This Amendment was covered by the Closure. If any hon. Member wants to talk, I would point out that we have discussed it already and it would not be fair to go on discussing it now when it has been covered. As I said at the beginning, these three Amendments go together. Therefore, they were covered by the Closure. If necessary I will accept the Closure straight away.
Lords Amendment: In page 4, line 18, leave out subsection (3) and insert:
(3) The Corporation shall have power to carry on such other activities as shall have been specified in an order of the Minister, such order being subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
The subsection as it left the House gave the Minister the right to give consent in writing to the Corporation to carry out such duties as he agreed to authorise. The Opposition may ask, of course, what are the activities which the Minister would agree to authorise or which he would give power to the Corporation to carry out. It will be observed that under the Bill, just prior to this particular subsection, the Corporation has unfettered power, which is not contested, to carry out research on a national basis and to render services common to the whole of the industry in the country.
It is matters arising from that research that we seek to give the Corpora- tion power themselves to put into operation. If, for instance, it was found that as a result of this research there was something of tremendous advantage to the industry, or through the industry to the country, that could be operated by the Corporation for or on behalf of the country, then the Corporation should have power so to do by consent in writing from the Minister. My right hon. Friend would pay due regard and give very careful consideration to the request from the Corporation to carry out such work before authorising it. It may be argued that research should be left in the hands of individual companies, but we on this side of the House consider it right and proper that research should be carried out on a national basis, and that powers for research and other services common to the country should be given.
The Amendment seeks to compel my right hon. Friend to make an order which could be annulled by either of the two Houses. We believe that is wrong, and that it is right and proper that the Minister should have the right—after, as I have already said, careful consideration of this problem—to authorise the Corporation to proceed on matters which, as I have already indicated, could be, would be, and, indeed, should be of great value to the country as a whole. It has been argued previously today that a hostile other place could annul this order. I do not wish to proceed on these lines, but on the line that it is right and proper that this Corporation which is responsible to Parliament and to the Minister should have the right by consent in writing from the Minister to carry out the duties I have indicated.
It may also be argued—indeed, we expect it will be argued—arising from what has been said on the previous Amendment, that the memorandum of association and the articles of agreement between the companies give the Corporation the right to engage in all forms and methods of production. That, again is, of course, a matter for my right hon. Friend, or whoever may be the Minister when this Bill comes into operation. The House should have sufficient faith in the common sense of the Minister—[Interruption]—Yes, indeed. The Corporation would only engage itself in those things which would benefit the country through the iron and steel industry, and, therefore, the Opposition need not worry itself unduly.
We agree that the articles of association give the Corporation the right to do that, and we would argue, as has been said from the other side, that what was considered good for private enterprise to put into their articles of association after careful thought could not be bad for a Corporation which will be working for and on behalf of the country, rather than for the pockets of individual shareholders.
I had not intended to raise the same argument again until the Parliamentary Secretary had shown himself obdurate in this error. It is impossible for us on this side of the House to allow arguments of this kind to go unanswered, because they merely repeat in a more acute form exactly that attitude of mind to which we object. The Parliamentary Secretary said, as I understood his argument, that because the Corporation may require to carry on certain research activities, therefore it is necessary to strike out of the Bill altogether the negative procedure which we seek to insert and which has been inserted in another place. The argument was stated with an ingenuousness which amounted almost to ingenuity. He again reiterated: "Why should anybody worry? As long as we have a Socialist Minister everything will be quite all right. It is quite true that the powers given to the Corporation extend from every human activity to running a music hall or an hotel, but we can assure the House that it will not matter."
This is making a perfect farce of the Parliamentary procedure. This House is here in order to protect not the Executive from committing some act which is not covered by law, but the individual from the Executive invading every single part of human activities. To be treated to an argument like this is an insult to the intelligence of the House. We had intended to let this Amendment go, because we have traversed the ground very widely before, but after listening to the Parliamentary Secretary it is quite impossible for us to do other than divide the House. It is intolerable for us to be told that although the powers and the range of activities are unlimited, only by ministerial discretion is any limit to be imposed. That position is untenable, and I shall ask my hon. Friends on this side to divide against this Amendment.
The argument put forward by the Parliamentary Secretary fell into two parts. First, he put up this entirely spurious Aunt Sally about research. The main arguments were developed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton). It is suggested that under the new system of the nationalisers a superior form of research institutions will be set up. That is precisely where hon. Members opposite are entirely wrong. From a great many of the speeches of hon. Members opposite and from some of the speeches which were made two years ago on this subject and by some of the pamphlets written two years ago, one sees the abysmal ignorance which has led hon. Members opposite to produce this Bill at all. The fact remains that the research organisations set up by the British iron and steel organisations have no equal, precisely because they are independent. They are independent, to a large extent, even of the Iron and Steel Federation.
A very interesting document has been produced by the British Iron and Steel Federation, one of their issues of the Monthly Statistical Bulletin, which is devoted entirely to this subject of co-operative research in the steel industry. I would advise the Parliamentary Secretary to have a look at this and see how a flexible system which is set up here would be destroyed by the State clamping system which we would see if this Bill became law. Therefore, the first argument put forward by the Parliamentary Secretary, and indeed almost the only argument put forward by him, falls to the ground.
The second argument which the Parliamentary Secretary did not even touch upon, but which my right hon. Friend did refer to, was this: That one of the precise difficulties which we are finding in this whole question of nationalisation is the question of Parliamentary control. So far four or five large industries have been nationalised in this country. Every day from both sides of the House hon. Members are getting up and trying to raise questions about the administration of these industries, and again and again they are being told, through the Table, that they cannot raise these matters. Only three days ago, if I may take an example, in Stafford I investigated the question of the nationalised railways running cheap excursions. I tried to raise the matter here, but it was not possible because it was a matter of day-to-day administration. I found that, locally, trains full of passengers could be run at 10s. 6d. from Stafford to Blackpool for the fireworks, while the normal rate is 29s. 6d. return. That is pin-pointing the inefficiency of the nationalised system, which this House can never get down to. That is the point which is raised here—the question of Parliamentary control.
Hon. Members opposite may say that the negation of an order is a clumsy method. If hon. Members opposite would cast their minds back as to how this Bill came into birth, they will realise it was one of the most clumsy miscarriages of legislation ever seen. They can recall how two years ago this matter was put up by Government supporters. There was going to be a clear definition that certain sections of the iron and steel industry were to be nationalised. Then it was found that the scheme could not be put into force, and the unfortunate Minister of Supply of the day was fired and the Government thought again. There was pressure inside the Cabinet from the dessentient group to carry through this Bill at all costs. Nowadays that group is crying, "Work, independence, Socialism" in that order, but two years ago the order was reversed, and it was "Socialism, quasi independence and work"—the latter last.
I shall return to the Amendment. The question of Parliamentary control arises here. As my hon. Friends have pointed out in the last Amendment, there is this question of the ability of the Government through the Corporation to go extremely wide, and, as was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Edgbaston (Sir P. Bennett), to go to any length at all. The power in this Clause can be used, and the Corporation can go in for the manufacture of every type of every conceivable form of activity. There could be an invasion of private industry and of private manufacture, including the work of many small firms, and we on this side are opposed to this most clumsy legislative instrument to achieve an organisation the effect of which was never before dreamt of by Parliament in its wildest moments.
Under these articles of association many things can be entered into. The range runs the whole gamut from A to Z. Think of the whole range of activities which can be undertaken, such as coal haulage, the galvanising, hotels, housing societies, metal spraying, road transport, shipowning, road vehicle components, cast iron products, agricultural equipment and many others in a long range, which are not mentioned here, but which are mentioned probably in the list of the articles of association of these various companies. For the Parliamentary Secretary to put this idea that because the industry is to be nationalised it would mean better centralised research is skirting round, and trying to escape from, the whole issue as set out in this Amendment.
If the Amendment is accepted there will be a resistance, although peaceful, to the painful and disastrous invasion of the huge realms of British industry and to the eventual destruction of the faith of thousands of people—80 per cent. of our national production—in the fact that they can go on manufacturing without fear of unfair competition. It is a fear which the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) tried to pooh-pooh. As one goes further through the Bill, however, one finds it is possible for the Government companies, by the use of that magical formula of taking their accounts one year with another, to subsidise here, to rob there and to carry out what my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) has called this "brutal" form of pillage and destruction of our free and still fairly ship-shape economy.
To see what has been done it is important to look at both the original Clause and the Amendment. The original Clause provides that the Corporation can engage in certain activities provided they have the consent of the Minister in writing. The Amendment enables the Corporation to engage in those activities provided they have the consent of the Minister by order, that order being subject to negative Resolution of both Houses of Parliament.
The Minister's defence is that he should be able to give that consent without an order in these activities of research—research is a very necessary and laudable thing. But the Corporation itself has been appointed by the Minister with great care, being a highly responsible body, so why should it not engage in research without the leave of the Minister at all? Why should it be necessary for this highly responsible body to have the consent of the Minister in writing? There can be only one reason for it—that the Minister desires to keep control completely in his own hands. On the question of whether to engage in research, surely no better body could determine that matter than the Corporation itself. The Minister will have to take its views into consideration.
My illustration was given by the Parliamentary Secretary in his speech, and it is within the recollection of the House. The one difference between the Amendment and the original Clause is that under the Amendment the same powers can only be given by order. Surely in a matter of this sort that power should be reserved in the last resort to Parliament itself; it should be given by order, and the absolute power should not be given to the Minister. I do not want to repeat the argument I advanced on the first Amendment, but this is what we are fighting the whole of the way through this Bill. It is not really a Bill for the nationalisation of the steel industry; it is a replacement of powers Bill, and the important thing here is where the power will rest. It is a change of the form of industry, a change of the form of Government and of society. That is why this power is always reserved in each Clause to the Minister.
I can scarcely believe that hon. Members opposite recognise how widely revolutionary is this proposal. I know many hon. Members opposite, and I have the advantage of knowing many of their private views and opinions, and I understand that they are wedded to the principle of State ownership of the steel trade. But when it comes to working out the details, the right hon. Gentleman ought to know from the murmurings behind him that they are appalled, aghast and astonished by some of these things. His Majesty's Government are telling the House of Commons that the single signature of the Minister is more important than the decision of the House of Commons. That goes a long way towards the dictatorship which we fear.
There are, as shown in Clause 1 (1, c), provisions that the chairman and not more than ten other members, meeting perhaps on a pleasant afternoon or evening, may go and cajole the Minister—somebody more susceptible than the present Minister perhaps. They may go to him and say: "Old boy, will you give us your consent in writing?" On that trivial procedure the Corporation shall be able to acquire, simply upon the consent in writing of the Minister. They will be able to carry on any other activities which, at the time of the consent, any publicly-owned company is authorised to carry on.
Such powers have never been given to any single individual before. It reminds me of the way in which some of our retail businesses were conducted in days gone by. The lady shop assistant would call out to the shop walker, "Sign, Sir," and he would stride up to the counter and sign her check-book and all was then in order. This power is to be given by the Minister, not at a formal meeting but in the Lobby of the House of Commons or as he is entering his car, or perhaps in his private house. He will give his consent in writing. The proposal put forward by the Opposition is a more democratic and reasonable one and more in keeping with the sound practice of administration. It is that such procedure as is proposed, such experiments and developments as the Corporation plan, shall not be entered upon lightly but after full consideration by the Minister. He shall think over what is required. Indeed, it is recommended that after due consideration with his advisers he shall come to the House of Commons and ask for approval. That seems to be trusting the people and is in keeping with democratic procedure.
What are His Majesty's Government going to do? Large-scale businesses always resist the tendency to find that their research organisation is running them and not they the research organisation. These developments, which are to be set up on the writing of the Minister, may well run away with the Governing body. I have seen research organisations conducted by brilliant men whose ideas were so far above those of everybody else that their employers could not understand them. The man might get some £10,000 a year, and at the end of the year may have produced no result. He asks for another £10,000 for another year. It may be five or six years before we discover that he is leading us up the garden path and is producing nothing. How much more likely is it to happen in the case of the Bill.
I cannot think that Government supporters recognise the enormous powers which lie concealed in these four lines in which the Minister, for the first time in history, will give consent to what may be the death warrant of British industry, because it concerns its life blood. The consent can be given by any Minister yet unknown, in the bosom of time yet unfolded. He shall authorise the Corporation to embark upon large-scale enterprises of incalculable character ranging far and wide over anything. It may be a trivial thing in connection with canteens or cinemas, but it may concern acute problems of metallurgy.
Receiving these challenges to his acuteness, the Minister, being precariously poised in the Ministry, as he may well be, and anxious to be on good terms with the chairman of his Corporation, will sign these chits. He will become a chit signer, and British industry will suffer. I have never heard of any business of any kind in any country of this magnitude, with these ramifications and with these extraordinary potentialities conducted in this singularly frivolous and lighthearted fashion. I defy the Minister to deny that in future a Minister may sign away not so much the responsibilities of his research department but the essence, strength and vitality of British industry.
It is rather astonishing to hear the Opposition speak about an attack on democracy. They have not read the Amendment. It says:
The Corporation shall have power to carry on such other activities as shall have been specified in an order of the Minister, such order being subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
That is the most revolutionary proposal brought before this House since 1945. We are being asked to abrogate the powers of the Commons and to hand over the sole right to the other place to annul an order. How can any hon. Member opposite preach about democracy and championship of the House of Commons when this proposal is made? The Commons fought to have the sole right to determine what money would be spent. On this occasion an Amendment is brought forward transferring the power from the Commons to another place. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Of course. One cannot read anything else into it.
The hon. Member is not making a very good case for the native intelligence for which his country is famed. If he directs his attention to the word "either," he will see that he is talking nonsense.
The hon. Member has not read it properly. The Commons might pass an order, but another place might pass a resolution annulling it, and it would not therefore be passed. The words are:
Being subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
That does not mean both Houses. One or other of the two Houses can annul it. The Commons can approve it, and then another place can throw it out. I ask hon. Members opposite if such a proposal has ever been brought forward before. [Laughter.] I wish that laughing gas had not penetrated to some of the benches opposite. We are being asked to annul the Parliament Act and to give back the power given to us in the Parliament Act to insist on what is
passed in this House becoming the law of the land. If any hon. Member opposite talks through his hat about revolutionary proposals, all I have to say is that I will bring up some old penny revolutionary pamphlets and give him a free education on those.
I hope to persuade the hon. Member for West Renfrew (Mr. Scollan) that the proposals contained in this Amendment are hardly as revolutionary as he thinks. The proposal really is to make this use of the power by the Corporation, and its authorisation by the Minister, subject to the ordinary procedure common to all Statutory Instruments which this Government have passed and which any previous Government have passed in any respect whatsoever, and subject also to the milder form of that annulment, namely, the annulment by negative Prayer instead of the confirmation by positive Prayer. The idea that an hon. Member opposite could have remained a Member of this House for four years without its having dawned upon him that in every case where an order is made by a Minister it is subject to annulment by either House of Parliament is a matter of such astonishing ignorance that I hope his constituents in a few months will study his suitability to continue to represent them.
I listened hard to the explanation of the Government attitude put forward by the Joint Parliamentary Secretary. In rising from this place on the Liberal Bench, I wish to make it clear that I do not speak as Leader of the Liberal Party. None the less, I hope that I shall make my meaning plain. The Minister did not make his meaning plain; indeed, I could only describe his explanation as such that, on the principle of lucus a non lucendo, I call him bright because he seldom shines. The explanations put forward by the Minister are as follow. First, he says that he wants power for the Corporation to research. That is what he told the House, but I looked painstakingly at the Bill—and so apparently did the Minister, to put him right, although he did not like to make it plain that he was putting his own subordinate right—and I found that the provision giving power to research came in under subsection (3) which it is proposed to amend by this amendment, but under subsection (2)—
If the hon. Gentleman will read carefully tomorrow what was actually said, he will find that I referred to the power already in the Bill—"prior to subsection (3)" were my actual words. In no way did I indicate to the House that it was necessary to get power to enter into research. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I can only refer hon. Members to what I said. It will be reported tomorrow morning. The hon. Member for Oxford will find that I went on to say that it was to implement the research powers already given in the Bill in a national way for the national benefit—
I am not aware, Mr. Speaker, that I made any imputation. I only said that, if something happened which has not yet happened, I should probably take a certain attitude which I have not yet taken. I heard the hon. Gentleman talking about research, and although I am quite prepared to accept his word for it that what he intended to convey was something different, I am not prepared to take his word for it that what he succeeded in conveying was what he said, because I do not believe that there is a single Member of this House who really got the idea which the hon. Gentleman now says he was trying to convey. I am quite convinced that he does not always succeed in conveying his meaning, but this much at any rate the House can now take for granted, and that is that any argument based upon the desirability of obtaining power for research is completely done away with. It has been withdrawn, if it was ever put forward, and there is no need in this Clause for power to research. There is a power to carry on other activities.
The point at issue is whether or not that power, or that power of authorisa- tion, exercised by the Minister should or should not be subject to annulment by negative Prayer. That is the narrow point on which we are. I hope the hon. Gentleman will not withdraw this. With a good deal of bluster he began to argue that the Minister ought to be allowed to do what he liked without interference from this House. I think that was a very poor way of expressing his gratitude to the docile Lobby fodder who have been following the Government into the Lobby on negative Prayers for four years now. I think he might have paid a tribute at any rate to their diligence, if not to their independence. After some experience of procedure by negative Prayer, my only question is whether it affords sufficient protection for the House under the working of the present party system. What possible disadvantage can it be to the Minister, with that well-oiled, disciplined majority, to have a few extra minutes—
No, I only meant that the majority was well-oiled. What additional disadvantage can it be to a Minister to call into being this wonderful machine and ask it to stay up a few extra minutes while my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) moves a negative Prayer, with such public spirit as we know he always shows, but without any measure of success at all? My hon. Friend was once successful. It is a very great tribute to his Parliamentary talent that, despite the party system, he has succeeded to that extent.
It seems to me that the Minister failed to do other than re-assert a case for which no previous argument had been put forward. I think we are entitled to have a little more in support of his argument than this. However, it strikes me that the Minister has perhaps not sufficiently studied the merits of this Amendment from his own point of view. It seems to me the Amendment as passed by another place is actually more favourable to the Minister than the text which he seeks to preserve in the Bill as it left this House.
In the Bill as it left us, the powers which, under this subsection, can be exercised by the Corporation are powers limited, even when consent is given, to those which any publicly-owned company is authorised, as aforesaid—that is, in the previous provisions—to carry on. But that limitation is not questioned in the Lords Amendment, and I am wondering why it is that the Minister has spurned this as a gift which has been proffered from the Opposition, giving him, subject, of course, to the superior control of this House, better power of authorisation than he thinks. For these reasons, I cannot help thinking that neither of the two speeches we have heard from the Government side this evening—one from the Parliamentary Secretary, the other from the hon. Member for West Renfrew—was of sufficient weight to persuade us to withdraw this Amendment.
I am sure that many of my hon. Friends, like myself, have been rather surprised at the spate of oratory we have had regarding the methods of the democratic conduct of business. There has been so much said about it from the other side of the House that one would have assumed that hon. Members opposite were defending some fundamental law of production which this Socialist Government is trying to upset. We know very well, of course, that this democratic procedure for carrying out industrial activities is something which does not exist in private industry. We had the hon. Member for Edgbaston (Sir P. Bennett) telling us what happens when private companies are seeking powers. When they are drawing up their articles, they do not specify precisely what they want, but say, "Let us draw them as widely as possible so that we can do anything we like." We know that that is common practice.
What puzzles me is, if this is common practice in private enterprise, and if, that being so, we have survived, why should not it work in the case of Government enterprise? If, again, it is permissible for private individuals, who are operating for no other purpose than to extract the maximum amount of profit from their activities—about which I do not complain—why is it so dangerous and antisocial for the Government, on behalf of the people of the country, to do the same thing?
The hon. Member must see a difference between a private company risking a limited amount of capital and a Government board doing it with taxpayers' money, and without any limit whatever.
I was dealing with the point that, if it is moral for an individual to do that, when he is, in fact, exploiting the community—[Interruption.]—There is nothing wrong with the word; it is a question of the emphasis put upon it. If it is permissible for an individual to do it, why is it immoral for the community collectively to organise its own activities on the same basis? One hon. Member opposite said that it is no uncommon thing in private industry to employ an eminent research chemist or scientist and to pay him a considerable sum of money for a period of, say, 12 months and, although he produces no results in that time, to pay him for another 12 months, saying that one must not expect sudden results from research. The man's productions it is said, might be good next year, and the company carries him on. Why not? One cannot expect him to be turning out inventions every year, or every month, mechanically. That is the reason why it is acceptable in private enterprise, and I know that many hon. Members opposite would agree with that. Why, then, should it become a danger if the Government engage in the same kind of investment?
I agree; but that matter was raised by an hon. Member opposite, who mentioned this as illustrating the kind of thing affecting an example under this Clause. But on the arguments which have been put forward there is no evidence that there is anything sought in for the Corporation in this Clause which is not already, in fact, operating in private enterprise and is defended by its champions on the other side of the House. What they have done is to claim that no new activity may be taken on by the Corporation, however necessary or however urgent it may be considered to be, until a shareholders' meeting is called—until the House of Commons has gone through the procedure of the negative Prayer and an order has been upon the Table for the necessary period.
These are the people who complain about the lack of initiative and the lack of speed in getting things done under Government control. If we suggested that if any private company wished to extend its business, or to take up a new line of business within the broad terms of its charter, such as were referred to by the hon. Member for Edgbaston, it must call a meeting of all shareholders, I do not think we would have the support of hon. Members opposite. That, again, would be regarded as holding up proceedings; and anything which held up activity of that sort would be regarded as bureaucratic.
The hon. Gentleman could not have been present when his hon. Friend let it slip out that the powers can be drawn so widely that anything that one likes can be done in private enterprise. I have listened to a spate of oratory by hon. Gentlemen opposite about injecting democracy into this business, although they decry such democracy in private enterprise. There is no doubt that the arguments made justify the original Clause in the Bill and destroy whatever case there may be for this Amendment.
I do not know what the friends of the right hon. Gentleman who sit on the Front Bench below him—those who are daily appealing to the spirit of the merchant adventurers—will think of his remarks about private industrialists exploiting the population. That is a matter of internal concern, too delicate perhaps for one to pursue; but I did feel that his comments disclosed a complete ignorance on his part of delegated legislation procedure, quite apart from an ignorance of the Amendment from another place. He does not seem to appreciate that in the Bill as it was when it left this House, the Corporation did not have the freedom he says it ought to have in order to indulge in these further activities. It could only do so with the Minister's consent.
Because the right hon. Gentleman does not appreciate the purpose of the Amendment, I would explain that all it seeks to do is to ensure that the Minister's action in giving his consent shall be the subject to Parliamentary control, and, with great respect to the right hon. Gentleman, his argument about complete freedom for the Corporation to do something, whether is good or bad, on the merits, is completely irrelevant to the discussion of an Amendment dealing with the subject of Parliamentary control.
He obviously did not understand, either, the method of that control. He said that the Corporation could not proceed with these activities until a meeting of the national shareholders was held in this House and the matter was fully discussed. If he understood the procedure of negative Resolutions, he would know that the order takes effect as soon as made or on such date as the Minister may decide. It is laid on the Table, and is annulled only if this House carries a Resolution against it. With respect to the right hon. Gentleman, the suggestion that there is the slightest scintilla of delay involved in the application of this Amendment is complete nonsense.
First, I should like to correct the hon. Gentleman; I am not "right hon." What I rise to say is that there is a procedure for negative Resolutions; I agree with him. But there is surely a difference between the speed with which a proposition can be made, and given effect to, by the Minister, and the speed with which an order can be drawn up in the terms necessary for it to be laid before this House so that the House may discuss it on a Prayer.
I apologise to the hon. Gentleman for having, quite inadvertently, promoted him. If he has any experience of the form in which many orders are laid there will be found no internal evidence of any delay in the drafting of these instruments. The only possibility of delay which can arise is that it is possible that the Minister might be more hesitant to give his consent if he knew that this was a matter which could be challenged on the Floor of the House rather than could be done behind closed doors. That is the only possibility of delay, and if delay arises from that point of view, I suggest that is very salutary and wholesome.
I should like to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg) in reassuring the natural anxieties of the hon. Member for West Renfrew (Mr. Scollan). The hon. Member felt that there were many possibilities of revolutionary changes in this Amendment. I have no doubt that he supported the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1946. I hope he does not dissent and he will be reassured to know that that Act contained precisely the same provision as this, the only difference being that it extended over the whole sphere of our national economic life and was not confined to one industry. If he needs further reassurance, there remains the undisputed fact that during four years of the present Parliament another place has never annulled a Statutory Instrument.
The Joint Parliamentary Secretary made a speech quite unworthy of his Parliamentary reputation. His argument was that the House would prefer to trust the Minister. If that is so, it is not an argument against this Amendment, because if the House trusts the Minister in this matter, the House will refuse to annul the order. Therefore, this appeal to trust the Minister does not amount to an appeal to trust the Minister but a preference for trusting the Minister in secret to trusting him in public.
One objection to the Bill as it stands is that the consent that the Minister gives in writing for the extended activity need not necessarily be disclosed to the House. There is no provision for its being laid on the Table or for publicity. Therefore, the Minister's responsibility may turn out to be nugatory, because no one may at the material time know what he is doing. Whereas if an order has to be made and tabled, there is the certainty of full publicity being given to the proceedings.
It is conceded by the very nature of subsection (3) that an extension of these activities is a major matter which cannot be safely entrusted to the Corporation's unfettered discretion. It is accepted as a major matter on which the Minister's decision is required. I cannot see, if that is so, why the Minister should not say it is a matter on which the Minister's discretion should be submitted to direct challenge on the Floor of the House. It is admittedly a major matter and a matter for the Minister to decide, so why should he not decide in a manner which can immediately be challenged on the Floor of the House?
If, even at this stage, the Minister does not indicate a willingness to accept the view that this is in the true sense a democratic procedure, it will be very clear that the right hon. Gentleman has been infected with the ideas the Chancellor of the Exchequer put forward 16 years ago, that detailed control over the industry of this country was not a matter with which the House of Commons need be concerned, but a matter to be dealt with by the Minister and his staff in private.
I am very much puzzled by the Government's resistance to this Amendment. It seems to me that they would lose nothing that they really need, and would show respect to this House, if they accepted this Amendment instead of advising the House to reject it. I want to say a word about the Parliamentary Secretary's speech, and I would say quite frankly in his favour, in contrast with what has been said by some of my hon. Friends, that I did not understand him quite in the way they did. Perhaps he will correct me if I am wrong. What I thought he said was this. Having called our attention to the powers the Corporation had to conduct research, he then said that, as a result of that research, occasionally they might want to do something themselves. I want to say that in fairness to the hon. Member because that is how I understood him.
Where I completely agree with the way all my hon. Friends had understood him—and I think he will agree with us that we understood him rightly—is that he seemed to think that the powers that the Government were seeking to retain under subsection (3) were in some way limited and that the powers conferred by the subsection might have to be used on rare occasions as the result of something that research showed to be desirable. If he reads that subsection he will find that there are no words of limitation of any kind whatever. The result of that is that, if we leave subsection (3) as it now stands, which the Lords proposes to delete, we shall enable the Corporation to do anything whatever. I challenge the Minister to point out anything which they would not be able to do under subsection (3)—with the consent in writing of the Minister.
I agree with the speech just made by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) that there is no guarantee whatsoever that any publicity will attach to the Minister's consent. The Minister can enable the Corporation to do anything of any kind whatsoever provided it is to be found in the articles of association of any of the companies he is taking over. He can enable the Corporation to do anything whatsoever by a note in writing of which this House obtains no knowledge. I am not in the least surprised that that has the enthusiastic support of the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher). It is part of the very basis on which the Communist Party are enthusiastically supporting this Bill. There is no difficulty whatsoever in understanding his enthusiasm.
I come to a point which has not yet been made in this discussion and I hope that the Minister, when he replies will deal with it. How does he reconcile the advice that the Parliamentary Secretary has now given to the House to reject this Amendment with what he himself said in Standing Committee when the matter was before it. He then drew a very great contrast between what he desired the holding company, that is to say, the Corporation, to be able to do and what he desired the publicly-owned companies to be able to do. These are his actual words:
It is not our intention that the Corporation should itself normally operate iron and steel or ancillary works, but circumstances might arise such as I have suggested—setting up a pilot plant for doing some important work outside the laboratory—where it might well be done better by the Corporation than by one of the companies whose shares it owns. It is for that narrow purpose that we say it is desirable not to limit the Corporation to purely holding company functions but rather that it should possess those powers."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 19th Jan. 1949; c. 374.]
I call the attention of the House to the words "it is for that narrow purpose." In subsection (3) of the Bill as it stands, no statutory effect is given to the intention of using it "for that narrow purpose." I suggest that it is obviously necessary either for the Minister to amend this subsection in some way to carry out his own declaration, that what he wanted was something to use for a narrow purpose, or else to accept an Amendment, such as the Lords have inserted, providing some Parliamentary control.
I think the House is entitled to an answer to these points: on what grounds does the Minister invite the House to attach no importance whatever to these words which he uttered in Committee and similar words uttered by another Minister in another place? I ask him why he should wish to enable anything to be done by the Corporation itself merely by a note in writing which he signs and to which no publicity is given. I ask him how he can possibly justify the absence of limitation in these words and the absence of Parliamentary control? I believe this Amendment with which we are now concerned is one of the most important we shall have to consider during the night. It brings to the very forefront, if the Minister insists on rejecting it, that what the Government desire is naked power to be used without Parliamentary control. Let there be no doubt whatever that, if no answer is given to any of these points that I and my hon. Friends have raised, it is the only conclusion that can be reached.
I have been asked a question by the hon. and learned Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. H. Strauss) and I think I can answer him in a sentence or two. He suggested that there is some conflict between what I said in Committee, in describing what I had in mind with regard to these powers, and the words that are now in the Bill. I do not think there is any conflict. It will be remembered that when the Bill was introduced, there was no clear definition in it of the powers of the Corporation and of those of the publicly-owned companies. It was generally felt by hon. Members in the Committee—and the Government shared the view fully—that the real purpose of the Corporation would be to a holding company and it should not normally engage in trading activities.
It was suggested that words should be incorporated in the Bill carrying out what was the general intention. We agreed to do that and amended the Bill accordingly, making it clear that the powers of the Corporation should normally be confined to research and to providing any common services for the publicly-owned companies. We felt that this might be too limiting because, as I said in Committee, a pilot plant might need to be set up to do a certain amount of manufacturing and to carry out certain small activities, and it was for that purpose that we desired to give some flexibility in this matter and to enable the Corporation to do that type of manufacturing work. It is impossible to define this in words.
We do not know what the type of manufacturing will be and so it is an utterly impossible thing to do. We have put in words saying that, with the consent of the Minister, the Corporation shall be entitled to carry out such other activities as the publicly-owned companies can carry out. It is true that this definition is wide, but there is no possible way of stating more strictly by words in the Bill the purposes we have in mind which would not rule out some proper and legitimate activities by the Corporation on behalf of the industry. It is for that reason that the words appear in the Bill. I suggest that they do not in any way conflict with what I said in Committee, and I still maintain that the purpose here is only to limit the Corporation to certain narrow activities along the line I have suggested.
The right hon. Gentleman said that there is no limitation at all in the words in the Bill, but there is a limitation in his own mind. If there is no limitation in the Bill, is that not an argument for ensuring publicity and Parliamentary control?
|Division No. 223.]||AYES||[11.2 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Albu, A. H.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V.||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Logan, D. G.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Longden, F.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Ewart, R.||Lyne, A. W.|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Fernyhough, E.||McAdam, W.|
|Attewell, H. C.||Field, Capt. W. J.||McAllister, G.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||McEntee, V. La. T.|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Follick, M.||Mack, J. D.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Foot, M. M.||McKay, J. (Wallsend)|
|Ayles, W. H.||Forman, J. C.||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull N. W.)|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||McKinlay, A. S.|
|Baird, J.||Freeman, J. (Watford)||McLeavy, F.|
|Balfour, A.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Gallacher, W.||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Barstow, P. G.||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||Macpherson, T. (Romford)|
|Barton, C.||Gibbins, J.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Battley, J. R.||Gibson, C. W.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Gilzean, A.||Mann, Mrs. J.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)|
|Benson, G.||Gooch, E. G.||Manning, C. (Camberwell, N)|
|Berry, H.||Goodrich, H. E.||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.|
|Beswick, F.||Gordon-Walker, P. C.||Mathers, Rt. Hon. George|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)||Mayhew, C. P.|
|Binns, J.||Grenfell, D. R.||Mellish, R. J.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Grey, C. F.||Messer, F.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Grierson, E.||Middleton, Mrs. L.|
|Boardman, H.||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)||Mikardo, Ian.|
|Bottomley, A. G.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Millington, Wing-Comdr E. R.|
|Bowden, Flg. Offr. H. W.||Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)||Guest, Dr. L. Haden||Monslow, W.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Gunter, R. J.||Moody, A. S.|
|Bramall, E. A.||Guy, W. H.||Morley R.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Haire, John E. (Wyoombe)||Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield. C.)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hale, Leslie||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil||Mort, D. L.|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.||Moyle, A.|
|Bruce, Maj. D. W. T.||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)||Nally, W.|
|Burden, T. W.||Hardman, D. R.||Neal, H. (Claycross)|
|Burke, W. A.||Hardy, E. A.||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Harrison, J.||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)|
|Callaghan, James||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)|
|Carmichael, James||Haworth, J.||O'Brien, T.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford)||Oldfield, W. H.|
|Chamberlain, R. A.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Champion, A. J.||Herbison, Miss M.||Orbach, M.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Paget, R. T.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Hobson, C. R.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Coldrick, W.||Holman, P.||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Collick, P.||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Collindridge, F.||Horabin, T. L.||Parker, J.|
|Collins, V. J.||Houghton, Douglas||Parkin, B. T.|
|Colman, Miss G. M.||Hoy, J.||Pearson, A.|
|Cook, T. F.||Hubbard, T.||Peart, T. F.|
|Cooper, G.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)||Perrins, W.|
|Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N. W.)||Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'ton, W.)||Poole, Cecil (Lichfield)|
|Corlett, Dr. J.||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Porter, E. (Warrington)|
|Cove, W. G.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Price, M. Philips|
|Crawley, A.||Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Cullen, Mrs.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Pursey, Comdr. H.|
|Daggar, G.||Jay, D. P. T.||Randall, H. E.|
|Daines, P.||Johnston, Douglas||Rankin, J.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley)||Rees-Williams, D. R.|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)||Reeves, J.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Reid, T. (Swindon)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Jones, J. H. (Bolton)||Rhodes, H.|
|Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Richards, R.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Keenan, W.||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Kenyon, C.||Robens, A.|
|Deer, G.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||King, E. M.||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)|
|Delargy, H. J.||Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.||Robinson, Kenneth (St Pancras. N.)|
|Diamond, J.||Kinley, J.||Rogers, G. H. R.|
|Dobbie, W.||Kirby, B. V.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)|
|Dodds, N. N.||Lang, G.||Sargood, R.|
|Donovan, T.||Lavers, S.||Scollan, T.|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||Lee, F. (Hulme)||Scott-Elliot, W.|
|Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Segal, Dr. S.|
|Dumpleton, C. W.||Leonard, W.||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Dye, S.||Levy, B. W.||Sharp, Granville|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Lewis, J. (Bolton)||Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Wigg, George|
|Shurmer, P.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)||Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.|
|Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)||Wilkes, L.|
|Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Thomas, George (Cardiff)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)||Thurtle, Ernest||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Simmons, C. J.||Timmons, J.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Skeffington, A. M.||Titterington, M. F.||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.||Tolley, L.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Smith, C. (Colchester)||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Ungoed-Thomas, L.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)||Usborne, Henry||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Smith, S. H. (Hull, S. W.)||Vernon, Maj. W. F.||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Snow, J. W.||Viant, S. P.||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Sorensen, R. W.||Walker, G. H.||Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Sparks, J. A.||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H.|
|Steele, T.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)||Wise, Major F. J.|
|Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Warbey, W. N.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Stokes, R. R.||Watkins, T. E.||Woods, G. S.|
|Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)||Wyatt, W.|
|Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Lambeth)||Weitzman, D.||Yates, V. F.|
|Stross, Dr. B.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)||Younger Hon. Kenneth|
|Stubbs, A. E.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith||West, D. G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Swingler, S.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John (Edinb'gh, E.)||Mr. Popplewell and|
|Sylvester, G. O.||White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Mr. Richard Adams.|
|Symonds, A. L.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Granville, E. (Eye)||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Gridley, Sir A.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)|
|Astor, Hon. M.||Grimston, R. V.||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)||Neven-Spence, Sir B.|
|Barlow, Sir J.||Harden, J. R. E.||Nicholson, G.|
|Baxter, A. B.||Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)||Nield, B. (Chester)|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.||Harris, F. W. (Croydon, N.)||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Odey, G. W.|
|Birch, Nigel||Haughton, S. G.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Head, Brig. A. H.||Osborne, C.|
|Boothby, R.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C.||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Bower, N.||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Hollis, M. C.||Pickthorn, K.|
|Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan||Hope, Lord J.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Howard, Hon. A.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.||Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hurd, A.||Prescott, Stanley|
|Bullock, Capt. M.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.|
|Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Raikes, H. V.|
|Carson, E.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Ramsay, Maj. S.|
|Challen, C.||Keeling, E. H.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Channon, H.||Kendall, W. D.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Kerr, Sir J. Graham||Renton, D.|
|Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Langford-Holt, J.||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)|
|Cole, T. L.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Roberts, H. (Handsworth)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Roberts, P. G. (Ecclesall)|
|Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Robinson, Roland|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Linstead, H. N.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Crowder, Capt. John E.||Lloyd, Maj Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||Low, A. R. W.||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|De la Bère, R.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Spence, H. R.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Donner, P. W.||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.||Strauss, Henry (English Universities)|
|Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)||MacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)||Studholme, H. G.|
|Drewe, C.||McFarlane, C. S.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Eccles, D. M.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. A.||Maclean, F. H. R. (Lancaster)||Teeling, William|
|Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Walter||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)|
|Erroll, F. J.||Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Maitland, Comdr. J. W.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Fox, Sir G.||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)||Marlowe A. A. H.||Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F.|
|Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)||Marples, A. E.||Touche, G. C.|
|Gage, C.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Turton, R. H.|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)||Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)||Wakefield, Sir W. W.|
|Gates, Maj. E. E.||Maude, J. C.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Medlicott, Brigadier F.||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Molson, A. H. E.||Walt, Sir G. S. Harvie|
|Glyn, Sir R.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.||Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|White, Sir D. (Fareham)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|White, J. B. (Canterbury)||York, C.||Major Conant and|
|Williams, C. (Torquay)||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)||Brigadier Mackeson|
|Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|