§ The Board shall publish an annual report on the distribution of privately-owned wealth in the United Kingdom and the impact thereon of the taxes on capital.—[Mr. Marquand.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. David Marquand (Ashfield)
I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.
As with the previous new Clause, this one calls for an annual report, and an annual report with more information than that already published by the Inland Revenue. One of our main reasons for suggesting it is that the statistics already published on the distribution of wealth by the Inland Revenue are clearly inadequate and in some respects even misleading.
The second reason for the Clause is that it is clear that the Bill will have, in many respects, a markedly regressive effect on the distribution of wealth, and we believe that the extent of that regres 988 sive effect should be made clear so that Parliament and the public can know what is happening.
The third reason for the Clause is that, in spite of the inadequacy of the statistics to which I referred, it is reasonably clear that the capital taxes, as they now operate, are in many ways ineffective and that some reform of the system of capital taxation is badly needed. But, in our view, it would be wrong to embark on reform without knowing precisely the facts.
I wish to say a few words about the inadequacies of the information which is published by the Inland Revenue, although I do not wish to belabor the point, since I think that it is generally accepted. Certainly it is accepted by the Inland Revenue, which publishes in the Inland Revenue statistics estimates of the wealth of individuals. These estimates, however, are based on information derived from the existing taxes, and the Inland Revenue itself says that its estimates are subject to wide margins of error.
In the Inland Revenue statistics for 1971 the Board says, in respect of the 989 tables dealing with the wealth of individuals:The estimates given here are inevitably subject to fairly wide margins of error and are in some respects incomplete".It then lists a series of points from (a) to (g) detailing in which respects it believes its own estimates to be subject to error. Therefore, I do not think it can be disputed that the information at present available from Government sources is not adequate for the purposes we have in mind.
Moreover—a point which the Inland Revenue does not make in its official statistics but which is patently true nevertheless—it is notorious that estate duty can easily be avoided because of the absence of an effective gifts tax. Estimates based on the operation of estate duty are therefore bound to be extremely dubious. I therefore hope that, whatever other arguments the Minister of State advances, he will not, should he feel inclined to reject the Clause, use the argument that we already have the information for which the Clause calls and that there is therefore no need for a report of the kind we propose.
As I have said, the second reason for calling for a report is that it is clear, subject to the inadequacies of the statistics I have mentioned, that this Finance Bill is bound to have a highly regressive effect. It seems fairly clear that between 1960 and 1970 there was some movement towards greater equality in the ownership of wealth. In 1960 it was estimated that the wealthiest 1 per cent. of the population owned 42 per cent. of the privately-owned wealth and the top 10 per cent. owned 83 per cent. By 1970, according to a Written Answer which I received from the Financial Secretary last autumn, it was estimated that the wealthiest 1 per cent. owned 34 per cent. of the wealth and that the wealthiest 10 per cent. owned 75 per cent. Thus, it would appear that there was a slight move towards greater equality during the 1960s.
That generalisation is borne out by the Inland Revenue's estimates of the famous Gini coefficient. According to the Inland Revenue, the Gini coefficient moved in an egalitarian direction between the early and late 1960s. One cannot be certain, because the statistics do not enable one to make precise judgments, but the prob 990 ability is that one reason was that the Labour Government, in the latter part of the 1960s, consciously strove for greater equality in the ownership of wealth.
It is abundantly clear, however, that the present Government, in this Bill, are rapidly and deliberately moving in the reverse direction. Clause 12, dealing with the relief for surtax payers, will cost £38 million in a full year. It is true that not all of it, not even most of it, will go to the owners of investment income, but a substantial part of it will.
§ Mr. Marquand
It is earned income relief, but, as the Financial Secretary him self said in answer to a Parliamentary Question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Farnworth (Mr. Roper), it will have the effect of giving substantial benefit to people with unearned income in instances when they have both earned and unearned income. The Financial Secretary may have forgotten his own reply, but he told me—
§ Mr. Jenkin
The hon. Gentleman need not waste the time of the House. I explained in Committee how the effect arose.
§ Mr. Marquand
The hon. Gentleman accepts that the effect arises and therefore I shall not waste the time of the House. The point is that the Clause gives a significant benefit to property income.
Clause 13, dealing with the disaggregation of children's income, will cost £15 million in a full year. Chapter 3 of the Bill—setting out the new system of personal taxation—lays down that what has been seemed a modest slice of investment income will be charged at the same rate as earned income. We do not know how large that modest slice is, but it became clear in Committee that the Government's interpretation of "modest" is not the same as ours. It is clear that there will be a significant, although unknown, benefit to property income resulting from the new system as the Government intend to work it. That is another reason why a report of this kind is needed.
Clause 52, which carries through the substitution of capital gains tax for betterment levy, will cost £12 million in 1971–72 and £31 million in 1972–73. As became clear in Committee, and in debates on 991 the Land Commission (Dissolution) Bill, 40 per cent. of the benefit of that reduction is likely to go to a very small number of people. Clause 53 deals with short-term capital gains tax and costs £1,500,000. Clause 56, abolishing the charge to capital gains tax on death, costs, on the Government's own estimate, £15 million.
As the Financial Secretary will admit, that is the effect in the immediate future only. He carefully refrained from saying how great the estimated loss of revenue would be in later years. Yet the yield of capital gains tax is likely to build up over time and therefore the effect of abolishing deemed disposal at death is likely to be very much greater 10 or 15 years from now than it would be next year. There again is an area where the facts are not clear.
Clause 57 raises the estate duty limits and costs £20 million; Clause 58 relates to the payment of estate duty by instalments. The Financial Secretary told us in Committee that the cost, over an unspecified period of years, was likely to be £45 million.
These sums add up to a significant and substantial total. It is clear that the net effect of this Budget is highly regressive. It is also clear that the extent of its re-gressiveness is unknown. The Government are unable or unwilling to say what the full effect of the Clause abolishing capital gains tax on death will be. They are unable or unwilling to say how large the "modest slice" of investment income will be. From the information we have been given by Ministers, it is therefore impossible to tell how great the regressive effect of the Bill will be. We know that it will be significant but not how significant.
That is another reason why a full report should be published by the Board.
My third reason for believing that a report of this kind is necessary is that it is clear that the capital taxes as they work at the moment have not been anything like effective enough. Despite the movement towards greater equality which took place during the 1960s—a movement which is likely to be reversed by this Finance Bill—the degree of inequality which remains is intolerable and 992 unjustifiable. It is clear that the distribution of wealth owned by individuals in our society is far more unequal than it is in other Western countries. It is far more unequal than in the United States, and the high probability is that it is more unequal than in any other Western mixed economy.
§ Mr. Marquand
Yes. If the Minister of State would care to look up the January-March issues of the "Political Quarterly" he will find a series of articles dealing with many different aspects of the taxation system. One article in that issue, by Professor Atkinson of the University of Essex, examines the taxation of wealth, and compares this country with other countries, and comes without any serious doubt, to the conclusion that I have mentioned. The Minister of State may be able to prove that I am wrong and that other Western countries are no more equal in the distribution of wealth than we are, but I shall be surpised if he can.
§ Mr. Higgins
The hon. Gentleman is jumping from one thing to another, from the distribution of wealth to whether the taxation system is or is not favourable. He started on the first, moved to the second, and has gone back to the first. I believe I am right in saying that Professor Atkinson did stress that the figures should be interpreted with great caution.
§ Mr. Marquand
Of course they have to be interpreted with caution. That is one of the reasons why we are asking for adequate information. The Minister of State cannot get out of his difficulties in that way. Professor Atkinson's article makes two things clear. The first is that the taxation of wealth in this country is narrower in scope than it is in many other Western countries. The second is that the distribution of wealth in this country is more unequal than it is in other Western countries. Those two conclusions are not at all inconsistent, indeed they support each other. It is precisely because the taxation of wealth is less effective in this country than elsewhere that the ownership of wealth is more unequal than elsewhere. Both these points are established clearly by Professor Atkinson. If the Minister of State has not read the article I suggest 993 that he should do so. I think that he will find it convincing.
§ Mr. Michael Meacher (Oldham, West)
Would my hon. Friend agree that a number of articles that have appeared by Lampman and Kolko in the "Review of Economic Studies" in the mid- and late 1960s have indicated that the degree of concentration of wealth held by the 1 per cent. or 5 per cent. who are richest is, if anything, twice as great in this country as in the United States?
§ Mr. Marquand
The authors to whom my hon. Friend is referring are cited in the Atkinson article.
It would be a pity to get too deep into an academic disquisition on all the sources and footnotes in the Atkinson article—[HON MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Hon. Members opposite should not cheer that point too loudly. After all, it was the pedantic insistence of the Minister of State on questioning me about the minutiae of the Atkinson article which got us involved in this discussion in the first place. I did not have any intention of going into the Atkinson article in this amount of detail. I was led into that academic bog by the Minister of State. If his hon. Friends want to blame anyone they should blame him.
The other point which is indisputable is that the chief of the capital taxes that we now have, namely, estate duty, has not increased its yield as a proportion of personal wealth anything like as rapidly as would have been expected considering the increases in rates that have taken place over the past 40 years. It has been estimated that in 1927 the revenue from estate duty came to 0.42 per cent. of personal wealth and that in 1966 the figure was 0.43 per cent. of personal wealth. That is in spite of the fact that over that period there has been a significant increase in the rates. The inescapable conclusion is that a massive avoidance of estate duty was built up over the years. One estimate is that in 1966 the total amount of gifts inter vivos which avoided estate duty came to £350 million or a quarter of the total value of estates subject to estate duty in that year. It is impossible to make a precise estimate, but there is no doubt that there has been very considerable avoidance because of the absence of an effective gifts tax.
994 It is clear, too, that a whole host of other Western countries with economies comparable to our own operate an annual wealth tax. Such a tax does not appear to be inconsistent in any way with the existence of a market economy; it does not appear to have stifled economic growth, to have prevented people from saving, or to have produced a loss of initiative or dynamism on the part of entrepreneurs or of anybody else. Sweden has one of the highest rates of growth in the Western world and has both a gifts tax and a wealth tax. Germany, not normally thought of as a hotbed of Bolshevism, has a wealth tax. The United States buttresses its estate duty with a gifts tax.
There can be no doubt that the scope of our capital taxes puts us way out on a limb in comparison with other countries. I hear the Financial Secretary muttering to his hon. Friend that we are way out on a limb because we have very high rates of estate duty. I entirely take that point. I am not saying that the existing rates of estate duty should necessarily be left unchanged. Not at all. What I am trying to establish is that our present system of estate duty with its combination of very high rates, and great ease of avoidance, has not achieved the purposes which, presumably, it was designed to achieve. Instead it has fortified a stubborn, and continuing inequality in the ownership of wealth which disfigures this society in comparison with other Western societies.
It would not be right at this point to propose a full-blooded scheme of reform in this branch of taxation. All kinds of possibilities need to be examined and discussed during the next few years. One possibility is to have a gifts tax and slightly lower rates of estate duty—a combination or package of that kind. Another suggestion which has many advocates is an annual tax on wealth. A suggestion which I personally find more attractive is that there should be a tax on the transfer of wealth over a person's lifetime. All of these possibilities exist, and many others.
I am not dogmatic about which of them, or which combination of them, should be adopted. What I do say is that reform is clearly needed, that we cannot go on as we are—and if we are to 995 have reform, then we must have first the information on which to base it. It is in that spirit that I move the Amendment.
§ Mr. Peter Rees (Dover)
I hope the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Marquand) will forgive me if I do not follow him in his lengthy analysis of various taxes on capital from which we suffer. I would have thought that the length of the list of those taxes would suggest that it is time they were cut down—on that ground alone; and on that ground alone I welcome the repeal of short-term gains tax. I hope also that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I do not follow him in his rather esoteric views and those of the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher). I would have thought that the new Clause could be objected to on two rather simpler grounds.
First of all, it leads to a massive erosion of the principle of confidentiality. It has always been a principle of our tax system that information given by the taxpayer and received by the Revenue should be treated in absolute confidence and used primarily for the taxation of that taxpayer alone, in the assessment and collection of tax from him. I am sure that this principle is scrupulously observed by inspectors of taxes in most cases when information is given to them in absolute confidence, but the possible use of some of that information in the compilation of official statistics is not entirely consistent with that, and I hope that on another occasion the Financial Secretary will look into that problem.
In any event, this Clause would lead to a really massive invasion of that principle and would weaken the confidence of taxpayers in the system.
After all, taxpayers have to give a great deal of confidential information about their affairs so that sufficient revenue can be collected for the running of the country. If they are asked to go beyond that they may find that that confidential information could be a prelude to imposing yet further stringent, swingeing taxation, and I would think that the taxpayers will object to what is proposed.
Secondly, there is a practical difficulty, that if this Clause were to be enacted and 996 were to be effective it would involve every taxpayer in listing annually every single piece of property he owns, and, further to that, having it valued, because if the property were not valued as well as listed the information would be of little use. This proposal goes far beyond the powers with which the Revenue are equipped by the Finance Act, 1965, to implement the capital gains provisions.
The only possible precedent for this Clause is the Domesday Book of the eleventh century. Possibly, as a prelude to our entry into Europe, we should be reminded of our Norman past, and the hon. Gentleman should be reminded, although I am sure that his knowledge of history is far greater than mine, that when the information for the Domesday Book was collected, that met with considerable resistance, even in the eleventh century. I think that it would meet with considerable resistance in the twentieth century.
This Clause is really a prelude to either a gifts tax or a wealth tax, or maybe to both. That is what the hon. Member suggested. I feel it is objectionable on those grounds, and also on the ground that it would impose an unwarranted burden on the taxpayer. Even though my right hon. Friend's Budget has lightened the burden of taxation, the taxpayers are still groaning under a fairly considerable burden of duties and obligations to the Revenue, and this proposal by the hon. Member would weaken the confidence of taxpayers in the whole Revenue system, to the point where it might not operate as effectively as hon. Members on both sides of the House would wish it to operate.
§ Mr. Meacher
The hon. and learned Member for Dover (Mr. Peter Rees) should not make so much of the problem of assessment and suggest that it would be beyond the powers of the Inland Revenue. He must be aware that other countries, such as Germany, quite effectively get over this problem by operating a system of wealth assessment, with a scissors system to ensure that if there should be under-assessment the taxpayer can be caught on a capital gains tax assessment. I do not think that the objection the hon. and learned Member raises is a serious one.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
Of course it is possible to devise a system of wealth tax which 997 might work in a rough and ready way, but that, as I understand it, is not the point of this Clause. As I understand it, the point of this Clause and what the hon. Member wants to extract from all of us is a very detailed and accurate analysis of our wealth for purposes which I would not regard as legitimate.
§ Mr. Meacher
The purpose for which this Clause is designed is a matter about which people can have differing opinions. I was only saying that the possibility of its implementation is not beyond our powers at present.
I should like to give strong support to my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Marquand) and his proposals, and for exactly the opposite reasons from those which the hon. and learned Member for Dover has put against them, because I believe that a harbinger of a wealth tax is highly desirable.
One of the main arguments used by my hon. Friend, which I support, is that a strong reason for the new Clause is the widespread existence of tax avoidance. While a full and probing annual report or a national wealth register, clearly, would not eliminate such practices, it could, clearly, be expected to induce a considerable decline in their frequency. I am sure that most hon. Members on this side would support the argument that that is the proper way to do it and not purely by a reduction of taxes. Tax avoidance, however, is not merely a drum with which to beat the rich. It clearly exists, and it exists in a form that contravenes the will of Parliament and any reasonable and proper canons of taxation, whether it is widespread or on a negligible scale.
There are several indications of that. One is the suspiciously large drop in the proportion of property chargeable to estate duty which passes by means of settlement. Another pointer is the extraordinary concentration of wealth in the hands of the youngest generation of adults in their early 20s. Another indicator is the wide and increasing discrepancy between gifts charged to estate duty at the present time and throughout the 1960s and the gifts that were valued for estate duty during the same period.
The latest calculation of the extent of this avoidance was made by Maurice Tait in 1967, when he estimated that the 998 under-enumeration of wealth in the Inland Revenue statistics due to avoidance amounted to between 34 and 50 per cent. I shall be pleased to give the Minister of State the exact references if he wishes to query this.
By comparing the Inland Revenue figures of personal wealth with net national income over the last 60 years, I have calculated that Tait's figures for under-enumeration may themselves be an under-enumeration of the facts. Even if Tait is right, however, this suggests that wealth today may amount to £110,000 million and not merely the £88,000 million of the latest Inland Revenue figures. This is a huge shortfall and one which must inevitably cause much public disquiet.
It may well be that if all the facts were known, our experience might be found to parallel that of America, where two United States Census Bureau experts, Miller and Herriot, reported three months ago that income and wealth studies which have produced the latest figures of 543 billion dollars had, on closer inspection, missed 76 billion dollars, or fully one-eighth of the total. The top income bracket had been thought to possess 1.8 per cent. of national income but was found on closer inspection to own 11 per cent. The degree of non-dutiability involved in these figures is, clearly, enormous and is not simply a small matter to be easily dismissed. Indeed, official ignorance of the actual position concerning the distribution of wealth is astounding.
On 11th February I asked a series of Questions. I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequerhow many private discretionary and other family settlements are in operation in Great Britain; and what is his estimate of the amount of money covered by such trusts.I was told:This information is not available.I asked the Chancellor:how many accumulation settlements are currently in existence in Great Britain in favour of infants; what is the total capital value of the sums at present covered by them; and what saving in family liability to income tax, surtax and estate duty he estimates is at present achieved by their use.That was hardly an unreasonable Question. Again, however, I was told thatThis information is not available.999 I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequerwhat estimates he has made of the annual loss in estate duty on policies of life assurance written on trust under the Married Women's Property Act, 1882".Again, I was told,No estimates is available.I asked the Chancellorhow much death duty he estimates is at present lost each year on account of gifts inter vivos and settlements made in consideration of marriageand I was told thatNo estimate is possible because the information about gifts outside the estate duty net is incomplete.I asked the Chancellor—and this is precisely the kind of information that might be provided by implementation of the new Clause:How much tax and estate duty he estimates is avoided as a result of covenants taken out in favour of their grandchildren by persons with an annual income over £5,000 and with capital holdings in excess of £20,000, respectively.Again, I was told:Information on which to base the desired estimates is not available."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th February, 1971; Vol. 811, c. 241–4.]That shows how little official knowledge there is about the existence, let alone the distribution, of wealth.
To want approximately accurate answers to those questions is not, as the hon. and learned Member for Dover suggested, an unreasonable intrusion into privacy. If it was considered proper under the Companies Act, 1967, that directors' remuneration should be made public on an individual basis, it is surely all the more proper that aggregate figures for wealth, concerning the distribution of the ownership of wealth, should be made public. The public are entitled to know because of the massive overall influence which wealth has over the whole of society.
It has rightly been said that today we take attitudes towards wealth which the Victorians reserved towards sex. It seems to me, however, that there are far more cogent reasons for bringing questions of wealth out into the open than there are for treating sex in that way, although I would not deny that there are reasons for that as well. But since it is the existing supply of capital which deter 1000 mines future wealth, and since, regrettably, the supply is inelastic, it is surely of the most acute importance that more information should be made available to the public about both its distribution and its availability, otherwise public debate is inevitably circumscribed, and in a free democracy there should be public discussion of this issue, which will affect future generations.
There is another powerful reason for having the fuller information which would be supplied as a result of the new Clause. The experience of the last year has made it clear beyond doubt that demand management will not succeed except within the context of some kind of incomes policy. It is, I believe, equally clear that in the present climate of Britain an incomes policy will not succeed unless all sources of earning power open to all sections of the community are brought out into the open.
It can be said at once that an undoubted quid pro quo that will be exacted for wage planning is precisely a controlled reduction of the enormous inequalities of wealth in our society today. There is at present no measure available available by which this could be done except in the crudest manner. The Gini coefficients, to which my hon. Friend referred, are far too indiscriminate and depend upon the all-inclusiveness of the wealth encapsulated in the Inland Revenue figures, a characteristic which is clearly lacking in most figures.
No analysis of the distribution of wealth has been undertaken independently of the Inland Revenue figures since the study done by Lydall and Tipping, which related to 1954 and is now obviously dated. Yet their finding that the richest 1 per cent. owned 81 per cent. of company stocks and shares and that 5 per cent. owned 96 per cent. of company stocks and shares seems to me to be interesting enough for the public to be told a great deal more and on a regular, systematic, official basis and not by the chance result of a private academic study. If, however, one asks, as one has done, how the position has changed since that time, the official answer is, "We do not know."
A full annual report on wealth would, therefore, open to public discussion a matter which is entirely shrouded in mystery, a situation which is entirely 1001 unhealthy if full and willing communal support for an overall raising of the level of national resources is to be obtained. This in itself seems to me to be a perfectly adequate justification for the new Clause, but it is, as I have said, buttressed by the need to satisfy public disquiet about the distortions created by tax avoidance.
If the Government in appointing the Fisher Committee have shown themselves to be sensitive to the relatively few hundreds of thousands of £s that are no doubt mis-spent as a result of the fraudulent claiming of social service benefits they should show themselves to be far more sensitive to the much greater haemorrhage of funds which undoubtedly results from these dubious and anti-social manipulations of wealth. A full and probing annual report on wealth would be an earnest of the Government's intention to put a stop to these practices too.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Martin McLaren (Bristol, North-West)
I can state my objections to the new Clause in a short compass. There are already a great many published figures. There are, for example, tables showing the annual yield from estate duty, from capital gains tax and from surtax, which is an income tax which has some bearing on this subject. An annual report on the distribution of privately-owned wealth would involve a valuation of the assets of taxpayers which would be unwieldy and difficult to achieve. On philosophical grounds, it may not be fair for society to include some rich men, but they do make charitable gifts. Looking back on previous generations, I say to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) that if William of Wykeham had not been a rich man he and I would not have benefited from his liberality, and New College, Oxford, and Winchester College would never have been founded.
The Socialists like having more civil servants doing more work and producing yet further reports. Those who have spoken in favour of the Clause are using it as a peg on which to hang their views on the distribution of wealth. The figures that we already have are enough. On those grounds I am not in favour of the new Clause.
§ Mr. John Cronin (Loughborough)
The hon. Member for Bristol, North-West 1002 (Mr. McLaren) made an interesting speech. It is refreshing to notice that the only argument he could produce for having people in the community who are very much richer than others was that William of Wykeham in the thirteenth century was able to found Winchester College and New College. That was a charmingly archaic aspect of his speech.
We on this side of the House, who take this matter more seriously, feel real disquiet at the figures given by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Marquand) in the admirable speech with which he moved the new Clause. It is very unsatisfactory that 1 per cent. of the population owns one-third of the personal wealth of the population, and 10 per cent. own 75 per cent. I do not think that anyone contests those figures. The Minister of State disagreed that we were unique among Western industrial countries in the grossly unequal distribution of wealth. All the evidence we have so far is consistent with the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield that as a Western industrial country we are one of the worst in the grossly unequal distribution of wealth. I have no doubt there are other countries much worse in this respect than ourselves, countries like Spain, some of the South American countries and the various banana republics, but it is very unsatisfactory that this gross inequality still exists in a modern industrial country like ours.
My hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield pointed out that the Finance Bill which we are discussing will greatly increase the inequalities of wealth, and this is evidently true. The relief of surtax, the aggregation of children's taxation, capital gains tax to be used instead of betterment levy, the abolition of capital gains lax at death—all these will increase the inequalities of wealth by hundreds of millions. This we must expect to some extent from the present Government but it is surprising that the Government should refuse to have a mere investigation into the distribution of wealth.
It seems at first most odd that there has been no real change in the distribution of wealth in spite of estate duty which has been levied in increasing proportions for over a generation. There are reasons for this. One reason is that 1003 there is no adequate gift tax and, consequently, it is possible for wealthy men to give away a large proportion of their income provided they do so in conformity with the laws about inter vivos gifts.
Another effect is the continuous rise in the price of equity shares which over a long period has made estate duty entirely derisory. I agree with the Financial Secretary that there has been some recent short-term decrease but, nevertheless, there has been a gradual gigantic increase in the value of equity shares, and that alone has made nonsense of estate duty by increasing the unequal distribution of wealth. There is alse the 40 per cent. reduction of estate duty for property held in the form of agricultural 'and and forest land. Every rich man makes sure that he holds a substantial proportion of his wealth in the form of agricultural or forest land, because that ensures a tremendous benefit to his heirs. Finally, there is the question of discretionary trusts and covenants for grandchildren. This has been reduced in scope to some extent but, nevertheless, covenants over the last 20 years or so have immensely increased the unequal distribution of wealth, and will probably continue to do so to a limited extent.
We on this side of this House find that there is a strong case for reform. There is a strong case for having some form of gift tax, and a strong case for some form of wealth tax. We regard these gross differences of wealth in the community as socially repugnant. This is the basic difference in philosophy between this side of the House and hon. Gentlemen opposite.
This grossly unequal distribution of wealth has immense social consequences, of which the most important is the overt and also the hidden hostility between trade unionists and industrialists. This is probably one of the most serious causes of our present economic difficulties.
No one would deny that to a very large extent inflation is caused by increases in wages unaccompanied by productivity. That is a truism that everyone will accept, though some may make qualifications. The only way to overcome this state of things in any kind of democratic society will be by obtaining 1004 the co-operation of trade unionists. How can any Government obtain that cooperation when there is this obvious gross difference of enormous wealth and luxury and ostentatious high living on one side—[Interruption.]—and, on the other side, people living on what are barely subsistence incomes?
Hon. Members opposite may laugh, but that there should be 10 per cent. of our population living in circumstances of intolerable economic misery is a disgrace to the country. There is nothing funny about it at all. That there should be this fantastic contrast between ostentatious wealth on one side and the submerged tenth of the population living in miserable poverty on the other is a national scandal. It will discourage in every possible way trade unionists cooperating with the present Government, or any other Government, if such a situation continues.
I therefore suggest that there is a tremendous social need to reform the present situation of gross differences in personal wealth, if only to improve our economic difficulties and get more cooperation from the trade union movement, quite apart from questions of Socialist philosophy.
I hope that the Minister of State will agree to this very modest request. We ask only for information, and I am sure that the cost of getting that information would be very small. It could be obtained by hon. Members on this side putting down questions or writing large numbers of letters, but that would be a laborious and uneconomic method. It would be so much simpler if the Government would get an annual report making the situation completely clear.
Surely the Government approve in principle of the existence of estate duty and of capital gains tax—otherwise, presumably, they would abolish both completely. If they approve of those taxes, why do they not want any information about their effect? There may be some wealthy people who feel they have been unfairly treated and would like information themselves on the subject. Surely the Government are interested in how these various types of capital tax affect the economy? That being so, the Government themselves would in their own interests be well advised to accept the Clause.
1005 I suggest that what we seek is something which would improve the whole body of economic knowledge. Fiscal administrative knowledge would be greatly added to if we could have this simple information which could be obtained easily and at relatively small cost. Unless the Government have something to hide, unless they intend to persist in a grave lack of frankness about something so vital to our economy, the Minister of State should accept the Clause.
§ Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)
Until I heard the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Cronin) I had no intention of speaking. I do not know whether he has been to the South of France or to Spain over the weekend and has been meeting the wrong people, but though he finished by saying that he wanted information, most of his speech seemed to indicate that he had already made up his mind that anything the Labour Government had done to help the poor in the community was worse than useless, because the only Government so far to have done anything to help the lower one-tenth are my right hon. Friends, who have just done that in this Budget.
§ Mr. Cronin
I do not wish to be rude to the hon. Member, but if he really believes that the present Government will be more helpful to the submerged tenth than were their predecessors, it is a very short intellectual step to believing that the earth is flat.
§ Mr. Lewis
The fact is that it is the present Government which have provided additional income for those with whose incomes are below what it is considered reasonable to live on. Those people with families get an additional income, which they certainly did not get under the Labour Government.
It was to be expected that hon. Members opposite would press for some form of redistribution of wealth—a gifts tax. One expects that when they next provide a programme for the country they will want to introduce such a tax. I would not very much mind a gifts tax if it took the place of what I consider to be overall an over-high estate duty rate. If there were an equalisation in this respect no one would greatly complain; but they 1006 would complain if there were a gifts tax on top of all the other taxes, including estate duty.
One of the problems under both the previous Government and this is that we cannot get an equalisation of capital resources while we have such a high rate of surtax. It is extraordinary to note that hon. and right hon. Members opposite never suggest a reduction in surtax. Not only that, but they complain when we ease the rate. If they will look at company reports they will find that at present all the large companies are seeking opportunities for their junior directors and executives to buy into their companies—to get shares.
These companies realise that because surtax rates are so high on incomes of £5,000 and above, it is very difficult for young men to get a stake in the firm for which they work. Therefore, at annual general meetings they ask shareholders to approve various schemes which enable those executives to buy in shares in the company with special arrangements for paying for them over a period. If hon. Members opposite want to equalise the distribution of capital they should look seriously at their own attitude to surtax, and agree that those who are running our great companies should have an opportunity to acquire a stake in the shareholding.
§ Dr. John Gilbert (Dudley)
If it is so difficult for people to acquire capital under the present system of taxation, is it not therefore a fact that all those who are obtaining an advantage are getting the benefit of large sums of inherited capital, which is what the Clause is about?
§ Mr. Lewis
But the people I am talking about do not have any inherited capital. The fact is that if surtax rates were not so high, those to whom I am referring would have the opportunity to go at least some part of the way towards acquiring small fortunes equal to those who have already got them.
If hon. Members opposite decide to impose a gifts tax on top of penal estate duty, and if they intend to deal with covenants and gifts inter vivos, they will simply create a situation in which large numbers of people will send their wealth abroad. Some of them do so now—there is nothing to prevent it. But what the 1007 country needs at present is an increase in investment, and much of this investment comes from those with large amounts of money.
What is the difference between a capital sum of, say, £100,000 or even £50,000 and £250,000, £500,000 or £1 million? A man needs only three meals a day. At most, he can have them at more expensive restaurants than other people. He may also have a bigger house and a better motor car. However, when he has done all that, he has to invest his money and he puts it into industry.
Most of the wealth in this country is creative of more wealth. Those who have large amounts of money get more money because they put it into industry and it increases in value. It certainly provides them with larger capital resources, but it also provides industry with the means to grow and to employ more and more people and, if it is prosperous, at better rates of pay. If we had some of that capital now, we would find unemployment coming down from over 700,000 to a much lower figure of 300,000 or 400,000.
The incentive to acquire wealth in a free enterprise society is necessary to the growth of industry. The sooner right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite recognise that, the better. When they talk about killing the rich, they had better be careful that, in so doing, they do not create a situation where the rich decide to scatter and we have no one left to stimulate industry to the benefit of the country as a whole.
§ Mr. Higgins
I think this may reasonably be described as having been a fascinating debate. We have witnessed some remarkably prejudiced viewpoints by hon. Members opposite backed by a mass of reference to academic writings. However, when one referred to the footnotes, there seemed to be some reluctance to go into the details. It is important, if we are to quote this or that particular study, to include some of the qualifications which are made as well as referring to the broad conclusions which the author thereof may have drawn. I shall have something more to say about that later.
The hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) was nothing if not pre 1008 dictable. One of his remarks which struck me was that the wealth register would reduce tax avoidance. This, like many of his remarks, was asserted without being proved. I listened with greater intensity at that point and was disappointed that he did not enlarge upon it in his subsequent remarks.
We have had a wide-ranging debate on this new Clause, as on the previous one. The Opposition have put down a new Clause which, though mentioned in the first two or three minutes of the speech of the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Marquand), was diverted to whatever hon. Gentlemen opposite wanted to raise in the general discussion. I hope that I shall not be regarded as being unfair if I therefore treat the new Clause on its merits as a new Clause.
Although the new Clause asks for an annual report, apart from the opening remarks of the hon. Member for Ashfield, no one has stressed why such a report should be an annual report. Yet this surely, from the amount of work which would be involved, is an important factor which needs to be taken into account.
On the broad issues which have been raised, the great philosophical difference between the two sides of the House is that we on this side are concerned with building up wealth, whereas hon. Gentlemen opposite are merely concerned with redistributing it. That being so, we ought to look at the new Clause in the context of what is undoubtedly and clearly recognised to be the great difference between us.
I was sorry that the hon. Member for Ashfield engaged in some somewhat heavy rhetoric in talking about a degree of inequality which was intolerable and utterly unjustifiable. It is significant that this is at the end of a period, apart from last year, of Labour Government which had been going for some years. It is strange, in view of the sudden enthusiasm for the idea of a wealth register of this kind, that this should be the first occasion since I came to this House in 1964 on which this topic should arise, although there were many other occasions on which hon. Gentlemen opposite, when on this side of the House, could have raised it.
I turn now to the statistics which are already published. The estimates of wealth which appear in the Inland 1009 Revenue statistics are based on estate duty statistics. A great many things are assumed in reaching those calculations, including that estates passing on death are a representative sample both in number and in value of the property of individuals. It is recognised that they are subject to fairly wide margins of error and are in some respects incomplete. None the less, my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary, in answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Ash-field on 27th October last, gave an indication of the broad distribution of wealth so far as it can be established from available data. He also referred to the Gini coefficient, which is a broad indicator of the degree of inequality of wealth. In this context, it is worth pointing out that this coefficient as an indication of the trend is, on the whole, a fairly reliable indicator. Individual years may vary, but as a broad indication of the trend it is a good indicator which has changed little. The House will recall that whereas in 1960 the coefficient was 76, by 1968 it had declined to 68. Therefore, there is a considerable trend towards less inequality of wealth.
One point which has been raised is that it is a question of what one regards as a reasonable trend in this context. Professor Atkinson says in his conclusion in his article that there is no clear evidence of a rapid reduction in inequality over time. I think that the kind of trend which I have described, a Gini coefficient of concentration going from 76 in 1960 down to 68 in 1968, is indeed a fairly rapid decline. I think that this is a better indicator than many which we have had.
§ Mr. Marquand
I think that I conceded that point in what I said. Surely the hon. Gentleman accepts that the Inland Revenue itself pointed out, in the very publication from which he is quoting, that necessarily its estimates of the Gini coefficient had been based on the data that it gets from the taxes which it operates at present. It then goes on to list a whole series of defects in these data.
§ Mr. Higgins
Yes. I have already stressed that a number of assumptions are made. The point which I am endeavouring to make is that, as an indication 1010 of the trend, the Gini coefficient is fairly reliable. Although there are imperfections in the basic data, taking a run of years these tend to even out.
I turn now to what seems to be the crux of the case. The Inland Revenue is endeavouring to improve the statistics whenever possible. There have been criticisms, for example, of the statistics as they stand. One comment was that they do not include wealth the subject of discretionary trusts. Such wealth did not attract estate duty on the death of a discretionary beneficiary until the law was altered in the Finance Act, 1969. Following the alteration in the law, the amounts held on discretionary trust will be reflected in the published figures. It will take time, but the data will be correspondingly improved.
The crux of the matter is whether we ought to produce this kind of data in an annual form. It is to that question that I want to devote my concluding remarks. Before doing so, I should like to answer the various allegations which have been made about whether the Budget is excessively regressive, whether it is a rich man's Budget, and so on. These points have been debated repeatedly in Committee, and my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary has dealt with them in great detail. In our view, the Budget meets the needs of the time, and we do not accept the views which have been put forward by hon. Gentlemen opposite in this respect. I should be out of order, Mr. Speaker, if I pursued that point further, but I felt it right to place that clearly on the record.
On the need for such an annual report, there were big differences between the two sides of the House about the cost of producing such data. The hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Cronin) seemed to think that it would be absolutely trivial. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dover (Mr. Peter Rees) was much closer to the mark when he said that a great deal of work would be involved and that one would effectively have to carry out a census of wealth which would necessarily mean that every body would have to estimate their wealth and this would necessarily raise very difficult questions of valuation. This is surely something that we ought 1011 to take into account. Clearly, to a very considerable extent it depends on the reason why such a census of wealth conducted annually is or is not justified. Many hon. Members opposite made no secret of the fact that they felt that a wealth tax would be a desirable introduction into our tax system. One can understand that they may well feel that such a census would be justified in that case. As my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary made clear in Committee, this is not our view, and we consider that it would not be justified to expend the resources necessary to conduct a comprehensive survey of the kind which hon. Members opposite seem to have in mind.
In this context it is not irrelevant to note that the trend in the Gini coefficient, to which I have referred, has been pretty constant over the years, and, moreover, that the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) did not seem to be persuaded when he was Chancellor by the arguments now being put forward from the Opposition Front Bench; indeed, he made it pretty clear on one occasion that he did not feel that the expense of such an operation would be justified. Such a proposal did not appear in the Labour Party's election manifesto.
It seems to us that this proposal is not one which, in the present fiscal situation, ought to be supported by the House. I hope that the House will reject the new Clause.
§ Mr. Marquand
With your leave, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I should like to reply briefly to what the Minister of State has said.
I found the hon. Gentlemans' reply extremely disappointing and rather below his usual standard, if I may say that without presumption. He seemed to be unclear about whether he was in favour of greater equality in the distribution of wealth. He began by saying that there was a philosophical gulf between the two
§ sides. Then he pointed to the movement of the Gini coefficient, and appeared to take pride in the fact that it had moved in an egalitarian direction under the last Conservative Government. It was not clear where he stood on that point.
§ The other major argument was that the Labour Government had not introduced the sort of taxes which have been discussed by my hon. Friends in this debate. I remind the Minister of Stale that the Labour Government introduced the capital gains tax and the aggregation of children's income, tightened up the loopholes in estate duty and, in general, moved in the direction which the present Government are moving away from.
§ I take up two other points made by my hon. Friends which seem to be of central importance to the philosophical gulf to which the Minister referred. As my hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Mr. Cronin) said, if we are to obtain the co-operation of working people in the operation of any kind of incomes policy, we have to demonstrate that we are moving in the direction of greater social justice and greater equality in our society.
§ It is not only from the point of view of a philosophical commitment to greater equality and social justice that my hon. Friends and I believe that the taxes on capital should be reformed and that the information should be produced to enable such a reform to be carried out; we believe also that that reform is necessary because the experience of the past year has shown that a regressive and reactionary Government are incapable of running the economy efficiently, quite apart from moral and philosophical considerations.
§ Because we believe this and because we find, in terms of that belief, that the reply of the Minister of State was disappointing and unsatisfactory, my hon. Friends and I will support the new Clause in the Division Lobby.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 151, Noes 183.1013
|Division No. 407.]||AYES||[7.35 p.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Carmichael, Neil|
|Allen, Scholefield||Booth, Albert||Clark, David (Colne Valley)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Bradley, Tom||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)|
|Ashton, Joe||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Coleman, Donald|
|Barnett, Joel||Buchan, Norman||Concannon, J. D.|
|Bishop, E. S.||Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Palmer, Arthur|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stetchford)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Davidson, Arthur||John, Brynmor||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Pendry, Tom|
|Deakins, Eric||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Delargy, H. J.||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Jones, Rt. Hn. SirElwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Dempsey, James||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Doig, Peter||Judd, Frank||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Kaufman, Gerald||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Kerr, Russell||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Driberg, Tom||Lambie, David||Roper, John|
|Eadie, Alex||Latham, Arthur||Ross, Rt. Hn, William (Kilmarnock)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lawson, George||Sandelson, Neville|
|Evans, Fred||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Sillars, James|
|Ferynhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Silverman, Julius|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)||Loughlin, Charles||Skinner, Dennis|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Small, William|
|Ford, Ben||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||McBride, Neil||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mackie, John||Strang, Gavin|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Marks, Kenneth||Swain, Thomas|
|Ginsburg, David||Marquand, David||Taverne, Dick|
|Golding, John||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mayhew, Christopher||Tinn, James|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Meacher, Michael||Torney, Tom|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Tuck, Raphael|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Mendelson, John||Wallace, George|
|Hamling, William||Millan, Bruce||Watkins, David|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Wellbeloved, James|
|Hardy, Peter||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Hattersley, Roy||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Whitlock, William|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Murray, Ronald King||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Horam, John||Ogden, Eric||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||O'Halloran, Michael||Woof, Robert|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Orme, Stanley||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Oswald, Thomas||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and|
|Janner, Greville||Paget, R. T.||Mr. James A. Dunn.|
|Adley, Robert||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Hay, John|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Cormack, Patrick||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Critchley, Julian||Hicks, Robert|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Crouch, David||Higgins, Terence L.|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Crowder, F. P.||Hiley, Joseph|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Curran, Charles||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)|
|Batsford, Brian||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Holt, Miss Mary|
|Bell, Ronald||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||Hordern, Peter|
|Benyon, W.||Dean, Paul||Hornby, Richard|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. DamePatricia|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Dixon, Piers||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Blaker, Peter||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Dykes, Hugh||Hunt, John|
|Boscawen, Robert||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Eyre, Reginald||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Bowden, Andrew||Farr, John||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Fell, Anthony||Jessel, Toby|
|Bray, Ronald||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Kilfedder, James|
|Brock[...]ebank-Fowler, Christopher||Fookes, Miss Janet||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Foster, Sir John||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Bryan, Paul||Fowler, Norman||Kinsey, J. R.|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Gibson-Watt, David||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Buck, Antony||Goodhart, Philip||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Gorst, John||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Carlis[...]e, Mark||Gower, Raymond||Longden, Gilbert|
|Chapman, Sydney||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Loveridge, John|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Gray, Hamish||Luce, R. N.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Green, Alan||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Churchill, W. S.||Gummer, Selwyn||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||McLaren, Martin|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Clegg, Walter||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)|
|Cooke, Robert||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Cooper, A. E.||Hawkins, Paul||Maddan, Martin|
|Madel, David||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Marten, Neil||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Mather, Carol||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Tebbit, Norman|
|Maude, Angus||Redmond, Robert||Temple, John M.|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Rees, Peter (Dover)||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Mitchil, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W)||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Moate, Roger||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Trew, Peter|
|Monro, Hector||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Rost, Peter||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|More, Jasper||Russell, Sir Ronald||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Scott, Nicholas||Waddington, David|
|Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Scott-Hopkins, James||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Mudd, David||Shelton, William (Clapham)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Murton, Oscar||Simeons, Charles||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Neave, Airey||Sinclair, Sir George||Warren, Kenneth|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Normanton, Tom||Soref, Harold||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Onslow, Cranley||Speed, Keith||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Spence, John||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Sproat, Iain||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Stainton, Keith||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)||Stanbrook, Ivor||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Peel, John||Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)|
|Percival, Ian||Stokes, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Pink, R. Bonner||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Mr. Tim Fortescue and|
|Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Tapsell, Peter||Mr. Victor Goodhew.|