HL Deb 19 March 1973 vol 340 cc527-45

2.52 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Report be now received.

Moved, That the Report be now received.—(Earl Jellicoe.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Clause 1 [Establishment of two Agencies: the Price Commission and the Pay Board]:

LORD BESWICK moved Amendment No. 1:

Page 1, line 7, leave out subsection (1) and insert: ("(1) There shall be established a Commission to be called the Prices and Incomes Commission and it shall operate in two Divisions, one dealing with Prices and the other with Incomes. The two Divisions shall he organised and operate in such a way as to ensure fullest co-ordination of their respective activities.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, we discussed the principle of one Agency as against two at some length on the Committee stage. I think that I am not claiming too much when I say that it was an interesting discussion. The principles then put forward in the Amendment were supported by noble Lords who sit on the Cross-Benches, and we had considerable, and very interesting and valuable, support from the Liberal Benches. On a Division, the Amendment was defeated only narrowly. It is so exceptional for noble Lords to leave their customary Party or non-Party allegiance to support a proposition from these Benches that we thought there ought to be another opportunity to look at the principle involved. Moreover, because of the way the Amendments were marshalled. the Vote was taken on the one of two similar Amendments which the Leader of the House said was somewhat less attractive to the Government; and in addition, this Amendment, in the name of my noble friends and myself, was reduced in its attraction by a subsection dealing with the appointment of members to the Agency. So this afternoon we have the Amendment which the Government, apparently, considered to be the better of the two before us on Committee, and the offending subsection has been omitted. Having gone to this length it is reasonable to believe that we may get some support even from the Government, and that is what we hope for this afternoon.

May I briefly re-state the case for one Agency. First, it was accepted on both sides of the House that one cannot deal with considerations of pay without taking into account the effect on prices, and that is equally true the other way round. My noble friend Lord Peddie who, as we all know, has had practical experience of these matters—as the Deputy Chairman. and then Chairman, of the Prices and Incomes Board—emphasised the administrative efficiency of a common administration for collecting and assessing the facts on which decisions can be taken on either pay or prices. The doubt was raised, I think from the Government side, that decisions which needed to be taken urgently might be impeded if there was one rather than two specialised Und separate Agencies. I think it fair to say that we agreed, after some discussion, that in the appropriate administration of what is in any case, relatively speaking, not a large organisation, this doubt was not well founded.

Then there was the argument that as the Government had doubts about the wisdom of two separate Agencies, and had made provision in the Bill for their amalgamation, it was better to start as we intended to go on. I had this point in mind when I said that there would be uncertainty among the personnel if there was this possibility of amalgamation, and that such an uncertainty could not be productive. Offices would have to be allocated, staffs would have to be arranged, attitudes and procedures would be adopted, all of which would be liable to radical upset if amalgamation eventually was carried out. I thought this point was strengthened by the argument advanced by the noble Lord, Lord Drumalbyn. The time to consider amalgamation, he suggested, was after Phase 2; in other words, that the present arrangement with two Agencies might be changed in the autumn. I seriously suggest that such a short-term arrangement cannot be the best way to run our affairs.

My noble friend Lord Hale put forward another and, as I think, cogent argument in favour of one against two. He pointed to the importance of favourable public opinion, if these bodies were to have the necessary popular support or consent. The danger, he argued, would be that one section of society would tend to say that the Pay Board was all right but the Price Commission was too lenient. On the other hand, others would put it the other way round; things would go against them on the price front and they would say that the Price Commission was too severe but the Pay Board was overgenerous. Between this sort of crossfire of public opinion these two wretched organisations would not have the best environment in which to carry on their work.

That brings me to the argument of the noble Baroness, Lady Seear, which in many ways I found the most persuasive of all the arguments advanced. Her point was that in considering pay and prices it was the public interest which should count. if the scales are to be held fairly, one organisation rather than two was preferable. We require only a little imagination to realise that two different individuals trying to hold the same pair of scales is likely to upset the balance. The more I think of what the noble Baroness put forward, the more I am inclined to believe that what we really need is a public interest commission with two divisions, pay and prices. But the Government, in resisting any changes or modifications or even minor adjustments, have tended to lean on the United States experience. Although this was not the main reason, they leaned heavily upon and quoted repeatedly from the American experience.

It so happens that last week the experienced former labour correspondent of The Times, Mr. Eric Wigham, drew our attention to the Austrian experience, which for various reasons might be considered more attractive than that of the U.S.A. Mr. Wigham was discussing a study taken by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It was a study, as stated in The Times article, which was held to be relevant because Austria had a relatively successful record. It is claimed for Austria that in the 1960s the rises in prices and costs were less than those abroad; economic growth was as fast, the rise in productivity was about average, and the level of employment remained high. Industrial peace was for the most part preserved and the balance of payments was not endangered. When one thinks of the experience that we have had in this country, in Austria they seem to have got something akin to Paradise.

Then the article goes on to say that at the heart of Austria's complex institutional arrangements is a joint prices and wages commission and, interestingly enough, in the light of other Amendments we had down last week, their commission has Government members and equal representation of employers and workers. I am not confusing the issue we are discussing to-day with how the commission should be composed, but I am saying that there are many great advantages in having a joint prices and incomes commission; and I suggest that, having had the discussions that we had last week, having considered the arguments fairly carefully, we should now be rendering a service if this House sends the Bill back with this Amendment embodied in it. I beg to move.


My Lords, I should like to begin by thanking the noble Earl the Leader of the House for having written me a long a helpful letter arising out of the discussions that we had in Committee last week. The immediate content of this letter is not relevant to the present Amendment and I do not propose to discuss it, although it might be appropriate to do so at a later stage in the Bill. When I heard the noble Earl's arguments against having a single Commission, acting perhaps in two divisions as proposed in the present Amendment, I was not wholly convinced by them at the time. I have since had time to study them more carefully and I should like to make a few comments on them.

The noble Earl spent a great part of his speech explaining how closely the two separate Commissions would work together. I had asked for positive arguments in favour of having two separate Commissions. I hardly think it a positive argument to say that when you have two, they will work closely together. But he gave one positive argument, and that was that the Price Commission in particular (indeed, both of them) wilt have to deal with a great number of applications directly from employers, and that it will have executive powers and not be purely advisory as was its predecessor the Prices and Incomes Board. He emphasised that it would be necessary to make quick decisions. Personally, I find it difficult to see how two bodies making separate decisions and then having to make sure that they are keeping in line will be a quicker procedure than one body looking at both aspects of a decision at the same time.

The second time the noble Earl made this point—he made it twice—he referred to them as "clean, quick" decisions. When I heard that additional adjective, I wondered whether there was lurking in the back of his mind some little hint that this was after all, as had been suggested earlier, a cosmetic provision.

The noble Earl then prayed in aid the American experience where they had two bodies, a prices commission and a pay board. I do not think it was a happy experience. After five months the labour members of the pay board walked out. They included Mr. George Meany, whose office is roughly equivalent to that of our Mr. Vic Feather. He walked out because the board was heavily biased against the workers and the consumers and was dominated by the view that economic progress begins and ends in the stock market and the corporate financial report". I am quoting from The Times of March 23 last year.

The next thing that happened was that last December the Secretary of the Treasury, whom one would suppose to be well informed, made a speech saying that President Nixon would presently announce to Congress that the mandatory controls were to be continued. He said that there could be no question of returning to the system of voluntary guidelines. A month later President Nixon announced that the prices commission and the pay board were to be disbanded, that mandatory controls would be discontinued, and that there was to be a return to the system of voluntary guidelines under the auspices of a single body, the Cost of Living Council. It looks as if the American experience was rather muddled.

I can think of one positive argument which the noble Earl did not use. I should like to have an assurance that it was not in his mind. It seems to me that there might well be a reason for keeping these two bodies apart if they were not merely to act under the same terms of reference or upon the same principles. There is some ground for suspicion about this.

Your Lordships will be aware that since November we have been living under a prices and incomes freeze. You may not know this from experience, from which it is rather difficult to draw this conclusion; but you will know it from the Government's attitude and from the emergency legislation. This freeze has been characterised by one peculiar feature. So far as pay is concerned it is a very hard freeze; the ice is thick and nobody has been able to crack it. So far as prices are concerned the opposite is true. This must be, I think, so far as prices are concerned, the warmest freeze ever recorded. I should like to have an assurance that it is not in order to maintain this distinction that it is proposed to have these two separate bodies. I should like to have an assurance that if the Government insist on retaining them they will both use the same thermometer and will interpret the readings in the same sense.


My Lords, if I may intervene at this point before, as we say, the noble Baroness sits down. I may say that I thought I made it clear at the Committee stage that both the Price Commission and the Pay Board will be subject to the same code. That means that they will be operating, perforce, under the same strategy, right or wrong.

The noble Lord, Lord Beswick, told us of his intention to raise this matter again on Report stage, and also suggested that there was some degree of cross-voting during the Committee stage. There was, I must say, a more substantial vote from noble Lords opposite than I found altogether healthy; but I was not aware that any of my noble friends, at least any substantial number of my noble friends, had deserted me in that Division.


My Lords, I hope that the rest of the noble Earl's case is founded on facts more closely researched than that. I never used those words. I said that we had had some support from the Cross-Benches and from the Liberal Party.


My Lords, I was not intending to base any part of my case on this. I thought the noble Lord was under a misapprehension. I thought he said that there was cross-voting. If he managed to draw the not unimportant vote of the noble Lord. Lord Robbins, into his side, then I am entirely with him.


My Lords, the noble Earl really should not beat about the bush like this. If he wants me to read out the noble Lords from the Cross- Benches whose views I respect, they will be headed by the noble Lord, Lord Robbins, who will be followed by others.


My Lords, I certainly do not wish to make anything partticular of this point. All I thought I heard the noble Lord say was that there was a degree of cross-voting on this matter. If he attracted support from the Cross-Benchers— we all do from time to time, and it is an important area from which to attract support—so he it. But as the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, said, noble Lords opposite have now omitted the further sub-paragraph to which I voiced a rather special objection in Committee; namely, the paragraph that would have required appointments to be made by Order subject to the Negative Resolution procedure: and I am glad that they have done so. I appreciate that the noble Lord and his noble friends have made that concession to our point of view and, other things being equal, I should very much like to reciprocate. But I should make it clear that other things are not equal and explain why the Amendment is still not acceptable to us. I fear that I must to some extent traverse old ground and repeat what I said in Committee.

Our intention to establish two separate Agencies, a Price Commission and a Pay Board, is not something, as the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, rather suggested at our Committee stage, that might be done by the Government by stealth and at dead of night. It was clearly set out in the White Paper which we published in early January. The reasons for establishing two Agencies, at least at the initial stage—and let me emphasise the words "at the initial stage"—was because the functions of the two Agencies as we see them are entirely different from those of the old combined Prices and Incomes Board. That is the basic, positive reason why we wish to establish, to begin with at least, two separate Agencies. As the noble Lord, Lord Peddie (if he were here), would, I think, be the first to acknowledge. the old Board was an advisory Board, dealing with a relatively small number of cases referred to it each year by Ministers. They had no power to restrict settlements, and their reports were advisory to the Government. By contrast the two Agencies will have clear executive functions; they will be dealing with a large number of cases notified to them direct by employers and others; they will have the power to restrict settlements; and since they will be dealing with many cases within exceedingly tight time limits, they should be so organised and operated as to be able to reach really quick decisions. I would of course grant that, as provided for in Schedule 1 to the Bill, there may be occasions upon which they will be asked for advisory opinions, but their main function will be an executive one.

It was urged on me in Committee—and I do not dissent from this view—that pay and prices are umbillically linked and cannot be considered in isolation one from another. I would accept that. Indeed, our whole counter-inflation strategy requires an attack on the broadest possible front. It needs to embrace monetary policy and other policies, but also, and clearly, must bear down on both prices and pay at the same time. But just because we are attacking inflation both on the price and pay front simultaneously does not mean that separate Agencies, at least at the outset, are not the best vehicle for our attack. I must again stress that the two Agencies will have separate and distinct tasks requiring separate and distinct expertise. These will be tasks involving very close and direct relationship with different sections of industry and commerce.

My Lords, I should like to take as an example the Price Commission. The methods of price control are set out in the Bill and in the Code. It is clear that this will involve a vast amount of detailed analysis of company accounts and costing on an almost continuous basis to enable judgments to be made on individual applications for price increases, those judgments to be made swiftly and in accordance with the Code. The Price Commission will thus be required to monitor a vast amount of price movements and to seek price reductions where this is possible. All this activity is clearly quite distinct from the consideration of pay questions, and the administrative expertise required to carry it out is again quite distinct. That is why we believe that, at least initially, the two Agencies are most likely to generate the confidence which they will need with those with whom they will be working if each Agency is able, by having a separate identity, to concentrate at the outset on its own particular field of action.

I must therefore once again make it clear, in view of what was said in Committee, that in proposing two Agencies we are neither trying to create something which would look as different as possible from the old Prices and Incomes Board, nor are we slavishly imitating the American pattern. We are not creating two Agencies just because the Labour Government had one; nor are we creating two just because the Americans at the outset had two. Our reasons for proposing this structure are entirely based on our own assessment of the need to remedy our own situation at this particular moment of time. But of course the experience of others is valid, and it is perhaps worth reminding your Lordships that, in addition to the United States, the following countries who operate, or have operated, a prices and incomes policy have had, or have, separate bodies dealing with prices. I instance four countries: Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Canada. Moreover, our own vast experience here is worth considering. It is not perhaps entirely irrelevant that during the last war, when we had a comprehensive price control coupled with control over wages, the administrative arrangements for prices were centred on the Central Price Regulation Committee and the local price regulations committees.

Let me, my Lords, make two further points. I notice, first, that the Amendment proposes that the combined Agency should operate in two divisions which shall be, organised and operated in such a way as to ensure fullest co-ordination of their respective activities. I fully take this point about co-ordination. However, I see no reason why adequate co-ordination cannot be obtained under the system which we propose. I certainly—and again I made this clear in Committee—do not contemplate a situation in which the two Agencies should operate in total and splendid isolation from one another. They will be physically colocated—or, to put it in more simple language, housed in the same building. To a large extent, they will be able to draw on the same staff and the same common services. They will operate, as I mentioned to the noble Baroness, Lady Wootton of Abinger, under the provisions of a Code approved by Parliament which provides for a co-ordinated strategy on both prices and incomes. In interpreting (if I may use the word) tactically that strategy, I am quite certain that the two distinguished men who have been provisionally designated as chairmen will be fully alive to the proper needs of a proper degree of co-ordination and co-operation.

The second point I wish to urge is that there really is nothing dogmatic or doctrinaire in our attitude over this. I am not resisting this Amendment just out of pigheadedness or because it happens to spring from the brains of noble Lords opposite. I should be very foolish if I were so motivated, because it is quite clear to me by the way in which this Amendment has been moved, and by our discussion in Committee, that those who move and are behind this Amendment desire just as much as we do on this side of your Lordships' House that we should together get on top of this common problem of inflation.

To show that we are not doctrinaire on this matter, may I remind your Lordships that if experience shows there are advantages in combining the two Agencies, we have taken power to do so in Clause 1; and without possessing any special ability to gaze into a crystal ball, it is not difficult to foresee certain circumstances where it would be desirable to combine these two Agencies into one body—especially if, as we all hope, we shall revert within a measurable period to a voluntary system. Then the Agencies would not have to carry the tremendous burden of detailed casework that they are bound to have to cope with at least at the beginning of Stage 2 of our policies.

I may be wrong, but I believe I detected during our Committee stage two strands in the thinking of those who incline towards this Amendment. There are those who, like the noble Lord, Lord Douglass of Cleveland—and I am glad to see him here to-day—and the noble Barnoness, Lady Seear, have implied that a considerable matter of principle may be involved.

At Committee stage the noble Lord, Lord Douglass, suggested that if this were a unified commission it would be able to take into account such major matters as raw materials and the trend of raw material prices, taxation policy, including V.A.T. and covering our whole strategy on investment. The noble Baroness, Lady Seear said she thought that such a commission would be able to take greater account of the public interest—a point on which the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, laid such stress in his opening remarks.

I would grant that the matters touched on by the noble Lord, Lord Douglass, are all relevant to a prices and incomes policy, but I would also submit that there is a difference between monitoring the movement of raw materials and raw material import prices, which will be carried out by this Price Commission, and formulating policies on raw materials, on investment and on other commercial and economic matters. Policy formation lies essentially—I am sure that the noble Lords will grant this—within the area of Government decision. In deciding upon such matters as the formulation of policy for taxation or overall investment, it would surely be wrong for a Government to abdicate their decision-making to an autonomous body, however skilled, however well staffed, and however experienced it may be in such matters.

As my noble friend Lord Dudley explained at Committee stage, these are matters which are essentially for Government decision. By the same token, I am sure that the Agencies must always have the public interest in the forefront of their minds. I would not wish to dissent from that proposition for one single moment, but I would submit that the public interest is better and more directly safeguarded by the quality of the appointments made to the Agencies, by the correctness or not of the overall code under which they operate, and by the decisions of a Government responsible to Parliament than it is by the precise administrative arrangements that are made for them.

On the other side of the coin, a number of noble Lords suggested at Committee stage that there may be no great principle involved here, and that it is essentially a matter of what the right administrative arrangements are. I must candidly confess that I myself incline towards that view. But if we accept that view, and if we operate on the basis that what we are proposing will apply only during the initial period of the establishment of these agencies, I would again emphasise that it is vital that in those initial stages there should be no impediment to their swift and efficient functioning.

To go back on our considered and deliberate decision that they should be established, at least initially, as separate bodies now would only create delay and confusion. I would remind your Lordships on the one hand of the heavy casework with which they will have to deal, and on the other hand of the need for reaching quick decisions. Both these practical considerations argue in favour of these agencies being able to concentrate exclusively—at least at the outset of their lives—on their separate tasks.

To conclude: put at its simplest, the argument which your Lordships will have to decide boils down, broadly speaking, to this. Rightly or wrongly, the Government believe that at the outset, in a week or two's times, when we begin to operate Stage 2, it will be right for us to do so on the basis of two agencies, albeit working closely together and under the same overall strategic Code, for the reasons I have given—namely the need for concentration and the need for speed of decisions. But we acknowledge that later on these two agencies could well be joined.

The simple question is whether we should adopt at the outset an organisation which we believe would be wrong for the start. Of course we may wish to operate things in that possible way in the future, but the course for us now is to adopt the organisation which we believe to be right at the start, knowing that later on we could move, if we so desired and if the need became evident, to a combined commission which noble Lords opposite have advocated. It seems to me almost self-evident that the sensible course at this stage is to opt for that choice. That is why I must ask my noble friends, if noble Lords opposite press this Amendment, to resist it in the Division Lobbies.

3.27 p.m.


My Lords, no one in your Lordships' House would wish to accuse the noble Earl of being, to use his words, "pigheaded" or "doctrinaire" or indeed anything but reasonable and conciliatory; but I must confess that despite trying to clear my mind of any commitments to the past, I still remain unconvinced by the detail of his argument. He began by saying that this innovation was desirable because the functions to be performed under the Bill which we are considering are different from the functions which were performed by the old Prices and Incomes Board. That is agreed: there can be no question whatever that they are different, because in the one case the functions were advisory whereas now, as the noble Earl has observed, they would be executive. But that surely does not answer the question as to whether those functions should he discharged not only in the same building, not only on the basis of a common infrastructure of expertise, but also under a general heading of a prices and incomes board—or, if you like, a counter-inflationary board.

The noble Earl's case must surely therefore depend upon an administrative judgment, and no one in this House would wish to question the noble Earl's pivotal position in judging administrative detail in this respect. But we have to make up our minds for ourselves, and I must say that so far he has failed to adduce administrative reasons which convey to me the impossibility of doing this thing, which he concedes in other circumstances, may be desirable, from the outset rather than perhaps later on. Is it the case that he is arguing that the requisite degree of speed could not be achieved if these two divisions were functioning under some common generalship? If that be his argument, I concede it may be true, but the examples he has adduced so far do not convince me it need be true. In the old days it was argued that it was quite impossible for the defence of this country to be organised save by the independent sovereign states of the War Office, Admiralty and Air Force. Yet in the end it was thought wise and expedient to bring them together under one hat. I cannot believe that bringing them together under one hat has impeded the speed of necessary decisions which are overtly decentralised on to the constituent bodies of the Ministry of Defence.

While I agree that many of the decisions which will have to be taken by the Price Commission are different in kind from the decisions which have to be taken by the Pay Board, it follows from the nature of things that in Stage 2 there will be that degree of difference. It also follows, as the noble Earl has agreed, that there are some instances where mutual consultation is desirable. At this moment it simply does not seem to me to be administrative logic to argue that what is possible by way of coordination between two statutorily independent bodies is impossible by way of decentralisation within one.

3.32 p.m.


My Lords, the noble Earl, the Leader of the House, addressed himself to this subject with his usual clarity but without further elucidation on one aspect of the subject which, for procedural reasons, may have to be left to some other Minister on the Government Front Bench, because I understand that without the leave of the House the noble Earl cannot address himself to the subject again. I want to deal briefly with one aspect of the subject. I fail to detect anything ideological or emotive in this matter. Ever since we discussed it at the Committee stage it has been just a technical matter and it ought to be dealt with in that pragmatic sense. Let us consider a simple case. An application on the subject of wage rates is addressed to the Pay Board. First of all we have to take into account—and I suspect many noble Lords who were not present during the Committee stage of the Bill are not aware of this—the fact that the Pay Board are to operate on the basis of a code, but what that code will contain we are so far unaware. There must be some terms of reference. What are these to be? Are they to be restricted terms of reference? These are questions that ought to be answered.

Now let me turn to the point that I have in mind. An application is made to the Pay Board. The Pay Board have to consider whether there is any justice in the claim. I am not quite clear why my noble friend the Leader of the Opposition is turning in my direction; whether I am being rebuked for some reason or other—perhaps it is because I am offering my opinion on this subject, but I said I would be brief, and I am putting my point. If an application is made, is it possible for the members of the Pay Board to come to some determination unless they have before them some consideration of past price rises which have led to an increased cost of living, or foreseeable price rises? In those circumstances, what is to be done? Having received the application, are they to refer the matter to the Price Commission? Something has been said by the Leader of the House about co-ordination; but at which point do they co-ordinate? That point has to be answered. First of all, what is to be embodied in the code; what are to be the terms of reference? Are they to be restricted purely to the question of pay, with nothing to do with prices? Or is the whole subject to be overshadowed with the overtones of what is desirable in the national interest? There ought to be some elucidation on that point.


My Lords, I have listened with great interest to what the noble, Lord, Lord Shinwell, said about the point of co-ordination. I hope that I am not saying anything trite when I say that it is the point at which the integration of two functions takes place that determines the success of the structure. In any business, wages and prices are two essential factors in the equation. My 55 years' experience is that if you try to integrate those two functions at too low a level you are not going to he successful. I am all in favour of this two-pronged structure, a Pay Board and a Price Commission each of which can take specialised decisions quickly where the need arises, and which can co-ordinate their opinions, interchange and cross-fertilise each other by reason of their proposed geographical co-ordination.


My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, who co-ordinates them?


My Lords, I did not hear the noble Lord.


My Lord, who co-ordinates these two if they are separate executive bodies?

3.38 p.m.


My Lords, the point my noble friend Lord Brown is making is the one a number of people will appreciate from what was said by the noble Lord, Lord Thomas; namely, that detailed decisions can be taken lower down; but what we want is joint decision making strategy and attitude at the top. I have heard a number of speeches, both to-day and at the Committee stage, and one of the most telling speeches in favour of one organisation was the pithy contribution from the noble Lord, Lord Thomas. The noble Earl said it was necessary for the Government to make decisions; it could not abdicate in favour of this large organisation. I assure him that that was not what we had in mind. Of course the Government must take responsibility; of course Parliament must have ultimate control; of course there must be procedure for reporting to Parliament. But we want to see the most efficient, the most authoritative and the most objective organisation. I suggest that the most efficient body, the best poised body, would be a joint body. The more the noble Earl emphasised that this duality was only for the initial stage, or, as he put it later, to begin with, or, as he said later, that it did not require much gazing into the crystal ball to see that eventually they would have to be brought together—the more he emphasised that side of things, the more I felt we were

right when we suggested we ought to go on as we intended when we set off.

I agree with the noble Earl that between us there is not simply the question of administrative efficiency. That is not the question. The point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Thomas, comes in here: if it were simply administrative efficiency for the routine, run-of-the-mill things, one could have two organisations of executives taking rule-of-thumb decisions. But what we want is some conception of policy-making, some conception of the application of policy, with a body which has in mind both the prices and the pay, and, over and above these two things, the public interest. I suggest, therefore, that if we are to have this right direction at the top, if the public interest is to have its proper position, then we ought to go in for this joint arrangement right from the outset; and I suggest that we decide this matter in the Division Lobbies.

3.40 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 52; Not-Contents, 96.

Airedale, L. Faringdon, L. St. Davids, V.
Amherst, E. Gaitskell, B. Seear, B.
Amulree, L. Gardiner, L. Segal, L.
Ardwick, L. Geddes of Epsom, L. Shackleton, L.
Arran, E. Greenwood of Rossendale, L. Shepherd, L.
Bacon, B. Hale, L. Shinwell, L.
Beswick, L. Hall, V. Slater, L.
Brockway, L. Henderson, L. Snow, L.
Brown, L. Jacques, L. [Teller.] Stocks, B.
Buckinghamshire, E. Janner, L. Stow Hill, L.
Burntwood, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. [Teller.] Strabolgi, L.
Burton of Coventry, B. Summerskill, B.
Champion, L. McLeavy, L. Swaythling, L.
Chorley, L. Nunburnholme, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Davies of Leek, L. Platt, L. Wells-Pestell, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Popplewell, L. Wootton of Abinger, B.
Douglas of Barloch, L. Robbins, L. Wright of Ashton under Lyne, L.
Douglass of Cleveland, L. Sainsbury, L.
Aberdare, L. Carrington, L. Daventry, V.
Alport, L. Cole, L. Davidson, V.
Armstrong, L. Coleraine, L. Denham, L. [Teller.]
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Colville of Culross, V. Derwent, L.
Barnby, L. Conesford, L. Drogheda, E.
Bearsted, V. Cork and Orrery, E. Drumalbyn, L.
Beaumont, L. Cottesloe, L. Dudley, E.
Belstead, L. Courtown, E. Dundonald, E.
Berkeley, B. Cowley, E. Ebbisham, L.
Brentford, V. Craigavon, V. Eccles, V.
Brooke of Cumnor, L. Crathorne, L. Effingham, E.
Brooke of Ystradfellte, B. Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Emmet of Amberley, B.
Ferrers, E. Loudoun, C. St. Helens, L.
Furness, V. Lucas of Chilworth, L. Sandford, L.
Gowrie, E. Luke, L. Sandys, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L. Lyell, L. Selkirk, E.
Hailes, L. MacAndrew, L. Sempill, Ly.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. (L. Chancellor.) Mancroft, L. Shannon, E.
Massereene and Ferrard, V. Somers, L.
Hawke, L. Merrivale, L. Stuart of Findhorn, V.
Hayter, L. Milverton, L. Sudeley, L.
Hives, L. Molson, L. Suffield, L.
Hood, V. Monck, V. Teviot, L.
Hylton-Foster, B. Mowbray and Stourton, L. Thomas, L.
Ironside, L. Northchurch, B. Tweedsmuir, L.
Jellicoe, E. (L. Privy Seal.) Porritt, L. Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, B.
Jessel, L. Redmayne, L. Vivian, L.
Kilmany, L. Reigate, L. Wakefield, Bp.
Kilmarnock, L. Ritchie of Dundee, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.
Kinnoull, E. Rothes, E. Waldegrave, E.
Limerick, E. Rowallan, L. Wolverton, L.
Lothian, M. St. Aldwyn, E. [Teller.] Young, B.

On Question, Amendments agreed to.