Clause 2. — (Capital Expenditure for Purposes of Post Office Savings Bank Not to Be Paid Out of Post Office Savings Bank Fund.)

Orders of the Day — Post Office and Telegraph (Money) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th June 1952.

Alert me about debates like this

Motion made, and Question proposed," That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

There are one of two questions which I feel it my duty to put to the Assistant Postmaster-General. I am the more induced to do so because on Second Reading the hon. Gentleman had little or nothing to say about the Clause. His explanation of it was given in two sentences, and, as his remarks were so brief, I should like to refresh his memory by quoting them. He said: Under Clause 2, the Post Office will be able to finance the capital cost of Savings Bank building in the same way as it finances other capital expenditure of the Post Office. This point has already been brought to the notice of the Public Accounts Committee, which have accepted the expansion recommended in the scope of the Post Office Money Bill."— [OFFICIAL REPORT. 31st March, 1952; Vol. 498, c. 1192.] That is all the hon. Gentleman said by way of explanation of the Clause, and I submit that is so meagre and unsatisfactory that the Committee is now entitled to a much fuller explanation.

Clause 2 (1)says: …any capital expenditure incurred after the passing of this Act for the purposes of the Post Office Savings Bank shall be deemed not to have been incurred in the execution of the said enactments. As the Bill deals generally with capital expenditure, the Committee is entitled to know, first, what the Assistant Postmaster-General has in mind and what kind of commitment he envisages in regard to capital expenditure incurred after the passing of the Act for the purposes of the Post Office Savings Bank. Does this capital expenditure represent £1 million, £10 million or £15 million, and over what period, and for exactly what purposes? Those are details on which the Committee is entitled to be informed before it allows the Clause to be accepted.

Reference is made on more than one occasion in the Clause to …enactments relating to the Post Office Saving Bank. … "Enactments" is a loose word, and I do not see any definition in the Bill of what is comprised in this vague and somewhat general term. What are the enactments relating to the Post Office Savings Bank? I concede that reference is made to the Savings Banks Act, 1929, but it seems to imply that some provisions other than those of the Savings Banks Act, 1929. are included in the vague term: …enactments relating to the Post Office Saving Bank. … The Committee ought to have very much fuller information on this than has so far been provided.

3.0 p.m.

It may well be that no major point of principle is involved in this Clause, or no point of principle of the same magnitude as was involved in the previous Clause. It is a pity that there is no Law Officer present. We have now reached a point where the representatives of the Treasury are no longer required. In any event, they have disappeared. At one moment we had present in the Chamber not only the Chancellor of the Exchequer but the Minister of State for Economic Affairs and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. But now they have all flown and we are left with the Assistant Postmaster-General, and also an important official of the Royal Household whose presence we welcome though I very much doubt whether he will make any constructive contribution to our discussion.

It may be that the Assistant Postmaster-General will be at some disadvantage in dealing with the legal point I have raised as to the exact meaning of, "enactments relating to the Post Office." There is obviously more than one, otherwise the word would not be in the plural. I do not know how many there are. I have not had the opportunity of looking up all the legislation relating to the Post Office. Perhaps my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) may be able to supplement the information which I have not found it possible to obtain for the benefit of the Committee.

Some capital expenditure is envisaged but no indication was given to the House by the Assistant Postmaster-General on Second Reading of what was this capital expenditure relating to the Post Office Savings Bank. I hope that the Assistant Postmaster-General has had time to collect some information on the subject and that it will be possible for him to supply the information I seek. Regarding the legal point I raised, I suggest that arrangements should be made for the early attendance of one of the Law Officers of the Crown to help the Committee in its deliberations on this Clause.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

I have found this a very difficult Clause. In the previous Clause we had a complete constitutional innovation. Parliament which, previously, had always insisted on meticulous control of the expenditure of money, was invited, in cavalier fashion, to surrender that control and to vote money for the Post Office which, we were told, was not to be used by the Post Office at all, but was to be used for these defence purposes.

Now we come to Clause 2, which provides in subsection (1): For the purposes of any enactment relating to expenses incurred in the execution of the enactments relating to the Post Office Savings Bank, any capital expenditure"— mark that, any capital expenditure— incurred after the passing of this Act for the purposes of the Post Office Savings Bank shall be deemed not to have been incurred in the execution of the said enactments. Why is this? Is this really a defensive expenditure which it is unfair to put on the savings banks? If so, is it not even more unfair to put this sort of expenditure on the Post Office? It is the most curious way of dealing with the Savings Banks Act, 1929. That is an interesting Act and its terms will have to be considered by this Committee if we are to come to a conclusion on this Clause. Subsection (2) of this Clause provides: In paragraph (c) of section five of the Savings Banks Act, 1929"— and then come several lines in brackets, which I do not think I need read, save to draw attention to them as I shall be coming to the actual Section of the 1929 Act— the words 'the Postmaster-General and' and the word 'respectively' shall be omitted. Let us see what is the effect of this omission from Section 5 of the Savings Banks Act, 1929. That Section provides: For the purpose of any enactment (including this Act) which provides that the expenses incurred in the execution of the enactments relating to savings banks by the Postmaster-General and the Commissioners respectively"— and those are the words which we are asked to omit— are to be defrayed out of any specified fund, the expenses so incurred shall be deemed to include—". Then it sets out what shall be deemed to be included. This, of course, is the vital matter for the purpose of this Clause. They are: (a) such sum as, in the opinion of the Treasury, approximately represents the amount in each year of the accruing liability in respect of the benefits for which any officers or persons employed by the Postmaster-General and the Commissioners respectively in the execution of the said enactments will on their retirement become eligible under the Superannuation Act, 1834 to 1919; Here is the first question which I wish to ask. Why is it that these annuities should suddenly be borne by the Post Office— and apparently out of capital, though one would have thought that they were income expenditure—instead of being borne by the Commissioners as intended by the Act? The next item which we have to consider is: (b) such proportion of the salary, or of the said accruing liability in respect of superannuation benefits, of any officer or person who is so employed in part only in the execution of the said enactments as, in the opinion of the Treasury, is attributable to the execution of those enactments;". One has to look back earlier in the Act to see what those enactments are.

At the beginning of the Section, it is stated: For the purpose of any enactments (including this Act) which provide that the expenses incurred in the execution of enactments relating to savings banks by the Postmaster-General"— Then, quite suddenly, and for no reasons that I can understand, though doubtless we shall have some explanation, it says that such proportion of the salary, or of the said accruing liability in respect of superannuation benefits, of any officer or person who is so employed in part only in the execution of the said enactments"— which are the Savings Bank enactments —apparently ceases to be payable by the people whom Parliament said they were to be paid by, and are, like the defence expenditure, shot on to the Post Office.

Can the Minister tell us why this is so? Is this, again, concealed expenditure on defence? Are these methods whereby what is spent on expenditure on defence ceases to be a matter of Parliament and becomes something which has to be dealt with on a security basis, but concealed from the electorate?

Paragraph (c) may be even more remarkable still: any capital expenditure incurred in providing premises wholly used by the Postmaster-General and the Commissioners respectively for the purposes of the said enactments and such part of any such expenditure incurred in providing premises partly used as aforesaid as was, in the opinion of the Treasury, incurred for those purposes: That really contains three separate factors. First, we have any capital expenditure incurred in providing premises wholly used by the Postmaster-General. Second, we have the capital expenditure incurred in providing premises wholly used by the Commissioners. Then, of course, there is the additional case where they may be used jointly.

The paragraph goes on: used …for the purposes of the said enactments. Later in my speech, I will try to work out what are the purposes of these enactments, which requires looking not only at the earlier part of this Act, but at other Acts. Then, it states: …in providing premises partly used as aforesaid as was, in the opinion of the Treasury, incurred for those purposes: Why is it that we have suddenly to alter that arrangement laid down by Parliament, when, apparently, one would have thought it a sensible arrangement? Why do these expenses respectively require shifting on to the Post Office and from the people on whom they were originally placed? It is made even more interesting by a proviso which reads: Provided that, if in any case where the amount of any such capital expenditure has been charged to the said fund, the premises in respect of which the expenditure was incurred are sold"— That is the first case, so that where this Post Office money, as it is now, instead of Savings Bank money, is applied to capital expenditure for premises which are sold— or ceased to be used for the said purposes, there shall be deducted from the amount thereafter chargeable to the said fund such sum as may be determined by the Treasury.… Here we see the Treasury coming in all the time as the arbiter to represent the then value of the premises or that part of the premises which was used for the purpose.

3.15 p.m.

Why alter this arrangement? That is the point on which we are all so anxious to have information because, apparently, this was a division of the burden between the Post Office and the Savings Bank. There is the proviso that when any of this property is sold there is to be a division, a handing back, and now it is all to be borne by the Post Office. Why is that so, and what has done it?

We finally come to paragraph (d,) which is the list of these expenditures which we have to consider. It says: in the case of any premises occupied by the Postmaster-General and the Commissioners respectively wholly or partly for the purposes of the said enactments"— and those are the Savings Bank enactments— and in respect of which no rent is payable, such an amount as is estimated by the Treasury to represent the rental value of the premises or of that part of the premises used for the said purposes. Here we have the case where premises are occupied jointly by the Post Office and by the Commissioners of the Savings Bank and are used for purposes of the Savings Bank Acts, but where no rent is payable for them, such an amount as is estimated by the Treasury to represent the rental value of the premises or that part of the premises used for the said purpose after allowing for any capital expenditure incurred as aforesaid which has been charged to the said fund. This seems to be a very peculiar list of expenditures to be dealt with in this curious manner. The alteration is in paragraph (c) of Section 5 of the Savings Banks Act. The words "Postmaster-General" are to be omitted and the word "respect" is to be omitted so we get down to a reading as follows: any capital expenditure incurred in providing premises wholly used by the Commissioners for the purposes of the said enactments. Here, apparently, we have not merely a payment of the whole amount by the Post Office of expenditure in which they have at least a joint interest, but we have their exclusion where they have no interest in it at all and where it is used wholly by the Commissioners and is not used by the Postmaster-General. None the less, suddenly, the Post Office have to pay. That seems to require a lot of justification, unless we are to hear that this, again, is an instance of concealed defence expenditure.

Look at what are the purposes of this Act, that is, the purposes of the enactments for which all this expenditure has to be carried out. They are set out at the commencement of the 1929 Act. The earlier Acts are the statutes of 26 and 27 Victoria, which deal with this matter in Chapter 87 and at 54 and 55 Victoria, Chapter 21. I think I am right in saying—and perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) who knows so much about this subject will correct me if I am wrong—that Chapter 21, Victoria is the earliest of the savings banks statutes.

I think I am right in saying that it is that statute which provided for the institution of savings banks and in respect of which the original capital expenditure which we are now asked to alter was made. It was made quite early in the reign of Queen Victoria—if my memory is right, somewhere about 1842.

The second Act, which developed it to a considerable extent, was Chapter 87 of the Queen Victoria statutes, which came a good deal later in the reign and expanded this very benficial activity in public savings to an ever-widening extent. But I think that the purposes of these two Acts, which are referred to in Section 5 of the Savings Banks Act, are in some degree summarised in that Act itself, so it may be sufficient if I simply quote that Act rather than go back to the earlier Acts.

The first section, according to the marginal note, is an amendment as to security to be given by the officers of the banks. It is that very security whose incidence we are now altering. The provision with regard to that security—and this is the first purpose of this Act with which we are dealing—is as follows: The security to be given in pursuance of section eight of the Trustee Savings Banks Act, 1863"— That is the section of the Victorian Act— as amended by any subsequent enactment, may be either in the form required by that section as so amended or, if the Commissioners and the Inspection Committee approve, in the form of a single bond of a guarantee society guaranteeing all the persons employed by the bank or at any branch thereof who are required to give such security. So We see that the first purpose deal with security bonds to be given for conduct by employees. Perhaps the Minister will be able to deal with this question. Is it still the custom of the savings bank to take security bonds—fidelity bonds I believe they are called—from its employees? This was certainly the practice in Victorian times, but I should doubt very much whether it is the practice now.

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Does that come under capital expenditure?

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

Yes, according to the definition of capital expenditure which is given in this Clause.

It deals with annuity sums and capital and"lump"sums—that is the word used —as a capital expenditure. Indeed, it is the very capital expenditure which we are transferring from the Commissioners to the Post Office and apparently the liability arising with regard to these fidelity bonds, which is the first purpose referred to in Section 5 of the 1929 Act about which I am asking. Apparently these fidelity bonds are to be transferred from the Commissioners to the Post Office. It would be interesting to know why that is being done. That is the effect of this Clause.

The second purpose which is dealt with here is: When security is given in the last-mentioned form"— That is, the fidelity bond— the annual premium on the bond shall be paid by the trustees. I am not quite certain about this. Is that payment of the annual premium within Clause 2 or is it not? Is that still to be paid by the trustees or is it now to be paid by the Post Office? It goes on to say: and the trustees shall be entitled to recover from each person covered by the bond such proportion of the premium as that person's annual salary bears to the total amount of the annual salaries of the persons covered by the bond. It may be that that is the answer to the question which you, Sir Charles, asked me a short time ago. The capital nature of these bonds arises upon their forfeiture and it may be on the forfeiture of the bonds that the transfer takes place. I am bound to say that I have had great difficulty in construing this. It is an important matter since it involves public expenditure and it is for that reason I am asking for explanations on these various matters.

The next purpose is the security required by paragraph (f)—this is of the first Victorian Act. the Savings Bank Act of 1891— to be given in respect of the amount received on account of special investments shall not be separate from the security required by the said section…and accordingly the said paragraph (f) shall have effect as if the word 'separate' were not contained therein. I ask the Minister to tell us about the nature of these securities with which we are dealing. Are they still a current liability or are they a current asset— could I have the attention of the Minister for a moment? I am referring to that item amongst the purposes which is set out in Section 1 (3) of the 1929 Act, and asking whether the items there set out are assets or liabilities and as to the terms on which they are to be transferred.

The next paragraph deals with an obligation as to the opening of the savings banks, and I do not think that it is affected by the legislation which we are now asked to introduce.

Clause 2 repeals Section 5 of the Savings Bank Investment Act of 1863 which provides that one half of the securities held by the Commissioners for savings banks shall consist of securities the interest of which is chargeable on the Consolidated Fund.

Now I come to Section 4 (1) which provides that: The Commissioners shall in every year out of the amount by which the gross amount of the interest accrued during the preceding year on the securities standing in the names of the Commissioners to the credit of the Fund of the Banks for Savings appears by the account laid before Parliament under section seventeen of the Customs, Inland Revenue and Savings Banks Act, 1877, to have exceeded the gross amount of the interest paid and credited in that year to trustees of savings banks, apply, in accordance with the directions of the Treasury, such sums as the Treasury may from time to time authorise …in the first place, the expenses incurred by the Inspection Committee in the exercise of any powers conferred by the enactments relating to trustee savings banks; …in the second place, the expenses incurred by the Commissioners in the execution of the said enactments. This is the provision for servicing the fund. How is that provision affected by this Clause? Is the liability to service these funds transferred from the hon. Gentleman's Department to the Commissioners? Do they stand where they were. or what?

3.30 p.m.

The second provision is that: Section fifteen of the said Act shall have effect as though the surplus of the interest accrued above the interest paid and credited were diminished by the sum so applied and subsection (2) of section four of the Savings Banks Act, 1891, shall have effect as if a reference to the amount available under subsection (1) of this section were substituted for the reference to the amount available under subsection (1). That looks as though this is a surplus which is subject to transfer by this Section.

We should all be interested to hear from the Minister whether this assumption is right. Am I right in assuming that this is transferred? Perhaps the Minister would prefer to answer that question later. I fully sympathise with him. This is a highly complicated matter and it is difficult to appreciate precisely how the very complicated provisions of three Acts of Parliament which set up the Savings Bank are to be variously affected by these transfers.

I do not think that we need refer to Section 6, which is merely an amending Section. But Section 7 appears to be important and, indeed, extremely obscure. Here again it is very difficult to interpret whether the alteration of the words in Section 5: any capital expenditure incurred in providing premises wholly used by the …Commissioners is affected by the power of surplus special investment capital provided by Section 8. Are premises an investment of capital? They normally are, of course, but here I should have been a little surprised if the intention was to transfer all these matters.

Section 8 contains important words and I should like to know the effect on them of what we are to do in this Bill. They are: Subject as hereinafter provided, the trustees of a trustee savings bank may, with the consent of the Commissioners, apply a part of the surplus capital held by the bank on account of special investments towards the purchase of land. The purchase of land presumably includes these premises. I am not sure of that and I think the position should be made clear. It may be that these premises are put in a category separate from the investment fund. Sometimes when one alters the words to different words one does not appreciate all the circumstances that they arise.

The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) has very great experience of how the alteration of words in a statute very often has most unexpected results, and I am not certain whether the results which the alteration of these words have on Clause 8 has been altogether appreciated by the Minister. Here we have the provision: …part of the surplus capital held by the bank on account of special investments towards the purchase of land or the provision of buildings for the purposes of the bank,"— that seems to bring it right in here— and section four of the Savings Banks Act, 1904, as amended by this Act, shall have effect accordingly. Then there are the provisos, and it may be that they save the situation. I am not certain, but the Minister will doubtless give us his views when we reassemble to discuss this on a future occasion, or perhaps we may have the advice of the Law Officers of the Crown on what is a rather difficult matter. The proviso which I think may be relied on provides that (a) the Commissioners shall not give their consent in any case if the amount proposed to be applied would, when added to any sums already applied under this Section (excluding sums applied towards the purchase of any land or the provision of any buildings which have been sold), exceed twenty per cent. of the surplus capital as shown on the last annual valuation. Here there is a limitation of investments in land including the bank's own premises, and as far as I can make out 20 per cent. of the deposits. If the liability in respect of building is transferred to the Post Office, it effects the investment line which has been laid down for a number of years and which, of course, is a factor of some importance in the depositors' security. I can remember that in 1939 an alleged threat to the security of Post Office deposits played a notable part in the General Election. To what extent are we doing that very same thing by the alteration of these words?

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

My hon. and learned Friend will not want to be inaccurate. I think what he meant was the 1931 Election and not the 1939 Election.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

I thought I referred to the 1931 Election, but I may have made a slip of the tongue. I am most grateful to my hon. and gallant Friend. I am sure that the Government would not wish to expose themselves to a similar charge, and I feel sure that we on this side of the Committee would not be so disreputable as to make it.

Time is running short and I do not suppose we shall get the opportunity to discuss fully this Clause today. That will have the advantage of providing the hon. Gentleman with an opportunity of consulting the Law Officers to ask what this alteration provides for.

There is a second proviso here which may also have surprising results. It says: all moneys accruing from or in connection with the sale, exchange or lease of any land purchased or buildings provided under this section— and the Assistant Postmaster-General will bear in mind that that expressly includes the bank buildings which we are here referring to and dealing with— —exchange or lease of any land purchased or buildings provided under this section, or of any part of any such land or buildings, shall be invested by the trustees as if they were moneys received for special investments. That, of course, involves the question of the two categories, the deposits and the money placed in the bank by the executors, and such cases as those in which the bank is a trustee; but, apparently, they are to be treated in the first category —or is it the second?—and, in consequence, the matter falls within the variation which we are now affecting.

The next purpose here which we have to consider—and all these purposes are, of course. affected—is: The value of any land purchased or buildings provided under the provisions of this section shall be taken at such an amount as the Commissioners may from time to time fix and shall be included in the annual valuation. It provides for annual valuation the normal definition which would be equally applicable if we were concerned with a rating question. So that matter would seem to be relatively simple in construction. The only question is whether the purposes set out in Section 8 are intended or not intended to be transferred by this Clause. I should have thought it rather surprising if that were the intention, although it certainly seems to be the effect of the words.

The next provision, which, I do not think, is quite so simple, is the provision with regard to the limits of the savings banks annuities. Section 11 provides that the limit of the amount of an annuity granted to any one person under the Government Annuities Act. 1864, and the Government Annuities Act, 1882, shall be £300 a year instead of £100 a year. These annuities are now, apparently, according to Section 5, being transferred to the Post Office. Are they transferred subject to this limitation, or are they not?

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

Well, Sir Charles, they come under capital as defined by Section 5 of the 1929 Act, which is incorporated by Clause 2 (2) of the Bill we are now considering, because Section 5 of the 1929 Act expressly, as I said earlier, brings in the annuities as the purposes which are to be transferred by Clause 2 (2) from the Commissioners to the Post Office. Whether from an accountancy point of view it would be correct to describe them as income or capital I do not know, but I would humbly submit that it is not really relevant. What is relevant is whether they are capital for the purposes of this Bill.

3.45 p.m.

That Section provides a special definition of this capital by reference to Section 5, which includes these payments as capital payments. I should have thought that that was correct. An annuity has two aspects. It has a capital value, which is the lump value that, I understand, is being transferred, and an income value, which is the annual payment. It is in the case of the capital value that the transfer from the Commissioners to the Post Office appears to be taking place. So I should have thought that that would come in.

The only question I wish to put to the Minister is whether, now that the annuities are to be transferred from the Commissioners to the Post Office, the limits which the 1929 Act imposed on these annuities are still applicable in the hands of the Post Office. It is not a very clear question, and over the week-end the Law Officers will have an opportunity to apply their minds to that. I do not think that Section 12 can be affected because it really deals only with an accountancy matter, so we can pass on to Section 13, which deals with the actual investment policy of the Commissioners. It says: There shall be included among the securities in which the Commissioners may invest in pursuance of section nine of the Post Office Savings Bank Act, 1861"——

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Does that affect the provision of premises?

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

I think probably not, and that you are right, Sir Charles, about that. It affects premises as part of what one might describe as the investment folio after they have been acquired. It is probably true to say that this Section is confined to the provision of new premises, that is, premises before they find their way into the Bank's investment folio. In that sense it may well be that Section 13 would not be affected.

Section 14 again deals directly with the superannuation allowances which are to be transferred. Perhaps I can put my point in this way. If they are transferred under Section 5, I think they will be transferred subject to the form and limitations as set out in Section 14.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

Will the hon. and learned Member tell me where, anywhere in this Bill, there is any question of transfer of assets?

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

I am very sorry that I have not been successful in carrying the Minister with me in my arguments because that is rather where we started. If the Assistant Postmaster-General will look at Clause 2 (1), he will see that it is stated that For the purposes of any enactment relating to expenses incurred in the execution of the enactments relating to the Post Office Savings Bank, any capital expenditure incurred after the passing of this Act for the purposes of the Post Office Savings Bank shall be deemed not to have been incurred in the execution of the said enactments. Those are the enactments which I have been reading. If this expenditure is not incurred in pursuance of those enactments, it rests where it started, namely, on the Post Office. It only parts from the Post Office when it is in pursuance of the enactments, and the provision is that the liability in respect of this expenditure remains with the Post Office

and is not transferred to anybody else. The Minister may be right in saying that it is in perpetuum and not in the past. I think that has been the assumption of my argument.

Photo of Sir Stephen McAdden Sir Stephen McAdden , Southend East

On a point of order. Sir Charles. Will you ask the hon. and learned Gentleman to speak a little more quickly, as I cannot quite follow his argument?

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

I was able to hear what the hon. Gentleman said.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

I did not quite hear your Ruling, Sir Charles.

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

I was asked if the hon. and learned Member could speak more quickly, and I said that I was quite able to hear what he said.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

I think, Sir Charles, that the speed of a Member's speech is not normally within the jurisdiction of the Chair.

I was saying that this is a rather complicated discussion and one is apt to lose the trail, but I think that the Minister will agree that the underlying assumption is that we were dealing with these investments and premises in perpetuum and not as to the existing premises already there. In that sense, I would agree that there is not a transfer of existing property; it is a transfer of future property, and I think that all future property is widened by the very wide words of Section 5 which expands the general meaning of property by bringing in the annuity conception, if I may put it in that way, and also affecting, as we have seen in Section 8, the problems of the ratio of the deposits.

Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

Mr. Butcher rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 110; Noes, 59.

Division No. 161.]AYES[3.56 p.m.
Aitken, W. T.Boothby, R. J, G.Bullard, D. G.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Bossom, A. C.Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Boyd-Carpenter, J. AButler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)
Baxter, A. B.Boyle, Sir EdwardChannon, H.
Beach, Maj. HicksBraine, B. R.Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)
Beamish, Maj. TuftonBraithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)Cole, Norman
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Colegate, W. A.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)
Bishop, F. P.Brooman-White, R. C.Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.
Black, C. W.Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G T.Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Cuthbert, W. N.Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)Robson-Brown, W.
Deedes, W. F.Lancaster, Col. C. G.Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Doughty, C. J. A.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. HSalter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Drayson, G. B.Lindsay, MartinScott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Drewe, G.Low, A. R. W.Shepherd, William
Duthie, W. S.Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Elliot, Rt. Hon W. E.McAdden, S. J.Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Erroll, F. J.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Fell, A.Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)Spearman, A. C. M.
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, SO
Fletcher-Cooke, C.McKie, J. H. (Galloway)Stanley, Capt. Hon Richard
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)MacLeod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)Studholme, H. G.
Gammans, L. D.Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Garner-Evans, E. H.Markham, Major S. F.Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N
George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. LloydMarlowe, A. A. H.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Gough, C. F. H.Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)Vosper, D. F.
Gridley, Sir ArnoldMellor, Sir JohnWakefield Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Harris, Reader (Heston)Nield, Basil (Chester)Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Oakshott, H. D.Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N)Wellwood, W.
Heath, EdwardPartridge, E.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Perkins, W. R. D
Holland-Martin, C. J.Pitman, I. JTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Horobin, I. M.Powell, J. EnochMr. Butcher and Major Conant
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)Raikes, H V.
NOES
Albu, A. HFreeman, John (Watford)Paget, R. T.
Ayles, W. H.Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)Pargiter, G. A
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Hamilton, W. W.Parker, J.
Benn, WedgwoodHobson, C. R.Plummer, Sir Leslie
Beswick, F.Holman, P.Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Bing, G. H. C.Jeger, George (Goole)Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S)
Brockway, A. F.Johnson, James (Rugby)Snow, J. W.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)King, Dr. H. M.Stross, Dr. Barnett
Champion, A. J.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Crosland, C. A. R.Lewis, ArthurViant, S. P.
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)MacColl, J. E.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Delargy, H. J.Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. AWilley, Octavius (Cleveland)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Mikardo, IanWilliams, Ronald (Wigan)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Mitchison, G. R.Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)Morgan, Dr. H. B. W
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)Moyle, A.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)Oswald, T.Mr. Wallace and Mr. Hannan.
Foot, M. M.Padley, W. E.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.