I beg to move, in page 3, line 19, to leave out subsections (1) and (2), and to insert: mulated in subsection (2) and consist of the power to carry out research and to carry out common services for the publicly-owned companies. Subsection (3) retains the general power for the Corporation to carry on other activities, but that is made subject to the consent of the Minister. This Amendment is designed to go some length to meet the criticism which was made of the original Clause during the Committee stage of the discussions on this Bill. Those criticisms were to the effect that the powers of the Corporation were too wide. It was desired to retain some measure of elasticity in the powers which the Corporation reserves to itself and those powers have been retained in the Amendment.
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 5, to leave out from "activities," to the end of line 8, and to insert:
specified in the first column of the Second Schedule to this Act.
If it is convenient, I will deal at the same time with the similar Amendment in line 10; and the Amendments in line 22 and line 27, to leave out "as aforesaid." These Amendments fall into a general category and they might conveniently be discussed together. Although they deal with separate points they are all relevant to each other.
The Minister had adopted a procedure which perhaps has shortened our proceedings a little, because he has put up the most popular Member of the Government Front Bench and has sheltered behind him. We all have such a deep affection for the Solicitor-General that I hope he will take our boos of him as symbolic of our view of the whole procedure to which we are subjected rather than against his person. This is another case where, on the general principle upon which this Bill was framed, most of the important Clauses are completely rewritten between the Committee and the Report stages. Here again we are becoming most complicated as between the composition and the powers of the Corporation. Here again we have a kind of telescoping of Clause 3, which is to be left out, and the powers are re-stated in this Clause as amended by the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment.
I say at once that, to some extent, the Amendment meets some of the points raised during the Committee stage. From that point of view it improves the Clause from our angle. It is all the more important because it gives in to some of the arguments which we felt it necessary to put forward; but it gives with one hand and takes back with the other. As in so many of our forms of legislation now, this says all sorts of things which sound all right, but then there are provisos to them and one has to read them with great care to find out what the Corporation can and cannot do. In our first Amendment, we should like to restrict this power to companies which are engaged wholly or mainly in Second Schedule activities. We want to restrict the power which the Corporation has to acquire by agreement interest in companies, to companies of that character; that is to say, to companies wholly or mainly engaged in Second Schedule activities. We have always thought, throughout the conduct of this Bill, that the scope of the Corporation and its subsidiaries ought to be restricted to what are genuine iron and steel activities.
Whether we approve or disapprove of the Bill, both we in this House and people outside generally regard it as a Bill the object of which is to set up a national Corporation for the ownership of the iron and steel industry. That really is its purpose. It certainly could not be said to be anything for which the Government have a mandate if, by taking over companies for the purpose of nationalising iron and steel, they are able to make use of the particular way in which the memoranda of association of those companies happen to be drawn to allow them very much to widen their activities. It is a common thing for a private company to have a widely drawn memorandum The agreed and honest purpose of the Bill has been accepted to be that of nationalising the iron and steel industry but not, as a kind of by-product, to nationalise all kinds of other industries or to take interest in them. If this Amendment to the proposed Amendment were approved, it would have the effect of restricting the activities of the Corporation to those companies which are wholly or mainly engaged in the activities listed in the Second Schedule form of company.
In the Minister's Amendment, the Corporation can by agreement acquire interest in any company whose activities are covered by the memorandum of association of any publicly-owned company. Very often this is widely drawn. Thus the Corporation would be able gradually to extend over a very large area of privately-owned industry quite outside the main purpose of the Bill. We would get the sort of Breakages, Limited, to which Mr. Shaw first called our attention in "The Apple Cart" many years ago—a wide, growing organisation reaching far outside what is the purpose which hon. Gentlemen support and which we oppose. It should be limited to the iron and steel industry instead of spreading, by the mere use of the legal possibility of the memoranda of association, into something far outside. This is not to say that the subsidiaries do not already cover a wide area of industry. There is no justification for allowing an extension of that area, all the more so because I think the right hon. Gentleman would agree that the main purpose of his Amendment, which constitutes a re-writing of the Clause, is to turn the primary function of the Corporation more into the nature of a holding company than an operating company. That is its main purpose. That is all the more reason why it should not be possible to widen it by the mere use of the way in which the memoranda of association are drawn.
The next Amendment would restrict to the carrying out of Second Schedule activities the purpose of any company which the Corporation might form or take part in forming. The first deals with taking over existing companies where the memoranda of association might be used for this wider purpose, and the second deals with companies which they may form or take part in forming. Just as we wish to restrict the Corporation's power to acquire companies, which is what we seek to do in the first Amendment, so, in the second Amendment, we would like to restrict its power in forming new companies of this wider kind. Nor do we see for what purpose the Corporation would want to start a new company which is not wholly or mainly concerned in Second Schedule activities. There is only one purpose that I can think of, and that may relate to a company which is separate from any other and is for the purpose of importing scrap or ore or semi-finished steel, or even fully finished steel, to be re-sold upon the market. If that were the purpose, I should have thought that it was covered by the words "common services" in line 31 of the Minister's own Amendment.
I pass from these two-Amendments to the other two, which seek to leave out the words "as aforesaid." If the first two Amendments to which I have referred were accepted, these words would become unnecessary. Finally, in this group of Amendments, the fourth one, at the top of page 1670, in the same way would become unnecessary. These two latter Amendments are therefore consequential Amendments upon the first two. Of these four Amendments, the first two are the effective ones, and the two small ones are merely consequential upon them. I thought it would save the time of the House to deal with them in that way.
I have stated what is the purpose of our proposed Amendments to the Minister's Amendment. We recognise that the Minister's Amendment is intended to change the character of the Corporation from the original conception, or, at any rate, to make clearer that it is to be the kind of company that holds investments in other companies rather than directs or controls them or manages them directly. For that purpose, we think there is quite sufficient power even to take on a more central function, such as the purchase of ore and scrap as suggested in line 31; but we do not believe that it is right, and we have made this point all through these Debates, that the mere fact that any existing articles of association concerning activities not normally associated with these particular companies should be made use of for any particular extension of the whole field.
Nor do we think that the Minister or the Corporation should have the power to start new companies for this wider purpose. We say that, for good or evil, if this Bill ever becomes effective, the Corporation might embark upon a pretty wide field of activities, covering an immense range of the total assets of management and men in a very large part of our whole industrial activity. It is going to be a pretty heavy burden upon the skill, intelligence, knowledge and experience of those who are engaged in the management of separate companies now functioning and still more of the Corporation. So far as we nave seen present nationalisation activities—and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept this as evidence of a desire to improve anything that is going to happen—we have seen, in the case of transport, how an entirely top-heavy set-up is having a very bad effect on the separate forms of transport, so that a steady deterioration has been the result. I think the Minister will be very wise to accept these Amendments, which could not seriously injure his major purpose, but would rather tend to restrict the activities of the Corporation to what are its quite difficult enough functions, which cover a wide and far-embracing field.
The points made by my right hon. Friend are clear enough. What the Minister has done by his own Amendment is to turn the Corporation into a holding company, and what we are endeavouring to do is to ensure that the Corporation shall keep within the proper bounds of what is the main object of this Bill, which is to nationalise the relevant parts of the iron and steel industry. My right hon. Friend has pointed out where the dangers lie and what our Amendments attempt to cover.
I want to direct my attention to the second Amendment which seeks to amend subsection (1, b) of the Minister's Amendment. That Amendment empowers the Corporation—
to form, or take part in forming, any company for the sole or main purpose of the carrying on by the company of any activities
which any publicly-owned company is immediately before the formation of the new company so authorised to carry on….
—and so forth. What we are anxious to do, by means of this Amendment, which we hope the Government will accept, is to prevent any incursion into the field which the Lord President of the Council referred to as the private enterprise field, which is essential for the recovery of the country.
I should like to outline a few of the things in the manufacture of which the companies are engaged or are to be allowed to be engaged by reason of their articles of association, and they include, among coke oven and furnace byproducts, an enormous range of products, covering anthracene, basic slag, benzol, blast-furnace slag, coke, coke breeze, creosote, disinfectant, fertilisers, fire lighters, insecticides, naphthalene, pitch, prepared oxide, pyridene acid, sulphuric acid, sulphate of ammonia—a huge range of activities. I will not go into the constructional arrangements, but the miscellaneous iron and steel products include bedstead parts, bolts and nuts, bright drawn bars, rivets, springs coiled and laminated, steel castings, and so forth. There are also agricultural equipment, aircraft components and many other activities now engaged in by the companies about to be nationalised.
If there is any further extension, this Clause as it stands can be used by the Government as a battering ram to thrust right into the heart of what is left of the private enterprise industry. We believe that it is the intention of hon. Members. opposite, unless they belong to the extreme Left wing, to see that that section of private industry is maintained, because it is that which has to pay for the social services. If hon. Members opposite are not careful, they will find themselves in a position similar to that of the Hungarian Minister of Finance, who said that he regretted that they had nationalised so much, because they no longer had any means of revenue.
That is precisely the situation into which the Government will get themselves if they are not careful, and this Clause, unless it is amended, is extremely dangerous, not merely to one political party, which may be evanescent and may fade away, but dangerous to the whole country. We therefore suggest that these Amendments should be accepted. The Minister has again changed his mind since the Committee stage, and perhaps he wanted to find out what were the best ideas that came from the Opposition. Perhaps he was not sure whether he wanted a holding company or not, but I assure him that this Clause contains a threat far greater than that from any international financiers or the Wall Street barons against this country. This Clause, if operated, will make the operations of Morgan's and all the big men in international finance small. Here is a chance for the Government, for the Government which may follow them, or for the Government which may follow the Government beyond that Government, of fighting their way right into British industry, of destroying it, and of setting up a totalitarian machine.
I think it is necessan at this stage to state exactly what is the Government's intention in bringing in this Measure. We are nationalising the iron and steel industry, and it was never suggested when we brought in this Bill that the industry consisted solely of the making of those products which are specified in the Second Schedule. Those are the basic products of the iron and steel industry, and we found it a convenient method of stating which firms should be taken over by using a formula based on the Second Schedule activities, that is, the making of steel and hot rolling, and the making of iron, but it has never been suggested that the new Corporation should only be responsible for making the basic products of the iron and steel industry. We have always very firmly maintained that. if that were the real intention, or if any proposal of that sort were made, it would be ridiculous, because it would mean breaking the iron and steel industry into two. The making of the basic products is so closely related to the making of ancilliary products that it would be quite ridiculous to set up any body concerned solely with the making of the basic products. Therefore, we say that it should be the duty of the Corporation to be responsible for the making of these basic products almost entirely—to have practically a monopoly—and of a substantial proportion of the other principal products now made by the iron and steel industry.
The acceptance of the series of Amendments moved by the Opposition would mean that we would take over the companies specified in the Third Schedule which are making the basic products and a large number of ancillary by-products and minor products of various sorts, but that the Corporation would be prevented from acquiring any other companies, or forming any other companies, which were making important iron and steel products—wire, for example—if those companies were not mainly concerned in making the basic products. The Opposition want the Corporation to confine themselves in the acquisition by agreement of new companies, or the formation of new companies, to those which are primarily concerned with the making of the basic products. We say that would impose on the Corporation a limitation which would be quite unreasonable, and one which has never been imposed on the iron and steel industry while in private hands.
It may well be desirable and economical to form some new company, or to acquire by agreement some company already in existence, and amalgamate it with a company already in the possession of the Corporation which makes an important product such as wire. There are many other important products for which the Corporation will be largely responsible, and it may well be desirable and economical that the Corporation should be able to extend their existing arrangements by acquiring companies by agreement—there is no compulsory acquisition here—companies which make similar products to those which the Corporation are already making, even if they are not the few basic products specified in the Second Schedule. For that reason, in order not to inhibit and restrict the Corporation more than necessary, and to give them that proper commercial freedom which any private corporation in a similar position should have—and, in point of fact, does have—I ask the House to reject this Amendment.
I only wish to make one further observation. Throughout the consideration of this Measure, it has been our experience that whereas the Government are anxious to give the Corporation every opportunity to be successful, to be commercially adventurous, and to serve the public well, by giving them all those reasonable and proper facilities which are enjoyed by private firms at the moment, we have throughout had various Amendments moved all designed to restrict, confine, limit and cramp the activities of the Corporation so as to give them the worst possible chance of being a commercial and national success. This is one of the Amendments—I could quote very many others—which would restrict the activities of the Corporation in a way which we think would be harmful and for which we can see no good public reason at all. For that reason, we ask the House to reject the Amendment.
The right hon. Gentleman has entirely misread the purpose of our Amendment; in fact, I do not think he has even attempted to read it. If he has, he has read it in connection with the wrong line. He has evidently thought that we propose to strike out the words after the word "activities" in line 3, whereas we propose to strike out all the words after the word "activities" in line 5. The whole point is that we leave in the words "consisting wholly or mainly." That means that we permit the Corporation to invest in or acquire firms which engage wholly or mainly in Second Schedule activities. "Mainly Second Schedule activities" include wire-making firms, or might include firms whose businesses consist of iron and steel activities and associated productive enterprises.
What we are seeking to do is to cut out the right of the right hon. Gentleman or of the Corporation to acquire any company whose activities consist wholly or mainly of such activities as a publicly-owned company has the right to enter into by virtue of its memorandum of association. If the right hon. Gentleman will read the memorandum of association of a firm like the English Steel Corporation, which is to be one of the publicly-owned companies, he will see there laid down a whole rigmarole of activities in which, it is true, that firm has never engaged, but in which it could engage. Those activities include such things as the manufacture of agricultural machinery, electrical engineering, tool making, and a number of other things which my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Mr. H. Fraser) read out.
If that stands, the right hon. Gentleman or the Corporation would have the power, as regards the manufacture of agricultural machinery, to purchase a firm like Ferguson Tractors. As regards electrical engineering they would be able to invest in or acquire a firm like that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton), the Associated Electrical Industries, or the English Electric Company. As regards toolmaking, they would be able to do the same in the case of a firm like Alfred Herbert & Co. I have only taken those firms which are fairly near the iron and steel world. If only the right hon. Gentleman will read the memorandum of the association of one of those privately-owned companies, he will see the kind of thing which, if unaltered by us, it would be possible to do under his own Amendment. What we are doing—and it would be quite clear to the Minister if he would only read the Amendment—is to prevent the Corporation from going far outside Second Schedule and associated activities, which is what is meant by the word "mainly" which we have included.
The Minister's interesting reply shows that he envisages possible and very considerable growth in the size of the Corporation. He accused the Opposition of trying to introduce Amendments designed to crab the Corporation whereas, he said, it is his purpose to give the Corporation all possible assistance in its work by providing the right Clauses in this Bill. But surely the Minister is encouraging the Corporation to go in for that form of growth and expansion which he and his party so much condemn in private industry—the growth of very large undertakings of a monopolistic character with a wide variety of ancillary activities.
We say that excessive size is very dangerous, whether in private hands or in the hands of a semi-State monopoly, and we think it is only right, therefore, that some curb should be placed upon the natural tendency of this Corporation to grow and go on growing. By all means let it acquire by agreement small independent companies engaged in Second Schedule activities, but surely there is no case at all for the Corporation to ego on steadily acquiring companies, whether by agreement or otherwise, engaged in activities which are not really connected with the iron and steel industry.
The Minister made special reference to the wire industry, but I prefer to take examples from the structural steel industry. Because the Ministry takes over one large company engaged in structural steel work, that is no justification at all for the Corporation to set about buying out by agreement all other companies in this country engaged in the manufacture of structural steel, particularly when it would be so easy for the dice to be heavily loaded in advance in favour of the Corporation, especially when the Corporation can so easily influence the channels of supply to make small independent structural steel companies feel it might be better to sell out than to go on competing with structural steel companies already owned by the Corporation.
Furthermore, one sees what a very real temptation it may be for some of the smaller companies to sell out, because where sales have been made by agreement in the other nationalised undertakings—as in the case of the British Transport Commission buying out certain bus interests—the rates paid have been very attractive and it is questionable whether the deals have been really satisfactory from the point of view of the taxpayer. I think that the curb we suggest in our Amendment will not in any way hamper the activities of the Corporation but will, on the other hand, set a limit to their otherwise far-ranging activities. It will keep them on the job which they were brought into being to do—to produce iron and steel and to handle such ancillary activities as come their way at the time of the acquisition of the companies named in the Third Schedule. It is surely dangerous to allow them to buy out any companies they like, covered by the very wide articles of association of all their publicly-owned companies, solely in order to pay lip service to the belief that the Corporation must be entirely free.
I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give a rather more reasonable answer on this point than that which he has already given. As I understand it, the Corporation can take the memorandum of association of any publicly-owned company, they can look at the various powers given by that memorandum and then they can go to some other outside company which is carrying on wholly or mainly one of these activities and can seek to acquire it.
If we look at the memorandum of association of some of these companies we see how very wide indeed is that power. I quoted to the Standing Committee part of the memorandum of the English Steel
Corporation. I will not go through the whole of it again, but I will quote the second part which I quoted in the Standing Committee. That Corporation has the power
to purchase, acquire, rent, build, construct, equip, execute, carry out, improve, work, develop, administer, maintain, manage or control in any part of the world works and conveniences of all kinds, including therein roads, ways, railways, tramways, carrying or transport undertakings by land, water, or air. stations, aerodromes, docks, harbours, piers, wharves, canals, reservoirs, water rights, waterworks, water-courses, bridges, flumes, irrigations, embankments, hydraulic works, drainage, iron, steel, ordnance, engineering and improvement works, gas-works, electrical works, telegraphs, telephones, cables, timber rights, sawmills, paper and pulp mills, crushing mills, smelting works, quarries, collieries, coke-ovens, foundries, furnaces, factories, warehouses, hotels, viaducts, acqueducts, markets, exchanges, mints, ships, lighters, postal services, newspapers and other publications, breweries, stores, shops, churches, chapels, public and private buildings, residences, places of amusement, recreation or instruction, or any other works."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 19th January, 1949; c. 385–6.]
Surely it cannot seriously be suggested by the right hon. Gentleman that he is seeking power for the Corporation to acquire a company whose activities are wholly or mainly a large number of the matters I read out. Our objection to his Amendment is, that he is taking the test of the matters authorised by the memorandum of association, which really is quite inapplicable. It may be that our test of Second Schedule activities is too narrow, but anyhow his memorandum test is obviously a ridiculous one, and I think he should undertake to look at this matter again and produce something more reasonable.
To the Government. Surely this Government went to the country in. 1945 with an Election programme for which a lot of people voted; but I wonder how many hon. Members sitting opposite at the moment had any idea, when saying that they were going to take over the iron and steel industry, that they were going to take it over on the basis of such a memorandum of association as that just read out by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd). Did they, in the course of their election campaign, say they were going to nationalise all those activities?
That was a rather extreme view heard north of the Clyde but not in all parts of the country. However, I am being led astray. The point is that the Minister has been forced into this position, from which we are trying to rescue him by a series of reasonable Amendments, because he has found it impracticable to do what was set out in "Let Us Face the Future"—nationalise the appropriate sections of the basic production of iron and steel. The Government have gone a great deal too far, and should be properly restricted by these Amendments.
Let me add one strong argument which, I hope, will appeal now to the Minister more than it did in Committee. He gave definite assurances as to what his intentions as Minister were. We welcomed them. But there is this terrific danger, that the present Minister may not necessarily remain Minister. We may find that someone on this side of the House may be the Minister at some time, and he may be carried away by enthusiasm for all this. What really is the wicked danger of this interference with all sorts of subsidiary activities is, that it increases the already great uncertainty that exists in the mind of every businessman who has to consider long term investment and production. We have enough uncertainties to face in the world, goodness knows, without adding the possibility of intervention by the Government, whatever the actual machinery may be, in any one of all these possible activities. I am certain the Minister has not and could not have the faintest idea of what is covered by all the articles of association of all those companies that may come into the Government's possession.
Every one of the industrialists who may be contemplating expansion is suffering from uncertainty. When one mentions the word "industrialists," I would point out that of 270,000 producing units in this country, 200,000 employ 10 men or fewer. It is those small units which we count on for the future strength and prosperity of this country, and they will grow and expand if there is a reasonable certainty of their doing so. One of the gravest deterrents to normal persons contemplating expansion is the knowledge that it is possible under this Bill for the Government suddenly to appear as a major competitor in their field. The Amendments we are discussing would remove that danger without in any way harming the basic purpose of the Bill.
I was not a Member of the Committee, and I thought that the purpose of the Bill was to nationalise iron and steel and such other enterprises as are inevitably linked with the existing iron and steel companies. I think that is what the country thought, what the City thought, and what business people thought. I rise only to ask for certainty on this matter. My hon. Friends affirm that under this Clause, the Government, or any future Government, in fact, have the power to take over and add to their already large monopoly any one of the firms undertaking any of the 15, 20 or 30 activities which the hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) read out. Can the Minister confirm whether that is true? If that is true, it will be a surprise surely to everyone, not only in this House but in business circles throughout the country. It is then no longer an Iron and Steel Bill, but a Bill to give power to nationalise almost everything.
To take over compulsorily. What the hon. Member for Lonsdale asked is whether companies could be bought out by the Corporation and various industries nationalised, and so on. The answer is "No." What the Bill does is to give the Corporation powers to acquire, and, in fact, they do acquire, certain companies which are specified, and they are also able by agreement to purchase certain companies whose work is similar or analogous to the work which they are already doing. I would add that if they went mad and started to buy a company or started a new company, which was engaged in operations which were entirely remote from the basic purpose of the Corporation, the Minister would, of course, immediately tell them to stop.
I am obliged to the right hon Gentleman for trying to set my mind at rest, but he has not entirely done so. Power is given to this Government Corporation to buy almost anything—to buy breweries, for example. I am not interested in breweries, and I do not speak from that point of view. That may not be the Government's policy, but why should this House permit them to do something so far removed from the main purpose of the Bill? It is bad enough to have iron and steel nationalised, but if they are going to deal in breweries, it is no answer to say that they are not taking compulsory powers. In the wide field of metal, for example, and general manufacturing in this country, they can wait the right time until the market is low, and even starve the companies of metal so that prices come down, and, when they are in the worst possible position, all the resources of the Government are available to buy people up. The Minister mentioned analogous or similar undertakings; he might have said "competitive." No doubt it is intended to buy up from time to time any fabricating, manufacturing, or other industry which competes with any part of the monopoly, but I think it ought to be made clear how very with this Bill is going, because it is not what was contemplated by the country, the City or this House.
I am sure that no person living in a steel-producing district was under any misapprehension about the extent of the ancillary undertakings attached to the iron and steel industry. We in the steel producing districts understood the ramifications of the interests of some of the great steel firms of this country. I do not think the hon. and learned Member for Wirral, who read out a long list of possible commercial industrial activities of a company, would claim that that company was engaged in all those activities. In order to cover a possible automatic or natural economic development of its activities an ordinary private corporation includes in its articles of association a wide variety of things, and I am persuaded that the Minister intends that the Iron and Steel Corporation should have similar facilities for possible developments. I am convinced that people in the steel-producing districts understand what the ramifications of the steel industry were and what they be under this Bill.
I do feel that we should have a little more explanation of these new subsections, and the reasons for rejecting our Amendment, from the Solicitor-General, who has more training and experience in the interpretation of words in Bills than, with all respect to him, has the Minister of Supply. The most important Clause of this Bill is this Clause 2, which defines the general powers of the Corporation, and it is a bit thick that at the Report stage, no less than six months after the Bill has been first published and put before the country, we should be faced with a complete redraft of the Clause. It is a very great handicap to us to have to discuss this most important Clause under the restrictions necessarily imposed upon us at the Report stage. Had we had these new subsections to deal with in Committee I have no doubt that we should have hammered them out into something very much better than they are. We are greatly handicapped in now having to deal with the most important Clause in this Bill upon the Report stage, when we can make only one speech on a particular Amendment.
It seems to me that the Minister has completely altered the whole set up of the Corporation. As I read the Clause now the Corporation become in the main a holding company, and to some extent a company-promoting company. That is a complete change from the Clause we
originally had in the Bill. The new subsection (1, a), which we are seeking to amend, seems to cut clean across Clause 36, the investment Clause, which gives the Iron and Steel Corporation power to invest
Any sums in the hands of the Corporation which are not immediately required for the purposes of their business…in such manner as the Corporation think proper:
Provided that the Corporation shall not have power under this section to invest money in the securities of any company so as to make that company a subsidiary of the Corporation or so as to enable the Corporation to exercise an effective influence on the policy of the company.
That is to say, the Corporation are prohibited by Clause 36 from investing their funds in a way so as to give them control or a controlling influence in any industrial undertaking. Now, when we come to read the new subsection (1, a), we see that the Corporation:
shall have power—
(a) to hold such interests in companies as vest in them under Part II of this Act"—
that is to say, they can hold the shares of the 106 companies set out in the Third Schedule, and they have power, under the Minister's most recent proposal,
to acquire by agreement"—
that is, to buy on the Stock Exchange, because by buying on the Stock Exchange shares are being acquired by agreement—
and to hold interests in any company whose activities …consist wholly or mainly of activities which any publicly-owned company…is immediately before the acquisition—
that is to say, before the acquisition of the shares by the Corporation—
authorised by its memorandum of association…to carry on.
That is to say, they may acquire by agreement any shares in any company whose main object is to carry on a business authorised by the memorandum of association of any of the 106 companies in the Schedule. As my hon. Friends have pointed out, memoranda of association of these 106 companies include power to carry on any business under the sun. The result of this paragraph is completely to abolish the safeguards imposed by the investment Clause—Clause 36—and to enable the Iron and Steel Corporation, by agreement, to acquire either the whole or a controlling interest in any company carrying on any activity of any sort or kind.
That is a proper legal interpretation, I believe, of the words. What we on this side are seeking to do is to limit the powers of acquisition of shares and the interests in companies given by this paragraph to acquiring the shares and interests in companies whose activities are the activities described in the Second Schedule. That would seem to us to be a reasonable limitation to put upon them. They would acquire the shares of all the 106 companies, but we say that over and beyond that, if they want to acquire shares in other concerns and by agreement, it should be concerns carrying on wholly or mainly activities described in the Second Schedule. It seems a fairly simple and narrow point, and I invite the Solicitor-General to explain to the House how this new power of investment, which is complete, broad and general and enables the Corporation to buy up the whole of the shares in any industrial undertaking in the country, can possibly be reconciled with the limitations upon investment put upon the Iron and Steel Corporation by Clause 36. I hope that the Solicitor-General will be able to explain the meaning of the Clause.
On a point of Order. Is it in Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, for the Government to introduce an Amendment of such a dimension as this, which amounts almost to an addition of a new subject to the Measure? The name of this Bill, when it becomes law, will be the Iron and Steel Act. That being so, is it in Order to take powers, in such a Measure, to deal with breweries and chapels and also every conceivable kind of industry, as entirely remote from iron and steel as anything could be? I ask the question seriously, because this will cause great anxiety throughout the country.
I would like to deal with a point made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake), and also the point which touches on the legal aspect of the Bill arising out of the Amendment supported by the noble Lord the Member for South Dorset (Viscount Hinchingbrooke). With regard to investment, the Amendment we
are proposing specifically preserves powers of investment conferred under Clause 36. The right hon. Gentleman will have observed that paragraph (ii) of the proviso reads:
nothing in this subsection shall prejudice the powers of investment conferred on the Corporation by Part IV of this Act.
The reason for that is that Clause 36 deals with something quite different, the disposal of money not immediately required for the Corporation's operations. The relevant words in Clause 36 are:
Any sums in the hands of the Corporation which are not immediately required for the purposes of their business may be invested"—
and then there is the proviso which limits investment.
The Clause does not deal with application of the Corporation's assets as part of the operations of their undertaking. It is an investment Clause, which relates only to the power to invest money not immediately required by the Corporation for carrying on their undertaking. Clause 36 provides that surplus money can be invested in a certain way subject to the limitations in the proviso. That investment should be revenue-producing investment, and that is all. It is different from application of the assets as contemplated in the Amendment. Broadly speaking, the conception of the Corporation is that it is a holding company, in the main. It has always been thought desirable and necessary that the Corporation should be able to carry on certain operations.
In Committee, my right hon Friend pointed out that among other operations it might be desired that the Corporation should be able to carry on were the specific ones we have referred to in subsection (2) of the Amendment, namely, research and the provision of common services for the public companies. But that is not exhaustive. For instance, as a result of research carried on directly by the Corporation a new process may be discovered which it might be thought convenient and commercially desirable that the Corporation themselves should, in the first place, develop. That is why we incorporate subsection (3) in our Amendment. We want to preserve for the Corporation, which is, admittedly, in general a holding Corporation, certain powers which can be used on specific occasions when it is desirable in the general interests of the industry.
The noble Lord the Member for South Dorset asked why, if that was desired, the Amendment could not be accepted. He called attention to the fact that the Government Amendment includes the words "wholly or mainly." The answer to that is that it may constantly arise—I do not say it will always arise but it may be frequent—that there is some outside company which, for example, is desirous of disposing of its undertaking. It may be that it wants to wind up its affairs. Anything of that sort might happen, and it may be highly desirable that the Corporation should be in the position to acquire the undertaking of the company, for it may be an undertaking which is carried on in conjunction with the basic operations of the industry.
If the first Opposition Amendment were adopted, the Corporation would not be competent to acquire a concern of that sort. If the concern were something which could be usefully allied to the basic operations of the industry—it might only be a small concern and only one undertaking—it would be desirable for the Corporation to acquire it if the concern were going into liquidation. If the Amendment were adopted, it could not be said of that concern that it was wholly or mainly part of the operations as set out in the Second Schedule. The Corporation then would not have power to acquire it. It is for that reason that, when we are dealing with the power to acquire—and let me, for the sake of emphasis, repeat that this only deals with the power to acquire by agreement—we say that the companies that can be acquired by agreement are companies whose operations are within the general ambit of the operations authorised by the memoranda of the Third Schedule companies. That is the reason we are doing it.
I am afraid I have not studied the memoranda of all the Third Schedule companies, but the answer is not that it can or it cannot, but that it may be that some of the memoranda of the Third Schedule companies do contain such a power. If the Corporation sought to conduct such an undertaking, the Minister without any doubt would exercise the powers which he has under Clause 4 (4, a) to direct the Corporation to discontinue or restrict any of their activities or dispose of any of those activities. if he did that, he could, of course, be questioned in this House with regard to the exercise of the powers that are given to him by that Clause. The proviso does not in any way detract from that. He does not give such a direction under this subsection unless he is satisfied that it can be given effect to without prejudice to the proper discharge of the duties of the Corporation under this Bill. The duties of the Corporation are set out in the first Amendment on the Order Paper. I should have thought that the carrying on of a newspaper would obviously be something on which the Minister could easily give such a direction.
He could give a direction by exercising the discretion that he possesses under Clause 4 and he would be subject to Questions in this House. It is for that reason we would recommend the House to say that these two Amendments should not be accepted. If I may, in passing, say a word with regard to the other two Amendments referred to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) in his opening speech, but which have not yet been dealt with, I would remind the House that he said it was drafting to leave out the word "aforesaid."
I said that I would be quite glad to consider them separately, but for convenience and because of the tremendous pressure under which we are working the two first were the vital ones dealing with existing companies and the formation of new companies. I further argued that these other two would follow fairly naturally if the Government accepted the first two. Therefore, I thought it would save time if we did not deal with them in great detail, but if the right hon. and learned Gentleman prefers it, we will take them at greater length, although we have only got a fantastically short time to discuss this Clause and I would rather take the two more important in some detail. The other two would, if they are not drafting, be consequential or of subsidiary importance.
If that is the desire of the House, then I was only going to say, with regard to those two Amendments, something which I can say in one sentence. It is that their drafting limits the powers which can be contained in the memoranda of companies which may be acquired, to the powers which are found in the memoranda of Third Schedule companies at the time when they are taken over; that is to say, not in any expanded form. All it amounts to is that these Amendments are not entirely of a drafting character. If the two Amendments are not accepted it stands, as a matter of logical necessity, that these two should not be accepted either.
For those reasons, I hope that the House will see the purpose of the proposed new Clause and will see the way in which it is drafted. It is drafted in such a way as to make clear at any rate what it is that the Corporation desires to be able to do. That is set out in subsection (2,a and b), and subsection (3). That change in the framework of the original Clause is designed to meet the argument which was propounded in Committee that it gave too great a power to the Corporation itself and that there was no limit, in the Clause as it originally stood, to the processes which the Corporation itself, as distinct from the publicly-owned companies, might carry on.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman always treats us so charmingly that one feels disinclined to join issue with him again. In exercising the right to reply, as I think I am entitled to do, I say that he has told us quite truthfully the purpose which the Minister and the Government had in mind in drafting the proposed new Clause. He has not, however, answered in any shape or form the point that since, in the ordinary way of business, some of these companies have their memoranda of association drawn so widely, and since it is now becoming the practice of many private companies to draw these very wide articles of association, there is given to the Government, to the Corporation and to the Minister, should they so desire, the power to enter by agreement, to acquire by contract on the Stock Exchange, or to start, new companies of a type wholly dissimilar to what any ordinary person thought was associated with the iron and steel industry.
If it may be said that our Amendment narrows the position too much, I think it may also be said that the proposal of the right hon. and learned Gentleman widens it too much. There may be some course still to be found, some new form of words, which expresses what I think is the spirit of the Government's intention how this should work. I am convinced that the right hon. and learned Gentleman would be shocked if some future Minister used this legal power in the way in which I think it can be used. Perhaps he can find new words which go some way between, if he thinks ours are too wide. I am all the 'more confident in this matter because only 10 days ago there appeared on the Order Paper a complete redraft of Clauses 1 and 2, which are the vital Clauses of the Bill. The Bill was introduced six months ago, and we have spent
Without being accused of not carrying out our proper duties, I think we are entitled to say that we still think that the Government can find some words, some definition, by general agreement, which would be not quite so limiting as our Amendment and certainly not quite so wide as the proposed new Clause, as amended, would be, if it were carried. Since we have so much other business to do, I will not pursue this any more except to ask my hon. and right hon. Friends to support the Amendment to the Amendment which we have moved.
|Division No. 109.]||AYES||[9.30 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Collins, V J.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Colman, Miss G. M.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N|
|Albu, A. H.||Comyns, Dr. L.||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Cook, T. F.||Gibbins, J.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Cooper, G.||Gibson, C. W.|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N. W.)||Gilzean, A.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Cove, W. G.||Glanville, J E. (Consett)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Crawley, A.||Gooch, E. G.|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Crossman, R. H. S.||Goodrich, H. E.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Cullen, Mrs.||Gordon-Walker, P. C.|
|Ayles, W. H.||Daggar, G.||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.||Davies, P.||Grey, C. F.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Grierson, E.|
|Baird, J.||Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)|
|Balfour, A.||Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)|
|Barstow, P. G.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Guest, Dr. L. Haden|
|Barton, C.||Deer, G.||Gunter, R. J.|
|Battley, J. R.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Guy, W. H.|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Diamond, J.||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)|
|Benson, G.||Dobbie, W.||Hale, Leslie|
|Beswick, F.||Dodds, N. N.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil|
|Bing, G. H. C||Donovan, T.||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.|
|Binns, J.||Driberg, T. E. N.||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Hardman, D. R.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Dumpleton, C. W.||Hardy, E. A.|
|Boardman, H.||Dye, S.||Harrison, J.|
|Bowden, Flg. Offr. H. W.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)||Edelman, M.||Haworth, J.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)|
|Bramali, E. A.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)||Herbison, Miss M.|
|Brook,. D. (Halifax)||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Hewitson, Capt. M|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)||Hicks, G.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Evans, E (Lowestoft)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Evans, John (Ogmore)||Holman, P.|
|Burden, T. W.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)|
|Burke, W. A.||Ewart, R.||Horabin, T. L.|
|Callaghan, James||Fairhurst, F.||Houghton, A. L. N. D|
|Carmichael, James||Farthing, W. J.||Hoy, J.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Fernyhough, E.||Hubbard, T.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)|
|Cobb, F. A.||Follick, M.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)|
|Cocks, F. S.||Foot, M. M.||Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)|
|Coldrick, W.||Forman, J. C.||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)|
|Collick, P.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)|
|Collindridge, F.||Freeman, J (Watford)||Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)|
|Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)||Morrison, Rt. Hn. H. (Lewisham E.)||Soskice, At. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Mort, D. L.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Janner, B.||Moyle, A.||Steele, T.|
|Jay, D. P. T.||Murray, J. D.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Jager, G. (Winchester)||Nally, W.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Jager, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Naylor, T. E.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Lambeth)|
|Jenkins, R. H.||Neal, H. (Claycross)||Stubbs, A. E.|
|John, W.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)||Swingler, S.|
|Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Sylvester, G. O|
|Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)||Symonds, A. L.|
|Jones, Jack (Balton)||Oldfield, W. H||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Oliver, G. H.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Keenan, W.||Paget, R. T.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Kenyon, C.||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|King, E. M||Pargiter, G. A.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.||Parker, J.||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|kinley, J.||Parkin, B. T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Kirby, B. V.||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Timmons, J.|
|Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D.||Paton, J. (Norwich)||Titterington, M [...].|
|Lang, G.||Pearson, A.||Tolley, L.|
|Lavers, S.||Peart, T. F.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Perrins, W.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Leonard, W.||Popplewall, E.||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Leslie, J. R.||Porter, E. (Warrington)||Vernon, Maj. W F|
|Lever, N. H.||Porter, G. (Leeds)||Viant, S. P.|
|Levy, B. W.||Price, M. Philips||Walker, G. H.|
|Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Proctor, W. T.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Lewis, J. (Bolton)||Pryde, D. J.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Pursey, Comdr. H.||Watkins, T. E|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Randall, H. E||Watson, W M|
|Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Ranger, J.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Logan, D. G.||Rankin, J.||Weitzman, D.|
|Longden, F.||Rees-Williams, D. R.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Lyne, A. W.||Reeves, J.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|McAdam, W.||Reid, T. (Swindon)||West, D. G.|
|McAllister, G.||Rhodes, H.||Wheatley, Rt. Hn. J. T. (Edinb'gh, E.)|
|McEntee, V. La T.||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E..)|
|McGhee, H. G||Robens, A.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W|
|McGovern, J.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caennarvonshire)||Wigg, George|
|Mack, J. D.||Robinson, K. (St. Pancras)||Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.|
|McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Rogers, G. H. R.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|McLeavy, F.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Rayle, C.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Sargood, R.||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Mainwaring, W. H.||Scollan, T.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Scott Elliot, W.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)||Segal, Dr. S.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Mann, Mrs. J.||Shackleton,. E. A. A.||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Sharp, Granville||Willis, E.|
|Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Mathers, Rt. Hon. George||Shurmer, P.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H.|
|Mayhew, C. P.||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Wise, Major F. J.|
|Medland, H. M.||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon A|
|Mellish, R. J.||Simmons, C. J.||Woods, G. S.|
|Middleton, Mrs. L.||Skeffington, A. M.||Yates, V. F.|
|Mikardo, Ian||Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Skinnard, F. W.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Monslow, W.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Moody, A. S.||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Morley, R.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)||Solley, L. J.||Mr. Snow and|
|Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Sorensen, R. W.||Mr. George Wallace.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Butcher, H. W.||Duthie, W. S.|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Channon, H.||Eccles, D. M.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Clarke, Col. R. S.||Errol, F. J.|
|Barlow, Sir J.||Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L|
|Baxter, A. B.||Cole, T. L||Fletcher, W. (Bury)|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.||Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Fox, Sir G.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Cooper-Key, E. M.||Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)|
|Bennett, Sir, P.||Corbett, Lieut.-Cal. U. (Ludlow)||Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)|
|Birch, Nigel||Crookshank, Capt. At. Hon. H F C.||Fyfe, At. Hon. Sir D. P. M.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Croathwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Gage, C.|
|Bowen, R.||Cuthbert, W. N.||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)|
|Bower, N.||De la Bere, R.||Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Gammas, L. D.|
|Braithwaite, Lt. Comdr. J. G.||Donner, P. W||Gates, Maj. E. E.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Cal. W.||Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)||George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Lloyd (P'ke)|
|Brown, W. J. (Rugby)||Drayson, G. B||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Drewe, C.||Granville, E. (Eye)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Gridley, Sir A.|
|Grimston, R V.||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Harden, J. R. E.||MacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Scott, Lord W.|
|Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)||McFarlane, C. S.||Shephard, S. (Newark)|
|Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Houghton, S. G.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.|
|Head, Brig. A. H.||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. S[...]||Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)||Snadden, W. M.|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Hogg, Hon. Q.||Marples, A. E.||Strauss, Henry (English Universities)|
|Hollis, M. C.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)||Maude, J. C.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Hope, Lord J.||Mellor, Sir J.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Molson, A. H. E.||Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)|
|Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen(||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Hurd, A.||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Morrison, Rt. Hn. W. S. (Cirencester)||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.||Touche, C. C.|
|Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Neill, Sir William (Belfast, N.)||Turton, R. H.|
|Jennings, R.||Nicholson, G.||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Nield, B. (Chaster)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Kendall, W. D.||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Wadsworth, G.|
|Kerr, Sir J. Graham||Odey, G. W.||Wakefield, Sir W. W.|
|Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Lambert, Hon. G.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G||Peaks, Rt. Hon. O.||Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|Langford-Holt, J.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Pickthorn, K.||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Linstead, H. N.||Raikes, H. V.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Ramsay, Maj. S.||York, C.|
|Low, A. R. W.||Rayner, Brig. R.||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Lucas, Major Sir J.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Lucas-Tooth, S. H.||Roberts, P. G. (Ecclesall)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Lyttelton, RI. Hon. O.||Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)||Commander Agnew and|
|McCallum, Maj. D.||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Mr. Studholme.|
The next Amendment was discussed with the one taken previously, and therefore, in order to make the best possible time under the terrible conditions in which we are compelled to work, I will not press for a Division upon it, but will proceed to devote the remainder of our time to the next Amendment.
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 18, to leave out from "not," to "exercise."
The phrasing here is—
(i) the Corporation shall not, without the consent in writing of the Minister, exercise their powers under this subsection so as to bring any company into public ownership or form a publicly-owned company, if the consequence thereof would be to increase the sum of the activities which the publicly-owned companies are authorised as aforesaid to carry on;
On the last two Amendments, we tried to arrive at a position by which the power of the Corporation should be limited so that it should not be able to carry on all the activities which are authorised, though
not in fact carried on at the moment, by the memoranda of association of all the companies concerned, and that they should not start companies within that ambit. That was rejected, and the Government has therefore now armed the Corporation with this immense range of powers, which have been referred to by my hon. Friends in detail. Not content with that, they want to go further. They want, not merely to have the right to operate within this immense range, but they want, if they can get the consent in writing of the Minister, to plunge into a still more advanced range and to bring companies into public ownership so as to increase the activities which the publicly-owned companies are allowed to carry on, or which they are allowed to carry on if they get the consent of the Minister. I do not see why the consent of the Minister should be the method by which they should be authorised to embark into yet another field.
I should have thought that the proper procedure there would have been by way of an amending Act of Parliament such as we recently had in the case of the Coal Board's activities, where Parliament was asked to approve of any fresh increase in the range of activity beyond what was originally contemplated. But under this proviso, if they can find a Minister suitably weak or pliant—and from my experience that should not be difficult—they can embark upon a whole range of activities even beyond those laid down in this tremendous range which we have already been discussing. By a stroke of the Minister's pen they can acquire these new rights.
I do not see why this proviso is drawn in this way. I should have thought it much better that they should not, whether with or without the consent of the Minister, do what is here contemplated, but that they should do what is still not an unreasonable suggestion even in what remains of a democratic society—go to Parliament from which they drew their original authority and ask for an extension of that authority. If that necessity should arise, it would not be a very difficult thing to do it in that way. I very much hope that the House, which has not shown by its vote its acceptance of what seemed to us a very reasonable limitation, will at least agree that, in these cases, the consent of the Minister should not in itself allow this further extension, but that some other procedure, at least by both Houses of Parliament or some democratic Parliamentary procedure, should take the place of the purely bureaucratic and autocratic character of the Minister and the Corporation acting together.
I believe that on reconsideration the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that his Amendment is really not acceptable. It may well be that the Corporation may wish to acquire by agreement, and quite properly, a certain company which is carrying out an essential or an important part of the work of the Corporation. But it may be that the memorandum of association of that company gives it powers to undertake activities not included in the memorandum of association of any other company owned by the Corporation. We want to provide—and we do provide—in this Clause that the Corporation should not, by the acquisition of any new company, get additional powers for operation by any of the companies which it owns beyond those which it already possesses.
Therefore, if it wants to acquire—maybe it should acquire—a certain com- pany which is empowered by its articles of association to carry on certain activities beyond those in the memorandum of association of any other company owned by the Corporation, it would be prohibited from doing so, except, as we suggest here, by the consent of the Minister. We seek to limit the activities of the companies which are to be acquired, but we say that in the case of any new company which the Corporation does acquire, and which has activities beyond those already possessed by the other companies, that company can be acquired if the Minister consents. If we do not have that provision in the Bill, then the Corporation might well be prevented from acquiring a company which it ought to possess and which everybody might say it should possess.
Moreover, there is another situation which may well arise. The Corporation might wish to form a company for the purpose of treating a certain by-product. It may be that an entirely new form of by-product is discovered, and that it would be wholly desirable that a new company should be formed for the purpose of treating it. Perhaps no company which it possesses at the moment has the powers of treating that by-product and it is, therefore, just common sense that the Corporation should be in a position to form a new company with new powers which no other company in its control possesses. We limit that power here, however, so that the consent of the Minister has to be given in every case. I suggest that what we are doing is entirely reasonable. We are limiting the powers and the activities of the companies possessed by the Corporation. We say that these can be increased by the purchase of a new company or the formation of a new company where the Minister gives consent. Obviously there will be cases where that consent should be given and where it is highly desirable from every point of view that the Corporation, through the company, should be able to undertake new activities which it had not previously been empowered to undertake.
I think the Minister has made out a very theoretical case. We have previously discussed articles of association and demonstrated from both sides of the House how wide they may be drawn. I think it is inconceivable that a company, merely by producing a new by-product, would find that it was unable to market that product because its articles of association did not permit it. I think the Minister's explanation is disingenuous in the extreme, and I suspect some ulterior motive behind this—and so do many Socialists. The reply which the Minister has put forward is quite inadequate to meet the discussion which has been initiated.
I think the Minister's explanation and his reasons for resisting this Amendment show, first of all, the absurdity of the proviso in the Clause and, secondly, the appalling handicap under which we are suffering through having to deal with the most important Clause in the Bill—the Clause which gives general powers to the Corporation—under the limitations imposed on the Report stage. As I understood the right hon. Gentleman's explanation of the proviso, and of the need for having the consent in writing of the Minister to the Corporation proceeding to purchase control of undertakings and thereby increasing the sum total of its powers, it was this: every time the Iron and Steel Corporation proposes to buy a controlling interest in any company or undertaking somebody in the Corporation and also somebody in the Ministry has first to read through all the memoranda of association of the 106 companies set out in the Third Schedule to the Bill, somebody has to read through all the memoranda of association of all the 160 subsidiaries of the 106 companies specified in the Third Schedule to the Bill, and, having read those 266 memoranda of association from beginning to end, they have then to compare them with the memorandum of association of the company whose shares it is proposed to acquire to see whether any of the powers in the new memorandum exceeds the whole of the powers in the 266 sets of memoranda of what are called the publicly-owned companies. If it so happens that one of the powers contained in the memorandum of association of the company which is to be acquired does not coincide with the powers contained in the other 266 memoranda of association, then apparently the Corporation have to get the consent in writing of the Minister. That seems to me quite fantastic and quite absurd and a complete waste of time of the officials of the Corporation and a waste of time of the officials in the right hon. Gentleman's Department.
This proviso, and subsection (3), which we would seek to leave out, although I fear we shall not have time to move to do so, are by far the most dangerous parts of the Minister's Amendment. We spent time on subsection (1, b), by which the Corporation is given power to form a company. It is restricted there, as we have been saying, to activities which any publicly-owned company, immediately before the formation of the new company, was authorised to carry on. This proviso goes right beyond that. It does not concern itself with the activities of the memoranda of association. It merely gives the Minister full power to override the provision which we have been debating, and allows the Corporation to form a company for any purpose whatever.
The right hon. Gentleman has said that there may be some new process in the iron and steel industry which would require the formation of a company. I cannot conceive of any new process in so short a space of time as would necessitate the Minister's stepping in and giving his approval without the authorisation of Parliament. We have had several hundred years' experience now of iron and steel production, and I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to point to one single thing in the last 10 years which has been developed almost overnight, and which, if the industry had then been nationalised, would have required the Corporation's intervention, and the giving of the Minister's approval. The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that he can bring in an amending Bill to give authorisation for these activities.
However, it is not on that sole point that we reject this proviso. It is because the powers taken are much wider than the examples the Minister repeatedly gives. He cites examples which should be interpreted reasonably by reasonable men. If we really trusted him and his purpose, and his party behind him, no doubt we should agree, but it is because the powers embrace far wider connections than anything the Minister ever speaks of when adducing examples that we reject the Amendment.
I wish to make only one remark so far as this is concerned, and it is that I am quite convinced by what the Minister said in his last two speeches, that he has no wish whatever to reduce the powers of purchase under this scheme. It is quite clear that, (by his refusal to accept our Amendment to his Amendment—and other Amendments of ours, but this Amendment in particular—he is taking to this Corporation powers which are quite unlimited, and powers which will enable him to take out anything even as ridiculous as the Government's groundnut scheme.
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 32, to leave out subsection (3).
As we wish to make as rapid progress as possible within our time, I pass two other of our Amendments in order to concentrate on the most important of our Amendments to the Government's proposed Amendment. As has been observed from this side of the House, this new Amendment of the Government's is a triumph of Government drafting after weeks of thought. It gives with one hand and takes back with the other hand. It says, "You may not do this, but then you may in certain circumstances; and then you may do so if there is consent in writing, but you may not do it without consent in writing." So at the end it is rather difficult to see if
this Government Amendment is to limit the powers of the Corporation or to increase them. It limits them at one moment it increases them at another. This subsection (3), as is the view of my hon. Friends, really invalidates the whole purpose of the Government's Amendment. It is absolutely an "Alice in Wonderland" Amendment, this Government Amendment as it is drawn.
I'll be judge, I'll be jury,'
The Government's Amendment takes powers away and gives them back again, and then takes them away again, and this subsection invalidates and makes useless the view put forward in the Government's Amendment. The first Clause of the Bill has been completely redrawn; the second Clause of the Bill is now completely redrawn. Therefore, I move the Amendment to leave out subsection (3).
|Division No. 110.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Bowden, Fig. Offr. H. W.||Daines, P.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.|
|Albu, A. H.||Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Davies, Edward (Burslem)|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Bramall, E. A.||Davies, Haydn, (St. Pancras, S.W.)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Brook, D. (Halifax)||Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Deer, G.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Brown, T. J. (Ince)||de Freitas, Geoffrey|
|Attewell, H. C.||Burden, T. W.||Diamond, J.|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Burke, W. A.||Dobbie, W.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Callaghan, James||Dodds, N. N.|
|Ayles, W. H.||Carmichael, James||Donovan, T|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Driberg, T. E. N.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Chetwynd. G. R.||Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)|
|Baird, J.||Cobb, F. A.||Dumpleton, C. W.|
|Balfour, A.||Cocks, F. S.||Dye, S.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Coldrick, W.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C|
|Barstow, P. G.||Collick, P.||Edelman, M.|
|Barton, C.||Callindridge, F.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)|
|Battley, J. R.||Collins, V. J||Edwards, John (Blackburn)|
|Bechervaise, A. E||Colman, Miss G. M.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)|
|Benson, G.||Comyns, Dr. L||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)|
|Beswick, F.||Cook, T. F.||Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)|
|Bevin, Rt. Hon E. (Wandsworth, C.)||Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)|
|Bing, G. H. C||Cove, W. G.||Evans, John (Ogmore)|
|Binns, J.||Crawley, A.||Evans, S. N (Wednesbury)|
|Blenkinsop, A||Crossman, R. H. S||Ewart, R.|
|Blylon, W. R.||Cullen, Mrs.||Fairhurst., F.|
|Boardman, H.||Daggar, G.||Farthing, W. J.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Sargood, R.|
|Field, Capt. W. J.||Lindgren, G. S.||Scollan, T.|
|Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M||Scott Elliot, W.|
|Follick, M.||Logan, D. G||Segal, Dr. S.|
|Foot, M. M.||Longden, F.||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Forman, J. C.||Lyne, A. W.||Sharp, Granville|
|Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||McAdam, W.||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)|
|Freeman, J. (Watford)||McAllister, G.||Shurmer, P.|
|Freeman, Peter (Newport)||McEntee, V. La T||Silverman, J. (Erdington)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T N||McGhee, H. G.||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)|
|Ganley, Mrs. C. S||McGovern, J.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Gibbins, J.||Mack, J. D.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Gibson, C. W||McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Skeffinglon-Lodge, T. C.|
|Gilzean, A.||MaLeavy, F.||Skinnard, F. W.|
|Glanville, J. E. (Consent)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)|
|Gooch, E. G.||Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Goodrich, H. E||Mainwaring, W. H||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Gordon-Walker, P. C.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Solley, L. J.|
|Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Grey, C. F.||Mann, Mrs. J.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Grierson, E.||Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Steele, T.|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Mathers, Rt. Hon. George||Stokes, R. R.|
|Guest, Dr. L. Haden||Mayhew, C. P.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gunter, R. J.||Medland, H. M.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Lambeth)|
|Gay W. H.||Mellish, R. J.||Stubbs, A. E.|
|Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Middleton, Mrs. L.||Swingler, S.|
|Hale, Leslie||Mikardo, Ian||Sylvester, G O.|
|Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil||Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R||Symonds, A. L.|
|Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.||Mitchison, G. R.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Hannan, W. (Maryhill)||Monslow, W.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Hardman, D. R.||Moody, A. S.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Hardy, E. A.||Morley, R.||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)|
|Harrison, J.||Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Haworth, J.||Morrison, Rt. Hn. H. (Lewisham, E.)||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Kingswinford)||Mort, D. L.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Moyle, A.||Timmons, J.|
|Herbison, Miss M.||Murray, J. D.||Titterington, M F.|
|Hewitson, Capt. M||Nally, W.||Tolley, L.|
|Hicks, G.||Naylor, T. E.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Hobson, C. R||Neal, H. (Claycross)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Holman, P.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)||Ungood-Thomas, L.|
|Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Vernon, Maj. W. F.|
|Horabin, T. L.||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brantford)||Viant, S. P.|
|Houghton, A. L N. D||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby)||Walker, G. H.|
|Hoy, J.||Oldfield, W. H.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamatow, E.)|
|Hubbard, T.||Oliver, G. H||Warbey, W. N.|
|Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)||Paget, R. T.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Watson, W. M.|
|Hughes, H. D. (W lverh'pton, W)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Webb, N. (Bradford, C.)|
|Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Palmer, A. M. F.||Weitzman, D.|
|Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Pargiter, G. A.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)||Parker, J.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Irving, W. J. (Tottenham; N.)||Parkin, B. T.||West, D.G.|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Wheatley, Rt. Hn. J. T. (Edinb'gh, E.)|
|Jay, D. P. T.||Paton, J. (Norwich)||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Pearson, A.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pane, as S.E.)||Peart, T. F.||Wigg, George|
|Jenkins, R. H.||Perrins, W.||Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B|
|John, W.||Popplewell, E.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)||Porter, E. (Warrington)||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Porter, G. (Leeds)||Willey O. G. (Cleveland>|
|Jones, Jack (Bolton)||Price, M. Philips||Williams D. J. (Neath)|
|Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Proctor, W. T.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Keenan, W.||Pryde, D. J.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T (Don Valley)|
|Kenyon, C.||Pursey, Comdr. H.||Williams, W R. (Heston)|
|King, E. M.||Randall, H. E.||Willis, E.|
|Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E||Ranger, J.||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Kinley. J.||Rankin, J.||Wise, Major F. J.|
|Kirby, B. V.||Rees-Williams, D. R.||Woodburn, Rt. Hen. A.|
|Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D.||Reeves, J.||Woods, G. S.|
|Lang, G.||Raid, T. (Swindon)||Yates, V. F.|
|Lavers, S.||Rhodes, H.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Leonard, W.||Rebens, A.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Leslie, J. R.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|Lever, N. H.||Robinson, K. (St. Pancras)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Levy, B. W.||Regers, G. H. R.||Mr. Snow and|
|Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Mr. George Wallace.|
|Lewis, J. (Bolton)||Royle, C.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Grimston, R. V.||Nicholson, G.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Harden, J. R. E.||Nield, B. (Chester)|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Odey, G. W.|
|Barlow, Sir J.||Houghton, S. G.||O'Neill, At. Hon. Sir H|
|Baxter, A. B.||Head, Brig. A. H.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H||Headiam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Pickthorn, K.|
|Birch, Nigel||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Hollis, M. C.||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Bowen, R.||Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.|
|Bower, N.||Hope, Lord J.||Raikes, H. V.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Hudson, At. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Ramsay, Maj. S.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Hulbert,Wing-Cdr. N. J.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt-Col, W||Hurd, A.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Roberts, P. G. (Eocleall)|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)||Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'e)||Jennings, R.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Channon, H.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Scott, Lord W.|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Shepherd, S. (Newark)|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Cole, T. L.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.|
|Co[...]ant, Maj. R. J. E.||Langford Holt, J.||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Snadden, W. M.|
|Corbett., Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H F C.||Lennox-Boyd A. T.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Crosthrwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Strauss, Henry (English Universities)|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Linstead, H. N.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|De la Bere, R.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Taylor C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Low, A R. W.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Donner, P. W.||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)|
|Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)||Lucas-Tooth, S. H.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Drayson, G. B||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Thorneyeroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Drewe, C.||McCallum, Maj. D.||Thornton-Kemaley, C. N.|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.||Toucha, G. C.|
|Duthie, W. S.||MacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Turton, R. H.|
|Eccles, D. M.||McFarlane, C. S.||Twesdamuir, Lady|
|Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Walter||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Errol, F. J.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Wadsworth, G.|
|Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Wakefield, Sir W. W.|
|Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Macpherson,. N. (Dumfries)||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Fox, Sir G.||Maitland, Comdr. J. W||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)||Marlowe, A. A. H.||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Fraser, Sir I. (Lonedale)||Marples, A. E.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Williams, Gerald(Tonbridgs)|
|Gage, C.||Maude. J. C.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollak)||Mellor, Sir J.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Malson,. A. H. E.||York, C.|
|Gates, Mai. E. E.||Harrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (p'ke)||Morrison, Rt. Kn. W. S. (Cirencester)|
|Gomme Duncart, Col. A.||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gridley, Sir A.||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Mr. Studholme and|
Question put, and agreed to.