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(1) The enactments relating to purchase tax shall have effect as if in Part I of the Eighth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1948 (as amended by Treasury orders under section twenty-one of that Act and in particular by the Purchase Tax (Consolidation) Order, 1956), a rate of tax of one per cent. were substituted for any rate of five per cent. or ten per cent.
It might be convenient to discuss with this new Clause the new Clause, "Reduction of purchase tax from thirty per cent. to fifteen per cent", and the new Clause, "Reduction of purchase tax from fifteen per cent. to five per cent", both in the name of the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson).
I agree that it is convenient to take this group of new Clauses together.
The Government have a real chance here to do something practical to stop the new rise in living costs which is beginning. We therefore strongly press these Clauses on the Government, particularly the proposed relief in the 5 per cent. and 10 per cent. rates of Purchase Tax. A new round of inflation appears to be beginning and there is every sign that it will continue, unless the Government do something definite about it. All the evidence is that way.
At present, the Government are adding to the inflationary tendencies rather than doing anything to check them. A cut in Purchase Tax would at least countervail the other rises in the cost of living which are now threatened in rates, rents, food prices, and in the new National Insurance contribution and all the other burdens which are being imposed by the Government on housewives, and which have completely brought to an end the so-called plateau of prices, such as it was, of last year.
If the Government acted on this group of new Clauses, a real contribution to preserving the value of the £ would be made. The group covers the 5 per cent., 10 per cent., 15 per cent., and 30 per cent., rates of Purchase Tax and includes the following household goods and necessities, to mention a few, which are now subject to tax: clothing, boots and shoes, many textile fabrics, floor coverings, wallpaper, furniture, and many domestic appliances, including sewing machines, commercial vehicles, cutlery, brushes and combs, razors and razor blades and last, but not least, soap.
I do not know whether the Chancellor and the Economic Secretary realise that the Government are still imposing tax on ordinary domestic soap. I recall that Lord Chandos, when in opposition, used to argue with great vehemence that it was the last form of iniquity of a really depraved Government to impose tax on soap and that is one of the forms of tax which we are discussing. Over a very wide range of goods, especially with clothing, boots and shoes and furniture, Purchase Tax has been extended by the Government to a large number of goods which were not subject to it previously.
Under the Labour Government, 80 or 90 per cent. of clothing, boots and shoes, and many textile materials and a large proportion of furniture products were entirely exempt from tax. Far more things in this range are now being taxed than were before. I recall that Mr. Peake, as he then was—he is now Lord Ingleby—promised from this Box, in 1950, that under a Tory Government Purchase Tax would be removed from everything except a few luxuries. That proves once again the never-ending dishonesty of the party opposite. I include the whole lot. I am not suggesting that any one is worse or better than the other.
May I draw your attention, Sir Gordon, to the expression that my right hon. Friend has just used? He said that the party opposite was guilty of dishonesty. I was ruled out of order when I used that word yesterday.
As I was saying, it may be the case that this rash promise of Lord Ingleby led to his being translated to another place and that may be a warning to the Chancellor not to make so many romantic promises.
As a result of imposing this tax on so many more household necessities, the Government have raised the Purchase Tax burden on the public from £300 million total revenue in 1951 to £462 million in the present year. That is what the Chancellor calls reducing taxation. Indeed, even after the small Purchase Tax cuts in this Budget, of which the Chancellor has been boasting, by his own estimates, in page 27 of the Financial Statement, he expects the revenue from Purchase Tax this year to be higher than the actual receipts from the tax last year. More and more is being taken from the housewife by the Government in Purchase Tax with every year that goes by.
The Chancellor made one of his romantic speeches in this very Committee the other day when he said that taxes were too high and ought to be reduced. He said that Purchase Tax was too high and ought to be reduced, and the Press took him seriously for once. Here is his chance to do something practical upon those lines by accepting the new Clauses, or a substantial part of them. If the Chancellor goes around saying that taxes are too high and that he means to reduce them, and then, in practice, does nothing about it, he will not please the public; and it may be that he will not please the Prime Minister very much either. If he goes on making these rash promises he may suffer the fate of Lord Ingleby and also be translated to another place. In that sense, there is "plenty of room at the top."
As it is, to take one example, the manufacturers of commercial vehicles are recalling what the Chancellor said about this tax in one of his more remarkable speeches in the debates in 1950. The hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) quoted some of those remarks in a debate the other night and I am sure that he will be giving us warm support this afternoon in seeking to bring about these reductions.
I will only remind the Economic Secretary that the Chancellor, on 15th June, 1950, said of the Purchase Tax on commercial vehicles:
We think that it is a very bad thing. We think it is a most extraordinary thing to impose Purchase Tax upon capital goods of industry, such as these vehicles are.
He went on, even more enthusiastically, to say:
It is a vicious and vindictive tax which is calculated to hit at the small man particularly.…It is a tax on capital goods.
The Chancellor seemed to take a remarkably light-hearted attitude in his past speeches upon these subjects. I think that what I said on that occasion showed a little more caution than did the Chancellor's words. I commend what I said to the Economic Secretary:
this tax is not intended to be permanent…but is needed only as long as the necessity for restraint on our investment programme"—
which was, naturally, great in 1951—
and the maximum of exports are paramount."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 15th June, 1950; Vol. 476, c. 567–81.]
We should like to hear something about the Government's attitude to this tax on commercial vehicles in the changed circumstances of today.
It is no use the Chancellor or the Economic Secretary telling us that he would like to do all this, but that he just cannot afford it now because the Government have made so many other concessions. Compared with hon. Members opposite, in these debates we have been remarkably candid in opposing the large tax reliefs which, in the words of the present Lord Privy Seal, the Chancellor has "given away" both in Surtax concessions and on the profits of the overseas trade corporations. Let the Government now decide to give this away, or a substantial part of it, to the housewife, by way of Purchase Tax reliefs and so do something really practical to stop the new round of inflation which is threatening us.
The Government have no policy for restraining the rise in the cost of living and preserving the value of the £. Here, at least, is something practical which they can do and which will be a great contribution. I hope that the whole Committee, regardless of party, will join together as it did yesterday in the matter of building societies' profits and press this matter irresistibly.
I rise not with any desire to curtail the debate, but to make two rather short points which may be worth making now. Clearly, all taxation is unpopular. To tax and to please is given to no man. Purchase Tax is a particularly unpopular tax, which all Chancellors would like to reduce if they could. The new Clauses, however, would be very expensive. The first would cost £46 million; the second, £60 million; and the third. £16 million. If, as I understand, Sir Gordon, you are calling certain subsequent new Clauses also, the total cost involved in the proposed new Clauses tabled by hon. Members opposite would be £157 million. That is a very large sum indeed.
The right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) put these proposals forward as a cure for inflation, but I must own that I think he is being a little heretical. His master, the right hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton), once defined inflation as "too much money chasing too few goods "Under the Clauses, the amount of goods would stay the same, but the amount of money chasing them would increase by £157 million. I should have thought that that was an assignment with inflation if ever there was one.
Does the Economic Secretary really think that holding up the cost of living is doing something to check inflation? If he does, it is a very poor lookout for the country.
I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman that Purchase Tax was kept on by his Government for the very same reason that it is kept on by ours. We believe that it is one of the measures that we can take against inflation.
When introducing his Budget, my right hon. Friend calculated that on fairly austere principles he could perhaps remit £100 million of taxation, and part of that sum he put to remitting Purchase Tax upon household goods. But he went as far as he thought he could go. We believe that there can be no question of going further, to the tune of £157 million.
We are taking the proposed new Clauses to reduce Purchase Tax from 5 per cent. or 10 per cent. to 1 per cent.; to reduce it from 30 per cent. to 15 per cent.; and to reduce it from 15 per cent. to 5 per cent.
We appreciate the brevity with which the Economic Secretary made his point, but not the substance of it. If it is impossible to go any further in the way of concessions, the first question that springs to our minds is why it was possible to go any distance at all by way of tax concessions to those earning between £2,000 and £10,000 a year. If it were so very important to stop this money chasing goods, surely money in the hands of those people is just as bad as it is in the hands of the ordinary consumers, who find it very difficult to buy these essential commodities.
The Economic Secretary talked about the necessity for curbing inflation, but does he really think that trade union leaders will listen to any talk about planning on the wages front while they see, on the other hand, the continuance of this kind of tax upon essential commodities? It is no good the Economic Secretary expressing indignation or impatience. Of course, this matter is not directly mentioned in the new Clause with which we are dealing, but it is very closely bound up with it.
The sooner the right hon. Gentleman realises that to the ordinary consumer and worker this tax on essentials, together with the subsidies on essential foodstuffs, should be the absolutely first consideration in regard to any resources that we have, the better. Purchase Tax should come off, and the food subsidies should stay on.
I listened very carefully to the earlier debates we had on Purchase Tax, and I must say that I have never felt so frustrated when listening to a debate on that tax as I did then. I cannot think that there is any enthusiasm at all on either side of the Committee for this kind of tax. We are all losing patience with it. I am not now speaking about any question of relief in the total amount of taxation, but I am speaking of it as a method, and, as a method of collecting revenue, it is, surely, now discredited on both sides of the Committee.
It is a fact, of course, that in the Bill some concessions have been made, and the Economic Secretary reminded us of them. He said that, when the Labour Governments were trying to stop money chasing too few goods, we retained the Purchase Tax, but it is fair to remind him that we did not retain it on many of these articles which are now subject to tax. Many of these things are now being taxed by the present Government for the very first time either during or since the war.
The retailers and trading community of the country come into this as well as the consumer. In the autumn of 1955 we had these taxes imposed. The Government are now removing half of them, or half of them on a limited range of the goods which were newly brought into the tax range. What does the Economic Secretary think is happening to those goods which are still on the shelves of the retailer, on which tax has been paid, and which he still has to sell after this reduction?
Time after time, there have been deputations to the Treasury about some form of rebate on these articles on which the tax has been paid by the retailers but subsequently reduced. Of course, we have always had the reply that it is quite impossible to devise any water-tight system within which the rebate could be given. But the very fact that it is impossible to provide a workable rebate is surely another argument against retaining Purchase Tax at all.
I want to emphasise what was said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay). If we are to have a general standstill in prices, and if we are to make any impression upon the trade union leaders—
—and if we are to convince housewives that we are trying to get a genuine "plateau," then the very first thing we ought to do is to take the Purchase Tax off such items as electric light bulbs.
What happens in someone's home if an electric light bulb goes? One cannot just sit there in the dark thinking one is combating inflation, because one cannot afford to go out and buy another bulb. Of course, people have to replace items of that kind. Now, even after some reductions there is still a tax upon essential articles such as electric light bulbs at a time when the Government are giving away so much money to the higher income groups.
I plead with the Economic Secretary to try and appreciate the state of mind which is created among consumers and workers when they see this policy being put into operation. I hope that he will, in an intervention of somewhat greater length, be able to tell us, first, that he so abhors this indirect system of taxation, the Purchase Tax in particular, that the Government will make every effort to end it, and that, before ending it completely, they will, at any rate, remove the tax on these essentials on which, both during and immediately after the war, no tax at all was levied.
The Economic Secretary, in reply to the observations of my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) about the desirability of reducing, if not abolishing, Purchase Tax, spoke with commendable brevity. He made two short points which amount, really, only to one, namely, the argument that the Government cannot afford either to reduce or abolish the Purchase Tax because it would be far too expensive. It would cost, according to the right hon. Gentlemen, about £150 million annually.
In reply to the Economic Secretary, want to ask this question, a perfectly fair one, I think, which deserves some response. Would it really be a bad thing if the Government were not provided with £150 million to spend as and when they liked? For example, if they had £150 million less, they might refer the matter to the Minister of Defence, and he might revise his defence programme and curtail defence expenditure. Would that do us any harm? Of course not. The Government might curtail their normal expenditure, in response to demands made by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I cannot for the life of me understand the validity of an argument which, in effect, says, "Do not deprive us of £150 million because, if you do, it will be impossible for us to carry on".
The other argument is that if we reduce Purchase Tax or, indeed, abolish it to the extent called for by my right hon. Friend in moving the new Clause, and £150 million which, ordinarily, because of the Purchase Tax, would go into the coffers of the Government remains in the pockets of the consumers, that would lead to inflation. I have often tried to find out what "inflation" really means. I understand that it may be put something like this. If people are given too much money and there are not sufficient goods available, that leads to inflation.
What is the difference, so far as inflation is concerned, between giving the £150 million to the Government and giving it to the consumers of the country? If the Government get the money, it leads to inflation; they have too much money. On the other hand, if one gives it to the consumers of the country, that leads to inflation; they have got too much money. I am bound to say that, if there is £150 million available, I would prefer to give it to the consumers rather than to the Government.
I want to address myself to what I regard as the crux of the problem. I have not taken part in these financial debates because, quite frankly, I am not an economic expert. Indeed, I am very grateful that I am not, because there is less confusion in my mind than appears to exist in the minds of the economic experts. They hardly ever agree. They are like doctors and, if I may say so with the highest respect, like barristers. They hardly ever agree. One listens to the debates on the Finance Bill and the Budget, in the House and in this Committee, and one hears scores of varied arguments, most of which cancel each other out. In the end, we do not know where we are.
What we are concerned with, above all, as I think hon. Members generally will agree, is how to reduce the cost of living. That is not a party matter; it is a matter of general concern. It is vital. It is fundamental. Unless we can successfully tackle the problem of how to reduce the cost of living, which, apparently, has baffled the minds of Governments for years, at any rate, since before the last war, then we are bound from time to time to have the wage demands which are resented by some hon. Members.
Indeed, they are not too well liked even by those who make them. Wage demands have to be made because of increases in the cost of living. It is no use cavilling about people making wage demands, or criticising trade union leaders because they seek to uphold the standard of living of their members. That is a lot of nonsense and does not lead us anywhere.
How are we to reduce the cost of living? Do the Government know? During the past few years I have not heard in the House of Commons a single constructive proposal by any member of the Government which would lead me to believe that at last a solution had been found for reducing the cost of living.
I am grateful to you, Sir Gordon. That is precisely the point I am coming to. It was necessary for me to lead up to it.
Before I come to that point—if I have your good will—I would observe that even on this side of the Committee occasionally—I regret having to say it and there is nothing I deplore more than having to say it—when we demand that there should be reduction in the cost of living we do not present any constructive proposals except to say, "Reduce Purchase Tax," or "Curtail expenditure." Then, of course, we sometimes say, "Increase expenditure." So what does it matter? There is a great deal of confusion, uncertainty and lack of knowledge about it. I do not pretend to be able to postulate any kind of solution.
I come to the point of the new Clause. Here is an opportunity of reducing the cost of living by reducing the Purchase Tax. On the assumption—it may not be a very well-founded assumption, but it is worth trying—that manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of consumer goods will "play ball" and will not take advantage of the reduction in Purchase Tax to boost or to maintain prices, this is obviously one means of reducing the cost of living. A simple illustration is that if, instead of having to pay £20 for some household requirement I want, I pay only £15 or £16, there is an improvement in the cost of living for myself. That applies all round.
How can the Government say that this is not one means of reducing the cost of living? Of course it is. If they reject it I am bound to say with the utmost good will that they are bereft of any constructive solution. A Government should not be placed in that embarrassing position. We want to reach out to achieve a constructive solution of this very vital problem.
Now is the time, even if it means depriving the Treasury of £150 million. £100 million, or even of £50 million, to take this action. It is far better for it to be deprived of that money than for us to miss an opportunity of reducing the cost of living. That is why I support the proposed Clause.
I agree; this is a bad tax. I do not think it could have been introduced at any time except during war. I doubt very much whether it would have been introduced by any Chancellor of the Exchequer in peace, or could ever be continued except in a time of full employment. If there came a period of unemployment of any considerable extent one of the first things that would have to be tackled is the doing away with the Purchase Tax. The tax is wrong in its conception.
I remember criticising the tax when it was introduced by the late Sir Kingsley Wood in his war Budget, in 1940. It was introduced to stop the manufacture of luxury goods, and it was confined largely to luxury goods in those days. Its other purpose was to turn the minds of manufacturers to the making of essential goods, particularly those needed for war purposes. The money to be saved by discouraging the purchase of luxury goods could have been invested in war savings, so helping to win the war. That is how Purchase Tax started.
The range of Purchase Tax increased, and after the war, in conditions of full employment, it was put not only upon luxury goods but upon ordinary every-day articles. It started as a 33¾ per cent. tax and went up in some cases to as much as 100 per cent. That is why one objects to it. It certainly has affected our export trade, which is cushioned upon our home trade. If inland trade is discouraged we find it much more difficult to build up exports. The tax also discourages production. It has a double economic effect.
I agree with what was said by the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell). One of the first effects of the tax is to reduce purchasing power, particularly that in the hands of the housewife, and that affects the whole market. The worker finds that he is not earning enough and then, as the right hon. Gentleman rightly pointed out, the worker asks for an increase in pay. Very often he does not want to do so, but is compelled by the inflation of the prices of things required for his home. I hope that the time is coming when, whatever Government may be in power, the tax will be done away with altogether.
That is a much better way of putting it.
Another argument put forward against the proposed Clause was that it would be much too expensive and would cost many millions. Could not the Treasury turn its mind to making a smaller concession? May I cite one way, in particular, which might attract the sympathetic consideration of the Chancellor and his colleagues? I put it forward as an illustration. There is a tax of 60 per cent. upon all musical instruments except the organ. Why the organ has been selected for exemption, I do not know. That is a tax upon culture and art. The amount that the Treasury gets is well under £1 million and the amount which it can retain must be very small indeed.
Schools are in difficulties about getting musical instruments for their classes. Not only must they pay very high prices for new instruments, but the tax affects the price of second-hand instruments. Protest after protest is being received from the county councils about their difficulties in finding sufficient musical instruments in order to teach the young. The more they have to pay, the more money the Treasury has to find to finance the county councils. What the Treasury puts into one pocket, it ultimately takes out again, because it is necessary to meet the very Purchase Tax which it has collected.
This affects not only the county councils, but also the public schools. Protest after protest has been received from some of our leading public schools. What will be the effect of the tax upon music? The Treasury has already decided to reduce and, in some cases, abolish Entertainments Duty. Why free the listener and continue to tax the person who provides the music and the entertainment?
We have brought the matter to the Chancellor's attention, and I hope that it will have sympathetic consideration. It is an absurd tax which, as I have shown, affects culture and art and the teaching of it to the young.
I hope that the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) will forgive me if I do not follow him in his precise argument. Time is short, bearing in mind the large variety of subjects which can he discussed under these new Clauses, and I want to be specific and to keep to a Committee point.
I think that the public is not misled and we are not misled here this afternoon by these vast sums of money which have been mentioned and which rather beg the question, because the Opposition in this matter have been compelled, as I myself was compelled last year in a not dissimilar way, to keep within the Money Resolution by tabling Clauses which go very much wider than any of us imagine for a moment that the Chancellor could he expected to go. Nevertheless, I join with the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery in saying that this does not necessarly mean that the Chancellor must be an Iron Chancellor or that, because an empirical Clause is put down, he must refuse to concede any detail in relation to it.
I wish to raise a point in which I have a great constituency interest; it affects Shipley, but it also affects other districts concerned with wool. It is a subject on which I have addressed the House of Commons previously. It is the question of the Purchase Tax on wool, which is the subject of a Motion standing on the Order Paper in my name and the names of 43 other hon. Members from all parties.
[That this House views with increasing concern the unjust discrimination against wool cloth consequent upon the removal of purchase tax on non-wool fabrics, and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to remove the tax on wool cloth and thus redress the existing disparity so that fair competition is maintained.]
I am glad to see the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Rhodes), because he is always ready to support the needs of the textile industry.
This subject dates back in its tiresomeness to 19th April, 1955, when the then Chancellor announced a great concession of a reduction from 50 to 25 per cent. in the Purchase Tax on piece goods and household textiles of a non-wool character. It is important to bear in mind that the D scheme was then in full operation. Very soon afterwards, the Purchase Tax on these non-wool textiles was abolished altogether. In due course, the D scheme was abolished and in its place, in October, 1955, there were introduced the rates of tax to which the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) has referred this afternoon—5 per cent. on all clothing but 10 per cent. on wool cloth sold in the piece.
This rate applies only to wool cloth, and it is this discrimination in taxation on wool cloth which has not only hurt the industry, but has undermined its sense of justice in the Administration responsible for maintaining it. That is not a political point. It is a point which all parties in the Committee regret, and I know that I shall receive support from all quarters, not only from my own party, but also from the Labour and Liberal Parties.
This is a great bone of contention. All sorts of excuses have been put up for this discrimination. To begin with, the excuse was that there was no discrimination in it at all. That ran, if I may use the phrase, for no more than six months.
I do not want to interrupt the hon. Member, but I must point out that he cannot discuss the question of Purchase Tax on individual items. They can be brought into the discussion only by way of illustration.
It is not a particular commodity, but I must follow your Ruling, Sir Gordon. It is a very wide range of materials.
The class of goods which I have illustrated carries a rate of Purchase Tax which is not applicable to any other class of goods in this category, and I think it can be argued that there should be some explanation given why, over the years, one section of the tax code, of Purchase Tax, has been different in relation to a commodity which is working freely in competition with other commodities taxed at a different rate.
In view of the very poor excuses and answers which we have had on this matter, and the fact that it represents a very small sum of money, I hope that at long last not only this Committee but the trade itself will be given an inspiration to guide it so that it can feel that this continuing injustice, which has never been satisfactorily explained, is to be removed. In the past, every time any excuse has been advanced, it has always been answered by the trade, and this has led to a shift of ground by the Administration to try to find a further justification for the discrimination.
I should like to support the proposals put forward by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay), not because, like my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell), I feel any particular sense of good will towards the Government, but because I want to put it to the Government that this tax is oppressive, unfair and unreasonable towards the people it hits hardest.
My right hon. Friend went over the list of articles, and this illustrated that the tax affects most those people who can least afford to pay it. Anyone who has been round the shops trying to buy household goods knows how difficult is the situation for ordinary working people all over the country when a tax of this kind is retained. In fact, it was reimposed by the Government after it had earlier been removed. It is surely a sound principle of taxation that a tax which is oppressive, unreasonable and unfair towards the people on whom it falls should be removed as soon as possible.
I understand that the Minister said that this concession would cost £150 million. Suppose it does. If, to leave that spending power in the hands of the millions of people, will tend to relieve the pressure for more wages in the next twelve months, it will be well worth while. We are now passing through a period of wage demands and wage increases. They have not reached their end. All trade unionists who use their brains at all are very perturbed about what the position is likely to be in twelve or eighteen months' time when the new Rent Act begins to be fully effective and we have the new increases in prices with which we are threatened for coal, gas, electricity, and other things.
It is inevitable that the organised workers will demand an improvement in their wage scales because they feel, I think quite rightly, that they are entitled to maintain their present standards of living which, according to Government reports on earnings and the standard of living, cannot be said to be too high in these days and which I do not think are at all high.
Even a skilled carpenter in London, where the highest wages in the building industry are paid, still gets less than 10 guineas a week. Unless he does a lot of overtime, or works for a contractor who will faithfully and properly carry out the bonus agreement scheme in the industry—which, I am sorry to say, most of them do not—he never gets more than 10 guineas. At the end of the year, after allowance has been made for lost time for inevitable bad weather, his average earnings are found to have been a great deal less than 10 guineas a week, yet he is one of the highest paid skilled craftsmen in the country.
Many people whose work is not regarded as skilled, such as shop assistants —although I think that in many ways they are skilled—receive £2 a week less than the skilled carpenter. Even an engineer does not get a guaranteed wage of 10 guineas a week. That kind of person, faced with the prospect in the next twelve months of rising prices and very stiff increases in rent—in some cases already attempts are being made to operate the rent increases—will inevitably demand increases in wages, unless the Government use their powers to hold the cost of living. They can do so if they wish, as that has been done in the past. To reduce or abolish Purchase Tax on household articles which were mentioned at the beginning of this debate would make a considerable contribution towards creating that atmosphere which in the next twelve months may save this country from a great deal of industrial trouble.
I hope that the Economic Secretary will consider that point if he is to say anything more in this debate. It is of first-class importance and is a subject of conversation all over the country by those concerned. If we are to continue Purchase Tax on the wide range of household goods which it at present covers and, in addition, are to have the increases to which I have referred, it is inevitable that there will be demands from trade unions all over the country for increases in wages. Those demands will not be to improve the standard of living, but to maintain it. It would be much better for the wage-earners if the standards of living could be held by holding prices than by allowing the continual spiral of wage and price increases to go on.
I urge the Government very strongly to have second thoughts about this matter, to accept these proposals and make what would be a most striking contribution towards creating the right atmosphere in the economic life of our country.
Has it occurred to the Economic Secretary that we cannot talk about the figures to which he referred in a kind of poetic vacuum? We are asking for something which affects the vast majority of economists in this country—the housewives. Of all the economists the one who has the most practical job is the housewife. She has to consider how to make both ends meet from the sum which arrives in her hands from her work, or from the work of her husband and herself.
The Economic Secretary has not realised that the Government have placed such an imposition on the householders recently that it will be literally impossible for them, in consequence of the rise of rent, to maintain their standard of living in their homes and, at the same time, to provide themselves with the necessities of life. Among those necessities of life are such domestic utensils as are being discussed. Does the right hon. Gentleman know, or has he inquired, what the average householder today is having to put up with in the way of the threats and demands for higher rents? Does he realise that hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of notices have gone out already, telling average householders that their statutory tenancies or their contractual tenancies are ending and that in the immediate future, in respect of houses which are not controlled—
With the greatest respect, Sir Gordon, I am dealing with matters which are relevant to the price of particular domestic utensils concerning which the new Clauses have been put upon the Notice Paper. I am trying to impress on the Economic Secretary that he does not realise what the retention of this very high rate of Purchase Tax on these commodities means, particularly in view of the action of his Government, which is being criminal in the kind of increases imposed on the householder already.
If the right hon. Gentleman really understood the situation he would be anxious to temper the wind to the shorn lamb—shorn by the Government. How can he do that? I appeal to him to take this into consideration. How will he allow the housewife to be in a position to meet what he and his Government have imposed by way of additional expenses on her? The best and immediate way of doing that is to allow something by way of a release from expenditure faced in other directions by that person.
If it were a question of a luxury perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would have a reason for retaining it. He should realise that, although he talks of about £150 million as the sum involved, the money which will have to be found by householders will be very much more. Perhaps I ought not to talk in exaggerated terms—it will be many times more. A duty is placed on the right hon. Gentleman to do all he can to meet the situation.
I suggest that there is nothing unreasonable in this proposed new Clause. On the contrary, it is something which is reasonable, something which ought to be done and something which his Government must do, if they understand the needs of the people, to mitigate the difficulties they have placed on people whose homes are in danger.
If the right hon. Gentleman does not accept this, I say, and I am sure that people throughout the country will say, that he is not only not allowing a reasonable demand made by those interested in these proposals, but is determined that men and women who cannot possibly afford any more shall be prevented from having the normal facilities and standards of life which, hitherto, they have had.
I hope that, in view of the arguments which have been put forward with particular emphasis by my right hon. and hon. Friends, and in a minor way, perhaps, by myself, the right hon. Gentleman will reconsider his decision and come to the conclusion that he must grant the concession for which we ask.
When the Economic Secretary made his brief intervention, earlier in the debate, he told us that the cost of reducing Purchase Tax from 5 per cent. or 10 per cent. to 1 per cent. would be £46 million; from 30 per cent. to 15 per cent., £60 million; and from 15 per cent. to 5 per cent., £16 million. He appeared to think that, having said that there was nothing else to say, we should be flattened on this side of the Committee. He seemed to think that if those amounts were not collected in taxation people would have more money to spend and that would exacerbate the inflationary situation.
I should like to ask the Economic Secretary whether he thinks that when Purchase Tax of 1s. in the £, 5 per cent., is added, that is all the housewife pays. If he does think that, I assure him that it is very far from the truth. The tax which is collected in that way, particularly in the lower ranges, eventually, for reasons which I will try to explain, becomes very much more. Indeed, possibly treble the amount that is collected is actually paid by the public. I can scarcely imagine a more inflationary situation than that and a less satisfactory tax.
The Economic Secretary must surely realise that in the 5 per cent. and 10 per cent. ranges we are talking about things like boots and shoes, gloves, haberdashery and cushions. There are hundreds of items, every single one of which is in daily use in the home or on the person, and, therefore, this 5 per cent. or 10 per cent. is a sales tax and a deliberate and inflationary impost on essentials. If the Government were sincere in their determination to stabilise living costs and to reverse the ascending spiral, there would be no more practical or effective step that they could take than the removal of this tax.
This week, millions of workers whose wages are subject to the cost-of-living index will receive an automatic increase and one of the factors of that increase depends on the cost of the articles which are the subject of these new Clauses. If, in fact, this tax were not collected and these Clauses were accepted, it is not too much to say that these automatic wage increases would not be taking place. Therefore, when a wage increase of that kind takes place, inevitably, if not immediately, it means an increase in prices, and this goes on and on.
My hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) said that the workers will be pressing for increased wages to protect their living standards. We all know, unfortunately, that they do not succeed in doing so, even when they get increases in monetary wages, and that is a tragic position of which the men are well aware. They are well aware that this position has been foisted on them by the Government but there is nothing else they can do. It is extraordinary that we should be asking for relief in this modest range of goods—the 5 per cent. and 10 per cent. Range—which the Economic Secretary said would cost £46 million, and that we should be refused this, when the Budget has already given £34 million to Surtax payers. If that is not inflationary, I should like to know what is.
There are, of course, in these ranges a quite bewildering list of exemptions. I have previously drawn attention to the fact that the list is compiled and issued in such a way as to cause the maximum amount of bewilderment. I do not want to go into that again. That is part of the cost which is added by the manufacturer. He has to maintain a staff to run this Purchase Tax business. He has to receive the very courteous officer from Customs and Excise. Sometimes he is there for days on end and a senior member of the firm has to be with him. All these costs are added, in fact, to the cost of the article.
When the retailer receives his goods he gets an invoice for the goods and the tax is charged on the uplifted price of the article, very often a higher price than the manufacturer has himself charged, because always the tax is levied at the highest retail price. Then the retailer, because he is at risk—if he has paid the tax and the taxation policy is then changed and the tax is reduced he loses money—adds on his bit. So it is not merely 5 per cent. or 10 per cent., or whatever it is; it is at least double that which the housewife eventually has to pay.
This 1s. in the £ which the Government are exacting does not even begin to end the matter. It eventually becomes 3s. in the £ on every pair of boots and shoes, aprons, socks or stockings, gloves, scarves and shawls. The same thing applies to the vast range of household articles on which, in 1955, the Government, for the first time, introduced a tax of 30 per cent. and which, in this Finance Bill, on many of the articles is reduced to 15 per cent. When this tax was introduced the Minister of Housing and Local Government, who was then the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, justified it by saying that this was a step to counter inflation. Will anyone suggest that it has been successful?
In the last two years there has been a further considerable widening of the inflationary situation. These particular taxes, the subject of the three new Clauses under discussion, are, in most cases, on articles which were tax-free under the utility scheme and under the D scheme which followed. So it is a new imposition. We have had the utility scheme and the D scheme applying to articles which were in general and common use and which it was thought to be proper not to subject to tax, This list of articles is, in the main, a newly imposed list of taxes.
Right through the domestic furniture, practically everything we sit on, sit at or lie down on is subject to tax in one form or another. Almost no familiar article in the home escapes this tax. It has caused unemployment and difficulties in the furniture industry, quite apart from the hardship on young people setting up a home. I therefore ask the Economic Secretary to deal with this particular point of the end product of the £46 million, which is the cost, he tells us, of these 5 per cent. or 10 per cent. new Clauses. Will he tell us how much it costs the housewife, where is the real inflation, and take this through the whole range of taxation? I think it is true to say that when we are dealing here with matters affecting industry we seldom fully realise the full extent of the actions we have taken. From the viewpoint of production and living costs, this tax is by every test the worst possible way of raising revenue.
I should like to raise one point of detail with the Economic Secretary concerning the 30 per cent. range. He will recall that at an earlier stage I moved an Amendment in respect of sewing machines, when he replied that the Chancellor had kept sewing machines at 30 per cent. Purchase Tax instead of reducing them to 15 per cent. with the rest of the domestic appliances and apparatus because of the difficulty of distinguishing between hand and treadle-operated sewing machines and those which were electrically driven. The right hon. Gentleman added that it was a very simple matter to put an electrical drive on to a hand-operated sewing machine and, therefore, the tax had to be continued at 30 per cent.
Since 28th May, when I raised the matter, I have been informed by the second largest manufacturers of sewing machines in the country that for the last twelve months they have been making a large hand-operated domestic sewing machine which cannot be converted easily to electrical operation. It could be done only at their factory and at prohibitive cost. If that is the case, I submit that such machines which are incapable of conversion to electrical drive should properly be included in paragraph (a) of Group 12, namely, appliances and apparatus not designed for operation by electricity or gas. If that is the case, these sewing machines, to which one of the new Clauses relates, certainly should be reduced to 15 per cent. with the other articles.
The Economic Secretary might say that that would require merely an administrative change. If so, I shall be glad to have his confirmation of that or, at least, an assurance that he will look into the matter. The point is one of substance, and if it can be met in this way, as it should be, sewing machines ought not to be continued at this high rate of tax.
We have been talking about inflation and savings. It would be much better to encourage people to buy sewing machines, with which they can make their own clothes and do their own repairs, than spend a lot of money in the shops. This is an article of domestic character and it should be possible to make this concession. I hope that the Economic Secretary will reply both to this aspect and to the other and vital point of the cost of the tax and what it costs the housewife in the form of the purchased article.
We have had a wide-ranging debate covering a great variety of topics. I would, first, remind the Committee that the effect of the Budget is to reduce Purchase Tax and not to increase it. From some of the speeches one hears, there seems to be an impression that Purchase Tax has been increased in the Budget.
It is £4 million more than last year, but £18 million less than it would have been if the tax had not been reduced. The point is that the rates have been reduced. Owing to the increased prosperity, a great many more things are consumed and, therefore, the revenue increases.
The Committee was pleased to have the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) participating in an economic debate. It was a great golden vision that we should get a right hon. Member on the opposite side really interested in economy. At the beginning of the last century, and sometimes in this century, we have had distinguished men really interested in pressing for economy. Everybody is always anxious to press economy in general, but never economy in particular. The only economy that the right hon. Gentleman suggested was economy in arms, which, in some ways, was not his strong point when he was Minister of Defence.
The right hon. Gentleman raised the question of the cost of living and what could be done to reduce it. The only answer I can give which is relevant to the Clause is that the last way to succeed in reducing the cost of living is by increasing inflation; and one of the ways of increasing inflation would be to have a large remission of Purchase Tax.
Then, we had the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), who, like the rest of us, does not particularly like this tax. He said, quite rightly, that if there was unemployment, it would be abolished. I am certain that that would be one of the cures we should apply if there was serious unemployment. But that does not seem to me to be a good reason for abolishing the tax when we have a very high level of employment. It is a shot which we have in the locker in case we are in difficulty.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman made a moving plea for musical instruments, which he has already made to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, and I will, of course, pass on what he said. It was suggested by the right hon. and learned Gentleman that Purchase Tax might in some cases harm the export trade by restricting the home market. That is, of course, an argument, but it is valid only if the home trade is in serious difficulties. It is true that if the home trade is too easy, the incentive to export is less, whereas if it is not quite as easy to sell everything at home, there is an increased incentive to export. Purchase Tax is, therefore, in that respect, ambivalent—it works both ways.
My hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Hirst) spoke about wool, as he has done on frequent former occasions. I cannot add to the answers that have been given before. The wool trade, however, as my hon. Friend knows, is not in too bad a way at the moment. All I can promise to do is to pass on to my right hon. Friend my hon. Friend's remarks.
The hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) said, as other hon. Members have done, that this tax was what economists called regressive—that is to say, it bears most hardly upon the poor. It is true that any indirect tax is to a certain extent regressive. All one can say is that the Purchase Tax now is rather less regressive than it was in 1950.
This year, we are raising 52 per cent. of the total tax at the higher rates of 5O, 60 and 90 per cent., mainly on the more expensive and more luxury type of goods, whereas in 1950 the amount raised at the higher rates—then 66⅔rds and 100 per cent.—was only 42 per cent. That answers some of the points of the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner), who got on to other subjects, to pursue which would earn me your stern censorship, Mr. Thomas.
I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman is so timid about dealing with the question of the amount already imposed on the housewife and saying why he should not deal with this tax in consequence of the imposition which the Government have placed upon the housewife.
If I dealt with the Rent Act, I should be out of order and would incur your censorship, Mr. Thomas. The main argument I have given is that we would not help matters if we were to do what the Opposition wish us to do, because we would increase inflation and that would bring about a further rise in prices.
Why does it increase inflation more to reduce indirect taxation, like the Purchase Tax, which, although it might lead to a slight increase in inflationary pressure, also would have an effect on the price level, but does not apparently, in the view of the Government, increase inflation to reduce direct taxation, whether to the payers of Surtax or any other tax which has no compensating effect upon the price level?
I said no such thing. In fact, in this Budget, both direct and indirect taxation have been reduced, and to the extent that the Chancellor thought was reasonable and possible. The Clauses ask us to go further and would more than double the amount which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor thought it possible to remit.
The hon. Member for Shoreditch and Finsbury (Mr. Collins) raised two points. First, he asked how much of the 1s. in the £ is really passed on to the housewife, and suggested that it might be as much as 2s. and 3s. in the £. I am advised that the average is much more like 8d. in the £. Of course, there may be cases of people who do stick it on, but that is the advice I get from the Customs and Excise.
I understood the Economic Secretary to say the average was 8d. in the £. I presume that he means 1s. 8d. in the £, because the original tax is 1s. in the £. Even so, I can assure him it often comes to very much more.
No, I meant 8d. in the £.
The other matter that he mentioned was sewing machines, a subject which, I am glad to see, he has pursued with assiduity. He raised what I thought was an interesting point on that and, if he will allow me to. I should like to look into it and write to him when I have the answer.
I should like to deal with one aspect of the two speeches which the Minister has made. In both of them, he pinned his argument to a generalisation about all these new Clauses. He did not go into the several details put to him by my hon. Friends. The best that he could do was to say, when dealing with sewing machines, that he would like to look into the matter and write to my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreditch and Finsbury (Mr. Collins) after the debate on the Bill is completed.
I submit that that is not a proper way to treat serious arguments, and that he should have dealt with each of the Clauses on its merits. His generalisation was that these Clauses would be too expensive. That may be, but what does "expensive" mean? Does it mean expensive to the health of the people? Expensive to the defence of the realm? Expensive to industry?
Like many generalisations, his is quite unsound. It has been put to him that in certain cases the removal or reduction of Purchase Tax would have a beneficial effect on purchasing power—that it would encourage industry, and have a beneficial effect on exports. What effect would some of the Clauses have on the tools of various trades? These matters seem to be beyond the ken of the Minister, and I suggest that he is not treating the Committee with due respect when he does not give precise, diligent, careful and exhaustive consideration to each of the detailed arguments that have been advanced. The right hon. Gentleman's answer was completely without discrimination. He did not discriminate between one new Clause and another. Why does he not do so? Is it because he is incompetent, or is it because he is negligent?
I should have liked to have said a word about the example of musical instruments
I confine myself now to the one point that the Minister, in advancing unsound generalisations, has not treated the Committee with proper respect. Each of the detailed arguments, each of the detailed aspects of industry, employment and the home, put before the Committee by various hon. Members deserves serious and detailed consideration. The Economic Secretary has not given that consideration, and in that I submit that he is lacking in respect to the Committee and in responsibility to the country.
As the Economic Secretary has not given detailed answers to the arguments raised, except to say, in one case, that he would think about it and. in others, would not even do that, and as he has not produced any practical proposals for levelling or reducing the cost of living, I hope that my hon. Friends will press this new Clause in the Division Lobby.
|Division No. 160.]||AYES||4.54 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Chapman, W. D.||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Chetwynd, G. R.||Gibson, C. W.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Clunie, J.||Greenwood, Anthony|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Coldrick, W.||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Grey, C. F.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)|
|Balfour, A.||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Griffiths, William (Exchange)|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Grimond, J.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.)||Cronin, J. D.||Hale, Leslie|
|Benson, G.||Crossman, R. H. S.||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)|
|Beswick, Frank||Cullen, Mrs. A.||Hamilton, W. W.|
|Blackburn, F.||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Hannan, W.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Hayman, F. H.|
|Boardman, H.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Healey, Denis|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.)||Deer, G.||Hewitson, Capt. M.|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Delargy, H. J.||Holman, P.|
|Boyd, T. C.||Dodds, N. N.||Holmes, Horace|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Donnelly, D. L.||Holt, A. F.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||Houghton, Douglas|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hoy, J. H.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Edelman, M.||Hubbard, T. F.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Burke, W. A.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Hunter, A. E.|
|Carmichael, J.||Fernyhough, E.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Fienburgh, W.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)|
|Champion, A. J.||Forman, J. C.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.|
|Janner, B.||Oliver, G. H.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Oram, A. E.||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Jeger, George (Goole)||Oswald, T.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Owen, W.J.||Swingler, S. T.|
|Johnson, James (Rugby)||Padley, W. E.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Paget, R. T.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Palmer, A. M. F.||Thomas, Iorweth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Parker, J.||Thornton, E.|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Parkin, B. T.||Timmons, J.|
|Kenyon, C.||Pearson, A.||Tomney, F.|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Peart, T. F.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|King, Dr. H. M.||Pentland, N.||Usborne, H. C.|
|Lawson, G. M.||Popplewell, E.||Viant, S. P.|
|Ledger, R. J.||Prentice, R. E.||Wade, D. W.|
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Warbey, W. N.|
|Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Probert, A. R.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Lewis, Arthur||Proctor, W. T.||Weitzman, D.|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Pryde, D. J.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Randall, H. E.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|MacColl, J. E.||Rankin, John||West, D. G.|
|McGovern, J.||Redhead, E. C.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|McInnes, J.||Reeves, J.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Reid, William||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Rhodes, H.||Wigg, George|
|MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Mahon, Simon||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Willey, Frederick|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Ross, William||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Mann, Mrs. Jean||Royle, C.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Mason, Roy||Short, E. W.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Mayhew, C. P.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Mellish, R. J.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Mikardo, Ian||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Skeffington, A. M.||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Monslow, W.||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Moody, A. S.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Woof, R. E.|
|Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Sorensen, R. W.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Mort, D. L.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Moss, R.||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)|
|Moyle, A.||Stonehouse, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mulley, F. W.||Stones, W. (Consett)||Mr. John Taylor and Mr. Rogers|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Strachey, R. Hon. J.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Butcher, Sir Herbert||Fletcher-Cooke, C.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Butler, Rt. Hn. R.A.(Saffron Walden)||Forrest, G.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Campbell, Sir David||Fort, R.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Carr, Robert||Foster, John|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Cary, Sir Robert||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Channon, Sir Henry||Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Chichester-Clark, R.||Freeth, Denzil|
|Ashton, H.||Clarke, Brig. Terenoe (Portsmth, W.)||Gammans, Lady|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Cole, Norman||Garner-Evans, E. H.|
|Atkins, H. E.||Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||George, J. C. (Pollok)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Cooke, Robert||Gibson-Watt, D.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Cooper, A. E.||Glover, D.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Glyn, Col. R.|
|Barber, Anthony||Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Godber, J. B.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan|
|Barter, John||Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Goodhart, Philip|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Cunningham, Knox||Gough, C. F. H.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Dance, J. C. G.||Gower, H. R.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Graham, Sir Fergus|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Deedes, W. F.||Grant, W. (Woodside)|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Green, A.|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Gresham Cooke, R.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Doughty, C. J. A.||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)|
|Bossom, Sir Alfred||Drayson, G. B.||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||du Cann, E. D. L.||Gurden, Harold|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Braine, B. R.||Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. (Kelvingrove)||Harris, Reader (Heston)|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Elliott, R. W.(N'castle upon Tyne, N.)||Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Harvey, Sir Arthur (Macclesfield)|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Errington, Sir Eric||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)|
|Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)||Erroll, F. J.||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Bryan, P.||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Fell, A.||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Fisher, Nigel||Henderson, John (Cathcart)|
|Henderson-Stewart, Sir James||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Hesketh, R. F.||McKibbin, A. J.||Robertson, Sir David|
|Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, Sir|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||McLauglin, Mrs. P.||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster)||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Hope, Lord John||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Russell, R. S.|
|Hornby, R. P.||Maddan, Martin||Schofield, Lt. Col. W.|
|Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P,||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Horobin, Sir Ian||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Sharples, R. C.|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Shepherd, William|
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Howard, John (Test)||Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Marshall, Douglas||Soames, Christopher|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Mathew, R.||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Mawby, R. L.||Speir, R. M.|
|Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr, S. L. C.||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark (E'b'gh, S.)||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Storey, S.|
|Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam)||Neave, Airey||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Nicholls, Harmar||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Noble, Comdr. Rt. Hon. Allan||Teeling, W.|
|Joseph, Sir Keith||Nugent, G. R. H.||Temple, John M.|
|Kaberry, D.||Oakshott, H. D.||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Kerby, Capt. H. B.||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R.(Croydon, S.)|
|Kershaw, J. A.||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Kimball, M.||Page, R. G.||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Kirk, P. M.||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Lagden, G. W.||Partridge, E.||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Lambton, Viscount||Peyton, J. W. W.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Langford-Holt, J. A.||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Derek|
|Leavey, J. A.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Leburn, W. G.||Pitman, I. J.||Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)|
|Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Pitt, Miss E. M.||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Powell, J. Enoch||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Linstead, Sir H. N.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Webbe, Sir H.|
|Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Profumo, J. D.||Whitelaw, W. S. I.|
|Longden, Gilbert||Raikes, Sir Victor||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Rawlinson, Peter||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Redmayne, M.||Woollam, John Victor|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|McAdden, S. J.||Remnant, Hon. P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Macdonald, Sir Peter||Renton, D. L. M.||Mr. Wills and Mr. Hughes-Young.|