HC Deb 27 February 1946 vol 419 cc2043-74

9.20 p.m.

Mr. Peter Thorneycroft (Monmouth)

I beg to move, That the Order in Council, dated 20th December, 1945, with respect to Defence Regulations relating to the Control of Transport (S.R. amp; O., 1945, No. 1623), a copy of which Order was presented on 22nd January, be annulled. The object of this Motion is to remove from the Statute Book a regulation known as Regulation 73B which we on this side of the House regard as unnecessary, and indeed odious. In the course of my remarks, which I hope to keep reasonably short, I want to say what that regulation does, why it was originally introduced and why we think it is no longer needed. I am not going to read the whole regulation. I can say what it does quite simply and shortly. It gives the Minister of War Transport power to prohibit any man in-this country from carrying goods in his own motor lorry for more than 60 miles. I want to make two observations about a regulation of that kind. The first is that before one could tolerate a regulation which takes away from a man the rather elementary right of carrying his own goods about the country, a very powerful case indeed would have to be made out. The second observation is that the effect of this regulation is not restricted to just a comparatively few—a few thousands— people who happen to earn their livings in the transport industry by carrying other people's goods. It affects them, of course—it affects the 60,000 road hauliers—but it also affects everybody who, in peacetime conditions, would wish to carry their own goods in their own vehicles—the ordinary " C " Licence holders. It affects, too, not only the people who run lorries, but every phase of production in this country. It affects every farmer who wants somebody to pick up his crop because he does not want it left lying on the ground. It affects every shopkeeper who wants to get his goods not only to his shop but distributed from his shop.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham)

On a point of Order. Is the hon. Gentleman in Order in raising Regulation 73B of the Defence Regulations, 1939, in view of the fact that the Order which we are being asked to annul does not make any alteration whatsoever to Regulation 73B?

Mr. Speaker

The only point which may be legitimately raised, I think, is whether the Order should apply to peacetime or not. An Act of Parliament has laid it down that this Order may be prolonged, but it is in Order to suggest that it is not applicable to peacetime, and that is the point of this Motion.

Mr. Hale

The point I was endeavouring to put, Mr. Speaker, was that the hon. Member is endeavouring to insert in the regulations words repealing Regulation 73B. He has tabled a Motion for the annulment of this Order which makes no alteration to Regulation 73B, and he is now trying to insert in the regulations additional words repealing Regulation 73B. That is what the hon. Member said was the object of his speech.

Mr. Speaker

That, of course, would be out of Order.

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am obliged for your Ruling, Mr. Speaker. I am trying to explain the effect of this regulation. It is always important, in presenting a case to the House of Commons, to try to say as shortly and simply as one can what it is all about. Having said what it is all about, I want to say, in your own words, Mr. Speaker, why I think it is not applicable to peacetime, and I am going to restrict myself to within those limits.

As I was saying, it affects a great many people who are not immediately interested in transport. I think one ought to explain—and 1 think it is necessary for the understanding of the case—why the regulation was initially introduced. One ought to say that in fairness to the Minister of War Transport. It was originally introduced in May, 1943. At that time we were at war, and all our activities—our industrial activities and our transport system—were subordinated to the requirements of military operations. For that purpose the Minister of War Transport introduced an organisation known as the Road Haulage Organisation, the effect of which was, and still remains, to bring under the control of the Minister all long-distance road haulage.

I have to refer to the Road Haulage Organisation because, as I think the Minister will agree, the two are so closely interlocked that it is impossible to discuss the one without making some reference to the other. I do not want to give a long talk about the Road Haulage Organisation. Quite shortly, its objects were: To economise in fuel and rubber; to maintain the vehicles in a state of readiness in case of any particular emergency; and to ensure that in times of stress, which might well arise in war time, they could be swung into the places and at the times they were particularly required. We are not concerned tonight to say whether the Road Haulage Organisation was a success or a failure. The Minister will remember it was reported on by an impartial all-party Committee on National Expenditure, which made one of the most damning reports on any Government organisation that has ever been made.

For our purpose, I think it is sufficient to say that no one willingly used that organisation. The "C" licensee, the man who wanted to carry his own goods, much preferred to carry his own goods in his own vehicle rather than let the organisation carry them. For that reason, and in order to preserve the Road Haulage Organisation in war, the Minister of War Transport passed 73(B) and said that nobody could carry any goods over 60 miles, that they had to go with the Road Haulage Organisation. That was why it was introduced originally. The case we want to present this evening is that, whatever the original justification for that organisation or that regulation, the situation today is very different. We are no longer at war. Our principal occupation is no longer the manufacture of war material. The principal customer is no longer the Government. Above all, costs are no longer a secondary consideration—far from it. Instead of that situation we have a state of affairs in which there are a great complex of demands and customers, and in which the question of costs is an absolutely vital consideration, both in the home and in the export markets. I think the right hon. Gentleman will find it a little hard to say that a transport organisation and system which was suitable to war is equally suitable to the situation which exists at the present time.

The Minister has already altered his policy. In wartime the object of the Road Haulage Organisation was really to keep as many lorries off the road as possible; we wanted to deflect all the transport off the roads. But that is not what he is doing now. What the Minister is trying to do now is to remove as much as possible the burden now on the railways. The railways have been subjected to an almost intolerable burden in the amount of transport they are expected to carry. A fact which I think was referred to earlier today, is that unless they can get a good deal more coal the railway problem may become quite impossible. Therefore what the Minister is trying to do is to get more goods carried by road, not less. In such circumstances surely the need for 73 (B), the restriction on men carrying goods over 60 miles, has entirely gone. Its object has disappeared. There is no question of trying to create a pool of transport which can be used in some kind of strategic emergency. We are living in an entirely different world and in different circumstances. It is perfectly true that we are still short of labour and of fuel, but surely difficulties of that kind are bad enough in themselves, without imposing artificial restrictions. One might say to a man that the limit of his expenditure was to be£7 a week, but one would not say to him that he had to spend£1 a day,£1 every day, without allowing for the fact that he might want to spend nothing one day, saving a little towards the end of the week to do his shopping at the weekend. If we are short of fuel and rubber already, it will mean that some people will not be able to travel as far or as much as otherwise, but within those limits do let us allow transport operators to make the best use of the vehicles they can, and they are the best judges of that.

The real reason for maintaining this regulation has nothing to do with the efficiency of transport. The real reason for maintaining it is a matter of political doctrine rather than of practical advantage. I know perfectly well the background to the right hon. Gentleman's nationalisation plans. He is going to take his Road Haulage Organisation and make it the basis of the State monopoly of road transport. He knows, and everybody else knows, that the public as a whole will be no more anxious to use the Road Haulage Organisation once it has been nationalised than they are today. They will want to run their own lorries, and so, if he is to maintain that system at all, he can only do it by restricting everyone who wants to use some other form of transport. There is nothing surprising about this. The plans and policy of the Labour Party have been set out pretty fully in the report of the Trade Union Congress.

Mr. Speaker

If the hon. Gentleman wishes to keep in Order, he must not deal with the policy or with the report of the Trades Union Congress.

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am most anxious to keep within the limits of your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, but am I not entitled to explain to the House the reason why the right hon. Gentleman seeks to keep this Regulation in time of peace?

Mr. Speaker

The Order was made under the Statutory Rules and Orders Act, which was passed by this House, and one cannot go behind that.

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am not seeking to go behind that, but I did understand, Mr. Speaker, that your earlier Ruling was that I was entitled to present to the House the case against keeping this particular regulation in time of peace, and to say why it was unnecessary. I think in doing that I am entitled to explain the precise effect of its operation in peacetime and the reason why it is being maintained, not for any practical advantage but as part of some long term nationalisation scheme.

Mr. Speaker

That goes right outside the provisions of the Statutory Rules and Orders Act, and, therefore, I think that to pursue that argument further is really beyond the scope of this Motion.

Earl Winterton (Horsham)

Suppose it was applied to the particular Order. Suppose the hon. Member said that the reason for the Order was a political purpose— would that be out of Order?

Mr. Speaker

Yes, certainly, distinctly out of Order, because it has been passed under an Act passed by this House of Parliament.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I naturally bow at once to your Ruling, Mr. Speaker. I am most anxious to keep within it, and I turn to my next point. The reason why the right hon. Gentleman is maintaining this Order is to bolster up the Road Haulage Organisation. I do not mind whether it is going to be nationalised or not; it is to bolster up what has been established, and maintain as a State monopoly all long distance road haulage. That has nothing to do with nationalisation plans; it is the situation which exists today. The fact is, and everybody knows it, that the Road Haulage Organisation as it exists at this moment is an organisation which, left to themselves, the farmers, traders and industrialists of this country would not use. It is already exhibiting some of the worst features of a monopoly. I will not go into all the elaborate details and examples which could be given, but I will give just one example of the way this Regulation is working at present. One of the things that a transport user wants at any time is this: if he is dissatisfied with one form of transport, he wants the rather elementary right of getting some other form of transport, giving better service at a cheaper cost, and that is what he is precluded from doing under this Regulation. What happens when an ordinary trader in this country complains of the exorbitant cost of the Road Haulage Organisation? I have a letter here, addressed by a unit controller to a transport user who had complained of the increased cost. This is the sort of language in which this State monopoly addresses him: We are afraid we cannot put any more five-ton vans at your disposal for a charge of£11 5s. as, frankly, we can do much better than the£12 10s. which was originally charged for the van placed at your disposal. " We can do much better." Of course we can, if we are a State monopoly. What happens when a man complains in those circumstances? The letter goes on: We are afraid, in the future, you will find us not so disposed to inconvenience ourselves to the extent we have done in the past. Would any private transport operator in this country have dared to address one of his customers like that? The reason why a monopoly can so address them is because this Regulation is on the Statute Book. The transport users of this country have no one else to whom they can turn. On this side of the House we think that that situation is wholly intolerable.

If the Minister has some other reason to which I cannot refer, let him say what it is. I have said enough to demonstrate that there is no practical advantage in it. All the original reasons for this wartime regulation have disappeared. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to show one practical consideration why it should remain on the Statute Book.

9.37 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower (Penrith and Cockermouth)

I beg to second the Motion. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorney-croft) I take most exception to Regulation 73B contained in the Order. I must say that it seems a little cumbrous to have to oppose the whole Order in order to deal with only one of the regulations. We ask the right hon. Gentleman to take back his Order, remove this particular regulation and represent the Order without it. My hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth has already stated, and I want definitely to underline what he said, that the reasons why the regulation was brought into existence have disappeared, and the circumstances have absolutely changed. I must ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will not admit that. [Laughter.] Hon. Members laugh, but if they require proof of what 1 say I would read the words which the then Minister used at the time the regulation was brought in. He said that the reason was to accord that full measure of co-operation in the working of the Road Haulage Organisation which is essential for the success of the coming all-out effort to bring the war to a speedy conclusion. Later, he said: We are not working in ordinary commercial conditions. Of course, if we.were, we would never ask for this regulation. I suggest that those words implied that when war considerations were over, the regulations should be discontinued. I would therefore like to be informed, when the Minister replies, why he has changed the policy of his predecessor. The second reason why I oppose the regulation is because considerations now should be of an entirely different nature. What we want is to give the public the service which they require, and we want to give that service on a commercial basis. We want to eliminate waste and extravagance. When this regulation was under discussion before, it was suggested that the question of waste or of extravagance, quite rightly, was one of minor importance; but that is, surely, a very different thing today. If the industry is to be carried on under very close control, it must be carried on efficiently, and waste must be eliminated. The other suggestion I should like to put forward is that which the hon. Member for Monmouth has already stated—that if the public are to get a really first-class service and an efficient service, without the writing of the type of letter the hon. Member read out, the only way to ensure it is by a measure of free competition in the industry; so that if a letter of that type we have just had read out were sent to a particular individual he could say, "I am not going to employ this firm again."

I should also like to remind the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Transport that this question of change of face on the part of the Government has been made perfectly clear The kind of organisation going to work Regulation 73B could not work it in peacetime. If I may repeat the words of Sir Cyril Hurcombe, he said it was very difficult to get people to realise that you could not always follow commercial rules m time of war; that admittedly much of what was done might be uncommercial and that they acknowledged the forbearance of the business men with whom they dealt in recognising that some of these things were unavoidable,, and not mere stupidity on the part of the bureaucratic machine. It is not an overstatement of the case. I do appeal to hon. Members to say that the considerations in regard to 73B have changed fundamentally. I do think we ought to ask the right hon. Gentleman, whatever the intentions for the long-term policy of His Majesty's Government may be, in the meantime to supplement a very definite understanding that was given to this industry, and to remove this particular regulation.

I also want to know, if this regulation is continued, what is to happen to the C licence. These vehicles have been specially constructed for the carrying of definite sorts of goods of a particular industry. They are, in other cases, constructed so that those goods can be carried without being packed. The vehicles are made for special purposes and if the vehicles are not to be permitted to journey for more than 60 miles, it seems ridiculous. Another argument put forward by the supporters of this regulation is that the regulation is carried out by business men and not by officials. But, really, that argument ought not to carry much weight, because even though they were at one time engaged in the industry, the fact is now that they are civil servants carrying out the orders and instructions issued by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of War Transport I do not want to labour points which have been made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth or to repeat them, but I would like to say that in my opinion there are two reasons for bringing forward this regulation.

One is economic—the fear of competition, the fear that they will lose their business, and the fear that the public would prefer to engage private and independent operators who would give service to the public. The other is because of the long-term policy of the Government. I would remind the Government that if you can nationalise an industry you can also denationalise it. In my opinion this regulation should be annulled: firstly, because it was brought in as a wartime measure and the considerations which applied then are now finished and done with; and secondly, because you will only get a realy good service for the public,, who are the people particularly concerned, if you have an element of free competition in it, and also an element of courtesy.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham)

I submit that the Order which it is sought, by this Motion, to annul, does not deal in any way with matters raised by hon. Members opposite. It makes two amendments in the law. It provides that Regulation 69 of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939. shall be amended by the elimination of certain exemptions from the Rules Publication Act, 1893, as to the serving of notices. In other words it provides an additional precaution, and says that in future the Rules Publication Act shall apply and notices must be published in those cases. It provides, in relation to the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945, that it shall not be necessary to apply for licences to the Traffic Commissioners in respect of vehicles operating under that Act—

Mr. Oliver Poole (Oswestry)

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I understood the hon. Gentleman to say that this Motion would not annul Regulation 73B. I have here a copy of the Statutory Rules and Orders, No. 1623, and the last item of that Statutory Rule is 73B, which says: Power to limit distance for which goods may be carried by road. I maintain that the Motion as it stands would in fact annul this regulation. May I have your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, on that point? There is the opportunity of annulling it if the House so decides.

Mr. Speaker

One may discuss this Order only in relation to its application in peacetime. It is not automatic that the Order goes on to the Statute Book but because of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act.

Mr. Hale

I did not make the statement which the hon. Member attributes to me. I was, however, about to make it, and I will now do so. The Order provides that there shall be no adaptation of Regulation 73B and that it shall remain unaltered and as it was published originally, under the Act passed by the Conservative Government before the war—

Sir John Mellor (Sutton Coldfield)

If the hon. Gentleman has a copy of the Statutory Rules and Orders, 1945, Nos. 1615-30, he will see on the front page: Such of the Regulations contained in Part III of the Defence(General) Regulations, 1939, as are specified in the Schedule to this Order shall have effect by virtue of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945, subject to the adaptations specified in the third column of that Schedule.''

Mr. Hate

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir J. Mellor), who has just intervened, did not pay adequate attention to you, Mr. Speaker, when you explained to the House that a Statute was passed giving power to continue the Orders, and it is only by virtue of the Statute that we can continue to impose the rules and regulations and Orders which govern our life today. There was one observation by the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thoneycroft), which shows how little hon. Members opposite understand the position. He said that the war was over. The war against totalitarianism is, fortunately, over, but we are embarking on a war against poverty, disease, unemployment and the iniquities of our social system, which will be waged with the same vigour as the other war. For that, we need powers, and we are taking those powers. There is one comment which I desire to make about this Order. It has been my misfortune, in the past, that I have had to try to interpret Statutory Rules and Orders passed by this House. I hope I am not boasting, when I say that I have had some success in that direction, because as my interpretations were all wrong, and my clients normally failed to act upon my advice, they found themselves fortuitously pursuing the primrose path of rectitude. To understand this very short Order it is absolutely necessary to read the Statutory Rules and Orders, 1945, the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, the Emergency Powers Act, 1939, the Roads Act, 1920, the Rules Publication Act, 1893, the Interpretation Act, 1889, the Road Traffic Act, 1930, the Road and Rail Traffic Act, 1933, the Finance Act, 1920, and the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945. If you are a careful interpreter you will also read the London Hackney Carriage Act, 1843, and the Metropolitan Public Car Act of 1869.

I am not blaming the Minister for this. These regulations were passed long before he assumed office and he is only amending them, but I say it is deplorable that the citizens of this country should have no opportunity of finding out what the law of the country is, that regulations should be passed in such a way as to make it impossible for the average citizen to understand them. The time has come to embark upon the great task of codification of, first the regulations, and then of the laws themselves. I am happy to say we have on these benches for the first time for many years men of sufficient enlightenment to do it. I hope the Minister when he replies will be able to say that steps are being taken to achieve that most desirable object.

9.54 p.m.

Mr. Oliver Poole (Oswestry)

I rise to support the Motion which has been so ably moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft), but I find myself at a disadvantage because of my slight knowledge of the procedure in dealing with these matters. The object of the Motion is to call the attention to Regulation 73B, which we consider extremely unsatisfactory and which we want to get removed. One reason why we wish to oppose this regulation is that put forward by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale), namely, that where such machinery was necessary to fight the total war in which we were engaged previously now the war is of a different kind—to increase our exports and restore our industries. We do not want to fight that war by the same methods, and the same machinery, as those we used in the war against Germany. I do not want to repeat what was said as to the background of this regulation, but I support the hon. Member for Oldham in what he said about its complication. It is fantastic that a private trader, who wants to move his goods from one place to another, should have to study the Acts and the regulations which the hon. Member named. If this Motion does nothing more than result in the codification of the law, it will have been of inestimable advantage to the small trader.

Those who suffer worst under this regulation are the small and medium traders who have "C" licences for one or two vehicles, or a small fleet of vehicles. During the war, there was not the same quantity of goods to be moved, or the same necessity for such traders to move them, and they were sent by rail, the railways giving such service as they could. Today, the situation is the exact opposite. The Minister has said that as little of this traffic should be carried by rail as possible, if it can be carried in any other way. But in certain districts railway companies have said that they will be unable to carry more traffic for along time.

Major Cecil Poole (Lichfield)

Surely the hon. Member is not suggesting that the percentage of ordinary merchandise carried during the war by the railways was higher than it is today. If so, that is a complete fallacy.

Mr. O. Poole

During the war goods were carried, in the main, for war purposes and the client, so to speak, was the Government. Now, in the transition from war to peace, it is goods manufactured by industrialists which have to be moved to traders. The circumstances are quite different. Not only that, but the volume of goods is much greater and, as I have said, it is a fact that railways in certain districts are refusing to take more traffic.

Major Cecil Poole

Surely the hon. Gentleman is not suggesting that the quantity of traffic being moved today is greater than it was during the war. If so, I say again, that that is a complete fallacy. The number of occasions on which railways refused to carry goods during the war was immeasurably greater than now.

Mr. o. Poole

The point I was making, and from which I do not withdraw, is that the railways are unable to accept all the traffic they are offered, and that the Minister has issued directions saying that as much traffic as possible should be carried by road. In certain districts the railways are refusing to carry traffic.

Major Cecil Poole

They did that during the war.

Mr. O. Poole

Once the railways have refused to accept traffic, the small trader has no alternative but to offer the traffic to the Road Haulage Organisation. They try to keep as much traffic as possible within their own organisation, and they try to find vehicles in which to move the goods. In many cases these vehicles are quite unsuitable for the purpose. Every day one gets reports from constituents about 5-ton lorries being sent to fetch small loads, and what is worse, vehicles being sent which are quite unsuitable for the carriage of the goods, with a consequent waste of time in loading and unloading, and damage to the goods in transit. While that is happening the licensee may himself have a suitable vehicle standing idle. Not only is he put to additional trouble, but he is put to additional expense. If he sends goods in his own vehicles, there is no packing to be done, no delay and very little trouble, whereas if the goods are sent either by rail or in a vehicle provided by the Road Haulage Organisation, they have to be packed, with a consequent waste of man-hours, wood and other materials used in packing.

No doubt the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of War Transport will say, in his reply, that many permits have been issued to individuals to exceed the 60 miles limit, but those permits are not given unless the Road Haulage Organisation cannot accept the traffic, and the permits take three or four days to come. In the case of people engaged in horticulture or agriculture, the delay very often causes an absolute loss to them. In 1944, the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport gave an assurance that Regulation 73B would be removed when it was no longer necessary. He could not say when that time would be. Now that the war has ended, will the Minister say when this Regulation can be removed, or what will be the circumstances in which it can be removed, so that small traders and industrialists with their own fleets of vehicles can again have the right to put their own goods in their own vehicles to run on roads for which they pay taxation?

10.4 p.m.

Major Niall Macpherson (Dumfries)

The hon. and gallant Member for Penrith and Cockermouth (Lieut.-Colonel Dower) argued that the reasons for having this regulation have changed That, in itself, if not a sufficient argument for removing it, because there may still be good reasons for the regulation remaining, but I would like to submit that there are better reasons for removing it. In the first place, the Supplies amp; Services (Transitional Powers) Act states that the provisions of that Act were for the purpose of so maintaining, controlling and regulating supplies and services as to secure a sufficiency of those essential for the wellbeing of the community or their equitable distribution. This regulation, which limits the radius of traffic to 60 miles, does quite the contrary. There are two good reasons which could be advanced for maintaining this regulation. The first would be on the score of efficiency, and the second on the score of economy. I give the Government full credit for having no ulterior motive at the present time. I am certain they will justify the regulation on the grounds of one or other of the reasons I have mentioned.

To deal first with efficiency, to be efficient industry must be flexible. During the war, obviously a line had to be drawn somewhere. Sixty miles may be a reasonable radius. Perhaps it should be described as the operative radius for vehicles if they are to go out, deliver, and return to base, but it does not follow that in the detailed case it is the best. Flexibility is required for efficiency.

The second argument would be for economy. There is a great place for economy in petrol and rubber, things which can only be purchased to a limited extent with sterling, but there are other equally important economies which also require sterling, and one of them is packing material. It is essential to bear this point in mind, because on the.method of carriage, whether it is by rail, by sea, or by road, depends the packing material that the manufacturer puts on his goods. It is obvious that if he has his own system for delivery by road he can put on a very much lighter packing material than if he does not know by what method his goods are to be delivered. Under the present system, if his goods have to be delivered beyond 60 miles he simply notifies the Ministry of War Transport and it is up to them to say by what method delivery will be made. The result is that to a certain extent he must take a risk and he puts on, shall we say a medium packing. From that a great number of claims results, and there is wastage.

In considering this matter there are two things for the "C" licence holder to consider. First of all, he may have to deliver in bulk to depots. Under the present system he must have a depot within a 60-mile radius it he is going to deliver the goods himself. If it is outside the 60-mile radius it is necessary for him to arrange with the Ministry of War Transport. There again there is a waste of time and a lot of misunderstanding and, in general, a lack of efficiency as compared with the system where a man controls the deliveries himself.

In the second place he may have a number of deliveries to make at or near his final destination. Here again the point of economy comes in. The biggest item in dealing with the delivery of goods is the number of times they are handled. If he has to deliver all the goods to one place and then some of them have to be reloaded to go on beyond, there is a waste, whereas if he can deliver them himself on the way he is able to effect the economy of not having to go back and deliver in detail.

Another point about delivery in bulk is that in fact the attitude of different Regional Commissioners varies very considerably. Some of them are prepared to allow concessions—delivery up to 75 miles—where others will not do so on any consideration. Another case is where the manufacturer wishes to deliver direct to customers. Here again the Ministry of War Transport will not accept what is known as a "drop" of less than two tons, whereas the individual manufacturer can of course deliver, and does in fact deliver, down to one cwt. Again, specialised knowledge is required, not only of the location of customers—which the Ministry of War Transport and those operating for them would not possess— but also of the times at which it is convenient for customers to receive delivery. Then again as the hon. and gallant Member for Penrithi was saying there is the question of specialised equipment and specially trained men. So there is this question. of wastefulness in the use of transport and, as far as the pool vehicles are concerned, when vehicles deliver their loads they then have to report at the other end to a pool which details the vehicles for other jobs, and the vehicles very often vanish into the gloom. What has to be remembered is that the actual cost of running the fleets of vehicles—petrol, tyres, maintenance, etc.—is less than half of the total cost of the vehicles, and on the days when they are kept waiting through lack of liaison, there is further waste.

In summing up, I wish to say that there is wastefulness in personnel. First there are additional staffs—control staffs, enforcement officers or "snoopers" to see that the law is being obeyed, the people who have to handle, to reload, when goods are taken a certain distance to a depot instead of being delivered direct. We have idle vehicles and heavy packages resulting in wastage of materials and wastage of manpower and, finally, a general lowering of efficiency. Therefore, in my submission, Regulation 73B should be annulled.

10.12 p.m.

Commander Noble (Chelsea)

I do not wish to detain the House long, but I would like to associate myself with this Motion and to quote a short paragraph from a memorandum supplied by the Ministry in which are set out the purposes for which the Road Haulage Organisation is designed. This memorandum states that this scheme is designed to ensure that:

  1. " (i) No traffics are conveyed by road which should be carried by some other form of transport in the interests of conservation of oil and rubber.
  2. (ii) Such traffics as are conveyed by road are moved at the lowest possible cost in vehicle-miles by the use of the most suitable vehicle for the particular movement and by the elimination to the greatest possible degree of partially loaded and empty mileage.
  3. (iii) All vehicles included in the organisation are available to meet fluctuating demands and emergencies."
I hope that, in view of the very convincing arguments put forward by my hon. Friend the Minister will see his way to support this Motion. If he does not, I hope he will tell us whether these aims I have just read out, have been achieved in fact, and also whether the conditions which necessitated them still obtain. I do not know whether the building which houses the Ministry has ever been called, or is ever likely to be called, "War Transport House." If it is, or if it ever will be, I feel now that hostilities are over, and especially in view of what the hon. Member has said, that the word "war" is somewhat redundant in that title.

10.14 p.m.

Mr. Gammans (Hornsey)

I support my hon. Friends on this side of the House in moving for the annulment of this Regulation, and I suggest that the onus of proving that it is still needed rests upon the Minister. It is up to him to come here and prove to the House conclusively that it is necessary to carry on in times of peace a regulation which was brought in solely for the purposes of war. I hope that when the right hon. Gentleman replies he will set a new example to some of his Front Bench colleagues, and give us a few facts, a few figures, and a few arguments which can appeal to our intelligence Two considerations alone would justify the retention of this Order. The first is that this scheme has been a success. Now, has it in fact, been a success during the time it has been in operation? Every shred of evidence produced to me and I think to most of my hon. Friends here—and which could be produced to hon. Gentlemen opposite if they would like to listen—is that the scheme has been a howling failure from beginning to end. I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen opposite have read the report of the Select Committee, because the arguments that were used in that report and the facts which are presented, are identically the same as the conditions which prevail today. I would like to read one paragraph from the report: As a consequence of the failure of the control system there is much avoidable light loading and empty running, so that the ends desired by the Ministry of War Transport are defeated. Numerous cases were quoted where a convoy of empty lorries had been sent long distances while goods were awaiting transport to the very areas to which it was going. Not only does this add unnecessarily to the load on the railways, but it increases the depreciation of the vehicles, which suffer more from empty running than from carrying loads. What has been the effect on the personnel in the transport industry? Let me quote again: Drivers are said to be losing heart and to be no longer interested in saving time on their trips; they feel that their labours are so frequently spent in useless journeys, with empty or only partially loaded vehicles, that any effort on their part is futile. One of the reasons given for this condition of affairs is that Unit Controllers have no financial incentive to see that lorries carry economic loads, since they are not acting for their firms but for the Ministry, and are not, therefore, interested to see that economy is observed on any particular journey. It goes on to say: Instances were given of drivers resigning their posts because they felt that they were not pulling their weight. There was general agreement that drivers feel that conscientious performance of their duties is neither appreciated nor desired. Has there even been a more damning indictment of a Government scheme than that contained in the Select Committee Report? I have a letter, which has only just come in, and which states: Quite often our lorries have to stand idle while some Jack-in-trade before the war now comes into the road haulage organisation and carries the traffic. The fact is that the persons who know how to carry the traffic in the most economical manner as was proved before the war, are not allowed to do so while those inexperienced in traffic are handling it at great waste of rubber, material and labour. Every shred of evidence such as was contained in the report of that Committee is applicable at this moment. I therefore suggest that the Minister has to convince the House, if he can, that the report is no longer true of what happens at this moment. The report of the Select Committee presented last year was a report by Members of all parties in this House, and there was no minority report. That report also suggests—and here again all the evidence I now get supports it—that the amount of empty running today is, on an average, three times what it was before the scheme came into operation, and that the charge per ton mile is often twice as much as it was before. The House should agree to continue this scheme only if it can be shown that it has been a success.

The only other consideration that would justify our supporting it, would be if the conditions were such as to justify its continuance. The conditions under which this scheme came into being were set out by my hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft). Briefly, they were to save petrol and rubber, to maintain a central pool of vehicles, and also to act as a sort of strategic reserve during the war. The last consideration certainly does not apply. The second consideration no longer applies, but what about the consideration of saving petrol and rubber? To begin with, the petrol situation is not as stringent as it was during the war. Otherwise the basic ration would not have been restored, nor would the right hon. Gentleman have permitted coaches to run between London and Blackpool. Even if the petrol situation were as stringent as it was during the war, such evidence as we have proves that petrol is being wasted, tyres are being wasted, and, what is more, the depreciation on the lorries is far greater than it need or should be.

Two other considerations have been put forward. When a trader buys a lorry, he does not just go and buy it as if it were a pair of boots. He buys a lorry specially designed for his trade. By this Road Haulage Organisation today, we are throwing away all these advantages. I have here a list of complaints from growers of agricultural produce in East Anglia, of case after case of goods being put in unsuitable lorries. What is more, lorries that are either far too large or far too small, are turning up. This sort of scheme is all right if one designs it sitting in a London office, or the back parlour of the Fabian Society, but it is quite unsuited to any sort of reality.

I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has ever had any intimate connection with the problems of the farming industry. A farmer has not the faintest idea what size of lorry he may want the day after tomorrow; it will depend on the weather tomorrow, and on other considerations. There are cases of three ton lorries arriving for one ton loads. Another point made has been in regard to packing. If there are two things of which we are short in this time of shortage of almost everything, they are paper and timber. An unnecessary amount of packing is going on, all of which would be avoided, if a man could put his goods in his lorry and take them away. I hope that when the right hon. Gentleman replies he will not put up the specious case that it is easy to get exemptions, and that if one can put up a good case his Ministry is prepared to listen to it. We can show him ample evidence, not only that interminable delays occur in the consideration of applications, but that in the vast majority of cases the application is turned down out of hand.

I ask the right hon. Gentleman quite seriously: Do the Government want to help the industrial reconstruction of this country, or do they not? If so, then let them release transport, because transport is a cost factor in industry. What matters is not the cost of something in the factory or of agricultural produce in the field, but the cost to the ultimate consumer. Today, when we try to send things by rail, there are fantastic delays of two and three weeks. At the same time, we have idle lorries all over the country standing by in many cases with idle drivers. I suggest to the House that no one outside a lunatic asylum would ever think that a central pool of transport; run by Government servants, with no financial interest at stake, could, in any circumstances, ever compete in speed, efficiency or cost, with the man who runs his own vehicles, and has to make them pay or go into the bankruptcy court. Two effects of this Government monopoly are clear. One of the features of all Government monopolies is that they dare not tolerate the existence of an efficient competitor. One of the effects of maintaining this regulation will be to create and maintain an artificial standard of inefficiency in the road transport industry. The other thing it will maintain will be an artificial standard of high freight charges. For what reason the Government wish to maintain those two artificial standards, I do not know, but I can guess.

10.25 p.m..

Mr. Butcher (Holland with Boston)

I would like to associate myself with the Motion for the annulment of this regulation, perhaps with rather different remarks from those which have been made up to now. This was a regulation which is being continued under what the Government regard as a genuine contribution to what the hon. Gentleman the Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale) described as the war against inefficiency and bad conditions. I will give the House two examples from my own constituency of how this particular regulation hampers the Government in their reconstruction problems. Boston is a seaport through which timber is imported. A firm there takes the timber and converts it into doors and window fittings for housing projects in the Midlands. This firm has its own lorries in its garage. It is not permitted to use its own lorries to carry its own manufactured goods into the Midlands, where they are urgently needed on housing sites. What happens? They are compelled to go to the Minister's Road Haulage Organisation and say, "We are not allowed to travel more than 60 miles. Please will you shift the stuff for us? "The Minister very obligingly agrees. He brings in lorries from London, 110 miles away. I make no complaint against the Minister. The moment the need was pointed out to him—it was only-four days after private enterprise would have dealt with it—he sent the lorries another 100 miles. Perhaps as time goes on he will improve.

There is another case, as a result of which I would like to thank publicly the hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary. The House will be aware that certain goods are on points. The grocer is compelled to keep a points bank and, therefore, the time of the delivery of the goods to him is a matter of real consequence. Equally, the factories are all very pressed nowadays for storage space and there must be a regular flow of goods. A canning factory in my constituency, which had suffered as a result of this regulation, wrote to me to see what I could do. I thought the best thing I could do was to go and see the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport. I would like to say how extraordinarily grateful I am to him for his action. What really was happening was, that 17,707,000 cans of peas had to be. shifted, otherwise production in the factory would stop. The hon. Gentleman is a real "go-getter." I told him about it and the next day, or the day after, 18 empty lorries, with a total carrying capacity of over 300 tons, travelled from London. I would like to thank him very much. These things had to be shifted and the Parliamentary Secretary succeeded in having them shifted. I am grateful to him. There were lorries in Boston, with a carrying capacity of 60 tons, which had been standing idle for five, six or seven days, which could have carried out the operation, but they were not allowed to be used to shift these things because of this regulation.

What is the real thing to which we' object in this Regulation? It is that it makes for inefficiency. It does not enable the ordinary trader to get his goods away as he wishes, either by employing his own lorries with " C" licences or by employing "A" or "B" licence holders. They are not allowed to travel more than 60 miles by road with an "A," "B" or "C" licence vehicle. They can do that brightly and happily, provided the vehicle is operated by the Road Haulage Organisation. The real answer to the problem is that somehow, somewhere, inside the Ministry, somebody has to justify the existence of this Road Haulage Organisation. [Interruption.] An hon. Member says it is a vested interest] I do not think it is. I believe it is some conscientious civil servant who feels that it is his cross that he has to bear. I do appeal to the Minister to examine this organisation. It does not reflect credit on his Ministry. On the whole his Ministry, has served the country pretty well during the war. It has shifted the goods, moved the things to various parts of the country. But this Road Haulage Organisation, let him be assured, in the opinion of this country, is really the most inefficient of all Government Departments, and, let me add, I do not omit the Board of Trade.

10.31 p.m.

The Minister of War Transport (Mr. Barnes)

It is desirable to remind the House of the words which the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary used when presenting the Supplied and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill. He made it plain that this Measure was-being introduced because we intended to use these powers, and this evening the main complaint against myself appears to be that I am carrying out that undertaking. I would like to remind the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) that so far as I am concerned this question is not being determined on any political issue. When I want to deal with the road haulage problem in the setting of political policy, I can assure my hon. Friends opposite that it will be dealt with much more effectively than under these regulations at the moment. With reference to the need or the desire, to maintain restrictions of this character, I think at least I can claim that over the wide field of transport, and general policy with regard to services, and the convenience of the public, there has been a steady process of relaxation. We are dealing here with a very large volume of important traffic in this country. It should be looked at primarily according to the needs of the country at the present moment. The hon. Member who introduced this Motion to annul the regulation, admitted at least some parental responsibility—

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

As a foster parent.

Mr. Barnes

He then proceeded to show how ashamed he was of its origin—no doubt the hon. Member's enthusiasm has cooled as a result of the recent mass meetings he has addressed on this subject.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

May I say that my claim to parentage is of a very fleeting, a very transitory nature? As the right hon. Gentleman has referred to me may I say that one of the first things I did when I got inside the Ministry was to see how soon we could get rid of this organisation? At that time we were at war and all our plans were aimed at the removal of these restrictions at the earliest possible moment.

Mr. Barnes

The hon. Member's stay at the Ministry was, I believe, also very fleeting. My only comment on the general position—and this will enable me to reply also to my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans) that the Report of the Committee on National Expenditure applied to the administration of these regulations under the Coalition Government. The hon. Member appears to be unaware that there has been a change of Government, and that this Administration is much more efficient.

Mr. J. Langford-Holt (Shrewsbury)

Do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman is attempting to give the House an impression of the efficiency of his Department? If so, I feel he should digest his breakfast before he starts his lunch. Last August, I sent his Department a letter, and I am still awaiting an answer. Is that a specimen of the efficiency we may expect from the right hon. Gentleman's Department?

Mr. Barnes

I was replying to the point submitted by the hon. Member for Hornsey that the responsibility rested upon me to justify the continuance of this regulation, and the hon. Member built his argument largely on the report of a Committee which dealt with the position under a previous Administration.

Mr. Gammans

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he thinks that all this is now changed, because we have had a change of Government? Would he agree to submit this scheme to an equally impartial review?

Mr. Barnes

I do not merely think that it is more efficient now; I know it is more efficient than it used to be. On. this question of empty vehicle running, the average, as I have stated on more than one occasion in reply to questions from hon. Members, works out now at about 20 per cent. Before the war, under private enterprise, it worked out at over 30 per cent., and any hon. Member who is familiar with running any transport, it does not matter whether it is the Road Haulage Organisation, or lorries, or whether it is passenger services or railway trains, will know that it is an inevitable factor of transport services, that there is a percentage of empty running time. But the condition that I have to apply to justify the continuance of this organisation, is whether it is serving the main purpose for which it was originated. Hon. Members opposite have built up their case largely on general observations and general allegations. Very little actual evidence has been submitted here to prove that the organisation is inefficient.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

Here is the evidence. I have the time sheets here.

Mr. Barnes

Most of the statements made by hon. Members have been irrelevant to this Order. Most of their statements have been of a general character.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

On a point of Order. Is the right hon. Gentleman in Order in saying that most of the arguments and statements made on this side of the House have been out of Order?

Mr. Speaker

The right hon. Member can say what he likes.

Mr. Barnes

The real problem that we have to consider here, on this business and its commercial basis, is whether the circumstances which were the direct and immediate consequences of war conditions and which led to the framing of and the passing of these regulations are still in existence. They are very much in existence. I should like to give the House some indication of the volume of important traffic that still has to be moved by this Road Haulage Organisation. With regard to the Ministry of Food, the organisation moves over 7,000 tons of long distance traffic every week; short distance traffic 60,000 tons. For the Ministry of Supply the figures are long distance 12,000 tons, short distance 75,000 tons. Other figures are,Air Ministry, 17,000 tons, long distance; 15,000 tons, short distance; Ministry of Works, long distance 21,000 tons, short distance 41,000 tons. With regard to commercial traffic of this description, there is approximately 140,000 tons of long distance traffic moved each week, and 283,000 tons, short distance, each week. If we take the case of the meat organisation, the traffic is 71,000 tons per week, and livestock 100,000 head per week. The organisation also has to move opencast coal—between 200,000 and 250,000 tons per week. [Interruption.] Hon. Members may not like to hear these figures, but what I want to do is to make the position perfectly clear. Responsibility rests on the Minister of Transport to move that important public traffic each week. The situation in the traffic industry is that, following the war, there is no free production of motor lorries and vans at the present moment, and any person who wants his goods moved, has not the normal conditions of road transport to which to apply—

Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone) rose—

Hon. Members


Sir W. Wakefield

I only wanted to ask for some figures.

Mr. Barnes

This is not a question of asking for additional powers. The agreement which the previous Coalition Government operated was to the effect that this organisation should remain in being, only twelve months after the Japanese war. Hon. Members have raised a completely fallacious issue here tonight. It is not a case, as I say, of the Government endeavouring to secure new powers. Hon. Members are asking us to release this organisation before the time which the previous Government laid down as necessary to carry us over the transitional period. This Debate would be more germane to the issue if it were taking place next August instead of this evening. Having examined the conditions that prevail in the transport industry today, the large needs which have to be fulfilled, and the obligations of the Government in public policy, the need, in my view, for this organisation is still present and I intend to carry it on to the limit.

10.45 p.m.

Earl Winterton (Horsham)

The right hon. Gentleman is such a genial and friendly Minister that no one wishes to stand at this Box and attack him, and I would only make this observation on the instances brought forward in this Debate, that, as a great admirer of "Timothy Shy "and "Beachcomber," I have never known them write any tiling more funny than the instances given by my hon. Friends of the administration of the right hon. Gentleman's Department. I have never, in the whole of my experience, heard such instances of maladministration as those given by my hon. Friends in this Debate about the use of lorries. I only rise for one purpose. The Minister challenged the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway to give instances. He could not have been listening to the speeches because my hon. Friend gave instances. I do not propose to repeat them, because the right hon. Gentleman will be able to read them in Hansard tomorrow— instances of actual time sheets showing how, under this system which the Minister has been trying to bless, the time of the public and public money are wasted, and goods are impeded in their progress.

I have only one other observation to make to the right hon. Gentleman. It would put me out of Order to refer to the Debate which has recently taken place, or to the Debate which is to take place tomorrow; but I would like to ask him to ask the Prime Minister, or any other Minister who is likely to take part in the Debate—which I must not mention—in the near future, to read the instances given by my hon. Friends on this side of the House. He will then realise one of the reasons why production is lagging behind in this country

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Whiteley)

rose in his place, and claimed to move, " That the Question be now put."

Mr. P. Thorneycroft: rose—

Mr. Speaker

I have accepted the Closure Motion.

Mr. Thorneycroft

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I rose because I understood that I had a right of reply on the Motion. Surely, I did have the right of reply to the Debate which has just taken place. That is why I rose.

Mr. Speaker

I accepted the Closure Motion before the hon. Gentleman rose. If he had got up earlier, I might have allowed the Debate to continue.

Mr. Thorneycroft

I was on my feet. There was some noise at the time. I could not do more than I did. It would surely be out of Order for me to shout louder than I did. I feel that I ought to be allowed the right to reply.

Mr. Speaker

I have accepted the Motion, and there is nothing more to be done.

Mr. Thorneycroft

May I say this? I did speak to the Government on this. I was not anxious to carry on this Debate until a late hour. We arranged that it should go to 11.15 p.m. I would not have minded 11 o'Clock. In the circumstances I think it is very hard that the Closure should be moved so quickly after the Minister's reply.

Earl Winterton

The Government are always breaking faith; they have no sense of decency.

Mr. Butcher

Mr.Speaker, would it be in Order—

Mr. Speaker

I have already accepted the Closure Motion, and I must now put the Question.

Question put, "That the Question be now put "

MR. COLLINDRIDGE and MR. SIMMONS were appointed Tellers for the Ayes, but there being no Tellers for the Noes, MR. SPEAKER declared that the Ayes had it.

Question put accordingly, That the Order in Council, dated 20th December, 1945, with respect to Defence Regulations relating to the Control of Transport (S.R. amp; O., 1945, No. 1623), a copy of which Order was presented on 22nd January, be annulled.

The House proceeded to a Division.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower (seated and covered)

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I wish to bring to your notice, with very great respect, that previous to this Debate, I saw the Chief Government Whip, and he said he would allow the Debate to go on until 11.15 p.m. before he moved "That the Question be now put." I do not think the Opposition are being treated fairly when pledges of honour are broken in this way.

Mr. Speaker

I accepted the Motion for the Closure, and when the hon. and gallant Member says that he does not think the Opposition are being treated fairly, that is a reflection on the chair.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

Further to that point of Order, Sir. I wish to say that, in bringing this matter to your attention, I did not mean any reflection on the Chair whatever. I merely wished to point out that the Government moved "That the Question be now put" half

an hour before they said they would do so.

Mr. Speaker

Iappreciate the hon. and gallant Member's explanation, but I am not governed by any arrangement which may be made with hon. Members on this side or that side of the House. I judge the position as I see it from the Chair. I am quite impartial and independent.

The House divided: Ayes, 63; Noes, 205.

Division No.93.| AYES. 10.46 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr P. G. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nicholson, G.
Baldwin, A. E. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Noble, Comdr A H P
Barlow, Sir J. Hogg, Hon. Q Orr-Ewing, I L.
Bennett, Sir P Hope, Lord J. Osborne, C.
Birch, Lt.-Col Nigel Keeling, E. H. Ropner, Col
Bower, N Langford-Holt, J. Scott, Lord W.
Boyd-Carpenter, Maj. J. A. Low, Brig. A. R. W. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Spearman, A. C. M.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G T. MacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Butcher, H. W. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H R. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Corbett, Lt.-Col. U. (Ludlow) McKie, J. H (Galloway) Touche, G C.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col O E Maclay, Hon. J S. Turton, R. H.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Macpherson, Maj, N. (Dumfries) Wakefield Sir W. W
Dower, Lt.-Col. A (Penrith) Marlowe, A. A. H. Ward, Hon G. R.
Drayson, Capt. G B. Marples, Capt A. E. Wheatley. Col. M. J.
Drewe, C. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Erroll, Col. F. J. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) York, C.
Fraser, Maj. H. C P. (Stone) Medlicott, Brig. F. Young, Sir A. S. L (Partick)
Gage, Lt.-Col. C Mellor, Sir J.
Gammans, Capt. L D Molson, A. H. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Grimston. R V. Mott-Radolyffe, Maj C. E. Mr. Peter Thorneycreft and
Haughton S G Neven-Spence Major Sir B. Mr. Oliver Poole.
Adams, W.T.(Hammersmith, south) Daggar, G. Herbison, Miss M.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Daines, P. Hobson, C. R
Allen, Scholefiled (Crewe) Davies, Edward (Burslem) Holman, P.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Davies, Harold (Leek) House, G.
Attewell, H. C. Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Hoy, J.
Bacon, Miss A. Davies, S O (Merthyr) Hubbard, T.
Baird, Capt. J. Deer, G Hudson, J. H. (Ealling, W.)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J de Freitas, Geoffrey Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)
Barstow, P. G. Delargy, Captain H. J Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme)
Bechervaise, A. E. Dobbie, W. Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)
Benson, G. Donovan, T. Irving, W. J.
Berry, H. Douglas, F. C. R. Jeger, Capt. G. (Winchester)
Beswick, Flt.-Lieut. F Driberg, T. E. N. Jeger, Dr. S. W (St. Pancras, S.E.)
Bing, Capt. G. H. C. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jones, D. T (Hartlepools)
Binns, J. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Jones, J. H (Bolton)
Blyton, W. R. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Keenan, W.
Boardman, H Fairhurst, F. Kenyon, C.
Bottomley, A. G. Farthing, W. J. King, E. M
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Kinley, J.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Follick, M. Lang, G.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'ge) Foot, M. M. Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Forman, J. C. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Brook, D. (Halifax) Foster, W. (Wigan) Lindgren, G. S.
Brown, George (Belper) Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Lipton, Lt. Col M
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Freeman, Maj J. (Watford) Logan, D. G.
Burke, W A. Gaitskell, H. T. N. Longden, F.
Callaghan, James Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Lyne, A. W.
Champion, A. J. Gibson, C. W McAdam, W-
Chater, D. Gilzean, A. McEntee, V. La T
Chetwynd, Capt. G. R Gordon-Walker, P. C Mack, J. D.
Cluse, W. S Granville, E. (Eye) McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Cobb, F. A Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) McKinlay, A. S
Coldrick, W. Grenfell, D R. McLeavy, F.
Collick, P. Grierson, E. MacMillan, M. K.
Collins, V. J. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Marshall, F. (Brightside)
Colman, Miss G. M Hale, Leslie Mathers, G.
Comyns, Dr. L. Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Mayhew, C. P
Cook, T. F. Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Medland, H. M
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G Hardy, E. A Middleton, Mrs. L.
Corlett, Dr.J Henderson, J (Ardwick). Mikardo, Ian
Mitchison, maj. G. R. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Walkden, E.
Morley, R. Shurmer P. Walker, G. H.
Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Silverman, J. (Erdington) Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Nally, W. Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester) Watkins, T. E.
Neal, H (Claycross) Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Watson, W. M.
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Snow, Capt. J W. Weitzman, D.
Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Solley, L. J. Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Noel-Buxton, Lady Sorensen, R. W. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Oldfiold, W. H. Soskice, Maj. Sir F Whiteley, Rt. Hon W
Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Sparks, J. A. Wigg, Colonel G. E.
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Stamford, W. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C A B.
Pargiter, G. A. Steele, T Wilkes, Maj. L.
Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B T - Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Paton, J. (Norwich) Strauss, G. R. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Pearson, A. Stross, Dr. B. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Peart, Capt. T. F. Swingler, Capt. S. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Platts-Mills, J. F. F. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Williamson, T.
Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Willis, E.
Popplewell, E. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet) Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Porter, E. (Warrington) Thomas, Ivor (Keighley) Wilmot, Rt. Hon. j
Price, M. P. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin) Wise, Major F. J
Pritt, D. N. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Woodburn, A.
Ranger, J. Thomson, Rt Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E. Wyatt, Maj. W.
Reid, T. (Swindon) Thorneyoroft, H. (Manchester, C.) Younger, Maj. Hon. K. G
Rhodes, H. Tiffany, S. Zilliacus, K.
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Timmons, J.
Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Titterington, M. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Scollan, T. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. Mr. Collindridge and
Shacklelon, Wing-Comdr. E. A. A. Usborne, Henry Mr. Simmons
Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Vernon, Maj. W. F.


Resolved: "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. R. J. Taylor.]

Adjourned accordingly at Eleven o'Clock.