Clause 1. — (New Power to Charge Protective Duties.)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

Alert me about debates like this

4.2 p.m.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

I beg to move, in page 2, line 3, after "section" to insert: (2) The rate of import duty imposed by order on any goods under this section shall not exceed one half the rate of duty on those goods in force immediately before the beginning of nineteen hundred and fifty-nine:Provided that where an order has the effect of charging a rate of duty on any goods in such a way that the new rate is not strictly comparable with the old, the order may not be made unless it declares the opinion of the Treasury to be that, in the circumstances existing at the date of the order, the order is not calculated to impose a general level of duty on the goods exceeding one half of that in force before the beginning of nineteen hundred and fifty-nine. I do not wish to conceal that this Amendment is very sweeping. The purpose of it is to arrange that when this Bill becomes an Act duties on imports into this country should be one half of what they now are.

I have to ask the Committee for its indulgence for a considerable time while I develop that matter, first, by explaining why the proposal should be of this sweeping nature, why it should be over the whole of the tariffs, and, secondly, to answer some of the questions raised in the debate on Second Reading when various hon. Members criticised the idea that it would be to the benefit of this country to indulge in a unilateral reduction of tariffs, that is, a reduction of tariffs of the United Kingdom, even if there were not a similar reduction of tariffs of overseas countries.

I would briefly remind the Committee of the present tariff basis. About six-sevenths of all imports coming into this country now come in free of protective duty. That is not generally recognised by many people outside the Committee. Nearly all our raw materials and foodstuffs come in duty free. The tariffs are concentrated, to put it in the simplest terms, on manufactured goods. This year, in the Financial Statement, it is estimated that the revenue from protective tariffs is expected to be about £87 million. This in previous years has been raised on just over £500 million of imports. So it is a high tariff, in one sense, on a narrow section of our imports. Nevertheless, I think that it is an important one in its effect on the cost of production in this country.

I will briefly remind the Committee of the different rates on some of these manufactures. On chemical and scientific materials the tariffs are the highest, varying from 33 per cent. to 50 per cent.; on general, domestic or business requisites the tariff ranges between 20 per cent. to 33⅓ per cent., covering such things as household brushes, typewriters for offices, motor cars and machinery for all forms of production. The third group, on building materials, varies from 15 per cent. to 20 per cent., on such things as nails, baths, doors, steel window frames, etcetera. The fourth group are all those things for use on the farm, varying from machinery to forks, spades and even fertilisers, and the range is in general from 15 per cent. to 30 per cent.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

On textiles, as the hon. Member probably knows as well as I do, the general figure is 17½ per cent.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Cheadle

The hon. Gentleman wants to halve it.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

There were many interruptions the last time I spoke. Although in another context I would welcome them, I hope that the hon. Member will let me make my speech, and if there is anything further that he then wants to know, perhaps he would interrupt me. If he would allow me to develop my speech I am sure that it would be for the convenience of the Committee.

I think that the extraordinary thing is that, although many hon. Members on both sides of the Committee still hold to protectionist ideas, there has been no action on their part to effect a change of tariff. The trade of this country has so greatly varied in the last thirty years that what must have been valid as it seemed to the protectionists thirty years ago can now hardly be considered valid even by them.

To give an instance, the textile trade thirty years ago, was still a great exporter, and although it was having a hard time it could apparently stand up to competition better than the engineering industry and consequently it got only half the tariff of the engineering industry. That is completely reversed. The cotton part of the textile industry now exports only about as much as it imports and has ceased to be a net exporter. I should have thought that even protectionists would have felt it desirable to have had an alteration of the tariff, and I am surprised that they have not seized the opportunity for doing it by this Bill.

There are, of course, growing complaints about the tariff structure. No doubt some hon. Members have had a letter from the Federation of Construction Machinery Importers. There have been complaints about the tariff being charged—as much as 33⅓ per cent.—on the import of construction and earth-moving machinery into this country. This machinery is greatly needed for every form of building. This unnecessary imposition requires an explanation from the Government.

Those who saw the News Chronicle on Monday will have seen a headline, "High Customs Duty Costs Lives". If they read the article they will have found that it was about a new piece of machinery used in hospitals called a capnograph. It is apparently for measuring and recording the carbon dioxide in human respiration. It is made by a firm called Godarth and Mijnhardt Ltd. of Holland. As yet, there are only four of these machines in this country. The duty imposed on the machine is 33⅓ per cent. and it costs the hospital service £230 to pay this duty. This is an odd situation, because the Government are paying the money for the hospital service and they are, therefore, paying their own import duties on this machinery. The machine is required for preventing deaths under anaesthetic on the operating table; to enable polio victims to get out of iron lungs, and to save lives in cases of poisoning and tetanus.

This is one of the cases in which even under the present system the Board of Trade, which has the powers, could decide to let the machinery in duty free, but apparently the Board of Trade is more concerned with protecting the machinery makers, none of whom makes a machine to do this work, than with protecting the lives of patients in the hospitals.

Another case which some hon. Members may have seen earlier in the week was recorded in the Manchester Guardian. Mr. J. C. Tusting, managing director of Harrold Leather Manufacturing Company, complained about the difficulty of getting samples from his agents overseas through our Customs. These were samples which he required in order to produce the leather goods to send to his customers overseas. There is so much delay in getting samples into the country that by the time he has decided how to make the goods he has lost the orders because other countries have put the matter through a great deal quicker. There are therefore, complaints, and as more pressure is put by the Government on manufacturers both to lower their prices and to export more, we shall hear more of these complaints from different parts of the country.

Perhaps I may deal with two points raised by the President of the Board of Trade and the Minister of State about our suggestion that tariffs should be lowered unilaterally by the United Kingdom. For some strange reason the Minister of State quoted my election address. He made amusing fun of it and I take no objection to that. He cast scorn on the suggestions in my election address that abroad we should work to get other countries to reduce their barriers to our export trade and to dissuade them from bad practices, such as subsidies, which result in unfair competition. He said that if we keep our tariffs, we always have a bargaining weapon. He suggested that if all we could do was to work and to persuade, then the position was unreal and something which no ordinary sensible politician would suggest.

I ask him what is the whole purpose of G.A.T.T. and of the O.E.E.C.? Has it achieved nothing? Is it not to achieve a fairer system of trade by persuasion and work? Of course it is. As the Government constantly support it, they must accept that this is a workable solution.

4.15 p.m.

My argument is that while we continue with these efforts, we must not simply stop at that. It is in the interests of this country to lower its tariffs. We go on working through G.A.T.T. both to get countries to trade fairly and to stop subsidies and also to reduce their tariffs if possible, but while that work goes on it remains vital—and this is my case and the point of the Amendment—that we should make a considerable reduction in our own tariffs.

Photo of Sir Douglas Glover Sir Douglas Glover , Ormskirk

The hon. Members says that this is his case. I take it that he is giving the official case of the Liberal Party?

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

Of course.

The President of the Board of Trade in the same debate made another point which I should like to meet. He said: Our view is that we need a protective tariff as a bargaining weapon to secure as large markets for our exports as can be secured on the basis of fair give and take."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd December, 1957; Vol. 579, c. 39.] This sounds a wonderful argument, but if he is fair he must admit that Great Britain is in a very weak state to bargain.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Cheadle

The hon. Member wants to make us weaker.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

We are not weak because of tariffs. The hon. Member misses the point. We are in a weak position because we must import and export large quantities of goods. We must do this or we cannot exist. A country which has to do this is in a very weak position when negotiating with another country which is little affected whether it imports or exports. The latter can say that it is not interested, but we are not in that position. We must import a great deal to feed ourselves and to provide the raw materials for our manufacturing businesses, and we must export a lot to pay for it. I am sure the President of the Board of Trade knows that it is bluff to deny that in this bargaining Britain has in almost every case no edge over another country.

The right hon. Gentleman may say that it is silly to lower our tariffs on our own, but this is precisely what the Germans have done in recent years—and how often are the Germans cited as a wonderful example because of the way they have recovered since the war and as setting an example of economic freedom? They have reduced the general level of a whole lot of tariffs from 24 per cent. to 16 per cent. in the last two or three years and they made a reduction again last summer.

No substantial case can be made out for our not doing this. We should do it more than any other country in the world. The same comment applies to retaliation. The Minister of State said that we had successfully used retaliation once in twenty or thirty years, but how many times have people put up their tariffs against us? Apparently we have used retaliation only once successfully. This is natural, because it is an extremely difficult weapon for us to use successfully. When the Americans threatened to raise their traffs on bicycles or, as they are attempting at the moment, to raise their tariff on wool, are we in a position to retaliate? No. We are in a position to work and persuade, but that is all that we can do. We have not been entirely unsuccessful in that kind of action. If retaliation results in anything, it results in our cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

The hon. Member has just mentioned Germany as being, to his way of thinking, a paragon of virtue in conduct of tariffs. I would remind him that Germany's present tariff level, if averaged over the three years and compared with the total value of her imports, shows that she is second only to Switzerland. In other words, she is almost at the top of the list with some 7·5 per cent., as against Switzerland's 9·8 per cent., and France's 3·5 per cent.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

I dispute the hon. and gallant Member's figures. I invite him to look at the Economist for 13th October, 1956—he can get it from the Library almost immediately—which presented in table form some of the main comparable tariffs of both the European and the United Kingdom countries. It is generally accepted that the German tariffs now, are at about half our own tariff levels, and those of Benelux are even closer to that level.

When one talks of tariff levels, one can get some very different answers, but it seems to me that the only realistic way is to consider the value and quantity of a country's production of anything, such as machinery, and then see what is the tariff on it. One does not arrive at any satisfactory comparison by just seeing how much comes in, because, of course, the higher the tariff, the less comes in. Therefore, when we start taking averages of the levels of tariff and of the imports we really do not get a realistic figure. I have worked that one out, and the average level of our tariffs on that basis is about 16 per cent. That, of course, gives a quite unrealistic picture, because much more is bound to come in over a lower than over a higher tariff. I assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that a true comparison of tariff levels as between Germany and the United Kingdom shows our level to be just about double that of Germany's. Electric transformers furnish an example. The German tariff on that equipment varies from nil to 8 per cent., whereas in the United Kingdom it is 20 per cent.

We propose in this Amendment that the United Kingdom tariffs should be cut by 50 per cent. I would have no objection if that were done in two stages—cut to 25 per cent. by June, and cut by a further 25 per cent. when the provisions of the Bill are to come into force, in just about a year's time. The purposes of this action are twofold: first of all, to reduce prices at home to the consumer—and this is a weapon in the Government's campaign to stabilise wages and prices, and to stop the cost-of-living index gong up; the second is to achieve a reduction in the costs of the producer, and to make competition more effective.

The Government can hardly disagree with the first of these objects because that is what I understand their economic policy is all about. Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have been making pleas, as recently as last week, for manufacturers to stabilise their prices, and even to reduce them—the Prime Minister on the air a week on Tuesday, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer at a meeting of the National Union of Manufacturers on, I think, the following day. The Chancellor, however, has already gone on record, as I mentioned in my Second Reading speech, as not reckoning much to Government pleading. He realises that what is required is not to tell the people what they want but to indicate what the Government intend to do about it.

My complaint is that, on tariffs, he is not taking the action to implement the policy that he requires. Conditions must be changed, whereby the cost to manufacturers can be reduced, and market forces can come into action to cause them to be reduced. The Chancellor must surely know that merely to plead with manufacturers will make no difference whatever. The manufacturer will get the best prices he can, and no plea by the Chancellor will make him reduce them. When we enter the Free Trade Area, the manufacturer will have lost some of his protection, and be up against more foreign competition. That is why I think that one of the solutions, amongst others, is a substantial cut over the whole range of our general tariffs. This would create the right atmosphere, in which the Government might have some success in achieving greater stability on the wages front.

British industry really does require a shock to stir it up. It is still not appreciating the kind of new atmosphere in which it will have to work. I am glad to have in this argument the support of a new document, which hon. Members have no doubt received recently, called "Britain and Europe," and produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is a most interesting document. I do not profess to have read it all, but I should like to draw the attention of hon. Members to page 62. There it is stated: The firm which says 'Free trade won't have much effect on our sales; we'll meet foreign competition when it comes,' is looking for trouble. There can be no doubt about that. It will be looking for trouble. The document goes on: Britain has had twenty-five years of protection, fifteen of them marked by a high level of domestic demand. Some enterprises which have been able to get by in these conditions would have gone under bad competition been stronger and sales less buoyant, not because of any inherent inability to produce more efficiently but simply because of the attitude of mind. The change in trading conditions will he so gradual in an F.T.A. that there may be no sufficient shock at any one moment of time to arouse firms from their lethargy. This is a very important matter. There can be no question about the revolution in trading conditions into which this country will go when we enter the Free Trade Area, and there is a frightful danger that a lot of firms will go in in just that way. They will say, "We shall be able to keep going just in the home market. After all, we shall not have very much more competition." It will all be so gradual that they will not wake up until it is too late. From the point of view of administering this shock, it would be a most excellent thing for the Government, before going into the Free Trade Area, to make a unilateral cut in our tariff system.

The Government have always been very "cagey" about telling Parliament exactly what is to happen when we go into the Free Trade Area, particularly to our trade with countries outside the area. From the beginning the Liberal Party has said that the Government should not ask for a waiver from our most-favoured-nation clauses; that is, that we should have free trade with the rest of the world as we shall have with Europe. I do not imagine that the Government will accept this, but do they intend to go into the Free Trade Area and leave our tariffs with countries outside Europe at the height they are now? If so, this will cause the most frightful disruption with our trade with the rest of the world.

Trade with the rest of the world represents 80 per cent. of our total trade, and only 20 per cent. is done with the countries which may form the Free Trade Area.

4.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr Alan Green Mr Alan Green , Preston South

I do not understand the hon. Gentleman's argument. A very high proportion of that 80 per cent. is done with the Commonwealth. We are not proposing to put up tariffs in the Commonwealth in addition to Europe.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

I quite agree. Of that 80 per cent. 50 per cent. is done with the Commonwealth. There is still 30 per cent. left over. The point about the 50 per cent. done with the Commonwealth is that the Commonwealth is likely to produce more manufactured goods in the future. A lot of the goods which Commonwealth countries have produced in the past thirty years come in duty free. Many other goods in theory carry a duty, but in any case they do not send those to us at the moment. We receive things like cars from Canada. As the Common, wealth countries develop, it is more and more likely that the nature of their trade with us will change.

The 30 per cent. trade with the rest of the world is a matter about which the House should be concerned. As I have pointed out, Germany has reduced her tariffs unilaterally in recent years. The tariffs of Germany and the Benelux countries are, in fact, about half our own. It is a matter of concern for us to go into the Free Trade Area with our own tariffs, and, therefore, our own costs, higher than those of those countries.

That is one point. The second point is this. Because of what we need to do internally for our own sake in trying to stabilise wages and prices, a cut in our own tariffs would have a substantial effect. It would be the kind of action which the Government could take very quickly. It would not be a difficult job. It would create the kind of conditions which would bring about what the Government want. The Government must know well enough by now that pleadings to manufacturers to reduce their prices will get them nowhere. The Chancellor has recognised this in monetary matters. He has induced shock tactics with a 7 per cent. Bank Rate. He should now complement that action by shock tactics on the tariff front as well.

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

If we might assume for a moment that free trade were desirable in itself, I think that one has to consider the factors which are most likely to make it possible. I should have thought that the most important factor is that before we can have it we must be a creditor nation ourselves.

The hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt), who has often argued this point with me, firmly believes that a nation becomes a creditor nation by having a free trade area. That is the first fundamental disagreement I have with him. I believe that as long as the greatest creditor nation itself is adopting a highly protective policy it is absolutely essential that the debtor nations to it should have the right to discriminate in their trade. He knows that I have put that case to him very often before.

When we consider the detail of his argument today, it may, possibly, be significant that he has not made any reference to one particular part of his recommendation which, if implemented, might completely ruin a great many people who were quite incapable of defending themselves over it. During the Second Reading debate, the hon. Member for Bolton, West was challenged by the hon. Member for Dorset, North (Colonel R. H. Glyn) on the issue of horticultural tariffs. In a sweeping statement he said that it was the Liberal Party's policy to make a voluntary reduction of 50 per cent. in all tariffs, which, presumably, includes horticultural tariffs. This afternoon he said that none of the protectionists has ever pressed since the war for an increase in tariffs. In saying that, he must be overlooking a very important document, "Increased Duties on Certain Fresh and Preserved Fruit and Vegetables," Cmd. 9018, published in 1953. If he looks at that document, he will find that there are a great many tariffs which, at that time, as a result of requests from the National Farmers' Union and other bodies representing small horticultural growers, were increased by 100 per cent.

Let us take one or two commodities. Blackcurrants and redcurrants are of vital importance in certain localities in this country and in Scotland. There the rate was raised from 16th June to 31st August from 2d. to 4d. per lb. Strawberries are of vital importance to the Isle of Ely, Kent, Hampshire and, in small quantities, to many other areas. The tariff there stayed the same from 1st April to 15th June at 1½d. per lb. or 10 per cent. ad valorem, whichever was the less, but from 10th June to 31st July it went up from 1½d. per lb. to 6d. per lb.

I do not want to quote all these commodities, but there are just three other commodities I would like to mention which are of importance. Carrots went up, from 1st May to 30th June, from 10s. per cwt. to 20s. per cwt. New potatoes stayed at 1s. per cwt. from 1st September to 15th May, but from 16th May to 30th June they went up from 4s. 8d. to 9s. 4d. per cwt.

Finally, tomatoes. May I say to the hon. Member for Bolton, West that, unless he realises that by now the tomato industry is the foundation of the horticultural industry, he ought to think a little more before he says what he said this afternoon. The tomato tariff, which had run from 15th May to 31st August at 2d. per lb., went up from 1st May to 31st May, if the value exceeded 1s. 3d. per lb., to 4d. per lb. It stayed, at 4d. from the 1st June to 31st August, but it went from 1st September to 31st October to 2d. per lb.

I have mentioned those because they are important commodities in the horticultural industry. The hon. Member for Bolton, West made a proposal which, if implemented, would mean that we should go back to the old figures. Anybody who has had anything to do with the negotiations and who has kept in touch with the business and put forward recommendations to the Board of Trade over the years knows perfectly well that even what was given in 1953 was not adequate to meet all the needs. Now, there are applications for increased tariffs to enable these growers, particularly tomato growers, to make both ends meet.

What my right hon. Friend must realise is this. In many horticultural districts, glasshouses, in particular, were built before the industry that now surrounds them was developed as it is today. The result is that many glasshouse growers have not just to pay the agricultural minimum wage. They have to pay the minimum wage in manufacturing industry. Often they have to work in foul conditions. In the glasshouse production of tomatoes, some growers operate on the system whereby they put one man in charge of so many flights of glass. The man has to get up at any time of the night to see that his fires are stoked up. These men usually have to be paid by the growers the sort of wages being paid by surrounding industrial employment. This means that the cost of British horticulture must not be based purely on the minimum wage in agriculture. We must think of it in terms of industrial wages.

The part of the tomato industry concerned mostly with tariffs is the hothouse production side. The tariffs have been designed to ensure that hothouse production is not undermined at the wrong moment. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade may know that even before he occupied his present office there was considerable agitation over the Canary Islands imports. Looking at the figures, which I have taken the trouble to do as the result of the hon. Member putting down such an outrageous Amendment as he has done today, I can well understand horticultural growers being disturbed, quite apart from the hon. Member's Amendment, with things being in statu quo.

Let us consider what has been happening, for example, in imports of tomatoes over the last three years. According to the Trade and Navigation Accounts, even with the tariff increases which I have outlined, the figures for imports of Dutch tomatoes have risen from 412,251 cwt. at a cost of £2,588,079 in 1955, to 429,259 cwt. at a price of £3,083,871 during the first ten months of this year. From Spain, the figure has increased from £269,058 to £388,079 this year. From the Canary Islands, it has risen by approximately £1 million from about £6,324,000 in 1955 to £7,345,000 this year.

There are quite enough embarrassments for the horticultural industry without the hon. Member putting forward the sort of Amendment that he has put forward today. The Amendment, representing official Liberal policy, spells absolute ruin to our horticultural growers. The hon. Member has declared that the Liberal Party has for all time abandoned the horticultural grower. Heaven only knows how any horticultural grower thought that the Liberal Party was of the slightest assistance to him in the past—

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

I should like to have interrupted the hon. Member several times, but I did so only once. I promise him one opportunity before I sit down.

The hon. Member must surely realise that if he insists upon a policy of free trade for British horticulture—unless he is throwing over the horticultural industry altogether—he must find a way of subsidising the industry, if he wants to be fair to it in comparison with agriculture. That is the logical deduction to draw from his remarks.

4.45 p.m.

A great many people have given a great deal of thought about how to give to horticultural producers the sort of guarantees that are given under the First Schedule of the Agriculture Act, 1957, which has more than endorsed all the guarantees that were written into the original Act of 1947. No one has yet been able to discover a way of doing this.

The hon. Member today has not put forward a new method of upholding this important section of the general agricultural industry. Perhaps he wants to see the Italian apples and pears pour in. I grant him that they are on quota at the moment.

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

Do we visualise, from the Amendment, that the hon. Member is interested only in lowering the tariffs and does not, I understand, want to affect the quotas? Is he trying to select the apples and pears for complete preference in the Liberal mind over any of the other fruits and vegetables which are protected by tariff? That would be the effect of his Amendment, whether he wants it or not.

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

The hon. Member has been springing up and down while I have been speaking. Does he wish me to give way now?

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

The hon. and gallant Member is very gallant. I wish that he were sometimes a little more gallant for the consumers in his constituency in the same way as he is on behalf of the horticulturists. Apparently, he leaves out the consumers entirely.

Why we suggest a 50 per cent. cut is because this means a much greater reduction in the protection to manufacturers than it does to the horticulturist. The whole basis of the argument is that if manufacturing protection were out by half, the cost position of everybody—farmers included—would be so greatly improved that they could well withstand the small reduction in protection which horticulturists would suffer.

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

I wonder whether the hon. Member is right in saying that Surely, his Amendment imposes a flat rate of a reduction of 50 per cent. It is often easy for even the growers themselves to say "As far as I am concerned, I do not know whether the tariff is there or not", but they might have a very different opinion if it were suddenly taken away. Tariff support is often concealed to the home producer until an alteration to it is made and then he feels the change. It is then that he realises that the tariff was perhaps giving him more support than he thought. [Laughter.] The hon. Member for Bolton, West laughs. What he has not faced in putting down his Amendment is this. Does he believe that the British grower, or British agriculture as a whole, could today be allowed to sink or swin again without any protection whatever, either by subsidy or tariff protection?

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

The hon. Member knows very well what happened between the wars. He knows, too, that it was not until the 1932 Act, which allowed a measure of protection to be given against imports, that agriculture started to pick up again. He knows the state of depression that the industry got into between the wars because there was no protective policy.

Perhaps I am wandering a little far from the machinery Bill which this Measure originally was intended to be, but the hon. Member has injected into our proceedings a platform from which to embark on the old classical argument of free trade versus protection. All I am trying to do is to face the logical consequences of the hon. Member's own words in the Amendment and in what he said today. It seems to me absolutely inevitable that the depression would begin again, and start through the horticultural industry which is composed mainly of men who are in a small way of business and least able to defend themselves.

The hon. Member talks glibly about consumer interests, and wishes that I would think of the consumers in my constituency as well as the producers. I do not believe that the Liberal Party will get away with that sort of demagogy. I do not believe that the consumers, whether in the city or in the village, are any longer willing to put up with encouragement to fight each other and abandon each other. Today, there is an understanding of the fact that if the British agricultural worker is to be paid a fair wage, it is absolutely essential that the country as a whole should support agriculture through the taxpayer in one form or another.

This talk about consumer interests from the hon. Member is merely a way of saying that the Liberal Party has learned nothing since the old "cheap food" days. The hon. Member is proposing deliberately to reverse the policy so as to make absolutely certain that a small, but very important, section of people shall be thrown to the wolves; that what are already very acute difficulties for them shall be made at least twice as bad. In my opinion, that would be the effect of this Amendment, were it accepted.

It would be better for an hon. Member who represents an industrial constituency to deal with the matter from the point of view of industry. I am trying to present the view of people who have relied on the Government in the past and made considerable increases in their production as a result of Government encouragement. I am attempting to put a case on their behalf and to persuade the Committee that they should not be thrown overboard now. It is all very well to talk about allowing the fresh wind of competition to blow. The hon. Member for Bolton, West should go out and grow tomatoes and see what happens. There are plenty of fresh winds blowing on the horticultural industry at the present time. Competition for labour is a problem, to mention but one.

If the hon. Member wishes to bring down costs and to stop inflation, he should argue the case which I have put repeatedly to my right hon. Friend, the case for discrimination in trade. We must secure again the power to discriminate. Once we possess that power again it may not even be necessary to use it. But we abandoned it during the time when the party opposite was in office. That was a rueful day for this country, because once such a power is abandoned it is hard to regain it. That loss is something which is troubling the economy of this country. The Liberal policies advanced today by the hon. Member for Bolton, West make no sense whatever. They spell ruin for a number of defenceless people and I do not believe that the Committee would wish that to happen. I hope, therefore, that my right hon. Friend will reject this Amendment.

Photo of Mr Alan Green Mr Alan Green , Preston South

I do not think we should spend long discussing this Amendment, because there are times when I seriously doubt whether the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt) believes these things himself. I do not think he really imagines that this kind of policy could be applied, for example, to the important cotton industry in his own constituency. The hon. Member need only contemplate the danger to the confidence in that trade which is, in fact, being caused by duty-free imports from the Far East. That is a danger to confidence and a very serious danger.

I know that this is a difficult problem. It is stupid to deny that fact. A difficult problem already exists for the textile trade in Lancashire, but what is proposed by the hon. Member would make that problem much worse. He is proposing to halve the duty on Japanese textiles as well as having free imports from India, Pakistan and Hong Kong. I do not think he has talked this matter over in public with his constituents. He may have done, but if so it would surprise me to know that they support this section of his policy.

I can assure the hon. Member that I speak as one who is not by nature or instinct a supporter of high tariffs. In personal and private dealings with the Board of Trade over the years, when trying to represent the industry in which I work, I have never hesitated to advocate duty-free imports in the shape of a machine or a piece of technical equipment which I was not in a position to make or able to make as well as it could be made abroad. I do not think officials of the Board of Trade have ever found my concerns to be awkward when there is a suggestion that a little tariff bargaining might be done because of negotiations going on with interests in Sweden or some other country. I have never objected to a suggestion that it might be a good idea to reduce the duty in a certain case, and I am not a supporter of high tariffs.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

The hon. Gentleman is a director of a very big machinery firm, and his firm is able to sell its products in many parts of the country. Does the hon. Member really think that there is any reason why the type of machinery made by his firm should have any protection at all? The hon. Gentleman has indicated that he would not mind if the duty were reduced and that his firm would be able to sell in any part of the world. Why should the products of his firm receive any protection whatever?

Photo of Mr Alan Green Mr Alan Green , Preston South

Because one company may be fortunate, through history or circumstances, to be able to sell its products anywhere in the world, it does not follow that every company in the country can do the same. I would not make such a selfish case as that.

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would care to consider these figures. I understand that in 1956 the total textile imports into this country from other than Commonwealth countries amounted to about £62¾ million. About £26¾ million came from Commonwealth countries. We know quite well what is happening in the textile trade over some cloth coming in duty-free. Difficulties exist in the hon. Gentleman's constituency and are to be found as one goes further up the valley from Burnley to Nelson and Colne. There is a difficult situation for the people living in those parts. Why deliberately make it more difficult for them so quickly, suddenly and harshly, as would be the case were this Amendment accepted? Why should the industry be deliberately robbed of the small amount of tactical advantage which may still be derived from the tariff? In my view, the tariff is a tactical weapon for the country just as the rifle is for the infantryman. An infantryman would look foolish with only half a rifle, and this country would look foolish with only half a tariff. Why abandon such protection as we have by committing an act of folly, as it will be judged by those countries which the hon. Gentleman wishes to persuade? Those countries would judge us to be foolish, and if the person with whom you are negotiating considers you to be a "mug", your negotiations with him will not go very well.

Those are things which the hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well, and so I doubt whether he seriously means what is represented by this Amendment. I consider this to be a bit of "kite flying", a bit of advertising. Something has to be done, interest must be stirred up, and so the hon. Gentleman proposes this Amendment. But I do not think he seriously intends what is implied by it.

5.0 p.m.

Let me refer to a cardinal point. The hon. Member for Bolton, West says that we are in a very weak position. He thus pays a remarkable compliment to Her Majesty's Ministers. We have a higher standard of living than most other countries, and if we are in a very weak position for bargaining with them how brilliantly those Ministers must have performed their task of bargaining. Perhaps the hon. Member will come and say those things in my constituency.

As a matter of fact, we are in a quite strong bargaining position, because Britain is one of the most desirable markets of the world. We should not make our internal market too easy to grab for those who want to grab it, otherwise we shall transfer to other countries, whom the hon. Member wants to help, all this terrible slackness and softness of fibre of which he accuses British industry. The Canadian Trade Mission came here, believing that British industry needed a shock. It is the Commission which has had the shock, because it found much more bustle, enterprise, hard work, good relations between managements and men, high quality of products and design and ability to sell than it had suspected.

I ask the hon. Member not to join the chorus which is crying down the industrial effort of this country. There are ups and downs of efficiency and enterprise and indifferent sections of industry; even political parties have their ups and downs. Some of them come back into Government and some do not. It is not very sensible to indulge in that denigration when our exports are rising and our reputation in the world outside is very high. We have just had the Canadian Mission here, and it is surprised, and glad to be surprised, with what it has seen. I remind the hon. Gentleman that the British car industry, one of the most highly protected, has the finest export market of any car industry in the world.

Photo of Mr Alastair Harrison Mr Alastair Harrison , Maldon

Small as the tariffs on tomatoes are, I will not mention them, as my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke) has already done so. The horticultural and agricultural industries would suffer very considerably if this very sweeping Amendment were adopted. The hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt) held out the bait to agriculture that it would get forks, spades, fertilisers and tractors more cheaply. It is worth while to see how large those baits are and how much would be lost on the foreign forks, for example, if the farmer ever used them.

The foreigner cannot compete with the British tractor or, from the price point of view, with the hand-tools made by British industry. If that is not so, how does the hon. Member explain our success in exporting them? We are the biggest exporters also of tractors. This industry has been able to build itself up behind the tariff wall. Had it not had a good home market it would probably not be in a position to have the large production necessary for the export trade.

The hon. Member said that the prices of fertilisers were maintained at their present level by the fertiliser manufacturers. As this position is now being investigated by the Monopolies Commission, I will say no more about it. The duty upon combined fertiliser imported is roughly £4 per ton. Assuming that foreign manufacturers were not able to produce it more cheaply—there is no evidence that they can—every farmer would save about 12s. per acre of wheat sown, if he could get his fertiliser £4 per ton cheaper by removal of the duty; but, of course, the duty is to be reduced by only 50 per cent. so he will get his fertilisers at only £2 per ton cheaper, which represents a saving of 6s. per acre.

Photo of Commander Sir Douglas Marshall Commander Sir Douglas Marshall , Bodmin

The individual farmer would save nothing even then, because the difference in price of fertiliser would be taken into account in the February price review.

Photo of Mr Alastair Harrison Mr Alastair Harrison , Maldon

I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention, on a point that I had overlooked. I was going to compare that position with what it would be if the industry were not supported. The farmer would lose the 10 per cent. protection on his production. A little arithmetic will show that the loss would be very much greater than the very small saving in the cost of fertiliser.

The hon. Member tried to hold over us the cheaper production costs of agriculture. Hon. Members who take that view must think their ideas right through and see just what the effect would be at the other end. Anybody who does so will come to the conclusion that it would be disastrous for agriculture if tariffs were removed, small as they are, and particularly on horticultural products.

Therefore I welcome the Amendment thus far, because it shows for certain the line of policy of the Liberal Party. I certainly hope that the Amendment will be most definitely rejected, because it would be disastrous to all sections of the horticultural and agricultural industries.

Photo of Sir Douglas Glover Sir Douglas Glover , Ormskirk

The case against the Amendment has been very well made out by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke), my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, South (Mr. Green) and my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr. B. Harrison). The hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt) has already said that his ultimate object is to do away with tariffs altogether. In that case we should have no bargaining powers to get into the European market and Europe would have no further use for British economy. Our bargaining power would be gone.

As the President of the Board of Trade made very clear, the purpose is to use tariffs as a bargaining weapon. I do not believe in a high tariff wall, but I certainly do not think that we should throw the bargaining weapons out of the window. If this country wishes to work for a freer trade throughout the world, as it has done during the last six years, and wishes to use the tariff weapon as a bargaining counter, I shall agree with it. But it should not be used as the Liberal Party suggest, with their usual lack of wisdom and what I might term their free trade Bourbonism; they never learn and never forget. The tariff weapon should be used as the Conservative Party intend—as an intelligent weapon for getting other people with more rigid ideas to free their economies in the interests of wider trade throughout the world. I should go a long way to support action of that kind.

I apologise for detaining the Committee even for so short a period, but I thought that the point about the European Free Trade Area negotiations, in particular, should be made.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Most of the arguments against the Amendment have been made, but I should like to detain the Committee for a moment as there are one or two other points which should be placed on record.

During the Second Reading debate, the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt), with his leader beside him—a rare and significant event—told us that it was his policy to cut our tariffs in half. He said that he wished to see every single duty reduced by 50 per cent. Now he has put down an Amendment to that effect. He does this without considering whether we should get a single concession from any foreign country for such an immense uncovenanted benefit as would result from the Amendment. It would mean that the whole of the tariffs that we have on goods coming from countries as wide apart as the United States and Japan—all that protection—would be halved and we should get nothing in return.

The hon. Member said that we needed no bargaining weapon and that we could do it by persuasion. His words were that we should work to get other countries to reduce their tariffs, if we could. Of course, but what arguments should we have left? I entirely agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Glover) that we should have no chance at all of securing free trade with another country if we ourselves were already free trade. They would see no point in it.

I suppose that I should commend the hon. Member's courage, but I have always been rather doubtful whether the courage of a suicide is something which we should commend. It seems to me better and braver to accept the world as it is, to stick to realities, to avoid these fantastic notions and to try to make things better in the facts of the situation of our times.

Photo of Mr Arthur Holt Mr Arthur Holt , Bolton West

I should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman at least would try to meet the argument which I put and which other speakers have not met. I pointed out that Germany had done precisely this. She has unilaterally reduced her tariffs notwithstanding the fact that during that time she has been carrying on negotiations for a Common Market and a Free Trade Area. She does not think that her bargaining position would be imperilled.

5.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I could not help smiling when the hon. Member spoke about transformers in Germany and the low rate of duty. He does not know much about these things. There is a ring in Germany, and they do not open any tenders to foreign firms. It does not matter whether they have a tariff or not. That is the kind of case in which it is no good quoting from books. One has to talk to the industrialists and see what they say.

I want to give only two examples to show what would happen. I will not refer to agriculture, because my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke) and my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr. B. Harrison) have put their case so well. Instead, I will deal with the textile trade, which was the subject of an intervention by my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, South (Mr. Green). My hon. Friend is absolutely right. There we have a range of duty from about 7½ per cent. to 20 per cent. on cotton textiles from non-Commonwealth countries. The textile industry is having a hard time, and it is one of the industries which very properly is anxious—I believe over-anxious—about the result of the creation of a Free Trade Area. If we cut the industry's protection in half before we start the general dismantling of our tariffs, then if we achieve the Free Trade Area the result will be that the baseline from which British protection will gradually be stepped down will be half its present level. I am certain that if the hon. Member makes that argument in Bolton he will get a very forthright answer.

There is a much stronger and more serious consequence to the Amendment. It would compel us in a wholesale manner to break faith with the Commonwealth. We have undertaken in all our agreements with Commonwealth countries and in respect of very many products to guarantee to them specified margins of preference. It must be obvious to the Liberal Party, as it is to anybody else, that if we cut in half both the most favoured nation rate and the British preferential rate, then the margin of preference would be much smaller than it is now. Many Commonwealth goods come into this country free of duty, and if we adopted the Amendment the Commonwealth would get no advantage at all but all their competitors in foreign countries would have the present duty on their goods halved. We could not do that without breaking solemn engagements all round the Commonwealth.

I ask the hon. Member how he thinks we could hope to make a success of next year's Trade and Economic Conference with all of the Commonwealth if we entered it having dealt this blow to the Imperial Preference system?

I therefore feel that the Liberal Party ought to take more care about what they say. Their Amendment is not only against the interests of our domestic industry but runs completely against our whole Commonwealth policy. I hope that he will give the Committee a chance to test what I regard as a disastrous proposal.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

It is an excellent thing that we have one voice raised in the House in favour of old-fashioned free trade, and I have some sympathy with the view of the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt) that some of these protective tariffs may be too high, particularly where they fall on tools of trade such as construction machinery, about which some industrialists have been writing to hon. Members. Possibly fertilisers may be another case.

It may well be wise for the Government to look at some of these tariffs to see whether they are not higher than they need be. Indeed, the case for a reduction in the duty on machinery and machine tools is probably very much stronger than that in horticulture and textiles. We must remember that tomatoes are not the only things produced in this country, even though they are important. I am a grower of tomatoes, but I recognise that there are many other things on which these duties fall.

In view of the furious onslaught on the hon. Member for Bolton by the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Ely (Major Legge-Bourke), I wonder whether the hon. Member for Bolton, West will not find a Conservative candidate standing against him at the next General Election.

Despite these comments, I have no sympathy at all with the Amendment as he has placed it on the Order Paper. Whether these tariffs should be higher or lower, surely they should be altered by the Government at the time as a matter of Government policy in view of the merits of the industrial situation here and the negotiating position with other countries. To take a blind swipe and say that none of these duties should be higher than some figure laid down by law would be foolish and injurious.

I know that the hon. Member thinks that all Governments are protectionist and that all Governments are wicked and therefore does not trust them to act in an intelligent way in the future, but no doubt that is because he has no expectation of seeing a Liberal Government in his life-time. We share none of these views, and I therefore could not advise hon. Members to support the Amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

I beg to move, in line 9, after "Kingdom", to insert: to the preservation of full employment Our intention in this Amendment is to add the phrase "full employment" to the other phraseology which lays down criteria which the Board of Trade will have to look at in varying protective tariffs. As the Bill stands, those criteria include in Clause 1 (2)— …the desirability of maintaining and promoting the external trade of the United Kingdom, to the desirability of maintaining and promoting efficiency of production in the United Kingdom and to the interests of consumers. Surely that is a rather one-sided and clumsy collection of words if we omit full employment at the same time. I cannot see what would be the use of promoting external trade and "maintaining and promoting efficiency" if we were not successfully promoting full employment at the same time. I do not see why the President should wish to leave these words out. Indeed, I hope he will say that he will accept the Amendment and that we may continue the moderately bipartisan fashion so far shown in our discussion of the Bill.

If the right hon. Gentleman insists on leaving these words out, he must arouse some suspicions on this side of the Committee about the attitude of the Government to full employment as a first priority in our economic policy. The Chancellor went to Washington in September and told a number of international bankers, American officials and others that the Government no longer regarded the preservation of full employment in this country as of equal priority with the maintenance of a sound currency. He said, or implied, in one or two speeches that full employment in future was to be subordinated to the objective of a sound currency and stable prices. That suggests to me a certain attitude of retreat by the Government from the full employment policy which, I thought, we had all adopted at the time of the White Paper on Employment Policy in 1944.

If the President is not willing to include these words in the Bill, the presence of which I should have thought would be at the least innocuous and the absence of which may well be harmful, that would inflame some of the suspicions we have about the intentions of the Government. On Second Reading, the hon. Member for Cheadle (Mr. Shepherd) accused me of inconsistency because I said I did not believe the Import Duties Act, 1932, was responsible for the reduction of unemployment after that year but at the same time thought full employment was one of the criteria to be taken into account in various tariffs. If he believes there is inconsistency there he has not thought very seriously about this problem. I do not believe we can promote a general high level of employment in an economy suffering from all-round unemployment by protective tariffs, and certainly we shall not protect the standard of living. I do not believe that was done after 1932, but I do believe that there might well be local employment problems for which an alteration of tariffs might be very relevant and influential.

Certain areas in this country are highly dependent on one particular trade. Dundee, with jute, is the most obvious example, and tinplate in West Wales is another. It might well be that if there were a threat of unemployment, as there has been in the past, which was almost chronic in the Dundee area, it would be desirable for a time to impose a heavier level of tariff for employment reasons, if only to give time for the Government to do what they ought to do in those circumstances—bring new industries to the area, which no doubt would be a permanent long-term solution. I do not see why we should preclude ourselves from acting in that way.

In an intervention on Second Reading, the President said that we really need have no anxiety about this because the point about employment was entirely covered in Clause 1 (1) of the Bill, which says that import duties are to be varied with a view to affording protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom. In effect, he was arguing that if it were ever necessary to act in order to maintain employment that would be covered already by the words "protection to goods." He may be right or he may be wrong. I can see that that might be argued either way. I am not fully convinced that the phrase, "protection to goods", would fully cover what we have in mind. If the President was right, I ask him what harm there could be in putting in these words and making quite sure. If he was right this Amendment would not harm the Bill, and if he was wrong it would make the Bill mean what he says it means.

If the right hon. Gentleman wants to reaffirm the sincerity of the Government in their adherence to a full employment policy, he has a chance to do so by accepting the Amendment, or something in very similar terms.

Photo of Sir Barnett Stross Sir Barnett Stross , Stoke-on-Trent Central

I hope the President will accept this Amendment, or one similar to it. In supporting my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay), I am of course mindful of what he said when he declared that there are some parts of the country which depend essentially upon one industry. He mentioned Dundee and jute. It is true that the greatest concentration of pottery manufacture in the world lies in the three constituencies of Stoke-on-Trent and in North Staffordshire generally. We are very dependent on that industry, as I am sure the President knows.

We are also subject to competition from other parts of the world. We would not be nervous about that were that competition based upon a standard of life similar to that which our own workers enjoy. Where, however, the standard of life of competing countries is lower than that which we enjoy, it is apparent that we may suffer, and do indeed suffer, difficulty. I will put it no higher than that at the moment. If that be accepted, it may well be that we fall into this subsection and consideration as to the type of import duty should be given to this particular industry as being a special case. When one looks at the subsection, the three criteria at first sight appear to be complementary, but I am not sure that that follows when we look at it more carefully, nor whether there is not indeed some antagonism existing in the three. For example, there is first, the desirability of maintaining and promoting the external trade. Then there is: the desirability of maintaining and promoting efficiency of production. and, thirdly, we have: the interests of consumers in the United Kingdom. The first two, I am sure, are complementary and run together, but the interest of consumers in our own country, some people might think, are best met by allowing imports to come in as the absent Liberal Party would like.

Before the war, the Japanese used to send to this country outer covers, tyres, for bicycles which were sold by Woolworths for 6d., and an inner tube, wrapped up beautifully, was also sold for 6d. Perhaps it could be argued that that was in the interest of our consumers, but inasmuch as our consumers in this industrialised country are also workers, one can see that they were thrown out of work and one cannot consume very much when, as a result of being thrown out of work by compet ition of that kind, one has nothing to spend after spending on what is necessary for bare subsistence. That is a fair way of putting it. We must be careful and reasonable, and I shall be delighted to hear the President of the Board of Trade saying what he said previously, that we should not take it from books but look at the facts as they are and see the world as it is.

5.30 p.m.

If we are facing serious competition from abroad, in some cases it may be because the industry competing favourably with us, that is to say, to our apparent detriment, does so because it is better rationalised, better organised and more productive. Where that is the case, we have no right to grumble, because in those circumstances it is our duty to put our own house in order. However, if we are at a disadvantage because the workers in another country have lower wage rates and a lower standard of living, we ought to protect our own workers.

If manufacturers in the countries competing with us are prepared to accept profits lower than those which our manufacturers are prepared to accept, we should look to our own concern to see whether we are taking too much out of the industry. If our competitors are offering better designs, better delivery and better packaging, it is absolutely essential that we should look to our own affairs and improve our own processes and techniques of manufacture and delivery.

We have had some experience of suffering at the hands of the present Government. I do not blame the President for this, but some time ago it was thought desirable to increase Purchase Tax on pottery. That had a most unfortunate effect on us. We suffered unemployment, losing some thousands of our skilled workers. At the time we warned the Government quite passionately what would happen, and what we warned them against did, in fact, happen. Through losing our skilled workers, we were not able to divert a greater proportion of our manufactures into the export markets. A healthy export trade is dependent on thriving home sales.

We are now faced with the fact that, having lost our workers, when we are receiving more orders than we can satisfy the workers are not available. In the pottery industry there are many more vacancies than workers to fill them because we have not been able to get the workers to return. It has been a deplorable and unhappy experience for us.

In North Staffordshire, we have suffered a greater measure of unemployment than has the rest of the country—it was recently twice as high as the national average—and for that reason we regard the Amendment as important and would be gratified if the Government accepted it. For us it would mean that some note was being taken of the human as well as of the other factors involved in our economy. I gladly support the Amendment.

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

The real case for the Amendment is to be found in an observation made by the President of the Board of Trade on 2nd December, when he intervened in a speech by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay). My right hon. Friend was pointing out the desirability of putting in the Bill some provision to support full employment, and he was making the case which he has made this afternoon. The President of the Board of Trade made what I thought at the time was a very odd observation. Having looked at it again, it seems to me odder still. He said: The right hon. Gentleman"— referring to my right hon. Friend— has possibly not seen that in Clause 1 (1) we begin by saying:'…with a view to affording protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom…'That is really designed to cover it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd December, 1957; Vol. 579, c. 49.] As my right hon. Friend said at the time, he obviously noticed what was said in that subsection (1), but it is fairly clear that the President of the Board of Trade had not noticed it or, at any rate, had not noticed its significance, because it is a very curious thing.

As the President said, subsection (1) begins by saying: The Import Duties Act, 1932, shall cease to have effect, but with a view to affording protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom the Treasury…may… do so and so. In other words, the whole scope, object, purpose and definition of the Clause hangs upon those words which the President of the Board of Trade quoted: …with a view to affording protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom. I put down an Amendment to omit those words, but it was ruled out of order, as to omit those words would be an extension of the scope of the Bill. That having been brought to my notice and, therefore, to the notice of the Committee, it seems to me to raise a very serious matter. It now follows that in future the Board of Trade will be able, in imposing import duties, to act only to afford protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom. At the same time as we do that, we repeal the Import Duties Act, 1932. The Committee should, therefore, be reminded of the operative words of that Act, so that we may have in mind the departure which we are now making.

The relevant Section is Section 3 which is in terms very much wider than those of the Bill which is to be substituted for it. Section 3 of the Import Duties Act, 1932, says: …which, in their opinion, are either articles of luxury— and I shall say a word about that in a moment— or articles of a kind which are being produced or are likely within a reasonable time to be produced in the United Kingdom in quantities which are substantial in relation to United Kingdom consumption… Let us be clear and have an explanation why, in what the President has described as a mere tidying-up Bill, we are now cutting to a very serious extent the whole basis on which future import duties can be imposed. They can in future be imposed only to afford protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom.

I imagine that it is deliberate policy that has led the President of the Board of Trade to deny himself power in future to impose import duties affecting articles of luxury whether such goods are being manufactured in this country or not. I imagine also that there is some reason why the President of the Board of Trade has omitted from the present Bill power to impose import duties not only to protect goods produced in the United Kingdom but also to protect goods which may be produced in the United Kingdom and which our tariff and economic policies may decide in future should be produced in this country.

That, of course, is where this question of full employment arises. If the right hon. Gentleman really thinks that the words to which he drew attention are adequate to meet the point which my right hon. Friend raised, I must say in all sincerity that I do not think they are. I think they might have been if the President had included in the Bill the words in Section 3 of the Act of 1932.

As I said on Second Reading, we are in the dark about the Government's whole tariff policy. We do not know what are their intentions towards the European Common Market or the Free Trade Area. Therefore, I do not think the right hon. Gentleman can complain if we look at the provisions of this Bill with a certain amount of suspicion, and if we make serious and sincere efforts to improve it in order that not only this Government but future Governments may be armed with adequate powers to carry out an intelligent and coherent tariff policy.

With all respect to the Liberal Members of this Committee, who at the moment are conspicuous by their absence from the Chamber, we have moved rather far from the days of 1932 when these matters of tariff policy had to be considered on a basis of tariff reform and free trade. Today there is not all that distinction between import duties which are imposed for protective purposes and fiscal duties which are imposed for revenue purposes. One day we may think it almost an aberration that we have a Budget imposing duties on tobacco and a lot of other imports and at the same time we have a separate Import Duties Bill which will enable the Government to impose import duties by Statutory Instrument from time to time. I hope that we shall at some time have a debate on the proper co-relation between the two.

5.45 p.m.

It seems to me that this is the moment, for those of us on this side of the Committee who attach great importance to our economic policy being directed with a view to maintaining full employment, to insist that the Amendment is written into the Bill. So far I have not heard a word, either on Second Reading or today, which even suggests any answer to the reasons put forward by my right hon. Friend. We know that the President has been responsive to other suggestions which were made on Second Reading both from these benches and from his own benches. I hope he will not resist this Amendment in any preconceived doctrinaire attitude but will realise that this Amendment is put forward with very genuine motives and the genuine desire of improving the Bill.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

I should like to express my full concurrence with the excellent arguments adduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) with his usual splendid legal acumen. I should like to draw attention to a few considerations which may enhance the desirability of this Amendment.

There is now, both in the short-term and in the long-term future, a very real danger of unemployment. In the short-term we are menaced by the possibility of an American recession with a rather sinister fall in the prices of primary commodities, which makes it likely that the primary producing countries will not be able to afford our exports, thus causing unemployment in our export manufacturing industries. There is also the Government's present economic and fiscal policy, particularly the Bank Rate and the diminution of investment, which is seriously hampering industry. On top of that, unhappily, with the Government's present economic policy we are menaced by the constant possibility of some serious balance of payments crisis which might cause serious unemployment again.

In the long term we must bear in mind that if there is some substantial agreement about disarmament between the Western countries and the Communist countries there may be a big decrease in the United States' anxiety to keep a careful eye on the economic future of Western Europe, with a consequent increase in unemployment. It is also possible in the long-term future that the primary producing countries will become more or less saturated with capital goods for export. Probably the most serious of all is a great diminution in investment in this country which will certainly be destructive of our competitive power in years to come. All these factors may cause a serious diminution of employment both in the short-term and in the long-term future.

There are only certain rather circumscribed cases in which a tariff can substantially help employment. I think we are all generally familiar with the fallacy that simply by raising a tariff one can prevent unemployment. We all know this happened in the 'thirties, and that by raising a tariff we got retaliatory tariffs in other countries with a consequent fall in employment, including employment in our export manufacturing industries. Therefore, as a means to prevent unemployment of a general nature, the powers given by this Bill would not be very helpful.

I think, however, that the important principle here, which was mentioned by the President of the Board of Trade earlier as well as by the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Glover), is that this Bill gives us a very important bargaining position. If it is written in the Bill quite clearly that these powers can be used to maintain full employment, countries which may be tempted to raise tariffs against us will be warned off, fearing reprisals. To add these words to subsection (2) will have a tremendous psychological effect. The very best thing in bargaining is to let one's opposite number know exactly what one is bargaining with, and I can think of no better way to make it clear than to insert these words in the principal, dominating subsection of the Bill.

Of course, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) pointed out, the powers conferred by the Bill will be very valuable in preventing localised unemployment, such as he mentioned has occurred in Dundee, or as has occurred, for instance, in Northern Ireland and in Lancashire. Obviously, one can always use the power of increasing a tariff to relieve localised unemployment. It is desirable also that the powers should be used to maintain employment in industries such as agriculture and horticulture where there are non-economic reasons for maintaining a high level of employment, where it is important from a strategic standpoint to maintain high standards of skill. The powers are limited, and the principal effect of the Bill is largely psychological as far as preventing other countries from raising their tariffs goes.

I commend to the President also the good effect which the insertion of these key words may well have upon the general mistrust which people have for the Government today. It is, of course, no part of the Opposition's business to assist the Government electorally, but when the general mistrust by the country of the Government is causing widespread industrial unrest and serious economic dangers, then an enlightened Opposition such as exists on this side must, obviously, help the Government. I earnestly beg the President to insert these very words to make it clear beyond all doubt that the Government are concerned about full employment. The unions regard the Government with considerable doubt and suspicion. As the last few by-elections have shown, the country regards the Government with similar doubt and suspicion. Here is a way by which the Government can, beyond any doubt, make it clear that they are concerned about full employment.

I hope that the President will accept the Amendment. Whether he accepts it or not will be a real test of what sort of Minister the President of the Board of Trade is. Will he accept the obvious political implications or will he reject the Amendment merely because it has not passed the somewhat exacting test of having been thought of by his own Department? I hope that he will accept it. If he does not, I have no doubt that my right hon. and hon. Friends will divide against him.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

The right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) quite correctly said that full employment is a main object of British policy. That has been agreed by all post-war Governments and is, I think, agreed by all parties in the Committee today. I should like to tell him that what my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said about full employment when he was in Washington was that he had come to the conclusion that, if we were unable to defeat inflation in this country, we should be unable to maintain full employment, and it was because we could not go on having full employment unless we had taken a grip of inflation that he proposed his financial measures.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that that is not quite what The Times, at any rate, reported that his delegation had said. According to the report in The Times, The Chancellor's delegation in Washington said that, in future, full employment would be subordinated to a sound currency as an objective of the Government's economic policy.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I was one of the delegation. I can only assure the right hon. Gentleman that, in all the conversations I had or heard, we said what is our firm conviction, namely, that we should not be able to keep full employment in this country unless we keep our money sound, and we must do that first.

It is part of the national interest that we should maintain full employment. In Clause 1 of the Bill, where we ask for very wide powers, it is necessary, I feel sure, that Parliament should define those powers in a proper manner. Otherwise, the real object of the Bill, which is to rewrite our protective duties, would be greatly extended. Those powers have nothing to do with Revenue duties there are other reasons for putting on import duties, perhaps, but this Bill is essentially structural, to deal with the protective tariff. We think that the way to put that in the Clause is to say, as we do here, …with a view to affording protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom the Treasury on the recommendation of the Board of Trade may, if it appears to them expedient in the national interest… In other words, the overriding objective of the protective tariff is to protect the goods and to do so when it appears to the Government to be in the national interest. By that I mean full employment in the economy as a whole.

The difficulty which I see about the Amendment—and I have thought very carefully about it—is that it might be taken, and, indeed, in view of some of the observations which have fallen from the right hon. Gentleman and his friends, would be taken, I think, to mean not full employment as a national objective but the preservation of employment in a particular industry or, as they said, in a particular area. I am certain that it would be wrong to commit the Board of Trade to any proposition whereby, when considering an application for an increase in duty, the Board had to take account of the level of employment in that particular industry. I say that for this reason. The more successful we are in maintaining full employment throughout the economy, the more necessary it is not to freeze the pattern of industry but to encourage new industries to expand, drawing their manpower from those whose fortunes are declining.

It was of interest to me that the right hon. Gentleman should cite the old hand tinplate mills in South-West Wales. That is an excellent example. There is, no doubt, a serious problem there. Why? It is because the two continuous strip mills at Trostre and Velindre are so much more efficient and use so much less labour that the old mills are going out of production. But what on earth could we do by a tariff to protect those men in South-West Wales? We do not import tinplate. We are large exporters of tinplate. The Amendment really has no relevance whatever to the Bill. If we want to help those men, as indeed we do, we must use the Distribution of Industry Act and the powers we have positively to bring employment into the area. I am trying to do so, and very difficult it is but a tariff has nothing to do with a situation of that kind.

6.0 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman mentioned Dundee. I wonder if he knows that even a 100 per cent. tariff would not help people in Dundee? The jute industry in Dundee is protected by other means, and it is again a very difficult case. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) cited the pottery industry. Does he know that the import duty on pottery is only 5 per cent.—almost no protection at all—and that the volume of imports of pottery, compared with the total consumption in this country, is also 5 per cent.? The pottery industry gets on very well, and it does not, I suppose, except in some special lines, suffer much competition from abroad.

Photo of Sir Barnett Stross Sir Barnett Stross , Stoke-on-Trent Central

I did not want to take up too much time, and therefore I did not speak about special lines, but I am delighted that the President has them in mind. I know that he must be aware that in certain fancy goods and in figure making, in which whole families work unconscionably long hours in some countries abroad, we have no true protection, and that the position may get worse.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

When the hon. Gentleman was speaking earlier, he was really talking about Purchase Tax, and not about import duties, as I think he will see when he looks at his remarks in HANSARD.

What really matters is a high level of jobs in the economy as a whole, and the modern instruments for achieving that are monetary and expansionist, and we must use them with regard to employment in other countries as well as our own. A tariff, on the other hand, is essentially restrictive, and it shifts unemployment, if we like, from one country to another. It really is not a good weapon for this particular purpose.

I am very anxious not to give the impression abroad that this country is so old-fashioned as to want to use the tariff for the purpose of maintaining employment in any particular industry. We are aiming at a Free Trade Area in Europe in which full employment is to be an explicit objective, but it would defeat the purpose of that Free Trade Area if we used the tariff to protect employment rather than go in for more modern methods of maintaining effective demand throughout the area. By that I mean good debtor and good creditor policies, always seeking to expand a market where it shows signs of weakening by expansionist methods and not by the restrictive one of the tariff.

The hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Cronin) said that we might be in danger of a recession coming from America; or, further ahead, he said that disarmament might cause a number of engineering firms to lose their orders. How could we do any good for employment in those firms by the use of the tariff? If tanks are not being made in certain factories because orders are no longer placed there, it is no good putting a tariff on tanks. We have to find some new form of expansion, some new orders or investments or something of that kind to take up the capacity.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

No one would contest the President's argument that we cannot put a tariff on tanks, but, obviously, the armaments industry has secondary effects on other industries, and in those industries the tariff will be useful.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

It really comes to the same thing. The hon. Gentleman says "Raise your tariffs on all the engineering industry and it will help you when you cancel or abandon orders for that portion of the engineering industry which is working for the Armed Forces." I assure him that it would not work. What would be required, if there were a serious recession in trade of that kind, would be measures of reflation, which I think is the usual word for putting in more money to see that demand is equal to the resources.

Therefore, while I very fully appreciate all the thought that is behind the Amendment, and while I repeat that it is as much the policy of the Conservative Party as of the party opposite to seek ways and means of maintaining full employment, I think it will be very dangerous to spell it out in this Bill, simply because the tariff is not the instrument to which in our day we look and to which other countries are looking to preserve employment in particular industries or areas.

It is because I see that danger, which has nothing whatever to do with quarrelling with the objective of full employment, that I would advise the Committee not to include these words, and to accept the general assurance that they are covered in the first words of the Clause, which I quoted at the beginning of my speech.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

I was very far from reassured by the right hon. Gentleman's remarks. Of course, the main way to maintain employment is to maintain demand, but that does not rule out the possibility of there being some supplementary ways as well. The right hon. Gentleman said that if we put these words into the Bill, the Board of Trade might find itself compelled to raise tariffs in order to maintain employment in some area or industry, but that would not be the effect of these words at all. All that the insertion of these words would do would be to give the President of the Board of Trade the power to act on these grounds if he wanted to. As the Bill stands the Board is precluded from raising tariffs for that object—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—well, it is, because it is not stated in the Bill that it shall have regard to full employment.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Having some sympathy with the right hon. Gentleman's general idea, I took careful advice whether these words at the beginning of the Clause would cover such an import duty, and the answer was "Yes." I will read them again: …with a view to affording protection to goods produced in the United Kingdom the Treasury on the recommendation of the Board of Trade, may, if it appears to them expedient in the national interest and so on. It might appear to us to be in the national interest for reasons of employment. I think it would be very rare, but we should be perfectly entitled to do it. The right hon. Gentleman could not argue that it would be impossible to take the level of employment into consideration. It is quite the contrary.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

The President is now arguing that it is in the national interest to promote full employment, and, as the words "national interest" are in the Bill, he may, if he chooses, act under the Bill in order to maintain full employment. If that is true, why does he put in all these words about—

"…the desirability of maintaining and promoting the external trade of the United Kingdom, to the desirability of maintaining and promoting efficiency of production in the United Kingdom and to the interests of consumers in the United Kingdom."

Surely, efficiency of production is in the national interest, the interests of consumers, I suppose, are in the national interests, and, indeed, the desirability of maintaining and promoting the external trade of the United Kingdom is also in the national interest. If that is so, I see no logic whatever in leaving out the phrase full employment on the ground that full employment is part of the national interest. As the President's arguments seem to me to have no logic, and as there is nothing to be gained by leaving out these words and nothing to be lost by putting them in, I hope the Committee will support the Amendment.

Question put, That those words be there inserted:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 139, Noes 176.

Division No. 24.]AYES[6.7 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W.Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)
Albu, A. H.Hamilton, W. W.Oliver, G. H.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Hastings, S.Oram, A. E.
Awbery, S. S.Hayman, F. H.Palmer, A. M. F.
Balfour, A.Healey, DenisPannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)Parker, J.
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)Herbison, Miss M.Pearson, A.
Benson, G.Holmes, HoracePentland, N.
Beswick, FrankHowell, Denis (All Saints)Plummer, Sir Leslie
Blackburn, F.Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Popplewell, E.
Blenkinsop, A.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Prentice, R. E.
Blyton, W. R.Hunter, A. E.Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Boardman, H.Hynd, H. (Accrington)Proctor, W. T.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Rankin, John
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.)Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Redhead, E. C.
Bowles, F. G.Irving, Sydney (Dartford)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Brookway, A. F.Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Ross, William
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St.pncs,S.)Royle, C.
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Callaghan, L. J.Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)Skeffington, A. M.
Champion, A. J.Jones, David (The Hartlepools)Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
Chetwynd, G. R.Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Clunie, J.Kenyon, C.Sorensen, R. W.
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)Lawson, G. M.Sparks, J. A.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Lewis, ArthurSteele, T.
Cronin, J. D.Lindgren, G. S.Swingler, S. T.
Crossman, R. H. S.Logan, D. G.Sylvester, G. O.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Mabon, Dr. J. DicksonTaylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)MacColl, J. E.Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Dodds, N. N.McGhee, H. G.Thornton, E.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.McLeavy, FrankUsborne, H. C.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Viant, S. P.
Fletcher, EricMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Warbey, W. N.
Foot, D. M.Mann, Mrs. JeanWatkins, T. E.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Gibson, C. W.Mason, RoyWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Gooch, E. G.Mellish, R. J.West, D. G.
Greenwood, AnthonyMitchison, G. R.Wheeldon, W. E.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.Moody, A. S.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Grey, C. F.Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.)Wilkins, W. A.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Mort, D. L.Willey, Frederick
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Moss, R.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)Winterbottom, RichardYates, V. (Ladywood)
Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)Woodburn, Rt. Hon, A.
Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)Woof, R. E.TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Mr. Short and Mr. Deer
NOES
Agnew, Sir PeterGurden, HaroldMilligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.
Aitken, W. T.Hall, John (Wycombe)Moore, Sir Thomas
Arbuthnot, JohnHarris, Reader (Heston)Nabarro, G. D. N.
Ashton, H.Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)Neave, Airey
Atkins, H. E.Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Baldwin, A. E.Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir LionelNicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E.&Chr'ch)
Balniel, LordHeath, Rt. Hon, E. R. G.Nugent, G. R. H.
Barlow, Sir JohnHenderson-Stewart, Sir JamesO'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Barter, JohnHesketh, R. F.Osborne, C.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.Page, R. G.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)Panned, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)Hinchingbrooke, ViscountPartridge, E.
Bennett, Dr. ReginaldHirst, GeoffreyPeel, W. J.
Bidgood, J. C.Holland-Martin, C. J.Peyton, J. W. W.
Biggs-Davison, J. A.Holt, A. F.Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Bingham, R. M.Hope, Lord JohnPilkington, Capt. R. A.
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Pott, H. P.
Boyle, Sir EdwardHorobin, Sir IanPowell, J. Enoch
Brooman-White, R. C.Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.Price, David (Eastleigh)
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)Hughes-Young, M. H. C.Redmayne, M.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Hurd, A. R.Rees-Davies, W. R.
Carr, RobertHutchison, Michael Clark (E'b'gh, S.)Remnant, Hon. P.
Cary, Sir RobertHutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Channon, Sir HenryHutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)Robertson, Sir David
Conant, Maj. Sir RogerHyde, MontgomeryRoper, Sir Harold
Cooke, RobertHylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir HarryScott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Cooper, A. E.Iremonger, T. L.Sharples, R. C.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Shepherd, William
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Spearman, Sir Alexander
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)Joseph, Sir KeithSpeir, R. M.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir LancelotStanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Currie, G. B. H.Keegan, D.Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Davidson, ViscountessKershaw, J. A.Storey, S.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)Kirk, P. M.Studholme, Sir Henry
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryLambert, Hon. G.Summers, Sir Spencer
Deedes, W. F.Lambton, ViscountTaylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.Leburn, W. G.Teeling, W.
du Cann, E. D. L.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Temple, John M.
Duncan, Sir JamesLegh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir DavidLennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Elliott, R. W. (N'castle upon Tyne, N)Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynLindsay, Martin (Solihull)Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Fisher, NigelLinstead, Sir H. N.Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Freeth, DenzilLucas-Tooth, Sir HughTurton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Gammans, LadyMcAdden, S. J.Tweedsmuir, Lady
Garner-Evans, E. H.Macdonald, Sir PeterVane, W. M. F.
George, J. C. (Pollok)McKibbin, A. J.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Gibson-Watt, D.Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)Wall, Major Patrick
Glyn, Col. R.McLaughlin, Mrs. P.Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Godber, J. B.McLean, Neil (Inverness)Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Gower, H. R.Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Graham, Sir FergusMaddan, MartinWilliams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)Wood, Hon. R.
Green, A.Markham, Major Sir FrankWoollam, John Victor
Gresham Cooke, R.Mathew, R.
Grimond, J.Maude, AngusTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Mawby, R. L.Mr. Barber and Mr. Finlay.
Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.Maydon, Lt.-Comdr, S. L. C.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.