HC Deb 03 February 1970 vol 795 cc351-81

10.13 p.m.

Mr. Dudley Smith (Warwick and Leamington)

I beg to move, That an humble address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Awards and Settlements (Temporary Continuation of Standstill) (No. 3) Order 1969 (S.I., 1969, No. 1708), dated 1st December 1969, a copy of which was laid before this House on 5th December, be annulled. This order came into effect on 6th December and it is due to expire in a few days' time. Some hon. Members may be wondering—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Too many prayers are going on at the moment.

Mr. Dudley Smith

Some hon. Members may be wondering why we are praying against this order tonight. We are doing so on a question of principle

It is well known that we are against the incomes policy in general, a policy which time and again has been shown to be ineffectual. It is also because we feel that in this case there has been an unwarranted discrimination against those concerned. We regard the order as yet another example of the illogicality and unfairness of the right hon. Lady the First Secretary's incomes policy, which hits at the weaker elements in our society and so often flees in the face of realities of the big battalions.

I should like to explain briefly what happened in this case, because it is important that we should know the attitude of the right hon. Lady in these matters, especially as she has given rather strong hints that the powers still in existence probably will not be used again. She might have shown a little grace by dropping the order as a gesture of good will towards industrial harmony.

Back in July an agreement was made between the Association of Film Laboratory Employers and the Association of the Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians, to whom I shall refer as the film technicians, for the purposes of simplicity. The agreement provided that with effect from 1st July last year there would be improvements in pay and conditions for the technical, general and clerical grade employees. It directly affected about 2,400 staff employed by the four member companies of the Association of Film Laboratory Employers and indirectly about 750 staff working for the remaining nine companies in the industry which are not members of the employers' association.

It is important to explain that the film processing industry undertakes the developing and printing of film, principally for cinema and television, and is, therefore, a vital if unsung sector of the communications industry.

The agreement was signed on 20th July, and four days later the employers were called before the Department of Employment and Productivity and requested to give further information. As an outcome of their meeting the right hon. Lady referred the matter to the Prices and Incomes Board, that friendless body soon to be absorbed by the new brain child of bureaucracy, the Commission for Industry and Manpower. She then made a standstill direction on the member companies. It is worth noting that all the non-member companies agreed quite voluntarily to observe the standstill.

Naturally, the First Secretary's action caused a good deal of hard feeling. I remember reading in The Times last August that the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson), whom we are pleased to see with us, felt so strongly on the matter that he had agreed to refer it to the Ombudsman on the grounds of the mismanagement by the Department of Employment and Productivity of this pay award. We know that the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends have always opposed the policy, as we have opposed it on this side, though for quite different reasons, and we respect his opposition.

In the same news item that mentioned the hon. Gentleman, Mr. George Elvin, president of the film technicians' association, was quoted as saying that because of inept management by the D.E.P. his members had received increases of various amounts from the employers, and there would be no consistency between one film laboratory and another.

The terms of the agreement are all important to this matter. The industry had previously had a major revision of pay and conditions two years before, in August, 1967, and that settlement covered the intervening two years. Last July's agreement provided broadly for an increase of £1 2s. 6d. a week in minimum rates from 1st July last year and a further increase of £1 5s. in minimum rates from 1st July this year; plus a reduction of hours; an increase in hours for which premium rates are payable; improved holiday entitlement; continuation of a cost of living sliding scale; and an assurance of co-operation by the union and its members with management in achieving increased productivity by better mobility and utilisation of labour.

Mr. Norman Atkinson (Tottenham)

The facts related by the hon. Gentleman about the agreement are quite correct, except that the sliding scale arrangements were eliminated from the agreement.

Mr. Dudley Smith

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. Perhaps if he is fortunate enough to catch the eye of the Chair he might like to elaborate on that further.

The Prices and Incomes Board reported in November, and, in accordance with the Act of 1967, extended by the Act of 1968, the right hon. Lady laid before Parliament the order we are praying against tonight, one which forbids implementation of the agreement until 7th February, in a few days' time.

The board's report is interesting. It states that the minimum rate of increase from last July would represent 8.2 per cent. for the lowest paid to 3.7 per cent. for the highest paid on the current minimum rates, and that the increase from next July would represent rises ranging from 9.1 per cent. to 4.2 per cent. on the same basis. According to the Board, the overall cost of the agreement would amount in the first year to 6.3 per cent. and in the second year to a further 5.7 per cent. of the industry's current total wage bill.

Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)

Must the two figures, 8.2 per cent and 9.1 per cent., be added together, giving a total of 17 per cent. plus?

Mr. Dudley Smith

The calculation can be made either way. One can add them together to get the future situation, because these people still have some way to go before they get their actual rise—I will give some examples to show that others have received rises in excess of this amount—or one can take the agreement made last July and regard that as the one that would have been implemented but for the interference of the right hon. Lady.

The employers have a good deal to say about this report. They do not claim that the agreement which they made fulfils the criteria for incomes policy as laid down in the then current White Paper, Cmnd. 3590, which provided for a ceiling of 3½ per cent. applied at the annual rate of wages increases. They do argue, however—I believe convincingly—that the constant fluctuation in work-flow in this industry and the vital change from black and white to the more complex colour film processes—we must bear in mind that television has gone over exclusively to colour, though not too many people are able to receive it yet—and the need to maintain speed and quality of output all make it impossible to quantify improvements in productivity. Significantly, they feel that to have made an agreement which attempted to specify changes in working methods would have tended to reduce, rather than increase, efficiency.

Surprisingly, the P.I.B. apparently accepts that in an industry in which rapid technical advances are made, and in which a good standard of co-operation exists between management and workers, it would be harmful to conclude an agreement which specified changes in working practices in return for which pay increases would be granted.

The P.I.B. also accepts that the film technicians have made a valuable contribution to the efficiency and productivity of the industry. The report also notes that the union does not contest the employers' right to fix manning scales for new plant, that the union has agreed reductions in established manning levels and does not impose restrictions on output, that there are no demarcation disputes and that the union has been willing to guarantee continuity of production during afternoon and late shifts.

Most important, the board agrees that … there has been a continuous rise in productivity over recent years…and…productivity and efficiency in film processing are increasing". In this way, the board adds, the industry appears to have been able partially to offset increased costs resulting from changing conditions by increased efficiency. In other words, the industry has an admirable bill of health and a prospectus of which any industry could be proud.

Now comes the crunch. The Board considers that the film technicians inability to quantify increases in their productivity, which I have explained, qualifies them for the treatment that they have received; and it recommends the introduction of control procedures, the use by companies of method analysis techniques and the improvement of training as ways by which the industry would be able to improve the effectiveness of its future operations. The Board puts most weight on the fact that the pay settlement would lead directly to higher prices and that the cost-of-living sliding scale arrangements were to be continued.

Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)

Are these people represented by a big union, or is it a small one which can exercise little pressure on the Government? Would my hon. Friend agree that there is no longer any prices and incomes policy under the present Government?

Mr. Speaker

Order. The first point of the hon. Gentleman's observation was in order. The second part was out of order.

Mr. Dudley Smith

This is a small union, but it has almost 100 per cent. membership and is representative of the whole industry. It is a forward-looking, enlightened union. Being small, its voice is comparatively weak, and as a consequence the right hon. Lady picks on it.

We see the result before us now. We have an extraordinary situation—we have a technical industry, modern and forward-looking with productivity on the increase and yet it still does not satisfy the criteria of the White Paper because it cannot quantify its productivity—in the eyes of the Prices and Incomes Board. We cannot talk about productivity until it has happened.

Other people have their rises by making golden promises about productivity which have no guarantee whatever behind them. This agreement affects about 3,150 staff, not a vast number. The increases in the minimum rate range from 3.7 per cent. to 8.2 per cent. from July last and from 4.2 per cent. to 9.1 per cent. from July next.

This contrasts very strangely with the 1.1 million building workers who have secured 11 per cent. this month, 6.2 per cent. by next November and 8 per cent. by June, 1971. Take the 60,000 gas workers who have had a rise of 14 per cent. on their basic wage, or the 28,000 water supply workers who from last December had 15 per cent. on their earnings and 21 per cent. on their basic, or the electricity non-manual workers—

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (Mr. Harold Walker)

On a point of order. May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker, to help me prepare my reply to the debate? Will I be given the opportunity to reply in detail to these points?

Mr. Speaker

Order. There is nothing out of order at the moment.

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

The Chair needs no encouragement. The hon. Gentleman is arguing that this particular standstill should not take place because some other workers have had something much better. It is in order as long as he does not pursue the examples in detail.

Mr. Dudley Smith

We look forward to the hon. Gentleman's reply. He has quite a lot to reply to.

Take the electrical non-manual workers who have had 10 per cent. plus improved conditions. There are 50,000 of those compared with these 3,150 film technicians. Let me also mention the members of the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Union, who recently accepted an increase of between £4 7s. 6d. and £5 7s. 6d. a week. No one expects that they will be called upon to justify their increases. This means a basic rise of 20 per cent. for many of the 300 involved.

To quote the Economist of 24th January, a union official concerned in that settlement said: We gave nothing in return and did not even bother with the pretence of a productivity fig leaf.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman must not pursue his analogies in too much detail.

Mr. Dudley Smith

I would submit that the case before us underlines the ineffectiveness of the Government's present incomes policy. It is a policy which picks off the weak like the film technicians at the expense of the powerful. It is a policy which makes an example of a smaller group of workers, because the right hon. Lady thinks that she can get away with it without retaliation. This policy is shown to be a hollow sham and a shabby pretence. That is why I invite my hon. Friends tonight to show what a mockery it is by going into the Division Lobby against the Government.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Norman Atkinson (Tottenham)

I intervene briefly merely to mention two points. The hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Dudley Smith) is quite correct in saying that on 17th August I referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration the whole question of the agreement. I was asked to do so by George Elvin, the president of the trade union to which he referred. I have received the following reply from the Parliamentary Commissioner: The conclusion of my investigation is, therefore, that there has been no maladministration by the Department of Employment and Productivity in connection with the reference of the agreement in question to the N.B.P.I., and I cannot uphold the complaint. My only other comment on the hon Members' speech is that it adds still further to the confusion about the attitude of the Opposition to wages. The right hon. Member for Mitcham (Mr. R. Carr) frequently refers to wage increases which are being negotiated and agreed. He complains that they are very high, and implies that they have a weakening effect upon our economy generally. The speech of the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington is confusing, because I am not clear whether the hon. Member is complaining at the insufficiency of this agreement and saying that it is a bad one because it does not meet the levels attained elsewhere.

Mr. Dudley Smith

As far as I can judge, the agreement is a perfectly good and honourable one. I am complaining only because the right hon. Lady the First Secretary of State picked on this particular agreement. As I said, she has picked on a weak union as opposed to the big battalions who get away with far larger increases.

Mr. Atkinson

I am grateful to the hon. Member. That takes us to the next stage.

I may assume from that that the Opposition's argument is that the other settlements are too high—

Mr. Dudley Smith

No, not necessarily.

Mr. Atkinson

The Opposition's attitude to these agreements needs to be made clear. Do they mention them because they are good agreements, or because they are too high?

Mr. Burden

Would not it be better if the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) explained the Government's attitude, and why the Government picked out this agreement and allowed the others to go through?

Mr. Atkinson

I understand that the Opposition have moved this Prayer because they are critical of this reference, but comparisons were made in the speech which stated the Opposition's attitude.

I am merely trying to elucidate from the Opposition what is their attitude towards the other agreements. They compare this agreement with other agreements which they say are high. The right hon. Member for Mitcham has often complained that these settlements are excessively high.

Mr. Burden

On a point of order. Would not my hon. Friend be out of order if he dealt with agreements other than the one which we are discussing on this order?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)

The hon. Gentleman, so far, is seeking to relate his remarks to the order before us. If he departed from that he would, of course, be out of order.

Mr. Atkinson

The right hon. Member for Mitcham (Mr. R. Carr) has often complained about the excessive character of many agreements which have recently been negotiated. I gather that the argument being advanced by the Opposition is that many of these settlements are too high.

I become confused over all these references and comparisons. We hear time and again from hon. Members opposite a long shopping list of recent wage agreements. They are trotted out at regular intervals and there are gibes at the Government for allowing them to go through. They are complaining that they are too high and are harmful to the economy. They are complaining about high wages.

Mr. Robert Carr (Mitcham)

The hon. Gentleman keeps on referring to wage settlements which he claims that I, on behalf of the Opposition, have condemned. I am not aware of any to which he could be referring. He and his hon. Friends should know very well by now that from the moment when the statutory incomes policy was introduced we opposed it in principle, both on Second Reading and in Committee; and I believe that we have prayed against every single order of this kind as a matter of principle because we do not believe that a Government should attempt to control wage increases by statutory methods.

Mr. Atkinson

But has not the right hon. Gentleman's case been that, because of the introduction of an incomes policy, wages have been forced unnecessarily high from his side's point of view?

I am grateful for that clarification. I assume from it that the Opposition are not opposed to the recent wage agreements and are not critical of the levels which have been established. If that is the case, it is absolute humbug for them in debate after debate to use this shopping list and to make reference to all these wage agreements. I look forward to future debates when we shall no longer have references to recent agreements and the percentage levels involved, because we can now take it that the Opposition are in total agreement with the wage negotiations that are currently in vogue.

10.37 p.m.

Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)

The hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) is too simple-minded, or is being deliberately so, over this problem. The Opposition's complaint is that, although the Government nailed their colours to the mast over statutory incomes policy and over statutory action in regard to trade union organisation in this country, they have welshed on the whole deal and have run away and left the whole situation in ruins. [Laughter.] The hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) can laugh as much as he likes. He has been making powerful speeches in the House month after month against the Government's policy. He may have been partly responsible for the Government's running away.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The debate on this Prayer cannot be a general debate on incomes policy. I was becoming rather anxious about the previous speech, but, fortunately, the hon. Gentleman sat down. I cannot allow the hon. Gentleman to pursue his line of argument very much further.

Sir D. Glover

I assure you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that from now on I will remain strictly in order. But there is a long tradition in the House that when somebody is provoked by hon. Gentlemen opposite, the Chair, with its wisdom that is past all understanding, always allows an hon. Member on the other side to reply.

The reason that I oppose this order is that it has now become clear that the Government are now hitting only at the little people. They are not seeking to quarrel with the big battalions. It is the little people, numbering a few thousand, whom they refer to the N.B.P.I. That matter is to be assessed on a productivity basis.

It must be remembered that the public has a strong sense of fairness. The public realise that the Government's policy wreaks of discrimination and unfairness, and that is why I support my right hon. and hon. Friends in their proposal tonight to debate this order and to vote against it.

10.40 p.m.

Mr. David Mitchell (Basingstoke)

The hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) asked what principle actuated us on this side of the House. The principle is that we are asked yet again to discuss another Government interference in the processes of collecting bargaining, and that seems to me to be a big enough principle to take me into the Lobby.

In this case the agreement was made in July, 1969, between an employers' association and a trade union. It was signed on 20th July, and on 24th July the employers were called to the Department and asked to give some more information. Ten days later the order was slapped down, and the reference was made to the Prices and Incomes Board. There was no warning, and no consultation with the trade union. Is that right? This is information which has been given by the president of the union concerned. If that is so, what a way for a Government, of either party, to treat a trade union, much less one which claims to be tied by fraternal strings to the trade union movement.

What did the Prices and Incomes Board find? First, it found that a small number of people—3,150—were involved. Nobody can say that the country's economy would have been shaken if those 3,150 people had been given a wage increase. Second, it found that the pay increase asked for was comparatively moderate—22s. 6d. last July, and 25s. next July. Third, it found that the union concerned was co-operative, that there were no restrictive practices, no manning disputes, that there had been a continuous rise in productivity in recent years and that there were no strikes. One could hardly have a better example of responsible trade unionism.

The criteria which guide the Government are, quite clearly, no longer those set out in the prices and incomes White Papers. To drive a coach and horses through the Government's prices and incomes policy, one has to do three things—be big, be bold, and be bloody-minded! If someone is big, and is supported by, say, 50,000 electricity supply workers, 28,000 water supply workers, or 60,000 gas manual workers, the claim can go through. But if someone is small, and is supported by just 3,000 people, he has had it.

Next, be bold. Do not ask for 22s. 6d. That is ridiculous. Ask for £4 7s. 6d. to £5 7s. 6d., the same as D.A.T.A., and it will go through. Ask for £3, the same as British Road Services workers did, and strike before Christmas when the parcels traffic is going through, and it will be granted. Or, like Fords, ask for £10, and there will be no question of being screwed down to 22s. 6d.; that I can bet the Minister and the hon. Member for Tottenham. So be bold, and do not try to settle for 22s. 6d.

Third, be bloody-minded. Threaten to go on strike, and do not be one of those who co-operate, who have no restrictive practices, and who have a continuous rise in productivity, because if anyone comes into those categories he will receive no consideration from this Government or from this Minister. Indeed, the right hon. Lady seems to provide a modern equivalent to the saying that a faint heart never won a fair lady. One needs to be the cave man type, coming in with a club. Be bold and bloody-minded, and then the right hon. Lady will give in.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Will Griffiths (Manchester, Exchange)

I intervene because I have never supported the Government's prices and incomes policy, as many of my hon. Friends know. But the effrontery, the impertinence, of the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Dudley Smith) tonight is the most breathtaking that I have heard in the House of Commons for many years.

Indeed, the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) gave the game away. I thought, when he started to address the House, that he was trying to get my hon. Friends to believe that the topic of conversation in every Conservative Party club was the need for its members, especially its Members in the House of Commons, to rush to the defence of trade unions everywhere—particularly the smaller unions. But he gave the game away when he talked about the big, the bold and the bloody minded at the end of his speech.

I am at one with hon. Gentlemen opposite in opposing the Government's prices and incomes policy, but I have a question to ask them. We are really talking about the cinema technicians and their wage dispute. You, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and your predecessor in the Chair have allowed the debate to range over a wide number of illustrations. The hon. Member for Basingstoke cited numerous cases, with scarcely concealed malice when he talked about the British Road Services employees and how they behaved just before Christmas.

Hon. Members

Oh. Withdraw.

Mr. Griffiths

This is the House of Commons. Hon. Members should not be so thin-skinned about it. It is not unparliamentary to say that the hon. Gentleman introduced a note of malice into his speech. Therefore, I ask the Opposition: will they pursue their policy further in a way which will enable me to report to my trade union friends outside that, whether they work for British Road Services, for the electricity supply industry or for the gas industry, whatever award they can obtain after joint consultation, they can rely on the absolutely unflinching support in the House of Commons and outside of such well known defenders of trade unionism as the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) and the hon. Member for Basingstoke? That is my challenge to hon. Gentlemen opposite. If they are not going to debase the House of Commons, let us have a straight answer.

10.48 p.m.

Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)

I think that the hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Will Griffiths) is debasing the House of Commons. Indeed, if he and his party go out into the country and behave towards trade unionists, particularly these trade unionists, as they have been behaving, they will be looking sadly for support from the unions, not we on this side.

There is absolutely no sense, other than pure victimisation, in the way that the Government are behaving towards these technicians. Let us be frank about the matter. First, the rises that they would have got under the agreement would certainly not have hampered our export trade. We are doing considerable business abroad with some of our television films, and these people are playing a great part in bringing this about. We are moving from the old black and white into the colour era.

I suggest to the Minister, who was instrumental in referring this claim or agreement to the National Board for Prices and Incomes, and to the board, that, because of the changes that are taking place in the industry, the employers are in a better position than the board to know what is likely to be the increased productivity, particularly in view of the new techniques which are being employed.

Both employers and unions wanted these terms: only the Government did not, and it is extraordinary how difficult it is to ascertain the reasons. Is it contended that these moderate increases to 3,000 people would increase the cost of television viewing or of the product of these people's work? Certainly not. The National Board for Prices and Incomes said: The increase in minimum rates from 1st July, 1969, would represent from 8.2 per cent. for the lowest paid worker to 3.7 per cent. for the highest paid on the current minimum rates, and that the increase from 1st July, 1970, would represent rises ranging from 9.1 per cent. to 4.2 per cent. on the same basis.

In equity, how can the Government deny these men these advances? In view of what has happened in other industries, where there are big unions, since the Ministry referred this matter to the Board, do they still maintain the same position, or will they shortly say, "We referred this to the Board before all the other unions got much larger increases, which we have allowed. Now, despite the Board's decision, we must allow increases which we were responsible for turning down."? They should consider this.

The Government referred this to the Board in August, since when there has been much larger increases to many unions. I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite whether it is right that the Government should pursue this harsh line with this small union, in view of the very large increases since their reference was made. Is the Minister prepared to say that, no matter what the Board decided in August, the Government accept that the position is changed, and that if these people put in their claim again, it will be allowed to go through?

10.54 p.m.

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

The historian of industrial relations in this period will find it of singular interest when trying to characterise the policy of this Government on this matter that they pursued a policy for a period which led the hon. Members for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell), Gillingham (Mr. Burden), and, probably, after I sit down, Harrow, West (Mr. John Page) to pose as defenders of the rights of trade unions. I hope that he will be a Socialist historian with a sense of humour, because he will need it when he deals with the heart-breaking contributions which we have heard tonight from the new champions of the trade union movement. At least the hon. Member for Basingstoke has a sense of humour—he is laughing—but some of his hon. Friends are still seriously keeping up a bold front.

Some of the contributions have shown that hon. Members do not know what the Government have or have not done in this House. They have alleged that the Government have held up money payments, which is wholly untrue. They do not know that the unions have since reached a settlement and will be back paid. They have got hold of the information from somewhere that this is an instrument with which they can hit the Government over the head and have rushed in from other parts of the House and decided to set about the Government.

We have had from the hon. Member for Basingstoke a bold statement that this is a typical example of the Government trying to interfere with trade unions, and he bases his assumption on those who say that no Government must interfere with trade unions. I know that the hon. Member did not take part in the Selsdon Park festivities but they were organised by the party to which he belongs, and two days later he turns up here and says how monstrous it is that the Government should interfere with the trade union movement.

Mr. David Mitchell

On a point of order. Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it not a tradition of the House that when an hon. Member refers to another hon. Member and comments on what he says, that Member has a chance to reply?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It is for the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) to decide whether he should give way.

Mr. Mendelson

In a minute I shall, but I want to finish this thought, as I do not want it to be lost to history. Two days after the Selsdon Park meeting, to which right hon. Members of the front Bench opposite and the Chief Whip and one or two others were invited, and of which political correspondents have been writing in the Sunday Express and the Sunday Telegraph that the Tories are determinated to put the trade unions down—

Hon. Members


Mr. Mendelson

Yes. The hon. Member for Basingstoke turns up here 48 hours later and says that it is monstrous for the Government to try to interfere with the trade union movement. He has not read the papers.

Mr. David Mitchell

The hon. Member says that I turn up here and say that it is monstrous for the Government to interfere with the trade union movement. I did not say that at all. I said it was monstrous that they should interfere with a freely negotiated and entered collective bargain. That is a different matter altogether.

Mr. Mendelson

We will see. The hon Member is more serious. At Selsdon Park decisions were taken to interfere with collective bargaining. The Tories are going to put the clock back and put the trade unions in a straitjacket and introduce legislation which will make it impossible for trade unions to exercise their strength. The Tories will be unhappy and dissatisfied with what I say—I knew they would—but I am sent here not to please the Opposition but to defend the trade union movement against the nefarious plans of the right hon. Gentlemen opposite.

The details of the plans have not yet been indicated to the hon. Members for Basingstoke and Harrow, West. The details are still under lock and key because the Shadow Cabinet is afraid that the hon. Member for Basingstoke may have an aunt in Basingstoke and may tell that aunt and it might get out and reach the British people during the election campaign. It is keeping them under lock and key until—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member must come back to the Prayer.

Mr. Mendelson

With great respect, you know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that it would be a month of Sundays before I dissented from anything you said in the Chair.

Earlier, when the hon. Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Macdonald) was speaking—[HON. MEMBERS: "Who?"]—when the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Dudley Smith) was speaking—

Mr. Burden

Wrong again.

Mr. Mendelson

—he launched an attack, as did the hon. Member for Gillingham, on the Government, who I admit cannot take much comfort from the remarks made by hon. Members on either side tonight. However, I am entitled to defend the Government against the outrageous hypocrisy and humbug in which hon. Gentlemen opposite have been indulging.

Mr. Burden

Come to the point.

Mr. Mendelson

I will do that immediately. I shall have something extremely relevant to say about the order, which is more than can be said of any of the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Indeed, my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) has been the only back bencher whose comments have had a real bearing on the subject.

My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Will Griffiths) began the process of nailing the Opposition case and putting the matter in its right perspective. For weeks on end hon. Gentlemen opposite have attacked the unions as being irresponsible because their wage demands have been said to be too high. No hon. Gentleman opposite with an ounce of honesty in him will deny that there has been talk of a wage explosion and that our exports would receive a setback.

Mr. R. Carr

Who said that?

Mr. Mendelson

I am explaining—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member is getting into a general debate on incomes policy. His remarks must relate to the Prayer, which at present they are not doing.

Mr. Mendelson

I do not know whether you were in the Chair, Mr. Deputy Speaker, when the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington spoke on behalf of the Official Opposition. His whole case consisted of contrasting the wage application and negotiations to which the order applies with what he called the other tremendously high settlements that had been passed without Government interference. I suggest, with respect, that if the hon. Gentleman, speaking for the official Opposition, could adduce that case time and again—I recall his making it eleven times—I should be allowed to make a few remarks in reply, at least twice.

I do not intend to allow the hon. Gentlemen opposite to get off the hook over this matter. [Interruption.] They may not like hearing these things, but it is obvious that what we are discussing exposes the hypocrisy which they have demonstrated in our debates on this and similar orders. Although I have not spoken in each of these debates, I have attended them all. I have seen hon. Gentlemen opposite posing as the champions of the trade union movement by attacking this and similar orders. But these orders are not all the same. As the Minister will, I am sure, point out, this order concerns matters which did not concern the similar instruments that we have discussed.

The trouble has been that by pursuing their recent policy the Government have enabled hon. Gentlemen opposite to indulge in the hypocrisy of which I have spoken, and their policy has also resulted in this and similar orders coming before the House. The Conservatives have been given an opportunity to make it appear that in certain cases where there has been agreement between employers and employees, the Government have somehow stood in the way and should be criticised.

Mr. Keith Speed (Meriden)

The hon. Gentleman has several times used the word "hypocrisy". How would he describe the Prime Minister's comment in March, 1966, that no Government could ever proscribe wages?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman is getting into a much wider debate than the Prayer allows.

Mr. Eldon Gkiffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is the hypocrisy of the Prime Minister, as my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mr. Speed) referred to it, so little a matter that it is out of order for this House to discuss it? Does the Prime Minister need the protection of the Chair when this House—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Chair is concerned only with what is in order in discussing this Prayer.

Mr. Mendelson

This is at the tail end of a period of many months. The Government will have realised by now, as will my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary, that this policy has not been achieving its purpose. He will give the House the particular details and circumstance of this case, but he knows that it is now the view of every member of the Parliamentary Labour Party, with perhaps a few exceptions, and of the trade union movement, that the Government must now move away from this whole policy. I take courage from the fact that in the recently published announcement it is shown that the Government are to pursue a different policy in future. This will have the beneficial effect of preventing hon. Members exercising their hypocrisy and sham efforts as they have done tonight.

11.6 p.m.

Mr. John Page (Harrow, West)

We are all used to discounting the Freudian hysteria of the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson). The hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Will Griffiths), who rose to the surface of the waters of this House tonight like a political coelecanth, was more interesting.

We on this side of the House are consistently interested to be told that the interests of the trade union movement are totally the preserve of hon. Members opposite, and that it is hypocritical and wrong for any Tory to touch this sacred cow, even when its wounds need dressing. This debate is really a collector's piece for those of us who through the long hot summer and long cold winter nights have been debating the absurdities of the ever-changing kaleidoscope of the Government's prices and incomes policy. An hon. Member opposite said to me this evening, not in this House, "This is Custer's last stand." We should bring it up to date and call it Castle's last standstill.

My hon. Friends the Members for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Dudley Smith) and Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) demolished any argument that the Government can possibly put up in defence of what they are doing. I will try to add a couple of fringe benefits to the debate. This absurd standstill order refers to an increase of about 8 per cent. this year and 9 per cent. next year at the top limit for 3,000 people and about 4 per cent. at the lower limit. It is absurd because the Parliamentary Secretary, in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Carlton (Mr. Holland) on 16th December, gave the average weekly earning increases for the year ended April, 1968, as 8.5 per cent. and for the year ended April. 1969, the latest figures available at that time, as 7.6 per cent. What a tremendous fuss to make considering that this sensible, worth-while union had come honourably to an agreement with the employers concerned, reaching an agreement virtually within the average during the period of the standstill put on by the right hon. Lady!

There is a particularly cynical note which brings verity to what my hon. Friends have said, that the right hon. Lady just picked on this union to kick in the teeth because it was so small. As the explanatory note on the order says, This Order, which has effect from 6th December 1969, provides for the further continuation until 7th February 1970 of the standstill.… What happened on 11 th December? We had the last of a row of productivity, prices and incomes policy White Papers, which described what was to happen after 1969. The Press handout on the White Paper said: It expresses the hope that the early warning system, which has always operated on a voluntary basis, can continue without the use of reserve powers and that it will not be necessary to embody the delaying powers in the proposed legislation to set up the C.I.M.. Five days before this pious White Paper was produced we had this order forcing a standstill on this small group of work people for no apparent reason. It is for that reason that all of us can say a grateful "Amen" to the final funeral service on the prices and incomes standstill orders.

11.12 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (Mr. Harold Walker)

The only point in the speech of the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. John Page) to which I wish to refer is his suggestion that the Government have struck a cynical note. Throughout the debate I have felt more and more that the only cynical note is the fact of the Opposition having tabled the Prayer when the standstill to which it refers has only four days to run before it expires. It is obvious that their only purpose is to seek to make political mischief.

Mr. Dudley Smith

The hon. Gentleman knows very well that the Christmas Recess of four weeks has intervened, and that for reasons known to both sides the debate was postponed for another week. We are debating the matter and voting on it on principle, as I explained in my speech.

Mr. Walker

The hon. Gentleman made rather a lengthly speech, during which he said some rather outrageous things. I interrupted him only once. I have said that I think that the Opposition's purpose in tabling the Prayer is to make political mischief, and I repeat that.

It has been repeatedly alleged that we are picking on a small union here. But in the trade union world power is not necessarily related to numerical strength. Some of the most powerful unions are among the smallest numerically. Because of the effectiveness of its organisation, the union with which we are concerned is particularly powerful within the sphere in which it operates.

In referring to the question of picking on small unions, the hon. Gentleman said that he and his hon. Friends have tabled Prayers against every order. I do not hold it against him that he is inaccurate here; it is fair for him to have lapses of memory. But there have been orders against which the Opposition have not prayed, such as that extending the standstill on the municipal busmen. I do not think that anyone would suggest that the union involved—the Transport and General Workers Union—was small or weak. No prayer was tabled against the extension of the standstill on the Scottish electrical contractors, where the union involved was the E.T.U., which no one suggests is a small, ineffective and parlous union. So the Opposition not only are rumbled on that point but are seeking to mislead the House.

There are four possible alternatives that the Opposition could adopt to criticise the order. First, it could be their case that the order sprang from and was consistent with the Opposition's general rejection of the Government's statutory prices and incomes policy. Of course, that is no longer an argument but an attitude, because the argument effectively ceased when the Prices and Incomes Act, 1968, from which the order stems, received the Royal Assent.

Secondly, the Opposition could argue that the settlement which is the subject of the order was not inconsistent with the requirements of the policy and therefore should not have had its implementation delayed.

Thirdly, the case could be that, granted that the settlement failed to satisfy the criteria laid down, nevertheless the Government were in error, either in technique or judgment, in making the order extending the standstill.

Finally, the case could be that the order should be annulled because of inequitable treatment of this industry and its employees as contrasted with that allegedly meted out to other industries and other trade unions. All these points have been made in the debate but this latter charge is regularly levelled against the policy, usually in general terms but rarely in particular. Anxious as I am to pursue this hare raised by the Opposition, I am sure that, even if time permitted me to do so, you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, would rule me out of order.

The order itself followed an adverse report by the National Board for Prices and Incomes. On every previous adverse report, the Government have used the full extent of the available powers where necessary, whereas in this case, for the first time, the full period was not invoked, and to that extent any inequity was favourable to the settlement and its implementation and not against.

Mr. R. Carr

The point of equity is important. The inequity we see is not in the way the Government operate the reports of the board when a reference has been made to the board. The inequity we see is the highly arbitrary manner in which a few cases are referred to the board and others are not. That is the inequity.

Mr. Walker

That allegation has been repeatedly dealt with at Question Time and on other occasions in the House, but, plainly, in order to refute it now I would have to examine every settlement against which the right hon. Gentleman puts a question mark. It is not, therefore, the kind of thing I can deal with in this debate. But, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, every settlement is scrutinised by my Department separately. Equally, I accept that the way in which some of these settlements are presented in the Press is quite contrary to their detailed contents.

It is to the second and third points of the four possible alternative arguments to which I propose to address myself, because I think it is here that we have the substance of the Opposition's case. I start by setting out, perhaps in greater detail than the House has heard, the background to the order.

The settlement was reached on 21st July last between the Association of Film Laboratory Employers and the Association of Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians. Although only four companies belong to the employers' association, the settlement is followed throughout the industry and therefore affects about 3,000 technical, clerical and general workers employed in 13 firms. The settlement's two stages provided for, from 1st July, 1969, an increase of 22s. 6d. in weekly basic rates, with improvements in shift allowances and holiday arrangements for all staff, and reducing the working week for clerical workers from 37½ hours to 35, altogether adding 6.3 per cent. to the total wage bill.

From 1st July, 1970, a further increase will be made of 25s. in weekly basic rates, adding altogether 5.7 per cent. to the total wage bill. This confirms what has been said opposite. What was not brought out clearly was the fact that the settlement did not modify the existing cost of living sliding scale provision, which between June, 1967 and June, 1969 added over 6 per cent. to average earnings. It was not unreasonable to expect that it would possibly continue at the same rate, and would have to be added to the percentages involved in the settlement. Assuming a continuation of the same trend, the percentage increase works out at about 9 per cent. per annum.

In exchange the settlement provided for the staggering of meal breaks and the elimination of the clerical staff's afternoon tea break, and for continued co-operation in raising efficiency by greater flexibility and better labour utilisation.

The settlement presented two major difficulties for the incomes policy. The first was that, although the parties claimed that it was justified on grounds of productivity, they could not show that it satisfied the guide lines for such settlements. In particular they could not quantify past gains in productivity, nor had they projected future trends or tried to identify contributions which workers could be expected to make towards raising efficiency over the next two years.

Secondly, as A.F.L.E. had been reminded before the settlement was agreed, it was impossible to reconcile the continuance of the cost of living increases with the policy, in particular the policy as contained in Paragraph 43 of the White Paper, Command Paper No. 3950. Repeated efforts were made to secure modification but this proved fruitless and the Government felt that they had little alternative but to refer the settlement to the National Board for Prices and Incomes, with a standstill direction, so that the board could evaluate the work and productivity and bring its independent judgment to bear, and decide whether the productivity elements justified the settlement. This was done on 8th August after the two sides had been seen by my officials and myself to discuss the difficulties and consider the representations. In view of the standstill direction, the board had to report within three months.

Allegations have been made about the speed with which the Department was compelled to act because of the early implementation of the settlement. I was pleased to hear my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) say that the Parliamentary Commissioner, no less, had given the Department a clean bill of health in that respect. The Board's report was published on 6th November and contained an adverse recommendation, saying that as the settlement could not be reconciled with the Government's incomes policy it ought not to be implemented, thus confirming the view which we had taken in making the reference in the first place.

Mr. Speed

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Walker

No. I have a lot to say. The Government ought to be able to state their case fully. I beg the House to accept that there is the obligation to reply fully to the charges that have been made.

The report recommended four steps which the industry ought to take, in its own interests and to bring its pay arrangements into conformity with incomes policy. First, the industry should collate information which directly measures the trends in costs and deals with the contribution to decreased costs made by the workers. Second, the two sides should quickly examine training arrangements with a view to increasing flexibility and reducing the number of grades. Third, the industry should discontinue the cost of living sliding scale arrangements, and, fourth, satisfactory assurances should be sought from the employers that increases given under the settlement would not lead to higher prices for their customers.

A further meeting was held with the two sides when they were told of the probability that a satisfactory assurance about prices and a firm decision to abandon the cost of living provision would be accepted by Ministers as sufficient to bring the settlement within the policy. I regret to say that neither was forthcoming. In view of this intransigence to the board's recommendation, we were left with no alternative but to extend the standstill. Under the statutory powers then available the maximum period for which it could be imposed was the balance of the 11 months, in this instance until 7th July, 1970. The notice of intent was gazetted accordingly, following the pattern of every previous extension of a standstill. After further meetings with me when the employers and trade union stressed the industry's efficiency, progressive outlook and good relations as acknowledged in the board's report, while they failed to satisfy us on the qualifications required in the report, we decided that nonetheless we ought in all equity to be prepared to reduce the period of standstill from that originally gazetted.

It seemed to us that to apply the maximum extension at this point in time would not be equitable having regard to the steps we were taking to do away with powers to extend the standstill period for the then prevailing length of time. We therefore reduced the period of extension from eight to three months, expiring on 7th February, that is, in four days' time. That decision was promulgated on 6th December, 1969, in the order to which the prayer relates.

I hope that I have made it clear that our case for extending the standstill stemmed primarily from the board's report, a document which I hope will assist the industry in charting its future course. I have sought to avoid quoting from it as copiously as I might, or as selectively as hon. Members opposite have, but there is one point in it to which I ought to refer, because it has been ignored by hon. Members opposite. It is paragraph 43 which says: Indeed, since the employers have told us that the implementation of the agreement will make some price increases inevitable, the assumption must be to the contrary. —that is, that a settlement could be fully met out of increased productivity— Moreover, as long as the cost of living sliding scale arrangements remain, they are liable to lead to extra payments which cannot be justified under any of the criteria in the White Paper and which will add still further to costs. I had thought that if there was common ground between the two sides, it was the acceptance of the need to contain costs and thus bring about some degree of price stability. Here was an admission to the board by employers that a settlement would lead to price increases. I would have thought that that was an important point to which hon. Members opposite would wish to draw attention.

One or two specific matters were raised with which I should like to deal. The hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) complained about interference with settlements. We have never denied that one objective of the policy is to affect settlements, but not to interfere with the process of free collective bargaining. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite jeer at that, but I ask them carefully to study their own policy document, "Fair Deal at Work", which on page 60 clearly declares the intention to transform the N.B.P.I. into a productivity board charged with the task of interfering—the word is "intervening"—with the process of negotiation before a settlement is reached. That is the process which the hon. Member so bitterly opposes.

The hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Dudley Smith) repeatedly made the criticism of Government policy that it was weak and ineffectual. In other words, it is not that the policy bears hard on the wage earner but, apparently, that it does not bear on the wage earner with sufficient severity, that it is not sufficiently rigorous.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Walker

That is the only interpretation that can be placed—

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Walker

—on those words. The Opposition have repeatedly shown the House that they are prepared to will the end, but to deny the Government the means.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The Question is—[Interruption.]

Mr. William Price (Rugby)

Get back to the bar, all of you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Question is—[Interruption.]

Mr. Price

Drunken buffoons.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Question is—

Mr. Burden

On a point of order—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I must proceed to put the Question. I am bound by Standing Orders to do so.

The House proceeded to a Division

Mr. Burden

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it right for an hon. Member sitting on the Front Bench below the Gangway opposite to refer to an hon. Member on this side as a "drunken buffoon"? If he made that remark, which was overheard by many people, I request that you ask him to withdraw such an offensive remark.

Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)

That is not a point of order.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Chair would deprecate any interruption during the Question being put by the Chair. The Chair did not hear that remark just referred to. I must proceed to take the Tellers.

The House having divided: Ayes 169, Noes 213.

Division No. 59.] AYES [11.30 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Foster, Sir John Maddan, Martin
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Fry, Peter Maginnis, John E.
Amery, lit. Hn. Julian Galbraith, Hn. T. G, Marten, Neil
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Gibson-Watt, David Maude, Angus
Astor, John Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Mawby, Ray
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Glover, Sir Douglas Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Gower, Raymond Mills, Pater (Torrington)
Balniel, Lord Grant, Anthony Mills, Stratum (Belfast, N.)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Grant-Ferris, Sir Robert Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Bitten, John Grieve, Percy Monro, Hector
Biggs-Oavison, John Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Montgomery, Fergus
Blaker, Peter Gurden, Harold More, Jasper
Body, Richard Hall, John (Wycombe) Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Bossom, Sir Clive Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Morrison Charles (Devizes)
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Brewis, John Harris, Reader (Heston) Murton, Oscar
Brinton, Sir Tatton Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hawkins, Paul Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hay, John Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Nott, John
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Higgins, Terence L. Onslow, Cranley
Burden, F. A. Hill, J. E, B. Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Holland, Philip Osborn, John (Hallam)
Carlisle, Mark Hooson, Emlyn Page, Graham (Crosby)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hordern, Peter Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Chataway, Christopher Hornby, Richard Peel, John
Chichester-Clark, R. Howell, David (Guildford) Pink, R. Bonner
Clark, Henry Hunt, John Pounder, Rafton
Clegg, Walter Hutchison, Michael Clark Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Cooke, Robert Iremonger, T. L. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Pym, Francis
Cordle, John Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Crouch, David Jopling, Michael Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Crowder, F. P. Kershaw, Anthony Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Cunningham, Sir Knox Kimball, Marcus Ridsdale, Julian
Dalkeith, Earl of Kirk, Peter Royle, Anthony
Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.) Kitson, Timothy Russell, Sir Ronald
Dean, Paul Knight, Mrs. Jill St. John-Stevas, Norman
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Lambton, Viscount Scott, Nicholas
Drayson, G. B. Lancaster, Cot. C. G. Scott-Hopkins, James
Eden, Sir John Lane, David Sharpies, Richard
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Longden, Gilbert Silvester, Frederick
Emery, Peter Lubbock, Eric Sinclair, Sir George
Farr, John MacArthur, Ian Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Fisher, Nigel McNair-Witson, Michael Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Fortescue, Tim McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Speed, Keith
Steel, David (Roxburgh) Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Tapsell, Peter Vickers, Dame Joan Woodnutt, Mark
Taylor,Edward M.(C'gow,Cathcart) Waddington, David Worskey, Marcus
Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Walters, Dennis Wright, Esmond
Temple, John M. Ward, Christopher (Swindon) Younger, Hn. George
Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret Ward, Dame Irene
Thorpe, Ht. Hn. Jeremy Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Tilney, John Williams, Donald (Dudley) Mr. Reginald Eyre and
Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro) Mr. Bernard Weatherill.
van Straubenzee, W. R. Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Alldritt, Walter Freeson, Reginald Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Allen, Scholefield Gardner, Tony Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Anderson, Donald Garrett, W. E. Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Archer, Peter (R'wley Regis & Tipt'n) Ginsburg, David Moyle, Roland
Armstrong, Ernest Golding, John Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Ashley, Jack Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Murray, Albert
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Neal, Har[...]
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Gregory, Arnold Ogden, Eric
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Grey, Charles (Durham) O'Halloran, Michael
Barnett, Joel Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) O'Mallev, Brian
Bence, Cyril Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Oram, Bert
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Hamling, William Oswald, Thomas
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Hannan, William Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Binns, John Harper, Joseph Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Bishop, E. S. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Palmer, Arthur
Blackburn, F. Haseldine, Norman Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hattersley, Roy Parker, John (Dagenham)
Boston, Terence Hazell, Bert Pavitt, Laurence
Boyden, James Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Bradley, Tom Henig, Stanley Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Hobden, Dennis Pentland, Norman
Brooks, Edwin Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Price, William (Rugby)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Probert, Arthur
Howie, W. Randall, Harry
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hoy, Rt. Hn. James Rees, Merlyn
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hunter, Adam Richard, Ivor
Cant, R. B. Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy
Carmichael, Neil Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Chapman, Donald Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth(St.P'c'as)
Coe, Denis Judd, Frank Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Coleman, Donald Kelley, Richard Roebuck, Roy
Concannon,J. D. Lawson, George Rose, Paul
Conlan, Bernard Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Crawshaw, Richard Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sheldon, Robert
Cronin, John Lomas, Kenneth Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Loughlin, Charles Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Luard, Evan Silverman, Julius
Dalyell, Tarn Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Slater, Joseph
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Small, William
Davies, E. Hudson (Conway) McCann, John Spriggs, Leslie
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) MacColl, James Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Macdonald, A. H. Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek) McElhone, Frank Swain, Thomas
Davies, Ifor (Gower) McGuire, Michael Taverne, Dick
de Frcitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey McKay, Mrs. Margaret Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Delargy, Hugh Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Mackie, John Tomney, Frank
Dempsey, James Mackintosh, John P. Tuck, Raphael
Dewar, Donald Maclennan, Robert Urwin, T. W.
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Varley, Eric G.
Dobson, Ray McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Doig, Peter McNamara, J. Kevin Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Dunn, James A. MacPherson, Malcolm Watkins, David (Consett)
Dunnett, Jack Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Wellbeloved, James
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfield, E.) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Eadie, Alex Whitaker, Ben
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Manuel, Archie White, Mrs. Eirene
Ellis, John Mapp, Charles Whitlock, William
Ennals, David Marks, Kenneth Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Marquanl, David Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Fernyhough, E. Maxwell, Robert Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Finch, Harold Mellish, Rt Hn. Robert Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Millan, Bruce Winnick, David
Foley, Maurice Miller, Dr. M. S. Woof, Robert
Ford, Ben Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Forrester, John Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Fowler, Gerry Molloy, William Mr. Ernest G. Perry and
Fraser, John (Norwood) Moonman, Eric Mr. Neil McBride.