§ Mr. Shinwell:
I beg to move, in page 44, line 34, to leave out paragraph 3, and to insert:3. Interests of colliery concerns and of class. A subsidiaries thereof in fixed and movable property used for or in connection with the following (in this Act referred to as "colliery electricity activities") namely, generating, transforming or converting electricity consumed exclusively or mainly in the course of colliery production, transport, sales or welfare activities or in the course of any combination of those activities, and interests of such concerns and subsidiares in fixed and movable property used for or in connection with transmitting or distributing electricity generated, transformed or converted by means of property interests in which vest in the Board by virtue of the preceding provisions of this paragraph.
This is the first of three short Amendments to this Schedule which are of no great substance, but which I should like the Committee to accept. This Amendment provides for the necessary references to the transforming, converting and distributing of electricity, which is not covered by the Bill as it stands. Certain provision was made in the original draft, but it did not go as far as was intended. The next Amendment provides for the automatic transfer, under Part 1, of such colliery assets as workshops, lamprooms, ventilating and heating plants, gangways, footbridges and colliery offices. These assets must be transferred if we are to comply with the intention of the Bill. [An HON. MEMBER: "Speak up."] There is a third Amendment which I also mentioned, because you may feel, Major Milner, that if there is to be no discussion, or if discussion is not likely to be protracted, it is better that I should explain the three Amendments at this stage and then allow them to be taken in their order.
§ The Chairman (Major Milner):
Is it agreeable to the Committee that these Amendments should be discussed together?
§ Mr. H. Macmillan:
We will do anything to save time, but these Amendments do not appear to be closely related.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
I am in the hands of the Committee. I thought I could serve the Committee in addressing myself to the Amendments in the form I was doing. They are not closely related as to the material to be transferred, but the principle is essentially the same, and if hon. Members have no objection I will refer to the third Amendment.
§ Mr. C. Williams:
I personally dislike the suggestion, and I think other hon. Members might like a discussion—it may be a very short discussion—on any one of these Amendments. If we take them together we are very much restricted.
§ The Chairman:
If there is any objection, and I gather there is, we must take the Amendments separately, but they would appear to me to be similar.
§ Colonel Clarke:
It appears that this Amendment amplifies the existing paragraph 3 of this Schedule, and I would like to know in greater detail why it was necessary to amplify it, how much wider it is to be made and how many more of the colliery interests are now included? The Bill throughout is wide, and it appears now to be getting still wider, and I feel we should know what the intention here is. It is difficult to understand this proposal, and with all respect to the Minister, he did not explain it in any great detail. I think that we should have it explained to us more fully than that. It is our duty to know that these powers will not be so increased that they will prejudice other industries besides that concerned with the direct getting of coal.
§ 9.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
I should have thought that it was self-explanatory, but I can, of course, comply with the hon. and gallant Member's request. If hon. Members will look at paragraph 3 of the First Schedule they will see that it refers togenerating or transmitting electricity consumed exclusively or mainly in the course of colliery production, transport, sales or welfare activities.It was subsequently discovered that if we were to comply with the avowed purpose of this paragraph, it would be necessary to make additional references for, say, the 1607 generating, transmitting or converting of electricity. It will be clear, of course, that the National Coal Board is not proposing to embark upon the generation or distribution of electricity, but, inasmuch as certain colliery undertakings carry on those activities at the present time, it is intended that they should be transferred.
§ Colonel Clarke:
I gather that the difference between this Amendment and the original paragraph is that whereas the original paragraph only included the direct electricity activities around the collieries, this Amendment includes any area of supply worked from the collieries generating plant. That is the real difference, and it is very considerably wider.
Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
I beg to move, in page 45, line 19, at the end, to insert:7. Interests of colliery concerns and of class A subsidiaries thereof in fixed and movable property used exclusively or mainly for any one or more of the following, namely, repairing and maintaining things falling within any of the preceding paragraphs or this paragraph, preparing and adapting such things for use, providing means of access, lighting, heating and ventilation for the purposes of any of the activities therein mentioned, and any other activities incidental to the carrying on of any of the activities therein mentioned, including the organisation and supervision thereof, and securing safety therein.
This Amendment relates to certain assets such as workshops, lamprooms, ventilating and heating plant, and the like. There are certain colliery undertakings where workshops exist and which it will be necessary to take over. It is clear that, if these workshops were left untouched, they would be of no value to the colliery undertaking. Their value consists in the association with the undertaking itself and, consequently, it is intended that there should not be any severance.
Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
I beg to move, in page 45, line 41, after "pipes," to insert:or other products manufactured from colliery debris or brick clay or earth.
This part of the Schedule relates to certain assets in fixed and movable property used for the purpose of making bricks, tiles or earthenware pipes or in connection with those purposes. We have had to assume that the making of bricks, tiles or earthenware pipes may not cover all the products made in the brickworks 1608 and these words are proposed to be inserted to cover all such activities. It is not proposed to go beyond the original intention.
§ Mr. C. Williams:
This is a matter which needs a little explanation as to how far it takes the Government in connection with the making of bricks, which is a matter of rather great importance. I find myself at a loss to know the real explanation of, first, the original part of the Schedule and, secondly, the real reason for this Amendment which the right hon. Gentleman has just been explaining. Does it mean that the Government are going in for brickmaking on a considerable scale under this Schedule, because brickmaking has been connected with a colliery to a certain extent? That is a point on which I would like to have an answer. If that is the case, I would also like to know what rules or regulations there will be for the distribution and selling of bricks. Will this be done through the usual trade channels, or through Government channels? Those are the only two points which occur to me; I think they are points which, at any rate, hold some interest for hon. Members opposite.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
This matter was fully discussed in Committee upstairs and the principle was generally accepted. Hon. Members opposite expressed some objection to the principle of transferring assets other than those of colliery undertakings. The matter was argued and subsequently a decision was reached. There the matter stands. I would point out, however, that as regards brickworks and the ancillary activities to which reference has been made, they are not to be automatically transferred as in the case of colliery undertakings. They can be transferred either at the option of the Board or, it will be noted, at the option of the owner. The Board may feel disposed to allow them to remain with the former owner of the colliery undertaking. On the other hand, the former owner of a colliery undertaking may be saddled with a brickworks which is not particularly efficient, and he might be justified in calling upon the Board to transfer the assets. The matter can be resolved by process of arbitration——
§ Colonel Clarke:
No. I do not think it is right to say that the matter can go to arbitration. I have tried very hard to get it.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
I beg the Committee's pardon. It is in relation to other assets where the option can be exercised that arbitration comes in. I apologise. It was thought that as regards this particular group of assets, the question of arbitration need not be invoked because it was a matter of whether or not severance should take place. There may be cases where it would be invidious to allow severance to take place. On the other hand, it may be desirable in certain circumstances to allow severance. As regards the point put to me by the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams), the answer is this. I have said frequently in the course of our proceedings upstairs that the National Coal Board must be empowered to undertake activities such as those which are now undertaken by the existing colliery owners, or such activities as the colliery owners could have undertaken if they were so minded. If the Board feel that transference of brickworks or works for the production of similar material is of advantage to the Board for the purpose of their general activities, then clearly they are entitled to transfer. As to the disposal of the products, that is a matter for the Board to determine and, no doubt, they will use the medium now used by the colliery undertakings. On the other hand, they may decide to adopt other means for disposing of the products, but that appears to me to be a matter of small consequence, and I do not anticipate any difficulty.
§ Mr. C. Williams:
I would like to thank the right hon. Gentleman for the information which he has given to the Committee. We are deeply grateful to him for informing us that we may have another Government Department set up for the disposal of bricks. I appreciate the fact, and I thank him most sincerely for having kept one part open, namely, that it is not necessary for the Board to carry on these brick works. Heaven only knows, bricks are short enough now, but if it is to be left to a Government Department, we shall not know what a brick is.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan:
I do not wish to delay matters on this Amendment, except to take up one point to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. He quite properly said that in the discussions in Committee at different points in the Bill we discussed the scope of the Bill, and the 1610 scope of the activities which would be within the power of the Board to undertake. We discussed that on a number of Clauses, and I trust we may have other discussions. The right hon. Gentleman did not leave any doubt as to his position, and I must just repeat ours. He consistently maintained that the Board should have the right to carry on such activities as collieries could have under taken had they been so minded. We consistently pointed out that that was a matter entirely as to how the articles of association of the companies might be drawn. They might have been so drawn as to enable them to carry on a great range of activities far beyond the scope of a colliery, or even normal ancillary businesses. They might even have been drawn to allow them to publish newspapers. We have consistently said that there is a great difference between setting up a single State monopoly for the purpose of obtaining coal, with its ancillary undertakings allied to it, and of an ancillary undertaking which may be able to do so by merely so drawing the articles of association. He has correctly stated his position, and I think it is important at this stage that we should restate ours. We see a very great difference between the two principles concerned.
Amendment agreed to.
Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended (in the Standing Committee and on re-committal) considered.
NEW CLAUSE.—(Restrictions on disposal of stock isued for compensation of companies.)
§ Stock issued for compensation to a company legally entitled to the compensation by virtue of paragraph (a) of Subsection. (1) of Section nineteen of this Act, and any stock issued to the company in exchange there for under Subsection (4) of this Section, shall be subject to restrictions as to the disposal thereof to the extent specified in this Section.
§ Such stock may be disposed of—
- at any time, by way of transfer to holders of debentures issued by the company in satisfaction of rights of theirs as such holders, or to members of the company in satisfaction of rights of theirs to a return of capital or to participation in surplus assets;
- when the company is being wound up, by way of sale, or in any other manner, for any purpose other than satisfying rights of holders of debentures issued by the company, or of members of the company, as such holders or members;
- when the company is not being wound up, by way of sale of so much of such stock as it may be requisite to sell for the purpose of satisfying rights of, or obligations of the company to, persons other than holders of debentures issued by the company as such or members of the company as such;
- when the company is not being wound up, by way of sale of so much of such stock as it may be shown to the satisfaction of the Treasury to be requisite to sell for the purpose of raising an amount of liquid capital which in the opinion of the company is needed for its business or in order to facilitate a development or extension of business to be carried on by it, and which apart from this Section it would be entitled to raise;
§ and, when any such stock has been so disposed of, it shall be free from any restriction under this Section.
§ Except as provided by the last preceding Subsection such stock shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of.
§ The Treasury may by regulations make provision—
- for the issue of stock which on the issue thereof will be subject to restrictions under this Section in the form of stock that is by the terms of issue thereof inalienable, so however that the regulations shall also provide for rendering any stock issued for compensation which is for the time being held in that form, and which is to be disposed of in accordance with Subsection (2) of this Section, exchangeable for a like amount of government stock having in all other respects the like incidents as the inalienable stock, but transferable in the ordinary manner appropriate to government stock of the class in question, and the regulations shall also provide for rendering all such stock so exchangeable at a date to be fixed by the Treasury as being the date when the purposes of this Section have been substantially satisfied;
- for arranging, where it is proposed to satisfy rights of holders of debentures issued by a company, or of members of a company, and to use for that purpose stock to be issued for compensation or stock to be issued in exchange under the preceding paragraph, for the issue thereof direct to them;
- for rendering it obligatory on such holders or members to accept stock issued for compensation or stock issued in exchange under paragraph (a) of this Subsection in satisfaction of rights which they would otherwise have as such holders or members to payments in cash, on the basis of the market value of the stock at the date of transfer or issue to them, subject to any provision for proceeding on the basis of its market value at an earlier date which may be requisite in connection with the making of arrangements for distribution amongst a number of persons or classes of persons.
§ The Treasury may by regulations make provision for the application of this Section, subject to such adaptations as may be prescribed, to stock issued for compensation to 1612 which a company is not legally entitled as mentioned in Subsection (1) of this Section, but in which the company is entitled to beneficial rights.—[Mr. Glenvil Hall.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall:
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
This Clause deals with the restrictions on disposal of stock issued for compensation of companies. It is designed to replace Clause 22 of the Bill as it came before the Standing Committee and was discussed there. Later on, on the Report stage, the present Clause 22 will be deleted and this Clause, if it is accepted by the House, will take its place. In moving it, I am implementing the undertaking which was given when we were dealing with this matter upstairs, that Clause 22 would be reviewed and any defects in the application of the Clause would be put right. It would, of course, have been possible to have attempted to amend the Clause in the usual way. When we came to look at it it was felt that it was tidier and fairer to the House to alter the wording where it should be altered and present a new draft to the House. However, I should add there is definitely no change of policy. All we have done is to implement the undertaking we gave to look into points which we hoped were covered but about which there was some ambiguity. We now think this new wording will assist in making the intention quite clear.
The Clause deals, as the House will remember, with the method by which compensation shall be paid. The basis laid down is that compensation generally shall be paid to begin with in what is known as non-transferable stock, and that basis is to remain, as the wording of the new Clause quite definitely shows. The changes that are here quite definitely lie, first of all, in presentation, and secondly in certain points of drafting and definition, where omissions and ambiguities in our view have to be cleared up. So far as presentation is concerned, the Clause has quite definitely been redrafted and revised to bring out the point which I think I gave an undertaking about in Standing Committee in order to satisfy right hon. Gentlemen opposite that, except as a temporary device pending distribution of the compensation that is to be paid, the holding of inalienable stock is to be the exception and not the rule. 1613 A good many doubts were expressed upstairs, some hon. Members opposite holding the view that what the Government intended was that this inalienable or untransferable stock would remain in the hands of colliery concerns and other undertakings for an indefinite period of time. That, quite obviously, is not our intention or our desire. We want to see the money that is paid over find its way into the hands of those to whom it really belongs at the earliest possible moment, so that when certain conditions are complied with the untransferable stock will cease to be untransferable and will become transferable. It will be changed into Government stock which can in due time, if so desired, find its way on to the market and pass from owner to owner.
Paragraphs (a) to (d), of Subsection 2, deal with this matter. Under (a) and (b) holders of debentures or shareholders to whom stock is transferred in repayment or return of capital or in the winding up of a company will get it in transferable stock. Under (c) and (d), where a company desires to plough back the money or a portion of it into the business provision is made for that to be done and for the stock to be turned into a marketable security. The only remaining class of holder who will continue to hold the untransferable stock, as I think the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Macmillan) among others emphasised more than once in Committee upstairs, will be a company, concern or undertaking which does not desire to pay out to its debenture holders or shareholders the amount which it receives by way of compensation under this Bill. If it continues to hold it as an investment, then its holding will quite definitely continue to be untransferable and inalienable. That should assist such a company to cease to hold the money coming to it in this way indefinitely, and it will help to get the money where we want it to be, in the hands of the shareholders or debenture holders to whom it quite definitely belongs. However, where once that has been done, and only a relatively small amount of the untransferable stock remains in the hands of an undertaking, where we are assured that the shareholders or debenture holders, or both have been satisfied, then the company will be able to transfer the residue into transferable stock. That was the point upon which, I think, I did give an 1614 undertaking when this matter was under discussion upstairs.
There are one or two other points upon which I should briefly touch in the light of the fact that on Report Stage one can speak only once and must then forever hold his peace on that particular question. There is in this new Clause what we think is a clarification of a definition of a company that comes under the terms of this Bill. The provisions of the Clause apply to all companies now legally entitled to compensation, or to those who are entitled to beneficial rights in the compensation which is paid; and not only to the colliery companies. The Clause applies to any company which has an interest of any kind in the undertaking that is taken over. The provision in paragraph (2) I may, perhaps, mention here, because I see that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley and his friends have an Amendment down. I must not deal with it now, because it comes later, but I think that when we reach that stage the right hon. Gentleman will find that in this new Clause we have completely met his point, or if not completely, then substantially.
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall:
It is the one dealing with compensation or payment to an officer. I forget the page, but I saw that there was an Amendment on that point in the right hon. Gentleman's name. He will find, I think, that we have endeavoured to cover the point which was raised in Committee not only by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side but by my hon. Friends behind me. We certainly think it was a good point. We thought it was covered, and we did promise, I think, that we would look into it, and that, if there was any ambiguity in the phrasing, we would clear it up. Here, I think, we have cleared it up, and I hope the House will agree. It does mean that compensation in cash can be paid, that is, stock can be transferred into transferable stock from the untransferable, in order to satisfy the claims, not only of ordinary creditors, but also to pay compensation to an officer or servant of the company who may be losing his employment or going out of the business for any other reason. 1615 I think I have covered the main points of this Clause. If any hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite think there are any which have not been covered sufficiently, no doubt they will call our attention to them, and I am sure my right hon. Friend the Minister will be only too pleased to reply.
§ Mr. David Eccles (Chippenham):
I am rather astonished we should have this Clause at all, because the Financial Secretary will remember that the reasons which we thought the Government had in mind for creating this inalienable stock have one by one disappeared. First, we thought the idea was that it was a good thing to block the money which might reach the hands of consumers, because it might be used to put up prices. We were told, however, that that was not the case at all. That argument was disposed of by the Financial Secretary, when he said that he wanted the money to reach the real owners as soon as possible. The next reason why the stock was to be made inalienable, was because the Treasury wished to keep some control in case ex-colliery companies went into new businesses. We were assured on the Committee stage that that was not the case. We were assured that the Treasury would certify that the money was wanted for a new business, without inquiring into the character of that new business, and so that went by the board. We are now left with the only other reason for creating this inalienable stock, which is an uncomfortable and distressing thing and not at all in accord with proper traditions. The only reason for blocking the money is that ex-colliery companies may use the money to finance other companies—presumably to invest in someone else's show. What proportion of the total amount of £150 million will rank as investment reserve to be held in the companies coffers, pending an opportunity to go into new business? I suggest that it will be very small indeed, and will not he enough to affect the gilt-edged market. It is absurd to suggest that it will affect the market, in view of the enormous amounts which are constantly changing hands. The £25 million or so will be of no real consequence at all.
Many companies will wish to take a hand in the development of some other industries in which they may not be the managers. Take the question of iron and 1616 steel. It is quite obvious, without discussing the question of a change in ownership, that a great deal of money will be needed to rehabilitate and bring the industry more up to date. It is obvious that iron and steel firms are expecting to find a good deal of that money from the compensation given to them when they lose their coalmines. There are also colliery concerns which may still wish to reinvest some of their money in the iron and steel industry, which is somewhat connected with the business they have been doing, without going straight away into the management. They will be precluded, because they will not be running the business themselves. There will be others who will wish to invest in someone else's business. There seems to be no good reason why this should not be done, in our desire to secure employment and bring industry up to date. I cannot see, after all the Parliamentary arguments about inalienable stock having been knocked down one by one, that we are left with one single proposition why a company should not have gilt-edged in their portfolios, as reserves, and should not be allowed to sell and invest it in something else. Is it really worth while departing from sound principles for that very small object?
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Birch:
The Financial Secretary, when introducing this Clause, said very rightly that in essence it was the same as Clause 22. He indicated that he thought it was rather less badly drafted, but on this contest of inferiority I think it would be invidious for me to judge, and therefore I will not go into any details on that point. The real point, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) has just remarked, is the question of inalienability. That raises a question of principle and a question of equity. The principle under which compensation under this Bill is to be distributed is quite clearly stated. The first principle is that of "Willing buyer, willing seller." That comes under Clause 12 (4). I cannot believe that any seller would willingly sell for blocked stock any more than traders in the Balkans sold their goods to Dr. Schacht willingly for aspirins and mouth organs. You do not sell anything willingly for something you do not like. The second principle is laid down under Clause 20 (3) of this Bill where it says: 1617The amount of Government stock to be issued in satisfaction of any amount which is under this Act to be satisfied by the issue of such stock shall be such as, in the opinion of the Treasury, is of a value equal on the date of issue to the amount to be satisfied, having due regard to market values of other Government securities existing at such date.
The whole point here is: If you have blocked stock, it has no ordinary market value. What its market value is, is very difficult to say. All you can say with certainty is that it is lower than the value of the stock that is marketable. I do not know how the Treasury is to decide what is its value. We have never been told in any way. Therefore, I say that the principle itself is wrong, because it goes against the principle of "willing seller, willing buyer," and also against the principle that the stock should be of a certain market value. We have had many variations and curious reasons given for doing this. Today, the Financial Secretary hardly bothered to give any. We have had that of the gilt-edged market, and the hon. Gentleman said upstairs that the danger was that, if the stock was not inalienable, it might make a stockbrokers' holiday. It is always pleasant when all parts of the House are in agreement, and I think we are all agreed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had two great successes—one is boosting the gilt-edged market, and the other is making a stockbrokers' holiday. I am expecting a statue to be erected to the right hon. Gentleman outside the Stock Exchange, inscribed the "Bulls' Friend."
The question of inflation was, I think, adequately dealt with by the hon. Member for Chippenham. The total amount is a "fleabite," and what the hon. Gentleman is doing is to take the more inflationary course of the two. I have always thought that in the "Financial Folly Stakes," the Financial Secretary ran neck and neck with the learned Solicitor-General. I think that here he has got a length and a half ahead; but I do not want to make him over confident. The learned Solicitor-General is capable of a remarkable turn of speed. I feel that there is no doubt that the Government have a guilty conscience on this matter, first because they were not doing this in other cases—they are not blocking stock in the case of Cable and Wireless. If you do not want people to form investment trusts, Cable and Wireless is really a case 1618 in point. The second reason is that the Financial Secretary has consistently minimised the whole thing. He says that the restriction is not very much, and that it will be the exception rather than the rule. That is the reason given by the poor girl who had an illegitimate baby and who said, "I had one, but after all it is only a very small one." That may be an affecting argument, though not to a stern moralist like the hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeffington-Lodge), but I do not think the best philosophers would accept it as an adequate excuse. "Only a little one" is not good enough. In conclusion, I would ask the House to reject this Clause, because it is not only thoroughly inequitable but it is also ridiculous.
§ Mr. Henry Strauss (Combined English Universities):
I want to raise two points. While associating myself entirely with the speeches we have just heard, I want to ask, first, have the Government really considered the effect on British credit of this sort of thing? I suppose the idea is to help British credit, but, in fact, what is the effect of saying that there is Government stock being given in compensation which the Government are terrified may find its way on to the market? Surely the effect on British credit must be adverse; for, if the Government were satisfied that the stock, when it appeared on the market, would sell at par, these restrictions would have no object whatever. Therefore, evidently, the fear of the Government is that if it were sold on the market there would be more sellers than buyers, which would demonstrate either that the amount of stock allocated is insufficient for compensation or that British credit is not as good as it purports to be. In either case it is injurious to British credit.
The other point is merely a drafting point, which possibly the Government might like to consider. The new Clause is sufficiently complicated without adding unnecessary words. I wonder whether the Government with their learned technical advisers have considered whether certain words are required in Subsection (2). It starts off by saying that stock may be disposed of under (a), (b), (c), and (d), and then appear the words "by way of transfer" or "by way of sale". I suggest that the words "way of" are pure surplusage. I would ask the 1619 Attorney-General to give us an explanation if it were not for the fact that if he made the slightest attempt to get up the Closure would be moved by the Chief Whip. Therefore, I do not think there is any hope whatever of the Attorney-General being allowed to aid the House in this matter, but he might possibly consider whether what I have said is true, and, if he does come to that conclusion, advise the Government to put that point right later on.
§ Mr. Spearman (Scarborough and Whitby):
I regret that the first occasion on which I desire to intervene in this Debate is on a matter of compensation, because compensation is not really of importance under this Bill. The important point is to produce more coal. I can assure the Minister that on this side of the Committee we shall watch not only with deep interest but with very great anxiety how effectively he uses the instrument for the purpose. I am sure he would agree that if there is to be compensation it should be as equitable as possible. Compensation should be such as to give the maximum satisfaction to the recipient where it does not cost the State any more. If giving the shareholder cash for transfer of stock satisfies him more, which it certainly would do, and would not cost the State any more, it does seem to me to be the obvious course. I should like to say why I do not think it would cost the State any more.
I realise that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury does not agree with me. I read with very great interest what he said upstairs and I am sorry to be critical of the hon. Gentleman because, if I may say so, I like and respect him, but the views he expressed on 20th January do seem to me to be most curious for anyone in his position. I cannot help thinking that either he was not quite so well briefed as usual that day, or that for once he departed from his brief. Perhaps he would bear in mind the unhappy fate of a very junior Minister in another place who, when called upon for the first time, unexpectedly, to reply for the Government, read his speech with the greatest care and exactitude, but, unfortunately, added the last sentence: "Not much of an argument, I am afraid, but it should be good enough for their Lordships' House." I do not think the hon. 1620 Gentleman can expect what he said on 20th January to be good enough for the Standing Committee. He said:To issue cash would undoubtedly upset the gilt-edged market.Later he said:It would also be difficult, so we think, to find at short notice the amount of cash necessary to compensate stockholders.Still later, he said:It would in a sense be a stockbrokers' holiday. They would be given the job of finding new investments for those people who wanted to re-invest their money, and they would have a very good time.With regard to shareholders receiving compensation in cash, the bulk of them would probably buy Government stocks, particularly those who had been compensated for holdings in prior charges, because they are not so easy to buy now. If they did that, the stockbroker would get a commission, on £1,000, of £2 10s. or, if it was short-dated stock, 12s. 6d. On that, I think his holiday would be a rather austere one. I have been a stockbroker, and I know a little about this. If, on the other hand, the present process is adopted what may happen will be that the shareholder will say, "I am getting a much lower dividend than I used to get, and I am not getting marketability. I think I will sell these shares." If there were 1,000 shares at £1 each, the commission would not be £2 10s. or 12s. 6d., but £12 10s. Insurance companies would say, "Here is a chance of buying shares which, in fact, are Government stock. We will buy them and get another £12 10s." By the process which the Minister is adopting he may be affording the stockbroker quite a good holiday.
Let us return to the question of short notice. I think the Financial Secretary ought to make a public withdrawal of what he said about this matter. Only last week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was expounding the great credit of Government stocks, and the high credit of this country. For the Financial Secretary to say, when year after year we raised between £2,000 million and £3,000 million, that the present Government cannot raise £200 million at short notice is quite out of keeping, and a statement that should be hurriedly withdrawn. With regard to protection of the gilt-edged market, the Financial Secretary said:We have to preserve—I almost hesitate to use the phrase—the gilt-edged market.— 1621 [OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C; 20th January, 1946; c. 551.]
That is the constantly recurring theme of the Financial Secretary's and Chancellor's speeches as to what they must do to look after the gilt-edged market. In the last war, all these dodges and tricks were used to try and divert all purchases into the gilt-edged market. The result was that at the end of the war the State had to pay just double the rate of interest it paid at the beginning. In this war, quite a different affair has resulted. In this war, the Government have been borrowing between ten and twenty times as much each year as they did before the war, and yet they have succeeded in reducing the rate of interest. Surely, the Financial Secretary is not going to tell us that preventing borrowing of £100 million has enabled them to borrow £2,000 million cheaper than before. It is not that at all. It is because an entirely new weapon has been devised, not by the present Chancellor, but by his predecessor, Sir Kingsley Wood, or during his regime, which is technically called in language which means very little, liquidity preference. In fact, it has been realised that if the investor is to be induced to surrender his liquidity, he has to be tempted at a very high rate. By increasing the volume of money, that has been avoided. For some time it was thought that to increase the volume of money would cause an inflationary effect. I would completely deny that. I will not now weary the House by giving a long exposition of my views, but I want to quote one sentence from that not unreliable paper, "The Economist," last week:The volume of money measures neither the current nor the potential spending power, but simply the extent to which the public prefers to hold its savings in the most liquid form.There really is absolutely no reason to have all these complicated dodges in order to preserve the gilt-edged market. Is this the real reason, or is there some other? I cannot help thinking there is some more substantial reason. If there is, we are entitled to hear it, and to judge what it is. If there is no other reason, and if the Financial Secretary is really correct in saying that it is in order to preserve the gilt-edged market, I am bound to say he is about 15 years out of date, and that seems to me to be a long 1622 way to be out of date, even for a Labour Government. We left the gold standard in 1931. Before then, it was true that the money in this country could be exported. It was necessary to have high rates of interest to protect our gold. All that is now a thing of the past. I suggest to the Financial Secretary that if he has no better reason than that, he should try to cut his losses. As I have said, I have been a stockbroker, and I know that is a very unpleasant thing to do, but I also know, by bitter experience, that it is a wise thing to do if you do it in time. I suggest the Government should reconsider the matter. I would remind the Financial Secretary that the gilt-edged market is not a frail child. The gilt-edged market is a lusty infant, amenable to discipline, and Sir Kingsley Wood provided the Financial Secretary with a weapon with which he could treat that child. I ask him not to allow the whims of that infant to disturb fair treatment in a case like this.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
It is my intention to bring the proceedings to an end, if the House so agrees, at a very early stage. We have made considerable progress today, and I am grateful to hon. Members opposite for the assistance they have given me and my hon. Friends. Although I recognise that in the two days of the Report stage there yet remains a substantial amount of work to do, I have reason to believe we will manage to get through. The hon. Member for Scarborough (Mr. Spearman) seemed to me to attribute sinister motives to the Government. I was surprised to hear him speak in such a strain. He is otherwise so amiable. What has come over him I cannot say. It certainly cannot be due to his elation as a stockbroker because he hopes to avail himself of the opportunities the Government afford in this Measure to accumulate still greater wealth than he now possesses.
But if, as a result of our activities, he should derive benefit, I am sure we should extend our hearty congratulations to him. He did indicate at the beginning of his speech that there was something much more important than compensation, which was to produce more coal. I understand that that is the primary purpose of hon. Members opposite, so that compensation is a secondary consideration—at least, that is what I understood, although now I am not quite so sure. The fact is that we are 1623 concerned about compensation. Hon. Members opposite may hope for the worst—that is quite natural—but we shall get the coal all right—[HON. MEMBERS: "When?"]—because we shall have the organisation with which it will be possible to procure the coal. That is very necessary for this disease-ridden industry, but it is a matter for another Debate.
At any rate the Government have provided a means of securing compensation for the dispossessed owners, and in all the circumstances the method of providing compensation is, in our judgment, eminently satisfactory. I would, however, direct the attention of hon. Members to a matter which appears to have been ignored in certain quarters. I put it in the form of a question: Who are the real owners of the colliery undertakings? Not necessarily the directors, nor for that matter the company itself, but the shareholders in the colliery undertaking.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
Hon. Members opposite sneeringly suggest that this is a wonderful discovery, but they apparently have not made that discovery, because they constantly demand that compensation in cash should be paid to the colliery under takings when in fact we are providing, by this process, compensation in cash to the actual owners of the property—the shareholders. Who can take exception to this? When stock is distributed by the undertakings as the result of a process of liquidation various categories of shareholders can convert that stock into cash whenever they feel so disposed. I always understood that it was the concern of hon. Members opposite to protect the small man, but we on this side are the custodians of the small man. The hon. and gallant Member for East Grinstead (Colonel Clarke) this afternoon, referred apologetically to the widow and orphan. There are widows and no doubt there may be orphans among colliery shareholders. We seek to protect them, and what we are saying in effect is that when the colliery undertaking goes into voluntary liquidation and distributes its stock among its shareholders, those shareholders can, if they desire, avail themselves of convertibility. Therefore there can be no case against the Government on that score.
§ Mr. Eccles:
There is no point in being a shareholder if you want cash. When the right hon. Gentleman said "goes into voluntary liquidation" he touched the spot, which is the question of whether the shareholders can, if they so desire, go on in business. They might not be allowed to, but why should they not be allowed to? Why should not we be allowed to cater for the shareholder who wishes to continue in the business, just as much as for the one who wants to get his money?
§ Mr. Shinwell:
We will come to that point. I understand that the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) is concerned about the shareholders. Very well. It is clear that the shareholder can convert from stock into cash. That is settled. The shareholder may not wish to convert into cash. He will be the recipient of Government stock at a rate of interest to be determined—[Interruption]—a fair rate of interest, which will be related to the particular situation. The shareholder decides not to convert into cash. The shareholder may hold the Government stock and earn interest. What is wrong with that? The shareholder is entitled to do what he likes with his own stock. There will he no dictation on the part of the Government, or from anyone. That is quite clear.
On the other hand, the colliery undertaking may, with the consent of its shareholders, decide to engage in another form of business. I understand that it is the desire of hon. Members opposite that there should be freedom on the part of the colliery undertakings from which the assets have been taken, to engage in some other business. The hon. Member for Chippenham referred to the iron and steel trade. A colliery undertaking no longer in possession of colliery assets, may want to engage in the iron and steel trade if, in the opinion of the Treasury, that is a reasonable thing to do. After all, the Treasury is concerned with the national economy, and has to consider, in conjunction with other Government Departments, the question of priority. They have to consider whether it is desirable to embark upon this or that business or whether it is desirable to exercise some kind of organisation, and, therefore, of priority. [Interruption.] If the colliery undertaking with the consent of the shareholders does decide to engage in some other form of industrial activity, it can do so. There is nothing to prevent it. 1625 The Clause enables it so to do. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. Speaker:
I deprecate these constant interruptions. This is not the Committee stage of the Bill. Speaking is far more formal here than in Committee, and hon. Members should have made their points in advance without the need for constant interruption.
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell:
I am trying to draw attention to the point that the shareholder is protected. That is very desirable. The shareholder may hold the Government stock. Is there anything wrong with that? Nothing at all. The colliery or ancillary undertaking may, if it desires, engage in some other industrial activity, with the consent of the Treasury and can transfer the stock. Hon. Members opposite have spoken about the non-transferable stock. There is no such thing. Stock, in certain circumstances, is all transferable. In those circumstances I am bound to say that I cannot appreciate the arguments of hon. Members opposite that there is no substance in the Clause. I know that hon. Members have not opposed the Clause. So far as I can understand, it is accepted in principle. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I did not detect in the arguments adduced by hon. Members on the other side any hostility to the principle embodied in the Clause. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I am not aware of it. Questions have been asked about the Clause. There has been some criticism on certain points, but they seem to be in the main minor points. As regards the principle embodied in the Clause there does not appear to be any real hostility, and in the circumstances I hope the House will now come to a decision.
So far as I am concerned there is no doubt about whether I am or am not in agreement with the principle of this Clause. I gave the Minister my opinion in Committee and I do so again. In my view the restrictions imposed by the Minister are such as to interfere with the rights of the British subject. The subject has his property taken away from him and is given something that he does not want, and given it under certain restrictions. I assure the Minister that if I am valuing a share in any company or any stock, the first thing I ask is, whether there is any restriction 1626 on its negotiability. Here there is a restriction and I would at once write down that share. From that point of view the share has less value. The Minister says these are small restrictions, but if I want to engage in any other business I have to come to the Treasury and ask whether they will let me do so. There is no doubt about it. The man does not want this stock; it is being forced upon him, and for that reason I feel bound to oppose the Clause.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan:
As the Minister has said, we have made rapid progress today, and we are of course now dealing with some of the more important matters connected with the Bill. Therefore I hope that when we have reached the end of this Clause we may feel that we have done a good day's work. As the House seems to be in that happy frame of mind, I shall not delay hon. Members very long.
The right hon. Gentleman taunted or twitted my friends with not having made it clear whether we are opposed to this Clause or not. We voted against it in Committee and we propose to divide against it tonight. That should remove from the right hon. Gentleman's mind that anxiety which appears to haunt him as to our intentions. It has been stated that the reason why this Clause is presented in this form is because an amendment to Clause 22 would not do. It was reiterated in Debate, that Clause 22 was incapable of being amended, and that therefore the best thing to do was to withdraw it altogether and have a new Clause. I must say that I think the Clause was one of the worst drawn Clauses ever framed. It was almost unintelligible, and it did not carry out the purpose for which the Minister said it was designed. This proposal has the advantage that it is much clearer in its intentions and meaning. I would also thank the Financial Secretary for the reference to the proposed new Clause on the Paper dealing with the compensation of officers, but of course I must also mention in passing that while that makes the compensation of officers one of the purposes for which the stock can be sold, it was in fact designed to ensure that officers and servants of the company after the passing of the Bill would receive the same as they would have received had the Bill not been passed. 1627 On the broad principle the Financial Secretary told us this was a necessary device, pending the distribution of compensation, and that the holding of inalienable stock would in his view, be the exception, and not the rule. We have, therefore, travelled a long way since the Second Reading, and even since the Committee stage. In the strange history of this Clause, one of the most remarkable in our Debates upon this Bill, we have covered the whole field of reasons given by the Government for maintaining the principle of inalienable stock. The reasons have been different at different stages. At one time we were told we had to defend the capital market. To repeat the hon. Gentleman's phrase, we had to preserve the gilt-edged market. At another time we are told that the total amount to be left in fixed, not liquid, form will be negligible. Therefore, what is to be the effect on the gilt-edged market? At one time we are told one reason, at another time another, for the various changes through which this Clause has passed.
The Minister seems to think we have suggested some sinister reason that might well lie behind this proposal. I should be the last to suggest any sinister reason to the Government. But in the story of this Clause I see a most peculiar change of front, the reason for which quite baffles me. We are now reduced to a fantastic position. As the Clause now reads, if the company is wound up, of course, stock can be disposed of for distribution, as it can be to pay its servants. To meet prior payments and creditors proceeds of stock can be distributed. If it can be shown to the satisfaction of the Treasury that it is requisite to sell the stock for the purpose of raising an amount of liquid capital which is needed to facilitate an expansion of the business, then it can be sold. The right hon. Gentleman used arguments in favour of the Treasury being satisfied, as if it were a kind of method of direction of investment. He said it was a good thing to direct investments so as to gain control of the order of priorities in which investment could be made. That is not provided for in the Clause, because the only thing the Treasury has to be satisfied about is not the desirability of a company making its investments, but whether, in fact, it is necessary to sell this particular stock in order to raise 1628 enough capital to enter upon the particular extension of their business which they want to undertake. In Committee, when I raised this very question, the hon. Gentleman said:It is need not desirability that the Treasury will look at.—exactly the opposite of what the Minister said today. Further he said:We do not want to usurp the functions of the Capital Issues Committee.—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 26th March, 1946; c. 619.]
I am, therefore, baffled to find the reasons which lie behind this strange and tortuous story. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that there might be a malignant and sinister reason. I would not go as far as that. I think it may be just one of stubborn obstinacy. It may be that the real purpose is to force these particular concerns into not voluntary but compulsory liquidation, because the Government do not wish large and powerful enterprises, which have many other undertakings besides colliery undertakings, to remain in being. They do not wish these "rocks of hope" to remain after the wreckage and misery the Control Board will bring. [Interruption.] It certainly is a very strange thing that in this new form of Socialism—adapted, I suppose, to whichever person one happens to be speaking to—the shareholder can draw his interest. The right hon. Gentleman asks "What is wrong with that?" I do not see anything wrong with it. But we used to hear a lot about profit and interest and as one who has been a student of Socialistic and Marxist writings, I should think from the Minister's point of view almost everything was wrong with it. Socialist Ministers are now apparently the pillars of the rentier world. They do everything to destroy enterprise, to support those who draw interest without enterprise, and to turn everybody into a rentier.
I think that may be one reason lurking behind those purposes. There is a desire to seize some of these great well conducted and well administered enterprises, which would be forced into liquidation if they were to give the shareholders the capital compensation which they require. But there is also more likely to be just an ordinary sheer kind of obstinacy that descends upon Governments and Departments once they are committed. We must be very frank; we have all seen 1629 something of that in our time. When once a statement has been made with great dignity, especially on Second Reading, then it is so very hard to withdraw it without much loss of face, that one tends to hold on to a tiny bit of principle although one has given away three-quarters or five-sixths of it. I think the Treasury supported the idea that a large amount of stock should be held, and not put upon the market, because they must look with a certain amount of anxiety at the enormous quantities of stock that may be issued as industry after industry, enterprise after enterprise, and one form of property after another, are taken over and compensation granted by the issue of stock. Therefore, I can understand they are trying to settle the principle that this stock should be held and not placed too rapidly on the market. In the course of Debate and of inquiries into these matters, it has been found necessary to make all kinds of allowances which tend to whittle away this principle.
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall:
I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman. I began by saying we had made no change whatever in the basis; it is exactly the same as it was at the Second Reading. All we have done is to make what we intended less ambiguous perhaps than some people thought it was, when the original Clause was produced.
§ 10.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Macmillan:
I am quite aware that the hon. Gentleman began by saying that. No doubt it is what he was instructed to say. But it is not what he went on to say. As I have already pointed out, all the arguments on this matter to which he and the Minister in charge of the Bill have so far directed attention have been mutually contradictory. Therefore, I am driven to the conclusion that it is just sheer obstinacy to hold on to this principle which was at first laid down. If it is not, what is the purpose? It cannot be honest to take away a man's property and give him neither cash, nor stock which he can sell, in the market. The only thing which could justify so clear a departure from the ordinary rule which we have laid down for compensation for compulsorily acquired property—after all, we have been doing that for many years—would be a condition either of war or of a period 1630 immediately following war, where injury done to the State would be so great should the ordinary rules be followed, that one would be justified in making at least a temporary departure from them. But when we come to examine that argument we are told that only a very small part of the stock is, in fact, to be permanently held, and that this is a temporary device pending the distribution of compensation. Therefore, the argument that it assists the State in its time of need to depart from the normal honest rule of compensation does not apply.
We are left with this sole object, that the Government do not seek to prevent the stock being distributed to individuals on liquidation, but they may, of course, seek to put a great premium on liquidation in order to force these companies to get their shareholders to object to liquidation. They do not seek to prevent them going into business with their own money. The only thing we are left with is that they cannot sell or borrow on the stock, nor purchase shares nor enter into other business through subsidiary companies, but through the company itself. That is all it amounts to. They should not become in any form an investment company or a central holding company. What is the object of that? Is there anything wrong in it? Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us the reason? What economist, financier or Treasury official will tell us that it is absolutely vital to prevent a company forming a subsidiary company and putting the money into the business through the subsidiary? It is a terrible blow to the whole tradition and power of British credit to be told that one must not operate through a subsidiary company, but that it is perfectly all right to operate directly. On the Government's own admission, we have gradually whittled away this great principle of inalienability. This provision is not going to be operative except over a very small part of the field, on the Government's own admission, and all we shall have achieved will be the maximum amount of trouble to individuals and the maximum injury to the financial reputation of the nation.
Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 280; Noes, 105.1634
|Division No. 156.||AYES||10.50 p.m|
|Adams, H R. (Balham)||George, Lady M Lloyd (Anglesey)||Moody, A. S.|
|Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)||Gibbins, J||Morgan, Dr. H. B|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Gibson, C. W||Morley, R.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Gilzean A.||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Mort, D. L|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Gooch, E. G.||Moyle, A|
|Attewell, H. C.||Goodrich, H. E||Nally, W.|
|Awbery, S S.||Gordon-Walker, P. C||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)|
|Ayles, W. H.||Granville, E. (Eye)||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)|
|Baird, Capt. J.||Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood)||Noel-Buxton, Lady|
|Balfour, A.||Grenfell, D. R.||Oldfield, W. H|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J||Grey, C. F.||Orbach, M.|
|Barstow, P. G.||Grierson, E.||Paget, R. T.|
|Barton, C.||Griffiths D. (Rother Valley)||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J (Llanelly)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Berry, H.||Griffiths, Capt. W. D (Moss Side)||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Beswick, F.||Gunter, Capt. R. J||Pargiter, G. A|
|Bing, Capt. G. H. C.||Guy, W. H.||Parker, J|
|Binns, J.||Hale, Leslie||Paton, Mrs. F (Rushcliffe)|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley)||Paton, J (Norwich)|
|Blenkinsop, Capt. A.||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.||Pearl, Capt. T. F|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)||Perrins, W.|
|Boardman, H.||Hardy, E. A.||Platts-Mills, J F. F.|
|Bottomley, A. G.||Harrison, J.||Poole, Maj. Cecil (Lichfield)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr H. W.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Popplewell, E.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Haworth, J.||Porter, G. (Leeds)|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Price, M. Philips|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Herbison, Miss M.||Pryde, D. J.|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Hewitson, Capt. M||Pursey, cmdr. H|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Hicks, G.||Ranger, J.|
|Burden, T W.||Hobson, C. R.||Rankin, J.|
|Burke, W A.||Holman, P.||Reeves, J.|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Reid, T (Swindon)|
|Byers, Lt.-Col. F.||Horabin, T. L.||Rhodes, H.|
|Callaghan, James||Hoy, J.||Richards, R.|
|Chamberlain, R. A.||Hudson, J. H (Ealing, W.)||Ridealgh Mrs M|
|Champion, A. J.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Robens, A|
|Chetwynd, Capt. G. R.||Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'Iverh'pton, W.)||Roberts, Sqn.-Ldr. Emrys (Merioneth)|
|Clitherow, Dr. R.||Hutchinson, H L. (Rusholme)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|Cluse, W S.||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)|
|Cobb, F. A.||Irving, W. J.||Sargood, R.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Scott-Elliot, W.|
|Coldrick, W.||Janner, B.||Segal, Dr. S.|
|Collick, P.||Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E A A|
|Collindridge, F.||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.|
|Collins, V. J.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Shawcross, Sir. H. (St. Helens)|
|Colman, Miss G. M||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Shinwell, Rt Hon. E|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Jones, J. H. (Bolton)||Shurmer, P.|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.||Keenan, W||Silverman, J. (Erdington)|
|Corbel, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)||Kenyon, C.||Skinnard, F. W.|
|Corlett, Dr. J.||Key, C. W.||Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kinley, J.||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Crawley, Flt.-Lieut. A||Kirby, B. V.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Lang, G.|
|Daggar, G.||Lee, F. (Hulme)||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Daines, P.||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Snow, Capt. J. W.|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Leslie, J. R.||Solley, L. J.|
|Davies, Clement (Montgomery)||Lever, Fl. Off. N. H||Sorensen, R. W|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Levy, B. W.||Sparks, J. A|
|Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Stamford, W|
|Deer, G.||Lindgren, G. S.||Steele. T.|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Lipson, D. L.||Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Delargy, Captain H J.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M||Strachey, J|
|Diamond, J.||Lynn, A. W.||Stross, Dr. B|
|Dobbie, W.||McAdam, W.||Stubbs, A. E.|
|Dodds, N. N.||McAllister, G.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Donovan, T.||McEntee, V. La T.||Swingler, S.|
|Douglas, F. C. R.||McGhee, H. G.||Symonds, Maj. A. L.|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||Mack, J. D.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Taylor, R. J (Morpeth)|
|Dye, S.||McLeavy, F.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Mann, Mrs. J.||Thomson, Rt Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)|
|Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)|
|Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Thurtle, E|
|Ewart, R.||Marquand, H A.||Tiffany, S.|
|Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Marshall, F. (Brightside)||Titterington, M. F.|
|Follick, M.||Messer, F.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Foot, M M.||Middleton, Mrs. L.||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford)||Mikardo, Ian||Vernon, Maj. W. F|
|Gaitskell, H. T. N.||Mitchison, Maj G. R||Viant, S. P.|
|Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||Monslow, W.||Wadsworth, G|
|Walkden, E||Wilkes, Maj L.||Wise, Major F. J.|
|Walker, G. H.||Wilkins, W. A.||Woodburn, A.|
|Warbey, W. N||Willey, F. I. (Sunderland)||Woods, G. S|
|Weitzman, D.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)||Yates, V. F.|
|Wells, P. L. (Faversham)||Williams, D. J. (Heath)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Wells, W T. (Walsall)||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)||Willis, E.|
|White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Wills, Mrs. E. A||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.||Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.||Mr. Pearson and Mr. Simmons.|
|Wigg, Col. G. E||Wilson, J. H.|
|Assheton, [...]t. Hon. R||Hare, Lt.-Col. Hn. J. H. (W'db'ge)||Morrison, Rt Hn. W. S. (Cirencester)|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Neven-Spence, Sir B.|
|Baldwin, A. E||Haughton, S. G.||Noble, Comdr. A H. P.|
|Baxter, A. B||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C.||Pickthorn, K.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Bower, N.||Hope, Lord J.||Prescott, Stanley|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col, W||Hurd, A||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G T.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Challen, C.||Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Channon, H.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Renton, D.|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Jennings, R.||Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Keeling, E. H.||Ross, Sir R.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Kerr, Sir J. Graham||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Lambert, Hon. G.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Linstead, H. N.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Teeling, William|
|Digby, Maj. S. W.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||McCallum, Maj. D.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.|
|Drewe, C.||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Turton, R. H.|
|Duthie, W. S.||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Vane, W. M. T.|
|Eccles, D. M.||Maitland, Comdr J. W||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Erroll, F. J.||Manningharn-Buller, R. E||Wakefield, Sir W. W.|
|Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Marples, A. E.||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone)||Marsden, Capt. A.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Gage, Lt.-Col. C.||Medlicott, F.||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Mellor, Sir J.|
|Grimston, F. V||Molson, A. H. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Commander Agnew and Mr. Studholme.|
§ Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.
§ Further consideration of the Bill adjourned.—[Mr. Whiteley.]
§ Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee and on re-committal), to be further considered Tomorrow.