§ 3.43 p.m.
§ Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)
I beg to move, in page 3, line 42, after "conditions," to insert "and the equitable distribution."
I feel sure that this Amendment will commend itself to the right hon. Gentleman on two simple grounds. It is both logical and advisable for practical reasons. Let me first deal with the good sense or the logic of the matter in general. The Clause as drafted provides that when the Iron and Steel Board discharge their paramount duty under the Bill of exercising a general supervision of the iron and steel industry they have to do so with the view to promoting the efficient, economic and adequate supply of iron and steel products. There follow certain particular instances of the matters that they have to keep under review including, for instance, the arrangements for procuring and distributing raw materials and fuel for use in the iron and steel industry and, a very important matter and one with which another Clause of the Bill is concerned, the prices charged for iron and steel products.
"Supply" is, of course, a slightly ambiguous word but, as used in this context, we ought at least to make it clear which of the two possible meanings it has. Does it, as I understand it to do, refer to production and production only, or does it refer both to production and or distribution? The reason I take it to refer to production is that the words that go with it seem more appropriate to production than to distribution, and, of course, it is possible for the Board to endeavour to promote an efficient, economic and adequate production and, at the same time, to neglect, because they are not enjoined to regard, the distribution of what is produced.
I feel sure that the right hon. Gentleman or the Parliamentary Secretary will agree at once that any such review of 1132 the iron and steel industry would necessarily be quite incomplete because, put broadly, what we are concerned with, and what the Board are concerned with, is the national interest. For that purpose we do not merely want an adequate supply, we do not merely require that, in order to make the industry efficient, its product should be adequately and economically produced but that, when produced, it gets round to those who need iron and steel. This is an industry which is producing what I could roughly call a primary product, one the vital importance of which both sides of the House are very well aware.
Clearly, it verges on the ridiculous, if the Board are to be efficient guardians of the national interest even within this very limited sphere of review, to set the Board only to look at production without, at the same time, considering distribution. When we get to distribution, what is it that we want? The words "efficient," "economic" and the rest, become rather inappropriate. What I hope we want on both sides of the House is obvious, namely, that when the product is there it should be distributed equitably among those who need it.
It has to be borne in mind that there are reasons for putting a decision of this sort expressly into the Bill and I need take only two of them. The first is that during what one might call the transition period, when the organs set up by this Bill, particularly the Holding and Realisation Agency, will be engaged in selling off the securities of the iron and steel companies to anyone who will buy them—let us hope on suitable terms—there will be in the industry certainly a public sector and, unless the hopes of the Minister are to be completely frustrated, at any rate some private sector.
I want to see that there is a fair deal as between the public and the private sector and we have to remember that the Board themselves, though they will no doubt be composed of excellent and well-meaning people, are not yet quite known. The character of the Board will have to depend to some extent on the very functions they have to perform, and it is all the more essential that those should not be left to the better judgment of the Board, or to some vague phrase of that sort, but that it should be stated quite clearly in the Bill that a fair deal is required.
1133 I have given the instance of a fair deal between the public and private sectors of the industry. Perhaps that is the most obvious example. There is another situation which will continue, even if the Government and the organs which are established under the Bill succeed in disposing of the whole or virtually the whole of the iron and steel industry back to private hands. This is an industry which to varying degrees has large vertical concerns—and by "vertical concerns" I do not necessarily mean concerns which are capable of standing up, because some of these concerns have not always been very good at that; but I mean vertical in the sense that they run from the earliest raw material through the various stages to the completely finished article.
If the industry were entirely composed of equal vertical concerns, the point which I am about to mention need not bother us so much, but, in practice, we find that some concerns run right from the raw material to the finished product, others stop halfway and others begin halfway. The point which I have in mind affects the position of the concern which begins halfway.
Let me take one instance. I do not claim for a moment to be an expert in this industry—I have no more than a general knowledge of it—but one instance which occurs to me is that of wire which is, I suppose, a halfway product towards wire netting and things of that sort—all the products which are used so widely and are of considerable importance to agriculture. I understand that there are some concerns which stop at the wire itself and others which go right on to the wire netting or whatever the final product made with the wire may be. I understand, too, that there has been some discussion and difference of opinion——
§ Mr. Gerald Nabarro (Kidderminster)
Is it not a fact that wire is not contained in or referred to in any part of the Bill?
§ Mr. Mitchison
I should have thought that wire made out of steel was an iron and steel product. It does not matter for my purpose, however, whether we take the example of wire or of anything else. I took an instance. If the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) or the Parliamentary Secretary or the Minister take another example, that does not matter. This is a question of principle. The position is perfectly plain. 1134 There are some concerns which go halfway towards the finished product, others which begin halfway towards the finished product and others, again, which carry on all the processes right from the raw material to the finished product.
What we want to ensure is that the concern which carries its operations right through from the raw material to the finished product does not, by virtue of so doing, get an undue and unfair preference over those other concerns which, as it were, come in halfway, and take a product from halfway through to the complete stage. I am surprised that hon. Members opposite should be at all touchy on this matter. Indeed, I hope the intervention of the hon. Member for Kidderminster was an isolated instance. Surely we are all concerned to see that there should be an equitable distribution of these iron and steel products at every stage. It is obvious that if one concern carries through all the stages of manufacture, it is in a position to give itself, or perhaps one of its subsidiaries, a preference in the distribution of the semi-finished article which may be both inequitable and most inadvisable in the national interest.
I hope that the Minister will feel with me that in a matter of this sort, in defining the paramount duty of the Board, to leave out all mention of distribution, equitable or otherwise, is to put on the Board a wholly artificial field of review and to prevent them, if they keep strictly to that limitation, from doing what we mean them to do—review the iron and steel industry in the national interest, including, of course, the interests of both producer and consumer. I will not go as far as the Co-operative movement, which is reported to have brought out a journal called "The Producer" with which is incorporated "The Consumer." That would perhaps be a little artificial in this trade, but it is clear that any comprehensive review of the industry will be quite impossible if it is confined to supply and if distribution is omitted. Obviously, distribution must be equitable.
I commend these simple words to the Minister and I hope he will accept them as one of the obvious improvements in the Bill which are so frequently contributed by the Opposition and, I am bound to say, so frequently accepted afterwards by the right hon. Gentleman. I notice that he sometimes takes a little time about 1135 it, and if he wants to think this Amendment over we should have no objection provided that he accepted the principle.
§ Mr. Jack Jones (Rotherham)
I beg to second the Amendment.
What we seek to do is very simple—to make sure that the consumers of steel get a fair and equitable share of the steel products of the country. The hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) has suggested that they can well look after themselves, but they would have been in a sorry mess in the last 10 years if they had been left to look after themselves without a scheme of equitable distribution and licensing. We should have had the little men having to go without supplies, which would throw their work people out of employment.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Does the hon. Gentleman envisage conditions of scarcity in steel supplies and the need for rationing and allocation systems for ever? Is that his belief?
§ Mr. Jones
Of course there was a war, and the hon. Member for Kidderminster has no right to assume that he can dictate whether or not there will be another war. If it were left to him to decide whether there should be a political war, there would be one in the House every afternoon. We will leave it at that.
I suggest that the Minister can easily accept the Amendment. We are simple people on this side of the House and what we have in mind here is the idea of making certain that, in the event of war or extraordinary circumstances, an equitable amount of steel will continue to be supplied to those who need it. I know of firms in this country who have extremely big interests in finished products. Take Dorman Long, for instance. That great firm in Middlesbrough may receive a huge order for the erection of a bridge, as they have in the past and as, I hope, they will in the future, and if that big firm had a big demand thrown upon their own rolling and production resources, they could easily look after their own 1136 those consumers who, in normal times, receive a fair amount of sectional steel from Dorman Long.
Take the case of the Manchester Steel Corporation, for whom I had the privilege and honour to work for over 30 years. They make about one-third of the country's supply of wire—and I hope the hon. Member for Kidderminster will not again try to suggest that wire is not steel and is not included in the Bill. Any steel which is reduced in its cross-section by rolling or re-rolling, by hot or cold methods, is in the Schedule. Wire is produced that way, and if the hon. Member for Kidderminster is trying to make me think that it is not, I will show him 3,000 tons a week being made near where I live.
Supposing that firm had a time of boom and peak demand for wire netting, pit ropes and other wire products, they could easily forget, for the time being, the interests of persons upon whose demand they rely in normal times. We suggest that the persons to whom we turn in normal times should be looked after in the abnormal periods.
The hon. Member for Blackley (Mr. E. Johnson) knows something about wire in its billet form before it is turned into wire by the firm with which he is acquainted. He knows that there are times when the people so engaged are driven into seeking billets abroad because of the abnormal demand throughout the world. We suggest that firms of that description should have a continuance of distribution of the resources available in this country. That is all we ask today—that the little man should have at all times a fair share.
All we are asking is that the Board, among their multifarious duties, should see that there is equitable distribution of the steel, no more and no less. That is a very simple and decent thing to do. The party opposite claim to be the party of the little businessman, but apparently they are in difficulty in getting a provision in the Bill which will give that assurance to the small businessman.
We also have in mind the public utilities. It is no good, in war-time, making shell steel without, at the same time, being able to ensure that British Railways get the steel for the tracks on which to 1137 carry those shells. They need practically the same kind of steel, high manganese steel. We also have to ensure that the National Coal Board have steel for mine arches in order to get the coal on which we depend. Without this provision they might be denied the right to get those mine arches. It is no use putting all our steel into manganese steel for tank tracks if we do not also see that the farming community get sufficient steel for tractors. We are asking for fair shares for all—our election pledge—including fair shares of steel.
§ Mr. Nabarro
I hope that my right hon. Friend will oppose this Amendment and that the House will decisively reject it. There is nothing odious or prejudicial to the public interest in the process of vertical combination in industry. The hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) seemed to find something immoral in the process of a primary producer arranging through a suitable firm of distributors or stockists to sell his particular products or in the purpose of a vertical combination of a primary producer using a manufacturing business which is a subsidiary or allied in some other way to the primary producing business, as an outlet for the sales of steel products or manufactured goods.
I cannot believe that anything connected with equitable distribution could conflict with vertical combination; the two things are entirely separate and different. The hon. and learned Member referred to it as a process of vertical arrangements, but no doubt he meant combination. In our long industrial history it has often been proved that costs can be reduced, distribution can be improved and a better service can be given to the consumer by that very process of vertical combination.
§ Mr. Mitchison
I never accuse anyone, not even a vertical trust, nor the hon. Member, of immorality. I merely ask for equitable distribution.
§ Mr. Nabarro
If the case of the hon. and learned Member rested only on equitable distribution there was no need for him to introduce the question of vertical arrangements in industry.
Let us come back to the crux of the question. I believe that the gulf between us is exactly the same as that which was 1138 between us a few weeks ago on the question of consumers' consultative councils for the steel industry. Hon. Members opposite envisaged that forever and a day we must have restrictionism and rationing of steel and steel products.
I and other hon. Members on this side of the House believe that we are moving into a period when the supply of steel and steel products will at least equal demand, if it will not exceed it. The indication, as each month passes and steel production steadily increases, is that, with the notable exception of one or two specialised products such as plates for shipbuilding and sheets for motorcar bodies, and so on, there will be a matching, a balance, between the supply of steel products and the demand for them. In those circumstances, we shall probably re-enter what in pre-war days we were pleased to call a free market. In a free market there is no need at all to have statutory control or limitation over the distribution of steel and steel products. [Laughter.]
The hon. Member for Cleveland (Mr. Palmer) laughs. Has he never used the services of a steel stockist, a steel merchant, a steel distributor or a factor such as have been created in many different forms up and down the country precisely to serve the small businesses to which the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) referred? It is those stockists, factors, distributors and merchants who, in a free market, afford a ready and efficient service to consumers of steel in industry and those firms which are not sufficiently large to buy their steel supplies direct from the manufacturers.
There might be a case in time of continuing shortage, if indeed there is any period of such shortage still remaining, for a steel allocation scheme to be continued. If that case were made out it would be the duty of the Minister of Supply to operate the scheme. It should not be the duty of the Board to operate it. Hon. Members opposite are suggesting that duties at present vested in the Minister in the steel allocation scheme should, in future, be delegated to the Board themselves——
§ Mr. Nabarro
The hon. and learned Member says "No." His Amendment 1139 seeks to insert the words, "and the equitable distribution." He seeks to make that one of the functions of the Iron and Steel Board; there cannot be any doubt about that.
§ Mr. Mitchison
With respect, I must teach the hon. Member a little grammar. "Equitable distribution" are, respectively, an adjective and a noun and the verb is "supervise."
§ Mr. Nabarro
But there is no mention of the word "supervise." The Amendment is to insert after the word "conditions" the words, "and the equitable distribution." That is the function of the Board. [HON. MEMBERS: "Read on."] The title of the Clause is:Supervision of iron and steel industry by Board.What hon. Members opposite are seeking to do is to make the Board responsible for a function which is currently vested in the Minister of Supply. For all these reasons I hope that my right hon. Friend will recognise the fact that we are moving into a free market and into a period when supply will match demand for steel and steel products—that we are moving towards our Conservative goal of freedom in distribution of iron and steel and that this Amendment is, therefore, rendered wholly unnecessary.
§ Mr. Eric Johnson (Manchester, Blackley)
The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) alluded to a firm of which I have some knowledge. I do not think I need to declare an interest, because I am not a director. It is true that rod rollers, in particular, are very uneasy about the supplies of their raw material. I think it right for me to say that the billets supply position has not improved since the industry was nationalised. Whether the supply came from abroad or elsewhere it was easier before the war.
We feel serious concern about this matter which applies not only to the smaller firms who operate through a merchant, but to the larger firms who buy steel in considerable quantities. Such firms welcome the Bill, particularly Clauses 3 and 4. I hope my right hon. Friend will assure the House that the point raised in this Amendment is met so far as supplies are concerned by 1140 the words, "adequate supplies" in line 41 of the Clause, and that on those grounds the Amendment is unnecessary.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. A. R. W. Low)
The hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) seemed to indicate that the word "supply" as it is used in Clause 3 was ambiguous. As a result of this debate it is apparent that there is a certain amount of ambiguity in the word "distribution" as well. At an earlier stage we discussed the word "supply." During our debate on marketing arrangements I pointed out that the word meant not only production but also sale and marketing.
In so far as the word "distribution" may be intended to cover the selling and marketing of iron and steel products, we are advised that all the points made by the hon. and learned Gentleman and the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. Jack Jones) are covered by the Bill as at present drafted. The Board's duty already extends to the efficient, economic and adequate supply of iron and steel products under competitive conditions and, therefore, covers their distribution by the industry. The Board will be concerned with the general marketing arrangements of the industry to small, large and medium-sized consumers. If there are restrictive agreements or practices in operation, whereby producers discriminate unfairly against consumers, the Board would take note of them and use their influence to bring them to an end. In the last resort they would report to the Minister.
I gather from what was said by the hon. and learned Member for Kettering, and even more so from the remarks of the hon. Member for Rotherham, that what they were driving at was allocation in times of shortage—which is quite a different matter from distribution. We have quite deliberately, for the reasons outlined by my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro), not included those matters in the duties of the Board. In our opinion, responsibility for allocation in times of shortage is a matter for the Government who alone are qualified to judge between the conflicting claims of various iron and steel using industries.
1141 Hon. Members opposite referred from time to time to distribution being in the national interest. But the House will have clearly in mind the difference we have drawn between the responsibilities of the Board under the Bill and the responsibilities of the Government. My right hon. Friend has on a number of occasions indicated that the national interest is the responsibility of the Government, and so is the allocation of iron and steel products in times of shortage.
I have little to add to what was said on this matter by my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster. But I would refer to one point made by the hon. and learned Member for Kettering, who talked of a fair deal between the public and the private sector of industry in what he called the transitional period. I think that what he meant was a fair deal in raw materials. I cannot think he meant in finished iron and steel. Though we should be wrong to assume there will always be a shortage of iron and steel, in so far as we are referring to finished steel, that is a matter for the Government. The raw materials aspect is covered by the present Clause 10: the hon. and learned Member will recall our discussion in Committee on the Amendment to insert similar words when I pointed out that in our opinion the words "satisfactory arrangement" covered all those matters.
§ Mr. Mitchison
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will deal with what I tried hard to make clear; that is, the question of the supply of products half-way down the chain. I was not talking about raw materials or finished products, but things half-way from the raw material to the finished product. May I also ask him to tell me—if "supply" includes production, or, at any rate, some production—why it is that the word "equitable" is not put before "supply"?
§ Mr. Low
I will deal with the last question first, because I was coming to the point about "equitable."
The duties of the Board which cover efficient, economic and adequate supply under competitive conditions surely extend to seeing that the distribution is efficient, economic and competitive; which amounts to seeing that the consumer has the choice of buying what he 1142 wants. That covers the idea behind the use of the word "equitable" by the hon. and learned Gentleman. If what he wants to see is the pattern of the distribution of iron and steel on this particular day frozen once and for all—I cannot believe that is what he is attempting to say—he will want something else. But I think he will be satisfied if the supply is adequate and about that I can satisfy him. It is only when there is a shortage that the danger of inequity or unfairness arises.
§ Mr. John Hynd (Sheffield, Attercliffe) rose——
§ Mr. Low
I hope that the hon. Member will allow me to finish this part of my argument. The hon. Member for Rotherham is agreeing with me at the moment. I am sorry if the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. G. R. Strauss) does not agree, but I should like to finish the argument.
In times of shortage the national interest may require allocation in a way which is not equitable. For example, the allocation schemes that the right hon. Gentleman administered, and even the scheme which is in operation now, could be said to be inequitable between one man and another if we consider merely the interests of the individual. Allocation in the national interest is not necessarily equitable. In our opinion the word "equitable" would not be rightly introduced into a Clause like this even if we intended that the Board should be responsible for allocation. We think that responsibility for allocation in time of shortage is for the Government and not for the Board.
§ Mr. Hynd
Does the hon. Gentleman really mean to say that when supplies are adequate distribution must necessarily be equitable? Does he not know that in industry there are restrictive practices and that there have been restrictive practices in the iron and steel industry? Does he not know that there have been boycotts of certain firms in connection with certain material and that such an instance was referred to in the House today in reference to another industry?
§ Mr. Low
The hon. Gentleman may have forgotten something I have said earlier. I said that as the Bill is now drafted if there are restrictive agreements 1143 or practices in operation whereby producers discriminate unfairly against one or more consumers, the Board should use their influence to bring them to an end. If need be in the last resort they should report to the Minister so that action may be taken under other legislation, under the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Inquiry and Control) Act.
My explanation has been rather diffuse owing to the number of points raised by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I hope that I have covered all the arguments. I agree with what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley (Mr. E. Johnson) in his short but relevant speech on a special problem which concerns a firm about which he knows. If there is an adequate supply, the problem raised by the hon. and learned Member for Kettering will not arise.
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss (Vauxhall)
We do not propose to divide the House on this Amendment, as we are short of time. We are not in any way satisfied with the answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary. On this occasion his answer was less precise and, to use a word which he used himself, more diffuse than usual. He realised that the answer he gave was most unsatisfactory and that we have a strong case.
The hon. Member for Blackley (Mr. E. Johnson), who has practical experience, appreciated that we were talking about something of great importance. We are surprised that the Government have refused to accept this Amendment, which would have had the effect of helping the small men against the big concerns, those primary producers who have their own subsidiaries and which take up all the semi-finished products temporarily in short supply.
The hon. Gentleman's answer was divided into two parts. He said that our point was covered because the words "adequate supply" mean equitable distribution. We do not agree. There may be adequate supply of certain products, but to suggest that the Board will regard it as a duty to see that they are equitably distributed is another matter. If the Government have in mind the desirability of giving to the Board some authority for seeing that there shall be fair distribution of the products and semi-finished 1144 products between the various claimants that should be stated clearly in the Bill.
Then the Parliamentary Secretary came to the other leg of his argument, where he was on very weak ground. He said that if there was a shortage it was the duty of the Government to allocate. He said it must be the duty of the Government and not of the Board. The hon. Gentleman does not realise that there may be two types of shortage. There may be an overall shortage, in which case the Government would introduce an allocation scheme. But there may be a shortage which would not justify the introduction of an allocation scheme with all the difficulties, troubles, worries and red tape that inevitably go with it. There may be a shortage of certain products only. When that happened, as it did frequently before the allocation scheme came into operation, the old Forbes Board, if they had a complaint from an independent producer or consumer of a product, ensured that those interested got fair shares.
For instance, the producers of wire—and there are only a few—should not hog the whole lot for themselves for use in their subsidiaries. It was the duty of the Forbes Board to ensure fair shares and to see that wire went to the independents. I see no reason why the Government should say that that duty should not go to this new Board. I remind the Parliamentary Secretary that when I introduced the 1949 Bill the Conservative Opposition urged that there should be special provision to ensure that the products of the industry were equitably distributed and that the independent producer should get his fair share. I accepted an Amendment to provide that the Corporation should ensure equitable distribution of iron and steel products. That was done to protect the independent producer outside the Corporation. That provision was put in at the suggestion of the Conservative Party.
We say that a similar provision should be inserted in this Bill to protect the independent producer. We are surprised that the Government have not taken the opportunity to give to the Board this responsibility, the need for which may never arise. But knowing how unpredictable the future is and how iron and steel products can become short at any time, we thought that such a provision 1145 was necessary. We regret that the Government are unwilling to accept our Amendment.
§ Mr. M. Turner-Samuels (Gloucester)
The Parliamentary Secretary gave a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Attercliffe (Mr. J. Hynd) which, though I do not think he intended it, was misleading and unsatisfactory. He said that if there were restrictive practices the Minister could take action through the Monopolies Commission. But that is quite useless in this sense. Apart from the fact that the Commission can have a long inquiry, they can do nothing more than report on the result of the inquiry. They can take no action whatever. As far as I can see, the only effective step which could be taken would be through some Bill which would have to be presented to Parliament. Therefore, the reply of the Parliamentary Secretary is not satisfactory. The action he mentioned would merely result in delay and would be ineffectual.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Mr. John Freeman (Watford)
I beg to move, in page 4, line 36, at the end, to insert:(2) The Minister may at any time give to the Board any such directions as to the performance of their duty under the preceding subsection as he shall think fit in the national interest.The effect of this Amendment is to provide that at the end of the first subsection of Clause 3, which lays down the general duties of the Board, the Minister shall have the power to give the Board directions in the national interest. This Amendment, in exactly the same form, was discussed in Committee, and I take it that the reason for reverting at a later stage to a matter which has already been discussed is that the Opposition either consider the matter to be one of some certain importance or that it is desirable to revert to the matter once again after the Opposition have had time to consider the arguments which the Government adduced at an earlier stage. In this case, both those arguments apply.
This is an Amendment of great importance and of principle. It is also an Amendment which it is desirable the House should look at again in the light of the arguments which hon. Members 1146 opposite brought to bear during the Committee stage. Clause 3 establishes the general duties of the Iron and Steel Board, and very vague they are. The expressions used are "exercise a general supervision," "in particular to keep under review," and so on. Apart from certain specific tasks which are laid on the Board by other Clauses of this Bill, Clause 3 (1) relates to the whole of the duty which is placed on the Board. The Board do not really exist apart from this subsection and apart from the three Clauses 5, 7 and 10, which lay upon them certain narrowly defined specific duties.
Clause 5 relates to the matter of sanctioning additional production facilities, Clause 7 to the matter of price fixing, and Clause 10 to the power to import raw materials. Those three Clauses place duties upon this Board but they define them with absolute precision and within narrow limits. Apart from those three Clauses, Clause 3 (1) is the whole stuff and substance of this Board.
We are asking that the Minister should give to the Board directions in the national interest. We on this side of the House have never concealed—I myself stated it specifically on the Second Reading of the Bill—that we consider this Clause, and indeed the Iron and Steel Bill as a conception, to be little more than a sham. Our suspicions in that direction are confirmed by the way in which the Government, both in Committee and, so far, on Report, have treated a series of Amendments designed to strengthen Clause 3 and to give some effective teeth to the Board.
The last time we discussed the Bill we dealt with the addition to this Clause of the duty of the Board to control these matters instead of merely to supervise them. The attitude of the Government in inviting the hon. Members to reject that Amendment went some way to confirm us in our view that this is all a deliberate put-up job to deceive the public about the nature of this Bill and the competence of the Board which it is setting up. It may be said—and I do not deny it—that to erect that superstructure of argument on the foundation that the Government have given us unsound reasoning. If that is said, at least the matter can be put to the test here.
1147 This is an Amendment the acceptance or rejection of which, I submit, precisely puts to the test the question whether or not the Government mean anything by Clause 3. It surely cannot be denied that the field within which the Board are to operate under Clause 3 is one which touches the public interest. Let any hon. Member who doubts that look at what the Board are asked in general terms to supervise and keep under review in Clause 3 (1). It goes right to the heart of public interest where the steel industry is concerned.
We have already been told by the Government again and again, and even this afternoon by implication on the last Amendment, that they themselves must be the judge of the public interest; that the public interest can, in fact, only be determined by the Government. Where does that take us? Surely it means this: either the Board—which, if they are to operate within the terms of Clause 3 at all, must be touching the public interest—does not operate, or else the Government must be in a position to determine what the public interest is so far as the Board's operations under Clause 3 are concerned. That means that the Government must have the power of direction. I submit that that is sound logic, and it is an absolutely precise test.
If Clause 3 means anything at all, if the Government's assertion that they must be the judge of the public interest means anything at all, the Government must have the power of direction over the general duties of the Board as set out in Clause 3. At present, if this Amendment is not accepted, apart from the special powers which the Board derives from the other three Clauses to which I have already referred, the Board exist in a vacuum. They cannot impose their purpose on the industry and the Minister, on the other hand, cannot direct their course.
We are asked to suppose, both in the arguments at the Dispatch Box and in public propaganda from the Central Office, that this is making industry publicly answerable. Can the Minister be surprised that we reply by saying that it is nothing but a sham? The arguments which, at an earlier stage of the Bill, were brought against an Amendment in this sense are worth looking at. 1148 Owing, I suppose, to the pressure of time, only two hon. Members opposite addressed themselves to this question; but I do not think we need assume that the Opposition's case was in any way weakened by that, because the two hon. Members concerned were the Minister himself and the commissar from Steel House who sits behind him, the hon. Member for Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones). I reckon that if we hear those two Members we hear the substance of the case which the steel interests are trying to develop against our Amendment.
Let us look at what they said. The hon. Member for Hall Green developed three points only. He said, first of all, that direction is not necessary because advice is enough. I quote his words:It is my experience that when a Minister gives guidance of this kind to an industry, and not only to the iron and steel industry but to all industries, that guidance is heeded."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1953; Vol. 510, c. 1323.]That is not a particularly well formulated argument, because it confuses the fact that what we are asking for here is the power of the Minister to direct the Board and not the power of the Board to direct the industry. But in so far as that argument has any validity, it simply is not true.
Any hon. Member who has exercised Ministerial responsibilities knows perfectly well that on some occasions requests and advice are certainly not enough, and there may indeed well be valid reasons why they are not enough. I suppose that the present Minister of Supply may be able to furnish examples—certainly some of his colleagues in the present Government will be able to do so—where public authorities have specifically asked Ministers to issue a form of direction to cover them on some subject where there is some question of their answerability, arising either from public opinion or statute. This power to direct on the part of the Minister is absolutely essential to the efficient administration of this kind of public authority.
Secondly, the hon. Member produced the argument that Ministers might be subject to political pressure. I will not quote his words, because he probably remembers the argument, but he said that, therefore, it is undesirable that Ministers should have power to direct. That is, of course, true, but one of the things which 1149 distinguishes a Minister from many other institutions of society is that he is subject to public control, and that is exactly what we are asking for this Board. The Minister is answerable to the House, and, therefore, to public opinion, and we in this House can keep a check on whether or not a Minister abuses his powers.
It is perfectly true that an irresponsible Corporation—irresponsible in the sense that it is not answerable to the public in any way—is not subject to quite the same kind of political pressure as a Minister, but it can indeed—and the hon. Member for Hall Green knows it well—practise and perpetuate incompetent and self-seeking neglect of the public interest and nepotism almost entirely undetected, because it is not at any point answerable to the public.
Finally, the hon. Member cited as an example of the sort of political pressure which might be brought to bear on a Minister who had power of direction the case of wage increases followed by price increases. He suggested that pressure might be brought to bear on the Minister, first of all, to authorise wage increases, and then to direct a price increase as a consequence. That is a singularly inept example of the sort of danger which might arise from accepting an Amendment of this kind, because price-fixing, which is dealt with in another Clause, is one of the few subjects on which the Minister virtually has power of direction even under this Bill.
When the Minister came to address his argument to the rejection of this Amendment, in his engaging manner, for which we have been grateful on a number of occasions and by which we have been frustrated on even more, he wandered amiably and said that the Board would welcome guidance, but the only new thing he added was the remark that he feared that he would be unable to recruit proper membership to the Board if he, as Minister, held this power. His words on this subject, and I think they are worth quoting, were as follows:People are not going to devote their time to being members of a Board with very great responsibilities knowing that after they have considered a problem carefully and conscientiously the Government can step in at any moment and tell them how to do the job. People who are going to become members of a Board of this kind want to know where they stand from the start, what are to be their 1150 responsibilities and what measure of freedom they are to be given to carry them out."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1953; Vol. 510, c. 1325.]That is the only argument of any substance or cogency whatever that the Minister addressed against this Amendment at an earlier stage, and what does that argument amount to? It is utter nonsense. In the first place, there are plenty of occasions on which boards have asked for this power to direct to be in Ministerial hands and on which they have invited directions on specific subjects to protect themselves. Secondly, let us look at the composition of the boards of the nationalised industries. Hon. Members opposite dislike this structure, but does any responsible member of the Government Front Bench really suggest that either they themselves or their predecessors have been unable to recruit the sort of people they would want to occupy the high positions on these boards because the power of direction remains with the Minister?
I know very well that my right hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. G. R. Strauss), whom I served in the last Government, had some difficulty at one stage in recruiting a Steel Board, but it was not for that reason. The hon. Member for Hall Green can tell the House what the reason was, but it was nothing to do with directions given by the Minister. In any case, I have not observed in recent years a notable apathy in members of the Forces in taking high jobs because of the fact that there is an even higher authority resting in Downing Street which might frustrate their intentions from time to time.
There is not a single argument against this Amendment except, possibly, the vague assertion, which, in any case, we do not accept, that the Amendment is not necessary. The arguments for it are overwhelming. Unless the Minister does have this power, then, in my submission, it can be categorically stated that Clause 3 is a sham and means just nothing at all, that, in fact, the Board will never be able to perform any of the functions listed in Clause 3, and that their powers are solely limited to the powers which are set out in Clauses 5, 7 and 10 of the Bill, in each of which the Minister virtually has a power of direction.
1151 In each of these Clauses, the power of direction which the Minister is given is a power of particular direction, and the real substance of this Amendment is that, to match the broad outline of the Board's responsibilities which is set out in Clause 3, the Minister should have a power of permissive general direction which he will use only at his discretion and for which he would remain answerable to the House. The fact that all these specific powers of the Board which come in the later Clauses are given one way or another subject to Ministerial direction is the real proof of what I am saying; they show that there is no objection in principle to direction.
It is very tempting for hon. Members opposite to base their case on the undesirability of any form of Ministerial directions, but that case is disproved by the provisions of Clauses 5, 7 and 10, and the only reason for rejecting this Amendment must be an abjection to Ministerial and Parliamentary control over the matters outlined in the Clause. I want to conclude by quoting a few words from what my right hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall said at an earlier stage, because it really is important that the Minister should not be able to ride away in urging the rejection of this Amendment on the suggestion that we are advocating an unduly restrictive approach and an attempt to limit the freedom of the new Board.
It simply is not so, but let my right hon. Friend, who was speaking from the Front Bench on behalf of the Opposition, put the case in his own words. He said this:We have never proposed or suggested that the Minister should interfere in day-to-day transactions, or anything of that sort. It is for the Minister himself to decide when he should interfere and when Parliament will want him to interfere. He can be certain that if he interferes unnecessarily Parliament will tell him he has done the wrong thing. Under our scheme we said there should be direct control and Parliamentary responsibility for the broad outline of the industry; that if anything went wrong, if there was insufficient production, general inefficiency, or if amalgamations did not take place which ought to take place, the matter should be discussed in Parliament; that the Minister should be questioned and give an answer, and if necessary, on behalf of Parliament, see that the desires of Parliament were carried out."—[OFFICIAL, REPORT. 29th January, 1953; Vol. 510, c. 1328.]1152 That is what we are inviting the House to do and what this new Board should also accept as part of their responsibilities.
What happened before? This industry, for many years, has behaved without social responsibility, like a rogue elephant. After the war, public opinion made up its mind that that state of affairs was to be ended, along with the underhand contacts between the leaders of the industry and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. Its terms, if I may paraphrase them, are something like this, "We recognise that you are now in a political difficulty owing to our past failures. If you would undertake to make certain that we are left free agents we, in return, will undertake to steer clear of the gravest excesses of the past."
Out of that compact has arisen a whole new line of Tory propaganda seeking to pretend that this industry ought in some vague way to be answerable to public control, but taking very good care that at each stage such control shall be ineffectual. It is to put an end to that state of affairs that we move this Amendment, and, whether or not the Minister accepts it, we shall expose once for all if there is any truth in the suggestion of the underhand deal which I have put forward.
§ The Minister of Supply (Mr. Duncan Sandys)
The hon. Member for Watford (Mr. J. Freeman), who always speaks with great fluency and usually with great conviction, did not on this occasion give the impression that he was deeply convinced by the case he was making. But be that as it may, he said that if the Government are to be the judge of the public interest they must have power of direction. I do not dispute that, provided that those powers of direction are precisely related to the functions of the Board under the Bill. However, I would point out to hon. Members opposite that in this Amendment they are asking for much more sweeping powers than they thought it right to give to the Government under the 1949 Act in relation to a State owned industry.
It seems to me that where we have an industry which is owned by the State and 1153 where only public money is involved, we should be entitled to give the Government more direct powers of control and intervention than in the case of an industry which is privately owned and which is being run with private money. The 1949 Act gave the Minister no general power to direct the Corporation to carry out particular development schemes; it gave the Government no power to override the Corporation in respect of prices and no power to direct the Corporation to import finished steel or to keep in production works which were going to be dosed down.
This Amendment proposes that the Minister should be given an unlimited right of interference in the affairs and responsibilities of the Iron and Steel Board. I can think of nothing that is better calculated to diminish the influence and to undermine the authority of the Board than that. We recognise that in exceptional circumstances it may be necessary in the national interest for the Government to intervene. The difference between us is that the Opposition want to give the Minister a kind of rover ticket to interfere when and where he feels inclined. We, on the other hand, prefer to give the Minister powers which are limited to what is necessary, and powers, above all, which are clearly defined in the Bill.
I do not see that there is any sham about our proposals just because we think it better that the powers given to the Minister should be defined instead of being left vague, as is suggested in the Amendment—powers which, as I have said, were never given to the Minister in the 1949 Act. The Opposition seem to deduce from this that the Government are paying no regard to the national interest in all these matters. That is not only untrue, but it is not borne out by the Bill itself.
As I see it, the principal national interest is that the industry should be efficiently run. We believe that the Board are better qualified to ensure that the industry is efficiently run than is any Government Department in Whitehall. However, we recognise that there are wider aspects of the national interest which it is the responsibility of the Government to safeguard, and we have, in consequence, provided specific reserve powers for this precise purpose.
1154 Apart from the efficiency of the industry, there are three matters connected with it which vitally affect the national interest. The first is prices. Under Clause 9, as the hon. Member for Watford has pointed out, the Government are given a complete overriding power to direct the Board in regard to the prices to be fixed. As I have said before, I hope that this power will not often have to be used, but there is no doubt that it exists. Therefore, I submit that the Opposition can have no possible complaint in regard to the Government's powers in respect of prices.
The second matter which vitally affects the national interest is the adequacy of steel supplies. Not only have we given the Government the power to supplement the output of the industry by setting up and running steel works themselves either directly or through an agency, but we have also under Clause 10 given them the power to direct the Board to import additional supplies of finished steel. Thus the Government have power under the Bill to ensure that prices are reasonable and that supplies of iron and steel are adequate.
There remains the third vital matter—development. In our opinion, development plans should be based on technical and industrial considerations. However, the Amendment which I offered as a bouquet to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. G. R. Strauss) at the end of our last debate, in page 5, line 29, provides that the Board, in their consultations with the industry under Clause 4 on development plans, shall… have regard to any considerations relating to employment in Great Britain or otherwise relating to the national interest to which the Minister may have asked them to have regard.In other words, the Minister is empowered to draw the attention of the Board to matters which affect the national interest outside their sphere of responsibility, and to ask them, without prejudice to their general responsibility for the efficiency of the industry, to take those considerations into account.
In this way the Minister will be able to exercise a considerable influence over the Board in relation to development plans; but if persuasion should prove to be insufficient there remain in reserve important statutory powers by means of 1155 which the Government can control development. Under the Town and Country Planning Acts the Government are able to control the location of industry which, as mentioned in earlier debates, can be important in regard to employment. In addition, so long as it is necessary to control capital investment, the Government have the power to do so through the licensing of building work.
Thus, I submit to the House that on all the main issues which affect the national interest—prices, supplies of iron and steel, and development plans—the Government possess effective powers, either by instructing the Board or by other means, to safeguard the national interest. I ask hon. Members to consider seriously what I have said and I hope that in the light of this explanation they will not find it necessary to press this Amendment.
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss
The Minister is quite right when he says that our Amendment throws up the difference in outlook between the two sides of the House on the measure of control and Parliamentary supervision which there should be over the iron and steel industry. He did not say it in those words perhaps. I paraphrase and, if I may say so, put it rather better than he did. [Interruption.] If the right hon. Gentleman did not suggest it, then I suggest it. The Amendment shows what our outlook is on the amount of Parliamentary supervision that there should be over the industry, and the Minister's reply has shown the entirely different outlook of the Conservative Party.
I suggest to the Minister that he really misled the House when he suggested that in our nationalisation Act we did not give the Minister much authority over the industry. That is not true. First of all, we set up a body to own about 97 per cent. of the basic production of this industry. The duty of that body was to look after the public interest and the consumer, and not the interest of the iron and steel industry. Secondly, under our Act the Minister had general powers of direction over the Corporation. Thirdly, the Minister could give specific direction on any matter which any consumer brought to the consumers' council—any complaint about price, delivery, quality 1156 or anything else. The Minister could then give specific instructions to the Corporation and they had to carry them out. Under our nationalisation Act the Minister of Supply had full Governmental authority over the Corporation and the industry.
§ Mr. Sandys
Surely the right hon. Gentleman agrees that the powers which would be given to the Minister if this Amendment were adopted are far more sweeping than anything which he provided in the 1949 Act. Does he not agree, for instance, that there is no power under the 1949 Act for the Minister to direct the Corporation to keep works going, to direct the Corporation to import finished steel, and so on?
§ Mr. Strauss
I am not sure. The right hon. Gentleman could argue that in some matters the powers which the Minister had under our Act were much greater than the powers which we are now suggesting. In other matters he could argue that what we are now seeking to achieve by our Amendment would give the Minister wider powers.
§ Mr. Strauss
We say that the Minister requires wider powers when the industry is in the hands of this body. We take the view that this industry, for reasons which we have argued many times, is so important to the national interest that its general welfare and its efficient and proper running are matters far wider than those which the Minister mentioned. The industry should be under the direct control and be the direct responsibility of the Minister of Supply who is in turn responsible to Parliament.
The Minister has given a list of matters in which he can interfere. He can fix the maximum price; the Board can veto development, and, in certain circumstances, the Board can advise the Minister to carry out such development himself. But the Minister himself told us that those circumstances are most unlikely to arise. In my view, it is almost impossible for a Conservative Government to carry out development if Steel House does not want it carried out.
All sorts of very wide duties are placed on the Board under Clause 3. They must look after the efficiency of the industry 1157 and see that an economic and adequate supply of iron and steel is provided. But if they want to look after the general efficiency of the industry the Board are given no powers, or quite inadequate powers to do so. We say that on essential matters of that kind Parliament and the Minister must have some responsibility. If the pledge of the Government is to be relevant that this industry must be under general public supervision—and some Ministers have used the words "under Government supervision"—then this Amendment must be accepted. If it were accepted and made effective we would not have much quarrel with the Bill.
There is practically no public or Governmental supervision under this Bill as it stands. We ask that the Board with the limited powers but wide functions
§ which they are given should be subject to Ministerial direction so that we can question the Minister about these matters and so that, if necessary, he should be able to give general instructions to the Board to carry out what Parliament requires and believes to be in the public interest.
§ That is the essential difference between us. It is because we feel so keenly that Parliamentary supervision over the industry should be effectively maintained, through the Minister of Supply, that we hold this Amendment to be of first-class importance and feel bound to divide the House upon it.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 226; Noes, 254.1161
|Division No. 118.]||AYES||[5.10 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Deer, G.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)|
|Adams, Richard||Dodds, N. N.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)|
|Albu, A. H.||Donnelly, D. L.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Edelman, M.||Johnson, James (Rugby)|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Edwards, John (Brighouse)||Jones, David (Hartlepool)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Jones, Fredrick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)|
|Baird, J.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Keenan, W.|
|Balfour, A.||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Kenyon, C.|
|Bartley, P.||Fienburgh, W.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Finch, H. J.||King, Dr. H. M.|
|Bence, C. R.||Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Kinley, J.|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Follick, M.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Benson, G.||Foot, M. M.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)|
|Beswick, F.||Forman, J. C.||Lewis, Arthur|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Blackburn, F.||Freeman, John (Watford)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||MacColl, J. E.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||McGhee, H. G.|
|Boardman, H.||Gibson, C. W.||McLeavy, F.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Glanville, James||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Bowden, H. W.||Gooch, E. G.||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P C||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Mainwaring, W. H.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Grey, C. F.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mann, Mrs. Jean|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Manuel, A. C.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Hale, Leslie||Mayhew, C. P.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Messer, F.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Mitchison, G. R|
|Carmichael, J.||Hamilton, W. W.||Monslow, W.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Hardy, E. A.||Moody, A. S.|
|Champion, A. J.||Hargreaves, A.||Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.|
|Chapman, W. D.||Hastings, S.||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Hayman, F. H.||Mort, D. L.|
|Coldrick, W.||Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)||Moyle, A.|
|Collick, P. H.||Herbison, Miss M.||Mulley, F. W.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hobson, C. R.||Murray, J. D.|
|Cove, W. G.||Holman, P.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Houghton, Douglas||Oliver, G. H.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Hoy, J. H.||Oswald, T.|
|Daines, P.||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Padley, W. E.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Paget, R. T.|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Pannell, Charles||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Viant, S. P.|
|Parker, J.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Paton, J.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Watkins, T. E.|
|Pearson, A.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Peart, T. F.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||Weitzman, D.|
|Plummer, Sir Leslie||Snow, J. W.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Poole, C. C.||Sorensen, R. W.||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|Popplewell, E.||Sparks, J. A.||West, D. G.|
|Porter, G.||Steele, T.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Proctor, W. T.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Pryde, D. J.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Stross, Dr. Barnett||Wigg, George|
|Rankin, John||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Reeves, J.||Swingler, S. T.||Willey, F. T.|
|Reid, Thomas (Swindon)||Sylvester, G. O.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Reid, William (Camlachie)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Rhodes, H.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Thomas, David (Aberdare)||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Thomas, George (Cardiff)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A|
|Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)||Yates, V. F.|
|Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K|
|Ross, William||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Royle, C||Thornton, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Shackleton, E. A. A.||Timmons, J.||Mr. Hannan and|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E||Tomney, F.||Mr. Arthur Allen.|
|Short, E. W.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Aitken, W. T.||Deedes, W. F.||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Digby, S. Wingfield||Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Jennings, R.|
|Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Drewe, C.||Jones, A. (Hall Green)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas (Richmond)||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Kaberry, D.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Fell, A.||Lambton, Viscount|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Finlay, Graeme||Langford-Holt, J. A.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Fisher, Nigel||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.|
|Banks, Col. C.||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Leather, E. H. C.|
|Barber, Anthony||Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Fort, R.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)|
|Baxter, A. B.||Foster, John||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Linstead, H. N.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lansdale)||Llewellyn, D. T.|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Godber, J. B.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.|
|Birch, Nigel||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A||Longden, Gilbert|
|Bishop, F. P.||Gough, C. F. H.||Low, A. R. W.|
|Black, C. W.||Gower, H. R.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Boothby, R. J. G||Graham, Sir Fergus||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)|
|Bassom, A. C.||Gridley, Sir Arnold||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Grimond, J.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||McAdden, S. J.|
|Braine, B. R.||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||McCallum, Major D.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon M. S.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Harden, J. R. E.||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)||McKibbin, A. J.|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Harris, Reader (Heston)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Bullard, D. G.||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Maclean, Fitzroy|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)|
|Campbell, Sir David||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)|
|Carr, Robert||Hay, John||Macpherson, Nigel (Dumfries)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Heald, Sir Lionel||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Channon, H.||Heath, Edward||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Higgs, J. M. C.||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Markham, Major S. F.|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Clyde, Rt. Hon. J. L||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Marples, A. E.|
|Cole, Norman||Hirst, Geoffrey||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)|
|Colegate, W. A.||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Maude, Angus|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Hollis, M. C.||Maudling, R.|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Holt, A. F.||Medlicott, Brig. F.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Horobin, I. M.||Mellor, Sir John|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Molson, A. H. E.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Hurd, A. R.||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Nicholls, Harmar||Roper, Sir Harold||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)||Russell, R. S.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Nield, Basil (Chester)||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.|
|Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P||Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Tilney, John|
|Nugent, G. R. H.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Oakshott, H. D.||Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas||Turton, R. H.|
|O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Scott, R. Donald||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Vosper, D. F.|
|Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-super-Mare)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Wade, D. W.|
|Osborne, C.||Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Soames, Capt. C.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Peto, Brig. C. H. M||Spearman, A. C. M.||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Peyton, J. W. W.||Speir, R. M.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Pitman, I. J.||Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Powell, J. Enoch||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard||Wellwood, W.|
|Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Stevens, G. P.||Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)|
|Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Profumo, J. D.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Williams, Sr. Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Raikes, Sir Victor||Storey, S.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Rayner, Brig. R.||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Wills, G.|
|Remnant, Hon. P.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Renton, D. L. M.||Studholme, H. G.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Roberts, Peter (Healey)||Summers, G. S.||York, C.|
|Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold|
|Robson-Brown, W.||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)||Teeling, W.||Mr. Redmayne and|
|Mr. Richard Thompson.|