I propose to call the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) in page 3, line 10, to leave out "six," and to insert "eight." It might be for the convenience of the Committee if this Amendment and the Amendment in the name of the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), in line 10, to leave out "six," and to insert "seven" could be discussed together.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I take it from that, Mr. Hopkin Morris, that you are ruling out of order the Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) in page 3, line 6, to leave out subsections (1) to (9) and to insert a new subsection (1).
Yes. That Amendment, together with the Amendment in page 4, line 19, to leave out subsections (10) to (13) and to insert a new subsection (2), taken together, would negative the whole Clause.
§ Mr. Callaghan
It is not, of course, my purpose to challenge that in any way. I 1668 raise the matter just for the purpose of clarification. Clearly discussion on inserting "seven" instead of "six" or "eight" instead of "six" is a very narrow discussion indeed, and our purpose in putting down these Amendments which you are ruling out of order was to obtain a wide discussion on the whole field of the Road Haulage Disposal Board. Could you indicate what would be within the rules of order in that discussion?
The only point at which that subject could be discussed now is on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." It would not be in order on any Amendment on the Order Paper.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I beg to move, in page 3, line 10, to leave out "six," and to insert "eight."
I trust that we shall have the co-operation of the Committee in trying to obtain a general discussion at an appropriate time on the subject of the Road Haulage Disposal Board.
§ Mr. Hylton-Foster
I beg the hon. Member's pardon for intervening, but I thought that he was sitting down and I wanted to speak on his point of order.
§ Mr. Callaghan
If the hon. and learned Member wishes to interrupt me on a point of order, I have to tell him that I am now making my speech but I should be quite ready to give way.
§ Mr. Hylton-Foster
That is exactly what I would expect of the hon. Member—to be so obliging. The line of his argument is capable of a little further development because we are getting into mathematics on these Amendments, into differences between six and seven, and six and eight, and the difference in line 15 between "one member," and "two members," and the difference in line 17 between "one member," and "three members." I need not go into the difference on another Amendment to line 18 between "industry," and "and finance."
The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) has not yet moved his Amendment. He is now in the process of moving it and that Amendment to leave out "six," and insert "eight" is the only one before us.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I do not know whether I am interpreting the hon. and learned Member for York (Mr. Hylton-Foster) aright, but I was hoping that we could have a general discussion on these variations, which are all very narrow, and that they could be put together at some convenient time before the Guillotine falls.
§ Mr. Callaghan
That would then take us to the Amendment in page 3, line 19, at the end, to insert:(c) one member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of manufacturers of motor vehicles as the Minister thinks fit.and also in line 20 to leave out from "appointed," to the end of line 25, and to insert:from among persons nominated by the Central Transport Consultative Committee.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
On a point of order. Would it not be possible to 1670 include the two Amendments in page 3, line 25, at the end, to insert:(e) one member shall be appointed after consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland.and also, in the same line, at the end, to insert:(e) one member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of trade unions as the Minister thinks fit.
If that meets the convenience of the Committee, we will include all the Amendments on page 72 of the Paper and the two at the top of page 73.
§ Mr. Callaghan
In that case I will speak very briefly in moving my Amendment so that every hon. Member who has his name down to an Amendment on the Order Paper can have an opportunity of speaking. If I am not out of order, perhaps I may be allowed to say that our major purpose is to get rid of the Disposal Board and that subject no doubt will come along later. Assuming that we do not attain that objective, and awaiting the strictures of the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), who no doubt will tell us that this is obviously a split in Labour Party policy, we still think that it is our duty to try to improve the Clause. That is a strange idea to the noble Lord, but it fits in with our idea of discussing a Bill and we shall persist in this as the debate goes on.
If there must be a Road Haulage Disposal Board, our purpose here is to give greater weight to the British Transport Commission and also to the Central Transport Consultative Committee. We feel that the Road Haulage Disposal Board, whose object will be to determine the policy in the disposal of these vehicles and whose executive agency the Commission will be, is really weighted far too heavily on the side of those who stand to benefit from the transaction.
We think that it is against the public interest that those who may well stand to benefit, or whose friends may stand to benefit, from transactions of this sort should be in the majority on a Board of this kind, and we would have thought that the Government themselves would have taken that view. We are discussing now a situation in which the Disposal Board will determine policy and, in the 1671 event of disputes with the Commission, it will have very considerable powers. This Board will be having regard to the disposal of public property the total value of which has been variously given as between £70 million and £100 million.
If I may draw an analogy, it is that when under the 1947 Act there were likely to be disputes between the State or between the British Transport Commission, on the one hand, and the man whose business was being acquired, on the other, the machinery set up under that Act, called the Transport Arbitration Tribunal, was made up of the nominee of the Lord Chancellor, the nominee of his opposite number in Scotland, the Lord President, and a third gentleman of legal experience. They were all lawyers and they had the job of adjudicating between the British Transport Commission and individuals whose businesses were being acquired. That seemed to us right and proper and a fair way of assuring that the balance was right.
But now, when we come to the disposal of the self-same property, instead of the scale being held equal by persons of legal experience and of a judicial, independent mind, we find that this Board is to be packed with representatives of trade and industry, the persons holding A, B and C licences. These people and their friends stand to gain from the very operations to which the Board are being asked to have regard.
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
The hon. Member says that the Board is to be packed with representatives of trade and industry, but he himself has an Amendment on the Order Paper to increase the number of trade unionists from one to three.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Callaghan
That is quite true, and I was coming to that point. I will deal with it straight away, because I fully realise that the noble Lord is anxious to help.
The purpose of that Amendment is to ensure that trade and industry, as distinct from persons holding A, B or C licences, should have an additional voice. We believe that any Board of this sort, if it is to be directed along those lines, should have its composition made up in that way, so that it can be quite clear that 1672 there can be no suggestion that it is being packed by friends of those who are going to benefit from these transactions. For that reason, we are altogether opposed to the whole Board.
We believe that the Commission should have the job of disposing of this national property, and we believe that it should be entrusted with that responsibility if it is given to it. That is far better than having an abortion like this thrust in, the sole purpose of which will be to get job lots for the boys at the cheapest rates. Our object in proposing to increase the size of the Board from six to eight is to weaken the stronghold that the A, B and C licence holders are going to have one this Disposal Board, and to strengthen the independent people who will have no interest to serve except that of the public interest.
That may not be an argument that will appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite. Although I am presenting it to them at the moment, I am really presenting it more widely to the public at large, because they will understand what is going on in this business, and they will know that the intention is to have a majority on the Disposal Board made up of people who stand to benefit and that they cannot expect that even justice is going to seem to be done between the nation, which owns these assets at the present time, and those who are going to benefit from them when they are sold.
It is for that reason that I am moving this Amendment, and it is for that reason that we believe that the independent element on this Board should be strengthened considerably, so that even though the public is going to find it has lost a very valuable property, and even though the assets are going to be torn away from it, nevertheless we shall have some independent-minded members on this Board who can put up a fight in order to preserve the decencies of public life.
§ Mr. Carr
Unlike the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), my hon. Friends and I, who have on the Paper two of the Amendments being discussed now, certainly do not wish to get rid of the Board. We are not just trying to improve what we think is a bad job; we are, by these Amendments, trying to strengthen what we think is a good Board.
1673 Before I proceed on those lines, there is one point made by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East with which I should like to deal. He made what seemed to me to be the quite astonishing statement that the Board as it stands in the Bill at the moment is packed with a majority of those who will benefit under the Bill. If one looks at the composition of the Board, one sees that, apart from the chairman and deputy-chairman, there are four other members. One represents C licence holders, one represents A and B licence holders, one represents the Commission and one represents trade and industry.
§ Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)
Does the hon. Member appreciate that the chairman and the deputy-chairman are to be appointed by the Minister? We can all guess the relations between the Minister and the A, B and C licence holders.
§ Mr. Carr
Personally, I have a very much higher opinion of the sense of responsibility of my right hon. Friend than the hon. and learned Gentleman seems to have.
When we look at the composition of this Board as it stands, I presume that the hon. Gentleman had in mind that the representatives of the A and B licensees and the C licensees were among those who were going to benefit, and that he had in mind that the representative of the Commission was one who was not going to benefit. We can only get a majority on the Board of those who are likely to benefit under this Bill if we include amongst them representatives of trade and industry. It is our contention that the whole purpose of this Bill is to provide a better service for the trade and industry of the country.
If that is the sense in which the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East means that there is to be a majority of people who will benefit, I will agree with him, but if he means benefit in the sense I took him to mean it, I am sure that he is talking complete nonsense. There can be a majority of those who benefit only if we believe that we are to have a more efficient service, which in our opinion is the whole purpose of this Bill.
I turn to the two Amendments among those we are discussing which are in my name and the names of some of my hon. Friends: in page 3, line 10, leave out 1674 "six," and insert "seven" and in page 3, line 25, at end, insert:(e) one member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of trade unions as the Minister thinks fit.We support half of the Amendment which has been moved by the hon. Member to the extent that we think the Board should be increased above its present number of six, but we are opposed to the second part of the Amendment, which would increase it to eight. We oppose increasing it to as large a number as eight because we believe that in the case of a Board of this kind it is essential, if it is to work effectively, that it should be kept at a small number as possible.
Moreover, it should also, for convenience of working, have an odd number—for the proper working of majority decisions and reasons of that kind. I repeat that it should be kept as small as is consistent with having on it representatives of all the main parties who are affected by and interested in the operation of the Bill. The four parties mentioned in the Clause are all obviously closely interested in the operation of the Bill, but we believe that there is also one other party which is greatly interested in the Bill which is at the moment not represented.
We believe that there should also be a representative of the trade unions on the Board—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—and that is the purpose of the Amendment in the names of my hon. Friends and myself. [Interruption.] I am surprised at the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks) and others saying "No." I should have thought that on this point we could and should have the support of hon. Members opposite, who are always making such a fuss, if I may say so such a synthetic fuss, about the Government's supposed disregard of the interests of those who work in the industry.
§ Mr. Lindgren
Up to the present time the trade union movement has been clean. It does not want to be involved in any racket.
§ Mr. Carr
Such an intervention is beneath contempt and does not merit an answer. That is their affair, but in our experience, and I think the general experience in the country, is that even if at one moment the trade union movement is opposed to any Bill going through Parliament we always find that, the Bill 1675 having been passed by democratic procedure, the trade unions have honourably recognised the democratic processes of this country and have never refused to participate in its working. I shall be surprised if on this occasion the trade unions do not follow the same example.
In any case we put forward this suggestion in good faith because we believe that this important issue of the method, timing and mechanism of the disposal of these transport units is a matter which vitally affects the interests of those who work in the industry. We believe, therefore, that a spokesman for the workers in the industry should be a member of this Board, that the workers should be represented on it. I know the sympathy of my right hon. Friend for the interests of the workers in this and other industries, and I hope that he will look favourably at this suggestion.
We believe that this need for trade union representation would be true in any case for a Board such as this. We believe it to be particularly important in this case because of the necessity to give to the Board wide powers and not to lay down detailed regulations and restrictions in the Bill to say how the Board should operate. We believe that if, for the Board to operate effectively, it must have wide powers, it is all the more necessary that it should be fully representative.
We on this side of the Committee reject the principle of nationalisation not only as an instrument of economic policy but also as an instrument of social policy. We believe that the right social conditions, responsibilities and status for the workers in industry will best be brought about under a system whereby the ownership of industry is left in private hands with the trade unions and private industry working by collective bargaining and negotiations, and with the Government standing outside independent of these other two interests.
We do not want to see a balance struck between these three interests by warfare but by partnership between them. That is the purpose of our policy. We believe in partnership and in the largest possible measure of joint consultation in all these matters. This Amendment which we are proposing on this Clause is one small example of that partnership and joint consultation which we wish to get. It is for that reason that I ask my right hon. Friend to look favourably upon it.
§ Mr. R. J. Mellish (Bermondsey)
As one who has a knowledge of trade unions, I am not impressed by the platitudes of the hon. Member for Mitcham (Mr. Carr) about trade unions in general. We know, too, what this talk about the theory of collective bargaining and opposing the principle of nationalisation means. We have experienced that already. As one associated with this industry since 1929 when I first started work and saw it at its worst, I am opposed to de-nationalisation because, apart from politics altogether, I dread the return to those times which we experienced in this industry and which will inevitably come again should this Bill become law.
On the question of trade union membership of the Disposal Board, let me say quite clearly and without any question, that we shall not be associated in any way with it, and I will tell the hon. Member for Mitcham why. First of all, the trade unions hate the Bill and everything that it represents. It is putting the clock back. The Minister knows what the trade unions think about him and his rotten Bill, because they have told him so.
If there were one trade union representative on this Board, let us look at the company in which he would be in. The Board will be composed of a chairman appointed by the Minister and a deputy-chairman also appointed by the right hon. Gentleman. That is two against the trade union representative straight away. Then there is to be one person nominated by the Commission. The trade union representative might have a friend there. I hope he would. Then there is to be one member appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of trade and industry as the Minister thinks fit.
§ Mr. Mellish
Yes, the F.B.I. That would be three against the trade union representative. We come now to the last two. One member is to be appointed representative of persons holding A or B licences and one representative of those holding C licences. Imagine a trade union representative on a board of that nature. What chance would he have? It would not be very long before he resigned altogether.
In view of the reaction of the trade unions to the Bill in general, I think it 1677 is impudent to ask them to go on to the Board. We are asking for further representatives from the Commission but the object of that is to try to save something from the wreckage, as my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) said. It is a rotten Bill and we should like to see it disposed of entirely, but if we have to have it let us have another member or two on it to give it some balance.
Certainly, from the trade union angle, neither the men nor the union want anything to do with it, and when the T.U.C. receives an invitation from the Conservative Party to be associated with this Board, it will be found that they will have nothing to do with it.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
I am grateful to the mover of this Amendment because he enables me to speak also on the two Amendments which have been tabled from this side of the Committee. Both the mover of the Amendment and the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) have an entirely wrong slant on the composition of the Board. As it stands, the Board is evenly balanced between the consumer interest and the other interests concerned.
The important thing is that the majority does not matter on this Board, because a difference of opinion has to be referred to the Minister. This is a planning body. [HON. MEMBERS: "What does it plan?"] Its purpose is to lay down the general lines on which the Commission is to act—
§ Mr. Callaghan
I only want to make a short point on subsection (8). Let us assume that a trade union member has a difference of opinion with the rest of the Board. It is then referred to the Minister only if the chairman, or the deputy-chairman in his absence, considers that the point is of sufficient importance to be referred to the Minister. In other words, such a trade union representative would be wholly in the hands of the chairman, who would or would not refer the issue in dispute to the Minister, who would then issue such directions as he liked. What an intolerable position in which to put a self-respecting trade unionist.
§ Mr. Macpherson
But hon. Gentlemen opposite have been talking as though the interest of the trade unionist would differ 1678 from all the others. If, indeed, that were so, the present proposal would put the trade unionist in a situation in which the chairman could back his opinion alone and have the matter referred to the Minister.
§ Mr. Mitchison
Has it escaped the attention of the hon. Member that the chairman, nominated by the Minister without any qualifications, can differ from the rest of this precious Board and then refer the matter to the Minister and get it decided by him?
§ Mr. Macpherson
Not under the Amendment that we are discussing, but under one which comes later; but I thought it ought to be mentioned at this moment, because it is germane to the point raised by the mover of the Amendment. Surely it must be wrong to say, simply because there is disagreement in some sections of the community in regard to the Bill, that that section should not do its bit to co-operate in making the best of the Act.
The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) himself said that the conception of hon. Gentlemen on that side of the Committee was that they want, in Committee, to make the Bill as good as possible. Surely the same should apply to any section of the community, once the Bill is law. We have seen many examples of that in the past. Not everybody agreed in detail with the National Health Service Act, but the co-operation from all sections of the community has been good, which is for the benefit of the community. I should hope that the same would apply in the present case. I hope that my right hon. Friend will accept the Amendment which has been moved so delightfully and cogently by my hon. Friend.
I now turn to the Amendment at the top of page 73 of the Order Paper, namely, in page 3, line 25, at the end, to insert:(e) one member shall be appointed after consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland.As my right hon. Friend said a few moments ago, it is generally admitted that there are some special problems in Scotland, although they are not so different as to make it necessary or desirable, or indeed practicable, that Scotland can be treated entirely separately in this Bill. 1679 The purpose of this Amendment is to ensure that the Disposal Board shall have these problems constantly before them when they are called upon to examine the proposals of the Commission, and also when they are considering the general lines on which the Commission is to work.
I would agree that this proposal is not the only way of securing that purpose and it may be that it is not even the best way. Here we have a Board appointed as being broadly representative of particular sections of those who are interested in transport, whereas a Scottish representative would have to cover all those interests in his person and that might cut across the general character of the Board which is representative of various interests—the consumer on the one hand and, on the other, the Commission and other suppliers of services. However, it would mean that the Scottish representative would be able to discuss the Commission's disposal plan for road haulage property in Scotland with other interests in Scotland and it might save the Disposal Board a considerable amount of trouble.
One argument which I hope my right hon. Friend will not use in reply to this Amendment is that the Commission must already know the conditions and the special problems in Scotland and that, therefore, the division of the Road Haulage Executive property there into units can safely be left to them.
§ Mr. Macpherson
I hope my right hon. Friend will not argue that the Commission should be the sole arbiter of the size, conditions, and so forth, of the units that are to be disposed of.
There is another argument he may put forward, namely, that it would be virtually impossible to get eight distinguished persons without having a Scotsman among them and that, therefore, it is likely that there will be a Scotsman on the Board in any case. He might even undertake to ensure that this should be so. That would be something. But it would depend very much on which member it was. A Scottish member to represent trade and industry would be 1680 one thing, but it would not be acceptable if the one Scotsman was the member who represented the Commission. It would mean that there would be one interest alone represented from the suppliers of transport. I do not think we on this side would be satisfied if the sole Scotsman represented the A and B or the C licence holders either.
If the Minister cannot concede this Amendment, I hope he will consider carefully what machinery is needed to enable the Disposal Board to appreciate the Scottish problem before they agree to the plans of the Commission for the disposal of the Road Haulage Executive property in Scotland. We, on our side, do not wish to multiply advisory committees and we hesitate to suggest that an ad hoc committee should be set up in Scotland to advise the Disposal Board on the disposal of property in Scotland.
We suggest, however, that the Minister should consider carefully between now and the next stage whether he can concede this Amendment, as I hope he will be able to do. If not, we would like to know what alternative proposals he can put forward to ensure that the special conditions in Scotland will be before the Board and that the Board will be fully acquainted with them.
§ Mr. Henderson Stewart
If the Committee will allow me, I should like to deal with the single point that has been raised by my hon. Friend—
§ Mr. Lindgren
On a point of order. Is this a repetition of what happened last night? Is the Closure to be moved?
§ Mr. Stewart
I should like to deal with the single point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson), with reference to the representation of Scotland on this body. My right hon. Friend, of course, intends to reply to the whole general debate. It is a pity that no Scottish Labour Members are now present, except—
§ Mr. Stewart
I did say "except." Perhaps the Committee will, nevertheless, listen for a moment to this Scottish problem.
The Government recognise the peculiar geographical and social conditions that appertain in Scotland. For that reason, my right hon. Friend would like very 1681 much in some manner to meet the wishes of my hon. Friends from Scotland. The representatives of the Commission will, of course, be in Scotland—in the Highlands, the Lowlands and elsewhere—and will guide the Disposal Board.
§ Mr. Mitchison
On a point of order. Surely this put-up business is against all the rules of order and all the traditions of the House. An hon. Member gets up—
The hon. and learned Member talks about a "put-up business." I do not know to what he is referring.
§ Mr. Mitchison
With great respect, Mr. Hopkin Morris, you did not give me a chance to indicate what I was referring to. I shall now do so. An hon. Member opposite from a Scottish constituency gets up and moves an Amendment. No hon. Member—there is a Scottish Member here—is called from this side of the Committee, and then the Joint Under-Secretary gets up and says, "Ah, yes. In reply to the notable, gallant suggestions made by my hon. Friend, I will, of course, do something for Scotland." Is that right, Mr. Hopkin Morris?
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall (Colne Valley)
Is it not normal for speakers to be called from alternative sides, Mr. Hopkin Morris?
I think that that is normal, but I have called the Minister. The Minister got up, and it is the practice to call him. I can call on anybody else who gets up to speak later.
§ Mr. Callaghan
We certainly agree, Mr. Hopkin Morris, that if the Minister rose, you would call him. I do not know that this is a matter really for you, but we understood from an earlier discussion this afternoon that the Minister would reserve himself until the end of the discussion—he told us that—so that there should not be more than one speech made by him. If we are to have two Ministers intervening in this way when we are working under a very heavy handicap, it is impossible to discuss the matter in a proper manner. Is it not 1682 preferable that the Government, instead of putting up their stooges to move Amendments of this sort—
I must point out to hon. Members that this is not a matter for me. The Minister got up and I have called him, as is the ordinary practice.
§ Mr. M. Turner-Samuels (Gloucester)
Further to that, would it not be a simple solution if the Under-Secretary gave way to my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) to hear what my hon. Friend has to say before he replies?
§ Mr. Macpherson
Is it in order for an hon. Member not only to suggest that another hon. Member is a stooge, but that the Government have asked him to put down the Amendment?
I have given a Ruling upon that, and there can be no point of order arising out of the Ruling.
§ Mr. Henderson Stewart
The Amendment was one of the first to appear on the Order Paper. It stands in the names of seven of my hon. Friends from Scotland. It represents, I am sure, a very broad section of Scottish opinion. I intervened at this stage, seeking the permission of the Committee, with only one aim in view, and that was to save time. Had the Committee allowed me to go on, we should have finished five minutes ago, Hon. Members opposite must take the responsibility for wasting precious time. If they will give me three minutes, I will say all that I intend to say.
There are difficulties facing my right hon. Friend—as, indeed, my hon. Friend recognised—in accepting at once the precise terms of the Amendment. First, there is the question of the size of this body and, secondly, there is the constituent membership of this body. It is not easy, as my hon. Friend recognised, 1683 to say exactly where a Scottish Member might be appointed. But I have the authority of my right hon. Friend—and this is all I wish to say to the Committee—to say to my hon. Friends behind me that the Minister has sympathy for this Amendment and will undertake to give it the most careful consideration between now and the next stage of the Bill.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Gibson
I hesitate to butt in in squabbles between Scottish and Sassenach hon. Members. I hope that on some Amendments to be discussed later the Minister will be as forthcoming as he has been on this Amendment relating to Scotland. I am bound to say, representing an area which consists of one-tenth of the population of the nation, that I begin to think it about time that London made a claim for special representation. With a larger population than in the whole of Scotland, we shall have to consider one day whether London, with its Scots, Irish and English, is really getting a fair show in the legislation which this House passes and which, incidentally, arises from operations such as those mentioned in this Bill.
Those who sponsored this Amendment, purporting to relate to representation of trade unionists, have no right to speak for the trade unions of this country. They have no right whatever to speak for the road transport workers. There is not a union connected with the transport industry which has asked for this, or wants it. It is easy to see why. I have spent most of my trade union life fighting the conditions—the rotten conditions, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) says—under which road transport workers and others have had to work and live. In the course of building up the trade union organisation among road transport workers there has grown up a bitterness of recollection of the kind of things through which we had to go 20 or 30 years ago.
Then competition in the road transport industry was so fierce and employers were so difficult to make a deal with that the late Ernest Bevin had to get the Road Haulage Wages Board set up by Parliament before we could even begin to get any semblance of order in the wages and conditions under which long-distance haulage workers worked.
1684 All that time we have been preaching to our friends in the country the necessity for bringing long-distance haulage under national control.
§ Mr. Gibson
I am coming to the point and I think it is fair to call attention to the background which resulted in the building up of a nationalised transport service, which is to be broken down by this Bill. With the history through which these men and the unions which represent them have gone, it cannot be reasonable to expect that at last, having seen some of their economic ideals achieved by nationalisation of the transport industry, they will wish to take part in a Disposal Board to get rid of them. In any case, we are not going to be hostages, as we should be if we were members of the Board.
Those who put down the Amendment have been a little too clever, and we are not falling for it as easily as all that. We object to people who have no right whatever to represent organised trade unionists putting down such an Amendment without discussing it with us and finding out our point of view. The Opposition is opposed to a trade unionist being expected to take a seat on the Board to smash the organisation which he has spent his lifetime in his trade union helping to build up. I hope that the Committee will reject the proposal.
§ Mr. Mitchison
On a point of order. Would you, Mr. Hopkin Morris, at this stage accept a manuscript Amendment from this side of the Committee, for discussion with this Amendment, to provide that there should be upon the Board a representative of the Primrose League?
§ Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone)
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) said that hon. Gentlemen on these benches had no right to speak for representative trade unions, but many of our constituents who voted for us are trade unionists.
We are concerned at the moment not with the 1685 general provisions of the Bill but with an Amendment relating to the constitution of the Board.
§ Sir W. Wakefield
I agree with you, Mr. Hopkin Morris, but I am sure it is desirable that it should be clear that my hon. Friends and I have a right to speak for our constituents, which is what I and my hon. Friends are doing.
I have an Amendment on the Order Paper, in page 3, line 19, at the end, to insert:(c) one member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of manufacturers of motor vehicles as the Minister thinks fit.
§ Sir W. Wakefield
The purpose of the Amendment is that when the disposal of the Road Haulage Executive fleet is carried out—
§ Mr. H. Hynd (Accrington)
On a point of order. Ought not the hon. Gentleman to declare his interest in this matter?
§ Sir W. Wakefield
If the hon. Gentleman will wait a moment, he will have ample opportunity of hearing all interests disclosed.
As to the purpose of the Amendment, we believe that the disposal of the large number of vehicles by the Road Haulage Executive should be done in as orderly a manner as possible and that it might hurt the production of new vehicles if large numbers of those vehicles were put on the market in a disorderly fashion. I speak from personal knowledge about this, because I am engaged in the production of motor vehicles. My hon. Friends and I want production to continue smoothly and we want there to be no unemployment.
§ Sir W. Wakefield
My hon. Friends and I have regard for the continued employment of those in the industry, and it seems desirable that there should be no interference with the smooth flow of production. Anyone with personal knowledge of production knows that if there is interference with the smooth flow, and unemployment is caused, costs go up and difficulties follow. It is suggested that 1686 by having a representative on this Disposal Board who has an intimate knowledge of the day-to-day production position of the commercial motor vehicle industry, any difficulty which might arise by a too rapid disposal of vehicles might be overcome.
§ Mr. Austin Albu (Edmonton)
Can the hon. Member explain how the disposal of vehicles will increase the total number of vehicles available in the country?
§ Sir W. Wakefield
The hon. Member must know that in the commercial motor vehicle industry at present there is difficulty in the disposal of new vehicles. Obviously, if a large number of secondhand vehicles are to be put on the market all at once that might lead to difficulties—[HON. MEMBERS: "He is on the wrong side"]—and all we seek to ensure is that such difficulties will be obviated. After all, the right hon. Gentleman who was the former Minister of Transport in the Socialist Government pointed out this very fact. I am merely drawing the attention of the Minister to the position, and asking that he will note the situation and give it sympathetic consideration.
§ Mr. Mitchison
Time is short and it is expedient to be frank. I say, quite bluntly, that this Board stinks to high heaven, and a smell more or less does not make very much difference. I will tell the Committee why I say it stinks to high heaven. So far as I can make out, its only job in the world is to get rid of a lot of lorries. Why on earth anybody in their senses should put on to such a Board as this representatives of the industry which is to buy these lorries passes my comprehension.
I can find only two possible explanations. One is that there has been some previous agreement between the hon. Gentlemen who promoted this Bill and the industry in question, for the mutual benefit of both of them; and the other is that the hon. Gentlemen who promoted this Bill had so little knowledge of business, and the industry in question, that this is the best they can think of. I have the highest possible regard for the intelligence of right hon. and hon. Members opposite, and for that reason I prefer the first to the second of the two alternatives I have just stated.
It is not my business to interfere in Scottish matters. I would say only this, 1687 and with diffidence. It seems very remarkable that hon. Members opposite who represent Scottish constituencies should so persistently reject what I should have thought the situation demanded, namely, the separate treatment of Scotland in this matter, and yet show a remarkable and a somewhat suspicious enthusiasm for the more modest step of a consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Let me again be quite frank. I doubt if any purpose is ever served by a consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland. I do not believe in consultations, and, quite frankly, I do not believe in the Secretary of State for Scotland. For those two reasons it seems to me that this Amendment is one of those bits of shadow boxing from the benches opposite which is supposed to attract some Scottish votes to the Tory Party. Beyond that I can see no reason for it, and no effect in it.
I understand very completely the reason why not only the T.U.C. and trade unions should take no part in this Disposal Board but why no honest and independent person should particularly wish to be concerned with it. I object as a matter of freedom, as a matter of responsibility, to this Committee and as a matter of good government to the fact that we are now called upon to produce a Board, the members of which are designated with some particularity and about which there are Amendments on the Paper, knowing perfectly well that at the end of it all the Minister will appoint the chairman, and that the Minister and the chairman together can queer the pitch for the whole Board and all its proceedings. In those circumstances, I should be the first to admit that Amendments lose a little bit of their fervour.
It is all very well to have representatives of trade and industry; but the one Amendment to which I attach importance—speaking only for myself—is one to ensure that there should be someone who, with an expert eye, can keep watch over the financial proceedings of this precious Board. I support with enthusiasm the suggestion that upon this precious Board there should be some one with financial experience just to keep an eye on what is going on.
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
I intervene only because of the speech by the hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson). I listened with great care to what he said, and I found the content of his speech deeply disturbing. I do not know whether he was a Member of the House of Commons before the war, perhaps as long as 20 years ago. I certainly was not here, but I used to attend occasionally.
My experience then was that when any subject came up in which there was a trade union content, whether it was the formation of a board or the preparation of a piece of legislation by which workers' conditions were affected, the Socialist Party leaped into the foreground in the hope and expectation that they would be afforded some representation. Today we find the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends, for the first time in my experience, taking an alternative line, a line which I cannot describe as anything other than a dog-in-the-manger attitude.
The suggestion appears to be that because we on this side thought of the idea first, they will have nothing to do with it, or, alternatively, that because changes are being made in some idealised Socialist conception they will not allow the trade union movement to have anything to do with it.
§ Several Hon. Members rose—
§ Mr. Turner-Samuels
The noble Lord says—and in the ordinary way I would agree—that it is wrong for the Labour Party to refuse when it is invited to go upon a board of this kind; but does the noble Lord realise that this is a piece of legislation which is wrecking a great national service which affects the work and the lives of the workers and trade unionists about whom he is talking? Does he expect them to accept representation on a board of this description?
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
The hon. and learned Gentleman is reinforcing the speech of the hon. Member for Clapham. Both hon. Members referred to this Board and its work, as if it were going to—I think one hon. Gentleman used these words himself—wreck the whole conception of this scheme.
The only thing that is going to happen here is that certain workers on the roads 1689 are going to change their employers, and there may be in some cases a change in the terms and conditions of their employment, although we hope that that is fully safeguarded in other Clauses of this Bill. I should have thought that the Socialist Party would have been tremendously keen to see that on this Board there was a representative of the trade union movement in order that he might watch over their interests and see that the future conditions of these workers were fully provided for.
But that does not seem to me to be the case. We have waited for some time to see whether the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) and his hon. Friends put down any Amendments on the Order Paper to this effect. We expected that the Socialist Party would be the first to do this, as they always have been in the past, but none have done so, and we therefore ventured to do it. I am very glad that we have done, because it is of vital consequence to this industry, to the Commission and to the whole country that there should be trade union representation.
I cannot understand why the Socialist Party have been so backward about it, and the only thought that I have, in trying to find a reason for it, is that they are so wedded to the creation of a managerial system and so diverted by the hierarchy of the higher appointments that the interests of the workers and their rights have fallen away. One must thank Providence for the fact that another great party in our democracy can come along and fulfil some of the vast deficiencies in Left wing political thinking which are manifesting themselves in modern times.
§ Mr. H. Hynd
I have always had a great respect for the interventions of the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), and, if I am to maintain that respect and believe that the remarks which he has just made are made sincerely, I can only say that I am sorry for his ignorance of the trade union movement and the conception behind it.
May I try in a word or two to explain to him what the difference is? When we get remarks like those we have had this evening from hon. Members opposite, we may get a certain amount of cynical amusement from them, because we did not hear speeches of that kind 1690 when it was a question of advocating the admission of trade union representatives to real administrative bodies. If hon. Members opposite are sincere in what they have been saying, they will urge that there should be some trade union representation on the Commission and on bodies of that kind, but this is not an administrative body which we are discussing.
This is the Disposal Board to be set up in order to do a raw deal to the taxpayers of this country, a Board that is going to commit what we regard as a crime, and we do not wish the trade union movement to be made an accessory after the fact. It is a principle in our courts that anyone who is an accomplice in a crime is as guilty as the others, and the trade union representatives, I suppose, are intended by the Amendment to be blackened along with all the others in the dirty work which this Disposal Board is being called upon to perform.
May I say one final word about the Amendment on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield)? When I asked him a perfectly proper question whether he was going to declare his interest, it was because I was surprised that any hon. Member who is so directly affected should have the audacity to claim that one member for his trade should be added to the Board. There are quite enough private interests represented on this Board as it is, and to add another interest so directly involved would, I think, make the thing even worse. But, as my hon. Friend has just said, the Board is so badly constituted already that one more addition to it could not make it very much worse.
But this suggestion that there should be a trade union representative on the Board really needs a little explanation, and I hope that what has been said by hon. Members on this side of the Committee who are trade unionists will make it quite clear that, while trade unionists have not in any way altered their claim that the trade union movement should be represented on executive and administrative bodies, they do not propose to fall into the trap and be associated with this Board.
§ Mr. David Renton (Huntingdon)
The arguments advanced by hon. Members opposite with regard to the Amendments 1691 we have been discussing disclose that they are basing them on two completely erroneous assumptions. The first is that the employees of the Road Haulage Executive have been completely contented up to the present, and the other that they will be discontented in the future.
I will venture to deal with both those assumptions. This matter arises especially, of course, out of the interruption by the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) during the speech of my noble Friend the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke).
What are the facts in regard to the first assumption? They are that in 1951 the Road Haulage Executive suffered a wastage of its stock of nearly 30 per cent.
§ Mr. Renton
If the hon. Member will turn to the accounts of the Commission for last year, he will find that the railways suffered a wastage of less than 20 per cent., so that one has to compare a wastage of nearly 30 per cent. with one of less than 20 per cent.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
On a point of order. May I ask you, Mr. Hopkin Morris, what this has to do with the Amendments we are now discussing?
§ Mr. Renton
With respect, Mr. Hopkin Morris, the position is that one of the Amendments we are discussing, and one on which my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. Carr) spoke, proposes that the trade unions should be represented. It has been part of the case of hon. Members opposite—
§ Mr. Turner-Samuels
Further to that point of order. There is no reference at all to the trade unions.
I have already said that so far as I can judge the hon. Member is not addressing himself to the Amendments.
§ Mr. Renton
With great respect, Mr. Hopkin Morris, I am. I have not attempted to describe every link in the chain in view of the need to save time if possible, but as I have been asked to do so, I must.
1692 The position is this. Hon. Members opposite have contended that the terms of this Bill were contrary to the interests of the trade unions, and my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and others on this side of the Committee felt that if there was anything at all in that assumption, which I do not admit, then one of the ways of overcoming it was for the trade unions to be represented on the Disposal Board.
But, even after having reached that stage, hon. Members opposite still persist that the Disposal Board should not go to work at all because of the discontent that would be created among the workers as opposed to the content which exists among them at the moment. I am merely trying to say that both those assumptions are wrong, and, therefore, I submit with respect that I am in order.
It is a fact that the Road Haulage Executive suffered a wastage of nearly 30 per cent. last year, and to my mind that very high figure of wastage proves two things conclusively.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
On a point of order. I really must protest, Mr. Hopkin Morris. You have ruled that these matters were not relevant to these Amendments.
The hon. Member is now addressing his argument, as I understand it, to the fact that the trade union movement would be justified in having a member on the Disposal Board. So long as he does that, it is in order, but to go into the general position would not be in order.
§ Mr. Renton
I have established the fact, which is wilfully overlooked by hon. Members opposite, and I propose to leave it like that.
Hon. Members opposite have conceived the catch-phrase "Job lots for the boys" and they have imitated us in a sincere form of flattery when they did so, because we used to talk about "Jobs for the boys." The fact that we have this Disposal Board at all is clear proof that there will be no question whatever of job lots for the boys in this case. But, unfortunately, hon. Members opposite live in a dream world of their own, a world in which they believe that all trade unionists vote Socialist, which they do not, a world in which they believe that all Socialists 1693 favour nationalisation, which they do not, and also a world in which they believe that all trade unionists favour nationalisation, and they certainly do not.
One has read this morning of an active trade unionist who has tried to gather together those fellow workers of his who do not believe in nationalisation and he has managed to bring over 60,000 of them together. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Whatever number he has got together, the over-politically-minded members of the trade unions cannot take it and they are now trying to turn him out.
§ Mr. Renton
I am trying to deal with the suggestion that this Clause is a manifestation of the principle, if it be one, of "Job lots for the boys." That allegation has been made from the other side of the Committee and, with respect, I should have thought that I was entitled to answer it.
When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) came to the Third Reading of the Transport Bill which became the Act, he thanked the Opposition for the constructive suggestions we had managed to make for the improvement of the Bill, even though we vitally disagreed with its principle. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport will be in a position to thank the present Opposition in the same way, to the same extent and with the same sincerity, when we come to the conclusion of our debates on this Bill.
§ Mr. D. Jones
The hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton), as usual, seems to imagine that this side of the Committee is living in a dream world. If he believes that all the road hauliers, all the businessmen of this country want this Bill he had better read again the document circulated by the Association of British Chambers of Commerce.
The hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson), seeking to argue the case for trade unionists becoming members of the Board, suggested that when a Bill becomes law everybody then gives of his best. But the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Works does not believe that, because on 17th May, a newspaper 1694 said this of a speech he made in Middlesbrough:He strongly criticised suggestions that the Government should consult the British Road Transport Commission before de-nationalising road transport. 'We are not likely to get any good advice from them at all, because they were put there by our enemies.'I was glad to hear the Minister of Transport pay tribute to the people whom his right hon. Friend said a few months ago the party opposite did not trust.
The hon. Member for Huntingdon talks about a trade unionist who comes from Newcastle and who is chairman of the local Conservative Association. The hon. Member for Dumfries sought to argue a case, but I do not know which case he was arguing, because he has his name to an Amendment to increase the size of the Board from six to seven, and he also has his name to an Amendment to add one member after consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland, and another Amendment to which he has his name seeks to add one member nominated by the trade unions.
How is it possible for the Minister to increase the Board from six to seven and then make both of the appointments, I do not quite understand. The Amendment does not ask that the trade unions shall be consulted. What the Amendment says is that:One member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of trade unions as the Minister thinks fit.And judging by the glee with which he produced the telegram on the Second Reading of this Bill from the Anti-Nationalisation Society of Newcastle, that is probably the only trade union that he will consult.
This Disposal Board has nothing to do with conditions of employment at all, and trade unionists would indeed be simple and foolish if they were to lend themselves to the machinations of this Board so that when its work is seen in the country they would be charged with some of the responsibility. Of course, the trade unions want representation on administrative bodies, but this Board has no administrative work at all. All that it seeks to do is to act as a watchdog on behalf of the Minister, to see that the vehicles are disposed of, and to make quite sure that they are disposed of to the people to whom the Minister intends that they shall be disposed.
1695 The Minister makes quite certain that at least three members of the Board are to have indirect interest in road transport. But Clause 2 (7) says:A member of the Board who is in any way directly or indirectly interested in any transaction….That can only mean if he is interested in that particular transaction which is to be recorded in the minutes. It does not indicate that they cannot be interested in transactions of their friends. It does not indicate that a representative of the Road Haulage Association cannot look after the members of the Road Haulage Association, and, in that way, we are likely to find that this Board doing what the Minister wants it to do, and that is to dispose of these vehicles as quickly as possible at any old price that he can get. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Of course it means that.
The Minister himself has admitted this afternoon that he believed that they were going to dispose of these vehicles in nine months. [An HON. MEMBER: "He said, 'hoped.'"] That was probably wishful thinking. It took over four years to bring these 4,000 vehicles together. The Minister now believes that by packing this Board in this way they are going to dispose of these vehicles in nine months. Some of his hon. Firends behind him, including the hon. Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), now want to drag in the trade unions to share the guilt. The trade unions are not going to share it.
§ Mr. Hylton-Foster
Hon. Members opposite have accused some of us of a lack of sincerity in the support of this Amendment. Speaking with the utmost sincerity, I do support it and I beg that the Committee will bear with me while I say why I take this sincere view.
After all, the House approved on Second Reading, in essence, the existence of a Disposal Board for the disposal of these units, and the question which I would most respectfully address to hon. Members opposite is, "Assuming that there is this Disposal Board approved by the House, would you or would you not rather have upon that Board representatives of the trade unions?" I understand that the view that is put is, "No, because they would be tarnished."
1696 If hon. Members opposite have been saying, "We would not advise any trade unionist to back up that which the House in principle has already decided because we do not approve of it, then I must confess my respect for their view would be diminished. But I do not believe that they are urging that.
§ Mr. Mitchison
Does the hon. and learned Member remember the attitude of Steel House and its representatives towards the Iron and Steel Act?
§ Mr. Hylton-Foster
Perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will allow me to develop my argument. I speak with sincerity. I am appealing to hon. Members on the opposite side of the Committee to bear with me while I do so because I cannot accept the view of the hon. Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. D. Jones) in saying that the work of the Board will have nothing to do with conditions.
In the light of the terms of this Bill, I cannot agree with him. I do not believe that is correct. I beg the hon. Member to look at the provisions of the Bill which say that the conditions whereby transport units shall be sold will, in effect, be subject to the approval of this Board and that the conditions under which units are sold are conditions involving acceptance by the purchaser of rights and obligations of the Commission. [An HON. MEMBER: "Where does the hon. and learned Member find that?"] I will tell the hon. Member in a moment.
§ Mr. D. Jones
The obligations, as I understand the matter—perhaps the Minister will, when he speaks, correct me if I am wrong—are obligations so far as licensing is concerned, and have nothing whatever to do with conditions of employment.
§ Mr. Hylton-Foster
I am obliged to the hon. Member, because that intervention gives me the chance of putting my interpretation, upon which I ask his view. The conditions are to be found in Clause 3, which will, in effect, require the approval of this Board,and the specified conditions may include conditions whereby, as between the purchaser and the Commission, the purchaser takes over such rights and obligations of the Commission, whether under contract or otherwise, as may be specified, being rights and obligations connected with the subject matter of the purchase.1697 There is nothing to do with licensing in that. I conceive that to cover obligations imposed upon the purchaser under the supervision of the Board, if the Commission wishes, for the purpose of protecting the existing employees.
§ Mr. P. Morris rose—
§ Mr. Hylton-Foster
I hope that the hon. Member will forgive my not accepting an intervention. I have not a clue as to what the Minister's view is; I am stating my own; I am offering it as a sincere view and I do not wish to take up too much time.
Hon. Members have been emphasising their anxiety, in connection with this Bill, and I have been listening to them with sympathy for their anxiety, that proper working conditions and the like will never be obtained in this industry if the units are too small. Who will ultimately govern whether units are too small? Ultimately, the Disposal Board. Or, again, what of the position so familiar to hon. Members in all parts of the Committee in which transport workers are associated with some road haulage depot—and we all have road haulage depots in our constituencies—maintenance workers and people of that kind? In my belief they are vitally concerned about not having to remove geographically if disturbing them in that way can be avoided.
I confess that because of that kind of consideration, size of units, rights and obligations and conditions of service. I should like to see a trade union representative on that Disposal Board. For that reason, I beg hon. Members opposite to support this Amendment for putting a new ingredient into the Board. As for the idea that someone would be tarnished for afterwards taking part in what this House on Second Reading has said should be done, I am sure that no Member of this Committee would ever support that view.
§ 9.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I am quite sure that a number of hon. Members who have taken part in this discussion or who wish to take part in it are actuated by a desire to improve the Disposal Board. I know that the Opposition regard the Board with dislike, but I also realise that quite a number of them have accepted reluctantly the fact that there will probably be a Disposal Board and are anxious to try to improve 1698 its composition. That is one of the features of our Parliamentary discussions or which the Government of the day, from whichever party it may be drawn, has been entitled to rely.
The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) asked me by inference why we did not adopt the same procedure as did the Labour Government in 1947–48 by calling into action the Transport Arbitration Tribunal, which they set up under Section 105 of the 1947 Act. The functions of this Tribunal were in part, though I recognise not wholly, of a judicial nature. They had to deal with questions of payment of compensation, and it is true that in certain cases where disputes arose between a haulier and the Commission, the Tribunal were called upon to adjudicate. I understand that a number of borderline cases were referred to them.
The situation here is wholly different from that which was created by the 1947 Act. Then everybody who went over 40 miles or the majority of those whose activities were over 40 miles, were almost en bloc taken over by the Commission, and it was in large part a judicial problem to settle the terms on which they were taken over, whether they should be taken over or whether the bulk of their business did not qualify them to be taken over, or forced the Commission to take them over.
But this is a different proposition altogether, and I am quite sure that the members of the Transport Arbitration Tribunal would not regard themselves as qualified to carry out a process of this kind. It demands a body of experts used to the industry who will be in a position to understand how the question of the disposal of these assets can best be solved as business propositions, and it is something altogether beyond the functions or scope of the Transport Arbitration Tribunal.
As I said, I know the Opposition dislike the constitution of the Disposal Board. It is the view of the Government that there should be an obviously independent Board. We shall come later to one or two criticisms that have been advanced. I have paid my tributes to the British Transport Commission and they are all quite genuine. For the life of me I cannot understand why it must be 1699 assumed that if one interferes with somebody's way of doing business there cannot be harmonious relation between that person and the business, and in this case that there cannot be such relations between the Minister and the Commission. If that should be so, the Opposition would have very few friends in the country, and I personally gladly acquit them of being in any such situation,
It is asking too much of the British Transport Commission that they should take a completely detached view of the obligation to dispose of their road haulage assets, and I suggest it is not fair to the Commission to leave them such a wide discretion in matters where they have such a large and obvious personal interest. More or less comparable with that would be if the Socialists in the 1947 Act, when drawing up Clauses 39 to 54, had taken over by compulsion all the long-distance hauliers, leaving the date and speed of acquisition to be decided by the road hauliers themselves. Then perhaps we might not have had the situation which we are now obliged to undo.
Two other Amendments of great substance are to be called. We have had in general a wide debate on the composition of the Board, and it might well be that I should make one or two general references. It is the purpose of this Board to approve the general lines on which the British Transport Commission are to carry out their duties under the Bill and sell their existing property, to approve the constitution of the units, and to maintain close control over the process, including the grouping of the assets for the purpose of sale. It is, in our opinion, desirable that it should be a small Board. No one would quarrel with the proposal that the Minister should have some power of appointment. Two members are to be appointed by the Minister. We believe that we have fairly divided up the interests who should be consulted in the further composition of the Board.
If there are some people who feel that the British Transport Commission should have more than one member, I can assure them that, under the provisions of the Clause, if there is a dispute between members of the Board, the chairman, or the vice-chairman in his absence, can 1700 refer to me the matters in dispute. I cannot believe that if the representative of the Commission takes a strong view on an important matter, it would not be almost automatic that that matter would come to the Minister.
If it is said that the Minister is incapable in this regard of arriving at a fair judgment, that is an unworthy observation to make in this Committee, bearing in mind in particular that the whole fabric of the 1930 Act throws upon the Minister, from whichever side of the House he may come, a quasi-judicial function which no one has ever suggested has ever been improperly used. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary will deal, if you decide, Mr. Hopkin Morris, to call the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes) —
§ Mr. D. Jones
Does the Minister conceive it to be the business of the Disposal Board to see that the purchasers of the vehicles observe statutory conditions of employment and all the rest of it, as suggested by the hon. and learned Member for York (Mr. Hylton-Foster)?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
My hon. and learned Friend did not say that. I understood him to say—I hope I am not misquoting him—that it would fall upon the Disposal Board, under the next Clause, to take into account the conditions of employment and the welfare of the men, and no doubt their further employment. It would be very unwise to say that there would be an obligation on the purchaser to employ the man who was working on the lorry before. If that were said, and the Disposal Board disposed of the lot, then only would the rather offensive charge that we were selling the men with the lorries have an element of truth in it.
When we get to Clause 3 I will give a careful and considered statement on the observation of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for York (Mr. Hylton-Foster). That will fall on Monday. I will certainly deal in greater detail then—
§ Mr. Turner-Samuels (Gloucester) rose—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Wait a moment. I must make a brief reference to the Amendment that we are considering. We have other Amendments to consider. As 1701 I have said, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary will deal with the question of the two representatives of the A, B and C licensees who we feel should be represented on the board.
Now I come to the two concluding points. The first deals with the speeches made by my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. Carr) and by my noble Friend the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke). I am very much impressed by their arguments. There is a great deal to be said for the arguments that they advanced. I have been throughout, at all stages, ready and anxious to have talks with the trade unions on this matter and similar matters. They have not, for reasons that they no doubt think adequate, acceded to my request up to now. I do not think that that is due to me personally, despite the rather ungenerous and unexpected remarks made by the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish). I can certainly say this: Long before the hon. Member ever thought, I imagine, of coming to this House, I, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour had the happiest relations with representatives of labour who are now in prominent positions in their own movement.
I do not know whether the trade unions will accept the present situation. I am prepared to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friends, to increase the composition of the Board by one, and to extend an invitation to the trade unions to nominate a list from which the Minister will appoint a member.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
As soon as we can establish proper conversational relations with the unions concerned, we shall make up our minds which is the proper body. I take it that the Trades Union Congress in matters of this kind normally speaks for the movement as a whole. I am sure the trade unions will make up their own minds on this. I am not sweepingly impressed by what has been said on their behalf, or so-called behalf, here in the House of Commons. I think they will judge it on its merits. I seem to have read recently that when some hon. Gentlemen have attempted to dictate to trade unions, there were some rough words at a seaside resort the gist of which was, "You watch your words in Parliament. We have the money." It is not altogether 1702 impossible, therefore, that the trade unions will come to quite a different conclusion from that reached by some of their self-appointed—
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
This trade union point is important, and I appreciate the Minister giving way. He said that the trade unions had not yet accepted his invitation to consult with them. It has appeared in the Press that he is meeting them this week, I believe on Friday. Is it so or not, because if it is, surely it means that they have agreed to meet and consult him?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I understand from nods in another part of the Committee, to which I cannot now refer, that this is now harmoniously arranged and I am delighted to hear it. This will be a matter to which I shall address myself as soon as we have our talks later in the week.
The hon. Member for Accrington (Mr. H. Hynd) urged that there should be more trade unionists on the British Transport Commission. That is a rather surprising comment if in fact it is this Government, and this Government alone, which, in the view of hon. Gentlemen opposite, has not done enough to secure trade union representation. We have no responsibility for the composition of the British Transport Commission and if hon. Gentlemen did not succeed in convincing their own Government of the need for that, I am afraid they must have failed in their elementary task.
One last point. My hon. Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) asked whether we would put on the Board a representative of the manufacturers of motor vehicles. I cannot believe that some of the fears to which he gave expression will be found to have much substance. It is the purpose of this Bill to provide for road haulage to play an appropriate and expanding part in national transport, but I cannot see that there is any cogent reason why a representative of this great industry should be on the Board. Although I dislike having to say "no" to my hon. Friend, the answer must be an emphatic "no."
My hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland explained our point of view in regard to Scotland. I will certainly do my utmost to see that 1703 one of the representatives of the various interests appointed is a Scotsman. It is almost certain that that will be so. I am not able to accept the Amendments from the other side of the Committee, although I accept the Amendment of the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke).
§ Mr. Alfred Barnes (East Ham, South)
I notice that the Minister, in replying to various points raised on these Amendments, has dealt with the relationship between the Disposal Board, the British Transport Commission and himself. I must confess that I was hoping to discuss that on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." However, as the Minister has now introduced that matter, I think I shall be in order in referring to it. The mere statement that an independent body is necessary is not in itself a justification for the establishment of the Disposal Board. The Minister ought at least to treat the Committee with more respect than simply to give the blunt statement, and he should give some evidence as to why that is necessary.
The Minister said that the Transport Commission would wish there to be a body of this description as it could not be expected to dispose of its own assets. Those assets do not belong to the Commission. They are public assets, and the Commission represents a body of persons, with whom we in this country are familiar, who are appointed from time to time to discharge public and responsible functions. They do this without fear or favour, and it represents no personal advantage to them. For a Minister of the Crown to state that a body of persons like the Transport Commission would otherwise regard any responsibility that Parliament imposed upon them and would treat the assets as personal property, does not represent a true and correct appreciation of the position.
We are dealing with a very important problem and principle. Let us look at the mechanics of the problem that the Committee are now deciding. Earlier this evening, the Minister expressed the hope of the Government that this vast amount of property would be disposed of within 12 months. What is this property that the Government anticipate will be dispersed by sale within the next 12 months?
1704 That property represents a network of co-ordinated separate business units. The British Road Services represent a type of organisation with which we are familiar in commerce: the chain store type of organisation. In the past four years, hundreds of depots have been established throughout the country, representing geographical and commercial areas for the purpose of handling goods. Now, we are dealing with a problem which the Disposal Board will have to handle and the breaking up of this sum and its dispersal.
Surely it is quite clear to anyone with a knowledge of a problem of this kind that the Disposal Board, a body of persons brought together within a very short space of time by the Minister after consultation with various organisations—I am not for the moment concerned whether they represent interests in the sale of the property—represent a small group of persons brought together to decide on the dispersal and disposal of this property, about which they cannot under any circumstances have any practical knowledge.
As the only body that has a practical knowledge of the organisation—it is clearly indicated in the subsequent Clauses—the British Transport Commission has the responsibility of all the preparatory work leading up to the decision of the Disposal Board. They have to determine the types of unit and to assemble them together so that they present practical elements of sale.
What is the point of the practical element of sale? We know from our earlier information that the Minister anticipates that of the 30,000 or 40,000 vehicles on sale, existing A and B operators might make a purchase of up to about 10,000 of these vehicles. It is quite clear that some operators might want one, five, 10 or even 15 of these vehicles. They will have been assembled under this network of organisation in, roughly, units of 50. Therefore, the problem of breaking up to meet all these individual sales is bound to represent an intricate task of examination on the part of the Commission.
The Commission, when it has done all this work, has to submit it to the Disposal Board. On the admission of the Minister, if there is a difference of opinion between the Commission, which has all the practical knowledge of the situation, and the 1705 Disposal Board has been brought in to give an executive decision overriding the practical body, the Minister is called in to decide. It is quite clear that the Disposal Board will be in a position, in the vast majority of cases, of being dependent on the practical knowledge of the British Transport Commission and its practical officers who know all the detail of this organisation.
If there is a clash it will not be a clash of knowledge or practical business judgment, but a clash of interest that will develop and which will go to the Minister for decision. I submit that if that is the case there is no practical case for the Disposal Board. The Commission has the responsibility of carrying out a decision of Parliament if this Bill is passed, and the Minister, with the practical knowledge in his Department which is far greater than that of the Disposal Board, will ultimately have to give a decision if there is a difference. There is no reason why it should not go direct to the Minister.
I now come to the point of whether we can depend on the integrity of the Transport Commission to carry out its task of discharging any duty Parliament may impose upon it whether it agrees or not. It is untenable for the Minister to come to this Committee and humiliate a body like the Transport Commission. This is not a Disposal Board in the ordinary sense; this is putting bailiffs into the Commission. That is the morality behind the proposal we are considering and, in my view, the whole process will undermine the moral authority of Parliament.
If we take the personnel of the Transport Commission, what person can the Minister or the Government put on to this Disposal Board who has greater knowledge or greater reputation than the Chairman of the Commission? He represents a lifetime of service in our Civil Service, he has a remarkably good record in electricity development and has handled the whole of our war transport operations. He has now had three or four years' experience as the head of this organisation.
I frankly admit that the Minister appreciated in his statement to the Committee that the Transport Commission did not consider this procedure workable. The Commission gave advice to the 1706 Minister, which they were bound to give if it represented their considered judgment, that the machinery here was not practicable. I think that what I have said justifies that. Although they stated that to the Minister, that is an entirely different thing from saying that they would not carry out any decision which the Government had conveyed to them or which Parliament authorised.
The time we have spent discussing whether there should be five, six, seven or eight members of the Disposal Board could have been better occupied if we had put the Minister on the spot and made him justify, in the light of common sense and the sense of decency in public life, why we should have a body of this description at all.
What is the body to do? It has to disperse a network of organisations. If we are to retain an efficient road transport organisation, it is essential that it should be the Transport Commission which determines the type of unit to be sold. If the units and depots are broken up we shall once again throw our road transport industry into chaos. That can be dealt with in another way. The Minister has not justified the appointment of the Disposal Board, and I hope that we shall defeat the Clause when we vote on it.
§ Mr. H. Morrison
A few more words ought to be said before we part with this matter. We take the view that the composition of the Disposal Board is extraordinary and contrary to the public interest. The Government is supposed to be one Government. Clause 16 (2) of the Iron and Steel Bill provides that the agency, the body to conduct disposal operations in the case of the iron and steel industry, shall consist of a chairman and not fewer than three nor more than six other members to be appointed by the Treasury.
In that case no specific interests or qualifications are laid down as attaching to the members of the disposal agency. That will not make us support the iron and steel industry disposal agency, but, at any rate, the members are appointed on the responsibility of the Treasury and no definitions of interests are attached to them. I should like to know why that method has been employed in the case of the iron and steel industry and yet in 1707 the case of the Disposal Board for the road transport industry the Bill provides that there shall be a chairman appointed by the Minister.
The chairman is in the exceptional position that if the Board disagrees about anything he can refer the matter to the Minister for decision. That gives the chairman extraordinary powers and brings the Minister in to decide as a political Minister. It attaches extraordinary powers to the chairman because he has a discretion, in the event of disagreement, about what he shall or shall not refer to the Minister.
Only one of its members is to be appointed from among persons nominated by the Commission. Our view is that if any specific bodies are to have the right of nomination, the Commission has a special right. As against that, I understand that it is said by the Government that the Commission is an interest and, therefore, ought not to have strong representation on the body. But what is the Commission's interest? It is the public interest. It is not a private interest. The Commission is a public authority and, obviously, has an interest to do as well as it can for itself and for the public in the sale of the vehicles, whereas private people are bound to feel that it would wish to do well for the private purchasers of the vehicles from a public authority.
It is typical of the mentality of Conservatives that if they are dealing with a public authority they assume it is an unhealthy and a sectional interest, but when they are advancing the rights of private interests they think that will further the general well-being of the community—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—I understand that my last observation is supported by some hon. Members opposite, which is an interesting admission.
One member of the Board is to be appointed by the Commission only. Then it is provided thatOne member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of trade and industry as the Minister thinks fit.That means the employing interests and the capitalist interests. Then, one member shall be appointed 1708after consultation with such bodies representative of persons holding A or B licences…and one to represent C licence holders. So here come the direct vested interests on the body concerned.
I admit that it is provided under the Clause that they must not vote where they have a direct personal interest. But they cannot easily mentally divorce themselves from the general interest of the trade which they are selected to represent on the Disposal Board. It is not an easy thing to do. We have an Amendment on the Order Paper, which, unfortunately, under the Guillotine will not be reached. It provided that nobody who had been in this business for "X" years before or after the passing of the Act should be eligible to be a member of the Board.
That is good; that is right. After all, years ago Parliament passed legislation which put some fetters on local councillors regarding their conduct as members of a local authority on matters in which they had an interest. I think that principle was right. But what is this Government and this Parliament doing when, that having been done in the case of the local authorities, they are now specifically elevating interested persons to a position of decision in respect of a business with which their whole life-time has been associated?
That is the composition and we do not like it. During the debate on the White Paper I said that it was typical of the mentality of this Government that in the proposed composition of the Disposal Board they had completely forgotten organised labour, or they deliberately did not want it put in. I said I was not prejudicing whether organised labour wished to be represented or not. But it is significant that the Government never thought of putting it down, at any rate for consideration.
Now I understand that the Minister has indicated he proposes to accept an Amendment which would provide for one representative of organised labour being appointed to the Commission, namely, the Amendment in the name of the noble Lord the Member for Dorset. South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) and other hon. Members which provides thatone member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of trade unions as the Minister thinks fit.1709 I understand that the Minister is meeting the T.U.C. and trade union representatives this week. I have seen it stated in the Press, and the Minister now knows it. I was astonished to learn that the Minister did not know he was to meet them this week. There is either something wrong with his Department or something wrong with the right hon. Gentleman, because it is an important consultation and the Minister was led to be somewhat critical of the T.U.C. and trade unions tonight in that they had not already seen him, when, in fact, apparently an interview had already been arranged when they would discuss matters of mutual interest.
It is not for me to give a final, authoritative decision about that—[HON. MEMBERS: "Your hon. Friends have."]—because the Minister will hear from the unions or the T.U.C.. But I think it right to tell the Committee that I have been informed by representatives of the T.U.C. and the trade unions, and we all agree that it is for them to decide, rather than the Parliamentarians—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Certainly, because it is their business. I have been informed by the T.U.C. and representatives of the unions that they have given consideration to the question of representation on this Board. They have come to the conclusion that, owing to the nature of the operations in which the Board will be engaged and the possible consequences of a serious character to the work-people engaged in the separate undertakings or the industry generally, they would feel embarrassed in serving on this Board. That is my information, coming straight from the representatives of the T.U.C. and the unions of their own volition. It is entirely their own decision.
I suggest to the Minister that it would be well to leave the Amendment to which I have referred over until the Report stage. If he accepts it tonight, he may be in the position of having to take it out on Report. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] The Government cannot compel the trade unions to be represented. I remind the Committee that the Amendment says thatone member shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies representative of trade unions as the Minister thinks fit.The House of Commons cannot compel the trade unions to submit nominations or to make suggestions.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I very much hope that the invitation will be accepted. If it is not, there is the provision that,The Board may act notwithstanding a vacancy among the members thereof….Therefore, no harm will be done if the Amendment is accepted.
§ Mr. Morrison
I really do not think that this is a wise course for the Minister to take. I urge him to leave himself more time for reflection. First, the question of trade unions being represented was completely forgotten or set aside. Now the Minister is going to the other extreme, notwithstanding the warning—[HON. MEMBERS: "Warning?"] What are hon. Members excited about? If I had it straight from the representatives of the T.U.C. and the unions that they did not wish to be represented on this Disposal Board, surely it was my elementary, proper and decent duty to warn the Committee that that was so. Hon. Gentlemen should not sit on the benches opposite merely conveying an expression which is not particularly conducive to success among their constituents if the people could only see them.
I have not long in which to speak. The Guillotine will fall soon. I thought it right to tell the Committee about this. I suggest to the Minister that he would lose nothing by not accepting the Amendment tonight. The Government cannot very well allow an Act of Parliament to go through making a provision for certain people to be represented if the Minister knows, and I think that he will know as, in fact, I know now, that they do not propose to accept the representation. That is making a mockery of legislation.
I should have thought that it would be better, as a matter of courtesy, to ascertain from the T.U.C. and the trade unions whether they propose to accept the invitation. If not, I should have thought that the Minister would not go forward with the suggestion unless he has it in mind—and I should not think that he has—to go outside official T.U.C. and trade union channels to get the trade representation on the Board. I should not have thought that that was very likely.
We propose to vote against Clause 2 and to take such other votes as we can, and as we think expedient. We think that the Clause is wrong in its structure. It is a Clause which lacks public spirit 1711 and that it is a bad provision. In any case, we do not like the Disposal Board. If disposal is to be done best we think that it should be done by the Commission itself. Therefore, we oppose the Clause.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I should like to say that I anticipate that the Opposition are proposing to divide on the Amendment, and if they are, of course, then the Amendment which I have said I would accept will not fall for decision by the Committee, and in those circumstances I will introduce, in those words or in suitable other words, that Amendment on Report.
§ Mr. H. Morrison
I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has come to that conclusion as regards tonight, because it will get us all out of a difficulty, but surely the Minister is not going to say now, before he has met the trade union representatives, that whatever they say and whatever their attitude is, he is going to put down this Amendment on Report? Surely, he should listen to what they are going to say? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] We want to know from the Minister. As one who has had some experience in the handling of these matters, I want to intimate to the Minister that he is—[Interruption.] The noble Lord does not know anything about trade unions, anyway. I suggest to the Minister that he is needlessly running a risk, and that surely it would be better for him to tell us that this is not proposed finally, and that he will not commit himself until he has had the views of the T.U.C. and the trade unions. I ask the Minister to give us that assurance, instead of sitting there with cynical indifference.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I deny sitting here with cynical indifference, but if I wished to take lesson in that, I could not go to anybody better than the right hon. Gentleman. What, in fact, I have said is that I have told my noble Friend and my hon. Friends behind me that I will accept their Amendment, and I have no intention of going back on that undertaking, and that if the Amendment is not called this evening, we will take steps to introduce it on Report. I repeat that I hope that the trade unions will be disposed to appoint representatives, and, if not, the Disposal 1712 Board can go ahead, for the reasons I have already given to the Committee.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
On a point of order. I thought, Sir Charles, that you were putting the Amendment in line 10, to leave out "six" and insert "seven." You collected the voices on this side of the Committee, which were "Aye."
§ Mr. Callaghan
With respect, Sir Charles, we were in a slight muddle as a Committee, but there were at least two hon. Members who were quite clear—the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) and myself. You put the question whether the word "eight" should stand part—
§ The Chairman
No, I put the Question, "That 'six' stand part of the Clause." The Amendment was to leave out "six" and to insert "eight," but we never got as far as "eight."
§ Mr. Callaghan
I apologise. I was in the middle of a sentence, and I hope to have permission to finish it, but it is the prerogative of the Chair to stand up at any time.
§ The Chairman
Perhaps it was difficult for hon. Members to hear what I said. and I want to put it right.
§ Mr. Callaghan
We did agree, when your predecessor, Mr. Hopkin Morris, was in the Chair, that we were going to take the whole of the Amendments on this page and the two following Amendments at the top of the succeeding page. May we be quite clear what we are now discussing?
§ The Chairman
The Amendment which I have put, and to which everybody said "Aye," was in line 10, to leave out "six" and to insert "eight." I put the Question, "That 'six' stand part of the Clause"; everybody said "Aye," and there it is. We cannot go back on it. The next Amendment is that in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Barnes).
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
On a point of order, Sir Charles. The original discussion on the Amendment in line 10, leave out "six," and insert "eight," preceded for some technical reason the first 1713 Amendment, in my name, in line 10, leave out "six," and insert "seven." The Amendment to insert "eight." having fallen, will you not now put my Amendment?
§ The Chairman
I cannot possibly do that. The Committee has agreed to "six" standing part of the Clause, and we cannot alter that at this stage.
§ It being Half-past Ten o'Clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Question necessary to complete the Proceedings on Clause 2.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 271.1717
|Division No. 31.]||AYES||[10.30 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Donner, P. W.||Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Doughty, C. J. A.||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)|
|Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Drayton, G. B.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Drewe, G.||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas (Richmond)||Jones, A. (Hall Green)|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Duthie, W. S.||Kaberry, D.|
|Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)||Eccles, Rt. Hon D. M.||Keeling, Sir Edward|
|Baker, P. A. D.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)|
|Baldock, Lt. Cmdr. J. M.||Erroll, F. J.||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Fell, A.||Lambton, Viscount|
|Banks, Col. C.||Finlay, Graeme||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Barber, Anthony||Fisher, Nigel||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Leather, E. H. C.|
|Baxter, A. B.||Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Fort, R.||Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Foster, John||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Lindsay, Martin|
|Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)||Fyte, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||Linstead, H. N.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)||Lloyd Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)|
|Bennett, William (Woodside)||Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Gammans, L. D.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.|
|Birch, Nigel||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.)|
|Bishop, F. P.||George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd||Low, A. R. W.|
|Black, C. W.||Glyn, Sir Ralph||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Godber, J. B.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Gough, C. F. H.||McAdden, S. J.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Gower, H. R.||McCallum, Major D.|
|Braine, B. R.||Graham, Sir Fergus||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Gridley, Sir Arnold||Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N. W.)||Grimond, J.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||McKibbin, A. J.|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Harden, J. R. E.||Maclean, Fitzroy|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)|
|Bullard, D. G.||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)||Macmillan, Rt. Hon Harold (Bromley)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Macpherson, Maj Niall (Dumfries)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Harvey, Air Cdre A. V. (Macclesfield)||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Campbell, Sir David||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Hay, John||Marples, A. E.|
|Carson, Hon. E.||Head, Rt. Hon A. H.||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Heald, Sir Lionel||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)|
|Channon, H.||Heath, Edward||Maude, Angus|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Higgs, J. M. C.||Maudling, R.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr S. L. C.|
|Colegate, W. A.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Medlicott, Brig F.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Mellor, Sir John|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Hirst, Geoffrey||Molson, A. H. E.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hollis, M. C.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Holt, A F.||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Hopkinson, Rt Hon. Henry||Nicholls, Harmar|
|Crouch, R. F.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Horobin, I. M.||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon Florence||Nield, Basil (Chester)|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Howard, Greville (St. Ives)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Nutting, Anthony|
|Davies, Rt Hn. Clement (Montgomery)||Hulbert, Wing Cdr N. J.||Odey, G. W.|
|Deedes, W. F.||Hurd, A R.||O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr C. E. McA.||Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)|
|Osborne, C.||Scott, R. Donald||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.|
|Partridge, E.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Tilney, John|
|Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Shepherd, William||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Peto, Brig. C. H. M.||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Turton, R. H.|
|Peyton, J. W. W.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)||Vosper, D. F.|
|Pitman, I. J.||Snadden, W. McN.||Wade, D. W.|
|Powell, J. Enoch||Soames, Capt. C.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Spearman, A. C. M.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)|
|Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.||Speir, R. M.||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Profumo, J. D.||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Raikes, H. V.||Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Rayner, Brig. R.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Redmayne, M.||Stevens, G. P.||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Remnant, Hon. P.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Renton, D. L. M.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||White, Baker (Canterbury)|
|Roberts, Peter (Heeley)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)|
|Robertson, Sir David||Storey, S.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Robson-Brown, W.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)||Summers, G. S.||Wills, G.|
|Roper, Sir Harold||Sutcliffe, H.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Russell, R. S.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)||York, C.|
|Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.||Teeling, W.|
|Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Thomas, Rt. Hon J. P. L. (Hereford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)||Mr. Studholme and Mr. Oakshott.|
|Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A (Rowley Regis)|
|Adams, Richard||Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)||Herbison, Miss M.|
|Albu, A. H.||Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Hewitson, Capt. M.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Holman, P.|
|Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Deer, G.||Houghton, Douglas|
|Awbery, S. S.||Delargy, H. J.||Hubbard, T. F.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Dodds, N. N.||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)|
|Baird, J.||Donnelly, D. L.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Balfour, A.||Driberg, T. E. N.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Dugdale, Rt. Hon John (W. Bromwich)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)|
|Bence, C. R.||Edelman, M.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Edwards, Rt. Hon Ness (Caerphilly)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)|
|Benson, G.||Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)|
|Beswick, F.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon G. A.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Janner, B.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.|
|Blackburn, F.||Ewart, R.||Jeger, George (Goole)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Fornyhough, E.||Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Field, W. J.||Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)|
|Boardman, H.||Fienburgh, W.||Johnson, James (Rugby)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Finch, H. J.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)|
|Bowden, H. W.||Follick, M.||Jones, David (Hartlepool)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Foot, M. M.||Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Forman, J. C.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Freeman, John (Watford)||Keenan, W.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Kenyon, C.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.|
|Burke, W. A.||Gibson, C. W.||King, Dr. H. M.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Glanville, James||Kinley, J.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Gooch, E. G.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)|
|Carmichael, J.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield)||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)|
|Champion, A. J.||Grey, C. F.||Lewis, Arthur|
|Chapman, W. D.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Clunie, J.||Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Logan, D. G.|
|Coldrick, W.||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||MacColl, J. E.|
|Collick, P. H.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||McGhee, H. G.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||McInnes, J.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hamilton, W. W.||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hardy, E. A.||McLeavy, F.|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Hargreaves, A.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Hastings, S.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Daines, P.||Hayman, F. H.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Healey, Denis (Leeds, S. E.)||Mann, Mrs. Jean.|
|Manuel, A. C.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Thomas, David (Aberdare)|
|Mayhew, C. P.||Rankin, John||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Mellish, R. J.||Reeves, J.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Messer, F.||Reid, Thomas (Swindon)||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Mikardo, Ian||Reid, William (Camlachie)||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Rhodes, H.||Thornton, E. (Farnworth)|
|Monslow, W.||Richards, R.||Timmons, J.|
|Moody, A. S.||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.||Tomney, F.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Morley, R.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Robinson, Kenneth (St Pancras, N.)||Usborne, H. C.|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||Viant, S. P.|
|Mort, D. L.||Ross, William||Wallace, H. W.|
|Moyle, A.||Royle, C.||Webb, Rt Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Mulley, F. W.||Schofield, S. (Barnsley)||Weitzman, D.|
|Murray, J. D.||Shackleton, E. A. A.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Nally, W.||Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||West, D. G.|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.||Short, E. W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon John|
|O'Brien, T.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Oldfield, W. H.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)||White, Mrs Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Oliver, G. H.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E)|
|Orbach, M.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon W.|
|Oswald, T.||Slater, J.||Wigg, George|
|Padley, W. E.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Paget, R. T.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||Willey, F. T.|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Snow, J. W.||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Sorensen, R. W.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Palmer, A. M. F.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Pannell, Charles||Sparks, J. A.||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)|
|Pargiter, G. A.||Steele, T.||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Parker, J.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon Harold (Huyton)|
|Paton, J.||Strachey, Rt. Hon J.||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Pearson, A.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Peart, T. F.||Stross, Dr Barnett||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Plummer, Sir Leslie||Summerskill Rt. Hon. E.||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Popplewell, E.||Swingler, S. T.||Yates, V. F.|
|Porter, G.||Sylvester, G. O.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Proctor, W. T.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. Hannan and Mr. Wilkins.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ It being after Half-past Ten o'Clock, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report Progress and ask leave to sit again.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.