§ 4.50 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT CECIL OF CHELWOOD rose to move to resolve, That this House deeply regrets that owing to the nationalisation of the gas industry the co-partnership scheme which has operated in the South Metropolitan Gas Company with great success for upwards of sixty years has come to an end. The noble Viscount said: My Lords, I have ventured to bring before the House the matter referred to in my Motion because, though it may seem at first sight to be only of local interest, it raises a question of industrial policy of vital importance. It may well be that our future national and international position will depend more upon our industrial policy than on any other issue. The facts of the actual question are simple, and I am able to place them clearly and indisputably before your Lordships, because they have been set out briefly in an article published in a magazine called "Segas," which is the organ of the South Eastern Gas Board.
§ As your Lordships know, when nationalisation of the gas industry was decided on, all the existing gas undertakings were transferred to these gas boards, which were set up in districts all over the country. Among them was established the London South-Eastern Gas Board, comprising, among other districts, that which used to be supplied by the South Metropolitan Gas Company. This is, or was, a company with a remarkable history. Some sixty years ago, in the 1880's, it was torn with violent industrial disputes, culminating in a strike which, as I can remember, caused considerable anxiety. Mr. George Livesey, who I think was the Chairman in 1886, proposed as a remedy for this state of things a system of profit sharing which would give the workmen, in addition to their wages, a share in the profits of the business. After some controversy, that proposal was accepted in 1889, and on that basis a regular structure of co-partnership was built up. Since that time—that is, for the last sixty years—the relations between employers and employed have been excellent.
The system which has existed is thus described in the article I have mentioned:
In many cases employees became shareholders in the undertaking for which they
worked; co-partnership committees functioning for joint consultation provided machinery for the discussion of mutual interests of employees and employers; welfare and pension schemes were initiated and extended, and. special attention was given to improvement in the conditions in employment generally and to the safety and health of the employees.
Two points should be added to this account. In the first place, under general gas legislation for London, there could be no increase in the profits distributed to shareholders in the undertaking unless at the same time the price of gas was lowered; so that consumers were, in some degree, sleeping partners in the business. Further, by special Statutes promoted by the company, the board of nine directors consisted of six members representing shareholders, two elected by the workmen and one similarly representing the clerks. I draw special attention to this recognition not only of the interests but also of the responsibility of all concerned. That is, in my view, the most important point on which co-partnership differs from nationalisation. Nationalisation gives to the worker no real voice in the management or control of the business. Essentially, all it does is to substitute the tax-payers for the shareholders, and a body of officials appointed by the Cabinet for the directors, of whom, as I have said, in this company, two-thirds used to be chosen by those who had put their money into the concern, together with one-third freely elected by the workers.
Let me complete the account of the position as given by the "Segas" article. This is what the Gas Board very honestly and properly say:
The broad principles of co-partnership and its ideas were adopted by a large number of gas undertakings, and it is true to say that the foundation thus laid was the basis for the good labour relations which have played such an important part in the progress and prosperity of the gas industry.
That is a very handsome testimony to the system which has now been destroyed by what I must call the doctrinaire policy of the Government. It is right to add that the Government seem to have felt some compunction for what they have done or were doing. It has been arranged that the co-partners shall receive, as an addition to their wages, for fifteen years an annual sum equivalent to the bonus paid to them in the last year of the co-partnership scheme. That may be some monetary satisfaction to the persons concerned, but, as I think, it does not touch
the real evil of the change. The main value, I repeat, of co-partnership is not that it increases wages but that it gives to the wage earners a direct, personal interest in the undertaking. They cease to be mere human machines, and become instead sentient and intelligent beings, working for a common public purpose of great national importance, and receiving tangible proof of the success of their efforts.
§ An incident which occurred at the beginning of the First World War will illustrate my meaning. One of the early economic effects of that war was to in-crease the cost of living. This, of course, diminished the real value of the wages earned. Accordingly, soon after the beginning of the war, a notice was posted in the works saying that as from the next pay day wages would be increased by a stated sum. Upon this, the wage earners represented to the management that they doubted whether the business could stand such an increase, and suggested that the alteration should be postponed for a time—which was done. I do not know in the least whether or not this was right, but this postponement surely shows that the wage earners in this undertaking recognised their responsibility for the management of the works, and were pre-pared to do their part for its success.
§ It is the same with another palliative which has been offered to the workers. The article I have quoted says that matters concerning safety, health, welfare and employees' privileges will continue to be discussed by joint committees which will be established as part of the negotiating and consultative machinery of the Gas Act. That is good, so far as it goes, but it does not go very far. It means that there will be some consultative committee appointed by the Gas Board for the whole district who will be entitled to make suggestions applicable to certain matters. That is a very different thing, from giving the right to the actual workers in an undertaking not only to elect one-third of the members of the board of management but also to have representatives sitting on the committees dealing with all the conditions of employment, including, if necessary, any disputes as to wages. It is the difference between a voluntary personal organisation and a committee of officials selected, I suppose, by a Department of the Government. 904 The article I have quoted refers to the "good labour relations" that have hitherto existed as a consequence of the co-partnership which prevailed in the gas industry, as your Lordships have already heard. The essence of such relations is their personal quality. The moment they become part of an official machine their merit is largely destroyed. In any case, the fact is indisputable that from 1889 to March, 1951, there was no serious dispute between employers and employed in the South Metropolitan Gas Company.
§ Why, then, has co-partnership been superseded? No doubt it is partly due to what I venture to describe as the doctrinaire adoption of the principle of nationalisation, largely in consequence of the theoretical views of men like Marx and Lenin and their followers. They regarded all industry, and indeed all society, as a battle between employers and employed, in which the triumph of the latter, the dictatorship of the proletariat, was essential. I do not believe that that is a viewpoint which will commend itself to English opinion. We have had many industrial controversies, but so far we have largely succeeded in avoiding class bitterness, and I hope we always shall. Fights settle nothing. It has well been said that "Force is no remedy," and particularly is it pernicious in questions of social reform. We hear too much now of the value of group loyalty, of Party interests and even of the more magnificent esprit de corps. Loyalty to your friends and even to your class may be a good thing, but it should have one constant limitation: it must never go so far as to destroy or injure individual responsibility. That is the proudest possession of man. It distinguishes the free man from the slave. If a man once begins to say to himself, "I am asked here to do something of which I disapprove, but as it is requested by my group, or my class, or my trade, I shall do it," whatever else may be right, that decision is almost invariably wrong.
§ That leads me to make another observation. In this "Segas" article, and in some of the observations made by Ministers, there are constant references to "the appropriate organisation of the employees" or some similar phrase. That, I gather, means the trade union. Everyone recognises the value of the work done by the trade unions in strictly industrial matters. The unions were necessary 905 in order to enable employees and employers to meet on equal terms, but they have now become something much more than that. They are a part, and a very important part, of the political organisation of the Labour Party. Many of their members hold office in the present Government, and it is not too much to say that no Labour Government could exist without the support of the trade unions. That may seem all right to trade union officials, but is it fair to the ordinary worker if he is not to be recognised except as a member of the union? Does it not mean this: that the worker has no appeal against the action of the Administration which is this employer except through an organisation which is part of that Administration? Is that perhaps the reason for the number of what are called "unofficial" strikes—that is to say, strikes not approved by the trade union con-cerned—which have recently occurred? It is much to be feared that the trade union as an industrial organisation of the workers will disappear. To my mind that means a great danger to our liberty. In this country we have, on the whole, been very successful in combining liberty with authority; but we have done it by carefully limiting the scope of government. By the nationalisation of great commercial industries we are increasing the power of the Government and inevitably reducing the status of those who work in them. The true line of progress is the making of all who work in each industry personally interested in, and responsible, for its success. Liberty, equality and fraternity, by all means; but it must be real liberty, real equality and real fraternity. That is the meaning of my Resolution, which I now beg to move.
§ Moved to resolve, That this House deeply regrets that owing to the nationalisation of the gas industry the co-partnership scheme which has operated in the South Metropolitan Gas Company with great success for upwards of sixty years has come to an end.—(Viscount Cecil of Chelwood.)
§ 5.8 p.m.
§ LORD CHORLEY
My Lords, I am sure we have all listened with great interest to the speech which the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil of Chelwood, has just delivered to us on this matter. As 906 one who was present throughout the discussions on the Gas Bill and who well remembers the strenuous efforts which the noble Viscount made to safeguard the position of these co-partnership schemes, and particularly those in the South London area to which he has referred this afternoon, I have listened with a great deal of sympathy to what he has said in repeating the core of his previous argument. The latter part of his speech raised topics of great interest and importance which go a good deal beyond the limits of his Motion. While I have no doubt they would furnish sufficient material for a most interesting debate, in which we on this side would be happy to cross swords with him, I hope he will forgive me for not following him this afternoon into that area of exploration.
I think the noble Viscount, no doubt unintentionally, has been, in a sense, a little misleading. From his speech one might have gained the impression that the conditions he has described as existing in the two companies which operated on the south side of the Thames were characteristic of the gas industry over the whole country. That, of course, is not so. There were profit-sharing schemes in a substantial number of gas concerns, notably in the largest of them all—the Gas Light and Coke Company—but the two South London concerns, the South Metropolitan and the South Suburban, were the only two in which there was co-partnership in the sense which the noble Viscount has been adumbrating this afternoon—the sense that the workers were entitled to nominate a certain proportion of the directors. I think that was unique to those two companies, and it was not at all true over the gas industry as a whole that there was co-partnership of that kind.
The noble Viscount pressed the Government hard throughout the Committee stage of the Gas Bill, and indeed he tabled a number of Amendments, with the object of securing a continuance of the schemes which had been operating in South London, and, as we all admit, operating with great success. But, if he will forgive me for saying so, his proposals were not realistic. I remember very well the noble Viscount, Lord Ridley, who is far from being a supporter of the Government, in two exceedingly trenchant and able speeches completely 907 exposing the unworkable character of the Amendments moved by the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil. I remember the noble Marquess who leads the Opposition being very much impressed with Lord Ridley's observations on the point, and, I believe, more or less agreeing that it was not possible in a nationalised gas industry to carry forward this type of scheme, however successful it might work in two comparatively small concerns operating in a restricted area and with a comparatively small number of employees.
The fact of the matter is that on the socialisation of the gas industry it became quite impossible to carry on schemes of this sort in the way that they had operated in the past. The Motion moved by the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil, asking the House to regret this fact, is, I suggest, rather like asking us to regret the passing of the Elizabethan Age. That was a very great age in our history, but time marches on, and it is a thing of the past. In a modern set-up of the gas industry, such as has been carried through by Parliament in the Gas Act, 1948, it is just not feasible to have a scheme of the sort which was working with success in those two companies.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
Does the noble Lord really say that when this matter was being discussed in Committee the Government said that any form of co-partnership in the sense of profit sharing was impossible? I was in charge of the Opposition on that Bill, and that is not what was said. On the contrary, as I recollect it, while not accepting the Amendment, the Government said that they would do their best to see that suit-able analogous schemes were made to work in the individual Area Boards where they were appropriate.
§ LORD CHORLEY
The noble Viscount could not have been listening to what I was saying with his usual care. I was saying that schemes of the kind which were operating in these two companies on the south side of the Thames could not be carried forward. The noble Viscount will remember that in the Act it is provided that profit sharing schemes shall be continued for a period to be fixed by regulation issued by the Minister, in order that problems of that kind may be considered. As I understand it, the 908 Minister did, in fact, by regulation fix a period of two years in order that those who were engaged in the industry might have discussions, in which all the people who were interested might take part, and in which a scheme could be worked out. The noble Viscount, Lord Cecil, has in fact referred to the scheme, and no doubt my noble friend Lord Macdonald, who is to reply for the Government, will be able to give us a great deal more information about it than I have at my disposal. But, as I understand it, the scheme on the pro-fit sharing side has been agreed in the industry. I have taken some trouble to make inquiries about this matter from those who have been closely concerned with it, not only during these recent negotiations, but for many years past, and my information is that the scheme has given the greatest satisfaction to the workpeople engaged in the industry, and has been very well received. That scheme is that the bonus during the fifteen years in which those workmen who were engaged in the industry before the vesting date will continue to receive a bonus, shall be based on the profit sharing in the last full year before the industry became nationalised. That seems to be a sensible and workable scheme on the profit sharing side, and, as I say, my information is that it has given the greatest satisfaction to those engaged in the industry.
The other question—and this was an aspect of the matter which the noble Viscount pressed particularly, and certainly many noble Lords on these Benches and I myself have the greatest sympathy with him—is that there should be as much participation as possible in the general control of the industry on the part of the workmen who are engaged therein. As the noble Viscount, Lord Ridley, pointed out in his speech on the Committee stage of the Gas Bill, it is not possible to provide for that sort of participation in a nationalised industry on the lines which had been workable in the South Metropolitan and the South Suburban Gas Companies.
During the two years to which I have referred parallel negotiations have been going on as to the best method of setting up consultative machinery of the kind which, as your Lordships will remember, is called for under the terms of the Act. My information is—and here again I have taken some pains to try and discover what has been going on—that throughout this 909 period careful and amicable discussions have been taking place, and at the present time they have come nearly to fruition. I understand that a model constitution has been drawn up—certainly is in the process of being drawn up—for the appointment of joint works committees. These joint works committees will come into existence at each of the individual works. If I may say so, the weakness of the old scheme was that over the whole area of the South Suburban and South Metropolitan Gas Companies there was just the one election of the directors—of these two operative workmen directors and the one clerical director—in effect a centralised system, which is certainly not my idea of democracy. Under the modern constitution which will be brought into force, as I understand it, there will be a joint works committee at each individual works, so that large numbers of workpeople who in the past were able to take only a very indirect participation in management by means of once in a substantial period of time casting a vote for their representative on the board of directors, will, now be able to participate much more directly and closely in all the various matters which are brought before them in these joint works committees. That shows that in actual fact we shall be getting much nearer to what the noble Viscount himself wants: that is to say, to a real grass-roots, democratic participation in the industry, greater than ever existed in the past. In those circumstances, I hope that the noble Viscount will agree that under the Gas Act, 1948, we shall in a short space of time be well on the way to obtaining what he himself wants, and a much better state of affairs than that which existed under the old dispensation, which, after all, was confined to only a small section of the gas industry in this country.
§ 5.20 p.m.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, in spite of what has been said by the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, I should like very strongly to support the Resolution which has been moved by my noble relative, Lord Cecil. The noble Lord, Lord Chorley, in the remarks he has just delivered to the House, implied that Lord Cecil's speech went widely beyond the Motion. I do not accept that. I should have thought that it would have been much fairer to say that the latter part of 910 Lord Cecil's speech provided the back-ground to the Motion—and an essential background, because he made it clear that the implications of this subject went far beyond the mere question of the South Metropolitan Gas Company. I frankly believe that, when history comes to be written, from the widest point of view it will be thought that one of the most deplorable acts of this Government was their bringing to an end these co-partner-ship schemes in the gas industry when they nationalised that industry. In answer to the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, I would say that I certainly have no recollection that I accepted the Government view on the Gas Bill. I know that there were difficulties about this question—
§ LORD CHORLEY
Will the noble Marquess forgive my interrupting? I was not saying that he accepted the Government's view: I said that he had been much impressed by Lord Ridley's analysis of the situation in which he showed the unrealism of the noble Viscount's suggestions.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
Throughout those debates I continued to press for the retention of these co-partnerships schemes. I regard the Government action, in the form in which it was taken, both as retrograde and as showing up the illogical use—to use no stronger word—of their whole political position. From speeches of members of the Labour Party which I have read, and to which I have listened, I always understood that one of the main purposes for which that Party exists is what they call "to raise the status of the workmen." There used to be talk, in a characteristically extreme phrase, of "wage slaves" under the capitalist system, and I always under-stood that when a Socialist Government came into power that situation was to be brought to an end. In the particular firms of the gas industry, however, it had already been brought to an end. Those who lent their labour to the gas industry had in fact become co-partners with those who lent their money—just what I have always understood the Labour Party would wish.
This scheme of co-partnership referred to in the Resolution, was, as the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil, told your Lordships, introduced over sixty years ago, and was a model for other undertakings of the same 911 character. The noble Viscount has described the character of that scheme, and I do not want to traverse again ground which he has covered much more thoroughly. I do not pretend that the particular schemes which were adopted by the gas industry would necessarily be applicable to every kind of industrial undertaking. As we know, conditions vary between one industry and another, and even possibly between one firm and another. But what I do say is that in the gas industry the schemes adopted had already proved themselves inescapably to be an outstanding success. They were popular with the management; they were popular with the men; they led to a vastly improved industrial relationship and to the virtual elimination of strikes while they were in operation. The management and the men worked happily together as members of one body, as they should do.
And what of the merely financial results of these co-partnerships schemes in the gas industry, from the point of view of the industry itself? I should like to quote some figures which I have of the position on December 31, 1946—a very few years before nationalisation took place—and I should say that the figures come from the records of the co-partnership nationalisation committee. These figures, I believe your Lordships will agree, supplement and confirm what Lord Cecil has already said. In 1946, the stock held by the employees in the concerns in question amounted to £3,100,756 and some odd shillings. In addition, these employees held on deposit on co-partnership accounts, £1,376,244. Finally, they had invested in the gas undertakings, in respect of pensions, superannuation, guaranteed schemes, and so on, £4,689,080. That makes a grand total of £9,166,000. Those are very impressive, I might almost say tremendous, figures. In the light of figures such as that, and in the light of the happy industrial relations which existed in that industry, why was it necessary to bring to an end so admirable an evolution of capitalism? I should have thought, if I may say so with all deference, that there could not be a more blatant example of the hollowness of Labour professions that they will raise the status of the worker. Indeed, I must honestly say that I am becoming more 912 and more bewildered as to what the Labour Party really do stand for.
I had always understood that they stood for Socialism, which I have taken to mean the taking over by the State of all the means of production, distribution and exchange. That has been expounded with force and eloquence on many Labour platforms in the country. But now, I gather, from a letter in The Times on May 25, from a Mr. Oram—who is the research officer of the Co-operative Party, which is affiliated to the Labour Party—that that is not the case. He says, with reference to an earlier letter from another correspondent, that this correspondent confuses Socialism with Statism. I do not pretend to understand the exact meaning of that rather repellent mongrel word "Statism," which I am afraid is new to me, but I take it to mean—and no doubt the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, will correct me if I am wrong—the absolute control of nationalised industry by public corporations working under the broad direction of some responsible Minister. That I understood to be the policy of the Labour Party. But now I gather, from two significant sentences towards the end of Mr. Oram's letter, that this is no longer the case. After saying quite definitely that Socialism and Statism are not synonymous he goes on to say—and, I will quote his exact words:… everywhereand I ask your Lordships to note that word—the necessary supervision and control … by Parliament and the central Government should be supplemented by a steadily increasing participation in management by the vocational organisation of all grades of workers concernedThat statement, I submit, has a very direct bearing on the Resolution of my noble relative, Lord Cecil, for it is the exact purpose of these co-partnership schemes in the gas industry which the Government has arbitrarily swept away.
Mr. Oram, if I may continue my reference to him, ends his letter with a yet more pregnant remark, for he says:Perhaps what we need is not so much ' new thinking' as an enlightened application of ideas which are already on record.I commend that very wise thought to His Majesty's Government. Let them give practical application to the ideas which were already applied in these cases. Up to now, so far as the gas industry is concerned at any rate, they have done exactly 913 the opposite. I hope that we in this House shall signalise our return to this ancient Chamber by making it clear that some of us, at least, really do care for the status of the working man, of which the Government talk so much. I do not know whether or not Lord Cecil intends to divide on his Resolution—that is a matter for him. But if he does decide to press it to a Division I shall support him; and I hope that others, irrespective of Party, who share his concern will follow him into the Lobby.
§ THE PAYMASTER-GENERAL (LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR)
My Lords, perhaps the noble Viscount, Lord Samuel, would like to intervene before I speak.
§ 5.31 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT SAMUEL
I am obliged to the noble Lord. I was hoping that the noble Viscount, Lord Mersey, who has for many years had a special interest in the gas industry, and is so well acquainted with its workings, might have been here to-day to take part in this debate; but since he is not able to be here I should like to say a few words bearing on the merits of the case Someone on these Benches must speak on these matters and reaffirm our very strong belief in the general principle of profit-sharing and co-partnership, which has formed a prominent part of the programme of the Liberal Party for many years now. Indeed, a great deal of progress has been made in this direction, and many successful endeavours have been made in certain industries in the promotion of this movement. They have done much good and have helped to a very marked degree towards harmonious working between labour and capital, or labour and management.
Not long ago my noble friend Lord Cecil and I had the pleasure of being pre-sent at a luncheon to celebrate the hundredth birthday of Mr. Theodore Taylor, the well-known business man, who is still conducting his business and going every week to it, and has paid visits to the United States and Canada on its be-half. For many years in his prosperous factory in Yorkshire he has pursued with enthusiasm and success the principles of profit-sharing. These, however, are exceptional cases; and the movement has not made any great and striking advance in this country of recent years, because 914 neither the employers, as a class, nor the trade unions, from the point of view of labour, have supported it. They have. in some instances, rendered it lip-service, but few employers have carried it into effect, and no trade unions have taken it up with any great enthusiasm. They have made a great mistake there—as they did in the case of family allowances. For many years they refused to support Miss Rathbone and others who had been advocating family allowances, and it was long before they changed their position and the principle of family allowances was carried into law.
Similarly, there has been opposition among the ranks of the trade unionists to profit sharing. Labour intellectuals and others who look forward to the day when private enterprise in all important industries will disappear are not interested in profit sharing and co-partnership. They seem to feel that there is no need to take the trouble to doctor a horse when it is on its way to the knacker's yard. We have heard from the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, that the profit-sharing and co-partnership schemes in force in the gas industry are inconsistent, because of the fact that nationalised industry requires different methods, and that any and every industry which has a scheme such as that in force in the gas industry would, if nationalised, have to surrender that scheme—possibly taking on a different form—for, in this particular instance, fifteen years. No one knows what will happen at the end of that time.
§ LORD CHORLEY
It might be quite possible to have such a bonus scheme, but it could not be worked on the method which was in operation in South London. With regard to management, which is much the more important side of this co-partnership idea, the scheme in South London was really one vast fraud from the point of view of the workers. The workers had three out of nine directors. My view, and the view of many noble Lords on these Benches, is that real participation in the management of industry cannot be obtained in that way but that it is much better obtained by joint consultation committees actually at the works.
§ LORD CHORLEY
As I understand it, there are to be 50 per cent. workers and 50 per cent. management.
§ VISCOUNT SAMUEL
I am grateful to the noble Lord for his full reply to my question whether all similar schemes will have to disappear. In a word, his answer is, Yes, they are to disappear. With regard to nationalised industries, of course no question arises as to the distribution of profits, for usually there are no profits: those industries are principally concerned with how to cover the losses. When you are producing not for profit but for use—to use the old saying—the idea of profit-sharing is out of place, and some different scheme must be put forward. But we must say whether we really believe that there ought to be some form of bonus, some form of participation such as exists in this very successful scheme; and I think the country ought to be clearly told the position.
We on these Benches believe that industry ought not to allow two antagonistic attitudes to remain and create a precarious balance between them—like the balance of power in international politics. The consequence is that, so far as I am concerned, if there is a Division on this question, subject of course to anything that the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, may say to convert me to his view, my inclination at present (I am always open to reason)—quite apart from the question of the particular gas industry, on which I am not sufficiently informed; I do not know whether the scheme now in force is really equivalent to that which has been abolished—on the general principle raised by the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil of Chelwood, is to support him in the Lobby.
§ 5.40 p.m.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
My Lords, when I first saw this Motion on the Order Paper, I read it with the utmost care, knowing, as I did then, that I should be asked to reply to this debate. I could not quite make up my mind expressly what the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil, was trying to do. I was not quite sure whether it was his dislike of nationalisation or his 916 fondness of co-partnership that was be-hind the Motion. I am not yet very sure. During his speech to-day he evinced just as strong a dislike for nationalisation as he did a fondness for co-partnership schemes. But I did find during his speech that his great concern was whether the workers in the gas industry would be as well cared for in the future as they have been during the past sixty years.
§ VISCOUNT CECIL OF CHELWOOD
That was not my great concern. My great concern was whether they would be given a share in the direction of the industry.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
Let me put it in the noble Viscount's own words: his concern was whether the status of the worker in the gas industry would be as high as it had been for the last sixty years, and that is the reason he put this Motion on the Order Paper. What the noble Viscount has to remember is this. Very often in previous debates in this House on this question there were many expressions of opinion regarding co-partnership. The co-partnership scheme inside the gas industry is a very limited scheme, especially the profit-sharing side of it.
Having read those debates in your Lordships' House in 1948, I was pleased to notice that all the noble Lords who took part in them placed profit-sharing very low down in the category of co-partnership. That is an indication that they did not altogether think that a co-partnership scheme need embrace this question of profit-sharing. Even the noble Marquess and my noble friend on the Woolsack were questioned as to what a co-partnership scheme, in good English, really meant. For my own guidance, I thought I had better make sure what the definition of a co-partnership scheme was, so I turned to a dictionary. It seems from the debate I have heard so far that this dictionary definition would be accepted by all your Lordships. Here it is:Co-partnership. Noun"—we are all agreed so far. Then there are two alternative definitions. The first is:Condition of being associated with another or others in trade or business.917 That was emphasised during the earlier speeches. The second was:System of trading in which the employees of a firm have a share of the profits.That is what we are told a co-partnership scheme is. The two basic problems in industry that I have found during my industrial life, both as a worker and as a trade union official, are these: first, how to distribute the proceeds of industry equitably to all engaged in the industry. That is the first basic problem. Quite frankly, speaking for myself alone, I question whether a profit-sharing scheme under a co-partnership scheme does that—whether it is the best way to distribute the proceeds of an industry. The noble Viscount, Lord Samuel, in 1926 presided over a Commission which dealt with an industry which, for very many years, since I was a boy, has faced this problem of distributing the proceeds of industry. Quite frankly, we never felt (and everyone is entitled to have his own view on this issue) that a profit-sharing scheme was the best way to secure the equitable distribution of the profits of an industry. Whether the noble Marquess and I agree or disagree on this point does not make any difference to the issue before us to-day.
The other basic problem in industry, we always felt, was how to give the worker a greater share in the management of the industry. He has never had his fair share. And when the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil, emphasises in the way he did to-day that he is very much concerned with the status of the worker, let me tell him this: I was employed in an industry for twenty-two years and I never knew that industry under private enterprise to respect the status of the worker. That industry is the coal industry. I agree that the status of the worker is vitally important. But to-day we are discussing this point. An Act of Parliament, which went through this House and received the Royal Assent in 1948, provided certain machinery to decide an issue, that issue being the continuation or otherwise of co-partnership schemes in the gas industry. What did the Minister do? He carried out the instructions given in that Act of Parliament. He asked the Gas Council, along with those representing the workers in the industry, to get together and to decide. The noble Lord, Lord Chorley, was not quite correct in suggesting that those consultations could not have de- 918 cided upon a continuation of the profit-sharing scheme. They could have done that; it was within their power to recommend a continuation of the profit-sharing scheme.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
On what basis did these negotiations take place? Were they on a sort of regional basis? I ask that question for this reason: that shortly after the debates in this House I had a letter from the working men under a co-partnership gas scheme. Their scheme was being brought to an end. They said they had had an interview with their local board and they had been told there that the matter was not for the decision of the local board, but was a matter for the decision of the Government. That was directly opposed to an answer which has been given in the House by the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd. The noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, will remember that I took it up with him and we found it quite impossible to sort out. There was a complete conflict of opinion. The men themselves sent me the correspondence which I have here, and they thought they had been given a raw deal, when the Government said it was a matter for regional negotiations, and the regional people said it was a matter for the Government.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
Up to a point, I agree with the explanation given by the noble Marquess, but he will remember that when I received the letter from him, I sent it to the Ministry of Fuel and Power.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
Investigations took place respecting the question involved in the letter, and the noble Marquess will remember that the man who is supposed to have given that opinion indicated that he had expressed no such opinion, and that the matter was one for the board and not for the Government.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
I do not know the private co-partnership scheme referred to—but I do know this: that the Gas Council, in consultation with the trade unions, could, if they so desired, have recommended a continuation of the profit-sharing or co-partnership schemes. They could if they had so desired, but they 919 did not. That is the only reason why the co-partnership scheme has been discon-tinued—because those responsible for deciding the future decided against it.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
Let me repeat: those laid down in the Act of Parliament passed by this House. It is laid down in the Act of Parliament who shall say so—the Gas Council and the trade unions in the industry.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
No, the Act of Parliament laid down the machinery. That machinery has operated. The result of the operation of that machinery is that those responsible for making a decision decided against a co-partnership scheme.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
I should not worry too much if I could be satisfied that the benefits available under co-partnership to the worker were safeguarded under a new scheme. I should not worry too much. I am sure noble Lords opposite are not worried either. If the benefits safe-guarded by a co-partnership scheme are now safeguarded by a different scheme, I do not see much need to worry.
Let us just look at the position. It is laid down very clearly. The co-partner-ship scheme referred to in the Resolution makes it quite clear. It had two objects: first, to provide an incentive to the workers, by permitting them to share in the company's prosperity; secondly, to afford them an opportunity of improving themselves and acquiring a stake in the company by the conversion of an annual bonus into shares. There are four special features mentioned in the co-partnership scheme: first, annual bonus; second, 920 welfare facilities; third, co-partnership committee; fourth, employee directors. The noble Marquess and his noble kinsman overlooked a rather important thing. Your Lordships were told that for sixty years there had been a very fine feeling in this industry, and that labour relations were exceedingly good. That is true, but let us remember that while the co-partnership scheme applied only to a section of the industry, the good feeling applied to the whole of the industry. Therefore, I think it is rather unwise to emphasise the fact that there has been a good feeling throughout the industry, because it is just as good in the much bigger field outside the field of co-partnership as it is inside; so it is evident that you cannot just ascribe it to co-partnership.
Now let us see what has been done. First of all let us take the question of consulting with the industry. The Minister of Fuel and Power, in his wisdom, decided that he should give to March 31, 1951, for those consultations—a period of two years. Again I want to emphasise that the Act provided that the two sides should agree upon arrangements which would take the place of, or continue, the existing co-partnership schemes. Such consultations have resulted in a definite alternative scheme being put forward. Let us look at it. All the benefits under a co-partnership scheme are referred to in this agreement. First of all, the co-partnership committees are referred to at great length. In so far as co-partnership committees acted as negotiating bodies on wages and conditions of service, the work will be done, first by the National and Area Joint Industrial Council, and, secondly, by the National and Area Joint Council for Gas Staffs. Your Lordships will be pleased to learn that both these bodies have been set up. One is operating very successfully, and the other will be operating in the near future, we hope just as successfully.
What was the purpose of these co-partnership committees? Here again their purpose was to promote and encourage measures affecting the safety, health and welfare of persons employed by the boards, and to discuss other matters of mutual interest, including efficiency in the operations of the services of the employees; to ensure the greatest measure of good will and liaison between employers and employees, and to prevent or remove 921 causes of friction and misunderstanding. Let me say that under the new scheme to which I have referred, representatives of the employees will be elected exactly as they were to the former co-partnership committees. There is every reason to believe that they will be just as effective in the future as they were in the past. As to the special emoluments of co-partners, here are the words of the agreement:Those aspects of co-partnership which relate to emoluments such as gas and appliances at reduced prices are being dealt with under the negotiating and consultative machinery set up by Section 57 of the Gas Act.With regard to the continuation of the bonus let us get on the record exactly what has been agreed. The paragraph in the agreement, is as follows:The right possessed by a co-partner to receive a co-partnership bonus whilst still in the service of the Area Board by whom he is employed as at the date of this arrangement shall be treated as a better Condition of Service. Co-partners as defined in the preceding sentence will receive an annual payment equivalent to the bonus paid in respect of the last completed year before March 31, 1951, for a maximum period of fifteen years. Such payments shall cease as at March 31, 1966, or as at such date as service with the Area Board may terminate.The noble Marquess was very anxious to know what happened at the end of the fifteen years. I am sorry that I am not in a position to tell him.
§ LORD LLEWELLIN
May I ask the noble Lord what happens now with regard to a new entrant into the industry? He does not get this annual payment.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
I should think, from what I have just read out, that he will not participate. The agreement says:The right possessed by a co-partner to receive a co-partnership bonus whilst still in the service of the Area Board by whom he is employed….I think that rather indicates that it must have been a right enjoyed at the previous date.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
The noble Lord has been good enough to refer to me. I think it is clear that this is, as it were, a terminable payment for a period which comes to an end. It is intended to bridge the gap between the old system, where the workers had their 922 co-partnership benefits and the new system in which they have not; and to make it easier they pay the sum for fifteen years, but at the end of the fifteen years there is no more.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
That is quite possible. There is one aspect of the co-partnership scheme to which reference has been made, and to which I should like to refer briefly—namely, the participation of the worker in management. The noble Viscount, Lord Cecil stressed that here was a gas company which allowed three workmen directors out of twelve.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
I have the figure as being twelve, but I will accept it as being three out of nine. Does that enable the worker to take part in management? I prefer that the worker should take part in management very much lower down the scale. I do not mind there being three to try to keep the other six in order, but they will find it very difficult. I would not use the strong terms used by my noble friend Lord Chorley, but some of us who have been engaged in industry have from time to time felt that this was an attempt to continue an economic system which we found unacceptable. We felt that co-partnership schemes were an attempt to prolong the life of capitalism in its rawest form, improving it bit by bit in order to remove the resentment of the worker. That has been our feeling. But remember that some of us are speaking from rather bitter experience. After all, memory does count in these things.
What is happening now? First, these committees which are now being set up all over the country will be taken into consultation right at the bottom. That was not done under the co-partnership schemes. It was rather on the bigger, higher, plane that consultation took place. I have had experience of the coal industry. The noble Viscount, Lord Samuel, from his examinations concerning pit committees (and I think the noble Viscount. Lord Swinton, has some knowledge of this matter, too), knows that pit committees operated in the coal industry before nationalisation. I myself, when I was Regional Commissioner for the North West Region, had a pit committee at every pit. The same type of machinery is now 923 being set up in the gas industry. From there you get to your area committee, and then to your national committee. We feel that, while that may not be an entirely ideal form of workers' participation in management, any advantage that accrued from the participation in management under co-partnership is safeguarded under the new scheme.
Let me say here that only to-day I was informed—and this is rather an important matter—that the arrangements are well advanced for setting up workers' committees in accordance with the Gas Act. The Government and the industry, of course, can operate only in accordance with the Gas Act. I think your Lordships should know that whereas there was only one co-partnership committee for the whole of the South Metropolitan Gas Company, there will, under the new arrangement, be one committee for each gas works and separate committees for men working on distribution districts. This will probably mean more than a dozen committees in place of the one formerly existing. The result, we believe, -will be more intimate and detailed provision for joint consultation than there was under the old set-up. I believe that the new set-up, given a fair chance, will work just as well as the old set-up has worked, and I think that the worker in the industry will be just as well off.
There is, of course, no hope of securing agreement, in this House or outside this House, on the question of whether co-partnership affords the best means of distributing profits of an industry. Differences which exist on this issue have persisted down the years. Only last night I spent a little time re-reading a book of essays and addresses which was published away back in 1928. The title of the book is The Way of Peace, and the author is none other than the noble Viscount who moved this Resolution to-day, Lord Cecil of Chelwood. This book is pervaded with a genuine, sincere conviction that co-operation and co-partnership is the only hope industrially, nationally and internationally. I notice that in the first of two essays, under the title "Conservatism and Peace," written twenty-seven years ago, in 1924, the noble author turns to industrial co-operation. It is here that the noble Viscount deals with the different attitude of various people towards 924 co-partnership. Here are the words which he used then—I quote:Indeed, it is my own belief that wherever co-partnership has been given a fair chance it has succeeded. The difficulty is not that it fails when it is tried, but that it is not tried. Militant trade unionists distrust it because it is thought to weaken the solidarity of labour. Socialists dislike it as bolstering up capitalism. Some employers disapprove of it as a new-fangled and troublesome arrangement. Others will have none of it because if may diminish their autocratic power in their own works.That was the position as outlined by the noble Viscount in 1924, and that, I submit, is still the position to-day. Those differences exist to-day. Therefore, we need not expect to find agreement that co-partnership schemes are the best form of industrial arrangement for the workers in industry.
There is one other sentence—and only one—from The Way of Peace which I should like to quote. It is this:The very essence of co-partnership is good will on both sides.What I want to stress here is this. Whether we like it or not, the agreement which has brought about the present position in the gas industry, and has put an end to co-partnership schemes, is the result of full and free discussion on the part of those whose future and whose welfare are more closely associated with this industry than are ours. They made this decision. It was they who decided that they preferred the new machinery to the old machinery. We are asked to accept their decision. I ask your Lordships to keep that important fact in mind. It was their decision. The noble Viscount, Lord Cecil of Chelwood, has been one of my heroes in the Conservative Party. There are not many in that Party who are my heroes, but he has been one. I have watched his career very carefully, and I have been much interested in it. Since the end of the First World War, no man in any Party has done more than he has to try to secure the right spirit, not only in industry but among nations. I ask him to-day to consider very carefully whether he thinks it wise to force this Resolution to a Division. Surely there is no need to place it on record by means of a Division that a majority in your Lordships' House is in favour of co-partnership schemes. That would be known without a Division.
925 I ask the noble Viscount to consider this matter very carefully. As the noble Marquess said, it is a matter for the noble Viscount personally to decide. This industry of which we have been speaking has had a great past, and the noble Viscount has done his share. Is it not better and wiser, since this decision has been reached, that this House should not by means of a Division intimate to those who came to the agreement that the House of Lords disagrees with them? My wish is that in the future this industry should be just as great a success as it has been in the past. A majority of your Lordships dislike nationalisation. But however much we may differ on this Resolution, I ask your Lordships not to take a decision by vote that will show those who have worked for two years trying to find an arrangement to give the new scheme a good send-off that you disagree with the decision of those now responsible for the future of the gas industry. I think it would be far wiser if the House did not divide. However, that is a matter which is entirely in the hands of your Lordships.
§ 6.6 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
My Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, referred earlier to what took place when the Gas Bill was going through this House, and as I was particularly concerned in that, I think your Lordships before you take a decision should be reminded of what in fact occurred. I have now consulted Hansard, and, having been able to look up the debates, I am bound to say that I think the noble Lord's memory was slightly at fault on both matters. There are here, are there not, two issues, or two aspects of the same issue. One is profit-sharing, and the other is the share of the worker in the management of the industry—not only in the management low down, as the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, frankly said he likes to see it (as we all do), but also above.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
But there is not now such association at the top. The noble Lord said, in a characteristically frank speech, that he liked to see that 926 association much lower down and not at the top.
§ LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR
My Lords, in order to get the record correct, may I say this? It was not that I objected to it at the top. I think that to be effective at the top it must also operate at the bottom.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
To be effective at the top, it must also operate at the bottom—I understand. I thought at the time he spoke that the noble Lord was rather ranging himself with one of the classes of people referred to by Lord Cecil of Chelwood, who did not want their autocracy interfered with at the top. As a matter of fact, we have not sharing of management at the top, as I shall show. From the speech of the noble Lord one thing is clear. He dislikes profit-sharing by means of co-partnership schemes as much as we like it. On that he was perfectly frank. I am bound to say when the Bill was going through the House that was not exactly the view expressed on the co-partnership clauses. It was said: "Here we are putting these pro-visions into the Act that these schemes shall go on for two years. After that, there shall be discussions, and the schemes may be continued, may be amended or may be discontinued." Many of us. knowing the view which the Socialist Party took about co-partnership, also said that if they had charge of the negotiations and they appointed a national board which was to select the people with whom they would negotiate, the result was a foregone conclusion: that at the end of two years co-partnership would come to an end. So it has.
With the noble Lord's convictions, he could not have considered the question impartially. He considered it a bad thing, and he was determined to bring it to an end. After running for two years, it has been brought to an end. Make no mistake about it, co-partnership is dead in this industry where it has been most successful. A bonus payment will go on for fifteen years, but even that, apparently, is to come to an end for people who have a vested right to it, because they are the people who have inherited it. New entrants into the industry are not to have even the opportunity of receiving the equivalent, or what is called the equivalent, or something better, than the old 927 co-partnership. In fact, the whole co-partnership business is to be wound up at the earliest possible moment. That is perfectly clear. As the noble Viscount, Lord Samuel, has said, it is abundantly clear from the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, that anything approaching co-partnership in any nationalised industry is dead and damned. If my noble friend Lord Cecil desires to express his regret at that, I shall certainly be behind him.
I do not want to make an accusation of bad faith, but when the Bill was going through Parliament and we were discussing the clause which provided for existing schemes to be continued for two years, and then possibly to be modified, I think your Lordships believed that a genuine effort would be made to carry on co-partnership to see whether it could work. The noble Lord, Lord Chorley, said it would not work in nationalised industry because we had a new system there. In fact, it did work for two years, during which time most of us thought an attempt would be made to carry it on if it were practicable in a nationalised industry. We now know that that has gone by the board.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
Only a bonus—I am coming to that. I am coming to the other side of it, which was the appointment of workers to the board. The noble Lord's recollection there was quite wrong. He said that on this matter my noble friends Lord Ridley and Lord Cecil were completely at loggerheads, and that my noble Leader, Lord Salisbury, and I were convinced by Lord Ridley.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
Very well, impressed. During this debate I have read the whole of the earlier debates, and what happened was this. There was a difference of opinion, not on the intention that a local worker should be on the board but on how we could best give effect to that intention; and there was complete agreement in the House as to what should be done. The Amendment which my noble friend Lord Cecil finally adopted, and which was fully accepted by the noble Lord, Lord Ridley, said (I quote 928 from column 1096 of Volume 157 of the OFFICIAL REPORT): "Every Area Board"—I stress the words "Area Board" because it is a complete fallacy in the noble Lord's argument that once an industry is nationalised into a complete monopoly we cannot have a different kind of operation or a different set of appointments in one area and in another. The whole point of the gas structure is that we have Area Boards as well as the Gas Council, and the proposal was not to elect workers to the Gas Council but to the Area Boards, which are the equivalent of the old concerns, such as the South Metropolitan Gas Company and the Gas Light and Coke Company. However, the Amendment said:Every area board shall be constituted as follows:—Then the Amendment went on:not less than one member shall be a worker who has been employed in the gas industry in the area covered in the undertakings taken over by the Area Board, and who by skill and experience has shown himself qualified for the post.There was an ingenuous, or rather disingenuous, argument by the noble and learned Viscount the Lord Chancellor, who said he did not know whether any-body he appointed a Judge was qualified by skill and experience for the position. To do the noble and learned Viscount justice, his appointment of Judges during his years of office has been singularly happy, and I think he is a very good judge of whether a man has the skill and experience for a job. But that argument did not carry great weight with your Lordships, and without a Division the House agreed to the Amendment in terms which were supported by Lord Ridley and Lord Cecil.
§ LORD CHORLEY
The proposal of the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil, was that the men should be elected by the workers of the industry and the noble Viscount, Lord Swinton, himself pointed out that fact.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
I am not in the habit of misleading the House. If the noble Lord will take the trouble to go back and read these debates, he will see that I am right. I know what was originally proposed, but I am taking the conclusion which was arrived at with the full assent of my noble friend Lord Cecil; indeed, it had to be in that form, because the appointments were to be made by 929 the Minister and the question was what sort of people the Minister was to appoint. What the House agreed to was that the Minister must appoint at least one person with the qualifications I have mentioned. The Amendment went to another place, and the other place disagreed with us—but only, observe, for this reason: because the Amendment:might fetter the Minister's power to make the most suitable appointments to the Area Board from among persons possessing the necessary general qualifications.It was not suggested for a moment, though the Amendment was not accepted, that it was not a good idea that in suitable cases there should be a local worker on the Board and that it was to be within the competence of the Minister to make these appointments. I should have thought that here was a good opportunity, in the case of Area Boards covering the areas of the old gas companies, to continue the system of co-partnership. But it was not done, and deliberately was not done, by the Minister, because, I suggest to your Lordships, the whole spirit of that side of co-partnership was to be washed out as well. Therefore, profit-sharing has gone, and the co-partnership spirit has gone, too. For that has been substituted the old outworn dogma defended by the noble Lord. If that dogma works in the gas industry, it will be a happy exception in the relations which apparently obtain in the nationalised industries to-day. I apologise for keeping the House so long, but in view of the fact that what had taken place in this House had been challenged, I thought it only right that the House should have on record exactly what happened.
§ 6.20 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT CECIL OF CHELWOOD
My Lords, I propose to say only a few words. I am sure the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, will not expect me to follow his elaborate argument. I want to try and impress upon him and others that the point here is not the distribution of profits. I think that that is the curse of modern dealing with industry: it is all a question of how much dividend is to go to this person, and how much in wages is to be paid to that person. That is not the point. If we want really to reform industry satisfactorily, what we have to distribute is not profits but responsibilities. That is the essential thing. That is why I think that nationalisation is a profound 930 mistake. It is taking responsibility away from the people engaged in the industry and putting it into the hands of the political machine.
§ SEVERAL NOBLE LORDS: No.
§ VISCOUNT CECIL OF CHELWOOD
Yes, it is. It is making the political machine the ruler of the industry—that is the real mistake of nationalisation. The great advantage of co-partnership is that it maintains the conception that those who are engaged in the industry ought to be responsible for its conduct, within whatever limits are inevitable. That is the point. Therefore a good deal of what Lord Macdonald had to say seems to me to have missed the point I was trying to make. The noble Lord quoted a good deal of what I said, but I am rather glad that my infirmity enables me truly to say that I did not hear what he said. I have no doubt that I said a great many foolish things, and some of them he may have dug up. I would not have bothered about this matter if it were merely a question of the workmen of the South Metropolitan Gas Company and nothing else. But this is a principle of enormous importance. Can we restore the feeling of responsibility which used to exist, and which it seems to me, owing to the progress of events, has been largely destroyed? Without personal responsibility, you cannot have anything that is worth having in this country. That is my general thesis. It is for that reason that I am still a strong supporter of co-partnership: not because it will make this or that class of person richer, but merely because it will give a greater share of responsibility to all of them and, therefore, create an improvement in the work and in the whole life of the country. For those reasons, I am afraid that I cannot assent to Lord Macdonald's suggestion that I should not press this Motion to a Division. After all, this House arrives at its decision by Division, and in no other way. It is no satisfaction to me to be told that the general sense of the House is with me. I wish to know what they say in the only formal way in which it can be said—namely, by a Division—and I am afraid I must press the Motion.
§ On Question, Whether the Resolution shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 54; Not-Contents, 24.931
|Reading, M.||Runciman of Doxford, V.||Hampton, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Samuel, V.||Hatherton, L.|
|Simon, V.||Hawke, L.|
|Buckinghamshire, E.||Swinton, V.||Hindlip, L.|
|De La Warr, E.||Hylton, L.|
|Fortescue, E. [Teller.]||Ailwyn, L.||Llewellin, L.|
|Haddington, E.||Amherst of Hackney, L.||Lloyd, L.|
|Halifax, E.||Baden-Powell, L.||Mancroft, L.|
|Manvers, E.||Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.||O'Hagan, L.|
|Munster, E.||Rennell, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Carrington, L. [Teller.]||Rochdale, L.|
|Radnor, E.||Cherwell, L.||Saltoun, L.|
|St. Aldwyn, E.||Clwyd, L.||Sandford, L.|
|Selkirk, E.||Clydesmuir, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Shaftesbury, E.||De L'Isle and Dudley, L.||Sherwood, L.|
|Denman, L.||Strathcarron, L.|
|Allenby, V.||Derwent, L.||Teviot, L.|
|Cecil of Chelwood, V.||Grantley, L.||Teynham, L.|
|Harcourt, V.||Grenfell, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Jowitt, V. (L. Chancellor.)||Chorley, L.||Kershaw, L. [Teller.]|
|Crook, L.||Lucas of Chilworth, L.|
|Alexander of Hillsborough, V.||Douglas of Barloch, L.||Macdonald of Gwaenysgor, L.|
|Douglas of Kirtleside, L.||Morrison, L.|
|Amwell, L.||Haden-Guest, L. [Teller.]||Ogmore, L.|
|Archibald, L.||Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)||Pethick-Lawrence, L.|
|Bingham, L. (E. Lucan.)||Holden, L.||Shepherd, L.|
|Burden, L.||Hungarton, L.||Silkin, L.|
|Calverley, L.||Inman, L.|
§ Resolved in the affirmative, and Resolution agreed to accordingly.932
§ House adjourned at twenty-eight minutes before seven o'clock.