and it is almost impossible for me to follow the arguments. Certain things stand out, and certain industrial bodies pull out the things from these reports which are germane to themselves. If the Post Office becomes the owner of the rental shops it will mean a heavy inroad into the established membership of my union. Like everybody else, they have to look after their own interests. My union people have seen this and have made representations to me.
It will probably be possible on later Amendments to discuss the aspects of relay television as they impinge directly upon the services of the Post Office, but for the moment I ask the Assistant Postmaster-General to get his Department to have another look at this situation and, if possible, accept the proposals put forward by the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South and then to take a good look at the responsible service carried out by relay operators in the interests of many thousands of trade unionists who have been in the industry for a long time and whose jobs, conditions and pensions may be endangered—perhaps not for seven, eight or nine years but eventually.
If the Post Office would do this it would remedy a grievous fault in the Bill. It would go some way towards achieving the kind of industrial parity of competition that should exist in situations where the Government are the main 1479 supplier of energy potential. If we do not allow competition to run alongside the monopoly position of the Government we shall not get the best service—and this is an intimate service—and we shall be failing in our duty as Parliamentarians.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport (Knutsford)
We have had many interesting speeches from hon. Members on both sides of the House—especially from the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis). My only criticism is that his speech was slightly spoilt by its continuing for too long. I know that in this House nobody wants to listen, and everybody wants to speak. I can therefore tell everybody that I shall speak only for about five minutes, and so everybody had better get ready to jump to his feet.
I have already made the point that the Bill will prove the Government's intention to destroy both small and large businesses, and to nationalise all means of production, distribution and exchange, with the inevitable result that there will be increased costs, worse service and gigantic losses. I want to depart from the general tenor of previous speeches and refer to the question of accountability. Under the Clause the Government will have power to do almost anything they like—to license almost anything they like, and to take away the licence of almost anything. It is a gigantic monopoly, with captive customers.
What accountability will there be? Under the present system there is none, and I do not see that there will be under the new system. In all the years that I have been in the House, on occasions when nationalised industries or public corporations have been discussed, if we are lucky enough not to have any longwinded statements we start the debate at about four o'clock, and the debate continues until ten o'clock. How is the intervening time taken up? There are four Front Bench speakers who take up, say, half an hour each.
§ Sir W. Bromley-Davenport
Let us take the average. After that we are lucky if we get only four carpet sweepers, and still luckier if they take only half an hour 1480 each. That takes up another two hours. The carpet sweepers are known to all back-benchers—they are Privy Councillors—and the Chamber empties. How much time is left for back benchers? Two hours. The debate goes on, meandering its way to the end. It drags to its weary conclusion at Ten o'clock, when there is a Division, which the Government inevitably win with their machine-made majority of Lobby fodder.
Under our system of debates there is no real accountability. Hon. Members should go to meetings of shareholders and hear the way they have a go at the directors. If they are dissatisfied they can all get up and make themselves heard. They can boot out the directors.
I want to give an example of what might happen under the provisions of the Clause and the waste of public money. People may not believe it. It is referred to in a book called "The Guilty Madmen of Whitehall", with a foreword by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell). For sheer lunacy it takes top prize. It is very short.
§ Sir W. Bromley-Davenport
You have always been tolerant and just, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I ask you when I can bring out this example—one that will arise in respect of many industries which are taken over? It is an example of a waste of money which shareholders could deal with at a private meeting. Shall I ever be able to do it? Shall I be able to do it in the debate on the Clause or later? Could you stretch it, Mr. Deputy Speaker? Will you give me one minute?
§ Sir W. Bromley-Davenport
This advertisement appeared in magazines and national dailies, sometimes every few days, in the same paper. It said:
§ "Dear Public,
§ Most of you see us every day, and we've been calling so long you have probably 1481 stopped noticing. Often you call on us—for postage stamps, savings, postal order, T.V., radio or car licences, pensions, sickness benefits, family allowances, maternity benefits or to post a parcel.
§ Everybody's business is our business at some time and ours is certainly yours.
§ Nowadays there are more of you and your business and ours get bigger all the time. We like it that way and we are modernising to keep pace with growth so that we may give you the kind of service you require.
§ Despite mechanisation, standardisation, decimalisation and increased population we try to put our customers first and we'll still be known basically by that friendly knock on the door.
§ We will be, as always,
§ Yours faithfully,
§ THE POST OFFICE."
There is one advertisement which they might have done very much better. Instead of
Someone, somewhere, is waiting for a letter from you",
they should have advertised
Someone, somewhere, is waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting"—
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)
I am sure that the House is deeply indebted to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Sir W. Bromley-Davenport), and therefore, indirectly, to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, although I hope that you will not take my thanks as a reflection upon yourself. My hon. and gallant Friend behaved with his usual courtesy and generosity, particularly when he paid that glowing tribute to Ministers for the fact that they make only half-hour speeches. It is well-known that Ministers read out at great length whatever is put in front of them, and it nearly always takes an hour. This is particularly interesting in wind-up speeches, which are meant to be relevant to the preceding debate. Since Ministers have sat there with their ears sealed or talking to their colleagues, no reference can be made to the debate and they go on reading from the pre-set brief.
We were all very grateful to the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney), who made a telling speech. I hope that I am wrong in thinking that some of its weight was lost because the 1482 Minister was talking to his hon. Friend. The hon. Member had some important things to say, and his speech was an eloquent testimony to the value of competition. I would ask Ministers to get away from the dogma that a publicly-owned monopoly is the best way of doing things and to remember that, in this imperfect world, one of the very few forces which can guarantee a customer any hope of satisfaction is free competition.
§ Mr. Tomney
The hon. Gentleman will no doubt have noted that, on other occasions, it has been my privilege, since the advent of my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. Harold Wilson) to the Premiership, to throw wisdom along this bench constantly, but nothing ever happens and no one ever takes it up.
§ Mr. Peyton
The hon. Gentleman speaks from the bitter experience which we can all share, but from a position of greater proximity and some sharper embarrassment than I have any need to feel. Even he has some responsibility for the Prime Minister, and he should reflect on that. I do not wish to be unkind to him, so I will not press that point.
The hon. Gentleman spoke of the quick response to complaints. Whatever may be the virtues of the present Post Office, no one can possibly say that an over-rapid response to complaints is one of its most noticeable characteristics. I also agreed with the warning note which the hon. Gentleman sounded about the consequences of disturbing established relations and perfectly legitimate interests in a well-run industry. I have no connection with the relay industry and little knowledge of it, except that one can tell from its clients that it works.
The hon. Member's words, which are borne of considerable experience, will, I hope, weigh with the Assistant Postmaster-General. I feel sorry for the latter. It must be very tiring to be lumbered with a Bill like this and to have to defend it as best he can. We all have a great regard for him, which gives birth to a certain sympathy, because we realise that he cannot altogether carry out his own will and that he must find it very difficult when one of his own supporters, who has been in the House for many years, makes the sort of speech that his hon. Friend made—
§ The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. Joseph Slater)
I have known the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) for a long time now and I am grateful for his felicitations, but I shall not be closing the debate: my right hon. Friend will—[HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] That is a bit too unkind. Let us try to play the game if we can.
§ Mr. Peyton
I am not sure what was unkind. The hon. Gentleman said that he is not going to wind up, in which case I withdraw any implied strictures on the Assistant Postmaster-General, but I understood from the hon. Gentleman's presence on the Front Bench that he would reply and I was hoping that, in doing so, he might be influenced by what his hon. Friend has said. I do not have to withdraw very much, because I thought that I spoke to the Assistant Postmaster-General, for whom I have great regard, with great courtesy.
I hope that the words of the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North will weigh with the Postmaster-General. As I have said, they are significant arguments which should not be neglected. If they go like water off a well-oiled duck's back, as I suspect they will, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will be to the van in making a protest.
We are all indebted to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) for having done his best, with the limited resources which we all have, to produce a workable alternative in this new Clause to the Government's proposal. I have no hesitation in giving it a warm welcome and saying how much I would prefer this to anything which the Government have suggested. Most of his arguments seemed thoroughly satisfactory. However, in the expectation that he may subsequently be able to put his views to a more receptive Minister and a Government of totally different leanings, perhaps he would look again at the question of revocation of a licence.
It is very important that, if a licence is given, the undertaker should at least have some security and the licence should not be revoked except upon terms notified at the time of issue. This is not difficult. After all, subsection (3) says:Any licence so granted may be granted either unconditionally or subject to any conditions 1484 specified in the licence and either irrevocably or subject to revocation as therein specified …This is exactly what is right and desirable.
But subsection (6) says that the Boardmay revoke, suspend or vary the licence, but if any licence is revoked, suspended or varied by the Board otherwise than on the application of the holder of the licence, the revocation, suspension or variation shall not take effect until the expiration of the period prescribed by regulations made under subsection (7) of this section for the making of an appeal …
§ Captain Orr
I thought that that made it reasonably safe, that one could then specify the terms of a licence in the Regulations, which would be subject to the approval of this House.
§ Mr. Peyton
It is a minor point to which I hope my hon. Friend will turn his attention. I assure him that I appreciate his labours in producing this proposal.
It has been pointed out that the outcome of the Bill is unforeseeable. We are not dealing with an old-established industry like coal or the railways, but with a developing industry on the threshold of a revolution. If any industry should not be shackled with unnecessary control, it is this one.
Amendment No. 78, which we may discuss with the new Clause, is designed to delete some peculiar words from Clause 24. That provision states that… the Post Office shall have … the exclusive privilege of running systems for the conveyance, through the agency of electric, magnetic, electro-magnetic, electro-chemical or electro-mechanical energy … signals serving for the impartation …of certain things. In what revolting verbal quarry did the Parliamentary draftsmen discover that new horror? "Impartation" deserves to be ranked with "a subsidiary of its" in terminology. Perhaps the latter could be inscribed on a millstone and tied round the Postmaster-General's neck with the former inscribed on a lesser millstone and tied round the neck of the Assistant Postmaster-General as they are both thrown into the deepest sea. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will touch up this part of the Bill. The provision refers to… the conveyance … of … speech, music and other sounds … visual images …1485 and a number of other matters. This is a long and complex provision. Are not even the right hon. Gentleman's ideas of a monopoly going rather wide in it? Clause 24(1)(d) refers to:… signals serving for the actuation or control of machinery or apparatus.My hon. Friends who are versed in technical matters will no doubt agree that that covers almost any invention in the sphere of communications.
There is a discouraging future for anybody who wishes to put his money or effort into the industry. Considering that we are discussing an industry which is on the threshold of important developments, surely everybody with talent and energy should be allowed to reap every reward possible. The Inland Revenue is more than able to look after itself. If is wrong that the Minister should have the satisfaction of knowing that all human activity is being shackled in this way. This poor old country of ours is in no condition to put up with such hampering and shackling treatment.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Tomney
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the position is far wider than he realises? For example, in the formation of capital for relays, the careful husbanding of resources has meant in some instances that new industries have been established. Often this has applied to industries which previously were the prerogative of the Americans. For example, flight simulation was an industry denied to this country, but it has been developed here by a relay company and is proving of immense value to us and Europe generally.
§ Mr. Peyton
The hon. Gentleman has given an excellent example and I am sure that there are many others. I do not desire to represent any particular firm but to see Britain making the most, in a perilous situation, of such opportunities as it has, exploiting and developing its undoubted ability. This shackling process of Government—this hampering "Elastoplast" tendency—can do no good to a cause which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman has at heart.
The Postmaster-General talked yesterday, with a gleam in his eye, of this country having the greatest communications system in the world. I hope that his forecast is correct, but it will not 1486 come about if the shackling process which will result from the Bill is allowed to continue.
In Clause 24(2) we come to a delight of the Socialist mind; the savoury bit about penalties. We are told that… on summary convictionthere will be… a fine not exceeding £400 …and that… on conviction on indictment"—there will be… a fine or … imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or … both.Is this right? How does one prove, in cases of this sort, that a term of imprisonment is warranted? A man may simply have been driven on by legitimate ambition to develop his own abilities and find himself quarrelling with this new monopolistic creature. As a result, he may find himself cooling his heels in jail for a couple of years while thinking the matter over. I do not fancy that at all and I very much hope that the House, or even the Government, will have second thoughts about it.
The last Amendment to which I refer is Amendment No. 93, which proposes to leave out Clause 27. That is a necessary operation because it is a very offensive Clause. I hope that we shall have subsequent opportunities to speak about it so I shall not detain the House at length now, but I ask why in subsection (6) of the Clause it is provided that:No person shall be concerned to inquire whether the grant of a licence under subsection (1) above was, or was not, effected with the consent of, or in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by, the Minister; and the validity of a licence granted under that subsection shall not be impugned on the ground that it was granted neither with the consent of, nor in accordance with the terms of a general authority given by him.This is a desirable modification of subsection (1), but it causes one to think that subsection (1) is quite unnecessarily officious. It forbids the Post Office to issue a licence without a licence or general authority from the Minister. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will consider the very wide way in which the subsection is drafted.
I think I have said enough to express my abhorrence of the wide, sweeping monopoly which the Government are apparently hell-bent to set up. I do not 1487 believe that the prospects before such an organisation—whatever glossy reports one may be able to write, whatever achievements can be indicated or claimed under this kind of system—are likely to be comparable with what would be achieved by an effort based upon the forces of competition, initiative and thrust such as could be developed by the Minister in the fascinating promise of a new and growing industry of this kind.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North)
I am in a quandary, because in discussing these new Clauses and Amendments we can cover a very wide field. If we are adequately to discuss all these matters some of us might have to speak at some length and that would not be my wish.
§ Mr. Ridley
I wished to ask whether the hon. Member had had time to correct his earlier speech in the HANSARD office. It must have taken almost as long to correct as to make the speech, and I am surprised that he has been able to get back so quickly. I congratulate him.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)
Order. I hope that hon. Members will come to these new Clauses and Amendments.
§ Mr. Lewis
I accept your Ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If we had an ideal system, all the suggestions in these Clauses and Amendments could be discussed. I will not go into that.
I support my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney), and I declare an interest in the Bill. On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, may I ask what is the position about declaring an interest? Am I right in assuming that once an hon. Member has declared his interest in discussion on a Bill it is not necessary in discussion of a subsequent matter to declare the interest again? If I have to declare my 1488 interest on every Clause and Amendment I may inadvertently delay the debate.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
The whole question is before the Select Committee. It is not a rule at the moment but a practice to declare an interest. I am sure that the House would not wish the hon. Member to declare an interest on every item throughout discussion of the Bill. I think it would be enough to do it in this first speech.
§ Mr. Lewis
That is a point I can now leave, because I declared my interest earlier, but perhaps I should explain what my interest is. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith, North, I have two interests. I have been a life-long trade unionist—a member of one of the biggest unions in the country. My union has a number of members working in Rediffusion and piped television. Incidentally, all the firms concerned are good and reputable firms in which the wages, hours and working conditions are very good. I am sure my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity would be pleased to know that there are very rarely strikes or strife in this industry. That might be because there is encouragement for good industrial relations and appeal boards such as those suggested in these new Clauses and Amendments.
The hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) and his hon. Friends have a certain amount of right on their side in putting down these Amendments, but I shall have to examine them at length because there are certain points in them which are not clear to me. Perhaps some of my hon. Friends who support my views might feel that there is no necessity for these appeal boards because the occasion for their use may never arise, but it has arisen in the past. In the early days of television a noble Lord said that these were companies which "could print their own money". That may not have been actually true. Without doubt they started with a certain amount of risk. They were not sure at that time whether or not they would be successful. It has happened to be a very lucrative business. The law would have prevented them actually printing money, but they made a lot of money out of it.
1489 Having made a lot of money, what happens? Along come a number of interested people who want to get in on the band-wagon. They say, "This seems a good industry. We will try to get into it". What did they do? They came in and pushed out some of the people who had—
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)
Order. I find it difficult to understand how the hon. Member is relating his remarks to the new Clauses and Amendments which are concerned with a new Board which will regulate licensing taken from the authority which is at present incorporated in the Bill.
§ Mr. Lewis
I am aware of that. When I first spoke I mentioned the two new Clauses and the Amendments seeking to set up an appeals board for licensing. I was giving an illustration of what had happened, and I was going on to say that had there been appeals boards in existence then no doubt these companies which found themselves kicked out after having done all the hard work in the initial stages would have had a chance to appeal. This would have been, and no doubt would still be, an admirable method of allowing people, in this instance in the telecommunications system, an opportunity of appeal.
My hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith, North mentioned Rediffusion. This company has established itself as a reputable organisation in this sphere. It has done an enormous amount of work, it has given lots of money to the Treasury, it has given employment to hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the country, and it has helped our exports. It may happen that when the Postmaster-General gives up day-to-day control, the director-general of this new board, or whatever he may be called—who knows, it may be the Radio Doctor or somebody like him who will get the job—[Interruption.] It might even be the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir Gerald Nabarro) would be appointed and would get a salary of £20,000, £30,000 or £40,000 a year. This is the kind of meagre sum that the Government pay these people.
As the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South is present, let us assume that he gets the chairmanship, although God forbid. I am not saying that he would get 1490 the job, but let us assume that he did. It might be that some of his hon. Friends would get hold of his coat tails, pull him to one side, and whisper in his ear, "Gerald, old boy, we would like to get some of these companies because they are very profitable. Is there any chance of giving us a licence and your kicking them out? You know, jobs for the boys." Gerald might say, "You have been a good party man. Yes, you are all right. I will kick these people out and give you the licence." In those circumstances, there would be no appeal to anyone. Gerald gives his boys the licence and we cannot do anything about it. This is not an impossibility. It has happened with—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I think that even hypothetically the hon. Member is getting a little near the mark in suggesting a possible fall from the high standards of integrity of the hon. Member concerned in this kind of venture.
§ Sir Gerald Nabarro (Worcestershire, South)
I intervene in the hon. Gentleman's speech—I trust with his permission—to remind him that in the days of the Tory Government in 1960 when the Prime Minister appointed Lord Robens as Chairman of the National Coal Board, the Daily Telegraph wrote a leading article about it pointing to the dissatisfaction expressed by coal miners that Lord Robens had received the job. The Daily Telegraph suitably concluded its leading editorial on this matter by saying that it did not understand why the coal miners were complaining about Lord Robens getting the job as Chairman of the National Coal Board; they would indeed have had a great deal to complain about if Mr. Gerald Nabarro had got the job.
§ Mr. Lewis
As usual, the Daily Telegraph is probably right. I do not know. The Daily Telegraph writes excellent articles on rare occasions, and this is probably one.
I agree with you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I would not impugn the honour of the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South. I think that I said I could never imagine him doing such a thing. I could never imagine him being persuaded to give his friends such lucrative licences to print money. But there are some who have done it.
§ Mr. Lewis
My point is that there is no appeal against anything like this at the moment. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South can help me on this. He suggests that there should be the opportunity to appeal to the board under a number of specified conditions. The new Clause covers almost everything. But would it cover appeals of workers employed in the industry? This is what really interests me. Take the case of a man employed by one of these highly reputable relay companies like Rediffusion. He is probably doing very well and has a good job. The hon. Gentleman criticised my right hon. Friend a moment ago. Perhaps I can now get him to listen to me. This worker in Rediffusion may have built up a good relationship with the company, have good hours, working conditions and so on. But he may find his firm is taken over, pushed out, or given a kick in the pants, and some other company comes in. He may like or dislike it. He may have an opportunity of continuing with this new company, but he may not. The new company may say, "We do not want you any longer. We are bringing in our own workers." This man, or these men for that matter, may lose pension rights wages and salaries. Under new Clause 7, would they have the right of appeal to the proposed appeals board on these matters? I have other matters to mention in a moment.
§ Captain Orr
The hon. Gentleman is making a powerful case, with which I entirely agree. Obviously, if workers' jobs are in peril because of the announced intention or the actual revocation of a licence by an action of the board, I should think that such workers, under the new Clause, would have a right of appeal, provided it is laid down under subsection (7), which reads:The Minister shall, by regulations make provision …I think that the Minister in making his regulations could include the persons who would have a right to be heard. For instance, on the revocation of a licence, he could make provision for workers in an industry or a trade union or whoever might be representing them to be heard. 1492 That is how I read my new Clause. However, assuming that the Minister decides to accept it, if the hon. Gentleman's point is not quite covered, I give him the assurance that I, for one, will be prepared to see that it is covered in the other place.(b) as to the persons entitled to be heard …
§ Mr. Lewis
I am obliged to the hon. and gallant Gentleman. As usual, he is very helpful in putting forward a detailed explanation. However, I am sure that he will agree that it does not say that. Subsection (7) says:The Minister shall by regulations make provision …For the rest, we see that the Corporation may or may not, and I accept the hon. and gallant Gentleman's point that he feels that it may. With respect to him, like me, he is not a lawyer. We all know that even the best of lawyers disagree, and often they disagree violently about such minor matters as whether there should be a comma or a full-stop put here or there.
There could be an argument about whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman is right. I am doubtful. I am not sure that, under (b), there should not be another subparagraph explaining definitely that the Minister "shall". Indeed, I go further. In my view, it should provide that not only shall the Minister give the opportunity to the workers but, if a worker so desires, the Minister shall instruct that his trade union has the right of appeal and shall be heard by the Board. I do not like these "mays", "perhapses" or "ifs". They are too loose.
I like to give workers every possible assistance. We do not want "In Place of Strife". We want peace and tranquillity. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity would be greatly assisted in her attempts to evade strife in industry, and the Postmaster-General might be able—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)
I find it difficult to see how the point which the hon. Gentleman is making can be related to the new Clause.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
It is the hon. Gentleman's reference to "In Place of 1493 Strife" that I find difficult to relate to the new Clause.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
The proposed appeal board is to consider the licences issued by the Board. The appeal is to the Minister. I am not sure that the hon. Gentleman's wider consideration comes into effect in this new Clause.
§ Mr. Lewis
Mr. Deputy Speaker—[Interruption.] I am in some difficulty at this juncture, Mr. Speaker. You will not have heard my earlier remarks, so perhaps I might continue with them for a short time until you are apprised of the situation.
Under subsection (7)(b) of the new Clause,as to the persons entitled to be heard by the Board at any meeting to consider the grant, revocation, suspension or variation of any such licence",it does not appear who those "persons" are. It does not say that the persons shall be licence holders, or shall own the company, or shall be shareholders. It refers simply to "persons".
I asked the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South whether his interpretation of "persons" included the workers in the industry or firm which is licensed. I went on to explain that "person" might include trade unionists. I think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman agreed that trade unionists might be termed "persons". I began to develop that, and I said that trade unions could be declared "persons" in a corporate state.
§ Mr. James Dempsey (Coatbridge and Airdrie)
We are discussing the variation or possibly the revocation of a licence. In the case of all other licensing authorities, it is normally the licence holder who has the right of appeal, and no one else. I am trying to understand how my hon. Friend can interpret the new Clause to mean that almost all and sundry may possibly be invited to state a case.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Lewis
If my hon. Friend refers to subsection (7), he will see that it says: 1494The Minister shall by regulations make provision …Paragraph (b) says:as to the persons entitled to be heard by the Board at any meeting to consider the grant, revocation, suspension or variation of any such licence".If the Clause is agreed to, the Minister will have to introduce regulations, because it says "shall" and not "may". Amongst them, he must make provision for "persons entitled to be heard". Among the persons entitled to be heard by the Board, he could include trade unionists. Certainly he would include licence holders, because that is spelled out.
I do not think that the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South has gone far enough, and that is why, when I finally make up my mind, I may be against accepting his new Clause. He thinks that it goes far enough, but I am not sure that it does. It might be that I could support the new Clause if the Minister agreed that it means that he can include trade unionists and trade unions and he gave an assurance that, in the regulations which eventually he will bring forward, they would be included. If he did that, that would bring me nearer to supporting the principle of the new Clause.
§ Captain Orr
The hon. Gentleman is right in what he is saying. This is the precise point in providing in subsection (7) that the Minister shall have the power to make the regulations. It is exactly so that it could be extended to persons other than licence holders to whom, normally, as the hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) pointed out, it would be confined. Certainly I would envisage amongst those other persons representatives of the accredited trade unions in any company which was likely to be severely damaged by the revocation of a licence.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) has made his speech. He cannot make a second speech in the guise of an intervention. He must be brief.
§ Captain Orr
I understand that, Mr. Speaker. I was simply clarifying something which perhaps I did not originally make clear. I am trying to help the hon. Member for West Ham, North. I think he has the point now.
§ Mr. Lewis
I think I follow the point and, of course, we would all accept, if he says so, that that is his intention in subsection (7)(b). He is probably right, but he is not a lawyer, as I am not. It may well be that a lawyer will say that the hon. and gallant Gentleman is wrong and that the provision does not do what he thinks. Perhaps we can have some legal opinion from the Government as to whether it could include trade unionists. This industry has very good labour relations and I am concerned that there should be the right of appeal under subsection (7)(b). New Schedule 120 intrigued me. The hon. Member for Totnes (Mr. Mawby), whose name appears on the new Schedule, is a good friend of mine. [Interruption.] I keep being interrupted. I do not want to fall foul of Mr. Speaker.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Other hon. Members wish to speak and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will be reasonably brief.
§ Mr. Lewis
The case is perhaps spelt out more clearly and more concisely in new Schedule 120 than in new Clause 7. Perhaps that is because the hon. Member for Totnes has a trade union background. The new Schedule says:The Board shall consist of not less than five nor more than twelve members …Why did the hon. Gentleman pick the limits of five and 12? Again, the new Schedule states that… the Minister … shall … appoint two of those members to be chairman and deputy chairman respectively …I am not sure that that is good democratic practice. Why should not the members elect their own chairman and vice-chairman? I do not see why the Minister should be called upon to do it. It could well be that, after their first meeting, the members of the Board would feel that their own choice of chairman and deputy chairman would be different from that of the Minister.
Paragraph 3 of new Schedule 120 says that the Ministershall pay to any member of the Board such remuneration (whether by way of salary or fees) and such allowances as the Minister may with the approval of the Treasury determine;I had the impression that the Opposition are asking for cuts in Government expenditure but here they would give the 1496 Minister almost a blank cheque, though with the proviso that the Treasury should enter the discussions. With the approval of the Treasury, he could pay any fee or salary or allowance that he himself determined.
Did the hon. Member for Totnes discuss this with his trade union colleagues? I do not know what the attitude would be of Mr. Aubrey Jones or, indeed, of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity. There is not a word in new Schedule 120 to suggest that this remuneration should not be more than the recognised norm or the fees now received by others in similar State appointments.
New Schedule 120 would give an open cheque to these people to have virtually anything they liked in the way of hours, wages and working conditions. I am all in favour of workers getting good hours, wages and working conditions and I believe that the chairman of this board and his colleagues should have them too. But why are we always so lenient in letting such people have virtually everything they want whereas, when it comes to the nurses or the agricultural workers, we say that they cannot have 6d. or a 1s. extra—or, to put it the other way round, that they should have only 6d. or 1s. extra.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We are on Report stage and there are many Amendments to consider. Many hon. Members wish to speak. I have already appealed to the hon. Gentleman to be reasonably brief.
§ Mr. Lewis
It is rare that I take part in debates in the House. Not many hon. Members on this side of the House are anxious to take part in the debate. None of them have said they wish to do so. I have an interest in this matter, which I have declared. I want to represent the interests of the workers. I want to put forward on their behalf the case that I think they are being penalised. When Ministers penalise the workers, I do not hear them being told that they must restrict their remarks because other hon. Members wish to take part. It may be inconvenient that I happen to speak at length, but the rule is suspended. The Government have plenty of time and hon. Members have plenty of opportunity.
I want to be able to speak on behalf of those workers who so often do not get the opportunity of being heard. We are 1497 to have strikes tomorrow. Thousands of workers will come out on strike. If we had more opportunity to put their point of view, whether we agreed with it or not, there probably would not be so many strikes. The workers in this industry feel that they are being limited as to the increases in salaries and wages that they can get and the hon. Member for Totnes now comes forward with an appeal board, with which I agree in principle, but is being unfair to the workers, both in this industry and in industry generally, in suggesting that the Minister and the Government should have carte blanche to pay virtually anything they like.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Captain Orr
I have great sympathy with the hon. Gentleman. He is examining the proposition in the Schedule in the way in which it should be examined. Unfortunately, he was not here when I introduced the new Clause and the Schedule. I said that I was flexible about the Schedule and that if the Minister or any other hon. Member had a better suggestion about the composition of the board and other matters affecting it I was willing to consider it.
§ Mr. Lewis
I have said on a previous occasion that the hon. and gallant Gentleman is always understanding, willing to put his point of view, and to make a concession where appropriate. However, kind, courteous, helpful and understanding as he undoubtedly is, the Schedule does not spell out what he hints. I am adducing arguments in favour of the principle of establishing the board but questioning whether the board should be so appointed that the Minister will have the right to put placemen on to it. Honourable Members may not think that that is an appropriate expression, but workers in the industry, on reading the Schedule, would say that the Minister will have the opportunity of appointing people at unspecified salaries, and possibly fees and expenses in addition.
The Schedule says that the members of the board shall have, apart from salaries,such allowances as the Minister may … determine".Does that mean that the chairman and members can have their meals free? It does not say so. Will they be charged? If so, are they to be charged on the same 1498 basis as the nurses are? I believe in fair shares for all. As the nurses are being charged, we should specify that these board members can have their meals free or can have them on the same basis as the nurses and be charged on that basis. I should be more happy about supporting the Schedule if it contained a provision to that effect.
Paragraph (b) refers tothe payment of a pension to or in respect of that member asthe Minister "may so determine". This is a bit much. I know that the hon. and gallant Member and the hon. Member for Totnes are generous. Why does the Schedule provide that these board members can have such pension as the Minister may determine? I should have thought that it would be more proper to provide that the pension should be not less favourable than that received by Members of Parliament.
§ Mr. Lewis
They might then say that it was not good enough. Some of the Post Office Engineering Union members who are now solidly objecting to the Bill are doing so on the ground that their pension rights are being abrogated. It would be more appropriate if the Schedule said—"but on conditions not more favourable than those which are being applied to members of the Post Office Engineering Union". Whereas Post Office engineers can now retire on pension at 60, in future they will have to serve to 65. Therefore, their conditions are being worsened. I have declared my interest. I am more in favour of the members of the P.O.E.U. than I am of the 12 proposed board members who are to be appointed at unspecified salaries—the chairman probably at £20,000 or £30,000 a year. I do not see why these board members should get this kind of money.
§ Mr. Lewis
The hon. and gallant Gentleman must have the gift of telepathy, because he knows just what I am thinking. I was just coming to that point. If the Schedule said,The Board shall consist of not less than five nor more than twelve members appointed by the Minister, two, three or four or more 1499 of whom must be members of a recognised union affiliated to the T.U.C. and interested in telecommunications".I would say that it would not be too bad, because it would be specifying that the board should contain two or three members of a union. It is not good enough for the hon. and gallant Gentleman to say that some of the board members could be members of a trade union. The Schedule should provide that at least three of the board members should be members of a trade union.
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls
I was interested in the hon. Gentleman's argument on paragraph (b). He seems to have slipped back to paragraph (a).
§ Mr. Lewis
Either the hon. Gentleman has been out of the House or he needs an electronic hearing aid, which no doubt he could obtain from the Post Office. I thought I was courting a rebuke from Mr. Speaker by going into the matter in too much detail, because I dealt with the whole question of remuneration under paragraph (a). If I were to seek to go into it any further, Mr. Speaker would rule that I was guilty of tedious repetition, I suspect. There is so much in the Schedule that is loosely worded. I could quarrel with almost every one of its provisions.
§ Mr. Stephen Hastings (Mid-Bedfordshire)
I suggest that it might get the hon. Gentleman out of his difficulty on (b) if my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) would now accept that in the view of many of us he would be very satisfied if the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) were to join the board or even be its chairman.
§ Mr. Lewis
The House might welcome that suggestion, but I doubt whether it would be acceptable to the old or the new Government Chief Whip or to the Postmaster-General. Nevertheless, the hon. Member has stressed my point that this should be specified so that the Minister cannot wriggle out. The Postmaster-General and I are good friends, but though he might think this a good idea he might not be in that office in two or three days' time, and his successor might not agree. I should like to see this provision spelled out.
1500 Paragraph 5 states:If the Minister is satisfied that a member of a Board—I really want to go to town on this provision.(a) has without the permission of the Board been absent from meetings of the Board for a continuous period exceeding six months …
The newspapers are today castigating workers for taking one day off for a strike tomorrow. To be fair, some hon. Members are also castigated because they spend a week or a few days at Ascot or Epsom. If this provision goes through, a member of the Board will not only have an unspecified salary, perhaps free meals, and expenses ad lib., but may, in addition, have six months leave of absence. Beyond that period, we are told, the Minister "may" decide to do something.
This is the way to solve our industrial difficulties. We would not need "In Place of Strife". All we need to say to the workers is "You can have six months off with pay, and after that we shall consider what we will do with you". We would have no trouble in industry then. There would not be a strike in the whole country. Let us pay all workers £20,000 or £30,000 a year, give them free meals and cars, and tell them, "You can have six months off with pay, and after that we shall consider whether or not to take action against you", and I can assure my right hon. Friend the First Secretary that there would then be no strikes. Jacky Dash and company would not mind £20,000 or £30,000 a year on those conditions—
§ Sir Arthur Vere Harvey (Macclesfield)
Would it not be cheaper and more efficient to give the Government six months off with full pay?
§ Mr. Lewis
That is exactly what I was about to say, Mr. Speaker. It is an interesting speculation, but it does not come within the new Schedule.
Paragraph 5(b) speaks of a member of the board who… has become bankrupt or made an arrangement with his creditors …This is just amazing. These people are to be paid this money, and we are to 1501 allow them to become bankrupts. Hon. Members may laugh, but this is not a laughable matter. The hon. Members for Macclesfield (Sir A. V. Harvey) spoke of the Government. One of the faults of the Government is that they are paying out too much money—
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Lewis
In the circumstances mentioned, the Minister should say that such members should be dismissed or should have their salaries stopped. In this case, action should be taken. It would be a practical way of saving Government expenditure when most people, and certainly those within the industry and within the telecommunications trade unions, would support.
Sub-paragraph (c) is also interesting. It refers to a member of the board who… has by reason of illness or any other cause become unable or unfit to act as a member of the Board …To speak of illness as a reason is fair enough, but the phrase "any other cause" is a bit too loose. If a member of the board went on an overseas visit for two or three months, would no action be taken, as he would be within the six-month period? The present position is that a member of the public can remain abroad for six months or more and completely evade taxation—
§ Mr. Lewis
In that 12 months one could have two six-month periods, and the person concerned could find that he was not to be removed from his job.
In those various circumstances;The Minister may"—it does not say that the Minister "shall" or "must",… in such manner as he thinks fit, declare that person's office as a member of the Board to have become vacant.I do not see why this preferential treatment should be meted out to one section of the population.
1502 I have to return to the dockers because they form the major section in my constituency. They are always being attacked by everyone. If a docker were to stay away for six months—he could not afford to do so, of course—or did half the things that are mentioned here, would it be said that his employers might consider giving him notice? I know what would happen. That man would get his notice long before the six months were up. I cannot see why these people should be treated any differently—
§ Captain Orr
The hon. Gentleman reminds me that we have this six-month provision in local government.
§ Mr. Lewis
That may be so, but I am not responsible for what local authorities do. But I am responsible for deciding whether or not to support the new Clause, and I say that it just is not good enough. I cannot be blamed for what happens in local authorities, but if I support the new Clause I can be blamed for that. I do not think that these people should get this preferential treatment. However, I do not want to speak at length on that, because some of my hon. Friends may wish to speak—
§ Mr. Lewis
The Assistant Postmaster-General says that I have chased them away. I have not moved from this spot and I have never chased anyone. I am not the Chief Whip—I do not need to chase anyone.
I believe that I am the only hon. Member on this side who has spoken. I waited to see if there was anybody who wished to speak.
§ Mr. Lewis
I go back to the new Clause. I know that the Postmaster-General will thank me for my help on this matter. No doubt I have given him a number of reasons why he should not accept the new Clause. I hope that he will realise that this is the general attitude taken by most workers in industry to the new Schedule, and he ought to take that attitude into account in any appointments which are made as a result of the Bill.
§ Mr. Mawby
The hon. Member has amused himself for a considerable time and has dealt with a great deal of minutiae. Indeed he asked me a number of questions about the new Schedule. I do not propose to say any more than that it is the normal standard form which is normally applied in any Act of Parliament when one is setting up a board.
The major issue is to consider exactly what monopoly powers are being handed over to the Corporation under the Bill if it remains unamended. In Committee we sought to ensure that the new Minister of Posts and Telecommunications would, as it were, be able to hold the corner in any dispute which might occur between the Corporation and any person applying for a licence or appealing against revocation of a licence. It is important to consider what is involved.
The number of Amendments which it has been agreed we should discuss indicates clearly to the House the extent of the monopoly powers which will be granted to the Corporation. One has only to look at Clause 24, which is covered by Amendment No. 78 in which my hon. Friend seeks to delete paragraph (c), to see that the Clause lays down the exclusive privilege of the Post Office in respect of telecommunications. If one takes that in conjunction with Clauses 26 and 27, one sees that no method of communication of any sort can be undertaken without a licence from the Post Office, except by two people talking eyeball to eyeball. This shows the extent of the monopoly.
The Postmaster-General at present enjoys wide monopoly powers. As Minister he appears in this House at Question Time and replies to debates on behalf of his Department. Once the Bill is passed the Corporation will become master in its own house and the new Minister will have no way of demanding that the Corporation shall or shall not issue a licence.
We must ask whether it is right and proper to allow the Bill to go through without some form of appeal procedure by which somebody who is affected will be able to appear before an appeal board. Several sections of the community would be involved, including the wire relay services. We have an Amendment for discussion later which deals with those services, so I shall not go into them in detail.
1504 In our earlier deliberations the Postmaster-General made it clear that in future the Post Office intend to work towards the development of serving homes with a single-wire system, which would include the reading of gas and electricity meters, and would also provide a wire service for television and radio. He made it clear that this was one of the aims. I see no reason that the Corporation should not do this if it so desires, and I make no complaint about it. But the wire service will face the situation that it will need to apply to its main competitor, or prospective competitor, for a licence to operate. This is quite wrong and goes against the whole principle of the way in which this matter has been handled in the past.
A second important matter which was raised in Committee is that the new Corporation will enjoy complete monopoly powers in the operation of the telecommunications system. It will insist that every subscriber must take a Post Office installed telephone and that only the Post Office may maintain it, and, in a wider context, where a building has more than 50 phones the Post Office will insist that the occupier of the building shall purchase the system of properly proved equipment, including automatic branch exchange and all the other equipment. When it is installed the Post Office Corporation will take it over, operate it, and will insist on carrying out all maintenance.
There are organisations in this country which are quite happy to instal complete telephone systems both internal and external and to recover their money on a rental basis. This means that the man whose concern produces cement or ball bearings, or whatever it may be, does not have to tie up a large amount of capital in buying a telephone system for his office block. By having a system on the rental principle he can pay for it from income rather than capital. In many buildings the occupier has installed a system for internal purposes which is modern and efficient and each person in the building is able to communicate quickly with someone else in the building. But when someone wishes to communicate with a person in a branch office down the road another phone must be used which is maintained by the Post Office. That is the first point: a businessman does not have the choice of either 1505 tying up his capital in an expensive telephone system or being able to rent a telephone system.
The other point concerns the difference which would be made to the Post Office Corporation. The need for capital in the Corporation is very great; demand is growing all the time. It is plain that for some time the Corporation will be forced to have a system of priorities because under its system of borrowing from the Treasury the amount of capital made available to it from year to year will be restricted. If it could concentrate upon main trunk lines and main exchanges and supply a number of lines to an establishment which was prepared to install to the proper standard G.P.O. approved equipment, it would save the Corporation a large amount of capital and would enable it to use that capital to extend the telephone system much faster.
At the moment, if we have a problem, we can ask the Postmaster-General about it. He usually gives a dusty answer. But in future we shall not be able to ask him questions. Therefore, we shall not even get a dusty answer. The Corporation will be in a different position from any other nationalised industry. The gas and electricity industries are in competition with other suppliers of heat and light. Therefore, they are not in a monopoly position. But the Post Office is in a monopoly position. Secondly, if the electricity board runs an electricity supply to our homes, that does not mean that we must buy our radio, television set or refrigerator from it. We have a choice. However, the electricity board would soon be on us if we installed substandard equipment. Therefore, there is reasonable protection for the consumer and for the supply authority. The consumer can say, "I will see what the local electricity showrooms have and then I will go down the road to discover what a private enterprise sale room has to offer". He has a choice.
I see no reason why the consumer should not have a choice in this matter. I do not believe that if we change the Bill thousands of Post Office users will rush to say, "We wan tto install our own instrument". But I see no reason why they should not have the opportunity of doing so. What would happen very quickly would be that a number of proprietors would cease to duplicate their communications 1506 equipment on every executive's desk in the building. This can come about only if somebody is holding the corner. If the Post Office Corporation is approached, it will be able to say, "We are very sorry but we believe that no other person should be allowed to handle or maintain our equipment". The rental organisation will probably say, "If we cannot maintain the equipment we cannot rent it to you. We can look after the internal equipment, but we cannot allow you to have the other equipment on a hire purchase or rental basis".
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present;
§ House counted, and, 40 Members being present—
§ 7.8 p.m.
§ Mr. Mawby
If people feel that the Corporation is unnecessarily extending its monopoly powers, there should be an appeal body to which they can turn. It should be served by people of high technical ability who will be able to make a fair and impartial decision on whether the Corporation is wrongly using its monopoly powers.
We are in an age of fast communications development. There is the development of optical broadcasting. We are entering fields which, not many years ago, man never dreamed of. We must not do anything in the Bill which prevents the Corporation from fully exploiting new developments. That is the last thing we should wish to do. On the other hand, we must not give it so much power that it can insist on maintaining a monopoly position and thereby deter or retard developments. What would have happened if the railways had been given the right to control all transport communications? Would the aircraft industry have got off the ground? I may be entering the realms of fantasy, but it would be undesirable if we had a monopoly which insisted upon using its power and refused to allow anyone to provide an alternative service.
There is also the vexed question of the use of common services, a matter with which we dealt at length in Committee. My hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) referred to an Amendment dealing with penalties for anyone in breach of the provisions of Clause 24. If someone may be in breach 1507 of Clause 24, he ought to be able to know what is a crime and what is not.
Common services are covered by Clauses 24, 25, 26 and 27 and a number of examples of the sort of situation which they would cover were given in Standing Committee. The right hon. Gentleman was very forthcoming about what he thought the Corporation would seek to do. For instance, he gave us an assurance about toy boats on a pond. I accept that he and those who would represent the Corporation meant every word they said, but there are many things which are common services.
For instance, people in a block of flats may share a button system at the door so that there is speaker communication between their flats and the front door of the block. If such a system were covered, there would have to be a licence from the Corporation. But the situation ought to be made much clearer to the ordinary citizen who wants to know whether he will break the law if he goes ahead with whatever he has planned.
If there were such a board as is suggested, it might decide that licences for some of these common services was taking monopoly power too far and it might decide that some no longer required to be licensed. Such a decision would clear the air. I have no doubt that those in control of the Corporation would adopt the attitude which the G.P.O. has always adopted and adapt themselves to new situations as they arose.
I do not accuse anyone of deliberately going out of his way to upset people, but we cannot allow a Bill to go through when it will require a person or a group of persons to apply to the main competitor for a new licence. The only way to get over that is to accept the principle of the new Clause.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) and I do not expect the Clause to be word perfect. But if the principle were to be adopted, we would accept the assurance of the Postmaster-General that he would provide appropriate words to incorporate the principle. If he is not prepared to accept the principle, I shall expect my hon. Friends to go into the Lobby to vote for it.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
On a point of order. As the Postmaster-General has now risen, it is probably a fair inference that the debate is drawing to its close. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether you can protect the rights of back benchers if the Closure is moved after the Postmaster-General sits down. Some of us have been waiting since a quarter to four to take part in the debate. If the Closure is moved it will be the second time today that back benchers, who have been very patient, will not have been able to participate in important debates because of long speeches. I hope that we can count on your protection of our rights in these circumstances.
§ Mr. Speaker
When the hon. Member has been in Parliament a little longer he will know that that is a very old gambit. Mr. Speaker, however, never discusses Closures.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
It would be useful if the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Kenneth Baker) had a conversation with his hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings). If the manœuvre of the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire had been successful, the debate would not be continuing even now.
I am delighted to be able to follow the hon. Member for Totnes (Mr. Mawby), who has considerable experience of these matters and played a distinguished part in our proceedings in Standing Committee. Many of the points which he ventilated this evening were discussed in Standing Committee and he will not want me to comment again upon each of them. However, I want to refer to the supply of equipment for subscribers, because there is much misunderstanding about this subject.
He referred to the example of the electricity and gas boards. They connect a supply to a home and the customer is able to buy the equipment—the gas stove or the electric stove, or the electric fire—from any supplier. Provided that the appliance is fitted by someone with proper experience and training, the gas board 1509 or electricity board would raise no objection. It has been suggested today and earlier that telephone installation should be similarly arranged and that it should be possible for a customer to have lines connected to a house and then choose the equipment he wishes from any supplier.
It is an interesting suggestion, but it is defective on this main ground. The communications system of the Post Office is dissimilar from the supply of electricity or gas, which is in one direction. The communications system of the Post Office works in two or more directions. If inadequate or badly maintained equipment is attached to the system, it is not only embarrassing to the subscriber but a handicap to the system as a whole, and it could be extremely dangerous—and I use that word again—if inadequate equipment were installed.
In the last few months we have had the example of mock antique phones drawn to our attention. Many Japanese mock antique phones have been imported and many have been sold. If they are installed for purely domestic use or internal communication within a house or club there is no objection, but if they are attached to a system they could prove dangerous to the system and a handicap not only to correct reception of calls on that telephone but an interference with other calls, and they could mess up the complicated equipment at our exchanges. That is why we have had to say that it is not possible for such unauthorised equipment to be attached to the system, and that is why the suggestion of freedom of supply for subscribers cannot be accepted.
§ Captain Orr
I thank the Postmaster-General for giving way; he is always courteous. He says that he could not permit unauthorised attachments. Surely it is possible to lay down—and it has been done in the Post Office—a specification governing these things and to say that provided instruments comply with that specification anybody would be permitted to attach them to the system.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
This is already done for certain PABXs to ensure that these are attached to the system and work effectively and efficiently. It would be unwise to widen this freedom in the way suggested, because the way in which we 1510 need to supervise the proper running of the communications system is extremely important.
A number of hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis), raised the question of relay companies and their position. They are operating a communications network that is caught by the monopoly. If a communications network is operated by a business purely internally, it is not caught by the monopoly, but if a communications system links third persons to a network it is an infringement of the existing Post Office monopoly.
The existing Post Office monopoly is being transferred to the Post Office Corporation. The relay companies are being allowed to continue their systems on licence from the Post Office Corporation in the same way as they continue now to operate with a licence from the Postmaster-General.
I gave an assurance in Committee on 13th February that the position of the companies would be protected at least until 1976. I went on to say:They are in no different a situation from the programme companies under I.T.A. They are not given any guarantee that they will be able to continue after that date, because the whole of broadcasting is going to be subjected to a fundamental review. It would not be right if the relay companies were given any exemption from that review. It is important that that review should be without prejudice to the future, and the reason why we have given this assurance until 1976 is to allow that review to be conducted."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee D, 13th February, 1969; c. 758–9.]The relay companies know their position. It has been made crystal clear to them. They will understand that it would be unfair to pre-empt the fundamental review of broadcasting which could change the pattern fundamentally from 1976 onwards. The programme companies of I.T.A. are in exactly the same position. I gave a similar assurance on 18th February at column 789. This is the only answer that I can give to the points which have been raised concerning the relay firms. We can go no further than that assurance, which is a fairly liberal one and will give them security for a large number of years.
The hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) raised a number of questions. In particular, he referred to Clause 27(6) 1511 and asked a number of questions about it in relation to subsection (1) of that Clause. The presence of subsection (6) does not mean that subsection (1) is ineffective. The Post Office has to get the consent of the Minister to the issue of a monopoly licence, but Clause 27(6) protects the licensee from prosecution if the Minister did not give a proper consent owing to a mistake. That is the reason why this is included.
The hon. Member has spoken to his Amendments which would delete paragraph (c) of Clause 24(1). If he looks at Clauses 25 and 26, he will see that that subsection is qualified particularly by Clause 25(2), which states:In the case of a business carried on by a person, the said privilege is not infringed by the running, for the purposes of that business, of a systemwhich is situated in the United Kingdom provided that the messages are carried for the persons employed in the business.
The purpose of that subsection is to make clear that if there is a communications system within a business, it does not fall within the monopoly. Therefore, this deals not only with the point which has been raised, but also with the points raised by hon. Members who wondered why there should not be a data communications system between, say, different section of a Press chain. That can be done. They can have a communications system. It is not caught by the monopoly if it is conducted in a business which is owned by a single firm.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
Yes, of course it would be caught, because they would be communicating between different parts of the United Kingdom; but if they communicate within their own organisation, it is not caught. That is the point I wanted to make clear.
The suggestion that we should delete paragraphs (c) and (d) of Clause 24(1) did not, I think, carry the weight which was suggested, because there are these exceptions to the monopoly.
§ Mr. Peyton
Although they have not been selected, I have put down some Amendments to modify the Clause to 1512 which the right hon. Gentleman has referred. May I ask him to comment on the horror of impartation?
§ Mr. Stonehouse
The hon. Member is referring to subsection (1)(c) of Clause 24. That is a form of words designed particularly to catch technological developments which could infringe the existing monopoly. This is extremely important. The monopoly is not simply in a particular form of communication. It is intended to be in all forms of communication. If we were to allow the other developments of communications systems to infringe the monopoly, the whole purpose of the Bill—which is to transfer to the Post Office Corporation the monopoly at present enjoyed by the Postmaster-General—would be undermined. It is to protect the Post Office Corporation against the infringement of its monopoly by a technological development that is caught by paragraph (c) that subsection (1) is included.
The hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr), who moved new Clause No. 7, has done a tremendous amount of homework on the subject. I congratulate him on the amount of time and expertise that he has devoted to it. He has suggested that there should be a new and completely separate board which wouldhave power to license the provision and performance of postal and telecommunications services, including any facilities or services ancillary or incidental to any such services, whether generally or in any area or for any purpose or by any means or system specified in the licence.That is an extremely wide power. The outstanding objection to it is that it infringes the very monopoly that it is the intention of the Bill to transfer from the Post Office as a Department of State to the Post Office Corporation.
Furthermore, if the House will direct its attention to subsection (4)(b) it will notice that it will be possible to authorise not only the carving up of sections of the business which are now enjoyed by the Post Office, but to authorise competitive business, andin addition to any service or facilities then provided by the Post Office".This means that there would be duplicated services; there would be competition in the area where the Post Office now enjoys a monopoly in the provision 1513 of telephones or in the provision of postal deliveries or in any other service in which the Post Office now enjoys a monopoly.
That is why I emphasise to the House that, although this may appear to be an innocent proposal, it is, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, a fundamental proposition which undermines the whole concept of the monopoly which it is the real intention of this Bill to transfer.
§ Captain Orr
I am much obliged to the Postmaster-General for giving way again. What it does is to make the new board the custodian of the monopoly, and I think that that is right. If I may just take up one point which the Postmaster-General made just now, when he was talking about the possibility of competition with the monopoly, I would point out that this already exists. There are private enterprise concerns operating radio telephones at this very minute, and they are in competition with the telephone service and will increasingly be so. Why should not that exist? Why should there not be an impartial judge between them and the Post Office?
§ Mr. Stonehouse
For the overwhelming reason that the monopoly should be protected. If we are to have an efficient telephone and telecommunications network in this country it can be more effectively developed by having a nationally integrated monopoly, rather than by having the monopoly eaten away piecemeal, as would be possible if this board were set up.
The other objection, of course, to this board is that it would be able to operate without reference to this House. If it is the intention of the Opposition, if they should ever win an election, to dismember the telecommunications monopoly—and they have not come completely clean about that, but if that is their intention—then the appropriate thing for them to do, if they have a majority in this House, is to bring a Bill to the House and have it properly debated; Parliament should have the opportunity of making a decision about this. If we were to allow this board to be set up it would be possible for the board to carve up the telecommunications—indeed, the postal—monopoly in a way which Parliament has not intended, 1514 as shown by the approval of the main purpose of the Bill.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
I think I had better not give way. I think we had better get on. We have been a very long time on this.
There is another objection, a minor one compared with the main objection to the proposal for the new board, and that is that it would be a bureaucratic machine. It is extraordinary that hon. Gentlemen opposite, who very vigorously from time to time attack the setting up of new Governmental institutions and boards of all descriptions, who object to the building up of the Civil Service, who are wholly against skilled manpower being absorbed in the public service, and who are always asking that skilled manpower should be released for productive work in industry—it is extraordinary that they should be suggesting the setting up of a board which would be bound to absorb a lot of skilled manpower, particularly technically skilled manpower, and would be bound to be very expensive, and, because it would be wedged in between Parliament and the Minister on the one hand and the Post Office on the other, would be bound to develop in a bureaucratic way. It is extraordinary that they of all people should be proposing that this board be set up.
These are the principal reasons why I would oppose the board suggested, and, similarly, I would oppose any appeal as suggested in new Clause 8, because all these suggestions have the effect of undermining the monopoly which it is the intention of the Bill should be transferred to the Post Office Corporation.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Down, South said there were extensions of monopoly under this Bill. He is misinformed about that. There is no extension of monopoly. All this Bill is doing is transferring the existing monopoly of the Postmaster-General to the Post Office Corporation. All that we are doing in this process of this Bill is clarifying what the monopoly actually means. This has encouraged the hon. and gallant Gentleman to raise objections to various parts of the Bill and to say that there is an extension of monopoly.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman went on to say that the new Corporation will 1515 control competitors in all sorts of fields. That is exactly the intention. It is the intention that the Post Office should have the monopoly and be able to control potential competitors. That is what it is all about. If there are objections being raised to that I am delighted that there are objections, because that shows we are achieving what we are aiming to achieve. We want the monopoly to be transferred from the Postmaster-General to the public Corporation which is to be given the existing monopoly of the Post Office. That is what we want to achieve and that is what we are achieving.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman went on to take examples from the United States. He gave the examples of the F.C.C. and C.A.V.T., but no comparisons can be made with the situation in the United States, where companies operating in this field are private companies and must be subject to some public control. That will not be the situation here. We will have a public corporation subject to control, under the provisions of this Bill, by a sponsoring Minister. Therefore, the sort of control which is set up in America is entirely inappropriate here.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman went on to talk about the A.T.L.B. which is being subjected to review by the Edwards Committee at this time. We do not know what will come out of that, but what is true about the A.T.L.B. is that it operates in a field where there is not a monopoly by B.O.A.C. or B.E.A., but where there is a mixed economy situation where B.O.A.C. and B.E.A. are operatingg in competition with private airlines. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] The hon. and gallant Gentleman is coming clean. This is exactly what he wants to achieve in this field. I am entirely opposed to him on that, and that is why I am opposed to having a similar sort of board to the A.T.L.B. set up in this field. It is completely unnecessary—unless we agree with the philosophy of hon. Gentlemen opposite. If we agree to their philosophy I can understand that this board would have some function. But we do not agree with their philosophy. We are entirely opposed to their philosophy. We want to maintain the monopoly, and this board, in that context, would be entirely superfluous.
1516 There have been all sorts of other comparisons made, but, of course, there is no board for the gas and electricity industries, because Parliament has seen fit to give the gas and electricity industries a monopoly, and this is a field where monopoly is applicable, as in the field where the Post Office Corporation is to be given a monopoly. There is no transport board to operate in relation to British Railways, in the way suggested for this board by this new Clause. Where there is a monopoly granted by Parliament such a suggestion is entirely inappropriate.
As this proposal as put forward by the hon. and gallant Gentleman and his hon. Friends on that side of the House is such a fundamental undermining of the main purpose behind this Bill, I have to advise the House that it should be opposed when we have the Division.
§ Mr. Bryan
I congratulate my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) for the work that he has put into the Clause. He has done an expert job, and I am delighted to support him.
I would have welcomed a board of this sort many years ago, even when my party was in power. There is not the slightest doubt that had our manufacturers had the sort of freedom that the board would have given them they would have done better in the export markets. There is evidence to show that this is the case in respect of almost all the companies in the telecommunications industry. I do not doubt that the consumers would also have benefited.
But quite apart from the practical and material benefits there is an element of justice about the provisions in the Clause. It creates the right of appeal. Never throughout the Postmaster-General's speech did we hear the word "appeal". It did not occur to him that people want to be able to appeal against decisions which adversely affect them. The right of appeal operates all the way through our law, but for some reason it is thought to be inappropriate in the case of the Post Office.
I have already said that I would have liked to see such a board as is proposed in the Clause in days gone by. The case was strong then, but it is far stronger now, 1517 because we are in an entirely new situation. The Post Office, at least, was under Parliamentary scrutiny. The Postmaster-General now answers and gives an account of his office before the House of Commons. But under the new establishment which will operate from 1st October onwards there will be no scrutiny of the Posit Office. It will be in an entirely new position. That is why a new independent commission is required.
The right hon. Gentleman's very speech underlines the requirement for such a body. He has told us why something is inadequate and why it is objectionable, but who is he to say that it is objectionable? He can say it if he likes, but every citizen should be able to appeal against a decision of this sort. The Minister may get it wrong. Time and again experts and technical men disagree among themselves, and they are always thinking in terms of a right of appeal.
No other country functions as we do. Other countries cannot understand how a nation like ours—highly sophisticated in law and highly inventive in machinery and manufacturing—can sit down under not monopoly rules but dictatorial rules. The Post Office will be a dictator, and not just a monopoly or a commission. The Postmaster-General had the effrontery to say that the relay position would be a liberal one, and that relay companies now knew and understood the situation. They may know and understand it, but they do not approve it, because it is laughable. The Postmaster-General seems to have talked himself into feeling that it is all very well, but let us consider the situation that will arise.
We are supposed to go to our competitors for permission to operate. We have been promised that we shall not be upset and that we shall be given what we want, but the basic background is wrong. At the end there is no appeal. We are told that there is no need for an appeal, because we shall always be given what we want. That is not the way the law usually operates, and I cannot understand why it has not sunk into the right hon. Gentleman's mind that this is a unique situation in Britain. We do not treat our citizens in this way in any other regard. We shall be discussing the relay system in greater detail when we reach Amendment No. 91.
1518 7.45 p.m.
The Post Office is the sole authority for allocating frequencies. By any normal rule it is unfair, because the G.P.O. is one of the main users of the frequencies. Once again, therefore, the Post Office is acting as judge in its own cause. It is one of the interested parties. Surely there should be an appeal against its decisions.
Even if some of the main users are not under the Post Office they consist of many Government Departments. Who, now, can challenge the rights of the defence services to have the wavelengths that they now have? No doubt they needed what they had in the years when their services were bigger. But nobody will be able to say that some of these wavelengths must be free now because the defence forces are only half what they were. Nobody is allowed to do that. The Post Office says that we may not ask, and that there is no appeal. We must take it as it is. Many experts believe that there are grave doubts whether wavelengths are being used as efficiently as possible.
We cannot accept this brushing aside of all foreign experience. The great thing about foreign experience—never mind the technical part of it—is that it can be seen to be just. My hon. Friend mentioned, in passing, the case of the Carterfone. We have raised this matter from time to time, because it is a straight example of the situation that we are advocating. The report from the F.C.C. reads:The examiner found that there was a need and a demand for a device to connect the telephone landline system with mobile radio systems which could be met in part by the Carterfone. He also found that the Carterfone had no material adverse effect upon use of the telephone system. He construed the tariff to prohibit attachment of the Carterfone whether or not it harmed the telephone system, and determined that future prohibition of its use would be unjust and unreasonable. He also found that it would be unduly discriminatory under Section 202(a) of the Act, since the telephone companies permit the use of their own interconnecting devices.That is an absolutely just appraisal. The rules have been made by the Bell Telephone Company, presumably, just as the Post Office makes its rules now. Then the F.C.C. examiner found for the objectors. That cannot happen in this country. We are told that we cannot put the appliance at the end of our telephone line. We cannot challenge that decision in any way.
1519 If the number of appeals won amounted to only one in 100 it would still be right to have a right of appeal. I do not mind what system we have so long as it contains the element of a right of appeal. That is the most important element of all.
The Bell Telephone Co. of Canada has an Act dated 7th March, 1968. Section 5(4) says:For the protection of the subscribers of the Company and of the public, any equipment apparatus, line, circuit or device not provided by the company shall only be attached to the apparatus in conformity with such reasonable requirements as may be prescribed by the Company.That is reasonable. Then there is the second element. Subsection (5) provides thatThe Canadian Transport Commission"—the appeal body—may determine, as questions of fact, whether or not any requirements … are reasonable.There we have an outside body deciding whether the original rules are right. Thirdly, subsection (6) provides that:Any person who is affected by any requirements prescribed by the Company … may apply to the Canadian Transport Commission to determine the reasonableness …An individual is given the right of appeal. Finally:The decision of the Commission is subject to review and appeal pursuant to the Railway Act.Even that is subject to appeal. The situation is that a monopoly lays down the rules and an outside body then decides whether or not they are fair. Care is taken to preserve the right of appeal for an individual's grievance. These are obvious elements in any just and efficient arrangement.
§ Therefore, thinking in terms of our history, it is unbelievable that the Post Office should have this dictatorial power. It is even more unbelievable when one considers the size of the field in which it has that power without appeal, and the growing size of the field. All hon. Members agree on this. We keep speaking about how much telecommunications will grow and how we do not know where it will end, but there is still this completely unjust basis for its expansion.
§ I agree with the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney) that all sorts of adventurous inventions are killed by our system. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) that the opportunities which are thrown away make one desperate. When my right hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Mr. Marples) toured the Bell telephone system abroad, he kept coming across Englishmen in high positions who felt that their opportunities lay there.
§ The very nature of this Clause shows that a lot of thought has been given. It is not merely a gesture. For that reason, I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman treated it seriously and tried to answer it in detail. But, throughout, he was fascinated by his monopoly, and anyone who challenged it was ridiculous and wrong. He could not conceive that he might be wrong on this question of an appeal. If he cannot understand that, he is not worth debating with.
§ Mr. Ernest G. Perry (Battersea, North)
rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.
§ Question put, That the Question be now put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 235, Noes 180.1523
|Division No. 181.]||AYES||[7.53 p.m.|
|Albu, Austen||Bishop, E. S.||Carmichael, Neil|
|Allaun Frank (Salford, E.)||Blackburn, F.||Carter-Jones, Lewis|
|Alldritt, Walter||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara|
|Anderson, Donald||Boston, Terence||Chapman, Donald|
|Archer, Peter||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Coleman, Donald|
|Ashley, Jack||Boyden, James||Conlan, Bernard|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Bradley, Tom||Corbet, Mrs. Freda|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Crawshaw, Richard|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Dalyell, Tam|
|Bagier, Cordon A. T.||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Darling, Rt. Hn. George|
|Barnes, Michael||Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)|
|Barnett, Joel||Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Buchan, Norman||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)|
|Binns, John||Cant, R. B.||Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Pannell, Rt Hn. Charles|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Park, Trevor|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Delargy, Hugh||Judd, Frank||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Dell, Edmund||Kelley, Richard||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Dempsey, James||Kenyon, Clifford||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Dewar, Donald||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Dickens, James||Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)||Pentland, Norman|
|Dobson, Ray||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Doig, Peter||Lawson, George||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Leadbitter, Ted||Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Lee, John (Reading)||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Lomas, Kenneth||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Eadie, Alex||Luard, Evan||Price William (Rugby)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Probert, Arthur|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Rankin, John|
|Ellis, John||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Rees, Merlyn|
|English, Michael||McBride, Neil||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Ennals, David||McCann, John||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy|
|Ensor, David||MacColl, James||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)|
|Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Macdonald, A. H.||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Finch, Harold||McGuire, Michael||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir Eric (Islington, E.)||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Rose, Paul|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Mackie, John||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mackintosh, John P.||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Maclennan, Robert||Sheldon, Robert|
|Ford, Ben||McNamara, J. Kevin||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Forrester, John||MacPherson, Malcolm||Shore, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Fowler, Gerry||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Silverman, Julius|
|Gardner, Tony||Manuel, Archie||Slater, Joseph|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mapp, Charles||Small, William|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Marks, Kenneth||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Marquand, David||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Gregory, Arnold||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Grey, Charles (Durham)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mendelson, John||Taverne, Dick|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mikardo, Ian||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Millan, Bruce||Thornton, Ernest|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Tinn, James|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Molloy, William||Tomney, Frank|
|Haseldine, Norman||Moonman, Eric||Urwin, T. W.|
|Hattersley, Roy||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Wallace, George|
|Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Morris, John (Aberavon)||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Hilton, W. S.||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Hobden, Dennis||Murray, Albert||Wellbeloved, James|
|Hooley, Frank||Neal, Harold||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Newens, Stan||Whitlock, William|
|Howie, W.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Oakes, Gordon||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Ogden, Eric||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||O'Malley, Brian||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Hunter, Adam||Oram, Albert E.||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Hynd, John||Orbach, Maurice||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Orme, Stanley||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Oswald, Thomas||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Jeger, George (Goole)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)||Woof, Robert|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St. P'cras, S.)||Owen, Will (Morpeth)|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Paget, R. T.||Mr. Charles R. Morris and|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Palmer, Arthur||Mr. Joseph Harper.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Costain, A. P.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Body, Richard||Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)|
|Amery Rt. Hn. Julian||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Crouch, David|
|Astor, John||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Cunningham, Sir Knox|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Dance, dames|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Bryan, Paul||Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.)|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M)||Dean, Paul|
|Balniel, Lord||Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Bullus, Sir Eric||Drayson, G. B.|
|Batsford, Brian||Burden, F. A.||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Bell, Ronald||Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.)||Eden, Sir John|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Emery, Peter|
|Bessell, Peter||Clark, Henry||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Clegg, Walter||Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen)|
|Ewing, Mrs. Winifred||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Royle, Anthony|
|Farr, John||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Fortescue, Tim||Longden, Gilbert||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Lubbock, Eric||Scott, Nicholas|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||MacArthur, Ian||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty)||Sharples, Richard|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Goodhart, Philip||McMaster, Stanley||Silvester, Frederick|
|Goodhew, Victor||McNair-Wilson, M. (Walthamstow, E.)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Gower, Raymond||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)|
|Grant, Anthony||Maginnis, John E.||Speed, Keith|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Stainton, Keith|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Marten, Neil||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Grieve, Percy||Maude, Angus||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mawby, Ray||Tapsell, Peter|
|Gurden, Harold||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Taylor Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Monro, Hector||Temple, John M.|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Montgomery, Fergus||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||More, Jasper||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Hawkins, Paul||Murton, Oscar||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Walters, Dennis|
|Heseltine, Michael||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Hiley, Joseph||Onslow, Cranley||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Hill, J. E. B.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Holland, Philip||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Wiggin, A. W.|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Hornby, Richard||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Peel, John||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Hunt, John||Percival, Ian||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Peyton, John||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Pink, R. Bonner||Worsley, Marcus|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pounder, Rafton||Wright, Esmond|
|Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Wylie, N. R.|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Prior, J. M. L.||Younger, Hn. George|
|Jopling, Michael||Pym, Francis|
|Kerby, Capt. Henry||Quennell, Miss J. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Mr. R. W. Elliott and|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Mr. Timothy Kitson.|
|Lane, David||Ridsdale, Julian|
§ Question put accordingly, That the Clause be read a Second time:—1524
§ The House divided: Ayes 180, Noes 238.1527
|Division No. 182.]||AYES||[8.3 p.m.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Crouch, David||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Cunningham, Sir Knox||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)|
|Astor, John||Dance, James||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.)||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Dean, Paul||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Harvie Anderson, Miss|
|Balniel, Lord||Drayson, G. B.||Hastings, Stephen|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Hawkins, Paul|
|Batsford, Brian||Eden, Sir John||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel|
|Bell, Ronald||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Heseltine, Michael|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Emery, Peter||Higgins, Terence L.|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Errington, Sir Eric||Hiley, Joseph|
|Bessell, Peter||Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen)||Hill, J. E. B.|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Ewing, Mrs. Winifred||Hirst, Geoffrey|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Farr, John||Holland, Philip|
|Body, Richard||Fortescue, Tim||Hooson, Emlyn|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Hordern, Peter|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Hornby, Richard|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Bryan, Paul||Glover, Sir Douglas||Hunt, John|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M)||Goodhart, Philip||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Goodhew, Victor||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Gower, Raymond||Irvine, Bryant Goodman (Rye)|
|Burden, F. A.||Grant, Anthony||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.)||Grant-Ferris, R.||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Gresham Cooke, R.||Jopling, Michael|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Grieve, Percy||Kerby, Capt. Henry|
|Clegg, Walter||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Costain, A. P.||Gurden, Harold||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)|
|Kitson, Timothy||Onslow, Cranley||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Lane, David||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Longden, Gilbert||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Lubbock, Eric||Peel, John||Temple, John M.|
|MacArthur, Ian||Percival, Ian||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty)||Peyton, John||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Pink, R. Bonner||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|McMaster, Stanley||Pounder, Rafton||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|McNair-Wilson, M. (Walthamstow, E.)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Prior, J. M. L.||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Maginnis, John E.||Pym, Francis||Walters, Dennis|
|Marples, Rt, Hn. Ernest||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Marten, Neil||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Maude, Angus||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Mawby, Ray||Ridsdale, Julian||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Wiggin, A. W.|
|Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Royle, Anthony||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Russell, Sir Ronald||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Monro, Hector||St. John-Stevas, Norman||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Scott, Nicholas||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|More, Jasper||Scott-Hopkins, James||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Sharples, Richard||Worsley, Marcus|
|Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Wright, Esmond|
|Wylie, N. R.|
|Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Silvester, Frederick||Younger, Hn. George|
|Murton, Oscar||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Speed, Keith||Mr. R. W. Elliott and|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Stainton, Keith||Mr. Reginald Eyre.|
|Albu, Austen||Dickens, James||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Dobson, Ray||Hunter, Adam|
|Alldritt, Walter||Doig, Peter||Hynd, John|
|Anderson, Donald||Dunnett, Jack||Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)|
|Archer, Peter||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)|
|Ashley, Jack||Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Jeger, George (Goole)|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Eadie, Alex||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St P'cras, S.)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Edelman, Maurice||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Ellis, John||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Barnes, Michael||English, Michael||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham S.)|
|Barnett, Joel||Ennals, David||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Ensor, David||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Judd, Frank|
|Binns, John||Finch, Harold||Kelley, Richard|
|Bishop, E. S.||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Kenyon, Clifford|
|Blackburn, F.||Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir Eric (Islington, E.)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth Central)|
|Boston, Terence||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Foley, Maurice||Lawson, George|
|Boyden, James||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Bradley, Tom||Ford, Ben||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Forrester, John||Lee, John (Reading)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Fowler, Gerry||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Freeson, Reginald||Luard, Evan|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Galpern, Sir Myer||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Gardner, Tony||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)|
|Buchan, Norman||Garrett, W. E.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Cant, R. B.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||McBride, Neil|
|Carmichael, Neil||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||McCann, John|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||MacColl, James|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Gregory, Arnold||Macdonald, A. H.|
|Chapman, Donald||Grey, Charles (Durham)||McGuire, Michael|
|Coleman, Donald||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret|
|Conlan, Bernard||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mackie, John|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Dalyell, Tam||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Haseldine, Norman||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)||Hattersley, Roy||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||Hilton, W. S.||Manuel, Archie|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hobden, Dennis||Mapp, Charles|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Hooley, Frank||Marks, Kenneth|
|Delargy, Hugh||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Marquand, David|
|Dell, Edmund||Howie, W.||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Dempsey, James||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Dewar, Donald||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Mendelson, John||Pavitt, Laurence||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Mikardo, Ian||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Millan, Bruce||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Miller, Dr. M. S.||Pentland, Norman||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Molloy, William||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Taverne, Dick|
|Moonman, Eric||Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)||Tinn, James|
|Morris, John (Aberavon)||Price, William (Rugby)||Tomney, Frank|
|Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Probert, Arthur||Urwin, T. W.|
|Murray, Albert||Rankin, John||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Neal, Harold||Rees, Merlyn||Wallace, George|
|Newens, Stan||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Oakes, Gordon||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)||Wellbeloved, James|
|White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Ogden, Eric||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Whitlock, William|
|O'Malley, Brian||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Oram, Albert E.||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||Willey, Rt. Hon. Frederick|
|Orbach, Maurice||Rose, Paul||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Orme, Stanley||Ross, Rt. Hn, William||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Oswald, Thomas||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)||Sheldon, Robert||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Owen, Will (Morpeth)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Paget, R. T.||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Woof, Robert|
|Palmer, Arthur||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Silverman, Julius||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Park, Trevor||Slater, Joseph||Mr. Charles R. Morris and|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Small, William||Mr. Joseph Harper.|
|Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|