Amendment proposed: In page 132, line 4, after the first "case," insert
not being the case of a scheme under Section sixty-one of this Act.'
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Renton
As I was saying before we were called to another place, the effect of the Eighth Schedule, so far as compensation is concerned, would seem to be that the Minister has unfettered discretion to do what he likes. He can choose that form of transfer which seems most advantageous to the Government, or he can decide that there is no analogy with the forms of transfer mentioned in Parts II and III of the Bill, and can award what compensation he pleases. I do not suggest that any Minister would dream of doing so, but it is legally possible for a Minister to say, "Oh well, I do not think I need give anything more than a token payment in this case." That a Minister should have such wide powers is, I suggest, utterly wrong. The Bill should not be allowed to leave this Committee with such wide and indeterminate powers in the hands of the Minister.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies (Enfield)
Surely, these schemes under which compensation would be payable have to be laid before Parliament, and are subject to a special Parliamentary procedure? The Minister could not act in the arbitrary way suggested by the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Renton
That is so; the schemes are subject to special Parliamentary procedure, but the people concerned will not have an opportunity 'of making representations until the matter has gone a long way. Surely, instead of leaving it merely to a large Parliamentary majority, who, in many cases, will not be able to go into the details of every scheme, it would be far better for this Committee to lay down a principle and to prescribe a method in the Bill. Of course, if it were a very big scheme, which affected a local authority of which a Member of Parliament was a member, then it might get consideration, but it has to be remembered that these schemes will be vast and complicated affairs. They will include a large number of operators, and there will be many separate cases for consideration under them. It is, I suggest, placing a tremendous burden on the House to have to go into the details of every single case of compensation, to see whether or not the Minister has followed a just principle. As I have said, it would be far better for this Committee to lay down a principle in the Bill instead of leaving it to chance whether or not the various proposals with regard to compensation contained in each scheme are just or not.
The purpose underlying this and other Amendments is a constructive one, and we are putting constructive proposals before the Committee. Those proposals are contained in the Amendments, with which I will deal briefly. The first two Amendments are merely drafting Amendments, and are very short. I need not trouble the Committee with them. The third Amendment, in page 132, line 12, ensures that when a scheme comes into operation, there shall be no delay in taking over the undertakings to be acquired under it. We say that people should not be kept in a state of uncertainty for an indefinite period of time, and that the Sword of Damocles should not hang over their heads for, at the least, three years and, at the most, as long as 10 years. The period would depend on how quickly the work of implementing this Bill proceeds. There is going to be a vast amount of work, and we say that is much fairer to the people concerned to have a definite period laid down within which the transfer must take place after the scheme has come into effect. Moreover, there is a danger that unless a period of this kind is fixed, the value of the business as measured by its 1773 average annual profit—with which I will deal in a minute—will depreciate. One never knows, but it might even be intentionally depreciated by putting the people who are to be taken over at a disadvantage pending the transfer.
I now turn to our proposed new Part II of the Eighth Schedule, which contains specific proposals as to the method of compensation. Broadly speaking, it is the same method of compensation as that contained in Part II of the Bill for compensating road hauliers when their businesses are taken over. But we have inserted several modifications which arise from the fact that a road hauliers business naturally differs from the business of operating a bus company or village coaches, and so on. Paragraph (r) of our new Part II of the Eighth Schedule provides for compensation for vehicles. The basis is the same as in the case of road hauliers under Clause 46, except that, instead of a depreciation of 20 per cent., we propose that the depreciation should be 15 per cent. per annum. The reason for that is that buses and coaches have, as is well known, a better expectation of life than have road haulage vehicles. That fact is recognised by the Income Tax authorities, because the allowance for depreciation in the case of goods vehicles is as much as 31 per cent., and in the case of passenger vehicles only 25 per cent. We are making no new departure in making that distinction.
Moreover, buses and regular coaches— and we shall be concerned much more with regular services than with the occasional contract services—run to regular time-tables, and provision has to be made for their regular maintenance. As is also well known, unless that regular maintenance is kept going the vehicle examiners will very soon, and very rightly, be on the heels of the operator concerned. I think it is fair to say that better craftsmanship, more work and more money are put into passenger vehicles than into goods vehicles. There are many passenger vehicles which, as a result of the better work put into them and the more careful handling, have been on the roads for 12 years and even longer, and which, when they have had money spent on reconditioning their engines and repair of their bodywork, are in a perfectly serviceable condition. So we say that the compensation should be the same as for 1774 road haulage vehicles, except that there should be a depreciation of 15 per cent. instead of 20 per cent.
The compensation for property other than vehicles is exactly the same as in a road haulage business, and, therefore, I do not propose to deal with that at all. It is dealt with in paragraph 2 of our proposed new Part II of the Eighth Schedule. Paragraph 3 is technical, but it is probably necessary to ensure that the compensation for physical assets, whether vehicles or otherwise, does not attract Income Tax under the scheme for balancing charges under Section 17 of the Income Tax Act, 1945. If the Parliamentary Secretary can show that it is unnecessary to provide specially for that contingency, or would give an assurance that these matters will not be treated under the scheme for balancing charges and so attract Income Tax, we shall be quite prepared to drop that point from these proposals.
Paragraphs 4 and 5 of the proposed new Part II of the Schedule deal with compensation for total or partial cessation of business on transfer, and do so on the same principle as for a road haulage business—that is, the principle as laid down in Clause 46—except that we suggest that the average net annual profit should be multiplied not by from two to five times but by eight times. The Committee will remember the discussion which took place yesterday. I do not wish to cover the same ground again, but I would remind the Committee of the powerful argument put forward by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Derby (Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe) with regard to the number of years' purchase payable for various types of vehicles. I would remind the Committee also that his argument applies with even greater strength when a passenger transport business is taken over than when a goods transport business is taken over, for the very obvious reason which I can almost quote out of the mouths of hon. Members opposite, that a goods haulage business is a fluctuating one, and that very often in a passenger transport business, as hon. Members opposite have so often reminded us, there is either a monopoly or a virtual monopoly. There is a certainty about a passenger transport business, and that certainty should naturally be taken into account in deciding upon what basis the 1775 average net annual profit should be multiplied. A passenger transport business is, undoubtedly, a very stable and certain business; it is a safe investment which many people, and sometimes small people, have regarded as such, and we say that the system of compensation should make allowance for that fact.
Paragraph 5 of the proposed new Part II incorporates the provisions of the Ninth Schedule regarding the ascertainment, from the point of view of the number of years that are to be taken into account as a comparison with previous years' figures. It will be remembered that in the case of road hauliers, the Bill says that three previous years shall be taken into account. We say that instead of taking an average of the three previous years, it would be much more fair and certain to take the previous 10 years. I am not very insistent upon this figure of 10 years, but it does allow for the possibility that by the time the business is taken over, 10 years from the introduction of this Bill may possibly have elapsed. It is possible, and we have to bear that in mind. I do not think there will be very much quarrel in principle over this point. It is not likely to lead to any considerable increase in the amount of compensation payable, but it will lead to a greater certainty that a fair basis is being chosen. Under paragraph 6 we suggest the same compensation for severance as is provided in Clause 46 for road hauliers, and there is no need for me to develop that matter.
In conclusion, I would ask hon. Members to give to this matter such attention as is possible in the short notice which they take to consider these Amendments, and to realise that we are here dealing with a large amount of carefully invested capital. I agree that a lot of that capital is held by the railway companies, but there are several millions of pounds of it which are not held by the railway companies at all, and which are held by investors— some large, but many of them small people—who have decided that the safest way to invest their life's earnings is to invest them in a passenger transport service which is certain to earn money. When it comes to deciding how those people should be compensated, it is repugnant to me that we should leave it to the uncertainty of what the Minister thinks right, checked up not by any appeal to an appeal tribunal but by the further 1776 uncertainty as to whether or not, when the suggested compensation has been included in a scheme, some hon. Member will be able to convince the whole of the other 600 Members that the basis of compensation is unfair. That is what it amounts to, and I suggest that this is a matter to which the Government should give further consideration. It will give far more satisfaction in the country if it is known that, instead of the uncertainty to which I have referred, there is some carefully worked out principle upon which this compensation will be paid, and I commend to the Committee these proposals which are intended to be constructive.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Dodds-Parker
I wish to support the case put forward by the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton) in regard to the four Amendments we are now discussing. I would point out that this is, in fact, as far as we can see, the only opportunity we shall have of discussing these proposals under the Eighth Schedule, which affects such a large number of people in this country. In Standing Committee the Guillotine fell before we came to them, and at the rate we are going it will be a miracle if we are able to consider this Part of the Bill again by 9.30 tomorrow evening. One of the hopes we had when we left the Standing Committee was that something would come out of the remarks of the Parliamentary Secretary at our last Sitting, when he said that he was in consultation with the industry. We had hoped that by this stage of the Bill he might have been able to produce some concrete proposals for the Committee, because I believe the paragraphs of the Eighth Schedule are about as vague as any in the Bill. It is our wish to try to undertake the task of putting something more concrete before the Committee to be decided one way or the other before we go further with this Bill.
The hon. Member for Enfield (Mr. Ernest Davies) made an interjection just now, suggesting that this part of the Schedule was subject to special Parliamentary procedure. However, I put it to him and to the Parliamentary Secretary, that we on this side of the Committee feel most strongly that it is our function to make clear the principles which underlie this part of the Bill before we send it forward, and not merely, in the months or years to come, to allow various schemes 1777 to come before the Committee for detailed consideration. Many of us on this side of the Committee have a certain amount of confidence in the wish of the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary to do justice. However, I should also point out that many of the interjections yesterday from back benchers opposite showed us that there are very differing views in the Committee on the whole question of compensation. Without going into that question in detail, I would point out to the Parliamentary Secretary that when there are hon. Members behind him who have such intense views against those whose enterprise and thrift in the last 20 or 30 years have done so much to build up this great industry, and when there are such strong views against their being, as we see it, rewarded with due equity—equity being understood as hitherto—we wish to put something more definite on paper before the Bill leaves the Committee.
I recall the reply of the Minister himself when he assured me, as a result of an interjection, that his view was that the community, through the Government of the day, has a right to take away the property of an individual without arbitration. That is certainly not the view of equity held by myself and my hon. Friends. Until principles like that are agreed between us, I do not think the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary can expect us to allow this Schedule to go forward as unclear as it is at the present moment. I am not proposing to go into the details of the suggestions we put forward, which have been so clearly put before the Committee by the hon. Member for Huntingdon. But I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to consider this most carefully, and when he comes to reply to give us some indication that there will be something on which the Committee can vote more definitely than the very vague paragraphs which are before us at present.
§ Mr. Oliver Poole
The hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton) has explained the four Amendments we are now discussing with that clarity which those of us who were on the Standing Committee have come to expect from him. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Dodds-Parker), I do not intend to go too deeply into the actual details of these Amendments, which have been explained, and which I think are fully understood, 1778 if not by all hon. Members opposite, at least by the Parliamentary Secretary. During our deliberations last night, the Minister referred to certain negotiations which he was having with various outside interests, and we had a slight exchange of words on the merits or demerits of those negotiations. I understand —and the Parliamentary Secretary referred to it in the Standing Committee— that he has been having certain negotiations with associations, or groups of interests involved in the passenger transport industry with regard to their compensation. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will say exactly how far those negotiations have developed now, because the information I have is that they are not proceeding very well. Perhaps he would deal with that in some detail.
As far as I am concerned—and I think I speak for my hon. Friends—we press these Amendments, although we do not wish in any way to prejudice any negotiations the Minister is having with the passenger transport industry. It is quite obvious that the people with whom he deals represent, on the whole, the larger bus owners. We feel that we have an equal responsibility and duty towards the smaller bus owners. Whatever may be said, and however much criticism may be levelled against the proposals contained in our proposed Part II of the Schedule, and the other Amendments which we are discussing, they have at least one merit, namely, that they produce a scheme of sorts. Supposing, for better or for worse, our Amendments were accepted in toto, at least the bus passenger transport industry would know exactly where it stood. That would be a very great improvement on their present position, because the situation is that the basis of compensation is entirely in the hands of the Minister. The hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. J. Brown) had some rather caustic comments to make on that subject in regard to a previous Amendment. It is a very unsatisfactory situation.
Having read the Clauses in the Bill, and having listened to the Second Reading speeches and the deliberations in Standing Committee on this subject, I have come to the conclusion that, in fact, the complex problem of how to compensate this particular industry had not been fully considered at the time the Bill was put into print. It seems to me, in view of the large amount of money involved and the 1779 very great importance of this matter to the country, it is essential that this problem should be cleared up. There is one reason which I think would appeal to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite more than that of equity and fairness, and that is, that it will, of necessity, be some considerable time before the bus companies are taken over, or, alternatively, it will be a considerable time—maybe three to five years, I do not know—before the Transport Commission has got out a comprehensive scheme and all the bus companies are operating within that scheme. Therefore, in the interim period it is essential that these people should operate efficiently, both for the good of the Commission and the good of the public they serve. I cannot see how we can expect people to operate efficiently, and to keep their vehicles running on a proper service, if they know that in a specified time—or even in an unspecified time; as I say, three to five years—their businesses will be taken away, and yet they do not know what the compensation will be.
When the Parliamentary Secretary replies, I ask him to tell us, first of all, how the negotiations which the Minister is having are progressing; and secondly, if he refuses our scheme, to say that he will put up another definite scheme which, if it cannot be discussed here, can at least be discussed in another place. It is quite wrong that a matter of this importance should be agreed outside the Committee, and then should be brought forward at this stage of the Bill, when there will be no further opportunity to discuss it in this Committee. I urge the Parliamentary Secretary to give consideration to our Amendments, and in any case not to let the Bill go any further while leaving the compensation of passenger operating companies in this very unsatisfactory state.
§ Mr. W. J. Brown
It seems to me that we are doubly unfortunate in the' conditions under which we have this Debate this afternoon. It is unfortunate first, that we are having it on a Bill which lumps road transport in with rail transport, although, in fact, different considerations apply to the two. It is unfortunate, secondly, in the sense that these compensation provisions, not having been dealt with in Standing Committee, are now allowed a completely inadequate amount of time in which to be dealt with in Committee here.
1780 The prospect that looms ahead is of an ill-considered Bill—ill-debated in the House and in Committee—being thrust on the Statute Book by the invocation of an automatic Parliamentary majority with a complete disregard as to whether what they are doing is fair or otherwise. That seems to me to be an extremely unfortunate position in which to put the House of Commons, and before I say a word or two in detail about the Amendment I should like to make this comment.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I cannot allow the hon. Member to do that. He has really been making a Second Reading speech and I must ask him to confine his remarks to the Amendments which are under discussion.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
It is not my intention to prevent any hon. Member from making such a comment. Comment is one matter, but to go into great detail would be quite out of Order.
§ Mr. W. J. Brown
May I draw your attention, Mr. Beaumont, to the point that, whether we like it or not, we cannot help getting some parts of this Bill mixed up with others? In this very Clause, an Amendment to which we are now discussing, the test which the Minister of Transport is to apply to the compensation in respect of particular schemes is whether they compare reasonably with compensation laid down in other parts of the Bill. It is not my fault or yours, Mr. Beaumont, that the Bill comes to us in this way, but we are having here a piece of legislation by reference—reference to another Part of the Bill. I will try to be very brief about this but it is essential to the point I wish to put.
When we are dealing with rail transport and fixing the terms of compensation for it we are entitled to have regard to the classic argument that at a given stage in capitalist development private enterprise ceases to be private enterprise and becomes private monopoly. It is argued that competition breeds the combine, and that if you are to have the 1781 combine it is better that it should be under public control. Accepting that argument, I think the case in the Bill for one half of the problem—the railways—is made out. But by these very same arguments it is not made out when we are dealing with road transport.
Road transport is not a monopoly. [HON. MEMBERS: "0h."] It is only a monopoly where the present Lord President of the Council made it one in the City of London.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
May I ask the hon. Member if he is aware of the Tilling Combine which owns a very large percentage of the road transport in the Midlands, the North and, in fact, in the United Kingdom generally?
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. W. J. Brown
Strangely enough, by a remarkable chance of good luck, I had heard of this Thomas Tilling, and I was dimly aware that he was in a big way of business in road transport. But it is one thing to say that a concern is in a big way of business and another to say that it is a monopoly. A monopoly exists only when no one is free to set up in competition with it.
§ Mr. Mitchison
I simply wanted to ask the hon. Member if he believed in letting monopolies grow into complete monopolies or whether he would not prefer to catch them while they were growing.
§ Mr. Brown
The thing about arresting them when they are growing is that you may arrest the process of growth. The older exponents of Socialism taught that one merit of the capitalist system, in so far as it had merits, was that it did develop industry up to the point where the State ought to take it over. It is a point that this later generation of Socialists —who seem to me not to be Socialists at all but mechanical reiterators of uncharitableness—
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I think the hon. Gentleman would find it extremely difficult to bring his present remarks into any relation to the Amendment under discussion.
§ Mr. W. J. Brown
Except in this sense, Mr. Beaumont. Under the proposal we are now considering we are discussing the terms of compensation to be given to a particular area. That area is, by and large, a private enterprise area, and not one in which what certain hon. Gentlemen would call an antisocial monopoly has been established. Under the terms of this Clause, to which the hon. Gentleman has moved an Amendment, the terms of compensation in one case are to be related to those in the other, and that is the criterion which the Minister of Transport must follow. I think it is unfortunate that we have to do this in such a short space of time. I should like to remind my hon. Friends opposite, if they will allow me to do so, that when the present programme of nationalisation is carried through, there will still be 80 per cent. of the industry in this country in private hands.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I do not want to interrupt the hon. Member but he must not refer to proposals for future nationalisation.
§ Mr. W. J. Brown
I respectfully submit, Mr. Beaumont, that I was not making such a reference. I was merely making a point which might occur to anyone in this Committee that if, at the end of our programme, 80 per cent. of industry is still to be in private hands, it will be as well if we make it clear that we are not indisposed to be fair. If, in the circumstances I have mentioned, we create the impression that the State will treat subjects arbitrarily and unfairly, I submit that that would be a most unfortunate thing.
I come now to the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I can understand the relief which is manifest on the benches opposite. The great advantage of this Amendment—although it is not one which I would have proposed myself—is that it does settle something. Under the Schedule as it now stands nothing is settled. The owners of property in a particular category are to have that property taken away from them, now, or at some indefinite point of time in the future. When it is taken away, they are to depend solely upon what the Minister of Transport says is to be the appropriate compensation. The Minister of Transport is a very likeable chap, and of his deputy 1783 I am extremely fond, but who knows who will be there in five or ten years hence? In fact, this will not be a Ministerial decision when it comes to be taken; it will be a Whitehall decision ratified by the Minister. What it really amounts to is that we are saying to various categories of property owners, including the category here dealt with, that their fate is to rest on the ipse dixit, at a time perhaps ten years hence, of some doubtless worthy official sitting in the Ministry of Transport in Whitehall.
§ Mr. W. J. Brown
Yes, subject to Parliamentary procedure. But anybody who has experience of "praying" in this House, even against Orders where provision is made. for praying, will have good cause to doubt the efficiency of prayer. When I am told that the decision of the officer in the Ministry of Transport in Whitehall will be subject to the control of this House I would, if I were not anxious to keep in Order, laugh gutturally. Does anyone imagine that it is a practical proposition, even under ordinary conditions where we have not a mass of new legislation, to keep track of a million and one decisions given in Whitehall day by day? And under present conditions, where legislation is being loaded on us at a pace unprecedented in peacetime history in Britain, the idea that we can control the compensation given by the officer in Whitehall is altogether beside the point.
I want to make the point again, which I tried to make inadequately on an earlier Amendment, because it operates here too. The principle universally observed throughout my lifetime, until recently, was that when the State took over property, it applied the same broad principle to all decisions. There were not a series of arbitrary decisions, a Stock Exchange rate in one case, a global sum in another, and an arbitrary decision by a Minister in yet another. There was a principle related to all cases. Secondly, the principle should be "a fair price" for what we took, because you have no right to damnify one class of property holders—and here it is not the case that all property holders are on this side of the House—by comparison with another. 1f you want to do that, do it in the 1784 straightforward way in the Budget. The third principle is that it was wrong that either the individual or the State should be judge and jury in its own cause.
I regard everyone of these principles as having been violated by this Clause. There is no principle laid down, there is no right of appeal, and there is not even a time-limit fixed. Everything is uncertain and arbitrary, which, under any Government, is a thing which can ultimately lead to a breakdown in the constitution. It may be that this is not an epoch-making Measure of cosmic significance, but when the Nazi regime first came into power in Germany it was not of cosmic significance that they sacked civil servants, judges and teachers. But it presaged in a very short time the complete subordination of law, justice and equity to the interest of the Nazi rulers.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I do not know where the hon. Member has got to now. but he has not yet got to the Amendment.
§ Mr. Brown
It is perhaps unfortunate that I experience so much difficulty in making myself clear. I am suggesting, with infinite respect, that we had better stop this kind of arbitrary treatment in its early stages, because if it is not stopped, it has the habit of being taken a great deal further. The illustration I gave was not an impertinent one. The dismissal of those civil servants, judges and teachers in Germany led to the complete subordination of truth, justice and knowledge. Finally, it led to the establishment of the rule of the concentration camp and the firing squad. Therefore, this is not an unimportant matter. And in so far as this Amendment goes somewhere towards relieving the uncertainty, and lays down something which is definite, I refer it to the Clause as it stands.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. G. R. Strauss)
The Committee should realise that we have a different proposition here from the propositions in the other parts of the Bill where we are taking over the railways and road haulage firms. In the case of long distance road haulage firms, we are taking them over in a specified way and within a reasonably short time. The railways are being taken over on a specific date and in a specific way. We know exactly what we are going to do in 1785 these cases and when we are going to do it, but when we come to the problem of these area road schemes, we are in an entirely different field. As the Committee know, we have considered it wise, in this very difficult matter of road passenger services, not to lay down precisely the type of organisation which is to take over the services, or to lay down the structure of the organisations, the area which they shall serve, or when they are to be established. All we say is that we are convinced that a great benefit to the public can be brought about by a co-ordination of the existing road passenger services, for reasons which have been explained many times, which, I should have thought, were obvious, particularly to those in rural areas where present arrangements are exceedingly bad and contrary to the public interest. We are convinced that a reorganisation and co-ordination is desirable in the public interest.
We say that before these schemes are put into operation, they should be given careful consideration by the Commission, who will have the duty imposed on them to draw up the areas and the schemes, which may vary as between one part of the country and another, and to advise the Minister, who will then put the schemes before Parliament. We are faced with this situation when we consider what compensation should be paid to the bus companies likely to be taken over under these schemes and put under some form of public ownership; we do not know what form of public ownership the Commission will recommend. We are also faced with this difficulty. There is an enormous variety of types of bus concerns. There is the huge combine, such as Tillings, to which reference has been made, an entirely different proposition from the small man who runs one bus to a local market town twice a week. There is a far greater range of undertakings than in the road haulage business.
The next difficulty is that we do not know exactly what the manner of transfer will be, and what the structure of the new organisation is likely to be. We do not know the services which are to come over completely or in part, and we cannot tell until the schemes have been worked out by the Commission, and have been considered by the Minister and put before Parliament. Even more difficult, we do not know when these transfers are likely to be put into operation. Some hon. 1786 Members have suggested that it may not be for five years. I hope that it will be long before then, but it may be that in some parts of the country it will be five years before these new organisations can be set up. It is exceedingly difficult to say now what are fair terms of compensation for bus companies which may be taken over in five years' time, or even later. There may be different types of buses on the roads at that time. Buses may even be driven by rockets instead of by petrol, and if the rate of depreciation was laid down now, it might be wholly inappropriate in five years' time.
In view of these difficulties, the Committee will appreciate that we felt it inadvisable to put into the Bill the precise basis of compensation. The hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton), in his very clear speech on a very difficult subject, suggested that depreciation should be 15 per cent. yearly and that the annual profit should be multiplied by eight to establish the value of goodwill. Even if this is correct at the moment, is it likely to be correct in five years' time, and can it be applied to the whole range of bus undertakings in the country? We are convinced that it would not he wise for the State or for the companies concerned to insert any table of compensation at this stage. We have given this matter careful consideration over a long period, because we realise the difficulties and the desirability of writing in some firm principles of compensation to avoid uncertainty. But I firmly disagree with the proposal made by the hon. Member for Huntingdon and the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. J. Brown), that in order to keep some certainty in this matter we should write into the Bill a Schedule of some sort, whether it be good or bad —
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. W. J. Brown
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us why he cannot put into the Bill a provision for compensation at a fair market price, and, in the event of a dispute, let it be referred to arbitration?
§ Mr. Strauss
In matters of this sort, where a State authority is taking over a whole range of private undertakings, it is more satisfactory for Parliament to settle the basis of compensation. It may be that where there is a dispute it can go to arbitration, but I think it would be unwise to say that matters connected with 1787 compensation of this sort should go, without any direction whatever by Parliament, to arbitration. As I say, we are not in a position to recommend to the Committee or Parliament any basis of compensation which seems to us likely to meet all cases in three to five years' time. We have been in consultation with the industry on this matter—because we would like to arrive at a basis if we could find one which we could recommend as being fair—but we have not yet been able to do so.
§ Mr. Renton
The hon. Gentleman agrees that it would be desirable, if possible, to put a scheme into the Bill. The industry represented—I believe, unanimously— proposed such a scheme. If that is desirable, why could not that scheme be included?
§ Mr. Strauss
There are differences of opinion in the industry and, moreover, certain of the proposals which were put forward are not such as we could advise the Committee to accept, as we do not think they are reasonable. However, our discussions are continuing with the industry, and it may be that we can arrive at conclusions which we can advise Parliament, at a later stage, to accept, although I must warn the Committee that at the moment they seem rather far away. Unless we can be convinced that we can recommend a basis of settlement which will stand the test of time, and the varying conditions which affect the industry, we believe that it is far better to leave the matter where it is, deliberately vague, and say that when these undertakings are taken over the Minister must base the compensation to be paid to them either on the proposals in Part II or Part III or, where those provisions are not appropriate, must devise and recommend such other compensation proposals as appear to him to be appropriate.
This does not mean an ipse dixit of the Minister, which must be accepted. His compensation proposals will be scrutinised by Parliament, not just by means of a Prayer, after a long day's Sitting, but by special Parliamentary procedure whereby anyone who feels aggrieved by anything which the Minister or the Government are doing can have his case represented by counsel. There is special procedure which will take account of any grievances which 1788 any person or body may have against action by the Minister. In these circumstances, I recommend the Committee to leave the matter where it stands.
§ Major Sir David Maxwell Fyfe (Liverpool, West Derby)
I have listened with the utmost care to what the hon. Gentleman has just said and, strangely enough, I find myself, for the first time, in agreement with 5o per cent. of what he said. When he said that the Government knew what they were going to do with the railway and road haulage services which they were taking over, I found myself in disagreement with him, but when he said that the Government did not know what they were going to do about the bus services they were taking over I found myself in agreement. When the hon. Gentleman went on to formulate his general provisions for dealing with this matter, he reminded me of the poet who, if I may mix up his words a bit, said: "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be fair." Still less did I find myself in agreement with what the hon. Gentleman said then. To justify a complete absence of any terms of compensation for the taking over of buses, the hon. Gentleman made it clear that this is a scheme which should not have been introduced, that it has not been considered to a point where it is fit to be placed before any legislative assembly, that the Government have not the slightest idea of how the scheme will be worked out and what will happen to the people who may be affected.
Some may say that that is just what to expect from this Government, but I ask them to think of the people who will be affected. How will they run their businesses during the next three to five years? If the Government have not the vaguest idea of the compensation these people will get, how will those concerned buy new buses and operate the services which will be of such importance to the country in the next few years? That is the position with which we are faced. The Parliamentary Secretary made an ad misericordiam appeal for time. It is appalling that, at this stage, he should put that forward as the only defence which the Government can make to our criticisms. Let us see whether the hon. Gentleman is entitled to time. What he is putting forward in the Schedule as it stands is that the Minister should be given a blank 1789 cheque in the case of paragraphs i (a) and (b), a rather dirty piece of paper in respect of paragraph I (c), and should then be able to take his own measures. I would point out with regard to paragraphs (a) and (b) that before today the Minister and those advising him apparently came to the decision that they thought the Minister could give compensation identical, as near as may be, to transfers of railway companies under paragraph (a), and of road haulage organisations under paragraph (b). When they go to the extent that compensation is to be, as near as may be, similar to that given for railway undertakings or road undertakings, what can be the objection to the proposal of the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. J. Brown), to saying, "Either it is the market price or some other combined basis as given in other regards, or, if you cannot get agreement, we shall have an arbitration before an impartial tribunal "?
The Parliamentary Secretary said that the basis of compensation should be settled by Parliament. That is what we are pressing for in this Amendment. We say that it is a complete abrogation of any legislative powers that this House formerly had not to attempt to put any proposals of compensation into a Bill, but to leave them to a Minister. The hon. Member for Enfield (Mr. Ernest Davies) batting strongly at Nos. 7, 8 or 9, as always, on every Government proposal, went in by way of interjection with the suggestion of special Parliamentary procedure, and the Parliamentary Secretary, clutching acrobatically at any straw that came his way, seized on that, and put it forward as a justification. Let us examine that. It is interesting when one mentions special Parliamentary procedure to see what it means. Take paragraph (c) which provides… in the opinion of the Minister proper compensation …The Minister puts forward proposals for compensation, and they come into this House under the scheme that is suggested. One of two things can happen: Either there is a Petition of general objection or a Petition of amendment. If there is a Petition of amendment it goes automatically to a Joint Committee of both Houses. If there is not a Petition of amendment, it can be decided under exactly the procedure about which the hon. Member for Rugby has spoken, on the Floor of the House. That was the whole basis of the 1790 Parliamentary Special Procedure Act, which it was hoped and still is hoped the Minister will not abuse, that in a case where it can be decided on the Floor of the House without any forensic procedure at all —
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
If there were objections to these schemes surely amendments would be put forward.
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe
With the greatest respect to the hon. Gentleman, if he will look through Parliamentary history—and there is some reason why I should have the matter fairly clearly in mind—he will find that the position is that one can either have a Petition of amendment that is put forward by some outside body, in which case the matter goes automatically to a Joint Committee of both Houses, or one can have a Petition of general objection, and, in that case, it can be raised on exactly the same procedure as a Prayer. On that Prayer, and on what is known as a negative resolution, the House has the choice before it of either passing it, negativing it, or sending it to a Committee. It is only if the Minister, who ex hypothesi has the Government majority behind him, agrees that it goes to a Committee.
I will assume, in deference to my desire to give the hon. Member for Enfield the best of all possible worlds, that there is a Petition for amendment, and it goes to a Committee of both Houses. Does he really think that a forensic inquiry in front of a select committee of both Houses is a satisfactory method of legislating on a great question of compensation for people whose property is compulsorily acquired, without this House laying down any principle? That is what it comes to. I yield to no man in my admiration for forensic inquiries in their proper place— I have every reason to believe in them— but I do not believe in forensic inquiries as a method of laying down policy, and that is all that the Parliamentary special procedure comes to. So we are left in this extraordinary position. The Parliamentary Secretary, has gone as near, it may be, as any conscientious Minister ever could with this Part of the Bill, which is absolutely inchoate and unready for consideration. That is what his defence amounted to. That is a defence for his being totally unable to put any compensation proposals before the Committee. His other line is, "Give us time." Without 1791 making any cheap jokes in that regard, I suggest to my right hon. Friends and hon. Friends behind me that we cannot really allow matters to dither on in this way, If no concrete proposals are put forward, then I suggest to my right hon. Friend and hon. Friends that it is our duty to vote in favour of this Amendment and to do so now.
§ Mr. Digby
The Parliamentary Secretary has told us that the Eighth Schedule has been left deliberately vague. I think that it would be not unjust to apply those words to certain other parts of the Bill. If anything has stood out in the discussion which we have had, it has been the vagueness of the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary as to the exact working of this Bill. It may be all very well for them, as my right hon. Friend has said, to leave a very large degree of uncertainty in this matter, because they have not made up their minds about it, but it is an extraordinarily unsatisfactory state of affairs for an extremely important industry the passenger road transport industry, which affects the constituencies of a great many of us. These operators have been, as it were, condemned to death. They do not know how the sentence will be carried out, nor when it will be carried out; all they know is that it will be carried out at some time. Quite recently, the House expressed strong views on that kind of thing. I think in this case too it is quite wrong of the Parliamentary Secretary not to say a word about the point of view of the industry. He did not appear to be interested in the way that the industry is carried on in the meanwhile. One thing is certain, that the provisions of this Schedule as to compensation, as it stands, are extraordinarily vague, as he himself has admitted, and the object of these four Amendments is to put some degree of certainty into the provisions for compensation. There is no doubt at all that this branch of the transport industry is totally different from the other industries dealt with in the Bill, and if compensation is to be paid, as proposed in this Schedule, there are bound to be many anomalies. The question of the length of life of vehicles has already been referred to. Certain road haulage vehicles have a remarkably long life, up to 250,000 miles and yet passenger vehicles have a much longer life than that. There are other spheres, 1792 of course, in which there is a marked difference, but there is perhaps less fluctuation in this part of the industry than there is in the road haulage industry.
When we were discussing railway Amendments the Minister was at pains to show the danger to the railways from road competition, and when we came to road transport he talked about competition from the railways. He has recently discovered a derelict canal, and no doubt he will be able to make play with the difficulties of the passenger road transport industry. Nevertheless, there is no doubt whatever that this is an extraordinarily stable industry at the present time, and he is, by leaving this Schedule so very vague and refusing to accept these Amendments, leaving an element of uncertainty in it, which is bound to react unfavourably on the public, however convenient it may be for his Ministry.
§ Mr. Maclay
There is one point which I would like to carry a little further which was dealt with so admirably by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for West Derby (Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe). It is the question of special Parliamentary procedure and how much protection that really does afford in these circumstances. The right hon. Gentleman has shown that in certain circumstances the objections and Amendments can reach the Joint Committee, and he would be a foolish person who would decry the value of that procedure. I really think, however, that hon. Members opposite, who all through this Bill have tended to be soothed by the special procedure, should know that if the Joint Committee of both Houses report with Amendments back to this House and make recommendations in regard to the objections which they hold were valid, the Government of the day can ignore that report altogether. We start the procedure in a rather curious form. The original order is put in the Bill at the Report stage, and the Government use their majority to get it through. That is regardless of the fact that the Joint Committee of both Houses set up under this special procedure may have Amendments to recommend in the light of the objections that they have heard. I think it is important to understand that while one does not decry special Parliamentary procedure in certain circumstances, and it can be a great protection, it is not necessarily a protection in a case like this where there might be an 1793 objection to the compensation Clauses. I want to emphasise that because it is not generally understood.
§ Mr. Nigel Birch (Flint)
I was a little surprised by what the Parliamentary Secretary said. I find my hon. Friends who were on the Committee upstairs were rather less surprised, because it is curious to see someone rising from the Treasury Bench and saying he does not know what he is going to do or how he is going to do it but on the whole whatever he does or does not do, it will be a good thing. Fundamentally that was his plan. Then in order to get out of his embarrassment the Parliamentary Secretary made a ridiculous suggestion that atom propelled or rocket propelled buses might be going down the streets of our villages in three years' time. That is what one would expect from the hon. Gentleman the Sage of King's Norton rather than from His Majesty's Ministers. I think the hon. Gentleman's attempt to confuse the issue was both unworthy and unsuccessful, because, after all, by whatever the buses are propelled, whether it be by atomic energy or rockets, it does not alter the principle. It is wrong in a Bill of this kind to leave vital decisions entirely in Minister's hands. That is all we are objecting to.
That type of confusion does not help and I think the bus companies would do well to be careful. The hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. J. Brown) was saying just now that there is no principle of compensation in this Bill. It is true that compensation in this Bill is different for different types of things. It is also true that no principle has been expressed. But there is a sort of principle behind these schemes of compensation and it has often been impressed on us by the hon. Member for Enfield (Mr. Ernest Davies). It is a determination that things will be taken over at such a price that the Government monopoly will not appear to be doing too badly however badly it is run in fact. No doubt, in about three years' time we shall be beginning to see the main difficulties in this industry, as we are beginning to see them in coal mining. Already the Minister of Fuel and Power has given way to blackmail with the usual consequences. In this transport monopoly we will see rising costs, and rising fares. Therefore, the pressure to under-capitalise anything taken over will 1794 grow steadily greater. That is the principle upon which this Bill is being worked, and, therefore, I hope my hon. Friend and all Members of good will in this House will vote for these Amendments.
§ Brigadier Prior-Palmer (Worthing)
There is one point which has not been raised in this discussion, but which I think it is relevant to bring forward, arid in doing so I have to refer to another Clause in the Bill. I want to refer to Clause 2 under which the Minister will have power to take over bus companies before Part IV of the Bill comes into opera-tion. If that is the case it is perfectly clear that Part IV of the Bill will take a certain amount of time to be brought into operation but not so the power under Clause 2. The Minister immediately after the passing of the Bill can take over any bus company in any part of England at almost a moment's notice. On what basis of compensation is that going to be done? Is it going to be done on an ad hoc basis, or are we to be told before that date what is the basis of compensation, and if we are to be told, are we to have an opportunity of discussing it, or is it going to be done by an Order in Council emanating from the Minister?
I suggest that there is one other aspect, too, and that is that there may be some bus companies who will not be taken over under Clause 2 of this Bill though I believe that some of those companies are going to be subject to unfair competition. There will be cut prices, because the Commission are to be exempt from the deterrent of the Road Traffic Act, and can, therefore, make any fares operate which they like. I see an hon. Member opposite shaking his head, but if he looks at the Bill he will find that that is so. The Commission have powers to raise or lower fares. They will be able to operate at any rate they like, and by so doing they may be able to under cut companies which have not yet been taken over. Then when the compensation is decided upon, these other companies will have been running at a loss for a certain period and their case will be very weak when it comes to claiming compensation.
I suggest that that is a point which shows how grossly unfair it is for the Minister to do what he is doing in this 1795 case. It also shows that the Government are in far too great a hurry. They have not given sufficient thought to this. This is a rushed Measure and a rushed Clause and, as he said himself, the Parliamentary Secretary has absolutely no idea as yet what are to be the compensation terms. That is an extraordinary admission from a Member of the Government Front Bench.
§ Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West)
I was stimulated by the hon. Member for Flint (Mr. Birch) to say a word of wisdom. He made a remark to the effect that the Minister did not know what he wanted and did not know how he was going to do it. Hon. Members opposite may know what they want. We know what they want and we have the very big advantage that we know that they are not going to get it. Therefore, we might as well have a Division and finish with this matter.
I had no idea that the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) was going to be so brief. Perhaps a Member from a rural constituency in Scotland, which differs completely from that represented by the hon. Gentleman, might be allowed to say a few words. Road transport services bulk larger in rural Scotland than in any other part of the United Kingdom. I was very disappointed indeed at the way in which the Parliamentary Secretary replied to this Amendment. It was obvious from the discomfort which the hon. Gentleman exhibited that he was deeply seized of the importance of our case but, as has been said already, the Government of which the hon. Gentleman is a Member are in such a hurry to proceed with this legislation, as indeed they are with all other major Measures that they have brought before us, that there has been no time for ample consideration of this point.
A good deal has been said about Messers. Thomas Tilling. I am not specially concerned with the big combines such as that, though, of course, in my constituency, the Caledonian Omnibus Company is operating. I am thinking in particular of the small men, the men who have one or two buses, to use the Parliamentary Secretary's own words. I am thinking also of the man who, with his sons, may be operating anything from one to two dozen 1796 buses. It is those people who are placed in a position of anxiety and uncertainty by the obdurate refusal of the Parliamentary Secretary to accept this Amendment. Why could he not, especially so far as the small men were concerned, have turned a sympathetic ear to the suggestion of the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. J. Brown) that we should have either the taking over at market values or arbitration? "No," the Parliamentary Secretary says, "we have had conversations." Of course, I suppose that that meant conversations with the big combines. He did not tell us whether it was with the representatives of the small people as well. He was not able to tell us what was the result of these conversations. I suppose it was not opportune because those responsible for running the road transport services all over the country had not been able to impress the right hon. Gentleman with the strength of their case.
The hon. Gentleman was so anxious to get on with Socialism in our time that he ruthlessly turned down the proposals of these combines and of all people interested. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I hope that he did consult with the smaller men. I was very disappointed indeed to hear those cynical cheers from hon. Gentlemen opposite when I said that it was more important for the Parliamentary Secretary to get on with Socialistic legislation than to listen to objections. Another hon. Gentleman says, "Hear, hear," and he therefore agrees that it is more important to bring in the Socialist State than to listen to reasonable objections. Would the Minister in his own dealings, if he was taking over something from industry or agriculture, expect for one moment that the other party would agree to keep everything in a state of suspense possibly for three, four or even five years? That is the position of these people. They are in a state of complete uncertainty because they have a certain knowledge that they are to be taken over. They are kept in this purgatory because the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friend have been unable to agree to any proposal which will be found reasonably sympathetic to the bus owners. I shall certainly, with great pleasure, divide on this matter.
§ Mr. Assheton
By far the most disturbing speech to which this Committee has been treated in the course of these long 1797 proceedings was the speech made by the Parliamentary Secretary. His speech was appallingly frank and showed the utter irresponsibility of the Government in this matter. The Government have such wholly different ideas of what is common honesty that I despair of moving them on the compensation issue and I do not propose to waste any time in trying. However, there is a matter of commonsense as well as common honesty. I urge the Minister to say a few words on that subject. It is commonsense, I suggest, that if we are to ask the bus companies to carry on for an indefinite time, we should give some indication of the sort of compensation which they will have when they come to be taken over. How is it possible for any business to continue working for an indefinite number of years in such conditions? I suggest that the proposals of the Government are the height of irresponsibility.
§ Mr. Renton
As I moved this Amendment and as I have listened carefully to the whole of the arguments put forward from both sides of the Committee, it might be to the convenience of the Minister—and I hope the Committee will approve—if I attempt to summarise the position as it now appears. The Parliamentary Secretary has told us that the main reason why he cannot accept this group of Amendments is that in the opinion of the Government it is too difficult now to predict what the circumstances will be in a few years' time when these passenger transport businesses come to be taken over. He, therefore, says, "Let us leave it to the free discussion of the Minister and have as a safeguard the special Parliamentary procedure." We say that the special Parliamentary procedure is not a suitable safeguard. To the arguments that have already been advanced, I should like to add that the special Parliamentary procedure was never intended to be in lieu of a compensation tribunal. It would be an intolerable abuse of the
§ purpose and functions of a Parliament within a Parliamentary democracy if the Members of the Lower House were asked to consider in detail a long series of cases. We do not know how many different businesses would be involved. It might be as many as 500, each of which would have compensation proposals.
§ True, it would be possible if a very great deal of trouble was taken by each of the businesses concerned to deal with the matter in this way, but we say that that is not what Parliament is for. As the Government found it too difficult to think out a more suitable alternative, we have, in addition to being constructive in our criticism, put forward a constructive proposal which we are advised by the representatives of the industry will meet the case. In spite of what the Parliamentary Secretary says, my information is that the industry is almost unanimous in saving that something along these lines is what is needed and would work and would cover the whole of the 10 years period which we may have to envisage. We are told by the Parliamentary Secretary, "No, the whole thing is too difficult." When the great London Passenger Transport Act was put forward nobody then suggested that the whole thing was too difficult. Various principles were laid down by Parliament as to the form of compensation. The scheme was a vast one, much bigger than any single scheme under this Bill is likely to be. The compensation tribunal sat for a number of years and eventually completed its job, I believe to the satisfaction of everyone. But the Government say, "No, this is too difficult. We will leave it to the Minister and the special Parliamentary procedure." That is not good enough in our opinion, and I ask my right: hon. and hon. Friends to divide with me on the first Amendment.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 138; Noes, 314.1801
|Division No. 154.]||AYES.||[7.12 p.m.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Birch, Nigel||Butler, Rt. Hon. R A (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)|
|Aitken, Hon. Max||Boothby, R.||Byers, Frank|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Bowen, R.||Clarke, Col. R. S|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.||Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan||Cole, T. L.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W||Cooper-Key, E. M.|
|Barlow, Sir J.||Brown, W. J. (Rugby)||Corbett, Lieut.-Col U. (Ludlow)|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H||Buchan-Hepburn, P G T||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F C|
|Beechman, N. A.||Bullock, Capt. M||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Butcher. H. W.||Crowder, Capt. John E|
|Davies, Clement (Montgomery)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)|
|De la Bère, R.||Linstead, H. N||Reberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Digby, S. W.||Lipson, D. L.||Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirrat)||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H||Scott, Lord W.|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||McCallum, Maj. D.||Shephard, S (Newark)|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Fletcher, W. (Bury)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Smiles, Lt.-Col Sir W|
|Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)||Maclay, Han. J. S.||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)|
|Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Gage, C||Marsden, Capt. A.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Strauss, H. C. (English Universities)|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Medlicott, F.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)|
|George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Mellor, Sir J.||Studholme, H. G.|
|Glyn, Sir R.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. A||Morris, Hockin (Carmarthen)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Granville, E. (Eye)||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||Teeling, Willlam|
|Grimston, R. V.||Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E,||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Naughton, S. G.||Nicholson, G.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Hinderson, John (Cathcart)||Nield, B. (Chester)||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P||Touche, G. C.|
|Hogg, Hon. Q.||Nutting, Anthony||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Hollis, M. C.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H||Wadsworth, G.|
|Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.||Peto, Brig. C. H. [...]||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Hurd, A||Pickthorn, K.||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)||Pitman, I. J.||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Kendall, W. D.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Kerr, Sir J. Graham||Rayner, Brig. R.||York, C.|
|Lambert, Hon. G.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Langford-Holt, J.||Renton, D.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Law, Rt. Hon. R. K||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Mr. Drewe and Major Conant.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Chater, D.||Field, Capt. W. J.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V.||Chetwynd, G. R.||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Cobb, F. A.||Follick, M.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Cocks, F. S.||Foot, M. M.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Coldrick, W.||Forman, J. C.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Collick, P.||Foster, W. (Wigan)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Collindridge, F.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Collins, V. J||Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford)|
|Bacon, Miss A||Colman, Miss G. M||Freeman, Peter (Newport)|
|Baird. J||Comyns, Dr. L.||Gaitskell, H. T. N.|
|Balfour, A||Cock, T. F.||Gallacher, W.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J||Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G||Ganley, Mrs. C. S|
|Barstow, P. G.||Corlett, Dr. J.||Gibbins, J.|
|Barton, C||Corvedale, Viscount||Gilzean, A.|
|Battley, J. R.||Cove, W. G.||Gooch, E. G.|
|Bechervaise, A. E||Crawley, A.||Goodrich, H. E.|
|Belcher, J. W.||Grossman, R. H. S||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Daggar, G.||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)|
|Benson, G.||Daines, P||Grenfell, D. R.|
|Beswick, F.||Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Grey, C. F.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Grierson, E.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)|
|Binns, J.||Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)|
|Blackburn, A. R||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Deer, G.||Guest, Dr. L. Haden|
|Blyton, W R.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Gunter, R. J.|
|Boardman, H.||Delargy, H. J.||Guy, W. H.|
|Bottomley, A. G||Diamond, J||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Dobbie, W.||Hale, Leslie|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Dodds, N. N.||Hall, W. C.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Driberg, T. E. N.||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Dumpleton, C. W.||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)|
|Bramall, E. A.||Durbin, E. F. M.||Hardman, D. R|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Dye, S.||Hardy, E. A.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Harrison, J.|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Edelman, M.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Bruce, Maj. D. W. T||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Hewitson, Capt. M|
|Buchanan, G.||Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Burden, T W.||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Holman, P.|
|Burke, W. A.||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Evans, John (Ogmore)||House, G.|
|Callaghan, James||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Hoy, J.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A||Ewart, R.||Hubbard, T.|
|Chamberlain, R. A||Fairhurst, F.||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)|
|Champion, A. J||Farthing, W. J||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Hughes, H. D. (Wolverh'pton, W.)||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme)||Mort, D. L.||Stubbs, A. E.|
|Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Moyle, A.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Murray, J. D.||Swingler, S.|
|Irving, W. J.||Nally, W.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Janner, B.||Naylor, T. E.||Symonds, A. L.|
|Jay, D. P. T.||Neal, H. (Claycross)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)|
|Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby)||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|John, W||Noel-Buxton, Lady||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||O'Brien, T.||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)|
|Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Oldfield, W. H.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Keenan, W||Oliver, G. H.||Thurtle, E.|
|Kenyon, C.||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Tiffany, S.|
|Key, C. W.||Palmer, A. M. F.||Timmons, J.|
|King, E. M.||Pargiter, G. A.||Titterington, M. F.|
|Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.||Parkin, B. T.||Tolley, L.|
|Kinley, J.||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Lang, G.||Paton, J. (Norwich)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Lavers, S.||Pearson, A.||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Lee, F. (Hulme)||Pearl, Capt T. F.||Usborne, Henry|
|Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)||Vernon, Maj. W. F.|
|Leonard, W.||Porter, E. (Warrington)||Viant, S. P.|
|Leslie, J. R.||Porter, G. (Leeds)||Walkden, E|
|Levy, B. W.||Price, M. Philips||Walker, G. H.|
|Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Proctor, W. T.||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Pryde, D. J.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Warbey, W. N|
|Lipton, Lt.-Col. M||Randall, H. E.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Logan, D. G.||Ranger, J.||Watson, W. M.|
|Longden, F.||Rankin, J||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Lyne, A. W.||Reid, T. (Swindon)||Weitzman, D.|
|McAdam, W.||Richards, R.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|McAllister, G.||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|McEntee, V. La T.||Robens, A.||West, D. G.|
|McGhee, H. G.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.|
|McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.M.)||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|McKinlay, A. S.||Royle, C.||Wigg, Col. G. E.|
|McLeavy, F.||Scollan, T.||Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B|
|Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Scott-Elliot, W.||Wilkes, L.|
|Mainwaring, W. H.||Shackleton, E. A. A.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Sharp, Granville||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Mann, Mrs. J.||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Shurmer, P.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Marquand, H. A.||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Marshall, F. (Brightside)||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Mathers, G.||Simmons, C. J||Williamson, T.|
|Mayhew, C. P.||Skeffington, A. M||Willis, E.|
|Medland, H. M.||Skinnard, F. W.||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Messer, F.||Smith, C. (Colchester)||Wise, Major F. J|
|Middleton, Mrs. L||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)||Woodburn, A|
|Mikardo, Ian||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Wyatt, W.|
|Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.||Solley, L. J.||Yates, V. F.|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Sorensen, R. W.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Monslow, W.||Sparks, J. A||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Montague, F.||Stamford, W.|
|Moody, A. S.||Steele, T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Morley, R.||Stephen, C.||Mr. Joseph Henderson and|
|Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield C.)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Mr. Popplewell.|
§ Schedule agreed to.