§ 6.17 p.m.
§ Mr. Niall Macpherson (Dumfries)
I beg to move:That the Feedingstuffs (Rationing) (Amendment No, 3) Order, 1947 (S.R. & O., 1947, No.:990), dated 13th September, 1947. a copy of which was presented on 30th October. be annulled.I wish to say at the outset that, although the names which appear on this Prayer are all names of Scottish Members, this is a matter which affects not only Scotland, but the whole of the United Kingdom. I have had a good deal to do with the Scottish Office on matters relating to this, and I am bound to say that I should like to have seen one representative of the Scottish Office here this afternoon, although I quite realise that this Prayer has been reached rather sooner than might have been anticipated. I would mention, however, that I gave the Scottish Office notice that I was raising the matter. I particularly desire to attract the attention of the House to paragraph I (c) of the amending 2047 order. First, I shall attempt to describe to the House the system as laid down in the original order No. 1498 and the way that has worked, with particular reference to feedingstuffs for cattle, the reason for the change which it is now sought to effect, so far as I can understand it, and the effect that the order under discussion will produce.
Under order No. 1498, the consumer of any feedingstuff—and by "consumer" is not meant the consumer in the normal sense of the word, the pig, cow, horse or chicken, but the purchaser—has to apply to the agricultural executive committee for a ration in accordance with very complicated scales which, I was informed by the Scottish Office, are laid down from time to time by the Minister of Agriculture and are based on feedingstuffs availability notified to the right hon. Gentleman by the Minister of Food. The agricultural executive committee forward the application, if they approve it, to the Ministry or to the Department of Agriculture in Scotland, which issues the appropriate coupons. These coupons have to be deposited with the supplier of feeding-stuffs within 15 days of the date of issue or by the 15th day of the month, and are valid for the month of issue and the following month. In turn, the supplier has to hand the coupons to the Ministry or the Department of Agriculture in Scotland in the second month, and receives in exchange corresponding buying permits. The feedingstuffs have to be obtained within the period of validity of the coupons. That is two months in the case of cattle. The whole question turns on what is meant by the word "obtained."
As the law stood before this amending order was introduced, it was sufficient for the consumer to deposit his coupons and to enter into a contract of sale. Whether this is what the order intended or not, this is in fact what was happening all over the country. In a Ministry of Food circular these words appear:Since the introduction of rationing in 1941, the Feeding Stuffs (Rationing) Order has, of course, been administered on the basis that the rationed feeding stuffs called for by a ration document must be delivered within the period of validity stated upon the document.The order may have been administered in that form, but, in fact, that is not the way in which it has been implemented all 2048 over the country. Dairy farmers, in particular, find that their needs vary from month to month, and that they cannot be reduced readily to a formula laid down by the Ministry of Food or the Department of Agriculture which can hold good for the whole country, irrespective of climatic or local conditions. The farmers themselves consider—and I think rightly so—that they are not only the best but the only possible judges of the right way in which to use the feedingstuffs to which they are entitled and which have been allocated to them, if they are to achieve the maximum milk production.
A formula based on milk production of the herd in the previous two months, or, in the case of winter calving, on the estimated sales in any two months—not the previous two months—between October and February, I think, is the formula on which the allocation is based. That has to be taken up in two months. It does not help very much—although it helps a little, admittedly—to say that the farmer can name the two months in which it has to be taken up. I will make that point clearer later. The Ministry say, "No, this allocation is made for a specific period, and it must be taken up in that period, because if you do not take it up then, it means that you do not need it."
I am glad to see that one of the Joint Under-Secretaries of State for Scotland is now with us. I was told at the Scottish Office, I think by the hon. Gentleman himself, "After all, this applies to food rationing for human beings." The two cannot be compared. Indeed, nowadays it may be that the feedingstuffs required for dairy cattle are rather more varied than is the diet to which we ourselves are entitled. In any case, for the production of winter milk extra feedingstuffs are required, but it is never possible to say with precision in any one case when they are going to be needed; nor is the formula of calculating previous milk production, or even estimated milk production, sufficiently fine to enable it to be applied in each individual case. It is ultimately on the judgement of the individual farmer that the production of milk in his herd must depend.
The attitude of the Minister of Agriculture and of the Department of Agriculture for Scotland is quite illogical. They admit that the farmer can take delivery 2049 of his allocation and then not use it, or use it exactly when he chooses. What they do not admit, or what they have not wanted to admit, is that the farmer should be permitted not to take delivery, but leave it with the grain merchant and then take delivery when he chooses. Generally speaking, when coupons are deposited with suppliers the corresponding supplies are taken when they are required. Whether the Ministry like it or not, that is what has been happening all over the country. I do not know whether that was with the condescension of the Ministry in other parts of the country, but certainly that condescension was not extended to the South-West corner of Scotland.
I do not suppose anyone would contend that human nature or animal needs are likely to be any different in the South-West corner of Scotland from what they are in the rest of the island. In any case, the proportion of infringements in that part of Scotland were very much higher than elsewhere, and it was on the grain merchants in that area that the Ministry of Food waged war. I can only suppose that the procurator-fiscal found so little to do in this very law-abiding corner of the island that he had to occupy himself with prosecutions arising under the original order. Many of these prosecutions succeeded, although, to judge by the penalties inflicted, the breaches were recognised by the course to be of a fairly technical nature.
When, however, one prosecution failed, the Crown, having of course much more funds than the grain merchants, and, no doubt, the grain merchants having contributed to those funds, appealed to the Court of Session. The issue there was simply whether it was legal for goods against which coupons had been deposited to be delivered after the expiry of the two months' period. The court unanimously found that there was no clear and unambiguous provision in the order that property in the goods must pass within two months by delivery or by appropriation to the order, coupled with an entry in the supplier's books. In addition to that, to quote from the court order:The reasons for such deferred deliveries pending which, at the consumer's request, the goods were held or stored until required by the consumers for immediate use, as explained in the case, showed that postponement was dictated by prudent management, 2050 caused no prejudice to the national or other interest and was arranged in the bona fide belief that it involved no breach of the terms of the Order.So it was decided by the Court of Session that common sense should prevail. What did the bureaucrats then do? They published this order to defeat prudent management and the national interest. Under this order, delivery of the goods must be made within the two months period of validity of the coupons or, failing that, the goods must be invoiced and, to quote from the order,identified and appropriated to the contract of sale.No doubt, before long we shall require a further expenditure of public money to establish the exact meaning of those words. If it is intended to mean that the feedingstuffs must be mixed, sacked and placed in a corner with a label on them—if that is intended to be the identification of the feedingstuffs—then that is not in the national interest, nor is it in the interests of the milk consumer, because if that happens the feedingstuffs deteriorate after being mixed. In consequence, the grain merchant, who has had a great deal of trouble already, will be running into more trouble, especially as the order provides that:the burden of proving that the rationed feedingstuff in question was so identified and appropriated shall be on the supplier.I may be asked, "Why should not the farmer take the goods and store them?" The answer is that his storage accommodation, even if it is adequate—and in most cases farmers have not adequate storage accommodation—is, in general, vastly inferior to the storage accommodation of grain merchants. In consequence, if farmers take delivery it means that the feedingstuffs will deteriorate if not used at once. We know that feedingstuffs are not always used at once, and there is nothing that the Ministry can do to make them be used at once. Therefore, why should the Ministry not bow to the inevitable and allow much greater latitude in this matter?
The real truth of the matter is that there is no justification for so short a period of coupon validity as two months. There was some justification for it during the war, because at that time it was desk-able to have stored feedingstuffs spread out over as wide an area as possible, in case communications broke down, and 2051 in case the warehouses of grain merchants were bombed and accumulated stores destroyed. I should like to read to the House what one of the foremost agricultural authorities in Scotland says: He says:The simple facts are that the great majority of farmers have not adequate storage, while if the merchants comply with the order and mix the food it is bound to deteriorate. Also, feedingstuffs laid up in this way take up far more space than can be spared. I have never heard a sufficient reason advanced why the validity of these coupons should not be four months instead of two, and that would meet the whole difficulty.Nor have I, although I have had two long interviews with the Scottish Office and a long and very courteous letter from the Under-Secretary of State himself. What is required is that the present provisions, so far as the surrendering of coupons by suppliers is concerned, should be retained—there is no objection to the two months' period for that purpose, for the surrender of coupons—while, at the same time, the period of delivery should be extended to six months or, at the very least, to four. There is really no reason why Ministers should not impress upon their own civil servants—it is up to Ministers to do it—that, when all is said and done, the person who really knows the job is the man on the ground, and that the civil servant, sitting in his office, no matter how intelligent he may be, cannot be expected to know exactly how these feedingstuffs should be used.
I hope that the Minister will take back this order, and that he will fix an allocation and leave it to the farmer to use it if he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. After all, what the farmer wants is to produce the maximum amount of milk—in the case I am particularly dealing with—at the lowest possible price. It is very unlikely that he will take the goods unless he really wants them, unless—and this is why he may take them—fearing he will lose them if he does not take them within two months, he takes the goods in case he needs them. I hope, at any rate, there will not be any of the allegations I have sometimes heard that the object is simply to increase the amount of feedingstuffs to be taken in order that they may be misused—that they may be used for feeding calves instead of cattle. I do not think there will be any substance in such an accusation.
2052 I hope I shall not be told that the grain merchants want to sell as much grain as possible. This matter was brought to my attention by the Scottish Council of the National Farmers' Union and not, in this case, by the grain merchants. It is the dairy farmer who wants to see this order annulled and the time of delivery extended. The grain merchants, after all, are quite capable of looking after their own stocks of feedingstuffs and of selling as much as they are lawfully entitled to sell. I hope that the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food will not simply tell us that it is in the grain merchants' own interest that this two months' period is imposed, because, obviously, the grain merchants must be protected by knowing that there is not an unlimited liability for the supply of feedingstuffs. That can, of course, be covered by fixing a term of, say, six months or four months; and after that it is their own prudent management that will dictate how they will get their stocks in the freshest possible condition to their customers.
Everybody knows that feedingstuffs are in short supply and that is the reason they should be used to the best possible advantage. That is why we have moved this Motion tonight. If it is insisted that the feedingstuffs must be taken up or, at least, ear-marked we shall have waste and misuse. Farmers with storage space will be apt to take their allocations whether they need them or not and whether they ever use them or not for fear of losing them; because farmers do not actually know what they are going to take until they actually ask for delivery. They cannot say, "We want so much of that two months ahead." It does not work that way. I very strongly urge the hon. Lady to leave this discretion to the farmers, bearing in mind that it is in their own interest to produce as much milk as possible at the lowest cost possible.
This is my last point. This order deliberately puts thousands of farmers on the wrong side of the law. It has been the practice to undertake the counter value and to take delivery when delivery is required. This order insists that delivery should be taken within a certain time or, at least, in a certain way. I would emphasise that the Minister has set out to make this illegal, despite—or, perhaps, because of—the decision of the Scottish Court of Session. I do not think 2053 that this is a correct way of treating the law. It has been decided by the Court of Session that this is the correct interpretation of the existing order. That being so, surely the hon. Lady and her right hon. Friend should have left things as they were. Can she say the thing was working badly? Can she say this order will make any improvement? I submit that she cannot.
§ 6.38 p.m.
§ Mr. Spence (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Central)
I beg to second the Motion.
The Motion has been moved so ably by my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson) that there is really little that I can add to the excellent argument he has put forward. The order we have before us tonight amends the main Feeding Stuffs Order. I believe that the purpose for which it was introduced was to clarify the position which gave rise to certain prosecutions. Unfortunately, it has gone rather beyond that. In clarifying the position, the official mind has tied the farmer and the supplier of animal feedingstuffs in an unfortunate knot, perhaps unintentionally. I hope very much that in her reply the hon. Lady will undertake to investigate the whole thing again, and consider laying another order in the light of the evidence we have put before her.
There is no doubt that the order is not operating in a satisfactory manner at the moment. We are all aware that there is only so much livestock in the country and only so much animal feedingstuffs. The best possible use has to be made of what we have available. I am sure that, by revision of this order, better use could be made of what we have available than Is at present being made, and the waste which I fear will arise under the order be avoided. There is no doubt about the need for rationing animal feedingstuffs, and the broad principles of rationing. The whole argument turns on how the rations have to be taken up. In considering that, we must bear in mind the storage space of the grain merchants and of the farmers, as well as the availability of transport at all times of the year. Having heard what has been said, I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will agree that this order is not satisfactory, and that it will be revised after consultation between those who are carrying out this work and her officials 2054 This order represents the cold dead hand of officialdom, and it does not take the broad view it would have taken had those in the trade been consulted.
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ Mr. Baldwin (Leominster)
I wish to deal with a point which has not so far been mentioned. In my part of the world, the working of the old order was such that I am afraid we always broke the law. We deposited our coupons, and we took up our rations when we wanted them. Only on one occasion have I had any trouble. I approached the Ministry of Food, and the matter was put right. It was the case where a Ministry of Food official happened to come along and find that these rations were not being taken up, and one of my constituents was refused his ration. I want to put the practical position. If the Ministry of Food, in producing these orders, would consult a little more often those who have to do the job, I am sure that we should not have orders which are very difficult to work, and cause the Parliamentary Secretary to spend so many late nights in this House. If the practical organisations are consulted in future, it will be to the advantage of everyone.
In the early autum of the year, many farmers wish to thresh out their winter oats for seed for sale, and also for straw ready for consumption by their cattle. If the farmer sells his seed oats for seed to the grain merchant, he gets an allocation in their place. Under this order, he must take out his rations within two months of the coupons being deposited. The farmer sells his oats because he wants to get more for seed than he would get in the normal way. Possibly, he may have more than he wants to consume. He might be rearing calves, and he might want to keep the calves going for six or eight months through the winter. The essential thing is that these feedingstuffs must be fresh. If the farmer is compelled, in September or October, to take up his allocation for the next six months, there is the certainty—not the possibility—that the feedingstuffs will become musty, and in some cases mouldy, particularly in the case of linseed cake, which is the form of feedingstuff the farmer wants to replace the corn he has sold. If linseed cake stands during the winter, it invariably goes mouldy, and the young calves cannot thrive on it.
2055 From the practical point of view, it would be to the advantage of the industry if this order were withdrawn and a fresh one issued. I am sure that the English National Farmers' Union take this view, but I appreciate that Scotland always gets in a little before we Southerners. If the Ministry of Food will consult the English National Farmers' Union, I am sure that they will agree with what I have said. If linseed cake could be spread out over the six months, it would be to the advantage of the grain merchants. They do not want to buy all their feedingstuffs in the autumn, but prefer to buy as and when they think their clients will want them. I see no reason why this order is necessary, or why we should have to take our feedingstuffs within two months of depositing our coupons.
§ 6.48 p.m.
§ Sir John Barlow (Eddisbury)
I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will consider this plea very carefully. I have some experience of this matter, and I fill out the detailed forms for feedingstuffs myself. I have no doubt that the hon. Lady also knows the detailed information that is required, and how complicated it all is. There are times when a dairy farmer can save a number of coupons. He may have more home-produced food than he requires for the moment, and can therefore put his coupons on one side. If he has available space to keep the corn from the miller, it is much more likely that he will use it. We all know how easy it is to spend money which is readily available. In the same way, there is a temptation to use corn if it is on the spot. I suggest it would be to everyone's advantage if it could be kept at the millers until required.
Many farmers, not only in my part of the country but in other places, have no facilities for keeping corn. They may have an over-dose of rats and mice, and in many cases it is physically impossible to keep substantial quantities of corn in good condition for any length of time. It may not be quite so easy for the civil servants if the coupons are allowed to run on for four or six months. I agree that it is not quite so tidy for their books, but now that the war is over and there is no risk of ships sinking and so forth, it would be better if it were made legal for these coupons to run over a period. I can vouch for what has been said. I 2056 know that in many parts of the country it is customary to bank coupons and to use them as required, but that has now been shown to be illegal. It would be of great advantage if the time were extended. This is obviously not a political matter, but is a question of making the best use of our grain so that we can get the maximum quantity of eggs, chickens and milk. I hope the hon. Lady will carefully consider this matter before making her reply.
§ 6.51 p.m.
Mr. McKie (Galloway)
I wish to associate myself with this Motion, which has been so lucidly moved and cogently argued by my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson). In accordance with Parliamentary custom, I at once declare my personal interest in this matter as a dairy farmer. Of course, it is not really dairy farming which will be handicapped if the Parliamentary Secretary does not turn a favourable ear to our pleas; it is all classes of agriculturists. I was glad to hear my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Baldwin) put forward a plea on behalf of the stock raiser, the beef producer. I hope the hon. Lady will bear that plea very much in mind, because the Government must adjust the balance between the farmer and the stockbreeder. Here is one small way, although, at the same time, it is a big way, in which the Parliamentary Secretary can assist, because dairy farmers, milk producers particularly, will be most seriously handicapped if this order is not rescinded. I have had the honour to represent my constituency for more than 16 years. It adjoins the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries, which produces a larger quantity of food milk. My constituency, which is even bigger, has more fertile land, and is much more suitable for the dairying branch of agriculture, produces a great deal more milk. I can see that the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland agrees, by the expression on his countenance.
We do not move this Motion tonight in any party spirit. We are raising the matter from the point of view of practical politics, so that the greatest quantity of milk will be available to the public. Perhaps my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hillhead (Mr. J. S. C. Reid) will have more to say on this point, but the decision of the 2057 Court of Session in Edinburgh on this matter has been made abundantly clear. The Parliamentary Secretary comes here tonight in the role of Portia, and invites us, by this order, to override the decision of that very august body which sits in Edinburgh. If I may say so, without disrespect, she is admirably cast for the role of Portia. I hope she will show herself a Portia indeed tonight, and that on due reflection she will recognise that the Court of Session have been better judges in this matter than she has shown herself to be up to date by asking the House to agree 10 this order, which would override the judgment of that body.
There is no doubt that a period of four months, or even six months, would ensure greater convenience for dairy farmers—indeed, for all farmers—and a better supply of milk than insistence upon an order which states that the surrender of coupons must take place within two months. We all know, particularly in Scotland, that few dairy farmers are so equipped to provide all the accommodation for feedingstuffs which will be necessary to secure the proper supply of milk which the Government tell us it is so neccssary to produce. Why not be broad-minded—why not adhere to the period of two months for the surrender of coupons, but have a little elasticity—Split the difference, and agree on four months? The hon. Lady looks in a particularly charming mood tonight, and if she can meet us she will earn not merely the thanks of Members who are particularly concerned with this matter, but also the farming and consuming public of Britain. If this Motion had been on the Order Paper last night, the hon. Lady might have kept for her Government the seat which the electors of Gravesend will take from them tonight.
§ 6.57 p.m.
§ Sir Frank Sanderson (Ealing, East)
It is with some diffidence that I rise to speak on this Motion, but I do so to put a point of view which has not yet been expressed. My hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Baldwin) referred particularly to linseed cakes, and said that it was necessary that farmers should take delivery only when required because if they put them into stock the cakes were liable to go mouldy. I wish to put a manufacturer's point of view. If the suggestion which has been presented to the 2058 House, namely, that it should be possible to use the coupons, not for two months, but for four or even six months, is accepted, I ask Members to reflect on the position of the manufacturer who has to purchase his oil seeds and crush them throughout the whole year. If a farmer were permitted to take delivery of his linseed-cotton, or compound feeding cakes or any kind of oilseed cakes during four or six months at his option it would be quite impossible for the manufacturer to keep his plant continuously running, which is vital.
Oil cakes are normally sold for delivery from November to April, or May to August. The contract specifically states that delivery shall be taken in equal quantities spread over the contract period. That is done so that the manufacturer can purchase his seeds, make his contracts, and distribute his manufacturing goods equally throughout the contract period. It should be borne in mind that there is a limit to the amount of space available for storing either oil cakes or oil seeds in the seed crushers. The manufacturer is no more able to hold six months' stock than the farmer is to store six months' requirements. Therefore, I suggest that to prolong the time from two to four or six months, so far as oil seed cakes are concerned, would not be practicable. The result would be that the whole organisation of distribution through coupons would fail completely. Delivery must be taken in more or less equal quantities during the contract period. I submit that it would be unwise to increase the period from two months as at present provided under the coupon system, and I can assure hon. Members that it would not be possible for the industry to carry on if delivery were taken in the manner suggested.
Finally, I would explain to the Committee that when contracts are made to distribute equal monthly deliveries over a six months' period, in cases where any portion of the cakes is not taken within the specified month, a premium is normally charged upon those cakes; that is to say, that if they are bought for the November to April delivery, and the November portion is not moved within that month, then the buyer has to pay a penalty of 2s. 6d. or 5s. a ton because he has failed to move them. That is not done merely to extract more money from 2059 the consumer, but to enable the industry to provide the necessary amount of seed to keep the mills running continuously night and day. That would not be possible if a buyer could take delivery just when and as he required for a period extending from four to six months, save as I have already said—in more or less equal monthly quantities during the contract period.
§ 7.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Beechman (St. Ives)
The speech of the hon. Member for East Ealing (Sir F. Sanderson) is one of interest from the point of view of the supplier, but it does not, in fact, bear out what, in my experience, has been the necessary practice ' of the farming community. This order, as I see it, will further complicate what is already quite sufficiently complicated, in particular for the small, mixed, family farm and people with smallholdings, such as I know in the West country. I happen to have a smallholding myself. I submit to the House that this order has been drawn up on a false analogy with petrol. The Government do not want people to use cars—I do not agree with them—but they do want people to have fowls, pigs and other livestock, and it is most important when there is a certain amount of home-grown food to fit it in with that obtained from elsewhere.
I am in total disagreement with the hon. Member for East Ealing in saying that suppliers of feedingstuffs help the farming community enormously by storing feedingstuffs for the time being, which is very necessary when one has a small farm or holding and arrangements for storage are far from extended. Therefore, I hope that the hon. Lady, who pays so much attention, as I well know, to detailed cases when they are put before her, will seriously consider this, and prevent the process going any further by which the form is becoming more important than the farm.
§ 7.7 p.m.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summerskill)
I have on many occasions been attacked by the Scottish Members when they have thought fit to pray against our orders, and I must confess that tonight it is very pleasant to find them in a pleading mood particularly the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. McKie), who is in an 2060 almost irresistible mood. I assure the hon. Member who moved this Motion and his seconder and supporters that we have no desire to penalise the farmers. I think they will agree with me that my Department and the Ministry of Agriculture and the Scottish Department have made every attempt to deal with the complaints that have been forwarded to us at different times. I might remind hon. Members opposite that some of the complaints they have made tonight could have been more properly made to the Minister of Agriculture. The whole question of the period of validity of coupons is not for my Department but for the Ministry of Agriculture to settle. I think every hon. Member has addressed himself to that part of the order, which I feel is not strictly an amendment—it is a clarification. In our opinion, it is a means of establishing a position which was thought to be covered by the original order.
I think that all hon. Members who are interested in rationing will agree that the first essential in any rationing scheme is to establish the period of validity of the relevant coupons. The original order, which has now been clarified, made it quite clear to the farmers of the country that the feedingstuff coupons should be deposited within 15 days after the first day of issue, and were valid for two months. Furthermore, if the farmers did not obtain their supplies within that period, they must forfeit the foodstuffs covered by such documents. Member after Member has said tonight, to my astonishment, that the farmers have not been recognising the provisions and have, in fact, been guilty of infringement of our order.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
Surely, the hon. Lady would recognise that the High Court of Judiciary of Scotland has said that this is an ambiguous order; and, naturally, people put the best interpretation in their own interests on it.
§ Dr. Summerskill
If the hon. Gentleman will exercise a little more patience, I will come to the Scottish decision. That decision was, I think, at the beginning of this year, but I want to assure hon. Members that before that decision was made, it was necessary for my Department to prosecute many suppliers who were guilty of not delivering foodstuffs within the specified period. This position held until the Howie case was heard in Scotland. The 2061 defendant's solicitor then contended that, provided the coupons were lodged within 15 days from the date of issue, the merchant had entered into a conditional sale or commitment to the farmer for feeding-stuffs which could be delivered within any time. The hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Macpherson) quoted one of the learned judges. I think that was said on appeal by my Department against the decision. We lost that appeal, but I believe that one of the learned judges did make the comments that have been quoted. I think I am right in saying that if the hon. Member for Dumfries reads a little further down he will discover that the learned judge said it would be right and proper for my department to clarify the order. In the light of what happened during those proceedings, we thought it was right and proper to clarify the order in this way.
I should say that in delivering the judgment the learned judge said that the order was ambiguous, and it was also because of this and of other statements that were made during the course of the action that we decided to clarify the order. I would remind hon. Members opposite that there are many inexperienced farmers and suppliers who will welcome this clarification. We arc, in fact, protecting the careless farmer and supplier, careless men who perhaps because of the shortcomings of my Department do not interpret this order in the proper way and have been guilty of an infringement. Therefore, by introducing this clarification we are protecting the inexperienced and careless farmer and supplier.
The hon. Member for Dumfries mentioned the fact that we lost an appeal and, therefore, perhaps this clarification is a little improper; that, in fact, we should ignore the rulings that were made then and should sit back and let the procedure that has been adopted in the past continue. I must remind the hon. Member of this, that during that action there were many other cases pending in England. After that action we continued to prosecute suppliers who had been guilty of infringements of our orders, and although in every case defending counsel quoted the learned judge's remarks in Scotland, we were successful in them all except one. Therefore, the law is not necessarily consistent. I should say that if every farmer and supplier in the 2062 country adopted the method advocated by the hon. Member for Dumfries—I think he said clearly that farmers should be allowed to get their feedingstuffs as they like, how they like, and when they like—
§ Dr. Summerskill
That is even worse. He advocated that they should be allowed to get their feedingstuffs as they liked, how they liked, when they liked and if they liked.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Does the hon. Member realise that if we accepted that, it would mean that the pipeline, which brings the by-products from the flour mills and the breweries to the suppliers, would be blocked after a time? There would be complete chaos in the industry.
§ Dr. Summerskill
It is absolutely necessary that there should be an orderly of take of the feedingstuffs from the different trades which are concerned with supplying them to the merchants. The hon. Member has advocated a method of procedure which would end in chaos, and I can assure him that no hon. Member who is concerned with the trade would be grateful for such a practice. I should also remind him that the enforcement officers, whose concern, of course, is with prosecuting suppliers in the event of there being a breach of our order, would find it very difficult to determine whether over-supply had been made. We would give the supplier complete freedom to retain supplies. He would have, of course, to keep a ration debit and credit account, but hon. Members who know the industry well are aware of the fact that he is not obliged to keep a record for longer than a year. Therefore, when the enforcement officer came along and asked for the record, it would be quite easy for the supplier—and he would be within his rights—to deceive the Ministry, with the result that it would be impossible for us to take action in many of these cases.
It has been put by certain hon. Members who are interested in this matter that there are exceptional cases. For instance, a farmer or a supplier may be guilty of an infringement of the order because the 2063 weather has been bad, and the supplier has been unable to deliver the feeding-stuffs within the necessary period. Our answer to that is that if hon. Members will read the order, they will find in paragraph 22 that we have power to authorise suppliers to deliver the feedingstuffs during a period after the two months have elapsed, so that they are well covered. Hon. Members have again stressed the difficulty of farmers not being able to keep their feedingstuffs because their accommodation is limited. They have also said that if the feedingstuffs were kept by the suppliers they would deteriorate. My advisers are businessmen and not civil servants. There has been some talk by hon. Members opposite of civil servants sitting at their desks in Whitehall and it being impossible for them to understand these things. Many hon. Members know some of my advisers and recognise that they are very astute men who have been in the trade for many years. I can only quote their advice against what has been said tonight. They tell me that if this grain is kept for a long period it will not deteriorate.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I should have said feedingstuffs. What is the answer to the man who is in a difficult position, and we want to meet him? The man who says that he wants extra feedingstuffs for his cows, and we want to meet him. I think we have met him when we say he can leave the feedingstuffs with the supplier provided they are invoiced and can be easily identified. That is quite fair. I believe every supplier who is anxious to help the farmer will be quite prepared to do this, and I cannot, therefore, think of any case where a farmer will be penalised because he has to recognise the provisions of the amended order. If hon. Members have any suggestions to make, we shall be only too pleased to consider them, but I believe I have been able to meet their chief objection when I say that the farmer can leave his feedingstuffs with the supplier, but they must be identified. If these provisions are adhered to by farmers and by suppliers, I believe there will be no difficulty in the future.
§ Mr. Baldwin
Before the hon. Lady sits down, may I point out that by keeping this order the Ministry will be blocking 2064 the pipeline? A tremendous amount of seed corn is threshed out in the autumn, and the order compels farmers to take up their feedingstuffs in two months. That blocks up the pipeline. Take the case of linseed cake, which will not keep. If the Ministry's experts say it will, they do not know their job.
§ Dr. Summerskill
If the hon. Member is referring to seed, that is a different position. The farmer does not take it up in the same period.
§ 7.21 p.m.
§ Mr. Turton (Thirsk and Malton)
It is quite clear that there is a different issue between the farmer and the manufacturer. The hon. Lady has entered into an unholy alliance with the hon. Member for East Ealing (Sir F. Sanderson) and when she talks about her advisers being manufacturers and keen business men, she is I presume, alluding to the hon. Member for East Ealing. She can be convicted out of her own mouth. Feedingstuffs such as linseed do not keep a long time. I gather the hon. Member for East Ealing appreciates that, because he is charging extra when he is forced to keep crushed Unseed on the premises more than one month. The hon. Lady is suggesting that if these feedingstuffs are put into store premises, they will be quite as good for feedingstuffs as they would be if they had been freshly threshed. She cannot have it both ways. If she has got the advantage of this alliance with the hon. Member for East Ealing, she must accept his arguments. Therefore, she cannot use the argument that feedingstuffs will keep some length of time.
I agree there is no large issue on this question, but I ask the hon. Lady to consider this matter and perhaps investigate whether linseed will keep. If she tries that' experiment she will see that the farmers are quite right. If she comes to that conclusion, cannot she at some later date alter things so that farmers can keep their coupons in certain circumstances for a limited period of time. The hon. Lady said it would not be easy for the enforcement officer to get the prosecutions he likes if this were allowed, because records are kept only for 12 months. There is no intention by hon. Members on this side of the House, or on my part, that this banking of coupons should go on for such a long period as 12 months. The suggestion is 2065 that the coupons should be banked, at the most, for four to six months, and the general view is four months. When farmers had threshed their corn early in the season, they could store up their coupons for the later period when there would be a shortage of home threshed corn with which to feed the stock. That is a matter of considerable importance to the community. We are very short of feeding-stuffs at the present time and it would be a convenience to be able to bank coupons for that limited period. I hope, therefore, that the hon. Lady, who has been friendly and helpful in her reply, even if it was not a very satisfactory reply, will take this matter back for reconsideration.
§ 7.25 p.m.
§ Mr. J. S. C. Reid (Glasgow, Hillhead)
I should not have intervened had it not been for the astonishing legal doctrines enunciated by the hon. Lady in the first part of her speech. Apparently the bureaucrats think that when the courts find that their, order does not prohibit a certain thing, they are entitled to come and say, "We meant it to prohibit that thing, and we are just going on as if the court had never made their decision at all, and we are coming to Parliament to ask Parliament just to brush the court aside." I really was shocked—
§ Dr. Summerskill
I think the right hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. We so respected the ruling of the court that we have come to this House in order to implement the advice which was given us by the learned judge.
§ Mr. Reid
That I cannot accept for a moment. The hon. Lady, if she knows anything about courts, knows quite well that courts never advise the Government whether legislative action should be taken. It would be very wrong if they did. I have no doubt that in this case it was stated that it would be open to the Government, if so advised, to take certain legislative action, but that is a very different thing from suggesting to the Government that they would do well to do so. I really was shocked to hear the hon. Lady say that her prosecuting authorities had continued with prosecutions after the court had decided that no offence had been committed by these unfortunate people before the Order reinstituted the offence. I can think of nothing 2066 worse than for an executive department to take the law into its own hands and to say: "These poor farmers have not got the money to appeal; we are only dealing with lay magistrates who will not look too much into the law; we intend to impose our will upon these people, although the courts have already said that in doing so we are acting illegally." That is what the hon. Lady admits.
§ Mr. William Wells (Walsall)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that courts do not always act in the same way, and is he suggesting that a pronouncement by a court in Scotland should be binding in this country?
§ Dr. Summerskill
I am sure the right hon. and learned Gentleman could not have listened to what I was saying. We had brought a number of actions, and cases had been decided in our favour before the Scottish decision. Though the right hon. Gentleman has said we have no right to continue to take action, we surely, were fortified by the decisions already made in our favour.
§ Mr. Reid
I really am astonished. The hon. Lady does not seem to understand that the effect of the Scottish decision in the High Court was to show that all her previous successes had been wrongly made, and if justice were to be done they ought to be washed out. But, of course, the time for appeal had passed. It happens constantly that subordinate courts will reach a wrong decision till they are put right by a higher court. The hon. Lady has no right to say that, because there were a certain number of wrong decisions before the right view was enunciated, therefore she is going on seeking for more wrong decisions before coming to this House. I do not blame the hon. Lady. She is not a lawyer. I do blame her advisers for giving her advice of this character. It seems to me to show that the bureaucrats are setting themselves up above the law courts in a manner which is certainly improper and ought to be 2067 stopped, I very much hope one result of this Debate will be that Government Departments in future will try and keep within the law, which obviously they have not been doing here, if they accept the Scottish decision as law, and the hon. Lady has not said that they did not. If she had thought so, I trust she would have said so. Where we are now is that unless this order is approved, no offence whatever is committed. There is no offence whatever before this order is made in doing what those farmers have been prosecuted for doing. The hon. Lady is now trying to justify the imposition of this restriction. Before the order was made, the court decided that no such restriction existed. The hon. Lady may have intended it to exist, but it did not.
What is the case for the restriction? Let us examine it. The hon. Lady has not said that it can be no advantage to the farmer if he were entitled to use his coupons after four, five or six months. Indeed, she has said the opposite. She has said that there have been cases where it would be to the advantage of a farmer, and where she has tried to leave him a loophole. Therefore, I start from this position, that it would be in the interests of the farming community if this restriction were less rigid. The hon. Lady has admitted it, by the way she put her case. I see the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland shaking his head. If the hon. Lady is right in saying, as she has said, that it has been necessary to make provision in a number of cases—
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Thomas Fraser)
§ Mr. Reid
Very well, then. Is it suggested that there are cases which suffer any drawback if they are called upon to obey the terms of the order? We might have had some statement to that effect on the technical, fanning side. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will be good enough to tell us whether it is his view that there is no prejudice whatever to any farmer who obeys this restriction, apart from the few exceptional cases. Admittedly there are some exceptions. The hon. Lady has said that they are provided for by storage in the merchants' premises, on the footing that no kind of foodstuff ever 2068 goes bad in a few months. She mentioned grain, and then corrected herself.
I quite understand that the hon. Lady has been advised by her advisers that grain, if it is properly looked after, does not go bad. Of course, it does not. If the wet does not reach it and the rats cannot get at it, why should it go bad? That does not apply to a lot of this mixed foodstuff. I do not think the hon. Lady has been advised about that. If there are exceptional cases where it would be an imposition to require the farmer to take delivery within two months, as she has admitted, and if that farmer is entitled to the mixed type of foodstuff which does go bad, then the hon. Lady has tried to provide protection for him and has failed. Therefore, she ought to try to find another protection for him. It would not give much difficulty.
The hon. Lady has said, "We cannot have everybody doing this, because it would clog up the wheels." Is it not rather remarkable that before the war there was no trouble if people entered into arrangements with each other? They were free to do so. We never heard that the wheels of industry would be clogged up. Somehow or other, business men were able to cope with these matters. I suppose that postwar conditions have altered the situation and that we could not have the general use of this freedom.
What is going to happen to the person who asks for postponement of delivery? What is going to happen when the material does go musty or bad? Will the hon. Lady consider those points, and whether she proposes to make any provision for it? If it is a case regarding grain, it only requires a merchant to take a little extra trouble to put the grain into a bag. The bag goes out of use until the grain is delivered. A label is tied on it. That is all that is needed, a little extra trouble. If the hon. Lady feels that putting grain into a bag and tying a label on if is really thwarting some great national purpose, I confess I do not see it.
What about the other kind of foodstuff? The hon. Lady has been badly advised about the law. I speak as one who has had the responsibility for no less than nine years of prosecuting in Scotland. I think she might think again about the practical side of the matter. I do not put myself forward as an expert, but it seems to 2069 me that the hon. Lady has been advised upon only half the case.
§ 7.36 p.m.
Mr. N. Maepherson
I hope we have not heard the hon. Lady's last word on this matter. She has invited further Comments. We would like to hear a little bit more from her as to whether she is prepared to reconsider this matter. The truth is that the case she has answered was not the case which was put to her. She answered the case for simply withdrawing the order and not replacing it with anything else, but we are not suggesting that. We are suggesting that the order should be withdrawn and the delivery period extended. The best opinion both in this House and outside it seems to be that the right delivery period is not two months but four months.
The hon. Lady has not presented any case to show that a four months' period of delivery would upset the flow of supplies. My hon. Friend the Member for East Ealing (Sir F. Sanderson) was concerned, from the manufacturer's point of view, and I dare say quite rightly, that the evenness of the flow of his products should not be interfered with. My hon., Friend the Member for East Ealing reminds me that he has no interest of a personal character in this matter and that he was only putting the manufacturer's point of view. We want to get an improvement in milk production, and manufacturers will be able to get rid of the oil cake that they are able to supply, and much more, if they could produce it. It is only a question of their saying what they have available to supply, and the ration is then made up on that basis.
It seems to me that where the right hon. Lady—I am sorry, I anticipate. I should say the hon. Lady—has not quite met the case is that she seems to think that we are advocating the removal of all restrictions. She stated that I said that farmers should take their allocations if they liked. Indeed, they are urged by the Government not to take their allocations if they do not want them. Half our case is that there will probably be less likelihood of their taking them if the period is extended, because the farmers will know exactly what they require. They will not have to anticipate a need that may not arise. She mentioned that I also spoke about taking them when they liked; yes, of course, but within the four months' period. I 2070 added "How they liked." The difficulty at the moment is that under the order they may have to order certain types of foodstuffs, and when the time for delivery comes they may find they would rather replace that type with another. They will under this order be unable to do so. For those reasons the four months' period is most certainly better. There is no difficulty at all with the grain merchants. They will still continue to put in their monthly stock returns so that the Ministry will be able to maintain control, and in general it will work out. The fallacy on which the Ministry are working is that they think they can control each cow's consumption in the same way as they control each human individual's consumption in food rationing. That cannot be done. If they think that, they will continue to meet disappointments.
Here is another very important point. It has been clearly shown by the Scottish courts that this order was ambiguous. That being the case, the Minister has only to consider the vast number of people who have been interpreting the previous order in the sense most favourable to themselves. All those people will now be upset. By the new amendment they are all put on the wrong side of the law. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hillhead (Mr. J. S. C. Reid) said, it is uterly shocking to all of us that when there was any doubt or ambiguity about the matter the Ministry should have gone on with prosecutions. I hope that most of the prosecutions to which the Parliamentary Secretary has referred were not on the same point. Many of the prosecutions which have arisen out of this order have not been on exactly this point. If she takes this matter back and looks at it again, she will find that it is expedient in the national interest to increase the period from two months to four months as far as the delivery date is concerned
§ 7.42 p.m.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Perhaps the House will allow me just to answer that point. I agree that I did not deal with the four months' period, but the reason is the same. If the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson) was asking us to treat his own area of South West Scotland in this way, that might be practicable so far as storage was concerned. It would, of course, be wrong in the case of an order in this House which must cover the 2071 whole country. If we made an order covering the whole country to give merchants the right to keep feedingstuffs for four months, it would mean that probably every farmer in the country would avail himself of that right.
§ Dr. Summerskill
He might. In that case it would be quite impossible for the merchants of the country to carry on their trade. Their accommodation is limited and they would be unable to bring the
§ feedingstuffs from the producing points and from the ports. It is for that reason and because, as the hon. Member for East Ealing (Sir F. Sanderson) quite rightly said, there is this danger of blocking the pipe line that we cannot even admit of four months.
That the Feeding Stuffs (Rationing) (Amendment No. 3) Order, 1947 (S.R. & O., 1947, No. 1990), dated 13th September, 1947, a copy of which was presented on 20th October, be annulled.
The House divided: Ayes, 82; Noes, 211.
|Division No. 3.]||AYES.||[7.44 p.m|
|Amory, D Heathcoat||Gruffydd, Prof. W. J.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Sir C.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E|
|Beechman, N. A.||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Raikes, H. V|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Howard, Hon. A||Reid, Rt. Hon. J S. C. (Hillhead)|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Hurd, A.||Roberts, H. (Handsworth)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. C. (E'b'rgh W.)||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n)||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Challen, C.||Jennings, R.||Scott, Lord W.|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W||Shephard, S. (Newark)|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Cole, T. L.||Lindsay, M (Solihull)||Smiles, Lt.-Col Sir W.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Lloyd, Maj Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Smith, E P (Ashford)|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Lloyd, Selywn (Wirral)||Snadden, W. M|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E||Low, A. R. W.||Spence, H R.|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Studholme, H. G.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Thornton-Kemsley, C N|
|Davies, Clement (Montgomery)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Thorp, Lt.-Col R A F|
|Digby, S. W.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Turton, R. H.|
|Dodds-Parker, A D||Marlowe, A A H.||Wadsworth, G|
|Donner, P W||Marples, A. E.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Dower, E. L G. (Caithness)||Marsden, Capt. A.||Wheatley, Colonel M. J.|
|Drayson, G. B||Marshall, D (Bodmin)||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|Drewe, C.||Maude, J C||York, C.|
|Duthie, W. S||Medlicott, F||Young, Sir A. S. L (Partick)|
|Erroll, F. J||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon Sir D. P. M.||Morris-Jones, Sir H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Gage, C.||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Sir John Barlow and|
|Gammans, L. D.||Nicholson, G.||Mr. Niall Macpherson.|
|Granville, E (Eye)||Osborne, C|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Callaghan, James||Durbin, E F. M|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Carmichael, James||Dye, S.|
|Alpass, J H||Castle, Mrs. B A.||Edwards, A (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Anderson, A (Motherwell)||Chamberlain, R A||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Champion, A. J.||Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)|
|Austin, H Lewis||Chater, D||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)|
|Awbery, S. S||Chetwynd, G. R||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)|
|Ayles, W. H||Cluse, W. S||Evans, John (Ogmore)|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs B||Cobb, F. A.||Evans, S. N (Wednesbury)|
|Bacon, Miss A||Cocks, F. S||Ewart, R|
|Baird, J.||Collick, P.||Fairhurst, F|
|Balfour, A||Collindridge, F.||Fernyhough, E|
|Barton, C.||Colman, Miss G. M||Follick, M.|
|Belcher. J. W||Cook, T F||Foot, M. M.|
|Benson, G||Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G||Forman, J. C.|
|Berry, H.||Corbel, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N. W.)||Foster, W. (Wigan)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon A (Ebbw Vale)||Corlett, Dr. J.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)|
|Bing, G. H C||Grossman, R H. S||Gibbins, J|
|Binns, J.||Daggar, G.||Gibson, C. W|
|Blenkinsop, A||Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W)||Glanville, J. E (Consett)|
|BIyton, W R||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Gooch, E. G.|
|Boardman, H.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Gordon-Walker, P C|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Delargy, H. J||Grenfell, D. R|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Diamond, J.||Grey, C. F|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Dobbie, W||Grierson, E|
|Brooks, T. J (Rothwell)||Dodds, N. N||Griffiths, D (Rother Valley)|
|Burden, T W||Donovan, T||Griffiths, Rt Hon J. (Llanelly)|
|Burke, W. A.||Dumpleton, C W||Griffiths, W. D (Moss Side)|
|Gunter, R J.||Marshall, F. (Brightside)||Soskice, Maj. Sir F.|
|Guy, W. H.||Medland, H. M.||Stamford, W.|
|Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil||Middleton, Mrs. L||Steele, T.|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Mikardo, Ian.||Stubbs, A. E.|
|Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Mitchison, G. R.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Herbison, Miss M.||Monslow, W.||Swingler, S.|
|Hobson, C. R.||Morley, R.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Holman, P.||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H (Lewisham, E.)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)||Murray, J. D.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)||Nally, W.||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Naylor, T. E.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)||Noel-Buxton, Lady||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Hutchinson, H L. (Rusholme)||O'Brien, T.||Titterington, M. F.|
|Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Orbach, M.||Tolley, L.|
|Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)||Paget, R. T||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)||Pargiter, G. A||Usborne, Henry|
|Janner, B.||Parker, J.||Vernon, Maj. W. F.|
|Jay, D. P. T.||Parkin, B. T||Viant, S. P.|
|Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Paton, Mrs. F (Rushclitfe)||Walker, G. H|
|John, W.||Pearson, A||Warbey, W. N.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley)||Perrins, W.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Platts-Mills, J. F. F.||Watson, W. M,|
|Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Poole, Cecil (Lichfield)||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Keenan, W.||Popplewell, E.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Key, C. W.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|King, E. M.||Ranger, J.||West, D. G.|
|Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E||Reeves, J.||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J.||Reid, T. (Swindon)||White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.|
|Lee, F. (Hulme)||Rhodes, H.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Leonard, W.||Richards, R.||Wigg, George|
|Leslie, J. R||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Wilkes, L.|
|Levy, B. W.||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Lipson, D. L.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Lyne, A. W.||Scott-Elliot, W.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|McAllister, G.||Segal, Dr. S.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|McGhee, H. G||Shackleton, E. A. A.||Williamson, T.|
|McGovern, J.||Sharp, Granville||Woodburn, A.|
|Mack, J. D.||Shawcross, C. N. (Widne)||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|McKinlay, A. S.||Shurmer, P.|
|McLeavy, F.||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mainwaring, W. H,||Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.||Mr. Simmons and|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Skinnard, F W.||Mr. Wilkins.|
|Marquand, H. A.||Sorenson, R. W.|
Question put, and agreed to.