§ Mr. Speaker
With this Amendment I think it will be convenient to discuss the following Amendments: No. 24, in page 4, line 2, leave out 'or' and insert 'and'.
No. 25, in page 4, line 3, leave out 'as the case may be'.
No. 26, in page 4, line 4, leave out from 'Act' to end of subsection and insert:'shall remain in force until repealed by an order made by the Secretary of State and approved by both Houses of Parliament '.No. 27, in page 4, line 11, at end insert:(3) An order made under this section shall be subject to approval by both houses of Parliament.
§ Mr. Ross
That will be convenient, Mr. Speaker.
This group of Amendments deal with Clause 5. The point to note is that, although we are abolishing straight away the monopoly powers of the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Scotland over the State management districts of Carlisle, Gretna and Cromarty Firth, the right of those Ministers to continue to supply goes on until such time as it is eventually repealed by order.
These are important powers which it is suggested should continue for a year. I think they should continue for much longer. The importance of the powers is that the Secretary of State could expand his business during this time. It may be that in the circumstances it is 1664 necessary to do that, but it is essential that the repeal of legislation as important as this should not be done quietly. It ought to be done after debate in the House.
The intention of the Amendment is to make the Clause much more positive by taking away from the Secretary of State for Scotland the power to do something at will. Instead the change being made quietly by means of a Statutory Instrument which no one will hear about, we say that if he wants to amend the legislation he should adopt the affirmative Resolution procedure and debate the matter in the House.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Mark Carlisle)
The purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that the affirmative Resolution procedure is adopted to wind up the remaining powers of the Secretary of State after schemes in the State management areas have ceased to trade. The monopoly powers of the Secretary of State are removed when the Bill receives the Royal Assent. The Clause provides that when the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Scotland have completed the disposal of the assets, they should then, by Statutory Instrument, be able to repeal their powers to trade in these areas.
I cannot see the purpose of requiring that that action should be taken by Order and be subject to an affirmative Resolution of both Houses. The only effect of the Amendment would be that, although the assets of the State management schemes had been sold, and although the Secretary of State no longer had power to license premises, he could not wind up his legislative powers without coming back to the House to debate the Order to do that. The Amendment would achieve nothing. It would serve no useful purpose, and would merely retain on the Statute Book provisions which would be dead wood. I therefore invite the House to reject the Amendment.
1665 The purpose of Amendments No. 24 and 25 is to say that the Secretary of State for Scotland should not make an Order removing his powers after he has disposed of all the premises in the Scottish areas unless at the same time an Order is made by the Home Secretary for the Carlisle area. It seems to me that no useful purpose would be served by requiring both Orders to be made at the same time.
Once the assets have been disposed of, and no further trading is being carried
|Division No. 394.]||AYES||[7.3 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Garrett, W. E.||Mitchell, R. c (S'hampton, Itchen)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Gilbert, Dr. John||Molloy, William|
|Alien, Scholefield||Ginsburg, David||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Gourlay, Harry||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)|
|Ashton, Joe||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Atkinson, Norman||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Oram, Bert|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Orme, Stanley|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Paget, R. T.|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Booth, Albert||Hamling, William||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Bradley, Tom||Hardy, Peter||Pendry, Tom|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Hattersley, Roy||Pentland, Norman|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Buchan, Norman||Heffer, Eric S.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Hooson, Emlyn||Probert, Arthur|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Horam, John||Rankin, John|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Roper, John|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Hunter, Adam||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Sandelson, Neville|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Sillars, James|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||John-, Brynmor||Silverman, Julius|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Cronin, John||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Small, William|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Kaufman, Gerald||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Kerr, Russell||Spearing, Nigel|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Kinnock, Nell||Stallard, A. W.|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Lamond, James||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Latham, Arthur||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Lawson, George||Tinn, James|
|Delargy, H. J.||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Torney, Tom|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Lestor, Miss Joan||Tuck, Raphael|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Varley, Eric G.|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lomas, Kenneth||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Driberg, Tom||Loughlin, Charles||Wallace, George|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Watkins, David|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Weitzman, David|
|Eadie, Alex||McBride, Neil||Wellbeloved, James|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McCartney, Hugh||White, James (Gasgow, Pollok)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McElhone, Frank||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Ellis, Tom||Mackenzie, Gregor||Whitlock, William|
|English, Michael||Maclennan, Robert||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Evans, Fred||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)||Marks, Kenneth||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Woof, Robert|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mendeison, John|
|Forrester, John||Mikardo, Ian||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Miller, Dr. M, S.||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Calpern, Sir Myer||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Mr. John Golding.|
§ on by the Secretaries of State in the areas for which they have a responsibility, it seems right that they should have the power, by Statutory Instrument, to repeal the existing provisions of the 1964 or 1959 Acts. I therefore invite the House to reject these Amendments also.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 176, Noes 204.
|Adley, Robert||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Osborn, John|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Astor, John||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Peel, John|
|Awdry, Daniel||Haselhurst, Alan||Percival, Ian|
|Baker, W, H. K. (Banff)||Havers, Michael||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Batsford, Brian||Higgins, Terence L.||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Hiley, Joseph||Pounder, Rafton|
|Bell, Ronald||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Benyon, W.||Holland, Philip||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Holt, Miss Mary||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia||Raison, Timothy|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Body, Richard||Howell, David (Guildford)||Redmond, Robert|
|Boscawen, Robert||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Hunt, John||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Bowden, Andrew||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Bray, Ronald||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||James, David||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Rost, Peter|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Bryan, Paul||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Kilfedder, James||Scott, Nicholas|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Kimball, Marcus||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Burden, F. A.||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Shulton, William (Clapham)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G.(Moray&Nairn)||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Simeons, Charles|
|Carlisle, Mark||Kinsey, J. R.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Chapman, Sydney||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington|
|Churchill, W. S.||Knox, David||Speed, Keith|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Lambton, Antony||Spence, John|
|Clegg, Walter||Lane, David||Sproat, lain|
|Cooke, Robert||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Coombs, Derek||Le Marchant, Spencer||Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Stoddart-Scott, Col, Sir M.|
|Cormack, Patrick||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Sutcliffe, John|
|Costain, A. P.||Longden, Gilbert||Tapsell, Peter|
|Critchley, Julian||Loveridge, John||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Crouch, David||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Taylor, Edward M,(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Crowder, F. P.||McCrindle, R. A.||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Curran, Charles||McLaren, Martin||Tebbit, Norman|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)||Trew, Peter|
|Dixon, Piers||Maginnis, John E.||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Marten, Neil||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Mather, Carol||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Dykes, Hugh||Maude, Angus||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Elliott, R. W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Mawby, Ray||Waddington, David|
|Eyre, Reginald||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Farr, John||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Fell, Anthony||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W)||Wall, Patrick|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Moate, Roger||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Fidler, Michael||Molyneaux, James||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Money, Ernle||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Fowler, Norman||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Fox, Marcus||Monro, Hector||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Fry, Peter||More, Jasper||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Gardner, Edward||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Goodhew, Victor||Mudd, David||Younger, Hn. George|
|Gower, Raymond||Murton, Oscar|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Gray, Hamish||Neave, Airey||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Green, Alan||Nott, John||Mr. Paul Hawkins and|
|Gummer, Selwyn||Onslow, Cranley||Mr. Hugh Rossi.|
|Gurden, Harold||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
§ 7.12 p.m.
§ Mr. Carlisle
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
We have had a protracted Committee stage and a fairly long Report stage, and no one could suggest that the Bill's details have not been fully argued. But we have 1668 heard so much extravagant language and so many utterly unfounded imputations from hon. Members opposite that I should like to remind the House what the Bill does and the reasons for it.
It brings to an end State management of the liquor trade which has operated in 1669 three small areas—Carlisle, Gretna and the Cromarty Firth area—in two stages. First, on the date of the Royal Assent, Clause 1 abolishes the monopoly position of the Secretary of State in those areas; second, Clause 2 requires the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Scotland to dispose of their properties in those areas on such terms as appear to them expedient in the public interest. After that, the provisions of the 1959 and 1964 Acts may be repealed by Statutory Instrument.
The Bill simply ends what started as an experiment over 50 years ago, aimed at implementing the concern about drunkenness which was said to exist in those areas. It has been allowed to continue despite the fact that the reason for it has long passed.
In view of the wild accusations which have been made, I should like to go over the reasons which the Home Secretary gave on Second Reading for the Government's decision to legislate. First, we believe that the continuance of the State's monopoly is a restriction on freedom of choice and on the freedom of individuals to apply for licences which operates in the rest of the country—for off-licences and on-licences. Ever since the State Management Scheme came into being, those who live in Carlisle have not been able to buy from such a wide range of off-licence outlets as is available in the rest of the country, where supermarkets and grocers provide a sense of competition to the advantage of the inhabitants.
Second, the Secretary of State's power to prevent any competition to the State management scheme was usurping the powers of local licensing magistrates, who could operate on their local knowledge.
Third, we believe that there is a wholly inadequate return on the capital invested in this scheme. As my right hon. Friend said on Second Reading, taking the net trading profit, in the last three years the rate of return on the estimated value of the assets in the Carlisle area amounts to 4 per cent. before tax. It is economically ridiculous to carry on at that rate when the State has to borrow money at 8 or 9 per cent.
The Opposition, particularly the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), cannot have it both ways. The right hon. Gentleman argued many times in Committee that we had under-estimated the value of these premises, which he said 1670 was much more than the £4 million we suggested. If so, the rate of return is even less, so the economic argument is strengthened.
The figures which were criticised on Second Reading related to net trading profit. If one really wants to look at the return on the capital involved which the State has received from the scheme, one should look not at the net trading profit but at the figure which more accurately corresponds to the amount distributed in profits by a commercial company; namely, that amount transmitted to the Consolidated Fund out of the profits of the scheme.
The figure for the last year up to March, 1970, transmitted was only £19,346. The rest of the profits were all unappropriated and, therefore, used for capital expenditure. If one looks at what happened over the five years ended March, 1970, one sees that the annual profits out of this scheme in Carlisle have amounted in total to £919,927 and that the capital expenditure has totalled £713,346, so that the actual return to the Consolidated Fund has worked out on average at a rate of about 1 per cent. It is, therefore, economic nonsense to suggest that this is a viable and profitable scheme for the State.
The fourth reason why this Bill was introduced was that we do not believe that the sale of liquor in the area of Carlisle, Gretna and Cromarty Firth is an appropriate activity for Government. The social justification which may have justified setting up the scheme in 1916 no longer exists today.
The right hon. Member for Kilmarnock has attacked me for saying this, but I repeat that in my view it should not be the concern of the Home Secretary or his Department to be bothered with the sale of liquor in three small geographical areas. If it is right, as has been suggested, and if this is a proper activity in which Government should be involved, I again ask the right hon. Gentleman the question which he has studiously avoided throughout these debates: if it is right for Carlisle, why is it not right for the rest of the country? If it is wrong to denationalise the breweries in this area, why was it not right for the Labour Government to advocate that all breweries should be in the hands of the State?
§ Mr. Carlisle
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's view, and I hope that his right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock will answer my question.
In view of the wild imputations and allegations that have been made by hon. Gentlemen opposite, perhaps I should comment on the way in which the sale will be implemented. We have made it clear that we propose to sell these premises by the use of the advice that we receive from outside agents who will be appointed for the purpose of sale. Those outside agents are to be appointed by the Government for this purpose—
§ Mr. Carlisle
—and the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis) knows that the valuation department of the Treasury wrote to the President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors inviting him to recommend to the Government appropriate agents for carrying out these sales. As I said on Report, we have invited to act for us those agents whom the President of that Institution has recommended.
How is it to be done? In Carlisle the unlicensed premises will be valued and offered at or near the valuation price to the existing tenants. Of the unlicensed premises, the smaller 40 or so will be offered at or near valuation to the sitting tenants or managers. If they are not interested, they will go to public auction. The hotels will be sold by public auction. The remainder of the public houses and breweries will be sold in accordance with the advice received from our agents as to the best methods of sale. The premises having been offered at or near valuation to the tenants or managers so as to give them the first right of purchase, if the position should occur that one of these individuals is not willing to meet the price we ask and comes back with a counter offer, then if such a property goes to public auction, the amount offered by the tenant will be taken into account when fixing what would be the appropriate reserve on that piece of property.
It is nonsensical for hon. Gentlemen opposite to talk about this method of sale being corrupt or to refer to is at 1672 "selling off cheap" to the brewing industry. Hon. Gentlemen opposite know that there is no truth in that. It is abundantly clear that this is a wholly arm's-length transaction and a correct method for the Government to apply.
A substantial number of properties is involved and, therefore, the Bill lays down no timetable. We hope to complete the sale in about a year, but there is no question whatever of having to accept a lower price simply to complete the sale within a specific period.
Among all the wildest remarks made about the Bill, the most disgraceful were some of those made by the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), who I notice has kept well away from any proceedings on the Bill after the despicable speech he made on Second Reading.
§ Mr. Carlisle
The right hon. Gentleman was quoted as saying that in the matter of the Government's disposal of these assets, the nation was seeing Toryism at its worst. He said there were two principles which should be a guide, the first that the Government were trustees for the public and should therefore get the best possible price, and the second that in view of the close relationship between the Government and big business, the methods used should be entirely above suspicion and conducted at arm's length. Both points are being met by this method of sale.
§ Mr. Carlisle
The right hon. Gentleman's remarks were, therefore, completely ridiculous.
I have been questioned about the cost of the sale. We understand that the likely fees of the agents will be between 2¼ per cent. and 2¾ per cent. of the total amount realised. There will be no solicitors' and conveyancing fees because this work will be done by the Treasury Solicitor's Department in the normal way.
It has been suggested that by ending the monopoly of the Royal Assent before the disposal of the property has been completed we shall be reducing the price the taxpayer is likely to receive. This is a fallacious argument because, as I said 1673 in Committee, anyone who buys knows full well that the monopoly position is to be removed and that he will have to face the normal risk of competition which he would face anywhere else. I therefore do not believe that there is any advantage to the taxpayer in retaining the monopoly position until the sale is made, when it will clearly be ended when the sale is completed.
As for the applications made in recent months to the two Secretaries of State concerned, we have made it clear that we do not propose to grant any of those pending the Royal Assent to the Bill, although upon the Royal Assent being given to it, when the monopolistic position of the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Scotland will cease, any of those who have applied and who have licences will, of course, be free to trade. But we reserve the right of what we believe to be the normal commercial practice to oppose any further individual application which we believe would seriously damage the profitablity of any premises we still retain. We have made it clear that, as one of the purposes of the Bill is to remove the present monopoly, it is right to remove it forthwith.
The other matter concerns staff. Many points have been raised by the hon. Member for Carlisle who will agree that I have always, throughout the long debates, respected his sincerity and interest in this matter with regard to the staff. I have tried to answer his points and will take this final opportunity. The Bill referred to the saving of 1,200 posts. But I remind the House that that is the figure for the saving of Civil Service posts and does not mean that those people will become redundant.
We believe that the great majority of the staff, such as the hotel and restaurant staffs, barmaids, barmen and cleaners can, we hope, expect to look forward to the opportunity of being taken on by those who continue to run these public houses. I repeat that it is the Government's hope that many of those people will continue in their present occupation. To those who become redundant on the ending of their Civil Service post, I repeat yet again that those who have not found alternative employment within the Civil Service will receive the appropriate compensation under the Superannuation Act, 1965, or the Redundancy Payments Act,
1674 1965, whichever is greater. Proposals for improved pension arrangements for premature retirement are now under discussion between the official and the staff sides of the National Whitley Council, and any staff in the State management district who become redundant will receive the benefit of these new arrangements.
Finally, I return to what I said at the beginning. It has been suggested that the Bill is in some way a paying-off of the brewers. That has been proved to be abject nonsense. Having sat throughout all the speeches that we had in Committee from the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock and the hon. Member for Fife, West and others, I must say that I resent the attacks made during debates on the Bill on the integrity of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House. They were utterly malicious and utterly unjustified attacks.
§ Mr. Hamilton
It was no personal attack but an attack on the Government as a whole. Nothing we said impugned the honour of an individual Minister. But there is an imputation—and it will stick—against the Government's honour because, whether they like it or not, they are tied to the brewers; they always have been.
§ Mr. Carlisle
If the hon. Member for Fife, West says that he never made such an attack, I entirely accept that he did not. He may well be right. But on many occasions his hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle made persistent personal attacks on the integrity of my right hon. Friend the Lord President. We never had a single speech when the hon. Member for Carlisle did not manage to bring my right hon. Friend's name in at some stage.
§ Mr. Ross
The hon. and learned Gentleman has said that two hon. Gentlemen, myself and my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William 1675 Hamilton) had made persona] attacks on individuals; then he suddenly switched to someone else. Can he cite any personal attack I made on any named individual?
§ Mr. Carlisle
The tenor of the whole of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was an attack on the integrity of the Home Secretary—
§ Mr. Ross indicated dissent.
§ Mr. Carlisle
—and of the Secretary of State for Scotland. The whole of the right hon. Gentleman's purpose was to imply that these two Ministers were unfitted because of the Conservative Party's—he said—close association with the brewers, and that those two people, two of my right hon. Friends, were unfitted to be involved in any way with the Bill. If that is not an attack on the personal integrity of Ministers, I do not know what is.
I have made clear the reasons for the Bill. We do not believe that it is right for the Government to continue in an experiment started over 50 years ago and to continue the powers of the Secretary of State in these particular schemes in those areas. We believe that the work at present being done by the State management schemes—this is no criticism of those schemes—is better and more properly the rôle not of the State but of the individual and private enterprise.
§ 7.35 p.m.
§ Mr. Elystan Morgan (Cardigan)
My first task is the quite pleasant one of congratulating the Secretary of State on the patience, charm and skill he has exhibited in very many long hours in Committee and on Report. I included also in my congratulation the performance of the Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Agriculture, Scottish Office. I am sure that the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, as a lawyer of considerable distinction, has calculated what fees he would have been earning had he been putting in the same hours of work in the criminal or the civil courts. I say no more about that.
§ Mr. Morgan
Despite the skill and qualities of the Under-Secretary of State, 1676 I am afraid that we regard his task as being a completely hopeless one. Not only was he making bricks without straw but without clay and water as well. We regard the Bill as unwholesome, its methods of operation as wholly impractical, the rationale behind it as unhealthy and dishonest, and the reasons for the Bill itself as totally unfounded.
On Second Reading the Home Secretary put forward four main reasons for the Bill. I was not impressed by them then and I was not impressed when they were repeated by the Under-Secretary a few minutes ago. The four cornerstones of the Government's case for the Bill are these: first, that it was a wartime experiment conceived in 1915–16 and that it is high time it was discontinued; second, that the system devised then has the effect of depriving licensing justices in England Scotland of their proper jurisdiction with regard to the grant of licences for the sale and supply of liquor; third, that it created a monopoly and therefore, ipso facto, it was objectionable; and fourth, that the return on capital was inadequate and that, for that reason, it was desirable that this asset should be disposed of as a matter of commercial common sense.
Despite 12 sittings in Committee, those cornerstones still poke themselves out of the rubble of the Government's case. Let us briefly look at them, firstly at the wartime experiment. Of course it was, in its inception, and it lasted so up to 1921, when Parliament fully considered the whole scheme in the light of the then changed circumstances and decided that this was a venture which should be placed upon a permanent foundation. It has indeed been a successful venture. The Southborough Committee, reporting in 1927, so found it to be, as did the Royal Commission on Licensing in 1931–33. I appreciate that a Commission which sat in Scotland came to a slightly different view. It is not for me to animadvert why the situation should have been so very different north of the Tweed. If Dr. Johnson were here he might have found very good reason for the different results achieved in that way.
It is our case that it is wholly wrong and misleading to portray the present scheme as being in any way on the same basis as the wartime experiment. That experiment was brought about by a very 1677 severe social and national problem occasioned by the drunkenness of munitions workers at Gretna and of dockyard workers in the Cromarty Firth. Clearly anything which had been brought about in such special circumstances as those and placed upon a temporary basis could not have lasted as this scheme has for 56 years, and lasted through the tenure of Governments of various hues.
In 1921 Parliament considered that it was right that this scheme should endure for a very long time until a future Parliament was able to show that there was good cause why it should be discontinued. The onus is clearly upon any Government who seek to do that. I am sure that right hon. and hon. Members opposite will concede that the temporary wartime experiment argument was a debating point and one which was quite unworthy of them.
The second point was equally shallow and was that justices were entitled to use their discretion and to have that finding upheld as to whether additional licences should be granted. As we well know, the power that has been vested in the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Secretary of State for Scotland is a permissive, not a mandatory, power. In any single case it lies within the authority of those two Secretaries of State to exercise their discretion in favour of the decision that has been made by the licensing justices.
If, therefore, the Government were moved by the consideration that the licensing justices were being wrongly overridden, the solution was a simple one and lay in their own hands. No legislation was necessary to cure that. All that they had to do was to announce as a matter of change in administrative policy that from thenceforth they would regard the recommendations of the justices in a different light.
The third point concerned their abhorrence of monopoly. This was mentioned on Second Reading and at great length in Committee. On a number of occasions the Government's attention has been drawn to the Report of the Monopolies Commission on Beer which was published in 1969. It is made very clear there that the Royal Commission utterly condemned the tied house system which was to a large extent married to the 1678 monopoly situation which exists in the brewing industry.
Up to that point, we had not heard any authoritative statement by the Government to give any clue to their thinking on that problem. They had not told the House, "We accept the views of the Monopolies Commission. We say that monopoly per se is unwholesome and therefore we do not want it". Indeed it was only after this point had been rammed home time and time again that the Secretary of State for the Home Department was able to say that the Erroll Committee would include within its terms of reference the question of tied houses. If monopoly is all-important in the Government's consideration, they should have tackled first the mountain of the general problem and not the molehill of the little local situations at Carlisle, Gretna and Cromarty.
The fourth point was that of profit—that the return on profit, as we were told on Second Reading, was 4 per cent. I noticed that a totally different figure was given tonight by the Under-Secretary, or certainly figures computed on a totally different basis.
§ Mr. Carlisle
I said that the figure of 4 per cent. was based on net trading profit. The amount which was handed to the Consolidated Fund and the amount of unappropriated profits which were ploughed back in further capital reduced from 4 per cent. to 1 per cent. the amount that the State received.
§ Mr. Morgan
The only figure that was mentioned on Second Reading was 4 per cent. The first that we have heard about 1 per cent. is today. I have no confidence that the Government are here comparing like with like. The case put by the Home Secretary on Second Reading was, "State enterprises are returning 4 per cent. in Carlisle, Gretna and Cromarty Firth. The yearly average of the 10 biggest and most successful breweries is about 10 per cent. Therefore, accepting that as normal, it is right and necessary that these assets should be liquidated and invested to give a better return".
The calculation which brewers make of return on capital differs from case to case. Often they resort, not to an actual valuation of the premises, but to historic 1679 cost, and on other occasions to a complicated formula which is worked back from the wet rent calculation. I quote from paragraph 270 of the Report of the Monopolies Commission:the valueof licensed premiseshas been calculated by reference to the profits expected to result from the ownership of those premises".That is a situation where the profit was calculated, not only on the actual valuation, not on the historic cost, not the current valuation, but on a notional figure.
Therefore, anybody who has looked with any degree of care at these figures will take the view that it is possible in these circumstances to exercise a debating legerdemain with the figures. Figures can be culled from any of these situations dependant on the different valuation and one is able to prove any case.
If the historic cost basis is applied, surely the figures I have here of profit and valuations on historic cost basis from 1950 to 1970 are of the utmost relevance. They range from 8 per cent. in 1969 to the highest, which was 17.7 per cent. in 1963. One thing on which we agree is that in the last three years the profits are clearly on a rising curve.
An alternative argument of the Under-Secretary in Committee—this argument was also advanced by the Home Secretary on Second Reading—was that it is not as if we had to spend the £4.7 million at which the premises and other assets are valued at present; it is not, indeed, as if we had to borrow it at a high rate of interest; on the other hand, if we were to liquidate these premises we could say of that capital that it would notionally earn between 7 per cent. and 9 per cent. That is a fair summary of the argument advanced by the Under-Secretary in Committee.
Even if that argument is accepted, the facts of the situation are against the Under-Secretary. But that is not half the case. It does not take capital appreciation into account. There can be nothing in the three other points that we have disposed of, so the Government are saying that the main, perhaps the sole, consideration is the necessity to do what 1680 is right by the taxpayer, to act in a way consistent with financial common sense, the only consideration being financial gain. If that were the consideration, one would not destroy the monopoly, because to a large extent the value of the assets turns upon the fact that they are a monopoly.
The Government are the trustees of public assets belonging to the British people. A trustee charged with the duty of exercising his discretion as to whether to dispose of an asset must always bear in mind the question of capital appreciation. Let us imagine a person who is a trustee for sale, the executor and trustee of a will with the discretion as to whether or not to sell. He considers the investment and the return it shows. Has he not also to consider whether there is the possibility, or even the likelihood, of a substantial capital appreciation in the near future? We have heard today how the development of the smelter at Invergordon may well add very substantially to the capital value of the assets we are considering. It would be negligent of a trustee not to take cognisance of the possibility or certainty of capital appreciation. But that is exactly what the trustees are doing here. They know that there will be a substantial capital appreciation within a few years, yet in the name of their superior financial acumen they say that those assets should be frittered away in a situation where it is clear that they cannot approach their market value. I believe that the House will treat with contempt such an argument by right hon and hon. Members opposite.
The point that has emerged throughout all these debates is that there never was any demand in any of the localities concerned for the disposal of the assets. It was not put to the people in the General Elections of 1966 or 1970 in a way in which it could be claimed that a clear mandate had been given. Even if it is claimed that the words of the Scottish Conservative manifesto at the last General Election justify such an argument, a very heavy gloss was put upon them when the present Lord Chancellor made it clear that what he was advocating was the termination of the Home Secretary's function as a publican, and transferring that jurisdiction to a public body or trust. There was no question of disposing of the assets to the brewers or any other private interest.
1681 In the Second Reading debate on the Licensed Premises in New Towns Act, 1952, the following words were said by a rising and very promising Conservative politician. That Bill was the Government's answer to a case made by the former Labour Government for the extension of licensed management outside the areas we are considering. This is what was said:Finally, and most important of all, there is the question of local public opinion. I am quite convinced that there is no substantial public opinion in any of the districts concerned that demands State management of the public houses in the new towns. It is because this public opinion is the most important consideration of all that I particularly ask the House to give the Bill a Second Reading."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th February, 1952; Vol. 496, c. 1200.]The speaker was the present Home Secretary. If public opinion be the one important determinant and criterion in the extension of licensed management, it must be a very important criterion in this context. If the right hon. Gentleman is willing to bow to public opinion when it leads in one direction, he should be willing to respect it when it goes in the other.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North)
My hon. Friend must be careful, or he will bring the Common Market in.
§ Mr. Morgan
It is no part of my case to say that the present Government are the most sensitive towards public opinion, but I abjure all temptations in that direction.
I turn to the argument about the involvement of the Government with the possible potential purchasers of the assets, the brewers, who in 1968 and 1969 contributed, I believe, £150,000 to the coffers of the Conservative Party. When Lord Carrington took his begging bowl round the City in 1968 and 1969 there were some very interesting results among the brewers. The contributions of those who did best among the 10 big brewers of Britain were the most niggardly. For example, Bass Charrington in 1968 contributed the paltry sum of only £450, and in 1969 only £67, whereas others were contributing in fives, sevens, tens and twelves of thousands of pounds. I do not know whether the successful companies did not regard the Conservative Party as a very wholesome investment or whether not being among those who did best is the visitation of a just fate upon those who made substantial contributions.
1682 I am not in a position to say that there is any direct evidence of a corrupt understanding between any individual brewer and the Conservative Party or any group of brewers and the Conservative Party. That has never been any part of my case. I say that because I have not been able to make a detailed examination of the facts. It is wrong that such allegations should be made unless proof positive can be provided, and I am not making them. But what I say is this. Here are the Government, the trustee of public assets, about to dispose of those assets. It is possible—I put it no higher—that these assets could go to people who have themselves been contributors to Tory Party funds within the last few years. The one question that I put in the House—and it is the duty of every hon. Member to put it—is whether that is coincident, whether that is consistent with the standards of public administration that we have had and do have in this country.
§ Mr. J. R. Kinsey (Birmingham, Perry Barr)
The hon. Gentleman must also agree that there is nothing to stop these assets going also to people who have contributed to Socialist Party funds through the co-operative societies, if they make the right bid through the honest way in which we are disposing of them.
§ Mr. Morgan
Of course. But I am not pretending that I am laying down one rule for one party alone. I am saying that, where there is the slightest connection, direct or indirect, between any member of the public or group of the public with any Government, then the disposal of these assets must be done in such a way that Ministers of the Crown are insulated from the possibility of the slightest involvement in that situation. I am not making any innuendo. What I am saying is that we have strict standards of public morality in Britain and that it is right and proper that these should be maintained.
Due to those standards, charges of corruption in our public life are very few, but when they do come the test is an extremely rigorous one. It is not a question of how many tens of thousands of £s but a question of whether any consideration, however slight, has passed. I should have thought that the Government would have been delighted to have placed their Ministers in such a way as to be 1683 able to say that they were upholding these rigid standards.
§ Mr. Tom Boardman (Leicester, South-West)
Will the hon. Gentleman carry the analogy further? Would he say that if the Labour Party were in Government it would be improper for one of their Ministers to take part in negotiations with the trade unions on matters such as wage levels? Would the same principle be said to apply as between the unions and the public sector?
§ Mr. Morgan
I do not see that that analogy is correct. I think that it is intended more as a spear than as an analogy. It would be equally wrong for any Labour Minister to be in charge of a disposition where there was the slightest possibility that that disposition might be to a person who had contributed towards Labour Party funds. It is a question of upholding certain standards or rejecting them, and it is the choice of the Government and of the Tory Party to reject them.
I have said that I regard this Bill as being dishonestly conceived. When the Government came to office through a freak of fortune 12 months ago, they found themselves in the position where they had to frame in a very short time propasals for a comprehensive programme. I am sure that they found how difficult it was to try to make policy out of prejudice, but they did succeed in part in devising policies dedicated to the destruction of economic planning and to placing a moratorium on regional growth. But even that was not enough for their negativism and their reaction could not be satiated by that. It was necessary to bring about some dismemberment of the public services.
I can well imagine the Prime Minister brooding about this question in his bath in those days at the end of June last year. There was so much in the public sector that he would have wished to have grasped the opportunity to touch—coal, steel, gas, electricity, the railways, the post office and so on—but all these were matters which a Conservative Government, even one as insensitive to public opinion as this one, would not dare to grasp. But quite suddenly one can imagine the Prime Minister leaping up dripping from his 1684 bath, clutching himself and saying, "Eureka ! I have found it."
So it was that a presentational exercise was arranged, an exercise that would at the same time exhibit the doctrinal consistency of present-day Tory masters while sowing the seeds of fright and insecurity amongst those who work in the public sector. But there is a further irony of this Bill. The Government have been accused of fiddling, and I believe that they have fiddled. They have fiddled their doctrinal tunes while the hopes of Rolls-Royce and U.C.S. and their satellites were burning.
This is a macabre situation. They failed to stab the strong; instead, they slaughtered the weak. In consequence of their reactionary venom they have caused many hundreds—indeed, some thousands—of people in Carlisle and Gretna and the Cromarty Forth area to lose work and security. These people, from the head brewer to the junior temporary barmaid, have all been made sacrifices to an attempt to distract public opinion from the impetus and sterility of the Government.
§ 8.7 p.m.
§ Mr. Tom Boardman
I must declare an interest. As I think is known, I am a director of a brewery company, which seems to be one of the interests which has to be declared in the debate.
The hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Elystan Morgan) had a difficult task. I think he had a conflict between his basic sincerity and, if I may say so, his nice-ness and the sneering arguments put forward by his hon. Friends. I think he did not come out of the compromise as happily as he, on reflection, may have hoped. Having withdrawn any imputation of any improper conduct against individuals or of any improper association between the Government and the brewery companies, he by inference continued to repeat it.
§ Mr. Elystan Morgan
I want to emphasise that I look very generally at this matter. I have been a watchdog rather than a bloodhound. If one had conducted detailed researches it may well be that one would have been able to substantiate the charges made by my hon. Friends, but I have not looked at it at that level—just from the point of 1685 view of the standards of public administration in Britain. I say no more than that.
§ Mr. Boardman
The hon. Gentleman has made the position even worse. To say that one is not able to make an accusation, of corruption, because one has not had the opportunity to delve deeply enough, but that had one done so one might have been able to support the accusation, is an intolerable smear and is unworthy of an hon. Member for whom I have respect. I hope that he will withdraw that unfair reference. If he wishes to make a charge, he should make it and substantiate it and not put it in that sort of way.
After all the irrelevancies that there have been during the two days spent debating this minor Bill on the Floor of the House, after all the abuse and personal insults from hon. Members opposite, none of which they would dare to repeat outside this Chamber, we have returned to the nub of the argument, put so well by my hon. and learned Friend the Under-Secretary. The hon. Member for Cardigan did not seem to be able to confound or dispute those arguments but he got himself lost in a lot of figures. I am sure that hon. Members found the logic of his speech difficult to follow.
I will confine my speech mainly to the point I made on Second Reading, so that hon. Members opposite who have had plenty of opportunity to work on the arithmetic may follow the argument. The Government have an investment with a book value of about £2¼ million. It has been said by hon. Gentlemen opposite that the real value of the assets is between £4.7 million and, as one hon. Member said, £6 million. As my hon. and learned Friend said, the higher the figure the lower the return.
§ Mr. Idris Owen (Stockport, North)
Does my hon. Friend recall that it was the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis) who said that a figure of £10 million had been suggested?
§ Mr. Boardman
That just shows the enormous disparity between the various sums that have been bandied about and the importance of having the method of valuation and disposal which is being adopted. The average profit in the last three years has been £200,000. The average amount remitted to the Consoli- 1686 dated Fund, the sole income going into the public Exchequer, has been £70,000 per annum. The amount repaid from the Consolidated Fund to the State management for capital purposes has been nearly equal to the total amount that has gone by way of income from State management to the Consolidated Fund.
The net return to the taxpayer has been very low indeed. I will take the most generous presentation which is fair for the purposes of the argument, I will take an average profit of £200,000 and a value of £4.7 million.
§ Mr. Boardman
I see the hon. Member nods, accepting that those are fair figures for the basis of the sum. The return on that would be about 4¼ per cent. gross. It has to be remembered that the Exchequer has received no revenue in the form of corporation tax from this venture. If hon. Gentlemen had referred to the P.I.B. report of November, 1969, they would have seen that the assessed return on capital employed in the private sector was 10 per cent. The hon. Member for Cardigan may have noted that the P.I.B.—the blue-eyed boys of hon. Gentlemen opposite—considered that that return was quite inadequate. On the strength of that return it recommended substantial increases in beer prices, which it said were necessary so that the capital investment by the industry could be effectively used for the benefit of the community and to provide an adequate return to those who had invested their money.
In Carlisle and the other State management areas we have a return of 4¼ per cent. If we take a 10 per cent. return on £4.7 million it will be necessary to have profits of £470,000. The gross profits have averaged £200,000 so that there has been a shortfall on the return—which was considered by the P.I.B. to be inadequate—of £270,000 per annum. No wonder the Carlisle State Management Scheme was able to offer beer at a lower price than elsewhere. It was being subsidised by the taxpayers. I am surprised that the hon. Member for Carlisle, whose temperance views I respect, should echo enthusiastically the praise uttered in support of the fact that the taxpayer is subsidising the beer-drinkers.
§ Mr. Boardman
The meat of the argument is that to achieve what the P.I.B. has acknowledged to be an inadequate return, an additional £270,000 of profit per annum would be necessary. The public sector was short of £270,000 per annum, which is the amount by which it has subsidised the beer drinkers of Carlisle.
§ Mr. Boardman
The hon. Member may be able to catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and disprove that argument. It is little wonder that beer was cheaper there and that the return of 4¼ per cent. is something which my right hon. Friend does not consider justifies the continuance of this scheme. It is not the right way for the nation to use its resources.
§ Mr. Elystan Morgan
While the hon. Member may or may not be pleading a successful case for raising the price of beer in the Carlisle scheme, may I ask him whether he appreciates that he is not making out a case for the sale of these assets? Surely a prudent trustee must take into account the prospect of capital appreciation? Will he apply his mind to that?
§ Mr. Boardman
I am coming to that point. It has been said by my hon. and learned Friend that these assets will be sold by public auction or to the tenants. The valuers are being appointed. The potential growth of the area and other such factors to which the hon. Gentleman has referred will be taken into account in the valuation. The higher the value the lower is the return. It is no duty of the Government, or any other Government, to run a brewery at a subsidised rate for beer drinkers. Having declared my interest in a brewery I would add that I consider it completely wrong that beer drinkers should be subsidised in any way.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
I will get up. I was saying that the beer drinkers who drink Allied Breweries' beer are subsidising the hon. Member. I have seen the returns he 1688 gets—thousands of pounds a year; it is these people who are subsidising him.
§ Mr. Boardman
I do not propose to deal with that point. It is a matter between myself and the company. I have no shame about the job I do outside here, nor do I have any shame about the way in which I represent my constituency.
Let me move on to the next point which the hon. Member made when he referred to the monopoly position. He was being less than fair in quoting selectively from the Monopolies Commission Report. He knows that that report made no recommendations on the lines he inferred. The Monopolies Commission Report could not recommend any change to the tied house system except in the context of a complete review of the licensing laws. As is well known to the hon. Gentleman, at an early stage the Government set up a committee to review the licensing laws.
§ Mr. Elystan Morgan
I am sure the hon. Gentleman does not want to misrepresent the situation. Paragraph 414 of the Monopolies Commission's Report says:Having regard to what we have said in paragraph 395, it is particularly in England and Wales that the tied house system operates against the public interest and that a remedy for the defects of that system is called for
§ Mr. Boardman
The hon. Gentleman quoted accurately but selectively. If he will refer to paragraph 416 he will see that the Monopolies Commission was unable to make any recommendation except that there should be a complete review of the licensing system.
It is regrettable that the Opposition have seen fit to conduct their opposition to the Bill in the way in which they have. They have made personal attacks; they have attacked an industry and many individuals who are unable to defend themselves. Perhaps the worst feature was yesterday's scraping of the barrel, and I hope that the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) will take this opportunity to withdraw the implication that was clearly made when he said:It is said that the brewers will not buy. It shows the power of the brewers that they say that instead they will put up new pubs, acting on the comfortable guarantee that they will get licences."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd June, 1971; Vol. 819, c. 1492.]1689 The grant of licences or the refusal to grant licences is a matter for the licensing justices. The "comfortable guarantee that they will get licences" can only imply that the licensing justices have been squared. There can be no guarantee, let alone a comfortable guarantee, that the brewers will get licences before an independent and impartial licensing court. Was the right hon. Gentleman suggesting that the licensing justices in these areas are anything les than fair and impartial?
§ Mr. Boardman
If the right hon. Gentleman wishes to intervene, I will give way. The clear inference from his words yesterday was that a comfortable guarantee had been given to the brewers that they would get new licences. If the right hon. Gentleman did not intend to suggest that, I will accept it.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir R. Grant-Ferris)
Order. We cannot have a running commentary across the Floor of the House. I hope the House will listen to the hon. Member.
§ Mr. Boardman
If the right hon. Gentleman intended to imply that the brewers were hoping to get licences, his remarks were unhappily phrased. The words which I have read out and his explanation left a clear imputation, which I hoped he would wish to withdraw completely, that the licensing justices would be less than impartial. We are left with this further scraping of the barrel in the way in which the case was presented yesterday.
A considerable attack has been made on political contributions. Are the Indus- 1690 tries which rely upon private enterprise wrong to support the party that believes in it, and are they wrong to oppose the party which threatens to nationalise them?
§ Mr. Boardman
That is what contributions to the Conservative Party from industry have been aimed to do—to promote the party that believes in private enterprise, and not to promote firms' individual interests except as part of the general prosperity of the economy and the promotion of the right climate for private enterprise.
§ Mr. Boardman
We on this side of the House do not attack trade unions or trade union Members by accusing them of corruption or dishonesty.
§ Mr. Boardman
We believe that hon. Members with an interest in and a knowledge of trade unions have a special contribution to make to debates. We do not accuse trade unions which contribute handsomely to Labour Party funds of corruptingly influencing the Labour Party when that party was in Government. We accept that pressure comes from the trade unions in various ways. It is unfortunate that the suggestion of corruption because of a political contribution has been made by hon. Members opposite, who could be far more justifiably attacked from this side if we were so unmannerly as to do so.
The synthetic fury and cheap sneers from the benches opposite are no answer to the Bill. The Bill achieves what was clearly set out by my right hon. Friend in his Second Reading speech. It does away with the monopoly which the former Home Secretary, the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), was anxious to do away with. According to Press reports he was endeavouring to find a means of abolishing the scheme and of breaking up the monopoly. That report was in the Press, and there was no denial. The intention is to stop large public resources being employed at an inadequate return to subsidise the beer drinkers of Carlisle.
1691 The Government intend to pull the State out of those sectors which can be managed best by private enterprise. This does not necessarily mean that this business can best be managed by the brewers, which seems to be the inference of hon. Gentlemen opposite. There will, I hope, be every encouragement to those who believe they can do better than the brewers to buy the properties which are put up for auction. I believe that the brewers would welcome the competition that would come in that way. The Bill is aimed at achieving these objects. The synthetic heat and fury which we have heard from the Opposition shows how false is their target and how small-minded and inadequate is their opposition to this Bill.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Ron Lewis
We have just heard the hon. Member for Leicester, Southwest (Mr. Tom Bordman) and Allied Breweries in a filibustering speech championing the claims of the brewers. Though much could be said I shall be brief in my remarks, because I want to be fair to the House, to my colleagues who want an opportunity to take part in this debate, and to my constituents who will suffer more than anybody from these proposals.
This Bill is a plum for the pie of private enterprise barons, handsome subscribers to the Tory Party funds. It will be interesting in future to read how much money from the brewers will be channelled to the Penrith and The Border constituency for the right hon. Gentleman who played his part in the Cabinet in the murder of the Carlisle and District State Management Scheme. No doubt some of these funds will be channelled through the Tory Party Central Office to Carlisle since I understand that the Tory Party in my constituency is in dire financial straits. Whatever money is channelled to that constituency by the brewers or the Tory Party, I assure the House that my seat is one of the safest in the country.
Since the Government announced these proposals, not one single local authority in the County of Cumberland has come out in support of the Government's intention.
§ Mr. Idris Owen
The hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis) has extolled the virtues of the State licensing system and he has suggested that nobody in Carlisle would wish to see the system denationalised. If the State system has been such a fantastic success, how is it the peripheral authorities have not said, "Please extend this system to our areas because we want to share in this success"?
§ Mr. Lewis
I was just coming to that point. I am saying that not a single local authority in Cumberland has come out in support of the Government's proposals in the Bill; but a number of local authorities in Cumberland have written to me, as I am sure they have written to the right hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Whitelaw), saying that they feel it is a crying shame that the Government should put forward this Bill. Many Cumberland local authorities would like to see an extension of the principle of public enterprise in the liquor trade.
§ Mr. R. B. Cant (Stoke-on-Trent, Central)
Surely the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Idris Owen) must know from his great experience that local authorities are governed strictly by the ultra vires rule. If we had a more sensible local government system as exists in the Common Market, in which authorities could act in accordance with the common good, they would all have been more enthusiastic for the Carlisle experiment.
§ Mr. Lewis
I thank my hon. Friend for that interjection but I will not take up his argument since I want to give other hon. Members the opportunity to take part in this debate. I am suggesting that there has hardly been a voice in Cumberland in support of what the Government are doing. The local chairman of the Tory Party in my constituency has written a letter on the lines that nobody wants to replace one monopoly by another and that nobody wishes to see either the brewery or the brew disappear. But this is what will happen under the Bill. The brewery will close and the brew in fact will disappear. We will have unemployment in Carlisle, and we already know that the unemployment figures in the area 1693 are increasing. In addition, people in Carlisle will have to pay higher prices for their beer and there is no guarantee that the public houses in the city will keep open. I prophesy that within five or ten years there might well be an even bigger monopoly in Carlisle than is the case at present.
No doubt the hon. Member for Leicester, South-West knows how the brewing industry works, but no amount of juggling with words about the return on capital will wash with the majority of people in my constituency. Ever since the inception of the State management scheme, it has not once made a loss.
I hope that I speak for Liberal opinion in the County of Cumberland when I say that. It is a shame that throughout these proceedings the voice of the Liberal Party has been absent, bearing in mind that Lloyd George was the author of the scheme as a member of a Liberal Administration.
We have heard a great deal about barrels, and I want now to refer to the two barrels of beer which came to the House yesterday having been sent by a public-spirited gentleman in Carlisle, a Mr. John Lett. He may even be a member of the Tory Party. Certainly he is a public-spirited gentleman, and apparently he felt that hon. Members should have an opportunity to sample the State beer. He dispatched two 9-gallon drums of beer, and they arrived in London yesterday morning. I knew nothing about them in advance. Certainly I did not court the gift. But I found myself involved. The beer arrived at Smithfield Market, and it was brought to this House yesterday. Throughout last night, it remained within the precincts of the House—
§ Mr. Lewis
That also applies to hon. Gentlemen opposite.
This is the end of the State management scheme, and it will be a sad day for the people of Carlisle, who suspect all the more that the Government's proposal 1694 is a great fiddle since, according to the terms of the Bill, there will be no report to Parliament. The only information that we shall be able to get about the disposal of the properties is by Question and Answer. I can assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that he will be asked a great many questions.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
It may be that my hon. Friend is not quite right. Once this Bill becomes an Act, the Minister will cease to have Ministerial responsibility. The probability is that my hon. Friend will not even be able to ask the questions, since the Minister will deny Ministerial responsibility.
§ Mr. Ron Lewis
I must leave the hon. and learned Gentleman to answer my hon. Friend's point. I cannot go as far as to say that. But there will be no report to Parliament about the transactions. We do not know what is to happen. We do not know, for example, whether the premises will be disposed of at market value or at a figure less than their market value. The only way that we shall be able to find out will be by question and answer. Therefore, this is a fiddle, and the Bill stinks. The people of Carlisle know it because they will eventually have to pay more for their beer. I suggest that at the next General Election, as the Government had no mandate for doing this from the County of Cumberland, even the seat of the Leader of the House could be in grave danger.
§ 8.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Kinsey
I welcome the Bill. It will be of immense benefit to the areas concerned because they will have individual freedom returned to them. The nation will also benefit because this is of importance to tourism, particularly in the Scottish Highlands.
The licensing and catering trade benefits mainly from the experienced touch of the individual. The houses or restaurants of private catering organisations and individual caterers are much the best. We all know of the success that comes from the flair of the individual, particularly in catering.
The free enterprise part of the licensing trade is under handicap because there is too little individual management throughout the country. I expressed that 1695 opinion on Second Reading. If the free enterprise section experiences this handicap, it must be even worse when we have the dead hand of the State controlling part of an industry about which it knows very little and is so little interested in with its civil servant approach. I hope that the State staff in the Carlisle area do not serve pints as we are served with income tax forms, because they are certainly unpalatable when I receive them.
We know that the method of disposing of the State controlled industry in Carlisle will be fair, just and above suspicion. I have referred to this before and I repeat it. The method of disposal which has been outlined to us will ensure that it is disposed of in a proper manner, I do not suppose that there will be the amount of individual control which I should like to see, but I am satisfied with the guarantee which my hon. and learned Friend gave in Committee that the managers or tenants of these houses are to be given the first option to purchase them. A similar option extends to Scotland. I am happy with that assurance. The main interests of the area and the people working within the industry will best be served by the methods of disposal outlined by my hon. and learned Friend.
§ Mr. Lipton
Will the hon. Gentleman make his position clear? He has talked about managers and licensees. As an advocate of free enterprise, is he taking the view that the public houses in Carlisle to take the place of the present system will be tied or free houses?
§ Mr. Kinsey
Because I understand that the managers or tenants of 40 of those houses are being given first choice to purchase them.
§ Mr. Kinsey
From whatever brewery moves into the area. They are not tied to any brewery within the area. There is a wide area from which they can draw. 1696 An individual manager has a better chance to deal with the tied brewery system. If I had a free house I should take the choice of beers which my customers preferred. That is what will happen in these areas, because wise management will prevail.
I am delighted that the Minister met the request made by both sides of the House to ensure that as many people as possible could buy their properties. This will be most beneficial in the Highlands, because the individual touch, the making of on-the-spot decisions, and careful attention to the needs of the customer, will come out tops and meet the requirements of tourists in that area.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
Where, in any part of London, can the hon. Gentleman go into a Truman's house and buy a Whit-bread beer, or go in to a Watney's house and buy a Truman's beer? The hon. Gentleman knows as well as I do that the pubs are tied to the hilt.
§ Mr. Kinsey
It seems that the hon. Gentleman goes round looking for nothing but Truman's or Watney's beer. There are other breweries. I can get what I consider to be one of the best beers, a Midlands beer, Mitchells and Butler, in the centre of London. I can get a Guinness anywhere in London. I have a choice. If I care to go around, I can get whatever beer I want. That is the sort of thing to which the Opposition blind themselves. That they should deny something in one area, yet want to see it in another, seems to be a twisted argument in any case. There is no point in saying that they want only one beer throughout the country, and in the next breath ask where they can get a different beer. It does not make sense at all.
§ Mr. Idris Owen rose—
§ Mr. Kinsey
No. I would rather be helped by my enemies than by my friends.
We are all very good natured at the moment, but one of the things that has worried me throughout the proceedings on the Bill, from the Second Reading debate, through to the Committee stage, Report stage and now Third Reading, has been the smear campaign conducted by hon. Gentlemen opposite in speech after speech. It has been apparent in every Amendment, and it was started by someone who, before I came to the House, 1697 I considered to be a highly respected and responsible person. I am thinking of the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). He started this innuendo and smear campaign which has been taken up and bandied about, but it has done the Opposition no good at all.
The smear has been repudiated by the trade papers, which have taken a careful interest in this debate. The Morning Advertiser has been quoted because of its individual character. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have quoted it more often than they have quoted HANSARD. It has been almost the Bible of the Opposition throughout the proceedings on the Bill.
§ Mr. Kinsey
I said "almost".
That is the sort of thing that has been happening. If that is the standard of the Opposition's misrepresentation of every other issue, the country is being ill-informed by them. If ever Scottish Labour Members say, "Look how well we are doing in Scotland", I can only reply that the Scottish people are having to put up with a tremendous amount of misrepresentation. It has also been said that certain Clauses will cause unemployment, but the Bill will increase employment opportunities. Individual management will ensure that the trade propers as it did not before. Individual concern for the customer will tell.
This must be a concern for the temperance movement in the North, which the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis) told us had passed a resolution. A temperance society passing a resolution in favour of State beer against private enterprise beer—
§ Mr. Kinsey
That sounds an unholy alliance. The movement seems to be doing this because it wants more use of public houses. I assume that it is not supporting a brewery but simply one system against another. Better sales of 1698 beer because of better management means better employment.
I pay tribute to the two Ministers, who have been fair and courteous to the Opposition under the greatest provocation. They have brought in a Bill which is fair, just and above suspicion. They have given a little more freedom to a few more people and that is why the Socialists do not like it. This means service. No matter how good the State, the individual is much better.
§ 8.53 p.m.
§ Mr. James Lamond (Oldham, East)
I did not serve on the Committee, but I wanted to inform my constituents who are puzzled at the high priority given to this Bill when they are so upset by the other consequences of the Tory Party—rising unemployment and prices increasing daily. I am as astonished as my constituents.
One likes to be charitable towards hon. Members opposite and to search among their speeches for a motive which deserves examination. One or two of them have tried to explain that the return on the capital invested is not high enough to justify the continuance of public ownership. But if the complaint was that too little profit was being made because the beer was too cheap, I should have thought that hon. Members opposite would have had no compunction about ordering a rise in price.
The Government seem prepared to accept sharp increases in the price of food to smooth our way into the Common Market, but rather than increase the price of beer in these establishments they will go through the procedure of taking a Bill through Parliament and dismantling this State management system.
Is there any truth in the suggestion that there is corruption involved in the Bill? As one who had experience of local government before coming to Parliament, I was surprised on arriving here to discover that hon. Members have freedom to take part in discussing and voting on matters in which they clearly have a financial interest.
Parliament lays down in legislation relevant to members of local authorities that they should not take part in and vote on matters in which they may have only a slight financial interest. Until recently any resident in a council house 1699 was deemed to have a deep financial interest in the level of rents, and it was only after an application was made to the Secretary of State for Scotland that this rule was relaxed.
Is it not strange that we in this place have no inhibitions about this, particularly when we may have a considerable financial interest? I am not prepared to go so far as to question the motives of hon. Gentlemen opposite, but I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) that to ensure that they will not be accused of such conduct, they should declare their interest when taking part in a discussion of this type.
I was not a member of the Standing Committee that examined the Bill, and, being conscious of the fact that many hon. Members who took part in the earlier debates on the Measure are anxious to speak, I have kept my remarks as brief as possible.
§ 8.57 p.m.
§ Mr. Gray
I am pleased to speak following the hon. Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Lamond). Although he was not a member of the Committee, it is right that he should have contributed to this debate in view of the interest which I know he has in the Bill.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite have exaggerated this issue, particularly in Committee. The hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) regaled us at that stage with some of the results that would flow from this legislation, but I dealt at an early stage with some of his utterances and I do not believe that there was much in the various suggestions he made.
I am bound to consider the Bill from a constituency point of view because in the Cromarty Firth area the State management set-up is quite different from that which exists in Carlisle, about which we have heard a great deal.
On a number of occasions in Committee, I ask the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) the straightforward question, if his party felt so strongly about this, would they go so far as to say that they would renationalise those hotels if returned to power? The hon. Member for Fife, West—I do not want to misquote him; I am sure that he would not let me—went further and frequently 1700 called out, "Yes, and a lot more too". As long as the people realise that the object of the Labour Party is to nationalise as many hotels as possible—if they are sincere in what they have been saying—that is all right, because we know where we stand.
As for my constituency in the Highlands of Scotland, I have great hopes for that area and for the future of the Highlands, not only with the industrial developments which may well take place in the Easter Ross area around Invergordon but for the future potential for tourism. I see the hotels which are being denationalised—that is what is happening—playing a vital part under the control of private individuals, family groups and small people who want to get on and who want to develop the Highlands for tourism. I do not accept the suggestion made from the benches opposite that the brewers will have a bonanza in the Highlands. That is not the case.
§ Mr. Gray
I would not deign to argue with the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis) about conditions which pertain in his constituency. I am taking, perhaps, the purely parochial view. Throughout the Committee stage, the hon. Member will agree that we had to listen to a great deal about Carlisle. I make no apology for talking for the Highlands. These hotels have a vital part to play and I am sure that we can look forward to a prosperity in the Highlands in which the hotels and individuals will share as a result of the Bill.
Mention has been made of local courts. I agree that in the past local courts have taken the decision that a licence could be granted here and should be granted there, and it has been the Secretary of State for Scotland's prerogative to decide whether to confirm the decision. Secretaries of State of successive Governments have decided against, and a great many of those people who have received local approval have been disappointed. The hon. Member for Oldham, East, having considerable experience of local government, will realise what I mean about local licensing courts. The situation was that local licensing courts agreed that a licence was desirable for this or that local hotel but those decisions were not implemented by the Secretary of 1701 State, with one or two very minor exceptions.
As we move towards an era in which we shall have reorganisation of local government, it is only right, if we give local magistrates a power which they administer with very great consideration, honesty and trust, that that power is brought to fruition.
In my view of the future of the Highlands, I like to think beyond just Invergordon and the Easter Ross area. At Invergordon at one time we had a massive naval base into which the Home Fleet entered annually. This provided a tremendous number of jobs and it was a wonderful situation. As the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Elystan Morgan) rightly pointed out, this was during the first war and one of the reasons why the then Bill was introduced was the excessive drunkenness which occurred. As the years have passed and we have progressed, I would hope that drunkenness in the Highlands is now within reasonable proportions. I do not think that that reason exists any longer. If there is a degree of drunkenness in the Highlands from time to time, it is contributed to by incomers to just as great an extent as it is by locals. A request was made in the House yesterday that pubs in the Highlands should be opened on Sundays. Those who live there would deplore that. We attract tourists because the conditions up there are very different; and long may they remain so.
There has been much reference to the brewers. Let us look beyond my constituency to Aviemore. I remember Aviemore when it was a desolate little village. It is now a thriving concern providing employment for hundreds of people. It has flourishing hotels. [HON. MEMBERS: "Incomers."] Many of them are. I did not decry incomers. I said that they had contributed to drunkenness. One of the firms of much-despised brewers has contributed handsomely to the prosperity of the village.
My constituency has facilities for skiing which are far in advance of anything which Aviemore can provide. I refer to the slopes of Ben Wyvis. I have been urging the Highlands and Islands Development Board to agree to the development of Ben Wyvis, to try to get a developer to move in and create in that area something like there is at Avie- 1702 more. It may well be that this would be a brewer, but it is outside the State management area. The brewers have not nibbled to any extent anywhere else in my constituency outside the State management area. So I do not share the difficulties which have been expressed for the smaller hotels.
I welcome the Government's decision as it affects my constituency. I can see great prosperity developing and I want to see local people participating in it.
§ 9.3 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Cocks (Bristol, South)
I shall be brief because not only my colleagues but also the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Idris Owen) are anxious to contribute, and the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Mr. Chapman) will no doubt wish to speak as one of the most loquacious members of the Committee.
I have previously spoken of the Under-Secretary's courage in tackling the task which he has been given. However, he had a dose of the cold feet tonight, because he loosed off a blunderbuss attack on the members of the Committee for scurrilous accusations.
During the whole of the Committee proceedings I did not mention the Lord President of the Council. The only time I mentioned the Home Secretary was to say that he was a man of such integrity and his conscience was so tender that he had been slinking around the House for weeks with a look of extreme guilt on his face because of the job the Cabinet had given him to do. I mentioned the Lord Chancellor favourably, because he had advanced an idea which has been brushed aside, that control should be vested in local people.
I have had no satisfactory answer to the information I was given when I visited Carlisle; namely, that the brewers were up looking round the premises—casing the joint, as my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) would say—shortly after the General Election. This calls for some explanation, because if the system has been running for 55 years, why a week after a General Election do people appear?
It is unfortunate that in the short time I have been a Member this is the second Bill that I have seen through all its 1703 stages which has dismantled the work of the Labour Government. The other was that dismantling the Land Commission. The Government had given a clear commitment that they would do that if elected; but there is no such justification for this Bill.
The Under-Secretary again spoke about the Bill's removing the restriction on sale and supply by the Secretary of State—in other words, breaking up the State monopoly and removing restrictions on freedom of choice. But there are very serious dangers of monopoly in the brewing trade. In my constituency 94 per cent. of the public houses are controlled by Courage. At one time I thought the Government might be sympathetic towards dealing with that situation, but the resolution is weakening.
The Bill is inadequate because it does not give us the guarantees we have sought for the staff or the conditions for sale to tenants which will ensure that free houses can be created. My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Bar (Mr. Kinsey) is anxious to see a situation in which people will be able to establish free houses and keep them free, but there is no guarantee of that. Those public houses may well fall into the brewers' hands, and that is undesirable because it will simply replace one monopoly with another.
With regard to the disposal of property, Clause 4 talks about moneys being paid out on expenses incurred. The Under-Secretary has gone out of his way to try to furnish us with information on certain points throughout the passage of the Bill. He spoke tonight of the commission which would be paid to the estate agents, varying between 2¼ and 2¾ per cent. I have not had an opportunity to check this, but I suspect that it is very near the going rate. With an enormous block of property for which purchasers do not have to be sought, when there are no overheads over and above what the estate agent's business is already carrying, and with a number of ready-made sales, we hope, to sitting tenants, that figure may well be excessive. I hope the hon. and learned Gentleman will excuse us if we press him on the matter on another occasion.
Although the hon. and learned Gentleman has tried to be helpful, we have been 1704 handicapped by a serious lack of information about beer. The price of beer means nothing unless we know something about the tax paid on it.
If the Bill has done one thing it has focused attention on these matters. Whilst we may be dissatisfied about the whole question of the disposal of State management, at least the Bill has brought to the surface a number of issues that we can pursue at other times.
§ 9.14 p.m.
§ Mr. Idris Owen
We have come almost to the end of a long series of debates on the Bill. We have had many Committee sittings in which the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) has spoken. Once he spoke in a fascinating way for almost an hour and a half about the specific gravity of beer. There were more important issues at stake in the country. What has interested me more than anything is the magnificent rearguard action by Labour hon. Members in fighting off the Government's decision to denationalise the State pubs. They have spoken eloquently, with sincerity and grim determination, but let us not overlook the fact that the argument is basically philosophical. It is really ideological.
We are here engaged in the ritual slaughter of one of the sacred cows of the Socialist State. Hon. Members opposite will fight to the death to restrict us from doing so. If I were a Socialist supporting the Marxist philosophy, I would fight equally hard. But our philosophy is different. We believe in a free enterprise capitalist State, and we say that it is no part of the Government to be running licensed premises in Carlisle or Scotland. We, as supporters of free enterprise, of consumer choice, believe that the great divide here is whether it shall be the State or whether it shall be free enterprise. We are quite happy to allow the public to judge whether they prefer the State to provide their beer or whether there should be freedom of choice through the capitalist system.
The hon. Member for Fife, West has been honest and sincere—more sincere than most. He is true to his principles. He is an out-and-out Socialist and says that he will not be satisfied until he sees all the pubs and licensee premises nationalised.
§ Mr. Owen
The brewers as well. One advantage which we have on this side is that we face the economic facts of life of the Carlisle system. There is no gainsaying the fact that economically it has not been a success. But that is not surprising, because very few State enterprises are economically successful. The monumental losses sustained by many State enterprises have caused great economic problems, and it is not surprising to find the State system in Carlisle an abysmal failure financially.
One aspect has not been mentioned in the debate. I ascertained in my visit to the brewery that it had a bottling plant 17 years old and could not afford to replace it. I was told by the management that it would cost almost £350,000 to replace it. Perhaps my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, South-West (Mr. Tom Boardman) would be good enough to inform me how long his brewery's bottling plants last. I am sure they are not that age. But this one in Carlisle has had to be retained for 17 years. It was breaking down. The engineers were having to work frantically on it.
§ Mr. Tom Boardman
Is this liability in addition to the £482,000 capital commitment the brewery showed on its last accounts?
§ Mr. Owen
Indeed it is. The brewery did not even introduce a new bottling plant in the estimates because the resources are not there. If the State management used all the slender resources it had to redevelop its licensed premises, it would find itself without adequate resources. The scheme has not been the success that hon. Members opposite would like to suggest. What they are dismayed about is that these premises are about to pass from the State to private hands. That is the great divide. Let us be honest about it. I do not admire hon. Members opposite any the less for their case, but let us recognise the issue for what it is. This is the State sacred cow and it is being sacrificed. It has never given very much milk, and when cows do not give very much milk they are slaughtered.
§ Mr. Owen
Another interesting point which has not emerged in the debate is the capacity of the brewery, which is 1,500 barrels a week. It is down to 1,000 barrels a week. The hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis) has not: mentioned why this is so. The truth of the matter is that there has been a considerable growth in Carlisle, and the peripheral areas, of working men's clubs, political clubs, social clubs, British Legion clubs. The brewers have been able to offer a facility that the resources of the State management scheme could never offer and that is loans for the construction of clubs at relatively low rates of interest, almost free of interest—[Interruption.]—Yes, I know in my own constituency that my local football club got a £30,000 loan free of interest from a brewery company and this has happened in Carlisle. The result is that the management scheme has lost the retail outlets.
§ Mr. Michael Cocks
The hon. Member is a fair man. Would he not accept this point, which must have been put to him when he visited the brewery, that if there had been no restriction on the area in which the brewery could sell perhaps it would have been working to full capacity?
§ Mr. Owen
Conversely I would say that if it had not enjoyed its monopoly position since 1915 it would have been in an even worse position than it is now. It had the disadvantage of restriction but the supreme advantage of monopoly and it did not prosper as a result. It is in a parlous financial state when we add things up. No one will cavil at the expressions of opinion from the hon. Member for Carlisle because his constituents will always support him as they are getting cheap beer. Anyone who can get cheap beer at the expense of the taxpayer is bound to support him. I believe that the majority of people will breathe a sigh of relief when this operation has been denationalised.
§ 9.22 p.m.
§ Mr. William Hamilton
We are moving towards closing time and I want to say a few pleasant sentences before I come to the subject matter of my speech.
I want to congratulate the Ministers for their courtesy and fairness, sometimes 1707 under provocation. It is not their fault that they were given this filthy job to do. They expect that. They are in the same position as the council dustman and the sewer-man: the council dustman must sweep the streets, while the sewer-man has to go down into the sewers and look at all kinds of things including French letters. I felt that the hon. Gentleman was trying to give this Bill a cloak of respectability. He reminded me of a prostitute in Piccadilly protesting her purity, virginity and morality. She too has got a job to do. One looks around Piccadilly and sees this sort of thing, although I have not had the experience of enlisting their support and I could not distinguish one from another.
Listening to the Minister this afternoon was like listening to a parish priest who was intent on doing something for the good of the country. He rather chided us about the wild allegations we had made about corruption. The last thing in the world I would want to do would be to charge the Minister with corruption, on this or any other matter. But I should like to put a few facts on the record and let them speak for themselves. The hon. Member for Leicestershire, South-West (Mr. Tom Boardman) has acknowledged that he is a director of Allied Breweries. We have not been told what his fee is for doing the job, but whatever it is he is overpaid. I should not like to ask him what it was, but the people who are drinking his beer are paying his fees, and they are not getting their money's worth.
The hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) owns El Vino, which the fellows up in the Press Gallery frequent and no doubt patronise adequately. The hon. Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) is the chairman and managing director of the Costa Brava Wine Company and another wine agency. The vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee, the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. John Hall), is a director of the Ferndale Brewery Co. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Webb's, which is part of the vast Charrington group. I understand that since 1971 he has been a director of Bass Charrington Sales Ltd. The hon. Member for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Mr. Hall-Davis) is the chairman of Bass Charrington and a director of the Bass Charrington Brewery. The 1708 hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Patrick Jenkin), now the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, is the ex-adviser to the Distillers Group.
I merely put these facts on the record. They are all perfectly honourable gentlemen. When the Secretary of State for the Environment came to office, the first firm smack of government he gave us was to sanction the building of the Whitbread Brewery in the green belt in Lancashire. He did that for perfectly honourable reasons, and I would not suggest that these were corrupt practices. They are all hon. Gentlemen, and that is why we call them so.
The people in the country are bound to ask why the Prime Minister, who said that his policies must be judged in a five-year Parliament, should choose in a first year to flog off a few State pubs and hotels to the paymasters of the Tory Party. It might be pure coincidence. We all have our priorities and our philosophies.
The philosophy of the Tory Party was explained by Winston Churchill many years ago. In Committee I quoted a speech made by a remarkable man, Jimmy Hudson, who represented Ealing, North, whom many of us remember for his ardent temperance, on the same basis as my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis), and equally provocative and talkative. Speaking on the Licensed Premises in New Towns Bill, 1952, he referred to the venal and furtive pressure of the liquor trade on pliant Government, particularly Conservative Governments. He said it was a well-known story and that nobody had commented upon it more vigorously than the then Leader of the Conservative Party, who was Winston Churchill. He referred to a speech made by Winston Churchill in Nottingham, in which he said:As for interference the Tory Party had no policy except to make sure of the public house vote.Speaking of Mr. Balfour's Government, Winston Churchill said:They had a capacity to sneer at every philanthropic enthusiasm while flinging sops from time to time to brewers and others of their friends.In another speech in Manchester, Winston Churchill referred to 1709The open hand of the Exchequer and the open door of the public house",and spoke of:a brewers dray blocking the road to progress.These are not my words, but the words of the most distinguished Tory that ever lived—and they are words about the Tory Party.
We have now got to the closing stages of this Bill. The champagne corks will be popping in Upper Clyde tonight; 120,000 unemployed in Scotland will be dancing outside the labour exchanges now that this Bill is to go on the Statute Book. The "better tomorrow" is just around the corner in Gretna and Cromarty. The Government are ending this scheme which has run for 60 years. Even if it might not have done very well in terms of profits, which is the only yardstick by which the Tory Party measures success, it did not do any harm and was very popular in the areas in which it operated. Nothing has been done by any Government about this scheme for 60 years. It is only now that this action is taken by the present Government, which is the most wicked, most inefficient, most unpopular, and I believe the most corrupt for a century or more. This is why they have brought in this Bill.
§ 9.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Ross
We have had a very short run on this Bill. In Committee Conservative members were reluctant to come to the support of their Ministers. I have never known such reluctant legislators in my life. They had voted on Second Reading with a certain amount of enthusiasm, probably greater than that of the Home Secretary; but when it came to Committee, they could not even turn out to save the Government on the issue of how many mornings we were to sit. The whole of the time they left it to their hon. Friends the Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office and the Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Agriculture at the Scottish Office to carry on.
I should like to have seen serving on that Committee the representative of the Allied Breweries since he is so knowledgeable about these matters. Had he been on the Committee, I am sure we would have had some fertile discussions and 1710 arguments. He could have conducted his investigations into my ideas about the brewers and the trade rather than have left his remarks until these later stages. It was quite a relief today to see him expanding a little bit, but we heard very little new.
Today we heard retold by the Under-Secretary of State the Second Reading speech which had been delivered by his right hon. Friend.
§ Mr. Ross
The Under-Secretary of State cannot say anything else, since he was repeating the same arguments that had been put forward by the Home Secretary, though not in such a complete form. However this is not Second Reading. This is Third Reading. We are concerned with what is in this Bill. We are not dealing with the kind of stuff that we heard put forward by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Kinsey); at one stage we even managed to get on the slopes of Ben Wyvis. The hon. Gentleman talked about anything but what is in the Bill. I want to talk about what is in the Bill and by implication what is not in the Bill, and I shall state our reasons for voting against it.
Clause 1 is one of the most ridiculously-worded Clauses I have ever read in a Statute. We tried to convey our feelings about this provision in Committee but the Government, who fielded a second eleven, were determined at the start to resist even small drafting Amendments. When one reads Clause 1, one sees such expressions as "shall be abolished" and "is hereby repealed". It is just a bit of legal nonsense. It is the kind of provision that one expects to see in a consequential Schedule.
Then we come to the real meat in Clause 2, which deals with the way in which the assets are to be disposed of, though I defy anyone to discover from it what is to be done. The hon. and learned Gentleman is a lawyer, and he must know that what is said by a Minister by way of interpretation of a Statute is not accepted in a court of law. If he does not know that, someone should tell him. What counts is what is in the Bill. There is nothing in the Bill which should lead the hon. Member for Perry Barr or anyone else to describe what is to be 1711 done about the disposal of these assets asfair, just and beyond suspicion.We tried to spare the hon. and learned Gentleman the embarrassment of it being left to him and to the Secretary of State for Scotland to dispose of these assets as they thought expedient in the public interest. The hon. and learned Gentleman can tell us as much as he likes about what he intends to do about it. But when, eventually, these assets are sold, if they are sold, they may be used for any other purpose, the presumption being that they may not be sold. Everything depends on the manoeuvres of those who want to get the best bargain. The brewers will not necessarily meet any prices, and it must not be forgotten that there is nothing to stop them ganging up. The embarrassment will be that of the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Scotland if it is not found possible to realise even what was suggested in 1967 as a tentative valuation. I think that it was £4.8 million.
The Bill says that the Secretaries of State must sell, but what will happen if they sell in the way about which we have been told? Imagine a single city where every public house has to be sold. The Minister tells us that it will all be wrapped up within a year. That is what we should be talking about on Third Reading. How can he give any guarantees to this House or to the country that this is the right way to get the best price for the assets?
§ Mr. Ross
Over 340 properties, including 170 public houses and the like are all to be sold in virtually the same period. What a buyer's market that will be.
We have not been given any indication about whether they will be sold to one buyer. Anyone reading what the Home Secretary said on Second Reading will realise that this is not ruled out. He spoke about the difficulties of trying to run a concession like this within a limited geographical area. The implication of that is that it will be controlled by someone who has a very much wider area. We are told that one of the reasons for the Bill is to break up a monopoly. However, what may happen is that we exchange one 1712 monopoly for another, and one which has just been condemned by the Monopolies Commission.
§ Mr. Ross
The Monopolies Commission had this to say in its Report on the Supply of Beer:We conclude that the conditions we have found to prevail operate and may be expected to operate against the public interest.The people of Carlisle will be delighted to know that they are to have wished upon them a system of beer supply which the Monopolies Commission says is acting and is likely to act against the public interest. That is for a fairly obvious reason. This Report is now out of date. My figures are not as good as they should be. The figures given here, on the then up-to-date information, show that in England and Wales 86 per cent. of all public houses were controlled by the brewers. The figure for Scotland—but it is increasing—is 14 to 16 per cent. The Report also states that in Scotland the brewers' ownership of licensed houses has increased somewhat in recent years.
There is nothing in the Bill which can give any satisfaction to the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Gray) or justify the plaudits of the hon. Member for Perry Barr that we shall see independent thriving management by local people. Far from it.
Apparently we shall get service which we have not had before. In The Times of Monday, 26th April, concern is expressed about beer and its quality as a result of the Bill to which the Tories are hoping to give a Third Reading tonight. This is the kind of satisfaction which we shall get in Carlisle, Gretna and the North of Scotland:'The public will bloody well drink what we tell them to drink ', a brewery representative is alleged to have told one of his company's licensees not so long ago.I have never seen that denied—
§ Mr. Ross
The Minister has climbed on his high horse and said that right 1713 from the start we have made wild allegations and smear after smear. What we have said is very tame compared with what was said by Winston Churchill about the conspiracy of the Tory Party and the brewers. One of my hon. Friends has saved me the trouble of quoting what he said. But the Tory Party has become coy about it. In 1916 when this was going through the House, the then Home Secretary, Lloyd George, was constantly interrupted by the then Member for the town in which I live, Ayr, Sir George Younger. He said that he was speaking for the brewers. He was rather proud to be speaking for them. He made no attempt to conceal it. But now that does not exist. We have this long list of contributions to the Tory Party. I think that Allied was very stingy.
§ Mr. Ross
The hon. Member for Leicester, South-West (Mr. Tom Boardman) should be ashamed of himself. No wonder he is still on the back benches. It is a mere £1,000 a year, unless Allied's subsidiaries are feeding it in elsewhere. Hon. Gentlemen opposite should appreciate that they have to live with their connection with this trade.
I am sure that the Home Secretary did not want the Bill. We would never have introduced such a Bill. It is interesting to note that in the year 1952, when the Tories took office after the 1945–51 Labour Government, one of their first acts was to take away similar powers from the new town corporations. How responsive they are. It may be a coincidence, of course, that what they do is what the brewers want.
They have been wrong about the Bill. I remind them of what Lloyd George said on 29th April, 1915. [Interruption.] What is wrong with that?Every Government that has ever touched alcohol has burnt its fingers in its lurid flames."—[OFFICAL REPORT, 29th April, 1915; Vol. 71, c. 864.]I do not know whether they have any fingers left after the lurid flames into which they have been putting them on the Clyde, Rolls-Royce, and everywhere else. This is not one of the Bills of which right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite can be very proud. It really is sad that a party facing all the problems 1714 that it is at the moment should race in with this Measure. Nothing will convince us that it was brought in, not because the right hon. Gentleman wanted to introduce it, but because of outside pressures on his party.
§ 9.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
We listened with interest to the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), but he said very little that was new. The only small bit of extra interest that he brought to the debate was to be found in the geography lesson that he gave us, but even then he was wrong, because he put Ben Wyvis in the wrong place. I invite the right hon. Gentleman to look at the map. He will see that the boundary of the State management district goes through the summit of Ben Wyvis. If he looks at the map, he will see which side of Ben Wyvis he is talking about. As usual, he finds himself talking on the wrong side.
The right hon. Gentleman spoke this evening about the Government's second eleven taking part in the Committee stage of the Bill, and about how they were unable to accept any of the arguments put to them. All I can say is that, in the face of the third-rate arguments presented to us, it is no wonder that the right hon. Gentleman had so little success.
Tonight we have heard little more than the gramophone record that we heard during the whole of the Committee stage, almost regardless of what Amendments were being considered, or what Clause was being debated. We heard the same record on Report too. The only good thing tonight—and I welcomed it—was that we had with us the hon. Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Lamond), and one or two others. The gramophones were changed, but I wish that the record could have been changed, too.
The hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Elystan Morgan) began his speech very courteously, and thanked all those who had taken part in the Committee stage of the Bill. May I, from this side of the House, express my thanks to right hon. and hon. Members opposite for their help during a long Committee stage. We may have differed in our views, but we at least learned to respect each other's point of view, despite what the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William 1715 Hamilton) may say, and I think that this evening we have all obtained a considerable amount of enjoyment from the debate.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
The hon. Gentleman should have been here for the Report stage. We should have liked to hear him. I shall be delighted to talk about what is in the Bill.
There is one matter that is important to the Bill, and I know that it is of considerable interest to the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis), because he raised it, and that is the position of the staff in the State management districts. I repeat the tribute that has been paid by my right hon. and hon. Friends to the hard work and loyalty of those who have worked in the State management scheme. Nothing in the Bill is a reflection on the part they have played. I repeat, also, the assurances that were given in Committee, and on Report, that those who become redundant will be entitled to proper compensation and redundancy payments.
Having said that, I now come to the question of jobs. Unfortunately, we have been exposed to arguments of extravanganza and exaggeration. If hon. Members really wanted to be believed, they could have put their arguments more moderately.
I would congratulate the hon. Member for Fife, West on introducing one new set of so-called facts. One only has to imagine our casting the same aspersions on his hon. Friends who happen to have connections with the trade union movement to realise how completely out of place his remarks were. They were intended as smear and innuendo.
The right hon. Member for Kilmarnock criticised some of my hon. Friends—he might well have criticised some of his own—for not dealing with what was in the Bill. He spent three minutes on what was in the Bill and then reverted to a Second Reading speech. I am delighted to deal with what is in the Bill. One effect of the Bill which has been ignored by hon. Members opposite is to restore to local licensing justices the freedom to work in the way that such justices 1716 work in the rest of the country. The Bill is about freedom. In this important matter, all licensing decisions should be taken locally by those directly concerned.
One thing which has been uppermost in the minds of hon. Members opposite in their desire to keep this power in the hands of the Secretary of State is the philosophy that Whitehall and St. Andrew's House know best and that local people cannot be trusted to carry out their proper functions. My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Kinsey) was right. The nub of the Labour Party's opposition to the Bill is that we are slaughtering one of their sacred cows. It is so outmoded that it is no longer sacred, and when something is no longer needed, there is nothing ritual about its slaughter—
§ Mr. Ron Lewis rose—
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I was asked to deal with what is in the Bill and I am doing so. I am delighted to come to the hon. Member's point. The important thing is that merely because we are restoring freedom to local licensing authorities hon. Members oppose the Bill—
§ Mr. Lewis rose—
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I now come to the hon. Member's point. He asked me whether we shall be reporting to the House throughout the restoration of freedom in these areas—
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I repeat what we said in Committee, that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will report to the House as necessary—
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
—in the course of the disposal of the assets, and certainly at the end, when the disposal is completed.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I certainly give that assurance.
One question has remained completely unanswered by hon. Gentlemen opposite. It was totally ignored by the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock. I refer to the intentions of hon. Gentlemen opposite in the unlikely event of the Labour Party being returned to power. His right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) said on 20th April last:We shall not be bound … by our conventional basis of compensation".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th April, 1971; Vol. 815, c. 985.]Throughout the Committee stage, on Report and at this stage the right hon. Gentleman who has been leading for the Opposition has consistently ignored this question.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
Hon. Gentlemen opposite must realise that the language used by the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East on that occasion not only put at risk the valuation which might be placed on these properties—and in that he behaved irresponsibly—but indicated that his party would behave in a disreputable way at a future date.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
Another main advantage of the Bill lies in the fact that we are dealing with areas in Scotland which have tremendous potential for tourist development. In the southwest of Scotland, with the M6 motorway
|Division No. 395.]||AVES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Biffen, John||Bullus, Sir Eric|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Biggs-Davison, John||Burden, F. A.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Blaker, Peter||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Campbell, Rt. Hn. G.(Moray&Nairn)|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Body, Richard||Carlisle-, Mark|
|Astor, John||Boscawen, Robert||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Bossom, Sir Clive||Channon, Paul|
|Awdry, Daniel||Bowden, Andrew||Chapman, Sydney|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Chichester-Clark, R.|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Braine, Bernard||Churchill, W. S.|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Bray, Ronald||Clark, William (Surrey, E.)|
|Batsford, Brian||Brinton, Sir Tatton||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Clegg, Walter|
|Bell, Ronald||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Cooke, Robert|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Coombs, Derek|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Bryan, Paul||Cooper, A. E.|
|Benyon, W.||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Cordle, John|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Buck, Antony||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
§ way having been completed as far as Gretna, with the development of roads within Scotland and with the increasing number of people from the Midlands of England looking for places in which to spend their leisure time, there is tremendous tourist growth potential in the south-west of Scotland. This is potential which the local people will be glad to grasp, and what is true of south-west Scotland is equally true, as my hon. Friend the Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Gray) said, of other areas. I have no doubt that the people of Scotland will be glad to take advantage of the opportunities which this Bill offers.
§ The State management scheme was introduced as an experiment. It has been going on for a great many years. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have produced no evidence to show that on grounds of financial viability or moral liability—from the point of drunkenness and so on—it should continue.
§ Hon. Gentlemen opposite are living in the past. The right hon. Member for Kilmarnock had to quote Lloyd George in 1916 in an attempt to justify his case. We have been listening to this antediluvian monster from Kilmarnock but, like all monsters, he belongs to the picture books. His monstrosities are out of date and, like this experiment in State management, all his remarks are of no effect whatever. All his antics, moanings and, to borrow a word from the hon. Member for Fife, West, outpourings belong to the museum and have no relevance to Britain and Scotland today.
§ Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 286, Noes 251.
|Cormack, Patrick||James, David||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Costain, A. P.||Jenkin, Patrick||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Critchley, Julian||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Crouch, David||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Crowder, F. P.||Jopling, Michael||Raison, Timothy|
|Curran, Charles||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Redmond, Robert|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||Kilfedder, James||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Kimball, Marcus||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Dixon, Piers||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Kinsey, J. R.||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kirk, Peter||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Drayson, G. B.||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Knox, David||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Lampton, Antony||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Lane, David||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rost, Peter|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Le Marchant, Spencer||Royle, Anthony|
|Emery, Peter||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Farr, John||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Fell, Anthony||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Longden, Gilbert||Sharples, Richard|
|Fidler, Michael||Loveridge, John||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Luce, R. N.||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Simeons, Charles|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||MacArthur, Ian||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||McCrindle, R. A.||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & 'Lmington)|
|Foster, Sir John||McLaren, Martin||Speed, Keith|
|Fowler, Norman||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Spence, John|
|Fox, Marcus||McMaster, Stanley||Sproat, lain|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Fry, Peter||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Gardner, Edward||Maddan, Martin||Stokes, John|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Madel, David||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Maginnis, John E.||Sutcliffe, John|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Tapsell, Peter|
|Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Marten, Neil||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Goodhart, Philip||Mather, Carol||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Maude, Angus||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Gorst, John||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)|
|Gower, Raymond||Mawby, Ray||Tebbit, Norman|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Gray, Hamish||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Green, Alan||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Grieve, Percy||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Grylls, Michael||Moate, Roger||Trew, Peter|
|Gummer, Selwyn||Molyneaux, James||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Gurden, Harold||Money, Ernle||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Monks, Mrs. Connie||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Monro, Hector||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Montgomery, Fergus||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Waddington, David|
|Hannam, John (Exeter)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Mudd, David||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Murton, Oscar||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Wall, Patrick|
|Hastings, Stephen||Neave, Airey||Walters, Dennis|
|Havers, Michael||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Hawkins, Paul||Normanton, Tom||Warren, Kenneth|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Nott, John||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Heseltine, Michael||Onslow, Cranley||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Hicks, Robert||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Higgins, Terence L,||Osborn, John||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Hiley, Joseph||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Wilkinson, John|
|Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Holland, Philip||Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Holt, Miss Mary||Peel, John||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Hordern, Peter||Percival, Ian||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Hornby, Richard||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Worsley, Marcus|
|Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Younger, Hn. George|
|Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Hunt, John||Pounder, Rafton||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Mr. Reginald Eyre and|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Mr. Jasper More.|
|Abse, Leo||Golding, John||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Milne, Edward (Blyth)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Gourlay, Harry||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Molloy, William|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Ashley, Jack||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Ashton, Joe||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Moyle, Roland|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Hamling, William||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Barnes, Michael||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Murray, Ronald King|
|Barnett, Joel||Hardy, Peter||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Beaney, Alan||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||O' Malley, Brian|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Oram, Bert|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Orbach, Maurice|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Heffer, Eric S.||Orme, Stanley|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hilton, W. S.||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Hooson, Emlyn||Paget, R. T.|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Horam, John||Palmer, Arthur|
|Booth, Albert||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Bradley, Tom||Huckfield. Leslie||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-uponTyne, W.)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Pendry, Tom|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Buchan, Norman||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Hunter, Adam||Prescott, John|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Irvine, Rt. Hn. SirArthur (Edge Hill)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Janner, Greville||Probert, Arthur|
|Cant, R. B.||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Rankin, John|
|Carmichael, Neil||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||John, Brynmor||Richard, Ivor|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Roper, John|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Cronin, John||Judd, Frank||Sandelson, Neville|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Kaufman, Gerald||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Kelley, Richard||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Kerr, Russell||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'le-u-Tyne)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Kinnock, Neil||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Lamond, James||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Latham, Arthur||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Davies, Ifor (Cower)||Lawson, George||Sillars, James|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Leadbitter, Ted||Silverman. Julius|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Skinner, Dennis|
|Deakins, Eric||Leonard, Dick||Small, William|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Lestor, Miss Joan||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Delargy, H. J.||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Spearing, Nigel|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Stallard, A. W.|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lipton, Marcus||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lomas, Kenneth||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Loughlin, Charles||Strang, Gavin|
|Driberg, Tom||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Dunnett, Jack||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Swain, Thomas|
|Eadie, Alex||McBride, Neil||Taverne, Dick|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McCartney, Hugh||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McElhone, Frank||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Ellis, Tom||McGuire, Michael||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|English, Michael||Mackenzie, Gregor||Tinn, James|
|Evans, Fred||Mackie, John||Tomney, Frank|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mackintosh, John P.||Torney, Tom|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)||Maclennan, Robert||Tuck, Raphael|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Varley, Eric G.|
|Foley, Maurice||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield. E.)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Foot, Michael||Marks, Kenneth||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Ford, Ben||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Forrester, John||Mayhew, Christopher||Wallace, George|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Meacher, Michael||Watkins, David|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Weitzman, David|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mendelson, John||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mikardo, Ian||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Millan, Bruce||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Ginsburg, David||Whitlock, William|
|Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Williams, W. T. (Warrington)||Woof, Robert||Mr. James Hamilton.|
|Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.|